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[390] comparative rawness of some of our troops, and the disparity of numbers and resources between the two confronting armies.

The time fixed for the evacuation was 3 o'clock A. M. on the 29th. Delays occurred, however, which caused it to be postponed until 1 o'clock A. M. on the 30th. The wagon-trains and rearmost troops had been started about 11 P. M. on the 29th, so as to clear the way.

To deceive the enemy as to our intentions, General Beauregard ordered that an empty train should be run occasionally during the night, towards the right, on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, and another, towards the left, on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, as far as they could safely go; and that whenever they reached that point, the troops stationed there should cheer loudly and vigorously, as though to welcome reinforcements. This stratagem was carried out to the letter, and proved very successful; for General Pope, notwithstanding his false despatches forwarded after the event, telegraphed General Halleck on the 30th of May, at 1 o'clock A. M., as follows:

The enemy are reinforcing heavily in my front and left. The cars are running constantly, and the cheering is immense every time they unload in front of me. I have no doubt, from all appearances, that I shall be attacked in heavy force at daylight.1

At the very moment when the foregoing despatch was penned by General Pope the Confederate forces were actively evacuating their lines, leaving skirmishers only in them, and some cavalry in front, to hold the enemy at bay until the entire movement should be completed.

The retreat was effected with great order and precision, the enemy remaining in utter ignorance of it. The troops were halted temporarily behind the Tuscumbia River, some six miles from Corinth, to concentrate and give battle if pursued; but no pursuit being attempted, the movement was quietly continued to Rienzi and Booneville, where another halt was made for the same purpose, and with a like result. The march was then resumed and the army soon reached Baldwin, thirty miles from Corinth, where another position was taken, and held until the 7th of June, to await an advance of the enemy. It being apparent that no attack would be made, General Beauregard again put his army in motion,

1 Report of the Congressional Committee on the Conduct of the War.

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