1 "Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government/' vol. ii.p. 54.

conduct of the troops, published by General G. T. Beauregard to the Army of the Mississippi, will continue in force in the whole army until otherwise directed, and copies thereof will be furnished to the 3d Army Corps and the reserve." :

When, at the suggestion of General Beauregard, it was deter mined that we should advance on the 3d of April, to strike the enemy at Pittsburg Landing, it was he again who, despite his ill-health, prepared and delivered to the Adjutant-General of our united forces all the notes from which was written General Order No. 8, directing and regulating the inarch of the army from Cor inth, and the order in which the enemy should be attacked.

General Beauregard left Corinth with the army, and reached, simultaneously with General Johnston, the ground whereon was formed the Confederate line of battle. lie was then on horse back, as was General Johnston himself.

To bring before the reader some of the incidents which occurred on the afternoon of the 5th, the following passage is taken from MajorWaddelFs statement of facts relative to the battle of Sliiloh :f

"ST. Louis, Notcmlcr 8th, 1878. " General G. T. BEAUKEGAKD :

* * * * * :!•- * *

" I joined you on the morning of the 5th, at Monterey, and rode with you to Headquarters No. 1. Judging of time by what I had done that morning, I am of opinion that it was afternoon before you and General Johnston reached the ridge where the front line was formed and Headquarters No. 1 was estab lished.

" After a conference of the general officers was held at a point in the road, at which I witnessed a very marked deference on the part of General A. S. Johnston for your opinions and plans of conducting the battle, it was suggest ed by General Hardec that you should ride in front of his line of battle to show yourself to his men, giving them the encouragement which nothing but your presence could do. I well remember your modest hesitation at the prop osition ; your plea of sickness was urged (a more delicate reason existed, no doubt—your esteem of the chief in command), but when the request was made unanimous, General Johnston urging, you consented, on condition that the men should not cheer as you passed, as cheering might discover our position to the enemy. An order was sent quickly along the lines, informing the men that you should ride in front of them and that no cheering should be indulged

* In other words, copies of orders already issued by General Beauregard to his troops were to be sent to General Johnston's army.

t Major Waddell was one of General Bcaurcgard's volunteer aids. For the whole of his statement, see Appendix to Chapter XX.

in. You passed in front of the lines, and never was an order so reluctantly obeyed as was this order, 'No cheer ing, men T which had to be repeated at every breath, and enforced by continuous gesture.

" General Johnston's prestige was great, but the hearts of the soldiers were with you, and your presence awakened an enthusiasm and confidence magical in its effect."

In corroboration of this we now give an extract from Colonel Jacob Thompson's report of the battle. Colonel Thompson was also one of General Beauregard's volunteer aids.*


" To General G. T. BEAUREGARD :


" Soon after this, General Hardee, accompanied by his staff, came forward and pressed you to ride along his line and show yourself to his men. He be lieved it would revive and cheer their spirits to know that you were actually in the field with them. You accepted the invitation, though then complain ing of feebleness, on condition there should be no cheering." f

These are high testimonials of the estimation in which General Beauregard was held by the corps commanders and by General Johnston himself. They illustrate and explain the power and in fluence he exercised over the troops. Neither officers nor men, to whom his very presence was encouragement and comfort, supposed, for an instant, as he rode slowly down their lines, that he was of too feeble health to lead them on to victory the next day.

In the hurry and absorption of the occasion, General Beaure gard had not given orders for the establishment of his night quar ters : he therefore slept in his ambulance. Then—that is to say, between eleven o'clock P.M., on the 5th of April, and half-past four o'clock A.M., on the Gtli—had any officer of General John ston's staff been sent to General Beauregard, the latter would have

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been found " in his ambulance in bed ;" then, but only then ; for, " the next morning, about dawn of day," according to a statement prepared by General Bragg for Colonel "W. P. Johnston's book, General Beauregard was present "at the camp-fire of the general in chief.";): lie had arrived there on horseback. From the time

* Colonel Jacob Thompson, of Mississippi, had been Secretary of the Inte rior under President Buchanan, t See Appendix to Chapter XX. | "Life of General Albert Sidney Johnston," p. 5C9.

when he left his ambulance that morning he did not see it again until his return to Corinth, after the battle of Shiloh.

In support of this statement the reader is referred to General Beauregard's letter to Governor Harris, dated March 9th, 1880, written after the appearance of Colonel W. P. Johnston's book."-The following is an extract from that letter:

a You will observe tins text imputes to you a knowledge, and also implies that it is upon your authority, that Colonel "W. P. Johnston asserts my having said that I would be found in bed in my ambulance; whereas the fact is, that I had ridden with General Johnston from Monterey, on the preceding day, to the field. I only slept in my ambulance that night, as I had no tent, and did not sec it again until my return to Corinth. I was again on horseback short ly after daybreak on the Cth—earlier, for that matter, than General Johnston, whom I found at his headquarters taking his coffee. We parted in advance of his headquarters, when he went to the front, with the understanding that I was to follow the movements of the field and direct the reserves; in which connection I call your attention to Colonel Jacob Thompson's statement, at page 570 of W. P. Johnston's book : 'General Johnston determined to lead the attack in person, and leave General Beauregard to direct the movements of troops in the rear.' I may add, that I was on horseback all that day, with very few intervals, until you rejoined me at my headquarters, near Shiloh meet ing-house, about sundown, after my return from the front; and I was again on horseback all the next day from about seven o'clock, with few intervals, until my arrival at Corinth, late that night/'

This is clear and unambiguous. It utterly disproves and re duces to naught the groundless story chronicled by Mr. Davis. In reply to that letter (April 13th, 1SSO) Governor Harris wrote :

"... But my recollection is, and I have so stated upon several occasions, that the last words you spoke to General Johnston, as lie was starting to the front on Sunday morning of the battle of Shiloh, were, t General, if you wish to communicate with me, send to my ambulance,'" ctc.f

Here the words "in bed" are entirely omitted. They are in Colonel Johnston's and Mr. Davis's books, but not in Governor Harris's letter to General Beauregard. We know that Governor Harris is sincere in his belief that these were General Beauregard's words, but his impression about them, however strong it may be, is none the less erroneous. "Where that ambulance was, or would be a few hours later, General Beauregard knew no more than

* Sec Appendix to Chapter XXII.

t The whole letter is in Appendix to Chapter XXII.

Governor Harris, or any other member of General Johnston's staff: how, then, could he have directed any one to it ? This, how ever, is of small importance. Whatever may be the recollection of Governor Harris, and even admitting its correctness, it still remains an incontrovertible fact that no one saw, or professed to have seen, General Beauregard in his ambulance on either day of the battle; for the very simple reason that he was not near it him self, and hardly knew what had become of it.

As early as half-past six o'clock A. M., on the 6th, he was busily en gaged issuing orders, first, to General Breckinridge, then to General Polk, then to General Bragg; and at twenty minutes after nine, when the last reserves passed Headquarters No. 1, \vhere he had been left by General Johnston, he again mounted his horse and followed them to the front, where he remained as long as the battle raged, devoting his whole energy to the movements of our left and centre, while General Johnston was directing the attack on our right. This is conclusively established by the report of General Beauregard himself, and by those of Colonels Thompson, Augustin, Brent, Major Waddell, and Captains Ferguson, Chisolm, and Smith, who were General Beauregard's aids, or acting aids, at the time.*

Reverting now to what Mr. Davis insinuates was General Beau-regard's attitude when informed of General Johnston's death, we have only to say, that the very source whence Colonel Johnston and Mr. Davis seem to have derived their information—namely, Governor Harris, in his letter of April 13th, 1880, already referred to—in nowise confirms what is said to have been his language on that occasion. Questioned by General Beauregard to that ef fect, he says:

" I reported to you the death of General Johnston, when you expressed re gret, inquired as to the circumstances under which, he fell, and inquired also of me if the battle was going on well on the right. I answered, it was; when you said, ' We will push on the attack,' or * continue to press forward;' the exact words employed I cannot with confidence repeat; but this is the sub stance and meaning of what was said."

Mr. Davis's account of the matter would lead the public to be lieve that General Beauregard was indifferent as to whether the


battle should continue or not; nay, more, that he would have or-* See their reports, in Appendix to Chapter XX.

dered a cessation of hostilities had not Governor Harris suggested that the fight had better go on. AVho could give credence to this, even if Governor Harris had not given the counter-statement al ready submitted to the reader? But Mr.Davis reaches the culmi-nating-point when, speaking through Colonel Johnston's book, he describes General Eeauregard as a sickly, broken-down, indiffer ent commander, who was disposed to trust to chance for a favora ble turn of events, and who listlessly remained where he was, unable, if not unwilling, to take the helm and conduct the move ments of the army.

This is trifling with public credulity. Mr. Davis certainly trusts too presumptuously to the consideration accorded to him on ac count of his former high position.

The entire country knows that General Beauregard, the trained soldier, is a man of quick temperament, who, without being rash. has never flinched under responsibility; that the salient traits of his character are boldness and energy. To assert that such a man remained quiet and inactive, when the chief command of the army devolved upon him—when the boom of the cannon was in his ear, and the clash and fury of the battle were around him : when news from the right told that victory on that part of the line was almost within our grasp—is to put too great a strain upon the credulity of even the simple. Words are not necessarv to refute this slander, or to establish the fact that General Beau-regard acted, under the circumstances, as his education, his nature, his duty, and his will prompted him. The preceding chapters have sufficiently shown the difficult and masterly work he accom plished, after the sad event which left in his hands the command of the army. Here, again, truth forces the statement that Mr. Davis, in his effort to detract from the merits of one against whom he has not scrupled to exhibit his persistent animosity, has over reached his aim, and, far from accomplishing his purpose, has only succeeded in impairing the historical value of his own book.


General Beauregard's Insistance on the Evacuation of Columbus.—Docu ments Relating to the Matter.—General McGown to be put in Command of Madrid Bend.—He is Called by General Beauregard to Jackson for Instructions.—He Repairs to Madrid Bend. — Dispositions Made for its Defence. — Commodore Hollins to Co-operate with Land Forces.— Number of Troops under General McCown.—Arrival of General Pope on the 28tli of February in Front of New Madrid.—Colonel Plummer Estab lishes a Battery on the River.—Apprehensions of General McCown.—Gen eral Beauregard's Despatch to General Cooper.—General McCown Exhib its still Greater Anxiety.—General Beauregard Doubts General McCown's Capacity.—Successful Evacuation of Columbus.—Attack Commenced on New Madrid March 12th.—Conference of General McCown with Commo dore Hollins on the 13th, and Evacuation of Forts.—General Beauregard Applies for General Mackall.—Garrison of New Madrid Transferred to Opposite Bank of River and Island No. 10.—General Beauregard Orders all Surplus Guns, Supplies, and Boats to Fort Pillow.—Fall of Island No. 10 on the 7th of April.—General Pope's Forces Transported to Vicinity of Fort Pillow.—General Pope Ordered to Pittsburg Landing.—Want of Capacity of Commodore Hollins.—General Beauregard's Various Tele grams and Orders.—He Detains General Villcpigue in Command of Fort Pillow.—Instructions to Captain Harris.—Surrender of New Orleans.— Bombardment of Fort Pillow.—The Montgomery Rams.—General Beau-regard has Steam Ram Arkansas Completed, Equipped, and Manned.— History of the Arkansas. —Tribute to Captain Isaac Brown and Crew.— Prisoners with Smallpox Sent to Fort Pillow.—What Became of Them.— Letter to General Villepigue, May 28th. — He is Directed by General Beauregard to Prepare for Withdrawing his Troops from Fort Pillow.— Fort Evacuated 1st of June.—Responsibility of Various Movements Left to General Beauregard.

IT must not be forgotten that General Beauregard, in his con ference with General Polk, a few days after his arrival at Jackson, Tennessee, suggested and even urged the evacuation of Columbus at the earliest moment practicable ; that is to say, as soon as Madrid Bend, Island No. 10, and New Madrid could be fortified and suffi ciently prepared for temporary occupation; the object being to give time for the completion of the work of armament then going on at Fort Pillow, fifty-nine miles above Memphis, which was

represented to be a strong natural position, but in a more unfin ished state than any other around Madrid Bend. Some field-works were also in process of construction at the points above named, though little progress had yet been made upon them, as was represented to General Beauregard by his Chief-Engineer, Captain Harris.

The reader is referred to the several chapters preceding the ac count of the battle of Shiloh,* wherein many of the arrangements made by General Beauregard with regard to Columbus, and for the defence of Xew Madrid, Island No. 10, and Madrid Bend, including the incidents connected therewith, are mentioned at length, and carefully reviewed in the order of their actual occur-

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rence. We allude to the memorandum of February 7th, prepared at Bowling Green by General Beauregard, exhibiting the general plans of operations adopted by General A. S. Johnston at that time;f to General Beauregard's letter to General Johnston, dated February 12th, 1802 ;:|: to the telegram of the Secretary of War, dated February 19th, authorizing the evacuation of Columbus, as suggested by General Beauregard ;§ to the latter's communication of February 21st to General Cooper;] to his circular of same date to the governors of Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisi ana ;*[ and also to his letter of February 23d to Lieutenant-General Polk.*'' These papers, documents, and outside details give an out line of the dispositions General Beauregard considered it judicious to make for the security of the defensive works on the Mississippi River. They show that although his attention was engrossed bv the movements of concentration which he was then preparing, he could, nevertheless, spare time and thought for distant points, fore seeing what the probable plans of the enemy would be, and sug gesting the means necessary to defeat them.

It had been agreed between Generals Beauregard and Polk that Brigadier-General McCown, with some seven thousand men, should be sent to the positions about Madrid Bend as soon as the works in process of construction there should have reached a suffi cient state of completion to be properly armed and manned. The surplus ammunition removed from Columbus was to be sent to

* Chapters XV.-XVIII. t Chapter XV. p. 220.

I Ibid. p. 221. § Appendix to Chapter XVI. || Ibid.

1 Chapter XVI. p. 240. ** Appendix to Chapter XVI.


Fort Pillow, and also the surplus guns, which were to be mounted with the greatest possible celerity.

General McCown, according to a telegram forwarded to that ef fect, repaired to Jackson, Tennessee, to receive personal instructions from General Beauregard. He was accompanied by General Tru-deau, of Louisiana, acting Chief of Artillery on General Folk's staff. The line of conduct to be adopted and the mode and manner of defence were minutely traced out for him. He was told by Gen eral Beauregard that he must not count upon reinforcements, for all available troops were now being collected in or about western Tennessee, to oppose the Federals, should they attempt to cross the Tennessee River; that he must therefore make up his mind to do his utmost with the troops he would take with him ; that he would find two regiments at New Madrid, under Colonel Gantt, and possibly two others, under Colonel L. M. Walker, at Fort Pil low. As an additional assistance, Captain Harris, Chief-Engineer, was to be put in charge of the construction of all the field-works required, under specific verbal and written instructions from Gen eral Beauregard. This was a system adopted and invariably fol lowed by him throughout the course of the war. He knew that subordinate commanders, however able in other respects, could not, with justice, be expected to possess a thorough knowledge of engineering.

General McCown inspected the river defences at and about Madrid Bend on the 25th of February, when, on his application, Colonel L. M. Walker, with his two regiments from Fort Pillow, was ordered to reinforce Colonel Gantt, at New Madrid. Shortly afterwards General McCown's own troops arrived from Columbus, at Island No. 10, and at Madrid Bend, where he established his headquarters, lie was followed, on the 1st of March, by Stewart's brigade, which was sent to reinforce the troops at New Madrid, where General Stewart, being the senior officer at that point, as sumed command of the post under General McCown, who ranked him. Commodore Hollins, C. S. N., with eight river gunboats, which General Beauregard had obtained from New Orleans, soon came up with his fleet to assist in the defence of the up per Mississippi, until Fort Pillow, with the obstructions then in process of construction somewhat higher up, could be made strong enough to prevent the Federal gunboats and transports from pass ing down the river. Thus, in the early part of March, General

McCown's forces at Xew Madrid were increased to six regiments


of infantry, and a few companies of heavy artillery, in two field-works, one of which—Fort Thompson, a bastioned redoubt, south of the town—had fourteen heavy guns, while the other — Fort Bankhcad, a battery north of the town—was armed with seven heavy guns. He also had a field battery, originally of six guns, afterwards of seven. The two works were more or less connected by rifle-pits.

The river was high at that season of the year, and the eight Confederate gunboats, under Commodore Ilollins, could easily rake the approaches to the above-named forts.*

On or about the 12th of March, General McCown's forces, ex clusive of the gunboats—which were not under his orders, but had come to co-operate with him—consisted of twelve regiments and one battalion of infantry, five field-batteries of six pieces each, and three companies of cavalry; added to which was the equivalent of one regiment of heavy (foot) artillery, making an aggregate of about eight thousand five hundred men of all arms.

Ilis opponent, Major-General Pope, who had left Commerce, on the Mississippi, above Columbus, Kentucky, on the 2Sth of Feb ruary, arrived in front of Xew Madrid on the morning of the 3d of March. His force numbered five small infantry divisions, with one light battery to each, besides nine companies organized into a division of light artillery; about three regiments of cavalry, and two of infantry acting as engineer troops—in all, some twenty-five thousand men.

General Pope had no sooner ascertained the nature and arma ment of the Confederate works in his front than he sent for and obtained, from Cairo, with great labor and difficult}', three rifled 24-poundcrs and one 8-inch howitzer, which were all the siege-guns he could bring to his assistance.

On March 5th he detached Colonel Plummer, from near Xew Madrid, with three regiments of infantry, four light rifled pieces of artillery, two companies of cavalry, and one of engineer troops, to act as an outpost at Point Pleasant, some ten miles below Xcw Madrid, and to attempt, with their rifled field-pieces, to stop the passage of transports up and down the river. P>y morning of the 7th the enemy's four guns were in position, in separate sunken

* General Force, " From Fort Henry to Corinth/' pp. G8, C9.

batteries, along the river bank, connected together by rifle-pits; and so accurate was the fire of the sharpshooters there stationed that the gunners on the Confederate gunboats could no longer keep their posts. This compelled the fleet to retire, and the trans ports to stop at Tiptonville, some eight miles farther down the river. General McCown must have considered himself in a critical condition from the very outset, for on the 6th General Beaure-gard received from him the following telegram:

" NEW MADRID, March 5th, 1862,

Via MEMPHIS, Qth. " General BEAUREGARD :

" The force in my front is, say fifteen thousand; between here and Sykes-ton fifteen thousand, and large number of guns. Sigel is inarching on Point Pleasant with ten thousand. My position is eminently dangerous.

" J. P. Me GOWN, " Comdg. New Madrid."

This somewhat alarmed General Beauregard, although lie could not well believe that the forces under General Pope amounted to more than twenty or twenty-five thousand men; and he had good reason to know that General Sigel was then operating in south western Missouri, against Yan Dorn's army. It was clear to him, however, that he could not place much reliance in a subordinate commander who was thus timorous under responsibility, and who apparently gave way to nervous apprehension as to the strength of his adversary. This was another and still stronger proof of the absolute need of trustworthy commanders in General Beanregard's military district. Acting under that impression, he, on the same day, telegraphed General Cooper as follows:

"JACKSON, TENN., MarcJi 6th, 1862.

" For the sake of our cause and country, send at once Mackall as Major-General, and three brigadier-generals recommended by me. Colonel Ransom to command cavalry. Organization here much needed. 1 '

On the 9th came another despatch from General McCown, dated the clay previous. In it he said that he had not yet placed the salient ordered by General Beauregard, in advance of the works, as the position it was to occupy would be raked by our gunboats, and that he had no force to place there; that he would erect it as soon as possible. [This, however, he never did.] In the same telegram, which was a long one, he also said :

' ; The least estimate of the force of the enemy on Madrid plain is thirty

thousand, with sixty guns. . . . How long can I hold New Madrid with my small force against such odds, is a question. I believe the enemy will soon be fifty thousand strong. ... I am determined to hold my position at every haz ard. Shall engage in no field risks; I see my danger; my men are confident and in good spirit."

This communication aroused the greatest apprehension in Gen eral Beauregard's mind, as it confirmed his belief in General Mc-Cown's exaggerated fears of the dangers threatening his position. Clearly, Xapoleon's axiom—" Confidence is half the battle "—was not known to the commander at Madrid Bend. General Beaure-gard began to think it would be necessary to send a steadier officer to relieve him. Having but recently arrived in that military dis trict, however, the direct command of which lie had assumed only four days previously,* and being, as yet, unacquainted with the subordinate commanders serving there, General Beauregard, who, on the other hand, was still awaiting the arrival of the officers so urgently asked f of the War Department, concluded to await further developments before taking final action in the matter. lie did not doubt the personal bravery of General McCown, though his timorousness as a commander and fear of responsibility were most apparent. He therefore wrote him an earnest letter of encouragement, of which the closing words were: "The country expects us all to do our duty with a fearless heart, and we must do it or die in the attempt. V J

Columbus had been successfully evacuated. Part of its troops and most of its guns and other armament had been transferred to the different defences about Madrid IVnd, the enemy offering no interference to delay the movement. There was additional cause of gratification in the fact that the governors of the southwestern States had all favorably answered General Beauregard's call on them, through his circular of February 2ist. We need not repeat what we have already written about his efforts to organize and concentrate an army under the most trying circumstances, and. the noteworthy manner in which it was effected.§

The real attack on New Madrid commenced March 12th, but

* March 5th. Sec order to that effect, as given in Chapter XVII. p. 249. t See General Beauregard's letter of February 24th, to General Cooper, in Chapter XVI. See all his telegrams to same purpose.

| The letter appears in the Appendix to the present chapter. § Sec Chapters XVI.-XVIII.

the four siege-guns of the Federals were not in position, nor were their batteries completed, until 3 A. M. on the 13th. The firing opened at daybreak and ended at dusk, with very little injury on either side; yet, that very evening, after a defence of less than twelve hours, General McCown, although the vital importance of holding his post to the last extremity had been repeatedly im pressed upon him by General Beauregard, held an informal con ference with Commodore llollins, on board the hitter's flagship, at which General Stewart only was present, and it was agreed that the forts must be immediately evacuated. This was done dur ing the night of the 13th, in a heavy rain storm, and in a manner far from creditable to the general commanding. The evacuation was conducted with so much confusion indeed as almost to amount to a stampede. The Confederate forces there engaged numbered some three thousand five hundred men of all arms, with twenty-one heavy guns, and two light batteries of six pieces, opposed to which were only four siege-guns, as we have already stated. All our artillery, except the guns of one of the two light batteries, together with ammunition, animals, and stores, were left in the hands of the enemy. Not one of General Beauregard's impor tant instructions had been carried out. This was the poorest de fence made of any fortified post during the whole course of the war; and the responsibility for the disasters it entailed must neces sarily rest on the immediate commander and not on the troops; for they were formed of the same material as those who manned and made glorious the defences of Island jSTo. 10, Fort Pillow, Vicksburg, Charleston Harbor, Petersburg, Fort Fisher, and Span ish Fort.

The hasty and unnecessary evacuation of Xew Madrid destroyed the little confidence General Beauregard had felt in the com mander of that sub-district. It is but fair to add that the enemy had displayed activity, enterprise, and determination in his attack upon the Confederate works, though, as appears from the Federal reports, no such easy victory had been anticipated.

General Beauregard now concluded to apply at once for Briga dier-General W.W. Mackall, then Chief of Staff to General A. S. Johnston, whose promotion he had long been urging, and who, he knew, would have fulfilled all his expectations, had it been possi ble sooner to secure his services.

General Johnston sustained the application, but could not spare

Brigadier-General Mackall, until liis own and General Beaure-gard's forces were united at Corinth, which only occurred on March 27th. The hurried course of events and consequent dangerous outlook on the Mississippi, from and after the 14th of March, rendered it doubtful whether it was not too late, on the 31st, when General Mackall assumed command, to accomplish any good re sult, or provide for the emergencies of the situation. At his last interview with General Bcauregard before entering upon his new duties, and in answer to the remark that he would probably com mand only a forlorn hope, but that the fate of the Mississippi Valley depended, just then, on the possession of Island Xo. 10 and the surrounding works, if only fur twelve days more, he, true soldier as he was, said : " The post of danger is the post of honor. I will do my duty to the best of my ability, and, I hope, to the satisfaction of the country and of yourself.''

It has already been shown, in Chapter XVIII., how the garrison of New Madrid was transferred to the opposite bank of the river, and how a portion of it was sent to reinforce the troops supporting the works at and about Island Xo. 10.

General McCown, having succeeded in reaching Fort Pillow with a portion of his forces, was authorized by General Polk to assume command there; but General Beauregard, though approv ing the main dispositions taken for the defence of Madrid Bend and Island Xo. 10, insisted upon General McCown's return to his former headquarters, to resume the direction of operations; which he did, on the iMst, leaving General A. P. Stewart, a good artillery officer, in charge of the fort and its immediate surroundings.

The abandonment of Xew Madrid insured the fall, ere long, of Island Xo. 10, and, therefore, of Madrid Bend. Hence General Beauregard's immediate order to send at once all unmounted guns, surplus supplies, and boats to Fort Pillow—thus reducing to a minimum the forces necessary to hold those two now much en dangered posts."" His order was lirst delayed on account of an earnest appeal made to him by General McCown, but was renewed and carried out on the 18th, the need being absolute for a garrison at Fort Pillow, and no other troops being then available. The force thus transferred thither consisted of five regiments of in fantry, two light batteries of six guns each, and Captain Xeely's

* General Beauregard's letter to General Bragg, of March loth, see Appendix.

squadron of cavalry, which was soon to follow; leaving, under General Walker, for the defence of Island No. 10 and Madrid Bend, some companies of heavy artillery, forming about the equiv alent of a regiment; seven regiments and one battalion of infantry; one company of Stewart's light battery, with six guns; and two companies of Mississippi cavalry — an aggregate of about four thousand four hundred men.

General McCown's telegrams to General Beauregard now again exhibited the same anxiety and discouragement so discernible in those previously forwarded; and such continued to be his course, until he was finally relieved by General Mac-kail, on the 31st, as already explained. He was sent to Memphis, out of command, and ordered to write the report of his operations, especially such as referred to the evacuation of New Madrid.

After a stout and soldierly resistance at Island No. 10, our troops displaying the unflinching spirit that distinguished them during the war, the work at last succumbed on the 7th of April, and surrendered to the Federal fleet, under Commodore A. II. Foote, two or three hours after the retreat of the Confederate forces from Shiloh had been ordered. The shattered condition of the works proved to what extremity their defenders had been reduced. A Federal writer says: u The earth is ploughed and furrowed as with an earthquake. Small caverns were excavated by the tremendous explosions," * etc. And General Force, a fair narrator of this period of the war, speaking of the first or second day of the bombardment (what must it not have been on the last!), uses this language : " Thirteen-inch shells exploding in the ground made caverns in the soil. Water stood on the ground within, and the artillerists waded in mud and water." f Lieutenant-Colonel Cook, of the 12th Arkansas, had been placed in command of the Island on the morning of the 7th, by order of General Mackall. Having had news, on the evening of that day, that General Pope's forces had effected a landing on the east bank of the river, and that the Confederate troops had already fallen back, he ordered and effected the evacuation of the work, leaving it in charge of Captain Ilawes, of the artillery. Colonel Cook, that night, re treated with his regiment (about four hundred men) along the

* "Record of tlie Rebellion" (Documents), 1862, vol. iv. p. 440. t "From Fort Henry to Corinth," p. 80.

western shore of Reelfoot Lake, until he reached a ferry landing, near Tiptonville, where General Beauregard had had collected, through the activity and energy of Colonel Pickett, commanding at Union City, quite a number of canoes, skiffs, and other small boats, for such an emergency. With these Colonel Cook succeeded in saving, not only his own command, but several hundred strag glers who had gathered there during the night. Meanwhile, towards midnight on the 7th, General Pope's entire army had crossed the river and was advancing on Tiptonville, General Paine's division leading the march. With such overwhelming odds against him, General Mackall was compelled to surrender with his small force, aggregating about three thousand men. It follows, as a matter of course, that General Pope's official report of the number of Con federate prisoners taken on that occasion, namely, "six thousand seven hundred," was a greatly exaggerated statement.

The enemy had now full control of the river as far down as Fort Pillow, one hundred and ten miles below Island Xo. 10.

That fort, contrary to the general opinion about it, was not so strong as its natural position indicated, nor as it had been repre sented to be to General Beauregard. It was situated on the east bank of the river, near the mouth of Coal Creek, and some ten miles above the Hate-hie River. A little over three miles east of it, the two streams just mentioned, with their banks partially over flowed and, therefore, almost impracticable, came within a mile and a half of each other. Yet the engineers who planned the works before General Beau regard's arrival in the West had not availed themselves of this natural advantage, and, strangely enough, instead of erecting the land defences at the point men tioned, had placed them nearer the fort, thereby lengthening their lines more than three miles, and necessitating a garrison of nearly ten thousand men. A similar error, as we have already pointed out, had been committed at Columbus. General Beaure gard, upon assuming command of his new military district, and, in fact, before he had done so, used every endeavor to introduce a new and entirely different system, in the defensive works of the Mississippi lliver. lie caused them to be almost entirely recon structed for minimum garrisons, which he knew would be amply adequate, under efficient commanders, to resist a siege of several weeks, or until assistance could be afforded them, thus increasing, to a maximum, the troops available for operations in the field.

So far as circumstances would permit, this plan had been carried out in regard to all the river defences. But, in order the sooner to complete the works at New Madrid, Island No. 10, and Mad rid Bend, which had first to be prepared against attack, only the surplus guns of Columbus had been sent to Fort Pillow.

The recent loss of so much armament and ammunition had in creased the gravity of the situation, not to speak of the additional loss of General Mackall's forces at Island No. 10. We were in one of those unfortunate positions in war where it becomes nec essary to sacrifice a fractional command to save the other and larg er portion. Here the sacrifice had become ail the more impera tive, by reason of the fact that Fort Pillow was now our only re liance, for the safety of the Mississippi Yalley; except, perhaps, Randolph, fifteen miles farther down, where some light works had been thrown up, with as little regard to a minimum garrison as at Forts Pillow and Columbus.

Less than a week after the surrender of Island No. 10, trans ports were filled with General Pope's forces, and, thus loaded, de scended the stream, reaching the vicinity of Fort Pillow on or about the 14th of April. And here began a new phase of the stirring drama of this period of the war ; for, before any active operations were undertaken by General Pope against Fort Pillow, he was suddenly ordered to Pittsburg Landing by General Ilal-leck, who had arrived there on the llth, and had officially assumed command. This order was carried out; and on the 21st, General Pope's army was encamped at Hamburg, on the Tennessee River, some twelve miles below the celebrated "Landing;"' thus increas ing the Federal forces at and around the battle-field of Shiloh, to an aggregate of at least one hundred and twenty thousand men.* This was an error on the part of General Halleck; for he certain ly had no need of reinforcements at that time, his army being in a state of complete inactivity. General Pope should have been allowed to continue his operations against Fort Pillow, as he had already successfully done against New Madrid, Island No. 10, and Madrid Bend. The probabilities are that, with their immense re sources in men and materials, and in view of the unfinished con-

* General Halleck puts the number at one hundred and twenty-five thou sand. General Force, in his book, often quoted by us, says one hundred thousand. General Sherman, in his "Memoirs," vol. i. p. 251, says that the army " must have numbered nearly one hundred thousand men. 1 '

dition of the works at Fort Pillow, the Federals would, in a short time, have succeeded in forcing its evacuation, when the whole Mississippi River would have been opened to them down to Xew Orleans.

A respite of many months was thus unintentionally given, by the commander of the Federal forces, to the Confederacy, then hard pressed in the Southwest.

During the operations thus recorded, and judging from the dif ferent telegrams he had received frum Commodore Iloliins, and Generals Folk and McCown, General Beauregard was under the impression that our gunboats had done all that could have been expected of them. A careful reading of other telegrams, letters, and reports, Confederate as well as Federal, have, since that time, compelled him to modify his opinion. ]Ie now thinks that the Confederate flotilla, under Commodore Iloliins, did not display the energy, resoluteness, and daring afterwards evinced by many an officer in the Confederate States navy, most conspicuous among whom were the heroic Admiral Semmes, Commodore Maffitt, and Captain Brown of the Arkansas.

Among the gunboats brought from Xew Orleans by Commo dore Iloliins, or sent to him after he had left, was the celebrated ram Manassas, which, however, could not then be used to any ad vantage, for the reason, as it appears, that there was no Federal craft of any description south of Island Xo. 10, against which her ramming equalities might be brought into play. Later, and just as she could have been of much use, General Lovell insisted upon her being sent back to him, which, after several remonstrances from General Beauregard and from Commodore Iloliins, was reluctant ly done. Had the Manassas been with the flotilla, on the 5th of April, when the Federal transports passed through the recently excavated canal at Xcw Madrid, and two of the enemy's gunboats ran the gauntlet before Island Xo. 10 and the Madrid Bend bat teries, it is more than probable that they would have been de stroyed by the Confederate ram ; and that no other Federal trans port or gunboat would have made a like attempt. In that case General Pope would not have been able to cross his troops to the Tennessee shore, and could not have taken in rear the forces hold ing the works at Madrid Bend. Had a signal repulse been met with by the first Federal boats entering that part of the Mississippi River, it is to be presumed that General Pope's operations around

New Madrid would have been abandoned ; for twice, already, bad General Halleck been on the point of recalling his expedition.

Far as he was from the scene of action, General Beauregard's telegrams and instructions to Generals Polk. Withers, Stewart, Rust, and Villepigue, to Captains Harris and Lynch, to Lieuten ant Meriwether, and other officers of the engineer corps, show how extreme was his vigilance, and what minute precision marked his different orders.

We submit the following examples:*

1. "JACKSON, TENX., March 8th, 18G2. " Captain M. LYNCH, Corps Engineers, Fort Pillow :

" Your traverses •would do against field-guns, but not against heavy ones. Dismount every third gun when sufficient force arrives. Surmount present parapet in rifle-battery with sand-bags.


2. " JACKSON, TENN., March llth, 1862. " Brigadier-General YV^ITHERS, Fort Pillow, Tenn. :

" Select shortest line ; construct detached works first, then connect with cremaillere. Get all negroes possible. Reconnoitre opposite shore also.


3. "JACKSON, TENN., March 17th, 18G2. "Major-General L. POLK, Humboldt:

" What does McCown mean by his doubt ? Would it not be well to leave to his judgment when to execute the movement decided upon ? Have you given orders to provision Fort Pillow for two or three months for five thou sand men ?


4. " JACKSON, TENN., March 21st, 1SG2. " Captain D. B. HARRIS, Engineers, Fort Pillow :

"Look as soon as practicable to land defences of fort. Construct detached works first, then cremaillere. Total garrison about three thousand men ; defen sive lines must not be too extensive.


o. " JACKSON, TENN., March 21st, 18G2.

" Brigadier-General A. P. STEWART, Commanding Fort Pillow :

" Is water battery unserviceable from high water ? If so, remove guns im mediately to better position. Put all river batteries in immediate serviceable condition. How many negroes have you? If not enough, call on Captain Adams, Memphis, for more forthwith, also for tools. How are batteries off for ammunition? Look to this.

" THOMAS JORDAN, Acting Adjutant-General."

* Other telegrams of equal importance are given in the Appendix.

G. " JACKSON, TENN., March 22d, 1862.

" Captain J. ADAMS, Comclg. Memphis :

"Send Captain Owen's Arkansas company to Fort Pillow, to report for heavy artillery service.


7. " JACKSON, TENN., March 24^, 1862. " Brigadier-General A. P. STEWART, Comdg. Fort Pillow :

" The General wishes his instructions to engineers and commanding officers at Fort Pillow T collected and copied in a book, for information of command ing officer of that post. The land front defences must be shortened, for a total garrison of but three thousand men, as he has repeatedly stated before.

" TIIOS. JORDAN, A. Adj-Gcn."

8. "JACKSON, TENN., March 31tf, 1SG2. '• Brigadier-General J. B. VILLEPIGUE, Comdg. Fort Pillow :

'•Furnish 'Mississippi Defence Expedition' all requisite armament and am munition for immediate service, and report.


0. "ConiNTir, April 14M, 1862.

"Brigadier-General RUST, Fort Pillow:

" No arms here, or available at present. Employ unarmed men to construct bridge over Ilatchic on roads to Covington and Randolph, and repair roads. Impress negroes also for same purpose. Show to General Villepigue. Ample additional forces ordered to \our assistance.


10. " ComxTii, April UtJi, 1862.

" General SAM. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:

"Cannot a more active and efficient officer be put in command of gunboats at Fort Pillow ? It is important to do so at once. I am informed garrison at Madrid Bend capitulated ; part got off. Xo official report yet. I am rein forcing garrison of Fort Pillow for a strong and long defence. When will Memphis gunboats be ready ? Are much needed.


On the 13th of April, General Tlnst, of General Price's division of Van Dorirs Trans-Mississippi Department, was sent to Fort Pil low with three regiments and a battalion of infantry, most of them badly armed and equipped. On the following day lie informed General Beaurcgard of his arrival; spoke of the imminence of an attack by the enemy's land forces; and called for additional arms for his men.

General Villepigue had asked for reinforcements as soon as he no longer doubted the truth of the report of the fall of Island Ko.

10 ; but, though expecting troops from Memphis, he had not been apprised of the name or rank of the officer who was to accompany them. Tie soon learned, however, that General Rust ranked him, and wrote for instructions to army headquarters. General Beau-regard authorized him to retain the immediate command of the works until the arrival of Major-General Samuel Jones, spoken of as the next commander of the fort, but who never came, his ser vices being required at Mobile. On the 2-itli, the whole of Gen eral Rust's command—less one regiment left at Randolph—was ordered to Corinth via Memphis. The object was to counteract, as much as possible, by additional forces, whatever movement was planned by the enemy, in consequence of the withdrawal of Gen eral Pope's forces from the Mississippi River.

A fe\v days before, General Beauregard being of opinion that the services of Captain Harris could then be dispensed with at Fort Pillow T , and appreciating the necessity of defending the river at some other point farther down, telegraphed General Villepigue as follows:

" CORINTH, April Wth, 1862. " Brigadier-General J. B. VILLEPIGUE, Comdg. works at Fort Pillow :

" Release Captain D. B. Harris, and instruct him to repair to Vicksburg, where he will find orders in post-office.

" By command of General Beauregard.

" THOMAS JORDAN, A. Adj.-Gen."

These orders ran thus:


CORINTH, Miss., April Zlst, 18G2. " Captain D. B. HARRIS, Chief-Engineer, Vicksburg, Miss.:

u Captain, —Understanding that there are no points sufficiently high on the river, between Memphis and Vicksburg, which could be fortified for the de fence of the Mississippi, I have concluded to construct some defensive works on the bluffs at or about Vicksburg, for which purpose you will make a care ful reconnoissance of that locality. From what I am told, I should think the bluffs immediately above that city, not far from where a small stream empties into the river, would be a proper point for said works, provided it is not com manded by surrounding heights within two miles. A lower battery, with four or five guns, might be so located as to defend the entrance of the Yazoo River and the small stream above mentioned, provided said battery can be protect ed by the guns of the upper works; otherwise the entrances into these two branches of the Mississippi must be obstructed by rafts, piling, or other wise.

"Another important consideration is, that the peninsula opposite Vicksburg should not be susceptible of being canalled across, from the river above to the

river below, for the passage of the enemy's boats beyond the reach of the guns of the fort.

"Should the locality admit of such a canal, beyond the range of said guns, another enclosed battery, of four or five gur;s, will have to be constructed be low Vicksburg, to command the ground over which said canal might be made.

"Tho plans and profiles of these works must be left to your own judgment, and to the nature of the ground on which they are to be located. Their ar mament will consist often or twelve 8-inch and 10-inch guns, fifteen 42-pound-crs, three 24-pounders, and several mortars, with a dozen field rilled guns, and half a dozen 24-pounder howitzers; those being all the guns we can spare at present for the defence of the river at that point.

" The total garrison will consist of about three thousand men. There should be ample space in those works for magazines—traverses in every direction, field bomb-proofs, and a few storehouses and cisterns.

"Acting Captains John M. Reid and PuUison. also Acting Lieutenant John II. Reid, have been ordered to report to you for the construction of these works. The two Reids (father and son) I am well acquainted with ; they were for years employed l>y me in the construction of my forts in Louisiana. They arc very reliable, practical men, and will be of much assistance to you; the other gentleman I am not personally acquainted with. Colonel Aubrey, military commander of Vicksburg. has been ordered to afford you all the as sistance in his power, in the collection of men and materials for the construc tion of said works. About one thousand negroes have been ordered to report to you with their tools, etc., immediately; but, should you not be able to pro cure them otherwise, you will impress them at once. You must put forth all your energy to complete those works as soon as practicable, and report their progress every week.

v% Respectfully, your obedient servant,

"Ci. T. BEAUIU:GAI;D, Gen. Comdg.''

Nor was General I Jean regard unmindful of the importance of strengthening and increasing the armament of Randolph, as ap pears by his letter to Commodore Pinckney, under date of April 24tli, 1862.*

On the 27th Captain Harris answered that no batteries could be placed on the Mississippi banks to command the mouth of the Yazoo River, which is twelve miles above Vicksburg. lie said it was proposed to pass into the Yazoo much valuable property, and obstruct the passage of the enemy's boats by booms, rafts, piling, and batteries, at a point eighteen miles above its mouth, and twelve miles from Vicksburg, where the highlands reach that stream ; and he added, " Shall I order this work ? I am now constructing

* Sec letter in Appendix.

batteries below this city." His object was, in the event of New Orleans falling into the hands of the Federals, to prevent their passage up the river. General Beanregard approved at once his proposed plans, and notified him to that effect. lie had previously written to Dr. E. K. Marshall, a very influential citizen of Vicks-bnrg, asking him " to give Captain Harris all the aid in his power, and to arouse his people to a sense of their duty to furnish the nec essary labor in such measure that the work will go on with prop er celerity."

On the very day upon which Captain Harris's answer was penned New Orleans surrendered to the Federal fleet under Ad miral Farragut, after a short and inglorious resistance on the part of Forts Jackson and St. Philip. There had been no adequate assistance from the Confederate gunboats and rains ordered to co operate with them; nor did the armed vessels known as the "Mont gomery fleet," with one or two exceptions, show any efficiency whatever. Such a disaster, resulting from so weak a defence, took the whole country by surprise—the North as well as the South; and it is grievous to make even a passing mention of it. Want of foresight and discipline caused this irreparable calamity. It affords us some consolation, however, to be able to state that the Hon. J. T. Monroe, mayor of the unfortunate city, evinced more than ordinary firmness and patriotism in his refusal to com ply with the demand made upon him, to strike the Confederate flag floating over the city hall.

On the 28th the bombardment of Fort Pillow was fairly begun. No "mutineers" were there, as there were in Fort Jackson, to force a surrender upon the officers. The whole command, men and offi cers, vied with each other in a determined and resolute resistance, and troops were even withdrawn from the fort to reinforce other points needing assistance, without a sign of despondency, still less of mutiny, among the men. Troops act differently in different forts. Their conduct depends on the conduct of their officers. As these prove themselves to be, so, invariably, are the men under them.

We were now in May, and no material change had been noticed at General Villepigue's post. The bombardment was continued day after day, and frequently throughout the nights, but with no visible result. Now and then a man was killed, and one or two wounded. The commander's spirit, however, and the spirit of his


troops, remained the same. A diversion occurred on the 10th of May.

The " Montgomery Earns," of which four out of eight were fully armed and equipped, were induced by General Jeff. Thomp son and his " jay - hawkers " —as the enemy called his men — to run into the Federal fleet, then besieging Fort Pillow. General Thompson took personal command of the movement—a decided and bold one—which would have resulted in the dispersion of the Federal fleet, had Commodore Pinckney, who now commanded the Confederate gunboats, co-operated in the attack, as it was his plain duty to do. Two of the enemy's gunboats, the Mound City and the Carondclct, were seriously crippled, and compelled to seek safety in shoal water. The mortar-boats—of which one was re ported sunk—were towed out of range.

This is proof of what could be accomplished by our fleet, such as it was, when managed with determination and energy; and caused General Beauregard to regret still more the supineness of the naval commanders charged with the protection of that part of the Mississippi Kiver. Small hope, however, could be entertained of a change for the better in these matters. For, on May 13th, and despite strenuous efforts on the part of General Beauregard, the two iron-clads on the stocks at Memphis were far from being iinished. On that day (loth) he was informed by General Villc-pigue that Mr. Ellerson, of Memphis, offered to complete at once either of the two gunboats, if officially authorized, and properly assisted in doing so. General Beauregard immediately forwarded instructions to that effect, as is shown by the following telegrams:

I- " CORINTH, May TMi, 18G2.

" Brigadier-General J. B. VILLEPKIUE, Fort Pillow, Term.: " Yes, let him work day and night until finished.


" CORINTH, May Utti, 1802. •' General S. COOPER, A. and I. G., Richmond, Va.:

"I have ordered the Memphis ram to the Yazoo for safe - keeping until finished. Have ordered every exertion made to finish it forthwith. It will be done in one week. May I request proper officers, crew, armament, and am munition to be provided for it at once ? G. T. BEAUREGARD/'

3. " CORIXTII, May Uth, 1862.

"Brigadier-General M. L. SMITH, Comdg. Yicksburg:

" See that steam-ram be properly guarded, and use every exertion to finish it forthwith. G. T. BEAUREGARD."

On the following day, with a view to protect the river near Vicks-burg until the works in process of construction there could Lc sufficiently completed, he ordered the heaviest steam-rains down from Fort Pillow. His telegram to General Villepigne to that effect speaks for itself:

" COHINTH, May 15th, 18G2. " Brigadier-General J. B. VILLEPIGUE, Comdg. Fort Pillow:

" Have those heaviest steam-rams been sent to Vicksburg ? If not, send them forthwith. Otherwise, may lose the river from below. We want a few days longer to finish the Arkansas. G. T. BEAUHEGAKD."

On the 19th he asks General Smith, at Vicksburg, if it is true that more iron is needed for the Arkansas, and if " no work is be ing done on her," and on the 21st he telegraphs Hon. S. E. Mal-lory, as follows:

" I want a general order to get what rope is necessary for this army. Steam-ram Arkansas reported,' cannot be got ready for one month.' Is it not possi ble to expedite its construction ? Safety of the river depends on it now."

These despatches invite us to give here the after-history of the Confederate iron-clad whose name has just been mentioned. The manner in which she was saved from destruction, completed, and officered has already been described. The feats she performed under her dauntless commander, Captain Isaac N. Brown, who, upon General Beauregard's demand for an able officer, was ju diciously selected by the Hon. Mr. Mai lory, Secretary of the Navy, are deserving of enthusiastic praise; the more so, since Commodore Lynch, after inspection, said of her, she is " very inferior to the Merrimac in every particular; the iron with which she is covered is worn and indifferent, taken from a railroad track, and is poorly secured to the vessel; boiler iron on stern and coun ter; her smoke-stack of sheet iron."*

Nevertheless, on the morning of the 15th of July, 1862, that Confederate iron-clad, the Arkansas, mounting ten guns, with a crew of two hundred men, descended the Yazoo River to attack, not one or two Federal gunboats, but the fleets of Admirals Far-ragut and Davis, then near Vicksburg. She was met at sunrise,

* See Captain C. W. Reid's " Reminiscences of the Confederate States Navy," vol. i. No. 5 of the " Southern Historical Society Papers," for May, 1876. Cap tain Reid was one of the officers of the Arkansas, and it was he who, by order of Commodore Lynch, forwarded to the Secretary of War the despatch above, pronouncing the vessel inadequate for the service required of her.

in Old Itiver, ten miles from the Federal anchorage, by the United States iron-clad Carondelet, the gunboat Tyler, and the ram Monarch. The Caronddet alone was superior in guns, armor, and speed to the Arkansas. Captain Brown promptly as sailed this advance squadron, and, after an hour of close combat, disabled and silenced the-iron-clad and drove the other two ves sels to the shelter of the fleets, in the main river. Losing no time with the disabled Carondelct, the Confederate iron-clad pro ceeded down stream, and attacked the combined fleet of more than twenty men-of-war. She pushed through their double line of heavy ships, rams, mortar-boats, and six iron-clads, each one of which last, like her late antagonist, in Old River, was of greater force than herself. She received the flre of three hundred guns, which, at half cable's length, the lone Confederate ship returned with destructive effect, from bow, stern, and both broadside bat teries. Fur more than an hour the combat of one to thirty lasted, until the Arkansas, cutting her way through the enemy's line of massive ships, destroying some and disabling others, passed, shat tered, but nnconquered, on her way to Yicksburg, virtually raising the siege of that hitherto closely blockaded city.

This combat, in its odds and results without a parallel in naval warfare, was attended with great loss to the Confederates in killed and wounded. The commander of the Arkansas, exposed on the shield deck, was three times wounded: once by a Minie-ball, touching him over the left temple; then by a contusion on the head and slight wound in the hand and shoulder; then, struck from the deck insensible, he was, for the moment, supposed to be killed, but he regained consciousness, and, dr.nntless as ever, resumed his place and command till the end of the battle. Among the wounded was Lieutenant G. "VV. Gift, who, with Grimball of South Carolina, the second lieutenant, ably commanded the bow-guns. Lieutenant Stevens, the executive officer, discharged with honor, both in preparation for and during the action, every duty of his responsible position. Barbot, Charles Reid, Wharton, and Dabney Scales, lieutenants w r ho, like their commander, were recently from the United States navy, were alike distinguished for the bravery and precision with which they served their guns. Captains Har ris and McDonald, of a Missouri regiment, with sixty of their men, volunteered for the naval service, and though they went on board only forty-eight hours before the battle, and were entirely

unused to the exercise of great guns, formed an effective portion of the Arkansas's crew. It is but a just tribute to the brave men who figured in this engagement to add, that they did so, knowing the odds against them, and with the resolution, inspired by a short address of their commander, as the fight was about to begin, to succeed in their work or perish.

The conflict here so briefly sketched took place in close prox imity to the Federal army encamped on the west bank of the river, but not in view of the city of Vicksburg. The solitary Confederate ship was thus within hearing, but not within reach of aid from her friends.

The subsequent history of the Arkansas may be given in a few words. On the evening of the 15th (July), the day of the double battle above Vicksburg, she engaged the fleet of Admiral Farra-gut, passing Vicksburg, and, in the latter action, had both her ar mor and machinery further damaged, suffering also severely in killed and wounded among men and officers. A week later, when the crew of the Arkansas had been reduced to twenty-eight men, by sickness and the detachment of the Missouri volunteers, the iron clad Essex, aided by the strongest ram of the Federal fleet, attacked her. Both assailing vessels, though running into the Arkansas, were repulsed, but with a loss to the latter of half her crew, killed by the cannon-shot of the Essex. Not daring to make another attack, the Union forces abandoned the blockade, some going down and others up the river. Unfortunately the damaged condition of the Arkansas would not allow pursuit.

Of admirals and naval commanders who have achieved exalted fame, none accomplished a more fearless feat, with a better result, than the commander of the Confederate iron-clad Arkansas. His name, and, coupled with it, the names of his brave officers, merit lasting honor at the hands of the South. Nor are the men who formed that matchless crew, because their names are unchronicled, entitled to less applause.

On the 20th and 22d of May, General Villepigue informed General Beauregard that the enemy had sent to Fort Pillow two hundred prisoners, most of whom were sick with smallpox, and who had been received, without his authority, by the second offi cer in command. Believing, as did also General Villepigue, that this would result in communicating that terrible disease to the garrison, and thereby destroy its effectiveness, General Beauregard

at once telegraphed, "return them forthwith." But Commodore Davis, of the United States navy, peremptorily refused to take them back. They were then cared for by General Yillepigue, and placed, with great difficulty, in separate quarters, under the intelligent and devoted supervision of Doctor C. II. Tcbault, of Louisiana, then a surgeon in the Confederate army. He wrote an interesting paper on the subject, detailing all its circumstances: but this document, to our regret, is not in our possession.

Foreseeing the necessity of withdrawing his forces from Corinth, and having, in fact, resolved to adopt that course within a short time, General Beauregard began to prepare General Villepigue for the event; not that Fort Pillow was then in any immediate danger, for the enemy had no land forces to spare for operations against it, but because a retrograde movement from Corinth neces sarily involved the evacuation of the fort. lie, therefore, on the 25th, telegraphed to General Villepigue that " whenever the place, in his judgment, should become untenable, he must destroy the works and armaments, and evacuate it, as already instructed ; re pairing to Grenada, by the shortest route, for the protection of the depot; giving timely notice of the same to Fort Randolph and to Memphis."

Three days afterwards, and when the precise moment of the re treat from Corinth had been decided upon (as will be, hereafter, more fully developed), General Beauregard forwarded the follow-iii" 1 instructions to General Villepigue:

f> 1C?

" IIi-:.\i>Qr.\uTi-:ns WESTERN DEPARTMENT,

CORINTH, May 28M, 18G2. " Brigadier-General J. B. YII.LEPIGUE, Comdg. at Fort Pillow, Tcnn. :

41 General, —Wishing to take the enemy further into the interior, where I hope to be able to strike him a severe blow, which cannot be done here, where he is so close to his supplies, I have concluded to withdraw on the 30th instant from this place for the present, before he compels me to do so by his superi ority of numbers. The evacuation of this place necessarily involves that of your present position, which you have so long and gallantly defended. Hence, I have this day telegraphed you that, whenever the enemy shall have crossed the Ilatchic River, at Pocahontas or elsewhere, on his way westward, you will immediately evacuate Fort Pillow for Grenada, by the best and shortest route.

" Should you, however, consider it necessary for the safety of your command to evacuate Fort Pillow before the enemy shall have crossed the Hatchie, you lire left at liberty to do so, having entire confidence in your judgment and ability, not being able to judge from here of your facilities for reaching Ore-

nada. I am of opinion, however, that he will venture slowly and cautiously westward, so long as I shall remain within striking distance of him, on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, at or about Baldwin. It may be well for you to know that the telegraph communication from there to Memphis will be completed before a week or ten days.

" Whenever you shall be about to abandon the fort, you will telegraph the commanding officer at Memphis to burn all the cotton, sugar, etc., in the vicin ity of that city, as per my instructions already communicated to him.

" You will necessarily destroy all government property, arms, guns, etc., that you will not be able to carry off with you; and on arriving at Grenada, you will assume immediate command of all troops there assembled, to organize and discipline them. You might also throw up some light w r orks (batteries and rifle-pits), for the defence of that important position against a small force of the enemy. I have thought it advisable to give you the above instructions in view of the probability that I may not be able shortly to communicate with you.

u Hoping you may continue to meet with success in the defence of our cause and country,

" I remain, respectfully, your obedient servant,

" G. T. BEAUREGARD, Gen. Comdg/'

The telegram referred to above, as being forwarded on the same date, read thus :


CORINTH, May 2Sth, 1862. '• Brigadier-General J. B. VILLEPIGUE, Comdg. Fort Pillow:

"We are to retire from here south. Make preparations to abandon Fort Pillow when forces at Grand Junction retire from there, which commandant is ordered to communicate to you and to execute when the enemy crosses Hat-chic River from here, at Pocahontas or elsewhere.


To complete the record of this episode of the southwestern cam paign—although by so doing the course of this narrative is an ticipated—it must be stated here that Fort Pillow was successfully evacuated about the 1st of June, and that its gallant commander, after complying, so far as he could, with the instructions given him, was subsequently sent to Port Hudson, where, not long after wards, he unfortunately died—not in battle, as he would have wished — but of fever, the result of too great exposure to the weather, and over-fatigue in the performance of his laborious duties. He was a graduate of West Point, and an officer of great intelligence, perseverance, and bravery; never despondent under difficulties; never shrinking from responsibility. He had many

traits of resemblance to General Bee, who, like himself, was a South Carolinian. Both of them would, no doubt, have attained the highest rank in the Confederate service, had their lives been spared to the end of the war.

During the occurrence of events of so momentous a character, between the middle of February and the Cth of April, and upon which hung the fate of the entire southwestern part of the Con federacy, it was—and is—to some a matter of no small surprise that General A. S. Johnston, the commander of the whole depart ment, interposed neither advice nor authority, nor even made in quiry as to the enemy's designs, or our plans to foil them. Such silence, on the part of one whose love of the cause precludes all idea of indifference, omission, or neglect, can only be explained by the fact that he placed implicit reliance upon General Beaure-gaixTs ability to cope, unassisted, with the difficulties of the situa tion, and successfully direct any and all movements originating within the limits of his military district. The telegrams of Gen eral Johnston, dated February 10th and ISth, confirm this inter pretation. " You must do as your judgment dictates." And ngain : " You must now act as seems best to yon. The separation of our armies is, for the present, complete."


Troops Resume their Former Positions after the Battle of Shiloh.—General Breckinridge Forms the Rear Guard.—General Beauregard Recommends General Bragg for Promotion.—Preliminary Report Sent by General Beau-regard, April llth, to the War Department.—Difficulty of Obtaining Re ports of Corps Commanders.—Their Reports sent Directly to the War De partment.—Inaccuracies Resulting Therefrom.—General Beauregard Pro poses an Exchange of Prisoners.—General Pope Gives no Satisfactory An swer.—General Van Dorn's Forces Reach Memphis on the llth.—Despatch of the 12th to General Smith.—A Diversion Movement Determined upon by General Beauregard.—Captain John Morgan.—He is Sent by General Beauregard into Middle Tennessee and Kentucky.— Efforts to Force Bucll's Return to those States.—Location of General Van Dorn's Forces at Corinth; of Generals Bragg's, Folk's, and Breckinridge's.—Bad Wa ter.—Mismanagement of Commissary Department.—Necessity of With drawing from Corinth.—Tupelo Selected for next Defensive Position.— General Beauregard Resolves to Construct Defensive Works Around Vicksburg.—General Pope Takes Farmiugtou.—Confederate Attack.— Federal Retreat.—On the 25th General Beauregard Calls a Council of War.—Evacuation of Corinth Resolved Upon.—General Beauregard's In structions to his Corps Commanders.—Dispositions Taken to Deceive the Enemy.— Retreat Successfully Accomplished.—False Despatches of the Enemy.—Correct Account by Correspondents.—General Force in Error.— Retreat Considered Masterly.—Dissatisfaction of the War Department.— Interrogatories Sent by President Davis.—General BeauregaixTs Answer.

AFTER the battle of Shiloh the Confederate troops resumed their former positions, except the forces under General Breckin ridge, composing the rear guard, which for several days remained at Mickey's house,* some three or four miles from the battle field, until proper dispositions of the cavalry could be made for their withdrawal. Chalmers's brigade, at Monterey, was also with drawn at that time to a position nearer to Corinth.

On the day following the retreat, General Beauregard madeap-

* General Force, in his book, " From Fort Henry to Corinth," p. 182, says : " . . . Breckinridge remained at Mickey's three days, guarding the rear, and by the end of the week Beauregard's army was again in Corinth. The battle sobered both armies."

plication to the War Department for two additional major-gen erals, four brigadier-generals, and a competent chief of artillery. lie also, in the same despatch, urgently recommended Major-General Bragg for promotion. His gallant behavior on the battle field had justified General Beauregard in the hope that, as an army commander, lie would show more than ordinary ability. That he was a conscientious officer and a hard fighter, though too rigid a disciplinarian at times, is known to all, especially to those who served directly under him.

Under the same date (April Sth) a telegram was forwarded bv General Beauregard to the Adjutant-General's office at Ilichmond, giving an account of the second day's battle ; and shortly after wards (April llth) a preliminary report* was likewise sent by him, for the immediate use of the War Department. It was incomplete, and, in many respects, imperfect, as it was written on the spur of the moment, for the instant information of the government, and before any of the reports of the corps commanders had yet reached army headquarters. General Beaurcgard's intention was to write a full and final narrative of the battle (as he had done of the bat tle of Manassas), for the files of the "War Department, as soon as these reports should be forwarded to him ; but, for reasons still unexplained, he never saw them until the winter of lSG3-64,f when the rapid and exciting events we were then passing through prevented him from devoting any time to the preparation of that im portant document. It may not be useless briefly to notice here, what there is of marked significance in the incident just touched upon.

From the date of the battle of Shiloh until General Beauregard was relieved of the command of the army at Tupelo, in June 1 , 18G2, he frequently called on Generals Polk, Brngg, Ilardee, and Brcckinridge, for their reports of the battle, but always in vain ; their constant answer being that they had been unable, as yet, to get official detailed information from the regiment, brigade, and division commanders under them. The consequence was, that the reports we refer to were not transmitted until many months after the battle, and one of them—General Folk's—was delayed until nearly a year had elapsed. They were all addressed to the War

* This Report is ijiven in full in the Appendix to Chapter XX. t General Be an regard has never seen General Brcckinridge's Report, not-Avithstanding repeated efforts to procure it, both during and after the war.

Department, without passing through the regular channel; in other words, without being first submitted to General Beauregard, who was thus deprived of his unquestionable right of correction, ap proval, or disapproval. And we will further state that General Bragg's report, though transmitted, as were the others, without the commanding general's endorsement, bore date April 30th, 1862, as if regularly made to General Beauregard, through Colonel Thomas Jordan, his Chief of Staff, when, in reality, it was not com pleted and despatched from army headquarters until the 25th of July, 1862.* None of the general officers who thus openly violated the well-established rule of military etiquette were ignorant of its acknowledged necessity. From the Adjutant-General at Rich mond, who received the documents thus irregularly transmitted, to the very corps commanders who forwarded them, all were trained soldiers, all, except General Breckinridge, had belonged to the Regular army before the war, where " red-tape " routine, in every military bureau, had ever been strictly insisted upon and in variably practised. It was by the act of a friend f that General Beauregard's attention was attracted to the singular manner in


which these reports had been written and sent to the War Depart ment. And he had cognizance of them only after repeatedly ap plying for copies, which were finally furnished him from Rich mond, but unaccompanied by any of the subordinate reports pur porting to substantiate them. The result is, that the official reports of the corps commanders at Shiloh (with the exception of General Breckinridge's, which we have never seen), instead of serving as a basis for history, are, on the contrary, erroneous in many important particulars, and differ widely from those of the other generals and subordinate officers who participated in the battle, as we have already conclusively shown.J

Commodore Hollins, on duty near Fort Pillow, was requested, on the 8th, to propose an exchange of prisoners in General Beau-regard's name. Most of those w r e had taken immediately before and since the battle of Shiloh had been sent temporarily to Mem-

* " Campaigns of Lieutenant-General Forrest,"' p. 134, note.

f That friend was General Breckinridge, who, in a letter to General Beaure gard, stated that the corps commanders had been instructed to address their reports directly to the War Department, and that General Beauregard had better ascertain the contents of those documents.

I See Chapters XX. and XXII., and their Appendices.

phis, to be forwarded thence to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where it was thought they might find better accommodations. General Pope made an evasive answer to General Beauregard's overture, and nothing satisfactory was effected.' 5 '" It was about the same time that General Beauregard wrote to General Grant concerning the burial of the Confederate dead on the field of Shiloh, and sent to him, under flag of truce, a mounted party, accompanied by several citizens, especially from Louisiana, who were anxious to recover and give proper interment to the remains of near relatives known to have fallen during the battle. General Grant denied the priv ilege thus requested, and said that he had already performed that sad duty to our dead, and was taking all necessary care of the wounded.

On the llth, that is to say, four days after the battle of Shiloh, General Van Dorn's forces began to enter Memphis, Major-Gen eral Price's division arriving first. General llust's brigade was immediately sent to Fort Pillow, as already explained, and General Little's command ordered to Eicnzi, some twelve miles from Cor inth, on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, for the purpose of making a reconnoissance and securing a good encampment and suitable defensive positions in case of a retrograde movement in that di rection.

On the day following, Major-General E. K. Smith, then com manding in east Tennessee, received from General Beauregard a despatch, in these terms:

" CORINTH, Miss., April 12^, 18G2. '• Major-General E. K. SMITH, Comdcf. Knoxvillc, Term.:

" Six regiments on way from General Pembertou, South Carolina, to join me. Three of yours failed to get by Iluntsvillc. Could you not gather the nine, add artillery, and push on Iluntsvillc, taking enemy in reverse ? All quiet in front.


The South Carolina regiments above mentioned were being sent by the War Department, at the request of General Beauregard, to reinforce him at or near Corinth. The burning of a bridge on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad prevented the execution of this plan, and different orders were issued in regard to them.

* Sec General Yillcpigue's telegram to General Bcauregurd, in Appendix to Chapter XXIII.

The thread of our narrative would be too disconnected and its interest impaired were we to follow too closely, in their order, the various events that occurred daring the first two weeks af ter the retreat of the Confederate forces to Corinth. But the Ap pendix to this chapter will impart all such additional information as cannot be appropriately inserted within the limits of the text. Reference is here made particularly to General Beauregard's instructions to Generals Breckinridge and Chalmers, at Mickey's house and Monterey; to the list of officers forwarded to the Presi dent for promotion; to his further correspondence with General Grant relative to the exchange of prisoners, and the distinction to be made between colonels commanding brigades and brigadier-generals duly commissioned as such; also, to the difference to be established between medical officers and other officers of the Con federate and Federal armies.

Perhaps the most difficult feat to accomplish in war is to com pel an adversary to abandon the movement upon which he is en gaged and adopt another by which his plans may be eventually frustrated. Such a diversion, even with a well-trained army, pos sessing every requisite for rapid motion, requires more than ordi nary skill on the part of the general devising it. Greater still is the hazard of the undertaking, when that army is, as compared to the one confronting it, weaker in numbers, reduced by disease, and wanting in the necessary means of transportation.

An effort of this kind, however, was determined upon by General Beaureirard, as soon as it became evident to him that

O ?

his inferior forces were no match for the too powerful and daily increasing army under General Halleck. "With a view to this, Generals Van Dorn and Price were invited to a conference at Corinth, ahead of their troops, then hourly arriving in Mem phis.

A promising cavalry officer, Captain John II. Morgan, com manding two Kentucky companies belonging to General A. S. Johnston's army, with which he had arrived from Bowling Green, had highly distinguished himself, during the retreat to Corinth, by his great energy and efficiency. lie had kept the command ing general thoroughly advised of the movements of the enemy, and had performed many acts indicating high military ability. Having thus had occasion to judge of his capacity and resources, General Beauregard resolved to send him, with four companies of

cavalry,* into middle Tennessee and Kentucky; there to cause as much damage as possible to the enemy's railroads, bridges, and telegraph lines, lie was authorized to raise his battalion to a regiment and even to a brigade, if he could. General Beauregard supplied him. with a sum of fifteen thousand dollars, f to start with, and carry him into Kentucky, where he was, eventually, to live on the enemy. This was the beginning of the brilliant career of that intrepid partisan officer. His usefulness was afterwards greatly impaired when General Bragg attempted to make of him and his renowned brigade part of a regular command of cavalry. Upon the recommendation of General Beauregard, he was pro moted to the rank of colonel before he had organized his regi ment ; and when he left, with his four companies, upon his hazardous expedition, he was furnished by General Beauregard with one of the ablest telegraph operators in the service—Mr. Ellsworth—in order that he might bewilder the enemy—as he so effectually did — by sending false despatches from the vari ous telegraph stations during his raids into Tennessee and Ken tucky.

General Beauregard hoped that this expedition under Colonel Morgan, together with the operations in Kentucky suggested by General E. Kirby Smith, and strongly urged by General Beaure gard on the War Department,} would force General llalleck, who was plodding away slowly in his advance on Corinth, to send back a part, if not all, of General Buell's army into Tennessee and Ken tucky. A third expedition of two regiments of cavalry, under Colonels Claiborne and Jackson, was also thought of and organ ized against Paducah, western Kentucky, to aid in the same pur pose, and would have been a great success but for the notorious incapacity of the officer in command.§ However, General Beau-regard was not wholly disappointed in his expectations with re gard to his diversion movements, for, immediately after the evac uation of Corinth by the Confederate army (May 30th), General

* Two of which were his own, and the two others under Captain, afterwards Colonel, Robert T. Wood, of New Orleans, a grandson of General Zachary Taylor.

t Sec, in Appendix, letter of General Beauregard to Major McLean, dated April 24th, 18C2.

I See his telegrams of April 14th, to Generals Cooper and E. K. Smith.

§ See, in Appendix, General Beauregard's instructions to Colonel Claiborne.

Btiell's entire force was ordered into middle Tennessee and Ken tucky.

On the arrival of the rest of General Yan Dorn's forces at Cor inth they were located—including General Little's brigade from Rienzi—on the right and rear of the defensive lines, along the south side of the Memphis and Charleston Eailroad, on several small heights which commanded the approaches to the lines, and afforded a good position for taking in flank any attack of the Federals in that direction. Those lines extended about three miles in advance of Corinth, from the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, on the right, to the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, on the left, and were situated on rather high grounds immediately in rear of a small creek, forming the head-waters of Bridge Creek, with somewhat swampy sides. They had been located by General Bragg and his engineers, before General Beauregard reached Cor inth, and were defective on the left, near the Mobile and Ohio Railroad ; thereby giving decided advantage to the enemy at that point. They were subsequently corrected by General Beauregard, but, in view of the time and labor already bestowed on them, were not sufficiently altered entirely to remedy their original de fect*

General Hardce's corps extended along and from the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, in front of General Yan Dorn's position, to the left, where it rested on the right of General Bragg, whose left in turn rested on the right of General Folk's corps, stretching across the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. The left of this command occupied some woods protected by abatis and rifle-pits: each corps holding a few brigades in reserve.

General Breckinridge's division formed a general reserve, and was posted at first on or near the seminary hill (if we may so call it) immediately in rear of Corinth, which is situated at the inter section of the two railroads already mentioned.

Our small force of cavalry was stationed on the flanks of the lines, with part of it in front, to guard the approaches to Corinth.

General Ilalleck, notwithstanding his large superiority in num bers, was too cautious to bring about an immediate conflict be tween the two opposing forces. lie preferred advancing slowly

* The lines referred to were mostly armed with 42-, 32-, and 24-pounders, brought from Pensacola and Mobile.

and gradually; a method which might have answered against a well-fortified position, held by a correspondingly strong garrison, but which, under the circumstances, exhibited, on his part, most extraordinary prudence, and even timidity.

Meanwhile, the deficiency in good water, and the natural un-healthfulness of the place, began to tell sadly on the Confederate officers and men. They were, moreover, but scantily supplied with food, and that of an inferior quality. This was owing to the chronic mismanagement of the Chief Commissary at Richmond, a fact which General Beauregard had more than once pointed out to the War Department, and which he again brought home to it by the following despatch :*

'•CORINTH, Miss., April 24M, 18G2. " General S. COOPER, Adjutant-General, Richmond :

" The false views of administration—to say the least—of Colonel Northrop will starve out this army unless I make other arrangements, which I have done. I trust it may not be altogether too late, and that the government will sustain me with means.

" G. T. BEAUREGARD, Gen. Conulg."

The truth is, it was almost impossible to have regular issues of fresh provisions made to the Confederate troops at that time, until General Beauregard took the matter into his own hands, and sent agents to northern Texas and Arkansas, where he bought large herds of cattle, which soon relieved the pressing necessities of his army. Part of these supplies, however, he was afterwards compelled to transfer to the General Subsistence Department, for other armies in the field.

It soon became apparent to General Beauregard that the insa lubrity of Corinth would increase as the season advanced, and that, apart from the danger of being overwhelmed by a steadily grow ing army in his front, he would have to select another strategic position, by which he could hold the enemy in check and protect the country in his rear as well as Fort Pillow, which still closed the passage of the river. The idea of moving westward, to Grand Junction,f had at first been entertained; but the lack of good wa ter there, and the fear of losing Fort Pillow, fifty-nine miles above

* See also, in Appendix, letter of General Beauregard to General Cooper, dated April IGth, 18G2.

t At the intersection of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad with the Mis sissippi Central, fifty miles west of Corinth.

Memphis, led to a change of plan. E"or must it be forgotten that the defences and river batteries at Vicksburg were then just be gun, as we have already shown,* and that, Fort Pillow falling, noth ing could prevent the enemy from enjoying the free use of the Mississippi as far down as New Orleans, where a base of abun dant supplies would, no doubt, soon be established. These consid erations impelled General Beauregard to hold on to his position at Corinth until forced from it by his adversary.

Meanwhile, he caused thorough reconnoissances to be made along the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, for a good defensive position, well supplied with pure water, and occupying a healthy region of country. None could be found nearer than Tupelo, where begins the fertile and salubrious "black-land" region of Mississippi.

There were not many running springs at Tupelo, but excellent water could be had by digging w T ells from ten to fifteen feet deep. He ordered them dug at once, where it was probable the troops would take up their positions, in rear of some low lands, easily defended and of difficult passage to an army on the offensive.

It was during these reconnoissances and preparations that Gen eral Beauregard first turned his attention to the necessity of de fending Vicksburg, as has already been shown in the preceding chapter, by the telegrams and letters contained in it and its Ap pendix. That to him, and neither to General Lovell nor to Gov ernor Pettus, is due the credit of having originated the idea of this defence, is further proved by the following telegrams:

1. " CORINTH, April 18th, 1862, " Major-General M. LOVELL, New Orleans, La.:

" Have seen Lieutenant Brown. Have ordered a work at Vicksburg. Please hold ready to send there sand-bags, guns, carriages, platforms, etc., when called for by Chief-Engineer, Captain D. B. Harris.

u Have you constructed traverses and blindages at your forts ?


2. « CORINTH, April 23t/, 1802. " General S. COOPER, Adjutant-General, Richmond, Va.:

" Services of General Sam. Jones are absolutely required here as soon as practicable. Having obtained guns for Vicksburg, am going to fortify it. But require engineers. I recommend John M. Reid, Louisiana, as captain, and J. II. Reid, Louisiana, as lieutenant. Am well acquainted with them, they hav ing worked many years under my orders.


! .Sce Chapter XXIII.

3. " CORINTH, April 24^, 1862. " Major-General M. LOVELL, New Orleans, La.:

" T\vo 10-inch and four rifled guns are under orders to you from Mobile. Do you want tlieui ? If not, say so to General S. Jones, and order them to Vicksburg.


4. " CORINTH, April 25f/<, 18G2. " Captain D. B. HARRIS :

" In consequence of news from Louisiana, put works Jjelow Vicksburg, to prevent passage of river from New Orleans. Put guns in position first, then construct works. System preferred is one main work, and detached batteries, not too far from each other. Should you not have time, send guns to Jack son, Mississippi, and be ready to destroy railroad between two places, when necessary.


5. " CORINTH, April 2CM, 18G2. " Governor J. J. PETTUS, Jackson, Miss.:

"Please send immediately to Vicksburg, to report to commanding officer there, one regiment of unarmed or partially armed volunteers. Also, one to Columbus, Mississippi. They will be armed as soon as possible.


It is needless to accumulate further evidence. Other telegrams and letters to the same effect will be found in the Appendix to this chapter.

On his arrival near Pittsburg Landing, General Pope established himself behind Seven Miles Creek, a stream that lies seven miles from the Tennessee River. The Federal forces, as then reorgan ized, subdivided, and located, amounted, as we have already stated, to about one hundred and twenty-five thousand men, with General Ilalleck, as first, and General Grant, as second, in com mand.* The Confederate army, under General Beau regard, with the reinforcement of Van Dorn's seventeen thousand men, num bered about fifty thousand, but was daily decreasing on account of sickness.

General Pope's recent successes on the Mississippi River had given him an overweening opinion of his capacities as a com mander, lie was an officer of intelligence and activity, but in clined to "undertake almost any movement without sufficiently considering the consequences that might follow. The expression

* Sec " History of the Army of the Cumberland," by Van Home, vol. i. pp. 126-130. I.—25

used by him in his first order, upon taking command in Virginia —"Headquarters in the Saddle"—which is even more than a boastful cavalry officer might venture to announce, is indicative of the undue self-esteem characterizing the man.


Hardly had he taken up his new position in front of Hamburg, when, in order, no doubt, to hurry on and anticipate General Ilalleck's advance against our forces, he determined to make an offensive movement towards Corinth. Four miles from the latter place was an elevated position, where stood the small village of Farmington, then occupied by an insignificant force of Confeder ate infantry and cavalry, with one battery of artillery. That force was suddenly attacked on the 3d of May, by one or two Federal divisions, and driven back across a narrow creek, west, and in the near vicinity, of Farmington.

General Pope, ambitious now to accomplish something worthy of the reputation he had acquired at New Madrid and Madrid Bend, moved on the 8th, with his whole force, on the above-men tioned village. As he was entirely separated from General Buell, on his right, by the head of Seven Miles Creek, which was lined with low, swampy grounds, rendered difficult to cross by recent rains, General Beauregard determined, by a sudden and rapid at tack in heavy force, to cut him off from his base, before he could fortify his position at Farmington.

The Confederate corps and reserve commanders were, accord ingly, called together at army headquarters, w T here special and specific instructions were given them by General Beauregard, rel ative to the movement about to be executed.

All our troops were to be held ready for battle. General Van Dorn, on the right, was to move before daylight, by his right flank, until his centre should be opposite General Pope's left flank, at Farmington, where he was facing in the direction of Cor inth. At dawn of day General Van Dorn, with his left and cen tre, w r as to attack vigorously whatever force might be in his front, and, with his right overlapping General Pope's left, take it in rear and cut off the Federal line of retreat to Farmington.

At the same hour, General Bragg, with two divisions, was to ad vance on the Farmington road, which crossed his line of defences, and, by a front attack, co-operate with General Van Dorn, but only after the latter should have taken up his position and should be prepared to execute the movement intrusted to him.

General Ilardee was to guard the partly vacated lines of Gen erals Van Dorn and Bragg, by extending his command to the right and left, and be ready to support the attack if necessary.

General Polk was to take a position in advance of his lines, and attack any Federal troops attempting to pass in his front. And General Breckinridge's reserve was to occupy, temporarily, a cen tral position within the Confederate lines, and support any part of the Held of battle which might require his assistance.

Through the inefficiency of his leading guide, and the slowness of one of his major-generals, General Van Dorn did not get his troops in position at the time prescribed. The result was that when the Federals discovered the flanking movement threatening

O £?

them, they began retiring hastily to their position behind Seven Miles Creek. General Van Dorn threw what forces he had in hand against the enemy in his front, and, aided by the simultaneous at tack of General Ruggles (Bragg's corps), very nearly captured two brigades forming the rear of General Pope's command. The en emy lost quite a number in killed and wounded, and a consider able amount of camp equipage, arms, and equipments. Our loss was insignificant, and consisted of some two hundred killed and wounded, in both commands. The Confederate troops behaved with great spirit, and appeared anxious to punish the enemy for compelling them to prolong their sojourn at Corinth, which all were eager to leave.*

General Beauregard was disappointed in the result of the expedi tion, and thought the enemy would soon attempt to reoecupv the prominent position from which we had driven him; that a large Confederate force would then be necessary to hold it; and that, strong as such a force might be, it could be cut off by superior numbers before assistance could be brought up from other points of our weak and extended lines, lie therefore instructed his sub ordinate commanders to be prepared to renew the attack at any moment; for he was anxious to strike another blow on the enemy, if only to blind him as to the future movements he now had in contemplation.

None more than he appreciated the strategic value of Corinth. Its local features for defence and the fact of its being at the inter-

* For further particulars of the Farmington affair, sec Report of General I). Kuggles, u Southern Historical Society Papers/' vol. vii. pp. 330-33.

section of two important railroads made it a very desirable point to hold, as long as it was safe to do so. But the great odds in his front and the persistent though over-cautious advance of General Halleck, convinced General Beauregard that his withdrawal from Corinth would, ere long, become a necessity.

General Pope having again, on the 18th, advanced towards Farmington, and our scouts reporting all the creeks and their swampy sides overflowed from late heavy rains, another concerted movement was prepared by General Beauregard, wherein the corps and reserve commanders were all, more or less, to partici pate. The object was, as previously, to attack General Pope's forces and cut off their line of retreat upon the main body of the Federal army. Steady and continuous bad weather, however, de layed the execution of the plan from day to day, and, on the 22d of May, finding that General Van Dorn could not accomplish his part of the proposed plan, General Beauregard, after a conference with him, ordered the troops back to their former positions.

From General Van Dorn's statement to him after the failure of this movement, General Beauregard concluded that any further idea of the offensive must be abandoned, and that he must now rest content with holding our lines, while he made arrangements


for an orderly retreat.

Meantime, General Halleck had not ceased advancing his suc cessive lines, from his left to his right, notwithstanding the oppo sition we offered him.

On the 25th, General Beauregard called his subordinate com manders together—namely, Generals Bragg, Van Dorn, Polk, liar-dee, Breckinridge, and, by request, Major-General Price—to dis cuss the necessity of evacuating Corinth, and determine the time and method of so doing. He gave an elaborate exposition of his views, and said that, situated as he was at Corinth, with the advan tages it afforded for defence, and the communication it kept open to us, he had considered it a duty to hold his position as long as possible, without clanger of being overwhelmed ; but that, besides the rapid decrease of our forces from sickness, the increase of the enemy's strength in our front—not to speak of General Halleck's persistent advance upo.n i>s—had led him to the conclusion that it would be unwise to endeavor further to maintain our ground, with such manifest odds against us. The result of a battle, at this juncture, and even of a siege, would, he feared, amount to more

than defeat on our part, and might bring about the annihilation of our forces. By a retreat we would, no doubt, lose a strategic po sition of uncommon value, but by persisting in holding it we might suffer a still greater loss.

The important question submitted at this council of war, if we may so consider it, was freely and exhaustively examined by the different generals present. But one opinion prevailed among them : the evacuation of Corinth had now become imperative.*

After carefully listening to the views expressed by his subordi nate commanders, General Beauregard requested them to get ready for the movement as if it were already ordered, but to avoid all mention of it except to their respective Chiefs of Staff. lie told them to state publicly that we were about to take the offen sive against the enemy and bring on a general engagement with him, and to begin at once sending off, to different points in our rear, such as Baldwin, Tupelo, and others, their sick, their heavy baggage, and such additional camp equipage as might encumber the projected retreat. Immediate orders were issued to that effect from army headquarters, and all things were prepared for remov ing the heavy guns and ammunition to those places, and even farther, at a moment's notice.

When General Beauregard's orders and instructions were com pleted, he once more summoned his corps commanders to army headquarters, and there carefully explained to each one individual ly the part he would be called upon to perform in the designed movement, which was to commence with General Van Dorn, on the right, and end with General Polk, on the left—General Brcck-inridge being in reserve, and occupying a more or less central po sition, in rear of the other commands. Each sub-commander was made, by General Beauregard, to go over and repeat what he and the others were expected to do, until they became perfectly famil iar with every detail of the plan adopted. They were thus thor oughly drilled, as it were, and prepared for anv emergency. The result showed that General Beauregard had not taken this trouble in vain. Ko other retreat during the war was conducted in so systematic and masterly a manner, especially when we consider the

* Sec, in Appendix, General Hardec's views of the situation, as given in a letter to General Beauregard (May 23th), and the lattcr's endorsement thereon.

comparative rawness of some of our troops, and the disparity of numbers and resources between the two confronting armies.

The time fixed for the evacuation was 3 o'clock A. M. on the 29th. Delays occurred, however, which caused it to be postponed until 1 o'clock A. M. on the 30th. The wagon-trains and rear most troops had been started about 11 p. M. on the 29th, so as to clear the w r ay.

To deceive the enemy as to our intentions, General Beauregard ordered that an empty train should be run occasionally during the night, towards the right, on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, and another, towards the left, on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, as far as they could safely go; and that whenever they reached that point, the troops stationed there should cheer loudly and vig orously, as though to welcome reinforcements. This stratagem was carried out to the letter, and proved very successful; for Gen eral Pope, notwithstanding his false despatches forwarded after the event, telegraphed General Halleck on the 30th of May, at 1 o'clock A. M., as follows:

"The enemy are reinforcing heavily in my front and left. The cars arc running constantly, and the cheering is immense every time they unload in front of me. I have no doubt, from all appearances, that I shall be attacked in heavy force at daylight." *

At the very moment when the foregoing despatch was penned by General Pope the Confederate forces were actively evacuating their lines, leaving skirmishers only in them, and some cavalry in front, to hold the enemy at bay until the entire movement should be completed.

The retreat was effected with great order and precision, the enemy remaining in utter ignorance of it. The troops were halted temporarily behind the Tuscumbia River, some six miles from Corinth, to concentrate and give battle if pursued; but no pursuit being attempted, the movement was quietly continued to Rienzi and Booneville, where another halt was made for the same pur pose, and with a like result. The march was then resumed and the army soon reached Baldwin, thirty miles from Corinth, where another position was taken, and held until the 7th of June, to await an advance of the enemy. It being apparent that no attack would be made, General Beauregard again put his army in motion,

* Report of the Congressional Committee on the Conduct of the War.

the main portion of it arriving at Tupelo, fifty-two miles from Corinth, on the 9th of June. There was found, as expected, a salubrious region, pure water, and all the requirements of a good defensive position.

The following extracts are from General Beauregard's official report* of the evacuation of Corinth. After giving his reasons for withdrawing his army, and explaining his various orders to that effect, he says:

"... At the tune finally prescribed the movement commenced, and was ac complished -without the knowledge of the enemy, who only began to suspect the evacuation after broad daylight on the morning of May 30th, when, having opened on our lines from his formidable batteries of heavy and long-range guns, erected the night previous, he received no answer from any direction; but, as our cavalry pickets still maintained their positions of the preceding day, he was not apparently fully satisfied of our movements, until some stores, of little value, in the town, were burned, which could not be moved. It was then, to his surprise, the enemy became satisfied that a large army, approached and invested with such extraordinary preparations, expense, labor, and timidity, had disappeared from his front with all its munitions and heavy guns, leaving him without knowledge, as I am assured, whither it had gone, for his scouts were scattered everywhere, as I have since as certained, to inquire what directions our forces had taken. . . . The troops moved off in good spirits and order, prepared to give battle if pursued, but no serious pursuit was attempted. . . . While at Rienzi, half-way to Bald win, I was informed that on the morning of the 30th ultimo a detachment of the enemy's cavalry had penetrated to Booneville, eight miles south of Rienzi, and had captured and burned a railroad train of ammunition, baggage, and subsistence, delayed there some forty-eight hours by mismanagement. I re gret to add that the enemy also burned the railroad depot, in which were at the moment a number of dead bodies and at least four sick soldiers of this army, who were consumed—an act of barbarism scarcely credible, and with out a precedent, to my knowledge, in civilized warfare. Upon the opportune appearance, in a short time, however, of an inferior force of our cavalry, the enemy left in great haste and confusion, after having received one volley. Only one of our men was carried away by him. Quite a number of stragglers, and of our sick and convalescents, en route to Southern hospitals, who for a few moments had fallen into the enemy's hands, were rescued. These are the two thousand men untruthfully reported by Generals Pope and Halleck to their "War Department, as captured and paroled on that occasion. . . . Equally inaccurate, reckless, and unworthy arc the statements of these Federal com manders in their several official reports by telegraph, bearing dates of May 30th and 31st, and June 1st, 2d, and 4th, as published in Cincinnati and Chi-

*The entire report, dated June 13th, 1802, will be found in the Appendix to this chapter.

cago journals, touching the amount of property and stores destroyed by us at Corinth, and General Pope's alleged pressing pursuit. Major-General Hal-leek's despatch of June 4th may particularly be characterized as disgracefully untrue. Possibly, however, lie was duped by his subordinate. Nothing, for example, can be wider from the truth than that ten thousand men and fifteen thousand small arms of this army were captured or lost in addition to those destroyed at Booneville. Some five hundred inferior small arms were acci dentally left by convalescents in a camp four miles south of Corinth. No artillery of any description was lost, no clothing, no tents worth removal were left standing. In fine, the letters of newspaper correspondents, enclosed, give a correct statement both as to the conduct of the retreat, the scanty spoils of war left behind, the actual barrenness of substantial results to the enemy, and exhibit his doubt, perplexity, and ignorance concerning the movements of this

" I feel authorized to say, by the evacuation the plan of campaign of the enemy was utterly foiled, his delay of seven weeks and vast expenditures were of little value, and he has reached Corinth to find it a barren locality, which he must abandon as wholly worthless for his purposes."

We now refer the reader to the following extract from the let ter of a correspondent to a Northern newspaper—the Chicago Tribune —written at Pittsburg Landing, May 30th, 1862, wherein are correctly described some of the most important events relative to the evacuation of Corinth :*

"... The retreat of the enemy was conducted in the best of order. Before our men had entered the place all had got off safely. General Halleck has thus achieved one of the most barren triumphs of the war. In fact, it is tantamount to a defeat. It gives the enemy an opportunity to select a new position as formidable as that at Corinth, and in which it will be far more difficult for us to attack him, on account of the distance our army w r ill have to transport its supplies. Supposing the enemy take up their second position of defense at Grand Junction, about sixty miles from here, four thousand additional wagons will be required. . . . Then there is the fatigue of our men, the attacks of gue rilla parties in our rear, etc. I look upon the evacuation there as a victory for Beauregard, or, at least, as one of the most masterly pieces of strategy that has been displayed during this war. It prolongs the contest in the Southwest for at least six months. . . . Up to last night the enemy kept up a display of force along his whole line, thus completely deceiving our generals. . . .

" General Halleck must feel deeply mortified at the evacuation. It clearly shows that he knew nothing of the position and strength of the enemy and of his ulterior designs."

* The entire letter, a very interesting one, is to be found in the " Confeder ate Military Reports," 18GO-18G5—as compiled by order of Congress—vol. iii. part 2, pp. 739, 740.

From "Kappa," the correspondent of the Cincinnati Commer cial, we have the following letter, dated at Corinth, Mississippi, May 30th, 1SG2 :*

"... On the day the second division moved out, advances, with heavy cannonading, were made by Thomas and Pope on the left, but not a re sponse in kind was elicited from the enemy. During that night we could hear teams being driven oft'and boxes being nailed in the rebel camp. Deserters, however, I understand, reported that they were making a stand and would fight the next day. Considerable cannonading was done by our forces, and yet no response, and yesterday the same. Last night the same band sounded re treat, tattoo, and taps all along the rebel lines, moving from place to place, and this morning suspicion was ripened into certainty when we saw dense vol umes of smoke arise in the direction of Corinth, and heard the report of an ex ploding magazine. Corinth was evacuated, and Bcauregarcl had achieved another triumph.

"I do not know how the matter strikes abler military men, but I think we have been fooled," etc.

Van Home, in his "History of the Army of the Cumberland, "f speaks of General llalleck's superior numbers at Corinth, and of his gradual approaches, step by step, to his objective. He also describes several heavy skirmishes and other sharp fighting, by strong lines of the contending forces, in which the Federals, he adds, were not always the aggressors. Referring afterwards to the evacuation, he says :

"This seeming boldness in aggression was only a feint to cover the retreat of General Beau regard's whole army from Corinth. . . . The explosions at Corinth, early in the morning of May 30th, revealed General Beauregard's pur pose and its accomplishment. For several days he had been sending off his munitions and stores, and during the night of the 29th he had so quietly and secretly withdrawn his army that his own pickets did not know that they had been left a sacrifice for the safety of their comrades."

It is surprising that General Force, whose fairness of apprecia tion we have noticed on several previous occasions, should appar ently have founded his version of these events upon the incorrect despatches forwarded by Generals Hallcck and Pope. Had he sifted the matter with greater care, he would undoubtedly have avoided all mention of the imaginary pursuit by General Pope's army, first to Ricnzi, then to Baldwin, then to Blackland, where,

* " Confederate Military Reports, 1860-1865,'' vol. iii. part 2, p. 741. tVol. i. pp. 128, 120.

he says, an order to attack had already been issued, when General Bucll arrived at the front and suspended it.* But General Force himself must have been aware of the weakness of his authority, for after endorsing, to some extent, the report about the " ten thousand prisoners" and "fifteen thousand stand of arms" capt ured by General Pope's forty thousand men, he makes the follow ing remarks: " The prisoners taken were few, and Pope was cen sured for making a statement of fact which he neither made nor authorized."t

General Badeau, after speaking of the evacuation of Corinth and the "ineffectual pursuit" by the Federal army, terminating, on the 10th of June, by the withdrawal of General BuelPs forces tow ards Chattanooga, uses the following language:

" And thus the great and tangible success, which was thrown so directly in General Halleck's path that it seemed impossible for any one even to avoid a victory, was allowed, nay, compelled, in Ms unskilful grasp to dissolve away, like a sluidow in the hands of him who stretches out to embrace icliat is not. Even after the rebels had eluded him at Corinth, it was possible, with Halleck's immense preponderance of force, to follow up and destroy the retreating enemy; and when this opportunity was also lost, by his subordinate and counterpart, the army that had been concentrated with so much care and labor was still avail able for a concentrated campaign."}:

Whoever considers the retreat from Corinth with a disinterested and unbiassed mind, is forced to acknowledge that it amounted, in realit}^ to a decided Confederate victory. It was so looked upon both in Europe and in this country. It was effected, from the be ginning to the end, as it had been planned. It deceived the en emy to the last, and so completely that, while the evacuation had already begun, and was, in fact, all but accomplished, General Hal-leck himself is known to have forwarded this information to his command: " There is every indication that the enemy will attack our left this morning, as troops have been moving in that direc tion for some time." And, says General Badeau," the largest army ever assembled west of the Alleglianies was drawn out in line of battle, awaiting an assault"§ An army of nearly fifty thousand,!

-;•- u ]? rom Fort Henry to Corinth," by General Force, p. 190.

t Ibid. p. 101.

I " Military History of U. S. Grant," vol. i. p. 106. The italics are ours.

§ " Military History of U. S. Grant," vol. i. p. 102. The italics are ours.

1 General Beauregard says forty-five thousand effective, exclusive of cavalry.

invested by an army of fully one hundred and twenty-five thou sand,* disappeared from the front of the latter quietly, noiselessly, successfully, frustrating the plans of its adversary, carrying with it all its munitions of war, and suffering in its retreat no material loss whatever. And yet, so little was this result appreciated by the War Department, that hardly had General Beauregard marched his forces to Tupelo when a despatch from Richmond, indicative rather of censure than of commendation, was forwarded to him, requiring an immediate explanation of his movement. It read as follows:

" Jane 12^,1863. " To General G. T. BEAUREGARD :

"The President has been expecting a communication explaining your last movement. It has not yet arrived.

4t S. COOPER.''

To this the following answer was sent:

" TUPELO, June 12th. " General SAM. COOPER, Richmond, Va.:

" Have had no time to write report. Busy organizing and preparing for battle if pursued. Will write it soon, however. Ilalleck's despatch nearly all false. Retreat was a most brilliant and successful one.


It is proper here to state that the evacuation had not taken place without notification to the government, for a telegram of the 2Stli of May had been forwarded to General Cooper, in these words:

" Circumstances compel me to retire from this place to a position fhrther in the interior, on Mobile and Ohio Railroad, about thirty-five miles. I shall leave here as soou as possible. I hope there to be able to beat the enemy in detail.!


But this was not the only information General Beauregard had given of his movement. On the 3d of June, from Baldwin, he had also telegraphed to General Cooper:

* General Badcau puts the number at "one hundred and twenty thousand bayonets,'' and refers to the field returns of General Halleck's forces at Corinth.

t This telegram was in cipher; General Cooper being referred to a letter of May 25th for the key.

"We evacuated Corinth successfully on 30th ultimo. A complete surprise to the enemy. Rear guards arrived here, unmolested, last night. We brought away all our heavy guns, tents, etc., 49 -2- 30-a-133-1 -126-309-1-35-87 .1. 22 - 223 .1. 29 . 50 .1.10 - 154 .1. 8 - 207 . 2 . 14 - 171. 2 . 5 - getting - 307 -1.22-a.4G.2.G.*


These telegrams, together with General Beau regard's letter of May 19th, and General Lee's authorized answer to the same,f ap proving the line of retreat suggested, should have sufficed the authorities at Richmond, and caused Mr. Davis to refrain from all further questioning, until General Beauregard could command leisure from the important duties then engrossing his mind.

To show that there is no mistake in ascribing to the govern ment an unfriendly feeling towards General Beauregard, about this matter, a list of interrogatories intrusted by Mr. Davis to Colonel AV. P. Johnston, his aide-de-camp, is given, with General Beauregard's answers appended to the several questions. It was dated Richmond, June 14th, and was presented, in the President's name, to General Beauregard, after his departure from Tupelo. We may add that no such inquiries were ever addressed to Gen erals A. S. Johnston, Lee, Bragg, Hood, Pemberton, and other Con federate generals, even after they had met with serious disasters.

" Question No. 1.—I desire to know what were the circumstances and pur poses of the retreat from the Charleston and Memphis Railroad to the position now occupied ?"

" Answer No. 1.—My detailed report of the evacuation of Corinth w r as sent by special messenger to the War Department on the 13th instant (about one week since). The retreat was not of choice, but of necessity. The position had been held, as long as prudence and the necessity of the case required. We had received our last available reinforcements. Our force was reduced by sickness and other causes to about forty-five thousand effective men of all arms, ex clusive of the cavalry scattered over a large extent of country to watch the movements of the enemy and protect our railroad communications, while his force was known to be at least twice as strong as ours, better disciplined, and more amply supplied in every respect.

"But before adopting so important a measure, it was submitted to a meeting of general officers, composed of Generals Bragg, Polk, Van Dorn, Hardee, Price, and Breckinridgc, who unanimously approved of the movement.

" In retiring towards Tupelo, it was hoped the enemy would have followed

* The key to this ciphered telegram is not in our possession. t The two letters referred to will be found in the Appendix.

the movement -with a part of his forces, affording me the opportunity of taking the offensive with a lesser disparity of numbers, and offered me the chances of cutting off his line of communication.

"The retrograde movement was made in preference along the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, because it was the true line of retreat, covering our main de pots and lines of communication with the East, and was approved by General R E. Lee, Acting General-in-Chief, in his letter of the 2Gth ultimo."

" Question No. 2.—What is the plan of future operations and whether an ad vance of the army is contemplated, and what prospect there is of a recovery of the territory which has been yielded?"

"Answer No. 2.—The plan of future operations must depend to a great extent on the movements of the enemy; should he divide his forces, the offensive must be taken as soon as the condition of our troops and our means of trans portation will permit; but should he keep his forces together he must be made to divide them by demonstrations on his right or left, and false reports in the newspapers."

" Question No. 3.—Why was it not deemed advisable to occupy the hills north and east of Corinth, and could not a stronger line than that around Corinth have been selected ?"

"Answer No. 3.—The defensive lines at Corinth were selected by General Bragg and his engineer, and were approved by General A. S. Johnston and my self when we arrived there. They consisted of a scries of elevated ridges, protected in front and flank by extensive forests and two creeks and 'bot toms,' which the enemy had to cross immediately under the guns and mus ketry of the lines. The best proof of the judgment shown in their selection is, that they compelled him to advance by a system approximating to regular approaches, against a force only half as strong as his own, and much inferior in discipline and all the appurtenances of war. These lines were mere rifle-pits with slightly constructed batteries, enfilading the roads from the front. Hills are not per se defensive lines, especially when nothing more than ' elevated posi tions,' isolated by ravines, thick woods, and underbrush, and situated in a country made easily passable in every direction with a little labor. They are also badly supplied with water for a large force. Whereas, in the lines adopted, the defensive forces were more concentrated around the intersection of the Memphis and Charleston with the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, and within easy supporting distance of each other; they were also nearer to the Tuscumbia Creek, which afforded a good line to retire behind, whenever it should become necessary to abandon Corinth. If a stronger line could have been taken in the vicinity of Corinth, answering the same purposes, Generals Johnston, Bragg, and myself were unable to discover it."

u Question No. 4.—What was the cause of the sickness at Camp Corinth ? Would it have been avoided by occupying the higher grounds in front ? lias it been avoided by retiring to the present position ?"

" Answer No. 4.—There were several causes for this sickness. First, the want of good water. Second, the want of proper food (the salt meat furnished to the troops being often not fit to eat), also the almost total want of fresh beef and vegetables, beef having been furnished once a week or every ten days, in-

stead of five times a week as ordered. The Commissary-General assured Gen eral Johnston, a few days before the battle of Shiloh, that he had made am ple provisions for the supply of fresh beef to this army, requested that the matter should be left solely to his own (Colonel Northrop's) agents; this sup ply has since been ascertained to have been about sixteen thousand head of poor cattle, collected in the parish of Calcasieu, Louisiana, for the purpose of fattening, and now substantially cut off, by the fall of the Mississippi River into the hands of the enemy. Every effort is now being made, by the Com missary of Department No. 2, to relieve the wants of the troops. I will men tion here that some of our troops were affected with the commencement of scurvy. It is doubtful in my mind whether the health of the army would have been much benefited by the occupation of the hills referred to, even had it been practicable in a military point of view; General Van Dora's army corps occupied the hills three or four miles southeast of Corinth—a beautiful location to look at — but was as sickly as the troops located nearer the depot.

u The present position at Tupelo, on the verge of the prairies, is considered very healthy; the water appears very good ; a greater quantity of cattle are be ing obtained from the vicinity ; and a marked improvement seemed to have al ready taken place in the condition of the troops, when I left there on the 17th instant."

" Question No. 5.—Was it at no time practicable to have cut the enemy's line of communication, so as to compel him to abandon the Tennessee River, or to permit us to reoccupy Nashville ?"

" Answer No. 5.—If it had been possible to effect either object I would not have been slow in attempting it. I shall never be accused of being too slow in taking the offensive or in carrying the * war into Africa,' whenever practica ble with any prospect of success. Several attempts were made by me about the beginning of May (especially on the 9th and 19th to 22d) to draw the en emy out of his intrenched positions, and separate his closed masses for a bat tle ; but he was too prudent to separate from his heavy guns, and his adopted system of ' regular approaches;' he steadily declined coming to an engagement until he had accumulated all his available forces in front of Corinth."

" Question No. G.—What means were employed, after the fall of Island No. 10, to prevent the descent of the Mississippi River by the enemy's gunboats ? What dispositions were made to defend Memphis, and what was the cause of a failure to preserve that most important of our lines of communication ?"

" Answer No. C.—By fortifying Fort Pillow, as was done, and sending there the best troops and most energetic young officer at my command—Brigadier-General Villepigue—who with open batteries effectually defied and held at bay the enemy's gun and mortar boats as long as the operations of the cam paign permitted him to hold that position.

" The best way to defend Memphis, having no forces or guns to send there, was to hold Fort Pillow and Corinth; its fate had necessarily to follow that of those two places, which fell, like so many other most important positions, from the want of sufficient means (men and materials) to hold them longer than was done."

" Question No. 7.—What loss of troops, stores, or arms occurred at the time of the retreat from Corinth ?"

"Answer No. 7.—This loss is slight and trifling in comparison to the impor tance of the object effected. My Inspectors General have been engaged in de termining the facts called for; as soon as ascertained they shall be communi cated to the War Department. I suppose about two hundred stragglers and deserters, about fifteen hundred arms burned at Booneville, and about five hundred left in the dark at a convalescent camp four miles south of Corinth, will cover those two items of losses. With regard to the ordnance stores and provisions, I could obtain no return from the respective chiefs of those depart ments, although repeatedly called for by me, before leaving Tupelo.

"I firmly believe that all we lost at Corinth and during the retreat would amount to much less than one day's expenses of the enemy's army in this quarter.

" G. T. BEAUREGARD, Gen. Comdg. Dept. Xo. 2."


General Beauregard is at Tupelo on the 7th of June.—The Main Body of liis Army Arrives on the 9th.—Telegrams Sent by him to Various Points.—His Communication to General Cooper.—He Places Colonel Forrest in Com mand of the Cavalry Regiments in Middle Tennessee.—General Bcaure-gard's Ill-health.—He is urged by his Physicians to Take a Short Rest.—He Finally Consents.—Order Sent to General Bragg from. Richmond.—General Beauregard's Despatch to General Cooper, June 14th.—His Letter to the War Department, June 15th.—General Beauregard gives Temporary Com mand of his Department to General Bragg, and Leaves Tupelo on the 17th.—General Bragg Notifies the Government of the Fact.—President Davis Removes General Beauregard, and Gives Permanent Command of his Army and Department to General Bragg.—Comments on President Davis.—General Bragg's Despatch to General Beauregard.—His Reply.— Mr. Randolph's Telegram.—General Beauregard's Letter to General Coop er.—Misstatements Contained in President Davis's Book.—Public Sympa thy with General Beauregard.—General Bragg's Letter to Mr. Forsyth.— His Letter to General Beauregard.—Answer to the Same.—General Beau-regard's Plan of Operations in Tennessee and Kentucky.—Interview of the Hon. Thomas J. Seinmes and Edward Sparrow with President Davis, September 13th.—Petition of Senators and Representatives for General Beauregard's Restoration to his Command.—President Davis's Refusal.— Notes of the Interview, by Mr. Semmes.—Comments upon President Davis in Connection with these Events.—Successful Result of Military Opera tions from Bowling Green to the Retreat to Tupelo.

GENERAL BEATJEEGABD arrived at Tupelo on the 7th of June. The main body of the army reached there on the 9th. The position had been previously reconnoitred, and no difficulty was encoun tered in the selection of the grounds whereon the different corps were to be encamped. Many orders and telegrams, forwarded and received from different parts, far and near, show the watchful supervision exercised by General Beauregard to complete the movement he had thus far successfully accomplished. Although paying little heed to the rumors circulated by his foiled adver-, sary, still he used all necessary precaution to meet any advance that might be attempted against him. He hoped that, once con centrated and reorganized in his new position, the enemy would

soon be compelled to divide his ponderous forces, thereby mate rially improving our condition, and demonstrating the judicious ness of the diversion previously undertaken in middle Tennessee.

As soon as it became evident that the enemy did not intend to attack our forces at Tupelo, and that two of his divisions—Mc-Cook's and Crittendeifs,'" and, as reported, others alsof — were moving eastward, General Beau regard, relieved from the harass ing duties that had so absorbed him of late, was able to attend more directly to the recuperation, discipline, and comfort of his command.

On the Oth he addressed a communication to General Cooper, calling his attention to the necessity of furnishing funds for the payment of his men, who were growing dissatisfied—and justly so —on this score, suggesting that the War Department, through the Assistant Treasurer at Jackson, Mississippi, should make use of several millions of dollars withdrawn from the banks of Xcw Or leans, and seized by his (General Beauregard's) orders, when in formed that these funds were about to be sent back to that city in obedience to instructions from General Benjamin F. Butler. The bank agents who had the money in charge had often ex pressed their willingness to see it applied to the wants of our army, provided the government made itself responsible for the same.;}: lie also urged the department to appoint an additional Chief Commissary to the army, and stated that there was no less need of a good and energetic Chief Quartermaster, lie recom mended several officers and citizens for the important positions referred to. " These are times,'' he wrote, " when the man best fitted for an office should be appointed, regardless of all other considerations."

At or about that time Colonel X. B. Forrest, who had been wounded on the day after the battle of Shiloh, reported for duty at Tupelo. He was hardly convalescent, but thought himself able, nevertheless, to resume command of his regiment. lie had ex hibited so much coolness and daring near Pittsburg Landing during the night of the Tth of April and the day following, while charging a strong reconnoitring party of the enemy, that General

* Van Home's " History of the Army of the Cumberland," vol. i. p. 142. t Captain L. E. Hill's telegram to General Bcaurcgard. J The communication spoken of is in the Appendix to this chapter. L—26

Beauregard determined to do all he could to increase, if possible, his sphere of usefulness.

The reader is aware that three regiments of cavalry—Colonels Scott's, Wharton's, and Adams's — had been sent, nearly two months before, to assist General E. Kirby Smith in an offensive movement into middle Tennessee from Chattanooga. This force, instead of operating together against the common enemy, as or dered, kept separated, because of some trivial misunderstanding about rank among its officers, and was unable to accomplish any valuable result. General Beauregard, troubled at such a state of


affairs, so clearly prejudicial to good order and discipline, resolved to put a stop to it by placing Colonel Forrest in command of those regiments, with special instructions to afford their officers no time for further disputes. Forrest hesitated at first, modestly alleging his inability to assume such a responsibility; but yielded, finally, when again urged by General Beauregard, and after receiving the promise that his old regiment should be sent to -him as soon as it could be spared from the Army of the Mississippi. The following order was thereupon written and immediately handed to him:


TUPELO, Miss., June Wi, 1862. " Colonel N. B. FORREST, Coindg. Cavalry :

" Colonel, —The general commanding directs that 3-011 will, with as little de lay as practicable, repair to north Alabama and middle Tennessee, and assume command of the cavalry regiments in that section, commanded respectively by Colonels Scott, Wharton, and Adams.

"You will carry into effect the verbal instructions communicated to you by the general commanding.*

" I am, Colonel, very respectfully,

" Your obedient servant,

" GEO. WM. BRENT, Acting Chief of Stuff."

Thus began the brilliant military career of this remarkable man. He was a born soldier, and had he received a military education, would have ranked among the greatest commanders of

o o

the late war. Even as it was, he should, perhaps, be counted as one of the first.

It was shown in the preceding chapter with what persistence Mr. Davis demanded of General Beauregard his reasons for aban-

* Copies of the order were furnished for the information of Colonels Scott, Wharton, and Adams.

doning Corinth, as though the possibility of such a movement had never occurred to the President, and as though no communication upon the subject had, up to that time, been addressed to the War Department. General Beauregard wrote his report three days later, and forwarded it to Richmond.* He counted upon no congratulatory reply. The government had not habituated him to such favors ; but, knowing how fully he had performed his duty to the cause, he anticipated no reproof or censure on the part of the Chief Executive of the Confederacy. The sequel will show how much he erred in that respect.

General Beau regard's infirm health, which, however, had never proved an obstacle to the discharge of the arduous duties devolv ing upon him, had been severely tried by the wear and care of the march from Corinth to Tupelo. He was, as usual, uncomplaining, but his impaired physical condition had nut escaped the observa tion of his two physicians, Doctors Brodie and Choppin—the for mer the Medical Director, the latter the Medical Inspector, of the army, and both esteemed members of his military family. They now urged him (for the third time since his departure from Vir ginia) to take advantage of the partial lull in military operations at and around Tupelo, and seek a brief rest from the incessant labors incident to his immediate presence with the troops. lie finally agreed to follow their advice ; and they, gratified at this result, but fearing he might let the opportune moment slip by, wrote out and handed him the following certiiicate, which they endeavored to make as impressive as possible :


TUPELO, June Uth, 1802.

"We hereby certify that, after attendance upon General Beauregard for the past four months, and treatment of his case.t in our professional opinion, he is incapacitated physically for the arduous duties of his present command, and we urgently recommend rest and recreation.

" R. L. BRODIE, Surgeon P. A. C. S. " SAM. CHOPPIN, Surgeon P. A. C. S. 1 '

On the very day on which the foregoing certificate was de livered to General Beauregard, the following telegram was di rectly forwarded to General Bragg from Richmond. The word " directly" is here intentionally used, because, strange to say, this

* Sec Appendix to Chapter XXIV. t A severe attack of laryngitis.

telegram reached General Bragg without having first been sent to General Beauregard, as was clearly required by all rules of pro priety and of military usage. None will deny that, at that time (1-ith of June), General Beauregard was still in command of De partment No. 2, and of the Confederate army encamped at Tupe lo. The full text of the telegram referred to is not in our posses sion. It was an order addressed to General Bragg, and sending him to Mississippi, to relieve General Lovell. Mr. Davis, in his book, gives its concluding part, as follows:

"After General Magruder joins, your further services there may be dispensed with. The necessity is urgent. J. DAVIS."

General Bragg referred this communication, so irregularly for warded, to General Beauregard, who, immediately after reading it, telegraphed General Cooper, in these words:

" TUPELO, June 14*7*, 1862.

" General Bragg has just communicated to me a telegram sending him to relieve, temporarily, General Lovell. His presence here I consider indispen sable at this moment, especially as I am leaving for a while on surgeon's cer tificate. For four months I have delayed obeying their urgent recommenda tions in that respect. I desire to be back here to retake the offensive as soon as our forces shall have been sufficiently reorganized. I must have a short rest.


There was nothing improper or discourteous in the foregoing despatch. Ko one could have interpreted it to involve disobedi ence of the President's order. That it w r as laconic we readily con cede, but telegraphic despatches are never otherwise. We ask the reader to examine its phraseology carefully, and say whether it could be so construed as to convey the idea that General Beaure gard was about " to leave, on surgeon's certificate, for four months." Knowing, however, that he had not sufficiently explained himself, and wishing to create no false impression as to his intentions, Gen eral Beauregard. on the succeeding day, wrote the following letter:

O O i/ / £3


TUPELO, Miss., June 15th, 1862. "General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:

" General, —After delaying, as long as possible, to obey the oft-repeated rec ommendations of my physicians to take some rest, for the restoration of my health, I have concluded to take advantage of the present lull in the opera tions of this army, due to the necessity of attending to its organization and discipline, and to the uncertain movements of the enemy, for absenting my-

self for a short while from here, hoping to be back to assume the offensive at the earliest moment practicable. Meanwhile, I will transfer the command of the forces and of this department to the next officer in rank, General B. Bragg, furnishing him with such instructions as will enable him to give all orders re quired during my absence. I propose leaving here to-morrow, at 12 M., for Mobile, where I will remain a day or two, inspecting the condition of its de fences, and will offer to Brigadier-General Forney such advice as, in my judg ment, may be necessary, and he may be willing to accept. I will then repair to Bladon Springs, on the Tombigbce River, about seventy-five miles north of Mobile, where I will remain about one week or ten days, or long enough to restore my shattered health,

" Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

'• G. T. BEAUREGARD, Gen. Coindg.''

General Beauregard, after a conference with General Bragg, left the latter in temporary command of the army and of the entire department, and started, not hurriedly, as Mr. Davis, in his book, indicates, but on the 17th of June, after all his arrangements had been leisurely completed. Knowing that there was no danger, just then, in absenting himself from his forces, and believing, in all honesty, that no other answer than a favorable one could possibly come from the War Department—for he knew of no army regulation denying a commanding general the right, for reasons of health, to move even beyond the boundaries of his own depart ment—he proceeded quietly on his journey, never suspecting the result awaiting him, nor anticipating President Davis's resentment at so simple an act.

Mr. Davis quotes the answer made by General Beauregard when General Bragg presented him the first despatch received from Rich mond ; but without prefixing any date to it.* It is not denied that that answer contains the substance of General Beauregard's telegram and letter—the first, of June 14th, the second, of June 15th—but it remains none the less a fact, that it was not General Beauregard's real answer to Mr. Davis or to the War Department: it was nothing more than the statement of General Bragg's inter pretation of General Beauregard's remarks to him. Mr. Davis had also before him General Beauregard's own telegram, as forwarded by himself, when informed of the President's action with regard to General Bragg's departure for Vicksburg. That despatch has already been submitted to the reader, and is, undoubtedly, the best evidence to be offered in the case.

" Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government," vol. i. p. 74.

General Bragg, after General Beauregard had left for Mobile, on the 17th, informed the President of the fact, and, doubtful as to what course to pursue, asked for further instructions.