War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0167 Chapter XXIX. CORINTH.

and the other crossing over into the Pittsburg Landing road. Accordingly the following disposition of the troops for the 3rd was ordered at 1.30 a. m. of that day, viz:

There being indications of a possible attack on Corinth immediately, the following dispositions of troops will be made: General McKean, with his division, will occupy his present position; General Davies will occupy the line between the Memphis and the Columbus roads; General Hamilton, with his division, will take position between the rebel works on the Purdy and the Hamburg road, and General Stanley will hold his division in reserve actor near the old headquarters of Major-General Grant. The respective divisions will be formed in two lines, and second line being either in line of battle or close column by division, as circumstances may require.

The troops were ordered to move toward their positions, with 100 rounds of ammunition and three days' rations per man, by 3 a. m. These dispositions were made, and the troops at 9 o'clock on the morning of the 3rd occupied the positions shown on the accompanying map, Hamilton on the right, Davies in the center, McKean on left, with an advance of three regiments of infantry and a section of artillery, under Colonel Oliver, on the Chewalla road, at or near Alexander's, beyond the rebel breastworks. The cavalry was disposed as follows (see map accompanying Colonel Mizner's report): A battalion at Burnsville, one the Roreya's Mill, on the Jacinty and Corinth road; Colonel Lee, with the Seventh Kansas and part of the Seventh Illinois, at Kossuth and Bone-Yard, watching the rebels' right flank; Colonel Hatch and Captain Willcox on the east and north fronts, covering and reconnoitering. The reasons for these dispositions flow obviously from the foregoing explanations of our ignorance of the northwesterly approaches and of the possibility that the rebels might threaten us on the Chewalla and attack us by the Smith's Bridge road, on our left, or go around and try us with his main force on the Purdy or even Pittsburg Landing road.

The general plan, which was explained to the division commanders verbally in the morning, was to hold the enemy at arms' left by opposing him strongly in our assumed positions, and when his force became fully developed and he had assumed position, if we found it necessary, to take a position which would give us the use of our batteries and the open ground in the immediate vicinity of Corinth, the exact position to be determined by events and the movements of the enemy.


Early in the morning the advance, under Colonel Oliver, found strong indications that the pressure under which he had retired on the 2nd came from the advancing foe, and accordingly took strong position on the hill near the angle of the rebel breastworks with his three regiments and a section of artillery. By 9 o'clock the enemy began to press them sharply and outflank them. Brigadier-General McArthur, whom I had requested to go to the front, reported wide-spread but slack skirmishing, and said the hill was of great value to test the advancing force. I ordered him to hold it pretty firmly with that view. About 10 o'clock word came that the enemy were pressing the point hotly, and that re-enforcements were required or they must yield the position. Supposing its importance was properly understood, and that it wa held in subordination to the general views of its use, which, explained, I directed General Davies to send up from his position two regiments. But it proved that General McArthur had taken up four more regiments from McKean's division and was contesting the ground