War of the Rebellion: Serial 010 Page 0027 Chapter XXII. OCCUPATION OF PITTSBURG LANDING, TENN.

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routed, and dispersed in utter confusion, evidences of which met us at every part of the road beyond the scene of conflict to the extent of our reconnaissance-horses loose and mired in the bottoms, saddles, sabers, shot-guns scattered through the wood and along the several roads and by-paths by which they retreated toward Purdy.

The mode of accomplishing the important object first indicated is this: To advance with considerable display on the Corinth road by a large force as far as Pea Ridge, then dispatch by a good steamer, under convoy of the gunboat, to Tyler's Landing, about 200 cavalry and a regiment of infantry, to make that point at 6 p.m. and to take its immediate departure for the railroad, 19 miles off, at a place called Burnsville. We attempted this, but were defeated by the rain. The small streams have now run out, and I think the plan practicable.

The enemy knows that we have abandoned Tyler's Landing and have concentrated here.

Crump's Landing is a good point also, as there is a considerable force at Purdy. I was well out there to-day, and think there is some mistake about the road being broken to the north of Purdy, for a very intelligent man says he saw the train leaving Purdy for Jackson yesterday.

This road can easily be reached now from here. The difficulty is with the other road, which is watched, because of its great importance. To advance on Corinth in force we should make use of several roads; our troops drag out too long on a single country road.

From Tyler's Landing, Pittsburg, and Crump's, as well as Hamburg, troops could move concentrically on Corinth or could cross the road at any other point. I am trying my best to find out the strength of the enemy at these points, but thus far am unsuccessful.

I am, in haste, yours,

W. T. SHERMAN,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Captain JOHN A. RAWLINS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS FIRST DIVISION,

Pittsburg Landing, March 17, 1862.

SIR: I have just returned from reconnaissance towards Corinth and Purdy, and am strongly impressed with the importance of the position, both for its land advantages and its strategic position. The ground itself admits of easy defense by a small command, and yet affords admirable camping ground for a hundred thousand men. I will as soon as possible make or cause to be made a topographical sketch of the position. The only drawback is that at this stage of water the space for landing is contracted too much for the immense fleet now here discharging.

I will push the landing and unloading, but suggest you send at once here (Captain Dodds, if possible) the best quartermaster you can, that he may control and organize this whole matter. I have good commissaries, and will keep as few provisions afloat as possible.

Yours, &c.,

W. T. SHERMAN,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Captain JOHN A. RAWLINS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.