Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 7.djvu/700

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209
CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

Missouri regiment and Willis' battalion December 10th.

On December 19th an expedition set out from Memphis, about 3,500 cavalry under Grierson, for the old raiding ground along the Mobile & Ohio railroad. Maj.-Gen. W. T. Martin, commanding Northwest district, with Colonel Denis' reserves and 300 State troops, was near Memphis. Scott and Wilbourn with their forces, about 800 men, were in the Gulf district, as also was King's battery and 500 men under Colonel Wier from Corinth. Colonel Griffith had been ordered south, but was called back. General Gholson had a camp at Cotton Gin, collecting dispersed cavalry. Captain Pope was at Columbus with about thirty men, and at Macon was Lipscomb of Mabry's brigade with 250 and Captain Doss with about thirty men, while Colonel Mabry, in command of the Northeast district, had a small force at Corinth.

Corinth was supposed to be the enemy's objective, and a train in charge of Maj. John S. Hope, inspector-general, with 700 infantry and King's battery, under Lieutenant-Colonel Burke, from Mobile, reached West Point en route to Corinth December 26th, but found that the enemy was in force near Okolona, confronted by General Gholson with about 200 cavalry without ammunition.

Major Hope, scouting with a locomotive, brought the railroad cars at Okolona to Egypt, and 270 men were sent up to Okolona and posted just south of that place to protect the railroad bridge. This detachment and Gholson's fell back to Egypt on the 27th, before the advance of the enemy. The fight at Egypt began on the morning of the next day and resulted in severe loss to the Confederates, General Gholson being reported mortally wounded, and several hundred men captured. The train with the troops was also partly destroyed, though the locomotive and battery escaped. Reinforcements from Meridian coming up during the fight, Col. W. W. Wier, in command, attacked the enemy, who soon afterward retreated to Houston, leaving 7 dead and 35