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was not necessary to live. The country knows the result-Donelson fell. The enemy, twenty thousand strong, behind his intrenchments, succumbed before the unrelenting bravery and vigor of our troops, no more than twenty-eight thousand engaged. We took there, not twelve thousand, not fifteen thousand, but more than sixteen thousand prisoners. I have it from General Halleck, that we have actually paid transportation for more than sixteen thousand prisoners. That, in most countries, would have been called a most brilliant military achievement. Napoleon surrounded Old Mack at Ulm, and captured twenty thousand or more prisoners, and that exploit has filled a great space in history.
While the capture of Donelson filled the country with joy, there was a cruel disposition to withhold from the commanding general the meed of gratitude and praise so justly his due. Captious criticisms were indulged in that he did not make the attack properly, and that if he had done differently the work might have been better accomplished. It was not enough that he fought and gloriously conquered, but he ought to have done it differently, forsooth. Success could be no test of merit with him. That was the way the old generals spoke of the young Napoleon when he was beating them in every battle, and carrying his eagles in triumph over all Europe. He did not fight according to the rules of war. But there was a more grievous suggestion touching the general's habits. It is a suggestion that has infused itself into the public mind everywhere. There never was a more cruel and atrocious slander upon a brave and noble-minded man. There is no more temperate man in the army than General Grant. He never indulges in the use of intoxicating liquors at all. He is an example of courage, honor, fortitude, activity, temperance, and modesty, for he is as modest as he is brave and incorruptible. To the bravery and fortitude of Lannes, he adds the stern republican simplicity of Guvion St. Cyr. It is almost vain to hope that full justice will ever be done to men who have been thus attacked. Truth is slow upon the heels of falsehood. It has been well said that falsehood will travel from Maine to Georgia while truth is putting on its boots.'
"Let no gentleman have any fears of General Grant. He is no candidate for the Presidency. He is no politician. Inspired by the noblest patriotism, he only desires to do his whole duty to his country. When the war shall be over he will return to his home, and sink the soldier in the simple citizen. Though living in the same town with myself, he has no political claims on me, for, so far as he is a politician, he belongs to a different party. He has no personal claims upon me more than any other constituent. But I came here to speak as an Illinoisian, proud of his noble and patriotic State; proud of its great history now being made up; proud above all earthly things of her brave
soldiers, who are shedding their blood upon all the battle-fields of the Republic. If the laurels of Grant shall ever be withered, it will not be done by the Illinois soldiers who have followed his victorious banner.
"But to the victory at Pittsburgh Landing, which has called forth such a flood of denunciation upon General Grant. When we consider the charges of bad generalship, incompetency, and surprise, do we not feel that even the joy of the people is cruel?' As to the question of whether there was, or not, what might be called a surprise, I will not argue it; but even if there had been, General Grant is no wise responsible for it, for he was not surprised. He was at his head-quarters at Savannah when the fight commenced. Those head-quarters were established there, as being the most convenient point for all parts of his command. Some of the troops were at Crump's Landing, between Savannah and Pittsburgh, and all the new arrivals were coming to Savannah. That was the proper place for the head-quarters of the commanding general at that time. The general visited Pittsburgh Landing and all the important points every day. The attack was made Sunday morning by a vastly superior force. In five minutes after the first firing was heard, General Grant and staff were on board a steamboat on the way to the battlefield, and instead of not reaching the field till ten o'clock, or, as has been still more falsely represented, till noon, I have a letter before me from one of his aides who was with him, and who says he arrived there at eight o'clock in the morning, and immediately assumed command. There he directed the movements, and was always on that part of the field where his presence was most required, exposing his life, and evincing in his dispositions, the genius of the greatest commanders. With what desperate bravery that battle of Sunday was fought! what display of prowess and courage! what prodigies of valor! Our troops, less than forty thousand, attacked by more than eighty thousand of the picked men of the rebels, led by their most distinguished generals!
"But it is gravely charged by these military critics who sit by the fireside while our soldiers are risking their lives on the field of conflict, that Grant was to blame in having his troops on the same side of the river with the enemy. I suppose they would have the river interpose between our army and the enemy, and permit that enemy to intrench himself on the other side, and then undertake to cross in his face. It was, in the judgment of the best military men, a wise disposition of his forces, placing them where he did. To have done otherwise, would have been like keeping the entire army of the Potomac on this side of the river, instead of crossing it when it could be done, and advancing on the other side.
"After fighting all day with immensely superior numbers of the enemy, they only drove our forces back two and one half
miles, and then it was to face the gunboats and the terrible batteries so skilfully arranged and worked by the gallant and accomplished officers, Webster and Callender, and which brought the countless host of the enemy to a stand. And when night came, this unconquerable army stood substantially triumphant on that bloody field.
"I believe, notwithstanding the desperate fighting on Sunday, and the partial repulse of our troops, that, aided by the fresh troops of the brave Lew. Wallace, that army could have whipped the enemy on Monday without further reinforcements. That army could never have been conquered. But I would not detract from the glorious fighting of Buell's troops on Monday, for they behaved with great gallantry and fought bravely, successfully, and well. Justice must be done to all. By a general order, General Halleck, now on the spot and cognizant of all the facts, has publicly thanked the generals, Grant, Buell, and Sherman, indorsing their bravery and skill.
"Sir, I have detained the House too long, but I have felt called upon to say this much. I came only to claim public justice; the battle of Pittsburgh Landing, though a bloody one, yet it will make a bright page in our history. The final charge of General Grant at the head of his reserves will have a place, too, in history. While watching the progress of the battle on Monday afternoon, word came to him that the enemy was faltering on the left. With the genius that belongs only to the true military man, he saw that the time for the final blow had come. In quick words he said, 'Now is the time to drive them.' It was worthy the world-renowned order of Wellington, Up, Guards, and at them.' Word was sent by his body-guard to the different regiments to be ready to charge when the order was given; then, riding out in front amid a storm of bullets, he led the charge in person, and Beauregard was driven howling to his intrenchments. His left was broken, and a retreat commenced which soon degenerated into a perfect rout. The loss of the enemy was three to our two in men, and in much greater proportion in the demoralization of an army which follows a defeat. That battle has laid the foundation for finally driving the rebels from the Southwest. So much for the battle of Pittsburgh Landing, which has evoked such unjust and cruel criticism, but which history will record as one of the most glorious victories that has ever illustrated the annals of a great nation."
SKIRMISHING BEFORE CORINTH-THE EVACUATION OF THAT STRONGHOLD.
Between the eighth and the middle of May, there were numerous skirmishes between the opposing forces, which were gradually approaching closer to each other, and on
the seventeenth of the month, General Sherman's division advanced along the Corinth road, until they reached a point known as "Russell's House," where they encountered the enemy, and after a sharp engagement, succeeded in driving them from their position, which General Sherman occupied and intrenched. On the morning of the twenty-first, General Thomas A. Davies's division moved forward for the purpose of occupying an important ridge to the north of Phillip's Creek. Fire was immediately opened by the enemy, and for some time a severe engagement progressed, but finally the rebels were compelled to retire, completely routed, and the Union troops occupied and fortified the ridge, which was within shelling distance of the enemy's intrenchments. On the twenty-seventh the rebels were whipped by General Sherman's division, and on the next day three columns, commanded respectively by Generals Thomas, Buell and Pope, and under the personal direction of General Grant, made a reconnoissance within gunshot of the works at Corinth. Their advance was hotly contested, but the rebels were driven back with considerable loss, and the objects of the reconnoissance were satisfactorily accomplished. On the twentyninth, much to the astonishment of our officers and men, who had anticipated another scene of blood, the rebels evacuated Corinth, and on the following morning the place, and the numerous formidable works around it, were occupied by General Halleck's army, the Fifth division of General Grant's Army of the Tennessee being the first to enter the works.
Pursuit of the demoralized Southern troops was immediately commenced, and was continued until, finding it impossible to rival the fugitives in speed, the pursuers were ordered to return. Expeditions were also sent in different directions to destroy railroad communications, not the least important of which was one sent to Holly Springs,
under command of General Sherman, and which destroyed much valuable property in and near that place.
IMPORTANT ORDERS ISSUED AT MEMPHIS. Immediately after the surrender of Memphis in June, 1862, General Grant visited that city, and placing it under the charge of a Provost-Marshal, took such decisive steps as would tend to suspend the illicit traffic which had been previously extensively carried on by the sympathizers with treason, between that point and the States in rebellion, and also check the depredations of guerillas in that section of the country. The sending of goods, fire-arms, ammunition, and correspondence out of the city, was prohibited; persons desirous of leaving the place, were required first to take the oath of allegiance, or give a parole of honor; the families of persons holding civic or military positions under the rebel government, were instructed to move south beyond our lines, unless they signed a prescribed parole, and gave a guarantee that they had not conspired against the Government of the United States since the occupation of Memphis, and would not do so in the future; guerillas were notified that they would not be treated as prisoners of war when captured, and the seizure and sale of the property of sympathizing residents of the immediate neighborhood, for the purpose of remunerating the Government for loss and expense that might be sustained by the depredations of the outlaws, was authorized; and finally, the unoccupied buildings in the city belonging to traitors, were ordered to be taken possession of and rented for the benefit of the United States.
GENERAL GRANT ASSUMES COMMAND
On the seventeenth of July, 1862, General Halleck took, leave of his army, preparatory to going to Washington to