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Gen. Schofield, whom we left “at Clifton, on the Tennessee, under orders to embark his 23d corps (‘Army of Tennessee’) for Eastport, Miss., while preparing to obey, received “an order from Gen. Grant to report forthwith at Annapolis, Md.; whither he proceeded next day: moving by steamboats to Cincinnati, thence by rail to Alexandria, Va.; where he was for some time detained by the freezing of the Potomac: being thence dispatched by steamboats to the coast of North Carolina, landing” near Fort Fisher. He found here Gen. Terry, with 8,000 men, holding his original line across the Peninsula, two miles above the fort, but too weak to advance: the - Rebels, under Hoke, holding Fort Anderson, across Cape Fear river, with a line across the peninsula confronting ours; and Admiral Porter, with his great fleet, unable to force a passage up to Wilmington, in part because of the shallowness of the river. But Schofield's arrival raised our land force to not less than 20,000; and he at once pushed “ forward Terry, supported by Cox's division; driving in the enemy's pickets, and intrenching close to his line, so as to compel him to hold it in force. He now attempted, by the aid of navy Boats and pontoons, to throw a heavy force to Hoke's rear by his left, or
along the beach; but, being baffled by a storm, with high winds and sea, he determined to flank the enemy's right. To this end, Cox's and Ames's divisions were thrown across the Cape Fear to Smithville, where they were joined by Moore's brigade of Couch's division, just debarked, and directed to envelop Fort Anderson. The enemy, detecting this movement, hastily abandoned “ that fort and his lines facing ours, leaving to us 10 heavy guns and much ammunition, and fell back behind Town creek, where he had intrenched; and where he was assailed “next day by Gen. Terry: Gen. Cox, crossing the creek in a flat-boat, striking him in flank and rear, and routing him; capturing 375 men and 2 guns. Cox now rebuilt the bridge which Hoke had burned, drew over his guns, and started next morning for Wilmington; crossing, on Rebel pontoons, the Brunswick to Eagle island; thence threatening to cross the Cape Fear above the city. Gen. Terry, still on the peninsula, had hitherto been unable to advance over Hoke's defenses; but Cox's flanking menace was decisive. Hoke retreated; burning the steamers (including the privateers Chickamauga and Tallahassee), cotton, naval and military stores, &c., in Wilmington; and our army marched in unopposed next morning.” Schofield's total loss in taking it had been about 200: the enemy's was not less than 1,000, be
side 65 guns and much ammunition.
Schofield, lacking wagons and animals, was unable to pursue directly; but he had already dispatched 5,000 men to Morehead city to impel or strengthen an advance from bern on Goldsborough. Couch's Cox's divisions were now ordered s the country to Kinston; but lack of wagons delayed their sment till March 6; when they ed under Couch, while Schofield by sea to Morehead city, and 2e by rail to Newbern; whence ached, on the 8th, Cox's position Wise's forks, near South-west (, on his way to Goldsboro’. Cox sent up two regiments under Upham, 15th Conn., to seize and the crossing of the creek; but 2, who had ere this been re'ced by part of Cheatham's corps the Tennessee, had that mornflanked and surprised Upham '; striking him suddenly in the and capturing 700 of his men. ated by this stroke, IIoke aded on Schofield; attempting to in betwixt Carter's and Palmer's ions, after the Virginia fashion; was checked by the arrival of r’s division, and desisted with3rious fighting or loss.
*1 Jan. 8. ** Jan. 14. ** Feb. 9.
ll. ** Feb. 19. ** Feb. 20. *7 Feb. 22.
Schofield, seeing the enemy strong and eager, directed Cox to intrench and stand on the defensive till Couch could arrive. Hoke skirmished sharply next day, and struck heavily
at Cox's left and center the day
after:” the blow falling mainly on Ruger's division, by which it was repulsed with heavy loss to the assailants. Schofield reports our loss here at only 300; while he estimates the enemy's at 1,500. Hoke retreated across the Neuse and burned the bridge. Couch came up and réenforced Schofield next morning, Lack of pontoons delayed Schofield at the Neuse till the 14th, when— having rebuilt the bridge—he crossed and entered Kinston unopposedIIoke having hastened to Smithfield to aid Johnston in making head against Sherman. Schofield again advanced on the 20th, and entered Goldsboro’, scarcely resisted, next day; barely ahead of the arrival of Sherman and his whole army, as has already been narrated.
X X XIII.
N. GRANT's comprehensive plan ampaign for the Winter and g of 1864–5 embraced a com
demonstration from north and upon Alabama; which State, at its northern extremity, had ar suffered less from the ravages r than any part of the ConfedeBut Texas. The movement at uth was impelled and directed
by Gen. Canby, commanding at New Orleans; that at the north was led by Gen. James H. Wilson, under the direction of Gen. Thomas, whose cavalry Wilson had been detached by Grant from the Army of the Potomac and sent West expressly to command, with results that did credit to the Lieut.-General's sagacity and judgment.
* March 10.
Gen. Wilson's cavalry command, after the expulsion of Hood from Tennessee, was collected at Eastport, Miss. (the head of steamboat navigation on the lower Tennessee); whither Gen. Thomas at length proceeded, to give him his final instructions. It had been intended to employ but half his force in a raid on the chief towns of central Alabama, designed as a mere diversion in favor of Canby; but Wilson persuaded his chief to let him take all the cavalry he could readily muster —Cheatham's movement eastward, with the remains of Hood's force, Having rendered disposable nearly our entire force on the Tennessee. Wilson was thus enabled to set out with nearly 15,000 men, whereof 13,000 were mounted, with six batteries. Prevented from starting at the time designated” by incessant rains and tremendous floods, the expedition was not fairly over the Tennessee till March 18; when it set forth with light trains, carefully filled —each trooper taking 5 days' rations in his haversack, 24 lbs. of grain, and a pair of extra shoes for his Horse, with 100 rounds of ammunition; while 5 days' rations of hard bread, 10 of sugar, coffee, and salt, were packed on mules; 45 days' of coffee, 20 of sugar, 15 of salt, and 80 rounds of ammunition in the wagons —56 of which were laden with a light ontoon train of 30 boats. The train (of 250 wagons) was escorted by the 1,500 dismounted men. Most of the cavalry were provided with the highly valued Spencer carbine. The time allotted for the expedition was 60 days: men and animals to subsist, so far as possible, on the country they traversed. The rear of the col
Feb. 23, 1865. * March 4.
umn did not actually leave the Tennessee till the 22d. The general course pursued was south-east, through Russellville, Jasper, and Elyton; but the command was divided, and from time to time expanded and contracted ; passing hurriedly over war-wasted north Alabama, and then spreading out so as to sweep over a broad stretch of the plenteous region watered by the tributaries of the Black Warrior and other main affluents of the Tombigbee river: thus menacing at once Columbus, Miss., Tuskaloosa, and Selma, Alabama. Forrest, commanding the chief Rebel force left in this quarter, was at West Point, near Columbus, Miss.; so that Wilson, moving rapidly on. several roads, passed his right and reached Elyton’ without a collision; destroying by the way many extensive iron-works, collieries, &c., and pushing the few Rebel cavalry found at Elyton rapidly across the Cahawba at Montevallo; where the enemy was first encountered ‘in force: Roddy's and Crossland's commands coming up the Selma road, but being routed and driven southward by a charge of Upton's division. The Rebels attempted to make a stand at a creek, after being driven 4 or 5 miles; but they were too weak, and were again routed by a headlong charge; losing 50 prisoners. Upton bivouacked 14 miles south of Montevallo, and early next morning rode into Randolph ; capturing here a courier, from whose dispatches he learned that Forrest was now in our front; that W. H. Jackson, with one of Forrest's divisions, was moving E. S. E. from Tuskaloosa; and that his rear had been
* March 30. * March 31.
: at Trion by Gen. Cuxton, who een detached by Wilson at Ely. nd who had interposed between on's force and his train, and o be attacked by Jackson this ng. Chalmers was at Marion, of Tuskaloosa ; and all were g, under Forrest's direction, to ntrate upon and defend Selma. e from Cuxton—who had been ed to strike Tuskaloosa—now ed Wilson that he should posthis enterprise, and fight Jackith intent to prevent his junc'ith Forrest. Wilson hereupon 2d McCook to move rapidly to rville, cross the Cahawba, and in, via Scottsborough, to strike Yn. McCook found Jackson osted near Scottsborough, and, g nothing of Cuxton, did not e to attack, but recoiled, after p skirmish; burning the Scottsactory and Centerville bridge, joining Wilson near Selma. son was moving eagerly and e on Selma, driving small parRebel cavalry, when he was it to a halt by Forrest, strongly on Boyle's creek, near Plane, with a creek on his right high, wooded ridge on his left, runs planted to sweep the Ranund 2 on the Maplesville road, n our troopers were advanHe had in line about 5,000 mainly cavalry (Roddy's diviith Armstrong's and Crossbrigades), with his front covrail barricades and abatis. had here Long's and Upton's s—perhaps 6,000 in all, but rans, of excellent quality, and ily led. arrived first, on our right;
when, dismounting and forming his men on the left of the road, he charged, breaking the Rebel line. Lt.-Col. Frank White, with 4 companies of the 17th Indiana (mount. ed), being ordered forward, rode over the Rebel guns, cutting his way out with a loss of 17 men; among them Capt. Frank Taylor, killed. Gen. Alexander, leading Upton's division, hearing the noise of the fight, came rapidly up on the Maplesville road; dismounting and deploying his brigade, and going right in on the left, with such energy that the enemy were soon in headlong flight, leaving 2 guns and 200 pris. oners to Alexander, and 1 gun to Long. Winslow's brigade now took the advance, and pursued sharply to Plantersville, 19 miles from Selma; but the fugitives could not be overtaken. Forrest had been driven 24 miles that day. Long's division now ‘took the lead, followed by Upton's; and all, by 4 P. M., were in sight of SELMA. For. rest had here a motley force of perhaps 7,000 men; but many of them green conscripts—boys and old men —and not to be relied on. He was indisposed to attempt the defense of extensive works with such a force; but Dick Taylor, his superior, had been here, and ordered him to hold the town at all hazards—disappearing on a southward-going train directly afterward. Forrest, with a doubting heart, prepared to do his best. His works were good and strong; extending, in a semicircle of three miles, from the Alabama above the city to that river below it. Wilson had here 9,000 men. After
carefully reconnoitering, he directed
* April 2.
Long to assault the defenses by a diagonal movement across the road whereon he was posted; while Upton, with 300 picked men, was to penetrate a dense, miry swamp on Long's left, break through the line covered by it, and turn the Rebel right—his whole division participating in the turning movement. But, before our preparations had been completed, word reached Long that Chalmers's Rebel cavalry from Marion were at work on his rear, where his horses and train were under guard; whereupon, sending a regiment to réenforce the six companies guarding his rear, he gave his men the order to follow him in a charge; and in 15 minutes, without a halt or a waver, they had swept over the Rebel intrenchments, and driven their defenders pell-mell toward the city. Long himself had fallen, shot through the head; Cols. Miller, McCormick, and Briggs, leading their respective regiments, had each been severely wounded; but Selma was won. The Rebels rallied on a new line, but partially constructed, in the edge of the city; where they repulsed a gallant charge of the 4th regular cavalry; and, as it was now dark, they evidently hoped to hold. But the impetuosity of our men could not be restrained. Upton's entire division advanced, supporting a charge of the 4th cavalry, 4th Ohio, and 17th Indiana; while the Chicago Board of Trade battery, from a commanding position, replied to the Trebel guns, dismounting two of them; and the city was soon taken, with 32 guns, 2,700 prisoners, and vast stores of all kinds. Forrest, Toddy, Armstrong, and perhaps
3,000 of their followers, had escaped under cover of the darkness. Our total loss here was less than 500. The Rebel arsenal, great guns, warehouses, factories, founderies, &c., were thoroughly destroyed, and the town sacked without mercy by our soldiers. The Rebels had just burned 25,000 bales of cotton; Wilson found 10,000 more, and burned them. Several days elapsed before the bridge, 870 feet long, over the swollen Alabama, after being thrice swept away by the flood, was rebuilt, and our army crossed "-all but Cuxton's brigade, which was away south, and had had a fight with Wirt Adams several days before. Horses had been obtained in and around Selma to mount our last man; many of the negroes following our columns had been enlisted—the rest were forbidden to follow farther—the trains, including the pontoon, were reduced to their lowest dimensions; so that Wilson, rebuilding the bridges, now moved rapidly, in spite of the sodden earth; reaching, at 7 A. M. of the 12th, Montgomery, the capital of Alabama, which Wirt Adams had just evacuated, after burning 125,000 bales of cotton. The city promptly surrendered. Several steamboats, with great quantities of army supplies, were here destroyed. Wilson moved' eastward from Montgomery toward Columbus and West Point, Georgia: Lagrange's brigade soon striking a Rebel force under Buford and Clanton, routing it, and taking 150 prisoners. Reaching" the Chattahoochee, near Columbus, Ga., the lower bridge was found in flames. Accident preventing the arrival of Col. Winslow's brigade till
* April 10.
7 April 14.
* April 16, 2 P. M.