To this he received reply from Van Dorn
asking that the armies meet at Rienzi
, and he issued orders for a march to that place to begin on the morning of the 20th. ‘About the same time,’ Price
reported, ‘I received from the enemy a demand to lay down my arms because of certain victories they pretended to have gained in Maryland
[Sharpsburg]. I replied to the insolent demand through the commanding officer
of my cavalry force.’
According to Van Dorn
's official report he was on his way advancing north into Tennessee
, driving back Hurlbut
to Bolivar, Tenn.
, which was precisely what Grant
sought to have him do. Grant
had instructed Hurlbut
to make a demonstration toward Grand Junction
, near where Van Dorn
lay with 10,000 men.
massed his three divisions at hand against Price
marching from Jacinto
with 9,000 men (his report), and Ord
with 8,000 north of the railroad.
In his report of the battle which followed, Grant
candidly stated that his object was to destroy or capture Price
's entire army.
In this he was defeated by the valor of the Confederate
So it happened that about noon on the 19th, before Price
was under way for Rienzi
, and when his army was posted rather to repel an attack from the north than the south, his pickets were driven in by Rosecrans
' advance on the Jacinto
Gen. Henry Little
, who commanded one of the two divisions of the army, was ordered to meet this attack.
He sent Louis Hebert
's brigade about a mile south on the Jacinto
road, where it took position to defend the cross-roads, where one branch turns off east toward the Fulton
road from Iuka
The possession of the latter road by the Federals
would have entirely cut off Price
's communication with the south, while Ord
was pushing forward on the north.
, apparently, was not aware of the seriousness of the situation.
About four o'clock Sanborn
's brigade of Hamilton
's division came up and formed line of battle, and the fighting