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3 Series I Volume XLV-I Serial 93 - Franklin - Nashville Part I

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Page 3 Chapter LVII. EXPEDITION TO BROOKHAVEN, MISS.

daylight 18th he surprised the town, scattering a small infantry force stationed there and capturing a section of artillery, with caissons. The gunners were may of them shot down at their pieces. He captured about 50 prisoners; he captured here and destroyed a locomotive and train of cars loaded with stores; burned several buildings containing ammunition, cotton and woolen goods; the quantity could not well be estimated, but are acknowledge by captured officers to have been immense; he also destroyed a manufactory of boots and a tannery containing large stores of leather. He reached Liberty, returning at 5 p. m. the 19th. At 5 p. m. of the Colonel Bassford, commanding First Brigade, with 250 marched on Summit and reached there at daylight, captured some 20 prisoners and destroyed several thousand dollars' worth of commissary stores returning to Liberty at 6 p. m. of the 18th. On the 18th I learned that in our pursuit of the enemy on the previous day he had been forced to abandon, near Liberty, a 12-pounder brass field howitzer and caisson; this was discovered and brought to our camp. On the morning of the 18th, the enemy, under Colonel J. S. Scott, in force of 800, attacked and drove in our pickets at Liberty; at first repulsed, they again advanced, dismounted, and attacked with desperation. Our men, also dismounted fought bravely. I brought into action the section of First Wisconsin Battery and opened with canister. After a fight of something more than an hour the enemy were driven from the field. Three rebel officers were found dead and some fifteen to twenty privates; two officers were wounded and captured. Our losses were about a dozen wounded, none killed.

At 4 p. m. on the 19th I moved my force from Liberty, and crossing the Amite River, went into camp at a distance of six miles from town. We had in our train from 600 to 800 captured horses and mules, more than 100 wagons loaded with captured property and 3 pieces of captured artillery. The caissons (three) had been destroyed, from difficulty in moving the. Since the day of starting the rain had been almost incessant and the mud was about six inches deep. The enemy in small parties was annoying our flanks, and I deemed it best to burn the captured wagons; this was done on the night of the 19th. The bridge over Beaver Creek, distant eight miles from this camp, was destroyed by the enemy. At 1 a. m. 20th I sent Colonel Fonda, with his brigade and pioneers of the division, to rebuild it. At 10 a. m. it was in condition for crossing; after crossing it was destroyed. From this time the enemy gave us little trouble. On night of 20th, the weather being very inclement, the officers captured were allowed to occupy a room in the house occupied by myself and staff, on their parole not to attempt an escape or leave the premises. In the morning four were missing. The remaining officers have made a request to General Hodge that they be returned. I transmit herewith the papers. On the night of the 21st my column safely arrived at Baton Rouge, La.

We brought in 199 prisoners (see list transmitted herewith),* 21 of whom were officers. Three officers (badly wounded) were paroled and left at Liberty. I found in the country abundance of forage. The enemy have in my judgment received a blow in this region from which they will not soon recover. It is proper to state that one of the guns captured at Brookhaven was a steel Sawyer gun, captured some time ago at or near Port Hudson; the other a 3-inch Rodman gun. The section had been used in firing on our transports.

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*Omitted.

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Page 3 Chapter LVII. EXPEDITION TO BROOKHAVEN, MISS.

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