War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0416 WEST TENN. AND NORTHERN MISS. Chapter XXIX.

Search Civil War Official Records

nights of October 3 and at Corinth, Miss., without his knowledge, when he, the aforesaid General Van Dorn, was present inside of their works with a victorious army and in hearing of the noise made by their wagons and artillery carriages, and did further neglect to ascertain the enemy and their entrenchments, which he ordered to be taken by assault in the morning.

CHARGE SECOND.-Cruel and improper treatment of officers and soldiers under his command.

Specification 1.- In this, that Major General Earl Van dorn, commanding the aforesaid army in the expedition against Corinth and on his retreat from the same, did cause long, tedious, and circuitous marches to be made, and either, through ignorance of the route or neglect repeatedly march and counter march over the same road, and did have a large command moving to and for without any apparent reason while the men were foot-sore, wearied, and starving. This on the retreat between Corinth and Holly Springs, Miss., on our about October 6,7, and 8, 1862.

Specification 2.- In this, that Major General Earl Van Dorn, commanding as aforesaid, did allow one or more trains of cars, freighted with wounded soldiers from the battle-field at and near Corinth, Miss., to be detained without any necessity at Water Valley, Miss., during one or more entire nights, said wounded soldiers having been herded in said cars at Holly Springs without blankets or nourishment and many with undressed wounds, no surgeon, officer, nurse, or attendant with them thus causing an incredible amount of useless suffering and creating disaffection among the troops.

Respectfully submitted.

JNO. S. BOWEN,

Brigadier-General, Confederate States Provisional Army.

Witnesses: Major General Sterling Price; Brigadier Gens. John B. Villepigue, Rust, John S. Bowen, D. H. Maury, and M. E. Green; Colonels Robertson, Thirty-fifth Alabama, and Lowry, Sixth Mississippi; Lieutenant Colonel H. Clay Taylor, Price's staff; Captain L. H. Kennerly, First Missouri; Lieutenant L. B. Hutchinson, First Missouri, and citizens of Water Valley, names unknown.

General Bowen was requested to indicate the special points upon which he desired to examine each witness, and declined for the following reasons:

I respectfully ask the court will excuse me from being present or assisting in conducting the examination, as I deem it clearly the duty of the recorder of judge-advocate to have entire charge of the prosecution. If I can aid him in curtailing the proceedings by stating what the several witnesses are supposed to be able to testify to and the court desire it, I can either impart the information while, under examination or in conference with the recorder; but to act as an assistant to him during the proceedings would be exceedingly unpleasant, and I trust they will consider it unnecessary.

JNO. S. BOWEN.

Brigadier General ALBERT RUST was duly sworn.

By RECORDER:

Question. State all that you know bearing on the first specification of the first charge.

Answer. I do not know whether General Van Dorn was or was not provided with a map or chart. None was exhibited to me. I do not know that General Van Dorn marched without availing himself of the services of an engineer and without making proper reconnaissance. General Van Dorn told me subsequent to the repulse that he had sent a person inside of the works of the enemy, but hat the information received from that source was insufficient or unsatisfactory; that the person had not performed his duty satisfactorily and had not given the requisite and correct information. My impression, received from the conversation with General Van Dorn, was that he found this information to be incorrect after making the attack. I started with a sufficient supply of commissary stores in case the attack had been successful-all that prudence required. I had provisions when I returned to Holly Springs remaining of those supplied for the expedition. I turned over 4,000 rations of breadstuff, by order of General Lovell to General Price at the Hatchie on the way to Corinth. On account of the impossibility of cooking three day's rations, as ordered-in consequence of being detained until midnight by troops in advance of me, which I was ordered to following my troops would have suffered on the night of the 2nd had I not been able to supply myself on the spot from a man living in the neighborhood. This was 8 miles this side