The Great Battle.
CAIRO, April 9, 1862 — 10 P.M.
No official accounts have yet been received from the great battle near Pittsburg. A few who were witnesses of most of it have arrived, and a summary of their report is as follows; they may differ somewhat from the first reports sent you:
The Federal army was posted between two streams about four miles apart, that run into the Tennessee nearly at right angles to it, about two miles each from Pittsburg. The left front was commanded by General Prentiss, who had several raw regiments, and in his rear was General Sherman with his division. The right front was held by General McClernand, with Gen. Smith in his rear. Gen. Hurlbut was in the center, somewhat in the rear of the front line. Beauregard attacked Gen. Prentiss's division at 4 o'clock on Sunday morning, surprising them and driving them and Sherman's corps near the river till protected by our 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 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 General Grant assuming command, the enemy was driven back, and the Federal forces occupied at night nearly the same positions they did in the morning. The fight lasted fifteen hours.
During the night General Lew Wallace came up from Crump's Landing with nineteen thousand troops, and in the morning the battle was renewed with great fury. Neither party seemed disposed to yield, and between 10 and 12 the fight was terrific. Soon after noon, Gen. Buell had crossed the Tennessee and attacked the enemy in flank with 40,000 men, and the rout soon became general. Buell pursued with twelve thousand men, mostly cavalry, and the last rumor was that he had taken Corinth.
Our informant can give no account of our loss further than it is terrible. Eight hundred wounded are reported on one steamer on their way down.