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Cir. XXIV.]




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miles from Vicksburg. Above and occupied the whole of the 26th of Debelow the city, from Haines' Bluff on cember, and it did not reach the scene the Yazoo to Warrenton on the Missis- of operations until the morning of the sippi, there was a line of hills, which 27th. Blair's brigade and Morgan's with the swamps and lagoons in front division, meanwhile, had advanced on afforded the rebels an excellent means the left by different routes, and came

fence. Sherman sent out recon- into position nearly side by side. A noitring parties, who speedily ascertain masked battery of the enemy was sou ed and reported that, owing to its ad- silenced, and the soldiers bivouacked vantage of position and the defences on the field, ready to renew the attack provided by the enemy, any attempt in the morning. to take Vicksburg from this direction, · During the night, the rebels were that is, in the rear, would be attended busily occupied in strengthening their with very great difficulty. At the out- position by rifle pits, breastworks, etc.; set, the fleet was hindered in its endea. and early on Sunday morning, Decemvors to ascend the Yazoo, by a formid.ber 28th, they began a heavy cannonable battery at Haine's Bluff, to silence ade upon Blair's and Morgan's troops. which it would be necessary to make The conflict having been renewed in a fresh attack upon it from the river, the front, the enemy were driven across preparatory to an advance of the army the Chickasaw Bayou, and our troops in front.

by night were in position south of the This occurred on the morning of De- bayou, with one bridge completed and ceinber 27th. The entire force of Sher two others partly constructed. Steele, man was drawn up in line of battle, as above stated, had pushed forward and prepared to make the assault at his command ; but after three most different points. Gen. M. L. Smith's vigorous attempts to get at the enemy division took the advance, and, moving by the only means of approach—a rapidly, encountered the rebels about narrow lane or causeway-exposed to a mile from Chickasaw Bayou, which the full fire of the rebel artillery, be empties into the Mississippi. Severe gave it up, and by Sherman's orders skirmishing followed; but, though the returned to the river, landed on


. rebels, protected by rifle pits and abat. the lower side of the Chickatis, contested every inch of the road, saw, and held the extreme left, acting they were slowly pushed backward as a reserve. Blair's brigade took positoward the bayou. A portion of Gen. tion on Morgan's right, and at the exSteele's division had, the evening be-treme right was A. J. Smith's division. fore, landed above the bayou, for the At daylight on the 29th, the enemy's purpose of taking a battery in the rear, batteries began to fire on Morgan's which commanded the point of cross- | position, but with little effect, although ing on the extreme right. Owing to the cannonade was kept up during the the mud and other difficulties, the land forenoon. The plan was, after throwing of this portion of Steele's division ing bridges across the bayou, to make

VOL. IV 32

a concerted assault on the bluffs. examination, was given up without a Blair's brigade had crossed the bayou trial. before it turned along the bluffs, and As it was part of the original plan was in a position at the front of the of attack upon Vicksburg, that Grant hill, with a small abattis and a deep should assail the place in the rear while ditch between it and the point intend- Sherman was making the attack in ed to be assailed. Sherman not having front, and as Grant was unable to fulfil appointed any hour for the assault, his part, in consequence of his comMorgan acted on his own responsibility, munications being cut off, it was not and ordered Blair to advance. After surprising that Sherman failed in capa severe struggle, the rebels were driven turing this important stronghold. Posfrom their first line of rifle pits, and a sibly, with Grant's co-operation, the charge having been made upon the plan might have been successfully second line, the rebels were again rout- carried out; but, under existing cir. ed and driven into a thicket or grove cumstances, Sherman resolved to withof willows. Our men, in a hand to draw, and on Thursday night, January hand conflict, drove them from the 1st, 1863, and the next morning, the thicket, and took possession of it, but troops were embarked and moved down were in turn forced to retire from the to the mouth of the Yazoo. “The en. heavy cannonade of the batteries on tire loss in killed, wounded, and miss. the hill,

ing was reported at nearly 2,000. Gen. Atter suffering terrible loss in the McClernand met Sherman at the mouth effort to gain the crest of the hill, Blair of the river, assumed the command, and

eemed it best to fall back to his posi- ordered the forces to Milliken's Bend, tion on the right of Morgan. Stuart's about twelve miles up the Mississippi. division met with severe treatment in On the 4th of January, 1863, Sher. constructing bridges over the bayou, man issued an order, announcing some and only one regiment crossed over. changes in the army arrangements, and During the night, the regiment was giving the troops high praise for the brought back without loss. Notwith good service they had rendered and standing the failure of the assault on the manly spirit which they always the left, Gen. Sherman resolved to try displayed. another; but it was not deemed ex- A few weeks after the second battle pedient the next morning to attempt of Corinth (October 4th), Rosecrans to carry it out. The Yazoo swamps took command of the Army of the were entirely impracticable; and on Cumberland. It was composed of what consulting with Admiral Porter, it was remained of the late Army of the Ohio, proposed to make a combined naval and commanded by Bueli, strengthened and land attack on the extreme rebel right, increased by new but raw levies, and so as to gain a position on the bluffs was in direct succession of that brave and force the enemy hack upon Vicks-body of men who, under Anderson, burg. The design, however, on further Sherman and Buell, had repeatedly de

Cil. XXIV.]



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fended Kentucky against invasion, and army, reached Nashville on the 10th had carried its victorious banners of November, and took up his position through Tennessee to the heart of the in front of the city. At the close of eneiny's country.

the month, the railroad communication The new department of the Cumber- from Louisville was completed, and the land, in which the army was now to balance of the year 1862 was occupied be employed, comprised all the state in gathering supplies, organizing and of Tennessee lying east of the Tennes disciplining the troops, etc. The rebels, see River, and such portions of North on their part, determined to drive out ern Alabama and Georgia as should be Rosecrans, and before the close of Nooccupied by the forces of the United vember, they had advanced a large States. Rosecrans arrived at Louis- force to Murfreesborough ; they num. ville, Kentucky, on the 27th of Octo- bered, in all, 45,000 effective men, ber, and entered at once upon the duties under the command of Braxton Bragg. of his command. The work of prepar. A large cavalry force was sent by ation for the intended campaign was Bragg into West Tennessee to cut off vigorously begun, and carried forward Grant's communications, and another as rapidly as possible; the troops were large force, under Morgan, into Ken. drilled, disciplined and rendered effec- tucky, to break up the railroads. In tive; equipments, arms, horses and the absence of these forces, and with stores of every kind were collected adequate supplies in Nashville, it was without delay; and steps were taken judged an opportune moment for an to restore the broken line of communi- advance on the rebels. Rosecrans's cation with Nashville as speedily as plan was well and carefully prepared, was practicable. Louisville being the and every step was taken to insure sucreal base of operations, distant 183 cess over the enemy at Murfreesbomiles from Nashville, it was necessary, rough. In endeavoring to carry out particularly in the low state of the the contemplated movements, it was Cumberland River, to re-open and re-determined, on the night of Christmas, pair the railroad between the two to enter on the work the next day. places. This was accomplished as far Accordingly, on Friday morning, De. as Mitchellsville, thirty-five miles north cember 26th, at daylight, the troops of Nashville, by the 8th of November. I broke up camp, and McCook advanced On the 1st of November, Rosecrans on the Nolinsville Pike. Sharp skirmoved to Bowling Green, Kentucky, mishing ensued; the rebels, though and, on the 5th, three divisions of Mc- resisting stoutly, were steadily driven, Cook's corps advanced by this route and, by the close of the day, McCook towards Nashville. The commanders gained possession of Nolinsville and of corps were, Gens. Thomas, McCook, the hills in front. Thomas followed Rousseau and Crittenden.

on the right, leaving Rousseau's di. Rosecrans, who followed McCook's vision on the right flank. Crittenden advance with the remainder of the advanced to Lavergne, skirmishing heavily on his front. The next day, forests. During the night, it became McCook advanced on Triune, but his evident that they were massing on the movement was retarded by a dense fog. right of Rosecrans, who made at once On reaching Triune, he found that the best preparation in his power to Hardee had retreated, and sent a divi. meet the impending struggle. His sion in pursuit. Crittenden began his plan was to hold the right wing, giv. advance about eleven, A.M., driving the ing ground a little if necessary, and enemy before him, and by a gallant meanwhile to push forward his left, so charge upon the rear guard of the as not only to occupy Murfreesborough, enemy, saving the bridge over Stew. but to get into the flank and rear of art's Creek. This, and another bridge the rebels. At daylight the next across the same creek on the Murfrees- morning, December 31st, the attack borough turnpike, came into possession was begun by the rebels. The weather of our troops, and by night the columns was foggy, and our troops appear to were all closed up.

have been taken somewhat by surprise. On Sunday, December 28th, the main The entire front was assaulted at once, body of the troops rested, and the next the rebels rapidly advancing in double morning McCook moved to within columns; and so determined and enerseven miles of Murfreesborough, which getic was their fighting, that, despite he reached at the close of the day. the efforts of the division commanders, Crittenden crossed Stewart's Creek and Davis, Sheridan, and Johnson, in an moved within three miles of Murfrees. hour's time they captured two batteries borough, having had several brisk skir. and compelled our troops to give way. mishes, and forced the rebels back into Their object was to turn Rosecrans's their entrenchments. Negley advanc- right flank, but they did not succeed ed to the centre, and Rousseau's divi- in this. sion was placed in reserve, on the right in this posture of affairs, Rousseau of Crittenden.

was ordered into the cedar brakes to On Tuesday morning, December the right and rear of Sheridan. Van 30th, McCook moved forward, slowly Cleve's and Wood's movements were and steadily fighting his way into posi- suspended, and these, together with tion with considerable loss. Our cav. Harker and his brigade, hurried alry force, about 3,000 in number, did to McCook's help. The pioneer brigood service, but met with heavy re gade meanwhile occupied the knoll of sistance. McCook joined Thomas on ground west of Murfreesborough pike, the Wilkinson's pike in the afternoon; and about 400 or 500 yards in rear Sheridan was in position near Grei- of Palmer's centre, supporting Ste kes's son's; and Hardee's corps, with a part battery. Sheridan, after sustaining of Polk's, was in McCook's front. The four successive attacks, gradually swung rebels had the advantage of strong na- his right from a scuth-easterly to north. tural fortifications, and their centre was westerly direction, repulsing the enemy effectually masked by the dense cedar | four times. After desperate fighting




lis brigades fell back from the position very heavy; we had also lost twentyheld at the commencement, through the eight pieces of artillery, the horses cedar woods, in which Rousseau's divi- having been killed, and the troops being sion, with a portion of Negley's and unable, in the position of affairs, to Sheridan's, met the advancing enemy withdraw them by hand over the rough and checked his movements. The am ground. But the rebels had been m:inition train of the right wing, severely handled, and had not obtain. endangered by its sudden discomfiture, ed any success which did not depend was safely brought through the woods on the original driving in of our right to the rear of the left wing, thus en wing. Orders were given for the issue abling Sheridan's troops to replenish of all the spare ammunition; and Rose their empty cartridge boxes. During crans determined to rest his extreme all this time, Palmer's front had been left on Stone River, above the lower in action, the enemy having made seve. ford, and extending to Stokes's battery ral attempts to advance upon it. McCook was posted on the left of

The line of battle was readjusted to Sheridan near the Murfreesborough meet the new condition of affairs. The pike, relieving Van Cleve, who, the right and centre of the line were now next morning, returned to his extended from Hazen to the Murfrees

in the left wing. Rosecrans resolved borough pike in a north-westerly direc. to wait the enemy's attack in this position. An attack by infantry and tion, to send for the provision train, and cavalry of the enemy on our extreme to order up fresh supplies of ammuniright was repulsed by Van Cleve's tion, on the arrival of which, should division, with Harker's brigade and the the rebels not attack, offensive operacavalry. After several attempts of the

of the tious should be resumed. rebels to advance on this new line, / On Thursday morning, January 1st, which were thoroughly repulsed, as

1863, Crittenden was ordered to occupy also their attempts on the left, the day the points opposite the ford on his left closed, leaving the Union troops mas- with a brigade. In the course of the ters of the original ground on the left,

afternoon, the rebels showed signs of and the new line advantageously posted,

massing on our right, but noting the with open ground in front swept at all

| strength of our position, the movement points by our artillery.*

| resulted in nothing. On Friday mornOur loss in killed and wounded was

ing, sharp demonstrations were made

by the enemy along the whole line; * “On the day succeeding the fight, Gen. Bragg

but no movement of importance octelegraphed to Richmond the news of a great victory, presented his compliments to the authorities, and wrote curred till three o'clock in the after"God has granted us a happy new year.' His exulta noon. At that time, there was a rushtions were over hasty, for though we had routed on the morning of the preceding day the right wing of

ing mass hurled upon the division of

ma the enemy, the final contest was yet to be decided.” | Van Cleve across Stone River, consiste Van Dorn, also, it will be remembered, had been in a

ing of the entire rebel right wing. burry to claim a victory over Rosecrans (see p. 224). || Pollard's “ Second Year of the War," p. 210. | Advancing rapidly, a short and fierce

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