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[388] of two important railroads made it a very desirable point to hold, as long as it was safe to do so. But the great odds in his front and the persistent though over-cautious advance of General Halleck, convinced General Beauregard that his withdrawal from Corinth would, ere long, become a necessity.

General Pope having again, on the 18th, advanced towards Farmington, and our scouts reporting all the creeks and their swampy sides overflowed from late heavy rains, another concerted movement was prepared by General Beauregard, wherein the corps and reserve commanders were all, more or less, to participate. The object was, as previously, to attack General Pope's forces and cut off their line of retreat upon the main body of the Federal army. Steady and continuous bad weather, however, delayed the execution of the plan from day to day, and, on the 22d of May, finding that General Van Dorn could not accomplish his part of the proposed plan, General Beauregard, after a conference with him, ordered the troops back to their former positions.

From General Van Dorn's statement to him after the failure of this movement, General Beauregard concluded that any further idea of the offensive must be abandoned, and that he must now rest content with holding our lines, while he made arrangements for an orderly retreat.

Meantime, General Halleck had not ceased advancing his successive lines, from his left to his right, notwithstanding the opposition we offered him.

On the 25th, General Beauregard called his subordinate commanders together—namely, Generals Bragg, Van Dorn, Polk, Hardee, Breckinridge, and, by request, Major-General Price—to discuss the necessity of evacuating Corinth, and determine the time and method of so doing. He gave an elaborate exposition of his views, and said that, situated as he was at Corinth, with the advantages it afforded for defence, and the communication it kept open to us, he had considered it a duty to hold his position as long as possible, without danger of being overwhelmed; but that, besides the rapid decrease of our forces from sickness, the increase of the enemy's strength in our front—not to speak of General Halleck's persistent advance upon us—had led him to the conclusion that it would be unwise to endeavor further to maintain our ground, with such manifest odds against us. The result of a battle, at this juncture, and even of a siege, would, he feared, amount to more

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