May 30, 1862: Halleck takes Corinth.

Henry Halleck

Halleck took Corinth, MS, on May 30 — almost two months after Grant drove Beauregard from the field at Shiloh, 20 miles north. Reportedly, Beauregard left a small guard in the town to cheer each arriving train as if it were loaded with reinforcements rather than coming in empty to evacuate materiel. Halleck was convinced of the strength of the enemy positions, and advanced with his characteristic caution. Beauregard managed to evacuate his army and save most of his armaments in the retreat. While Halleck congratulated himself on a victory, the enemy forces were intact.

From the Official Record:

Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War.
NEAR CORINTH, May 30, 1862.

General Pope’s heavy batteries opened upon the enemy’s intrenchments yesterday about 10 a. m. Soon drove the rebels from their advanced battery. Major General W. T. Sherman established another heavy battery yesterday afternoon within 1,000 yards of their works, and skirmishing parties advanced at daybreak this morning. Three of our divisions are already in the enemy’s advance works, about three-quarters of a mile from Corinth, which is in flames. The enemy has fallen back of the Mobile Railroad.


NEAR CORINTH, May 30, 1862.

Our advance guards are in Corinth. Conflicting accounts as to enemy’s movements. Believed to be in strong force on our left flank, some 4 or 5 miles south of Corinth, near the Mobile and Ohio Railroad.

Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

Camp near Corinth, May 30, 1862.

Enemy’s positions and works in front of Corinth were exceedingly strong. He cannot occupy stronger positions. In his flight this morning he destroyed an immense amount of public and private property-stores, provisions, wagons, tents, &c. For miles out of the town the roads are filled with arms, haversacks, &c., thrown away by his flying troops. A large number of prisoners and deserters have been captured, and estimated by General Pope at 2,000. General Beauregard evidently distrusts his army, or he would have defended so strong a position. His troops are generally much discouraged and demoralized. In all their engagements the last few days their resistance has been weak.


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