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[487] our cavalry constantly skirmishing with their rear-guard, and capturing many prisoners. Our men being but three companies strong, were unable to obtain any particular advantage, and our infantry being too far in the rear, at night it was deemed advisable to give up the pursuit, and our column, consisting of Hamilton's and Stanley's divisions, bivouacked about thirteen miles from Iuka on the Fulton road.

At about eleven o'clock on the morning after the battle the advance of Gens. Grant and Ord's column reached Iuka, and halted in the town. Had they been but a few hours sooner, our victory would have been complete; for if Grant's fresh troops could not have cut off the retreat of Price, they could at least have pursued them to a better advantage than Gen. Rosecrans was capable of doing with his small column of fatigued men. It remains for Gen. Grant therefore to explain why he was so tardy in his movement, and why he failed to enact his part of the plan as arranged with General Rosecrans, for the complete rout and capture of the whole of Price's army — for there is not the least doubt but that if Grant had come up in the proper time, instead of waiting four miles from the battle-field, the capture of Price and his motley crew would have crowned our efforts; for it must be distinctly understood that not a single regiment outside of Gen. Rosecrans's Army of the Mississippi was engaged in the battle, and to the skilful generalship of Gen. R., and the indomitable courage of his veteran troops, rather than to any plans of his superiors, is our success due.

I intended forwarding a list of our killed and wounded, but the mail will close ere I could copy it. I will endeavor to send it in a day or two.

I presume that ere this the telegraph has informed you that General Rosecrans has been promoted to a Major-Generalship. Such is the case, and the “double-starred epaulette” could not grace a braver soldier or a more accomplished gentleman.

Ere closing, I will take this opportunity of returning my sincere thanks to Capt. Temple Clark, Assistant Adjutant-General to Gen. Rosecrans, for his kindness in furnishing me with considerable of the material for this letter. A “Bohemian” himself, he is always ready and willing to lend a helping hand to a “fellow-craftsman.”

This morning the troops of General Grant returned to Corinth, while the army of the Mississippi returned to this point, to be in readiness for a move toward Rienzi, which place has been menaced by Breckinridge and Van Dorn during the past two days. As soon as he hears of Price's defeat, they are, however, likely to “skedaddle” in the wake of their disappointed and defeated superior, who, at the latest accounts, had started back to Tupelo, to gloat over “another confederate victory” (?).

So, for the present, Northern Mississippi is safe from its “liberators,” and Buell has an opportunity of operating at his will against Bragg, from whose vicinity we are anxiously awaiting some stirring news.

J. C. C.

Jackson Mississippian account.

Baldwin, Sept. 24, 1862.
dear Cooper: I wrote you a short communication from IuKa, announcing its peaceable capture on the fourth, by the army under General Price. I believe I was a little congratulatory in my remarks, and spread out on the rich fruits of the bloodless capture. Indeed it was a sight to gladden the heart of a poor soldier, whose only diet for some time had been unsalted beef and whit leather hoecake, the stacks of cheese, crackers, preserves, mackerel, coffee, and other good things that lined the shelves of the sutlers' shops, and filled the commissary stores of the Yankee army. But, alas! the good things which should have been distributed to the brave men who won them, were held in reserve for what purpose I know not, unless to sweeten the teeth of those higher in authority, (whilst the men were fed on husks,) and I suppose were devoured by the flames on the day of our retreat. Had these things been given to the men they could have eaten them during the time of our occupancy of the town, and saved to the Confederacy subsistence (such as it was) for its army during that time. Will our government and our generals never learn that it is policy as well as duty, to protect and preserve the private soldiers? It is no trouble to get officers, but when neglect and bad treatment has killed the privates of our army, where shall we supply their places? But I am digressing.

We held peaceable possession of Iuka one day, and on the next day were alarmed by the booming of cannon, and called out to spend the evening in battle-array in the woods. Shifting our positions, we lay in the woods until the evening of the nineteenth, when we were ordered to move again, and supposed we were going back to camp to rest awhile, when the sharp crack of musketry — on the right of our former lines told that the enemy were nearer than we had imagined. In fact, they had almost penetrated the town itself. How on earth, with the woods full of our cavalry, they could have approached so near our lines is a mystery. They had planted a battery sufficiently near to shell Gen. Price's headquarters, and were cracking away at the Third brigade, in line of battle, under General Hebert, when our brigade (the Fourth) came up at a double-quick and formed on their left.

And then for two hours and fifteen minutes was kept up the most terrific fire of musketry that ever dinned my ears. There was one continuous roar of small arms, while grape and canister howled in fearful concert above our heads and through our ranks. General Little, our division commander, whose bravery and kindness had endeared him to the men under his command, was shot through the head early in the action, and fell from his horse dead. He was sitting by Gen. Price, and conversing with him at the time, and both Generals were no doubt marked for death by the same hand. The Third brigade was in the hottest of the fire, and most nobly and gloriously did it bear itself. Hereafter let

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Sterling Price (14)
W. S. Rosecrans (10)
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