Page images
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

"GENERAL: Your note of yesterday is received. I have no authority to treat on the subject of peace; the meeting proposed for A. M. to-day could lead to no good. I will state, however, General, that I am equally anxious for peace with yourself, and the whole North entertains the same feeling. The terms upon which peace can be had are well understood. By the South laying down their arms they will hasten that most desirable event, save thousands of human lives, and hundreds of millions of property not yet destroyed. Seriously hoping that all our difficulties may be settled without the loss of another life, I subscribe myself, &c., "U. S. GRANT, "Lieutenant-General.

[blocks in formation]

The interview was held at Appomattox Court house, the result of which is set forth in the following correspondence:

"APPOMATTOX COURT-HOUSE, VA.,) April 9, 1865. "GENERAL: In accordance with the substance of my letter to you of the eighth instant, I propose to receive the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia on the following terms, to wit: Rolls of the officers and men to be made in duplicate, one copy to be given to an officer to be designated by me, the other to be retained

by such officer or officers as you may designatc. The officers to give their individual paroles not to take up arms against the Government of the United States until properly exchanged; and each company or regimental commander sign a like parole for the men of their commands. The arms, artillery, and public property to be parked and stacked, and turned over to the officers appointed by me to receive them. This will not embrace the side-arms of the officers, nor their private horses or baggage. This done, each officer and man will be allowed to return to their homes, not to be disturbed by United States authority so long as they observe their paroles and the laws in force where they may reside. "U. S. GRANT,

[blocks in formation]

The command of Major-General Gibbon, the Fifth Army Corps under Griffin, and McKenzie's cavalry, were designated to remain at Appomattox Court-house until the paroling of the surrendered army was completed, and to take charge of the public property. The remainder of the army immediately returned to the vicinity of Burkesville.

General Lee's great influence throughout the whole South caused his example to be followed, and to-day the result is that the armies lately under his leadership are at their homes, desiring peace and quiet, and their arms are in the hands of our ordnance officers.

On the receipt of my letter of the fifth, General Sherman moved directly against Joe Johnston, who retreated rapidly on through Raleigh, which place General Sherman occupied on the morning of the thirteenth. The day preceding news of the surrender of General Lee reached him at Smithfield.

On the fourteenth a correspondence was opened between General Sherman and General Johnston, which resulted on the eighteenth in an agreement for the suspension of hostilitics, and a memorandum or basis for peace, subject to the approval of the President. This agreement was disapproved by the President on the twenty-first, which disapproval, together with your instructions, was communicated to General Sherman by me in person on the morning of the twenty-fourth, at Raleigh, North Carolina, in obedience to your orders. Notice was at once

given by him to General Johnston for the termination of the truce that had been entered into. On the twenty-fifth another meeting between them was agreed upon, to take place on the twenty-sixth, which terminated in the surrender and disbandment of Johnston's army upon substantially the same terms as were given to General Lee.

hundred prisoners and three guns, and destroyed the central bridge over the Cahawba river. On the second he attacked and captured the fortified city of Selma, defended by Forrest with seven thousand men and thirty-two guns, destroyed the arsenal, armory, naval foundry, machine shops, vast quantities of stores, and captured three thousand prisoners. On the The expedition under General Stoneman from fourth he captured and destroyed Tuscaloosa. East Tennessee got off on the twentieth of On the tenth he crossed the Alabama river, and March, moving by way of Boone, North Caro- after sending information of his operations to lina, and struck the railroad at Wytheville, General Canby, marched on Montgomery, which Chambersburg, and Big Lick. The force strik-place he occupied on the fourteenth, the enemy ing it at Big Lick pushed on to within a few having abandoned it. At this place many miles of Lynchburg, destroying the important stores and five steamboats fell into our hands. bridges, while with the main force he effectually Thence a force marched direct on Columbus, destroyed it between New river and Big Lick, and another on West Point, both of which and then turned for Greensboro' on the North places were assaulted and captured on the sixCarolina railroad; struck that road and destroyed teenth. At the former place we got one thouthe bridges between Danville and Greensboro', sand five hundred prisoners and fifty-two field and between Greensboro' and the Yadkin, to- guns, destroyed two gunboats, the navy-yard, gether with the depots of supplies along it, and foundries, arsenal, many factories, and much captured four hundred prisoners. At Salisbury other public property. At the latter place we he attacked and defeated a force of the enemy got three hundred prisoners, four guns, and deunder General Gardiner, capturing fourteen stroyed nineteen locomotives and three hundred pieces of artillery and.one thousand three hun- cars. On the twentieth he took possession of dred and sixty-four prisoners, and destroyed Macon, Georgia, with sixty field guns, one thoularge amounts of army stores. At this place he sand two hundred militia, and five generals, destroyed fifteen miles of railroad and the surrendered by General Howell Cobb. General bridges toward Charlotte. Thence he moved to Wilson, hearing that Jeff. Davis was trying to Slatersville. make his escape, sent forces in pursuit and succeeded in capturing him on the morning of May eleventh.

General Canby, who had been directed in January to make preparations for a movement from Mobile bay against Mobile and the interior of Alabama, commenced his movement on the twentieth of March. The Sixteenth corps, Major General A. J. Smith commanding, moved from Fort Gaines by water to Fish river; the Thirteenth corps, under Major-General Gordon Granger, moved from Fort Morgan and joined the Sixteenth corps on Fish river, both moving thence on Spanish Fort and investing it on the twenty-seventh; while Major-General Steele's command moved from Pensacola, cut the railroad leading from Tensas to Montgomery, effected a junction with them, and partially invested Fort Blakely. After a severe bombardment of Spanish Fort, a part of its line was carried on the eighth of April. During the night the enemy evacuated the fort. Fort Blakely was carried by assault on the ninth, and many prisoners captured; our loss was considerable. These successes practically opened to us the Alabama river, and enabled us to approach Mobile from the north. On the night of the eleventh the city was evacuated, and was taken possession of by our forces on the morning of the twelfth.

The expedition under command of Brevet Major-General Wilson, consisting of twelve thousand five hundred mounted men, was delayed by rains until March twenty-second, when it moved from Chickasaw, Alabama. On the first of April General Wilson encountered the enemy in force under Forrest near Ebenezer Church, drove him in confusion, captured three

On the fourth day of May General Dick Taylor surrendered to General Canby all the remaining rebel forces east of the Mississippi.

A force sufficient to ensure an easy triumph over the enemy under Kirby Smith, west of the Mississippi, was immediately put in motion for Texas, and Major-General Sheridan designated for its immediate command; but on the twentysixth day of May, and before they reached their destination, General Kirby Smith surrendered his entire command to Major-General Canby. This surrender did not take place, however, until after the capture of the rebel President and Vice-President; and the bad faith was exhibited of first disbanding most of his army and permitting an indiscriminate plunder of public property.

Owing to the report that many of those lately in arms against the Government had taken refuge upon the soil of Mexico, carrying with them arms rightfully belonging to the United States, which had been surrendered to us by agreement-among them some of the leaders who had surrendered in person-and the disturbed condition of affairs on the Rio Grande, the orders for troops to proceed to Texas were not changed.

There have been severe combats, raids, expeditions, and movements to defeat the designs and purposes of the enemy, most of them reflecting great credit on our arms, and which contributed greatly to our final triumph, that I have not mentioned. Many of these will be

1

found clearly set forth in the reports herewith submitted; some in the telegrams and brief despatches announcing them, and others, I regret to say, have not as yet been officially reported.

For information touching our Indian difficulties, I would respectfully refer to the reports of the commanders of the departments in which they have occurred.

greater portion of the above-mentioned period an armistice existed between the two armies for the purpose of exchanging prisoners captured on both sides during the preceding campaign.

About the twentieth of September the enemy's cavalry, under Forrest, crossed the Tennessee river near Waterloo, Alabama, and appeared in front of Athens, Alabama, on the twentythird, after having destroyed a portion of the railroad between the latter place and Decatur, Alabama. Considerable skirmishing took place, and the garrison, Colonel Campbell, One Hundred and Tenth United States colored troops commanding, withdrew into the fort. By nightfall the town was completely invested, and the quartermaster and commissary buildings destroyed by the enemy. On the morning of the twenty-fourth the enemy opened on the fort with a twelve-pounder battery, firing from two

It has been my fortune to see the armies of both the West and the East fight battles, and from what I have seen I know there is no difference in their fighting qualities. All that it was possible for men to do in battle they have done. The Western armies commenced their battles in the Mississippi Valley, and received the final surrender of the remnant of the principal army opposed to them in North Carolina. The armies of the East commenced their battles on the river from which the Army of the Poto-directions, north and west, which was answered mac derived its name, and received the final surrender of their old antagonist at Appomattox Court-house, Virginia. The splendid achievements of each have nationalized our victories, removed all sectional jealousies (of which we have, unfortunately, experienced too much), and the cause of crimination and recrimination that might have followed had either section failed in its duty. All have a proud record, and all sections can well congratulate themselves and each other for having done their full share in restor-induced to surrender his command. The garriing the supremacy of the law over every foot of territory belonging to the United States. Let them hope for perpetual peace and harmony with that enemy, whose manhood, however mistaken the cause, drew forth such herculean deeds of valor.

[blocks in formation]

REPORT OF MAJOR-GENERAL THOMAS. OPERATIONS OF THE ARMY UNDER HIS COMMAND, FROM SEPTEMBER 7, 1864, TO JANUARY 20, 1865, HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, EASTPORT, MISS., January 20, 1865. COLONEL: I have the honor to report the operations of my command from the date of the occupation of Atlanta, Georgia, as follows:

From the seventh to the thirtieth of September, the Fourth, Fourteenth, and Twentieth Army Corps, composing the Army of the Cumberland, remained quietly in camp around the city of Atlanta. The enemy was reported posted in the neighborhood of Jonesboro'. During the

by the artillery of the garrison. Later two flags of truce were received, demanding a surrender, which was declined by Colonel Campbell, when he was requested to grant MajorGeneral Forrest a personal interview, and complied with the request. At this interview Colonel Campbell allowed himself to become convinced by the rebel commander that it was useless to contend against the largely superior force of the enemy confronting him, and was

son at the time consisted of four hundred and fifty men belonging to the One Hundred and Sixth, One Hundred and Tenth, and One Hundred and Eleventh United States colored troops, and about one hundred and fifty men of the Third Tennessee cavalry. Thirty minutes after the evacution of the fort reinforcements, consisting of the Eighteenth Michigan and One Hundred and Second Ohio regiments, arrived, and after a severe fight were also forced to yield. Forrest then moved toward Pulaski, destroying the railroad as he advanced, captured the garrison at Sulphur Branch Trestle, and skirmished heavily all day of the twentyseventh with the garrison of Pulaski, but withdrew toward nightfall. Major-General Rousseau was present at Pulaski during the engagement, having collected such troops as he could spare from other parts of his command to assist in staying the progress of the enemy in the destruction of our railroad communications.

On the twenty-ninth Forrest withdrew from the immediate vicinity of the railroad, after having thoroughly destroyed it from Athens to within five miles of Pulaski, and on the same day the Nashville and Chattanooga railroad was cut near Tullahoma and Decherd by small parties from his command sent out for the purpose; but the road was again in running order on the thirtieth. As Forrest changed the scene of his operations from the Decatur railroad over to the one leading to Chattanooga, General Rousseau moved rapidly by rail around through Nashville to Tullahoma and prepared for his reception. On the same day (twenty-ninth Sep

tember) five thousand men from the District of the Etowah, Major-General J. B. Steedman commanding, crossed to the north of the Tennessee river, to check Forrest's movements and protect and keep open the communication by rail with Chattanooga.

Newton's division, Fourth corps, was ordered from Atlanta September twenty-sixth, and replaced Steedman's command at Chattanooga on the twenty-eighth. Morgan's division, of the Fourteenth corps, started from Atlanta for the same purpose on the twenty-ninth of September, and to reinforce the troops operating against Forrest.

In compliance with verbal instructions from Major-General Sherman, I left Atlanta with Morgan's division to take immediate charge of affairs in Tennessee, and reached Nashville October third.

On the withdrawal of Forrest's troops from Athens a garrison was sent to reoccupy the post by Brigadier-General R. S. Granger, commanding District of Northern Alabama, who also sent a scouting party from Huntsville toward Fayetteville to locate the enemy. This party ascertained that Forrest passed through Fayetteville on the night of the twenty-ninth, and moved toward Decherd. After passing Fayetteville, however, he divided his forces, part going south through New Market toward Huntsville, and the remainder, under Forrest in person, moved through Lynchburg toward Columbia. The first column, four thousand strong, under Buford, appeared in front of Huntsville during the evening of the thirtieth, and immediately sent a summons to the garrison to surrender, which the latter refused to do. The enemy remained throughout the night in the vicinity of the town, and repeated the demand for its surrender on the morning of October first, and meeting with an answer similar to the one received on the night previous, he moved off in the direction of Athens, which place was attacked by him at about three P. M., without effect, the garrison holding its own nobly. The second column (under Forrest in person, and estimated at three thousand men), made its appearance near Columbia on the morning of the first, but did not attack that place.

During these operations of Forrest in Middle Tennessee, small parties of the enemy made their appearance in the neighborhood of McMinnville and Liberty, but made no serious demonstrations.

Morgan's division of the Fourteenth corps, which started from Atlanta on the twenty-ninth of September, reached Stevenson during the morning of the first of October, and pushed on toward Huntsville immediately, reaching that place during the night, and set out for Athens at an early hour on the morning of the second, repairing the railroad as it advanced. The enemy, under Buford, resumed the attack on Athens on the second, but was again handsomely repulsed by the garrison, consisting of

the Seventy-third Indiana, Lieutenant-Colonel Slade commanding. Failing in this second attempt, Buford moved off toward Elk river, pursued by a small force of our cavalry belonging to General Granger's command. The other column, under Forrest, started from near Columbia on the morning of the third, and moved off in the direction of Mount Pleasant, paroling all his prisoners before his departure. During his stay in the neighborhood he destroyed about five miles of railroad between Carter's creek and Spring Hill, including three bridges. The enemy's intention to make good his escape to the south side of the Tennessee river being now evident, directions were given to General Morgan, at Athens, to move with his division toward Bainbridge and endeavor to secure the crossing at that place in advance of Forrest, while General Rousseau, already on the way to Columbia from Nashville with a force of four thou sand mounted men, hastily collected together. was to push after the enemy through Mount Pleasant and press him in the rear. Croxton's brigade of cavalry started from Farmington, and moving through Louisburg, pursued a southwesterly course toward Lawrenceburg. The above was the position of the troops on the morning of October third. On the same day information reached me that Major-General Washburn, with three thousand cavalry and fifteen hundred infantry, was moving up the Tennessee river to participate in the operations against Forrest. Directions were sent him on the fourth to leave his infantry at Johnsonville, move with his cavalry by water to Clifton, and thence across the country toward Pulaski, joining General Rousseau's command at that point. Lieutenant Commander Forrest, United States Navy, commanding the naval force on the upper Tennessee, was requested to send some gunboats down the river to Florence, Alabama, and endeavor to prevent the enemy crossing in that vicinity, if the high stage of water then prevailing in the Tennessee would admit of his crossing the upper shoals with his gunboats.

Morgan's division reached Rogersville during the evening of the fourth, having been delayed by high water in crossing Elk river; and on the same night Forrest passed through Lawrenceburg. A report was received to the effect that Buford's command succeeded in crossing the Tennessee river at Brown's ferry on the third instant.

On the sixth General Washburn reached Waynesboro, still moving eastward, and on the same day General Morgan came up with the enemy's rear guard at Shoal Creek bridge, and. skirmished with it slightly, but still not in time to prevent the main body of the enemy from safely effecting a crossing of the Tennessee at Bainbridge. Thus both columns of the enemy succeeded in escaping, although closely pursued by our forces. On the eighth directions were sent to General Rousseau to destroy all ferryboats and other means of crossing the river,

and then move his command below Florence to await further orders. At the same time General Morgan was directed to return to Athens. Pending these operations in Tennessee, the whole aspect of affairs about Atlanta had undergone a change. Hood had crossed the Chattahoochee river, and had sent one corps of his army to destroy the railroad between Allatoona and Marietta, which he had effectually accomplished for a distance of over twenty miles, interrupting all communication between the forces in Tennessee, and the main army with General Sherman in Georgia. He then moved around south of Rome, to the west side of the Coosa river, and taking a north-easterly course, marched toward Summerville and Lafayette, threatening Chattanooga and Bridgeport.

The following dispositions were made on the eleventh : Croxton's cavalry brigade was to move to some point sufficiently near his supplies at Athens, and not too far removed from the Tennessee river to protect its crossings from Decatur down as far as Eastport. Morgan's division of the Fourteenth corps to move without delay from Athens to Chattanooga by rail, and Steedman's command following Morgan's from Decatur to Bridgeport. General Rousseau's troops were recalled from below Florence, and ordered to concentrate at Athens without delay. The district of Northern Alabama, comprising the posts of Decatur, Huntsville, Stevenson, and intermediate points, was left with its ordinary garrisons, and our whole attention turned toward Hood's movements in Northern Georgia.

the Fourth, Fourteenth, Fifteenth and Seventeenth corps, the Twentieth corps having been left behind at Atlanta to hold the place.

In compliance with instructions from MajorGeneral Sherman, Morgan's division, of the Fourteenth corps, and Wagner's, of the Fourth, were sent from Chattanooga to rejoin their respective commands at Summerville.

A force of one thousand five hundred men was set to work, under the direction of Colonel' W. W. Wright, Chief Engineer United States Military Railroads, to repair the railroad south of Chattanooga, there being twenty-four miles of rails and ties totally destroyed, besides sev eral important bridges carried away by high water; yet with characteristic energy on the part of Colonel Wright and Captain J. C. Van Duzer, Superintendent of Military Telegraph, the repairs were rapidly carried forward. Telegraphic communication with Atlanta was restored on the twenty-first, and trains commenced running regularly on the twenty-eighth. On the latter date the enemy was at Gadsden, Alabama, while General Sherman's forces were at Gaylesville, both armies remaining inactive and watchful of the other's movements. While at the latter place Special Field Order No. 105, Military Division of the Mississippi, was issued by General Sherman, and the substance of it sent to me by telegraph, as follows:

"In the event of military movements or the accidents of war separating the general in command from his military division, Major-General George H. Thomas, commanding the Department of the Cumberland, will exercise command over all the troops and garrisons not absolutely in the presence of the general-in-chief."

A written communication received a few days previous, in which I was instructed to remain in Tennessee and defend the line of the Tennessee river, gave a detailed account of his plans for a campaign into the heart of Georgia. The Fourteenth and Twentieth corps of my command were to go with General Sherman, the Fourth corps remaining with me in Tennessee. My in

On the twelfth the enemy's cavalry attacked Resaca, but the place was resolutely held by Watkins' brigade of cavalry, and the railroad bridge saved from destruction. The same day Brigadier-General Wagner reported from Chattanooga the enemy's cavalry, two hundred and fifty strong, had occupied Lafayette, Georgia, whereupon directions were sent him to call in the detachments at Tunnel Hill, Ringgold, and intermediate points along the railroad between there and Chattanooga, and quietly make prep-structions were to pursue the enemy if he folarations to defend his post. On the thirteenth, one corps of Hood's army appeared in front of Dalton, and a summons to surrender, signed by Hood in person, was sent in to Colonel Johnson, Forty-fourth United States colored troops, commanding the garrison. Colonel Johnson being convinced of the uselessness of contending against so overwhelming a force of the enemy, and knowing there was no succor at hand, complied with the demand.

On the fourteenth, Morgan's division reached Chattanooga, and General Steedman's command arrived at Bridgeport, where he received orders to proceed to Chattanooga.

After remaining at Dalton one day, during which he destroyed about five miles of railroad, the enemy moved off to the westward, through Nickajack Gap, to rejoin the remainder of Hood's army near Summerville, to which point he had been followed by General Sherman with

lowed General Sherman's column, but in any event to hold Tennessee. On the twenty-sixth the enemy's infantry made its appearance in strong force in front of Decatur, Alabama, and during the afternoon attacked the garrison, but not vigorously, and without effect. Reinforcements amounting to two full regiments were sent from Chattanooga to General Granger at that point, and he was directed to hold his post at all hazards. On the twenty-seventh the enemy commenced intrenching his position around Decatur, working steadily throughout the day and skirmishing continually, but no artillery was used. At night their camp-fires showed a heavy force. Under cover of the darkness and with a strong column, the enemy drove in our pickets and established a line of rifle-pits within five hundred yards of the town. On the twenty-eighth a sortie was made by a part of the garrison, which advanced under cover of the

« PreviousContinue »