received fresh re-enforcement and we could not complete the work; retired. The Bolivar force came down on my line of retreat and prevented crossing of Hatchie. Moved south. Crossed 6 miles below, and now at Ripley with all baggage and as many of the wounded as could carry. Bloody affair. Enemy still threaten. Will fight him at all points. There are about 40,000 men still in West Tennessee. Will have hard fighting.
EARL VAN DORN,
Respectfully submitted to the President.
G. W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War.
Read. It will be necessary to re-enforce, if possible, at once.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF WEST TENNESSEE,
Holly Springs, Miss., October 20, 1862.
GENERAL: I have the honor to make the following make of the battalion of Corinth:
Having established batteries at Port Hudson, secured the mouth of Red Rivere and the navigation of the Mississippi River to Vicksburg, I turned my special attention to affairs in the northern portion of my district.
On August 30 I received a dispatch from General Bragg, informing me that hew was about to march into Kentucky and would leave to General Price and myself the enemy in West Tennessee.
On September 4 I received a communication from General Price, in which was inclosed a copy of the dispatch from General Bragg, above named, making an offer to co-operate with me. At this time General Breckinridge was operating on the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and Port Hudson with all the available force I had for the field; therefore I could not accept General Price's proposition. Upon the return, however, of General Breckinridge I immediately addressed General Price, giving him my views in full in regard to the campaign in West Tennessee, and stating that I was then ready to join him with all my troops.
In the mean time orders were received by him from General Bragg to follow Rosecrans across the Tennessee River into Middle Tennessee, whither it was then supposed he had gone. Upon the receipt of this intelligence I felt at once that all my hopes of accomplishing anything in West Tennessee with my small force were marred. I nevertheless moved up to Davis' Mill, a few miles from Grand Junction, Tenn., with the intention of defending my district to the best of my ability, and to make a demonstration in favor of General Price, to which latter end also I marched my whole command on September 20 to within 7 miles of Bolivar, driving three brigades of the enemy back to that place and forcing the return to Corinth of one division (Ross'), which had been sent there to strengthen Grant's army.
General Price, in obedience to his orders, marched in the direction of Iuka to cross the Tennessee, but was not long in discovering that Rosecrans had not crossed that stream. This officer, in connection with