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They found that they might have taken it long before. The fortifications were substantially a counterfeit; no adequate garrison had ever been present; in some of the batteries there were wooden or "Quaker" guns. Halleck now dispatched Pope and Buell in pursuit of the retreating Confederates, but they were unable to overtake them.
FALL OF CORINTH.
Beauregard unjustly disgraced.
Beauregard left his army when at Tupelo, on the 15th of June, relieving himself from duty on the plea of ill health. He went into retirement at Mobile and Bladon Springs, having turned over the command temporarily to General Bragg. No sooner did Davis hear of this than he ordered Bragg to assume permanent command, passionately declaring that he would not reinstate Beauregard though the whole world should urge him to the measure.
From the second line, thus broken, the Confederates had to fall back on the third, of which the strategic points were Vicksburg, Jackson, Meridian, and Selma.
Summary of the
In view of the whole campaign, from the attack on Fort Henry to the occupation of Corinth, it must Shiloh campaign. be regarded as a complete success for the national cause. The objects originally proposed - the breaking through the Confederate lines of defense, the fall of the powerful blockading works on the Mississippi, the opening of that river down to Memphis, the forcing of the enemy from their camp at Bowling Green, the occupation of Nashville, the severing of the Memphis and Charleston Road, and the capture of Corinth-all these objects were attained.
Doubtless more might have been accomplished had there been more celerity in the advance on Corinth. Had Halleck acted energetically with his left, he might, perhaps, have crowned his triumph with the destruction of Beauregard's army.
On the part of the Confederates, the rapidity of their
concentration at Corinth, their plan of campaign, their conduct on the field of Shiloh, were very brilliant; and, considering how near he came to success with the imperfect means he had, Beauregard was justified in his reproaches of the Richmond authorities. He did his part of the duty fully. They failed in giving him support.
Great ability displayed by the Confederates.
At the time when Buell set out from Nashville to reenforce Grant at Shiloh, he dispatched MitchMitchell to break ell southward to destroy, as far as might be possible, the Memphis and Charleston Road, Negley being left in command of the reserves at Nashville. Mitchell reached Shelbyville on the 4th of April, and thence made forced marches to Huntsville, which he seized by a night attack on the 11th, getting possession of 17 locomotives and more than 100 passenger cars. From Huntsville he proceeded to destroy the road eastward as far as Stevenson, and westward as far as Decatur and Tuscumbia, over a distance of one hundred miles. From the latter place he was driven by a Confederate force coming from Corinth, but in his retreat he burned the bridge over the Tennessee at Decatur. It was his intention to move eastward as far as Chattanooga, and destroy the railroads there, es pecially that to Atlanta, and to burn the founderies and machine shops at Rome.
To accomplish the destruction of the Atlanta Road, he sent out a secret expedition of twenty-two picked men. They rendezvoused at Marietta, Georgia. At Big Shanty, a short distance from Great Kenesaw Mountain, they surreptitiously uncoupled from a train a locomotive, with a few box cars, giving out that it was a powder-train for Beauregard's supply. Then, moving away with all speed, they destroyed the telegraph and pulled up the rails.
His complete suc
They were, however, pursued by a Confederate train so closely that the brass journals of their engine melted.
When about fifteen miles from Chattanooga they were compelled to jump from the cars and take refuge in the woods. Here they were all hunted down; eight of them were hanged. Mitchell used every exertion to capture Chattanooga, but the force under Kirby Smith was too strong to permit success.
The operations of this energetic and able general show what might have been done by Buell had there been more celerity in his march and more vigor in his proceedings. The contrast between these commanders was so striking that it was impossible for them to act in unison. The subsequent movements of Bragg would prob ably have had a very different issue if Mitchell had been his antagonist. In an evil hour Mitchell South Carolina and was removed from the scene of his brilliant expedition to South Carolina, where, unhappily, he died—a loss to the nation and to science, for previously to the war he had distinguished himself by his devotion to practical astronomy.
His transfer to
The Memphis and Charleston Railroad was thoroughly broken by this burning of bridges and tearing up of rails. The Confederate communications between the Atlantic States and the Mississippi by this route were severed.
CONTINUATION OF THE CAMPAIGN OF SHILOH. THE FIRST VICKSBURG CAMPAIGN.
In continuation of the general plan of the campaign, the army at Corinth was divided. One portion of it, under Buell, marched eastward toward Chattanooga, to seize that strategic point. To the other, under Grant, was assigned the duty of moving southward to open the Mississippi.
The Confederate armies were greatly strengthened by conscription, and inspirited by their victories in Virginia.
Grant's army was weakened to strengthen Buell. He was compelled to defer his southward march. The Confederate generals in front of him were tempted to endeavor to retake Corinth, but were not successful.
Grant, having received re-enforcements, commenced the first campaign against
BEAUREGARD had thrown the die and lost. In the forResults of the Shi- ests of Shiloh the fate not only of the Upper Mississippi, but also apparently that of the great states Kentucky and Tennessee, had been decided. A vast space of many thousand square miles, the entire northwest of the Confederacy, had been wrenched away.
Not without reason, then, was there consternation in Richmond. The anger of Davis when he ordered Beauregard into retirement seemed to be almost justified.
Halleck, however, had entered Corinth, not with the military pomp he had expected. There had been no brilliant operations, no triumphant assault. His wily antag onist had simply given him the slip.
Corinth gained, Halleck prepared to execute the reThe march of Buell mainder of his plan. He had now to detach Buell eastward to Chattanooga, while he himself marched southward to Mobile, opening the Mississippi on his right as he went. Farragut had al
ready secured its mouth by the capture of New Orleans in April. Halleck's army was more than 100,000 strong. He detached Buell on his eastward march to Chattanoo ga on the 10th of June.
Effects of the Con
But the terrible energy of the Richmond government changed the expected course of events. A federate conscrip- remorseless conscription had not only filled the thinned ranks of the armies, but had greatly increased their strength. The conscripts had converted McClellan's peninsular campaign into an awful national disaster. They were contemplating a march upon Washington.
THE ARMY AT CORINTH.
As soon as Bragg, the Confederate general, found that Buell was moving toward Chattanooga, foreseeing the disastrous military consequences which must follow the occupation of that important point by a national army, he set out, and, marching with the greatest celerity, reached Chattanooga before his adversary, and solidly established himself in it. His army was now greatly re-enforced by conscription.
Under these circumstances, the national government Removal of Halleck was constrained to take Halleck from his victorious Western campaign, and, bringing him to Washington, commit to him, as commander-inchief, a duty of more momentous importance-the resist ing of the triumphant Confederates in their march upon the capital-the heart of the nation. Halleck left Corinth, and the charge of the great Western campaign fell to Grant, his second in command.
But this was not all. The army whose duty it was to complete the opening of the Mississippi lost weakened, not only its general-it was likewise depleted of its strength. Bragg, whose strong point was at Chattanooga, had, as just mentioned, been greatly re-enforced. Buell was compelled by him to make a rapid re
The countermarch of Bragg.