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[225] division into Iuka and found it abandoned — turned on the trail of the Rebels, and followed until night; but found they had too much start to be overtaken.

Hamilton reports that, in this affair of Iuka, not more than 2,800 men on our side were actually engaged, against a Rebel force of 11,000, holding a chosen and very strong position. Rosecrans reports our total loss in this battle at 782--144 killed, 598 wounded, and 40 missing; and that we buried on the field 265 Rebels, while 120 more died in hospital of wounds here received; 342 more were left wounded in hospital by the Rebels, and 361 were made prisoners. He estimates that they carried off 350 more of their less severely wounded; making their total loss 1,438. He states that he captured 1,629 stand of arms, 13,000 rounds of ammunition, beside large quantities of equipments and stores. Pollard says that the Rebel loss “was probably 800 in killed and wounded.”

Price retreated to Ripley, Miss., where lie united with a still stronger Rebel force, under Van Dorn, who had been menacing Corinth during the conflict at Iuka, but had retreated after its close, and who now assumed command, and, marching northward, struck the Memphis Railroad at Pocahontas, considerably westward of Corinth, thence pushing1 rapidly down the road to Chewalla, with intent to surprise, or at least storm, Corinth next day. Rosecrans — who had received2 his promotion to a Major-Generalship directly after the affair at Iuka — had been left in chief command at Corinth by Grant, who had returned to his own headquarters at Jackson, withdrawing Ord's division to Bolivar. Rosecrans had in and about Corinth not far from 20,000 men — too few to man the extensive works constructed around it by Beauregard, when lie held that position against Halleck's besieging army. Realizing this, Rosecrans had hastily constructed an inner line of fortifications, covering Corinth, especially toward the west, at distances of a mile or so from the center of the village. Promptly advised by his cavalry of the formidable Rebel movement northward, until it struck the line of his communications with Grant, he supposed its object to be Bolivar or Jackson, and that only a feint would be made on Corinth; but he was prepared for any emergency, having his forces well in hand and thrown out westward, into and beyond Beauregard's fortifications already mentioned. Hamilton held the right, with Davies in the center, and McKean on the left; while three regiments, under Col. Oliver, were thrown out in advance on the Chewalla road, down which the Rebels were advancing.

Van Dorn moved at an early hour, and, forming in order of battle at a distance from our outworks, his right, under Gen. Mansfield Lovell, encountered, at 7 1/2 A. M.,3 our left advance, under Col. Oliver, holding a hill which afforded a strong position, and a broad and extensive view of the country beyond it. He had orders to hold it pretty firmly, so as to compel the enemy to develop his strength.

Rosecrans, still distrusting that this attack was more than a feint, designed

1 Oct. 2.

2 Sept. 20.

3 Oct. 3.

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