Confederate Victory — Pursuit of the Union
Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest's cavalry had routed Brigadier General Benjamin Grierson's Federal cavalry one-half mile east of the Cross Roads and the Federal infantry that was thrown into battle line one-quarter mile east of the Cross Roads. A strong defense at the Cross Roads by several Union infantry regiments and artillery units allowed the infantry brigades of Colonels Alexander Wilkin and George B. Hoge to retreat west from the Cross Roads up the Ripley Road.
"(At the Cross Roads), in conjunction with the artillery, we maintained our position for more than two hours, a regular stand-up fight,?the enemy making charge after charge in front, only to be driven back by volleys of grape, canister, and musketry. ?my command fighting until almost surrounded, the enemy within twenty steps of our guns, we were the last to leave the field that day." —Lt. Col. Andrew W. Rodgers, 81st Illinois Vol. Inf.
The Union defense at the Cross Roads was broken by repeated Confederate charges and by Colonel Barteau's flanking movement and threat to gain the Union rear. "The steady advance of my men and the concentrated, well-directed, and rapid fire from my batteries?threw (the Union) back, and the retreat or rout began." (Forrest)
The 72nd Ohio infantry, the 6th Indiana artillery, and several companies of the 55th United States Colored Infantry (USCI) defended the Tishomingo Creek Bridge along with remnants of retreating Union regiments.
"Before reaching Tishomingo Creek the road was so blockaded with abandoned vehicles of every description that it was difficult to move the artillery forward. Ordering up my horses, they were mounted and the pursuit was then continued and the enemy were driven until dark. He attempted the destruction of his wagons, loaded with ammunition and bacon, but so closely was he pursued that many of them were saved without injury, although the road was lighted for some distance."
"?In the bottom on the south prong of the Hatchie (River) they had abandoned the balance of their wagon train, all their wounded, and 14 pieces of artillery."
"On reaching the town of Ripley, about 8 a.m., the enemy was found in line of battle?and at the first appearance of additional forces he again retreated,?and from this place to the end of their pursuit the enemy offered no organized resistance, but retreated in the most complete disorder, throwing their guns, clothing, and everything calculated to impede his flight."
"This victory may be justly considered one of the most complete of the war, and for it I feel indebted to the valor of my troops?" —Maj. Gen. Nathan B. Forrest, C.S. Army