Page images
PDF
EPUB

Grant's army, was now at the head of the again on the march, and at about ten division known as the Army of the Missis- o'clock the advance of General Hamilsippi, with his headquarters at Corinth, ton's division encountered the pickets of where in September he was called upon to the enemy at Barnett's Corners,' with resist the advance of a large Confederate whom a sharp skirmish took place, reforce led by the Missouri general, Sterling sulting in their being driven six miles Price. It was the object of the latter in toward Iuka, with a small loss in killed this movement to break the line of commu- and prisoners. At this juncture the nication between Grant and Buell, and whole of the column had arrived at crossing the Tennessee river, operate on Barnett's, and according to the prothe flank of Buell's army in concert with gramme, General Rosecrans was waiting the advance of Bragg to Kentucky. Iuka, for the sound of Grant's artillery, to a small town on the Memphis and Charles- warn him that it was time to move forton railroad, celebrated for its chalybeate ward, but after waiting over two bours, spring, twenty miles southeast of Cor- he was much chagrined at receiving a inth, was the first point of attack. Since dispatch from Grant (who was then only the evacuation of Corinth it had been seven miles from Iuka) to the effect that occupied by the Union troops, and at the he (Grant) was waiting for General present time, on the approach of the Rosecrans to open the battle. Without rebel army, was held by Colonel Mur- further ado, our column accordingly phy, of the 8th Wisconsin, with a small moved forward until within two miles of force waiting the removal of the military luka, when the enemy were discovered property to Corinth. Before this was posted on a broad ridge commanding the accomplished the town was taken by a country for some distance around. As body of the enemy's cavalry, the garri- soon as our skirmishers advanced in son put to flight, and a considerable sight, the rebels opened a severe fire of quantity of stores captured. General musketry upon them, when they awaited Price now occupied the place in force, the arrival of General Hamilton's diand it became necessary to meet his vision, which soon came up on the 'doublearmy in the field. General Grant re- quick,' and formed in line. They were solved to dislodge him from his position also received by a hot fire of artillery at luka. A double attack was deter- and musketry, when the 11th Ohio bat

“It was decided upon that tery, which had by this time got into a column of eighteen thousand men, un- position, opened out on the rebels. In der Generals Grant and Ord, should a few moments the engagement became move via Burnsville and attack Price, general, and lasted for two hours, when while General Rosecrans would move darkness precluded the possibility of any with part of his corps via Jacinto, and further advantage accruing to either side. attack the enemy on the flank, while the The night was therefore spent in burying balance of his column would move on our dead and caring for the wounded, the Fulton road, and cut off his (Price's) while our men lay on their arms on the retreat in case he should attempt it. battlefield, waiting for the dawn of a With this understanding, on the morning new day to continue the work of death."* of the 18th inst., our army was on the In the morning luka was found evacuamove. Generals Stanley's and Hamil. ted by the enemy, who were in full reton's divisions, under General Rosecrans, treat, and who were pursued several amid a drenching rain left 'Clear Creek,' miles by the cavalry of Hamilton and and after a fatiguing march bivouaced' Stanley. In this battle the enemy left that night at this place. At early dawn,

* Jacinto, Mississippi, Correspondence of the Cincinnati on the morning of the 19th, we were Commercial. September 22, 1862.

mined upon.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

on the field two hundred and fifty-five the gallant Mower. To all the regiments dead, about seven hundred wounded; who participated in the fight, he presents three hundred and sixty-one prisoners congratulations on their bravery and were taken, with 1,600 stand of arms, good conduct. He deems it an especial and a large quantity of stores. The duty to signalize the 48th Indiana, which, Confederate General Henry Little was posted on the left, held its ground until killed, and General Whitfield wounded. the brave Eddy fell, and a whole brigade General Little, a native of Mississippi, of Texans came in through a ravine on the was a graduate of West Point, of 1839. little band, and even then they only yieldHe had served with distinction in the ed a hundred yards until relieved. The war with Mexico, and previously to 16th Iowa, amid the roar of battle, the joining the Confederates, at the outbreak rush of wounded artillery-horses, the of the rebellion, was a captain of in-charge of a rebel brigade and a storm of fantry in command in New Mexico. grape, canister, and musketry, stood like The Union loss was one hundred and a rock, holding the centre, while the gloeight killed, six hundred and eleven rious 5th Iowa, under the brave and diswounded, and seventeen missing.* A tinguished Matthias, sustained by Boomer general order issued by Major-General with part of his noble little 26th MisRosecrans, on the 27th, celebrates the souri, bore the thrice-repeated charges conduct of bis command in this spirited and cross-fires of the rebel left and engagement. “Brothers in arms: You centre, with a valor and determination may well be proud of the battle of Iuka. seldom equaled, never excelled by the On the 18th you concentrated at Jacinto ; most veteran soldiery. The 10th Iowa, on the 19th you marched twenty miles, under Colonel Perczel, deserves honoradriving in the rebel outposts for the last ble mention for covering our left flank eight; reached the front of Price's army from the assault of the Texan Legion. advantageously posted in unknown woods, Sands' 11th Ohio battery, under Lieuand opened the action by four P. M. On tenant Sears, was served with unequaled a narrow front, intersected by ravines bravery, under circumstances of danger and covered with dense undergrowth, and exposure such as rarely, perhaps with a single battery, Hamilton's division never, have fallen to the lot of a single went into action against the combined battery during the war. The 39th Ohio rebel hosts. On that unequal ground, and 47th Illinois, who went into position which permitted the enemy to outnumber at the close of the fight, and held it duthem three to one, they fought a glorious ring the night, deserve honorable mention battle, mowing down the rebel hordes for the spirit they displayed in the peruntil, night closing in, they rested on formance of their duty. The General their arms on the battle-ground, from Commanding regrets that he must menwhich the enemy retired during the night, tion the conduct of the 17th Iowa, whose leaving us masters of the field. The disgraceful stampeding forms a melanGeneral Commanding bears cheerful tes- choly exception to the general good timony to the fiery alacrity with which courage of the troops. He doubts not the troops of Stanley's division moved that there are a good many officers and up, cheering, to support, when called men in that regiment whose cheeks burn for, the 3d division, and took their places with shame and indignation at the part to give them an opportunity to replenish the regiment acted, and he looks to them their ammunition ; and to the magnifi- and to all its members on the first opcent fighting of the 11th Missouri, under portunity, by conspicuous gallantry, to . General Halleck's Report. Washington, December, wipe out the stain on their fair fame.

To the brave and gallant Hamilton, who

1862.

formed and maintained his division under shall return to our happy homes, thankthe galling fire from the rebel front, hav- ing Him who gives both courage and ing his horse shot under him in the ac- victory.” tion—to the veteran and heroic Sullivan, On the 20th, from his headquarters at young in years but old in fight ; Colonel Corinth, General Grant issued the folSanborn, commanding the leading brigade lowing congratulatory order: “The Genin his maiden battle ; Brigadier-General eral Commanding takes pleasure in conD. S. Stanley, indefatigable soldier, ably gratulating the two wings of the army, aiding the advance division ; to their commanded respectively by Major-Genstaff-officers as well as to the regiments eral Ord and Major-General Rosecrans, which have been mentioned in this order, upon the energy, alacrity, and bravery the General Commanding tenders indi- displayed by them on the 19th and 20th vidually his heartfelt thanks and con- inst., in their movement against the gratulations. Their gallantry and good enemy at luka. Although the enemy conduct commands his respect, and has was in numbers reputed far greater than added a page to the claims they have on their own, nothing was evinced by the the gratitude of a great people now strug- troops but a burning desire to meet him, gling to maintain national freedom and whatever his numbers, and however integrity, against an unballowed war in strong his position. With such a dispofavor of caste and despotism. To Colo- sition as was manifested by the troops nel Miezner, Chief of the cavalry divi- on this occasion, their commanders need sion, and to the officers and men of his never fear defeat against anything but command, the General Commanding here overwhelming numbers. While it was publicly tenders his acknowledgments. the fortune of the command of General For courage, efficiency, and for incessant Rosecrans, on the evening of the 19th and successful combats, he does not be- inst., to engage the enemy in a most lieve they have any superiors. In our spirited fight for more than two hours, advance on Iuka, and during the action, driving him, with great loss, from his they ably performed their duty. Colo- position, and winning for themselves fresh nel Hatch fought and whipped the rebels laurels, the command of General Ord is at Peyton's Mills on the 19th, pursued entitled to equal credit for their efforts the retreating rebel column on the 20th, in trying to reach the enemy, and in diharassed their rear, and captured a large verting his attention. And, while connumber of arms. During the action five gratulating the noble living, it is meet to privates of the 3d Michigan cavalry, be- offer our condolence to the friends of the yond our extreme right, opened fire, heroic dead, who offered their lives as a captured a rebel stand of colors, a cap- sacrifice in defence of constitutional libtain and lieutenant, sent in the colors erty, and in their fall rendered memorathat night, alone held their prisoners ble the field of Iuka.” during the night and brought them in Repulsed at luka, the enemy passed next morning. The unexpected accident the remainder of the month in gathering which alone prevented us from cutting their forces for a determined onset upon off the retreat and capturing Price and Corinth, where General Rosecrans conhis army, only shows how much success tinued in command, diligently fortifying, depends on Him in whose hands are the and eagerly on the look out for their araccidents as well as the laws of life. rival. Price, it was understood, had Brave companions in arms! Be always marched to the vicinity of Ripley, a prepared for action, firm, united, and town in Mississippi to the southwest of disciplined. The day of peace from the Corinth, midway between Holley Springs hands of God, will soon dawn, when we and Jacinto, where he was joined by

APPROACH OF THE ENEMY.

623

General Van Dorn, with all the available mile of town. Our own officers went on troops in North Mississippi, whence the perfecting preparations for the conflict. joint force proceeded northerly, struck Captain W. B. Gau, of General Rosethe line of the Memphis and Charleston crans's staff, took charge of his corps of railroad in Tennessee, in the rear of negro (slave) Sappers and Miners, and Corinth, at Pocahontas. There they me- constructed two revetted redoubts dunaced alike Grant at his headquarters at ring the night. The Yates Sharp-shootJackson, and Rosecrans at Corinth. “Ru- ers of Illinois, and the Burgess Sharpmors," says the latter, " that the attack shooters, rolled up a mass of logs and was to take the direction of Jackson or made a passable breastwork in front of Bolivar, via Bethel, were so rife, and the Bolivar road. General Rosecrans and fortifications of Corinth were so well his staff were on the field all night makknown to the rebels, that I had hopes ing preparations to receive the enemy, that they would undertake to mask me, and nothing was neglected that seemed and, passing north, give me an opportu- necessary to insure victory. nity to beat the masking force, and cut "The features of the field of battle off their retreat." Such, however, was are necessary to a correct view of it. not the intention of the enemy. The On the north and east side of the town intermediate country to the northwest of there is alternate hill and swampy Corinth, in the present dry season, gave ground, generally heavy timbered, but them the opportunity of moving in that now and then a field on the left of the quarter, and they accordingly advanced railroad. Our army faced north. Frontfrom that direction by way of Chewalla. ing our right centre there is a heavy The Union commander was prepared for thicketed swamp, almost impassable for them. * The eyes of the army '--as masses of infantry. On the left centre General Rosecrans sharply styles cav- the ground is quite hilly ; on the right, alry~" (we cite the interesting narrative where our right wing was posted, it was of the able war correspondent of the rolling, but fell off in front into heavilyCincinnati Commercial)“ were open and timbered ground — swampy in rainy the General was apprised of their ap- weather. The Chewalla road enters the proach. General Davies' division and town on the left, the Bolivar road about other troops were sent out the Chewalla the right centre. Excepting in the right road to meet the rebels, with instructions centre, Corinth was approachable in unto resist strongly enough to draw them broken line of battle from that side. under the defences of Corinth. The Our new line of fortifications consisted rebels skirmished with us on Tuesday, of four revetted redoubts, covering the 30th September, Wednesday, and Thurs- whole front of Corinth and protecting day, and appeared in great force on the flanks. The fort on the extreme Friday, October 3d. Our troops were right was strengthened by Beauregard's then rather rudely pushed back. We old works. Fort Richardson, a new fivewere, in fact, getting the worst of it, and gun battery, constructed during Friday severely. Stanley's division meantime night, was at the left of Hamilton's diwas sent out to support the advance, and vision, which held the extreme right, and our forces in Corinth were prepared for was in direct range of the debouch into the encounter. By night our whole force town of the Bolivar road, the former rewas driven in, with General Oglesby doubt flanking that road ; Fort Williams, wounded, General Hackelman killed, and mounted with 20-pound Parrotts, commany others lost; and the enemy, flushed manded the hills over which the Chewith apparent success, enveloped our walla road described its course into front and laid upon their arms, within a town; Fort Robinette, on a high, nar

[ocr errors]

row ridge, which, with Fort Williams, It is assumed that there was not much enfiladed both the Chewalla and Bolivar sleep in Corinth that night. Before dayroads. Another fort on the extreme break the Ohio brigade (Stanley's divileft, near the Corinth Seminary, protect- sion), commanded by Colonel Fuller, ed our left and strengthened the centre. which rested its left on Fort Robinette, The several forts in the rear were also heard the enemy placing a battery on so located that they played a conspicu- the hill in front, not over two hundred ous part in the battle, their pieces being yards from Fort Robinette. General reversed and turned to the centre at a Rosecrans, it is reported, said : 'Let 'em critical period. The gallant Hamilton's plant it.' Before a streak of dawn, Sat. division was assigned the post of honor urday morning, they opened furiously on the extreme right, his right resting upon Corinth. They saw our breakfastnear Beauregard's old works, and at fires,' said a soldier, ' and got range upon Fort No. 1, stretching from the south us. Shell flew about, exploding over side of the famous Purdy road, his left the houses, in houses, and in the streets. resting behind Fort Richardson. Gene- Our own batteries did not reply for an ral Davies' division joined him on the hour or more. At sunrise non-combatleft and in consecutive order, six com- ants were ordered to the rear. Sutlers, panies of the Yates' Illinois Sharp- storekeepers, employees of departments, shooters, Burke's Western (Mo.) Sharp- teamsters, negroes and all

, retired precishooters, Stanley's division, consisting of pitately; but they were behind the troops, two brigades, and McKean's division, and their example was not contagious. with McArthur's brigade on the extreme Meantime the sharpshooters of both arleft. The cavalry, under command of mies had worked into the swamp thicket Colonel Mizner, was posted on the right in front of the town, and were fighting and left wings, and in the rear, and com- sharply. Captain Williams (U. S. A.) petent forces were held as reserves and had opened, at daylight, his 30-pounder to protect the rear. The front line was Parrotts in Fort Williams, on the batcarefully covered by crests of undula- tery which the enemy had so slyly posted tions on the town-plat, and the various in darkness, and in about three minutes batteries, commanded by Lieutenant- it was silenced. This was why General Colonel Lathrop, Chief of Artillery, were Rosecrans said : 'Let 'em plant it.' The generally covered by fortifications, one enemy dragged off two pieces, but were of them being protected by an apron of unable to take the other. Part of the bay and cotton-bales. Friday night the 63d Ohio, and a squad of the 1st United non-combatants of Corinth were uneasy. States artillery, went out and got the Some of the troops were not altogether deserted gun, and brought it within our comfortable. The fact that the enemy lines. Skirmishing had also opened at had driven our forces back into the town various points in front as soon as it was was not reassuring. But it was remarked light, and it was constantly thickening that General Rosecrans was in magnifi- into the magnitude of battle. Now and cent humor. It is said that he encour- then there were brief intervals of quiet, aged the lads by quoting Barkis, assuring but swiftly followed by furious volleys. them that things is workin'.' It might The main lines of the enemy were still be so, but non-combatants couldn't see invisible. It was known, however, that it. They were told that the rebel line of they were forming upon the roads in the battle was formed within one thousand forests, and their debouch was anxiously yards of our line. Thus it was apparent awaited. Shells on both sides were dothey could shell the town. Civilians, ing their work. The enemy had opened you know, have a lively horror of shells. batteries from several points, and our

6

.

« PreviousContinue »