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[184] important occasions, to cut the Chattanooga Railroad east of Corinth. Ascending the Tennessee with the gun-boats as far as Eastport, Sherman proceeded thence in the direction of the railroad and destroyed the Big Bear Creek bridge east of Iuka. The Confederates thus lost, never to recover it, this important line of communication. The junction of Van Dorn and Beauregard, however, caused a similar movement on the part of the Federal troops, which until then had been operating on the right bank of the Mississippi. While Curtis was advancing in Arkansas, which was stripped of all resources, Pope was ordered to bring to Corinth the troops which had been operating against Island No.10.

It will be remembered that this fortified island had capitulated with its garrison on the 8th of April, just as Beauregard was bringing back his army from Shiloh to Corinth. Immediately after, Pope made haste to descend the Mississippi, in order to take advantage of his success to occupy the course of the river as far as practicable. On the 14th of April, his army embarked on transports, and, escorted by the gun-boats, arrived before Fort Pillow; he had thus gained one hundred and fifty kilometres in a direct line, and nearly two hundred and fifty, following the windings of the Mississippi. Fort Pillow, which acquired such a fatal notoriety by the massacre of its negro garrison in 1864, was situated on the left bank, only a few kilometres above Memphis, covering both that important city and the left wing of the Confederates. Built on a high bluff, it presented a favorable position for stopping the Federal gun-boats. The latter tried in vain to bombard it. Pope landed his troops to invest the place; but as the operation threatened to be long protracted, Halleck ordered him to rejoin him. Leaving two regiments to assist the fleet, in protecting that portion of the river which was already conquered, against any possible offensive reaction on the part of the enemy, he embarked his army on the transports, ascended in turn the Mississippi, the Ohio and the Tennessee, and finally disembarked at Pittsburg Landing on the 21st of April.

There was but one division of the army of the Ohio, commanded by Mitchell, which had not taken part in this concentration. The task assigned to it was to cover Halleck's extreme left, and to take advantage of the assembling of the enemy's forces at

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