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[118] to a despatch from Gen. Halleck, requesting that no general engagement should be brought on, Gen. Paine was ordered to fall back over the stream when pressed too hard. He fought the whole command of the enemy, numbering from twenty-five to thirty thousand men, for four hours, then fell back in good order.

Gen. Paine and Gen. Palmer both conducted the affair with credit to themselves, and their men behaved admirably. Our men were greatly in hopes that the enemy would push on toward our camp over the creek, where the main force was silently awaiting their approach. But, perhaps, thinking they had seen enough of glory, they wisely concluded not to carry out their boast (as told us by deserters) of driving us into the Tennessee River.

Knowing we were at Farmington the night before, they evidently expected to flank us and cut us off from the main army, and get up a little private fight à la Shiloh. But Gen. Pope's headquarters is not ten miles from camp, and faithful sentinels are far enough in advance to allow us to coolly get ready in line of battle, and then take a good lunch before they arrive, which is slightly different from shooting down men with trowsers in one hand and musket unloaded in the other. (If the people of Ohio do not investigate the cause of disgrace which has been tried to be fastened upon her brave soldiers, she is unworthy of them.) But the enemy fell back, and at dusk, leaving our pickets strong, our poor tired boys fell back to their tents and slept till three o'clock this morning, when they took position and were ready for an expected attack at daylight. Our loss was twenty-one killed, one hundred and forty wounded, and ten missing.

The enemy's loss in both of our engagements, if we can believe the deserters, has been very severe. One deserter to-day informs us that in his regiment ten were killed and ninety wounded. As they stood so much thicker on the ground, it is reasonable to suppose that their loss was heavier than our own.

Lieut.-Col. Miles, of the Forty-seventh Illinois, was killed. There was but few casualties in the Ohio brigade, as it was held in reserve at the batteries. Most of the killed and wounded were in the Iowa cavalry and Illinois infantry, and Hescock's battery. The last-named battery was handled most beautifully.

To-day Gen. Nelson is closing up the Four Mile Gap, and soon the word will be “forward.” The rebels have greatly the advantage by their knowledge of the country, as well as in position and superiority in numbers. The country is very much broken, with many running streams between the hills, on either side of which there are marshes from fifty yards to half a mile in width, which are impassable to horses and wagons. We have to make our roads as we proceed forward. Every man in our army knows all the minutiae about building corduroy roads, and the necessity of keeping on them when they are built.

To-day we took our wounded aboard the boats for St. Louis. Most of their wounds are from Minie balls, but little damage having been done by the enemy's artillery.

The position of the enemy at Corinth is a very strong one. The space in front has been cleared for three hundred yards, and then there is an abattis of trees and brush for a long distance, so arranged that a charge of infantry is very difficult. Of our plans or prospects I may not write. We have men of wisdom and experience to lead us, and they have wise men as their counsellors.

Col. Scott, Assistant Secretary of War, is yet with us, and when a gun is heard is generally to be found in front. He is a thorough gentleman, in every way fitted for his position, as well by coolness as by his good common-sense, which make him a good adviser in army movements.

O. W. N.

Another account.

General Pope's division, near Farmington, May 10, 1862.
Yesterday we were treated to a battle here of considerable interest. Only the day before Gen. Pope's command made a reconnaissance towards Corinth, skirmished for several hours, and returned at night. Next morning, just as I had despatched my letter containing an account of the affair, the outer pickets gave notice of large rebel forces approaching. Instantly preparations were made to determine their full strength, hold Farmington if it could be done easily, and should that prove difficult, fall back. General Halleck had given orders to do so, and avoid bringing on any general engagement. Nearer and nearer came the firing, the enemy skirmishing with our pickets. Instantly afterward, so soon, it seemed as if they had run towards us, they were swarming around the place.

Gen. Paine, with a command of six regiments, engaged them. This was at half-past 10 A. M. Until three o'clock the fighting was continuous, both artillery and infantry taking part. Yet it was rather a great skirmish than a battle. Only a portion of Gen. Pope's command was engaged, and it fought more to make the enemy show their force and intentions than with any idea of being successful. The rebels were full twenty thousand strong, and had three batteries. The artillery firing was sometimes rapid. Our troops behaved gallantly under the galling fire they were often subjected to, and poured effective volleys among the enemy. In accordance with previous instructions, Gen. Paine's troops fell back after stubbornly disputing the enemy's advance and finding out their strength.

The Union troops fell back to their camp a mile from Farmington. Although the latter place had been occupied by Gen. Pope, it was in the manner of a picket outpost, the encampment of his army being a mile in the rear. No loss of tents or property occurred, therefore, when the town was abandoned, and as there were plenty of troops near, the place could have been held had such been the wish of Gen. Halleck. All the rebels obtained was the benefit of any knowledge their reconnoissance afforded them. The

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John Pope (5)
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