Page images
[blocks in formation]

In conclusion, I beg to bear testimony to the courage, fidelity, and efficiency of my staff during the battle of the tenth. As has always been the case, they performed their whole duty.

My orderlies, Francis De Freitas, of the Hundred and Fourteenth, and Nathan Cochran, of the Seventy-second, deserve especial mention for their conspicuous gallantry and intelligent performance of every trust.

I have the honor to forward herewith official reports of commanding officers of brigades, to which you are respectfully referred for a more particular notice of those officers worthy of mention.

I have the honor to be, Captain,
Very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,
Colonel Ninety-fifth Ohio Infantry, Commanding Division.
Captain W. G. RAWALLE,

A. D. C., U. S. A., and A, A. A. G.

-'s com

sion to advance more rapidly, leaving the train to be protected by the Third brigade. Permission having been obtained, I moved on the double-quick for about one mile, and reached Brice's house about half-past one o'clock, when the brigade was halted. Colonel McMillen then led the Ninety-fifth Ohio, Lieutenant-Colonel Brombeck commanding, down the road leading past Brice's house toward Baldwin, and posted it on the left of the road and on the left of the Illinois, about one fourth of a mile beyond Brice's house. I then returned with him to the brigade, and was directed to repair with the Seventy-second Ohio and the section of Captain Miller's Sixth Indiana battery to the knoll, on which stood a log house, about eight hundred yards in rear of Brice's house, and on the right as you go to Ripley. After the guns had been placed in position, and Captain pany of the Seventy-second Ohio had been thrown forward toward the woods in front, the balance of the regiment having formed in line on its left for support, understanding that the SIR: I have the honor to report, for the in- enemy were endeavoring to get around our left formation of the Colonel commanding, the part in order to reach the train on the Ripley road, taken by the First brigade, infantry division, I directed Captain Miller to throw a few shells commanded by myself, in the recent engagement into the timber, which was done with great at Brice's cross-roads, near Guntown, Missis-precision and effect, and which evidently sippi, on the tenth instant. My brigade on that day marched in the rear of the Second brigade, commanded by Colonel Hoge; the Third (colored) brigade, commanded by Colonel Bouton, being in the rear of the First. About eleven o'clock on the morning of the tenth, firing was heard in front, and I was shortly after informed that our cavalry had engaged that of the enemy and been driven back from Brice's cross-roads, about six miles in advance. Soon after, the Second brigade was ordered to advance at double-quick, and I received orders to march my command as rapidly as I could do without leaving the supply train.


Soon after hearing that the Second brigade was being seriously pressed, I sent for permis

checked their progress. Soon after I was joined by about seventy-five dismounted cavalry, under command of an officer whose name I have not been able to learn, who formed line and kept up a spirited fire upon the enemy advancing from the direction of the cross-roads. Shortly after this a small body of the enemy, evidently skirmishers, were seen crossing the open field in our rear, and toward the Ripley road. Lieutenant-Colonel Eaton, commanding the Seventy-second Ohio, in connection with the dismounted cavalry, opened fire upon them, and drove them back in confusion to the woods.

About this time I was directed by a staff officer of the Colonel commanding to advance with the Seventy-second Ohio across the open fields

shortly after received an enfilading fire, as we moved down the road, when I placed the command among the trees on one side. We soon arrived at the slope where part of the train had been abandoned and a portion burned.

in our front and to the right of the road, and take a position in the edge of the woods. After proceeding a short distance, orders were given to return to the first position, which was done. Upon my return I found Captain Miller had left with his guns, as I presume with orders given Shortly after passing the creek I discovered during my absence, his support having been the skirmishers of the Third brigade in the open removed. About this time Captain, of fields on our left. Perceiving an officer with the regiment, A. D., reported to me with them, I directed him to have the men form on his company, and although wounded in the leg the right of the Ninth Minnesota, in a thicket in and the only officer with the company, expressed front of which were large open fields over his readiness to be of service. I directed him which the enemy must pass. He informed me to send a few skirmishers in front of the log- that he was not in command, but pointed out to house into the ravine, and to form the remainder me Lieutenant-Colonel Crawdon, who was severeof his command behind the fences and log ly wounded. The Ninth Minnesota formed, the buildings near-by, which was done. Soon One Hundred and Fourteenth Illinois being on after the enemy's shells and canister were fall- the right, as I am informed by Lieutenant-Coling thick and fast around us. The remainder of onel King. The enemy soon appeared in large our force had passed us, and we were left numbers, but not in line, when a heavy fire was alone. Turning I observed my command opened upon them from the thicket, which was moving by the flank to the rear, across the kept up for about twenty minutes, and large creek and bottom, having, as I understood, been numbers fell. They retired in confusion. This ordered to fall back in order to form a new line. was between sundown and dark, and the enemy Having proceeded about half a mile, Brigadier- did not again appear in force. About eight General Grierson rode up and directed Lieuten- o'clock in the evening I halted the command in ant-Colonel Eaton to form his regiment behind order to give them rest. At this point an offithe fences on the right of the road, in rear of cer in command of a squadron of cavalry reopen fields, and resist the advance of the enemy ported to me that the camp fires in front were as long as practicable. I then rode on to over- built by him, under orders from the General take the balance of the brigade. commanding, in order to deceive the enemy, and that he was directed to remain until we had passed, and then proceed to the front. I then moved forward the command until I joined the colored brigade. The progress was slow, and I was informed that we were delayed by the train which was slowly passing the bottomland and creek some distance ahead. About midnight I was informed that the portion of the train in front had been abandoned, its further progress being impossible. Finding this to be the case, I directed the animals remaining with the rear of the train to be taken out and the wagons abandoned. The train was not burned, as I thought it probable that our line of battle had been reformed beyond, and that it might be yet saved. Moreover I feared the conflagration might lead the enemy to believe that we were in full retreat, and lead to their immediate advance in force.

At the white house, about a mile in the rear, and in the road, I found the Ninety-fifth Ohio, Ninety-third Indiana, One Hundred and Fourteenth Illinois, and Ninth Minnesota. I was then directed by the Colonel commanding division to form my brigade in line on the right of the road (as you go toward Ripley), and to contest the ground, if possible, until night set in. I was informed that the Second brigade (Colonel Hoge commanding), and the Third (colored) brigade, Colonel Bouton commanding, were on our right, and that Colonel McMillen had himself placed the Ninety-third Indiana and Ninety-fifth Ohio on the left of the Second brigade, I was instructed that when they should be obliged to retire through my lines, my command should remain, the brigades relieving each other as they retired. I formed the Ninth Minnesota and One Hundred and Fourteenth Illinois respectively on the right of the road as you go toward Ripley, and sent out skirmishers, who soon found the enemy in front.

About daylight the Fourth Iowa cavalry passed us going to the front. Shortly after, our rear was fired upon by small parties of guerLieutenant-Colonel King having informed me rillas. At the Llewellen church we found Colthat his ammunition was almost exhausted, Ionel Winslow's brigade of cavalry formed in directed Lieutenant Cruse, Ninth Minnesota vol- echelon by squadron, who were skirmishing unteers, A. A. A. G., to proceed to the rear to sharply with the enemy on the opposite side of procure a supply, but finding no means of trans- the stream. Arriving at Ripley at half-past portation, he brought back one box on his seven A. M., I waited for orders, but receiving horse. The fighting at this time was severe, none, and perceiving other troops continue to continuing for over half an hour, and until sun- pass on the road to the front, the cavalry redown, with considerable loss, when, being in-maining to protect our rear, I again took up the formed that we had no support on right or left, line of march. Hearing at the cross-roads, where and that the enemy were about to move around I halted for an hour, that the enemy in force our flank, I ordered the command to fall back, was falling upon a large detachment of our men which they did in good order, frequently facing on the Salem road, and that a large cavalry force to the rear and firing upon the enemy. Wel was about three miles in our rear, and being


almost out of ammunition, I concluded to follow the Salisbury road, and toward evening was joined by Captain Foster, Fifty-ninth regiment A. D., with about six hundred of his own and the Fifty-fifth regiment A. D., he having crossed over from the Salem road, which he considered unsafe. That night we bivouacked near Brooks', about five miles from Salisbury. The next morning at daylight we resumed the march, and after proceeding about three miles turned to the left, taking a settlement road leading to Davis' mills. Upon arriving at Davis', I found the bridge partially destroyed, and upon halting to repair it we were fired upon by a considerable number of the enemy, who were soon driven back, after wounding two of our men on the hill, and one of the flankers of the One Hundred and Fourteenth Illinois, and hitting the horse of Lieutenant-Colonel King, while passing the swamps beyond the bridge. Soon after, we were again attacked in front, but owing to the vigilance of the half-breed scouts of company H, Ninth Minnesota, and the handsome conduct of the advanced guard of the Ninety-fifth Ohio, under command of Captain to do much execution. they were unable was charged upon by about one hundred and At one time our rear fifty of Buford's cavalry, but they were repulsed by the negro troops and a few of the half-breeds. Our rear was, however, occasionally fired upon until long after dark, but the imperturbable coolness and steadiness of the colored troops, under command of Captain Foster, kept them in check and prevented confusion.

At twelve o'clock on the night of the twelfth, the command bivouacked four miles east of Colliersville, which place was reached about nine A. M. next day. We found here neither cars, rations, nor reinforcements. The command rested until noon. In the meantime Lieutenant Hosmer, of the One Hundred and Thirteenth Illinois, Brigade Inspector, volunteered to proceed to some point on the railroad from which information could be communicated of our approach. He was joined by Captain Hundred and Eighth Illinois, Sergeant of the One and two privates. Within three miles of Colliersville they were attacked by a party numbering about fifteen, who ordered them to halt. Their horses, already jaded, were put to their speed. Although frequently fired upon and closely followed, no one of the party was killed or wounded. I regret to say, however, that the gallant captain and the sergeant were captured. The lieutenant and the two privates arrived in safety at White's station at ten a. M.

As the command approached the vicinity where the party referred to was attacked, the colunin was halted and the scouts sent in advance, who soon discovered a party of the enemy. Skirmishing continued until the whistle of the train which brought reinforcements was heard. Hard bread was here issued to the men, while the infantry reinforcements and the cav

alry command under Major Malone formed line of battle in front of the train in time to meet the attack of a regiment of the enemy's cavalry. The command, numbering about one thousand six hundred, of the different brigades, arrived in Memphis on the same evening (thirteenth instant), in a pitiable condition. Nearly all were barefooted, their feet badly blistered and swollen, and in some cases poisoned. Most of them had eaten nothing for three days, and all had suffered from want of food.

third Indiana; Lieutenant-Colonel King, comColonel Thomas, commanding the Ninetymanding the One Hundred and Fourteenth Illinois; Lieutenant-Colonel Brombeck, commanding Ninety-fifth Ohio; Lieutenant-Colonel Eaton, commanding Seventy-second Ohio; LieutenantColonel Marsh, commanding Ninth Minnesota; Captain Fitch, commanding light battery company E, and Captain Miller, commanding section of Sixth Indiana battery, deserve especial mention for the judicious and gallant manner in which they handled their respective comands.

I am much indebted to Lieutenant-Colonels King, Brombeck, and Eaton, and Lieutenanttieth Illinois, and other officers, for information Colonel Floyd, of the One Hundred and Twenin regard to the roads over which we passed in the retreat.

each member of my staff. The duties imposed
I cannot speak too highly of the conduct of
upon them were onerous in the extreme, owing
to their limited number. Lieutenant Cruse,
ant Adjutant-General, although under fire for
Adjutant of the Ninth Minnesota, Acting Assist-
the first time, conducted himself with all the
coolness of a veteran.
the One Hundred and Thirteenth Illinois, Inspec-
Lieutenant Hosmer, of
tor of the brigade, rendered me great service as
an Aid. His gallant conduct deserves great
praise. I am also greatly indebted to Lieuten-
ant Bailey, of the Nineteeenth Pennsylvania
cavalry, who volunteered his services as an Aid
early in the action, and remained with me, ren-
dering valuable service, until obliged to rejoin
Bingham, and Acting Brigade Quartermaster,
his regiment. Acting Brigade Surgeon R. H.
Lieutenant Mower, of the One Hundred and
Fourteenth Illinois infantry, performed with
credit their respective duties.

mental and battery commanders, with the lists
I transmit herewith the reports of the regi-
of casualties accompanying the same. I would
here remark that I had no opportunity of seeing
the Ninety-fifth Ohio while engaged with the
duct and great exposure.
enemy. Its severe loss attests its gallant con

I have the honor to be,

Your obedient servant,

Colonel Ninth Minnesota Infantry Volunteers,
Lieutenant O. H. ABEL,
Late Commanding First Brigade, &c.

A. A. A. G. Infantry Division, U. S. Forces, &c.

Doc. 50.



LADIES AND GENTLEMEN OF THE METROPOLIS OF SOUTH CAROLINA: Your Mayor has welcomed nie to your home. I receive his greeting with that gratitude which one only feels when he hears expressed the language of commendation from those whose silence would have made him realize that his conduct had been bad indeed. If in this great struggle for the rights of the States and the liberties of the people, to secure the possession of which, and to transmit which to us, our fathers of the Revolution shed their blood, South Carolina, who has stood for thirty years in the vanguard, should give him who asserted those rights no word of well done, he might feel convinced that he had failed, as a public servant, to perform his mission, and as a man had proven unable to cope with the responsibilities of his position. Therefore, it is, Mr. Mayor, and fellow-citizens of Columbia, that I feel heartily grateful for the welcome received at your hands.

South Carolina has struggled nobly in the war, and suffered many sacrifices. There is, indeed, no portion of our land where the pall of mourning has not been spread; but I thank the Giver of all good, that our people still remain firm there, above all other places. I am told there have been none to waver and none to doubt. It often happens that at a distance from a scene of action, men, who if present would measure it, magnify danger, until at last those become despondent whose hearts, if actually stirred by perils, would no sooner think of shrinking from the prompt performance of duty than the gallant sons of South Carolina, whose blood has so generously flowed on the many battle-fields of this war. But if there be any who feel that our cause is in danger, that final success may not crown our efforts, that we are not stronger to-day than when we began the struggle, that we are not able to continue the supplies to our armies and to our people, let all such read a contradiction in the smiling face of our land, and the teeming evidences of plenty which everywhere greet the eye; let them go to those places where brave men are standing in front of the foe, and there receive the assurance that we shall have final success, and that every man who does not live to see his country free, will see a freeman's grave. [Applause.]

There are those who, like the Israelites of old, are longing to turn back to the flesh-pots they have left; who have thought there still may have been some feasible mode of reconciliation, and even be willing to rush into a reconstruction of the Union. Such, I am glad to know, do not flourish on the soil of South Carolina. Such cannot be the sentiments of any man in the Confederate States, if he will only reflect that from the beginning down to the present hour, your Government has made every

effort within its power to avoid a collision of arms in the first instance, and since then, to obtain every possible means of settlement, honorable to ourselves, based on a recognition of our independence. First we sent commissioners to ask on what terms the quarrel could be adjusted, and since that time we have proclaimed in every public paper, our desire for peace. Insolently our every effort has been met. The Vice-President of the Confederate States was refused a passport to the North, when his object was negotiation-that means by which all wars must be terminated. The door was rudely shut in our faces. Intervention and recognition by foreign states, so long anticipated has proved an ignis fatuus. There is, then, but one means by which you can hope to gain independence and an honorable peace, and that is by uniting with harmony, energy and determination, in fighting those great battles, and achieving those great victories, which will teach the world that we can defend our rights, and the Yankee nation that it is death to invade them. [Applause.]

With every Confederate victory our stocks rise in the foreign market-that touchstone of European sentiment. With every noble achievement that influences the public mind abroad, you are taking one step forward, and bringing foreign nations one step nearer your aid, in recognizing and lending you friendly intervention, whenever they are satisfied that, intervention or no intervention, the Confederacy can sustain itself.

Does any one believe that Yankees are to be conciliated by terms of concession? Does any man imagine that we can conquer the Yankees by retreating before them, or do you not all know that the only way to make spaniels civil is to whip them? And you can whip them, if all the men capable of bearing arms will do their duty by taking their places under the standard of their country, before the veteran troops of the North receive the fresh increment which is being gathered in the Northern States. Now is the good and accepted time for every man to rally to the standard of his country, and crush the invader upon her soil and this, I believe is in your power. If every man fit to bear arms will place himself in the ranks with those who are already there, we shall not battle in vain, and our achievements will be grand, final and complete. Is this a time to ask what the law demands of you to inquire whether or not you are exempt under the or to ask if the magistrate will take you out of the enrolling office by a writ of habeas corpus? Rather is it not the time for every man capable of bearing arms to say: "My country needs my services, and my country shall have them!" When your heroic fathers, the Whigs of the Revolution, fought in that war which secured your birthright, their armies were not gathered by asking who can be forced into the field, but Who are able to fight ?" No man was too old, and no boy too young, if he had the physical

[ocr errors]


capacity to enter the ranks of the army. In the days of the Revolution, the boy left his paternal roof only to return to its blackened ruins. He grew to manhood among its struggles; and may not your country claim similar services from the youth of the present day? Like them you must emulate the glory of your sires. Say not that you are unequal to the task, for I believe that our people are even better than were our honored ancestors. They have fought more and bloodier battles, and there are fewer who are lukewarm in the cause now, than existed in the days of the Revolution. What a glorious reflection it is, that wherever the tide of war has rolled its devastating wave over the land, just there do you find every heart beating true to the Confederacy, strengthened, as it were by vicissitudes, and every woman ready to share her last loaf with the soldier who is fighting for our rights.

A plan of negotiation has been offered for consideration-a plan of negotiation by States. Well, it is not easy to see on what terms the States can negotiate. In the first place, they have no constitutional power to do so. In the second place, Mr. Lincoln has said that he will not negotiate with them unless they can control the army, and they can only obtain the power to control the army by traitorously attempting to enter into a treaty contrary to the Government they have instituted. But suppose this were possible, what are the terms offered? If you will acknowledge your crimes, lay down your arms, emancipate your slaves, and turn over your leader as they call your humble servant to be punished, then you will have permission to vote together with your negroes upon the terms under which Mr. Lincoln will be graciously pleased to allow you to live as a part of the nation over which he presides. If there be a man within the sound of my voice who contemplates such a proposition, I pity him from the bottom of my heart. My only wish is that he was north of the dividing line. His is not the spirit that animated our fathers, and he is not fit to exist among the men who are now perilling their lives in the cause in which we are engaged, for he who is so slavish can not be trusted with the sacred guardianship of the widows and orphans of the soldiers who have died in battle.

I have just returned from that army from which we have had the saddest accounts-the Army of Tennessee-and I am able to bear to you words of good cheer. That army has increased in strength since the fall of Atlanta. It has risen in tone; its march is onward; its face looking to the front. So far as I am able to judge, General Hood's strategy has been good, and his conduct has been gallant. His eye is now fixed upon a point far beyond that where he was assailed by the enemy. He hopes soon to have his hand upon Sherman's line of communication, and to fix it where he can hold it. And if but a half-nay, one fourth-of the men to whom the service has a right will give him

their strength, I see no chance for Sherman to escape from a defeat or a disgraceful retreat. I therefore hope, in view of all the contingencies of war, with all the confidence which I found in the army, that within thirty days that army, which has so boastfully taken up its winter quarters in the heart of the Confederacy, will be in search of a crossing on the Tennessee river.

That our army retreated får was but a natural precursor of that despondency which spreads itself over the country; but as I approached the region occupied by our troops the hope increased, until at last I found in the army the acme of confidence itself. General Beauregard, so well known to you all, is going there with a general command which will enable him to concentrate all the troops that can be made available for the public defence. I, therefore, say be of good cheer, for I hope that brighter intelligence will soon reach you. [Applause.]

But, my friends, if it be otherwise-if we suffer reverses, it is what is to be expected from the fortunes of war. It is the fate of all human designs. In that event we shall have reason to anticipate from all brave men a conduct becoming the occasion, and shall look to you to redress your misfortunes, to rise in the face of disaster, and resolve to succeed, determined that you will live or die free. [Applause.]

Your brave sons are battling for the cause of the country everywhere; your Fort Sumter, where was first given to the breeze the flag of the Confederacy, still stands. The honor of the State has not been dimmed in the struggle, and her soldiers will be sustained by the thought that when they are no more, South Carolina will still retain that honor with which she commenced the war, and have accumulated that greatness and glory which will make her an examplar of all that is chivalric and manly in a nation struggling for existence. You who have so long been the advocates of State Rights have never raised a clamor against the laws which seem to invade them, and I think, for obvious reasons, you are not like those new-born lights who, perhaps, are just beginning to appreciate the great principles of that creed. You saw laws passed which were necessary to make those States which are in cooperation effective for the good of the whole. You understood the nature of the compact entered into by the sov. ereign States, and you have not been fearful that the agent created by yourselves was likely to turn against that Government for which he and you had been so long struggling. Understanding the means of preserving your State Government, you have not been frightened by the clamor of those who do not breathe the pure air of State sovereignty. Then, you have had no difficulty in the organization of the three forces incident to military service. You are in that condition in which your defence must depend upon what does not belong to the active forces of the country. Your battles are fought on other fields. You have on the coast some

« PreviousContinue »