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VAN DORN ATTACKS ROSECRANS AT CORINTH. .
ley's division into Iuka and found it abandoned-turned on the trail of the Rebels, and followed until night; but found they had too much start to be overtaken.
Hamilton reports that, in this affair of Iuka, not more than 2,800 men on our side were actually engaged, against a Rebel force of 11,000, holding a chosen and very strong position. Rosecrans reports our total loss in this battle at 782-144 killed, 598 wounded, and 40 missing; and that we buried on the field 265 Rebels, while 120 more died in hospital of wounds here received; 342 more were left wounded in hospital by the Rebels, and 361 were made prisoners. He estimates that they carried off 350 more of their less severely wounded; making their total loss 1,438. He states that he captured 1,629 stand of arms, 13,000 rounds of ammunition, beside large quantities of equipments and stores. Pollard says that the Rebel loss "was probably 800 in killed and wounded."
Price retreated to Ripley, Miss., where he united with a still stronger Rebel force, under Van Dorn, who had been menacing Corinth during the conflict at Iuka, but had retreated after its close, and who now assumed command, and, marching northward, struck the Memphis Railroad at Pocahontas, considerably westward of Corinth, thence pushing" rapidly down the road to Chewalla, with intent to surprise, or at least storm, Corinth next day. Rosecrans-who had received" his promotion to a Major-Generalship directly after the affair at Iuka-had been left in chief command at Corinth by Grant, who
had returned to his own headquarters at Jackson, withdrawing Ord's division to Bolivar. Rosecrans had in and about Corinth not far from 20,000 men-too few to man the extensive works constructed around it by Beauregard, when he held that position against Halleck's besieging army. Realizing this, Rosecrans had hastily constructed an inner line of fortifications, covering Corinth, especially toward the west, at distances of a mile or so from the center of the village. Promptly advised by his cavalry of the formidable Rebel movement northward, until it struck the line of his communications with Grant, he supposed its object to be Bolivar or Jackson, and that only a feint would be made on Corinth; but he was prepared for any emergency, having his forces well in hand and thrown out westward, into and beyond Beauregard's fortifications already mentioned. Hamilton held the right, with Davies in the center, and McKean on the left; while three regiments, under Col. Oliver, were thrown out in advance on the Chewalla road, down which the Rebels were advancing.
Van Dorn moved at an early hour, and, forming in order of battle at a distance from our outworks, his right, under Gen. Mansfield Lovell, encountered, at 7 A. M.,” our left advance, under Col. Oliver, holding a hill which afforded a strong posi tion, and a broad and extensive view of the country beyond it. He had orders to hold it pretty firmly, so ast to compel the enemy to develop his strength.
Rosecrans, still distrusting that this attack was more than a feint, deSept. 20.
$5 Oct. 3.
signed to cover a movement on Bolivar and Jackson, at 9 o'clock sent Gen. McArthur to the front, who reported widespread but slack skirmishing, and said the hill was of great value to test the strength of our assailants. McArthur, finding himself hotly assailed, called up four more regiments from McKean's division, and continued what by this time had become a serious engagement, until a determined Rebel charge, interposing between his right and the left of Gen. Davies, forced him rapidly back from the hill, with the loss of 2 heavy guns; thus compelling a slight recoil of Davies also.
By 1 P. M., it had become evident that the attack was no feint, but meant the capture of Corinth, with its immense stores; and that success was to be struggled for right here. Accordingly, McKean's division, on
our left, was drawn back to the ridge next beyond our inner intrenchments, and ordered to close with his right on Davies's left; Hamilton's division was moved down until its left touched Davies's right; while Stanley, moving northward and eastward, was to stand in close échelon with McKean, but nearer Corinth. These dispositions had scarcely been completed, under a most determined pressure on our center by the Rebels, which compelled Davies to give ground and call upon Stanley for aid, when night compelled a pause in the engagement; Col. Mower, with one of Stanley's brigades, having just come into the fight; while Hamilton, working his way through an impracticable thicket, was just swinging in on the enemy's left. Van Dorn, supposing Corinth virtually his own, sent off to Richmond an electrifying
PRICE'S CHARGE AT CORINTH.
dispatch, claiming a great victory, and rested for the night on his lau
shape of a monstrous wedge, and drove forward impetuously toward the heart of Corinth. It was a splendid target for our batteries, and it was soon perforated. Hideous
gaps were rent in it, but those massive lines were closed almost as soon as they were torn open. At this period, the skillful management of Gen. Rosecrans began to develop. It was discovered that the enemy had been enticed to attack precisely at the point where the artillery could sweep them with direct, cross, and enfilading fire. He had prethrough the mass with awful effect; but the pared for such an occasion. Our shell swept brave Rebels pressed onward inflexibly. Di
magnificently, right and left, like great wings, seeming to swoop over the whole field before them. But there was a fearful A broad, turfy glacis, slo
march in front.
At 3 A. M.," the fight was reopened by the fire of a Rebel battery which had been planted during the night in front and but 200 yards distant from Fort Robinett, in our center, covering the road W.N.W. from Corinth to Chewalla. Shell were thrown into Corinth, exploding in streets and houses, and causing a sudden stam-rectly, the wedge opened and spread out pede of teamsters, sutlers, and noncombatants generally. No reply was made by our batteries till fair daylight; when Capt. Williams opened from Fort Williams with his 20-pound Parrotts, and in three minutes silenced the unseasonable disturber; two of whose guns were dragged off, while the third, being deserted, was taken and brought within our lines. By this time, the skirmishers of both sides had wormed their way into the swampy thickets separating the hostile forces; and their shots, at first scattering, came thicker and faster. Occasionally, there would be a lull in this fusillade, swiftly followed by considerable volleys. Batteries on both sides now came into full play, and shells were falling and bursting everywhere; but no Rebel masses, nor even lines of infantry, were visible; until suddenly, about 9 A. M., a vast column of gleaming bayonets flashed out from the woods east of the railroad, and moved sternly up the Bolivar road. Says the witnessing correspondent of the Cincinnati Commercial:
ping upward at an angle of thirty degrees to a crest fringed with determined, disciplined soldiers, and clad with terrible batteries, frowned upon them. There were a few obstructions-fallen timber-which disordered their lines a little. But every break ed fire; but the enemy, seemingly insensible was instantly welded. Our whole line opento fear, or infuriated by passion, bent their necks downward and marched steadily to death, with their faces averted like men striving to protect themselves against a driving storm of hail. The Yates and Burgess sharp-shooters, lying snugly behind their rude breastworks, poured in a destructive fire; but it seemed no more effectual than if they had been firing potato-balls, exceptstill pressed onward undismayed. At last, ing that somebody was killed. The enemy they reached the crest of the hill in front and to the right of Fort Richardson, and Gen. Davies's division gave way. It began to fall back in disorder. Gen. Rosecrans, who had been watching the conflict with expressed his delight at the trap into which eagle eye, and who is described as having Gen. Price was blindly plunging, discovered the break, and dashed to the front, inflamed with indignation. He rallied the men by his splendid example in the thickest of the fight. Before the line was demoralized, he when bravely led, fought again. But it had succeeded in restoring it, and the men, brave yielded much space; and the loss of Fort Richardson was certain. Price's right moved swiftly to the headquarters of Gen. Rosecrans, took possession of it, and posted themselves under cover of the portico of the house, and behind its corners, whence they opened fire upon our troops on the opposite side of the public square. Seven Rebels were killed within the little inclosure in Saturday, Oct. 4.
"A prodigious mass, with gleaming bayonets, suddenly loomed out, dark and threatening, on the east of the railroad, moving sternly up the Bolivar road in column by divisions. Directly, it opened out in the
front of the General's cottage. The structure is a sort of sieve now-bullets have punctured it so well. But the desperadoes got no farther into town.
"Battle was raging about Fort Richardson. Gallant Richardson, for whom it was named, fought his battery well. Had his supports fought as his artillerymen did, the record would have been different. The Rebels gained the crest of the hill, swarmed around the little redoubt, and were swept away from it as a breath will dissipate smoke. Again they swarmed like infuriated tigers. At last, a desperate dash, with a yell. Richardson goes down to rise no more. His supports are not on hand. The foe shouts triumphantly and seizes the guns. The horses are fifty yards down the hill toward Corinth. A score of Rebels seize them. The 56th Illinois suddenly rises from cover in the ravine. One terrible volley, and there are sixteen dead artillery horses and a dozen dead Rebels. Illinois shouts, charges up the hill, across the plateau into the battery. The Rebels fly out through embrasures and around the wings. The 56th yells again and pursues.
"The Rebels do not stop. Hamilton's veterans, meantime, have been working quietly -no lung-work, but gun-work enough. A steady stream of fire tore the Rebel ranks to pieces. When Davies broke, it was necessary for all to fall back. Gen. Rosecrans thought it well enough to get Price in deeply. A Rebel soldier says Van Dorn sat on his horse grimly and saw it all. "That's Rosecrans's trick,' said he; he's got Price where he must suffer.' Maybe this is one of the apocrypha of battle. A Rebel soldier says it's truth. But Hamilton's division receded under orders-at backward step; slowly, grimly, face to the foe, and firing. But when the 56th Illinois charged, this was changed. Davies's misfortune had been remedied. The whole line advanced. The Rebel host was broken. A destroying Nemesis pursued them. Arms were flung away wildly. They ran to the woods. They fled into the forests. Oh! what a shout of triumph and what a gleaming line of steel followed them. It is strange, but true. Our men do not often shout before battle. Heavens! what thunder there is in their throats after victory! They' report that such a shout was never before heard in Corinth. Price's once 'invincible' now invisible legions were broken, demoralized, fugitive, and remorselessly pursued down the hill, into the swamps, through the thickets, into the forests. Newly disturbed earth shows where they fell, and how very often.
"Gen. Van Dorn's attack was to have been simultaneous with that of Price. The
Generals had arranged to carry Corinth by one grand assault. In their reconnoissance Friday evening, they had found no fort where Fort Richardson was, and they overlooked Fort Robinett. Ugly obstacles. When they drove their wedge toward Corinth, one flange on the Bolivar road, the other on a branch of the Chewalla, they intended both wings should extend together. Topographical and artificial obstructions interrupted Van Dorn. He was obliged to sweep over a rugged ravine, through dense thickets, up hill, over a heavy abatis, with his left; it was necessary for his center to dip down. hill under the fire of Fort Williams, Capt. Gau's siege-guns in the rear of the town, and under heavy musketry, while his right had to girdle a ridge and move over almost insurmountable abatis under a point-blank fire of both Fort Williams and Fort Robinett, supported by a splendid division of veteran troops. The latter fort had 10pounder Parrotts, three of them-the former 30-pounder Parrotts, which devour men. It was a task to be accomplished, or a terrible failure to be recorded. Price had comparatively plain sailing, and lost no time. Van Dorn was seven or eight minutes behind time. During that precious seven minutes, Price was overwhelmed, and Van Dorn was left with a feat of desperation to be accomplished. He tried it audaciously. His men obeyed magnificently. Evidently, he relied chiefly on Texas and Mississippi; for the troops of those States were in front. The wings were sorely distressed in the entanglement on either side. Two girdles of bristling_steel glistened on the waist of the ridge. Two brigades, one supporting the front at close distance, moved up solidly toward the face of the fort. The Parrotts of both redoubts were pouring shot, and shell, and grape, and canister, into them from the moment of command-Forward-Charge!' shouted clearly from the brave Col. Rogers (acting Brigadier) of Texas. They tell me it was a noble exhibition of desperate daring. At every discharge, great gaps were cut through their ranks. No faltering, but the ranks were closed, and they moved steadily to the front, bending their heads to the storm. Dozens were slaughtered while thrusting themselves through the rugged timber, but no man wavered. Onward, onward, steady and unyielding as fate, their General in front. At last, they reach the ditch. It is an awful moment. They pause to take breath for a surge-a fatal pause. Texas Rogers, with the Rebel flag in his left, revolver in his right, advanced firing, leaped the ditch, scaled the parapet, waved his banner aloft, and tumbled headlong into the ditch. A patriot's bullet had killed him in the moment of triumph. Five Texans
REBEL DEFEAT AT CORINTH.
who followed pitched forward through the embrasures like logs, and fell into the fort.
"But we anticipate. Remember that the two redoubts are on the same ridge: Fort Williams commanding Fort Robinett, which is in front. Had the Rebels taken the latter, the guns of the former would have destroyed them. They were separated by a space not exceeding one hundred and fifty yards. The Ohio brigade, commanded by Col. Fuller, was formed behind the ridge, on the right of the redoubts. The left of the 63d Ohio rested on Fort Robinett, its right joining the left of the 27th Ohio; the 39th was behind the 27th, supporting it; the right of the 43d joined the left of the 63d, forming a right angle with it, and extending to Fort Williams, behind the crest of the ridge. The 11th Missouri, Col. Mower (U. S. A.), was formed behind the 63d Ohio, its left in the angle, and the regiment faced obliquely to the right of the 63d. The positions of these gallant regiments should be described, because their actions are memorable.
"Col. Fuller, perfectly collected, required his brigade to lie flat on their faces when not engaged. While the enemy was steadily approaching, he warned them to wait till they could see the whites of their eyes, then fire coolly. It was at the moment the Texan Rogers was flaunting his flag on our parapet, that the 63d was ordered to fire. Dead Capt. McFadden gave the first command of his life to fire on the field of battle, and he fell mortally wounded. There were only 250 of the 63d in the conflict; but their volley was fearful. It is said fifty Rebels fell at once. Six volleys were fired, and the Rebels were gone. The 63d again lay down. Directly, the supporting brigade of the Rebels advanced. The 63d was ordered to make a half left wheel to sweep the front of the redoubt, and the maneuver was handsomely executed. The 11th Missouri moved on the left into line into the vacant space; the 43d moved by the right of companies to the left, and the 27th half-faced to the left. Suddenly, the enemy appeared; and a furious storm of lead and grape was launched at them. The 63d fired five or six volleys, and the Rebels rushed upon them. A terrific hand-to-hand combat ensued. The rage of the combatants was furious and the uproar hideous. It lasted hardly a minute, but the carnage was dreadful. Bayonets were used, muskets clubbed, and men were felled with brawny fists. Our noble fellows were victors, but at sickening cost. Of the 250 of the splendid 63d, 125 lay there on the field, wounded, dead, or dying. The last final struggle terminated with a howl of rage and dismay. The foe flung away their arms and fled like frightened stags to the abatis and forests. The batteries were
still vomiting destruction. With the enemy plunging in upon him, brave Robinett, with his faithful gunners of the 1st United States Artillery, had double-shotted his guns and belched death upon the infuriate enemy; and now he sent the iron hail after the fugitives with relentless fury. The abatis was full of them, but they were subdued. Directly, they began to wave their handkerchiefs upon sticks in token of submission, shouting to spare them for God's sake.' Over two hundred of them were taken within an area of a hundred yards, and more than two hundred of them fell in that frightful assault upon Fort Robinett. Fifty-six dead Rebels were heaped up together in front of that redoubt, most of whom were of the 2d Texas and 4th Mississippi. They were buried in one pit; but their brave General sleeps alone: our own noble fellows testifying their respect by rounding his grave smoothly and marking his resting-place.
"A great shout went up all over Corinth. The battle was a shock. It really began at half-past 9 o'clock, and pursuit was commenced at 11 o'clock. The pursuit of the beaten foe was terrible. Sheets of flame blazed through the forest. Huge trunks were shattered by crashing shells. You may track the flying conflict for miles by scarified trees, broken branches, twisted gunbarrels and shattered stocks, blood-stained garments and mats of human hair, which lie on the ground where men died; hillocks which mark ditches where dead Rebels were covered, and smoothly rounded graves where slaughtered patriots were tenderly buried."
Gen. Rosecrans's official report says:
"When Price's left bore down on our center in gallant style, their force was so overpowering that our wearied and jaded troops yielded and fell back, scattering among the houses. I had the personal mortification of witnessing this untoward and untimely stampede.
"Riddled and scattered, the ragged head of Price's right storming columns advanced to near the house, north side of the square, in front of Gen. Halleck's former headquar ters; when it was greeted by a storm of grape from a section of Immell's battery, soon rëenforced by the 10th Ohio, which sent them whirling back, pursued by the 5th Minnesota, which advanced on them from their position near the dépôt.
"Gen. Sullivan was ordered and promptly advanced to support Gen. Davies's center. His right rallied and retook battery Powell, into which a few of the storming column had penetrated; while Hamilton, having played upon the Rebels on his right, over