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[195] through which Beauregard's army received its supplies, the southern branch of the Mobile and Ohio Railway; on the evening of the 27th, Colonel Elliot, who was entrusted with this duty, started with nine hundred horse,1 and making a large circuit reached the village of Iuka on the 28th, where he bivouacked. Bearing to the right, he struck the Mobile and Ohio Railway near Booneville on the night of the 29th, and waited in the woods for daylight. On the 30th, at two o'clock in the morning, learning that the town of Baldwin was fortified and well defended, he fell back upon Booneville, of which he took possession. At that very moment Beauregard was quietly evacuating the works around Corinth: the destruction of the railway track through which he was retreating might have seriously embarrassed him if it had been accomplished a little sooner. But when Elliot arrived at Booneville, which is situated about thirty-two kilometres from Corinth, all the trains had already passed beyond that point, with the exception of a single one, which the Federals captured and burnt. They, however, found in this place a considerable number of sick and wounded, whom it had been found impossible to transport farther. Beauregard, who had gotten wind of these movements, had the railway track well watched by a train of cars loaded with infantry. But Elliot avoided it, keeping some detachments of cavalry in check, and succeeded in destroying the track; then he resumed his march to join Pope, whom he overtook on the following day.

In the mean while, Corinth was abandoned. A portion of the materiel belonging to the Confederate army was forwarded to Memphis by the Charleston Railroad, and the premature destruction of the bridge over the Hatchie River on that line caused the loss of five trains loaded with provisions and ammunition. Beauregard's soldiers proceeded in a southerly direction in several columns, following the roads running parallel to the Meridian Railway. At break of day on the 30th, the camp-fires were still burning, but the Confederate cavalry alone occupied he works around Corinth. The advanced sentinels, whether through

1 These were two regiments, the Second Iowa and the Second Michigan, commanded by two officers, both destined to rapid advancement-Lieutenant-colonel Hatch and Colonel Philip Sheridan, who is now lieutenant-general of the army.

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