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Here is the Order of Battle along with Gen. Ruggles & Col. Barteau's reports.

George Martin

(Near Tupelo)
5 May 1863
OR-Series I, Volume XXIV, Chapter XXXVI, Pg 689

Union Forces

10th Missouri Cavalry Regiment
7th Kansas Cavalry Regiment
9th Illinois cavalry Regiment

Confederate Forces

1 Company, 2nd Alabama Cavalry (advance guard) --- Lieutenant C. C. Dodd
2nd Alabama Cavalry Regiment --- Lieutenant Colonel James Cunningham
13th Alabama Battalion, Partisan Rangers --- Major W. A. Hewlett
Detachment, 17th Tennessee Cavalry --- Captain P. A. Mann
22nd Tennessee Cavalry Regiment --- Lieutenant Colonel C. R. Barteau


No. 1.--Brig. Gen. Daniel Ruggles, C. S. Army.
No. 2.--Lieut. Col. J. Cunningham, Second Alabama Cavalry.
No. 3.--Maj. W. A. Hewlett, Thirteenth Alabama Battalion, Partisan Rangers.
No. 4.--Lieut. Col. C. R. Barteau, Second Tennessee Cavalry.

O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXIV/1 [S# 36] pp. 689-690

MAY 5, 1863.--Action at King's Creek, near Tupelo, Miss.

No. 1.--Report of Brig. Gen. Daniel Ruggles, C. S. Army.

OKOLONA, May 14, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to forward the following report for the information of the lieutenant-general commanding the department:

On the morning of the 5th instant, reports reached me at this place, where I had necessarily been detained, of another advance of the enemy from the direction of Burnsville with a force of about 5,000 mounted men and six pieces of artillery. Toward evening I received information from Colonel Barteau, then at Verona, that Major [W. M.] Inge's battalion was skirmishing with the advance of the enemy near Tupelo, and that his main body was believed to be moving down east of Town Creek, in the direction of Camargo. For the purpose of impeding his march in that direction and to prevent his crossing Town Creek, I ordered the ferry-boats sunk and the bridges destroyed. I had received as a re-enforcement Major [W.] Boyles' battalion of Alabama cavalry, some 350 strong, and immediately on the reception of the report of enemy's advance prepared for movement in the field.

Dispatched to West Point for the return to this station of four companies of the Third Kentucky Regiment (mounted men), they having been ordered to Jackson by the morning train. These troops arrived in the evening, disembarked, and were ready for the field the ensuing morning at 2 o'clock. Taking the two battalions already named and a section of Owens' guns, under Lieutenant [J. F.] Thompson, proceeded a distance of 10 miles to Sanders' Mills, toward Verona, where we arrived about sunrise, and awaited information of the enemy from Colonel [C. R.] Barteau, who had been instructed to communicate with me at that point and from other sources.

Previously to moving from Okolona, I sent a communication to General Chalmers, then represented as near Pontotoc, giving information received respecting the enemy. After a brief delay at Sanders' Mills, I obtained information from Colonel Barteau that the enemy had been during the previous night at Tupelo, and that he would move up with his troops for the purpose of reconnoitering him to ascertain his strength and position, and would, in the event of its becoming necessary, fall back upon the road on which I was advancing. I then pushed forward rapidly, and, before reaching Verona, received a message indicating that Colonel Barteau with my advanced forces was then at Harrisburg, some 2 miles west of Tupelo, and I immediately moved in that direction, and when near that place received a dispatch from Colonel Barteau, stating that the enemy had retreated precipitately the previous night along the railroad toward Corinth. I ordered a strong scout of two companies to push forward immediately in pursuit of the enemy, and then distributed the troops in new positions, sending the four companies of the Third Kentucky (mounted men) to Okolona, to take the down train for Meridian, in conformity with previous orders.

Subsequently, I learned that the enemy numbered 2,000 or 2,500 cavalry, with six guns, comprising the Tenth Missouri, Seventh Iowa [Kansas], andNinth Illinois, with two companies of mounted infantry, all under the command of Colonel Quinine [Cornyn]; that from 15 to 20 were killed, and from 30 to 40 wounded in the previous day's encounter; that they burned some transportation, destroyed supplies and camp equipage, and broke down the bridges in their precipitate retreat.

On our part, as near as I can learn, we lost 5 killed and 7 or 8 wounded (Confederate troops), and of the State troops 30 are represented to have been taken prisoners.

Previous to this conflict, on account of unsettled questions of rank, and for want of harmony among the commanders of my battalions in advance, I had sent verbal instructions that they should, in cases of emergency, obey the orders of the senior on the field, and even in coming in contact with the State troops in my absence, out of courtesy to General [S. J.] Gholson, and to preserve concert of action, should yield obedience temporarily to him as their commander.

I deem it expedient to observe at this point that communication between Okolona and Verona is attended with many difficulties, on account of four intermediate streams, bordered by bottom lands and morasses, almost impassable for cavalry during the rainy season, and but recently found practicable.

In conclusion, I respectfully recommend to your attention accompanying report of Lieut. Col. C. R. Barteau, who, with his command, is entitled to special consideration on account of good conduct in this as in some previous encounters with the enemy.

Major Inge's battalion (under Captain [P. A.] Mann), a portion of Major Hewlett's battalion, and t we companies of the Second Alabama regiment, are also entitled to commendation for their good conduct.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Brigadier-General, Commanding District.

Assistant Adjutant-General.


VERONA, MISS., May 8, 1863.

Having been ordered to this place from the Pontotoc and Shannon road on the morning of the 3d instant, I reached here at 10 a.m. There was then no reliable account of an advance of the enemy, as rumored down the line of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, but in the evening of the 4th instant I learned that a mounted force of the enemy (strength not known) had reached Baldwyn that morning, and was marching rapidly in this direction. I considered it only a reconnoitering party, and made no immediate report; but at 12 o'clock the same day the enemy drove in the pickets at Guntown and advanced toward Saltillo. The lieutenant in charge of scouts at Guntown reported the force to be three regiments with artillery, and a prisoner whom he had captured and sent in stated that the force would not exceed 900.

Late in the evening of the 4th [instant], scouts from Inge's battalion were fired upon between Tupelo and Saltillo, east side of the railroad. That night the enemy advanced to Priceville, and by daylight on the 5th passed that place toward Plantersville, with the evident intention of moving down between Town Creek and Tombigbee River, to cross at Camargo, threatening Aberdeen, on Mobile and Ohio Railroad below Okolona; but by the delay of the enemy near Miller's Mills, north of Plantersville, I was led to apprehend that his intention was to cross Town Creek at Reece's Bridge, and immediately ordered Inge's battalion to that point, to destroy the bridge and prevent his crossing. Upon arriving at Reece's Bridge, Inge's battalion was confronted by a force of the enemy which it could not successfully contend with, and fell back to Thomasson's farm, 1 miles from the bridge.

In the mean time Lieutenant-Colonel [James] Cunningham arrived at Verona and assumed command of all the troops. Received an order from Major-General [S. J.] Gholson, of the State service, to join him at Tupelo. Started with his command by the most direct route, and ordered me, with Second Tennessee Cavalry, to go by way of Reece's Bridge. I arrived near the bridge; found that the enemy had crossed, and that Inge's battalion had fallen back. Moved then to Thomasson's farm, where I rejoined Colonel Cunningham, en route for Tupelo, and followed his column with Inge's battalion in rear of my regiment. Colonel Cunningham moved immediately forward without (so far as my knowledge extends) reconnoitering or sending out flankers; passed into the thick woods and swamp south of Tupelo, and encountered the enemy in ambush just before arriving at the Tupelo and Pontotoc road. A few shots from the enemy announced his presence, and he reserved his heavy fire until the column had passed nearly half way through, and then opened with small-arms and artillery upon both flanks, cutting off two companies of the Second Alabama, with Hewlett's battalion and my own command, consisting of Second Tennessee Regiment and Inge's battalion. The advanced portion of Colonel Cunningham's command (probably consisting of 400 men) passed between the two fires of the enemy and moved to his rear. The enemy then immediately closed in upon the front of the advancing column and poured a rapid fire upon us from three directions. The fire was so severe that all of Hewlett's battalion could not form and dismount, as directed; hence it gave way with the exception of two companies, which, having received their position, remained upon the ground immediately in front and fought gallantly. I at once ordered the Second Tennessee into line and to dismount, which was executed promptly and in good order, and the horses sent to the rear out of reach of the enemy's fire. By keeping the men close to the ground and behind trees, taking deliberate aim at the enemy, we succeeded in the course of fifteen or twenty minutes in driving the enemy some 500 yards beyond the Tupelo and Pontotoc road. The number of killed of the enemy has been reported by prisoners who escaped from his hands and citizens of Tupelo to have been 20 or more, and the wounded many times as great.

The loss, as nearly as can be ascertained, in the Second Tennessee and Inge's battalion was 6 wounded and 8 captured. Several horses were killed and wounded.
I then withdrew the men from the engagement and moved to Harrisburg, the enemy still remaining at Tupelo in line of battle, awaiting another attack. I withdrew to Verona.

The next morning moved, under orders from General Gholson, to Harrisburg, and, finding that during the night previous the enemy had retreated toward Guntown, pursued 2 miles and returned.

It may be well to state that, after running the gauntlet of the enemy's fire and getting in his rear, Lieutenant-Colonel Cunningham continued his march to Chesterville or vicinity, where, finding General Gholson, he returned by a circuitous route to Verona at 9 p.m. Had he fought the enemy vigorously in his rear, or rejoined the troops which were left in the ambuscade, the result might have been more favorable for us. The force of the enemy was not less than 1,500, with six pieces of artillery (6-pounder guns). The various commands of the enemy were Ninth Illinois Regiment, Seventh Kansas, Tenth Missouri, and two companies of mounted infantry, commanded by Colonel Quinine [F. M. Cornyn]. The force which I had engaged did not exceed 500.

I am, captain, your obedient servant,


Assistant Adjutant-General.
pp. 692-694

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