PORTRAIT OF GENERAL LOGAN. From photograph by Scott, Chicago.
GENERAL LOGAN A GODFATHER DURING THE STORM OF BATTLE.
GENERAL LOGAN HURRYING FROM CONGRESS TO THE FIELD OF BULL RUN.
SCENES FROM ARMY LIFE — Camp Life at Corinth.
SCENES FROM ARMY LIFE — Hospital Scene.
SCENES FROM ARMY LIFE — Foraging.
FAMOUS MILITARY LEADERS. 1. GENERAL U.S. Grant. 2. Major-General E. V. Sumner 3. Major-General John E. Wool. 4. Major-General Lew. Wallace. 5. Major-General Jeff. C. Davis.
THREE TYPICAL VOLUNTEER GENERALS. 1. General John Stark and his Green Mountain Boys. 2. General Logan in the Rain before Donelson. 3. General Terry at Fort Fisher.
GENERAL LOGAN ENTERING VICKSBURG AT THE HEAD OF THE ARMY.
EXPLOSION IN THE CENTER AT VICKSBURG.
THE BATTLE OF KENESAW MOUNTAIN.
These Reminiscences have been compiled by the editor from the journal of General Logan. The manuscript covers a complete history of the military operations of the Union armies of the West, from the battle of Belmont to the surrender of General Johnston. The very limited space at the present command of the editor has necessitated a condensation of material which presents the merest outline of General Logan's valuable contribution to the history of the War in the West. But the extracts here given, in the form of Reminiscences, brief as they are, cannot fail to be of great interest to the readers of "The Volunteer Soldier." C. A. L.
The Battle of Belmont.
CAIRO was the most important military point in the West at the outbreak of the War of the Rebellion. Its topographical situation is remarkable. It is the point where the Mississippi and the Ohio rivers meet, after having received into their floods the tributary streams which drain more than one-half of the great interior valley of our country. It is also the center from which a circle may be drawn, with a diameter of less than 350 miles, within which will be included parts of the States of Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and Arkansas.
General Grant was appointed Brigadier-General of Volunteers on the 7th of August, 1861, but his commission was dated back to May 17th. The military district of Southeastern Missouri was constituted of Southeastern Missouri, Southern Illinois, and all of Western Kentucky and Tennessee that the Union army might be
620able to hold. Cairo was the headquarters of the district. By order of General Frémont, General Grant was assigned to the command of the district named, which command he formally assumed on the 1st of September, 1861, although he did not reach Cairo until the 2nd, when he at once established his headquarters at that point. Several regiments of Union troops, including my own, the Thirty-first Illinois, were already there, and had been under course of drill, and of formation into brigades by McClernand.
On the day that General Grant reached Cairo, the rebel General, Leonidas Polk, with a considerable force from Western Tennessee, entered Kentucky and seized the towns of Hickman and Columbus, upon the left bank of the Mississippi, the former being about twenty-seven miles and the latter about twelve miles south of Cairo.
General Grant at once notified the Kentucky Legislature, through the proper channel, of this violation of the neutral soil of the State, when a resolution was adopted declaring that "Kentucky expects the Confederate or Tennessee troops to be withdrawn from her soil unconditionally." To this fulmination Polk paid no attention, a course which, doubtless, the legislative body expected that he would pursue.
General Grant then seized Paducah, in the State of Kentucky, situated at the confluence of the Tennessee with the Ohio River, and General C. F. Smith was placed in command at that point. Soon afterward General Smith occupied Smithland, situated at the north of the Cumberland River. General Grant then asked permission of General Frémont to make an attempt to capture Columbus, which permission, however, was not granted. Polk had begun to fortify Columbus with all the means at his command, while General Grant spent most of his time in organizing and disciplining the raw troops which were continually arriving.
Nearly opposite to Columbus, on the right bank of the Mississippi, and situated in the State of Missouri, was a place
621called Belmont, which had been a mere steamboat landing, and around which had clustered a group of houses. Belmont was situated upon a river flat, with marshes almost entirely cutting it off from the mainland. The place was commanded by the works erected on the bluffs at Columbus by Polk, who had succeeded in putting into position to command the river at that point nearly one hundred and fifty guns, nearly all of which were thirty-two and sixty-four-pounders. After the completion of these formidable works, Polk began the fortification of other points upon the river, between Columbus and Memphis, among which were included Fort Pillow, just above Memphis, Hickman, Island Number Ten, and New Madrid. These points were located in bends of the river, and at distances varying from fifteen to twenty-three miles below Columbus.
General Grant had been no less active than his rebel opponent. He had fortified Paducah and erected Fort Holt, on the Kentucky side, and had also built some works at Bird's Point, on the Missouri side, opposite Cairo. He had also constructed a fleet of vessels, composed of river steamboats, with a heavy plating of iron, to render them capable of resisting the enemy's shot. These were armed as well as the opportunity permitted; while ramming-vessels and convoys were also improvised.
General Frémont was in pursuit of Sterling Price in the southwestern part of Missouri, and, fearing that the Confederates would be reinforced by Polk, via the landing-place called Belmont, Frémont instructed General Grant, under date of November 5th, to make a strong feint upon Columbus. Grant had previously sent Colonel Oglesby into Missouri, some fifty miles southwest of Cairo, to drive out a body of rebels reported to be congregated there. After Frémont's order, Grant sent another regiment to Oglesby, with an order to march toward New Madrid, and thus to threaten Belmont from the west and south, while Grant himself advanced upon the same place from the north. The 7th of November was fixed as the day upon which to make the combined
622demonstration. General Grant had three transports, some five regiments of infantry, one of cavalry, and a section of artillery, 3,114 men all told. These were formed into two small brigades, commanded by General McClernand and Colonel Dougherty, and convoyed by two gun-boats.
The weather was not all that could be desired, but the men composing our force were in good condition, and eager for a trial of strength. The boys of the Thirty-first Illinois were in splendid spirits, and were determined to give a good account of themselves.
General Smith was directed to make a feint from Paducah to the rear of Columbus, while General Grant was making a demonstration in front of the place. Polk, however, had learned of Oglesby's advance toward New Madrid, and, with the purpose of intercepting the Union force, he had sent a considerable body of men across the river to land at Belmont, who were in camp at that place. Under this phase of affairs General Grant determined that, instead of making a mere feint against Columbus, he would attack the rebel force at Belmont direct, capture or disperse the troops defending it, and again retire to Cairo.
At 6 o'clock A. M. we moved down the river, and at Hunter's Landing, on the Missouri side, sheltered from the batteries at Columbus by the woods, we debarked our force. Leaving one battalion at the landing as a reserve and guard for the transports, we marched upon the enemy's camp direct, situated some three miles down the river. It was located on the river flat in a large clearing, and was protected on the land sides by abattis and breast-works, and upon the river side by the formidable batteries of Columbus. The ground over which we were compelled to travel was wooded and marshy.
The rebel force consisted of a regiment of infantry with a battery of six guns, but this force was added to after the commencement of the battle by three additional regiments from Columbus, under General Pillow.
Our advance — deployed as skirmishers — was met by a hot reception from the rebels, but the latter were driven back, step by step, upon their camp. After three hours of hard fighting, during which our brave volunteers, under lead of their officers, fought with the effectiveness of trained veterans, an order of assault was made; our boys with desperate valor charged and cleared the abattis, took the camp with several hundred prisoners and all of the rebel artillery, and drove the remnant of the enemy over the river bank, forcing them to leave a well-cooked breakfast behind them. This remnant might also have been captured had our troops pursued the enemy immediately. But, fatigued with the hard march and fight, hunger invited them to the untouched breakfast, which seemed to have been especially prepared for them, and many of our men proceeded to devour it. After this, speech-making was indulged in, and loud cheers given for the Union.
The flying rebels, under protection of the river bank, had safely gained the woods while all this was going on. General Grant, fully aware of the danger, and feeling that the direct object of the expedition had been accomplished, attempted to restore discipline among his men, and then gave order to fire the camp preparatory to a return. Up to this time the Confederates at Columbus had refrained from firing, lest their own soldiers might suffer as severely as the Unionists; but now that the flames of the burning camp announced the defeat and dispersion of the rebels, the heavy guns at Columbus opened a severe fire, which soon recalled our men to their sense of danger. So general had been the jubilation that only one regiment of our troops, the Thirty-first Illinois, had retained its formation in ranks.
The order to return to the transports was now given by General Grant, but the rebel commander at Columbus determined to retrieve the day for General Pillow, if possible. He therefore sent a force of about four thousand men, under General Cheatham, up the river in steamboats to intercept the return of our force to the transports at Hunter's Landing. In consequence of the bend of
624the river near Belmont this movement was concealed from the view of our men, though General Grant observed it. Pillow's defeated forces that had escaped to the wood had re-formed, and, having been joined by Cheatham's reinforcements, they formed a line of battle between our troops and the transports.
The situation was serious, and the cry "We are surrounded" being passed from mouth to mouth, many of our men became discouraged. At this point offers were made to General Grant, by officers of the command, to lead the way in the effort to cut through the rebel line. General Grant, realizing the temper of his officers, restored full confidence to the men by the utterance, "We have whipped them once, and can do it again." The Thirty-first Illinois charged the enemy, and cleared a passage for the retreat of our troops; but Folk's troops continued to harass the rear and flank of our retreating columns, though every attempt to gain a decisive advantage was foiled by the gallant Thirty-first Illinois, which cleared a way no less than three times through a vastly superior force of the enemy.
At length, reaching the transports, our men rapidly embarked, carrying with them the two pieces of artillery with which they commenced the march and two rebel guns, the other four of the six captured having been spiked on the retreat. General Grant then rode back alone to withdraw the guard left in the morning, but found that they had already hurried on board. The rebels having been still further reinforced, General Grant rode with all haste to the transports, and, sliding down the steep bank with his horse, he rode over a gang plank pushed out for him from the last transport as it was leaving.
It was about four o'clock when the transports shoved off, and the fire of the rebel musketry was not at all comfortable. Very soon our gunboats, under command of Lieutenant Walke, threw grape and canister into the enemy with such effect that they precipitately sought the shelter of the woods. One of our brave boys was killed, and three were wounded on board the vessels by the
625rebel fire, which almost invariably overshot us. The expedition reached Cairo without further molestation.
The numbers engaged upon both sides, as also the numbers of killed and wounded, have been variously estimated. General Grant claimed that we had about 2,500 men engaged, exclusive of the guard left at the transports. The rebel journals called the battle a great victory for the Confederates. The truth is that it was a most disastrous defeat of the rebel troops, and a victory of almost the first magnitude for the Union cause.
According to the statements of the various Confederate officials, their whole force, including subsequent reinforcements, numbered at the least 7,000 men, which was more than double the numbers of the Union force. Our own loss in killed, wounded, and captured could not have exceeded 550, while it was probably less than that figure. The loss of the enemy, according to the most trustworthy estimates, was not less than 640. Apart from these advantages to the Union cause, however, there are others to be reckoned among the first in importance. Oglesby was not cut off, Price was not reinforced by Polk from Columbus, and the fruit of victory, as relating to these prime objects, was wholly with us.
The battle was important to us in still other respects. It had been the constant claim of the Southern people that one of their men could whip five Northerners. The battle of Belmont, if it did not demonstrate to the rebels themselves that one Union soldier could whip two Confederates, proved to the satisfaction of our own men that they were at least equal to the enemy man to man. The battle gave many, if not the most of our men then engaged, their first smell of powder. It inspired confidence in their own abilities as soldiers, as well as in the skill of their officers. It taught a lesson concerning the value of discipline which our men remembered and repeated to others upon almost every subsequent battle-field, for their position at Belmont, owing to their own lack of caution, had been very perilous.
These were the general fruits of the conflict, but the foregoing
626statement of them hardly represents full justice to the Union troops who participated in that initial conflict. A few words will suffice to show more in detail the advantages gained. General Grant, with about the same number of men, had attacked and defeated the force of General Pillow, protected by abattis and the guns of Columbus. He had fired and sacked the enemy's camp; he had cut his way through a force more than double the number of his own, composed of fresh men from Columbus, unfatigued by marching as ours were; he had brought off two guns safely and spiked four others; he had defeated the rebel reinforcement of Price, the successful accomplishment of which reinforcement would have been a calamity to the Union cause the extent of which none could foresee. If this were a Confederate victory there could scarcely be too many of them.
The Capture of Fort Henry.
Soon after the battle of Belmont, General Frémont was replaced by General Hunter. The latter fell back upon Rolla from the position before Price. Upon November 12th, 1861, Major-General Henry W. Halleck superseded Hunter, and assumed command of the Department of the Missouri, which had been made to include Arkansas and the part of Kentucky lying west of the Cumberland River. The State of Tennessee and the eastern part of the State of Kentucky were erected into a command under General Don Carlos Buell. These changes ensued upon the retirement of Major-General Winfield Scott from the chief command of the armies and the succession of General George B. McClellan thereto.
After the battle of Belmont the Confederate commanders in the West formed their great strategic line, which was in fact but an extension of a line from the Potomac to the Mississippi. The left of the line in the West rested at Columbus, Ky., and its right at Bowling Green in the same State. At Columbus was Polk, with his fortifications and armament of one hundred and forty guns, covering the river passage to Memphis and the farther South. At
627Bowling Green, General Buckner was in command, under General Albert Sidney Johnston, with a large army, the place being in communication by rail with Memphis and Columbus, and situated at a distance of ninety miles from Louisville and sixty miles from Nashville. Near the center of this line, and crossing it at right angles, ran the two important rivers known as the Cumberland and the Tennessee, which meander in their course through most of the Southern States above the cotton-belt. These two rivers flow into the Ohio at points not very far apart; and at a distance of about seventy miles on a straight line from where they empty into the Ohio the two streams are not more than eleven miles apart. At the points of closest approach the Confederates had established two very strong posts. These posts commanded the two rivers, respectively, and also the Memphis and Ohio Railroad, which crossed both rivers just above the newly erected fortifications. The fortification on the Tennessee River was called Fort Henry, and that upon the Cumberland River Fort Donelson.
General Grant, as also other officers under his command at Cairo, realized from the first establishment of this line that the taking of these two points by the Union forces would be attended with momentous consequences. The rebel line would be cut in two, and the enemy be compelled to retire below the line of the border slave States, whereby the war in the West, instead of being carried to the banks of the Ohio and of the Mississippi rivers, with all of the sad consequences to the North that ultimately followed, would have been confined to the States where the spirit of secession was the most rampant.
Had General Grant been invested at this early stage with full and single authority to carry on the campaign according to his own views and plans, there can be no doubt that the Rebellion would have been crushed, if not within "the ninety days" prescribed by Secretary Seward, at least within a twelvemonth from its origin. But he was under the command of an officer who possessed many of the worst qualities of the professional soldier.
628A mere book-worm, with no practical tact whatever, he was responsible to as large an extent, if not indeed to a larger extent, for the great proportions the Rebellion ultimately assumed that any individual, either in or out of the army. Absolutely unfitted to direct any important military movement, he was vain beyond counsel, and jealous to a surprising degree. He hampered General Grant from the moment he realized the energy of the young officer up to the time that he no longer had power to molest him. Up to a certain point of the early operations in the West, Grant went through a continuous struggle to do what his judgment told him ought to be done.
The latter foresaw from an early moment the necessity certain to arise for vessels with which to carry on hostile operations upon the various navigable water-courses. Hence, while disciplining his troops at Cairo, he pushed forward, under supervision of Flag Officer A. H. Foote, the construction of those iron-clad gun-boats, transports, and convoy vessels which rendered such invaluable service in the subsequent operations against the enemy.
General Grant's district of Cairo had been enlarged by various additions and then denominated the district of Southern Missouri. He had previously made a demonstration toward Mayfield and Murry in two columns, the one being under General McClernand and the other under C. F. Smith, which had at least a favorable result as a reconnoissance at these points. The movements were made, however, under the most difficult circumstances, the roads being almost impassable and the weather stormy and cold. By threatening the enemy's railroad communications between Columbus and Bowling Green, the reinforcement of either Buckner or Zollicoffer, on his right, from Columbus, was prevented; and thus General Thomas was enabled to meet and disperse Zollicoffer's army at Mill Springs in Eastern Kentucky. At length General Grant's long-sought permission to advance upon the enemy's center was given, and on the first of February the following order, authorizing the advance, was received by General Grant:
"HEADQUARTERS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,
"ST. LOUIS, January 30.
"BRIGADIER-GENERAL U. S. GRANT, Cairo, Ill.:
"You will immediately prepare to send forward to Fort Henry, on the Tennessee River, all your available forces from Smithland, Paducah, Cairo, Fort Hope, Bird's Point, etc. Special garrisons must be left to hold these places against an attack from Columbus. As the roads are now almost impassable for large forces, and as your command is very deficient in transportation, the troops will be taken in steamers up the Tennessee River as far as practicable. Supplies will also be taken up in steamers as far as possible. Flag-Officer Foote will protect the transports with his gun-boats. The Benton, and perhaps some others, should be left for the defense of Cairo. Fort Henry should be taken and held at all hazards. I shall immediately send you three additional companies of artillery from this place. The river front of the fort is armed with twenty-pounders, and it may be necessary for you to take some guns of large caliber, and establish a battery on the opposite side of the river. It is believed that the guns on the land side are of small caliber and can be silenced by our field artillery. It is said that the north side of the river, below the fort, is favorable for landing. If so, you will land and rapidly occupy the road to Dover and fully invest the place, so as to cut off the retreat of the garrison. Lieutenant-Colonel McPherson, United States Engineers, will immediately report to you to act as chief engineer of the expedition. It is very probable that an attempt will be made from Columbus to reinforce Fort Henry, also Fort Donelson, at Dover. If you can occupy the road to Dover you can prevent the latter. The steamers will give you the means of crossing from one side of the river to the other. It is said that there is a masked battery opposite the island below Fort Henry. If this cannot be avoided or turned, it must be taken.
"Having invested Fort Henry, the cavalry forces will be sent forward to break up the railroad from Paris to Dover. The bridges should be rendered impassable, but not destroyed.
"A telegram from Washington says that Beauregard left Manassas four days ago with fifteen regiments for the line of Columbus and Bowling Green. It is, therefore, of the greatest importance that we get that line before he arrives. You will move with the least delay possible. You will furnish Commodore Foote with a copy of this letter. A telegraph line will be extended as rapidly as possible from Paducah east of the Tennessee River to Fort Henry. Wires and operators will be sent from St. Louis.
"H. W. HALLECK,
On the 2nd of February, only twenty-four hours after receiving the official order, General Grant with fifteen thousand men, carrying three days' rations in their haversacks, left Cairo on steam transports, convoyed by a fleet of seven gun-boats under Flag-Officer Foote, and started up the Ohio River for the mouth of the Tennessee, some forty-five miles distant by water, and for Fort
630Henry, some sixty or more miles up, and on the eastern bank of the Tennessee.
After a brief pause at Paducah for the better disposition of the forces, the evening of Monday, the 3d, found the fleet steaming rapidly up the muddy waters of the Tennessee and through heavy rains, under the protection of the gun-boats Essex, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Carondelet, Tyler, Conestoga, and Lexington, the Cincinnati being the flag-ship. On the morning of Tuesday, the 4th, the fleet was moored some ten miles below the fort. The attack having been set for Thursday, the 6th, General Grant, with the Essex and two others of the gun-boats, made a reconnoissance on Tuesday toward the fort, shelling the woods on each side of the river as they advanced, in order to unmask concealed batteries, if any existed, and subsequently shelling Fort Henry, so as to draw its fire and ascertain the range of its guns. During this operation the Essex was struck by a thirty-two-pound shot. Wednesday was consumed in debarking the troops about three or four miles below the fort, a short distance below Panther Island, which occupied the center of the river. They were landed on both sides of the river. Meanwhile two of the gun-boats proceeded to clear the stream of rebel torpedoes, and General Grant and Commodore Foote arranged the plan of battle for the following morning. The Comte de Paris says of Fort Henry that, "set upon low and marshy ground, its sides protected by two streams, that work presented the appearance of a regular bastioned pentagon. It had a armament of seventeen guns, placed en barbette, twelve of which pointed toward the river. Three thousand Confederates occupied the fort, under General Tilghman." Tilghman, in his own report made to the Confederate War Department, places his garrison at 2,734 men, and states that eleven of his heavy guns bore on the river, while Colonel Gilmer, the rebel engineer, acknowledges twelve. On the west or Kentucky side of the river, on the heights commanding Fort Henry, stood unfinished works known as Fort Heiman. The town of Dover was an important station connecting
631with the railroad communication between Bowling Green and Columbus, and was within the outer lines of Fort Donelson, on the Cumberland, ten miles or more away. The Dover road was, therefore, the Fort Donelson road also. The plan of battle was as follows: On the morning of the 6th General C. F. Smith was to advance with two brigades along the western or Kentucky bank upon Fort Heiman, while the main body of the Union forces, under General McClernand, was to advance at eleven o'clock A. M. from Bailey's Ferry, and cross Panther Creek to the Dover road, which led up to the center of the land side of Fort Henry, and, continuing to the large creek behind, complete the investment of the latter fort, and cut off the escape of the garrison or its succor by any available reinforcements from Fort Donelson. At the same time the gun-boats were to attack from the water side. Smith was to bring his artillery to bear upon the fort from the heights of Fort Heiman, and at the opportune moment the position was to be carried by assault of the military forces from the land side. This programme, however, miscarried. The Union forces, upon reaching the west bank of the river, found that Fort Heiman had already been evacuated and Fort Henry had surrendered. On the east or Tennessee side of the river the ground was badly cut up with slippery hills and miry ravines, nearly all the distance to be marched being either under water from the overflow of the Tennessee or thoroughly soaked by the tremendous storm of the previous night, and in consequence of this fact McClernand was also too late. The march was well described in these words by one who was with McClernand's column:
"Our route was along a rough cart path which twisted and turned about among the high wooded hills in a most perplexing manner. The storm of the previous night had soaked the alluvial soil of the bottoms, until under the tread of the troops it speedily became reduced to the consistency of soft porridge of almost
632immeasurable depth, rendering marching very difficult for the infantry, and for the artillery almost impassable. For some three hours we thus struggled along, when suddenly the roar of a heavy gun came booming over the hills, and another and another told us that the gun-boats had commenced the attack. For an instant the entire column seemed to halt to listen; then, springing forward, we pushed on with redoubled vigor. But mile after mile of slippery hills and muddy swamps were passed over, and still the fort seemed no nearer. We could plainly hear the roar of the guns and the whistle of the huge shells through the air, but the high hills and dense woods completely obstructed the view. Suddenly the firing ceased. We listened for it to recommence, but all was still. We looked in each other's faces and wonderingly asked, what does it mean? Is it possible that our gun-boats have been beaten back? For that the rebels should abandon this immense fortification, on which the labor of thousands of negro slaves had been expended for months, after barely an hour's defense, and before our land troops had even come in sight of them, seemed too improbable to suppose. Cautiously we pressed forward, but ere long one of our advance scouts came galloping back, announcing that the rebels had abandoned the fort and seemed to be forming in line of battle on the hills adjoining. With a cheer our boys pressed forward. Soon came another messenger, shouting that the enemy had abandoned his intrenchments completely and was now in full retreat through the woods.
"On we went, plunging through the deep mud and fording swollen creeks until, on the summit of a hill higher than any we had previously surmounted, we came upon the tattered line of the rebel fortifications. An earthen breastwork defended by an immense, long rifle-pit stretched away on either side, until it was lost to sight in the thick woods. Outside of this the timber had been felled in a belt of several rods in width, forming a barrier very difficult for footmen and impassable for cavalry. This breastwork inclosed fully a square mile. Crossing it and pushing forward, we
633came soon to another similar line of defense, and further on still another, before we reached the fort itself, and, crossing a deep slough which protected it on the land side, we stood within the rebel stronghold."
While McClernand's column was thus struggling with the difficulties interposed by nature and art to their advance upon the land side of Fort Henry, and C. F. Smith's column on the other side of the river was laboriously marching upon Fort Heiman, the scene taking place during the river attack was, briefly, as follows: Commodore Foote had under his command seven gun-boats. Of these three were unarmored, and four were iron-clad, though not wholly so. His plan of advance was for three of the iron-clads, the St. Louis, Carondelet, and Essex, to keep side by side with his own iron-clad, the Cincinnati, and to steam slowly up the river, "bows on," toward the fort — their speed to be regulated by that of his own vessel — while the unarmored gun-boats Tyler, Conestoga, and Lexington were to form side by side a second line in the rear of the first, and, from a position of comparative safety, to bombard Fort Henry and the rebel encampment over the heads of the advance division of "turtle" iron-clads. This programme was carried out to the letter. Immediately after passing the upper end of the wooded island called Panther Island, which was about a mile and a quarter below the fort, the Cincinnati opened fire at 12.30 P. M., throwing a shell with a fifteen-second fuse from an eight-inch Dahlgren into the fort. The St. Louis and Carondelet threw similar missiles, while the Essex fired eighty-pound shells. The rebel guns instantly replied, and the firing soon became general. Twelve guns of the fort were trailed upon the attacking squadron, whose van could only bring to bear upon the enemy the bow guns, some seven or twelve in number, the accounts varying. The fire from the slowly but steadily advancing gun-boats was very deliberate, accurate, and destructive, their shells plunging into the fort and camp with pall the precision of target practice. "And now," says the Boston Journal's graphic account, "there was a visible
634commotion in the rebel camp. The first shell from the Cincinnati threw the troops into disorder, and at the fourth round, unable stand the terrible hail which was bringing sure destruction they broke and fled, leaving arms, ammunition, provisions, blankets, tents, everything, and poured out of the intrenchment a motley, panic-stricken rabble, taking the road toward Dover. A portion jumped on board a small steamboat which was lying in the creek above the fort and escaped up the river. Straight onward moved the boats, swerving neither to the right nor to the left. As they neared the fort their firing became more and more destructive. The sandbags and gabions were knocked about, covering the guns and smothering those who served them. At an early moment in the fight the rifled gun of the rebels burst. The gun-boats were repeatedly hit, and those portions which were not plated with iron were badly riddled.
"The fight had lasted fifty minutes with scarcely a casualty on our part, when a twenty-four-pound shot entered the Essex, passed through the thick oak planking surrounding the boilers and engines, and entered the starboard boiler, instantly disabling her, filling the entire boat with steam, and scalding twenty-nine officers and men of her crew. She at once dropped behind and floated down with the stream until taken up by a tug and towed to the encampment.
"The rebels were greatly encouraged by this circumstance. They revived their flagging fire and evidently felt that victory was still to be theirs. But the fleet did not falter for a moment. It kept on straight forward to the batteries as if nothing had occurred. The vessels were now at close range. Their shells tore up the embankments as they exploded directly over the guns. One eighty-pound shell killed or wounded every person serving one of the guns; while the shots of the enemy which struck the iron plating of the gun-boats glanced off, doing no harm. There were no signs of retreat, none of stopping, on the part of Commodore Foote, and those who beheld the fleet supposed from the indications
635that he was going to run straight on to the shore and pour in his fire at two rods' distance.
"Such coolness, determination, and energy had not been counted on by the rebel General, and at forty-six minutes past one, or one hour and twelve minutes from the commencement of the fight, when the gun-boats were within three or four hundred yards of the fort, the rebel flag came down by the run.
"In an instant all firing ceased. The St. Louis, being nearest, immediately sent a boat on shore, and the stars and stripes went up with a wild huzzah from the crews. General Tilghman, who commanded the rebels, asked for Commodore Foote. Word was sent from the Cincinnati that Commodore Foote would be happy to receive him on board that gun-boat, and the gig of the Cincinnati was sent to the shore. The rebel General entered it, and soon stood before the Commodore. General Tilghman asked for terms. ‘No, sir,’ was the Commodore's reply; ‘your surrender must be unconditional.’ ‘Well, sir, if I must surrender, it gives me pleasure to surrender to so brave an officer as you.’ ‘You do perfectly right to surrender, sir, but I should not have surrendered on any condition.’ ‘Why so? I do not understand you.’ ‘Because I was fully determined to capture the fort, or to go to the bottom.’ The rebel General opened his eyes at this remark and replied: ‘I thought I had you, Commodore, but you were too much for me.’ ‘But how could you fight against the old flag?’ ‘Well, it did come hard at first, but if the North had only let us alone there would have been no trouble. But they would not abide by the Constitution.’ Commodore Foote assured him that he and all of the South were mistaken."
There were some seven hundred shots, in all, fired during this gallant fight, some four hundred by the attacking squadron, and over three hundred by the fort. The fort was badly damaged, while four of the gun-boats were struck, to-wit: the Cincinnati in thirty-one places, the St. Louis in seven, the Carondelet in six, and the Essex in fifteen, one of which disabled the latter. The rebel
636General Tilghman afterward stated that his reasons for concentrating his fire on the Cincinnati were because she was the flag-ship and he hoped to disable her; and thus by getting her and the Commodore out of the way, the other vessels would be an easier prey to his guns; and because, also, she had got the range of the fort better, and her fire, especially just before the surrender, was most terrific. One of the rebel shots split the muzzle of one of the largest guns on the flag-ship; another completely decapitated one of the gunners; while a third, a hundred-and-twenty-eight-pounder, struck without penetrating the iron-clad pilot-house at a point only a few inches from the head of the Commodore, who was inside with the pilots, the violence of the concussion eliciting from them all a "very decided grunt."
The Essex, besides the twenty-nine officers and men of her crew scalded, according to the report of Commodore Foote, also had nineteen soldiers on board who were injured. The Cincinnati lost only one killed and nine wounded by the enemy's fire. This comprised the total Union loss. The enemy's casualties were comparatively small, being five killed and sixteen wounded. The rebel General Tilghman and staff, with sixty artillerists, were taken prisoners, and there were also captured twenty guns and seventeen mortars, the guns being mostly of heavy caliber; a hospital ship, with sixty rebel sick, and barracks and tents capable of accommodating 15,000 men, all of which were turned over to General Grant half an hour or more after the surrender, upon his arrival in force.
The Thirty-first Illinois Regiment was the first to enter the breastworks, and also among the first to enter the fort. The same night it was my privilege to take Warren Stewart's cavalry and part of the Thirty-first Illinois, and to press the enemy on the direct road to Dover, in the performance of which duty ten pieces of the enemy's artillery were taken and secured. General Grant's report, written from Fort Henry, was as follows:
"HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF CAIRO,
"FORT HENRY, February 6, 1861.
"CAPTAIN J. T. KELTON, St. Louis, Mo.:
"Enclosed I send you my orders for the attack upon Fort Henry. Owing to dispatches received from Major-General Halleck and corroborating information here, to the effect that the enemy were rapidly reinforcing, I thought it imperatively necessary that the fort should be carried to-day. My forces were not up at eleven o'clock last night when my orders were written; therefore I did not deem it practicable to set an earlier hour than eleven o'clock to-day to commence the investment. The gun-boats started the same hour to commence the attack, and engaged the enemy at not over six hundred yards.
"In a little over one hour all the batteries were silenced, and the fort surrendered at discretion to Flag-Officer Foote, giving us all their guns, camp equipage, etc. The prisoners taken were General Tilghman and staff, Captain Taylor and company, and the sick. The garrison, I think, must have commenced the retreat last night, or at an early hour this morning. Had I not felt it an imperative duty to attack Fort Henry to-day, I should have made the investment complete and delayed until to-morrow so as to have secured the garrison. I do not now believe, however, that the result would have been any more satisfactory.
"The gun-boats have proved themselves well able to resist a severe cannonading. All the iron-clads received more or less shots, the flag-ship some twenty-eight, without any serious damage to any except the Essex.
"I shall take and destroy Fort Donelson on the 8th, and return to Fort Henry with the forces employed, unless it looks possible to occupy the place with a small force that could retreat easily to the main body. I shall regard it more in the light of an advanced grand guard than as a permanent post.
"U. S. GRANT,
In General Grant's dispatch to Halleck he simply said: "Fort Henry is ours. The gun-boats silenced the batteries before the investment was completed. I shall take and destroy Fort Donelson on the 8th, and return to Fort Henry." His written report of the same date contains similar language.
It was subsequently decided, however, that the land advance upon Fort Donelson must be delayed, and that the gun-boats should first start down the Tennessee, along the intervening bend of the Ohio, and up the Cumberland toward Donelson, convoying transports with reinforcements turned back or gathered on the way down, which should be landed on the west bank of the Cumberland just below Fort Donelson, establishing a new supply-base
638there, and coöperating with the other forces that would, in the interim, march entirely overland to that fort.
Meanwhile, and immediately upon the surrender of Fort Henry, Commodore Foote had ordered Lieutenant-Commander Phelps, with his division of three unarmored gun-boats, to steam up the Tennessee River to Benton, "to remove the rails, and so far render the bridge of the railroad for transportation and communication between Bowling Green and Columbus useless, and afterward to pursue the rebel gun-boats and secure their capture if possible" — orders which not only resulted in the destruction of the railroad bridge, and the capture or destruction of the rebel vessels and much material of war, but also in the triumphant carrying of the Union flag through the State of Tennessee and into Alabama, until the shallow water at Muscle Shoals, near Florence, prevented a farther ascent of the river.
The Capture of Fort Donelson.
Polk with a large rebel army was at Columbus, on the Mississippi, which point constituted the rebel left, covering Memphis. Albert Sidney Johnston was at Bowling Green, Ky., which constituted the rebel right, impregnably fortified, and occupied by another army of at least fifty thousand effective men. The Union General George H. Thomas (under Buell's orders) had annihilated Zollicoffer's forces at Mill Spring. Thomas having turned one flank of the enemy's position at Bowling Green, Grant's capture of Fort Henry threatened the other.
An immediate result of the fall of Fort Henry was the evacuation of Bowling Green and its occupation by the Union forces under Buell, while part of Sidney Johnston's rebel army fell back upon Nashville, the capital of Tennessee, which city, besides being located on the Cumberland River, was one of the great railroad centers of the Southern and border States. While being forced to this retrograde movement, however, Johnston was fully aware of the great importance of holding Fort Donelson, both for defensive
639and offensive reasons — defensive of the new rebel right at Nashville by the Cumberland River approach, and offensive because it was a point from which as a base either Fort Henry might be taken or other and stronger rebel works on the Tennessee might be constructed. In the accomplishment of that end, both streams being once more placed under rebel domination, the threatened Union advance through the border States of Kentucky and Tennessee upon the Gulf States would be checked if not prevented, and the rebels would then dominate both States, besides being able to threaten Missouri. Hence Johnston lost no time, after he had evacuated Bowling Green, in sending from that and the intermediate towns of Russellville and Cumberland City, on the line of the Memphis and Ohio Railroad, strong reinforcements — all the troops, in fact, which he could spare — to Fort Donelson, under Generals Buckner, Pillow, and Floyd; and these officers, successively upon their arrival, by reason of seniority in rank, assumed chief command of the fort and the rebel forces there assembled. But while Johnston, on the one hand, hurried all the rebel troops possible to be sent in order to defend Fort Donelson, so, on the other, Grant's repeated and urgent demands for reinforcements ultimately brought such Union troops by rail and water as could be spared from Hunter's command in Kansas, from other commands in Missouri under Halleck, and even by the long circuit of the Green, the Ohio, and the Cumberland rivers, from Buell's Department of Eastern Kentucky. In the immediate present, however, Grant could only be absolutely certain of the fifteen thousand men that he had with him, and with these, in case he could get no other assistance, he intended to attack, as soon as possible, at least an equal force of rebels sheltered behind massive earth-works and protected by numerous guns of heavy caliber. The undertaking was a desperate one. Grant's original intention, as may be gathered from his dispatches, was to march immediately across from Fort Henry after its fall, and to carry Fort Donelson by storm. But delay was necessitated, first, by the deeply
640flooded condition of the country; second, by the non-appearance of the three gun-boats that had gone up the Tennessee on their brilliantly successful expedition; and third, by the uncertainty as to whether and to what extent Commodore Foote, who had gone to Cairo with his new gun-boats or iron-clad "turtles" for repairs would cooperate by naval attack with the land forces. The position as it then existed may be briefly described as follows: At the outer point of an elbow or rounded right angle formed by the Cumberland River, where, after running for hundreds of miles westwardly with the evident design of emptying into the Tennessee at Fort Henry, the Cumberland suddenly changes its course when twelve miles distant from the latter river, and then runs parallel with it northward to the Ohio.
Upon a circular, bluff-faced eminence stands the town of Dover, looking eastwardly up the Cumberland and northwardly down that stream. Closely encircling the broad round eminence upon which Dover rests is a marshy ravine, opening out in spots to a quarter of a mile or more in width, and through which two small creeks rising in its western part fall away respectively north and south across the land side of the town, both then running eastwardly above and below it into the river. An irregular ridge, shaped like a horse-shoe, its ends touching the river, next surrounds the town. Outside this horse-shoe ridge of hills there exist marshy ravines and land overflowed by the creeks. At a point at the foot of this ridge or range, to the southwestward of the town, and about a mile from the river, into which it flows eastwardly, is Wynn's Creek, then much swollen. At the same point rises the south fork of another and much larger creek, called Indian Creek, which fork, running westwardly and then sweeping around to the northward and eastward, empties easterly through Indian Creek into the river below the town, just as Wynn's Creek empties above Dover, thus forming, as it were, a second water-ditch encircling the town. Beyond this, inland, is a range of hills extending from the river all the way around to the upper part of Indian Creek. About
641two and one-half miles from the river-elbow, where Dover is located, and down the river on its eastern bank, is the mouth of a very large creek known as Hickman Creek, which was so backed up by the high water of the river, and filled with the waters of recent rains, as to be impassable save by boats or bridges; and about half-way between its mouth and the town of Dover is the mouth of Indian Creek, also greatly swollen at that time. In order to properly appreciate what both nature and science had done for Fort Donelson, it must be remembered that the fort, which inclosed about one hundred acres, with its massive bastioned earth-works, frowned from the summit of the high river bluffs which tower one hundred feet above the Cumberland, its flanks protected by these swollen creeks; that the guns of the fort itself, as well as those of the two water batteries lower down the bluff — some twenty heavy guns in all — owing to a slight deflection of its downward course, completely raked and swept the river as far as they could carry down the stream in the direction whence any attacking fleet must approach. The river defenses of Fort Donelson were, therefore, very much stronger than those of Fort Henry, whether the number of guns that could be brought to bear on the hostile fleet, the raking position they held, or their greater elevation and plunging power be considered. In fact, on the water side Donelson may be said to have been almost impregnable. Of the land side of the fort, where danger from the coming attack was to be mainly apprehended, it may be said that some three and a half miles inland, and almost due west from the fort, rise both of the two streams before mentioned, to-wit: Hickman and Indian Creeks. Hickman Creek runs due north two miles, and then, having passed the small house that became General Grant's headquarters, turns abruptly and runs a little south of east into the river just below the fort. Indian Creek, rising at almost the same point, runs due south for over a mile, and then as abruptly turns and runs north of east into the river just above the fort. Between the north and south lines of the upper waters of these overflowed
642creeks are three successive hill ranges, very irregular, full of arms and spurs, yet preserving some general features of parallelism the one to the other, as well as to the convex land front of the hill crowned by the fort. Between these parallel hill ranges are marshy ravines or valleys, and through all these marshy ravines, flowing north and south, are other forks or feeders liable to be flooded, and emptying into Hickman and Indian Creeks, respectively. Here, then, was a succession of defenses provided by nature, and independent of the dense timber which covered both hill and ravine.
But art and military science had hurriedly completed the rebel works. Their right and center extended along the second irregular ridge in front of the fort, their flanks, like those of the fort, protected by Hickman and Indian Creeks, and the left extended from Indian Creek along that second hill range which nature herself has provided for the defense of Dover. Except where broken by Indian Creek and its south fork, the rebel line of defense ran along the selected ridge, at a mean distance of two miles from the river face, from Hickman Creek down to and across Indian Creek, and then, crossing the south fork thereof, sweeping around on the abutting ridge to the west and south of Dover (constituting the south leg of the horse-shoe ridge before mentioned), rested on the river bank or bottom, between Wynn's Creek and the creek still nearer Dover. Thus the line of rebel works inclosed a space of about two and one-half miles broad by three and one-half miles in length, up the river from Hickman to Wynn's Creek. Within this inclosed space of some nine miles square Fort Donelson stood near one end and Dover near the other, and the intervening spaces were filled with ridges, ravines, creek-forks, and hastily constructed road-ways, in addition to the regular roads which led from Dover to the south or northwestwardly toward Fort Henry. There was also a regular road running along the entire line inside of the rebel works. Secondary lines as well as various detached works erected at commanding points overlooking the outer line of defenses added
643greatly to its strength, while the abattis formed of the dense tree-growth was another element of safety for the fortifications and their defenders. The works themselves were principally rifle-pit intrenchments, but at nine points in the line were batteries armed with the artillery of eight field batteries. The entire number of rebel guns on the lines of works in the main fortifications and otherwise, including the light batteries, was some sixty-five pieces. The outer line of works followed the exterior face of the ridge aforesaid, thus dominating its slope of fifty to eighty feet depth, and the broad forest-covered creek bottoms and ravines beyond. In these miry depressions as well as upon the outer ascent of the ridge forming this defensive line, the dense brush, small oaks, and other trees, having been slashed breast-high, with the tops felled toward an advancing enemy while the butts remained fixed to the stumps, formed lines of rough abattis, which, with the tangled under-brush, slippery hill-side, and boggy creek beds, made the difficulties of approach to these outer works almost insurmountable, especially as in some parts, where the ravines widen into valleys, the entire space was obstructed with this entangling abattis. Furthermore, the woods, and the rough, broken character of the hills, spurs, and ravines, for a distance far beyond the works, enabled field batteries to be masked, and used to great advantage against an advancing enemy, long before he could reach the ridges that faced the rebel intrenched line. Securely and comfortably camped upon the ridges within this line of outer works, the rebels had gathered by the night of the 12th of February an army which, comprising the original garrison of nearly four thousand, and augmented by the fugitives from Fort Henry, together with the subsequent additions of 1,860 from Folk's army at Columbus, Ky., and of twelve thousand under Floyd, Pillow, and Buckner, from Johnson's army at Bowling Green and points between it and Fort Donelson, numbered over twenty thousand men. Such was the fort and garrison, commanded by three rebel brigadier-generals,
644against which Brigadier-General Grant was audaciously moving with fifteen thousand men.
The time which circumstances had compelled him to consume at Fort Henry before proceeding to march upon Fort Donelson had not been lost by the Union commander. He had reorganized his forces, besides making strenuous efforts to provide for augmenting them from Cairo and elsewhere. He had now formed his army, thereafter to be known during the war as the Army of the Tennessee, into three divisions.
THE FIRST DIVISION, under Brigadier-General John A. McClernand, comprising three brigades, to-wit:
First Brigade, Colonel Richard J. Oglesby, including five infantry regiments, to-wit: The Eighth Illinois, Lieutenant-Colonel Frank L. Rhodes; Eighteenth Illinois, Colonel Michael K. Lawler; Twenty-ninth Illinois, Colonel James S. Reardon; Thirtieth Illinois, Colonel P. B. Fonke; and Thirty-first Illinois, Colonel John A. Logan; and eight companies of cavalry, two of them belonging to the Second Illinois Cavalry, two to the regular army, and four of them independent Illinois companies; and two Illinois batteries of light artillery, under Captains Schwartz and Dresser.
Second Brigade, Colonel W. H. L. Wallace, including four infantry regiments, to-wit: The Eleventh Illinois, Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas E. G. Ransom; Twentieth Illinois, Colonel C. Carroll Marsh; Forty-fifth Illinois, Colonel John E. Smith; and Forty-eighth Illinois, Colonel Isham N. Haynie; also the Fourth Regiment Illinois Cavalry, Colonel T. Lyle Dickey; and two Illinois batteries of light artillery, under Captains Taylor and McAllister.
Third Brigade, Colonel William R. Morrison, including two infantry regiments, to-wit: the Seventeenth Illinois, Colonel Leonard F. Ross; and the Forty-ninth Illinois, Lieutenant-Colonel Phineas Pease.
THE SECOND DIVISION, under Brigadier-General Charles F. Smith, comprised five brigades, to-wit:
First Brigade, Colonel John McArthur, including three
645infantry regiments, to-wit: the Ninth Illinois, Lieutenant-Colonel Jesse J. Phillips; Twelfth Illinois, Colonel A. L. Chetlain; and Forty-first Illinois, Colonel Isaac C. Pugh.
Second Brigade, Colonel Lewis Wallace (left at Fort Henry, and subsequently merged into the Provisional or Third Division).
Third Brigade, Colonel John Cook, including five infantry regiments, to-wit: the Fifty-second Indiana, Colonel James M. Smith; Seventh Illinois, Colonel Andrew J. Babcock; Fiftieth Illinois, Colonel Moses M. Bayne; Thirteenth Missouri, Colonel C. J. Wright; and Twelfth Iowa, Colonel Joseph I. Woods. Also three Missouri batteries of light artillery, under Captains Richardson, Welker, and Stone.
Fourth Brigade, Colonel Jacob G. Lanman, including four infantry regiments, to-wit: the Twenty-fifth Indiana, Colonel James C. Veatch; Second Iowa, Colonel James M. Suttle; Seventh Iowa, Lieutenant-Colonel James C. Parrott; and Fourteenth Iowa, Colonel William T. Shaw. Also Birge's sharp-shooters.
Fifth Brigade, Colonel Morgan L. Smith, including two infantry regiments, to-wit: the Eighth Missouri, Major John McDonald; the Eleventh Indiana, Colonel George F. McGinnis.
THE THIRD DIVISION, under Brigadier-General Lewis Wallace, comprised three brigades, to-wit:
First Brigade, Colonel Charles Cruft, including four infantry regiments, to-wit: the Thirty-first Indiana, Lieutenant-Colonel John Osborne; Forty-fourth Indiana, Colonel H. B. Reed; Seventeenth Kentucky, Colonel John H. McHenry, Jr.; Twenty-fifth Kentucky, Colonel James M. Shackelford.
Second Brigade (attached to the Third Brigade, under Colonel Thayer), including three infantry regiments, to-wit: the Forty-sixth Illinois, Colonel John A. Davis; Fifty-seventh Illinois, Colonel Cyrus D. Baldwin; and Fifty-eighth Illinois, Colonel William F. Lynch.
Third Brigade, Colonel John M. Thayer, including four infantry regiments, to-wit: the First Nebraska, Lieutenant-Colonel
646William D. McCord; Fifty-eighth Ohio, Colonel Valentine Bausenwein; Sixty-eighth Ohio, Colonel Samuel H. Steadman; and Seventy-sixth Ohio, Colonel William B. Woods.
Also attached to this division, but not brigaded, Company A of the Thirty-second Illinois infantry, and Battery A of the First Illinois Light Artillery, Lieutenant P. P. Wood.
As early as the seventh, the day after the capture of Fort Henry, our cavalry, fording the two miles of heavily flooded land at the rear, had advanced across the neck of land between Forts Henry and Donelson, to reconnoiter and feel the position of the enemy. Scarcely a day had passed without a brush between them and the enemy under Forrest, or with the rebel pickets or outposts. On the eleventh of February General Grant sent the greater part of General Lewis Wallace's division down the river on the transports to meet Foote's gun-boats, now on the way from Cairo, with instructions to follow them up the Ohio and the Cumberland to a point on its west bank below the mouth of Hickman Creek, where they were to land and effect a junction with the main body of the army before Donelson, the balance of the division being detailed for garrison duty at Fort Henry. McClernand's and Smith's divisions were ordered to advance from the swamps of Fort Henry, and camp for the night on the comparatively dry ground beyond. The men of the Union army were in the best possible spirits. Somewhat chagrined at having reached Fort Henry only to find it captured by the naval forces, and by the delay that had since unavoidably ensued, they burned for a chance to show their mettle to the enemy, and now that they were upon the eve of meeting him, our boys joyfully shouted and sang the refrain, "On to Donelson," while the elasticity of their swinging step showed the confident and martial spirit that animated each one, from their great commander to the smallest drummer-boy. Night settled upon the small Union army in bivouac. The morning sun of Wednesday, the twelfth of February, found the tentless Union army, which moved without transportation and depended solely upon the
647knapsack and haversack for sustenance and comfort, somewhat chilled by the inclement night, but disposed not to complain, in view of the glorious prospect so near ahead. At an early hour the order to advance was given, and with exultant cheers the line of march was taken up on the "Ridge Road" and on the "Telegraph Road" to Dover. To McClernand's division fell the honor of leading the advance of both columns. Colonel Oglesby's brigade, with its companies of Illinois light cavalry, was at the front, followed by its five Illinois infantry regiments. Schwartz's and Dresser's batteries of Illinois light artillery led the column on the Ridge Road, while Colonel W. H. L. Wallace's brigade, with the Fourth Regiment of Illinois cavalry, was at the front, followed by its four Illinois infantry regiments, and Taylor's and McAllister's batteries of Illinois artillery, heading the column on the Telegraph or direct road. It was about noon when W. H. L. Wallace's brigade came in sight of Fort Donelson, and found itself barred by the impassable waters of Hickman Creek from nearer approach to the outer rebel line of works, whose right safely rested upon them. Turning to his right, Wallace marched his brigade up to and around the head of the creek to the Ridge road, where, joining Oglesby's brigade, the two columns united into one and repulsed a brisk cavalry attack made by Forrest, after which the column moved slowly southward, feeling its way toward Indian Creek and Dover. General Force has described the incidents of the afternoon as follows: "The day was spent feeling through the thick woods and along deep ravines and high, narrow, winding ridges. At times a distant glimpse was caught through some opening of the gleam of tents crowning a height. At times a regiment tearing its way through blinding undergrowth was startled and cut by the sudden discharge from a battery almost overhead, which it had come upon unawares. The advancing skirmish line was in constant desultory conflict with the posted picket line. Where an opening through the timber permitted, our batteries occasionally took a temporary position and engaged those of the
648enemy. The afternoon passed in thus developing the fire of the line of works, feeling toward a position, and acquiring an idea of the formation of the ground. By night, Smith's division was in line in front of Buckner, and McClernand's division had crossed Indian Creek and reached the Wynn's Creek road. The column had marched without transportation. The men had nothing but what they carried in knapsack and haversack. Shelter tents had not yet come into use. The danger of drawing the enemy's fire prevented the lighting of camp-fires. The army bivouacked in line of battle. The besieged resumed at night their task, which had been interrupted by the afternoon skirmishing, of completing and strengthening their works."
The night was chilling, yet, weary with the march across from Fort Henry and the toilsome movements of the afternoon and evening, our men slept soundly on their arms. Thursday, the thirteenth day of February, dawned upon our weary troops, who, hastily consuming their scant and uncooked rations, began to inquire if there was any news of the fleet. None having arrived, our brave boys resolutely turned their faces to the enemy and commenced another day, the second of the siege, which, like the previous afternoon, was largely spent in pressing our right forward to the south and east along the Ridge and the Wyman Creek roads, in progging the enemy at various points to keep him employed, in attempting to uncover his line and reveal his strength, as well as, under the cover of a heavy cannonade, to secure points of advantage for our own more extended, and, therefore, weaker line of investment.
While McClernand's division, with Oglesby's brigade in advance, still cautiously pushed southward, Lanman's brigade of C. F. Smith's division pressed directly forward to the front until opposite the extreme right of Buckner's line, held by the rebel Colonel Hanson, when Veatch's Twenty-fifth Indiana gallantly advanced down the outer ridge, across the slashed timber of the creek bottom, and up the abattis-protected slope of the ridge
649crowned by the enemy's works, under a galling fire from above. But it was impossible to struggle through the tangled abattis under such a fire as was poured out, and, after maintaining his position for two hours, Veatch was forced to retire. Parrott's Seventh Iowa, supported by Shaw's Fourteenth Iowa, subsequently advanced to the left of Veatch's former position, protected by the fire of Birge's sharp-shooters, but later the regiment was withdrawn. Meanwhile, on Lanman's immediate right, Cook's brigade made a demonstration against the enemy's works in front. Babcock's Seventh Illinois, on the right of the brigade, woke a rebel battery and retired, while the balance of the brigade took a position on a ridge some fifteen hundred feet from and overlooking the rebel breastworks. Upon the right, McClernand's batteries of both light and heavy artillery being served with such effect as to completely silence some of the rebels' best served batteries, besides spreading consternation in the enemy's intrenched camp by a well-timed shower of shells, that officer determined to carry the position by storm. To his Third Brigade (Morrison's) was assigned the honor of the perilous assault, Colonel Haynie, of the Forty-eighth Illinois (Morrison's senior), being ordered to join him and take command. Haynie, with Ross' Seventeenth Illinois, and his own Forty-eighth Illinois, was to storm the right face of the rebel salient, and Morrison, with his Forty-ninth Illinois, was to carry its left face, McAllister's battery covering the assault. At the word of command the two small columns advanced almost simultaneously, firing across the intervening timbered valley, and upon emerging from their partial cover they attempted to scale the opposite sides of the acclivity. But the steep slopes were tangled with obstructed timber and slashed abattis. Our brave men struggled through and over line upon line of it, tearing through the prickly boughs under a storm of shot from Maney's battery above, and the cross-fire of rebel batteries and musketry along the rebel line for hundreds of yards on either side; but the fire at last drove them back. John E. Smith's Forty-fifth Illinois advanced to
650support the Forty-ninth. On the double-quick the four spirited regiments dashed forward again, when the plunging cannonade and musketry volleys from above, crossing with the fire from battery and rifle-pit beyond, once more drove back our gallant boys. But again they advanced with a wild rush up the steep hillside their intrepid commanders leading, and this time the blazing line of rifle-pits was actually reached by part of the command. But the fire grew hotter and hotter. For half a mile on either side the rebel line concentrated its lateral, enfilading artillery and infantry fire upon the storming columns, and Maney's battery belched grape and cannister and shrapnel into their very faces. Morrison was wounded. Our men, in the teeth of this withering fire, failed to scale the intrenchments and fell back in good order, but leaving most of their wounded on the slope. Suddenly the dead leaves on the slopes caught fire, and, blazing fiercely for awhile, put an end to the sufferings of most of our wounded men, though not before some humane rebels were able to drag a few into their lines. The rebels lost about one hundred killed and wounded during these various spirited attacks upon their positions.
Evening approached, and our artillery was strongly posted so as to command the various roads leading away from the rebel intrenchments, and especially those to the south. Our lines extended from Hickman's Creek along the irregular ridges which surrounded and were almost parallel to the crescent-shaped line of the enemy, almost reaching to the bank of the Cumberland above Dover. Our men, hungry and cold — for their rations were about exhausted, and the weather had suddenly changed from that of crisp spring to mid-winter — again laid down on their arms in line of battle, within musket range of the enemy's line, without camp-fires, and many of them without covering. On Friday, the 14th of February, the gun-boat Carondelet had arrived at the landing, with the rest of the gun-boats and transports close behind. Scarcely had our poor fellows received their scant supply of rations and ammunition, and proper attention been paid to such of the
651wounded as had survived the terrible all-night's exposure to the icy blast and pitiless sleet, than the preliminary battle on the water front of Fort Donelson began. Steadily and slowly the four great iron "turtles" advanced, opening fire from their twelve large bow guns upon the water batteries mainly, but not neglecting those which crowned the bluffs. The lower water battery, whose thick ramparts of earth and sand-bags stood thirty feet above the water, responded briskly with its nine thirty-two-pound guns and twenty-inch Columbiad, while the upper water battery of two thirty-two-pounders and one rifled one-hundred-and-twenty-eight-pounder, and the eight other heavy guns, mounted on the upper works of the bluff, joined in the fierce fire. Nearer and nearer came the apparently invulnerable floating steam-forts; faster and faster flew the missiles of destruction and death; louder and more discordant grew the sounds of battle. The booming of the guns, the hissing of the shot, the scream of the shell, and the peculiar harsh, metallic thud which distinguished the impact of the rebel shot upon the coat-of-mail of our Union iron-clads, were heard. Gallantly the latter came on with their twelve guns, against twice as many heavy ones, whose raking cross-fire was both plunging and direct, fighting bravely against heavy odds, their brave crews resolved to conquer or to sink. After two hours of the concerted attack all of our iron-clads, despite their iron coating, were badly hulled, though not disabled by the plunging shot. For a time it appeared that the fort must fall, when a shot from the lower water battery snapped the rudder chains of the Louisville, and in an instant she drifted helplessly down the rapid current of the river. Almost at the same moment another rebel shot entered the pilot-house of the flag-ship St. Louis, killing the pilot, laming Commodore Foote with a falling timber, and destroying the wheel and additional steering-tackle. The whole rebel fire was then concentrated upon the Carondelet and Pittsburg, which were both already badly damaged. It seemed useless to continue the fight under such overwhelming disadvantages. The gallant flag-officer signaled the vessels to retire; and
652thus, after a brilliant engagement of more than two hours, with an enemy in an elevated fortified position admirably chosen, mounting many more guns than his own — or at least able to bring into action nearly two guns to his one — our gun-boat squadron was forced to withdraw, fairly riddled by the enemy's shot. The Pittsburg was struck twenty-one times, the Carondelet twenty-six times, the Louisville thirty-five times, and the St. Louis fifty-nine times, while we had lost fifty-four men killed and wounded.
But this brilliant naval attack, though not a success, was far from a failure. It created a diversion in favor of Grant's army that led to eventual success. It covered the debarkation, three miles below and out of sight, of large and constantly arriving Union reinforcements, and their junction with others at the front, and kept the rebels so busy that Grant had ample time to strengthen and extend his investing line and bring up more supplies of ammunition. The coming of evening found his forces swollen to 22,000 men in three divisions — that of C. F. Smith at his left, that of Lew. Wallace filling the gap in the center, and that of McClernand at the right. But in order to push our investing line more closely to the right, McArthur's brigade of Smith's division was sent from our left to the rear and around to our extreme right, where it subsequently came into line, having on its left Oglesby's brigade, which in turn had W. H. L. Wallace's brigade on its left. The day had been more or less occupied in digging rifle-pits and throwing up wide intrenchments, and properly posting and protecting our batteries with earth-works. Night came none too soon for our worn soldiers, but with it again came the heavy downfall of drifting snow and cutting sleet.
At this early period of the war, when army purveyors and quartermasters neither understood the necessities of troops nor how to meet and supply them, the life of the soldier, always hard enough, was at its hardest. But exceptionally hard was the experience of our poor fellows at Donelson. Heavy rains, pelting hailstorms, driving sleet, piercing blasts, and pitiless snow had attacked
653them by turns. They had been forced to struggle through almost impassable mud. They had been without blankets and without overcoats. Their rations had been exhausted, yet much of the time, when shivering, freezing, and benumbed, they had been under fire, even during the bitter cold watches of the night. The arrival of the transports in the early morning had staved off further hunger, but, half-starved as they had been, the poor fellows were ravenously hungry and the supplies were far from adequate. So, too, in the matter of ammunition. There had been some improvidence in its use, and the supply was not sufficient to make up for the waste of which raw troops are always more or less guilty. Wholly fagged out, hungry, and freezing, our men lay sleeping, unsheltered, through the sleeting night.
General Floyd had called a council of war. It was unanimously decided by the rebel officers to make a sortie, to cut their way out, and then retreat southwardly to Charlotte, half-way between Dover and Nashville. Failing to do this, they realized that Grant, who already had them almost completely invested on the land side, would soon erect works commanding the Cumberland above Dover and thus cut them off from supply or retreat, by way of the river, when capitulation would be a simple matter of time. The sortie was to have been made on Friday, the 14th, in the afternoon, after the repulse of the Union gun-boats, and the movement had already commenced when the order was countermanded and the attack postponed until the early dawn of Saturday, the 15th. The delay proved fatal to the enemy's plan, as it not only enabled Grant to make the admirable disposition of his troops and reinforcements already noticed, but also gave time for the arrival and debarkation during the night and early morning of still more fresh Union troops and supplies.
Twelve thousand rebel infantry, under Pillow, were astir at five o'clock in the morning. Two thousand rebel cavalry, under Forrest, were stealing away through the overflowed marshes of the river, near its bank, bound toward the south and rear of the Union
654right, while Buckner, with six thousand more, occupied the work near the junction of our right and center. Pillow's column in light marching order with three days' rations, formed on open ground back of his trenches on his own extreme left, and filed out of his works along a road-way which crossed the valley between the hostile lines and led up the slope to the Union right. McArthur, who had come up the previous night, when darkness prevented him from knowing exactly where he was, moved into position, and formed his brigade in line of battle on the right of Oglesby's brigade. Pillow's line advanced to assault the position of Oglesby and McArthur on the ridge, but was driven back by their destructive fire. Advance after advance was pluckily made with the same result. The enemy was invariably repulsed by our brave boys. At last the enemy attempted a new maneuver. His long front not only covered the fronts of Oglesby's and McArthur's brigades, but by reason of superior numbers extended much farther to his own left toward the river bank. Informed of the existence of a depression or ravine running parallel with the river and between it and the Union right flank, he marched the superfluous left of his column through it, unseen by the Union troops, changed its front to the right, and advanced at right angles to the Union line of battle up the ridge, firing upon McArthur's front and rear, while the remainder of his column assaulted our front. Thus overwhelmingly flanked and taken both in front and reverse, McArthur's brigade, running short of ammunition, fell back upon Oglesby's brigade, which had been McClernand's center. Pillow still advanced steadily and surely, rolling back McArthur's regiments until he struck Oglesby's right. Buckner sallied forth, under cover of the concentrated fire of Porter's, Maney's, and Graves' batteries, and with his six thousand men advanced across the valley to attack W. H. L. Wallace's brigade, McClernand's left, but was driven back in confusion by the difficulties of approach offered by the slippery and frosted earth, the ice-crusted and snow-covered abattis-boughs, the deadly discharge of the
655Union musketry, and the well-served fire of the Union batteries. Pillow pressed forward, however, enveloping Oglesby's front, flank, and rear. With desperate courage the men of this Union brigade, as also of the others, resisted the odds against them of numbers and position. The language of Pillow himself, touching the conduct of our Union boys in this sanguinary conflict, was: "They did not retreat, but fell back fighting and contesting every inch of the ground."
Hour after hour passed, and still the battle raged. The Ninth, the Twelfth, and the Forty-first Illinois regiments, comprising McArthur's brigade, as has been seen, had long since retired for more ammunition. The Eighth, the Eighteenth, the Twenty-ninth, and the Thirtieth, one after the other, were forced back by the terrible cross-fire of the enemy, when the last regiment of the brigade — the Thirty-first Illinois — was almost reached. Then occurred, perhaps, the most critical moment of the battle. W. H. L. Wallace's brigade, having repulsed Buckner's attack, still stood on the left of McClernand's division line, while his right and center, all except the Thirty-first Illinois and Schwartz's battery, were swept back beyond the hope of recovery. At that moment a maneuver was executed which for a time held the enemy in check. The Eleventh Illinois was on the right of W. H. L. Wallace's brigade. The Thirty-first Illinois — the remnant of Oglesby's brigade — was on the right of the Eleventh Illinois. By suddenly throwing back the right of the Thirty-first on its center, at right angles to its left, Schwartz's battery was supported, and at the same time a front was presented to the enemy's flanking advance, while the rear of the Eleventh, as well as its own rear, was protected from the enemy's reverse fire. At the very instant of making this rapid movement, the Thirty-first Illinois received the full shock of the advance of Pillow, as well as that of Buckner, who had been ordered by Pillow to renew his assault upon W. H. L. Wallace's brigade; but upon that regiment also presenting a wedge-like double face to the combined attack of the enemy, it was able to
656protect the well-served battery, as also the right of Wallace's brigade, for a considerable period. Four hours had now elapsed since the battle opened, and still W. H. L. Wallace's brigade, covered by the Thirty-first Illinois, and aided by the batteries of Schwartz, Taylor, and McAllister, now fast running out of ammunition, heroically maintained this unequal contest against the combined attacks of the infantry divisions of Pillow and Buckner, supported by the fire of the three rebel batteries at Heiman's salient, while Forrest's cavalry, two thousand strong, hovered in the Union rear. There were less than three thousand Union troops, weak with hunger and exposure, against twenty thousand well-fed rebels. The disadvantages, including those of position, were much too great. It was impossible to win against such odds, yet assault after assault was met and hurled back by the deadly fire of our determined troops, who thus gained time, which was a help to us and a loss to the enemy. Meanwhile McClernand had begged help from Lewis Wallace, who commanded the Third Division of the Union army, which formed the center of the entire original Union line. But Grant was not present, and Lewis Wallace doubted his authority to proceed without further orders from headquarters, as he had been ordered to act on the defensive, and no one of Grant's staff, although both McPherson and Rawlins were upon it, was willing to assume the responsibility asked for. The moment arrived, however, when Lewis Wallace, seeing the critical condition of affairs, determined to take the responsibility, and sent one of his two brigades — that of Cruft — embracing the Thirty-first and Forty-fourth Indiana, and the Seventeenth and Twenty-fifth Kentucky Regiments, to McClernand's support. Cruft went into line of battle on the right of the Thirty-first Illinois, which, true to an agreement between its Colonel and Colonel Ransom, of the Eleventh Illinois, to stand by one another, was still tenaciously "standing by" the Eleventh, which latter, failing to receive W. H. L. Wallace's order to the brigade to fall back, also stuck by the
657Thirty-first Illinois. These two slim regiments alone fought during a brief interval the whole rebel army.
At last Cruft came up on the double-quick. It was then that the Thirty-first Illinois, having fired its last remaining round of ammunition, was withdrawn, "marching steadily from the field," but only after the lieutenant-colonel (White), the senior captain, and thirty of the men had been killed, nearly three hundred of the latter wounded, and I, too, had been wounded in two places.
The Eleventh Illinois, which still had ammunition, having been engaged less time than the Thirty-first, gallantly essayed to continue the unequal contest, but, unable to stand its ground, fell back in disorder under pressure of a rebel cavalry charge, while Cruft's brigade also retired half a mile, upon the new line of Lew. Wallace's division.
Lew. Wallace had in the interval, since sending Cruft's brigade to McClernand's support, formed his remaining brigade — a strong one of seven regiments, being two brigades in one under Colonel Thayer — into line of battle, on a cross-spur of the range and at right angles to the line which he had previously occupied. This new line now faced the victorious enemy, who, having rolled back the Union right upon its center, according to the original plan of Floyd, now rested in weariness and exhaustion upon the ground from which at great cost McClernand had been driven.
Behind Lew. Wallace's new front of fresh troops McClernand's fagged-out brigades were re-formed, and supplied with ammunition with which to renew the stubborn and bloody contest. Cruft's brigade then rested on the right of Thayer's brigade, which had been rapidly deployed, formed in line of battle at right angles to its former line, and was resolutely facing our former right.
The Union center, having changed front, with its fresh troops was in condition to renew the battle. McClernand's division was re-formed behind Lew. Wallace's battle line, and after being supplied with cartridges was anxious again to meet the enemy.
When the victorious rebel troops advanced upon Lew. Wallace
658the new programme failed, and instead of the Union forces giving way they themselves were driven back in disorder, the First Nebraska especially distinguishing itself in the repulse. Again the rebel troops advanced, and again they quailed and were driven back in confusion by the withering fire of the Union musketry and artillery. A third time they came, only to be hurled back by the rain of Union grape, cannister, and minie balls.
The enemy for a while seemed paralyzed. Then Buckner commenced to reenter his trenches while Pillow stood hesitating.
General Grant, having been in consultation with Admiral Foote upon his flag-ship, had received no information of the impending disaster, but Captain Hellyer, one of the aides, galloped up and informed the commanding General that the enemy had attacked and driven back his right shortly after daybreak. General Grant ordered C. F. Smith to prepare for an assault with his division upon the rebel right, and then galloped on. By the time he reached Lew. Wallace, whose troops had checked the enemy, there was a lull in the battle. He was told that the rebel troops had with them their knapsacks and haversacks. Upon learning this he at once made up his mind that the enemy had advanced from their works in order to cut their way out. It was about three o'clock in the afternoon when General Grant ordered a forward move upon the enemy.
A little later Wallace's command advanced to carry the position. Colonel Morgan L. Smith's Fifth Brigade, comprising the Eighth Missouri and Eleventh Indiana, which Lew. Wallace had brought with him from garrison duty at Fort Henry; Cruft's Brigade; the Third Brigade of McClernand's Division (the Seventeenth and Forty-ninth Illinois), now commanded by Colonel Leonard F. Ross, being in support and reserve, made up the storming party.
The enemy, fearing a more general attack, retired slowly and unwillingly within his trenches, our brave boys driving them over the rough, thickly-wooded hills until after five o'clock, when
659Wallace, having reached a spot within four hundred feet of and overlooking the rebel trenches, halted and posted his picket line, he and McClernand together having by this time recaptured from the now weary and dispirited foe the six pieces of artillery which, with thousands of small arms and hundreds of prisoners, had earlier in the day been lost by us, and having also resumed possession of the ground from which McClernand had been driven. On our extreme left was Cook's brigade of C. F. Smith's division, then opposite the extreme right of the enemy's works. Under cover of the fire from the batteries of Richardson, Welker, and Stone (commanded by Major Cavender), the Seventh and Fiftieth Illinois, Twelfth Iowa, and Thirteenth Missouri, comprising the main strength of that brigade, were maneuvering and threatening him without intending a serious attack.
On the right of Cook's position was Lanman's brigade, to which the Fifty-second Indiana had been temporarily attached. General C. F. Smith himself, a gallant gray-haired veteran of the regular army, who had been the commandant at West Point during Grant's cadetship at the Military Academy, was with Lanman's brigade. He had arranged that, while Cook's brigade was making a demonstration against the enemy's extreme right, he himself would in person take Lanman's brigade and make the real assault upon the enemy's works at its front. Smith then ordered the advance to sound. Instantly the forward movement commenced under Grant's own eye. With Birge's sharp-shooters deployed on either flank as skirmishers, the storming column, with quick, determined step, moved silently and steadily down the ridge-side to the valley.
Up the steep slope pressed the assaulting column with fixed bayonets, the white-headed old General electrifying his dauntless men with waving hat and burning words, as he rode erect and fearless at their head, undisturbed and untouched by the storm of leaden hail which decimated their ranks — up the acclivity, steadily despite the deadly fire, through and over every obstruction, firmly,
660indomitably, resistlessly, up to the very mouths of the belching rebel artillery and muskets, at the very crest of the trenches, and then with a wild hurrah over into the enemy's works at last.
The advance of our victorious storming columns formed into line, still driving the rebel Tennesseeans before them, when Buckner, with Hanson's rebel regiment, returning from the sortie against our right wing, reached that part of the rebel works. But they were too late — the rebel intrenchments had been carried.
At last night fell upon the scene. Buckner still held the second or inner ridge, and was busy throwing up intrenchments. C. F. Smith held the elevated rebel works, the "key" to Fort Donelson, which he had stormed, and was now strengthening for attack. Wallace was in possession of another commanding point, just outside the rebel works at the center. McClernand had re-occupied all his old line, and pushed it nearly to the river. Such was the situation at night-fall.
Sunday, the 16th of February, was faintly dawning, and preparations were making along the Union line to renew the assault upon the enemy's position, when the men on our advanced left — Lanman's brigade — heard the clear notes of a bugle, and observed a flag of truce approaching from Fort Donelson. It accompanied an officer sent by Buckner as bearer of his letter to Grant. Directing their eyes toward the enemy's position, our brave boys saw with bounding hearts the white flag flying from the fort itself, and soon it was rumored along the whole Union line that the enemy was asking terms of capitulation.
By the surrender of Fort Donelson there fell into our hands, besides that stronghold, the men and material of the whole opposing army, save the 6,500 escaped and killed or wounded, to wit: 14,623 men, sixty-five cannon, and 17,600 small arms; besides vast stores of supplies of all sorts, all of which had been gained at a loss to the Union side of 3,329 men in killed, wounded, and missing. The Confederate loss in killed and wounded was at the least 2,500.
"The Siege of Corinth."
It was three days after the battle of Pittsburgh Landing that, recovered from wounds received at Donelson, I reached Pittsburgh Landing and reported, having in the meantime been promoted to be a Brigadier-General, upon the especial recommendation of General Grant, for "meritorious services."
On the 19th of April I was assigned to, and took command of the First Brigade of McClernand's First Division Reserve Corps, which brigade comprised the Eighth, Eighteenth, Thirtieth, and Thirty-first Illinois (my old regiment), and the Twelfth Michigan.
Meanwhile General Halleck had reached Pittsburgh Landing, and in person had assumed the chief command. He fixed his headquarters at the bluff near the landing. Savannah was devoted mainly to hospital purposes.
During the ensuing two months General Grant was entirely ignored in all of the military operations against Corinth. This was due, in part, to an unreasoning and senseless clamor against him, founded upon exaggeration and falsehood, and inspired and
662fed by an envy which sought to remove him from command entirely. The splendor of his achievements at Belmont, at Donelson, and at Pittsburgh Landing was temporarily obscured. He was again "under a cloud," but it was the last that was to hang over and depress his martial spirit during the continuance of the war.
He still commanded the District of West Tennessee, but his old army, the Army of the Tennessee, was his only in name.
He was appointed "second in command" of Halleck's grand army, and thus it was that in the advance upon Corinth Halleck managed to wreak his pitiful spite against him.
This advance was, perhaps, the most ludicrous feature of the whole war. From an inexcusable lack of caution we fell into the other extreme, and became recklessly over-cautious. Halleck had here an opportunity, which he improved to the fullest extent, of proving that the stock of caution stored in his own person more than equaled any lack of it existing in the combined Union armies of the West. Although it was little more than twenty miles from Pittsburgh Landing to Corinth, yet every step of the slow advance of the great Union army of 120,000 men, which he had gathered at the former point and thereabouts — an advance which consumed no less than six weeks, being equivalent to about half a mile per day throughout — was punctuated and underscored with intrenchments. It was so much like the slow and methodical-looking pushing forward of line after line of parallels in a regular set siege, that, in order to disarm hostile criticism and ridicule, Halleck himself termed it "the Siege of Corinth." And this worm-like movement, this slow, fortified advance, was made by an army that numbered two to one of the enemy against whom it was approaching. No wonder the Union officers and men were alike restive under such a condition of things.
It was late in April before Halleck's combined armies commenced this tedious advance. On the 23d of that month the long-wished-for marching orders came.
On the morning of the 24th my brigade, carrying all camp and garrison equipage, after constructing a road across a branch of Owl Creek, moved forward two miles and went into camp at "Camp Stanton," where we constructed the first field fortification, comprising enfilading rifle-pits and lunettes.
On the 26th I sent Colonel Lawler, of the Eighteenth Illinois, with six regiments of infantry, three companies of cavalry, and one section of artillery, to reconnoiter in front and to the left of our position, in the direction of Monterey (Pea Ridge), and to feel the enemy. But while on the march executing his instructions Lawler was halted and sent back to camp by an order from headquarters of the Army of the Tennessee.
On the 30th my command, with the rest of the First Division of the Reserve Corps, again moved forward some three miles toward Monterey, where the division went into camp, its left resting on the Monterey road, some nine miles distant from that place, my brigade being on the right of the division. Here we were engaged for several days in repairing and constructing roads from this camp back toward Pittsburgh Landing.
On the 2d of May, McClernand, being assigned to the command of the Reserve Corps of the Army of the Tennessee, assigned me by seniority of rank to the command of the Third (late First) Division. On the following day, however, Brigadier-General H. M. Judah was assigned by special field orders from the department headquarters to the command of the division, and I subsequently assumed command of my brigade at Camp No. 4, on the south bank of Lick Creek, on the main Corinth road, one mile to the rear of Monterey. The construction of bridges and roads now consumed several days, during which frequent cavalry reconnoissances were made.
On the 11th of May the division moved forward and occupied a camp lately occupied by General W. T. Sherman, at the crossing of the old State line with the Purdy and Farmington road. We completed the fortifications commenced at this camp by General
664Sherman, constructed additional rifle-pits, and made frequent reconnoissances, which met and almost invariably drove in the enemies' pickets.
From this camp two companies of the Fourth Illinois Cavalry, with Dollin's, and O'Harnett's, and Carmichael's Independent Companies of Cavalry, all under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Wm. McCulloch, made a reconnoissance toward and beyond Purdy, destroyed the Mobile and Ohio Railroad bridge across Cypress Creek, five miles south of Bethel, captured a locomotive with four men on it, placed the men under guard, and ran the engine into the creek, thus destroying it. Subsequently, the rebels being discovered drawn up in line of battle, our force advanced, giving them a volley which broke their lines. They scattered in all directions, continuing, however, to fire from cover of the trees. McCulloch's dismounted cavalry, deployed as skirmishers, advanced, the enemy still slowly retreating and firing, until, our men gaining on them, the rebels turned and fled in rout through Purdy, dispersing in all directions. The cavalry again mounted, charged through the town, and, advancing to the bridge aforesaid, destroyed it, and returned to the camp without loss.
With the object of driving the enemy beyond and destroying the track of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, my brigade, with that of General Ross in advance, accompanied by a battery of eight guns and a battalion of the Fourth Illinois Cavalry, moved from the camp at four o'clock in the morning, marched seven miles, drove in the enemy's pickets, destroyed the road, and were back in camp again by ten o'clock A. M. On the 21st of May my command again advanced, with all camp and garrison equipage, to the position vacated that day by Major-General Sherman, near Easel's house, on the road to Corinth. On the 28th, at half-past one o'clock in the morning, orders reached me to move up the First Brigade, without camp equipage or transportation, to the extreme right of General Sherman's division, by or before eight o'clock A. M., with instructions to assist in driving the rebels from a loop-holed
665block-house on Sherman's right front; also in driving back their pickets and making a strong demonstration against or feint of attacking Corinth. General Ross' brigade was at the same time ordered to and came up in my rear. Through some misdirection we advanced too far to the right, and approached the Mobile and Ohio Railroad at Boey's Cut. The rebel pickets were in sight at a house on the hill on the opposite side of the road. They retired, and we occupied the position. Subsequently, General Ross' brigade occupied this position, where fortifications were thrown up under the direction of Brigadier-General Judah, and my brigade reached the position assigned to it on the right of General Sherman, my left resting on the right of General Denver's brigade and my right resting on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad.
Light skirmishing immediately commenced at my front, growing heavier in the early afternoon, and still heavier just before night-fall. The men of my command lay on their arms all night in expectation of further attack.
During that night some men of my brigade, by applying their ears to the rails of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, which ran from my position southward through Corinth, and on to Mobile, had discovered and reported to me — and I at once verified their report by like means — that a great commotion which we could plainly hear from the direction of Corinth, of trains entering and leaving it, with accompanying shouts of rebel soldiers, believed by some of our generals
666really caused by the coming into Corinth of empty trains, which were loudly cheered upon their arrival, and the departure thence in silence of loaded trains. This made it plain that the enemy, instead of receiving reinforcements, was actually leaving Corinth.
This information I communicated to General Grant, requesting at the same time permission to advance and attack the enemy's works at my front; but authority to do this was refused.
Early in the morning of the 29th I again asked leave to advance, believing only a small force of the enemy to be at my front, but, as upon the previous day, permission was refused.
Desultory firing occupied the forenoon, but about four o'clock P. M. my picket line, immediately in front, was attacked with great vigor, volley after volley being fired by the enemy into our ranks, and many of his bullets passing over the heads of the men standing in line of battle in the rear. The fire was returned with great effect, and the enemy was forced to retire with a loss of some forty men. This was the last skirmish that occurred on the right of the line occupied by General Sherman and myself. My command, being now relieved by McDowell's brigade, marched back to camp at sundown.
Next morning, May 30th, the evacuation of Corinth and its fortifications, which had been quietly proceeding for days, without let or hindrance from Halleck, was definitely ascertained, and the Union flag at last waved from its deserted works.
The rebels had escaped, leaving nothing behind them save some empty tin pans and a number of "Quaker guns," consisting of dummies made by cutting lengths of trees, blackening their centers, and mounting them on wheels, like so many frowning
667cannon, for the evident purpose of increasing the ultra caution that had already loaded down Halleck's advance, and but for which caution we might have captured Beauregard's army with Corinth.
Had the permission heretofore referred to been granted, the onset of my brigade would undoubtedly have brought on at once a general attack, and a great battle must have ensued, which, under all the circumstances, could scarcely have ended otherwise than in the defeat and surrender of Beauregard and his army, with the capture of his material of war, and this again would probably have resulted in the speedy collapse of the Rebellion itself.
As it was, however, Beauregard, completely outwitting Halleck, had eluded us and fallen back along the line of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad to Baldwin and Guntown, and finally to Tupelo, some fifty miles south of Corinth, where, with good water and a better chance for supplies of meat and provisions, the rebel forces rested and were reorganized for future operations against the Union armies.
All that we had gained, apparently, was the barren honor of occupying an abandoned position, during the entire advance upon which there had been very little fighting, save what has been here mentioned, together with a brisk affair at Russell's in which two of Sherman's brigades participated, and some sharper fighting on two or three occasions at and near Farmington by some of Pope's brigades on the Union left.
The story of the termination of Halleck's achievement was fairly told, May 30th, by an army correspondent of McCook's division of Buell's corps at the Union center:
"On the day the Second Division moved out, advances with heavy cannonading were made by Thomas on the right and Pope on the left, but not a response of any kind was elicited from the enemy. During that night we could hear teams being driven off and boxes being nailed in the rebel camp. Deserters, however, I understand, reported that they were making a stand and would fight the next day. Considerable cannonading was done by our
668forces, and yet no response, and yesterday the same. Last night the same band sounded retreat, tattoo, and taps, all along the rebel lines, moving from place to place, and this morning suspicion was ripened into certainty when we saw dense volumes of smoke arise in the direction of Corinth, and heard the report of an exploding magazine. Corinth was evacuated, and Beauregard had achieved another triumph. I do not know how the matter strikes abler military men, but I think we have been fooled. The works are far from being invulnerable, and the old joke of Quaker guns has been played off upon us. They were only wooden guns with stuffed ‘Paddies’ for gunners. I saw them. We approached clear from Shiloh, in line of battle, and made preparations to defend ourselves, compared with which the preparations of Beauregard sink into insignificance. This morning we could have poured shot and shell from over three hundred guns into works that never saw the day when General Cook could not have taken his division into them. The indications are that the rebel force here did not exceed sixty thousand men. With what light I had I regarded the mode of our advance upon Corinth as deep wisdom; with the light I now have I do not."
Beauregard's own report of the evacuation, written June 13, 1862, at Tupelo, gives the reasons which impelled the evacuation in these words: "The purposes and ends for which I had occupied and held Corinth having been mainly accomplished by the last of May, and by the 25th of that month having ascertained definitely that the enemy had received large accessions to his already superior force, while ours had been reduced day by day, by diseases resulting from bad water and inferior food, I felt it clearly my duty to evacuate that position without delay. I was further induced to this step by the fact that the enemy had declined my offer of battle twice made to him outside of my intrenched lines, and sedulously avoided the separation of his corps, which he advanced with uncommon caution under cover of heavy guns, strong intrenchments constructed with unusual labor, and with singular
669delay considering his strength and our relative inferiority in numbers. At the time finally prescribed the movement commenced and was accomplished without the knowledge of the enemy, who only began to suspect the evacuation after broad daylight on the morning of May 30th, when, having opened on the lines from his formidable batteries of heavy and long-range guns erected the night previous, he received no answer from any direction; but as our cavalry pickets still maintained their positions of the previous day, he was not apparently fully satisfied of our movements until some stores of little value in the town were burned which could not be moved. It was then to his surprise the enemy became satisfied that a large army, approached with such extraordinary preparations, expense, labor, and timidity, had disappeared from his front, with all its munitions and heavy guns, leaving him without knowledge, as I am assured, whither it had gone."
On the night of the 27th of May, Pope had sent a cavalry force of two regiments under Colonel W. L. Elliott, to-wit: the Second Iowa under Lieutenant-Colonel E. Hatch, and the Second Michigan under Colonel Philip H. Sheridan, to ride around Corinth on our left, tear up the Mobile Railroad, some twenty-two miles to the south of it, and to do whatever further damage to the enemy might be possible.
These cavalry raiders accordingly struck the line of railroad at Booneville about two o'clock in the morning of May 30th. They captured the town, finding in and around it from two thousand to twenty-five hundred convalescent and sick rebel soldiers, as well as a guard of from five hundred to seven hundred rebel infantry, and some two hundred and fifty cavalry.
The raiders found near the railroad depot a train of twenty-six large cars, with locomotive attached. Ten of the cars were loaded with boxed and unboxed small arms and ammunition, besides a platform car with three field pieces of artillery, the rest of the cars being packed with "officers' baggage, clothing, provisions, and
670quartermaster's stores." The depot itself was stored with munitions, subsistence, and other stores.
The enemy's sick were removed to a place of safety, the locomotive and cars were run into the ditch, and after the track and switches above and below the town, as well as the platform, had been well destroyed, Elliott's raiding party set fire to the depot and cars and galloped away, having insured the destruction of nearly half a million dollars' worth of property valuable to the enemy for military purposes. It was in this dashing exploit that Colonel Phil. Sheridan first attracted attention and began his career of renown.
Upon the first of June, Halleck received from Pope an enthusiastic report of the Elliott cavalry raid. This he at once telegraphed in full to Secretary Stanton, and was rewarded the following day by a telegram from the latter, saying: "Your brilliant and successful achievement gives great joy over the whole land. Every one is anxious to hear the latest news, and I hope you will telegraph frequently. The President would be glad to have the news every hour. General McClellan was attacked yesterday; he had a hard battle, but drove the enemy back. He is not yet in Richmond, but we hope he soon will be."
Meanwhile it became generally known that besides the divisions of Rosecrans and Hamilton, and Granger's cavalry, belonging to Pope's army, there had been added to it, to strengthen the pursuit of the enemy — now supposed to be vigorously pressed — the divisions of Davies and W. T. Sherman, of Thomas' corps. Hence public expectation of decisive results waxed high. And when the following dispatch was published the agitation of the public mind in the North was extreme, as it seemed to presage the speedy capture or utter dispersion of the rebel forces under Beauregard, Bragg, Polk, Van Dorn, Hardee, and Breckinridge, with all the mighty consequences which in that event must have ensued:
"HALLECK'S HEADQUARTERS, June 4th, 1862
"HON. E. M. STANTON, SECRETARY OF WAR:
"General Pope with forty thousand men is thirty miles south of Florence (Corinth), pushing the enemy hard. He already reports ten thousand prisoners and deserters from the enemy, and fifteen thousand stand of arms captured. Thousands of the enemy are throwing away their arms. A farmer says that when Beauregard learned that Colonel Elliott had cut the railroad on his line of retreat he became frantic and told the men to save themselves the best way they could. We captured nine locomotives and a number of cars. One of the former is already repaired and is running today. Several more will be in running order in a few days. The result is all that I could possibly desire.
"H. W. HALLECK,
The effect of this sensational dispatch, artfully manufactured for the purpose, apparently, of at one stroke obscuring whatever glory McClellan might have gained in his recent repulse of the enemy near Richmond, and at the same time of disarming public criticism touching his own comparatively inglorious campaign against Corinth, was even greater than Halleck had anticipated. It at once elicited the following replies from Secretary Stanton and President Lincoln:
"WASHINGTON, June 4, 1862.
"Your glorious dispatch has just been received, and I have sent it into every State. The whole land will soon ring with applause at the achievement of your gallant army and its able and victorious commander.
"EDWIN M. STANTON,
"Secretary of War."
"To Major-General Halleck, Corinth."
"WASHINGTON, June 4, 1862.
"Your dispatch of today to Secretary of War received. Thanks for the good news it brings."
"To Major-General Halleck."
It soon transpired, however, that the glowing expectations raised in the public mind by Halleck's sensational dispatch were doomed to disappointment; that some of its statements were exaggerations; and that the principal one, touching Pope, to-wit: that "he already reports ten thousand prisoners and deserters from the enemy," was absolutely and wholly untrue.
Beauregard's report of the 13th of June, made at Tupelo, although taken with the allowances usually made for statements coming from the enemy, helped to satisfy the public mind of the untruthfulness of a part, at least, of that dispatch. It further helped, however, to unjustly fix the odium upon the shoulders of both Pope and Halleck, instead of upon those of Halleck alone.
In that report Beauregard declared, touching the Elliott raid on Booneville (May 30th), that instead of "ten thousand stand of small arms" reported destroyed there, "the truth is, not to exceed fifteen hundred, mostly inferior muskets, were lost on that occasion." This statement is entirely upset, however, by the reports of Colonel Elliott and Lieutenant-Colonel Hatch, of the Second Iowa Cavalry.
Beauregard's report more justly described Halleck's telegraphic reports just given as "equally inaccurate, reckless, and untrustworthy," touching the quantities of property and stores alleged to have been destroyed by the enemy at Corinth, and touching "General Pope's alleged pressing pursuit" of the enemy. "Major-General Halleck's dispatch of June 4th," continues Beauregard, "was particularly described as disgracefully untrue. Possibly, however, he was duped by a subordinate. Nothing, for example, can be wider from the truth than that ten thousand men and fifteen thousand small arms of this army were captured or lost in addition to those destroyed at Booneville. Some five hundred inferior small arms were accidentally left by convalescents in a camp four miles south of Corinth. No artillery of any description was lost, no clothing, no tents worth removal were left standing."
While, therefore, it was generally acknowledged, at the time that Beauregard's report was quoted from in the Northern as well as Southern papers, that some of these dispatches, especially that of June 4th, were gross exaggerations, yet so completely was Halleck master of the art of wheedling the press, that very few supposed him to be guilty of absolute falsification, and the public was
673brought to believe that, as Beauregard himself intimates, Halleck must have been duped by Pope.
Halleck took occasion, moreover, to confirm this false impression early in July, in the following deliberately penned letter
"CORINTH, Mississippi, July 3, 1862.
"In accordance with your instructions I telegraph you daily what information I receive of events in this department, stating whether official or unofficial, and if official giving the authority. I am not responsible for the truth of the statements thus communicated. I have seen a published statement of General Beauregard that my telegram respecting the capture of locomotives, prisoners, and arms, contained as many lies as lines. The number of locomotives captured was reported to be nine, and I so telegraphed you. General Beauregard says only seven. It turns out on full investigation that we captured eleven. In regard to the number of prisoners and arms taken I telegraphed the exact language of General Pope. If it was erroneous, the responsibility is his, not mine.
"H. W. HALLECK, Major-General.
"To HON. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War."
It may hardly be believed, save by those who already know of his base duplicity toward General Grant, that in this letter Halleck uttered an unmitigated falsehood. It must be evident upon reflection, however, that he who could be guilty of the course that Halleck pursued toward General Grant, must have been capable of pursuing a similar course toward any other army officer.
It is a fact susceptible of abundant proof that General Pope never reported to Halleck, nor to any one else during the so-called "pursuit" of the enemy from Corinth, "ten thousand prisoners and deserters from the enemy and fifteen thousand stand of arms captured," which Halleck here says is "the exact language of General Pope," and which the former telegraphed on the 4th of June, 1862. It is due to a brave, able, and truthful soldier, that history shall set General Pope right in the estimation of his countrymen by at least rendering to him this scant and long-delayed justice. It can be broadly alleged that General Pope never made any such statement of fact as that attributed to him by Halleck. No such report or statement can be found. The most careful search of the official documents fails to develop anything, directly or indirectly,
674warranting either the language of Halleck's sensational dispatch of the 4th of June, or his attempted defense of himself, of July 3d, against Beauregard's charge of disgraceful falsification, by trying to shift the blame upon General Pope's innocent shoulders.
The Mississippi Campaign.
IN the attempt to take Vicksburg in the rear made by General Grant in the fall of 1862, I commanded the First Division of the right wing of the Thirteenth Corps, so denominated, which was organized at Bolivar, Tennessee. This command consisted of the following troops: First Brigade, Colonel C. C. Marsh commanding; John E. Smith, Forty-fifth Illinois; L. S. Ozburum, Thirty-first Illinois; Captain Conrad, Twentieth Illinois; J. H. Howe, One-hundred-and-twenty-fourth Illinois; Elias H. Evans, Thirtieth Illinois. Second Brigade, M. D. Leggett commanding; C. S. Chandler, Seventy-eighth Ohio; M. F. Force, Twentieth Ohio; — Shook, Sixty-eighth Ohio; W. P. Davis, Twenty-third Indiana. Artillery — Ninth Indiana Battery; De Golyer's Michigan Battery; W. S. Williams, Third Ohio Battery; W. H. Bolton, Company D, First Illinois Artillery; G. C. Gunback, Company E, Second Illinois Infantry; besides Norton's Seventeenth Illinois Infantry, detached.
Upon the arrival of the command at Memphis, Tennessee, the Seventeenth Corps, under orders from the War Department, was organized, I being assigned, on the 11th of January, to the command of the Third Division, consisting of the following troops, which remained with me intact until the fall of Vicksburg, and until I was assigned to the command of the Fifteenth Army Corps, on the 14th of November, 1863:
First Brigade,General John E. Smith commanding, consisted of the Twenty-third Indiana, Colonel William P. Davis; Twentieth Illinois, Lieutenant-Colonel E. Richards; Thirty-first Illinois, E. S. McCook; Forty-fifth Illinois, J. A. Maltby; One-hundred-and-twenty-fourth Illinois, G. J. Sloan.
Second Brigade, M. D. Leggett commanding: Twentieth Ohio, M. F. Force; Thirtieth Illinois, Lieutenant-Colonel Warren Shedd, Seventy-eighth Ohio, Z. M. Chandler; Sixty-eighth Ohio, Colonel R. K. Scott.
Third Brigade, Colonel John D. Stevenson commanding: Seventh Missouri, Colonel W. S. Oliver; Eighth Illinois, Lieutenant-Colonel R. H. Sturgis; Thirty-second Ohio, Colonel B. F. Potts, and the Eighty-first Illinois, Colonel J. J. Dollins. C. J. Stolbrand, Chief of Artillery; "D" of the First Illinois Artillery, H. A. Rogers Captain commanding; "L" Second Illinois Artillery, Captain W. H. Bolton; Third Ohio Battery, Captain W. S. Williams; "G" Second Illinois, Captain F. S. Sparrestron; "A" Second Illinois. Captain R. Hotaling.
I landed with my troops at Lake Providence, La., on the 22nd of February, 1863, and moved to Milliken's Bend on the 25th of April, thence by the way of Carthage and Perkins' Plantation to Hard Times Landing, below Grand Gulf. In the meantime, the transports had passed the rebel batteries at Vicksburg, the former being commanded, almost exclusively, by volunteers from my own division.
On the morning of the 1st of May, my division was ferried over the river, landed at Bruinsburg, and immediately pushed toward Fort Gibson, where General John A. McClernand was engaging the enemy, and attempting without success to drive him from his position.
On the 12th of May, I struck the enemy again, at Raymond, under Gregg and Walker, and after several hours of hard fighting, drove him back, with heavy loss in killed, wounded, and prisoners, many of the rebels throwing down their arms and deserting. My own division alone participated in the fight.
On the 14th, we were at Jackson, Miss., and participated in the fight of that day; and after the capture of Jackson, on the 15th of May, we marched toward Vicksburg, coming up with the enemy at Champion Hills on the 16th. General Hovey, of McClernand's corps, engaged the enemy first, and was about to retire from exhaustion of his troops, when I came up, and by a movement on the right I succeeded in turning the enemy's flank, and in capturing a large number of guns and prisoners.
On the evening of the 17th, after the successful engagement at Big Black, my division took the Jackson road, moved forward upon the enemy's lines at Vicksburg, and at night on the 18th went into position on the center of the circumvallating line which enveloped Vicksburg. We then made the unsuccessful assault of the 19th and 22nd of May, and subsequently commenced our trenches and mines for a regular siege. Upon the 4th of July, 1863, we had the satisfaction of entering the city of Vicksburg.
The Atlanta Campaign.
WE were now about to enter upon the famous Atlanta Campaign. I had moved my headquarters to Huntsville, Alabama, and therefore was the first to take up the march for Chattanooga, the starting-point. The Army of the Tennessee, composed of the Fifteenth, Sixteenth, and Seventeenth Army Corps, under command of General McPherson, was employed during this entire campaign, in the language of General Sherman, as "the snapper to the whip with which he purposed to punish the enemy," and its movements to the right and left of the other armies, constantly reaching and occupying the most difficult and perilous positions, entailed upon its several commanding officers delicate and exhausting duties. The commanders of the three corps of the Army of the Tennessee were, respectively, as follows:
Major-General John A. Logan, commanding the Fifteenth Corps; Major-General G. M. Dodge, commanding the Sixteenth Corps; Major-General Frank P. Blair, commanding the Seventeenth Corps.
While the main army, under the immediate supervision of General Sherman, was confronting the enemy at Dalton and Buzzard's Roost, the first flank movement of the series made by the Army of the Tennessee was to the right through Snake Creek Gap, upon the town of Resaca.
The attempt to break the railroad at Resaca, and thus cut off the retreat of the enemy, failed, not because of the timidity of any one, as has been unjustly suggested, but because the place was found so completely fortified that it ultimately required the best efforts of Sherman's whole army to dislodge the enemy from that
680position, and but for the splendid flank movement of the Fifteenth Corps upon the right of the line, on the 16th of May, the attack upon the enemy's position must have consumed days instead of hours, before he would have been compelled to retreat.
The unsuccessful onslaught of General Hooker and General Howard, on the 13th of May, proves the wise discretion of General McPherson in not attempting to carry the works with a single army when first he reached Resaca, while the brilliant charge made by the Fifteenth Corps, by which we were enabled to turn the enemy's position, vindicates the previous action of McPherson.
[The scene of the movement has been described as follows: "Logan moved first and drew the first fire. In front of his Second Division was an open field in which were the enemy's skirmishers, and across in the woods his line of battle. At the bugle the division fell into line, deployed skirmishers, and swept across the field, driving the enemy in splendid style. General Logan accompanied the line. At the same time Harrow, who had fallen back of the main road to allow Morgan L. Smith to move to the right, moved on double-quick to the left of Osterhaus, the two divisions pushing into the thick wood on the left of the Second. Dodge moved his command from the Ferry road down through the forest to fill up the space between the Fifteenth and the Oestonala, his Fourth Division, under General Veatch, having the advance. After crossing the field, General Morgan L. Smith entered the wood, and pushed rapidly for the hills in his front, and the whole Fifteenth then moved suddenly forward, driving the enemy for a mile and a half, until the corps were in position on the hills which they had been ordered to take. The remainder of the afternoon was occupied in intrenching the line, and putting batteries into position, while skirmishers and pickets were constantly exchanging shots.
"The next day about noon General Logan received orders to make an assault upon the rebel lines in his front. He directed the assault to be made by one brigade from each of the First and
681Second Divisions — General Charles R. Wood's brigade of the First Division, and General Giles A. Smith's of the Second. The remainder of the command was placed in position to give such immediate support to the charging party as circumstances might require. General Logan was in front, busy along the line. It being very difficult to cross the creek which ran between the attacking column of the enemy, the troops were carried over to the opposite bank on logs, or in any other feasible manner, under cover of the fire from the batteries. It was six o'clock when the skirmishers were advanced to the foot of the hill, and commenced driving the rebels. At the order of General Logan the brigade sprang up from the bank under which they were covered, deployed, and moved forward at double-quick. Very soon strong forces displaying seven regimental colors were discovered moving in column by regiments. The whole force of two brigades of General Logan was deployed in the front. The rebel column would strike it in a few minutes. If it broke our lines, the position was gone and the two brigades lost. Logan hurried along the front. His command reserved its fire until the enemy were within sixty yards. The rebel column staggered, fell back, re-formed, and renewed the assault. They were again repulsed, and made a last attempt to turn Logan's flank. They were again driven back with great loss, and under cover of the night, for it was then dark, they left the field in possession of General Logan's troops, who advanced and placed the flag of the Fifty-seventh Ohio on the abandoned redoubt. At two in the morning Resaca was destitute of rebels. Our loss in the Fifteenth Corps was something over three hundred, while the rebels admitted casualties to the number of more than twenty-five hundred. Thus ended the first fight of any moment in the Atlanta campaign." — C. A. L.]
As at Resaca, so at Dallas, the glorious Fifteenth Corps took the brunt of the movement. I was again on the extreme right,
682and marched to Dallas, on the 27th of May, at four P. M., the whole rebel army confronting me as we went into position beyond the town. The 28th was spent in closing up my line, and preparing for any attack which might be made. The enemy endeavored during the whole day to feel my line, and not a moment passed without shots between the skirmishers. I held the right with the Sixteenth Corps under Dodge on my left, while Sherman was waiting and expecting the Army of the Tennessee to move to the left to close up on the enemy, whom he (Sherman) supposed to be on his immediate front, that is to say, in front of the Army of the Cumberland and the Army of the Ohio. But the fact is that Johnston's entire command was centered upon our right flank, with a determination to break through and to prevent any movement to the left. Repeated and impatient orders were sent to McPherson during the time he was hotly engaged with Johnston's army, to move to the left and join Sherman.
On the 28th, Hardee's corps moved with twenty-three thousand men upon my front, and then there ensued one of the severest struggles of the entire campaign. Never did men fight more desperately than did the rebels to drive us from our position, as the field of battle after the contest plainly showed. We found five color-bearers, at the close of this sharp engagement, dead in their places. We buried three hundred of the enemy and would have buried more had not the rebels fired upon our stretcher-bearers, driving them and all burying parties from the field. Fifty-four rebels were buried in front of the Sixty-sixth Indiana. I had no time to get up my artillery, and in this repulse of the repeated attacks of the enemy I was compelled to depend almost entirely upon the musketry.
The rebel loss was over twenty-five hundred. Three times the enemy attacked, and were as often repulsed. One hundred and fifty prisoners were taken. We lost two hundred and thirty-eight brave fellows. The following commissioned officers were killed: Colonel Dickerman, of the One-hundred-and-third Illinois; Major Grisy, of the Forty-sixth Ohio; and Lieutenant Louell, of the Twenty-seventh Ohio. At this place there occurred a night attack upon us, which was brilliant as well as beautiful. A streaming line of fire along the whole front, with a blaze of musketry and artillery, lit up the sky with lurid glare. It accomplished nothing for the rebels, however, save to cause loss of sleep to the tired soldiers of both sides. The three attacks were only intended to prevent the movement contemplated by the Army of the Tennessee to the left, as General Sherman had proposed. The Dallas fight was the third of the three successive attacks of the enemy since the opening of the campaign south of the Etowah, up to the evening of the 28th. On the 25th Hooker was engaged in the center, and on the 27th, Wood upon the left flank.
On the 27th of June the attempt of General Sherman to carry Kenesaw Mountain took place. The propriety of this movement, as well as that of the attempt to dislodge the enemy from Buzzard's Roost, has been hotly discussed by those of opposite views. However, the orders having been given, the disposition of the troops of the Army of the Tennessee was perfected with a view to secure success in the assault if possible. The alacrity with which the troops moved out to an attack which was universally considered ill-advised, to say the least, was one of the strongest proofs exhibited during the campaign of the complete discipline and soldierly qualities of the volunteer soldier of the Western army. My corps moved promptly at eight o'clock in the morning, and after an hour and a quarter had cleared two lines of abattis, carried a line of earthworks by a charge, followed the rout of the enemy up his rugged
684strongholds, under a murderous cross-fire of artillery and a storm of bullets, conquered every obstacle, planted the flag at the foot of the insurmountable array of cliffs, threw up defenses of logs and stones, and held the line despite the persistent efforts of the enemy to dislodge us. We lost sixty officers and four hundred men, killed and wounded. One of my regiments came out of the fight with but five line and field officers fit for duty. The losses were: Colonel Rice, of the Fifty-seventh Illinois, mortally wounded; Colonel Parry, Fifty-fourth Ohio, and Colonel Walcott, slightly wounded; Colonel Parnhill, Fortieth Illinois, and Captain Augustine, commander of the Fifty-fifth Illinois, killed. The Eighty-third Indiana lost two color-bearers while ascending the mountain.
The average perpendicular height of the precipice against which the charge was made was thirty feet. Along the verge of this the enemy had drawn his line of battle, and his troops, as our own approached, hurled down rocks, clubs, and every conceivable species of missiles, injuring, killing, and maiming many of our men. The position of the enemy was turned by General Sherman's "whip-snapper," the Army of the Tennessee. By another flank movement this army was at Nickajack Creek on the 4th of July, celebrating the anniversary of our independence by an artillery fight with Johnston's rear guard, while he, with his main army, was safely and quietly moving across Chattahoochee toward Atlanta. The next movement was to the left flank through Marietta, crossing the bridge at Rosswell built by Dodge, advancing through Decatur, and going into position on the 21st of July, after a severe fight, with which we contested the range of hills that overlooks the city of Atlanta.
On the night of the 21st I occupied an intrenched position, the Army of the Ohio, under General Schofield, being upon my right, and the Seventeenth Corps, under General Blair, upon my left. The left flank was to have been occupied by General Dodge, commanding the Sixteenth Corps, who had been left out on the march
685of the preceding day by the connection of the Fifteenth and Seventeenth Corps of the Army of the Tennessee. The cavalry command which was covering the flanks of the Army of the Tennessee — reporting to General McPherson — had been sent off by General Sherman's orders to destroy the bridge near Covington, thus leaving the left flank "in air." The trains were stopped at Decatur and guarded by Sprague, of Ohio, with a brigade. The severe fighting for the position which the Army of the Tennessee occupied, and which it did not secure until dark of the 21st, led the commanding officers of that army to believe that the enemy was in force in our immediate front, and General Blair and I made disposition of our troops accordingly, under direction of General McPherson.
Very early on the morning of the 22d of July, 1864, Lieutenant Willard Warner, of General Sherman's staff, came to the headquarters of General McPherson, and gave the following instructions from General Sherman to General McPherson, to-wit: "General Sherman believes that the enemy have evacuated Atlanta, and desires you to move rapidly forward beyond the city toward East Point, leaving General Dodge, of the Sixteenth Corps, upon the railroad, to destroy it effectually." This communication was received by McPherson with a great deal of surprise, and he expressed, without reservation, his doubts as to the correctness of the report of the evacuation. However, he issued an order to me to carry out the instructions received from General Sherman.
Not satisfied, however, McPherson immediately ordered his horse, and with his staff started to ride down to my headquarters to talk over the instructions which he had already given me in writing. Before he arrived at my headquarters, however, firing was exchanged between our own and the enemy's pickets. In a moment General McPherson was convinced that General Sherman
686was mistaken in the report that the enemy had evacuated Atlanta. McPherson therefore instructed me to go into position for battle (though I had already prepared my troops for the march), regardless of the order issued in the morning, which instruction I immediately commenced to carry out, my command going into line under fire. The order was also handed to General Blair, and General Dodge was directed to leave the railroad and with all possible dispatch to take up his position on the left of the Seventeenth Corps, in order to protect that flank, which was even then being turned by the enemy, in the absence of Garrard's cavalry.
In the meantime McPherson had ridden over to General Sherman's headquarters and reported to him the disposition he had made of his troops, in violation of the orders of the morning, and to secure the assent of General Sherman to his course. After this he rode back to see that his orders to Generals Blair, Dodge, and to me were being promptly and correctly carried out. The exposed position of the Seventeenth Corps, heretofore referred to, owing to the absence of the cavalry under Garrard, had not been wholly covered, when McPherson, about one o'clock (the firing along the line having become general), rode out almost alone, his staff all being occupied in the execution of previous orders. In passing through a narrow bridle-path, McPherson came upon a body of the enemy's troops — a stray company from Claiborne's division of Hardee's corps — lying down in the woods, who, upon seeing him approach, immediately arose, and commanded him three times to halt. McPherson, at first supposing them to be some of his own troops, lifted his hat in his usual courteous manner, but, at once perceiving that he was in the presence of the enemy, wheeled his horse, when he was immediately fired upon and killed. The rebel company was captured afterward, and the facts as here stated were given by the officers of the company. Colonel Clark, McPherson's chief-of-staff, hearing the firing, seeing McPherson's horse come back riderless, and satisfied that McPherson was either killed or a prisoner, gave orders for the
687recovery of the body, then rode to General Sherman and reported the facts, and was directed by him to place General Logan in command of the Army of the Tennessee, I being the ranking officer present. Before leaving General Sherman, Colonel Clark secured a division of the Army of the Ohio, commanded by General J. D. Cox, to march to a position where he could support the Army of the Tennessee in case of emergency.
General Sherman, in his report of the battle, said:
"On the morning of the 22nd, somewhat to my surprise, this whole line [meaning the line occupied by the armies on the day preceding] was found abandoned, and I confess I thought the enemy had resolved to give me Atlanta without further contest, but as General Johnston had been relieved of his command and General Hood substituted, a new policy seemed resolved upon, of which the bold attack upon our right was the index. Our advanced ranks swept across the strong and well finished parapet of the enemy, and close upon Atlanta we occupied a line in the form of a general circle of about two miles radius, when we again found him occupying a line of finished redoubts which had been prepared for
688more than a year, covering all the roads leading into Atlanta, and after that we met him also busy in connecting those roads with curtains strengthened by rifle-trenched abattis and chevaux de frise."
The report of General Sherman as to the position of his troops on that day is substantially correct, but his information is derived entirely from reports of subordinates, because he was not on any part of the line during the fight, either by himself or by staff. He says: "I rode over it," meaning the line, "the next day, and it bore the marks of a bloody conflict. The enemy retired during the night inside of Atlanta, and we remained masters of the situation outside."
In referring to his orders to me, concerning the battle of the 22nd, General Sherman says in his "Memoirs": "I soon dispatched one of my own staff to General Logan, telling him to refuse his left flank, and to fight the battle holding fast to Leggett's hill with the Army of the Tennessee; that I would personally look to Decatur and to the safety of his rear, and would reinforce him if he needed it." Decatur, where the trains were parked, was seven miles distant.
The battle of Atlanta, fought on the 22nd of July, 1864, must be recorded as one of the "decisive battles of the war" — in fact, the only decisive battle in 1864. It resulted in the fall of Atlanta and enabled General Sherman to accomplish his march to the sea.
My report of the battle of the 22nd of July is as follows
"HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT AND ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE,
"BEFORE ATLANTA, GA., JULY 24, 1864.
"General: I have the honor to report the following summary of the result of the battle of the 22d inst.: Total loss in killed, wounded, and missing, three thousand five hundred and twenty-one (3,521), and ten (10) pieces of artillery lost. We have buried and delivered to the enemy, under a flag of truce sent by them, in front of the Seventeenth Corps, one thousand (1,000) of their killed; the number of their dead in front of the Fourth Division of the same corps, including those on ground not now occupied by our troops, General Blair reports will swell the number of their dead on his front to two thousand (2,000). The number of dead buried in front of the Fifteenth Corps, up to this hour, is three hundred and sixty (360), and the commanding officer reports at least as many more unburied. The number of dead buried in front of the Sixteenth Corps was four hundred and twenty-two (422).
"We have over one thousand (1,000) of their wounded in our hands; a large number of the wounded having been carried off during the night of the engagement by them.
"We captured eighteen stands of colors, and have them now; we also captured five thousand (5,000) stands of arms.
"The attack was made on our line seven times, and was seven times repulsed. Hood's, Hardee's, and Wheeler's cavalry engaged us. We have sent to the rear one thousand (1,000) prisoners, including thirty-seven (37) commissioned officers of high rank. We still occupy the field, and the troops are in fine spirits.
"Our total loss is three thousand five hundred and twenty-one (3,521), the enemy's dead thus far reported, buried or delivered to them, is three thousand two hundred and twenty-two (3,222). Total prisoners sent north, one thousand and seventeen (1,017); total prisoners wounded in our hands, one thousand (1,000); estimated loss of the enemy, ten thousand two hundred (10,200).
"Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
"JOHN A. LOGAN, Major-General.
"To Major-General W. T. Sherman, Commanding Military Division of the Mississippi."
The actual loss of the enemy was, however, acknowledged to be greater than the number indicated in my report.
The time was occupied until the 26th in reorganizing the various commands, in performing the last offices to the gallant dead, and in preparing for another movement, which was by the flank, though this time to the right. It is but truth to say that a more difficult and delicate movement of the army was not undertaken during the war. The enemy were intrenched closely in our front, almost within speaking distance on many parts of the line, when the order came from General Sherman to withdraw under cover of the night from our position, and move the three corps seven miles to the right. It was necessary to deceive the enemy entirely as to this movement, and the wheels of the gun-carriages and caissons were bound with whisps of hay and straw, in order that the utmost silence might prevail as the Army of the Tennessee moved out from this position. I was in the saddle all night, and with my staff personally superintended the movement of every corps which drew out from its position, until all were withdrawn without the slightest confusion. By daylight on the morning of the 27th, the three corps of the Army of the Tennessee were safely upon their respective roads, prepared to go into their new positions, and this without any casualty, while the enemy was left in complete ignorance of the withdrawal.
Rain poured in torrents as the army took up its position upon that day, and it was late in the evening before the troops were all deployed. Again the Army of the Tennessee was, by its right flank, "in air." The enemy was again discovered late in the day upon that flank, and as the Army of the Tennessee could not reach so as to secure a position not easily turned, General Sherman ordered General Jeff. C. Davis with his division to move at once to support the right flank.
The morning of the 28th found the Army of the Tennessee again confronting the enemy. Hardly had the Fifteenth Corps thrown up their earth-works, with logs and rails covering the front, when Hood came at us again. By eleven o'clock the fighting became general along the entire line, and then there occurred another desperate battle in which my brave Fifteenth Corps was exclusively engaged, for, though two or three brigades from the Seventeenth had been ordered to its support, circumstances rendered it unnecessary for the latter to take any part in the general engagement. Six times did the enemy deploy from the woods in our front; six times, with words of encouragement and threats from their commanding officers, did they march up to receive the deadly fire of the Fifteenth Corps, and as many times were they repulsed. Perhaps in the history of the war there was never more persistent and desperate gallantry displayed upon the part of the rebels. Their defeat was complete, and the reports of the fight show that the gallant Fifteenth Corps was chiefly entitled to the credit of the victory of July 28th.
The following is my official report of the battle:
"HEADQUARTERS FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
"BEFORE ATLANTA, GA., JULY 29, 1864.
"Colonel: I have the honor to report that in pursuance of orders I moved my command into position on the right of the Seventeenth Army Corps, which was the extreme right of the army in the field on the night and morning of the 27th and 28th inst., and during my advance in line of battle to a more desirable position we were met by the rebel infantry from Hood's and Lee's corps, who made a desperate and determined attack at half past eleven o'clock of the morning of the 28th.
"My lines were only protected by logs and rails hastily thrown in front of them. The first onset was received and checked, and the battle commenced and lasted until about three o'clock in the afternoon. During that time six successive attacks were made, which were six times gallantly repulsed, and each time with fearful loss to the enemy. Later in the evening my lines were several times assaulted vigorously, but each assault terminated with like result. The most of the fighting occurred on General Harrow's and Smith's fronts, which formed the center and right of the line. The troops could not have displayed more courage nor greater determination not to yield. Had they shown less they would have been driven from their position. Brigadier-General Wood's, Harrow's and Smith's division commands are entitled to great credit for gallant conduct and skill in repelling the assaults. My thanks are due to Major-Generals Blair and Dodge for sending me reinforcements at a time when they were much needed. My loss was fifty killed, four hundred and thirty-nine wounded, and eighty-three missing — aggregate, five hundred and seventy-two.
"The division of General Harrow captured five battle-flags. There were about one thousand five hundred or two thousand muskets captured; one hundred and six prisoners were taken, exclusive of seventy-three wounded who have been removed to hospitals and are being taken care of by our surgeons. Five hundred and sixty-five rebels up to this time have been buried, and about two hundred are supposed to be yet unburied. Large numbers were undoubtedly carried away during the night, as the enemy did not retire until nearly daylight. The enemy's loss could not have been, in my judgment, less than six or seven thousand.
"I am very respectfully your obedient servant,
"JOHN A. LOGAN,
"Major-General Commanding Fifteenth Army Corps.
"To Lieutenant-Colonel W. T. Clark, Assistant Adjutant-General."
The indorsement upon the report is as follows:
"HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE,
"BEFORE ATLANTA, GA., July 29, 1864.
"In forwarding the within report I wish to express my high gratification with the conduct of the troops engaged. I never saw better conduct in battle.
"The General commanding the Fifteenth Army Corps, though ill and much worn out, was indefatigable, and the success of the day is as much attributed to him as to any one man. His officers, and in fact all the officers of his army that commanded my observation, cooperated promptly and heartily with him.
"O. O. HOWARD, Major-General."
What General Sherman has called his flank movement was now to take place. Failing to cut off the enemy's retreat by the use of his cavalry, the General-in-Chief determined to throw his whole army upon the railroad south of Atlanta. The method of accomplishing this result has been indicated by General Sherman in his "Memoirs."
Again the Army of the Tennessee had the wide swing, outside, and traveled the greater distance, and again struck the enemy first.
The several columns moved on the 29th of August — the Fifteenth Corps in advance — and passed the Renfo place, at which point the orders were to stop. I pushed forward, saved the bridge across Flint River, and went into position within half a mile of Jonesboro.
On the 31st, I went into a fortified position, and was attacked by Lee's and Hardee's corps. After two hours' hard fighting, we repulsed the enemy, who withdrew, leaving four hundred dead on the field, his total loss being over twenty-five hundred, as admitted at the time.
General Sherman, in his report, says: "Hearing sounds of battle at Jonesboro about noon, orders were renewed to push the other movements of the left and center, and about 4 P. M. the report arrived that General Howard had utterly repulsed the enemy at Jonesboro."
As usual, the enemy disappeared before morning. He made a stand at Lovejoy's Station. We followed him to that point, and again had him in flank. I wished to attack him again, in order to achieve, if it were possible, what the army had failed to accomplish on the 31st, by reason of the want of cooperation of the other troops; but, in the meantime Atlanta had fallen, and the General-in-Chief decided to fall back. We then went into camp at Atlanta, with the purpose to prepare for an excursion through Georgia, to the sea.
It remains to make mere mention of the last engagement of the Fifteenth Army Corps, so long commanded by me. It is a fact worthy of note that the troops composing this corps were originally organized at Belmont and took part in the engagement at that place. There was never any distinct change in the organization of the command from that time until it was mustered out in 1865. The men and officers came to know and love each other, and to form attachments which have never been broken.
General Hazen's Division of the old Fifteenth Corps captured Fort McAllister, which gave us Savannah. This was the last important engagement in which the Army of the Tennessee participated during the war.
After my arrival in camp, at Atlanta, the following congratulatory order was issued
"HEADQUARTERS FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
"EAST POINT, GA., Sept. 11, 1864.
"Officers and Soldiers of the Fifteenth Army Corps:
"You have borne your part in the accomplishment of the object of this campaign, a part well and faithfully done.
"On the 1st day of May, 1864, from Huntsville, Ala., and its vicinity, you commenced the march. The marches and labors performed by you during this campaign will hardly find a parallel in the history of war. The proud name heretofore acquired by the Fifteenth Corps for soldierly bearing and daring deeds remains untarnished — its luster undimmed. During the campaign you constituted the main portion of the flanking column of the whole army. Your first move against the enemy was around the right of the army at Resaca, where, by your gallantry,
the enemy were driven from the hills and his works on the main road from Vilanow to Resaca. On the retreat of the enemy, you moved on the right flank of the army by a circuitous route to Adairsville, in the same manner from there to Kingston and Dallas, where, on the 28th day of May, you met the veteran corps of Hardee, and in a severe and bloody contest you hurled him back, killing and wounding over two thousand, besides capturing a large number of prisoners. You then moved around to the left of the army, by way of Acworth, to Kenesaw Mountain, where again you met the enemy, driving him from three lines of works, capturing over three hundred prisoners. During your stay in front of Kenesaw Mountain, on the 27th of June, you made one of the most daring, bold, and heroic charges of the war, against the almost impregnable position of the enemy on Little Kenesaw. You were then moved, by way of Marietta, to Nickajack Creek, on the right of the army; thence back to the extreme left by way of Marietta and Roswell, to the Augusta Railroad, near Stone Mountain, a distance of fifty miles, and after effectually destroying the railroad at this point, you moved by way of Decatur to the immediate front of the rebel stronghold, Atlanta. Here, on the 22d day of July, you again performed your duty nobly ‘as patriots and soldiers’ in one of the most severe and sanguinary conflicts of the campaign. With hardly time to recover your almost exhausted energies, you were moved around again to the right of the army, only to encounter the same troops against whom you had so recently contended, and the battle of the 28th of July, at Ezra Chapel, will long be remembered by the officers and soldiers of this command. On that day it was that the Fifteenth Corps, almost unaided and alone, for four hours contested the field against the corps of Hardee and Lee. You drove them discomfited from the field, causing them to leave their dead and many of their wounded in your hands. The many noble and gallant deeds performed by you on that day will be remembered among the proudest acts of our nation's history. After pressing the enemy closely for several days, you again moved to the right of the army, to the West Point Railroad, near Fairburn. After completely destroying the road for some distance, you marched to Jonesboro, driving the enemy before you from Pond Creek, a distance of ten miles. At this point you again met the enemy, composed of Lee's and Hardee's corps, on the 31st of August, and punished them severely, driving them in confusion from the field, with their dead and many wounded and prisoners left in your hands. Here again by your skill and true courage you kept sacred the reputation you have so long maintained, viz.: "The Fifteenth Corps never meets the enemy but to strike and defeat him." On the 1st of September, the Fourteenth Corps attacked Hardee; you at once opened fire on him, and by your cooperation his defeat became a rout. Hood, hearing the news, blew up his ammunition trains, retreated, and Atlanta was ours.
"You have marched during the campaign, in your windings, the distance of four hundred miles, have put ‘hors du combat’ more of the enemy than your corps numbers, have captured twelve stands of colors, 2,450 prisoners, and 210 deserters.
"The course of your march is marked by the graves of patriotic heroes who have fallen by your side; but at the same time it is more plainly marked by the blood of traitors who have defied the Constitution and laws, and insulted and trampled under foot the glorious flag of our country.
"We deeply sympathize with the friends of those of our comrades-in-arms who have fallen; our sorrows are only appeased by the knowledge that they fell as brave men, battling for the preservation and perpetuation of one of the best governments of earth. ‘Peace be to their ashes.’
"You now rest for a short time from your labors. During the respite prepare for future action. Let your country see at all times by your conduct that you love the cause you have espoused; that you have no sympathy with any who would by word or deed assist vile traitors in dismembering our mighty Republic or trailing in the dust the emblem of our national greatness and glory. You are the defenders of a Government that has blessed you heretofore with peace, happiness, and prosperity. Its perpetuity depends upon your heroism, faithfulness, and devotion.
"When the time shall come to go forward again, let us go with the determination to save our nation from threatened wreck and hopeless ruin, not forgetting the appeal from widows and orphans that is borne to us upon every breeze to avenge the loss of their loved ones who have fallen in defense of their country. Be patient, obedient, and earnest, and the day is not far distant when you can return to your homes with the proud consolation that you have assisted in causing the old banner to again wave from every mountain's top and over every town and hamlet of our once happy land, and hear the shouts of triumph ascend from a grateful people, proclaiming that once more we have one flag and one country.
"JOHN A. LOGAN,
"HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT WEST TENNESSEE,
"FORT HENRY, March 14, 1862.
"HON. E. M. STANTON, SECRETARY OF WAR,
Washington, D. C.:
"I have been waiting for reports of sub-commanders at the battle of Fort Donelson to make some recommendation of officers for advancement for meritorious services. These reports are not yet in, and, as the troops under my command are actively engaged, may not be for some time. I therefore take this occasion to make some recommendations of officers who in my opinion should not be neglected. I would particularly mention the names of Colonel J. D. Webster, First Illinois Artillery; Morgan L. Smith, Eighth Missouri Volunteers; W. H. L. Wallace, Eleventh Illinois Volunteers; and John A. Logan, Thirty-first Illinois Volunteers. The two latter are from civil pursuits, but I have no hesitation in fully indorsing them as in every way qualified for the position of Brigadier-General, and think they have fully earned the position on the field of battle. There are others who may be equally meritorious, but I do not happen to know so well their services. "U. S. GRANT, Major-General."
Of this memorable battle General Grant said in his official report: "About one P. M. of this day the brave, accomplished, and noble-hearted McPherson was killed. General Logan succeeded him and commanded the Army of the Tennessee throughout its desperate battle, and until he was superseded by Major-General Howard on the 27th, with the same success and ability that had characterized him in the command of a corps or division." — C. A. L.