A correspondent of the Atlanta Appeal,
writing from Holly Springs, Miss.
, gives an account of the recent movements of Gen. Chalmers
in that vicinity.
's whole force, having been reinforced by Richardson
's command with six pieces of artillery, passed through Holly Springs
Saturday last, en route (it was thought) for Colliersville, Tenn.
, on the Memphis and Charleston railroad.
A portion of his forces encountered a column of the enemy at or near North Mount Pleasant, in Marshall county
, and drove them back.
they surrounded it and Chalmers
sent in a demand for the surrender of the place.
The Federal refused, and Chalmers
at once engaged them.
The place was garrisoned by a portion of General Sherman
's corps of infantry from Memphis
and about one hundred cavalry.
After a severe engagement he took the place, captured a train, which was burnt, about one hundred horses and mules, tore up the railroad track, destroyed all their commissary stores, captured one hundred and thirty prisoners, most of whom were cavalrymen, and fifteen wagons and teams.
The number of Yankees killed and wounded could not be ascertained, but it was supposed to be heavy.
One Yankee Colonel
was known to have been killed, whose name I could not learn.
Our loss was seven or eight killed and thirty or forty wounded. The Federal receiving reinforcements from Sherman
's forces Chalmers
fell back to Byhalia
About three o'clock yesterday (Sunday) Gen. Philips
, with 3,000 cavalry and eight pieces of artillery, passed through Holly Springs
in a full gallon.
They came in on the Salem
road and went out on the same road that Chalmers
and his troop did the day before.
One mile north of this place Philips
divided his forces--one column taking the Hudsonville
road, and the other the road to North Mount Pleasant
It was at first supposed they were endeavoring to get in Chalmers
's rear, but it is now generally believed both columns formed a junction at some point north of here, and are now engaging Chalmers
or in that vicinity.
Cannonading has been heard in that direction at intervals during the entire day, and much anxiety is felt as to the probable result.
, with 500 cavalry, camped last night at Chism
's place, only two and a half miles from town.
They left early this morning, but it is not known where they have gone.
While here the Yankees
captured one Confederate soldier, robbed several of the citizens of watches, money, and clothing, demolished two hand-cars on the Central
road, and stole all the horses and mules they could find.
The Rev. Mr. Johnson
, an excellent man, was preaching a sermon to the negroes in the basement story of the Methodist Church when the Yankees
came in. --They sent a negro in the Church
, (one of their sweet-scented companions,) who told the minister that he was wanted at the door.
The venerable minister was met at the door by a burley Yankee, with a drawn pistol, who commanded him to surrender.
They carried him off, and thus broke up the meeting, when the negroes quietly dispersed.
Just before the last squad left town they released him, after committing many indignities upon him.
They demanded of Gen. Thos. G. Polk
, a venerable old man of this place, his fine gold watch, and upon refusing to deliver it up, he was shamefully abused and badly cut on the head with a sabre.
In the vicinity of town they met a lady and her little daughter on their way home, in a buggy, and compelled them to get out, when two of the robbers got in and drove off, leaving them in the dusty lane to shift for themselves as best they could, and to be jeered at by every Yankee vagabond that saw fit to insult them.
About four miles from town they set fire to the residence of Mr. Branch
, an old man, which was entirely consumed, together with everything he had, and his family left homeless in the road. --Their excuse for this diabolical act was that Chalmers
had bivouacs on the premises the night previous.
Several of the straggling Yankees
were picked up by some of our furloughed soldiers after the main body had gone through and sent south.
Among the Yankees
passing here last Sunday were a number of the notorious Kansas
jayhawker, who scruple not at the commission of any crime, however hideous.
They came in town in advance of the main force, yelling like so many fiends.
Galloping up to a squad of old men and boys assembled on the corner of the square, they with drawn pistols, curses and threats, sought to intimidate and frighten them; but failing to do so, went forward.
Friday, October 13.--One of our cavalry arrived last night from the Tallahatchie
, from whom I learned that no general engagement occurred at Byhalia
, but simply an artillery running fight, as our forces were falling back.
They reached the Tallahatchie river
and crossed, dismounted, and formed a line of battle.
coming up, our troops engaged them, and finally drove them back, with a Yankee loss of twelve killed, left on the field, and one captain (a Kansas jayhawker) wounded and captured.
Of the number of them wounded nothing could be ascertained.
Our loss was four or six killed, and some ten or twelve wounded. The Yankees
admit a defeat at the river.
On their retreat, passing through Wyatt
, they burned every house in the place, and would not permit any of the sufferers to save anything, not even wearing apparel
In the western portion of the county through which they retreated they burned all the residences and barns.
They also destroyed the little town of Tallapoosa
, six miles west of Holly Springs
, as they passed through it. On yesterday, from the cupola of the court-house in Holly Springs
, the smoke of as many as fifteen or twenty fires could plainly be seen all along the route of their retreat, and it is believed not a single residence or barn in that part of the country has escaped them.
On Wednesday last 25,000 infantry and cavalry, with ten pieces of artillery, passed through this place, taking the road to Wyatt
, a mile south of us, and it was greatly feared they would return this way and destroy what is left of Holly Springs
, but they did not do it.
It is said our soldiers, while at Colliersville
, captured enough boots and shoes and other quartermasters' stores to last them through the winter.--It was also reported that Gen. Sherman
was on the train captured at Colliersville
, but made his escape.