網頁圖片
PDF

rilla system of warfare, a system so lawless and so utterly unscrupulous as to indicate a desperate condition of affairs among those making use of it. In fact, this mode of fighting for or against a cause was denounced as a species of land piracy and highway robbery, and the men who made themselves prominent and notorious in it— the Morgans, the Forrests, the Ashbys, and the like—were looked upon as leaders of bauds who hesitated not to murder as well as plunder in every direction. War, under any circumstances, is a terrible scourge, and with all the restraints placed upon a regular, organized army, there has ever been room enough for acts of outrage and wrong; but the guerrillas, bound by no law, and under no restraint, carried fear and trembling wherever they went. At oue time they would dash into a town or village, seizing horses, cattle, and stores, shooting Union men and dragging away whom they pleased; at another, they woidd attack railroad trains, plunder the mails, burn the bridges, or fire from ambush upon wagons; though frequently dispersed they would suddenly reappear, and, being men of desperate characters and fortunes, no man felt safe while they were near; the friends of secession sometimes met with no better treatment than those who remained steadfast in their loyalty. By the rapidity of their movements and suddenness of their attacks, these guerrilla bands were able to inflict vast injury upon the Union cause in Kentucky and other portions of the South and West, and they gave great trouble to our gen

erals and commanders on many occasions.

The months of July and August were marked by efforts of guerrilla parties along the borders of Tennessee and Kentucky, and even in the heart of the latter state. Raids and assaults of this particular description became quite common. At day-break, on the morning of July 13th, an unexpected attack was lg62 made upon the Union brigade, under command of Gen. T. T. Crittenden, in charge of Murfreesborough, by a cavalry force over 3,000 in number, led by N. B. Forrest, a fit compeer of Morgan in these flying expeditions. The Union effective force at the place was only about eight hundred. The surprise was complete, and after some weak fighting, our men were compelled to surrender. The prisoners, including Gen. Crittenden, were carried to Chattanooga, and a large quantity of ammunition and stores was brought away or destroyed. Considerable excitement was caused at Nashville by the news of this capture, and though the expedition retired to Chattanooga, whence it had come, the vicinity continued to be much harassed by guerrillas.

At the same time that Murfreesborough was thus surprised, there came a fresh raid into Kentucky, headed by the noted John H. Morgan. Having crossed into Kentucky from Knoxville, with about 900 men, he issued, on the 10th of July, at Glasgow, a proclamation to the inhabitants, and called upon them to give him their aid and countenance. His proclamation was full of highly wrought appeals, and the usual stuff about "northern tyrants," "the On. XXI.j

Hessian invaders,*' the " foreign hordes," etc., and he evidently expected the people to "rise, one and all, and to clear out dear Kentucky's soil of its detested invaders." Morgan pushed rapidly forward to the centre of the state and took possession of Lebanon, where he freely helped himself to supplies from the abundant government commissary stores, and the property of the towns-people. Having destroyed, to a considerable extent, the railroad communication with Cincinnati, Morj gan, on the 17th of July, at the head of a motley force of about 2,000, with two pieces of artillery, fell upon a body of 340 men at Cynthiana, in Harrison county—volunteers and home guards, for the most part poorly armed and undisciplined, under command of Lieut.-Col. Landrum. This officer disposed his little force to the best advantage, placing a number of his men at the bridge over the Licking River, and his single artillery piece, a brass 12pounder, in the public square, commanding the different approaches. The rebels came in by every road, street, and by-path; the force at the bridge was soon dislodged, and a furious cavalry charge having been made into the town it speedily fell into the hands of the enemy.*

A body of mounted infantry was immediately gathered at Lexington and

* Cincinnati, though sixty miles distant, was somewhu excited by the news of tins capture of Cynthiana, and apprehensions were felt for the safety of the line of the Kentucky Central Railroad. Col. Burbank, of the U.S. army, took military command of the city, and volunteer companies' were organized. Martial law was proclaimed at Covington, and every effort was made to hasten the sending troops into the field for the protection of the state. VOL. IV— 28.

217

its vicinity, and placed under Gen. Green Clay Smith, who set out at once in pursuit of the raiders. On coming up with Morgan's cavalry near Paris, he defeated them, retaking the cannon and horses captured at Cynthiana, with a considerable portion of the stolen property. Morgan, though pursued by Smith, made his escape into Tennessee, at the close of July, boasting of his great success in his expedition.

Henderson, on the Ohio, was also occupied by guerrillas at this same date, who crossed over into Indiana and plundered a hospital at Newburg. Russelville, the capital of Logan County, southwest of Bowling Green, was also taken by guerrillas, on the 29th of July < and the same day, Mount Sterling, east of Lexington, was assailed by a body of rebels. These, however, were driven off by the citizens, and pursued to a considerable distance.

Toward the close of the month of August, a large division of the rebel troops in Tennessee threatened an invasion of Kentucky. Gen. E. Kirby Smith, having his headquarters at Knoxville, in East Tennessee, began his advance on the 22d of August. After a very difficult and fatiguing march, Smith entered Kentucky without opposition, and on the 29th, appeared before Richmond, the capital of Madison County, forty-eight miles southeast of Frankfort. Gen. Manson was in command of the Union troops, which, mostly raw and undisciplined, uumbered about 6,500 men. Smith's force was estimated to be very much larger, and, on the 30th of August, after nearly a whole day's fighting, in which our loss was very severe, he succeeded in completely defeating Manson and his troops.

REBEL RAIDING OPERATIONS.

The legislature of the state was at this time in session at Frankfort, and so alarmed were the members by this success of Kirby Smith, that, on Sunday evening, the 31st of August, they passed resolutions to adjourn at once to Louisville. The archives of the state, and about $1,000,000 from the banks of Richmond, Lexington and Frankfort, were transferred during the night to Louisville. A proclamation was also issued by Gov. Robinson, who had recently succeeded Gov. Magoffin, and the people of Kentucky were urgently appealed to in the existing critical state of affairs. "To arms! to anus!" he said; "and never lay them down till the stars and stripes float in triumph throughout Kentucky."

The rebel general, having occupied Lexington and Frankfort without opposition, deemed it proper to issue a proclamation, September 2d, disclaiming entirely any purpose of invasion for the purpose of coercion or control, and asserting that they were come, not as invaders, but liberators.

There was, naturally, not a little excitement in Louisville and Cincinnati in the present threatening aspect of affairs. In the former city, citizens, at the call of the mayor, enrolled themselves for home guards; martial law was declared in the county, and the legislature cooperated with the military authorities in measures for the defence of the state. At Cincinnati, where the danger appeared more pressing, the most vigorous measures were taken for defence. Gen. Lewis Wallace assumed command

IMS.

of Cincinnati, Covington and Newport on the 1st of September. Martial law was declared, and the citizens entered with enthusiasm upon the work of defence and preparations to meet the advancing rebels. So indus triously did they labor that, in a few days, there were not less than ten miles of entrenchments lining the hills and furnished with cannon. For a while it was doubtful what move the rebels would next make. On the 10th of September, it was thought that a battle was imminent, and special activity was displayed in order to be ready for it; but the rebels, finding that there were such means of resistance, and fearing an attack from another quarter, gave up the attempt and retired. Gen. Wallace issued a congratulatory address, but warned the people to be prepared for future emergencies.

It was not long after the failure of Kirby Smith's attempt upon Cincinnati, that a more serious danger presented itself. This arose out of the projected invasion of the North-west by the main army of the rebels in Tennessee, under command of Bragg. Corinth, in Mississippi, it will be remembered, was evacuated by Beauregard, at the end of May (see p. 179), the retreat being continued as far as Tupello, in the same stata Gen. Buell, who had been left by Halleck in command of the Army of the Ohio, after much effort and difficulty, extended his lines eastward along: the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, to Huntsville, Alabama, where he established his headquarters. The rebel general, anticipating a further movement in this direction on BuelPs part C.i. XXI.]

sent a portion of his force to Chattanooga, thus outflanking Buell, and, with Eastern Tennessee already in possession, securing an open route in the rear of Nashville to Kentucky. Finding the guerrilla warfare particui larly annoying, in interfering with his | communications, in destroying railroad bridges, and in various other ways, Buell felt compelled to abandon his line of defence in Northern Alabama, and withdraw his divisions under Nelson, Wood, McCook, Crittenden and Thomas from their several stations to Murfreesborousrh and the line of the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad* On the 19th of August, Clarksville, Tennessee, on the Cumberland Eiver, was surrendered by the officer in command, Col. R. Mason, to an inferior force and without firing a gun. In another direction, to the north-east of Nashville, the famous John Morgan, on the 12th of August, made a dash with his guerrillas upon Gallatin, capturing Col. Boone and four companies of a Kentucky regiment. The place was retaken directly afterwards, and the damage done to the railroad, the bridges, etc., was repaired. On the 22d, Gen. | R. W. Johnson, with about 800 men, attacked Morgan and his raiders near Gallatin, the result of which was, that

Johnson was taken prisoner and, to

* On the 5th of August. Gen. R. L, McCook was murdered by a body of guerrillas near Salom, Ala. He was sick at the time, and travelling in an ambulance, one regiment of his brigade being in advance and the remainder some distance in the rear. Over a hundred guerrillas, lying in ambush, waited the favorable moment of his being at a distance from his men, and rushing upon him, shot him down in cold blood. An able and excellent officer, his death was sincerely lamented by all who knew him, especially the men , under his immediate command.

210

their disgrace, more than half his force was killed or captured.

Successes like these, in various directions, emboldened the guerrillas, and they became more troublesome than ever. Travel ceased to be safe, even near the capital; the mails were robbed; Union men were seized and dragged off; and quite frequently small detachments of Union troops were suddenly set upon and killed or made prisoners. The state of things became intolerable, and in the western part of Kentucky, they resolved to hang every guerrilla that was caught. In addition to the men who served under Morgan, Forrest, and such like, there was a class of marauders who followed or accompanied them, a desperate band, who spared neither sex nor age, and who plundered and ravaged all alike. The same process of guerrilla warfare was carried on against boats on the Mississippi, who were signaled to come near the shore, as if for passengers or freight, and then fired into from ambush, or seized and plundered. At Randolph, on the Mississippi, an outrage of this kind was perpetrated, which led Gen. Sherman to send a force from Memphis and completely destroy the place.

The movement of the Army of the Ohio was now in a northerly direction, parallel with the advance of Bragg through Middle Tennessee toward Kentucky.* Bragg leaving Chattanooga on the 21st of August, followed up the

* The principal object of the present rebel invasion was to obtain supplies of meat, the deficiency of which the disloyal states were feeling already very keenly. It was hoped also, that by means of a largo military force within her borders, Kentucky might be coaxed or compelled to cast in her lot with secession and rebellion.

GUERRILLA ROBBERS AND MURDERERS.

Valley of the Sequatchie to Pikeville, thence to Sparta, threatening Buell's army, and pursuing his route by Carthage, entered Kentucky the first week in September, just after Kirby Smith had gained possession of Frankfort. At Glasgow, on the 18th of September, Bragg issued a proclamation, in substance the same as those issued by Morgan and Kirby Smith, making the same pretensions and asking the same returns.

A few days before this, there was a sharp engagement between the advance of Buckner's division of Bragg's army, and the Union troops, 3,000 in number, stationed at Munfordsville, on Green River, where the Louisville and Nashville Railroad crosses. The rebels demanded the surrender of the place, which was refused by Col. Wilder, the commander of the troops. An attack was made at daylight, which was repulsed with considerable slaughter. The fight was renewed two days later, and continued till the close of the day. As Bragg was near with his main force, Col. Dunham, then in command, surrendered the place, on the 17th of September; his force amounting to about 4,500 in all, together with 10 guns.

Bragg next advanced to Bardstown, where on the 26th, he issued another proclamation addressed to the people of the North-west. In this document, which was a curious mixture of argument, entreaty and threatening, Bragg gave expression to the sentiments which were largely entertained by the rebel leaders at the time. It was an elaborate effort to stir up sectional strife and division, begging them to put a stop to

the war, as they had the power, and to refuse to let the East grow rich by tariffs and the like, imposed on them as well as on the South. Very possibly. Bragg and his fellow laborers in a bad cause, may have thought that the inhabitants of the North-west might be persuaded to aid them in their designs by appealing to motives of self-interest and narrow and unworthy prejudices; but, if so, they were grievously disappointed. On the contrary, the loyal supporters of the Union were nerved to fresh and determined efforts to put down the rebellion.

Gen. Morgan, who held the important post at Cumberland Gap (see p. 180), was cut off from his usual sources of supply by the invasion of Kentucky under Bragg. During two months from the date of the occupation of the Gap, Gen. Morgan had bravely maintained his position; but apprehension of famine, and of being finally compelled to surrender, induced him, while he had opportunity, to make good his retreat. Accordingly, on the 17th of September, he gave orders for the evacuation. The military buildings, and all the stores which could not readily be carried away, were burnt. The escape of Morgan and his troops along a wild mountain track of 250 miles, through the counties of Eastern Kentucky, by way of Manchester, Hazel Green, West Liberty and Grayson, to the Ohio at Green upsburg, where they arrived on the 3d of October, was one of the most perilous adventures of the war, beset, as they were, by the enemy, by Marshall's and Smith's divisions, on whose flank they

« 上一頁繼續 »