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fourteen miles distant, he succeeded in misleading them, and returned with word of their approach.

Colonel Grierson, on learning that they were so near him, moved his command over Leaf River Bridge, which he destroyed, thus preventing the possibility of surprise in the rear. Proceeding to Westville, and crossing Pearl river, about ten miles from there, by ferrying the men and swimming the horses, the two battalions in advance, under Colonel Prince, made a rapid march to the railroad at Hazlehurst Station; where our men captured and destroyed forty cars, four of which were loaded with shell and ammunition, the rest with quartermaster and commissary stores Another train escaped by leaving five minutes before the arrival of our troops.

Captain Forbes, Company B, 7th Illinois, was de. tached south of Starkville, with orders to proceed to Macon. Making a bold march to within a short distance of that place, he found the bridge had been destroyed, and the place was occupied by a considerable force of Rebels. He then moved to Newton, and from thence to Enterprise, nearly one hundred miles east of the main body of our forces.

On reaching Enterprise, Captain Forbes sent a flag of truce to Colonel Goodwin, commanding the Rebel forces there, demanding the surrender of the town. The Rebel Colonel requested an hour to reply, and Captain Forbes finding the Rebel force stronger than he had supposed, and having accomplished his object of diverting their attention--before the expiration of the hour, was on a rapid gallop to join Colonel Grierson, then more than a day's march in advance. Taking a westward course, he soon struck the route taken by the

main force at Pearl River, which he soon joined by rapid marches.

Near Gallatin, our cavalry suddenly came upon a team hauling a 32-pounder, Parrott gun, destined for Port Gibson, which was captured and spiked.

About five miles east of Gallatin, Colonel Grierson detached a battalion to march immediately to the New Orleans, Jackson, and Great Northern Railroads at New Haven. They succeeded in destroying the railroad for some distance, burning several cars, water-tanks, and a considerable amount of other property, and cutting the telegraph wires, a very damaging work to Rebel interests.

The advance moved on Brook Haven, at daylight, on the 28th, so suddenly, as to surprise and capture two hundred Rebel prisoners. Some of them were found asleep in their quarters. A large number of muskets, packed ready for transportation, also, five hundred tents, at a camp of instruction, were destroyed.

The main body of our men, after leaving Gallatin, encountered Garland's cavalry, killing and capturing several, and routing the rest. Making a feint toward Port Gibson, and another toward Nashville, to deceive the enemy, they proceeded to Brook Haven, already occupied by our advance.

On the 30th ult, Colonel Grierson moved his force along the railroad, in a southerly direction, destroying all the bridges between Brook Haven and Bogue Chito Station. At the latter place fifteen freight cars were found standing on the track, partly loaded with army stores, which, with the depot, and railroad bridge were fired.

He then marched rapidly on to Summit, where twenty-eight more freight cars were destroyed. He

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then left the line of the railroad, for a point between Magnolia and Liberty, intending to reach the Clinton road. Information was received that a regiment of Rebel cavalry was moving towards Wassita. They were found at Wall's bridge, in Tickfaw.

Our cavalry immediately rushed in among them, killing eight or ten, and wounding many more, and completely routing the balance. Our loss was killed and five wounded. Colonel Blackburne, of the 7th Illinois, who had been conspicuous for his bravery, during the entire raid, was among the latter.

He received a wound in the thigh, and slight ones in the head and breast. It was believed he would recover, but it was thought best to leave him at a house by the road side, where a surgeon and one man remained with him.

After dispersing the Rebels, our forces proceeded East a short way, when they changed their course, and went directly South. At Edwards' Bridge they found another cavalry regiment posted there to dispute their passage. One battalion was sent to engage


enemy, while the main body went in the direction of Greensburg. At Edwards' Bridge the enemy could not be induced to fight, except in shirmishes, in which they lost several in killed and wounded, while not one of our men was hurt.

Thus far the appearance of our forces was a complete surprise to the Rebels wherever found. But at Oscia a deliberate plan had been laid for the capture of Grierson's command.

Hitherto the Rebels had evidently thought it was the intention of our forces to return to Lagrange, and had made every effort to intercept them on such return. But they had at last become convinced of Colonel Grierson's purpose to pursue his hazarous raid entirely through their country, and resolved, if possible, to stop his further advance.

In proceeding further South, he must needs cross several bridges, hence a regiment of cavalry was so posted as to flank Colonel Grierson's men, while a regiment of infantry was placed in his front to hold him in check until their cavalry could attack him in front and rear.

Seeing his danger, Colonel Grierson at once ordered a charge on the infantry, and dashing through their lines, in a few minutes left them far in the rear, without the loss of a man on his part; and so proceeded on to Greensburg, and thence to Clinton, crossing the Amite ten miles above.

On Big Sandy Creek a guerrilla Camp was attacked and 150 tents, camp equipage, and baggage destroyed, and several horses captured. Taking the Greensville Spring road, our forces then marched directly toward Baton Rouge.

About ten miles from the latter place they suddenly came upon Stewart's cavalry, who, after a short fight, retreated to the river, were surrounded and captured.

On Friday, May 1st, a courier arrived at Baton Rouge with the startling announcement, that a brigade of cayalry, from General Grant's army, having cut their way through the heart of the Rebel country, were within five miles of the city.

This information seemed at first almost incredible; but at four o'clock all doubt was removed, by Colonel Grierson and his heroes being escorted into the city by


by Captain Godfrey's cavalry. At the picket lines they were met by Colonel Dudley and staff, who extended to them a hearty welcome. Spontaneously, as it were, the air rang with three cheers, loud enough to echo along the hills to Port Iludson.

The importance of this expedition can hardly be realized, without reflection on what it accomplished. In seventeen days the troops marched over eight hundred miles, fighting wherever they met opposition; killing and wounding many of the enemy; capturing more than one thousand men, and over twelve hundred horses; and, destroying more than four millions of dollars worth of property, and completely cutting off all communication with the strongholds of the enemy on two important railroads.

As an instance of the activity and perseverance of Colonel Grierson's command, it is stated that while in pursuit of a Rebel cavalry force, they traveled, thirty hours, seventy-five miles, fought four battles, skirmished considerably, forded a river, and all the time neither men nor horses had any thing to eat.

On the evening of the 6th of May, the Union citizens of New Orleans gave to Colonels Grierson and Prince a magnificent reception at the St. Charles Hotel; complimenting Colonel Grierson, by presenting him with a splendid war-horse, and Colonel Prince, by presenting him with a superb military saddle and bridle. Long before the appointed hour, the rotunda was filled to its utmost capacity. The speeches usual on such occasions were made; Colonel Grierson giving all the credit of his success to the brave men and officers under his command.

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