previous next

[152] we have occupied and strongly intrenched seven distinct camps in a manner to excite the admiration and high commendation of General Halleck. The division has occupied the right flank of the grand army, thereby being more exposed and calling for more hard work and larger guard details than from any other single division — and the Commanding General reports that his officers and men have promptly and cheerfully performed their duty, and have sprung to the musket or spade, according to the occasion, and have just reason to claim a large share in the honors that are due the whole army for the glorious victory terminating at Corinth on yesterday, and it affords him great pleasure to bear full and willing testimony to the qualities of his command that have achieved this victory — a victory none the less decisive because attended with comparatively little loss of life.

But a few days ago a large and powerful rebel army lay at Corinth, with outposts extending to our very camp at Shiloh. They held two railroads extending north and south, east and west across the whole extent of their country, with a vast number of locomotives and cars to bring to them speedily and certainly their reenforcements and supplies. They called to their aid all their armies from every quarter, abandoning the seacoast and the great river Mississippi, that they might overwhelm us with numbers in the place of their own choosing. They had their chosen leaders, men of high reputation and courage, and they dared us to leave the cover of our iron-clad gunboats to come to fight them in their trenches and still more dangerous swamps and ambuscades of their southern forests. Their whole country from Richmond to Memphis and Nashville to Mobile rung with their taunts and boastings, as to how they would immolate the Yankees if they dared to leave the Tennessee River. They boldly and defiantly challenged us to meet them at Corinth. We accepted the challenge and came slowly and without attempt at concealment to the very ground of their selection; and they have fled away. We yesterday marched unopposed through the burning embers of their destroyed camps and property, and pursued them to their swamps until burning bridges plainly confessed they had fled and not marched away for better ground. It is a victory as brilliant and important as any recorded in history, and every officer and soldier who lent his aid has just reason to be proud of his part.

No amount of sophistry or words from the leaders of the rebellion can succeed in giving the evacuation of Corinth, under the circumstances, any other title than that of a signal defeat, more humiliating to them and their cause than if we had entered the place over the dead and mangled bodies of their soldiers. We are not here to kill and slay, but to vindicate the honor and just authority of that government which has been bequeathed to us by our honored fathers, and to whom we would be recreant if we permitted their work to pass to our children, marred and spoiled by ambitious and wicked rebels.

The General Commanding, while thus claiming for his division their just share in this glorious result, must, at the same time, remind them that much yet remains to be done, and that all must still continue the same vigilance and patience, industry and obedience, till the enemy lays down his arms and publicly acknowledges, for their supposed grievances, they must obey the laws of their country, and not attempt its overthrow by threats, by cruelty, and by war. They must be made to feel and acknowledge the power of a just and mighty nation. This result can only be accomplished by a cheerful and ready obedience to the orders and authority of our leaders, in whom we now have just reason to feel the most implicit confidence. That the Fifth division of the right wing will do this, and that in due time we will go to our families and friends at home is the earnest prayer and wish of your immediate Commander.

W. T. Sherman, Major-General. J. H. Hammond, A. Adj.-Gen., Chief of Staff.

Cincinnati Gazette account.

in camp, three miles South of Corinth, June 1st, 1862.
The army had established itself on a line whose average distance from Corinth was four miles, about the sixteenth of May. Here the right and left wings intrenched themselves, while the centre advanced a mile further and there opened its first line of trenches. From this date the advance was marked by continual skirmishing along the whole line, and every reconnaissance was equal in many respects to what were termed battles in the earlier part of the war. Gen. Pope on the left and Gen. W. T. Sherman on the right could only carry forward their lines by heavy fighting, and thus for nearly a fortnight the noise of battle has scarcely ceased along our front.

On the seventeenth of May the centre began its advance, and now I must confine myself to the operations of the division formerly commanded by Gen. Thomas, and now in his corps d'armee, and under Gen. (Port Royal) Sherman, and more particularly the brigade of Gen. Robert L. McCook, whose every movement has fallen under my observation.

On Saturday, the seventeenth of May, this brigade, as a part of Gen. Thomas's army, advanced and drove in the enemy's pickets on the main Corinth road. The Thirty-fifth Ohio, under Col. Van Derveer, was engaged during the whole day in a sharp skirmish with the rebel pickets. But at night we held our ground, and in the mean time the rest of the brigade, consisting of the Ninth Ohio, Col. Kammerlung, the Second Minnesota, Col. George, and the Eighteenth regular, Col. Shepherd, had intrenched themselves within range of the enemy's guns. The next morning, our baggage having arrived, we were firmly established near the rebels' works. It required several days of severe fighting along the picket-lines to drive the enemy far enough to prevent their bullets from whistling through the

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.
W. T. Sherman (3)
William H. Thomas (2)
Shepherd (1)
John Pope (1)
Robert L. McCook (1)
Kammerlung (1)
J. H. Hammond (1)
H. W. Halleck (1)
W. G. George (1)
Derveer (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.
May 17th (2)
June 1st, 1862 AD (1)
May 16th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: