estimated that Grant
's total strength was about 42,000 men. His own force at Ripley
was about 22,000, but he believed that with this inferior number he should act at once, for the enemy was growing stronger and Rosecrans
was adding daily to the fortified strength of Corinth
Consequently he decided to attack Corinth
suddenly, hoping to surprise and defeat Rosecrans
before he could call in his outposts.
On the morning of September 29th he marched out of Ripley
and made a feint toward Pocahontas
, threatening Bolivar
reported on October 1st, ‘For several days there has been a movement of the rebels south of my front, which left in doubt whether Bolivar
was to be the point of attack.
It is now clear that Corinth
is to be the point, and that from the west and southwest.
My position is precarious, but hope to get out of it all right.’
had reached his conclusion on finding out, so late as the 30th, that Van Dorn
had left La Grange, Tenn.
; the Confederate cavalry, thrown out as far as Summerville
, having effectually screened Van Dorn
But he had correctly solved the puzzle in time to save Rosecrans
, whom he ordered on October 1st to call in his outposts, increasing his force at Corinth
to 23,000, and Hurlbut
was instructed to watch Van Dorn
, this order being followed on the 3d by orders to attack the Confederate
rear by way of Pocahontas
having repaired the bridge over the Hatchie
, crossed on the evening of October 2d—leaving Adams
' cavalry to guard the rear and protect the train which was parked between the Hatchie
—and marched to Chewalla
, about ten miles from Corinth
, driving back a detachment which Rosecrans
had sent in that direction.
At daybreak on the 3d the march was resumed, following the railroad; and as the old Confederate intrenchments were approached, about three miles from the town, Price
formed in line of battle between the Memphis