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[645] left, and front, convincing me that the information given that there were only three guns at this point was erroneous; as I had thus developed at least twenty. The battery was ordered to the rear, and after the firing abated slightly I moved the brigade a short distance to the rear near Rust's line, in order to take advantage of the ground and save it from a repetition of the galling fire which had opened upon them.

The brigade's loss, during this shelling, was about fifty men killed and wounded, and the whole command deserves special commendation for their coolness under fire. After remaining for some time (two hours) in the new position, our skirmishers keeping up a continuous fire on our front and right, and after Villepigue had repelled the attack made on his line and moved to the left, my brigade was ordered to the rear, while Rust formed line of battle beyond, at the salient near the railroad crossing. The First Missouri regiment, deployed as skirmishers, covered the rear of both brigades. The command, after a successful evacuation, camped at Chewalla about sunset. Detailed, on the morning of the fifth, as the rear guard of the army, the brigade left its encampments, in rear of the train, at about ten A. M., marching slowly, very much annoyed and delayed by the wagons. At twelve M., the enemy's advance overtook us, and I formed line of battle with the Mississippi battalion and one section of artillery, under Lieutenant Barlow, in advance, our line then fronting the enemy. The attack was made by their cavalry and vigorously repulsed by two companies of Jackson's cavalry and the Mississippi battalion, and their rout completed by the rapid and effective fire of Lieutenant Barlow's section. Resuming the retreat we were not again molested until compelled to halt, for several hours, at the Tuscumbia River bridge, allowing the wagons to cross. The enemy arrived at our position near the bridge about sunset. Deploying, they endeavored to turn my left in order to cut me off from the bridge, at the same time advancing strongly on my front and centre. After heavy skirmishing, well maintained on both sides, and some artillery firing by the enemy, they advanced boldly in front of my centre, opposite the Fifteenth Mississippi regiments Taking command of this regiment in person, I advanced it about fifteen paces, and then poured a deliberate, well-aimed, and simultaneous volley. This fire, which was handsomely seconded by several rounds of canister by Binley's first section under Lieutenant Toledano, on our immediate right which enfiladed their line,followed up by a rapid, well-aimed, and continuous file fire from the Fifteenth Mississippi regiment, must have proved destructive, as the advance was not only thus checked, but their whole force fled from the field. I then crossed the Tuscumbia at my leisure, tore up and burnt the bridge, obstructed the ford near by, and joined the division about three miles beyond. My loss in the action of the Tuscumbia was two or three killed and eight or ten wounded. This brigade was subsequently detailed as the rear guard of the army, but had no other engagement with the enemy. I have the honor to transmit herewith a full list of the killed, wounded, and missing in the three days actions alluded to. The officers of my staff were present, and untiring in the discharge of their respective duties. In addition to the assistance given by my Adjutant-General, Captain Hutchinson, my Inspector-General, Captain Percy, and Lieutenant Carter, Aide-de-Camp, I am indebted to Caldwell, of the Watson battery, for bearing orders in the field. All of these gentlemen were conspicuous for coolness and courage during the action, and on the retreat.

In closing, I would call the attention of the division commander to the unexampled courage and endurance displayed by the troops, who, under hardships and privations which can only be appreciated by those who experienced them, never faltered in the discharge of their arduous duties. The exceptions mentioned in the report of Colonel Farrel, Fifteenth Mississippi regiment, were conspicuous in a brigade which acted so well that they deserve to be immediately punished. I know of no better way of rewarding the two thousand brave men than by casting out the two or three cowards who happen to be among them. I, therefore, recommend that Second Lieutenant S. T. Clark, Company A, Fifteenth Mississippi regiment, be dismissed in disgrace, and that Corporal Bennett, and privates Applegate and Spiney, Company B, be drummed out of the service, and their names published with the sentence attached.

Very respectfully,

John S. Bowen, Brigadier-General, commanding.


Report of Brigadier-General Villepigue.

headquarters Second brigade, First division, army of District of the Mississippi, October 14, 1862.)
Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Ivey, Assistant Adjutant-General, First Division, Army District of the Mississippi:
Colonel: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the Second brigade, in the actions before Corinth, on the third and fourth instants:

In approaching Corinth on the third instant, the Second brigade was in advance. An outpost of the enemy was met about five miles from the fortress, and driven into the outer intrenchments without much opposition. On reaching a creek about three miles from the fortress, and quite near the outer intrenchments, the march of the column was delayed for some time by the enemy's artillery, and from the bridge over the creek having been destroyed. The passage, however, was effected in good time, and the brigade was engaged in heavy skirmishing with the enemy until the other brigades of the division had crossed and taken up their positions.


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