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the number of their captured as evidence of sissippi to the mouth of Arkansas and thence their valor. Any act of cruelty to prisoners, up the White river to Batesville. (See page or those offering to deliver themselves as such, 66.) It was unsuccessful. Supplies were subon the part of the soldiers of this army, coming sequently sent by land from Missouri, which to the knowledge of the General commanding, reached Gen. Curtis about the 1st of July. will be punished with the extreme penalty of His position during this period was critical, and the law."
excited much apprehension, as he was known The following is Gen. Halleck's despatch to to be nearly destitute of provisions, far distant Washington, announcing this battle:
from the sources of supply, and surrounded in
the midst of a wilderness by foes. From St. Louis, March 10, 1862. To Maj.-Gen. McClellan :
Batesville he now advanced to Jacksonport at The army of the Southwest, under Gen. Curtis, after the confluence of the White and Black rivers, three days' hard fighting near Sugar Creek, Arkansas, thence passing through Augusta and Clarendon has gained a most glorious victory over the combined he reached Helena on the Mississippi river, one forces of Van Dorn, McCulloch, Price, and McIntosh. Our killed and wounded are estimated at one thousand. hundred and seventy-five miles from BatesThat of the enemy still larger. Guns, flags, provi ville. sions, &c., captured in large quantities. Our cavalry It was reported soon after that Confederate is in pursuit of the flying enemy
troops under Gen. Price were crossing the MisH. W. HALLECK, Major-General.
sissippi at a point
between Napoleon and VicksThe Confederate force retired south of the burg, and Gen. Curtis started with a body of Boston Mountains unpursued by Gen. Curtis, troops on transports to make an exploration. to obtain reënforcements and to recover from The steam ferry boat at Napoleon, upon the their loss. Meantime reënforcements were approach of Gen. Curtis, was withdrawn up the sent to Gen. Curtis from Kansas and Missouri. Arkansas river, whither he followed and capHe fell back to Keetsville, and remained through tured it with fifteen other ferry and flat boats. the month. On the 5th of April, it being sup- A large number of boats were destroyed on the posed that Gen. Price was moving on Spring- Arkansas by this expedition, which soon after field, Missouri, Gen. Curtis began a march in returned to Helena. Gen. Curtis was then abthat direction. On that day he advanced eigh sent until the close of September, when he was teen miles and on the next twenty, to the junc appointed to command the department of Mistion of Flat Rock with James river. Failing in souri, containing the States of Missouri and an attempt to cross the James, the force moved Arkansas and the adjacent Indian Territory, to Galena, where a crossing was effected in a with his headquarters at St. Louis. Helena rain storm. On the next day, the 9th, Bear continued to be occupied by the Federal troops, Creek, thirteen miles, was reached, and on the but active military operations were suspended. 10th Forsyth, eighteen miles, where the army This closed the campaign of Gen. Curtis. was concentrated. The high water of the After the departure of Gen. Curtis from Heriver delayed active operations. Gen. Price, lena on the 15th of November, an expedition with a body of mounted men, was encamped under Gen. Alvin P. Hovey, consisting of eight about five miles south and on the other side of thousand infantry and cavalry, started for the the river. On the 16th of April an expedition White river; but in consequence of new bars was sent out under Col. McCrellis to destroy which had formed, and the low stage of the some saltpetre works located eight miles below water, it entirely failed of the object intended, the Little North Fork, south side of White and returned. The command of the post was river. It was entirely successful. About ten then taken by Gen. Steele, who had arrived with thousand pounds nearly prepared for transpor- a division of troops. Subsequently Gen. Hovey tation were destroyed. The army next moved was sent upon an expedition from Helena into to West Plains, eighty-seven miles, thence to Mississippi to coöperate with Gen. Grant on Salem, Arkansas, which is southeast of For- his advance into that State. The particulars syth, Mo., and distant one hundred and seven- of this expedition are stated in connection with teen miles. Thence it advanced to Batesville, the campaign of Gen. Grant. crossed the White river, and took the route to The subsequent military operations in ArkanLittle Rock, the capital of the State. It ad- sas exerted no special influence on the conduct vanced to Searcy, fifty miles from Little Rock, of the war. They may be briefly stated in this · where an order was received from Gen. Halleck place. The Confederate forces in the State, in to send ten regiments by a forced march to Cape October, were estimated to consist of five thouGirardeau and thence to Corinth. The army sand men under Gen. Hindman, posted five then fell back to Batesville, which is the capi- miles north of Little Rock; five thousand men tal of Independence county and the most im- under Gen. Roan, posted fifty miles southeast portant town in the northeastern part of the of Little Rock at White Sulphur Springs, near State. It is situated on the White river about Pine Bluff on the Arkansas river; at Cross four hundred miles from its mouth. The river Hollows in the northwestern part of the State, is navigable to this point for small steamers. between four and five thousand men, chiefly Such was the scarcity of supplies that the army conscripts under Gen. Rains; Gen. Holmes, in suffered severely. An expedition was fitted chief command, was at Little Rock with two out in June from Memphis to descend the Mis- thousand men; Gen. McBride was at Bates
ville with two thousand more. Small forces commanding; Conestoga, Lieut. Blodgett comwere also at Arkansas, Crystal Hill, and Arka- manding—the only boat in the fleet not irondelphia. The latter post had been made the clad. seat of government. These forces were esti- The mortar boats assigned to the expedition mated at twenty thousand men with a deficient were designated numerically. Each had a outfit. In the northwestern part of Arkansas, mortar of 13-inch calibre and discharging & near Cross Hollows, twelve miles south of Fay- round shell weighing two hundred and fifteen etteville, Gen. Herron had a severe conflict pounds without its contents. The “sailing" with a Confederate force near the end of Octo- or “running" crews of these mortar boats conber. Again on the 28th of November Gen. sisted of one captain and two men. The force Blunt made an attack on Gen. Marmaduke with to fire the mortars in action was one captain to about eight thousand men, at Cane Hill, forty, each brace of mortars, and one lieutenant and five miles north of Van Buren, which caused twelve men to each boat. The Nos. of the the Confederate force to retreat to Van Buren. vessels were, 5, 7, 11, 19, 22, 23, 27, 29, 30, 38, Again, on the 7th of December, the combined under command in chief of Capt. H. E. MaynaConfederate forces under the command of Gen. dier, U. S. Army. The steamers Hammit and Hindman, estimated at fifteen thousand men, Wilson, lashed together, towed four; the Pike made an attempt to cut off reënforcements for and Wisconsin four others; Lake Erie, No. 2, Gen. Blunt, ten miles south of Fayetteville. towed two others. Then followed a steamer The Confederate forces advanced on the flank with a barge laden with coal in tow, after which of Gen. Blunt's position, and attacked Gen. came the two ordnance steamers, and two Herron with the reënforcements, who held them transports with the 27th Illinois, Col. Buford, in check until they were attacked in the rear and 15th Wisconsin, Col. Hey, infantry-the by Gen. Blunt at Crawford's Prairie. The fight latter regiment being composed exclusively of continued obstinate until dark, when the Con- Norwegians—and also a battery of the 20 Illifederate forces retreated across Boston Moun- nois artillery. With the gunboats on the right, tains. The loss was severe on both sides, and followed by the mortar fleet, ordnance boats, the advance of the Confederate troops into and transports with troops, the gunboat ConMissouri was checked.
estoga brought up the rear, protecting the The campaign in the West was now pushed transports, while eight or ten little screw prothrough. The evacuation of Columbus, and pellers, used for conveying orders and despatchthe flanking of other Confederate positions es from the flag ship to the fleet, were busily on the Mississippi river by the force on the darting in all directions. advance up the Tennessee river, led to the fit- The expedition reached Columbus at 1 P. M., ting out of an expedition to move down the and at 3 o'clock left for Hickman, where it Mississippi. On the 4th of March an armed arrived between five and six o'clock. А reconnoissance, commanded by Flag Officer small force of Confederate cavalry left upon Foote and General Cullum, was made as far as its approach. The town was partly deserted; Columbus. This consisted of six gunboats, four a few Union flags, however, were waved. The mortar boats, and three transports having on next morning it proceeded down the river to board two regiments and two battalions of within half a mile of the Missouri point above infantry under Gen. Sherman. On arriving Island No. 10, which by an air line was two and at Columbus, it was found to have been a balf miles distant, while by the river, owing evacuated and subsequently occupied by two to the bend, it was four miles distant. In this hundred and fifty of the 2d'Illinois on a scout- position the flagship opened fire upon a Coning expedition. The Confederate troops had federate battery discovered on the Kentucky chiefly retired down the river to Island No. 10 shore, but, owing to the distance, without efand New Madrid. The evacuation was a con- fect. 'Two of the mortar boats then, having got sequence of the position being flanked on both into position, opened upon and soon silenced it. sides of the river. The distances to various A large Confederate force appeared to be enpoints down the river are as follows: Cairo camped on that side. to Columbus, 20 miles; Hickman, 37; Island Island No. 10 is situated in the corner No. 10, 45; New Madrid, 55; Point Pleasant, of that bend of the Mississippi river which 87; Plumb Point, 154; Island No. 33, 164; touches the border of Tennessee, a few miles Fort Wright, 167; Fulton Landing, 168; Hat- further up the river than New Madrid, although che River, 170; Island No. 34, 170; Fort Ran- nearly southwest of that point. It is situated dolph, 175; Fort Pillow, 238; Memphis, 242; about two hundred and forty miles from St.
This force returned to Cairo, and on the 14th Louis, and nine hundred and fifty from New a formidable expedition left to move down the Orleans. The average depth of the water at river. The following vessels formed the fleet: this point is from ninety to one hundred and flag ship Benton, Lieut. Phelps acting flag twenty feet, and the breadth of the stream captain; gunboats Cincinnati, Commander R. from mainland to mainland about nine hunN. Stembel; Carondelet, Commander Walke; dred yards. The current runs by the island at Mound City, Commander Kelly; Louisville, a moderately fast rate, and with the power of Commander Dove; Pittsburgh, Lieut. Thomp- three rivers—Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohioson commanding; St. Louis, Lieut. Paulding combined. The island is near the southern, or
what might be termed the eastern bank of the erate gunboats, and thus blockade the river from river, but at this point the stream varies from below. He next procured siege guns from Cairo, its southern course and turns abruptly to the which arrived on the 12th of March, and were northwest, leaving this island in the southern placed in battery during the night within eight angle of the bend. It is about forty-five miles, hundred yards of the enemy's main work, so as by the course of the river, south of Columbus, to command that and the river above it. The and about twenty-six miles from Hickman. It battery consisted of two small redoubts conis near Obionville, which is in Obion coun- nected by a curtain, and mounting four heavy ty, in the northwest extremity of Tennessee, guns, with rifle pits in front and on the flanks where it borders on Kentucky and Missouri. for two regiments of infantry. As soon as day The Mississippi river passes to the north and to dawned on the 13th, these batteries opened fire, the south of Obionville, leaving a land distance and were replied to by the whole of the enebetween the two waters very inconsiderable, my's heavy artillery on land and water. In a and easily walked across in less than an hour, few hours several of the gunboats were disabled, although the voyage by water between the and three of the heavy guns dismounted in the same points, owing to the bends in the river, enemy's main work. The cannonading continis about twenty miles. The surface of the sur- ued all day without producing any impression rounding country is nearly level. Obionville on the position of Gen. Pope, other than the is connected by a turnpike road with Columbus, disabling of one gun by a round shot. The efin Kentucky, via Hickman, and with Troy, the fect of the contest during the day convinced capital of the county.
the Confederate commander that he could not The fortifications on the island and main- hold the town, although he had previously reland adjacent consisted of eleven earthworks, ceived reënforcements of men and guns from with seventy heavy cannon, varying in caliber Island No. 10. Accordingly in the night, durfrom thirty-two to one hundred pounders, ing a violent storm of rain, he evacuated the rifled. The bombardment commenced on the town by crossing over to the Kentucky shore. 16th of March, and continued with more or This evacuation was made with considerable less vigor until the 7th of April. A different precipitation. Almost everything was left beplan, however, was arranged for the capture hind. Even the pickets were abandoned. of the island. This consisted in cutting a “Thirty-three pieces of artillery, magazines canal across a portion of the 'narrow and low full of fixed ammunition, several thousand stand peninsula, by which the transports could pass of small arms, hundreds of boxes of musket below the island, and a part of the troops with cartridges, tents for an army of ten thousand Gen. Pope at New Madrid be taken across the men, horses, mules, wagons, &c., were among river, and thus completely invest the island. the spoils."
On the 21st of February, by orders of Gen. The Confederate fleet was commanded by Halleck, Gen. Pope proceeded to Commerce in Com. Hollins, and their land force_by Gens. Missouri above Cairo, and was followed by a McCown, Stewart, and Gantt. The Union loss force numbering in the aggregate about forty was fifty-one killed and wounded; the Confedthousand men. With this army Gen. Pope pro- erate loss was estimated by Gen. Pope to be ceeded southwardly in the early part of the larger. A number of their dead were left unlast week in February, destined for New Mad- buried. By the possession of these works Gen. rid. In a direct line the distance from Com- Pope commanded the river, so as to cut off all merce to New Madrid is about fifty miles, but communication with Island No. 10 from below. by the road it is between sixty and seventy-five It was on the day after this evacuation that the miles. On the 3d of March he arrived with fleet left Cairo. his forces before New Madrid, and found the In order to cut off entirely the retreat of the place occupied by five regiments of infantry Confederate force from Island No. 10, it was and several companies of artillery. The defen- necessary that a portion of Gen. Pope's army sive works consisted of one bastioned earth- should be taken across the Mississippi to the work, mounting fourteen. heavy guns, about Tennessee shore. To bring down transports a half a mile below the town, and another irreg- channel was made, twelve miles long, six of ular work at the upper end of the town, mount- which were through heavy timber. The trees ing seven pieces of heavy artillery, together standing in water, had to be cut off four feet with lines of intrenchment between them; six below its surface. While this work was pushed gunboats, carrying from four to eight heavy forward the bombardment of the island was guns each, were anchored along the shore be- continued. On the night of the 1st of April, tween the upper and lower redoubts. The under the cover of darkness and storm, a country being perfectly level and the river so boat expedition from the fleet, with a small high that the guns of the boats looked di- force under the command of Col. Roberts of rectly over the banks, Gen. Pope found the ap- the_42d Illinois, landed at the upper or No. proaches to the town commanded for miles by 1 Fort on the Kentucky shore and spiked guns of heavy caliber.
the six guns mounted, and retired without His first step was to occupy Point Pleasant, injury. The pickets of the enemy fired and twelve miles below, in such a manner that his fled, and the troops in the vicinity also reforce could not be driven out by the Confed- treated. As the work on the canal approached