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eight miles of Corinth. This place is in the northeast corner of Mississippi, ninety miles east of Memphis, on the Mississippi River, and on the line of the great railroad between Memphis and Charleston, South Carolina, where the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, running north and south, crosses the great east and west line between the Mississippi and the Atlantic.
General Grant was given the position of second in command, and General Thomas was assigned to the command of the right wing. The forces of Beauregard had been increased by the concentration of troops from Mississippi and Louisiana, including General Lovell, from near New Orleans.
He had fled from the metropolis of the Southwest previous to its capture by the gallant Farragut and General Butler. By these additions, the Confederate force was largely increased, although it did not equal the army under General Halleck.
General Halleck now proceeded, by gradual advances, to the investment and siege of Corinth. Although he commanded a victorious army, elated and confident from a career of almost uninterrupted success, he took the utmost care to prevent a general engagement. For more than a month, he issued his daily order to crowd up to the enemy, “but to avoid a general engagement.” His ardent and eager subordinates, anxious to reach the enemy, begged permission to attack, but were refused. By this course, Corinth was taken, but the rebel army escaped.
On the 30th of May, the heavy batteries of Halleek opened upon Corinth, and the Confederates were driven out. The enemy tied hastily, destroying immense quantities of stores, provisions and materiel of war. The line of fortifications thus abandoned, was fifteen miles long, with batteries commanding every road and assailable point. The Union troops pursued for some distance the retreating rebels, and made some captures, but they had all the territory which they could hold. The failure on the part of IIalleck to attack and assault the enemy, enabled Beauregard to escape, and transfer his forces to positions of need at the East.
While the armies of the West had fought all the way from Illinois, down the Valley of the Mississippi, from Cairo to Corinth, capturing Forts Henry and Donelson, New Madrid, Island No. 10, and Nashville; while they had fought the battles of Belmont, Mill Spring, Pea Ridge, and the great battle of Shiloh ; had rescued and reclaimed from the enemy Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee and Northern Arkansas, and were holding points of Mississippi and Alabama, where was the Army of the Potomac and what had it done? Where were its trophies, where the prisoners, guns, forts it had captured, and the States it had subjugated ? Is it not now clear, that if General McClellan had been equally active, and had done as much fighting and with equal success as the armies which operated at the West, the rebellion would have been crushed and the Confederate States subjugated in 1862? But General McClellan never adopted the tactics of Grant, of attacking every assailable point of the rebellion at the same time; but he so managed, while in supreme command, that the rebels, being on the inner and shorter line of defense, could tranefer their troops from point to point wherever most needed.
The city of New Orleans, at the mouth of the Mississippi, was early the object of the anxious consideration of President Lincoln. Ilaving passed his life in the great Valley of the West — knowing it as one who had in early life, as a flatboatman, urged his boat over its majestic waters — he had lived to see it, and its thousands of miles of tributary streams, covered with steamers, carrying to tidewater, the vast agricultural products of a delta more productive than that of the Nile. IIe fully sympathized with the declaration of the gallant Illinois soldier who declared that the hardy Western settler, turning his plough-share into the sword, would “ JIew his way to the sea !” No place in the Union had been more associated with National pride than the city of New Orleans. The victory of General Jackson at that place had always been justly regarded as one of the most brilliant military achievements on record. This city, over which the lilies of France had floated, was the metropolis of the vast Southwest. By
the treason of Twiggs, it had fallen an unresisting victim into the toils of the traitors. Lincoln early determined to restore this city to the National government.
In the Autumn of 1861, a great expedition, under the command of Captain Farragut and General B. F. Butler, was organized. To Captain Farragut has been assigned, by the common consent of his gallant and able comrades, the first position among the naval heroes of the war. A
A native of Tennessee, he is a hearty, bluff, honest, downright sailor, who knows no such word as fail. Full of resources, confident in himself and in those he knew how to command, he is one of those men who command success. General Butler's forces landed at Ship Island in December, 1861, and January, 1862
Captain Farragut sailed with his fleet to attack the forts on the 3d of February. After bombarding Forts St. Philip and Jackson, which guarded the mouth of the Mississippi, for six days without reducing them, with the inspiration of genius, he determined to pass these forts, and sail up the Mississippi. The difficulty, and the apparent temerity of this will appear, when it is recollected that the Forts St. Philip and Jackson mounted 126 guns, many of them of very heavy caliber; that the river was obstructed by sunken hulks and an iron chain of immense strength was stretched across the channel; that he would encounter thirteen gun-boats, in addition to the powerful iron-clad battery Louisiana. The authorities of New Orleans were perfectly confident. “Our
“ only fear," said the city press, “is that the Northern invaders may not appear.” If they had known Farragut, they would not have expressed any such apprehension. If they did in fact entertain such fears, he soon relieved them. On the 24th of April, amidst a storm of shot and shell, the night illuminated by the mingled fires of ships, and forts, and burning vessels, he passed Forts Jackson and St. Philip; he crushed through the boom, he destroyed the rams and gun-boats sent down to oppose him, and steaming past the batteries, he ascended the majestic Mississippi, and squared his yards, and opened his broadsides upon the proud city of the Southwest.
The city of 150,000 surrendered, and the stars and stripes once more floated over the Custom-House, Post-Office and other public buildings of the crescent city. The flag never again to be hauled down from that position, for, as it was grimly said by a Confederate General on the fall of Richmond, "it had never been the policy of the rebels to retake the cities and posts captured by the Union forces.”
THE PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MCCLELLAN—THE CAMPAIGN
THE ARMY OF THE POTOMAC— MCCLELLAN'S IN ACTION - PLAN OF THE CAMPAIGN-THE MONITOR AND THE MERRIMAC-YORKTOWN
-WILLIAMSBURG-THE CHICKAHOMINY—THE PRESIDENT URGES ACTION — NORFOLK TAKEN — MCDOWELL AT FREDERICKSBURGSTONEWALL JACKSON'S CAMPAIGN DOWN THE VALLEY — BATTLE OF Fair Oaks-LEE IN COMMAND-MECHANICSVILLE-GAINE's MILLS, ETC.—To The JAMES -- MALVERN HILL — HARRISON'S LANDING.
January, 1862, had issued an order that active operations, and a general advance of all the armies should begin on the 22d of February. That order contemplated active movements, and in concert, by all the forces in the field. Lincoln appreciated and anticipated the common-sense views subsequently acted upon by Grant, of attacking the enemy at all points at the same time.
On the 31st of January, he had ordered that all the dispog. able forces should be organized into an expedition for the immediate object of seizing and occupying a point on the railroad southwest of Manassas Junction.
Early in March, McClellan, with his splendid army, marched on Centerville, to find it evacuated, and wooden guns in position on the works, behind which the rebels had so long remained unassailed. Addressing his vast army at Fairfax Court House, the young general said: “ The Army of the Potomac is now a real army. Magnificent in material, admirable in discipline and instruction, excellently equipped and armed, your commanders are all that I could wish.” The