previous next

Rebel report of the battle.


Grenada “appeal” account.

Holly Springs, Miss., Sunday, Oct. 12, 1862.
I am enabled at last to give you a tolerably detailed, and at least truthful account of the late fight at Corinth, so far as the first division of the Army of the Mississippi, under Gen. Lovell, is concerned. I deeply regret that I am not in possession of all the facts which would exhibit the share taken by those brave and tried men under the much-loved Price.

You will remember that the junction of the two divisions under Gens. Lovell and Price took place at Ripley, on the twenty-eighth ultimo, and according to General Van Dorn's order, moved toward Corinth, Gen. Lovell, whose force numbered one half that of Gen. Price, in advance.

On the third instant, Thursday, Lovell's advance was constantly engaged in heavy skirmishing, driving the enemy steadily backward, for six miles, from position to position, killing and wounding them in considerable numbers. Price here turned off, and taking position on the left of Lovell's division, the army moved onward. Night put an end to the fighting.

Arriving at Indian Creek on Friday morning, the third, the enemy in front of Lovell crossed and destroyed the bridge, and attempted, with all the artillery and infantry he could bring to bear, to prevent our crossing. Their efforts were futile, however, for the bridge was quickly reconstructed, and our gallant boys, under a galling fire, gained the other side to see them leave.

With Price on the left and Lovell on the right, our army now steadily advanced, attacking the redoubts, breastworks, and rifle-pits as they reached them, carrying every thing, and occupying the various camps of the enemy as we came up; and after a hard day's fight, night caught both divisions within the last but one of the stone line of works which kept us from Corinth. Two hours more of daylight would have decided the possession of Corinth itself; the Yankees would have been driven from the stronghold in which they had long revelled, and scattered into utter rout, for Price, on the left, had also worked his way gloriously. It was in this day's fight that [506] Lovell's division captured the “Lady Richardson,” a beautiful twenty-pounder Parrott gun, which had done some execution in our ranks. This trophy was brought off, and is now here, after having performed excellent service to the detriment of its former owners.

The plan of operations for the next day was as follows: Price, on the left, was to commence a furious cannonading at four o'clock A. M., for the purpose of drawing the enemy's attention from a point of the town which he was to assail with infantry. After the cannonading had continued fifteen minutes, Lovell, on the right, was to advance, and when at the point favorable for the purpose, to storm the formidable obstacle to his entrance into the town.

The hour arrived, and, according to programme, Price opened with his artillery. In less than fifteen minutes the rattle of small arms was heard in the same direction, and Lovell, supposing that every thing was going on as well with Price as with himself, moved forward, and the fight became general. It seems, however, that during the night Rosecrans had received eight thousand reenforcements from Iuka, Rienzi, and Jacinto, and that immediately after Price commenced his cannonading the Yankees, who before were greatly superior to us in force, had thrown a heavy column against Price's right and centre. It was this sound of musketry which led to the supposition on the right that Price had engaged the enemy with infantry, according to plan.

The fight continued with great severity, the enemy gradually forcing Price's right, while his left was advancing, one of his brigades having actually succeeded in entering Corinth, but retired on account of the exhaustion of their cartridges.

Lovell had only three brigades in his division, and at this moment, just as preparations were making to storm the works in his front, an order came from General Van Dorn for a brigade to be sent to support Price's right. The gallant Villepigue was immediately despatched, but too late. The overwhelming force of fresh Yankee troops were thrown with crushing effect upon the hard-pressed point, and those brave men, who had borne the brunt of many a hard battle, cheerfully endured unparalleled hardships, and won the most brilliant victories, gave way.

Gen. Lovell was then ordered to withdraw his men from under fire, and support the retreat of the army. This order was promptly obeyed, notwithstanding the men were flushed with success, and, ignorant of the fate of our left, were confident of our triumphant entry in Corinth. The retreat began from this moment, General Lovell having been ordered by Gen. Van Dorn to bring up the rear with his division, which was most admirably done. The army camped that night at Chewalla, having marched ten miles from two o'clock P. M.

The next morning, Sunday, the army resumed its retreat, Lovell's division still in the rear, followed by Rosecrans's army, and General Bowen's brigade was engaged all the time. In the retreat our army had to cross the Tuscumbia and Hatchie Rivers, which are five miles apart: After the main army had crossed the Tuscumbia, the gallant Bowen remained behind long enough to whip back Rosecrans, after which he crossed the river and burned the bridge.

Whilst this was going on, Price's division had reached Davis's Bridge, over the Hatchie, where it was met by Gen. Ord, with five thousand fresh troops, and driven back. In this emergency, when the whole mass was in a trap as it were between the two streams, Gen. Lovell, by order of Gen. Van Dorn, pressed forward rapidly with two of his brigades, under those competent and brave Generals, Rust and Villepigue, leaving Bowen to keep Rosecrans checked in the rear. Ville-pigue was thrown between Price's force and Ord, whilst Rust was directed to go forward with Gen. Price, and assist in checking the enemy, should he attempt to go up the left bank of the Hatchie from Pocahontas and oppose our crossing. How well Gen. Rust, Gen. Villepigue, and Gen. Bowen performed the duties assigned them, the present safety of our army abundantly testifies.

Beside the extrication of our forces from this perilous position, there was a compact mass of wagons between the two rivers, all of which were saved except four, (which were upset and broken by the sloping road over which they had to pass,) which train, when afterward put in line, measured over seven miles in length.

The retreat was still protected by Lovell's division until the army reached a point four miles beyond Ruckerville, when Price was ordered on toward Ripley, and Lovell sent back with his three brigades to Ruckerville, to hold the enemy in check, they having again taken up the pursuit. Lovell's division overtook the forces of Price again at Hickory Flats, about eighteen miles from this place, thence to this point, the enemy having stopped at Ripley.

I have omitted in the proper place to mention the fine cavalry force under Col. Jackson, belonging to Lovell's division. They performed every duty assigned them with promptness and energy, and deserve a place in the page when the history of the fight is written.

Of the loss of our gallant little army, I am unable to speak positively. The loss in Gen. Lovell's division, killed and wounded, is three hundred and eighty. Men never fought more gallantly, nor more willingly, and I am pleased to say that as far as my observation extends, old prejudices among them have been effaced.

Holly Springs, Tuesday, October 14.
Two thousand one hundred of Rosecrans's wounded have arrived at Jackson, Tenn., and one thousand one hundred at Bolivar. A large number still at Corinth.

Nearly all their dead buried by us were breast-plated.

ramrod.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Lovell (20)
Sterling Price (19)
W. S. Rosecrans (4)
Earl Dorn (4)
Rust (3)
N. Bowen (3)
Villepigue (2)
E. O. C. Ord (2)
W. P. Richardson (1)
Oscar L. Jackson (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
3rd (2)
October 12th, 1862 AD (1)
October 14th (1)
28th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: