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[395] invested by an army of fully one hundred and twenty-five thousand,1 disappeared from the front of the latter quietly, noiselessly, successfully, frustrating the plans of its adversary, carrying with it all its munitions of war, and suffering in its retreat no material loss whatever. And yet, so little was this result appreciated by the War Department, that hardly had General Beauregard marched his forces to Tupelo when a despatch from Richmond, indicative rather of censure than of commendation, was forwarded to him, requiring an immediate explanation of his movement.

It read as follows:

June 12th, 1862.
To General G. T. Beauregard:
The President has been expecting a communication explaining your last movement. It has not yet arrived.


To this the following answer was sent:

Have had no time to write report. Busy organizing and preparing for battle if pursued. Will write it soon, however. Halleck's despatch nearly all false. Retreat was a most brilliant and successful one.


It is proper here to state that the evacuation had not taken place without notification to the government, for a telegram of the 28th of May had been forwarded to General Cooper, in these words:

Circumstances compel me to retire from this place to a position further in the interior, on Mobile and Ohio Railroad, about thirty-five miles. I shall leave here as soon as possible. I hope there to be able to beat the enemy in detail.2


But this was not the only information General Beauregard had given of his movement. On the 3d of June, from Baldwin, he had also telegraphed to General Cooper:

1 General Badeau puts the number at ‘one hundred and twenty thousand bayonets,’ and refers to the field returns of General Halleck's forces at Corinth.

2 This telegram was in cipher; General Cooper being referred to a letter of May 25th for the key.

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