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confused and disordered as ours, both being green and badly organized and disciplined.
Then began the real preparation. Soady quotes from Napoleon: "When a nation is without establishments and a military system, it is difficult to organize an army." We found this perfectly true; yet the people of the United States, on the call of their President, organized voluntarily three hundred regiments of a thousand men each, which were distributed to the places of immediate danger. Soady says further: "Although wars of opinion, national wars and civil wars are sometimes confounded, they differ enough to require separate notice. . . . In a military sense these wars are fearful, since the invading force not only is met by the armies of the enemy, but is exposed to the attacks of an exasperated people."
The very nature of the case required the North to invade the South, to recover possession of the forts, arsenals, dock-yards, mints, post-routes, and public property which had been wrongfully appropriated by the public enemy. We had not only to meet and conquer the armies and the exasperated people of the South, but the obstacles of nature -woods, marshes, rivers, mountains-and the climate of a region nearly as large as all Europe.
Omitting the States of Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri (3,024,745), which supplied each belligerent a fair quota, the Northern States had a population of 19,089,944 to 9,103,332 in the Confederate States. In the autumn of 1861, these faced each other in angry controversy, the North resolved to maintain the Union, and the South to establish a separate government, necessarily hostile to it. Each side maintained throughout the same form of government, with a president elected by the people as their chief magistrate and commander-in-chief of the army and navy, with a cabinet of his choice to assist in the administration of government, a congress to enact the laws and provide the ways and means, and a supreme court to sit in judgment on those laws. Both parties, following common precedents, raised their armies by the same methods first by volunteering, and then by a draft of citizens between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years, induced by bounties or enforced by severe penalties. At first the Southern youth were clamorous to be led against the detested Yankees and Abolitionists, each claiming to be equal to five of the
Captain Phisterer in this record gives the date and place of 2261 distinct battles and engagements, and for 149 of them he gives the estimated losses. I do not know the source of his information, but I do know that it is very difficult to ascertain the exact facts even as to the Union forces, much more the Confederate. His tables are more complete and easier of reference
shop-keepers and mud-sills of the North; but they soon became convinced that man to man was all they wanted.
According to Captain Frederick Phisterer, in his valuable "Statistical Record of the Armies "* (1883), the "calls" on the North for men were, in the four years of war, 2,763,670, which resulted in an aggregate of 2,772,408; t but as these calls were for three months, one year, two years, three years, and "during the war," the actual soldiers are counted two, three, and four times.
On p. 62 occurs a table, which every officer who has had to fight with men present for duty, instead of on paper, well understands, in which is given, "Present":
and on the latter date 202,709 absent — aggregating 1,000,516 on the muster-rolls at the end of the war. I have no doubt this is as correct as possible.
The "absent" were not present with the armies at the front, but were generally in rear of the base of supplies; and even of the "present" we had to estimate at least one-third as detached, guarding our long lines of supplies, sick in hospital, company cooks, teamsters, escorts to trains, and absent from the ranks by reason of the many causes incident to war.
Assuming one soldier to sixteen of the population,- at times more, at times less, the Southern armies must have had an average of 569,000 men. I cannot find even an approximate table of their numbers; but we know they had in their ranks every man they could get, subject to the same causes of absenteeism as the Union armies.
Before I enter upon the real subject of this paper, let me attempt to portray the two great leaders of these mighty hosts, Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, both of whom, in addition to their civil functions, often exercised their unquestioned right to command their respective armies. They, in fact, commissioned all general officers, assigned them to posts, gave military orders, defined the "objects" of campaigns, and often the exact "lines of operation."
than those supplied by the adjutant-general, and are offered in this paper only as approximate, to illustrate the argument and demonstrate the magnitude of these "operations of war."- W. T. S.
A recent officially revised statement increases this number to 2,778,304.- Editor.
Lincoln was by nature and choice a man of peace. Born in Kentucky, but taken by his parents in early youth to Indiana and Illinois, he grew up to manhood the type of the class of people who inhabit our North-west. He in time became a lawyer in Springfield, the capital of Illinois, had a fair practice, and always took a lively interest in all public questions in other words, "politics." He became skilled in debate, and during the discussions which arose from the repeal of the Missouri Compromise and the extension of slavery over the vast territories acquired by the Mexican war of 1846–8, he was compelled to meet in debate one of the ablest men of his day, Stephen A. Douglas, whom he fairly excelled, whereby he acquired national fame; was, according to the usage of our country, nominated as the Republican candidate for President, and was duly and fairly elected in November, 1860. At that time he was somewhat a stranger to the country, especially to the South, who regarded him as an Abolitionist, then the vilest of mortals in their estimation. But no sooner was he legally inducted into his office, March 4, 1861, than he began to display those qualities of head and heart which will make him take rank with the most renowned men of earth. He never professed any knowledge of the laws and science of war, yet in his joyous moments he would relate his large experience as a soldier in the Black Hawk war of 1832, and as an officer in the Mormon war at Nauvoo, in 1846. Nevertheless, during the progress of the civil war he evinced a quick comprehension of the principles of the "art," though never using military phraseology. Thus his letter of April 19, 1862, to General McClellan, then besieging Yorktown, exhibits a precise knowledge of the strength and purpose of each of the many armies in the field, and of the importance of "concentric action." In his letter of June 5, 1863, to General Hooker, he wrote:
In one word, I would not take any risk of being entangled upon the river [Rappahannock], like an ox jumped half-way over a fence, and liable to be torn by dogs front and rear, without a fair chance to gore
one way, or to kick the other.
Again, June 10, 1863, writing to General
If left to me, I would not go south of the Rappa hannock upon Lee's moving north of it. If you had Richmond invested to-day, you would not be able to take it in twenty days. Meanwhile your communications, and with them your army, would be ruined. I think Lee's army and not Richmond is your objective point. If he comes toward the Upper Potomac, follow him on his flank and on the inside track, shortening your lines while he lengthens his. If he stop, fret him and fret him.
This is pure science, though the language is not technical.
It is related by General Grant in his memoirs that when he was explaining how he proposed to use the several scattered armies so as to accomplish the best results, referring to the forces in western Virginia, and saying that he had ordered Sigel to move up the Valley of Virginia from Winchester, make junction with Crook and Averell from Kanawha, and go towards Saltville or Lynchburg- Mr. Lincoln said, "Oh, yes! I see that. As we say out West, if a man can't skin, he must hold a leg while somebody else does."
In his personal interview with General Grant about March 8, 1864, Mr. Lincoln recounted truly and manfully that he had never professed to be a military man, or to know how campaigns should be conducted, and never wanted to interfere in them; but the procrastination of commanders, and the pressure from the people at the North and Congress, which was always with him, forced him to issuing his series of military orders, one, two, three, etc. He did not know but all were wrong, and did know that some were. All he wanted responsibility and act, and call on him for all the assistance needed, pledging himself to use all the power of the Government in rendering such assistance." At last he had found that man.
or ever had wanted was some one who would take the
Jefferson Davis also was born in Kentucky. He removed in youth to the State of Mississippi, whence he was appointed a cadet to the United States Military Academy at West Point, September 1, 1824. He was graduated No. 23 in a class of 33 members in June, 1828; served on the North-west frontier, now Wisconsin and Iowa, as a lieutenant of the First Infantry, till March 4, 1833, when he was appointed to the First Dragoons as a first lieutenant; with that regiment he served on the frontier of Arkansas, now Fort Gibson in the Indian Territory, till he resigned, in 1835. He was in civil life in his State of Mississippi till the breaking out of the Mexican war, in 1846, when, as colonel of a Mississippi regiment, he took a conspicuous part under General Zachary Taylor at Monterey and at Buena Vista, where he was badly wounded.
With the disbandment of his regiment he resumed his civil and political career; was a senator in the National Congress, 1847-53; Secretary of War under President Pierce, 1853-57; and again a senator, from 1857 to 1861, when
he became the President of the Southern Con
federacy, and Commander-in-chief of its armies and navy.
He was by nature and education a soldier, giving orders to his armies, laying down plans of campaign, lines of operation, and descending into details which it might have been wiser to have left to subordinates.
No one has ever questioned the personal integrity of Mr. Davis, but we his antagonists have ever held him as impersonating a bad
cause from ambitious motives, often exhibiting malice, arrogance, and pride.
Such, in my judgment, were the two great antagonist forces, and such their leaders in our civil war.
fleets of armed gun-boats to patrol and defend it.
The Army of the Ohio, General Buell, moved forward to Nashville and the Tennessee River.
Here the Confederate general, Albert Sidney Johnston, displayed great skill and generalship by using his railroads, collecting all his scattered forces at Corinth, Mississippi, completely reorganizing them and hurling them with terrific energy on Grant at Shiloh, timing his attack so as to overwhelm this army before the arrival of the Army of the Ohio, approaching from the direction of Nashville. On the first day, April 6, 1862, he was partially successful, but met a foe of equal skill and determination, and there lost his life, necessitating a change of commanders in the very
regard, who continued the attack; but the Union forces under Grant held the key-points of the position till night, when arrived the division of Lew Wallace, which had been detached, and three divisions of the Army of the Ohio. The next morning the Union armies assumed the "offensive," drove the Confederates back to Corinth, and won the victory. The losses are recorded 13,573 to the Union, and 10,699 to the Confederates. This was a highly critical battle, more important in its moral than its physical results. It gave the Union army great confidence in itself, and in its ability not only to defeat the Confederate armies, man to man, but to overcome the "obstacles of nature" and the machinations of an "exasperated people."
Recurring now to the autumn of 1861, these two forces stood facing each other with one of the most difficult problems of the science of war before them. The line of separation was substantially the Potomac, the Ohio, and a line through southern Missouri and the Indian Territory to New Mexico, fully two thousand miles long; but this naturally divided itself into three parts-the east or Potomac (McClellan), the center or Ohio (Buell), and the west or Missouri (Halleck). Confronting them was the Army of Northern Virginia (Johnston - Lee), that of the Cumberland (Albert Sidney Johnston), and that of the trans-Mississippi (McCulloch-crisis of battle. He was succeeded by BeauPrice). All these were educated and experienced soldiers. The North necessarily took the offensive, and the South the defensive. After much preliminary skirmishing the first significant movement was that of General Thomas, January 20, 1862, who moved forward, attacked, defeated, and killed General Zollicoffer, at Mill Springs, Kentucky; the next was that of General Grant from Cairo, Illinois, up the Tennessee River in conjunction with the gunboat fleet under Commodore Foote, which captured Fort Henry, and afterwards (February 14th-16th) Fort Donelson, in which the Union losses are reported, 2886, and the Confederate, 15,067,* most of these prisoners of war. The prompt capture of these two fortified positions with their garrisons compelled the Confederate general, Johnston, to abandon his fortified flanks at Bowling Green, Kentucky, and Columbus, on the Mississippi River, and to fall back two hundred miles to a new line along the Memphis and Charleston railroad. The Union armies followed up this movement, the one (Grant) to Shiloh, abreast of Corinth, the other (Pope) directly down the Mississippi River, the real " objective" of this grand campaign. There was still another army, under General S. R. Curtis, an educated and professional soldier, moving southward, west of the Mississippi River, which encountered its enemy at Pea Ridge, Arkansas, on the 6th-8th of March, defeated him, inflicting a loss of 5200* men to his of 1384. These three armies, under the command of General Halleck at St. Louis, were operating from a secure base, with abundant supplies on "concentric lines," with a well-defined and important "objective," the recovery of the Mississippi River, the chief navigable river of the continent, which had been forcibly taken possession of by the enemy, its banks fortified with heavy guns, and with several
While these movements were in progress down the Mississippi, Commodore Farragut, with his sea-going fleet, a flotilla of mortarboats under Commodore Porter, and a land force under General Butler, was preparing to reach the same " objective" from the mouth of the river. On the 20th of April, Farragut began by breaking the chain of obstacles at Forts Jackson and Saint Philip, both works planned by scientific engineers and built by competent workmen; both were well garrisoned and supplied, with heavy artillery and abundance of ammunition. Then he steamed by these forts, fighting right and left in his "wooden ships with hearts of steel," instantly attacked the Confederate fleet above, utterly annihilated it, went on up to the city of New Orleans and captured it-all inside of ten days. No bolder or more successful act of war was ever done than this, which was fully equal to Nelson's attack on the French fleet at Aboukir, and infinitely more important in its conse
*The Official Records, while not conclusive, would seem to place this loss at a much smaller figure.EDITOR.
quences. Had not events elsewhere delayed the movement from the North, the Mississippi would have been ours in the summer of 1862, whereas its recovery was only postponed till 1863.
Almost coincident with the battle of Shiloh, General Pope, operating down the Mississippi in coöperation with the gun-boat fleet of Commodore Foote, attacked the fortified Island No. Io, and on the 8th of April captured it, with all its stores and most of its garrison. The gun-boat fleet, pushing on down the river, encountered Fort Pillow on the 14th of April, again on the 10th of May, and June 4th captured it; and under command of Commodore Davis pushed on to Memphis, where, June 6th, it absolutely destroyed the Confederate fleet of gun-boats, thus leaving no obstacle, except Vicksburg, to the free navigation of the river.
General Halleck, after the battle of Shiloh, ordered General Pope's army by water from Island No. 10 to Shiloh, and proceeded there himself to command the several armies in person. He organized these, viz., of the Ohio, Tennessee and Mississippi, into the usual right and left wings, center, and reserve, and moved, about the end of April, with great deliberation on the Confederate army intrenched at Corinth, Mississippi, a strategic place of value, being the point of intersection of two important railroads. After some immaterial skirmishing the Confederate general, Beauregard, abandoned the place, fell back to Tupelo, fifty miles south on the Mobile and Ohio railroad, and the Union forces occupied Corinth, May 30, 1862. General Halleck then had in hand one of the strongest and best armies ever assembled on this continent, and could easily have pursued Beauregard, scattered his army, marched across to Vicksburg, then unfortified, occupied it, and thus brought to a brilliant conclusion the campaign he had so well begun; he could have made the Mississippi open to commerce, created a complete isolation of the trans-Mississippi department of the Confederates, and thereby set free, for other uses, three-fourths of his army of one hundred thousand men. But the reverses to McClellan in the worthless peninsula of James River, and the appeal of the good Union people of East Tennessee, caused our President and commander-in-chief to break up that army and call General Halleck to Washington, send Buell's army towards Chattanooga, and leave General Grant with the Army of the Tennessee to defend a line of one hundred and fifty miles (Tuscumbia to Memphis), placing him on the defensive with a bold, skillful, and enterprising enemy at his front. The Confederate armies of Price and Van Dorn were brought from across the
Mississippi to face Grant from Holly Springs. Bragg, who succeeded Beauregard at Tupelo, moved his army, reënforced by recruits, detachments, and exchanged prisoners, rapidly by rail to Chattanooga to meet Buell, who had marched across from Corinth. Feeling himself equal if not superior to Buell, Bragg, August 21, 1862, began that really bold and skillful campaign which forced Buell back to his base of supplies at Louisville, on the Ohio River. Here, in his turn, Buell received reënforcements and resumed the offensive, encountering Bragg at Perryville, Kentucky, on the 8th of October, 1862, inflicting a loss to the enemy of 7000, to his own of 4348, which induced Bragg to fall back to Murfreesboro', Tennessee.
Meantime Price and Van Dorn began to be aggressive against General Grant's long, thin line of defense; but Grant met them with consummate skill, at every point, as at Iuka, September 19th-20th, and at Corinth, October 3d-4th, the casualties of which are reported 2359 Union and 14,221* Confederate — a fiercely contested battle at which Rosecrans commanded, and which was conclusive of events in that quarter to the end of the war.
Grant then, November, 1862, resumed the original offensive against Vicksburg, known to be strongly fortified, occupied by a competent garrison, and covered by the armies of Price and Van Dorn, under the command of Lieutenant-General Pemberton, whose headquarters were at Holly Springs, Mississippi. Leaving small detachments to guard the keypoints to his rear, Grant moved with all his force straight against Pemberton, who first formed his defensive line behind the Tallahatchie, and, this being too long for his strength, fell behind the Yalabusha at Grenada. Grant moved his scattered forces concentrically on Oxford, Mississippi, which he occupied on the 2d of December, and then resolved to send Sherman back to Memphis with one of his four brigades to organize, out of new troops arrived there and other troops belonging to Curtis at Helena, Arkansas, an expeditionary force to move by the river direct against Vicksburg, whilst he held the main force under Pemberton so occupied that he could not detach any of his men to that fortress. After Sherman had started, Pemberton detached Van Dorn with a strong cavalry command to pass around the flanks of Grant's army, to capture his depot of supplies at Holly Springs, and to go on northward, destroying his line of communication. Van Dorn, an educated soldier, did his work well, and compelled Grant to halt and finally to take up a new base of supplies at Memphis. Meantime Sherman went * Later compilations make this 4707.- EDITOR.
on to Vicksburg, but, instead of meeting a the ground and Bragg gradually fell back to small garrison, found Vicksburg not only Chattanooga-by nature a strategic place of strong by nature and art, but fully reënforced by Pemberton. He failed because the condition of facts had changed. He was superseded by McClernand, and he in time by General Grant, who came in person to direct operations against Vicksburg from the river. Then followed that long period of searching for the possession of some dry land whence Vicksburg could be reached, first above the place, finally below. The passage at night by the gun-boat fleet, led by Admiral Porter in person, accompanied by some transports, was as bold and successful an "operation of war" as was the passage of Forts Jackson and Saint Philip by Farragut the previous year. Then the march of Grant's army by roads which would have been pronounced impracticable by any European engineer, his attack on Grand Gulf, and subsequent landing at Bruinsburg; the movement and battle at Port Gibson; the rapid march to Jackson whereby he interposed his army between those of Pemberton in Vicksburg and of Johnston outside; the battle of Champion's Hill, whereby he drove Pemberton to his trenches and then invested him till his surrender in July these operations illustrated the highest principles of war, one of whose maxims is to divide your enemy and beat each moiety in detail. I do believe that when this campaign is understood by military critics it will rank with the best of the young Napoleon in Italy, in 1796. The fall of Vicksburg resulted in the fall of Port Hudson below, after which, in the language of Mr. Lincoln, the Mississippi "went unvexed to the sea." In my judgment, the recovery of the Mississippi River was conclusive of the civil war. Whatever power holds that river can govern this continent. Its possession in 1863 set free the armies which were in at the death of the Southern Confederacy, in 1865.
Recurring now to the great central line of operations: I left Bragg on the defensive at Murfreesboro', Tennessee, and Buell at Perryville, Kentucky. The authorities at Washington became dissatisfied with Buell, and replaced him by Rosecrans, who had deservedly won great fame by his defense of Corinth. Soady records, as a standard rule of war, that an army assuming the offensive must maintain the offensive. So Rosecrans moved forward to Nashville, where he picked up Thomas's corps, which had been left there by Buell in his retrograde movement, and then to Murfreesboro' on Stone's River, where, December 31, 1862 - January 2, 1863, ensued one of the bloodiest battles of the war, resulting in a Union loss of 11,578, and a Confederate loss of 25,500 (Phisterer).* The Union forces held
the first importance, made so because here the main spurs of the Alleghanies are broken by the Tennessee River. To possess this place was Rosecrans's "objective." His army was adequate; his corps, divisions, and brigades were well commanded; yet the great distance from his base of supplies, on the Ohio River, made the logistics very difficult. In September, 1863, he moved forward, crossed the Tennessee River at Bridgeport, sent one corps direct to Chattanooga, and with the other three crossed the Sand Mountain and Raccoon range, debouching into the Valley of the Chickamauga, in rear of Chattanooga. Bragg, detecting this "turning" movement, fell back to Lafayette, in the same valley of the Chickamauga, where he was reenforced by Longstreet's corps from Virginia, and at the critical moment attacked vehemently on the 19th and 20th of September, 1863, breaking the right flank of Rosecrans's army; but when he reached the Fourteenth Corps, General George H. Thomas, he could not move the "Rock of Chickamauga." Rosecrans gained Chattanooga, the object of his campaign, but he was therein besieged by Bragg; his losses were 15,851, to Bragg's 17,804. Calls for reenforcements to that army came: the Eleventh and Twelfth corps under Hooker were sent by rail from Washington, and the Fifteenth Corps, Sherman, from Vicksburg. General Grant also, having finished his task on the Mississippi, was summoned to Louisville by the Secretary of War, Mr. Stanton, and after a consultation was ordered to Chattanooga to supersede Rosecrans. All these combinations were concluded by November, and Bragg had made the fatal mistake, laid down in all the books, of detaching Longstreet's corps to Knoxville, 110 miles away, to capture Burnside's army. He was over-confident in the strength of his position on Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge, whence he could look down upon his supposed victims, who he believed would by starvation be compelled to surrender. But a master-mind had arrived, who soon solved the question of supplies and then addressed himself to the question of battle. Grant promptly detected Bragg's mistake in detaching Longstreet, and resolved to attack and drive him away the very moment the reënforcements hastening to him could be available. On the 23d of November, 1863, having all his troops in position, he began the attack, beginning on both flanks, and at the right moment hurling his center against Bragg's "unassailable" position on Missionary Ridge, he drove him in defeat and disorder to and through * Later_compilation: Union, 13,249; Confederate, 10,266. — EDITOR.