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ral, R. L. McCook. The city which sent him matter was looked upon as a ruse to deceive us forth may well be proud of him. Of his course and draw us into a snare. Whether or not any as Colonel of his gallant Ninth, all are informed, definite information as to the true condition of and all are ready to praise.
affairs had been received at headquarters, I am As a Brigadier it has been the writer's privi. unable to state; but this I do know, that when lege to observe him closely. There is no officer the orders to march were received, commanders more fully competent to fill his place than Robert of brigades believed that the hour for a decisive McCook. He labors with all his powers for the and bloody battle had arrived. good of his command. His energy is remarka- About half-past six in the morning, orders to ble; nothing that concerns the good of the ser- march were received, and at seven, the greater rice escapes him. He is almost continually in portion of the men were outside their breastbis saddle, and knows the country close up to the works, cautiously feeling their way through the enemy's line, wherever he may be, from personal dense underbrush which intervened between our observation. He is emphatically a soldier, not fortifications and the defences of Corinth, but through previous military education, but from after proceeding three eighths of a mile, they good sense, and is most faithfully serving his came to an open space, and the enemy's works, country. He deserves well of your citizens, who, abandoned and desolate, burst upon their astondoubtless, delight to do him honor.
H. ished gaze. The sight was entirely unexpected.
The opening was made by the rebels, who had ANOTHER ACCOUNT,
felled the timber for about three hundred yards CORINTH, May 30-Noon.
in front of their intrenchments, for the double The siege of Corinth, which was fairly inaugu- purpose of obstructing our progress and giving rated on the thirtieth of April, ended this morning. them a fair view of our column when within rifleDespite the boast that one rebel is equal to two range. Yankees, the Southern generals have again de- The view from the highest point of the rebel clined to fight us with nearly equal numbers. works, immediately in front of Davies's, now Although protected by intrenchments, in com- Rosecrans's division, was truly grand. The cirmanding positions, and capable of being made next cle of vision was at least five miles in extent, to invulnerable, Corinth has been added to the stretching from the extreme right to the extreme long list of strongholds which have fallen into our left, and the magnificent display of banners, the hands, without bloodshed, since the commence bristling of shining bayonets, and the steady ment of the present year. Manassas, Yorktown, step of the handsomely attired soldiers, presented Norfolk, Bowling Green, Nashville, Columbus, a pageant which has seldom been witnessed on Little Rock and Corinth-all capable of a length this continent. ened defence, yet all captured without even a Upon many of the regimental ensigns were show of resistance.
printed “ Wilson's Creek," “ Dug Springs," Corinth was indeed a stronghold, and its im- “Donglson,” or “Shiloh,” and one or two wave portance could not have been over-rated. It is all these mottoes in the breeze. Those who the key that unlocks the Cotton States, and gives passed through all these trying ordeals, unus command of almost the entire system of South- scathed, or who received honorable wounds in ern railroads, and nothing but despair could either, in future can look back upon a life devoted have prompted its abandonment. While there to their country's service, and feel that proud was a shadow of hope for the Confederacy, policy satisfaction which is denied to others not less pawould have compelled the insurgents to hold triotic, but less fortunate. In future pageants in the town.
honor of the nation's birthday, when the last reUnusual activity prevailed in the rebel camps lics of former struggles have become extinct, and last night. The cars were running constantly, when these shall be bowed down with age, they and the noise, which was distinctly heard within will be their country's honored guests, and reour lines, indicated that they were very heavily ceive that consideration due their noble deeds. laden. About three o'clock in the morning, three Notwithstanding the desire of the soldiers to signal-rockets were observed to ascend from the possess themselves of relics of the retreating foe, direction of Corinth, and immediately the long- perfect der was maintained the lines. Your roll called our forces into line, to provide against correspondent wandered around the large area an attack, should the rebels be meditating one. lately occupied by the rebel troops, but found At the same instant, a commotion was observed few trophies which were worth preserving. A among the rebel pickets, which was construed broken sword and double-barrelled shot-gun were into an advance, and a volley from end to end of picked up after an hour's search, but these were the lines greeted the really retreating but sup- seized by the Provost-Marshal at the Landing, posed advancing foes.
and confiscated. For two hours all was quiet, the men remain- The enemy, with the exception of the rearing in line, when suddenly an explosion, or rather guard, had left with the greatest deliberation. A quick succession of explosions, was heard in the few worthless tents, some heavy kettles, a largo direction of Corinth, and presently, volumes of number of old barrels, tin cups, and articles of smoke, dense and dark, arose, as if from smothered this description, were the only camp equipages flames; but so well convinced were our soldiers not taken away. that a battle would be fought here, that the whole There is nothing so desolate as a newly-desert
ed camp. But yesterday, and all was life and upon the slightest approach of danger, can insure animation ; to-day the white tents have disap- only contempt. peared, the heavy footsteps have ceased to sound, The troops from every direction marched toand no evidence, save the desolated, hard-trodden ward a common centre-Corinth; and as they ground, and a few tent-stakes, remain to tell the neared each other and friends recognized friends, story.
whom they had not seen for weeks or months, Nothing surprised me more than the character though separated but a few miles, greetings were of the rebel works. From the length of time exchanged, and as regiments met for the first Beauregard's army had been occupying the place, time since leaving the bloody fields of Donelson with a view to its defence, and from the import- and Shiloh, cheer after cheer resounded through ance the rebel General attached to it, in his des- the forests and were echoed and reěchoed by the patch which was intercepted by Gen. Mitchel, I hills, as if the earth itself desired to prolong the had been led to suppose that the fortifications sound. were really formidable. But such was not the As no rain had fallen for some time, the roads
I admire the engineering which dictated were exceedingly dusty, as was the whole campthe position of the intrenchments, and the lines ing-ground, which had been tramped solid by they occupied, but that is all that deserves the eighty thousand rebels. But all forgot obstacles slightest commendation,
and annoyances in the eagerness to see the town But a single line of general fortifications had before which they had lain so long. A little been constructed, and these were actually less after eight o'clock, a portion of the left and centre formidable than those thrown up by our forces filed in, and were met by Mr. Harrington, the last night, after occupying a new position. Mayor's clerk, who asked protection for private There were, besides this general line, occasional property, and for such of the citizens as had derifle-pits, both outside and inside the works, but termined to remain. It is needless to add that they could have been constructed by three relief his request was granted, and guards stationed at details in six hours.
every door, as the object of our march is not to The only fortifications really worthy the name, plunder, but to save. were a few points where batteries were located, Corinth is built upon low lands and clay soil, but these could not have resisted our Parrott and so that in wet weather the place may very prosiege-guns half an hour. Yet the positions occu- perly be denominated a swamp. But the soil is pied by the breastworks were capable of being as easily affected by the drought as by rains, and strengthened so as to render them almost invul- the result is that at the present time the clay is nerable to a front attack, and no little difficulty baked perfectly solid, and the ground filled with would have been experienced in flanking the po- fissures. Just outside of the town are the ridges, sition, either on the right or left.
which might be appropriately denominated hills, The works were on the brow of a ridge, con- and upon which second, third and fourth lines of siderably higher than any in the surrounding defences could have been erected. The highest country, and at the foot of it was a ravine, cor- lands are in the direction of Farmington on the respondingly deep. The zigzag course of the east, and College Hill on the south-west. line gave the defenders the command of all the As will be seen by any correct map, the town feasible approaches, and hundreds could have is situated at the junction of the Mobile and Ohio been mowed down at every step made by an and the Memphis and Charleston Railroads, both assailing army, even from the imperfect carth- very important lines of communication, and inbanks which had been thrown up.
dispensable to the enemy. The roads do not Had a fight occur
curred, it must have been de- cross at exactly right angles, but on the northcided by artillery, and in this respect we had the west and south-east would intersect the circumadvantage both in number and calibre of our ference of a circle at a distance apart of not more guns; but had they improved the advantages than sixty degrees. Slight embankments are they possessed, and fortified as men who really thrown up at the crossing, but they do not exintended to make a stubborn defence, this supe- ceed four or five feet in height. The town is riority might have been overcome.
nearly all north of the Memphis and east of the The conduct of the rebels is indeed beyond Mobile road. comprehension. Here is a place commanding
Corinth is the only pleasant country village I several important railroads; a place the seizure have seen in this section of the country. I was of which Beauregard confessed in his celebrated informed that it usually contained two thousand despatch to Davis, would open to us the Valley two hundred inhabitants, of all colors, but I am of the Mississippi ; a position capable of a stub. inclined seriously to doubt the assertion. From born defence as Sebastopol, and yet scarcely an one thousand to one thousand two hundred effort is made to fortify it, and its possessors fly would be far nearer a true estimate. at our approach. The abettors of the rebels in The houses are built after the Southern fashion, Europe are watching with eager interest every with a front-door for every room looking toward step made in this country, with a view of obtain the street. This is an odd feature to one used to ing a recognition, at any favorable moment, of the Yankee architecture, but it is the universal style bogus confederacy. A stubborn resistance, even of the Southern States. The apartments of most though followed by defeat, would command re- of the houses are large and airy, and surrounded spect abroad; but a succession of evacuations, with immense porticoes, where the high-toned
chivalry enjoy their siesta in the most approved not actually needed for the subsistence of the Spanish manner, except that they imbibe, before troops, or for a battle. They did this with a view sleeping, a somewhat different beverage from the of a speedy retreat, in case one became necessaCastilians. Instead of the wines of Andalusia, ry, either before or after a fight. The question they consume almost unheard-of quantities of of the final evacuation, was left open, to be deBourbon and rifle-whisky.
cided as time and circumstances should dictate, The yards of the rich are decorated with and in the mean time, the army and the people shrubbery, and what is far more in accordance were to be cajoled into the belief that Corinth with good taste, forest-trees are left standing and was the last ditch the spot where Pillow inneatly trimmed—a custom which has been too tended to die. sadly neglected in the North. There are several All of the citizens of Corinth, and I believe of substantial brick and frame business-houses, all the rebel States, believed the place would be held of which have been stripped and deserted. at all hazards, and the chagrin and disappoint
The names of firms were painted above the ment at its evacuation, without a blow, were deep doors; they were, “Terry & Duncan," “Camp- and bitter. I talked with several who, up to that bell & Dodds," "J. T. Kemper,” and numerous hour, had never faltered in their faith, but who others which it is unnecessary to designate. Mr. now look upon their cause as past the remotest Kemper kept the “ Baltimore Clothing Store," chance of a resurrection, and are adapting thembut neither he nor his clothing could be found. selves to their new and changed circumstances. A druggist, whose name I have forgotten, deter- They say that if the South could not defend mined to remain.
Corinth, they cannot hold their ground at any Not enough of the Corinthians remained to other point, and it is idle to prolong a war which welcome us, to give me any idea of what the mass is desolating twelve States. of the citizens are like. A few poor persons, the On Tuesday, twenty-seventh, an intelligent dedruggist referred to, and the Mayor's clerk, and serter came into camp, and on being questioned two or three wealthy females, were all that were stated that Gen. Beauregard had been at Holly to be found. The poor were nearly starved, and Springs, Miss., for several days, recruiting his were disposed to welcome any change, as it health, as he alleged, but that he returned at might bring relief, but could not add to their suf- nine o'clock that morning. The story, except as fering. They walked curiously around, observing to the health, was a true one, as I have since the movements of the soldiers, astonished at the ascertained ; and I also learn that the masses of comparatively handsome uniform they wore, and the people and the soldiers, really supposed he gratified that the fears they had felt had not been was there recuperating, he having given out to realized. The wealthy females looked from the that impression. But the fact was, he was searchwindows of their mansions upon the Union ing for a place to which to make retreat, and on troops, affecting the greatest scorn and disdain his return he called a council of war on Tuesday for the Yankees, who viewed them in return rather evening, and announced his determination to in a spirit of pity than revenge.
evacuate Corinth. I learn that Pillow, Price and The rebel generals all had their headquarters Hardee concurred with him, and that Bragg and in houses-generally occupying the finest resi- Van Dorn opposed the movement, as absolutely dences in the place. Beauregard's was on the destructive of the cause. But all would not do; east of the Purdy road, and at the outskirts of the order was given, and Corinth was evacuated. the place. The rebel chieftain was evidently sur- The sick, of whom there were a great number rounded by all the comforts and luxuries of life. in the hospitals, were taken away first, some beTelegraph wires run in every direction from the ing removed to Columbus, Miss., and others to building, the system adopted being similar to that Grand Junction, preparatory to being forwarded employed in our own army. The wires, however, to Jackson. Next came the stores, the greater were all cut, and the instruments taken away. portion of which were taken off on Wednesday.
The quarters of Price, Van Dorn, Hardee, Pil- Wednesday night all the artillery, save two light low and Bragg were pointed out by citizens, who batteries, of six and twelve-pounders, were restated that each of these notabilities commanded moved, and a portion of the infantry marched a corps d'armée, and that that these were subdi- toward Grand Junction. No less than forty thouvided into divisions and brigades. There is a sand men, however, remained within the works, marked difference in the style put on by the rebel and within half a mile of our lines, twenty-four and Union Generals. Our commanders are all hours, and with but twelve small cannon, and the quartered in tents, even though commodious resi- ordinary infantry arm for protection. An attack dences are at hand; but the rebels would disdain at that moment would have resulted in the deto sleep beneath a canvas similar to that which struction or capture of that number of men. The sheltered the common horde. More than one de- rebels were fearful of such an attack all day, and serter remarked upon the comparative simplicity in order to deceive Gen. Halleck, made several of our commanders.
sallies on our pickets. The deception appears to Although the rebel generals, (so I learned from have been complete, for had Halleck known the Mr. Harrington and others,) did not fully deter- true condition of affairs, he would have attacked mine to evacuate the place till Tuesday evening, them at once. twenty-seventh ult., they had for a long time been The rear-guard of the retreating army left im. sending away all extra baggage, and everything' mediately after the explosion referred to, which I
ascertained arose from the destruction of a num- course, if our force had not been formidable, the ber of shell, which could not be carried away. rebels would not have fled before it. At what time Gen. Halleck first learned of the When our lines advanced on the twenty-eighth, movement, I am unable to state; nor am I aware a battery was planted on an eminence command. that he knew it when the order to march was ing a considerable portion of the country, but given on Friday morning.
completely shrouded from view by a dense thicket. And here let me indulge in a little digression, Scouts were sent out to discover the exact posito prove the simple facts in the case. I have been tion of the rebels, and were but a short distance led to admire the manner in which Gen. Halleck in advance, to give a signal as to the direction to conducted the advance upon Corinth, and his fire if any were discovered. precaution in fortifying at every resting-place. One of the rebel commanders, unaware of our The wielding of the army has been admirable. presence, called around him a brigade and comBut I cannot commend his watchfulness in not menced addressing them in something like the knowing the rebels were retreating, when we following strain : were within half a mile of their lines for forty- “Sons OF THE SOUTH: We are here to defend eight hours. A reconnoissance in force, at sev- our homes, our wives and daughters, against the eral points, to the distance of twenty rods beyond horde of vandals who have come here to possess our pickets, would have discovered the whole the first and violate the last. Here upon this facts. Of course no other officer could order such sacred soil, we have assembled to drive back the a movement, and the responsibility must rest Northern invaders—drive them into the Tenwith the Commanding General, provided there nessee. Will you follow me. If we cannot hold has really been a blunder, and I believe the coun- this place, we can defend no spot of our Confedtry will characterize his lack of watchfulness as eracy. Shall we drive the invaders back, and such.
strike to death the men who would desecrate our True to their natural sentiments, the rebels homes? Is there a man so base among those could not leave the town without destroying a who hear me, as to retreat from the contemptible large amount of valuable property. The dépôt foe before us? I will never blanch before their and three large warehouses, containing provisions fire, nor which they were unable to carry away, were At this interesting period the signal was given, fired, and before the arrival of Halleck's army, and six shell fell in the vicinity of the gallant were consumed. The dense cloud of smoke which officer and his men, who suddenly forgot their was seen in the morning as the army approached, fiery resolves, and 'fled in confusion to their led to the supposition that the town had been breastworks. burned, but on arrival it was found that all private residences, and such buildings as contained
Doc. 51. no army stores, were left unharmed. As I entered the town, my attention was at
A TEN DAYS' CAVALRY SCOUT. tracted to a quantity of cotton nearly consumed. I counted, and found that twenty-seven bales had been consigned to the flames, but as it was their
HEADQUARTERS SIXTH PENNSYLVANIA CAVALRY, own property, nobody cared. They certainly have
New-BRIDGE, VA., May 31, 1562. a right to do as they will with their own. The I have the honor to report to you, as the Milpractical people of the North may think they are itary Agent of the State of Pennsylvania, the acsilly for their conduct, but it is none of their busi- tive duty my regiment has been doing, knowing ness. If the South is determined to bring ruin you would like to know what all your Pennsyl. upon itself, let it do so; the world can move with vania regiments in the Army of the Potomac are out a cotton-pivot.
doing in the way of active service. The platform of the railroad was also set on We were detached from the reserve brigade fire, and but for the efforts of our soldiers would of cavalry, on the twenty-second May, by the orhave been consumed, and the flames must have der of General McClellan, to make a reconnoiscommunicated to the Tishimingo House, and per- sance around and about the Pamunkey River, haps other buildings. The time will yet come from Piping Tree Ferry to Hanover Town Ferry. when the rebels will thank our soldiers for We had three squadrons on picket at these quenching the flames their own hands have ferries, and the balance of the regiment was used kindled. With mature reflection, even the rebels for scouting. will not be so lost to principle or interest as to We found on the twenty-third instant, the enbe oblivious of favors conferred. When the in- emy were very strong at Hanover Court-House, sane man regains his reason, he thanks the hand and instantly sent word to Gen. Porter. Upon that rescued him from suicide.
which information Gen. Porter ordered us to deThe rebel forces amounted to eighty thousand stroy all the ferries and bridges along the Paeffective troops, of all grades-volunteers for the munkey, which the squadrons that were picketwar, conscripts, and “eight-day men.” I had ed along the ferries instantly did. prepared a list of the organization of our army, On the evening of the twenty-fourth, the squadits strength, and the amount of artillery with it
, ron that were on picket were ordered to move tobut such information is necessarily contraband, ward Hanover Court-House and feel the enemy, and con *?y withheld from the public. Of I which we did at daybreak, and found the first
REPORT OF COLONEL RICHARD RUSH.
picket about five miles from Hanover Court- I occupied Bolivar Heights with my troops, House, which our advance drove in, as well as and Maryland Heights with the naval battery. all their other pickets, to within three miles of On the same evening I sent two companies of Hanover Court-House, where they found the en- Col. Maulsby's First Maryland regiment, under emy were in such strong numbers that they Major Steiner, to make a reconnoissance of Louhalted, and returned to the regiment. This was doun Heights, where it was reported the enemy reported to Gen. Porter, who concluded to send were in position. They were fired upon whilst a force up, and capture them if possible. ascending, between nine and ten o'clock in the
On the morning of the twenty-seventh, we evening, by dismounted rebel cavalry concealed moved toward Hanover Court - House, on the in the bushes on both sides of the road. Sergeant right, to attract the enemy's attention, while Gen. Mehiling, of company I, was killed. The fire Porter moved his force upon the left and rear, the was returned, with what effect is not known. success of which you of course know.
Owing to the darkness of the night, Major SteinThe regiment was under fire here, and all the er returned. officers and men behaved most gallantly. They On Wednesday I shelled the heights from Batfollowed up the retreat of the enemy, and cap- tery Stanton, compelling the enemy to retire, as tured eighty men and two commissioned officers, was proved by a subsequent reconnoissance. In and also burned the bridge on the Pamunkey, to the course of the morning, a reconnoissance in the rear of Hanover Court-House.
force was made toward Charlestown by the One On the morning of the thirtieth, we were or- Hundred and Eleventh Pennsylvania regiment, dered to send three squadrons to make a recon- Col. Schlandecker, and the First Maryland cavnoissance toward Ashland, and burn the bridge alry, Major Deems, and one section of Reynolds's over the railroad at that place, if the enemy were battery. Our cavalry drove the rebels out of not too strong. We found several of their cav- Charlestown, but they were immediately reënalry pickets, which we drove in before us. We forced, and opening fire from a battery of nine captured eight men and horses belonging to the guns, compelled our forces to retire, with a loss Fourth, and entered Ashland without any resist- of one captain and eight men captured by the ance, the enemy having left for Richmond the enemy. night before.
The Seventy-eighth New-York, and the remainWe burned the bridge here, as directed, and ing pieces of Reynolds's battery, were at once dereturned to our camp, where we found orders to spatched to cover their retreat, which was effectmove to New-Bridge, and join the reserve brigade ed in good order, without further injury, the enof cavalry.
emy's battery following them to a point two The ten days' scout was a very hard one, dur- miles distant from Charlestown. ing which time we had killed and maimed thirty- They reported, on their return, the enemy ad. four horses. We did not lose any men.
vancing. Our troops were immediately formed Yours, most respectfully,
in line of battle, extending along the crest of RICHARD H. Rusa,
Bolivar Heights, across the peninsula from the Colonel Sixth Pennsylvania Cavalry, Lancers. Potomac to the Shenandoah. A body of the en
emy's cavalry was seen occasionally emerging
from a point of woods about two miles distant, a Doc. 52.
little on the left of the road to Charlestown. FIGHT AT HARPER'S FERRY, VA.
Clouds of dust were visible in various directions, as if the enemy were advancing. Our guns shell
ed the woods in front; the enemy made no reTo Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War: sponse, but seemed from their movements de
Sir: I have the honor to report that in obedi- sirous of drawing us out from our position. Our ence to your instructions, I assumed command men slept on their arms, On the morning of the of the forces at Harper's Ferry on the twenty-twenty-ninth, the Fifth New-York cavalry were sixth of May. I found Colonel Miles occupying sent out to reconnoitre, and were fired upon by the place with one company of the Maryland the enemy's infantry and artillery. Our pickets P. H. brigade. He had pushed forward that being driven in, our forces were again formed in morning a battalion, composed of the First Dis- order of battle, Gen. Cooper's brigade on Bolivar trict of Columbia regiment and Eleventh regi- Heights to the right, and Gen. Slough's brigade to ment Pennsylvania volunteers, on the cars to the left of the road leading to Charlestown. After Winchester to reēnforce Gen. Banks. They were two or three hours, the enemy not appearing, a too late, he having retreated; and they returned squadron of cavalry was sent out toward Hallto Harper's Ferry. The same evening reënforce town, before reaching which they were suddenly ments arrived, consisting of the Seventy-eighth fired upon by a battery occupying a position on New-York, One Hundred and Ninth Pennsylva- the verge of the woods to the left of the road. A nia, a naval battery of Dahlgren guns, under body of cavalry and some infantry were seen Licut. Daniels, U.S.N., and four companies of stationed under cover of the woods, in position the Fifth New-York cavalry from Winchester. to support the battery. Having accomplished On the twenty-seventh other ops arrived, with their
alry returned. Capt. Crounse's and Reynolds's battery of the It became evident that the enemy were seeking, First New-York artillery,
as on the preceding day, to allure us from our
GENERAL SAXTON'S REPORT.