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[398] his chief. Grant, in order to be ready to hold the enemy in check at every point along the line of the Hatchie, placed his right, composed of the divisions of Hurlbut and Ord, amounting altogether to about eight thousand men, at Bolivar, and his left, formed by the army of Rosecrans, in the neighborhood of Corinth. The remainder of his own army was at Jackson, in the rear, so that it could easily be conveyed by rail either to Bolivar or Corinth. The extreme left of Rosecrans extended as far as the Tennessee through Iuka; it was scattered in small posts, so as to cover the branch of the Corinth and Iuka Railroad, and the road from Eastport to the Tennessee, these being the lines through which Rosecrans had hitherto obtained his supplies. The drought, however, was so great in the month of August that the Tennessee was no longer navigable to this point, and the soldiers of both Grant and Rosecrans had to depend entirely upon the railroads to bring them provisions, collected in the vast depots of Columbus on the Mississippi.

All the troops placed under Grant numbered scarcely forty thousand men. The army of the Mississippi, composed of the divisions of Hamilton, Stanley, Davis and McKean, counted from twenty to twenty-two thousand men; the army of the Tennessee, reduced to the four small divisions of Sherman, McPherson, Ord and Hurlbut, had only eighteen thousand combatants left. The necessity of leaving Sherman at Memphis, and of defending against the guerillas the depots and railway bridges through which supplies were conveyed to the army, reduced the active forces under Grant to less than thirty thousand men.

Those of his adversaries were not quite so numerous. Van Dorn's army, composed of the divisions of Lovell and Breckenridge, numbered about fifteen thousand men. Price's troops, comprising the divisions of Maury and Little, consisted of ten thousand five hundred infantry, two thousand five hundred horse under Armstrong, and one thousand artillerists, with forty-four guns. All told there were twenty-five thousand men, five thousand horses and one hundred guns. These two little armies, however, had each a special task; Van Dorn was to defend the Mississippi, and Price to remain in the valley of the Tennessee.

Each believing himself too weak to assume the offensive, the

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