Sunday, May 20, 2012

May 20, 1862 (Tuesday): Beauregard Plans An Attack

The railroad junction at Corinth, MS

CORINTH MISS., May 20, 1862.*

1st. My headquarters along the upper Farmington road.
2nd. Bragg and Van Dorn to join forces at Farmington and pursue the enemy hotly on road to Monterey and Purdy.
3d. Hardee to guard the crossings of Seven Mile Creek and then cross; to follow Pope should he retire in the direction of the Farmington and Monterey road, and to attack him in rear before he effects a junction with Buell.
4th. Polk and Breckinridge to advance from the left of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad to take position parallel to the latter, between it and the Purdy road, to await orders: then to move rapidly toward the Farmington and Purdy road, to take the enemy in flank and rear, Breckinridge guarding the left flank and rear of Polk from an attack in the direction of Purdy.
5th. The cavalry to cut down stragglers. Wirt Adams to report to Polk,
to Van Dorn, and
to Bragg.

*In pencil and unsigned, but believed to be in General Beauregard's handwriting

Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 10, Part 2, Page 532.

After Shiloh Beauregard retreated to Corinth, Mississippi, the key junction of the Mobile and Ohio and Memphis and Charleston railroads.  The Union forces under Halleck were much superior in numbers to Beauregard and it seems he did not fully understand this at the point he contemplated the movement described above.  In point of fact, Pope was closing in on the town and could see it from his positions, where he was rapidly bringing up artillery.

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