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fall back the day following. I look upon the showing of a cavalry force so near us as an indication of a retreat, and they a force to cover it
́ ́HEAD-QUARTERS, Encampment, Sept. 18th, 1862. "GENERAL:-Your despatch received. General Stanley's division arrived after dark, having been detained by talling in the rear of Ross through fault of guide. Our cavalry six miles this side of Burnett's; Hamilton's First brigade eight, Second brigade nine miles this side; Stanley's near Davenport's Mills. We shall move as early as practicable: say 4 A.M. This will give twenty miles march for Stanley to Iuka. Shall not, therefore, be in before one or two o'clock, but when we come in will endeavor to do it strongly.
"W. S. ROSECRANS, Brigadier-General U. S. A.'
Receiving this despatch, as I did, late at night, and when I supposed these troops were far on their way toward Iuka, and had made my plans accordingly, caused some disappointment, and made a change of plans necessary. I immediately despatched General Ord, giving him the substance of the above, and directions not to move on the enemy until Rosecrans arrived, or he should hear firing to the south of Iuka. Of this change General Rosecrans was promptly informed by despatch, sent with his return messenger. During the day General Ord returned to my head-quarters at Iuka, and, in consultation, we both agreed that it would be impossible for General Rosecrans to get his troops up in time to make an attack that day. The General was instructed, however, to move forward, driving in the enemy's advance guards, but not to bring on an engagement unless he should hear firing. At night another despatch was received from General Rosecrans, dated from Barnett's, about eight miles from Iuka, written at 12.40 P.M., stating that the head of the column had arrived there at 12 M. Owing to the density of the forests, and the difficulties of passing the small streams and bottoms, all communications between General Rosecrans and myself had to pass far around-near Jaciuto-even after he had got on the road leading north. For this reason his communication was not received until after the engagement. I did not hear of the engagement, however, until the next day, although the following despatch had been promptly forwarded:
"HEAD-QUARTERS, ARMY OF THE MISSISSIPPI, "TWO MILES SOUTH OF IUKA, Sept. 19th, 1862, 10† P.M.
"GENERAL:-We met the enemy in just about this point. The engagement lasted several hours. We have lost two or
three pieces of artillery. Firing was very heavy. You must attack in the morning, and in force. The ground is horridunknown to us, and no room for development-couldn't use our artillery at all; fired but few shots. Push in on to them until we can have time to do something. We will try to get a position on our right, which will take Iuka.
"W. S. ROSECRANS, "Brigadier-General, U. S. A.'
"This despatch was received at 8.35 A.M., on the 20th, and the following was immediately sent:
"Burnsville, Sept. 20th, 1862, 8.35 a. m.
"Get your troops up and attack as soon as possible. Rosecrans had two hours' fighting last night, and now this morning again, and, unless you can create a diversion in his favor, he may find his hands full.
"Hurry up your troops-all possible. 666 'Signed:
"U. S. GRANT,
"The statement that the engagement had commenced again in the morning was on the strength of hearing artillery. General Ord, hearing the same, however, pushed on with all possible despatch, without awaiting orders.
"Two of my staff-Colonels Dickey and Logan-had gone around to where General Rosecrans was, and were with him during the early part of the engagement. Returning in the dark, and endeavoring to cut off some of the distance, they became lost and entangled in the woods, and remained out over night, arriving at head-quarters next morning about the same hour that General Rosecrans' messenger arrived. For the particular troops engaged, and the part taken by each regiment, I will have to refer you entirely to the accompanying report of those officers who were present.
Not occupying Iuka afterward for any length of time, and then not until a force sufficient to give protection for any great distance arrived (the battle was fought about two miles out), I cannot accompany this with a topographical map. I send, however, a map showing all the roads and plans named in this report. The country between the road travelled by General Ord's command, to some distance south of the railroad, is impassable for cavalry, and almost so for infantry. It is impossible for artillery to move southward to the road travelled by General Rosecrans' command. Soon after despatching General Ord, word was brought by one of my staff, Colonel Hillyer, that the enemy were in full retreat. I immediately proceeded to Iuka, and found that the enemy had left during the night, taking every thing with them except their wounded, and the artillery taken by them the evening before. Going south by the Fulton road, Generals Stanley and Hamilton were in pursuit.
"This was the first I knew of the Fulton road; with it occupied, no route would have been left them except east, with the difficult bottom of Bear creek to cross, or northeast, with the Tennessee river in their front, or to conquer their way out. Α partial examination of the country afterward convinced me, however, that troops moving in separate columns by the route suggested could not support each other until they arrived near Iuka. On the other hand, an attempt to retreat, according to programme, would have brought General Ord, with his force, on the rear of the retreating column.
"For casualties and captures, see accompanying reports. "The battle of Iuka foots up as follows:
“On_the_16th of September we commenced to collect our strength to move upon Price, at Iuka, in two columns; the one to the right of the railroad commanded by Brigadier-General (now Major-General) W. S. Rosecrans; the one to the left commanded by Major-General E. O. C. Ord. On the night of the 18th, the latter was in position to bring on an engagement in one hour's march. The former, from having a greater distance to march, and, through the fault of a guide, was twenty miles back. On the 19th, by making a rapid march, hardy, well-disciplined, and tried troops arrived within two miles of the place to be attacked. Unexpectedly the enemy took the initiative and became the attacking party. The ground chosen was such that a large force on our side could not be brought into action; but the bravery and endurance of those brought in was such that, with the skill and presence of mind of the officer commanding, they were able to hold their ground till night closed the conflict. During the night the enemy fled, leaving our troops in possession of the field, with their dead to bury and wounded to care for. If it was the object of the enemy to make their way into Kentucky, they were defeated in that; if to hold their position until Van Dorn could come up on the southwest of Corinth, and make a simultaneous attack, they were defeated in that. Our only defeat was in not capturing the entire army, or in destroying it, as I had hoped to do.
"It was a part of General Hamilton's command that did the fighting, directed entirely by that cool and deserving officer. 1 commend him to the President for acknowledgment of his services.
During the absence of these forces from Corinth, that post was left in charge of Brigadier-General T. J. McKean. The southern front, from Jacinto to Rienzi, was under the charge of Colonel DuBois, with a small infantry and cavalry force. The service was most satisfactorily performed, Colonel DuBois showing great vigilance and efficiency. I was kept constantly advised of the movements of flying bodies of cavalry that were hovering in our front.
"The wounded, both friend and enemy, are much indebted to
Surgeon J. G. F. Holbrook, Medical Director, for his untiring labor in organizing hospitals and providing for their every want. "I cannot close this report without paying a tribute to all the officers and soldiers comprising this command. Their conduct on the march was exemplary, and all were eager to meet the enemy. The possibility of defeat I do not think entered the mind of a single individual, and I believe this same feeling now pervades the entire army which I have the honor to command.
"I neglected to mention, in the proper connection, that, to cover our movements from Corinth, and to attract the attention of the enemy in another direction, I ordered a movement from Bolivar toward Holly Springs. This was conducted by Brigadier-General Laumau.
· Before completing this report the report of Major-General Ord was received, and accompanies this.
'I am, Colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
"U. S. GRANT,
On the twenty-second of September, 1862, General Grant issued the following complimentary order to his victorious troops:
"HEAD-QUARTERS, DEPARTMENT OF WEST TENNESSEE, CORINTH, September 22d, 1862. ["General Field Orders, No. 1.]
"The General Commanding takes great pleasure in congratulating the two wings of the army, commanded respectively by Major-General Ord and Major-General Rosecrans, upon the energy, alacrity, and bravery displayed by them on the 19th and 20th inst., in their movement against the enemy at Iuka. Although the enemy was in numbers reputed far greater than their own, nothing was evinced by the troops but a burning desire to meet him, whatever his numbers, and however strong his position.
"With such a disposition as was manifested by the troops on this occasion, their commanders need never fear defeat against any thing but overwhelming numbers.
While it was the fortune of the command of General Rosecrans, on the evening of the 19th inst., to engage the enemy in a most spirited fight for more than two hours, driving him with great loss from his position, and winning for themselves fresh laurels, the command of General Ord is entitled to equal credit for their efforts in trying to reach the enemy, and in diverting his attention.
"And while congratulating the noble living, it is meet to offer our condolence to the friends of the heroic dead, who offered
their lives a sacrifice in defence of constitutional liberty, and in their fall rendered memorable the field of Iuka.
"By command of
"MAJOR-GENERAL U. S. GRANT.
"JOHN A. RAWLINS, A. A.-G.”
THE BATTLE OF CORINTH.
From Corinth, General Grant removed his head-quarters a few days after the battle to Jackson, from which place he gave the orders necessary to thwart the plans of the rebels, who were again concentrating with a view of acting upon the offensive, and make a desperate attempt to recapture Corinth and other important points, and drive our army from Northern Mississippi.
Frequent reconnoissances had made the Union commander cognizant of every movement of the enemy; and when early in October they commenced their advance, his troops were admirably posted and prepared to meet the shock. Before daylight on the morning of the fourth of October, the forces under Price, Van Dorn and Lovell, commenced an attack upon the defences at Corinth, but it was after nine o'clock before the battle began in earnest. General Grant was in telegraphic communication with all his subordinate commanders, and was thus enabled to promptly move the different divisions of his army from point to point as circumstances required. The battle of Iuka was really as much a part of the battle of Corinth as South Mountain was of Antietam. The rebel General Price had supposed that General Grant would have been compelled to withdraw his forces from Corinth on the nineteenth of September to reinforce those who were contending at Iuka, when Van Dorn would have attacked and captured Corinth, but General Grant was too great a strategist not to understand the movement, and frustrated the plan by sending General Ord to that point. The battle of Corinth really lasted only about two hours, but short as was the time, the conflict was of the most san