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[386] Creek, which, after following the same direction from south to north, joins the former not far from there. The village of Perryville is situated at a point where the road crosses Chaplin's Creek, the sources of which are somewhat higher up. The whole of this region is deeply ravined and thickly wooded; it is impossible either to see or to hear for any great distance.

Hardee, with his two divisions, was encamped on the heights, which beyond Perryville border the left bank of Chaplin's Creek. At daybreak on the 8th he tried to dislodge Sheridan from the positions he had occupied during the night. But as Polk had not yet arrived, his attack was not very vigorous, and the resistance offered by McCook's brigade was sufficient to check him. During this time the combatants on both sides were hastening toward Perryville. The preceding evening Buell had ordered his two wings to close on his centre. Crittenden, who, for want of water, had not been able to bivouac at the place which had been indicated to him, only got into line toward the middle of the day, and took position on the right, at some distance from Gilbert's troops. McCook started from Macksville at five o'clock in the morning; he crossed Doctor's Creek about ten o'clock, and immediately came to take position on Gilbert's left, and on the same heights. His soldiers came up fatigued by the heat and by thirst. Deprived of Sill's troops, this corps was reduced to two divisions —Rousseau's, numbering seven thousand men, and Jackson's, composed of two brigades of new formation, only five thousand men, most of whom had never been under fire. Consequently, McCook had placed Rousseau's division in front; but during the march it was intersected by Jackson, and its third brigade, under Starkweather, found itself in the rear. The Federal line was thus formed-Crittenden on the extreme right, beyond the reach of sight and sound; on the right of the Springfield and Perryville road, Gilbert's corps, Sheridan resting his left on the road, Mitchell's division on his right, but in his rear and separated from him by a considerable space, Schoepf's division in reserve on Doctor's Creek. At a certain distance to the left of the road, in advance of that he had followed on his way from Macksville, McCook's corps went into bivouac; the arms were stacked, and the men on fatigue duty had gone in search of water and wood. McCook's

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Robert McCook (5)
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