And thus the great and tangible success, which was thrown so directly in General Halleck's path that it seemed impossible for any one even to avoid a victory, was allowed, nay, compelled, in his unskilful grasp to dissolve away, like a shadow in the hands of him who stretches out to embrace what is not. Even after the rebels had eluded him at Corinth, it was possible, with Halleck's immense preponderance of force, to follow up and destroy the retreating enemy; and when this opportunity was also lost, by his subordinate and counterpart, the army that had been concentrated with so much care and labor was still available for a concentrated campaign.3Whoever considers the retreat from Corinth with a disinterested and unbiassed mind, is forced to acknowledge that it amounted, in reality, to a decided Confederate victory. It was so looked upon both in Europe and in this country. It was effected, from the beginning to the end, as it had been planned. It deceived the enemy to the last, and so completely that, while the evacuation had already begun, and was, in fact, all but accomplished, General Halleck himself is known to have forwarded this information to his command: ‘There is every indication that the enemy will attack our left this morning, as troops have been moving in that direction for some time.’ And, says General Badeau, ‘the largest army ever assembled west of the Alleghanies was drawn out in line of battle, awaiting an assault.’4 An army of nearly fifty thousand,5
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