effected. At length I received orders to change front and retire to a position corresponding with the main body of the division on my right, which had retired toward Corinth some time previously. This movement had already commenced, when further orders were received
to fall back to the interior line of batteries. The movement was accordingly altered so as to throw the artillery into a road in rear of the line and leading into Corinth, when the enemy again appeared, driving in our skirmishers and advancing to attack, and the Third Brigade, hitherto but slightly engaged, now found an opportunity to participate in the work. Colonel Crocker with a portion of this brigade was directed to drive back the enemy while the movement was completed. The colonel executed this order in fine style, succeeding after a severe action in forcing back the enemy with considerable loss.
In this action the Fifteenth Iowa, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Belknap (Colonel Reid being sick), and the Sixteenth Iowa Regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Sanders, being most hotly engaged, conducted themselves with conspicuous gallantry, and the whole brigade while covering the movements of the division maneuvered with all the coolness and precision of an ordinary drill. The movement of the division being completed, this portion of the brigade reformed in good order on the right of the first line,and the whole division, with the Seventh, Fiftieth, and Fifty-seventh Illinois Regiments, moved in perfect order, arriving at sundown and taking the positions designated within the line of batteries, the Third Brigade and three field batteries occupying College Hill, and the two small brigades with the Tenth Ohio Battery taking positions in the town under directions from the commanding general.
Our troops lay on their arms in the ranks during the night, ready to support the batteries should an assault, as anticipated, be made early in the morning.
About 4 o'clock on the morning of the 4th cannonading by the enemy commenced, and after daylight, in addition to the assaults on Battery Robinett and other points of the field, heavy skirmishers took place in front of College Hill. During the morning the First and Second Brigades were also withdrawn to College Hill, and twice the enemy attempted to assault Battery Phillips, his columns supported with artillery approaching behind a ridge running nearly parallel to our line. Each time the head of his column was suffered to approach within short musket-range, when Battery Phillips and the light pieces of this division opened upon him so hotly that he hastily retired. Information subsequently received indicates beyond doubt that these movements were not intended as mere feints. Lieutenant C. Marsh, commanding a section of the Fifth Ohio Battery, is reported to have done good execution at this time, occupying a favorable position. The enemy's last effort was on this part of the field, after having been repulsed at all other points.
During the day General McArthur, with a portion of his brigade, was sent in advance to reconnoiter, and finding the enemy retiring he took a position at night near Alexander's, and the balance of his brigade, the Second Brigade and the Tenth Ohio Battery, by direction of the general commanding, started at 2 a.m. on the 5th to re-enforce him; and the balance of the division started at daylight in pursuit of the enemy, which was continued this day as far as Tuscumbia River.
On the 6th I was directed by the general commanding to take command of the post of Corinth, said to be threatened by the enemy's re-enforcements, including 10,000 paroled men.
For the subsequent operations of the division during the pursuit to