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ing 'that part of the field and not ap- and rear of the tents, was heard. About pearing again until attacked by Captain the same time the 7th-and 22d, which Dollins, on the river bank below their had passed the rear of the 30th and encampment, and chased out of sight, 31st, hastened up, and, closing the space near the close of the contest. Advanc- between them and the 27th, poured a ing about a quarter of a mile further, deadly fire upon the enemy. A combinthis force again came up with the enemy, ed movement was now made upon three who by this time had been reinforced sides of the enemy's works, and driving upon this part of the field, as I since him across the abattis, we followed close learn, by three regiments and a company upon his heels into the clear space of cavalry. Thus strengthened, they at- around his camp. The 27th was the tempted to turn our left flank, but, or- first seen by me entering upon this dering Colonel Logan to extend the line ground. I called the attention of the of battle by a flank movement, and other regiments to their approach, and bringing up a section of Taylor's battery, the wļole line was quickened by eager commanded by First Lieutenant B. H. and impatient emulation. In a few minWhite, under the direction of Captain utes our entire force was within the enSchwartz, to cover the space thus made closure. Under the skillful direction of between the Thirtieth and Thirty-first, Captain Schwartz, Captain Taylor now the attempt was frustrated. Having brought up his battery within three huncompleted that disposition, we again dred yards of the enemy's tents, and opened a deadly fire from both infantry opened fire upon them. He fled with and artillery, and after a desperate resis-precipitation from the tents, and took tance drove the enemy back the third shelter behind some buildings near the time, forcing them to seek cover among river, and into the woods above, the thick woods and brush, protected by the camp, under cover of his batteries, at heavy guns at Columbus. In this strug- Columbus. Near this battery I met Colgle, while leading the charge, I received onel Dougherty, who was leading the a ball in one of my holsters, which failed 7th and 22d through the open space toof harm by striking a pistol. Here Col- ward the tents. At the same time our onels Fouke and Logan urged on their lines upon the right and left were pressmen by the most energetic appeals ; ing up to the line of fire from our bathere Captain Dresser's horse was shot tery, which now ceased firing, and our under him, while Captain Schwartz's men rushed forward among the tents and horse was twice wounded ; here the pro- toward some buildings near the river. jectiles from the enemy's heavy guns at Passing over to the right of the camp, I Columbus, and their artillery at Belmont met Colonel Buford, for the first time crashed through the woods over and since his detour around the pond, and among us; here again, all my staff who congratulated him upon the ardor of his were with me, displayed the greatest men, to be the first to pass the enemy's intrepidity and activity; and here, too, works. During the execution of this many of our officers were killed or movement, Captain Alexander Bielaski, wounded ; nor shall I omit to add that one of my aides-de-camp, who had acthis gallant conduct was stimulated by companied Colonel Buford during the your presence, and inspired by your ex march of the 27th, separate from the ample. Here your horse was killed un-main command, having dismounted from der you.
his horse, which had been several times “While this struggle was going on, a wounded, was shot down while advanctremendous fire from the 27th, which ing with the flag of his adopted country had approached the abattis on the right in his hand, and calling on the men in
THE BATTLE OF BELMONT.
his rear to follow him. Near him, and plished the object of the expedition, I in a few minutes afterward, Colonel Lan- ordered Captain Taylor to reverse his man fell, severely wounded in the thigh, guns and open fire upon the enemy in while leading his men in a desperate bis new position, which was done with charge. Galloping my horse down to great spirit and effect, breaking his the river, I found Captain Bozart, of line, and opening our way by the main Company K, 27th regiment, supported road. Promptly responding to an order by squads of men who had joined him, to that effect, Colonel Logan ordered his sharply engaged with a detachment of flag in front of his regiment, prepared to the enemy, whom he drove into the force his way in the same direction, if woods above the camp. Here the firing necessary. Moving on, he was followed was very hot. My own head was grazed by the whole force, except the 27th and by a ball, my horse was wounded in the the cavalry companies of Captains Dolshoulder and his caparison torn in several lins and Delano. Determined to preserve places. Here, too, one of the enemy's my command unbroken, and to defeat caissons fell into my hands, and a cap- the evident design of the enemy to ture of artillery was made by Captain divide it, I twice rode back across the · Schwartz, a portion of the 7th gallantly field to bring up the 27th and Dollins' assisting in achieving this result. Hav- cavalry, and also dispatched Major Braying complete possession of the enemy's man for the same purpose, but without camp in full view of his formidable bat- accomplishing the object; they having teries at Columbus, I gave the word for sought, in returning, the same route by three cheers for the Union, to which the which they advanced in the morning. brave men around me responded with On passing into the woods the 30th, the the most enthusiastic applause. Several 7th, and 22d encountered a heavy fire of the enemy's steamers being within on their right and left successively, range above and below, I ordered a sec- which was returned with such vigor and tion of Taylor's battery, under the direc- effect as to drive back the superior force tion of Captain Schwartz, down near the of the enemy and silence his firing, but river, and opened a fire upon them, and not until the 7th and 22d had been upon Columbus itself, with what effect I thrown into temporary disorder., Here could not learn. The enemy's tents were Lieutenant-Colonel Wentz, of the 7th, set on fire, destroying his camp equip- and Captain Markley, of the 30th, with age, about four thousand blankets, and several privates were killed, and Colonel his means of transportation. Such horses Dougherty, of the 22d, and Major Mcand other property as could be removed Clurken, of the 30th, who was near me, were siezed, and four pieces of his artil- | were severely wounded. Here my body lery brought to the rear.
servant killed one of the enemy by a “The enemy at Columbus, seeing us in pistol shot. Driving the enemy back on possession of his camp, directed upon us either side, we moved on, occasionally the fire of his heavy guns, but ranging exchanging shots with straggling parties, too high inflicted no injury. Information in the course of which my horse received came at the same time of the crossing of another ball, being one of two fired at heavy bodies of troops above us, amount- me from the corner of a field. Captain ing, as I since learn, to five regiments, Schwartz was at my right when these which, joining those which had fled in shots were fired. At this stage of the that direction, formed rapidly in our contest, according to the admission of rear with the design of cutting off our rebel officers, the enemy's forces had communication with our transports. To swelled, by frequent reinforcements from prevent this, and having fully accom- the other side of the river, to over thirHast to
trong toà by
for his lei's bude
teen regiments of infantry, and some- i ferring that my transport was waiting to thing less than two squadrons of caval- receive him, I went farther down the ry ; excluding his artillery, four pieces river, and met Captain Dollins, whom I of which were in our possession, and two also instructed to embark, and still farof which, after being spiked, together ther met the remainder of the 27th, with part of one of our caissons were which had halted on the bank where the left on the way for want of animals to gunboat Tyler was lying to, the Lexingbring them off. The other two, with ton lying still farther down. The rest their horses and harness, were brought of the boats having gone forward, Capoff. On reaching the landing and not tain Walker, of the Tyler, at my request finding the detachments of the 7th and promptly took the remainder of the 27th 22d, which you had left behind in the on board, Captain Stembel, of the Lexmorning to guard the boats, I ordered / ington, covering the embarkation. HavDelano's cavalry, which was embarking, ing thus embarked all my command, I to the rear of the field to watch the ene- returned with Captains Schwartz and my. Within an hour all our forces Hatch to my transports and reëmbarked, which had arrived were embarked, Cap-reaching Cairo about midnight, after a tain Schwartz, Captain Hatch, Assistant day of almost unceasing marching and Quartermaster, and myself being the conflict. last to get on board. Suddenly the ene- ' “I cannot bestow too high commendamy, in strong force, (whose approach had tion upon all whom I had the honor to been discovered by Lieutenant-Colonel command on that day. Supplied with John H. White, of the 31st, who was inferior and defective arms, many of conspicuous through the day for his which could not be discharged, and othdauntless courage and conduct,) came ers bursting in use, they fought an enemy within range of our musketry, when a in woods, with which he was familiar, terrible fire was opened upon him by the behind defensive works which he had gunboats, as well as by Taylor's battery been preparing for months, in the face and the infantry. The engagement thus of a battery at Belmont, and under his renewed was kept up with great spirit, heavy guns at Columbus, and although and with a deadly effect upon the enemy, numbering three or four to our one, beat until the transports had passed beyond him, capturing several stands of his col. his reach. Exposed to the terrible fire ors, destroying his camp, and carrying of the gunboats and Taylor's battery, a off a large amount of property, already great number of the enemy were killed mentioned. From his own semi-official and wounded in this, the closing scene account his loss was six hundred killed, of a battle of six hours' duration. The wounded and missing, including among 27th and Dollins' cavalry being yet be- the killed and wounded a number of offihind, I ordered my transport to continuecers, and probably among the missing in the rear of the fleet, excepting the one hundred and fifty-five prisoners who gunboats ; and after proceeding a short | were brought to this post.” distance, landed and directed the gun- The number of the Union casualties boats to return and await their appear- does not differ greatly from this estimate ance. At this moment Lieutenant H. A. of the loss of the enemy. There were Rust, Adjutant of the 27th, hastened up eighty-four killed, chiefly of the 7th Iowa and announced the approach of the 27th and 22d Illinois regiments, two hundred and Dollins' cavalry. Accompanied by and eighty-eight wounded, and two hunCaptains Schwartz and Hatch, I rode dred and thirty-five missing. Many of down the river bank and met Colonel the wounded in the exigencies of the esBuford with a part of his command. In- cape, were left on the field of battle, and
until the deadly effect upon leat spirit, he
REPORT OF COMMODORE FOOTE.
many of the missing were prisoners in the to seize “Bird's Point” or “Fort Holt," hands of the enemy. The report of in this immediate vicinity, and, in view Commodore Foote to the Department at of this, wants early reinforcements of Washington, says generally of the well-equipped regiments. The general part borne by the gunboats Tyler and estimates the loss on our side at two Lexington, “that they rendered the most hundred and fifty killed, wounded, and effective service on this occasion, having missing, and the enemy's loss in killed but one man killed and two wounded ; alone at three hundred. My opinion is, in fact, I am informed, both by army and after careful inquiry, as stragglers are navy officers, that the boats, by covering still coming in, that our loss of killed, the final retreat with well-directed fire wounded and missing, will amount to of grape and canister, mowing down the five hundred persons, together with enemy, prevented our troops from being twenty-five baggage wagons, one hunalmost, if not entirely, cut to pieces.” dred horses, one thousand overcoats, and He adds also the following comments on one thousand blankets. The men fought the engagement which serve to explain with great gallantry, and Generals Grant its objects and importance. “General and McClernand had their horses shot Grant, the commanding general, informs under them; and had not the troops me that there are 40,000 men and 108 been flushed with their early success, guns of large calibre in Columbus and its and commenced looting, instead of being vicinity, and that the rebels intend to prepared to retire when the object of the make this point their principal stand expedition was accomplished, they might against the movements of the gunboats have left with comparatively little loss, and troops down the Mississippi river. but the delay gave the enemy time to A rifle shot weighing 90 pounds was cross from Columbus in great force, and picked up by one of our men, thrown a hence the comparative disastrous termindistance of three miles from one of the ation in the withdrawal of our forces." * rebel batteries. The demonstration down. The day after the battle General Grant the river was intended rather as an arm- sent Major Webster with a flag of truce ed reconnoissance than an attack on Col- to Columbus, bearing a number of the umbus ; in fact, mainly for the purpose rebel sick and wounded whom he offered of destroying the detachment which had unconditionally, asking the privilege of crossed the river, and this was effected supplying the wants of our own men in by capturing the cannon and burning the like condition. After some parley with tents and baggage, the latter accomplish- the adjutant-general of General Polk, a ed by Quartermaster Hatch, with a de- mutual exchange of the wounded was actachment of men. This movement, it is complished, without any formal recognibelieved, has prevented, for the present tion of the belligerent rights. A workat least, a junction with General Price ing party of an Illinois regiment was adin Southwest Missouri, also the detach- mitted to the battle-field and permitted ments being cut off which have been sent to succor the suffering and bury the from here to attack Jeff. Thompson, as dead. In the discharge of these duties well as establishing the fact of Columbus the wounded were surrendered and mubeing so strongly fortified that a large tually received by their friends.. Genland force must coöperate with the gun- eral Polk, touched by sympathy with the boats, in order to move successfully be- suffering, hesitated to interfere with the yond this point down the Mississippi arrangement, though he felt compelled to river. On the other hand, General consult the etiquette of the camp. “My Grant is impressed with the idea that
* Commodore A. H. Foote to the Hon. Gideon Welles, the rebels may retaliate by an attempt | U. S. Gunboat Lexington, off Cairo, November 9, 1881.
own feelings," he wrote, in reply to Gen- one of the Unionists, but, at the end, the eral Grant, “would prompt me to waive disparity was somewhat lessened by the again the unimportant affectation of de- fire and protection of the gun-boats. A clining to recognize these states as bel- General order issued by Brigadier-Genligerents, in the interests of humanity, eral McClernand on the 8th of Novembut my government requires all prison- ber, the day after the battle, from his ers to be placed at the disposal of the headquarters at Camp Cairo, paid a deSecretary of War."
served tribute to the valor displayed by The brief official report of General his command. General Grant also, in an Polk bears witness to this severely con- official order, returned his thanks to the tested field. “The enemy," he wrote to troops under his command in the battle. Headquarters, through General A. S. “It had been his fortune,” he said, “to Johnston, “ came down on the opposite have been in all the battles fought in side of the river, Belmont, to-day, about Mexico by Generals Scott and Taylor, 7,500 strong, landed under cover of gun- save Buena Vista, and he never saw one boats and attacked Colonel Tappan's more hotly contested, or where troops camp. I sent over three regiments un- behaved with more gallantry.” der General Pillow to his relief, then at The disaster at Belmont was a severe intervals three others, then General one, for nearly one-fourth of those who Cheatham. I then took over two others went into the action were killed, woundin person, to support a flank movemented, or prisoners ; and it was doubly felt which I had directed. It was a hard at the time when an impatient public, fought battle, lasting from half-past ten tired of the slow proceedings of the war, in the morning to five in the afternoon. were eagerly demanding some decisive They took Beltzhoover's battery, four action. The attack, though parried, was, pieces of which we recaptured. The doubtless, however, felt by the enemy enemy were thoroughly routed. We who, if they had any intentions of assistpursued them to their boats seven miles, ing the rebels in Missouri were diverted then drove their boats before us. The from the purpose, and who certainly road was strewn with their dead and were taught that the war was a reality, wounded, guns, ammunition and equip- and that the Northern soldiers, whom ments. Our loss considerable ; theirs they had affected to despise, were no heavy.” It will be noticed in this, that feeble antagonists. So far from discourwhile the number of the Union forces is aging the camp at Cairo, it steeled the greatly exaggerated, made nearly three-courage of its inmates and caused them fold, the calculation by the other side, of eagerly to long for another contest, the extensive reinforcements of the ene- when on more equal terms they could iny is fully sustained. The actual con- renew the fight so valiantly begun at test stood three or four nf the rebels to Belmont.