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´╗┐Title: The Battle of Atlanta - and Other Campaigns, Addresses, Etc.
Author: Dodge, Grenville Mellen, 1831-1916
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Battle of Atlanta - and Other Campaigns, Addresses, Etc." ***

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  Department of the Missouri


  Major-General Grenville M. Dodge




  The Southwestern Campaign                           9
  Letter of General Dodge to his Father              35
  The Battle of Atlanta                              39
  Letter to General Raum                             53
  The Indian Campaigns of 1864-65                    63
  The Indian Campaigns of 1865-66                    79
  Campaign up the Tennessee River Valley            111
  The Army of the Tennessee                         129
  The Campaign in the West                          137
  A Talk to Old Comrades                            145
  General Grant                                     151
  Use of Block-Houses During the Civil War          159
  An Incident of the War                            165
  Gen. G. M. Dodge on the Water Cure                173
  Misplaced Sympathy                                177


  Major-General Grenville M. Dodge          Frontispiece
  Major-General Samuel R. Curtis                      7
  Sylvanus Dodge                                     34
  Sixteenth Army Corps in the Battle of Atlanta      38
  Monument on the Battlefield of Atlanta             52
  Old Fort Kearney                                   62
  James Bridger, Guide                               78
  Pumpkin Buttes                                     94
  Brigadier-General G. M. Dodge and Staff           110
  Commanders of the Army of the Tennessee           128
  Major-General G. M. Dodge and Staff               136
  Fort Cottonwood                                   140
  Where General McPherson Fell                      144
  Major-General George G. Meade                     150
  Pontoon Bridge Across the Tennessee River         158
  To the Memory of Samuel Davis                     164
  Company L, Fifty-First Iowa Infantry              172
  Scotts Bluffs                                     176


Commander of the Army of the Southwest, in the Spring of 1861.]


The Southwest became prominent before the nation early in the war from the
doubt existing as to the position of Missouri, which was saved by the
energy and determination of Frank P. Blair and Colonel Nathaniel Lyon; the
latter first capturing Camp Jackson, on May 10th, 1861. He then, picking
up what force he could without waiting for them to be disciplined or
drilled, marched rapidly against the Missouri State troops under Price,
who were driven to the southwest through Springfield, where, being joined
by the troops from Arkansas, under Colonel McCullough, they stood and
fought the battle of Wilson's Creek. This would have been a great victory
for the Union forces if Lyon had not divided his forces at the request of
General Siegel and trusted the latter to carry out his plan of attack in
the rear while Lyon attacked in the front. This General Siegel failed to
do, leaving the field when the battle was half over, and allowing Lyon to
fight it out alone. Even then, if Lyon had not been killed at the head of
his Army while fighting the whole force of the enemy, it would have turned
out to be a great victory for the Union forces, and would have held that
country. The death of Lyon caused a return of his troops to Rolla and
Sedalia, and opened up again the whole of Missouri to the Missouri State
troops under General Price.

One of the notable facts of this battle of Wilson's Creek was that it was
fought by young officers who ranked only as Captains and Lieutenants, all
of whom afterwards became distinguished officers in the war--Schofield,
Sturgis, Totten, DuBois, and Sweeny--and from the fact that in the first
great battle of the Southwest one of the two commanders of Armies falling
at the head of their forces in battle was killed here--General Lyon. The
other was General McPherson, who fell at Atlanta.

Lyon pursued the tactics of Grant by attacking the enemy wherever to be
found, and not taking into consideration the disparity of forces. The
excitement caused by Lyon's campaigns induced the Government to create
the Western Department, and assign to it on July 25th, 1861, General John
C. Fremont as its commander.

In August, 1861, I landed in St. Louis with my Regiment, the Fourth Iowa
Infantry, and soon after was sent to Rolla, Mo., which was then the most
important outpost, being the nearest to the enemy's Army. Soon after I
reached there General Fremont commenced formulating his plans for the
campaign in the South, and being the commander of that outpost I was in
daily communication with him. There was a constant stream of reports
coming from the enemy's lines that seemed to give great importance to
their strength and their position, and I was continually ordered to send
out scouts and troops to test the information. I invariably found it wrong
and my telegrams will show my opinion of those reports.

Soon after arriving at Rolla I was placed in command of the post, and had
quite a force under me, and was ordered to prepare to winter there.

The battle of Wilson's Creek was fought on August 10th, and soon
thereafter General Price formed his plan of campaign to move north into
north Missouri and endeavor to hold it by the recruits that he could
obtain there. With from five to ten thousand men of the Missouri State
Guards, General Price moved, and as he marched north in September his Army
increased heavily in numbers and enthusiasm. The Federal forces were
scattered all over Missouri--some eighty thousand in all. At least half of
these could have been concentrated to operate against any force of the
enemy, but they were all protecting towns, cities and railways and
endeavoring to make Missouri loyal, while Price concentrated and moved
where he pleased, until, on September 21, 1861, he captured Lexington,
with some 3,000 or more prisoners. The movement of Price on Lexington and
the defeat and capture of our forces there, forced Fremont to concentrate,
and he moved with four Divisions, making an Army of 38,000, on
Springfield, which he reached October 27th. Price was then far south of
that place. Had our forces been concentrated to meet Price's Army we had
enough to defeat him; but the moment Fremont commenced concentrating his
four Divisions to act against him, Price moved back as fast as he had
advanced, and did not stop until he was south of Springfield and near
supports in Arkansas.

General McCullough, in his letters from Springfield, Mo., August 24th,
says that there were only 3,000 troops in Springfield and all the Arkansas
troops had left the service. Price's total force was about 12,000 men, and
on November 7th he reached and joined McCullough and suggested to General
A. S. Johnston a campaign against St. Louis, offering to raise in Missouri
and Arkansas a force of 25,000 men in such a campaign, and stated he
should wait for Fremont at Pineville, Ark., believing in that rugged
country he could defeat him.

While at Rolla I was ordered to send a force to take Salem, to the south
of me, and I entrusted the command of the force to Colonel Greusel, of the
Thirteenth Illinois Infantry. I issued to him the following instructions:

    If the men who are away from home are in the rebel Army, or if their
    families cannot give a good account of them or their whereabouts, take
    their property or that portion of it worth taking; also their slaves.
    Be sure that they are aiding the enemy, then take all they have got.

When I wrote these instructions I had not considered for a moment what a
row the order to take the slaves would cause. I simply treated them as
other property. It was written innocently, but made a sensation I never
dreamed of, and I have often since been quoted as one of the first to
liberate and utilize the negro.

On the return of Lyon's Army to Rolla I was ordered by General Fremont to
report at his headquarters in St. Louis. On my arrival in St. Louis I
reported myself to his Adjutant, who was in the basement of the old home
of Thomas A. Benton, on Choutau Avenue, but was unable to obtain an
interview with the General. I showed my dispatch to his Adjutant-General,
and waited there two days. I met any number of staff officers, and was
handed about from one to another, never reaching or hearing from General
Fremont. After remaining in St. Louis two days I considered it was my duty
to return to my command, and left a note to the Adjutant stating that I
had waited there two days for an interview with General Fremont, and had
left for my command, and that if wanted would return to St. Louis again.

Evidently no communication was made to Fremont of my presence in the city
or of my note, for soon after I arrived at Rolla I received a sharp note
from him asking why I had not reported as ordered. I answered by wire that
I had reported, had been unable to see him, and would report immediately
again in St. Louis. I was determined to see him this time, and I,
therefore, went directly to Colonel Benton's house, and, taking a sealed
envelope in my hand, marched right up the front steps, passed all the
guards as though I belonged there, and went into his room and reported
myself present. I there learned from him as much of his plans as he
thought best to give me in regard to his movements, and obtained from him
the information that Price's Army was not far from Rolla, and instructions
to be on the alert. I supposed that my command at Rolla was to accompany
his march to Springfield, and on my return to Rolla made every preparation
to do so, but never received the order. Everything in the department was
absolutely chaos. It was impossible to obtain provisions, accouterments,
equipment, or anything else upon a proper requisition. Everything seemed
to require an order from one of General Fremont's staff, and my own
Regiment suffered a long time before I could get for it the necessary
arms, clothing, equipment, etc.

While I was at Rolla the dispatch sent by the Government to General
Curtis, to be forwarded to Fremont at Springfield, relieving him of the
command, was brought by a staff officer to me with the request that I
should see that the staff officer had an escort and went through promptly
to Springfield. General Curtis, who was from my own state, wrote me a
private note stating the importance of pushing this staff officer through.
President Lincoln sent the order to General Curtis with this peculiar

    WASHINGTON, October 24, 1861.

    _Brigadier-General S. R. Curtis_:

    MY DEAR SIR:--Herewith is a document, half letter, half order, which,
    wishing you to see but not to make public, I send unsealed. Please
    read it and then inclose it to the officer who may be in command of
    the Department of the West at the time it reaches you. I cannot know
    now whether Fremont or Hunter will then be in command. Yours truly,


In a few days I received a letter from General Hunter, who had relieved
General Fremont, instructing me that thereafter everything in the
department must be carried on in accordance with the orders of the War
Department and the Army Regulations, and I immediately saw a change for
the better. I was soldier enough, although I had not had much experience
then, to know that the methods being pursued under Fremont could bring
nothing but disaster to the service. Every order was signed by somebody
acting as a General, a Colonel, or something else, while in fact many of
them had no rank whatever, and in looking over my own orders I do not know
why I did not sign myself as an Acting General, as those who succeeded me
did. Even after General Halleck took command I noticed in the orders of
General Hunter that he assigned persons to the command of a Brigade as
Acting Brigadier-Generals instead of their rank as Colonel Commanding,

I remained at Rolla until the return of the troops under General Hunter;
and finally those commanded by Siegel, Asboth and Osterhaus were encamped
at Rolla outside of the post and were reporting directly to the commanding
officer of the department, while I as post commander reported directly to
the same authority.

General Hunter as soon as he took command wired the War Department that
there was no force of the enemy in his neighborhood, although orders had
been given by Fremont a day or two before to march out and fight Price's
Army. Hunter, therefore, in accordance with his orders from Washington,
abandoned the pursuit, although with the force he had he could have driven
Price and McCullough south of the Arkansas River, and probably have
avoided the later campaign that ended in the Battle of Pea Ridge. Hunter
moved his forces back to Rolla and Sedalia and sent 18,000 of his men to
join General Grant in the campaigns up the Tennessee River.

This force at Rolla was mostly Germans, and the change of commanders from
Fremont to Hunter, and later to Halleck, was unsatisfactory to them,
though one of the officers, General Osterhaus, took no part in the feeling
and sentiment that seemed to exist that for success it was necessary to
have Fremont or Siegel in command, and my understanding was that the force
at Rolla during the winter of 1861-62 was the nucleus of the force that
was again to march to the Southwest under the orders of General Halleck
and to be commanded by General Siegel. General Halleck, when he assumed
command of the department, in his letters to the War Department and his
orders to the troops showed plainly his disgust at the condition of
matters in that department. He wrote to the War Department:

    One week's experience here is sufficient to prove that everything is
    in complete chaos. The most astounding orders and contracts for
    supplies of all kinds have been made, and large amounts purported to
    have been received, but there is nothing to show that they have ever
    been properly issued and they cannot now be found.

Of the condition of the troops he found in his department, he wrote:

    Some of these corps are not only organized in a way entirely contrary
    to law, but are by no means reliable, being mostly foreigners, and
    officered in many cases by foreign adventurers, or perhaps refugees
    from justice; and, having been tampered with by political partizans
    for political purposes, they constitute a very dangerous element to
    society as well as to the Army itself. Wherever they go they convert
    all Union men into bitter enemies. The men, if properly officered,
    would make good soldiers, but with their present officers they are
    little better than an armed mob.

They were not paid, had not been mustered into our service, and the
commissions emanated from General Fremont, not from the State or

General Halleck's plans evidently were to make a campaign against Price as
soon as he could organize the forces concentrated at Rolla. Price's
headquarters were at Springfield, and his northerly line was along the
Osage Valley. His force was estimated anywhere from 10,000 to 30,000. As
outposts General Halleck had Rolla, Jefferson City, and Sedalia. There was
located at Rolla five or six thousand troops; at Sedalia and along that
line about ten or twelve thousand, under General Pope, including Jeff C.
Davis's Division; but these troops Halleck intended to send down the
Mississippi and up the Tennessee.

General Pope in his letters to General Halleck urged that he be allowed to
move on Price and destroy his Army, which he said he could do with his
force. Rumors of Price's force and their movements were a constant terror
and excitement throughout Missouri. The whole of northern Missouri was
aroused by Price's proximity, and all the counties had recruiting officers
from his Army enrolling and sending it recruits. The numbers of these
recruiting officers and their small squads of recruits were magnified into
thousands, and Price, when he sent a thousand men to Lexington for the
purpose of holding that place and recruiting, brought orders from Halleck
for a movement of all the troops to cut him off. The prompt movement of
Halleck kept him from remaining there very long, but he was enabled to
take about three thousand recruits from there without molestation from us.

Price's campaign as planned for the winter was to have General
McCullough's Arkansas force, which was lying at Cross Timbers, near
Elkhorn Tavern, and Van Buren in Arkansas, join him. Price complained
bitterly of his inability to obtain any aid from McCullough, stating that
if he could obtain it he could march into northern Missouri and hold the
State, and recruit there an Army of Missourians; which, from my experience
in the State, I have no doubt he would have done if he could have moved
there and held his position.

General Halleck's plan evidently was to move a body from Rolla directly on
Springfield, with the intention of striking and defeating Price before
Price could receive reinforcements, but Halleck had a great disinclination
to move until he had organized the forces in the State of Missouri into
Brigades and Divisions, had them properly mustered and officered, and had
his staff departments so arranged that they could be depended upon to take
care of any moving column. This disinclination of Halleck to move carried
us on to the first of January.

In December General Siegel was given command of the troops at Rolla, and
Captain Phil Sheridan was sent there as Quartermaster for that Army. His
ability and foresight in organizing the transportation of an Army, feeding
it, and fitting it for a campaign, was shown every day.

On December 26th General Halleck assigned General S. R. Curtis to the
command of the District of Southwest Missouri. This included the forces
under Siegel at Rolla, and caused very severe comments from them. From the
letters of Halleck, written at the time and afterwards, this placing of
Siegel under Curtis was caused by the letters and opinions--in fact, the
denunciations--of Siegel made by Captains Schofield, Totten, and Sturgis,
when with Lyon in the Wilson's Creek campaign. Evidently Halleck lost all
faith in Siegel as commander of the Southwestern Army, and therefore
assigned Brigadier-General Samuel R. Curtis, who had been stationed at St.
Louis, to the command. But General Siegel was still left in command of two
Divisions of the troops near Rolla, which was a great mistake.

As soon as General Curtis assumed command General Halleck commenced urging
him to move to the south on Springfield, agreeing to send to him Colonel
Jeff C. Davis's Division to join him before reaching Springfield, which
Division was about 5,000 strong, and was with Pope on the Lamine River
line. Curtis hesitated, and did not feel secure with the forces he had,
although Halleck did not believe Price would stand for a fight, or that
Curtis would need Jeff C. Davis's Division.

The Army of the Southwest, about seven thousand strong, was organized at
Rolla, and moved from there January 14th, towards Springfield, halting at
Lebanon. From Lebanon it moved on to Marshfield, where Colonel Jeff C.
Davis, with his Division, joined it. Great preparations were made there
for the attack upon Price, and we moved out of Marshfield prepared for
battle, General Siegel commanding the First and Second Divisions, one
under General Osterhaus and the other under General Asboth. General Jeff
C. Davis, from General Pope's Army, commanded the Third Division, and
Colonel Eugene A. Carr the Fourth Division, a Brigade of which I

When within about three miles of Springfield we received orders to attack
that town the next morning, and moved at midnight. All the reports we
received were that Price was in Springfield ready for battle. I had the
extreme left, and put out my skirmishers soon after midnight, supposing,
of course, that I was in front of the enemy, although I had seen nothing
of them. In the darkness I lost track of the company of the Fourth Iowa,
who were the skirmishers of my Brigade, and was greatly worried at the
fact, but at daylight I met them on the road mounted upon horses and
dressed in all kinds of costumes. The officer in command, who was an
enterprising one, had started his skirmish-line, and, not meeting any
enemy, had pushed right into Springfield, which he found evacuated except
for a rear guard and a number of horses. They mounted the horses and rode
back to us. All this time our extreme right, under Siegel, was using its
artillery upon the town, not knowing that the enemy had gone.

General Curtis, in his order of battle, instructed Captain Sheridan to
line up his transportation in the rear of the line of battle, so that it
could be used as a defensive obstruction for the troops to fall back to,
provided they met any check or were driven back. Captain Sheridan looked
on this order as a very singular one, and says that he could, in his
imagination, if anything happened our army, see his transportation flying
over that rough country, knowing that his mule-drivers would be the first
to run, most likely from a false report, not even waiting for an attack.
While this order at the time caused no comment, it now, after our long
experience, looks very ridiculous, though not more so than many others, we
received at the beginning of the war.

It was not long before we were all on the march through and beyond
Springfield, Price and his Army being in full retreat, with a force, so
far as we could learn, of about ten thousand men. We followed him as
rapidly as possible, he leaving a strong rear guard under Colonel Little
to stop us at every stream. General Siegel had urged upon General Curtis a
detour by his two Divisions to head off Price or stop him, so that he
could attack him in front while we attacked his rear. Curtis had acceded
to this. I had the advance following up Price, and endeavored to hold him,
while Siegel moved by another road, expecting to catch him in flank or get
ahead of him.

I remember that about noon of each day at some good defensive point,
generally across a creek with a wide, open valley, Price would open out
with his artillery and cavalry and act as though he intended to give
battle. Our cavalry would fall back to give way to our infantry, and we
would go into line, put out our skirmishers, and lose half a day, and as
night came on Price would get out without our accomplishing anything. I
remember distinctly that my Regiment would go into line, strip themselves,
and throw down the chickens, potatoes, apples, and other eatables they had
foraged and taken during the day, and as they would go forward the troops
in our rear would come up and gobble what they had dropped. About the
third time the Regiment went into line I noticed the boys had left nothing
but their knapsacks, and were holding on to their chickens and provisions.
One of the boys saw me looking at them, and thinking I was going to order
them to drop what they had in their hands or on their backs, he appealed
to me, saying, "Colonel, we have fed that damned Thirty-sixth Illinois
Infantry every day and left ourselves without any supper. They put up this
game that is going on to get our chickens. There ain't any Price on that
side of the river, and they can't fool us any longer if they do you."

At Cane Creek, Flat Creek, Sugar Creek, etc., we had pretty sharp
skirmishes. I soon discovered the plan of Price. It was to leave a strong
rear-guard and make a great show while his trains and the rest of his Army
were pushing to the South as fast as possible; so as soon as I saw him
stop I went at him head-on with the cavalry and infantry, not even waiting
to deploy more than a Regiment. Price's men would line the road and get
one or two volleys at us and then slip off into the woods before we could
deploy or return their fire. They did not get hurt much, but we did; but
at the same time it broke up his game of holding us back, and we kept
close on to his rear. For two or three days we were looking for Siegel to
get in ahead and check Price, when to our astonishment a report came from
our rear that he had turned his column in on our road some eight miles
behind us, and there was a general howl from the force that had been
pounding away at Price's rear.

Finally we pushed Price back to Fayetteville, Ark., where we landed during
the month of February, and where we were halted by General Halleck's
orders, who stated that he would relieve our front of the enemy by his
movements with the rest of his forces through Southeast Missouri, down the
Mississippi, and up the Tennessee.

While Price was laying at Springfield, in December, he communicated with
the Confederate Government, and changed all his Missouri State force as
far as practicable into Confederate troops. He also complained to the
Government, and to General Polk, who commanded at Columbus, Ky., of the
impossibility of obtaining the co-operation of the Confederate forces west
of the Mississippi River. From the representations of Polk and Price, the
Confederate Government organized all the country west of the Mississippi
River into a department known as the Trans-Mississippi District, and
placed it under the command of General Earl Van Dorn, who assumed command
early in February, 1862. As soon as he assumed command General Van Dorn
prepared to make an aggressive campaign, using all his forces in Arkansas
and those under Price, estimating that they would reach 30,000 troops. His
plan was to move his forces directly from Arkansas northward, west of Iron
Mountain, by way of Salem, while Price moved from Springfield directly
east and joined his column by way of Salem and Rolla, thence the combined
column to move directly on St. Louis, Van Dorn calculating that he could
strike and capture St. Louis before Halleck could concentrate his troops
or obtain any knowledge of his movements that would enable him to defeat
him before reaching St. Louis. Van Dorn expected to make this move in
February, and his plans and the energy with which he executed them and
concentrated his troops shows him to have been an officer of ability and
great energy. General Halleck's prompt movement of General Curtis's army
from Rolla southwest in January, thus driving Price out of Springfield,
compelled Van Dorn to change his plans, and instead of moving towards St.
Louis he moved his troops by Van Buren and the Boston Mountains, making a
junction with Price's force in the Boston Mountains below Fayetteville,
and while General Curtis's Army was laying at Cross Hollows, evidently in
full security, thinking his campaign was over and expecting Price and Van
Dorn to be drawn away from his front by the movement down the Mississippi.
General Curtis was obliged to scatter his forces in that destitute country
over a wide expanse so as to obtain food and forage. Van Dorn, without our
having any knowledge of the fact, marched over the Boston Mountains, and
it was March 3d before General Curtis was aware that Van Dorn was almost
in his front and on his flank. The Union refugees flying before Van Dorn's
movement gave us the first reliable notice of the new combination and the
new movement. General Curtis immediately sent out orders, and, by marching
all night, during heavy snows and severe cold weather, was able to
concentrate most of his force on Sugar Creek, near Bentonville. General
Siegel and his force did not move promptly, as ordered by Curtis, and was
almost cut off before reaching Bentonville. He had to cut his way through
a portion of Van Dorn's Cavalry, which he was able to do without much
loss, and our line was formed on the north side of Sugar Creek, facing to
the south,--a strong position,--expecting to receive Van Dorn's attack on
the main telegraph road from Fayetteville to Springfield. We were on a
plateau with a broad open valley in our front. In the rear of us was what
was known as the Cross Timbers, a deep gorge. To the west of us was much
open ground, over which was a road parallel to the main road, passing down
what was known as Little Cross Timbers, and entering the Springfield and
Fayetteville road about midway between Elkhorn Tavern and Cassville, some
four miles in our rear.

While I was in command at Rolla I had organized by details from the
Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth Missouri Regiments a Corps of scouts who
lived in Northern Arkansas and Southern Missouri and were thoroughly
acquainted with that country. During the day of the 6th of March, while
Siegel was joining us and we were preparing for the battle, some of these
scouts came to me and told me that Van Dorn proposed to move to our rear
by this Little Cross Timber road. About 4 o'clock in the afternoon I went
to General Curtis and reported these facts to him, and also told him of
this road and of the feasibility of blockading it, supposing, of course,
he would send some of the troops on his extreme right to do it; but he
turned to me and said: "You take a portion of your command and go there
and blockade the road."

It was after dark before I could reach the Little Cross Timbers, as I had
to march infantry to the place, which was quite a distance away from where
we were. I took six companies of the Fourth Iowa Infantry and one company
of the Third Illinois Cavalry and marched to carry out this order. In the
dark two of my companies crossed the road and got lost, while with the
other five I got into Cross Timbers Hollows and spent about three hours
felling trees all through the gorge, and only left when my cavalry
reported the movement of Van Dorn's Army coming down the road. I returned
to my camp supposing my two companies had been cut off, but upon
discovering that the enemy were coming down the road they managed to get
back across it and reached the camp.

I reported immediately to General Curtis's headquarters, and informed him
that Van Dorn's Army was moving down that road to his rear. He did not
believe it, and thought that I had mistaken some of his cavalry for Van
Dorn's Army. There were no pickets out on our right flank, and I so
reported to General Curtis, but evidently my report made no impression
upon him, and I returned to camp.

Early on the morning of the 7th of March I received a request from General
Curtis to report at a schoolhouse that was on the main Fayetteville road a
half mile north of Sugar Creek, where I met all the commanders of
Divisions, and, I think, some of the Brigade commanders, and where a
council of war was being held as to the policy that was to be pursued. I
was so confident that Van Dorn was in our rear that when I went to this
council I took my Brigade and halted it on the road near where the council
was to be held. Generals Siegel, Asboth, and a majority of the officers
present, advised that we should fall back to Cassville towards
Springfield, and not give battle there, but Colonel Jeff C. Davis and
myself protested, and I stated that I believed a portion of Van Dorn's
force was then in our rear. The rear of Curtis's Army was in a great deal
of confusion; its trains were stretched out on the Fayetteville road and
the ground that we were upon was wooded and not very defensible for a
battle, unless they attacked us on the Sugar Creek front.

While we were in this council, about 8:30 a. m., scattered firing
commenced in our rear near the Elkhorn Tavern, and General Curtis inquired
what it was, and asked what troops those were that were out upon the
road. I answered that they were mine, and he ordered Colonel Carr to
immediately send me to the Elkhorn Tavern and ascertain what the firing

Colonel Carr evidently was of the same opinion as myself, and accompanied
me as I moved as rapidly as possible to the Elkhorn Tavern, where we went
without being deployed right into battle; in fact, right into the enemy's
skirmishers. The fact is, the first notice I had that the battle was on
was when a shell fell among my drummers and fifers, who were at the head
of my Regiment, and killed and demoralized them, so that we heard no more
of drumming and fifing that day. I immediately deployed a company of the
Fourth Iowa, which had been thoroughly drilled as skirmishers, and pushed
forward toward the White River road, seeing some teams of the enemy
passing that way with forage, and I pushed down the slopes of the Cross
Timber Hollows nearly a mile before I developed the enemy in force.

The firing of the artillery and the sharp skirmish firing of my movement
satisfied Colonel Carr that the enemy was in force in my front, and he
immediately sent back word for his other Brigade, Commanded by Colonel
Vandever, of the Ninth Iowa Infantry, to come to the rear, now our front.
They had hardly reached the Elkhorn Tavern and deployed into line before
Price's whole Army moved in on us in line of battle and disabled two of
our batteries. The fighting on this front, with only Carr's two Brigades
in line, the strength of both not exceeding three thousand men, was kept
up continuously all day, until dark, with varying success.

As soon as I saw, near the middle of the day, the formation of the enemy,
I knew that I could not hold the extended line we were covering, and I
commenced drawing in my right and closing on Vandever until I backed down
through an open field that had been cleared, and where the logs had been
hauled to the lower edge of the slope to make a fence. Behind these logs I
placed my Brigade and fought all the afternoon, with the enemy sometimes
around both flanks and sometimes in my rear.

Colonel Vandever held his line at the Elkhorn Tavern in the edge of thick
timber on the main Fayetteville road until late in the afternoon, fighting
desperately, when the enemy, taking advantage of the timber as a blind, by
largely superior numbers, drove him back across an open field to a line of
woods in his rear and in my rear, which he successfully held. I was not
aware of his movement until the fire in that direction slackened, and I
sent out my adjutant, Lieutenant James A. Williamson (afterwards a Brevet
Major-General), who returned and reported that the enemy were in
possession of that field; in fact, he ran right into them and received
their fire, but got back to me safely. It was then nearly dark. The fire
on my front had slackened, and my Brigade was almost entirely out of
ammunition. I immediately ordered them to form in column and led them
right out from the right, moving in the direction where Vandever's Brigade
had formed in its new position. As I moved out I passed right in sight of
a column of the Confederate forces, who evidently had come out of the
hollow and were forming to again attack Vandever. They probably thought I
was a portion of their force, for they made no demonstration towards me,
and I passed right by them. As I passed out into the open I could see that
General Asboth, who had been brought there by General Curtis, was forming
to attack at the Elkhorn Tavern again; and I met General Curtis, who
seemed astonished to find me with my force intact. He asked me where I was
going. I told him that I was out of ammunition, and that I was bringing
out my force to form it on the new line. Paying the command a high
compliment, he immediately ordered me to fix bayonets and to charge on the
enemy at the same time that Asboth with his reinforcement moved down the
Fayetteville road towards the Elkhorn Tavern. I immediately did this, and
passed right back over the field where I had been fighting, but found no
enemy. They had evidently left my front at the same time I retired, and I
returned and went into line on the right of Vandever's Brigade, probably
500 feet in the rear of the original line, and there we laid all night
under arms.

Van Dorn's plan of attack was to throw the Arkansas forces under
McCullough and McIntosh on Curtis's right, facing the Little Cross Hollow
road, while at the same time General Price with his force moved around us
by the Little Cross Timber road to our rear and attacked from the Cross

When passing through Little Cross Timber Hollow Price struck the timber
blockade, and, as he shows in his report, was held there for a long time
before he could clear out the roads and get his forces and artillery
through. This delayed his attack in the rear until nearly 10 o'clock in
the morning. The two forces of McCullough and Price were separated by a
high ridge by the name of Pea Ridge, over which it was impracticable for
them to connect, and, therefore, the two attacks were separate and not in

General McCullough, in attacking from the west, struck General Jeff C.
Davis's Division. Davis had a Division of troops that had been thoroughly
drilled. He was a very competent officer and handled them with great
skill, and the attack of McCullough and McIntosh, though desperate, was
without avail, both rebel commanders being killed in the attack, which
took all the fight out of the Arkansas troops and made their attacks
towards evening of very little effect. Davis pursued them so energetically
that after the death of their commanders they straggled off towards
Arkansas and no more fighting occurred on that flank.

General Siegel's two Divisions had remained facing Sugar Creek. General
Curtis had endeavored to bring them forward, but without avail. A Brigade
of General Osterhaus's Division aided General Davis during the latter part
of the day, but the Brigade from Asboth's Division did not get into line
to help Carr until nearly dark, although General Curtis went in person for
them. Colonel Carr's troops had been marching two nights before the
battle, and on the night of the 7th he asked General Curtis to relieve
them, so they could get some sleep. General Curtis promised they should be
relieved by one of General Siegel's Divisions, but they held the line all
that night right where they were formed, and when we looked for our relief
the next morning we learned that General Siegel and his troops were nearly
a mile in our rear, taking their breakfast.

The general plan of General Curtis's attack on the morning of the 8th was
for a combined movement on Price's Army by both of General Siegel's
Divisions, and General Davis, who had been brought over to our front,
holding Carr's Division in reserve. We waited a long time for General
Siegel to get into position; and in fact before he got into position
Colonel Carr had been brought out from the reserve and placed on the right
of Davis. The enemy opened out upon us, and my Brigade holding the right I
commenced swinging my line in over the ground I had fought over the day
before, and discovered that the enemy were withdrawing from us; were not
standing and giving battle; and the fighting on the morning of the 8th was
merely a fight of Price's rear-guard to enable him to withdraw by the
Huntsville road, he having received orders that morning from Van Dorn to
do so, Van Dorn notifying Price that this was necessary, as the Arkansas
troops, after the death of McCullough and McIntosh, had most of them
retreated to the south, leaving Price's Army the only force intact in our
rear, so that he now had the difficult problem of getting away from us.

The fighting lasted but a short time, mostly with artillery, and
occasioned very little loss for that day. We soon discovered the rebels
fleeing over the hills and down the White River Road, and being nearest to
that road I immediately started my Brigade after them. I had not proceeded
far when I received an order from General Curtis to return and hold the
battle-field. I was a good deal astonished at this, as I could see the
enemy demoralized in my front, with their baggage-trains and their
artillery, and I had no doubt, (as I knew the country, having had a
detachment stationed at Blackburn's Mills, at the crossing of White River,
supplying our Army with forage and grain before the battle,) that I could
capture this portion of the army before it could make a crossing of White

When I arrived on the battle-field General Curtis told me that General
Siegel and his Divisions had gone to the rear towards Cassville; in fact,
I myself heard him give one of the Brigades that was passing an order to
halt there, which they did not obey, but kept on. General Siegel wrote
back advising Curtis to form his new line in the rear of Cross Timbers, as
Van Dorn might return to the fight, but Curtis instructed Colonel Carr's
Division to remain on the field and hold it, which it did. General Curtis
afterwards made very severe complaints to General Halleck of the actions
of General Siegel, and in answer General Halleck wrote as follows:

    I was by no means surprised at General Siegel's conduct before the
    battle of Pea Ridge. It was plainly in keeping with what he did at
    Carthage and Wilson's Creek. After your expedition started I received
    documentary proof from Captains Sturgis, Schofield, and Totten, and a
    number of other officers, in regard to his conduct on those occasions,
    which destroyed all confidence in him. It was for that reason that I
    telegraphed to you so often not to let Siegel separate from you. I
    anticipated that he would try to play you a trick by being absent at
    the critical moment. I wished to forewarn you of the snare, but I
    could not then give you my reasons. I am glad you prevented his
    project and saved your army. I cannot describe to you how much
    uneasiness I felt for you. You saved your army and won a glorious
    victory by refusing to take his advice.

Captain Kinsman, of Company B, Fourth Iowa, who was holding Pea Ridge, and
witnessed the battle from that point, and could look down upon Carr's
Division, described the battle in the rear as follows:

    At 8:30 o'clock Colonel Dodge opened the ball, and the battle was soon
    raging all along the line with a fierceness and obstinacy which omened
    a terrific struggle. The weather was splendid, and the smoke instead
    of hanging murkily among the trees, rose rapidly and rolled away over
    the hills in dense sulphurous masses. The thunder of the artillery was
    terrific, and the shot and shell hissed and screamed through the air
    like flying devils, while the infantry of both armies, with their
    rifles, shot-guns, and muskets, kept a perfect hurricane of death
    howling through the woods. The rebels fought well, but generally fired
    too high, and their batteries, although getting our range accurately,
    missed the elevation much of the time. Their poor shooting was our
    salvation. Had they done as well as our men, with the tremendous odds
    against us, they must have annihilated us. The enemy were clear around
    our right flank, enveloping us, and it looked as though they would
    capture Dodge's Brigade, when Colonel Dodge took a battalion of
    Colonel Carr's regiment, the Third Illinois cavalry, and charged the
    forces that were turning our right flank like a whirlwind. Everything
    gave way before them. Every man in that battalion seemed to ride for
    his life, and they swept way around our front, routing and
    demoralizing that flank of the enemy, and effectually freeing our rear
    and flank. Price told some of our boys of the Fourth Iowa who were
    captured on the day of the fight and have since escaped, that we
    fought more like devils than human beings. The rebel colonels (several
    of them) inquired of our boys who those black-coated fellows were, and
    who led them. They said there must have been at least 3,000 of them.
    When the boys told them there were less than 600 of them, the Colonels
    said they needn't tell them any such stuff as that; that they knew it
    was a damned lie. But they sent their compliments to Colonel Dodge for
    the bravery of himself and his command, and well they might, for
    opposed to Colonel Dodge's Brigade of 1,050 men, and two guns of the
    First Iowa Battery, were six regiments of Confederate troops, a large
    force of Confederate Missouri State troops, and eighteen guns, and
    many of these Confederate troops were the men who did the hard
    fighting at the Wilson Creek battle. All day, from 8:30 in the morning
    till 5:30 at night, Dodge's Brigade held its ground, dealing death
    into the rebel ranks, and, when dark came, with ammunition expended,
    the Fourth Iowa walked away from the field in good order, with the
    sullen savage tread of men who might be driven by main strength, but
    could not be conquered. Although this was one of the first battles of
    the war, the Northern men showed their desperate fighting qualities;
    and on the second day the South met and faced great slaughter.

Fayel, the correspondent of the Missouri Democrat, gives this account of
the part Colonel Eugene A. Carr's Fourth Iowa Division took in the battle
at Elk Horn Tavern:

    Having given an account of the battle fought by Brigadier-General Jeff
    C. Davis's Division, which occurred the same day, on our left, I will
    now attempt to give some details of the Elk Horn Battle--the latter
    having commenced early in the morning. First in order comes a
    description of the locality near Elk Horn Tavern.

    The house is on the Fayetteville and Springfield road, about four
    miles north of Sugar Creek, between which two points our camp was
    pitched, on the elevated ridge constituting the northern bank of the
    creek. Leading north from the tavern, the road drops into the head of
    the long gorge running towards Keetsville seven miles, known as the
    "Cross Timbers."

    Into the strong fastness north of the Tavern the enemy had obtained a
    lodgment from 10,000 to 15,000 strong in the rear of our wing, on the
    morning of the 7th. His strength consisted in part of the following
    rebel Divisions, as was subsequently ascertained: Frost's, Slack's,
    Parson's, and Rains's; and the batteries of Ghebor, Clark (six
    pieces), E. McDonald (three pieces), and Wade (four pieces). There was
    present also one Regiment of Indians, the whole commanded by General
    Van Dorn in person, and General Price, who directs the Missouri

    Early in the morning, while General Curtis was in consultation with
    his officers regarding a change of front, consequent on the approach
    of the enemy on the west of us, news came that the enemy were in close
    vicinity to the Elk Horn Tavern. The General then immediately ordered
    Colonel Carr to proceed to effect a dislodgment of the enemy. The
    formidable numbers present at the time not being known, Colonel Carr
    directed Colonel Dodge, with the First Brigade of the Fourth Division,
    to take a position near the Elkhorn Tavern, Colonel Carr accompanying
    the expedition himself. The point indicated was about a mile and a
    half distant from our camp, the ground being level and gradually
    ascending, with open fields on either side of the road, interspersed
    with an occasional belt of timber.

    Colonel Dodge having discovered the enemy in the timber to the right,
    opened the First Iowa Battery on them, causing considerable execution;
    two rebels on horseback were seen to fall, and the rest fled. The
    enemy having fled to the hollow, Colonel Dodge deployed his line,
    covering as much ground as possible, the Thirty-fifth Illinois being
    on his left. He sent forward a company of skirmishers from the Fourth
    Iowa, who soon became sharply engaged with the enemy and the latter
    opened on us a perfect tornado of round shot, shell, and grape. The
    Thirty-fifth Illinois became engaged, fighting with determined
    bravery, and about, this time Colonel Smith was wounded in the head by
    a shell, which took off a part of his scalp. He also received a bullet
    in his shoulder, and his horse was shot under him, all about the same
    time. Just before he was wounded, several ammunition-chests exploded,
    one after the other, wounding Captain Jones and Lieutenant Gamble, who
    were standing near Colonel Carr, the latter making a fortunate escape.
    The explosion of a caisson was terrific.

    There was a short lull in the storm of leaden hail, during which time
    the enemy advanced up the hollow through the brush, along the main
    road, when Colonel Vandever, who had arrived, ordered forward the
    infantry. A desperate conflict with small arms ensued. Back rolled the
    tide of battle, the enemy being driven to the foot of the hill, when
    he reopened the batteries. Our men fought like heroes; many fell
    covered with wounds. The latter, when brought to the rear by their
    comrades, encouraged those who were still breasting the fierce
    cannonade, by hurrahing for the Union.

    Colonel Vandever, in leading forward his brigade, had his horse hit
    twice, and Colonel Phelps, in the van of his own Regiment, had three
    horses shot under him. Major Geiger, of the same Regiment, and Captain
    Hayden, of the Dubuque Battery, had two horses shot under them. Major
    Coyle, of the Ninth Iowa, was wounded in the leg.

    Colonel Dodge having discovered that the enemy were preparing for a
    general attack, changed his front to the right, covering his men with
    a log fence, thus compelling the enemy to cross an open field to reach
    him. Our line was formed and we opened fire with one section of a
    battery, the other pieces having left the field for want of
    ammunition. The enemy advanced on our right, left, and center, under
    cover of a destructive fire, poured in on our works under twelve
    pieces of artillery. The fighting now lasted over two hours, during
    which time we held our position; only one Brigade contending against
    at least six thousand rebel infantry and a heavy bombardment from
    their artillery, the latter playing upon us at short range. Our men
    fought like heroes without wincing under the galling fire belching
    forth from behind trees and rocks, and much of the time from a
    concealed foe. At one time we were reinforced by three rifled pieces
    from a German battery, which fired four rounds, and then was compelled
    to withdraw from the field, being flanked by a Regiment of the enemy.

    Colonel Dodge, in order to discover the position of the enemy on his
    right, directed his firing to cease, when a thousand rebel plush caps
    and black broad brims popped up into view from the bushes, and,
    forming, they advanced with great confidence to within one hundred
    feet of our line. Our men were then ordered to pour in a fire on the
    dastardly enemy, taking good aim. They were thrown into confusion by
    our murderous volley and fled.

    Their places were filled by a fresh Regiment, and Colonel Dodge,
    finding that the enemy were outflanking him on the right and that his
    force was too weak to permit an extension of his line, sent for and
    soon received a reinforcement of five companies of the Eighth Indiana,
    which were posted on the right. The firing now became terrific. The
    enemy annoyed us severely by placing a battery on our left, which
    completely enfiladed our line. The Fourth Iowa now getting short of
    ammunition, and the Thirty-fifth Illinois having been forced to give
    way on the left, it was at this critical time that Lieutenant-Colonel
    Challenor was ordered to rally his men, who were hurled on the enemy,
    driving his left back a short distance. Having advanced too far, the
    Lieutenant-Colonel was surrounded and captured with forty of his men.
    Our ammunition, as before stated, having given out, we fell back to
    the open field, maintaining our line of battle in splendid order. The
    enemy rushed forward with their batteries and entire force. The Fourth
    Iowa halted, turned on them, and checked for a time their advance
    until the last round of ammunition was exhausted. General Curtis
    coming up about this stage of the action, was received with a round of
    cheers from our boys. The General learning that the ammunition had
    given out, ordered the Fourth Iowa to fix bayonets and charge on the
    enemy. The men did so briskly, across the field, but found no enemy.

    On Colonel Vandever's front the enemy now commenced swarming up the
    road and along the gorge, and out of the brush in front of us. Our
    troops fought them bravely, the officers exposing their persons in
    leading in front of their men; but we were overwhelmed at this time by
    superior numbers. We retreated across the field, but rallied again
    along the fence behind our original position. Upon retiring as above
    mentioned, reinforcements were seen coming up under General Asboth. In
    a gallant attempt to resist the advancing column of the enemy, General
    Asboth received a severe wound in the arm. After the terrible conflict
    of the day our gallant troops bivouacked in front of the enemy,
    awaiting the reopening of the conflict in the morning.

    Colonel Vandever fought Little's Division. Colonel Dodge's Brigade
    contended in the morning directly with Rain's and Clark's Divisions,
    both immediately under the direction of Sterling Price. The latter had
    his position for some time behind young Clarke's battery.

    The enemy fired wagon-nuts, pieces of chain, marble, gravel, and all
    sorts of projectiles. The overcoat worn by Colonel Dodge was perfectly
    riddled by the jagged holes made by these unusual missiles.

    Colonel Dodge, the day after the battle, received a letter from a
    widow lady in Illinois, stating that she had three sons in the field
    fighting for the Union; that her youngest son, who was in feeble
    health, was in his Brigade, and she asked it as a special favor to her
    in her loneliness to have him discharged. The young man whose mother
    had such solicitude in his behalf was named Preston Green, and was
    killed in the action of the 7th, near Elkhorn, while bravely
    performing his duty.

    During the battle, Colonel Dodge's horse was shot under him. An
    enlisted man, detailed as clerk in the Adjutant's office, was acting
    as orderly for Colonel Dodge. When his horse fell, he ordered the
    orderly to dismount and give him his horse. The orderly said, "You
    will be killed if you get on another horse; this is the third you have
    lost." But the orderly dismounted and stood where the Colonel had
    stood when he asked for the horse, and at that moment was instantly
    killed by a shot from the enemy. After the battle, the Adjutant,
    Lieutenant Williamson, found in the orderly's desk a note in which he
    said he was sure he would be killed in the battle, and in which, also,
    he left directions as to the disposal of his effects and whom to write

In General Price's command there was a Regiment or more of Indians
commanded by Colonel Albert B. Pike. They crawled up through the thick
timber and attacked my extreme left. I saw them and turned one of the guns
of my battery on them, and they left. We saw no more of them, but they
scalped and mutilated some of our dead. General Curtis entered a complaint
to General Price, who answered that they were not of his command, and that
they had scalped some of his dead, and he said he did not approve of their
being upon the field. They evidently scalped many of the dead, no matter
what side they belonged to.

The battle of Pea Ridge being one of the first of the war and one of
unquestioned victory, had a great deal of attention called to it, and for
months--in fact for years, and, I think even now--was considered to have
been won by General Siegel. The proper credit was not given to General
Curtis, while the history and records of the battle show that he was
entitled to all of the credit, and fought the battle in opposition to
Siegel's views. A statement of the losses shows what commands fought the
battle. The total force engaged on our side, according to General Curtis's
report, was 10,500 men, formed in four Divisions, Siegel's two Divisions
being the largest, the Third and Fourth Divisions having less than 2,000
men each. The losses were:

  First Division,* commanded by Osterhaus                 144
  Second Division,* commanded by Asboth                   119
  Third Division, commanded by Colonel Jeff C. Davis      329
  Fourth Division, commanded by Colonel Carr              701
        *Divisions were commanded by General Siegel.

Van Dorn's and Price's reports of the battle show how great their defeat
was, and why it was, and while for some time General Curtis called
anxiously on Halleck for more reinforcements, demanding that the column
which was marching South in Kansas be sent to him, Van Dorn and Price,
from the time they left the field, never stopped until they landed at
Memphis, Tenn., their first movement being towards Pocahontas, with a view
of attacking Pope in the rear, who was at New Madrid. Finding New Madrid
captured, they turned their forces to Desarc, and were then transported by
boats to Memphis. This relieved Missouri of any Confederate force in or
near its border, and General Halleck immediately gave General Curtis
orders to move on the flank of Van Dorn and keep up with him, but through
that swampy, hilly country it was impossible for him to meet Van Dorn, and
Curtis with his Army finally landed at Helena, Ark., and most of it joined
the Vicksburg siege.

Captain Phil Sheridan was the Quartermaster and Commissary of General
Curtis's Army. He kept us in flour, meat, and meal, and sometimes had my
whole regiment detailed in running and protecting mills, driving cattle,
etc. He had great difficulty in obtaining details, as at that early day a
good many commanders, and especially General Siegel and his officers, did
not think it the duty of a soldier to be detailed on anything but a
soldier's duty; so Sheridan naturally came to me, as he was my
Quartermaster while I commanded the post at Rolla, and when with the
marching column he camped and tented with me. Sheridan and Curtis had
considerable difficulty, and Curtis relieved him and ordered him to report
to General Halleck, at St. Louis. We who knew Sheridan's ability, and the
necessities of our Army, did all we could to hold him with us. He left us
just before the Battle of Pea Ridge, and our Army saw a great difference
after he was gone. He used to say to me, "Dodge, if I could get into the
line I believe I could do something;" and his ambition was to get as high
a rank as I then had and as large a command--a Colonel commanding a
Brigade. In his memoirs he pays the Fourth Iowa a great compliment, and
says they will have a warm place in his heart during his life.

During the Battle of Pea Ridge Sheridan was at Springfield, Mo., preparing
to turn over his property to the officer who was to relieve him, and he
there showed his soldierly qualities. The dispatches from Curtis's army
had to be relayed at Springfield. The first dispatches after the battle
were sent all in praise of General Siegel, and by portions of his command,
claiming he had won the battle. Sheridan, knowing this to be untrue,
withheld the Siegel dispatches until the telegrams from General Curtis to
General Halleck were received, and sent them forward first,
notwithstanding the fact that he felt he had been unjustly treated by
General Curtis.

This Army had no water or rail communication. It was 300 miles from its
nearest supply-depot, and therefore it had to live off of a country that
was sparsely settled by poor people; but Sheridan showed that dominant
combination of enterprise and energy, by running every mill and using
every means of supply within fifty miles of us, that he developed so fully
later in the war. He kept us and our stock fairly well supplied; as I
remember, there were no complaints. When General Curtis concluded to
relieve him, I went with others and endeavored to induce him to change his
mind. I had had experience and knew what it was to have an Army well fed a
long ways from its base, and I felt that if we lost Sheridan we would
suffer, which later proved to be the case; but General Curtis did not
listen to us. In fact, he was angry at our appeal, and his Adjutant,
General McKinney, came to see us afterwards and urged us not to press the
matter; if we did, he said, we might go to the rear with Sheridan.

At the Battle of Pea Ridge and during the campaign we were very destitute
of all hospital appliances for the care of the wounded, and the ability
and ingenuity of our medical staff in supplying our wants was inestimable.
The day after the battle, when we had all our own wounded and so many of
the enemy's with us, Mrs. Governor Phelps, the wife of Governor Phelps, of
Missouri, who commanded the Twenty-fifth Missouri Infantry, arrived on the
field with a general supply of sanitary goods, a part of which had been
sent to my Regiment from Philadelphia by the father and mother of Captain
Ford, who was then a Lieutenant in Company B, Fourth Iowa Infantry. These
were a great relief, as fully one-third of my command were killed and
wounded, and were suffering for want of this class of goods. Mrs. Phelps
spent her time day and night on the field aiding the surgeons and
succoring the wounded.

General Curtis endeavored to send all the wounded to the rear who could
stand the trip. I was hauled 250 miles over a rough road in an ambulance,
and if any of you have had the same experience you can judge what I
suffered. Captain Burton, of my Regiment, who was severely wounded in the
arm, sat on the front seat of that ambulance the whole distance, and never
murmured, although he came near losing his arm from the exposure. It was
during this ambulance trip, while lying on my back, that I received a
telegraphic dispatch from General Halleck notifying me of my promotion for
services in this battle. It was thought, and was also stated in the
papers, that I could not live, and I told General Halleck afterwards that
they expected to have the credit of making a Brigadier-General and at the
same time to have a vacancy, too, but that on the vacancy I fooled them,
for the promotion insured my getting well.

This campaign demonstrated early in the war what could be accomplished by
a small Army 300 miles away from any rail or water communication, in a
rugged, mountainous, sparsely settled county, marching in winter, and
virtually subsisting upon the country. Nothing escaped that Army that was

The Battle of Pea Ridge was fought by the two Divisions commanded by Carr
and Davis, not exceeding 6,000 men, and it is a lesson in war that is very
seldom appreciated: that no one can tell what the result of a battle may
be, and that even where forces are very wide apart in numbers it is not
always the larger force that wins. In this battle Van Dorn had put twice
as many men into the fight as Curtis did, and still was defeated. His
dividing his force and attacking our Army at two different points was
fatal to his success, as General Curtis had the inside line and could move
from one part of his command to another within an hour, while for Van Dorn
to move from one portion of his Army to the other would have taken at
least half a day, and therefore he was whipped in detail. If he had thrown
his whole force upon Curtis's right flank at the point where McCullough
fought and was overwhelmed by Davis's Division, there would have been
great danger of our Army being defeated, or at least forced to the rear.

There was no strategy nor tactics in this battle; it was simply men
standing up and giving and taking, and the one that stood the longest won
the battle. The only strategy or tactics was the movement of Van Dorn
attacking on the right flank and in the rear, and these moves were fatal
to his success. Curtis's Army fought each man for himself. Every commander
fought his own part of the battle to the best of his ability, and I think
the feeling of all was that unless they won they would have to go to
Richmond, as the enemy was in the rear, which fact made us desperate in
meeting and defeating the continued attacks of the enemy. I sent for
reinforcements once when the enemy was clear around my right flank and in
my rear, and they sent me a part of the Eighth Indiana, two companies of
the Third Illinois Cavalry, and a section of a battery. The battery fought
ten minutes under a heavy fire. The four companies of the Eighth Indiana
lined up alongside the Fourth Iowa, and stayed there fighting bravely
until the end. The Third Illinois held my right flank. The officer who
brought this force to me was Lieutenant Shields, of my own Regiment, who
was acting as aid on Colonel Carr's staff. As he rode up to me to report
the Eighth Indiana he halted alongside of me, and at the same instant both
of our horses fell dead without a struggle--something very unusual. I was
quick, and jumped clear of my horse, but Shields's horse fell upon him. I
walked away, not thinking of Shields; but he called back to me and said,
"Colonel, you are not going to leave me this way are you?" and I returned
and helped him from under his horse. An examination of the two horses made
the next day, showed that they must have been killed by the same bullet,
which passed through their necks at the same place, killing them

A log house was used by us early in the morning as a temporary hospital.
When my skirmishers fell back this log house was left in the lines of the
enemy, and Hospital Steward Baker, of the Fourth Iowa, was left in charge
of the wounded there. When General Price came up he asked him who those
black-coated devils were, and when Baker told him there were only six
hundred he did not believe him. He said no six hundred men could stand
such attacks, and paid the Brigade a very high compliment for their
fighting, and told Baker to give them his compliments.

I never returned to this Army, but many of the troops who fought so
gallantly fought afterwards in Corps and Armies that I was connected with.
My own Regiment went into battle with 548 rank and file present. Company B
was on detailed service holding Pea Ridge, and had no casualties in line
of battle. My Regiment was greatly reduced from sickness and men on
furlough, but the bravery and steadiness with which those with me fought
was a surprise and a great satisfaction to me. One-third of them fell, and
not a straggler left the field. I had drilled the Regiment to most all
kinds of conditions--in the open, in the woods--and many complained, and
thought I was too severe, as many Regiments at the posts where they were
stationed only had the usual exercises; but after this, their first
battle, they saw what drilling, maneuvers, and discipline meant, and they
had nothing but praise for the severe drilling I had given them. They
never fell under my command again, but on every field that they fought
they won the praise of their commanders, and General Grant ordered that
they should place on their banners, "First at Chickasaw Bayou."

I have never thought that General Curtis has received the credit he was
entitled to for this campaign and battle. With 12,000 men he traversed
Missouri into Arkansas, living off the country, and showing good judgment
in concentrating to meet Van Dorn and refusing to retreat when urged to do
so at the conference at the log schoolhouse on the morning of the 7th. The
night of the 7th I know some officers thought we ought to try to cut
ourselves out to the East, Price being in our rear; but Curtis said he
would fight where we were. He then had no knowledge of the condition of
the enemy. On the morning of the 8th he brought General Siegel's two
Divisions into the fight and concentrated on Price, whose fighting was
simply to cover his retreat. General Curtis failed to reap the full
benefit of the battle because Siegel went to Cassville, leaving only
Davis's and Carr's Divisions on the field. We who took part in this
campaign appreciate the difficulties and obstacles Curtis had to overcome,
and how bravely and efficiently he commanded, and we honor him for it. So
did General Halleck; but the Government, for some reason, failed to give
him another command in the field, though they retained him in command of
departments to the end of the war.

[Illustration: SYLVANUS DODGE

Father of Major-General G. M. Dodge.]

Letter of General Grenville M. Dodge to his Father on the Battle of Pea

    ST. LOUIS, MO., April 2, 1862.

    DEAR FATHER:--I know there is no one who would like to have a word
    from me more than you. I write but little--am very weak from my
    wounds; do not sit up much; but I hope ere long to be all right again.
    Nothing now but the battle will interest you. It was a terrible three
    days to me; how I got through God only knows. I got off a sick bed to
    go to the fight, and I never got a wink of sleep for three days and
    three nights. The engagement was so long and with us so hot that it
    did not appear possible for us to hold our ground. We lacked sadly in
    numbers and artillery, but with good judgment and good grit we made it
    win. My officers were very brave. Little Captain Taylor would stand
    and clap his hands as the balls grew thick. Captain Burton was as cool
    as a cucumber, and liked to have bled to death; then the men, as they
    crawled back wounded, would cheer me; cheer for the Union; and always
    say, "Don't give up Colonel, hang to em;" and many who were too badly
    wounded to leave the field stuck to their places, sitting on the
    ground, loading and firing. I have heard of brave acts, but such
    determined pluck I never before dreamed of. My flag-bearer, after
    having been wounded so he could not hold up the colors, would not
    leave them. I had to peremptorily order him off. One time when the
    enemy charged through my lines the boys drove them back in confusion.
    Price fought bravely; his men deserved a better fate, but although two
    to one they could not gain much. Their artillery was served
    splendidly--they had great advantage over us in this. Mine run out of
    ammunition long before night and left me to the mercy of their grape
    and canister. Had I have had my full battery at night I could have
    whipped them badly. After the Fourth Iowa's ammunition gave out or
    before this all the other Regiments and Brigades had given way,
    leaving me without support, and when I found my ammunition gone I
    never felt such a chilling in my life. It is terrible right in the
    midst of a hot contest to have your cartridges give out. We had fired
    forty-two rounds, and had but a few left. I saved them and ceased
    firing, falling back to my supports. The enemy charged me in full
    force. I halted and they came within fifty feet. We opened on them
    such a terrible fire they fled. General Curtis rode into the field
    then and asked me to charge. This would have blanched anybody but an
    Iowa soldier. No ammunition and to charge! We fixed bayonets, and as I
    gave the order the boys cheered and cheered, swinging their hats in
    every direction. CHARGE! and such a yell as they crossed that field
    with, you never heard--it was unearthly and scared the rebels so bad
    they never stopped to fire at us or to let us reach them. As we
    marched back, now dark, nearly one-half the entire Army had got on the
    ground and the black-coats (Fourth Iowa) had got their fame up. The
    charge without ammunition took them all, and as we passed down the
    line the whole Army cheered us. General Curtis complimented us on the
    field, and what was left of the Fourth Iowa held their heads high that
    night, though a gloomy one for those who knew our situation. The next
    morning it fell to my lot to open the battle with my artillery again,
    and for one hour we poured it into them hot and heavy. We opened with
    thirty-two guns; they answered with as many, and such a roar you never
    heard. The enemy could not stand it and fled. Our whole army deployed
    in sight that morning and it was a grand sight with the artillery
    playing in open view. I had read of such things, but they were beyond
    my conception. This closed the battle and we breathed free. I escaped
    most miraculously. A shell burst right in front of me, and, tearing
    away my saddle holsters and taking off a large piece of my pants,
    never even scratched me. My clothes were riddled and I got a hit in
    the side that is serious, but did not think of it at the time.

    Yours, etc., G. M.


Painting by James E. Taylor for General William T. Sherman. This shows the
time when Hardee's Corps, four Divisions, attacked the Sixteenth Army
Corps in the rear of the Army of the Tennessee, and were defeated. General
Dodge on horse in foreground ordering Colonel Mersey's brigade to charge
one of the columns of the enemy in flank. Extreme right of picture,
General Fuller's Division fighting General Walker's Division of the
Confederate Army.]


FOUGHT JULY 22, 1864


M. O. L. L.



On the 17th day of July, 1864, General John B. Hood relieved General
Joseph E. Johnston in command of the Confederate Army in front of Atlanta,
and on the 20th Hood opened an attack upon Sherman's right, commanded by
General Thomas. The attack was a failure, and resulted in a great defeat
to Hood's Army and the disarrangement of all his plans.

On the evening of the 21st of July, General Sherman's Army had closed up
to within two miles of Atlanta, and on that day Force's Brigade of
Leggett's Division of Blair's Seventeenth Army Corps carried a prominent
hill, known as Bald or Leggett's Hill, that gave us a clear view of
Atlanta, and placed that city within range of our guns. It was a strategic
point, and unless the swing of our left was stopped it would dangerously
interfere with Hood's communications towards the south. Hood fully
appreciated this, and determined upon his celebrated attack in the rear of
General Sherman's Army.

On the 22d of July, the Army of the Tennessee was occupying the rebel
intrenchments, its right resting very near the Howard House, north of the
Augusta Railroad, thence to Leggett's Hill, which had been carried by
Force's assault on the evening of the 21st. From this hill Giles A.
Smith's Division of the Seventeenth Army Corps stretched out southward on
a road that occupied this ridge, with a weak flank in air. To strengthen
this flank, by order of General McPherson I sent on the evening of the
21st one Brigade of Fuller's Division, the other being left at Decatur to
protect our parked trains. Fuller camped his Brigade about half a mile in
the rear of the extreme left and at right angles to Blair's lines and
commanding the open ground and valley of the forks of Sugar Creek, a
position that proved very strong in the battle. Fuller did not go into
line; simply bivouacked ready to respond to any call.

On the morning of the 22d of July, General McPherson called at my
headquarters and gave me verbal orders in relation to the movement of the
Second (Sweeney's) Division of my command, the Sixteenth Corps, which had
been crowded out of the line by the contraction of our lines as we neared
Atlanta, and told me that I was to take position on the left of the line
that Blair had been instructed to occupy and intrench that morning, and
cautioned me about protecting my flank very strongly. McPherson evidently
thought that there would be trouble on that flank, for he rode out to
examine it himself.

I moved Sweeney in the rear of our Army, on the road leading from the
Augusta Railway down the east branch of Sugar Creek to near where it
forks; then, turning west, the road crosses the west branch of Sugar Creek
just back of where Fuller was camped, and passed up through a strip of
woods and through Blair's lines near where his left was refused. Up this
road Sweeney marched until he reached Fuller, when he halted, waiting
until the line I had selected on Blair's proposed new left could be
intrenched, so that at mid-day, July 22d, the position of the Army of the
Tennessee was as follows: One Division of the Fifteenth across and north
of the Augusta Railway facing Atlanta; the balance of the Fifteenth and
all of the Seventeenth Corps behind intrenchments running south of the
railway along a gentle ridge with a gentle slope and clear valley facing
Atlanta in front, and another clear valley in the rear. The Sixteenth
Corps was resting on the road described, entirely in the rear of the
Seventeenth and Fifteenth Corps, and facing from Atlanta. To the left and
left-rear the country was heavily wooded. The enemy, therefore, was
enabled, under cover of the forest, to approach close to the rear of our

On the night of July 21st Hood had transferred Hardee's Corps and two
Divisions of Wheeler's Cavalry to our rear, going around our left flank,
Wheeler attacking Sprague's Brigade of the Sixteenth Army Corps at
Decatur, where our trains were parked. At daylight, Stewart's and
Cheatham's Corps and the Georgia Militia were withdrawn closer to Atlanta,
and placed in a position to attack simultaneously with Hardee, the plan
thus involving the destroying of the Army of the Tennessee by attacking it
in rear and front and the capturing of all its trains corraled at Decatur.
Hardee's was the largest Corps in Hood's Army, and according to Hood there
were thus to move upon the Army of the Tennessee about 40,000 troops.

Hood's order of attack was for Hardee to form entirely in the rear of the
Army of the Tennessee, but Hardee claims that he met Hood on the night of
the 21st; that he was so late in moving his Corps that they changed the
plan of attack so that his left was to strike the Seventeenth Corps. He
was to swing his right until he enveloped and attacked the rear of the
Seventeenth and Fifteenth Corps.

Hood stood in one of the batteries of Atlanta, where he could see Blair's
left and the front line of the Fifteenth and Seventeenth Corps. He says he
was astonished to see the attack come on Blair's left instead of his rear,
and charges his defeat to that fact; but Hardee, when he swung his right
and came out in the open, found the Sixteenth Corps in line in the rear of
our Army, and he was as much surprised to find us there as our Army was at
the sudden attack in our rear. The driving back by the Sixteenth Corps of
Hardee's Corps made the latter drift to the left and against Blair,--not
only to Blair's left, but into his rear,--so that what Hood declares was
the cause of his failure was not Hardee's fault, as his attacks on the
Sixteenth Corps were evidently determined and fierce enough to relieve him
from all blame in that matter.

Historians and others who have written of the Battle of Atlanta have been
misled by being governed in their data by the first dispatches of General
Sherman, who was evidently misinformed, as he afterwards corrected his
dispatches. He stated in the first dispatch that the attack was at 11
a. m., and on Blair's Corps, and also that General McPherson was killed
about 11 a. m. The fact is, Blair was not attacked until half an hour
after the attack upon the Sixteenth Corps, and McPherson fell at about 2
p. m. General Sherman was at the Howard House, which was miles away from
the scene of Hardee's attack in the rear, and evidently did not at first
comprehend the terrific fighting that was in progress, and the serious
results that would have been effected had the attack succeeded.

The battle began within fifteen or twenty minutes of 12 o'clock (noon) and
lasted until midnight, and covered the ground from the Howard House along
the entire front of the Fifteenth (Logan's) Corps, the Seventeenth
(Blair's) on the front of the Sixteenth (which was formed in the rear of
the Army), and on to Decatur, where Sprague's Brigade of the Sixteenth
Army Corps met and defeated Wheeler's Cavalry--a distance of about seven

The Army of the Tennessee had present on that day at Atlanta and Decatur
about 26,000 men; there were 10,000 in the Fifteenth Army Corps, 9,000 in
the Sixteenth Corps, and 7,000 in the Seventeenth. About 21,000 of these
were in line of battle. Three Brigades of the Sixteenth Corps were absent,
the Sixteenth Corps having 5,000 men in a single line which received the
attack of the four Divisions of Hardee's Corps, Hardee's left, Cleburn's
Division lapping the extreme left of Blair and joining Cheatham's Corps
which attacked Blair from the Atlanta front; and, according to Hood, they
were joined by the Georgia Militia under General Smith. Extending down the
line in front of the Armies of the Ohio and the Cumberland, Stewart's
Corps occupied the works and held the lines in front of the Army of the
Cumberland. The Sixteenth Army Corps fought in the open ground; the
Fifteenth and Seventeenth behind intrenchments.

Where I stood just at the rear of the Sixteenth Army Corps, I could see
the entire line of that corps, and could look up and see the enemy's
entire front as they emerged from the woods, and I quickly saw that both
of my flanks were overlapped by the enemy. Knowing General McPherson was
some two miles away, I sent a staff officer to General Giles A. Smith,
requesting him to refuse his left and protect the gap between the
Seventeenth Corps and my right, which he sent word he would do. Later, as
the battle progressed, and I saw no movement on the part of General Smith,
I sent another officer to inform him that the enemy were passing my right
flank, which was nearly opposite his center, and requested him to refuse
his left immediately, or he would be cut off. This officer (Lieutenant D.
Sheffly, who belonged to the Signal Corps, and acted as my aide only for
the time being) found, on reaching Smith, that he was just becoming
engaged; that he had received orders to hold his line, with a promise that
other troops would be thrown into the gap.

My second messenger, Lieutenant Sheffly, returning over the road upon
which McPherson was a few minutes later shot dead, met the General on the
road with a very few attendants, and turned to warn him of his dangerous
position, assuring him that the enemy held the woods and were advancing.
The General paying no heed to the warning and moving on, my aide turned
and followed him. They had proceeded but a short distance into the woods
when a sharp command, "Halt," was heard from the skirmish-line of the
rebels. Without heeding the command, General McPherson and his party
wheeled their horses, and at that moment a heavy volley was poured in,
killing McPherson and so frightening the horses that they became
unmanageable and plunged into the underbrush in different directions. My
aide became separated from the General and the rest of the party, and was
knocked from his horse by coming in contact with a tree, and lay for some
time in an unconscious condition on the ground. As soon as he was
sufficiently recovered he returned on foot to me, having lost his horse
and equipments. Of General McPherson he saw nothing after his fall. His
watch, crushed by contact with the tree, was stopped at two minutes past 2
o'clock, which fixed the time of General McPherson's death.

General McPherson could not have left his point of observation more than a
few minutes when I detected the enemy's advance in the woods some distance
to my right, and between that flank and General Blair's rear. Fuller
quickly changed front with a portion of his brigade to confront them, and
pushing promptly to the attack captured their skirmish-line and drove back
their main force. Upon the persons of some of these prisoners we found
McPherson's papers, field-glass, etc., which conveyed to me the first
knowledge I had of his death; or, rather, as I then supposed, of his
capture by the enemy; and seeing that the papers were important I sent
them by my Chief of Staff with all haste to General Sherman.

General McPherson, it seems, had just witnessed the decisive grapple of
the Sixteenth Corps with the charging columns of the enemy, and, as
probably conveying his own reflections at that moment, I quote the
language of General Strong, the only staff officer present with him at
that critical time:

    The General and myself, accompanied only by our orderlies, rode on and
    took positions on the right of Dodge's line, and witnessed the
    desperate assaults of Hood's army.

    The Divisions of Generals Fuller and Sweeney were formed in a single
    line of battle in the open fields, without cover of any kind (Fuller's
    Division on the right,) and were warmly engaged. The enemy, massed in
    columns three or four lines deep, moved out of the dense timber
    several hundred yards from General Dodge's position, and after gaining
    fairly the open fields, halted and opened a rapid fire upon the
    Sixteenth Corps. They, however, seemed surprised to find our infantry
    in line of battle, prepared for attack, and after facing for a few
    minutes the destructive fire from the Divisions of Generals Fuller and
    Sweeney, fell back in disorder to the cover of the woods. Here,
    however, their lines were quickly reformed, and they again advanced,
    evidently determined to carry the position.

    The scene at this time was grand and impressive. It seemed to us that
    every mounted officer of the attacking column was riding at the front
    of, or on the right or left of, the first line of battle. The
    regimental colors waved and fluttered in advance of the lines, and not
    a shot was fired by the rebel infantry, although the movement was
    covered by a heavy and well-directed fire from artillery, which was
    posted in the woods and on higher ground, and which enabled the guns
    to bear upon our troops with solid shot and shell, firing over the
    attacking column.

    It seemed impossible, however, for the enemy to face the sweeping,
    deadly fire from Fuller's and Sweeney's Divisions, and the guns of the
    Fourteenth Ohio and Welker's Batteries of the Sixteenth Corps fairly
    mowed great swaths in the advancing columns. They showed great
    steadiness, and closed up the gaps and preserved their alignments; but
    the iron and leaden hail which was poured upon them was too much for
    flesh and blood to stand, and, before reaching the center of the open
    field, the columns were broken up and thrown into great confusion.
    Taking advantage of this, General Dodge, with portions of General
    Fuller's and General Sweeney's Divisions, with bayonets fixed, charged
    the enemy and drove them back to the woods, taking many prisoners.

    General McPherson's admiration for the steadiness and determined
    bravery of the Sixteenth Corps was unbounded. General Dodge held the
    key to the position.

    Had the Sixteenth Corps given way the rebel army would have been in
    the rear of the Seventeenth and Fifteenth Corps, and would have swept
    like an avalanche over our supply trains, and the position of the Army
    of the Tennessee would have been very critical, although, without
    doubt, the result of the battle would have been in our favor, because
    the Armies of the Cumberland and the Ohio were close at hand, and the
    enemy would have been checked and routed further on.

General Blair, in his official report of the battle, says:

    I witnessed the first furious assault upon the Sixteenth Army Corps,
    and its prompt and gallant repulse. It was a fortunate circumstance
    for that whole army that the Sixteenth Army Corps occupied the
    position I have attempted to describe, at the moment of the attack;
    and although it does not become me to comment upon the brave conduct
    of the officers and men of that Corps, still I can not refrain from
    expressing my admiration for the manner in which the Sixteenth Corps
    met and repulsed the repeated and persistent attacks of the enemy.

The Sixteenth Corps has a record in that battle which we seldom see in the
annals of war. It met the shock of battle and fired the last shot late
that night, as the enemy stubbornly yielded its grasp on Bald Hill. It
fought on four parts of the field, and everywhere with equal success. It
lost no gun that it took into the engagement, and its losses were almost
entirely in killed and wounded--the missing having been captured at
Decatur through getting mired in a swamp.

At no time during the Atlanta campaign was there present in the Sixteenth
Corps more than two small Divisions of three Brigades each, and at this
time these two Divisions were widely scattered; on the Atlanta field only
ten Regiments and two Batteries were present, three entire Brigades being
absent from the Corps. It was called upon to meet the assault of at least
three Divisions or nine Brigades, or at the least forty-nine Regiments,
all full to the utmost that a desperate emergency could swell them,
impelled by the motive of the preconcerted surprise, and orders from their
commander at all hazards to sweep over any and all obstructions; while, on
the other hand, the force attacked and surprised was fighting without
orders, guided only by the exigency of the moment. Their captures
represented forty-nine different Regiments of the enemy. How many more
Regiments were included in those nine Brigades I have never been able to
learn. The fact that this small force, technically, if not actually, in
march, in a perfectly open field, with this enormously superior force
leaping upon them from the cover of dense woods, was able to hold its
ground and drive its assailants, pell-mell, back to the cover of the woods
again, proves that when a great battle is in progress, or a great
emergency occurs, no officer can tell what the result may be when he
throws in his forces, be they 5,000 or 20,000 men; and it seems to me to
be impossible to draw the line that gives the right to a subordinate
officer to use his own judgment in engaging an enemy when a great battle
is within his hearing.

Suppose the Sixteenth Corps, with less than 5,000 men, seeing at least
three times their number in their front, should have retreated, instead of
standing and fighting as it did: What would have been the result? I say
that in all my experience in life, until the two forces struck and the
Sixteenth Corps stood firm, I never passed more anxious moments.

Sprague's Brigade, of the same corps, was engaged at the same time within
hearing, but on a different field,--at Decatur,--fighting and stubbornly
holding that place, knowing that if he failed the trains massed there and
_en route_ from Roswell would be captured. His fight was a gallant and
sometimes seemingly almost hopeless one--giving ground inch by inch,
until, finally, he obtained a position that he could not be driven from,
and one that protected the entire trains of the Army.

As Hardee's attack fell upon the Sixteenth Army Corps, his left Division
(Cleburn's) lapped over and beyond Blair's left, and swung around his left
front; they poured down through the gap between the left of the
Seventeenth and the right of the Sixteenth Corps, taking Blair in front,
flank, and rear. Cheatham's Corps moved out of Atlanta and attacked in
Blair's front. General Giles A. Smith commanded Blair's left Division, his
right connecting with Leggett at Bald Hill, where Leggett's Division held
the line until they connected with the Fifteenth Corps, and along this
front the battle raged with great fury.

As Cleburn advanced along the open space between the Sixteenth and
Seventeenth Corps they cut off from Blair's left and captured a portion of
two Regiments of his command, and forced the Seventeenth Corps to form new
lines, utilizing the old intrenchments thrown up by the enemy, fighting
first on one side and then on the other, as the attack would come from
Hardee in the rear or Cheatham in the front, until about 3:30 p. m., when,
evidently after a lull, an extraordinary effort was made by the rebels to
wipe out Giles A. Smith's Division and capture Leggett's Hill, the enemy
approaching under cover of the woods until they were within fifty yards of
Smith's temporary position, when they pressed forward until the fight
became a hand-to-hand conflict across the trenches occupied by Smith, the
troops using bayonet freely and the officers their swords. This attack
failed; it was no doubt timed to occur at the same time that Cheatham's
Corps attacked from the Atlanta front, which Leggett met. The brunt of
Cheatham's attack was against Leggett's Hill, the key to the position of
that portion of the Army of the Tennessee. General Giles A. Smith's
Division had to give up the works they occupied and fall into line at
right angles with Leggett's Division, Leggett's Hill being the apex of the
formation; and around this position for three-quarters of an hour more
desperate fighting was done that I can describe. Up to midnight the enemy
occupied one side of the works while we occupied the other, neither side
giving way until Hood saw that the whole attack was a failure, when those
who were on the outside of the works finally surrendered to us. Their
attack at this angle was a determined and resolute one, advancing up to
our breastworks on the crest of the hill, planting their flag side by side
with ours, and fighting hand to hand until it grew so dark that nothing
could be seen but the flash of guns from the opposite sides of the works.
The ground covered by these attacks was literally strewn with the dead of
both sides. The loss of Blair's Corps was 1,801 killed, wounded, and
missing. Blair's left struck in the rear flank, and the front gave way
slowly, gradually, fighting for every inch of ground, until their left was
opposite the right flank of the Sixteenth Corps; then they halted, and
held the enemy, refusing to give another inch.

It would be difficult in all the annals of war to find a parallel to the
fighting of the Seventeenth Corps; first from one side of its works and
then from the other, one incident of which was that of Colonel Belknap, of
the Union side, who, reaching over the works, seized the Colonel of the
Forty-fifth Alabama, and, drawing him over the breastworks, made him a
prisoner of war.

About 4 p. m. Cheatham's Corps was ordered by Hood to again attack; they
directed their assault this time to the front of the Fifteenth Corps,
using the Decatur wagon-road and railway as a guide, and came forward in
solid masses, meeting no success until they slipped through to the rear of
the Fifteenth Corps by a deep cut used by the railway passing through our

As soon as they reached our rear, Lightburn's Division of the Fifteenth
Corps became partially panic-stricken, and fell back, giving up the
intrenchments for the whole front of this Division, the enemy capturing
the celebrated Degress Battery of 20-pounders and two guns in advance of
our lines. The officers of Lightburn's Division rallied it in the line of
intrenchments, just in the rear of the position they had in the morning.

General Logan was then in command of the Army of the Tennessee. He rode
over to my position, and I sent Mersey's Brigade of the Second Division,
under the guidance of Major Edward Jonas, my Aide-de-camp, to the aid of
the Fifteenth Corps. Of the performance of that Brigade on that occasion,
I quote the words of that staff officer, Major Jonas:

    I conducted Mersey's Brigade to the point where needed; arrived at the
    railroad, he at once deployed and charged, all men of the Fifteenth
    Corps at hand joining with him. Mersey's Brigade recaptured the works
    and the guns. Old Colonel Mersey was slightly wounded, and his
    celebrated horse, "Billy," killed. By your direction I said to General
    Morgan L. Smith (temporarily in command of the Fifteenth Corps):
    "General Dodge requests that you return this Brigade at the earliest
    practicable moment, as there is every indication of renewed assault on
    our own line," and, after saying that your request would be respected,
    General Smith added: "Tell General Dodge that his Brigade (Mersey's)
    has done magnificently, and that it shall have full credit in my

Afterwards one of Mersey's officers--Captain Boyd, I think--in trying his
skill as an artillerist, cracked one of the recaptured guns. At the same
moment of Mersey's attack in front, General Wood's Division of the
Fifteenth Army Corps, under the eye of General Sherman, attacked the
Confederates occupying our intrenchments in flank, and Williamson's
Brigade joined Mersey's in recapturing our line and the batteries--the
Fourth Iowa Infantry taking a conspicuous part.

Colonel Mersey and many of his men whom he so gallantly led had served
their time before this battle occurred, and were awaiting transportation
home. Eloquent words have been written and spoken all over the land in
behalf of the honor and the bravery of the soldier; but where is the word
spoken or written that can say more for the soldier than the action of
these men on that field? They were out of service; they had written that
they were coming home, and their eyes and hearts were toward the North.
Many an anxious eye was looking for the boy who voluntarily laid down his
life that day, and many a devoted father, mother or sister has had untold
trouble to obtain recognition in the War Department because the soldier's
time had expired. He was mustered out; waiting to go home; and was not
known on the records; but on that day he fought on three different parts
of the field, without a thought except for his cause and his country.

The continuous attacks of Cheatham made no other impression on the line.
Our men were behind the intrenchments and the slaughter of the enemy was
something fearful. General J. C. Brown, who commanded the Confederate
Division that broke through our line, told me that after breaking through
it was impossible to force his men forward; the fire on their flanks and
front was so terrific that when driven out of the works one-half of his
command was killed, wounded, or missing. The Confederate records sustain
this, and it is a wonder that they could force their line so often up to
within 100 to 300 feet of us, where our fire would drive them back in
spite of the efforts of their officers, a great many of whom fell in these

I could see the terrific fighting at Leggett's Hill, but of that along the
line of the Fifteenth Corps I can only speak from the records and as told
me by General John C. Brown, of the Confederate Army. The stubbornness and
coolness with which they contested every inch of the ground won his
admiration, and the manner and method with which the line was retaken must
have been seen to be appreciated.

When darkness fell upon us the enemy had retired, except around the angle
in the Seventeenth Corps, known as Leggett's or Bald Hill. Here there was
a continuous fire, desultory and at close quarters, the enemy in places
occupying ground close up to our intrenchments. To relieve these men of
the Seventeenth Army Corps holding this angle, who were worn out, at the
request of General Blair I sent two Regiments of Mersey's Brigade. They
crawled in on their hands and knees, and swept the enemy from that front.

The whole of Hood's Army, except Stewart's Corps, was thrown into our
rear, upon the flank and the front of the Army of the Tennessee, and after
fighting from mid-day until dark were repulsed and driven back. That Army
held or commanded the entire battle-field, demonstrating the fact that the
Army of the Tennessee alone was able and competent to meet and defeat
Hood's entire Army. The battle fell almost entirely upon the Sixteenth and
Seventeenth Corps and two Divisions of the Fifteenth Corps, three Brigades
of the Sixteenth being absent. The attack of the enemy was made along this
line some seven times, and they were seven times repulsed.

We captured eighteen stands of colors, 5,000 stands of arms, and 2,017
prisoners. We lost in killed and wounded 3,521 men and ten pieces of
artillery, and over 1,800 men, mostly from Blair's Corps, were taken
prisoners. The enemy's dead reported as buried in front of the different
Corps was over 2,000, and the enemy's total loss in killed, wounded and
prisoners was 8,000.

The criticism has often been made of this battle that with two Armies idle
that day, one the Army of the Ohio (two-thirds as large as the Army of the
Tennessee) and the other the Army of the Cumberland (the largest of all
Sherman's Armies), why we did not enter Atlanta. General Sherman urged
Thomas to make the attack; Thomas's answer was that the enemy were in full
force behind his intrenchments. The fact was that Stewart's Corps was
guarding that front, but General Schofield urged Sherman to allow him to
throw his Army upon Cheatham's flank, in an endeavor to roll up the
Confederate line and so interpose between Atlanta and Cheatham's Corps,
which was so persistently attacking the Fifteenth and Seventeenth Corps
from the Atlanta front. Sherman, whose anxiety had been very great, seeing
how successfully we were meeting the attack, his face relaxing into a
pleasant smile, said to Schofield, "Let the Army of the Tennessee fight
it out this time." This flank attack of Schofield on Cheatham would have
no doubt cleared our front facing the Atlanta intrenchments, but Stewart
was ready with his three Divisions and the Militia to hold them.

General Sherman, in speaking of this battle, always regretted that he did
not allow Schofield to attack as he suggested, and also force the fighting
on Thomas's front; but no doubt the loss of McPherson really took his
attention from everything except the Army of the Tennessee.

At about 10 o'clock on the night of the 22d, the three Corps commanders of
the Army of the Tennessee (one of them in command of the Army) met in the
rear of the Fifteenth Corps, on the line of the Decatur road, under an oak
tree, and there discussed the results of the day. Blair's men were at the
time in the trenches; in some places the enemy held one side and they the
other. The men of the Fifteenth Corps were still in their own line, but
tired and hungry, and those of the Sixteenth were, after their hard day's
fight, busy throwing up intrenchments on the field they had held and won.
It was thought that the Army of the Cumberland and the Army of the Ohio,
which had not been engaged that day, should send a force to relieve Blair,
and Dodge, being the junior Corps commander, was dispatched by General
Logan, at the requests of Generals Logan and Blair, to see General
Sherman. My impression is that I met him in a tent; I have heard it said
that he had his headquarters in a house. When I met him he seemed rather
surprised to see me, but greeted me cordially, and spoke of the loss of
McPherson. I stated to him my errand. He turned upon me and said, "Dodge,
you whipped them today, didn't you?" I said, "Yes, sir." Then he said:
"Can't you do it again tomorrow?" and I said, "Yes, sir"; bade him
good-night, and went back to my command, determined never to go upon
another such errand. As he explained it afterward, he wanted it said that
the little Army of the Tennessee had fought the great battle that day,
needing no help, no aid, and that it could be said that all alone it had
whipped the whole of Hood's Army. Therefore, he let us hold our position
and our line, knowing that Hood would not dare attack us after the
"thrashing" he had already received. When we consider that in this, the
greatest battle of the campaign, the little Army of the Tennessee met the
entire rebel Army, secretly thrust to its rear, on its flank, and upon its
advance center, with its idolized commander killed in the first shock of
battle, and at nightfall found the enemy's dead and wounded on its front,
we see that no disaster--no temporary rebuff--could discourage this Army.
Every man was at his post; every man doing a hero's duty. They proved they
might be wiped out but never made to run. They were invincible.

Companions, regarding so great a battle, against such odds, with such
loss, the question has often been asked me--and I know it has come to the
mind of all of us--why it was that this battle was never put forth ahead
of many others inferior to it, but better known to the world and causing
much greater comment?

The answer comes to all of us. It is apparent to us today, as it was that
night. We had lost our best friend,--that superb soldier, our commander,
General McPherson; his death counted so much more to us than victory that
we spoke of our battle, our great success, with our loss uppermost in our


This monument was erected by the Society of the Army of the Tennessee on
the spot where Major-General James B. McPherson was killed, July 22,


  SEPTEMBER 25, 1902

_My Dear General_:

Referring to my conversation with you in Washington, I will endeavor to
aid you in getting at the actual facts connected with the Battle of
Atlanta, as it has never yet been properly written up.

I delivered an address on September 25th, 1889, to the Army of the
Tennessee on that battle, copy of which I am sending to you, and from
which I think you can get a good deal of information.

I first want to call your attention to the fact that the battle commenced
about fifteen minutes after 12 o'clock, and that the Sixteenth Army Corps
fought a long time before the Seventeenth Corps was attacked. You can
verify this statement by reading General Strong's account of the battle,
which is given in our Army of the Tennessee records, volume 11 to 13, page

It was just 12 o'clock exactly when I reached Fuller's headquarters.
Having gone to the front to select my position, Fuller asked me to stop
and take luncheon, and I got down from my horse and went into his tent. I
had sat down at the table when I heard skirmish firing in the rear. Fuller
said it was a lot of the boys out there killing hogs. The stillness had
been oppressive as we went clear to the left and front of Blair's line to
select my new position. We inquired from the pickets and found that nobody
had seen anything of the enemy. It made an impression on us all; so the
moment I heard this firing I jumped up, as if by instinct, and told
Fuller to get into line, and sent a staff officer towards Sweeney; but
before he hardly got out of the tent Sweeney was in line and fighting, so
you can see how sudden the attack was.

In volume 11 to 13 of the Army of the Tennessee records, page 243, Strong,
in his address on the Battle of Atlanta, has this to say fixing the time
of the commencement of the battle, speaking of the time when an officer
was sent with an order to me from McPherson:

    The officer had hardly disappeared from sight, when a shot was heard
    to the left and rear of us, then another, followed quickly by a
    rattling volley of small arms, and at almost the same instant a shell
    came crashing through the tree-tops near us, followed by a rapid and
    incessant firing from Dodge's Corps. At the first shots every officer
    sprang to his feet and called for his horse. The time, I should think,
    was ten or fifteen minutes past 12 o'clock.

Then after speaking of the fighting of this Division, comes this, on page

    After the _two_ attempts to break the Sixteenth Corps had failed,
    General McPherson sent me to General Blair to ascertain the condition
    of affairs along his line, and instructed me to say to General Giles
    A. Smith to hold his position; that he would order up troops to occupy
    the gap between the Seventeenth and Sixteenth Corps; and also saying
    as I left him that he would remain with his orderly where he then was
    (a commanding position on Dodge's right) until I returned. I rode
    rapidly through the woods towards the Seventeenth Corps and found
    General Blair with General Giles A. Smith near the extreme left of the
    Fourth Division (Hall's Brigade).

This conclusively shows that Blair was not attacked until after two
attacks had been made upon me, although Hall's report gives the attack
upon Blair as at 12 o'clock, that time being before the Sixteenth Corps
was attacked. Fuller gives the time of attack upon him as 12:30. By
reading all of page 243 you will get a full and clear idea of time and
everything. The time was also taken by my staff and record made of it, and
that agrees with Strong. This only shows how far apart officers can get as
to time in a great battle, and on many things, unless correct data is made
of record on the spot.

On page 484, of volume 14 to 16 of Society of the Army of the Tennessee
records, General Leggett says:

    Both divisions of the Sixteenth Army Corps immediately became hotly
    engaged.... Just at this time I espied General McPherson upon the high
    ground in the immediate rear of General Fuller's command, and sent
    Captain John B. Raymond of my staff to inquire of General McPherson
    the expediency of having General Giles A. Smith and myself change our
    line so as to face south, and at the same time I sent Captain George
    W. Porter to ascertain whether or not the left of General Smith and
    the right of General Fuller were sufficiently near together to
    antagonize any force seeking entrance there.... The enemy in front of
    the Sixteenth Corps rallied in the woods (this is after the first
    attack) and renewed their attack with increased vigor and
    bitterness.... The conflict continued for some time, with no
    appearance on either side of any disposition to yield the ground, when
    the enemy gave way, and fell back in confusion, followed by the
    Sixteenth Corps.... The second assault (upon the Sixteenth Corps) was
    simultaneous with the attack upon General Giles A. Smith's Division,
    which was the left of the Seventeenth Corps.

You will note from my address that the moment I was attacked I sent an
aide, and afterwards a signal officer named Sheffly (I think), who was
detailed with me that day, or happened to be with me. These officers had
gone to General Giles A. Smith, who commanded Blair's left, Fourth
Division, Seventeenth Corps, to get him to refuse his left and join my
right. I think the first officer I sent was Captain Jonas of my staff, who
returned immediately to me, and General Giles A. Smith sent me word that
he would refuse. That was a long time before Cleburn's Division got
between us; but, as my paper and your article show, McPherson had sent
word to Giles A. Smith without knowing the condition in his front, to hold
his position, stating that he would send reinforcements to fill the gap
between Fuller and himself. Of course, had McPherson been there earlier
and seen what I saw, he would have had Smith's left join my right
immediately, which would have put Cleburn in front of us instead of
between us. That is one of the things that occur in battle that the person
on the ground knows better than the one distant. It was on the third
attack on my line that the enemy struck Blair, as Strong did not go to
Blair until after the repulse of the second attack. Cleburn's force got
right in behind Blair's left and picked up that portion of his line that
was refused, and swept back his force so that Blair's left, even before
Waglin of the Fifteenth Corps got there, was pretty nearly an extension of
but a quarter of a mile away from Fuller's right, and after I got through
fighting I had to withdraw my entire right quite a distance to connect
with Waglin and Blair, as Cleburn's force had pressed clear beyond me and
before he was halted was way in the rear of my right.

After the second attack, Cleburn, as he pressed through the gap between
Fuller and Smith, forced Fuller to change front and use part of his force
to protect his flank, and the Sixty-fourth Illinois in this movement
captured the skirmish-line that killed McPherson, taking from them his
field-glass, orders, and other papers that they had taken from McPherson's
body; and later in the day I sent these to General Sherman. See report
Sixty-fourth Illinois, volume 38, part 3, War Records, page 494. Fuller's
maps, page 480, volume 38, part 3, War Records, show where Fuller fought,
and where we had to intrench.

Where I stood in my line I could see the entire Confederate force, and all
of my own, something that very seldom occurs, and, of course, the scene,
as Blair states, was a magnificent one. I saw Fuller do a most gallant
act. I sent an aide to him with instructions to charge, but before he got
there Walker's division broke the center of Fuller's Brigade, his own
regiment, the Twenty-seventh Ohio, falling back. I saw Fuller get down off
his horse, grab the colors of the Twenty-seventh, rush to the front with
them in his hands, and call upon his regiment to come to the colors; and
they rallied and saved his front. It was but a moment later that I saw
Walker, who commanded the division that was attacking Fuller, fall from
his horse, and the division broke and went into the woods. The action of
Fuller was very gallant, and has been painted, and I have a copy of the
painting in my room.

Blair in his report has this to say of the fighting, which shows that he
watched us a long time before he was attacked; and if you will read his
report carefully, you will see that it bears out my statements in full:

    I started to go back to my command and witnessed the fearful assault
    made on the Sixteenth Army Corps, and its prompt and gallant repulse
    by that command. It was a most fortunate circumstance for the whole
    army that the Sixteenth Army Corps occupied the position I have
    attempted to describe at the moment of attack, and although it does
    not belong to me to report upon the bearing and conduct of the
    officers and men of that Corps, still I cannot withhold my expression
    of admiration for the manner in which this command met and repulsed
    the repeated and persistent attacks of the enemy. The attack upon our
    flank was made by the whole of Hardee's Corps.

I speak in my address of Mercer's Brigade fighting on three parts of the
field. Mercer, after helping to retake the Decatur-road line, camped right
in the rear of the Fifteenth Corps, and did not come back to me. When
Logan, Blair and myself met that evening, Blair asked Logan for some help
to go up to relieve troops at Bald Hill. Logan, seeing Mercer's Brigade
there, ordered me to send it up. They went up there and crawled in and
relieved the men on Bald Hill. This was very late in the night, and even
then fresh men coming in drove out or captured what men there were still
lying on the enemy's side of the intrenchments. Mercer never made a report
of this battle. You will see by my paper that he was virtually out of the
service, awaiting transportation home; but he went in with his regiment
the same as though they were still in the service. He was a German, and I
do not suppose he knew the importance of reporting; and as it was only a
short time later that I had to leave that army, I therefore did not follow
it up, and I find no report of Mercer or of the Ninth Illinois; but I
think the regimental reports of the Eighty-first Ohio give all these
facts. See War Records, volume 38, part 3, page 463, and report Second
Brigade, Second Division Sixteenth Army Corps, volume 38, part 3, page

In my address I did not go much into detail, but I have all the data of
this battle compiled, and intend some day to put it in shape; but I give
you enough so you can, after examining the reports of Blair and the
others, make your article historically correct. Most of it is correct and
well-stated, but I know you want to get the dates and movements at the
left on such an occasion so full that they will stand criticism, as the
Battle of Atlanta was the great battle of that campaign.

Your article and many others that I have seen assumes that it was a part
of Hardee's Corps that struck Blair's front--that is, his front that was
towards Atlanta; but that is not so. Cleburn's Division was the left
Division of Hardee's Corps. There were three other Divisions. Maney's
(Cheatham's old Division), Bate's, and Walker's. Walker was the next to
Cleburn and attacked Fuller. Bate and Maney struck Sweeney. Cleburn's
Division was in front of Blair after Cleburn had driven back his left and
he had refused it from Leggett's Hill towards my right. What saved Blair
was that Cheatham, who commanded Hood's old Corps, whose orders were to
attack Blair's front at the same time Hardee struck his rear, in
accordance with the plans of both Hood and Hardee, did not attack because
Hardee struck me, which was a surprise to them as well as to me, and when
Cheatham got ready to attack Blair's front, hitting Leggett's Division,
and on down the Fifteenth Corps, two Divisions, Bate's and Walker's, had
been whipped, and were virtually out of the fight, because after the third
attack upon me, and my breaking up of one of their columns so badly, they
did not come again in any force. They went back to the road on the ridge,
just south of and parallel to my line. I forget the name of the road, but
it was the one that led off to Decatur, and there they intrenched, and
when I pushed forward my skirmishers I found them in force. Between 3 and
4 o'clock Maney's Division left my front and went around to help Cleburn.

There have also been many statements that in the first attack two
Divisions of Hardee's Corps struck the Sixteenth Corps and two the
Seventeenth, Blair's. This is not correct. Three Divisions struck my
Corps, and one Division, Cleburn's, struck Blair's Corps, and caught his
left and rear; but after the third attack on my front Maney's Division was
sent around to join Cleburn, and joined in the fiercest attack of the day,
about 4 p. m., upon Leggett's and Smith's Divisions after their line had
been refused and formed almost at right angles at Leggett's Hill, and
reaching out towards me, with Waglin's Brigade on their left. From all
accounts this attack was a fearful one, Maney's men reaching and holding
the outside of the intrenchments that were occupied by Blair's men. This
line faced almost due south, and both forces fought there off and on until
about 7 p. m., some of the enemy remaining in the outside intrenchments
until Mercer's Brigade of the Sixteenth Corps went in at near midnight to
support that line.

Again, many records have it that Blair was forced back early in the
battle. This is a mistake, as his Fourth Division, commanded by General
Giles A. Smith, which was on the extreme left, held most of his original
intrenched line until between 3 and 4 o'clock, when the attack of Cheatham
from the Atlanta side forced them to take a new position to keep them from
being crushed by Cleburn in the rear and Cheatham's attack from the
Atlanta front.

There is another thing that does not seem to be fully understood, and that
is that when Blair got his left refused so as to face Maney and Cleburn in
his front they were unable to gain any headway on him in their attacks. In
fact, they suffered great loss, and they only damaged Blair when they got
in behind his left. Blair had three Regiments there refused at right
angles to his front, and it was a portion of two of these Regiments that
Cleburn picked up. Blair lost nearly all his prisoners from Giles A.
Smith's Division, when Cleburn swept down through the gap and got right in
behind them before they knew anybody was on them. In fact, Blair's men had
to turn around and fight towards their rear, and, as I have stated,
Cleburn got past Fuller's right and commenced shooting into his flank.
Just after Walker was killed there was a lull, and Fuller turned two
regiments right into Cleburn's main line, and, as Captain Allen of the
Signal Corps, says, and my records show, captured that skirmish-line that
killed McPherson, and brought it in.

To show McPherson's feeling about Blair's left flank, I sent Fuller's
command to that flank the night before on a request from McPherson, who
felt anxious about Blair's position, that flank being in the air; but
Blair camped Fuller near where he opened the battle in the rear of the
Seventeenth Corps instead of connecting his left with it. They camped
about a quarter of a mile to his rear and a little back from his extreme
left. Blair, no doubt, thought that would protect him, as well as put them
in line, but he took one of my batteries (Murray's) and put it in his
front line. Now this battery was on the way from Blair to report to me,
coming down just as McPherson was going up the road, and the same
skirmish-line that killed McPherson killed the horses of that battery and
captured a portion of the men, and McPherson really almost fell upon the
limber of one of the guns. This was Murray's United States Battery of four
pieces. I do not know as I have seen this mentioned in any of the reports,
unless it is in mine; but these are the facts of the matter. That is the
way a battery of my Corps was reported lost or captured by the enemy. It
was passing from Blair to myself, and not captured in line of battle or
fighting, as a great many have stated and supposed to be the case.

In your article you speak of Logan taking a part of the Sixteenth Corps
and leading it, as though it was right on my front, and then speak of him
as leading a portion of the Fifteenth Corps that had been broken through
on the Decatur road back into position. The facts are that it was about 4
o'clock in the afternoon when Logan came to me and asked me to send any
force I had free to help retake the line that General John C. Brown's
Division had broken through the Fifteenth Corps. I sent Mercer's Brigade
of the Second Division, and with it sent Captain Jonas of my staff. (See
his statement copied in my address.) Logan followed with the command, and
it double-quicked the whole distance without stopping. As soon as it got
there it found Lightburn's Division drifted back, but holding their line
behind the trees, and the enemy in possession of DeGresse's Battery; and
as Mercer's Brigade went in on the front, Williamson's Brigade of Wood's
Division, which Sherman had directed to make a flank charge, was moving,
and they both reached the works together. The men of Mercer's Brigade got
hold of DeGresse's guns (see report of Eighty-first Illinois) and turned
them on the enemy. There has always been a contest between these two
Brigades as to which got there first, but that does not matter, for they
got in together and retook the line. General J. C. Brown, who commanded
the Confederate Division, was with me afterwards for many years on the
Texas and Pacific Railway, and has given me a full account of his attack,
and the fury with which he was forced out by this movement from the flank
by Wood and the direct assault by Mercer. Mercer in going in had his horse
killed under him.

Fighting along the Fifteenth Corps came late, and was all pretty much
after the fighting on my front was over, because when General Logan came
to me for aid I was intrenching the new line made by the refusal of
Blair's left, and took Mercer's Brigade right out of my front to go with
him. The fact is I did not happen to have a single man in reserve. Every
man I had on the field was in line from the commencement of the fighting.
Sweeney's Division stood right up in the road it was marching on, and the
two batteries were in the center of his division; the position was a very
strong one. If I had had plenty of time to select a position I could not
have found a stronger one. It was the first time I ever saw such execution
done by artillery. They used canister against those columns with terrible

To show you how small a thing will sometimes change the prospects in a
battle, one of Hardee's Divisions coming towards me got entangled in
something--at that time I could not tell what, but on going to the ground
afterwards I found that it was a mill-pond--that exposed the flank of
Maney's Division that was next to Walker's. Seeing this, I rode down to
Mercer and told him to take his Brigade and charge right into it, which he
did. It was quite a time before I could tell what the result was, but I
soon saw prisoners coming back and knew then that Mercer had them. He had
that Division at a great disadvantage, and captured a great many prisoners
out of it and several battle-flags. See report Second Brigade, Second
Division Sixteenth Army Corps, volume 38, part 3, page 450, Army Records.
That charge, no doubt, saved my line, because I had a very thin line, and
with the most of Hardee's Corps coming at me in double column, as it was,
I have no doubt that if it had reached me it would have given me trouble;
but they never got to me on any of their attacks. We were fortunate
enough to break them before they could reach the line, though on Fuller's
front they were right up to it when Walker fell.

There was a great dispute between Hood and Hardee about this movement to
the rear, Hood claiming that Hardee should have reached there early in the
morning, while Hardee claimed he did not receive the order in time to get
there before he did--a very fortunate fact for us, for if he had reached
the rear of the Seventeenth and Fifteenth Corps, and Cheatham and Stewart
had attacked in the front, it would have been rough times for the old Army
of the Tennessee; but no doubt they would have come out of it with honor
in some way.

I think there is no doubt about the time McPherson was killed--it was just
about two hours after the battle had opened. Of course there are all kinds
of time given, but the fact of the stopping of the watch of the signal
officer, Sheffly, when he fell against the tree at two minutes past two,
is almost conclusive evidence. See his statement, volume 11-13, page 242,
records Society Army of the Tennessee. You can judge of that yourself,
because even before McPherson got up to my right, where he stood, as
Strong says, watching me, I had been fighting some time, for he had to
ride from near Sherman's headquarters up there, a distance of two to three
miles. If you will read carefully the address I am sending you, and the
report Blair made--also the address of Strong--I think you will come to
the same conclusions I give you. An article on the death of General
McPherson, by W. W. Allen, of San Diego, California, Signal Officer of the
Army of the Tennessee, appeared in an issue of the National Tribune some
time this year, but of what date I do not know. It goes to prove the time
and the hour McPherson was killed, and the capture of the skirmish-line
that killed him. Of course a great many of the official reports are
misleading as to time, and it is only by these circumstances that we can
judge definitely. I notice it was 12:20 o'clock, according to Allen, when
they first heard the rattle of musketry and artillery.

When you have read Allen's article please return it to me. I will be very
glad to give you any further information you may need if it is possible
for me to do so.

Truly and cordially yours,


_Chicago, Ill._


In the Indian Campaign of 1865.]



  APRIL 21, 1907.

In December, 1864, I was assigned to the command of the Department of the
Missouri. In January, 1865, I received a dispatch from General Grant
asking if a campaign on the plains could be made in the winter. I
answered, "Yes, if the proper preparation was made to clothe and bivouac
the troops." A few days after I received a dispatch from General Grant
ordering me to Fort Leavenworth. In the meantime the Department of Kansas
was merged into the Department of the Missouri, placing under my command
Missouri, the Indian Territory, Kansas, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and all
the country south of the Yellowstone River, and embracing all the overland
mail-routes and telegraph-lines to the Pacific.

On reaching Port Leavenworth I found that General Curtis, the former
commander of that department, had reported against any campaign during the
winter; that the Indians had possession of the entire country crossed by
the stage-lines, having destroyed the telegraph-lines; and that the people
living in Colorado, Utah, California, Western Nebraska and Western Kansas
were without mails, and in a state of panic; that the troops distributed
along the routes of travel were inside their stockades, the Indians having
in nearly every fight defeated them. This success had brought into
hostility with the United States nearly every tribe of Indians from Texas
on the south to the Yellowstone on the north. It was a formidable
combination, and the friendly Indians were daily leaving the reservations
to join their hostile brethren. Two thousand Indians had destroyed over
one hundred miles of telegraph, and were in possession of the country
between the Arkansas and the North Platte Rivers.

The opinion at Fort Leavenworth before I arrived was that it was
impossible to make a successful campaign against these Indians during the
winter and successfully open these lines of communication. There were two
Regiments of Cavalry in Kansas, mostly idle. There was no communication
with any of the posts except by messenger. A dispatch from Colorado showed
a panic there, and the people demanded that troops of the Department be
stationed there to protect the citizens, instead of their organizing and
fighting the Indians, and that martial law had been declared.

I saw, after spending a day at Fort Leavenworth, that it was necessary to
change the depressed feeling and temper existing among the troops and the
citizens throughout the department. I sent for Bela M. Hughes, agent of
the overland stages, and Edward Craighten, general manager and
superintendent of the overland telegraph, and consulted fully with them. I
selected from my old guides some of the most trusted men, and some of the
trusted Indians that I had known, and sent by them to each district
commander who could be reached, these two short dispatches:

    1. What measures are you taking to keep open the route and protect it?
    What Indians are engaged in the struggle? Where are their villages? Do
    their families travel with them? Have you spies in their camps? What
    action have you taken to repair telegraph-lines? Give me all

    2. Place every mounted man in your command on the South Platte Route.
    Repair telegraphs; attack any body of Indians you meet, large or
    small. Stay with them and pound them until they move north of the
    Platte or south of the Arkansas. I am coming with two Regiments of
    cavalry to the Platte line and will open and protect it, and whip all
    the Indians in the way.

I also found that the plains were covered with Indian traders who had
permits, under the guise of which they were stealing from the Indians,
both friendly and hostile, and were selling them arms and ammunition. I
immediately revoked all these permits, and ordered the arrest of all
traders who had in their possession Indian or Government stock. I also
immediately wired to Major Frank North, who was the interpreter of the
Pawnee Indians, and also to the Chief of the Omaha Indians, both of whom
had been with me on the plains, and instructed them to select their most
trusted men and send them on the plains to ascertain for me the purpose of
the hostile Indians, and whether they would head towards the settlements,
or if their movements indicated they would attack only the lines of
communication and the trains crossing the plains. At the same time we
stopped all trains on the plains and ordered them to the nearest military
post, instructing the officers to arm and organize them in companies, and
place a United States officer over them, and have them move with the army

Having perfected the preliminary organization for moving upon the stage-
and telegraph-lines, we saw it was necessary to concentrate on one line.
At this time the stage- and telegraph-lines on the north ran from Fort
Leavenworth to Fort Kearney, and from Omaha to Fort Kearney, where they
were consolidated, running up the Platte Valley to the mouth of the Lodge
Pole, the stage-station at that point being known as Julesburg. The lines
here separated again, the main telegraph-line running to old Fort Laramie,
thence up the Sweetwater through South Pass and thence to Utah. The
stage-line ran up the South Platte to Denver, then by the Cache La Poudre
to Laramie Plains, over them to Fort Halleck and Bridger, and on to Utah.
I concluded to concentrate all our efforts to open the line from Fort
Leavenworth and Omaha to Kearney, thence to Denver and on to Utah, known
as the South Platte Route.

The overland route from Fort Leavenworth and Omaha crossing the continent
had a stage-station about every twelve miles. The troops along the lines
were posted at the forts and stockades about every hundred miles, with a
few soldiers distributed at each stage-station. Then scattered along the
road were ranches, and relay- and feeding-stations for the regular
commercial and supply-trains that were continually on the road. The great
mining-camps, and all the inhabitants of Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and
Idaho, were dependent upon these trains for their supplies. In winter
these trains were generally mule-trains of twenty wagons each, and during
the summer were generally ox-trains of fifty to a hundred wagons each.
They were in the habit of straggling along through the country, taking
care of themselves. Their stock had to be herded at night, and it was a
great temptation to the Indians to steal, and a great deal of this had
been done, but no actual fighting or attacking of trains or troops
occurred until the winter of 1864-65. The stopping of these trains, mail,
and supplies, and the destruction of the telegraph wires, caused great
consternation in that country and on the Pacific Coast, and the demands
upon the Government to open and maintain these lines were persistent.

At Fort Leavenworth there appeared to have been no systematic effort to
reopen these lines. It seemed that the troops were taking care of the
posts and resisting attacks. They did not seem to appreciate the Indian
character; that the only way to strengthen and protect the lines of
communication was to go for the Indians. What troops had been sent against
the Indians were small and weak parties, and had evidently gone out with
the intention of locating the Indians and avoiding them.

Along the south emigrant line from Kansas City, following the Arkansas
River to New Mexico, was the line of supplies for all of New Mexico and
Southern Colorado. The Indians here were in possession. The travel and
traffic along it were not to be compared with that along the northern
lines. Then again the citizens of Kansas and Nebraska had settled along
these routes as far west as the 100th Meridian, obtaining their living
from this great traffic, and the Indians in their raids had picked them
up, a family at a time, until they had a great many prisoners, mostly
women and children, the men being generally massacred when captured.

I found the Eleventh Kansas Cavalry at Fort Riley, and the Sixteenth
Kansas Cavalry at Fort Leavenworth, and immediately placed them _en route_
for Fort Kearney. All the posts were, unfortunately, short of subsistence,
forage, and ammunition. The three-months' Regiments enlisted in Colorado
for the Indian service had been discharged, their time having expired, and
there had been no troops sent to take their places. My only resource was
to utilize the Colorado Militia until I could send troops 600 miles to
take their places.

I immediately started for Fort Kearney, taking with me a few soldiers in
the stage and one of my staff. It was the opinion of all the officers at
Fort Leavenworth that it would be impossible for me to make the trip, but
I knew it required personal presence among the troops to bring about quick
results. The troops that I had ordered to march from Fort Riley refused to
march in the winter. I answered to place under arrest all officers of the
companies and Regiments that refused to obey the order, and have them
report to Fort Leavenworth, intending to replace them with veteran
officers of the department whom I knew would move, no matter what the
hardship. The next morning I received a report from Fort Kiley that the
troops would move. The Regiment that marched from Fort Riley to Fort
Kearney lost thirteen men from freezing, as the weather was very severe,
and while they were properly clothed, they did not know how to protect
themselves from the weather.

On my arrival at Fort Kearney I immediately notified Mr. Hughes, agent of
the stage-lines, that I was prepared to protect his stages, and called
upon him to replace his stock immediately, ready to start out his stages.
I also notified Mr. Craighten, superintendent of the telegraph-lines, to
replace his operators, for I would have his lines open in a few days. Both
of these orders were made known to the public. I also notified the "press"
at Omaha and Fort Leavenworth that all trains which were tied up on the
plains would be moved to their destinations during that month. We found it
necessary to inspire energy and confidence in these three great interests,
as not one of them even thought we would succeed, and, in fact, the
"press" comments on our orders showed that they had no faith in them. I
found on the line of the Platte the Seventh Iowa Cavalry, and at Fort
Laramie and on the Sweetwater the Eleventh Ohio Cavalry.

When we arrived in sight of Fort Kearney the troops were prepared to fight
us, thinking it was a band of Indians. We discovered that the troops were
depressed from the success of the Indians and the murder and mutilation of
their comrades, and that they hardly stuck their heads out of the
stockade. Having had experience with Indians, I called the troops together
and instructed them how to handle and to fight Indians, telling them that
an aggressive war would be made against the Indians, and no matter how
large the Indian bands were, or how small the troop, that hereafter they
must stand and fight; that if they did the Indians would run. If they did
not, the Indians would catch and scalp them, and even if they had to
retreat, they must do so with their faces to the enemy.

The Indians, after the Chivington fight on Big Sandy, had concentrated
upon the South Platte and on the Sweetwater. The reports showed that they
held possession from Julesburg to Valley Junction and to Mud Springs, and
held the telegraph-line west of Fort Laramie. They had with them 2,000
head of captured stock and had captured all the stage-stations and many
trains, devastated the ranches, butchered many men, women, and children,
and destroyed 100 miles of telegraph.

To show more plainly than I can describe the condition of the country, I
give the reports of the three commanding officers along the South Platte
Route, in answer to the dispatches which I sent by messenger to all
commanders the day I arrived at Fort Leavenworth. These answers met me at
Fort Kearney.

General Robert Mitchell, who commanded the territory from Omaha to Lodge
Pole, replied as follows:

    The telegraph from Lodge Pole Creek, twenty-five miles west to
    Julesburg, on Laramie Route, is destroyed for fifteen miles. Poles cut
    down and destroyed on the Denver line beyond Julesburg for the first
    fifty miles. The telegraph is destroyed about ten miles north. We are
    compelled to haul poles from 130 to 140 miles. Every means in my power
    is used to have the lines fixed. All the available troops I have at my
    disposal are in the vicinity of Julesburg, except some small garrisons
    at posts required to be kept up on the Denver route. My district only
    extends to Julesburg. I have sent some troops, however, up that route
    fifty miles since the outbreaks and find everything destroyed. We have
    no communication with Denver, and have not had since the last
    outbreak. Neither can I communicate with Fort Laramie in consequence
    of the lines being down. I have been traversing the country constantly
    on and adjacent to the mail- and telegraph-lines during the past four
    months, sending guards on the stages, and, when deemed necessary,
    mounted guards and patrols on all dangerous portions of the road
    through my district.

    This plan succeeded until an overpowering force attacked Julesburg and
    drove the troops inside of their works and burned the stage- and
    telegraph-station, destroying a large amount of stores for both
    companies. The overland stage cannot run through until they can
    provide for supplies for stock from Julesburg to the Junction, where
    overland stage leaves Denver route, everything belonging to the stage
    company, citizens and government being entirely destroyed. The Indian
    villages are unknown to us. From the best information I have I believe
    them to be on the Powder River. I know certainly there is a large
    village there. There have been no squaws in the country, to my
    knowledge, since last fall. The tribes engaged are the Cheyennes,
    Arapahoes, Kiowas, Brule, Ogallala Sioux, a portion of the Blackfeet,
    and a large portion of what is known as the Missouri River Sioux, the
    same Indians General Sully made the campaign against last summer. From
    3,000 to 5,000 additional troops will be needed to punish the Indians.
    One column will never be able to overtake them, unless they are
    willing to give battle. I think three columns of men, 1,000 strong
    each, with ample garrison on the overland-mail and telegraph lines,
    well mounted and supplied, can clear out the country of all hostile
    Indians, if done before grass comes. After that time, in my judgment,
    it will take twice that number of men.

    In addition to the troubles west, I would not be surprised any day to
    hear of an outbreak in the northern part of my district. I am informed
    by Indian scouts that there is a large encampment of Indians on the
    Running Water that are ready to engage in the war against the whites.
    Among them are some of the Yanktonais Sioux.

Colonel R. R. Livingston reported as follows:

    In reply to your inquiries I would respectfully state that in the
    early part of January last, indications of large parties of Indians
    moving westward on Republican were reported by the scouts sent to gain
    information of their movements. On January 7th they had crossed South
    Fork of Platte River, twenty-three miles west of this post, camped
    with their families, forming a camp of 400 lodges, containing eight
    warriors each, many lodges being thirty robes in size. They commenced
    the work of destruction along the road west as far as Junction
    Station, 100 miles from here. Their forces in this fight were not less
    than 2,000, well armed with breech-loading carbines and rifles. A
    desperate attempt on their part to burn the overland-stage station
    near this post was made at this time, but was frustrated by the
    gallantry of Captain N. J. O'Brien, Company F, Seventh Iowa Cavalry.
    Every ranch and stage-station from Junction Station to this post is
    burned, and the charred remains of every inmate who failed to escape
    tells of the brutality they were subjected to. I telegraphed Hon. Sam
    H. Elbert, acting Governor of Colorado, early in January of the state
    of things. The troops of Colorado have been withdrawn from Valley,
    fifty miles west of here, I surmise, to concentrate around Denver. The
    telegraph-lines to Salt Lake and the Denver branch lines are destroyed
    for a distance of nearly ten miles on the northern route, and in
    different points throughout 100 miles along the Denver route.

    I have but 360 troops, but so long as human endurance holds out we
    will work night and day to get the communication perfect with the

    The Indians engaged in this war are the Cheyennes, Ogallalas, and
    Brule Sioux. They have gone northward towards Horse Creek and Fort
    Laramie. Their trail leads in that direction, but they are slow in
    marching, feeling audacious and indifferent to any effort from the
    small body of troops in this district. I saw their signals today,
    probably those of small war parties, on the North Platte. You will
    hear of continued murders and robberies as long as the road is so
    poorly protected by troops. No spies can be used now, owing to
    numerous small war parties being met everywhere in this country. I
    predict that if more troops are not sent into this district
    immediately, this road will be stripped of every ranch and white man
    on it. Should these Indians swing around by Niobrara River and take
    the Omaha road below Kearney, where settlements are numerous, infinite
    mischief will result to the settlers. What we need are troops,
    supplies for them, and a vigorous campaign against these hostile
    Indians. They must be put on the defensive instead of us. No
    difficulty can arise in finding them. Over 2,000 cattle accompany


    The Indians are bold in the extreme. They have burned every ranch
    between Julesburg and Valley Station, and nearly all the property at
    latter place; driven off all stock, both public and private. These
    Indians are led by white men, and have complete control of all the
    country outside my district, so that I am hemmed in.

    The weather has been very severe here for nearly three weeks; the
    thermometer 30 degrees below zero, with quite a fall of snow on the
    ground. I have tried every means in my power to raise volunteers for
    three months' State service, but as yet have not succeeded, owing to
    the factional spirit existing in the community.

    The Legislature took the matter in hand at my suggestion,
    appropriating so much money. Territorial bonds, to give the men a
    bounty and purchase horses to mount them on, as I have none; but the
    members cannot agree on the spoil likely in their estimation to accrue
    from such a proceeding, so the bill has not yet passed. I addressed
    the Speaker of the House yesterday, informing him that unless
    something was done within forty-eight hours I would be compelled, much
    against my will, to proclaim martial law and stop all business,
    forcing every man to enter the ranks and open the line of
    communication. I have now a city organization of about 100 men
    organized into companies, so that in case of an attack here I would
    have something tangible to lay hold of and make a fight. I have had a
    great deal of trouble in this matter, as there is no concert of
    action, every man suspecting his fellow of some chicanery.

    Fort Lyon is being rapidly fortified, so that 200 men can defend it
    against 2,000 Indians. Militia companies are being organized all over
    the settled parts of the country (under penalty of being pressed into
    service) to defend the frontier settlements southward, and could I but
    get a Regiment here now I could keep things in a running trim until
    the arrival of a sufficient force to make a campaign. The Indians are
    now determined to make it a war of extermination, and nothing short of
    5,000 men can make it extermination for them.

    Major Wynkoop informed me from Fort Lyon that many warriors were on
    the headwaters of the Smoky Hill and intended attacking all the
    settlements as well as Denver. Provisions, owing to the
    transportation-line being cut off, are at an exorbitant price, as well
    as labor and forage.

    Cannot troops be sent out here immediately, or authority to raise
    companies, which could be easily done, for one year?

    The Santa Fe line has threatened to stop running on account of the
    Indians. Should such be the case, then all is cut off.

    Respectfully, your obedient servant,


    _Colonel Eleventh Kansas Cavalry, Commanding_.

Colonel Chivington, from Fort Rankin, reported:

    Lieutenant-Colonel Collins, with 200 men of the Eleventh Ohio, and
    Company D, Seventh Iowa Cavalry, fought Indians from the 4th to the
    9th inst., at Mud Springs. The Indians at one time charged our forces
    in the face of artillery and were nearly successful. Two thousand
    warriors were engaged in the fight. It is supposed forty Indians were
    killed. Beaure's and Craighten's herds were driven off. The Indians
    crossed at Bush Creek, going north. The telegraph poles were gone and
    wires so inextricably tangled as to be useless. Seven hundred lodges
    crossed Pole Creek, six miles below Pole Creek crossing.

These Indians were not driven off and the telegraph-lines retaken without
severe fighting and loss of many soldiers. Within two weeks the troops
drove these Indians north, where a detachment of troops from Fort Laramie
attacked them and drove them across the Platte. Finally the Indians saw
that a different warfare was being made against them, and they fled to
their villages on the Powder River and in the Black Hills country.

There was such energy and such spirit displayed by the troops, that after
two weeks' work they had the telegraph-lines replaced between Omaha and
Denver, a distance of 600 miles, and this without any additional force to
aid them. The progress made in putting up the wires is shown by this

    My troop is at Moore's ranch; passed there at 2 o'clock. We ran twelve
    miles of wire and set eight miles of poles, had two severe fights, and
    marched fifty-five miles in fifty-two hours. Operators furnished
    valuable service.

    E. B. MURPHY,

    _Captain Seventh Iowa Cavalry_.

The thermometers all this time were from 5 to 10 degrees below zero. On
February 13th telegraphic communication was resumed through to
California, and Mr. Craighten notified the Government of the fact.

An inquiry made of Craighten by General Grant, as to where I was located
(Craighten being a personal friend of mine who was most skeptical at the
start of my accomplishing anything with the material I had, was overjoyed
at our success), was answered, "Nobody knows where he is, but everybody
knows where he has been."

From the 5th to the 13th of February every mounted man on that line was in
the saddle, either assisting the operators or chasing real or imaginary
Indians. The moment a scout came in, instructions were given to the
officers to send them out and not allow any mounted troops in the stockade
until the lines were opened and the Indians driven at least 100 miles away
from the line of telegraph, and the only dashes the Indians made after we
got fairly at them was to cut off a part of an unguarded train, and at
unguarded ranches, and at those stage-stations where only a few soldiers
were located; but in every attack the soldiers stood their ground and
fought, and when driven they only backed far enough to get a secure place.
The troops knew better than to go back to the fortified posts, as they had
instructions to keep to the hills, but in nearly every case they were
successful, and the daring that some of the troops showed in these fights
was remarkable.

Great atrocities were committed by the Indians, scalping the men alive and
abusing the women. This caused the troops to stand and fight, preferring
to die rather than to fall into their hands. Wherever a fight was
successfully made, no matter whether commissioned or non-commissioned
officers commanded, I telegraphed him in person thanking him, and to the
commanding officer of his Regiment, requesting that he be given the first
promotion, and wrote to the Governor of his State.

As soon as this stage-line was opened we concentrated about 500 mounted
men, intending to catch the Indians before they left the North Platte; but
the Indians fled as soon as they heard of this, and did not stop until
they reached Powder River, too far north for us to follow until
arrangements were made for supplies for troops and stock, as everything
had to be teamed from Fort Leavenworth.

The storms during March were very severe. Snow lay two feet on the level
and was crusted so hard that for weeks it was almost impossible to force
animals through it. As soon as we heard from my scouts of the departure of
the Indians and found they had no intention of molesting the citizens of
Nebraska, and had placed themselves on Powder River too far north to
return until the return of the grass in May, I distributed the troops
along the stage- and telegraph-lines to Salt Lake, and returned to open
the South Route to New Mexico.

My experience on the North Route, with the reports from the troops and
from my Indians, soon satisfied me that every Indian tribe of any
importance from the British Possessions in the north to the Red River in
the south, were preparing to engage in open hostilities. These tribes
often pretended to be friendly, deceiving the Government and the Indian
agent, a crafty trick that was impossible to make the Government
understand. For instance, they would go to the Indian agent for
provisions, and would make him believe that they were for peace, and would
promise to bring to the agency their tribe. Probably by the time the
report of the Indian agent reached the Government, this same tribe would
be off on the warpath and have captured a train or murdered some settlers,
and the troops in return had attacked and destroyed them, and we were
called to account for it, as it was claimed by the agents we were
attacking peaceable Indians. This went so far that it prevented me from
opening the southern emigrant trail several weeks. Finally I took the
matter in my own hands, regardless of the action or report of the agents.

While these parleys were going on the Indians suddenly appeared all along
the southern emigrant trail in the Arkansas River Valley, attacking
trains, posts, and escorts. I threw my troops against the bands of
Southern Arapahoes, Cheyennes, Comanches, and Kiowas that were in the
vicinity of the trail. The troops had caught on to the severe fighting on
the Platte, had heard of the new methods of warfare and victories, and
they in all cases stood their ground and defeated the Indians, although
they suffered severely in some instances. This was a reception that the
Indians did not expect and they fled to the Wichita Mountains, suing for
peace, which I knew was simply to prevent us attacking them there, but
accomplished its purpose with the Government and finally brought about the
treaties that were not worth the paper they were written on, and later on
forced the campaigns that Sheridan afterwards made, while if we had been
allowed to have followed them up and punish them as we did the northern
tribes, we would have conquered a peace that would have been a lasting

The Indians of the plains are the best skirmishers in the world. In
rapidity of movements, in perfect horsemanship, sudden whirling,
protecting the body by clinging to the side of the horse, and rapid
movements in open and difficult ground, no trained cavalry in the world
can equal them. On foot their ability to hide behind any obstruction, in
ravine, along creeks, and under creek and river banks, and in fighting in
the open plains or level ground, the faculty to disappear is beyond one's
belief except he has experienced it. In skulking and sharpshooting they
are adepts, but troops properly instructed are a match for them on foot,
and never fail to drive and route them, if they will stand and fight and
never retreat except slowly with their faces to them. I have seen several
times, when caught in a tight place, bands of Indians held by a few men by
holding to ridges and slowly retreating, always using our rifles at every
opportunity when an Indian was in range, never wasting a shot on them
unless there was a probability of hitting them. The Indians have a mortal
fear of such tactics.

In a fight the Indians will select the positions and pick out quickly any
vantage ground, and sometimes as high as 200 will concentrate at such a
point where we could not concentrate twenty men without exposing them, and
from this vantage ground they will pour a deadly fire on the troops, and
we cannot see an Indian--only puffs of smoke. By such tactics as this they
harass and defeat our troops. Many a fight occurred between Indians and
soldiers both watching the smoke to show each other's position. You can
watch this kind of a fight and never see a person unless some one is hit
and exposes himself, when it is nearly always a sure death. The Indian
character is such that he will not stand continual following, pounding,
and attacking. Their life and methods are not accustomed to it, and the
Indians can be driven by very inferior forces by continually watching,
attacking, and following. None of our campaigns have been successful that
have not been prepared to follow the Indians day and night, attacking them
at every opportunity until they are worn out, disbanded, or forced to
surrender, which is the sure result of such a campaign.

The Indians during the months they had been hostile, and especially in
their attacks on the stage-stations and ranches, had captured a large
number of men, women, and children. These prisoners had made known to the
troops, by dropping notes along the trail and through the reports of
friendly Indians, their terrible condition and the usage that was being
made of them. Their appeals to us to rescue them were pitiful.

I knew the prisoners would be sent far north to the villages, and their
winter quarters out of our reach; that these villages were unprotected
because every brave and dog-soldier had his warpaint on and was joining
the hostile forces attacking along our lines, which were increasing every
day. I also knew it would be impossible for any of our troops to reach
them or to rescue them by following them, and as soon as I arrived at Fort
Kearney I asked authority of the Government to enlist and muster into
service two companies of Pawnee Indians, to be under the command of their
old interpreter, Major North, who I knew to be a brave, level-headed
leader. This authority was immediately given me, and Major North was given
confidential instructions to proceed to the Sioux country, apparently on
scout duty, but to watch his opportunity and rescue these prisoners, while
their braves were down fighting us. He started, but storms of snow came
down so heavy that his ponies could get nothing to eat, and during the
latter part of February and all of March these storms were continuous, the
snow falling to the depth of two feet over the entire plains. Major North
was compelled to seek shelter in the river bottoms, and browsed his stock
on cottonwood limbs to save them. In the campaign of the summer and winter
of 1865 and 1866 Major North, with his two enlisted companies, to which I
added two more, made some wonderful marches, scouts, battles, and
captures, and during that campaign we recaptured and had surrendered to us
many of these women and children prisoners.

After the war Major North became manager of the Indians in Buffalo Bill's
Wild West Show, and died in that service. He was a noted man on the
plains. My acquaintance with him commenced in 1856, and together we had
seen and endured many hardships. It was seldom one met his equal in any of
the different phases of plains life. Although he had led an eventful
career, still I never heard him refer to what he had done or accomplished,
or the part he had taken in battles, and probably no man was ever more
worshiped than he was by the two tribes of Pawnee Indians; and his death
was virtually their destruction, for during his life among them he held
them under good discipline and kept them away from vice, diseases, and

A great many amusing reports came to me from my scouts and the captured
Indians. When on the plains in the 50's I was known among the Indians by
the name, in their language, that signified "Long Eye," "Sharp Eye," and
"Hawk Eye." This came from the fact that when I first went among them it
was as an engineer making surveys through their country. With my
engineering instruments I could set a head-flag two or three miles away,
even further than an Indian could see, and it is their custom to give a
practical name to everything. Of course I was not many days on the plains
until it reached the Indians that "Long Eye" was there, and in every fight
that occurred they had me present. They said I could shoot as far as I
could see. The scouts said the Indian chiefs laid their defeats to that
fact. Then again they were very superstitious about my power in other
matters. When the overland telegraph was built they were taught to respect
it and not destroy it. They were made to believe that it was a Great
Medicine. This was done after the line was opened to Fort Laramie by
stationing several of their most intelligent chiefs at Fort Laramie and
others at Fort Kearney, the two posts being 300 miles apart, and then
having them talk to each other over the wire and note the time sent and
received. Then we had them mount their fleetest horses and ride as fast as
they could until they met at Old Jule's ranch, at the mouth of the Lodge
Pole, this being about half way between Kearney and Laramie. Of course
this was astonishing and mysterious to the Indians. Thereafter you could
often see Indians with their heads against the telegraph poles, listening
to the peculiar sound the wind makes as it runs along the wires and
through the insulators. It is a soughing, singing sound. They thought and
said it was "Big Medicine" talking. I never could convince them that I
could not go to the telegraph poles the same as they did and tell them
what was said, or send a message for them to some chief far away, as they
had often seen me use my traveling-instrument and cut into the line,
sending and receiving messages. Then again, most of the noted scouts of
the plains who had married into the different tribes had been guides for
me, and many of these men were half-breeds, and were with these hostile
Indians. Some of them took part with them, but more of them had tried to
pacify and bring them to terms, and they gave me information about those
who were not engaged in the depredations.

I was supposed to be, by the Indians of the plains, a person of great
power and great moment. These half-breeds worked upon their superstitions,
endeavoring to convince them it was useless to fight "Long Eye." No doubt
my appearing on the plains the time I did, and the fact that from the time
I appeared until the time I left, the troops had nothing but success,
carried great weight with them, and seemed to confirm what the old
voyageurs and guides told them, and had much influence in causing their
abandonment of the Platte country and returning to their villages.

My own experience on the plains led me to be just as watchful and just as
vigilant when I knew the Indians were not near me as I was when they were
in sight. In all my travels I never allowed them to camp near or occupy my
camps even in the time of peace, when they were friendly, and I never
allowed myself to knowingly do them an injustice, making it a point never
to lie to them in any of my councils and treaties, or never allow, if I
knew it, the interpreter to deceive them. That brought me respect in all
my dealings with them, and I treated them with respect, courtesy, and
consideration, and demanded the same from them. This, no doubt, was one of
the principal reasons that in fifteen years, more or less, of intercourse
with them, traveling through their country both during the times they were
hostile and at peace, that I escaped many of the misfortunes that befell

Although this short campaign was not remarkable for great battles or large
loss by killed and wounded, still it required great fortitude from the
troops, and often great personal courage, and its success was of great
moment to the Government and to the people of the plains and the Pacific
Coast, for over these three great overland routes were carried the mails,
telegrams, and traffic during the entire war of the rebellion, which did
much to hold these people loyal to our Government. A long stoppage was a
destruction to business, and would bring starvation and untold misery; and
when, with only thirteen days and nights of untiring energy on the part of
the troops in a winter of unheard-of severity, California, Utah and
Colorado were put in communication with the rest of the world, there was
great rejoicing. In seventeen days the stages were started and overland
travel was again safe, after being interrupted for two months, and by
March 1st the commercial trains were all _en route_ to their destinations
and I had returned to my duties at the headquarters of the Department, in
St. Louis.

It was with no little satisfaction that I answered a personal letter
General Grant had written me, when he assigned me to this duty, and which
I found awaiting me on my return to Fort Leavenworth. In his letter he
outlined what it was necessary to do and why he had asked me to take the
field. He judged rightly of the condition of affairs and the necessity of
immediate action. I wrote him how promptly the troops responded to my
call. They had opened the overland routes; they had made them secure and
were then guarding them, and they would be kept open. But after grass
came, unless these hostile Indians were thoroughly chastised, they would
certainly and successfully attack them and prevent safe travel overland,
and from my letter the order soon came for me to prepare for the extensive
campaign of the next summer and winter that followed these Indians to the
Yellowstone on the north and the Cimarron on the south, and conquered a
peace with every hostile tribe.

[Illustration: JAMES BRIDGER

Chief Guide to Indian Campaign, 1865-6.]


During the Indian campaigns of the winter and spring of 1864-65, against
the Indians that were holding all the overland roads, stations, telegraph
and emigrant routes over the plains, my command reopened them in a short
campaign of sixty days in which many fights occurred in which the troops
were uniformly successful. The telegraph-lines were rebuilt, the stages
re-established, the mails transported regularly, and protection given.
Although we were able to drive the Indians off of all of these routes and
open them successfully and hold them open, my experience convinced me that
as soon as grass started on the plains these Indians would again come down
on the routes, and that the only possible way of settling the Indian
question was to make a well-planned and continuous campaign against them
on the Arkansas, the Smoky Hill, the Republican, and the North and South
Platte Valley routes, and to keep them off the traveled roads. To do this
we would be obliged to get our troops into their country as soon as
possible and go for their villages.

In my report to the Government, in April, 1865, I set forth the necessity
for this and outlined the plans. Upon the receipt of that report I
received authority from General Grant and General Pope to go forward and
carry out the plans that I had suggested. This plan contemplated placing
upon the plains about 5,000 men to protect the stations and
telegraph-lines, furnish escort to emigrants and Government trains of
supplies that were necessary to supply the wants of that vast country with
provisions and outfit five movable columns of soldiers, a total of 6,000
or 7,000 men. Contracts were immediately made for the supplies for this
number of men; for horses for the cavalry, and for the supplying of the
posts on the plains with a surplus at each, so that if the campaign
extended into the winter it would not have to stop for want of provisions.
The campaign in the spring had to be made on supplies moved there in the
middle of winter, at great cost and suffering. The Quartermaster and
Commissary at Fort Leavenworth made contracts for supplies to be delivered
in June, and General Grant sent to Fort Leavenworth something like 10,000
troops, very few of whom got into the campaigns from the fact that the
troops would no sooner reach Fort Leavenworth than they would protest,
claiming that the Civil War was ended and saying they had not enlisted to
fight Indians. The Governors of their States, Congressmen, and other
influential men, would bring such pressure to bear that the War Department
would order them mustered out. While the Government was at great expense
in moving these troops to the plains, some even reaching as far as
Julesburg, we never got any service from them; they were a great
detriment, and caused much delay in our plans, so that the overland routes
had to be protected by about one-half of the troops that it was at first
thought necessary to accomplish the work. Three Regiments of infantry,
eleven Regiments of cavalry, and three Batteries of artillery, that
reported to me under the order of General Grant, were mustered out on the
march between Fort Leavenworth and Julesburg.

There was enlisted for the Indian campaign, five Regiments of United
States volunteers, recruited from the rebel prisoners, who, desiring to be
at liberty, were willing to enlist under the United States flag to fight
Indians, and these five Regiments had to be depended upon mostly for
taking care of all the country west of the Lakes,--the overland routes on
the plains, to man the posts on the upper Missouri and Mississippi Rivers,
and for escorts for surveying parties, etc. So when I was ready to move
all five columns I had less than 7,000 officers and men in my department.
The Indians commenced their depredations on all the routes in April,
especially on the Arkansas route, where we had to contend with the South
Cheyennes, Comanches, Apaches, Kiowas, and Arapahoe tribes. This district
was under the command of Brigadier-General Ford, a very efficient officer,
and it was planned that he should make a campaign in May and June into the
Indian country, crossing the Arkansas and moving south for their villages,
which we knew were situated in the Wichita Mountains. General Ford had a
compact veteran command, and fought one or two battles before crossing the
Arkansas. Just about the time he was ready to cross the Arkansas the
Government sent west a peace commission composed of Senator Doolittle,
General Alex McD. McCook, and others. The Indian agent for these tribes
was Colonel J. H. Leavenworth. They no sooner reached the Indian country
than they protested against the movement of any troops into the territory
south of the Arkansas River. In fact, General McCook issued an order,
using General Pope's name as authority, stopping General Ford's movement.
He had no authority to do this, but General Ford obeyed, as the
information came to him that these chiefs were assembling at the mouth of
the Little Arkansas to make peace. After parleying with the Indians, the
commission accomplished nothing, and the Indians all the time were
committing their depredations on the emigrant trains that were passing up
the Arkansas Valley to New Mexico and Colorado. All the protests and
appeals of General Pope, General Ford and myself to the Government in
relation to this matter seemed to have no effect. These Indians had
murdered the settlers, wiped out their ranches, and stolen their property
and their stock, and our scouts who went among them saw their captures in
plenty. As soon as we would start out to punish them, even those that had
crossed north of the Arkansas River, protests were sent to Washington and
came back to us, so that we virtually accomplished nothing. The condition
of matters became so complicated that on June 6, 1865, I stated my views
of the question to Major-General John Pope, commanding the Military
Division of the Missouri, as follows:


    FORT LEAVENWORTH, June 6, 1865.

    _Major-General John Pope, Commanding Military Division of the

    GENERAL: You have been notified of the action of Major-General McCook,
    under the orders of the Congressional Committee, in stopping the
    expedition of General Ford south of the Arkansas, that they might
    confer, and, if possible, make peace with the Arapahoes, Cheyennes,
    Comanches, Kiowas, etc. Colonel Leavenworth started south a week ago
    to bring the chiefs up to the mouth of Cow Creek, and while we are
    endeavoring to make terms with them, their warriors are strung along
    the route from Zarah to Lyon, dashing in on any train that they find
    off its guard. They are in parties of from fifteen to fifty, and hide
    in the valleys and ravines. These Indians now have their villages at
    Fort Cobb, and have driven out all friendly Indians and traders,
    declaring that they mean war and nothing else. They are composed of
    one band of Arapahoes, led by Little Rover; one small band of
    Cheyennes, three bands of Apaches, a large body of Comanches, also the
    Southern Comanches, and all the Kiowas, and they have no respect for
    our authority or power, and I have no faith in any peace made by them
    until they are made to feel our strength. I do not believe it will be
    a month before we hear of large trains being captured or attacked by
    them in force. They notified Jesus, the Mexican trader sent in by
    General Carleton, to leave, and it is said they murdered Major
    Morrison, a trader permitted to go in by General Carleton. It appeared
    to me bad policy to give permits to any of the traders to go among
    them to trade. Not one of them will act as guide to take a force
    toward them.

    Colonel Leavenworth satisfied the committee, and I think General
    McCook also, that the Comanches and others had not committed any
    depredations. There is not an officer or trader who has been on the
    plains but knows they have been in all or nearly all the outrages
    committed. I desire very much to have peace with the Indians, but I do
    think we should punish them for what they have done, and that they
    should feel our power and have respect for us. My plan to reach them
    is to start in three columns for Fort Cobb; viz., First, by Major
    Merrill's route; second, by Captain Booner's route; third, from the
    mouth of Mulberry Creek, on the Arkansas. Make the parties about 400
    or 500 strong, and march direct for their villages. This will draw
    every warrior after us and leave the Santa Fe route free. When we get
    down there if the Indians are so anxious for peace, they will have an
    opportunity to show it, and we can make an agreement with them that
    will stop hostilities until the properly authorized authorities
    conclude a lasting peace. I have attempted to get these expeditions
    off twice. The first time they were stopped by General Halleck, on
    Colonel Leavenworth's representations. He started to make peace; the
    Indians stole all his stock, and very nearly got his scalp. He came
    back for fight and wished to whip them, but has now changed again, and
    it is possible he may get the chiefs together, but I very much doubt
    it; and, even if he does, they will only represent a portion of each
    tribe. I have concluded, by representations of the Congressional
    Committee made to General Ford, to wait and see the effects of Colonel
    Leavenworth's mission. I will have my troops at the designated points.
    If he should fail I will go forward and make the campaign as
    originally ordered. I desire to add that there is not a leading
    officer on the plains who has had any experience with Indians who has
    faith in peace made with any of these Indians unless they are punished
    for the murders, robberies and outrages they have committed for over a
    year; and unless we have a settled policy, either fight and allow the
    commanding officer of the department to dictate terms of peace to
    them, or else it be decided that we are not to fight, but make some
    kind of peace at all hazards, we will squander the summer without
    result. Indians will rob and murder, and some Indian agents will
    defend them, and when fall comes I will be held responsible for not
    having protected the route or punished them for what they may have
    done. It must be evident to the Government that I cannot be making war
    on the Indians while other parties are at the same time making peace,
    as has been the case so far. Whatever may be the desire of the
    Government, I will lend all my energies to carry it out and make every
    officer and man under me do the same. I cannot approve the manner in
    which the Indians have been treated, and have no faith in them, nor
    will I allow such treatment as shown at the Big Sandy fight. If peace
    is concluded I trust that their reservations may be made at safe
    distances from overland routes so far as possible, and that they be
    made to keep away from them.

    I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

    G. M. DODGE,


The Government, after receiving General Pope's and my own views, sent out
Inspector-General D. B. Sackett, of the Regular Army, to investigate the
conditions in that country and to report to the Government the actual
facts. In the meantime the peace commission that had been endeavoring to
negotiate with these Indians had gone on to Denver, still protesting
against any movement against the Indians, believing that peace could be
brought about. General Sackett, upon reaching the Indian country, sent
the following dispatch, on June 14, 1865, to the commanding officer at
Fort Larned, Kas.:

    For the last few days the Indians along the route have been very
    active and hostile; many men have been murdered, hundreds of animals
    have been stolen, Fort Dodge has lost every animal. The force can now
    do nothing with the Indians. A large and effective cavalry force under
    a good commander must be sent here without delay, or the large number
    of trains now on the plains will be destroyed or captured.

Upon the receipt of this dispatch I immediately gave orders to the
commanding officer to go out and concentrate our forces north of the
Arkansas, and to protect the trains, but not to go south of the river.
This they accomplished very effectively, and drove all the Indians south
of the Arkansas, killing and capturing a good many. On June 14th, General
Pope wrote a long letter to General U. S. Grant, enclosing my letter to
him, reiterating what I had said, and insisting for very strong reasons
that the Indians should be left entirely to the military; that there
should be no peace commission sent until the military had met these
Indians and brought them to terms, either by fighting or negotiations; and
afterwards for the commission to go there and make such arrangements as
they saw proper. In the mustering out of troops General Ford was relieved
of the command and Major-General John B. Sanborn, a very efficient
officer, was sent to take his place. It was now agreed that after the
failure of the peace commission to accomplish anything with these Indians
that I should make the campaigns south of the Arkansas, and General
Sanborn concentrated his troops and moved to the Arkansas. Before I
reached there I received a communication from Colonel Leavenworth stating
that all the chiefs of the Indians were then on Cow Creek, anxious to meet
him. At the same time, a dispatch came from Washington to General Pope,
stopping Sanborn's movement. General Pope immediately arranged to have an
interview with these Indians, and General Sanborn went there with
instructions to make an agreement with them that they should keep off of
the overland trails, and to arrange a time for a commission to meet them,
later in the year. On August 5th Sanborn agreed with the chiefs of the
Kiowas, Apaches, Comanches, and Arapahoes, on the part of the Government,
to suspend all actions of hostility towards any of the tribes above
mentioned and to remain at peace until the fourth day of October, 1865,
when they were to meet the Government commissioners at Bluffs Creek about
forty miles south of the Little Arkansas. This agreement did not take in
the South Cheyennes, who had been more mischievous than any of the tribes,
but this tribe kept south of the Arkansas, retaining all the stock they
captured, and none of them were punished for the murders they committed.
It was a business matter on their part to remain at peace only until the
troops moved out of that country and to prevent Sanborn with his organized
forces from going south to their villages and punishing them. The effect
of this agreement was that the Indians continued their depredations
through the following years,--not so much by killing but by
stealing,--until finally they became so hostile that in the campaign
against them by General Sheridan, in 1868, an agreement was made with them
forcing all the tribes to move into the Indian Territory. If General Ford
or General Sanborn had been allowed to go forward and punish these Indians
as they deserved, they would have been able to make not only a peace, but
could have forced them to go on the reservation in the Indian territories,
and thus have saved the murders and crimes that they committed for so many
years afterwards; however, this agreement of Sanborn's allowed the
emigration to go forward over the Arkansas, properly organized and
guarded, and it was not molested during the rest of that year.

To show the conditions on the overland routes up the two forks of the
Platte River at the time, I sent this dispatch:


    ST. LOUIS, MO., June 17, 1865.

    _Major-General John Pope, Commanding Military Division of the Missouri,
    St. Louis_:

    GENERAL: There is no doubt but that all, or nearly all, the tribes of
    Indians east of the Rocky Mountains from the British Possessions on
    the north to the Red River on the south are engaged in open
    hostilities against the Government. It is possible that in a few of
    the tribes there are some chiefs and warriors who desire to be
    friendly, but each day reduces the number of these, and they even are
    used by the hostile tribes to deceive us as to their intentions and
    keep us quiet. The Crows and Snakes appear to be friendly, but
    everything indicates that they too are ready to join in the
    hostilities, and the latter (the Snakes) are accused of being
    concerned in the depredations west of the mountains. In my opinion
    there is but one way to effectually terminate these Indian troubles;
    viz., to push our cavalry into the heart of their country from all
    directions, to punish them whenever and wherever we find them, and
    force them to respect our power and to sue for peace. Then let the
    military authorities make informal treaties with them for a cessation
    of hostilities. This we can accomplish successfully, for the Indians
    will treat with soldiers, as they fear them and have confidence in
    their word. Any treaty made now by civilians, Indian agents, or
    others, will, in my opinion, amount to nothing, as the Indians in all
    the tribes openly express dissatisfaction with them and contempt for
    them. The friendly Indians say that whenever the hostile bands are
    made aware of our ability and determination to whip them, they will
    readily and in good faith treat with our officers and comply with any
    demands we may make. If we can keep citizen agents and traders from
    among them we can, I am confident, settle the matter this season, and
    when settled I am clearly of the opinion that these Indians should be
    dealt with entirely by competent commissioned officers of the Army,
    whom they will respect and who will not only have the power to make
    them comply with the terms of the agreements made, but will also have
    the power and authority to compel troops, citizens and others to
    respect implicitly and to comply strictly with the obligations assumed
    on our part. The cavalry now moving into the Indian country will, I
    doubt not, if allowed to proceed and carry out the instructions given
    them, accomplish the object designed by bringing about an effectual
    peace and permanent settlement of our Indian difficulties.

    I am, General, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

    G. M. DODGE,


The campaign to the north was planned with a view of going after all the
northern Indians then at war--the Arapahoes, North Cheyennes, and the
different bands of the Sioux. Their depredations had extended east to the
Missouri River, and General Pope sent General Sully with a force up that
river to take care of the hostile Sioux that had gathered and had been
fighting the troops at Forts Rice, Berthoud, and other points. Before
reaching these posts his column was turned and sent to Devil's Lake after
the Santee Sioux, who had been committing depredations in Minnesota, but
after reaching the lake he failed to find any Indians, they having fled to
the British Possessions. He returned to the Missouri River and endeavored
to make terms with the tribes concentrated on it, but only partially
succeeded. We knew that there were from two to three thousand of the
Sioux, Cheyennes and Arapahoes concentrated at or near Bear Butte, near
the north end of the Black Hills, and it was the intention of General
Sully with his force to go after this band, but, being turned to the east,
I organized a force about 1,000 strong under Colonel Nelson Cole, who went
up the Missouri River in boats to Omaha and whose orders were to move from
Omaha to Columbus up the Loup Fork to its head and thence across the
Niobrara to the White Earth River and then to Bear Butte. Failing to find
the Indians there, he was to push on to Powder and Tongue Rivers, where he
was to join Brigadier-General P. E. Connor, who was in command of this
district. Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel Walker's column of about 500 men of
the Sixteenth Kansas Cavalry was to go north from Fort Laramie along the
west base of the Black Hills and join Colonel Cole, and later join General
Connor on the Tongue River; while General Connor, with a small command of
about 500 men, was moving north along the Platte to the head of Salt
Creek down the Salt to Powder River, where he was to establish a fort and
supply station; from thence he was to move along the east base of the Big
Horn Mountains until he struck the hostile Indians in that vicinity. These
columns should have moved in May or June, but it was July and August
before they got started, on account of the failure of the contractors to
deliver the supplies to them on the plains at the different supply-depots;
but when they started they moved with alacrity, and would, no doubt, have
accomplished the purpose of the campaign had it not been for the fact that
they were stopped by an order from Washington to return to Fort Laramie by
October 15th.

During May, June, and July the Indians were very aggressive all along the
South Platte and North Platte routes. Every Government train had to go
guarded; every emigrant train had to be organized into trains of 50 or 100
wagons, with the teamsters armed and placed under an officer, and even
then a great many of their people were killed and a great deal of stock
run off. The commanding officer at Fort Laramie, during June, had
concentrated at his post about 2,000 of what was considered friendly
Indians. Most of these Indians had been captured during the spring
campaign. They had brought in with them most of the prisoners that had
been captured on their raids upon the stage-lines and the ranches. General
Connor, desiring to get these Indians removed as far as possible from the
hostile Indians, under my order moved them south toward the Republican
River, in charge of two companies of the Seventh Iowa Cavalry, commanded
by Captain Fouts. These Indians did not take kindly to this movement, and
the escort sent with them was not as large as it ought to have been. When
they were sixty miles south of Fort Laramie they were communicated with by
a band of hostile Indians who followed down the opposite side of the
Platte River, and early in the morning they attacked their escort, killing
Captain Fouts and four soldiers, and wounding seven others. In the fight
there were a great many Indians killed and wounded, but these Indians were
allowed to go south with their arms, to convince them that we put
confidence in them and did not treat them as prisoners. With the aid of
the other Indians on the north side of the Platte, they forced the escort
to intrench itself, by doing which the train and the women and others who
had been rescued from the Sioux Indians were saved, as word was gotten to
Fort Laramie and relief was sent. The Indians after this fight crossed the
North Platte River and moved north toward the Black Hills.

Colonel Moonlight, in command of Fort Laramie, as soon as he heard of this
revolt, went to relieve the intrenched party. The Indians, however, had
crossed the Platte River. He followed them. When within ten or fifteen
miles of the band, through carelessness in taking care of his horses, the
Indians turned upon him, stampeded his stock, and, in fact, drove off 200
or 300 head of it, leaving his command on foot. The attack of the hostiles
frightened the horses so that they could not be controlled, and they ran
towards the Indians. Moonlight and his command had to march back to
Laramie, a long distance, without food or transportation, as they had
started out with only one or two days' rations. Colonel Moonlight was
immediately relieved of his command, but the damage had been done, which
gave the hostile Indians great encouragement. General Connor sent this

    JULESBURG, June 15, 1865.

    (Received 9:50 p. m.)

    _Major-General Dodge_:

    I ordered the Indians who surrendered at Laramie to be sent to
    Kearney. Colonel Moonlight sent them without first dismounting them,
    under charge of two companies of Seventh Iowa Cavalry. They revolted
    sixty miles this side of Laramie, killing Captain Fouts, who was in
    command, and four soldiers, and wounding seven; also killed four of
    their own chiefs who refused to join them; fifteen Indians were
    killed; the Indians fled north with their ponies, women, and children,
    leaving all their camp equipage. Troops are in pursuit. Mail-stages
    have stopped west of Camp Collins. Everything appears to work
    unfavorably owing to failure of corn contractors and incompetency of
    some of my subordinates. I will overcome all obstacles, however, in a
    short time. Have you sent me cavalry yet? J. D. Doty, Governor of
    Utah, was buried at Camp Douglas Cemetery this morning. Died of heart

    P. E. CONNOR,

During July, a band of the Arapahoes raided the South Platte River
stage-line between Fort Collins and Fort Halleck, drove off most of the
stock from the stations, and committed other depredations. Colonel Porter,
who was in command of that district, concentrated his force and went after
the Indians, and in a very few days restored the stage stations and gave
the Indians sound whippings, which kept that line clear nearly all summer.
The Indians that had done this work had gone into Fort Collins claiming to
be friendly and wishing to make a treaty, and after being fed there for
some time, left one night and committed the depredations before troops
could stop them. From here they moved immediately north to join the
hostile Indians north of the North Platte. I had received notice from
Washington that the Interior Department had information that these Indians
were peaceable and would not join in the campaigns; but, being on the
ground, I knew better, because we were capturing them in nearly all of the
attacks that they made. With them was a portion of one of the bands of the

On July 27, ten miles west of the North Platte Bridge station, a Mormon
train coming east was attacked by the Indians and Lieutenant Casper W.
Collins, of the Eleventh Ohio, and twenty-five men of the Eleventh Kansas,
went out to relieve it, when about one thousand Indians attacked him.
While he saved the train he lost his own life, and twenty-five of his men
were scalped and their bodies horribly mutilated; but while the Indians
had heavy losses in the fight, they were able to divide up and scatter
before any of the troops sent to attack them could reach them. I named the
post at Platte Bridge Fort Casper, and it is now known as the town of
Casper, on the North-Western railroad.

On August 16th a large band of Sioux Indians attacked a military station
on the South Platte route. They were overtaken by the Pawnee Indian
Battalion of our forces, who gave them a good whipping. They killed a
large number and took their stock and scattered them. This was a band of
Sioux Indians that had been lying on the North Platte and made this dash
to the South Platte stage-line, thinking we had withdrawn the troops from
it to the northern expedition. Very few of them ever got back to their

The battalion of Pawnees with General Conner had made a great capture of a
band of Cheyennes who had been down on the Fort Halleck route. The latter
had there captured a part of a company of a Michigan Regiment who were
escorting a few wagons, the captives having been tied to the wagons and
burned. By some means, General Conner got word of this, and knew the trail
they would take to get back to the main command, and on this trail he
placed Major North and his battalion of Pawnees. Major North, in
describing to me what followed, said that when the Indians came back and
discovered that they were surrounded, one, an old man, moved up towards
him and placed his hand up to his mouth, telling him to come on; that they
were ready to die; that they were full of white men up to that,--meaning
up to his mouth. The Pawnees killed every one of this band and scalped
them. On one of them was found a diary of one of the Michigan soldiers who
had been killed, and one of the Cheyennes had used the book to give an
account of their travels, their camps and fights, and what they had done
on this raid. From this diary our guides could tell just exactly where the
party had been, where they had camped, where they had captured the
Michigan soldiers, and their route on their return. A half-breed had
written in the book a defiance of the troops, telling what the Indians
demanded. Among other things they demanded that before they would make
peace we should give up all their prisoners; that we should abandon the
country north of the Platte River, etc.

As soon as General Connor reached Powder River he established his post and
named it Fort Connor. (It was afterward named Fort Reno by me.) Connor
immediately pushed on to the Crazy Woman Mountain fork of Powder River and
then to the east base of the Big Horn Mountains, following that to the
Tongue River and down the Tongue until James Bridger, the chief scout and
guide of the expedition, claimed to have seen the smoke a long distance
away, of an Indian camp. No one else could see it, but, as a precaution,
Connor sent out the Pawnee scouts, and on August 27th they discovered
about 2,000 Indians camped on the Tongue River, near the mouth of Wolf
Creek. It is a singular fact that in this vicinity General Crook fought
his great battle on the Rosebud, the Custer massacre occurred, and it was
not very far away that the Phil Kearney disaster occurred, when Lieutenant
Fetterman and his whole command was slaughtered. General Connor
immediately corralled the trains and took his available forces, about 250
men, and marched all night and struck this band at daylight, giving them a
complete surprise. They were Arapahoes under Black Bear and Old David,
with several other noted chiefs. The band was just breaking up their camp,
but the Indian soldiers rallied and fought desperately. Captain H. E.
Palmer, A. A. G., with General Connor, gives this description of the

    The word was passed back for the men to close up and follow the
    General and not to fire a shot until he fired in advance. General
    Conner then took the lead, riding his horse up the steep bank of the
    ravine and dashing out across the mesa as if there were no Indians
    just to his left. Every man followed as close as possible. At the
    first sight of the General the Indian ponies grazing on the table-land
    in front of us sent up a tremendous whinnying, and galloped down
    toward the Indian village. More than 1,000 dogs began to bark, and
    more than 700 Indians made the air ring with their fearful yelling. It
    appeared that the Indians were in the act of breaking camp. The most
    of their tepees were down and packed for the march. The ponies, more
    than 3,000, had been gathered in and most of the squaws and children
    were mounted, some of them having taken the line of march up the
    stream to the new camp. The General watched the movements of his men
    until he saw the last man emerge from the ravine, when he wheeled on
    the left into line. The whole line then fired a volley into the
    village without stopping their horses, and the bugles sounded a
    charge. Not a man but realized that the charge into the village
    without a moment's hesitation was our only salvation. We already saw
    that we were greatly outnumbered, and that only desperate fighting
    would save our scalps. We were in the village in the midst of a
    hand-to-hand fight with the warriors and squaws, for many of the
    squaws did as brave fighting as their savage lords. Unfortunately for
    the squaws and children, our men had no time to direct their aim, and
    bullets from both sides and murderous arrows filled the air. Women and
    children fell among the killed and wounded. The scene was
    indescribable. Each man seemed an army by himself. Near the sweathouse
    I emptied my revolver into the carcasses of three warriors. One of our
    men, a member of the Eleventh Ohio Cavalry, a fine-looking soldier
    with as handsome a face as I ever saw on a man, grabbed me by the
    shoulder and turned me about that I might assist him in drawing an
    arrow from his mouth. Having no surgeon of a higher grade than a
    hospital steward, it was decided that in order to get the arrow out of
    his mouth the tongue would have to be cut out, which was done. The
    Indians made a brave stand trying to save their families, and
    succeeded in getting away with a large majority of their women and
    children, leaving behind nearly all of their plunder.

    We now went up a stream called Wolf Creek, General Connor in close
    pursuit. Soon after we left the village General Connor advised me to
    instruct Captain North to take his battalion of Indians and get all
    the stock he could possibly gather. General Connor pursued the savages
    fully ten miles from camp, when he found himself accompanied by only
    fourteen men. Our horses were so worn out that it was impossible for
    the men to keep up. The Indians noticed his movements and turned upon
    him and his soldiers. They fell back as fast as possible. Captain
    North and myself had succeeded in coralling about a thousand ponies.
    Scores of buffalo-robes, blankets, and furs were heaped up on
    lodge-poles, and on these we placed our dead, and burned their bodies
    to keep the Indians from mutilating them. Our attack on the village
    began at 9 a. m. We remained until 2:30 and had destroyed a great deal
    of Indian property. At 2:30 we took up the line of march for the
    corralled train. Captain North with his eighty Indians undertook to
    drive the captured stock. They were soon a great ways ahead, while the
    rest of the force was engaged in beating back the Indians. The Indians
    pressed on every side. They seemed to have plenty of ammunition, but
    they did most of their fighting with arrows. Before dark we were
    reduced to forty men, and had only a little ammunition. The Indians
    showed no signs of stopping the fight, but kept on charging on us,
    dashing away at the stock, and keeping us constantly on the move until
    fifteen minutes of twelve, when the last shot was fired by our
    pursuers. The incidents of this fight would make very interesting
    reading. Every man was a general. Not a man in the company but
    realized that his life was in the balance. We must either whip the
    Indians and whip them badly or be whipped ourselves. We could see that
    the Indians greatly outnumbered us, but we were better armed than
    they. As for fighting qualities the savages proved themselves as brave
    as any of our men. We had accomplished a great deal; 250 Indian lodges
    and their contents had been burned, with the entire winter's supplies;
    the son of Black Bear was killed: sixty-three Indians were killed,
    1,100 ponies were captured, and a lot of women and children were taken

General Connor's report of this battle was burned in Utah, and
consequently was never forwarded to me or to the Government, so we do not
know what the loss on his part was; but it was severe.

General Connor now moved down the Tongue River to make a connection with
Colonel Walker and Colonel Cole, at the appointed rendezvous. His scouts
discovered that Colonel Cole in moving north had endeavored to reach the
mouth of Powder River and had failed, and after six days' fighting had
marched south, expecting to go to Port Laramie, not knowing that there
were supplies at Fort Connor.

Colonel Cole, who with his column had started from Omaha, had made
reasonable progress, following out the routes laid down, and did not
discover any Indians until he reached the Little Missouri River, on a
branch of the Piney that he was coming down. Lieutenant-Colonel Walker, of
the center column, visited his camp and was two days behind him. He should
have immediately joined him, to carry out his instructions. Cole was
headed toward the Tongue River, near the Wolf Mountains. When he got into
the brakes of the Powder River, he discovered many signs of Indians. This
is a very rough country, and he had great difficulty in getting his long
trains through it; however, he dropped into the valley about fifty miles
above the mouth of Powder River and sent a detachment with his best guide
fifty miles across to Tongue River and Panther Mountains and discovered
nothing of Connor. In Cole's instructions he was told that there would be
a supply-depot at Panther or Wolf Mountains, but General Connor had
changed this and made the supply-depot at what was known as Camp Connor,
on Powder River, and he did not notify either Cole or Walker of this
change, which he should have done, as had he done so it would have avoided
all the trouble that these two columns encountered. Cole's detachment of
cavalry discovered no signs of Connor on Tongue River and so followed down
the river, while they should have gone up; and failing to find any sign of
any depot at Panther Mountains, reported back to Cole. Cole's rations were
now exhausted, or nearly so, as he had not been as careful of them as he
should have been, expecting as he did to find a depot where he could get
plenty at the end of his sixty days' march. It shows that he was not up to
the woodcraft of the country. In examining Powder River towards its mouth
he found it destitute of grass and full of canyons. He, therefore, made
up his mind to move south up the Powder River valley, with a view to
either meeting Connor or making for Fort Laramie. The Indians, seeing this
retreat, became very bold. There were at least 2,000 of them, Cheyennes
and Sioux, and without making an attack they simply harassed him,
sometimes forcing a fight; but very few were hurt. Colonel Cole should
have parked his train, placed it in a defensive position under a good
guard, and then mobilized the rest of his force, and, with what rations he
had, gone after the Indians, giving them battle and forcing the fight with
them. He had plenty of men.

Cole had not advanced very far towards Port Connor when, on September 6th,
Colonel Walker and his command joined him. Then he had plenty of men to
meet all the Indians in the country, if his force was properly handled.
When this fighting commenced he was not over thirty miles from where
Connor fought his battle, and Captain Palmer states that they heard a
cannon, but could not tell which direction the noise came from. Connor,
hearing nothing from Cole, sent out Major North with a couple of Indian
scouts and with Bridger as guide. They got over into the Powder River
country and discovered Cole's trail. During Cole's retreat up the Powder
there came a fearful snow-storm. The animals having marched so far without
grain, were already very much exhausted, and the storm lasting three days,
they became so weak that they were not fit to use, and they were therefore
shot, just as they stood at the picket-line, to prevent them from falling
into the Indians' hands. This destruction of the animals and the burning
of all their equipment was about the first thing that Major North struck,
and of course he experienced a great anxiety, fearing that Cole had met
with great disaster, and immediately reported to General Connor, who at
once sent Sergeant C. L. Thomas with two Pawnees with dispatches to
Colonel Cole to march on up Powder River to Fort Connor, where he would
find supplies. Cole's troops seem to have started out not fully prepared
for such a trip, especially in the line of shoes and leggings, although
they were carefully instructed by me to be sure to take a surplus, as I
knew the country. Cole's excuse is that while he made ample requisition,
the Quartermaster never shipped them, and so when he reached Omaha he had
to buy such as he could find. Colonel Cole's troops seem to have kept up
their organization and their fighting qualities, for whenever they met the
Indians they always whipped them; but they were on the retreat, which gave
every advantage to the Indians. When Cole's troops reached Port Connor
they were in a deplorable condition--ragged, barefooted, and almost
without rations and ammunition.

The Indians surrounding Fort Connor at this time had become so numerous
that the commanding officer thought it prudent to intrench the post, which
shows good judgment; but Colonel Cole complains in his report that the
troops were made to help do this intrenching. Speaking of this he says:

    While camped here (Fort Connor) an occurrence took place, strange but
    most true, which as an integral part of the closing history of the
    command must have full relation. Some thirty-six hours after reaching
    this post, a fatigued detail of 400 men was ordered from the Second
    Missouri Light Artillery to work on the earthworks being thrown up
    around the place. If the spirit that prompted the detail expected to
    force its principles through insubordination or rebellion, it was
    disappointed. What a sight was here! Four hundred ragged, bare-footed
    men, emaciated with fatigue, who had met and worsted the enemy on
    three several occasions, marched up in the face of a garrison of 2,000
    or more.

I don't know where he got the 2,000 troops, as all the troops when he
reached Fort Connor were two companies of Michigan cavalry, General Connor
then not having reached that post; and when he did, all told there were
not 2,000 troops there. Cole's loss was very light,--nine killed,--while
he claims to have killed from 200 to 500 of the Indians.

It was very evident to me that there was no very severe fighting here; it
was simply a skirmish on a retreat.

Lieutenant-Colonel Walker's column, which started from Fort Laramie on
August 2d, moved up the west base of the Black Hills, and struck Cole's
column on August 20th on what was known as Piney Creek. After striking
Cole's trail he followed it a short distance, and then left it and struck
Powder River, much farther south than Cole had, and on reaching the river
he fell right into the same band of Indians that were gathered along the
Powder River to harass Cole. He, too, was short of provisions, although he
was equipped to travel very rapidly, having all his supplies on
pack-mules. As soon as he got in touch with Cole he joined him and
followed him to Fort Connor. General Connor's idea was to make up a
rapid-moving column of about 1,000 men, using the pack-mules of Walker,
and then combine his and Cole's troops to move on a line farther to the
west and follow these Indians to the British Possessions if necessary. He
had the ammunition, equipment and everything at Fort Connor to fit out
these columns with. As near as they could estimate there were about 6,000
Indians all told.

[Illustration: PUMPKIN BUTTES

Prominent land-mark near where Colonels Cole and Walker fought the Indians
in September, 1865, on Powder River.]

The wagon-road train that started from Sioux City under Colonel Sawyer's
engineering party, with two companies of the Fifth United States Volunteer
Infantry under the command of Captain George N. Williford, that were to
open a wagon-road from Sioux City up the Niobrara River by a short route
to the north end of the Black Hills, intended to cross to Powder River and
then to the south end of the Big Horn Mountains, making a direct emigrant
route into Montana. As soon as I heard of the instructions given this
expedition I got word to Colonel Sawyer that it was impossible for him to
travel on that route; that he must keep to the south end of the Black
Hills and follow up the North Platte until he struck what was known as the
Bozeman trail, that was laid out in 1864 by some emigrants going into
Montana. This was the trail that Connor had taken on his route to Tongue
River. It was feasible all the way from the Platte to Montana. Colonel
Sawyer paid no attention to this information, but kept on his original
route until he got into the brakes of the Powder River, not very far from
where Cole struck them. When within twenty miles of the River, he
ascertained by his own guide that it was impossible to advance any farther
in that direction; consequently, he had to retrace his steps. On the
second day they were attacked by a large band of Indians; evidently the
Cheyennes and Sioux that afterwards attacked Colonels Cole and Walker.
These Indians kept them corralled nearly four days and nights, fighting
through the day and withdrawing at night, only to begin their hostilities
at dawn; but finding that their efforts only resulted in many being
killed, they abandoned the siege and left, going south, striking Cole's
trail on August 22d, which they followed, and on the 23d Colonel Sawyer
marched into Port Connor. While Captain Williford does not say that he
took charge of this train, that is a fact. He took charge of it and kept
it until he got to Fort Connor. He was a splendid officer and it was
through his good judgment and his ability as a soldier that he saved the
whole outfit. The Bent Boys, who were at the head of the Cheyennes, would
communicate with Sawyer and get him to send out persons for the purpose of
trading with them, and whoever was sent inside their lines was held
prisoner, the idea being to wear Sawyer's force out by this means. But
they struck the wrong man in Captain Williford, who, comprehending the
situation, attacked the Indians. I knew Williford in the Civil War, and
he was a very efficient officer. At Fort Connor I relieved Williford, his
men being mostly barefooted, and put Colonel Kidd of the Michigan Cavalry,
in command, with a suitable escort, and instructed him to follow the
Connor trail until they struck Tongue River, and then to swing towards the
Yellowstone and strike the trail up that river to Bozeman. This train,
when they got nearly opposite to where General Connor fought, was again
attacked by the Indians; but Colonel Kidd managed to get news to General
Connor and he sent two or three companies of his command to the rescue.
They were absent while he fought his battle on Tongue River. They drove
off the Indians, and relieved the train, which reached Montana in safety.

Early in September I reached Fort Connor--before General Cole and Colonel
Walker had concentrated there--and gave instructions under the direction
of the authorities at Washington, forwarded to me by General Pope, to
withdraw all the troops to Fort Laramie, and stop all their operations
against the Indians, and endeavor to bring them in for a consultation,
and, if possible, to make an agreement as to the cessation of all
hostilities. This was a fatal mistake. When I received this dispatch from
General Pope, on August 31st, I sent the following message to him:



    _Major-General John Pope, St. Louis, Mo._:

    I consider the Indian matters here of so much importance, and knowing
    no one can judge of them so well as when he is on the ground, that I
    desire to make a proposition to the Government. If the Government will
    allow me to keep General Connor in the field with not to exceed 2,000
    men of his present force, leaving the forces you have designated to
    garrison posts on the plains. I will settle these Indian difficulties
    before spring satisfactorily to the Government, and bring about a
    peace that will be lasting. I may do it in a month or two; or it may
    be longer. The additional expense to the Government will be the pay of
    that number of troops for the time detained. All the stores, forage,
    etc., to support them are here and _en route_. As soon as we settle
    with them we can send these troops in and take 2,000 more from our
    posts in addition and muster them out. General Connor left Powder
    River with sixty days' supplies, and I am satisfied if we will allow
    him he will settle the matter before he returns. Should he come back
    by our orders without settling the matter, the entire Indian tribes
    will be down on our lines, and we will have our hands full, and more
    too. The forces for Utah I will soon have on the road, and when Connor
    gets back he can go right there.

    G. M. DODGE,


General Connor, after getting news of the position of Cole's and Walker's
forces, moved back with his forces to Fort Connor, with a view of taking
command of Cole's and Walker's forces and organizing them into two
columns--one a light column with pack-mules, and the other with the
trains,--and then to follow and attack the Indians that had been fighting
Cole and Walker. When he arrived at Fort Connor he found my dispatches,
which, of course, changed his whole policy. He knew then where all the
Indians were located. They had all been forced away from the traveled
lines to protect their villages, and it was only a question of time--weeks
or months--before we would have conquered a peace that the Indians would
have recognized.

The dispatches which I sent from Fort Laramie brought an answer from
General Grant to the effect that the authorities at Washington were
determined to stop all campaigns against the Indians. They had been made
to believe by the Interior Department that all they had to do was to
withdraw the troops and the Indians would come in and make peace. On my
return from Fort Connor, when I reached the North Platte I sent this

    HORSESHOE, September 15, 1865.

    _Major-General John Pope, St. Louis_:

    Arrived here today on my return from Powder River. That post is well
    located, right in heart of Indian country, and is an important post.
    The Indians' trails all cross at or near it, and it will have good
    effect hereafter in holding in check Indians. Have not heard from
    General Connor since August 24. We cannot reach him now. They have
    done a good deal of work on Powder River; got up stockade and
    commenced Quartermaster buildings; well under way. Great lack of
    Quartermaster's stores up there, the Powder River stores not having
    reached Laramie yet. From Laramie to Powder River, then to Virginia
    City, is an excellent wagon-road; good grass, water, and wood all the
    way, and the most direct road that can be got. The travel over it in
    another season will be immense; it saves at least 450 miles in
    distance. After the Indians attacked Colonel Sawyer's wagon-road party
    and failed in their attempt, they held a parley. Colonel Bent's sons,
    George and Charles Bent, appeared on part of Indians, and Colonel
    Sawyer gave them a wagon-load of goods to let him go undisturbed,
    Captain Williford, commanding escort, not agreeing to it. The Indians
    accepted proposition and agreed to it, but after receiving the goods
    they attacked party; killed three men. Bent said that there was one
    condition on which the Cheyennes would treat; viz., the hanging by
    Government of Colonel Chivington. He also said that the Indians
    considered that they were strong enough to fight the Government;
    preferred to do it; that they knew the Government would withdraw
    troops in fall; then they would have it all their own way again.
    Expressed great fear about Connor, and said they were concentrating
    everything to meet him, which is true. Since he left no Indians have
    troubled the mail- or telegraph-lines, but are all moving north,
    stragglers and all. At Fort Connor they kill a few of them as they
    pass every few days. There is one band of Arapahoes in Medicine Bow
    Mountains, who are committing depredations around Denver, on Cache La
    Poudre and Big Thompson Creeks. They belong to the band that was at
    Cow Creek treaty. I shall be in Laramie tomorrow; see General Wheaton;
    thence to Denver. Bent also said that some of tribes had agreed to
    make peace on Missouri River, but they were doing this to keep us
    from sending a force that way. These Bent boys were educated in St.
    Louis. One has been with Price in the rebel Army; was captured. His
    father got him released and took him to his ranch on the Arkansas
    River, when he joined the Cheyennes, of which he is a half-breed. He
    was dressed in one of our staff officer's uniforms.

    G. M. DODGE,


On General Connor's arrival at Fort Connor he wired me the results of the
campaign and protested strenuously against the order stopping it, saying
he was then in condition and position to close it, conquer the Indians,
and force a lasting peace. On receipt of his report I sent this dispatch:

    CENTRAL CITY, COLO., September 27, 1865.

    _Major-General John Pope, St. Louis, Mo._:

    On August 28th, General Connor surprised Medicine Man's band of
    Indians on Tongue River; killed fifty; captured village, all winter
    provisions, and 600 horses--all the stock they had. On the 1st of
    September the right column, under Colonel Cole, had a fight with the
    Sioux, Cheyennes, and Arapahoes, on Powder River, and whipped them. On
    the evening of the 3d of September attacked them again, driving them
    down Powder River ten miles. Next morning at daylight attacked again,
    fight lasting until 10 a. m., when Indians were defeated with loss of
    200 killed. They fled in every direction, losing large number of
    horses, camp equipage, provisions, etc. On 8th instant, Colonel
    Walker, commanding center column, who was in advance of Colonel Cole,
    met Indians in large force. Colonel Cole came up and after a short but
    spirited engagement they totally routed Indians, driving them in every
    direction with great loss, several of principal chiefs being killed in
    this fight. On the night of the 9th of September a severe snow-storm
    raged, in which 400 of Colonel Cole's horses perished. I was in that
    storm on Powder River. It was very severe, and I lost several animals.
    Our total loss in all the engagements not more than fifty killed and
    wounded, including one officer. Colonel Cole or Colonel Walker had not
    communicated with General Connor and were on Powder River, but by this
    time they have communicated, as they had ascertained where General
    Connor's column was.

    G. M. DODGE,


General Connor, in compliance with his orders, moved south from Fort
Connor to distribute at the different posts where they had been assigned,
the forces not ordered to be mustered out. As soon as he started south to
Fort Laramie the Indians followed him and swarmed immediately on the
overland routes, both the North and South Platte, reaching even as far as
the Arkansas, and committed great depredations. The troops along those
lines had been mustered out, and the regular-army force that was to take
their places had not arrived. It was a harvest for the Indians. In my
absence General Pope had assigned to the different districts regular-army
officers for permanent command. They were to take the places of the
volunteers. Under my instructions I immediately sent word to the Indians
to come to Fort Laramie for the purpose of a consultation. To accomplish
this I sent out the best-posted guides (using chiefs, sub-chiefs,
half-breeds of friendly Indians) that I knew on the plains, to each of the
hostile tribes asking them to come into Fort Laramie. I instructed the
messengers to tell them that if any of their people had gone to the
Missouri River for peaceable purposes to let them go, but to bring in all
that were left, providing they felt disposed to settle without delay. I
sent them word that if they did not come in and settle they would find
that our summer campaign was only a taste of what they would get this
winter, for we would give them no rest. I posted the district commanders
thoroughly, telling them what we wanted was to settle with the Indians
before they discovered the smallness of our forces on the plains. I told
them they might say, also, that all of the Indians south of the Arkansas
had made peace, and gave instructions that they be told about the battle
with the Arapahoes and Cheyennes on Powder and Tongue Rivers. I sent the
district commanders word to show Big Ribs, one of my messengers, the
forces at their posts, and to impress upon him our power. The effect of
this appeal to the different tribes was that early in the spring of 1866
we got together at Fort Laramie the principal chiefs and the head men of
the North Cheyennes, Arapahoes, and the different tribes of the Sioux,
when a council was held.

I had instructed General Frank Wheaton, who commanded at Fort Laramie,
that we would agree to almost anything to bring a permanent peace except
to allow the Indians to come down to the North Platte and occupy the
country through which the new military road was laid out to Bozeman, Mont.
Our troops, in passing up the east base of the Black Hills, had discovered
gold. There were Colorado and California Regiments in the commands, and I
knew, and so did General Connor, that many were preparing, as soon as a
treaty was made, to go back into that country and prospect it, and I gave
that reason to the Indians for holding them north of the Belle Fourche
Fork of the Cheyenne River; but that country was their best
hunting-ground. They were perfectly willing to give up all the country
south of the Platte River, and not to interfere with the building of the
Union Pacific road or with any of the overland routes up the North or
South Platte; but they would not consent to give up the Black Hills north
of the North Platte. Finally we made an agreement with them that they
should occupy the country north of the North Platte River until such time
as the Government should see proper to send a commission out to negotiate
a permanent peace with them. I gave instructions to tell them that if the
white men went into their territory and we did not keep them out, they
were at liberty to do so. I knew that would deter any white man going in
there, and as long as they kept the peace, we would. Red Cloud, who had
then come to the head of the Ogalalla band of the Sioux Indians, took a
prominent part in this conference, and was backed by such chiefs as
Spotted Tail, Man-Afraid-of-His-Horses, Big Ribs, and the Bent boys on
behalf of the Cheyennes. He declared that they would never give up their
country north of the Platte. "You may take my country," said Red Cloud,
"but I will mark every mile of that Bozeman trail from the North Platte to
Yellowstone with the bodies of your soldiers;" and this he pretty nearly
accomplished. This agreement, made at Fort Laramie, accomplished nothing.
During the years 1866, 1867 and 1868 the Indians swarmed across the lines
agreed upon and occupied the country, especially along the Union Pacific,
which was then being constructed through that country. The Government had
to send in additional troops, and all the military posts over the country
had to be re-occupied the same as they had been before. The Government
endeavored to again reach these Indians through a peace commission in
1868. General W. T. Sherman was at the head of it, and it was composed of
General Harney and others. They visited me at Fort Sanders, Wyo., before
they went to make a treaty with the Indians, and wished to know my reasons
for the position I took in the consultation of 1866. I then told General
Sherman that my soldiers had found gold in all the streams heading in the
Black Hills north of the North Platte, and that as soon as he allowed
those Indians to come to the North Platte under a treaty of peace, he
would not be across the Missouri River on his return before that country
would be covered by prospectors from California and Colorado. General
Sherman answered that their instructions were to make such a peace and
they were sent there to do it, and, sure enough, they did; and as soon as
the treaty was made the miners poured into the country. One of the first
mines that was discovered was the Homestake or Homestead. Sitting Bull,
who had taken part in this treaty and whose country was the Black Hills,
sent in protest after protest, demanding that the Government live up to
the terms of the treaty and drive the miners out, but no attention was
paid to them. The miners and settlers poured into the Black Hills country
and drove the Indians out, and Sitting Bull said in a conference he had
with some of the Army officers in the 70's that if the Government did not
protect their territory as provided in the treaty, they would themselves;
and they started to do it. The massacres of that year came from his band,
the troubles finally ending with the sacrifice of the Custer Regiment in
1876. While this was a horrible event, the Indians, under the treaty, were
fully justified in it. During this same time Red Cloud occupied the
Bozeman trail. He killed emigrants, besides murdering Captain Fetterman
and his company at Fort Phil Kearney, and other troops located at the
posts that we established along there in 1866, such as Forts Reno,
McKinney, Phil Kearney, and C. F. Smith. It was not until after the Custer
massacre that these Indians were brought to time and put on reservations;
since then peace has prevailed.

The Government had the same difficulty on the Arkansas River route that we
had on the Platte routes in the summer of 1866, 1867, and 1868. The
Indians that had made the agreement with Colonel Leavenworth were all
committing depredations until finally the Government sent General Sheridan
there with instructions to punish them. They tried to play the same game
with Sheridan that they had played with us, but he would have none of it.
There was no one in Washington who would force him to listen to the
appeals of the peace commission. His troops, under Colonels Custer, Evans,
and others, fought three battles south of the Arkansas, noticeably wiping
out some bands, and making them give up their prisoners, stop their
murders, and go on reservations in the Indians' territory. From that time
on they have been peaceable.

We were much better prepared, in the fall of 1865, both on the Arkansas
and on the Yellowstone, to conquer these Indians. We had got up to their
villages and had plenty of troops, plenty of provisions, and plenty of
clothing, and could carry on the campaign through the winter, if
necessary; and so, if we had allowed General Ford or General Sanborn to
have gone forward with the columns and punish those southern Indians, they
would have made a permanent peace. But the fact is the Indians did not
give up until they were thoroughly thrashed and made to recognize the
power and authority of the Government.

The policy of the United States in dealing with the Indian problem is
beyond the comprehension of any sensible man. They were treated the same
as foreign nations; and while they made treaties they never carried out
their part of them, breaking them whenever the trend of civilization
westward interfered with them in any way. The Government attempted to deal
with and govern the Indians with civil agents and at the same time tried
to enforce peace through the military authorities. This caused friction;
and deception and cheating in the supplying of them through their
contractors and civil agents brought untold complaints. If the Government
had treated the Indians as a ward that they were bound to protect, as the
English did, they would have had very little trouble in handling them. The
military force would have held all conferences with them; fed them when
they needed it; located them in an early day on unoccupied good
hunting-grounds; and finally, as civilization moved into their territories
and as their tribes wasted away, would have given them reservations where
the Government from the money they received from the lands the Indians
claimed, could have kept and fed them without any great burden or cost. In
all the days of Indian warfare and treaties, there never was such a farce,
or failure to comprehend the frontier situation, as in the years 1865 and
1866, and the failure of the Government to take advantage of the
comprehensive plans instituted by the military authorities, as well as of
the great expenditures made, and to punish the Indians as they deserved,
brought, in after years, greater expenditures and more disturbances than

Early in the campaign, after General Pope had made known his views to the
Government, he requested me to write fully mine to the Secretary of the
Interior, who had charge of Indian affairs, and who was from my state, and
I sent him this letter:


    ST. LOUIS, MO., June 22, 1865.

    _Hon. James Harlan, Secretary of the Interior, Washington, D. C._:

    MY DEAR SIR: Copies of Senator Doolittle's and Commissioner Dole's
    letters to you of dates May 31 and June 12 have been furnished me. My
    acquaintance with you leads me to believe that you are endeavoring to
    get at the real facts of our Indian difficulties and the best methods
    for putting an end to them. So far as Senator Doolittle's letter
    refers to "some general getting up of an Indian war on his own hook"
    and for his own purposes, I shall indulge no reply. You know me, and
    if it was intended in any way to apply to me I leave you to judge of
    how much credence should be attached to it. My sincere desire is to
    terminate these Indian troubles, and I have no hesitation in saying
    that if I am allowed to carry out the policy now being pursued toward
    them I will have peace with them before another emigration crosses the
    plains. When I assumed command of the former Department of Kansas I
    found all the important Indian tribes on the plains in open hostility
    against us. Whether it was the fault of the white man or the Indian,
    the fact was patent. They were holding the entire overland route from
    Julesburg to Junction Station, had destroyed the telegraph-lines,
    captured trains, burned ranches, and murdered men, women, and children
    indiscriminately. I soon stopped these proceedings, opened our broken
    lines of communication; repaired, so far as possible, the injury done;
    pushed troops out there, and then tried to effect a settlement with
    the Indians. On the southern route I found a similar state of affairs
    existing. The Indians were on the warpath, and I at once started
    expeditions against them, learning of which Colonel Leavenworth,
    Indian Agent, informed me that he could make peace with them; that we
    were at fault, etc. I stopped my expeditions on the southern route to
    give him an opportunity to accomplish this object. He started for
    their camps; they robbed him, stole his mules, and he hardly escaped
    with his scalp; and on his return stated that it was useless to
    attempt to make peace with them. I then, in accordance with the orders
    of the Secretary of War, started for the Indians again, and had just
    got my forces under way when the committee, of which Senator Doolittle
    is a member, reached Fort Larned, and after an interview with Colonel
    Leavenworth, gave orders for the expeditionary movements to stop. The
    grounds for this action the Senator gives in his letter. I was then
    aware that the Indians were moving north to attack that line, and was
    moving two columns in concert with General Ford to intercept and
    punish them; and I at that time telegraphed that the tribes spoken of
    by Senator Doolittle were on their way north to attack our trains.
    They had then driven out all traders, made a treaty with the southern
    Indians and Texans, and sent me word that they wanted no peace.

    Within ten days from the time Senator Doolittle and his party left
    Fort Larned, and before I had time to countermand their orders and get
    my troops disposed, the Indians attacked the posts and trains all
    along the line, running off stock, capturing trains, etc., murdering
    men, and showing conclusively that they were determined on war at all
    hazards. Our overtures to them, as well as those of the agents sent
    out by General Carleton, were treated with disdain. From Fort Laramie
    I sent word to the Sioux, Cheyennes, etc., that if they wanted peace
    to come in and stop their hostilities. A few of each tribe responded
    by coming in; the rest refused, and indicated their purposes and
    feelings by attacking the posts west of Fort Laramie, and on Laramie
    Plains, murdering, stealing, etc. I undertook to remove the friendly
    Indians from Fort Laramie to Fort Kearney, in order to get them away
    from the troubles. When about sixty miles south of Fort Laramie they
    attacked their guard, killed a captain and four privates, turned upon
    five of their chiefs who were disposed to be friendly, killed them,
    and then escaped, leaving their camps, etc., in our hands; so that now
    we have every Indian tribe capable of mischief from the British
    Possessions on the north to the Red River on the south, at war with
    us, while the whites are backing them up. These facts, it appears to
    me, are a sufficient answer to the letters of Senator Doolittle and
    Commissioner Dole. That these Indians have been greatly wronged I have
    no doubt, and I am certain that the agents who have been connected
    with them are as much to blame as any one else. So far as the
    Chivington fight was concerned, it occurred before I assumed command.
    I condemned it, and I have issued orders that no such acts will be
    tolerated or allowed; that the Indians on the warpath must be fought
    wherever and whenever found, but no outrages or barbarities must be
    committed. I am convinced that the only way to effectually settle
    these troubles is for us to move our columns directly into their
    country, punish them when we find them, show them our power, and at
    the same time give them to know that: we are ready to make peace with
    them--not, however, by paying them for murdering our people and
    plundering our trains and posts, but by informing them that if they
    will refrain from further hostilities they shall not be molested; that
    neither agents nor citizens shall be allowed to go among them to
    swindle them; that we will protect them in their rights; that we will
    enforce compliance with our part of the treaty, and will require them
    to do the same on their part. Let them ask for peace. We should keep
    citizens out of their country. The class of men sent among them as
    agents go there for no good purpose. They take positions for the sole
    purpose of making money out of the Indians by swindling them, and so
    long as they can do this they shield them in their crimes.

    Colonel Leavenworth, who stands up so boldly for the southern Indians,
    was dismissed from the United States service. He "blows hot and cold"
    with singular grace. To my officers he talks war to the knife; to
    Senator Doolittle and others he talks peace. Indeed, he is all things
    to all men. When officers of the army deal with these Indians, if they
    mistreat them, we have a certain remedy for their cases. They can be
    dismissed and disgraced, while Indian agents can only be displaced by
    others perhaps no better. Now I am confident we can settle these
    Indian difficulties in the manner I have indicated. The Indians say to
    me that they will treat with an officer of the army (a brave), in all
    of whom they seem to have confidence, while they despise and suspect
    civilian agents and citizens, by whom they say they have been deceived
    and swindled so much that they put no trust in their words. I have
    given orders to the commanders of each of my columns that when they
    have met and whipped these Indians, or even before, if they have an
    opportunity, to arrange, if possible, an informal treaty with them for
    a cessation of hostilities, and whatever they agree to do, to live to
    strictly, allowing no one, either citizen or soldier, to break it. I
    shall myself go out on the plains in a few weeks and try to get an
    interview with the chiefs and if possible effect an amicable
    settlement of affairs; but I am utterly opposed to making any treaty
    that pays them for the outrages they have committed, or that hires
    them to keep the peace. Such treaties last just as long as they think
    them for their benefit, and no longer. As soon as the sugar, coffee,
    powder, lead, etc., that we give them, is gone, they make war to get
    us to give them more. We must first punish them until we make them
    fear us and respect our power, and then we must ourselves live
    strictly up to the treaties made. No one desires more than I do to
    effect a permanent peace with these Indians, and such is the desire of
    every officer under me, all of whom agree in the method suggested for
    bringing it about.

    Very many of these officers on the plains have been there for years,
    and are well acquainted with these Indians and their character, and my
    own opinions in this matter are founded not alone from my experience
    and observations since I have commanded here, but also with
    intercourse with them on the plains during a number of years prior to
    the war, in which time I met and had dealings with nearly every tribe
    east of the Rocky Mountains. Until hostilities cease I trust that you
    will keep all agents, citizens and traders away from them. When peace
    is made with them, if civilian agents and citizens are sent among
    them, send those who you know to be of undoubted integrity. I know you
    desire to do so, and from the appointments you have already made I
    believe you will be successful. My plan, however, would be to keep
    these Indians under the care of officers of the army, stationed in
    their country; that what is given them be given by these officers, and
    that all citizens, agents and traders should, while among them, be
    subject to their (the officers') supervision and police regulations.
    In this way I have no doubt these Indians can be kept in their own
    country, their outrages stopped, and our overland routes kept safe.
    Now, not a train or coach of any kind can cross the plains in safety
    without being guarded, and I have over 3,000 miles of route to protect
    and guard. The statement that the Sand Creek affair was the first
    Indian aggression is a mistake. For months prior to that affair the
    Indians had been attacking our trains, posts, and ranches; had robbed
    the emigrants and murdered any party they considered too weak to
    defend themselves.

    The theory that we cannot punish these Indians effectually, and that
    we must make or accept any kind of a peace in order to hold our
    overland routes, is not sustained by the facts, is singularly
    erroneous, and I cannot agree to it by any means. I have now seven
    different columns of troops penetrating their country in all
    directions, while at the same time I am holding the overland routes.
    This display of force alone will alarm and terrify them; will show
    them that we are in earnest, have the power, and intend at all hazards
    to make them behave themselves. After we have taught them this they
    will sue for peace; then if the government sees fit to indemnify them
    for any wrongs inflicted upon them, they will not charge it to our
    fears or inability to cope with them. The cost of carrying on this war
    with them is, to be sure, considerable; but the question arises, Had
    we not better bear this cost now while the preparations are made and
    the force on hand ready to be thrown in such strength into their
    country as to make quick, effective, and final work of it, than to
    suffer a continuance of their outrages for a long time and finally
    have to do the work at greater expense of blood and treasure? I have
    written you this frankly and truly, knowing that you want to get at
    the facts and do that which is for the best, and I am convinced that
    when you fully understand these matters you will agree with me. I
    shall be glad at any and all times to furnish you any information in
    my possession that you may desire, and I assure you I shall bend all
    my energies to the accomplishment of the great object in view and so
    much desired--a lasting and just peace with these Indians.

    I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant.

    G. M. DODGE,

    _Major-General Commanding_.

Since writing this report of the Indian campaign of 1865 and 1866, I have
seen Secretary of the Navy Gideon Wells's diary of the reconstruction
period, from which the following extracts are taken:

    Tuesday, August 8, 1865.

    Stanton submitted a number of not material questions, yet possessed of
    some little interest. Before the meeting closed the subject of army
    movements on the plains came up, and Stanton said there were three
    columns of twenty-two thousand troops moving into the Indian country,
    with a view to an Indian campaign. Inquiry as to the origin and
    authority of such a movement elicited nothing from the War Secretary.
    He said he knew nothing on the subject. He had been told there was
    such a movement, and Meigs had informed him it was true. Grant had
    been written to for information, but Grant was away and he knew not
    when he should have a reply. The expenses of this movement could not,
    he said, be less than $50,000,000. But he knew nothing about it.

    Friday, August 11, 1865.

    The question of the Indian war on the plains was again brought
    forward. No one, it appears, has any knowledge on the question. The
    Secretary of War is in absolute ignorance. Says he has telegraphed to
    General Grant, and General Grant says he has not ordered it. McCulloch
    wanted to know the probable expense--the numbers engaged, etc. Stanton
    thought McCulloch had better state how many should be engaged--said
    General Pope had command. Harlan said he considered Pope an improper
    man--was extravagant and wasteful. Thought twenty-two hundred instead
    of twenty-two thousand men was a better and sufficient number.

    This whole thing is a discredit to the War Department.

    Tuesday, August 15, 1865.

    Stanton says there is to be a large reduction of the force which is
    moving against the Indians. That by the 1st of October the force will
    be about 6,000. That large supplies have gone on, but they can be
    divided or deflected to New Mexico and other points, so that they will
    not be lost.

    Friday, August 18, 1865.

    Senator Doolittle and Mr. Ford, who have been on a mission to the
    plains, visiting New Mexico, Colorado, etc., had an interview with the
    President and Cabinet of an hour and a half. Their statement in
    relation to the Indians and Indian affairs exhibits the folly and
    wickedness of the expedition which has been gotten up by somebody
    without authority or the knowledge of the Government.

    Their strong protestations against an Indian war, and their statement
    of the means which they had taken to prevent it, came in very
    opportunely. Stanton said General Grant had already written to
    restrict operations; he had also sent to General Meigs. I have no
    doubt a check has been put on a very extraordinary and unaccountable
    proceeding, but I doubt if an active stop is yet put to war expenses.

It is no wonder that with such ignorance in the Cabinet as to the
condition of the country, that the administration at Washington was so
incompetent in the Civil War. No person can read Secretary Wells's diary
of the daily doings at Washington of the Cabinet during President
Lincoln's administration and see how little appreciation and support he
got from his Cabinet. Dissensions among themselves and hardly ever
agreeing on any important question, brings to view the great
responsibility of the President and the fact that in all the important
matters he was dependent upon his own judgment. The Cabinet knew nothing
of the Indian depredations that for three months held all the lines of
travel, mail, and telegraph crossing the plains to California, with every
State and Territory west of the Missouri River appealing for protection,
until President Lincoln wrote to General Grant to try and have something
done to protect that country. General Grant instructed me to make the
campaign in the winter of 1864-65, which was so successful that in forty
days all the overland routes were opened, and the stage, telegraph, and
mails replaced, as shown in my reports, though at the beginning of the
campaign every tribe of Indians from the British Possessions to the Indian
Territory was at war, with captures and murders of settlers along all the
overland routes, in all the frontier States, every-day occurrences; with
women and children captured and outrages committed that cannot be
mentioned. And yet this Cabinet had no knowledge of the conditions, and
concluded from the report of the Doolittle Peace Commission that the
Indian expedition was a complete failure, notwithstanding that this
commission failed to make ponce with a single tribe of Indians and failed
to stop the depredations of any band of Indians; and, upon its report,
declaring that the Indian expeditions were a folly and wickedness gotten
up by some one without the authority or knowledge of the Government.

There never were 22,000 troops on the plains, nor one-half of that number.
The War Department may have sent that number out, but, as I have shown,
they were all mustered out before they reached their work; and the cost of
the campaign with a year's supplies at the posts for all the troops on the
plains or engaged in the campaign was not more than $10,000,000, a very
small amount compared with the trouble and cost of fighting these Indians
for ten years thereafter. Secretary Harlan says that 2,200 troops were
sufficient. When I took command, in January, 1865, there were not to
exceed 5,000 troops guarding trains, stages, and telegraph-lines, and
protecting all the routes of travel across the plains, and they had
utterly failed. All travel had been stopped and no expeditions against the
Indians had been made. The Indians had held the overland routes for three
months in spite of these troops. It shows how little knowledge Secretary
Harlan had of the condition of Indian affairs in his department. From the
statements of Secretary Wells it is evident where the order came from to
stop all operations on the plains and withdraw all troops by October 15th.
When Secretary Stanton states that by October 1st the troops on the plains
would be reduced to 6,000, it shows how little knowledge he had of affairs
in his department, for at that time there were not 6,000 troops on the
plains or in my command.

It is well that no one knew the condition of affairs; that no one was
aware of the ignorance of the group of statesmen at Washington who were
supposed to be responsible for our nation and its preservation. They did
not seem to know where to ascertain the facts. It would seem that
Secretary Stanton purposely wished to place a reflection on General Grant,
for he must have known that he was responsible for the Army and for all of
its movements. It seems that General Grant was away at the time the
dispatches of General Pope and myself were sent showing the necessity of
continuing the campaign and punishing these savages. When he returned he
tried to stop this Cabinet panic, but his dispatches in answer to those
from Pope and myself show that he could not do it, and the fatal mistake
was made of stopping the campaign just as it was accomplishing and
successfully ending a year's work. It seems to have all come about through
the misrepresentation of the Doolittle Peace Commission and the lack of
proper information on the part of the Cabinet.

In the years 1863, 1864 and 1865 the Indians deliberately made war,
believing that the Civil War had so crippled us that we could not
effectively contend with them; but just as we had spent millions of
dollars, sent thousands of troops into their country, and commenced
fighting and capturing them, we were forced to lay down our arms almost in
sight of the line of battle and beg for peace, and the Indians believed
they had defeated us and that we could not conquer them, and for from
three to ten years afterward we had to spend great sums, make winter
campaigns, and suffer great losses of life and property, before we
obtained the lasting peace which was in sight in 1865 and 1866 if we had
been allowed to carry out our campaigns and plans to a legitimate end.

Upon the close of my campaigns on the plains the Legislature of the State
of Iowa passed and sent me these commendations of my services:

    _Resolved_, By the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of
    Iowa, That the thanks of the people of this State are due and are
    hereby extended to Major-General Grenville M. Dodge, for his able and
    efficient management of Indian affairs on the plains, in protecting
    the Great Overland Routes, and our western borders from the
    depredations and incursions of hostile Indians, as also for his
    distinguished services as a commander in the field, and his able
    administration of the Department of the Missouri.

During this campaigning on the plains I had as my escort Company A,
Fourteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry. They belonged to one of the Regiments
that was sent from the East to take part in the Indian campaigns, and did
not ask to be mustered out until after the campaign. I was greatly
indebted to this company for the close attention they gave to me and the
intelligence they showed during the whole trip. They had served faithfully
in the Civil War, and their veteran experience there was a great benefit
in the work they had to do on the plains, often in taking messages and
performing other duties where only two or three of them could be detailed
at a time. It has always been a great pleasure to me to have had an
invitation, ever since they organized their society, to attend their
reunions, but, unfortunately, I have been so far away that I could not go;
and to the surviving members I with great pleasure extend my thanks for
their good services to me.


Model of fortified town on the table. Left to right--Lieutenant J. W.
Barnes, A. D. C.; Captain O. J. Dodds, D. Q. M.; Captain C. C. Carpenter,
Com. of Sub.; Captain J. K. King, A. Q. M.; Lieutenant-Colonel R. S.
Barnhill, D. P. M.; Major N. B. Howard, Judge Advocate; Lieutenant J. H.
Hogan, Ordnance Officer; Major W. R. Marsh, Medical Director; Captain B.
P. Chenoweth, A. A. I. G.; Captain Henry Horn, Chief of Grand Guards.]


  SPRING OF 1863

When General Grant planned the second campaign against Vicksburg he
notified me, then in command of the District of Corinth, with about eight
thousand infantry and two thousand cavalry, that he intended to take my
command with him; but a few days before starting he sent one of his staff
officers to me stating that he had concluded to leave me with my command
and some additional troops to hold that flank while he moved on Vicksburg.
This dispatch was a great disappointment to myself and my command. When
the officer returned to General Grant he no doubt told him of our
disappointment, as General Grant wrote me a letter stating that my command
was of much more importance than a command directly under him, and said he
had fears that General Bragg, who was then facing General Rosecrans in
Middle Tennessee, might detach a portion of his force, cross the Tennessee
River, and endeavor to make a lodgment on the Mississippi River at some
point and break up his communications with the North, with a view of
forcing him to abandon the campaign. He said he had left me to take care
of that flank, as he knew I would stay there. I read between the lines and
learned what was expected of me.

General Grant, in discussing this order of his afterwards, said that he
had learned from my services under him that I was peculiarly fitted for
such a command, where I had to rely on my own judgment, and that I acted
promptly without waiting for orders, and that it came, he thought, from my
experience before the war, when I was always in charge of engineering
parties in the field and often in a hostile Indian country where I had to
act promptly in any emergency. There was, at that time, quite a large
force in my front and between me and General Bragg, commanded by General
Earl Van Dorn, General N. B. Forrest, and General P. D. Roddey. This force
was collecting supplies and storing them along the Memphis and Charleston
Railroad from Bear River to Decatur, Ala. The Tennessee Valley in this
territory was twenty miles wide, and full of all kinds of supplies. I
wrote to General Grant about this storage of supplies for General Bragg's
Army, and suggested that I move up the Tennessee Valley with my force to
destroy these stores and whatever there was in the valley that Bragg's
Army could utilize; but General Grant made no response then to my
suggestion. In February I discovered a movement of the force in my front
towards General Rosecrans's Army and notified him in the following

    CORINTH, MISS., February 10, 1863.

    _Major-General Rosecrans_:

    One of my scouts left Van Dorn Sunday night. He then had two regiments
    and one battery across the Tombigbee, at Cotton-Gin Port; was crossing
    slowly, and all his forces had not got to him. His men and officers
    said he was going to Bragg. His stock is not in good condition. He
    appears to be going the Pikevill and Russellville road. Streams are
    high, and roads bad. We captured mail from Bragg's Army yesterday. All
    the officers' and privates' letters express a belief that Bragg is
    fixing to fall back; some say to Huntsville, some to Bridgeport. You
    can judge how reliable such suspicions are. I have endeavored to get a
    gunboat up to Florence, and if one could go there it could destroy all
    the forces, and check Van Dorn materially. I will co-operate with it
    in any way to benefit the service.

    G. M. DODGE,


On February 16th General Van Dorn's command commenced crossing the
Tennessee to join General Bragg's Army. I sent my cavalry to attack him. I
wired General Rosecrans that we had attacked Van Dorn's rear guard and
took some fifty prisoners from him. He had with him General Roddey,
commander of some fifteen hundred men, of which we captured about two
hundred. These prisoners said they were ordered to join General Bragg's
Army. General Rosecrans, in answer to my dispatch, sent me this message:

    MURFREESBOROUGH, February 16, 1863.

    _Brigadier-General Dodge, Corinth, Miss._:

    Hurlbut's request and my own coincide. Hope you will be able to cut
    off some of Van Dorn's command. Will give you all our news in your
    direction. Accept my thanks for your promptness and energy.



Soon after this General Rosecrans conceived the idea of sending Colonel A.
D. Streight with two thousand mounted cavalry and infantry from Nashville
by boat to Eastport, Miss., to go from there east to Georgia, destroying
the railroads and supplies Bragg's army was depending on, and then move
south and west, finally landing in Corinth, Miss. General Rosecrans
proposed that I should send two brigades to Iuka in support of this
movement, which General Grant acceded to, and said in making this movement
for me to go on and carry out the plan I had suggested in destroying the
Memphis and Charleston Railroad and the supplies gathered along it. I sent
this dispatch, giving my plan of the movement:


    CORINTH, April 4, 1863.

    _Henry Binmore, Assistant Adjutant-General_:

    CAPTAIN:--In accordance with Major-General Hurlbut's dispatch, I
    submit the plan of operations east of here. General Rosecrans proposes
    to land a force at Florence, attack and take that place, while, with a
    heavy body of cavalry, he penetrates Alabama north of Tennessee River,
    and gets into Johnson's rear. At the same time I am to strike and take
    Tuscumbia, and, if practicable, push my cavalry to Decatur, destroy
    the saltpeter works, and the Tuscumbia and Decatur Railroad, which
    they have just finished, and take all the horses and mules in that
    country, to prevent them from raising any large crops. To do this, I
    propose to move simultaneously with General Rosecrans, throw all my
    cavalry suddenly across Bear Creek, capture the ferries, and hold them
    until my infantry and artillery arrive, and then immediately force my
    cavalry as far toward Tuscumbia as possible, and secure the crossings
    of Little Bear, on which creek the enemy will concentrate. To
    accomplish this I shall move light, taking nothing but ammunition and
    provisions, and march twenty miles per day, with infantry and
    artillery. I shall take such a force as to render certain the success
    of the expedition, and propose to take command in person. The movement
    is to be made next week, or as soon as General Rosecrans notifies me
    he is ready. I trust this will meet the view of the General

    I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

    G. M. DODGE,

    _Brigadier-General Commanding_.

To ascertain what enemy I would have to meet, I sent my chief of staff,
Captain George E. Spencer, a very competent officer who was a genius in
getting inside of the enemy's lines, with a communication to General P. D.
Roddey, who had returned to Tuscumbia, and was in command of the rebel
forces south of the Tennessee River. I told Captain Spencer that the
communication was an important one and he must not deliver it to any one
except General Roddey; that he must impress upon the officer on the
enemy's picket-line that he must take him to General Roddey and in that
way he would be able to determine very closely what forces I would have to
meet. Captain Spencer went prepared to do this. He met the picket
officer; they became very chummy, and the officer took Captain Spencer
right through all of the enemy's forces between Bear River and Tuscumbia,
and he delivered the message to General Roddey, who was in great anger at
his officer; but they made the best of it. After the war, Captain Spencer
and General Roddey were great friends and I believe partners in some
business. The result of Captain Spencer's trip I set forth in the
following dispatch to General Oglesby:

    CORINTH. _April_ 17, 1863.

    _Major-General Oglesby, Jackson_:

    My A. A. G., Captain George E. Spencer, has just returned from
    Tuscumbia; succeeded in getting through all the enemy's camps and
    obtaining valuable information. The forces are posted as follows:
    Colonel Dibrell, 900 men, at Tuscumbia Landing; Colonel Josiah
    Patterson, 1,000, at Florence; Colonel M. W. Hannon, 1,800, at
    Tuscumbia; Colonel Roddey's old regiment, 800, at Tuscumbia Landing;
    Baxter Smith, 350, ten miles this side; Colonel Hampton, 300 at same
    place; W. R. Julian, 300, at Grey's, six miles this side; and Smith,
    100, at Big Bear. The above all cavalry. Between Courtland and
    Tuscumbia, one brigade of infantry, under Colonel Wood, as follows:
    Colonel A. H. Helvenston, 300; Colonel J. B. Bibb, 500; Colonel W. B.
    Wood, Sixteenth Alabama, 400. The last brigade, and one brigade of
    cavalry, under General Roddey, arrived at Tuscumbia last week. This
    more than doubles their force. They have also five pieces of artillery
    at Florence and six pieces at Tuscumbia.

    G. M. DODGE,


Upon notification of General Rosecrans of the movement of Colonel
Streight, I moved out to carry out the combined plan, engaging the enemy
at Little Bear and Tuscumbia, and defeated them as my report shows.
Colonel Streight was greatly delayed in starting from Nashville, and was
only partially mounted, his intention being to complete the mount of his
force as he traveled through the enemy's country--a fatal mistake. His
delay in reaching me and my movement caused Bragg to send General Forrest
to join General Roddey; and so by the time General Streight reached
Eastport, April 21st, the force before me had been doubled and the best
cavalry officer in the rebel force had arrived to take command in my

Colonel Streight lost part of his horses and mules while unloading at
Eastport, and, although I made an effort to mount him, stripping my own
transportation and scouring the country in my vicinity, still he left us
after I captured Tuscumbia the second time, on May 26th, with two hundred
of his men dismounted and one-half of the rest on mules, illy prepared for
such a trip. I told Colonel Streight that I would hold the enemy in my
front as long as possible, but the moment Colonel Forrest got word of his
movement he would go after him and follow him to death. His only salvation
was to get three or four days' start by long marches before Forrest
learned of his movement. Colonel Streight was an officer peculiarly fitted
for such a raid. He was active, clearheaded, determined, and of excellent
judgment, and his many fights with Forrest showed him full of resources;
but his two-days' halt at Moulton, the heavy rains, and the condition of
his stock, were fatal to him.

On the morning of May 27th I felt carefully of the enemy and found them in
my front, and commenced immediately to force them back, trying to make
them believe, if they discovered Colonel Streight, that it was only a side
movement into the loyal part of Alabama, where we had many friends and
where we enlisted a Regiment of loyal Alabamians, which was afterwards
known as the First Alabama Cavalry, commanded by Colonel George E.
Spencer, whose Regiment became noted for its valuable service throughout
the war. General Sherman selected it as his headquarters escort in his
march to the sea.

Generals Forrest and Roddey, on May 28th, made a determined stand to halt
my advance on Town Creek. The high water delayed my crossing, but on the
morning of the 29th, after my force had crossed and driven the enemy from
the heights beyond, I discovered that I had only General Roddey and his
force in my front and I forced my cavalry out towards Decatur until the
enemy disappeared from the front. The evening of the 28th I notified
Colonel Streight that Forrest was still with me, and I was greatly alarmed
to find that Colonel Streight was still directly south of me, when I hoped
he would be well on the road. When General Bragg found that I was
continuing my advance up the Tennessee, destroying his stores, he
despatched General Van Dorn with his cavalry command to cross the
Tennessee at Florence and get in my rear, but as soon as the enemy
disappeared in my front, I turned immediately and marched rapidly back to
Bear River, so that, if General Van Dorn succeeded in crossing the
Tennessee River, I would have him in my front. My troops destroyed all the
supplies in the whole Valley of the Tennessee, burnt the railroad
stations, and destroyed the railroad so that it was never rebuilt until
after the war. There followed me back to Corinth almost the entire negro
population of that valley. They came in every conceivable conveyance from
their masters' private carriage to a wheelbarrow, and they had hitched to
the conveyances sometimes a cow and horse and sometimes a fine team of
horses, or a cow and an ox. Hundreds were on foot, with their household
goods packed on a mule, a horse, or a cow. They made a picturesque column,
much longer than my command. At night their camps spread over a large
territory, the camp-fires surrounded by the most motley and poorly-dressed
crowd I ever saw, and it was a problem to me what I could do with them or
what would become of them if the enemy's forces should happen to get into
my rear. However, we all arrived safely at Corinth, where I established
the great contraband camp and guarded it by two companies of Negro
soldiers that I uniformed, armed, and equipped without any authority, and
which came near giving me trouble. Many of the Negro men afterwards joined
the First Alabama Colored Infantry and other Negro Regiments that I raised
and mustered into the service.

In my advance up the Valley of the Tennessee, after I had passed Beaver
Creek the enemy got into my rear, committing depredations and picking up
stragglers, and all kinds of reports went back to Corinth of our fighting,
capture, and other calamities too numerous to mention. These reports were
all repeated to General Grant, who said, after being surfeited with them,
"Well, if Dodge has accomplished what he started out to do, we can afford
to lose him." General Grant said afterwards in discussing this movement
that he knew they could not capture or destroy the kind of troops I had
with me without my being heard from; that they might defeat me, but they
could not capture me; and the boys used to use this saying in rounding up
what value I was to the service. As my own report and that of Colonel
Streight gives more and better detail of the movements of both, and the
results, I submit them here:

    I moved from Corinth with the Second Division, Sixteenth Army Corps,
    Wednesday, April 15. Camped at Burnsville. The next day moved to
    Cook's, two and a half miles west of Great Bear Creek, and made my
    preparations to cross, the rebels holding the opposite side.

    Friday morning, April 17, I made a feint at Jackson and Bailings
    Fords, and, under the cover of my artillery, threw the most of my
    force across at Steminine's Ford.

    The cavalry, under Colonel Cornyn, and mounted infantry, under
    Lieutenant-Colonel Phillips, made the crossing and pushed forward. My
    instructions were for them to go forward three and a half miles, and
    await my coming. Colonel Cornyn, meeting the enemy about a mile out,
    commenced fighting them, they falling back rapidly. Hearing of Colonel
    Roddey commanding a force of the enemy on my left flank, I sent
    orders forward for the command to halt; but before the messenger got
    to him Colonel Roddey had got between the cavalry and infantry. The
    Third Brigade was in advance, commanded by Colonel Bane, who,
    ascertaining this fact, pushed forward and fell upon their rear, but
    not until Colonel Roddey had taken two pieces of artillery, twenty-two
    men, and one company of mounted infantry, who were guarding it, which,
    through neglect, had been allowed to fall three miles in the rear of
    the advance.

    Colonel Cornyn, hearing firing in the rear, immediately fell back, and
    with the First Alabama Cavalry charged the rebels and retook the
    artillery and caissons, with the exception of one gun, which the enemy
    succeeded in getting off with.

    The charge of the Alabamians with muskets only, and those not loaded,
    is creditable, especially as they are all new recruits and poorly
    drilled. In this charge, Captain Cameron, the commanding officer of
    the Alabama Cavalry, a deserving and much-lamented officer, was

    Colonel Bane, on his arrival, disposed of his troops admirably.
    Colonel Cornyn advanced with his cavalry as a feint, and the rebels
    advanced to meet him. He fell back to the rear of the infantry, which
    was posted under cover and out of sight on both flanks of the cavalry.
    On the appearance of the enemy, the infantry opened a heavy and
    destructive fire, which caused the rebels to fall back in confusion,
    utterly routed. This day's work brought us thirteen miles in advance
    of the main force.

    Colonel Streight not arriving, I fell back with the advance to Great
    Bear Creek, where the rest of the command was posted, to await his

    Sunday afternoon, Colonel Streight commenced landing his force at
    Eastport, but came poorly prepared for his contemplated movement. He
    had two thousand infantry and about one thousand mules. At least four
    hundred of them were unserviceable, and in unloading them, through the
    carelessness of one of his officers, two hundred strayed away. He was
    under the impression that he would find plenty of stock in the valley
    to mount the rest and replace those broken down. During Monday and
    Tuesday we scoured the country, and found all we could.

    Tuesday night Colonel Fuller's Brigade, from Corinth, joined me.

    Wednesday morning I advanced with all the force, and came up with the
    enemy at Rock Cut, five miles west of Tuscumbia; planted my batteries,
    and drove them out of it, taking the line of Little Bear Creek that
    night. The enemy's position was a very strong one, and there was but
    one way to flank it. The enemy fell back as soon as I brought the
    infantry to bear upon them.

    Thursday we moved, crossing at three places, throwing my cavalry by
    the Frankfort and Tuscumbia road, into the enemy's rear; but during
    the night, anticipating this movement, the enemy fell back. We reached
    Tuscumbia about noon, and after slight skirmishing took possession of
    the city. I immediately dispatched Lieutenant-Colonel Phillips, with
    two squadrons of mounted infantry, two squadrons of the Fifteenth
    Illinois Cavalry, and a section of Welker's battery, to take Florence.
    They refused to surrender, when Colonel Phillips immediately opened on
    the town. A few shell brought them to terms, and we occupied the
    place. At the same time I ordered Colonel Cornyn forward toward
    Courtland, to feel the enemy. He came up with their rear some two
    miles beyond Leighton. The command consisted on our part of the Tenth
    Missouri and Seventh Kansas Cavalry, about eight hundred in all, and
    drove the enemy eight miles. The rebel force was thirty-five hundred,
    besides one battery. The fighting of the cavalry against such odds is
    beyond all praise.

    The next morning the cavalry fell back to Tuscumbia, to await the
    advance of the main column.

    Finding it impossible to obtain stock to mount Colonel Streight's
    command, I took horses and mules from my teams and mounted infantry,
    and furnished him some six hundred head, mounting all but two hundred
    of his men. I also turned over all my hard bread, some ten thousand
    rations, and he left me at midnight on the 26th instant, with the
    intention of going through Russellville, Moulton, and Blountsville, to
    Gadsden, then divide, one force to strike Rome and the other Etowah

    I moved forward Monday morning, and drove the enemy across Town Greek
    that night, and ascertained that they were in force, under Forrest, on
    the opposite bank. That night I communicated with Colonel Streight, at
    Mount Hope, and ascertained that he was all right.

    Tuesday morning the creek rose ten feet, and the current was so swift
    that neither horse nor man could cross. I immediately made disposition
    to cross at three points, to cover the railroad bridge and throw
    across foot-bridges.

    The resistance of the enemy was very strong, and their sharpshooters
    very annoying. The artillery duel was very fine, parts of Welker's,
    Tannrath's, Richardson's, and Robinson's batteries taking part in it.
    The practice on both sides was excellent. The Parrott guns drove the
    enemy away from their pieces, disabling and keeping them away for two
    hours, but the fact of my being unable to cross infantry prevented our
    securing them.

    About noon I crossed the railroad bridge with the Eighty-first Ohio
    and Ninth Illinois Infantry, and soon after crossed the rest of my
    force, except the artillery, on foot-bridges, and drove the enemy
    within three miles of Courtland, when they, hearing of the force at
    Moulton, fled to Decatur. I followed up, and then returned to camp at
    Town Creek that night, being unable to cross any of my artillery.

    Colonel Streight reached Moulton Tuesday night, and commenced crossing
    the mountains Wednesday, having got nearly two days' start of them.
    They supposed he was making for Decatur, and only discovered Wednesday
    that he was crossing the mountains toward Georgia.

    Having accomplished fully the object of the expedition, and driving
    the enemy, which was 5,500 strong, to Decatur, and having been on half
    rations for a week, I fell back to Tuscumbia, in order to communicate
    with transports, to obtain rations and ammunition. On arriving there I
    received information that the gunboats had gone down the river, taking
    the transports with them, a part of Van Dorn's force having made their
    appearance on the north side of the Tennessee River and shelled South
    Florence that day at 4 p. m. They also planted a battery at Savannah
    and Duck River; but my precaution in destroying all means of crossing
    the river on my advance, prevented him getting in my rear, and the
    gunboats, to save the transports, left the day before, having a short
    engagement at Savannah and Duck River. Van Dorn's force then moved
    toward Decatur. That was the last we heard of them.

    On my return I burned all provisions, produce, and forage, all mills
    and tan-yards, and destroyed everything that would in any way aid the
    enemy. I took stock of all kinds that I could find, and rendered the
    valley so destitute that it cannot be occupied by the Confederates,
    except provisions and forage are transported to them. I also destroyed
    telegraph and railroad between Tuscumbia and Decatur, and all the
    ferries between Savannah and Courtland.

    I have no doubt but that Colonel Streight would have succeeded had he
    been properly equipped and joined me at the time agreed upon. The
    great delay in an enemy's country necessary to fit him out gave them
    time to throw a large force in our front. Although Colonel Streight
    had two days' start, they can harass him, and perhaps check his
    movements long enough for them to secure all their important bridges.
    If he could have started from Bear Creek the day I arrived there, then
    my movements would have been so quick and strong that the enemy could
    not have got their forces together.

    The animals furnished him were very poor at the start. Four hundred of
    them were used up before leaving me, and those furnished him by me
    were about all the serviceable stock he had, though I hear he got two
    hundred good mules the day he left me, in Moulton Valley.

    On my return, I sent Colonel Cornyn, with the Tenth Missouri, Seventh
    Kansas, Fifteenth Illinois Cavalry, and Ninth Illinois Mounted
    Infantry, to attack the force congregated at Tupelo and Okolona. He
    came up with the enemy on Wednesday, and immediately attacked them,
    they being some three thousand strong, under Major-General S. J.
    Gholson and Brigadier-General Ruggles. Brigadier-General Chalmers,
    with thirty-five hundred men, was at Pontotoc, but failed to come to
    Gholson's aid, though ordered to.

    Colonel Cornyn fought so determinedly and so fast that he soon routed
    the force in his front, driving them in all directions, killing and
    wounding a large number and taking one hundred prisoners, including
    some seven officers; also a large number of arms and one hundred and
    fifty horses, saddles, etc.

    The enemy fled toward Okolona and Pontotoc, and Colonel Cornyn
    returned to Corinth.

    The expedition so far can be summed up as having accomplished the
    object for which it started, the infantry having marched two hundred
    and fifty miles and the cavalry some four hundred, and fought six
    successful engagements, driving the enemy, three thousand strong, from
    Bear Creek to Decatur, taking the towns of Tuscumbia and Florence,
    with a loss not to exceed one hundred, including three officers.
    Destroyed a million and a half bushels of corn, besides large
    quantities of oats, rye, and fodder, and five hundred thousand pounds
    of bacon. Captured one hundred and fifty prisoners, one thousand head
    of horses and mules, and an equal number of cattle, hogs, and sheep;
    also one hundred bales of cotton, besides keeping the whole command in
    meat for three weeks. Destroyed the railroad from Tuscumbia to
    Decatur; also some sixty flat-boats and ferries in the Tennessee
    River, thereby preventing Van Dorn, in his move, from crossing to my
    rear; also destroyed five tan-yards and six flouring-mills.

    It has rendered desolate one of the best granaries of the South,
    preventing them from raising another crop this year, and taking away
    from them some fifteen hundred negroes.

    We found large quantities of shelled corn, all ready for shipment,
    also bacon, and gave it to the flames.

    I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,

    G. M. DODGE,

    _Brigadier-General U. S. A._

The following is Colonel A. D. Streight's report:

    General Dodge informed me that there was no doubt but Forrest had
    crossed the Tennessee River, and was in the vicinity of Town Creek;
    hence, he agreed to advance as far as Courtland, on the Decatur road,
    and, if possible, drive the enemy in that direction, but if they (the
    enemy) turned toward Moulton, our cavalry, under General Dodge, was to
    be sent in pursuit.

    With this understanding, I marched from Tuscumbia at 11 p. m. on the
    night of the 26th instant in the direction of Moulton, via
    Russellville. It was raining very hard, and the mud and darkness of
    the night made our progress very slow. One hundred and fifty of my men
    had neither horses nor mules, and fully as many more had such as were
    unable to carry more than the saddles; hence fully three hundred of
    the men were on foot.

    It was expected when I left General Dodge that the greater part of my
    command would be able to reach Moulton, some forty miles distant, by
    the next night, but, owing to the heavy rains and consequent bad
    condition of the roads, it was impossible; consequently I dispatched a
    messenger to General Dodge, stating that I would halt at Mount Hope
    and wait for the portion of my command who were on foot to come up.

    We continued to scour the country for horses and mules, but so many of
    those drawn at Nashville were continually failing, that, although we
    were successful in collecting a large number, still, many of the men
    were without anything to ride.

    On the night of the 27th, at Mount Hope, I received word from General
    Dodge, stating that he had driven the enemy, and that I should push
    on. My command had not all come up yet, nor did they until about 10
    a. m. the next day, when we proceeded to Moulton, where we arrived
    about dark. Up to this time we had been skirmishing occasionally with
    small squads of the enemy, but I could hear of no force of consequence
    in the country. All of the command but about fifty men were now

    We started from Moulton, in the direction of Blountsville, via Day's
    Gap, about midnight on April 28. The two previous days it had been
    raining most of the time, and the roads were terrible, though on the
    evening of the 28th it bid fair for dry weather, which gave us strong
    hopes of better times.

    We marched the next day (the 29th) to Day's Gap, about thirty-five
    miles, and bivouacked for the night. Every man now was mounted, and
    although many of the animals were very poor, nevertheless we had
    strong hopes that we could easily supply all future demands. We
    destroyed during the day a large number of wagons belonging to the
    enemy, laden with provisions, arms, tents, etc., which had been sent
    to the mountains to avoid us, but, luckily, they fell into our hands.
    We were now in the midst of devoted Union people. Many of Captain
    Smith's men (Alabamians) were recruited near this place, and many were
    the happy greetings between them and their friends and relations. I
    could learn nothing of the enemy in the country, with the exception of
    small squads of scouting-parties, who were hunting conscripts. We
    moved out the next morning before daylight. I will here remark that my
    men had been worked very hard in scouring so much of the country, and,
    unaccustomed as they were to riding, made it still worse;
    consequently, they were illy prepared for the trying ordeal through
    which they were to pass. I had not proceeded more than two miles, at
    the head of the column, before I was informed that the rear guard had
    been attacked, and just at that moment I heard the boom of artillery
    in the rear of the column. I had previously learned that the gap
    through which we were passing was easily flanked by gaps through the
    mountains, both above and below; consequently, I sent orders to the
    rear to hold the enemy in check until we could prepare for action. The
    head of the column was at the time on the top of the mountain. The
    column was moving through the gap; consequently the enemy was easily
    held in check.

    I soon learned that the enemy had moved through the gaps on my right
    and left, and were endeavoring to form a junction in my advance;
    consequently I moved ahead rapidly until we passed the intersecting
    roads on either flank with the one we occupied. The country was open
    sand ridges, very thinly wooded, and afforded fine defensive
    positions. As soon as we passed the point above designated (about
    three miles from the top of the mountains), we dismounted and formed a
    line of battle on a ridge circling to the rear. Our right rested on a
    precipitous ravine and the left was protected by a marshy run that was
    easily held against the enemy. The mules were sent into a ravine to
    the rear of our right, where they were protected from the enemy's
    bullets. I also deployed a line of skirmishers, resting on our right
    and left flanks encircling our rear, in order to prevent a surprise
    from any detached force of the enemy that might approach us from that
    direction and to prevent any straggling of either stray animals or
    cowardly men.

    In the meantime I had instructed Captain Smith, who had command of our
    rear guard (now changed to our front), to hold his position until the
    enemy pressed him closely, when he should retreat rapidly, and, if
    possible, draw them onto our lines, which were concealed by the men
    lying down immediately back of the top of the ridge. The lines were
    left sufficiently open to permit Captain Smith's command to pass
    through near the center. I had two twelve-pounder mountain howitzers,
    which were stationed near the road (the center). They were also
    concealed. We had hardly completed our arrangements when the enemy
    charged Captain Smith in large force, following him closely, and no
    sooner had he passed our lines than our whole line rose up and
    delivered a volley at short range. We continued to pour a rapid fire
    into their ranks, which soon caused them to give way in confusion; but
    their reinforcements soon came up, when they dismounted, formed, and
    made a determined and vigorous attack. Our skirmishers were soon
    driven in, and about the same time the enemy opened upon us with a
    battery of artillery.

    The enemy soon attempted to carry our lines, but were handsomely
    repulsed. During their advance they had run their artillery to within
    three hundred yards of our lines, and as soon as they began to waver I
    prepared for a charge. I ordered Colonel Hathaway, Seventy-third
    Indiana, and Lieutenant-Colonel Sheets, Fifty-first Indiana, on the
    left, to make a charge, in order to draw the attention of the battery,
    and immediately threw the Third Ohio, Colonel Lawson, and the
    Eightieth Illinois, Lieutenant-Colonel Rodgers, forward rapidly,
    hoping to capture the battery. The enemy, after a short but stubborn
    resistance, fled in confusion, leaving two pieces of artillery, two
    caissons, and about forty prisoners, representing seven different
    regiments, a larger number of wounded, and about thirty dead on the
    field. Among the former was Captain William H. Forrest, a brother of
    General Forrest. Our loss was about thirty killed and wounded, among
    the latter Lieutenant-Colonel Sheets, Fifty-first Indiana (mortally),
    a brave and gallant officer and one that we were illy prepared to
    lose, and Lieutenant Pavey, Eightieth Illinois (on my staff),

    It was now about 11 o'clock, fighting having continued since about 6
    o'clock in the morning. I had learned, in the meantime, that the enemy
    were in heavy force, fully three times our number, with twelve pieces
    of artillery, under General Forrest in person; consequently I was
    fearful that they were making an effort to get around us and attack in
    the rear of our position; hence I decided to resume the march.
    Everything was soon in readiness, and we moved out, leaving a strong
    guard (dismounted) in the rear, to check any immediate advance the
    enemy might make previous to the column getting in motion. We were not
    too soon in our movements, for the column had hardly passed a
    cross-road some six miles from our first battle-ground when the enemy
    were discovered advancing on our left. Sharp skirmishing commenced at
    Crooked Creek, which is about ten miles south of Day's Gap, and
    finally the enemy pressed our rear so hard that I was compelled to
    prepare for battle. I selected a strong position about a mile south of
    the crossing of the creek, on a ridge called Hog Mountain. The whole
    force soon became engaged (about one hour before dark). The enemy
    strove first to carry our right; then charged the left; but with the
    help of the two pieces of artillery captured in the morning and the
    two mountain howitzers, all of which were handled with good effect by
    Major Vananda, of the Third Ohio, we were able to repulse them.

    Fighting continued until about 10 p. m. when the enemy were driven
    from our front, leaving a large number of killed and wounded on the
    field. I determined at once to resume our march, and as soon as
    possible we moved out. The ammunition which we had captured with the
    two guns was exhausted, and being very short of horses, I ordered the
    guns spiked and the carriages destroyed. I had ordered the
    Seventy-third Indiana (Colonel Hathaway) to act as rear guard, and I
    remained in the rear in person, for the purpose of being at hand in
    case the enemy should attempt to press us as we were moving out. We
    had but fairly got under way when I received information of the
    enemy's advance.

    The moon shone very brightly, and the country was an open woodland,
    with an occasional spot of thick undergrowth. In one of these thickets
    I placed the Seventy-third Indiana, lying down, and not more than
    twenty paces from the road, which was in plain view. The enemy
    approached. The head of his column passed without discovering our
    position. At this moment the whole regiment opened a most destructive
    fire, causing a complete stampede of the enemy. I will here remark
    that the country from Day's Gap to Blountsville (about forty miles) is
    mostly uninhabited; consequently there is nothing in the country for
    man or beast. I had hopes that by pushing ahead we could reach a place
    where we could feed before the enemy would come up with us, and, by
    holding him back where there was no feed, compel him to lay over a day
    at least to recuperate. I had learned that they had been on a forced
    march from Town Creek, Ala., a day and two nights previous to their
    attacking us. We were not again disturbed until we had marched several
    miles, when they attacked our rear guard vigorously. I again succeeded
    in ambuscading them, which caused them to give up the pursuit for the
    night. We continued our march, and reached Blountsville about 10
    o'clock in the morning. Many of our mules had given out, leaving their
    riders on foot, but there was very little straggling behind the rear

    At Blountsville we found sufficient corn to feed our tired and hungry
    animals. Ammunition and rations were hastily distributed to the men,
    and the remaining ammunition was put on pack-mules and the wagons
    burned, as it was now understood that it would be impossible to take
    them over the roads before us. After resting about two hours, we
    resumed our march in the direction of Gadsden.

    The column had not got fairly under motion before our pickets were
    driven in, and a sharp skirmish ensued between Forrest's advance and
    our rear guard, under Captain Smith, in the town of Blountsville. The
    enemy followed closely for several miles, continually skirmishing with
    the rear guard, but were badly handled by small parties of our men
    stopping in the thick bushes by the side of the road and firing at
    them at short range, and when we reached the East Branch of the Black
    Warrior River the ford was very deep and the enemy pressed so closely
    that I was compelled to halt and offer him battle before we could
    cross. After some maneuvering, I advanced a heavy line of skirmishers,
    who drove the enemy out of sight of my main line, when I ordered the
    troops, except the skirmishers, to cross the river as rapidly as
    possible. After all had crossed except the skirmishers, they were
    rapidly withdrawn, under cover of our artillery, and a heavy line of
    skirmishers thrown out on the opposite bank for that purpose. It was
    about 5 p. m. when the last of the command crossed the East Branch of
    the Black Warrior. We proceeded in the direction of Gadsden without
    further interruption, with the exception of small parties who were
    continually harassing the rear of the column, until about 9 o'clock
    the next morning, May 2, when the rear guard was fiercely attacked at
    the crossing of Black Creek, near Gadsden. After a sharp fight the
    enemy was repulsed.

    I had learned in the meantime, through my scouts, that a large column
    of the enemy was moving on our left, parallel with our route,
    evidently with the intention of getting in our front, which made it
    necessary for us to march all night, though the command was in no
    condition to do so, and, to add still more to my embarrassment, a
    portion of our ammunition had become damaged in crossing Will's Creek,
    which, at the time, was very deep fording. I only halted at Gadsden
    sufficiently long to destroy a quantity of arms and commissary stores
    found there, and proceeded on. Many of our animals and men were
    entirely worn out and unable to keep up with the column; consequently
    they fell behind the rear guard and were captured.

    It now became evident to me that our only hope was in crossing the
    river at Rome and destroying the bridge, which would delay Forrest a
    day or two and give us time to collect horses and mules, and allow
    the command a little time to sleep, without which it was impossible to

    The enemy followed closely, and kept up a continuous skirmish with the
    rear of the column until about 4 p. m., at which time we reached
    Blount's plantation, about fifteen miles from Gadsden, where we could
    procure forage for our animals. Here I decided to halt, as it was
    impossible to continue the march through the night without feeding and
    resting, although to do so was to bring on a general engagement.
    Accordingly, the command was dismounted, and a detail made to feed the
    horses and mules, while the balance of the command formed in line of
    battle on a ridge southwest of the plantation.

    Meanwhile the rear guard, in holding the enemy in check, had become
    severely engaged and was driven in. The enemy at once attacked our
    main line, and tried hard to carry the center, but were gallantly met
    and repulsed by the Fifty-first and Seventy-third Indiana, assisted by
    Major Vananda, with two mountain howitzers. They then made a
    determined effort to turn our right, but were met by the gallant
    Eightieth Illinois, assisted by two companies of the Third Ohio.

    The enemy, with the exception of a few skirmishers, then fell back to
    a ridge some half a mile distant, and commenced massing his force, as
    if preparing for a more determined attack. It was becoming dark, and I
    decided to withdraw unobserved, if possible, and conceal my command in
    a thicket some half a mile to our rear, there to lie in ambush and
    await his advance. In the meantime I had ordered Captain Milton
    Russell (Fifty-first Indiana) to take two hundred of the best-mounted
    men, selected from the whole command, and proceed to Rome, and hold
    the bridge until the main command could come up.

    The engagement at Blount's plantation revealed the fact that nearly
    all of our remaining ammunition was worthless, on account of having
    been wet. Much of that carried by the men had become useless by the
    paper wearing out and the powder sifting away. It was in this
    engagement that the gallant Colonel Hathaway (Seventy-third Indiana)
    fell, mortally wounded, and in a few moments expired. Our country has
    seldom been called upon to mourn the loss of so brave and valuable an
    officer. His loss to me was irreparable. His men had almost worshiped
    him, and when he fell it cast a deep gloom of despondency over his
    regiment which was hard to overcome.

    We remained in ambush but a short time when the enemy, who by some
    means had learned of our whereabouts, commenced a flank movement,
    which we discovered in time to check. I then decided to withdraw as
    silently as possible, and push on in the direction of Rome, but as a
    large number of the men were dismounted, their animals having given
    out, and the remainder of the stock was so jaded, tender-footed, and
    worn down, our progress was necessarily slow; yet, as everything
    depended on our reaching Rome before the enemy could throw a
    sufficient force there to prevent our crossing the bridge, every
    possible effort was made to urge the command forward. We proceeded
    without interruption until we reached the vicinity of Centre, when one
    of my scouts informed me that a force of the enemy was posted in
    ambush but a short distance in our front. I immediately threw forward
    a line of skirmishers, with orders to proceed until they were fired
    upon, when they should open a brisk fire on the enemy, and hold their
    position until the command had time to pass.

    The plan worked admirably, for, while my skirmishers were amusing the
    enemy, the main column made a detour to the right, and struck the main
    road some three miles to the rear of the enemy. As soon as our main
    force had passed, the skirmishers withdrew and fell in the rear of the
    column. I was then hopeful that we could reach Rome before the enemy
    could overtake us. My principal guide had thus far proved reliable,
    and I had made particular inquiries of him as to the character of the
    road and the country the evening before, and he assured me that there
    were no difficult streams to cross and that the road was good; hence
    we approached the Chattanooga River at the ferry without any
    information as to the real condition of things. Captain Russell had
    managed to ferry the last of his command across about one hour
    previous to my arrival, but the enemy had seized and run off the boat
    before we reached there.

    I then ascertained that there was a bridge some seven or eight miles
    up the river, near Gaylesville, and procured new guides and pushed on
    as rapidly as possible in order to reach the bridge before the enemy
    should take possession of it. We had to pass over an old coal-chopping
    for several miles, where the timber had been cut and hauled off for
    charcoal, leaving innumerable wagon-roads running in every direction,
    and the command was so worn out and exhausted that many were asleep,
    and in spite of every exertion I could make, with the aid of such of
    my officers as were able for duty, the command became separated and
    scattered into several squads, traveling in different directions, and
    it was not until near daylight that the last of the command had
    crossed the river. The bridge was burned, and we proceeded on and
    passed Cedar Bluff just after daylight. It now became evident that the
    horses and mules could not reach Rome without halting to rest and
    feed. Large numbers of the mules were continually giving out. In fact,
    I do not think that at that time we had a score of the mules drawn at
    Nashville left, and nearly all of those taken in the country were
    barefooted, and many of them had such sore backs and tender feet that
    it was impossible to ride them; but, in order to get as near as
    possible to the force I had sent ahead, we struggled on until about 9
    a. m. when we halted and fed our animals. The men, being unaccustomed
    to riding, had become so exhausted from fatigue and loss of sleep that
    it was almost impossible to keep them awake long enough to feed. We
    had halted but a short time, when I was informed that a heavy force of
    the enemy was moving on our left, on a route parallel with the one we
    were marching on, and was then nearer Rome than we were. About the
    same time I received this information our pickets were driven in. The
    command was immediately ordered into line, and every effort made to
    rally the men for action, but nature was exhausted, and a large
    portion of my best troops actually went to sleep while lying in line
    of battle under a severe skirmish-fire. After some maneuvering,
    Forrest sent in a flag of truce, demanding the surrender of my forces.
    Most of my regimental commanders had already expressed the opinion
    that, unless we could reach Rome and cross the river before the enemy
    came up with us again, we should be compelled to surrender.
    Consequently, I called a council of war. I had learned, however, in
    the meantime that Captain Russell had been unable to take the bridge
    at Rome. Our condition was fully canvassed. As I have remarked before,
    our ammunition was worthless, our horses and mules in a desperate
    condition, the men were overcome with fatigue and loss of sleep, and
    we were confronted by fully three times our number, in the heart of
    the enemy's country, and, although personally opposed to surrender,
    and so expressed myself at the time, yet I yielded to the unanimous
    voice of my regimental commanders, and at once entered into
    negotiations with Forrest to obtain the best possible terms I could
    for my command, and at about noon, May 3, we surrendered as prisoners
    of war.

    We were taken to Richmond, Va. The men were soon sent through the
    lines and exchanged. My officers and myself were confined in Libby
    Prison, where we remained until the night of February 9 last, when
    four of my officers and myself, together with several other prisoners,
    succeeded in making our escape, and reached Washington in safety about
    March 1. The balance of my officers, or nearly all of them, are still
    confined as prisoners or have died of disease the result of long
    confinement, insufficient food, and cruel treatment at the hands of
    the enemy.

    I am unable to report the exact number of casualties in the command,
    but from the best information I have been able to obtain there were
    fifteen officers and about one hundred and thirty enlisted men killed
    and wounded. It was a matter of astonishment to all that so much
    fighting should occur with so few casualties on our side; but we acted
    purely on the defensive, and took advantage of the nature of the
    country as best we could. From actual personal observation where we
    had driven the enemy from the field, and from what my surgeons, left
    with our wounded, learned in relation to the loss of the enemy, I am
    convinced that we killed more of his men than we lost in both killed
    and wounded.

    Previous to the surrender, we had captured and paroled about two
    hundred prisoners, and had lost about the same number in consequence
    of the animals giving out, and the men, unable to keep up, broke down
    from exhaustion, and were necessarily picked up by the enemy; but in
    no case was the enemy able to capture a single man in any skirmish or
    battle within my knowledge.

    I deem it proper to mention the barbarous treatment my wounded
    received at the hands of the enemy. Owing to the nature of the service
    we were performing, we were compelled to leave our wounded behind. I
    provided for them as best I could by leaving them blankets and such
    rations as we had, and two of my surgeons remained behind to attend
    them; but no sooner did the enemy get possession of our hospitals than
    they robbed both officers and men of their blankets, coats, hats,
    boots, shoes, rations, and money. The medical stores and instruments
    were taken from the surgeons, and my wounded left in a semi-naked and
    starving condition, in some instances many miles from any inhabitants,
    to perish.

    Many thanks to the Union ladies of that country, for they saved many a
    brave soldier from a horrible death.

    In reviewing the history of this ill-fated expedition, I am convinced
    that had we been furnished at Nashville with 800 good horses, instead
    of poor, young mules, we would have been successful, in spite of all
    other drawbacks; or if General Dodge had succeeded in detaining
    Forrest one day longer, we would have been successful even with our
    poor outfit.


    _Colonel Fifty-first Indiana Veteran Volunteer Infantry_.

On my return, I dispatched Colonel Cornyn with his Brigade to the attack
of the force of the enemy that I had located near Tupelo, Miss. He tells
the story of his battle better than I can, in his official report, which

    We arrived at Tupelo on Tuesday, May 5, and here we fought the
    best-contested fight of the whole expedition. Just before entering the
    town of Tupelo, and to the east of the railroad, it is necessary to
    cross a dense and almost impassable swamp, on the western edge of
    which runs Old Town Creek. We had almost reached the western edge, and
    were approaching, as well as the nature of the swamp would permit, the
    bridge over this creek, when the enemy, entirely unseen by us, opened
    upon us with musketry. I immediately threw out to my right and left
    several squadrons of the Tenth Missouri, who succeeded in dislodging
    the enemy, and securing an easy passage of the bridge for the balance
    of the command. Still keeping my skirmishers out to my right and left,
    and an advance guard in front, I moved down a lane to the left and
    south of the town and massed my command in an open field, about six
    hundred yards from the southern border of Tupelo. Here word was
    brought me from one of my skirmishing squadrons that the enemy were
    drawn up in line on their front, to the number of six hundred. I
    ordered two squadrons of the Seventh Kansas, that were armed with
    Colt's revolving rifles, to dismount and attack them on foot,
    supporting them with two squadrons of the Tenth Missouri (mounted),
    under Lieutenant-Colonel Bowen, with orders to charge with the saber
    as soon as the enemy's line should break. This order, I am proud to
    say, was well obeyed and gallantly executed by both the mounted and
    dismounted soldiers, for the enemy retired, and for a few minutes all
    was silent along the lines. In about half an hour from the first
    attack, sharp firing was heard on my front, and the enemy was
    advancing toward us with yells. I immediately moved my whole force to
    the rear and west of the village, and, placing my mountain howitzers
    upon the brow of a hill, I sent forward all the cavalry except one
    squadron of the Fifteenth Illinois, which I ordered to dismount and
    support the battery. Lieutenant-Colonel Phillips, commanding the Ninth
    Illinois Mounted Infantry, having been detailed for that purpose early
    in the morning, acted as the rear guard and guard for the train, and,
    knowing that the rear was in such good hands, I felt no anxiety on
    that account; and this important trust was well sustained. As soon as
    my front had become fully engaged with the enemy, who fought with
    considerable determination, I ordered the battery to shell the woods
    from which the enemy was emerging. This fire was effective, and from
    that moment the battle became general. At one time two regiments of
    mounted infantry, commanded by the rebel General Ruggles, forced their
    way between my fighting column and my reserve, but were suddenly
    induced to retire much more rapidly than they came. My left at one
    time fell back toward the battery, which then poured charge after
    charge of canister into the rebel ranks, with considerable effect,
    forcing them to retreat, rapidly followed by the cavalry. The enemy
    had scarcely begun to waver when his whole force fled in dismay,
    throwing away their arms, coats, and hats. We took from the enemy
    eighty-one prisoners, including three commissioned officers. On the
    field, the scene of the battle, immense quantities of arms, coats, and
    blankets were found and destroyed by us. I had no means of
    ascertaining the enemy's loss in killed and wounded, but from the
    evidence of the battle-field it must have been heavy.


    _Colonel Tenth Missouri Cavalry, Commanding Cavalry Brigade_.

Colonel Cornyn was a very efficient cavalry officer and always
accomplished whatever he was sent to do. He was an aggressive fighter,
always attacking, no matter what the force before him, and had won a
deserved standing as a Brigade commander. When he was killed, by his
Lieutenant-Colonel, Bowen, during the latter's trial before a
court-martial on charges preferred by Colonel Cornyn, there was a bitter
personal dispute and enmity between them which came to this sad ending.


Left to Right--Front Row, Major-General W. T. Sherman, Major-General U. S.
Grant, Major-General James B. McPherson, Major-General O. O. Howard. Rear
row, Major-General John A. Logan, Major-General G. M. Dodge, Major-General
Frank P. Blair. Extreme right, Brigadier-General John A. Fuller, leading
Division of the Sixteenth Army Corps. Copy of painting by James E. Taylor
for Major-General W. T. Sherman.]



_Comrades of the Army of the Tennessee_:

On the 28th of August, 1861, General U. S. Grant was assigned to duty in
command of the District of Southeast Missouri, with headquarters at Cairo,
Ill., and here commenced the organization and growth of the Army of the
Tennessee. It remained under his personal command, or as a unit of his
great Army, from the beginning until the end of the war, except for two
short intervals, one after the great Battle of Donelson, and the other
after the greater Battle of Shiloh, both of which he won, and gave the
first great light and hope to our country; and it is hard now, after
reading all the records, to understand the reasons for his being relieved.
It appears to have been done through a misunderstanding, and with no
intention of doing injustice to General Grant.

Following General Grant as commander came General Sherman, a member of the
Army almost as long as General Grant. General Sherman was in direct
command, or the Army served under him as a unit of his greater Army, from
the time he assumed command until the end of the war.

After General Sherman came General McPherson, that ideal soldier, who
commanded the Army until he fell in the great Battle of Atlanta, on the
22d of July. Upon his death, General Logan took command of the Army, as
the senior officer present, and at the end of the battle of July 22d he
could say that he had met and defeated Hood's whole Army in the greatest
battle of that campaign.

Following General Logan came General O. O. Howard, the only General taken
from another Army to command it in all the history of the Army of the
Tennessee, or even any of its Corps. The next day after assuming command
General Howard led the Army into the great battle of the 28th of July,
which the Confederates said was not a battle, but a simple killing and
slaughtering of their forces. He remained in command until the end of the
Rebellion, and at the end of the war generously gave way to General Logan,
so that one of its original members might command it at the great review
here in Washington--an act that could come only from such a just and
thoughtful soldier as Howard.

I speak of our Army's commanders first, as an Army takes its habits and
character from its head; and probably no other Army in the world was so
fortunate as to have always at its head great soldiers and great
commanders, recognized as such the world over--two of them the peers of
any commander that ever stood up in a great conflict.

The Army of the Tennessee covered more ground in its campaigns than all
the other Armies combined, and all its campaigns were marked by some great
struggle, battle, or movement that challenged the admiration of the world.
First came Fort Donelson, next Vicksburg, and following that Chattanooga,
where it fought on both flanks in that great battle, one Division taking
the point of Lookout Mountain above the clouds. Then came the Atlanta
campaign; following that the strategical march to the sea; and, finally,
that bold movement from Savannah to Goldsboro, which is considered by the
best critics as one of the boldest and best-planned campaigns of
history--one in which every chance was taken, and every opportunity given
the enemy to concentrate upon an inferior force.

The record of this Army is probably the most satisfactory of any that ever
existed, as it was harmonious in all its parts and had no jealousies, each
of its units to the best of its ability helping the others. Again, it was
modest; it struck blow after blow, and let the world sing its praises. All
its campaigns were great successes, and it never lost a battle. All its
Army, Corps, Division, and Brigade commanders were exceptionally able men,
and were seldom relieved except to assume more important commands. Its
experiences were more varied than any other Army, for in its campaigns,
battles, and marches, reaching from the Missouri River to the Atlantic, at
Washington, over a territory two thousand miles long and five hundred
miles wide, it opened the Mississippi, it forced its way to the sea, it
was reviewed by the Government of the nation here in this city, and it
disbanded and the men went to their homes without causing an unpleasant
comment or a painful thought in all this broad land.

The Society of the Army of the Tennessee is endeavoring to perpetuate its
history and memories by erecting here in this capital of our great nation
monuments to the memory of its dead commanders which will place before the
world not only their deeds, but the great events in which our Army took so
important a part. First came General McPherson, as he was the first to
fall, in the great Battle of Atlanta. He fell just after watching the
attack in the rear on the Sixteenth Army Corps, which held the key to the
situation. He was a dear friend of mine; and the last words he spoke were
in praise of the fighting of that Corps. General Sherman, in reporting his
death, spoke of him as follows:

    General McPherson fell in battle, booted and spurred, as the gallant
    and heroic gentleman should wish. Not his the loss, but the country's,
    and the army will mourn his death and cherish his memory as that of
    one who, though comparatively young, had risen by his merit and
    ability to the command of one of the best armies which the nation had
    called into existence to vindicate her honor and integrity. History
    tells of but few who so blended the grace and the gentleness of the
    friend with the dignity, courage, faith and manliness of the soldier.
    His public enemies, even the men who directed the fatal shot, never
    spoke or wrote of him without expressions of marked respect. Those
    whom he commanded loved him even to idolatry, and I, his associate and
    commander, fail in words adequate to express my opinion of his great

General McPherson was so dear to our old Army that the great victory at
the Battle of Atlanta was never spoken of by our Army except to express
our great grief at the loss of our commander. His faith in what he could
accomplish with our Army was unbounded. He spoke of us on July 4, 1863, as

    With tireless energy, with sleepless vigilance, by night and by day,
    with battery and with rifle-pits, with trench and mine, you made your
    sure approaches, until, overcome by fatigue and driven to despair in
    the attempt to oppose your irresistible progress, the whole garrison
    of over 30,000 men, with all their arms and munitions of war, have, on
    this, the anniversary of our National Independence, surrendered to the
    invincible troops of the Army of the Tennessee. The achievements of
    this hour will give a new meaning to this memorable day, and Vicksburg
    will brighten the glow of the patriot's heart which kindles at the
    mention of Bunker Hill and Yorktown. This is indeed an auspicious day
    for you. The God of Battle is with you. The dawn of a conquered peace
    is breaking upon you. The plaudits of an admiring world will hail you
    wherever you go, and it will be an ennobling heritage, surpassing all
    riches, to have been of the Army of the Tennessee on the Fourth of
    July, 1863.

Next we erected the statue, facing Pennsylvania Avenue, of General John A.
Rawlins, who, above all, represented the organization and spirit of our
great Army, and who shared its fortunes from beginning to end as Chief of
Staff of its first and greatest commander. In 1873, upon the death of
General Rawlins, General John A. Logan spoke of him thus:

    But there is one whose tongue is now still in death whose name I
    cannot forbear to mention; one who, though gone from our midst, is
    with us in memory: for who can forget John A. Rawlins? Faithful in
    every duty, true in every trust, though dead he is not forgotten;
    though gone forever, yet he will ever live in affectionate remembrance
    in the hearts of all who knew him. His name is woven in indelible
    colors in the history of our country, and is linked with a fame that
    is undying.

General Rawlins, in giving a history of the Army of the Tennessee, paid
this tribute to it:

    In no army did the soldier enjoy greater liberty, consistent with
    military discipline, than in the Army of the Tennessee, and in none
    were his rights and his life more carefully guarded.

    The subordination of the Army of the Tennessee to the policies and
    acts of the Government affecting the institution of slavery in the
    prosecution of the war, is worthy of the highest commendation. It had
    no policy of its own to propose, but went forth, as expressed by the
    legislative branch of the Government, to do battle in no spirit of
    oppression, or for any purpose of conquest or subjugation, or purpose
    of overthrowing or interfering with the rights or established
    institutions of the States in rebellion; but to defend and maintain
    the supremacy of the constitution, and to preserve the Union with all
    the dignity, equality and rights of the several States unimpaired.

    The Army of the Tennessee did great deeds in all the departments of
    the States' service, and individually and collectively illustrated in
    a peculiar manner the qualities of noble American character which
    gained success in the field, preserved its fruits by subsequent
    statesmanship, and by exalted virtue crowned victory with the
    attributes of peace and justice.

In April, 1900, we unveiled the beautiful and life-like monument to
General John A. Logan, that brilliant, magnetic soldier, our comrade from
Cairo to Louisville. Of him, at the unveiling, President McKinley spoke as

    Logan's career was unique. His distinction does not rest upon his
    military achievements alone. His services in the Legislature of his
    own State, in the National House of Representatives, and in the Senate
    of the United States, would have given him an equally conspicuous
    place in the annals of the country. He was great in the forum and in
    the field.

    He came out of the war with the highest military honors of the
    volunteer soldier. Brilliant in battle and strong in military council,
    his was also the true American spirit, for when the war was ended he
    was quick and eager to return to the peaceful pursuits of civil life.

General Logan's love and devotion to us only ended with his life, and at
one of our reunions he characterized our work thus:

    The Army of the Tennessee was not limited in its scope; the theater of
    its operations and the extent of its marches, comprehending within
    their bounds an area greater than Greece and Macedonia in their
    palmiest days, and greater than most of the leading kingdoms of Europe
    at the present day, reached from the Missouri River on the north
    nearly to the Gulf of Mexico on the south, and from the Red River of
    Louisiana to the Atlantic Ocean.

The friendship and loyalty of Sherman to Grant was the first great cause
of the success of both, and for the harmony that existed in the Army of
the Tennessee. Sherman fell under the command of Grant at Paducah, in the
spring of 1862, holding a small command. He was the ideal soldier, as he
dropped from a Department and Army commander to that of a post, and later
a Division, without a murmur. Sherman's first words to Grant, on February
15, 1862, were these:

    I should like to hear from you, and will do everything in my power to
    hurry forward to you reinforcements and supplies, and if I could be of
    service myself would gladly come without making any question of rank
    with you or General Smith, whose commissions are of the same date.

On the same date he wrote again:

    Command me in any way. I feel anxious about you, as I know the great
    facilities they [the enemy] have of concentration, by means of the
    river and railroads, but have faith in you.

The monument to our old commander, General Sherman, is nearly complete. It
is upon these grounds we expect to unveil it next October, and, as
President of the Society of the Army of the Tennessee, and as President of
the Commission which has in charge the erection of the monument, I give
you a cordial invitation to be present. You will receive due notice, and
proper arrangements will be made for the occasion, and you will meet here
your comrades of the Armies of the Cumberland, the Potomac, and the Ohio,
who have already signified their intention of being present to honor the
memory of our old commander.

And now, my comrades, it is with the greatest satisfaction that I say to
you that after seven years' continued effort, this year we obtained an
appropriation from Congress of $250,000 to be used in the erection of a
monument upon these grounds to General U. S. Grant, (and the model for it
will soon be selected,) to this modest, charitable, and just soldier and
statesman. The whole world has given its tribute. From those whom we
fought and defeated have come the most gallant words of praise and
touching sympathy. President Lincoln, above all others, recognized his
power and ability when he handed him his commission and gave him command
of all the Armies, and assured him that he should not in any way interfere
with him,--armed him with all the powers of the President, with _carte
blanche_ to use them as he saw fit. Grant made his answer at Appomattox,
bringing peace to our nation and gratitude to the conquered. General Grant
was a man of few words, and when called upon to speak of the Army of the
Tennessee, paid it this tribute:

    As an Army, the Army of the Tennessee never sustained a single defeat
    during four years of war. Every fortification which it assailed
    surrendered. Every force arrayed against it was either defeated,
    captured, or destroyed. No officer was ever assigned to the command of
    that Army who had afterwards to be relieved from it, or to be reduced
    to another command. Such a history is not accident.

And now, my comrades, one of our number who has left us by an assassin's
hand, whose heart, words and acts were ever for us, who from a Major in
our Army became the best-loved President of our nation, Comrade William
McKinley, at one of our gatherings paid this tribute to you:

    It is recorded that in eighteen months' service the Army of the
    Tennessee captured 80,000 men, with flags and arms, including 600
    guns--a greater force than was engaged on either side in the terrible
    battle of Chickamauga. From the fields of triumph in the Mississippi
    Valley it turned its footsteps towards the eastern seaboard, brought
    relief to the forces at Chattanooga and Nashville, pursued that
    peerless campaign from Atlanta to the seaboard under the leadership of
    the glorious Sherman, and planted the banners of final victory on the
    parapets of Fort McAllister.

    It is said that the old Army of the Tennessee never lost a battle and
    never surrendered a flag. Its Corps badges--"forty rounds" of the
    Fifteenth Corps; the fleeting arrow of the Seventeenth Corps; the
    disc, from which four bullets have been cut, of the Sixteenth
    Corps--are all significant of the awful business of cruel war, all of
    them suggestive of the missiles of death.

    It gave the Federal Army Grant, Sherman, and Sheridan; McPherson,
    Howard, Blair, Logan, Hazen, John E. Smith, C. F. Smith, Halleck,
    Rawlins, Prentiss, Wallace, Porter, Force, Leggett, Noyes,
    Hickenlooper, C. C. Walcutt, and your distinguished President, who
    flamed out the very incarnation of soldierly valor before the eyes of
    the American people; all have a secure place in history and a secure
    one in the hearts of their countrymen.

On this anniversary, as my closing words to you, two verses of General
John Tilson's tribute are most appropriate:

  Ho! comrades of the brave old band, we gather here once more,
  With smiling eye and clasping hand, to fight our battles o'er.
  To quaff from out the brimming cup of old-time memory,
  And bright relight the pathway of our old Tennessee.
  As myriad sparks of war's romance our meetings warm inspire;
  The heady fight, the anxious march, the jolly bivouac fire;
  The days of doubt, of hope, of care, of danger, and of glee;
  Oh, what a world of racy thought illumines Tennessee!

  Our roster thins; as years pass on we drop off one by one;
  Ere long, too soon, to yearly call, there will be answer--none;
  Then as along the record page these mourning columns creep,
  The whisper comes to closer still our living friendships keep.
  Another thought we forward cast to that not distant day,
  When left of all our gallant band will be one veteran gray,
  And here's to him who meets alone--wherever he may be,
  The last, the lone survivor of the grand old Tennessee.


Commanding the Army and Department of the Missouri.

Front Row--Colonel T. J. Haines, U. S. A., C. S.; Major-General G. M.
Dodge; Colonel William Myers, U. S. A., Q. M.; Colonel James H. Baker,
Tenth Minnesota, P. M. G. Back Row--Colonel Benjamin L. W. Bonneville, U.
S. A. (retired), C. S. of Musters, age 72; Captain William Holcke, A. D.
C, Chief of Engineers; Major J. F. Randolph, U. S. A., Surgeon; Captain
Frank Enos A. A. G.; Colonel John V. Dubois, A. D. C, Inspector-General;
Lieutenant Edward Jonas, Fiftieth Illinois, A. D. C.; Major John W.
Barnes, A. A. G.; Major Lucien Eaton, Judge Advocate; Lieutenant George C.
Tichenor, A. D. C.]


  OCTOBER, 1902

My connection with the United States forces west of the Mississippi River
commenced at the beginning of the war, when I took my Regiment, the Fourth
Iowa, to St. Louis, and fell under the command of Fremont. I took part in
the campaigns of that Department until after the Battle of Pea Ridge, when
I left the command and went to the Army of the Tennessee. After the
Atlanta campaign, in November, 1864, I returned to Missouri as commander
of that Department and Army.

Of the transactions of the troops south of Missouri I have very little
knowledge; but I know that the troops which served west of the Mississippi
never had credit for the amount of work, hardships and exposures they
endured. Owing to the fact of there having been fought there but two great
battles, Wilson's Creek and Pea Ridge, and two minor ones, what they did
was swallowed up in the great events that occurred east of the
Mississippi. Even Pope's campaign opening up a portion of the Mississippi
is hardly ever spoken of.

The Battle of Wilson's Creek, the first signal contest west of the
Mississippi, was fought before my command reached St. Louis. The history
of that battle, and the credit that is due to the commander of that Army,
General Lyon, and his men, are well known. There participated in the
battle many officers who were afterwards greatly distinguished; among them
Schofield, Sturgis, Hunter, and others. It was the first battle that
called attention to the West, and to the troops west of the Mississippi.
That battle was lost because a portion of the command did not comprehend
and fulfill General Lyon's orders. This mistake would have been overcome
if it had not been for the loss in the battle of its commander, General
Lyon. But the fighting of the troops and the boldness of the movement
immediately attracted the attention of the country, and held it until
after the battle of Pea Ridge.

The Army of the Southwest, which General Curtis commanded, and which
traveled three hundred miles from its base without water or rail
communication, and lived off a barren country, and which fought that
decisive Battle of Pea Ridge and cleared the country until nearly the end
of the war of any organized force of the enemy, had more marching and
endured more suffering than the great Armies I was connected with east of
the Mississippi, and its three days' fighting at Pea Ridge compared
favorably with any of our battles, when the numbers engaged are

Then again, at the end of the war, the sufferings of the troops that I
took onto the plains in the Indian campaigns in the winters of 1864-5,
1865-6, were far beyond any of the sufferings of any of our Armies during
the Civil War. Their exposures through the cold weather, and the
brutalities and butcheries of the Indians, which it was impossible for
them to avenge or retaliate, were beyond description.

Our early campaign in Missouri was without previous experience. It was
simply one soldier standing up against another in battle, and we had to
learn all the tricks of camp life, and from experience how to take care of
our soldiers.

There were a great many funny incidents in the Pea Ridge campaign. The
Southwestern Army was organized at Rolla, Missouri, of which post I was in
command. My quartermaster was Captain Philip H. Sheridan, and my
commissary, Captain M. P. Small. No one who knew or saw Sheridan then
thought of the great position he was to occupy in our Army, but when he
took hold of that Army and stripped it and fed it, three hundred miles
away from rail or water communication, we all knew that his was a
master-mind. When he came to me at Rolla, the first order he gave was to
take away about three-quarters of our transportation. I think we had about
two wagons to the company, and he brought us down to about four to a
regiment. You can all appreciate the rebellion I had on my hands when I
undertook to enforce his order. I know he stood by and watched to see what
I was going to do. Every Regiment and Command entered a protest, and said
some very unkind things of him, denouncing him as a regular officer who
had no mercy upon a volunteer; but I had then had experience enough to
appreciate our necessities, and started in by stripping my own Regiment,
and then enforcing the orders upon the others. We were not long on that
march before they appreciated the foresight of Sheridan. He had great
energy and great resources. He had to run all the mills along our line of
march; he had to forage in every direction, and the punishment that he
gave to some of the people to make them tell where their horses, forage
and sweet potatoes were hidden would astonish those of our people who have
been so horrified at the mild persuasions used for similar purposes in the

To show you how little we knew of war on our first march, in January,
1862, from Rolla to Springfield, Missouri, all the reports we had obtained
were that Price and his Army were in Springfield. The troops of our Army
were divided into two commands, those under Siegel, composed of two
Divisions, commanded by Osterhaus and Asboth, mostly Germans, and two
Divisions of Americans commanded by Colonel Jeff C. Davis and Colonel E.
A. Carr. I commanded a Brigade on the extreme left in Carr's Division,
and, in accordance with instructions, put out a company in front of me as
skirmishers. It was dark, and impossible for us to see much, and the first
thing I knew I had lost my skirmishers, and was in great distress until
about daylight in the morning, when, while Siegel's guns and our own were
booming away at Springfield, my company came back mounted on Confederate
horses and mules--old hacks that the enemy had left behind them--and
brought us news that there was no enemy in Springfield, and had not been
for two or three days.

As we marched along towards Pea Ridge through the country, Price's Army
faced us with a rear guard only, his main body keeping a long distance
ahead of us. At every stream they would halt our advance, and move out a
couple of pieces of their artillery, and put out a strong skirmish-line,
which would force our Army into line, thinking we were going to have a
battle. My Brigade led the advance most of the time on that march, and as
soon as they would line up the officers would have the boys strip. They
would throw down their chickens, sweet potatoes, and everything they had
gathered, and by the time they had gone forward, and the enemy had run,
the Thirty-sixth Illinois, or some other Regiment, would come up and
gobble what they had left. About the third time we lined up I discovered
that every boy was hanging on to his chickens, sweet potatoes, and
provender, and when I gave orders to the Colonels to have them throw them
aside, the boys made answer: "No you don't, Colonel! You can't fool us any
more; we have fed those Thirty-sixth Illinois fellows as long as we
propose to."

[Illustration: FORT COTTONWOOD

Afterwards Fort McPherson, in the Indian Campaign, 1865. The fort was one
hundred miles west of Fort Kearney, and was originally occupied as a
trading post by Sylvanus Dodge, father of General Dodge.]

At Pea Ridge we were surrounded by Van Dorn, who placed Price's two
Divisions in our rear, and he himself on our right flank with McCullough
and McIntosh's Divisions. The great Pea Ridge divided his Army, so it was
impossible for one part to support the other. His Army was twice as large
as that of Curtis, and the fact that it was divided enabled Curtis to whip
his Army in detail, so that Van Dorn's Army was virtually whipped before
Curtis got his entire force into the field, Siegel only coming into battle
after Van Dorn's Arkansas force had left for the South, Jeff C. Davis's
Division having killed its two Division commanders, and Van Dorn had given
Price orders to get out the best way he could, which forced him to retreat
to the east towards White River.

After the Pea Ridge campaign the Battle of Prairie Grove was fought, under
the command of General F. C. Herring, who was Lieutenant-Colonel of the
Ninth Iowa Infantry in the Battle of Pea Ridge. As it was not in my
command I have no knowledge of the detail of it; but from the reports it
evidently was a sharp fight.

In the spring of 1865 Jeff C. Thompson and his command surrendered to me
on the Arkansas line. His command consisted of six thousand men, but he
found he could not gather them, and claimed that not half of his command
was present. When I asked him how it was possible to get them all
together, he suggested that I should send them rations. I therefore loaded
two steamers from St. Louis, and sent them around by the White River, and
Thompson issued his celebrated order bringing the men all in, and there
was gathered about twice the number he had present when he surrendered to
my forces. When asked for his transportation he said that he would show it
to me, and out of the rivers and bayous he run down about one hundred
canoes and flats, as the transportation he had to move his army with. It
was at this time that he made that celebrated speech. When his soldiers
came in without bringing their guns, as he had instructed them to do,
bringing along old shot-guns and muskets that were of no use, he said if
they were not satisfied with the generosity of this Government they should
emigrate to Mexico, and he denounced more than half of them as being
soldiers whom he had never seen, stating that they had stayed in the brush
and along the river-banks in Arkansas until the moss had grown upon their
heads and backs. From this speech of his came the celebrated saying of

A part of my Corps fought under that gallant General, A. J. Smith, in the
Banks campaign up the Red River, and there is no doubt but that his
generalship and the fighting of the two Divisions of the Sixteenth Corps
saved that Army from a great defeat. The commander of one of his
Divisions, General T. E. G. Ransom, was a school-mate of mine, and
afterwards came to me in the Atlanta campaign and commanded a Division
under me in the Sixteenth Corps.

When I look at the history of all of the operations west of the
Mississippi River, and see their results, it is a great gratification to
me to know that all the campaigns, except possibly the one of Banks, were
victories for our side.

When I returned to the command of the Department of the Missouri, in
November, 1864, I found all the Indian tribes on the plains at war,
occupying all the lines of communication through to the Pacific, and there
was a great demand from the people upon the Government that those lines
should be opened. General Grant sent a dispatch, asking if a campaign upon
the plains could be made in the winter. Having spent eight or ten years of
my life upon the plains before the war, I answered that it could, if the
troops were properly fed and clothed. His answer to that was to place all
the plains and Indian tribes within my command, instructing me to make an
immediate campaign against them, and I had, therefore, to move the troops
that were at Leavenworth, Fort Riley, and other points, onto the plains in
mid-winter, and I think it was the Eleventh Kansas that had thirteen men
frozen to death on the march to Fort Kearney. Those troops on that winter
march up and down those stage- and telegraph-lines, in forty days opened
them up, repaired the telegraph, and had the stages running. Then came the
longer campaign of the next summer and next fall, where General Cole's
command suffered so much, and also where General Conner fought the Battle
of Tongue River. I remember of the Indians capturing a company of Michigan
troops that were guarding a train that was going to Fort Halleck, loaded
with rations and bacon. They tied some of the soldiers to the wheels of
the wagons, piled the bacon around the wagons, and burned them up. A band
of this party of Indians was captured by a battalion of Pawnees, who were
far north of them and got on their trail and surrounded the band that had
committed these atrocities. The chief of them, an old man, came forward
and spoke to Major North, who commanded the Pawnees, and holding his hand
up to his mouth he said that he was full of white men up to here, and was
ready to die. The Indians virtually cleaned out the white people along the
stage-lines they captured. I took from them a great many of their
prisoners in the fall of 1865, when they came into Laramie to make peace,
and the stories of the suffering of the women were such that it would be
impossible to relate them.

In connection with this campaign on the plains, it is a singular fact that
nearly three thousand Confederates took part. When I took command at St.
Louis I found the prisons full of Confederate prisoners. The war was then
virtually at its end, and they were very anxious to be relieved from
prison life, and as we needed forces on the plains, I obtained authority
from the War Department to organize what was known as the United States
Volunteers, and filled the regiments with these Confederate soldiers,
placing over them as officers, men and officers selected from our own
command, and thus organized a very effective force, which did excellent
service on the plains, three-quarters of which remained in that country
after the war was over.


Place on the Battlefield of Atlanta, on the right of the battle line of
the Sixteenth Army Corps, where Major-General James B. McPherson,
commanding the Army of the Tennessee, was killed, July 22, 1864. The
wheels are portions of Murray's Second U. S. Battery, which was captured
by the Confederate skirmish-line while passing from the Seventeenth to the
Sixteenth Corps.]



_Comrades of the Sixteenth Army Corps_:

The Sixteenth Army Corps was organized December 18th, 1862, and formed
into two wings. General A. J. Smith commanded the right wing, and General
G. M. Dodge the left wing of the Corps. The left wing was organized with
the Corps, the right wing a year or more afterwards. The Corps, as a body,
was never together, though it probably took part in more widely separated
fields than any other Corps in the Army of the Tennessee. The right wing,
under General Smith, was in the Vicksburg campaign, and after that it went
to the Department of the Gulf, and was with General Banks in his movement
up Red River, and saved that Army from defeat; of this there is no doubt.
After that, it was sent after Forrest, and it was the only command that I
know of that caught and whipped him. The left wing overtook General
Forrest at Town Creek, in 1863, in its march to Decatur in the rear of
Bragg's Army, but he did not stay long enough for us to get a good fight
out of him.

From the campaign after Forrest, General Smith's command was sent to the
Department of the Missouri to drive out Price. There I found them, in
December, 1864, when I took command of that Department, in a deplorable
condition,--without clothing, shoes, or camp equipage. Under an order from
General Grant, I sent them to Nashville, with all the force in my
department, some twenty thousand men all told, to help General Thomas, and
I sent them everything they needed to clothe and equip them. You all
remember how you were frozen in on the Mississippi, and had to take the
cars. One of the pleasantest recollections of my life is that I received
a letter from General Smith, thanking me for appreciating their condition,
and having in Nashville when they arrived, everything they needed. He said
that it was the first time they had been treated decently, and they were
thankful they had fallen into the hands of some one who appreciated them.

At the Battle of Nashville it was General Smith, with the right wing of
the Sixteenth Corps, and the troops of the Department of the Missouri,
that turned the left flank of Hood's Army, and was practically in his rear
when stopped; and I have heard many officers who were there say that if he
had been let alone he would have captured or destroyed that wing of the
Army. Thus ended the eventful career of the right wing, and its fortunes
were cast with the Army of the Cumberland in its chase after Hood.

The left wing was organized from the troops I commanded in the District of
Corinth, and had in it the old Second Division of the Army of the
Tennessee that Grant organized at Cairo, that fought at Belmont, Henry and
Donelson, Shiloh, and the two Corinths. It had on its banners, "First at
Donelson." I took command right after the Battle of Corinth, where it had
been censured by Rosecrans and praised by Grant for the part it took in
the Battle of Corinth. General Grant held us at Corinth as a protection to
his communications while the campaign against Vicksburg was going on. In a
letter to me he said he had left us there to protect that flank, for he
knew that if Bragg endeavored to break that line we would stay; so you see
he still had faith in his old Division. From Corinth we marched with
Sherman in his celebrated trip from Memphis to Chattanooga. We wintered on
the line, and rebuilt the Nashville and Decatur Road, and in his Memoirs
General Grant, after describing the condition of the Army, and the
necessity for rebuilding the railway from Nashville to Decatur, speaks
thus of the work of the Sixteenth Army Corps:

    General Dodge had no tools to work with except those of the
    pioneer--axes, picks, and spades. With these he was enabled to
    intrench his men, and protect them against surprise from small parties
    of the enemy, and, as he had no base of supplies until the road could
    be completed back to Nashville, the first matter to consider, after
    protecting his men, was the getting in of food and forage from the
    surrounding country. He had his men and teams bring in all the grain
    they could find, or all they needed, and all the cattle for beef, and
    such other food as could be found. Millers were detailed from the
    ranks to run the mills along the line of the army. Where they were not
    near enough to the troops for protection they were taken down and
    moved up to the line of the road. Blacksmith shops, with all the iron
    and steel found in them, were used up in like manner. Blacksmiths
    were detailed and set to work making the tools necessary in railroad
    and bridge building. Axemen were at work getting out timber for
    bridges, and cutting fuel for locomotives and cars. Thus every branch
    of railroad building, making tools to work with, and supplying the
    workmen with food, was all going on at once, and without the aid of a
    mechanic or workman except what the command itself furnished. General
    Dodge had the work assigned to him finished within forty days after
    receiving his orders. The number of bridges to rebuild was 182, many
    of them over deep and wide chasms. The length of road repaired was 102

I only quote a small part of what General Grant says in this connection,
to show you that while the Sixteenth Corps had its share of fighting, and
praise for it, still it was a Corps that Grant called upon in an
emergency, and when he wanted great deeds done; and proves not only what
they could turn their hands to when necessary, but is also a sample of
what our great army was made of.

In the spring of 1864 we became a part of the great Army in the Atlanta
campaign. When we arrived at Chattanooga, on the 5th of May, I called at
General Sherman's headquarters. General McPherson, our Army Commander, was
there. Sherman said to him: "You had better send Dodge to take Ship's
Gap." "Why, General," replied McPherson, "that is thirty miles away, and
Dodge's troops are not yet unloaded, and he has no transportation with
him." Sherman said: "Let him try it, and have the transportation follow."
We struck out, and that night at midnight Sprague's Brigade of the Fourth
Division of the Sixteenth Corps had gained the Gap. The enemy appeared the
next morning. This opened the way through Snake Creek Gap, planting us in
the rear of Johnston's Army, and forcing him to abandon his impregnable
position at Dalton.

Our battles in the Atlanta campaign were those of the Army of the
Tennessee. The left wing received continual commendation until the great
battle of the 22d, when it happened to be in the rear of our Army, and
received and defeated the celebrated movement of Hood to our rear.
Sprague's Brigade fought all day at Decatur, and saved our trains. In the
battle of the 22d of July we had only five thousand men in line, but met
and repulsed three Divisions of Hardee's Corps, and McPherson, who stood
on our right and witnessed the fight, watching the charge of Fuller and
Mersey, and the breaking of two of the enemy's columns, spoke of us in the
highest terms, and five minutes later was dead. Our Army, who knew and
loved him, never could reconcile ourselves to his great loss.

The Battle of Atlanta was one of the few battles of the war where the
attack on the Sixteenth Army Corps caught it on the march in the rear of
the Army, without intrenchments or protection of any kind, both sides
fighting in the open.

In his address describing the battle of the 22d of July, General Strong,
of General McPherson's staff, says:

    General McPherson and myself, accompanied only by our orderlies, rode
    out and took position on the right of Dodge's line, and witnessed the
    desperate assaults of Hood's army. General McPherson's admiration for
    the steadiness and bravery of the Sixteenth Corps was unbounded. Had
    the Sixteenth Corps given way the rebel army would have been in the
    rear of the Seventeenth and Fifteenth Corps, and would have swept like
    an avalanche over our supply-trains, and the position of the Army of
    the Tennessee would have been very critical.

General Frank P. Blair pays this tribute to the fighting of the Sixteenth
Army Corps, in his official report of the Battle of Atlanta:

    I started to go back to my command, and witnessed the fearful assault
    made on the Sixteenth Army Corps, and its prompt and gallant repulse
    by that command. It was a most fortunate circumstance for the whole
    army that the Sixteenth Army Corps occupied the position I have
    attempted to describe at the moment of attack; and, although it does
    not belong to me to report upon the bearing and conduct of the
    officers and men of that Corps, still I cannot withhold my expression
    of admiration for the manner in which this command met and repulsed
    the repeated and persistent attacks of the enemy. The attack upon our
    flank and rear was made by the whole of Hardee's corps.

Under General Howard, a part of the left wing took part in the battle of
the 28th of July. On August 19th I was given a Confederate leave, when
that _beau-ideal_ of a soldier, my old schoolmate and comrade, General T.
E. G. Ransom, took command of the Corps. The right wing knew him, for he
was with you in the Red River campaign. He died on a stretcher in command
of the Corps in the chase after Hood. The old Second Division had its
innings with General Corse, at Altoona, where the fighting has been
immortalized in verse and song. My fortunes took me away to the command of
the Army and Department of the Missouri, and the two Divisions of the left
wing were merged one into the Fifteenth and the other into the Seventeenth
Corps, and, so far as the campaigns were concerned, the Corps fought in
two units, the right and left wings, and each was a Corps command.

The grave of that remarkable soldier, General A. J. Smith, whose
distinguished services were so often recognized by Generals Grant and
Sherman, has not a stone to designate it. The Society of the Army of the
Tennessee is aiding in raising the funds to commemorate his memory and
deeds by erecting a monument in his home in St. Louis.

The Sixteenth Army Corps had great opportunities in the campaigns it took
part in, and never failed to make the most of them. They went cheerfully
to any work assigned to them. They have left in the war records a history
that they may well be proud of, and every work they have undertaken has
received the strong commendation of their superior officers.

  Army of the Potomac



When you consider that it is now thirty-three years after the war, that
the Government has published every report, letter and order that was of
any moment, you will agree with me that it is difficult to interest an
Army audience in talking about another Army, and I shall not detain you
long on that subject. There are, however, some incidents of General
Grant's first visit to your Army, his return to ours, and the planning of
the grand campaign that was to end the war, that may interest you.

In December, 1863, after the Battle of Chattanooga, the Army of the
Tennessee camped along the railway from Columbia, Tenn., to Decatur and
Huntsville, Ala. After the Battle of Chattanooga General Grant returned to
Nashville and called there to meet him several Corps Commanders of the
Army of the Tennessee, and General Sheridan of the Army of the Cumberland.
If I remember rightly, there were present Generals Grant, Sherman,
Sheridan, Granger, Logan, Rawlins, and myself. All of us of the Army of
the Tennessee were a hard-looking crowd. None of us had seen Nashville or
any base of supplies since we had marched from the Mississippi River to
Chattanooga, and we had been hard at work building railways and foraging.
We arrived in Nashville late in the afternoon, and General Sherman took us
to General Grant's headquarters. General Grant suggested that we should
call upon the Military Governor of Tennessee, Andrew Johnson, and pay our
respects to him. We, of course, followed General Grant, and were
introduced to Governor Johnson. I remember that our uniforms were greatly
worn, one or two of us wearing blouses with Army overcoats, and he looked
at us with a very quizzical eye, until General Grant said to excuse us
that he had not given us time since we reached the city to change our
suits; but Grant knew we had no others. Governor Johnson was then a very
radical man, and was very emphatic in informing us that while he was
Military Governor of Tennessee no rebel would receive much consideration
from him, and brought his fist down on a piano in the room with such force
that the sound from it startled us all, and we left there with the idea
that rebels in Tennessee had better get out; but we soon found that his
words were much stronger than his acts, for I hardly ever got my hands on
rebel stock or supplies that I did not find Johnson trying to pull them

After our visit, General Sherman suggested that we should all go to the
theater that evening, and under his lead we went to the principal opera
house to hear the play of Hamlet. We were all strangers in Nashville; even
General Grant was not well known. We paid our way in and found the theater
crowded with soldiers going to and returning from veteran furloughs.
General Sherman, who you all know was a great lover of the theater, sat
alongside of me and soon commenced criticising the play, earnestly
protesting that it was being murdered. I had to check him several times
and tell him unless he kept quiet the soldiers in the audience would
recognize him and there would be a scene. We had entered late, and there
soon came on the scene where Hamlet soliloquizes over the skull of Yorick.
The audience was perfectly still, endeavoring to comprehend the actor's
words, when a soldier far back in the audience rose up and in a clear
voice called out, as the actor held up the skull, "Say, pard, what is it,
Yank or Reb?" The house appreciated the point and was instantly in an
uproar, and General Grant said we had better leave, so we went quietly
out, no one discovering Grant's or Sherman's presence. Sherman immediately
suggested that we should find an oyster-house and get something to eat,
and General Rawlins was put forward as guide and spokesman. He led us to a
very inviting place. We went in and found there was but one large table in
the place. There was one man sitting at it, and Rawlins, in his modest
way, without informing the man who his party was, asked him if he would
change to a smaller table and let us have that one. The man said the table
was good enough for him and kept on eating, and Rawlins backed out into
the street again. Sherman said if we depended on Rawlins we would get
nothing to eat, and said he would see what could be done. He hailed a man
who pointed out another saloon kept by a woman, and to this Sherman took
us, and she served us what we then considered a very nice oyster stew. As
we sat around the table, we talked more than we ate, and by the time we
had half finished our supper the woman came in and asked for the pay and
said we must leave, as under the military rules her house must close at 12
midnight and it was then a few minutes after that hour; so out we got and
took our way to Grant's headquarters, where we bunked down the best we
could during the night. Some of the staff heard of our evening's adventure
and gave the news to the press, and the next morning before breakfast all
the parties were present to apologize to Grant that they did not recognize
him, as we were out of our own jurisdiction and in that of the Army of the
Cumberland; but Grant in his modest way satisfied them that he had no
complaint. However, there poured in on him for all of us complimentary
tickets and invitations to almost everything in Nashville.

After breakfast we all assembled in a large room at headquarters to hear
what General Grant had to say to us. He took up with us the plan for a
winter campaign. He proposed himself to take about 30,000 of the troops
concentrated at Chattanooga and transport them by the Ohio and Mississippi
Rivers to New Orleans, and there take with him the troops of General Canby
and go thence to Mobile and attack that place. General Sherman was to go
to Memphis, gather up all the forces along the Mississippi River,
including the troops at Vicksburg and Natchez, together with the
Seventeenth Corps, and march from Vicksburg to Meridian and thence join
Grant at Mobile. I was to take the Sixteenth Corps, which was then located
on the line of the Nashville and Decatur road, together with about 10,000
cavalry that General William Sooy Smith had concentrated near Nashville,
and sweep down through Alabama, Northern Mississippi, and Western
Tennessee, attacking any forces of the enemy that might be met, and
destroying all the railroads and provisions that had been stored in that
country, this with a view of making it difficult for any of the
confederate armies to again occupy the territory, so as to enable Sherman
and Grant, when the spring and summer campaign came on, to utilize all the
Union troops that had been occupying that country. After the plans were
all made and all the arrangements agreed upon, General Grant reported them
to Washington, but President Lincoln objected because he was afraid, if we
took so many troops from Chattanooga, that Longstreet, who was occupying
Eastern Tennessee with his Army, would return to Chattanooga or Middle
Tennessee and undo all we had accomplished in the Battle of Chattanooga.
Grant had no fear of this, but he made up his mind to go immediately to
East Tennessee and take the forces there under General Foster, attack and
defeat Longstreet, and then come back and carry out his plans. He found
after reaching Knoxville that General Foster's forces could not be used,
so he abandoned the campaign, only sending Sherman to Vicksburg, who
marched out to Meridian and returned, while the 7,000 cavalry under
General William Sooy Smith, who was to join Sherman overland, moved south,
fighting and driving the enemy until he reached West Point, where he met a
superior force of the enemy and returned to Memphis.

In March, 1864, General Grant was called to Washington to be given his
commission as Lieutenant-General of the Army and command of all the
forces. On his return to Nashville, on March 17th, we were again called to
meet him. General Grant told us of his visit to Washington, his reception
by the President, and all the courtesies that had been paid him. He told
us that he accepted the commission of Lieutenant-General and Commander of
all the Armies on condition that his plans should not be interfered with
at Washington and that he should have the command of the staff departments
of the armies. Those departments had always considered themselves
independent of the Commander in the field; in fact, in the beginning of
the war the officers of Commissary Quarter-Master and Ordnance Departments
declined to obey the orders of the commanders they were serving under,
except upon the order of their chief in Washington. General Grant settled
this. A Commissary of Subsistence declined to carry out one of his orders,
and General Grant said to him that while he could not force him to obey
the order, he could relieve him and put in his place one of the line
officers who would obey all orders. This officer reported this to
Washington and it changed their orders so that they were ordered to obey
the orders of the officer in the field and to report their orders to their
chiefs in Washington. General Grant said that President Lincoln said in
reply to his request for the command of the staff departments that he
could not give him that legally; but, he said, "There is no one but myself
that can interfere with your orders; and you can rest assured that I will
not do it." We were all anxious to hear of his visit to the Army of the
Potomac, and his opinion of it, and Sherman soon got him to talking about
it. He said it was the finest Army he had ever seen; far superior to any
of ours in equipment, supplies, and transportation. He said, however, that
the officers he talked with considered he would have a much more difficult
problem on his hands than he had had in the West, and he said to Sherman
that some officer who both of them knew, but whose name I have forgotten,
told him, "You have not faced Bobby Lee yet;" and as he said it, I could
see that twinkle in Grant's eye that we often saw there when he meant
mischief. Grant, after discussing the Army of the Potomac and having
nothing but praise for it, informed us that he should make his
headquarters with that Army and leave Sherman to command the Armies of the
West, also informing us that he proposed to take several of us East with
him. Sherman protested strongly against this, and it was finally
compromised by his taking Sheridan and leaving the rest of us with
Sherman. During the two or three days we were with Grant he outlined in a
general way his plan of campaign that every Army should move as early as
possible in the spring, all on the same day against the enemy, so that Lee
and Johnston could not detach any of their commands to reinforce the
others. He said, "I will try to keep Lee from sending any force to
Johnston, but," he said to Sherman, "if he does, I will send you two men
where he sends one." He also informed us of the necessity of closing the
war with this campaign.

Our visit with Grant ended, he took Sherman as far as Cincinnati with him,
to talk over and complete their plans, while we returned to our commands
to fit them out for the campaign. General Sherman has since pointed out to
me in the Burnett House, at Cincinnati, the room they occupied the night
before they parted, and where over their maps the final orders were given
him and final arrangements made that inaugurated the two great campaigns
of Richmond and Petersburg in the East, and Atlanta in the West. After the
Atlanta campaign I paid General Grant a visit at City Point. I reached his
headquarters in October, and spent two weeks with him, and saw the Armies
of the James and the Potomac. Evenings we would sit around his camp-fire,
and in his genial, comprehensive way, he told us of his campaign and the
great battles you had fought, and brought out fully to me what a great
Army you were. I asked him what he claimed for the Battle of the
Wilderness. There had been great discussion, as you know, about it, and
Grant, with the same twinkle of the eye that I had seen at Nashville,
said, "I only claim that after that battle, (and I took the initiative on
the march towards Richmond,) that the Army of the Potomac was no longer
afraid of Bobby Lee." He had not forgotten his talk with us at Nashville.

Now you have had Grant's opinion of your great Army, and as my toast is
the Army of the Tennessee, I will close by giving you General Grant's
description of that Army when called upon to respond to the same toast at
one of our reunions. He said, "As an Army, the Army of the Tennessee never
sustained a single defeat during four years of war. Every fortification
which it assailed surrendered. Every force arrayed against it was either
defeated, captured, or destroyed. No officer was ever assigned to the
command of that army who had afterwards to be relieved from it or to be
reduced to another command. Such a history is not accident."


Built by the Sixteenth Army Corps in the spring of 1864, Major-General G.
M. Dodge commanding. Copy of painting made at the time by an enlisted man
and presented to General Dodge.]


_To the Editor of the Army and Navy Journal_:

I was greatly interested in the communication of Captain Joubert Reitz,
published in your journal March 21, 1903, giving a description of the
block-house system inaugurated by General Kitchener in the Transvaal War.
It was a continuous line of block-houses connected by barbed wire, to
prevent the Boers crossing the railway lines, and virtually corralling
their forces in certain districts until want of food forced them to
surrender. Captain Reitz asserts that the block-house system did more to
end the war than the whole British Army.

In the Civil War our block-house system was just as effective, but in
another direction. We used it for the purpose of protecting our lines of
communication, not as a trocha, or a line connected with wire fencing and
other obstructions, as used by the British and by the Spaniards in the
Cuban War. The British built theirs of bags filled with earth. The
Spaniards erected neat structures of two stories, built of concrete, with
wooden roofs and openings for two lines of fire, one above the other.
These were erected not more than half a mile apart. In the Civil War our
block-houses were usually erected of logs, one and two stories high. The
face of the upper story had an angle of forty-five degrees to the face of
the first story, thus concentrating a direct fire upon an enemy
approaching from any point of the compass. The first block-houses in the
West that I know of were built by my command in July and August, 1862,
when it rebuilt the Mobile & Ohio Railroad from Columbus to Humbolt. There
were many important bridges on this line, and we built block-houses at the
most important ones, and stockades at the others.

In the fall of 1862, when Forrest and Jackson made the noted raids into
West Tennessee, the forces at all these structures that my command had
erected held their positions, and defeated the enemy when attacked, while
at the bridges between Jackson, Tennessee, and Grand Junction, where they
had only earth defenses, the forces were driven away or captured and the
bridges destroyed. The result of this was that General Grant issued an
order commending the action of the detachments that were successful,
stating that wherever they stood success followed, and the enemy suffered
a loss in killed and wounded greater than the garrisons of the
block-houses and stockades. This result also caused General Grant to issue
an order to build block-houses and stockades on the line of the Memphis &
Charleston Railway at all important bridges from Memphis to Corinth, and
they protected this line of communication until it was abandoned.

The block-houses held about a company, but sometimes stockades or earth
intrenchments were added to hold two companies, and our orders were
imperative to all forces occupying them never to leave them or surrender,
no matter how large the attacking force. My first order stated that a
company in a block-house or stockade was equal to a Regiment attacking,
and I do not remember the enemy, in their numerous raids, ever capturing
one that was defended, up to the time I left Corinth in the summer of
1863. After the Battle of Chattanooga, when our Armies were lying along
the line of the railway from Nashville to Decatur and Nashville to
Stevenson, I rebuilt the Nashville & Decatur Railway, on which there were
at least thirty important bridges, at each of which we built strong
block-houses and stockades, and the enemy never captured one of them,
though in two instances they were attacked with a brigade, and often with
two Regiments and batteries. We protected against artillery fire by
throwing up earthworks to the height of the first line of fire, taking the
chance of any damage being done above that. Our orders here were when
Forest, Roddy, and Hannan attacked this line to hold the posts under any
and all circumstances, stating that if they stayed in the block-houses and
stockades nothing could defeat them, and so it proved. Where these forces
struck a Regiment, and captured it in earth-works, they went twelve miles
north to the Sulphur Trestle, a bridge one hundred and twenty-five feet
high, defended by two companies in a block-house and stockade, and were
signally defeated. The Army of the Cumberland protected the line from
Nashville to Stevenson, and on to Chattanooga, with block-houses at all
bridges and important points, and when on the 5th of May, 1864, General
Sherman started on the Atlanta campaign, General Hooker reports on April
23, 1864, that he detailed 1,460 men to occupy block-houses from Nashville
to Chattanooga, and this force held that line of road throughout the
campaign, though many attempts were made to destroy it. During the Atlanta
campaign as we advanced the railway was rebuilt, and all bridges and
stations had block-houses or stockades to protect them.

General Green B. Raum's Brigade was located at some of the most important
structures. General Wheeler, with all of Johnston's Cavalry force and
several batteries, endeavored to destroy this, our only line of
communication for transporting supplies. General Raum's story is so to the
point that I quote it almost entire. He says:

    My experiences with block-houses extended from May to November, 1864,
    on the Memphis & Charleston railroad, and the Chattanooga & Atlanta
    railroad. Block-houses were built along these railroads exclusively
    for the protection of bridges. They were built of heavy square
    timbers, sometimes with two or three thicknesses of timber, and were
    of various sizes. I had a two-story block-house built at Mud Creek,
    east of Scottsboro, Ala.; it would easily hold 100 men. These houses
    were carefully pierced with loop-holes, so that the garrison could
    cover every approach. My garrisons were usually too large for the
    block-houses. In these cases I threw up an earth-work, and protected
    it with abatis. The Confederate forces soon learned to respect a
    block-house. I found it to be an absolute defense against musketry.

    During the Atlanta campaign our block-houses were constantly attacked
    by raiding parties; small and great trains would be thrown from the
    track and burned, and small sections of the track destroyed. About
    July 5, 1864, an enterprising Confederate cavalryman with about 300
    men made a rapid march up Dirt Town Valley, crossed the Chattanooga
    range by a bridle-path, threw a train of fifteen loaded cars off the
    track, burned them, and destroyed a small section of the track, but he
    did not attempt to destroy the bridge near by at Tilton--it was
    defended by a block-house with a capacity for seventy men.

    When General Wheeler made his great raid north in August, 1864, he
    struck the railroad at various places. He destroyed two miles of track
    immediately south of Tilton, Ga., but did not come within range of the
    block-house, and did not attempt to destroy the bridge defended by the
    block-house. During this raid General Wheeler, without hesitation,
    attacked and carried a part of the works at Dalton. During the Atlanta
    campaign there was not a bridge destroyed by the Confederates between
    Nashville and Atlanta which was protected by a block-house.

    After the fall of Atlanta, General Hood moved with his entire army
    against the Chattanooga and Atlanta railroad, destroying thirty-seven
    miles of track. On October 12 he struck the railroad at Resaca and
    Tilton. Tilton was garrisoned by the Seventeenth Iowa.
    Lieutenant-Colonel Archer commanding. He had about 350 men--no
    artillery. An Army Corps was in his front. Colonel Archer held the
    enemy off seven hours, fighting from his rifle-pits and block-house.
    At last the Confederate commander placed several batteries in
    position, and opened upon the devoted garrison. In a short time the
    block-house was rendered untenable, and Colonel Archer was forced to
    surrender. This was the first and only success against our block-house
    system. On December 4, 1814, Bates's division of Cheatham's Corps
    attacked the block-house at the railroad crossing of Overall's Creek,
    five miles north of Murfreesborough, Tenn. The enemy used artillery
    to reduce the block-house, and although seventy-four shots were fired
    at it, no material injury was done; the garrison held out until
    relieved by General Milroy from Murfreesborough.

After the Atlanta campaign, in the Department of the Missouri, every
important bridge and town where detachments of troops were stationed was
protected by block-houses and stockades, and during the Indian campaigns
of 1864-5-6 our lines of communication, stage and telegraph, were all held
successfully by small detachments of troops in block-houses and stockades,
and were never captured unless overwhelming forces of the Indians attacked
them, and only then when the defensive works were inferior or not properly
constructed; and, even in cases where detachments left their stations, if
they had remained they would have successfully held them. After I took
command on the plains and issued positive orders for detachments to stay
by their posts and never leave them, not a single detachment that I
remember of was captured in its block-house or stockade. With the small
force we had it would have been impossible to maintain our mail, telegraph
and overland routes successfully, if it had not been for our system of
block-houses and stockades, dotted for thousands of miles over each of the
overland routes. It is evident from our experience in the West that our
block-house and stockade system of defending our lines of communication
was a great success, not only as against raids of cavalry, but from
attacks of infantry and artillery, and saved to us a very large force for
the field. I left on the line of the railway from Nashville to Athens
during the Atlanta campaign only two Regiments of negroes, taking with me
my entire Corps, and without the block-houses to defend the lines from
Nashville to Stevenson and Stevenson to Atlanta, it would have taken a
thousand men without block-house protection for every hundred required
with it.



Monument erected in Nashville, Tenn., to Samuel Davis, Confederate Spy
executed by order of General Dodge, at Pulaski, Tenn., in 1864.]



NEW YORK, June 15th, 1897.

_To the Editor of The Confederate Veteran_:

In fulfillment of my promise to give you my recollections of Sam Davis,
(who was hung as a spy in November, 1863, at Pulaski, Tenn.,) I desire to
say that in writing of matters which occurred thirty-four years ago one is
apt to make mistakes as to minor details; but the principal facts were
such that they impressed themselves upon my mind so that I can speak of
them with some certainty.

When General Grant ordered General Sherman (whose head of column was near
Eastport, on the Tennessee River) to drop everything and bring his army to
Chattanooga, my Corps (the Sixteenth) was then located at Corinth, Miss.,
and I brought up the rear.

General Grant's anxiety to attack Bragg's command before Longstreet could
return from East Tennessee brought on the battle before I could reach
Chattanooga. General Grant, therefore, instructed General Sherman to halt
my command in Middle Tennessee and to instruct me to rebuild the railway
from Nashville to Decatur. The fulfilling of the above order is fully set
forth by General Grant in his Memoirs.

When I reached the line of the Nashville and Decatur railroad, I
distributed my troops from Columbia south towards Athens, Alabama. I had
about 10,000 men and 8,000 animals, and was without provisions, with no
railroad or water communication to any base of supply, and was obliged to
draw subsistence for my command from the adjacent country until I could
rebuild the railroad and receive my supplies from Nashville.

My command was a part of the Army of the Tennessee, occupying temporarily
a portion of the territory of the Department of the Cumberland, but not
reporting or subject to the commander of that department.

Upon an examination of the country, I found that there was an abundance of
everything needed to supply my command, except where Sherman's forces had
swept across it along Elk River. He wrote me, "I do not think that my
forces have left a chicken for you." I also found that I was in a country
where the sentiment of the people was almost unanimously against us. I had
very little faith in converting them by the taking of the oath of
allegiance; I therefore issued an order stating that I required the
products of the country to supply my command, and that to all who had
these products, regardless of their sentiments, who would bring them to
the stations where my troops were located, I would pay a fair price for
them; but that, if I had to send and bring the supplies myself, I should
take them without making payment, giving them only receipts; and also
issued instructions that every train going for supplies should be
accompanied by an officer and receipt given for what he took. This had a
good effect, the citizens generally bringing in their supplies to my
command and receiving the proper voucher; but it also gave an opportunity
for straggling bands to rob and charge up their depredations to my
command. This caused many complaints to be filed with the military
governor of Tennessee and the Department Commander of the Army of the

Upon investigation I found most of those depredations were committed by
irresponsible parties of both sides, and I also discovered that there was
a well-organized and disciplined Corps of scouts and spies within my
lines, one force operating to the east of the line, under Captain Coleman,
and another force operating to the west, having its headquarters in the
vicinity of Florence, Alabama. I issued orders to my own spies to locate
these parties, sending out scouting parties to wipe them out or drive them
across the Tennessee River.

My cavalry had had considerable experience in this work in and around
Corinth, and they were very successful and brought in many prisoners, most
of whom could only be treated as prisoners of war.

The Seventh Kansas Cavalry was very efficient in this service, and they
captured Samuel Davis, Joshua Brown, Smith, and General Bragg's Chief of
Scouts and Secret Service Colonel S. Shaw, all about the same time. We did
not know of the importance of the capture of Shaw, or that he was the
Captain Coleman commanding Bragg's secret-service force. Nothing was found
on any of the prisoners of importance, except upon Davis, who evidently
had been selected to carry the information they had all obtained through
to General Bragg. Upon Davis were found letters from Captain Coleman, the
commander of the scouts to the east of us, and many others. I was very
anxious to capture Coleman and break up his command, as my own scouts and
spies within the Confederate lines were continually reporting to us the
news sent south from and the movements of Coleman within my lines.

Davis was brought immediately to me, as his captors knew his importance.
They believed he was an officer and also knew he was a member of Coleman's

When brought to my office I met him pleasantly. I knew what had been found
upon him and I desired to locate Coleman and his command and ascertain, if
possible, who was furnishing the information, which I saw was accurate and
valuable, to General Bragg.

Davis met me modestly. He was a fine, soldierly-looking young man, dressed
in a faded Federal soldier's coat, one of our army soft hats, and top
boots. He had a frank, open face, which was inclined to brightness. I
tried to impress upon him the danger he was in, and that I knew he was
only a messenger, and held out to him the hope of lenient treatment if he
would answer truthfully, as far as he could, my questions.

He listened attentively and respectfully to me, but, as I recollect, made
no definite answer, and I had him returned to the prison. My recollection
is that Captain Armstrong, my Provost Marshal, placed in the prison with
him and the other prisoners one of our own spies, who claimed to them to
be one of the Confederate scouting parties operating within my lines, and
I think the man More, whom the other prisoners speak of as having been
captured with them and escaping, was this man. However, they all kept
their own counsel and we obtained no information of value from them.

The reason of this reticence was the fact that they all knew Colonel Shaw
was one of our captives, and that if his importance was made known to us
he would certainly be hung; and they did not think that Davis would be

Upon Davis was found a large mail of value. Much of it was letters from
the friends and relatives of soldiers in the Confederate Army. There were
many small presents--one or two, I remember, to General Bragg--and much
accurate information of my forces, of our defenses, our intentions,
substance of my orders, criticisms as to my treatment of the citizens, and
a general approval of my payment for supplies, while a few denounced
severely some of the parties who had hauled in supplies under the orders.
Captain Coleman mentioned this in one of his letters.

There were also intimations of the endeavor that would be made to
interrupt my work, and plans for the capture of single soldiers and small
parties of the command out after forage.

I had Davis brought before me again, after my Provost Marshal had reported
his inability to obtain anything of value from him. I then informed him
that he would be tried as a spy; that the evidence against him would
surely convict him; and made a direct appeal to him to give me the
information I knew he had. He very quietly, but firmly, refused to do it.
I therefore let him be tried and suffer the consequences. Considerable
interest was taken in young Davis by the Provost Marshal and Chaplain
Young, and considerable pressure was brought to bear upon them by some of
the citizens of Pulaski; and I am under the impression that some of them
saw Davis and endeavored to induce him to save himself, but they failed.
Mrs. John A. Jackson, I remember, made a personal appeal in his behalf
directly to me. Davis was convicted upon trial and sentenced. Then one of
my noted scouts, known as "Chickasaw," believed that he could prevail upon
Davis to give the information we asked.

He took him in hand and never gave it up until the last moment, going to
the scaffold with a promise of pardon a few moments before his execution.

Davis died to save his own chief, Colonel Shaw, who was in prison with him
and was captured the same day.

The parties who were prisoners with Davis have informed me that it was
Shaw who had selected Davis as the messenger to General Bragg, and had
given to him part of his mail and papers.

I did not know this certainly until a long time after the war. I first
learned of it by rumor and what some of my own scouts have told me since
the war, and it has since been confirmed confidentially to me by one of
the prisoners who was captured about the same time that Davis was and who
was imprisoned with him up to the time he was convicted and sentenced, and
knew Colonel Shaw, as well as all the facts in the case.

The statement made to me is, that Colonel S. Shaw was the chief or an
important officer in General Bragg's Secret-Service Corps; that Shaw had
furnished the important documents to Davis; and that their captors did not
know Shaw and his importance.

Colonel Shaw I sent with the other prisoners North, as prisoners of war. I
also learned that Shaw was greatly alarmed when he was informed I was
trying to induce Davis to give me the information he had.

This is where Davis showed himself a true soldier. He had been entrusted
with an important commission by an important officer, who was imprisoned
with him, and died rather than betray him. He knew to a certainty, if he
informed me of the facts, that Shaw would be executed, for he was a far
more important person to us than was Davis.

During the war I had many spies captured; some executed who were captured
within the Confederate lines and who were equally brave in meeting their

By an extraordinary effort I saved the life of one who was captured by
Forrest. Through my efforts this man escaped, though General Forrest sized
him up correctly. He was one of the most important men we ever had within
the Confederate lines.

Forrest was determined to hang him, but Major-General Polk believed him
innocent and desired to save him.

Great interest was taken in Davis at the time, because it was known by all
of the command that I desired to save him.

Your publication bears many evidences of this fact. It is not, therefore,
necessary for me to state that I regretted to see sentence executed; but
it was one of the fates of war, which is cruelty itself, and there is no
refining it.

I find this letter bearing upon the case; it may be of interest. It is my
first report to Major B. M. Sawyer, Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of
the Tennessee, notifying him of the capture of Davis. It is dated,
Pulaski, Tenn., November 20th, 1863, and is as follows:

    I herewith inclose a copy of dispatches taken from one of Bragg's
    spies. He had a heavy mail, papers, etc., and shows Captain Coleman is
    pretty well posted.

    We have broken up several bands of mounted robbers and Confederate
    cavalry in the last week, capturing some five commissioned officers
    and one hundred enlisted men, who have been forwarded.

    I also forward a few of the most important letters found in the mail.
    The tooth-brushes and blank-books I was greatly in need of and
    therefore appropriated them. I am,

    Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

    G. M. DODGE,

    _Brigadier General_.

The severe penalty of death, where a spy is captured, is not because there
is anything dishonorable in the fact of the person being a spy, as only
men of peculiar gifts for such service, men of courage and cool judgment
and undoubted patriotism, are selected. The fact that the information they
obtain is found within their enemy's lines, and the probability of great
danger to an Army, is what causes the penalty to be so very severe. A
soldier caught in the uniform, or a part of the uniform, of his enemy,
within his enemy's lines, establishes the fact that he is a spy and is
there in violation of the Articles of War and for no good purpose. This
alone will prohibit his being treated as a prisoner of war, when caught,
as Davis was, in our uniform, with valuable documents upon him, and seals
his fate.

I appreciate fully that the people of Tennessee and Davis's comrades
understand his soldierly qualities and propose to honor his memory. I take
pleasure in aiding in raising the monument to his memory, although the
services he performed were for the purpose of injuring my command, but
given in faithfully performing the duties he was assigned to. I am

Truly and respectfully,




Organized in 1856, as Council Bluffs Guards; Captain, G. M. Dodge; entered
Civil War as Company B, Fourth Iowa Infantry. Now Company L, Fifty-first
Iowa Infantry. Known locally as Dodge Light Guards.]


[The following is a reprint of an article that appeared originally in the
New York Evening Post.--G. M. D.]

The New York Evening Post has thus been "called down" by General Grenville
M. Dodge, who is well known throughout Iowa and the Nation as one of the
leading Corps Commanders of the Union Army during the Civil War:

    _To the Editor of the Evening Post_:

    As one who has had some experience in the necessities, usages, and
    cruelties of war, which always prevail during a campaign in an enemy's
    country, I am surprised at the position of your journal, and its
    bitterness against the alleged action of Major Glenn, Lieutenant
    Conger, and Assistant Surgeon Lyon.

    The testimony of Sergeant Riley, upon which you base your attack on
    these officers, goes to prove that they gave the water cure to a
    Filipino who had been made presidente in one of the provinces by our
    Government, who had taken the oath of allegiance to our country, and
    then used his official position to cover his acts as captain of an
    insurgent company which was acting in arms against our Army and within
    our lines. Therefore, he was a traitor and a spy, and his every act
    was a violation of the laws of war, and branded him an outlaw and
    guerilla. If these are the facts, under the usages of war these
    officers were justified in what they did; in fact, if they had shot
    the traitor they would never have been called to account, and in all
    probability this is what would have happened to him in the Civil War.

    An officer has great latitude under such circumstances, and it is not
    safe or fair to condemn one for almost any act that detects a traitor
    and spy in arms against the Government which he has sworn to protect,
    and which has put him in a position of trust. You ignore entirely this
    side of the question, and only treat Major Glenn's acts as cruelties
    to peaceable Filipino citizens. I can remember when the journals of
    this country upheld and applauded an officer who, in the Civil War,
    ordered a man shot if he attempted to haul down the American flag, and
    cannot understand the present hysterics of some journals over the
    terrible violation of the laws of war in punishing a traitor, caught
    in the act, with the water cure only. The treatment may have been
    severe, but it is not permanently harmful.

    I am astonished that these fearfully wrought-up journals have no word
    of commendation for our soldiers in the Philippines, who have suffered
    untold cruelties, assassinations, burning by slow fires, burial alive,
    mutilations, and atrocities; who have submitted to every indignity
    without resentment or complaint; and I have been greatly gratified
    over their excellent behavior under such trying circumstances. In
    their comments these journals are very careful not to say why these
    punishments are given to such traitors, knowing well if they did our
    people would look upon the acts as one of the necessities of war, and
    would wonder at the leniency of Major Glenn and his command.


    _New York, April_ 17.

There can be no doubt that "war is hell," no matter whether it be on the
Philippine Islands or any other place in the world. There has been much
howling over the administration of "the water cure" in the Philippines,
but every man who has had one year's experience in real war will admit
that that "cure" is not so severe as killing or wounding captured enemies
who have knowledge of hidden arms or other Army supplies. Every one of the
"water-cured" Filipinos was given the opportunity to escape that
punishment, but refused to tell what he knew and was therefore rightly
punished until he was willing to tell the truth. General Dodge's letter
proves that the punishment was justified, and his opinion will be
sustained by every person who has knowledge of "the necessities, usages,
and cruelties of war," which "always prevail during a campaign in an
enemy's country." The truth is that the armies of the United States have
been too lenient in the Philippines. That is the reason why the war has
been so long continued, and the only reason why the final peace will be
still further delayed. War is never a picnic, but should at all times be
made terrible in order that peace and safety may be speedily gained. "The
water cure" is inclined to be slightly irritating to the throats of the
traitors in the Philippines, it is true, but it is not so bad or so cruel
as maiming them for life, or killing them. The yellow journals may
continue to howl, but the loyal American people will sustain the soldiers
of the Nation in every effort to compel peace that comes within the rules
of war.

[Illustration: SCOTTS BLUFFS

Major-General G. M. Dodge and train on march from Julesburg to Fort
Laramie, in the Indian Campaign, August, 1865.]



I desire to enter my protest and call the attention of the companions to
the position of a portion of the public press, and some people, towards
our Army in the Philippines, and what they assert are cruelties
perpetrated there.

There is a certain portion of the press, and also of the people, who are
and always have been absolutely opposed to the operations of our army in
the Philippines. They were very anxious to push us into a war which we
were all opposed to, but after getting us there they refused to accept the
results, and have persistently opposed everything done that was not in
exact accordance with their views. In order to work upon the sympathies of
the people, some of the papers are publishing pictures showing our
soldiers in the very act of committing great outrages; the pictures were
manufactured in their own offices, as were also most of the outrages
complained of. You have not, however, seen in these papers any pictures
portraying the cruelties perpetrated upon our soldiers, which have been
worse than any acts ever committed by the savages in our wars with them;
they are, in fact, too revolting to relate. I have had much to do with
Indian warfare, but have never seen any cruelties to be compared with
those inflicted upon our soldiers by the Filipinos, and these occurrences
were not rare, but general,--happening all the time. Very little has been
said on this subject, for it was not the policy of the Government to have
the stories of these atrocities printed, or brought before the people; but
now that our army is being so bitterly attacked, it is time that, the
soldiers' side of the question should be presented, and we are learning of
the soldiers who have been assassinated, their feet burned, buried alive,
killed by slow-burning fires, their bowels cut open and wound around
trees. The Filipinos indulged in every torture and indignity that was
possible, and, as a general thing, our soldiers did not retaliate. How
they managed to refrain from taking vengeance is beyond my comprehension,
but their action is greatly to their credit and honor.

The questions I wish to bring before you, however, are, What are the
rights of an officer in such matters? What are his duties and privileges
in war in an enemy's country that is under martial law? Take, for
instance, General Smith's position when he was sent to Samar, with
instructions to wipe out the insurrection there. He is said to have issued
instructions to kill everybody found in arms that was over ten years of
age, and to burn the country, if it was necessary to wipe out the
insurrection, and the result is that in ninety days or less he did wipe
out the insurrection, and without any great loss on our side or on the
part of the enemy. Now they are denouncing him for a threat,--not an act.
The temptation to retaliate must have been very great, for the treatment
the Ninth Infantry received from those savages was nothing short of
murder, followed by the most horrible mutilation, by a people who
pretended to be their friends and at peace. In the ninety days he was
operating there General Smith brought the island to peace, everybody in it
had surrendered, and it is quiet. If he had made war under the methods
advocated, allowing no one to be hurt, in all probability the subjugation
of the island would have required a year's time, and there would have been
ten times the suffering and loss of life than actually occurred. He simply
followed the plan of war that was pursued by Grant, Sherman, and other
commanders in the Civil War; that is, made it just as effective and short
as possible. You know Sherman's position was that after a certain length
of time when an enemy had been whipped, it was their duty to cease making
war, and if they did not do so, he considered that any means were
justifiable in order to bring it to an end. He stated this very clearly in
his St. Louis speech. He stated the case as follows:

    I claim that when we took Vicksburg, by all the rules of civilized
    warfare the Confederates should have surrendered, and allowed us to
    restore peace in the land. I claim also that when we took Atlanta they
    were bound by every rule of civilized warfare to surrender their
    cause, which was then hopeless, and it was clear as daylight that they
    were bound to surrender and return to civil life; but they continued
    the war, and then we had a right under the rules of civilized warfare
    to commence a system that would make them feel the power of the
    Government, and make them succumb. I had to go through Georgia to let
    them see what war meant. I had a right to destroy, which I did, and I
    made them feel the consequences of war so fully they will never again
    invite an invading Army.

You all know of the troubles that occurred in the border states during the
Civil War, and of the cruelties to the families of Union men who entered
our Army. It was father against son, brother against brother, and, as
General Sherman said, "It was cruelty, and there was no refining it." We
know what severe orders were given for treatment of enemies within our
lines, when their acts were in violation of the laws of war. In one case
torpedoes were placed under a road over which our troops were marching,
and several soldiers were killed. Sherman happened to come along just at
that time, and said to the Colonel of the First Alabama Cavalry, which was
his escort, "Burn the country within fifteen miles surrounding this spot."
You all know what that meant; it was a license under which other things
besides burning was done. An eye-witness describes Sherman's march to the
sea and through the Carolinas as a "cloud of smoke by day and a pillar of
fire by night." Who ever made the suggestion that Sherman's uniform should
be stripped off for this, or that he should be shot, as some of our
representatives in Congress and our press now demand should be done in the
Philippines for making war in earnest?

Take another case, where Captain Anderson captured a train of convalescent
unarmed Union soldiers in North Missouri, and placed them in line and shot
every one of them. Shortly afterwards Colonel Johnson, of the Missouri
State Militia, who was following Anderson, came up. Anderson attacked,
this militia command of 160 men and killed 143, only seventeen getting
away. Only one man was taken alive, and he saved himself by giving a
Masonic sign. The war records are full of cases of individual acts, and I
select one of which I had personal knowledge. It is found in volume 38, of
the War Records. The orders in Missouri at that time were that any person
who harbored a guerilla, and did not report the fact to the nearest
commanding Union officer, should receive the same treatment as the
guerilla. A man by the name of McReynolds violated these orders, and
harbored Quantrell, the guerilla, and the officer who detected it, after
stating all the facts and evidence, reported to me as follows:

    On consultation with the squadron commanders, Captain Hamblin and
    Lieutenant Grain, it was decided to execute McReynolds, which was
    carried out under my orders.

    R. M. BOX.

    _Captain Company H, Seventh Cavalry, Missouri State Militia_.

In reporting this case to the Adjutant General in Washington I did not
approve it, as my investigation showed that the statements of
McReynolds's acts were true. I did not censure the officers, but issued an
order that officers should follow more closely the orders of the
Department, and ended that order as follows: "Hereafter men caught in arms
will have no mercy shown them." General John McNeill, of Missouri, took
twelve citizens out and shot them, it being claimed they were connected
with guerillas that shot a Union man. In some histories it is known as the
Palmyra massacre. It is claimed that the Union man turned up alive. If the
reports of the numbers of robbers, guerillas and outlaws who were shot on
sight in Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, and elsewhere, by both sides in
1864 and 1865, could be gathered up they would furnish retaliations and
cruelties enough for these water-cure journals for years.

Consider this matter in a broader sense. Take the order of General Grant
to General Sheridan to make the Shenandoah Valley a barren waste; it was
absolutely destroyed so the enemy could not again occupy it. I can see no
difference between an order to make the Shenandoah Valley a barren waste
and Smith's order to make Samar a "howling wilderness." Take the order I
received to go to the rear of Bragg's Army and destroy the Valley of the
Tennessee, and all the supplies gathered there for the use of his Army,
which valley was burned from Bear River to Decatur. These were orders from
principal officers in our Army, and I only quote them to show the contrast
between that time and the present. Senators in the halls of Congress find
it necessary in these days to take up the question. Senator Rawlins, of
Utah, made an attack upon our officers, and especially upon General
Chaffee, which was nothing short of disgraceful, and should not be allowed
to go without vigorous condemnation. He represents a state and people
under whose orders Lieutenant Gunnison and his party were massacred by
Mormons disguised as Indians. Some one should get up in the Senate and
call him to account for these things, and ask him, in consideration of
these facts, why he is so deeply outraged by the orders of General
Chaffee, a gallant soldier and gentleman, a humane man, and one who, in my
opinion, has done nothing in the Philippines but what was perfectly
justified, and will in time be considered to have been humane.

The two Senators from Colorado have taken it upon themselves to denounce
in bitter terms what they call unheard-of acts and cruelties of our Army.
I would point them to a case in their own state, which was more severe
than any act in the Philippines has been. A regiment of Colorado cavalry
under Colonel J. M. Chivington, a minister by profession, attacked and
destroyed a band of Indians encamped on the Big Sandy, near Camp Lyon, who
claimed to be under the protection of the officers at Fort Lyon. This was
a massacre of men, women and children of a friendly band of Indians, and
was one of the main causes of bringing into arms against the United States
every tribe of Indians south of the Yellowstone. When an investigation of
this affair was ordered the State of Colorado almost unanimously protested
against it, upholding the act, and quoted that old saying, "There is no
good Indian except a dead one." Think of our wars with the Indians in
which whole bands were wiped out, even the women and children being
destroyed; think of the wars in which we employed Indians against Indians;
they not only killed but scalped. I do not know of a single treaty ever
made with the Indians that the United States has not violated, and when an
Indian had the hardihood to object the Government started in to wipe him
out. This has been the treatment of the Indians from the Atlantic to the
Pacific, until at the present time there is not a wild Indian living in
the entire country; yet I cannot remember that this press has ever been
aroused; it was too near home.

Take the case of Major Glenn, who is about to be courtmartialed for giving
the water cure to the presidente in one of the Provinces of Luzon, as the
testimony goes to show. This presidente had been appointed to office by
our Government, had taken the oath of allegiance, and was there to
represent us. While he was occupying this position, it was discovered that
he was the captain of an insurgent company, giving active assistance to
the enemy, and he was, therefore, a traitor and a spy, and under the laws
of war deserved to be shot; but instead they proposed to courtmartial
Glenn for simply giving him the water cure; and this, in my opinion, is a
great wrong.

Order 100, which is often quoted, was issued in the Civil War to govern
officers. It was prepared by Professor Lieber, and was considered and
adopted, I believe, by a board of officers; anyhow, it was very carefully
drawn. I am told it has been considered and used by nearly all the
nations. It gives an officer great latitude, and where an officer meets a
savage enemy, or one that is violating the laws of war, those laws are
suspended and it virtually is left to his own judgment as to how far he
should go in inflicting punishment, and under this order there is no doubt
both Smith and Glenn were protected in their actions. It may seem harsh,
but you are all aware how many harsh orders were given in the Civil War
for the purpose of forcing the enemy to obey our orders, and how often
those orders and threats accomplished the purpose without any other act.
When the colored troops were first organized, on several occasions
Confederate officers sent in demands for them to surrender, coupled with
the threat that if they refused the place would be taken and no quarter
granted. I know of one instance where an officer believed this threat and
surrendered a Regiment of colored infantry for the purpose of having them
protected. Then there is the case of Fort Pillow; whether or not Forest
gave the order it is claimed he gave, I do not know; but the fact that no
quarter was shown there has been amply verified.

Within the past week there has been appointed a committee of distinguished
citizens, most of whom are well-known opponents of our Government in its
policies and acts during the Spanish War. They propose to hunt up and lay
before Congress all cases of cruelty on the part of our Army, with the
avowed purpose of sustaining the national honor. I must say this is the
first time I ever heard of national honor being sustained by such methods.
Have you, or any one else, ever heard a single word of protest from these
people or any one connected with them against the revolting cruelties of
the enemy in the Philippines? They evidently have no desire to learn about
these things, but want some excuse for attacking our Army, hoping thereby
to bring dishonor upon our country before the world. The national honor
never has, never can, and never will be protected by such methods. It is
upheld and maintained today, as it always has been, by the patriotism of
our people as represented by our Army in the Civil War, in Cuba, the
Philippines, and China.

These attacks upon the Army are for a double purpose, and you should not
forget it. Every time they make this great hubbub about cruelties they are
hitting back at those that were in the Civil War. There is an element in
this country that already has no use for the soldier of the Civil War.
They are continually crying about the pension he is getting; that he is
favored in the Government service; etc., etc. They do not dare attack him
openly, as yet, but do it covertly. There is no officer listening to me
who did not see cruelties in the Civil War. Many of you have had to order
them, but you know you were never brought to account for them when they
were acts of necessity. We were always careful that no cruelties were
committed by enlisted men, but whatever was done was by the order of an
officer. It was the practice of the War Department never to interfere in
these matters, leaving them to the officer who was in charge of the forces
in the field. None of these things occurred without his knowledge; he was
on the spot and knew the necessity for them, and if he did not take action
it was considered that none was necessary, and they were seldom called to
account for it afterwards; but in the Philippines they are bringing
officers to account simply because of the outcry of people who care
nothing for the merits of the case, except to make capital against our
country's policy in maintaining itself in the Philippines. In view of all
the facts, I must doubt the sincerity of those who are seeking to bring
discredit upon our little Army, the marvellous efficiency of which has won
the admiration of the world. Under the regulations, it is impossible for
the Army to defend itself and make answer to these attacks, except through
their own officers, and their reports do not reach the public, for the
press seems to use only that which reflects upon the Army, and omits that
which is in its favor. It is the duty of every companion here, as well as
of every good citizen, to enter his protest against these unjust attacks.
The right side is beginning to get a hearing, and when the facts and
causes for the action of the Army are generally known, it will be found
that our Army is as humane and well-behaved a body of troops as ever went
into a foreign country, and we must all assist in seeing that it receives

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