War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0158 Chapter XXIX. WEST TENN. AND NORTHERN MISS.

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to Jackson all cars and locomotives. This I regarded as a necessary precaution and subsequent events proved it to be so. I also ordered troops from Bolivar, to increase the force on the important bridges north of that place.

On the 2nd I permitted the train to run to Corinth, but informed General Rosecrans that the enemy had crossed the Hatchie with the intention of citing the railroad, and directed him to send the train back that night; that the enemy's pickets only were then across the stream, and also told him, if opportunity occurred, to attack, but to inform me, so that I might order the Bolivar fores to his assistance. There was no attack made on the 2d, however, but General Rosecrans pushed out toward Chewalla, where he was attacked on the following day.

On the 3rd I ordered General Hurlbut, who had been previously ordered to be in readiness to move at any moment, to mach upon the enemy's rear by way of Pocahontas. Also sent two regiments from here, under Colonel Stevenson, of the Seventh Missouri, to join Colonel Lawler at the bridge 6 miles south of Bethel, and put the whole under General McPherson, with directions to reach Corinth at the earliest possible moment. Owing to the cutting of the railroad and telegraph on the 2nd the train of cars sent on that day could not return, and all communications from Bethel. The enemy occupying the direct road to Corinth compelled the couriers to take a circuitous route by way of Farmington, thus separating General Rosecrans and myself some seven or eight hours. (For the battles fought on the 3d, 4th, and 5th see accompanying reports. Not having been present, I can only judge of the conduct of the troops by these reports and the results.) I had informed General Rosecrans where Generals Ord and Hurlbut would be, and directed him to follow up the enemy the moment he began to retreat; to follow him to Bolivar if he should fall upon Ord's command and drive it that far. As shown by the reports, the enemy was repulsed at Corinth at 11 a. m. on the 4th and was not followed until next morning. Two days' hard fighting without rest probably had so fatigued the troops as to make earlier pursuit impracticable. I regretted this, as the enemy would have been compelled to abandon most of his artillery and transportation in the difficult road of the Hatchie crossing had the pursuit commenced them. The victory was most triumphant as it was, however, and all praise is dues the officers and men for the undaunted courage and obstinate resistance against an enemy outnumbering them as three to two.

When it became evident that an attack would be made I drew off from the guard along the line of the railroad all the troops that could possibly be spared (six regiments) to re-enforce Corinth and Bolivar. As before stated, four of these were sent, under General McPherson, to the former place and formed the advance in the pursuit. Two were sent to Bolivar, and gave that much additional force to be spared to operate on the enemy's rear. When I ascertained that the enemy had succeed in crossing the Hatchie I ordered a discontinuance of the pursuit. Before this order reached them the advance infantry force had reached Ripley and the cavalry had gone beyond, possibly 20 miles. This I regarded, and yet regard, as absolutely necessary to the safety of our army. They could not have possibly caught the enemy before reaching his fortifications at Holly Springs, where a garrison of several thousand troops were left that were not engaged in the battle of Corinth. Our own troops would have suffered for food and suffered greatly from fatigue. Finding that the pursuit had followed so far and that our forces were very much scattered, I immediately ordered an advance