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[272] reserve, the whole under the command of Brig.-General Judah, moved forward to the railroad. Upon reaching the road, Gen. Ross instantly encountered a detachment of the enemy's forces which had been placed there to guard it, and rapidly driving them back, tore up the road for some distance, spoiling the rails by placing them on ties and other timbers which were fired and thus destroyed.

The celerity of this movement took the enemy by surprise — leaving him no opportunity to reenforce the detachment thus put to flight. After having successfully acomplished the object of the movement, and marched near ten miles, our forces were returned to their camps by ten o'clock A. M.

On the twenty-first, Gen. Logan's brigade leaving the cross-roads, moved forward and took a fortified position within three miles of the enemy's defences around Corinth, near Easels house. At this date the two divisions composing the reserves were disposed of in different detachments from the point named on the extreme right of our general line of advance, northward, some eighteen miles on the east side of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad and Owl Creek, quite to Pittsburgh Landing. This disposition stamped them with the double character of an advance force and a reserve, and subjected them to severe, unceasing, and most dangerous duty. It was expected of them to prevent the enemy from turning our right flank and interrupting our communication with the source of our supplies at Pittsburgh Landing. This they did.

A further advance upon Corinth having been determined upon, on the twenty-eighth Gen. Logan's and Gen. Ross's brigades were moved to the front and right of our general line of advance, under command of Gen. Judah, in pursuance of my order. Immediately cooperating with Gen. Sherman's division in making a strong demonstration of attacking Corinth, they first directed their march to the “Blue-cut” on the railroad. Finding the enemy's pickets here, between whom and our own such an agreement existed, we notified them to retire, which, after an interview between Major Stewart, of my staff, and Captain Cochran, of the Louisiana cavalry, they did, yielding us possession of the ground they had occupied and the control of the road-track within some two miles of the enemy's defences. This was the most advanced position which had been hitherto taken on the right of our general line, and was retained and intrenched by Gen. Ross on account of its great strategic value.

About the time Gen. Ross had taken possession of this position, Gen. Logan moved his brigade obliquely to the left and united with Gen. Denver's brigade, forming the right of Gen. Sherman's division. The effect of this disposition being to extend the line of battle so as to flank the enemy's position on the west; this portion of my command, in conjunction with Gen. Sherman's division, now advanced to attack him. Skirmishers were thrown out about three hundred yards in front of the brigade under charge of Major Smith, of the Forty-sixth Illinois, acting as officer of the day. Met by skirmishers of the enemy, sharp firing soon ensued, and another company from the Eighth Illinois, under command of Capt. Wilson, was thrown forward to support their comrades already engaged. A spirited combat ensued, in which several of our men were wounded, and among the number Sergeant Barnard Zick, of company B, Eighth Illinois, severely, in the arm. Our further advance being restrained, we were left in the dark as to the loss sustained by the enemy, which, however, is believed to have been considerable.

Afterwards and near night, the enemy's skirmishers being increased, retaliated by making an attack upon our skirmishers, confident of success. To his disappointment, however, Captains Lieb and Wilson, of the Eighth Illinois, boldly advanced their companies, and after two rounds of musketry drove him back discomfited. In this second skirmish one of our men was wounded, seven of the enemy killed, and still more wounded, who were carried from the field. Night followed, during which the brigade laid upon its arms, in the face of the enemy, prepared to meet any emergency.

The conspicuous and pregnant fact, that the enemy had allowed us to approach within artillery-range of his defences at this point without offering any formidable resistance, reasonably induced the belief that he had evacuated, or was evacuating his camp at Corinth. General Logan's opinion agreeing with my own upon this point, he would have made a demonstration to prove the fact, with my approbation, but for want of authority.

On the evening of the twenty-ninth, after General Logan's brigade had commenced marching in returning to their camp near Easel's, the enemy's guard renewed their attack upon his picket-line. Halting the regiments which had started, and retaining those which had not yet moved in their position, he ordered Captains Lieb and Cowen, of the Eighth and Forty-fifth Illinois regiments to advance their companies. These officers promptly doing so, a very severe skirmish ensued, in which this small force again signalized western courage, by beating and driving back superior numbers. According to information subsequently obtained, the enemy lost forty men killed and wounded in this combat, which the lateness of the evening and the nearness of his position to his works enabled him to carry off. Having been relieved by other of General Sherman's troops which had come up, the brigade returned to their camp the same night.

This was the last engagement which took place before the enemy evacuated Corinth and we occupied the place.

In commenting upon these operations, I have only to add, that the officers and men under my command bore themselves most worthily while performing the duties both of an column and a reserve corps. The arduous and responsible task of protecting the right flank of our grand army, and our communications for some eighteen

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