網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

De Russey, having surrendered, the army was pushed forward, overland, against Shreveport, where the rebels, under command of General Taylor, were concentrating. Several rebel gunboats, which had been stationed at Alexandria, had steamed up the river to assist in the defence of the former place. Shreveport is near the southwest boundary of Louisiana, and as the enemy inferred that it was the objective of Banks's campaign, strong fortifications had been erected, formidable obstructions placed in the river, and provision sufficient for a six months' siege accumulated. After a delay of ten days at Alexandria, in order to concentrate his forces and organize further movements, Banks resumed his march. About thirty miles above Alexandria the Federal advance met the rebels strongly posted at Cane River. Their force was considerable, and their position advantageous; but after a short engagement with artillery and skirmishers, a general charge was ordered, and the rebels beat a hasty retreat, with the loss of two hun. dred and fifty killed and wounded, and five hundred to six hundred prisoners. This was on the 28th of March. The Union army pressed rapidly forward. The rebels as rapidly retreated. Grand Ecore was passed. Natchitoches, capital of the parish of that name, was occupied without opposition; and on the 6th of April the army continued its advance towards Shreveport. At Grand Ecore the road leaves the river-bank, and, passing through Natchitoches, four miles from Grand Ecore, enters heavy pine woods. A single road conducts through this uncleared forest, affording excellent opportunities for ambuscade.

The Union army no longer enjoyed the formidable protection of the gunboats. The cavalry, five thousand strong, constituted the advance, commanded by General Lee. They were followed by their wagon train. Several miles in the rear was the nearest infantry force. This was the Thirteenth Army Corps. The Nineteenth was still farther in the rear. On the 7th the cavalry found its progress somewhat re sisted by the increased strength of the enemy's skirmishers in front. The enemy had skilfully drawn on General Banks, who, with false confidence, advanced with cavalry and artillery, without adequate in. fantry support, some eight miles. On the 8th of April he sent word to hurry forward the infantry, and General Ransom, with two divisions, was directed to go to his assistance. Nothing like a general engage ment was expected or prepared for. Ransom, indeed, urged awaiting the arrival of the rest of the army, but he was overruled.

An order to charge upon the enemy was given, and the issue proved the greatness of the mistake. The enemy, under cover of the trees, had formed an ambuscade in the shape of an enormous V. The devoted soldiers, entering the open wedge at its base, charged upon the apex. The wings then closed upon them. They were mowed down by a terrific fire both from front and either flank. The cavalry was thrown into disorder, and began to retreat down the road filled with infantry. The wounded and dying were trodden under the horses' feet. The infantry, surprised by the murderous fire from a con. cealed foe, were thrown into confusion by the retreating cavalry, who cantered in disorder through their lines. An attempt was made to withdraw and meet re-enforcements from the Nineteenth Corps, farther

back; but the single narrow road was effectually blockaded by the cavalry wagon train. An orderly retreat was impossible. Soon all was in the uimost confusion. “Let every man take care of himself !” became the universal cry. Ransom made the most heroic efforts to rally his men, but in vain.

The wagon train was abandoned to the enemy, and twenty guns fell into the rebels' hands. Among these captures was the Chicago Mercantile Battery. The army was saved from demolition by the timely arrival of re-enforcements from the Nineteenth Corps and the darkness of approaching night. This engagement is known by the name of the Battle of Mansfield. Banks's loss was estimated at two thousand out of eight thousand men on the field. He was largely outnumbered by the enemy. The army retreated during the night, and at dawn of the 9th succeeded in gaining Pleasant Hill, where it was concantrated. General A. J. Smith, with the Sixteenth Army Corps, held the right; Franklin, with the Nineteenth Corps, held the left. The Thirteenth Corps, exhausted and almost destroyed by the previous day's fighting, was unable to participate in the anticipated battle.

At four P. m. in the afternoon of the 9th, the enemy arrived in pursuit, and immediately advanced in overwhelming numbers against the division of General Emory of the Nineteenth Corps, which, after an obstinate resistance, retreated slowly up a hill, on the slopes of which it had been formed. Behind the crest of this hill the Sixteenth Corps lay in reserve, and as the rebels rushed on with every expectation of an easy victory, they were met by a withering fire of artillery and musketry, from which they recoiled in confusion. At this moment the Sixteenth Corps charged with fixed bayonets, driving the enemy in utter rout into the neighboring woods, and recapturing eight of the guns lost on the previous day, besides five hundred prisoners. Early on the 10th, Banks, leaving his dead unburied, continued his retreat to Grand Ecore. By this timely victory the enemy suffered severely, and were compelled to abate somewhat the ardor of their pursuit.

Meantime, the fleet under Porter,* comprising the Cricket, Eastport, Mound City, Chillicothe, Carondelet, Pittsburg, Ozark, Neosho, Osage, Lexington, Fort Hindman, and Louisville, and a fleet of thirty transports, ascended the river to. Grand Ecore. On the 7th of April, the river rising very slowly, the admiral sent up the Cricket, Fort Hindman, Lexington, Osage, Neosho, and Chillicothe, with the hope of getting the rest of the vessels along when the usual rise came. Twenty transports were sent along filled with army stores, and with a portion of General A. J. Smith's Division on board. It was intended that the fleet should reach Springfield Landing on the third day, and then com

• David D. Porter was born in Philadelphia repaired with his fleet to the James River, and in about 1815. He is the youngest son of Commodoro October, 1862. was placed in command of the MinDavid Porter, distinguished as a naval officer in sissippi gunboat flotilla, which he retained for two the last war with Eugland, and was appointed a years, participating in the most important operamidshipman in 1829. In 1861 he was promoted to tion occurring during that interval on the Western be a commander, and put in command of the steam waters. In October, 1864, having been previously sloop Powhattan.one of the Gulf Blockading Squall. promoted to be a full rear-admiral, he was apron. In the spring of 1962 he received command pointed to command the North Atlantic Squadron, of the mortar flotilla, which co-operated in the in which capacity he conducted the two memoreduction of the forts on the Lower Mississippi and | rable bombarriments of Fort Fisher, N. C., in the capture of New Orleans. He subsequently | December, 1864, and January, 1865.

municate with the army, a portion of which expected to be at Spring. field at that time.

At Springfield, serious obstacles were encountered in the river ; but before they could be removed, news came to Porter that Banks was defeated, and the army falling back to Pleasant Hill, sixty miles in the rear of the fleet. The prompt return of the fleet was imperative, as the high banks of the river swarmed with enemies, who could not be reached by the guns of the fleet. On the 12th, a portion of the enemy who had defeated Banks opened fire from the right bank on the Osage, Lieutenant-Commander F. 0. Selfridge (iron-clad), she being hard aground at the time, with a transport (the Black Hawk) alongside of her, towing her off. The rebels opened with two thousand muskets, and soon drove every one out of the Black Hawk to the safe casemates of the monitor. Lieutenant Bache had just come from his vessel (the Lexington), and fortunately was enabled to pull up to her again, keeping close under the bank, while the Osage opened a destructive fire on the enemy, whose efforts were vain against an iron vessel. Meantime, some troops were sent up from Grand Ecore to clear the river from guerrillas. The river now began to fall rapidly, and above the bar at Alexandria the fleet was caught by the low water, and for a time considerably imperilled. It was rescued from this position by a series of dams across the rocks at the falls, which raised the water high enough to let the vessels pass over. These were designed and superintended by Lieutenant-Colonel Bailey, acting engineer of the Nineteenth Army Corps.

The work was commenced on May 1st by running out from the left bank of the iver a tree dam, made of the bodies of very large trees, brush, brick, and stone, cross-tied with other heavy timber, and strengthened in every way wbich ingenuity could devise. This was run out about three hundred feet into the river; four large coal-barges were then filled with brick and sunk at the end of it. From the right bank of the river cribs filled with stone were built out to meet the barges. All of which was successfully accomplished, not withstanding there was a current running of nine miles an hour, which threatened to sweep every thing before it. The dam had nearly reached completion in eight days' working time, and the water had risen sufficiently on the upper falls to allow the Fort Hindman, Osage, and Neosho to get down and be ready to pass the dam. Unfortunately, on the morning of the 9th, the pressure of water became so great that it swept away two of the stone barges, which swung in below the dam on one side.

The Lexington, however, succeeded in getting over the upper falls just in time—the water rapidly falling as she was passing over. She then steered directly for the opening in the dim, through which the water was rushing so furiously that it seemed as if nothing but destruction awaited ber. Thousands of beating heirts looked on anxious for the resuit. The silence was so great as the Lexington approached the dam that a pin might almost be heard to fall. She entered the gap with a full head of steain on, pitched down the roaring torrent, made two or three spasmodic rolls, hung for a moment on the rocks below, was then swept into deep water by the current, and rounded to safely

into the bank. Thirty thousand voices rose in one deafening cheer, and universal joy seemed to pervade the face of every man present. The Neosbo followed next, all her hatches battened down, and every precaution taken against accident. She did not fare as well as the Lexington, her pilot having become frightened as he approached the abyss, and stopped her engine; the result was that for a moment her hull disappeared from sight under the water. Every one thought sbe was lost. She rose, however, swept along over the rocks with the current, and fortunately escaped with only one hole in her bottom, which was stopped in the course of an hour. The Hindman and Osage both came through beautifully, without touching a thing.

The damage done the dam was repaired, and the whole fleet brought off. On the 14th of May the army retreated from Alexandria under protection of the gunbouts, and the city was consumed by fire. On the 16th, the enemy, who escorted the army a long way, and harassed its rear, attacked in force at Avoyelles Prairie, but, after a severe fight, were driven off. On the 18th, under Polignac, they attacked again at Yellow Bayou, but were repulsed with a loss of three hundred prisoners, besides as many killed and wounded. This final check was administered by General Mower, under the command of General A. J. Smith. Yellow Bayou unites with the Bayou de la Glaise, and empties into the Atchafalaya a short distance above Semmesport. On the 19th, the army reached and pontooned the Atchafalaya. On the 20th, it crossed at Semmesport, and moved towards the Mississippi. The next evening it reached Morganzia.

While these operations were going on upon the Red River, a strong auxiliary expedition, under Guneral Steele, had set out from Little Rock, Arkansas, with the design of uniting with Banks's column at Shreveport. On approaching Camden, the enemy was encountered behind a series of breastworks to dispute the passage of Tate's Ferry. General Steele, however, moved his column forward, as if designing to strike directly for Washington, and leave Camden on his left. Arriving within ten miles of the ferry, still keeping the military road, he continued a small body of troops on that road, while a detachment of cavalry was hastened forward to seize and secure Elkin's Ferry, and headed the main column to the southward, breaking off almost at right angles with the former course.

This detachment encountered Marmaduke and Shelby in force, and the latter attacked the rear of the army, under Brigadier-General Rice, who repulsed him. On the 31 of April both banks of the Little Missouri were in our possession, and the army crossed at Elkin's Ferry, McLean's Brigade in advance On the 4th, Marmaduke and Cabell, with between four and five thousand men, made an attack upon our column, but were repulsed after some further skirmishes. Steele's army entered Camden on the 15th of April. The enemy, largely reenforced by Kirby Smith,* now began to swarm upon Steele, and on

* Edmund Kirby Smith was born in Florida, of can war, was sobsequently assistant professor of Connecticut parentage, abont 1824, and granated | mathematics at West Point, and saw active ser at West Point in 1845. He was brevetted first vice in the Indian wars in the West. He resigned lieutenant and captain for gallantry in the Mexi- I his commission at the commencement of the re

[blocks in formation]

the 18th a Union forage train was captured. On the 20th a supply train arrived from Pine Bluff, and on the 22d the empty train was sent back, escorted by a brigade of infantry, four pieces of artillery, and a proper proportion of cavalry. On the 25th news was received that the train had been captured, and Lieutenant-Colonel Drake, of the Thirtysixth Iowa, who was in command, mortally wounded. The loss was nearly two thousand prisoners, four guns, and two hundred and forty wagons.

The defeat of Banks enabled the enemy to strongly re-enforce Kirby Smith. Iuformation reached Steele that Kirby Smith in person, with eight thousand re-enforcements, had made a junction with Price, and that the combined armies were advancing to attack him. Hence retreat was imperative. He, therefore, moved for Little Rock, bis retreat being greatly harassed by the enemy, and his main column compelled to destroy trains and bridges. On the 30th of April, while crossing the Saline River, he was attacked by a body of the enemy under General Fagan; but the assault was repulsed. A portion of the enemy's car. alry, however, crossed the river above, and hurried on towards Little Rock, hoping to take it by surprise while the Union forces were at a distauce; the movement was, however, unsuccessful.

having e literal 101

Early i sand men Clarksvill

feld, Miss

commissai ceedings Missouri 1 plans by ( and accom approach, deprived

CHAPTER LXIII.

War in Missouri.-Execution of Guerrillas.-Marmaduke's Movements.-Helena –

Successful Campaign of General Steele in Arkansas.-Capture of Little Rock.General Gantt. --Sacking of Lawrence by Quantrell.-Price's Last Invasion of Missouri.--His Disastrous Defeat and Retreat into Arkansas.

either to Arkansas.

As Marne who were i men, sent t the enemy, dred and detached by ville, reachi Kards Mar

AFTER the withdrawal of General Halleck from command in Missouri in 1862, many operations of minor character took place, and the State was greatly disturbed by guerrillas under Quantrell, Poindexter, Porter, Cobb, and other partisan leaders, aided by more regular organizations. In September, 1862, the States of Missouri, Kansas, aud Arkansas were erected into a military district under the command of General Curtis, and General Schofield * assumed the command of the

Federal mi Colonel Me enforce the day, the 101 Leaving Ho the road to battle. The tered Marn defeat upon ter, and mar time to put and the rel where Marne

bellion, and was commissioned a colonel in the tauque County, New York, in 1831, and graduated rebel army. He was wounded at Bull Run, where at West Point in 1858. He served for five years his timely arrival turned the scale against the as instructor in natural philosophy at West Point, national troops, and soon afterwards was appointed and at the outbreak of the rebellion was filling the

brigoulier-general. In February, 1862, he was chair of moral philosophy at Washington Univer promoted to be a major-general, and sent to take sity, St. Louis. He was employed in organizing command in East Tennessee. He participated troops in the West in the early part of 1861, was in Bragg's invasion of Kentucky in the same year, subsequently General Lyon's chief of staff, and in fought at Murfreesboro', and early in 1869 was November, 1861, was commissioned a brigadi po appointed to command the Department west of general of volunteers. In June, 1862, he was apo the Mississinpi, which he retained until the close | pointed to the military district of Missouri, and a of the war. He conducted the military operations few months later received command of the Army in Louisiana in the campaigns of 1863 and 1664, of the Frontier, with which be drove the rebel inand had the credit of defeating Banks's costly and vading force under Hindman into Arkansas. No unfortante Red River Expedition. He was the retained this command until the early part of 1864, last of the rebel generals holding important com. when he was sent to East Tennessee to relieve mands to surrender to the United States author General Foster. As commander of the TwentyIties. At that time he held the rank of lieutenant third Corps, constituting the Army of the Ohio, he general.

participated in Sherman's campaign from Chatta * John McAllister Schofield was born in Cha- | booga to Atlanta, after which he was dispatched

Tennessee, un

of the su Tranklin lorem

« 上一頁繼續 »