Sunday, May 6, 2012


As the advance toward Corinth continues to be slowed by the rain and terrain, the generals are gathering information from "deserters" and escaped slaves concerning the arrival of reinforcements at Corinth.  It must be pointed out that misinformation was often conveyed to the Union Army by apparent deserters that stayed in camp long enough to gather their own intelligence before running back to their camps. 

With New Orleans falling to the Federals last week and Baton Rouge being currently occupied, rebel troops had retreated up the Mississippi and the Union generals were rightly concerned with their whereabouts. Some reinforcements probably had arrived from South Carolina via the Memphis-Charleston Railroad. However, the story about the Confederates abandoning the eastern seaboard to concentrate on the western armies was hardly credible, and may be the biggest whopper swallowed on this day in 1862.

May 6, 1862-3 p. m.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:

Weather clear this morning. Roads almost impassable. A number of deserters from Corinth came in yesterday. They report very large force well intrenched [sic], and say that Beauregard is receiving re-enforcements every day. A few days ago forces began to arrive from South Carolina. General Lovell is expecterd [sic] to-day with the forces he had at New Orleans, numbering about 3,000 effective men. It is now believed the rebels will leave Virginia, and endeavor to save the Mississippi Valley by crushing our Western army. Beauregard, by concentrating troops from New Orleans, Mobile, Memphis, Fort Pillow, and intermediate points, will certainly add 60,000 effective men to the army he had ten days ago, and this without any force from Virginia, South Carolina, or Georgia. The troops from those States all to come by rail, by way of Montgomery or Meridian or Mobile and Ohio road, thence to Corinth. With all these facts, as we believe them here, it becomes a grave question for you to consider as to whether a column of 40,000 or 50,000 men should not be sent from the East. I submit the case as now understood by all parties here. Halleck is proceeding with his advance movements, and will in a few days invest Corinth, then be governed by circumstances. Halleck just got message about Yorktown.

Assistant Secretary of War.*

*Thanks for this record from the ORE to my Favorite Link, Ohio State's eHistory

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