. . . At the time finally prescribed the movement commenced, and was accomplished without the knowledge of the enemy, who only began to suspect the evacuation after broad daylight on the morning of May 30th, when, having opened on our lines from his formidable batteries of heavy and long-range guns, erected the night previous, he received no answer from any direction; but, as our cavalry pickets still maintained their positions of the preceding day, he was not apparently fully satisfied of our movements, until some stores, of little value, in the town, were burned, which could not be moved. It was then, to his surprise, the enemy became satisfied that a large army, approached and invested with such extraordinary preparations, expense, labor, and timidity, had disappeared from his front with all its munitions and heavy guns, leaving him without knowledge, as I am assured, whither it had gone, for his scouts were scattered everywhere, as I have since ascertained, to inquire what directions our forces had taken. . . . The troops moved off in good spirits and order, prepared to give battle if pursued, but no serious pursuit was attempted . . . . While at Rienzi, half-way to Baldwin, I was informed that on the morning of the 30th ultimo a detachment of the enemy's cavalry had penetrated to Booneville, eight miles south of Rienzi, and had captured and burned a railroad train of ammunition, baggage, and subsistence, delayed there some forty-eight hours by mismanagement. I regret to add that the enemy also burned the railroad depot, in which were at the moment a number of dead bodies and at least four sick soldiers of this army, who were consumed — an act of barbarism scarcely credible, and without a precedent, to my knowledge, in civilized warfare. Upon the opportune appearance, in a short time, however, of an inferior force of our cavalry, the enemy left in great haste and confusion, after having received one volley. Only one of our men was carried away by him. Quite a number of stragglers, and of our sick and convalescents, en route to Southern hospitals, who for a few moments had fallen into the enemy's hands, were rescued. These are the two thousand men untruthfully reported by Generals Pope and Halleck to their War Department, as captured and paroled on that occasion. . . . Equally inaccurate, reckless, and unworthy are the statements of these Federal commanders in their several official reports by telegraph, bearing dates of May 30th and 31st, and June 1st, 2d, and 4th, as published in Cincinnati and Chicago
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1 The entire report, dated June 13th, 1862, will be found in the Appendix to this chapter.
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