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[294]

Jackson's brigade had been sent towards Bolivar, where he captured a large regiment of cavalry, and our advance was covered by Armstrong's brigade alone, Wirt Adams's brigade having been detached towards Davis's bridge.

General Van Dorn was assured that the whole force of the enemy in the works at Corinth numbered about 12,000 men, and he resolved to assault with all of his forces. His purpose was to dismount his cavalry and attack with his whole army, and had he executed this intention in the spirit in which he conceived it, there is not ground for a reasonable doubt of his success.

Soon after daylight our cavalry became engaged with the enemy's advanced pickets, and forced them back until just after crossing to the north side of the railroad we formed in line of battle. We were then more than three miles from Corinth. Our line was perpendicular to the Memphis and Charleston railroad. Lovell's division was formed on the right (south) of the railroad; Maury's division was formed on the left (north) of the railroad, Moore's brigade touching the left of Lovell's division on the railroad; Cabell's brigade was formed as a reserve behind the left of Maury's division; the Missouri division touched Maury's left; and in this order we moved forward at 10 A. M., and soon found ourselves confronted by the enemy's line of battle, which occupied the defences constructed by General Beauregard during the previous spring against the army of Halleck. All the timber covering the slopes which led up to the works had been felled, and formed an obstructing abattis to our advancing line; but at the signal to advance, our whole line moved forward under a heavy fire of artillery and musketry across the space which divided us from the enemy without any check or hesitation, and drove him at every point from his position. We captured five cannon and put the whole force to rout.

Our loss was not heavy in men, but we had to mourn the death of Colonel Martin, a young officer commanding the Mississippi brigade, who was killed while gallantly leading his men. The divisions of Maury and Hebert, composing the ‘Army of the West,’ as Price's corps was designated, continued to advance towards Corinth, preserving an alignment perpendicular to the Memphis and Charleston railroad. We were repeatedly and obstinately encountered by the opposing lines of the enemy, and during the day several fierce combats took place, which necessarily delayed our arrival before the place, but did not cause our troops to lose one foot of the ground we had won.

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