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

XHome | Home | Email Contact
The New York Tribune, NY, Thur June 5, 1862:
p. 1, c. 1 -

15,000 Stand of Arms Captured.
Beauregard Tells His Men to Save
General Demoralization of the Rebels
                Washington, Wednesday, June 4, 1862.

        The following dispatch was received this afternoon at the War

        HALLECK'S HEADQUARTERS, Wednesday, June 4, 1862.

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

        Gen. Pope, with 40,000 men, is thirty miles south of Corinth,
pushing the enemy hard.
        He already reports 10,000 prisoners, and deserters from the
army, and 15,000 stand of arms captured.
        Thousands of the enemy are throwing away their arms.
        A farmer says that when Beauregard learned that Col. Elliott
had cut the railway on the line of retreat, he became frantic, and
told his men to save themselves the best they could.
        We have captured nine locomotives and a number of cars.  One
of the former is already repaired and is running to-day.  Several more
will be in running order in two or three days.  The result is all I
can possibly desire.
                        H.W. HALLECK, Major-General Commanding.



From Our Special Correspondent.
                                CORINTH, Friday Evening, May 30, 1862.

                        PRELIMINARY OPERATIONS.

        It was in the last days of last month -- that is, three weeks
after the battle -- that the army had sufficiently recovered from the
fearful shock of the memorable 6th and 7th of April, and repaired its
great numerical losses by battle and disease with re-enforcements from
the North, to make the first forward move from the scene of action in
the direction of Corinth.  Its lines at that time extended from in
front of Hamburg Landing in a north-westerly direction to Shiloh
Chapel -- a distance of four miles -- and some two miles beyond.  Gen.
Pope's army of the Mississippi then formed the left, Gen. Buell's army
of the Ohio the center, and Gen. Grant's army of the Tennessee the
        Before commencing the advance upon Corinth a reorganization of
the army took place, by which Gen. Grant was made second in command;
the First Division of the army of the Ohio was transferred to the army
of the Tennessee, and its commander, Major-General Thomas, placed in
command of the whole right, and two divisions of the army of the
Tennessee, respectively commanded by Major-General Wallace and
Brigadier-General Judah, constituted into a reserve under
Major-General McClernand.  Each of the two wings, as well as the
center, also had a special reserve consisting of one division.  Thus
organized for aggressive movements, the gradual approaches to the
enemy's position began.

                NATURE OF THE COUNTRY.

        The character of the country between the field of Shiloh and
the vicinity of Corinth is undulating throughout.  The elevations are
neither of considerable altitude nor very abrupt, although the roads
make some steep ascents.  Here and there some broad ridges and
depressions extend, affording room for farms, the poor improvements of
which, however, indicate but scanty rewards of the husbandman's labors
upon the thin soil.  Fine forests of full-grown timber, free from
underbrush, upon the hills, cover the whole ground and make up
somewhat for the absence of other attractions.  But few small streams
are found, the principal of which are Lick and Chamber's Creeks - the
former following a north-easterly course between Pittsburg Landing and
Monterey, and the latter an easterly between Monterey and Corinth.
Extensive bottoms border each.  In the dry season, hardly any water
remains in either of them.  The population is sparse and mostly in a
pitiful state of poverty and ignorance.

                HOW OUR ARMY ADVANCED.

        Since the first advance until the occupation of the line of
encampments held by the army yesterday, the several divisions have
each struck and pitched their tents seven times.  The distance from
Shiloh and Hamburg - the respective starting points - being about
eighteen miles, the successive moves averaged but 2 1/2 miles, with
intervening halts of from one to four days.  Over four weeks having
been thus consumed, celerity of movement could not well be claimed for
the great Union army of the West.  It is true, in the early part of
this month, an expeditious advance was difficult, owing to the bad
condition of the roads, and the necessity of much preparatory labor
upon them - especially in the Lick and Chamber's Creeks bottoms, which
had been reduced to extensive swamps by the continued rains of April.
        But the sunshine of the last three weeks had removed the
natural obstructions, and since the middle of the month better
progress might have been made, and the problem that has so long
perplexed the army no less than the whole North, viz - whether the
enemy would venture a battle at Corinth - solved many days before
this.  This is no ceptious criticism, but the opinion of many of the
Generals commanding under Gen. Halleck.  The only plausible
explanation of this trying dilatoriness is furnished by the
supposition that the Commander-in-Chief deemed the greatest caution
necessary in view of the entire want of trustworthy information as to
the numerical strength and defensive preparations of the enemy.
        It is certain beyond doubt that up to the 9th inst., even the
question, whether the enemy was at all in force at Corinth, was not
affirmatively answered in the minds of our generals.  Up to that time,
the belief that the Rebels would not await our appearance in front of
Corinth was almost universal.  A series of collisions between our
outposts and reconnoitering parties and more or less strong bodies of
the enemy, together with the statements of deserters, exchanged
prisoners, and other direct and indirect evidence soon after, however,
left no doubt that the whole of the hostile army was still massed at
the point against which the Union operations were directed.  Yet it
was apparent, from the fact that no attempt was made to oppose our
advance across the swamps along Lick and Chambers Creeks, that, if
serious opposition lay within the plans of Gen. Beauregard, it would
be reconnoitered only in close proximity to Corinth.


        As our lines were pushed forward they became by degrees
contracted, so that when, on the 18th, the left rested at Farmington
the front was but about four miles long.  At first they formed a sort
of semi-circle, the right and left out-reaching the center, but on the
stated day the front presented a nearly straight line.  Corinth being
then approached within four miles, and the enemy showing himself in
greater numbers and simultaneously at more points than heretofore, the
presumption of his continued presence in full strength was natural,
and hence our advance became attended with better guaranties against
sudden attacks in the shape of field works.  Double lines of elaborate
breastworks were constructed in front of the right and left and a
single one in that of the center, and the several batteries of siege
guns so placed as to sweep every road leading out from Corinth and
completely protect the fortifications.

        A strong point d'appui and safe retreat in case of repulse
being thus secured to each portion of the army, forward movements were
again resumed.  The advance henceforth was more laborious.  Heavy
timbers, varied only in few places by farms, with a thick undergrowth,
impenetrable to infantry as well as cavalry and artillery, encompassed
our whole line.  Roads had to be cut and clearings made in these
Mississippi jungles.  so great was the difficulty of working through
them, that during the last week scarcely a few hundred yards were
daily gained upon the enemy.  Previous to advancing from point to
point, the woods in front were regularly shelled along the line.  At
times, the Rebels replied with a few rounds from undefinable
positions, but most of our firing remained unreturned.


        On the 27th our lines were carried forward to within a short
distance of Two-Mile Creek, a watercourse forming an arc from the
Corinth and Purdy road to the Memphis and Charleston Railroad,
running almost parallel to and about half a mile north of the Rebel
breastworks, and crossing the Farmington and Corinth Road about two
miles north of Corinth, from which its names is derived.  It is
bridged at this crossing, and it was generally supposed that its
passage would be hotly contested, and that an attempt to cross it
would certainly bring on a a general engagement.  On the morning of the
28th, three strong columns of infantry -- one from each wing, and one
from the center -- with powerful complements of artillery, moved
toward the creek.  The purpose of those from the left and center was
to reconnoiter, and, if practicable, secure the crossing.  The column
starting from the right was intended to occupy the attention of the
enemy in that direction while the demonstrations to the left were
being made.

        As conjectured, their approach to the creek was severally
opposed by large bodies of the enemy, and an action of some duration
ensued, conducted on both sides principally with artillery, and
resulting in the retreat of the Rebels behind the works, and the
occupation of the crossing by the force from Gen. Pope's corps.  The
loss of his column was some thirty killed and wounded, but that of the
two other columns trifling.

        During the night several brigades threw up a new line of
breastworks along the creek, for protection from the fire of the
enemy's artillery, which was now presumed to be in close range from
behind his works.  The reserves of the several divisions, the main one
under Gen. McClernand, were also moved up, and the whole army got in
readiness for the battle, which was surely expected for the following

                THE LAST DAY OF THE SIEGE.

        The enemy failing to open the ball on yesterday morning, Gen.
Pope commenced shelling his battery near the bridge.  After a few
minutes, he replied, and continued a brisk fire for half an hour, when
he ceased, and withdrew his battery beyond our range.

        During the day a lively shelling of the woods in front was
kept up at intervals along the line.  Skirmishers were also sent to
within easy range of the Rebel breastworks.  The Rebels made but a
slight show of resistance.  This gave rise to a wide-spread
apprehension that the enemy, if at all disposed to fight, would at
least not accept battle this side of Corinth.

        Our entire front was now so close to the enemy's works that
the next step had to be an effort to carry them by assault.  this
seems to have been, indeed, Gen. Halleck's purpose, as orders were
given in the course of the evening for a general advance on the coming
morning.  The long-delayed battle would thus have come off this day,
had it not been for the strange developments of the forenoon.

        The whole of Wednesday night and of yesterday the cars were
heard running south of Corinth.  Some believed that the enemy was
leaving;  others that he was being re-enforced.  The latter opinion
was strengthened by the stories of deserters that came into our lines
on Thursday morning and claimed that Gen. Lovell had arrived with his
army from the interior of Mississippi -- statements now proved
absolute falsehoods, but in full keeping with the improbabilities
heretofore palmed off upon our generals by the same class of

                        BLOWING UP HIS MAGAZINES.

        Between 2 and 3 o'clock this morning more fugitives from the
Rebel army found their way to the pickets of the various divisions.
Upon being interrogated, they made the startling statement that the
rear guard of the enemy had commenced marching out of Corinth in a
southerly direction, and that there was not now a Confederate soldier
in the town.  Offering to answer with their lives for the correctness
of what they asserted, they obtained credence, and their intelligence
at once communicated to headquarters.  At about the same time several
explosions were heard in rapid succession, which the deserters
professed to believe to be caused by ammunition stored in storehouses
fired by the Rebels before they retreated from the place.

                        TOWN SURRENDERS.

        With daybreak rumors of the evacuation were already
circulating through the army.  A general eagerness to ascertain the
truth in the premises became manifest.  Gen. Pope's corps being
somewhat nearer to the breastworks than the other portions of the
army, was the first to solve the question.  His avant guard moved upon
the Rebel breastworks at about 6 o'clock and shortly afterward entered
them unresisted.  Being now satisfied that the enemy had really
abandoned Corinth, the whole corps pushed on in quick step, and the
head of the column, the 39th Ohio, entered the town a little after 7.

        The divisions moving upon the town from the center and left
over the Hamburg and Corinth, Pittsburg and Corinth, Corinth and Purdy
roads severally, reached the outskirts of the place between 8 and 10
o'clock, when they were halted, and afterward returned to their

        Gen. Nelson was met a short distance from town, while advancing
over the Hamburg Road, by the Mayor, who came to surrender the town,
and ask the protection of private property - a request, the
fulfillment of which was, of course, promised.

        The few representatives of the Press remaining near Gen.
Halleck's army subsequent to the enforcement of the order prohibiting
the stay of civilians within its lines, deeming it dictated by
discretion to keep in the rear, did not succeed in making their way to
Corinth until this afternoon.


        The roads to the place are in the best possible condition, and
were in no way obstructed by the Rebels.  A good deal had been said
about a formidable swamp in front of the enemy's fortifications, but
nothing of the kind was noticed.  The "fortifications" hardly deserved
the name.  They were the simplest description of breastworks, hardly
affording protection for infantry from musketry, not to speak of
artillery.  They are not half as strong as those constructed by our
troops in a single night.  Their appearance indicated that they were
hastily thrown up some time since - probably after the retreat of the
Rebels from the battle-field of Shiloh as a means of defense against
an immediate attack by our forces - and could not have possibly been
expected to prove a serious impediment to us.  At several commanding
points the ground had been seemingly prepared for heavy artillery, but
there were no positive indications of such ever having been placed in
position.  There were, however, embrasures for light pieces near the
roads, and such seemed to have been put to use to cover the former.
On the whole, the "fortifications" afford the best possible evidence
that Beauregard had no idea of running the risk of battle before

        The breastworks run over a succession of hills from a point
near the Memphis and Charleston Railroad east of Corinth to near the
Purdy and Corinth road about a mile north of the town.  Their entire
length is said to be five miles.


        From the ridges upon which the breastworks extend there is a
steady decline for a mile and half to the town, which is situated upon
a slightly undulating ground, almost like a plain.  Corinth is build
regularly, the streets intersecting each other at rectangle.  It
contains quite a number of fine edifices, both for purposes of
business and residence, and is altogether the best-appearing town of
its size the Army of the West has seen since its invasion of Southern
soil.  There are, perhaps, three hundred buildings, which must have
been inhabited in ordinary times by some two thousand inhabitants.
The houses were standing, with the exception of the depot and two or
three storehouses burned by the Rebels.  But the population - a more
general exodus has probably not occurred in this war.  All that
remains of it are not over a hundred old men, women, and children of
both colors.

        The main street of the town runs from the west to the east,
parallel to the track of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad.  Of the
numerous stores, but two or three remained open.


        One of these is occupied by a druggist, whose stock, however,
had dwindled down to almost invisible proportions.  He claims to be a
Unionist, and freely communicated all he knew about the situation of
matters previous to and during the evacuation.  His account was
consistent and intelligent, and certainly seemed worthy of credit.  He
stated that a worse, more shattered, and demoralized army than that of
the Confederates after their retreat from Shiloh was never seen.  It
was only a week after the battle that it had all returned to the
vicinity of the town, and weeks elapsed subsequently before anything
like order was re-established among it.

        After the battle it did not number 30,000 fighting men, and at
no time after it - so he asserted positively - were there ever over
60,000 men under command of Gen. Beauregard.  Generals Hardee, Van
Dorn, Bragg, and Polk commanded the four corps into which the army was
divided.  The removal of the sick, wounded, and stores continued
twelve days.  The main body of the army was sent off by rail toward
Memphis between Saturday and Wednesday last, and was supposed to have
disembarked at Grand Junction.  Only about one-third of the army
remained after Wednesday under the immediate direction of Beauregard.
The greater part of these were constantly on duty in our front; and it
was understood that they were to keep up a show of resistance until
there was danger of being surrounded or cut off from retreat.  Their
camping equipage was removed on Wednesday and Thursday.  About
midnight on Thursday they commenced their retreat through the town,
and at 3 o'clock the last of them were gone.  They marched in a
southward direction, the rolling stock on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad
having previously been sent South.

        His statement in regard to the time the evacuation began is
borne out by the fact that the Rebels left absolutely nothing behind
them beyond a few barrels of flour, the contents of which were
scattered upon the streets in various places.  Even their hospitals
were completely emptied.  Everything had likewise been removed from
the Post-Office and the houses occupied as headquarters.  Beauregard's
staff occupied the principal hotel - The Tishamingo House, which is
also completely deserted.

        Immediately after the first of our troops entered the town the
Stars and Stripes were raised over the Court-House.  During the first
hours of the occupation many houses were broken open by stragglers
from the ranks, who loaded themselves with plunder, but toward noon
guards were stationed all over town, and the wanton interference with
private property stopped.

                DESERTERS COMING IN.

        As soon as cavalry and artillery could be brought up, pursuit
was made of the retreating enemy for a distance of five miles.
Nothing was, however, seen of him.  While going and returning, Rebel
soldiers came out of the woods lining the roads, singly and in squads,
to the number of over 100, and gave themselves up, claiming to be
treated as deserters.

The New York Tribune, NY, Thur June 5, 1862:
p. 4, c. 1 -

           THE WAR

        -A brief telegram from Gen. Halleck to the Secretary of War,
dated yesterday, brings glorious intelligence from the South-West.
Gen. Pope, with a force of 40,000 men, was 30 miles south of Corinth,
driving Beauregard's army before him.  Ten thousand prisoners and
deserters and 15,000 stand of arms had been taken;  thousands of the
fugitive Rebels were throwing away their guns and everything that
impeded their flight.  Nine locomotives and a large number of cars
have been taken.  It is stated that when Beauregard learned that Col.
Elliot had cut the railway on the line of his retreat, he became
frantic, and advised his men to save themselves as best they could.
This, however, is but the story of a farmer near the scene.  But it is
undeniably true that the great Rebel army of the Mississippi is no
better than a mob flying for their lives.

        -From Our Special Correspondent at Corinth we have a highly
interesting account of the siege and occupation of that celebrated
place.  The letter is printed on the 1st page.


                        THE END APPROACHES!

        The War news from the West in our columns this morning is
altogether the most important and the most cheering that we have
printed since the commencement of the struggle.  Beauregard's retreat
from Corinth appears to be a virtual collapse of the Rebellion in that
quarter.  His army would seem to be at once fleeing and dispersing,
and the capture of Ten Thousand men and Fifteen Thousand muskets by
Gen. Pope (commanding Gen. Halleck's advance on the track of the
Rebels) indicates that the Rebel army is rather deserting than being
captured.  It is highly probable that the Rebels find themselves
poorly armed, not half fed, scantily supplied with ammunition, and
utterly without tents, & c., for which they have no adequate
transportation; so; seeing that there is no longer a rational hope of
success, they are dispersing and trying to make their way homeward as
easily and safely as possible.  Of course, there must be regiments,
and even brigades, that still stand firmly by their flag and their
cause;  but this is not the case with the greater number.  They have
evidently given up the contest.

        The news of this collapse must of course be known by this time
to the Rebel chiefs at Richmond, Charleston, &c., who cannot fail to
read in it the handwriting on the wall.  We shall be disappointed if
the National flag is not flying over every considerable city of the
South by the 4th of July, and the leading traitors on the full run for
some foreign refuge from the indignation of their dupes and the
justice of their reunited country.

The New York Tribune, NY, Thur June 5, 1862:
p. 5, c. 1 -


                                Chicago, Wednesday, June 4, 1862.

        A special dispatch from Cairo says:  Immediately on the
occupation of Corinth, forces from Gen. Pope's division were sent out
in pursuit of such Rebels as fled westward.  Gen. Grainger, in command
of two regiments of calvary, soon came in the rear of the enemy, six
miles south-west of Corinth, and engaged in a fight.

        He lost fifty men, but was afterward largely re-enforced, when
the Rebels were surrounded.  It is said that five or ten thousand have
been captured.  A portion of them have reached Pittsburg Landing en
route to Northern military prisons.  At last accounts General Pope was
nine miles south-west of Corinth, which point his whole corps had

    Transcribed by Milton Sandy, Jr. 6/5/1996 from original
         newspaper in the collection of Van Hedges.


XHome | Home | Email Contact

Last Update: June 5, 1996
Webmaster: Jackey Wall
© copyright 1995 CrossRoads Access, Inc.