網頁圖片
PDF
[merged small][graphic]

force, under Col. Mower, having satisfied Roseerans that the Rebel army under Gen. Price now occupied Iuka, he so advised Gen. Grant; who thereupon resolved on a combined attack, Bending down Gen. Ord, with some 5,000 men, to Burnsville, seven miles west of Iuka, and following from Bolivar with such troops as could be spared to riienforce him. Ord was to move on Iuka from the north; while Roseerans, with Stanley's, was to rejoin his remaining division, under Hamilton, at Jacinto, nine miles south of Burnsville, thence advancing on Price from the south. This concentration was duly effected;" and Gen. Grant, who had now reached Burnsville, was advised that Roseerans would attack Iuka, 19J miles

"Sept. 18.

from Jacinto, between 2£ and 4£ p. M. next day.

Roseerans moved accordingly, at 3 A. M," in light marching order, duly advising Gen. Grant; and was within 7i miles of Iuka at noon, having been driving in the enemy's skirmishers for the last two miles. Disappointed in hearing no guns from Ord's column, he did not choose to push his four brigades against the more numerous army in their front on separate roads, which precluded their reciprocal support, but advanced slowly—Hamilton's division in front —up to a point two miles from Iuka, where a cross-road connected that from Jacinto, on which he was moving, with the road leading south-eastward from Iuka to Fulton; whore,

11 Sept. 19.

at 4 P. M., the Rebels were found drawn up in force, holding a strong position along a deep ravine crossing the main road, and behind the crest of a hill. Here our skirmishers were driven back on the head of the column in advance, which was suddenly saluted with a heavy fire of musketry, grape, canister, and shell, under which the 11th Ohio battery was with difficulty brought into position, with the 5th Iowa, Col. Matthias, and 26th Missouri, Col. Boomer, supporting it; the 48th Indiana, Col. Eddy, posted a little in advance of the battery, on the left of the road, holding their ground under a terrible fire; while the 4th Minnesota, Capt. Le Gro, and 16th Iowa, Col. Chambers, were hurried up to their support. The nature of the ground forbidding any extension of our front, the battle was thus maintained by a single brigade, against at least three times their numbers, until Col. Eddy was killed; when the remnant of his regiment was hurled back in disorder and our advanced battery clutched by the Rebels; but not till its every horse had been disabled and every officer killed or wounded. A charge was instantly made to recover it, and the guns were repeatedly taken and retaken; but they were finally dragged off the field by the Rebels, only to be abandoned in their flight from Iuka.

Stanley's division had meantime come up, pushing forward the 11th Missouri to the front; where, uniting with the 5th Iowa and 26th Missouri, it first checked the Rebel advance and then drove it back to the shelter of the ravine; while Col. Perczel, with the 10th Iowa and a section of Immell's battery, repulsed a Rebel

attempt to turn our left. Col. Boomer fell, severely wounded, and darkness at length closed the battle: our men lying down on their arms, expecting to renew the struggle next morning ; Gen. Stanley himself being at the front, along with Brig.-Gen. Sullivan and Col. J. B. Sanborn, who had bravely and skillfully directed the movements of Hamilton's two brigades; but not a regiment of Stanley's division, save the 11th Missouri, had been enabled to participate in the action; and not a shot had been fired from the direction whence Ord's advance had been confidently expected—the excuse for this being that Ord had only expected to attack after hearing the sound of Rosecrans'sguns; and these a high wind from the north-west prevented his hearing at all.

Ord had been watching a Rebel demonstration from the south and west upon Corinth—which proved a mere feint—but had returned to Burnsville at 4 p. u." when he was directed by Grant to move his entire force—which had been swelled by the arrival of Ross's division—to within four miles of Iuka, and there await the sound of Rosecrans's guns. Ross, in his advance, reported to him a dense smoke arising from the direction of Iuka; whence he inferred that Price was burning his stores and preparing to retreat. Next morning, hearing guns in his front, Ord moved rapidly into Iuka, but found no enemy there; Price having retreated on the Fulton road during the night. Ord, leaving Crocker's brigade to garrison Iuka, returned directly, by order, to Corinth; while Rosecrans—having first sent' Stan225

[ocr errors]

VAN DORN' ATTACKS ROSECKANS AT CORINTH.

ley's division into Iuka and found H 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 6trong 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 hos pital 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. lie states that ho captured 1,G29 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 Coriutb during the conflict at Iuka, but had retreated after its close, and who now assumed command, and. marching northward, fetruck the Memphis Railroad at Pocahontas, considerably westward of Corinth, thence pushing " rapidly down the road to Che walla, with intent to surprise, or at least storm, Corinth next day. Rosecrans—who had received" his promotion to a Major-Generalsbip directly after the affair at Iuka—bad been left in chief command at Corinth by Grant, who

had returned to his own beadquartefs at Jackson, withdrawing Crd's division to Bolivar. Rosecrans had in and about Corinth not far from 20,000 men—rtoo 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 vdlage. 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 Che walla 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 1\ A. M.," our left advance, under Col. Oliver, holding a hill which afforded a Btrong position, and a broad and extensive view of the country beyond it. He had orders to hold it pretty firmly, so as to compel the enemy to develop his strength.

Rofcecrans, still distrusting that this attack was more than a feint, de

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]
[graphic]

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 intrenchmcnts, and ordered to close with liis 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 echelon 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 juit swinging in on the enemy's left. Van Dom, supposing Corinth virtually his own, sent off to Richmond an electrifying 227

PRICE'S CIIARGE AT CORINTH.

dispatch, claiming a great victory, and rested for the night on his laurels.

At 3 A. u.," the fight was rC-opened by the fire of a Rebel battery which had been planted during the night in front and but 200 yr.rds distant from Fort Robinett, in our center, covering the road W.N.W. from Corinth to Chewalla. Shell were thrown into Corinth, exploding in Btreet3 and houses, and c iusing a sudden stampede of teamsters, sutlers, and noncombatants generally. No reply was made by our batteries till fair daylight; when Capt. Williams opened from Fort Williams with hii 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, 6wiftly followed by considerable volleys. Batteries on both sides now came into full play, and shells were failing and bursting everywhere; but no Rebel masses, nor even lines of infantry, were visible; until suddenly, al>out 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:

"A prodigious mass, with gleaming bayonets, suddenly loomed out, dark and threatening, on the east of the railroad, moving sternly up tho Bolivar road in column by divisions. Directly, it opened out in the

shape of a monstrous wedgo, and drove forward impetuously toward the heart of Corinth. It was a splendid target for our batteries, and it was soon perforated. Hideous paps were r nt 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 enfiladingfire. lie had prepared for such an occasion. Our shell swept through the mass with awful effect; but the brave Rebels pressed onward inflexibly. Directly, tho wedge opened and spread out magnificently, right and loft, like great wings, seeming to swoop over the whole lield before them. But there was a fearful march in front. A broad, turfy glacis, sloping upward at an angle of thirty degrees to a crest fringed with determined, disciplined soldiers, and chid with terrible batteries, frowned upon them. There were a few obstructions—fallen timber—which disordered their lines a little. Hut every break was instantly welded. Our whole line opened fire; but the enemy, seemingly insensible to fear, or infuriated by passion, bent their necks downward and marched steadily to death, with their fiues averted like men striving to protect themtehex 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, excepting that somebody was killed. The enemy still pressed onward undismayed. At last, they reached the crest of the hill in front and to the rigbt 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 eagle eye, and who is described as having expressed his delight nt tho trap into which 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 light. Before the lino was demoralized, he succeeded in restoring it, and tho men, brave when bravely led, fought again. But it had yielded much space; and the loss of Fort Richardson was certain. Price's right moved swiftly to the headquarters of (ion. 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 sqnare. Seven Rebels wero killed within the little inclosure in

"Saturday, Oct. 4.

« 上一頁繼續 »