Page images
[ocr errors]


Captain Wm. S Hillyer, Aide-de-Camp.

Major John Riggin, Jr., Volunteer Aide-de-Camp.

Captain R. B. Hatch, Assistant Quarter-Master U. S, Volunteers, Chief Quarter-Master.

"Captain W. W. Leland, A. C. S. U. S. Volunteers, Chief Commissary.


[ocr errors]

Captain W. F. Brinck, Ordnance Officer.

Surgeon James Simons, U. S. A., Medical Director.

"Assistant Surgeon, J. P. Taggert, U. S. A., Medical Pur- ́


[ocr errors]

'Major I. N. Cook, Pay-Master.

"Colonel J. D. Webster, Chief of Staff, and Chief of En


[ocr errors]

'By order:

"U. S. GRANT, "Brigadier-General Commanding."

At the same time arrangements were made for active operations in the District, and on the tenth of the following month, General McClernand with about five thousand men, and under the convoy of the gunboats Essex and St. Louis, left Cairo and steamed down the Mississippi. They were supplied with five days cooked rations, and landed on the Kentucky shore about eight miles below Cairo. On the next morning, three rebel gunboats attacked the two Union steamers, but after an engagement of an hour were compelled to retire behind their batteries at Columbus.

On the same day, General Grant issued the following order to General Paine commanding at Bird's Point:

[ocr errors]


"I understand that four of our pickets were shot this morning. If this is so, and appearances indicate that the assassins were citizens, not regularly organized in the rebel army, the whole country should be cleared out for six miles around, and word given that all citizens, making their appearance within those limits, are liable to be shot.

"To execute this, patrols should be sent out in all directions, and bring into camp, at Bird's Point, all citizens, together with their subsistence, and require them to remain, under penalty of death and destruction of their property, until properly relieved. "Let no harm befall these people, if they quietly submit,

but bring them in and place them in camp below the breastwork, and have them properly guarded.


The intention is not to make political prisoners of these people, but to cut off a dangerous class of spies.

"This applies to all classes and conditions, age and sex. If, however, women and children prefer other protection than we can afford them, they may be allowed to retire beyond the limits indicated-not to return until authorized.

"By order of

"U. S. GRANT, "Brigadier-General Commanding."

On the thirteenth of January, 1862, General Grant having perfected all his plans, issued an order to his troops to the following effect:

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

"During the absence of the expedition, now starting upon soil occupied almost solely by the rebel army, and when it is a fair inference that every stranger met is an enemy, the following orders will be observed:

[ocr errors]

Troops, on marching, will be kept in the ranks : company officers being held strictly accountable for all stragglers from their companies. No firing will be allowed in camp or on the march, not strictly required in the performance of duty. While in camp, no privilege will be granted to officers or soldiers to leave their regimental grounds, and all violations of this order must be promptly and summarily punished.

[ocr errors]

Disgrace having been brought upon our brave fellows by the bad conduct of some of their members, showing on all occasions, when marching through territory occupied by sympathizers of the enemy, a total disregard of the rights of citizens, and being guilty of wanton destruction of private property, the general commanding desires and intends to enforce a change in this respect.

"The interpreting of confiscation acts by troops themselves has a demoralizing effect-weakens them in exact proportion to the demoralization, and makes open and armed enemies of many who, from opposite treatment, would become friends, or, at the most, non-combatants.

"It is ordered, therefore, that the severest punishment be inflicted upon every soldier who is guilty of taking, or destroying, private property; and any commissioned officer, guilty of like conduct, or of countenancing it, shall be deprived of his sword and expelled from the camp, not to be permitted to return.

"On the march, cavalry advance guards will be thrown out, also flank guards of cavalry or infantry, when practicable. A rear-guard of infantry will be required to see that no teams, baggage, or disabled soldiers are left behind. It will be the duty of company commanders to see that rolls of their company

are called immediately upon going into camp each day, and every member accounted for. 66 "U. S. GRANT, "Brigadier-General Commanding."

[ocr errors]

By order:

On the following morning, General McClernand's forces moved from their encampment in the direction of Blandville, Kentucky; General Paine moved from Bird's Point, and General C. F. Smith also took up the line of march. The three columns consisted in the aggregate of four regiments and two companies of cavalry, nineteen regiments of infantry, and seven batteries of artillery, and were commanded by able and experienced officers, who with their men had implicit confidence in the superior skill and wisdom of their commander, who personally superintended every movement of his troops. The advance however was not intended, as was generally supposed, for an aggressive movement, but merely as a reconnoissance for the purpose of ascertaining the exact position and numbers of the enemy, and having, after a long march in the most inclement weather, accomplished all the desired objects, the command after about a week's absence returned to their former posts. PREPARING FOR AN ADVANCE - THE CAPTURE OF FORT HENRY.

On the twentieth of January, 1862, General Grant, for the purpose of supplying the gunboats which had been built on the Western waters with sailors, instructed the commanders of regiments in his district to report the number of river and seafaring men in their ranks who would accept transfer for service on the water, such volunteers to be discharged at the end of one year; and on the first of February the following was announced:



[ocr errors]

"For temporary government, the forces of this military district will be divided and commanded as follows, to wit:

"The First Brigade will consist of the Eighth, Eighteenth, Twenty-seventh, Twenty-ninth, Thirtieth, and Thirty-first Regiments of Illinois Volunteers, Schwartz's and Dresser's batteries, and Stewart's, Dollin's, O'Harnett's, and Carmichael's cavalry, Colonel R. J. Oglesby, senior colonel of the brigade, commanding.

"The Second Brigade will consist of the Eleventh, Twentieth, Forty-fifth, and Forty-eighth Illinois infantry, Fourth Illinois cavalry, Taylor's and McAllister's artillery. (The latter with four siege-guns.) Colonel W. H. L. Wallace commanding.

"The First and Second Brigades will constitute the First Division of the District of Cairo, and will be commanded by Brigadier-General John A. McClernand.


The Third Brigade will consist of the Eighth Wisconsin, Forty-ninth Illinois, Twenty-fifth Indiana, four companies of artillery, and such troops as are yet to arrive. Brigadier-General E. A. Paine commanding.

"The Fourth Brigade will be composed of the Tenth, Sixteenth, Twenty-second, and Thirty-third Illinois, and the Tenth Iowa infantry; Houtaling's battery of Light Artillery, four companies of the Seventh and two companies of the First Illinois cavalry. Colonel Morgan commanding.

"General E. A. Paine is assigned to the command of Cairo and Mound City, and Colonel Morgan to the command at Bird's Point.

"By order of

"U. S. GRANT, "Brigadier-General Commanding.


These troops did not include those under the command of Generals Lewis Wallace and C. F. Smith, then preparing for service at Smithland and Paducah. Having secured his rear from surprise, he started with the first division of the district of Cairo under General McClernand on an expedition against Fort Henry on the Tennessee river, near the boundary-line between Kentucky and Tennessee. Arriving near that work, he on the fifth of February, 1862, issued his orders prescribing the mode of attack. The gunboats, seven in number, had also arrived, and three of them were ordered by General Grant to proceed cautiously towards the fort, shelling the woods on either bank to ascertain if any hidden batteries had been erected. The transports followed, and the troops were landed at a

convenient point about four miles from the fort. A judicious arrangement was made that night of the camp-fires for the purpose of deceiving the enemy as to the strength of the force they would be called upon on the next morning to encounter, and it was doubtless owing in a great measure to the impression thus created that the rebels made such a hasty flight after the surrender.

Towards noon of the sixth, the troops commenced their advance upon the work, but before they could reach it the gunboats had opened their fire, and after an engagement of little more than an hour compelled the enemy to lower his colors and surrender to Flag-Officer Foote, who soon afterwards handed over the captured fortification with its garrison, including General Lloyd Tilghman, and its guns, to General Grant. The rebel commander in his official report of the surrender acknowledged the courtesies and consideration shown by General Grant, and Commander Foote, and the officers under their command; and on the fifteenth of February the President of the United States officially returned thanks to General Grant and Flag-Officer Foote for their gallant achievements at Fort Henry.



General Grant's plans did not permit him to tarry after the reduction of Fort Henry, and sending back to Cairo for reinforcements he prepared for further aggressive move


On the eleventh of February he issued an order for the advance of the troops in the direction of Fort Donelson, a formidable work on the Cumberland river, and the army under Generals McClernand, C. F. Smith, and Lew Wallace, having taken up the line of march, their commander followed on the twelfth. At noon on that day, the troops moving in two columns, the advance of General McCler

« PreviousContinue »