Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 13.djvu/303

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.

302 Southern Historical Society Papers.

with his shattered forces, and bivouacked there. The division of Lovell having taken no part in the assault upon the works of Corinth, was the only portion of our army in good order, and now served a good purpose by marching in the rear and presenting a good front to the enemy, should he pursue us. On the march to Chewella and during the night Maury's and Greene's divisions were continually receiving accessions of stragglers, and by daylight of the 5th our companies and battalions were reorganized, and, as the result proved, we were again in good fighting order.

Our ranks had been fearfully thinned by the combats of the two previous days. Maury's division had marched from Chewalla to the attack of Corinth on the morning of the 3d with forty-eight hundred muskets in ranks; on the morning of the 5th our roll-call showed eighteen hundred men present for duty. Greene's division had suf- fered almost as severely; and worst of all, as we looked upon our thinned ranks and noted the loss of our bravest and best men, then lying upon the slopes of Corinth, we felt how bootless had been their sacrifice, and how different the result would have been had our charge upon the works been supported. The utmost depression prevailed throughout the army, and it was with no elation we heard our dauntless leader, Van Dorn, had determined to make another attack that day on the enemy at Rienzi. The pioneers, preceded by an advance-guard of cavalry, had already, before daylight of the 5th, been sent forward on the road to Rienzi, when Van Dorn was in- duced by the representations of some of his principal generals as to the condition of their troops to countermand the orders for the Rienzi movement, and to take the route for Ripley via the Tuscumbia and Davis' s bridge over the Hatchie. Our wagon train was parked at the Tuscumbia bridge. Wirt Adams's cavalry brigade, with Whit- field's Texas Legion, had been thrown forward across the Hatchie, and guarded the approaches from Bolivar to Davis' s bridge. No serious apprehension was entertained of being opposed on our return route, but we had every expectation of being pursued by Rosecrantz from Corinth. Therefore, Maury's division having suffered most severely, was placed in front of the army, and Lovell' s not having suffered at all, marched as rear-guard of the army.

By sunrise we were on the march. At the Tuscumbia we found our wagons, and hundreds of our stragglers who had passed the night with the train, where rations and water were so plentiful, and where the presence of the cheerful retinues of the quartermasters and com- missaries gave assurance of safety, were induced to resume their