CORINTH INFORMATION DATABASE Version 1.3 © 1995 Milton Sandy, Jr.

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The New York Times, NY, Sat May 31, 1862:
p. 1, c. 1 -

    ANOTHER TRIUMPH.             Part of front page MAP

Corinth in Possession of
     Gen. Halleck.
The Place Evacuated by the
 Rebels on Thursday Night.
Important Events Preceding the
Advance of Our Army at Three
  Points Against the Rebel
Heavy Fighting and Important
     Positions Gained.
Opening of our Heavy Batteries
        on Thursday,
Some of the Advanced Rebel
        Works Carried.
Retreat of the Rebels and Occupation of
        Corinth by Our Forces.
 The Causes Which Led to the

                        Washington, Friday, May 30.

        A telegraphic dispatch has just been received at the War
Department from an unofficial source, stating that the rebels left
Corinth last night, and that Gen. NELSON occupied their intrenchments
at 8 o'clock this morning.


                        Washington, Friday, May 30.

        A telegraphic dispatch just received at the War Department,
fully corroborates the former message that Corinth is evacuated by the
rebels and occupied by our troops. Prisoners say the enemy left last
night for Okolona a point about 60 miles south of Corinth, on the
Mobile and Ohio Railroad.
        (Okolona is a hamlet and Post village in Chickasaw County,
Miss., situated on the line of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad.  Its
location will be found indicated on our map.)


       Before Corinth, Thursday, May 29- Midnight

        No additional movements have taken place
except picket skirmishing and strengthening our position.
Gen. HALLECK has moved his camp two miles forward to-day.
        Lieut. WEBB, aid to Gen. DONELSON, was among the prisoners
captured yesterday.

                Near Corinth, Friday, May 30.

        Gen. Pope's advance, the Thirty ninth Ohio Regiment, occupied
Corinth at 6:40 this morning, and planted our flag on the Court-house.
        The enemy evacuated the place last night, retreating down the
Mobile and Ohio Railroad.
        The telegraph line is occupied with military business, but
expect to obtain particulars soon.

      THE Forward Movement of Wednesday.

Headquarters Department of the Mississippi}
   Camp on the Corinth Road, May 28, 1862.}

Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War:

        Three strong reconnoitering columns advanced this morning on
the right, centre and left, to feel the enemy and unmask his
batteries. The enemy hotly contested his ground at each point, but was
driven back with considerable loss.  The column on the left
encountered the strongest opposition.  Our loss is twenty-five killed
and wounded. The enemy left thirty dead on the field. Our losses at
other points are not yet ascertained. Some five or six officers, and a
number of privates, were captured.

        The fighting will probably be renewed tomorrow at daybreak.
The whole country is so thickly wooded that we are compelled to feel
our way.

                        H.W.HALLECK, Major-General.

                        Near Corinth, May 30.

Hon. E.M. Stanton, Secretary of War:

        Gen. POPE's heavy batteries opened upon the
enemy's intrenchments yesterday about 10 A.M., and soon
drove the rebels from their advanced batteries.

        Maj.-Gen. W.T.SHERMAN established another
heavy battery yesterday afternoon, within one thousand
yards of their works, and skirmishing parties
advanced at daybreak this morning.  Three of our
divisions are already in the enemy's advanced works,
about three quarters of a mile from Corinth, which is
in flames.  The enemy has fallen back on the Mobile
and Ohio Railroad.
         (Signed)                H.W.HALLECK.

The Occupation of Corinth - Conflicting Reports
        About The Enemy.
                        Near Corinth, May 30.

Hon. E.M. Stanton, Secretary of War:
        Our advance guard are in Corinth.
        Conflicting accounts as to the enemy's movements, but is
believed to be in strong force on our left flank, some four or five
miles south of Corinth, near the Mobile and Ohio Railroad.

        (Signed)                H. W. HALLECK, Major-General.


                Halleck's Headquarters, May 30.

        During nearly all of last night the moving of cars and
suppressed whistles sounding, betokened some movement going on, but it
not being any extraordinary occurrence was not considered of an
extraordinary nature.
        About 5 o'clock this morning several explosions
were distinctly heard.  Immediately after skirmishers were thrown
out and a general advance commenced.
        A large amount of railroad iron was untouched. There being
some twelve or fifteen tracks of railroad from the depot to the
intrenchments, with side tracks and switches, they were enabled to
move troops with great rapidity.
        From all information gleaned from prisoners, it is thought the
evacuation commenced at sundown of last night, the enemy retreating in
three directions, East, West and South.
        BEAUREGARD stated to the citizens last night that he intended
evacuating, and to throw himself on both our flanks.
        At this hour Corinth is held by our outposts, and the cavalry
is searching for the enemy. That sent by Gen. POPE came upon and
dispersed the enemy eight miles below Corinth, on the Mobile and Ohio
Railroad, in the act of burning the bridge, and captured forty
prisoners. The enemy's rear guard destroyed the depot, a few bales of
cotton, and a church, and intended destroying the entire village, but
the citizens saved some fifty houses. They also broke open stores, and
burned the contents.
        A large cavalry force, under Col. ELLIOTT, sent out on
Wednesday morning by a circuitous route, to destroy a bridge on the
Mobile and Ohio Railroad, south of Corinth, though they have not yet
returned, have probably succeeded, as we learn from prisoners that it
was known in Corinth last night that a large bridge had been
destroyed, forty miles at the south, by a body of our cavalry, and
that Gen. POPE's 20-pounder Parrott's, yesterday, enfiladed their
camps, killing 80 men and 100 horses; -- also, that a 30-pounder
Parrott shell, thrown into Corinth by POPE as an experiment, destroyed
a locomotive and killed the engineer.
        It is thought among military men that the destruction of
bridges South, the uncomfortable proximity of our falling shells, and
the possibility of National success on the Mississippi, were the
causes of the evacuation. The enemy's works, certainly, were of
very great strength, and capable of making a stout resistance.


                THE NEWS IN WASHINGTON.

                        WASHINGTON, Friday, May 30.

        The evacuation of Corinth by the rebels gives rise to many
speculation in military circles at Washington. Some think they were
not moved south  at all, but gone west to save Memphis, and may be
retreat into Arkansas and Texas; and it is believed that they were
literally starved out at Corinth, and have been compelled to leave
and search for a country with food. Texas is best able to sustain
        The abandonment of Corinth accounts for the reported
appearance of BEAUREGARD at Richmond, but no one here believes it
possible that any considerable portion of the Corinth forces will be
able to reach Richmond, as they would have to pass through Mobile if
moving by railroad, and Mobile is now commanded by our fleet. If they
have moved south as given out, and not westward, Memphis falls into
our hands, and the entire system of the Mississippi valley, together
with the free navigation of the Mississippi River.


The New York Times, NY, Sat May 31, 1862:
p. 2, c. 1 -


                        MOBILE, Thursday, May 22, 1862.

        A special dispatch to the ADVERTISER, dated Corinth, yesterday
        "Skirmishing continued yesterday without any important
results.  Our forces shelled the enemy out on the Farmington road.  No
casualties on our side.  The loss of the enemy is unknown.
        The indications portend a battle near at hand.  Indeed the
conflict may begin at any moment.  A heavy rain this morning postponed
        BUTLER's infamous order has fired our army.  Rev. Dr. PALMER
delivered an address to our soldiers, which stirred them deeply.
        A Federal spy will be hung to-day.
                        SECOND DISPATCH

                        MOBILE, Tuesday, April 22

        A special dispatch to the ADVERTISER from Corinth last night
        "There was general picket skirmishing on our right and left
lines.  On the left the enemy threw a number of shells without damage.
On our right several casualties occurred.  Among the killed is Capt.
RICHARDS, of the Thirty-first Mississippi.  The enemy suffered much.
A general engagement is expected to-morrow.  Our whole army marched
out this evening.  Our troops are in high spirits and confident of
        Gen. HALLECK sent 200 confederate prisoners having the
small-pox, to Fort Pillow, in exchange for Federal prisoners sent from
here.  Gen. VILLEPERQUE refused to receive them.
        Gen. BEAUREGARD sent a letter to HALLECK to-day charging him
with bad faith and inhumanity.  HALLECK replied denying knowledge of
the fact that the men had the small-pox."

The New York Times, NY, Sat May 31, 1862:
p. 4, c. 1 -

        NEWS OF THE DAY.  

        Gen. HALLECK's combinations against the rebels at Corinth have
proved too much for them, and they have evacuated the position- last
ditch and all.  The dispatches published by us yesterday announced
that three strong reconnoitering columns of our army advanced on
Wednesday morning from the right, centre and left, to "feel" the
enemy, and to unmask his batteries.  The enemy, it appears, hotly
contested our advance at each point, but was driven back with
considerable loss.  Gen. POPE's column, on the left, encountered the
strongest opposition, and our loss there was twenty-five killed and
wounded, while the enemy left thirty dead on the field.  The fighting
was renewed on Thursday morning, Gen. POPE's heavy batteries opening
upon the enemy's works, from the advanced batteries of which he soon
drove the rebels.  Gen. SHERMAN in the course of the day also
established a heavy battery at only one thousand yard's distance; and
early yesterday morning skirmishing parties were advanced in all
directions.  Three of our divisions soon occupied the enemy's
intrenchments, about a mile from Corinth, which was soon discovered to
be in flames, and the enemy falling back.  Our troops immediately
pushed forward and Gen. POPE's advance, the Thirty-ninth Ohio,
occupied the town, and planted the "Old Glory" on the Court-house.
The enemy, it appears, evacuated the place during Thursday night, and
retreated down the railroad toward Mobile- one report states, to take
up a new position at Okolona, about sixty miles below on the railroad.
Gen. HALLECK seems to be in doubt about the enemy's movements,
accounts being, he says, conflicting.  He is of opinion that the
rebels are in strong force on our left flank, some four or five miles
south of Corinth, but of course on the railroad.  He has doubtless
taken measures to ascertain the truth, which we shall all learn in
good time.
        A summary of some of the events which preceded the evacuation
somewhat more remotely, may not be uninteresting.  On the 19th inst.,
the Eight Missouri Regiment had a sharp fight over a fine spring of
water, about two and a half miles from Corinth.  The spring was taken
and retaken three times, but finally remained in possession of the
Missouri Eighth.  The possession of the spring cut off a very
important supply of water from the rebel army.  Sharp skirmishes were
had on the 20th and 21st, which resulted in driving in the rebel
pickets and advancing the Union forces.  The Sixty-fourth Ohio charged
upon Block House, held by the enemy, took it and burned it.  The
First, Second and Twentieth Kentucky and Thirty-ninth Indiana had
several skirmishes, in which the First Kentucky lost nine killed.  On
the 22d, CRITTENDEN's Division had a smart brush, with what result has
not been learned.  On the 21st POPE's Division drove in the rebel
pickets, and took possession of a hill two and half miles from
Corinth, planting heavy siege guns on it.  this hill commands the town
entirely, and its possession was a very important advantage, which
doubtless did much to induce the final evacuation.  Every step forward
taken by Gen. HALLECK seems to have been taken with a certainty of
holding the position gained....

The New York Times, NY, Sat May 31, 1862:
p. 4, c. 3 -


        It is safe to say the news of the rebels having evacuated
Corinth was as little expected as was that of the evacuation of
Yorktown.  At Corinth had been located one of the very last ditches of
the insurrection.  There, with as numerous a throng of traitors as
could ever be brought together, in a position possessing every natural
advantage in addition to the most elaborate defensive works, and
surrounded by approaches of peculiar difficulty, it was reckoned
confidently, North and south, that one of the two decisive battles of
the war would have to be fought, and that doubts as to the relative
force and martial characteristics of the antagonists would require no
further solution.  The force under Gen. BEAUREGARD has been rated at
various figures.  A moderate estimate derived from others of much
larger proportions, would seem to justify a belief that at least one
hundred and fifty thousand men were behind the lines of Corinth.  The
ablest Generals in the rebel service- BEAUREGARD, BRAGG, HARDEE,
POLK, and VAN DORN, to say nothing of BRECKINRIDGE- were at the head
of the several divisions; men who, beyond mere military skill and
experience, possessed the entire confidence of their soldiers.  All
these conditions turned the odds of the apparently impending conflict
in favor of the rebels, who had an additional incentive to desperate
resistance in the circumstance that the fate of Memphis and the
Mississippi River was dependent on the result.  Yet all these
arguments for a great fight have been spoiled by the event.  The
rebels have retired, not in the direction of Memphis, or to a position
where the possession of the river might still be disputed, but to a
point at the Southeast, which is simply a step in the direction of
further retreat.  The war in the West is ended.  The Mississippi
Valley is in possession of the Union.  The entire region to the west,
from Texas northward, can offer no further resistance to the National
arms.  Forst Wright and Randolph must fall with the fall of Corinth.
The theatre of war is narrowed to the southeastern angle of the
Republic.  And it is almost certain that, in thus abandoning the
Southwestern States, all of the rebel army which was drafted from that
section will abandon the flag of BEAUREGARD in a body.
        It is also more than probable that the retreat is the
development of some new polity arranged by BEAUREGARD during his
recent visit to Richmond, if, indeed, policy rather than necessity has
dictated the move.  What the new-fangled scheme of action may be is
left to conjecture.  There seems to be but a sorry choice at the
option of the rebels.  They may propose to draw the Union army further
Southward, where the climate may do the work of destruction from which
they shrink.  this is, at best, a hopeless plan-- a plan savoring
rather of malignant despair, than of any well-grounded hope of
eventual triumph.  For there is no end to the mischief threatening
their cause from thus courting a distribution and encampment of Union
armies among the negroes of the Gulf States; while it is absolutely
certain that the troops of Gen. HALLECK can never be in a vicinity or
circumstances less wholesome than those from which the rebel escapade
has just released them.  The only other conceivable motive for the
retirement is that a concentration of the remaining strength is
proposed in Northwestern Georgia, a region steadily looked to by
Confederate strategists as the decisive and final battleground of the
war.  If this be the plan, we may reasonably expect the evacuation of
Virginia to follow that of Corinth, and to see a new position taken at
Chattanooga, Dalton or Atlanta, where the scattered forces of the
insurrection shall be concentrated for a conclusive struggle.  A
second alternative- namely, the transfer of BEAUREGARD's army to
Virginia- is too remote from possibility to be entertained.  The fate
of Virginia, if not already settled, will certainly be so, before the
demoralized horde of BEAUREGARD could traverse Alabama.
        While the less immediate consequences of this measure are thus
open to guesswork, there are other points which are not in the least
problematical.  1. The rebels, even when sheltered by a complete chain
of intrenchments, protected by heavy artillery, and placed beyond the
reach of those scapegoats of Southern cowardice, the gunboats, decline
to meet an equal force of National troops.  The approach of Gen.
HALLECK to the very face of their lines failed to provoke a sally or
repulse; and by the time that commander discovered that nothing short
of a general assault would unearth the enemy, the enemy took to
flight.  So much for the soldiership of the chivalry.  2. The perfect
wisdom of a slow and sure policy is splendidly vindicated.  As did
McCLELLAN at Yorktown, and as he is again doing before Richmond,
HALLECK has routed the enemy, less by an impetuous and murderous
attack, than by the thoroughness of his preparations, which had become
so formidable, and in fact, so obviously irresistible, as to leave the
rebels the choice between retreat and annihilation.  In a contest
between exhausted and exhaustless resources, delay always fights on the
side of the latter.  When hereafter the policy of masterly preparation
is called in question, it will be a sufficient vindication to point to
Yorktown and Corinth;  an argument which in a very few days will be
strengthened by the addition of Richmond.

    Transcribed by Milton Sandy, Jr. 5/5/1996 from original
         newspaper in the collection of Van Hedges.


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