struck it on the 30th, at Booneville
, 24 miles from Corinth
, in the midst of an unexpected retreat of the Rebel
army, which had commenced on the 26th.
Beaurefgard had held Corinth
so long as possible against Halleck
's overwhelming force, and had commenced its evacuation by sending off a part of his sick and wounded.
captured 20 cars, laden with small arms, ammunition, stores, baggage, &c., with some hundreds of Confederate sick, whom he paroled, burning the engine and trains.
The evacuation was completed during the night of the 29th; the Rebel
musketry firing having ceased at 9 A. M. of the preceding day. Explosions and fires during the night gave plain intimations of the enemy's departure ; so that some of our officers in the advance rode safely into town at 6 1/2 next morning, and reported no enemy present.
Piles of provisions were found in flames, and one full warehouse undamaged; but never a gun. Beauregard
retreated to Tupelo
, pursued by Gen. Pope
so far as Baldwin
, but without material results.
Our army was disposed along the line of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad; which, by the falling of the Tennessee
to a Summer stage, had become its line of supply.
Gen. O. M. Mitchel
, with a division of Buell
's army, had left Nashville
simultaneously with his commander, but by a more easterly route, advancing through Murfreesboroa, Shelbyville
, to Huntsville, Ala.
, which he surprised at day-light,1
capturing 17 locomotives and a large number of passenger and freight-cars, beside a train which he had taken, with 159 prisoners, two hours before.
Thus provided, he had uncontested possession of 100 miles of the Memphis
road before night, or from Stevenson
on the east to Decatur
on the west; seizing five more locomotives at Stevenson
, and pushing on so far west as Tuseumbia, whence he sent an expedition so far south as Russelville, Ala.
, capturing and appropriating Confederate property on all hands, without the loss of a life.
He took2 Bridgeport, Ala.
, with a force of five regiments, by striking rapidly and attacking from a quarter whence he was not looked for, driving out a force nearly equal in number to his own, with a loss of 72 killed and wounded, 350 prisoners, and 2 guns; while his own loss was inconsiderable.
He was soon compelled, by the gathering of Rebel forces around him, to abandon Tuscumbia
and all south of the Tennessee
, burning the railroad bridges at Decatur
, but holding firmly and peaceably all of Alabama
north of that river.
Had he been even moderately reenforced, he would have struck and probably could have destroyed the great Rebel armories and founderies in Georgia
, or have captured Chattanooga
; which was assailed,3
under his orders, by Gen. Negley
, who was driven off by a Rebel force under Gen. E. Kirby Smith
's activity and energy poorly qualified him for a subordinate position under Buell
; so he was transferred, in June, to the command at Port Royal, S. C.
, where he died.4 Gen. Halleck
was likewise summoned5
from the West
to serve as General-in-Chief
, leaving Gen. Grant
in command at Corinth