Apr 14 1862 Received report from Gen. Sherman, “I have the honor to report that in obedience to verbal orders from General Grant, ratified in person by General Halleck, I embarked on board the transports Tecumseh and White Cloud, during the evening of the 12th instant, 100 men of the Fourth Illinois Cavalry, under command of Major S. M. Bowman, and the brigade of General Fry, and, escorted by the gunboats Tyler and Lexington, Commanders Gwinn and Shirk, proceeded up the Tennessee River to Chickasaw Landing, where all the troops were disembarked at 7 a. m. the 13th instant.
By my orders Major Bowman proceeded rapidly on the road to Iuka, the enemy’s pickets retreating before him, and destroying themselves by fire a road bridge across Bear Creek, which I had ordered General Fry to destroy, to secure the right flank of the movement on the Bear Creek bridge. This bridge, about 7 miles from Chickasaw, being destroyed, Major Bowman proceeded rapidly up the road 8 miles farther, and on approaching the railroad bridge across Bear Creek he found it guarded by the enemy. He dismounted his men and advanced along the track, with flankers in the swampy ground, and drove the enemy from the bridge into the cut beyond and from that to the west; then, with axes which had been provided, he began the destruction of the trestle work to the east of the bridge, and with fire destroyed the bridge itself. This latter consisted of two spans, of 110 feet each, which were burned and fell into the river. With axes and fire he destroyed three pieces of trestle work of an aggregate length of 500 feet, also tearing down about half a mile of telegraph wire, rolling it up, and throwing it into the river. He gathered ties and other timber, made bonfires, and piled on them the railroad iron, so as to bend it and render it useless for future repairs. While so employed the head of General Fry’s column of infantry arrived and assisted in this work of destruction. They jointly destroyed Bear Creek Bridge and 500 feet of trestle work, that cannot be repaired in a month. Bear Creek is very bad in itself, and the swampy bottom is impassable to wheeled vehicles, so that the breach is vital to the operations of an enemy. Having thus fulfilled well their orders, Major Bowman and General Fry returned to Chickasaw with their commands, reaching the boats about 9 p. m., having marched about 30 miles.”
The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 5, p 42-3
O.R., I, x, part 1, 644-5