Today in History:

33 Series I Volume XVII-I Serial 24 - Corinth Part I


column, dismounted from his horse, and went forward to see if he could see anything in the valley beneath him. After looking and, I suppose, seeing nothing, he again ordered us forward; but previous to this he detached the advance guard from us, and sent them around by a lane which came out on the right of the main road and led into it again a little piece below - Creek. On this lane we had fallen in with two guerrillas on the previous day, who made their escape, and the major's idea appeared to be to let the advance guard attack them and make them retreat, when they would run right into our main body at the intersection of the roads.

We were proceeding slowly toward the creek and had got about half way to it when we heard quite a number of shots fired at the place where we supposed the advance guard would be. We were immediately ordered into a smart gallop and kept on until we reached the bridge over Horn Lake Creek. Here we dropped into a walk and were slowly crossing the creek when I heard a shot from somewhere and immediately afterward heard a man cry with pain. I, being toward the rear of Company C, was at that time behind the fill of the bridge and therefore did not see him shot. I at that time thought the shot was an accidental one from one of our own men. I, however, immediately rode up the opposite bank of the creek, when I heard two or three more shots. I saw the wounded man as I rode past, but being anxious to get a shot at the enemy, did not take much notice of him. However I noticed a man get off his horse and take the wounded man in his arms. At this time a shot was fired behind me by one of our own men. I afterward found it was Lieutenant Penn of Company L whose horse was badly wounded, and he pulled off his pistol without intending it.

I was now aware that the firing came from the enemy, either at the corner of the wood on our left or else from the adjoining corn field close to the wood. Our major now ordered us forward by companies till we got formed and then halted us. He then ordered Captain Halsey of Company C to send 4 of his men and a horse to take the wounded man back to camp. By this time the horse of the man who first assisted the wounded man had run off into the wood, some 200 yards. Seeing this, the major ordered Captain Halsey to send a man after him. Captain Halsey ordered one of his company to do so, but he declined, saying, "Which is the most value, that horse or a man's life?" Captain Halsey replied, "It is the major's orders;" but made no further effort to have the horse caught.

We were now, after I suppose about five minutes' waiting, ordered back in column on the other side of the creek. I now heard the major ask Captain Halsey where the 4 men were that he ordered him to send to the assistance of the wounded man, as there were only two there. Captain Halsey now ordered some other man to go and help bring the dead man, but he begged to be excused, saying he could not bear to look on him. He then called on some one else, who also begged to be excused, and as he now seemed to be at a loss who to send I volunteered my services, and went back to the bridge, where I found the man was already loaded on a horse. I, however, was needed to lead the horse and take turns at holding the man on, so I was not in the ranks again.

The "rally" had now been sounded, and the advance guard came up across the bridge, having come around as they first intended. It appears the enemy had simply shot at them and then ran away in the wood. Major Ricker made no attempt whatever to follow up the enemy. After the first firing he merely drew us up in companies to receive them