As soon as the retirement of the Rebels was positively ascertained, a portion of our forces was ordered from Cincinnati to Louisville. General Buell’s army took the offensive, and pursued Bragg as he retreated toward the Tennessee River. General Wallace was relieved, and his command transferred to General Wright.
A change in the whole military situation soon transpired. From holding the defensive, our armies became the pursuers of the Rebels, the latter showing little inclination to risk an encounter. The battle of Perryville was the great battle of this Kentucky campaign. Its result gave neither army much opportunity for exultation.
In their retreat through Kentucky and Tennessee, the Rebels gathered all the supplies they could find, and carried them to their commissary depot at Knoxville. It was said that their trains included more than thirty thousand wagons, all of them heavily laden. Large droves of cattle and horses became the property of the Confederacy.
THE BATTLE OF CORINTH.
New Plans of the Rebels.—Their Design to Capture Corinth,—Advancing to the Attack.—Strong Defenses.—A Magnificent Charge.—Valor vs. Breast-Works.—The Repulse.—Retreat and Pursuit.—The National Arms Triumphant.
The Bragg campaign into Kentucky being barren of important results, the Rebel authorities ordered that an attempt should be made to drive us from West Tennessee. The Rebel army in Northern Mississippi commenced the aggressive late in September, while the retreat of Bragg was still in progress. The battle of Iuka resulted favorably to the Rebels, giving them possession of that point, and allowing a large quantity of supplies to fall into their hands. On the 4th of October was the famous battle of Corinth, the Rebels under General Van Dorn attacking General Rosecrans, who was commanding at Corinth.
The Rebels advanced from Holly Springs, striking Corinth on the western side of our lines. The movement was well executed, and challenged our admiration for its audacity and the valor the Rebel soldiery displayed. It was highly important for the success of the Rebel plans in the Southwest that we should be expelled from Corinth. Accordingly, they made a most determined effort, but met a signal defeat.
Some of the best fighting of the war occurred at this battle of Corinth. The Rebel line of battle was on the western and northern side of the town, cutting off our communications with General Grant at Jackson. The Rebels penetrated our line, and actually obtained possession of a portion of Corinth, but were driven out by hard, earnest work. It was a struggle for a great prize, in which neither party was inclined to yield as long as it had any strength remaining to strike a blow.