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Re: Book Review on The Battle of Iuka and Corinth

My apologies for not responding sooner. I have been away from my computer for almost three weeks.
First let me say that I do think Mr. Cozzens book is a fine work and I frequently recommend it as “the” book to read on Iuka, Corinth, Davis Bridge. However, there are indeed many errors in the book. Many are very minor; some are a bit more glaring. Some examples:
Pg. 142 "the road from Pocahontas to Corinth" – there was no road from Pocahontas from Corinth. The road to Corinth led through Metamora 2 miles to the south.
Pg. 142 "He detached…two batteries of artillery." Van Dorn left behind only one battery of Artillery, Dawson’s St. Louis Battery.
Pg 145. In his description of batteries around Corinth the author neglects to mention Battery Madison which plays an important role in the upcoming battle.
Pg. 152. "the only troops in town were two brigades of McKean’s division." Only one brigade, Allen’s, is in town. Oliver’s is beyond Cane Creek and Crocker’s is 2 miles west near Battery F.
Page 156. "Besides costing several dozen Michigan boys their lives"… 23 killed, 74 wounded.
Pg. 156. "Cane Creek was more of an obstacle…ground nearby was spongy." Cane Creek was dry at the time of the battle due to a protracted drought.
Pg. 157. "Orange dirt of the hills." There is no orange dirt here in Corinth.
Pg. 160. "Yankee bullets splashed harmlessly in the water"…Cane Creek was dry. The nearest supply of water the Confederates had was back in Tennessee along the Tuscumbia River.
Pg. 162. "9:00 a.m….Rosecrans was behaving oddly."
Pg. 164. "By 9:00 a.m. Rosecrans’s mind had cleared."
Pg. 167 Map 6. Pfifer’s brigade noted as being cavalry. Troops were actually dismounted serving as infantry; The 1st Minnesota Artillery had 2 guns vice 1; Battery H, 1st Missouri Artillery had 4 guns vice 2; Wade’s Missouri Battery had 4 guns vice 6 and there is no evidence it was in position between Martin and Green’s brigades.
Pg. 172. "Thirty-fifth Mississippi…had a camel." The 43rd Mississippi owned Douglas the camel.
Pg. 173 "and the section of artillery posted with it." There were 2 sections of Battery H (Welker), 1st Missouri Light Artillery.
Pg. 195. "A swamp adjacent to the Mobile & Ohio Railroad would protect his right flank…" The 52nd Illinois extended its line beyond the railroad and pushed back an attempt to flank the line. The “swamp” was not a hindrance; the guns of Batteries Robinett and Williams, which could easily range the west White House Field… The west White House Field (Davies left flank, Van Dorn’s right flank) was out of the line of sight of the forts due to intervening woods and elevation changes. The artillery did not and could not support the action it could not see.

I could go on and one. My own copy of the book is filled with notes. The chapter concerning Davis Bridge is particularly heavy with errors and I question whether the author actually walked the battlefield. Examples:
Pg. 285 "plunged into the river where dozens drowned" There is no evidence that any soldiers actually drowned.
Pg. 286 "blithely waved across Davis Bridge by Sterling Price" Price was never at the bridge or even close to it.
" " "alongside the survivors of Moore's brigade and Hawkin's Legion" The 1st Texas Legion did not take up a defensive position on the east bank but returned to its parent command, Colbert's brigade, Green's division.
" " "...massed five batteries along its crest" There were only four batteries; McNally's Arkansas, Hogg's Arkansas, Sengstak's Alabama and Hoxton's Tennessee.
" " "Price was foolishly enjoining the infantry to cross the river" The order was Van Dorn's not Price's.
Pg. 287 "Ord was beyond the reach of rational thought" Ord had just defeated the forward elements of a retreating army and ordered the attack to continue across the river to pin the foe between his own force and that of Rosecrans. An irrational idea???
Pg. 287 "The orders to Veatch and Lauman horrified Hurlbut. He remonstrated passionatley with Ord." Hurlbut could not be found when the order was given. Ord could not find his division commander and Hurlbut did not arrive at the bridge site until after Veatch had already crossed. Instead of remonstrating with Ord he was being chewed out for not being with his brigades.
Pg 287. "How he expected the gunners to aim uphill through the forest, Ord failed to say." Ord was the former head of the artillery school at Fort Monroe, Virginia and knew as much as anyone concerning the use of cannon. The "uphill" was a mere 20 foot rise in elevation across 250 yards of bottom land. There was a thicket along the rivers edge but open field beyond.
Pg. 287. "Ord's vague orders". There was nothing vague about the orders, the commander made a serious error when he ordered troops to the right of the State Line Road, but there was nothing vague about his orders or his intent.
Pg. 288 "Pallisard fell dead and the company broke up". This is incorrect. When Lt. Armand Pallisard of Company E, 53rd Illinois was killed, command passed to Sgt. Mark Bassett who maintained order in his company.
Pg. 289. "A blast of canister denied him the chance and he toppled onto to the bridge with an iron ball in his leg." Ord was shot on the leg and the bullet (not canister ball)lodged between the bones of his lower leg. He did not topple to the bridge but maintined his saddle and rode away from the scene.

Once again I could go on and on. Many, many mistakes, but none the less I think it is a good book that does a good job of describing the campaign.


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Book Review on The Battle of Iuka and Corinth
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Re: Book Review on The Battle of Iuka and Corinth
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Re: Book Review on The Battle of Iuka and Corinth
Re: Book Review on The Battle of Iuka and Corinth
Re: Book Review on The Battle of Iuka and Corinth
Re: Book Review on The Battle of Iuka and Corinth