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Chapter 17:

  • Evacuation of Columbus.
  • -- how the enemy discovered it. -- loss of ordnance stores, anchors, and torpedoes. -- Island no.10. -- difficulty in placing guns in position. -- Federal gunboats might have passed unhindered. -- small garrison under Colonel Gantt reinforced by General McCown with part of the garrison of Columbus. -- defences at New Madrid to be held until the completion of the works at Fort Pillow. -- remainder of General Polk's forces assembled upon Humboldt. -- preparations for an offensive movement by the enemy. -- danger of isolation for General Johnston. -- General Beauregard's letter to him. -- the great battle of the controversy to be fought at or near Corinth. -- General Johnston accedes to General Beauregard's request, and begins a movement to join him. -- General Beauregard assumes command. -- arrival of General Bragg's forces at Corinth. -- Corinth the chief point of concentration, as originally decided upon. -- General Beauregard appeals to the War Department for the General officers promised him. -- their services greatly needed. -- unwillingness and apathy of the War Department.

It will be remembered that one of the conditions of General Beauregard's departure for the Mississippi Valley was, that he should be furnished with a certain number of officers from the Army of the Potomac, should their services be needed, some of them to be promoted to be brigadier-generals and others to be major-generals. Early in February a list of their names was left with the War Department by Colonel Thomas Jordan, General Beauregard's Adjutant and Chief of Staff. On the 20th of that month General Beauregard called for Captains Wampler and Fremeaux, as Assistant Engineers, to aid in constructing the several defences on the Mississippi River; and for Major G. W. Brent, as Inspector and Judge-Advocate-General, whose immediate services were much needed at the time. After considerable delay, the two engineers only were sent: Captain Fremeaux arriving a few days previous to the impending battle, and Captain Wampler not until it had been fought. Closely following this first demand upon the War Department, General Beauregard, with a view properly to organize the forces under General Polk, and the new levies daily expected, formally applied for the general officers so greatly needed

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