[merged small][ocr errors]

were moving. Much suffering and privation, from want of water and supplies of food, were cheerfully undergone, and having saved their cannon, which were dragged the whole of the distance by oxen and mules, 10,000 men, with 28 pieces of artillery and 400 wagons, marched in safety to the Ohio.

Buell, leaving Nashville in charge of Gen. Negley, had followed Bragg's invading force closely on its route into Kentucky, and re occupied Munfordsville. While the rebel general was making his way toward Frankfort, Buell marched by the main road into Louisville, where the advance arrived on the 25th of September. Here, in and around the city, he found a considerable body of raw troops, hastily gathered from Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, under the command of Gen. Nelson, who, it may here be mentioned, was shot a few days afterwards in a rencontre with Gen. J. C. Davis.

Some confusion and trouble arose for a while, out of the bringing together of troops, and the apparent conflict of authority between officers belonging to the armies of Ohio and Kentucky. In due time matters were brought to a settlement; Kentucky was withdrawn from the department of Ohio, and the army of Gen. Buell was organized in three corps, under the command respectively of Gens. A. McD. McCook, T. L. Crittenden and C. C. Gilbert. Gen. Thomas was second in command of the whole. On the 1st of October, Buell left Louisville with an army of about 100,000 men, in pursuit of Bragg and his army of invasion. On the 4th, he reached Bardstown, which had been

evacuated by Bragg the day before, and on the 6th, he arrived at Springfield, sixty-two miles from Lexington. There were frequent skirmishing and contests with the rebel army's rear guard, Bragg being twenty-four hours in advance of our troops and steadily gaining. Buell learned, on the 7th of October, that the enemy were in force at Perryville, forty-two miles south of Frankfort. He determined to surround the enemy, if possible, and accordingly ordered the three army corps which were marching upon Perryville by different roads, to advance without any delay. McCook and Gilbert continued their march without interruption, but Crittenden lost half a day in searching for water.

Bragg had already begun his retreat from Perryville, but hearing of Crittenden's delay on the march, he resolved to fight McCook and Gilbert and defeat them, and then fall upon Crittenden. Accordingly, Hardee's corps was recalled to Perryville, and McCook, wholly unexpectedly, on the morning of the 8th of October, found the rebels in front of him, prepared for an assault. Taken by surprise, with raw, inefficient troops, McCook's corps was, in a few hours, badly cut up and compelled to fall back nearly a mile. Reinforcements were promptly ordered up; but night coming on, the fight ceased. Crittenden's corps arrived in the evening, and early the next day, it was ascertained that Bragg had retreated. The loss in killed and wounded, in the battle of Perryville or Chaplin's Hills, was severe, numbering, according to Buell's report, about 4,000. The rebel loss, so far as known, was fully as severe as ours.

Bragg having now some 60,000 men, it was expected that he would make a stand at Camp Dick Robinson, on Dick River. Buell's plan was to make a feint of attacking in front, while the real attack was to be made on the flanks. Crittenden was to advance in front, and McCook and Gilbert to approach by different roads so as to cut off Bragg's escape, and compel him to fight or surrender. Bragg seems to have divined Buell's purpose, and on the night of the 11th of October, evacuated Camp Dick Robinson, having as spoils which he was anxious to secure, 4.000 wagons with the mark "U. S." upon them, and some 5,000 head of cat. tie, 1,000 mules and as many sheep. So soon as Buell learned the fact of Bragg's retreat, he ordered immediate pursuit by the army encamped near Danville. The rebels, however. possessed such superior knowledge of the country, and were so skilful in availing themselves of every advantage, that the rear guard of Bragg was able to hold in check the advance of our troops and prevent their doing any material injury to the retreating army. Bragg kept the road toward Cumberland Gap, and retired in the direction of Crab Orchard. On the 14th of October, our army set out early for this latter place, but were delayed by sagacious manoeuvres of the enemy, and their advance hindered for several hours. Crittenden's corps, with W. S. Smiths division, urged on the pursuit as rapidly and as well as the difficult way, often passing through narrow defiles, admitted; it was kept

up on the direct road as far as Loudon, and on the branch road to Manchester. Further than this it was deemed, by Buell, inexpedient and useless to continue the pursuit.

The invasion of Kentucky was certainly successful in the matter of ob-! taining a large amount of supplies and stores of various kinds; but in other respects it was a failure. The Kentuckians did not rally around the rebel standard, and evidently preferred to remain in their true and proper place in the Union. Pollard, angered at the "abject attitude " of those who "dragged the names of Maryland and Ken tucky in the dust," cannot but admit "that the South was bitterly disap pointed in the manifestations of public sentiment in Kentucky, and that the exhibitions of sympathy in this state were meagre and sentimental, and amounted to but little practical aid of our cause."* He strives to find a reason for all this, but in vain. Kentucky, as a whole, was loyal; and yet Jeff. Davis had the assurance to claim this state as a member of his so-called "confederacy."

Grant, as we have stated (see p. 180) was in charge of the department of I Western Tennessee, including the region between the Tennessee River 1869 and the Mississippi. A portion of his force having been withdrawn to give encouragement and assistance to the newly-levied troops at Louisville.; Kentucky, the rebels were induced to appear in strong force and threaten Grant's several lines of communication. A demonstration of this kind, by a large

• "Second Year of the War," pp. 162-163.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

body of rebel cavalry, under Armstrng was made August 30th, against Bolivar I in Tennessee, for the purpose of severing I the railroad at that point. They were met, when within five miles of Bolivar, by Col. Legget, with a body of Ohio troops numbering about 900. Although the enemy were estimated to be at least 4,000 strong, yet our men bravely resisted their advance, and compelled them, after a seven hours' engagement, to move off in another [ direction. Armstrong next attacked a 1 detachment of our troops, on the railroad at Medon, August 31st; and again, the following day, at Britton's Lane; but iu both cases he was repulsed with severe loss, and our men remained in possession of the field.

Early in September, it became evident that the rebels, under Sterling Price, were preparing to advance and break the line of communication between Grant and Buell, in order that, having crossed the Tennessee, they might operate to advantage on the flank of Buell's army, in concert with the advance of Bragg to Kentucky. Iuka, a small town on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, twenty miles southeast of Corinth, had been seized upon by the rebels, and was now occupied by Price in force. This led to iteps at once, on the part of Grant and Rosecrans, who, in dislodging Price from his position, resolved to make a double attack. It was decided that a column of 18,000 men, under Grant and Ord, should move by way of Burnsville, and attack Price, while Rosecrans, moving by way of Jacinto with part of his corps, was to attack

the enemy on the flank, and push for. ward the balance of his column on the Fulton road, so as to cut off Price's retreat, in case he should attempt itWith this understanding, on the morning of September 18th, the army began its movement. Stanley's and Hamil ton's divisions, under Rosecrans, left Clear Creek, amid a drenching rain, and after a fatiguing march, bivouacked that night at Jacinto. At dawn the next day, they were again on the march, and about ten o'clock, the advance of Hamilton's division came upon the pickets of the enemy at Barnett's Corners. A sharp skirmish ensued, which resulted in driving them six miles toward Iuka.

The entire column having now arrived at Barnett's Corners, Rosecrans waited, according to previous understanding, for the sound of Grant's artillery, as the signal for him to move forward; but after the lapse of two hours, he received a dispatch from Grant, then only seven miles from Iuka, that he was waiting for Rosecrans to commence the battle. Immediately the column was moved forward until within two miles of Iuka, where the enemy were discovered posted on a broad ridge commanding the country for some distance. A sharp fire was opened upon the skirmishers as they advanced, under which Hamilton's division came up and formed in line. The engagement speedily became general, and continued for two hours, when darkness prevented a continuance of the fight. It was a fierce contest, and brought out the bravery and spirit of the troops, who lay on their arms, expecting the next morning to renew the battle. During the night, however, the rebels evacuated Iuka, and, though pursued actively, made good their escape to Bay Spring. The troops under Grant and Ord, which left Corinth at the same time when Rosecrans marched, reached Burnsville in the afternoon. The next day, they pushed forward until they came up with the rebel pickets; but no attack was made. The morning following, September 20th, a flag of truce was sent to the rebel camp, which did not return until late in the day; and thus Grant's troops did not engage the enemy as was expected.

Having met with a repulse at Iuka, the rebels now determined to make a vigorous onset on Corinth, where were Rosecrans's headquarters, and where he was anxiously expecting their advance. Price, it was understood, had marched to the vicinity of Ripley, where he was joined by Van Dorn, with all the available troops in North Mississippi. Thence the joint force proceeded northerly, and struck the line of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, in Tennesse, in the rear of Corinth, at Pocahontas. There they were able to menace alike Grant, at his headquarters at Jackson, and Rosecrans at Corinth; and made their advance upon the latter place by way of the Chewalla road.

Rosecrans, who was in command at Corinth, Grant being at Jackson, and Ord at Bolivar, had made his preparations for an attack, and had so arranged his defences that if the enemy could be drawn under them he was certain of their defeat. On the approach of the

rebels, troops were sent out to meet them, and during the 30th of September and the 1st and 2d of October thert* was constant skirmishing kept up on both sides. On the 3d, the rebel force was largely increased, and our men were driven back, with great loss, to the defences of the town. Rosecrans and his staff were on the field all night, making final preparations to receive the enemy, and nothing was neglected that seemed necessary to insure victory.*

At early dawn, on Saturday, October 4th, the rebels showed themselves eager for the fight, and in the course of an hour or two the battle was begun in earnest by a force numbering nearly 40,000 men. Price led the one wing and Van Dorn the other. Price assaulted the right of our force with in-: tense fury and determination; but so skilfully had Rosecrans arranged his batteries, and so bravely were the rebels met by our men, that Price's advance was repulsed before Van Dorn was able to come up on the left. The attempt was made to recover what was lost, and with valor worthy of a better cause Van Dorn's men strove for success; but in vain. They were beaten in the bloody struggle, and by noon of the same day began their retreat Pursuit was undertaken as speedily as possible, the enemy taking the Chew

* Van Dorn, it seems, like Pope, (p. 213) was rash enough on Friday evening, to send a dispatch to Richmond, announcing a gloriou3 victory, before the battle was ended. Pollard finds it hard to excuse " an exultation so hasty and extreme." He is also very severe on "the blind and romantic generalship, which carried them (the rebels) into the jaws of destruction." —" Second Year of the War," pp. 164-167.

| Go. XXI.J

alia road, purposing to cross the Tuscumbia River, near Pocahontas. A detachment sent forward to protect the Hatchie River bridge, two miles from that across the Tuscumbia, was attack

i ed on the 4th, the day of the battle, by eur troops under Ord and Hurlbut, and defeated. Our losses in this hotly contested bat

| tie were severe, viz.: 315 killed, 1,812 . wounded, and 232 prisoners; the rebel loss was much greater, Rosecrans es

; timating it at some 5,000 to 6,000. ■ After this second battle at Corinth, the troops returned to their respective positions. No immediate advance into Mississippi was undertaken by Grant,

j he being content to keep open his communieai-;yns with Columbus, and hold his positions at Jackson and Bolivar in 1 Western Tennessee. At the beginning of December, he took possession

1| "of Holly Springs, on the Missis| sippi Central Railroad, and advanced some miles beyond to confront Van Dorn, on the Tallahatchie River. To

■' cooperate with this movement and to act on the rebel flank, an expedition set out from Helena, Arkansas, Nov. 27th,

'I under command of Gen. A. P. Hovey, consisting of about 6,000 infantry and 2,000 cavalry. The latter, commanded by Gen. C. C. Washburn, crossed the low alluvial bottom land from Delta, below Helena, on the Mississippi, and reached the Tallahatchie River at its junction with the Cold water, the evening of the uext day. Having construct! ed a bridge across the Tallahatchie, he pushed on towards Grenada, and early on Nov. 30th, was at Preston, sixteen miles from Grenada. Parties were sent

VOL IV.—53.


out who destroyed several bridges, and the telegraph wires, on the Mississippi and Tennessee, and the Mississippi and Central Railroad. At Mitchell's Crossroads he received a reinforcement from Gen. Hovey of about 1,200 men and four pieces of artillery. A few days after, he fell in with a body of Texan cavalry at Oakland, and captured a number of prisoners, horses, arms, etc. Here he received a dispatch from Hovey, recalling him to Helena, whither he returned, having in six days marched 200 miles in a hostile country, surrounded by enemies.

About the middle of December, another cavalry expedition was undertaken by Col. T. L. Dickey, by Grant's order, against the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. It was equally successful with that by Washburn, and to use Dickey's words, "we marched about 200 miles, worked two days at the railroad, captured about 150 prisoners, destroyed thirty-four miles of important railroad and a large amount of public stores of the enemy, and returned, passing round an enemy of nine to our one, without having a man killed, wounded or captured."

Grant did not press the pursuit of the rebels beyond Grenada, in consequence of the bad roads and difficulty of getting supplies. The rebels, how ever, found means of annoying him, by attacks on his long line of communication through Western Tennessee to Columbus. Towards the end of December, they made successful raids upon various points, Holly Springs, Davis's Mills, in the vicinity of Jackson, Tennessee, and upon Humboldt and Tren


« 上一頁繼續 »