E left the Federals
in possession of Corinth
, the army of Beauregard
disappearing in the depths of semitropical forests where the Tombigbee
takes its source, and Montgomery
's ships lying at the bottom of the Mississippi
The part to be played by the Federal
fleets was fully laid out; Farragut
, by ascending the river, and Davis
, by descending it, were to endeavor to join hands and destroy all the obstacles which still obstructed its course.
What, in the mean time, was the large army encamped at Corinth
going to do?
It had allowed Beauregard
to escape at the very moment when it felt sure of crushing him; but it could yet strike some decisive blows either to eastward or westward, the Confederates
being nowhere sufficiently numerous to make any strong opposition.
had forced open the way to Chattanooga
and approached the gap which opens south-east of that town, before which, at a subsequent period, so much blood was shed at the battles of Chickamauga
and Missionary Ridge
He was master of the passes of the Tennessee
, and the Federals
, stationed at Corinth
, could reach Chattanooga
much more speedily than their adversary encamped at Tupelo
They might probably conquer by the same stroke the whole upper course of the river which waters this town.
Westward, the Federals
could sweep both sides of the Mississippi
, cause all the Confederate
works which defended them to fall, and perhaps prevent the enemy from erecting the formidable citadels of Vicksburg
and Port Hudson
, the capture of which, at a later period, cost so dear.
was rapidly falling, and would soon cease to be