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[146] were sent south over the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. On the night of the 29th, the preparations for the evacuation of the town by the Confederates were completed. Most of the troops were withdrawn from the trenches to the railroad, and there instructed concerning the part they were to play in the strategy to deceive the Federals.

Late that night a train rolled into the station, and the Federal pickets heard a lusty cheer arise from the Confederate ranks. Other trains followed, and the sounds of exuberation increased. Word quickly spread through the Federal camps that heavy reenforcements had come to the Confederates. The Northerners spent the early morning hours preparing to resist the attack they expected would be made with the coming of dawn.

At break of day the Federals, waiting in battle-line, could see no signs of life in the pits confronting them. The pickets crept forward to investigate. A thunderous explosion shook the town. It was the destruction of the last of the Confederate stores. The Southerners had evacuated the village, and Corinth, with all its strategic advantage, with its command of the great railroads connecting the Mississippi valley with the Atlantic coast and with the Gulf of Mexico, fell into the hands of the North. Both of the great armies were quickly broken up. Halleck, in possession of Corinth, looked to Chattanooga as the next objective, and Buell led the Army of the Ohio back to middle Tennessee as a preliminary move in that direction.

In the midsummer, Halleck was made general-in-chief of all the Northern armies and went to Washington. He left Grant in control of the West. Meantime, Beauregard was relieved of the command of the Confederate Army of the Mississippi and it was handed over to General Bragg. Leaving a portion of his army in Mississippi with Van Dorn and Price, Bragg began, late in August, his famous expedition into Kentucky, pursued by Buell with the Army of the Ohio. A part of the Federal Army of the Mississippi remained at Corinth,

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