The war in the Southwest.
[from our Army Correspondent.
Corinth, May 24, 1862.
Hourly we are watching for important developments.
The enemy have again advanced on all sides, and in great force.
's division, before our right, embraces about forty thousand men, while Buel
is coming in the centre.
are said to be approaching by the left.
Skirmishing was going on yesterday nearly all day at intervals, but without special results.
As to our own army, it is daily strengthening the works, or taking new positions corresponding with those of the enemy, and we have every arrangement made that can be suggested by the skill and wisdom of our leaders to meet and beat back the human tide that is being hurled against us. Our men are in the best of spirits and anxious for the impeding crash to be over.
We are living with nerves strung to their utmost tension.
Hardly an hour passes by, day or night, when the ‘"alarum"’ is not sounded in our ears, and we are called to the saddle to be ready for the emergency.
No one doubts our success.
Preparations are complete, and the enemy have only to advance against us to receive the terrible castigation which is their late.
It does not seem possible that we can be whipped by any forces the enemy have before us. Prisoners set it at one hundred and fifty or sixty thousand, but it is known in official circles that he has not more than seventy or eighty thousand effective fighting troops.
Sickness has dreadfully decimated his ranks, and desertions are continually taking place.
The fire is evidently waning in Federal hearts.
The late skirmish showed conclusively their indisposition to resist.
remarked while riding along our lines--‘"Boys, don't be afraid, they can't stand; they run every time they see you!"’
The fact in the Yankee
army was so decimated and demoralized by the battle of Shiloh
that Haileek has had his hands full in extricating it from the entangled condition in which it was then thrown, and the work is not yet completed.
Northern letters say that experienced army officers are being appointed in the place of those who were killed or are incompetent, and that regiments which were disorganized have been merged into what are called ‘"Union" ’ brigades.
The entire army has been divided into three divisions, after the manner of that of the Potomac
, under the respective commends of Generals Grant
, and Pope
, each of which corps is an effective and completely organized army in itself — These are known by the names of the ‘"Army of West Tennessee
."’ (Gen. Grant
's;) the ‘"Army of the Ohio,"’ (Gen. Buell
's;) and the ‘"Army of the Mississippi,"’ (Gen. Pope
's)--all of these being under the supreme command of Gen. Halleck
This vast machinery of war has begun its work.
The ball has commenced rolling.
The serpent is uncoiling himself, and while I write is moving onwards the theatre of one of the grandest military tournaments the world has ever witnessed,--an encounter which will go down to history with the Waterloo, Austerlitz
, and Solferino
of the Old World.
will soon have a fire in the rear as well as front.
The dry season is said to have already commenced.
has fallen several foot, its tributaries are rapidly drying, malarious influences are at work, and disease will quickly be doing its work among his troops as effectually as Confederate balls and steel.
Affairs at Fort Pillow
have been varied by a small battle between Jeff. Thompson
and Commodore Montgomery
, with his cotton fleet, and the redoubtable Yankee gun and mortar boats.
We ran into some of each, and sunk one of both kinds.
The cotton sides proved an effectual batter to the artillery of the enemy, although the ‘"quarters"’ were so close that the fire of their guns actually touched our boats.
Altogether, we lost two killed and eight wounded. The victory would have been made complete but for the unfortunate retreat of the Yankees
to shoal water, where we could not follow.
In a few days there is a probability of another trial.
The effected the encounter has been to restore conference as regards the safety of the Mississippi river
and the city of Memphis
is being strongly fortified below, and Fort Piston is the Key
above — Accounts from Memphis
indicate great excitement among the arms-bearing population, growing out of the conscription act. Hundreds are leaving the city by every route, on foot, in boats, and by private conveyance — cowardly dogs, who have swindled the soldiers until the last moment, and now run rather than do the sacred duty which their country enjoins.
We can speed such parting scoundrels with a gusto; and the only misfortune attending their departure is our inability to sear into their white-livered carcasses the true brand of their character.
The sole of these creatures are so small that they might pass ten abreast through the eye a cambric needle without touching, and then be turned into the skull of an Arkansas mosquito for a lilliputian baby rattle.
Confederate money, which has been ‘"down"’ in Memphis
, is recruiting.
has issued an order authorizing the arrest of every man who refuses the ‘"spondulix, "’ and one or two valiant citizens have already taken a private thrashing from incensed Missourians, because they declined Government bills in payment of the necessaries of life.
The universal verdict of the nation will be, ‘"served 'em right."’