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dead and wounded, the victorious little army reluctantiy took up its retreat over the ground it had so nobly won. The enemy by this time had landed, and were drawn up in line of battle across their line of progress. Colonel Logan ordered his flag to the front of his regiment, and moved straight on the enemy, followed by the whole army except the Twenty-seventh Illinois and Dollins' cavalry, which had made the detour to the right in the morning. These fell back by the same circuitous way they had advanced. As the force entered the woods again, they were met by the rebels--and the battle commenced fiercely. Though outnumbered two to one, and exhausted by their long struggle, the soldiers knew that their only safety lay in reaching their transports. Hewing their bloody way, they fought desperately, and though sometimes thrown into disorder, always rallied again and pressed fiercely forward. When the order to retreat was first given, McClernand asked Logan what he proposed to do. “ Cut our way through, Sir," was the laconic reply, and now he was doing it. The shot fell fast, and the dry and leafless woods were carpeted thick with the dead, yet the banners kept advancing. Two gun boais had accompanied the transports of Grant, and these now opened a destructive fire on the enemy. Except for these, the retreat would have ended in a complete overthrow when the embarkation commenced. But their shells screaming along the shore, and tearing through the forest, kept the rebels back. Dougherty rode backward and forward through the fire to bring up his lagging brigade, and though struck again and again, kept his saddle, until at last his horse fell when unable to walk from his wounds, he sunk on the ground and was taken prisoner. At length the whole force was re-embarked, with the exception of Buford's command and Dollins' cavalry, which had not yet been beard from. The enemy kept up a steady fire on the trans
ports, so that the gun boats had to follow and protect them till they got beyond the reach of the enemy, when they returned to look after the missing regiment and Dollins' cavalry. Had they been cut off and captured, or lost their way to be overpowered in the end? were anxious questions. But soon the music of their bands swelled up from the shore, and the next moment their colors were seen advancing. A loud shout went up from the tired column as they saw the gun boats, Tyler and Lexington, lying to, awaiting their arrival. They were hurried on board the transports, and the whole force slowly made its way back to Cairo, which it reached at midnight, with the loss of four hundred killed, wounded, and missing. They brought away with them over two hundred prisoners and two cannon.
Both sides claimed the victory, for both were victorious by turns.
What positive good was accomplished by us in this movement, does not appear, and hence it was the cause of much sharp criticism. How the destruction of a camp, which we could not expect to hold under the guns of the enemy at Columbus, and hence could be replaced in a few hours, could have any very important effect in frustrating the designs of the enemy in Missouri is not so clear. The whole expedicon, to say the least, was of doubtful policy.
If the breaking up of the enemy's camp at this place really secured the results aimed at, it was unquestionably a decided victory. Our men fought gallantly and drove the enemy from every position which they attacked. They not only accomplished what they set out to perform, but got back to their boats with only such loss as might be expected. The difficulty was to trace any connection between this success and any other movements in the field. The enemy claimed the victory because they thought the design of Grant was to take Columbus, which he did not do.
On the same day that Grant was fighting the rebels on the banks of the Mississippi, Nelson, with two thousand men, left Prestonburg and commenced a forced march of thirty miles on the enemy at Piketon, Kentucky, in the eastern part of the state. The soldiers were ordered to take two days' rations; and without tents or other supplies than those they carried on their
persons, started off on their long march. A A portion of the command under Colonel Sill, left on the seventh to go by way of John's Creek, and pass to the left of Piketon, a distance of forty miles, and thus turn and cut off the rebels. The next day before daylight Nelson moved off with the main column on the direct road to the place, a distance of about thirty miles. Encumbered with no wagon train, the force marched on at a rapid pace. After toiling forward eight hours, with scarcely a halt, they came to a narrow defile through the mountains, terminating at Ivy Creek. The road here is but seven feet wide, and cut along the precipitous side of a mountain, twenty-five feet above the bed of the
This ridge, as it rapidly descends to the gorge, curves inward, making a sharp elbow in the road. Behind this ridge, and all along the breast of the steep mountain, the enemy, seven hundred strong, lay in ambush, and did not fire until the head of Colonel Marshall's battalion, which was in advance, reached the sharp turn. Then, all at once, a destructive fire was opened upon it, and the “mountain side was blue with puffs of smoke,” though not an enemy was to be seen. The first volley brought down thirteen men.
Nel son immediately ordered the Kentuckians to charge Two regiments sprang forward and began to scale the steep sides of the mountain. Over rocks and stones--sometimes pulling themselves up by main strength-they made their desperate
way towards the astonished enemy. In the mean time two pieces of artillery were got in position in the road, and opened on those in front and on the opposite side of the creek. It was slow work scaling the steep mountain side under the enemy's fire, but the dauntless Kentuckians never faltered, and in an hour and a half the rebels were forced back at every point. They however cut the bridges over the creek as they retired, and felled trees across the road, which made the pursuit very slow and laborious. Wearied and lame, the column bivouacked that night sour miles bėyond Ivy Creek. Next morning a heavy November rain storm set in, which lasted all day; yet the drenched column pushed on, cutting away the trees that impeded their march, and rebridging the creek, marching nearly all the time over shoes in mud or knee deep in water, and at night without shelter of any kind and nothing but meat to eat without salt or bread, lay down in the pelting rain. At daylight, they again took up their line of march, and reached Piketon, where Colonel Sill had arrived the day before, only to find the enemy in full flight. This bold and rapid movement completely broke up the enemy's plans in eastern Kentucky, iná scattered their forces which were rapidly concentrating, to the windęNelson had laid his plans so well, and pushed them with so much vigor, that he had accomplished this important result in a campaign of three weeks. In his order dated the eleventh, he said, “In a campaign of twenty days you have driven the rebels from easter: Kentucky and gifen repose to that portion of the state. You have made continual forced marches over wretched .oads, deep in mud; badly clad, you have bivouaced on the wet ground in the November rains, without a murmur. With scarce half rations you have pressed forward with unfailing perseverance.
From the only place in which the enemy made a stand, though.ambushed and strong, you drove him in the most gallart style."
FREMONT SUPED SEDED.
During this time Fremont had accomplished little of importance in Missouri, though his friends declared that he was in a position where he would soon either capture-Price or drive him from the state.
In this condition of affairs. Adjutant:General Thomas was sent west to investigate the charges against him, and his report, through the permission of the Secretary of War, was given to the New York Tribune. It was seized with avidity, , but the impartial reader scarcely knew which to conāumn most, the Adjutant-General or Fremont. If the half of what the former said was true, Fremont ought to be immediately removed from his department, but the manner in which evidence had been taken, and the whole, animus of the report, (besides the reference to matters that had no place in it,) was unjust, and calculated directly to injure the public service. The Secretary of War also suffered in the public estimation quite as much as either, in giving it, as he did, to the public press;.—thus precipitating a judgment on the whole case. The result was, General Fremont was suddenly deprived.of his command, and General Hunter put in his place.
In the mean time, General Halleck, who had been summoned from California, arrived, when the department was made over to him. This, with other events, nécessitated a reconstruction of some of the departments, and an order was issued making New Mexico one, with Colonel Canby at its <head, another including Kansas, a part of the Indian territory, Nebraska, Colorado, and Dacotah, to be commanded by General Hunter That of Missouri included Iowa and Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Arkansas, and Kentucky west of the Cumberland. The department of Ohio, embraced that state, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky east of the Cumberland, and Tennessee, to be commanded by General Buell, transferred thither from the Potomac. Western Virginia was paced under Rosecranz