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[196] forgetfulness or design, had not been relieved; and when the successive explosions of the mines constructed by Beauregard for the destruction of the works, bridges and artesian wells finally attracted the attention of the Federals, there was not a single man before them. A simple statement will show to what extent Halleck had deceived himself as to the situation of his adversaries: at the very moment they were slipping away from him, he issued instructions to his corps commanders, warning them to be prepared for a general attack on the part of the enemy, ‘everything seeming to indicate,’ he said, ‘that the latter was massing his troops against the Federal left.’ Sherman, on his part, was preparing to test the range of some heavy guns placed in battery the day before, when his chief, having at last been apprised of what was going on, allowed him to feel the enemy.

A few hours subsequently, Pope's and Sherman's soldiers effected a junction amid the deserted camps of Beauregard. But the possession of Corinth was not sufficient to compensate for their fatiguing labors and protracted suspense; they had justly hoped that Halleck would have taken advantage of his vast numerical superiority to terminate this campaign by a decisive victory, which would open to them at once the course of the Mississippi and that of the Tennessee. This disappointment, following so close upon that which had caused the evacuation of Yorktown, produced a great sensation in the North. Beauregard had the double merit of having postponed this retreat as long as possible, and of having ably conducted it when it became necessary. The loss of so important a position was not the less a serious check for the Confederates; it led to that of Memphis, and of all that section of railroad which connects these two points, securing to the Federals a new and solid base of operations. Besides, Halleck might follow the example of the army of the Potomac, which, on the very day following the evacuation of Yorktown, had been able to overtake its adversaries at Williamsburg. But he only sent in pursuit of the Confederates a few detachments of cavalry, which gave up the chase on reaching the borders of the Tuscumbia River, a few kilometres from Corinth. Beauregard left his advanced posts on this water-course until the 2d of June, for the purpose of rallying the stragglers, while he assembled his several

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