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Corinth, May 18th, 10.30 A. M.
Maj.-Genl. Van Dorn, near Corinth:
Bragg has recalled his troops to their encampments, having ascertained that the enemy was not preparing for battle, but was out only to work. Let me know in time if he should turn out again, to support or act with you.


Headquarters, Corinth, May 19th, 1862, 9 1/2 h. P. M.
To Genl. Beauregard:
Will put everything in complete readiness to-morrow. Will see you in the morning.


Headquarters, Corinth, May 19th, 1862, 9 h. P. M.
To Genl. Beauregard:
It is dark and rainy, but the movement is within possibility. I will go to work again to reopen the crossing of Clear Creek to-night, and will make every effort to be in position by 8 o'clock to-morrow, if you think it advisable to do so. If it is of the greatest importance, however, I must say that the promises are not so bright as they would probably be by starting to-morrow evening. It is extremely dark, and it will rain heavily, I think. Men will not be cheerful, and many will remain, under plea of sickness, who would otherwise go. I will await your telegram, to say go or wait.

Truly and respectfully,

Earl Van Dorn, Maj.-Genl.

Corinth, May 20th, 1862.
Maj.-Genl. Van Dorn:
Weather being so threatening, we had better wait as you propose.

Headquarters Western Department, Corinth, Miss., May 19th, 1862.
Genl. Sam. Cooper, Adj. and Insp. Genl., Richmond, Va.:
Sir,—Since the battle of Shiloh, when I assumed command of the Western Department, and the fall of New Orleans, which latter event has placed the Mississippi River, from its mouth to Vicksburg, under the control of the enemy, no instructions from the War Department, relative to the policy of the government and the movements of the armies of the Confederacy, have been received by me. In the absence of such instructions, I deem it advisable to lay before the department, in as few words as practicable, my reasons for still holding this position against a much stronger force of the enemy in my front, even at the risk of a defeat, instead of retiring into the interior of the country along the Mobile and Ohio or Memphis and Charleston Railroad, which would draw him after me and increase the obstacles he would have to encounter in his march.

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