War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0344 WEST TENN. AND NORTHERN MISS. Chapter XXIX.

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Number 90. Report of Brigadier General John McArthur, U. S. Army, commanding First Brigade and Sixth Division, including operations October 3-11.


Corinth, Miss., October 15, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by my command at the battle of Corinth on October 3 and 4 and the subsequent pursuit of the enemy on their retreat:

On the morning of Friday, October 3, by special order on the field, I assumed the command of the First Brigade of this division, consisting of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Wisconsin and the Twenty-first Missouri Infantry, with orders to support Colonel Oliver, commanding Second Brigade, same division, who had met the enemy at Chewalla and was checking their advance.

After falling back slowly I determined to make a stand on Cane Creek Bluff, on the Chewalla road, about 4 miles from Corinth, and accordingly gave orders to Colonel Oliver to that effect, supporting him with the Sixteenth Wisconsin and Twenty-first Missouri. Finding that the enemy was advancing in force on that road and deploying to my right so as to gain the old rebel breastworks, I again dispatched for re-enforcements, and succeeded in getting the Third Brigade, Second Division, Colonel Baldwin commanding, consisting of the Seventh, Fiftieth, and Fifty-seventh Illinois Regiments, which were promptly sent forward by General Davies. Placing them in position, together with a section of Battery -, First Missouri Light Artillery, also from the same division, we fought the enemy successfully, causing them to make a detour still farther to the right, so as to gain the ridge (the spur of which we held), which they accomplished about 12 m., attacking us vigorously on our right flank and in front, our troops repulsing them handsomely in several attempts to dislodge us with heavy loss. The enemy finding no troops on my right to oppose him immediately commenced massing his troops so as to turn my right, on perceiving which I ordered the Seventh Illinois to change front to the right and charge them with the bayonet, which they attempted to do, but were met by an overwhelming force of the enemy, who had partially succeeded in gaining their rear, with a view to cut them off. On this being reported to me I ordered the line to fall back, Colonel Babcock extricating his men from their perilous position in good style. Falling back toward the main line we again rallied in front of it facing north, but not before the enemy had succeeded in gaining the ground occupied by the camps of the Seventeenth Wisconsin and Twenty-first Missouri. I then determined to drive them out of it, and ordered the line to charge with the bayonet en echelon of battalion from the right. The Seventeenth Wisconsin on the right, Colonel Doran commanding, moved forward, gallantly charging with an impetuosity truly characteristic, nobly seconded by the Seventh Illinois, Colonel Babcock; Fifty-seventh Illinois, Lieutenant-Colonel Hurlbut; the Fiftieth Illinois, Lieutenant-Colonel Swarthout; the Sixteenth Wisconsin, Major Reynolds; the Twenty-first Missouri, Major Moore, covering the left flank, all in fine order, sweeping the enemy before them out of the camps a distance of half a mile. Hearing them again becoming hotly engaged, and fearing they had advanced beyond our line on the right (which afterward proved to be the case), I applied to General McKean for two more regiments to