produced by the deluging rains, which had fallen with great frequency from the battle of Shiloh up to the date at which the advance was begun. The vast amount of water which fell, combined with the peculiar soil of the country, made the roads, with the slightest use, almost utterly impassable.
May 8 was employed in clearing up and establishing the new camp, but on the 9th the road-making was resumed by the Twenty-first Brigade, Colonel Wagner's. During the forenoon of the day the brigade completed the corduroy track already commenced through the bottom of Chambers Creek, repaired the old bridge, built an entirely new and very substantial one, and commenced to lay down and additional corduroy track. While so employed the outposts and vedettes of the squadron of cavalry which was protecting the labors of the brigade, and which were posted beyond Seven Mile Creek, were attacked and driven in. The reports received from the outposts indicated that the enemy was advancing in considerable force. In consequence I ordered Colonel Wagner to post two regiment in line of battle on a strong ridge about 300 yards in rear of Seven Mile Creek, on either side of the road, with the section of artillery disposed between them so as to sweep the passage over the creek and through its quaggy bottom. A third regiment was posted 300 paces in rear of the other two, and the fourth left to continue the work, with orders to move to the support of those in advance should they become hotly engaged. Skirmishers were deployed in the thick underwood of the creek bottom and vedettes posted in advance of the creek. The enemy, apparently satisfied with the demonstration he had already made, attempted no farther advance; but as there was still satisfactory evidence to believe that he had not withdrawn, the dispositions I had ordered Colonel Wagner to make were continued until the afternoon of the following day, when he was relieved by a brigade from a division in General Thomas' corps d'armee.
In the rencounter one of the vedettes was wounded and two horses put hors de combat. Three prisoners were captured by my division in this affair.
During the afternoon of the 10th the division was ordered to move across the country from the main road from Hamburg to Corinth to the road leading from Hamburg to Farmington and occupy a position in rear of Seven Mile Creek to the right of General Nelson's division. The position thus taken was occupied a week. Heavy details were furnished by the division to finish the road across Chambers Creek where the route pursued across the country by the division crosses it, and also to open a road to the front across Seven Mile Creek.
During the occupation of this camp several lessons were given in the division drill, more especially in those tactical movements most likely, in all probability, to be made in actual conflict. The grand-guard and outpost service, hitherto sufficiently onerous, became on our near approach to the enemy very heavy. Three regiments bivouacked daily on the line of battle selected some distance in advance of the camp, and thence threw forward the necessary outposts to insure safety against surprise.
During the afternoon of the 17th division was ordered, with three days' cooked rations in the haversacks and the tools transported by the men, to cross Seven Mile Creek and occupy a position on the Purdy and Farmington road. Its right flank rested at the junction of this road with the main Hamburg and Corinth road, and its left on the right flank of General Nelson's division, which was slightly en echelon to the rear. The position was not reached until between sundown and