taken in the vicinity of Corinth, answering the same purpose, Generals Johnston, Bragg, and myself were unable to discover it.
Question. No. 4. What was the cause of the sickness at Camp Corinth? Would it have been avoided by occupying the higher grounds in front? Has it been corrected by retiring to the present position?
Answer No. 4. There were several causes for this sickness. 1st. The want of good water. 2d. The want of proper food, the salt meat furnished to the troops being often not fit to eat; also the almost total want of fresh beef and vegetables, beef having been furnished once a week or every ten days, instead of five times a week, as ordered. The Commissary-General assured General Johnston a few days before the battle of Shiloh that he had made ample provisions for the supply of fresh beef to this army, and requested that the matter should be left solely to his own (Colonel Northrop's) agents. This supply has since been ascertained to have been about 16,000 head of poor cattle, collected in the parish of Calcasieu, Louisiana, for the purpose of fattening, and now substantially cut off by the fall of the Mississippi River into the hands of the enemy. Every efforts is now being made by the commissary of Department No. 2 to relieve the wants of the troops. I will mention here that some of our own troops were affected with the commencement of scurvy. It is doubtful in my mind whether the health of the army would have been much benefitted by the occupation of the hills referred to, even had it been practicable in a military point of view. General Van Dorn's army corps occupied the hills 3 or 4 miles southeast of Corinth (a beautiful location to look at), but was as sickly as the troops located nearer the depot. The present position at Tupelo (on the verge of the prairies) is considered very healthy; the water appears very good, a greater quantity of cattle are being obtained from the vicinity, and a marked improvement seemed to have already taken place in the condition of the troops when I left there on the 17th inst.
Question. No. 5. Was it at no time practicable to have cut the enemy's line of communication, so as to compel him to abandon the Tennessee River or to permit us to reoccupy Nashville?
Answer No. 5. If it had been possible to effect either object I would not haven been slow in attempting it. I shall never be caused of being too slow in taking the offensive or in carrying the "war into Africa" whenever practicable with any prospect of success. Several attempts were made by me about the beginning of May (especially on the 9th and 23d) to draw the enemy out of his intrenched positions and separate his closed masses for a battle, but he was too prudent to separate from his heavy guns and his adopted system of regular approaches. He steadily declined coming to an engagement until he had accumulated all his available forces in front of Corinth.
Question No. 6. What means were employed after the fall of Island No. 10 to prevent the descent of the Mississippi River by the enemy's gunboats? What dispositions were made to defend Memphis, and what was the cause of a failure to preserve that most important of our lines of communication?
Answer No. 6. By fortifying Fort Pillow, as was done, and sending there the best troops and most energetic young officer at my command, Brigadier-General Willepigue, who with batteries effectually defied and held at bay enemy's gun and mortar boats as long as the operations of the campaign permitted him to hold that position. The best way to defend Memphis, having no forces or guns to send there, was to hold Fort Pillow and Corinth. Its fate had necessarily to follow that of those tow places,which fell, like so many other most important positions,