War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0417 Chapter XXIX. CORINTH.

Search Civil War Official Records

of Corinth. I do not know how other troops marched. Mine marched in perfect order and in no haste; more haste would have been more agreeable and less fatiguing the to troops. I do not know whether General Van Dorn expected to surprise them or not. I did not, from the fact of the skirmishing which had taken place the day before.

Question. Are you aware of any want of consideration and forethought and failure and neglect to perform his duty as commanding general in any of the particulars specified in specification first?

Answer. The attack having been determined upon, I do not, except I thought I ought to have had rations on the occasions previously referred to, as my troops would have had nothing had I not been able to purchase provisions, which was an accident.

Question. do you think there was a want of foresight or due consideration in making the attack?

Answer. I learned on the 2nd at the Tuscumbia Bridge, while halting for the repair of the bridge, from General Lovell for the first that it was designed to make the attack. I expressed myself strongly against it. I declared it was impossible to succeed in the attack. General Lovell said if we could not succeed we had better lay down our arms and go home. I adhered to my opinion. I did not communicate my opinion, except to Colonel Hobson, of General Price's command, to whom I characterized the attempt as madness. No person of my command knew or suspected my opinion. I hear General Van door at Davis' Mill speak of maneuvering the enemy our of Corinth, and that I supposed to be his purpose.

Question. State what you know of the facts bearing on the second specification.

Answer. If there were no insurmountable impediments I think without doubt it would have been better to have continued the attack the same evening, considering the facilities the enemy had of receiving re-enforcements and their proximity to them. There was some difficulty in my own command in regard to ammunition, but considerable before night our cartridge-boxes were replenished and we could have advanced. I do not know heather the enemy availed themselves of the opportunity of re-enforcing or not; I presume they did.

Question. State what you know of the facts bearing on the third specification.

Answer. I do not know what General Van Dorn knew in regard to the enemy's receiving re-enforcements, never having heard him say. He may or may not have been in hearing of the noise of their wagons and artillery carriages. I was not, though within the entrenchments. I was furnished with no plan or chart of the defense the enemy had constructed and was not informed orally of their position and character.

Question. State what you know of the facts bearing on the first specification, second charge.

Answer. I do not recollect a single occasion on which the command was counter marched or passed to and for over the same road on the return from Corinth to Holly Springs. The enemy having thrown himself across the direct route at the Hatchie, and having successfully disputed our passage at that point, a portion of the command necessarily counter marched a short distance to the Bone Yard road, by way of which the whole command crossed the Hatchie at a point some 6 or 8 miles above that occupied by the enemy. Having failed to drive the enemy from his position on the direct route, the one taken to Holly Springs was necessarily circuitous. It may have been made more so after getting to Ripley, from the fact that the enemy were expected and believed to be threatening our rear and both flanks. A large portion of the army was supposed not to be in a condition to make a fight.

Question. State what you know in relation to the men being foot-sore, wearied, and starving.

Answer. I suspect they were all very tired and se of them foot-sore; I do not think any of them were starving. My troops were put to some inconvenience, as before stated, by the miscarriage of the wagons and the absence of cooking utensils. Having nothing to cook, in we bought potatoes and roasted them. I did not consider it a hard retreat. I hear no extraordinary complaint. I suffered much more with my command in Virginia when there was less excuse for it.