No. 37.-reports of General G. T. Beauregard, C. S. Army, commanding Department no. 2, with correspondence, orders, and supplementary statements concerning operations from April 8 to June 10.
Corinth successfully on 30th ultimo; a complete surprise to the enemy. Rear guard arrived here unmolested last night. We brought away all our heavy guns, tents, &c., but had to burn a few trains, cut off by gross neglect in getting to a bridge.
headquarters Western Department, Tupelo, Miss., June 13, 1862.General: In relation to recent military operations in this quarter 1 have to submit the following for the information of the War Department: The purposes and ends for which I had occupied and held Corinth having been mainly accomplished by the last of May, and by the 25th of that month having ascertained definitely that the enemy had received large accessions to his already superior force, while ours had been reduced day by day by disease, resulting from bad water and inferior food, I felt it clearly my duty to evacuate that position without delay. I was further induced to this step by the fact that the enemy had declined my offer of battle twice made him outside of my intrenched  lines, aLd sedulously avoided the separation of his corps, which he advanced with uncommon caution under cover of heavy guns, strong intrenchments, constructed with unusual labor and with singular delay, considering his strength and our relative inferiority in numbers. The transparent object of the Federal commander had been to cut off my resources by destroying the Mobile and Ohio and the Memphis and Charleston Railroads. This was substantially foiled by the evacuation and withdrawal along the line of the former road, and, if followed by the enemy remote from his base, I confidently anticipated an opportunity for resumption of the offensive with chances for signal success. Under these plain conditions, on the 26th ultimo I issued verbally several orders copies of which are herewith, marked A, B, and C, partially modified subsequently, as will be seen by the papers, &c., herewith, marked D, E, F, and G. These orders were executed, I am happy to say, with singular precision, as will be found fully admitted in the correspondence, from the scene, of the Chicago Tribune, herewith transmitted. [Inclosure I.] At the time finally prescribed the movement commenced, and was accomplished without the knowledge of the enemy, who only began to suspect the evacuation after broad daylight on the morning of May 30, 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 previous 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 in all directions, as I have since ascertained, to inquire what directions our forces had taken. Even now, indeed, I have reason to believe the Federal commander has little knowledge of the position and disposition of my main forces. But for some unfortunate and needless delay on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad of some five trains bf box cars (three miscellaneously freighted and two empty) in passing beyond the bridges over the Hatchie River and its branches, which in the plan of evacuation had been directed to be destroyed at a certain hour in the morning of the 30th ultimo, not an incident would have marred in the least the success of the evacuation in the face of a force so largely superior. It was, however, through a too rigid execution of orders that these bridges were burned, and we were obliged to destroy the trains as far as practicable and burn the stores, including some valuable subsistence; to what extent will be more precisely reported as soon as practicable. The troops moved off in good spirits and order, prepared to give battle if pursued; but no serious pursuit was attempted. Remaining in rear of the Tuscumbia and its affluents, some 6 miles from Corinth, long enough to collect stragglers incident to new levies, my main forces resumed the march, and were concentrated at Baldwin with rear guards left to hold the bridges across the Tuscumbia and tributaries, which were not drawn back until the evening of the 2d instant. While at Rienzi, half way to Baldwin, I was informed that on the morning of the 30th ultimo a detachment of the enemy's cavalry had penetrated to Booneville, 8 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 regret 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 without 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 considerable 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 2,000 men untruthfully reported by Generals Pope and Halleck to their War Department as captured and paroled on that occasion. I desire to record that one Colonel Elliott, of the Federal Army, commanded in this raid, and is responsible for the cruel death of our sick. As for the 10,000 stands of small-arms also reported by those officers as destroyed, the truth is that not to exceed 1,500, mostly inferior muskets, were lost on that occasion. I had intimations of this expedition the day before the evacuation, and had detached immediately suitable commands of infantry and cavalry to foil its purposes and protect the bridges on the line of my march. Unfortunately the infantry passed through and south of Booneville but a little while before the enemy made his descent; the cavalry, as before said, reached there in time only to rescue our men who had been captured. Equally inaccurate, reckless, and unworthy are the statements of these Federal commanders in their several official reports by telegraph, bearing dates of May 30 and 31, and June 1, 2, and 4, as published in Cincinnati and Chicago journals, touching the amount of property and stores destroyed by us at Corinth and General Pope's alleged pressing pursuit. Major-General Halleck's dispatch of June 4 may particularly be characterized as disgracefully untrue. Possibly, however, he was duped by his subordinate. Nothing, for example, can be wider from the truth than that 10,000 men and 15,000 small-arms of this army were captured or lost in addition to those destroyed at Booneville. Some 500 inferior small-arms were accidently left by convalescents in a camp 4 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, inclosed, 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 army. Baldwin was found to offer no advantages of a defensive character, and being badly provided with water, I determined to fall back upon this point, some 20 miles south, 52 miles from Corinth, and here to await the development of the enemy's plans and movements. Accordingly, leaving Baldwin on the 7th (see papers appended, marked H), the main body of my forces was assembled here on the 9th instant, leaving all the approaches from Corinth carefully guarded by a competent force of cavalry under an efficient officer, who occupies a line 15 miles north of this place. Supported by my general officers, I am doing all that is practicable to organize for offensive operations whensoever any movement of the enemy may give the opportunity, which I anticipate as not remote.  I feel au ;horized 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. I have the honor to be, respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. T. Beauregard, General, Commanding. General S. Cooper, Adjutant and Inspector General C. S. Army, Richmond, Va.P. S.-My effective force on the morning of the evacuation (May 30) did not exceed 47,000 men, of all arms. That of the enemy, obtained from the best sources of information, could not have been less than 90,000 men, of all arms.
[strictly confidential.] special orders, no. 30.
Hdqrs. Cavalry of Western Dept., Corinth, Miss., May 26, 1862.I. Captain Mauldin, commanding company of cavalry at Bear Creek Bridge, will hold his command in readiness to move at a moment's notice toward Baldwin or Guntown, on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. He will, when orders to move are received, thoroughly destroy all bridges, both of railroad and ordinary roads, on Bear Creek and its tributaries, and all bridges on his line of march. Should the enemy force him to fall back before orders to do so have been received, he will burn all the bridges, as above instructed. II. The commanding officer of the cavalry on and near the Tennessee River will, if compelled by the enemy to fall back, move in the direction of Tuscaloosa, Ala., or Columbus, Miss. III. The commanding officer of cavalry at or near Rienzi will follow the movements of the army when it passes Rienzi with his entire force. IV. The commanding officer of the cavalry forces at or near Jacinto will report at once in person to General Van Dorn for orders, and will, until further orders, receive all his orders from General Van Dorn. V. The commanding officers of the troops at Chewalla and Cypress will hold their troops in readiness to move on short notice by the most direct route to Kossuth. When commencing this movement they will thoroughly destroy the Cypress Bridge and all the railroad and mudroad bridges in their rear and all bridges that might be of service to the enemy. They will take their artillery with them, and, on reaching Kossuth, will follow up the general movement of the army and protect its rear. VI. The commanding officer of the cavalry at Pocahontas and vicinity will hold his command in readiness to move on short notice to Ripley. On commencing the move he will destroy all the railroad and mud-road bridges in his rear, and all other bridges that may be of service to the enemy will be destroyed. He will take all of his artillery with him and move from Ripley to Pontotoc, and will protect the rear of the forces moving in that direction. When at Ripley he will communicate with general headquarters at Baldwin for orders. By order of Brig. Gen. W. N. R. Beall:
Beall Hempstead, Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.
Memorandum of orders.
headquarters Western Department, Corinth, Miss., May 27, 1862.The following memorandum is furnished to General Bragg for the intended movement of his army from this place to Baldwin at the time hereinafter indicated: 1st. Hardee's corps will move on the direct road from his position to Danville by Cleburne's camp, which lies on the east of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad part of the way; thence to Rienzi and Baldwin. 2d. Bragg's corps via the Tennessee pike to Kossuth until it reaches the south side of the Tuscumbia; thence by the Rienzi and Blackland road to Carrollsville and Baldwin. 3d. Breckinridge's corps (or reserve) via the turnpike to Kossuth; thence to Blackland, Carrollsville, and Baldwin. 4th. Polk's corps via the turnpike to Kossuth; thence by the Western road to Blackland, Carrollsville, and Baldwin. 5th. The baggage trains of these corps must leave their position at 12 m. precisely on the 28th instant, and stop for the night on the south side of the Tuscumbia on the best available ground. The provision trains will follow the baggage trains. 6th. The ammunition and ambulance trains must be parked at the most convenient point to their brigades and moved in rear of the provision trains to the south side of the Tuscumbia, where they will await farther orders. All of these trains are to be accompanied by one pioneer and two infantry companies, properly distributed per brigade. The brigade and regimental quartermasters must accompany and be responsible for their trains. 7th. The officers in charge of the baggage trains will receive sealed orders as to their point of destination, and which they will open at the first-mentioned stopping place. 8th. As it may become necessary to take the offensive, the troops will take their position in the trenches as soon as practicable after disposing of their baggage in the wagon trains. One brigade per corps will be put in line of battle in the best position for the offensive in front of the trenches. The reserve will remain in position as already indicated to its general commanding. These troops will all bivouac in position, and at 3 a. m. on the 29th instant, if not attacked by the enemy, will take up their line of march to Baldwin by the routes indicated in Article I, leaving properly distributed cavalry pickets in front of their lines to guard and protect this retrograde movement. These pickets will remain in position until recalled by the chief of cavalry, who will remain in Corinth for the purpose of directing the retrograde movement of cavalry, and when each regiment must follow the route taken by the corps to which it shall have been temporarily assigned for the protection of its rear and flanks. 9th. Under no circumstances will these cavalry regiments abandon their positions in front of the lines (unless compelled by overpowering numbers) until the rear of the columns of the Army of the Mississippi shall have crossed the Tuscumbia, when the general commanding each corps will communicate that fact to the chief of cavalry for his information and guidance. 10th. The cavalry pickets will continue the usual skirmishing with the enemy in front of the lines, and when retiring they will destroy the  roads and bridges in their rear as far as practicable, and, after having crossed the Tuscumbia, they will guard the crossings until recalled by the general commanding. 11th. The chief of cavalry will order, if practicable, one regiment to report to Major-General Polk, one to Major-General Hardee, one to General Bragg, and one to Major-General Van Dorn, independently of the regiment now at Jacinto already ordered to report to the latter officer. 12th. After the departure of the troops from the intrenched line a sufficient number of drums from each brigade must be left to beat reveille at the usual hour, after which they can rejoin their commands. 13th. The commanding officer of the corps of the Army of the Mississippi will leave on the south side of the Tuscumbia 500 infantry and two pieces of artillery, to guard the four crossings of that stream and to effectually destroy the bridges and obstruct the roads after the passage of the cavalry. 14th. On arriving at Baldwin the best defensive position will be taken by the Army of the Mississippi, due regard being had to a proper and sufficient supply of wood and water for the troops and horses of the different commands.
G. T. Beauregard, General, Commanding.
[inclosure C.]Memorandum of movements on Baldwin for General Van Dorn.
headquarters Western Department, Corinth, Miss., May 27, 1862.1st. The baggage trains of his army must leave their position at daybreak on the 28th instant by the road on the east of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, to stop temporarily at about 6 miles from his headquarters, but with secret orders to the officer in charge of them to continue rapidly on the direct road to the vicinity of Baldwin. The provision trains will follow the baggage trains. 2d. The ammunition and ambulance trains must be parked at the most convenient point to their brigades or near the general headquarters, where they will remain until the troops shall have been moved to the front to take up their line of battle, when these trains will be ordered to follow the provision trains. All of these trains must be accompanied by one pioneer company and two infantry companies (properly distributed) per brigade. The brigade and regimental quartermasters must accompany and be responsible for their trains. The officers in charge of the baggage trains will receive sealed orders as to their point of destination, which they will open at the alreadymentioned stopping place. 3d. As it may become necessary to take the offensive, the troops will take their position in line of battle as soon as practicable after disposing of their baggage in the wagon trains. These troops will bivouac in position, and at 3 a. m. on the 29th instant, if not attacked by the enemy, will take up their line of march to Baldwin, by the route indicated (Article I), leaving properly-distributed cavalry pickets in front of their lines, to guard and protect this retrograde movement. These pickets shall remain in position until recalled by the chief of cavalry, who will remain in Corinth for the purpose of directing the retrograde movement of the cavalry, when each regiment will follow  the route taken by the corps to which it shall have been temporarily assigned for the protection of its rear and flanks. 4th. Under no circumstances will the cavalry regiments abandon their position in front of the lines (unless compelled by overpowering numbers) until the rear of the column of the Army of the West shall have crossed Clear Creek, when the general commanding shall communicate the fact to the chief of cavalry for his information and guidance. 5th. The cavalry pickets will continue the usual skirmishing with the enemy in front of the lines, and when retiring will destroy, as far as practicable, the roads and bridges in their rear, and after having crossed Clear Creek they will guard the crossing until recalled by the general commanding. 6th. The chief of cavalry will order, if practicable, one regiment to report to Major-General Polk, one to Major-General Hardee, one to General Bragg, and one to Major-General Van Dorn, independently of the regiment now at Jacinto already ordered to report to the latter officer. 7th. After the departure of the troops from the intrenched lines a sufficient number of drums from each brigadesmust be left to beat the reveille at the usual hbur, after which they can rejoin their commands. 8th. The commanding officer of the Army of the West will leave, if necessary, on the south side of Clear Creek about 500 infantry and two pieces of artillery, to defend the crossing of said stream and to effectually destroy the bridge and obstruct the road after the passage of the cavalry. 9th. On arriving in the vicinity of Guntown the best defensive position will be taken in rear of Twenty Mile Creek, due regard being had to a proper and sufficient supply of wood and water for the troops. G. T. Beauregard, General, Commanding. [Inclosure D.] confidential.] Corinth, Miss., May 28, 1862. General: Considering that we have still so much yet to be removed from this place, I have decided that the retrograde movement shall not take place until the 30th instant, at the hours appointed, instead of the 29th. You will please issue all necessary orders to that effect to the forces under your command. It would be advisable to stop at once the ammunition and provision trains at convenient points to this place. Respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. T. Beauregard, Genneral, Commanding. General Braxton Bragg, Commanding Army of the Mississippi, Corinth, Miss.
Corinth, Miss., May 28, 1862.General: I approve of your request to leave at 12 o'clock (not 11) to-night, if it be clear, sending artillery at sundown 2 miles back, so as to be beyond reach of sound to the enemy. Be careful, however, not to send it too far. As Bragg's rear guards will not leave until 3 p. m. yours ought not to leave before 2.30 o'clock, for Hardee's left would then be uncovered while moving in rear of your present position and before crossing the railroad. Hardee will destroy the bridges (dirt  and railroad) on the Tuscumbia provided he is guarding them; but have the matter clearly understood with him, so as to admit of no error. I referred in my note to the small bridge on Clear Creek, over which you must pass. You must, of course, have out as few details as possible. You must be the sole judge of that. The telegraph operator must remain at his post as long as possiblesay until your main forces move to the rear — for at any moment we may be called upon to move forward. I am glad to hear of the sham balloon. I hope it is so, for I fear that more than their artillery at this moment. Your obedient servant, Clear Creek, near General Jones' lines. You or Hardee must keep a strong guard of infantry and two pieces of artillery at the Clear Creek railroad bridge until the last cars shall have left the depot here. Please arrange this matter distinctly with him. Would it not be prudent to send one regiment, two pieces of artillery, and some cavalry to protect your train I I think I would keep Price back in the best position to move either to the rear to protect the trains, if necessary, or to the front in case of battle.
Corinth, Miss., May 28, 1862.General: From information received, Guntown, 44 miles below Baldwin, is considered a better position for the defensive; hence we will go there. Please give the necessary orders. Small details must be kept in or about old camps to keep up usual fires on account of balloon, with orders to join their commands at 10 o'clock on the march to the rear or in front in case of battle. Not too many fires must be kept on the lines to-night, so as not to reveal too clearly our position. A brigade (the best one) from each corps will be selected to guard and bring up the rear of each column, to move off about two hours after the rest of the column, and from which a small detail will be left at each bridge to destroy it after the passage of cavalry; detail to be in proportion to importance of bridge. Would it not be advisable for the main forces to start at 1 a. m. and the rear guards at 3 a. m. No rockets must be fired to-night. Your obedient servant,
headquarters Western Department, Corinth, Miss., May 29, 1862.General: The following modifications have been made in the order relative to the retrograde movement from this place: 1st. At sundown the light batteries must be sent to about 1 mile from the intrenched lines, in order to avoid communicating to the enemy any information of the movement. These batteries must be so placed  outside of the road as to follow their brigades at night without any difficulty. 2d. At 8 p. m. the heavy batteries of the lines must be removed, without noise, to the cars and sent to the central depot. 3d. At 10 p. m. the retrograde movement of the forces is to commence, as already instructed. 4th. At 12 p. m., or as soon thereafter as possible, the rear guard is to follow the movement. 5th. As soon as the Army of the Mississippi shall have got beyond the Tuscumbia, and the Army of the West beyond Ridge Creek, General Beall, chief of cavalry, at Corinth, shall be informed of the fact, and the positions in rear of said streams shall be held until all the trains shall be considered beyond the reach of the enemy. 6th. Camp fires must be kept up all night by the troops in position and then by the cavalry. 7th. Three signal rockets shall be sent up at 3 o'clock in the morning by the cavalry pickets of Generals Van Dorn, Bragg, and Polk. 8th. All artesian and other wells must be destroyed this evening by a detachment from each brigade. All artesian-well machinery must be sent forthwith to the depot for transportation to Saltillo. 9th. Whenever the railroad engine whistles during the night near the intrenchments the troops in the vicinity will cheer repeatedly, as though re-enforcements had been received.
G. T. Beauregard, General, Commanding. General Braxton Bragg. Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn. Maj. Gen. Leonidas Polk. Maj. Gen. W. J. Hardee. Maj. Gen. J. C. Breckinridge.
Memorandum of orders.
headquarters Western Department, Baldwin, iss., June 6, 1862-5 p. m.I. General Van Dorn's army will start at 3 a. m. on the 7th instant on its way to Tupelo via the road from Baldwin to Priceville. It will halt for the night at Sand Creek, a distance of about 17 miles from Baldwin. It will resume its line of march the next morning at 3 a. m., and will take position for the present at Priceville, leaving a brigade at the cross of the road with the Ripley and Cotton-Gin roads, near Smith's or Brooks' house, and a cavalry force at or about the Hearn saw-mill. One brigade will be sent to Mooresville or vicinity, and a force of cavalry to guard the Twenty Mile Creek Ferry, on the road from Fulton, with a strong picket at the latter place. The cavalry regiment at Marietta will not leave that position until the 8th instant at 4 a. m. II. General Hardee's corps will start for Tupelo at 4 p. m. on the 7th instant via the same road as General Van Dorn's army, stopping for the night at a creek about 9 miles from its present position. He will send at 4 a. m. on that day one regiment and two pieces of artillery to the cross road with the Natchez trail road, to guard the Twenty Mile Creek crossing. His corps will resume its line of march at 4 a. in. on the 8th instant, and will get to Tupelo that night if practicable. His  rear guard of cavalry will remain in its present position until 12 p. m. on the 7th instant, and afterward in the vicinity of Baldwin, guarding the rear of Hardee's corps, until about 4 a. m. on the 8th instant. III. General Breckinridge's corps of reserve will leave for Tupelo, via Carrollville and Birmingham, at 3 a. m. on the 7th instant, stopping for the night at Yanoby Creek, a few miles beyond the latter town, and will resume its line of march at 3 a. m. on the 8th instant. IV. General Bragg's corps will leave by the same road as General Breckinridge's (passing to the westward of Carrollsville) at 2 p. m. on the 7th instant, stopping for the night at or near Birmingham; leaving there at 3 a. m. for Tupelo. His cavalry will follow (on the same road) the movement from where it is now posted at 3 a. m. on the 8th instant. The regiment at Ripley will move on the road from that place to Tupelo, and all said cavalry will be posted as already indicated to General Bragg on the map. V. General Polk's corps will conform its movement to that of General Bragg, starting at 2 p. m. on the 7th instant on the direct road to Saltillo, west of the railroad, halting at that place until further orders. His cavalry will remain where at present posted, and will follow his movement along the same road, guarding his rear, at 3 a. m. on the 8th instant. VI. All infantry outposts should be recalled in time to join their commands. VII. All finger-boards and mile-posts should be taken down by the cavalry of the rear guards.
G. T. Beauregard, General, Commanding.
[inclosure I. ]
[special correspondence of the Chicago Tribune.]
Pittsburgh Landing, Tenn., May 30, 1862.Just after I had written my letter dated this morning a dispatch was received from General Halleck's headquarters stating that our flag waved over the court-house at Corinth. The news caused much surprise here, as it was wholly unexpected, for the rebels had been disputing the ground with us inch by inch during the past few days, and with a stubbornness that indicated an intention to make a desperate resistance behind their main works of defense. Whether the reasons of the evacuation were merely strategical or that the supply of provisions was running short yet remains to be seen. I learn from a professed Union man, a deserter from the rebels, that they had for some time been on short rations, the men getting only a quarter ration and the horses three ears of corn per day. Their animals are said to be in a very bad condition. The water in and around Corinth is also very bad. It smells so offensively that the men have to hold their noses while drinking it. As our men advanced they found the water much deteriorated and very difficult to obtain. When our forces entered the place, about 7 a. m., after shelling it for some time, they found but two or three men and a few women and children in it. These were gathered around the little heaps of furniture they had snatched from the burning buildings. Whether the buildings were set on fire by our shells or the retreating rebels is not known. During the night our pickets, and indeed the entire advance  of the army, heard repeated explosions, doubtless caused by the blowing up of the magazines. Nothing of any use to us whatever was found, not even a quaker gun. These were of no use, however, at Corinth, as they could not have been seen by us. 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, nand in which it will be far more difficult for us to attack him, on account of the distance our army will have to transport its supplies. Supposing the enemy take up their second position of defense at Grand Junction, about 60 miles from here, 4,000 additional wagons will be required. At $113 each this would involve an expense of nearly $500,000, to say nothing of mules, pay of teamsters, forage, &c. Then there is the fatigue to our men, the attacks of guerrilla parties in our rear, &c. 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. It is rumored that the main body of the rebels is stationed at Kossuth, a few miles from Corinth, while some 25,000 have gone on to Grand Junction, which the enemy have been fortifying for some time past. Up to last night the enemy kept up a display of force along his whole line, thus completely deceiving our generals. I learn that the lines of fortification at Corinth are numerous and formidable, but I have yet no authentic statement of their real strength and condition. 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. This in a great measure arises from the exclusion of contrabands from the camp. If this war is ever to be brought to a close it must be by making use of the negro in every possible way.
[correspondence of the Cincinnati Commercial.]
General McCook's division preliminary to the evacuation of Corinth.
editors of the Commercial:I have only time for a very brief epistle before the mail goes, and luckily I have not much to say. On Wednesday night breastworks were thrown up and Terril's battery planted on an eminence in the woods about 700 yards from the rebel works. The position being secured, it was enlarged upon and strengthened yesterday-W. T. Sherman's (late Thomas') division moving up in line on the right and Nelson's on the left of McCook. On the day the Second Division moved out, advances, with heavy cannonading, were made by Thomas on the right and Pope on the left, but not a response in kind was elicited from the enemy. During that night we could hear teams being driven off 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 retreat, 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 volumes of smoke arise in the direction of Corinth and heard the report of an explodingmagazine. Corinth was evacuated and Beauregard had achieved another triumph. I do not know how the matter strikes abler military men, but I think we have been fooled. The works are far from being invulnerable, and the old joke of quaker guns has been played off on us. They were real wooden guns, with stuffed “paddies” for gunners. I saw them. We approached clear from Shiloh in line of battle and made preparations to defend ourselves, compared with which the preparations of Beauregard sink into insignificance. This morning we could have poured shot and shell from over 300 guns into works that never saw the day when General McCook could not have taken his division into them. The indications are that the rebel force here did not exceed 60,000 men. With what light I had I regarded the mode of our advance upon Corinth as deep wisdom; with the light I now have I do not. The First Ohio was among the first to mount the works; but I believe the Twenty-fourth Ohio was the very first, and their new flag, lately received from the Sixth, was the first to wave in triumph over the now famous village of Corinth. When we got into Corinth I suppose the fires kindled by the rebels had destroyed all they meant to destroy (which was everything movable that they could not remove); but much more damage would have been done but for our timely arrival. The place is entirely deserted, except by one or two families.
Corinth, Miss., May 30, 1862.
Corinth, Miss., May 30, 1862.
Kappa. Washington, D. C., May 30, 1862.
The following dispatch was received at the War Department this morning:
Corinth were exceedingly strong. He cannot occupy a stronger position in his flight. This morning he destroyed an immense amount of public and private property, stores, provisions, wagons, tents, &c. For miles out of town the roads are filled with arms, haversacks, &c., thrown away by his fleeing troops. A large number of prisoners and deserters have been captured, estimated by General Pope at 2,000. General Beauregard evidently distrusts his army, or he would have defended so strong a position. His troops are generally much discouraged and demoralized. For the last few days their resistance has been slight.
H. W. Halleck, Major-General, Commanding.
Washington, D. C., June 2, 1862.The following dispatch has been received at the War Department in reply to an inquiry of General Meigs:
Beauregard has been at Richmond others have forged his signature, as I have receipted letters from him about the exchange of prisoners nearly every day for the last fortnight. The evacuation of Corinth commenced on Wednesday and was  completed on Thursday night, but in great haste, as an immense amount of property was destroyed and abandoned. No troops have gone from here to Richmond unless within the past two days.
H. W. Halleck, Major-General, Commanding.