Today in History:

34 Series I Volume XXXI-I Serial 54 - Knoxville and Lookout Mountain Part I

Page 34 KY.,SW.VA.,Tennessee,MISS.,N.ALA.,AND N.GA. Chapter XLIII.

relieved from duty at that place by General Hawkins, and proceeded up the Mississippi River with four steamers, viz, Adams, Fairchild, Baltic, and Horner. A detachment of 125 cavalry, 160 infantry, and one section of Captain Walling's light battery arrived at Griffin's Landing, in Washington County, Miss., on the 26th ultimo.

On the 27th, I ordered Captain Brown with 100 cavalry to make a reconnaissance in the Deer Creek country, lying about 23 miles east of Griffin's Landing. The expedition left the boats at 6 a.m. and returned at 10 p.m., having marched over 45 miles in one day. They arrested and brought in 1 captain, G. C. Price, an agent of the Commissary Department for the purchase of stock in that country, with about $ 12,000 in Confederate money; also 1 sergeant and 6 enlisted men belonging to the Sixth Texas Cavalry, detailed to drive stock.

From the prisoners I learned that a brigade of Jackson's cavalry was en route for that country to protect the stock drivers. Having but a small command mounted, I immediately impressed mules and horses to mount my infantry for the purpose of meeting the rebel brigade, and accordingly on the 1st day of November I landed all my available force, numbering about 200 cavalry and infantry, mounted, one piece of artillery,and two days' rations, and started at an early hour. About the time of starting the rain began to fall, which rendered the roads through the swamps almost impassable. At 3 p.m., however, I reached the plantation of Mrs. Buckner, on Deer Creek, where I was compelled to go into camp on account of the impassable condition of the roads for artillery, and having made a march of 23 miles, I posted my pickets and put the artillery into position, and made inquiry of the citizens concerning the rebel force, but was assured by them that there was none in that country.

Relying somewhat upon their information, and finding it out of my power to go farther with artillery, I resolved at once to send it back, guarded by the mounted infantry, leaving me a command of only 125 cavalry.

On the following morning, at 5.30 o'clock, I divided my force, one half returning, by way of Greenville, to Griffin's Landing, and with the cavalry I proceeded down the creek, intending to reach the river at Carolina Landing, a distance of 60 miles, where I had previously ordered the ram Horner to meet me on the 4th. We had gone but about 1 mile beyond my picket post, when the advance guard began skirmishing with rebel pickets. Here ensued a running fight for some miles until we came upon a portion of the enemy, supposed to be about 120 or 140 men, drawn up in line on the opposite side of the creek to prevent my command crossing on a bridge at that point, the only means of crossing in that vicinity. I instructed the advance to press them closely, intending to hold the enemy in position until the arrival of the artillery, which I ordered up immediately after encountering their pickets, but finding the enemy intended to fall back before the artillery could reach me, I directed a portion of the dismounted men to deploy and charge across the bridge at a double-quick, in order to clear the way for cavalry. The rebels gave way almost without resistance, and fled in great confusion, my cavalry close upon them. We followed them some 2 miles at a rapid rate, and, finding no other alternative, they took to the woods and canebrakes. By this time the artillery came up, and, after shelling the woods thoroughly, I started on my return

Page 34 KY.,SW.VA.,Tennessee,MISS.,N.ALA.,AND N.GA. Chapter XLIII.