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enemy's movements was when Rosser suddenly gan's troops, and afterward moved with Mulligan attacked one of our trains while on its way from to attack Early, near Moorfield. How Thoburn New-Creek to Petersburgh. It is now known to outwitted the enemy, who thought he had Thobe a fact that the eight hundred men sent as a burn penned in, has been partially explained in guard with the train were disgracefully remiss a previous despatch to the Herald. Let it suffice in the discharge of their duty. The officer in that I now say he got away with better success command of the train-guard officially reported than we anticipated, and that his strategic movethat he had eighty killed and wounded, while ment over the mountains and “far away neither fact nor report has, up to this time, con- looked upon in the light of a very commendable firmed his statement. The truth of the matter feat. is that some one is to blame for allowing the ene- Having got Thoburn all right, our forces movmy to get what portion of the train he did secure, ing on Romney, another small force out watching and for permitting either himself or his men to from the neighborhood of Cumberland, we slowly be misled or frightened away by the mere open- fell back in the New-Creek valley, with a view to ing of the enemy's artillery. What if the rebel drawing the enemy sufficiently close to the railforce were two thousand strong? Eight hundred road to enable Fitzsimmons and Thompson to get brave, well-handled men could have made a strong in his rear. As we desired, the enemy followed defence. The capture of a few wagons does us up. During this time a number of small fights little injury; yet when we take into considera- occurred, in which we lost few killed and tion how the rebels catch at straws, and build wounded. bright, hopeful, airy structures on very small On Sunday and Monday our cavalry took some foundations, we must ever deprecate the conduct prisoners, but the number of these latter was far of all officers and men who fail in ever so small exceeded by the deserters who hastened to come a degree to discharge their whole duty and noth- into our lines. From these deserters we learned ing less. The most of the train-guard has re- that Early had been reënforced heavily, and that turned, coming in at different points along the it was true he had been making extensive prerailroad. The enemy took but a few of the guard parations to carry out this raid. prisoners. Our loss in the attack on the train On Tuesday between four and five hundred of turns out to be astonishingly small. It is report- Rosser's men slipped in between Mulligan's and ed that official inquiry will be made into the con- Fitzsimmons's columns, and broke our railroad duct of the whole affair at an early date. communication, by partially destroying one bridge
On learning that this train had been attacked, and slightly injuring another one. How soon the and that the garrison at Petersburgh was again damage was repaired and how trivial it was, you threatened, General Kelly ordered movements to have already learned. The enemy succeeded in be made in the most expeditious manner from reaching the railroad and in partially safely getHarper's Ferry and Martinsburgh. Of Sullivan's ting away, only in consequence of the columns troops, a force was sent to Winchester, under the from Martinsburgh and Harper's Ferry having command of Colonel Fitzsimmons. Of Averill's defeated General Kelly's calculation by failing to command, (and I must take occasion to mention reach Romney at six P.M. on the evening of the at this point that another unfortunate thing for second. It was calculated that this column would us, added to the absence of the furloughed regi- be at Romney as stated, and that any rebel force ments, was that General Averill had just gone which moved in by way of Springfield or Frankhome on a thirty days' leave of absence, thus de- fort would be cut off by Fitzsimmons's, Thomppriving us of his active services,) another column, son's, or Mulligan's forces, and kept from doing under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Thomp- any great injury to the railroad by the troops son, moved from Martinsburgh to Winchester, stationed at Cumberland and elsewhere within and there made a junction with Fitzsimmons. easy supporting distances. This was not all the These united columns then moved across the plan of operation, but that portion which the encountry toward Romney, going by way of War- emy knew about, as well as ourselves; and hence densville. Their march was a rough and rapid I can see no indiscretion in now publishing it. one, and, although conducted in the best possible Yet while all did their duty in the best possible manner, failed by several hours to communicate manner, (and here I feel constrained to assure the with or get in supporting distance of Colonel reader that, no matter how beautifully the philoMulligan.
sophical professor explains the mountains to be While Fitzsimmons's and Thompson's troops nothing more than as “little asperities on the were marching toward Roinney, a cavalry force rind of the orange," these self-same “little aswas despatched to look after rebel movements in perities” are not unfrequently the cause of unthe neighborhood of Leesburgh and in the Lou- controllable delays in military movements, and don County district, it having been rumored that tend to defeat the wisest and best-considered cal. a rebel force was moving and operating in that culations,) still the enemy's success in reaching neighborhood.
the railroad was due to the failure of our cavalry On Saturday night, the thirtieth, Colonel Tho- from Martinsburgh, etc., to reach the Romney burn, finding the enemy about to attack him in region at the expected time. force at Petersburgh, Hardy County, evacuated As soon as it was known the railroad had been his position there, and escaped to Ridgeville, cut, Colonel Mulligan's forces moved forward where he joined a detachment of Colonel Mulli- from the New-Creek region and attacked the
enemy. We were successful in making the ene- very well. After leaving the ford, the enemy my fall back. Our movements toward the ene- slowly fell back toward Moorefield, all the way my's rear of course hastened his departure from keeping up a scattering, skirmishing fire-a regua position that was getting to be more dangerous lar “fire and fall back » engagement. At the than either interesting or profitable.
time when Mulligan first engaged Rosser at the At the time when the enemy was known to be ford-Early was at Moorefield (behind Rosser) within six to eight miles of the Cumberland, the with a heavy force of infantry and two or more troops there stationed formed for action. Scenes batteries of artillery. of lively interest ensued.
Fighting was kept up until the enemy got near In the streets of Cumberland the ladies--that the town, when he made another stand. More is, a great many of them-promenaded up and fighting ensued, and in the course of three hours down, of course waiting for the “ball” to open. we drove him from his last position to and Instead of seeming excited, they appeared to be through the town and beyond it. Early's forces rather remarkably cool and desirous of hearing then fell back toward the south fork of the south the “Where are you? where are you?" shells go branch of the Potomac River, Mulligan all the whizzing over the devoted city of Cumberland, time keeping close upon the enemy's rear, by aid and to see the coal-dust flying in all directions of his cavalry force. The enemy took the south
I will not stop to detail all the minor move fork road, which runs through a branch valley ments we made and the skirmishes we had, but, of the great Moorefield valley. This South-Branch passing over these, will state that as soon as Col- valley is quite a narrow one, hemmed in on either onels Fitzsimmons's and Thompson's forces open- side by very high mountains and traversed by a ed communication with Colonel Mulligan, we vig- considerable stream of water known as the Southorously pursued the enemy, driving him on all Fork of the South-Branch. Rosser undertook the roads and out of all the gaps in which he at- to protect Early's rear. The narrowness of the tempted to maintain a position.
valley alone prevented us from driving him along Our forces continued to press the enemy hard, with more than agreeable rapidity. As it was, until the latter made a stand a short distance this we compelled the enemy to fall back with much side of Moorefield.
haste. The South-Fork road leads directly to The Moorefield valley is one of the most beau- Brock's Gap and Ilarrisonburgh-the original tiful valleys in the United States. It is about position from which the rebels moved. Colonel fifteen miles long by, upon an average, three Mulligan continued to pursue the enemy until miles wide, and contains river bottom land of the latter reached the last river road, and was unlimited richness. It is surrounded by moun- compelled to retire over into the Shenandoah valtains of picturesque formation about two thou- ley again. sand feet in height, and forms altogether one of Colonel Mulligan has been highly complimentthe most beautiful scenic displays to be met with ed for the alacrity with which he obeyed and in any portion of this country. Moorefield, situ- carried out General Kelly's orders and the manated about two or three miles from the ford, is a ner in which he personally conducted the purtown of four hundred inhabitants. The town is suit. The other commanding officers have also well built, contains brick residences with tin been complimented for their gallantry. roofs, and displays evidences of progress and re- Our losses have not been large. Even in the finement not observable in other portions of this six hours' hard fighting our losses proved to be region of country.
less than at first reported. About three miles from the town of Moorefield, Looking back at the operations of the last following the Moorefield and Romney turnpike seven days, it must be said that we have been road, you cross the south branch of the Potomac successful, and that it is beyond doubt we have River at what is known as McNeil's Ford. It again defeated Early's designs, which were to was here that Colonel Mulligan on Thursday, in seriously injure the line of the railroad and cappursuing the enemy, had a tight. Rosser's com- ture the garrison at Petersburgh. He has been mand disputed the passage of the river. The defeated in getting into New-Creek or Cumberlands of this neighborhood are almost of a dead land, failed to interrupt the running of the rail. level, but the river bank upon which Colonel road trains beyond a few hours, and failed to get Mulligan took position is higher than the one on off with any large portion of his prisoners or the other side. Thus we had the advantage of plunder. Besides, he has lost many by desertion, position. Our artillery opened on the enemy and quite a number as prisoners and picked-up about eight A.m., and rapid firing was kept up stragglers. On the whole, he has been made to for some considerable time afterward. The ene- discover that raids are adventures that cost my replied vigorously, and for a long time kept much time and material, and do not pay rebels us warmly at work. After a good deal of rapid or generals where the result is "diamond cut sharp-shooting our shot and shell drove the ene- diamond." my off to a sufficient distance to enable us to Our cavalry have driven the rebels out of obtain command of the ford. A crossing was Petersburgh. The enemy burned the govern. then effected. We found the country, as I have ment buildings. previously stated, a dead level from here all the Captain Gleason, of the Twenty-third Illinois, way to Moorefield. This level served our purpose who was taken prisoner, has been recaptured.
But I need not delay the Court with any resumé
of the operations of the nineteenth. My fieldTHE BATTLE OF CHICKAMAUGA.
orders are before the Court, and it is enough to STATEMENT OF MAJOR-GENERAL MCCOOK.
say they were obeyed. I was with General LOUISVILLE, Ky., February 18, 1864.
McCook the entire day, and feel certain they were On the twenty-eighth of September last, an explicitly obeyed.”—[Major Bates's reēxaminaorder was issued consolidating with another the tion.] Twentieth army corps, which had been my high- At dark on the nineteenth I went to the counest honor to command.
cil at Widow Glenn's House. At midnight the The order was announced to the army on the orders were resolved upon, and I left to rouse eighth of October; I was relieved from command, my troops and move them to their position for and have been ever since awaiting the pleasure the struggle of the twentieth. of the President for the investigation which has Before daylight I reported at Glenn's House just closed.
that they were moving. Conscious that my troops had been subjected The positions selected were seen by General to unjust reproach, and that my reputation as Morton, the Chief of Engineers, who testifies they their commander had been reviled, I was glad to were “eminently judicious.” have this opportunity of vindication, the only General Davis testifies that “he is confident means open to me; for on every principle bind- they could have been held against any attack in ing the soldier silence was imposed upon me, front.” when the same order which relieved me from General Rosecrans “made several observations command directed me to await a Court of Inquiry in approval of the positions.”—[Morton's testiupon my conduct.
inony.] I am conscious, too, that the testimony which Now, admitting the General-in-Chief debated has been introduced, while it may enable the some of the positions with me; that he suggestCourt to respond to the questions which are ed a change in one place; that he answered my vital to myself, has fallen far short of enabling it objections to his suggestions, and gave replies to fully to pass upon the battle of Chickamauga; the reasons urged for the positions chosen-it and whatever you may think of the conduct of is enough to say that he rode the lines ; that he its commander, surely you must conclude that it saw the positions-it was his to order and mine was a hurried and a hard sentence, which blotted to obey. out of existence the Twentieth army corps, while Nor is it quite accurate to say that General others not nearly so large nor so tried in battle McCook was not expected " to cover any particuhave been allowed to retain their organization lar position of the ground unless he could do so, and recruit their ranks.
and at the same time maintain his connection The Court will bear me witness, except when with General Thomas." absolutely necessary for a proper understanding The order to General Crittenden most clearly of my own conduct, I have abstained from any indicates what McCook was expected to do. questions as to the conduct of others, and the same rule shall govern me in the remarks I make HEADQDARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE COMBERLAND,
Widow Glexx's Horse, upon the testimony. Indeed, if it were not a
September 19, 1563-11.20 P. M. departure from the custom in such cases, I feel
GENERAL: The General Commanding directs that I might refrain from this, and submit my me to inform you that General McCook has been cause without a word. If the Court shall be as ordered to hold this gap to-morrow, commanding impartial in judgment as it has been patient and the Dry Valley Road, his right resting near this fair in the hearing, I shall be content.
place, his left connecting with General Thomas's On the seventeenth day of September, 1863,
right. the Twentieth army corps, wearied by its marches
The General places your corps in reserve toover mountain roads, returned and effected its
morrow, and directs you to post it on the eastjunction with General Thomas by Winston Gap, which the latter advised to be the only practica- Thomas.
ern slope of Mission Ridge to support McCook or ble road. It went into camp at Pond Spring, seven miles from the slope of Mission Ridge, at with instructions to hold their ground until
Leave the grand guards of your command out Widow Glenn's house, and only fifteen miles driven in ; then to retire slowly, contesting the from Chattanooga, the objective point of the
ground stubbornly. recent army movements. It remained there all
Very respectfully your obedient servant, the day of the eighteenth, waiting to close up
J. A. GARFIELD, “when General Thomas out of the way.”
Brigadier-General and Chief of Staf. His troops marched that night, and before daylight the Twentieth corps started, Johnson's But whatever may be the merits or demerits division leading, and when it reached headquar- of the position selected, it is idle to discuss them, ters it was immediately ordered to Thomas. for they were proved in battle, but were changed Johnson's and Davis's divisions and one brigade in respects most vital to their security. of Sheridan's were heavily engaged on the nine- Let us inquire how the plan of battle changed. teenth, Davis losing one brigade commander, My proper command was the Twentieth corps, (killed,) and Sheridan one, (wounded.)
consisting of Johnson's, Sheridan's, and Davis's
Have you any
divisions, and to these were added "all the cav- At ten minutes after ten o'clock this order was alry”—a formidable force truly. With it the given. right should have been made secure, and for the
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT CUMBURLAND, employment of this force, by all men who have
IN THE FIELD, September 20, 1863—10.10 A.M. not studied the battle, I am held responsible. Major-General McCook, Commanding Twentieth How much I had actually present to engage, will
Army Corps : be shown in a little while.
General Thomas is being heavily pressed on General Thomas had his own four divisions, the left. The General Commanding directs you and to strengthen him, Johnson's, of McCook's to make immediate disposition to withdraw the by far the strongest, and Palmer's, of Crittenden's right, so as to spare as much force as possible to the strongest of that corps, had been sent the
reënforce Thomas. The left must be held at all day before
, and fought upon the left throughout hazards, even if the right is drawn wholly back the day.
to the present left. Select a good position back Crittenden's remaining divisions were to be in this way, and be ready to send reënforcements to
Thomas at a moment's warning. reserve, and ready to support either Thomas or McCook.” I had in line two brigades of Sher
J. A. GARFIELD,
Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff. idan's, with Laibolt's brigade in reserve to support that line, and two brigades of Davis's to the At thirty (30) minutes after ten, the order for left and rear of Sheridan. The other brigade of preparation is followed by the command of exeDavis had been left to hold Steven's Gap, and cution: support the cavalry when the army advanced
IN THE FIELD, September 20, 1863-10.30 A.M.
; } from Pond Spring Colonel Wilder's brigade of mounted infantry extended Sheridan's right, but Major-General McCook, Commanding Twentieth the rest of the cavalry was not available, the
Army Corps : General commanding it, from a misconception of
The General Commanding directs you to send General Rosecrans's orders, having declined to two brigades of General Sheridan's division at obey the orders given by me.
once and with all possible despatch to support After daylight the unmistakable tokens of bat- General Thomas, and send the Third brigade as tle manifested themselves on the left; the calls soon as the lines can be drawn in sufficiently. for assistance begin, and the commands to re
March them as rapidly as you can without exenforce follow promptly.
hausting the men. Report in person to these Just as the fog begins to lift
, Negley is ordered headquarters as soon as your orders are given in out of line, and moves to the left. The reserve
regard to Sheridan's movement. is at once called upon, and General Crittenden news from Colonel Post? J. A. GARFIELD,
Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff. sends in Wood's division to supply the place lest vacant.
At a few minutes before eleven these orders All is yet quiet on the right; the demands of were received almost simultaneously, “not six the left are pressing, and General Van Cleve is minutes' interval," and the fate of the right was ordered to march to Thomas, and afterward sealed. Wood's division leaves the line and takes the Well might the General, who was calm and same direction. Whether this order was cor- confident" at his lines in the morning, become rectly construed or not, it is unnecessary to dis- anxious, when he saw the dust rising through
The consequences to General McCook's the woods to his front,” at the moment he retroops are the same. The part of a division is ceived an order to break his line and march to suddenly withdrawn from the line, without any the flank. information to him except that given by General The attack on the right came at thirty minWood, in an accidental meeting at the moment utes after eleven o'clock—not later, if any relithe movement commenced.
ance is to be placed as to time on the battle-field, " It was done at the double-quick," thus giving upon testimony of soldiers engaged. There seems General McCook no time to close his troops pro- to be, on this point, the concurrence of all witperly and "fill the vacant space.” [General nesses. Rosecrans's testimony.) There was not only no Where are the troops who occupied the ground time to fill the space, but I had no troops to fill in the morning? it with, unless a small brigade could cover divi- Negley was gone. Wood, who filled his place, sion intervals.
had followed him, and Van Cleve was also marchJust as I was forming on General Wood's ing. The two brigades of Sheridan's, which are right, I was told by Colonel Buell that he was in line on the right, are now taken out in obe. Jeaving for the left, and that the other brigades dience to this order, and are marching through had already moved. [General Davis's testi- the dense woods close in the rear of the line of mony.]
battle toward that same left, which is swallowing ai ten o'clock the attack had not begun upon the army. the right, but the left being heavily pressed; and What is there to resist the coming attack ? a few moments later the resolution was taken Two weak brigades of Davis's—the remnants that every thing must be hazarded for the posi- of the bloody fight of yesterday, one thousand tion on the left, and the reserve having been em-three hundred strong, and the brigade of Laibolt, ployed, the right was called upon.
less in number than Davis's two.
What is their position ?
eral officers. I remained until I gave orders to Davis had the brigade in line which joined my troops and for the safety of the artillery and Wood, behind breastworks, and the other he is transportation. just bringing into line as Wood's troops leave it, I knew that Generals Sheridan and Davis were "two regiments being on it and the others clos- in safety and with their men, and competent to ing to it.” [General Davis's testimony.) Lai- take charge of them. The point to be saved or bolt, who had been held as a reserve for Sheri- lost was the position of Chattanooga. To that dan, is now ordered to support General Davis's point the General Commanding had gone. He right. Wilder's mounted infantry is in line, but had been not far to the left of my lines when the cavalry has not yet reported.
they gave way, and as he passed by on the Dry So the reserve of the army is gone and my Valley roadl, saw ine among the broken columns own weak reserve, my only reliance for a second trying to rally the troops." line has to be put on the first.
I had an order which I believed to be in force, An interval of two brigades separates Wilder requiring me to report to him in person in the from Laibolt, and a division interval separates field. Davis from the nearest troops on his left.
As General Rosecrans, in the correction of his Through these intervals the enemy's columns testimony, says he supposed I had complied with came against one small line; theirs is displayed that part of the order, that we had met, and I inoverreaching either flank. “Three to one, at formed him I would send in Laibolt's brigade to best," says General Davis, and Colonel Wilder set matters to rights, I desire to call the attensays the attack was made five lines deep. Could tion of the Court to the terms of the order and the result be for a moment doubted ?
the circumstances which preceded and followed it. And for what part of it is General McCook re- It was given after an order despatched a few sponsible? What dispositions could he have moments before, which required me to. look out made which he omitted ? What skill in the offi- for a new position further to the left; that the cers, what courage of the troops could have exigencies of the day might be so pressing as to availed ?
require the removal of all the troops from the Troops marching by the flank in the presence right, involving consultation and the developof an enemy, covered by a line which is less ment of a new plan. Surely it was not to report than the interval it exposes, must owe their safe- that I had obeyed him and repeated his order to ty to the forbearance of the foe.
Sheridan, for that was the duty of a staff-officer, I do not state these matters in criticism of my for which a general officer would not be taken military superiors, but they are plain, incontro- away from his troops. And at an interview, vertible facts necessary for my vindication. In- after such pressing and important orders, nothdeed, although the movement would have uncov- ing took place between us but a reference by ered the Dry Valley road, I quite agree with the myself to one of my brigades. General RoseCommanding General's conclusions as indicated crans’s recollection has not served him correctly. in the preparatory order, dated the tenth at ten He must have the impression from some previA.M., " that the left must be held at all hazards, vious interview between us. At the time Laieven if the right is driven back to the present bolt went in, the testimony shows I was behind left.” But it was too late. There was no oppor- his brigade, went forward with it, and was driven tunity to look for positions, for by the time the back when his troops were repulsed. Besides, dispositions to send the troops were ready, the if the situation was so extremely critical on the enemy was advancing to the attack.
left, when the right was intact, as to require a I have not another word to say as to the bat- personal interview, surely it was not lessened tle. But the Court is required to investigate my when the right was broken and the troops marchconduct in leaving the field as well as in the ing to support the left were driven by the enemy. battle.
If there could be a time when an interview beI will not, before a court of soldiers, answer tween a General and his Lieutenant was necessathe imputation, if it be implied, that any consid- ry, that time was then. If I had troops which erations of personal safety influenced my con- I thought I could have reorganized in time and duct. May I not, without boasting, say that I taken to the left, I concede that when I did not have faced death on too many fields, and in the find him upon the field, it would have been my presence of too many thousands of men, to re- duty to have marched where the cannon yet quire at this day any vindication of my compos- sounded. ure or hardihood in action ?
Upon the information communicated to me by It would be enough that the firing had termi- staff-officers whom I met upon the field, and nated upon the right, and that all pursuit had whose testimony is before the Court, I deterceased, to leave the question simply one of judg- mined to go to Chattanooga, but through Rossment and duty under the cireumstances by which ville, or close to it, that I might get information I was surrounded.
from General Thomas, and ascertain the situaMy troops had been driven back and scattered; tion of the place in the direction of which I had the ground was singularly unfavorable for rally- ordered my troops to move, and where I suping them; a commanding officer could do little posed the troops of Thomas would move back. more in that forest and thicket than other gen- I had no acquaintance with the country or the