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[327] cross the Tennessee and join Buell; he therefore marched from Tupelo and reached Iuka on September 19th. His cavalry advance found the place occupied by a force, which retreated toward Corinth, abandoning a considerable amount of stores. On the 24th Van Dorn renewed in urgent terms his request for Price to come with all his forces to unite with him and make an attack upon Corinth. On the same day Price received a letter from General Ord, informing him that ‘Lee's army had been destroyed at Antietam; that, therefore, the rebellion must soon terminate, and that, in order to spare the further effusion of blood, he gave him this opportunity to lay down his arms.’ Price replied, correcting the rumor about Lee's army, thanked Ord for his kind feeling, and promised to ‘lay down his arms whenever Mr. Lincoln should acknowledge the independence of the Southern Confederacy, and not sooner.’ On that night General Price held a council of war, at which it was agreed on the next morning to fall back and make a junction with Van Dorn, it being now satisfactorily shown that the enemy was holding the line on our left instead of moving to reenforce Buell. The cavalry pickets had reported that a heavy force was moving from the south toward Iuka on the Jacinto road, to meet which General Little had advanced with his Missouri brigade, an Arkansas battalion, the Third Louisiana Infantry, and the Texas Legion. It proved to be a force commanded by General Rosecrans in person. A bloody contest ensued, and the latter was driven back, with the loss of nine guns. Our own loss was very serious. General Maury states that the Third Louisiana regiment lost half its men, that Whitfield's legion suffered heavily, and adds that these two regiments and the Arkansas battalion of about a hundred men had charged and captured the enemy's guns. In this action General Henry Little fell, an officer of extraordinary merit, distinguished on many fields, and than whom there was none whose loss could have been more deeply felt by his Missouri brigade, as well as by the whole army, whose admiration he had so often attracted by gallantry and good conduct. It was afterward ascertained that this movement of Rosecrans was intended to be made in concert with one by Grant moving from the west, but the former had been beaten before the latter arrived. Before dawn Price moved to make the proposed junction with Van Dorn, which was effected at Ripley on September 28th, at which time Van Dorn in his report says: ‘Field returns showed my strength to be about 22,000. Rosecrans at Corinth had about 15,000, with about 8,000 additional men at outposts from twelve to fifteen miles distant.’ In addition to this force the enemy had at Memphis, under Sherman, about 6,000 men; at Bolivar,

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