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Tipton’s cavalry soldiers: battle at Wyatt, Miss. Oct. 13, 1863, part IV

Fortunately for the southerners, there were no Federal reserves to capture the Wyatt Bridge. Confederate officers rallied their commands and occupied their former positions.

A historian for the National Park Service wrote: “Col. Green’s 12th Tennessee, eager to redeem itself, charged a two-roomed log house to its front, occupied by sharpshooters of the 7th Kansas cavalry. The northerners were dislodged, and Green’s grim Tennesseans held the building despite the Kansans’ efforts to overwhelm them. While Green’s men clung to the structure, a 12-pounder shell ripped into the outhouse, where nine men were posted, and burst without injuring a man.”

Capt. Amos Hodgman and 40 men of the 7th Kansas bravely charged the log structure held by Green’s men; only 10 survived the withering fire and only four escaped. Hodgman was wounded and later died. Col. Gilbert Moyer’s brigade arrived after Green had regained his former position. Hatch had the 6th West Tennessee Union cavalry and the 3d Michigan form on the right of Phillips’ brigade. The 9th Illinois and eight mountain howitzers took position on the College Hill road opposite the three cannon of the Confederates. Federal artillery fire was now concentrated on the village of Wyatt and the pontoon bridge. Mississippi and Missouri cavalry made several charges to capture the Union batteries and did compel them to withdraw. The 7th Tennessee cavalry, including Tipton’s men in Co. I, were little engaged in this action and crossed the river at dark. Rainfall and darkness slowed the fighting to long-range firing. Richardson’s men had all but exhausted their ammunition.

By 9 p.m., most of his rebel cavalry had withdrawn to the south side of the Tallahatchie, marching in the mud to their encampments and horses. Following an 11 o’clock council of war among his officers, Richardson ordered his wagons and artillery to move at midnight toward Okolona on the Mobile and Ohio railroad, where they could be re-supplied with ammunition. His troopers would follow two hours later. Gen. James R. Chalmers caught up with the main Rebel column at daybreak.

Countermanding Richardson’s orders, he directed the cavalry to ride back and occupy the fortifications on the south side of the Tallahatchie at Wyatt and dispute any Federal attempts to cross. The 7th Tennessee mounted at midnight, fell in behind the 12th Tennessee and moved in the direction of Oxford. After proceeding four miles, they were met by Gen. Chalmers, who ordered them to return to Wyatt. These men remained until late that afternoon, unmolested by the Federals.

Col. Edward Hatch had no desire to attack.Being 45 miles from his base and low of ammunition himself, he ordered his columns northward. Hatch, Phillips and Moyers had failed to capture or destroy the raiding rebel cavalry.

In the two days fight, Hatch reported a loss of 60 men killed and wounded, capturing in the process 55 prisoners, 200 arms and two wagons of ammunition. A soldier of the 9th Illinois cavalry wrote that 15 Confederates were left dead on the field. Richardson reported his losses at nine killed and 30 wounded in the engagements at Byhalia and Wyatt.

At Wyatt, his 12th Tennessee, under Col. John U. Green, suffered two killed and four slightly wounded. Several from Tipton County in the 12th Tennessee were casualties: Henry Futhy Jr. (Co. C), killed; John D. Thompson (Co. C), wounded; John Robinson (Co. H) captured (Robinson was sent to Alton, Ill. prison where he died Feb. 10, 1864); Capt. J. Slaught Caruthers (Co.H), prisoner of war; John Nero Faulk (Co. H), prisoner of war; and G. F. Sink(Co. H), prisoner of war.

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