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[199] in his proclamations. The premature reputation which, in a moment of enthusiasm, had been attributed to the conqueror of Fort Sumter, had ruined him, as is generally the case with men whose genius has been vaunted before being tried; he had, however, exhibited some sterling and solid qualities which inspired the confidence of his soldiers. But even the intervention of the Confederate Congress only tended to confirm the inflexible President Davis in his determination; and General Braxton Bragg, for whom he had felt a strong friendship since the battle of Buena Vista, was definitely placed at the head of the army of the Mississippi.

As we have intimated before, the loss of Corinth by the Confederates was certain to be followed by that of Memphis; for these two points were like two bastions reciprocally flanking each other, neither being able to defend itself without the other.

We have seen that on the 21st of April, Pope, on being summoned to Pittsburg Landing, had left before Fort Pillow two regiments with the Federal flotilla which Foote had brought over as a force of observation. Foote, debilitated by his wounds, had abandoned the command in which he had displayed so much courage and ability. He was replaced by Captain Davis, who, while waiting for the issue of the siege of Corinth, contented himself with throwing from time to time a few bombshells into the fort. His mortar-boats were protected by seven gun-boats, which were river-boats more or less iron-clad, and most of which had already been tried before Forts Henry and Donelson. On the 10th of May, the flotilla was moored close to both banks of the river, eight kilometres above Fort Pillow, when, toward six o'clock in the morning, eight steamers flying the Confederate flag were seen rapidly approaching. These were also river-boats, clumsily armored and provided with that kind of beak which the success of the Merrimac had brought into fashion. Captain Montgomery, who was in command, had come to offer battle to the Federal flotilla, in the hope of being able to disperse it and relieve the fort. His vessels were of greater draught, much less protected, and supplied with guns of far inferior calibre to those of his adversary; but, on the other hand, he had the current in his favor, which could not fail to carry any of the enemy's ships

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