War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0299 Chapter XXIX. CORINTH.

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Numbers 62.

Report of Lieutenant Colonel John P. Coulter, Twelfth Iowa Infantry, commanding Union Brigade, including operations October 2, 1862-January 7, 1863.

On the 2nd of October the brigade was ordered to fall back toward Corinth across the Tuscumbia River, which was promptly obeyed, and we encamped 4 miles north of Danville that evening. At 8 o'clock on the morning of the 3rd were ordered to send back a company to destroy the bridge over the Tuscumbia River and immediately join General Hackleman's brigade at Camp Montgomery. Before reaching this point the whole division had left, and, judging from the heavy cannonading, which could be distinctly heard, had already engaged the rebels, but hastening forward to the front we came up with our division about 2 miles northwest of Corinth on the Chewalla road, to which point they had retired and a new line of battle was then being formed. The Union Brigade was thrown forward into an open wood at right angles with the road; here the men were ordered to lie down in line, and remained there at least an hour, the enemy's shot and shell ranging from right to left of our whole line, but, fortunately for us, the elevation of their guns was too great to do us much damage. None of our men were killed, but severely wounded.

The artillery which had during this time engaged the rebels at this point retired rapidly toward Corinth, and our division was drawn up in line parallel to and nearly on the road, occupying the same ground from which the artillery had just retired. The Union Brigade was posted on the extreme left of the division, and had but barely got into position when the firing began with much fierceness on both sides. The men went into the action with the coolness of veterans and stood manfully until, the enemy emerging from the woods in front massed in largely superior forces and also attempting to turn our left flank, a portion of our left gave way across the road and, taking covert behind some of the trees, continued to pour a rapid and heavy fire into the rebels. The right of our division had already failed back, and from the overwhelming force now on our flank as well as in front were obliged also to retire for a time in good order, and were finally rallied and brought into line in the rear of Fort Robinett with the rest of the division.

This day was one of the hottest of the season and very dry and dusty; the men having marched about 8 miles, many of them were completely exhausted, suffered much with heat and thirst, and fell by the way from exhaustion and sun-stroke. We lost this day Lieutenant Tichenor, a meritorious young officer of the Eighth Iowa, who was killed, and Lieutenant Palmer, of the Twelfth, shot through the chest and left for dead on the field. He is, however, likely to recover. Several non-commissioned officers and privates were also killed and wounded.

Here our division rested until between 9 and 10 o'clock, when they were marched to the eastern side of Corinth, and at 3 o'clock in the morning took position in line on the left of the fort north of the place, the left resting on the town and the right on the battery south of the fort, our brigade occupying nearly a central position in the line. Soon after reading this point the enemy opened fire from their artillery upon the town and Fort Robinett, which was replead to by our guns and kept up with terrible vigor till daylight, when the rebel guns seemed to slacken fire and ceased entirely soon after. No great damage was done