previous next

[150] dashed forward in fine style, crossed the field, drove the enemy across the ridge and field beyond into another dense and seemingly impenetrable forest. The enemy was evidently surprised, and only killed two of our men, and wounded nine. After he had reached the ridge, he opened on us with a two-gun battery on the right and another from the front and left, doing my brigades but little harm, but killing three of Gen. Veatch's men. With our artillery we soon silenced his, and by ten A. M. we were masters of the position. Generals Grant and Thomas were present during the affair, and witnessed the movement, which was admirably executed, all the officers and men keeping their places like real soldiers.

Immediately throwing forward a line of skirmishers in front of each brigade, we found the enemy reenforcing his front skirmishers; but the woods were so dense as to completely mask his operations. An irregular piece of cleared land lay immediately in front of Gen. Denver's position, and extended obliquely to the left, in front of and across Morgan Smith's and Veatch's brigades, which were posted on the right and left of the main Corinth road, leading directly south. For some time I was in doubt whether the artillery fire we had sustained had come from the enemy's fixed or field-batteries, and intended to move forward at great hazard to ascertain the fact, when, about three P. M., we were startled by the quick rattle of musketry along our whole picket-line, followed by the cheers and yells of an attacking column of the enemy.

Our artillery and Mann's battery of Veatch's brigade, had been judiciously posted by Major Taylor, and before the yell of the enemy had died away arose our reply in the cannon's mouth. The firing was very good, rapid, well-directed, and the shells burst in the right place. Our pickets were at first driven in a little, but soon recovered their ground and held it, and the enemy retreated in utter confusion. On further examination of the ground, with its connection on the left with Gen. Hurlbut, and right resting on the railroad near Bowie Hill Cut, it was determined to intrench. The lines were laid out after dark, and the work substantially finished by morning,

All this time we were within one thousand three hundred yards of the enemy's main intrenchments, which were absolutely concealed from us by the dense foliage of the oak forest, and without a real battle, which at that time was to be avoided, we could not push out our skirmishers more than two hundred yards to the front. For our own security I had to destroy two Farmhouses, both of which had been loopholed and occupied by the enemy. By nine A. M. of yesterday, (twenty-ninth,) our works were substantially done, and our artillery in position, and at four P. m. the siege-train was brought forward, and Col. McDowell's brigade, (second,) of my division, had come from our former lines at Russell's, and had relieved Gen. John A. Logan's brigade.

I feel under special obligations to this officer, (Gen. Logan,) who, during the two days he served under me, held the critical ground on my right, extending down to the railroad. All the time he had in his front a large force of the enemy, but so dense was the foliage that he could not reckon their strength, save from what he could see in the railroad track. He will, doubtless, make his own report, and give the names of the wounded among his pickets.

I had then my whole division in a slightly curved line, facing south, my right resting on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, near a deep cut known as Bowie Hill Cut, and left resting on the main Corinth road, at the crest of the ridge, there connecting with Gen. Hurlbut, who, in turn, on his left, connected with Gen. Davies, and so on down the whole line to its extremity. So near was the enemy that we could hear the sound of his drums and sometimes of voices in command, and the railroad cars arriving and departing at Corinth were easily distinguished. For some days and nights cars have been arriving and departing very frequently, especially in the night; but last night (twenty-ninth) more so than usual, and my suspicions were aroused.

Before daybreak I instructed the brigade commanders and the field-officer of the day to feel forward as far as possible, but all reported the enemy's pickets still in force in the dense woods to our front. But about six A. M. a curious explosion, sounding like a, volley of large siegepieces, followed by others singly, and in twos and threes, arrested our attention, and soon after a large smoke arose from the direction of Corinth, when I telegraphed to Gen. Halleck to ascertain the cause. He answered that he could not explain it, but ordered me “to advance my division and feel the enemy, if still in my front.” I immediately put in motion two regiments of each brigade, by different roads, and soon after followed with the whole division, infantry, artillery, and cavalry.

Somewhat to our surprise, the enemy's chief redoubt was found within thirteen hundred yards of our line of intrenchments, but completely masked by the dense forest and undergrowth. Instead of having, as we supposed, a continuous line of intrenchments encircling Corinth, his defences consisted of separate redoubts, connected in part by a parapet and ditch, and in .part by shallow rifle-pits, the trees being felled so as to give a good field of fire to and beyond the main road.

General M. L. Smith's brigade moved rapidly down the main road, entering the first redoubt of the enemy at seven A. M. It was completely evacuated, and he pushed on into Corinth and beyond, to College Hill, there awaiting my orders and arrival. Gen. Denver entered the enemy's lines at the same time, seven A. M., at a point midway between the wagon and railroads, and proceeded on to Corinth, about three miles from our camp, and Col. McDowell kept further to the right, near the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. By eight A. M. all my division was at Corinth, and beyond.

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 Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
College Hill (Massachusetts, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

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.
Veatch (3)
Irwin McDowell (2)
John A. Logan (2)
Hurlbut (2)
J. W. Denver (2)
William H. Thomas (1)
J. R. Taylor (1)
Morgan L. Smith (1)
Morgan Smith (1)
John Russell (1)
Mann (1)
H. W. Halleck (1)
U. S. Grant (1)
S. W. Davies (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: