War of the Rebellion: Serial 025 Page 0714 WEST TENN. AND NORTHERN MISS. Chapter XXIX.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE WEST,

Ripley, Miss., September 28, 1862.

His Excellency ISHAM G. HARRIS,

Governor of Tennessee:

GOVERNOR: I have just received your communication of the 20th instant, dated from Lebanon.*

In obedience to instructions from General Bragg I started with my army for Nashville, intending to cross the Tennessee River at or near Eastport. I proceeded without interruption to Iuka, where I captured a large quantity of stores, the enemy's force there having evacuated and gone in the direction of Corinth. At Iuka I found myself threatened by a force of the enemy more than double my own and was unable to proceed farther. I was attacked in the evening by the enemy, with heavy loss on both sides. The numbers and positions of the enemy were such that the preservation of my army, as well as that under Major-General Van Dorn, required that the two armies should be joined together, and I accordingly moved my forces to this place by way of Baldwyn.

I will add-as the Northern account so grossly misrepresents the matter-that in the battle of the 19th the enemy was driven from the field, leaving in my hands nine pieces of artillery, which we carried into Iuka and there destroyed, not having any means of bringing them away. We were not attacked on the following day, and I moved off with my whole army and stores, including those captured at Iuka, without any loss.

General Van Dorn's forces met me here to-day, and with the combined armies we will at once proceed northward, endeavoring to overcome the enemy in front of us; with what success I cannot, of course, tell, but we have every confidence in our ability to defeat him.

Your Excellency may rest assured that I most earnestly desire the liberation of your State, and shall leave nothing undone to secure it.

The enemy having much force in the vicinity of Corinth than was anticipated by us has alone prevented me from carrying out General Bragg's orders.

With sentiments of highest esteem, I remain, Your Excellency's obedient servant,

STERLING PRICE,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS COMBINED FORCES WEST TENNESSEE,

Ripley, Miss., September 28, 1862.

Major-General PRICE,

Commanding Army of the West:

GENERAL: Will you please direct three days' rations to be cooked; as many wagons emptied as possible, and send them to Holly Springs to be loaded bacon, flour, and salt. Please send two armed convalescents or weakly men with each wagon as an escort, with one officer from each division. General Lovell will do the same, and the wagons will start back to-morrow via Salem. The chief quartermaster has been directed to hire as many wagons between this place and Holly Springs as he find. General Lovell will move his division up on the Ruckersville

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* See Series I, Vol. XVI, Part II, p.858.

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