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may be questioned the valor of Ilinois was undoubted. Gen. MeClernand was in the midst of danger displaying great coolness and skill in handling his forces. Gen. Logan exhibited the intrepidity and judgment which distinguished him in subsequent battles, and Col. Dougherty at the head of his brigade was three times wounded and at length taken prisoner. Says McClernand:
"I cannot bestow too high commendation upon all I had the honor to command on th at day. Supplied with inferior and defective arms, many of which could not be discharged, many bursting in use, they fought an an enemy in woods with which he was familiar, behind defensive works which he had been preparing for months, in the face of a battery at Belmont and under the huge guns at Columbus, and although numbering three or four to our one, we beat him and captured several stand of colors, destroying his camp and carrying off a large amount of property already mentioned. To mention all who did well would include every man of my command who came under my personal notice. Both officers and privates did their whole duty, nobly sustaining the character of Americans and Illinoisans. They shed new luster upon the flag of their country by holding it in triumph through the shock of battle and the din of arms. The blood they so freely poured out proved their devotion to their country and serves to hallow a just cause with glorious recollections. Their success was that of citizen soldiers."
Battle of Pea Ridge.—The forces operating in Missouri at the close of January, 1862, were combined under the command of Gen. S. B. Curtis, a distinguished officer of the U. S. army. Early the following month they pushed rapidly toward Springfield, where on the 12th they encountered Price with about 4,000 men. Sbarp skirmishing ensued and the rebel general fleeing during the niglit to avoid an engagement, was pursued for more than 100 miles. Stopping in the vicinity of the Boston mountains he was re-inforced by McCulloch and Van Dorn, whereby his army was augmented to near 40,000 men, and he was again enabled to resume offensive operations. Curtis thus threatened, bad distributed portious of his command for garrison duty along his extensive line of communication, and now had left only 12,000 men and about 50 pieces of artillery. His several divisions had been sent in various directions for the purpose of obtaining forage and dispersing rebel bands gathering at different points in the southeastern part of the State. The 1st and 2d were under Sigel near Bentonville, the 3d uder Davis near Sugar Creek, and the 4th under Carr at Cross Hollow. Early in March intelligence was received that Van Dorn who assumed chief command, was advancing to make an attack
A correspondent of the Chicago Post, writing of Belmont, says: "An incident worthy of being recorded occurred during the recent battle. Col Phil. B. Fouke, of the 31st Illinois, and Col. John V. Wright, of the 13th Tennessee. both members of the last congress, were warm friends and occupied seats together. When the war broke out before they had left Washington, Mr. Wright received the appointment of colonel from the governor of Tennessee. When about to separate Mr. Wright said: Pbil. I am going into the war, and I suppose you will be in it also, and I promise if we meet on the battle feld that I will take care of your men if you will take care of mine.' The pledge was mutual, and therext time they met was on the bloody field of Belm nt. At one time during the fight Col. Fouke's men were lying down waiting for the enemy and he was standing on a log in full view waiting for them, when about twenty of Wright's men leveled their muskets at him, which movement being seen by Col. Wright, be looked in the direction and recognized Col. Fouke, ordered his men to desist, saying that man was his friend and he did not want him harmed This interposition double less saved Col. Fouke's life us these Tennesseeans are crack shots. Col. Wright was was afterwards severely wounded, but the next day sent his adjutant to inform Col. Fouke that he had not forgotten his pledge. Before the battle was ended Col, Fouke's regiment took a number of Col. Wright's men, and he religously obsesved his share of the pledge, looking after the wants of the prisoners as though they were his own men."
and the several divisions of the Union forces were ordered to con. centrate on Sugar Creek, a point regarded favorable for effective resistence. Sigel in bringing up his division was assailed by large numbers of the enemy, and for five hours compelled to cut his way through their midst to effect a junction with the others.
On the 6th of March, 1862, the entire force was brought together on the western edge of Pea Ridge, and in anticipation of an engagement, slept on their arms. The battle commenced at carly dawn and raged furiously the whole day, during which Van Dorn succeeded in marching round the Federal army, and took a position in the rear. Curtis was thus compelled to change his front, and although exposed to the continued fire of the enemy, the movement was executed with the most intrepid gallantry. In the centre and on the left the battle raged with increased fury, and when evening put an end to the carnage, McCulloch and McIntosh, two of the most efficient rebel officers, were among the slain. The weather was cold and the army lay down to pass a comfortless night, being unable to kindle fires without drawing the attention of the enemy. During the night the rebels effected a junction of their forces, and as the rising sun lighted up the battle ground, they recommenced the conflict, confident of overwhelming the federals by superior numbers. The latter, however, were handled with great skill and Sigel served the artillery with such accuracy that the rebel line in a short time was seriously shaken and finally forced from the field. The routed army fled in the direction of Keitsville and was followed a distance of 12 miles, when further pursuit, in consequence of the wooded and broken country, became impracticable. That portion of the battle field pounded by our artillery presented a ghastly scene of dismounted cannons, shivered carriages and mangled bodies. Price's loss was estimated at 3,000 in killed, wounded and missing. A novel feature introduced at this battle was the employment of some 2,500 Indians seduced from their allegiance by the rebels. They were of little service to their allies in fighting the living but vented their brutal ferocity in mutulating the bodies of the dead.
The Illinois troops participating in the engagement were the 35th, Col. G. A. Smith ; 36th, Col. Greusel ; 37th, Col. J. White; 57th, Major Post ; 3d cavalry, Col. E. A. Carr ; a battalion of the 15th cavalry, Capt. Jenks, and Davidson's Peoria battery. All acquitted themselves in such a manner as to reflect honor upon the State. Day Elmore, a drummer of the 36th, exchanged his drum for a musket and fought with the bravery of a veteran during theentire battle.
After this engagement large numbers of the Missourians who had fought with the rebels, were permitted to return home, and on taking the oath of allegiance, the State for a short time enjoyed compa rative quiet. In June, at the suggestion of Gen. Curtis Missouri was erected into a separate military district, and Gen. J. M. Schotield, who had served with distinction as chief of the lamented Lyon's staff, was placed in command. Marauding bands again began to be troublesome, and Schofield, on the 22d inst., issued a proclamation holding rebel sympathizers and their propery responsible for the depredations committed in their respective districts. Encouraged by Price at Helena, numerous rebel emissaries next spread themselves over the State, and while openly profess
ing Union sentiments, they secretly organized a force estimated at 40,000 men, and agreed upon signals whereby they could suddenly seize all the important points in the country. To prepare for the conspiracy Schofield obtained from the general government authority to organize the militia, and as the loyal people readily submitted to the enrollment, and the disloyal refused, thus disclosing the real character of each man. Some 20,000 men were reported for military duty, and to raise funds for their support, the wealthy in St. Louis county who refused to serve, were required to furnish $500,000. A bloody struggle was now going on in the north-east portion of the State between bands of guerillas and the militia. By the 1st of September as many as a hundred small engagements had occurred in which Illinois troops largely participated, and some 10,000 rebels were killed, wounded or driven from the State. At this date the rebels under Hindman, in northern Arkansas, numbering 50,000, were also contemplating an invasion of south-western Missouri. As the result, battles of considerable magnitude were fought at Fort Wayne, Cane Hill, and Fayetteville, in which the rebels sustained such serious losses that Hindman abandoned his designs.
1861-1862—ILLINOIS ON THE CUMBERLAND, TENNES.
SEE AND MISSISSIPPI.
Battle of Forts Henry and Donelson-Capture of Columbus, New
Madrid and Island No. 10.
We must now go back to the commencement of the operations for opening the Mississippi. The course of this magnificent river from north to south and the intercourse necessarily existing among the inhabitants of its fertile valley will always render it impossible to form them into separate nationalities by arbitrary boundaries. Running entirely across the rebel confederacy and making it vulnerable to the assaults of a fleet, the government at an early day commenced making preparation for offensive naval operations. Columbus, Kentucky, situated on the east bank, 20 miles below Cairo, had been seized as early as Sept. 1861, and so fortified as to be termed the rebel Gibralter. Its massive works and heavy guns rendering capture by a direct assault almost impossible, it was determined to cut off its supplies and thus compel its abandonment by an expedition up the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers. Near where these streams flow across the northern boun. dary of Tennessee, the rebels had erected two strong fortifications known as Forts Henry and Donelson. After mature deliberation, Gen. Halleck decided first to attack the former of these strongholds, and then moving across the intervening land, attack the latter. For this purpose Commodore A. H. Foote, as gallant an officer as ever sailed the deep, with a fleet of 7 gunboats, the St. Louis, ' Cincinnati, Carondelet, Essex, Tyler, Lexington and Mound City, and Gen. Grant, with a co-operating land force from Cairo and Paducah, were sent up the Tennessee. On the 5th of February, 1862, the land forces disembarked from their transports and prepared to spend the night, during which a thunder storm burst on the encampment, portraying in its terrific grandeur, the fury of the coming battle. Grant ordered Gen. McClernand commanding the first division, to take a position in the rear of the fort for the two-fold purpose of guarding against reinforcements, or preventing the escape of the garrison as the exigencies of the engagement might require. His division consisted of 2 brigades commanded respectively by Cols. Oglesby and W. H. L. Wallace; the first comprising the 8th, 18th, 27th, the 29th, 30th and 31st Illinois infantry, Dresser's and Schwartz's batteries; the 2d, the 11th, 12th, 45th and 48th Illinois infantry, Taylor's and McAlisters' batteries and 4th cavalry.
The 2d division under Gen. C. F. Smith, was thrown across the river and ordered to proceed up the Kentucky shore and occupy the heights adjacent the fort, which the enemy had begun to fortify. The 9th, 12th, 28th and 41st Illinois constituted a part of the force.
Owing to the badness of the roads, none of the land forces arrived soon enough to share in its capture. About 10 o'clock Foote steamed up toward the fort, which standing in a bend of the river, had complete command of the channel for a long distance below. Being a bastioned earth work and mounting 17 guns of the largest calibre, it was deemed capable of resisting any assailing force however formidable. An island lay in the stream about a mile below, under cover of which the fleet advanced without becoming exposed to the fire of its long ranged rifled guns. The wooden vessels remained at the island while the iron. clads emerging from behind it, and proceeding in the direction of the fort were met by the ponderous shot of the fort. The boats immediately returned this greeting, and their screaming missiles fell with such rapidity in and around the fort as to cause some 4,000 infantry to flee with precipitation. Coming within closer range the breastworks were plowed up and dashed in the face of the garrison, gun after gun was dismounted, and within an hour from the commencement of the engagement, the stronghold was surrendered. Sixty prisoners and a large amount of military stores fell into our hands. Unfortunately the infantry which fled at the commencement of the engagement, were beyond the reach of pursuit, before McClernand and his Illinois men could arrive and intercept them. The principal damage inflicted on the fleet was sustained by the Essex. A 24-pound shot passing in at a porthole, and plunging into one of her boilers, caused the steam to escape and completely envelope the crew. Some in their terrible agony throwing themselves out of port holes into the river while others struggling in vain to escape, sank gasping for breath, scalded in the fiery vapor.
This important victory was the first won on the western waters; the telegram announcing the event was read in both houses of congress, and a vote of thanks tendered Commodore Foote. The fleet under Lieut. Phelps was sent up the river to capture two rebel boats which were pursued so closely that their crews blew them up to prevent their falling into the hands of the pursuers. The expedition sailed up the river as far as Florence, destroying the bridge of the M. & 0. railroad connecting Bowling Green, Memphis and Columbus, and compelling the rebels to burn fire of their valuable steamers. All along the route Phelps met with many cheering evidences of loyalty among the people of Tennessee and Kentucky, old men and women flocking to the shore, and shedding tears at again beholding the old flag.
Donelson.—The fall of Henry opened the way for an advance upon Donelson. This formidable rebel stronghold was situated on the west bank of the Cumberland, and served as an outpost · for the defense of Nashville, 80 miles bigher up the river. The ground upon which it was situated is about 100 feet above the level of the river, which at that point bends toward the west, and after running a few hundred yards turns again and pursues its