Numbers 138. Report of Colonel Jacob Thompson, Aide-de-camp to General Beauregard.
CORINTH, MISS., April 9, 1862.
SIR: In consequence of information brought from General Cheatham on Wednesday, April 3, that the enemy was marching in force along the Purdy road from Pittsburg, it was decided by yourself, General Johnston, and General Bragg to take up the line of march for the enemy's camp, situated 2 1/2 miles west of the Tennessee River, about equidistant between Owl and Lick Creeks, on the Pittsburg road.
The order of battle was drawn up and ready for delivery early on Thursday morning, and the corps of Major-General Hardee was on the Ridge road from Corinth to Pittsburg by 12 o'clock. It was soon followed by the corps of General Bragg.
On Friday, the 4th, at 11.15 a. m., General Beauregard and staff were in the saddle and moved forward by the Monterey road, and arrived at Monterey at 2.30 o'clock, where a large number of the troops were overtaken, and also Generals Johnston and Bragg.
Thirteen prisoners were brought in during the evening.
The whole army was under orders to move forward at 3 a. m. next day and form a line of battle in advance of the divergence of the Bark and Pittsburg roads.
General Johnston and yourself slept Friday night at Monterey.
During the night there was a heavy fall of rain. Soon after light the clouds began to break, and before sunrise General Johnston and yourself, with your respective staffs, moved forward along the road leading by the Mickey house. As we approached this latter place it was evident, from the large number of troops found drawn up on each side of the road, that it would be impossible to form all the different divisions in battle array at an early hour. As we passed General Bragg beyond the Mickey house the order was given for a forward movement, and you and General Johnston proceeded to a point on the Pittsburg road, beyond the fork of the Pittsburg and Bark, or Hamburg, roads. On reaching them it was ascertained that Major-General Hardee's corps was drawn up in line of battle on the right and left of the Pittsburg road, about half a mile beyond the place you halted. Knowing that you were not far from the camp of the enemy, there was a momentary expectation of a conflict.
At 9.30 o'clock firing was heard on the left of General Hardee's line; but it lasted only a moment, and was therefore supposed to be from our own troops.
At 11.40 a. m. there had been fired eight volleys of musketry in quick succession on the right of General Hardee's line, which induced a general expectation that the combat was about to begin.
About this time General Hardee came forward and pressed you to ride along his line, that the men might be satisfied that you were actually in the field. You accepted his invitation, and after reviewing his whole line you returned with your staff to your temporary headquarters and awaited the coming up of the Reserve Corps, commanded by General Polk.
The whole army did not reach their respective positions till past 3 o'clock, when, upon consultation, it was determined to postpone a further forward movement until morning. The troops slept on their arms, and the front lines were allowed no fires, although the night was quite chilly.