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30th. The Union line was now formed of the Eighteenth and Tenth Corps, and the enemy, having been re-enforced from Richmond under Hoke, fell with great fury on the division of Stannard. Deploying in three strong lines at the edge of the wood, he charged with great promptitude, under cover of a hot shelling from his iron-clads in the river, and an annoying enfilading fire from the batteries on the bank. A well-directed, rolling musketry fire sent the rebels reeling back to the wood, before they could reach the intrenchments. Again and still a third time they rallied, were re-formed, and made the charge. But, though they got near the works, it was only to be repulsed with great slaughter. Our men had been instructed to lower their pieces, and the musketry fire was at once incessant and murderous. On the breaking of the enemy, General Weitzel succeeded in cutting off over two hundred prisoners, including twenty officers. The enemy's total loss was probably a thousand men, and ours probably less than five hundred. Among the wounded officers was General Standard, who lost an arm.
After this movement, litile of importance took place until Friday, October 7th. The Federal line was formed of the Eighteenth Corps, on the left, the Tenth on the centre and right, and the cavalry on the extreme right, on the Darbytown road. The left was intrenched at Battery Harrison, about ten miles from Richmond, and the right about five miles from Richmond, in an air line on the Charles City road. At early dawn on the 7th, Anderson, with Hoke's and Field's Divisions, advanced down the Darbytown and Charles City roads, and attacked Kautz's Division with such suddenness and fury, that the whole broke and fled. This disaster gave the enemy possession of the Darbytown road, and pressing on in pursuit, they soon encountered our right centre, the right of the Tenth Corps. Meanwhile, the cavalry had gained in their fight Signal Hill and Newmarket Heights. Birney held a strongly intrenched line, with the right flank refused. On the right was Terry's First Division, lying along the refused flank, and covering the Newmarket road. His troops were in rifle-pits, in heavy woods. The ground on the left of the line was open, and here the artillery was posted-four six-gun batteries—which swept not only its own front, but shelled the ground by which the right could be reached. Proper and skilful dispositions were briskly made on the stampede of the cavalry, and, before the enemy was on him, Terry was ready.
As the enemy approached, he was greeted with a heavy cross-fire of artillery from our left, in answer to which he got two batteries into position. These, however, were soon overmatched. Meanwhile, Field's Division moved up in excellent order to the assault, dashing over the open at double-quick, and succeeded in gaining the woods on our right. Not only, however, was the open made dangerous by artillery, but the partially felled woods were difficult of penetration. Our infantry remained quict until the enemy was very close, when all four brigades, rising from their half-ambush, poured into him a sudden and destructive fire.
After a protracted engagement, the enemy, finding his efforts vain, withdrew in great confusion along the central road, followed closely by Terry. He finally retired upon the Charles City road, thus leaving . the central road again in our possession. The troops enjoyed an interval of repose until the 13th, when General Terry, temporarily in command of the Tenth Corps, moved out before dawn upon the Darbytown road to the scene of Kautz's defeat on the 7th. The enemy had, in the interval, constructed many new works, one of which was ineffectually assaulted by Pond's Brigade. . The enemy in turn made a charge upon our lines. This was succeeded by the return of the Federal troops to their intrenchments.
Operations in Tennessee.-Sherman's Raid through Mississippi.-Failure of Smith's
Co-operative Movement.- Invasion of Western Tennessee and Kentucky by Forrest.—Massacre at Fort Pillow.
LONGSTREET, after his retreat upon Rogersville, continued to remain some time in Eastern Tennessee, apparently threatening Knoxville. His communications with Lee, temporarily interrupted by Averill, in a daring raid into Southwestern Virginia, were soon restored, and Lee bad abundant opportunity, during the inactivity of the Army of the Potomac in the winter of 1863-4, to re-enforce him, of which, how. ever, he did not take advantage. Longstreet accordingly contented himself with merely threatening Knoxville, while Johnston, who had succeeded Bragg, occupied Dalton, thirty-eight miles south of Chattanooga. Longstreet ultimately returned to the rebel army in Virginia, and upon bis departure the Ninth Corps was sent to re-enforce the Army of the Potomac. During January, 1864, the enemy sent several expeditions into Tennessee. Johnson's Brigade, of Rhoddy's command, crossed the Tennessee River at Bainbridge, three miles below Florence, and at Newport Ferry, six miles from the same point, intending to make a junction with a brigade of infantry which was expected to cross the river at Lamb's and Brown's Ferry, and thence proceed to Alton's, to capture the Union force there. They were engaged, fifteen of them killed, and quite a number wounded and taken prisoners. Our loss was ten wounded. The operations of the rebel General Forrest were in no degree more successful. At the close of January, General Rosecrans was assigned to the Department of Missouri, and General Schofield resumed command of the Twenty-third Corps, constituting the Army of the Ohio, and, with it, of the Department of Ohio.
A combined movement was now formed against the enemy in the Southwest. General Sherman was to march east from Vicksburg on the 3d of February into the interior of the Gulf States, and, in co-operation with him, Generals Smith and Grierson, at the head of a cavalry force, were to move south from Memphis. In aid of these operations, Schofield was directed to threaten Longstreet in the neighborhood of Knoxville, and Thomas to press Johnston, while the navy attacked Mobile, and General Banks was to operate against Shreveport, and Kilpatrick conduct a raid on Richmond. In accordance with this plan, on February 3d, a strong column, composed of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Army Corps, under command of Sherman, took up an easterly line of march from Vicksburg, following the line of the Southern Mississippi Railroad. By following the prolongation of this line, the column would strike Meridian (one hundred and forty miles), Selma (two hundred and fifty miles), Montgomery (three hundred miles), and double railroad and double river communications would be opened up with the Gulf. The Pearl, the Tombigbee, and the Alabaina-rivers leading into the heart of Mississippi and Alabama-would thus be thrown open to our gunboats. In a word, the great centre of productive forces would be seized. At the same time that Sherman's force was pursuing the line indicated, another very powerful cavalry column, twelve thousand strong, under Generals Smith and Grierson, was to set out from Corinth and Holly Springs, to follow the Mobile and Ohio Railroad southward. On February 5th, the two corps, under Generals McPherson and Hurlbut, were across the Big Black River, and advanced, driving the rebel General Polk before them, and inflicting immense damage upon the enemy. At Meridian, the great railway centre of the Southwest, which Sherman reached about the middle of the month, he destroyed the arsenal filled with valuable stores and machinery, burned a large number of Goverment warehouses filled with military stores and ammunition, and reg. dered useless a number of mills. At Meridian he also made, in his own words, “the most complete destruction of railroads ever beheld." Sixty miles of track, besides dépôts, bridges, and rolliug stock, were thoroughly destroyed, and several towns burned or desolated. Haring waited at Meridian a week without news of Smith, he retraced his steps to the Mississippi, carrying with him over eight thousand liberated slaves, and an immense amount of spoils. The resistance offered by the enemy was so trifling that the total Union loss was less than two hundred.
Meantime weeks had been spent in gathering together and properly organizing all the available cavalry in Western Tennessee and Norihern Mississippi. To supply troops for these movements, Corinth, and the line of the Memphis and Charleston road as far east as General Logan's outposts, had been abandoned, the fortifications blown up, and the public property removed. Common report put the aggregate finally collected at ten thousand horsemen. The number was so large that General Smith felt warranted in writing as follows, to a friend in Buf: falo, under date of Colliersville, February 9th : “I expect to start to-morrow or next day with — thousand cavalry, for the bowels of Dixie. The rebels have about — thousand in Mississippi, which they can, if they like, concentrate to oppose me." The force, it is sale to say, was larger and better equipped than any before collected due ring this war to execute a similar mission. As it was essential to the complete achievement of General Sherman's plan of campaign that this cavalry column should move forward promptly, every precaution was taken to make it irresistible ; and to render assurance doubly sure, General Smith, General Grant's chief of cavalry, was detailed to supervise operations. All these precautions, however, failed to accomplish
the desired end. The column, which was to have left Colliersville February 3d--the same day that Sherman got away from Vicksburgwas detained until February 11th, in order to enable General Waring to bring up his brigade. This delay seems to have been sufficient to enable Forrest, Rhoddy, and Chambers to concentrate their forces against him ; it gave General Sherman a whole week the start, and made a junction proportionately more difficult. After the expedition had finally started, various circumstances conspired to delay and oppose its progress. It was only after the force had been in the saddle seven days that it reached Okalona, one hundred and thirty miles southeast of Memphis, an average of but little more than fifteen miles per day from Colliersville, the point of departure. On the 19th it marched to Egypt, a station about seven miles south of Okalona. Here they destroyed a large quantity of rebel stores. The expedition was then divided, one column, under Grierson, going through Aberdeen on the east side of the railroad, the other on the west side, the two concentrating at Prairie Station, about seventeen miles south of Okalona, where large quantities of rebel stores were destroyed. Grierson met with considerable opposition near Aberdeen. On the 20th, Forrest was reported in force at West Point, and on the 21st our forces encountered him at that place. Smith found Forrest, Lee, Rhoddy, and Chambers combined against him, and after a heavy fight he was compelled to fall back, leaving three field-pieces, four-pounder steel guns, on the field. They were spiked. All the ammunition was saved. In his retreat Smith burnt every trestle on the Memphis and Ohio Railroad, and destroyed miles of the track and large quantities of corn. There was heavy fighting in the rear throughout the 22d. The rebels moved on each flank with the evident design of reaching the Tallahatchie in advance of our force, and forming a junction to prevent our crossing, and capture the whole command; but by forced marching Smith passed both flanking columns, and, marching all night, crossed safely at New Albany. Skirmishing was kept up all through the 23d and the 24th. On the 25th the expedition arrived at Colliersville, about twenty-five miles east of Memphis, where the greater portion of the men remained.
The enemy were now becoming more active. Forrest, having succeeded in defeating the expedition of Grierson and Smith, reoruited his forces in Mississippi, and appeared suddenly, on March 22d, at Bolivar, Tennessee, with a force between six and seven thousand strong. He advanced rapidly against Union City, which was garrisoned by about four hundred men, under command of Colonel Harkins. The enemy made several ineffectual charges against the slight earthworks which surrounded the town; but, finding it impossible to carry them by assault, Forrest demanded the surrender of the garrison, threatening to bombard the town unless the demand was complied with. Harkins, it is said, against the wishes of the garrison, surrendered on the 24th, just in time to anticipate the arrival of a large Union force from Cairo, under command of General Mason Brayman, who was marching to his relief.
From Union City, Forrest marched north ward across Kentucky, and
on the afternoon of March 25th made an attack on Paducah, having first sent to demand the surrender of the fort. This was refused by Colonel Hicks, who was in command, and the attack was immediately commenced. It lasted during the whole afternoon, the enemy making four assaults, in each of which they were repulsed with considerable loss. After the first assault had been foiled, Forrest again demanded the surrender of the fort, troops, and public stores, promising that if the demand were complied with, the troops should be treated as prisoners of war, but if he were compelled to storm the fort they might expect no quarters. Hicks declined, and the battle continued. Early in the evening the rebels retired from the town, but reappeared the next morning, when Forrest sent in a reqnest for an exchange of prisoners. This Hicks declined, and the rebels, without making any further demonstrations, retired in the direction of Columbus. Their loss was three hundred killed and one thousand wounded. The latter were taken to Mayfield by rail, and the former were left unburied around the fort. The rebel Brigadier-General A. P. Thompson was among the slain. The rebel General Buford appeared before Columbus early in April, and demanded the surrender of the place, but, upon receiving a peremptory refusal, moved off without attempting an attack.
At this time occurred an event, unparalleled in the previous or subsequent history of the war, and which caused an almost unanimous outbreak of horror and indignation throughout the loyal States. Threats of raising the “ black flag," of carrying on a far of extermination, of giving no quarter in case of refusal to surrender, had frequently been made by rebel commanders, but it was reserved for Forrest, a man of unquestioned bravery and skill, but of relentless cruelty, to show that such threats had a deeper significance than the angry, thoughtless words of heated and exasperated combatants. Bad as the rebel cause had before seemed to loyal men, it grew immeasurably worse from the crime now associated with it, and which, like the rebellion itself, had its origin in the demoralizing influences flowing from the institution of slavery.
On the 12th of April, Forrest appeared before Fort Pillow, on the Mississippi River, a work of moderate size, mounting six guns, and garrisoned by about five hundred and fifty men, of whom two bundred and sixty were colored troops, the whole being commanded by Major Bradford, of the Thirteenth Tennessee Cavalry. The fort was situated on a high bluff which descended precipitately to the river's edge, the ridge of the bluff on the river side being covered with trees, bushes, and falling timber. 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, containing commissary stores. The ravine above the fort forward was known as 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 ground, not quite so elevated as the fort itself, on which had been erected some log huts or shanties, which Here occupied by the white troops, and also used for hospital and other