« 上一頁繼續 »
fifty miles in length, and ends abruptly on the Tennessee, three or four miles west of Chattanooga. For forty miles it has but three passes practicable for the passage of an army, and those very difficult; one at the point of the mountain, near Chattanooga, one at Stevens's Gap, twenty-five miles south, and one at Winston's, forty miles from Chattanooga.
The plan of the campaign was, to hold the rebels in check at Chattanooga, by a small force, sent for the purpose, up the north side of the river, opposite the place where the main body of the army, crossing Lookout Mountain by Stevens's and Winston's Gaps, should get in their rear, destroy their lines of communication, and either besiege them in Chattanooga, or force a battle on advantageous ground. To prevent the rebels from sending a force from Chattanooga, by the pass around the point of Lookout Mountain, into Lookout Valley, to interrupt or destroy our lines of communication with our dépôts at Bridgeport and Stevenson, Crittenden's Corps was sent down Lookout Valley, to near the foot of Lookout Mountain, which latter was held by the enemy with infantry and artillery. The corps of Thomas and McCook were moved rapidly up Lookout Valley, and across Lookout Mountain, the former by Cooper's and Stevens's, the latter by Winston's Gap. As soon as this movement was known to Bragg, who, as yet, had not received the bulk of his expected re-enforcements, it became evident to him that if he remained in Chattanooga the army of Rosecrans would get between him and his expected re-enforcements, and whip them in detail, besides taking possession of his lines of communication, without which he could not subsist his army a week,
The evacuation of Chattanooga by the rebels was therefore a necessity. Bragg fell back rapidly, and evidently with the intention of retreating on Rome. Crittenden, discovering the evacuation, moved his corps into Chattanooga by the pass around the point of Lookout, and moved out in pursuit of the enemy. Facts soon began to be discovered which led to the belief that the enemy had not retreated far. A cavalry reconnoissance on the extreme right, to Alpine, rendered it certain that they had not retreated on Rome, but were concentrating at Lafayette, and receiving re-enforcements, and that it was their intention to endeavor to retake Chattanooga.
Crittenden's Corps, at this juncture, holding a position on the Chickamauga, near Gordon's Mill, confronted the entire rebel army. Thomas's Corps was at the eastern foot of Lookout Mountain, and McCook was at Winston's Gap, the distance from Crittenden's position, at Gordon's Mill, to McCook's right, near Winston's, being upward of forty miles, while, from the best information gathered from all sources, it appeared that the enemy were rapidly concentrating, and might attack Crittenden before the remainder of the army could be brought within supporting distance. It was therefore necessary, in order to cover Chattanooga, for Rosecrans to concentrate his army rapidly, and in the face of the enemy. It was while this was being done that the rebels attempted to turn his left flank, and obtain possession of the roads in his rear leading to Chat
tanooga: in the attempt to prevent this the battle was brought on. It was absolutely necessary, under the circumstances, to secure the possession of Chattanooga, which, it is very evident, Bragg never intended to permit us to hold. It was a common matter of wonder, when the Union army first occupied the place, why Bragg left so many public buildings standing, all his hospital buildings and dépôts, and two steamboats at the landing, all of which he would naturally have destroyed in evacuating the place with the intention of leaving it for any considerable time in our possession.
Could General Rosecrans have concentrated his army at Chatta nooga, avoiding a battle meanwhile, the contest would undoubtedly have taken place there, instead of on Chickamauga Creek. Whether the results of such a battle would have been more advantageous to our arms, or not, is a question difficult to answer.
Inaction of Bragg.-His Position. His Indecision.-Rosecrans Recruiting.--Storms.
Hooker Arrives.-Grant Ordered up. He Supersedes Rosecrans.—Thomas in Command of Department.-Position of the Army.- Movement to opeu River.-Defeat of the Enemy.--Sherman's March.-Combat.-Change of Route.—Burnside's Position.-Longstreet Detached from Bragg.-Siege of Knoxvil'e.--Burnside Hard Pressed.-Bragg Weakened.-Grant Attacks.— The Movement Successful. Sher man Relieves Burnside. -Retreat of Longstreet
AFTER the battle of Chickamauga the opposing armies remained for a long time inactive. The enemy's forces continued before Chattanooga, where Rosecrans was, receiving re-enforcements. Bragg employed means to cut off supplies coming to the Federal army by the direct route, while his main army, strongly re-enforced on the 20th and 21st, held a line from Bridgeport to Cleveland. Longstreet occupied the extreme left on the Tennessee River, from Bridgeport to Trenton, Johnston the centre at Lafayette, holding Lookout Mountain, and Bragg the right at Dalton, with his right at Cleveland. His cavalry, under Wheeler, foraged in Rosecrans's rear, and captured the train of the Fourteenth Corps. Some eight bundred wagons and two thousand mules were captured and destroyed. Most of the supplies for the Army of the Cumberland were carried over the mountains by pack mules, on account of the difficult transportation. The trains were much annoyed by rebel sharpshooters between Bridgeport and Chattanooga, who daily picked off teamsters, mules, and horses, and so closely was the Union army pressed that rations began to fall short in Chattanooga.
The long inaction of Bragg greatly demoralized his army. Two days after the battle it was agreed, unanimously, by a council of war, that the Confederate army should strike en masse in the direction of Knoxville. But scarcely had the division generals commenced the execution of this resolve, when Bragg announced that he had changed his plan, and the army sat down, and continued for nearly three weeks enveloping the town of Chattanooga and the treble lines which surrounded it.
In the mean time, Rosecrans was reorganizing his troops and working industriously with the spade to strengthen the defences, besides securing his lines of communications and accumulating supplies. These operations were, however, greatly retarded by the storms of an unusually wet autumn. On the 23d of September, the Eleventh and Twelfth Corps of the Army of the Potomac were detached under Hooker to re-enforce Rosecrans, and were assigned for the protection of the line of communication between Bridgeport and Nashville.
While these events were occurring, such of the forces of Grant at Vicksburg and elsewhere in the Southwest as were available, were put in motion for Tennessee, and Grant himself, who was then at New Orleans, was ordered to take command of the army in Tennessee. He arrived at Louisville October 18th, and issued General Orders, No.1:
" HEAD-QUARTERS MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
"LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY, October 18, 1863, 3
“GENERAL ORDERS, no. 1. "In compliance with General Orders, No. 337, of date Washington, D.O., October 16th, 1863, the undersigned hereby assumes command of the Military Division of the Mississippi, embracing the Departments of the Ohio, of the Cumberland, and of the Tennessee.
"The head-quarters of the Military Division of the Mississippi will be in the field, where all reports and returns required by army regulations and existing orders will be made.
“O. S. GRANT, Major-General."
On the 19th, Rosecrans took leave of the army, and Major-General George H. Thomas was placed in command of the Department of the Cumberland, and W. T. Sherman of that of the Tennessee. The two corps of McCook and Crittenden, the Twentieth and Twenty-first, consolidated into one, and designated the Fourth, were assigned to Gordon Granger.
At this time Sherman was yet on the route from Memphis, and Hooker, with his two corps, had just arrived at Bridgeport, opposite the points held by Longstreet. The army occupying Chattanooga had its right at Chattanooga Creek, near the base of Lookout Mountain, and the left at Citico Creek. The picket lines followed these two creeks for some distance, and then passed across the low grounds between, which lie also between the foot of Missionary Ridge and the high grounds about the town upon which the defensive works were constructed. These works were connected by a strong line of rifle-pits. Behind this line and around the town the greater portion of the army was bivouacked, for very little camp equipage was to be had. This was the only point held by a Federal force south of the river, while the north side was occupied with troops stationed to guard the points above. The base of the army at Chattanooga was at Stevenson and Bridgeport, and was supplied from dépôts at Louisville and Nashville by a single track of railroad. The south side of the river, however, from Lookout Mountain to Bridgeport was in possession of the enemy, and the river road on the north side was rendered impassable by their sharpshooters stationed on the opposite bank. It was thus necessary to bring all supplies to the army over a distance of fifiy or sixty miles, taking the road from Bridgeport up the Sequatchie Valley, over the mountains into the Anderson road, thence to Chattanooga, The Ten. nessee was crossed by pontoon bridges, constructed from such materials as the forest and the town could afford. The storms rendered the roads nearly impassable, and the army was in danger of starvation.
As it was very desirable to open the river and restore the transportation of supplies by that channel, General Thomas devised a plan having this object in view. Hooker, who held the right at Bridgeport, was ordered, on October 27th, to cross the Tennessee at that point, and demonstrate against the enemy's left flank, in Lookout Valley. At the same time a force under General Hazen passed the river at Brown's Ferry, below the city, where pontoons had been skilfully laid by General W. F. Smith, and began ascending Lookout Mountain, which was soon taken, the enemy giving way with very slight opposition. When Hazen crossed the river and marched up the point of Lookout Mountain, the retreat of the enemy's forces in that directio: was cut off, and they could only retire up the valley towards Trenton, Georgia some twenty miles, thus making a long detour before they could join the main rebel army. This force consisted of two brigades of infantry and one battery. Hooker crossed the river at Bridgeport, and moved up, uniting with the force at Brown's Ferry. This opened the river, the road to Kelly's Ferry, and the direct road to Bridgeport, as well as the river road on the north side around the bend. This successful movement is thus described by a spectator in the camp of the enemy :
“The enemy were several miles distant, and the smoke of their bivouac fires, resting above the tree-tops, indicated a halt. Subsequently the column resumed it motion, and during the afternoon the long, dark, thread-liku line of troops became visible, slowly wending their way in the direction of Chattanooga. On Lookout Peak, gazing down upon the singular spectacle-a coup d'æl which embraced in curious contrast the beau. ties of nature and the achievements of art, the blessings of peace and the horrors of war-were Generals Bragg, Longstreet, and others, to whom this bold venture of the enemy opened at once new vistas of thought and action. Infantry, artillery, and caralry, all glided silently by, like a procession of fantocini in a panorama, until, among all the sundown's sumptuous pictures' which glowed around us, there was not one like that of the great, fresh, bustling camp, suddenly grown into view, with its thousand twinkling lights, its groups of men and animals, and its lines of white-topped wagons, now strung like a necklace of pearls around the bosom of the hills. The Fed. erals had succeeded in effecting a junction with the army of Chattanooga.
“The question which naturally arises is, why did not General Bragg throw his army in front of the advancing columns and check the movement? The answer is in the shape of one of those stolid facts which even strategy cannot always stir. On Monday night, General Thomasmor perhaps Grant, for he is now in Chattanooga-crossed a force of six thousand men, first over the Tennessee at the edge of the town, then over the neck of land known as the Moccasin, and finally over the river again at Brown's Ferry, in rear of Chattanooga, where, after a brief skirmish with one of our regiments, they took possession of the hills and commenced the work of fortification. Simultaneously with this movement, a column at Bridgeport, consisting of the Eleventh Corps, General Howard, and the Twelfth Corps, General Slocum, the whole under command of General Joe Hooker, started up the valley.
“ Under these circumstances, an interposition of our forces across the valley would in
the first place have required the transfer of a considerable portion of our army from the east to the west side of Lookout Mountain, thereby weakening our line in front of Chattanooga, while the enemy reserved his strength; secondly, it would have necessitated a fight on both our front and rear, with the flanks of the Federals protected by the mountains: and, finally, had we been successful, a victory would only have demoralized two corps of the Yankee army, without at all influencing the direct issue involved in the present investment of Chattanooga."
This movement resulted in giving Thomas possession of the river to Bridgeport, twenty-eight miles distant from Chattanooga, and the point at which the Nashville Railroad crosses the Tennessee. Several steamboats were immediately employed in bringing up supplies, and the army was soon on full rations again.
The march of General Sherman's troops from Vicksburg was not unmolested. On the 21st the advance, under Osterhaus, moving eastward from Corinth, encountered near Cherokee Station, eighty-nine miles from Tuscumbia, a body of rebel cavalry under Generals S. D. Lee and Loring, esiimated at from four to six thousand men. The enemy was discovered at eleven o'clock drawn up in line of battle, with skirmishers advanced. A heavy fog rendered it difficult to find out much about his position, and the fight opened somewhat to our disadvant:ige. Presently, however, our line was advanced, and the enemy vigorously attacked ; and General Osterhaus, having succeeded in getting up his twenty-pounder Parrotts, the rebels, under their fire, broke in great confusion. The fight, which was very spirited throughout its entire duration, did not last over sixty minutes from the firing of the first gun, until the enemy was in full retreat.
The enemy under Johnston, however, compelled Sherman to change his route. It had been proposed to bring his column along the south bank of the Tennessee, in order that he might open the Memphis and Charleston Railroad from Bear Creek as far east as Decatur, and as much farther towards Huntsville as possible, under intimations from the War Department that this would be the main channel of communication with Chattanooga. Work was accordingly commenced, and by the 1st of November the road had been opened from Corinth, through Iuka and across Bear Creek, to Cherokee Station, Alabama. As soon, however, as this intention was apparent to the rebels, a swarm of their cavalry settled on the railroad, harassing the advance and destroying every thing destructible. After enduring this annoyance for some time, the programme was changed, and Sherman, abandoning the attempt to open and guard the railroad line, crossed to the north side of the Tennessee, where his march would not be interrupted.
At this time, Burnside was covering Knoxville and an important part of East Tennessee. In the expectation that he could be driven out, Longstreet had been detached from Bragg's army to move on Knoxville, and on the 6th of November he captured the garrisons of ten of Burnsides's outposts, fifty miles from Knoxville, threatening to compel the Union general to fight at disadvantage or uncover Knoxville. From that point the rebel cavalry advanced towards Knoxville, and on the 15th captured portions of two or three cavalry regiments, numbering three hundred men, at Marysville, fifteen miles from Knox