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[192] which is itself divided into several hillocks (mamelons.) Upon one of these the forest was cleared, and at a distance of two thousand metres above the works of Corinth, and three thousand from the Federal parallels, stood a farm containing several buildings known as Russell's House. A road coming from the positions occupied by Thomas' centre crossed Bridge Creek; seven hundred and fifty metres farther it reached the hillock, and two hundred and eighty metres beyond Russell's House it finally merged into another road coming from the north. A Confederate brigade occupied Russell's House, its pickets being posted along the right bank of Bridge Creek. Sherman determined to seize this position. M. L. Smith's brigade and a battery were ordered to attack it in front by the central road, while General Denver, with two regiments and a battery, was to turn the enemy's left by the other road. Two other regiments were detailed from Hurlbut's division to support this movement on Sherman's left.

These several detachments were put in motion on the 17th at three o'clock in the afternoon. Driving the enemy's pickets before him, Smith reached the hillock on which stood Russell's House, where he met with a vigorous resistance. His four guns were at last dragged over the slopes of the hill, and the farm was riddled by their shot; thus attacked and menaced on their left, the Confederates retired, leaving twelve dead on the ground. Denver and Smith met at the cross-roads, where they stationed their pickets. This engagement was the counterpart of that at Farmington; but the Federals did not entirely abandon the important position they had conquered, as the Confederates had done. As Halleck's instructions did not allow the whole line to be advanced to draw near this position, Sherman only left an advanced post at the farm, and placed two regiments in the improvised entrenchments at the eastern extremity of the clearing.

Beauregard, however, had no idea of offering the battle for which the Federals were still preparing; his object was to protract the campaign, and to delay as long as possible the moment when the loss of Corinth, now of little importance in itself, would involve the fall of Memphis, which might prove fatal to his cause. An unforeseen chance, or the news of the defeat of McClellan in the east, could alone have enabled him to resume the offensive.

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