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[400] the two guns. It, however, preserved its composure, and rallied upon a wooded eminence, surrounded by open fields, whence it repulsed all attacks. Armstrong caused his men to dismount, and led them several times to the assault, while others charged the Federal line on horseback; but his efforts were all in vain; he could nowhere break the little troop which he had already considered captured, and he abandoned the field of battle, leaving on it one hundred and seventy-four men killed and the trophies captured at the beginning of the action. This engagement ended his expedition.

The invasion of Kentucky, however, was to have the effect of compelling the Federals to leave Nashville. Bragg, knowing that Rosecrans and Grant had sent all their available forces to the army of the Ohio, and that they had not yet received the recruits they were expecting, thought they would not be able to defend West Tennessee, and directed Van Dorn and Price to meet him on the borders of the Ohio. Price had received orders to prevent Rosecrans from reaching Nashville; he had immediately collected his scattered forces and started off, expecting to meet his adversary in full retreat. He was to be very soon undeceived. On seeing the Confederate cavalry leave Lagrange, near Grand Junction, and subsequently appear at Ripley, Grant had indeed divined that the enemy had abandoned all intention of attacking his right at Bolivar, and that his efforts would be directed against Rosecrans. He was ready to support the latter at the first call.

On the 13th of September, Price's army was advancing toward Iuka. This movement enabled him to follow the Federals in case they should retire toward Nashville, or cut off their retreat in that direction if they remained at Corinth. Colonel Murphy, who commanded a brigade in Stanley's division, was in charge of the depot at Iuka. After assembling all the detachments belonging to his command, which were scattered along the railroad as far as Tuscumbia, he abandoned the post entrusted to his care, as soon as the enemy appeared, without even destroying the materiel that lay there. Before the war the village of Iuka was frequented by the rich families of Mississippi. Magnificent mineral springs, shady retreats such as are only to be found in America, a healthy climate and a beautiful rolling country,—all combined to render it a charming sojourn during the scorching summers of that region.

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