Page images

it has performed one of the most Results of Pope's arduous undertakings ever acOperations. complished. The distance travelled by some of the cavalry forces is not less than from eight hundred to one thousand miles. In many cases they rode day and night, with only two or three hours rest in the twenty-four, and this was continued day after day, and night after night, till, in many cases, men and horses fell from utter exhaustion. The untiring energy and sagacity of General Pope in conducting this expedition, as well as the immense importance of its results, will be fully appreciated by the people. I have no doubt that General Halleck, aided by this able officer, and seconded also by the veteran Steel, will very soon develop plans that will either force Price to a capitulation or drive him ignominiously from the State, and thus settle at once and forever the question of National supremacy in Missouri."

of depredations and outrages of every kind committed by a man named St. Gordon, a leader of rebel marauding bands, I give you notice that unless you seize and deliver the said Gordon to me at these headquarters within ten days from this date, or drive him out of the country, I shall send a force to your city with orders to reduce it to ashes, and to burn the house of every secessionist in your county, and to carry away every slave.

"Colonel Jennison's regiment will be entrusted with the execution of this order.

"The following persons are particularly directed to this notice: David Hunt, Clinton Cockerill, James Merryman, Robert Cain, John Murray, H. T. Freeland, William Paxton, W. C. Bemington, Andrew Tribble, R. P. S. Ely, Jackson Miller, Robert Clark, W. Tutman, H. M. Cochrane, Samuel M. Hayes, Joseph Todd and Jonas Burkhart.


'Major-General Commanding." This was a strong proceeding; but, as in the case of the old man and the boy stealing his fruit-milder measures only excited rebel derision. He therefore resorted to the stern rule of holding the enemy's immediate sympathisers responsible for their outrages. Jennison, schooled in suffering and wise from his own wrongs, was not a man to shrink from extreme measures against those who, as " border ruffians," had caused so much blood-shed on Kansas soil in 1856.

But, no efforts seemed to avail. Even after the retreat of Price's forces,* the reign of ruffianism continued. Under date of De

The writer's prophecy was quickly verified: Price's pretty projects had all miscarried, and the again stricken chief turned his face southward, followed by his now fully disorganized forces. He preceded his men. General Rains covered the "withdrawal." Bridges were burned and roads obstructed to prevent the apprehended pursuit. The long bridge at Warsaw, a monument of Fremont's labors, was among those destroyed. But, no immediate pursuit was made. Halleck was not then prepared for the onward to Springfield. Pope's successes were a surprise to his superior as well as to the enemy. Much remained to do in clearing out the numerous bands of bridge burners, guer-cember 26th, Halleck was forced to proclaim rillas and thieves who roamed over the country. Prentiss' and Hunter's troops did good service against the vagabonds. They had, for several weeks, been employed in trying to stay the destruction and suffering wrought by these strolling bands, but only with partial success. Well mounted, thoroughly acquainted with every by-path, fastness and avenue of escape, it was almost impossible to encompass their destruction. Severe measures were called for. Hunter issued the following order, which the rebel authorities of course stigmatized as "transcending all the rules of civilized warfare :"

Efforts to Suppress

[blocks in formation]

martial law "in and about all the railways
in the State"-thus reviving another of Fre-
mont's much maligned measures.
One by
one the instruments adopted by "the Path-
finder" to suppress the rebellion in Missouri,
were resumed as the only treatment adapted
to the unusually malignant and cruel type
which the insurrection in Missouri assumed.
The order was promulgated owing to sud-
den and apparently preconcerted (second)
efforts of the secessionists to burn bridges and
destroy property. When Price's army re-
treated, large numbers of his recruits, which

*The General stated to his troops that he had retreated by orders from the Confederate headquar ters. As the retreat was a flight upon compulsion, his "orders" came rather late to save his military prestige.

Efforts to Suppress




Efforts to Suppress

had been gathered from the | bloodless; they were, on the river counties, returned to contrary, quite generally actheir homes, professing to companied with bloodshed accept the amnesty offered by Halleck to all and frequently proved of a sanguinary charac who would lay down their arms. These men, ter. The affair at Silver creek (January 8th) as in most cases of those taking the oath of alle- was of this nature. Major Torrence, of the First giance, accepted the clemency extended only Iowa cavalry, was put on the track of the that they might the more effectually strike rebel emissary Colonel Poindexter, who, as a their foe. Honor and principle alike were recruiting agent for the cause of Governor dead virtues in the Confederate breast when Jackson, had established a camp of rendez"the Yankees" were concerned. And this vous at Silver creek, in Howard county, as was not strange when we consider that their well as minor camps in Roanoke and Johncause was grounded in dishonor. A letter son counties. The Major scoured the country from St. Louis, December 27th, said: "A around thoroughly. At length, joined by new secret secession organization, confined to Major Howard's battalion, a section of Colothis State, has been discovered, and at the nel Merrill's dragoons under Major Hunt, proper time full particulars will be given to and one company of the Fourth Ohio, Cap. the public. The oaths and obligations are tain John Foster, the camp at Silver creek, of the most diabolical description, and bind about thirty miles north of Boonesville, was the members to do anything' to overthrow assailed. It was a most gallant affair, in the present Government of the United which officers and men vied in valor. The States." Anything for success! was the pass enemy after a sharp defense fled, leaving the word. entire property of the camp, even their supplies.

At length, however, the vigilance practiced by the several excellent officers in command Major Torrence destroyed every thing along the lines of the roads, succeeded in of value and returned to Booneville to rebreaking up the principal organized gangs ceive the thanks of his commander for his of marauders. On the 2d of that month it dashing little "guerrilla campaign." The was said from St. Louis: "Dispatches re-loss of the rebels was twelve killed, twentyceived at Halleck's headquarters announce two wounded and fifteen prisoners. The the capture of the notorious Jefferson Owens, Colonel Jones and fifty of their bridge burning gang, near Martinsburg, Adrian county, by General Schofield, commander of the State militia, and the various guerrilla bands along the north Missouri railroad have been pretty thoroughly scattered."

Federals lost three killed and ten wounded. Colonel Jennison's rangers scouted the counties along the Kansas line so thoroughly, and acted with such decision, as to rid that section of the most malignant evil-doers. His procedure though severe was called for by the treachery of many of the people, and the Further arrests occurred, in which the unsparing cruelty of the guerrilla bands First Kansas, Colonel Deitzler, took an active which they assisted to maintain. To General part. This regiment held Lexington after Prentiss was assigned the Army of North its second occupation, and succeeded in se- Missouri.' His labors were directed to keepcuring camparative peace to that immediate ing open the Hannibal and St. Joseph railsection; but, here and there the spirit of in-way. To anticipate the bridge burners in cendiarism would break forth. It may be their efforts he fell upon the rebels at every said the central section of the State was not actually freed from these visitations of the enemy until late in the spring of 1862. The numerous conflicts with bands of guerrillas, the chase and exploration for them, would form, if written, a very exciting and novel chapter. Such encounters were not always

opportunity. The attack at Zion's Church in Boone county, amounted to a battle-the rebel loss being twenty-five killed, a large number wounded and thirty prisoners. By this rapid stroke a strong rebel organizatiou under Colonel Dorsey was broken and effectually scattered (Dec. 28th). It was the last

Against Secessionists.

Halleck's Proceedinga
Agaiast Secessionists.

of Jackson's recruiting offices in the very laid down the law: "Martial heart of the State. law having been declared in Halleck carried out his this city by authority of the Halleck's Proceedings administration with a firm President of the United States, all the civil hand. His military rule authorities, of whatever name or office, are was rigid but not oppressive except to seces hereby notified that any attempt on their sionists whose conduct rendered them ame-part to interfere with the execution of any nable to Orders. St. Louis swarmed with order from these headquarters, or impede, these "friends of the South," who were, chief-restrain, or trouble any officer duly appointed ly, persons of wealth, wedded to the South to carry such order into effect, will be regardby close affinities or by trade. Upon this ed as a military offense, and punished accordclass Halleck's order No. 13, levying contri-ingly. The Provost-Marshal-General will arbutions to support the refugees, bore with rest each and every person, of whatever rank some severity. Several of those assessed re- or office, who attempts in any way to prevent fused to comply with the demand; whereupon or interfere with the execution of any order the General-Commanding ordered out an ex-issued from these headquarters. He will call ecution under which property was seized, to upon the commanding officer of the Departcover the first assessment and twenty-five per ment of St. Louis for any military assistance cent. additional, as provided for in order No. he may require." 24. This action was resisted by a replevin process served on the Provost-Marshal, at the instance of one Samuel Engler. Halleck instantly committed Engler and his attorney to prison, and an order soon issued banishing Engler beyond the lines of the Department." All this higher-authority proceeding created great excitement; but, that it was required, none who knew the dangers of a civil process from a Missouri court could deny. In the special order of banishment Halleck thus

After this there was very little interference with the military power; and the decision then shown did more to "subjugate" the disloyal element than a great victory over Price and Rains.

The operations in Grant's district during January properly constitute the preliminary narrative to the expeditions against Forts Henry and Donaldson. We therefore reserve their details to one of the opening chapters of Volume III.





Disposition of Troops.

By orders promulgated | were disposed as stated on Disposition of Troops. November 9th, 1861, reor- page 316. In addition to ganizing the several military departments, the forces there named, were Reynold's troops Brigadier-General W. S. Rosecrans was as- holding Cheat Mountain; and still further signed the Department of Western Virginia north, guarding the line of the Baltimore and [See page 414]. His forces November 1st, Ohio railway, was General B. F. Kelley's


command at New Creek, Disposition of Troops. from whence, by a forced night march, it fell upon Romney (October 26) and, after a sharp struggle, secured that rebel headquarters with much stores, provisions and arms. This command, however, passed into the Department of the Cumberland, and therefore was not reckoned as part of Rosecrans' disposable strength, although he relied upon it to operate against General Lee, then still in camp at Greenbrier, should he attempt to move north.

Attack on Floyd's


Attack on Floyd's

just below the Gauley river
junction by way of the
Montgomery ferry. As pre-
liminary to this it was necessary to dislodge
the enemy from Cotton Hill. A detachment
from Cox's brigade, consisting of Colonel
DeVilliers' men and Major Leeper's battalion
of the First Kentucky, crossed at once and
gallantly carried the hill by storm, Nov. 12th,
with some loss. The rebels fell back upon
their entrenchments at Dickerson, three miles
away, when Rosecrans ordered Benham to
to hasten forward to Cassidy's mills, a point
from whence to precipitate his column upon
the Fayette and Raleigh road should Floyd
attempt a retreat. Benham's tardiness, and
the division of his command, lost all at the
moment of victory. The
enemy, instead of standing
at Dickerson's, fled without a halt, and Ben-
ham arrived Nov. 12th at Cotton Hill to find
Floyd gone and Cox's men in possession.
There he remained until the afternoon of the
13th, when he pressed forward to the pur-

Floyd's Escape.

Rosecrans, having matured his plans for encompassing Floyd and for bagging his entire host, proceeded to work by ordering Benham with his brigade to cross the Kanawha at Deep creek, thence to advance up the creek to the rebel rear, striking the Raleigh road below Fayetteville. Floyd nad advanced to the line of the Kanawha river just above Gauley river mouth, where his cannon commanded the communication between the upper and lower camps of Rosecrans' brigades. He was strongly posted, | and prepared for obstinate work. His camp at the mouth of Laurel creek was backed by entrenchments, at Dickerson's, on the road to Fayetteville. His avenue of retreat, if such a contingency should occur, was by the road (turnpike) from Fayetteville to Raleigh C. H. | Thus, it will be seen, that Benham's part of the programme was of the most important nature; celerity of movement would determine all; by his occupation of the turnpike Floyd could not escape except by cutting Benham to pieces. For the front assault, it was arranged to use a deserted ferry on the Kanawha (called New river above the confluence with the Gauley) which would permit an approach to Fayetteville direct, and thus at once bring matters to an issue. After in-heavy day's work, though it remains to be credible labor Major Crawford with his pioneers (regulars) succeeded in landing boats and floats at the ferry; but, at the critical moment, the waters suddenly came rushing along in a great "rise," rendering it impossible to use the floats without a risk of drowning all the men. This approach had, therefore, reluctantly to be abandoned. Rosecrans thereupon determined to strike Floyd's position by a flank movement over the Kanawha

Coming up with the enemy's rear guard at McCoy's mills, on the Raleigh pike, Nov. 14th, a sharp fight occurred, by which the rebel cavalry was defeated with the loss of their Colonel, St. George Croghan, formerly of the U. S. A. The pursuit then continued, the enemy fleeing in the greatest disorder, absolutely lining the road with their cast away property. But, the Federal commander, from some unexplained reason, pursued so leisurely that the enemy and his heavy train kept in advance. Late in the evening of the 14th, General Schenck ordered the pursuit discontinued-the second great mistake of the day. A strong column of fresh troops could have annihilated the runaways. Benham's men were much exhausted by their

shown why he could not pursue with his light troops as fast as the enemy with his lumbering trains could flee.*

* This version of Floyd's escape we give after a patient study of all the documents submitted in the


Benham in his report labored to give the reasons for his several movements, but no explana tion, we hold, should suffice for a total miscarriage of a plan so palpably proper as that comprised in his original orders--to prevent the enemy's retreat. It

Floyd's Escape.

The Guyandotte

Floyd was severely cas- | few "at quarters." The alarm tigated at home for this was first given by the rush of inglorious end of an inglorious campaign. horsemen down the main His brigade went into winter quarters near street, followed by the shouts and reports of Peterstown. Instead of serving his beloved conflict. The struggle was more of a rout Virginia in the capacity of deliverer, the than a contest; yet Colonel Whaley succeedState was only too glad to be delivered of ed in gathering about forty men, with whom him. He was, in consideration of his eminent he fought desperately until overpowered and services to the Confederacy, given a command captured. All night long the fight was in Kentucky, where he soon added new lau- waged. The soldiers were hunted for in rels to his increasing fame by "retreating" | houses, in out-buildings, in wood piles and from Fort Donaldson and leaving the more in the woods around. None were spared who plucky Buckner to his fate. The wags had offered resistance. Many escaped in the darkit that his propensity for stealing did not ren- ness and a few literally hewed their way over der it safe for him to remain and be captured; Guyandotte river. Early Monday morning therefore he stole away. the steamer Boston, having on board the Fifth Virginia, under command of Colonel Zeigler, came up. Troops also soon poured in from various quarters, comprising the Fourth Virginia from Point Pleasant, the Gallipolis artillery, &c., &c. But, Jenkins was gone, having secured prisoners, horses, stores, arms, &c., as many and much as he could carry.

The Guyandotte


The "massacre" at Guyandotte, Western Virginia, and the subsequent destruction of the village by the enraged Unionists, gave a sad illustration to the malignant character of the war on "the border." About eight o'clock on Sunday evening, Nov. 10th, the village was suddenly assailed by a troop composed of about 350 horsemen (guerrillas) led by A. G. Jenkins. In the village were about one hundred men of Colonel Whaley's Ninth Virginia, and thirty-five cavalry of the Virginia Fifth-the nucleus of two regiments forming for the Federal service. No precautions had been taken against attack as no enemy was supposed to be in that vicinity. "Colonel" Jenkins, whose force was not far distant, heard, through his emissaries in the village, of the true state of affairs, and came down upon the place to find the men enjoying themselves individually--some being at church, others visiting in families and but

was the business of other brigades to occupy Cotton Hill, to cross and assail Floyd in front. Benham's sole business was to be prepared to intercept the enemy; and, when he came down upon Cotton Hill, instead of out on the Raleigh road, it was a criminal departure from orders and duty. In his defense (as published in the New York Tribune of December 14th, 1861) great stress was laid upon his various commu. nications with Rosecrans and Schenck, but no ex

cuse can be offered to satisfy a patient public that his tardy movements were otherwise than inexcusable. We have given this officer credit for his share in the pursuit of Garnett; now we give him blame for his share in the escape of Floyd.

Its destruc

The hearts of all ached with the sight of blood every where visible; and the stories told by those who had escaped (some of them badly wounded) served to inflame the troops against citizens of the town. tion was decreed, though it was ordered that no Unionist's building should be burned. The torch was applied by Colonel Zeigler's orders, and two thirds of the place reduced to ashes. It was a ruthless work-as uncalled for as it was pitiless; but, the moment of excitement found excuse for the act in the reputed co-operation of the secession citizens in the massacre. Guyandotte, from being a flourishing village of one thousand inhabitants, at the opening of the year, stood a charred ruin at its close-a sad memento of the "usages of war."

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »