War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0357 Chapter XXIX. CORINTH.

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Numbers 96.

Report of Lieutenant Colonel John McDermott, Fifteenth Michigan Infantry, including operations October 3-12.


Corinth, Miss., October 15, 1862.

SIR: In obedience to General Orders, Numbers 126, I have the honor to report to you the part the Fifteenth Michigan Infantry took in the late battle in Corinth, and also the pursuit of the enemy:

We were stationed at Chewalla, a small post some 9 miles from Corinth on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. Attached to us was a company of cavalry, commanded by Captain Ford, which was kept on duty night and day. We were on the alert, our men engaged night and day on picket duty, building breastworks, &c.

On Tuesday, the 1st instant, from information received, I was informed that a large body of the enemy was advancing some 8 miles from Pocahontas. I immediately reported the same to headquarters, and advanced our pickets and sent forward our cavalry scouts to ascertain, if possible, their force and report. They reported a large body of cavalry and infantry advancing. I immediately reported to headquarters, packed up all baggage and property belonging to the United States, and sent our trains forward on the Corinth road.

On Wednesday, the 2nd instant, our scouts were driven in, wounding 1 man and 2 horses. I then reported the facts to headquarters, and asked for re-enforcement, which was promptly responded to by sending two regiments and two pieces of artillery, under command of Colonel J. M. Oliver, commanding Second Brigade. He arrived about sundown and assumed command. During the whole afternoon our scouts and pickets were engaged in skirmishing, falling back slowly and contesting every foot of the way.

About 10 p. m. we were ordered to fall back to an elevated position about 1 mile from Chewalla, where we formed line of battle, still keeping our pickets and line of skirmishers out. There we rested on our arms all night.

About 5 o'clock on the morning of 3rd our advance pickets and those of the enemy came in collision at the Tuscumbia, they driving our pickets back to Chewalla, wounding 2 men and 2 horses. We had four companies out as skirmishers. We were then ordered to fall back to the junction of the road known as the old Smith road. There learned that a large force of the enemy was fast approaching. We were then ordered to fall back to the road known as Alexander's road, where we arrived about 5 p. m., our skirmishers still contesting every foot of the way. We formed line and were ordered to support one piece of artillery; sent two companies as skirmishers for the night and rested on our arms.

About 5 o'clock the next morning the firing was renewed between our pickets and those of the enemy. Our piece of artillery, after firing 17 rounds, was ordered to fall back, which it did. About ten minutes afterward we were ordered to fall back, which we did in good order, taking a position on an elevated spot near the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, arriving there about 8.15 a. m. We were ordered into line to support two pieces of artillery-the Kansas [Minnesota] First-which we did. Twice during the forenoon the enemy ascended the hill on double-quick and twice they were gallantly repulsed and driven back.

We stood there under a hot fire until about 4 p. m., when the gun on our right gave way for want of ammunition, causing the regiment on