Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

front of the General's cottage. The struc- | Generals had arranged to carry Corinth by ture is a sort of sieve now-bullets have one grand assault. In their reconnoissance punctured it so well. But the desperadoes Friday evening, they had found no fort where got no farther into town.

Fort Richardson was, and they overlooked “Battle was raging about Fort Richard- Fort Ro nett. Ugly obstacles. When they son. Gallant Richardson, for whom it was drove their wedge toward Corinth, one named, fought his battery well. Had his sup- flange on the Bolivar road, the other on a ports fought as his artillerymen did, the rec- branch of the Chewalla, they intended both ord would have been different. The Rebels wings should extend together. Topographigained the crest of the hill, swarmed around cal and artificial obstructions interrupted the little redoubt, and were swept away Van Dorn. He was obliged to sweep over from it as a breath will dissipate smoke. a rugged ravine, through dense thickets, up Again they swarmed like infuriated tigers. hill, over a heavy abatis, with his left; it At last, a desperate dash, with a yell. Rich- was necessary for his center to dip down ardson goes down to rise no more. His hill under the fire of Fort Williams, Capt. supports are not on hand. The foe shouts Gau's siege-guns in the rear of the town, triumphantly and seizes the guns. The and under heavy musketry, while his right horses are fifty yards down the hill toward had to girdle a ridge and move over alınost Corinth. A score of Rebels seize them. insurmountable abatis under a point-blank The 56th Illinois suddenly rises from cover fire of both Fort Williams and Fort Robinin the ravine. One terrible volley, and ett, supported by a splendid division of there are sixteen dead artillery horses and a veteran troops. The latter fort had 10dozen dead Rebels. Illinois shouts, charges pounder Parrotts, three of them—the forup the hill, across the plateau into the bat- mer 30-pounder Parrotts, which devour tery. The Rebels fly out through embra- men. It was a task to be accomplished, or sures and around the wings. The 56th yells a terrible failure to be recorded. Price had again and pursues.

comparatively plain sailing, and lost no time. “The Rebels do not stop. Hamilton's vet- Van Dorn was seven or eight minutes beerans, meantime, have been working quietly hind time. During that precious seven min-no lung-work, but gun-work enough. À utes, Price was overwhelmed, and Van Dorn steady stream of fire tore the Rebel ranks was left with a feat of desperation to be acto pieces. When Davies broke, it was ne- complished. He tried it audaciously. His cessary for all to fall back. Gen. Rosecrans men obeyed magnificently. Evidently, he thought it well enough to get Price in relied chiefly on Texas and Mississippi; for deeply. A Rebel soldier says Van Dorn the troops of those States were in front. sat on his horse grimly and saw it all. The wings were sorely distressed in the en'That's Rosecrans's trick,' said he; he's tanglement on either side. Two girdles of got Price where he must suffer.' Maybe | bristling steel glistened on the waist of the this is one of the apocrypha of battle. A ridge. Two brigades, one supporting the Rebel soldier says it's truth. But Ham- front at close distance, moved up solidly toilton's division receded under orders-at ward the face of the fort. The Parrotts of backward step; slowly, grimly, face to the both redoubts were pouring shot, and shell, foe, and firing. But when the 56th Il- and grape, and canister, into them from the linois charged, this was changed. Da moment of command-Forward-Charge!' vies's misfortune had been remedied. The shouted clearly from the brave Col. Rogers whole line advanced. The Rebel host was (acting Brigadier) of Texas. They tell me broken. A destroying Nemesis pursued it was a noble exhibition of desperate darthem. Arms were flung away wildly. ing. At every discharge, great gaps were They ran to the woods. They fled into cut through their ranks. No faltering, but the forests. Oh! what a shout of triumph the ranks were closed, and they moved steadand what a gleaming line of steel followed ily to the front, bending their heads to the them. It is strange, but true. Our men storm. Dozens were slaughtered while do not often shout before battle. Heavens! | thrusting themselves through the rugged what thunder there is in their throats after timber, but no man wavered. Onward, onvictory! 'They' report that such a shout ward, steady and unyielding as fate, their was never before heard in Corinth. Price's General in front. At last, they reach the once 'invincible' now invisible legions were ditch. It is an awful moment. They pause broken, demoralized, fugitive, and remorse- to take breath for a surge—a fatal pause. lessly pursued down the hill, into the Texas Rogers, with the Rebel flag in his swamps, through the thickets, into the for- left, revolver in his right, advanced firing, ests. "Newly disturbed earth shows where leaped the ditch, scaled the parapet, waved they fell, and how very often.

his banner aloft, and tumbled headlong into “Gen. Van Dorn's attack was to have the ditch. A patriot's bullet had killed him been simultaneous with that of Price. The in the moment of triumph. Five Texans REBEL DEFEAT AT CORINTH.

229

who followed pitched forward through the still vomiting destruction. With the enemy embrasures like logs, and fell into the fort. plunging in upon him, brave Robinett, with

“But we anticipate. Remember that the his faithful gunners of the 1st United States two redoubts are on the same ridge: Fort Artillery, had double-shotted his guns and Williams commanding Fort Robinett

, which belched death upon the infuriate enemy; and is in front. Had the Rebels taken the latter, now he sent the iron hail after the fugitives the guns of the former would have destroyed with relentless fury. The abatis was full of them. They were separated by a space not them, but they were subdued: Directly, exceeding one hundred and fifty yards. The they began to wave their handkerchiefs Ohio brigade, commanded by Col. Fuller, upon sticks in token of submission, shoutwas forined behind the ridge, on the right ing to spare them ‘for God's sake.' Over of the redoubts. _The left of the 63d Ohio two hundred of them were taken within an rested on Fort Robinett, its right joining area of a hundred yards, and more than two the left of the 27th Ohio; the 39th was hundred of them fell in that frightful assault behind the 27th, supporting it; the right upon Fort Robinett. Fifty-six dead Rebof the 43d joined the left of the 63d, form- els were heaped up together in front of ing a right angle with it, and extending to that redoubt, most of whom were of the Fort Williams, behind the crest of the ridge. 2d Texas and 4th Mississippi. They were The 11th Missouri, Col. Mower (U. S. A.), buried in one pit; but their brave General was formed behind the 63d Ohio, its left in sleeps alone: our own noble fellows tegthe angle, and the regiment faced obliquely tifying their respect by rounding his grave to the right of the 63d. The positions of smoothly and marking his resting-place. these gallant regiments should be described, “A great shout went up all over Corinth. because their actions are meinorable.

The battle was a shock. It really began at “ Col. Fuller, perfectly collected, required half-past 9 o'clock, and pursuit was comhis brigade to lie flat on their faces when menced at 11 o'clock. The pursuit of the not engaged. While the enemy was steadily beaten foe was terrible. Sheets of flame approaching, he warned them to wait till blazed through the forest. Huge trunks they could see the whites of their eyes, then were shattered by crashing shells. Yon fire coolly. It was at the moment the Tex- may track the flying conflict for miles by an Rogers was flaunting his flag on our scarified trees, broken branches, twisted gunparapet, that the 63d was ordered to fire.. barrels and shattered stocks, blood-stained Dead Capt. McFadden gave the first com- garments and mats of human hair, which lie mand of his life to fire on the field of battle, on the ground where men died; hillocks and he fell mortally wounded. There were which mark ditches where dead Rebels were only 250 of the 63d in the conflict; but covered, and smoothly rounded graves where their volley was fearful. It is said fifty Reb- slaughtered patriots were tenderly buried.” els fell at once. Six volleys were fired, and the Rebels were gone. The 63d again lay

Gen. Rosecrans's official report down. Directly, the supporting brigade of the Rebels advanced. The 63d was ordered

says: to make a half left wheel to sweep the front “ When Price's left bore down on our of the redoubt, and the maneuver was hand- center in gallant style, their force was so somely executed. The 11th Missouri moved overpowering that our wearied and jaded on the left into line into the vacant space; troops yielded and fell back, scattering the 43d moved by the right of companies among the houses. I had the personal morto the left, and the 27th half-faced to the tification of witnessing this untoward and left. Suddenly, the enemy appeared; and a untimely stampede. furious storm of lead and grape was launched “Riddled and scattered, the ragged head at them. The 63d fired five or six volleys, of Price's right storming columns advanced and the Rebels rushed upon them. A ter- to near the house, north side of the square, rific hand-to-hand combat ensued. The in front of Gen. Halleck's former headquarrage of the combatants was furious and the ters; when it was greeted by a storm of uproar hideous. It lasted hardly a minute, grape from a section of Immell's battery, but the carnage was dreadful. Bayonets soon rëenforced by the 10th Ohio, which were used, muskets clubbed, and men were sent them whirling back, pursued by the 5th felled with brawny fists. Our noble fellows Minnesota, which advanced on them from were victors, but at sickening cost. Of their position near the dépôt. the 250 of the splendid 630, 125 lay there “Gen. Sullivan was ordered and promptly on the field, wounded, dead, or dying. The advanced to support Gen. Davies's center. last final struggle terminated with a howl His right rallied and retook battery Powell

, of rage and dismay. The foe flung away into which a few of the storming column their arms and fled like frightened stags to had penetrated; while Hamilton, having the abatis and forests. The batteries were played upon the Rebels on his right, over

[ocr errors]

he says:

the open space effectively swept by his ar- | with very little rest, Gen. Rosecrans tillery, advanced on them, and they fled. I ordered all but those on the skirmish The battle was over on the right.

"During all this, the skirmishers of the line to lie down, while five days' left were moving in our front. A line of rations should be issued to them, and battle was formed on the ridge. About twenty minutes after the attack on the that they should start in pursuit of the right, the enemy advanced in four columns enemy early next morning ; but, just on battery Robinett, and were treated to before sunset, Gen. McPherson argrape and canister until within fifty yards; when the Ohio brigade arose and gave them rived, with five fresh regiments from a murderous fire of musketry, before which Gen. Grant, and was given the adthey reeled and fell back to the woods. They, however, gallantly reformed and ad

vance on the trail of the flying vanced again to the charge, led by Col. enemy, whom he followed 15 miles reached the edge of the ditch; but the dend next day;" having a skirmish with ly musketry fire of the Ohio brigade again his rear-guard that night. broke them; and, at the word charge, the Meantime, another division, which 11th Missouri and 27th Ohio sprang up and Gen. Grant had pushed forward from forward at them, chasing their broken fragments back to the woods. Thus by noon Bolivar, at 3 A. M. of the eventful ended the battle of the 4th of October."

4th, under Gen. Hurlbut, to the reIn his testimony before the Com- lief of Corinth, had struck the head mittee on the Conduct of the War, of the enemy's retreating forces and

skirmished with it considerably dur“Between 3} and 4 o'clock A, M., the enemy ing the afternoon.

Hurlbut was opened his batteries furiously from a point joined and ranked, next morning, by in front of battery Robinett; but in the course of an hour he was silenced and driv- Ord. The Rebel advance, having en from his position. Our troops, thus crossed the Hatchie river at Davis's aroused from their brief rest, which could bridge, were encountered by Ord and scarcely be called slumber, nerved themselves for the coming fight; the brunt of driven back so precipitately that they which came on about 10 o'clock, when, the were unable to burn the bridge, losenemy charging our right center, Davies's ing 2 batteries and 300 prisoners. division gave way, but speedily rallied, and, with the aid of Hamilton's division and á Ord, being in inferior numbers, did cross-fire from battery Robinett, poured in not pursue across the river, but a fire so destructive that the enemy were thrown into confusion and finally driven gathered up 900 small arms which from this part of the field; at the same time, the Rebels had thrown away. He he also charged battery Robinett; but was thoroughly repulsed, after two or three et reports that his losses in killed and forts, and retired to the woods. With our wounded during that day's pursuit inferior numbers of exhausted troops, we were several hundreds—probably exstood on the defensive, sending skirmishers to the front and expecting another charge ceeding those of the enemy, who from the enemy, till about 3 o'clock P. m.; fought only under dense cover, with when, finding that their skirmishers yielded every advantage of ground, compelo'clock became satisfied that they intended ling our men to advance across open to retire from our immediate front; but so fields and up hills against them. superior was their strength that I could not Gen. Veatch was among our wounded. believe they would altogether abandon the operation. By 6 P. M., our skirmishers had Van Dorn crossed the Hatchie pushed theirs back five miles.”

that night at Crumm's Mill, 12 miles Our soldiers, having now been farther south, burning the bridge bemarching and fighting some 48 hours, hind him. McPherson rebuilt the

37 Oct. 5.

[blocks in formation]

UNION AND REBEL LOSSES AT CORINTH.

231

bridge and crossed next day;" con- | with 2,248 prisoners.“. He estimated tinuing the pursuit to Ripley, fol their loss in wounded at 5,692. He lowed by Rosecrans with most of his says the prisoners represented 53 regiarmy, gathering up deserters and ments of infantry, 16 of cavalry, 13 stragglers by the way. Rosecrans batteries, and 7 battalions; and that was anxiously eager to continue the their numbers engaged were nearly pursuit, and telegraphed to Grant for double his own," which he makes less permission to do so," believing the than 20,000 in all.“ Among his troRebel army utterly demoralized and phies were 14 flags, 2 guns, 3,300 incapable of resistance; but he was small arms, &c.; while the Rebels, in directed to desist and return to their retreat, blew up many ammuCorinth. Nine days after his return, nition and other wagons, and left the he was relieved from his command at ground strewn with tents, accouterCorinth, and ordered to report at ments, &c. Among our killed were Cincinnati; where he found a dis- Gen. Pleasant A. Hackleman," Col. patch directing him to supersede Thomas Kilby Smith, 43d Ohio, and Gen. Buell in command of the Army Cols. Thrush, Baker, and Miles ; of the Ohio and Department of the while Gen. Richard J. Oglesby,“ Cumberland, including all of Tennes- Adjt.-Gen. Clark, of Rosecrans's see east of the Tennessee river.

staff, and Col. Mower, 11th Missouri, Gen. Rosecrans reports his total were among the severely wounded. loss at Corinth and in the pursuit at On the Rebel side, Acting Brigadiers 2,359—315 killed, 1,812 wounded, Rogers, Johnston, and Martin were and 232 missing; and says that the killed, and Cols. Pritchard, Daily, Rebel loss in killed alone was 1,423, and McClain were wounded.

3 Oct. 6.

40 Pollard—who rarely or never finds the RebHe gives these reasons for his eagerness,

el losses the greater-says: in his testimony before the Committee on the “ Our loss in all the three days' engagements Conduct of the War:

was probably quite double that of the enemy, "Mississippi was in our hands. The enemy In killed and wounded, it exceeded 3,000; and had concentrated all his available force for an it was estimated, beside, that we had left more offensive movement, had been thoroughly beaten than 1,500 prisoners in the hands of the eneat Corinth, and had then retreated, blowing up my." his ammunition wagons and caissons; their men

41 He says, in his official report : throwing away their camp and garrison equipage in the flight. The weather was cool; the “We fought the combined Rebel force of roads were dry, and likely to be so for a month Mississippi, commanded by Van Dorn, Price, to come. Corn was ripe, and, as yet, untouched. Lovell, Villipigue, and Rust in person; numberWe had 3,000,000 of rations in Corinth, and ing, according to their own authority, 38,000 ammunition for six months. There was but one bridge injured on the Mobile and Ohio road; and ** He says, in his testimony before the Com. it could be put in running order by a regiment mittee on the Conduct of the War: in half a day. The enemy were so alarmed that, when Hamilton sent a reconnoissance to Black

“Our own force in the fight was about 15,700 land, they vacated Tupelo, burning even the infantry and artillery, and about 2,500 effective bacon which they could not take away on the cavalry.” first train. I had eighty wagon-loads of assorted rations which had reached me that night in the Franklin district, Indiana.

43 Repeatedly a Whig candidate for Congress at Ripley, and had ordered the 30,000 from Chewalla to Hurlbut."

44 Since elected Governor of Illinois.

men."

XI.

SLAVERY IN THE WAR EMANCIPATION.

The Federal Constitution was the prohibition. Hence, when the framed in General Convention, and State Conventions were assembled to carried in the several State Conven- ratify or reject it, with such eminent 'tions, by the aid of adroit and politic Revolutionary patriots as Patrick evasions and reserves on the part of Henry, John Hancock, Samuel its framers and champions. The Adams, George Clinton, and Luther existing necessity for a stronger cen- Martin, leading in the opposition, tral authority, which had been devel- the clauses affecting Slavery were oped during the painful experiences vigilantly, and not unsuccessfully, of our preceding years of indepen- scrutinized for grounds of attack dence, were most keenly felt by the the provision concerning the African mercantile and mechanical or manu- Slave-Trade being assailed in some facturing classes, who were conse- States from the side of Slavery, in quently zealous advocates of a “more others from that of anti-Slavery, with perfect Union.” The rural districts, vigor and effect. In the North, on the other hand, were far less these assaults were parried by pointseriously affected by commercial em- ing to the power conferred on Conbarrassment and currency dilapida- gress to abolish the traffic after twention, and were naturally jealous of a ty years, as so much clear gain : to distant and unfamiliar power. Hence reject the Constitution would not the reticence, if not ambiguity, of the arrest the traffic now, but would text with regard to what has recently destroy the power to prohibit it herebeen termed“ cöercion,” or the right after. On the other hand, the Fedof the Federal Government to subdue eralists in the Southern Conventions by arms the forcible resistance of a met their adversaries by pointing to State, or of several States, to its legit- the privilege secured to the slaveimate authority—a reticence which holders of hunting their fugitive was imitated by the most prominent chattels in other States than their advocates of ratification, whether in own--a privilege hitherto non-existThe Federalist or in the several State ent-and asked them what was to be Conventions. So with regard to gained by rejecting that. In fact, Slavery as well. It is plain that the the Constitution was essentially a General Convention would have matter of compromise and mutual utterly and instantly prohibited the concession-a proceeding wherein Foreign Slave-Trade, but for the pro- Thrift is apt to gain at the cost of claimed fact that this would insure Principle. Perhaps the majority in the rejection of their handiwork by no State obtained exactly what they the still slave-hungry States of South wanted, but were satisfied that, on Carolina and Georgia, if not of North the whole, they were better with the Carolina also; though Virginia was Constitution than without it. among the most earnest advocates of Patrick Henry alone, in opposing

« AnteriorContinuar »