War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0396 WEST TENN. AND NORTHERN MISS. Chapter XXIX.

Search Civil War Official Records

moved on. Our division (Maury's), right of Price and center of army, was soon hotly engaged and swept several brigades before us, until we reached the inner line of works which the Jankees had put up in Corinth a few hundred yards from the intersection of the railroads. Moore's (our First) brigade did the heavy business, carrying three camps and turning a strong redoubt in Lovell's front, saving him the trouble of carrying it, and we rested that night within 400 or 500 yards of the works I mentioned.

All night a great rattling of wagons and shouting of teamsters and suppressed murmur of hurrying hosts denoted great activity, from which some of us surmised that the enemy were evacuating.

Before dawn fourteen pieces of our artillery commenced playing on the town and batteries from the front of our lines, 400 or 500 yards, as I said, and were replied to by an immensely superior and concentrating fire, which, as soon as daylight revealed us perfectly exposed, compelled us to withdraw. One piece, however, was captured by a sortie of the enemy's skirmishers. We then advanced and entered Corinth. Our division obtained the ground from the Tishomingo Hotel, back of Bragg's old headquarters, and nearly to the house where Major Smith had his quarters. Hebert was on our left and occupied the works ont he ridge northwest from your house. But we scarcely got in when we met and were overwhelmed by the enemy's massive reserves. Our lines melted under their fire like snow in thaw. The fragments who escaped formed again before we got beyond the fire of the batteries, and Lovell came over and became the rear guard, and we fell back 9 miles that night. Our division did not number 800 men.

Next morning we fell back, intending to retreat by the same route by which we had approached, but found the passage of the Hatchie River disputed by Hurlubt's corps, 12,000 strong, which had marched across from Bolivar and reached Pocahontas before us. The bridge was about 2 miles from Pocahontas. Moore's and Phifer's remnants of brigades crossed and were again gobbled up and we lost one battery. The rest of the division got up and, though greatly exhausted, managed to hold the enemy in check for two hours, the other fragments of brigades and regiments composing Hebert's division coming up feebly and supporting us. We gave up the attempt to cross, and fell back again and marched by another route to the south. The enemy had burned the bridge by which we now hoped to get out, but Frank [C.] Armstrong, who proved our salvation, had, with great foresight and energy, rebuilt it. the enemy did not pursue with any great vigor, and we saved nearly everything but our wounded, and some of them. Bowen lost part of his train. We brought off two captured guns, and lost five and brought along 300 prisoners.

I do not know the loss of the army. Price is reduced from 10,000 to between 5,000 and 6,000. Lovell has not suffered a great deal. The enemy's force I do not know. When we got into Corinth he swallowed up seven brigades of as good fighting men as I ever saw in about twenty minutes. He had abundance of artillery of heavy caliber. I saw 10-ich shot in the field.

No casualties in staff except Major Balfour killed, an elegant and gallant gentleman, and young Sullivance taken and since paroled, both of Van Dorn's staff.

More than hald the line officers of our (Price's) army are killed, wounded, and missing.

After all that has happened I am happy to say that the morale of the army, or what is left of it, is astonishingly good.