GREAT BATTLE AT CORINTH, MISSISSIPPI.
TWO DAY'S FIGHTING.
CRITICAL POSITION OF UNION TROOPS.
DELAY IN REINFORCEMENTS.
FIGHT AGAINST GREAT ODDS.
WE SUFFER A DEFEAT AT FIRST.
FINAL VICTORY OF THE UNION TROOPS.
THE REBELS FLYING IN ALL DIRECTIONS.
THEY ARE PURSUED WITH GREAT SLAUGHTER.
PARTIAL LIST OF KILLED AND WOUNDED.
DETAILS FROM ISLAND NO. 10.
THE FAMOUS REBEL FLOATING BATTERY TAKEN.
GREAT VICTORY AT ISLAND NO. 10, WITHOUT THE LOSS OF A MAN.
THE ENEMY SCATTERED.
THE UNION TROOPS PURSUE THEM.
Ben. Pope takes many Prisoners, and a Great Quantity of Army Stores.
COM. FOOTE'S OFFICIAL REPORT FROM ISLAND NO. 10.
NEWS FROM THE POTOMAC.
The Merrimac and the Rebel Fleet under Steam, and hourly Expected at Hampton Roads!
Telegraphed to the Rock Island Argus.
Special to Herald.
Pittsburg, via Fort Henry, April 9, 3:20 A.M. — One of the greatest and bloodiest battles of modern times has just closed, resulting in the complete rout of the enemy, who attacked us at day break on Sunday.
The battle lasted without intermission during the entire day, and was again renewed upon Monday morning, and continued until 4 o'clock in the afternoon, when the enemy commenced their retreat, and are still flying towards Corinth, pursued by a large force of our cavalry.
The slaughter on both sides is immense. We have lost in killed, wounded and missing from 18,000 to 20,000, that of the enemy is estimated at from 25,000 to 40,000.
It is impossible in the present confused state of affairs to ascertain any details. I therefore give you the best account possible from observation, having passed through the storm of action during the two days that it raged.
The fighting was brought on by 300 of the 25th Mo. Regt of Gen. Prentiss's division attacking the advance guard of the rebels, which were supposed to be pickets of the enemy in front of our camp.
The rebels immediately advance against Prentiss, pouring in deadly volleys of musketry, and riddling our camp with grape, canister and shell.
Our forces formed and vigorously returned the fire, and by the time we were prepared to receive them, they had turned their heaviest fire on the left and centre of Sherman's division, and drove our men back from their camp and bringing up a fresh force, opened fire on our left wing under Gen. McClernand.
The fire was returned with terrible effect and determination by both infantry and artillery, along the whole line for a distance of 4 miles.
Gen. Hurlbut's division was thrown forward to support the centre, when a desperate conflict ensued. The rebels were driven back with terrible slaughter, but soon rallied and drove back our men in turn.
From about 9 o'clock, the time your correspondent arrived on the field, until night closed on the bloody scene, there was no determination of the result of the struggle.
The rebels exhibited remarkable good generalship. At times they would apparently engage the left with their whole strength, and then suddenly would open a terrible and destructive fire on the right or centre.
Even our heaviest and most destructive fire on the enemy did not appear to discourage their solid columns
The fire of Major Taylor's Chicago artillery raked them down in scores, but the smoke would no sooner be dispelled than the breach would again be filled.
The most desperate fighting took place late in the afternoon.
The rebels knew that if they did not succeed in whipping then that their chances for success would be extremely doubtful as a portion of Gen. Buell's force had by this time arrived on the opposite side of the river, and the other portion was coming up the river from Savannah.
They become aware that we were being reinforced as they could see Gen. Buell's troops from the river bank a short distance about us in the left, to which point they had forced their way. At 2 o'clock the rebels had forced our left wing back so as to occupy fully two thirds of our camp and were fighting their way forward with a desperate degree of confidence in their effort to drive us into the river and at the same time heavily engaged our right.
Up to this time we had not received any reinforcements — Gen. Lew Wallace failing to come to our support until the day was over, having taken the wrong road from Crump's landing, and being without other transports than those used for quarter master's and commissary stores, which were too heavily laden to ferry any considerable number of Gen. Buell's force across the river — the other three that were here having been sent to bring the troops from Savannah. We were therefore contesting against fearful odds, our force not exceeding 38,000 men, while that of the enemy was upwards of 60,000. Our condition at this moment was extremely critical — large numbers of men, panic struck, others worn out by hard fighting, while an average per cent of skulkers had straggled towards the river and could not be rallied.
Ben. Grant and staff, who had been recklessly riding along the lines during the entire day, amid the unceasing storm of bullets, grape and shell, now rode from right to left, inciting the men to stand firm until our reinforcements could cross the river.
Col. Webster, chief of staff, immediately got the heaviest pieces of artillery into position bearing on the enemy's right, while a large number of the batteries were planted along the entire line from the river band to the extreme right, some 2 1/2 miles distance.
About an hour before dusk a general cannonade was opened on the enemy from along our whole line, with a perpetual crack of musketry. For a short time the rebels replied with vigor and effect, but their fire grew weaker and less destructive, while ours grew more rapid and terrible.
The gun boats Lexington and Tyler, which lay a short distance off, rained shell on the rebel hordes.
This last effort proved too much for the enemy, and ere dusk their firing had nearly ceased, and night coming on the combatants rested from their work of carnage.
Our men rested on their arms in the position they had at the close of the fight until forces under Maj. Gen. Wallace arrived and took position on the right, and met Buell's forces from the opposite side now being conveyed to the battle ground.
The entire right of Gen. Wilson's division was ordered to form on the right, and the forces under Gen. Crittenden were ordered to his support early in the morning.
Gen. Buell having arrived the following evening, in the morning the ball was opened at day light, simultaneously, by Gen. Nelson's division on the left and Maj. Gen. Wallace's division on the right. Gen. Nelson's forces opened a most galling fire and advanced rapidly as they fell back. The fire soon became general along the whole line, and began to tell, with terrible effect, on the enemy.
Gens. McClernand, Sherman and Hurlbut's men, though terribly jaded from the previous day's fighting, still maintained their honors won at Donelson, although the firing of the rebels at all points was terrible and worthy a better cause, but they were not enough for our undaunted bravery, and the dreadful desolation produced by our artillery, which was sweeping them away like chaff before the wind, but knowing that a defeat here would be a death blow to their hopes, and that their all depended on this death struggle, their generals still urged them on in the face of destruction, hoping by flanking us on the right to turn the tide of battle. Their success was again for a time cheering as they began to gain ground and appearing to have been reinforced, but our left, under Gen. Nelson, was driving them and with wonderful rapidity, and by 11 o'clock Gen. Buell's forces had succeeded in flanking them and capturing their batteries of artillery. They again, however, rallied on the left, recrossed, and the right forced themselves forward in another desperate effort, but reinforcements from Gens. Wood and Thomas were coming in, regiment after regiment which were sent to Gen. Buell, who had again commenced to drive the enemy.
About 3 o'clock in the afternoon Gen. Grant retired to the left where the fresh regiments had been ordered, and finding the rebels wavering sent a portion of his body guard to each of the five regiments and then ordered a charge across the field — himself leading. As he brandished his sword and urged them on to the crowning victory, while cannon balls were flying around him like hail, the men following with shouts that sounded above the roar and din of artillery, and the rebels fled in dismay as from a destroying avalanche, and never made another stand.
Gen. Buell followed the retreating rebels driving the rebels in splendid style and by 5 o'clock the whole rebel army was in full retreat to Corinth with our cavalry in hot pursuit. What further result is not known, they not having returned up to this hour.
We have taken a large amount of their artillery, and also a number of prisoners.
We lost a number of our men prisoners, yesterday, among whom is Gen. Prentiss.
The number of our force taken has not been ascertained yet. It is reported at several hundred. Gen. Prentiss is also reported wounded.
Among the killed on the rebel side, was their general in chief, A. Sidney Johnston, who was struck by a cannon ball on Sunday afternoon; of this there is no doubt, as the report is corroborated by several rebel officers taken to-day.
It is further reported that Gen. Beauregard had his arm shot off this afternoon.
Gens. Bragg, Breckenridge and Jackson are commanding portions of the rebel forces.
Our loss in officers is very heavy. It is impossible at present to obtain their names. — The following are among the number:
Brig. Gen. W. H. L. Wallace, killed; Col. Pegram, acting general, killed; do Col. Ellis, 10th Ills; do Maj. Goddard, 15th Ills; Lieut. Col. Canavard, 72d Ohio, mortally wounded, since died; Col. Kyle, 41st Ind., mortally wounded; Col. Davis, 46th Ill.; Gen. Sherman, wounded in the head by a cannon ball; Col. Sweeney, 52d Ills, acting brigadier general, wounded, 2 shots in his only arm, having lost one in Mexico. He also received a shot in one of his legs. Col. Sweeney kept the field until the close of the fight, and he excited the admiration of the whole army. — Col. Dave Steward, 55th Ills., acting brigadier general, shot through the breast, on Sunday, and returned to the field on Monday; Col. Chas. Crufts, 31st Ills., acting brigadier general, shot through the right shoulder, not dangerous; Col. Haynie, 48th Ills., wounded slightly; Col. J. C. McHenry, 17th Kentucky, Lieut. Col. Stout, 17th Ky.; Lieut. Col. Morgan, 25th Ind., wounded severely; Col. Ransom, 11th Ill., wounded badly in head; Col. Mason, 71st Ohio, wounded slightly; Maj. Easton, 18th Ills., acting colonel, wounded fatally; Maj. Nevins, 11th Ills, wounded slightly; Capt. Irving W. Carson, Gen. Grant's scout, head shot off by cannon ball; Capt. Preston Morton, wounded mortally, since died; Capt. Dillon, 18th Ills, killed; Capt. Mace, 5th Ills., killed; Capt. Carter, 11th Ills., killed; Maj. Page, 57th Ills., killed.
There has never been a parallel to the gallantry and bearing of our officers, from the commanding general to the lowest officer.
Gen. Grant and staff were in the field, riding along the lines of the thickets of the enemy's fire during the entire two days action, and all slept on the ground Sunday night during a heavy rain.
On several occasions he got in range of the enemy's guns, was discovered and fired upon. Lieut. Col. McPherson had his horse shot from under him along side of the general.
Capt. Carson was between Gen. Grant and your correspondent when a cannon ball took off his head, and wounded several others.
Ben. Sherman had two horses killed under him, Gen. McClernand shared like dangers, also Gen. Hurlbut, each of whom received bullet holes in their clothes.
Gen. Buell remained with his troops during the entire day, who, with Gens. Crittenden and Nelson, rode continually along the lines, encouraging their men.
Gen. Buell's advance will probably return from Corinth tomorrow evening.
CAIRO, April 9. — Further advices from Pittsburg give the following about the battle:
The enemy attacked at 4 o'clock Sunday morning. The brigades of Sherman and Prentiss being the first engaged.
The attack was successful and our entire force was driven back to the river where the advance of the enemy was checked by the fire of gunboats, and our force increased by the arrival of Gen. Grant with troops from Savannah, and inspired by the report of the arrival of two divisions of Buell's army.
Our loss this day was heavy, and besides the killed and wounded, embraced our camp equipage and 36 field guns.
The next morning our forces, now amounting to 80,000, assumed the offensive and by 2 o'clock p. m., had recovered our camp and batteries, together with some forty of the enemy's and a quantity of prisoners, and the enemy were in full retreat, pursued by our victorious force.
The casualties are numerous.
Gen. Grant wounded in the ankle; Gen. W. H. L. Wallace killed; General Smith severely wounded; Gen. Prentiss wounded; Col. Hall, 16 Ill., killed; Cols Logan, 32d Ill., and Davis 51st Ill., severely wounded; Major Hunter 32d Ill., killed, and our loss in killed and wounded and missing is not less than 5,000. Col. Headly, 25th Mo., was also severely wounded.
From new Madrid we learn that Pope has 3 generals 7 colonels and 5000 men prisoners; 100 guns, camp equipage and stores in large quantities.
CAIRO, 10 P.M., April 10 — Special to Chicago Times:
I have been able to gather a few more particulars from Island 10.
Four hundred and seventy-eight prisoners, including 17 officers, 70 pieces of artillery, a large amount of ammunition, muskets and small arms, were captured.
It is said our mortar shells proved very destructive wherever they struck and exploded.
It is reported that the Confederates had become perfectly demoralized, and in many cases entire regiments would refuse to obey orders.
Much ill feeling prevailed among the officers, and both officers and men had no confidence in their commanding officer.
No further information has been obtained in reference to the number of prisoners captured on the Tennessee shore, and it will be impossible to get any further before morning.
Much excitement prevails here over the news of the battle of Pittsburgh.
It is regarded as most fortunate that Gen. Buell came up as he did with one division to reinforce Gen. Grant.
It evidently was the expectation of Beauregard to fight the battle before Gen. Buell could form junction with Gen. Grant.
We hope to get further particulars to-morrow.
CHICAGO, March 9. — The Tribune's special from Cairo 8th, says boats commenced running to New Madrid to-day.
The river had fallen four feet, within the last two days, greatly facilitating the operations of Gen. Pope opposite New Madrid.
Hon. Jesse K. Dubois is here en route for the upper Tennessee.
Hon. Emerson Etheridge has telegraphed to 300 citizens of Bourbon county, Tennessee, who were driven out by the rebel troops, to return with him.
They will probably return to-morrow.
Reliable reports from Jeff. Thompson, a week ago, place him in the swamps, some 80 miles from here, with a few hundred marauders.
Several men who have hitherto been in his army, from the vicinity of Charleston, 12 miles from here, in Mo., have petitioned Gen. Strong for permission to take the oath and return to their allegiance. The general authorized the county clerk, a good union man, to take bounds and administer the oath.
Dr. Simmonds, medical director, leaves this evening for the Tennessee river with two large hospital boats, completely fitted out by J. E. Yeatman, of the St. Louis sanitary commission. They contain 800 beds for wounded.
The hospitals here will accommodate 1400 patients.
Special to Times.
Cairo, April 8. — At 9 o'clock last night a boat came to the flag ship with a messenger carrying a letter from the commanding officer at Island No. 10, to Flag Officer Foote, proposing terms for the surrender of the Island.
Flag Officer Foote replied that he would accept no terms other than an unconditional surrender.
At 1 o'clock this afternoon the enemy surrendered unconditionally to Com. Foote.
Several transports, and it is supposed one or two gun-boats, the celebrated floating battery, ammunition and stores have thus fallen into our hands.
Too much praise cannot be awarded to Flag-Officer Foote and the gallant officers under his command for this brilliant achievement in capturing the Gibraltar of the Mississippi without the loss of a single life.
We have no information at this time as to details, but it is supposed that most of the rebel troops on the Tennessee shore have effected their escape. It is supported that they commenced leaving after the Carondolet succeeded in turning their batteries, as that destroyed all hope of their maintaining the position.
Capt. Pennock, who has achieved wonders in fitting out and repairing gunboats, transports, and furnishing supplies to the fleet, has reason to believe that our mortars did terrible execution among the rebels.
It is reported that Gen. Pope had 1,800 troops over from New Madrid last night ready to march and bag the enemy, but it is believed he was too late.
Special to Chicago Tribune:
CAIRO, April 8. — Dispatches from New Madrid are received.
The gun boats Carondelet and Pittsburgh, yesterday morning, shelled and silenced the batteries on the opposite shore, when Pope ordered the troops across. It was effected without loss.
The rebels fled towards Tipton, sinking several of their transports — among others the Grampus.
The floating battery of the rebels, mounting 10 guns, drifted down last night and is aground near Point Pleasant. It will be recovered with its armament.
The Ohio Belle was also recovered.
Gen. Paine led the advance on the batteries.
Gen. Pope at once took the Pittsburgh and Carondelet, and with a part of his army, hastened to Tipton, attacked the enemy this morning and took 2,000 prisoners — mostly from Arkansas and Louisiana. He will probably get as many more before night.
The rebels fled to the swamps in great confusion. The victory is complete and decisive.
Great quantities of stores, cannon and ammunition have fallen into our hands. All baggage and supplies are taken.
Gen. McCall, of the rebel adg't gen'l's department, is a prisoner.
The country, between New Madrid and Island No. 10, on the east side of the river, is being scoured by our troops, many prisoners will doubtless be taken there.
Ben. Bissell, with transports, is ordered down to Tipton by Gen. Pope which is 12 miles below New Madrid to bring cannon and other property up to New Madrid.
Divisions of our army are pursuing the fleeing rebels in all directions.
Their entire force at and about Island No. 10, is either taken prisoners or utterly routed and demoralized.
Hon. Emerson Etheridge has just arrived from Paducah, to him the news of our success is specially gratifying. His residence is 35 miles south east of Hickman.
Gen. Strong will send an escort with him to his home to secure his safety. Thousands of his former friends will greet his arrival with a glorious welcome.
BALTIMORE, April 9. — The Old Point boat has arrived.
She left Fort Monroe about 8 o'clock last night.
The Merrimac is expected with 7 other gun boats the first favorable day.
Weather cold and foggy.
Latest news from Yorktown by telegraph, on the 8th, is that everything is progressing satisfactorily, and a battle is not expected within a day or two.
The American's special correspondent says the storm which arose Monday afternoon and continued through Tuesday, doubtless prevented the Merrimac from coming out as she intended. She is how looked for confidently as soon as the weather permits.
A gentleman who was on board the steamer Raucocos when she went up with a flag of truce on Monday, says the Merrimac was then lying off Crany Island. The Yorktown, Jamestown, Teaser and four small tugs were in company with her, all under steam. No particular change in the appearance of the Merrimac was noticed. It was the impression of those on board the Raucocos that the whole fleet were on their way down when the flag of truce appeared.
The storm must have been severely felt in the army now advancing up the Peninsula, deprived, as they are, to a great extent, of shelter and tents, and exposed to a constant watchfulness in face of the enemy. The roads were none too good before and will not be brought to a horrible condition, and the public must not be impatient in expecting early results in this direction.