No. 20.-report of Brig. Gen. William S. Rosecrans, U. S. Army, commanding right wing Army of the ]Mississippi, of operations from May 28 to June 12.
Hdqrs. Right wing Army of the Mississippi, June 28, 1862.General: I have deferred my report of the operations of this wing for the brief period of my command until the reports of the division commanders were received. I have now the honor to forward these reports, accompanied by the following report: When I assumed the command of Paine's and Stanley's divisions they were bivouacked and intrenched in two lines, facing south and west, Paine's center being on the Farmington and Danville road, Stanley on his right, extending the right, refused to the wood of Bridge Creek Bottom. The attack on Stanley's division on the 28th had given a quietus to the picket firing on his front. Nothing was heard of the  rebels except a few shots from a battery protected by earthwork epaulements about 1,000 yards south of Stanley's center, on high ground. Across the intervening fields compliments were exchanged during the morning at intervals between this battery and two 20 pounder Parrotts in battery near the front and center of Stanley's line. The order to cease firing having been given the artillery, Captain Williams, by your direction, fired three 30-pounder Parrott shells into Corinth, which we subsequently learned fell into the center of the village, killing a railroad engineer and wounding 4 men and creating the impression among their troops that we were about to open our batteries and bombard the place. Nothing further transpired along the lines, save that Capt. L. H. Marshall ascertained and reported that the rebel battery opposite Stanley's front was on a high knoll south of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, near the water-tank, and that it was commanded by the high ground across the creek on the road to Corinth. A battery in front of Paine's center was constructed, to aid in subduing this rebel work. During the evening of the 29th there seemed to be remarkable activity in the rebel camp. Cars were heard running from the north and west and passing down toward our left. At 1.30 a. m. of the 30th a dispatch from General Halleck advised you of the apparent massing of troops for an attack on our left and warned you to be ready. Under your orders I repaired to Brig. Gen. Schuyler Hamilton, communicated to him this intelligence, then to the lines, placed the troops under arms at 3.30 o'clock, and prepared for action. About 4 a. m. a solitary discharge as of cannon in the direction of Corinth was heard, as it were a signal for the rebel onset. This was soon followed by a series of explosions. Dense columns of smoke arose along the line of these explosions and told the tale of probable evacuation. Brigadier-General Stanley sent the Thirty-ninth Ohio and Eleventh Missouri Regiments forward on the Corinth road to reconnoiter, while General Paine sent two regiments, with the Yates Sharpshooters, of Morgan's brigade, forward on the Danville road to reconnoiter the battery. Having dispatched you what had been seen, heard, and done, I left for the advance, and on arriving at the battery found it deserted and in possession of Morgan and his men, who, having hoisted their flag over it, advanced by different routes toward Corinth. General Pope, with his staff, having arrived, we proceeded to the town, where we found Colonel Groesbeck's regiment, which had raised its colors on one of the buildings a little before 7 o'clock. Soon Generals Sherman's and Nelson's troops began to arrive, and having surveyed the smoking ruins of the commissary stores, wagons, and ammunition of the rebels, we left for the lines about 9 o'clock a. m. Orders were promptly given to this wing to prepare three days rations and march by the Farmington and Danville road in pursuit as soon as possible. Major-General Halleck came over to your headquarters and directed us to push on toward the Tuscumbia, and in case we found ourselves too far in the rear for successful pursuit, to select a camp behind that stream. I was furthermore informed that a strong cavalry force, with a battery, in pursuit had been sent forward, but did not know the road it had taken. About 5 p. m. Paine's column moved, and Stanley's division followed. About 8 p. m. a messenger came to me from the front with information from Brig. Gen. A. J. Smith, and thus I ascertained that the cavalry was in advance on our road, and that it had overtaken a rebel force up the Tuscumbia 4 miles to the front, was fighting, and in some danger of losing part of a battery. I sent orders to General Paine to furnish  all needful help. He ordered forward Colonel Morgan, with two regiments and the Yates Sharpshooters, who reached the old field north of Tuscumbia Bottom a little after dark, where they found General A. J. Smith and General Granger, with his cavalry and Powell's battery, withdrawn from the bottom, where it came near being entangled. Colonel Bissell, with a detachment of 300 men, had accompanied the advance, and was in the bottom, where he and the head of the column, had been fired into by sharpshooters and some artillery. The rebel rear guard fled from a small battery they had constructed 150 yards north of the bridge, and, crossing, fired and destroyed the bridge. Bissells engineers cut away the timber felled to obstruct the road, and, with the sharpshooters, occupied the ground during the night. General Smith not having been placed under my orders, I gave him the infantry asked for, and went into bivouac with the remaining troops at 11 p. m., Paine in advance and Stanley in rear of Morrison, Colonel Murphy having been ordered at 1 a. m. to cover a road leading westwardly across the Mississippi.and Ohio Railroad. When the morning of the 31st came I repaired to the front to learn whether the rebels had left and what progress they had made in rebuilding the bridge, and found that the rebels still occupied the opposite side of the stream, and nothing could be6 done until they were dislodged. General Pope and staff arriving, the general directed me to examine the vicinity for crossing grounds for the command. On my return to report the result of the reconnaissance, about 3 p. m., the general directed me to proceed to the front, where considerable firing was heard, and to arrange to force the passage of the stream. I found Colonel Morgan with two regiments and the sharpshooters in the bottom, but no progress. The firing had been from his two regiments, which had advanced in line and fired a couple of volleys into the woods where the rebel sharpshooters were concealed. The rebels replied, but not with artillery. I reconnoitered the bottom above the bridge for half a mile. I found it low, swampy, covered with heavy forest trees, sparse undergrowth, and intersected with narrow channels of backwater, with miry beds extending from their entrance into the river above the bridge to various distances from half to three-quarters of a mile above, and growing gradually shoaler. I found the channel of the river could be spanned by trunks of trees standing on its banks. I ordered Colonel Roberts, who with two regiments relieved Colonel Morgan's command, to have the road blazed to a point about three-quarters of a mile above the bridge, and trees to be sawed down to make a crossing for infantry, to pass over a trusty reconnoitering party to ascertain the position and strength of the rebels, blaze the wood back to the crossing, then to pass' over his infantry, and bringing forward two sections of artillery, to open fire on the rebels, draw them toward the bridge, and then fall on their flank and rear, the shout of his charge being the signal for our artillery to cease firing. The plan was executed as far as the reconnaissance, but the reconnoitering party found the rebels had left at 10 p. m., and our troops were over and in Danville, a mile beyond the bridge, early in the morning. The right wing moved promptly forward. A passable bridge for artillery was completed by 11 o'clock. Our artillery passed over, and our command arrived at old Rienzi at 5 p. m., where it halted, while the cavalry pushed toward Booneville. General Granger reached Booneville over the dark, obstructed road, across three swampy creek bottoms, by 1.30 a. m. June 3; as soon as he had daylight reconnoitered  the vicinity, and found the enemy had all passed on down to Blackland, except a few sick and prisoners, whom we captured. This report reached me at 9 a. m. The command immediately marched for Booneville, where it arrived at 5 p. m., bivouacking between the town and King's Creek. On the morning of the 3d General Granger, with a brigade of cavalry, supported by a brigade of infantry, made a strong reconnaissance on the Baldwin road east of the railroad, following the left-hand fork far down toward the bridge across Twenty Mile Creek, drove in his cavalry upon his infantry, and found the rebels in force. A squadron of cavalry, supported by a regiment of infantry and one section of artillery, took the right-hand fork of that same road forward to a point on the bluff overlooking the bottom of Twenty Mile Creek, and drove in the enemy's cavalry pickets, and saw a column of infantry on the march and filing eastwardly for one hour. At the same time General Smith sent a cavalry reconnaissance toward Carrollville, on the right of the railroad, and drove in their cavalry pickets and infantry at Twenty Mile Creek. Another, by Crockett's, encountered their pickets near Brownlett's Spring, while the First Ohio Cavalry went to Blackland, a single company charging 80 rebel cavalry and driving them from the place. Thus on Tuesday, the 3d of June, we touched the rebel front at five points on Twenty Mile Creek, the extremes being 8 or 9 miles distant from each other. The reconnaissance was over by 8 o'clock, but owing to the arrival of General Hamilton with the left wing, the whole command did not get into bivouac till midnight. The next day General Pope and staff arrived. At 11 o'clock General Pope ordered General Elliott, with a brigade of cavalry and Powell's battery, to make a strong reconnaissance toward Blackland. He drove their pickets 4 or 5 miles, and found them in force, with a brigade of infantry and six pieces of artillery, on the west bank of Wolf's Creek, where he had a sharp engagement, and returning, reported at 10 p. m. On the 4th General Buell arrived. On the 5th we took position in order of battle, Asboth facing the railroad, his right at McClaren's cotton press. The left of General Davis rested on the Booneville and Rienzi road, our lines extending on the Ripley and Jacinto road toward Dick Smith's; the right of the right wing being 21 miles distant. Buell's forces arrived that night, taking position on our right. It was found that the rebels began to withdraw from their position behind Twenty Mile Creek the evening of General Buell's arrival, and had gone beyond Guntown by Saturday morning. We remained in our position until Wednesday, the 11th, when we started back for our present camp, the last of our column arriving here on Thursday, the 12th, at 1 p. m. Thus it appears that our wing commenced the pursuit of the enemy on the day of the evacuation, followed them about 35 miles, reconnoitered found them in force beyond Twenty Mile Creek along a front of 7 or 8 miles, and that, while awaiting the arrival of force enough successfully to assail their position, the rebels retired to a point up to which it was impossible to subsist our troops with the existing means of transportation, after which we returned to this camp. The accompanying reports of division commanders, with appended list of casualties, complete the details of this pursuit. Reports of regimental commanders that have come in are also forwarded. Those of the Second Division not having been furnished, partly owing to the occupation and movements of regiments and partly from negligence, cannot be sent in. It is a pleasure to say that I found the officers and men of my new  --command generally prompt and ready for action and movement. It is my duty to commend General Granger for the efficient manner in which he made a reconnaissance in force from Booneville to Baldwin. I must also add that he displayed signal ability in the manner in which he handled his cavalry during the advance. I ought also to say that my aide, Lieut. C. Goddard, having been detailed to act as assistant adjutant-general, deserves high commendation for the thoroughness, accuracy, and ability with which he has discharged the duties of, his office. Colonel Smith deserves special mention for a reconnaissance which he made with his cavalry — the First Ohio--in the direction of Blackland.