and facilitating our communications with the base at Pittsburg Landing, I ordered a detail of 2,000 men, who, under the direction of Lieutenant Freeman, of my staff, and Lieutenant Tresilian, engineer of the First Division, renewed the old bridge, constructed a new one, corduroyed the valley of the stream, and repaired the road for the space of some 5 miles back. At this camp Col. M. K. Lawler, Eighteenth Illinois, who had been in command of the First Brigade during the illness of Brig. Gen. John A. Logan, was relieved by that officer. Brig. Gen. L. F. Ross was in command of the Second Brigade, and Col. J. E. Smith, Forty-fifth Illinois, in the absence of Colonel Marsh, Twentieth Illinois, on sick leave, was in command of the Third Brigade. Colonel Smith was here relieved of the command of the Third Brigade by Colonel Lawler, his senior in rank. Being visited by His Excellency Richard Yates, Governor of the State of Illinois, at this place, the First Division was drawn out and passed in review before him, receiving the honor of his congratulations for their patriotic devotion, the luster they had shed upon Illinois, and their soldierly appearance and expertness. At this camp General Logan resumed command of the First Brigade.
On the 11th the same division attack their tents and moved forward about two miles and a half in the direction of Corinth, to the crossing of the old State line with the Purdy and Farmington road, encamping here near Fielder's house. A reconnaissance in the direction of Corinth was immediately made by Companies C and D, Fourth Illinois Cavalry under command of Capt. C. D. Townsend, accompanied by Lieutenant. S. R. Tresilian, of General Logan's staff. Pushing forward his reconnaissance in advance of any that had been previously made, Captain Townsend came in contact with the enemy's picket near Easel's house, on the Hack road, leading from Purdy to Corinth, and drove back their accumulating numbers some distance. This position at the cross-roads was vital to the line of our advance upon the enemy at Corinth, as it protected our right flank from attack. To strengthen and secure so important a position rifle pits were dug and earthworks thrown up as a cover both for our infantry and artillery. Among several outposts one was established upon the Little Muddy Creek near Harris' house, which, although much exposed and often threatened by the enemy, was firmly held by the Twentieth Illinois and a section of artillery under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Richards. Numerous reconnaissance were also made, resulting in repeatedly meeting the enemy's pickets and reconnoitering parties and driving them back. On the 14th the Second Brigade, under command of General Ross, was detached from the division and moved still farther forward about a mile and a half to a position which had been just vacated by another division.
Hearing that the enemy were using the Mobile and Ohio Railroad as a means of so disposing his forces as to enable him to turn our right flank, attack us in the rear, and cut off our communication with the base at Pittsburg, I ordered General Wallace to advance one of the brigades of his division to an intermediate point on the line between his camp and the cross-roads. Colonel Woods
(Seventy-sixth Ohio), commanding the Third Brigade of the Third Division, accordingly moved forward with his brigade, and took and strongly fortified a commanding position. In combination with this movement, at 4 o'clock in the morning General Ross, with his brigade, battalion of cavalry, and eight pieces of cannon, supported by General Logan's brigade as a reserve, under command of Brigadier-General Judah, moved forward to the railroad. Upon reaching the road he instantly encountered a detachment