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may seem, Colonel Van Vleck not only lives, but when I last heard from him yesterday evening, was entirely free from pain, conversed with clearness and ease, and seemed likely to survive! The bullet, however, is unquestionably in his head, and was either diverted downward to the base of the cranium, or penetrating the brain, lodged against the skull on the opposite side. Such is the theory of surgeons whom I have heard discussing this remarkable case.
military and naval affairs if these promises are ever verified. BEFORE ATLANTA, August 14, 1864.
Last night Logan's skirmishers attacked the rebels in their line of earthworks, and in a very brief space of time carried them, and captured a large number of prisoners, about one hundred and twenty-five in all. As usual, Logan lost in the skirmish but a very few men, wounded.
The Fourteenth corps yesterday and last night got quite a number of deserters, among whom were a few commissioned officers; these, with Logan's captures, reduced Hood's army over two hundred in one night. The deserters were from the skirmish line, and declared that the reason of their farewell to Dixie was the fall of Mobile, which points to another retreat, and as the present opportunity was a good one to escape, they availed themselves of it.
Colonel Van Vleck is widely known throughout the division to which his regiment is at tached, as an officer of more than ordinary intellectual ability, who constantly gave all his attention and energy to the discharge of whatever duties were imposed upon him. While his efficiency gained him the esteem of those with whom he was associated, his modest demeanor and kindness of heart secured their undivided love. He is a citizen of Macomb, Macdonough county, Illinois, and I am reliably informed was accus-left was not made last night, although we had a tomed to exhibit in private life, the same qualities which have endeared him to his fellow-soldiers in the field. Many a prayer will go up for his recovery.
As our guns have obtained the range of the rebel pits and batteries, our firing yesterday was more effective, and evidently did the enemy considerable damage. It must be admitted, however, that our fire was vigorously returned, and that the rebel gunners seemed deficient neither in audacity nor accuracy of aim.
The lines of the Twentieth corps were advanced and shortened in the forenoon. The rebel pickets struggled furiously to prevent it; but the Twentieth corps learned under Hooker to make its movements with very little regard to the wishes or efforts of the enemy.
Contrary to the rule which had prevailed for nearly two weeks, no rain fell on the eleventh or twelfth. Last night the atmosphere was clear, the sky cloudless. A flood of mellow moonlight fell upon the earth, softening the harsher features of the landscape, and smoothing even the wrinkles of "grim-visaged war." I rode for the distance of half a dozen miles on a route parallel with, and considerably to the rear of our lines. All was calm, peaceful, and still; and only the drippings of musketry and the occasional deep roar of a cannon reminded us that we were near two mighty armies contending for the mastery. Nature can quiet herself; but she cannot quiet those hostile hosts. She can make peace in the rear-but the musket still blazes and rattles in the front. She can hush the voices of her own children, but the thunder of the cannon reverberates ever and anon among the hills. Have you moonlight away up in Ohio?
We have as yet received no intelligence of the arrival from Richmond of any reinforcements for Hood. The rebel authorities are trying to keep up the spirits of their men by promising them that Kirby Smith will soon come to their assistance. It will be a burning shame to those who have the conduct of our
The anticipated attack of the rebels upon our
noisy time of it during the whole night. Our artillery opened along the whole line with great vigor, and until daylight was kept up by us, with a feeble response from the enemy. Our shots must have had their effect, for picket officers report hearing bells rung and seeing fires in different parts of the city. We have occasionally glimpses of Atlanta by climbing trees, from which the interior of the city can be distinctly seen-troops moving through the streets, women waving handkerchiefs to them from windows, ambulances moving about the streets, &c. The rebel works can also be seen quite distinctly. Veterans are spread along the skirmish line, militia man the main works, with veteran reserves in the rear of both lines, to keep the raw recruits from retreating.
The army on the right, or rather the right wing-under General Schofield's temporary command-is in statu quo, and has been for two or three days. However, it will not be so long, for there are unmistakable evidences about us that "something is going to happen."
It seems almost miraculous that in the frequent skirmishes upon the line more men are not lost. The skirmish lines will get up an impromptu fight, expend several thousand cartridges, artillery will give forth its deep-toned bass, and when the music of the battle is absorbed in air, we not unfrequently find that our loss in the whole corps front is but two or three. In these skirmishes, two or three of which occur per day, I am conscious of being within bounds when I say the average loss is less than twenty daily!
August 15-11 o'clock A. M.-Two heavy attacks upon our pickets were made during the past night, upon the right wing, with what success, of course, we have not yet learned. The first "picket fracas" was about eight P. M., lasting half an hour, the last at two o'clock, lasting about the same period. The artillery must take a hand in, and the moment the pickets get to spitting lead at each other, that moment the loud-mouthed artillery speaks.
to return. They were sent to brigade headquarters by a sergeant, who explained the circumstance to the brigade commander, who, while he was no party to the truce, gave them permission to return to their own lines or their choice of remaining. After some consultation, and being assured that they would be treated as deserters from the enemy, they voluntarily elected not to return.
BEFORE ATLANTA, August 16. This is one of the most beautiful days that we have experienced since the feet of " our men in blue" first touched the rugged soil of Georgia. The dark, cloudy sky, the oppressive, damp atmosphere, and the drizzling rain for nearly a week, have disappeared, and we bask once more in the warm sun's rays, while a cool breeze, like the winds of our Northern autumn, stirs the green foliage of the trees and fans the Desertions from the enemy are largely on the sun-browned cheeks of the veterans who nestle increase, notwithstanding the closeness with in the trenches, or carelessly loll upon the which the lines are drawn, and the difficulty of ground behind the breastworks. All is quiet | passing over under fire from both sides. The along the line; the skirmishers in their pits, men, however, resort to various ingenious demusket in hand, keep a sharp lookout, but do vices to get over to us. In my last I stated the not fire, as the enemy seems indisposed to circumstance of almost two hundred coming in break the stillness that all day has existed. on Friday night to Johnson's (Fourteenth) corps Not a musket-crack have I heard to-day, and and Logan's. I have since learned that they were it not for an occasional report from our were the remnants of the Forty-sixth and cannon, and the rumbling of a passing army Georgia regiments, who during a truce had wagon, one would almost think we were at home arranged, through a commissioner sent over to in some cozy forest of a Sunday afternoon. our line, the terms of surrender. At a certain signal the two regiments, which composed the rebel pickets, were to open upon our pickets, firing high, and falling back until the rebel pickets were drawn away from their reserve; our men were to flank them and cut them off. The ruse worked to a charm. Our boys carried
No material change has taken place in the line since last writing. Indeed, as far as I can learn, every regiment is in the same position. The Twenty-third corps is across the Sandtown road, and within three fourths of a mile of the railway, but unable to intercept the passage of trains by its artillery. Picket-firing in the day-out the programme faithfully, and all those who time has become almost obsolete, and at night the men persist in keeping one another awake, and rendering the night hideous, by their rapid exchange of shots; artillery officers follow suit, and fire at random in the direction of the cityfiring a building occasionally, and creating a general alarm among the few women and children who remain.
There has, for several days, been a truce upon the right between the pickets, who are close together, and able to join in conversation. Our soldiers treat them very civilly and the courtesy is returned. Both parties are so honorable that they will never violate the truce, and when the time comes for ending it, both sides seek their holes, and at once a brisk fusilade is begun between men who, perhaps, a moment before were exchanging coffee and tobacco, and clasping each other's hands. Several instances of honor on both sides have been stated to me. One day last week the rebel picket officer came up, and, cursing the pickets, ordered them to keep up the firing. They informed him that they were having a truce. "D-n your truce," said he, " open on the scoundrels." They all hesitated, when the officer seized a gun and fired upon our men. The rebels instantly sprang up, and, holding up both hands, to show their innocence, exclaimed, "Hold on, Yanks, it wasn't us, it was the Major; now get into your pits, as he says we must open fire.'
were in the secret got in. Only one man in the line, who not having been informed of the scheme, ran back, was injured by our men, who also fired over the rebels. The whole thing was ingeniously planned and cleverly executed by the skilful diplomatists. This is but one of the many ruses resorted to to reach our line without being subject to the fire of their own comrades.
On Sunday, five ladies, whose appearance denoted a higher degree of refinement than the Georgia she-rebels we have been in the habit of encountering, presented themselves in broad daylight in front of Colonel Kirby's brigade, accompanied by a negro, whom they stated they had paid fifty dollars to escort them in. They were received and passed on up, through the usual channels, to headquarters. What disposition was made of them, I have not learned; but the fact that the pickets are so close together that they could not smuggle themselves through unknown to the enemy, looks suspicious. It is an old trick of Johnston's, which Hood may have repeated, to send through soldiers or citizens, with a story of what they have suffered, and schooled to make certain statements, with the view of deceiving us. This is a game that won't work. Thomas is too sharp to be deceived by any of Hood's professed Unionists.
There are floating rumors of raids having Another of many instances: Three rebels, been made on our communications in the rear; being assured that they would be permitted to but as the mail has arrived up regularly, they return, came over to exchange or "swap," as cannot have done much damage to the road. I they call it, and, while negotiations were pend- believe, however, that there is a small body of ing, a picket officer came down, ordered the rebel cavalry north of the Chattahoochee, opertruce broken, and would not permit the rebelsating with the guerrilla banditti, but we have a
force sufficient to successfully cope with them, and keep our communications intact.
a flag large enough to throw a man through, brought up in the rear without injuring any Major-General Howard, the late commander oue. Prisoners still persist in asserting that of the Fourth corps, who succeeded the revered Mobile is in our possession. If so, the capture McPherson, is rapidly growing in favor, by his of the city is going to have an important bearsplendid management of the battle of the twen- ing upon the concluding chapter of the camty-eighth ultimo, and his cordial and unassum-paign. The opening up of a new base of suping manner, and is winning the confidence and plies within short rail and water distance is a esteem of those who at first felt that injustice result that some think certain to follow. had been done the Army of the Tennessee by selecting a commander from another army. A division commander yesterday remarked to me: "General Howard is a man who already has won the esteem and love of this army. He handles his increased command splendidly, and with such renowned soldiers as Logan. Blair, and Dodge, Howard and his army are destined to make a mark second to none on the continent."
The true and tried Brigadier-General Hazen, commanding a brigade under Wood, Fourth corps, has been ordered to report for duty to General Howard, of the Army of the Tennessee. Hazen was justly popular with General Thomas, and it is probable that nothing but the probability of immediate promotion to a division under Howard would cause the Commanding General to consent to the transfer of so efficient an officer, for whose promotion there is no vacancy in the old Army of the Cumberland at present.
Ten o'clock P. M.-There are strong indications of trouble to night on the front of the Fourth corps. It is believed Hood is preparing to strike our flank at daybreak, and turn it. Let him come on; Sherman wants nothing better than an assault, and Hood will be sure to get hurt, as he was in all his previous attempts. As I write there is quite a commotion on the Fourth corps' front, by the music of the bands, the braying of mules, and artillery and musketry firing, which commingles in one strange discord, above which the measured booming of the big guns alone is heard. I have heard so much of this in the last hundred days that it is an old song, and I fervently wish they would "dry up," especially Hood's sixty-four-pounders, which at this moment are opening in reply to our long Parrotts.
ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE, August 19.
Four days have passed in unusual quiet. The mornings glide easily away, and a portion of the afternoons have scarcely a sound upon the air to make one think of the events which are impendThe picket firing through the nights and an occasional shot from some battery serve to remind us of the foe in front, and them of our presence and purposes. This state of affairs cannot long continue, for a long delay on our part will be the means of inspiring the enemy with hope, and if a movement of the rebels, either upon our works or away from Atlanta, is not soon accomplished, the chances of success become more certain for us and more doubtful for them.
August 18.-Two days of very little work have passed, and we are very little nearer the capture of the rebel stronghold. Yesterday and to-day not even a decent picket skirmishing. was gotten up, for a variation of the programme. Sherman and Thomas were at work, however, preparing for something that is to come. It would be improper to state what will be done in the next few days, should Hood not leave us his naked piles of red mud and logs. The batteries have tried hot shot on the city, with what effect is not known yet; as no fires have been seen, it is probable that the furnaces for heating the shot, or some of the details, are not in smooth running order.
During last night and this morning the rebels were seen moving toward our left; what their object is, of course, is mere conjecture-probably to call our attention from the right, while they attack it, and endeavor to drive it back. Our force is ample to guard against the turning of our flank, and at the same time continue our demonstrations upon the railroad, which, in few days, must be reached.
Prisoners and deserters are constantly arriving within our lines. They come singly and in squads, numbering from three or four to ten and twelve. The accounts they furnish do not vary much in the main points of their stories. All tell of suffering, destitution, ill treatment, and a loss of confidence in the success of their cause. Their appearance speaks more distinctly of hunager, weariness and unhappiness. than any language they use can express. It must not be supposed that everything a captured rebel or disgusted conscript from the south side of the line relates is credited. A great deal of caution is indispensable in accepting and relying upon the information brought in by this class of persons. Experience has taught our officers that rebels, like pickpockets, will lie; though I am willing to favor the presumption that in both cases there are a few honorable exceptions.
The effect of the enemy's shells, as they come tearing through the trees, and over headquarters, is of an exciting tendency, especially among the dusky portion of hangers-on, who indiscriminately seek holes and trees in search of safe quarters. Indeed the sixty-four-pounders are not very welcome visitors to officers and soldiers, who invariably dodge as they pass. One passed over the heads of General Wagner and staff while at dinner yesterday, and continued on its course, blowing its wind upon General Wood's tents, and after boring a hole in
Yesterday an innocent-looking fellow, who could not have been older than seventeen years, and whose childish form most emphatically pro
tested against the profession which he had so lately followed, succeeded in creating quite a sensation for the moment, by informing our boys that the rebels were then, and had been for several days, engaged in evacuating the city of Atlanta; but the response given to our batteries at different points along the line played sad havoc with his smoothly-told story, and caused expressions of unbelief to gather upon the faces where confidence and pleasure had but lately sat
If the rebels should conclude to resign their cherished city to the Federal troops, the opinion prevails that it will be only to make a more desperate and decided stand at the village of Eastport, some six miles south of their present location. At this place the junction is formed between the Mason and Mont:omery railroads; and it is supposed much more formidable works, both military and artificial, are located. The city of Atlanta merely is clearly of little importance in the eyes of the Commanding General as a desirable military position. Had the object been solely to take that place, the matter would have been concluded long ago, for there has not been a day in the past four weeks when our army could not have occupied it by one of the most simple movements known to military men. But Sherman does not want Atlanta, unless he can also receive Hood's whole army within his lines as prisoners of war. Hood well understands our commander's main object. He therefore racks his already almost exhausted brain for new plans, which may assist him in warding off the final blow until the latest possible moment; and evidently believes that by presenting a bold front, and assuming a defiant attitude, he will deceive even Sherman, the man who can see so far into and divine the intentions of a wily, subtle foe.
Our losses during the part of the month which has passed, are comparatively small to those which have been inflicted upon the rebels. Our successes during this time, though in each individual instance they might be considered unimportant, yet in the aggregate present sufficient remuneration for the slight exertion put forth.
A few more days must be passed just as the past few days have been spent, and the rebels in our front will be rebels only in name. Warnings have proven useless, and a subject for contempt in the eyes of those for whom they were intended. If their doom should be more signally fearful than that which has enveloped their fellows in the past, it can be truly said they invited it, and apparently rejoiced at the awful prospect.
It is not my purpose to speak of the movements which the past few days have witnessed, for too much injury is, innocently, no doubt, effected by such ill-timed disclosures. The slightest hint which a newspaper correspondent permits himself to disclose is eagerly caught up, and frequently affords the enemy a clue to a movement of eminent importance. We have
lost many brave men through the eagerness of writers to impress upon the minds of others the power of their perceptive faculties, while the knowledge of movements and relative positions thus disclosed really benefits, or even interests, no one but those who have a desire to prepare counter-movements for the purpose of opposing and rendering them ineffectual.
The weather in these shady forests is delightful, though in the dusty roads where many are obliged to spend a greater part of their time, it must be anything else than pleasant. The broad leaves of the trees afford an excellent shade, and the soft breezes of the South as they reach us through the innumerable ravines with which the country abounds, fan us gently, and yet effectually. Strange that this favored section could not have filled the hearts and ambition of its people. Stranger still that they would, by their own acts, permit war and its evils to swallow up their lovely homes! But they courted the tempest, and it has brought forth its fruits. They claimed that they were wronged, but they injured themselves permanently, irrecoverably.
The inhabitants in many instances are returning to the homes they deserted on the approach of our forces; though there are a few who remained and were treated well. The country people are very ignorant and stupid, but it can easily be accounted for by the associations to which they have been subjected in the past. I visited a family who live within a mile of our lines. In a conversation with the old lady she informed me that she was the mother of thirteen children, and though living within two miles of Atlanta for twenty years, she could not even approximate toward the size of the place, or the number of its inhabitants. By a reference to her son, a lad of fifteen, I was able to make out that "it was bigger nur Merryet." This family has continued to occupy the old homestead during all the fierce engagements which have occurred in their neighborhood; and, though shot and shell have shattered a part of the roof, and completely ventilate one side of the house, they remain there still, and cannot be prevailed upon to give up their old home. Old memories cling around the hearts of the humblest, and naught but death can separate their minds from the loved object.
ON THE BANKS OF UTOY CREEK, August 20.
A considerable skirmish took place on Thursday along the front of the Army of the Tennessee, and portions of our picket lines were again advanced. This was particularly the case on General Logan's front, where we now have a battery (Griffith's Iowa), sunk in the earth, so as to be perfectly protected, and within seventyfive paces of the principal rebel line. this battery, Captain Percy, Fifty-third Ohio, Engineer on General Harrow's staff, was killed.
Yesterday, there was a fearful cannonade along the same portion of our front. It commenced about noon, and lasted nearly an hour. The roar was terrific, and sounded like the con
tinual bursting of heavy thunder. As the rebel batteries were first silenced, it is fair to presume that our folks did not get the worst of it. During the day, Major-General Dodge was wounded in the head by a musket-ball. The missile did not penetrate or fracture the skull, and it is sincerely hoped that this able and excellent officer will not long be lost to his command. General Dodge is one of those men who, without much parade, pretension or show, has slowly and steadily worked his way upward to a high position, and an enduring reputation; and, ❘ throughout the army it is almost the universal opinion that he has as fairly earned the one as he is eminently worthy of the other.
Until General Dodge is again fit for duty, Brigadier-General Ransom will command the Sixteenth corps. He is a young officer who served with credit in the South-west, was seriously wounded during the Vicksburg campaign, and quite recently joined this army.
There were important movements yesterday by Kilpatrick's and Garrard's cavalry, looking to the occupation of the Montgomery and Macon railroads. Our infantry lines were extended materially toward the right.
CONFRONTING ATLANTA, August 22.
Everything upon the line is unchanged since last writing. No firing by either army to-day, excepting the exchange of a few shells. Logan has sapped up to within four hundred yards of the rebel works, and got a battery in position, with which he seriously annoys the enemy, and keeps him very quiet.
At last we have some intelligence from Kilpatrick. Colonel Kline, of the Third Indiana cavalry, who was detached by Kilpatrick, and ordered to cut the railway below Jonesboro, while the latter, with the main body of his command, fell upon it at Jonesboro, has returned, having reached the road, destroyed a few miles of track (I have not learned how many), and burned a train of cars loaded with supplies.
While all that he was expected to perform was not accomplished, the raid was a great success, so far as fighting is concerned, and the enemy was soundly whipped by half his own number. Officers who have seen long service pronounce the charges among the most brilliant of the war.
From a gentleman familiar with all the details of the raid, I have secured pretty full memoranda of what was accomplished by Kilpatrick and his dashing followers.
The forces which took part, were the Third division of cavalry, about two thousand five
hundred, and Minty's and Long's brigades of the Second cavalry division, numbering two thousand five hundred and fifty-four. General Garrard, of the Second division, did not accompany the expedition, consequently Colonel Minty, of the Fourth Michigan, who, at that time, ranked Colonel (now General) Long, took command. At one o'clock on the morning of the eighteenth, the expedition left the cavalry encampment on the left of our line, for the rendezvous of the expedition at Sandtown, where it arrived at six A. M., accompanied by two sections of the Chicago Board of Trade battery, under the immediate command of Lieutenant Robinson. Colonel Minty broke camp and made Sandtown under cover of darkness, the better to prevent the enemy learning of the movement; yet a letter, captured on the twentieth, and dated on the morning of the eighteenth, at Atlanta, shows that at that time the enemy had intelligence, through their spies, not only of the number of Minty's command, but also of the destination of the raiding party; and consequently Hood had ample time to make dispositions of troops to intercept them.
Arriving at Sandtown on the morning of the nineteenth, Minty reported to General Kilpatrick, and received his orders. As soon as darkness had settled over the forest, the whole command, five thousand strong, jumped into their saddles and boldly marched upon the West Point railroad, near Fairburn, the Third division in advance, skirmishing all the way from the right of our infantry lines, until they struck the West Point railroad, when the first rebel assault was made at the moment that the Third division and a part of Long's brigade had crossed. The enemy struck the column on the left flank with artillery and dismounted cavalry, and with so much force that the Seventh Pennsylvania were cut in two, causing some confusion for the moment, but Major Jennings quickly reformed his regiment and, supported by Major May, commanding Fourth Michigan, made a vigorous and irresistible attack upon the enemy, who was driven from the ground in disorder.
At the moment when the artillery and musketry fire was opened, cutting the Seventh Pennsylvania in two, the ambulance-drivers could not withstand the alarm, and rushed their vehicles pell-mell into the woods, and smashed three belonging to Minty's brigade so badly that they were abandoned. The others were recovered by the officers of the brigade, and took their places in the column.
Kilpatrick, learning that the Third division. was delayed by the rebel Ross, who, with a large force, was slowly falling back, contesting every inch, ordered Minty and Long to the front, and, with Long's brigade in the advance, followed by Minty's and the Third division, skirmished with, and gradually drove the enemy to Flint river.
Here, the destruction of the bridge, the depth of the stream, and the bad bottom, were serious impediments to our advance; and Ross and