« PreviousContinue »
GENERAL THOMAS'S REPORT.
and so vamosed. We gave three cheers, and passed through the lockers of the other two enwere then relieved from “ quarters," after an en- gineers, and then smashed Mr. S.'s berth all to gagement of two hours. All hands were called pieces, ripping open his mattress and cutting the to muster on the quarter-deck, and officers and ends off from all the slats. We found the shot men, begrimed with powder, assembled around on the floor. It was more than a foot long, conithe binnacle to hear the roll called. It was found cal, and weighed thirty pounds. It was a wicked that six did not answer to their anies, and the shot, and was evidently aimed at the engine, and corpses on the deck and wounded men on stretch- if it had struck, as intended, a few feet further ers told the story.
forward, it would probably have killed all in the At this moment the Pawnee came up, closely engine-room and disabled the engine, when the followed by the mortar-schooner C. P. Williams, boat would probably have been lost. Nothing which, though a sailing vessel, had come down but the mercy of the Almighty turned that trefrom Folly River, some six miles, to our assist- mendous missile from its course and saved the ance, and showed the most praiseworthy prompt- ship and our lives. ness, although too late to participate in the en- This is the severest fight we have had since gagement. The Pawnee never fired a gun or the taking of Port Royal. Our proportion of received a shot. The men “faced the music" killed and wounded is one in twelve. with the most unflinching heroism, and did
H. W. R. themselves credit. The Captain complimented them highly, and said that the victory was all
Doc. 30. due to their efforts. Two of the crew of the eleven-inch gun were almost instantly killed by BATTLE AT CHARLESTOWN, TENN. shells, and the captain (a seaman) of the aft-howitzers was also killed by a rifle-shot, which took off the top of his head. One of the coal-heavers To Major-General Halleck :
CHATTANOOGA, December 29, 1803. was badly wounded by the fragment of the an
COLONEL LONG, of the Fourth Ohio cavalry, chor-bit, which was knocked to atoms by a shot, and two other men were quite badly injured, be- commanding the Second division of cavalry, re. sides several others scratched by splinters. The ports from Cahoun, Tennessee, December twenenemy fled precipitately, leaving two large rifle-ty-eighth:
The rebel General Wheeler, with one thousand guns and carriages, and many knapsacks and
two hundred or one thousand five hundred cavalmuskets, and one dead body. We landed, but could not carry off the guns and captured a supply-train from Chattanooga,
ry and mounted infantry, attacked Colonel Siebert, on account of the marsh, and so spiked them for Knoxville, about ten o'clock this morning, at and threw them into the river. If stood our ground so well
, the “rebs" would Charlestown, on the south bank of the Hiawassee. have captured Legreeville and all our troops at Charlestown last night, and Colonel Siebert's
The train escort had reached the encampment there, and would then have erected a battery so skirmishers hotly engaged with the enemy this as to command the whole of the river. Our captain acted nobly, and we are all proud of him. morning before Colonel Long was apprised of
their approach. All honor was shown to the brave fellows who fell in the action while in the performance of in his camp at the time—one hundred and fifty
He immediately moved the small force for duty their duty. Their corpses were laid upon starboard side of the quarter-deck, and carefully
men--crossed to Colonel Siebert's support. The covered with the finest American ensign on the rebels shortly after gave way, Colonel Long pursuship. Coffins were made for them on board the ing them closely,discovering a portion of their force
cut off on the right. He charged them with saPawnee, in which they were laid, and are now awaiting burial. A boat has just left the ship in great confusion and in every direction.
bres, completely demolishing and scattering them for the purpose of digging the graves, and most of us are expecting to be present at the burial
, killed and wounded. “One hundred and twenty
Several of the enemy, number not known, were and are only too willing to do the heroes honor. The guns used by the rebels were very
one prisoners were captured, including five com
missioned officers. rifled pieces, and were worked with great ra
The main rebel column fled, and were pursued pidity. We were struck twenty times, every shot
five miles on the Dalton road, and, when last
passing through the ship or masts, and the deck was
seen, were flying precipitately.
Colonel Long's loss was one man slightly covered with splinters and blood. A rifle-shot struck the ship at the steerage, and, passing ier station at Cleveland, also reports that he was
wounded. The officer in command of the courthrough, made a perfect lumber-room of it. The hole through the ship was as large as a hat, and attacked early this morning, December twentymuch broken, and the shot passing through, eighth, by a force of one hundred rebels
drove them off, however. GEO. H. THOMAS, broke up two of the berths on the starboard side
Major-General Commanding. and tore down the curtains, and, going on, struck the solid floor, making a long hole in it a foot wide. The shot then passed over to the en
CAMP NEAR CAlioux, December 28, 1863. gineer's side, breaking to atoms the glass, and Sir: It affords me great pleasure to report to
COLONEL LAIBOLD'S REPORT.
you that I have given the rebel General Wheeler deem it so no longer, to state that the divisions à sound thrashing this morning. I had succeed- of Sheridan and Wood were left at or near Knoxed, in spite of the most abominable roads, to ville, when Sherman withdrew from that point, reach Charlestown on the night of the twenty- and they will probably remain there during the seventh, and this morning, shortly after daylight, winter; and, of course, it is necessary that their I was moving my train across the Hiawassee supply-trains, left behind at the first march, River bridge, when Wheeler's cavalry-reported should be forwarded to them. Accordingly, a one thousand five hundred men strong, with four few days since, the quartermasters received orpieces of artillery, which, however, they had no ders to move their vehicles to their respective ; time to bring into action—appeared on my rear. commands, and, in a brief space, the trains were I placed my infantry in line of battle, then got on the way, guarded by the cavalry brigade commy train over the bridge safely, and asked Col- manded by Colonel Long, of the Fourth Ohio. onel Long to place a regiment of cavalry at my They met with no traces of the enemy for sevdisposal. These arrangements made, I charged eral days-only hearing of small guerrilla parties, with my infantry, on the double-quick, on the at different points, which were by no means forastonished rebels, and routed them completely, midable--and finally arrived at the very natural when I ordered a cavalry charge, to give them conclusion that the route was unobstructed, and the finishing touch. The charge was made in that the train was not threatened. good style, but the number of our cavalry was Night before last (twenty-seventh) the wagons insufficient for an effective pursuit, and so the were all thrown across the Hiawassee, and parked, enemy got away, and was even able to take his with but a small guard, under Colonel Siebert, in guns along, which, with numerous prisoners, the front, the main force, one thousand two hunmust have fallen into my hands, could I have dred in number, remaining on the south side of made a pursuit.
the stream. During the night no alarms ocI have now with me, as prisoners, five com- curred, and in the morning the mules were missioned officers, among whom is the Inspector- hitched up, as usual, to proceed on the journey, General of General Kelly's division, a surgeon, when the small guard was suddenly attacked by and one hundred and twenty-six men of differ- Wheeler, at the head of one thousand five hunent regiments.
The charge was sudden and mexWheeler commanded in person, and it was re- pected, and resulted in a hasty retreat on Colonel ported to him, as the prisoners state, that I had Siebert's part, leaving the train in the hands of six hundred wagons in my train, which he ex- the rebels. He had but about one hundred men pected to take without much trouble.
with him, and it would have been impossible to The casualties on my side are as follows: have resisted the progress of the enemy; but he
Third division - Two commissioned officers had scarcely reached the river-bank, when reën. wounded, two men killed, eight wounded, and forcements, to the number of one hundred and one missing
fifty, crossed to his aid, when a counter-charge Second division-Four men wounded.
was made, resulting in the recapture of the wagThe rebels lost, beside the number stated, sev- ons, mules, and horses, which had not been ineral severely wounded, which I am obliged to jured, so brief was the rebel possession of the leave behind, and probably several killed. The prize. number of small arms thrown away by them is After retaking the train, Colonel Siebert, with rather large, and they will, undoubtedly, be gath- his handful of men, was unable to continue the ered by Colonel Long.
pursuit, but, keeping his force in line, he so far I shall pursue my march at day break to-mor- terrified his adversary that no effort was made to row.
repossess the lost plunder, until Colonel Long, Very respectfully, your obedient servant, with the whole force, reached the north bank, and
BERNARD LAIBOLD, wheeled into line, ready for work.
Colonel Second Missouri Infantry. But a moment is required to prepare for an onLieutenant-Colonel FULLERTON,
set; sabres were drawn, and the soldiers stood Adjutant-General Fourth Corps.
waiting for the command; it was given, and in a moment, without even making a show of resist
ance, the rebels broke and ran, pell-mell, down CHATTANOOGA, Monday, December 28. the Dalton road, up every trail, and over hills so An important victory has just been added to steep that hoof had never before trodden them. the list which has crowned the army of the Cum- Many jumped from their animals and sougit berland with glory. True, the fight was upon a safety among the rocks; others, in dismay, leaped comparatively small scale; but victories are not fences, while yet more surrendered themselves always to be valued by the numbers engaged, prisoners of war. nor the list of the slain. The importance of an
The loss to the rebels in this engagement was achievement must be estimated by results; and, forty-seven killed and wounded, and one hunin this instance, it would be impossible to com- dred and twenty-three prisoners. But this was pute the magnitude of the interests at stake, and not the most important result of the achievethe advantages gained by the defeat of our adver- ment. The wagon route from here to Knoxville sary.
has been rendered secure, and the courier lines Although it has hitherto been contraband, il saved from further annoyance.
A NATIONAL ACCOUNT.
The old cavalry corps of this department of My movements were quick enough to prevent the rebel army, once the terror of Kentucky and Wheeler from bringing four cannon he had with Tennessee, has dwindled down to almost nothing. him into action, and the stampede of the reIt can no longer effect any thing. It has been nowned rebel cavalry was such that, with any defeated so often of late, that it and its command- thing like an adequate number of cavalry, I could ers have fallen into disrepute, and are no longer have easily captured the whole command. As it looked upon as of importance to the army. was, I captured five commissioned officers and
Our loss in the engagement is variously esti- one hundred and twenty-six men, killed (as far mated at from one to ten wounded, all agreeing as I was able to learn during my brief stay) eleven that none of our gallant men were killed, though rebels, wounded over thirty, amongst them Genone was taken prisoner. To the Fourth Ohio eral Kelly and Colonel Wade; and the number cavalry and Twentieth Missouri mounted infantry of small arms thrown away by the valiant warbelong the honor of this last important achieve- riors must amount to between three and four ment, which resulted in securing a connection of hundred. the highest importance to the country.
Being obliged to proceed upon my march, I had
to leave it to the cavalry to bring in the small COLONEL LAIBOLD'S LETTER.
arms thrown away, and, I have no doubt, they LOUDON, Tenn., January 1, 1864.
captured a good many more prisoners, as large Sır: Being well aware of the flattering interest numbers of the enemy scattered in different diyou take in my movements, I take pleasure in rections to hide in the woods. Wheeler moved informing you that I have had an engagement post haste into Georgia, with a couple of hundred with the rebel General Wheeler, on the twenty- men of his command, bare-headed, and without eighth of December, giving him the soundest arms. I started next day, according to orders, thrashing he ever received.
and arrived at this place on the thirty-first DeOn the twenty-third of December, I was given cember, all safe. command of a detachment of the Fourth army The casualties in my command, in the engagecorps, consisting principally of convalescents of ment, were two officers wounded, two men killed, the two last battles, camp retainers, etc., and a and twelve wounded ; amongst them none of the train of about one hundred and fifty wagons, few Missouri troops with me. with orders to join the army corps at Knoxville. Your obedient servant, BERNARD LAIBOLD, On the twenty-fourth, I started from Chattanoo
Colonel Second Infantry, Missouri Volunteers.
John B. Gray, ga, and proceeded about eight miles, to a place
Adjutant-General State of Missouri, near Chickamauga River, being necessitated to halt on account of the slow progress of the train. In the evening of that day, a flag of truce came into
Doc. 31. my lines, with despatches to Generals Grant and Thomas, and a mail, and I have no doubt that THE FIGHT AT MOSSY CREEK, TENN. the bearer of that flag gave information which in
KNOXVILLE, January 31, 1964. duced Wheeler to follow my track.
The following account of this fight is given by The miserable state of the weather and worse one who participated in it: condition of the roads, prevented me from mov- We reached Mossy Creek on the twenty-eighth ing fast, and it was the twenty-seventh before I of December, and for the next two days our pickreached Charlestown on the Hiawassee River. On ets were constantly skirmishing. On the twentythe morning of the twenty-eighth, I commenced ninth, the rebels attacked us, coming down rapidly moving my train across a temporary bridge on with eight thousand cavalry and fifteen pieces of the ties of the railroad structure, but had only a artillery. They were opposed by our brigade of few wagons over when it was found necessary to infantry-First brigade, Second division, Twentydig a new road in the railroad dyke. Whilst this third army corps-numbering about one thouwas being done, Wheeler, with two divisions of sand five hundred, with four regiments of cavcavalry, (Generals Kelly's and Preston's,) made alry, two batteries, with nine guns. We had the a rush at the train. I immediately advanced my advantage in position, and the enemy in numskirmishers, and silently formed my command in bers. line of battle, covering completely, at the same The guns were placed in position, and comtime, all avenues of approach.
menced firing at eleven o'clock A.M. At the same I then saw the whole of my train safely over time, skirmishing commenced all along the line. the river, and ordered a small cavalry force to be The One Hundred and Eighteenth was still quietstationed at that post under my immediate com- ly in camp; but soon an aid dashed up with the mand, stationing them in a convenient position order to “fall in, without knapsacks or blankets," for a charge. I had, up to that time, strictly for- and in five minutes we were rapidly moving into bidden all firing from the lines ; but now, being our position, which was a mile from our camp. in readiness, I charged with the infantry in double. We went, double-quick, down the hill, across the quick, and completely routed the enemy, under Mossy Creek, up the steep ascent on the other Wheeler's personal command; and when they side, and had accomplished the distance in less were in utter confusion, I charged again with the than fifteen minutes. When on the brow of the cavalry, who cut down many of the terrified en- hill
, we were under a terrific fire of shell, 'round emy, and made scores of prisoners.
shot, and shrapnel, thrown by the rebel batteries,
nine of their guns reaching our position. Mean- Our entire forces were commanded by Briwhile, the Twenty-fourth Indiana battery was gadier-General Sturgis. pouring a most deadly fire among the rebel ranks It is due here to state, that had it not been for in the opposite fields and woods. After various the gallantry of the intrepid Lieutenant-Colonel maneuvring, we were thrown into a position on Young, in holding the strip of woods referred to, the left of that gallant battery, in a piece of woods the issue of the fight would certainly have been with cleared ground all around it. In getting to very far from satisfactory, if not entirely disas-. that position, we had to pass through a perfect trous.
SUPER. storm of all manner of deadly missiles, and, after getting there, we stood for three mortal
Doc. 32. hours under fire of artillery and small arms, which old soldiers describe as being the most ter- AMNESTY PROCLAMATION. rible they had ever witnessed. Our own regi, BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF ment, One Hundred and Eighteenth Ohio, tried
AMERICA. for the first time in so terrible a manner, together with the above-mentioned battery, stood the
PROCLAMATION. brunt of the fight, and sustained the heaviest
WASHINGTON, December 8, 1863. loss. We had been thrown into a position with- WHEREAS, in and by the Constitution of the out support, and we only escaped through the good United States, it is provided that the President judgment and skill of Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas shall have power to grant reprieves and parS. Young, commanding, and the indomitable dons for offences against the United States, exbravery of the men. In front of us was the rail. cept in cases for impeachment;" and road, running parallel to our line; and behind Whereas a rebellion now exists whereby the this, was a regiment of sharp-shooters picking us loyal State governments of several States have, off at every opportunity. A piece of woods and for a long time, been subverted, and many pera large corn-field to our left were swarming with sons have committed and are now guilty of trea"gray backs." They charged us the second time, son against the United States; and and would, no doubt, ultimately have overwhelm- Whereas, with reference to said rebellion and ed us, had not the First Tennessee calvary, Colonel treason, laws have been enacted by Congress deJim Brownlow, by a well-timed counter-charge, claring forfeitures and confiscation of property, driven them from our left, while we poured a and liberation of slaves, all upon terms and conheavy fire into their front, causing them to beat ditions therein stated, and also declaring that a hasty retreat. But doggedly they rallied and the President was thereby authorized at any advanced again, calmly filling up the gaps we time thereafter, by proclamation, to extend to made in their ranks, cheering loudly all the while. persons who may have participated in the existThis advance was to take the Indiana battery, ing rebellion, in any State or part thereof, pardon which had made terrible havoc among them, be- and amnesty, with such exceptions, and at such sides having silenced several of their guns; and times, and on such conditions as he may deem they had well-nigh accomplished their purpose, expedient for the public welfare; and and were only fifty yards from us, when Colonel Whereas, the Congressional declaration for Young gave the order to cease firing. He had limited and conditional pardon accords with just received orders to hold that strip of woods, well-established judicial exposition of the parand hold it he would, at all hazard. Our ar- doning power; and tillery was on the eve of being lost. What few Whereas, with reference to said rebellion the men were left to man the guns were doing all President of the United States has issued several they could to get them away. Again the order proclamations, with provisions in regard to the was, “Fix bayonets !” and in the next instant, liberation of slaves; and led by the gallant Colonel, we charged them at Whereas, it is now desired by some persons the point of the bayonet. With unbroken line, heretofore engaged in said rebellion, to resume at double-quick, we went at them and drove them their allegiance to the United States, and to reout of the woods across the open field. This inaugurate loyal State governments within and was the first suspicion that rebel infantry were for their respective States ; therefore, in the woods, as we afterward learned from a I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United printed address of Major-General Martin, who States, do proclaim, declare, and make known to commanded the enemy's forces—two divisions all persons who have, directly or by implication, under Wheeler and Armstrong.
participated in the existing rebellion, except as The First Tennessee cavalry lost several in hereinafter excepted, that a full pardon is hereby killed and wounded. The Twenty-fourth Indiana granted to them and each of them, with restorabattery suffered most severely, nearly every man tion of all rights of property, except as to slaves, and horse belonging to it, being injured to a and in property cases where rights of third pargreater or less extent. The First Lieutenant and ties shall have intervened, and upon the condione private had their heads entirely blown off. tion that every such person shall take and subThe One Hundred and Eighteenth Ohio escaped scribe an oath, and thenceforward keep and with but forty-two killed and wounded, out of maintain said oath inviolate; and which oath four hundred and forty-one engaged.
shall be registered for permanent preservation,
and shall be of the tenor and effect following, to their education, and which may yet be consistwit:
ent, as a temporary arrangement, with their "1,
do solemnly swear, in presence present condition as a laboring, landless, and of Almighty God, that I will henceforth faithfully homeless class, will not be objected to by the nasupport, protect, and defend the Constitution of tional Executive. And it is suggested as not imthe United States, and the Union of the States proper, that, in constructing a loyal State gov. thereunder; and that I will, in like manner, abide ernment in any State, the name of the State, the by and faithfully support all acts of Congress boundary, the subdivisions, the constitution, and passed during the existing rebellion with reference the general code of laws, as before the rebellion, to slaves, so long and so far as not repealed, modi- be maintained, subject only to the modifications fied, or held void by Congress, or by decision of made necessary by the conditions heretofore the Supreme Court; and that I will, in like man- stated, and such others, if any, not contravening ner, abide by and faithfully support all procla- the said conditions, and which may be deemed inations of the President made during the exist- expedient by those framing the new State gov. ing rebellion having reference to slaves, so long ernment. and so far as not modified or declared void by To avoid misunderstanding, it may be proper decision of the Supreme Court. So help me to say that this proclamation, so far as it relates God."
to State governments, has no reference to States The persons excepted from the benefits of the wherein loyal State governments have all the foregoing provisions are all who are, or shall while been maintained. And, for the same reahave been, civil or diplomatic officers or agents son, it may be proper further to say, that whether of the so-called confederate government; all who members sent to Congress from any State shall have left judicial stations under the United States be admitted to seats, constitutionally rests exto aid the rebellion; all who are or shall have clusively with the respective llouses, and not to been military or naval officers of said so-called any extent with the Executive. And still further, confederate government above the rank of colonel that this proclamation is intended to present the in the army, or of lieutenant in the navy; all people of the States wherein the national authoriwho left seats in the United States Congress to ty has been suspended, and loyal State governaid the rebellion; all who resigned commissions ments have been subverteil, a mode in and by in the army or navy of the United States, and which the national authority and loyal State govafterward aided the rebellion; and all who have ernments may be reëstablished within said States, engaged in any way in treating colored persons, or in any of them; and, while the mode presentor white persons in charge of such, otherwise ed is the best the Executive can suggest, with than lawfully as prisoners of war, and which his present impressions, it must not be underpersons may have been found in the United stood that no other possible mode would be acStates service as soldiers, seamen, or in any ceptable. other capacity
Given under my hand, at the city of WashingAnd I do further proclaim, declare, and make ton, the eighth day of December, A.D. known, that whenever, in any of the States of one thousand eight hundred and sixtyArkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennes (seal.] three, and of the Independence of the see, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South-Carolina, United States of America the eightyand North-Carolina, a number of persons not less
ABRAHAM LINCOLN. than one tenth in number of the votes cast in By the President: such State at the Presidential election of the year
WILLIAM H. SEWARD, of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and
Secretary of State. sixty, each having taken the oath aforesaid and CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN GENERALS LONGSTREET not having since violated it, and being a qualified voter by the election law of the State existing im
HEADQUARTERS CONFEDERATE FORCES, mediately before the so-called act of secession, and
EAST-TENNESSEE, January 3, 1801.
} excluding all others, shall reëstablish a State gov- To the Commanding General U. S. Forces Easternment which shall be republican, and in no- Tennessee : wise contravening said oath, such shall be recog. Sir: I find the proclamation of President Linnized as the true government of the State, and coln of the eighth of December last in circulation the State shall receive thereunder the benefits of in handbills among our soldiers. The immediate the Constitutional provision which declares that object of this circulation appears to be to induce "the United States shall guarantee to every our soldiers to quit our ranks and to take the State in this Union a republican form of govern- oath of allegiance to the United States Government, and shall protect cach of them against in- ment. I presume, however, that the great object vasion, and, on application of the legislature, or and end in view is to hasten the day of peace. the executive, (when the legislature cannot be I respectfully suggest, for your consideration, convened,) against domestic violence.
the propriety of communicating any views that And I do further proclaim, declare, and make your Government may have upon this subject known that any provision which may be adopted through me, rather than by handbills circulated by such State government in relation to the freed among our soldiers. The few men who may depeople of such State, which shall recognize and sert under the promise held out in the procladeclare their permanent freedom, provide formation cannot be men of character or standing.