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Iuka Springs, battle near

After the evacuation of Corinth (q. v.), General Rosecrans was placed in command of the forces under Pope, who had gone to Virginia, to occupy northern Mississippi and Alabama, in the vicinity of Corinth, and eastward to Tuscumbia. His forces were known as the Army of the Mississippi, with headquarters at Corinth. There were no more stirring events in the region of General Grant's command (under whom was Rosecrans) than guerilla operations, from June until September. At the beginning of September the Confederates under Price and Van Dorn moved towards the Tennessee River, and, when Bragg moved into Tennessee, Price attempted to cut off communications between Grant and Buell. General Armstrong (Confederate), with over 5,000 cavalry, struck the Nationals, Aug. 30, 1862, at Bolivar, with the intention of severing the railway there. He was repulsed by less than 1,000 men, under Colonel Leggett. He was repulsed at Jackson the next day, and again, on Sept. 1, at Britton's Lane, after a battle of four hours with Indiana troops, under Colonel Dennis. At the latter place Armstrong left 179 men, dead and wounded, on the field. Informed of this raid, at Tuscumbia, Rosecrans hastened to Iuka, a little [88] village celebrated for its fine mineral springs, about 15 miles east of Corinth, where a large amount of stores had been gathered. There, with Stanley's division, he encamped at Clear Creek, 7 miles east of Corinth, and, at the same time, Price moved northward from Tupelo with about

Iuka Springs, 1862.

12,000 Confederate troops. Price struck Iuka, Sept. 10, and captured the National property there.

Grant at once put two columns in motion to crush Price—one, under Rosecrans, to attack his flank and rear, and another, under General Ord, to confront him. These movements began on the morning of Sept. 18. Ord, with 5,000 men, advanced to Burnsville, followed by General Ross with more, while Rosecrans moved with the separated divisions of Stanley and C. S. Hamilton, about 9,000 strong, during a drenching rain, to San Jacinto, 20 miles southward of Iuka. On the next morning, Sept. 19, they pushed on towards Iuka, Mizner's cavalry driving a Confederate guard. Early in the afternoon Hamilton, listening for the sound of Ord's guns, and skirmishing briskly by the way, had reached a point within 2 miles of Iuka, on densely wooded heights. There he formed a line of battle. He sent forward his skirmishers, who were driven back, and a severe battle immediately followed. The 11th Ohio Battery was, after a severe struggle, placed in position on the crest of the hill. With this battery, a few regiments of Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, and Indiana troops fought more than three times their number of Confederates, led by Price in person. Finally, when Colonel Eddy, of an Indiana regiment, was mortally wounded, the remainder of his regiment was hurled back in disorder, leaving the almost disabled battery to be seized by the Confederates. For the possession of these guns desperate charges and countercharges were made, until at length the Confederate soldiers dragged the guns off the field. All of the horses and seventy-two of the artillerymen had been killed. The battle raged warmly elsewhere, when the [89] Confederates were driven to the shelter of the hollows near the village. Darkness ended the battle of Iuka. The National loss was nearly 800, killed, wounded, and missing; that of the Confederates was nearly 1,400. Ord, meanwhile, whom Grant had sent to assist Rosecrans, had been watching the movements of Confederates who were making feints on Corinth. Expecting to renew the battle at Iuka in the morning, Stanley pressed forward for the purpose, but found that Price had fled southward under cover of the darkness, leaving behind the captured guns of the 11th Ohio Battery. Price was pursued all day, but escaped.

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