Illinois were on their way from Burnsville, and one battery of artillery was guarding the Hamburg and Purdy roads north and east of Corinth.
The division moved out and formed line of battle at the forks of the Columbus and Chewalla roads about 1 1\2 miles from Corinth, in the woods, the artillery occupying a hill which commanded the two roads, Colonel Baldwin's brigade held in reserve. We heard artillery firing before we got on the ground, which I soon ascertained to be Colonel Oliver's command of the Sixth Division falling back from Chewalla, and which had made a stand north of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad with one regiment and one piece of artillery and at the rebel breastworks 2,400 yards in front and to the left of my position-part of the ground to be occupied by my division. Thinking a movement forward on the Columbus road would support Colonel Oliver and prevent the enemy flooding down too rapidly upon us I sent to General Rosecrans for permission to move forward and occupy the rebel breastworks on the Columbus road. He replied that I could do as I thought best. I accordingly moved forward 800 yards to an open field that commanded the Columbus road and a bridle-path leading to the left, and sent forward the Seventh Illinois with a section of artillery 1,000 yards to the rebel breastworks as a reconnaissance. I soon received a message from Colonel Oliver that if I did not send him two regiments and some artillery he could not hold his position. I accordingly sent him the Seventh and Fifty-seventh Illinois and two 20-pouder rifled guns, under Captain Richardson, all under command of Colonel Baldwin. About this time Colonel Ducat, General Rosecrans' aide, came to me with directions from him not to let the enemy penetrate beyond the rebel breastworks, and called my particular attention to the bridle-path which led out between the Columbus and Chewalla roads. I accordingly ordered forward General Oglesby's and Heckleman's brigades to the rebel breastworks on the Columbus road, and formed the first line of battle, Hackleman on the right, Oglesby on his left, and Baldwin supporting Oliver on the extreme left, and some artillery and the Fiftieth Illinois were ordered back to the forks of the Columbus and Chewalla roads, where I made my headquarters, to take position as the reserve. About this time I received an order from General Rosecrans to re-enforce Oliver with two regiments, and replied that it had been done. Oglesby was then ordered to send a section of artillery to his left, with a sufficient support to cover the bridle-path.
Having received reports of the distances between my right and extreme left and the reports of the distances between my right and extreme left and the presence of the enemy heavy force in my front, I sent to General Rosecrans for re-enforcements, telling him that it would be impossible for me to hold my position with the troops at my command. I received the reply by Colonel Du Bois, aide to General Rosecrans, that re-enforcements should be sent. About this time I received a notice that my left, under Colonel Baldwin, could not hold its position without re-enforcements. I sent forward the last of my reserve, the Fiftieth Illinois. General Oglesby sent the Eighty-first Ohio, numbering 218 men, all told, with one 24-pounder howitzer and one 10-pounder Parrott gun, to cover the bridle-path. They were attacked in this position by fire regiments on the left, a heavy force on the right, and in front at the same time, the right being first struck.
The Eighty-first Regiment, Colonel Morton, fired from 15 to 21 rounds upon the advancing enemy and the artillery mowed lanes through their solid columns. Lieutenant Canant was in command of this section. This feeble force undertook to do too much. The artillery horses were nearly all shot and the infantry, after a stubborn resistance (several of