Explain the snail-like approach used by General Halleck to win the battle against the Confederates in Across Five Aprils.Chapter 7

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After the bloody battle at Pittsburg Landing, General Grant of the Union Army was criticized for not entrenching his troops there.  He was removed to the ineffectual position of assistant commander, with General Halleck taking charge of the field himself for the first time.  General Beauregard of the Confederacy had withdrawn with the remainder of his army to Corinth, and Halleck began a slow, meticulous, "snaillike" pursuit, approaching Corinth in a laborious process of repeatedly marching but a little distance, then stopping to dig entrenchments, which continued over several days.  Since Grant had been criticized for not entrenching at Pittsburg Landing, Halleck seemed "determined to entrench himself all the way from Pittsburg Landing to Corinth".

Because Halleck took so long in his pursuit, Beauregard managed to evacuate his enfeebled army, saving them to fight another day.  Beauregard engineered an effective hoax, leading the Union to believe that hundreds of thousands of Confederate troops awaited Halleck in Corinth by leaving behind burning campfires, "dummy guns with dummy cannoneers behind them...a few drummer boys to play in the deserted streets".

It is true that Halleck occupied Corinth the next day, but by then the city was essentially a ghost-town, and whether his feat could be considered a victory or not remains the subject of debate.  The press suggested that it was Beauregard, by managing to save what was left of his army by taking advantage of Halleck's long, drawn-out strategy, who was the one who won the non-confrontation at Corinth (Chapter 7).

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Across Five Aprils

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