Page images




could not stand the cross fire to which they were exposed, and were compelled in two hours to retreat through the defiles of Cross Timber Hollow. The national loss was 1351. The Confederate loss was heavier. After the battle General Curtis fell back into Missouri, and Van Dorn into Arkansas.


In this battle there appeared on the side of the ConfedIndian allies of the erates four or five thousand Indians. Some of them assisted in taking a battery, but, for the most part, they were so amazed at the evolutions and noise of the artillery that General Van Dorn, in his report, does not mention that they had been of service to him. These Indians had been brought over to the Confederacy by emissaries who had been sent among them, representing that the Union had been destroyed, and that, if they desired to retain their slaves-for many slaves were held by them-it was best for them to join the Confederate side, with which, in that particular, they had an interest in common. The Creeks and Cherokees had long been disaffected to the Union on account of their removal to this region from the East; and the vacillating military movements that had been taking place in Missouri for the establishment of the national authority, the death of General Lyon, and other facts which they had learned, and the bearing of which they could comprehend, were used with success to draw many of them over to the Confeder ate side. A minority, however, still remained attached to the Union.

Defeat of the Confederates.

to Helena.

The expedition into Arkansas was shortly afterward The march of Curtis resumed by General Curtis. He reached Batesville (see map, p. 232), on the White River (May 6th), where he expected to meet supplies and the co-operation of gun-boats coming up the river. In this he was disappointed, partly owing to the lowness of the river, and partly to the difficulty of passing the ob



structing batteries of the enemy. In making such an attempt, one of the boats-the Mound City had been blown up. It was Curtis's intention to march to Little Rock, the capital of Arkansas; but ten regiments were taken from him and sent to Corinth, thus occasioning the abandonment of the Little Rock campaign. The Confed erates were in like manner weakened, their Arkansas troops being sent into Tennessee. Curtis remained at Batesville until June 26th, when he resumed his march, passing down between the White and the Cache Rivers until he reached Clarendon (July 9th). Two days previously his advance had been attacked by some Texan cavalry, 1500 strong, who had been repulsed with heavy loss.


Minor military operations.

[ocr errors]


On reaching Clarendon, Curtis found that the boats and transports had returned down the river the day before. He was therefore compelled to cross over to Helena, on the Mississippi. At the close of September he was appointed to the command of the Department of Missouri, with his head-quarters at St. Louis.

The subsequent military operations in Arkansas were not of much moment. There were affairs at Cross Hollows and Cane Hill, which ended adversely to the Confederates. A more important en gagement took place at Prairie Grove (December 7th), by which the farther advance of the Confederate troops into Missouri was checked.



Western Virginia disapproved of the secession of the state and adhered to the Union.

General McClellan crossed the Ohio, and conducted operations so successfully against the secession generals who were occupying Western Virginia that the Confederate government was eventually constrained to abandon the campaign in that region.

General Butler, in command at

Fortress Monroe, sent an expedition against the Confederate posts at Bethel. Failure of that expedition. An expedition sent toward Leesburg was enveloped by the Confederates on Ball's Bluff. The national troops were forced into the Potomac with very severe loss.

THE machinations of the secession conspirators in Virginia were very far from commanding ap proval throughout the state. Especially was this the case with the inhabitants of the northwestern counties, who had but few slaves. At a Convention held at Wheeling, in which delegates from about forty counties were present, the action of the cabal at Richmond was repudiated, and it was determined that West Virginia should adhere to the Union. A governor and lieutenant governor were appointed. A Legislature, claiming to be that of loyal Virginia, assembled; the western part of the state was separated from the eastern. Eventually Congress assented to and ratified this action.

The view taken of these proceedings by the inhabitants of Western Virginia was that their relations with the Union simply remained intact; but in the eastern portions of the state, which were under the control of the secessionists of Richmond, they were regarded in the light of a secession from the state itself. Partly for the


Western Virginia adheres to the Union.



sake of repressing this, and partly from the military consideration that Northwestern Virginia, advancing within a short distance of Lake Erie, almost bisects the Free States, troops were without delay dispatchTroops enter it from ed into it to enforce its adhesion to the Con

of the



The Richmond authorities had seized Harper's Ferry immediately upon the passage of the ordinance of secession (p. 83). Occupying it as strongly as they could, they cut off all communication between Western Virginia and Washington along the line of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.

[subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


No movement was made by the national government until after the day (May 23d) appointed for the election to ratify or reject the ordinance of secession, it being thought expedient to do nothing that might be interMcClellan ordered preted as an interference with the Border to cross the Ohio. States. After that election, however, General George B. McClellan, who had been assigned to the



command of the Department of the Ohio, including Western Virginia, received orders to cross the Ohio and advance along the line of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad to Harper's Ferry. He issued addresses to the people and to his soldiers, in the former denouncing the "infamous attempt of the traitorous conspiracy dignified by the name of the Southern Confederacy." He then proceeded to occupy Parkersburg, the terminus of the railroad on the Ohio River. A secession force lying at Graf ton, the place of junction of the two branches of the road to Parkersburg and to Wheeling respectively, was forced off the road southward to Philippi. Here its commander, Colonel Por terfield, issued an address to the people urging them not to allow the people of other states to govern them. McClellan, however, ordering an advance to Philippi, Porterfield had to retreat, first to Beverley, and then to Huttonsville, where he was joined by re-enforcements under Governor Wise, who assumed command.

He forces the secessionists from the railroad.


Affair at Romney.

An Indiana regiment, under Colonel Lewis Wallace, had been directed to join General Robert Patterson, who was in command of the Department of Pennsylvania, and who was preparing to attack Maryland Heights, which command Harper's Ferry. On approaching the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, in the direction of Cumberland (June 9th), Wallace learned that there was a force of 1200 Confederates at Romney. Making a march of eighty-four miles, of which forty-six were on foot, in twenty-four hours, he drove the Confederates from their post, and so alarmed General Joseph E. Johnston, who was holding Harper's Ferry, that he evacuated that place (June 15th), after having burned the railroad bridge over the Potomac, spiked the guns he could not carry away, and blown down rocks so as to obstruct the railroad and canal. Pat

Evacuation of Harper's Ferry by Johnston,

« PreviousContinue »