SOLDIERS: I congratulate you upon your success in the brilliant campaign recently conducted in West Tennessee under the guidance of Major General Forrest, whose star never shone brighter, and whose restless activity, untiring energy, and courage baffled the calculations and paralyzed the arms of our enemies.
In a brief space of time we have killed 4,000 of the enemy, captured over 1,200 prisoners, 800 horses, 5 pieces of artillery, thousands of small-arms, and many stand of colors, destroyed millions of dollars' worth of property, and relieved the patriots of West Tennessee from the hourly dread in which they have been accustomed to live. . .
It is with pride and pleasure that I review the part taken by the soldiers of this Division in this decisive campaign.
Colonel Neely, of the Thirteenth Tennesse, met the traitor Hurst at Bolivar, and after a short conflict, in which we killed and captured 75 prisoners of the enemy, drove Hurst hatless into Memphis, leaving in our hands all his wagons, ambulances, papers, and his mistresses, both black and white.
The once arrogant Grierson, who has never recovered his equalnimity since his flight from Okolona, ventured out with two brigades to look after us, when Lieutenant-Colonel Crews, with his dashing battalion, defeated his advance guard, and sent him hurriedly back to Memphis, where he remained trembling behind his fortifications and frightened at every mention of the name of Forrest.
Colonel Neely on the north and Colonel McGuirk on the south, by well executed demonstrations, alarmed the enemy for the safety of Memphis, while the lion-hearted McCulloch, with his "fighting brigade" of Missourians, Texans, and Mississippians, nobly assisted by Colonel Bell, with his gallant brigade of Tennesseans, from Buford's Division, temporarily attached to my command, stormed the works at Fort Pillow, in the face of the incessant fire from two gun-boats and five pieces of artillery from the fort, and taught the mongrel garrison of blacks and renegades a lesson long to be remembered.
While, we rejoice over our victories, let us not forget the few gallant spirits who yielded up their lives to their country, and fell as brave men love to fall, "with their backs to the field and their feet to the foe."
JAMES R. CHALMERS
Transcribed from War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies.
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