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[731] especially that to the southern front, under Colonel Mizner. The labor of watching, with occasional skirmishing, was most satisfactorily performed, and almost every move of the enemy was known as soon as commenced.

About the eleventh of September, Price left the railroad, the infantry and artillery probably moving from Baldwin, and the cavalry from the roads north of Baldwin, towards Bay Springs. At the latter place a halt of a few days seems to have been made; likely for the purpose of collecting stores and reconnoitring on the eastern flank. On the thirteenth of September the enemy's cavalry made their appearance near Iuka, and were repulsed by the small garrison under Colonel Murphy, of the Eighth Wisconsin infantry, still left there to cover the removal of stores not yet brought into Corinth. The enemy appearing again in increased force on the same day, and having cut the railroad and telegraph between there and Burnsville, Colonel Murphy thought it prudent to retire to save his forces.

This caused a considerable amount of commissary stores to fall into the hands of the enemy, which property should have been destroyed. Price's whole force then soon congregated at Iuka.

Information brought in by scouts, as to the intention of the enemy, was conflicting. One report was that Price wanted to cross Beer Creek and the Tennessee River, for the purpose of crossing Tennessee and getting into Kentucky. Another that Van Dorn was to march by way of Ripley and attack us on the southwest, while Price should move on us from the east or north-west. A third that Price would endeavor to cross the Tennessee, and, if pursuit was attempted, Van Dorn was in readiness to attack Corinth.

Having satisfied myself that Van Dorn could not reach Corinth under four days, with an army embracing all arms, I determined to leave Corinth with a force sufficient to resist cavalry, and to attack Price at luka. This I regarded as eminently my duty, let either of the enemy's plans be the correct solution. Accordingly, on the sixteenth, I gave some general directions as to the plan of operations.

General Rosecrans was to move on the south side of the railroad to opposite Iuka, and attack from that side with all his available force, after leaving a sufficient force at Rienzi and Jacinto, to prevent the surprise of Corinth from that direction.

Major-General Ord was to move to Burnsville, and from there take roads north of the railroad, and attack from that side. General Ord having to leave from his two divisions, already very much reduced in numbers, from long-continued service and the number of battles they had been in, the garrison at Corinth; he also had one regiment of infantry and a squadron of cavalry at Kossuth, one regiment of infantry and one company of cavalry at Cheuvall, and one regiment of infantry that moved, under Colonel Mower, and joined General Rosecrans' command, reduced the number of men of his command available to the expedition, to about thirty thousand.

I had previously ordered the infantry of General Ross' command at Bolivar to hold themselves in readiness to move at a moment's warning; had also directed the concentration of cars at Jackson to move these troops.

Within twenty-four hours from the time a despatch left Corinth for those troops to “come on,” they had arrived--three thousand four hundred in number. This, notwithstanding the locomotive was thrown off the track on the Mississippi Central Road, preventing the passage of other trains for several hours. This force was added to General Ord's command, making his entire strength over six thousand to take into the field. From this force two regiments of infantry and one section of artillery were taken, about nine hundred men, for the garrison or rear guard, to be held at Burnsville. Not having General Ord's report, these figures may not be accurate. General Rosecrans was moving from Jacinto eastward, with about nine thousand men, making my total force with which to attack the enemy about fifteen thousand. This was equal to or greater than their number, as I estimated them.

General Rosecrans, at his suggestion, acquiesced in by me, was to move northward from his eastern march in two columns: one, under Hamilton, was to move up the Fulton and Eastport road; the other, under Stanley, on the Jacinto road from Barnett's.

On the eighteenth General Ord's command was pushed forward, driving in the enemy's pickets and capturing a few prisoners, taking position within six miles of luka. I expected, from the following despatch, that General Rosecrans would be near enough by the night of the eighteenth to make it safe for Ord to press forward on the morning of the nineteenth, and bring on an. engagement:

September 18, 1862.
General Grant: One of my spies, in from Reardon's, on the Bay Spring road, tells of a continuous movement, since last Friday, of forces eastward. They say Van Dorn is to defend Vicksburg, Breckinridge to make his way to Kentucky, Price to attack Iuka, or go to Tennessee. If Price's forces are at Iuka, the plan I propose is, to move up as close as we can tonight and conceal our movements; Ord to advance from Burnsville, commence the attack, and draw their attention that way while I move in on the Jacinto and Fulton road, and crushing in their left, cut off their retreat eastward.

I propose to leave, in ten minutes, for Jacinto, whence I will despatch you by line of vedettes to Burnsville. Will wait a few minutes to hear from you before I start. What news from Burnsville?

W. S. Rosecrans, Brigadier-General.

To which I sent the following reply.

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