« PreviousContinue »
BATTLE OF CHAPLIN HILLS.
to move with the rest of his corps ener- right; then the 33d brigade, under Gengetically against the enemy's left flank. eral Terrill, of Jackson's division ; then The distance from one flank of the army on the extreme left, and to the rear of to the other was not, perhaps, less than Terrill
, the 28th brigade, under Colonel six miles, and before the orders could be Starkweather, of Rousseau's division. delivered, and the right corps make the The other brigade of Jackson's division, attack, night came on and terminated under Colonel Webster, was at first in the engagement.
rear of Rousseau's two right brigades, “ The roads going from Maxville and and in the course of the battle was Springfield enter Perryville at an angle brought into action on the right of Rousof about fifteen degrees with each other. seau. General Gilbert's corps was on The road from Lebanon runs nearly par- the right of Rousseau, but the space beallel to the Springfield road to within tween them was somewhat too greatfive miles of Perryville, and these forks, first Sheridan's division, then Mitchell's, the left hand fork going to Perryville, and Schoepff's in reserve opposite the and the right continuing straight on to left of the corps. The fight commenced Danville, leaving Perryville four miles early in the day, as has been described, to the north. There is also a direct with a feeble attack on the centre corps ; road from Perryville to Danville. Per- then, later, the attack fell with severity ryville, Danville, and Harrodsburg oc- and pertinacity on Rousseau's right brigcupy the vertices of an equilateral tri- ades; then, somewhat later, on Terrill's angle, and are ten miles apart. Salt brigade, and on Rousseau's 3d brigade river rises midway between Perryville on the extreme left. It was successful and Danville, and runs northward two against Terrill's brigade, composed of miles west of Harrodsburg. Chaplin new regiments. The gallant commander Fork rises near and passes through Per- of the division, General J. S. Jackson, ryville, bending in its course so as to was killed almost instantly. The heroic run obliquely away from the Maxville young Brigadier Terrill lost his life in and Perryville road, on which the left endeavoring to rally his troops, and ten corps advanced. Doctor's creek, run- pieces of his artillery were left on the ning north, crosses the Perryville and ground; two of them were carried off Springfield road at right angles, about by the enemy next morning ; the rest two and a half miles west of Perryville, were recovered. The main weight of and empties into Chaplin Fork about three the battle thus fell upon the 3d division, miles from town. The ground bordering under General Rousseau. the Chaplin is hilly, with alternate patch- could have met it with more heroism. es of timber and cleared land. The bills, The left brigade, compelled at first to though in some places steep, are gener- fall back somewhat, at length maintained ally practicable for infantry and cavalry, its grouud, and repulsed the attack at and in many places for artillery. The that point. Taking advantage of the ground afforded the enemy great advan-opening between Gilbert's left and Roustages for attacking a force on the Max- seau's right, the enemy pressed bis atville road, taken in the act of forming, tack at that point with an overwhelming as was the case in the battle of the 8th. force. Rousseau's right was being turned, General McCook's line ran nearly paral- and was forced to fall back, which it did lel with Chaplin Fork, the right resting in excellent order, until reinforced by on the road, and the left to the north of Gooding's and Steadman's brigades from it. Two of General Rousseau's brigades, Gilbert's corps, when the enemy was the 17th, under Colonel Lyttle, and the repulsed. That result was also pro4th, under Colonel Harris, were on the moted by the fire which the artillery of
No troops Sheridan's division poured into the ene- my's front and left flank. The advance my's left flank. Simultaneously with the following morning, in pursuance of the heaviest attack on Rousseau's divis- these orders, discovered that the eneion, the enemy made a strong attack on my's main body had retired during the Sheridan's right. Sheridan was rein- night, but without any indications of forced from Mitchell's division by Col- haste or disorder, except that his dead, onel Carlin's brigade, which charged the and many of his wounded were left upon enemy with intrepidity and drove him the field. The reconnoissance during the through the town to his position beyond, day showed that his whole force had capturing in the town two caissons and fallen back on Harrodsburg, where the fifteen wagons loaded with ammunition, indications seemed to be that he would and the guard that was with them, con- make a stand. sisting of three officers and one hundred “It will be impossible to form any and thirty-eight men. This occurred correct judgment of the operations from about nightfall, which terminated the this time, particularly without considerbattle. The corps of General Critten- ing the condition of the two armies, and den closed in, and Wagner's brigade of the probable intention of the enemy. Wood's division became engaged, and The rebel army has been driven from did good service on the right of Mitch- the borders of Kentucky without a deell's division, but, knowing nothing of cisive battle. It is spoken of as if it the severity of the fight in the extreme were a comparatively insignificant force, left, the rest of the corps did not get and pursued by an overwhelming one, into action.
which had nothing to do but to send out No doubt was entertained that the patrols, and gather in the fragments of a enemy would endeavor to hold his posi- routed and disorganized army. The very tion. Accordingly, orders were sent to reverse was the case. The rebel force the commanders of corps to be prepared which invaded Kentucky, at the lowest to attack at daylight in the morning. estimates, has been rated at from 55,000 They received instructions in person, at to 65,000 men. It was composed of vetheadquarters that night, except General eran troops, well armed, and thoroughly Crittenden, for whom instructions were inured to hardship. Every circumstance given to Major-General Thomas, second of its march, and the concurrent testiin command. General McCook supposed, mony of all who came within reach of from indications in his front, that the its lines, attest that it was under perfect enemy would throw a formidable force discipline. It had entered Kentucky against his corps, in pursuance of the with the avowed purpose of holding the original attempt to turn our left. He state ; its commanders declared that to represented also that his corps was very be their intention to the last ; interceptmuch crippled, the new division of Gen- ed communications disclosing their plans, eral Jackson having in fact almost en- and the disappointment experienced by tirely disappeared as a body. He was the Southern Press at the result, show
a instructed to move in during the night, that to have been their purpose. The and close the opening between his right enterprise certainly seemed desperate, and General Gilbert's left. His orders but it was entered into deliberately ; for the following day were to hold his was conducted by the best talent in the position, taking advantage of any oppor- rebel service, and there was nothing to tunity that the events of the day might indicate that it would be abandoned present. The corps of Generals Crit- lightly. Some maneuvering for advantenden and Gilbert were to move for- tages, and one decisive battle, were to ward at six o'clock, and attack the ene- be expected before Kentucky could be
rid of her invaders. Everything goes Harrodsburg pike, and the left near to show that the final retreat of the ene- Dicksville, on the road converging on my was suddenly determined on, and Harrodsburg. On the 11th, three brigthat it was not at the time to be calcu- ades from Crittenden's and Gilbert's lated on as a matter of course. Any corps with Gay's and Colonel McCook's movement on my part solely in anticipa- cavalry brigades were sent out to recontion of it would only have turned the noiter the enemy's position. He was enemy in a different direction, and any found in some force two miles south of presumptuous attempt to capture a su- Harrodsburg, in the morning ; but reperior force by detachments would, ac- tired during the day, and his rear guard cording to all probabilities, have been was driven out in the evening with the more likely to result in defeat than in loss of some stores, and about 1,200 success.
prisoners, mostly sick and wounded. It “ The effective force which advanced was probable he would retire his whole on Perryville, on the 7th, and 8th, under force to Camp Dick Robinson, though it my command, was about 58,000 infantry, was not certainly ascertained what porartillery and cavalry. Of these, about tion of it had crossed Dick's river. To 22,000 were raw troops, with very little compel him at once to take one side or instruction or none at all. The reports the other, and either give battle on this show an actual loss of upward of 4,000 side, or be prevented from recrossing to killed, wounded and missing in the bat- attack our communications, when a move tle, which would leave the effective force was made to turn his position—the left about 54,000 after it.* I did not hesi- corps mored on the 12th to Harrodsburg tate, therefore, after crossing Chaplin (General Sill's division having arrived river, and finding the enemy had fall- the night before); the right corps moven back, to await the arrival of Gen-ing forward and retiring near and to the eral Sill's division, which had marched left of Danville, and the centre midway to Frankfort, and had been ordered to on the Danville and Harrodsburg road, join via Lawrenceburg and Chaplin- while a strong reconnoissance was sent town, when it was ascertained that Kir- forward to the crossing of Dick's river. by Smith's force had marched to form a The enemy was found to have crossed junction with Bragg. That division on with his whole force. the march from Louisville encountered “ The ground between the Kentucky a strong outpost of the enemy on the river and Dick's river, as a military poFrankfort road, about twelve miles out, sition, is rendered almost impregnable and skirmishing was kept up until its on the north and west by the rocky cliffs arrival at Frankfort. It was followed which border those streams, and which closely by the division of General Du- are only passable at a few points, easily mont which remained at Frankfort. In defended. Such is the character of marching from Frankfort to join the Dick's river from its mouth to where the main body, Sill's division was attacked Danville and Lexington road crosses it, near Lawrenceburg by a portion of Kir- a distance of about twelve miles. It by Smith's force, which it drove off, and could only be reached by turning it to then continued its march, arriving at the south, while the passes to the west, Perryville on the evening of the 11th. by which our line of communication Pending its arrival, the army took posi- would be exposed, were suitably guardtion, with its right four miles from Dan- ed. The army was moving with that ville, its centre on the Perryville and view, when I learned, on the evening of
the 13th, at Danville, that the enemy * The exact number was 916 killed, 2,943 wounded, and 489 missing.
was retiring froin his position toward the south. Pursuit was immediately ordered nessee. A portion were to be at Bowlfor the purpose of overtaking or inter- ing Green, and the rest at Glasgow on cepting him, if he should attempt to pass the 31st ult, and thence continue their toward Somerset. General Wood's di- march by certain routes. In that posivision marched at twelve o'clock that tion I relinquished the command of the night and engaged the enemy's cavalry army on the 30th to Major-General Rosand artillery at Stanford at daylight the ecrans, in obedience to instructions from next morning. The remainder of Gen- the General-in-Chief." eral Crittenden's corps and General Mc- Brigadier-General James S. Jackson, Cook's corps followed on that road, and who fell at the battle of Perryville, in General Gilbert's marched on the Lan- the Union ranks, leading his command, caster road. The enemy kept the road was born in Kentucky, a lawyer by protoward Cumberland Gap, opposing with session, and at the outbreak of the recavalry and artillery the advance of both bellion was a member of Congress from of the pursuing columns, which, however, his native state. Having raised a regiprogressed steadily. At Crab Orchard ment and served in the Mexican war, he the character of the country suddenly now offered his military experience to changes. It becomes rough and barren, the government for the suppression of affording scarcely more than enough corn the rebellion, resigned his seat in Confor its sparse population ; and the road gress and took command of a regiment passes through defiles where a small of Kentucky cavalry. Brigadier-Genforce can resist with great effect a large eral William K. Terrill was a native of one—where, in fact, the use of a large Virginia, a graduate of West Point of force is impracticable. The little forage 1853 in the 3d artillery. He was at one the country afforded was consumed by time assistant professor of mathematics the enemy in his retreat, rendering it at the military academy. At the openimpossible to subsist any considerable ing of the war he was captain in the 5th number of animals. The corps of Gen- artillery. He was appointed brigadiererals Gilbert and McCook were there- general of volunteers for his meritorious fore balted at Crab Orchard, while that conduct at Shiloh. Colonel Curran Pope of General Crittenden, with General W. of the 15th Kentucky regiment, wounded S. Smith's division in advance, continued in this engagement, died of his injuries the pursuit with judgment and energy the following month. He was of an emias far as London on the direct road, and nent family in Kentucky, a graduate of on the branch road to Manchester. The West Point of 1834, and leaving the road was cleared of the trees felled army, had been employed as an engiacross it by the enemy, and his rear neer when the war recalled him to the guard attacked successfully at several service of his country. points. Some prisoners were taken and Such was the pursuit of the forces of about three hundred head of cattle, and General Bragg through a region in which other property, to no very great amount, he had fondly hoped to establish a percaptured. It was not expedient to con- manent settlement for the Confederacy. tinue the pursuit beyond London ; part. He had even gone so far, while in pos
; ly, because it was impracticable in a session of Frankfort, as to inaugurate a manner to afford any material advan- new governor, Richard Howes, a repretage ; partly, because without advantage, sentative of the confederate interest, and, it took the troops out of the way, when a more troublesome exercise of authothey were likely to be required else- rity, had threatened a conscription for where. They were, therefore, promptly the confederate army. These dreams of turned upon other routes towards Ten- empire were necessarily, for the time at
least, abandoned when he was driven large number of cattle and quantity of from the state, but the government of provisions which the army of invasion Jefferson Davis continued to claim Ken- carried away with it, or sent before it, tucky as a member of the confederacy. for the replenishment of the impoverA more practical advantage was the ished Southern commissariat.
DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN TENNESSEE.-BATTLES AT IUKA AND CORINTH-SEPTEMBER,
WHILE General Buell was holding the maintained till reinforcements arrived in line of Northern Alabama, covering mid- the afternoon, when by the excellent disdle Tennessee and the communications positions of Colonel Leggett, and “the with Nashville, General Grant was in determined persistent courage " of bis charge of the Department of Western men the enemy was effectually repulsed. Tennessee, including the region between Lieutenant-Colonel Harvey Hogg, of the the Tennessee river and the Mississippi, 22 Illinois cavalry, fell while gallantly
2d with its lines of railway running due leading a charge. "A braver, truer man, south from Columbus, Kentucky, and says Colonel Leggett, “never listed his east and west on the northern border of arm in defence of his country.” The Mississippi from Memphis to Corinth, and Union loss in this contest was five killed, thence to Tuscumbia in Alabama. The eighteen wounded and sixty-four missing. withdrawal of a considerable portion of Colonel Leggett states his force engaged his troops to Louisville for the defence of in the action at less than nine hundred, Kentucky, against the invasion of Bragg, against over 6,000 of the enemy. The induced the enemy to appear in force and loss of the enemy was not known. The threaten his several lines of communica- next day General Armstrong's force movtion. A demonstration of this kind was ing northerly toward Jackson, attacked made by a large body of cavalry under a detachment of Illinois volunteers on the rebel General Armstrong, on the the railway at Medon, but reinforcements 30th of August, against the Union post arriving the enemy was repulsed at that at Bolivar in Tennessee, with the view place, and retiring, on the road to Denof severing the railway at that point. mark, were again met at Britton's Lane, Colonel Crocker, of the Iowa volunteers, on the 1st of September, by Colonel commanding the district, sent Colonel Dennis, with two regiments of Illinois Leggett with a portion of his brigade, troops, a section of two pieces of gunseveral companies of Illinois cavalry and boat artillery, and two companies of a section of artillery to meet the enemy, cavalry, and after a contest of four hours who was at first supposed to be in no were defeated, leaving one hundred and great number. Colonel Leggett with a seventy-nine dead and wounded on the small party of Obio troops of his com- field. The Union loss was five killed, mand came up with them, about five seventy-eight wounded and ninety-two miles from Bolivar, when he found that prisoners and missing. he had thousands instead of hundreds to General Rosecrans, who after his signal deal with. His troops at hand were services in Virginia, had succeeded Genbrought up, and
and a skirmishing fight | eral Pope in his command in General