Requiescat in pace.Very soon the engagement became general along the entire line, and finally, by might of numbers, we were pressed back. The enemy, however, did not improve his advantage, and the Confederates took position on a wooded ridge, three miles north of Oxford, where we remained several days. On Monday, August 15, General Chalmers took about 200 men, including his escort, and moving around the enemy's flank, dashed into Abbeville, where two brigades of infantry were camped, throwing them into confusion. They fled precipitately, and were pursued until we saw a large force in line of battle. Then General Chalmers withdrew, without the loss of a man. The enemy evidently thought they were being attacked by Forrest's whole force. Forrest realized the great responsibility resting on him, and knowing his inability to successfully oppose such a large force, resolved to make a counter movement by threatening Memphis, and possibly thereby force General Smith to retire. After discussing the matter with General Chalmers he decided to take certain regiments of Bell's and Neeley's brigades, and two rifled guns of Morton's Battery, under Lieutenant Sale, and make the attempt. Without further parley he led the little column of 1,500 men and two guns away, while General Chalmers endeavored to conceal the movement from the enemy. Forrest left Oxford about 5 P. M., Auguust 18, in a hard rain, which had been falling for two days and nights. The streams were all bankfull, and it was necessary for him to go to Panola before he was
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