Chronological History of the American Civil War
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Corinth allowed the Union to focus attention on capturing Vicksburg, Mississippi, the last major Rebel stronghold on the Mississippi River. Sunday, October 5, 1862 : The Second Battle of Corinth was over. General Rosecrans (U.S.) postponed any pursuit of General Van Dorn (CSA) until daybreak. Major General Edward O. C. Ord, commanding a detachment of the Army of West Tennessee (U.S.), was following orders, advancing on Corinth to assist Rosecrans. On the night of October 4-5, he camped near Pocahontas, Tennessee. General Van Dorn (CSA) not wanting the fight to continue, was moving northwest toward Tennessee, not knowing General Ord (U.S.) would be in his path. Ord took command of the now-combined Union forces and pushed Van Dorn's advance, Major General Sterling Price's Army of the West (CSA), back about five miles to the Hatchie River and across the Davis' Bridge. While Price's men were hotly engaged with Ord's force, Van Dorn's scouts looked for and found another crossing of the Hatchie River. Van Dorn then led his army back to Holly Springs. Ord had forced Price to retreat, but the Confederates escaped capture or destruction. Another Union victory was very costly for both sides, 900 total (U.S. 500; CS 400).
Meanwhile in Texas, the Federal fleet now occupies Galveston, Texas. Monday, October 6, 1862 : Hardeman County diarist, planter, settler, John Houston Bills writes: “We hear it reported that the battle was won by the Federals & many prisoners captured from Price’s Army. At 2 p.m. General Ord arrives in an ambulance wounded in the leg, a painful though not dangerous wound. Reports a decided Victory, to the Federal the losses not yet stated. They think, it quite probable the loss of the Federals the greatest though repulsing the Confederates all day. The fight was at the Crossing of Hatchie at Willie Davis, and battle may be called Davis’s Crossing.” Arriving just after the battle, Vermont Union soldier, Lieutenant J. H. Thayer (pictured) wrote in a letter home, “The heads, legs, arms and shattered fragments of the dead and living lay scattered “profusely on the ground” in all directions. Ambulances and nurses, Surgeons and Hospital stewards were busy attending to the wants of the sufferers yet the groans of the dying and the shrieks of the wounded could not wholly be suppressed by the kindest care. Yet many a patriot’s sufferings were ended on that eventful day which
was plainly evidenced by the newly raised mounds in every direction. The battle of the Hatchie, although not so murderous and extensive as others should not pass unnoticed in the historical records of this rebellion.” President Abe Lincoln receives September salary warrant for $2,022.33, which is $61 under previous warrant as result of the new 3 per cent income tax deduction. Tuesday, October 7, 1862 : Mr. Bills tells us in his diary, that ambulances continue to arrive in Bolivar, all 4 churches, General Neely and Capt Wood (CSA) houses are full of wounded soldiers. “Great crowds of soldiers in the street to witness the arrival of the Confederate prisoners, about 375 of whom enter the Main Street at 2 p.m. They are a rough looking set of men, no uniforms & badly clad. Seem to be exhausted. Today, has been a day of unusual excitement. General Ross is in Command of the Post.” As you can imagine, John Houston Bills’ daughter, Evelina, was strong willed herself being married to a Confederate captain, Marshall Tate Polk. She wrote in her memoirs, “ On one occasion the town girls were walking out for a little exercise. They passed the Male Academy where some Confederate prisoners were incarcerated upstairs. These poor fellows bowed to them and they waved their handkerchiefs at them. This was enough for this little general. He ordered the girls arrested and brought to him. They were gathered up --- sent in my father’s carriage. The general then proceeded to lecture them (he said if they walked to headquarters the soldiers would insult them.) He walked up and down and threw himself into a perfect rage --- said among other things, “young ladies would you wave to a lot of vagabond thieves?” Mamie Wood said, “We thought they were Confederate soldiers.” He was speechless with rage.” She also wrote, “General Ross, said that he never intended to cut his hair until the Rebellion was
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