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[335] and in good order at La Grange for further duty. These horses should be promoted and have an extra pad in their saddles. Had it not been for this stampede, many more men would have been killed or captured. Taking advantage of the confusion caused by this unexpected onset, the larger portion of the regiment dashed forward, and succeeded in getting through with but little fighting and few accidents.

As soon as Forrest discovered, from the disposition made of our troops, that he was about to be caught in a trap, he set himself to work to effect his escape. Abandoning the works at Jackson, he sent a part of his command in a south-east direction to work out their own salvation. With two thousand five hundred men and two thousand conscripts, he moved down toward Bolivar, the point at which the railroad to Jackson crosses the Hatchie River, and, while Richardson's men were engaging the Seventh Illinois cavalry, he was making all speed in crossing over.

Once across the Hatchie River, his way was unobstructed until he approached the line of the M. and C. Railroad. Passing near Middleburgh, he turned westward, and, moving so as to avoid too close contact with La Grange, took a course leading to Moscow. But on leaving Bolivar, a small force was sent in advance to find a safe crossing on Wolf River. This party came within eight miles of Memphis, but finding the river too wide for their pontoons, proceeded eastward along that river to test the crossings at other places. Detecting these movements on the part of the enemy, General Hurlbut ordered all the bridges and trestle-work to be destroyed. This was done except in one case. The officer in command at Lafayette failed to execute the order for some unknown reason, the result of which disobedience of orders will be seen directly. It may be worth while to state that the highlands, which start from the Mississippi River at Randolph, stretch out toward the north boundary of the State of Mississippi, and passing down near the centre of that State, do not touch the river again until they reach Vicksburgh. All the land between these highlands and the river is very swampy and liable to overflow, except the bluffs at Memphis and a few unimportant points below. The reader will now understand why we have so many bridges and so much trestle-work to take care of.

When within a mile of Lafayette, the party alluded to discovered five or six cavalry near a farm-house. Their horses were hitched to the fence, and the cavalry were lounging about unconscious of the nearness of the enemy. Leaving a score of men to watch this outpost, the rebels took a roundabout course, and found that the crossing at this place was vulnerable. Forrest was immediately notified, and the main body made for that point, after throwing out a picket near Moscow to contest our advance from La Grange. They arrived, and commenced crossing at about two P. M., and by sunset they were all over — rebels, conscripts, beef cattle, and all. A part of Richardson's force took a position near Moscow to cover the rear of the retreating army, and Forrest proceeded toward Collierville.

General Grierson was still at La Grange. As soon as he was notified of the fact that the rebels were crossing at La Fayette, the Third brigade, cavalry division, was ordered to the cars to proceed to that point. The order was promptly executed, and as soon as possible the brigade was transferred to a point about two miles west of Moscow. It was now dark. A line of battle was immediately formed, and moved forward through the swamps and undergrowth with difficulty. Heavy firing was heard in advance, and the boys pushed anxiously ahead. Upon nearing La Fayette, which was aglow with the light of burning houses, it was found that a part of the Ninth Illinois cavalry was already there, and had been skirmishing with Forrest's rear-guard. He, with his conscripts and plunder, was going west on the line of the railroad, and was supposed to be already at Collierville. It was now near midnight, and every thing seemed to indicate a fight at that place in the morning.

At two o'clock our column was pushed forward, and by daylight reached Collierville. But the enemy was gone. The place had been attacked on the previous afternoon, and had been ably defended by about one hundred convalescents. The rebels had then retreated southward without any effort in force to take the place, and the trifling demonstration which was repulsed by a handful of sick men was all that occurred. But it turns out that it was Richardson's force that made the attack on Collierville, for the purpose of drawing our attention in that direction, while the main body of Forrest's army vent south from La Fayette with their conscripts, cattle, etc., and got safely across the Tallahatchie. It was at this crossing that my informant and his companions deserted. Colonel Mizener, with a brigade of cavalry, attempted to intercept the enemy, between La Fayette and Holly Springs, but they had too much start, and the attempt failed. At this date, Forrest, Lee, Chalmers, and Richardson are in North-Mississippi, and our forces are encamped at their former positions on the railroad. The failure to capture Forrest, and his whole command, was owing solely to the bridge not having been destroyed in compliance with General Hurlbut's orders.

On the first instant, at ten o'clock in the forenoon, the force sent from Collierville to intercept the enemy before he could reach Holly Springs, arrived at Mount Pleasant, where it was learned that the rear-guard of the rebels had, a few hours before, passed south. Pushing ahead vigorously, our troops followed them to Hudsonville, twenty miles further. By this time it had been discovered that Chalmers had moved north from Panola, and formed a junction with Forrest, whose force was thus augmented to six thousand. Our single brigade had consequently to hold its ground and await reenforcements. These arrived next day, Colonel Mizener's brigade having been sent down from Collierville. For two days

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