« AnteriorContinuar »
Anxious, however, for Blunt's safe-l'when they were likewise repulsed ty, and apprehending that he might with great slaughter. A fresh bribe at that moment enveloped by an gade, consisting of the 26th Indiana overwhelming Rebel force, he drove and 37th Illinois infantry, being now the Rebel cavalry impetuously across brought up from the right to the the creek, only to find their infantry relief of our exhausted center, Col. and artillery strongly posted on a Houston ordered and led a charge high, wooded ridge, three-quarters of against the same Rebel battery which a mile distant; their numbers con- had been fruitlessly charged already. cealed by the timber and thick un- Again it was taken, and again the derbrush. Sending across a light captors were compelled to abandon battery, which was instantly driven it by the overwhelming fire of infanback, he, while still threatening atry concentrated upon them. . fresh advance on the road, cut a Thus the battle stood, still desperpath to the creek, half a mile farther ately contested, neither lost nor won, down, and pushed across a battery when, at 21 P. M., Herron heard the at a point which enabled it to draw welcome music of a battery opening the fire of the Rebel artillery. This at some distance on his right, and movement, being unsuspected and was soon assured that Blunt's division unperceived by the enemy, was en was on hand. tirely successful; and, before the Reb- Blunt had that morning sent Col. els had recovered from their surprise Wickersham, with his cavalry, in adand confusion, Herron had pushed vance, followed by Gen. Salomon's three full batteries, backed by three infantry brigade, with directions to good regiments of infantry, across move rapidly on the Fayetteville road, the regular ford. These batteries and form a junction, if possible, with were so excellent and so admirably Herron. Three miles north of Cane served that they had silenced, in one Hill, however, Wickersham had taken hour's firing, their Rebel antagonists. the left-hand road to Rhea's Mills, Ours were thereupon advanced instead of the right, leading directly across an open field, firing volleys to Fayetteville; and Blunt, on reachof grape and canister, until within ing the fork, had followed, deeming a hundred yards of the ridge held it imprudent to dislocate his comby the Rebels, when the 20th Wis- mand. Coming up at length with consin and 19th Iowa infantry were Wickersham, he ordered him to face ordered to charge the Rebel battery toward Fayetteville, and endeavor to in their front. They did so most reach Herron. Wickersham had gallantly, hurling back its supports barely started, when, a little after and taking the battery; but were un- | noon, the boom of artillery was heard able to hold it, and compelled to in the north-east, and, leaving Gen. fall back. Their charge was at once Salomon's brigade to guard his trains returned with interest by the Rebel at Rhea's Mills, Blunt set forward, infantry, intent on the capture of over a blind, hilly road, with his two our three batteries, and rushing up to others, in the direction of the fire. within a hundred yards of the guns, At 1:45 P. M., Gen. Blunt, in adand coming up, or retreat and lose my whole train. It required no time to make a decision."
ing back it were di tuo insalomon
vance of his division, came into full | As darkness came on, the firing view of the field where the battle gradually slackened and ceased; the was fiercely raging. The Rebels were Rebels recoiling into their woody very strongly posted on high, rolling covert, our soldiers sleeping on their ground, covered by timber, and only arms in the open field where they approached from the north over had so bravely struggled, expecting large, open fields, which afforded no to renew the combat at daylight. cover, save that a part of them bore Meanwhile, our wounded were all a crop of ripe corn. Blunt's eccen- cared for, the trains of the whole tric advance had brought him in front army sent to Fayetteville; and Gen. of the enemy's left, where they had Salomon's brigade, relieved from the been massing a large force for the duty of guarding them, ordered to purpose of flanking Herron's position. the field; ammunition brought up The flankers found an enemy much and distributed, and everything made nearer than they expected, and were ready for proceeding to business at at once hotly engaged with Blunt's dawn; but, just before daylight, Gen. division. Its three batteries, firing Blunt received a flag of truce from shell and case-shot at short range, Hindman, asking a personal intersoon proved an overmatch for the two view with reference to the burial of Rebel batteries opposed to them, the dead and relief of the wounded. driving them and their supports back Blunt met Hindman accordingly, and into the woods; where they were was soon satisfied that the meeting charged by Col. Weer, leading the so solicited was but a trick; that 10th, 13th, and part of the 2d and Hindman had no force present or 11th Kansas and 20th Iowa, and a near but his staff-escort, and a party musketry fight of three hours was left to gather up his wounded; that maintained with equal energy by the the bulk of his army had commenced contending hosts. Meantime, our retreating several hours before. batteries were advanced at various Our loss in this battle was 167 points and served with rare efficiency; killed, 798 wounded, and 183 missLieut. Tenney, with six 10-pound ing—total, 1,148. Most of the missParrotts, repelling with shell and can | ing were captured in Marmaduke's ister, while unsupported, a formidable initial attack on our cavalry, and infantry attack. Here fell the Rebel were exchanged directly afterward. Gen. Stein, of Missouri. A battery Of our loss, no less than 953 fell on of 10 guns, well supported, opening Herron's command of hardly more upon Tenney, he in ten minutes si- than 4,000 men. Lt. Col. McFarlenced its clamor, dismounting two land, who led the 19th Iowa in its of the guns, and driving off the resi- first charge, was killed; as was Maj. due. An attempt to capture Rabb's Burdett, of the 7th Missouri cavalry. and Hopkins's batteries, which were Lt.-Col. Black, 37th Illinois, and supported by the 11th Kansas, Lt.- Maj. Thompson, 20th Iowa, were Col. Moonlight, was defeated with among the wounded. The Rebel fearful slaughter.
lossa must have been greater, because 42 Gen. Blunt, in his official report, says: not fall short of 3,000, and will probably much "The enemy's loss in killed and wounded can | exceed that number, as many of them, not se
THE TENNESSEE RIVER.
of our superiority in artillery, with | 336 missing-total, 1,317; and claims which the principal execution was to have taken 275 prisoners, 5 done. Hindman's official report flags, 23 wagons, and over 500 makes it, 164 killed, 817 wounded, small arms.
THE river Tennessee, taking rise is the largest tributary, draining an in the rugged valleys of south-west- area of over 40,000 square miles. ern Virginia, between the Alleghany Very rarely frozen, it is usually naviand the Cumberland ranges of moun- gable, save in dry summers, from its tains, but drawing tribute also from mouth to the Muscle Shoals, toward western North Carolina and northern the lower end of its course through Georgia, traverses East Tennessee in Alabama, and thence by smaller boats a generally W. S. W. direction, en- at high stages of water some 500 tering Alabama at its N. E. corner; miles, to Knoxville, the capital of and, after a detour of some 300 miles, East Tennessee. The Cumberland, through the northern part of that draining the opposite slope of the State, passes out at its N. W. corner; Cumberland Mountains, takes its rise rëentering Tennessee, and, passing in the heart of eastern Kentucky, and, again through that State in a course pursuing a similar but shorter course, due north, and forming the boundary runs W. S. W. into Middle Tennesbetween what are designated respec- see, which it traverses very much as tively West and Middle Tennessee, the Tennessee does northern Alabathence flowing N. N. W. till it falls ma, passing Nashville, its capital, into the Ohio scarcely 70 miles above bending N. W. into Kentucky some the mouth of that river, whereof it 20 miles eastward of the latter river,
verely wounded, were taken to Van Buren. / “Their transportatlon had been left south of Their loss in killed upon the ground will reach the mountains, and their retreat thereby made 1,000; the greater number of whom have been unincumbered and stealthy. I am assured by buried by my command."
my own men who were prisoners with them, as Pollard, on the other hand, says of this battle:
well as by deserters from their ranks, that they
tore up the blankets of their men to mufile the "Our whole line of infantry were in close conflict nearly the whole day with the enemy, who
wheels of their artillery." were attempting, with their force of 18,000 men, Gen. Herron, in a private letter, dated Dec. to drive us from our position. In every instance, | 15th, says: they were repulsed, and finally driven back "The loss of the enemy is terrific. After from the field; Gen. Hindman driving them to their burial-parties had been on the ground for within 8 miles of Fayetteville; when our forces three days, we had to turn in and bury 300 for fell back to their supply dépôt, between Cane them. The country for 25 miles around is full Hill and Van Buren. We captured 300 prison of their wounded. We have as cantures 4 ers, and vast quantities of stores. The enemy's caissons full of ammunition, and about 300 stand loss in killed and wounded was about 1,000; the l of arms. Hindman had prepared himself, and Confederate loss, in killed, wounded, and missing, risked all on this fight. His movements were about 300.”
| shrewdly managed; and nothing but desperately Gen. Blunt further says of this Pollard victory :) hard fighting ever carried us through.”
and pursuing a generally parallel | rifles, destroying the camp equipage, course to that stream, to its own re- and returning to Pikeville without ception by the Ohio, and being navi- loss. gable for 250 miles by large steamboats, save in seasons of summer 1 Gen. Zollicoffer, at the close of drouth, and by boats of 500 tuns for 1861, held a position on the Cumbersome 300 miles further. These two- land, near the head of steamboat navthe only rivers, save the Mississippi, igation on that sinuous stream, which navigable southward from the border may be regarded as the right of the of the Free into the Slave States- Rebel army covering Tennessee and were obviously regarded on both holding a small part of southern Kensides, in view of the notorious im- tucky. His force did not exceed practicability of Southern roads in 5,000 men; but even this was with Winter and Spring, as the natural great difficulty meagerly subsisted by routes of advance for our Western inexorable foraging on that thinly armies collected and drilled on and settled and poorly cultivated region. near the Ohio during the Autumn of His principal camp was at MILL 1861 and the Winter following. SPRING, in Wayne county, on the
The close of 1861 left Gen. Hum- south side of the river; but, finding phrey Marshall, commanding the Con- himself unmolested, he established federate forces in south-eastern Ken- himself on the opposite bank, in tucky, intrenched at Paintville, John- a substantial earthwork, which he son county, intent on gathering sup- | named Camp Beach Grove. He had plies and recruiting. Col. James A. one small steamboat, which had run Garfield, of Ohio, commanding a up with munitions from Nashville, Union brigade consisting of the 42d and was employed in gathering supOhio, 14th Kentucky, and a squad-plies for his hungry men; but the ron of Ohio cavalry, moved up the advance of a Union detachment to Big Sandy early in 1862, occupying Columbia, on his left, had rendered Paintville' without resistance, and his navigation of the river below him pushing on to Prestonburg, Floyd precarious, if not entirely obstructed county; near which town, at the forks it. On his right front, Gen. Schoepf, of Middle creek, he encountered Mar- with a force of 8,000 men, occupied shall, whom he put to flight with Somerset; but was content to occupy little loss on either side. Garfield it, without attempting or desiring to reported his full strength in this make trouble. But Gen. George H. engagement at 1,800, and estimated Thomas, having been ordered by that of Marshall at 2,500. Marshall Gen. Buell to take command in this was obliged to retreat into Virginia. quarter, had scarcely reached Lo
Cumberland Gap was abandoned gan's Cross-Roads when Maj.-Gen. without resistance to the Unionists: George B. Crittenden, who had renext month ;? and Gen. Garfield, cently joined Zollicoffer and superwith 600 men, made a rapid excur- seded him in command, finding himsion to Pound Gap, where he sur-: self nearly destitute of subsistence, prised a Rebel camp, capturing 300 and apprehending an attack in over
1 Jan. 7, 1862. 2 About Feb. 22. 3 March 16. Dec. 29, 1861. 6 Jan. 17, 1862.
whelming strength from all our forces / with Kinney's battery-were seriousin that part of Kentucky, resolved to ly engaged ; but the 12th Kentucky, anticipate it; and, at midnight after and two or three Tennessee regiments, the next day," advanced with his en- reached the field just as the day was tire available force, consisting of six won by a charge of the 9th Ohio on Tennessee, one Alabama, and one our left flank with fixed bayonets, Mississippi regiments of infantry, six supported by a galling fire from the cannon, and two battalions of cav- 2d Minnesota in front, under which alry, to strike and surprise the three the Rebels gave way and fled, or four Union regiments which he scarcely halting until they reached was assured were alone posted be their intrenched camp by the river; tween him and Somerset. He struck leaving one gun on the battle-field them as he had expected, but did not and another by the way. surprise them; Gen. Thomas having In the heat of the battle, when taken the precaution to send out the combatants were scarcely sepastrong pickets of infantry on the rated by an open space, Gen. Zolliroads leading toward the enemy, coffer was shot by Col. Fry, and fell with a picket of cavalry still farther dead on the field, where his body in advance. These were encountered was left by his followers. Col. Fry's by Crittenden's vanguard before day- horse was shot dead directly afterlight; but, after firing, retired slowly ward. Col. Robert L. McCook, 9th and in good order, and reported to Ohio, was wounded in the leg, and Col. M. D. Manson, commanding the also had his horse shot. The Rebels advance brigade, who in ten minutes lost 192 killed, 62 wounded and had his two regiments—10th Indiana captured, besides those carried off and 4th Kentucky, Col. S. S. Fry- by them, and 89 taken unhurt. Our in readiness; and the Rebels, in that loss was 39 killed, and 207 wounded. hour of darkness, necessarily pro- It rained, as usual, and the roads ceeded with caution, doubling them were horrible; but the victors, conselves as they advanced. Thomas siderably rëenforced, were, before 4 was of course at the front, having or- P. M., in front of the intrenchments dered up his remaining regiments, at Camp Beech Grove, within which within ten minutes afterward. the flying Rebels had taken refuge
The charge of the Rebels was des an hour or two before. Shelling perate, and the battle raged with was immediately commenced on our great fury for nearly two hours, side, feebly responded to on the during which the muskets of the other; and this continued until 7 at combatants were often fired through night, when our soldiers desisted and the same fence. Barely five Union | lay down to rest. Gen. Schoepf's regiments in all-the 10th Indiana, brigade came up that night, and 2d Minnesota, 9th Ohio, 4th Ken- were so disposed by Gen. Thomas tucky, and 1st Kentucky cavalry, as to make sure of the capture of
6A Rebel letter to the Louisville (Nashville) that Fishing creek could not be crossed; and so Courier, says:
the Somerset force of several thousand could not “The enemy in front occupied Somerset with join the force from Columbia before the 20th." several regiments, and Columbia with an equal force. On the 17th and 18th, it rained so much!
1 7 Jan. 18–19. 8 Sunday, Jan. 19.