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[444] of Bolivar, Jackson in Tennessee, Iuka, and even the fortifications of Corinth, whose works would have been destroyed, and the depots evacuated. Halleck did not approve of this plan, which probably sacrificed too much to an uncertainty. Corinth especially was a subject of great anxiety to the commanderin-chief of the Federal armies, the capture of this position being, in fact, the only event of the war in which he had personally participated. Grant then resolved to advance gradually along the Mississippi Central Railroad, as far as the forces at his disposal would permit him, by feeling his way and repairing the track behind him.

Before we follow him in these operations, we must, in a few words, describe the country where he and his lieutenants were about to fight, which is comprised between Memphis, at the north, the point of departure of the Federals, and Vicksburg, at the south, the principal objective point of their campaign. This country is a vast rectangle, the west side of which is formed by the Mississippi and the others by three railroads; at the north, from Memphis to Corinth by way of Grand Junction; at the east, the section of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad comprised between Corinth and Meridian; at the south, the line from Vicksburg to Meridian, which passes through Jackson. At the four angles are situated Memphis, Corinth, Meridian and Vicksburg. The rectangle is divided in two throughout its length by the Mississippi Central Railroad, which runs parallel to the Mississippi from Grand Junction to Jackson. Between the two extremities of this line, and nearly in the centre of the rectangle, stands the village of Grenada. From this point a line of railway which terminates at Memphis starts diagonally in a north-westerly direction. The largest portion of this country appertains to the Mississippi basin, which receives the waters of Yazoo River above Vicksburg and those of Big Black River above Grand Gulf. These two considerable rivers run from north-north-east to south-south-west at a short distance front each other. A third, Pearl River, after following a parallel direction as far as Jackson, turns directly south and empties in the Gulf of Mexico through Lake Borgne, near New Orleans. Most of this region bears a resemblance to the neighborhood of Corinth; it is a rolling country,

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