War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0378 WEST TENN. AND NORTHERN MISS. Chapter XXIX.

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attempt Corinth. I had a reasonable hope of success. Field returns at Ripley showed my strength to be about 22,000 men. Rosecrans at Corinth had about 15,000, with about 8,000 additional men at outposts from 12 to 15 miles distant. I might surprise him and carry the place before these troops could be brought it. I therefore marched toward Pocahontas, threatening Bolivar; then turned suddenly across the Hatchie and Tuscumbia and attacked Corinth without hesitation, and did surprise that place before the outpost garrisons were called in. It was necessary that this blow should be sudden and decisive, and if unsuccessful that I should withdraw rapidly from the position between the two armies of Ord and Rosecrans. The troops were in fine spirits and the whole army of West Tennessee seemed eager to emulate the Armies of the Potomac and of Kentucky. No army ever marched to battle with prouder steps, more hopeful countenances, or with more courage than marched the Army of West Tennessee out of Ripley on the morning of September 29 on its way to Corinth.

Fully alive to the responsibility of my position as commander of the army, and after mature and deliberate reflection, the march was ordered. The ground was well known to me and required no study to determine where to make the attack. The bridge over the Hathcie was soon reconstructed and the army crossed at 4 a. m. on October 2. Adams' brigade of cavalry was left here to guard this approach to our rear and to protect the train, which was parked between the Hatchie and Tuscumbia. Colonel Hawkins' regiment of infantry and Captain Dawson's battery of artillery were also left on the Bone Yard road, in easy supporting distance of the bridge. The army bivouacked at Chewalla after the driving in of some pickets from that vicinity by Armstrong's and Jackson's cavalry. This point is about 10 miles from Corinth.

At daybreak on the 3rd the march was resumed, the precaution having been taken to cut the railroad between Corinth and Jackson, which was done by a squadron of Armstrong's cavalry. Lovell's division in front kept the road on the south side of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. Price, after marching on the same road about 5 miles, turned to the left, crossing the railroad, and formed line of battle in front of the other line of entrenchments and about 3 miles from Corinth. Lovell formed line of battle, after some heavy skirmishing-having to construct a passage across the dry bed of Indian Creek for his artillery under fire-on the right and in front of the same line of entrenchments.

The following was the first order of battle: Thus three brigades of Lovell's division-Villepigue's, Bowen's, and Rust's-in line, with reserves in rear of each; Jackson's cavalry brigade on the right en echelon, the left flank of the division on the Charleston Railroad; Price's corps on the left, with the right flank resting on the same road; Maury's division on the right flank resting on the same road; Maury's division on the right, with Moore's and Phifer's brigades in line, Cabell's reserve; Hebert's division on the left, with Gates' and Martins' brigades in line, Colbert's in reserve; Armstrong's cavalry brigade on the extreme left, somewhat detached and out of view. Hebert's left was masked behind a timbered ridge, with orders not to bring it into action until the last moment. This was done in hoped of inducing the enemy to weaken his right by re-enforcing his center and left-where the attack was first to be made-that his right might be force.

At 10 o'clock all skirmishers were driven into the entrenchments and the two armies were in line of battle, confronting each other in force. A belt of fallen timber, or abatis, about 400 yards in width extended along the whole line of entrancements. This was to be crossed.