Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 7.djvu/546

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On June 20th, General Braxton Bragg succeeded Beauregard in permanent command of Department No. 2, including all of Mississippi, and the work of reorganization of the army at Tupelo continued. On July 2d he assigned General Van Dorn to the command of the district of the Mississippi, embracing all the State west of Pearl river and the Mississippi Central railroad; and Gen. John H. Forney to the district of the Gulf, all the country east of the Pearl river to the Apalachicola, and as far north as the thirty-second parallel, about the latitude of Quitman. General Polk was made second in command under Bragg, and the immediate command of the army of the Mississippi was given to General Hardee.

On June 10th, Chalmers, promoted brigadier-general, had been assigned to command of all the cavalry in front of the army of the Mississippi. On June 30th he was ordered to make a feint on Rienzi, to cover a movement of the Reserve corps toward Ripley, by which it was hoped to destroy the Memphis & Charleston railroad to the west of Corinth. Chalmers encountered Col. P. H. Sheridan's brigade of cavalry on the morning of July 1st, near Booneville, and a stubborn fight followed which lasted during most of the day and resulted in Chalmers retiring from the field. Sheridan was entitled to great credit for withstanding Chalmers, but some unmerited glory was attached to his name by the exaggerated reports of the strength of the Confederate force. On July 1st and 5th there were minor affairs near Holly Springs and at Hatchie Bottom, of which there are no official reports.

Meanwhile there had been important changes in the Federal army. Halleck, having achieved fame through the occupation of Corinth, was called to Washington to take the position of general-in-chief, and Grant was put in command of all troops west of the Tennessee river, with instructions to send Thomas into Tennessee to reinforce Buell, who had previously left Corinth to oper-