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The river Tennessee, taking rise in the rugged valleys of south-western Virginia, between the Alleghany and the Cumberland ranges of mountains, but drawing tribute also from western North Carolina and northern Georgia, traverses East Tennessee in a generally W. S. W. direction, entering Alabama at its N. E. corner; and, after a detour of some 300 miles, through the northern part of that State, passes out at its N. W. corner; reentering Tennessee, and, passing again through that State in a course due north, and forming the boundary between what are designated respectively West and Middle Tennessee, thence flowing N. N. "W. till it falls into the Ohio scarcely 70 miles above the mouth of that river, whereof it
verely wounded, Were talicn to Van Buren. Their loss in killed upon the ground will reach l,0ftO; the greater number of whom have been buried by my command."
Pollard, on the other hand, says of this battle: "Our whole line of infantry wero in close conflict nearly the whole day with the enemy, who were attempting, with their force of 18,(!00 men, to drive us from our position. In every instance, they were repulsed, and finally driven back from the field; Gen. Hindman driving them to within 8 miles of Fayettovillo; when our forces fell back to their supply depot, between Cano Hill and Van Buren. We captured 300 prisoners, and vast quantities of stores. Tho enemy's loss in killed and wounded was about 1,000; tho Confederate loss, in killed, wounded, and missing, about 30<>."
Gon. Blunt further says of this Pollard victory:
is the largest tributary, draining an area of over 40,000 square miles. Very rarely frozen, it is usually navigable, save in dry summers, from its mouth to the Muscle Shoals, toward the lower end of its course through Alabama, and thence by smaller boats at high stages of water some 500 miles, to Knoxville, the capital of East Tennessee. The Cumberland, draining the opposite slope of the Cumberland Mountains, takes its rise in the heart of eastern Kentucky, and, pursuing a similar but shorter course, runs W. S. W. into Middle Tennessee, which it traverses very much as the Tennessee does northern Alabama, passing Nashville, its capital, bending N. W. into Kentucky some 20 miles eastward of the latter river,
'• Their transportation had been left south of the mountains, aud their retreat thereby made unincumbered and stealthy. I am assured by my own men who were prisoners with them, as well as by deserters from their ranks, that they tore up tho blankets of their men to muffle the wheels of their artillery."
Gen. Herron, in a private lotter, dated Dec. 15th, says:
"The loss of the enemy is terrific. After their burial-parties had been on the ground for three days, we had to turn in and bury 300 for them. Tho country for 25 miles around is full of their wounded. We have, as captures, 4 caissons full of ammunition, and about 300 stand of arms. Hindman had prepared himself, and risked all on this fight. His movements were shrewdly managed; and nothing but desperately hard lighting over carried us through."
and pursuing a generally parallel course to that stream, to its own reception by the Ohio, and being navigable for 250 miles by large steamboats, save in seasons of summer drouth, and by boats of 500 tuns for some 300 miles further. These two— the only rivers, save the Mississippi, navigable southward from the border of the Free into the Slave Stateswere obviously regarded on both sides, in view of the notorious impracticability of Southern roads in Winter and Spring, as the natural routes of advance for our Western armies collected and drilled on and near the Ohio during the Autumn of 1861 and the AVinter following.
The close of 1861 left Gen. Humphrey Marshall, commanding the Confederate forces in south-eastern Kentucky, intrenched at Paintville, Johnson county, intent on gathering supplies and recruiting. Col. James A. Garfield, of Ohio, commanding a Union brigade consisting of the 42d Ohio, 14th Kentucky, and a squadron of Ohio cavalry, moved up the Big Sandy early in 1862, occupying Paintville1 without resistance, and pushing on to Prestonburg, Floyd county; near which town, at the forks of Middle creek, he encountered Marshall, whom he put to flight with little loss on either side. Garfield reported his full strength in this engagement at 1,800, and estimated that of Marshall at 2,500. Marshall was obliged to retreat into Yirginia.
Cumberland Gap was abandoned without resistance to the Unionists next month;' and Gen. Garfield, with 600 men, made a rapid excursion3 to Pound Gap, where he surprised a Rebel camp, capturing 300
rifles, destroying the camp equipage, and returning to Pikeville without loss. <
Gen. Zollicoffer, at the close of 1861, held a position on the Cumberland, near the head of steamboat navigation on that sinuous stream, which may be regarded as the right of the Rebel army covering Tennessee and holding a small part of southern Kentucky. His force did not exceed 5,000 men; but even this was with great difficulty meagerly subsisted by inexorable foraging on that thinly settled and poorly cultivated region. His principal camp was at Mill Spring, in "Wayne county, on the south side of the river; but, finding himself unmolested, he established himself on the opposite bank, in a substantial earthwork, which he named Camp Beach Grove. He had one small steamboat, which had run up with munitions from Nashville, and was employed in gathering supplies for his hungry men; but the advance of a Union detachment to Columbia, on his left, had rendered his navigation of the river below him precarious, if not entirely obstructed it. On his right front, Gen. Sehoepf, with a force of 8,000 men, occupied Somerset; but was content to occupy it, without attempting or desiring to make trouble. But Gen. George H. Thomas, having been ordered' by Gen. Buell to take command in this quarter, had scarcely reached Logan's Cross-Roads * when Maj.-Gen. George B. Crittenden, who had recently joined Zollicoft'er and superseded him in command, finding himself nearly destitute of subsistence, and apprehending an attack in over
1 Jan. 7, 1862. "About Feb. 22. 'March 10. • Doc. 20, 1861. 'Jan. 17, 1862.
whelming strength from all our forces in that part of Kentucky, resolved to anticipate it; * and, at midnight after the next day,' advanced with his entire available force, consisting of six Tennessee, one Alabama, and one Mississippi regiments of infantry, Bix cannon, and two battalions of cavalry, to strike and surprise the three or four Union regiments which he was assured were alone posted between him and Somerset. He struck them as lie had expected, but did not surprise them; Gen. Thomas having taken the precaution to send out strong pickets of infantry on the roads leading toward the enemy, with a picket of cavalry still farther in advance. These were encountered by Crittenden's vanguard before daylight ;' but, after firing, retired slowly and in good order, and reported to Col. M. C. Manson, commanding the advance brigade, who in ten minutes had his two regiments—10th Indiana and 4th Kentucky, Col. S. S. Fryin readiness; and the Rebels, in that hour of darkness, necessarily proceeded with caution, doubling themselves as they advanced. Thomas was of course at the front, having ordered up his remaining regiments, within ten minutes afterward.
The charge of the Rebels was desperate, and the battle raged with great fury for nearly two hours, during which the muskets of the combatants were often fired through the same fence. Barely five Union regiments in all—the 10th Indiana, 2d Minnesota, 9th Ohio, 4th Kentucky, and 1st Kentucky cavalry,
• A Rebel letter to the Louisville (Nashville) Courier, says:
"The enemy in front occupied Somerset with Mveral regiments, and Columbia with an equal force. On the 17th and 18th, it rained so much
with Kinney's battery—were seriously engaged; but the 12th Kentucky, and two or three Tennessee regiments, reached the field just as the day was won by a charge of the 9th Ohio on our left flank with fixed bayonets, supported by a galling fire from the 2d Minnesota in front, under which the Rebels gave way and fled, scarcely halting until they reached their intrenched camp by the river; leaving one gun on the battle-field and another by the way.
In the heat of the battle, when the combatants were scarcely separated by an open space, Gen. Zollicoffer was shot by Col. Fry, and fell dead on the field, where his body was left by his followers. Col. Fry's horse was shot dead directly afterward. Col. Robert L. McCook, 9th Ohio, was wounded in the leg, and also had his horse shot. The Rebels lost 192 killed, 62 wounded and captured, besides those carried oif by them, and 89 taken unhurt. Our loss was 39 killed, and 207 wounded.
It rained, as usual, and the roads were horrible; but the victors, considerably reenforced, were, before 4 p. M., in front of the intrenchments at Camp Beech Grove, within which the flying Rebels had taken refuge an hour or two before. Shelling was immediately commenced on our side, feebly responded to on the other; and this continued until 7 at night, when our soldiers desisted and lay down to rest. Gen. Sehoepfs brigade came up that night, and were so disposed by Gen. Thomas as to make sure of the capture of
that Fishing crock could not be crossed; and so the Somerset force of several thousand could not join tho force from Columbia before the 20th."
'Jan. 18-19. "Sunday, Jan. 19.
GRANT AND FOOTE AT FORT HENRY.
Btructed—mainly by slave labor— at a point some 80 or 90 miles up the Tennessee and Cumberland, where tbose rivers first approach within 10 or 12 miles of each other, a few miles south of the Kentucky line, and north of the Louisville and Memphis Railroad, two strong and spacious works; Fobt Henry, commanding the Tennessee from its eastern bank, and Fort Donelson, controlling the passage of the Cumberland from the west, a little below the Tennessee village of Dover. A dirt road connected the two forts, whereof the garrisons were expected to support each other if assailed. Fort Henry, situated on a point or bend of the river, and scarcely above its surface when in flood, menaced the approach by water for a mile on either hand, but was overlooked by three points10 within cannon-shot on either bank of the river. It covered two or three acres of ground, mounted 17 large guns, 11 of them bearing upon any vessels approaching from below, with a spacious intrenched camp in its rear, and a wide abatis encircling all. It was defended by Gen. Lloyd Tilghman, of Kentucky, with 2,600 men.
To Brig.-Gen. U. S. Grant, of Illinois, was assigned the task of its reduction, with the powerful aid of Commodore A. H. Foote and his fleet of seven gunboats, four of them partially iron-clad. Leaving Cairo" with some 15,000 men on steam transports, he moved up the Ohio to the month of the Tennessee, then ascended that stream to within ten miles of Fort Henry, where his transports halted," while Com. Foote,
with his gunboats, proceeded cautiously up the river, shelling the woods on either side to discover any masked batteries that might there be planted. Having pushed this reconnoissance far enough to receive a 32pound ball through the unprotected side of one of his boats, Gen. Grant decided that the proper landing-place for the troops was about four miles below the fort, where he and they were debarked13 accordingly. The next day was spent in preparations, and the next appointed for the attack: Gen. Grant directing the main body of his forces, under Gen. John A. HcClernand, to move diagonally across the country and seize the road leading from the fort to Donelson and Dover, while Gen. C. F. Smith, with his brigade, advanced along the west bank of the river, and Com. Foote, with his gunboats, moved slowly up and attacked the fort from the water.
Com. Foote formed his vessels in two lines: the iron-clads Cincinnati (flag-ship), Essex, Carondelet, and St. Louis, in front, while the old wooden Conestoga, Tyler, and Lexington, formed a second line some distance astern, and out of the range of the enemy's fire, throwing shell over the iron-clads into and about the fort. Thus advancing slowly and firing deliberately, the iron-clads steadily neared the fort, using only their bowguns, because unwilling to expose their weak, unsheltered sides to the heavy guns of the fort, one of them having a caliber of 128 and another of 60 pounds, and but 12 of ours in all of our front line being available. For a moment only was there hesitation in the attack; when, after an