Page images



They were, however, pursued by a Confederate train so closely that the brass journals of their engine melted.

When about fifteen miles from Chattanooga they were compelled to jump from the cars and take refuge in the woods. Here they were all hunted down; eight of them were hanged. Mitchell used every exertion to capture Chattanooga, but the force under Kirby Smith was too strong to permit success.


The operations of this energetic and able general show what might have been done by Buell had there been more celerity in his march and more vigor in his proceedings. The contrast between these commanders was so striking that it was impossible for them to act in unison. The subsequent movements of Bragg would probably have had a very different issue if Mitchell had been his antagonist. In an evil hour Mitchell South Carolina and was removed from the scene of his brilliant expedition to South Carolina, where, unhappily, he died—a loss to the nation and to science, for previously to the war he had distinguished himself by his devotion to practical astronomy.

His transfer to


The Memphis and Charleston Railroad was thoroughly broken by this burning of bridges and tearing up of rails. The Confederate communications between the Atlantic States and the Mississippi by this route were severed.

[ocr errors]



In continuation of the general plan of the campaign, the army at Corinth was divided. One portion of it, under Buell, marched eastward toward Chattanooga, to seize that strategic point. To the other, under Grant, was assigned the duty of moving southward to open the Mississippi.

The Confederate armies were greatly strengthened by conscription, and inspirited by their victories in Virginia.

Grant's army was weakened to strengthen Buell. He was compelled to defer his
southward march. The Confederate generals in front of him were tempted
to endeavor to retake Corinth, but were not successful.

Grant, having received re-enforcements, commenced the first campaign against
Vicksburg, but was forced back. Sherman, having passed down the Mississippi
with the same intention, was repulsed at Chickasaw Bayou.
Capture of Arkansas Post.

loh campaign.

BEAUREGARD had thrown the die and lost. In the forResults of the Shi- ests of Shiloh the fate not only of the Upper Mississippi, but also apparently that of the great states Kentucky and Tennessee, had been decided. A vast space of many thousand square miles, the entire northwest of the Confederacy, had been wrenched away

Not without reason, then, was there consternation in Richmond. The anger of Davis when he ordered Beauregard into retirement seemed to be almost justified.

Halleck, however, had entered Corinth, not with the military pomp he had expected. There had been no brilliant operations, no triumphant assault. His wily antag onist had simply given him the slip.


Corinth gained, Halleck prepared to execute the reThe march of Buell mainder of his plan. He had now to detach Buell eastward to Chattanooga, while he himself marched southward to Mobile, opening the Mississippi on his right as he went. Farragut had al

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]



ready secured its mouth by the capture of New Orleans in April. Halleck's army was more than 100,000 strong. He detached Buell on his eastward march to Chattanooga on the 10th of June.

Effects of the Con


But the terrible energy of the Richmond government changed the expected course of events. A federate conscrip- remorseless conscription had not only filled the thinned ranks of the armies, but had greatly increased their strength. The conscripts had converted McClellan's peninsular campaign into an awful national disaster. They were contemplating a march upon Washington.


The countermarch of Bragg.

As soon as Bragg, the Confederate general, found that Buell was moving toward Chattanooga, foreseeing the disastrous military consequences which must follow the occupation of that important point by a national army, he set out, and, marching with the greatest celerity, reached Chattanooga before his adversary, and solidly established himself in it. His army was now greatly re-enforced by conscription.

to Washington.

Under these circumstances, the national government Removal of Halleck was constrained to take Halleck from his victorious Western campaign, and, bringing him to Washington, commit to him, as commander-inchief, a duty of more momentous importance-the resist ing of the triumphant Confederates in their march upon the capital-the heart of the nation. Halleck left Corinth, and the charge of the great Western campaign fell to Grant, his second in command.

Grant's army

But this was not all. The army whose duty it was to complete the opening of the Mississippi lost weakened, not only its general-it was likewise depleted of its strength. Bragg, whose strong point was at Chattanooga, had, as just mentioned, been greatly re-enforced. Buell was compelled by him to make a rapid re



treat to the Ohio. It seemed as if a Confederate march northward, on the west flank of the Cumberland Mountains, would undo all that Halleck had done in his southward march along the Tennessee. At all hazards, Bragg must be checked. Troops which had now become veterans were withdrawn from Grant. They were hurried up the Mississippi and the Ohio to strengthen Buell, and Grant was left weakened in presence of his Confederate antagonists.

to the Mississippi.

The expectation which had been entertained in Richmond that Bragg's march on Louisville would compel Grant to relax his grip on the Mississippi was doomed but he still clings to disappointment. Now came into view one of the striking lineaments of that gener. al's character- his unconquerable tenacity. Weakened though he was, he stood fast, combating his opponents, and not yielding an inch that he could hold. He patiently waited until he was re-enforced, and then resumed his southward march.


I have now to relate his temporary operations against his antagonists Price and Van Dorn, and his resumption of the march toward Vicksburg.


After the departure of Halleck, the Shiloh army, under Position of Grant's command of Grant, was stationed from Memphis to Bridgeport, Tennessee, along the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. Grant had Memphis, Grand Junction, and Corinth as his strong posts, with his head-quarters at Jackson, Tennessee, a point in the rear, where the Central Mississippi Railroad unites with the Mobile and Ohio. It was necessary for him to hold the railroads from Corinth and Bolivar north to Columbus, which, owing to the low water in the Tennessee, had been made his base of supplies.

In front of Grant lay the Confederate forces under Price




and Van Dorn. They could concentrate so

His antagonists


Price and Van as to threaten any one of his strong points. Encouraged by the fact that a part of his troops had been sent into Kentucky to aid Buell in resisting Bragg, every man who could be spared having been thus taken, and Grant thrown on the defensive, they thought that they might execute a successful manœuvre for the recovery of Corinth. Price therefore moved to Iuka, seemingly with the intention of assisting Bragg. It was expected that Grant would be tempted from Corinth, and an opportunity thus be given to Van Dorn of seizing it. It was the key to the military possession of Ten

They attempt to take Corinth by stratagem.


Van Dorn being at Holly Springs and Price at Iuka, Grant thought it possible to destroy the latter and get back to Corinth before the former could interfere. He therefore directed Rosecrans, who was at Grant to destroy Tuscumbia, to advance on Iuka, and Ord to move in combination with him, attacking from the west and north.

Counter attempt of


At noon (September 19th), Rosecrans, who had 9000 men, was within seven miles of Iuka, moving slowly for ward. Ord had been directed to approach the place, but not to attack until he heard the sound of Rosecrans's guns. He was, however, prevented Affair at Iuka. by a strong northwest wind from hearing any sound at all. Meantime Rosecrans, who was delaying beyond Grant's expectations, came up to a point within two miles of Iuka, and there, about 4 P.M., encountered the Confederates in force. A severe conflict ensued, in which he lost a battery and 730 men killed and wounded. It was continued until dark. The men lay down on their arms, expecting to renew the engagement in the morning.

« PreviousContinue »