capture of the stores and equipment was complete and vast.
There were long trains loaded with rations and clothing. Heaps
upon heaps of boots, blankets, whiskey, cigars, canned goods,
unopened cases of carbines and pistols. Hundreds of bales
of cotton lined the court house square as the towns people
came out and shouted, "Hurrah for Van Dorn", "Hurrah
for the Confederacy!" " Hurrah for Jeff Davis."
For about ten hours the Cavalry Brigade ran carefree through
the streets and most of the equipment that could not be taken
out was destroyed and burned. The trains burned, the quartermasters
stores and some 1500 prisoners were taken. Many of the confederate
horses were in very bad shape and were gleefully exchanged
for excellent mounts formerly of the Yankee cavalry. Within
twenty-four hours the Cavalry Brigade was gone from Holly
Springs, much to the anger of General Grant who had dispatched
a force to meet them, but it arrived late.
Texas Brigade soon came across the Davis Mill defended by
250 Indiana infantrymen and commanded by Colonel William H.
Morgan. They had built a blockhouse that was heavily defended
and very secure. The Texas Brigade was dismounted and attacked
on foot. Fighting was heavy but in attacking in three separate
charges the attempt was fruitless. Sharpshooters killed several
Texans. There were twenty-two dead and thirty wounded with
no one reaching the blockhouse. Finally, fearing that thousands
of Union Cavalry would be pursuing them, General Van Dorn
called off the attack and bivouacked a few miles away.
raid continued across Tennessee and hit the Memphis and Charleston
Railroad, burning trestles and tearing up track. They then
continued through Moscow, Bolivar, and Brownsville. By the
24th of December the Texas Brigade was hit the Mississippi
Line railroad and then to Middleburg. By the 27th of December
Van Dorn and the Texas Brigade had reached the safety of Grenada.
As this was going on, General Bragg, to the North, was involved
by months end at Murfeesboro, Tennessee. On January
11, 1863 Van Dorn received orders to take his cavalry and
organize it as part General Braggs Army of Tennessee.
Ben T. Roberts served in Company
E of the 3rd Texas Cavalry. In this image he is holding
a double barrel shotgun and large Bowie knife. In his
belt is a revolver and a smaller knife. His shotgun
was probable brought from home and these found good
early in the war by most confederate cavalry.
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Part 12 | Part