IOWA BATTERY CAPTURED AND RETAKEN
Meantime the fight was raging furiously in the extreme right on both sides of the Fayetteville road. The First and Second Iowa Batteries, planted on an eminence overlooking the declivity in the road, were kept busy plying shrapnel and canister into the ranks of the enemy, who appeared in immense numbers on all sides, as if to surround the right of our line, and thus completely environ us. In order to defeat this object a severe struggle took place for the occupancy of a rising knoll on the east side of the road. The enemy gained upon us, and it was not until our men were half stricken down that they yielded the point. Word had been passed back to General Curtis that the enemy was pressing hardly on the right flank, and that our batteries had been left on the hill, and the enemy were now turning it upon us. Colonel Carr, fearing that no reinforcements would arrive, collected his strength and mustered his entire force for a last desperate charge, resolved to retake to position or perish in the attempt. A heavy firing on our centre and a cheer from the advancing division of General Davis favored the effort, and our troops marched up to the battery amid a storm of shot from their own guns, and after a desperate hand-to-hand struggle, finally drove the enemy down the ravine in hopeless confusion. Col. Carr received a wound in the arm, but remained on the field.
The great leader of the rebels – the ubiquitous Ben McCulloch – was among the slain. He who had contemptuously spoke of the Southerners as the “natural masters” of the Northern men, lay a victim to his presumption, his life fast ebbing by the hands of those whom he styled a nation of “craven hearted cowards.” The loss on both sides of this conflict was severe. Our loss in killed and wounded could not have been less than three hundred; that of the enemy must have been double. Lieut. David, who commanded the battery, was the last to leave his pieces and among the first to regain them. He bears a wound in the arm, and several marks of the hostile bullets. Many of our officers were wounded, but, fortunately, none seriously. Lieut. Col. Herron, of the Ninth Iowa, was wounded in the foot, and while in the hands of the Surgeons, was taken prisoner by the advancing enemy. Col. Herron fought with great spirit and was the most conspicuous figure in the repulse. The command then devolved upon Major Coyle, who gallantly led the regiment on the advance receiving a severe wound in the shoulder.
DEVOTION OF AN ARTILLERYMAN.
One of the most signal instances of superhuman bravery is connected with the loss of these guns. One of the cannoneers, who has been long noted for his wonderful pluck, remained hat his posted to the last. Placing himself in front of the piece, he disdained to save himself, but with navy revolver, stood calmly awaiting the hooting crowds of rebels. He emptied every barrel of his pistol, and then, with his short sword, defended his piece until he was struck down by the blows of the rebels. His body was afterwards found near the piece, with seventeen balls and his head cloven open with a tomahawk.
A BOWIE-KNIFE CONFLICT.
While the fight was raging about Miser’s farm house on the ridge, on Friday morning a soldier belonging to the 25th Missouri and a member of a Mississippi company became separated from their commands, and found each other climbing the same fence. The rebel had one of those long knives made of a file, which the South has so extensively paraded, but so rarely used, and the Missourian had one also, having picked it up on the field.
The rebel challenged his enemy to a fair, open combat with the knife, intending to bully him, no doubt, and the challenge was promptly accepted. The two removed their coats, rolled up their sleeves, and began. The Mississippian had more skill, but his opponent more strength, and consequently the latter could not strike his enemy, while he received several cuts on the head and breast. The blood began trickling rapidly down the Unionist’s face, and running into his eyes, almost blinded him. The Union man became desperate, for he saw the Secessionist was unhurt. He made a feint; the rebel leaned forward to arrest the blow, but employing too much energy, he could not recover himself at once. – The Missourian perceived his advantage, and knew he could not lose it. In five seconds more it would be too late. His enemy glared at him like a wild beast; was on the eve of striking again. Another feint; another dodge on the rebel’s part, and then the heavy blade of the Missourian hurled through the air, and fell with tremendous force upon the Mississippian’s neck. The blood spurted from the throat, and the head fell over, almost entirely severed from the body. Ghastly sight, too ghastly even for the doer of the deed! He fainted at the spectacle, weakened by the loss of his own blood, and was soon after butchered by a Seminole who saw him sink to the earth.
ZOUAVE TACTICS SUCCESSFUL.
One of the Texan soldiers was advancing with his bayonet upon a Lieutenant of the 9th Iowa, whose sword had been broken. The officer saw his intention, avoided the thrust, fell down at his foeman’s feet, caught hold of his legs, threw him heavily to the ground, and before he could rise drew a long knife from his adversary’s belt and buried it in his bosom.
The Texan, with dying grasp, seized the Lieutenant by the hair, and sank down lifeless, bathing the brown leaves with his blood. So firm was the hold of the nerveless hand that it was necessary to cut the hair from the head of the officer before he could be freed from the corpse of his foe.
NATURE OF THE CONTEST.
It only remains for me to notice the character of the struggle out of which we have just come with victory. Probably there never was such a motley assemblage of warriors collected together under one head as met under this traitor Van Dorn. The represented the scum of the whole Southwest, from the filibusters of New Orleans to the rude savages of the Indian Nation. Texan Rangers, whose boast it has been that they would rather fight than eat, and whose life has been one lone predatory warfare of plunder and cruelty. Uncouth and brutal Arkansans, who have grown up amid murders and homicides. Ignorant and infatuated Missourians, led on by designing and intriguing politicians. These were the men which formed the staple of the Southern army, and these are the men who prate of high toned chivalry, who talk contemptuously of the Northern mudsils. Men who are crying like blind maniacs for their “rights.” Take the whole rebel army as we saw it and it was one vast congregation of reckless, vicious, ignorant and embruted devils.
Opposed to them were the gallant sons of Iowa, descended mainly from Puritan fathers. Immortal Iowa! What a page in the volume of American history is reserved for thee! Long, long will a nation remember how her champions of freedom, like their sires of the Revolution, ragged and barefooted, remained after the expiration of their term of service to lay their lives a sacrifice upon the altar of their country and Wilson’s Creek; how they left their mark upon the foe at Belmont; how they scaled the hights [sic] of Donelson; and last, but not least, how they crushed, with the might of Spartans, the advancing hordes at Sugar Creek, in the wilds of Arkansas. There, too, stood the patient, courageous sons of Germany, face to face with an insolent and unprincipled foe, contending for those principles of liberty and justice for which they have until now striven in vain. Honor to these men and their great leader for the part they sustained in this momentous day. Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio were represented there, and nobly will they bear the wreaths of triumph. For the first time the loyal Missourians have given an unequivocal and decided test of their ability to cope with the braggart rebels and traitors under the banner of General Price. They have deserved well of their country.
A GALLANT UNION COLONEL.
Lieut. Col. Herron, of the 9th Iowa, was surrounded by ten or twelve of the enemy, and ordered to surrender. He indignantly refused, and, with his revolver in one hand, and his sword in the other, kept his enemies at bay, by placing his back against a tree. He killed and wounded four of the Rebels, when, having been twice wounded himself, his sword was knocked from his grasp, and his arms seized from behind. He would have been killed, had not a Southern Captain, from admiration of his courage, ordered his life to be spared. Even while the Colonel was a captive, a Creek Indian stole up, and was about to plunge a knife into his side, when the Captain drew a revolver, and blew out the treacherous creature’s brains.
Lieut. Col. Herron is still a prisoner, but it is supposed he will be kindly treated and cared for until he is exchanged, which, it is to be hoped, will be at an early day, as our country requires the services of such brave and patriotic men has he has proved himself to be on this trying and important occasion.
AN ADVENTUROUS SCOUT.
A very interesting story is told of a well-known Missouri scout who was [employed] to discover the whereabouts of the enemy during the night. He was furnished with a horse, citizen’s saddle, a complete suit of butternut clothing, taken from some of their prisoners, and a dispatch purporting to be written by General Van Dorn to Gen. McCulloch, and was started out on the Fayetteville road and made a circuit round to the Bentonville road. He relates that when near Bentonville he descried a courier dashing along on horseback, when he reined up to the side of the road, and cried out, “Halt! Who comes there?” The usual reply of “a friend” was given, when the courier advanced and whispered the countersign “Lexington.” “All right,” said the scout, and was soon on his way with the magical word which was to pass him through the camp of McCulloch. He rode along the entire line, being asked several questions, all of which he answered as best he could, and in the gray of the morning he returned to our camp with the accurate information of the position and strength of the enemy. McCulloch, McIntosh and Pike it appears were along the Keetsville road, with Price on the left resting on Sugar Creek. Van Dorn was at Price’s headquarters.
The appearance of the hill and woods shelled by Gen. Sigel’s Division attests the terrific shower of missiles that fell upon them. Walking over the ground immediately after the flight of the enemy and the pursuit by our forces, I found it thickly strewn with dead and wounded, most of them having fallen by the deadly artillery projectiles. Tree after tree was shattered or perforated by shot and shell, and many were filled with grape and canister balls. One tree was pierced through and through by a solid shot, its top shivered by a shell, and the base of its trunk scarred by 17 canister and rifle balls. In one place lay the fragments of a battery wagon wherein a shell had exploded, utterly destroying the wagon and killing two mules which had been its motive power.
A ruined caisson and five cannon wheels were lying near it. Two dead artillery men were stretched on the earth, each killed by a grape shot, and by their side was a third, gasping his last, with his side laid open by a fragment of a shell. On the hill, where the cannonade had been severe, trees, rocks and earth bore witness to its fierceness. Fifteen wounded Rebels lay in one group, and were piteously imploring each passer-by for water and relief for their wounds. A few rods from them was another, whose arm had been torn off by a cannon shot, leaving the severed member on the ground a few feet distant. Near him was the dead body of a rebel whose legs and one arm had been shattered by a single shot.
Behind a tree, a few yards distant, was stretched a corpse, with two-thirds of its head blown away by the explosion of a shell, and near it a musket, broken into three pieces. Still further along was the dead body of a rebel soldier, who had been killed by a grape shot through the breast. A letter had fallen from his pocket, which on examination, proved to be a long and well written love epistle from his betrothed in East Tennessee. It was addressed to Pleasant J. Williams, Churchill’s regiment, Fayetteville, Arkansas. Around him in all directions were his dead and dying comrades, some stretched at full length on the turf, and others contorted as if in extreme agony. The earth was thickly strewn with shot and fragments of shell.
THE WOODS ON FIRE.
The bursting of the shells had set fire to the dry leaves on the ground, and the woods were burning in every direction. Efforts were made to remove the wounded before the flames should reach them, and nearly all were taken to places of safety. Several were afterward found in secluded spots, some of them still alive, but horrifically burned and blackened by the conflagration.
STRIPPING THE DEAD.
The Rebels, in nearly every instance, removed the shoes from the dead and mortally wounded, both of their own army and ours. Of all the corpses I saw, I do not think one-twentieth had been left with their shoes untouched. In some cases pantaloons were taken, and occasionally an overcoat or blouse was missing. A large number of the killed among the rebels were shot through the head, while the majority of our dead were shot through the breast. The rebels wherever it was possible, fired from cover; and as often as [a] head appeared from behind a tree or bush, it became a mark for our men. The union troops generally stood in ranks, and except when skirmishing made no use of objects of protection.
SORTIE ON THE LEFT.
Col. Osterhaus was sent with his brigade in the morning along the high land, in the direction of Leestown, for the purpose of intercepting the reinforcements of the enemy, and to discern his strength along the line of Sugar Creek. This was one of the most spirited and successful attacks of the battle and resulted in a complete diversion of the enemy from the overpowered forces of Col. Carr, on the Fayetteville road.
Our cavalry penetrated along the main ridge beyond the road by which the enemy had come and were on the point of seizing some of the enemy’s wagons when a brigade of rebel cavalry and infantry attacked them. Then followed one of the most sanguinary contests that has ever been seen between cavalry. Most of the fighting was done at close quarters. Pistols and carbines having been exhausted, our sabers were brought into requisition. The rattle of steel against steel, our sabers against their muskets and cutlasses, was terrific. Nothing like it has been heard before. The rebels were Texan Rangers, and fought like demons. The slaughter was awful, our Missouri cavalry cleaving right and left, leaving in front of their horses winnows of dead and wounded. The enemy fell back in dismay and our forces pursued them along the road for about a mile when they opened a battery upon the mass of friend and foe plowing through them with solid shot and shell. Colonel Osterhaus had succeeded in his attempt and retired, bringing off his dead and wounded in safety.
THE SCALPING SAVAGES AGAIN.
Of the statement that the Rebels gave the Indians large quantities of whiskey in which gunpowder was dissolved, previous to leading them into battle, there is now another version. The enemy say the savages did not receive any liquor from them, but that the Indians discovered several barrels of whisky and appropriated it to their own use. Of course they drank hugely; and while their stipulative stimulus contributed largely to their fighting propensity, it exercised no very favorable influence upon their discrimination.
They were less timid and more bloodthirsty after their intoxication; but it so enlarged their ideas of nationality and restored to recollection their wrongs from the white race that they determined to make no narrow distinctions in regard to geographical lines. Consequently they butchered and scalped Arkansan or Louisianian with as much self-complacency as an Indianian or and Illinoisian – doubtless a very pleasant and commendable proceeding on their party, but which the Southerners from some mental obliquity fail to appreciate.
THEIR FAILURE AS WARRIORS.
The Indians during the battle, displayed very little, if any, courage, and beyond the drunken fray displayed at the expense of those who had induced them to take part in the war, they did nothing commendable. Their fighting was a failure. They had little relish for it, and they therefore confined themselves to robbing the dead, killing the wounded and scalping alike their friends and foes.
The experiment of enlisting the Indians in the Rebel service will hardly be tried again, I think. The enemy evidently deem it a hazardous business, and one that, on the whole, admits of little compensation. Some of the prisoners are greatly incensed against the savages and talk of hunting them to death.
An Arkansan, who had been wounded and partially scalped by one of the Cherokees, is so enraged against them as to be in danger of apoplexy when their name is mentioned. Speaking on the subject this morning, he remarked that it was a pretty idea to coax a set of red devils into the army to give them an opportunity of scalping you; and, as for himself, he intended to kill every Indian he could find hereafter, no matter where and under what circumstances.
THE MANNER OF M’CULLOCH’S DEATH.
Concerning the death of McCulloch and McIntosh there seems to be but one opinion. Both of them were mortally wounded on Friday, during the heavy fighting by Gen. Jeff. C. Davis against the center column of the enemy. It will be remembered the Rebels gave way, and the two Southern chieftains made the most determined efforts to rally them in vain.
McCulloch was struck with a minié rifle ball in the left breast – as I am assured by one who says he saw him fall, and after he was taken from the ground – while waving his sword and encouraging his men to stand firm. He died of his wounds about 11 o’clock the same night, though he insisted that he would recover; repeatedly saying with great oaths that he was not born to be killed by a Yankee.
A few minutes before he expired his physician assured him he had but a very brief time to live. At this Ben, looked up incredulously, and saying, “Oh, Hell!” turned away his head, and never spoke after.
I presume if Ben be really dead, the Southern papers will put some very fine sentiment into his mouth in his closing moments; but the last words I have mentioned are declared to be correct by a prisoner. They are not very elegant nor dramatic, but quite expressive, and in McCulloch’s case decidedly appropriate.
HOW M’INTOSH DIED.
It is reported that McIntosh was stuck near the right hip with a grapeshot, while giving an order to one of his aids, and hurled from his horse. The wound was a ghastly one, and tho’ it must have been very painful, McIntosh uttered no groan, but calmly gave directions for his treatment. A few minutes after he fell into a comatose state, from which he never recovered – passing through Death’s dark portal while his attendants supposed he still lay beside the golden gates of Sleep.
REBEL HATERED OF SIGEL.
The Secessionists, so far as I can learn from the prisoners here, are very bitter against Sigel, on account of his nativity no less than of his ability. They attribute their defeat mainly to him, and say they would not have cared if they had been repulsed by an American, but to be overcome by a “d----d Dutchman” is more than they can endure with patience.
EXTRACTS FROM CONFEDERATE LETTERS.
A number of rebel letters have been found upon the battle-field and in the deserted camps of the enemy, and as they show the feelings and confidence of the confederates, I will make brief extracts from two of them, written evidently by officers of intelligence. The two epistles must have been completed before the battle, and not being mailed to the parties addressed, were dropped in the confusion of a precipitate retreat.
The first letter is from a Texas captain to his wife, and reads thus:
“NEW FAYETTEVILLE, Ark, March 5, 1862.
“Thank God, dear Mary, we’ve got the Yankees in a trap at last. They cannot escape us now. We have more than twice as many men as they and we have a plan to cut them off, and annihilate them. Before a week has past, you will hear of a terrible defeat of the Lincolnites, such as one will offset to some extent our mortifying surrender at Donelson. We are certain of success, and I hope I will be able to bring five or six Yankee prisoners to Galveston next summer.
“The northern men will not fight when they can avoid it, but we intend to make them this time, or cut their throats.
“The coming battle will free Arkansas and Missouri from the invaders, and we will then march on to St. Louis, and take that Abolition city, and give the oppressed Southerners there an opportunity to be free once more. We here that we would be welcomed in St. Louis by at least 50,000 people who have long suffered from the tyranny of the mercenary Dutch.”
The second letter from a Louisiana Major to his sister, a resident of New Orleans, and bearing date, “Little Rock, February 27,” is quite different in tone, as will be seen from this quotation:
DEAR SISTER CARRIE: You asked me in your last letter what I thought of the prospect of our dearly beloved cause. To be candid, I have little hope for its success now, though last December I felt confident we would be recognized before the coming June. I don’t like the Yankees a bit. I have been educated to hate them, and I do hate them heartily; but I must acknowledge the South has been sadly mistaken in their character. We have always believed that the Yankees would not fight for anything like a principle; that they had no chivalry, no poetry in their nature. Perhaps they have not; but that they are brave, determined, persevering, they have proved beyond question. * * *
The trouble with them is that they never get tired of anything. They lost all the battles at first, and after Manassas we despised them. This year has inaugurated a new order of affairs. – We are beaten at all points. We do nothing but surrender and evacuate; and while I hate the Licolnites more than ever, I respect them – I can’t help it – for their dogged obstinacy and the slow but steady manner in which they carry out their plans.
I have lost heart in our cause. There is something wrong – somewhere. Jeff. Davis and our political leaders are either knaves or fools. They drew us into our present difficulties, and now have now way of showing us out of them.
If the South had known what would have been the result of Secession, no State, unless South Carolina, would have gone out of the Union. – We all thought we could go out in peace; I know I did, and I laughed at the idea of the North attempting to keep us in the union by force of arms. It was not possible, we said. We had too many friends in the Free States. Such a step would be followed by a revolution in the North, and the turning of old Lincoln and all the Abolitionists out of office. * * *
Oh, well, it cant be helped, Carrie. We are in for it. It is too late to retreat. We must fight the thing out. * * I cannot help believing we will be overpowered. We are growing weaker every day, and the North stronger. I fear to look at our future. We can’t be subjugated, we all say. I hope not; but if we do not fly the country, I fear we will experience something like subjugation * * *
May be I’m gloomy to-day; I reckon I am. – Who wouldn’t be? I intend to fight as hard as I can but I can’t see any way out. * * * Tear up this letter. Don’t let mother or father or any of our relatives see it. I have expressed my heart to you because you are my dear sister, and I always tell you what I believe.
I have selected freely from the above letter because it seems to me to be the most sensible and truthful one I have seen during all the time I have been in the army. No doubt there are hundreds of Southerners who feel, think, and believe as the Louisiana Major does, but who have either too much pride to speak out, or too little moral courage to be candid. They must see they have placed themselves in a position from which they cannot retire and from which they have not the power to extricate themselves.
SATURDAY’S DECISIVE ACTION.
The masterly arrangement of our six batteries on the last day of the fight, and the ordering forward of all the infantry so as to bear upon the enemy at a short range with their death-dealing musketry, was the movement which gave us our triumph. Rebels could not avoid the dreadful cross-fires of the artillery, and the continuous volleys of musketry.
Their officers besought them to stand firm; to remember the sacredness of their cause, and the deadly wrongs of the South; to recall the valorous deeds of their ancestors on other fields, the honor of Secessia, the reputation of Slave-ownia for valor and chivalry, and a great many other things that would have required the aid of a system of Mnemonics. But the dull fellows would not remember; or, if they did, they received no benefit from the recollection beyond certain excellent performances on foot; and in that short exercise they actively and promptly indulged.
Running is generally advantageous to [hygiene] and there is little question it proved so on Saturday to the fugacious Southerners. – They would have found that remaining much longer behind must have seriously disagreed with their physical well being.
STERLING PRICE RAVING MAD.
Sterling Price is said to have blasphemed and raved like a drunken sailor and a madman after his retreat from the field on Saturday; swearing his troops and those from Arkansas were all cowards to allow themselves to be driven off like kicked curs by one-half their number. He became so personally offensive in his remarks that some of his officers threatened to resign and others to shoot him; whereupon he altered his tone, and asked to be pardoned for hastiness of speech and loss of temper, resulting from mortification over so terrible a defeat.
For several months past, Price has been excessively irritable and abusive, and as he has recently augmented his potations in a geometrical ratio, many of his own men believe him insane, and think him a fitter candidate for the lunatic asylum than promotion in the army. – He appears to have grown extremely morose and violent of speech, and every new repulse increases his frailty. He denounces everybody and everything; is as inflammatory as gunpowder on the Yankees, and sometimes indulges in the amiable wish that the entire country was consigned to that mythical subterranean region chiefly remarkably for its lakes of sulphurous fire.
Price is hardly the man to become insane; he has too much of the animal in his nature; but I have no doubt he is madder than the raving gods in the Vida; and it must be confessed the events of the past few months have not been such as to improve the natural infirmities of his temper.
Perhaps Sterling had better imitate the philosophic German in the popular story, who declared he would not “pine away for Katy’s sake,” but in the event of a certain sentimental crisis in his life he would “bite himself mit a shnake.”
HEADQUARTERS FIRST AND SECOND DIVISIONS,
CAMP PEA RIDGE, ARK., March 15.
To the Officers and Soldiers of the First and Second Divisions:
After so many hardships and sufferings of this war in the West, a great and decisive victory has, for the time, been attained, and the army of the enemy overwhelmed and perfectly routed. The rebellious flag of the Confederate States lies in the dust, and the same men who had organized armed rebellion at Camp Jackson, Maysville and Fayetteville; who have fought against us at Boonville, Carthage and Wilson’s Creek at Lexington and Milford, have paid the penalty of their seditious work with their lives, or are seeking refuge behind the Boston Mountains and the shores of the Arkansas river.
The last days were hard, but triumphant. Surrounded and pressed upon all sides by an enterprising, desperate and greedy enemy – by the Missouri and Arkansas mountaineer, the Texas Ranger, the finest regiment of Louisiana troops, and even the savage Indian – almost without food, sleep or camp-fires, you remained firm and unabashed, awaiting the moment when you could drive back your assailants or break through the iron circle by which the enemy thought to crush or capture us all, and plant the rebellious flag on the rocky summit of Pea Ridge.
You have defeated all their schemes. When at McKissicks’ farm, west of Bentonville, you extricated yourselves from their grasp by a night’s march, and secured a train of two hundred wagons before the enemy became aware of the direction you had taken, instead of being cut off, weakened and driven to the necessity of giving battle under the most unfavorable circumstances, you joined your friends and comrades at Sugar Creek, and thereby saved yourselves and the whole army from being separated and beaten in detail.
On the retreat from Bentonville to Sugar Creek – a distance of ten miles – you cut your way through an enemy at least five times stronger than yourselves. The activity, self-possession and courage of the little band of six hundred will ever be memorable in the history of this war.
When, on the next day, the great battle began, under the command of Gen. Asboth, you assisted the Fourth Division with all the cheerfulness and alacrity of good and faithful soldiers – that division on that day holding the most important position – whilst Col. Osterhaus, co-operating with the Third Division, battered down the host of McCulloch on our left, and Major Paten guarded our rear.
On the 8th, you came at the right time to the right place. It was the first opportunity you had of showing your full strength and power. In less than three hours you formed in line of battle, advanced and co-operated with our friends on the right, and routed the enemy so completely that he fled like dust before a hurricane. And so it will always be when traitors, seduced by selfish leaders and persecuted by the pangs of an evil conscience, are fighting against soldiers who defend a good cause, are well drilled and disciplined, obey promptly the orders of their officers, and do not shrink from dangerous assault when, at the proper and decisive moment it is necessary.
You may look with pride on the few days just passed, during which you have so gloriously defended the flag of the Union. From two o’clock on the morning of the 6th, when you arrived from Keetsville in the common encampment, you marched fifty miles, fought three battles, took not only a battery and a flag from the enemy, but more than a hundred and fifty prisoners – among them Acting Brigadier General Herbert, the commander of the Louisiana forces and his major; Col. Mitchell, of the Fourteenth Arkansas; Colonel Stone, Adjutant General of Price’s forces, and Lieut. Col. John H. Price, whose life was twice spared, and who has now for the second time violated his parole, and was arrested with arms in his hands.
You have done your duty, and you can justly claim your share in the common glory of this victory. But let us not be partial, unjust or haughty. Let us not forget that alone we were too weak to perform the great work before us. Let us acknowledge the great service done by all the brave soldiers of the Third and Fourth Divisions, and always keep in mind that “united we stand, divided we fall.” Let us hold out and push the work through – not by mere words and great clamor, but by good marches, by hardships and fatigues, by strict discipline and effective battles.
Columbus has fallen – Memphis will follow, and if you do in future as you have done in these past days of trial, the time will soon come when you will pitch your tents on the beautiful shores of the Arkansas river, and there meet our iron-clad propellers at Little Rock and Fort Smith. Therefore, keep alert, my friends, and look forward with confidence.
Brig. Gen. Com’nding First and Second Divs.
– Published in The Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, March 29, 1862, p. 1