War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0209 Chapter XXIX. CORINTH.

Search Civil War Official Records


Corinth, Miss., October 19, 1862.

COLONEL: The length of my official report of the battle of Corinth precluded the possibility of detailing many minor operations of the battle, as well as of the pursuit, while justice to individuals and commands, as well as a thorough understanding of the operations of the division, renders this supplementary report important and necessary.

In the afternoon of the 3rd Buford's brigade, which had been ordered to support Sullivan, by diverging too far to the right got out of supporting distance, and the right of his line came upon a body of the enemy concealed in the woods. General Buford deemed it necessary to dislodge this force, and ordered a charge by the Fourth Minnesota Regiment, under Colonel J. B. Sanborn. The charge was most gallantly executed and the enemy routed from his position, but not until the gallant Captain Moores and one private of the Fourth Minnesota were killed, and Captain Clubb, assistant quartermaster, and several privates wounded. During the movement of Bufford's i twice dispatches aides to him, with instructions to keep to the left and support Sullivan, but without effect, and it was only when I sent a peremptory order to him to fall back to the position assigned him that any change was made in the direction his brigade was moving.

Before this movement of Bufford's was made a body of the enemy's cavalry was seen in position to the west of us, and a company of the Seventeenth Iowa, under Lieutenant Garrett, was deployed as skirmishers and pushed down to the enemy, soon routing them by an effective fire.

When the division moved out on the Purdy road on the 3rd the Fifth Iowa Regiment, Colonel Matthies, was detached from the First Brigade and ordered into position at the crossing of the Pittsburg road with the rebel entrenchments east of the town, and held that position until 4 a. m. on the 4th, when it was recalled to the brigade, and the Pittsburg road covered by an inner position and a battery of artillery.

When the attack developed itself on the morning of the 4th the deployment of the rebel line in the woods north of my position reached so far to the eastward as to cover my whole front, and it was not until this line was driven back over the ridge that the fire of the regiments of my First Brigade reached the flank of the enemy, then retreating from the town.

When the earthwork battery, occupied by the First Missouri Artillery, on the ridge was captured by the enemy, Major A. M. Powell turned two of his guns on the battery, and by a skillful fire of spherical-case shot soon cleared the battery of rebels, though the remaining horses of the battery were killed by his fire.

Immell's battery (Twelfth Wisconsin) fired during this action 507 rounds of ammunition.

When the charge was ordered against the enemy the Seventeenth Iowa captured, with many prisoners, the colors of the Fortieth Mississippi Regiment. I beg particularly to call the attention of the general commanding to the gallant conduct of this regiment, which nobly redeemed itself from the cloud cast upon it by conduct at Iuka.

As soon as the rapid firing and advance of my line on the 4th showed the rout of the rebels in my front I turned my attention for a short time to rallying the men of Davies' division, who were running through and over my Second Brigade. With a part of my staff and the whole of my cavalry escort I succeeded in stopping at least 1,000