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land after our transports, and suffered a portion to dash itself to pieces against the impregnable defenses of Murfreesboro, which left Wilson almost without opposition. While the cavalry was executing this movement, the entire front of the Union army ad. vanced to within 600 yards of the enemy's line, and Wood and Steedman made an assault on Overton's Hill, Post, as on the day before leading the charge. The enemy, anticipating an attack, had covered the slopes of the hill with abattis, and, opening with grape, canister and musketry, repulsed the assailants with heavy loss.

Meanwhile Smith and Schofield, farther to the right, with level. ed beyonets had marched straight over the works in their front, and in one fell swoop completely turned the enemy's flank. Hearing the victorious shouts, Wood and Steedman immediately reformed their broken line and a second time moved against the key of the rebel position. Scaling the hill and charging over the abattis directly in the face of aterrible fire, they captured the fort and its 9 pieces of artillery, which had so fearfully slaughtered their comrades in the first assault. The charge was final; the discomfitted rebels hurriedly fled through Brentwood Pass leading to Harpeth river, and the day being spent the Union army rested on the field it had so nobly won.

Wilson's cavalry started in pursuit early the next day, and four miles north of Franklin captured 413 of the rear guard. Again attacking them at the village, they were forced to decamp, leaving 1,800 of their wounded in the hands of the pursuers. The fugi. tive army was followed till it crossed the Tennessee, but, as it burned the bridges after it, and heavy rains rendered 'the roads almost impassable, it was not again overtaken.

Among the batteries which achieved distinction at the battle of Nashville, none thundered louder or sent its bolts with more deadly effect, than that of Lyman Bridges. During the engage. ment it was commanded by Lieut. White, Capt. Bridges having become chief of artillery. The 72d Illinois had a number of severe encounters with the enemy, and in a high degree exhibited the soldierly qualities for which it had been previously distinguish. ed. The 47th, 48th, 114th and 122d were in A. J. Smith's command, which on the morning of the 15th, made the magnificent charge on the enemy's left, crumbling it to pieces and hurling it back on the centre. The 59th Illinois lead the storming columns against the rebel works on Montgomery Hill, and was the first to plant its colors within the entrenchments. The next day it was in the famous assault on Overton's Hill, in which it lost one-third of its number. The 80th captured 3 guns and 100 prisoners; the 122d 4 pieces of artillery and one battle flag. The other Illinois regiments in the battle were the 38th, 420, 44th, 49th, 51st, 65th, 734, 79th, 84th, 88th, 89th, 107th, 112th, 114th, 115th, 117th and 119th.

To the confederacy the results of the Nashville campaign were overwhelming. Thomas, in auditing his accounts after its bril. liant actions, found he had captured 1,000 officers, over 12,000 men, while more than 2,000 threw down their arms and took the oath of allegiance. Among the spoils were 3,000 small arms, 72 heavy pieces of artillery and immense quantities of military stores. But the crowning stroke was the destruction of the confederate army of the West. With the elimination of the invaders from Tennessee, it only remained for the Union army to resolve itself into separate columns and proceed to other fields. Sherman, with his veterans of a hundred battle fields, was now enabled to reach the Atlantic almost without opposition. Schofield, with a heavy body af infantry, proceeded to the coast of North Carolina to co-oper. ate with him and converge on Richmond ; and Canby, with another large force, advanced by way of the Mississippi to Mobile for the reduction of the adjacent forts, while Wilson, without a foe to confront in the West, dashed in a raid through Alabama and Georgia. The days of the rebellion were numbered and the silver tracery of the dawn of peace began to light up the cloud of war.

CHAPTER LXIV.

1864-1865-ILLINOIS IN THE MERIDIAN CAMPAIGNRED RIVER EXPEDITION-REDUCTION OF MOBILE -SHERMAN'S MARCH TO THE SEA-REDUCTION OF WILMINGTON_MARCH THROUGH THE CAROLI. NAS-CLOSE OF THE WAR.

Consequent upon the reduction of Vicksburg and the opening of the Mississippi some military movements occurred in the Southwest, in which our troops were honorably engaged.

Meridian Campaign. After Sherman marched to the relief of Knoxville, he returued to Vicksburg and organized a force to operate against Bishop Gen. Polk, in command of an army at Meridian, also to destroy the Southern Mississippi and the Ohio and Mobile railroads. For this purpose Gen. W. S. Smith, with a large cavalry force was ordered to proceed from Memphis on the 1st of February, 1864, while Sherman, with 2 divisions of the 16th ariny corps under Hurlbut, and 2 of the 17th under McPherson, left Vicksburg on the 4th. Meeting with little opposition they entered Morton on the 9th, where McPherson was halted to tear up the surrounding railroads. Hurlbut moved on to Meridian, but Polk, apprised of his approach, decamped, covering his retreat with a cavalry force under Lee.

Smith failing to arrive with his cavalry, pursuit was deemed useless. Having no enemy to fight, a warfare was commenced on the railroads entering the town—Hurlbut on the north and east destroying 60 miles of track, one locomotive and eight bridges, and McPherson on the south and west, 55 miles, 53 bridges, 19 locomotives and 28 cars. The Tombigbee being now between the army and Polk, and no other foe in striking distance, Sherman headed his columns toward the Mississippi, whither he arrived without further noticeable incidents.

His losses in the campaign were 21 killed, 68 wounded and 81 missing. The Illinois organizations in the expedition were the 8th, 15th, 30th, 31st, 49th, 58th, 76th, 112th, 117th, 119th, 124th the 5th cavalry and Powell's battery. Its leader, as we have seen, next repaired to Chattanooga preparatory to entering upon his Georgia campaign.

Red River Expedition. During the spring of 1864 an expedition was projected to drive Price from Arkansas, Taylor from Louis. iana, and Magruder from Texas. This was to be effected by the joint efforts of three columns, one moving under Steele, from Little Rock, another under Banks from Brownsville, and a third un. der A. J. Smith, from Vicksburg, concentrating at Shreveport. On the 12th of March, 1864, Admiral Porter, with the fleet, and A. J. Smith with the 1st and 3d divisions of the 16th army corps, and the 1st and 4th of the 17th, in transports, started up Red River, on which the objective point is situated. At Semmesport Smith debarked his forces and started to operate against Fort De Russy, a strong quadrangular work furnished with bastions and covered with railroad iron. The assailants moving up on the 14th, Dick Taylor, in command of the fort, marched out to meet them, when Smith, by a skillful movement, threw himself between the rebels and the fort, which, after a sharp fight, he forced to surrender, the 47th, 49th, 58th, 81st, 95th, 117th and 119th Illinois demeaning themselves with great gallantry in the engagement, the: 58th being the first to plant its colors on the works.

As the expedition again moved toward Shreveport, the force under Banks, en route for the same point, encountered a rebel force at Pleasant Hill, and Smith, advised of the situation, marched to his assistance. Gen. Robinson, commanding the advance Union cavalry, had engaged that of the enemy under General Green, after which the latter fell back to Saline Cross Roads where the main force under Taylor lay masked in the forest. Thither he was followed on the 8th of April by the Union cavalry, now rein. forced by two divisions of the 13th army corps under Gen. Ransom. The latter suspecting danger, proposed to await the arrival of the force under Smith, before renewing the attack. Banks, however, overruling his advice, ordered an assault. Taylor's men concealed in the woods were posted in the form of the letter V, into the open base of which our men unwittingly advanced. The 2 wings of the enemy were immediately thrust forward and like huge ten. tacula closed in on them and before they could escape lost 2,000 men and 16 gnns, 6 of which belonged to Taylor's Illinois battery.

Battle of Pleasant Hill.—The remainder of the forces returned to Pleasant Hill, whither had arrived Gen. Franklin with the 19th corps and the force under Smith. The troops of the latter were placed in position behind a low ridge on the right the 19th corps on the left. Ransomn's men in the rearas a reserve, and 4 guns of Tay. lor's battery on an eminence commanding the approaches of the enemy. On the 9th he advanced and made an assault on Emery's division thrown in advance of Smith, which, according to previous arrangement, fell back. This brought the assailants directly up to the crest of the ridge behind which were concealed the Vicksburg veterans of Smith, who, to the number of 7,000, immediately rose up, and, pouring an incessant blaze of musketry fire into their faces, caused them to stagger back, when a bayonet charge was ordered which swept them from the field.

The 49th, 58th, 77th, 117th and 119th Illinois bore themselves honorably in the contest and largely contributed to the result.

The Union losses in the two battles aggregated the enormous number of 3,000 men, 21 pieces of artillery, 130 wagons, and 1,200 horses and mules. Steele, in playing his part of the programme, was equally unfortunate, and with heavy losses and great difficulty, fought his way back to Little Rock, whence ho

had started. Thus ended in irretrievable disaster, the ill-starred expedition, which, in its return, came near being entirely cut off in consequence of a low stage of water in the river.

Brigadier-General T. E. G. Ransom, who at Sabins' Cross Roads warned his superior officer of danger, and made such heroic efforts to repair the disasters caused by his mistake, was born at Norwich, Vermont, November 29, 1834. Having completed his education in the university of his native town, in 1851 he removed to Peru, Illinois, and engaged in the practice of engineering. At the organization of the 11th Illinois, in April, 1861, he was elected a major. For his bravery and skill in the battle of Donelson, he was promoted to the colonelcy of his regiment; again, as the reward of distinguished service at Shiloh and Corinth, he was raised to the rank of major-general. After the battle of Pleasant Hill, in which he commanded a division and received a wound from which he never recovered, he temporarily took charge of the 17th army corps in Georgia. While gathering new laurels in the Atlanta campaign, he died of a disease contracted by previous exposure. He was retiring, modest, and unusually brave. Devotedly attached to his men, while an invalid he was frequently advised by his physician to quit the field, but replied, “I will stay with my command till I am carried away in my coffin."

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Reduction of Mobile. After the disastrous Red River expedition, the department of the Arkansas and Gulf, including Texas, and Louisiana, were united in one, styled the West Mississippi, and Major-Gen. Canby placed in command. In the spring of 1864, all the rebel posts had either been successfully blockaded, or captured, except Wilmington and Mobile. To Canby was now as. signed the task of reducing the latter, while the former, as we shall see further on, fell beneath the sturdy blows of the conquerors of Nashville.

The entrance to Mobile bay is by two inlets, one on each side of Dauphin Island. They were guarded by Forts Gaines on the island, and Morgan and Powell on the mainland opposite. Hither Farragut led his fleet of some 18 vessels, and as a co-operating land force, Canby in July, ordered 5,000 men under Granger, from New Orleans. The latter were debarked on Dauphin Island, on the 4th of August, to operate against the adjacent fort, and the following morning the fleet moved up the principal channel, its gallant commander lashed in the maintop of the Hartford to overlook the field of action. Seeing his vessels arrested by torpedoes, he dashed ahead under the tremendous volleys of the enemy's guns, and in an hour and a quarter was above the forts. The others, animated by his fearless heroism, followed, emptying broadsides after broadsides into the hostile works, and partially checking their fire. Next commenced the capture of the great iron-clad ram Tennessee, which Farragut declares was one of the “ fiercest naval engagements on record.” During the month the 3 forts surrendered, and the door was opened for a farther advance toward Mobile.

This was not effected till the following spring. In the meantime the 13th corps, under Granger, was reinforced by A. J. Smith with the 16th, arriving mostly by way of New Orleans, and a force in command of Steel from Pensacola. The army marched

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