Imágenes de páginas

at Bowling Green, were captured, with all their contents, clothing, tents, arms, &c. The whole territory between Louisville and Nashville and Cumberland Gap had been overrun by him.

On October 1st the pursuit of the rebels was commenced by Buell. The main force of the enemy, about forty thousand, under Bragg, was encamped in the neighborhood of Bardstown, forty miles south of Louisville. Kirby Smith, with fifteen thousand, was between Frankfort and Lexington. Humphrey Marshall, with four thousand, was at Georgetown. In Central Kentucky two bodies of guerrillas, under Morgan and Scott, were collecting food and munitions. There were also three camps of rendezvous for two or three thousand men, recruited since the advent of Kirby Smith-one near Lexington, another at Camp Dick Robinson, and the third at Bryantsville. The new levies were well armed with the pieces captured from our troops at Richmond, but were only indifferently drilled and disciplined. Upon the whole, the aggregate effective strength of the enemy was hardly sixty thousand, inclusive of about five thousand cavalry and ninety pieces of artillery. If united, this would have formed a formidable force; but the several portions being separated from each other, its momentum was greatly weakened.

These being the general positions, the army of Buell moved over four different roads, as follows: Of the First Corps, the Second Division, under Sill, took the direct road from Louisville to Frankfort, vid Shelbyville; the Third, Rousseau, and Tenth, Jackson, of the same corps, under the immediate command of Major-General McCook, followed the road from Louisville to Taylorsville. The Second Corps, consisting of the divisions of Wood, Van Cleve, and Smith, moved upon Bardstown, over the direct road from Louisville. The Third Corps, composed of the divisions of Generals Schoepff, Mitchell, and Sheridan, marched also upon Bardstown, but by a detour via Sheppardsville. General Dumont's Division started in the wake of General Sill's, three days after the latter had left Louisville.

The general plan was to separate Kirby Smith and Marshall from Bragg by the movement of the First Corps, while Bragg should be attacked with the two other corps at Bardstown, where it was expected he would give battle, and where, if the movement was successful, his flank and rear would be turned. Although the First Division, under Sill, had the longest route, it moved the quickest, and reached Frankfort on the 4th, on which day McCook was at Taylorsville. On the same day the Confederate generals were all at Frankfort, attending the inauguration of the Governor. On the evening of the same day Smith commenced to evacuate Frankfort, taking with him his immense material and spoil, and proceeding via Versailles on Harrodsburg. The retreat from Bardstown commenced on the 3d, and was completed on the morning of the 4th, on which day the place was entered by Crittenden's Corps. Thus the hope of meeting General Bragg's army at Bardstown vanished. The Confederates retreated through Springfield upon Perrysville, followed on the 5th by Gilbert's Corps, with Crittenden in his rear. On the 6th, the enemy, having effected a junction of their forces, were already in possession of Har

rodsburg, which was the point of rendezvous for the two bodies of McCook's Corps. The hope of dividing the enemy, equally with that of forcing a fight at Bardstown, proved fallacious. General Bragg was, however, impressed with the idea that he had only Gilbert's Corps on his hands, and that it was by that body only that Hardee had been pressed in his retreat from Bardstown, while he supposed Sill's Division on Smith's rear to be the main Federal force. He therefore rallied three divisions, under General Polk, to give battle at Harrodsburg, and another corps of three divisions he sent to aid Smith against Sill. Thus Buell sent two corps against one of Bragg's, and the latter sent two corps against one of Buell's. The corps of Gilbert, which had arrived by the Springfield road, had orders to form within three miles of Perrysville, across the Springfield road. Crittenden's Corps formed with its left on Gilbert's and its right on the Haysville road. McCook's Divisions, as they arrived from the Mackville road, formed on the left of Gilbert, having their line extended beyond the Mackville road. The three divisions of Hardee formed on the morning of the 8th, with their left on the heights overlooking Perrysville, and their left at Chaplin River, which they commanded. This brought the enemy's right nearer to Buell's left than was his left to Buell's right. In other words, McCook was nearer to his line than was Gilbert. McCook's Divisions got into line by two P. M., but Buell postponed his attack until the next day, not dreaming of being himself attacked. Bragg, however, still under the impression that he had but one corps before him, ordered a vigorous attack. In accordance with these orders the enemy fell with great fury upon McCook's men, mostly new levies, soon after they were got into line. These were five brigades-Starkweather's Brigade on the extreme left; Terrell's in front, and to the right of it, in the left centre; Harris's in the right centre; Webster's in the rear of Harris's, in the position of a reserve; Lytle's on the right of Harris, as the extreme right of the line. Six batteries were distributed at suitable points along the line, and the fighting strength of the command was about eleven thousand five hundred. Starkweather and Terrell encountered the first burst of the storm from overwhelming numbers--more than three to oneand General Jackson fell at the first fire. The troops soon gave way in confusion, and were driven from the field with the loss of a battery. The stubborn fighting of Rousseau's veterans saved the line from disaster, while Starkweather, with three regiments and two batteries, withstood the utmost efforts of the enemy to move him, until, his ammunition failing, he was forced to fall back for a supply, after which he kept his ground until dark. When Harris's ammunition gave out he had orders to fall back in line with Starkweather. Lytle's brigade, on the extreme right, was not so fortunate. It fought with great valor and success until four P. M., when it was turned on the right by fresh troops, and compelled to retire. At this moment McCook arrived from head-quarters, and ordered Webster to support Lytle. In doing so, Webster was killed, and his men, being new troops, got into disorder, and the enemy pressed his advantage. Gooding's Brigade arrived on the ground at this juncture, followed by Steadman, and these

fresh troops, after a severe struggle, forced back the enemy, and the firing ceased for the day.

The three divisions sent by Bragg to aid Smith against Sill did not come up with the latter, because he had, instead of pressing the pursuit of Smith, turned off from Laurenburg, in a westerly direction, to Chaplin. It was important to rejoin those divisions with Smith. Accordingly, in the night, Bragg moved from Perrysville, in an easterly direction, ten miles to Harrodsburg, which he reached on the 9th. Smith arrived on the 10th, and on the 11th the entire united force marched to Bryantsville and Camp Dick Robinson; thus having moved twenty-two miles in four days after the battle. Bragg then, with all the vast stores he had collected, resumed his march for Cumberland Gap, to leave the State. The movement of Buell was very slow. It was not until the evening of the 12th October that he reached Harrodsburg, whence, on the 14th, the pursuit was renewed. The three corps moved, by parallel roads, to Danville, which they reached on the same day on which Bragg was at Mount Vernon with his trains, beyond Rockcastle River, and further pursuit was hopeless. The general result of the whole movement was, that while the campaign had given the rebels abundant spoils, it left Buell with the Union army in about the same position it had occupied the year previous. The loss of the enemy in all the encounters had been five thousand two hundred men, and the Federal loss twelve thousand, including four thousand killed, wounded, and captured at Perrysville. At Richmond and Mumfordsville the rebels had captured ten thousand choice arms, and thirty-four guns. They gathered, also, thousands of mules, cattle, hogs, wagons, and an immense stock of clothing, boots, shoes, forage, provisions, besides two thousand six hundred barrels of pork, and two thousand bushels of wheat, left at Camp Dick Robinson for want of transportation. The wagon train of supplies brought out of Kentucky was described as forty miles long. Their great success was due to the singular audacity of Bragg in venturing within the grasp of Buell's army, with half his strength, and from which he escaped only in consequence of the culpable dilatoriness of Buell, when by all rule he should have met his destruction. However successful the campaign in Kentucky may have been for the Confederates in obtaining supplies, they were disappointed in the primary object of rousing the State against the Union, and obtaining recruits.


Cumberland Gap.-Morgan's Escape.-Iuka.-Price Retreats.-Corinth-Repulse of the Enemy.-Vicksburg Expedition.-Reorganization of the Ohio Army by Rosecrans.-His Advance.-Battle of Stone River.-Defeat of the Enemy.

WHEN the army of Bragg entered Eastern Kentucky, it cut the line of communication between the Federal forces at Cumberland Gap and the North, and compelled the evacuation of the Gap, which is about one hundred and fifty miles south from Lexington. The Cumberland

range of mountains undergoes a depression at this place, which makes the summit a little more easy of access, the mountains on each side of the Gap being twelve hundred feet high, and the Gap itself but four hundred feet. Through this notch passes a good road, coming from Lexington. The occupation of this Gap was of great importance to the rebels, as it commanded the entrance to East Tennessee from the north, and gave them the means of passing into Eastern Kentucky. At the commencement of hostilities, a Confederate force occupied it, and held possession until June 18th, when it was taken, after a brilliant series of operations, by a Union force under General George W. Morgan, who retained possession, with a force of ten thousand, until the 17th September. Finding then his supplies cut off by the advance of Bragg, and his rations nearly exhausted, he evacuated the place, leaving his sick and four siege-guns, and made for the Ohio River, which he reached in safety October 4th.

When the Uuion forces, early in June, were divided by the movements of Buell towards Chattanooga, and subsequently by the invasion of Kentucky by Bragg, the remaining rebel forces under Lovell, Van Dorn, and Price, began to concentrate for a forward movement against Grant. As the Confederate movement began to threaten the line between Corinth and Tuscumbia, the Union advance at that point, under Colonel Murphy, fell back thirty miles upon Iuka. On the day following, a Confederate cavalry force charged into Iuka, and drove out the brigade of Murphy, capturing large stores, including six hundred and eighty barrels of flour. Murphy was placed under arrest, and his brigade ordered back to Iuka, under Mower. It, however, was halted at Jacinto. Price then occupied Iuka in force, in the hope of drawing Grant from Corinth, which was about to be attacked by Van Dorn. The main object of Price was, however, to cross the Tennessee, and harass the rear of Buell, who then, under the pressure of Bragg's advance, was falling back upon Nashville. This being the position of affairs, Generals Rosecrans and Grant formed the design of cutting off Price, and forcing him to surrender. In this view, Grant and Ord, with eighteen thousand men, were to make a direct attack on Price in the direction of Burnsville, while Rosecrans, with a part of his army, moving by way of Jacinto, should take him in flank. The remainder of the Federal troops were to march by the Fulton road, to cut off Price's retreat. Rosecrans's two divisions reached Jacinto in a drenching rain on the evening of September 18th, and on the following morning encountered, at Barnett's Corners, the enemy's pickets, which they drove in six miles towards Iuka. The whole column had now arrived, and were listening for the guns, which, as Rosecrans supposed, should announce Grant's direct attack on the west and north. After the lapse of two hours, a dispatch arrived from Grant, seven miles distant, saying that he was waiting for Rosecrans, who immediately moved forward until, within two miles of Iuka, he discovered the Confederates occupying a position of much strength, and which commanded the country for some distance. The division of Hamilton, with the Eleventh Ohio battery, had the advance, and were received with a murderous fire of artillery and musketry. After a very severe struggle of

some two hours, the Confederates charged, and captured the six guns of the Ohio battery. The contest continued with great obstinacy until nightfall. And on the succeeding morning it was discovered that Price had made a precipitate retreat, abandoning the captured guns, a large number of wounded men, and quantities of stores. He retired in the direction of Bay Spring, followed some distance by the Federal cavalry. The Union loss in the engagement was one hundred and forty-eight killed, five hundred. and seventy wounded, seventy-four missing. The Confederate loss was as considerable, including three generals, Lytle, Berry, and Whitfield, and nearly a thousand prisoners.

Price, continuing his retreat vid Bay Spring, in a southwesterly direction, reached Baldwin, Mississippi. He then marched upon Dumas, where he formed a junction with Van Dorn, and soon after he was joined by Lovell, at Pocahontas. The combined rebel forces, numbering forty thousand men, then marched on Corinth, which they expected to find inadequately defended. On the 30th of September their advance encountered the brigade of Ogleby, which had been thrown forward by Rosecrans, upon the Chewalla road, in the design of falling back, and thus leading the enemy under the heavy guns at Corinth. The resistance offered by Ogleby was very solid, and McArthur was ordered forward to his support, succeeded by Davies. These three brigades were pushed back on the 3d, by the accumulating force of the enemy, with the loss of Ogleby wounded, and General Hackelman killed.

The position of Corinth was very strong. In addition to the original works, of great extent, built by Beauregard, to resist the Union advance under Halleck, the latter had constructed a new line of works, of less extent than those of Beauregard; and now Rosecrans, expecting the attack of Price, had constructed a third line, still more compact. These consisted of four redoubts, covering the whole front of the town, and protecting the flanks, where, also, the ground was broken and swampy. The Union army faced north. Its extreme right was held by General Hamilton, on whose left was erected, on the night of October 3d, a new five-gun battery, which commanded the road from Bolivar. The Chewalla road, which, coming over hills, enters the town on the left centre, was commanded by Fort Williams, with its twenty-four-pound Parrotts, and Fort Robinson on a high ridge, enfiladed both roads. The Confederate plan included an attack by Price, by the Bolivar road, and a simultaneous attack under Van Dorn, by the Chewalla road. General Davies's Union Division was on the left of Hamilton. The Illinois and Missouri sharpshooters were on his left, and the line was prolonged by McKean's and Arthur's brigades of Stanley's Division. The cavalry were in reserve.

The Confederates, following up the retreating brigades from the Chewalla road, on the night of the 3d, came in front of the Union position, and formed lines one thousand yards distant. During the night they planted batteries at two hundred yards, and at daybreak of the 4th opened a fierce fire upon Corinth. The batteries were soon silenced by the guns of Fort Williams. At ten o'clock dark masses of the enemy were observed moving up the Bolivar road.

« AnteriorContinuar »