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[119] number of killed, wounded, and missing of the troops engaged is about one hundred and fifty. Last night the foe retreated, and to-day our pickets again hold Farmington.

One curious feature of the advance now is that of throwing works of defence up along the whole line. The fortifications completed to-day cannot be less than twelve miles in length, extending from the extreme right to the extreme left wing. They are strongly made with logs and earth, lined by rifle-pits, and distant from Corinth six miles. Every movement is characterized by extreme caution. To-morrow the lines advance four miles, when another parallel will be constructed. In case any reverse should happen, these defences would be invaluable.

The people are doubtless surprised that their great army has not yet reached the rebel position and attacked it. The reasons of the present delay are known only to Gen. Halleck. Doubtless they are good and sufficient. Every thing here would seem to be in readiness — the roads are good, and the army as much prepared as it ever will be. All the heavy guns are safely in front, and can easily be moved any distance wished. Perhaps the Commander-in-Chief is waiting for the Gulf-fleet to occupy Memphis, or, when reaching Vicksburgh, to destroy the railroad at Jackson. Something foreign from here evidently influences him. As matters now stand, a battle may occur at any moment, yet be avoided for a week.

Our offensive movements begin to resemble those lately at Yorktown, approaching the enemy's works as if a siege was intended, and endeavoring to achieve a complete victory with as little loss of life as possible. It is more than probable the two results will be similar. In regard to efficiency, nothing more could be wished for regarding the force here. It is healthy, well armed and disciplined, and supplied as few armies have been before. If it fails to gain victory, it will be difficult to imagine any troops we possess capable of succeeding.

Richmond Dispatch account.

Hurrying forward to the scene, I found that our right wing, under command of Price and Van Dorn and Sturgis, had advanced beyond our intrenchments to Farmington, and were engaging the enemy advantageously.

To convey a more perfect idea of the affair, I should observe that on Thursday night Van Dorn had placed himself so near the Federal front, on our right, that the pickets of the two forces were only four hundred yards apart. Suddenly, at nine o'clock, three heavy guns from our intrenchments broke the stillness of the evening air, and the whole army was in commotion. The “long roll” sounded, our men marched to their respective positions, and every preparation was made for a fight. The enemy suspecting a stratagem from this unusual bustle, and not wholly certain of its meaning, at once stampeded from their position on the right, and fell back a mile or two in the rear of Farmington. The object of the signal it is of course imprudent to reveal; but when morning came it found a portion of our army in full pursuit, and the troops, one and all, fully inspired by the prospects of the approaching engagement.

At eleven o'clock our advance came up with the enemy, their front being concealed in a heavy thicket on the opposite side of an immense field of some four hundred acres. Halting a few moments to allow the confederates to form in their respective positions, a portion of Van Dorn's and Ruggles's divisions opened the ball. A Louisiana battery of six guns, under command of Felix Q. Robinson of Texas, was thrown forward in the field, and for more than one hour alone sustained the brunt of the conflict. For fully half an hour the guns remained unsupported by infantry, while musket-balls, round shot and shell were whizzing in every direction around them.

Once, and only once, the Federal regiment of cavalry came dashing down upon it like a cloud, sabres flashing and horses running like mad ; but in a moment there followed a series of flashes, and a volley of grape-shot scattered them like leaves. Over forty riders were dismounted, and the horses galloped frantically into our lines. The remainder returned discomfited, and no more was an attempt made by any portion of the Federal army to leave their covert.

Our troops, meanwhile, occupied the open field, and wherever an opportunity presented, poured a heavy fire into the ranks of the enemy.

Gen. Price had been ordered early in the day to make a detour on our extreme right, so as to get in the rear of the Federals, and entirely surround them. But, owing to the distance around, or the suddenness of the attack by Van Dorn, he was not in position in time; and the grand design failed. We, however, drove the enemy back in confusion, capturing all their knapsacks, loose clothing, and many wagon-loads of baggage. In fact, it may be said to be a total rout. They attempted to save nothing but themselves, and that they did most effectually.

More than four fifths of our army were disengaged, but were drawn up in line, awaiting the various developments of the engagement. The force of the enemy was probably not less than five thousand, and our own engaged not more than two thousand. The result of the skirmish — for such it must be termed — was the occupation of Farmington, the destruction of an important base of operations, from which the enemy intended to make demonstrations upon the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, make an attack upon our fortifications when the proper time arrives, and also complete their reconnoissances, which have thus far effectually failed. They are now compelled to attack directly in front, or not at all. They have been completely outgeneralled, and our army is in better position in every respect than it would have been without the skirmish. Our only misfortune was the failure to bag the entire opposing force, and this is due more to natural

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Earl Van Dorn (4)
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