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[402] road, only seven kilometres from the enemy's outposts, were the troops commanded by Ord; several trains of cars, always with steam up, were ready to bring them back rapidly to Corinth if it should be found that Van Dorn was menacing that place. The general attack upon Iuka was fixed for the following day, the 19th. Rosecrans announced his intention of presenting himself in the morning before this village by the two roads which approach it on the south side, one coming from Jacinto, the other from the village of Fulton, situated more to the east. Ord was to begin the battle on the opposite side at the same hour.

But the muddy, narrow roads and the streams swollen by the rains delayed the progress of Rosecrans' column, and on the evening of the 18th it was still thirty kilometres from Iuka. Grant, having been notified in time, directed Ord not to begin his attack until the booming of cannon should announce the approach of Rosecrans. The latter, in spite of all his diligence, was unable to reach the neighborhood of Iuka till three or four o'clock in the afternoon of the 19th. Before entering this village the Jacinto road ascends a hill, leaving a cross-road on the right, which connects the former with the Fulton road, upon which the right wing of Rosecrans was to take position to begin the attack. Hamilton's first regiments ascended the summit of this hill; but the remainder of the army, drawn up among the thick woods, formed an interminable line winding in the distance without being able to deploy. Infantry, cavalry, field-pieces and wagons were crowded together on a single road, where they mutually obstructed the march. The Fulton road had not yet been reached.

Suddenly the stray shots of Confederate sharpshooters in retreat were followed by violent discharges of musketry; it was Price attacking the advance of Hamilton. Informed by his spies of the movement of the Federals against him, he took advantage of their division and tried to crush them in detail. Proceeding to the front to meet Rosecrans, he hoped to arrest his progress before he could occupy the Fulton road, and perhaps even to disperse the enemy's column, thus surprised in the midst of its march. The three Federal regiments placed at the head of the column resisted the first assault. An Ohio battery, with the

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