« PreviousContinue »
thousand of the militia of that State, in undisguised rage at the central management of military affairs, and in manifest contempt for Hood. Consequent upon this visit of Davis to Macon, a new military scheme was entered upon, such as the situation in fact not unnaturally invited, for compelling Gen. Sherman to release his hold upon Georgia. This scheme was simply that of an aggressive movement, in mass, upon the communications of the Union commander, with an invasion of the territory in his rear. The raids of Wheeler, Forrest and other cavalry leaders had indeed foreshadowed this movement, but merely as an incident, not as the main purpose, of a campaign. And it was quite another matter to move the main army of infantry on so long an expedition, abandoning the country in front of the invading force.
Hood's main force was soon moved in a westward direction, turning Sherman's right, by a circuitous march.
For some days following the 29th of September, telegraphic and other communication between Atlanta and Chattanooga was interrupted. The purpose of Hood was now fully disclosed, and he proceeded to execute it with his accustomed vigor. On the 3d of October, Gen. Sherman, leaving Gen. Slocum in command at Atlanta, with only the Twentieth Corps as a garrison, re-crossed the Chattahoochee vith the main army, which was provided with fifteen days' rations. General Thomas was on the same day dispatched to Chattanooga. Hood gained possession of Big Shanty and Acworth on the 5th, and destroyed several miles of the railroad. On the 6th, he appeared before Alatoona, but was repulsed by its bravc garrison with serere loss. The approach of Gen. Sherman caused him to retire from that vicinity on the 9th, when he fell back
Cedartown, some distance west of Alatoona, and south of Rome. Sherman's forces, moved up the railroad, which was rapidly repaired, and were concentrated about Rome on the 12th of the month. About the same time Hood, having moved in advance of Sherman on the left, struck the railroad again at Resacca, which place our forces reached on the 14th. Hood retired across Taylor's Bridge, obstructing Snake Creek Gap, which was quickly again made passable for the army and trains. On the 16th, Sherman took possession of Shipp's Gap, in the same mountain range, capturing some Rebel prisoners. The rear of Hood's army left Lafayette at daylight on the morning of the 17th, retiring south-westwardly into a mountainous and uncultivated region of Alabama, were prolonged pursuit was impracticable. Our advance stopped at Gaylesville in that State. Hood had carefully avoided giving battle, since his disastrous repulse at Allatoona, but had succeeded in destroying the railroad for about twenty miles between Resaca and Tunnel Hill, and for considerable distances at other points. All this damage was repaired, however, with remarkable rapidity, and the supplies at Atlanta were ample for the intermediate period. On the 29th, the main portion of the army moved back toward Atlanta. For several days, the headquarters remained at Kingston, a portion of the army having advanced as far as Marietta on the 5th of November. An attack on the outposts of Atlanta was made by Rebel militia under Iverson on the 9th, and repulsed by Gen. Slocum.
A new campaign was announced in general orders issued at Kingston on the 7th of November, and the final preparations were made for its commencement.
A well-organized and somewhat formidable invasion of Missouri was undertaken this season, under the leading auspices of the Rebel Price. This was doubtless but a fragment of a broken scheme of general aggressive warfare, transferring the seat of war into the loyal States, which had been devised at Richmond, and with the execution of which Lieut.-Gen. Grant had early and persistently interfered. The debris of this grand plan could be discerned all along the border line, eastward and in the center; but in Missouri and the far Southwest, the parts assigned appear to have been undertaken substantially, as at first intended. With such means as could reasonably be placed at his disposal, Gen. Rosecrans energetically combatted the carlier guerrilla movements in his department, and the later well-matured expedition of Price. Gen. Curtis, commanding in Kansas, also bore his part in repelling a movement which threatened his own district, as well as the Department of the Missouri.
The situation of affairs in many parts of Missouri was indeed deplorable, prior to the operations under the larger bands of Price and Shelby. In an address to the people of that State, issued on the 28th of June, 1864, Gen. Rosecrans said: “With a great and populous State, a fertile soil, vast mineral wealth, supplied with outlets by water and railroad, for all your productions, no actual war within your borders for the last two years, and yet plundering, robbery and arson, have prevailed every where to a certain cxtent, except at points garrisoned by troops, and some few strictly loyal sections of the State." Earnestly appealing to the people to unite with him in his efforts to put down these disorders, and to respond to the arrangement made with the Governor of the State for calling out a portion of the enrolled militia, Gen. Rosecrans gave his earnest attention-with the best results, as ultimately appeared—to the difficult work before him. These duties occupied the forces in his Department—the details of their operations being too minute and disconnected for any summary recital—until the appearance of considerable invading forces from across the border, with the manifest purpose of attempting to overrun and re-conquer the State.
With a force estimated at 10,000 men, Price crossed the White River at Salina, Arkansas, on the 14th of September, on his way through the north-eastern portion of Arkansas into Missouri. His advance, under Shelby, reached the little town of Bloomfield, in Stoddard County, Missouri, in the south-eastern corner of the State, on the 23d of the month. He appears to have ranged through the country with very little opposition, depredating and “conscripting" at will. On the 26th, Gen. Rosecrans issued another stirring order, calling on the people to prepare a fitting reception for the invader; and Gov. Gamble took prompt measures for putting a militia force in the field. Gen. Rosecrans authorized the formation of a Veteran Brigade at St. Louis, under Col. Laibold (of Dalton memory) “for the defense of the city, and to punish Price, Shelby and their companions, as well as the traitors at home who are waiting to join them, an who harc aided and
supplied them with horses, stolen from their neighbors during the last few weeks, and sent South."
A brigade of Gen. A. J. Smith's command, under Gen. Ewing, was sent out to operate against Price's column, and occupied the town of Pilot-knob on the 25th of September; anticipating the movement of the enemy, who appeared before that place on the 26th. Price proceeded at once to attack our lines, but was repulsed in all his attempts, suffering serious loss. Ewing's position was, however, subsequently made untenable by Price's occupation of Shepherd's Mountain. He accordingly blew up his magazine, and retired to Harrison's Station, where he made a stand behind intrenchments previously erected by a militia force that had occupied the place. Price closely followed him, breaking the railroad on each sido of Ewing, and putting his smaller force in imminent danger. But the latter soon extricated himself from the enemy's toils, brought his command, with little loss, to Rolla, which was a fortified post occupied by Gen. McNeil.
Gen. Steele, having been reinforced by troops drawn from Memphis and other points, despatched a force under .Gen. Mower from Brownsville, Arkansas, on the 17th of September, in pursuit of Price. This column reached Cape Girardeau on or about the 6th of October, without falling in with any hostile force. Price, in the meantime, after feigning an advance on St. Louis, where Gen. Rosecrans had concentrated considerable forces, moved off toward the interior of the State, threatening Jefferson City. Mower's forces speedily embarked on transports at Cape Girardeau for St. Louis, and from thence proceeded up the Missouri River to Jefferson City. Gen. Rosecrans left St. Louis for the front on the 13th of October, and took the field in person on the 19th. The various Union forces in the State were concentrating about the scene of Price's operations, Gen. Curtis advancing from Kansas, and Gen. Pleasanton leading the forces that moved out from St. Louis, where he had been in command of the defenses of the city.
Glasgow, on the north side of the Missouri River, was taken by the Rebel Clark on the 15th, and a large amount of property destroyed, while the guerrilla parties were active in various parts of northern Missouri, from which section a large number of recruits were obtained for Price. About this time, Shelby crossed the river at Booneville, with 2,000 cavalry, and started on a circuit north and west.
After remaining some time in the vicinity of Jefferson City, on which he hesitated to make his threatened attack, Price had retired westward, destroying the La Mine bridge, on the Pacific railroad, and hovering about Boonevillc, in some of the carlier days of October, Gen. Sanborn harassing the enemy's flanks and rear. Jeff. Thompson defeated the militia garrison at Sedalia, and entered that town on the 16th of October. Price got possession of Lexington on the 17th. Curtis drore a Rebel force from Independence on the 16th, and advanced toward Lexington, while the forces of Rosecrans moved rapidly up from the East. Price quickly abandoned the latter place, and fell back toward the Kansas border, sending off his long wagon train toward the South-west, while his raiders in northern Missouri re-crossed the river. Price was defeated at the Little Blue River, on the 22d of October, and driven to the Big Blue. Shelby gained a temporary advantage at Westport, on the 23d, but was afterward beaten, on the same day, by our main army. On the 25th, Price was again attacked, on the Fort Scott road, and beaten with serious loss. Still more decisive victories were gained over him at Mine Creek, on tho 26th, when his Generals, Marmaduke and Cabell, were captured, with a large number of their men; on the 27th, at Marais des Cygnes (in Kansas); and again at Newtonia on the 28th.
The invasion of Missouri was now at an end. The residue of Price's men—including the fresh recruits, whose departure was not disadvantageous to the peace and civilized order of the State-were but too glad to escape without a further contest.
With a grasp upon Georgia that could not be shaken off, with an utter dispersion of the invading expedition of Price in Missouri, with Mobile Bay commanded by our Navy, and with firm possession, despite occasional raids, of all the territory thus far regained west of the Alleghany range, the Pre