Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Great Battle


CAIRO, April 9. – No official accounts have been received from the great battle near Pittsburg.  A few persons who witnessed most of it have arrived, and as many of their reports are as follows they differ somewhat from the first report to you:

The Federal army was posted between two streams about four miles apart that runs into the Tennessee nearly at right angles.  It is about two miles east of Pittsburg.  The left front was commanded by Gen. Prentiss, who had several raw regiments and in his rear was Gen. Sherman with his division.  The right front was headed by Gen. McClernand, with Gen. Smith in his rear.  Gen. Hurlburt [sic] was in the center, somewhat in the rear of the front line.

Beauregard attacked Gen. Prentiss’ division at 4 o’clock on Sunday morning, surprising them and driving them and Sherman’s Corps near the river, till protected by the gunboats, and taking Prentiss and two regiments prisoners.

While driving in Prentiss and Sherman, a large force of the enemy got in the rear of Gen. McClernand’s division, completely cutting it off from the main army.  Gen. McClernand put himself at the head of his troops and cut his way through the rebel hosts and rejoined the army.

The fight had now become desperate, and Gen. Grant assuming command, the enemy was driven back and the Federal forces occupied at the right nearly the same position they did in the morning.  The fight lasted fifteen hours.

During the night Major General Lew Wallace came up from Crump’s Landing with 19,000 troops, and in the morning the battle was resumed with great fury; neither party seemed disposed to yield, and between 10 and 12 the fight was terrific.

Soon after noon General Buell d crossed the Tennessee and attacked the enemy in the flank with 40,000 men, and the rout soon became general.  Buell pursued with 12,000, mostly cavalry.  The last rumor was that he had taken Corinth.

Our informants can give no accounts of our loss, further than it is terrible.  Eight hundred wounded are reported on the steamer which will be brought down.

Col. John Logan (not the General) is reported wounded in the shoulder.

The enemy took 36 pieces of our artillery on Sunday.  They are reported all returned and 40 of the enemy’s on Monday.

Gen. Strong certainly expects Gen. Halleck here in the morning, en route for Tennessee.

It was Gen. Cowan McCall that was taken by Gen. Pope’s forces.

Gen. Strong has received notice of a large number of physicians, nurses and hospital stores coming from Chicago, Springfield, St. Louis and other places.

Several barges of ice are ordered up the Tennessee for the wounded.

The Silver Wave is expected up from New Madrid to-night with a load of rebel prisoners.

– Published in the Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, April 12, 1862, p. 3

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