The greatest loss during the retreat occurred between Booneville
, at Cypress Creek
, where Confederates themselves had burned the railroad bridge, cutting off the way for seven trains mostly loaded with supplies of all sorts.
Charles S. Williams
, assistant superintendent
of the Memphis & Charleston railroad, himself ordered the destruction of the locomotives and sixty-two cars, and his orders were carried out.
The truth about Beauregard
's ‘frantic’ retreat was that he made such a stand on the way to Tupelo
dared not attack him, and though reinforced by Buell
, did not venture further than Booneville
, after reaching Tupelo
, finding himself undisturbed, turned his command temporarily over to Bragg
, and on account of poor health went to Mobile
Col. Wm. Preston Johnston
to the President
, who was sent by Mr. Davis
to interview General Beauregard
and obtain information regarding the situation, reported that the field return of the army prior to the evacuation of Corinth
showed an effective total of 52,--706, and the field return at Tupelo
an effective total of 45,365, the reduction being caused in part by the detachment of Breckinridge
in his conversation with me referred me, for further and more detailed information of the events and circumstances attending the retreat from Corinth
, to his subordinates.
The information derived from them and their concurrent opinion fully sustains his view as to the necessity of the evacuation of Corinth
at the time it was performed.
Another day's delay might have proved fatal to the army.
The letter of General Hardee
, approved by General Beauregard
, expresses the well-settled conviction of the most intelligent officers of the army.
Bad food, neglect of police duty, inaction, and especially water, insufficient and charged with magnesia and rotten limestone, had produced obstinate types of diarrhoea and typhoid fever.
No sound men were left.
The attempt to bore artesian ’