War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0441 Chapter XXIX. CORINTH.

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had been carried do you think the situation of affairs would have enabled the armies of General Bragg and this to have united or cooperated in such a way so to have held the State of Tennessee at least for several months?

Answer. I think it more likely that it would have enabled us to have held Tennessee.

Question. Pointing to the present base of operations of the enemy, with the Mississippi River to Memphis, the Tennessee River to Florence the railroad to Corinth, the railroad to Grand Junction, and the railroad from Memphis to Corinth and Florence, and the advantage of such a base to them, do you think the advantages that would have been given to our cause by the taking of Corinth warranted more than the usual hazard of battle?

Answer. Yes; I think it warranted more than the usual hazard of battle, yet I was of the opinion that the hazard would have, been much less to have delayed the attack a few days and to have received the re-enforcements which I supposed to be then on their way from Jackson.

Question. Was there when we formed our junction at Ripley any certainty as to when the returned prisoners would be ready to take the field? I allude to those then being fitted out at Jackson.

Answer. I do not know that there was any certainty as to the precise time they would reach us, but I understood from General Van Dort that he ordered that the troops, should be forwarded as rapidly as they could be organized into regiments, and I know that arms had been furnished hence I could not see any good reason for much delay.

Question. What number of returned prisoners did this army receive and when were they received and when were they ready for the field?

Answer. I do not know exactly; I think between 7,000 and 8,000. I know that I had furnished over 8,000 arms them myself, or that my ordnance officer so reported to me. I think it was the impression of General Van Dorn at the time that with Waul's Legion, together with the returned prisoners, he would receive between 12,000 and 15,000. I do not know, but I think the army found them at Holly Springs on our returned from Corinth. I do not know when they were organized, but in an emergency I should have considered them ready for the field when they got guns in their hands. I presume they were organized into regiments before they got to Holly Springs. I do not know what were their means of transportation.

Question. In favoring the policy of delay for a time before making the attack on Corinth did you suppose the enemy would be less re-enforced or strengthened in the interval than we?

Answer. I was of that opinion.

Question. Did you hear from any source that the enemy were strengthening their works or that they were getting accessions to their ranks?

Answer. I learned from scouts that they had been a short time previous strengthening their works, and that they had been sending off their old and drilled troops and receiving new levies in their stead. The receiving of new troops and sending off the old ones I did not believe after my march upon Iuka, but the that scouts had been deceived by the frequent movements of their troops from point in the vicinity of Corinth.

Question. When you heard of the doubtful position of Bragg in Kentucky, or rather the uncertainty of his being able to hold Kentucky on account of the great numbers of the enemy in his front, were you impressed with the importance of this army doing something immediately to aid him?

Answer. I thought it important that we should, as soon as we could with safety to our army, move forward through West Tennessee and re-enforce General Bargg and