As Confederate cannon rained fire on exhausted Union troops waiting to cross Tishomingo Creek, a somewhat orderly retreat turned into a panicked rout. Soldiers swam across the creek, bypassing thee clogged and bottlenecked bridge and ran into the woods. Officers lost control of their units.
Just one month after the Battle of Brice's Crossroads, Union and Confederate troops faced off again at the Battle of Tupelo. Union general A. J. Smith and his troops defeated the Confederates on July 14, but seeing that his supplies were running low, Smith opted to return to Memphis. While it was a retreat in the technical sense of the word, it in no way resembled the panicked flight of General Sturgis' force just a few weeks earlier.
General Forrest, on examining the tables turned in by his provost marshall, chief quartermaster, and chief of ordnance, learned that his command had captured the following at Brice's Crossroads:
- Personnel: Col. G W McKeaig of the 10th Illinois; 1 assistant surgeon; 18 captains; 40 lieutenants; 87 noncommissioned officers; 3 musicians; and 1,468 privates; or a total of 1,618 men.
- Quartermaster Property: 161 mules; 23 horses; 168 six-horse wagons; 7 four-horse wagons; 1 two-horse wagon; 16 ambulances; and hundreds of sets of harnesses.
- Ordnance stores: 16 cannon (one 3-inch ordnance rifle, five James rifles, five 6-pounder guns, two 12-pounder Napoleons); 28 limbers; 15 caissons; hundreds of rounds of artillery ammunition (shot, canister, and spherical case); 15,000 stands of small-arms; 300,000 rounds of small-arms ammunition; several hundred accoutrements (cap-pouches and cartridge-boxes); and a number of sets of artillery harness.
Forrest at Brice's Crossroads and in North Mississippi in 1864, p. 133 (Morningside Books) by Edwin C. Bearss
Bottom Quote: "The lines were broken at and near the cross-roads, and when the defeated infantry reached the bridge it was only as a mob ..." Captain William Forse Scott, 4th Iowa Cavalry
Top Right Corner Drawing: "Retreat of the Confederate Garrison," Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper
Center Map: "Map of the Roads and Adjacent Country Between Stubbs' Plantation and Brice's Cross-Roads, Miss.," The Official Military Atlas of the Civil War, David Rumsey Map Collection
Top Right Drawing: "Blenker's Brigade Covering the Retreat near Centerville," Harper's Weekly
Bottom Right Drawing: "Retreat of Federal Troops from the Virginia Shore," Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper