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en out of the service for several years, and had but recently become a resident of Louisiana. His object, however, being to aid in the defence of his country, he openly declared his readiness to serve with or under General Bragg, and to put at his disposal whatever of professional knowledge and experience he might possess. But he refused all military rank in the State army. Major Beauregard was convinced that the most important of all the avenues of approach to New Orleans was the Mississippi River; and that, to guard it properly against invasion, must be the one grand object in view on the part of the State authorities. He therefore advised Governor Moore and the Military Board to arm Forts Jackson and St. Philip with the heaviest guns procurable, and suggested the following plan for so doing: 1st, to remove the largest pieces already there, from the rear to the front or river faces of the forts; 2d, to transfer to them the heavy guns of both Fort Pike, on the Rigolets, and For
s the neck, to Fort Donelson, on the Cumberland River, remaining himself to work the guns with a handful of men—about one hundred—with whom he was captured. That gallant officer was subsequently killed while defending Port Hudson, on the Mississippi River, shortly after his return from captivity, which he had borne with no less patience than dignity. It is to be regretted that, since the war, calumny has endeavored to fix upon him the responsibility and odium of the loss of that weak and baossession of that river, the enemy can concentrate rapidly, by means of his innumerable transports, all his disposable forces on any point along its banks, either to attack Nashville in rear, or cut off the communications of Columbus by the Mississippi River with Memphis, and by the railroads with the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. Should the enemy determine on the former plan of operations, your army, threatened also in front and on the right flank by Buell's large army, will be in a very
y to oppose such a movement, and there were no fortified positions on the Mississippi River, to check the Federal gunboats and transports in carrying the supplies of some fourteen thousand five hundred men, under General Polk, holding the Mississippi River defences, imperfectly organized and, as yet, poorly equipped for the fielsay, it would involve the immediate loss to the Confederate States of the Mississippi River and Valley. In view of the palpable situation, I am instructed to evac, and must henceforth depend upon themselves alone for the defence of the Mississippi River and contiguous States; the fall of Columbus, and of Island No.10, must nefollowed by the loss of the whole Mississippi Valley, to the mouth of the Mississippi River. The fate of Missouri necessarily depends on the successful defence of Cperations. He represented that all operations in States bordering on the Mississippi River should be made subordinate to the secure possession of that river, which,
a certain number of officers from the Army of the Potomac, should their services be needed, some of them to be promoted to be brigadier-generals and others to be major-generals. Early in February a list of their names was left with the War Department by Colonel Thomas Jordan, General Beauregard's Adjutant and Chief of Staff. On the 20th of that month General Beauregard called for Captains Wampler and Fremeaux, as Assistant Engineers, to aid in constructing the several defences on the Mississippi River; and for Major G. W. Brent, as Inspector and Judge-Advocate-General, whose immediate services were much needed at the time. After considerable delay, the two engineers only were sent: Captain Fremeaux arriving a few days previous to the impending battle, and Captain Wampler not until it had been fought. Closely following this first demand upon the War Department, General Beauregard, with a view properly to organize the forces under General Polk, and the new levies daily expected, for
hat time, his co-operation with an army of nearly twenty thousand. General Beauregard had sent Van Dorn all the water transportation he could collect on the Mississippi River, with which to effect the junction. These movements of concentration were approved by General Johnston, but had received no encouragement from the War Deparufficient strength successfully to oppose the enemy, who, had he used his resources with ordinary vigor, must soon have obtained undisputed possession of the Mississippi River, and, consequently, of the entire valley, including New Orleans. The State troops thus hastily assembled were, as we have said, poorly equipped, without dhis estimate excludes 7000 men at Island No.10 and vicinity, who were indispensable to hold at bay Pope's army of over 20,000 men, and to keep control of the Mississippi River at that point. Moreover, the forces General Beauregard had hastily collected (about 25,000 strong) were imperfectly armed, insufficiently drilled, and only
wling Green and Nashville, to Stevenson, to change the direction of his retreat to Decatur, Alabama, that he might more readily form a junction with the forces at Corinth, at the proper time. To this request, General Johnston willingly acceded. By the 27th of March, with our defective means of transportation, and restricted supplies of all kinds, General Beauregard had assembled, at and about Corinth, an army of over forty thousand men, exclusive of some nine thousand occupying the Mississippi River defences, at New Madrid, Island No.10, and Fort Pillow. And General Van Dorn, at General Beauregard's request, was moving rapidly from Van Buren, Arkansas, with an army of nearly twenty thousand men, to unite also with our forces at Corinth. He would have arrived in time to take a part in the battle of Shiloh, had he not been delayed by high waters, which prevented his marching to Memphis, when he could not immediately procure sufficient river transportation. Even with these obstacl
dered it judicious to make for the security of the defensive works on the Mississippi River. They show that although his attention was engrossed by the movements ofroduce a new and entirely different system, in the defensive works of the Mississippi River. He caused them to be almost entirely reconstructed for minimum garrisonin a short time, have succeeded in forcing its evacuation, when the whole Mississippi River would have been opened to them down to New Orleans. A respite of many epulse been met with by the first Federal boats entering that part of the Mississippi River, it is to be presumed that General Pope's operations around New Madrid wenemy, in consequence of the withdrawal of General Pope's forces from the Mississippi River. A few days before, General Beauregard being of opinion that the servis of the naval commanders charged with the protection of that part of the Mississippi River. Small hope, however, could be entertained of a change for the better in
Van Dorn's seventeen thousand men, numbered about fifty thousand, but was daily decreasing on account of sickness. General Pope's recent successes on the Mississippi River had given him an overweening opinion of his capacities as a commander. He was an officer of intelligence and activity, but inclined to undertake almost any housand head of poor cattle, collected in the parish of Calcasieu, Louisiana, for the purpose of fattening, and now substantially cut off, by the fall of the Mississippi River into the hands of the enemy. Every effort is now being made, by the Commissary of Department No. 2, to relieve the wants of the troops. I will mention hereated all his available forces in front of Corinth. Question No. 6.—What means were employed, after the fall of Island No.10, to prevent the descent of the Mississippi River by the enemy's gunboats? What dispositions were made to defend Memphis, and what was the cause of a failure to preserve that most important of our lines of
ral Beauregard in Mobile, on the 20th, and shows the searching ingenuity used to find him at fault, not only with regard to the evacuation of Corinth, but also as to all orders and instructions issued or given by him, for the defence of the Mississippi River. These interrogatories and General Beauregard's answers to them were given at the end of the preceding chapter. Nothing more, therefore, need be said about them here. General Bragg informed General Beauregard of the President's last ohio in them. To keep the command of Cincinnati, I would construct a strong work, heavily armed, at Covington. Now, for the operation of Western Tennessee. The object should be to drive the enemy from there and resume the command of the Mississippi River. For these purposes I would concentrate rapidly at Grand Junction Price's army, and all that could be spared from Vicksburg of Van Dorn's. From there I would make a forced march to Fort Pillow, which I would take with probably only a very
t look to our most vulnerable point, the Mississippi River; for one single steamer, with only two oll operations in States bordering on the Mississippi River should be made subordinate to the secureon via M. and O. Railroad to Hickman, on Mississippi River. Thanks for the five regiments. The riState included between the Tennessee and Mississippi rivers. But as the possession of the Tennessthe safety of this army and yet keep the Mississippi River closed; the latter a most difficult unde. I think it more important to save the Mississippi River. Answer me at once. I start for Littleleans, which latter event has placed the Mississippi River, from its mouth to Vicksburg, under the ation, Forts Pillow and Randolph, on the Mississippi River, would have to be abandoned. This would give the enemy command of the Mississippi River from Vicksburg to the Ohio and Missouri rivers, anphis and Charleston Railroad towards the Mississippi River? The reason is obvious. Cut off from c[2 more...]