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much more disastrous than the affair of Baton Rouge. Overmatched by numbers, Gen. Price was, after some partial and temporary success, forced back, with a loss greater than that of the enemy. In this engagement our loss was probably eight hundred in killed and wounded. But never had troops fought with more terrible resolution or wilder energy than the soldiers of Price. The fighting was almost hand to hand; and as an instance of the close and deadly combat, it may be mentioned that an Ohio battery was taken by our men four different times, and as often retaken by greatly superiour numbers of the enemy. The desperation of our-soldiers astonished those who, by the weight of numbers alone, were able to resist them. Several of our men endeavored to tear the colours from th& hands of the Yankees by main force, and either perished in the attempt or were made prisoners. In one spot next morning, there were counted seventeen Confederate soldiers lying dead around one of their officers. Sixteen feet square would cover the whole space where they died.
But there was yet to ensue the great disaster which was to re-act on other theatres of the war and cast the long shadow of misfortune upon the country of the West. It was destined to take place at Corinth, where Major-General Roseeranz, commanding the Yankee army of the Mississippi and Tennessee, was stationed with at least forty thousand men.
THE BATTLE OF CO*RINTH.
The armies of Gens. Van Dorn and Price—under Gen. Van Dorn as the ranking officer—having formed a junction at Ripley, marched thence for the purpose of engaging the enemy in battle, though it was well known that the battle must be waged under the serious disadvantages of great disparity in numbers and strength of position.
On the 2d of October our forces marched from Pocahontas to Chewalla, points on the Memphis and Charleston railroad, thus moving from the west on Corinth, the stronghold of the enemy. That night the soldiers rested on their arms, in eager and confident expectation of meeting the foe in battle array on the ensuing morning.
On Friday, October 3d, the order of battle was formed—the right being held by Gen. Van Dorn's troops, composing only one division, under Gen. Lovell; while the left was occupied by Gen. Price's troops, composed of two divisions—the extreme left under Gen. Herbert, and the right under Gen. Maury, whose division, as thus placed, formed the centre of the whole force. Advancing in this order, at 7J o'clock in the morning Gen. Lovell's division arrived within long range of the enemy, who had marched out some miles in front of the extreme outer lines of his fortifications. Immediately the artillery of Gen. Villipigue, who&e- brigade was in the advance, opened fire upon the enemy, who, in a short time, began to give way and fall back, and continued to do so for two hours, under a heavy and effective fire from the advancing batteries of General Lovell's division.
At 9| o'clock, the enemy having made a stand one-half mile in front of his fortifications, Gen. Lovell advanced his infantry and poured a destructive musketry fire into the ranks of the Yankees, who replied with spirit; and now, Gen. Price having ordered up his divisions under Generals Maury and Herbert, the battle raged all along the line—the enemy suffering terribly. At length a charge was ordered, Gen. Lovell's division leading. In double-quic£ time our soldiers, pressing forward with loud cheers, drove the enemy behind his entrenchments. Simultaneously almost, the divisions of Generals Maury and Herbert, the one after the other, charged the enemy in front of them with equal success.
There was now a strange lull in the battle. The Yankees had withdrawn entirely behind their fortifications, their fire had dropped off, and the tumult of the fierce strife died away. The unexpected quiet lasted for a whole hour. By that time, the Yankees having brought several field batteries in front, opened from these, and at the same time from his heavy artillery, a most tremendous cannonade. This fire was directed chiefly, if nofc wholly, against the right wing under General Lovell, and, though so tremendous in sound, produced but little effect. Our soldiers remained silent and stood firm. They were waiting for orders. Presently the second charge was ordered. Gallantly was it made by Gen. Lovell's division, and as gallantly was it supported by charges all along the centre and right wing by the divisions of Generals Maury and Herbert. On, on our glorious columns swept through the leaden rain and iron hail; the first line of fortifications is reached and passed; and the Yankees do not stop until they have reached the next line of entrenchments.
On Friday night the news of a great victory was dispatched by Gen. Van Dorn to Richmond. This announcement was made with an exultation so hasty and extreme, that it is to be supposed that this commander was entirely unaware of the strength of the enemy's works at Corinth, and, consequently, of the supreme trial which yet remained for the courage and devotion of his troops.
The next morning the general relation of our troops to each other and to the enemy remained as it was on the previous day—Gen. Van Dorn, in supreme command, occupying the centre, Gen. Price the left wing, and Gen. Lovell the right wing. Gen. Lovell's division held ground west of Corinth and just south of the Memphis and Charleston railroad. General Maury's division was posted north of the Memphis and Charleston railroad, and between it and the Memphis and Ohio railroad. Gen. Herbert's division was on the left, east of the Memphis and Ohio railroad—thus advancing from the north upon Corinth.
The battle was commenced by Gen. Price early in the morning, one-half hour before daylight. The artillery having been moved forward, opened upon the enemy in his entrenchments at a distance of four hundred yards. The enemy replied, and a heavy cannonading, by both sides, ensued for one hour. Our troops suffered but little damage from this fire, and the artillery was withdrawn with the view of advancing the infantry. Now heavy skirmishing followed all along the line, which was kept up until about 10 o'clock. Then beginning with Gen. Lovell's division, v?\o were immediately seconded by Gen. Price's army—Gen. Herbert's division first, and then Gen. Maury's—our whole line advanced upon the entrenchments of the enemy.
Here occurred one of the most terrible struggles of the war. The shock of the tremendous onset was terrible. One portion of our lines rushed pell mell into Corinth, losing in their confidence of victory almost every semblance of order, infantry and cavalry being crowded together in a dense mass, wild with excitement, and rending the air with fierce and exulting yells* But the batteries of the enemy were situated to command the village as well as the approaches to it.
The serried ranks of the enemy, now prepared to receive us, afforded convincing proof that victory was yet distant from our grasp, and that a hard and bloody fight was at hand. A portion of Maury's division was ordered to charge the formidable fort on College Hill. This was the forlorn hope. Disappointed in gaining a lodgment in the village, we must confess to a defeat, if that battery be not taken. Once in our possession the town is ours. The men, massed in single column eight deep, moved forward in silence, regardless of the shower of bullets which whistled about their ears and decimated their ranks. The decisive moment—the turning point of the engagement—had arrived. Every battery of the enemy bearing on the column was double charged with grape and canister, which burst over the heads of our troops. Scores "were killed at every discharge, but they moved steadily on, maintaining the silence of the grave. As fast as one soldier fell, his comrade behind stepped forward and took his place. They charged up to the battery, reserving their fire until they reached the parapets. Twice repulsed, the third time they reached the outer works, and planted their flag upon the escarpment. It was shot down and again planted, but shot down again.
These devoted troops now held partial possession of the works. But the triumph was of short duration. According to previous instructions, the enemy's gunners.fell back behind the works, and the next instant from their batteries threw a murderous fire into our ranks afc the shortest possible range. Nothing human could withstand such a fire; the confusion it produced was irretrievable; our men were driven back and the day lost.
But the attack was not abandpned without instances of wild and terrible courage that were almost appalling. In their madness and desperation, our men would rush up to the very mouths of the cannon, and many were blown to pieces by the rapid and constant discharges. Such spectacles of courage were curious and terrible to behold. An officer, standing a little way out from his men, was shouting, "Give it to the scoundrels." The words had but passed from his lips, when the first shell from a Parrott gun struck his left shoulder, tearing off his whole side. He turned his head a little to one side, his mouth opened, his eyes glared, and he fell dead.
The attack on the enemy's batteries was rash and magnificent. The intensity of the fight may be judged from the fact thaj; two hundred and sixty dead bodies were found in and about the trenches within a distance of fifty feet of the works. It is impossible to enumerate the examples of daring which adorn the story of this attack. The second Texas infantry, under Col. Rogers, led the charge, and the Colonel himself fell on the enemy's breastworks with the colours of his regiment in his hand. A piece of paper was found under his clothing giving his name and rank and the address of his friends. As Gen. Cabell mounted the enemy's parapet, the first man he encountered was a Yankee colonel, who cried out, "Kill that
(J d rebel officer." The next instant a blow from the
General's sabre placed his antagonist at his feet. In the brigade of this brave officer, J. H. Bullock, Adjutant of the 13th Arkansas regiment—a noble specimen of the Southern soldier; for, though blessed in estate and family, a son-in-law