all needful preparations are being made for a proper and prompt evacuation of this place.’
Gen. Robert E. Lee
, being advised of the emergency, wrote to Beauregard
expressing confidence in the wisdom of his arrangements; but expressing the hope, in case retreat was inevitable, that Beauregard
would be able ‘to strike a successful blow at the enemy if he follows, which will enable you to gain the ascendency and drive him back to the Ohio
On the 28th, Col. Joseph Wheeler
, then in command of an infantry brigade, being ordered to the front on the Monterey
road found Lieutenant-Colonel Mills
, with about 200 men from the Seventh, Ninth, Tenth and Twenty-ninth Mississippi, and two guns of Robertson
's battery, stoutly contesting an advance of the enemy in force.
,’ General Wheeler
reported, ‘had been driven back about half a mile by a superior force, who had established themselves in a densely-wooded swamp so favorable that this gallant officer had been baffled in repeated attempts to permanently re-establish his line of pickets.’
On the next day the united force of the Confederates
drove the enemy from their position and then retreated in the night to Corinth
, having sent out nearly everything of value by the railroad to Tupelo
, skillfully evacuated the town on the night of May 29th, leaving cavalry pickets to send up signal rockets at three o'clock the next morning.
A correspondent of a Northern journal, in his report of the event, writing on the 30th, said that on the 29th advances were made by Thomas
, with heavy cannonading, but not a response of any kind was elicited from the enemy.
‘During that night we could hear teams being driven off and boxes being nailed in the rebel camp.
Deserters, however, I understand, reported that they were making a stand and would fight the next day. Considerable cannonading was done by our forces and yet no response, and yesterday the same.
Last night ’