Showing posts with label Captured Artillery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Captured Artillery. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Diary of Corporal David L. Day: May 1, 1862


Martial law not being a very favorable institution for pleasure parties, I presume the usual May day festival is dispensed with here as I have not seen any parties out or demonstrations of any kind going on. I should think a May party here might be very successful as the woods abound with wild flowers in great variety and beauty. 

Fort Macon surrendered to Gen. Burnside last Friday evening, after a bombardment of eleven hours. The general succeeded in getting his siege guns in battery behind some sand ridges about half a mile in rear of the fort, unobserved by the garrison, and the first notice they had of his presence was a shot from one of the guns. After holding out for eleven hours and seeing they could make no defense and that there was no chance for escape, they hauled down their colors. By this surrender, 65 guns and 450 prisoners, with stores and ammunition, have fallen into our hands. Their loss was eight killed and twenty wounded. Our loss was one killed and five wounded. 

A good story is told in connection with the surrender of this fort to the Confederates. After the war broke out and they were seizing the forts, a strong force of Confederates, with a great flourish of trumpets, presented themselves one morning at the sallyport of the fort, demanding its immediate and unconditional surrender. Now it happened that the only occupants of the fort were an old ordnance sergeant and his wife who had been in charge of the property for many years. The old sergeant came to the gate, and looking over the crowd, said to the officer in command that under the circumstances he thought the garrison might as well surrender, but he would like the privilege of taking the old flag and marching out with the honors of war. To this the officer assented and the old sergeant hauled down the flag and winding it around him, he and his wife marched out, greatly to the surprise of the officer, who found that they two comprised the whole garrison. 

SOURCE: David L. Day, My Diary of Rambles with the 25th Mass. Volunteer Infantry, p. 55

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Captain Charles Wright Wills: October 14, 1864

Three miles southwest of Adairsville, October 14th.

We marched at sunset last evening and halted not until 3 this a. m. Marched miserably slow the first five miles through a deep gorge, but about 1 o'clock got straightened out on the Rome and Calhoun road, a good one, and then got along nicely. In the fighting at Rome yesterday, our folks whipped them and took some artillery. We got to bed at 3:15, and reveille sounded at 5 and we marched at 6:30. Not much sleep after marching 20 miles, was it. We had no crackers this morning, and before I got up my imagination was reveling in the prospect of a breakfast on parched corn, but at the festive board the cook surprised us with a mess of pancakes. They looked like plates cut out of a rubber blanket, and tasted accordingly. One member of the mess said they just came up to his ideal of a poet's dream. Another, that they only lacked one thing, and that was the stamp, “Goodyear's Patent.” The Surgeon advised us to use them sparingly, for, said he, “If they mass against any part of your interior lines the consequences will be dire.” But we were hard up for breadstuffs, and closed with the dreadful stuff manfully. Twelve m.—Have stopped for dinner.

The Rebel army was, or part of it, at Resaca yesterday, about nine miles from here.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 310-1

Friday, April 17, 2020

Diary of 5th Sergeant Osborn H. Oldroyd: May 17, 1863

Too many Slapjacks cause a soldier to dream of a feast at home.
On the road to Vicksburg, resolved to capture the city or get badly whipped. We have not known defeat since we left Fort Donelson, and we propose to keep our good record up. We have seen hard times on some hotly contested fields, but mean to have nothing but victory, if possible, on our banner.

The advance of our army has made a grand sweep, paaell-mell, over the rebel works at Big Black River, routing the foe and capturing twenty-five hundred prisoners with twenty-nine cannon. Their rifle pits were quite numerous, but they were all on low ground, so that when the word was given the Yankees rushed over them with the greatest ease. The rebs may be drawing us into a trap, but as yet we have not a moments' fear of the result, for when Grant tells us to go over a thing we go, and feel safe in going. Even in time of peace we would not wish the great curtain that hides the future to be rolled away, nor do soldiers now ask to know what lies before them. But every day brings new scenes fraught with dangers, hair-breadth escapes or death, after which the ranks close and move on undaunted. And our love of country still grows as we go.

We camped within a few miles of Black River, perfectly satisfied, though we have had no hand in the slaughter to-day. We rather expected to be halted a few days at the river, where the enemy would surely be strongly fortified, and where, as they could certainly spare the greater part of their forces from Vicksburg if they would but bring them out, they could make a desperate stand.  We are now fighting hard for our grub, since we have nothing left but flour, and slapjacks lie to heavy on a soldier’s stomach. But there is great consolation in reflecting that behind us Uncle Sam keeps piled a bountiful supply all ready to be issued as soon as we can find a proper halting place.

SOURCE: Osborn Hamiline Oldroyd, A Soldier's Story of the Siege of Vicksburg, p. 25-6

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Diary of 5th Sergeant Osborn H. Oldroyd: May 16, 1863

Crocker, Hovey and Logan's Divisions driving the enemy
at the point of the bayonet throught Champion Hills.

We rolled out of bed this morning early, and had our breakfast of slapjacks made of flour, salt and water, which lie on a man's stomach like cakes of lead—for we are out of all rations but flour and salt, though we hope soon for some variety. We heard heavy firing about eleven o'clock. Our division reached Champion Hill about two P. M., and filed into a field on the right of the road. We were drawn up in a line facing the woods through which ran the road we had just left. It was by this road the rebels came out of Vicksburg to whip us. We had orders to lie down. The command was obeyed with alacrity, for bullets were already whizzing over our heads. I never hugged Dixie's soil as close as I have to-day. We crowded together as tight as we could, fairly plowing our faces into the ground. Occasionally a ball would pick its man in spite of precaution, and he would have to slip to the rear. Soon we got orders to rise up, and in an instant every man was on his feet. If the former order was well obeyed, the latter was equally so. The enemy charged out of the woods in front of us in a solid line, and as they were climbing the fence between us, which separated the open field from the timber, DeGolier's battery, stationed in our front, opened on them with grape and canister, and completely annihilated men and fence, and forced the enemy to fall back. Such terrible execution by a battery I never saw. It seemed as if every shell burst just as it reached the fence, and rails and rebs flew into the air together. They, finding our center too strong, renewed their charge on our left, and succeeded in driving it a short distance, but their success was only for a moment, for our boys rallied, and with reinforcements drove them in turn. We now charged into the woods and drove them a little ways, and as we charged over the spot so lately occupied by the foe, we saw the destruction caused by our battery, the ground being covered thickly with rebel grey. When we reached the woods we were exposed to a galling fire, and were at one time nearly surrounded, but we fought there hard until our ammunition was exhausted, when we fixed bayonets and prepared to hold our ground.. A fresh supply of ammunition soon came up, when we felt all was well with us again. Meanwhile the right of our line succeeded in getting around to their left, when the enemy retreated towards Vicksburg, lest they should be cut off.

The battle to-day was commenced early in the morning by McClernand's great fighting corps, and was a hot and severe contest, until Logan's division approached the road on the Confederates' left, between them and Vicksburg, when the foe wavered and began to break. This was a hard day's fight, for the rebels, finding that they had been beaten in three battles about Vicksburg, had no doubt resolved to make a desperate stand against our conquering march; but alas! for them, this day's course of events was like the rest. When the fight was over, Generals Grant, McClernand, Sherman, McPherson and Logan rode over the victorious field, greeted with the wildest cheers. I wonder if they love their men as we love them. We received our mail an hour or two after the fight, and the fierce struggle through which we had just passed was forgotten as we read the news from home. Our fingers fresh from the field left powder marks on the white messengers that had come to cheer us.

Our forces captured eleven pieces of artillery and over one thousand prisoners. The retreating army will make another stand, but we shall move right on, undaunted. Several amusing incidents have occurred during the battle to-day. Company A, of the 20th, was sent out to skirmish, and moved forward till they could see the enemy. By this time General Logan made his appearance, when one of the boys who wished to go into the fight without impediments, approached Logan and said, "General, shall we not unsling knapsacks?" "No," was the stern reply, "damn them, you can whip them with your knapsacks on." This same company, in full view of a rebel battery, had taken refuge in a deep ditch, and when afterward the rebel captain cried out, "ready, take aim," Mit. Bryant, feeling secure in his position, interrupted the order with a shout, "shoot away and be damned to you."

We moved up through the woods to the road again after the fight, where we halted an hour. Near the road was a farm house which was immediately taken possession of for a hospital.

SOURCE: Osborn Hamiline Oldroyd, A Soldier's Story of the Siege of Vicksburg, p. 22-5

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Major-General Philip H. Sheridan to Lieutenant-General Ulysses S. Grant, April 5, 1865—3 p.m.

JETTERSVILLE, April 5,1865—3 P. M.
To Lieutenant-General U. S. Grant:—

General:—I send you the inclosed letter, which will give you an idea of the condition of the enemy and their whereabouts. I sent General Davies's brigade this morning around on my left flank. He captured at Fame's Cross five pieces of artillery, about two hundred wagons, and eight or nine battle-flags, and a number of prisoners. The Second Army Corps is now coming op. I wish you were here yourself. I feel confident of capturing the Army of Northern Virginia, if we exert ourselves. I see no escape for Lee. I will send all my cavalry out on our left flank, except McKenzie, who is now on the right.

P. H. Sheridan, Major-General.

SOURCE: Phineas Camp Headley, The Life and Campaigns of General U. S. Grant, p. 543

Monday, March 9, 2020

Diary of Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes: Saturday, May 21, 1864

Rations of coffee, sugar, hard bread, etc., filled our camp with joy last night. It now looks as if Grant had failed to crush Lee merely on account of rain and mud. We seem to have had the best of the fighting and to have taken the most prisoners. I suspect we have gained the most guns and lost the most killed and wounded. General Crook thinks Grant will force the fighting until some definite result is obtained.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 464

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Major-General Henry W. Halleck to Major-General George B. McClellan, February 7, 1862

Saint Louis, February 7, 1862.

Fort Henry was taken yesterday, with seventeen heavy guns, General Lloyd Tilghman and staff, and 60 men, after a bombardment of one hour and a quarter by gunboats. General Grant's cavalry and gunboats in pursuit of the remainder of the garrison, who have abandoned artillery on the road. Our loss, killed, wounded, and scalded by destruction of boiler of the Essex, 44. Captain Porter is badly but not dangerously scalded. General C. F. Smith has possession of the enemy's redan on the western bank of the Tennessee. General Grant's infantry and artillery have gone to attack Fort Donelson at Dover, on the Cumberland. The gunboats not disabled are moving up the Tennessee. Commodore Foote, with disabled gunboats, has returned to Cairo—gunboats for repairs; will soon return to the field. Enemy's loss not known.

H. W. HALLECK,    
Major-General, Commanding.
Major-General MCCLELLAN.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 7 (Serial No. 7), p. 120

Friday, February 21, 2020

Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Sardis Birchard: Thursday, May 19, 1864

Meadow Bluff, Greenbrier County, West Virginia,
May 19. l864.

Dear Uncle: — We are safely within what we now call “our own lines” after twenty-one days of marching, fighting, starving, etc., etc. For twelve days we have had nothing to eat except what the country afforded. Our raid has been in all respects successful. We destroyed the famous Dublin Bridge and eighteen miles of the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad and many depots and stores; captured ten pieces of artillery, three hundred prisoners, General Jenkins and other officers among: them, and killed and wounded about five hundred, besides utterly routing Jenkins' army in the bloody battle of Cloyd's Mountain. My brigade had two regiments and part of a third in the battle. [The] Twenty-third lost one hundred killed and wounded. We had a severe duty but did just as well as I could have wished. We charged a Rebel battery entrenched in [on] a wooded hill across an open level meadow three hundred yards wide and a deep ditch, wetting me to the waist, and carried it without a particle of wavering or even check, losing, however, many officers and men killed and wounded. It being the vital point General Crook charged with us in person. One brigade from the Army of the Potomac (Pennsylvania Reserves) broke and fled from the field. Altogether, this is our finest experience in the war, and General Crook is the best general we have ever served under, not excepting Rosecrans.

Many of the men are barefooted, and we shall probably remain here some time to refit. We hauled in wagons to this point, over two hundred of our wounded, crossing two large rivers by fording and ferrying and three ranges of high mountains. The news from the outside world is meagre and from Rebel sources. We almost believe that Grant must have been successful from the little we gather.

R. B. Hayes.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 463-4

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Lucy Webb Hayes: Thursday, May 19, 1864

Meadow Bluff, May 19, 1864

Dearest: — We got safely to this point in our lines, two hours ago, after twenty-one days of constant marching, frequent fighting, and much hardship, and some starvation. This is the most completely successful and by all odds the pleasantest campaign I have ever had. Now it is over I hardly know what I would change in it except to restore life and limbs to the killed and wounded.

My command in battles and on the march behaved to my entire satisfaction. None did, none could have done better. We had a most conspicuous part in the battle at Cloyd's Mountain and were so lucky. You will see the lists of killed and wounded. We brought off two hundred of our wounded in our train and left about one hundred and fifty. But we have good reason to think they will fare well. . . .

We took two cannon which the regiment has got along here by hard work. The Thirty-sixth and Twenty-third are the only regiments which went into the thickest of the fight and never halted or gave back. The Twelfth did well but the "Flatfoots" backed out. The Ninety-first well, but not much exposed. The Ninth Virginia did splendidly and lost heavier than any other. The Potomac Brigade, (Pennsylvania Reserves, etc., etc.,) broke and fled. I had the dismounted men of the Thirty-fourth. They did pretty well. Don't repeat my talk. But it is true, the Twenty-third was the Regiment. The Thirty-sixth I know would have done as well if they had had the same chance. The Twenty-third led and the Thirty-sixth supported them. General Crook is the best general I have ever known.

This campaign in plan and execution has been perfect. We captured ten pieces of artillery, burned the New River Bridge and the culverts and small bridges thirty in number for twenty miles from Dublin to Christiansburg. Captured General Jenkins and three hundred officers and men; killed and wounded three to five hundred and routed utterly his army.*

We shall certainly stay here some days, perhaps some weeks, to refit and get ready for something else. You and the boys are remembered and mentioned constantly.

One spectacle you would have enjoyed. The Rebels contested our approach to the bridge for two or three hours. At last we drove them off and set it on fire. All the troops were marched up to see it — flags and music and cheering. On a lovely afternoon the beautiful heights of New River were covered with our regiments watching the burning bridge. It was a most animating scene.

Our band has been the life of the campaign. The other three bands all broke down early. Ours has kept up and played their best on all occasions. They alone played at the burning of the bridge and today we came into camp to their music.

I have, it is said, Jenkins' spurs, a revolver of the lieutenant-colonel of [the] Rebel Thirty-sixth, a bundle of Roman candles, a common sword, a new Rebel blanket, and other things, I would give the dear boys if they were here. — Love to all.

Affectionately ever
Mrs. Hayes.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 461-3

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Lucy Webb Hayes, Friday, May 13, 1864

Monroe County, In Bivouac, May 13, 1864.

Dearest: — We are all right so far. Burned New River Bridge, etc., etc. A most successful campaign. The victory of Cloyd's Mountain was complete. The Twenty-third and Thirty-sixth and part of Thirty-fourth fought under me. All behaved well. The Twenty-third led the charge over an open meadow to the enemy's works and carried them with a will. It cost us one hundred and twenty killed and wounded. . . . This is our best fight. [The] Twenty-third captured two cannon and other trophies. General Jenkins and other officers and men captured. — Love to all.

Mrs. Hayes.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 458

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Diary of Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes: May 9, 1864

Battle of Cloyd's Mountain, or as Rebs call it "Cloyd Farm." Lasted one hour and a half. The Twenty-third and Thirty-sixth, under the immediate direction of General Crook, charged across a meadow three hundred yards wide, sprang into a ditch and up a steep wooded hill to Rebel breastworks, carried them quickly but with a heavy loss. Captain Hunter killed. Lieutenant Seaman ditto. Abbott's left arm shattered. Rice a flesh wound. Eighteen killed outright; about one hundred wounded — many mortally. This in [the] Twentythird. [The] Thirty-sixth less, as the Twenty-third led the column. Entered Dublin Depot, ten and one-half miles, about 6:30 P. M. A fine victory. Took some prisoners, about three hundred, [and] five pieces [of] artillery, many stores, etc., etc. A fine country; plenty of forage. My loss, two hundred and fifty [men].

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 456-7

Diary of Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes: Friday, May 13, 1864

From Salt Pond Mountain to Peters Mountain. A cold rainy morning. Afternoon, weather good. Bivouacked on east side of Peters Mountain very early. Sun and rest make all happy. Caught a Rebel train and a cannon at the foot of the hill. [At] 3 P. M. ordered to cross Peters Mountain to get forage for animals. A good little march — fifteen miles. Bivouacked at foot of Peters Mountain northeast side.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 458

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: December 4, 1863

The only thing new to-day is a dispatch from Gen. Longstreet, before Knoxville, stating that he had been repulsed in an assault upon the place, and calling for reinforcements, which, alas 1 cannot be sent him.

Hon. Mr. Henry, from Tennessee, estimates our loss in prisoners in Bragg's defeat at but little over 1000, and 30 guns. We captured 800 prisoners.

We have intelligence to day of the escape of Brig.-Gen. Jno. H. Morgan from the penitentiary in Ohio, where the enemy had confined him.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 110-1

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Diary of Gideon Welles: Friday, May 13, 1864

The army news is interesting and as well received as the great loss of life will permit. Hancock has made a successful onset and captured Edward Johnson and two other generals, with about fifty other officers and four thousand prisoners, thirty pieces of cannon, etc. General Sheridan, with his cavalry, has got in rear of Lee and destroyed about ten miles of railroad, captured two trains, and destroyed the depot of Rebel supplies at Beaver Dam. Our troops are in good heart and everything looks auspicious for the republic. Many valuable lives have been offered up for the Union, and many a Rebel has fallen. I dwell not on particulars. The public press and documents will give them. The tidings have caused joy to the patriotic everywhere, but among the intense partisans, known as Copperheads, it is obvious there is no gratification in the success of the Union arms. It is painful to witness this factious and traitorous spirit, but it plainly shows itself.

I saw Governor Morgan yesterday respecting his circular. He says he sent it out in self-defense; that, while he knew I would stand by him in resisting a postponement of the convention, he was not certain that others would, should things by any possibility be adverse. He says the answers are all one way, except that of Spooner of Ohio, who is for a postponement. This is indicative of the Chase influence.

To-night Governor Morgan informs me that the hall in which the convention is to meet has been hired by the malcontents, through the treachery and connivance of H. Winter Davis, in whom he confided. He called on me to advise as to the course to be pursued. Says he can get the theatre, can build a temporary structure, or he can alter the call to Philadelphia. Advised to try the theatre for the present.

Admiral Shubrick says Admiral Du Pont is writing a book in vindication of himself; that he (Shubrick) and other friends of Du Pont have counselled him against such a course, but without effect; that he is under the control of H. Winter Davis, etc., etc. The subject gives me no concern or disquietude. If Du Pont desires to vindicate or explain his acts, or to assail mine or me personally, I shall not regret his proceeding. His great mistake is in overestimating his own personal consequence and undervaluing his country. Vanity and the love of intrigue are his ruin.

Mr. Representative Gooch of the Charlestown, Massachusetts, district, has undertaken, with a few other interested spirits, to discuss the management of the navy yard, and has had much to say of the rights of the citizens and of the naval gentlemen. Wants the civilians to control the yard. In all matters of conflict between the government and the mischievous element of the yard, Mr. Gooch sides against the government. This morning he called on me to protest against Admiral Smith and the naval management of the yard. After hearing his complaints I remarked that the difficulties at that yard were traced mainly to Mr. Merriam, and antagonisms got up between civilians and naval officers had their origin with him and his associates. He wished me to order a restoration of all appointments in certain departments to Merriam, which I declined, but told him I would select two masters instead of leaving the employment of workmen with the Chief Engineer.

SOURCE: Gideon Welles, Diary of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy Under Lincoln and Johnson, Vol. 2: April 1, 1864 — December 31, 1866, p. 29-31

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Brigadier-General Ulysses S. Grant to Major-General Henry W. Halleck, February 6, 1862

Fort Henry, February 6, 1862.

Fort Henry is ours. The gunboats silenced the batteries before the investment was completed. I think the garrison must have commenced the retreat last night. Our cavalry followed, finding two guns abandoned in the retreat.

I shall take and destroy Fort Donelson on the 8th and return to Fort Henry.

Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK,
Saint Louis, Mo.

SOURCES: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 7 (Serial No. 7), p. 124; Alexis Cope, The Fifteenth Ohio Volunteers and Its Campaigns: War of 1861-5, p. 70.

Major-General Henry W. Halleck to Brigadier-General Don Carlos Buell, February 7, 1862

Saint Louis, February 7, 1862.
Brig. Gen. D.C. BUELL, Louisville, Ky.:

Fort Henry is ours. The enemy is retreating on Paris, pursued by our cavalry. He has been compelled to abandon a part of his artillery. The gunboats will proceed up the river as far as may be safe. It is believed that the enemy is concentrating his forces at Paris, to operate on our flank. It will require every man we can get to hold him in check there, while a column is sent up the Tennessee or Cumberland, or both, to destroy bridges. We are much in want of artillery. Send down as many light batteries as you can spare. General Grant expects to take Fort Donelson (at Dover) to-morrow. If troops are sent up the Cumberland they will be preceded by gunboats.

H. W. HALLECK,    

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 7 (Serial No. 7), p. 592

Monday, October 21, 2019

Letter from G. W. B., February 8, 1862

FORT HENRY, Tenn., Saturday Night,
February 8, 1862

For all the purposes of navigation a “booming river” is most admirable, but when viewed in connection with the operations of an army on land, the consequent general overflow of all bottoms, and swollen condition of all tributaries, hardly present so favorable an aspect.  Just now the high water would seem to be our most formidable foe.  Although it will probably permit the federal flag to be exhibited to the people along the Tennessee, even into Alabama, it is likely that it in turn will prevent the same flag from waving over the ramparts of fort Donaldson for at least several days longer than would be the case where the stream at a somewhat lower stage.

It was intended to move promptly against the above named fortification to-day, but so formidable have been the demonstrations of the rapidly rising stream, that let alone moving, it has been with no little difficulty that our army has been kept fairly afloat.  The moat around the fort has assumed the dimensions of an inland sea.  The fortification itself is as veritable an island as one need look upon, while the ground of the camps beyond, and in fact all of the “narrow neck” of land between this point and fort Donaldson is nothing more nor less than an extended quagmire.  The numerous little streams running into the Cumberland and Tennessee are all in a swollen condition and with miles of backwater which with the roads (bad enough at best) present such formidable obstacles to the movements of our heavy artillery necessary for the reduction of the place, as to render a movement almost impossible.  But let not the country be impatient.  The floods have reached their maximum, and in the meantime our engineers are hourly gaining their information in regard to the place.  The blow will soon fall.  The little delay will not make it any less sure, nor none the less heavy.


Much interest is felt here among us to learn the particulars of the gunboat expedition up the river.  The boats should be back by to-morrow.  Capt. Phelps, of the Conestoga, received orders to go ahead as far as he could, and he is not the man to return without having fulfilled his orders to the letter.  It is probably that the fleet will be able to proceed as far up the river as Florence, Alabama, thus exhibiting the Federal flag through the “Enemy’s country” for over a hundred and fifty miles, and into the very heart of the rebeldom.  in many respects this is the great expedition of the war, and will doubtless have a moral effect upon the people of Central Tennessee unequal to another victory.  The boats left immediately after the reduction of the fort, and their presence will probably be the first intimation to thousands of people along the river that he had reduced one of their strongholds and were now penetrating the very heart of their vaunted confederacy.  The consternation as well as the surprise and joy (for be it known there is not a feeble union sentiment lying latent in Tennessee) of the people along the river upon the sight of the strange steamers, bearing aloft the national colors, can well be imagined.


To those who have not taken the pains to look at their maps, the reduction of the fort, with its seventeen heavy guns, may appear only as a gallant affair, which will be productive of an excellent effect upon the Union cause at home and abroad, but otherwise of no very great importance.  But let one glance at our position, and trace the course of the Tennessee—for the next two months navigable for the largest steamers, through the entire breadth of the State—and the importance of the road we have now opened will at once become apparent.  We have now a safe and expeditious highway into the very heart of the Confederacy.  Six or eight miles only from the river at Florence is the Memphis and Charleston railroad—the grand trunk road for the South—which, as the great avenue over which is transported the principal supplies of the rebel armies in Tennessee and Virginia, may well be regarded as one of the main arteries of the rebel system.  It will also be noticed that the river before it bends to the eastward, flows through a corner of Mississippi, where an army once dropped down, would be within an easy week’s march of Memphis.  Would it be the most surprising thing in the world if His Reverend Highness the Bishop General Polk, should awake some fine morning to find a federal army snugly ensconced here, and the two hundred and odd cannon and famous submarine battery, of about as much value to him as so much old iron?  I need not also call attention to the critical condition of Nashville and Bowling Green, when the fortifications of the Cumberland and shall also have been swept away, as they assuredly will be, ere many days have passed.  Indeed it seems very much as if the rebels, in their fright had been so busily engaged in barricading their main approaches, that they had quite forgotten the smaller  avenue through which it was possible for an enemy to find an entrance.  Does it not seem that if the “day and the hour” had at last come for the grand forward movement to be inaugurated?  Shall we not now see McClellan releasing his superabundant legions now stagnating on the Potomac, and pouring them through this new avenue, and striking this rebellion in its very core.


We are continually discovering further indications of the great haste in which the rebels outside of the fort decamped.  The road leading to Fort Donaldson is completely strewn with guns, blankets, knapsacks, cartridge boxes, and everything of which they could well dispossess themselves.  It is supposed that every one of the field pieces with which they started out have fallen into our possession.  The piece found by Col. Logan yesterday makes twelve, making two complete field batteries.  They are all spiked but can soon be rendered fit for service.  Among a thousand other things discovered about the woods in the vicinity by the soldiers are the complete plans of Fort Donaldson as drawn by the engineers which is, of course, a most invaluable discovery.  It is not known, however, as to how great an extent the plans have been carried out.  Great difficulty is experienced in getting reliable information in regard to the fort.  The negroes who remain give some most laughable instances of the haste in which the rebel force took to their heels.  It was nothing more nor less than a regular Bull Run stampede.  Nothing in the shape of a quadruped was left behind.  Even Gen. Tilghman’s horse was stolen by some frightened brother officer.  It is not probable that we should have found in the fort even the Small number we did, had not the General, after discovering the universal Stampede on the part of the force outside, and of also nearly all the garrison within, promptly stationed a guard at the draw bridge, with orders to shoot down any others who attempted to implicate their inglorious example.  A company of cavalry was stationed at the railroad bridge, twenty miles above here, and upon the approach of the gunboats on Thursday evening, the Captain, with characteristic Southern braggadocio, draw up his men in line on the river bank with the evident intention of blowing them out of the water.  The little rebel gunboat Dunbar was just above the bridge, but as soon as our gunboat approached, as may be imagined, beat a speedy retreat.  Intent upon the capture of this prize, the cavalry company was entirely overlooked, and as I have above stated, were bravely paraded up behind the trees of the river bank, with, to all appearances, exceedingly hostile intent.  Their Double-barrels had been duly loaded with the inevitable buckshot, and then came the ready—present—when, with the infernal shriek which penetrated to the very marrow of their bones, went whizzing by after the Dunbar one of the Conestoga’s shells.  The concluding order of fire was never given, but with one universal shout of horror, Captain and men scattered for the woods, leaving behind them, in many instance, even their hats.  My informant, the keeper of the draw-bridge, who was a witness of the scene, still retains as a trophy the valiant Captain’s sombrero.  He tells me that three of the Company where drowned in the back water of the river in their hasty flight.


Gen. Grant and staff, with several representatives of the press, and a body guard of sharpshooters, visited the bridge this afternoon.  The distance from the fort to the bridge is 23 miles.  This structure is one of the very finest of the kind in the country, being over 1,200 feet in length, and with about 300 more feet of tressle work, on the westerly side.  There are seven piers besides those of the draw, making nine in all.  The Memphis, Clarksville and Louisville Railroad has proved a most important auxiliary to the rebels, traversing a country rich in agricultural productions, and affording a speedy transit for troops and supplies to Columbus and Bowling Green.  The interruption of travel on this road, will be of itself be a sad blow to the confederacy.  The last rain passed over the road on Thursday, just before the bombardment.  There have been a few companies of rebels permanently stationed here for several months past.  When, in common with the rest of the rebel soldiery of this section, they, on Thursday, fled before our approach, they left their transportation, commissary stores, and everything besides their own precious selves, behind them.  The wagons deserted are perfectly new, and equal to the best we have.  In accordance with the positive instructions of Gen. Halleck, the bridge was not destroyed, but only partially disabled, by cutting away a few of the supports of the tressle work, which can be readily repaired.  It is probable that the next train watch crosses the bridge will be under Federal auspices.


That there is a latent Union sentiment still lingering in the hearts of the people of this section of Tennessee there can be no doubt.  Our troops have been cordially received in many instances, while the great majority of the population here would readily submit to any rule which would give them peace.  I have heard not a few express their gratification at the reduction of Fort Henry, saying—“Now, that flag is down, I reckon we shall again have peace.”  Many of them say they voted for the union twice, but the last time seeing it was all of no avail, either yielded to the popular clamor and voted for secession, or kept away from the polls all together.  The leaders of public opinion, the press and the politicians have so long vilified the North, and subsequently the Union army, and no industriously misrepresented the objects of the present war, that the most absurd beliefs are entertained by the common people in regard to us.  May of them believing that rapine and plunder would surely ensue upon our approach, have left their homes and every thing in them, and fled to the woods for safety.  The most monstrous stories are firmly believed by many of them.  For instance, one lady yesterday said to an Illinois Colonel, who visited her that she had but one objection to our troops—they were so cruel.  Upon seeking an explanation of this, she said we burned the bodies of all dead rebels who fell into our hands, and that she had it upon excellent authority that Zollicoffer’s remains were treated in this way.  But few negroes are found in the country, most of them having been run off upon our approach.  Those who have remained manifest a great interest in regard to everything connected with the army and the North.  The first person met by the officer of the boat landing at the fort after the flag had been struck, was one of these contrabands.  With mingled joy and consternation imprinted upon his countenance, and with uplifted army he exclaimed “Afore God, sir, is Massa Lincoln coming in that boat?”


The Memphis, with the Forty-third Illinois and the Birge’s Sharpshooters have just arrived.


We had a striking exemplification of the much vaunted Southern honor here yesterday.  A rebel captain, who was among the prisoners who surrendered, upon leaving the Uncle Sam where he had been entertained by General Grant and staff, to the best of their power, very coolly pocketed the revolvers of Capt. Lagow, Gen. Grant’s aid.  The operation was witnessed by several, and upon being requested to hand over the weapons as they could not appropriately be termed his side arms, he blustered and grew very red in the face, but it was all of no avail.  There were too many witnesses, and he had to surrender.  In justice, however, to the South, it should be added that the officer was a quartermaster!  Another officer, high in the command, ordered 28 suppers for some of the privates, which he was given the privilege of doing if he would duly pay the steward of the boat for the same.  The suppers were cooked and eaten, when the generous officer coolly told the steward he had no money but Tennessee currency, and that he supposed it was of no service to him; and turning on his heel, left him to whistle for his pay.


No less than nineteen dead bodies were exhumed in the fort to-day, which had been hurriedly buried in one heap after the fight, and before we reached the fort.  The apparent slight loss of the rebels has been a matter of great surprise, but this recent discovery puts rather a new light on the matter, and it would not be if still more were found.  It will be remembered that only four dead men were found in the fort when we took possession.  This will make at least twenty three who fell beneath the unerring shots of our sailors.

G. W. B.

SOURCE: “From Fort Henry,” The Daily Missouri Democrat, St. Louis, Missouri, Thursday, February 13, 1862, p. 2

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Major-General Henry W. Halleck to Major-General Ulysses S. Grant, March 16, 1862

Saint Louis, March 16, 1862.
General GRANT, Fort Henry,

As the enemy is evidently in strong force, my instructions not to advance so as to bring on an engagement must be strictly obeyed. General Smith must hold his position without exposing himself by detachments until we can strongly re-enforce him. General Buell is moving in his direction, and I hope in a few days to send 10,000 or 15,000 more from Missouri. We must strike no blow until we are strong enough to admit no doubt of the result. If you deem Fort Heiman best for defense, occupy it instead of Fort Henry. You must decide upon all details from your better local information. What captured field pieces have you?

H. W. HALLECK,    

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 10, Part 2 (Serial No. 11), p. 41

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Official Reports of the Campaign in North Alabama and Middle Tennessee, November 14, 1864 — January 23, 1865: No. 175. Report of Col. Jonathan B. Moore, Thirty-third Wisconsin Infantry, commanding Third Division, of operations December 15-16 and December 20-31, 1864.

No. 175.

Report of Col. Jonathan B. Moore, Thirty-third Wisconsin Infantry, commanding Third Division,
of operations December 15-16 and December 20-31, 1864.

In the Field, December 22, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Third Division, Detachment Army of the Tennessee, in the battle of December 15 and 16, at Nashville, Tenn.:

At 8 a.m. of the 15th, by order of the major-general commanding, I placed the Forty-fourth Missouri Infantry in the trenches on the Charlotte pike, with the first section of the Fourteenth Indiana Battery, the Fortieth Missouri Infantry, with the second section of the Fourteenth Indiana Battery, in the works on the Hardin pike. I then moved out on the Hardin pike with three regiments of the First Brigade, Fourteenth and Thirty-third Wisconsin and Seventy-second Illinois, Col. L. M. Ward commanding; two regiments of the Second Brigade, Ninety-fifth and Eighty-first Illinois, Col. L. Blanden commanding, and Company A, Second Missouri Light Artillery, of six guns, First Lieut. J. Zepp commanding. I formed these brigades in column by regiments, and moved forward as reserve and to support the First and Second Divisions, which were both advancing in line upon the enemy's works. At 1 p.m., by order of the major-general commanding, I ordered Col. L. M. Ward, with his brigade, to the right to support General McArthur, who, with his division, was then charging one of the enemy's forts. At about 4 p.m. Colonel Ward reported back to me, and I immediately moved my entire command forward in line, and filled up a large gap in McArthur's lines between Hubbard's and Hill's brigades, caused by Hill's brigade moving to the left. In my front I found the enemy strongly posted behind a stone fence on the Hillsborough pike, but unable or unwilling to stand for a moment against our advancing lines. In this charge my command captured between 200 and 300 prisoners and 3 pieces of artillery. Night found my entire command on the front line, driving the enemy, and about one mile beyond the Hillsborough pike, my battery, six guns, playing upon their retreating and broken ranks. Darkness put a stop to the battle. My command lay upon their arms upon their line, which I judged to be in the center, and between the First and Second Divisions, until 4 a.m. of the 16th, when, by order of the major-general commanding, I moved back to the Hillsborough pike, and to the right upon it about one mile and a half upon our extreme right to support General Cox's division, of the Twenty-third Corps. Here I remained during the day guarding the right flank.

The First Brigade had wounded: Private Lyman Fairclo, Company C, Thirty-third Wisconsin Infantry, gunshot wound in leg, slight; Private John R. Edwards, Company F, Thirty-third Wisconsin Infantry, gunshot wound in head, slight; Private George Welch, Company F, Thirty-third Wisconsin Infantry, gunshot wound in foot, slight. The Second Brigade had wounded: Sergeant Kennedy, Company A, Ninety-fifth Illinois Volunteers, cannon shot, compelling amputation of the thigh. Company A, Second Missouri Light Artillery, lost, killed by a shell, Private Simon Okley. None missing from my command. I can only account for the small loss in my command as one of the rebel prisoners did. Said he: “How could we fight? You got on our end” (i.e., flank). Company A, of the Thirty-third Wisconsin, broke through their line and charged them down their flank, perfectly enfilading their line at the stone fence.

All the regiments of my command behaved splendidly. In the charge on the Hillsborough pike all moved in line as on parade.

Col. L. M. Ward, of the Fourteenth Wisconsin, commanding First Brigade, and Col. L. Blanden, of the Ninety-fifth Illinois, commanding Second Brigade, both deserve especial notice; each handled his brigade with skill and judgment. I desire also to mention favorably the following members of my staff: Capt. J. H. Wetmore, Ninety-fifth Illinois Infantry, acting assistant adjutant-general; Capt. H. M. Bush, Ninety-fifth Illinois Infantry, aide-de-camp and picket officer; Capt. W. L. Scott, Thirty-third Wisconsin Infantry, acting assistant inspector-general; First Lieut. William McNeil, Eighty-first Illinois, ordnance officer; and Maj. L. Dyer, Eighty-first Illinois Infantry, surgeon-in-chief. Each of these officers were at all times during the two days' battle at their proper places, doing their duty bravely, gallantly.

For further particulars I refer you to the reports of my brigade commanders, which are herewith respectfully forwarded.

J. B. MOORE,                       
Colonel Thirty-third Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry,
Comdg. Third Division, Detachment Army of the Tennessee.
 Maj. J. HOUGH,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Detach. Army of the Tennessee.


Movements and operations of Third Division, Detachment Army of the Tennessee, from the 20th to the 31st of December, 1864.

December 21, in camp near Spring Hill, Tenn., were ordered to move at dark; moved out of camp, but received orders to countermarch and return to camp. December 22, marched to Duck River, and camped near river-bank. December 23, in camp near Duck River; at night, in pursuance to orders from major-general commanding corps, the Thirty-third Wisconsin Infantry Volunteers and the Seventy-second Illinois were ordered to proceed, under command of Lieut. Col. F. S. Lovell, to Columbia and take possession of the town and do provost duty and prevent marauding and pillaging. In compliance with said order Colonel Lovell moved to Columbia, took possession of the town and established an efficient provost guard, effectually preventing all irregularities. December 24, marched the infantry of the command across Duck River at 1.30 p.m.; the artillery and train were unable to cross on account of the Fourth Corps train occupying the bridge. The infantry marched four miles and a half from Columbia on the Pulaski pike, and went into camp. The regiments on duty at Columbia were relieved at 4 p.m. by a brigade of the Twenty-third Corps and immediately moved to rejoin the division. December 25, in camp all day awaiting the arrival of batteries and supply train. December 26, moved at 9 a.m.; after marching five miles, the Seventy-second Illinois Infantry, in compliance to orders received from the major-general commanding corps, were sent back to report to Captain Drew, assistant quartermaster, at Columbia. December 27, moved at 9 a.m., and camped at night near Pulaski. December 28, Seventy-second Illinois rejoined division to-day; battery and train came up; division did not move to-day. December 29, moved at 9 a.m.; marched about eight miles; camped six miles west of Pulaski. December 30, moved at 7 a.m.; passed through Lawrenceburg at 1.30 p.m.; camped at sundown five miles west of Lawrenceburg. December 31, marched at 8 a.m.; marched ten miles, and camped at 1.30 p.m.

The march for the whole ten days was very disagreeable and arduous, the weather being very inclement, and despite much suffering caused by shoes being worn out and the necessary exposure of a campaign at this season of the year, the sanitary condition of the division is very good.

Very respectfully submitted.
WM. L. SCOTT,        
Captain and Acting Assistant Inspector-General,
Third Division, Detachment Army of the Tenn.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 45, Part 1 (Serial No. 93), p. 499-501

Official Reports of the Campaign in North Alabama and Middle Tennessee, November 14, 1864 — January 23, 1865: No. 174. Report of Capt. John W. Lowell, Battery G, Second Illinois Light Artillery, of operations December 15-16, 1864.

No. 174.

Report of Capt. John W. Lowell, Battery G, Second Illinois Light Artillery,
of operations December 15-16, 1864.

In the Field, near Columbia, Tenn., December 21, 1864.

SIR: As acting chief of artillery of the Second Division, I respectfully submit the following report of the part taken by the batteries of this command during the actions of the 15th and 16th instant near Nashville, Tenn.:

I was in command of my battery until 2 p.m. of the 15th, when the general commanding ordered me to act as chief of artillery of the division. At this time Battery G, Second Illinois Artillery, was stationed near the brick house, to the left and front of the Third Brigade, in a much exposed position, but its six guns working with rapidity and effect upon the batteries of the enemy, one of which was in front of the left of the division. The Ninth Indiana Battery had two Rodman guns directly in rear of the Third Brigade, and seemed to be doing effective work for long range. The Third Indiana Battery, being in rear of the Second Brigade (which was to the left of the point where the Fourth Corps intersected our line at right angles), was not readily found by me, and did not get within the range of the enemy's works until the final charge was made and the works carried. Following the movements of its brigade again it was not inside the enemy's works in sufficient time to shell the retreating enemy, and consequently did not fire a shot during the day. I wish to call the attention of the general commanding to this fact, not to blame any one, but to suggest that had it not been for the notion of batteries adhering to and operating with brigades, this excellent battery might have been doing great damage to the rebels instead of remaining perfectly idle. At about 3.30 p.m., the infantry having been moved to a more advanced position, I secured a more advantageous position for Batteries Ninth Indiana and G, Second Illinois, massing their ten guns in the open field, in front of and from 800 to 1,000 yards from the rebel batteries, which were soon effectually silenced. As soon as the division entered the enemy's works, the batteries followed, and encamped with their brigades about 1,000 yards in rear of the captured works. During the progress of this afternoon's fight I went up to our skirmish line to ascertain, by the aid of my field-glass, the exact position of the enemy's lines and batteries. I passed around to the left where the Fourth Corps intersected with the Second Division. I saw the position of both lines, and was witness to the charge by part of the Second Division. I know what parts of the rebel works were in their front, and what they first entered, and in behalf of the batteries I claim their share of the rightful honor belonging to the Second Division of capturing three of the enemy's cannon.

On the morning of the 16th, by my direction, Battery G, Second Illinois, drew out to the road one caisson and one gun, which the enemy had attempted to drag off the field, the other two guns being left where they were captured, being near the pike. As the division advanced to the enemy's second line of works, Battery Third Indiana, being with the Second Brigade on the right of the line, was first brought into action. Up to 12 m. it held its first position to the right and rear of the Second Brigade, doing excellent work, silencing one battery and assisting to silence two others. Battery Ninth Indiana came next into position to the left of Third Battery; G, Second Illinois, came last into battery, securing a good position near the white house, within 800 yards of one of the rebel batteries. Later in the day the whole of the sixteen guns of the division were (by order of the general commanding) massed at this point, and held nearly the same position until the close of the action.

It has never before been my fortune to witness so accurate and effective artillery firing as was exhibited by our batteries from this point. The enemy had four batteries, with an aggregate of seventeen guns, bearing upon our three batteries, and yet so terribly effective was our fire that the rebel cannoneers could not be induced to work their guns, and three of their four batteries remained silent most of the day. Captain Edwards, commissary of subsistence, Second Division, informs me that the rebel Major-General Johnson, who was captured near the five-gun battery, directly in our front, said that our artillery firing was the most scientific he ever witnessed. A sergeant of this same rebel battery (who was captured) told me that his battery lost that day twenty-seven men killed and wounded by our shells; his battery also lost twenty-three artillery horses from same cause. In the final charge our batteries did everything in their power to keep the rebel batteries silent, in which they, to a great extent, succeeded, thereby saving the lives of many of the brave officers and men of our division. I saw this charge, and am witness to the fact that the First and Third Brigades captured 15 pieces of the enemy's artillery, and if, as I am informed by undoubted authority, the Second Brigade captured 4 guns, it makes a total of 19 pieces of cannon captured from the enemy by our division as a part of the share of the Second Division in the glorious results of this day.

On the evening of the 16th and morning of the 17th, by my direction, Batteries Ninth Indiana and G, Second Illinois, drew out and parked 11 guns and 7 caissons, captured by the First and Third Brigades, but I found 4 of the guns captured by the First Brigade in the possession of the guards from the Fourth Corps, who refused to surrender them to me.

I respectfully submit to the general commanding that the conduct of both officers and men of the three batteries of the division was most excellent, and I earnestly bespeak for them his favorable mention. When all did so well, I will not attempt to designate single individuals.

I wish to call particular attention to the fact that during both days' battle there was a great lack in the supply of ammunition. On the 16th from two to four guns were almost constantly idle on this account, and such was the case when the final charge was made, when every gun should have been used to keep silent the batteries of the enemy. There was a great fault committed by some one, but whom I am unable to say.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN W. LOWELL,            
Captain Battery G, Second Illinois Light Artillery,
Acting Chief of Artillery, Second Div., Detach. Army of the Tenn.
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 45, Part 1 (Serial No. 93), p. 497-8