Page:Memoirs of Henry Villard, volume 1.djvu/312

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Buell's Retreat to the Ohio.—1862

GENERAL McCOOK'S division was ordered to occupy Corinth, and his headquarters were moved within the town limits. For ten days after the evacuation, there was great uncertainty as to the future operations of the army, and, after describing the closing scenes of the “siege,” idleness was again my lot. It then became known, however, that General Halleck had determined, with the approval of the Washington authorities, to break up the grand army united under his command. The Army of the Ohio, under Buell, was to enter upon a new campaign through northern Alabama and southeastern Tennessee to East Tennessee, to carry out the long-deferred plan of freeing the loyalists in the latter region from rebel oppression and persecution. The Armies of the Tennessee and Mississippi, under Grant and Pope, were to be employed in holding western Tennessee and northern Mississippi and the adjacent portion of Alabama, and in offensive operations down and west of the Mississippi. In moving eastwardly, Buell's men were to put the Memphis & Charleston Railroad east of Corinth in running order, while the work of repairing the line west of that point was to be undertaken by Grant's troops. The destruction wrought upon it by the rebels between Corinth and Memphis was not very great, as they had to use it up to the evacuation. I received word as early as June 8, if I remember aright, that a construction train that had worked its way from Memphis, which only two days before had fallen into the hands of the Unionists, would reach Corinth and start back the same day. I asked and received permission to go on it. I longed for a change