Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 7.djvu/768

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271
CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

fruitless movement by the enemy his regiment was engaged in various skirmishes. From this time during the long-continued efforts for the reduction of Vicksburg the Confederate cavalry was busily engaged in watching the movements of the enemy. At the organization of forces outside Vicksburg by General Johnston he and his regiment were assigned to the cavalry brigade of Gen. W. H. Jackson, first composed of the regiments of Pinson, Harris, Starke, and Adams, and Steede's battalion. In March, 1863, he participated in the victory at Thompson's station, Tenn., under General Van Dorn. When Jackson became commander of cavalry division, under Gen. Stephen D. Lee, Colonel Starke was assigned to command of the brigade, which in February, 1864, included the regiments of Pinson, Starke and Ballentine, Webb's Louisiana company, and the Columbus, Georgia, light artillery. He was stationed before Vicksburg when Sherman started out on the Meridian expedition. He resisted the advance of one corps of the enemy on February 4th, and on the 24th attacked Sherman's retreating column at Sharon, inflicting considerable loss on the enemy. His conduct in this campaign was warmly commended by General Jackson, and General Lee said: "Colonel Starke, commanding brigade, showed skill and gallantry on every occasion, and won my confidence." During the Atlanta campaign his brigade was commanded by Gen. Frank C. Armstrong, and he was for a part of the time in command of his regiment. Commissioned brigadier-general November 4, 1864, he took part in the cavalry operations during Hood's Tennessee campaign. On February, 1865, he was assigned to command, near Columbus, of one of the three brigades into which General Chalmers divided the Mississippi cavalry, and the following regiments were ordered to report to him: Wilbourn's Fourth, Wade's Sixth Mississippi and Eighth Confederate, White's Eighth Mississippi, Twenty-eighth, Eighteenth battalion, and part of the Fifth regiment.