May 2, 1862: Lew Wallace takes Purdy, TN

Lew Wallace
Lew Wallace

The Confederates from Corinth were threatening Purdy, a town northwest of Shiloh; Grant ordered Lew Wallace to send out cavalry, who wound up taking the town easily.

From the Official Record:


HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE,
In Field, Shiloh, May 2, 1862.
General JOHN A. McCLERNAND,
Commanding Reserve Army Corps:

A note just received from General Halleck says that the enemy are moving toward Purdy, to operate on our flank. Have all the approaches by way of Owl Creek well watched, and tomorrow early, or to-night if practicable, a strong reconnoitering party toward Purdy. Cavalry alone will answer for this reconnaissance. I will direct General Wallace to use extra vigilance on the two roads leading from here.

U. S. GRANT,
Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE,
In Field, Shiloh, May 2, 1862.
Major General LEW. WALLACE,
Commanding Third Division:

It being reported that the enemy are moving a strong force from Corinth toward Purdy, with a view of operating on our flank, you will cause extra vigilance in that direction and increase the guards. I have informed General McClernand that this order would be sent direct, to save time. Send out all your cavalry toward Purdy, to reconnoiter the country in that direction.

U. S. GRANT,
Major-General.

Meanwhile, the New York Times was reporting on the action as it happened — they note that they were prohibited from sending it by telegraph, but it didn’t slow them down much in making it public: this article came out the next day.

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