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but it was of no avail. The line continued to fall back, being thrown into confusion and a partial panic, by the baggage-trains blocking up the roads, and pursuid by the enemy for three miles and a half Here the 19th army corps, which had been ordered to stop and form its line of battle, did so, and our wearied troops passed through and formed in the rear. The rebels rushed forward, but Gen. Emory, who reserved his fire until they were within short range, checked them, with fearful slaughter; and the conflict was closed for that day.
Gen. Banks, in the condition of affairs, having lost heavily in men and artillery, determined to fall back to Pleasant Hill, where Smith had halted with the 16th and 17th army corps under his command. This was accomplished silently and expeditiously during the night, without cognizance on the part of the rebels. They, however, followed on the morning of April 9th, and counted on an easy victory. The battle ground was a large open field near the town of Pleasant Hill, on the Shreveport road, with an elevation of no great extent, and surrounded by a belt of timber. Emory formed his line on the side facing the woods, having in his rear, concealed by the rising ground, Smith's division, in two lines of battle, fifty yards apart, with all his artillery in the front line. The 13th corps, under Cameron, was in the reserve in the rear. Skirmishing of an active character was kept up during the most of the day; but between four and five o'clock in the afternoon, the rebels, having completed their arrangements, advanc
ed to the attack. Emory's troops were pressed back up the hill, although bravely contesting every inch of ground. Just behind, as we have stated, was the 16th corps, which, opening, allowed the men of the 19th to pass through, and confronted the rebels with bristling cannon, and troops ready for any emer gency. Onward came the exulting foe, when the order was given to "fire." "It is impossible," says a spectator, "for words to describe the awful effect of this discharge. Seven thousand rifles, and several batteries of artillery, each gun loaded to the muzzle with grape and canister, were fired simultaneously, and the whole centre of the rebel line was crushed down as a field of ripe wheat through which a tornado had passed. It is estimated that 1,000 men were hurried into eternity, or frightfully mangled by this one discharge." A rapid charge put the rebels to flight, who were driven to the woods, where they broke in confusion, some 500 having been taken prisoners, and a considerable number of guns recaptured.
The losses of the campaign, thus far, were stated to be twenty pieces of artillery, 3,000 men, 130 wagons, and some 1,200 horses and mules. As an offset, the gains were put down as fol lows:—the capture of Fort de Russ\, Alexandria, Grand Ecore, and Natchitoches, the opening of Red River, the capture of 3,000 bales of cotton, 2,300 r risoners, twenty-five pieces of artillery, chiefly taken by the fleet, and a quantity of small arms and stores.
In consequence of these reverses. and unable to carry out his original design of permanently occupying this portion of Louisiana, Banks ordered a retreat to Grand Ecore, some forty miles below.* Porter, in his efforts to co-operate with the army movements, had advanced, with six gun boats and twenty transports, as far as Springfield Landing, which was reached on the 7th of April. Obstructions in the river, and the disasters to the army immediately following, as narrated above, led to Porter's giving up the attempt to make a further advance. On his way back, he was greatly annoyed by guerrilla parties on the bank of the l iver. On reaching Grand Ecore, Porter found several of the vessels of his fleet above the bar, by the fall of the water in the Red River. One of these, the gun boat Eastport, he was subsequently compelled to destroy, to prevent her falling into the hands of the rebels. Banks next found it necessary to fall back to Alexandria, and, accordingly, on the 21st of April, he abandoned his present position. The enemy followed, but not in force, and after some slight contests, Banks reached Alexandria, on the 27th of April, where he waited, for a while, for reinforcements.
Gen. Steele, of whose intended share in this expedition we have spoken on
• According to Pollard's account, " the results of this campaign were for us the most substantial ever achieved in the Trans-Mississippi. The expedition of Banks had pioved a failure, and nothing was left for him but to retreat to Alexandria, after losing several thousand prisoners and thirty-five pieces of artillery. The expedition of Steele into Western Arkansas had ended in a complete disaster. The immediate points of our victories, as summed up in the official report of Kirby Smith, were, 8,000 killed and wounded, 6,000 prisoners, 35 pieces of artillery, 1,200 wagons, one gun boat, and thi ;e transports."—" Third Year of the War," p. 252.
a previous page (p. 410), began his march from Little Rock, Arkansas, on the 23d of March, with a combined force of about 20,000 men. At first, his movements were attended with success. After dispersing the rebels .under Price, at various positions, Steele, by a rapid march, gained possession of Camden, a fortified post on the Washita, 120 miles from Little Rock. This was in the latter part of April; but Banks's reverses speedily endangered Steele's command, by allowing the rebels to devote their attention to him. This they began to do at once, and Steele had no alternative but to seek to make his way back to Little Rock i The enemy pressed upon him closely | from several points, endeavoring to cut off his communications and capture his forces. On the 27th of April, Steele evacuated Camden, and crossed the Washita over a pontoon bridge. The enemy followed of course, and two days afterwards a battle was fought, which lasted for seven hours, accompanied by heavy loss. It resulted, however, in a repulse of the rebels, and a return of Steele, without further loss, to Little Rock, on the 2d of May.
The water in the Red River continuing to get lower and lower, it speedily became a question of grave importance, how, if at all, to carry the gun boats over the falls at Alexandria. Porter was almost in despair; for, unless the fleet could be extricated, the vessels must be abandoned to the rebels, or blown up. In the emergency, a happy thought occurred to Col. Bailey, acting engineer of the 19th army corps, who proposed building a series of dams
across the rocks at the falls, and raising the water high enough to let the vessels pass over. The plan was ridiculed by some of the best engineers; but as Porter and Banks were willing to make the experiment, the troops were set at work, and in ten days' time the dams were built, and the fleet was saved. Porter, in his official report, May 16th, gives a very interesting account of the whole matter and its entire success: "Words are inadequate to express," he says, "the admiration I feel for the ability of Col. Bailey. This is, without doubt, the best engineering feat ever performed. Leaving out his ability as an engineer—the credit he has conferred upon the country—he has saved the Union a valuable fleet, worth nearly $2,000,000; more, he has deprived the enemy of a trinmph which would have emboldened them to carry on this war a year or two longer; for the intended departure of the army was a fixed fact, and there was nothing left for me to do in case that event occurred but to destroy every part of the vessels, so that the rebels could make nothing of them. The highest honors the government can bestow on Col. Bailev can never repay him for the service he has rendered the country." *
The last of the gun boats having passed over the falls on the 12th of May, Alexandria was evacuated the next day. In some unexplained manner the town was set on fire, and though
* For the report in full, which is well worth reading, see Duyckinck's " War for the Union," vol. iii. pp. 322-325. Col. Bailey we may here mention, was at once raised by the president to the rank of brigadiergeneral for these distinguished services.
efforts were made by Gen. Banks to extinguish the flames, they were unsuccessful, and our forces left the people and the town to their fate. Two small light-draft gun boats were fired into by rebel masked batteries, about thirty miles below Alexandria, and were lost; but the army, though attacked several times, repulsed the enemy, and having crossed the Atchafalaya in safety, on the 19th of May, soon after reached New Orleans. The fleet, under Porter, resumed its station on the Mississippi, the season having passed for any further operations in this part of Louisiana.*
The sending of troops from Vicksburg to join the Red River expedition afforded an opportunity • for the rebels under Forrest, and others, in Northern Mississippi and South-western Tennessee, to make an attack on our posts in West Tennessee and Kentucky. Accordingly, on the 23d of March, Forrest left Jackson, Tennessee, with about 5,000 men, and advanced north some sixty miles to Union City, on the railroad, which place he reached the next day. It was garrisoned by a small force of less than 500 men, under command of Col. Hawkins, who, contrary to the advice of his officers, surrendered on Forrest's demand. The rebel leader next occupied Hickman, and after several threatening demonstrations, advanced rapidly upon Paducah, Kentucky,
* By an order of the war department, dated May 7th, Gen. Canby was assigned to the command of the military division of West Mississippi, including the departments of Arkansas and the Gulf, thus relieving Gen. Banks. Some regiments were recruited from tho plantations, but no military operations of any extent
| took place within the state during tho remainder of
1 the year.
situated on the Ohio, at the mouth of the Tennessee River. The town was held by Col. S. G. Hicks, with about 700 Kentucky and Illinois troops, including 250 negro soldiers in the artillery service. Aided by two gun boats in the river, Col. Hicks resolved to defend the works at the place. Forrest sent an imperative demand, March 25th, for a surrender, concluding with these significant words: "If you surrender, you shall be treated as prisoners of war, but if I have to storm your works you may expect no quarter." Hicks replied gallantly, that having been placed there to defend the post, he should do it without fear or favor. Forrest, having disposed his forces for attack, pushed forward his lines, and occupied with sharpshooters the houses near the fort. The first advance was met by a deadly fire from the works, and repulsed for that day, the gun boats shelling the houses which covered the enemy. On the next morning, a second charge was made, and also repulsed. After repeated attempts to capture the garrison with his greatly superior force, Forrest, content with the pillage and injury he had inflicted, withdrew in the direction of Columbus. The Union loss was stated at fourteen killed and forty-six wounded; Forrest's loss was probably much greater. A large portion of the town was destroyed, partly by the guns from the fort, and partly, or principally by the rebels.
Subsequently to this, there were various rumors of attacks about to be made on one point and another by this noted rebel raider. The matter, how
ever, was not long left in doubt, and Forrest, by his attack on Fort Pillow, | followed by the massacre of the garrison, stamped himself and those with him with perpetual infamy. The fort was located on the Mississippi, about seventy miles above Memphis, and at the time of the assault was garrisoned by nineteen officers and 538 enlisted men, of whom 262 were blacks, comprising one battalion of the 6th United States heavy artillery, formerly the 1st Alabama artillery of negro troops, under the command of Major L. F. Booth, one section of the 2d United States light artillery (black), and one battalion of the 18th Tennessee cavalry (white), commanded by Major A. F. Bradford. Major Booth, being the ranking officer, was in command of the fort.
On Monday, the 12th of April, jnst before sunrise, the pickets of the gamson were driven in, that being the first intimation our forces there had of any intention on the part of the enemy to attack the place. Fighting soon became general, and about nine o'clock Major Bradford succeeded to the command and withdrew all the forces within the fort. Extending back from the river on either side of the fort was a ravine or hollow, the one below the fort containing several private stores and some dwellings, and some government buildings, with commissary stores.
The ravine above the fort, was known a9 Cold Bank Ravine, the ridge being covered with trees and bushes. To the right or below, and a little to the front of the fort, was a level piece of gi Hind
not quite so elevated as the fort itself, on which had been erected some log huts or shanties, which were occupied by the white troops, and also used for hospital and other purposes. Within the fort tents had been erected with board floors for the use of the negro troops. There were six pieces of artillery in the fort, consisting of two 6pounders, two 12-pounder howitzers, and two 10-pounder Parrotts.
The rebels continued their attack, but up to about three o'clock in the afternoon they had not gained any decisive success. Our troops, both black and white, fought steadily and bravely, and were in good spirits. The gun boat New Era took part in the conflict, shelling the rebels as opportunity offered. There being, however, but one gun boat, it was unable to render any very effective service.
About one o'clock, the fire slackened somewhat, the New Era moved out into the river to cool and clean her guns, and the rebels, chagrined at their ill success thus fur, resorted to their favorite mode of gaining advantage by means of flags of truce. The first flag conveyed a demand from Forrest for the immediate and unconditional surrender of the fort. Major Bradford replied, asking an hour for consultation with his officers and the officers of the gun boat. In a short time the second flag of truce appeared, with a communication from | Forrest, that he would allow Bradford only twenty minutes in which to move his troops out of the fort, and if it was not done in that time, an assault would be ordered. Bradford refused perenip• torily to surrender.
During the time these flags were flying, the rebels were moving down the ravine, and taking positions from which the more readily to charge upon the fort. Immediately after the second flag of truce retired, the rebels made a rush from the positions they had so treacherously gained, and soon obtained possession of the fort, raising the cry of "no quarter." But little opportunity was allowed for resistance. Our troops, black and white, threw down their arms and sought to escape by running down the steep bluff near the fort, and secreting themselves behind trees and logs, in the bushes and under the brush; some even jumping into the river, leaving only their heads above the water as they crouched down under the bank.
It was then that the ferocity of Forrest and his men manifested itself in deeds of outrage unparalleled in civilized warfare. "The rebels commenced an indiscriminate slaughter, sparing neither age nor sex, white nor black, soldier nor civilian. The officers and men seemed to vie with each other in the devilish work. Men, women and their children, wherever found, were deliberately shot down, beaten and hacked with sabres. Some of the children, not more than ten years old, were forced to stand up and face their murderers while being shot. The sick and wounded were butchered without mercy, the rebels even entering the hospital buildings and dragging them out to be shot, or killing them as they lay there unable to offer the least resistance. . . . . . All around were heard cries of 'no quarter.' 'kill the niggers,' 'shoot