HEADQUARTERS THIRD U
HEADQUARTERS THIRD U
HEADQUARTERS THIRD U.S. COLORED CAVALRY,
Haynes' Bluff, Miss., April 25, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to respectfully report that, pursuant to orders, I moved at 6 a.m. on the morning of the 19th of April with one battalion Tenth Missouri Cavalry, 90 men and 4 officers, Maj. W. H. Lusk commanding, and the Second Battalion, Third U.S. Colored Cavalry, 138 men and 12 officers, Maj. J. B. Cook commanding, on the Yazoo City road. Dividing my command to cover both ridge and valley road, I proceeded to within 7 miles of Mechanicsburg; returning to the column encamped at the residence of Mr. Willday, on the valley road.
Moving at daylight on the 20th, and accompanied by the First Kansas Mounted Infantry as far as Mechanicsburg, we moved toward Yazoo City, driving in our front about 50 of the enemy's skirmishers. The advance guard of the Tenth Missouri Cavalry, under Captain Cain, was exceedingly fine and worthy of special mention. About 9 miles beyond Mechanicsburg we captured 2 out of the 4 men posted as a picket, and learned that Mabry's brigade, formerly either Adams' or Starke's, was somewhere in our front with four pieces of artillery and about 700 men. Halting in a little belt of timber for the infantry to close up we saw about 20 men in our front and dismounted two companies to flank them, when instantly the enemy appeared on our position with an ambushed battery of four pieces, distant about three-quarters of a mile, continuing a rapid fire for nearly an hour, during which time our dismounted companies rejoined the command. Having received an order from Colonel Scofield, commanding, I fell back as directed to a point near to, and so as to defend the passage of, the cross-road leading to Liverpool Heights. While holding this position the enemy, who had followed us, attempted to force our position held by the Third U.S. Colored Cavalry, Maj. J. B. Cook commanding. Major Cook arranged an ambuscade for them behind a small ridge jutting out to the road. They advanced about one regiment strong in column, but on receiving the unexpected fire from the ridge they were thrown into confusion, and on being pushed by the charging party, a lieutenant and 12 men, all the well-mounted men there were in the Third U.S. Colored Cavalry, broke into fragments and were pursued fully 1 mile in the wildest confusion to the enemy's rear line of battle, who, mistaking them in the cloud of dust for our column, poured into them a volley of musketry.
Their loss must have been severe, 5 dead and many wounded men and horses being left upon the field.
Holding our position undisturbed till 7 p.m., we moved by order in the rear of the infantry to Liverpool Heights.
Leaving there at 12.30 a.m. on the morning of April 23, we marched to Haynes' Bluff, undisturbed by the enemy.
I desire to particularly mention the conduct of Maj. William H. Lusk, Tenth Missouri Cavalry; Maj. J. B. Cook, Third U.S. Colored Cavalry; Second Lieut. Edwin Farley, C Company, Third U.S. Colored Cavalry, who led the charge.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. D. OSBAND,
Colonel, Commanding Third U. S. Colored Cavalry.
Capt. W. H. F. RANDALL,