« 上一頁繼續 »
official report, which not only sets forth the courage and determined spirit of all connected with the expedition, but also presents an instructive picture of the internal condition of this portion of the " Confederacy." The substantial results may be expressed in a brief extract: "During the expedition we killed and wounded about 100 of the enemy, captured and paroled over 500 prisoners, many of them officers, destroyed between fifty and sixty miles of railroad and telegraph, captured and destroyed over 3,000 stand of arms, and other army stores and property to an immense amount; we also captured 1,000 horses and mules. We marched over 600 miles in less than sixteen days. The last twenty-eight hours we marched seventy-six miles, had four engagements with the enemy, and forded the Comite River, which was deep enough to swim many of the horses." After speaking of the large and well appointed parties sent out against him, and of his being able to elude them or fight them to advantage, Grierson concludes in terms of praise of his officers and men, without whose hearty co-operation, under very trying circumstances, he could not have obtained such signal success.
It had at first been Grant's purpose to detach an army corps to co-operate with Banks against Port Hudson, and effect a junction of forces; but, on reflection, as time was all important to his plans, and as Banks could not furnish more than 12,000 men at best, he gave up the project, and resolved to devote all his energy and skill to an immediate advance upon the rebels.
After waiting for several days for supplies and the arrival of Sherman's corps, reconnaisances were made, along the west side of the Big Black River, to within a few miles of Warrenton, and" steps were taken to deceive the rebels, as far as possible, in regard to | Grant's real designs at the present moment. Apparently, he was about to \ make a direct attack; but in reality, he was pushing forward McClernand and Sherman to the railroad, between Edward's Station and Bolton, while McPherson was to advance rapidly upon Raymond, and Jackson, the capital of the state. It was of prime importance, in Grant's estimation, to secure his rear by a march upon Jackson, by destroying the property of all descriptions of the enemy and the railroad; and then to march with all his force to the assault upon Vicksburg.*
The advance was begun on the 7th of May, and the utmost activity and enterprise was displayed by both officers and troops in the duty now before
* Pollard, speaking of Grant and his " most extraor dinary and audacious game " In the Mississippi cam- I paign, says, truly enough,—" in daring, in celerity of movement, and in the vigor and decision of its steps, it was the most remarkable of the war. The plan of Grant was, in brief, nothing else than to gain firm ground on one of the Confederate flanks, which, to be done, involved a march of about 150 miles, through a hostile country, and in which communication with the base of supplies was liable at any moment to be permanently interrupted. In addition, a resistance to his advance could be anticipated, of whose magnitude nothing was certainly known, and which, for aught , he knew, might at any time prove great enough to annihilate his entire army. The plan involved the' enterprise of running a fleet of transports past th« batteries, crossing the troops from the Louisiana shore below Vicksburg, to Mississippi, and then marching the army, by the way of Jackson, through the heart of the Confederacy, so to speak, to the rear of Vicksburg.' —" Third Year of the War," p. 43,44.
Cn. XXVIII.] JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI, CAPTURED.
them. On the 11th, McClernand reached Hall's Ferry, on the Big Black River, Shermao was at Auburn, about six miles north-east, and McPherson about ei^ht miles further in the same direction. The next day, the advance division of Sherman's corps encountered a body of the rebels, chiefly cavalry, at Fourteen Mile Creek; but after some slight skirmishing, the enemy retreated toward Raymond, burning the bridge as they retired. A crossing, however, was speedily constructed, and the corps moved on its way.
The principal resistance was made by the rebels to obstruct McPherson's advance. As he was marching from Utica, on the branch road to Jackson, on approaching the town of Raymond, he was met, on the forenoon of May 12th, by a body of the enemy, under Gregg and "Walker, numbering about 5,000. Skirmishing commenced early in the morning, and Logan's division, which was on the road in advance, was at once ordered forward to engage the enemy. The battle was opened about ten o'clock, and, after a conflict of more than two hours, resulted in the defeat of the rebels, and their abandonment of Raymond to the Union forces. Our loss was 51 killed, and 180 wounded; the rebel loss was 75 killed and 186 prisoners captured, beside the wounded.
McPherson's force was immediately pushed on, and the next day occupied Clinton, a small town about eight miles west of Jackson, on the Vicksburg and Jackson Railroad. The telegraph office and post office, with their contents, were seized, and the railroad destroyed on both sides of the vil
lage for four miles. On the 14th of May, McPherson's corps, followed by Sherman's, which advanced from its position at Mississippi Splings, moved upon the capital of Mississippi. Information had reached Grant that the rebel commander, J. E. Johnston, was daily receiving reinforcements, and was expected immediately at Jackson, to take command in person. "I therefore determined," said Grant," to make sure of that place, and leave no enemy in my rear."
Gen. Crocker's division of McPherson's" corps had the advance, and charged gallantly upon the enemy's position on the crest of a hill, in front of the town, driving the rebels before them at the point of the bayonet. On Sherman's coming up on the right, he soon found the enemy's weakness at that point, and caused them to retreat northwardly towards Clinton. After a fight of about three hours, in which the rebels displayed less than their usual spirit in battle, they gave up the contest, and* Johnston, having set fire to the buildings filled with commissary and quartermaster's stores, made a speedy retreat. The arsenal, public works, factories, bridges, etc., were effectually destroyed. We are sorry to be obliged to state, in this connection, that there was also a large amount of pillaging by the soldiers, to the disgrace of themselves and the cause in which they were engaged.
Although Johnston had been unable to maintain his position, still, as Grant learned at Jackson, he had ordered Pemberton,* in very positive terms, to
* Pollard is bitterly severe on Pemberton; calls him "the creature of the private and personal prejudices of President Davis ;" asserts that he was extremely Ud march out of Vicksburg, and " re-establish the communications" by an assault upon Grant's rear. This Pemberton bad undertaken to do, having, it was reported, some eighty regiments and ten batteries of artillery, and about 25,000 men in all. He was, however, too late to accomplish anything; Johnston had been put to flight, and Grant, by his rapid and skilful combinations, aided, as he was, by several of the best officers in the United States army, simply faced about, and advanced promptly to rout Pemberton in • the same wise that he did in the case of Johnston. McPherson was ordered to move out on the Clinton road, and on the 15th of May was about a mile from Bolton, within supporting distance of Hovey's division of McClernand's corps; while McClernand, with the remaining divisions, was ordered to Edward's Station; he was. however, directed not to bring on a general engagement, unless he was sure of success. Blair moved with McClernand, and Sherman, with his forces, was soon to follow.
Early on the morning of May 16th, two days after the occupation of Jackson, the left wing of the army, under McClernand, advanced to the line of the railroad east of the Big Black River, and, in concert with Sherman's and McPherson's corps, came
popular with the army, incapable, " never on a battle field in the war," and in a state of deplorable "ignorance and bewilderment as to the enemy's designs." As a pet and favorite of Davis, and with nothing else to recommend him, of course, in Pollard's opinion, only disaster could follow his being placed in command at Vicksburg. It is only fair, however, to remember that Pollard is no friend to Davis and his helpers at Richmond, and also that he is rather fond of using caustic and bitter languago when the opportunity occurs.
upon the main force of Pemberton in the vicinity of Edward's Station. Three miles south-east of this is a road which runs parallel with the railroad, crosses Champion's Hill, through which runs a small stream called Baker's Creek Hovey, who was in the advance with j his division, discovered, about nine o'clock, that the enemy were in front on Champion's Hill, to the left of the road, near Baker's Creek, apparently in force. Skirmishers were thrown out, and the division advanced cautiously across the open field at the foot of Champion's Hill, in line of battle. At eleven o'clock the battle commenced. The hill itself was covered with timber, and was flanked, on both sides, by deep ravines and gullies, and in many places covered with an impenetrable growth of scrubby white-oak brush The woods, on both sides of the road leading up to the face of the hill, and winding back on the ridge a mile or more, were filled with sharpshooters, supported by infantry. Here the battle began, just as our men entered the edge of the timber, and raged terribly from eleven o'clock till between three and four, P.m. Hovey's division carried the heights, and making a dash on the first battery, drove the gunners from their posts and captured the pieces.
The rebels having been reinforced at this point, made fresh efforts to dislodge our troops on the hill. Hovey was slowly driven back to the brow, but help coming up, the ground was recovered, and the rebels finally repulsed. At the commencement of the engagement, Logan's division marched Ch. XXVIII.]
REBEL DEFEAT AT THE BIG BLACK.
past the "brow of the hill, and, forming in line of battle on the right of Hovey, advanced in grand style, sweeping everything before them. At the edge of the wood in front of Logan the battle was very hotly contested. Two batteries and a large number of prisoners were captured by this division.
Between three and four o'clock, P.m., Osterhaus's and McArthur's divisions came into action on the extreme left, and by five o'clock Pemberton's troops gave way in great confusion. Loring, the rebel commander on the right, drew off his men and escaped, by taking a large circuit, to Canton, where he joined Johnston. Immediately troops were sent in pursuit of Pemberton, who retreated to the Big Black, where he purposed making one more effort before betaking himself to the entrenchments of Vicksburg.
At an early hour on Sunday, May 17th, McClernand's corps marched to the Big Black Biver bridge of the railroad, sixteen miles west of Champion's Hill battle ground, and twelve miles east of Vicksburg. The rebels were found to be strongly posted on both sides of the river, where, with the help of the excellent natural defences, and their rifle-pits and field guns, they promised apparently a vigorous resistance. But when our batteries were brought to play on their works, and when Lawler's brigade of Carr's division charged across the open fields, the rebels set fire to the bridge before their troops were across, and ignominiously fled. Pemberton and his officers could do notiing to rouse them ; they rushed from the field in a species of terror, cry
VOL. IV —40.
ing out, "all is lost!" and refused to fight at all. Seventeen cannon and about 2,000 prisoners fell into our hands by their panic-stricken conduct, and late at night the rebel troops reached Vicksburg, in a state which hardly admits of description.
On the morning of the 18th of May, Sherman's corps crossed the Big Black above, at Bridgeport, on a pontoon bridge, and the next day McClernand's and McPherson's corps, having repaired the bridge which had been partially destroyed, joined the forces on the other side before Vicksburg. The various roads were occupied, and important positions taken, investing the city from the direction of Warrenton on the left, to the bluffs on the Yazoo River, on the right. Sherman occupied the right of the line, McPherson the centre, and McClernand the left*
The efficient co-operation of the fleet under Porter, deserves honorable mention in this place. Porter, having come over to the Yazoo to be ready for any
* The defeat at the Big Black caused some sharp crimination and recrimination between Johnston and Pemberton. Pollard sides with the former, of course; and in view of Pemberton being shut up within his defences, says, " As it was, the fall of Vicksburg had become but a question of time. Gen. Johnston was convinced of the impossibility of collecting a sufficient force to break tho investment of the city, should it be completed. He appreciated the difficulty of extricating tho garrison. It was with this foresight that, on learning that Pemberton had been driven from the Big Black, he ordered the evacuation of Vicksburg. He wrote,' If Haynes's Bluff be untenable, Vicksburg is of no value, and cannot be held. If, therefore, you are invested in Vicksburg, you must ultimately surrender. Under such circumstances, instead of losing both troops and place, you must, if possible, save the troops. If not too late, evacuate Vicksburg and its dependencies, and march to the north-east,'" This was too much for Pemberton; and so he remained where he was until the end came on the memorable 4th of July, 1863.
help which he could render, heard Grant's cannonading, on the 18th of May, and inferred his success thus far. He dispatched a number of vessels up the Yazoo to open communications with Grant and Sherman. This he succeeded in doing, and learned the gratifying news of what had been accomplished. Having destroyed the formidable works at Haines' Bluff, Porter dispatched Lieut. Walker, in the De Kalb, up the Yazoo River, with sufficient force to destroy all the enemy's property in that direction, with orders to return with all dispatch, and only to proceed as far as Yazoo City, where the rebels had a navy-yard and storehouses. Walker proceeded at once to the work before him, and promptly and effectually performed it. Three rams of the most powerful kind, two just ready for use, and one, a monster of its class, 370 ft., and 75 ft. beam, on the stocks, were burned, as were also a vast stock of materials for naval purposes, machine shops, etc. The estimated value of the property thus destroyed was fully $2,000,000. On the morning of May 22d, Lieut. Walker returned with the vessels under his command to the mouth of the Yazoo River, having lost only one man killed and seven wounded in the expedition.
In the flush of the several victories which the army had recently gained, and supposing that Pemberton's force was almost entirely demoralized, Grant ordered a general assault to be made on the enemy's works, at two o'clock, P.m., on the 19th of May. Our troops behaved with great gallantry; but they were not able to make any impression
of moment upon the rebel line. Within a few days, Grant's arrangements for drawing supplies from Memphis and I above were completed, and under an impression that Vicksburg could be taken by assault, notwithstanding the experience of the 19th, he ordered another and determined onset to be made* "There were many reasons," as Grant stated afterwards, " to deter- \ mine me to adopt this course. I believed I an assault from the position by this j time could be made successfully. It | was known that Johnston was at Canton with the force taken by him from j Jackson, reinforced by other troops from the East, and that more were daily reaching him. With the force I had, a short time must have enabled him to attack me in thf rear, and possibly to succeed in raising
the siege Accordingly, on the 21st of
May, orders were issued for a general assault on the whole line, to commence' at ten A.m., on the 22d. Promptly, at the hour designated, the three army corps then in front of the enemy's works commenced the assault. I had taken a commanding position near | j McPherson's front, and from which I could see all the advancing columns from his corps, and a part of each of Sherman's and McClernand's. A portion of the commands of each sue
* In accordance with Grant's request, Porter directed a vigorous attack from the mortar and gun boats upon the hill and water batteries of the city, inflicting considerable damage. The bombardment was at short range, the vessels advancing to within four hundred and forty yards of the batteries. "II was the hottest fire," said Porter, " the gun boats had ever been under." Unable to gain intelligence of the progress of the army, the gun boats fought on after Grant's assault had proved unsuccessful.