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[60] he communicated easily with Richmond, and with every portion of the Cotton States. The recent evacuation of Columbus by Polk was probably ordered by him, in obedience to his policy of concentrating around Corinth the greatest possible force, with intent to rush upon and overwhelm the Union army, so carelessly encamped just before him on the hither bank of the Tennessee. Having a spy in nearly every dwelling in southern Tennessee, he was doubtless aware that the command of that army had just been turned over by Gen. C. F. Smith, an experienced and capable soldier, to Gen. Grant, so recently from civil life; and he had no doubt of his ability to accomplish its destruction. Calling urgently upon the Governors of Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana, for all the troops they could spare or raise, and being strongly reenforced by Gen. Braxton Bragg, with a drilled corps from Mobile and Pensacola,1 he had, by the 1st of April, collected an army of about 50,000.2 Moving silently out from Corinth, in light marching order and without tents, at 3 A. M., on the 3d, the advance of his infantry preceded and masked by cavalry, he confidently expected to attack in full force on the morning of the 5th; but a heavy rain on the 4th so deepened the mire of the narrow, wretched roads, that his army was by that time but fairly concentrated at Monterey, thence moving with the utmost caution until within three land a half miles of our pickets, where, unable to advance farther without braving discovery, he halted for the night.3 Here, with double guards along his front, instructed to shoot any man who, upon whatever pretext, should attempt to pass, a council of war was held at 8 P. M., and every preparation made for a stealthy and desperate assault at daybreak; while the soldier, forbidden to make fires, sank on the cold, damp ground, under the open sky, and shivered through a part of the night. Each Colonel had orders to have his regiment under arms and ready to move by 3 A. M.

At early dawn, the advance was resumed in line of battle: Maj.-Gen. Hardee, with the 3d corps, in front, with the 2d, and strongest, under Gen.-Bragg, 500 yards behind him; the 1st, under Gen. Polk, half a mile in the rear of this, with the reserve,

1 About this time abandoned by the Rebels.

2 Beauregard, in his field return of the “Army of the Mississippi,” before and after the battle of Shiloh, makes his effective total, before battle, 40,355 men, of whom 4,382 were cavalry, which he says was useless and could not operate at all, the battle-field being so thickly wooded. But this return includes none of his troops left to guard his base at Corinth, or his trains in the rear of the battle-field, and conceals the fact that his cavalry were usefully employed in guarding, on their way to Corinth, his prisoners as well as his wounded. Beside, when he comes to sum up his losses, he states the loss of his cavalry at 301--rather inexplicable, if that cavalry was useless and unemployed.

3 “An impressed New-Yorker,” who was then serving on Beauregard's staff, in his “Thirteen months in the Rebel army,” says:

While it is no part of my duty, in this narrative, to criticise military movements, and especially those of the Union forces, I may state that the total absence of cavalry pickets from Gen. Grant's army was a matter of perfect amazement to the Rebel officers. There were absolutely none on Grant's left, where Gen. Breckinridge's division was meeting him; so that we were able to come up within hearing of their drums entirely unperceived. The Southern Generals always kept cavalry pickets out for miles, even when no enemy was supposed to be within a day's march of them. The infantry pickets of Grant's forces were not above three-fourths of a mile from his advance camps, and they were too few to make any resistance.

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