a programme of the campaign.
The New York Herald
, whose editors seem to regard themselves complete masters of strategic science, continues to solve the knotty problem of the war with as much self-satisfaction as it is possible to imagine.
In its issue of April 28th that paper lays down the programme of the campaign as follows:
A great battle at Corinth
, and another at Yorktown
are imminent, and the news of the deadly clash of arms may reach us at any moment from either of these places — from which of them first it is almost impossible to say. Though the news we published yesterday from St. Louis
would indicate that Halleck
will probably have the start of McClellan
, no one can tell what a day may bring forth in Virginia
One of those battle scenes lies in the northeast corner of the rebel Confederacy, and the other in the southwest.
will probable move to the attack at both points nearly at the same time, in order to prevent either of the rebel armies reinforcing each other.
The intelligence of yesterday from Cairo
stated that on Thursday a skirmish took place between the advance guards of the rebel and national troops between Pittsburg Landing
, and the rebels were driven back towards the latter point, whilst Gen. Halleck
was pushing his whole army vigorously forward.
The dispatch informed us that Mr. Stevenson
, of Danville
, Ill, who accompanied the advance towards Corinth
, says he heard the constant rattle of cars and the sounding of steam whistles towards Memphis
, and concluded that the rebels were retreating there.
The conclusion does not logically follow from the premises.
The rattle of the cars and the sounding of the steam whistle would rather indicate that reinforcements were arriving at Corinth
The same sounds were heard before and during the battle at Manassas
, and turned out to be the indications of troops arriving from Winchester
When the rebels want to steal away, they don't make so much noise.
We have no doubt, therefore, that Van-Dorn
's force has arrived, and that a bloody battle is approaching at Corinth
, if it has not already taken place.
may this time await the attack, taking advantage of his stronghold to aid him against superior numbers and the superior skill of Halleck
It is said that battle was offered the rebel General at Pea Ridge
, six miles from Corinth
, but he declined, though our troops, after surprising one of his camps there, and driving in his advance, waited the onset of his main body from eleven o'clock till three, at which time there were no signs of the enemy.
Terrible will be the slaughter when these two armies, numbering over 250,000 men, meet in battle array.
The indications in Virginia
are that a great battle may take place at any moment at Yorktown
But it is hard to tell whether the enemy will await the blow preparing for him by Gen. McClellan
, or whether his wily strategy will prompt him to parry it by a feint, and strike suddenly with his main force at McDowell
, meantime throwing such obstructions in the way of McClellan
's advance as will prevent his taking part in the battle.
Upon the result of these two battles hangs the rate of the rebellion.
If the rebels should win both, their drooping spirits would be revived and the war would be prolonged indefinitely.
If they should even win one battle, it would enable them to hold out for some time longer.
But if they lose both, then it is admitted by their own journals that there is nothing left for them but guerrilla warfare; and we need scarcely say that this amounts to nothing when it is not in aid of large bodies of regular troops in the field.
It can only annoy and harass at best.
It can achieve no important result.
It is admitted, too, that the seacoast and the forts will soon be all in our hands.
There is nothing left, therefore, for the rebels but submission if they are whipped in the two impending battles.
We learn that all the Southern
railroads have been seized by the Confederate Government, and that they rely on a new railroad from New Orleans, through Texas
for 700 miles, to bring them supplies of beef and corn, and probably arms and ammunition, by way of Mexico
.--But as the road is not yet constructed, and laborers are only now being advertised for, this device will be too late for their purpose — too late even for the retreat of the defeated leaders to Mexico
From the perfect arrangements made by our Generals
, we have no doubt that they will defeat the enemy in both battles, and in a short time the rebellion will have received the two fatal blows from which it can never recover.
The campaign in the West.
[From the Cincinnati Gazette, April 22.]
The news of a great battle near Corinth, Miss.
, may be expected hourly.
Extensive preparations are being made on our side.
The enemy is doubtless equally active.
Both sides fully comprehend the importance of the impending engagement.
If the rebels should be defeated, the fate of the Mississippi Valley
, and, in a great measure, of the rebellion, will be decided.
is not insensible to this.
His army is not ignorant of it. General Halleck
and the brave defenders who make up the grand army under his command, entertain similar views.
The approaching battle, if won by our troops, will be the last great battle, in all probability, that will be fought in the cotton States.
It is not to be expected, therefore, that the fight will be anything short of a desperate struggle.
We do not anticipate a retreat on the part of Beauregard
without a battle, because the moral effect of this would be quite as bad on the cause, now desperate, which he represents, as a defeat.
That under these circumstances he will fight — and fight desperately — struggling as a man in the agonies of death, we are bound to believe.
[correspondence of the St. Louis Republican.]
Pittsburg Landing, April 19.
Preparations go steadily forward here, and the troops daily advance.
Some of the division now are posted within a mile of the rebel pickets; numbers of new batteries and fresh soldiers have arrived, and evidently before another week the fate of Corinth
will be decided.
has reached Decatur
, holding the bridge there, and capturing some siege guns on their way to Beauregard
Hundreds of wounded Confederates have been found by parties between here and Corinth
the last day or two, and brought in here.
So energetic have been the measures taken by General Halleck
that the army here is prepared to immediately assume the offensive.
's troops are in excellent condition.
Bodies of our cavalry daily meet and skirmish with the enemy.
From present appearances an immediate advance will take place upon Corinth
On account of the destruction of the railroad bridges, it is now impossible for Beauregard
to receive reinforcements.
Before another week closes Corinth
will probably be won or lost, the two great armies of the South and West again meet together, and Halleck
These two Generals
, who, so far, have proved themselves the best on their respective sides, will in a few days meet where merit is best tested — on the field of conflict.
The coming contest will be one of terrible interest.
The Union army is in a position from which it cannot retreat.
The advance must be steady and uninterrupted.
A reverse must prove almost fatal, at least as far as the spring campaign is concerned.
But of this there is little danger.
has the troops for success, and they have the commander.
But opposed to our army is the best rebel talent and the finest soldiers in the Confederate
They are well disciplined and thoroughly armed; facts which the late engagement abundantly proved.
Their leaders are Beauregard
, Boyn, and Breckinridge
, the four former military strategists of the first order.
The Confederate Government is bending its energies with desperate earnestness to maintain its position at Corinth
With the loss of the latter, that of Mobile
, New Orleans and the Gulf
States would immediately follow.--It would no longer be a question with them where to make a stand, but whither to fly for escape.
's throne, cut off from its Southern dependencies, would totter, and the Confederate
fabric on the Potomac
occupy deserted defences, at their leisure.
Here will be the great struggle, and that before many days.
immediately takes the offensive, Beauregard
The latter is now Commander-in-Chief
, and his views on attacking instead of defending are well known.
Other circumstances are combining to make the coming battle a fearful one.
The friendly feeling lately increasing between the combatants has fled, and a bitter hate rapidly, taking its place, Hardly a soldier now but what has buried a friend, and the thought that death's mote them through brothers, while defending the common flag of both; has proved maddening.
Cowards who fled when their companions fought have been reproached until they are brave in despair,
Our army here, for fighting purposes, is more effective than before the battle.
Panics, there is good reason to believe, have ended; and the troops, instead of having to defend, will hereafter press steadily, constantly onward.
has been busily engaged, since his arrival, in destroying the enemy's means of communication, rendering useless, those railroads that, like great arteries, have given to the heart of the rebel positions, Corinth
, life and strength.
He has succeeded, and important results are visible already.