The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956

Book Reviews

The Lost Account of the Battle of Corinth and The Court Martial
of Gen. Van Dorn. By an unknown author. Monroe F.
Cockrell, editor. With an introduction and informal essay
on the battle by Monroe F. Cockrell. Jackson, Tennessee
(McCowat-Mercer Press), 1955. Pp. 78. Illustrations and
map. $1.50.
This "Lost Account" is here printed in full as it appeared in
pamphlet form. The exact date is not known but the date appear-
ing on the dedication page is January, 1899. Along with the
account appear very limited editorial notes and a brief account
of the battle of Corinth by the editor.
The "unknown author" writes very much as an eyewitness
would but evidently was not a participant as he writes equally
familiarly of the activities of both Confederates and Federals.
This newly discovered earlier account of the battle is valuable
principally as corroborative evidence of the truth of other accounts
and sustains previous accusations in regard to Van Dorn and the
Confederate maneuvers around Corinth. It appears from these
pages that the failure of the movement against Corinth is explain-
able on the basis of Confederate blunders and carelessness-no
maps, slow advances, slow retreats, delayed attacks, inadequate
supplies, failure to reconnoiter, commander's contempt for sub-
ordinates, failure to follow up advantages gained. The Federals
knew more about the topography of the vicinity of Corinth than
did the Southerners, and, thus handicapped, the Confederate
maneuvering in the field could not match the original planned
strategy.
It appears that the blunders of the Union Army matched those
of the Confederate, as the author points out that if, at a particular
moment, the Confederates had made a concerted attack the day
might have been won, but failing to do so, if the Federals had
relentlessly and seriously pursued the slowly retreating Confed-
erates Van Dorn's Army might have been annihilated. The
author places squarely on the shoulders of Price and Van Dorn
the responsibility for the stunning defeat of the Confederates at
Corinth.
CLAUDE ELLIOTT
Southwest Texas State College

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101162/. Accessed August 29, 2014.