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[41] on New Madrid, Island No.10, and Humboldt, was completed. On March 2d Brigadier General J. P. McCowan, an ‘old army’ officer, was assigned to the command of Island No.10, forty miles below Columbus, whither he removed his division. A. P. Stewart's brigade was sent to New Madrid. At these points some seven thousand troops were assembled, and the remainder marched under General Cheatham to Union City. General Polk says:
In five days we moved the accumulations of six months, taking with us all our commissary and quartermaster's stores—an amount sufficient to supply my whole command for eight months—all our powder and other ammunition and ordnance stores, excepting a few shot, and gun carriages, and every heavy gun in the fort, except two thirty-two pounders and three carronades in a remote outwork, which had been rendered useless.

The movement of the enemy up the Tennessee River commenced on March 10th. General C. F. Smith led the advance, with a new division under General Sherman. On the 13th Smith assembled four divisions at Savannah, on the west bank of the Tennessee, at the Great Bend. The ultimate design was to mass the forces of Grant and Buell against our army at Corinth. Buell was still in the occupation of Nashville. On the 16th Sherman disembarked at Pittsburg Landing, and made a reconnaissance to Monterey, nearly half-way to Corinth. On the next day General Grant took command. Two more divisions were added, and he assembled his army near Pittsburg Landing, which was the most advantageous base for a movement against Corinth. Here it lay inactive until the battle of Shiloh.

The Tennessee flows northwest for some distance until, a little west of Hamburg, it takes its final bend to the north. Here two small streams, Owl and Lick Creeks, flowing nearly parallel, somewhat north of east, from three to five miles apart, empty into the Tennessee. Owl Creek forms the northern limit of the ridge, which Lick Creek bounds on the south. These streams, rising some ten or twelve miles back toward Corinth, were bordered near their mouths by swamps filled with backwater from the Tennessee, and impassable except where the roads crossed them.

The enclosed space is a rolling table land, about one hundred feet above the river level, with its watershed lying near Lick Creek, and each slope broken by deep and frequent ravines draining into the two streams. The acclivities were covered with forests, and often thick-set with undergrowth. Pittsburg Landing, containing three or four log cabins, was situated about midway between the mouths of the creeks, in the narrow morass that borders the Tennessee. It was three or four

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