In autumn 1862, General Buell’s Army of the Ohio pursued Braxton Bragg’s Confederate Army into Kentucky. Sterling Price’s Confederate Army of the West was mobilized to block Ulysses S. Grant’s Armies of the Mississippi and Tennessee from reinforcing Buell. Price fixed upon the small town of Iuka to make his stand, ousting its small Union garrison. Grant ordered General Rosecrans to attack Price with the Army of the Mississippi in a two-pronged assault before Price could be reinforced by Van Dorn’s Army of West Tennessee. With the first ‘prong’ – two divisions under Edward Ord – in position north of town, Rosecrans attacked… and attacked, expecting all the while Ord’s flanking assault. But Ord stayed put, apparently unaware of the raging battle nearby. Accordingly, Price escaped and rendezvoused with Van Dorn, to clash with the Union army at Corinth. Rosencrans prevailed but failed, to Grant’s disgust, to pursue the retreating Confederates.
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