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[464] broke Rosecrans' centre. The division comprising our right wing remained inactive, so that the enemy, believing our right was merely making a feint, detached Stanley, with six thousand fresh men, from his left and drove us out of the town.

Never was a general more disappointed than Van Dorn; but no man in all our army was so little shaken in his courage by the result as he was. I think his was the highest courage I have ever known. It rose above every disaster, and he never looked more gallant than when his broken army, in utter disorder, was streaming through the open woods which then environed Corinth and its formidable defenses. However much depression all of us showed and felt, he, alone, remained unconquered; and if he could have gotten his forces together, would have tried it again. But seeing that was impossible, he brought Lovell's Division, which, not having assaulted, was unbroken, to cover the rear and moved back to Chewalla, seven miles west of Corinth, encouraging officers and men to re-form their broken organizations as we marched along. No sooner did he halt at Chewalla than he gave orders to move in the morning to attack the enemy at Rienzi. But the condition of two of his three divisions was such that the generals advised against attempting any new aggressive movement until we could re-form and re-fit our commands. My division had marched from Chewalla to attack Corinth with four thousand eight hundred muskets the day but one before. We left in the approaches, and the very central defenses of Corinth, two thousand officers and men, killed or wounded; among them were many of my ablest field and company officers. The Missourians had lost almost as heavily; Lovell's Division alone, not having attacked the works at all, came off with but a trifling loss. It was, therefore, decided to move down to Ripley by the route we had so lately come over in such brave array, and with such high hopes. But before dawn the next morning, Van Dorn had moved the cavalry and pioneers on the road to Rienzi, still resolved to capture that place, and march around immediately and attack Corinth from the opposite direction.

The plan was worthy of Charles XII., and might have been successful; and Van Dorn only abandoned it when convinced that he would inevitably lose his wagon train, and that the army would feel he was rash. A. friend said to him finally: “Van Dorn, you are the only man I ever saw who loves danger for its own sake. When any daring enterprise is before you, you cannot adequately estimate the obstacle in your way.” He replied: “While I do not admit the correctness of your criticism, I feel how wrong I shall be to imperil ”

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