April 3-5, 1864 - Operations near Covington, Somerville, Morning Sun [a.k.a. "Rising Sun"], Fisherville, destruction of ferries on the old and new Raleigh Roads and scout on Covington Road
Report of Brig. Gen. Benjamin H. Grierson, U. S. Army, commanding Cavalry Division, Sixteenth Army Corps, operations April 3-5.
RALEIGH, TENN., April 4, 1864.
COL.: Yesterday morning I sent Col. Waring from this point on the main Somerville road to proceed as far as practicable. I sent Col. Hurst through Shelby and Wythe Depots to look well to the crossing of the Loosahatchie. one battalion of the Sixth Tennessee was left at this point with Col. Brumback with orders to scout north on the Covington road.
With Col. Hepburn's command I proceeded toward Macon via Fisherville. When in the vicinity of Fisherville I received courier from Col. Waring with word that he was fighting a considerable force between Morning Sun and Leake's. I moved from Fisherville north to the Somerville road at Leake's, hoping to come in on the flank or rear of the enemy. Arriving here we found that Col. Waring had been briskly engaged, and had dropped back toward Morning Sun. The enemy also had fallen back toward Somerville, leaving a strong picket at Leake's, which my advance charged and drove back on the main force, which was strongly posted behind Spring Creek. From all information the enemy were over 2,000 strong, and the officer in charge of the advance so reported them.
Not hearing from Col. Hurst at this point, and Col. Waring having dropped back to Morning Sun, I deemed it beast to join him at that point, where I expected to remain for the night, but not finding forage I moved to this place and sent to Memphis for the needful. I shall to-day send out expeditions and watch their movements closely. A picket of 25 men was found at one of the crossings of Loosahatchie.
I inclose Col. Waring's report. A most significant fact is that there is no travel upon the roads, nor has there been for three days.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
B. H. GRIERSON, Brig.-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. I, p. 581.
NORTH OF WOLF RIVER, NEAR RALEIGH, April 5, 1864--11.30 a. m.
GEN.: Your dispatch just received. The enemy made an attempt on our pickets last night on the Somerville road, and lost 1 man killed. I started a force toward the enemy before daylight this morning. They have just returned and report the enemy to have moved east in the night.
From a lady, who lives 12 miles this side of Purdy, and who came in last night, I learn that Forrest had sent his prisoners, trains, and plunder south via Pocahontas. With his main force disencumbered he moved south via Saulsbury, throwing out sufficient force to check any advance from this direction. She reports that it is his intention to attack Memphis, in which he expects to be joined by forces from below. If he fails in this, it is my opinion that he will move north again to Jackson, with a view of fulfilling his original intention of crossing the Tennessee. I sent Lieut.-Col. Hepburn this morning with his force via White's Station to the Pigeon Roost road, to scout to Olive Branch. I have destroyed the ferries at the crossings on the old and new Raleigh roads, and at the crossing of the Macon and Memphis road. I will move with Waring and Hurst via Mount Pleasant toward Hudsonville. The infantry will return to Memphis to-night. This lady reports that a portion of Forrest's command had a fight with a force between Purdy and the Tennessee River. She is the wife of a lieutenant in the Sixth Tennessee.
B. H. GRIERSON, Brig.-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 31, pt. II, p. 582.
B. H. GRIERSON, Brig.-Gen
HDQRS. SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Memphis, Tenn., April 4, 1864.
Brig. Gen. R. P. BUCKLAND, Cmdg. District of Memphis:
GEN.: It is necessary that great caution should be exercised in relation to the approaches to Memphis.
The enemy in very considerable force are near Rising Sun. It would be very like their tactics to cross Wolf suddenly near Moscow or at Germantown and move upon the City. To prevent any sudden dashes the picket guards must be strong and the officers cautioned to activity. The mounted men will be thrown well forward and cross patrols from road to road kept up especially at night. It would be well for your to examine the camps personally and ascertain whether or not they can be protected easily from sudden attack by a light entrenchment. I assure you that I consider great vigilance necessary, and I urge upon you that all officers and men be held to strict attention to their duties and to the order enjoining them to be at their posts and in camp.
Your obedient servant,
S. A. HURLBUT, Maj.-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. III, p. 253.
April, Sunday 3, 1864
This has been a sad and lonely day for me - I miss my poor Beulah so much. Tippie Dora has not come tonight, so Laura and I are all alone. Tate, Joanna, Nannie, Robert, and Uncle Elum all went to Church. Father went up to Mr. Hildebrand's, Helen was at home, spent the morning in her own room. My sainted Mother, how different from what you wished, to see your two youngest born so widely separated, both in thought & feeling - it is not my fault, I pine for a companion, yet she is happier with those of her choice –
I spent the morning in Father's big chair, reading. I read the book of Romans, Father returned but had no news. We have not heard from Forrest since he crossed the Cumberland at Eddyville. God grant us success throughout the State, and return my Bro safe to us once again. I spent the morning alone, grieving for my lost friend - just one week ago this eve I had a long walk, with her as companion, but now I, oh! it makes no difference to any one but myslef, why do I thus complain. A hard storm of rain and wind is raging. Laura learning her lesson. Bettie did not come tonight. Father of mercy give me hope, brighten my life, oh! give me a companion, or my mind is lost. Thy will, not mine oh! Lord be done - Tip just arrived
DIARY OF BELLE EDMONDSON January - November, 1864