War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0407 Chapter XXIX. CORINTH.

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Numbers 116.

Report of Brigadier General Albert Rust, C. S. Army, commanding First Brigade.


Near Holly Springs, Miss., October 13, 1862.

COLONEL: In response to Major-General Lovell's circular of this date I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of my brigade near Corinth on the 2d, and 4th instant:

Moving from the Hatchie on Thursday, the 2d, my brigade in advance, when within 8 miles of Corinth our cavalry came up with the enemy and reported his presence. In obedient to orders I immediately formed my brigade in line of battle and threw forward two companies of the Ninth Arkansas Regiment as skirmishers. Advancing rapidly, encountering no opposition, except a few straggling shots, which we were not responded to, we came directly upon an abandoned camp of the enemy, of which were a redoubt or two and some rifle-pits. These were all abandoned, and after passing them without halting an instant some half mile or more we were ordered to bivouac in lain of battle.

At 4 o'clock on the morning of the 3rd the division moved (General Villepigue in front) toward Corinth. When witching 3 miles of the town General Villepigue's skirmishers encountered those of the enemy. This was on the extreme right of the line adopted by the general commanding the division. This being my position, I immediately formed my mane in front of the supposed line of the enemy, relieving General Villepigue. Major Gibson was ordered to deploy his Fourth Alabama Battalion as skirmishers, which order was promptly executed. The Ninth Arkansas (Colonel Dunlop) was upon my left and Third Kentucky (Colonel Thompson) on my right. The Seventh Kentucky, under Colonel Crossland, was held in reserve. These dispositions being made and advance was ordered. Colonel Thompson, on the extreme right, with a considerable interval between his regiment and the balance of the brigade, was purposely put in motion a short time before the other regiments were ordered forward. In a very short time the skirmishers of the opposing forces engaged each other. The engagement soon became general. On the right the firing between Colonel Thompson's Third Kentucky and what was supposed to be two regiments of the enemy posted on the south side of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad was extremely animated. While following up the Ninth Arkansas and thirty-first and Thirty-fifth Alabama Regiments in the direction whence came terrific volleys of shell, grape, and canister I sent a staff officer to Colonel Thompson to know if he could continue to advance against the apparent odds opposed to him. He was pressing steadily forward, but was apprehensive his right might be turned. I instantly ordered the reserve regiment (Seventh Kentucky) to his support. Officer and men seemed impatient for the order and rushed impetuously forward, but only reached the scene of conflict to witness the flight of the enemy from it.

Meanwhile the left wing advanced through a heavy fire of artillery and musketry toward the enemy's battery and the infantry that behind trenches supported it. The dense forest through which we passed while it lasted was a partial protection. As we emerged from it, with an unbroken line, in full view of the enemy in his strong beyond a deep cut in the railroad not more than 60 yards distant in a straight