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supplies, bis force was employed, as he three the whole column was in motion, proceeded, in reconstructing the bridges. advancing in profound silence through On the 9th of April, having rebuilt 1,200 the darkness, like an army of specters. feet of heavy bridging in ten days, his Nothing could be heard except the occacommand thus reached Shelbyville by sional rumble of the artillery over a railway, fifty-seven miles from Nashville, bridge or some stony part of the road. and about the same distance from Hunts. The cavalry scouts away in the advance ville. Having thus secured a base of ran down, seized, and sent back every supplies, General Mitchel lost no time in person who was astir. The entire divipushing his force forward. By an extra. sion passed through a small village seven ordinary march of two days, the advance miles from Huntsville, without disturbing were, on the evening of the 10th of April, the slumbers of a single inhabitant. On within ten miles of Huntsville. A cor- reaching a point four miles from the city respondent has given a vivid description we learned that no considerable force of of the preparations of that night, and of the enemy was in town. The whistle of the energy displayed by General Mitchel locomotives began to be heard in several in carrying out his plans. "The night directions. The cavalry were ordered of the 10th,” says he, “was one of the forward to the front of the column, supdeepest solicitude, Our commanding ported by two pieces of artillery ; and general visited every bivouac in person, now the work became exciting beyond and told the soldiers that the morning's the power of words to describe. The work was to be of the greatest import- detachment of cavalry ordered to the

Orders were issued that they right broke away at full speed. That should be roused quietly without sound ordered to the left

, in like manner, was of drum or trumpet, and that the line of soon seen flying through the fields. Lomarch was to be formed in perfect silence. comotives, like some mighty living game During the night time many negroes, ar- of the forest, startled by the hunter, rested by our pickets and videttes, were were now heard sounding their whistles brought in. At twelve o'clock we learn- in every direction. The cavalry dashed ed from a negro that 5,000 of the ene- forward, followed at a rapid pace by the my's troops had reached Huntsville artillery. In a few moments the first during the preceding afternoon, anil his gun was fired, whose heavy boom was master asserted that they knew of our followed by the rattle of infantry, and approach, and were ready to receive us. immediately three out of four of the locoThe plans were all formed during the motives on the track were brought to night. Three detachments of cavalry and captured. The whole column now were organized with specific iustructions. dashed into the city. Everything was The first, as the force approached Hauts- promptly seized, and we found, to our ville in the morning, was ordered to inexpressible gratification, some fifteen break to the right, cut the telegraph or twenty engines, with rolling stock in wires, and tear up the railway track ; proportion." the second was to perform a similar duty This important achievement, so brilon the left, while to the third was assign- liantly conducted, was thus telegraphed to ed the duty of seizing the telegraph with the War Department, by General Mitchel, all the dispatches, should we be so fortu- on the 11th : “After a forced march of nate as to enter the city. At two o'clock incredible difficulty, leaving Fayetteville in the morning the troops were all arous- yesterday at twelve o'clock m., my aded, and as they marched past the com- vanced guard, consisting of Turchin's manding general he addressed to each

* Correspondence New York Tribu xe, Huntsville, Ala., regiment a few words of caution. By April 18, 1862.



brigade, Kennett's Ohio cavalry, and railways running from Nashville. From Simonson's Ohio battery, entered Hunts- Decatur the Union troops advanced by ville this morning, at six o'clock. The the road, and occupied Tuscumbia. “In city was completely taken by surprise, three days," said General Mitchel to his no one having considered the march troops, in an address, on the 16th of practicable in the time. We have cap- April

, “ you have extended your front tured about two hundred prisoners, fif- of operations more than 120 miles, and teen locomotives, a large amount of your morning gun at Tuscumbia may passenger and box platform cars, the now be heard by your comrades on the telegraph apparatus and office, and two battle-field recently made glorious by Southern mails. We have at last suc- their victory before Corinth.” In a disceeded in cutting the great artery of rail- patch to a friend in New York, he wrote, way coinmunication between the Southern“We have penetrated a magnificent colStates." Among the spoils of this vic- ton region, have taken, and now hold tory was a dispatch, dated Corinth, and run more than 100 miles of railway, April 9, from General Beauregard, in- well stocked with machinery, and in fine tercepted on its way to Adjutant Gener- condition. I have abandoned the idea al Cooper, at Richmond. It was written of ever coming nearer to an enemy

than in cypher, but was readily decyphered long cannon range. This is the third by the scientific commander, General State through which I have hunted him Mitchel. It announced the approach of without success.” the Union army, with an overwhelming General Turchin held Tuscumbia with force of not less than 85,000 men, to a detachment of Illinois and Ohio which only 35,000 effective troops could troops till the 24th of May, when he rebe opposed. Van Dorn was looked for tired, with some skirmishing along the with 1,500 more. Reinforcements were route, to Jonesboro', a station on the asked. “If defeated here,” it conclud- railway, near Decatur, before a superior ed, “we lose the Mississippi valley, and body of the enemy, advancing from the probably our cause ; whereas we could direction of Corinth. It was the expeceven afford to lose for a while Charleston tation of the enemy to capture a large and Savannah, for the purpose of defeat- quantity of supplies which had been sent ing Buell's army, which would not only by General Halleck to General Turchin, insure us the valley of the Mississippi, by way of Florence, a few miles distant but our independence."

on the Savannah, but they were carried The advantage gained at Huntsville off in safety. Being still threatened by was promptly followed up on the line of the enemy in force, General Turchin was the railway to the east and west. Steven- compelled to destroy a portion of his son and Decatur were both entered the provisions, and retire across the Tennesnext day; the former by General see river at Decatur, burning the bridge Mitchel; the latter by Colonel Turchin. at this point, a costly structure, 2,200 General Mitchel, destroying a bridge over feet in length. Colonel Lytle's brigade a creek, spared for the present the more had the post of honor in the retreat. important structure, a few miles beyond, Decatur was evacuated on the 27th, at Bridgeport, while Colonel Turchin the troops hastening toward Bridgeport, arrived in time to save the bridge at at the eastern extremity of that portion Decatur, which had been set fire to by of the railway held by the Union troops, the enemy. General Mitchel bad thus, where the enemy were now making a by his effective strategy, pierced the stand at the bridge. An expedition was Confederate line in the middle, and sent thither by General Mitchel. Adgained possession of the junction of two vancing to the creek beyond Stevenson,

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where, as we have stated, one of the the face of their fire, and saved the minor bridges of the railway had been bridge. From the island to the main destroyed, the advance brigade of Colo- shore we could not save it. It is of nel Sill crossed the stream by means of small moment, its length being but about cotton bales skillfully fastened together 450 feet. Prisoners taken report five by rails running underneath the ropes, regiments of infantry and 1,800 cavalry and laid on parallel lines nine or ten feet stationed at the bridge. This campaign apart. Across these, boards were placed. is ended, and I now occupy Huntsville providing a secure footing for troops and in perfect security ; while in all of Alaartillery. The brigade of Colonel Lytle bama north of the Tennessee river floats presently joined the advance, and on the no flag but that of the Union.” The day 29th General Mitchel, hearing that the following this engagement General Mitchenemy had cut the telegraph wires, and el's troops crossed from the island to attacked, during the night, one of the the main land, and captured two sixbrigades, left Huntsville to take the field pounder cannon and their ammunition. in person. “I started,” says he in a A detachment was then sent out on the brief report after the engagement, to the road to Chattanooga, and returned after Secretary of War, “by a train of cars in having captured various stores, and a the morning, followed by two additional mail, and having destroyed a saltpetre regiments of infantry and two companies manufactory in a cave.

Another expeof cavalry. I found that our pickets had dition penetrated to Jasper, "where," engaged the enemy's pickets four miles says General Mitchel, “ the troops found from Bridgeport, and after a sharp en- a strong Union feeling. On the same gagement, in which we lost one man day a skirmish occurred with the enemy's killed, drove them across a stream whose cavalry at Athens. Our outposts were railway bridge I had burned. With four driven back, but, on being reinforced, the regiments of infantry, two pieces of ar- enemy retreated in the direction of Flotillery, dragged by hand, and two com- rence. There are straggling bands of panies of cavalry, we advanced to the mounted men, partly citizens, along my burnt bridge and opened our fire upon entire line, threatening the bridges, one the enemy's pickets on the other side, of which they succeeded in destroying." thus producing the impression that our Colonel Turchin, whose services are so advance would be by the railway. This often recorded in the dispatches of Genaccomplished, the entire force was thrown eral Mitchel, was a native of Russia who across the country about a mile, and put had received a military education, and on the road leading from Stevenson to served in an important position in the Bridgeport. The middle column now army of his native land. He came to the advanced at a very rapid pace.

Our United States in 1856, and was employ. scouts attacked those of the enemy and ed in Illinois in the engineer department forced them from the Bridgeport road. of the Central railroad. At the breakWe thus succeeded in making a complete ing out of the rebellion he became Colosurprise, immediately forming our line nel of the 19th regiment of that State, of battle on the crest of a wooded hill and previous to the present campaign within five hundred yards of the works had served in Missouri and Kentucky. constructed to defend the bridge. At His name became widely known from our first fire the rebels broke and ran. the odium in which he was held by the They attempted to blow up the main Confederates, in consequence of the conbridge but failed. They then attempted duct of a portion of his command on abanto fire the further extremity, but the vol

Huntsville, unteers, at my call, pushed forward in May 4, 1862.

* General Mitchel to Secretary Stanton.



doning Athens in Alabama. Under vio- where they had just achieved a victory, lent provocation, as it was alleged, the and summoned the available forces from citizens joining the enemy in pursuit of Missouri and elsewhere, in his wide dethe retiring Union troops, the latter re-partment. General Pope arrived at entered the town, and sacked and pillaged Hamburg on the Tennessee river, a few a number of houses, committing various miles above Pittsburg Landing, on the assaults upon the townspeople. Colonel 24th of April, and occupied with his diTurchin was put on trial before a court- |-vision the left of the Union army, of martial for the affair, but no evidence which Buell held the centre, and Genwas produced to show that he had order- eral Grant's forces the right. Among ed or countenanced any unlawful pro- the division and brigade officers in comceedings. In fact, while the investiga- mand were General T. L. Crittenden, tion was going on, so little was it thought General Thomas, of Mill Spring celebof at Washington that he was promoted rity, General Lewis Wallace, General to be brigadier-general of volunteers.* J. A. Logan, of Illinois, General McClerThe next military movement of General nand, General W. T. Sherman, General Mitchel's division was an expedition un- Hurlbut, General McKean, General J. C. der Brigadier-General Commanding J. S. Davis, lately in command at Pea Ridge, Negley, from Pulaski on the Nashville and General T. W. Sherman, who had and Decatur railway, supported by a been recently superseded at Port Royal force under CWonel Lytle, from Athens, by General Hunter. The entire army, against a considerable rebel force at occupying a semicircular line of six miles Rogersville, east of Florence, on the from Owl creek to Chamber's creek, northerly side of the Tennessee river. numbered over a hundred thousand men, General Mitchel accompanied Colonel and the force of the enem, as thought Lytle, expecting an obstinate defence at at least to equal it in number. A genthe passage of the Elk ; but “the enemy, eral movement toward Corinth was comas usual, say's be, “fled at our ap- menced on the 29th April, when General proach." After some excellent artillery Sherman advanced to Monterey on Pea practice, General Negley entered Rogers- Ridge, over the main road taken by the Ville, driving the enemy across the Ten- Confederates in their retreat. The next nessee, and destroying a portion of the day General Morgan L. Smith, with three ferry boats.*

battalions of cavalry and a brigade of While General Mitchel was thus cut. infantry, was sent on an expedition to ting off the enemy at Corinth from their cut off the enemy's northern communicaeastern communication, General Halleck tion by the Mobile and Ohio railroad. was disposing his forces for a sure ad- The rebels were found in considerable vance from the vicinity of the late battle force in a piece of timber near Purdy, ground on the Tennessee. He found the and while they were engaged by one troops, on his arrival, suffering from portion of the attacking party, another sickness and exposure, and the effects of under Colonel Dickey proceeded to desthe late series of conflicts. It was neces- troy an important bridge of the railway. sary that the army should be reorganized While the fire was consuming the timand strengthened by reinforcements. He bers a train was heard approaching from called General Pope, with his entire com- the direction of

the direction of Corinth. "Putting his mand, from New Madrid and its vicinity, men in ambush, Colonel Dickey soon

captured a locomotive, with a conductor, • Huntsville, Ala., correspondence of the Cincinnati Ga engineer, and four other persons, prisonGeneral Mitchel to Secretary Stanton. Huntsville, ers. He found an engineer among the Ala., May 15, 1862.

cavalry, who ran the locomotive about balf a mile back from the bridge, fired banners for the first time during this the engine up to its utmost steam capa- war, we shall meet our foe in strength city, and started it for the bridge. At a that should give us victory. Soldiers, fearful speed the unfortunate engine can the result be doubtful ? Shall we plunged into the ravine, where her dis- not drive back into Tennessee the prejected members are piled in hopeless sumptuous mercenaries collected for our destruction. From the prisoners it was subjugation ? One more manly effort, ascertained that three trains heavily and, trusting in God and the justness of loaded with troops were expected hourly, our cause, we shall recover more than and the engine had been sent to help we have lately lost. Let the sound of them through. These troops had been our victorious guns be re-echoed by those sent from Memphis, by Humboldt and of the army of Virginia on the historic Jackson, the direct road being entirely battle-field of Yorktown." occupied with transportation to Corinth. Good resolute words were not, indeed, The destruction of the bridge deprived often neglected in the Confederate army, them of tbis road, and was an important where appeals of this kind, perhaps from step in the movements which are gradu- the more susceptible nature of the comally but surely hemming in Beauregard's batants, seem to have been much relied on. army.

General Bragg, accordingly, seconded the These preparatory movements were bulletin of his chief by an additional not unnoticed at Corinth, where they appeal to the corps which he commandcalled forth an address to his army from ed : “Soldiers : you are again about to General Beauregard, dated May 2d, in encounter the mercenary invader who which it will be observed, he confidently pollutes the sacred soil of our beloved relies on the numbers at bis command, country. Severely punished by you, which had been greatly augmented by and driven from his chosen positions, the withdrawal of the forces of Generals with a loss of his artillery and his honor, Price and Van Dorn from Arkansas, and at Shiloh, when double your numbers, the concentration of all available troops he now approaches cautiously and timidfrem the south-west : “Soldiers of Shiloh ly, unwilling to advance, unable to reand Elkhorn : We are about to meet treat. Could bis rank and file enjoy a once more, in the shock of battle, the in- freeman's right, not one would remain vaders of our soil, the despoilers of our within our limits, but they are goaded homes, the disturbers of our family ties, on under a tyrant's lash by desperate face to face, hand to hand. We are to leaders, whose only safety lies in success. decide whether we are to be freemen or Such a foe ought never to conquer freevile slaves of those who are free only in men battling upon their own soil.

You name, and who but yesterday were van- will encounter him in your chosen posiquished, although in largely superior tion, strong by nature, and improved by numbers, in their own encampments, on art, away from his main support and rethe ever memorable field of Shiloh. Let liance-gunboats and heavy batteries the impending battle decide our fate, and aud, for the first time in this war, with add a more illustrious page to the history nearly equal numbers. The slight reof our revolution-one to which our verses we bave met on the seaboard children will point with noble pride, say- have worked us good as well as evil ; the ing: Our fathers were at the battle of brave troops so long retained there have Corinth. I congratulate you on your hastened to swell our numbers, while the timely junction. With your mingled gallant Van Dorn and invincible Price,

with the ever successful “ army of the * Correspondence New York Herald. Camp near Mon- West,” are now in your midst with numterey, May 1, 1862.

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