War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0065 Chapter XXIX. IUKA.

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occasional skirmishing, was most satisfactorily performed, and almost every move of the enemy was known a soon as commenced.

About the 11th of September Price left the railroad, the infantry and artillery probably moving from Baldwyn, and their cavalry from the roads north of Baldwyn, toward Bay Springs. At the latter place a halt of a few days seemed to have been made, likely for the purpose of collecting stores and reconnoitering our eastern flank.

On the 13th of September the enemy's cavalry made their appearance near Iuka, and were repulsed by the small garrison, under Colonel Murphy, of the Eighth Wisconsin Infantry, still left there to cover the removal of stores no yet brought into Corinth. The enemy appearing again in increased force on the same day, and having cut the railroad and telegraph between there and Burnsville, Colonel Murphy thought it prudent to retire to save his forces. This caused a considerable amount of commissary stores to fall into the hands of the enemy which properly should have been destroyed. Price's whole force then soon congregated at Iuka. Information brought in by scouts as to the intention of the enemy was conflicting. One report was that Price wanted to cross Bear Creek and the Tennessee River for the purpose of crossing Tennessee and getting into Kentucky. Another, that Van Dorn was to march by the way of Ripley and attack us on the southwest, while Price would move on us from the east or northeast. A third, that Price would endeavor to cross the Tennessee, and if pursuit was attempted Van Dorn was in readiness to attack Corinth.

having satisfied myself that Van Dorn could not reach Corinth under four days with an army embracing all arms, I determined to leave Corinth with a force sufficient to resist cavalry and to attack Price at Iuka. This I regarded as eminently my duty, let either of the theories of the enemy's plans be the correct solution. Accordingly on the 16th I gave some general directions as to the plan of operation. General Rosecrans was to move on the south side of the railroad to opposite Iuka and attack from that side with all his available force after leaving sufficient force at Rienzi and Jacinto to prevent a surprise on Corinth from that direction. Major-General Ord was to move to Burnsville, and from there take roads north of the railroad and attack from that side. General Ord having to leave from his two divisions, already very much reduced in numbers from their long-continued service and the number of battles they had been in, the garrison at Corinth (he also had one regiment of infantry and a squadron of cavalry at Kossuth, one regiment of infantry and one company of cavalry at Chewalla, and one regiment of infantry that moved under Colonel Mower and joined General Rosecrans' command), reduced the number of men of his command available for the expedition to about 3,000. I had previously ordered the infantry of General Ross' command at Bolivar to hold themselves in readiness to move at a moment's warning; had also directed a concentration of cars at jackson to move these troops. Within twenty-four hours after the time a dispatch left Corinth for these troops to "come on" they had all arrived, 3,400 in number; this notwithstanding a locomotive was thrown off the track on the Mississippi Central road, preventing the passage of other trains for several hours. This force was added to General Ord's command, making his entire strength over 6,000 to take into the field. From this force two regiments of infantry and one section of artillery were taken (about 900 men) for the garrison or rear guard to be held at Burnsville. General Rosecrans Ord's report, these figures may not be accurate. General Rosecrans was moving from Jacinto eastward with about 9,000 men, making my

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