of the army, heard repeated explosions, doubtless caused by the blowing up the magazines. Nothing of any use to us whatever was found, not even a quaker gun. These were of no use, however, at Corinth, as they could not have been seen by us.
The retreat of the enemy was conducted in the best of order. Before our men had entered the place all had got off safely. General Halleck has thus achieved one of the most barren triumphs of the war. In fact, it is tantamount to a defeat. It gives the enemy an opportunity to select a new position as formidable as that at Corinth, and in which it will be far more difficult for us to attack him, on account of the distance our army will have to transport its supplies. Supposing the enemy take up their second position of defense at Grand Junction, about 60 miles from here, 4,000 additional wagons will be required. At $113 each this would involve an expense of nearly $500,000 to say nothing of mules, pay of teamsters, forage, &c. Then there is the fatigue to our men, the attacks of guerrilla parties in our rear,&c. I look upon the evacuation there as a victory for Beauregard, or at least as one of the most masterly pieces of strategy that has been displayed during this war. It prolongs the contest in the Southwest for at least six months.
It is rumored that the main body of the rebels is stationed at Kossuth, a few miles from Corinth, while some 25,000 have gone on to Grand Junction, which the enemy have been fortifying for some time past.
Up to last night the enemy kept up a display of force along his whole line, thus completely deceiving our generals.
I learn that the lines of fortification at Corinth are numerous and formidable, but I have yet no authentic statement of their real strength and condition.
General Halleck must feel deeply mortified at the evacuation. It clearly shows that he knew nothing of the position and strength of the enemy and of his ulterior designs. This in a great measure arises from the exclusion of contrabands from the camp. If this war is ever to be brought to a close it must be by making use of the negro in every possible way.
[Correspondence of the Cincinnati Commercial.]
General McCook's division preliminary to the evacuation of Corinth.
EDITORS OF THE COMMERCIAL:
CORINTH, MISS., May 20, 1862.
I have only time for a very brief epistle before the mail goes, and luckily I have not much to say:
* * * * * *
On Wednesday night breastworks were thrown up and Terrill's battery planted on an eminence in the woods about 700 yards from the rebel works. The position being secured, it was enlarged upon and strengthened yesterday - W. T. Sherman's (late Thomas') division moving up in line on the right and Nelson's on the left of McCook.
On the day the Second Division moved out, advances, with heavy cannonading, were made by Thomas on the right and Pope on the left, but not a response in kind was elicited from the enemy. During that night we could hear teams being driven off and boxes being nailed in the rebel camp. Deserters, however, I understand, reported that they