in their front, their troops being in full view.
The day's operations, in causing the enemy to develop their forces from actual observation, from prisoners, scouts and other sources, in flank and rear of their columns, fixed the force as consisting of two corps of infantry and artillery (16th and 17th), commanded respectively by Generals Hurlbut
, and a brigade of cavalry under Colonel Winslow
The entire force was about 26,000 effectives, with a comparatively small wagon-train for such an army.
The Yazoo river
expedition started about the same time, and it was intended to divide and hold a part of Lee
's Confederate cavalry, so that no concentration could be made against General W. Sooy Smith
's column; who was ordered to start about the time General Sherman
started from Vicksburg
The two expeditions displayed the two great resources General Sherman
had to bring against the small force of Confederates in Mississippi
An incident near the old battlefield of Baker
's creek is worthy of being recorded.
The enemy's infantry deployed was moving forward gradually, pressing back Adams
' Brigade, dismounting and fighting them in a swamp.
While thus engaged the Federal
brigade of cavalry came charging down on their rear and flank, and on their lead horses.
The moment was critical, as Adams
was almost too hotly engaged to withdraw on short notice.
The two escort companies of General S. D. Lee
and W. H. Jackson
alone were mounted and near at hand, numbering about ninety men all told.
Major W. H. Bridges
, of Texas
, was temporarily connected with the command, an officer for just such an emergency.
He was ordered to lead the two companies against the Federal
brigade and hold them in check.
It was a choice command, fearlessly led, and it did the work assigned it, but with the loss of the noble leader and many of his followers.
The dash saved Adams
' Brigade, which was retired mounted, and moved over Baker
At the same time Griffith
's Arkansas regiment was thrown into the woods near the bridge, thus permitting the two escort companies to sweep over the bridge, when gradually pressed back by the superior numbers of the Federal
cavalry following, and just as the Federal infantry had got through the swamp and were moving towards the bridge.
The Federal advance was checked by artillery across Baker
's creek, which also enabled the Arkansas
regiment to get over the bridge.
On February 5th the Confederate cavalry was gradually pressed back to Jackson
, where it arrived about dark, passing out on the road towards Canton
, to enable General Loring
's infantry division