the unexpected delays in fitting out the ‘Donelson
prisoners’ for the field; so that when on the 30th of September we marched from Ripley
, our combined forces were but little over half of what Van Dorn
had justly calculated upon when he first proposed the enterprise.
The disastrous results which ensued brought censure upon Van Dorn
, and have left a cloud upon his military reputation which I hope the publication of this narrative will aid to dispel.
There are few of those who criticised his conduct who knew the great objects he sought to accomplish, or the means with which he proposed to march to a certain and brilliant victory by which the State of Mississippi
would have been freed from invasion and the war would have been transferred beyond the Ohio
Such results justified unusual hazard of battle; and after Van Dorn
's forces were reduced by near one-half, he still felt he ought to strike a bold and manly blow for his native State, and did not hesitate to attack the enemy with all the energy and force he could bring to bear upon him. We marched from Baldwin
to join Van Dorn
on the morning of the 27th, and our whole effective force was made up of—
|Maury's division||4,800 muskets.|
|Hebert's division||5,000 muskets.|
|Armstrong's cavalry||2,000 men.|
|Light artillery||42 guns.|
We reached Ripley
on the evening of the 29th. General Van Dorn
with his staff was already there.
He had sent his cavalry forward to cover our front, and his infantry and artillery, under General Lovell
, were close at hand and marched into Ripley
in fine order the day after our arrival.
On the morning of October 1st our combined forces moved from Ripley
to attack the enemy in Corinth
We marched with a total force of nearly 19,000 effectives, viz.—
threw his cavalry forward so as to mask his movements, and marched directly with his infantry by way of Davis
's bridge upon the enemy in Corinth
On the evening of October 2d we bivouacked at Chewella on the railroad, eight miles west of Corinth
At dawn on the 3d of October we moved from Chewella to attack the enemy in Corinth