Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

their hands to be used against their Middle Creek Forks, three miles be mesters.

yond Prestonburg. Marshall's force The day following this proclamation, was about 2,500 men, with three can. there was a spirited engagement on the non, planted on a hill. Garfield had south side of Green River, opposite less than 2,000; but the fight was con Munfordsville, at Rowlett's Station, ducted with so much ability and bravwhere the troops were restoring the ery on his part, that the enemy was railroad bridge which had been des- driven from all his positions. Our loss troyed by the rebels. Our force was was only two killed and twenty-five largely outnumbered, but bravely re-wounded. pelled the enemy. Falling back to By this decisive battle, Kentucky wards Bowling Green, the Gibraltar of was freed from Marshall and bis force; Kentucky, as it was called, the rebels and Gens. Thomas and Schoepf were concentrated a large force there, under left at liberty to look after Zollicoffer. Johnston, while McCook's, Nelson's and On the borders of Wayne and Pulaski Mitchell's divisions of Buell's army County, Zollicoffer held an advantagethreatened the position in front. ous position on both sides of the Cum.

At this time, early in January, berland, which he fortified with great Humphrey Marshall had gathered a skill. The spot which he had

1862. force of some 3,000 rebels in the extreme selected was at Mill Springs, a eastern part of the state, on the Big bend of the Cumberland, where, at its Sandy River, and bad entrenched him. junction with the White Oak Creek, self in the neighborhood of Paintville. was afforded water protection on three From hence he expected to sweep East- sides. In this area, on a range of hills ern Kentucky, take possession of Frank several hundred feet above the river, fort, and set up the secession “Provi. and supporting one another, Zollicoffer sional” Governor, G. W. Johnson. had built his works, and he had encampGen. Buell, however, sent Col. Garfielded there some 12,000 men, with about after him with a brigade of infantry 800 cavalry and fifteen pieces of artillery, and some 300 cavalry. The march was Zollicoffer was joined, early in January, one of great difficulty and toil, owing by Gen. G. B. Crittenden, son of the to the deep mud in the roads and the venerable senator from Kentucky, who

wet, inclement winter season. took command, and issued a proclama

Marshall hastily retreated, on tion after the usual style. In front of the 7th of January, closely pursued by the rebel position was Gen. Schoepf, Garfield's troops. On the 9th, at noon, a with about 8,000 men, while Gen. reinforcement having arrived, the enemy Thomas was stationed with his division were further pursued toward Preston some distance to the north, at Lebanon burg. Night coming on, when near the In this position of affairs, Gen. town, they slept on their arms on the Thomas was charged with the important field, and early the next morning, duty of dislodging and defeating the moved on Marshall's main body at enemy. On the 17th of January,

[ocr errors]

Cu. IX.1

BATTLE AT MILL SPRINGS.

111

Thomas reached Webb's or Logan's | At the same time that these move. Cross Roads, about ten miles north of ments, just detailed, were going on,

fer's position, and, on conference Gen. Halleck was busily engaged in with Schoepf, made arrangements for making preparations for operating the attack. The roads were almost im. against the left of the enemy's line on passable, and the movement was conse- the Mississippi and the northern boun. quently somewhat less rapid; on the dary of Tennessee. The navy depart19th, however, the battle took place, ment, during the autumn and winter, Crittenden having found himself in such had pushed forward, at St. Louis and a position of affairs that he must either Cincinnati, the getting ready the gun be stormed out and run away, or make boats and mortar fleet; these bad an advance. He chose the latter, and gathered at Cairo for an onward moveprobably thinking that the Union force ment down the Mississippi. The iron was less than it proved, he expected to covered gun boats were specially congain a victory without difficulty. This structed for the service. They were was on Sunday morning, and after a broad in proportion to their length, so severe contest of four or five hours, the as to sit firmly on the water and suprebels were driven back to their en- port with steadiness the heavy batteries trenchments. During the night, they for which they were intended. The abandoned everything and retired, largest were of the proportion of about burning the ferry boats, and being in a 175 feet to 50, drawing five feet when very demoralized condition. Twelve loaded. They were firmly built of pieces of artillery and a large amount oak with extra strength at the bows of ammunition and stores, together with and bulwarks, and were sheathed with 1,000 horses and mules, fell into our wrought iron plates two and a half hands. Zollicoffer was killed, and the inches in thickness. To ward off the rebel loss was very heavy ; our loss, in shots of the enemy, the sides of the all, was 232.

boats, both above and below the knee, The news of this battle at Mill were made to incline at an angle of 45°, Springs, or Logan's Cross Roads, was so that they could be struck at right received with enthusiasm at the North. angles only by a plunging fire. These It furnished complete evidence of the boats were so built that, in action, courage and perseverance of our troops, they could be kept “ bow on,” and use

and their ability to meet the their bow battery and broadsides with 1862.

rebels, who, it had been as- tremendous effect. Seven out of the sumed, were superior in a hand to hand twelve gun boats were iron-clad, and contest. This decisive victory broke carried armament of the heaviest up the enemy's line in Kentucky, open character. The mortar boats (some ed the path into East Tennessee, and thirty or more in number) were about proved the commencement of a series 60 feet long and 25 wide, and were of successful military operations in the surrounded on all sides by iron-plate progress of the war in the West. bulwarks six or seven feet high. The

[ocr errors]

huge mortar which they carried, bored That the heads of departments, and to admit a 13-inch shell, with 17 inches especially the secretaries of war and of thickr:ess from the edge of the bore of the navy, with all their subordinto the outer rim, weighed over 17,000 ates, and the general-in-chief, with all pounds; while the bed or carriage on other commanders and subordinates of which it was placed weighed 4,500 land and naval forces, will severally be pounds. From this formidable engine held to their strict and full responsi. shells might be thrown a distance of bilities for prompt execution of this two and a half to three and a half order.miles. Each boat was manned by a Eager to anticipate, if possible, the captain, lieutenant and twelve men, wishes of the president, Commodore most of the men being western boat- Foote and Gen. Grant, with the appro. men and volunteers, familiar with navi- val of Gen. Halleck, determined to gation and the peculiar service in which make an attack upon Fort Henry, at they were to be engaged.* Commo- the beginning of February. The Tendore Foote, a veteran but energetic nessee River, in consequence of an unofficer, was placed in command of the usual rise in the water at this time, flotilla.

offered a very favorable opportunity Towards the close of the month, for navigation and transport of troops; January 27th, President Lincoln issued and the expedition consisting of four his “General War Order, No. 1," as iron-clad gun boats, and a fleet of trans. follows:

ports with the land forces, set sail from Ordered, That the 22d day of Feb. Paducah, on the 4th of February, at ruary, 1862, be the day for a general daylight. Fort Henry was distant movement of the land and naval forces some 65 miles by the river, and in the of the United States against the insur | afternoon, the flotilla reached a point 1862.

gent forces. That especially about four miles below the fort, where

the army at and about Fortress a body of troops, under Gen. McClernMonroe, the Army of the Potomac, the and, was landed. The object was, to army of Western Virginia, the army make a detour and take the work in near Munfordsville, Kentucky, the the rear, while the gun boats made the army and flotilla at Cairo, and a naval | attack from the water. Gen. Grant 1! force in the Gulf of Mexico, be ready having brought up additional troops to move on that day. That all other the next day, the land and naval force forces, both land and naval, with their advanced to the attack on Thursday, respective commanders, obey existing Feb. 6th. Some 15,000 of the troops, orders for the time, and be ready to under Gen. C. F. Smith, proceeded by obey additional orders when duly g the left bank on the Kent icky shore,

to take and occupy the heights com* For a full discussion of the subject of the construction of new vessels for the navy, the iron-clad manding the fort. About an equal navy, the monitors, etc., together with yaluable statis

number moved across the country to tics, see Dr. Boynton's " History of the Navy during tho Rebcllion,” vol. :., pp. 117–243.

the rear of the fort, on the road to Fort

ven.

CH. IX.

FORT HENRY CAPTURED.

113

1862.

Donelson, the design being to prevent River. The expedition was entirely reinforcements to Fort Henry, or the successful. The railroad bridge, about retreat of the garrison, or to attack it twenty-five miles above Fort Henry, on receipt of orders. The army, how. was partly destroyed, so that the eneiny ever, owing to the badness of the could not use it; the boats proceeded roads, and necessary delays, was not in as far up the river as Florence. Ala time to share in the capture of Fort bama, forcing the rebels to burn six of Henry; it was accomplished by the their steamers and much valuable pronaval force alone.

perty ; two steamers were captured, About ten o'clock, the gun boats together with a gun boat partly finish. moved towards the fort, and whened, and a large supply of excel. within a mile, commenced the assault. lent lumber. Lieut. Phelps This was a little after noon, and the met with many cheering evidences of firing on both sides was rapid and the loyal feelings of the people in Tensteadily continued ; but the boats were nessee and Alabama. too much for the fort. Within an hour. The fall of Fort Henry opened the and a quarter the rebel flag was hauled way for an immediate advance upon down and the fort surrendered. The Fort Donelson, on the Cumberland troops in the fort, numbering some River. This imposing fortification was 4,000 or 5,000, escaped before General situated near the boundary of Tennes Grant could intercept them. Eighty- see, on the west bank of the river, about three prisoners were taken, Gen. Tilgh- 100 miles from its mouth. It was conman being one; there was also a large nected by a direct road with Fort amount of stores, which fell into our Henry, and served as an out-post or hands. The chief casualty of the day river defence of Nashville, some eighty was produced by a shot which pene- miles above. By the aid of railroad trated the boiler of the Essex, and communications, reinforcements had caused the wounding and scalding of been hurried to Donelson, and warned twenty-nine officers and men, including by the fate of Fort Henry, the rebels Commander Porter.

determined to retain, if possible, so This victory was regarded with much important a barrier against the apsatisfaction at the North; the dispatch proach of our army into Tennessee. of Commodore Foote was read in both Two days after Fort Henry fell, Houses of Congress; and the thanks Gen. Pillow took command of Fort of the people were conveyed to our Donelson, and added in various ways gallant naval force which had done to its defences. Naturally it was a such good service.

strong position, being on a sloping eleDirectly after the surrender, Lieuten- vation over a 100 feet high, with other ant-Commanding Phelps proceeded, by hills and ravines densely wooded all order of Commodore Foote, with the around. Two water batteries were gun boats Conestoga, Tyler and Lexing- added, supplied with heavy ordnance; ton, some 200 miles up the Tennessee on the summit were trenches, oi rifle

VOL. IV.-15

pits, protected by abattis of felled and for additional troops under Gen. trees and interlaced brushwood; and Wallace. The investment, however, in every suitable spot howitzers and was drawn closer, and there was some field pieces were stationed. Its gar- beavy firing of artillery. Several move rison amounted to nearly 20,000 men, ments were made against special points, so important was it deemed by the and the greatest bravery was displayed rebels to hold the place. Floyd, who by our men; but when night came, the arrived with reinforcements on the 13th troops occupied the same position as in of February, was chief in command, the morning. In fact, it became evident and was aided by Pillow, Buckner, B. that the present was a far more serious K. Johnson, and others.

undertaking than the one which was so Nothing daunted at the prospect, speedily settled in the capture of Fort Gen. Grant and Commodore Foote Henry. hastened forward preparations for the In the evening, the gun boats and re attack, although there was, as there inforcements arrived, and the morrow always seems to be, delay at a moment was to test the question at issue.

when time was precious. Foote, Meanwhile, the mild and beautiful 1862.

· with his gun boats, was to at- weather, under which the army had tack the water batteries; while Grant left Fort Henry, changed suddenly to was to invest the fort on land. The winter's severity and keenness. A latter was first on the spot. He left heavy rain set in, which turned in the Fort Henry early on the morning of night to a storm of snow and sleet; and the 12th of February, with a force of many of our troops, being without about 25,000 men, in two divisions, blankets or tents, were exposed to the commanded by Gens. McClernand and utmost rigors of the situation; while, C. F. Smith. The weather was mild if they lighted a fire, they were imme. and spring like, and by noon the ad- diately exposed to the enemy's guns. vance was reported to be within two The sufferings of our troops that night miles of the works at Fort Donelson. will not soon be forgotten. Once, the As our troops came up the enemy's rebels made a sortie and strove to cap pickets were driven in, and a semi. ture one of our batteries; but the 20th circular line of investment was formed Indiana, lying in the woods below it, before the fortifications. Gradual ap- repulsed them, after a sharp and brief proaches were made to the works, with skirmish.* occasional sharp skirmishing along the About midnight, Commodore Foote line, the enemy retiring to their defen- arrived in the immediate neighborhood ces beyond the ravine which separated of the fort, and early the next morning, the two armies.

Feb. 14th, on conference with General During Thursday, the 13th, no general attack was made upon the rebel * Pollard takes comfort to himself in the remark, entrenchment, General Grant being

in that the men who fought so well at Fort Donelson

| were all Western men, not one, he says of the hated waiting for the arrival of the gun boats, “Yankees” being present.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »