« AnteriorContinuar »
SHERMAN IN COMMAND-REBEL STRATEGY.
of his seat in the Senate, and the disso- not fully compensate the Rebellion lution of the Union; demonstrating, for the loss of its boldest and most after his fashion, the unconstitution- unscrupulous champion in the Fedality of struggling to uphold the Con-eral Congress. stitution; the atrocity of the despotism which had ventured to arrest a few of the many traitors actively at work to subvert the National Government; and charging the Legislature of his State with "woeful subserviency to every demand of Federal despotism and woeful neglect of every right of the Kentucky citizen," etc., etc. Here is a specimen of his rhetoric:
Gen. W. T. Sherman, early in October, succeeded Gen. Anderson in command of the district of Kentucky. The Rebels, with an art which they had already brought to perfection, imposed on him, with success, as on Gen. McClellan and other of our commanders, a most exaggerated notion of the amount of their forces; so that, when Kentucky might easily have been cleared of armed foes by a concerted and resolute advance, Sherman was telegraphing furiously to the War Department for large reënforcements; and, when visited at Louisville, on the 18th, by Secretary Cameron and Adjt.-Gen. Thomas, he gravely informed them that he should need 200,000 men to recover and hold Kentucky; when, in fact, there were not 40,000 Rebels in arms within the limits of that State.
Pollard, writing of the early part of November, says:
"I would speak of these things with the simple solemnity which their magnitude demands; yet it is difficult to restrain the expression of a just indignation while we smart
under such enormities. Mr. Lincoln has
thousands of soldiers on our soil, nearly all from the North, and most of them foreigners, whom he employs as his instruments to do these things. But few Kentuckians have enlisted under his standard; for we are not yet accustomed to his peculiar form of lib
"I will not pursue the disgraceful subject. Has Kentucky passed out of the control of her own people? Shall hirelings of the pen, recently imported from the North, sitting in grand security at the Capital, force public opinion to approve these usurpations and point out victims? Shall Mr. Lincoln, through his German mercenaries, imprison or exile the children of the men who laid the foundations of the Commonwealth, and compel our noble people to exhaust themselves in furnishing the money to destroy their own freedom? Never, while Kentucky remains the Kentucky of old!-never, while thousands of her gallant sons have the will and the nerve to make the State sing to the music of their rifles!"
"Despite the victory of Belmont, our situation in Kentucky was one of extreme weakness, and entirely at the mercy of the enemy, if he had not been imposed upon by false representations of the number of our forces at Bowling Green.
***“About the middle of September, Gen. Buckner advanced, with a small force of about 4,000 men, which was increased, by the 15th of October, to 12,000; and, though other accessions of force were received, it continued at about the same strength until
the end of November, measles and other diseases keeping down the effective force. The enemy's force then was reported to the War Department at 50,000; and an advance was impossible."
It is clear that Mr. Breckinridge, in his exodus from Kentucky, had perpetrated a serious blunder. As a declaimer in the Senate, in chorus with Vallandigham, Voorhees, and May, he was worth far more to the Confederacy than as a Brigadier in its military service; and even the election of Garret Davis in his stead did | advanced (Oct. 20th) with seven re
The Unionists of south-eastern Kentucky were mustering and organizing under Col. Garrard at a point known as Camp Wild-Cat, when Zollicoffer
giments and a light battery, to attack | either party in this affair was inconand disperse them. Gen. Schoepf, siderable-not over 100-but the who had just reached the camp, as- conduct of our soldiers was faultless, sumed command of the Union forces and their patient endurance of faprior to the attack, which was made tigue, exposure, and privation, most on the morning of the 21st. The commendable. Williams-who apRebels were superior in numbers; pears to have admirably timed and but the Unionists had a strong posi- managed his retreat-reported his tion, and very easily beat off their force stronger at Pound Gap on the, assailants, who made two attacks to 13th than it was at Piketon on the 8th. no purpose, and were repulsed and driven away without serious loss on either side.
A considerable Rebel force, under Col. John S. Williams, having been collected at Piketon, the capital of Pike, the easternmost county of Kentucky, at the head of the Big Sandy, Gen. Wm. Nelson, commanding the Union forces in Eastern Kentucky, started from Prestonburg, Nov. 8th, in quest of them. Having not less than 3,000 men, while Williams reports his full strength at 1,010, Nelson had, at 11 o'clock, A. M., of the 7th, dispatched Col. Apperson, of the 33d Ohio, with nearly half his force, to gain the rear of Piketon by a circuitous route through that rugged, almost roadless region, so as to inclose the Rebels between two fires, and compel their surrender. It was first telegraphed that this movement had proved a perfect success; but Williams, who seems to have been thoroughly posted throughout, retarded Nelson's direct advance by smart, judicious skirmishing in the positions assuring him the greatest advantage, while he hurried off the cattle and other spoils industriously collected from that poor, thinly-settled region, on the road to Pound Gap, whither he retreated on the 9th-his rearguard of 400 leaving Piketon just as Nelson was entering it. The loss of
The heroic Unionists of East Tennessee, who had anxiously expected and awaited the arrival of a Union force since the opening of the struggle, were led to believe, after our successes at Camp Wild-Cat and other points, that its appearance would not much longer be delayed. Many of them stole through the woods and over the mountains to join it and hasten its march; while many of those who remained at home conspired to burn the more important railroad bridges throughout their section, in order to preclude the arrival of reënforcements to their Rebel oppressors during the struggle supposed to be just at hand. They succeeded in burning three or four, but failed with regard to others; and all of them who were captured by the Rebels while engaged in or escaping from these attempts were promptly consigned to an ignominious death.
KENTUCKY TAKEN IN BY THE CONFEDERACY.
right flank from Bowling Green, anders; and this Council proceeded to appoint Commissioners to negotiate. for the admission of Kentucky into the Southern Confederacy! No cavils as to the authority of these gentlemen to speak for Kentucky were raised at Richmond; and, on the 16th of December, The Louisville Courier (now issued at Nashville) gravely announced that said Council had this day chosen a full delegation to the Confederate Congress, composed as follows:
about to pounce upon and annihilate him. There was not a shadow of foundation for this story: the Rebels at Bowling Green were glad enough to keep still, and not expose their weakness, knowing well that Sherman might and would have crushed them, had he been aware of it; yet, without waiting to verify this absurd report, Gen. Schoepf faced about and raced two days toward the Ohio, as if for dear life, strewing the road with wrecked wagons, dead horses, baggage, etc., and leaving East Tennessee to her fate. The bitter disappointment and agony of her gallant sons in his army, who but now confidently supposed themselves about to see the old flag floating in triumph from the spires of Knoxville and Jonesville, can but faintly be realized.
George W. Ewing, Dr. D. V. White, John M. Elliott, Thomas B. Monroe, George B. Hodge. How it happened that two of these persons-Messrs. Henry C. Burnett and Thomas B. Monroe-were, that same day, sworn in as Senators from Kentucky at Richmond, it is not easy to understand; but it is of no consequence. They had probably been appointed, several days before, by
• Johnson being killed in the battle at Shiloh next Spring, he was somehow succeeded in his shadowy Governorship by Richard Hawes a weak old man who, some quarter of a century before, had twice represented, as a Whig, the Lexington district in Congress.
Henry C. Burnett,
On the 18th of November, the Kentucky Secessionists held a Convention at Russellville, in the south-'Governor' Johnson. Suffice it that, ernmost of her counties, behind their principal camp at Bowling Green, and organized what they termed a 'Provisional' Government-perhaps from their inability to make any provision for its support. Geo. W. John-her to such delegation of power. son, of Scott county, was here chosen Governor; the party having had enough of popular elections, in which they never had any success or made a respectable figure. They chose, likewise, a "Legislative Council," which they clothed with ample pow
since then, Kentucky has been regularly represented in the Confederate Congress, though no popular election thereto was ever held on her soil, and no shadow of consent ever given by Of late, her representatives in that Congress have been chosen by the Kentuckians serving in the Rebel armies; which, though not very regular, seems straightforward and businesslike. They represent bayonets; let them be chosen accordingly."
10 The Louisville Journal of Oct. 12th sharply said:
"Hundreds of those exceedingly sensitive Kentuckians, who so eloquently proclaimed that they could never take up arms against the Southern States, inasmuch as those States were Kentucky's sisters, have now taken up arms for the
'So announced next morning in The Norfolk conquest of Kentucky herself! Isn't that enough Day-Book. to make the devil laugh?"
THE POTOMAC-BALL'S BLUFF-DRANESVILLE.
THE disaster at Bull Run, and the months' men should not be disbanded amazing imbecility betrayed in al- and sent home without having been lowing several of the regiments there of the least positive service-had ever routed to continue their panic-stricken, desired or expected any such conflict disorderly flight over the bridges into as this. It was Gen. Scott who had Washington, whence many soldiers, given the orders under which Gen. and even officers, dispersed to their McDowell advanced and fought on respective homes, had dispelled all Sunday, the 21st of July. Gen. lingering illusions as to the capacity Cameron, the Secretary of War, who of Gen. Scott for the conduct of was at Centerville during the prea great war. Though it was still ceding day, saw plainly that our redeemed a military necessity to con- giments at the front were not so many ceal the failure of his faculties, to ex- as they should be, and returned hascuse his blunders, and even, in some tily that evening to Washington to instances, to eulogize his abilities as procure a countermand of the order well as magnify his services, the ur- for battle; but arrived too late to see gent, imperative need of replacing Gen. Scott and obtain it. Badly as him by a younger and more vigorous Patterson had behaved, he had recommander was felt by every intel- ported, on the 18th, by telegraph to ligent Unionist. It was he, Winfield Scott, his flank movement to CharlesScott, and none other, who had pre- town; which, any one could see, left cipitated a third of our forces, on or Gen. Johnston at perfect liberty to near the line of the Potomac, into a hasten, with all his available force, decisive conflict with seven-eighths of to the aid of Beauregard at Manassas. the Rebel strength in Virginia, in And, on the 20th-the day before defiance of every dictate of prudence Bull Run-he had telegraphed to and of common sense. Neither the Scott that Johnston had actually dePresident, nor the Secretary of War, parted on that errand.' Though Gen. nor Gen. McDowell, nor the maligned Scott remained nominally in chief and detested Radicals--who were nat- command until the last day of Octourally anxious that our 75,000 three- ber, he was practically superseded
1 Gen. Scott, in commenting on Gen. Patterson's testimony in a deliberately written statement, made to the Committee on the Conduct of the War, says:
"As connected with this subject, I hope I may be permitted to notice the charge made against me, on the floor of Congress, that I did not stop Brig. Gen. McDowell's movement upon Manassas Junction after I had been informed of
the reënforcement sent thither from Winchester, though urged to do so by one or more members of the Cabinet. Now, it was, at the reception of that news, too late to call off the troops from the attack; and, beside, though opposed to the movement at first, we had all become animated and sanguine of success; and it is not true that I was urged by anybody in authority to stop the attack; which was commenced as early, I think, as the 18th of July."
each succeeding week was morally certain to diminish. They did not, however, attempt to cross the Potomac in force, nor even to provoke another battle on its south bank; but, having advanced their lines, soon after their victory, to Munson's Hill, a few miles from Alexandria, they only remained there until a night attack had been planned on our side; when, promptly forewarned by traitors, they hastily withdrew to Fairfax. It does not appear that the main body of their army ever deliberately took position this side of Centerville.
GEN. MCCLELLAN IN COMMAND AT WASHINGTON.
forthwith by the formation of a new military department of Washington and of north-eastern Virginia, which Gen. George B. McClellan was summoned, by telegraph, from that of Western Virginia to preside over. This change was officially announced on the 25th of July; on which day Gen. McClellan arrived at Philadelphia, and there received a most enthusiastic ovation. He proceeded next morning to Washington.
Gen. McClellan found the army intrusted with the defense of the capital reduced, by defeat, desertions, and the mustering out of most of the three-months' men, to 50,000 infantry, 1,000 cavalry, and 650 artillery, with 30 field-guns. The city was protected, on the Virginia side of the Potomac, by hastily-constructed but substantial earthworks, on which some heavy guns were mounted. But, if the Rebels had chosen to ford the Potomac a few miles above, either Washington or Baltimore lay at their mercy, provided they could defeat this army in the open field. They did not, however, see fit to risk so bold a movement; though military critics believe that, for the two weeks succeeding their victory at Bull Run, it might have been attempted with reasonable prospect of success. They could probably have thrown across the river a force nearly or quite equal in numbers to that which defended Washington, whereof at least 5,000 would necessarily have been retained in the earthworks on the Virginia side; while the prestige of their recent victory, and the consequent demoralization of our troops, secured to the Rebels decided advantages, which 2 July 30th, 1861. 3 Aug. 4th.
Gen. McClellan commenced by ordering the officers and men of his army out of Washington, where too many, especially of the former, had hitherto been indulged in idling away their time, to the neglect of their duties and the damage of their morals. Col. Andrew Porter, of the 16th regulars, was appointed Provost Marshal to carry this order into effect. The organization of the Army into brigades was soon afterward3 effected; and these brigades were ultimately formed into divisions. But the formation of army corps was, for some reason, postponed and delayed, until finally it was peremptorily directed by the President.
Meantime, the patient, loyal, earnest North, soon recovering from the shock of its astounding discomfiture, had been soberly but resolutely raising new regiments and new batteries for a more determined and more energetic prosecution of the struggle forced upon it by slaveholding treason. Every State, county, and township, addressed itself zealously to the work of recruiting and equipping; so that,
4 Oct. 15th.
5 March 8th, 1862.