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ed for a stand the whole of the First Tennessee leisurely as if on parade; making a singular and cavalry, whose camp was now plainly in sight, ludicrous contrast with the frightened and preThe open ground, across which the rebels had cipitate manner in which a portion of them had been driven, narrowed as it approached their entered it. present position, until at last its dimensions were No sooner had their cavalry disappeared, than reduced to those of a single small field. Across they opened upon us with four pieces of artillery this they had constructed a barricade of rails, placed along the slope of the ridge. This of and had posted behind it a considerable force of course compelled our little cavalry squad to call dismounted cavalry. On some higher ground to a halt; and the rebels turned their attention to the rear of that, they showed a small body of Colonel Boone, who was coming up on the right, horsemen, who went galloping back and forth, throwing a number of shells at him, but doing and seemed to be, each moment, on the point of no damage. Colonel Boone speedily rejoined retreating. The design was obvious. They Colonel Harrison near Tunnel Hill. wished us to go dashing after these mounted General Carlin's brigade advanced into the men; and, when we were near enough, the force town about nightfall, the rebel artillery meanbehind the rail barricade would, with a volley or while ceasing to play. two, sweep us away.
| Your correspondent believes that himself and But Colonel Harrison was not to be caught in Lieutenant Shaw, of General Palmer's staff, were any such trap.“ We shall have to fight a lit- the first persons to enter the town of Tunnel tle," he quietly remarked, after closely examin-Hill. There were houses sufficient for a populaing the rail barricade with his glass; and waited ' tion of four or five hundred ; but for some time for the infantry. General Carlin's brigade came it seemed as if there was really not a living soul up shortly after ; the skirmishers of the Ninety- in it, except myself and the Lieutenant. Presfourth Ohio and Tenth Wisconsin boldly ad. ently, however, a few women and children began vanced over the open space; the Thirty-ninth, to peep out at us here and there, and we ascerassisted by the Eighty-eighth Indiana and Nine- tained that about nine families still remained in teenth Illinois, moved in line upon the rebel the place. Some of these were literally upon right, through the woods. The display of force the verge of starvation, and declared that for was too formidable; the bullets fired by our months they had not had a mouthful to eat, exskirmishers began to clink against the rail bar-cept a scanty pittance of meal and pork dealt ricade; the rebels could endure the thing no out by the rebel commissaries. All seemed longer; and after delivering a couple of volleys, pleased with our arrival; all had fearful tales to at so long-range, so scatteringly, and with such tell of the rapacity and brutality of the rebel insufficient effect, that our boys answered them soldiers; and all protested, in an earnest, simple only with shouts of derision, they jumped upon way, that carried conviction with it, their entire their horses and ran off as before. Company K, innocence of ever having done any thing, by word of the Thirty-ninth Indiana, Lieutenant Jacob or deed, to bring on or encourage the rebellion. Mitchell commanding, had stolen around upon The enemy still held Tunnel Hill Ridge ; and the left flank of the rebels unobserved. As soon just at dark, as myself and another gentleman as the latter manifested a disposition to break, were conversing with one of the citizens, the company K charged down upon them, precipi- rebel videttes took occasion to hurl at us a halftated their flight, and pursued them with shout dozen bullets. This we took as a gentle hint to and spur, to the great amusement of the infant- retire, and riding through the town rejoined our ry, who set up a perfect yell of delight
f orces, just as General Johnson, who did not All that Colonel Harrison had of his gallant think it prudent to remain there all night with a Thirty-ninth now broke into a gallop and started single brigade, was giving orders to fail back to off to take part in the pursuit. The town of the main body of our forces, encamped about Tunnel Hill was in sight, with Tunnel Hill three miles from Ringgold. Ridge just rising beyond. Pursuers and pursued put their horses to the very top of their
TUNNEL Aill, Ga., February 26. speed, and dust and leaves and dirt and sticks. It was somewhat late on Wednesday morning and gravel were sent flying in all directions before our column again got in motion; but through the air by the heels of the frantic steeds. when it did move, it was with strength which As our boys dashed on toward the town, a whole augured well for its success, whatever it might regiment of rebel cavalry-First Tennessee and undertake. part of another, Second Kentucky-were seen Our cavalry, about seven hundred strong, all filing out of it, along a road which ran over the the detachments now operating together under ridge toward Dalton. It was a novel sight to see command of Colonel Harrison, took the advance, Colonel Ilarrison's forty or fifty men pursuing, immediately supported by General King's britaunting, challenging, and firing at this body of gade. Other portions of General Johnson's, four or five hundred rebels. Each of our men Davis's, and Baird's divisions, followed. It was fought upon his own hook, and each displayed a a gallant array, and there was a spirit of buoyreckless daring which I have never seen sur- ant enthusiasm amongst the troops, as they passed. It must be said, too, that the rebels talked of their close proximity to the enemy, took the whole thing very coolly after they had and wondered if there would be a battle. all got together, and rode out of the town as The rebels did not seem inclined to dispute the
ground over which we had marched the previous man was to be seen. Yes, there was one man. day, and there were very few shots fired by ! As soon as Colonel Harrison had given orders to either side. At half-past eleven A.M., we were his men to retire, he himself descended from his again in the immediate vicinity of Tunnel Hill. horse, and stood there in full view of the enemy
Just where you emerge from the woods and until the storm was over. enter the open ground around the town, is a house For full fifteen minutes the rebels kept up a which belongs to, and is inhabited by a member furious fire, throwing their missiles clear back to of the numerous and honorable tribe of John John Smith's house, and even disturbing for a Smiths. Here the cavalry halted, there being un moment the equanimity of our infantry. One of mistakable signs that the rebels had been reēn- the shells burst so near General Whipple, Chief forced upon the Tunnel Hill Ridge, and meant to of Staff to General Thomas, that all who saw it hold the position. A line of log breastworks, wondered how he escaped with life. Not even begun some time ago, but completed on Tuesday his clothes, however, were touched. night, could be seen extending all along the crest. Would you picture to your mind a view of this Artillery could also be plainly perceived at two somewhat singular battle-field ? Imagine yourdifferent points.
self, then, at John Smith's house, and looking It was half-past twelve before we were ready south. The road passing it runs nearly north to move forward, and then our cavalry marched and south. Going south a quarter of a mile, you in column along the road, into the open ground, reach the railroad; here the common road turns directly toward the point whence the rebel artil- squarely to the left, and by following a furlong lery had been fired the day before. Myself and further, you enter the town of Tunnel Hill. To Lieutenant Shaw were riding near the van of the the right of Smith's house is a woodeil range, inforce, and were remarking upon the great advan- tersected by ravines, behind which Colonel Ham. tage which our movement in column would give bright's brigade was posted, after our cavalry had the enemy, provided they opened upon us with sought shelter from the rebel artillery. Carlin their cannon. They would be enabled to assail was in the centre of our line, along the road. us with a raking fire, which could scarcely fail Off to the left is a tolerably high range, subsidto do us much damage.
ing about three hundred yards from the road, On the slope of the ridge, and near the road, Between this and Tunnel Hill Ridge, General which, running over it, leads on to Dalton, is a Crufts's division (Stanley's)was advancing. Lookwhite frame-house. Behind this the rebels had, ing across some open fields to the south-east, you during the night, concealed a battery; and just behold the town. Occupying entire space beas our cavalry column had all passed into the tween south and east, extends Tunnel Hill Range, open ground, they ran their cannon out from be- held by the enemy. One high round peak, ls. hind the house, and blazed away at us with vigor ing south-south-east, runs up most ambitiously and a will. The first shell fell into soft ground, toward the clouds; the remainder of the range a dozen feet from where I was at the moment. is comparatively low. The rebel battery which Either it was a fuse-shell and burst when in near had already worked us mischief, was just below proximity to the earth, or it was percussion, and the high peak. Around the town the cleared the ground was not soft enough to prevent its ex-ground is undulating. The high eminences of plosion. At any rate, it exploded and threw the Rocky Face can be seen at various places, rising dirt, with numerous fragments of itself, in every up behind Tunnel Hill Ridge. direction around it. A liberal sprinkling of the Such is a picture of what has already been the former sufficed for my share.
scene of a combat, and may yet witness a great The dirt and mud had scarce ceased to fall, battle. when a second shell struck the ground, aboutWhile Colonel Hambright was putting his britwenty feet beyond the first. Bursting, one half gade into such a position as to threaten the eneof it flew into atoms, slighty wounding several my's left, General Morgan, commanding brigade persons. The other half, in one solid mass, struck in General Davis's division, had been sent over à very young man, a member of the Twenty- to our left to connect with General Crufts's men, eighth Kentucky, squarely in the stomach, tear- and, climbing Tunnel Hill Ridge, where it is quite ing out his bowels. His horse, also wounded, low, and there was no force of the enemy to opdashed away toward the rear. A hundred yards pose, to move along the summit, until he could from the spot where the shell exploded, the hap- assail the rebel works upon their right flank less rider fell off, stone-dead. A few feet further, In the mean tiine, two pieces of Hotchkiss's and his horse also lay stretched upon the earth. battery opened upon the rebel battery from the
I did not note the effect of any other individu- hill upon the right of the road. An animated al shell, for, as word was given to the horsemen duel continued for some time. The rebels threw to seek shelter, I was not slow in obeying the missiles with much precision. Captain Hotchorder, and by a rapid and masterly movement kiss planted his shells where they would hare soon found myself beneath the friendly shelter | been very effective, had they not for some unof some woods upon our right. Our cavalry known reason mostly failed to explode. stood firm until the order to retire was given. Captain Harris moved two guns of his battery Then they left in good earnest; so that when I (Nineteenth Indiana) over into the fields upon turned and looked out from the woods where I the left, and fired a few effective shots. had taken refuge upon the open ground, not al Between the two, the rebel battery had too
much of it, and withdrew at about half-past down from the vicinity of Cleveland, joined afterthree p.M., just as General Morgan's men were ward by Matthias's brigade, of the Fifteenth army seen marching along the summit of the ridge, corps, commanded at present by Colonel Dickertoward the rebel works. Seeing themselves thus man, of the One IIundred and Third Illinois. outflanked by General Morgan upon their right, Colonel Long, with some seven hundred cayand seriously threatened by Colonel Hambright alry, preceded General Crufts. This column upon the left, the rebels abandoned their posi- skirmished as successfully with the enemy as tion and fled precipitately, without firing a gun the other, and on the twenty-third, Colonel Long from the time Morgan first appeared. Thus, with penetrated to within four miles of Daltone but trifling loss, this strong and important posi- Another sunny, warm, pleasant, smoky morntion fell into our hands.
ing dawned upon us on the twenty-fifth, and all Not a moment was lost in following up the portions of our forces being prepared to act in enemy, General Morgan taking the advance, and concert, it was determined to make a bold move, Colonel McCook, with his splendid brigade, be- which might test whether or not the enemy's longing to the same division, following closely strong position on the Tunnel Hill road could behind.
not be turned. We were now traversing country over which Accordingly, General Baird took up the line Union troops had never trod before; and conse- of march very early in the inorning, and crossing quently we found the citizens in the most appalle Tunnel Hill, joined General Crufts in the valley ing state of confusion and dismay,expecting all and between the range and Rocky Face. Passing singly to have their throats cut immediately upon through a gap in Rocky Face, about three miles our arrival. The men had fled to the hills, and beyond Tunnel Hill Ridge, the entire force passthe women and children, as soon as the head of ed along the Cleveland road toward Dalton, the our coluinn appeared, uttered piercing sbrieks as enemy opposing them only by feeble skirmishif they were on the point of being murdered, or ing, and everywhere flying before them. falling down upon their knees begged piteously It soon became evident, however, that they for their lives. When they found they were in had passed beyond another range still further to no danger whatever from our soldiers, their sur- the east than Rocky Face, and that a force of the prise and joy exceeded, if possible, their previ- enemy occupying the valley between the two ous fear,
might easily pass to the rear and cut off their reA little before five o'clock our forces came to treat. To prevent this, they retired along the an awful gorge cleft in an inaccessible and lofty line of their march until they had reached the range of mountains, called Rocky Face. On the head of Rocky Face Valley, down which they left side of this gorge ran the railroad ; on the marched in order of battle, General Baird upon right the common road, with a monstrous pine- the right and General Crufts upon the left. The covered rock rising between. Never had I be- rebels gave way as before, until they reached a held so formidable a position for defence; and point where the Cleveland road, running toward my experience was in this respect the same as Dalton, descends into this valley. Just across that of every officer in the army. Reaching out this road and on the left side of the valley, was into the gorge from the perfectly impassable a high point in the bounding ridge, and this the mountains on either side, spur after spur could enemy manifested a disposition to hold at hazard · be seen, rising one above the other as you looked of a fight. Colonel Grose's brigado advancing toward Dalton, and forming a series of fortifica- along the slope of the ridge, immediately pretions as perfect in design as the hand of men pared to carry the hill. The enemy's outposts ever traced, while vastly superior in magnitude were driven in with rapidity, and the gallant to aught that he ever constructed.
| brigade, moving steadily forward with loud From the first of these spurs upon the right, cheers, and never once wavering under the fierce the enemy poured forth a volley of musketry. fire kept up by the rebels, hurled the latter from Our brave boys, rushing forward, carried the the hill in confusion, and planted the Stars and spur; but from a higher one beyond, six pieces of Stripes upon the summit. artillery commenced hurling death among them, This was about half-past eleven A.M. Captain and they were compelled to withdraw.
Simonson, Chief of Artillery on General Crufts's The enemy continued a fierce artillery fire un- staff, ran his old battery, the Fifth Indiana, to til night, when General Morgan's brigade moving the top of the hill, and treated the rebels to coninto the left of the gorge, and Colonel Daniel stant doses of shot and shell the remainder of McCook's into the right, they held the mouth of the day. Very heavy skirmishing was kept up it until morning.
until one P. M. by the opposing infantry, but no As I rode back toward the town, the heavens advance was attempted upon either side. were lighted up with the lurid fires of Cleburne's Myself and the gentleman whom I accompanied old camp, (upon the east side of Tunnel Hill during the greater portion of this trip, had reRange.) which our troops had set on fire. In the mained on the west side of Rocky Face, until astown I learned that General Wheeler himself was sured, by one who knew, that the principal fight in command of the rebel cavalry which had all of the day was certain to take place upon the along been opposing us.
other side. A change of base was immediately Simultaneously with the advance of the col- determined upon. We struck across Tunnel umn from Chattanooga, General Crufts moved Hill Range in the direction indicated by the
sound of Crufts's and Baird's cannon, and after a The victory seemed gained, and the brigade by no means pleasant ride of a couple of hours, rushed to the top of the hill to secure what it amongst rocks and hills, and valleys and ravines, had won. But the enemy had rallied half-way scowled at by the natives from whom we could down, supported by a fresh force outnumbering learn not a word concerning the whereabouts of Turchin's two to one. No sooner had our boys our troops, and in imminent danger of being reached the summit than a withering storm of picked up by some straggling squad of rebel cav- bullets swept up the hill. Bravely they replied alry, we at length had the unspeakable satisfac- for a time, making many a rebel bite the dust. tion of getting upon General Baird's trail; and But the galling fire could not long be borne. It riding on a mile or two further, found that, al-would be madness to charge down the hill into most unknown to ourselves, we had turned the the midst of twice or thrice their numbers. formidable barrier of Rocky Face, which now ap- Hence, they withdrew slowly and reluctantly to peared upon our right.
their former position along the slope of Rocky Every step we took, the sounds of conflict be- Face. The rebels did not attempt to follow, but came more and more distinct, until at last we contented themselves with repossessing the bill. caught sight of our troops stretched across the This was the bloodiest, as it might be called valley, the advance line skirmishing briskly with the closing, conflict of this interesting campaign. the enemy. The order of battle I have named, A brisk cannonade and a fierce and determined was still preserved. Of Baird's division, Van skirmishing were kept up until nightfall; but no Derveer's brigade was on the left, Turchin's upon advance was made upon either side. All the rethe right.
mainder of the afternoon the two armies stood It was one o'clock when we arrived upon this confronting each other, ' so close together that part of the field, and scarcely had we reached the skirmisliers of either could fire entirely over our lines, when it became evident that a severe the rear-lines of the other. A number of incistruggle was just on the point of taking place. dents, at once singular and interesting, fell under
In truth, the position the rebels held in this my own observation, but I shall only mention valley, was almost as strong as that upon the this one road from Tunnel Hill. The valley was wider General Palmer was standing near our skirthan the gorge, but the natural fortifications mishers, when a bullet, fired by one of the opwere of a similar nature, and only required to be posing rebels, passed through both the skirts of held by a somewhat stronger force. The passage his coat and both legs of his pants, without even into Dalton along this valley, would evidently be grazing the skin! Probably there is not a simiaccomplished only by copious effusion of blood. lar case on record.
A hill near the centre of the valley seemed to When night came on, a spectacle met our eyes, form the key to the position. To the right of at once brilliant, beautiful, and sublime. During this was another, the possession of which would the course of the conflict, the leaves, rendered enable us to operate with great advantage against inflammable by several weeks' dry weather, had the other. Just as I rode up, General Palmer taken fire; and now long lines of the devouring announced his intention of attempting to carry element could be seen everywhere running up this latter point.
and down the mountains, twisting and writhing The task of taking the hill was assigned to and hissing like monstrous serpents of living General Turchin, than whom a better, braver fire. The fine twigs and cones, of which vast man can scarcely be found in our army. He quantities lay upon the ground, added to the had only a portion of his brigade with him, but hugeness of the conflagration; in some places he had such regiments as the Eleventh, Eighty- the progress of our withdrawing troops was serininth, Ninety-second Ohio, and the Eighty-se- ously impeded by the smoke and heat; and at cond Indiana, and with these he was sure to ten P. M., it really seemed, to a spectator gazing win, if success, under the circumstances, were from Tunnel Hill, as if the whole State of Georpossible, for these regiments scarce ever fail, and gia was on fire, and her eternal mountains were when they do, it is with undiminished honor. melting beneath the flames.
A heavy strip of timber runs along the lower It was after night when the troops began to portion of the east slope of Rocky Face. Through retire; and ere they closed their eyes in slumber this Turchin and his men steadily advanced, the that night, they were on the west side of the General in the front ranks, drawing repeatedly Tunnel Hill range. upon his own person the fire of the rebel skir- About three in the afternoon, General Davis, mishers. Forming his line of battle along the who with Morgan's and McCook's brigades, supslope of the mountain, just opposite to and facing ported by General Johnson's command, was hold. the hill which he was to carry, he gave the order ing the mouth of the gorge on the Tunnel Hill to advance. Immediately the whole valley re- road, began to advance slowly and feel the enesounded with a terrible roar of musketry, and the my. The latter manifested the utmost sensitiveenemy's cannon, replied to by our own Fourth ness, and raking the gorge with his cannon, inregular battery, added to the awful din. The ficted upon General Morgan considerable loss. rebels were swept away from the foot of the hill. After night, this force retired to Tunnel Hill, Half-way up they endeavored to make a stand, which we continue to hold. but our boys, charging forward with loud shouts, Thus ended this highly important expedition. drove them across the summit.
TIt has again, if that were needed, demonstrated the fighting qualities of our own troops. It has ing or demolishing the forces in West-Louisiana. familiarized us with a section of country, com- It is altogether probable that something in the paratively unknown before. It has shown the seasons had dictated this choice to General tremendous strength of the enemy's position at Banks. For example, the Red River is only Dalton. It has for ever set at rest the silly sto- high enough to be navigable by the largest vesries of Johnston's army having gone to Mobile sels during this month and the next, while the and other points; and, above all, it has prevent task of taking Mobile is one which might be uned that army, or any considerable part of it, from dertaken at any time, though it is unaccountably being so sent away.
strange that it was not begun in December in. It was well ascertained that Cleburne's divi- stead of May. sion did not start away until the evening of the As is well known, the column under General twenty-first, and at least one brigade of it had Franklin crossed from New-Orleans to Brashear returned by the twenty-fifth. Stevenson's, Stu- City about the first instant, and thence took up art's, Loring's divisions, one brigade of Cleburne's, the line of march along the Bayou Teche, subone of another division, whose commander could stantially the same route pursued nearly a year not be ascertained, and Wheeler's cavalry, were ago, via Opelousas to Alexandria. The forces all known to have been in the fight of Thursday. under General A. J. Smith, from the departAlthough this correspondent would be very glad ment of the Tennessee, comprising the brigades to have Joe Johnston evacuate Dalton, he cannot under Generals F. K. Smith, Thomas, and Ellet, but feel somewhat proud of this triumphant vin- embarked at Vicksburgh on the tenth, and prodication of the statement he made weeks ago, and ceeded down to the mouth of Red River, where has since had occasion several times to repeat, they found an immense fleet of gunboats ready concerning the presence and strength of the rebel for the ascent. army at Dalton.
Touching the naval force, it may be well to The expedition could not well fail of being an remark that a more formidable fleet was never entire success, as it was managed throughout under single command than that now on the with wisdom, prudence, and skill. I venture to Western rivers, under Rear-Admiral Porter ; say that however high General Palmer may have | and, it might be said also, never to less purpose. stood in the estimation of his corps, he has risen At the time of departure, the strength of the restill higher since the commencement of this ex- bellion in the inland waters had been crushed. pedition.
Its forts had been demolished at Henry, DonelGeneral Whipple seemed everywhere present, son, Columbus, Island 10, Vicksburgh, Hudson, and I am assured by those who ought best to and New Orleans, by the gallant Foote and Farknow, that his advice throughout the whole af- ragut, united with the army. Its fleet had been fair was most timely and valuable.
sunk by Ellet, Farragut, and Davis. All that Generals Johnson and Davis discharged the remained to be extinguished was one insignifiduties imposed upon them with a cheerfulness cant fort at Gordon's Landing, and one ram and and self-sacrificing alacrity which did much to one gunboat on Red River. To meet this force, keep up the efficiency and morale of their men. we had collected twenty powerful war-vessels of
General Crufts and Baird both sustained their all classes, from the light draught to the heavi. reputation as soldiers, and the latter especially est monitor. Among them were the monitors seemed to understand how to impart vigor and Ozark, Osage, Neosho; the iron-clads Benton, spirit to his troops.
Carondelet, Pittsburgh, Mound City, Louisville, It remains for all these generals to be tested Essex, and Chillicothe; the rams Price, Chocupon a severe field, but here, at least, they did taw, La Fayette, besides the lighter boats, Blackwell. Our losses will not exceed two hundred hawk, Ouachita, Champion, and Taylor. Conkilled, wounded, and missing. The enemy's will templating this vast array of armed vessels to not fall below five hundred.
Y. S. meet so weak a foe, those who are familiar with
the history, cannot but contrast with it the
different equipments with which the lamented Doc. 96.
Colonel Ellet was despatched on the same errand
more than a year ago, with the Queen of the CAPTURE OF FORT DE RUSSY, LA.
The twenty transports, preceded by the twenOx BOARD FLAG-SHIP, I ty gunboats, started from the Mississippi on the
Fort De Russy, March 18, 1864. } tenth, and ascended the Red River as far as To understand the importance of the great ex- / what is called the Old River, when we turned pedition up Red River, it is necessary to review into the Atchafalaya instead of continuing up the military situation in the beginning of March. Red River. Many were the speculations upon Sherman had returned to Vicksburgh from his our course as they saw us descending the stream grand but disappointing raid into Mississippi, instead of ascending. To a person unacquainted and instead of directing his forces toward Mo- with the peculiarities of this region, it seems inbile, the point greatest and almost the only posi- deed strange that the water should run up and tion of vital concern to the rebels, he detached a down consecutively. The whole of West-Louis. portion of them to General Banks's assistance, iana is overspread with a network of bayous, who, it appears, had predetermined on scatter- I which are interlaced with each other in a very