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CAPTURE OF STREIGHT AND HIS MEN,
ments here and there, and destroying public property, returned to the railway at Corinth, from which he departed on his expedition against Tuscumbia.
When the Confederates were informed of Streight's independent move ment, the cavalry of Forrest and Roddy, who had been watching the Unionists, started in pursuit of them, and overtook them not far from Moulton, in Lawrence County, Alabama. After nearly a whole day's fight, at Driver's Gap of the Sand Mountain, they commenced a running fight, which continued over a space of about one hundred miles, along a wide curve, through several counties in Alabama, across the head-waters of the Tombigbee and Great Warrior rivers, to the Coosa. On their way, Streight's men, marching in detachments, destroyed a large quantity of Confederate property, and were pushing on toward Rome, in Georgia, when a large part of their jaded animals gave out, and their supply of ammunition failed. A detachment, sent forward to seize and hold Rome, was compelled to fall back upon
the main column. Then the whole body pressed on, and destroyed the Round Mountain iron-works between Gadsden and Rome, where cannon, shot, and shell were made for the Confederates. On they pressed toward Rome, and when within about fifteen miles of that town, the pursuers, four thousand strong, under Forrest, fell upon Streight's rear. He was so exhausted every way
that he was compelled to surrender.His loss during the raid was May 3, about one hundred men, including Colonel Hathaway. The num
ber surrendered was thirteen hundred and sixty-five. The captives were all sent to Richmond, and thrown into Libby Prison, from which the leader and over one hundred officers confined in that loathsome jail escaped early in February, 1864, by digging under the foundation walls of the building. They were treated not as prisoners of war, but as common felons, in compliance with a demand of the Governor of Georgia, on the soil of whose State they were taken, and who charged them with the violation of a law of that State, which made the inciting of slaves to insurrection to be a high crime—a charge wholly unfounded. This unusual treatment of prisoners of war caused the Government to suspend the exchange of captives for awhile, and also the confinement of Morgan and his raiders in felon's cells in the Ohio Penitentiary, as already mentioned.'
May passed by without any important movements of the armies of Rosecrans and Bragg. The former still lay at Murfreesboro' and vicinity, and
i See page 96.
2 Forrest, with a large force, continued to menace Franklin, and early in June he invested it and cut off communication with Nashville. At that time, when an attack upon Franklin was hourly expected, two young men rode up to the quarters of Colonel J. P Baird, and represented themselves as Colonel Autun and Major Dunlap. They were well mounted, neatly attired in the National uniform of the rank of each, but had neither orderlies nor baggage with thein. They represented themselves as officers of Rosecrans's army, detailed for special duty by the War Department, and said they had narrowly escaped capture by rebels, who seized their orderlies and baggage. They showed proper papers from the Adjutant-General (Thomas) and General Garfield, then Rosecrans's chief of statf, and asked Colonel Baird to loan them $50, to enable them to go to Nashville to refit. The money and a pass was handed them, and they started off on a full gallop. They were instantly suspected of being spies, and Colonel Watkins was sent after them. He overtook them before they passed the lines, and took them back to Baird, who telegraphed to Rosecrans, and ascertained that there were no such officers in his department. They were closely examined, and on the sword of Autun the letters “ C. S. A." were found. This confirmed the suspicions of Baird and Watkins, and when the fact was communicated to Rosecrans by telegraph, he directed them to be tried by a court-martial as spies, and, if found guilty, to be instantly hung. They made a full confession. At past midnight the court found them guilty, and between nine and ten o'clock next morning they were hanged on a gallows attached to a wild cherry-tree, on the slope of the hill on which Fort Granger stood, three-fourths of a mile from Franklin,
The spies were young men, and were relations, by marriage, of General Lee, the chief of the Confederate
ROSECRANS READY TO ADVANCE.
the latter stretched along the general line of the Duck River, as we have observed,' with the mountain passes well fortified. Bragg's position was a very strong one for defense, and few outside of the Army of the Cumberland could comprehend the necessity for the wise caution that governed its commander. As June wore away the public became impatient because of his delay, and the Government, considering the facts that Grant and Porter were then closely investing Vicksburg; Banks and Farragut were encircling Port Hudson with armed men; Lee was moving in force toward the Upper Potomac, and rumor declared that Bragg was sending re-enforcements to Johnston, in Grant's rear, thought it a favorable time for Rosecrans to advance against his antagonist, push him across the Tennessee into Georgia, relieve East Tennessee, and drive a fatal wedge into the heart of the Confederacy. Orders were accordingly given. Rosecrans was ready, for his cavalry was then in fair condition, and his supplies were abundant. He issued orders on the 23d of June for a forward movement, his grand objective being the pos: session of Chattanooga, with its many advantages in a military point of view. It was begun the next day. General Burnside was ordered to co-operate with Rosecrans by moving from Kentucky, through the mountain passes, into East Tennessee, where General Buckner was in command of a
armies. • Autun" was Colonel Orton Williams, about twenty-three years of age, son of a gallaut officer of the National army and graduate of West Point, who was killed in the war with Mexico. “ Dunlap" was Lieutenant W. G. Peter. Young Williams was, at that time, on the staff of General Bragg, and Peter on that of General Wheeler. Williams resigned 3 lieutenancy of cavalry in 1861, and joined the rebels. He is represented as an excellent young man, but, influenced by the example of his kinsman, General Lee, he took sides with the enemies of his country, and lost his life in trying to serve them. He had lately married a young widow, formerly Miss Hamilton, of South Carolina Over his act we may
CASTLE THUNDER,* draw the veil of Christian charity, and forgive him, for young, ardent, and impressible, he was the victim of his more wicked elders, who taught him to sin against his country.
The esecution of Williams and Peter made a deep impression because of their family and official connections. The Confederate authorities at Richmond were exasperated, and sought an opportunity for retaliation in kind. It was offered a few months later, when a young man from Northern New York, named Spencer Kellogg Brown, only twenty-one years of age, was brought to Richmond from the Mississippi. He had been in the naval service under Commodore Porter, as a common sailor, and had charge of a gun on the Essex when the ram Arkansas (see page 529, volume II.) was destroyed. He was sent in an armed boat to burn a Confederate ferry. boat near Port Hudson. He had accomplished the work, and was returning alone to his boat, along the shore, when he was seized by three gaerrillas. He was taken to Jackson, and then to Castle Thunder, in Richmond, charged with being caught as a spy within the Confederate lines. He was subjected to a mock trial, under the direction of the notorious Winder, and on the 25th of September, 1863, was hung as a spy " in the presence of all Richmond." The circumstances of his capture had none of the conditions of a spy; and his execution, judged by the laws and ethics of civilized warfare, was simply a savage murder. Brown was a very promising young
He was enthusiastic as a patriot, and was a sincere, manly, religious soldier. Congress made provision (June, 1864) for his young widow, in the form of a pension. 1 See page 115.
? See page 620, volume II.
• This was one of the noted prisons of Richmond. It was a large brick building used as a tobacco warehouse by Mr. Grainer befure the rebellion, It was on the corner of Carey and Nineteenth streets. It was used chiefly for the confinement of civilians, and was to the effenders against Confederate authority, by citizens under their rule, what Fort Lafayette or Fort Warren was to like offenders against the Goverument
ROSECRANS MOVES UPON BRAGG.
« June, 1863.
Confederate force, then holding the country between Knoxville and Chattanooga. The latter was to be the rallying point of the Confederates in Tennessee, should Bragg not be able to withstand Rosecrans.
At that time Bragg's left wing, eighteen thousand strong, under General (Bishop) Polk, lay at Shelbyville, the terminus of a short railway from the main track at Wartrace. His troops were behind formidable intrenchments, about five miles in length, cast up by several thousand slaves drawn from Georgia and Alabama. General Ilardee, with twelve thousand men, was at Wartrace, covering the railway, and holding the front of rugged hills admirably adapted for defense, behind which was a strongly intrenched camp at Tullahoma. Bragg now had about forty thousand men, and Rosecrans about sixty thousand.
It was known that Bragg's position was a very strong one, and Rosecrans determined to maneuver him out of it, if possible, before giving him battle. For this purpose he planned deceptive movements. These were to be a seeming advance from Murfreesboro' by the main army, directly on Bragg's center, at the same time threatening his left, and giving the real blow or chief attack on his right, and, if successful, march upon Tullahoma, and compel him to fall back, in order to secure his lines of communication
with Georgia. Accordingly, on the morning of the 23d of June,
the forward movement began, and on the 24th,' while rain was falling copiously, the whole army moved forward, McCook on the right, Thomas in the center, and Crittenden on the left. McCook moved toward Shelbyville, Thomas toward Manchester, and Crittenden in the direction of MeMinnville. The latter was to march much later than the other two, with Turchin's brigade of cavalry, while the remainder of Stanley's horsemen were thrown out on the right. General Gordon Granger's reserve corps, which had advanced to Triune, now moved forward in support of the corps of McCook and Thomas. Rosecrans's plans were quickly and successfully executed. McCook moved
early in the morning toward Shelbyville, with Sheridan's division
in advance, preceded by one half of the Thirtieth Indiana mounted infantry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Jones. The divisions of Johnson and Davis followed Sheridan a few miles, and then turned off to the left toward Liberty Gap, eastward of the railway, which was fortified. At the same time Colonel Wilder's mounted infantry were moving toward Manchester, followed by General Reynolds and the remainder of his division, the Fourth of Thomas's
corps. The latter was followed a few hours later by the divisions of Negley and Rousseau, of the same corps. Wilder was instructed to halt at Hoover's Gap until the infantry should come up, but finding it unoccupied he marched into it, captured a wagon-train and a drove of beeves passing through, and was pushing to the other extremity of it, when he was met by a heavy force of Confederates and pushed back. He held the Gap, however, until Reynolds came up and secured it. Meanwhile, McCook's troops, that turned toward Liberty Gap, with Willich's brigade in advance, soon encountered the Confederates. These were driven, their tents, baggage, and supplies, were captured, and the Gap was seized and held, against attempts to repossess it.
While Rosecrans was securing these important mountain passes, other
BRAGG CHASED BY ROSEORANS.
operations in accordance with his plan were equally successful. General Granger had started from Triune, on the extreme right, on the
• June, 1563. afternoon of the 23d, and sweeping rapidly on, encountering and pushing back the Confederates in several places, reached Christiana, on the road between Murfreesboro' and Shelbyville, without much trouble. There he was joined by Stanley and his cavalry, and, pressing on to Guy's Gap, secured it after a struggle of about two hours. The Confederates fled, closely pursued for seven miles without stopping, the former making for their rifle-pits, about three miles from Shelbyville. There the fugitives made a stand, but a charge by Stanley's horsemen drove them back upon the near defenses of the town-three guns and a considerable body of foot soldiers. At six o'clock in the evening, Granger came up with his infantry, when Stanley charged again, and before seven o'clock Shelbyville was in possession of the National troops. The spoils were three guns and a quantity of corn, and the trophy, five hundred prisoners. Wheeler and his cavalry escaped by swimming their horses across Duck River, but another troop of horsemen were killed or captured.
Rosecrans pressed through the mountain passes he had seized, and on the 27th his head-quarters were at Manchester, which Wilder had surprised and captured that morning; and two days afterward the whole of the corps of Thomas and McCook were there also. The Nationals were now prepared to flank Tullahoma, to which Bragg had fallen back, as they had done Shelbyville. Wilder was sent to strike the railway in Bragg's rear, at Decherd, destroy the bridge over the Elk River, and do whatever mischief he could to the foe. Decherd was reached and the railway was injured by the bold riders, but the bridge defied them. This raid, and the evidences that Rosecrans was about to move in force to turn his right, so alarmed Bragg, that on the night of the 30th of June he fled from Tullahoma, leaving, without giving a blow in their defense, the extensive works he had cast up in the course of several months in the hill country between Shelbyville, Wartrace, Tullahoma, and Decherd. “Thus,” said Rosecrans, in his report, “ended a nine days' campaign, which drove the enemy from two fortified positions, and gave us possession of Middle Tennessee.” 1 The detention of the Nationals at Hoover's Gap and in front of Winchester, alone prevented their gaining possession of Bragg's communications, and forcing him to give battle or to surrender.
On the day after Bragg retreated, Thomas and McCook advanced to Tullahoma and pressed hard upon the rear of the fugitives, hoping to strike them a fatal blow before they could reach the Elk River. They failed to do
The roads, cut up by the retreating army and saturated with continual rain—a rain almost without example in Tennessee—were impassable, and Bragg escaped across the river with his trains, his rear gallantly covered by Wheeler's cavalry. The Nationals did not cross it until the 3d,
July. when Sheridan forced a passage at Rock Creek Ford, and other troops crossed at different points. The Confederates, having the railway for use in heavy transportation, were then swarming in comparatively light
· Rosecraps said the campaign was conducted in one of the most extraordinary rains ever known in Tennessee at that period, over a soil that became almost a quicksand.” In that campaign Rosecrans lost 560 men, and captured from Bragg 1,624 men.
BRAGG FLIES TO CHATTANOOGA.
marching order on the lofty and rugged ranges of the Cumberland Mountains, by way of Tantallon and University, and were well on their way toward Chattanooga. Rosecrans advanced his army to near the foot of these mountains, when finding Bragg, who had destroyed all the bridges over the swollen streams in his rear, too far ahead to be easily overtaken, halted his entire force, chiefly on the high rolling table-land between Winchester, Decherd, Manchester, and McMinnville. On the 5th of July, Van Cleve, who had been left at Murfreesboro', arrived, and moved with his division to McMinnville. Bragg pushed on over the mountains,' crossed the Tennessee River at Bridgeport and its vicinity, where he destroyed the railway bridge behind him, and made his way to Chattanooga. His expulsion from Middle Tennessee, by which a greater portion of that State and Kentucky was left under the absolute control of the National authority, was a disheartening event for the Confederates; and now they felt that every thing depended upon their holding Chattanooga, the key of East Tennessee, and, indeed, of all Northern Georgia. Every effort was therefore made for that purpose; and the risk of fatally weakening Lee's army in Virginia, by withdrawing Longstreet's corps from it, was taken, and that efficient officer and his troops, as we have observed, were sent to re-enforce Bragg.'
Rosecrans now caused the railway to Stevenson, and thence to Bridgeport, to be put in order under the skillful direction of Colonel Innis and his Michigan engineers, and Sheridan's division was advanced to the latter section of the road, to hold it. At the same time Stanley swept down in a southwesterly direction, by way of Fayetteville and Athens, to cover the line of the Tennessee from Whitesburg up. As forage was
scarce in the mountain region over which he was to pass, and Bragg had consumed the last blade of grass, Rosecrans delayed his advance until the Indian corn in cultivated spots was sufficiently grown to furnish a supply. Meanwhile, he gathered army supplies at Tracy City and Stevenson, and thoroughly picketed the railway from Cowan to Bridgeport. Finally, at the middle of August, the army went forward to cross the Tennessee River at different points, for the purpose of capturing Chattanooga. Thomas's corps
1 The Cumberland range is lofty and rocky, and separate the waters which flow into the Tennessee River from those which are tributary to the Cumberland River. The range extends from near the Kentucky line almost to Athens, in Alabama. Its northwestern slopes are steep and rocky, with deep coves, out of which flow the streams that water East Tennessee. Its top is barren and undulating. Its southeastern slope, toward Chattanooga, is precipitous, and the undulating valley between its base and the Tennessee River averages about five miles in width. In the range, and parallel with its course is a deep clove, known as the Sequatchie Valley, three or four miles in width, and about fifty miles in length, which is traversed by a river of the same name. West of this valley the Nashville and Chattanooga railway crossed the Cumberland range through a low gap by a tunnel near Cowan, and down the gorge of Big Crow Creek to Stevenson, at the foot of the mountain. Walden's Ridge is on the eastern side of the Sequatchie, and its lofty rocky cliffs abut upon the Tennessee River, northward of Chattanooga.
? See page 99. 3 At the latter place the Nashville and Chattanooga railway and the Memphis and Charleston railway conjoin, making it a very important point in a military point of view.