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[387]

General Hardee was to guard the partly vacated lines of Generals Van Dorn and Bragg, by extending his command to the right and left, and be ready to support the attack if necessary.

General Polk was to take a position in advance of his lines, and attack any Federal troops attempting to pass in his front. And General Breckinridge's reserve was to occupy, temporarily, a central position within the Confederate lines, and support any part of the field of battle which might require his assistance.

Through the inefficiency of his leading guide, and the slowness of one of his major-generals, General Van Dorn did not get his troops in position at the time prescribed. The result was that when the Federals discovered the flanking movement threatening them, they began retiring hastily to their position behind Seven Miles Creek. General Van Dorn threw what forces he had in hand against the enemy in his front, and, aided by the simultaneous attack of General Ruggles (Bragg's corps), very nearly captured two brigades forming the rear of General Pope's command. The enemy lost quite a number in killed and wounded, and a considerable amount of camp equipage, arms, and equipments. Our loss was insignificant, and consisted of some two hundred killed and wounded, in both commands. The Confederate troops behaved with great spirit, and appeared anxious to punish the enemy for compelling them to prolong their sojourn at Corinth, which all were eager to leave.1

General Beauregard was disappointed in the result of the expedition, and thought the enemy would soon attempt to reoccupy the prominent position from which we had driven him; that a large Confederate force would then be necessary to hold it; and that, strong as such a force might be, it could be cut off by superior numbers before assistance could be brought up from other points of our weak and extended lines. He therefore instructed his subordinate commanders to be prepared to renew the attack at any moment; for he was anxious to strike another blow on the enemy, if only to blind him as to the future movements he now had in contemplation.

None more than he appreciated the strategic value of Corinth. Its local features for defence and the fact of its being at the intersection

1 For further particulars of the Farmington affair, see Report of General D. Ruggles, ‘Southern Historical Society Papers,’ vol. VII. pp. 330-33.

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E. Dorn (3)
Braxton Bragg (2)
Daniel Ruggles (1)
D. Ruggles (1)
Pope (1)
L. Polk (1)
W. J. Hardee (1)
John C. Breckinridge (1)
G. T. Beauregard (1)
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