Heres my "fog of war" on this battle. The O.R. is really no help at all. If you read every report from both sides I have two completely different battles. Both claiming a victory. Although there are plenty of documents and reports on this battle there is much information missing. The differences in total numbers of killed and engaged between each side is large. The Union claimed Price had a total force of about 11,000 and the Union had in combat 2,800 against them. Total Confederate loses (Union claim) about 1,400 men, total Union losses about 700, 13,000 rounds of ammunition and under 2,000 arms captured from the Confederates. Confederate documents only show a portion of their total engaged and loses, and a positive claim on captured Union material from the Iuka depot. Price claimed victory because his goal was to leave Iuka and join up with Van Dorn toward the west (Holly Springs?) and he effectively disengaged and ambushed the pursuing Union forces. The Union claimed victory because they stopped Price from advancing towards Corinth and caused them to retreat.
What bothers me is the lack of effort on Prices part to engage more strongly against the force he knew was coming from five miles away, driving in his pickets the whole while. Sending in his forces peacemeal he was repulsed back towards Iuka. What was the problem? Was he really that small a force?