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Title: Campfire and Battlefield - An Illustrated History of the Campaigns and Conflicts of the Great Civil War
Author: Johnson, Rossiter
Language: English
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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 "Campfire and Battlefield - An Illustrated History of the Campaigns and Conflicts of the Great Civil War" ***

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      file which includes the numerous original illustrations.
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a war-time photograph.)]


An Illustrated History of the Campaigns and Conflicts of the Great
Civil War





Art Editors Frank Beard, George Spiel


New York

Copyright, 1894, by
Bryan, Taylor & Company,
61 East Ninth Street























































On the 9th of January, 1861, the _Star of the West_, a vessel which
the United States Government had sent to convey supplies to Fort
Sumter, was fired on by batteries on Morris Island, in Charleston
Harbor, South Carolina, and was compelled to withdraw.

The bombardment of Fort Sumter began on April 12th, the fort was
surrendered on the 13th and evacuated on the 14th. On April 19th the
Sixth Massachusetts regiment, which had been summoned to the defence
of the national capital, was attacked, _en route_, in the streets of

Meanwhile, several Southern States had passed ordinances seceding from
the Union, and had formed a new union called the Confederate States of
America. Many Government forts, arsenals, and navy yards had been
seized by the new Confederacy; and by midsummer a bloody civil war was
in progress, which for four years absorbed the energies of the whole
American people.


What were the causes of this civil war?

The underlying, fundamental cause was African slavery--the
determination of the South to perpetuate and extend it, and the
determination of the people of the North to limit or abolish it.
Originally existing in all the colonies, slavery had been gradually
abolished in the Northern States, and was excluded from the new States
that came into the Union from the Northwestern Territory. The
unprofitableness of slave labor might, in time, have resulted in its
abolition in the South; but the invention, at the close of the last
century, of Eli Whitney's cotton-gin, transformed the raising of
cotton from an almost profitless to the most profitable of the staple
industries, and as a result of it the American plantations produced
seven-eighths of all the cotton of the world. African labor was
necessary to it, and the system of slavery became a fixed and
deep-rooted system in the South.

SEWARD, Secretary of State. SALMON P. CHASE, Secretary of the Treasury.
EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War. GIDEON WELLES, Secretary of the
Navy. MONTGOMERY BLAIR, Postmaster-General. CALEB B. SMITH, Secretary
of the Interior. EDWARD BATES, Attorney-General.]

The self-interest thus established led the South, in the face of
Northern opposition to slavery which might make an independent
government necessary to them, to insist on the sovereignty of the
individual States, involving the right to secede from the Union. The
Constitution adopted in 1789 did not determine the question as to
whether the sovereignty of the States or that of {7} the central
government was paramount, but left it open, to be interpreted
according to the interests involved, and to be settled in the end by
an appeal to the sword. In the earlier history of the country the
doctrine of State sovereignty was most advocated in New England; but
with the rise of the tariff, which favored the manufacturing East at
the expense of the agricultural South, New England passed to the
advocacy of national sovereignty, while the people of the South took
up the doctrine of State Rights, determined to act on it should a
separation seem to be necessary to their independence of action on the
issue of slavery.



[Illustration: SIEGE GUN BEARING ON SUMTER. (Showing carriage rendered
useless before Confederate Evacuation, 1864.)]

From this time onward there was constant danger that the slavery
question would so imbitter the politics and legislation of the country
as to bring about disunion. The danger was imminent at the time of the
Missouri agitation of 1820-21, but was temporarily averted by the
Missouri Compromise. The Nullification Acts of South Carolina
indicated the intention of the South to stand on their State
sovereignty when it suited them. The annexation of Texas enlarged the
domain of slavery and made the issue a vital one. The aggressiveness
of the South appeared in the repeal of the Missouri Compromise in
1854; and the Dred Scott Decision in 1857, giving the slaveholder the
right to hold his slaves in a free State, aroused to indignant and
determined opposition the anti-slavery sentiment of the North. The
expression in this decision, that the negro had "no rights which the
white man was bound to respect," brought squarely before the people
the issue of manhood liberty, and afforded a text for preaching
effectively the gospel of universal freedom.

The absence of intercourse between the North and the South, and their
radically different systems of civilization, made them like two
different peoples, estranged, jealous and suspicious. The publication
of sectional books fostered animosities and perpetuated misjudgments
and misunderstandings; and the interested influence of demagogues,
whose purposes would be furthered by sectional hatred, kept alive and
intensified the sectional differences.

There was little feeling of fraternity, then, to stand in the way when
the issues involved seemed to require the arbitrament of war, and it
was as enemies rather than as quarrelling brothers, that the men of
the North and the South rallied to their respective standards.

       *       *       *       *       *

1863--FROM GOVERNMENT PHOTOGRAPH. (Presented to participants in Sumter
Celebration, April 14, 1865.)]

An episode which occurred about a year before the war, which was
inherently of minor importance, brought to the surface the bitter
feeling which was preparing the way for the fraternal strife. John
Brown, an enthusiastic abolitionist, a man of undoubted courage, but
possessing poor judgment, and who had been very prominent in a
struggle to make Kansas a free State, in 1859 collected a small
company, and, invading the State of Virginia, seized the United States
Arsenal at Harper's Ferry. His expectation was that the blacks would
flock to his standard, and that, arming them from the arsenal, he
could lead a servile insurrection which would result in ending
slavery. His project, which was quixotic in the extreme, lacking all
justification of possible success, failed miserably, and Brown was
hung as a criminal. At the South, his action was taken as an
indication of what the abolitionists would do if they secured control
of the Government, and the secessionist sentiment was greatly
stimulated by his attempt. At the North he became a martyr to the
cause of freedom; and although the leaders would not at first call the
war for the Union an anti-slavery war, the people knew it was an
anti-slavery war, and old {9} John Brown's wraith hung over every
Southern battlefield. The song,

  "John Brown's body lies a-mouldering in the grave,
     His soul is marching on."

became a battle-cry, sung at every public meeting, sending recruits to
the front, and making the echoes ring around the army campfires.

So long as the Democratic party, which was in political alliance with
the South, retained control of the Federal Government, there was
neither motive nor excuse for secession or rebellion. Had the Free
Soil Party elected Frémont in 1856, war would have come then. When the
election of 1860, through Democratic dissension and adherence to
several candidates, resulted in the election of Abraham Lincoln, the
candidate of the Free Soilers, the die was cast, and the South
prepared for the struggle it was about to precipitate.

       *       *       *       *       *

The day after the election, on November 7th, 1860, the Palmetto flag,
the ensign of the State of South Carolina, was raised at Charleston,
replacing the American flag. High officials in the Government, in
sympathy with the Southern cause, had stripped the Northern arsenals
of arms and ammunition and had sent them to Southern posts. The little
standing army had been so disposed as to leave the city of Washington
defenceless, except for a few hundred marines and half a hundred men
of ordnance. The outgoing Administration was leaving the national
treasury bankrupt, and permitted hostile preparations to go on
unchecked, and hostile demonstrations to be made without interference.
So little did the people of the North realize that war was impending,
that Southern agents found no difficulty in making purchases of
military supplies from Northern manufacturers. Except for the
purchases made by Raphael Semmes in New England, the Confederacy would
have begun the war without percussion caps, which were not
manufactured at the South. With every advantage thrown at the outset
in favor of the South and against the North, the struggle began.

[Illustration: CHARLESTON HARBOR.]

[Illustration: THE PALMETTO FLAG.]


The Southern leaders had been secretly preparing for a long time.
During the summer and fall of 1860, John B. Floyd, the Secretary of
War, had been sending war material South, and he continued his
pernicious activity until, in December, complicity in the theft of
some bonds rendered his resignation necessary. About the same time the
Secretary of the Treasury, Howell Cobb, the Secretary of the Interior,
Jacob Thompson, and the Secretary of State, Lewis Cass, withdrew from
the cabinet. On the election of Lincoln, treasonable preparations
became more open and more general. These were aided by President
Buchanan's message to Congress expressing doubt of the constitutional
power of the Government to take offensive action against a State. On
December 20, an ordinance of secession was passed by the South
Carolina Legislature; and following this example, Mississippi,
Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas and Virginia seceded in
the order named. Virginia held on till the last; and while a popular
vote was pending, to accept or reject the action of the Legislature,
the seat of government of the Confederate States, established in
February at Montgomery, Ala., was removed to Richmond, the capital of
Virginia. Governor Letcher turned over to the Confederates the entire
military force and equipment of the State, which passed out of the
Union without waiting for the verdict of the people. This State was
well punished by becoming the centre of the conflict for four years,
and by political dismemberment, loyal West Virginia being separated
from the original commonwealth and admitted to the Union during the

During the fall and winter of 1860-61, the Southern leaders committed
many acts of treasonable aggression. They seized United States
property, acting under the authority of their States, until the
formation of the Confederacy, when the central government became their
authority. In some of these cases the Federal custodians of the
property yielded it in recognition of the right of the State to take
it. In some cases they abandoned it, hopeless of being able to hold it
against the armed forces that threatened it, and doubtful of support
from the Buchanan Administration at Washington. But there were noble
exceptions, and brave officers held to their trusts, and either
preserved them to the United States Government or released them only
when overpowered.

In December, 1860, the rebels seized Castle Pinckney and {10} Fort
Moultrie in Charleston Harbor, the arsenal at Charleston, and the
revenue cutter _William Aiken_; in January, the arsenals at Mount
Vernon, Ala., Apalachicola, Fla., Baton Rouge, La., Augusta, Ga., and
many forts, hospitals, etc., in Southern ports. By February they had
gained such assurance of not being molested in their seizures of
Government property, that everything within their reach was taken with
impunity. So many of the officers in active service were in sympathy
with the South, that it frequently required only a demand for the
surrender of a vessel or a fort--sometimes not even that--to secure
it. One of these attempted seizures gave rise to an official utterance
that did much to cheer the Northern heart. John A. Dix, who in
January, 1861, succeeded Cobb as Secretary of the Treasury, sent W. H.
Jones, a Treasury clerk, to New Orleans, to save to the Government
certain revenue cutters in Southern ports. Jones telegraphed the
secretary that the captain of the cutter _McClelland_ refused to give
her up, and Dix thereupon sent the following memorable despatch:

"Tell Lieutenant Caldwell to arrest Captain Breshwood, assume command
of the cutter, and obey the order I gave through you. If Captain
Breshwood, after arrest, undertakes to interfere with the command of
the cutter, tell Lieutenant Caldwell to consider him as a mutineer and
treat him accordingly. If any one attempts to haul down the American
flag, shoot him on the spot."

These determined words were among the few that were uttered by
Northern officials that gave the friends of the Union any hope of
leadership against the aggression of the seceding States; and they
passed among the proverbial expressions of the war, to live as long as
American history.


The firmness of Lieutenant Adam J. Slemmer had prevented the surrender
of Fort Pickens, in Pensacola Harbor, Florida, on the Gulf of Mexico,
when it was demanded with some show of force, in January, 1861.

Meanwhile, an event was preparing, in which the loyalty, courage, and
promptness of a United States officer was to bring to an issue the
question of "bloodless secession" or war. The seizures of Government
property here and there had excited indignation in the loyal North,
but no general, effective sentiment of opposition. But at the shot
that was fired at Sumter, the North burst into a flame of patriotic,
quenchless fury, which did not subside until it had been atoned for on
many a battlefield, and the Confederate "stars and bars" fell, never
to rise again.

Lieutenant-Colonel Gardner had been in command at Charleston Harbor,
S. C., and when he saw the secessionists preparing to seize the forts
there, so early as November, 1860, he applied to Washington for
reinforcements. Upon this, at the request of Southern members of
Congress, Secretary of War Floyd removed him, and sent in his place
Major Robert Anderson, evidently supposing that that officer's
Kentucky origin would render him faithful to the Southern cause. But
his fidelity to the old flag resulted in one of the most dramatic
episodes of the war.

On reaching his headquarters at Fort Moultrie, Major Anderson at once
applied for improvements, which the Secretary of War was now willing
and even eager to make, and he appropriated large sums for the
improvement of both Fort Moultrie and Fort Sumter, but would not
increase the garrison or the ammunition. It soon became apparent that
against a hostile attack Fort {11} Moultrie could not be held, as it
was commanded from the house-tops on Sullivan's Island, near by, and
Major Anderson decided to move his garrison across the harbor to Fort
Sumter, which, unlike Moultrie, was unapproachable by land. The
secessionists in Charleston were active and watched suspiciously every
movement made by the military, and the latter were constantly on guard
to prevent surprise and capture of the fort. The preparations for
removal to Sumter were made with the greatest caution. So well had
Major Anderson kept his purpose secret, that his second in command,
Captain Abner Doubleday, was informed of it only when ordered to have
his company ready to go to Fort Sumter in twenty minutes. The families
of the officers were sent to Fort Johnson, opposite Charleston, whence
they were afterward taken North.

For the ostensible purpose of removing these non-combatants to a place
of safety--a step to which the now well-organized South Carolina
militia could make no objection--Anderson's quartermaster, Lieutenant
Hall, had chartered three schooners and some barges, which were
ultimately used to transport supplies from Moultrie to Sumter. Laden
with these supplies, the transports started for Fort Johnson, and
there awaited the signal gun which was to direct them to land at
Sumter. The guns of Moultrie were trained to bear on the route across
the harbor, to be used defensively in case the movement was detected
and interfered with.

The preparations completed, at sunset on December 26, the troops, who
had equipped themselves in the twenty minutes allowed them, were
silently marched out of Fort Moultrie and passed through the little
village of Moultrieville, which lay between the fort and the point of
embarkation. The march was fortunately made without observation, and
the men took their places in rowboats which promptly started on their
momentous voyage. After several narrow escapes from being stopped by
the omnipresent guard boats, which were deceived into supposing the
troop boats to contain only laborers in charge of officers, the party
reached Fort Sumter. Here they found crowds of laborers, who were at
work, at the Government's expense, preparing Sumter to be handed over
to the Southern league. These men, most of them from Baltimore, were
nearly all secessionists, and had already refused to man the fort as
soldiers for its defence. They showed some opposition to the landing
of the troops, but were promptly driven inside the fort at the point
of the bayonet, and were presently shipped on board the supply
schooners and sent ashore, where they communicated to the secession
authorities the news of Major Anderson's clever ruse. The signal gun
was fired from Sumter, the supplies were landed, and Fort Sumter was
in the hands of the loyal men who were to immortalize their names by
their heroic defence of it.

Capt. T. Seymour. 1st Lieut. G. W. Snyder. 1st Lieut. J. C. Davis. 2d
Lieut. R. K. Meade. 1st Lieut. T. Talbot. Capt. A. Doubleday. Major R.
Anderson. Surg. S. W. Crawford. Capt. J. G. Foster.]

[Illustration: GUSTAVUS V. FOX, Commanding the Relief Expedition to
Fort Sumter; afterward Assistant Secretary of the Navy.]

Sixty-one artillerymen and thirteen musicians, under command of seven
or eight officers, constituted the slender garrison. Many of these
officers subsequently rose to distinction in the service of their
country, in which some of them died. Major Anderson became a
major-general and served for a while in his native Kentucky, but was
soon compelled by failing health to retire. Captains Abner Doubleday,
John G. Foster and Truman Seymour, Lieut. Jefferson C. Davis and Dr.
S. Wiley Crawford, the surgeon, became major-generals, and were in
service throughout the war; Lieut. Norman J. Hall became colonel of
the Seventh Michigan Volunteers, and was thrice brevetted in the
regular army for gallantry, especially at Gettysburg; Lieuts. George
W. Snyder and Theodore Talbot received promotion, but died early in
the war; and Edward Moale, a civilian clerk who rendered great
assistance, afterward received a commission in the regular army. One
only of the defenders of Sumter afterward joined the Confederacy; this
was Lieut. Richard K. Meade, who yielded to the tremendous social and
family {12} pressure that carried so many reluctant men to the wrong
side when the war began. Commissioned in the rebel army, he died in

Army, 1861.]

At noon on December 27, Major Anderson solemnized his occupancy of
Sumter by formally raising the flag of his country, with prayer by the
chaplain, Rev. Matthias Harris, and military ceremonies.

The sight of the national ensign on Sumter was quickly observed from a
troop ship in the harbor, which hastened to the city with the news,
not only that Anderson had moved from Moultrie to Sumter, but also
that he was heavily reinforced, the sixty soldiers thronging the
parapet making so good a show as to give the impression of a much
larger number. At this news Charleston was thrown into a ferment of
rage and excitement. South Carolina troops were at once sent, on
December 27, to take possession of Castle Pinckney, the seizure of
which was perhaps the first overt act of war on the part of the
secessionists. This was followed by the rebel occupation of Forts
Moultrie and Johnson, which were gotten into readiness for action, and
shore batteries, some of them iron clad, were planted near Moultrie
and on Cummings Point, an extremity of Morris Island near to Sumter;
so that by the time the preparations were completed, Anderson's
gallant little band was effectively covered on four different sides.

But the rebels were not relying wholly on measures for reducing Sumter
in order to secure it. It was diplomacy rather than war which they
expected would place in their hands all the government property in
Charleston Harbor. On the very day of Anderson's strategic move across
the harbor, three commissioners arrived in Washington for the purpose
of negotiating for the peaceable surrender to South Carolina of all
the forts and establishments. But the telegraphic news, which reached
Washington with the commissioners, that the loyal Anderson was doing
his part, met with such patriotic response in the North as effectively
to interfere with the commissioners' plans. What Buchanan might have
released to them under other circumstances, he could not give them
after Major Anderson had taken steps to protect his trust.

Once within the fort, the Sumter garrison set vigorously to work to
put it in a defensive condition. The Government work on the fort was
not completed, and had the Southerners attacked it at once, as they
would have done but for the expectation that the President would order
Anderson to return to Moultrie, they could easily have captured it by
assault. But they still hoped for "bloodless secession," and deferred
offensive action. There were no flanking defences for the fort, and no
fire-proof quarters for the officers. There was a great quantity of
combustible material in the wooden quarters, which ultimately
terminated the defence; for the garrison was rather smoked out by
fire, than either starved out or reduced by shot and shell. The
engineer officers were driven to all sorts of expedients to make the
fort tenable, because there was very little material there out of
which to make proper military defences. The workmen had left in the
interior of the unfinished fort a confused mass of building material,
unmounted guns, gun-carriages, derricks, blocks and tackle. Only two
tiers of the fort were in condition for the mounting of heavy
artillery--the upper and lower tiers. Although the garrison was
severely taxed in performing the excessive guard duty required by
their perilous situation, they yet accomplished an enormous amount of
work--mounting guns with improvised tackle; carrying by hand to the
upper tier shot weighing nearly one hundred and thirty pounds each;
protecting the casemates with flag-stones; rigging ten-inch columbiads
as mortars in the parade grounds within the fort, to fire on Morris
Island; and making their quarters as comfortable as the circumstances
admitted. The guns of the fort were carefully aimed at the various
objects to be fired at, and the proper elevation marked on each, to
avoid errors in aiming when the smoke of action should refract the

To guard against a simultaneous attack from many sides, against which
sixty men could make only a feeble defence, mines were planted under
the wharf where a landing was most feasible, to blow it up at the
proper time. Piles of paving stones with charges of powder under them,
to scatter them as deadly missiles among an attacking party, were
placed on the esplanade. Metal-lined boxes were placed on the parapet
on all sides of the fort, from which musketry-fire and hand-grenades
could be thrown down on the invaders directly beneath. Barrels filled
{13} with broken stone, with charges of powder at the centre, were
prepared to roll down to the water's edge and there burst. A trial of
this device was observed by the rebels, who inferred from it that
Sumter was bristling with "infernal machines" and had better be dealt
with at long range.

[Illustration: HARPER'S FERRY.]

The discomforts and sufferings of the garrison were very great.
Quarters were lacking in accommodations; rations were short, and fuel
was scanty in midwinter. The transition from the position of friends
to that of foes was not immediate, but gradual. After the move to
Sumter, the men were still permitted to do their marketing in
Charleston; for all that Anderson had then done was to make a
displeasing change of base in a harbor where he commanded, and could
go where he pleased. Presently market privileges were restricted, and
then prohibited altogether; and even when, under the expectation of
action at Washington satisfactory to the South, the authorities
relaxed their prohibition, the secessionist marketmen would sell
nothing to go to the fort. Constant work on salt pork, with limited
necessaries and an entire absence of luxuries, made the condition of
the garrison very hard, and their conduct worthy of the highest

Anderson has been criticised for permitting the secessionists to build
and arm batteries all around him, and coolly take possession of
Government property, without his firing a shot to prevent it, as he
could easily have done, since the guns of Sumter commanded the
waterways all over the harbor. But it is easier now to see what should
have been done than it was then to see what should be done. Anderson
did not even know that he would be supported by his own Government, in
case he took the offensive; and the reluctance to begin hostilities
was something he shared with the leaders on both sides, even
down to the time of Lincoln's inaugural, in which the President
said to the people of the South: "In your hands, my dissatisfied
fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil
war. The Government will not assail you. You can have no conflict
without being yourselves the aggressors." The fact of Anderson's
Southern birth, while it did not interfere with his loyalty, did make
him reluctant to precipitate a struggle which he prayed and hoped
might be averted. Had the issue of war been declared at the time,
freeing him to do what he could, he could have saved Sumter. As it
was, the preparations for reducing Sumter went on unmolested.

Instead of yielding to the demand of the South Carolina {14}
commissioners for Anderson's return to Moultrie, President Buchanan
permitted the organization of an expedition for the relief of Sumter.
But instead of sending down a war vessel, a merchant steamer was sent
with recruits from Governor's Island, New York. The _Star of the West_
arrived off Charleston January 9, and as soon as she attempted to
enter the harbor, she was fired on from batteries on Morris Island.
Approaching nearer, and coming within gun-shot of Moultrie, she was
again fired on. At Sumter, the long roll was beaten and the guns
manned, but Anderson would not permit the rebel fire to be returned.
The _Star of the West_ withdrew and returned to New York. Explanations
were demanded by Anderson, with the result of sending Lieutenant
Talbot to Washington with a full statement of the affair, there to
await instructions. The tacit truce thus established enabled the
preparation of Sumter to be completed, but the rebel batteries also
were advanced.

Then began a series of demands from Charleston for the surrender of
the fort. The secessionists argued with Anderson as to the
hopelessness of his case, with the Washington Government going to
pieces, and the South determined to have the fort and exterminate the
garrison; and still another commission was sent to Washington, to
secure there a settlement of the question, which was invariably
referred back to Anderson's judgment.

[Illustration: MAJOR-GENERAL JOHN A. DIX.]


The winter was passed in this sort of diplomacy and in intense
activity, within the fort and around it. The garrison shared the
general encouragement drawn from the accessions to the cabinet of
strong and loyal men, such as John A. Dix and Joseph Holt, to replace
the secessionists who had resigned. The Charleston people continued
their loud demands for an attack on Sumter. The affair of the _Star of
the West_, and the organization of the Confederate Government in
February, had greatly stimulated the war spirit of the North, and it
was felt that the crisis was approaching. Charleston people began to
feel the effects of blockading their own channel with sunken ships,
for their commerce all went to other ports.

With the inauguration of Lincoln on March 4, the South learned that
they had to deal with an Administration which, however forbearing, was
firm as a rock. Indications of a vigorous policy were slow in reaching
the anxious garrison of Sumter, for the new President was surrounded
with spies, and every order or private despatch was quickly repeated
throughout the South, which made him cautious. But the fact that he
had determined to reinforce Sumter, and to insist on its defence, did
soon become known, both at the fort and in Charleston; and on April 6,
Lieutenant Talbot was sent on from Washington to notify Governor
Pickens to that effect. This information, received at Charleston April
8, was telegraphed to the Confederate Government at Montgomery, and on
the 10th General Beauregard received orders from the rebel Secretary
of War to open fire at once on Sumter.

Instantly there was renewed activity everywhere. The garrison,
inspired by the prospect of an end to their long and wearisome
waiting, were in high spirits. The Confederates suddenly removed a
house near Moultrie, disclosing behind it a formidable masked battery
which effectually enfiladed the barbette guns at Sumter, which,
although the heaviest there were, had to be abandoned. On the
afternoon of the 11th, officers came from Beauregard to demand the
surrender of the fort, which they learned would have to yield soon for
lack of provisions. At {15} three A.M. of the 12th, General Beauregard
sent word that he would open fire in one hour.



He kept his word. At four o'clock the first gun of the war was fired
from the Cummings Point battery on Morris Island, aimed by the
venerable Edmund Ruffin, of Virginia, one of the fathers of secession.
It was a good shot, the shell penetrating the masonry of the fort and
bursting inside. At this signal, instantly the batteries opened on all
sides, and the firing became an almost continuous roar.

But, as yet, Sumter made no reply. The artillery duel was not to be a
matter of hours, and there was no hurry. Breakfast was served to
officers and men, and was eaten amid a continual peppering of the fort
with balls and shells from columbiads and mortars. After this
refreshment the men were told off into firing parties, and the first
detachment was marched to the casemates, where Capt. Abner Doubleday
aimed the first gun fired on the Union side against the Southern
Confederacy. It was fired appropriately against the Cummings Point
battery which had begun the hostilities; and it struck its mark, but
did no damage. The heaviest guns in Sumter being useless, the fort was
at a disadvantage throughout the fight, from the lightness of its
metal. Notwithstanding Major Anderson's orders that the barbette guns
should be abandoned, Sergeant John Carmody, disappointed at the
effects produced by the fire of the fort, stole out and fired, one
after another, the heavy barbette battery guns. Roughly aimed, they
did little mischief; but they scared the enemy, who brought all their
weight to bear now on this battery. Captains Doubleday and Seymour
directed the firing from Sumter, and were assisted by Lieut. J. C.
Davis and Surgeon Crawford, who, having no sick in hospital,
volunteered his active services, and hammered away on Fort Moultrie.

By the middle of the morning the vessels of the relieving fleet, sent
in pursuance of Lincoln's promise, were sighted outside the bar.
Salutes were exchanged, but it was impossible for the vessels to enter
the unknown, unmarked channel. This expedition was commanded by Capt.
Gustavus V. Fox, afterward Assistant Secretary of the Navy, who had
fitted it out with the coöperation of patriotic civilians--G. W.
Blunt, William H. Aspinwall, Russell Sturgis, and others. The vessels
arriving on the morning of April 12th were the war ship _Pawnee_,
under Commodore Rowan, and the transports _Baltic_ and _Harriet Lane_.
The _Pocahontas_, Captain Gillis, arrived on the 13th. Knowing in
advance the impossibility of entering the harbor with these vessels, a
number of launches had been brought, with the intention of running in
the reinforcements in these, under cover of night and protected by the
guns of Sumter. Except for the delay of the _Pocahontas_, which
carried the launches, this would have been attempted on the night of
the 12th, when the garrison anxiously expected the new arrivals.
Postponed until the 13th, it was then too late, as by that time Sumter
had been surrendered.

The expectation of these reinforcements, the fear of a night {16}
assault by the enemy, and the difficulty of deciding whether any boats
that might approach would contain friends to be welcomed or enemies to
be repulsed, made the night of the 12th a most anxious one for the
garrison. But neither friends nor enemies appeared, and after a
breakfast of pork and water, on the morning of the 13th, a momentous
day's fighting began.


By nine o'clock in the morning fire broke out in the officers'
quarters, and it was learned that the hostile batteries were firing
red-hot shot. Discovering the flames, the enemy redoubled their
firing. It was impossible, even were it desirable, to save the wooden
quarters, and, after one or two attempts to quench the flames, they
were allowed to burn. Precautions were taken to secure the powder
magazines from danger by cutting away the woodwork and spreading wet
blankets. Many barrels of powder were rolled out for use. But finally
a shot struck the door of the magazine and locked it fast, cutting off
further supplies of ammunition. Powder that could not be protected was
thrown overboard, but some of it lodging at the base of the fort was
ignited by the enemy's shot, and exploded, blowing a heavy gun at the
nearest embrasure out of battery. A trench was dug in front of the
magazine, and filled with water.

So many of the men were required to attend to these precautions, that
the firing from Sumter slackened up almost to cessation, leading the
enemy to think they had given up. The fire became intense, driving
some of the men outside the fort for air, until the thick-falling
missiles drove them in again; and, combined with the bursting shells,
all this produced a scene that was terrific. As the fire subsided for
want of fuel to burn, the {17} damage was disclosed. A tower at an
angle of the fort, in which shells had been stored, had been entirely
shattered by the bursting of the shells. The wooden gates at the
entrance to the fort were burned through, leaving the way open for
assault, and other entrances were now opened in the same way.

Shortly after noon the flag was shot away from its staff. A tremendous
amount of ammunition had been wasted by the rebels in the ambitious
effort to lower the flag, and at last it was successful. But the
exultation of the enemy was cut short by the plucky action of Peter
Hart, a servant, who had been allowed to join Major Anderson at the
fort on condition that he should remain a non-combatant. Making a
temporary flagstaff of a spar, he nailed the flag to it and tied it
firmly to the gun-carriages on the parapet, accomplishing his feat
under the concentrated fire with which the enemy sought to prevent it.

Supposing the fall of the flag to have been a token of surrender,
ex-Senator Wigfall, of Texas, made his appearance at the fort about
two P.M., announced himself as an aid to General Beauregard, and
requested an interview with Major Anderson. He begged that the
bloodshed might cease, and was told that there had been none at
Sumter. He offered Anderson honorable terms of evacuation, and then

At Wigfall's request, a white flag had been displayed during his
presence at the fort, and the firing ceased. Observing this, General
Beauregard sent a boat containing Colonels Chestnut, Lee, and Pryor,
and Captain Miles, to inquire whether he surrendered. A long parley
ensued, during which these officers said that Wigfall had not been in
communication with Beauregard; upon which Major Anderson said, "Very
well, gentlemen, you can return to your batteries," and announced that
he would run up his flag and renew his fire. But at their request he
agreed to delay this until they could see General Beauregard, and they

That evening, another boat-load of officers came, bringing
Beauregard's confirmation of the terms of evacuation that had been
discussed with Wigfall, although permission to salute the United
States flag was granted with much hesitation. It was then arranged
that Anderson should leave Fort Sumter on the following day, taking
all his men and arms and personal baggage, and saluting the flag.

Early on the morning of Sunday, April 14, all was made ready for the
departure. The firing of the salute was a matter of some danger, as
there was so much fire still about the fort that it was risky to lay
ammunition down, and sparks of fire floated in the air. Fifty guns
were fired before the flag was lowered. In reloading one of them, some
spark that had lodged in the piece prematurely discharged it,
instantly killing the gunner, Daniel Hough. The fire from the muzzle
dropping on the cartridges piled below exploded those also, seriously
injuring five other men. This was the only life lost at Sumter, and
the first life lost in the war; and, with the exception of one man
wounded by a bursting shell, these wounded men received the only
casualties of the brave little garrison that defended Fort Sumter.

The men were formed in company, banners were flung to the breeze, the
drums beat "Yankee Doodle," and the order was given to march through
the charred gateway to the transport that lay at the dock in readiness
to carry them to the _Baltic_, on which they sailed to New York.


When they reached their destination, they were lionized by their
enthusiastic countrymen. Steam whistles and cheers greeted their
passage through the harbor; comforts, long a stranger to them, awaited
them at Fort Hamilton, where they were greeted in the name of a
grateful people by the people's spokesman, Henry Ward Beecher; and the
newspapers sang their praises in one harmonious chorus.

When Fort Sumter was evacuated, it presented very much the exterior
appearance that it did before the bombardment--a few {18} holes
knocked in the masonry were all that the comparatively light artillery
then brought to bear on it could accomplish. Occupied by the
Confederates after the evacuation, it remained in their hands until
the end of the war. When, in 1863, General Q. A. Gillmore bombarded
Charleston, Fort Sumter was reduced to a pile of bricks and mortar;
but such a quantity of cannonballs and shells were poured into its
débris as to form an almost solid mass of iron, practically
impregnable. Sumter never was reduced by artillery fire, and fell into
Federal hands again only when Charleston fell before Sherman's march
to the sea.

On the conglomerate pile which constituted the ruins of the fort, a
dramatic scene of poetic justice occurred on April 14, 1865, the
fourth anniversary of the evacuation of Sumter. An expedition was sent
by the Government to Charleston Harbor to celebrate the recapture by
replacing the national flag on Fort Sumter. The ship _Arago_ bore the
officials in charge of the ceremony, and many invited guests, among
whom were William Lloyd Garrison and the English George Thompson,
leading abolitionists. A patriotic oration was pronounced by Henry
Ward Beecher; and by the hand of Anderson, now major-general, the same
flag which he had lowered in 1861 was drawn to the peak of the
flagstaff, while Sumter's guns and those of every battery in the
harbor that had fired on that flag fired a national salute of one
hundred guns. The flag was riddled with holes, but, as the orator of
the day pointed out, as symbolic of the preserved Union, not a single
star had been shot away. Peter Hart, the brave man who had reset the
flag during the bombardment, was present; and the Rev. Mr. Harris, who
read prayers at the first raising, pronounced the benediction on the
resurrection of the ensign of the nation.

The shot that was fired on Sumter was the signal for a nation to rise
in arms. That Sunday on which Sumter was evacuated was a memorable day
to all who witnessed the intense excitement, the patriotic fury of a
patient people roused to white-hot indignation. As on a gala day, the
American flag suddenly appeared on every public building and from
innumerable private residences. Crowds surged through the streets,
seeking news and conference. The national flag was thrown to the
breeze from nearly every court-house, school-house, college, hotel,
engine-house, railway station and public building, from the spires of
many churches, and from the windows of innumerable private residences.
The fife and drum were heard in the streets, and recruiting offices
were opened in vacant stores or in tents hastily pitched in the public
squares. All sorts and conditions of men left their business and
stepped into the ranks, and in a few days the Government was offered
several times as many troops as had been called for. Boys of fifteen
sat down and wept because they were not permitted to go, but here and
there one dried his tears when he was told that he might be a drummer
or an officer's servant. Attentions between young people were suddenly
ripened into engagements, and engagements of long date were hastily
finished in marriages; for the boys were going, and the girls were
proud to have them go, and wanted to send them off in good spirits.
Everybody seemed anxious to put forth some expression of loyalty to
the national government and the starry flag. In the Ohio senate, on
Friday, the 12th, a senator announced that "the secessionists are
bombarding Fort Sumter." "Glory to God!" exclaimed a woman in the
gallery, breaking the solemn silence which briefly followed the
announcement. This was Abby Kelly Foster, an active abolitionist, who
discerned that at last the final appeal had been taken on the slavery
question--the appeal to the sword--from the triumphant issue of which
would come the freedom for which she and her associates had contended,
and which they believed could come in no other way.


On Monday, April 15, President Lincoln issued a call for seventy-five
thousand militia from the several States "to suppress this combination
against the laws, and to cause the laws to be duly executed."

The response to this call was immediate, and within the week some of
the troops thus summoned were in Washington.

While forts and arsenals were being seized by the Confederates all
over the South, while batteries to reduce Fort Sumter were being
constructed and armed, what had been doing at Washington city, the
capital of the nation?





During the interval between the election and the inauguration of
President Lincoln, a very alarming condition of affairs existed at the
national capital. The administration was in the hands of men who, even
those who were not actively disloyal, were not Republicans, and did
not desire to assume responsibility for the crisis which the
Republican success at the polls had precipitated.

[Illustration: ON THE MARCH.]



The Government service was honeycombed with secession sentiment, which
extended from cabinet officers down to department clerks. Always
essentially a city of Southern sympathies, Washington was filled with
the advocates of State Rights. The retiring Democratic President,
James Buchanan, in addition to a perhaps not unnatural timidity in the
face of impending war and a reluctance to embroil his administration
in affairs which it properly belonged to the incoming administration
to settle, was also torn with conflicting opinions as to the
constitutional questions involved, especially as to his power to
coerce a sovereign State. Turning to his cabinet for advice, he was
easily led to do the things that simplified the Southern preparations
to leave the Union.

{20} It has been told that the regular army troops had been sent away
from Washington, leaving a mere handful of marines on duty there. It
became a problem for loyal men to devise means for the maintenance of
order at the seat of Government. It being the policy of the Government
at that time to do nothing to provoke hostilities, it was deemed
unwise to bring regular troops openly into Washington. There was no
regularly organized militia there; only a few independent companies of
doubtful, or unascertained, loyalty.

The aged Gen. Winfield Scott was in command of the army in 1860, and
appreciating that trouble would come either from continued
acquiescence in the aggressions of the South or from a show of force,
he advised the President to quietly enroll the loyal people of the
District of Columbia for the guardianship of the capital. For this
duty he called in Charles P. Stone, a graduate of West Point and a
veteran of the Mexican war, who was made Inspector-General of the
District of Columbia, with the rank of colonel.

Colonel Stone took measures to ascertain the sentiments of the
existing independent military companies. With admirable diplomacy he
disarmed such of them as were found to be disloyal. Some of them he
found to be in excellent condition of drill and equipment, by
connivance of the Secretary of War, John B. Floyd, and they were well
aware that it was their destiny to help defend the South against the
"coercion" of the Yankees. Opposition from the War Department to
Colonel Stone's measures ceased with Floyd's resignation, and under
the new Secretary of War, Joseph Holt (afterward Lincoln's
Attorney-General), he was able to enroll in a few weeks thirty-three
companies of infantry volunteers and two troops of cavalry, under
trustworthy leaders. These were recruited from neighborhoods, from
among artisans, and from fire companies. All this was done with the
discretion required by the strained condition of public feeling, which
was such that, as General Scott said to Colonel Stone, "a dog-fight
might cause the gutters of the capital to run with blood." As the time
for Lincoln's inauguration approached, it became safe to move more
openly; and by the 4th of March a company of sappers and miners and a
battery had been brought down from West Point, while thirty new
companies had been added to the volunteer force of the District.


{21} [Illustration: LAST MOMENTS OF JOHN BROWN.

  John Brown of Ossawatomie, spake on his dying day:
  "I will not have to shrive my soul a priest in slavery's pay,
  But let some poor slave-mother, whom I have striven to free,
  With her children, from the gallows stair, put up a prayer for me!"

  John Brown of Ossawatomie, they led him out to die:
  And lo! a poor slave-mother, with her little child, pressed nigh;
  Then the bold blue eye grew tender, and the old harsh face grew
  As he stooped between the crowding ranks, and kissed the negro's

    J. G. Whittier.]

In the first enthusiasm over the dramatic incidents attending the
beginning of hostilities, the great services rendered by these troops
were overlooked by the public. Abraham Lincoln's journey to Washington
was beset with such danger that the last stage of it was made
secretly, in advance of the published programme, and there was great
rejoicing when it was announced that the President was "safe in
Washington." He could not have been safe there except for the {22}
presence of Colonel Stone's volunteers. Trouble was apprehended at his
inauguration. But the dispositions made by Colonel Stone secured peace
and quiet for that ceremonial in a city teeming with traitors and
would-be assassins. The advance to Washington of the troops called out
by Lincoln's proclamation of April 15 was opposed in Maryland,
regiments were attacked in the streets of Baltimore, and communicating
railroad bridges were burned in order that no more troops for the
subjugation of the South might pass through that border city. The
South was flocking to arms, stimulated by the desire of seizing
Washington. To a delegation that called on the President to protest
against the passage of troops through Baltimore, Mr. Lincoln summed up
the situation by saying: "I _must_ have troops for the defence of the
capital. The Carolinians are marching across Virginia to seize the
capital and hang me. What am I to do? I _must_ have troops, I say; and
as they can neither crawl under Maryland nor fly over it, they must
come across it."

During all this troubled time the District volunteers were the only
reliance for the security of the public property, for guarding the
approaches to the city, and for keeping open the communications for
the entrance of the coming troops. They were among the first to be
mustered into the United States service, and among the first to
advance into Virginia.

planks were laid loose on the beams, and at night they were taken up,
so that the bridge could not be crossed by the Confederate cavalry
that hovered about the capital.]

To secure the public buildings against a rising among the
secessionists living in Washington, the volunteer companies and the
regular army batteries were conveniently posted, the bridges and
highways leading to the city were guarded, and signals were arranged
for the concentration at any given point of the eight thousand men who
now constituted the garrison of the capital. Provisions were collected
and stored, many of them in the Capitol building, and, to such extent
as the force warranted, Washington was considered secure unless a
Southern army was marched against it. And this impending danger was
daily increasing. On April 17, Jefferson Davis, the President of the
Confederacy, had called for thirty-two thousand troops, and had
offered letters of marque to vessels to attack American commerce. The
arrival of the militia called out by President Lincoln's proclamation
was anxiously awaited.

       *       *       *       *       *

Almost before the boom of the guns that were fired on Sumter had
ceased, military preparations were actively under way in nearly every
city and village in the North. The uniformed {23} militia regiments
were promptly filled up to their full numbers by new enlistments. Home
Guards were organized in country towns, to defend their homes should
the war be waged in the North, and to man afresh, when necessary, the
companies already sent out. To fife and drum, the ununiformed farmers
marched up and down the village green, temporarily armed with
shot-guns and smooth-bore rifles, acquiring proficiency in "Hardee's
Tactics" under the direction of old militia officers who had shone
resplendent on former "training days." Neither custom nor regulations
prescribing any particular uniforms, the greatest variety of fancy was
shown in the equipment of the volunteers. Some adopted the zouave
uniform, which had become popular through the then recent war between
France and Austria and the memories of Magenta and Solferino.
Garibaldi was a popular hero of the day, and the red shirts of his
trusty men were another of the uniforms particularly favored. The war
enthusiasm extended to the women and children, and sewing circles were
organized for the making of many useful, and also many useless,
articles for camp and hospital. The "havelocks"--a cap-cover and cape
combined--however useful in India, were not wanted in America. Later,
when there were sick and wounded to be cared for, these organizations
of women were of inestimable service in preparing lint, bandages, and
delicacies for the hospitals.


[Illustration: MAJ.-GEN. JOHN E. WOOL.]


Prompt to discern the coming appeal to arms, John A. Andrew, the
famous "war governor" of Massachusetts, had begun to recruit, arm, and
equip his State militia as early as February, 1860, and by the time
the call for troops came he had thirteen thousand men ready, not only
to go to the front, but to furnish their own camp equipage and
rations. Of these, nearly four thousand responded to the first call
for three-months' volunteers. The first regiment to start for
Washington was the Sixth Militia, Col. Edward F. Jones, which left
Boston on April 17, only three days after the fall of Sumter. The
passage of the train bearing this regiment was one long ovation from
Boston to Philadelphia. At the latter city, as at New York, the men
were received with enthusiastic hospitality, welcomed, fed, and plied
with good things for their already overstocked haversacks; and it
began to seem as though war were one continuous picnic. At least until
the defence of Washington should begin, they were under no
apprehension of trouble, until, on approaching Baltimore, on April 19,
the anniversary of the Revolutionary battle of Lexington, the officers
were warned that the passage of the regiment through that city would
be forcibly opposed by a mob, which was already collected and marching
about the city, following a secession flag. Colonel Jones ordered
ammunition to be distributed, and, passing through the cars in person,
he warned the men that they were to pay no attention to abuse or even
missiles, and that, if it became necessary for them to fire on the
mob, they would receive orders to that effect from their commandants.

The passage of trains through Baltimore at that period was by horse
power across the city, from one depot to another. The horses being
quickly attached as soon as the locomotive was taken off, cars
carrying about two-thirds of the regiment were driven rapidly over the
route; but to intercept the remaining four companies the mob
barricaded the tracks, and it became necessary for these to abandon
the cars and cover the remaining distance on foot. At once they became
the target for showers of stones thrown by the mob, and in order to
lessen the need of armed resistance, the officers gave the order to
proceed at the double-quick. It was a mistake, but a common one when
citizen soldiers are dealing with a mob; the most merciful as well as
the wisest course being to scatter the mob promptly by a warning,
followed by the promised volley. The mob thought they had the troops
on the run, and were encouraged to believe that they either dared not
shoot or that they were without ammunition. The missiles were followed
with pistol shots, at which one soldier fell dead. Then the order to
fire was given to the troops, and several of the crowd, rioters and
spectators, fell. The mayor of Baltimore joined the officers at the
head of the column, to give his authority to its progress, and also to
tell the officers to {24} defend themselves. Instead of being faced
about to confront the mob, the troops were marched steadily forward,
turning about as they advanced and delivering a desultory fire, which,
however, did not deter the mob from continuing its attack. At last,
Marshal Kane, of the Baltimore police, interposed with a company of
policemen between the rear of troops and the rioters, formed a line,
and ordered the mob back on penalty of a pistol volley. This was so
effective as to practically end the affair, and without further
serious disturbance the detachment joined their comrades at the Camden
station, and boarded the train that took them to Washington. The
regiment's loss was four killed and thirty-six wounded. The men were
furious over the affair, and it required all the authority of the
colonel to keep them from leaving the cars and taking vengeance on
Baltimore for the death of their comrades. Arrived at Washington, the
first regiment to come in response to the call of the President, they
were quartered in the Senate Chamber.

[Illustration: EPISCOPAL CHURCH, ALEXANDRIA, VA. General George
Washington and General Robert Lee attended this church.]


After this incident, the mayor and police of Baltimore, who had done
their duty handsomely, with the approval of the governor destroyed the
tracks and railway bridges leading into the city, that there might be
no repetition of such scenes; and the troops that followed--the
Twenty-seventh Pennsylvania (which, unarmed, had reached Baltimore
with the Sixth Massachusetts, but had to turn back), the Eighth
Massachusetts under Gen. Benjamin F. Butler, and the famous Seventh
New York--had to reach Washington by way of Annapolis. The Seventh,
under Colonel Lefferts, was the first home regiment to leave New York
City, and nothing could exceed the enthusiasm of the demonstrations
that accompanied its march down Broadway. To greet its passage out of
the city to the front, all business was suspended, and the population
turned _en masse_ into the streets. Boxes of cigars and other luxuries
were thrust into the hands of the men as they passed down Broadway in
a triumphal march such as has never been surpassed in the annals of
the city. There was a certain dramatic element, new at the time, and
scarcely repeated during the war, in this departure of a regiment
composed literally of the flower of a great and wealthy city,
representing its best elements, social and commercial. When General
(then Major) McDowell mustered them in at Washington, he said to one
of the captains: "You have a company of officers, not privates;" and
out of the less than one thousand men composing this command, over six
hundred, mostly privates, afterward became officers in the Union army.
Among these were such names as Abram Duryea, who organized "Duryea's
Zouaves;" Egbert L. Viele, Noah L. Farnam, Edward L. Molineux,
Alexander Shaler, Louis Fitzgerald, Philip Schuyler, FitzJames
O'Brien; Robert G. Shaw, who fell at Fort Wagner, leading to the
assault his Massachusetts regiment, which was the first colored
regiment to be organized under State authority; and Theodore Winthrop,
whose death at Big Bethel, as a brave officer and man of letters, was
one of the conspicuous casualties of the early days of the war.

These troops were taken on transports from Philadelphia to Annapolis,
another town of {25} Southern sympathies, where, except for the
hospitality of the United States Naval Academy, they were most
unwelcome. From that point they made their way, at first by train, and
then, being obstructed by the destruction of railroads and railroad
bridges, by forced marches, until they reached Annapolis Junction,
where they were met by a regiment sent out from Washington to meet
them, and thence proceeded by rail again. The strict discipline of
Colonel Lefferts, to which they owed their successful pioneer work in
opening the way to the capital, took them in review past President
Lincoln at the White House before they breakfasted, and they had no
let-up on the hardship of their service until they were quartered in
the House of Representatives, where they were subsequently sworn into
the service of the Government.

This episode is worth recounting, since it was the determined advance
of these troops--the Eighth Massachusetts, under Colonel Hinks,
accompanying them--in spite of rumors of a large secessionist force
between them and Washington, that made access to the seat of
government practicable for the regiments that promptly followed them,
including more men from Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, the First
Rhode Island, the Sixth, Eighth, Ninth, and Seventy-first New York,
the latter regiments reaching Annapolis before the Seventh New York
and Eighth Massachusetts left, thus keeping the way open. Had the
rumored fifteen thousand rebels actually lain between Annapolis and
Washington, it would have gone hard with the Government and the
fortunes of the Union.

Troops continued to pour into Washington, until it really became an
embarrassment to know what to do with them. They "bunked" all over the
city, were quartered so far as practicable in the Government
buildings, and made the national capital festive with the pranks in
which they let off the animal spirits they carried into the grand
picnic they seemed to have started on. Among them, a regiment of
Zouaves, recruited from the New York Fire Department by Col. Elmer E.
Ellsworth, was conspicuous. They were the last of the old-time
"toughs," and they made things lively in the capital. They swarmed
over the Capitol building, scaling its walls and running about its
cornices in true fire-laddie fashion, and once they rendered a
distinct service to the city of Washington by saving a burning
building adjoining Willard's Hotel, displaying a reckless daring that
gave the District firemen some new ideas.


[Illustration: MARSHALL HOUSE, ALEXANDRIA. Where Colonel Ellsworth was


BENJAMIN, Attorney-General--War--State. JOHN H. REAGAN,
Postmaster-General. STEPHEN R. MALLORY, Secretary of the Navy.
Secretary of State. LEROY P. WALKER, Secretary of War.]

Ellsworth had attracted much attention in 1860 by the admirable work
of a company of Chicago Zouaves, with which he had given exhibition
drills in the East, and he was early commissioned a second lieutenant
in the regular army. But he resigned this position in order to
organize the Fire Zouaves, which he marched down Broadway under escort
of the Fire Department, and entered upon active service only to
sacrifice his life at the very beginning in a needless but tragic
manner. As soon as troops arrived in Washington in sufficient numbers,
the Government determined to make Washington secure by seizing its
outposts. Among these were Arlington Heights, across the Potomac, on
the "sacred soil of Virginia," of which this occupation was termed the
first "invasion." Ellsworth's regiment occupied the city of
Alexandria; and then, discovering a secession flag flying from the
Marshall House, the colonel mounted to the roof in person and tore the
flag down. Descending, he was met at the foot of the stairs by
Jackson, the proprietor of the hotel, who shot him dead with a
shot-gun. Ellsworth's death was promptly avenged by Private Francis E.
Brownell, who had accompanied him, and who put a bullet through
Jackson's head; but, as the first death of an officer, it created
wide-spread excitement {27} throughout the North, not excelled by that
over the Massachusetts men who fell in Baltimore, and royal honors
were shown to his remains. They lay in state in the White House, where
he had been a great favorite with the President, and were conveyed to
their last resting-place with every military distinction. Perhaps this
incident, more than any that had yet occurred, brought home to the
people of the North the reality of the war that was upon them. But it
only stimulated recruiting; the death of Ellsworth weighing far less
with the generous patriotism of the young men who filled up regiment
after regiment, than the glory of Ellsworth, and the honor of Private

       *       *       *       *       *

While the levies were coming into Washington, the Southern leaders had
not been idle. Response to Jefferson Davis's call for troops was
general all over the States, and the week that intervened between
Sumter and the riot in Baltimore was a busy one. In Virginia, the
Governor took into his own hands measures for the defence of his
State. As early as April 15 he caused a number of militia officers to
be summoned to Richmond, and he placed in their hands the execution of
a movement to capture the United States Arsenal at Harper's Ferry, at
the junction of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers. Proceeding with a
small command through an unfriendly country, these officers, among
whom was the afterward famous Confederate general, John D. Imboden,
reached their destination in the gray of the early morning of April
18, the day after the Virginia Legislature had passed the ordinance of
secession. Instead of the resistance they had looked forward to on
information that a Massachusetts regiment was guarding Harper's Ferry,
they were welcomed with the sight of buildings in flames, which told
them, only too truly, that the United States garrison had abandoned
the place on their approach, and had set fire to the arsenal and
stores to save them from falling into the hands of the Confederates.


Early warning of the attempted seizure of Harper's Ferry had been
confided to a messenger who had volunteered to acquaint the Government
with the impending peril, and word was sent that heavy reinforcements
alone would save this property to the United States. But in those
formative days, when many earnest men hesitated between loyalty to the
Union and loyalty to their State, when officers like Lee abandoned the
old service with reluctance under a sense of paramount duty to their
State, a man who was loyal one day would conclude overnight to secede
with his State. And from some such cause as this, or through fear of
the consequences, the messenger never delivered the message to the War
Department, and the reinforcements, though anxiously expected, never
came. The arsenal had been left in charge of Lieut. Roger Jones, who
had been ordered to Harper's Ferry from Carlisle Barracks, Penn., with
a small force of forty-five men. Hearing nothing from Washington in
response to his request for aid, he made up his mind on the evening of
April 17, that the only course open to him was to save his garrison by
retreat, and destroy the property thus abandoned. This determination
was confirmed by the news brought to him, by a former superintendent
of the arsenal, of the coming of the Virginia troops. Although this
same man had loyally reported, so long before as January, that an
attempt might be made, he now told the workmen engaged at the arsenal
that within twenty-four hours the arsenal would be in the hands of the
Virginia forces, and advised them to protect the property, cast their
lot with the secessionists, and insure to themselves a continuance of
work under the new régime.

Lieutenant Jones immediately made secret preparations. He had trains
of powder laid through the buildings, and when the force of thirteen
hundred Virginians had approached to within a mile of the arsenal, at
nine o'clock on the evening of April 17, the torch was applied, and
the flames ran through the works, which were quickly burning. Some of
the powder trains had been wet by the Southern sympathizers among the
workmen, but the result was a practical destruction of nearly all that
would have been valuable as munitions of war. The powder that was
stored in the buildings exploded from time to time, effectually
preventing serious efforts to put out the fire. The garrison was
withdrawn {28} across the Potomac and marched back to Carlisle. When
the Virginians came up the next morning, they found only the burning
arsenal buildings to greet them.

Enough property was rescued from the destruction to make the capture a
useful one to the Confederates, however; and the possession of
Harper's Ferry gave them command of an important line of communication
with Washington, by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Anticipating the
use of this line for the transportation of Western troops to
Washington, Gen. Kenton Harper, commanding the Virginians, stopped the
first train through; but his only capture was the person of Gen.
William S. Harney, of the regular army, who was on his way to
Washington to resign his commission rather than engage in the civil
war. He was made a prisoner and sent to Richmond, whence he was
allowed to proceed on his errand. General Harney did not resign, but
was presently sent to Missouri to command the Department of the West.
But his conciliating method of dealing with the enemy, together with
his uncertain loyalty, caused him to be relieved very soon. The
strategic value of Harper's Ferry was developed under Col. Thomas J.
Jackson (afterward the celebrated "Stonewall"), who was made colonel
commandant of all the Virginia forces, superseding all the previously
existing militia generals. Robert E. Lee had been given the general
command of the State troops, with Jackson as his executive officer,
and by a legislative ordinance every militia officer above the grade
of captain had been relegated to private life unless reappointed by
the governor under the new dispensation.


The bridge at Point of Rocks, a few miles down the Potomac toward
Washington, was seized and fortified against a possible attack by
General Butler, who was near Baltimore; and by a clever _ruse_ a great
number of trains on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad were "bagged," and
the cars and engines side-tracked into Strasburg, greatly facilitating
the Confederate train service in Virginia. Horses and supplies were
secured from the neighboring country, and when Gen. Joseph E. Johnston
superseded Jackson a month later at Harper's Ferry, the Confederates
were in good shape to confront an advance on their position from
Maryland or Pennsylvania, or to send reinforcements, as they did, when
the first considerable struggle of the war came at Bull Run, fifty
miles south of them.

[Illustration: ALEXANDER H. STEPHENS, Vice-President C. S. A.]

Another destruction of Government property by Government officers,
about this time, most unnecessary and unfortunate, deprived the Navy
Department of ships and material that would have been incalculably
precious, and furnished the Confederates with three ships, one of
which, the _Merrimac_, was to be heard from later in a signal manner.

At the Gosport Navy Yard, opposite Norfolk, Va., there were, besides
many munitions of war, no less than eleven fine war ships, a majority
of which were armed and ready for sea. The Government made prompt
preparations to secure these after the fall of Sumter; and but for the
delay of the commandant, Commodore Charles S. McCauley, in executing
his orders, a number of the vessels, with stores, armament, and crews,
would have been withdrawn into safe waters. But under the influence of
his junior officers, most of whom subsequently joined the Confederacy,
he deferred action until better prepared. This delay was fatal; for on
April 18 he suddenly was confronted by a hostile force, though small
in numbers, under General Taliaferro, which had seized Norfolk and
threatened the navy yard. The {29} action of the latter in waiting one
day for expected reinforcements from Richmond, and Commodore
McCauley's promise not to move a vessel or fire a shot except in
defence, gave the Union commander time to do what he could to destroy
the property in his charge; and on April 20 he scuttled every ship in
the harbor, sinking them just before the arrival of Capt. Hiram
Paulding in the _Pawnee_ with orders to relieve McCauley, and to save
or destroy the property. Seeing that it would be possible for the
enemy to raise the sunken vessels, and that after the ships had been
rendered useless he could not hold the place with his small force,
Paulding decided to complete the work of destruction as far as
possible, and told off his men in detachments for this duty. Ships,
ship-houses, barracks, wharves, were at the signal (a rocket) set
ablaze, and the display was magnificent as pyrotechnics, and
discouraging to the enemy, which had expected to secure a ready-made
navy for the taking of it. When to the roar of the flames was added
the boom of the loaded guns as the fire reached them, the effect was
tremendous. Under cover of all this, the _Pawnee_ drew out of the
harbor, accompanied by the steam-tug _Yankee_ towing the _Cumberland_,
which alone of the fleet had not been scuttled, and bearing the loyal
garrison and crews. In the haste with which the work of destruction
had been undertaken, the result was incomplete. The mine under the
dry-dock did not explode; and that most useful appliance, together
with many shops, cannon, and provisions, was secured by the
Confederates, who also succeeded in raising and using three of the
sunken and partially burned vessels--the _Merrimac_, _Raritan_, and
_Plymouth_, under the guns of the first of which, from behind its
armored sides, the _Cumberland_ afterward came to grief in Hampton

[Illustration: BRIGADIER-GENERAL E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant






Abraham Lincoln's inaugural address was one of the ablest state papers
recorded in American history. It argued the question of secession in
all its aspects--the constitutional right, the reality of the
grievance, the sufficiency of the remedy--and so far as law and logic
went, it left the secessionists little or nothing to stand on. But
neither law nor logic could change in a single day the pre-determined
purpose of a powerful combination, or allay the passions that had been
roused by years of resentful debate. Some of its sentences read like
maxims for statesmen: "The central idea of secession is the essence of
anarchy." "Can aliens make treaties easier than friends can make
laws?" "Why should there not be a patient confidence in the ultimate
justice of the people? Is there any better or equal hope in the
world?" With all its conciliatory messages it expressed a firm and
unalterable purpose to maintain the Union at every hazard. "I
consider," he said, "that, in view of the Constitution and the laws,
the Union is unbroken, and to the extent of my ability I shall take
care, as the Constitution itself expressly enjoins upon me, that the
laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all the States. Doing this
I deem to be only a simple duty on my part; and I shall perform it, so
far as practicable, unless my rightful masters, the American people,
shall withhold the requisite means, or in some authoritative manner
direct the contrary." And in closing he said: "In your hands, my
dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous
issue of civil war. The Government will not assail you. You can have
no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath
registered in heaven to destroy the Government, while I have the most
solemn one to preserve, protect and defend it.... We are not enemies,
but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained,
it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic cords of memory,
stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living
heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the
chorus of the Union when again touched, as surely they will be, by the
better angels of our nature."

{30} [Illustration: SHERMAN AND HIS GENERALS. Oliver O. Howard. John
A. Logan. William B. Hazen. William T. Sherman. Jeff. C. Davis. Henry
W. Slocum. J. A. Mower.]

No such address had ever come from the lips of a {31} President
before. Pierce and Buchanan had scolded the abolitionists like
partisans; Lincoln talked to the secessionists like a brother. The
loyal people throughout the country received the address with
satisfaction. The secessionists bitterly denounced it. Overlooking all
its pacific declarations, and keeping out of sight the fact that a
majority of the Congress just chosen was politically opposed to the
President, they appealed to the Southern people to say whether they
would "submit to abolition rule," and whether they were going to look
on and "see gallant little South Carolina crushed under the heel of



In spite of all such appeals, there was still a strong Union sentiment
at the South. This sentiment was admirably expressed by Hon. Alexander
H. Stephens in a speech delivered on November 14, 1860, in the
following words: "This step of secession, once taken, can never be
recalled; and all the baleful and withering consequences that must
follow will rest on the convention for all time.... What reasons can
you give the nations of the earth to justify it? What right has the
North assailed? What interest of the South has been invaded? What
justice has been denied? And what claim founded in justice and right
has been withheld? Can either of you to-day name one governmental act
of wrong, deliberately and purposely done by the Government of
Washington, of which the South has the right to complain? I challenge
the answer.... I declare here, as I have often done before, and which
has been repeated by the greatest and wisest of statesmen and patriots
in this and other lands, that it is the best and freest
Government--the most equal in its rights, the most just in its
decisions, the most lenient in its measures, and the most inspiring in
its principles to elevate the race of men--that the sun of heaven ever
shone upon. Now, for you to attempt to overthrow such a Government as
this, under which we have lived for more than three-quarters of a
century, in which we have gained our wealth, our standing as a {32}
nation, our domestic safety while the elements of peril are around us,
with peace and tranquillity accompanied with unbounded prosperity and
rights unassailed--is the height of madness, folly and wickedness, to
which I can neither lend my sanction nor my vote." In a speech by Mr.
Stephens delivered in Savannah, March 22, 1861, he expressed entirely
different views; in expounding the new constitution, he said: "The
prevailing idea entertained by him [Thomas Jefferson] and most of the
leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old Constitution
was, that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws
of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally and
politically.... Our new Government is founded upon exactly the
opposite idea. Its foundation was laid, and its corner-stone rests,
upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man,
that slavery, in subordination to the superior race, is his natural
and normal condition." Seven slave States had gone out, but eight
remained, and the anxiety of the secessionists was to secure these at
once, or most of them, before the excitement cooled. The great prize
was Virginia, both because of her own power and resources, and because
her accession to the Confederacy would necessarily bring North
Carolina also. Her governor, John Letcher, professed to be a Unionist;
but his conduct after the ordinance of secession had been passed
appears to prove that this profession was insincere. In electing
delegates to a convention to consider the question of secession, the
Unionists cast a majority of sixty thousand votes; and on the 4th of
April, when President Lincoln had been in office a month, that
convention refused, by a vote of eighty-nine to forty-five, to pass an
ordinance of secession. The leading revolutionists of the cotton
States were becoming uneasy. Said Mr. Gilchrist, of Alabama, to the
Confederate Secretary of War: "You must sprinkle blood in the faces of
the people! If you delay two months, Alabama stays in the Union!"
Hence the attack on Fort Sumter, out of which the garrison were in
peril of being driven by starvation. This certainly had a great
popular effect in the South as well as in the North; but Virginia's
choice appears to have been determined by a measure that was less
spectacular and more coldly significant. The Confederate Constitution
provided that Congress should have the power to "prohibit the
introduction of slaves from any State not a member of, or Territory
not belonging to, this Confederacy," and at the time when Virginia's
fate was in the balance it was reported that such an act had been
passed by the Congress at Montgomery.[1] When Virginia heard this,
like the young man in Scripture, she went away sorrowful; for in that
line of trade she had great possessions. The cultivation of land by
slave labor had long since ceased to be profitable in the border
States--or at least it was far less profitable than raising slaves for
the cotton States--and the acquisition of new territory in Texas had
enormously increased the demand. The {33} greatest part of this
business (sometimes estimated as high as one-half) was Virginia's. It
was called "the vigintal crop," as the blacks were ready for market
and at their highest value about the age of twenty. As it was an
ordinary business of bargain and sale, no statistics were kept; but
the lowest estimate of the annual value of the trade in the Old
Dominion placed it in the tens of millions of dollars. President Dew,
of William and Mary College, in his celebrated pamphlet, wrote:
"Virginia is, in fact, a negro-raising State for other States." The
New York _Journal of Commerce_ of October 12, 1835, contained a letter
from a Virginian (vouched for by the editor) in which it was asserted
that twenty thousand slaves had been driven south from that State that
year. In 1836 the Wheeling (Va.) _Times_ estimated the number of
slaves exported from that State during the preceding year at forty
thousand, valued at twenty-four million dollars. The Baltimore
_Register_ in 1846 said: "Dealing in slaves has become a large
business; establishments are made in several places in Maryland and
Virginia, at which they are sold like cattle." The Richmond
_Examiner_, before the war, said: "Upon an inside estimate, they [the
slaves of Virginia] yield in gross surplus produce, from sales of
negroes to go south, ten million dollars." In the United States
Senate, just before the war, Hon. Alfred Iverson, of Georgia, replying
to Mr. Powell, of Virginia, said Virginia was deeply interested in
secession: for if the cotton States seceded, Virginia would find no
market for her slaves, without which that State would be ruined.

[Footnote 1: It is now impossible to prove positively that such a law
was actually passed; for the officially printed volume of "Statutes at
Large of the Provisional Government of the Confederate States of
America" (Richmond, 1861) was evidently mutilated before being placed
in the hands of the compositor. The Acts are numbered, but here and
there numbers are missing, and in some of the later Acts there are
allusions to previous Acts that cannot be found in the book. It is
known that on the 6th of March, 1861, the Judiciary Committee was
instructed to inquire into the expediency of such prohibition, and it
seems a fair conjecture that one of the missing numbers was an Act of
this character. In a later edition (1864) the numbering is made
consecutive, but the missing matter is not restored.]


APRIL 19, 1861.]

[Illustration: COLONEL MARSHALL LEFFERTS, Commanding Seventh

{34} [Illustration: ON PICKET. (Showing photographer's outfit.)]

After Sumter had been fired on, and the Confederate Congress had
forbidden this traffic to outsiders, the Virginia Convention again
took up the ordinance of secession (April 17) and passed it in secret
session by a vote of eighty-eight to fifty-five. It was not to take
effect till approved by the people; but the day fixed for their voting
upon it was six weeks distant, the last Thursday in May. Long before
that date, Governor Letcher, without waiting for the verdict of the
people, turned over the entire military force and equipment of the
State to the Confederate authorities, and the seat of the Confederate
Government was removed from Montgomery to Richmond. David G. Farragut,
afterwards the famous admiral, who was in Norfolk, Virginia, at the
time, anxiously watching the course of events, {35} declared that the
State "had been dragooned out of the Union," and he refused to be
dragooned with her. But Robert E. Lee and other prominent Virginians
resigned their commissions in the United States service to enter that
of their States or of the Confederacy, and the soil of Virginia was
overrun by soldiers from the cotton States. Any other result than a
vote for secession was therefore impossible. Arkansas followed with a
similar ordinance on the 6th of May, and North Carolina on the 21st,
neither being submitted to a popular vote. Kentucky refused to secede.
For Tennessee and Missouri there was a prolonged struggle.

[Illustration: GENERAL JOSEPH G. TOTTEN, Chief of Engineers.]



[Illustration: MAJOR THEODORE WINTHROP. Killed at Big Bethel.]

When Fort Sumter was surrendered, the Confederates had already
acquired possession of Castle Pinckney and Fort Moultrie in Charleston
Harbor, Fort Pulaski at Savannah, Fort Morgan at the entrance of
Mobile Bay, Forts Jackson and St. Philip below New Orleans, the
navy-yard and Forts McRae and Barrancas at Pensacola, the arsenals at
Mount Vernon, Ala., and Little Rock, Ark., and the New Orleans Mint.
The largest force of United States regulars was that in Texas, under
command of Gen. David E. Twiggs, who surrendered it in February, and
turned over to the insurgents one million two hundred and fifty
thousand dollars' worth of military property.

On the day when Sumter fell, President Lincoln penned a proclamation,
issued the next day (Monday, April 15), which declared "that the laws
of the United States have been for some time past, and now are,
opposed, and the execution thereof obstructed, in the States of South
Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and
Texas, by combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary
course of judicial proceedings or by the powers vested in the marshals
by law," and called for militia from the several States of the Union
to the number of seventy-five thousand. It also called a special
session of Congress, to convene on July 4. He appealed "to all loyal
citizens to favor, facilitate, and aid this effort to maintain the
honor, the integrity, and existence of our National Union, and the
perpetuity of popular government, and to redress wrongs already long
enough endured."

With regard to the reception of this celebrated proclamation in the
South, Alexander H. Stephens writes as follows, in his History of the
war: "The effect of this upon the public mind of the Southern States
cannot be described or even estimated. Up to this time, a majority, I
think, of even those who favored the policy of secession had done so
under the belief and conviction that it was the surest way of securing
a redress of grievances, and of bringing the Federal Government back
to Constitutional principles. This proclamation dispelled all such
hopes. It showed that the party in power intended nothing short of
complete centralization. The principles actuating the Washington
authorities were those aiming at consolidated power; while the
principles controlling the action of the Montgomery authorities were
those which enlisted devotion and attachment to the Federative system
as established by the Fathers in 1778 and 1787. In short, the cause of
the Confederates was States Sovereignty, or the sovereign right of
local self-government on the part of the States severally. The cause
of their assailants involved the overthrow of this entire fabric, and
the erection of a centralized empire in its stead."

The effect of this proclamation in the North has already been referred
to. Mr. Lincoln's faith in the people had always been strong; but the
response to this proclamation was probably a surprise even to him, as
it certainly was to the secessionists, who had assured the Southern
people that the Yankees would not fight. The whole North was thrilled
with military ardor, and moved almost as one man. The papers were
lively with great head-lines and double-leaded editorials; and the
local poet filled the spare space--when there was any--with his
glowing patriotic effusions. The closing passage of Longfellow's
"Building of the Ship," written a dozen years before, beginning:

  "Thou, too, sail on, O Ship of State!
   Sail on, O Union, strong and great!
   Humanity with all its fears,
   With all the hopes of future years,
   Is hanging breathless on thy fate!"

{36} was in constant demand, and was recited effectively by nearly
every orator that addressed a war meeting.

Eminent men of all parties and all professions spoke out for the
Union. Stephen A. Douglas, who had long been Lincoln's rival, and had
opposed the policy of coercion, went to the White House the day before
Sumter fell, had a long interview with the President, and promised a
hearty support of the Administration, which was immediately
telegraphed over the country, and had a powerful effect. Ex-President
Pierce (who had made the direful prediction of blood in Northern
streets), ex-President Buchanan (who had failed to find any authority
for coercion), Gen. Lewis Cass (a Democratic partisan since the war of
1812), Archbishop Hughes (the highest dignitary of the Roman Catholic
Church in America), and numerous others, all "came out for the Union,"
as the phrase went. The greater portion of the Democratic party, which
had opposed Lincoln's election, also, as individuals, sustained the
Administration in its determination not to permit a division of the
country. These were known as "war Democrats," while those that opposed
and reviled the Government were called "Copperheads," in allusion to
the snake of that name. Some of the bolder ones attempted to take the
edge off the sarcasm by cutting the head of Liberty out of a copper
cent and wearing it as a scarf-pin; but all they could say was quickly
drowned in the general clamor.

Town halls, schoolhouses, academies, and even churches were turned
into temporary barracks. Village greens and city squares were occupied
every day by platoons of men, most of them not yet uniformed, marching
and wheeling and countermarching, and being drilled in the manual of
arms by officers that knew just a little more than they did, by virtue
of having bought a handbook of tactics the day before, and sat up all
night to study it. There was great scarcity of arms. One regiment was
looking dubiously at some ancient muskets that had just been placed in
their hands, when the colonel came up and with grim humor assured them
that he had seen those weapons used in the Mexican War, and more men
were killed in front of them than behind them. The boys had great
respect for the colonel, but they wanted to be excused from believing
his story.


VA., APRIL 18, 1861.]




The disposition of the border slave States was one of the most
difficult problems with which the Government had to deal. When the
President issued his call for seventy-five thousand men, the Governors
of Missouri, Kentucky and Tennessee, as well as those of North
Carolina and Virginia, returned positive refusals. The Governor of
Missouri answered: "It is illegal, unconstitutional, revolutionary,
inhuman, diabolical, and cannot {37} be complied with." The Governor
of Kentucky said: "Kentucky will furnish no troops for the wicked
purpose of subduing her sister Southern States." The Governor of
Tennessee: "Tennessee will not furnish a single man for coercion, but
fifty thousand, if necessary, for the defence of our rights and those
of our brethren." The Governor of North Carolina: "I can be no party
to this wicked violation of the laws of the country and to this war
upon the liberties of a free people. You can get no troops from North
Carolina." The Governor of Virginia: "The militia of Virginia will not
be furnished to the powers at Washington for any such use or purpose
as they have in view." Every one of these governors was a
secessionist, with a strong and aggressive party at his back; and yet
in each of these States the secessionists were in a minority. It was a
serious matter to increase the hostility that beset the National arms
on what in another war would have been called neutral ground, and it
was also a serious matter to leave the Union element in the
northernmost slave States without a powerful support and protection.
The problem was worked out differently in each of the States.

[Illustration: A BATTERY ON DRILL.]


At the winter session of the Missouri Legislature an act had been
passed that placed the city of St. Louis under the control of police
commissioners to be appointed by the Governor, Claiborne F. Jackson.
Four of his appointees were secessionists, and three of these were
leaders of bodies of "minutemen," half-secret armed organizations. The
mayor of the city, who {38} was also one of the commissioners, was
known as a "conditional Union man." Other acts showed plainly the bent
of the Legislature. One made it treason to speak against the authority
of the Governor, and gave him enlarged powers, while another
appropriated three million dollars for military purposes, taking the
entire school fund for the year, and the accumulations that were to
have paid the July interest on the public debt.

[Illustration: RECRUITS TO THE FRONT.]

A State convention called to consider the question of secession met in
February, and proved to be overwhelmingly in favor of Missouri's
remaining in the Union, though it also expressed a general sympathy
with slavery, assumed that the South had wrongs, deprecated the
employment of military force on either side, and repeated the
suggestion that had been made many times in other quarters for a
national convention to amend the Constitution so as to satisfy
everybody. The State convention made its report in March, and
adjourned till December.

This proceeding appeared to be a great disappointment to Governor
Jackson; but he failed to take from it any hint to give up his purpose
of getting the State out of the Union. On the contrary, he proceeded
to try what he could do with the powers at his command. He called an
extra session of the Legislature, to convene May 2d, for the purpose
of "adopting measures to place the State in a proper attitude of
defence," and he called out the militia on the 3d of May, to go into
encampment for six days. There was a large store of arms (more than
twenty thousand stand) in the St. Louis arsenal; but while he was
devising a method and a pretext for seizing them, the greater part of
them were suddenly removed, by order from Washington, to Springfield,
Illinois. The captain that had them in charge took them on a steamer
to Alton, and there called the citizens together by ringing a
fire-alarm, told them what he had, and asked their assistance in
transferring the cargo to a train for Springfield, as he expected
pursuit by a force of secessionists. The many hands that make light
work were not wanting, and the train very soon rolled away with its
precious freight. The Governor applied to the Confederate Government
for assistance, and a quantity of arms and ammunition, including
several field-guns, was sent to him in boxes marked "marble." He also
ordered a general of the State militia to establish a camp of
instruction near the city, and gathered there such volunteer companies
as were organized and armed.

[Illustration: CAPTAIN NATHANIEL LYON. (Afterwards


General Scott had anticipated all this by sending reinforcements to
the little company that held the arsenal, and with them Capt.
Nathaniel Lyon, of the regular army, a man that lacked no element of
skill, courage, or patriotism necessary for the crisis. The force was
also increased by several regiments of loyal home guards, organized
mainly by the exertions of Francis P. Blair, Jr., and mustered into
the service of the United States. When the character and purpose of
the force that was being concentrated by Jackson became sufficiently
evident--from the fact that the streets in the camp were named for
prominent Confederate leaders, and other indications--Lyon determined
upon prompt and decisive action. This was the more important since the
United States arsenal at Liberty had been robbed, and secession troops
were being drilled at St. Joseph. With a battalion of regulars and six
regiments of the home guard, he marched out in the afternoon of May
10th, surrounded the camp, and trained six pieces of artillery on it,
and then demanded an immediate surrender, with no terms but a promise
of proper treatment as prisoners of war. The astonished commander, a
recreant West Pointer, surrendered promptly; and he and his brigade
were disarmed {39} and taken into the city. All the "marble" that had
come up from Baton Rouge and been hauled out to the camp only two days
before was captured and removed to the arsenal, becoming once more the
property of the United States.

The outward march had attracted attention, crowds had gathered along
the route, and when Lyon's command were returning with their prisoners
they had to pass through a throng of people, among whom were not a few
that were striving to create a riot. The outbreak came at length;
stones were thrown at the troops and pistol-shots fired into the
ranks, when one regiment levelled their muskets and poured a volley or
two into the crowd. Three or four soldiers and about twenty citizens
were killed in this beginning of the conflict at the West. William T.
Sherman (the now famous general), walking out with his little son that
afternoon, found himself for the first time under fire, and lay down
in a gully while the bullets cut the twigs of the trees above him.

[Illustration: THE BATTLE AT PHILIPPI, JUNE 3, 1861.]

[Illustration: GENERAL B. F. KELLEY.]

Two days later, Gen. William S. Harney arrived in St. Louis and
assumed command of the United States forces. He was a veteran of long
experience; but ex-Governor Sterling Price, commanding the State
forces, entrapped him into a truce that tied his hands, while it left
Jackson and Price practically at liberty to pursue their plans for
secession. Thereupon the Government removed him, repudiated the truce,
and gave the command to Lyon, now made a brigadier-general. After an
interview with Lyon in St. Louis (June 11), in which they found it
impossible to deceive or swerve him, Price and Jackson went to the
capital, Jefferson City, burning railway bridges behind them, and the
Governor immediately issued a proclamation declaring that the State
had been invaded by United States forces, and calling out fifty
thousand of the militia to repel the invasion. Its closing passage is
a fair specimen of many proclamations and appeals that were issued
that spring and summer: "Your first allegiance is due to your own
State, and you are under no obligation whatever to obey the
unconstitutional edicts of the military despotism which has introduced
itself at Washington, nor submit to the infamous and degrading sway of
its wicked minions in this State. No brave-hearted Missourian will
obey the one or submit to the other. Rise, then, and drive out
ignominiously the invaders who have dared to desecrate the soil which
your labors have made fruitful and which is consecrated by your

{40} [Illustration: A BOMB PROOF.]

The very next day Lyon had an expedition in motion, which reached
Jefferson City on the 15th, took possession of the place, and raised
the National flag over the Capitol. At his approach the Governor fled,
carrying with him the great seal of the State. Learning that he was
with Price, gathering a force at Booneville, fifty miles farther up
Missouri {41} River, Lyon at once reëmbarked the greater part of his
command, arrived at Booneville on the morning of the 17th, fought and
routed the force there, and captured their guns and supplies. The
Governor was now a mere fugitive; and the State convention, assembling
again in July, declared the State offices vacant, nullified the
secession work of the Legislature, and made Hamilton R. Gamble, a
Union man, provisional Governor. Among the citizens whose prompt
personal efforts were conspicuous on the Union side were John M.
Schofield and Francis P. Blair, Jr. (afterward Generals), B. Gratz
Brown (afterward candidate for Vice-President), Rev. Galusha Anderson
(afterward President of Chicago University), William McPherson, and
Clinton B. Fisk (afterward founder of Fisk University at Nashville).

The puzzling part of the difficulty in Missouri was now over, for the
contest was well defined. Most of the people in the northern part of
the State, and most of the population of St. Louis (especially the
Germans), were loyal to the National Government; but the secessionists
were strong in its southern part, where Price succeeded in organizing
a considerable force, which was joined by men from Arkansas and Texas,
under Gens. Ben. McCulloch and Gideon J. Pillow. Gen. Franz Sigel was
sent against them, and at Carthage (July 5) with twelve hundred men
encountered five thousand and inflicted a heavy loss upon them, though
he was obliged to retreat. His soldierly qualities in this and other
actions gave him one of the sudden reputations that were made in the
first year of the war, but obscured by the greater events that
followed. His hilarious popularity was expressed in the common
greeting: "You fights mit Sigel? Den you trinks mit me!" Lyon,
marching from Springfield, Mo., defeated McCulloch at Dug Spring, and
a week later (August 10) attacked him again at Wilson's Creek, though
McCulloch had been heavily reinforced. The national troops,
outnumbered three to one, were defeated; and Lyon, who had been twice
wounded early in the action, was shot dead while leading a regiment in
a desperate charge. Major S. D. Sturgis conducted the retreat, and
this ended the campaign. It was found that General Lyon, who was a
bachelor, had bequeathed all he possessed (about thirty thousand
dollars) to the United States Government, to be used for war purposes.


AUGUST 10, 1861.]

In the days when personal leadership was more than it can ever be
again, while South Carolina was listening to the teachings of John C.
Calhoun, which led her to try the experiment of secession, Kentucky
was following Henry Clay, who, though a slaveholder, was a strong
Unionist. The practical effect was seen when the crisis came, after he
had been in his grave nine years. Governor Beriah Magoffin convened
the Legislature in January, 1861, and asked it to organize the
militia, buy muskets, and put the State in a condition of armed
neutrality; all of which it refused to do. After the fall of Fort
Sumter he called the Legislature together again, evidently hoping that
the popular excitement would bring them over to his scheme. But the
utmost that could be accomplished was the passage of a resolution by
the lower house (May 16) declaring that Kentucky should occupy "a
position of strict neutrality," and approving his refusal to furnish
troops for the national army. Thereupon he issued a proclamation (May
20) in which he "notified and warned all other States, separate or
united, especially the United and Confederate States, that I solemnly
forbid any movement upon Kentucky soil." But two days later the
Legislature repudiated this interpretation of neutrality, and passed a
series of acts intended to prevent any scheme of secession that might
be formed. It appropriated one million dollars for arms and
ammunition, but placed the disbursement of the money and control of
the arms in the hands of commissioners that were all Union men. It
amended the militia law so as to require the State Guards to take an
oath to support the Constitution of the United States, and finally the
Senate passed a resolution declaring that "Kentucky will not sever
connection with the National Government, nor take up arms with either
belligerent party." Lovell H. Rousseau (afterward a gallant general in
the national service), speaking in his place in the Senate, said: "The
politicians are having their day; the people will yet have theirs. I
have an abiding confidence in the right, and I know that this
secession movement is all wrong. There is not a single substantial
reason for it; our Government had never oppressed us with a feather's
weight." The Rev. Robert J. Breckinridge and other prominent citizens
took a similar stand; and a new Legislature, chosen in August,
presented a Union majority of three to one. As a last resort, Governor
Magoffin addressed a letter to President Lincoln, requesting that
Kentucky's neutrality be respected and the national forces removed
from the State. Mr. Lincoln, in refusing his request, courteously
reminded him that the force consisted exclusively of Kentuckians, and
told him that he had not met any Kentuckian, except himself and the
messengers that brought his letter, who wanted it removed. To
strengthen the first argument, Robert Anderson, of Fort Sumter fame,
who was a citizen of Kentucky, was made a general and given the
command in the State in September. Two months later, a secession
convention met at Russellville, in the southern part of the State,
organized a provisional government, and sent a full delegation to the
Confederate Congress at Richmond, who found no difficulty in being
{43} admitted to seats in that body. Being now firmly supported by the
new Legislature, the National Government began to arrest prominent
Kentuckians who still advocated secession, whereupon others, including
ex-Vice-President John C. Breckinridge, fled southward and entered the
service of the Confederacy. Kentucky as a State was saved to the
Union, but the line of separation was drawn between her citizens, and
she contributed to the ranks of both the great contending armies.


Like the governor of Kentucky, Gov. Thomas H. Hicks, of Maryland, had
at first protested against the passage of troops, had dreamed of
making the State neutral, and had even gone so far as to suggest to
the Administration that the British Minister at Washington be asked to
mediate between it and the Confederates. But, unlike Governor
Magoffin, he ultimately came out in favor of the Union. The
Legislature would not adopt an ordinance of secession, nor call a
convention for that purpose; but it passed a bill establishing a board
of public safety, giving it extraordinary authority over the military
powers of the State, and appointed as such board six secessionists and
the governor. A tremendous pressure was brought to bear upon the
State. One of her poets, in a ringing rhyme to a popular air, told her
that the despot's heel was on her shore, and predicted that she would
speedily "spurn the Northern scum," while the Vice-President of the
Confederacy felt so sure of her acquisition that in a speech (April
30) he triumphantly announced that she "had resolved, to a man, to
stand by the South." But Reverdy Johnson and other prominent
Marylanders were quite as bold and active for the national cause. A
popular Union Convention was held in Baltimore; General Butler with
his troops restored the broken communications and held the important
centres; and under a suspension of the writ of _habeas corpus_ some of
the more violent secessionists were imprisoned. The release of the
citizens was demanded by Chief-Justice Taney, of the United States
Supreme Court, who declared that the President had no right to suspend
the writ; but his demand was refused. In May the Governor called for
four regiments of volunteers to fill the requisition of the National
Government, but requested that they might be assigned to duty in the
State. So Maryland remained in the Union, though a considerable number
of her citizens entered the ranks of the Confederate army.

In the mountainous regions of western North Carolina and eastern
Tennessee, where few slaves were held, there was a strong Union
element. In other portions of those States there were many
enthusiastic secessionists. But in each State there was a majority
against disunion. North Carolina voted on the question of calling a
convention to consider the subject, and by a small majority decided
for "no convention." Tennessee, on a similar vote, showed a majority
of fifty thousand against calling a convention. After the fall of
Sumter Gov. John W. Ellis, of North Carolina, seized the branch mint
at Charlotte and the arsenal at Fayetteville, and called an extra
session of the Legislature. This Legislature authorized him to tender
the military resources of the State to the Confederate Government, and
called a convention to meet May 20th, which passed an ordinance {44}
of secession by a unanimous vote. The conservative or Union party of
Tennessee issued an address on the 18th of April, in which they
declared their approval of the Governor's refusal to furnish troops
for the national defence, and condemned both secession and coercion,
holding that Tennessee should take an independent attitude. This, with
the excitement of the time, was enough for the Legislature. In secret
session it authorized Gov. Isham G. Harris, who was a strong
secessionist, to enter into a military league with the Confederate
Government, which he immediately did. It also passed an ordinance of
secession, to be submitted to a popular vote on the 8th of June.
Before that day came, the State was in the possession of Confederate
soldiers, and a majority of over fifty thousand was obtained for
secession. East Tennessee had voted heavily against the ordinance; and
a convention held at Greenville, June 17, wherein thirty-one of the
eastern counties were represented, declared, for certain plainly
specified reasons, that it "did not regard the result of the election
as expressive of the will of a majority of the freemen of Tennessee."
Later, the people of those counties asked to be separated peaceably
from the rest of the State and allowed to remain in the Union; but the
Confederate authorities did not recognize the principle of secession
from secession, and the people of that region were subjected to a
bloody and relentless persecution, before which many of them fled from
their homes. The most prominent of the Unionists were Andrew Johnson
and the Rev. William G. Brownlow.



That portion of the Old Dominion which lay west of the Alleghany
Mountains held in 1860 but one-twelfth as many slaves in proportion to
its white population as the remainder of the State. And when Virginia
passed her ordinance of secession, all but nine of the fifty-five
votes against it were cast by delegates from the mountainous western
counties. The people of these counties, having little interest in
slavery and its products, and great interests in iron, coal and
lumber, the market for which was in the free States, while their
streams flowed into the Ohio, naturally objected to being dragged into
the Confederacy. Like the people of East Tennessee, they wanted to
secede from secession, and one of their delegates actually proposed it
in the convention. In less than a month (May 13) after the passage of
the ordinance, a Union convention was held at Wheeling, in which
twenty-five of the western counties were represented; and ten days
later, when the election was held, these people voted against
seceding. The State authorities sent recruiting officers over the
mountains, but they had little success. Some forces were gathered,
under the direction of Gen. Robert E. Lee and under the immediate
command of Colonel Porterfield, who began burning the bridges {45} on
the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Meanwhile Capt. George B. McClellan
had been made a general and placed in command of Ohio troops. With
four regiments he crossed the Ohio on the 26th and went in pursuit of
the enemy. His movement at first was retarded by the burned bridges;
but these were repaired, large reinforcements were brought over, and
in small but brilliant engagements--at Philippi and at Rich
Mountain--he completely routed the Confederates.

At Philippi the Confederates were completely surprised by Colonels
Kelley and Dumont, and beat so hasty a retreat that the affair
received the local name of the "Philippi races." The victory at Rich
Mountain was the first instance of the capture by either side of a
military position regularly approached and defended. A pass over this
mountain was regarded as so important that all the Confederate troops
that could be spared were sent to defend it, under command of Gen.
Robert S. Garnett with Colonel Pegram to assist him. The position was
so strong that a front attack was avoided, and its speedy capture
resulted from a flank attack skilfully planned and successfully
executed by Gen. W. S. Rosecrans. On the retreat up the Cheat River
Valley General Garnett was killed, and Pegram, with a considerable
number of his men, surrendered to McClellan.

The importance of this affair at Rich Mountain was really slight,
notwithstanding it was successful in securing to the Union army a
footing on this frontier that was not afterward seriously disturbed.
But the significance of the action of July 11, and the campaign which
it terminated, lies in the instant popularity and prominence it gave
to General McClellan. He reported the victory in a Napoleonic
despatch, announcing the annihilation of "two armies, commanded by
educated and experienced soldiers, intrenched in mountain fastnesses
fortified at their leisure;" and concluding, "Our success is complete,
and secession is killed in this country." McClellan's failure to
accomplish more in this campaign has been indicated by military
critics, but at the time nothing obscured the brilliancy of the
victory. The people took his own estimate of it, and "Little Mac," the
young Napoleon, became a popular hero. The Government also took his
view of it; and after the defeat at Bull Run, a few days later, he was
given the command of the Army of the Potomac, and in the autumn
succeeded to the command of the Armies of the United States.

Delegates from the counties west of the Alleghanies met at Wheeling
(June 11), pronounced the acts of the Richmond convention null and
void, declared all the State offices vacant, and reorganized the
Government, with Francis H. Pierpont as governor. A legislature,
consisting of members that had been chosen on the 23d of May, met at
Wheeling on the 1st of July, and on the 9th it elected two United
States senators. The new State of Kanawha was formally declared
created in August. Its constitution was ratified by the people in May,
1862, and in December of that year it was admitted into the Union.
But, meanwhile, its original and appropriate name had been exchanged
for that of West Virginia.

The victory at Rich Mountain, announced in McClellan's triumphant and
resounding words, came in good time to arrest the depression caused by
an unfortunate affair of a few weeks before, at Big Bethel, on June
10th; though the popular clamor for aggressive warfare did not cease,
but was even now driving the army into a premature advance on Manassas
and the battle of Bull Run, for which the preparations were

[Illustration: GENERAL BEN McCULLOCH, C. S. A.]

[Illustration: GENERAL J. B. MAGRUDER, C. S. A.]

[Illustration: GENERAL STERLING PRICE, C. S. A.]

{46} [Illustration: BATTLE OF BIG BETHEL, VIRGINIA, JUNE 10, 1861.]

Big Bethel has been called the first battle of the war, though it was
subsequent to the affair of the "Philippi races," and at a later day
would not have been called a battle at all. But among its few
casualties there were numbered the deaths of Major Theodore Winthrop
and the youthful Lieut. John T. Greble, and the painful impression
caused by these losses converted the affair into a tragic national
calamity. The movement was a conception of Gen. B. F. Butler's, who
commanded at Fortress Monroe. Annoyed by the aggressions of a body of
Confederates, under General Magruder, encamped at Little Bethel, eight
miles north of Newport News, he sent an expedition to capture them. It
consisted of Col. Abram Duryea's Fifth New York Zouaves, with
Lieut.-Col. (afterward General) Gouverneur K. Warren second in command
(the Confederates greatly feared these "red-legged devils," as they
dubbed them), Col. Frederick Townsend's Third New York, Colonel
Bendix's Seventh New York Volunteers, the First and Second New York,
and detachments from other regiments, with two field-pieces worked by
regulars under Lieutenant Greble; Gen. E. W. Pierce in command.
Duryea's Zouaves were sent forward to attack from the rear; but a
dreadful mistake of identity led Bendix's men to fire into Townsend's
regiment, as these commands approached each other, which brought
Duryea back to participate in the supposed engagement in his rear, and
destroyed the chance of surprising the rebel camp. The {47}
Confederates abandoned Little Bethel, and took a strong position at
Big Bethel, where they easily repulsed the attack that was made, and
pursued the retreating Unionists until checked by the Second New York

An important preliminary to the battle of Bull Run was the operations
about Harper's Ferry in June and July, resulting, as they did, in the
release from that point of a strong Confederate reinforcement, which
joined Beauregard at Bull Run at a critical time, and turned the
fortunes of the day against the Union army.

Harper's Ferry, as we have seen, had been occupied by a Confederate
force under Stonewall Jackson, who became subordinate to the superior
rank of Gen. Joseph E. Johnston when that officer arrived on the
scene. On both sides a sentimental importance was given to the
occupation of Harper's Ferry, which was not warranted by its
significance as a military stronghold. It did, indeed, afford a
control of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, so long as the position
could be maintained. But it derived its importance in the public mind
from the fact that it had been chosen by John Brown as the scene of
his projected negro uprising in 1859, and was presumed from that to be
a natural fortress, a sort of Gibraltar, which, once gained, could be
held forever by a small though determined body of men. The Confederate
Government and military staff at Richmond so regarded it, and they
warned General Johnston that he must realize, in defending it, that
its abandonment would be depressing to the cause of the South. General
Patterson, whose army gathered in Pennsylvania was to attack it,
impressed on the War Department the paramount importance of a victory,
and predicted that the first great battle of the war, the results of
which would be decisive in the contest, would be fought at Harper's
Ferry. He begged for the means of success, and offered his life as the
price of a failure on his part. The Washington authorities, though
they did not exact the penalty, took him at his word as to the men and
means required, and furnished him with between eighteen and twenty-two
thousand men (variously estimated), sending him such commanders as
Major-General Sandford, of New York (who generously waived his
superior rank, and accepted a subordinate position), Fitz John Porter,
George Cadwalader, Charles P. Stone, and others. Both sides, then,
prepared for action at Harper's Ferry, as for a mighty struggle over
an important strategic position.

The Confederates were the first to realize that this was an error.
However desirable it might be to hold Harper's Ferry as the key to the
Baltimore and Ohio, and to Maryland, General Johnston quickly
discovered that, while it was secure enough against an attack in
front, across the Potomac, it was an easy capture for a superior force
that should cross the river above or below it, and attack it from the
Virginia side. For its defence, his force of six thousand five hundred
men would not suffice against Patterson's twenty thousand, and he
requested permission to withdraw to Winchester, twenty miles to the
southwest. This suggestion was most unpalatable to the Confederate
authorities, who understood well that the popular interpretation of
the movement would be detrimental to the cause. But the fear that
McClellan would join Patterson from West Virginia, and that the loss
of an army of six thousand five hundred would be even more depressing
than a retreat, they reluctantly consented to Johnston's plan. He
destroyed everything at Harper's Ferry that could be destroyed, on
June 13th and 14th; and when Patterson, after repeated promptings from
Washington, arrived there on the 15th, he found no determined enemy
and no mighty battle awaiting him, but only the barren victory of an
unopposed occupation of a ruined and deserted camp.

[Illustration: A RAILROAD BATTERY.]




Although up to this time no important engagements between the troops
had taken place, the war was actually begun. The Sumter affair had
been the signal for both sides to throw away subterfuge and disguise,
and it became thenceforth an open struggle for military advantage. The
South no longer pleaded State rights, but military necessity, for
seizing such Government posts and property as were within reach; the
North no longer acted under the restraint of hesitation to commit an
open breach, for the peace was broken irrevocably, and whatever it was
possible to do, in the way of defence or offence, was now become

The two contending powers were entering on the struggle under very
different conditions and with unequal advantages. Before taking up the
military operations which ensued, it will be interesting to look at
these conditions.

On both sides there were many experienced army and navy officers, who
had seen service, had been educated at the United States Military and
Naval Academies, and had either remained {48} in the service or,
having withdrawn to civil life, were prompt to offer their swords to
the side to which they adhered. Assuming the number and quality of
these officers to have been equally divided, there were several
respects in which the Confederates had the advantage in their
preliminary organization, apart from the studied care with which
disloyal cabinet officers had scattered the Federal regular army and
had stripped Northern posts of supplies and of trustworthy
commandants. President Lincoln came on from his Western home without
knowledge of war, acquaintance with military men, or familiarity with
military matters, and was immediately plunged into emergencies
requiring in the Executive an intimate knowledge of all three. He
became the titular commander-in-chief of an army already officered,
but not only ignorant as to whether he had the right man in the right
place, but powerless to make changes even had he known what changes to
make, by reason of the law and the traditions governing the
_personnel_ of the service, in which promotion and personal relations
were fixed and established. He found a military establishment that had
been running on a peace footing for more than a decade and was not
readily adaptable to war conditions; and officers in high command,
who, as their States seceded, followed them out of the Union, carrying
with them the latest official secrets and leaving behind them
vacancies which red-tape and tradition, and not the free choice of the
commander-in-chief, were to fill. His near advisers, particularly
those in whose hands were the details of military administration, were
scarcely better informed than himself, possessing political shrewdness
and undoubted loyalty, but none of the professional knowledge of which
he stood so sorely in need.

The President of the Southern Confederacy, on the other hand, was
Jefferson Davis, a man whose personal instrumentality in bringing
about the rebellion gave him both knowledge and authority; an educated
soldier and veteran of the Mexican war, in which he held a high
command; familiar, through long service as Secretary of War and on the
Senate Military Committee, not only with all the details of military
administration, but with the points of strength and weakness in the
military establishment of the enemy he was about to grapple with.
Placed at the head of a new government, with neither army nor navy,
nor law nor tradition for their control, he was free to exercise his
superior knowledge of military matters for the best possible use of
the men at his command in organizing his military establishment. None
of the political conditions surrounding him forced on President Davis
the appointment of political generals--an unavoidable evil which long
postponed the effectiveness of President Lincoln's army
administration. Whatever his judgment, guided by his professional
military experience, approved of, he was free to do. It was President
Lincoln's difficult task to learn something about military matters
himself, and then to untie or cut the Gordian knot of hampering
conditions; and if, in doing this, an occasional injustice was done to
an individual officer, it is a cause for wonder far less significant
than that by the exercise of his extraordinary faculty of common-sense
he progressed as rapidly as he did toward the right way of
accomplishing the ends he had in view.

[Illustration: FRANCIS H. PIERPONT, Governor of West Virginia.]


The beginning of trouble in 1861 found the administration of the War
Department in the hands of Secretary Joseph Holt, who had succeeded
the secessionist Floyd, and was in turn succeeded by Simon Cameron,
the war secretary of Lincoln's first cabinet, who remained there until
the appointment of Edwin M. Stanton, the great "war secretary" of the
remaining years of the struggle. Cameron was a shrewd politician, but
was uninformed on military matters, for advice on which President
Lincoln relied principally on other members of the cabinet and on
General Scott. The cabinet of 1861 contained also John A. Dix, in the
Treasury--whence issued his celebrated "shoot him on the spot" {49}
despatch--who took a general's commission when he retired in favor of
Salmon P. Chase, the Secretary of the Treasury during most of the war.
Gideon Welles was Secretary of the Navy.

Among the staff officers of the army were Lorenzo Thomas,
Adjutant-General; E. D. Townsend, who as Assistant Adjutant-General
was identified with this important office throughout the war;
Montgomery C. Meigs, Quartermaster-General; and Joseph G. Totten,
Chief of Engineers.

The general in command of the army was Winfield Scott, whose conduct
of the Mexican war had made him a conspicuous military and political
figure, an able officer and a most loyal Unionist, but already
suffering from the infirmities of age, which soon compelled him to
relinquish to younger hands the command of the army. But until after
the battle of Bull Run, his was the directing mind. His immediate
subordinates were Brig.-Gens. John E. Wool, also a veteran in service;
William S. Harney, whose reluctance to take part in civil war soon
terminated his usefulness; and David E. Twiggs, who surrendered his
command to the Confederates in Texas, and going with the South, was
replaced by Edwin V. Sumner.

The command of the main Union force, organized from the volunteers who
were pouring into Washington, devolved on Irvin McDowell, a major in
the regular army, now promoted to be brigadier-general, who
established his headquarters at Alexandria, across the Potomac from
Washington, there directing the defence of the capital, and thence
advancing to Bull Run. In this command he succeeded Gen. Joseph K. F.
Mansfield. Under him, during this campaign, were many officers who
rose to eminence during the war. His corps commanders at Bull Run were
Gens. Daniel Tyler, David Hunter, Samuel P. Heintzelman, Theodore
Runyon, and D. S. Miles; and among the brigade commanders were Gens.
Erasmus D. Keyes, Robert C. Schenck, William T. Sherman, Israel B.
Richardson, Andrew Porter, Ambrose E. Burnside, William B. Franklin,
Oliver O. Howard, Louis Blenker, and Thomas A. Davies. Threatening the
approach to Richmond from the lower Chesapeake, was Gen. Benjamin F.
Butler, at Fortress Monroe.






Among the Confederate generals who prepared to defend Virginia, were
Robert E. Lee, then in command of the Virginia State troops, Samuel
Cooper, Joseph E. Johnston, P. G. T. Beauregard, James Longstreet,
Jubal A. Early, Richard S. Ewell, Thomas J. ("Stonewall") Jackson,
Robert S. Garnett, John C. Pegram, Benjamin Huger, John B. Magruder,
and others.

The seventy-five thousand troops called for in President Lincoln's
proclamation of April 15th, were three-months men. On the 3d of May,
1861, he issued another proclamation, calling for forty-two thousand
volunteers for three years, and authorizing the raising of ten new
regiments for the regular army. He also called for eighteen thousand
volunteer seamen for the navy. The ports of the Southern coasts had
been already (April 19th) declared in a state of blockade, and it was
not only desirable but absolutely necessary to make the blockade
effectual. The Confederate Government had issued letters of marque for
privateers almost from the first; and its Congress had authorized the
raising of an army of one hundred thousand volunteers for one year.

When Congress convened on the 4th of July, President Lincoln asked for
four hundred thousand men and four hundred million dollars, to
suppress the insurrection; and in response he was authorized to call
for five hundred thousand men and spend five hundred million dollars.
What he had already done was approved and declared valid; and on the
15th of July the House of Representatives, with but five dissenting
votes, passed a resolution (introduced by John A. McClernand, a
Democrat) pledging any amount of money and any number of men that
might be necessary to restore the authority of the National

The seat of the Confederate Government was removed from Montgomery,
Ala., to Richmond, Va., on the 20th of May.

{50} [Illustration: BATTLE OF BULL RUN, JULY 21, 1861.]





The first serious collision of the opposing armies occurred at Bull
Run, in Virginia, on July 18 and 21, 1861. It was a battle between raw
troops on both sides, and at a later period in the war a few well-led
veterans might have turned it at almost any time into a victory for
the losers and a defeat for those who won it. It developed the
strength and weakness of the men, the commanders, and the organization
of the army. It opened the eyes of the North to what was before them
in this conflict, and it gave {52} pause to military operations for a
better preparation. Up to Bull Run, the war might have been terminated
by a single great battle. After it, the struggle was certain to be a
long one.

[Illustration: FAIRFAX COURT-HOUSE.]

Up to May 24th, the Union troops had been kept strictly on the
Washington side of the Potomac. On that date, Gen. Joseph K. F.
Mansfield sent three columns of troops across the river into Virginia,
to drive back the Confederate pickets which were within sight of the
capital. From Washington to Alexandria, a few miles down the river, a
line of fortifications was established, which, with the approaches to
Washington from Maryland in Union control, seemed to assure the safety
of the city.

Troops from all the loyal States had continued to arrive at
Washington. The ninety thousand men who had responded to the first
call of the President had enlisted for three months. While these
troops predominated in the service it was not the expectation of
General Scott to undertake any serious operations. He proposed to
utilize these for the defence of Washington; the garrisoning of
Fortress Monroe, with possibly the recovery of the Norfolk Navy Yard;
the reinforcement of Patterson at Harper's Ferry and of McClellan in
the Shenandoah; and the control of the border States. When the half
million of three-years men called out in May and July should be
equipped with the half billion of dollars voted by Congress, and
instructed and drilled during a summer encampment, larger military
operations were to ensue; but not before.

But after the mishap to Butler's men at Big Bethel, and the ambushing
of a troop train at Vienna, near Washington, there was a public demand
for some kind of vigorous action which should retrieve the national
honor, tarnished and unavenged since Sumter, and should justify the
military establishment, which to the non-military mind seemed already
enormous. Brigadiers and gold lace and regiments playing "high jinks"
in their camps convenient to the attractions of Washington became a
by-word, and "On to Richmond!" became the cry of those who wanted to
see some fighting, now there was an army, and wanted to see secession
rebuked and rebellion nipped in the bud. Under the stimulus of this
public demand, which, however erroneous from a military point of view,
could not be ignored, a forward movement was decided on.

The Confederate forces were established on what was known as the
"Alexandria line," with its base at Manassas Junction, about thirty
miles east of Alexandria. Early in June, General Beauregard, still
wearing the laurels of his Sumter victory, was sent in person to
command, relieving the Confederate General Bonham. Manassas Junction
stood on a high plateau, dropping off toward the east into the valley
of the little stream called Bull Run, running from northwest to
southeast some three miles distant. The Confederates had begun to
intrench and fortify this elevated position; but Beauregard's quick
and educated military judgment at once decided that a better defence
could be made by moving his line forward to Bull Run, where the stream
afforded a natural barrier, except at certain fords, where his men
could be posted more effectively. Here he established himself, the
right of his line being at Union Mills Ford, nearly due east from
Manassas, and his left just above Stone Bridge, by which Bull Run is
crossed on the Warrenton Turnpike leading from {53} Centreville to
Gainesville. His commanders (after Johnston's arrival), from left to
right, were: Ewell, supported by Holmes; Jones and Longstreet,
supported by Early; Bonham, supported by Jackson; Cocke, supported by
Bee, each guarding a ford; and, at Stone Bridge, Evans. The Bull Run
line of defence requiring a larger force, Beauregard was liberally
reinforced from Richmond, so that his army numbered nearly twenty-two
thousand men and twenty-nine guns, before he was joined by Johnston
with about eight thousand men and twenty-eight guns.

Against this force advanced General McDowell, who had succeeded
Mansfield in command of operations south of the Potomac, with
something less than twenty-nine thousand men and forty-nine guns. With
his army under the commanders already named, he was ready and started
from Washington on July 16th, within a week of the date he had
planned, notwithstanding the slow operations of the Government's
military machinery, rusted by long disuse and not as yet in smooth
working order. The departure of his column was a strange spectacle.
The novelty of warfare and the general impression that the war was to
be ended with one grand, brilliant stroke--an impression largely
derived from the confidence at headquarters that the expedition would
be successful--turned the march into a sort of festive picnic.
Citizens accompanied the column on foot; Congressmen, newspaper
correspondents, sightseers, went along in carriages. There was a
tremendous turnout of non-combatants, eager to see the finishing
stroke to the rebellion. These were destined to share in the general
rout that followed and to come pouring back into the security of
Washington, all mixed in with the disorganized and flying troops. One
member of Congress, John A. Logan, of Illinois, a veteran of the
Mexican War, followed the army from the House of Representatives,
armed with a musket, and began as a civilian a participation in the
four years' fighting that brought him high rank, great honor, and a
distinguished reputation.




On July 18th the army arrived in front of the enemy at Bull Run. An
army of seasoned campaigners, accustomed to self-denial, would have
done better, for they would not have stopped along the way to pick
blackberries and change stale water for fresh in their canteens at
every wayside well and spring. The plan agreed upon by Generals Scott
and McDowell had been for an attempt to turn the enemy's right from
the south; and to conceal his purpose McDowell ordered an advance,
directly along the Warrenton Turnpike, on Centreville, as though that
were to be his point of attack. But Washington was full of Confederate
spies, and Beauregard was well informed as to what to expect. Tyler,
whose division led the way, found Centreville evacuated and the enemy
strongly posted along Bull Run, as he could see from his elevated
position at Centreville, looking across the Bull Run valley with
Manassas looming up beyond. It was McDowell's intention that Tyler
should limit himself to making the feint on Centreville, without
bringing on any engagement, while diverging to the left behind him the
main army attacked Beauregard's right. But neither Tyler nor his men
were as yet schooled to find an enemy flying before their advance and
not yearn to be after them for a fight. Discovering the position of
the enemy across the stream at Blackburn's and Mitchell's fords, he
brought up some field pieces and sent forward his skirmishers; and as
the enemy continued to retire before his successive increase of both
troops and artillery, he presently found that the reconnoissance he
had been ordered to make had assumed the proportions of a small
engagement with the brigades of Bonham, Longstreet, and Early, which
he drove back in confusion, with a loss of about sixty men on each

After this engagement, McDowell abandoned his attack from the south in
favor of a flank attack from the north, where the roads were better.
His {54} army was now concentrated at Centreville, whither the
commanders had been attracted by the sound of the engagement at
Blackburn's Ford, and there he divulged to his commanders the new plan
of attack. Richardson's brigade was continued at Blackburn's Ford to
keep up the appearance of an attack in front, and the next two days,
Friday and Saturday, July 19th and 20th, were occupied in looking for
an undefended crossing of Bull Run north of the Confederate line, in
resting the men, and provisioning them from the supply trains, which
were slow in reaching the rendezvous at Centreville.

[Illustration: ON THE ROAD TO BULL RUN.]

The engineers reported late on Saturday, the 20th, a practicable
crossing of the stream at Sudley Ford, accessible by a detour of five
or six miles around a bend of Bull Run turning sharply from the west.
McDowell determined to send Hunter's and Heintzelman's divisions to
make this flank movement over a route which took them north, then
west, and brought them upon the enemy's left, as they crossed Bull Run
at Sudley Ford and moved due south by the Sudley Road toward Manassas.
Meanwhile Tyler was ordered to proceed from Centreville to the Stone
Bridge at Bull Run, there to feign attack until he heard Hunter and
Heintzelman engaged, when he would cross and join their attack on the
Confederate left, or push on to Gainesville, west of Bull Run, and
head off Johnston, who McDowell was certain was coming from
Winchester, with or without "Patterson on his heels," as General Scott
had promised.

But during McDowell's enforced two days of inactivity at Centreville
there had been portentous happenings within the Confederate lines.
Johnston had already left Winchester on the 18th; one detachment of
his army had joined Beauregard on the morning of the 20th; Johnston in
person arrived at noon with a second detachment, and the remainder of
his force arrived on the 21st in time to take part in the battle, the
brunt of which was borne by Johnston's army, which McDowell had hoped
not to meet at all! Johnston, as the ranking officer, assumed command,
and he and Beauregard turned their attention to defending themselves
against the attack now initiated by McDowell.

Hunter and Heintzelman, whose brigades were {55} commanded by Cols.
Andrew Porter, Ambrose E. Burnside, W. B. Franklin, Orlando B.
Willcox, and Oliver O. Howard, reached Sudley Ford after an
unexpectedly long march, and crossed it unopposed about nine in the
morning. Tyler, who had been expected to hold the Confederate Evans at
Stone Bridge by a sharp attack, betrayed the incidental character of
his demonstration by the feebleness of his operations; and Evans,
suspecting from this an attack from some other direction, was soon
rendered certain of it by the clouds of dust which he saw toward the
north. Immediately, of his own motion and in the absence of orders
from his superiors, he informed his neighboring commander, Cocke, of
his intention, and leaving only a few companies to deceive Tyler at
Stone Bridge, he turned his command to the rear and marched it to a
strong position on Young's Branch, where he faced the enemy
approaching from his left. This action has commended itself to
military critics as the finest tactical movement of the entire battle.
Evans was even momentarily successful in repulsing the troops of
Burnside's brigade, which he pursued for a short distance. At the
outset, General Hunter was severely wounded. Porter came to Burnside's
support, and Bee and Bartow, of Johnston's army, aligned their
brigades with that of Evans. There was sharp fighting for two hours;
but the arrival of fresh supports for Burnside and Porter, including
Sykes' regiment of regulars and the regular batteries of Griffin and
Ricketts, and the extension of the Union line by Heintzelman's
division beyond the Sudley Road, proved too much for the Confederates,
who retreated downhill out of the Young's Branch valley before a Union
charge down the Sudley Road. But they had checked the advance long
enough for Johnston to order a general movement to strengthen the new
line of defence which was then formed on a hill half a mile south of
Young's Branch, under the direction of Jackson, who with his own
brigade of Johnston's army met and rallied the retreating
Confederates. It was right here that Stonewall Jackson acquired his
_sobriquet_. To encourage his own men to stop and rally, Bee called
out to them: "Look at Jackson's brigade! It stands there like a stone
wall." And Jackson never was called by his own name again, but only
"Stonewall." Tyler did send Keyes' and W. T. Sherman's brigades across
Bull Run by the ford above Stone Bridge in time to join in the
pursuit, Sherman pushing toward Hunter and Keyes remaining near Bull
Run; but Schenck's brigade he did not send across at all.

[Illustration: GENERAL JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, C. S. A.]


As a result of the morning's fighting the whole Union line was pushed
forward past the Warrenton Turnpike, extending from Keyes' position on
Bull Run to where Porter and Willcox were posted, west of the Sudley
Road. The Union troops felt not only that they had the advantage, but
that they had won the battle; and this confidence, added to the fact
that they were weary with marching and fighting, prepared them ill to
meet the really serious work of the day, which was still before them.





[Illustration: MAJOR-GENERAL O. O. HOWARD.]


Johnston and Beauregard came up in person to superintend the
dispositions for defence. The line was formed on the edge of a
semicircular piece of woods, with the concave side toward the Union
advance, on an elevation some distance south of the first position.
The Confederate artillery commanded both the Warrenton Turnpike and
the Sudley Road (the latter passing through the woods), and the
plateau between them was subject to a cross fire. Across this plateau
the Union advance had to be made, and it was made under great
disadvantages. His effective fighting force reduced by casualties, by
the retirement of Burnside's brigade after a hard morning's fighting,
and by the separation from the main army of Keyes' brigade, which made
an ineffectual attempt to cross Young's Branch and get at the enemy's
right, McDowell was no longer superior in numbers, as in the morning.
His weary men had not only to fight, but to advance on an enemy in
position--to advance over open ground on an enemy concealed in the
woods, invisible even while their sharpshooters picked off his gunners
at their batteries. The formation of the ground gave him no
comprehensive view of the whole field, except such as he got by going
to the top of the Henry house, opposite the Confederate centre; nor
could his subordinate commanders see what the others were doing, and
there was a good deal of independence of action among the Union troops
throughout the remainder of the day.

For his afternoon attack on the new Confederate position McDowell had
under his immediate control the brigades of Andrew Porter, Franklin,
Willcox, and Sherman, with Howard in reserve, back of the Warrenton
Turnpike. These commands were not available up to their full strength,
for they included a good many regiments and companies that had lost
their organization. From their sheltered positions along the sunken
turnpike and the valley of Young's Branch he brought them forward for
an attack on the centre and left of the enemy. With splendid courage
they advanced over the open ground and made a succession of determined
assaults, which carried a portion of the position attacked. About the
middle of the afternoon the regular batteries of Captains Griffin and
Ricketts were brought forward to a position near the Henry house. But
though their effectiveness from this point was greatly increased, so
also was their danger; and after long and courageous fighting by both
infantry and artillery, it was the conflict that surged about these
guns that finally gave the victory to the Confederates.


[Illustration: THE NEW HENRY HOUSE, BULL RUN. Showing the Union
monument of the first battle.]

Two regiments had been detailed to support the batteries, but the
inexperience of these regiments was such that they were of little
service. The batteries had scarcely taken up their advanced position
when the gunners began to drop one by one under the fire of
sharpshooters concealed in the woods before them. Sticking pluckily to
their work, the artillerymen did effective firing, but presently the
temptation to secure guns so inefficiently protected by supporting
infantry proved strong enough to bring Confederate regiments out from
the cover of the woods; and keeping out of the {59} line of fire, they
stole nearer and nearer to the batteries. A Confederate cavalry charge
scattered one of the supporting regiments, and a volley from a
Confederate regiment, that had gotten up to within seventy yards, sent
the other off in confused retreat. So close an approach had been
permitted by Captain Griffin under the mistaken impression,
communicated to him by the chief of artillery, that the troops
approaching so steadily were his own supports. He realized his error
too late; and when a volley of musketry had taken off nearly every one
of his gunners, had killed Lieutenant Ramsay, and seriously wounded
Captain Ricketts, the Confederates rushed in and captured the guns.


Then ensued a series of captures and recaptures of these same guns,
first by one side and then by the other. At the same time there was a
general fight all along the line of battle, which did not dislodge the
Confederates while it wore out the Union troops. They lacked both the
experience and the discipline necessary to keep them together after a
repulse. The men lost track of their companies, regiments, brigades,
officers, in the confusion, and little by little the army became
disorganized, and that at a time when there was still remaining among
them both strength and courage enough to have won after all. It has
been said that at one time there were twelve thousand individual
soldiers wandering about the field of battle who did not know "where
they belonged." The strong individuality of the early recruits of the
war was in a measure accountable for this. They had not as yet become
machines, as good soldiers must be. "They were not soldiers," said one
officer, "but citizens--independent sovereigns--in uniform." It was
impossible, of course, to get strong, concerted action out of such a
mass-meeting of individual patriots; and the constant disintegration
of regiments and brigades gradually reduced the effectiveness of
McDowell's army.

Meanwhile the Confederate reinforcements from the lower fords were
arriving. The remainder of Johnston's army from Winchester had already
arrived; and though the Union army did not know that they had been
fighting the biggest half of Johnston's army all day, they realized
that they were dealing with Johnston now. During the fight of the day
the Union right wing had faced around almost to the east, and the
combined attack of the new Johnston brigades and Early's
reinforcements from the fords was delivered almost squarely on the
rear of its right flank.

A blow so strong and from such an unexpected quarter had a serious
effect on the troops that received it. But not as yet was the
conviction of defeat general in the Union army. The contest had been
waged with such varying results in different parts of the field, one
side successful here, another there, and again and again the local
advantage turning the other way under some bold movement of an
individual command, that neither army realized the full significance
of what had happened. The Unionists had begun the afternoon's work
{60} under the impression that the victory was already theirs and that
they had only to push on and secure the fruits of it. In some parts of
the field their successes were such that it seemed as though the
Confederate line was breaking. Many of the Confederates had the same
idea of it, and Jefferson Davis, coming up from Manassas on his way
from Richmond, full of anxiety for the result, found the roads almost
impassable by reason of crowds of Confederates escaping to the rear.
His heart sank within him. "Battles are not won," he remarked, "where
two or three unhurt men are seen leading away one that is wounded."
But he continued on, only to find that the field from which his men
were retreating had been already won, and that McDowell's army were in
full retreat.




McDowell himself did not know how the retreat had begun. He had not
ordered it, for he inferred from the lull in the fighting that his
enemy was giving way. But it had dawned on the men, first that their
victory was in doubt, then that the Confederates had a fighting
chance, and finally that the battle was lost; and by a sort of common
consent they began to make their way to the rear in retreat. A curious
thing happened which dashed McDowell's hope of making a stand at Stone
Bridge. Although the Warrenton Turnpike was open, and Stone Bridge had
been freed from the obstructing abattis of trees, offering a straight
road from the battlefield to the rendezvous at Centreville, the troops
all withdrew from the field by the same directions from which they had
approached it in the morning. And so, while the brigades near the
Stone Bridge and the ford above it crossed directly over Bull Run, the
commands which had made the long detour in the morning made the same
detour in retreat, adding many miles to the route they had to travel
to reach Centreville.

McDowell accepted the situation, and made careful dispositions to
protect the rear of his retreating army. Stuart's pursuing cavalry
found a steady line of defence which they could not break. The
rearmost brigades were in such good order that the Confederate
infantry dared not strike them. The way over the Stone Bridge was well
covered by the reserves east of Bull Run, under Blenker. But now
occurred an incident that greatly retarded the orderly retreat and
broke it into confusion.

There had been some fighting during the day between the reserves left
east of Bull Run and Confederate troops who sallied out from the lower
fords. As a result of this a Confederate battery had been posted on an
elevation commanding the Warrenton {61} Turnpike where it crossed Cub
Run, a little stream between Bull Run and Centreville, on a suspension
bridge. When the retreating brigades which had made the long detour
from Sudley Ford reached this bridge they were met with a shower of
fire from this battery. Finally, the horses attached to a wagon were
killed, and the wagon was overturned right on the bridge, completely
obstructing it. The remainder of the wagon train was reduced to ruin,
and the thirteen guns which had been brought safely out of the battle
were captured. A panic ensued. Horses were cut from wagons, even from
ambulances bearing wounded men, and ridden off. Even while McDowell
and his officers were deliberating as to the expediency of making a
stand at Centreville, the disorganized men took the decision into
their own hands and made a bee-line for Washington.

Portions of the army, however, maintained their organization, and
partly successful attempts were made to stop the flight. The
Confederates had but little cavalry, and were in no condition to
pursue. There was a black-horse regiment from Louisiana that undertook
it, but came upon the New York Fire Zouaves, and in a bloody fight
lost heavily. The retreat was well conducted; but this was due largely
to the fact that the Confederates were too exhausted and too fearful
to continue the pursuit. It is not to be denied that on both sides, in
the battle of Bull Run, there was displayed much bravery, and not a
little skill. Never before, perhaps, was such fighting done by
comparatively raw and inexperienced men.

It was a motley crowd that thronged the highway to the capital.
Intermixed were soldiers and civilians, privates and members of
Congress, worn-out volunteers and panic-stricken non-combatants,
"red-legged-devil" Zouaves, gray-coated Westerners, and regular army
blue-coats. They pressed right on, fearing the pursuit which,
unaccountably, did not follow. Some of the men since morning had
marched twenty-five miles, from Centreville and back, and that night
they marched twenty miles more to Washington.

All the next day the defeated army straggled into Washington
city--bedraggled, foot-sore, wounded, hungry, wet through with the
drizzling rain, exhausted. The citizens turned out to receive and
succor them, and the city became a vast soup-house and hospital. On
the streets, in the shelter of house-areas, under stoops, men dropped
down and slept.






The battle of Bull Run was undertaken with precipitation, fought with
much valor on both sides, and terminated with present ruin to the
Federal cause. For the moment the Union seemed to stagger under the
blow. On the Confederate side there was corresponding exultation; a
spirit of defiance flamed up throughout the South.

It is in the nature of things that the initial battle of a war
consolidates and crystallizes the sentiments of both the contestants.
After Bull Run there was no further hope of peaceable adjustment, but
only an increasing and settled purpose to fight out with the sword the
great issue which was dividing the Union. For a brief season after the
battle there was a paralysis of the Union cause. It was as much as the
authorities at Washington could do to make themselves secure against
further disaster. Indeed, the Potomac River now gave positive comfort
to the Government, since it furnished in some measure a natural
barrier to the northward progress of the exultant Confederates.
Immediate steps were taken to fortify the approaches to the capital;
but while this work was in progress the Government seemed to stand,
like an alarmed sentry, on the Long Bridge of the Potomac.



In the South as well as in the North there was much surprise that the
Confederates did not pursue the routed Union forces at the battle of
Bull Run and capture Washington. Perhaps Gen. Joseph E. Johnston is
the best witness on this subject on the Southern side. He says: "All
the military conditions, we knew, forbade an attempt on Washington.
The Confederate army was more disorganized by victory than that of the
United States by defeat. The Southern volunteers believed that the
objects of the war had been accomplished by their victory, and that
they had achieved all their country required of them. Many, therefore,
in ignorance of their military obligations, left the army--not to
return.... Exaggerated ideas of the victory, prevailing among our
troops, cost us more than the Federal army lost by defeat." In writing
this passage General Johnston probably took no account of the effect
produced in Europe. The early narratives sent there, in which the
panic of retreat was made the principal figure, gave the impression
that the result arose from constitutional cowardice in Northern men
and invincible courage in Southerners. They also gave the impression
that the Confederates were altogether superior in generalship; and the
effect was deep and long-enduring. The most notable of these was by a
correspondent of the London _Times_, who had apparently been sent
across the Atlantic for the express purpose of writing down the
Republic, writing up the South, and enlisting the sympathies of
Englishmen for the rebellion. In his second letter from Charleston
(April 30, 1861) he had written that men of all classes in South
Carolina declared to him: "If we could only get one of the royal race
of England to rule over us, we should be content." "The New Englander
must have something to persecute; and as he has hunted down all his
Indians, burnt all his witches, persecuted all his opponents to the
death, he invented abolitionism {63} as the sole resource left to him
for the gratification of his favorite passion. Next to this motive
principle is his desire to make money dishonestly, trickily, meanly,
and shabbily. He has acted on it in all his relations with the South,
and has cheated and plundered her in all his dealings, by villanous
tariffs." Many an Englishman, counting his worthless Confederate
bonds, and trying to hope that he will yet receive something for them,
knows he would never have made that investment but for such writing as
this, and the accounts from the same pen of the battle of Bull Run.

At the North the spectacle of McDowell's army streaming back in
disorder to the national capital produced first a shock of surprise,
then a sense of disgrace, and then a calm determination to begin the
war over again. It was well expressed by a Methodist minister at a
camp-meeting in Illinois, the Rev. Henry Cox. The news of the battle
came while he was preaching, and he closed his sermon with the words:
"Brethren, we'd better adjourn this camp-meeting and go home and

The effect of this over-discussed battle upon the more confident and
boastful of the Southerners was perhaps fairly expressed by an
editorial utterance of one of their journals, the Louisville, Ky.,
_Courier_: "As our Norman kinsmen in England, always a minority, have
ruled their Saxon countrymen in political vassalage up to the present
day, so have we, the 'slave oligarchs,' governed the Yankees till
within a twelvemonth. We framed the Constitution, for seventy years
moulded the policy of the government, and placed our own men, or
'Northern men with Southern principles,' in power. On the 6th of
November, 1860, the Puritans emancipated themselves, and are now in
violent insurrection against their former owners. This insane holiday
freak will not last long, however; for, dastards in fight and
incapable of self-government, they will inevitably again fall under
the control of a superior race. A few more Bull Run thrashings will
bring them once more under the yoke, as docile as the most loyal of
our Ethiopian chattels."



France and England had made all haste to recognize the Confederates as
belligerents, but had not granted them recognition as an established
nation, and never did. There was a constant fear, however, that they
would; and the Confederate Government did its utmost to bring about
such recognition. Messrs. James M. Mason, of Virginia, and John
Slidell, of Louisiana, were sent out by that Government, as duly
accredited ministers to London and Paris, in 1861. They escaped the
blockaders at Charleston, reached Havana, and there embarked on the
British mail steamer _Trent_ for Europe. But Capt. Charles Wilkes (who
had commanded the celebrated exploring expedition in Antarctic waters
twenty years before) was on the watch for them with the United States
steam frigate _San Jacinto_, overhauled the _Trent_ in the Bahama
Channel (November 8), took off the Confederate commissioners, and
allowed the steamer to proceed on her way. He carried his prisoners to
Boston, and they were incarcerated in Fort Warren. This action, for
which Wilkes {65} received the thanks of Congress, was denounced as an
outrage on British neutrality. The entire British public bristled up
as one lion, and their Government demanded an apology and the
liberation of the prisoners. The American public was unable to see any
way out of the dilemma, and was considering whether it would choose
humiliation or a foreign war, when our Secretary of State, William H.
Seward, solved the problem in a masterly manner. In his formal reply
he discussed the whole question with great ability, showing that such
detention of a vessel was justified by the laws of war, and there were
innumerable British precedents for it; that Captain Wilkes conducted
the search in a proper manner; that the commissioners were contraband
of war; and that the commander of the _Trent_ knew they were
contraband of war when he took them as passengers. But as Wilkes had
failed to complete the transaction in a legal manner by bringing the
_Trent_ into port for adjudication in a prize court, it must be
repudiated. In other words, by his consideration for the interests and
convenience of innocent persons, he had lost his prize. In summing up,
Mr. Seward said: "If I declare this case in favor of my own
Government, I must disavow its most cherished principles, and reverse
and forever abandon its most essential policy.... We are asked to do
to the British nation just what we have always insisted all nations
ought to do to us." The commissioners were released, and sailed for
England in January; but the purpose of their mission had been
practically thwarted. This was a remarkable instance of eating one's
cake and keeping it at the same time.


[Illustration: JAMES MURRAY MASON.]

[Illustration: CAPTAIN CHARLES WILKES. (Afterward Rear-Admiral.)]

[Illustration: JOHN SLIDELL.]

But though danger of intervention was thus for the time averted, and
the relations between the British Government and our own remained
nominally friendly, so far as moral influence and bitterness of
feeling could go the Republic had no more determined enemies in the
cotton States than in the heart of England. The aristocratic classes
rejoiced at anything that threatened to destroy democratic government
or make its stability doubtful. They confidently expected to see our
country fall into a state of anarchy like that experienced so often by
the Spanish-American republics, and were willing to do everything they
safely could do to bring it about. The foremost English journals had
been predicting such a disaster ever since the beginning of the
century, had announced it as in progress when a British force burned
Washington in 1814, and now were surer of it than ever. Almost our
only friends of the London press were the _Daily News_ and _Weekly
Spectator_. The commercial classes, in a country that had fought so
many commercial wars, were of course delighted at the crippling of a
commercial rival whom they had so long hated and feared, no matter
what it might cost in the shedding of blood and the destruction of
social order. Among the working classes, though they suffered heavily
when the supply of cotton was diminished, we had many firm and devoted
friends, who saw and felt, however imperfectly, that the cause of free
labor was their own cause, no matter on which side of the Atlantic the
battlefield might lie.

To those who had for years endured the taunts of Englishmen who
pointed to American slavery and its tolerance in the American
Constitution, while they boasted that no slave could breathe on
British soil, it was a strange sight, when our country was at war over
the question, to see almost everything that had power {66} and
influence in England arrayed on the side of the slaveholders. A few
famous Englishmen--notably John Bright and Goldwin Smith--were true to
the cause of liberty, and did much to instruct the laboring classes as
to the real nature and significance of the conflict. Henry Ward
Beecher, then at the height of his powers, went to England and
addressed large audiences, enlightening them as to the real nature of
American affairs, concerning which most of them were grossly ignorant,
and produced an effect that was probably never surpassed by any
orator. The Canadians, with the usual narrowness of provincials, blind
to their own ultimate interests, were in the main more bitterly
hostile than the mother country.

Louis Napoleon, then the despotic ruler of France, was unfriendly to
the United States, and did his utmost to persuade the English
Government to unite with him in a scheme of intervention that would
probably have secured the division of the country. How far his plans
went beyond that result, can only be conjectured; but while the war
was still in progress (1864) he threw a French force into Mexico, and
established there an ephemeral empire with an Austrian archduke at its
head. That the possession of Mexico alone was not his object, is
suggested by the fact that, when the rebellion was subdued and the
secession cause extinct, he withdrew his troops from Mexico and left
the archduke to the fate of other filibusters.

The Russian Government was friendly to the United States throughout
the struggle. The imperial manifesto for the abolition of serfdom in
Russia was issued on March 3, 1861, the day before President Lincoln
was inaugurated, and this perhaps created a special bond of sympathy.

[Illustration: FORT MONROE.]


[Illustration: COMMODORE S. H. STRINGHAM. (Afterward Rear-Admiral.)]




When the war began, the greater part of the small navy of the United
States was in distant waters--off the coast of Africa, in the
Mediterranean, on the Asiatic station--and for some of the ships to
receive the news and return, many months were required. Twelve vessels
were at home--four in Northern and eight in Southern ports. The navy,
like the army, lost many Southern officers by resignation or
dismissal. About three hundred who had been educated {67} for its
service went over to the Confederacy; but none of them took with them
the vessels they had commanded. The Government bought all sorts of
merchant craft, mounting guns on some and fitting up others as
transports, and had gunboats built on ninety-day contracts. It was a
most miscellaneous fleet, whose principal strength consisted in the
weakness of its adversary. The first purpose was to complete the
blockade of Southern ports. Throughout the war this was never made so
perfect that no vessels could pass through; but it was gradually
rendered more and more effective. The task was simplified as the land
forces, little by little, obtained control of the shore, when a few
vessels could maintain an effective blockade from within. But an
exterior blockade of a port in the hands of the enemy required a large
fleet, operating beyond the range of the enemy's fire from the shore,
in a line so extended as to offer occasional opportunities for the
blockade-runners to slip past. But blockade-running became exceedingly
dangerous. Large numbers of the vessels engaged in it were captured or
driven ashore and wrecked. The profit on a single cargo that passed
either way in safety was very great, and special vessels for
blockade-running were built in England. The Confederate Government
enacted a law providing that a certain portion of every cargo thus
brought into its ports must consist of arms or ammunition, otherwise
vessel and all would be confiscated. This insured a constant supply;
and though the Southern soldier was often barefoot and ragged, and
sometimes hungry, he never lacked for the most improved weapons that
English arsenals could produce, nor was he ever defeated for want of
powder. A very large part of the bullets that destroyed the lives and
limbs of National troops were cast in England and brought over the sea
in blockade-runners. Clothing and equipments, too, for the Confederate
armies came from the same source. Often when a burial party went out,
after a battle, as they turned over one after another of the enemy's
slain and saw the name of a Birmingham manufacturer stamped upon his
buttons, it seemed that they must have been fighting a foreign foe. To
pay for these things, the Confederates sent out cotton, tobacco, rice,
and the naval stores produced by North Carolina forests. It was
obvious from the first that any movement that would shut off a part of
this trade, or render it more hazardous, would strike a blow at the
insurrection. Furthermore, Confederate privateers were already out,
and before the first expedition sailed sixteen captured merchantmen
had been taken into the ports of North Carolina.


Vessels could enter Pamlico or Albemarle Sound by any one of several
inlets, and then make the port of Newbern, Washington, or Plymouth;
and the first of several naval and military expeditions was fitted out
for the purpose of closing the most useful of these openings, Hatteras
Inlet, thirteen miles south of Cape Hatteras. Two forts had been
erected on the point at the northern side of this inlet, and the
project was to capture {68} them; but, so new was everybody to the art
of war, it was not at first intended to garrison and hold them.

The expedition, which originated with the Navy Department, was fitted
out in Hampton Roads, near Fortress Monroe, and was commanded by
Flag-officer Silas H. Stringham. It numbered ten vessels, all told,
carrying one hundred and fifty-eight guns. Two were transport
steamers, having on board about nine hundred troops commanded by Gen.
Benjamin F. Butler, and two were schooners carrying iron surf-boats.
It sailed on the 26th of August, 1861, with sealed orders, arrived at
its destination before sunset, and anchored off the bar. Early the
next morning an attempt was made to land the troops through the surf,
at a point three miles from the inlet, whence they might attack the
forts in the rear. But it was not very successful. The heavy surf
dashed the clumsy iron boats upon the shore, drenching the men,
wetting the powder, and endangering everything. About one-third of the
troops, however, were landed, with two field-guns, and remained there
under protection of the fire from the ships. The forts were garrisoned
by about six hundred men, and mounted twenty-five guns; but they were
not very strong, and their bomb-proofs were not constructed properly.
Stringham's flag-ship, the frigate _Minnesota_, led off in the attack,
followed by the _Susquehanna_ and _Wabash_, and the guns of the
smaller fort were soon silenced. The frigates were at such a distance
that they could drop shells into it with their pivot-guns, while the
shot from the fort could not reach them. Afterward the larger work,
Fort Hatteras, was bombarded, but with no practical effect, though the
firing was kept up till sunset. But meanwhile the troops that had
landed through the surf had taken possession of the smaller work, Fort
Clark. They also threw up a small earthwork, and with their
field-pieces fired upon some Confederate vessels that were in the
Sound. The next morning (the 28th) the frigates anchored within reach
of Fort Hatteras, and began a deliberate and steady bombardment. As
before, the shot from the fort fell short of the ships, and neither
could that from the smooth-bore broadside guns reach the fort; but the
pivot-guns and the rifled pieces of one vessel wrought great havoc.
One plunging shell went down through a ventilator and narrowly missed
exploding the magazine. At the end of three hours the fort
surrendered. Its defenders, who were commanded by Samuel Barron,
formerly of the United States navy, had suffered a loss of about fifty
in killed and wounded. They had been reinforced in the night, but a
steamer was seen taking away a load of troops just before the
surrender. The seven hundred prisoners were sent on board the
flag-ship and carried to New York. The victors had not lost a man.
There had been some intention of destroying the forts and blocking up
the channels of the inlet; but it was determined instead to leave a
garrison and establish a coaling station for the blockading fleet. Two
of the frigates remained in the Sound, and within a fortnight half a
dozen blockade-runners entered the inlet and were captured.

(Two views.)]

29th OF AUGUST, 1861.]

[Illustration: GUNBOAT "MENDOTA."]

[Illustration: COMMANDER C. R. P. RODGERS. (Afterward Rear-Admiral.)]

[Illustration: COMMANDER JOHN RODGERS. (Afterward Rear-Admiral.)]

A much larger expedition sailed from Hampton Roads on one of the last
days of October. It consisted of more than fifty vessels--frigates,
gunboats, transports, tugs, steam ferry-boats, and schooners--carrying
twenty-two thousand men. The fleet was commanded by Flag-officer
Samuel F. Du Pont, the troops by Gen. Thomas W. Sherman (who must not
be confounded with Gen. William T. Sherman, famous for his march to
the sea). The expedition had been two months in preparation, and
though it sailed with sealed orders, and every effort had been made to
keep its destination secret, the information leaked out as usual, and
while it was on its way the Confederate Secretary of War telegraphed
to the Governor of South Carolina and the commander at Hilton Head
where to expect it. Bull's Bay, St. Helena, Port Royal, and Fernandina
had all been discussed, and the final choice fell upon Port Royal.


A tremendous gale was encountered on the passage; the fleet was
scattered, one {71} transport was completely wrecked, with a loss of
seven lives, one gunboat was obliged to throw her broadside battery
overboard, a transport threw over her cargo, and one store-ship was
lost. When the storm was over, only a single gunboat was in sight from
the flag-ship. But the fleet slowly came together again, and was
joined by some of the frigates that were blockading Charleston Harbor,
these being relieved by others that had come down for the purpose.
They arrived off the entrance to Port Royal harbor on the 5th and 6th
of November. This entrance was protected by two earthworks--Fort
Walker on Hilton Head (the south side), and Fort Beauregard on St.
Helena Island (the north side). These forts were about two and a half
miles apart, and were garrisoned by South Carolina troops, commanded
by Generals Drayton and Ripley. A brother of General Drayton commanded
a vessel in the attacking fleet.

On the morning of the 7th the order of battle was formed. The bar was
ten miles out from the entrance, and careful soundings had been made
by two gunboats, under the fire of three Confederate vessels that ran
out from the harbor. The main column consisted of ten vessels, led by
the flag-ship _Wabash_, and was ordered to attack Fort Walker. Another
column of four vessels was ordered to fire upon Fort Beauregard, pass
in, and attack the Confederate craft. All were under way soon after
breakfast, and were favored by a tranquil sea. The main column, a
ship's length apart, steamed in steadily at the rate of six miles an
hour, passing Fort Walker at a distance of eight hundred yards, and
delivering a fire of shells and rifled shot. Every gun in the fort
that could be brought to bear was worked as rapidly as possible, in a
gallant defence. After the line had passed the fort, it turned and
steamed out again, passing this time within six hundred yards, and
delivering fire from the guns on the other side of the vessels. Three
times they thus went around in a long ellipse, each time keeping the
fort under fire for about twenty minutes. Then the _Bienville_, which
had the heaviest guns, and was commanded by Captain Steadman, a South
Carolinian, sailed in closer yet, and delivered a fire that dismounted
several guns and wrought dreadful havoc. Meanwhile two or three
gunboats had taken a position from which they enfiladed the work, and
the flag-ship came to a stand at short range and pounded away
steadily. This was more than anything at that stage of the war could
endure, and from the mast-head the troops were seen streaming out of
the fort and across Hilton Head Island as if in panic. A flag of truce
was sent on shore, but there was no one to receive it, and soon after
two o'clock the National colors were floating over the fort. The
flanking column of vessels had attacked Fort Beauregard; and when the
commander of that work saw that Fort Walker was abandoned by its
defenders, he also retreated with his force. The Confederate vessels
escaped by running up a shallow inlet. The loss in the fleet was eight
men killed and twenty-three wounded; that of the Confederates, as
reported by their commander, was eleven killed and fifty-two wounded
or missing. General Sherman said: "Many bodies were buried in the
fort, and twenty or thirty were found half a mile distant." The road
across Hilton Head Island to a wharf whence the retreating troops were
taken to the mainland was strewn with arms and accoutrements, and two
howitzers were abandoned. The surgeon of the fort had been killed by a
shell and buried by a falling parapet. The troops were debarked and
took possession of both forts, repaired and strengthened the works,
formed an intrenched camp, and thus gave the Government a permanent
foothold on the soil of South Carolina.


[Illustration: REAR-ADMIRAL S. F. DU PONT.]


Roanoke Island, N. C., lies between Roanoke Sound and Croatan Sound,
through which the channels lead to Albemarle Sound, giving access to
the interior of the State. This island, therefore, was fortified by
the Confederates, in order to command these approaches. The island is
about as large as that which is occupied by New York City--ten miles
long, and somewhat over two miles wide. In January, 1862, an
expedition was fitted out to capture it, and the command was given to
Gen. {72} Ambrose E. Burnside, who had about fifteen thousand men,
with a battery of six guns, carried on forty transports. The naval
part of the expedition, consisting of twenty-eight vessels, none of
them very large, carrying half a hundred guns, was under the immediate
command of Capt. Louis M. Goldsborough. Among his subordinate officers
were Stephen C. Rowan and John L. Worden. Burnside's three brigade
commanders--all of whom rose to eminence before the war was over--were
John G. Foster, Jesse L. Reno, and John G. Parke.



The expedition sailed from Hampton Roads on January 11, and almost
immediately encountered a terrific storm, by which the fleet was far
scattered, some of the vessels being carried out to sea and others
driven ashore. Five were wrecked, and a considerable number of men
were lost. By the 28th, all that had weathered the gale passed through
Hatteras Inlet into the sounds. The fortifications on the island
mounted forty guns; and in Croatan Sound a Confederate naval force of
eight vessels lay behind a line of obstructions across the channel.

On February 7th, the National gunboats, advancing in three columns,
shelled Fort Bartow--the principal fortification, on the west side of
the island--and the Confederate gunboats. The latter were soon driven
off, and in four hours the fort was silenced. The transports landed
the troops on the west side of the island, two miles south of the
fort, and in the morning of the 8th they began their march to the
interior, which was made difficult and disagreeable by swamps and a
lack of roads, and by a cold storm. On the 9th, the Confederate
skirmishers were driven in, and the main line was assaulted, first
with artillery, and then by the infantry. The Confederate left wing
was turned; and when the national troops had nearly exhausted their
ammunition they made a brilliant bayonet charge, led by Hawkins's New
York zouave regiment, and stormed the works, which were hastily
abandoned by the Confederates, who attempted to reach the northeast
shore and cross to Nag's Head, but more than two thousand of them were
captured. Fort Bartow still held out, but it was soon taken, its
garrison surrendering. In this action the national loss was two
hundred and thirty-five men killed or wounded in the army, and
twenty-five in the navy.

On the 10th, a part of the fleet, under Captain Rowan, pursued the
Confederate fleet up Albemarle Sound, and after a short engagement
defeated it. The Confederates set fire to their vessels and deserted
them, destroying all but one, which was captured. Rowan then took
possession of Elizabeth City and Edenton. The flying Confederates had
set fire to the former; but Rowan's men, with the help of the colored
people who remained, put out the fire and saved the city.

In this naval battle one of the first medals of honor won in the war
was earned by a sailor named John Davis. A shell thrown by the
Confederates entered one of the vessels and set fire to it. This was
near the magazine, and there was an open barrel of powder from which
Davis was serving a gun. He at once sat down on the barrel, and
remained there covering it until the fire was put out.

General Burnside next planned an expedition in the opposite direction,
to attack Newbern. His forces, numbering about eight thousand men,
sailed from Hatteras Inlet in the morning of March 12th, and that
evening landed within eighteen miles of Newbern. The next day they
marched toward the city, while the gunboats ascended the river and
shelled such fortifications and Confederate troops as could be seen.
The roads were miry, and the progress of the troops was slow. After
removing elaborate obstructions and torpedoes from the channel, the
fleet reached and silenced the forts near the city. The land forces
then came up and attacked the Confederates, who were about five
thousand strong and were commanded by General Branch. After hard
fighting, the works were carried, and the enemy fled. They burned the
railroad bridge over the Trent River, and set fire to the city; but
the sailors succeeded in extinguishing the flames in time to save the
greater part of the town. Burnside's loss in this battle was about
five hundred and fifty killed or wounded; that of the Confederates,
including prisoners, was about the same. Fifty-two guns and two
steamers were captured.

Ten days later, Beaufort, N. C., and Morehead City were occupied by
the National troops without opposition. Burnside's army was now broken
up into comparatively small bodies, holding the various places that
had been taken, which greatly diminished the facilities for
blockade-running on the North Carolina coast.

The year 1862 opened with indications of lively and decisive {73} work
west of the mountains, and many movements were made that cannot be
detailed here. One of the most gallant was in the region of the Big
Sandy River in eastern Kentucky, where Humphrey Marshall had gathered
a Confederate force of about two thousand five hundred (mostly
Kentuckians) at Paintville. Col. James A. Garfield (afterward
President), in command of one thousand eight hundred infantry and
three hundred cavalry, drove him out of Paintville, pursued him beyond
Prestonburg, came up with him at noon of January 10th, and fought him
till night, when Marshall retreated under cover of the darkness,
leaving his dead on the field.




[Illustration: VICE-ADMIRAL S. C. ROWAN.]


In the autumn of 1861 a Confederate force, under Gen. Felix K.
Zollicoffer, had been pushed forward by way of Knoxville to eastern
Kentucky, but was defeated at Camp Wildcat, October 21st, by seven
thousand men under General Schoepff, and fell back to Mill Springs at
the head of steamboat navigation on the Cumberland. Zollicoffer soon
crossed to the northern bank, and fortified a position at Beech Grove,
in the angle between the river and Fishing Creek. The National forces
in the vicinity were commanded by Gen. George H. Thomas, who watched
Zollicoffer so closely that when the latter was told by his superiors
he should not have crossed the river, he could only answer that it was
now too late to return. As Zollicoffer was only a journalist, with
more zeal than military knowledge, Gen. George B. Crittenden was sent
to supersede him. Thomas was slowly advancing, through rainy weather,
over heavy roads, to drive this force out of the State, and had
reached Logan's Cross-roads, within ten miles of the Confederate camp,
when Crittenden determined to move out and attack him. The battle
began early on the morning of January 19, 1862. Thomas was on the
alert, and when his outposts were driven in he rapidly brought up one
detachment after another and threw them into line. The attack was
directed mainly against the National left, where the fighting was
obstinate and bloody, much of the firing being at very close quarters.
Here Zollicoffer, thinking the Fourth Kentucky was a Confederate
regiment firing upon its friends, rode forward to correct the supposed
mistake, and was shot dead by its colonel, Speed S. Fry. When, at
length, the right of the Confederate line had been pressed back and
broken, a steady fire having been kept up on the centre, the Ninth
Ohio Regiment made a bayonet charge on its left flank, and the whole
line was broken and routed. The Confederates took refuge in their
intrenchments, where Thomas swiftly pursued and closely invested them,
expecting to capture them all the next morning. But in the night they
managed to cross the river, leaving behind their wounded, twelve guns,
all their horses, mules, and wagons, and a large amount of stores. In
the further retreat two of the Confederate regiments disbanded and
scattered to their homes, while a large number from other regiments
deserted individually. The National loss in killed and wounded was two
hundred and forty-six; that of the Confederates, four hundred and
seventy-one. Thomas received the thanks of the President for his
victory. This action is variously called the Battle of Fishing Creek
and the Battle of Mill Springs.


When Gen. Henry W. Halleck was placed in command of the Department of
Missouri, in November, 1861, he divided it into districts, giving to
Gen. Ulysses S. Grant the District of Cairo, {75} which included
Southern Illinois, the counties of Missouri south of Cape Girardeau,
and all of Kentucky that lies west of Cumberland River. Where the
Tennessee and the Cumberland enter Kentucky from the south they are
about ten miles apart, and here the Confederates had erected two
considerable works to command the rivers--Fort Henry on the east bank
of the Tennessee, and Fort Donelson on the west bank of the
Cumberland. They had also fortified the high bluffs at Columbus, on
the Mississippi, twenty miles below the mouth of the Ohio, and Bowling
Green, on the Big Barren. The general purpose was to establish a
military frontier with a strong line of defence from the Alleghany
Mountains to the Mississippi.



A fleet of iron-clad gunboats had been prepared by the United States
Government for service on the Western rivers, some of them being built
new, while others were altered freight-boats.

After a reconnoissance in force by Gen. C. F. Smith, General Grant
asked Halleck's permission to capture Fort Henry, and, after
considerable delay, received it on the 30th of January. That work was
garrisoned by three thousand men under Gen. Lloyd Tilghman. Its
position was strong, the ravines through which little tributaries
reached the river being filled with slashed timber and rifle-pits, and
swampy ground rendering approach from {76} the land side difficult.
But the work itself was rather poorly built, bags of sand being
largely used instead of a solid earth embankment.

On the morning of February 2d the fleet of four iron-clad and two
wooden gunboats, commanded by Flag-officer Andrew H. Foote, left
Cairo, steamed up the Ohio to Paducah, thence up the Tennessee, and by
daylight the next morning were within sight of the fort. Grant's land
force was to coöperate by an attack in the rear, but it did not arrive
in time. The gunboats moved up to within six hundred yards, and opened
a bombardment, to which the guns of the fort immediately responded,
and the firing was kept up for an hour. The _Essex_ received a shot in
her boiler, by which many men were wounded or scalded, including Capt.
William D. Porter, son of Commodore David Porter who had won fame in
another _Essex_ in the war of 1812-15. Otherwise the fleet, though
struck many times, was not seriously injured. On the other hand, the
fire from the gunboats knocked the sand-bags about, dismounted seven
guns, brought down the flagstaff, and, together with the bursting of a
rifled gun in the fort, created a panic. All but about one hundred of
the garrison fled, leaving General Tilghman with the sick and a single
company of artillerists; and, after serving a gun with his own hands
as long as possible, he ran up a white flag and surrendered. The
regret of the victors at the escape of the garrison was more than
counterbalanced by their gratification at the behavior of the gunboats
in their first serious trial. After the surrender, three of the
gunboats proceeded up the Tennessee River to the head of navigation,
destroyed the railroad bridge, and captured a large amount of stores.





In consequence of the battle of Mill Springs and the fall of Fort
Henry, the Confederate Gen. Simon B. Buckner, who was at Bowling Green
with about ten thousand men, abandoned that place and joined his
forces to those in Fort Donelson. Gen. Ormsby M. Mitchel, by a forced
march, promptly took possession of Bowling Green with National troops;
and General Grant immediately made dispositions for the capture of
Fort Donelson. This work, situated at a bend of the river, was on high
ground, enclosed about a hundred acres, and had also a strong
water-battery on the lower river {77} front. The land side was
protected by slashed timber and rifle-pits, as well as by the
naturally broken ground. The gunboats went down the Tennessee and up
the Cumberland, and with them a portion of Grant's force to be used in
attacking the water front. The fort contained about twenty thousand
men, commanded by Gen. John B. Floyd, who had been President
Buchanan's Secretary of War. Grant's main force left the neighborhood
of Fort Henry on the morning of February 12th, a portion marching
straight on Fort Donelson, while the remainder made a slight detour to
the south, to come up on the right, strike the Confederate left, and
prevent escape in that direction. They chose positions around the fort
unmolested that afternoon, and the next morning the fighting began.
After an artillery duel, an attempt was made to storm the works near
the centre of the line, but it was a failure and entailed severe loss.
The gunboats and the troops with them had not yet come up, and the
attack was suspended for the day. A cold storm set in, with sleet and
snow, and the assailants spent the night without shelter and with
scant rations, while a large part of the defenders, being in the
trenches, were equally exposed.



[Illustration: COLONEL SPEED S. FRY. (Afterward Brigadier-General.)]

Next morning the fleet appeared, landed the troops and supplies three
miles below the fort, and then moved up to attack the batteries. These
were not so easily disposed of as Fort Henry had been. It was a
desperate fight. The plunging shot from the fort struck the gunboats
in their most vulnerable part, and made ugly wounds. But they stood to
the work manfully, and had silenced one battery when the steering
apparatus of two of the gunboats was shot away, while a gun on another
had burst and the flag-officer was wounded. The flag-ship had been
struck fifty-nine times, and the others from twenty to forty, when
they all dropped down the stream and out of the fight. They had lost
fifty-four men killed or wounded. But the naval attack had served to
prevent an immediate sortie, and so perhaps ultimately saved the
victory for Grant.

That night a council of war was held within the fort, and it was
determined to attack the besiegers in the morning with the entire
force, in hopes either to defeat them completely or at least to turn
back their right wing, and thus open a way for retreat toward the
south. The fighting began early in the morning. Grant's right wing,
all but surprised, was pressed heavily and borne back, the enemy
passing through and plundering McClernand's camps. Buckner sallied out
and attacked on the left with much less vigor and with no success but
as a diversion, and the fighting extended all along the line, while
the Confederate cavalry were endeavoring to gain the National rear.
Grant was imperturbable through it all, and when he saw that the
attack had reached its height, he ordered a counter attack and
recovery of the lost ground on the right, which was executed by the
division of Lew Wallace, while that of C. F. Smith stormed the works
on the left. Smith rode beside the color-bearer, and, in the face of a
murderous fire that struck down four hundred men, his troops rushed
forward over every obstruction, brought up field guns and enfiladed
the works, drove out the defenders, and took possession.


Another bitterly cold night followed, but Grant improved the time to
move up reinforcements to the positions he had gained, while the
wounded were looked after as well as circumstances would permit.
Within the fort another council of war was held. Floyd declared it
would not do for him to fall into the {79} hands of the Government, as
he was accused of defrauding it while in office. So he turned over the
command to Gen. Gideon J. Pillow. But that general said he also had
strong reasons for not wanting to be a prisoner, so he turned it over
to Gen. Simon B. Buckner. With as many of their men as could be taken
on two small steamers, Floyd and Pillow embarked in the darkness and
went up the river to Nashville. The cavalry, under Gen. N. B. Forrest,
also escaped, and a considerable number of men from all the commands
managed to steal away unobserved. In the morning Buckner hung out a
white flag, and sent a letter to Grant, proposing that commissioners
be appointed to arrange terms of capitulation. Grant's answer not only
made him famous, but gave an impetus and direction to the whole war:
"No terms other than an unconditional and immediate surrender can be
accepted. I propose to move immediately upon your works." Buckner, in
a petulant and ill-considered note, at once surrendered the fort and
his entire command. This numbered about fourteen thousand men; and
four hundred that were sent to reinforce him were also captured.


[Illustration: COLONEL JAMES A. GARFIELD. (Afterward Major-General.)]

[Illustration: MAJOR-GENERAL C. F. SMITH.]


General Pillow estimated the Confederate loss in killed and wounded at
two thousand. No undisputed figures are attainable on either side.
Grant began the siege with about fifteen thousand men, which
reinforcements had increased to twenty-seven thousand at the time of
the surrender. His losses were about two thousand, and many of the
wounded had perished of cold. The long, artificial line of defence,
from the mountains to the Mississippi, was now swept away, and the
Confederates abandoned Nashville, to which Grant might have advanced
immediately, had he not been forbidden by Halleck.

When the news was flashed through the loyal States, and bulletins were
posted up with enumeration of prisoners, guns, and small arms
captured, salutes were fired, joy-bells were rung, flags were
displayed, and people asked one another, "Who is this Grant, and where
did he come from?"--for they saw that a new genius had suddenly risen
upon the earth.

Both before and after the defeat and death of General Lyon at Wilson's
Creek (August, 1861), there was irregular and predatory warfare in
Missouri. Especially in the western part of the State half-organized
bands of men would come into existence, sometimes make long marches,
and on the approach of a strong enemy disappear, some scattering to
their homes and others making their way to and joining the bodies of
regular troops. In Missouri and northern Arkansas guerilla warfare was
extensively carried on for more than a year. Many terrible stories are
told of the vengeful spirit with which both sides in this warfare were
actuated. It is quite possible these stories were exaggerated, but it
is certain that many cold-blooded murders were committed. Very few of
the guerillas were Unionists.

Gen. John C. Frémont, who commanded the department, believing that
Price was near Springfield, gave orders for the concentration at that
place of all the National forces in Missouri. But Price was not there,
and in November Frémont was superseded by General Halleck, some of
whose subordinate commanders, especially Gen. John Pope, made rapid
movements and did good service in capturing newly recruited regiments
that were on their way to join Price.

Late in December Gen. Samuel R. Curtis took command of twelve thousand
National troops at Rolla, and advanced against Price, who retreated
before him to the {80} northwestern corner of Arkansas, where his
force was joined by that of General McCulloch, and together they took
up a position in the Boston Mountains. Curtis crossed the line into
Arkansas, chose a strong place on Pea Ridge, in the Ozark Mountains,
intrenched, and awaited attack. Because of serious disagreements
between Price and McCulloch, Gen. Earl Van Dorn, who ranked them both,
was sent to take command of the Confederate force, arriving late in
January. There is no authentic statement as to the size of his army.
He himself declared that he had but fourteen thousand men, while no
other estimate gave fewer than twice that number. Among them was a
large body of Cherokee Indians, recruited for the Confederate service
by Albert Pike, who thirty years before had won reputation as a poet.
On March 5, 1862, Van Dorn moved to attack Curtis, who knew of his
coming and formed his line on the bluffs along Sugar Creek, facing
southward. His divisions were commanded by Gens. Franz Sigel and
Alexander S. Asboth and Cols. Jefferson C. Davis and Eugene A. Carr,
and he had somewhat more than ten thousand men in line, with
forty-eight guns. The Confederates, finding the position too strong in
front, made a night march to the west, with the intention of striking
the Nationals on the right flank. But Curtis discovered their movement
at dawn, promptly faced his line to the right about, and executed a
grand left wheel. His army was looking westward toward the approaching
foe, Carr's division being on the right, then Davis, then Asboth, and
Sigel on the left. But they were not fairly in position when the blow
fell. Carr was struck most heavily, and, though reinforced from time
to time, was driven back a mile in the course of the day. Davis,
opposed to the corps of McCulloch, was more successful; that general
was killed, and his troops were driven from the field. In the night
Curtis re-formed and strengthened his lines, and in the morning the
battle was renewed. This day Sigel executed some brilliant and
characteristic manoeuvres. To bring his division into its place on the
left wing, he pushed a battery forward, and while it was firing
rapidly its infantry supports were brought up to it by a right wheel;
this movement was repeated with another battery and its supports to
the left of the first, and again, till the whole division had come
into line, pressing back the enemy's right. Sigel was now so far
advanced that Curtis's whole line made a curve, enclosing the enemy,
and by a heavy concentrated artillery fire the Confederates were soon
driven to the shelter of the ravines, and finally put to rout. The
National loss in this action--killed, wounded, and missing--was over
thirteen hundred, Carr and Asboth being among the wounded. The
Confederate loss is unknown. Generals McCulloch and McIntosh were
killed, and Generals Price and Slack wounded. Owing to the nature of
the ground, any effective pursuit of Van Dorn's broken forces was



[Illustration: BRIGADIER-GENERAL G. J. PILLOW, C. S. A.]


The Confederate Government had made a treaty with some of the tribes
in the Indian Territory, and had taken into its service more than four
thousand Indians, whom the stories of Bull Run and Wilson's Creek had
apparently impressed with the belief that they would have little to do
but scalp the wounded and rob the dead. At Pea Ridge these red men
exhibited their old-time terror of artillery, and though they took a
few scalps they were so disgusted at being asked to face half a
hundred well-served cannon that they were almost useless to their
allies, and thenceforth they took no further part in the war. It is a
notable fact that in the wars on this continent the Indians have only
been employed on the losing side. In the French and English struggle
for the country, which ended in 1763, the French had the friendship of
many of the tribes, and employed them against the English settlers and
soldiers, but the French were conquered nevertheless. In the
Revolution and the war of 1812, the British employed them to some
extent against the Americans, but the Americans were victorious. In
the great Rebellion, the Confederate Government {81} attempted to use
them as allies in the West and Southwest, and in that very section the
Confederate cause was first defeated. All of which appears to show
that though savages may add to the horrors of war, they cannot
determine its results for civilized people; nor can irresponsible
guerilla bands, of which there were many at the West, nearly all in
the service of the Confederacy.




[Illustration: BATTLE OF PEA RIDGE, MARCH 6, 1862.]

"At the close of Mr. Buchanan's administration nearly all the United
States Indian agents in the Indian Territory were secessionists, and
the moment the Southern States commenced passing ordinances of
secession, these men exerted their influence to get the five tribes
committed to the Confederate cause. Occupying territory south of the
Arkansas River, and having the secessionists of Arkansas on the east
and those of Texas on the south for neighbors, the Choctaws and
Chickasaws offered no decided opposition to the scheme. With the
Cherokees, the most powerful and most civilized tribes of the Indian
Territory, it was different. Their chief, John Ross, was opposed to
hasty action, and at first favored neutrality, and in the summer of
1861 issued a proclamation enjoining his people to observe a strictly
neutral attitude during the war between the United States and the
Southern States. In June, 1861, Albert Pike, a commissioner of the
Confederate States, and Gen. Ben. McCulloch, commanding the
Confederate forces in Western Arkansas and the Department of Indian
Territory, visited Chief Ross, with the view of having him make a
treaty with the Confederacy. But he declined to make a treaty, and in
the conference expressed himself as wishing to occupy, if possible, a
neutral position during the war. A majority of the Cherokees, nearly
all of whom were full-bloods, were known as Pin Indians, and were
opposed to the South." (_Battles and Leaders_, Vol. I., pp. 335-336.)

After the battle of Wilson's Creek had been fought, General Lyon
killed, and the Union army defeated, Chief Ross was easily convinced
that the South would succeed, and entered into a treaty with the
Confederate authorities.

FEBRUARY 13, 1862.]





While the great naval expedition was approaching New Orleans, the
waters of Hampton Roads, from which it had sailed, were the scene of a
battle that revolutionized the naval armaments of the world. When at
the outbreak of the war the navy yard at Norfolk, Va., was abandoned,
with an attempt at its destruction, the steam frigate _Merrimac_ was
set on fire at the wharf. Her upper works were burned, and her hull
sunk. There had been long hesitation about removing any of the
valuable property from this navy yard, because the action of Virginia
was uncertain, and it was hoped that a mark of confidence in her
people would tend to keep her in the Union. The day that Sumter was
fired upon, peremptory orders had been issued for the removal of the
_Merrimac_ to Philadelphia, and steam was raised and every preparation
made for her sailing. But the officer in command, for some unexplained
reason, would not permit her to move, and two days later she was
burned. Within two months the Confederates were at work upon her. They
raised the hull, repaired the machinery, and covered it with a steep
roof of wrought iron five inches thick, with a lining of oak seven
inches thick. The sides were also plated with iron, and the bow was
armed with an iron ram, something like a huge ploughshare. In the
water she had the appearance of a house submerged to the eaves, with
an immense gun looking out at each of ten dormer windows.


But all this could not be done in a day, especially where skilled
workmen were scarce, and it was March, 1862, before she was ready for
action. The command was given to Franklin Buchanan, who had resigned a
commission in the United States navy. On the 8th of March, accompanied
by two gunboats, she went out to raise the blockade of James and
Elizabeth Rivers by destroying the wooden war vessels in Hampton
Roads. Her first victim was the frigate _Cumberland_, which gave her a
{84} broadside that would have riddled a wooden vessel through and
through. Some of the shot entered her open ports, killed or wounded
nineteen men, and broke two of her guns; but all that struck the armor
bounded off like peas. Rifled shot from the _Merrimac_ raked the
_Cumberland_, and then she ran into her so that her iron prow cut a
great gash in the side. The _Cumberland_ at once began to settle; but
the crew stood by their guns, firing broadside after broadside without
producing any impression on the iron monster, and received in return
shells and solid shot that made sickening havoc. The commander,
Lieutenant Morris, refused to surrender; and at the end of forty-five
minutes, when the water was at the gun-deck, the crew leaped overboard
and with the help of the boats got ashore, while the frigate heeled
over and sank to the bottom. Her topmasts projected above the surface
and her flag was flying. While this was going on, three Confederate
steamers came down and attacked the _Congress_ with such effect that
her commander tried to run her ashore. Having finished the
_Cumberland_, the _Merrimac_ came up and opened a deliberate attack on
the _Congress_, and finally set her on fire, when the crew escaped in
their boats. She burned for several hours, and in the night blew up.
Of the other National vessels in the Roads, one got aground in water
too shallow for the _Merrimac_ to approach her, and the others were
not drawn into the fight.

The next morning the _Merrimac_ came down again from Norfolk to finish
up the fleet in Hampton Roads, and after that--to do various
unheard-of things. The more sanguine expected her to go at once to
Philadelphia, New York, and other seaboard cities of the North, and
either bombard them or lay them under heavy contribution. The National
Administration entertained a corresponding apprehension, and expected
to see the _Merrimac_ ascend the Potomac and attack Washington first.
A part of these expectations were well founded, and the rest were such
exaggerations as commonly arise from ignorance. The _Merrimac_ could
not have reached New York or Philadelphia, because she was not a
sea-going vessel. With skilful management and good luck, she might
have ascended the Potomac to Washington, but she would have had to run
the gantlet of numerous dangers. There is a place in the Potomac
called "the kettle-bottoms," where a great many conical mounds,
composed of sand and oyster-shells, rise from the channel till their
peaks are within a few feet of the surface; and their positions were
so imperfectly known at this time that the National vessels frequently
ran aground upon them. Several devices were in waiting to make trouble
for the iron-clad champion at this point, perhaps the most dangerous
of which was that prepared by Captain Love, commanding an armed
tugboat. He procured a seine three-quarters of a mile long, took off
its floats, and stretched it across the channel in such a way that the
_Merrimac_ could hardly have passed over it without fouling her
propeller, which would have rendered her helpless.

[Illustration: JOHN ERICSSON. Inventor of the "Monitor."]

[Illustration: LIEUTENANT G. U. MORRIS. Commander of the

[Illustration: REAR-ADMIRAL J. SMITH. Commander at the Washington Navy

But the dangerous enemy was destined to be disposed of in a more novel
and dramatic way. In August, 1861, the Navy Department had advertised
for plans for steam batteries, to be iron-clad and capable of fighting
the _Merrimac_ and other similar armored vessels that the Confederates
were known to be constructing. The plan adopted was that presented by
Capt. John Ericsson. Its essential features were an iron-clad hull,
with an "overhang" to protect the machinery, all of which was below
the waterline, surmounted by a round revolving tower or turret, in
which were two heavy guns. The idea of a revolving tower was not
Ericsson's; it had been put forth by several inventors, especially by
Abraham Bloodgood in 1807. But this special adaptation of it, with the
application of steam power, was his. The vessel was built in Brooklyn,
and was launched January 30, 1862, one hundred days after the laying
of the keel. She was named _Monitor_, for the obvious significance of
the word. The extreme length of her upper hull was one hundred and
seventy-two feet, with a breadth of forty-one feet, while her lower
hull was one hundred and twenty-two feet long and thirty-four feet
broad. Her depth was eleven feet, and when loaded she drew ten feet of
water, her deck thus rising but a single foot above the surface. The
turret was twenty feet in diameter and nine feet high. The only
conspicuous object on the deck, besides the turret, was a pilot-house
about five feet square and four feet high. This was built of solid
wrought-iron beams, nine by twelve inches, laid {85} one upon another
and bolted together. At a point near the top a slight crack was left
between the beams all round, through which the commander and the pilot
could see what was going on outside and get their bearings. The guns
threw solid shot eleven inches in diameter. The advantage of
presenting so small a surface as a target for the enemy, having all
the machinery beyond reach of any hostile shot, carrying two large
guns, and being able to revolve the turret that contained them, so as
to bring them to bear in any direction and keep the ports turned away
from danger except at the moment of firing, is apparent.

This novel war-machine sailed from the harbor of New York on March 6,
in command of Lieut. John L. Worden, destined for Hampton Roads. She
was hardly out at sea when orders came changing her destination to
Washington; but fortunately she could not be reached, although a swift
tugboat was sent after her. She had a rough passage of three days, the
perils of which were largely increased by the fact that her crew did
not as yet understand all her peculiarities. They neglected to stop
the hawse-hole where the anchor-chain passed out, and large quantities
of water came in there, besides what poured down the low smoke-stacks
when the waves broke over her.

Outriding all dangers, she arrived in Hampton Roads on Saturday
evening, March 8, where the mournful condition of things did not
diminish the dispiriting effect of the voyage upon her crew. The
_Cumberland_ was sunk, the _Congress_ was burning, the _Minnesota_ was
aground, and everybody was dismayed. But Worden seems to have had no
lack of confidence in his vessel and his crew. He took on a volunteer
pilot, and promptly in the morning went out to his work. He first
drove away the wooden vessels that were making for the helpless
_Minnesota_, and then steered straight for the _Merrimac_, which was
now coming down the channel.

The Confederates had known about the building of the _Monitor_ (which
they called the _Ericsson_), just as the authorities at Washington had
known all about the _Merrimac_. When their men first saw her, they
described her as "a cheese-box on a raft," and were surprised at her
apparently diminutive size. Buchanan had been seriously wounded in the
action of the previous day, and the Confederate iron-clad was now
commanded by Lieutenant Jones.

Worden stationed himself in the pilot-house, with the pilot and a
quartermaster to man the wheel, while his executive officer, Lieut.
Samuel D. Greene, was in the turret, commanding the guns, which were
worked by chief engineer Stimers and sixteen men. The total number of
men in the _Monitor_ was fifty-seven; the _Merrimac_ had about three



The _Merrimac_ began firing as soon as the two iron-clads were within
long range of each other, but Worden reserved his fire for short
range. Then the battle was fairly open, the National vessel firing
solid shot, about one in eight minutes, while the Confederates used
shells exclusively and fired much more rapidly. The shells struck the
turret and made numerous scars, but inflicted no serious damage,
except occasionally when a man was leaning against the side at the
moment of impact and was injured by the concussion. Worden had his
eyes at the sight-hole when a shell struck it and exploded,
temporarily blinding him, and injuring him so severely that he turned
over the command to Lieutenant Greene and took no further part in the
action. Each vessel attempted to ram the other, but always without
success. Once when the _Monitor_ made a dash at the {87} _Merrimac's_
stern, to disable her steering-gear, the two guns were discharged at
once at a distance of only a few yards. The two ponderous shots,
striking close together, crushed in the iron plates several inches,
and produced a concussion that knocked over the entire crews of the
after guns and caused many of them to bleed at the nose and ears. The
officers of the _Monitor_ had received peremptory orders to use but
fifteen pounds of powder at a charge. Experts say that if they had
used the normal charge of thirty pounds their shots would undoubtedly
have penetrated the _Merrimac_ and either sunk her or compelled her
surrender. The _Monitor_ had an advantage in the fact that she drew
but half as much water as the _Merrimac_ and could move with much
greater celerity. The fight continued for about four hours, and the
Confederate iron-clad then returned to Norfolk, and she never came
down to fight again till the 11th of April, when no battle took place
because both vessels had orders to remain on the defensive, each
Government being afraid to risk the loss of its only iron-clad in
those waters. The indentations on the _Monitor_ showed that she had
been struck twenty-two times, but she was not in any way disabled.
Twenty of her shots struck the _Merrimac_, some of which smashed the
outer layers of iron plates. It was claimed that the _Merrimac_ would
have sunk the _Monitor_ by ramming, had she not lost her iron prow
when she rammed the _Cumberland_ the day before; but a description of
the prow, which was only of cast iron and not very large, makes this
at least doubtful.

Just what damage the _Merrimac_ received in the fight is not known.
But it was observed that she went into it with her bow up and her
stern down, and went out with her bow down and her stern up; that on
withdrawing she was at once surrounded by four tugs, into which her
men immediately jumped; and she went into the dry-dock for repairs.

[Illustration: CAPTAIN JOHN L. WORDEN. (Afterward Rear-Admiral.)
Commanding the "Monitor."]

[Illustration: COMMANDER FRANKLIN BUCHANAN, C. S. N. Commanding the

[Illustration: LIEUTENANT S. DANA GREENE. Executive Officer of the

The significance of the battle was not so much in its immediate result
as in its effect upon all naval armaments, and because of this it
attracted world-wide attention. The London _Times_ declared: "There is
not now a ship in the English navy, apart from these two [the
_Warrior_ and the _Ironside_], that it would not be madness to trust
to an engagement with that little _Monitor_." The United States
Government ordered the building of more monitors, some with two
turrets, and they did excellent service, notably in the battle of
Mobile Bay.

In May, when Norfolk was captured, an attempt was made to take the
_Merrimac_ up the James River; but she got aground, and was finally
abandoned and blown up. When the Confederates refitted her they
rechristened her _Virginia_, but the original name sticks to her in
history. In December of that year the _Monitor_ attempted to go to
Beaufort, N. C., towed by a steamer; but she foundered in a gale off
Cape Hatteras and went to the bottom, carrying with her a dozen of the






The Crescent City was by far the largest and richest in the
Confederacy. In 1860 it had a population of nearly one hundred and
seventy thousand, while Richmond, Mobile, and Charleston together had
fewer than two-thirds as many. In 1860-61 it shipped twenty-five
million dollars' worth of sugar and ninety-two million dollars' worth
of cotton, its export trade in these articles being larger than that
of any other city in the world. Moreover, its strategic value in that
war was greater than that of any other point in the Southern States.
The many mouths of the Mississippi, and the frequency of violent gales
in the Gulf, rendered it difficult to blockade commerce between that
great river and the ocean; but the possession of this lowest
commercial point on the stream would shut it off effectively, and
would go far toward securing possession all the way to Cairo. This
would cut the Confederacy in two, and make it difficult to bring
supplies from Texas and Arkansas to feed the armies in Tennessee and
Virginia. Moreover, a great city is in itself a serious loss to one
belligerent and a capital prize to the other.

As soon as it became evident that war was being waged against the
United States in dead earnest, and that it was likely to be prolonged,
these considerations presented themselves to the Government, and a
plan was matured for capture of the largest city in the territory of
the insurgents.


The defences of New Orleans against an enemy approaching from the sea
consisted of two forts, on either side of the stream, {90} thirty
miles above the head of the five great passes through which it flows
to the Gulf. The smaller, Fort St. Philip, on the left bank, was of
earth and brick, with flanking batteries, and all its guns were _en
barbette_--on the top, in plain sight. These numbered about forty.
Fort Jackson, on the right bank, mounted seventy-five guns, fourteen
of which were in bomb-proof casemates. Both of these works had been
built by the United States Government. They were now garrisoned by
about one thousand five hundred Confederate soldiers, commanded by
Gen. Johnson K. Duncan. Above them lay a Confederate fleet of fifteen
vessels, including an iron-clad ram and a large floating battery that
was covered with railroad iron. Just below the forts a heavy chain was
stretched across the river--perhaps suggested by the similar device
employed to keep the British from sailing up the Hudson during the
Revolutionary war. And it had a similar experience; for, at first
supported by a row of enormous logs, it was swept away by the next
freshet. The logs were then replaced by hulks anchored at intervals
across the stream, and the chain ran over their decks, while its ends
were fastened to great trees. One thing more completed the
defence--two hundred sharp-shooters patrolled the banks between the
forts and the head of the passes, to give warning of an approaching
foe and fire at any one that might be seen on the decks.


The idea at Washington, probably originated by Commander (now Admiral)
David D. Porter, was that the forts could be reduced by raining into
them a sufficient shower of enormous shells, to be thrown high into
the air, come down almost perpendicularly, and explode on striking.
Accordingly, the first care was to make the mortars and shells, and
provide the craft to carry them. Twenty-one mortars were cast, which
were mounted on twenty-one schooners. They threw shells thirteen
inches in diameter, weighing two hundred and eighty-five pounds; and
when one of them was discharged, the concussion of the atmosphere was
so great that no man could stand close by without being literally
deafened. Platforms projecting beyond the decks were therefore
provided, for the gunners to step out upon just before firing.

[Illustration: COMMANDER DAVID D. PORTER. (Afterward Rear-Admiral.)]

The remainder of the fleet, as finally made up, consisted of six
sloops-of-war, sixteen gunboats, and five other vessels, besides
transports carrying fifteen thousand troops commanded by Gen. B. F.
Butler. The whole number of guns was over two hundred. The flagship
_Hartford_ was a wooden steam sloop-of-war, one thousand tons' burden,
with a length of two hundred and twenty-five feet, and a breadth of
forty-four feet. She carried twenty-two nine-inch guns, two
twenty-pounder Parrott guns, and a rifled gun on the forecastle, while
her fore and main tops were furnished with howitzers and surrounded
with boiler iron to protect the gunners. The _Brooklyn_, _Richmond_,
_Pensacola_, _Portsmouth_, and _Oneida_ were similar to the
_Hartford_. The _Colorado_ was larger. The _Mississippi_ was a large
side-wheel steamer.

This was the most powerful expedition that had ever sailed under the
American flag, and the man that was chosen to command it, Capt. David
G. Farragut, was as unknown to the public as Ulysses S. Grant had
been. But he was not unknown to his fellow-officers. Farragut was now
sixty years of age, being one of the oldest men that took part in the
war, and he had been in the navy half a century. He sailed the Pacific
with Commodore Porter years before Grant and Sherman were born, and
participated in the bloody encounter of the _Essex_ and _Phoebe_ in
the harbor of Valparaiso. He was {91} especially familiar with the
Gulf of Mexico, and had pursued pirates through its waters and hunted
and fought them on its islands. There was nothing to be done on
shipboard that he could not do to perfection, and he could have filled
the place of any man in the fleet--except perhaps the surgeon's. He
was born in Tennessee, and married twice in Virginia; and if there had
been a peaceable separation he would probably have made his home in
the South. He was at Norfolk, waiting orders, when Virginia seceded,
but he considered that his first duty was to the National Government,
which had educated him for its service and given him rank and
employment. When he said that "Virginia had been dragooned out of the
Union," and that he thought the President was justified in calling for
troops after the firing on Sumter, he was told by his angry neighbors
that a person holding such sentiments could not live in Norfolk. "Very
well, then," said he, "I can live somewhere else." So he made his way
North with his little family, and informed the Government that he was
ready and anxious for any service that might be assigned to him.

This was in April, 1861; but it was not till January, 1862, that he
was appointed to command the New Orleans expedition and the Western
gulf blockading squadron. He sailed from Hampton Roads February 2, in
the flag-ship _Hartford_. Some sentences from the sailing-orders
addressed to him by the Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Welles, are
significant and suggestive. "As you have expressed yourself perfectly
satisfied with the force given to you, and as many more powerful
vessels will be added before you can commence operations, the
department and the country require of you success.... There are other
operations of minor importance which will commend themselves to your
judgment and skill, but which must not be allowed to interfere with
the great object in view, the certain capture of the city of New
Orleans.... Destroy the armed barriers which these deluded people have
raised up against the power of the United States Government, and shoot
down those who war against the Union; but cultivate with cordiality
the first returning reason which is sure to follow your success." In a
single respect Farragut was not satisfied with his fleet. He had no
faith in the mortars, and would rather have gone without them; but
they had been ordered before he was consulted, and were under the
command of his personal friend Porter. Perhaps his distrust of them
arose from his knowledge that, in 1815, a British fleet had
unavailingly thrown a thousand shells into a fort at this very turn of
the river where he was now to make the attack.

The mortar schooners were to rendezvous first at Key West, and sail
then for Ship Island, off Lake Borgne, where the transports were to
take the troops and the war-vessels were to meet as soon as possible.

A considerable portion of March was gone before enough of the fleet
had reached the rendezvous to begin operations. The first difficulty
was to get into the river. The Eads jetties did not then exist, and
the shifting mud-banks made constant soundings necessary for large
vessels. The mortar schooners went in by Pass à l'Outre without
difficulty; but to get the _Brooklyn_, _Mississippi_, and _Pensacola_
over the bar at Southwest Pass required immense labor, and occupied
two or three weeks. The _Mississippi_ was dragged over with her keel
ploughing a furrow a foot deep in the river bottom, and the _Colorado_
could not be taken over at all.


The masts of the mortar schooners were dressed off with bushes, to
render them indistinguishable from the trees on shore near the forts.
The schooners were then towed up to a point within range, and moored
where the woods hid them, so that they could not be seen from the
forts. Lieut. F. H. Gerdes of the Coast Survey had made a careful map
of that part of the river and its banks, and elaborate calculations by
which the mortars were to be fired with a computed aim, none of the
gunners being able to see what they fired at. They opened fire on
April {92} 18, and kept up the bombardment steadily for six days and
nights. Six thousand enormous shells--eight hundred tons of iron--were
thrown high into the air, and fell in and around the forts. For nearly
a week the garrison saw one of Porter's aërolites dropping upon them
every minute and a half. They demolished buildings, they tore up the
ground, they cut the levee and let in water, and they killed and
mangled men; but they did not render the forts untenable nor silence
their guns. The return fire sank one of the mortar boats and disabled
a steamer. Within the forts about fifty men were killed or
wounded--one for every sixteen tons of iron thrown.

[Illustration: SHIP ISLAND.]

While the fleet was awaiting the progress of this bombardment, a new
danger appeared. The Confederates had prepared several flat-boats
loaded with dry wood smeared with tar and turpentine; and they now set
fire to them one after another, and let them float down the stream.
But Farragut sent out boats' crews to meet them, who grappled them
with hooks, and either towed them ashore or conducted them past the
fleet, and let them float down through the passes and out to sea.

In his General Orders, Farragut gave so many minute directions that it
would seem as if he must have anticipated every possible contingency.
Thus: "Trim your vessel a few inches by the head [that is, place the
contents so that she will sink a little deeper at the bow than at the
stern], so that if she touches the bottom she will not swing head down
the river." "Have light Jacob-ladders made, to throw over the side for
the use of the carpenters in stopping shot-holes, who are to be
supplied with pieces of inch-board, lined with felt, and ordinary
nails." "Have a kedge in the mizzen chains on the quarter, with a
hawser bent and leading through in the stern chock, ready for any
emergency; also grapnels in boats, ready to tow off fire-ships." "Have
many tubs of water about the decks, both for extinguishing fire and
for drinking." "You will have a spare hawser ready, and when ordered
to take in tow your next astern do so, keeping the hawser slack so
long as the ship can maintain her own position, having a care not to
foul the propeller." It was this minute knowledge and forethought,
quite as much as his courage and determination, that insured his
success. In addition to his own suggestions he called upon his men to
exercise their wits for the occasion, and the crews originated many
wise precautions. As the attack was to be in the night, they painted
the decks white to enable them to find things. They got out all the
spare chains, and hung them up and down the sides of the vessels at
the places where they would protect the machinery from the enemy's
shot. Farragut's plan was to run by the forts, damaging them as much
as possible by a rapid fire as he passed, then destroy or capture the
Confederate fleet, and proceed up the river and lay the city under his

The time fixed upon for starting was just before moonrise (3:30
o'clock) in the morning of April 24. On the night of the 20th two
gunboats went up the river, and a boat's crew from one of them, under
Lieut. Charles H. B. Caldwell, boarded one of the hulks and cut the
chain, under a heavy fire, making an opening sufficient for the fleet
to pass through. Near midnight of the 23d the lieutenant went up again
in a gunboat, to make sure that the passage was still open, and this
time the enemy not only fired on him, but sent down blazing rafts and
lighted enormous piles of wood that they had prepared near the ends of
the chain. The question of moonrise was no longer of the slightest
importance, since it was as light as day for miles around. Two red
lanterns displayed at the peak of the flag-ship at two o'clock gave
the signal for action, and at half-past three the whole fleet was in

The sloop _Portsmouth_, and Porter's gunboats moved up to a {93} point
where they could engage the water-battery of Fort Jackson while the
fleet was going by. The first division of eight vessels, commanded by
Capt. Theodorus Bailey, who was almost as old and as salt as Farragut,
passed through the opening in deliberate fashion, unmindful of a fire
from Fort Jackson, ran over to the east bank, and poured grape and
canister into Fort St. Philip as they sailed by, and ten minutes
afterward found themselves engaged at close quarters with eleven
Confederate vessels. Bailey's flag-ship, the _Cayuga_, was attacked by
three at once, all trying to board her. He sent an eleven-inch shot
through one of them, and she ran aground and burst into a blaze. With
the swivel gun on his forecastle he drove off the second; and he was
preparing to board the third when the _Oneida_ and _Varuna_ came to
his assistance. The _Oneida_ ran at full speed into one Confederate
vessel, cutting it nearly in two, and in an instant making it a
shapeless wreck. She fired into others, and then went to the
assistance of the _Varuna_, which had been attacked by two, rammed by
both of them, and was now at the shore, where she sank in a few
minutes. But she had done effective work before she perished,
crippling one enemy so that she surrendered to the _Oneida_, driving
another ashore, and exploding a shell in the boiler of a third. The
_Pensacola_ steamed slowly by the forts, doing great execution with
her rifled guns, and in turn sustaining the heaviest loss in the
fleet--thirty-seven men. In an open field men can dodge a cannon-ball;
but when it comes bouncing in at a port-hole unannounced, it sometimes
destroys a whole gun's-crew in the twinkling of an eye. In such an
action men are under the highest possible excitement; every nerve is
awake, and every muscle tense; and when a ball strikes one it
completely shatters him, as if he were made of glass, and the shreds
are scattered over the ship. The _Mississippi_ sailed up in handsome
style, encountered the Confederate ram _Manassas_, and received a blow
that disabled her machinery. But in turn she riddled the ram and set
it on fire, so that it drifted away and blew up. The other vessels of
this division, with various fortune, passed the forts and participated
in the naval battle.

The second division consisted of three sloops of war, the flag-ship
leading. The _Hartford_ received and returned a heavy fire from the
forts, got aground on a shoal while trying to avoid a fire-raft, and a
few minutes later had another raft pushed against her, which set her
on fire. A portion of the crew was detailed to extinguish the flames,
and all the while her guns were loaded and fired as steadily as if
nothing had happened. Presently she was got afloat again, and
proceeded up the river, when, suddenly, through the smoke, as it was
lighted by the flashes of the guns, she saw a steamer filled with men
bearing down upon her, probably with the intention of carrying her by
boarding. But a ready gun planted a huge shell in the mysterious
stranger, which exploded, and she disappeared--going to the bottom,
for aught that anybody knew. The _Brooklyn_, after getting out of her
course and running upon one of the hulks, finally got through, met a
large Confederate steamer, and gave it a broadside that set it on
fire, and then poured such a rain of shot into St. Philip that the
bastions were cleared in a minute, and in the flashes the gunners
could be seen running to shelter. A Confederate gunboat that attacked
her received eleven shells from her, all of which exploded, and it
then ran ashore in flames. The _Richmond_ sailed through steadily and
worked her guns regularly, meeting with small loss, because she was
more completely provided with splinter-nettings than her consorts, as
well as because she came after them.

[Illustration: CAPTAIN DAVID G. FARRAGUT. (Afterward Admiral.)]

[Illustration: COMMANDER C. S. BOGGS. (Afterward Rear-Admiral.)]

[Illustration: CAPTAIN THEODORUS BAILEY. (Afterward Rear-Admiral.)]


{95} The third division consisted of six gunboats. Two of them became
entangled among the hulks, and failed to pass. Another received a shot
in her boiler, which compelled her to drop down stream and out of the
fight. The other three went through in gallant style, both suffering
and inflicting considerable loss from continuous firing, and burned
two steamboats and drove another ashore before they came up with the
advance divisions of the fleet. The entire loss had been thirty-seven
killed and one hundred and forty-seven wounded.

Captain Bailey, in the _Cayuga_, still keeping the lead, found a
regiment encamped at Quarantine Station, and compelled its surrender.
On the morning of the 25th the Chalmette batteries, three miles below
the city, were silenced by a fire from the sloops, and a little later
the city itself was at the mercy of their guns. At noon Captain
Bailey, accompanied only by Lieut. George H. Perkins, with a flag of
truce, went ashore, passed through an excited crowd that apparently
only needed a word to be turned into a mob, and demanded of the Mayor
that the city be surrendered unconditionally and the Louisiana State
flag at once hauled down from the staff on the City Hall. Bailey
raised the stars and stripes over the Mint; but the Mayor at first
refused to strike his colors, and set out upon an elaborate course of
letter-writing, which was of no consequence except as it furnished
another instance of the fatuity that grasps at a shadow after the
substance is gone.


A letter written by Lieutenant Perkins at the time gives a vivid
description of this incident, which is interesting in that it exhibits
the effect upon the first people of the South who realized the
possibility of their being conquered. "Among the crowd were many women
and children, and the women were shaking rebel flags and being rude
and noisy. As we advanced, the mob followed us in a very excited
state. They gave three cheers for Jeff Davis and Beauregard, and three
groans for Lincoln. Then they began to throw things at us, and shout,
'Hang them! Hang them!' We reached the City Hall in safety, and there
found the Mayor and Council. They seemed in a very solemn state of
mind; though I must say, from what they said, they did not impress me
as having much mind about anything. The Mayor said he had nothing to
do with the city, as it was under martial law, and we were obliged to
wait till General Lovell could arrive. In about half an hour this
gentleman appeared. He was very pompous in his manner, and silly and
airy in his remarks. He had about fifteen thousand troops under his
command, and said he would 'never surrender,' but would withdraw his
troops from the city as soon as possible, when the city would fall
into the hands of the Mayor, and he could do as he pleased with it.
The mob outside had by this {96} time become perfectly infuriated.
They kicked at the doors, and swore they would have us out and hang
us. Every person about us who had any sense of responsibility was
frightened for our safety. As soon as the mob found out that General
Lovell was not going to surrender, they swore they would have us out
any way; but Pierre Soule and some others went out and made speeches
to them, and kept them on one side of the building, while we went out
at the other end and were driven to the wharf in a close carriage. The
Mayor told the Flag-officer this morning that the city was in the
hands of the mob, and was at our mercy, and that he might blow it up
or do with it as he chose."




On the night of the 24th, by order of the authorities in the city, the
torch was applied to everything, except buildings, that could be of
use to the victors. Fifteen thousand bales of cotton, heaps of coal
and wood, dry-docks, a dozen steamboats and as many cotton-ships, and
an unfinished ironclad ram were all burned. Barrels were rolled out
and broken open, the levee ran with molasses, and the poor people
carried away the sugar in their baskets and aprons. The Governor
called upon the people of the State to burn their cotton, and two
hundred and fifty thousand bales were destroyed.

Butler had witnessed the passage of the forts, and he now hurried over
his troops and invested St. Philip on the land side, while Porter sent
some of his mortar-boats to a bay in the rear of Fort Jackson, and in
a few days both works were surrendered. Farragut sent two hundred and
fifty marines into the city to take formal possession and guard the
public buildings. Butler arrived there with his forces on the 1st of
May, and it was then turned over to him, and it remained in Federal
possession throughout the war. His administration of the captured
city, from May to December, was the subject of much angry controversy;
but no one denies that he reduced its turbulence to order, made it
cleaner than it had ever been before, and averted a pestilence. He
also caused provisions to be issued regularly to many of the needy

The most famous incident of his administration was what became known
as "the woman order." Many of the women of New Orleans, even while
they were living on food issued to them by the National commissary,
took every possible pains to flaunt their disloyalty and to express
contempt for the wearers of the blue uniform. If an officer entered a
street car, all the women would immediately leave it. If a detachment
of soldiers passed through a residence street, many windows were
thrown open and "Dixie" or the "Bonny Blue Flag" was loudly played on
the piano. If the women met an individual soldier on the sidewalk,
they drew their skirts closely around them and passed at its extreme
edge. And all the while they took every opportunity to display small
rebel flags on their bosoms and to proclaim loudly that their city was
"captured but not conquered." These things were borne with patience;
but when one woman, enraged at the imperturbable calmness of the
city's captors, stepped up to two officers in the street and spat in
their faces, General Butler judged that the time for putting a stop to
such proceedings had come. Accordingly, he issued General Orders No.
28, which read thus:

"As the officers and soldiers of the United States have been subject
to repeated insults from the women (calling themselves ladies) of New
Orleans, in return for the most scrupulous noninterference and
courtesy on our part, it is ordered that hereafter when any female
shall, by word, gesture, or movement, insult or show contempt for any
officer or soldier of the United States, she shall be regarded and
held liable to be treated as a woman of the town plying her

This immediately produced two effects. It put an end to the
annoyances, and it raised an uproar of denunciation based upon the
assumption that the commanding officer had ordered his soldiers to
insult and assault the ladies of New Orleans. Of course no such thing
was intended, or could be implied from any proper construction of the
words of the order; but in war, as in politics, it is sometimes
considered good strategy to misrepresent an opponent. However honest
any Confederate {97} citizen or editor may have been in his
misconstruction of it, no soldier misunderstood it, and no incivility
was offered to the women who were thus subdued by the wit and moral
courage of perhaps the most successful man that ever undertook the
task of ruling a turbulent city.

One other incident attested the firmness of General Butler's purpose,
and assured the citizens of the presence of a power that was not to be
trifled with. After Farragut had captured the city and raised the
National colors over the Mint, four men were seen to ascend to the
roof and tear down the flag, and it was only by a lucky accident that
the gunners of the fleet were prevented from instantly discharging a
broadside into the streets. The act was exploited in the New Orleans
papers, which ostentatiously published the names of the four men and
praised their gallantry. General Butler caused the leader of the four,
a gambler, to be arrested and tried by a court-martial. He was
sentenced to death, and in spite of every solicitation the General
refused to pardon him. He was hanged in the presence of an immense
crowd of citizens, the gallows being a beam run out from one of the
windows of the highest story of the Mint building.



At the first news of this achievement the people of the North hardly
appreciated what had been accomplished; many of their newspapers told
them that the fleet "had only run by the forts." But as they gradually
learned the particulars, and saw that in fighting obstructions,
fire-rafts, forts, rams, and fleet, and conquering them all, Farragut
had done what neither Nelson nor any other great admiral had ever done
before, they felt that the country had produced a worthy companion for
the victor of Donelson, and was equal to all emergencies, afloat or

{98} [Illustration: CAPTURE OF ISLAND No. 10, DURING A VIOLENT





When the first line that the Confederates had attempted to establish
from the mountains to the Mississippi was broken by the battle of Mill
Springs and the fall of Forts Henry and Donelson, their forces at
Columbus were withdrawn down the river to the historic latitude of 36°
30'. Here the Mississippi makes a great sigmoid curve. In the first
bend is Island No. 10 (the islands are numbered from the mouth of the
Ohio southward); and at the second bend, on the Missouri side, is New
Madrid. Both of these places were fortified, under the direction of
Gen. Leonidas Polk, who had been Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal
diocese of Louisiana for twenty years before the war, but entered the
military service to give the Confederacy the benefit of his West Point
education. A floating dock was brought up from New Orleans, converted
into a floating battery, and anchored near the island; and there were
also eight gunboats commanded by Commodore George N. Hollins. The
works on the island were supplemented by batteries on the Tennessee
shore, back of which were impassable swamps. Thus the Mississippi was
sealed, and a position established for the left (or western extremity)
of a new line of defence.


Early in March, 1862, a National army commanded by Gen. John Pope
moved down the west bank of the Mississippi against the position at
New Madrid. A reconnoissance in force demonstrated that the place
could be carried by storm, but could not be held, since the
Confederate gunboats were able (the river being then at high water) to
enfilade both the works and the approaches. General Pope went into
camp two miles from the river, and sent to Cairo for siege-guns,
meanwhile sending three regiments and a battery, under Gen. J. B.
Plummer, around to a point below New Madrid, where in the night they
sunk trenches for the field-guns and placed sharp-shooters at the edge
of the bank, and next day opened a troublesome fire on the passing
gunboats and transports. Four guns were forwarded promptly from Cairo,
being taken across the Mississippi and over a long stretch of swampy
ground where a road had been hastily prepared for the purpose, and
arriving at dusk on the 12th. That night Pope's forces crowded back
the Confederate pickets, dug trenches, and placed the guns in
position. The enemy's first intimation of what was going on was
obtained from a bombardment that opened at daylight. The firing was
kept up through the day, and some damage was inflicted on both sides;
but the next night, in the midst of a heavy storm, New Madrid was
evacuated. The National forces took possession, and immediately
changed the positions of the guns so as to command the river. On the
16th five Confederate gunboats attacked these batteries; but after one
boat had been sunk and some of the others damaged, they drew off. On
the 16th and 17th the National fleet of gunboats, under Commodore
Andrew H. Foote, engaged the batteries on Island No. 10, and a hundred
heavy guns were in action at once. The ramparts in some places had
been weakened by the wash of the river, and the great balls went right
through them. But the artillerymen stood to their work manfully, many
of them in water ankle deep; and though enormous shells exploded
within the forts, and one gun burst and another was dismounted, the
works were not reduced. A gun that burst in the fleet killed or
wounded fourteen men. The attack was renewed from day to day, and one
of the batteries was cleared of troops, but with no decisive effect.

At the suggestion of Gen. Schuyler Hamilton, a canal was cut across
the peninsula formed by the bend of the river above New Madrid. This
task was confided to a regiment of engineers commanded by Col. Josiah
W. Bissell, and was completed in nineteen days. The course was
somewhat tortuous, and the whole length of the canal was twelve miles.
Half of the distance lay through a thick forest standing in deep
water; but by an ingenious contrivance the trunks of the trees were
sawed off four and a half feet below the surface, and a channel fifty
feet wide and four feet deep was secured, through which transports
could be passed.

On the night of April 4th the gunboat _Carondelet_, Commander Henry
Walke, ran down past the batteries of Island No. 10, escaping serious
damage, and in the night of the 6th the _Pittsburg_ performed the same
feat. With the help of these to silence the batteries on the opposite
shore, Pope crossed in force on the 7th, and moved rapidly down the
little peninsula. The {100} greater part of the Confederate troops
that had been holding the island now attempted to escape southward,
but were caught between Pope's army and an impassable swamp, and
surrendered. General Pope's captures in the entire campaign were three
generals, two hundred and seventy-three officers, and six thousand
seven hundred men, besides one hundred and fifty-eight guns, seven
thousand muskets, one gunboat, a floating battery, six steamers, and a
considerable quantity of stores.

ISLAND No. 10.]



On the very day of this bloodless victory, a little log church in
southwestern Tennessee gave name to the bloodiest battle that has been
fought west of the Alleghanies--Chickamauga being rather _in_ the
mountains. At Corinth, in northern Mississippi, the Memphis and
Charleston Railroad crosses the Mobile and Ohio. This gave that point
great strategic importance, and it was fortified accordingly and held
by a large Confederate force, which was commanded by Gen. Albert
Sidney Johnston (who must not be confounded with the Confederate Gen.
Joseph E. Johnston). His lieutenants were Gens. G. T. Beauregard,
Braxton Bragg, and William J. Hardee. General Grant, who had nearly
forty thousand men under his command, and was about to be joined by
Gen. Don Carlos Buell coming from Nashville with as many more,
proposed to move against Corinth and capture the place.

On Sunday, April 6th, Grant's main force was at Pittsburg Landing, on
the west bank of the Tennessee, twenty miles north of Corinth. One
division, under Gen. Lew Wallace, was at Crump's Landing, five miles
farther north. The advance division of Buell's army had reached the
river, opposite the landings, and the remainder was a march behind.
For some days Johnston had been moving northward to attack Grant, and
there had been skirmishing between the outposts. Early on the morning
of the 6th he came within striking distance, and made a sudden and
heavy attack. Grant's line was about two miles long, the left resting
on Lick Creek, an impassable stream that flows into the Tennessee
above Pittsburg Landing, and the right on Owl Creek, which flows in
below. Gen. Benjamin M. Prentiss's division was on the left, Gen. John
A. McClernand's in the centre, and Gen. William T. Sherman's on the
right. Gen. Stephen A. Hurlbut's was in reserve on the left, and Gen.
C. F. Smith's (now commanded by W. H. L. Wallace) on the right. There
were no {101} intrenchments. The ground was undulating, with patches
of woods alternating with cleared fields, some of which were under
cultivation and others abandoned and overgrown with bushes. A ridge,
on which stood Shiloh church, formed an important key-point in
Sherman's front.

General Grant, in his headquarters at Savannah, down the river, heard
the firing while he was at breakfast, and hurried up to Pittsburg
Landing. He had expected to be attacked, if at all, at Crump's
Landing, and he now ordered Lew Wallace, with his five thousand men,
to leave that place and march at once to the right of the line at
Shiloh; but Wallace took the wrong road, and did not arrive till dark.
Neither did Gen. William Nelson's advance division of General Buell's
army cross the river till evening.

The attack began at daybreak, and was made with tremendous force and
in full confidence of success. The nature of the ground made
regularity of movement impossible, and the battle was rather a series
of assaults by separate columns, now at one part of the line and now
at another, which were kept up all day with wonderful persistence.
Probably no army ever went into action with more perfect confidence in
itself and its leaders than Johnston's. Beauregard had told them they
should sleep that night in the camps of the enemy, and they did. He
also told them that he would water his horse in the Tennessee, but he
did not. The heaviest attacks fell upon Sherman and McClernand, whose
men stood up to the work with unflinching courage and disputed every
inch of ground. But they were driven back by overwhelming numbers,
which the Confederate commanders poured upon them without the
slightest regard to losses. The Sixth Mississippi regiment lost three
hundred men out of its total of four hundred and twenty-five, and the
Eighteenth Louisiana lost two hundred and seven. Sherman's men lost
their camps in the morning, and retired upon one new line of defence
after another, till they had been crowded back more than a mile; but
all the while they clung to the road and bridge by which they were
expecting Lew Wallace to come to their assistance. General Grant says
of an open field on this part of the line, over which repeated charges
were made, that it was "so covered with dead that it would have been
possible to walk across the clearing in any direction, stepping on
dead bodies, without a foot touching the ground. On our side National
and Confederate troops were mingled together in about equal
proportions; but on the remainder of the field nearly all were
Confederates. On one part, which had evidently not been ploughed for
several years, bushes had grown up, some to the height of eight or ten
feet. Not one of these was left standing unpierced by bullets. The
smaller ones were all cut down."

Many of the troops were under fire for the first time; but Sherman's
wonderful military genius largely made up for this deficiency. One
bullet struck Sherman in the hand, another grazed his shoulder,
another went through his hat, and several of his horses were killed. A
bullet struck and shattered the scabbard of General Grant's sword.
Gen. W. H. L. Wallace was mortally wounded. On the other side, Gens.
Adley H. Gladden and Thomas C. Hindman were killed; at about half-past
two o'clock General Johnston, placing himself at the head of a brigade
that was reluctant to attempt another charge, was struck in the leg by
a minie-ball. The wound need not have been mortal; but he would not
leave the field, and after a time bled to death. The command then
devolved upon General Beauregard.

In the afternoon a gap occurred between General Prentiss's division
and the rest of the line, and the Confederates were prompt to take
advantage of it. Rushing with a heavy force through this gap, and at
the same time attacking his left, they doubled up both flanks, and
captured that general and two thousand two hundred of his men. On this
part of the field the day was saved by Col. J. D. Webster, of General
Grant's staff, who rapidly got twenty guns into position and checked
the Confederate advance. They then attempted to come in on the extreme
left, along the river, by crossing a ravine. But more guns were
brought up, and placed on a ridge that commanded this ravine, and at
the same time the gunboats _Tyler_ and _Lexington_ moved up to a point
opposite and enfiladed it with their fire. The result to the
Confederates was nothing but a useless display of valor and a heavy

[Illustration: A FEDERAL GUNBOAT.]




The uneven texture of Grant's army had been shown when two green
colonels led their green regiments from the field at the first fire;
and the {103} stragglers and deserters, having no opportunity to
scatter over the country, necessarily huddled themselves together
under the bank of the river at the landing, where they presented a
pitiful appearance. General Grant says there were nearly five thousand
of them. There was about an equal number of deserters and stragglers
from Johnston's army; but the nature of the ground was not such as to
concentrate them where the eye could take them all in at one grand
review. With the exception of the break when Prentiss was captured,
Grant's line of battle was maintained all day, though it was steadily
forced back and thirty guns were lost.

Beauregard discontinued the attack at nightfall, when his right was
repelled at the ravine, intending to renew it and finish the victory
in the morning. He knew that Buell was expected, but did not know that
he was so near.

Lew Wallace was now in position on the right, and Nelson on the left,
and all night long the boats were plying back and forth across the
Tennessee, bringing over Buell's army. A fire in the woods, which
sprang up about dusk, threatened to add to the horrors by roasting
many of the wounded alive; but a merciful rain extinguished it, and
the two armies lay out that night in the storm. A portion of the
Confederates were sheltered by the captured tents, but on the other
hand they were annoyed by the shells constantly thrown among them by
the gunboats.

At daylight Grant assumed the offensive, the fresh troops on his right
and left moving first to the attack. Beauregard now knew that Buell
had arrived, and he must have known also that there could be but one
result; yet he made a stubborn fight, mainly for the purpose of
holding the road that ran by Shiloh church, by which alone he could
conduct an orderly retreat. The complete upsetting of the Confederate
plans, caused by the death of Johnston, the arrival of Buell, and
Grant's promptness in assuming the offensive, is curiously suggested
by a passage in the report of one of the Confederate brigade
commanders: "I was ordered by General Ruggles to form on the extreme
left, and rest my left on Owl Creek. While proceeding to execute this
order, I was ordered to move by the rear of the main line to support
the extreme right of General Hardee's line. Having taken my position
to support General Hardee's right, I was again ordered by General
Beauregard to advance and occupy the crest of a ridge in the edge of
an old field. My line was just formed in this position when General
Polk ordered me forward to support his line. When moving to the
support of General Polk, an order reached me from General Beauregard
to report to him with my command at his headquarters."


The fighting was of the same general description as on the previous
day, except that the advantage was now with the National troops.
Sherman was ordered to advance his command and recapture his camps. As
these were about Shiloh church, and that was the point that Beauregard
was most anxious to hold, the struggle there was intense and bloody.
About the same time, early in the afternoon, Grant and Beauregard did
the same thing: each led a charge by two regiments that had lost their
commanders. Beauregard's charge was not successful; Grant's was, and
the two regiments that he launched with a cheer against the
Confederate line broke it, and began the rout. {104} Beauregard posted
a rear guard in a strong position, and withdrew his army, leaving his
dead on the field, while Grant captured about as many guns on the
second day as he had lost on the first. There was no serious attempt
at pursuit, owing mainly to the heavy rain and the condition of the
roads. The losses on both sides had been enormous. On the National
side the official figures are: 1,754 killed, 8,408 wounded, 2,885
missing; total, 13,047. On the Confederate side they are: 1,728
killed, 8,012 wounded, 957 missing; total, 10,699. General Grant says:
"This estimate must be incorrect. We buried, by actual count, more of
the enemy's dead in front of the divisions of McClernand and Sherman
alone than are here reported, and four thousand was the estimate of
the burial parties for the whole field." At all events, the loss was
large enough to gratify the ill-wishers of the American people, who
were looking on with grim satisfaction to see them destroy one
another. The losses were the same, in round numbers, as at the
historic battle of Blenheim, though the number of men engaged was
fewer by one-fourth. If we should read in to-morrow's paper that by
some disaster every man, woman, and child in the city of Concord,
N. H., had been either killed or injured, and in the next day's paper
that the same thing had happened in Montgomery, Ala., the loss of life
and limb would only equal what took place on the mournful field of


[Illustration: GENERAL BRAXTON BRAGG, C. S. A.]



General Grant, in the first article that he ever wrote for
publication, remarks that "the battle of Shiloh, or Pittsburg Landing,
has been perhaps less understood, or, to state the case more
accurately, more persistently misunderstood, than any other engagement
between National and Confederate troops during the entire rebellion.
Correct reports of the battle have been published, but all of these
appeared long subsequent to the close of the rebellion, and after
public opinion had been most erroneously formed." No battle is ever
fought that it is not for somebody's interest to misrepresent. In the
case of Shiloh there were peculiar and complicated reasons both for
intentional misrepresentation and for innocent error. The plans of the
commanders on both sides were to some extent thwarted and changed by
unexpected events. One commander was killed on the first day, and his
admirers naturally speculate upon the different results that might
have been attained if he had lived. The ground was so broken as to
divide the engagement practically into several separate actions, and
what was true of one might not be true of another. The peculiarity of
the position also brought together in one place, under the river-bank,
all who from fright or demoralization fled to the rear of the National
army, which produced upon those who saw them an effect altogether
different from that of the usual retreating and straggling across the
whole breadth of a battle line. Then there was the circumstance of
Buell's army coming up at the end of the first day, and not coming up
before that, which could hardly fail to give rise to somewhat of
jealousy and recrimination. And finally this action encounters to an
unusual extent that criticism which reads by the light of
after-events, but forgets that this was wanting to the actors whom it

The point on which popular opinion was perhaps most widely and
persistently wrong was, that the defeat of the first day arose from
the fact that Grant's army was completely surprised. Public opinion,
throughout the war, was formed in advance of the official reports of
generals in three ways. There were many press correspondents with
every army, and the main purpose of most of them was to construct an
interesting story and get it into print as soon as possible. The
National Government adopted the wise policy of giving the armies in
the field such mail facilities as would keep the soldiers in close
touch with their homes, and they wrote millions of letters every year.
All that a soldier needed was some scrap of paper and some sort of pen
or pencil. If he happened to have no postage stamp, he had only to
mark his missive "Soldier's letter," and it would be carried in the
mails to its destination, and the postage collected on delivery. After
a battle every surviving soldier was especially anxious to let his
family know that he had escaped any casualty, and he naturally filled
up his letter with such particulars as had most impressed him in that
small part of the field that he had seen, and sometimes with such
exaggerated accounts as in the first excitement had reached {105} him
from other parts. Finally, the journalists were not few who assumed to
be accomplished strategists, and talked learnedly in their editorial
columns of the errors of generals and the way that battles should have
been fought. And some of them had political reasons for writing up
certain generals and writing down certain others.


A good instance of innocent misapprehension is probably furnished in
what Lieutenant-Colonel Graves, of the Twelfth Michigan, wrote: "On
Saturday General Prentiss's division was reviewed. After the review
Major Powell, of the Twenty-fifth Missouri, came to me and said he saw
Butternuts [Confederate soldiers] looking through the underbrush at
the parade--about a dozen. Upon the representation of Major Powell and
myself, General Prentiss ordered out one company of the Twelfth
Michigan as an advance picket. About 8.30 o'clock Captain Johnson
reported from the front that he could see long lines of campfires,
hear bugle sounds and drums, which I reported to General Prentiss, and
he remarked that the company would be taken if left there; that it was
merely a reconnoissance of the enemy in force, and ordered the company
in. About ten o'clock I went with Captain Johnson to the tent of
General Prentiss, and the captain told him what he saw. The general
remarked that we need not be alarmed, that everything was all right.
To me it did not appear all right. Major Powell, myself, and several
other officers went to the headquarters of Colonel Peabody, commanding
our brigade, and related to him what had transpired. He ordered out
two companies from the Twelfth Michigan and two from the Twenty-fifth
Missouri, under command of Major Powell. About three o'clock in the
morning the advance of the enemy came up with this body of men, who
fought them till daylight, gradually falling back till they met their
regiments, which had advanced about fifty rods. There the regiments
met the enemy, and fought till overpowered, when we fell back to our
color line and re-formed. General Prentiss was so loath to believe
that the enemy was in force, that our division was not organized for
defence, but each regiment acted upon its own hook, so far as I was
able to observe. The point I wish to make is this: that, had it not
been for these four companies which were sent out by Colonel Peabody,
our whole division would have been taken in their tents, and the day
would have been lost. I shall always think that Colonel Peabody saved
the battle of Shiloh."


[Illustration: MAJOR-GENERAL S. A. HURLBUT.]



{107} [Illustration: GENERAL ULYSSES S. GRANT.]

Such was the testimony and opinion, undoubtedly honest, of an officer
of a green regiment which there for the first time participated in a
battle. The truth was, the generals of the National forces were not
ignorant of the near approach of the enemy. Reconnoissances,
especially in Sherman's front, had shown that. They were only waiting
for all their forces to come up to make an attack themselves, and when
Buell arrived they did make that attack and were successful. General
Prentiss's division, so far from being unorganized, kept its lines,
received the shock of battle, and stood up manfully to the work before
it until the divisions on both sides of it drew back, leaving its
flanks exposed, when the Confederates poured through the gaps, struck
it on both flanks at once, and captured a large part of it. On the
ground along its line and in its front more men were struck down in an
hour than on any other spot of equal extent, in the same time, in the
whole war.

The Confederates were successful on the first day, not because of any
surprise, but simply because they had the greater number of men and
persistently hurled them, regardless of cost, against the National
lines. There was also one other reason, which would not have existed
later in the war. After the first year no army would occupy any
position on the field without intrenching. The soldiers on both sides
learned how, in a little while, to throw up a simple breastwork of
earth that would stop a large proportion of the bullets that an enemy
might fire at them. Grant's army at Shiloh had its flanks well
protected by impassable streams, and if it had had a simple breastwork
along its front, such as could have been constructed in an hour, the
first day's disaster might have been averted. As it was, the men
fought in the open field, with no protection but the occasional
shelter of a tree trunk, and at one point a slightly sunken road. The
habit of Grant's mind was such that he always thought of his army as
assuming the offensive and hence having no use for intrenchments, and
his green regiments did not yet appreciate the power of the spade.
Shiloh was a severe lesson to them all.

[Illustration: A FIELD HOSPITAL.]

Some of the most interesting incidents of the battle are given by Col.
Douglas Putnam, Jr., of the Ninety-second Ohio Infantry, in a paper
read before the Ohio Commandery of the Loyal Legion: "With the consent
of General Grant, I was permitted to accompany him to the field as a
volunteer aid. As we approached Crump's Landing, where the division of
Gen. Lew Wallace was stationed, the boat was rounded in and the
engines stopped. General Wallace, then standing on the bank, said, 'My
division is in line, waiting for orders.' Grant's reply was, that as
soon as he got to Pittsburg Landing and learned where the attack was,
he would send him orders.... After getting a horse, I started with
Rawlins to find General Grant; and to my inquiry as to where we would
likely find him, Rawlins's reply, characteristic of the man, was,
'We'll find him where the firing is heaviest.' As we proceeded, we met
the increasing signs of battle, while the dropping of the bullets
about us, on the leaves, led me in my inexperience to ask if it were
not raining, to which Rawlins tersely said, 'Those are bullets,
Douglas.' When, on meeting a horse through which a cannon-ball had
gone, walking along with protruding bowels, I asked permission to
shoot him and end his misery, Rawlins said, 'He belongs to the
quartermaster's department; better let them attend to it.' We soon
found General Grant. He was sending his aids in different directions,
as occasion made it necessary, and he himself visited his division
commanders one by one. He wore his full uniform, with the
major-general's buff sash, which made him very conspicuous both to our
own men and to those of the enemy. Lieut.-Col. J. B. McPherson, acting
chief of staff, remonstrated with him, as did also Rawlins, for so
unnecessarily exposing himself, as he went just in the rear of our
line of battle; but he said he wanted to see and know what was going
on. About eleven o'clock he met General Sherman on what was called
Sherman's drill-ground, near the old peach orchard. The meeting was
attended with but few words. Sherman's stock had become pulled around
until the part that should have been in front rested under one of his
ears, while his whole appearance indicated hard and earnest work. The
bullets were plenteous here. Sherman told Grant how many horses he had
had killed {108} under him, showing him also the marks of bullets in
his clothing. When Grant left Sherman, I think I was the only aid with
him. Riding toward the right, the General saw a body of troops coming
up from the direction of Crump's Landing, and exclaimed with great
delight and satisfaction, 'Now we are all right, all right--there's
Wallace.' He was of course mistaken, as the troops he saw were not
those he so earnestly looked for, and of whose assistance he was
beginning to feel the need. About two o'clock, at one point were
gathered General Grant and several of his staff. The group consisted
of Grant, McPherson, Rawlins, Webster, and others. This evidently drew
the attention of the enemy, and they received rather more than a due
share of the fire. Colonel McPherson's horse having been shot under
him, I gave him mine, and under directions went to the river on foot.
The space under the bank was literally packed by thousands, I suppose,
of men who had from inexperience and fright 'lost their grip,' or were
both mentally and physically, as we say, let down--however, only
temporarily. To them it seemed that the day was lost, that the deluge
was upon them. The Tennessee River in front, swamps to the right and
swamps to the left, they could go no farther, and there lay down and
waited. I remember well seeing a mounted officer, carrying a United
States flag, riding back and forth on top of the bank, pleading and
entreating in this wise: 'Men, for God's sake, for your country's
sake, for your own sake, come up here, form a line, and make one more
stand.' The appeal fell on listless ears. No one seemed to respond,
and the only reply I heard was some one saying, 'That man talks well,
don't he?' But eighteen hours afterward these same men had come to
themselves, were refreshed by meeting other troops, and assured that
all was not lost, that there was something still left to fight for,
and helped also by the magic touch of the elbow, they did valiant
service. A group of officers was gathered around General Grant about
dusk, at a smouldering fire of hay just on the top of the grade. The
rain was falling, atmosphere murky, and ground covered with mud and
water. Colonel McPherson rode up, and Grant said, 'Well, Mac, how is
it?' He gave him a report of the condition as it seemed to him, which
was, in short, that at least one-third of his army was _hors de
combat_, and the rest much disheartened. To this the General made no
reply, and McPherson continued, 'Well, General Grant, under this
condition of affairs, what do you propose to do, sir? Shall I make
preparations for retreat?' The reply came quick and short: 'Retreat?
No! I propose to attack at daylight, and whip them.'"

The same writer tells of a conversation that he held with General
Beauregard some years after the war. "To my query that it had always
been a mystery why he stopped the battle when he did Sunday night,
when the advantage, on the whole, seemed to be with him, and when he
had an hour or more of daylight, General Beauregard replied that there
were two reasons: first, his men were, as he put it, 'out of hand,'
had been fighting since early morn, were worn out, and also
demoralized by the flush of victory in gathering the stores and
sutlers' supplies found in our camps. As one man said, 'You fellows
went to war with cheese, pigs' feet, dates, pickles--things we rebs
had forgotten the sight of.' 'In the second place,' he said, 'I
thought I had General Grant just where I wanted him, and could finish
him up in the morning.'"





After the battle, General Halleck took command in person, and
proceeded to lay siege to Corinth, to capture it by regular
approaches. Both he and Beauregard were reinforced, till each had
about one hundred thousand men. Halleck gradually closed in about the
place, till in the night of May 29th Beauregard evacuated it, and on
the morning of the 30th Sherman's soldiers entered the town.

Some military critics hold that the fate of the Confederacy was
determined on the field of Shiloh. They point out the fact that after
that battle there was nothing to prevent the National armies at the
West from going all the way to the Gulf, or--as they ultimately
did--to the sea. In homely phrase, the back door of the Confederacy
was broken down, and, however stubbornly the front door in Virginia
might be defended, it was only a question of time when some great
army, coming in by the rear, should cut off the supplies of the troops
that held Richmond, and compel their surrender. Those who are disposed
to give history a romantic turn narrow it down to the death of General
Johnston, declaring that in his fall the possibility of Southern
independence was lost, and if he had lived the result would have been
reversed. General Grant appears to dispose of their theory when he
points out the fact that Johnston was killed while {109} leading a
forlorn hope, and remarks that there is no victory for anybody till
the battle is ended, and the battle of Shiloh was not ended till the
close of the second day. But, indeed, there is no reason why the fatal
moment should not be carried back to the time when the line of defence
from the mountains to the Mississippi was broken through at Mill
Spring and Fort Donelson, or even to the time when the Confederates,
because of Kentucky's refusal to leave the Union, were prevented from
establishing their frontier at the Ohio. The reason why progress in
conquering the Confederacy was more rapid at the West than at the East
is not to be found so much in any difference in men as in topography.
At the West, the armies moving southward followed the courses of the
rivers, and their opponents were obliged to maintain artificial lines
of defence; but the Eastern armies were called upon to cross the
streams and attack natural lines of defence.

Back of all this, in the logic of the struggle, is the fact that no
defensive attitude can be maintained permanently. The belligerent that
cannot prevent his own territory from becoming the seat of war must
ultimately surrender his cause, no matter how valiant his individual
soldiers may be, or how costly he may make it for the invader; or, to
state it affirmatively, a belligerent that can carry the war into the
enemy's country, and keep it there, will ultimately succeed. In most
wars, the side on whose soil the battles were fought has been the
losing side; and this is an important lesson to bear in mind when it
becomes necessary to determine the great moral question of
responsibility for prolonging a hopeless contest.




The enormous number of engagements in the civil war, the extent of
country over which they were spread, and the magnitude of many of
them, have sunk into comparative insignificance many that otherwise
would have become historic. The action at Lexington, Mass., in 1775,
was nothing whatever in comparison with any one of the several actions
at Lexington, Mo., in 1861; yet every schoolboy is familiarized with
the one, and many well-read people have scarcely heard of the other.
The casualties in the battle of Harlem Heights, N. Y., numbered almost
exactly the same as those in the battle of Bolivar Heights, Va.; but
no historian of the Revolution would fail to give a full account of
the former, while one might read a very fair history of the civil war
and find no mention whatever of the latter. In the writing of any
history that is not a mere chronicle, it is necessary to observe
proportion and perspective; but we may turn aside a little from the
main course of our narrative, to recall some of the forgotten actions,
in obscure hamlets and at the crossings of sylvan streams, where for a
few men and those who were dear to them the call of duty was as stern
and the realities of war as relentless as for the thousands at
Gettysburg or Chickamauga.


In the State of Virginia, the most disastrous of these minor
engagements in 1861 was at Ball's Bluff, on the Potomac, about
thirty-five miles above Washington. It has been known also as the
battle of Edwards Ferry, Harrison's Island, and Leesburg. At this
point there is an island in the river, and opposite, on the Virginia
side, the bank rises in a bold bluff seventy feet high. A division of
National troops, commanded by Gen. Charles P. Stone, was on the
Maryland side, observing the crossings of the river in the vicinity. A
Confederate force of unknown strength was known to be at Leesburg,
about five miles from the river. McCall's division was at Dranesville,
farther toward Washington, reconnoitring and endeavoring to draw out
the enemy. At a suggestion of General McClellan to General Stone, that
some demonstration on his part might assist McCall, General Stone
began a movement that developed into a battle. On the 21st of October
he ordered a portion of his command to cross at the island and at
Conrad's Ferry, just above. They were Massachusetts troops under Col.
Charles Devens, the New York Forty-second (Tammany) regiment, Col.
Edward D. Baker's Seventy-first Pennsylvania (called the California
regiment), and a Rhode Island battery, in all about two thousand men.
The means of crossing--two or three boats--were very inadequate for an
advance, and nothing at all for a retreat. Several hours were spent in
getting one scow from the canal into the river, and the whole movement
was so slow that the Confederates had ample opportunity to learn
exactly what was going on and prepare to meet the movement. The
battery was dragged up the bluff with great labor. At the top the
troops found themselves in an open field of about eight acres,
surrounded by woods. Colonel Baker was made commander of all the
forces that crossed.

{110} The enemy soon appeared, and before the battery had fired more
than half a dozen rounds the Confederate sharp-shooters, posted on a
hill at the left, within easy range, disabled so many of the gunners
that the pieces became useless. Then there was an attack by a heavy
force of infantry in front, which, firing from the woods, cut down
Baker's men with comparative safety. The National troops stood their
ground for two hours and returned the fire as effectively as they
could; but the enemy seemed to increase in number, and grew constantly
bolder. About six o'clock, wrote Capt. Francis G. Young, "a rebel
officer, riding a white horse, came out of the woods and beckoned to
us to come forward. Colonel Baker thought it was General Johnston, and
that the enemy would meet us in open fight. Part of our column
charged, Baker cheering us on, when a tremendous onset was made by the
rebels. One man rode forward, presented a revolver at Baker, and fired
all its charges at him. Our gallant leader fell, and at the same
moment all our lines were driven back by the overwhelming force
opposed to them. But Captain Beiral, with his company, fought his way
back to Colonel Baker's body, rescued it, brought it along to me, and
then a general retreat commenced. It was _sauve qui peut_. I got the
colonel's body to the island before the worst of the rout, and then,
looking to the Virginia shore, saw such a spectacle as no tongue can
describe. Our entire forces were retreating--tumbling, rolling,
leaping down the steep heights; the enemy following them murdering and
taking prisoners. Colonel Devens left his command and swam the river
on horseback. The one boat in the Virginia channel was speedily filled
and sunk. A thousand men thronged the farther bank. Muskets, coats,
and everything were thrown aside, and all were desperately trying to
escape. Hundreds plunged into the rapid current, and the shrieks of
the drowning added to the horror of sounds and sights. The enemy kept
up their fire from the cliff above. A captain of the Fifteenth
Massachusetts at one moment charged gallantly up the hill, leading two
companies, who still had their arms, against the pursuing foe. A
moment later, and the same officer, perceiving the hopelessness of the
situation, waved a white handkerchief and surrendered the main body of
his command."

Gen. Edward W. Hinks (at that time colonel of the Nineteenth
Massachusetts Regiment), who arrived and took command just after the
action, wrote in his report: "The means of transportation, for advance
in support or for a retreat, were criminally deficient--especially
when we consider the facility for creating proper means for such
purposes at our disposal. The place for landing on the Virginia shore
was most unfortunately selected, being at a point where the shore rose
with great abruptness and was entirely studded with trees, being
perfectly impassable to artillery or infantry in line. The entire
island was also commanded by the enemy's artillery and rifles. Within
half a mile, upon either side of the points selected, a landing could
have been effected where we could have been placed upon equal terms
with the enemy, if it was necessary to effect a landing from the


[Illustration: COLONEL EDWARD D. BAKER.]


The losses in this action were about a hundred and fifty killed, about
two hundred and fifty wounded, and about five hundred captured.
Colonel Baker was a lawyer by profession, had been a friend of
Lincoln's in Springfield, Ill., had lived in California, then removed
to Oregon, and was elected United States senator from that State just
before the war began. He was greatly {111} beloved as a man; but
though he was brave and patriotic, and had commanded a brigade in the
Mexican war, it was evident, from his conduct of the Ball's Bluff
affair, that he had little military skill.


Among the other minor engagements was one at Edwards Ferry, Va., June
17th, in which three hundred Pennsylvanians, under Captain Gardner,
were attacked by a Confederate force that tried to take possession of
the ferry. After a fight of three hours the assailants were driven off
with a loss of about thirty men. Captain Gardner lost four.

On July 2d there was an engagement of six hours' duration at Falling
Waters, Va., between the brigades of Abercrombie, Thomas, and Negley,
and a Confederate force under General Jackson. It was a stubborn
fight. The Confederates, who had four regiments of infantry and one of
cavalry, with four guns, at length retreated slowly, having lost about
ninety men. The National loss was thirteen.

At Bunker Hill, near Martinsburg, on July 15th, General Patterson's
division, being on the march, was attacked by a body of about six
hundred cavalry, led by Colonel Stuart. When the cavalry charged, the
National infantry opened their lines and disclosed a battery, which
poured rapid discharges of shells and grape shot into the
Confederates, and put them to rout. The Federal cavalry then came up
and pursued the fugitives two miles.


In October the Thirteenth Massachusetts Regiment crossed the Potomac
at Harper's Ferry, to seize a large quantity of wheat that was stored
there for the Confederate Government. A day or two later they were
reënforced by three companies of the Third Wisconsin Regiment, four of
the Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania, and sections of a New York and a Rhode
Island battery. The guns were placed to command approaches of the
town, pickets were thrown out, and the wheat was removed. On the 16th
the pickets on Bolivar Heights, west of the town, were driven in, and
this was followed by an attack from a Confederate force, consisting of
three regiments of infantry, one of cavalry, and seven pieces of
artillery. Gen. John W. Geary, commanding the National forces, placed
one company for the defence of the fords of the Shenandoah, and with
the remaining troops met the attack. Three successive charges by the
cavalry were repelled; then a rifled gun was brought across the river
and directed its fire upon the Confederate battery; and at the same
time Geary advanced his right flank, turned the enemy's left, and
gained a portion of Bolivar Heights. He then ordered a general forward
movement, gained the entire Heights, and drove the enemy across the
valley toward Halltown. From lack of cavalry he was unable to pursue;
but he planted guns on Bolivar Heights, and soon silenced the
Confederate guns on London Heights. Before recrossing the Potomac the
troops burned the iron foundry at Shenandoah City. In this action the
National loss was four killed, seven wounded, and two captured. The
Confederate loss was not ascertained, but it was supposed to be
somewhat over a hundred men, besides one gun and a large quantity of
ammunition. A member of the Massachusetts regiment, in giving an
account of this action, wrote: "There were many side scenes. Stimpson
had a hand-to-hand fight with one of the cavalry, whom he bayoneted,
illustrating the bayonet drill in which the company had been
exercised. Corporal Marshall was chased by a mounted officer while he
was assisting one of the wounded Wisconsin boys off. He turned and
shot {113} his pursuer through the breast. The officer proved to be
Colonel Ashby, commander of the rebels, which accounted for the lull
in the battle. We have since learned that he was not killed."


On December 20th Gen. E. O. C. Ord, commanding a brigade, moved
westward along the chain-bridge road, toward Dranesville, for the
purpose of making a reconnoissance and gathering forage. Near
Dranesville, when returning, he was attacked by a Confederate force
consisting of five regiments of infantry and one of cavalry, with a
battery. The attack came from the south and struck his right flank.
Changing front so as to face the enemy, he found advantageous ground
for receiving battle, and placed his artillery so as to enfilade the
Centreville road on which the enemy's battery was posted. Leaving his
cavalry in the shelter of a wooded hill, he got his infantry well in
hand and moved steadily forward on the enemy. His guns were handled
with skill, and soon exploded a Confederate caisson and drove off the
battery. Then he made a bayonet charge, before which the Confederate
infantry fled, leaving on the field their dead and wounded, and a
large quantity of equipments. His loss was seven killed and sixty
wounded. The Confederate loss was about a hundred.

That portion of Virginia west of the Alleghanies (now West Virginia)
never was essentially a slaveholding region. The number of slaves held
there was very small, as it always must be in a mountainous country;
and the interests of the people, with their iron mines, their coal
mines, and their forests of valuable timber, and their streams flowing
into the Ohio, were allied much more closely with those of the free
States than with those of the tide-water portion of their own State.
When, therefore, at the beginning of the war, before the people of
Virginia had voted on the question of adopting or rejecting the
ordinance of secession as passed by their convention, troops from the
cotton States were poured into that State to secure it for the
Confederacy, they found no such welcome west of the mountains as east
of them; and the task of driving them out from the valleys of the
Kanawha and the Monongahela was easy in comparison with the work that
lay before the National armies on the Potomac and the James.
Major-Gen. George B. McClellan, then in his thirty-fifth year, crossed
the Ohio with a small army in May, and won several victories that for
the time cleared West Virginia of Confederate troops, gained him a
vote of thanks in Congress, and made for him a sudden reputation,
which resulted in his being called to the head of the army after the
disaster at Bull Run. Some of the battles in West Virginia, including
Philippi, Cheat River, and Rich Mountain, have already been described.
An account of other minor engagements in that State is given in this

There were several small actions at Romney, in Virginia, the most
considerable of which took place on October 26th. General Kelly, with
twenty-five hundred men, marched on that place from the west, while
Col. Thomas Johns, with seven hundred, approached it from the north.
Five miles from Romney, Kelly drove in the Confederate outposts, and
nearer the town he met the enemy drawn up in a commanding position,
with a rifled twelve-pounder on a hill. They also had intrenchments
commanding the bridge. After some artillery firing, Kelly's cavalry
forded the river, while his infantry charged across the bridge,
whereupon the Confederates retreated precipitately toward Winchester.
Kelly captured four hundred prisoners, two hundred horses, three
wagon-loads of new rifles, and a large lot of camp equipage. The
losses in killed and wounded were small. In this action a Captain
Butterfield, of an Ohio regiment, was mounted on an old team horse,
which became unmanageable and persisted in getting in front of the
field gun that had just been brought up. This embarrassed the gunners,
who were ready and anxious to make a telling shot, and finally the
captain shouted: "Never mind the old horse, boys. Blaze away!" The
shot was then made, which drove off a Confederate battery; and a few
minutes later, when the charge was ordered, the old horse, with his
tail scorched, wheeled into line and participated in it.

At the same time when General McClellan was operating against the
Confederate forces in the northern part of West Virginia, Gen. Jacob
D. Cox commanded an expedition that marched from Guyandotte into the
valley of the Great Kanawha. His first action was at Barboursville,
which he captured. At Scarytown, on the river, a detachment of his
Ohio troops, commanded by Colonel Lowe, was defeated by a Confederate
force under Captain Patton, and lost nearly sixty men. Cox then
marched on Charleston, which was held by a force under General Wise.
But Wise retreated, crossed Gauley River and burned the bridge, and
continued his flight to Lewisburg. Here he was superseded by General
Floyd, who brought reinforcements. Floyd attacked the Seventh Ohio
Regiment at Cross Lanes, and defeated it, inflicting a loss of about
two hundred men. He then advanced to Carnifex Ferry, endeavoring to
flank Cox's force, when General Rosecrans, with ten thousand men, came
down from the northern part of the State. Floyd had a strong position
on Gauley River, and Rosecrans sent forward a force to reconnoitre.
The commander of this, General Benham, pushed it too boldly, and it
developed into an engagement (September {114} 10th), wherein he lost
about two hundred men, including Colonel Lowe and other valuable
officers. Rosecrans made preparations for giving battle in earnest
next day; but in the night Floyd retreated, leaving a large portion of
his baggage, and took a position thirty miles distant. Soon afterward
General Lee arrived with another force and took command of all the
Confederate troops, numbering now about twenty thousand, and then in
turn Rosecrans retreated. On the way, Lee had made a reconnoissance of
a position held by General Reynolds at Cheat Mountain (September
12th), and in the consequent skirmishing he lost about a hundred men,
including Col. John A. Washington, of his staff, who was killed.
Reynolds's loss was about the same, but Lee found his position too
strong to be taken. Early in November, Lee was called to Eastern
Virginia, and Rosecrans then planned an attack on Floyd; but it
miscarried through failure of the flank movement, which was intrusted
to General Benham. But Benham pursued the enemy for fifty miles,
defeated the rear guard of cavalry, and killed its leader. On December
12th, General Milroy, who had succeeded General Reynolds, advanced
against the Confederates at Buffalo Mountain; but his attack was badly
managed, and failed. He was then attacked, in turn, but the enemy had
no better success. Three or four hundred men were disabled in these
engagements. On the last day of the year Milroy sent eight hundred men
of the Twenty-fifth Ohio Regiment, under Major Webster, against a
Confederate camp at Huntersville. They drove away the Confederates,
burned six buildings filled with provisions, and returned without

Through the natural impulses of a large majority of her people, and
their material interests, aided by these military operations, small as
they were in detail, West Virginia was by this time secured to the
Union, and would probably have remained in it even if the war had
terminated otherwise.

There never was any serious danger that Kentucky would secede, though
her governor refused troops to the National Government and pretended
to assume a position of neutrality. Such a position being essentially
impossible, such of the young men of that State as believed in the
institution of slavery went largely into the Confederate army, while a
greater number entered the National service and were among its best
soldiers. The Confederate Government was very loath to give up
Kentucky, admitted a delegation of Kentucky secessionists to seats in
its Congress, and made several attempts to invade the State and occupy
it by armed force. The more important actions that were fought there
are narrated elsewhere. A few of the minor ones must be mentioned

To protect the loyal mountaineers in the eastern part of the State, a
fortified camp, called Camp Wild Cat, was established on the road
leading to Cumberland Gap. It was at the top of a high cliff,
overlooking the road, and was commanded by a heavily-wooded hill a few
hundred yards distant. The force there was commanded by Gen. Albin
Schoepff. A force of over seven thousand Confederates, commanded by
General Zollicoffer, marched upon this camp and attacked it on the
same day that the battle of Ball's Bluff was fought, October 21st. The
camp had been held by but one Kentucky regiment; but on the approach
of the enemy it was reinforced by the Fourteenth and Seventeenth Ohio,
the Thirty-third Indiana, and Stannard's battery. After a fight with a
battalion of Kentucky cavalry, the Confederate infantry charged up the
hill and were met by a withering fire, which drove them back. They
advanced again, getting within a few yards of the log breastwork,
placed their caps on their bayonets and shouted that they were Union
men. This gave them a chance to fire a volley at close range; but it
was answered so immediately and so effectively that they broke and
fled down the hill. Then the artillery was brought into play and
hastened their flight, besides thwarting an attack that had been made
by a detachment on the flank. In the afternoon the attempt was
repeated, by two detachments directed simultaneously against the
flanks of the position; but it was defeated in much the same way that
the morning attack had been. Zollicoffer then drew off his forces, and
that night their campfires could be seen far down the valley. The
National loss was about thirty men, that of the Confederates was
estimated at nearly three hundred.




Two days later there were sharp actions at West Liberty and {115}
Hodgesville. A regiment of infantry and a company of cavalry, with one
gun, marched thirty-five miles between half-past two and half-past
nine P.M., in constant rain, making several fords, one of which,
across the Licking, was waist deep. The object was to drive the
Confederates out of West Liberty and take possession of the town. In
this they were successful, with but one man wounded. The Confederates
lost twenty, and half a dozen Union men who had been held as prisoners
were released. The greatest benefit resulting from the action was the
confidence that it gave to the Unionists in that region. One
correspondent wrote: "The people had been taught that the Union
soldiers would be guilty of most awful atrocities. Several women made
their appearance on Thursday, trembling with cold and fear, and said
that they had remained in the woods all night after the fight. The
poor creatures had been told that the Abolition troops rejoiced to
kill Southern babies, and were in the habit of carrying little
children about on their bayonets in the towns which they took; and
this was actually believed." A detachment of the Sixth Indiana
Regiment made a sudden attack on a Confederate camp near Hodgesville,
and after a short, sharp fight drove off the enemy, killing or
wounding eight of them, and captured many horses and wagons and a
large quantity of powder.

Near Munfordville, on December 17th, a portion of the Thirty-second
Indiana Regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Trebra, was attacked by two
regiments of infantry, a regiment of cavalry, and a battery. They
maintained a spirited defence until they were reinforced, and then
continued the fight till it ended in the retreat of the enemy. General
Buell said in his report: "The attack of the enemy was mainly with his
cavalry and artillery. Our troops fought as skirmishers, rallying
rapidly into squares when charged by the cavalry--sometimes even
defending themselves singly and killing their assailants with the
bayonet." The National loss was eight killed and ten wounded; the
Confederate, thirty-three killed (including Colonel Terry, commanding)
and fifty wounded. A Confederate account said: "All in all, this is
one of the most desperate fights of the war. It was hand to hand from
first to last. No men could have fought more desperately than the
enemy. The Rangers were equally reckless. Colonel Terry, always in the
front, discovered a nest of five of the enemy. He leaped in his
saddle, waved his hat, and said, 'Come on, boys! Here's another bird's
nest.' He fired and killed two of them. The other three fired at him
simultaneously. One shot killed his charger; another shot killed him.
He fell headlong from his horse without a moan or a groan. At the same
time, Paulding Anderson and Dr. Cowan rode up and despatched the
remaining three of the enemy. When Colonel Terry's fall was announced
it at once prostrated his men with grief. The fight ended here." This
action is also known by the name of Rowlett's Station and

On December 28th a small detachment of cavalry, led by Major Murray,
left camp near Calhoun, Ky., for a scout across Green River. Near
Sacramento they were surprised and attacked by seven hundred cavalry
under Colonel Forrest. They sustained an almost hand-to-hand fight for
half an hour, and then, as their ammunition was exhausted, retreated.
It is impossible to reconcile the accounts of the losses; but it is
certain that Capt. A. G. Bacon was killed on the National side, and
Lieutenant-Colonel Meriwether of the Confederates. This closed the
first year's fighting in Kentucky.


{116} [Illustration: SIEGE OF LEXINGTON, MISSOURI.]

In Missouri there were special and strong reasons against secession.
Her slave population was comparatively small, and her soil and climate
were suited to crops that do not require negro labor. She was farthest
north of any slave State; and if she had joined the Confederacy, and
it had established itself, she would have been bordered on {117} three
sides by foreign territory, with nothing but a surveyed line for the
boundary on two of those sides. Moreover, there was a large German
element in her population, industrious, opposed to slavery, loving the
Union, and belonging, to a considerable extent, to the Republican
party. In the presidential election of 1860, 26,430 Republican votes
were cast in slave States (all in border States), and of these 17,028
were cast in Missouri. Delaware gave the next highest number--3,815.
Of 148,490 Democratic votes cast in Missouri, but 31,317 were for
Breckinridge, the extreme proslavery candidate. Nevertheless, the
secessionists made a strong effort to get Missouri out of the Union.
The methods pursued have been described in a previous chapter,
together with the results of the first fighting, and the defeat and
death of General Lyon in the battle of Wilson's Creek.


[Illustration: BURYING THE DEAD.]

A Confederate force--or rather the materials for a force, for the men
were poorly equipped and hardly drilled at all--commanded by Colonel
Hunter, was gathered at Charleston, Mo., in August, encamped about the
court-house; and on the 19th Colonel Dougherty, of the Twenty-second
Illinois Regiment, set out to capture it. He arrived at Camp Lyon in
the evening with three hundred men, learned of the position of the
enemy, and said to Captain Abbott, who had made the reconnoissance:
"We are going to take Charleston to-night. You stay here and engage
the enemy till we come back." Then to his men: "Battalion, right face
forward, march!" As they neared the town, double quick was ordered,
and the two companies in the advance proceeded rapidly, but the
following ones became somehow separated. These two companies drove in
the pickets, followed them sharply, and charged into the town,
scattering the small detachment of raw cavalry. The second in command
then asked of Colonel Dougherty what should be done next. "Take the
court-house, or bust," he answered; and at once that building was
attacked. The Confederates fired from the windows; but the assailants
concentrated a destructive fire upon it, and then rushed in at the
doors. Some escaped through the windows, some were shot down while
attempting to do so, and many were captured. Later in the day a
company of Illinois cavalry pursued the retreating Confederates, and
captured forty more, with many horses. In this engagement
Lieutenant-Colonel Ransom had a personal encounter with a Confederate
officer, who rode up to him and called out: "What do you mean? You are
killing our own men."--"I know what I am doing," answered Ransom. "Who
are you?"--"I am for Jeff Davis," said the stranger. "Then you are the
man I am after," said Ransom, and they drew their pistols. The
Confederate fired first, and wounded Ransom in the arm, who then fired
and killed his antagonist. The National loss {118} was one killed and
four wounded. The Confederate loss was reported at forty killed;
number of wounded, unknown.

Late in August, when it was learned that a movement against Lexington,
on Missouri River, was about to be made by a strong Confederate force
under General Price, measures were taken to reinforce the small
garrison and prevent the place from falling into the hands of the
enemy. The Twenty-third Illinois Regiment, Col. James A. Mulligan,
which was called "the Irish Brigade," was ordered thither from
Jefferson City, and other reinforcements were promised. Mulligan, with
his command, set out at once, marched nine days, foraging on the
country, and on reaching Lexington found there a regiment of cavalry
and one of home guards. The next day the Thirteenth Missouri Regiment,
retreating from Warrensburg, joined them. This gave Mulligan a total
force of about two thousand eight hundred men, who had forty rounds of
ammunition, and he had seven field-guns and a small quantity of
provisions. He took possession of the hill east of the town, on which
stood the Masonic College, and proceeded to fortify. His lines
enclosed about eighteen acres, and he had put but half a day's work on
them when, in the evening of September 11th, the enemy appeared. In
the morning of the 12th the fighting began, when a part of Mulligan's
men drove back the enemy's advance and burned a bridge, which
compelled them to make a detour and approach the place by another
road. Again Mulligan sent out a detachment to check them while his
remaining force worked on the intrenchments, and there was brisk
fighting in the cemetery at the edge of the town. In the afternoon
there was a lively artillery duel, and the National forces held their
own, dismounting a Confederate gun, exploding a caisson, and causing
the enemy to withdraw at dusk to a camp two miles away. The next day
the garrison fitted up a small foundry, in which they cast shot for
their cannon, obtained powder and made cartridges, and continued the
work on the intrenchments. The great want was provisions and water. In
the next five days the Confederates were heavily reinforced, while the
little garrison looked in vain for the promised help.

On the 18th a determined attack in force was made. Colonel Mulligan
wrote: "They came as one dark moving mass, their guns beaming in the
sun, their banners waving, and their drums beating. Everywhere, as far
as we could see, were men, men, men, approaching grandly. Our spies
had brought intelligence and had all agreed that it was the intention
of the enemy to make a grand rush, overwhelm us, and bury us in the
trenches of Lexington." Mulligan's men sustained the shock bravely,
and the enemy met such a deadly fire that they could not get to the
works. But meanwhile they had interposed a force between the works and
the river, shutting off the supply of water, and they kept up a heavy
bombardment with sixteen pieces of artillery. They also took
possession of a large house outside the lines which was used as a
hospital, and filled it with sharp-shooters. Mulligan ordered two
companies--one of home guards and one from the Fourteenth Missouri--to
drive them out, but they refused to undertake so hazardous a task. He
then sent a company from his Irish regiment, who rushed gallantly
across the intervening space, burst in the doors, took possession of
the house, and (under an impression that the laws of war had been
violated in thus using a hospital for sharp-shooters) killed every
Confederate soldier caught inside. Two hours later the Confederates in
turn drove them out and again occupied the building. Firing was kept
up through the 19th; and on the 20th the besiegers obtained bales of
hemp, wet them, and rolling them along before them as a movable
breastwork, were enabled to approach the intrenchments. Bullets would
not go through these bales, and red-hot shot would not set them on
fire. Yet the fight still continued for some hours, until the
ammunition of the garrison was all but exhausted. For five days they
had had no water except as they could catch rain when it fell, the
provisions were eaten up, and there was no sign of the promised
reinforcements. There was nothing to do but surrender. Mulligan had
lost one hundred and fifty men killed or wounded; the Confederate
report acknowledged a loss of one hundred, which probably was far
short of the truth. A correspondent who was present wrote: "Hundreds
of the men who fought on the Confederate side were attached to no
command. They came in when they pleased, fought or not as they
pleased, left when ready, and if killed were buried on the spot--were
missed from no muster-roll, and hence would not be reckoned in the
aggregate loss. The Confederates vary in their statements. One said
they lost sixty killed; another said their loss was at least equal to
that of the Federals; while still another admitted to me that the
taking of the works cost them a thousand men. I saw one case that
shows the Confederate style of fighting. An old Texan, dressed in
buckskin and armed with a long rifle, used to go up to the works every
morning about seven o'clock, carrying his dinner in a tin pail. Taking
a good position, he banged away at the Federals till noon, then rested
an hour and ate his dinner, after which he resumed operations till six
P.M., when he returned home to supper and a night's sleep." The
privates of Mulligan's command were paroled, and the officers held as

In October the National troops stationed at Pilot Knob, Mo., commanded
by Col. J. B. Plummer, were ordered to march on Fredericktown and
attack a Confederate force there, two thousand strong, commanded by
Gen. Jeff. Thompson. They arrived at that place in the evening of the
21st, and found that it had just been evacuated. They consisted of
Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin troops, with cavalry and a battery,
and numbered about three thousand five hundred. Three thousand more,
commanded by Col. W. P. Carlin, marched from Cape Girardeau and joined
them at Fredericktown. About half of the entire force was then sent in
pursuit of the enemy, who was found just south of the town. An
engagement was at once begun with artillery, and then the Seventeenth
Illinois Regiment charged upon the Confederate battery and captured
one gun. Then followed a running fight that lasted four hours, the
Confederates stopping frequently to make a temporary stand and fire a
few rounds from their battery. As these positions were successively
charged or flanked, and attacked with artillery and musketry, they
retired from them. At five o'clock in the afternoon the pursuit was
discontinued, and the National forces returned to Fredericktown. They
had lost seven men killed and sixty wounded. They had captured two
field-pieces and taken sixty prisoners, and the next day they buried a
hundred and sixty Confederate dead. Among the enemy's killed was
Colonel Lowe, second in command.

A few days later there was a brilliant affair at Springfield, not far
from the scene of General Lyon's defeat and death in August. There was
a small, select cavalry organization known as General Frémont's
body-guard, commanded by Major Charles Zagonyi, a Hungarian, who had
seen service in Europe. On the 24th Zagonyi received orders to take a
part of his command, and Major White's battalion of prairie scouts,
and march on Springfield, fifty miles distant, with all possible
haste. It was supposed that the Confederate troops there numbered four
hundred. The {119} order was obeyed with alacrity, and early the next
day he neared the town. Here he captured half a dozen Confederate
soldiers of a foraging party, and from them and certain Unionists
among the inhabitants, he learned that the enemy in the town numbered
two thousand instead of four hundred. Undaunted by this, he resolved
to push forward. Some of the foraging party who escaped carried the
news of his approach, and the Confederates made quick dispositions to
receive him. Finding a regiment drawn up beside the road, he avoided
it by a detour and came in on another road, but here also the enemy
were ready for him. Placing his own command in the advance, with
himself at the head, he prepared to charge straight into the midst of
the enemy. For some unknown reason, White's command, instead of
following directly, counter-marched to the left, and Zagonyi with his
one hundred and sixty men went in alone. They began with a trot, and
soon increased the pace to a gallop, unmindful of the fire of
skirmishers in the woods, which emptied several of their saddles. The
enemy, infantry and cavalry, was drawn up in the form of a hollow
square, in an open field. Zagonyi's band rode down a lane, jumped a
brook, threw down a fence, and then charged right across the field
into the midst of their foes, spreading out fan-like as they neared
them, and using their pistols and sabres vigorously. The Confederate
cavalry gave way and scattered almost at once; the infantry stood a
little longer, and then retreated. Major White with his command came
up just in time to strike them in the flank, completing the rout. An
eye-witness wrote: "Some fled wildly toward the town, pursued by the
insatiate guards, who, overtaking them, either cut them down with
their sabres or levelled them with shots from their pistols. Some were
even chased through the streets of the city and then killed in
hand-to-hand encounters with their pursuers." Zagonyi raised the
National flag on the court-house, detailed a guard to attend to his
wounded, and then retired to Bolivar. His own account of the fight,
given in Mrs. Frémont's "Story of the Guard," is quaint and



[Illustration: PURSUIT OF THE ENEMY.]


"About four o'clock I arrived on the highest point on the Ozark
Mountains. Not seeing any sign of the enemy, I halted my command, made
them known that the enemy instead of four hundred is nineteen hundred.
But I promised them victory if they will be what I thought and
expected them to be. If any of them too much fatigued from the
fifty-six miles, or sick, or unwell, to step forward; but nobody was
worn out. (Instead of worn out, it is true that every eye was a fist
big.) I made them known that this day I want to fight the first and
the last hard battle, so that if they meet us again they shall know
with who they have to do and remember the Body-Guard. And ordered
quick march. Besides, I tell them, whatever we meet, to keep together
and look after me; would I fall, not to give up, but to avenge mine
death. To leave every ceremonious cuts away in the battlefield and use
only right cut and thrust. Being young, I thought they might be
confused in the different cuts, and the Hungarian hussars say, 'Never
defend yourselves--better make {121} your enemy defend himself and you
go in.' I just mention them that you know very well that I promised
you that I will lead you shortly to show that we are not a fancy and
only guard-doing-duty soldiers, but fighting men. My despatch meant
what I will do. In the hour I get the news my mind was settled. I say,
Thank God, if I am to fight, it is not four hundred! but nineteen
hundred! I halt my men again and say, 'Soldiers! When I was to recruit
you, I told you you was not parade soldiers, but for war. The enemy is
more than we. The enemy is two thousand, and we are but one hundred
and fifty. It is possible no man will come back. No man will go that
thinks the enemy too many. He can ride back. (I see by the glimpsing
of their eye they was mad to be chanced a coward.) The Guard that
follow me will take for battle-cry, "Frémont and the Union,"
and--CHARGE--!' Running down the lane between the cross-fire, the
First Company followed close, but the rest stopped for a couple
seconds. I had not wondered if none had come--young soldiers and such
a tremendous fire, bullets coming like a rain.

"As I arrived down on the creek I said aloud, 'If I could send
somebody back I would give my life for it. We are lost here if they
don't follow.' My Adjutant, Majthenyi, hearing, feared that he will be
sent back, jumped down from his horse and busy himself opening the
fence. I expected to find the enemy on the other end of Springfield,
but, unexpectedly coming out of the woods to an open place, I was
fired on in front of mine command. Halted for a minute, seeing that,
or a bold forward march under a cross-fire, or a doubtful retreat with
losing most of my men, I took the first and commanded 'March!' Under a
heavy cross-fire (in trot), down the little hill in the lane--two
hundred yards--to a creek, where I ordered the fence to be
opened--marched in my command--ordered them to form, and with the
war-cry of 'Frémont and the Union,' we made the attack. The First
Company, forty-seven strong, against five or six hundred infantry, and
the rest against the cavalry, was made so successfully, that, in three
minutes, the cavalry run in every direction, and the infantry
retreated in the thick wood, and their cavalry in every direction. The
infantry we were not able to follow in the woods, so that we turned
against the running cavalry. With those we had in different places,
and in differing numbers, attacked and dispersed--not only in one
place, but our men were so much emboldened, that twenty or thirty
attacked twenty, thirty times their numbers, and these single-handed
attacks, fighting here and there on their own hook, did us more harm
than their grand first attack. By them we lost our prisoners.
Single-handed they fought bravely, specially one--a lieutenant--who,
in a narrow lane, wanted to cut himself through about sixty of us,
running in that direction. But he was not able to go very far. Firing
two or three times, he ran against me, and put his revolver on my
side, but, through the movement of the horse, the shot passed behind
me. He was a perfect target--first cut down and after shot. He was a
brave man; for that reason I felt some pity to kill him. We went to
their encampment, but the ground was deserted, and we returned to the
Court-house, raised the company-flag, liberated prisoners, and
collected my forces together--which numbered not more, including
myself, than seventy men on horseback. The rest--without horses, or
wounded, and about thirty who had dispersed in pursuit of the enemy--I
could not gather up; and it was midnight before they reached me--and
some of them next day. I never was sick in my life, Madame, till what
time I find myself leaving Springfield, in the dark, with only
sixty-nine men and officers--I was the seventy. I was perfectly sick
and disheartened, so I could hardly sit in the saddle, to think of so
dear a victory. But it ended so that fifteen is dead--two died
after--ten prisoners, who was released, and of the wounded, not one
will lose a finger. In all seventeen lost.

"The bugler (Frenchman) I ordered him two three time to put his sword
away and take the bugle in his hand, that I shall be able to use him.
Hardly I took my eyes down, next minute I seen him, sword in the hand,
all bloody; and this he done two or three times. Finally, the mouth of
the bugle being shot away, the bugler had excuse for gratifying
himself in use of the sword. One had a beautiful wound through the
nose. 'My boy,' I told him, 'I would give any thing for that wound.'
After twenty-four hours it was beautiful--just the mark enough to show
a bullet has passed through; but, poor fellow, he cannot even show it.
It healed up so as to leave no mark at all. He {122} had also five on
his leg and shoulder, and the fifth wound he only found after six
days; he could not move easy, for that reason he was late to find
there was two wounds in the legs."

Early in November, General Grant was ordered to make demonstrations on
both sides of the Mississippi near Columbus, to prevent the
Confederates from sending reinforcements to General Price, in Southern
Missouri, and also to prevent them from interfering with the movements
of certain detachments of National troops. On the 6th he left Cairo
with three thousand men, on five steamers, convoyed by two gunboats,
and passed down the river to the vicinity of Columbus. To attack that
place would have been hopeless, as it was well fortified and strongly
garrisoned. He landed his troops on the Missouri side on the 7th, and
put them in motion toward Belmont, opposite Columbus, deploying
skirmishers and looking for the enemy. They had not gone far before
the enemy was encountered, and then it became a fight through the
woods from tree to tree. After two or three miles of this, they
arrived at a fortified camp surrounded with abatis. Grant's men
charged at once, succeeded in making their way through the
obstructions, and soon captured the camp with the artillery and some
prisoners. But most of the Confederates escaped and crossed the river
in their own boats, or took shelter under the bank. The usual result
of capturing a camp was soon seen. The victors laid down their arms
and devoted themselves to plundering, while some amused themselves
with the captured guns, firing at empty steamers. Meanwhile the
defeated men under the bank regained confidence and rallied, and two
steamers filled with Confederate soldiers were sent over from
Columbus; while the guns there, commanding the western bank, were
trained and fired upon the camp. To stop the plundering and bring his
men to order, Grant had the camp set on fire and then ordered a
retreat. The men formed rapidly, with deployed skirmishers, and
retired slowly to the boats, Grant himself being the last one to go on
board. Some of the wounded were taken on the transports, others were
left on the field. The National loss was 485; the Confederate loss was
642, including 175 carried off as prisoners. The Unionists also spiked
four guns and brought off two. Both sides claimed this action as a
victory--Grant, because he had accomplished the object for which he
set out, preventing reinforcements from being sent to Price; the
Confederates, because they were left in possession of the field. But
it was generally discussed as a disaster to the National arms. There
were many interesting incidents. One man who had both legs shot off
was found in the woods singing "The Star Spangled Banner." Another,
who was mortally wounded, had propped himself up against a tree and
thought to take a smoke. He was found dead with his pipe in one hand,
his knife in the other, and the tobacco on his breast. A Confederate
correspondent told this story: "When the two columns came face to
face, Colonel Walker's regiment was immediately opposed to the Seventh
Iowa, and David Vollmer, drawing the attention of a comrade to the
stars and stripes that floated over the enemy, avowed his intention of
capturing the colors or dying in the attempt. The charge was made, and
as the two columns came within a few yards of each other, Vollmer and
a young man named Lynch both made a rush for the colors; but Vollmer's
bayonet first pierced the breast of the color-bearer, and, grasping
the flag, he waved it over his head in triumph. At this moment he and
Lynch were both shot dead. Captain Armstrong stepped forth to capture
the colors, when he also fell, grasping the flagstaff." Another
correspondent wrote: "The Seventh Iowa suffered more severely than any
other regiment. It fought continually against fearful odds. Ever
pushing onward through the timber, on their hands and knees, they
crawled with their standard waving over them until they reached the
cornfield on the left of the enemy's encampment, where their cannon
was planted, and drove them from their guns, leaving them still
unmanned, knowing that other forces were following them up. Their
course was still onward until they entered on the camp-ground of the
foe and tore down the flag."

Besides those here described, there were many smaller engagements in
Missouri--at Piketon, Lancaster, Salem, Black Walnut Creek, Milford,
Hudson, and other places. There were also encounters in Florida, in
New Mexico, and in Texas; none of them being important, but all
together showing that the struggle begun this year had spread over a
vast territory and that a long and bloody war was before the people of
our country.

[Illustration: ABATIS.]

{123} [Illustration: "THE PICKET'S OFF DUTY FOREVER."]



It is probable that war songs are the oldest human compositions. In
every nation they have sprung into existence at the very dawning of
national life. The first Grecian poems of which we have any record are
war songs, chanted to inspire or maintain warlike enthusiasm. Not only
did they sing martial melodies as they attacked their enemies, but
when the conflict was over, and the victory won, they also sang
triumphal odes as they returned to camp. Martial odes that were sung
in Gaul by the conquering legions of Julius Cæsar have been handed
down to the present time. The student of the history and the
literature of Spain finds many traces of the war songs that the
all-conquering Romans sang as they marched over the mountains or
across the valleys of that then dependent nationality. And long before
the time of Cæsar, Servius Tullius ordered that two whole centuriæ
should consist of trumpeters, horn-blowers, etc., to sound the charge.
In these and subsequent ages, war songs were sung in chorus by a whole
army in advancing to the attack. If further proof of the antiquity of
military music were needed, a conclusive one is to be found in 2
Chronicles, xx. 21, where it is said that when Jehoshaphat went to
battle against the hosts of Ammon "he placed a choir of singers in
front of his army."

Wonderful indeed is the war song when studied as to its influence in
early times on history. By the power of arms, by the spirit of
conquest, did nations arise and continue to exist. The warrior made
the nation, and the poet sang and immortalized the warrior's fame; and
thus it came to pass that great honor was bestowed upon the poets.
Among old Arab tribes, fires were lighted and great rejoicings made by
their warriors {124} when a poet had manifested himself among them,
for in his songs they anticipated their own glory. In many ancient
countries, the bards that sang of battles were regarded as really
inspired, and their poetic productions were considered as the language
of the gods. Centuries passed before that admiration bestowed upon the
singer of war songs was impaired. The ancient literature of many
European countries presents numerous indications that the
warrior-poets were treated with great consideration; were forgiven by
their sovereigns for serious offences on condition that they write a
new war song, and were paid what would seem at this day enormous
prices for their compositions. It is related that on one occasion King
Athelstane, of the Anglo-Saxons, paid a poet sixteen ounces of pure
gold for a laudatory song. When the greater value of gold in that
distant age is considered, it is probable that no living poet is
better paid for his productions than was this old singer whose ballads
breathed of bloodshed and slaughter.

The marvellous influence of war songs over the ancient Norsemen is
difficult to understand. They were aroused to a high degree of
military enthusiasm, almost to madness, by the mere words of certain
songs. That it was this influence which frequently drove them onward
to great deeds, appears in every chapter of their life history. It was
the courage and frenzy aroused by Teutonic war songs that led to the
destruction of Rome, and shattered the civilization of southern

That the influence of the war song over the minds and the hearts of
men did not terminate with the long ago past, is apparent to every
student of modern history. Garibaldi's warlike Hymn of the Italians,
the stirring "Marseillaise" of the light-hearted French, the vigorous
"Britannia" of the sturdy English, have inspired determination and
aroused courage on many a bloody battlefield. How frequently during
our own civil war was retreat checked, and the tide of battle turned,
by the singing of "We'll Rally round the Flag, Boys," started at the
opportune moment by some brave soldier with a vigorous and melodious
voice. It has been said that the Portuguese soldiers in Ceylon, at the
siege of Colombo, when pressed with misery and the pangs of hunger,
during their marches, derived not only consolation but also
encouragement from singing stanzas of their national song.

It is a singular fact that no great national hymn, and no war song
that arouses and cheers, was ever written by a distinguished poet. It
would seem that a National Hymn is the sort of material that cannot be
made to order. Not one of the best-known songs of our own civil
war--in the North or in the South--was written by an eminent poet.
Five of the greatest American poets were living during the great
conflict, and four of them gave expression to its military ardor,
determinate zeal, or pathos, but none of them so sung as to touch the
popular heart; that is to say, so as to secure the attention of those
who do not read poetry. The same is true of the composers of the
national anthems and great martial ballads of nearly every other
country. The thunder roar of the "Marseillaise," before which all the
other military songs of France are dull and weak, was produced by De
l'Isle, who lives in the memory of his countrymen and of the world for
this alone. The noble measures of "God Save the King" are not the work
of any one of the great British poets, but were probably written by
Henry Carey; but this is in dispute, and innumerable Englishmen sing
the anthem without even attempting to learn the name of the composer.

The Prussian National Anthem was not written by a Goethe, a Schiller,
or even a Köner. The name of the writer, Schneckenburger, would not be
found in books of reference had he not written "The Watch on the
Rhine." The favorite national song of the Italians, known as the
"Garibaldian Hymn," is the composition of Mercantini, of whom little
is known.

Our own country is especially fortunate in the quality of its great
national songs. "The Star Spangled Banner" breathes the loftiest and
purest patriotism. The English National Hymn is but a prayer for
blessings on the head of the king--the ruler. The "Marseillaise" is
calculated to arouse only the spirit of slaughter and bloodshed. Truer
than any of these to pure, lofty, and patriotic zeal is our own "Star
Spangled Banner."

From our Civil War we have received at least two war songs which,
simply as such, are fit to rank with the best of any country--"John
Brown's Body" and "Marching through Georgia." The greatest of the
Southern war lyrics--"My Maryland"--is equal to these as a powerful
lyric. It is said that fully two thousand poems and songs pertaining
to the war, both North and South, were written during the first year
of this conflict. But most of them are now wholly unknown, except to
the special student. Perhaps a score of compositions, the result of
the poetic outburst inspired by the Civil War, possess such merit that
they will survive through centuries as part of the literary heritage
of the nation. Of such we give in this collection about twenty that
seem to us the best and most popular.




This is one of the numerous war songs written by Mr. George F. Root.
Among his others are "Just before the Battle, Mother," and the
"Battle-Cry of Freedom." It is difficult to say which of these three
was the most popular. There was a touch of pathos in "Just before the
Battle, Mother," which made the words impressive and thrilling to the
hearts of men away from home and fireside. Many a brave soldier
considered death itself preferable to captivity and incarceration in
prison pens. How sad, then, must have been the lot of the soldiers who
sat in prison cells and heard the "tramp, tramp, tramp," of the
marching boys! Mr. Root was the composer as well as the author of the
three great songs mentioned above.




      In the prison cell I sit,
      Thinking, mother dear, of you,
  And our bright and happy home so far away;
      And the tears they fill my eyes,
      Spite of all that I can do,
  Though I try to cheer my comrades and be gay.


  Tramp, tramp, tramp, the boys are marching;
  Cheer up, comrades, they will come,
      And beneath the starry flag
      We shall breathe the air again
  Of the free-land in our own beloved home.

      In the battle front we stood
      When their fiercest charge they made,
  And they swept us off a hundred men or more;
      But before we reached their lines
      They were beaten back dismayed,
  And we heard the cry of vict'ry o'er and o'er.

      So within the prison cell
      We are waiting for the day
  That shall come to open wide the iron door;
      And the hollow eye grows bright,
      And the poor heart almost gay,
  As we think of seeing home and friends once more.



{126} [Illustration]


One cool September morning in 1861, a young woman living in Goshen,
Orange County, N. Y., read the familiar announcement from the seat of
war near Washington, "All quiet on the Potomac," to which was added in
smaller type, "A picket shot." These simple words were the inspiration
of a celebrated war song, which is as popular now as when it first
appeared. This song was first published in _Harper's Weekly_ for
November 30, 1861, and it has had many claimants; but after careful
investigation, there appears to be no reason whatever for disputing
the claim of Mrs. Ethel Lynn Beers. She died in Orange, N. J., October
10, 1879.

  "All quiet along the Potomac," they say,
    "Except now and then a stray picket
  Is shot, as he walks on his beat to and fro,
    By a rifleman hid in the thicket.
  'Tis nothing--a private or two now and then
    Will not count in the news of the battle;
  Not an officer lost--only one of the men,
    Moaning out, all alone, the death-rattle."

  All quiet along the Potomac to-night,
    Where the soldiers lie peacefully dreaming;
  Their tents in the rays of the clear autumn moon,
    Or the light of the watch-fire, are gleaming.
  A tremulous sigh of the gentle night-wind
    Through the forest leaves softly is creeping;
  While stars up above, with their glittering eyes,
    Keep guard, for the army is sleeping.

  There's only the sound of the lone sentry's tread,
    As he tramps from the rock to the fountain,
  And thinks of the two in the low trundle-bed
    Far away in the cot on the mountain.
  His musket falls slack; his face, dark and grim,
    Grows gentle with memories tender,
  As he mutters a prayer for the children asleep,
    For their mother--may Heaven defend her!

  The moon seems to shine just as brightly as then,
    That night, when the love yet unspoken
  Leaped up to his lips--when low-murmured vows
    Were pledged to be ever unbroken.
  Then drawing his sleeve roughly over his eyes,
    He dashes off tears that are welling,
  And gathers his gun closer up to its place,
    As if to keep down the heart-swelling.

  He passes the fountain, the blasted pine-tree--
    The footstep is lagging and weary;
  Yet onward he goes, through the broad belt of light,
    Toward the shade of the forest so dreary.
  Hark! was it the night-wind that rustled the leaves?
    Was it moonlight so wondrously flashing?
  It looked like a rifle ... "Ha! Mary, good-by!"
    The red life-blood is ebbing and plashing.

  All quiet along the Potomac to-night;
    No sound save the rush of the river;
  While soft falls the dew on the face of the dead--
    The picket's off duty forever!



Perhaps the "Battle Hymn of the Republic," by Mrs. Julia Ward Howe,
may be considered the most lofty in sentiment and the most elevated in
style of the martial songs of American patriotism. During the close of
the year 1861, Mrs. Howe with a party of friends visited Washington.
While there she attended a review of the Union troops on the Virginia
side of the Potomac and not far from the city. During her stay in camp
she witnessed a sudden and unexpected attack of the enemy. Thus she
had a glimpse of genuine warfare. On the ride back to the city the
party sang a number of war songs, including "John Brown's Body." One
of the party remarked that the tune was a grand one, and altogether
superior to the words of the song. Mrs. Howe responded to the effect
that she would endeavor to write other words that might be sung to
this stirring melody. That night, while she was lying in a dark room,
line after line and verse after verse of the "Battle Hymn of the
Republic" was composed. In this way every verse of the song was
carefully thought out. Then, springing from the bed, she found a pen
and piece of paper and wrote out the words of this rousing patriotic
hymn. It was often sung in the course of the war and under a great
variety of circumstances.

  Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
  He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are
  He has loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword;
          His truth is marching on.

  I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps;
  They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
  I have read His righteous sentence in the dim and flaring lamps;
          His day is marching on.

  I have read a fiery gospel, writ in burnished rows of steel:
  "As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal;"
  Let the hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,
          Since God is marching on.

  He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
  He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat;
  Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!
          Our God is marching on.

  In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
  With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me;
  As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
          While God is marching on.


With the English soldiers a popular song in war times is the well
known "Annie Laurie." It is said that during the Crimean War this
sentimental ditty was sung by the English forces more frequently than
any other melody. Several songs of similar sentimentality were famous
on both sides during the civil war. The boys in gray sang "Lorena" at
the very beginning of the war, and never stopped till the last musket
was stacked, and the last campfire cold. The boys in blue sang
"Mother, I've Come Home to Die," "Just before the Battle, Mother,"
"When this Cruel War is Over," and other songs of sentiment and
affection. "When this Cruel War is Over" was written by Charles C.
Sawyer, of Brooklyn, N. Y., and was published in the autumn of 1861.
More than one million copies of the song have been sold. Some of the
other compositions by Mr. Sawyer are "Swinging in the Lane" and
"Peeping through the Bars."

  Dearest love, do you remember
    When we last did meet,
  How you told me that you loved me,
    Kneeling at my feet?
  Oh, how proud you stood before me,
    In your suit of blue,
  When you vowed to me and country
    Ever to be true!
      Weeping, sad and lonely,
        Hopes and fears, how vain;
      Yet praying
      When this cruel war is over,
        Praying that we meet again.

  When the summer breeze is sighing
    Mournfully along,
  Or when autumn leaves are falling,
    Sadly breathes the song.
  Oft in dreams I see you lying
    On the battle-plain,
  Lonely, wounded, even dying,
    Calling, but in vain.

  If, amid the din of battle,
    Nobly you should fall,
  Far away from those who love you,
    None to hear you call,
  Who would whisper words of comfort?
    Who would soothe your pain?
  Ah, the many cruel fancies
    Ever in my brain!

  But our country called you, darling,
    Angels cheer your way!
  While our nation's sons are fighting,
    We can only pray.
  Nobly strike for God and liberty,
    Let all nations see
  How we love the starry banner,
    Emblem of the free!


In the dark days of 1862 President Lincoln issued a proclamation
asking for three hundred thousand volunteers to fill the stricken
ranks of the army, and to make the cry of "On to Richmond" an
accomplished fact. Immediately after this call, Mr. James Sloane
Gibbons, a native of Wilmington, Del., living in New York City, wrote:

  "We are coming, Father Abraham, three hundred thousand more."

This must have contributed largely to the accomplishment of the
military uprising which it relates. The stanzas were first published
anonymously in the New York _Evening Post_ of July 16, 1862. Owing to
this fact, perhaps, its authorship was at first attributed to William
C. Bryant. Mr. Gibbons joined the abolition movement when only twenty
years of age, and was for a time one of the editors of the
_Anti-Slavery Standard_. When the Emancipation Proclamation was
issued, he illuminated his residence in New York City. A short time
afterward, during the draft riots, he was mobbed, and only by the
assistance of friends was he able to save his life by escaping over
the roofs of adjoining houses to another street, where a friend had a
carriage waiting for him. He died October 17, 1892.

  We are coming, Father Abraham, three hundred thousand more,
  From Mississippi's winding stream and from New England's shore;
  We leave our ploughs and workshops, our wives and children dear,
  With hearts too full for utterance, with but a silent tear;
  We dare not look behind us, but steadfastly before:
  We are coming, Father Abraham, three hundred thousand more!

  If you look across the hill-tops that meet the northern sky,
  Long moving lines of rising dust your vision may descry;
  And now the wind, an instant, tears the cloudy veil aside,
  And floats aloft our spangled flag in glory and in pride;
  And bayonets in the sunlight gleam, and bands brave music pour:
  We are coming, Father Abraham, three hundred thousand more!

  If you look all up our valleys where the growing harvests shine,
  You may see our sturdy farmer boys fast falling into line;
  And children from their mother's knees are pulling at the weeds,
  And learning how to reap and sow, against their country's needs;
  And a farewell group stands weeping at every cottage door:
  We are coming, Father Abraham, three hundred thousand more!

  You have called us, and we're coming, by Richmond's bloody tide,
  To lay us down, for Freedom's sake, our brothers' bones beside;
  Or from foul treason's savage grasp to wrench the murderous blade,
  And in the face of foreign foes its fragments to parade.
  Six hundred thousand loyal men and true have gone before:
  We are coming, Father Abraham, three hundred thousand more!






All the great songs of the civil war, with one exception, were written
during the first year of the conflict. This exception is "Marching
through Georgia." It was written to commemorate one of the most
remarkable campaigns of the war. Now that the war has been over for
nearly thirty years, and the old soldier has no military duty more
serious than fighting his battles o'er again, "Marching through
Georgia" has become the song dearest to his heart. At the annual
encampments of the Grand Army of the Republic, and at numerous
meetings of the members of the Grand Army posts, the writer has heard
this sung more frequently than any other. The words were composed by
Mr. Henry C. Work, author of many well-known songs. Among the other
best known of his patriotic lyrics are "Grafted into the Army" and
"Kingdom Come." Mr. Work was born in Middletown, Conn., October 1,
1832. When he was very young his father removed to Illinois. He was an
inventor as well as a song writer, and among his successful inventions
are a knitting machine, a walking doll, and a rotary engine. He died
in Hartford, June 8, 1884.

  Bring me the good old bugle, boys! we'll sing another song--
  Sing it with that spirit that will start the world along--
  Sing it as we used to sing it, fifty thousand strong,
      While we were marching through Georgia.


    "Hurrah, hurrah! we bring the Jubilee!
    Hurrah, hurrah! the flag that makes you free!"
    So we sang the chorus from Atlanta to the sea,
        While we were marching through Georgia.

  How the darkies shouted when they heard the joyful sound!
  How the turkeys gobbled which our commissary found!
  How the sweet potatoes even started from the ground!
      While we were marching through Georgia.

  Yes, and there were Union men who wept with joyful tears,
  When they saw the honored flag they hadn't seen for years;
  Hardly could they be restrained from breaking out in cheers,
      While we were marching through Georgia.

  "Sherman's dashing Yankee boys will never reach the coast!"
  So the saucy rebels said, and 'twas a handsome boast;
  Had they not forgotten, alas! to reckon with the host,
      While we were marching through Georgia?

  So we made a thoroughfare for Freedom and her train,
  Sixty miles in latitude--three hundred to the main;
  Treason fled before us, for resistance was in vain,
      While we were marching through Georgia.







The tune "Dixie" was composed in 1859, by Mr. Dan D. Emmett, for
Bryant's Minstrels, then performing in New York City. It hit the taste
of the New York play-going public, and was adopted at once by various
bands of wandering minstrels, who sang it in all parts of the Union.
In 1860 it was first sung in New Orleans. In that city the tune was
harmonized, set to new words, and, without the authority of the
composer, was published. As from Boston "John Brown's Body" spread
through the North, so from New Orleans "Dixie" spread through the
South; and as Northern poets strove to find fitting words for the one,
so Southern poets wrote fiery lines to fill the measures of the other.
The only version possessing any literary merit is the one given in
this collection. It was written by Gen. Albert Pike, a native of
Massachusetts. In early life Mr. Pike moved to Little Rock, Ark.,
editing a paper and studying law in that city. He served in the
Mexican war with distinction, and on the breaking out of the Rebellion
enlisted on the Confederate side a force of Cherokee Indians, whom he
led at the battle of Pea Ridge. It is said that President Lincoln
requested a band in Washington to play "Dixie" in 1865, a short time
after the surrender of Appomattox, remarking "that, as we had captured
the rebel army, we had captured also the rebel tune."


  Southrons, hear your country call you!
  Up, lest worse than death befall you!
  To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!
  Lo! all the beacon-fires are lighted--
  Let hearts be now united.
    To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!
      Advance the flag of Dixie!
          Hurrah! hurrah!
  For Dixie's land we take our stand,
      And live or die for Dixie!
          To arms! To arms!
      And conquer peace for Dixie!
          To arms! To arms!
      And conquer peace for Dixie!

  Hear the Northern thunders mutter!
  Northern flags in South winds flutter.
  Send them back your fierce defiance;
  Stamp upon the accursed alliance.

  Fear no danger! Shun no labor!
  Lift up rifle, pike, and sabre.
  Shoulder pressing close to shoulder,
  Let the odds make each heart bolder.

  How the South's great heart rejoices
  At your cannons' ringing voices!
  For faith betrayed, and pledges broken,
  Wrongs inflicted, insults spoken.

  Strong as lions, swift as eagles,
  Back to their kennels hunt these beagles!
  Cut the unequal bonds asunder;
  Let them hence each other plunder!

  Swear upon your country's altar
  Never to submit or falter,
  Till the spoilers are defeated,
  Till the Lord's work is completed.

  Halt not till our Federation
  Secures among earth's powers its station.
  Then at peace, and crowned with glory,
  Hear your children tell the story.

  If the loved ones weep in sadness,
  Victory soon shall bring them gladness,
  Exultant pride soon banish sorrow,
  Smiles chase tears away to-morrow.


"My Maryland" is regarded by some as the greatest song inspired by the
civil war, and if we consider these songs as poems it is the best. Its
burning lines, written early in 1861, helped to fire the Southern
heart. Its author, Mr. James Ryder Randall, is a native of Baltimore.
He was professor of English literature in Poydras College in
Louisiana, a short distance from New Orleans, and there in April,
1861, he read the news of the attack on the Massachusetts troops as
they passed through Baltimore. Naturally he was greatly excited on
reading this account, and it inspired the song, which was written
within twenty-four hours of the time he read of the assault. "My
Maryland" is one of a number of songs written by Mr. Randall, but none
of the others attained popularity. His "John Pelham," commonly called
"The Dead Cannonneer," is a much finer poem. After the war he became
editor of the _Constitutionalist_, published in Augusta, Ga., in which
city he still resides.

  The despot's heel is on thy shore,
  His torch is at thy temple door,
  Avenge the patriotic gore
  That flecked the streets of Baltimore,
  And be the battle-queen of yore,
            Maryland, my Maryland!

  Hark to an exiled son's appeal,
  My Mother State, to thee I kneel,
  For life and death, for woe and weal,
  Thy peerless chivalry reveal,
  And gird thy beauteous limbs with steel,
            Maryland, my Maryland!

  Thou wilt not cower in the dust,
  Thy beaming sword shall never rust,
  Remember Carroll's sacred trust,
  Remember Howard's warlike thrust,
  And all thy slumberers with the just,
            Maryland, my Maryland!

  Come! 'tis the red dawn of the day,
  Come with thy panoplied array,
  With Ringgold's spirit for the fray,
  With Watson's blood at Monterey,
  With fearless Lowe and dashing May,
            Maryland, my Maryland!

  Dear Mother, burst the tyrant's chain,
  Virginia should not call in vain,
            Maryland!                        {132}
  She meets her sisters on the plain,--
  "_Sic semper!_" 'tis the proud refrain
  That baffles minions back amain,
  Arise in majesty again,
            Maryland, my Maryland!

  Come! for thy shield is bright and strong,
  Come! for thy dalliance does thee wrong,
  Come to thine own heroic throng
  Stalking with Liberty along,
  And chant thy dauntless slogan-song,
            Maryland, my Maryland!

  I see the blush upon thy cheek,
  For thou wast ever bravely meek,
  But lo! there surges forth a shriek,
  From hill to hill, from creek to creek,
  Potomac calls to Chesapeake,
            Maryland, my Maryland!

  Thou wilt not yield the vandal toll,
  Thou wilt not crook to his control,
  Better the fire upon thee roll,
  Better the shot, the blade, the bowl,
  Than crucifixion of the soul,
            Maryland, my Maryland!

  I hear the distant thunder-hum,
  The Old Line's bugle, fife, and drum,
  She is not dead, nor deaf, nor dumb;
  Huzza! she spurns the Northern scum--
  She breathes! She burns! She'll come! She'll come!
            Maryland, my Maryland!


First published in the Atlanta _Confederacy_. The author is unknown.

  Rebels! 'tis a holy name!
    The name our fathers bore
  When battling in the cause of Right,
  Against the tyrant in his might,
    In the dark days of yore.

  Rebels! 'tis our family name!
    Our father, Washington,
  Was the arch-rebel in the fight,
  And gave the name to us--a right
    Of father unto son.

  Rebels! 'tis our given name!
    Our mother, Liberty,
  Received the title with her fame,
  In days of grief, of fear, and shame,
    When at her breast were we.

  Rebels! 'tis our sealed name!
    A baptism of blood!
  The war--ay, and the din of strife--
  The fearful contest, life for life--
    The mingled crimson flood.

  Rebels! 'tis a patriot's name!
    In struggles it was given;
  We bore it then when tyrants raved,
  And through their curses 'twas engraved
    On the doomsday-book of heaven.

  Rebels! 'tis our fighting name!
    For peace rules o'er the land
  Until they speak of craven woe,
  Until our rights receive a blow
    From foe's or brother's hand.

  Rebels! 'tis our dying name!
    For although life is dear,
  Yet, freemen born and freemen bred,
  We'd rather live as freemen dead,
    Than live in slavish fear.

  Then call us rebels, if you will--
    We glory in the name;
  For bending under unjust laws,
  And swearing faith to an unjust cause,
    We count a greater shame.


This Southern war song, which was first published in the Rockingham,
Va., _Register_ in 1861, became quite popular with the boys in gray.
It is published here because of its peculiarities rather than on
account of its literary merit.

  Whoop! the Doodles have broken loose,
  Roaring round like the very deuce!
  Lice of Egypt, a hungry pack--
  After 'em, boys, and drive 'em back.

  Bull-dog, terrier, cur, and fice,
  Back to the beggarly land of ice;
  Worry 'em, bite 'em, scratch and tear
  Everybody and everywhere.

  Old Kentucky is caved from under,
  Tennessee is split asunder,
  Alabama awaits attack,
  And Georgia bristles up her back.

  Old John Brown is dead and gone!
  Still his spirit is marching on--
  Lantern-jawed, and legs, my boys,
  Long as an ape's from Illinois!

  Want a weapon? Gather a brick,
  Club or cudgel, or stone or stick;
  Anything with a blade or butt,
  Anything that can cleave or cut;

  Anything heavy, or hard, or keen--
  Any sort of slaying machine!
  Anything with a willing mind
  And the steady arm of a man behind.

  Want a weapon? Why, capture one!
  Every Doodle has got a gun,
  Belt, and bayonet, bright and new;
  Kill a Doodle, and capture two!

  Shoulder to shoulder, son and sire!
  All, call all! to the feast of fire!
  Mother and maiden, and child and slave,
  A common triumph or a single grave.


The raising of the black flag means death without quarter. It means
that prisoners taken should be slaughtered at once. It is contrary to
the spirit of modern warfare. General Sherman, in his celebrated
letter to the Mayor of Atlanta, says, "War is cruelty, and you cannot
refine it." War arouses the fiercest, most tiger-like passions of
mankind. Were it not so, the poet who wrote "The Mountain of the
Lovers" could never have written "The Black Flag." Paul Hamilton Hayne
was born in Charleston, S. C., in 1830. He abandoned the practice of
law for literary pursuits. He contributed to the _Southern Literary
Messenger_, and for a while edited the Charleston _Literary Gazette_.
He entered the Southern army at the outbreak of the civil war, and
served until obliged to resign by failing health. His house and all
his personal property were destroyed at the bombardment of Charleston.
He wrote extensively both in poetry and prose.

  Like the roar of the wintry surges on a wild, tempestuous strand,
  The voice of the maddened millions comes up from an outraged land;
  For the cup of our woe runs over, and the day of our grace is past,
  And Mercy has fled to the angels, and Hatred is king at last!


      Then up with the sable banner!
        Let it thrill to the War God's breath,
      For we march to the watchword--Vengeance!
        And we follow the captain--Death!

  In the gloom of the gory breaches, on the ramparts wrapped in flame,
  'Mid the ruined homesteads, blackened by a hundred deeds of shame;
  Wheresoever the vandals rally, and the bands of the alien meet,
  We will crush the heads of the hydra with the stamp of our armed

  They have taught us a fearful lesson! 'tis burned on our hearts in
  And the souls of a host of heroes leap with a fierce desire;
  And we swear by all that is sacred, and we swear by all that is
  That the crafty and cruel dastards shall ravage our homes no more.

  We will roll the billows or battle back, back on the braggart foe,
  Till his leaguered and stricken cities shall quake with a coward's
  They shall compass the awful meaning of the conflict their lust
  When the Northland rings with wailing, and the grand old cause hath


This doleful and pathetic song of affection was very popular among the
Confederate soldiers. It started at the start, and never stopped till
the last musket was stacked and the last camp-fire cold. It was,
without doubt, the song nearest the Confederate soldier's heart. It
was the "Annie Laurie" of the Confederate trenches.

  "Each heart recalled a different name,
   But all _sang_ 'Annie Laurie.'"

       *       *       *       *       *

  The years creep slowly by, Lorena,
    The snow is on the grass again;
  The sun's low down the sky, Lorena,
    And frost gleams where the flowers have been.
  But the _heart_ throbs on as warmly now
    As when the summer days were nigh.
  Oh! the sun can never dip so low
    Adown _affection's_ cloudless sky.

  One hundred months have passed, Lorena,
    Since last I held that hand in mine;
  I felt that pulse beat fast, Lorena,
    But mine beat faster still than thine.
  One hundred months! 'Twas flowery May,
    When up the mountain slope we climbed,
  To watch the dying of the day,
    And hear the merry church bells chime.

  We loved each other then, Lorena,
    More than we ever dared to tell;
  And what we might have been, Lorena,
    Had but our loving prospered well--
  But then, 'tis past, the years have flown;
    I'll not call up their shadowy forms;
  I'll say to them, "Lost years, sleep on--
    Sleep on, nor heed life's pelting storms."

  It matters little now, Lorena,
    The past is the eternal past;
  Our heads will soon lie low, Lorena,
    Life's tide is ebbing out so fast.
  But there's a future, oh! thank God--
    Of life this is so small a part,
  'Tis dust to dust beneath the sod;
    But _there_, up _there_, 'tis _heart_ to _heart_.



Mr. F. G. de Fontaine, a celebrated Southern war correspondent, writes
that the most popular songs with the soldiers of the Confederate
armies were negro melodies, such as "Old Folks at Home" and "My Old
Kentucky Home." This is our reason for publishing the pacific and
kindly words of the most celebrated negro melody, among songs that
breathe threatening and slaughter. It is not difficult to understand
why such songs were popular with men raised in the South. They would
bring forcibly to mind the distant home, and the dear associations of
early life on the old plantations. "Old Folks at Home" was written by
Stephen Collins Foster. He wrote between two and three hundred popular
songs--more than any other American. Among the most familiar of his
compositions are "Old Uncle Ned," "Massa's in the Cold, Cold Ground,"
"Old Dog Tray," and "My Old Kentucky Home." Mr. Foster was finely
educated, was proficient in French and German, was an amateur painter
of ability, and a talented musician. It is said that he received
fifteen thousand dollars for "Old Folks at Home."




  Way down upon de Swanee ribber,
    Far, far away,
  Dere's wha my heart is turning ebber,
    Dere's wha de old folks stay.
  All up and down de whole creation
    Sadly I roam,
  Still longing for de old plantation,
    And for de old folks at home.

{135}         CHORUS:

      All de world am sad and dreary,
        Ebrywhere I roam;
      Oh, darkies, how my heart grows weary,
        Far from de old folks at home!

  All round de little farm I wandered
    When I was young;
  Den many happy days I squandered,
    Many de songs I sung.
  When I was playing wid my brudder,
    Happy was I;
  Oh, take me to my kind old mudder!
    Dere let me live and die.

  One little hut among de bushes,
    One dat I love,
  Still sadly to my mem'ry rushes,
    No matter where I rove.
  When will I see de bees a-humming
    All round de comb?
  When will I hear de banjo tumming,
    Down in my good old home?


      All de world am sad and dreary,
        Ebrywhere I roam;
      Oh, darkies, how my heart grows weary,
        Far from de old folks at home!






The most popular war songs of the South were "Dixie" and "The Bonnie
Blue Flag." Like "Dixie," the "Bonnie Blue Flag" began its popular
career in New Orleans. The words were written by an Irish comedian,
Mr. Harry McCarthy, and the song was first sung by his sister, Miss
Marion McCarthy, at the Variety Theatre in New Orleans in 1861. The
tune is an old and popular Irish melody, "The Irish Jaunting Car." It
is said that General Butler, when he was commander of the National
forces in New Orleans in 1862, made it very profitable by fining every
man, woman, or child, who sang, whistled, or played this tune on any
instrument, twenty-five dollars. It has also been said that he
arrested the publisher, destroyed the stock of sheet music, and fined
him five hundred dollars.

  We are a band of brothers, and native to the soil,
  Fighting for the property we gained by honest toil;
  And when our rights were threatened, the cry rose near and far:
  Hurrah for the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a single star!
        Hurrah! hurrah! for the Bonnie Blue Flag
        That bears a single star!

  As long as the Union was faithful to her trust,
  Like friends and like brothers, kind were we and just;
  But now when Northern treachery attempts our rights to mar,
  We hoist on high the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a single star.

  First, gallant South Carolina nobly made the stand;
  Then came Alabama, who took her by the hand;
  Next, quickly Mississippi, Georgia, and Florida--
  All raised the flag, the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a single star.

  Ye men of valor, gather round the banner of the right;
  Texas and fair Louisiana join us in the fight.
  Davis, our loved President, and Stephens, statesmen are;
  Now rally round the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a single star.

  And here's to brave Virginia! The Old Dominion State
  With the young Confederacy at length has linked her fate.
  Impelled by her example, now other States prepare
  To hoist on high the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a single star.

  Then here's to our Confederacy! Strong we are and brave;
  Like patriots of old we'll fight, our heritage to save;
  And rather than submit to shame, to die we would prefer,
  So cheer for the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a single star.

  Then cheer, boys, cheer, raise the joyous shout,
  For Arkansas and North Carolina now have both gone out;
  And let another rousing cheer for Tennessee be given,
  The single star of the Bonnie Blue Flag has grown to be eleven.
        Hurrah! hurrah! for the Bonnie Blue Flag
        That bears a single star!



John Brown was hanged in December, 1859, and a little more than a year
after this time the celebrated marching-tune, "John Brown's Body,"
came into being. It is a singular fact that the composer of the
stirring and popular air of this song is unknown. Possibly it had no
composer, but, like Topsy, "it was not born, but just growed." This
seems to be the most reasonable theory of its origin. The words of the
song, as given in this collection, with the exception of the first
stanza, were written by Charles S. Hall, of Charlestown, Mass. "John
Brown's Body" was the most popular war song among the Northern
soldiers on the march and around the campfire. In fact, it became the
marching song of the armies of the Nation. It was equally popular in
the cities, villages, and homes of the North. The _Pall Mall Gazette_,
of October 14, 1865, said: "The street boys of London have decided in
favor of 'John Brown's Body' against 'My Maryland' and 'The Bonnie
Blue Flag.' The somewhat lugubrious refrain has excited their
admiration to a wonderful degree."

  John Brown's body lies a-mouldering in the grave;
  John Brown's body lies a-mouldering in the grave;
  John Brown's body lies a-mouldering in the grave;
            His soul is marching on.

  Glory, halle--hallelujah! Glory, halle--hallelujah!
            Glory, halle--hallelujah!
            His soul is marching on!

  He's gone to be a soldier in the army of the Lord! (_thrice_.)
            His soul is marching on!

  John Brown's knapsack is strapped upon his back! (_thrice_.)
            His soul is marching on!

  His pet lambs will meet him on the way; (_thrice_.)
            As they go marching on!

  They will hang Jeff Davis to a sour apple tree! (_thrice_.)
            As they march along!

  Now, three rousing cheers for the Union! (_thrice_.)
            As we are marching on!

  Glory; halle--hallelujah! Glory, halle--hallelujah!
            Glory, halle--hallelujah!
            Hip, hip, hip, hip, hurrah!


Another army song that became almost as popular in England as in this
country is "When Johnny Comes Marching Home." It was written and
composed by Mr. Patrick S. Gilmore, leader of the celebrated Gilmore's
Band. The words do not amount to much, but the tune is of that
rollicking order which is very catching. Without doubt the author
built up the words of this song to suit the air, on the same principle
that in Georgia they build a chimney first and erect the house against
it. This rattling war song has kept its hold on the ears of the people
to the present time. Mr. Gilmore afterward composed an ambitious
national hymn which has never attained the popularity of his war song.

  When Johnny comes marching home again,
            Hurrah! hurrah!
  We'll give him a hearty welcome then,
            Hurrah! hurrah!
  The men will cheer, the hays will shout,
  The ladies they will all turn out,
    And we'll all feel gay,
  When Johnny comes marching home.

      The men will cheer, the boys will shout,
      The ladies they will all turn out,
        And we'll all feel gay,
      When Johnny comes marching home.

  The old church-bell will peal with joy,
            Hurrah! hurrah!
  To welcome home our darling boy,
            Hurrah! hurrah!               {137}
  The village lads and lasses say,
  With roses they will strew the way;
    And we'll all feel gay,
  When Johnny comes marching home.

  Get ready for the jubilee,
            Hurrah! hurrah!
  We'll give the hero three times three,
            Hurrah! hurrah!
  The laurel wreath is ready now
  To place upon his loyal brow;
    And we'll all feel gay,
  When Johnny comes marching home.

  Let love and friendship on that day,
            Hurrah! hurrah!
  Their choicest treasures then display,
            Hurrah! hurrah!
  And let each one perform some part,
  To fill with joy the warrior's heart;
    And we'll all feel gay,
  When Johnny comes marching home.

      The men will cheer, the boys will shout,
      The ladies they will all turn out,
        And we'll all feel gay,
      When Johnny comes marching home.



  Our Jimmy has gone to live in a tent,
    They have grafted him into the army;
  He finally puckered up courage and went,
    When they grafted him into the army.
  I told them the child was too young--alas!
  At the captain's forequarters they said he would pass--
  They'd train him up well in the infantry class--
    So they grafted him into the army.


      O Jimmy, farewell! Your brothers fell
        Way down in Alabarmy;
      I thought they would spare a lone widder's heir,
        But they grafted him into the army.

  Drest up in his unicorn--dear little chap!
    They have grafted him into the army;
  It seems but a day since he sot on my lap,
    But they have grafted him into the army.
  And these are the trousies he used to wear--
  Them very same buttons--the patch and the tear--
  But Uncle Sam gave him a bran new pair
    When they grafted him into the army.

  Now in my provisions I see him revealed--
    They have grafted him into the army;
  A picket beside the contented field,
    They have grafted him into the army.
  He looks kinder sickish--begins to cry--
  A big volunteer standing right in his eye!
  Oh, what if the duckie should up and die,
    Now they've grafted him into the army!





George F. Root was born in Sheffield, Mass., August 30, 1820, and he
was the founder of the music-publishing firm of Root & Cady. His
celebrated "Battle Cry of Freedom" was first sung by the Hutchinson
family at a mass meeting in New York City. It is said that during the
terrible fight in the Wilderness, on May 6, 1864, a brigade of the
Ninth Corps, having broken the enemy's line by an assault, became
exposed to a flank attack and was driven back in disorder with heavy
loss. They retreated but a few hundred yards, however, re-formed, and
again confronted the enemy. Just then some gallant fellows in the
ranks of the Forty-fifth Pennsylvania began to sing:

  "We'll rally round the flag, boys, rally once again,
     Shouting the battle cry of Freedom."

The refrain was caught up instantly by the entire regiment and by the
Thirty-sixth Massachusetts, next in line. There the grim ranks stood
at bay in the deadly conflict. The air was filled with the smoke and
crackle of burning underbrush, the pitiful cries of the wounded, the
rattle of musketry, and shouts of men; but above all, over the
exultant yells of the enemy, rose the inspiring chorus:

  "The Union forever, hurrah! boys, hurrah!
   Down with the traitor, up with the star."

This song was often ordered to be sung as the men marched into action.
More than once its strains arose on the battlefield. With the humor
which never deserts the American, even amid the hardships of camp life
and the dangers of battle, the gentle lines of "Mary Had a Little
Lamb" were fitted to the tune of the "Battle Cry of Freedom," and many
a regiment shortened a weary march, or went gayly into action,

  "Mary had a little lamb,
     Its fleece was white as snow,
   Shouting the battle cry of Freedom.
   And everywhere that Mary went,
     The lamb was sure to go,
   Shouting the battle cry of Freedom."

       *       *       *       *       *

  Yes, we'll rally round the flag, boys, we'll rally once again,
      Shouting the battle cry of Freedom;
  We will rally from the hillside, we'll gather from the plain,
      Shouting the battle cry of Freedom.

          The Union forever, hurrah! boys, hurrah!
          Down with the traitor, up with the star;
          While we rally round the flag, boys, rally once again,
          Shouting the battle cry of Freedom.

  We are springing to the call of our brothers gone before,
      Shouting the battle cry of Freedom;
  And we'll fill the vacant ranks with a million freemen more,
      Shouting the battle cry of Freedom.

  We will welcome to our numbers the loyal true and brave,
      Shouting the battle cry of Freedom;
  And although they may be poor, not a man shall be a slave,
      Shouting the battle cry of Freedom.

  So we're springing to the call from the East and from the West,
      Shouting the battle cry of Freedom;
  And we'll hurl the rebel crew from the land we love the best,
      Shouting the battle cry of Freedom.

          The Union forever, hurrah! boys, hurrah!
          Down with the traitor, up with the star;
          While we rally round the flag, boys, rally once again,
          Shouting the battle cry of Freedom.



The author of "Tenting on the Old Camp-Ground" is Walter Kittridge,
who was born in the town of Merrimac, N. H., October 8, 1832. He was a
public singer and a composer, as well as a writer of popular songs and
ballads. In the first year of the civil war he published a small
original "Union Song-Book." In 1862 he was drafted, and while
preparing to go to the front he wrote in a few minutes both words and
music of "Tenting on the Old Camp-Ground." Like many other good things
in literature, this song was at first refused publication. But when it
was published, its sale reached hundreds of thousands of copies.

  We're tenting to-night on the old camp-ground,
    Give us a song to cheer
  Our weary hearts, a song of home
    And friends we love so dear.


      Many are the hearts that are weary to-night,
        Wishing for the war to cease;
      Many are the hearts looking for the right,
        To see the dawn of peace;
      Tenting to-night, tenting to-night,
        Tenting on the old camp-ground.

  We've been tenting to-night on the old camp-ground,
    Thinking of the days gone by;
  Of the loved ones at home, that gave us the hand,
    And the tear that said, Good-by!

  We are tired of war on the old camp-ground;
    Many are dead and gone
  Of the brave and true who've left their homes;
    Others have been wounded long.

  We've been fighting to-day on the old camp-ground;
    Many are lying near;
  Some are dead, and some are dying,
    Many are in tears!









Within twenty-four hours after the defeat of McDowell's army at Bull
Run (July 21, 1861), the Administration called to Washington the only
man that had thus far accomplished much or made any considerable
reputation in the field. This was Gen. George B. McClellan. He had
been graduated at West Point in 1846, standing second in his class,
and had gone at once into the Mexican war, in which he acquitted
himself with distinction. After that war the young captain was
employed in engineering work till 1855, when the Government sent him
to Europe to study the movements of the Crimean war. He wrote a report
of his observations, which was published under the title of "The
Armies of Europe," and in 1857 resigned his commission and became
chief engineer of the Illinois Central Railroad, and afterward
president of the St. Louis and Cincinnati. He had done good work in
Northwestern Virginia in the early summer, and now, at the age of
thirty-five, was commissioned major-general in the regular army of the
United States, and given command of all the troops about Washington.


For the work immediately in hand, this was probably the best selection
that could have been made. Washington needed to be fortified, and he
was a master of engineering; both the army that had just been
defeated, and the new recruits that were pouring in, needed
organization, and he proved preëminent as an organizer. Three months
after he took command of fifty thousand uniformed men at the capital,
he had an army of more than one hundred thousand, well organized in
regiments, brigades, and divisions, with the proper proportion of
artillery, with quartermaster and commissary departments going like
clockwork, and the whole fairly drilled and disciplined. Everybody
looked on with admiration, and the public impatience that had
precipitated the disastrous "On to Richmond" movement was now replaced
by a marvellous patience. The summer and autumn months went by, and no
movement was made; but McClellan, in taking command, had promised that
the war should be "short, sharp, and decisive," and the people
thought, if they only allowed him time enough to make thorough
preparation, his great army would at length swoop down upon the
Confederate capital and finish everything at one blow. At length,
however, they began to grow weary of the daily telegram, "All quiet
along the Potomac," and the monotonously repeated information that
"General McClellan rode out to Fairfax Court-House and back this
morning." The Confederacy was daily growing stronger; the Potomac was
being closed to navigation by the erection of hostile batteries on its
southern bank; the enemy's flag was flying within sight from the
capital, and the question of foreign interference was becoming
exceedingly grave. On the 1st of November General Scott, then
seventy-five years of age, retired, and McClellan succeeded him as
General-in-Chief of all the armies.

Soon after this his plans appear, from subsequent revelations, to have
undergone important modification. He had undoubtedly intended to
attack by moving straight out toward Manassas, where the army that had
won the battle of Bull Run was still encamped, and was still commanded
by Gen. Joseph E. Johnston. He now began to think of moving against
Richmond by some more easterly route, discussing among others the
extreme easterly one that he finally took. But, whatever were his
thoughts and purposes, his army appeared to be taking root. The people
began to murmur, Congress began to question, and the President began
to argue and urge. All this did not signify; nothing could move
McClellan. He wanted to wait till he could leave {141} an enormous
garrison in the defences of Washington, place a strong corps of
observation along the Potomac, and then move out with a column of one
hundred and fifty thousand men against an army that he believed to be
as numerous as that, though in truth it was then less than half as
large. It is now known that, from the beginning to the end of his
career in that war, General McClellan constantly overestimated the
force opposed to him. On the 10th of January, 1862, the President held
a long consultation with Generals McDowell and Franklin and some
members of his cabinet. General McClellan was then confined to his bed
by an illness of a month's duration. At this consultation Mr. Lincoln
said, according to General McDowell's memorandum: "If something was
not soon done, the bottom would be out of the whole affair; and if
General McClellan did not want to use the army, he would like to
borrow it, provided he could see how it could be made to do


HEADQUARTERS. Captain LeClerc. Comte de Paris. Captain Mohain. Duc de
Chartres. Prince de Joinville.]

Immediately upon McClellan's recovery, the President called him to a
similar council, and asked him to disclose his plan for {143} a
campaign, which he declined to do. Finally the President asked him if
he had fixed upon any particular time for setting out; and when he
said he had, Mr. Lincoln questioned him no further. A few days later,
in a letter to the President, he set forth his plan, which was to move
his army down the Potomac on transports, land it at or near Fort
Monroe, march up the peninsula between York and James rivers, and
attack the defences of Richmond on the north and east sides. The
President at first disapproved of this plan, largely for the reason
that it would require so much time in preparation; but when he found
that the highest officers in the army favored it, and considered the
probability that any general was likely to fail if sent to execute a
plan he did not originate or believe in, he finally gave it his
sanction, and once more set himself to the difficult task of inducing
McClellan to move at all. And yet the President himself still further
retarded the opening of the campaign by delaying the order to collect
the means of transportation. Meanwhile General Johnston quietly
removed his stores, and on the 8th of March evacuated Centreville and
Manassas, and placed his army before Richmond. This reconciled the
President to McClellan's plan of campaign, which he had never liked.

The order for the transportation of McClellan's army was issued on the
27th of February, and four hundred vessels were required; for there
were actually transported one hundred and twenty-one thousand men,
fourteen thousand animals, forty-four batteries, and all the necessary
ambulances and baggage-wagons, pontoons and telegraph material. Just
before the embarkation, the army was divided into four corps, the
commands of which were given to Generals McDowell, Edwin V. Sumner,
Samuel P. Heintzelman, and Erasmus D. Keyes. High authorities say this
was one of the causes of the failure of the campaign; for the army
should have been divided into corps long before, when McClellan could
have chosen his own lieutenants instead of having them chosen by the
President. General Hooker said it was impossible for him to succeed
with such corps commanders. But his near approach to success rather
discredits this criticism.

Another element of the highest importance had also entered into the
problem with which the nation was struggling. This was the appointment
(January 21, 1862) of Edwin M. Stanton to succeed Simon Cameron as
Secretary of War. Mr. Stanton, then forty-seven years of age, was a
lawyer by profession, a man of great intellect, unfailing nerve, and
tremendous energy. He had certain traits that often made him
personally disagreeable to his subordinates; but it was impossible to
doubt his thorough loyalty, and his determination to find or make a
way to bring the war to a successful close as speedily as possible,
without the slightest regard to the individual interests of himself or
anybody else. He was probably the ablest war minister that ever
lived--with the possible exception of Carnot, the man to whom Napoleon
said, "I have known you too late." It is indicative of Mr. Lincoln's
sagacity and freedom from prejudice, that his first meeting with Mr.
Stanton was when he went to Cincinnati, some years before the war, to
assist in trying an important case. He found Mr. Stanton in charge of
the case as senior counsel, and Stanton was so unendurably
disagreeable to him that he threw up the engagement and went home to
Springfield. Yet he afterward gave that man the most important place
in his cabinet, and found him its strongest member.

One division of the army embarked on the 17th of March, and the others
followed in quick succession. General McClellan reached Fort Monroe on
the 2d of April, by which time fifty-eight thousand men and one
hundred guns had arrived, and immediately moved with this force on
Yorktown, the place made famous by the surrender of Cornwallis eighty
years before. The Confederates had fortified this point, and thrown a
line of earthworks across the narrow peninsula to the deep water of
Warwick River. These works were held by General Magruder with thirteen
thousand effective men. General Johnston, who was in command of all
the troops around Richmond, says he had no expectation of doing more
than delaying McClellan at Yorktown till he could strengthen the
defences of the capital and collect more men; and that he thought his
adversary would use his transports to pass his army around that place
by water, after destroying the batteries, and land at some point

McClellan, supposing that Johnston's entire army was in the defences
of Yorktown, sat down before the place and constructed siege works,
approaching the enemy by regular parallels. As the remaining divisions
of his army arrived at Fort Monroe, they were added to his besieging
force; but McDowell's entire corps and Blenker's division had been
detached at the last moment and retained at Washington, from fears on
the part of the Administration that the capital was not sufficiently
guarded, though McClellan had already left seventy thousand men there
or within call. The fears were increased by the threatening movements
of Stonewall Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley, where, however, he was
defeated by Gen. James Shields near Winchester, March 23.

General Johnston had to contend with precisely the same difficulty
that McClellan complained of. He wanted to bring together before
Richmond all the troops that were then at Norfolk and in the Carolinas
and Georgia, and with the large army thus formed suddenly attack
McClellan after he should have marched seventy-five miles up the
peninsula from his base at Fort Monroe. But in a council of war
General Lee and the Secretary of War opposed this plan, and Mr. Davis
adopted their views and rejected it. Johnston therefore undertook the
campaign with the army that he had, which he says consisted of fifty
thousand effective men.

McClellan spent nearly a month before Yorktown, and when he was ready
to open fire with his siege guns and drive out the enemy, May 3d, he
found they had quietly departed, leaving "Quaker guns" (wooden logs on
wheels) in the embrasures. There was no delay in pursuit, and the
National advance came up with the Confederate rear guard near
Williamsburg, about twelve miles from Yorktown. Here, May 4th, brisk
skirmishing began, which gradually became heavier, till reinforcements
were hurried up on the one side, and sent back on the other, and the
skirmish was developed into a battle. The place had been well
fortified months before. The action on the morning of the 5th was
opened by the divisions of Generals Hooker and William F. Smith. They
attacked the strongest of the earthworks, pushed forward the
batteries, and silenced it. Hooker was then heavily attacked by
infantry, with a constant menace on his left wing. He sustained his
position alone nearly all day, though losing one thousand seven
hundred men and five guns, and was at length relieved by the arrival
of Gen. Philip Kearny's division. The delay was due mainly to the deep
mud caused by a heavy rain the night before. Later in the day,
Hancock's brigade made a wide circuit on the right, discovered some
unoccupied redoubts, and took possession of them. When the
Confederates advanced their left to the attack, they ran upon these
redoubts, which their commanding officers knew nothing about, and were
repelled with heavy loss. Hancock's one thousand six hundred men
suddenly burst over the crest of the works, and bore down {144} upon
the enemy with fixed bayonets, routing and scattering them. McClellan
brought up reinforcements, and in the night the Confederates in front
of him moved off to join their main army, leaving in Williamsburg four
hundred of their wounded, because they had no means of carrying them
away, but taking with them about that number of prisoners. The
National loss had been about two thousand two hundred, the Confederate
about one thousand eight hundred. This battle was fought within five
miles of the historic site of Jamestown, where the first permanent
English settlement in the United States had been made in 1607, and the
first cargo of slaves landed in 1619.

Gen. William B. Franklin's division of McDowell's corps had now been
sent to McClellan, and immediately after the battle of Williamsburg he
moved it on transports to White House, on the Pamunkey, where it
established a base of supplies. As soon as possible, also, the main
body of the army was marched from Williamsburg to White House,
reaching that place on the 16th of May. From this point he moved
westward toward Richmond, expecting to be joined by a column of forty
thousand men under McDowell, which was to move from Fredericksburg. On
reaching the Chickahominy, McClellan threw his left wing across that
stream, and sweeping around with his right fought small battles at
Mechanicsville and Hanover Junction, by which he cleared the way for
McDowell to join him. But at this critical point of time Stonewall
Jackson suddenly made another raid down the Shenandoah Valley, and
McDowell was called back to go in pursuit of him.


Johnston resolved to strike the detached left wing of the National
army, which had crossed the Chickahominy, and advanced to a point
within half a dozen miles of Richmond, and his purpose was seconded by
a heavy rain on the night of May 30th, which swelled the stream and
swept away some of the bridges, thus hindering reinforcement from the
other wing. The attack, May 31st, fell first upon Gen. Silas Casey's
division of Keyes's corps, which occupied some half-finished works. It
was bravely made and bravely resisted, and the Confederate suffered
heavy losses before these works, where they had almost surprised the
men with the shovels in their hands. But after a time a Confederate
force made a detour and gained a position in the rear of the redoubts,
when of course they could no longer be held. Reinforcements were very
slow in coming up, and Keyes's men had a long, hard struggle to hold
their line at all. They could not have done so if a part of Johnston's
plan had not miscarried. He intended to bring in a heavy flanking
force between them and the river, but was delayed several hours in
getting it in motion. Meanwhile McClellan ordered Sumner to cross the
river and join in the battle. Sumner had anticipated such an order as
soon as he {145} heard the firing, and when the order came it found
him with his corps in line, drawn out from camp, and ready to cross
instantly. He was the oldest officer there (sixty-six), and the most
energetic. There was but one bridge that could be used, many of the
supports of this were gone, the approaches were under water, and it
was almost a wreck. But he unhesitatingly pushed on his column. The
frail structure was steadied by the weight of the men; and though it
swayed and undulated with their movement and the rush of water, they
all crossed in safety.


[Illustration: MAJOR-GENERAL E. W. GANTT, C. S. A.]

[Illustration: MAJOR-GENERAL R. E. RODES, C. S. A.]


Sumner was just in time to meet the flank attack, which was commanded
by Johnston in person. The successive charges of the Confederates were
all repelled, and at dusk a counter-charge cleared the ground in front
and drove off the last of them in confusion. In this fight General
Johnston received wounds that compelled him to retire from the field,
and laid him up for a long time. The battle--which is called both Fair
Oaks and Seven Pines--cost the National army over five thousand men,
and the Confederate nearly seven thousand. It was a more destructive
battle than any that, up to that time, the Eastern armies had fought.
A participant thus describes the after appearance of the field:
"Monday, June 2d, we visited the battlefield, and rode from place to
place on the scene of conflict. We have often wished that we could
efface from our memory the observations of that day. Details were
burying the dead in trenches or heaping the ground upon them where
they lay. The ground was saturated with gore; the intrenchments, the
slashing, the rifle-pits, the thicket, many of the tents, were filled
with dead. In the Fair Oaks farmhouse, the dead, the dying, and the
severely wounded lay together. Along the Williamsburg road, on each
side of it, was one long Confederate grave. An old barn, near where
the One Hundred and Fourth Pennsylvania volunteers first formed, was
filled with our dead and wounded; and farther to the right, near the
station, beside an old building, lay thirteen Michigan soldiers with
their blankets over them and their names pinned on their caps. Near
the railroad, by a {147} log house, the dead and wounded were packed
together. Both were motionless; but you could distinguish them by the
livid blackness of the dead. We could trace the path of our regiment,
from the wood-pile around by the intrenchments to its camp, by the
dead still unburied. Those that died immediately could not be touched,
but were covered with ground where they lay; the wounded, who crawled
or were carried to the barns, tents, and houses, and who died
subsequently, were buried in trenches. Our little tent was still
standing, though pierced by several bullets. Beside it lay two dead
men of the Ninety-eighth, whom we could not identify; for the sun,
rain, and wind had changed their countenances. On the bed lay a dead
Confederate. At the left of our camp, in the wood, where the
Eighty-first, Eighty-fifth, and Ninety-second New York volunteers and
Peck's brigade fought with Huger, the dead were promiscuously mixed
together, and lay in sickening and frightful proximity; strong and
weak, old and young, officer and private, horse and man--dead, or
wounded in the agonies of death, lay where they fell, and furnished,
excepting the swaths on the Williamsburg road, the darkest corner on
that day's panorama."



[Illustration: BRIGADIER-GENERAL CHAS. H. VAN WYCK. (On General
McClellan's Staff.)]


[Illustration: TABBS HOUSE, YORKTOWN.]


[Illustration: CONWAY LANDING.]

{149} [Illustration: BATTERY No. 1 IN FRONT OF YORKTOWN. (Five

Col. William Kreutzer, of the Ninety-eighth New York Regiment, which
went into that battle with three hundred and eighty-five men, and lost
eighty-five, gives some interesting particulars of the action: "The
whole of Company A went to work on the road near the Grapevine bridge.
Details were made for men to make abatis and work on the breastworks.
Company A left its rifles in {148} camp, and lost them. When it
rejoined the regiment, on the 1st of June, it appeared like a company
of pioneers, or sappers and miners, carrying axes, shovels, and
picks.... Soon after one o'clock our pickets begin to come in sight,
retiring through the woods and slashing before the enemy. The skirmish
line of the enemy pursued them. We could see both parties jumping over
the logs and making their way through the brush and bushes, and hear
at intervals the sharp report of their rifles. A little later a dense
mass of men, about two rods wide, headed by half a dozen horsemen, is
seen marching toward us on the Williamsburg road. They move in quick
time, carry their arms on their shoulders, have flags and banners, and
drummers to beat the step. Our three batteries open simultaneously
with all their power. Our regiment pours its volleys into the slashing
and into the column as fast as it can load and fire. The One Hundred
and Fourth Pennsylvania volunteers aims at the column and at the
skirmishers approaching its right front and flank. Unlike us, that
regiment has no slashing in its front. The cleared field allowed the
enemy to concentrate his fire upon it; too near the approaching column
of attack, it interfered with the range and efficiency of our
batteries behind. Its position was unfortunate. As the light troops
pressed upon it, Colonel Davis ordered it to charge them at the
double-quick. The regiment rushed forward with spirit, jumped over a
rail fence in its front, with a shout and yell; but it was met so
{150} resolutely and with such a galling fire by the foe, that it fell
back in disorder, and did not appear on the field as an organization
again during the day. Colonel Davis was wounded, and his 'Ringgold
Regiment' fought its first battle as we have seen.

"The One Hundred and Fourth falling back, cleared the field opposite
the advancing column, and gave the Ninety-eighth better opportunity to
fire upon it as it moved deliberately on. The charging mass staggers,
stops, resumes its march again, breaks in two, fills up its gaps; but
sure and steady, with its flags and banners, it moves like the tramp
of fate. Thinned, scattered, broken, it passes our right, and presses
for the batteries. As it advances and passes, we pour our volleys into
it with no uncertain aim, no random fire. The gaps we make, the swaths
we mow, can be seen in the column, for we are only ten or fifteen rods
away. The men behind press on those before. The head finally reaches
the redoubt. One of the mounted leaders ascends the parapet and is
shot with a pistol by an artillery officer. The whole column, from the
fort back, severed, broken, staggers, sinks into the earth. The
rifle-pits, breast-works, and the Ninety-eighth have cleared the road.

"To this time the Ninety-eighth has not lost a man by the enemy; but
our batteries behind have killed and wounded of it half a score. There
is a lull in the battle; the coast looks clear; the foe may not appear
again. We look at the main road--it is one gray swath of men. Down
along the railroad by Fair Oaks station, we hear but a few reports.
Smith has had farther to march along the Nine-mile road, and has not
struck our right flank yet; on our left, Palmer has not been attacked;
Huger is not on time. Casey's division has driven back those of
Longstreet and Hill.... Our batteries open. High over our heads,
around us, beside us, the lead is whistling, and the iron is whizzing,
hissing, whirling. Every moment has a new terror, every instant a new
horror. Our men are falling fast. We leave the dead and the dying, and
send the wounded to the rear. Palmer's regiments have all fallen back;
the enemy is on our left and rear. Colonel Durkee tries to move the
regiment by the left flank back to the rifle-pits; a part only receive
the order. The enemy is getting so near, our experience in battle is
so limited, our drill is so imperfect, that many of us will not,
cannot, stand upon the order of our going. Durkee passes the
rifle-pits with what follows him, and goes to our old camp. The writer
rallies a part of the regiment around the flag at the half-deserted
intrenchments. There we use, officers and men, the sharp-shooter's
practice against the enemy. We can mark the effect of our fire; no
rifle was discharged in vain. Many of the men could pick a squirrel
from the tallest trees of Wayne and Franklin, and they load and fire
with infinite merriment and good-nature."



[Illustration: MAJOR-GENERAL E. D. KEYES.]


For some time after the battle of Fair Oaks, heavy rains made any
movement almost impossible for either of the armies that confronted
each other near Richmond. Gen. Alexander S. Webb says: "The ground,
which consisted of alternate layers of reddish clay and quicksand, had
turned into a vast swamp, and the guns in battery sank into the earth
by their own weight." McClellan kept his men at work, intrenching and
strengthening his position, while he himself seems to have been
constantly occupied in writing despatches to the President and the
Secretary of War, alternately promising an almost immediate advance on
Richmond, and calling for reinforcements. He wanted McDowell's corps
of forty thousand men, and the authorities wanted to give it to him if
it could be sent by way of Fredericksburg, and united with his right
wing in such a way as not to uncover Washington. But in one despatch
he declared he would rather not have it at all unless it could be
placed absolutely under his command. In several respects his position
was very bad. The Chickahominy was bordered by great swamps, whose
malarial influences robbed him of almost as many men as fell by the
bullets of the enemy. His base was at White House, on the Pamunkey;
and the line thence over which his supplies must come, instead of
being at right angles with the line of his front and covered by it,
was almost a prolongation of it. It was {151} impossible to maintain
permanent bridges over the Chickahominy, and a rain of two or three
days was liable at any time to swell the stream so as to sweep away
every means of crossing. He could threaten Richmond only by placing a
heavy force on the right bank of the river; he could render his own
communications secure only by keeping a large force on the left bank.
When it first occurred to him that his true base was on the James, or
how long he contemplated its removal thither, nobody knows; but he
received a startling lesson on the 12th of June, which seems to have
determined his apparently indeterminate mind.

When Gen. Joseph E. Johnston was wounded at Fair Oaks, the command
devolved upon Gen. G. W. Smith; but two days later Gen. Robert E. Lee
was given the command of the Confederate forces in Virginia, which he
retained continuously till his surrender brought the war to a close.
The plan that he had opposed, and caused Mr. Davis to reject, when
Johnston was in command--of bringing large bodies of troops from North
Carolina, Georgia, and the Shenandoah Valley, to form a massive army
and fall upon McClellan--he now adopted and proceeded at once to carry
out. Johnston enumerates reinforcements that were given him
aggregating fifty-three thousand men, and says he had then the largest
Confederate army that ever fought. The total number is given
officially at eighty thousand seven hundred and sixty-two. This
probably means the number of men actually carrying muskets, and
excludes all officers, teamsters, musicians, and mechanics; for the
Confederate returns were generally made in that way. McClellan's total
effective force, including every man that drew pay the last week in
June, was ninety-two thousand five hundred. His constant expectation
of reinforcements by way of Fredericksburg was largely, if not wholly,
what kept him in his false position, and it is fair to presume that
but for this he would have swung across the peninsula to the new base
on the James much sooner and under more favorable circumstances.

[Illustration: BATTERY No. 4 IN FRONT OF YORKTOWN. (Three Views.)]

Wishing to know the extent of McClellan's earthworks on the right
wing, Lee, on June 12th, sent a body of twelve hundred cavalry, with
two light guns, to reconnoitre. It was commanded by the dashing Gen.
J. E. B. Stuart, commonly called "Jeb Stuart," who used to dress in
gay costume, with yellow sash and black plume, wore gold spurs, and
rode a white horse. He was only ordered to go as far as Hanover Old
Church; but at that point he had a fight with a small body of cavalry,
and as he supposed dispositions would be made to cut him off, instead
of returning he kept on and made the entire circuit of McClellan's
army, rebuilding a bridge to cross the lower Chickahominy, and reached
Richmond in safety. The actual amount of damage that he had done was
small; but the raid alarmed the National commander for the safety of
his communications, and was probably what determined him to change his
base. In this expedition Stuart lost but one man. In the encounter at
Hanover Old Church a charge was led by the Confederate Captain Latane
and received by a detachment commanded by Captain Royall. The two
captains {152} fought hand to hand, and Latane was shot dead, while
Royall received severe sabre wounds.

[Illustration: QUAKER GUNS.]

[Illustration: MAJOR-GENERAL E. V. SUMNER.]



Stonewall Jackson, if not Lee's ablest lieutenant, was certainly his
swiftest, and the one that threw the most uncertainty into the game by
his rapid movements and unexpected appearances. At a later stage of
the war his erratic strategy, if persisted in, would probably have
brought his famous corps of "foot cavalry" (as they were called from
their quick marches) to sudden destruction. An opponent like Sheridan,
who knew how to be swift, brilliant, and audacious, without
transgressing the fundamental rules of warfare, would have been likely
to finish him at a blow. But Jackson did not live to meet such an
opponent. At this time the bugbears that haunt imaginations not inured
to war were still in force, and the massive thimble-rigging by which
he was made to appear before Richmond, and presto! sweeping down the
Shenandoah Valley, served to paralyze large forces that might have
been added to McClellan's army.

The topography of Virginia is favorable to an army menacing
Washington, and unfavorable to one menacing Richmond. The fertile
valley of the Shenandoah was inviting ground for soldiers. A
Confederate force advancing down the valley came at every step nearer
to the National capital, while a National force advancing up the
valley was carried at every step farther away from the Confederate
capital. The Confederates made much of this advantage, and the
authorities at Washington were in constant fear of the capture of that


Soon after Stuart's raid, Lee began to make his dispositions to attack
McClellan and drive him from the peninsula. He wrote to Jackson:
"Unless McClellan can be driven out of his intrenchments, he will move
by positions, under cover of his {154} heavy guns, within shelling
distance of Richmond." To convey the impression that Jackson was to
move in force down the valley, Lee drew two brigades from his own
army, placed them on the cars in Richmond in plain sight of some
prisoners that were about to be exchanged, and sent them off to
Jackson. Of course the released prisoners carried home the news. But
Jackson returned with these reinforcements and Ewell's division of his
corps, joined Lee, and on the 25th of June concerted a plan for
immediate attack. Secretary Stanton appears to have been the only one
that saw through the game; for he telegraphed to McClellan that while
neither Banks nor McDowell nor Frémont could ascertain anything about
Jackson's movements, his own belief was that he was going to Richmond.
Yet the impression was not strong enough in the mind of the Secretary
of War (or else the Secretary could not have his own way) to induce
the appropriate counter-move of immediately sending McDowell's whole
corps to McClellan. McCall's division of that corps, however, had been
forwarded, and on the 18th took a strong position on McClellan's
extreme right, near Mechanicsville.

[Illustration: BATTLE OF FAIR OAKS.]


Admiral Phelps, of the navy, then a lieutenant commanding the gunboat
_Corwin_, and serving in the waters about the peninsula, writes:
"About ten o'clock one evening my emissary notified me that a certain
man, who had caused much trouble, would leave Centreville about
midnight, in a buggy, with letters for 'Queen Caroline' and Richmond,
in violation of orders. Soon after daylight the following morning both
man and mail were in my possession. Only one letter in the package was
of any value (the others were sent to their destination), and that
one--written by an adjutant-general in the Confederate army, informing
his father that, 'on a certain night,' mentioning the date, 'one
hundred thousand men from Beauregard's army at Shiloh would be in
Richmond, after detaching thirty thousand to reinforce Stonewall
Jackson, who was doing for the enemy in the mountains'--was placed in
General McClellan's hands about five P.M. the following day by one of
his aids, to whose care I had intrusted it."

On the 25th McClellan had pushed back the Confederates on his left,
taken a new position there, and advanced his outposts to a point only
four miles from Richmond. But he began his movements too late, for the
Confederates were already in motion. Leaving about thirty thousand men
in the immediate defences of Richmond, Lee crossed the Chickahominy
with about thirty-five thousand under Generals A. P. Hill, D. H. Hill,
and Longstreet, intending to join Jackson's {155} twenty-five
thousand, and with this enormous force make a sudden attack on the
twenty thousand National troops that were on the north side of the
river, commanded by Gen. Fitz-John Porter, destroy them before help
could reach them, and seize McClellan's communications with his base.
Jackson, who was to have appeared on the field at sunrise of the 26th,
was for once behind time. The other Confederate commanders became
nervous and impatient; for if the movement were known to McClellan, he
could, with a little boldness and some fighting, have captured
Richmond that day. Indeed, the inhabitants of the city expected
nothing else, and it is said that the archives of the Confederate
Government were all packed and ready for instant removal. At midday
Gen. A. P. Hill's corps drove the small National force out of
Mechanicsville, and advanced to McCall's strong position on Beaver Dam
Creek. This they dared not attack in front; but they made desperate
attempts on both flanks, and the result was an afternoon of fruitless
fighting, in which they were literally mown down by the well-served
artillery, and lost upward of three thousand men, while McCall
maintained his position at every point and lost fewer than three

[Illustration: ST. PETER'S CHURCH, NEAR WHITE HOUSE. (George
Washington was married in this church.)]



That night, in pursuance of the plan for a change of base, the heavy
guns that had thwarted Lee in his first attack were carried across the
Chickahominy, together with a large part of the baggage train. On the
morning of the 27th Porter fell back somewhat to a position on a range
of low hills, where he could keep the enemy in check till the stores
were removed to the other side of the river, which was now his only
object. McClellan sent him five thousand more men in the course of the
day, being afraid to send any greater number, because he believed that
the bulk of the Confederate army was in the defences on his left, and
a show of activity there still further deceived them.

On the morning of the 27th Porter had eighteen thousand infantry, two
thousand five hundred artillerymen, and a small force of cavalry, with
which to meet the attack of at least fifty-five thousand. Longstreet
and the Hills had followed the retreat closely, but, warned by the
experience of the day before, were not willing to attack until Jackson
should join them. The fighting began about two o'clock in the
afternoon, when A. P. Hill assaulted the centre of Porter's position,
and in a two hours' struggle was driven back with heavy loss. Two
attacks on the right met with no better success. The effect on the new
troops that had been hurried up from the coast was complete
demoralization. The Confederate General Whiting says in his report:
"Men were leaving the field in every direction, and in great disorder.
Two regiments, one from South Carolina and one from Louisiana, were
actually marching back from the fire. Men were skulking from the front
in a shameful manner."

But at length Jackson's men arrived, and a determined effort was made
on all parts of the line at once. Even then it seemed for a time as if
victory might rest with the little army on the hills; and in all
probability it would, if they had had such intrenchments as the men
afterward learned how to construct very quickly; but their breastworks
were only such as could be made from hastily felled trees, a few
rails, and heaps of knap-sacks. The Confederates had the advantage of
thick woods in which to form and advance. As they emerged and came on
in heavy masses, with the Confederate yell, they were answered by the
Union cheer. Volley responded to volley, guns were taken and re-taken,
{156} and cannoneers that remained after the infantry supports retired
were shot down; but it was not till sunset that the National line was
fairly disrupted, at the left centre, when the whole gave way and
slowly retired. Two regiments were captured, and twenty-two guns fell
into the hands of the enemy. In the night Porter crossed the river
with his remaining force, and destroyed the bridges. This was called
by the Confederates the battle of the Chickahominy; but it takes its
better known name from two mills (Gaines's) near the scene of action.
The total National loss was six thousand men. The Confederate loss was
never properly ascertained, which renders it probable that it was much
larger. Some of the wounded lay on the field four days uncared for.
This action is sometimes called the first battle of Cold Harbor. The
armies under Grant and Lee fought on the same ground two years later.


Lee and Jackson believed that they had been fighting the whole of
McClellan's forces, and another mistake that they made secured the
safety of that army. They took it for granted that the National
commander, driven from his base at White House, would retreat down the
peninsula, taking the same route by which he had come. Consequently
they remained with their large force on the left bank of the
Chickahominy, and even advanced some distance down the stream, which
gave McClellan twenty-four hours of precious time to get through the
swamp roads with his immense trains. He had five thousand loaded
wagons, and two thousand five hundred head of cattle. Gen. Silas
Casey's division, in charge of the stores at White House, loaded all
they could upon transports, and destroyed the remainder. Trains of
cars filled with supplies were put under full speed and run off the
tracks into the river. Hundreds of tons of ammunition, and millions of
rations, were burned or otherwise destroyed.


Rear Admiral Thomas S. Phelps, United States Navy, gives a vivid
description of the scene when the transports and other vessels fled
down the river in panic: "Harassing the enemy and protecting the
worthy fully occupied my time until the afternoon of June 27, 1862,
when Quartermaster-General Ingalls came down the river on a boat
provided especially for his use, and after directing an assistant to
abandon the Point, immediately continued on his way to Yorktown. Soon
afterward the Pamunkey, as far as the eye could reach, appeared
crowded with a confused mass of side-wheel boats, propellers, brigs,
and schooners, and as they dashed past my vessel there appeared to be
as complete a stampede as it has ever been my misfortune to witness.
In answer to the hail, 'What is the trouble?' I was greeted with, 'The
rebels are coming! The whole country is full of them; go to the
mast-head and you will see thousands of them!' Eliciting nothing
further of a satisfactory nature, and seeing nothing but empty fields,
I directed a count to be made of the fleeing vessels, and by evening's
dusk six hundred {158} and eighty were reported as having passed, not
counting several schooners left behind, which on touching the bottom
had been abandoned, their crews escaping to more fortunate
companions." On the following day the gunboats returned to West Point,
towing the derelict schooners which they had floated, and also the
half of a regiment which in the hurry of the previous day had been
forgotten and left behind. At the last moment Casey embarked his men,
and with what he had been able to save steamed down the Pamunkey and
York Rivers, and up the James to the new base. At the close of a long
despatch to the Secretary of War, on the 28th, General McClellan said:
"If I save this army now, I tell you plainly that I owe no thanks to
you or to any other persons in Washington. You have done your best to
sacrifice this army."

When Gen. John B. Magruder, who had been left in the defences of
Richmond, found that the National army was retreating to the James, he
moved out to attack it, and struck the rear guard at Allen's farm. His
men made three assaults, and were three times repelled. Magruder
complained that he lost a victory here because Lee had left him but
thirteen thousand men.

The National troops fell back to Savage's Station, where later in the
day Magruder attacked them again. He had a rifled cannon mounted on a
platform car, with which he expected to do great execution. But there
was an ample force to oppose him, and it stood unmoved by his
successive charges. About sunset he advanced his whole line with a
desperate rush in the face of a continuous fire of cannon and
musketry, but it was of no avail, and half an hour later his own line
was broken by a counter charge that closed the battle. He admitted a
loss of four thousand men. Sumner and Franklin, at a cost of three
thousand, had thus maintained the approach to the single road through
White Oak Swamp, by which they were to follow the body of the army
that had already passed. But it was found necessary to burn another
immense quantity of food and clothing that could not be removed, and
to leave behind two thousand five hundred sick and wounded men.

[Illustration: LIEUTENANT-GENERAL A. P. HILL, C. S. A.]


[Illustration: LIEUTENANT-GENERAL D. H. HILL, C. S. A.]

[Illustration: LIEUTENANT-GENERAL J. E. B. STUART, C. S. A.]

Jackson, after spending a day in building bridges, crossed the
Chickahominy and attempted to follow McClellan's rear guard through
White Oak Swamp; but when he got to the other side he found a
necessary bridge destroyed and National batteries commanding its site,
so that it was impossible for his forces to emerge from the swamp. But
meanwhile Hill and Longstreet had crossed the river farther up stream,
marched around the swamp, and struck the retreating army near Charles
City Cross-Roads, on the 30th. There was terrific fighting all the
afternoon. There were brave charges and bloody repulses, masses of men
moving up steadily in the face of batteries that tore great gaps
through them at every discharge, crossed bayonets, and clubbed
muskets. Only on that part of the line held by McCall did the
Confederates, with all their daring, succeed in breaking through.
McCall, in his report, describes the successful charge: "A most
determined charge was made on Randol's battery by a full brigade,
advancing in wedge shape, without order, but in perfect recklessness.
Somewhat similar charges had been previously made on Cooper's and
Kern's batteries by single regiments, without success, they having
recoiled before the storm of canister hurled against them. A like
result was anticipated by Randol's battery, and the Fourth Regiment
was requested not to fire until the battery had done with them. Its
gallant commander did not doubt his ability to repel the attack, and
his guns did indeed mow down the advancing host; but still the gaps
were closed, and the enemy came in upon a run to the very muzzles of
his guns. It was a perfect torrent of men, and they were in his
battery before the guns could be removed." General McCall himself,
endeavoring to rally his men at this point, was captured and carried
off to Richmond. In Kearney's front a similar charge was made three
times; but every time a steady musketry fire drove back the enemy that
had closed up its gaps made by the artillery. Darkness put an end to
the fighting, and that night McClellan's army continued its retreat to
Malvern Hill, where {159} his advance guard had taken up the strongest
position he had yet occupied. The battle just described has several
names--Glendale, Frazier's Farm, Charles City Cross-Roads, Newmarket,
Nelson's Farm. McClellan here lost ten guns. The losses in men cannot
be known exactly, as the reports group the losses of several days
together. Longstreet and the two Hills reported a loss of twelve
thousand four hundred and fifty-eight in the fighting from the 27th to
the 30th.






The last stand made by McClellan for delivering battle was at Malvern
Hill. This is a plateau near Turkey Bend of James River, having an
elevation of sixty feet, and an extent of about a mile and a half in
one direction and a mile in the other. It is so bordered by streams
and swamps as to leave no practicable approach except by the narrow
northwest face. Here McClellan had his entire army in position when
his pursuers came up. It was disposed in the form of a semicircle,
with the right wing "refused" (swung back) and prolonged to Haxall's
Landing, on the James. His position was peculiarly favorable for the
use of artillery, and his whole front bristled with it. There were no
intrenchments to speak of, but the natural inequalities of the ground
afforded considerable shelter for the men and guns. It was as complete
a trap as could be set for an army, and Lee walked straight into it.
Under ordinary circumstances, both commander and men would properly
hesitate to attack an enemy so posted. But to the confidence with
which the Southerners began the war was now added the peculiar elation
produced by a week's pursuit of a retreating army; and apparently it
did not occur to them that they were all mortal.

In the first contact seven thousand Confederates, with six guns,
struck the left of the position. They boldly advanced their artillery
to within eight hundred yards of the cliff; but before they could get
at work, a fire of twenty or thirty guns was concentrated upon their
battery, which knocked it to pieces in a few minutes; and at the same
time some huge shells from a gunboat fell among a small detachment of
cavalry, threw it into confusion, and turned it back upon the
infantry, breaking up the whole attack.

Lee was not ready to assault with his whole army till the afternoon of
July 1st. An artillery duel was kept up during the forenoon, but the
Confederate commander did not succeed in destroying the National
batteries, as he hoped to: on the contrary, he saw his own disabled,
one after another. The signal for the infantry attack was to be the
usual yell, raised by Armistead's division on the right and taken up
by the successive divisions along the line. But the Confederate line
was separated by thick woods; there was long waiting for the signal;
some of the generals thought they heard it, and some advanced without
hearing it. The consequence was a series of separate attacks, some of
them repeated three or four times, and every time a concentrated fire
on the attacking column and a bloody repulse. The men themselves began
to see the hopelessness of it, while their officers were still urging
them to renewed efforts. "Come on, come on, my men," said one
Confederate colonel, with the grim humor of a soldier; "do you want to
live forever?" There were some brief counter-charges, in one of which
the colors were taken from a North Carolina regiment; but in general
the National troops only maintained their ground, and though fighting
was kept up till nine o'clock in the evening, the line--as {160}
General Webb, then assistant chief of artillery, tells us--was never
for one instant broken or the guns in danger. This battle cost Lee
five thousand men, and at its close he gave up the pursuit. The
National loss was less than one-third as great. That night McClellan
withdrew his army to Harrison's Landing, on the James, where he had
fixed his base of supplies and where the gunboats could protect his
position. This retreat is known as the Seven Days, and the losses are
figured up at fifteen thousand two hundred and forty-nine on the
National side, and somewhat over nineteen thousand on the Confederate.

[Illustration: GRAPEVINE BRIDGE.]

From that time there was an angry controversy as to the military
abilities of General McClellan and the responsibility for the failure
of the campaign, and partisanship was never more violent than over
this question. The General had won the highest personal regard of his
soldiers, and they were mostly unwilling or unable to look at the
matter in the cold light of the criticism that simply asks, What was
required? and What was accomplished? The truth appears to be, that
General McClellan, like most men, possessed some virtues and lacked
others. He organized a great army, and to the end of its days it felt
the benefit of the discipline with which he endowed it. But with that
army in hand he did not secure the purpose of its creation. He was an
accomplished engineer, and a gigantic adjutant, but hardly the general
to be sent against an army that could move and a commander that could
think. There can be no doubt that the Administration was over-anxious
about the movements in the Shenandoah, and should have sent McDowell's
corps to McClellan at once; but neither can there be much doubt that
if Little Mac, the Young Napoleon, as he was fondly called, had been a
general of the highest order, he would have destroyed Lee's army and
captured the Confederate capital with the ample forces that he had. It
was not General McClellan alone that was in a false position when his
army was astride the Chickahominy, but the Administration and the
people of the loyal States as well. Their grand strategy was radically
vicious, for they stood astride of the great central question of the
war itself.


To a student of the art of war, this disastrous campaign and the many
criticisms that it evoked are exceedingly interesting. Nearly every
military problem was in some way presented in it. Two or three
quotations from the best sources will indicate its importance and the
complicated questions that it involved. General McClellan himself says
in his report: "It may be asked why, after the concentration of our
forces on the right bank of the Chickahominy, with a large part of the
enemy drawn away from Richmond, upon the opposite side, I did not,
instead of striking for James River fifteen miles below that place, at
once march directly on Richmond. It will be remembered that at this
juncture the enemy was on our rear, and there was every reason {162}
to believe that he would sever our communications with our supply
depot at the White House. We had on hand but a limited amount of
rations, and if we had advanced directly on Richmond it would have
required considerable time to carry the strong works around that
place, during which our men would have been destitute of food; and
even if Richmond had fallen before our arms, the enemy could still
have occupied our supply communications between that place and the
gunboats, and turned their disaster into victory. If, on the other
hand, the enemy had concentrated all his forces at Richmond during the
progress of our attack, and we had been defeated, we must in all
probability have lost our trains before reaching the flotilla. The
battles which continued day after day in the progress of our flank
movement to the James, with the exception of the one at Gaines's Mill,
were successes to our arms, and the closing engagement at Malvern Hill
was the most decisive of all."

One of General McClellan's severest critics, Gen. John G. Barnard, in
an elaborate review of the campaign, wrote: "It was a blunder
unparalleled to expose Porter's corps to fight a battle by itself on
the 27th against overwhelming forces of the enemy. With perfect ease
that corps might have been brought over on the night of the 26th, and,
if nothing more brilliant could have been thought of, the movement to
the James might have been in full tide of execution on the 27th. A
more propitious moment could not have been chosen, for, besides
Jackson's own forces, A. P. Hill's and Longstreet's corps were on the
left bank of the Chickahominy on the night of the 26th. Such a
movement need not have been discovered to the enemy till far enough
advanced to insure success. At any rate, he could have done no better
in preventing it than he actually did afterward.... He has spent weeks
in building bridges which establish a close connection between the
wings of his army, and then fights a great battle with a smaller
fraction of his army than when he had a single available bridge, and
that remote. He, with great labor, constructs 'defensive works' in
order that he 'may bring the greatest possible numbers into action,'
and again exhibits his ability to utilize his means by keeping
sixty-five thousand men idle behind them, while thirty-five thousand,
unaided by 'defensive works' of any kind, fight the bulk of his
adversary's forces, and are, of course, overwhelmed by 'superior
numbers.' We believe there were few commanding officers of the Army of
the Potomac who did not expect to be led offensively against the enemy
on the 26th or 27th. Had such a movement been made, it is not
improbable that, if energetically led, we should have gone into
Richmond. Jackson and A. P. Hill could not have got back in time to
succor Magruder's command, if measures of most obvious propriety had
been taken to prevent them. We might have beaten or driven Magruder's
twenty-five thousand men and entered Richmond, and then, reinforced by
the great moral acquisition of strength this success would have given,
have fought Lee and reëstablished our communications. At any rate,
something of this kind was worth trying.... Our army is now
concentrated on the James; but we have another day's fighting before
us, and this day we may expect the concentrated attack of Lee's whole
army. We know not at what hour it will come--possibly late, for it
requires time to find out our new position and to bring together the
attacking columns--yet we know not when it will come. Where, this day,
is the commanding general? Off, with Captain Rodgers, to select 'the
final positions of the army and its depots.' He does not tell us that
it was on a gunboat, and that this day not even 'signals' would keep
him in communication with his army, for his journey was ten or fifteen
miles down the river; and he was thus absent till late in the
afternoon. This is the first time we ever had reason to believe that
the highest and first duty of a general, on the day of battle, was
separating himself from his army to reconnoitre a place of retreat!...
If the enemy had two hundred thousand men, it was to be seriously
apprehended that, leaving fifty thousand behind the 'strong works' of
Richmond, he would march at once with one hundred and fifty thousand
men on Washington. Why should he not? General McClellan and his
eulogists have held up as highly meritorious strategy the leaving of
Washington defended by less than fifty thousand men, with the enemy in
its front estimated to be one hundred and twenty thousand to one
hundred and fifty thousand strong, and moving off to take an eccentric
line of operations against Richmond; and now the reverse case is
presented, but with an important difference. The enemy at Manassas, on
learning General McClellan's movement, could either fly to the defence
of Richmond or attack Washington. General McClellan says that this
latter course was not to be feared. McClellan on the James, on
learning that Lee with one hundred and fifty thousand men is marching
on Washington, can only attack Richmond; by no possibility can he fly
to the defence of Washington. Besides, he is inferior in numbers
(according to his own estimate) even to Lee's marching army. Here, in
a nutshell, is the demonstration of the folly of the grand strategic
movement on Richmond, as given by its own projector."

An English military critic thus analyzes the great campaign: "As
regards the value of the plan, in a merely military point of view,
three faults may be enumerated: It was too rash; it violated the
principles of war; its application was too timid. (1) An army of one
hundred and thirty thousand volunteers should not be moved about as if
it were a single division. (2) The choice of Fort Monroe as a
secondary basis involved the necessity of leaving Washington, or the
fixed basis, to be threatened, morally at least, by the enemy. The
communications also between these two places were open to an attack
from the _Merrimac_, an iron-plated ship, which lay at Norfolk, on the
south side of Hampton Roads. The first movement to Fort Monroe was the
stride of a giant. The second, in the direction of Richmond, was that
of a dwarf. When the army arrived in front of the lines at Yorktown,
it numbered, probably, one hundred thousand men, and here there was no
timid President to interfere with the command; nevertheless, McClellan
suffered himself to be stopped in the middle of an offensive campaign
by Magruder and twelve thousand men.... The hour of his arrival in
front of the lines should have been the hour of his attack upon them.
Two overwhelming masses, to which life and energy had been
communicated, should have been hurled on separate points. Magruder not
only defeated but destroyed! The _morale_ of the Federal army raised!
The result of the campaign, although it might not have been decisive,
would have been more honorable."

On the Confederate side the criticism was almost as severe, because,
while claiming the result of the six days as a Confederate success, it
was also claimed that the campaign should have resulted in the
complete destruction of McClellan's army.

The use of balloons for reconnoitring the enemy's position formed a
picturesque feature of this campaign. T. S. C. Lowe, J. H. Stiner, and
other aëronauts were at the National headquarters with their balloons,
and several officers of high rank accompanied them in numerous
ascents. But it seems to have been demonstrated that the balloon was
of little practical value.





While McClellan was before Richmond, it was determined to consolidate
in one command the corps of Banks, Frémont, and McDowell, which were
moving about in an independent and ineffectual way between Washington
and the Shenandoah Valley. Gen. John Pope, who had won considerable
reputation by his capture of Island No. 10, was called from the West
and given command (June 26, 1862) of the new organization, which was
called the Army of Virginia. Frémont declined to serve under a
commander who had once been his subordinate, and consequently his
corps was given to General Sigel. General Pope, on taking command of
this force, which numbered all told about thirty-eight thousand men,
and also of the troops in the fortifications around Washington, had
the bad taste to issue a general order that had three capital defects:
it boasted of his own prowess at the West, it underrated his enemy,
and it contained a bit of sarcasm pointed at General McClellan, the
commander of the army with which his own was to coöperate. Pope says,
in his report, that he wrote a cordial letter to McClellan, asking for
his views as to the best plan of campaign, and offering to render him
any needed assistance; and that he received but a cold and indefinite
reply. It is likely enough that a courteous man and careful soldier
like McClellan would be in no mood to fall in with the suggestions of
a commander that entered upon his work with a gratuitous piece of
bombast, and seemed to have no conception of the serious nature of the
task. When it became evident that these two commanders could not act
sufficiently in harmony, the President called Gen. Henry W. Halleck
from the West to be General-in-Chief, with headquarters at Washington,
and command them both. Halleck had perhaps more military learning than
any other man in the country, and his patriotic intentions were
unquestionably good; but in practical warfare he proved to be little
more than a great obstructor. He had been the bane of the Western
armies, preventing them from following up their victories, and had
almost driven Grant out of the service; and from the day he took
command at Washington (July 12) the troubles in the East became more
complicated than ever.

McClellan held a strong position at Harrison's Landing, where, if he
accomplished nothing else, he was a standing menace to Richmond, so
that Lee dared not withdraw his army from its defence. He wanted to be
heavily reinforced, cross the James, and strike at Richmond's southern
communications, just as Grant actually did two years later; and he was
promised reinforcements from the troops of Burnside and Hunter, on the
coast of North and South Carolina. Lee's anxiety was to get McClellan
off from the peninsula, so that he could strike out toward Washington.
He first sent a detachment to bombard McClellan's camp from the
opposite side of the James; but McClellan crossed the river with a
sufficient force and easily swept it out of the way. Then Lee sent
Jackson to make a demonstration against Pope, holding the main body of
his army ready to follow as soon as some erratic and energetic
movements of Jackson had caused a sufficient alarm at Washington to
determine the withdrawal of McClellan. The unwitting Halleck was all
too swift to coöperate with his enemy, and had already determined upon
that withdrawal. Burnside's troops, coming up on transports, were not
even landed, but were forwarded up the Potomac and sent to Pope.
McClellan marched his army to Fort Monroe, and there embarked it by
divisions for the same destination.


Pope's intention was to push southward, strike Lee's western and
northwestern communications, and cut them off from the Shenandoah
Valley. He first ordered Banks (July 14) to push his whole cavalry
force to Gordonsville, and destroy the railroads and bridges in that
vicinity. But the cavalry commander, General Hatch, took with him
infantry, artillery, and a wagon train, and consequently did not move
at cavalry speed. Before he could get to Gordonsville, Jackson's
advance reached it, and his movement was frustrated. He was relieved
of his command, and it was given to Gen. John Buford, an able cavalry

As soon as Jackson came in contact with Pope's advance, he called upon
Lee for reinforcements, and promptly received them. On the 8th of
August he crossed the Rapidan, and moved toward Culpeper. Pope, who
had but recently taken the field in person, having remained in
Washington till July 29th, attempted to concentrate the corps of Banks
and Sigel at Culpeper. Banks arrived there promptly on the 8th; but
Sigel sent a note from Sperryville in the afternoon, asking by what
road he should march. "As there was but one road between those two
points," {164} says Pope, "and that a broad stone turnpike, I was at a
loss to understand how General Sigel could entertain any doubt as to
the road by which he should march." On the morning of the 9th Banks's
corps went out alone to meet the enemy at Cedar Mountain. Banks had
eight thousand men (Pope says he had supposed that corps numbered
fourteen thousand), and attacked an enemy twice as strong. He first
struck Jackson's right wing, and afterward furiously attacked the
left, rolled up the flank, opened a fire in the rear, and threw
Jackson's whole line into confusion. It was as if the two commanders
had changed characters, and Banks had suddenly assumed the part that,
according to the popular idea, Jackson was always supposed to play. If
Sigel had only known what road to take, that might have been the last
of Jackson. But Banks's force had become somewhat broken in its
advance through the woods, and at the same time the Confederates were
reinforced, so that Jackson was able to rally his men and check the
movement. Banks in turn was forced back a short distance, where he
took up a strong position.

Sigel's corps arrived in the evening, relieved Banks's corps, and made
immediate preparations for a renewal of the fight in the morning. The
dead were buried, the wounded carried forth, and through the night
trains were moving and everything being put in readiness, but at
daylight it was discovered that the enemy had fallen back two miles to
a new position. Partly because of the strong position held by each,
and partly because of the very hot weather, there was little further
disposition to renew the fight, and two days later Jackson fell still
further back to Gordonsville. In this action, which for the numbers
engaged was one of the fiercest and most rapid of the war, the
Confederates lost about thirteen hundred men and the National army
about eighteen hundred. "Besides which," says General Pope, "fully one
thousand men straggled back to Culpeper Court House and beyond, and
never entirely returned to their commands." On the other hand, the
cavalry under Buford and Bayard pursued the enemy and captured many
stragglers. The Confederate Gen. Charles S. Winder was struck by a
shell and killed while leading his division.


[Illustration: VIEW IN CULPEPER.]

Immediately after this action the cavalry resumed its former position
along the Rapidan from Raccoon Ford to the mountains. On the 14th of
August General Pope was reinforced by eight thousand men under General
Reno, whereupon he pushed his whole force forward toward the Rapidan,
and took up a position with his right on Robertson's River, his centre
on the slopes of Cedar Mountain and his left near Raccoon Ford. From
this point he sent out cavalry expeditions to destroy the enemy's
communications with Richmond, and one of these captured General
Stuart's adjutant, with a letter from Lee to General Stuart, dated
August 15th, which to a large extent revealed Lee's plans. The
incident that resulted in this important capture is thus related by
Stuart's biographer, Major H. B. McClellan: "Stuart reached
Verdiersville on the evening of the 17th, and hearing nothing from
Fitz Lee, sent his adjutant, Major Norman R. Fitz Hugh, to meet him
and ascertain his position. A body of the enemy's cavalry had,
however, started on a reconnoissance on the previous day, and in the
darkness of the night Major Fitz Hugh rode into this party and was
captured. On his person was found an autograph letter from the
commanding general to Stuart which disclosed to General Pope the
design of turning his left flank. The fact that Fitz Hugh did not
return aroused no apprehension, and Stuart and his staff imprudently
passed the night on the porch of an old house on the Plank Road. At
daybreak he was aroused by the noise of approaching horsemen, and
sending Mosby and Gibson, two of his aides, to ascertain who was
coming, he himself walked out to the front gate, bareheaded, to greet
Fitz Lee, as he supposed. The result did not justify his expectations.
In another instant pistol shots were heard, and Mosby and Gibson were
seen running back, pursued by a party of the enemy. Stuart, Von
Borcke, and Dabney had their horses inside of the inclosure of the
yard. Von Borcke gained the gate and the {165} road, and escaped
unhurt after a long and hard run. Stuart and Dabney were compelled to
leap the yard fence and take across the fields to the nearest woods.
They were pursued but a short distance. Returning to a post of
observation, Stuart saw the enemy depart in triumph with his hat and
cloak, which he had been compelled to leave on the porch where he had
slept. He bore this mortification with good nature. In a letter of
about that date he writes: 'I am greeted on all sides with
congratulations and "Where's your hat?" I intend to make the Yankees
pay for that hat.' And Pope did cancel the debt a few nights afterward
at Catlett's Station."

[Illustration: HENRY AND ROBINSON HOUSES, BULL RUN. (From photograph
taken in 1884.)]



[Illustration: JOHN LETCHER. Governor of Virginia.]

The captured despatch revealed to Pope the fact that Lee intended to
fall upon him with his entire army and crush him before he could be
reinforced from the Army of the Potomac. Pope says: "I held on to my
position, thus far to the front, for the purpose of affording all time
possible for the arrival of the Army of the Potomac at Acquia and
Alexandria, and to embarrass and delay the movements of the enemy as
far as practicable. On the 18th of August it became apparent to me
that this advanced position, with the small force under my command,
was no longer tenable in the face of the overwhelming forces of the
enemy. I determined, accordingly, to withdraw behind the Rappahannock
with all speed, and, as I had been instructed, to defend, as far as
practicable, the line of that river. I directed Major-General Reno to
send back his trains, on the morning of the 18th, by the way of
Stevensburg, to Kelly's or Burnett's Ford, and, as soon as the trains
had gotten several hours in advance, to follow them with his whole
corps, and take post behind the Rappahannock, {166} leaving all his
cavalry in the neighborhood of Raccoon Ford to cover this movement.
General Banks's corps, which had been ordered, on the 12th, to take
position at Culpeper Court House, I directed, with its trains
preceding it, to cross the Rappahannock at the point where the Orange
and Alexandria railroad crosses that river. General McDowell's train
was ordered to pursue the same route, while the train of General Sigel
was directed through Jefferson, to cross the Rappahannock at Warrenton
Sulphur Springs. So soon as these trains had been sufficiently
advanced, McDowell's corps was directed to take the route from
Culpeper to Rappahannock Ford, whilst General Sigel, who was on the
right and front, was instructed to follow the movements of his train
to Sulphur Springs. These movements were executed during the day and
night of the 18th, and the day of the 19th, by which time the whole
army, with its trains, had safely recrossed the Rappahannock and was
posted behind that stream, with its left at Kelly's Ford and its right
about three miles above Rappahannock Station." The Confederates
followed rapidly, and on the 20th confronted Pope at Kelly's Ford, but
with the river between. For two days they made strenuous efforts to
cross, but a powerful artillery fire, which was kept up continuously
for seven or eight miles along the river, made any crossing in force
impossible. Lee therefore sent Jackson to make a flank march westward
along that stream, cross it at Sulphur Springs, and come down upon
Pope's right. But when Jackson arrived at the crossing, he found a
heavy force occupying Sulphur Springs and ready to meet him. Meanwhile
Gen. James E. B. Stuart, with fifteen hundred cavalrymen, in the dark
and stormy night of August 22d, had ridden around to the rear of
Pope's position, to cut the railroad. He struck Pope's headquarters at
Catlett's Station, captured three hundred prisoners and all the
personal baggage and papers of the commander, and got back in safety.
These papers informed Lee of Pope's plans and dispositions.

Jackson, being thwarted at Sulphur Springs, moved still farther up the
south bank of the Rappahannock, crossed the headwaters, and turned
Pope's right. He passed through Thoroughfare Gap in the Bull Run
Mountains on the 26th, destroyed Bristoe Station on the Orange and
Alexandria railroad, and sent out Stuart to Manassas Junction, where
prisoners were taken and a large amount of commissary stores fell into
his hands.

Pope knew exactly the size of Jackson's force, and the direction it
had taken in its flank march; for Col. J. S. Clark, of Banks's staff,
had spent a day where he had a plain view of the enemy's moving
columns, and carefully counted the regiments and batteries. But from
this point the National commander, who had hitherto done reasonably
well, seemed suddenly to become bewildered.

He explains in his report that his force was too small to enable him
to extend his right any further without too greatly weakening his
line, and says he telegraphed the facts repeatedly to Washington,
saying that he could not extend further West without losing his
connections with Fredericksburg. He declares he was assured on the
21st, that if he could hold the line of the river two days longer he
should be heavily reinforced, but that this promise was not kept, the
only troops that were added to his army during the next four days
being seven thousand men under Generals Reynolds and Kearny.


Lee, whose grand strategy was correct, had here blundered seriously in
his manoeuvres, dividing his army so that the two parts were not
within supporting distance of each other, and the united enemy was
between. An ordinarily good general, standing in Pope's boots, would
naturally have fallen in force upon Jackson, and could have completely
destroyed or captured him. But Pope out-blundered Lee, and gave the
victory to the Confederates.

He began by sending forty thousand men under McDowell, on the 27th,
toward Thoroughfare Gap, to occupy the road by which Lee with
Longstreet's division was marching to join Jackson; and at the same
time he moved with the remainder of his army to strike Jackson at
Bristoe Station. This was a good beginning, but was immediately ruined
by his own lack of steadiness. The advance guard had an engagement at
that place {167} with Jackson's rear guard, while his main body
retired to Manassas Junction. Pope became elated at the prospect of a
great success, and ordered a retrograde movement by McDowell, telling
him to march eastward on the 28th, adding: "If you will march promptly
and rapidly at the earliest dawn upon Manassas Junction, we shall bag
the whole crowd." McDowell obeyed, the way was thus left open for
Jackson to move out to meet his friends, and Jackson promptly took
advantage of the opportunity and planted himself on the high land
around Groveton, near the battlefield of Bull Run. Here King's
division of McDowell's corps came suddenly in contact with the enemy,
and a sharp fight, with severe loss on either side, ensued. Among the
Confederate wounded was Gen. Richard S. Ewell, one of their best
commanders, who lost a leg. In the night, King's men fell back to
Manassas; and Ricketts's division, which McDowell had left to delay
Longstreet when he should attempt to pass through Thoroughfare Gap,
was also retired.

All apprehensions on the part of the lucky Jackson were now at an end.
His enemies had removed every obstruction, and he was in possession of
the Warrenton Turnpike, the road by which Longstreet was to join him.
The cut of an abandoned railroad formed a strong, ready-made
intrenchment, and along this he placed his troops, his right flank
being on the turnpike and his left at Sudley Mill.





General Pope says of his forces at this time: "From the 18th of August
until the morning of the 27th the troops under my command had been
continuously marching and fighting night and day, and during the whole
of that time there was scarcely an interval of an hour without the
roar of artillery. The men had had little sleep, were greatly worn
down with fatigue, had had little time to get proper food or to eat
it, had been engaged in constant battles and skirmishes, and had
performed services laborious, dangerous, and excessive beyond any
previous experience in this country. As was to be expected under such
circumstances, the numbers of the army under my command have been
greatly reduced by deaths, by wounds, by sickness, and by fatigue, so
that on the morning of the 27th of August I estimated my whole
effective force (and I {168} think the estimate was large) as follows:
Sigel's corps, nine thousand men; Banks's corps, five thousand men;
McDowell's corps, including Reynolds's division, fifteen thousand five
hundred men; Reno's corps, seven thousand men; the corps of
Heintzelman and Porter (the freshest by far in that army), about
eighteen thousand men--making in all fifty-four thousand five hundred
men. Our cavalry numbered on paper about four thousand men; but their
horses were completely broken down, and there were not five hundred
men, all told, capable of doing such service as should be expected
from cavalry. The corps of Heintzelman had reached Warrenton Junction,
but it was without wagons, without artillery, with only forty rounds
of ammunition to the man, and without even horses for the general and
field officers. The corps of Porter had also reached Warrenton
Junction with a very small supply of provisions, and but forty rounds
of ammunition for each man."

Longstreet reached the field in the forenoon of the 29th, and took
position at Jackson's right, on the other side of the turnpike,
covering also the Manassas Gap railroad. He was confronted by Fitz
John Porter's corps. McDowell says he ordered Porter to move out and
attack Longstreet; Porter says he ordered him simply to hold the
ground where he was. At three o'clock in the afternoon Pope ordered
Hooker to attack Jackson directly in front. Hooker, who was never
loath to fight where there was a prospect of success, remonstrated;
but Pope insisted, and the attack was made. Hooker's men charged with
the bayonet, had a terrific hand-to-hand fight in the cut, and
actually ruptured Jackson's seemingly impregnable line; but
reinforcements were brought up, and the assailants were at length
driven back. Kearny's division was sent to support Hooker, but too
late, and it also was repelled. An hour or two later, Pope, who did
not know that Longstreet had arrived on the field, sent orders to Fitz
John Porter to attack Jackson's right, supposing that was the right of
the whole Confederate line. There is a dispute as to the hour at which
this order reached Porter. But it was impossible for him to obey it,
since he could not move upon Jackson's flank without exposing his own
flank to Longstreet. About six o'clock, when he imagined Porter's
attack must have begun, Pope ordered another attack on the Confederate
left. It was gallantly made, and in the first rush was successful.
Jackson's extreme left was doubled up and broken by Kearny's men, who
seized the cut and held it for a time. At this point a Confederate
regiment that had exhausted its ammunition fought with stones. There
were plenty of fragments of rock at hand, and several men were killed
by them. Again the Confederates, undisturbed on their right, hurried
across reinforcements to their imperilled left; and Kearny's division,
too small to hold what it had gained, was driven back. This day's
action is properly called the battle of Groveton.




Pope's forces had been considerably cut up and scattered, but he got
them together that night, re-formed his lines, and prepared to renew
the attack the next day. Lee at the same time drew back his left
somewhat, advanced and strengthened his right, and prepared to take
the offensive. Each intended to attack the other's left flank.

When Pope moved out the next day (August 30th) to strike Lee's left,
and found it withdrawn, he imagined that the enemy was in retreat, and
immediately ordered McDowell to follow it up and "press the enemy
vigorously the whole day." Porter's corps--the advance of McDowell's
force--had no sooner begun this movement than it struck the foe in a
strong position, and was subjected to a heavy artillery fire. Then a
cloud of dust was seen to the south, and it was evident that Lee was
pushing a force around on the flank. McDowell sent Reynolds to meet
and check it. Porter then attempted to obey his orders. He advanced
against Jackson's right in charge after charge, but was met by a fire
that repelled him every time with bloody loss. Moreover, Longstreet
found an eminence that commanded a part of his line, promptly took
advantage of it by placing a battery there, and threw in an enfilading
fire. It was impossible for anything to withstand this, and Porter's
corps in a few minutes fell back defeated. The whole Confederate line
was {169} advanced, and an attempt was made, by still further
extending their right, to cut off retreat; but key-points were firmly
held by Warren's brigade and the brigades of Meade and Seymour, and
the army was withdrawn in order from the field whence it had retired
so precipitously a year before. After dark it crossed the stone bridge
over Bull Run, and encamped on the heights around Centreville.

The corps of Sumner and Franklin here joined Pope, and the whole army
fell back still further, taking a position around Fairfax Court House
and Germantown. Lee meanwhile ordered Jackson to make another of the
flank marches that he was so fond of, with a view of striking Pope's
right and perhaps interrupting his communication with Washington. It
was the evening of September 1st when he fell heavily upon Pope's
flank. He was stoutly resisted, and finally repelled by the commands
of Hooker and Reno, and a part of those of McDowell and Kearny.
General Stevens, of Reno's corps, was killed, and his men, having used
up their ammunition, fell back. General Kearny sent Birney's brigade
into the gap, and brought up a battery. He then rode forward to
reconnoitre, came suddenly upon a squad of Confederates, and in
attempting to ride away was shot dead. Kearny was one of the most
experienced and efficient soldiers in the service. He had lost an arm
in the Mexican war, was with Napoleon III. at Solferino and Magenta,
and had just passed through the peninsula campaign with McClellan.



Lee made no further attempt upon Pope's army, and on September 2d, by
Halleck's orders, it was withdrawn to the fortifications of
Washington, where it was merged in the Army of the Potomac. In this
campaign, both the numbers engaged on either side and the respective
losses are in dispute, and the exact truth never will be known. Lee
claimed that he had captured nine thousand prisoners and thirty guns,
and it is probable that Pope's total loss numbered at least fifteen
thousand. Pope maintained that he would have won the battle of
Groveton and made a successful campaign if General Porter had obeyed
his orders. Porter, for this supposed disobedience, was
court-martialed in January, 1863, and was condemned and dismissed from
the service, and forever disqualified from holding any office of
trust or profit under the Government of the United States. Thousands
of pages have been written and printed to prove or {170} disprove
his innocence, and the evidence has been reviewed again and again.
It appears to be established at last that he did not disobey
any order that it was possible for him to obey, and that he was
blameless--except, perhaps, in having exhibited a spirit of personal
hostility to General Pope, who was then his superior officer. A bill
to relieve him of the penalty was passed by the Forty-sixth Congress,
but was vetoed by President Arthur. Substantially the same bill was
passed in 1886 and was signed by President Cleveland. It restored him
to his place as colonel in the regular army, and retired him with that
rank, but with no compensation for the intervening years.

[Illustration: SECOND BATTLE OF BULL RUN. (From a war-time sketch.)]

General Grant, reviewing the case in 1882, came to the conclusion that
Porter was innocent, and gave his reasons for it in a magazine
article, significantly remarking that "if he was guilty, the
punishment awarded was not commensurate with the offence committed."
But some other military authorities still believe that his sentence
was just. Grant seems to make the question perfectly clear by drawing
two simple diagrams. This, he says, is what Pope supposed to be the
position of the armies when he ordered Porter to attack:

  =====================      ================
        PORTER                      POPE

But this is what the situation really was:

       LONGSTREET                 JACKSON
  =====================      ================
  =====================      ================
        PORTER                      POPE

The movements of this campaign were more complicated than those of any
other during the war, and it appears to have been {171} carried on
with less of definite plan and connected purpose on either side. It is
not probable that its merits, if it had any merits, will ever be
satisfactorily agreed upon. On the part of Pope's army, whether by his
fault or not, it was a disastrous failure. On the part of Lee's, while
it resulted in tactical successes, it did not seriously menace the
safety of Washington, and it led him on to his first great failure in
an attempted invasion of the North. It is only fair to give General
Pope's last word on the subject, which we quote from his article in
"Battles and Leaders of the Civil War." "At no time could I have hoped
to fight a successful battle with the superior forces of the enemy
which confronted me, and which were able at any time to out-flank and
bear my small army to the dust. It was only by constant movement,
incessant watchfulness, and hazardous skirmishes and battles, that the
forces under my command were saved from destruction, and that the
enemy was embarrassed and delayed in his advance until the army of
General McClellan was at length assembled for the defence of
Washington. I did hope that in the course of these operations the
enemy might commit some imprudence, or leave some opening of which I
could take such advantage as to gain at least a partial success. This
opportunity was presented by the advance of Jackson on Manassas
Junction; but although the best dispositions possible in my view were
made, the object was frustrated by causes which could not have been
foreseen, and which perhaps are not yet completely known to the

(From a War Department photograph.)]

From Capt. Henry N. Blake, of the Eleventh Massachusetts regiment, we
have these interesting incidents of the campaign:

"Matches were very scarce upon this campaign, and a private who
intended to light one gave public notice to the crowd, who surrounded
him with slips of paper and pipes in their hands. Some soldiers were
in a destitute condition, and suffered from blistered feet, as they
had no shoes, and others required a pair of pants or a blouse; but all
gladly pursued Jackson, and his capture {172} was considered a certain
event. The column cheered General Pope when he rode along, accompanied
by a vast body-guard, and he responded: 'I am glad to see you in such
good spirits to-day.' ... The stream was forded, and the graves and
bones of the dead, the rusty fragments of iron, and the weather-beaten
_débris_ of that contest reminded the men that they were again in the
midst of the familiar scenes of the first battle of Bull Run. The
cannonading was brisk at intervals during the day. Large tracts of the
field were black and smoking from the effect of the burning grass
which the shells ignited, and a small force was occasionally engaged
upon the right, but there was no general conflict. The brigade took
the position assigned to it, upon a slope of a hill, to support a
battery which was attached to Sigel's corps, and no infantry was
visible in any direction, although the land was open and objects
within the distance of half a mile were readily seen. There was no
firing, with the exception of the time when the troops debouched from
the road in the morning, and the soldiers rested until four P.M. At
this moment the enemy opened with solid shot upon the battery, which
did not discharge one piece in response. The drivers mounted their
horses; all rushed pell-mell through the ranks of the fearless and
enraged support, and did not halt within the range of the artillery
from which they had so cowardly fled. A member of the staff, dressed
like an officer of the day, immediately arrived and gave a verbal
order to the brigade commander, after which the regiments were formed
and marched, unmindful of the cannon-balls, toward the right of the
line, and halted in the border of a thick forest in which many
skirmishes had taken place. 'What does the general want me to do now?'
General Grover asked the aide who again rode up to the brigade. 'Go
into the woods and charge,' was the answer. 'Where is my support?' the
commander wisely inquired, for there were no troops near the position.
'It is coming.' After waiting fifteen minutes for this body to appear,
the officer returned and said that 'the general was much displeased'
because the charge had not been made, and the order was at once
issued: 'Fix bayonets.' Each man was inspired by these magical words;
great enthusiasm arose when this command was 'passed' from company to
company, and the soldiers, led by their brave general, advanced upon a
hidden foe through tangled woods which constantly interfered with the
formation of the ranks. 'Colonel, do you know what we are going to
charge on?' a private inquired. 'Yes; a good dinner.' The rebel
skirmishers were driven in upon their reserve behind the bank of an
unfinished railroad, and detachments from {173} five brigades were
massed in three lines, under the command of Ewell, to resist the onset
of the inferior force that menaced them. The awful volleys did not
impede the storming party that pressed on over the bodies of the dead
and dying; while the thousands of bullets which flew through the air
seemed to create a breeze that made the leaves upon the trees rustle,
and a shower of small boughs and twigs fell upon the ground. The balls
penetrated the barrels and shattered the stocks of many muskets; but
the soldiers who carried them picked up those that had been dropped
upon the ground by helpless comrades, and allowed no slight accident
of this character to interrupt them in the noble work. The railroad
bank was gained, and the column with cheers passed over it, and
advanced over the groups of the slain and mangled rebels who had
rolled down the declivity when they lost their strength. The second
line was broken; both were scattered through the woods, and victory
appeared to be certain until the last support, that had rested upon
their breasts on the ground, suddenly rose up and delivered a
destructive volley which forced the brigade, that had already lost
more than one-third of its number in killed and wounded, to retreat.
Ewell, suffering from his shattered knee, was borne to the rear in a
blanket, and his leg was amputated. The horse of General Grover was
shot upon the railroad bank while he was encouraging the men to go
forward, and he had barely time to dismount before the animal, mad
with pain, dashed into the ranks of the enemy. The woods always
concealed the movements of the troops, and at one point a portion of
the foe fell back while the others remained. The forces sometimes met
face to face, and the bayonet and sword--weapons that do not pierce
soldiers in nine-tenths of the battles that are fought--were used with
deadly effect in several instances. A corporal exclaimed in the din of
this combat, 'Dish ish no place for de mens,' and fled to the rear
with the speed of the mythical Flying Dutchman. In one company of the
regiment a son was killed by the side of his father, who continued to
perform his duty with the firmness of a stoic, and remarked to his
amazed comrades, in a tone which showed how a strong patriotic ardor
can triumph over the deepest emotion of affection: 'I had rather see
him shot dead as he was than see him run away.' ... The victors
rallied the fugitives after this repulse, and their superior force
enabled them to assault in front and upon both flanks the line which
had been contracted by the severe losses in the charge, and the
brigade fell back to the first position under a fire of grape and
canister which was added to the musketry. The regimental flag was torn
from the staff by unfriendly limbs in passing through the forest, and
the eagle that surmounted it was cut off in the contest. The commander
of the color-company saved these precious emblems, and earnestly
shouted, when the lines were re-formed: 'Eleventh, rally round the
pole!' which was then, if possible, more honored than when it was
bedecked in folds of bunting. General Grover, who displayed the
gallantry throughout this action that he had exhibited upon the
peninsula, waved his hat upon the point of his sword to animate his
brigade and prepare for a renewal of the fight. Many were scarcely
able to speak on account of hoarseness caused by intense cheering, and
some officers blistered the palms of their hands by waving swords when
they charged with their commands."

BATTLE OF BULL RUN. (From a War Department photograph.)]

[Illustration: GENERAL HANCOCK AND FRIENDS. (From a war-time






After his success in the second battle of Manassas, and the retirement
of Pope's army to the defences of Washington (September 2, 1862),
General Lee pushed northward into Maryland with his whole army. His
advance arrived at Frederick City on the 8th, and from his camp near
that place he issued a proclamation to the people of Maryland, in
which he recited the wrongs they had suffered at the hands of the
National Government, and told them "the people of the South have long
wished to aid you in throwing off this foreign yoke, to enable you
again to enjoy the inalienable rights of freemen and restore the
independence and sovereignty of your State." At the same time he
opened recruiting-offices, and appointed a provost-marshal of
Frederick. The reader of the classics will perhaps be reminded of the
shrewd advice that Demosthenes gave the Athenians, when he counselled
them not to ask the assistance of the Thebans against Philip of
Macedon, but to bring about an alliance by offering to help them
against him. But the Confederate chieftain was sadly disappointed in
the effect of his proclamation and his presence. When his army marched
into the State singing "My Maryland," they were received with closed
doors, drawn blinds, and the silence of a graveyard. In Frederick all
the places of business were shut. The Marylanders did not flock to his
recruiting-offices to the extent of more than two or three hundred,
while on the other hand he lost many times that number from
straggling, as he says in his report. Several reasons have been
assigned for the failure of the people to respond to his appeal, in
each of which there is probably some truth. One was, that it had
always been easy enough for Marylanders to go to the Confederate
armies, and those of them that wished to enlist there had done so
already. Another--and probably the principal one--was, that Maryland
was largely true to the Union, especially in the western counties; and
she furnished many excellent soldiers to its armies--almost fifty
thousand. Another was, that the appearance of the Southern veterans
was not calculated either to entice the men or to arouse the
enthusiasm of the women. The Confederate General Jones says: "Never
had the army been so dirty, ragged, and ill-provided for as on this
march." General Lee complained especially of their want of shoes. It
is difficult to understand why an army that claimed to have captured
such immense supplies late in August should have been so destitute
early in September.

[Illustration: AWAITING THE CHARGE.]

On the 2d of September the President went to General McClellan's house
in Washington, asked him to take command again of the Army of the
Potomac, in which Pope's army had now been merged, and verbally
authorized him to do so at once. The first thing that McClellan wanted
was withdrawal of Miles's force, eleven thousand men, from Harper's
Ferry--where, he said, it was useless and helpless--and its addition
to his own force. All authorities agree that in this he was obviously
and unquestionably right, for Harper's Ferry had no strategic value
whatever; but the marplot hand of Halleck intervened, and Miles was
ordered to hold the place. Halleck's principal reason appeared to be a
reluctance to abandon a place where so much expense had been laid out.
Miles, a worthy subordinate for such a chief, interpreted Halleck's
orders with absolute literalness, and remained in the town, instead of
holding it by placing his force on the heights that command it.

As soon as it was known that Lee was in Maryland, McClellan set his
army in motion northward, to cover Washington and Baltimore and find
an opportunity for a decisive battle. He arrived with his advance in
Frederick on the 12th, and met with a reception in striking contrast
to that accorded the army that had left the town two days before.
Nearly every house displayed the National flag, the streets were
thronged with people, all the business places were open, and everybody
welcomed the Boys in Blue.

But this flattering reception was not the best fortune that befell the
Union army in Frederick. On his arrival in the town, General McClellan
came into possession of a copy of General Lee's order, dated three
days before, in which the whole campaign was laid out. By this order,
Jackson was directed to march through Sharpsburg, cross the Potomac,
capture the force at Martinsburg, and assist in the capture of that at
Harper's Ferry; Longstreet was directed to halt at Boonsborough with
the trains; McLaws was to march to Harper's Ferry, take possession of
the heights commanding it, and capture the force there as speedily as
possible; Walker was {176} to invest that place from the other side
and assist McLaws; D. H. Hill's division was to form the rear guard.
All the forces were to be united again at Boonsborough or Hagerstown.
General Lee had taken it for granted that Martinsburg and Harper's
Ferry would be evacuated at his approach (as they should have been);
and when he found they were not, he had so far changed or suspended
the plan with which he set out as to send back a large part of his
army to capture those places and not leave a hostile force in his

On the approach of Jackson's corps General White evacuated
Martinsburg, and with his garrison of two thousand men joined Miles at
Harper's Ferry. That town, in the fork of the Potomac and Shenandoah
rivers, can be bombarded with the greatest ease from the heights on
the opposite sides of those streams. Miles, instead of taking
possession of the heights with all his men, sent a feeble detachment
to those on the north side of the Potomac, and stupidly remained in
the trap with the rest. McLaws sent a heavy force to climb the
mountain at a point three or four miles north, whence it marched along
the crest through the woods, and attacked three or four regiments that
Miles had posted there. This force was soon driven away, while Jackson
was approaching the town from the other side, and a bombardment the
next day compelled a surrender when Jackson was about to attack.
General Miles was mortally wounded by one of the last shots. About
eleven thousand men were included in the capitulation, with
seventy-three guns and a considerable amount of camp equipage. A body
of two thousand cavalry, commanded by Colonel Davis, had been with
Miles, but had escaped the night before, crossed the Potomac, and by
morning reached Greencastle, Pa. On the way they captured Longstreet's
ammunition train of fifty wagons. Jackson, leaving the arrangements
for the surrender to A. P. Hill, hurried with the greater part of his
force to rejoin Lee, and reached Sharpsburg on the morning of the


(Adjutant-General to General Halleck.)]

The range known as the South Mountain, which is a continuation of the
Blue Ridge north of the Potomac, is about a thousand feet high. The
two principal gaps are Turner's and Crampton's, each about four
hundred feet high, with the hills towering six hundred feet above it.

When McClellan learned the plans of the Confederate commander, he set
his army in motion to thwart them. He ordered Franklin's corps to pass
through Crampton's Gap and press on to relieve Harper's Ferry; the
corps of Reno and Hooker, under command of Burnside, he moved to
Turner's Gap. The movement was quick for McClellan, but not quite
quick enough for the emergency. He might have passed through the Gaps
on the 13th with little or no opposition, and would then have had his
whole army between Lee's divided forces, and could hardly have failed
to defeat them disastrously and perhaps conclusively. But he did not
arrive at the passes till the morning of the 14th; and by that time
Lee had learned of his movement and recalled Hill and Longstreet, from
Boonsborough and beyond, to defend Turner's Gap, while he ordered
McLaws to look out for Crampton's.

Turner's Gap was flanked by two old roads that crossed the mountain a
mile north and south of it; and using these, and scrambling up from
rock to rock, the National troops worked their way slowly to the
crests, opposed at every step by the Confederate riflemen behind the
trees and ledges. Reno assaulted the southern crest, and Hooker the
northern, while Gibbon's brigade gradually pushed along up the
turnpike into the Gap itself. Reno was opposed by the Confederate
brigade of Garland, and both these commanders were killed. There was
stubborn and bloody fighting all day, with the Union forces slowly but
constantly gaining ground, and at dark the field was won. The
Confederates withdrew during the night, and in the morning the
victorious columns passed through to the western side of the mountain.
This battle cost McClellan fifteen hundred men, killed or wounded.
Among the wounded was the lieutenant-colonel in command of the
Twenty-third Ohio regiment--Rutherford B. Hayes, afterward
President--who was struck in the arm by a rifle-ball. The Confederate
loss in killed and wounded was about fifteen hundred, and in addition
fifteen hundred were made prisoners. The fight at Crampton's Gap--to
defend which McLaws had sent back a part of his force from Harper's
Ferry--was quite similar to that at Turner's, and had a similar
result. Franklin reached the crests after a fight of three hours,
losing five hundred and thirty-two men, inflicting an equal loss upon
the enemy, and capturing four hundred prisoners, one gun, and three
battle-flags. These two actions (fought September 14, 1862) {177} are
generally designated as the battle of South Mountain, but are
sometimes called the battle of Boonsborough. In that the enemy was
driven away, the ground held, and the passes used, it was a victory,
and a brilliant one, for McClellan. But in that Lee, by delaying the
advance of his enemy a whole day, thereby gained time to bring
together his own scattered forces, it was strategically a victory,
though a costly one, for him. But then again it might be argued that
if Lee could have kept the four thousand good troops that McClellan
deprived him of at South Mountain, it might have fared better with him
in the struggle at Antietam three days later.

When Lee retired his left wing from Turner's Gap, he withdrew across
the Antietam, and took up a position on high ground between that
stream and the village of Sharpsburg. His right, under McLaws, after
detaining Franklin till Harper's Ferry was surrendered, crossed the
Potomac at that place, recrossed it at Shepherdstown, and came
promptly into position. Lee now had his army together and strongly
posted. But it had been so reduced by losses in battle and straggling,
that it numbered but little over forty thousand combatants. The effect
upon the army itself of invading a rich country with troops so poorly
supplied had probably not been anticipated. Lee complained bitterly
that his army was "ruined by straggling," and General Hill wrote in
his report: "Had all our stragglers been up, McClellan's army would
have been completely crushed or annihilated. Thousands of thievish
poltroons had kept away from sheer cowardice." General Hill, in his
anger, probably overestimates the effect; for McClellan had somewhat
over seventy thousand men, and though he used but little more than
half of them in his attacks, there is no reason to suppose he would
not have used them all in a defence. The men that Lee did have,
however, were those exclusively that had been able to stand the hard
marching and resist the temptation to straggle, and were consequently
the flower of his army; and they now awaited, in a chosen position, a
battle that they knew would be decisive of the campaign, if not of the

The ground occupied by the Confederate army, with one flank resting on
the Potomac, and the other on the Antietam, which flowed in front, was
advantageous. The creek was crossed by four stone bridges and a ford,
and all except the northernmost bridge were strongly guarded. The land
was occupied by meadows, cornfields, and patches of forest, and was
much broken by outcropping ledges. McClellan only reconnoitred the
position on the 15th. On the 16th he developed his plan of attack,
which was simply to throw his right wing across the Antietam by the
upper and unguarded bridge, assail the Confederate left, and when this
had sufficiently engaged the enemy's attention and drawn his strength
to that flank, to force the bridges and cross with his left and
centre. Indeed, this was obviously almost the only practicable plan.
All day long an artillery duel was kept up, in which, as General Hill
says, the Confederate batteries proved no match for their opponents.
It was late in the afternoon when Hooker's corps crossed by the upper
bridge, advanced through the woods, and struck the left flank, which
was held by two brigades of Hood's men. Scarcely more than a skirmish
ensued, when darkness came on, and the lines rested for the night
where they were. If Lee could have been in any doubt before, he was
now told plainly what was to be the form of the contest, and he had
all night to make his dispositions for it. The only change he thought
it necessary to make was to put Jackson's fresh troops in the position
on his left. Before morning McClellan sent Mansfield's corps across
the Antietam to join Hooker, and had Sumner's in readiness to follow
at an early hour. Meanwhile, all but two thousand of Lee's forces had
come up. So the 17th of September dawned in that peaceful little
corner of the world with everything in readiness for a great struggle
in which there could be no surprises, and which was to be scarcely
anything more than wounds for wounds and death for death.


[Illustration: MAJOR-GENERAL JOHN G. WALKER, C. S. A.]


In the vicinity of the little Dunker church, the road running
northward from Sharpsburg to Hagerstown was bordered on both sides by
woods, and in these woods the battle began when Hooker assaulted
Jackson at sunrise. There was hard fighting for an hour, during which
Jackson's lines were not only heavily pressed by Hooker in front, but
at length enfiladed by a fire from the batteries on the eastern side
of the Antietam. This broke them and drove them back; but when Hooker
attempted {178} to advance his lines far enough to hold the road and
seize the woods west of it, he in turn was met by fresh masses of
troops and a heavy artillery fire, and was checked. Mansfield's corps
was moving up to his support when its commander was mortally wounded.
Nevertheless it moved on, got a position in the woods west of the
road, and held it, though at heavy cost. At this moment General Hooker
was seriously wounded and borne from the field, while Sumner crossed
the stream and came up with his corps. His men drove back the defeated
divisions of the enemy without much difficulty, and occupied the
ground around the church. His whole line was advancing to apparent
victory, when two fresh divisions were brought over from the
Confederate right, and were immediately thrust into a wide gap in
Sumner's line. Sedgwick, whose division formed the right of the line,
was thus flanked on his left, and was easily driven back out of the
woods, across the clearing, and into the eastern woods, after which
the Confederates retired to their own position. Fighting of this sort
went on all the forenoon, one of the episodes being a race between the
Fifth New Hampshire Regiment and a Confederate force for a commanding
point of ground, the two marching in parallel lines and firing at each
other as they went along. The New Hampshire men got there first, and,
assisted by the Eighty-first Pennsylvania Regiment, from that eminence
threw a destructive fire into the ranks of the regiment they had
out-run. The fighting around the Dunker church was so fierce, and so
much artillery fire was concentrated upon that spot, that when the
woods were cut down, years afterward, and the logs sent to a saw-mill,
the saws were completely torn to pieces by the metal that had
penetrated the wood and been overgrown.

A short distance south and east of the Dunker church there was a
slightly sunken road which crossed the Confederate line at one point
and was parallel with it for a certain distance at other points. A
strong Confederate force was posted in this sunken road, and when the
National troops approached it there was destructive work on both
sides; but the heaviest loss here fell upon the Confederates, because
some batteries on the high ground east of the Antietam enfiladed
portions of the road. This sunken road, which was henceforth called
Bloody Lane, has made some confusion in many accounts of the battle,
which is explained by the fact that it is not a straight road, but is
made up of several parts running at different angles.

While this great struggle was in progress on McClellan's right, his
centre and left, under Porter and Burnside, did not make any movement
to assist. Porter's inaction is explained by the fact that his troops
were kept as the reserves, which McClellan refused to send forward
even when portions of his line were most urgently calling for
assistance. He and Porter agreed in clinging to the idea that the
reserves must under no circumstances be pushed forward to take part in
the actual battle. This conduct was in marked contrast to that of the
Confederate commander, who in this action had no reserves whatever.


{179} [Illustration: MAP OF THE BATTLE OF THE ANTIETAM, 16th & 17th
Sept., 1862.]

At noon Franklin arrived from Crampton's Gap, and was sent over to
help Hooker and Sumner, being just in time to check a new advance by
more troops brought over from the Confederate right.

At seven o'clock in the morning Burnside was ordered to have his corps
in readiness for carrying the bridge in his front, crossing the
stream, and attacking the Confederate right, which order he promptly
obeyed. An hour later the order for this movement was issued by
McClellan, but it did not reach Burnside till nine o'clock. The task
before him was more difficult than his commander realized or than
would be supposed from most descriptions of the action. The bridge is
of stone, having three arches, with low stone parapets, and not very
wide. On the eastern side of the stream, where Burnside's corps was,
the land is comparatively low. The road that crosses the bridge, when
it reaches the western bank has to turn immediately at a right angle
and run nearly parallel with the stream, because the land there is
high and overhangs it. As a matter of course, the bridge was commanded
by Confederate guns advantageously placed on the heights. The problem
before Burnside was therefore exceedingly difficult, and the
achievement expected of him certain in any case to be costly. The task
of first crossing the bridge fell upon Crook's brigade, which moved
forward, mistook its way, and struck the stream some distance above
the bridge, where it immediately found itself under a heavy fire. Then
the Second Maryland and Sixth New Hampshire regiments were ordered to
charge at the double quick and carry the bridge. But the fire that
swept it was more than they could stand, and they were obliged to
retire unsuccessful. Then another attempt was made by a new storming
party, consisting of the Fifty-first New York and Fifty-first
Pennsylvania regiments, led by Col. Robert B. Potter and Col. John F.
Hartranft. By this time two heavy guns had been got into position
where they could play upon the Confederates who defended the bridge,
and with this protection and assistance the two regiments just named
succeeded in crossing it and driving away the immediate opposing
force, and were immediately followed by Sturgis's division and Crook's
brigade. The fighting at the bridge cost Burnside about five hundred
men. The Fifty-first New York lost eighty-seven, and the Fifty-first
Pennsylvania one hundred and twenty. At the same time other troops
crossed by a ford below the bridge, which had to be searched for, but
was at length found. These operations occupied four hours, being
completed about one o'clock P.M. Could they have been accomplished in
an hour or two, the destruction or capture of Lee's army must have
resulted. But by the time that Burnside had crossed the stream,
captured a battery, and occupied the heights overlooking Sharpsburg,
the fighting on McClellan's right was over. This left Lee at liberty
to strengthen his imperilled right by bringing troops across the short
interior line from his left, which he promptly did. At the same time
the last division of his forces (A. P. Hill's), two thousand strong,
arrived from Harper's Ferry; and these fresh men, together with those
brought over from the left, assumed the offensive, drove Burnside from
the crest, and retook the battery.

       *       *       *       *       *

Here ended the battle; not because the day was closed or any apparent
victory had been achieved, but because both sides had been so severely
punished that neither was inclined to resume the fight. Every man of
Lee's force had been actively engaged, but not more than two-thirds of
McClellan's. The reason why the Confederate army was not annihilated
or captured must be plain to any intelligent reader. It was not
because Lee, with his army divided for three days in presence of his
enemy, had not invited destruction; nor because the seventy thousand,
acting in concert, could not have overwhelmed the forty thousand even
when they were united. It was not for any lack of courage, or men, or
arms, or opportunity, or daylight. It was simply because the attack
was made in driblets, instead of by heavy masses on both wings
simultaneously; so that at any point of actual contact Lee was almost
always able to present as strong a force as that which assailed him.
In a letter written to General Franklin the evening before the battle
of South Mountain, General McClellan, having then received the lost
despatch that revealed Lee's plans and situation, set forth with much
particularity his {180} purposes for the next few days, and summed up
by saying: "My general idea is to cut the enemy in two and beat him in
detail." No plan could have been better or more scientific; but
curiously enough, when it came to actual battle General McClellan's
conduct was the exact opposite of this. By unnecessary and
unaccountable delays he first gave the enemy time to concentrate his
forces, and then made his attacks piecemeal, so that the enemy could
fight _him_ in detail.

Whatever had been the straggling on the march, none of the commanders
complained of any flinching after the fight began. They saw veterans
taking, relinquishing, and retaking ground that was soaked with blood
and covered with dead; and they saw green regiments "go to their
graves like beds." There had been a call for more troops by the
National Administration after the battles on the peninsula, which was
responded to with the greatest alacrity, men of all classes rushing to
the recruiting-offices to enroll themselves. It was a common thing for
a regiment of a thousand men to be raised, equipped, and sent to the
front in two or three weeks. Some of those new regiments were suddenly
introduced to the realities of war at Antietam, and suffered
frightfully. For example, the Sixteenth Connecticut, which there fired
its muskets for the first time, went in with 940 men, and lost 432. On
the other side, Lawton's Confederate brigade went in with 1,150 men,
and lost 554, including five out of its six regimental commanders,
while Hays's lost 323 out of 550, including every regimental commander
and all the staff officers. An officer of the Fiftieth Georgia
Regiment said in a published letter: "The Fiftieth were posted in a
narrow path, washed out into a regular gully, and were fired into by
the enemy from the front, rear, and left flank. The men stood their
ground nobly, returning their fire until nearly two-thirds of their
number lay dead or wounded in that lane. Out of 210 carried into the
fight, over 125 were killed and wounded in less than twenty minutes.
The slaughter was horrible! When ordered to retreat, I could hardly
extricate myself from the dead and wounded around me. A man could have
walked from the head of our line to the foot on their bodies. The
survivors of the regiment retreated very orderly back to where General
Anderson's brigade rested. The brigade suffered terribly. James's
South Carolina battalion was nearly annihilated. The Fiftieth Georgia
lost nearly all their commissioned officers." The First South Carolina
Regiment, which went into the fight with 106 men, had but fifteen men
and one officer when it was over. A Confederate battery, being largely
disabled by the work of sharp-shooters, was worked for a time, at the
crisis of the fight, by General Longstreet and members of his staff
acting as gunners. Three generals on each side were killed. Those on
the National side were Generals Joseph K. Mansfield, Israel B.
Richardson, and Isaac P. Rodman; those on the Confederate side were
Generals George B. Anderson, L. O'B. Branch, and William E. Starke.
The wounded generals included on the one side Hooker, Sedgwick, Dana,
Crawford, and Meagher; on the other side, R. H. Anderson, Wright,
Lawton, Armistead, Ripley, Ransom, Rhodes, Gregg, and Toombs.

General McClellan reported his entire loss at 12,469, of whom 2,010
were killed. General Lee reported his total loss in the Maryland
battles as 1,567 killed and 8,724 wounded, saying nothing of the
missing; but the figures given by his division commanders foot up
1,842 killed, 9,399 wounded, and 2,292 missing--total, 13,533. If
McClellan's report is correct, even this statement falls short of the
truth. He says: "About 2,700 of the enemy's dead were counted and
buried upon the battlefield of Antietam. A portion of their dead had
been previously buried by the enemy." If the wounded were in the usual
proportion, this would indicate Confederate casualties to the extent
of at least 15,000 on that field alone. But whatever the exact number
may have been, the battle was bloody enough to produce mourning and
lamentation from Maine to Louisiana. It was the bloodiest day's work
of the whole war. The battles of Shiloh, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg,
Chickamauga, the Wilderness, and Spottsylvania were each more costly,
but none of them was fought in a single day.

Nothing was done on the 18th, and when McClellan determined to renew
the attack on the 19th he found that his enemy had withdrawn from the
field and crossed to Virginia by the ford at Shepherdstown. The
National commander reported the capture of more than six thousand
prisoners, thirteen guns, and thirty-nine battle-flags, and that he
had not lost a gun or a color. As he was also in possession of the
field, where the enemy left all their dead and two thousand of their
wounded, and had rendered Lee's invasion fruitless of anything but the
prisoners carried off from Harper's Ferry, the victory was his.



[Illustration: MAJOR-GENERAL G. W. MORELL.]





_This Chapter is illustrated with portraits of early abolitionists,
and Virginia officials at the time of the celebrated John Brown Raid._


The war had now (September, 1862) been in progress almost a year and a
half; and nearly twenty thousand men had been shot dead on the
battlefield, and upward of eighty thousand wounded, while an unknown
number had died of disease contracted {182} in the service, or been
carried away into captivity. The money that had been spent by the
United States Government alone amounted to about one billion dollars.
All this time there was not an intelligent man in the country but knew
the cause of the war, and yet more than a hundred thousand American
citizens were killed or mangled before a single blow was delivered
directly at that cause. General Frémont had aimed at it; General
Hunter had aimed at it; but in each case the arm was struck up by the
Administration. One would naturally suppose, from the thoroughness
with which the slavery question had been discussed for thirty years,
that when the time came for action there would be little doubt or
hesitation on either side. On the Confederate side there was neither
doubt nor hesitation. On the National side there was both doubt and
hesitation, and it took a long time to arrive at a determination to
destroy slavery in order to preserve the Union. The old habit of
compromise and conciliation half paralyzed the arm of war, and
thousands of well-meaning citizens were unable to comprehend the fact
that we were dealing with a question that it was useless to compromise
and a force that it was impossible to conciliate.

Mr. Lincoln had hated slavery ever since, when a young man, he made a
trip on a flat-boat to New Orleans, and there saw it in some of its
more hideous aspects. That he realized its nature and force as an
organized institution and a power in politics, appears from one of his
celebrated speeches, delivered in 1858, wherein he declared that as a
house divided against itself cannot stand, so our Government could not
endure permanently half slave and half free. "Either the opponents of
slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the
public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of
ultimate extinction, or its advocates will push it forward till it
shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new, North
as well as South." Why, then, hating slavery personally, and
understanding it politically, and knowing it to be the cause of the
war, did he not sooner declare it abolished?

On the one hand, he was not, like some of our chief magistrates, under
the impression that he had been placed in office to carry out
irresponsibly a personal policy of his own; and, on the other, he was
shrewd enough to know that it would be as futile for a President to
place himself far in advance of his people on a great question, as for
a general to precede his troops on the battlefield. Hence he turned
over and over, and presented again and again, the idea that the war
might be stopped and the question settled by paying for the slaves and
liberating them. It looked like a very simple calculation to figure
out the cost of purchased emancipation and compare it with the
probable cost of the war. The comparison seemed to present an
unanswerable argument, and in the end the money cost of the war was
more than one thousand dollars for every slave emancipated, while in
the most profitable days of the institution the blacks, young and old
together, had not been worth half that price. The fallacy of the
argument lay in its blindness to the fact that the Confederates were
not fighting to retain possession of their actual slaves, but to
perpetuate the institution itself. The unthrift of slavery as an
economic system had been many times demonstrated, notably in Helper's
"Impending Crisis," but these demonstrations, instead of inducing the
slaveholders to seek to get rid of it on the best attainable terms,
appeared only to excite their anger. And it ought to have been seen
that a proud people with arms in their hands, either flushed with
victory or confident in their own prowess, no matter where their real
interests may lie, can never be reasoned with except through the
syllogisms of lead and steel. Perhaps Mr. Lincoln did know it, but was
waiting for his people to find it out.

[Illustration: JOHN BROWN.]

The Louisville (Ky.) _Courier_, in a paragraph quoted on page 63 of
this volume, had told a great deal of bitter and shameful truth; but
when it entered upon the prophecy that the North would soon resume the
yoke of the slaveholders, it was not so happy. And yet it had strong
grounds for its confident prediction. Not only had a great Peace
Convention been held in February, 1861, which strove to prevent
secession by offering new guaranties for the protection of slavery,
but the chief anxiety of a large number of Northern citizens and
officers in the military service appeared to be to manifest their
desire that the institution should not be harmed.

The most eminent of the Federal generals, McClellan, when he first
took the field in West Virginia, issued a proclamation to the
Unionists, in which he said: "Notwithstanding all that has been said
by the traitors to induce you to believe our advent among you will be
signalized by an interference with your slaves, understand one thing
clearly: not only will we abstain from all such interference, but we
will, on the contrary, with an iron hand crush any attempt at
insurrection on their part." In pursuance of this, he returned to
their owners all slaves that escaped and sought refuge within his
lines. It was an every-day occurrence for slaveholders who were in
active rebellion against the Government that he was serving, to come
into his camps under flag of truce and demand and receive their
runaway slaves. The Hutchinsons, a family of popular singers, by
permission of the Secretary of War, visited his camp in the winter of
1861-62, to sing to the soldiers. But when the general found them
singing some stanzas of Whittier's that spoke of slavery as a curse to
be abolished, he forthwith issued an order that their pass should be
revoked and they should not sing any more to the troops. And even
after his retreat on the peninsula, McClellan wrote a long letter of
advice to the President, in the course of which he said: "Neither
confiscation of {183} property ... nor forcible abolition of slavery
should be contemplated for a moment.... Military power should not be
allowed to interfere with the relations of servitude, either by
supporting or impairing the authority of the master, except for
repressing disorder."

[Illustration: ANDREW HUNTER. Prosecuting Attorney at the trial of
John Brown.]

[Illustration: HON. H. A. WISE. Governor of Virginia.]

[Illustration: COLONEL ROBERT E. LEE. Commanding Virginia troops that
captured John Brown.]

In all this General McClellan was only clinging blindly and
tenaciously to the idea that had underlain the whole administration of
the government while it was in the hands of his party: that the
perpetuation of slavery, whether against political opposition or
against the growth of civilization and the logic of political economy,
was the first purpose of the Constitution and the most imperative duty
of the Government. Democratic politicians had never formulated this
rule, but Democratic Presidents had always followed it. President Polk
had obeyed it when with one hand he secured the slave State of Texas
at the cost of the Mexican War, and with the other relinquished to
Great Britain the portion of Oregon north of the forty-ninth parallel,
but for which we should now possess every harbor on the Pacific coast.
President Pierce had obeyed it when he sent troops to Kansas to assist
the invaders from Missouri and overawe the free-State settlers.
President Buchanan had obeyed it when he vetoed the Homestead Bill,
which would have accelerated the development of the northern
Territories into States. And innumerable other instances might be
cited. The existence of this party in the North was the most serious
embarrassment with which the Administration had to contend in the
conduct of the war--not even excepting the border States. As
individuals, its members were undoubtedly loyal to the Constitution
and Government as they understood them, though they wofully
misunderstood them. As a party, it was placed in a singular dilemma.
It did not want the Union dissolved; for without the vote of the slave
States it would be in a hopeless minority in Congress and at every
Presidential election; but neither did it wish to see its strongest
cohesive element overthrown, or its natural leaders defeated and
exiled. What it wanted was "the Union as it was," and for this it
continued to clamor long after it had become as plain as daylight that
the Union as it was could never again exist. Whenever the National
armies met with a reverse, if an election was pending, this party was
the gainer thereby; if they won a victory, it became weaker. Whenever
a new measure was proposed, Congress and the President were obliged to
consider not only what would be its legitimate effect, but whether in
any way the Democratic press could use it as a weapon against them.
Hence the idea of emancipation, though not altogether slow in
conception--for many of the ablest minds had leaped at it from the
beginning--was tardy in execution.


As early as 1836 John Quincy Adams, speaking in Congress, had said:
"From the instant that your slaveholding States become the theatre of
war, from that instant the war-powers of the Constitution extend to
interference with the institution of slavery in every way in which it
can be interfered with." And in 1842 he had expressed the idea more
strongly and fully: "Whether the war be civil, servile, or foreign, I
lay this down as the law of nations--I say that the military authority
takes for the time the place of all municipal institutions, slavery
among the rest. Under that state of things, so far from its being true
that the States where slavery exists have the exclusive management of
the subject, not only the President of the United States, but the
commander of the army has power to order the universal emancipation of
the slaves." The poets, wiser than the politicians, had long foretold
the great struggle and its results. James Russell Lowell, before he
was thirty years of age, wrote:

  "Out from the land of bondage 'tis decreed our slaves shall go,
   And signs to us are offered, as erst to Pharaoh;
   If we are blind, their exodus, like Israel's of yore,
   Through a Red Sea is doomed to be, whose surges are of gore."

Twenty years later he saw his prediction fulfilled. But generally the
anticipation was that the institution would be extinguished through a
general rising of the slaves themselves. Thus Henry W. Longfellow
wrote in 1841: {185}

  "There is a poor, blind Samson in this land,
     Shorn of his strength, and bound in bonds of steel,
   Who may, in some grim revel, raise his hand,
     And shake the pillars of this commonweal,
   Till the vast temple of our liberties
   A shapeless mass of wreck and rubbish lies."

It seems a singular fact that throughout the war there was no
insurrection of the slaves. They were all anxious enough for liberty,
and ran away from bondage whenever they could; but, except by regular
enlistment in the National army, there never was any movement among
them to assist in the emancipation of their race.

The first refusal to return fugitive slaves was made as early as May
26, 1861, by Gen. B. F. Butler, commanding at Fort Monroe. Three
slaves, who had belonged to Colonel Mallory, commanding the
Confederate forces near Hampton, came within Butler's lines that day,
saying they had run away because they were about to be sent South.
Colonel Mallory sent by flag of truce to claim their rendition under
the Fugitive Slave Law, but was informed by General Butler, that, as
slaves could be made very useful to a belligerent in working on
fortifications and other labor, they were contraband of war, like lead
or powder or any other war material, and therefore could not and would
not be delivered up. He offered, however, to return these three if
Colonel Mallory would come to his headquarters and take an oath to
obey the laws of the United States. This declaration--at once a
witticism, a correct legal point, and sound common sense--was the
first practical blow that was struck at the institution; and it gave
us a new word, for from that time fugitive slaves were commonly spoken
of as "contrabands." They came into the National camps by thousands,
and commanding officers and correspondents frequently questioned the
more intelligent of them, in the hope of eliciting valuable
information as to the movements of the enemy; but so many apocryphal
stories were thus originated that at length "intelligent contraband"
became solely a term of derision.

The next step was the passage of a law by Congress (approved August 6,
1861), wherein it was enacted that property, including slaves,
actually employed in the service of the rebellion with the knowledge
and consent of the owner, should be confiscated, and might be seized
by the National forces wherever found. But it cautiously provided that
slaves thus confiscated were not to be manumitted at once, but to be
held subject to some future decision of the United States courts or
action of Congress.

Gen. John C. Frémont, the first Republican candidate for the
Presidency (1856), who has had a romantic life, and in whose
administration, instead of Lincoln's, the war would have occurred if
he had been elected, was in Europe in 1861, and did the Government a
timely service in the purchase of arms. Hastening home, he was made a
major-general, and given command in Missouri. On the 30th of August he
issued a proclamation placing the whole State under martial law,
confiscating the property of all citizens who should take up arms
against the United States, or assist its enemies by burning bridges,
cutting wires, etc., and adding, "their slaves, if any they have, are
hereby declared free men." The President called General Frémont's
attention to the fact that the clause relating to slaves was not in
conformity with the act of Congress, and requested him to modify it;
to which Frémont replied by asking for an open order to that
effect--in plain words, that the President should modify it himself,
which Mr. Lincoln did.

On the 6th of March, 1862, the President, in a special message to
Congress, recommended the adoption of a joint resolution to the effect
that the United States ought to coöperate with, and render pecuniary
aid to, any State that should enter upon a gradual abolition of
slavery; and Congress passed such a resolution by a large majority.

Gen. David Hunter, who commanded the National forces on the coast of
South Carolina, with headquarters at Hilton Head, issued a general
order on April 12, 1862, that all slaves in Fort Pulaski and on
Cockspur Island should be confiscated and thenceforth free. On the 9th
of May he issued another order, wherein, after mentioning that the
three States in his department--Georgia, Florida, and South
Carolina--had been declared under martial law, he proceeded to say:
"Slavery and martial law, in a free country, are altogether
incompatible. The persons in these three States heretofore held as
slaves are therefore declared forever free." On the 19th of the same
month the President issued a proclamation annulling General Hunter's
order, and adding that the question of emancipation was one that he
reserved to himself and could not feel justified in leaving to the
decision of commanders in the field. General Hunter also organized a
regiment of black troops, designated as the First South Carolina
Volunteers, which was the first body of negro soldiers mustered into
the National service during the war. This proceeding, which now seems
the most natural and sensible thing the general could have done,
created serious alarm in Congress. A representative from Kentucky
introduced a resolution asking for information concerning the
"regiment of fugitive slaves," and the Secretary of War referred the
inquiry to General Hunter, who promptly answered: "No regiment of
fugitive slaves has been or is being organized in this department.
There is, however, a fine regiment of persons whose late masters are
fugitive rebels, men who everywhere fly before the appearance of the
National flag, leaving their servants behind them to shift as best
they can for themselves. In the absence of any fugitive-master law,
the deserted slaves would be wholly without remedy, had not their
crime of treason given the slaves the right to pursue, capture, and
bring back these persons of whose protection they have been so
suddenly bereft."

Frémont's and Hunter's attempts at emancipation created a great
excitement, the Democratic journals declaring that the struggle was
being "turned into an abolition war," and many Union men in the border
States expressing the gravest apprehensions as to the consequences.
The commanders were by no means of one mind on the subject. Gen.
Thomas Williams, commanding in the Department of the Gulf, ordered
that all fugitive slaves should be expelled from his camps and sent
beyond the lines; and Col. Halbert E. Paine, of the Fourth Wisconsin
Regiment, who refused to obey the order, on the ground that it was a
"violation of law for the purpose of returning fugitives to rebels,"
was deprived of his command and placed under arrest. Col. Daniel R.
Anthony, of the Seventh Kansas Regiment, serving in Tennessee, ordered
that men coming in and demanding the privilege of searching for
fugitive slaves should be turned out of the camp, and that no officer
or soldier in his regiment should engage in the arrest and delivery of
fugitives to their masters; and for this Colonel Anthony received from
his superior officer the same treatment that had been accorded to
Colonel Paine. The division of sentiment ran through the entire army.
Soldiers that would rob a granary, or cut down trees, or reduce fences
to firewood, without the slightest compunction, still recognized {186}
the ancient taboo, and expressed the nicest scruples in regard to
property in slaves.

On the 14th of July the President recommended to Congress the passage
of a bill for the payment, in United States interest-bearing bonds, to
any State that should abolish slavery, of an amount equal to the value
of all slaves within its borders according to the census of 1860; and
at the same time he asked the Congressional representatives of the
border States to use their influence with their constituents to bring
about such action in those States. The answer was not very favorable;
but Maryland did abolish slavery before the close of the war, in
October, 1864. On the very day in which the popular vote of that State
decided to adopt a new constitution without slavery, October 12th,
died Roger B. Taney, a native of Maryland, Chief Justice of the United
States Supreme Court, who had been appointed by the first distinctly
pro-slavery President, and from that bench had handed down the
Dred-Scott decision, which was calculated to render forever impossible
any amelioration of the condition of the negro race.

On July 22, 1862, all the National commanders were ordered to employ
as many negroes as could be used advantageously for military and naval
purposes, paying them for their labor and keeping a record as to their
ownership, "as a basis on which compensation could be made in proper

[Illustration: HORACE GREELEY.]

[Illustration: REV. HENRY WARD BEECHER.]

Thus events were creeping along toward a true statement of the great
problem, without which it could never be solved, when Horace Greeley,
through the columns of his _Tribune_, addressed an open letter to the
President (August 19), entitling it "The Prayer of Twenty Millions."
It exhorted Mr. Lincoln, not to general emancipation, but to such an
execution of the existing laws as would free immense numbers of slaves
belonging to men in arms against the Government. It was impassioned
and powerful; a single passage will show its character: "On the face
of this wide earth, Mr. President, there is not one disinterested,
determined, intelligent champion of the Union cause who does not feel
that all attempts to put down the rebellion, and at the same time
uphold its exciting cause, are preposterous and futile; that the
rebellion, if crushed out to-morrow, would be renewed within a year if
slavery were left in full vigor; that army officers who remain to this
day devoted to slavery can at best be but half-way loyal to the Union;
and that every hour of deference to slavery is an hour of added and
deepened peril to the Union."

Any one less a genius than Mr. Lincoln would have found it difficult
to answer Mr. Greeley at all, and his answer was not one in the sense
of being a refutation, but it exhibited his view of the question, and
is perhaps as fine a piece of literature as was ever penned by any one
in an official capacity: "If there be perceptible in it [Mr. Greeley's
letter] an impatient and dictatorial tone, I waive it in deference to
an old friend whose heart I have always supposed to be right.... As to
the policy I 'seem to be pursuing,' as you say, I have not meant to
leave any one in doubt.... My paramount object is to save the Union,
and not either to save or destroy slavery. If I could save the Union
without freeing any slave, I would do it; if I could save it by
freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could do it by freeing
some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. I have here
stated my purpose according to my views of official duty; and I intend
no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men
everywhere could be free."

[Illustration: JAMES G. BIRNEY.]

[Illustration: THE SALE OF A SLAVE.]

In truth, the President was already contemplating emancipation as a
war measure, and about this time he prepared his preliminary
proclamation; but he did not wish to issue it till it could follow a
triumph of the National arms. Pope's defeat in Virginia in August set
it back; but McClellan's success at Antietam, though not the decisive
victory that was wanted, appeared to be as good an opportunity as was
likely soon to present itself, and five days later (September 22,
1862) the proclamation was issued. It declared that the President
would, {187} at the next session, renew his suggestion to Congress of
pecuniary aid to the States disposed to abolish slavery gradually or
otherwise, and gave notice that on the 1st of January, 1863, he would
declare forever free all persons held as slaves within any State, or
designated part of a State, the people whereof should then be in
rebellion against the United States. On that day he issued the final
and decisive proclamation, as promised, in which he also announced
that black men would be received into the military and naval service
of the United States, as follows:

       *       *       *       *       *

"Whereas, on the twenty-second day of September, in the year of our
Lord 1862, a proclamation was issued by the President of the United
States, containing, among other things, the following, to wit:

"'That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord 1863, all
persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State,
the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United
States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the
Executive Government of the United States, including the military and
naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of
such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or
any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.'

"'That the Executive will, on the first day of January aforesaid, by
proclamation, designate the States and parts of States, if any, in
which the people thereof respectively shall then be in rebellion
against the United States; and the fact that any State, or the people
thereof, shall on that day be in good faith represented in the
Congress of the United States, by members chosen thereto at elections
wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such State shall have
participated, shall, in the absence of strong countervailing
testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such State, and the
people thereof, are not then in rebellion against the United States.'

"Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States,
by virtue of the power in me vested as commander-in-chief of the army
and navy of the United States in time of actual armed rebellion
against the authority and government of the United States, and as a
fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion, do, on
this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight
hundred and sixty-three, and in accordance with my purpose so to do,
publicly proclaimed for the full period of one hundred days from the
day first above mentioned, order and designate as the States and parts
of States wherein the people thereof respectively are this day in
rebellion against the United States, the following, to wit:

"Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana (except the parishes of St. Bernard,
Plaquemine, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James, Ascension,
Assumption, Terre Bonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans,
including the city of New Orleans), Mississippi, Alabama, Florida,
Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia (except the
forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the
counties of Berkeley, Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York,
Princess Anne, and Norfolk, including the cities of {189} Norfolk and
Portsmouth), and which excepted parts are, for the present, left
precisely as if this proclamation were not issued.

"And, by virtue of the power and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order
and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated
States and parts of States are and henceforward shall be free; and
that the Executive Government of the United States, including the
military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain
the freedom of said persons.

"And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain
from all violence, unless in necessary self-defence; and I recommend
to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for
reasonable wages.

"And I further declare and make known that such persons, of suitable
condition, will be received into the armed service of the United
States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and
to man vessels of all sorts in said service.

"And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice,
warranted by the Constitution upon military necessity, I invoke the
considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty

"In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my name, and caused the
seal of the United States to be affixed.

(L.S.) "Done at the city of Washington, this first day of January, in
the year of our Lord 1863, and of the Independence of the United
States the 87th.

"By the President: ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

"WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State."

       *       *       *       *       *


The immediate effect of this action was what had been expected. The
friends of liberty, and supporters of the Administration generally,
rejoiced at it, believing that the true line of combat had been drawn
at last. Robert Dale Owen probably expressed the opinion of most of
them when he wrote, "The true and fit question is whether, without a
flagrant violation of official duty, the President had the right to
refrain from doing it." The effect in Europe is said to have been
decisive of the question whether the Confederacy should be recognized
as an established nation; but as to this there is some uncertainty. It
is certain, however, that much friendship for the Union was won in
England, where it had been withheld on account of our attitude on the
slavery question. In Manchester, December 31, a mass-meeting of
factory operatives was held, and resolutions of sympathy with the
Union, and an address to President Lincoln, were voted. The full
significance of this can only be understood when it is remembered that
these men were largely out of work for want of the cotton that the
blockade prevented the South from exporting. The Confederate journals
chose to interpret the proclamation as nothing more than an attempt to
excite a servile insurrection. The Democratic editors of the North
assailed Mr. Lincoln with every verbal weapon of which they were
masters, though these had been somewhat blunted by previous use, for
he had already been freely called a usurper, a despot, a destroyer of
the Constitution, and a keeper of Bastiles. They declared with horror
(doubtless in some cases perfectly sincere) that the proclamation had
changed the whole character of the war. And this was true, though not
in the sense in which they meant it. When begun, it was a war for a
temporary peace; the proclamation converted it into a war for a
permanent peace. But the autumn elections showed how near Mr. Lincoln
came to being ahead of his people after all; for they went largely
against the Administration, and even in the States that the Democrats
did not carry there was a falling off in the Republican majorities;
though the result was partly due to the failure of the peninsula
campaign, and the escape of Lee's army after Antietam. Yet this did
not shake the great emancipator's faith in the justice and wisdom of
what he had done. He said on New Year's evening to a knot of callers:
"The signature looks a little tremulous, for my hand was tired, but my
resolution was firm. I told them in September, if they did not return
to their allegiance and cease murdering our soldiers, I would strike
at this pillar of their strength. And now the promise shall be kept,
and not one word of it will I ever recall."


[Illustration: CHARLES SUMNER.]

If we wonder at the slowness with which that great struggle arrived at
its true theme and issue, we shall do well to note that it has a close
parallel in our own history. The first battle of the Revolution was
fought in April, 1775, but the Declaration of Independence was not
made till July, 1776--a period of nearly fifteen months. The first
battle in the war of secession took place in April, 1861, and the
Emancipation Proclamation was issued in September, 1862--seventeen
{190} months. In the one case, as in the other, the interval was
filled with doubt, hesitation, and divided counsels; and Lincoln's
reluctance finds its match in Washington's confession that when he
took command of the army (after Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill
had been fought) he still abhorred the idea of independence. And
again, as the great Proclamation was preceded by the attempts of
Frémont and Hunter, so the great Declaration had been preceded by
those of Mendon, Mass., Chester, Penn., and Mecklenburg, N. C., which
anticipated its essential propositions by two or three years. A period
of fifteen or seventeen months, however slow for an individual, is
perhaps for an entire people as rapid development of a radical purpose
as we could have any reason to expect.

In the District of Columbia there were three thousand slaves at the
time the war began. In December, 1861, Henry Wilson, senator from
Massachusetts, afterward Vice-President, introduced in the Senate a
bill for the immediate emancipation of these slaves, with a provision
for paying to such owners as were loyal an average compensation of
three hundred dollars for each slave. The bill was opposed violently
by senators and representatives from Kentucky and Maryland, and by
some others, conspicuous among whom was Mr. Vallandigham.
Nevertheless, it passed both houses, and the President signed it April
16, 1862.

In Delaware, Kentucky, and Missouri slavery continued until it was
abolished by the Thirteenth Amendment to the National Constitution,
which in December, 1865, was declared ratified by three-fourths of the
States, and consequently a part of the fundamental law of the land.


[Illustration: WENDELL PHILLIPS.]

[Illustration: HENRY W. LONGFELLOW.]

[Illustration: JOHN G. WHITTIER.]

The President's right to proclaim the slaves free, as a war measure,
was questioned not only by his violent political opponents, but also
by a considerable number who were friendly to him, or at least to the
cause of the Union, but whose knowledge of international law and war
powers was limited. Among these were Congressman Crittenden and
Wickliffe, of Kentucky, who were stanch supporters of the Union, and
Mr. Wickliffe offered resolutions declaring that the President has no
right whatever to interfere with slavery even during a rebellion. The
whole subject was treated in a masterly way by the Hon. William
Whiting in his book entitled "War Powers under the Constitution of the
United States." He says: "The liberation of slaves is looked upon as a
means of embarrassing or weakening the enemy, or of strengthening the
military power of our army. If slaves be treated as contraband of war,
on the ground that they may be used by their masters to aid in
prosecuting war, as employees upon military works, {191} or as
laborers furnishing by their industry the means of carrying on
hostilities; or if they be treated as, in law, belligerents, following
the legal condition of their owners; or if they be deemed loyal
subjects having a just claim upon the Government to be released from
their obligations to give aid and service to disloyal and belligerent
masters, in order that they may be free to perform their higher duty
of allegiance and loyalty to the United States; or if they be regarded
as subjects of the United States, liable to do military duty; or if
they be made citizens of the United States, and soldiers; or if the
authority of the masters over their slaves is the means of aiding and
comforting the enemy, or of throwing impediments in the way of the
Government, or depriving it of such aid and assistance, in successful
prosecution of the war, as slaves would and could afford if released
from the control of the enemy; or if releasing the slaves would
embarrass the enemy, and make it more difficult for them to collect
and maintain large armies; in either of these cases, the taking away
of these slaves from the 'aid and service' of the enemy, and putting
them to the aid and service of the United States, is justifiable as an
act of war. The ordinary way of depriving the enemy of slaves is by
declaring emancipation."

He then cites abundant precedents and authorities from British,
French, South American, and other sources, one of the most striking of
which is this quotation from Thomas Jefferson's letter to Dr. Gordon,
complaining of the injury done to his estates by Cornwallis: "He
destroyed all my growing crops and tobacco; he burned all my barns,
containing the same articles of last year. Having first taken what
corn he wanted, he used, as was to be expected, all my stock of
cattle, sheep, and hogs for the sustenance of his army, and carried
off all the horses capable of service. He carried off also about
thirty slaves. Had this been to give them freedom, he would have done
right. From an estimate made at the time on the best information I
could collect, I suppose the State of Virginia lost, under Lord
Cornwallis's hands, that year, about thirty thousand slaves." Whiting
says in conclusion: "It has thus been proved, by the law and usage of
modern civilized nations, confirmed by the judgment of eminent
statesmen, and by the former practice of this Government, that the
President, as commander-in-chief, has the authority, as an act of war,
to liberate the slaves of the enemy; that the United States have in
former times sanctioned the liberation of slaves--even of loyal
citizens--by military commanders, in time of war, without compensation
therefor, and have deemed slaves captured in war from belligerent
subjects as entitled to their freedom."




After the battle of the Antietam, Lee withdrew to the neighborhood of
Winchester, where he was reinforced, till at the end of a month he had
about sixty-eight thousand men. McClellan followed as far as the
Potomac, and there seemed to plant his army, as if he expected it to
sprout and increase itself like a field of corn. Ten days after he
defeated Lee on the Antietam, he wrote to the President that he
intended to stay where he was, and attack the enemy if they attempted
to recross into Maryland! At the same time, he constantly called for
unlimited reinforcements, and declared that, even if the city of
Washington should be captured, it would not be a disaster so serious
as the defeat of his army. Apparently it did not occur to General
McClellan that these two contingencies were logically the same. For if
Lee could have defeated that army, he could then have marched into
Washington; or if he could have captured Washington without fighting
the army whose business it was to defend it, the army would thereby be
substantially defeated.


On the 1st of October the President visited General McClellan at his
headquarters, and made himself acquainted with the condition of the
army. Five days later he ordered McClellan to {192} "cross the
Potomac, and give battle to the enemy, or drive him south." The
despatch added, "Your army must move now, while the roads are good. If
you cross the river between the enemy and Washington, and cover the
latter by your operation, you can be reinforced with thirty thousand
men." Nevertheless, McClellan did not stir. Instead of obeying the
order, he inquired what sort of troops they were that would be sent to
him, and how many tents he could have, and said his army could not
move without fresh supplies of shoes and clothing. While he was thus
paltering, the Confederate General Stuart, who had ridden around his
army on the peninsula, with a small body of cavalry rode entirely
around it again, eluding all efforts for his capture. On the 13th the
President wrote a long, friendly letter to General McClellan, in which
he gave him much excellent advice that he, as a trained soldier, ought
not to have needed. A sentence or two will suggest the drift of it:
"Are you not over-cautious when you assume that you cannot do what the
enemy is constantly doing? ... In coming to us, he [the enemy] tenders
us an advantage which we should not waive. We should not so operate as
to merely drive him away.... It is all easy if our troops march as
well as the enemy, and it is unmanly to say they cannot do it." The
letter had outlined a plan of campaign, but it closed with the words,
characteristic of Lincoln's modesty in military matters, "This letter
is in no sense an order." Twelve days more of fine weather were
frittered away in renewed complaints, and such inquiries as whether
the President wished him to move at once or wait for fresh horses, for
the general said his horses were fatigued and had sore tongue. Here
the President began to show some impatience, and wrote: "Will you
pardon me for asking what the horses of your army have done since the
battle of Antietam that fatigues anything?" The general replied that
they had been scouting, picketing, and making reconnoissances, and
that the President had done injustice to the cavalry. Whereupon Mr.
Lincoln wrote again: "Most certainly I intend no injustice to any, and
if I have done any I deeply regret it. To be told, after more than
five weeks' total inaction of the army, and during which period we had
sent to that army every fresh horse we possibly could, amounting in
the whole to 7,918, that the cavalry horses were too much fatigued to
move, presented a very cheerless, almost hopeless, prospect for the
future, and it may have forced something of impatience into my
despatches." That day, October 26, McClellan began to cross the
Potomac; but it was ten days (partly owing to heavy rains) before his
army was all on the south side of the river, and meanwhile he had
brought up new questions for discussion and invented new excuses for
delay. He wanted to know to what extent the line of the Potomac was to
be guarded; he wanted to leave strong garrisons at certain points, to
prevent the army he was driving southward before him from rushing
northward into Maryland again; he discussed the position of General
Bragg's (Confederate) army, which was four hundred miles away beyond
the mountains; he said the old regiments of his command must be filled
up with recruits before they could go into action.


[Illustration: MAJOR-GENERAL E. V. SUMNER.]



McClellan was a sore puzzle to the people of the loyal States. But
large numbers of his men still believed in him, and--as is usual in
such cases--intensified their personal devotion in proportion as the
distrust of the people at large was increased. After crossing the
Potomac, he left a corps at Harper's Ferry, and was moving southward
on the eastern side of the Blue Ridge, while Lee moved in the same
direction on the western {193} side, when, on November 7, the
President solved the riddle that had vexed the country, by relieving
him of the command.

The successor of General McClellan was Ambrose E. Burnside, then in
his thirty-ninth year, who was graduated at West Point fifteen years
before, had commanded cavalry during the Mexican war, had invented a
breech-loading rifle which was commercially unsuccessful, and at the
breaking out of the rebellion was treasurer of the Illinois Central
Railroad. When the First Rhode Island Regiment went to Washington,
four days after the President's first call for troops, Burnside was
its colonel. He commanded a brigade at the first battle of Bull Run;
led an expedition that captured Roanoke Island, New Berne, and
Beaufort, N. C., in January, 1862; and commanded one wing of
McClellan's army at South Mountain and Antietam. Whether he was
blameworthy for not crossing the Antietam early in the day and
effecting a crushing defeat of Lee's army, is a disputed question. It
might be worth while to discuss it, were it not that he afterward
accepted a heavier responsibility and incurred a more serious
accusation. The command of the Army of the Potomac had been offered to
him twice before, but he had refused it, saying that he "was not
competent to command such a large army." When the order came relieving
McClellan and appointing him, he consulted with that general and with
his staff officers, making the same objection; but they took the
ground that as a soldier he was bound to obey without question, and so
he accepted the place, as he says, "in the midst of a violent
snow-storm, with the army in a position that I knew little of." These
two generals were warm personal friends, and McClellan remained a few
days to put Burnside in possession, as far as possible, of the
essential facts in relation to the position and condition of the


{194} [Illustration: THE STONE WALL UNDER MARYE'S HEIGHTS. (From a War
Department photograph.)]

At this time the right wing of Lee's army, under Longstreet, was near
Culpeper, and the left, under Jackson, was in the Shenandoah Valley.
Their separation was such that it would require two days for one to
march to the other. McClellan said he intended to endeavor to get
between them and either beat them in detail or force them to unite as
far south as Gordonsville. Burnside not only did not continue this
plan, but gave up the idea that the Confederate army was his true
objective, assumed the city of Richmond to be such, and set out for
that place by way of the north bank of the Rappahannock and the city
of Fredericksburg, after consuming ten days in reorganizing his army
into three grand divisions, under Sumner, Hooker, and Franklin. On the
15th of November he began the march from Warrenton; the head of his
first column reached Falmouth on the 17th, and by the 20th the whole
army was there. By some blunder (it is uncertain whose) the pontoon
train that was to have met the army at this point, and afforded an
immediate crossing of the river, did not arrive till a week later; and
by this time Lee, who chose to cover his own capital and cross the
path of his enemy, rather than strike at his communications, had
placed his army on the heights south and west of Fredericksburg, and
at once began to fortify them. His line was about five and a half
miles long, and was as strong as a good natural {195} position,
earthworks, and an abundance of artillery could make it. He could not
prevent Burnside from crossing the river; for the heights on the left
bank rose close to the stream, commanding the intermediate plain, and
on these heights Burnside had one hundred and forty-seven guns. What
with waiting for the pontoons and establishing his base of supplies at
Acquia Creek, it was the 10th of December before the National
commander was ready to attempt the passage of the stream. He planned
to lay down five bridges--three opposite the city and the others two
miles below--and depended upon his artillery to protect the engineers.

Before daybreak on the morning of the 11th, in a thick fog, the work
was begun; but the bridges had not spanned more than half the distance
when the sun had risen and the fog lifted sufficiently to reveal what
was going on. A detachment of Mississippi riflemen had been posted in
cellars, behind stone walls, and at every point where a man could be
sheltered on the south bank; and now the incessant crack of their
weapons was heard, picking off the men that were laying the bridges.
One after another of the blue-coats reeled with a bullet in his brain,
fell into the water, and was carried down by the current, till the
losses were so serious that it was impossible to continue the work. At
the lower bridges the sharp-shooters, who there had no shelter but
rifle-pits in the open field, were dislodged after a time, and by noon
those bridges were completed. But along the front of the town they had
better shelter, the National guns could not be depressed enough to
shell them, and the work on the three upper bridges came to a
standstill. Burnside tried bombarding the town, threw seventy tons of
iron into it, and set it on fire; but still the sharp-shooters clung
to their hiding places, and when the engineers tried to renew their
task on the bridges, under cover of the bombardment, they were
destroyed by the same murderous fire.

At last General Hunt, chief of artillery, suggested a solution
of the difficulty. Three regiments that volunteered for the
service--the Seventh Michigan, and the Nineteenth and Twentieth
Massachusetts--crossed the river in pontoon boats, under the fire of
the sharp-shooters, landed quickly, and drove them out of their
fastness, capturing a hundred of them, while the remainder escaped to
the hills. The bridges were then completed, and the crossing was
begun; but it was evening of the 12th before the entire army was on
the Fredericksburg side of the river.

On the morning of the 13th Burnside was ready to attack, and Lee was
more than ready to be attacked. He had concentrated his whole army on
the fortified heights, Longstreet's corps forming his left wing and
Jackson's his right, with every gun in position, and every man ready
and knowing what to expect. The weak point of the line, if it had any,
was on the right, where the ground was not so high, and there was
plenty of room for the deployment of the attacking force. Here
Franklin commanded, with about half of the National army; and here,
according to Burnside's first plan, the principal assault was to be
made. But there appears to have been a sudden and unaccountable change
in the plan; and when the hour for action arrived Franklin was ordered
to send forward a division or two, and hold the remainder of his force
ready for "a rapid movement down the old Richmond road," while Sumner
on the right was ordered to send out two divisions to seize the
heights back of the city. Exactly what Burnside expected to do next,
if these movements had been successful, nobody appears to know.

The division chosen to lead Franklin's attack was Meade's. This
advanced rapidly, preceded by a heavy skirmish line, while his
batteries firing over the heads of the troops shelled the heights
vigorously. Meade's men crossed the railroad under heavy fire, that
had been withheld till they were within close range, penetrated
between two divisions of the first Confederate line, doubling back the
flanks of both and taking many prisoners and some battle-flags, scaled
the heights, and came upon the second line. By this time the momentum
of the attack was spent, and the fire of the second line, delivered on
the flanks as well as in front, drove them back. The divisions of
Gibbon and Doubleday had followed in support, which relieved the
pressure upon Meade; and when all three were returning unsuccessful
and in considerable confusion, Birney's moved out and stopped the
pursuing enemy.




Sumner's attack was made with the divisions of French and Hancock,
which moved through the town and deployed in columns under the fire of
the Confederate batteries. This was very destructive, but was not the
deadliest thing that the men had to meet. Marye's Hill was skirted
near its base by an old sunken road, at the outer edge of which was a
stone wall; and in this road were two brigades of Confederate
infantry. It could hardly be seen, at a little distance, that there
was a road at all. When French's charging columns had rushed across
the open ground under the artillery fire that ploughed through and
through their ranks, they suddenly confronted a sheet of flame and
lead from the rifles in the sunken road. The Confederates here were so
{196} numerous that each one at the wall had two or three behind to
load muskets and hand them to him, while he had only to lay them flat
across the wall and fire them as rapidly as possible, exposing
scarcely more than his head. Nearly half of French's men were shot
down, and the remainder fell back. Hancock's five thousand charged in
the same manner, and some of them approached within twenty yards of
the wall; but within a quarter of an hour they also fell back a part
of the distance, leaving two thousand of their number on the field.
Three other divisions advanced to the attack, but with no better
result; and all of them remained in a position where they were just
out of reach of the rifles in the sunken road, but were still played
upon by the Confederate artillery.

Burnside now grew frantic, and ordered Hooker to attack. That officer
moved out with three divisions, made a reconnoissance, and went back
to tell Burnside it was useless and persuade him to give up the
attempt. But the commander insisted, and so Hooker's four thousand
rushed forward with fixed bayonets, and presently came back like the
rest, leaving seventeen hundred dead or wounded on the field.

The entire National loss in this battle was twelve thousand six
hundred and fifty-three in killed, wounded, or missing, though some of
the missing afterward rejoined their commands. Hancock's division lost
one hundred and fifty-six officers, and one of his regiments lost
two-thirds of its men. The Confederate loss was five thousand three
hundred and seventy-seven. Four brigadier-generals were killed in this
battle; on the National side, Generals George D. Bayard and Conrad F.
Jackson; on the Confederate, Generals Thomas R. R. Cobb and Maxcy
Gregg. In the night the Union troops brought in their wounded and
buried some of their dead. Severe as his losses had been, Burnside
planned to make a fresh attempt the next day, with the Ninth Corps
(his old command), which he proposed to lead in person; but General
Sumner dissuaded him, though with difficulty. In the night of the
15th, in the midst of a storm, the army was withdrawn to the north
bank of the Rappahannock, and the sorry campaign was ended.

If it had been at all necessary to prove the courage and discipline of
the National troops, Fredericksburg proved it abundantly. There were
few among them that December morning who did not look upon it as
hopeless to assault those fortified slopes; yet they obeyed their
orders, and moved out to the work as if they expected victory,
suffering such frightful losses as bodies of troops are seldom called
upon to endure, and retiring with little disorder and no panic. The
English correspondent of the London _Times_, writing from Lee's
headquarters, exultingly predicted the speedy decline and fall of the
American Republic. If he had been shrewd enough to see what was
indicated, rather than what he hoped for, he would have written that
with such courage and discipline as the Army of the Potomac had
displayed, and superior resources, the final victory was certain to be
theirs, however they might first suffer from incompetent commanders;
that the Republic that had set such an army in the field, and had the
material for several more, was likely to contain somewhere a general
worthy to lead it, and was not likely to be overthrown by any
insurrection of a minority of its people.


[Illustration: COLONEL ROBERT NUGENT. (Afterward Brevet


There never was any question of the gallantry or patriotism of General
Burnside, but his woful lack of judgment in the conduct of the battle
of Fredericksburg (or perhaps it should be said, in fighting a battle
at that point at all) has ever remained inexplicable. His own attempt
to explain it, in his official report, is brief, and is at least manly
in the frankness with which he puts the entire blame upon himself. He
wrote: "During my preparations for crossing at the place I had first
selected, I discovered that the enemy had thrown a large portion of
his force down the river and elsewhere, thus weakening his defences in
front, and also thought I discovered that he did not anticipate the
crossing of our whole force at Fredericksburg; and I hoped by rapidly
throwing the whole command over at that place to {197} separate, by a
vigorous attack, the forces of the enemy on the river below from the
forces behind and on the crest in the rear of the town, in which case
we could fight him with great advantage in our favor. To do this we
had to gain a height on the extreme right of the crest, which height
commanded a new road lately made by the enemy for purposes of more
rapid communication along his lines, which point gained, his positions
along the crest would have been scarcely tenable, and he could have
been driven from them easily by an attack on his front in connection
with a movement in the rear of the crest.... Failing in accomplishing
the main object, we remained in order of battle two days--long enough
to decide that the enemy would not come out of his strongholds to
fight us with infantry--after which we recrossed to this side of the
river unmolested, without the loss of men or property. As the day
broke, our long lines of troops were seen marching to their different
positions as if going on parade--not the least demoralization or
disorganization existed. To the brave officers and soldiers who
accomplished the feat of thus recrossing the river in the face of the
enemy, I owe everything. For the failure in the attack I am
responsible, as the extreme gallantry, courage, and endurance shown by
them was never exceeded, and would have carried the points had it been
possible. The fact that I decided to move from Warrenton on to this
line rather against the opinion of the President, Secretary of War,
and yourself, and that you left the whole movement in my hands,
without giving me orders, makes me the only one responsible."

When Burnside's plan was submitted to the President and General
Halleck, there was considerable opposition to it, and when finally
Halleck informed Burnside that the President consented to that plan,
he added significantly: "He thinks it will succeed if you move
rapidly; otherwise not." Though Mr. Lincoln was not a soldier, his
natural aptitude for strategy has been much discussed, and it is
therefore interesting to remember this saving clause in his consent to
the experiment of Fredericksburg. How near the National troops, with
all their terrible disadvantages, came to piercing the lines of the
enemy on Marye's Hill, we know from the testimony of General
Longstreet, who says: "General Lee became uneasy when he saw the
attacks so promptly renewed and pushed forward with such persistence,
and feared the Federals might break through our lines. After the third
charge he said to me, 'General, they are massing very heavily, and
will break your line, I am afraid.'" Longstreet represents himself as
having no such fears whatever, but it further appears from his
testimony that when in the night they captured an officer on whom they
found an order for renewal of the battle the next day, General Lee
immediately gave orders for the construction of a new line of
rifle-pits and the placing of more guns in position.

General Lee, instead of following up his good fortune by counter
attack, went off to Richmond to suggest other operations. No such
fierce criticism for not reaping the fruits of victories has ever been
expended upon him as some of the National commanders have had to
endure for this fault, though many of his and their opportunities were
closely parallel. In Richmond he was told by Mr. Davis that the
Administration considered the war virtually over, but he knew better.


[Illustration: A HASTY MEAL.]


The story of the battle, so far as its strictly military aspect is
concerned, is extremely simple, and makes but a short though dreadful
chapter in the history of the great struggle. But it was full of
incidents, though mostly of the mournful kind, and the reader would
fail to get any adequate conception of what was done and suffered on
that field without some accounts written at the time by participants.
General Meagher, commanding the Irish brigade, made an interesting
report, in which he pictured graphically the manner in which that
organization went into the action and the treatment that it received.
A few extracts will include the most interesting passages. "The
brigade never was in finer spirits and condition. The arms and
accoutrements were in perfect order. The required amount of ammunition
was on hand. Both officers and men were comfortably clad, and it would
be difficult to say whether those who were to lead or those who were
to follow were the better prepared or the more eager to discharge
their duty. A few minutes {198} after four o'clock P.M., word was
conveyed to me that a gallant body of volunteers had crossed the river
in boats and taken possession of the city of Fredericksburg.
Immediately on the receipt of this news, an order reached me from
Brigadier-General Hancock to move forward the brigade and take up a
position closer to the river. In this new position we remained all
night. At seven o'clock the following morning we were under arms, and
in less than two hours the head of the brigade presented itself on the
opposite bank of the river. Passing along the edge of the river to the
lower bridge, the brigade halted, countermarched, stacked arms, and in
this position, ankle-deep in mud, and with little or nothing to
contribute to their comfort, in complete subordination and good heart,
awaited further orders. An order promulgated by Major-General Couch,
commanding the corps, prohibited fires after nightfall. This order was
uncomplainingly and manfully obeyed by the brigade. Officers and men
lay down and slept that night in the mud and frost, and without a
murmur, with heroic hearts, composed themselves as best they could for
the eventualities of the coming day. A little before eight o'clock
A.M., Saturday, the 13th inst., we received orders to fall in and
prepare instantly to take the field. The brigade being in line, I
addressed, separately, to each regiment a few words, reminding it of
its duty, and exhorting it to acquit itself of that duty bravely and
nobly to the last. Immediately after, the column swept up the street
toward the scene of action, headed by Col. Robert Nugent, of the
Sixty-ninth, and his veteran regiment--every officer and man of the
brigade wearing a sprig of evergreen in his hat, in memory of the land
of his birth. The advance was firmly and brilliantly made through this
street under a continuous discharge of shot and shell, several men
falling from the effects of both. Even whilst I was addressing the
Sixty-ninth, which was on the right of the brigade, three men of the
Sixty-third were knocked over, and before I had spoken my last words
of encouragement the mangled remains of the poor fellows--mere masses
of torn flesh and rags--were borne along the line to the hospital of
French's division. Emerging from the street, having nothing whatever
to protect it, the brigade encountered the full force and fury of the
enemy's fire, and, unable to resist or reply to it, had to push on to
the mill-race, which may be described as the first of the hostile
{199} defences. Crossing this mill-race by means of a single bridge,
the brigade, diverging to the right, had to deploy into line of
battle. This movement necessarily took some time to execute. The
Sixty-ninth, under Colonel Nugent, being on the right, had to stand
its ground until the rest of the brigade came up and formed. I myself,
accompanied by Lieutenant Emmet of my staff, crossed the mill-race on
foot from the head of the street through which the column had
debouched. Trudging up the ploughed field as well as my lameness would
permit me, to the muddy crest along which the brigade was to form in
line of battle, I reached the fence on which the right of the
Sixty-ninth rested. I directed Colonel Nugent to throw out two
companies of his regiment as skirmishers on the right flank. This
order was being carried out, when the other regiments of the brigade,
coming up with a brisk step and deploying in line of battle, drew down
upon themselves a terrific fire. Nevertheless the line was beautifully
and rapidly formed, and boldly advanced, Colonel Nugent leading on the
right, Col. Patrick Kelly, commanding the Eighty-eighth, being next in
line, both displaying a courageous soldiership which I have no words,
even with all my partiality for them, adequately to describe. Thus
formed, under the unabating tempest and deluge of shot and shell, the
Irish brigade advanced against the rifle-pits, the breastworks, and
batteries of the enemy.... The next day, a little after sunrise, every
officer and man of the brigade able again to take the field, by order
of Brigadier-General Hancock, recrossed to Fredericksburg and took up
the same position, on the street nearest the river, which we had
occupied previous to the advance, prepared and eager, notwithstanding
their exhausted numbers and condition, to support the Ninth Corps in
the renewal of the assault of the previous day, that renewal having
been determined on by the general-in-chief. Of the one thousand two
hundred I had led into action the day before, two hundred and eighty
only appeared on that ground that morning. This remnant of the Irish
brigade, still full of heart, still wearing the evergreen, inspired by
a glowing sense of duty, sorrowful for their comrades, but emboldened
and elated by the thought that they had fallen with the proud bravery
they did--this noble little remnant awaited the order that was once
more to precipitate them against the batteries of the enemy."

Gen. Aaron F. Stevens (afterward member of Congress), who at that time
commanded the Thirteenth New Hampshire Regiment, made an interesting
report, in the course of which he said: "Just after dark we moved to
the river, and crossed without opposition the pontoon-bridge near the
lower end of the city. My regiment took up its position for the night
in Caroline Street, one of the principal streets of the city, and
threw out two companies as pickets toward the enemy. At an early hour
on Saturday morning, the eventful and disastrous day of the battle, we
took up our position with the brigade under the hill on the bank of
the river, just below the bridge which we crossed on Thursday night.
Here we remained under arms the entire day, our position being about a
mile distant from the line of the enemy's batteries. Occasionally,
during the day, fragments of shell from his guns reached us or passed
over us, falling in the river and beyond, doing but little damage. One
of our own guns, however, on the opposite bank of the river, which
threw shells over us toward the enemy, was so unfortunately handled as
to kill two men and wound several others in our brigade. As yet all
the accounts which I have seen or read, from Union or rebel sources,
approach not in delineation the truthful and terrible panorama of that
bloody day. Twice during the day I rode up Caroline Street to the
centre of the city toward the point where our brave legions were
struggling against the terrible combination of the enemy's artillery
and infantry, whose unremitting fire shook the earth and filled the
plain in rear of the city with the deadly missiles of war. I saw the
struggling hosts of freedom stretched along the plain, their ranks
ploughed by the merciless fire of the foe. I saw the dead and wounded,
among them some of New Hampshire's gallant sons, borne back on the
shoulders of their comrades in battle, and laid tenderly down in the
hospitals prepared for their reception, in the houses on either side
of the street as far as human habitations extended. I listened to the
roar of battle and the groans of the wounded and dying. I saw in the
crowded hospitals the desolation of war; but I heard from our brave
soldiers no note of triumph, no word of encouragement, no syllable of
hope that for us a field was to be won. In the stubborn, unyielding
resistance of the enemy I could see no point of pressure likely to
yield to the repeated assaults of our brave soldiers, and so I
returned to my command to wait patiently for the hour when we might be
called to share in the duty and danger of our brave brethren engaged
in the contest. By stepping forward to the brow of the hill which
covered us, a distance of ten yards, we were in full view of the rebel
stronghold--the batteries along the crest of the ridge called
Stansbury Hill and skirting Hazel Run. For three-fourths of an hour
before we were ordered into action, I stood in front of my regiment on
the brow of the hill and watched the fire of the rebel batteries as
they poured shot and shell from sixteen different points upon our
devoted men on the plains below. It was a sight magnificently
terrible. Every discharge of enemy's artillery and every explosion of
his shells were visible in the dusky twilight of that smoke-crowned
hill. There his direct and enfilading batteries, with the vividness,
intensity, and almost the rapidity, of lightning, hurled the
messengers of death in the midst of our brave ranks, vainly struggling
through the murderous fire to gain the hills and the guns of the
enemy. Nor was it any straggling or ill-directed fire. The arrangement
of the enemy's guns was such that they could pour their concentrated
and incessant fire upon any point occupied by our assailing troops,
and all of them were plied with the greatest skill and animation.
During all this time the rattle of musketry was incessant.

"About sunset there was a pause in the cannonading and musketry, and
orders came for our brigade to fall in. Silently but unflinchingly the
men moved out from under their cover, and, when they reached the
ground, quickened their pace to a run. As the head of the column came
in sight of the enemy, at a distance of about three-fourths of a mile
from their batteries, when close to Slaughter's house, it was saluted
with a shower of shell from the enemy's guns on the crest of the hill.
It moved on by the flank down the hill into the plain beyond, crossing
a small stream which passes through the city and empties into Hazel
Run, then over another hill to the line of railroad. We moved at so
rapid a pace that many of the men relieved themselves of their
blankets and haversacks, and in some instances of their great-coats,
which in most cases were lost. By counter-march, we extended our line
along the railroad, the right resting toward the city, and the left
near Hazel Run. The words, 'Forward, charge!' ran along the lines. The
men sprang forward, and moved at a run, crossed the railroad into a
low muddy swamp on the left, which reaches down to Hazel Run, the
right moving over higher and less muddy ground, all the time the
batteries of the enemy concentrating their terrible fire and {200}
pouring it upon the advancing lines. Suddenly the cannonading and
musketry of the enemy ceased. The shouts of our men also were hushed,
and nothing was heard along the line save the command: 'Forward,
men--steady--close up.' In this way we moved forward, until within
about twenty yards of the celebrated stone wall. Before we reached the
point of which I have been speaking, we came to an irregular ravine or
gully, into which, in the darkness of night, the lines plunged, but
immediately gained the opposite side, and were advancing along the
level ground toward the stone wall. Behind that wall, and in
rifle-pits on its flanks, were posted the enemy's infantry--according
to their statements--four ranks deep; and on the hill, a few yards
above, lay in ominous silence their death-dealing artillery. It was
while we were moving steadily forward that, with one startling crash,
with one simultaneous sheet of fire and flame, they hurled on our
advancing lines the whole terrible force of their infantry and
artillery. The powder from their musketry burned in our very faces,
and the breath of their artillery was hot upon our cheeks. The 'leaden
rain and iron hail' in an instant forced back the advancing lines upon
those who were close to them in the rear; and before the men could be
rallied to renew the charge, the lines had been hurled back by the
irresistible fire of the enemy to the cover of the ravine or gully
which they had just passed. The enemy swept the ground with his guns,
killing and wounding many--our men in the meantime keeping up a
spirited fire upon the unseen foe."






The Confederate Congress in 1862 passed a sweeping conscription act,
forcing into the ranks every man of military age. Even boys of sixteen
were taken out of school and sent to camps of instruction. This
largely increased their forces in the field, and at the West
especially they exhibited a corresponding activity. General
Beauregard, whose health had failed, was succeeded by Gen. Braxton
Bragg, a man of more energy than ability, who, with forty thousand
men, marched northward into eastern Kentucky, defeating a National
force near Richmond, and another at Munfordville. He then assumed that
Kentucky was a State of the Confederacy, appointed a provisional
governor, forced {201} Kentuckians into his army, and robbed the
farmers not only of their stock and provisions, but of their wagons
for carrying away the plunder, paying them in worthless Confederate
money. He carried with him twenty thousand muskets, expecting to find
that number of Kentuckians who would enroll themselves in his command;
but he confessed afterward that he did not even secure enough recruits
to take up the arms that fell from the hands of his dead and wounded.
With the supplies collected by his army of "liberators," as he called
them, in a wagon-train said to have been forty miles long, he was
moving slowly back into Tennessee, when General Buell, with about
fifty-eight thousand men (one-third of them new recruits), marched in

Bragg turned and gave battle at Perryville (October 8), and the fight
lasted nearly all day. At some points it was desperate, with
hand-to-hand fighting, and troops charging upon batteries where the
gunners stood to their pieces and blew them from the very muzzles. The
National left, composed entirely of raw troops, was crushed by a heavy
onset; but the next portion of the line, commanded by Gen. Philip H.
Sheridan, not only held its ground and repelled the assault, but
followed up the retiring enemy with a counter attack. Gooding's
brigade (National) lost five hundred and forty-nine men out of
fourteen hundred and twenty-three, and its commander became a
prisoner. When night fell, the Confederates had been repelled at all
points, and a portion of them had been driven through Perryville,
losing many wagons and prisoners. Buell prepared to attack at
daylight, but found that Bragg had moved off in the night with his
whole army, continuing his retreat to East Tennessee, leaving a
thousand of his wounded on the ground. He also abandoned twelve
hundred of his men in hospital at Harrodsburg, with large quantities
of his plunder, some of which he burned, and made all haste to get
away. Buell reported his loss in the battle as forty-three hundred and
forty-eight, which included Gens. James S. Jackson and William R.
Terrill killed. Bragg's loss was probably larger, though he gave
considerably smaller figures.

The battle of Perryville is more noteworthy for its fierce fighting
and numerous instances of determined gallantry than for any importance
in its bearing on the campaign. It was especially notable for the work
of the artillery, and the struggles to capture or preserve the various
batteries. One National battery of eight guns was commanded by Capt.
Charles C. Parsons, and the Confederates making a fierce charge upon
it captured seven of the pieces, but not without the most desperate
hand-to-hand fighting, in the course of which Parsons at one time was
lying on his back under the guns and firing his revolver at the
assailants. Sixteen years afterward this man, who in the meantime had
become a clergyman, sacrificed his life in attending to the victims of
yellow fever on the Mississippi. When Sheridan was heavily pressed by
the enemy and his right was in special danger, the brigade of Colonel
Carlin was sent to his relief. Carlin's men, reaching the brow of a
hill, discovered the advancing enemy, and immediately charged at the
double quick with such impetuosity that they not only drove back the
Confederates, but passed entirely through their lines where they were
in momentary danger of being captured _en masse_. But, during the
confusion which they caused, they skilfully fell back, carrying with
them a heavily loaded ammunition train which they had captured with
its guard. Pinney's Fifth Wisconsin battery was worked to its utmost
capacity for three hours without supports, and withstood several
charges, piling its front with the bodies of the slain. In the Third
Ohio Regiment six color sergeants were shot in succession, but the
flag was never allowed to touch the earth. That regiment lost two
hundred out of five hundred men. A correspondent of the _Cincinnati
Gazette_, who was on the field, thus relates one of the many
interesting incidents of the battle: "The Tenth Ohio were lying upon
their faces to the left of the Third, near the summit of the same
hill, and upon the other side of a lane. The retreat of the Third Ohio
and Fifteenth Kentucky had left the right wing of the Tenth uncovered,
and a whole brigade of the enemy, forming in mass, advanced toward
them over the ground of such a nature that if the Tenth did not
receive warning from some source the rebel column would be upon them,
and annihilate them before they could rise from their faces and change
front. Colonel Lytle was expecting the enemy to appear in his front,
over the crest of the hill, and had intended to have the gallant Tenth
charge them with the bayonet. And they still lay upon their faces
while the enemy was advancing upon their flank, stealthily as a cat
steals upon her prey. Nearer and nearer they come. Great heavens! Will
no one tell the Tenth of their fearful peril? Where is the eagle eye
which ought to overlook the field and send swift-footed couriers to
save this illustrious band from destruction? Alas, there is none! The
heroes of Carnifex are doomed. The mass of Confederates, which a
rising ground just to the right of the tent has hitherto concealed
from view, rush upon the hapless regiment, and from the distance of a
hundred yards pour into it an annihilating fire even while the men are
still upon their faces. Overwhelmed and confounded, they leap to their
feet and vainly endeavor to change front to meet the enemy. It is
impossible to do it beneath that withering, murderous fire; and for
the first time in its history the Tenth Regiment turns its back upon
the enemy. They will not run; they only walk away, and they are mowed
down by scores as they go. The noble, gifted, generous Lytle was
pierced with bullets and fell where the storm was fiercest. One of his
sergeants lifted him in his arms, and was endeavoring to carry him
from the field. 'You may do some good yet,' said the hero; 'I can do
no more; let me die here.' He was left there, and fell into the hands
of the enemy."


On hearing of this disaster to the Tenth Ohio Regiment, which formed
the right of Lytle's Seventeenth Brigade, General Rousseau immediately
rode to the scene of it. He says in his report: "Whilst near the
Fifteenth Kentucky, I saw a heavy force of the enemy advancing upon
our right, the same that had turned Lytle's right flank. It was moving
steadily up in full view of where General Gilbert's army corps had
been during the day, the left flank of which was not more than four
hundred yards from it. On approaching, the Fifteenth Kentucky, though
broken and shattered, rose to its feet and cheered, and as one man
moved to the top of the hill where it could see the enemy, and I
ordered it to lie down. I then rode up to Loomis's battery, and
directed him to open upon the enemy. He replied he was ordered by
General McCook to reserve what ammunition he had for close work.
Pointing to the enemy advancing, I said it was close enough, and would
be closer in a moment. He at once opened fire with alacrity, and made
fearful havoc upon the ranks of the enemy. It was admirably done, but
the enemy moved straight ahead. His ranks were raked by the battery,
and terribly thinned by the musketry of the Seventeenth Brigade; but
he scarcely faltered, and finally, hearing that reinforcements were
approaching, the brigade was ordered to retire and give place to them,
which it did in good order. The reinforcements {203} were from
Mitchell's division, as I understood, and were Pea Ridge men. I wish I
knew who commanded the brigade, that I might do him justice; I can
only say that the brigade moved directly into the fight, like true
soldiers, and opened a terrific fire and drove back the enemy. After
repulsing the enemy, they retired a few hundred yards into a piece of
woods to encamp in, and during the night the enemy advanced his
pickets in the woods on our left front and captured a good many of our
men who went there believing we still held the woods."


[Illustration: COLONEL WILLIAM P. CARLIN. (Afterward Brevet

General Halleck, at Washington, now planned for Buell's army a
campaign in East Tennessee; but as that was more than two hundred
miles away, and the communications were not provided for, Buell
declined to execute it. For this reason, and also on the ground that
if he had moved more rapidly and struck more vigorously he might have
destroyed Bragg's army, he was removed from command, and Gen. William
S. Rosecrans succeeded him.

In September, when Bragg had first moved northward, a Confederate army
of about forty thousand men, under Generals Price and Van Dorn, had
crossed from Arkansas into Mississippi with the purpose of capturing
Grant's position at Corinth, and thus breaking the National line of
defence and coöperating with Bragg. Price seized Iuka, southeast of
Corinth, and Grant sent out against him a force under Rosecrans,
consisting of about nine thousand men, which included the divisions of
Gens. David S. Stanley and Charles S. Hamilton, and the cavalry under
Col. John K. Mizner. It was Grant's intention that while this force
moved toward Iuka from the south, Gen. E. O. C. Ord's command,
consisting of eight thousand men, should move upon it from the west.
There are two roads running south from Iuka, about two miles apart,
and Grant intended that Rosecrans should approach by both of these
roads, so as to cut off the enemy's retreat. But Rosecrans marched
only by the westernmost road, leaving the eastern, known as the Fulton
road, open. Hamilton's division was in advance, and at four o'clock in
the afternoon, at a point two miles from Iuka, the head of his column,
ascending a long hill, found the enemy deployed across the road and in
the woods a few hundred yards beyond its crest. Hamilton had thrown
out a heavy skirmish line, which for four or five miles had kept up a
running fight with sharp-shooters. The enemy, in force, occupied a
strong line along a deep ravine, from which they moved forward to
attack as soon as Hamilton's men appeared on the crest. Hamilton
himself, being close to the skirmish line, saw the situation with its
dangers and its advantages, and made haste to prepare for what was
coming. He deployed his infantry along the crest, got a battery into
position under heavy fire where it could command the road in front,
placed every regiment personally, and gave each regimental commander
orders to hold his ground at all hazards. As the remainder of his
forces came up, he placed them so as to extend his flanks and prevent
them from being turned. But while he was doing this, the enemy was
advancing and the battle was becoming very serious. The enemy came on
in heavy masses against his centre, charging steadily up to his guns,
which fired canister into them at short range, until nearly every man
and horse in the battery was disabled, and it was captured. Brig.-Gen.
Jeremiah C. Sullivan then gathered a portion of the right wing, which
had been thrown into some disorder, and retook the battery, driving
the Confederates back to their line; but rallying in turn they
captured it a second time, and a second time it was recaptured.
General Stanley's division was now brought up to the assistance of
Hamilton's, and the Confederates were driven back once more. They then
made an attempt by {204} marching through a ravine to fall upon the
National left in heavy force; but their movement was discovered, and
the Tenth Iowa Regiment, together with part of a battery, met them
with such a reception that they quickly withdrew. The front on which
the troops could be deployed was not long enough to permit more than
three thousand men of the Nationals to be in action at once; but along
this line the fighting was kept up until dark, when the enemy retired,
and in the morning, when Rosecrans prepared to attack him, it was
found that he was gone. The losses in the National army in this battle
were 141 killed, 613 wounded, and 36 missing. On the Confederate side,
where not many more men could be engaged at once than on the National,
the losses were reported as 85 killed, 410 wounded, and 40 missing,
the killed including Brig.-Gen. Henry Little. But these figures are
probably altogether too small. General Hamilton reported that 263
Confederates were buried on the field.

General Rosecrans, in a congratulatory order to his troops a few days
later, said: "You may well be proud of the battle of Iuka. On the 18th
you concentrated at Jacinto; on the 19th you marched twenty miles,
driving in the rebel outposts for the last eight; reached the front of
Price's army, advantageously posted in unknown woods, and opened the
action by four P.M. On a narrow front, intersected by ravines and
covered by dense undergrowths, with a single battery, Hamilton's
division went into action against the combined rebel hosts. On that
unequal ground, which permitted the enemy to outnumber them three to
one, they fought a glorious battle, mowing down the rebel hordes,
until, night closing in, they rested on their arms on the
battleground, from which the enemy retired during the night, leaving
us masters of the field. The general commanding bears cheerful
testimony to the fiery alacrity with which the troops of Stanley's
division moved up, cheering, to support the third division, and took
their places to give them an opportunity to replenish their
ammunition; and to the magnificent fighting of the Eleventh Missouri
under the gallant Mower. To all the regiments who participated in the
fight, he presents congratulations on their bravery and good conduct.
He deems it an especial duty to signalize the Forty-eighth Indiana,
which, posted on the left, held its ground until the brave Eddy fell,
and a whole brigade of Texans came in through a ravine on the little
band, and even then only yielded a hundred yards until relieved. The
Sixteenth Iowa, amid the roar of battle, the rush of wounded artillery
horses, the charge of the rebel brigade, and a storm of grape,
canister, and musketry, stood like a rock, holding the centre; while
the glorious Fifth Iowa, under the brave and distinguished Matthias,
sustained by Boomer with part of his noble little Twenty-sixth
Missouri, bore the thrice defeated charges and cross-fires of the
rebel left and centre with a valor and determination seldom equalled,
never excelled, by the most veteran soldiery.... The unexpected
accident which alone prevented us from cutting off the retreat and
capturing Price and his army only shows how much success depends on
Him in whose hands are the accidents as well as the laws of life."



As the conduct of this battle began a series of causes that resulted
in an unfortunate estrangement between Grant and Rosecrans, the
bitterness of which was exhibited by the latter in his place in
Congress even when Grant was in his dying days, it is interesting to
note what Grant says of it. In his official report, written the day
after the battle, he said: "I cannot speak too highly of the energy
and skill displayed by General Rosecrans in the attack, and of the
endurance of the troops under him." In his "Memoirs" he wrote:
"General Rosecrans had previously had his headquarters at Iuka. While
there he had a most excellent map prepared, showing all the roads and
streams in the surrounding country. He was also personally familiar
with the ground, so that I deferred very much to him in my plans for
the approach.... Ord was on the northwest, and even if a rebel
movement had been possible in that direction it could have brought
only temporary relief, for it would have carried Price's army to the
rear of the National forces and isolated it from all support. It
looked to me that, if Price would remain in Iuka until we could get
there, his annihilation was inevitable. On the morning of the 18th of
September General Ord moved by rail to Burnsville, and there left the
cars and moved to perform his part of the programme. He was to get as
near the enemy as possible during the day and intrench himself so as
to hold his position until the next morning. Rosecrans was to be up by
the morning of the 19th on the two roads, and the attack was to be
from all three quarters simultaneously.... I remained at Burnsville
with a detachment of nine hundred men from Ord's command and
communicated with my two wings by courier. Ord met the advance of the
enemy soon after leaving Burnsville. Quite a sharp engagement ensued,
but he drove the rebels back with considerable loss, including one
general officer killed. He maintained his position and was ready to
attack by daylight the next morning. I was very much disappointed at
receiving a despatch from Rosecrans after midnight from Jacinto,
twenty miles from Iuka, saying that some of his command had been
delayed, and that the rear of his column was not yet up as far as
Jacinto. He said, however, that he would still be at Iuka by two
o'clock the next day. I did not believe this possible, because of the
distance and condition of the roads. I immediately sent Ord a copy of
Rosecrans's despatch and ordered him to {205} be in readiness to
attack the moment he heard the sound of guns to the south or
southeast. During the 19th the wind blew in the wrong direction to
transmit sound, either toward the point where Ord was or to Burnsville
where I remained. [This appears to be the 'unexpected accident' to
which General Rosecrans refers in his congratulatory order.] A couple
of hours before dark, on the 19th, Rosecrans arrived with the head of
his column at Barnets. He here turned north without sending any troops
to the Fulton road. While still moving in column up the Jacinto road,
he met a force of the enemy and had his advance badly beaten and
driven back upon the main road. In this short engagement his loss was
considerable for the number engaged, and one battery was taken from
him. The wind was still blowing hard, and in the wrong direction to
transmit sound toward either Ord or me. Neither he nor I nor any one
in either command heard a gun that was fired upon the battlefield.
After the engagement Rosecrans sent me a despatch announcing the
result. The courier bearing the message was compelled to move west
nearly to Jacinto before he found a road leading to Burnsville. This
made it a late hour of the night before I learned of the battle that
had taken place during the afternoon. I at once notified Ord of the
fact and ordered him to attack early in the morning. The next morning
Rosecrans himself renewed the attack and went into Iuka with but
little resistance. Ord also went in according to orders, without
hearing a gun from the south of the town, but supposing the troops
coming from the southwest must be up before that time. Rosecrans,
however, had put no troops upon the Fulton road, and the enemy had
taken advantage of this neglect and retreated by that road during the
night. I rode into town and found that the enemy was not being pursued
even by the cavalry. I ordered pursuit by the whole of Rosecrans's
command, and went on with him a few miles in person. He followed only
a few miles after I left him, and then went into camp, and the pursuit
was continued no further. I was disappointed at the result of the
battle of Iuka, but I had so high an opinion of General Rosecrans that
I found no fault at the time." General Grant says that the plan of the
battle, which included the occupation of the Fulton road, was
suggested by Rosecrans himself.





A Confederate soldier, who participated in the engagement, gave a
graphic account of it in a letter, a few extracts from which are
interesting and suggestive. "I wrote you a short communication from
Iuka, announcing its peaceable capture on the 4th, by the army under
General Price. I believe I was a little congratulatory in my remarks,
and spread out on the rich fruits of the bloodless capture. Indeed, it
was a sight to gladden the heart of a poor soldier whose only diet for
some time had been unsalted beef and white leather hoe-cake--the
stacks of cheese, crackers, preserves, mackerel, coffee, and other
good things that line the shelves of the sutlers' shops, and fill the
commissary stores of the Yankee army. But, alas! The good {206} things
which should have been distributed to the brave men who won them were
held in reserve for what purpose I know not, unless to sweeten the
teeth of those higher in authority (whilst the men were fed on husks),
and I suppose were devoured by the flames on the day of our retreat.
We held peaceable possession of Iuka one day, and on the next day were
alarmed by the booming of cannon, and called out to spend the evening
in battle array in the woods. How on earth, with the woods full of our
cavalry, they could have approached so near our lines, is a mystery!
They had planted a battery sufficiently near to shell General Price's
headquarters, and were cracking away at the Third Brigade in line of
battle under General Herbert when our brigade (the Fourth) came up at
a double quick and formed on their left. And then for two hours and
fifteen minutes was kept up the most terrific fire of musketry that
ever dinned my ears. There was one continuous roar of small arms,
while grape and canister howled in fearful concert above our heads and
through our ranks. General Little, our division commander, whose
bravery and kindness had endeared him to the men under his command,
was shot through the head early in the action, and fell from his horse
dead. He was sitting by General Price and conversing with him at the
time. The Third Brigade was in the hottest of the fire. They charged
and took the battery, which was doing so much damage, after a
desperate struggle, piling the ground with dead. The Third Louisiana
Regiment, of this brigade, entered the fight with two hundred and
thirty-eight men, and lost one hundred and eight in killed and
wounded. The Third Texas fared about as badly. The troops against
which we were contending were Western men, the battery manned by Iowa
troops, who fought bravely and well. I know this, that the events of
that evening have considerably increased my appetite for peace, and if
the Yankees will not shoot at us any more I shall be perfectly
satisfied to let them alone. All night could be heard the groans of
the wounded and dying of both armies, forming a sequel of horror and
agony to the deadly struggle over which night had kindly thrown its
mantle. Saddest of all, our dead were left unburied, and many of the
wounded on the battlefield to be taken in charge by the enemy....
During the entire retreat we lost but four or five wagons, which broke
down on the road and were left. Acts of vandalism disgraceful to the
army were, however, perpetrated along the road, which made me blush to
own such men as my countrymen. Cornfields were laid waste,
potato-patches robbed, barn-yards and smoke-houses despoiled, hogs
killed, and all kinds of outrages perpetrated in broad daylight and in
full view of officers. I doubted, on the march up and on the retreat,
whether I was in an army of brave men fighting for their country, or
merely following a band of armed marauders who are as terrible to
their friends as foes. The settlements through which we passed were
made to pay heavy tribute to the rapacity of our soldiers. This
plunder, too, was without excuse, for rations were regularly issued
every night."

Early in October the combined forces of Price and Van Dorn attempted
the capture of Corinth, which had been abandoned by Beauregard in May,
and from that time had been held by Grant's forces. Grant was now in
Jackson, Tenn., where he had been ordered to make his headquarters,
and Rosecrans was in immediate command at Corinth with about twenty
thousand men. The place was especially tempting to the Confederates
because of the enormous amount of supplies in store there, and also
for other reasons, which are well stated in Van Dorn's report made
after the battle: "Surveying the whole field of operations before me,
the conclusion forced itself irresistibly upon my mind, that the
taking of Corinth was a condition precedent to the accomplishment of
anything of importance in West Tennessee. To take Memphis would be to
destroy an immense amount of property without any adequate military
advantage, even admitting that it could be held without heavy guns
against the enemy's gun and mortar boats. The line of fortifications
around Bolivar is intersected by the Hatchie River, rendering it
impossible to take the place by quick assault. It was clear to my mind
that if a successful attack could be made upon Corinth from the west
and northwest, the forces there driven back on the Tennessee and cut
off, Bolivar and Jackson would easily fall, and then, upon the arrival
of the exchanged prisoners of war (about nine thousand), West
Tennessee would soon be in our possession, and communication with
General Bragg effected through middle Tennessee. I determined to
attempt Corinth. I had a reasonable hope of success. Field returns at
Ripley showed my strength to be about twenty-two thousand men.
Rosecrans at Corinth had about fifteen thousand, with about eight
thousand additional men at outposts from twelve to fifteen miles
distant. I might surprise him and carry the place before these troops
could be brought in. It was necessary that this blow should be sudden
and decisive. The troops were in fine spirits, and the whole Army of
West Tennessee seemed eager to emulate the armies of the Potomac and
Kentucky. No army ever marched to battle with prouder steps, more
hopeful countenances, or with more courage, than marched the Army of
West Tennessee out of Ripley on the morning of September 29th, on its
way to Corinth."

Rosecrans had several days' notice of the attack, and had placed the
main body of the troops in an inner line of intrenchments nearer the
town than the old Confederate fortifications. Skirmishing began on the
3d of October, when the Confederates approached from the north and
west. The skirmishers were soon driven in, and the advance troops,
under McArthur and Oliver, made a more determined resistance than
Rosecrans had intended; his idea in thrusting them forward being that
they should merely develop the enemy's purpose, find out what point he
intended to attack, and then fall back on the main body. In the
afternoon this advanced detachment had been pushed back to the main
line, and there the fighting became very obstinate and bloody. General
Hamilton's division was on the right, Davies's next, Stanley's in
reserve, and McKean on the left. The force of the first heavy blow
fell upon McKean and Davies. As the Confederates overlapped Davies a
little on his right, General Rosecrans ordered Hamilton to move up his
left and connect with Davies, then to swing his right around the
enemy's left and get in his rear. Hamilton asked for more definite
instructions than he had received verbally from the staff officer, and
Rosecrans sent him a written order, which he received at five o'clock.
Hamilton says: "A simple order to attack the enemy in flank could have
reached me by courier from General Rosecrans any time after two P.M.
in fifteen minutes. I construed it [the written order] as an order for
attack, and at once proceeded to carry it out." A somewhat similar
misunderstanding arose between General Hamilton and his brigade
commanders, in consequence of which Buford's brigade went astray and a
precious hour was lost. During that time the battle was apparently
going in favor of the Confederates, although they were purchasing
their advantages at heavy cost. Each commander believed that if he
could have had an hour more of {207} sunlight the victory would have
been his that day. In the evening Rosecrans assembled his division
commanders and made his dispositions for a renewal of the battle on
the morrow.

At half-past four o'clock in the morning the Confederates opened the
fight with their artillery, to which that of Rosecrans promptly
replied, and extended their infantry lines farther to the north of the
town. Here, on their extreme left, they formed behind a low hill, and
then suddenly advanced in line of battle only three hundred yards
distant from the National intrenchments. They were soon subjected to a
cross-fire from the batteries, their line was broken, and only
fragments of it reached the edge of the town, from which they were
soon driven away by the reserves. Rosecrans then sent forward one of
Hamilton's brigades to attack the broken enemy, which prevented them
from re-forming and drove them into the woods. At the most advanced
point of the National line, which was a small work called Battery
Robinett, the heaviest fighting of the day took place. Here for more
than two hours the roar of artillery and small arms was incessant and
the smoke was in thick clouds. Through this heavy smoke the
Confederates made three determined charges upon Battery Robinett, and
the troops on either side of it, all of which were repelled. The heavy
assaulting columns were raked through and through by the shot, but
they persistently closed up and moved forward until, in one instance,
a colonel carrying the colors actually planted them on the edge of the
ditch, and then was immediately shot. After this the Confederates gave
up the fight and slowly withdrew. At sunset General McPherson arrived
from Jackson with reinforcements for the Nationals, and General
Hurlbut was on the way with more. General Rosecrans says: "Our pursuit
of the enemy was immediate and vigorous, but the darkness of the night
and the roughness of the country, covered with woods and thickets,
made movement impracticable by night, and slow and difficult by day.
General McPherson's brigade of fresh troops with a battery was ordered
to start at daylight and follow the enemy over the Chewalla road, and
Stanley's and Davies's divisions to support him. McArthur, with all of
McKean's division except Crocker's brigade, and with a good battery
and a battalion of cavalry, took the route south of the railroad
toward Pocahontas; McKean followed on this route with the rest of his
division and Ingersoll's cavalry; Hamilton followed McKean with his
entire force." But General Grant says in his "Memoirs": "General
Rosecrans, however, failed to follow up the victory, although I had
given specific orders in advance of the battle for him to pursue the
moment the enemy was repelled. He did not do so, and I repeated the
order after the battle. In the first order he was notified that the
force of four thousand men which was going to his assistance would be
in great peril if the enemy was not pursued. General Ord had joined
Hurlbut on the 4th, and, being senior, took command of his troops.
This force encountered the head of Van Dorn's retreating column just
as it was crossing the Hatchie by a bridge some ten miles out from
Corinth. The bottom land here was swampy and bad for the operations of
troops, making a good place to get an enemy into. Ord attacked the
troops that had crossed the bridge and drove them back in a panic.
Many were killed, and others were drowned by being pushed off the
bridge in their hurried retreat. Ord followed, and met the main force.
He was too weak in numbers to assault, but he held the bridge and
compelled the enemy to resume his retreat by another bridge higher up
the stream. Ord was wounded in this engagement, and the command
devolved on Hurlbut. Rosecrans did not start in pursuit till the
morning of the 5th, and then took the wrong road. Moving in the
enemy's country, he travelled with a wagon train to carry his
provisions and munitions of war. His march was therefore slower than
that of the enemy, who was moving toward his supplies. Two or three
hours' pursuit on the day of battle, without anything except what the
men carried on their persons, would have been worth more than any
pursuit commenced the next day could have possibly been. Even when he
did start, if Rosecrans had followed the route taken by the enemy, he
would have come upon Van Dorn in a swamp, with a stream in front and
Ord holding the only bridge; but he took the road leading north and
toward Chewalla instead of west, and, after having marched as far as
the enemy had moved to {209} get to the Hatchie, he was as far from
battle as when he started. Hurlbut had not the numbers to meet any
such force as Van Dorn's if they had been in any mood for fighting,
and he might have been in great peril. I now regarded the time to
accomplish anything by pursuit as past, and after Rosecrans reached
Jonesboro' I ordered him to return."




General Grant considered that General Rosecrans had made the same
serious mistake twice, at Iuka and at Corinth; and for this reason
Rosecrans was soon relieved from further service in that department.
The Confederate authorities also were dissatisfied with their general,
for they accounted the defeat at Corinth a heavy disaster, and Van
Dorn was soon superseded by Gen. John C. Pemberton.

Rosecrans superseded Buell October 24th, when his army--thenceforth
called the Army of the Cumberland--was at Bowling Green, slowly
pursuing Bragg. Rosecrans sent a portion of it to the relief of
Nashville, which was besieged by a Confederate force, and employed the
remainder in repairing the railroad from Louisville, over which his
supplies must come. This done, about the end of November he united his
forces at Nashville. At the same time Bragg was ordered to move
forward again, and went as far as Murfreesboro', forty miles from
Nashville, where he fortified a strong position on Stone River, a
shallow stream fordable at nearly all points. There was high festivity
among the secessionists in Murfreesboro' that winter, for Bragg had
brought much plunder from Kentucky. No one dreamed that Rosecrans
would attack the place before spring, and several roving bands of
guerilla cavalry were very active, and performed some exciting if not
important exploits. The leader of one of these, John H. Morgan, was
married in Murfreesboro', the ceremony being performed by Bishop and
Gen. Leonidas Polk, and Jefferson Davis being present. It is said that
the floor was carpeted with a United States flag, on which the company
danced, to signify that they had put its authority under their feet.

The revelry was rudely interrupted when Rosecrans, leaving Nashville
with forty-three thousand men, in a rain-storm, the day after
Christmas, encamped on the 30th within sight of Bragg's intrenchments.

A correspondent of the Louisville _Journal_, who went over the ground
at the time and witnessed the battle, gave a careful description of
its peculiarities, which is necessary to a complete understanding of
the action: "As the road from Nashville to Murfreesboro' approaches
the latter place, it suddenly finds itself parallel to Stone River.
The stream flowing east crosses the road a mile this [west] side of
Murfreesboro'. Abruptly changing its course, it flows north along the
road, and not more than four hundred yards distant, for more than two
miles. It is a considerable stream, but fordable in many places at low
water. The narrow tongue of land between the turnpike road and the
river is divided by the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, which,
running down the centre of the wedge-like tract, bisects the turnpike
half a mile this side of where the latter crosses the river. {210}
Just in rear of the spot where the third milestone from Murfreesboro'
stands, the turnpike and railroad--at that point about sixty yards
apart--run through a slight cut, and this a few rods farther on is
succeeded by a slight fill. The result is to convert both railroad and
turnpike for a distance of two or three hundred yards into a natural
rifle-pit. On each side of the road at this point there are open
fields. That on the left extends to a curtain of timber which fringes
the river, and also half a mile to the front along the road, where it
gives place to an oak wood of no great density or extent. To the left
and front, however, it opens out into a large open plain, which flanks
the wood just mentioned, and extends up the river in the direction of
Murfreesboro' for a mile. In the field on the left of the railroad
there is a hill of no great height sloping down to the railroad and
commanding all the ground to the front and right. It was here that
Guenther's and Loomis's batteries were posted in the terrible conflict
of Wednesday. The open field on the right of the turnpike road, three
hundred yards wide, is bounded on the west by an almost impenetrable
cedar forest. Just in rear of the forest, and marking its extreme
northern limit, is a long, narrow opening, containing about ten acres.
There is a swell in the field on the right of the road, corresponding
with the one on the left. The crest of this hill is curiously concave.
From its beginning point at the corner of the cedars, the northern end
of the crest curves back upon itself, so that after fortifying the
front of the position it renders the right flank well-nigh

Rosecrans intended to attack the next day; but Bragg anticipated him,
crossed the river before sunrise, concealed by a thick fog, reached
the woods on the right of the National line, and burst out upon the
bank in overwhelming force. McCook's command, on the extreme right,
was crumbled and thrown back, losing several guns and many prisoners.
Sheridan's command, next in line, made a stubborn fight till its
ammunition was nearly exhausted, and then slowly retired. General
Thomas's command, which formed the centre, now held the enemy back
till Rosecrans established a new line, nearly at right angles to the
first, with artillery advantageously posted, when Thomas fell back to
this and maintained his ground. Through the forenoon the Confederates
had seemed to have everything their own way, and they had inflicted
grievous loss upon Rosecrans, besides sending their restless cavalry
to annoy his army in the rear. But here, as usual, the tide was
turned. The first impetuous rush of the Southern soldier had spent
itself, and the superior staying qualities of his Northern opponent
began to tell. Bragg hurled his men again and again upon the new line;
but as they left the cedar thickets and charged across the open field
they were mercilessly swept down by artillery and musketry fire, and
every effort was fruitless. Even when seven thousand fresh men were
drawn over from Bragg's right and thrown against the National centre,
the result was still the same. The day ended with Rosecrans immovable
in his position; but he had been driven from half of the ground that
he held in the morning, and had lost twenty-eight guns and many men,
while the enemy's cavalry was upon his communications. Finding that he
had ammunition enough for another battle, he determined to remain
where he was and sustain another assault. His men slept on their arms
that night, and the next day there was no evidence of any disposition
on either side to attack. Both sides were correcting their lines,
constructing rifle-pits, caring for their wounded, and preparing for a
renewal of the fight.



This came on the second day of the new year, when there was some
desultory fighting, and Rosecrans advanced a division across the
stream to strike at Bragg's communications. Breckenridge's command was
sent to attack this division, and drove it back to the river, when
Breckenridge suddenly found himself subjected to a terrible artillery
fire, and lost two thousand men in twenty minutes. Following this, a
charge by National infantry drove him back with a loss of four guns
and many prisoners, and this ended the great battle of Stone River, or
Murfreesboro'. After the repulse of Breckenridge, Rosecrans advanced
his left again, and that night occupied with some of his batteries
high ground, from which Murfreesboro' could be shelled. The next day
there was a heavy rain-storm, and in the ensuing night the Confederate
army quietly retreated, leaving Murfreesboro' to its fate. Rosecrans
reported his loss in killed and wounded as eight thousand seven
hundred and seventy-eight, {211} and in prisoners as somewhat fewer
than twenty-eight hundred. Bragg acknowledged a loss of over ten
thousand, and claimed that he had taken over six thousand prisoners.

The number of men engaged on the National side was about forty-three
thousand, and on the Confederate about thirty-eight thousand,
according to the reports, which are not always reliable.

The losses on the National side included Brig.-Gens. Joshua W. Sill
and Edward N. Kirk among the killed, while on the Confederate side
Brig.-Gens. James E. Rains and Roger W. Hanson were killed.



The incidents of this great and complicated battle were very numerous,
and have been related at great length by different correspondents and
participants. The cavalry fighting that preceded the infantry
engagement was severe, and in some respects brilliant. This arm of the
service was commanded on the National side by Gen. David S. Stanley,
and on the Confederate by Gen. Joseph Wheeler. Col. R. H. G. Minty,
commanding the First Brigade of the National cavalry, says in his
account of the first day's battle: "Crossing Overall's Creek, I took
up position parallel to and about three-quarters of a mile from the
Murfreesboro' and Nashville pike; the Fourth Michigan forming a line
of dismounted skirmishers close to the edge of the woods. My entire
force at this time numbered nine hundred and fifty men. The enemy
advanced rapidly with twenty-five hundred cavalry, mounted and
dismounted, and three pieces of artillery. They drove back the Fourth
Michigan, and then attacked the Seventh Pennsylvania with great fury,
but met with a determined resistance. I went forward to the line of
dismounted skirmishers, and endeavored to move them to the right to
strengthen the Seventh Pennsylvania; but the moment the right of the
line showed itself from behind the fence where they were posted, the
whole of the enemy's fire was directed on it, turning it completely
round. At this moment the Fifteenth Pennsylvania gave way and
retreated rapidly, leaving the battalion of the Seventh Pennsylvania
no alternative but to retreat. I fell back a couple of fields and
re-formed in the rear of a rising ground. The rebel cavalry followed
us up promptly into the open ground, and now menaced us with three
strong lines. General Stanley ordered a charge, and he himself led two
companies of the Fourth Michigan, with about fifty men of the
Fifteenth Pennsylvania, against the line in front of our left. He
routed the enemy, and captured one stand of colors. At the same time I
charged the first line in our front with the Fourth Michigan and First
Tennessee, and drove them from the field. The second line was formed
on the far side of a lane with a partially destroyed fence on each
side, and still stood their ground. I reformed my men and again
charged. The enemy again broke and were driven from the field in the
wildest confusion."

A correspondent of the Cincinnati _Commercial_, in an account of the
battle written on the field, says: "Colonel Innes with the Ninth
Michigan engineers, posted at La Vergne to protect the road, had just
been reinforced by several companies of the Tenth Ohio, when Wheeler's
cavalry brigade made a strong dash at that position. Colonel Innes had
protected himself by a stockade of brush, and fought securely. The
enemy charged several times with great fury, but were murderously
repulsed. About fifty rebels were dismounted, and nearly a hundred of
the horses were killed. Wheeler finally withdrew, and sent in a flag
of truce demanding surrender. Colonel Innes replied, 'We don't
surrender much.' Wheeler then asked permission to bury his dead, which
was granted.... General Rosecrans, as usual, was in the midst of the
fray, directing the movement of troops and the range of batteries."

Some of the things that soldiers have to endure, which are not often
mentioned among the stirring events of the field, are indicated in the
report of Col. Jason Marsh of the Seventy-fourth Illinois Regiment. He
says: "My command was formed in line of battle close behind a narrow
strip of cedar thicket, nearly covering our front, and skirting a
strip of open level ground about twenty rods wide to the cornfield
occupied by the enemy's pickets. Being thus satisfied of the close
proximity of the enemy in strong force, and apprehending an attack at
any moment, I deemed it {212} necessary to use the utmost precaution
against surprise, and, in addition to general instructions to bivouac
without fires, and to maintain a cautious, quiet vigilance, I ordered
my command to stack arms, and each man to rest at the butt of his
musket without using his shelter tent. Although the night was dark,
chilly, and somewhat rainy, and the men cold, wet, weary, and hungry,
I deemed it objectionable to use their shelter tents, not only because
of the hindrance in case of a sudden attack, but even in a dark night
they would be some guide to the enemy to trace our line. At a little
before four o'clock A.M., our men were quietly waked up, formed into
line, and remained standing at their arms until moved by subsequent
orders. As soon as it became sufficiently light to observe objects at
a distance, I could plainly discern the enemy moving in three heavy
columns across my front, one column striking out of the cornfield and
moving defiantly along the edge of the open ground not more than
eighty rods from my line. It was plainly to be seen that the fire of
my skirmishers took effect in their ranks, and in emptying their
saddles; to which, however, the enemy seemed to pay no attention."

Some of the most stubborn fighting of the day was done by Palmer's
division, and especially by Hazen's brigade of that division, on the
National left, in the angle between the railroad and the turnpike.
When the right of Rosecrans's army had been driven back, heavy columns
of the Confederates were directed against the exposed flank of his
left, which was also subjected to a fierce artillery fire. Palmer's
men formed along the railroad and in the woods to the right of the
pike, with Cruft's brigade nearest to the enemy, and several batteries
were hastily brought up to check the advancing tide. The Confederates
moved steadily onward, apparently sure of a victory, overpowered Cruft
and drove him back, and were still advancing against Hazen, some of
whose regiments had expended their ammunition and were simply waiting
with fixed bayonets, when Grose's brigade came to the relief of Hazen,
and all stood firm and met the enemy with a terrific and unceasing
fire of musketry, to which Parsons's remarkable battery added a rain
of shells and canister. The ranks of the Confederates were thinned so
rapidly that one regiment after another gave up and fell back, until a
single regiment was left advancing and came within three hundred yards
of the National line. At this point, when every one of its officers
and half its men had been struck down, the remainder threw themselves
flat upon the ground, and were unable either to go forward any farther
or to retreat. In the afternoon the Confederates made two more similar
attempts, but were met in the same way and achieved no success.



Rousseau's division, which had been held in reserve, was brought into
action when the fight became critical, and performed some of the most
gallant work of the day. A participant has given a vivid description
of some of the scenes in Rousseau's front: "The broken and dispirited
battalions of our right wing, retreating by the flank, were pouring
out of the cornfields and through the skirts of the woods, while from
the far end of the field rose the indescribable crackle and slowly
curling smoke of the enemy's fire. The line of fire now grew rapidly
nearer and nearer, seeming to close in slowly, but with fatal
certainty, around our front and flank; and presently the long gray
lines of the enemy, three or four deep, could be seen through the
cornstalks vomiting flame on the retreating host. The right of
Rousseau's division opened its lines and let our brave but unfortunate
columns pass through. The gallant and invincible legion came through
in this way with fearfully decimated ranks, drawing away by hand two
pieces of our artillery. When all the horses belonging to the battery,
and all the other guns, had been disabled, the brave boys refused to
leave these two behind, and drew them two miles through fields and
thickets to a place of safety. It was a most touching sight to see
these brave men, in that perilous hour, flocking around Rousseau like
children, with acclamations of delight, and every token of love, as
soon as they recognized him, embracing his horse, his legs, his
clothes. Flying back to the open ground which was now to be the scene
of so terrific a conflict, Rousseau galloped rapidly across it, and
read with a single eagle glance all of its advantages. Guenther's and
Loomis's batteries were ordered to take position on the hill on the
left of the railroad, and Stokes's Chicago battery, which had got with
our division, was placed there also. History furnishes but few
spectacles to be compared with that which now ensued. The rebels
pressed up to the edge of the cedar forest and swarmed out into the
open field. I saw the first few gray suits that dotted the dark green
line of the cedars with their contrasted color thicken into a line of
battle, and the bright glitter of their steel flashed like an endless
chain of lightning amid the thick and heavy green of the thicket. This
I saw before our fire, opening on them around the whole extent of our
line, engirdled them with a belt of flame and smoke. After that I saw
them no more, nor will any human eye ever see them more. Guenther,
Loomis, and Stokes, with peal after peal, too rapid to be counted,
mowed them down with double-shotted canister; the left of our line of
infantry poured a {213} continuous sheet of flame into their front,
while the right of our line, posted in its remarkable position by the
genius of Rousseau, enveloped their left flank and swept their entire
line with an enfilading fire. Thick smoke settled down upon the scene;
the rim of the hill on which our batteries stood seemed to be
surrounded by a wall of living fire; the turnpike road and the crest
of the hill on the right were wrapped in an unending blaze; flames
seemed to leap out of the earth and dance through the air. No troops
on earth could withstand such a fire as that. One regiment of rebels,
the boldest of their line, advanced to within seventy-five yards of
our line, but there it was blown out of existence. It was utterly
destroyed; and the rest of the rebel line, broken and decimated, fled
like sheep into the depths of the woods. The terrific firing ceased,
the smoke quickly rolled away, and the sun shone out bright and clear
on the scene that was lately so shrouded in smoke and mortal gloom.
How still everything was! Everybody seemed to be holding his breath.
As soon as the firing ceased, General Rousseau and his staff galloped
forward to the ground the rebels had advanced over. Their dead lay
there in frightful heaps, some with the life-blood not yet all flowed
from their mortal wounds, some propped upon their elbows and gasping
their last. The flag of the Arkansas regiment lay there on the ground
beside its dead bearer. Every depression in the field was full of
wounded, who had crawled thither to screen themselves from the fire,
and a large number of prisoners came out of a little copse in the
middle of the field and surrendered themselves to General Rousseau in
person. Among them was one captain. They were all that were left alive
of the bold Arkansas regiment that had undertaken to charge our line."

[Illustration: BURYING A COMRADE.]



There was great disappointment and dissatisfaction among the
secessionists at the failure of Lee's invasion of Maryland and Bragg's
of Kentucky. Pollard, the Southern historian, wrote, "No subject was
at once more dispiriting and perplexing to the South than the cautious
and unmanly reception given to our armies both in Kentucky and
Maryland." They seemed unable to comprehend how there could be such a
thing as a slave State that did not want to break up the Union.
Pollard, in his account of the response of the people of Maryland to
Lee's proclamation, says, "Instead of the twenty or thirty thousand
recruits which he had believed he would obtain on the soil of
Maryland, he found the people content to gaze with wonder on his
ragged and poorly equipped army, but with little disposition to join
his ranks."


{215} [Illustration: A SUTLER'S CABIN.]




In the second year of the war, though the struggle did not then
culminate, some of the largest armies were gathered and some of the
greatest battles fought. At the East, McClellan made his Peninsula
campaign with Williamsburg, Fair Oaks, and the Seven Days, and Pope
his short and unfortunate campaign known as the Second Bull Run,
followed by the moderate victory of Antietam and the horror of
Fredericksburg. At the West, with smaller armies, the results were
more brilliant and satisfactory. Grant had electrified the country
when he captured Fort Donelson and received the first surrender of a
Confederate army; and this was followed in April by the battle of
Shiloh, which was a reverse on the first day and a victory on the
second, and still later by the capture of Corinth. Thomas had gained
his first victory at Mill Springs, and Buell had fought the fierce
battle of Perryville, where the genius of Sheridan first shone forth.
Two great and novel naval engagements had taken place--the fight of
the iron-clads in Hampton Roads, and Farragut's passage of the forts
and capture of New Orleans. Amid all this there were hundreds of minor
engagements, subsidiary expeditions and skirmishes, all costing
something in destruction of life and property. Some of them were
properly a portion of the great campaigns; others were separate
actions, and still others were merely raids of Confederate guerillas,
which had become very numerous, especially at the West. This chapter
will be devoted to brief accounts of the more important and
interesting of these, generally omitting those occurring {216} in the
course and as a part of any great campaign. While they had little to
do with the results of the struggle, some account of them is necessary
to any adequate idea of the condition of the country and the
sufferings of that generation of our people.

On the 6th of January a force of about 2,500, principally Ohio and
Indiana troops, was sent out by General Kelly, under command of
Colonel Dunning, to attack a Confederate force of about 1,800 men
strongly posted at Blue's Gap, near Romney, Va. They marched over the
snow in a brilliant moonlight night, and as they neared the Gap fired
upon a small detachment that was attempting to destroy the bridge over
the stream that runs through it. The Gap is a natural opening between
high hills with very precipitous sides, and was defended with two
howitzers and rifle-pits. There were also entrenchments on the hills.
The Fourth Ohio Regiment was ordered to carry those on the one hill,
and the Fifth Ohio those on the other, which they did with a rush. The
advance then ran down the hills on the other side and quickly captured
the two pieces of artillery. After this the soldiers burned Blue's
house and mill, and also a few other houses, on the ground that they
had been used to shelter the enemy, who had fired at them from the
windows. In this affair the Confederates lost nearly 40 men killed and
about the same number captured. There was no loss on the other side.
The fertile Shenandoah Valley, between the Blue Ridge and the
Alleghenies, was important to both sides, strategetically, and to the
Confederates especially as a source of supplies. In 1861 Gen. Thomas
J. Jackson (commonly called "Stonewall Jackson") was given command
there with a Confederate force of about 11,000 men. But he did nothing
of consequence during the autumn and winter. The National forces there
were commanded at first by General Frémont, and afterward by General
Banks. The first serious conflict was at Winchester, March 23, 1862.
Winchester was important for military purposes because it was at the
junction of several highroads. Jackson's army during the winter and
spring had been reduced about one-half, but when he learned that the
opposing force was also being reduced by the withdrawal of troops to
aid General McClellan, he resolved to make an attack upon the force of
General Shields at Winchester. His cavalry, under Turner Ashby, a
brilliant leader who fell a few months later, opened the engagement
with an attack on Shields's cavalry aided by other troops, and was
driven back with considerable loss. In this engagement General Shields
was painfully wounded by a fragment of shell. The next day at sunrise
the battle was renewed at Kernstown, a short distance south of
Winchester, and lasted till noon. About 6,000 men were engaged on the
Confederate side, and somewhat more than that on the National. The
Confederates were driven back half a mile by a brilliant charge, and
there took a strong position and posted their artillery
advantageously. Other charges followed, with destructive fighting,
when they retired, slowly at first, and afterward in complete rout,
losing three guns. They were pursued and shelled by a detachment under
Colonel Kimball until they had passed Newtown. The National loss in
this action was nearly 600; the Confederate, a little over 700.

The next important engagement in this campaign took place, May 8th,
near McDowell. After a slow retreat by the Confederates, which was
followed by the National forces under General Schenck, the former
turned to give battle, and in heavy force, probably about 6,000,
attacked General Milroy's brigade and the Eighty-second Ohio Regiment,
numbering in all about 2,300. Milroy's advance retired slowly, one
battery shelling the advancing enemy upon his main body, and the next
day it was discovered that the Confederates had posted themselves on a
ridge in the Bull Pasture Mountain. Milroy's force went out to attack
him, and when two-thirds of the way up the mountain began the battle.
It was soon found that this was only the advance of the Confederates,
which slowly fell back upon the main body posted in a depression at
the top of the mountain. One regiment after another was pushed
forward, and the fighting was pretty sharp for two or three hours,
when Milroy's men gave up the contest as hopeless and fell back. An
incident of this fight that illustrates the humors of war is told of
Lieut.-Col. Francis W. Thompson of the Third West Virginia Regiment in
Milroy's command. He was writing a message, holding the paper against
the trunk of a tree, when a bullet struck it and fastened it to the
bark. "Thank you," said he; "I am not posting advertisements, and if I
were I would prefer tacks." The National loss in this action was
reported at 256, and the Confederate at 499. General Frémont's army,
moving up the valley, reached Harrisonburg June 6th, and there was a
spirited action between a portion of his cavalry and that of the
Confederates. The fight fell principally upon the First New Jersey
cavalry regiment, which, after apparently driving the enemy a short
distance, fell into an ambuscade, where infantry suddenly appeared on
both sides of the road, protected by the stone walls, and fired into
the regiment, which sustained considerable loss, including the capture
of Colonel Wyndham. Other forces, under Colonel Cluseret and General
Bayard, were then pushed forward, and the enemy, which was the rear
guard of Jackson's army, commanded by Gen. Turner Ashby, was driven
from the field. During this action each side successively suffered
from an enfilading fire, and General Ashby was killed. Three
Confederate color sergeants were shot, and a considerable number of
officers either fell or were captured. Capt. Thomas Haines of the New
Jersey cavalry, who was one of the last to retire from the ambush, was
approached and shot by a Virginia officer in a long gray coat, who sat
upon a handsome horse; and the next moment a comrade of the captain's,
rising in his saddle, turned upon the foe shouting, "Stop," and shot
the Virginian.

While Frémont's force was thus following up Jackson directly, General
Shields's division was moving southward on the eastern flank of the
Shenandoah, expecting to intercept him. Jackson's purpose was rather
to get away than to fight, for by this time he was very much wanted
before Richmond. Two days after the affair at Harrisonburg, Frémont
overtook, at Cross Keys, Ewell's division, which Jackson had left
there to delay Frémont's advance, while he should prepare to cross the
Shenandoah with his whole force. Frémont attacked promptly and met a
spirited resistance, which he gradually overcame, although at
considerable loss. Stahel's brigade, on his left, was the heaviest
sufferer. At the close of the action Ewell retired, and Frémont's
troops slept on the field. Frémont had lost nearly 700 men. The
Confederate loss is unknown. The next day Shields, coming up east of
the river, encountered Jackson's main force at Port Republic, and was
attacked by it in overwhelming numbers. His men, however, stood their
ground and made a brilliant fight, even capturing one gun and a
considerable number of prisoners, but were finally routed, and lost
several of their own guns. Frémont was prevented from crossing to the
aid of Shields by the fact that Jackson had promptly burned the
bridge. In this engagement Shields lost about 1,000 men, half of whom
were captured. Jackson's loss in the two engagements together was
reported at 1,150, and his loss in the entire {217} campaign at about
1,900. After this battle he hurried away to join Lee before Richmond,
while Frémont and Shields received orders from Washington to give up
the pursuit, and thus ended the campaign in the valley.




On the 10th of May, Gen. John E. Wool, with 5,000 men, landed at
Willoughby's Point, Va., and marched on Norfolk. As he approached the
city he was met by the mayor and a portion of the Common Council, who
formally surrendered it. On taking possession, he appointed Gen.
Egbert L. Viele military governor, and a little later he occupied
Norfolk and Portsmouth. His capture of Norfolk caused the destruction
of the _Merrimac_, which the Confederates blew up on the 11th. The
navy yard, with its workshops, storehouses, and other buildings, was
in ruins; but General Wool's captures included 200 cannon and a large
amount of shot and shell. The Norfolk _Day Book_, a violent secession
journal, was permitted to continue publication until it assailed Union
citizens who took the oath of allegiance, and then it was suppressed.

       *       *       *       *       *

West Virginia had been pretty effectively cleared of Confederates
during the first year of the war, but a few minor engagements took
place on her soil during the second year. One of the most brilliant of
these was an expedition to Blooming Gap under Gen. Frederick W.
Lander, in February. General Lander crossed the Potomac with 4,000
men, marched southward, and bridged the Great Cacapon River. This
bridge was one hundred and eighty feet long, and was built in four
hours in the night. It was made by placing twenty wagons in the
stream, using them as piers, and putting planks across them. General
Lander then, with his cavalry, pushed forward seven miles to Blooming
Gap, expecting to cut off the retreat of a strong Confederate force
that was posted there and hold it until his infantry could come up. He
found that they had already taken the alarm and moved out beyond the
Gap, but by swift riding he came up with a portion of them. Bringing
up the Eighth Ohio and Seventh Virginia regiments of infantry for a
support, he ordered a charge, which he lead in person, against a sharp
fire. With a few followers he overtook a group of Confederate
officers, cut off their retreat, and then dismounted, greeted them
with, "Surrender, gentlemen," and held out his hand to receive the
sword of the leader. Five of the officers surrendered to him, and four
to members of his staff. Meanwhile the Confederate infantry had
rallied and made a stand. At this point Lander's cavalry became
demoralized and would not face the fire; but he now advanced his
infantry, which cleared the road, captured many prisoners, and pursued
the flying enemy eight miles. The total Confederate loss was near 100.
The National loss was seven killed and wounded. Among the latter was
Fitz-James O'Brien, the brilliant poet and story writer, who died of
his wound two months later. The Eighth Ohio Regiment was commanded by
Col. Samuel S. Carroll, who received special praise for his gallantry
in this affair, and two years later, at the request of General Grant,
was promoted to a brigadier-generalship for his brilliant services in
{218} the Wilderness. General Lander, who was especially complimented
for this affair in a letter from President Lincoln, died in March from
the effects of a wound received the previous year. He was one of the
most patriotic and earnest men and promising officers in the service,
and, like his staff officer who fell here, was himself somewhat of a

There were many little bands of bushwhackers in the mountainous
portions of the territory covered by the seat of war. Commonly they
occupied themselves only in seeking opportunities for murder and
robbery of Union citizens, but occasionally they made a stand and
showed fight when the bluecoats appeared. Early in May one company of
the Twenty-third Ohio infantry had a fight with such a band at Clark's
Hollow, W. Va. Under command of Lieutenant Bottsford they scouted the
hills until they found the camp of the bushwhackers, which had just
been abandoned. Resting for the night at the only house in the hollow,
Bottsford's men were attacked at daybreak by the gang they had been
hunting, who outnumbered them about five to one. They took possession
of the house, made loop-holes in the chinking between the logs, and,
being all sharp-shooters, were able to keep the enemy at bay. The
leader of the bushwhackers called to his men to follow him in a charge
upon the house, assuring them that the Yankees would quickly
surrender; but as he immediately fell, and three of his men,
endeavoring to get to him, had the same fate, the remainder retreated.
Soon afterward the rest of the regiment, commanded by Lieut.-Col.
Rutherford B. Hayes, came up and made pursuit. The flying bushwhackers
set fire to the little village of Princeton and disappeared over the
mountain. In this affair the National loss was one killed and 21
wounded; of the bushwhackers, 16 were killed and 67 wounded.

On the 10th of September, at Fayetteville, the Thirty-fourth Ohio
Regiment, under command of Col. John T. Toland, looking for the enemy
near Fayetteville, W. Va., found more of him than they wanted. The
Confederates were in heavy force, commanded by Gen. William W. Loring,
and were posted in the woods on the summit of a steep hill. After
three hours of fighting Toland was unable to gain the woods or to
flank the enemy, and was obliged to retire, while the Confederates
fired upon him from the heights as he passed. He had lost, in killed,
wounded, and missing, 109 men. The loss of the Confederates was not
ascertained, but was probably very slight.


       *       *       *       *       *

After Burnside had established a basis of operations on the North
Carolina coast there were numerous small expeditions thence to the
interior. These were partly for the purpose of foraging, partly for
observation to detect any movements of large bodies of Confederate
troops, and partly to give protection and encouragement to Union
citizens, of whom were many in that State. On June 5th a
reconnoissance in force was made from Washington, N. C., for the
purpose of testing the report that a considerable force of cavalry and
infantry had been gathered near Pactolus. The expedition was commanded
by Colonel Potter of the First North Carolina (National) volunteers,
and was accompanied by Lieutenant Avery of the Marine artillery with
three boat-howitzers. The day was oppressively hot, and the march
laborious. All along the route slaves came from their work in the
field, leaned upon the fences, and gave the soldiers welcome in their
characteristic way. The enemy were first found at Hodge's Mills, where
they were strongly posted between two swamps with the additional
protection from two mills. They had cut away the flooring of the mill
flumes to prevent the cavalry from reaching them, and on the approach
of the National advance they opened fire. The artillery was at once
ordered forward within half musket range, and opened such a sharp and
accurate fire that in forty-five minutes it completely riddled the
buildings and brought down many Confederate sharp-shooters from the
trees. When the main body of the troops rushed forward to charge the
position, it was found that the Confederates had disappeared. The
National loss was 16 men killed or wounded; the Confederate loss was
unknown, but was supposed to be nearly a hundred, including the
colonel commanding. In their flight they left behind them large
numbers of weapons and accoutrements. This action is known as the
battle of Tranter's Creek.



On the 2d of September it became known to the commander of the Federal
force occupying Plymouth, N. C., that a detachment of about 1,400
Confederates was marching on that town with the avowed intention of
burning it. Hastily bringing together a company of Hawkins's Zouaves,
a company of loyal North Carolinians, and a few civilians who were
willing to fight in defence of their homes, making in all about 300
men, the captain in command sent them out under the charge of
Orderly-Sergeant Green. Three miles from the town they met the enemy,
which consisted of infantry and cavalry commanded by Colonel Garrett.
They were bivouacked in the woods, and Green's force, making a sudden
dash, surprised them and fought the whole force for {219} an hour,
when they broke and fled. Colonel Garrett and 40 of his men were
captured, and about 70 were killed or wounded. Green lost three men.
The civilians who had joined the expedition proved to be among the
most efficient of the volunteers.

Four days later (September 6th) the Confederates attempted a similar
enterprise against Washington, N. C. Early in the morning three
companies of the National cavalry, with three guns, had gone out on
the road toward Plymouth, when the Confederate cavalry dashed in at
the other end of the town, followed by a body of about 400 infantry.
The troops remaining in the town were surprised in their barracks, and
a special effort was made to capture the loyal North Carolinians. But
the men quickly rallied, the Confederate cavalry was driven back, and
a slow street fight ensued. The troops that had gone toward Plymouth
were recalled, and guns were planted where they could sweep the
streets. The National gunboats attempted to aid the land forces, but
were largely deterred by a heavy fog. When, however, they got the
range of the houses behind which the Confederates were sheltered, the
latter quickly retreated, carrying off with them four pieces of
artillery. During the fight the gunboat _Picket_ was destroyed by the
explosion of her magazine. The National loss was about 30, and the
Confederate considerably larger.

       *       *       *       *       *

Throughout the war there was a strong desire to capture or punish the
city of Charleston, which was looked upon as the cradle of secession,
and also to close its harbor to blockade runners. Elaborate and costly
operations on the seaward side were maintained for a long time, but
never with any real success. The lowlands that stretch out ten or
twelve miles south of the harbor are cut by many winding rivers and
inlets, and broken frequently by swamps. At a point a little more than
four miles south of the city was the little village of Secessionville,
which was used as a summer resort by a few planters. It is on
comparatively high ground, and borders on a deep creek on the one side
and a shallow one on the other. Across the neck of land between the
two was an earthwork about two hundred yards long, known as Battery
Lamar. There were similar works at other similar points in the region
between Secessionville and the southern shore of the harbor. The
National forces on these islands in 1862 were commanded by Gen. H. W.
Benham, who in June planned an advance for the purpose of carrying the
works at Secessionville and getting within striking distance of the
city. The division of Gen. Isaac I. Stevens was to form the assaulting
column, and Wright's division and William's brigade to act as its
support. The movement was made on June 16th, at daybreak. The orders
were that the advance should be made in silence, with no firing that
could be avoided. Stevens's men pushed forward, captured the
Confederate picket, and approached the works through an open field.
But the enemy were not surprised, and a heavy fire of musketry and
artillery was opened upon them almost from the first. It was found
that the front presented by the work was too narrow for proper
deployment of much more than a regiment, and the assailants suffered
accordingly. There was also a line of abatis to be broken through, and
a deep ditch; and yet a portion of the assaulting forces actually
reached the parapet, but, of course, found it impossible to carry the
works. The Eighth Michigan, which was in the advance, lost 182 men out
of 534, including 12 of its 22 officers. Col. William M. Fenton, who
commanded this regiment, says: "The order not to fire, but use the
bayonet, was obeyed, and the advance companies reached the parapet of
the works at the angle on our right and front, engaging the enemy at
the point of the bayonet. During our advance the enemy opened upon our
lines an exceedingly destructive fire of grape, canister, and
musketry, and yet the regiment pushed on as veterans, divided only to
the right and left by a sweeping torrent from the enemy's main gun in
front. The enemy's fire proved so galling and destructive that our men
on the parapet were obliged to retire under its cover. The field was
furrowed across with cotton ridges, and many of the men lay there,
loading and firing as deliberately as though on their hunting grounds
at home." Even had they been able to carry the work, they could not
have held it long, for its whole interior was commanded by elaborate
rifle-pits in the rear. Artillery was brought up and well served, but
made no real impression upon the enemy. When it became evident that no
success was possible, General Stevens withdrew his command in a slow
and orderly manner. General Beauregard says: "The point attacked by
Generals Benham and I. I. Stevens was the strongest one of the whole
line, which was then unfinished and was designed to be some five miles
in length. The two Federal commanders might have overcome the
obstacles in their front had they proceeded farther up the Stone. Even
as it was, the fight at Secessionville was lost, in a great measure,
by lack of tenacity on the part of Generals Benham and Stevens. It was
saved by the skin of our teeth." The National loss in this action was
683 men, out of about 3,500 actually engaged. The Confederates, who
were commanded by Gen. N. G. Evans, lost about 200.

Brevet Major-General.)]


In October an expedition was planned to set out from Hilton Head,
S. C., go up Broad River to the Coosahatchie and destroy the railroad
and bridges in that vicinity, in order to sever the communications
between Charleston and Savannah. It was under the command of
Brig.-Gen. J. M. Brannan, and included about 4,500 men. Ascending
Broad River on gunboats {220} and transports, October 22d, they landed
at the junction of the Pocotaligo and Tullafiny, and immediately
pushed inland toward Pocotaligo bridge. They marched about five miles
before they encountered any resistance, but from that point were fired
upon by batteries placed in commanding positions. As one after another
of these was bombarded or flanked, the Confederates retired to the
next, burning the bridges behind them, and in some places the pursuing
forces were obliged to wade through swamps and streams nearly shoulder
deep. At the Pocotaligo there was a heavy Confederate force well
posted behind a swamp, with artillery, commanded by General Walker,
and here Brannan's artillery ammunition gave out. As the day was now
nearly spent, and there seemed no probability of reaching the
railroad, Brannan slowly retired and returned to Hilton Head. A
detachment which he had sent out under Col. William B. Barton, of the
Forty-eighth New York Regiment, had marched directly to the
Coosahatchie and poured a destructive fire into a train that was
filled with Confederate soldiers coming from Savannah to the
assistance of General Walker. He then tore up the railroad for a
considerable distance, and pushed on toward the town, but there found
the enemy in a position too strong to be carried, and, after
exchanging a few rounds, retired to his boats. The National loss in
this expedition was about 300; that of the Confederates was probably



       *       *       *       *       *

The situation of Fort Pulaski relatively to Savannah was quite similar
to that of Fort Sumter relatively to Charleston. It stood on an island
in the mouth of Savannah River and protected the entrance to the
harbor. Just one year after the bombardment and reduction of Sumter by
the Confederate forces, Fort Pulaski was bombarded and reduced by the
National forces. This work was of similar construction with Fort
Sumter, having brick walls seven and a half feet thick and twenty-five
feet high. It was on Cockspur Island, which is a mile long by half
a mile wide, and commanded all the channels leading up to the
harbor. At the opening of the war it was seized by the Confederate
authorities, and it was garrisoned by 385 men, under command of Col.
Charles H. Olmstead. It mounted forty heavy guns, which protected
blockade-runners and kept out National vessels. Soon after the capture
of Port Royal, Gen. Quincy A. Gillmore was ordered to make a
reconnoissance of this work and the ground on Tybee Island southeast
of it, with a view to its reduction. He reported that it was possible
to plant batteries of rifled guns and mortars on Tybee Island, and
also on Jones Island, with which he believed the work could be
reduced. Jones Island is northwest of Cockspur Island. The Forty-sixth
New York Regiment, commanded by Colonel Rosa, was sent to occupy Tybee
Island, and a passage was opened between the islands and the mainland
north of Savannah, so that guns could be brought through and placed on
Jones Island. This was done with tremendous labor, the mortars
weighing more than eight tons each and having to be dragged over deep
mud on plank platforms, most of the work being done at night. The
Seventh Connecticut Regiment was now sent to join the Forty-sixth New
York on Tybee, and the construction of batteries and magazines {221}
on that island was begun. Here, also, the guns had to be carried
across spongy ground, 250 men being required for the slow movement of
each piece, and all the work being done at night and in silence; for
the batteries were to be erected within easy reach of the guns of the
fort. Their construction occupied about two months, and screens of
bushes were contrived to conceal from the Confederates what was going
on. There were eleven batteries ranged along the northern edge of
Tybee Island, mounting twenty heavy guns and sixteen thirteen-inch
mortars. When all was ready, the fort was summoned to surrender by
Gen. David Hunter, who had recently been placed in command of the
department. Colonel Olmstead replied: "I can only say that I am here
to defend the fort, not to surrender it." Thereupon the batteries
opened fire upon the fort, and a bombardment of thirty hours
ensued--April 10 and 11. At the end of that time ten of the fort's
guns were dismounted, and, as the fire of the rifled guns was rapidly
reducing its masonry to ruins, it was evident that it could not hold
out much longer; whereupon Colonel Olmstead surrendered. The only
casualties were one man killed on the National side, and three wounded
in the fort. It was found that the mortars had produced very little
effect, the real work being done by the rifled guns. General Hunter
said in his report: "The result of this bombardment must cause, I am
convinced, a change in the construction of fortifications as radical
as that foreshadowed in naval architecture by the conflict between the
_Monitor_ and the _Merrimac_. No works of stone or brick can resist
the impact of rifled artillery of heavy calibre." And General Gillmore
said: "Mortars are unavailable for the reduction of works of small
area like Fort Pulaski. They cannot be fired with sufficient accuracy
to crush the casement arches." A fortnight later, the attempt to
reduce Forts Jackson and St. Philip led Farragut to the same
conclusion concerning the use of mortars.



One who participated in the bombardment relates an amusing incident.
The batteries were under the immediate command of Lieut. (afterward
General) Horace Porter, who went around to every gun to ascertain
whether its captain was provided with everything that would be
necessary when the firing should begin. At one mortar battery fuse
plugs were wanting, and the officer was in despair. This battery had
the position nearest to the fort, and its four mortars were useless
without the plugs. Finally he remembered that there was a Yankee
regiment on the island, and remarked, "All Yankees are whittlers. If
this regiment could be turned out to-night, they might whittle enough
fuse plugs before morning to fire a thousand rounds." Thereupon he
rode out in the darkness to the camp of that regiment, which was
immediately ordered out to whittle, and provided all the fuse plugs
that were needed. The first gun was fired by Lieut. P. H. O'Rourke,
who afterward fell at the head of his regiment at Gettysburg. It is
said that the first gun against Sumter had been fired by a classmate
of his. One who was in the fort says: "At the close of the fight all
the parapet guns were dismounted except three. Every casemate gun in
the southeast section of the fort was dismounted, and the casemate
walls breached in almost every instance to the top of the arch. The
moat was so filled with brick and mortar that one could have passed
over dry shod. The parapet walls on the Tybee side were all gone. The
protection to the magazine in the northwest angle of the fort had all
been shot away, the entire corner of the magazine was shot off, and
the powder exposed. Such was the condition of affairs when Colonel
Olmstead called a council of officers in the casemate, and they all
acquiesced in the necessity of a capitulation in order to save the
garrison from destruction by an explosion, which was momentarily

       *       *       *       *       *

{222} [Illustration: FORT PULASKI DURING BOMBARDMENT, APRIL 11, 1862.]

On the 16th of April the Eighth Michigan Regiment, Col. William M.
Fenton, with a detachment of Rhode Island artillery, was {223} sent
from Tybee Island, Ga., to make a reconnoissance of Wilmington Island.
On landing, they marched inland by three different roads, and soon
discovered the enemy in some force. They took up a position for
defence and were attacked by the Thirteenth Georgia Regiment. When
Colonel Fenton ordered the bugler to sound the charge for his main
body, his advance mistook it for retreat, fell back, and threw his
line into confusion. At this moment the enemy advanced and began
firing. Order was soon restored, and through the vigorous efforts of
Lieut. C. H. Wilson one company was carried to the right, through the
woods, and made a flank attack upon the enemy's left. Thereupon the
Confederates slowly retired, leaving their dead and wounded on the
field. The National loss was 45 men; Confederate loss, unknown.

On the 10th of January an expedition consisting of 5,000
men--infantry, cavalry, and artillery--set out from Cairo to make an
extended reconnoissance in the neighborhood of Columbus, Ky., and in
the direction of Mayfield. It was led by John A. McClernand, who was
temporarily in command of that district. Nearly every point of any
consequence within fifteen or twenty miles was visited, roads were
discovered that had not been laid down on any map, the position of the
enemy at Columbus was correctly ascertained, and much information was
obtained regarding the disposition of the inhabitants toward the
Government. The march of about one hundred and forty miles was made
over icy and miry roads with considerable difficulty, and proved
useful for future operations, although it was not enlivened by any

On the 15th of February Bowling Green, which had been considered an
important point in the line of defence that was first broken by
General Grant at Fort Henry, was evacuated by the Confederates, who
went to join their comrades at Fort Donelson. The National troops
under General Buell, marching forty miles in twenty-eight hours, took
possession of the place in the afternoon.

Many of the gaps in the Alleghenies were strategically important
because they were the natural places for the crossing of the road that
connected the States east and west of that range, and there were
frequent expeditions and small actions at these gaps by which one side
or the other sought to clear them of the enemy. One of these took
place in March, 1862, when it was discovered that a somewhat irregular
Confederate force of about 500 men had taken possession of Pound Gap,
Eastern Kentucky, built huts, and gathered supplies for a permanent
occupation. A road to Abingdon, Va., passes through this gap. General
James A. Garfield, whose defeat of Humphrey Marshall on the Big Sandy
has been recorded in an earlier chapter, set out a month later, March
13th, with a force of 900 men to clear the Gap. It was a laborious
march of two days in snow and rain and mud, with roads obstructed by
felled trees, and streams whose bridges had been destroyed. Arriving
at Elkton Creek, two miles below the Gap, Garfield sent out his
cavalry to reconnoitre the position of the enemy, and himself with the
infantry climbed the mountain a mile or two below the Gap, and thence
moved along the summit to attack them in the flank. When this force
arrived at the Gap, the enemy were found deployed on the summit at its
opposite side. Garfield deployed his own force down the eastern slope,
and then ordered them to charge through the ravine and up the hill
held by the enemy, which they promptly did. But before they could
ascend the southern slope the whole Confederate force disappeared.
Nothing was left for the National troops to do but to ransack the
captured camp, pack up what they could of the large quantity of
supplies, burn the remainder, and return whence they came.

When Kentucky was invaded by the Confederate forces of Bragg, Humphrey
Marshall, and Kirby Smith, the movement was accompanied and assisted
by a raid from a large band of guerillas, or partisan rangers as they
called themselves, led by a bold rider named John H. Morgan. The
principal resistance to Morgan was at Cynthiana, July 17th, about
fifty miles south of Cincinnati. The National troops occupying that
town were commanded by Lieut.-Col. J. J. Landrum, and numbered about
340, a part of them being home guards not very well armed or
disciplined, with one field gun. Morgan's men approached the town
suddenly, drove in the pickets, and began shelling the place without
giving any notice for the women and children to be removed. Landrum
immediately placed his one gun in the public square, where it could be
turned so as to sweep almost any of the roads entering the town, and
posted all of his force except the artillery in the outskirts where he
supposed the enemy were approaching, putting most of them at the
bridge overlooking. But to his surprise Morgan's force was very large
in comparison with his own, and entered the town from a different
direction. In a little while Landrum's men found themselves
practically surrounded, and subjected to a sharp fire both front and
rear, the guerillas having the shelter of the houses. The artillerymen
in the square were subjected to so hot a fire from the riflemen that
they were obliged to abandon their gun. Colonel Landrum writes: "I
rode along the railroad to Rankin's Hotel to ascertain what position
the enemy was taking. Here I met an officer of the rebel band, aid to
Colonel Morgan, who demanded my surrender. I replied, 'I never
surrender,' and instantly discharged three shots at him, two of which
took effect in his breast. He fell from his horse, and I thought him
dead; but he is still living, and will probably recover,
notwithstanding two balls passed through his body." A portion of
Landrum's force, posted north of the town, was overpowered and forced
to surrender. With another portion he attempted to drive the enemy
from the bridge and take their battery, but found them so strong there
as to render this hopeless, while all the time he was subjected to a
fire from the rear. Finally he determined with the remainder of his
men to cut his way through and escape. He emerged from the town in a
southeast direction, met and routed a small detachment of the enemy,
and was pursued by another detachment when he made a stand, posting
his men behind the fences, and for a considerable time held them in
check. When his ammunition was exhausted he gave orders for every man
to save himself as he could, and thus his command was dispersed. In
this affair the National forces lost about 70 men killed or wounded.
The loss of the guerillas is unknown, but they left behind them a
considerable number of wounded, and the capture of the town must have
cost them about 100 men. In this raid Morgan is said to have commanded
from 900 to 1,200 men, to have ridden over 1,000 miles, captured 17
towns, and paroled nearly 1,200 prisoners.

The smaller guerilla raids in Kentucky that year were more numerous
than any popular history could find space to record. Some of them,
however, were spiritedly met and severely punished. On the 29th of
July a band of over 200 attacked the village of Mt. Sterling. The
provost-marshal of the place, Capt. J. J. Evans, at once put every
able-bodied man in the village under arms, and posted them on both
sides of the street by which the guerillas were about to enter. He had
hardly done this when in came the enemy, yelling wildly and demanding
{224} their surrender. The answer was a well-aimed volley which
brought down the whole of their front rank, and which was rapidly
followed by other volleys that soon put them to flight. In their
retreat they met a detachment of the Eighteenth Kentucky Regiment,
under Major Bracht, which had been in pursuit of them, and when these
troops charged upon them they scattered in the fields and woods,
leaving horses, rifles, and other material. Their loss was about 100.

On the 23d of August the Seventh Kentucky cavalry, a new regiment
commanded by Col. Leonidas Metcalfe, had a fight with Confederate
troops at Big Hill, about fifteen miles from Richmond. With 400 of his
men he set out to attack the enemy, and near the top of the hill
dismounted to fight on foot. He says: "We moved forward amid a shower
of bullets and shells, which so terrified my raw, undisciplined
recruits, that I could not bring more than 100 of them in sight of the
enemy. The great majority mounted their horses and fled, without even
getting a look at the foe. It was impossible to rally them, and they
continued their flight some distance north of Richmond." The hundred
men who stood their ground fought the enemy for an hour and a half and
finally compelled them to fall back. Soon afterward a new attack was
made upon Metcalfe's men by about 100 Confederates who dashed down the
road expecting to capture them. But he had placed 200 men of a
Tennessee infantry regiment in the bushes by the roadside, and their
fire brought down many of the enemy and dispersed the remainder. A few
minutes later still another attack was made by another detachment,
and, as before, the Tennesseeans met it with a steady fire and drove
them off. Metcalfe's men then retired to Richmond, whither the
Confederates pursued them and demanded a surrender of the town.
Metcalfe replied that he would not surrender but would fight it out,
and, as he presently received reinforcements, the enemy departed. He
lost in this affair about 50 men. The Confederate loss is unknown.

[Illustration: A WOUNDED ZOUAVE. (From a War Department photograph.)]

On the same days when the great battle of Groveton or second Bull Run
was fought in Virginia (August 29th and 30th, 1862), one of the
severest of the engagements consequent upon Kirby Smith's invasion
took place at Richmond, Ky. The National forces numbered about 6,500,
largely new troops, and were commanded by Brig.-Gen. M. D. Manson.
Kirby Smith had a force at least twice as large. Early in the
afternoon of the 29th the Confederates drove in Manson's outpost, and
he, having had early information of their approach, marched out to
meet them. About two miles from the town he took possession of a high
ridge commanding the turnpike, and formed his line of battle with
artillery on the flank. The enemy soon attacked in some force, and
were driven off by the fire from the guns. Manson then advanced
another mile, where he bivouacked, and sent out his cavalry to
reconnoitre. Early in the morning of the 30th the enemy advanced
again, when Manson's men drove them back and formed on a piece of high
wooded ground near Rogersville. Here the enemy attacked him in earnest
and in great force, attempting to turn his left flank, which faced
about and fought stubbornly. More of his forces were now brought to
the front and placed in line, and the battle became quite severe. At
length the enemy, with largely superior numbers, succeeded in breaking
his left wing, which retreated in disorder. "Up to this time," says
General Manson, "I had maintained my first position for three hours
and forty minutes, during all of which time the artillery, under
command of Lieutenant Lamphere, had kept up a constant fire, except
for a very short time when the ammunition had become exhausted. The
Fifty-fifth Indiana, the Sixteenth Indiana, the Sixty-ninth Indiana,
and the Seventy-first Indiana occupied prominent and exposed positions
from the commencement of the engagement, and contended against the
enemy with a {225} determination and bravery worthy of older soldiers.
The three remaining regiments of General Cruft's brigade arrived just
at the time when our troops were in full retreat and the rout had
become general. The Eighteenth Kentucky was immediately deployed into
line, and made a desperate effort to check the advance in the enemy,
and contended with him, single-handed and alone, for twenty minutes,
when after a severe loss they were compelled to give away before
overwhelming numbers." Deploying his cavalry as a rear guard, and
placing one gun to command the road, Manson retreated to his position
of the evening before and again formed line of battle. Here the enemy
soon attacked him again, advancing through the open fields in great
force. At this moment he received an order from his superior, General
Nelson, directing him to retire if the enemy advanced in force; but it
was then too late to obey, for within five minutes the battle was in
progress along the whole line. The right of the Confederates was
crushed by Manson's artillery fire, and the enemy then made a
determined effort to crush Manson's right, which, after being several
times gallantly repelled, they at length succeeded in doing. General
Nelson now appeared upon the field, and by his orders Manson's men
fell back and took up a new position very near the town. Here they
sustained another attack for half an hour, and then were broken and
once more driven back in confusion. Manson succeeded in organizing a
rear guard which assisted the escape of his main force, but was itself
defeated and broken to pieces in a later encounter. Manson, attempting
to escape through the enemy's lines, was fired upon, and his horse was
killed, he being soon afterward taken prisoner. His loss in this
engagement was about 900 killed or wounded, besides many prisoners.
The Confederate loss was reported at about 700.

On the 9th of October a National force, commanded by Col. E. A.
Parrott, marched out and met the enemy at a place called Dogwalk, near
Lawrenceburg. Parrott placed his men in an advantageous position, with
two pieces of artillery, and soon saw the Confederate skirmishers
advancing toward it. He sent out his own skirmishers to meet them, and
placed his guns to command the road. The artillery was used very
effectively, especially in driving the enemy from a dwelling-house
where they had opened a severe fire on the line of skirmishers, and
after a fight that lasted from eight A.M. till afternoon the
Confederates retired, leaving a portion of their dead and wounded on
the field. Parrott lost fourteen men.



[Illustration: GENERAL E. KIRBY SMITH, C. S. A.]

On the 18th of December a force of Confederate cavalry, under Gen.
N. B. Forrest, captured Lexington, Tenn. The town was defended by the
Eleventh Illinois cavalry, commanded by Col. Robert G. Ingersoll,
which withstood the enemy in a fight of three hours, and was then
compelled to retreat, leaving two guns in the hands of the
Confederates, who had lost about 40 men.

The State of Tennessee, like some others of the Southern States, had
its mountain region and its lowland; and, as was generally true in
such cases in the Confederacy, the people of the mountain regions were
more inclined to be true to the Union, while those of the lowlands
favored secession. This fact, together with the position it occupied,
made Tennessee a debatable ground almost throughout the war. Besides
the great battles that were fought on her soil--Shiloh, Chickamauga,
Chattanooga, Franklin, and Nashville--there were innumerable minor
engagements of varying severity and importance.

On the 24th of March, 1862, a regiment of loyal Tennesseeans,
commanded by Col. James Carter, left their camp at Cumberland Ford and
made a march of forty miles through the mountains to Big Creek Gap,
where they fought and defeated a body of Confederate cavalry, and
captured a considerable supply of tents, arms, provisions, wagons, and

Union City, Tenn., was a small village at the junction of the {226}
railroads from Columbus and Hickman, and on the 30th of March an
expedition was sent out from Island No. 10, under Col. Abram Buford,
to make a reconnoissance there. Buford had four regiments of infantry,
with two companies of cavalry and a detachment of artillery. They made
a forced march of twenty-four hours, and discovered a body of
Confederate troops drawn in line of battle across the road near the
town. The flanks of the Confederate line were protected by woods, and
Buford sent off his cavalry to make a detour and get in their rear. In
a wheat field at the right of the road he found an eminence suitable
for his artillery, and it went into position at a gallop. Almost in
one moment the Confederates were subjected to a fire from rifle-guns,
saw a line of bayonets coming straight at them in front, and
discovered that hostile horsemen with drawn sabres were in their rear.
Naturally (and perhaps properly) they immediately turned and fled
without firing a gun. They numbered about 1,000 men, infantry and
cavalry. A few prisoners were taken, together with the camp and all
that it contained. The tents and barracks were now burned, and the
National forces marched to Hickman.

Early in June an expedition commanded by Brig.-Gen. James S. Negley,
setting out from Columbia, marched eastward and southward toward
Chattanooga, for the purpose of reconnoitring and threatening that
place, bringing some relief to the persecuted Unionists of East
Tennessee, and ascertaining the truth of a report that the
Confederates were about to make a strong movement to recapture
Nashville. Their first capture was at Winchester, of a squad of
cavalrymen, including a man who was at once a clergyman, principal of
a female seminary, and captain in the Confederate service. This man
had made himself notorious by capturing and bringing in Union men to
the town, where they were given the alternative of enlisting as
Confederate soldiers or being hanged. Andrew Johnson, military
governor of Tennessee, who had himself suffered much persecution at
the hands of the secessionists, and was very bitter toward them, had
declared that rich rebels should be made to pay for the depredations
of the roving Confederate bands upon Union men. In accordance with
this, General Negley arrested a considerable number of well-known
secessionists in Marion County and assessed them two hundred dollars
apiece, appropriating the money to the relief of Union people in that
part of the State. Crossing the mountains to the Sequatchie Valley,
the expedition first met the enemy at Sweeden's Cove. They were soon
put to flight, however, by Negley's guns, and were then pursued by his
cavalry, who overtook them after a chase of two or three miles, rode
among them, and used their sabres freely until the Confederates were
dispersed. The next day the expedition proceeded toward Chattanooga,
where they found a large Confederate force with intrenchments and
several guns in position. In the afternoon the Confederates opened
fire with rifles and artillery, to which Negley's guns made reply, and
the cannonading was kept up for two hours, during which the National
gunners exhibited the greater skill and finally silenced the enemy's
batteries. These were repaired during the ensuing night, and the next
day were bombarded again, until it was discovered that the town had
been evacuated. It is related that during this fight a man appeared on
the Confederate intrenchments displaying a black flag, and was
instantly shot down. In his report General Negley said: "The Union
people in East Tennessee are wild with joy. They meet us along the
road by hundreds. I shall send you a number of their principal
persecutors from the Sequatchie valley."




About this time the roving Confederate cavalry, commanded by Gen.
N. B. Forrest, who two years later obtained such an unenviable
reputation for his conduct at Fort Pillow, began to attract special
attention by the rapidity and daring of its movements. On the 13th of
July he made an attack on Murfreesboro' at the head of about 3,000
men. The town was garrisoned by about 800, not very skilfully disposed
or very well disciplined. The attack fell principally on the Ninth
Michigan Regiment, which fought courageously hand to hand for twenty
minutes and put the enemy to flight, losing about 90 men. The attack
was soon renewed by a larger force, and finally resulted in the defeat
of the Michigan men. Meanwhile another portion of Forrest's command
had attacked the court-house, where a portion of the garrison took
shelter and kept up a destructive fire from the windows. Being unable
to drive them out, the {227} Confederates set fire to the building,
when the garrison were, of course, compelled to retire. The
Confederates captured and paroled most of the garrison, packed up and
carried off what they could plunder, and burned a large quantity of
camp equipage and clothing. The garrison was commanded by Brig.-Gen.
Thomas L. Crittenden, who was severely censured for the mismanagement
that made the disaster possible.

[Illustration: ANDREW JOHNSON. Military Governor of Tennessee,
afterward President.]


Early in August Colonel De Courcey went out with his brigade from
Cumberland Gap southward toward Tazewell on a foraging expedition.
Near that town they were attacked by four Confederate regiments under
Colonel Rains, and the advance regiment of De Courcey's force was
immediately deployed across the road with artillery on the flank. The
enemy charged in columns, and was received in silence until he had
approached within two hundred and fifty yards, when a terrible fire
was opened upon him and threw him into disorder. In the meanwhile a
battery of six guns, unobserved by the Confederates, had gained an
eminence in their rear, and when it began firing they at once turned
and fled. The National loss in this short but brilliant action was 68,
50 of whom were prisoners, being two companies who were out on
detached service and were suddenly surrounded. The Confederate loss
was about 200.

Brig.-Gen. R. W. Johnson, setting out with a force of infantry,
cavalry, and artillery to pursue the raider Morgan and his men, found
them (August 21st) at Galletin, and ordered an attack. All seemed to
be going well for a time, until confusion began to appear in his
command, and soon a panic arose and half of his men ran away. He and
some of his officers tried in vain to rally them, and finally he was
obliged to order a retreat of such of his men as had stood their
ground. He then marched for Cairo on the Cumberland, but, before
reaching that place found the enemy pressing so closely in his rear
that he was obliged to form line of battle to receive them. Again,
when the firing became brisk, most of his men broke and fled, while
with the remainder of his command he held the enemy in check until the
fugitives were enabled to cross the river, when he and his little band
were surrounded and captured. He had lost 30 men killed, and 50
wounded, and 75 were made prisoners.

On the 31st of August there was a severe skirmish near Bolivar,
between two regiments of infantry and two detachments of cavalry, and
a large Confederate force, which lasted about seven hours, and was
brought to a close by an artillery fire and a gallant charge from the
National troops. In this charge Lieutenant-Colonel Hogg, of the Second
Illinois cavalry, fell in a hand-to-hand fight with Colonel
McCullough. The next day, two regiments of infantry, with two
companies of cavalry and a battery, commanded by Colonel Dennis,
moving to attack this Confederate force in the rear, encountered them
at Britton's Lane, near Denmark. Dennis, who had about 800 men,
selected a strong position and awaited attack in a large grove
surrounded by cornfields. The Confederates, commanded by
Brigadier-General Armstrong, numbered at least 5,000, and were able
merely to surround the little band. They soon captured the
transportation train and two guns, but before the fight was over
Dennis's men recaptured them. For four hours the Confederates
persisted in making successive charges, all of which were gallantly
repelled, when they retired, leaving Dennis in possession of the
field. Their loss in killed and wounded was about 400. Dennis lost 60


In October General Negley, commanding at Nashville, learning that a
considerable Confederate force under Generals Anderson, Harris, and
Forrest was being concentrated at La Vergne, fifteen miles eastward,
for the purpose of assaulting the city, sent out a force of about
2,500 men, under command of Gen. John M. Palmer, to attack them. A
portion of this force marched directly by the Murfreesboro' road,
while the remainder made a detour to the south. The Confederate
pickets and videttes were on the alert, and made a skirmish for
several miles, enabling the main body to prepare for the attack. The
battle was opened by fire of the Confederate artillery, but this was
soon silenced when a shell exploded their ammunition chest. Almost at
the same moment the detachment that had made a detour came up and
struck the Confederates on the flank, at the same time deploying
skilfully so as to cut off their retreat. In this difficult situation
the Confederates held their ground and fought for half an hour before
they broke and retreated in confusion. They had lost about 80 men
killed or wounded, and 175 were captured, besides three {229} guns, a
considerable amount of stores, stand of colors, etc. General Palmer
lost 18 men.

On the 18th of November 200 men of the Eighth Kentucky Regiment, under
Lieutenant-Colonel May, was guarding a supply train bivouacked on an
old camp-meeting ground at Rural Hills, seventeen miles southeast of
Nashville. While they were at breakfast the next morning the crack of
rifles was heard, and in a moment two columns of Confederate cavalry
were seen rushing upon them from their front and their right. The boys
in blue seized their muskets, fell into line, and in a moment met the
enemy with a sharp and continuous fire. Presently a section of
National artillery was brought into action, and not only played upon
the enemy immediately in front, but also upon a larger body that was
discovered somewhat more than a mile away. This was answered by two or
three Confederate guns, and the fight was continued for half an hour,
when the assailants withdrew, leaving a dozen dead men on the field.
Colonel May lost no men.

A similar affair took place on the 6th of December, at Lebanon, where
the Ninety-third Ohio Regiment, under Col. Charles Anderson, was
guarding a forage train. Seeing an enemy in front, who were evidently
preparing to intercept the train, he marched his regiment in
double-quick time through the fields skirting the road, in order to
get ahead of the train and prevent an attack upon it. By the time he
got there the Confederates were in position to receive him, and a
sharp fight ensued, which ended in the flight of the Confederates. In
these little affairs there was often displayed a dash and courage by
individual soldiers, which in a war of less gigantic dimensions would
have immortalized them. Every historian of the Revolutionary war
thinks it necessary to record anew the fact that when the flagstaff of
Fort Moultrie was shot away Sergeant Jasper leaped down from the
parapet and recovered it under fire. Without disparaging his exploit,
it may be said that it was surpassed in hundreds of instances by men
on both sides in the civil war. In the little action just described,
William C. Stewart, a color-bearer, was under fire for the first time
in his life. Colonel Anderson says he "stood out in front of his
company and of the regiment with his tall person and our glorious flag
elevated to their highest reach; nor could he be persuaded to seek
cover or to lower his colors."

At Hartsville on the Cumberland, about forty miles from Murfreesboro',
1,900 National troops, under command of Col. Absalom B. Moore, were
encamped in a position which would have been very strong if held by a
larger force, but was dangerous for one so small. Against this place
Morgan the raider, at the head of 4,000 men, marched on the 7th of
December. He crossed the river seven miles from Hartsville, at a point
where nobody supposed it could be crossed by any such force, on
account of the steepness of the banks. With a little digging he made a
slope, down which he slid his horses, and at the water's edge his men
remounted. Coming up unexpectedly by a byroad, they captured all the
National pickets except one, who gave the alarm and ran into the camp.
The Nationals formed quickly in line of battle, but at the first fire
the One Hundred and Eighth Ohio broke, leaving the flank exposed. The
Confederates saw their advantage, seized it, and quickly poured in a
cross-fire, which compelled the remainder of Moore's forces to fall
back, though they did not do it without first making a stubborn fight.
Soon afterward Colonel Moore, considering it sufficiently evident that
further resistance was useless, raised a white flag and surrendered
his entire command.

A similar surrender took place at Trenton, December 20th, when
Forrest's cavalry attacked that place for the purpose of breaking the
railroad and cutting off General Grant's supplies. Col. Jacob Fry, who
was in command there, had been notified by Grant to look out for
Forrest, as he was moving in that direction. He got together what
force he could, consisting largely of convalescents and fugitives, and
numbering but 250 in all, and prepared to make a defence. He had a few
sharp-shooters, whom he placed on two buildings commanding two of the
principal streets, and when in the afternoon the enemy appeared,
charging in two columns, they were met by so severe a fire from these
men that they quickly moved out of range. Forrest then planted a
battery of six guns where it could command the position held by the
Nationals, and opened fire with shells. Colonel Fry says: "Seeing that
we were completely in their power, and had done all the damage to them
we could, I called a council of officers. They were unanimous for
surrender.... The terms of the surrender were unconditional; but
General Forrest admitted us to our paroles the next morning, sending
the Tennessee troops immediately home, and others to Columbus under a
flag of truce."

Thus far in his raiding operations General Forrest had had things
mainly his own way, but in the closing engagement he was not so
fortunate. While he was marching toward Lexington a force of 1,500
men, commanded by Col. C. L. Dunham, was sent out to intercept him,
and came upon a portion of his troops at Parker's Cross Roads, five
miles south of Clarksburg, on the 30th of December. After some
preliminary skirmishes Dunham, seeing that he was soon to be attacked,
placed his men in readiness, and with two pieces of artillery opened
fire. This was replied to by the Confederates with six guns, and
Dunham then retreated some distance to a good position on the crest of
a ridge, placing his wagon train in the rear. The enemy in heavy
column soon emerged from the woods, and made a movement evidently
intended to gain his flank and rear; whereupon he promptly changed his
position to face them, and opened fire. But the Confederate artillery
gained a position where it could enfilade his lines, and at the same
time he was attacked in the rear by a detachment of dismounted
cavalry. Again he promptly changed his position, facing to the rear,
and drove off the enemy with a considerable loss, completing their
rout by a brilliant bayonet charge. A detachment of cavalry also made
two charges upon him from another direction, and both times was
repelled. This was the end of the principal fighting of the day. A few
minutes later Forrest sent in a flag of truce demanding an
unconditional surrender, to which Colonel Dunham replied: "You will
get away with that flag very quickly, and bring me no more such
messages. Give my compliments to the general, and tell him I never
surrender. If he thinks he can take me, come and try." In the course
of the battle Dunham's wagon train was captured, and he now called for
volunteers to retake it. A company of the Thirty-ninth Iowa offered
themselves for this task and quickly accomplished it, not only
recapturing the train but bringing in also several prisoners,
including Forrest's adjutant-general and three other officers.
Reinforcements for Dunham now approached, and the Confederates
departed. The National loss, in killed, wounded, and missing, was 220.
The Confederate loss is unknown. Another instance of peculiar
individual gallantry is here mentioned by the colonel in his report.
"As our line faced about and pressed back in their engagement of the
enemy in our rear, one of the guns of the battery was left behind in
the edge of the woods. All the {230} horses belonging to it had been
killed but two. After everybody had passed and left it, Private E. A.
Topliff, fearing that the enemy might capture it, alone and under a
smart fire disengaged the two horses, hitched them to the piece, and
took it safely out."

       *       *       *       *       *

Although the struggle to determine whether Missouri should remain in
the Union or go out of it had been decided in the first year of the
war, her soil was by no means free from contention and bloodshed in
the second year. The earliest conflict took place in Randolph County,
January 8th, where 1,000 Confederates, under Colonel Poindexter, took
up a strong position at Roan's Tanyard, on Silver Creek, seven miles
south of Huntsville. Here they were attacked by about 500 men under
Majors Torrence and Hubbard, and after half an hour's fighting were
completely routed. Their defeat was owing mainly to the inefficiency
of their commander. The victors burned the camp and a considerable
amount of stores.

In February Captain Nolen, of the Seventh Illinois cavalry, with 64
men, while reconnoitring near Charleston, struck a small detachment of
Confederate cavalry under Jeff Thompson. Nolen pursued them for some
distance, and when Thompson made a stand and brought up his battery to
command the road, the Illinois men promptly charged upon it, captured
four guns, and put the Confederates to flight.


The most infamous of all the guerilla leaders was one Quantrell, who
seemed to take delight in murdering prisoners, whether they were
combatants or non-combatants. His band moved with the usual celerity
of such, and, like the others, was exceedingly difficult to capture,
or even find, when any considerable force set out to attack it. On the
22d of March a detachment of the Sixth Kansas Regiment overtook
Quantrell near Independence, killed seven of his men, and caused the
remainder to retreat precipitately, except eleven of them who were

Another encounter with Quantrell's guerilla band was had at
Warrensburg, March 26, where he attacked a detachment of a Missouri
regiment commanded by Major Emery Foster. Although Quantrell had 200
men, and Foster but 60, the latter, skilfully using a thick plank
fence for protection, succeeded in inflicting so much loss upon the
guerillas that they at length retired. Nine of them were killed and 17
wounded. The National loss was 13, including Major Foster wounded. The
same night about 500 guerillas attacked four companies of militia at
Humonsville, but were defeated and driven off with a loss of 15 killed
and a large number wounded.

On the 26th of April the Confederate general John S. Marmaduke
attacked the town of Cape Girardeau, but after a smart action was
driven off, with considerable loss, by the garrison, under Gen. John
McNeil. In the evening of the next day the cavalry force that formed
the advance guard on his retreat was surprised and attacked near
Jackson by the First Iowa cavalry and other troops. Two howitzers,
loaded with musket balls, were fired at them when they were not more
than thirty yards away, and the next instant the Iowa cavalry swooped
down upon them in a spirited charge, from which not one of the
Confederates escaped. All that were not killed were captured, together
with a few guns, horses, etc.


One of the most desperate fights with guerillas took place near
Memphis, Mo., on the 18th of July. A band of 600 had chosen a strong
position for their camp, partly concealed {231} by heavy brush and
timber, when they were attacked by a force of cavalry and militia,
commanded by Major John Y. Clopper. Clopper first knew their location
when they fired from concealment upon his advance guard, and he
immediately made dispositions for an attack. His men made five
successive charges across open ground, and were five times repelled;
but, nothing disheartened, and having now learned the exact position
of the concealed enemy, they advanced in a sixth charge, and engaged
him hand to hand. The result of the fight was the complete defeat of
the guerillas, who fled, leaving their dead and wounded on the field
and in the woods. Clopper lost 83 men.

In these affairs the guerillas were by no means always defeated. When
in August a band of 800 had been gathered by one Hughes, it was
determined to make an attack upon the small National garrison at
Independence, principally for the purpose of obtaining additional
arms. The guerillas surprised, captured, and murdered the picket
before they could give an alarm, and then entered the town by two
roads, and attacked the various buildings where detachments of the
garrison were stationed. A gallant resistance was made at every
possible point; but as the guerillas outnumbered the defenders two to
one, and there was no prospect of any relief, Lieut.-Col. J. T. Buell,
commanding the town, finally surrendered. Hughes and many of his men
had been killed. Several of the buildings were riddled with balls, and
26 of the garrison lost their lives.

Again, at Lone Jack, Mo., five days later (August 16th), the guerillas
were successful in a fight with the State militia. Major Foster at the
head of 600 militiamen was hunting guerillas, when he suddenly found
more than he wanted to see at one time. They were estimated at 4,000,
and on the approach of Foster's little force they turned and attacked
him. Foster's men fought gallantly for four hours, and were not
overpowered until they had lost 160 men, the loss of the guerillas
being about equal. On the approach of National reinforcements the
guerillas retreated.

A month later, at Shirley's Ford on Spring River, the Third Indiana
Regiment, commanded by Colonel Ritchie, attacked and defeated a force
of 600 guerillas, including about 100 Cherokee Indians, 60 of whom
were killed or wounded before they retreated.



[Illustration: BRIGADIER-GENERAL H. H. SIBLEY, C. S. A.]

One more desperate fight with guerillas in that State took place on
the 29th of October, near Butler, in Bates County. A band of them, who
had been committing depredations, and were threatening several towns,
were pursued by 220 men of the First Kansas colored regiment,
commanded by white officers. The guerillas in superior force attacked
them near Osage Island, charging upon them and making every
demonstration of special hatred for the blacks; but the colored men
stood their ground like any other good soldiers, and dealt out severe
punishment to the guerillas. When, finally, the cavalrymen succeeded
in riding in among the colored troops, many desperate hand-to-hand
encounters ensued. Not a colored soldier would surrender; and one of
the leaders of the guerillas, in describing the action, said that "the
black devils fought like tigers." The character of much of the
guerilla fighting may be seen from a few incidents of this battle.
While Lieutenant Gardner was lying wounded and insensible, a guerilla
approached him, cut his revolver from the belt, and fired it at his
head. Fortunately the ball only grazed the skull, and the next instant
a wounded colored soldier near by raised himself sufficiently to level
his musket and shoot the miscreant dead. Captain Crew had been killed,
and a guerilla was rifling his pockets, when another wounded colored
soldier summoned strength enough to get to his feet and despatch the
guerilla with his bayonet. On the approach of reinforcements for the
little band, the guerillas retreated. The National force lost about 20

       *       *       *       *       *

Northern Arkansas, as well as southern Missouri, was infested by bands
of Confederate guerillas, though it was not so rich a field for their
operations, as the number of Unionists in that State was comparatively

In February, the First Missouri cavalry, hunting guerillas there, were
fired upon from ambush at Sugar Creek, and 18 men fell. The regiment
immediately formed for action, and artillery was brought up and the
woods were shelled, but with no result except the unseen retreat of
the enemy.

       *       *       *       *       *

At Searcy Landing, on Little Red River, 150 men of the National force
had a fight with about twice their number of Confederates, whom they
routed with a loss of nearly 100 men.

On the 22d of October, Brig.-Gen. James G. Blunt, commanding a
division of the Army of the Frontier, set out from Pea Ridge with two
brigades. After a toilsome march of thirty {232} miles he came upon a
Confederate force at Old Fort Wayne, near Maysville, which consisted
of two Texas regiments and other troops, numbering about 5,000 in all.
He found them in position to receive battle, but believing that they
intended to retreat he made haste to attack them with his advance
guard and shell them with two howitzers. The enemy promptly answered
the artillery fire and showed no signs of retreating, but on the
contrary attempted to overwhelm the little force. General Blunt
hurried forward the main body of his troops and flanked the enemy upon
both wings, then making a charge upon their centre and capturing their
artillery. This completely broke them up, and they fled in disorder,
being pursued for seven miles. Blunt lost about a dozen men, and found
50 of the enemy's dead on the field.


On the 26th of November General Blunt learned that Marmaduke's
Confederate command was at Cane Hill, and immediately set out to
attack it with 5,000 men and 30 guns. After a march of thirty-five
miles he sent spies into the enemy's camp to learn its exact location
and condition, who discovered that on one of the approaches there were
no pickets out. He therefore made his dispositions for an attack on
that side, and was not discovered until he was within half a mile of
their lines, when they opened upon him with artillery. He replied with
one battery, and kept up a brisk fire while he sent back to hurry up
the main body of his troops. Placing guns on an eminence, he shelled
the enemy very effectively, and then formed his command in line for an
advance, expecting a desperate resistance, but found to his surprise
that they had quietly retreated. They made a stand a few miles distant
at the base of the Boston Mountains, and there he attacked them again,
when they retired to a lofty position on the mountain side, with
artillery on the crest. The Second and Eleventh Kansas and Third
Cherokee regiments stormed this position and carried it, when the
enemy fled in disorder and was pursued for three miles through the
woods. Here another stand was made by their rear guard, which was
promptly charged by Blunt's cavalry. But the position defended was in
a defile, and the cavalry suffered severely. Bringing up his guns,
Blunt was about to shell them out, when they sent in a flag of truce
with a request for permission to remove their dead and wounded.
General Blunt granted this, but it proved that the flag of truce {233}
was only a trick of Marmaduke's to obtain time to escape with his
command. Darkness now came on, and the pursuit was abandoned. Blunt
had lost about 40 men, and Marmaduke about 100.

A much more important action than of those just recorded took place at
Prairie Grove on the 7th of December. Learning that General Hindman's
forces had joined those of General Marmaduke, making an army of about
25,000 men, General Blunt, fearing an attack, ordered the divisions
commanded by Gen. F. J. Herron to join him at once. Herron obeyed the
order promptly; but the Confederates, learning of this movement, made
an advance for the purpose of interposing between Blunt and Herron.
They attacked Herron first, who drove back their advance and then
found them in position on a ridge commanding the ford across Illinois
Creek. Herron sent a detachment of his men to cut a road through the
woods and come in upon their flank, thus drawing their fire in that
direction and enabling his main force to cross the ford. This movement
was successful, and in a short time his command had crossed and
brought its guns to bear upon the enemy's position. He then pushed
forward his infantry in several charges, one of which captured a
battery, but all of which were finally repelled. The Confederates then
made a grand charge in return and came within a hundred yards of
Herron's guns, but the fire of artillery and musketry was too much for
them, and they retired in disorder. Again, in his turn, Herron charged
with two regiments, again captured a battery, and again was forced to
retire. While this action was in progress Blunt was pressing forward
to the relief of Herron with his command, and now came in on the
right, joined in the fight and defeated the enemy, who repeated their
trick with a flag of truce and escaped in the night. In this battle
the total National loss, killed, wounded, and missing, was 1,148. The
Confederate loss is not exactly known, but was much larger, and
included General Stein among the killed.



The great war extended not only over the Southern States, but into
some of the Territories. In the summer of 1861 the Confederate
government commanded Gen. H. H. Sibley to organize a brigade in Texas
and march northward into New Mexico for the conquest of that
Territory. He moved up the Rio Grande in January, 1862, and early in
February came within striking distance of Fort Craig, on the western
bank of the river, which was the headquarters of Col. (afterward Gen.)
E. R. S. Canby, who commanded the National forces in New Mexico. Canby
planned to attack him, and began by sending a force of cavalry with
two batteries to cut off the Texans from their supply of water at the
river. In that vicinity, on account of the steep banks, there was only
one point where the stream could be reached. This detachment, however,
was a little too late, as the Confederates had already gained the
water. Colonel Roberts, in command of the detachment, fired upon them
with his batteries, dismounted one of their guns, and drove them off.
Roberts then crossed to the eastern bank, and the fight was renewed
with varying success, until the Confederates charged upon and captured
some of his guns. Colonel Canby then came upon the field with more of
his forces and ordered an advance to attack the enemy where he
appeared to be lurking in the edge of a wood. But the Confederates did
not wait to be attacked. After a sharp musketry fire on the right
flank, they made desperate charges to capture Canby's two batteries.
The one against Hall's battery was made by cavalry, and the horsemen
were struck down so rapidly by the fire of the guns that they could
not reach it. The other was made by infantry, armed principally with
revolvers. The guns, commanded by Captain McRae, were served rapidly
and skilfully, and made awful slaughter of the Texans; but they
continually closed up the gaps in their ranks and steadily pushed
forward until the battery was theirs. The infantry supports, who
should have prevented this capture, miserably failed in their duty and
finally ran away from the field. McRae and his men remained at their
guns till the last minute, and most of them, including Captain McRae,
were killed. With the loss of the battery, hope of victory was gone,
and the National troops retired to the fort. Canby had in this fight
about 1,500 men, and lost about 200. The Confederates numbered about
2,000, and their loss is unknown.

Another fight in this territory took place at Apache Cañon, twenty
miles from Santa Fé, on the 28th of March, where Major Chivington with
1,300 men and six guns overtook and attacked a force of about 2,000
Texans. The first shots were fired by a small party of the Texans in
ambush, who were immediately rushed upon and disposed of by the
advance guard of the Nationals. Chivington then pressed forward,
surprised and captured the pickets, and about noon attacked the main
force of the enemy. The battle lasted four hours, and Chivington with
his six guns had a great advantage over the Texans, who had but one.
The result was a complete defeat of the Confederates and capture of
their entire train {234} consisting of sixty-four wagons. The Texans
had made four attempts to capture Chivington's guns, as they had
captured Canby's, but only met with heavy loss. The total Confederate
loss was over 300 killed or wounded, and about 100 taken prisoners.
Chivington's loss was 150.



       *       *       *       *       *

In obedience to an Act of Congress, Lieut.-Com. Thomas S. Phelps, in
command of the steamer _Corwin_, was detached from the North Atlantic
blockading squadron and ordered to make a regular survey of the
Potomac River, to facilitate the operations of the army, no survey of
this river ever having been made. He began the work in July, 1862, and
rapidly pushed it to its completion in March, 1863, most of the time
opposed by the artillery and cavalry of the Confederates. During the
winter months it was frequently necessary to break the ice in order to
prosecute the work. While thus engaged, he assisted materially in the
blockade of the river and in breaking up the haunts of the
contrabandists. The magnitude of the work may be imagined from the
fact that on the Kettle-bottoms alone, a section of the river about
ten miles in length by an average of four miles in width, more than
six hundred miles of soundings were run, necessitated by the immense
number of small shoals on this ground which were dangerous to
navigation. The length of river surveyed was ninety-seven miles.

       *       *       *       *       *

Enraged by real or fancied wrongs in the failure of payment of
annuities, the Sioux Indians took the opportunity when the Government,
as they supposed, had all it could do to grapple with the rebellion,
to indulge in a general uprising in the Northwest. In August they
attacked several frontier towns of Minnesota and committed horrible
atrocities. The village of New Ulm was almost destroyed, and more than
100 of its citizens--men, women, and children--were massacred. They
also destroyed the agencies at Redwood and Yellow Medicine, and
attacked the villages of Hutchinson and Forest City, but from these
latter were driven off. They besieged Fort Ridgley, but did not
succeed in capturing it. Altogether they committed about 1,000
murders. Col. H. H. Sibley with a strong force was sent against them,
and in September overtook several bodies of the Sioux, all of whom he
defeated. In the principal battle two cannon, of which the Indians
have always been in mortal terror, were used upon them with great
effect. The Indians asked for a truce to rescue their wounded and bury
their dead, but Sibley declined to grant any truce until they should
return the prisoners whom they had carried off. Ultimately about 1,000
Indians were captured. Many of them were tried and condemned, and 39
were hanged.





The year 1863 began with several events of the first importance. On
December 31st and January 2d there was a great battle in the West,
which has just been described. On New Year's Day the final
proclamation of emancipation was issued, and measures were taken for
the immediate enlistment of black troops. On that day, also, in the
State of New York, which furnished one-sixth of all the men called
into the National service, the executive power passed into hands
unfriendly to the Administration.

The part of President Lincoln's proclamation that created most
excitement at the South was not that which declared the freedom of the
blacks--for the secessionists professed to be amused at this as a
papal bull against a comet--but that which announced that negroes
would thenceforth be received into the military service of the United
States. Whatever might be said of the powerlessness of the Government
to liberate slaves that were within the Confederate lines, it was
plain enough that a determination to enlist colored troops brought in
a large resource hitherto untouched. Military men in Europe, having
only statistical knowledge of our negro population, and not
understanding the peculiar prejudices that hedged it about, had looked
on at first in amazement, and finally in contempt, at its careful
exclusion from military service. The Confederates had no special
scruples about negro assistance on their own side; for they not only
constantly employed immense numbers of blacks in building
fortifications and in camp drudgery, but had even armed and equipped a
few of them for service as soldiers. In a review of Confederate troops
at New Orleans, in the first year of the war, appeared a regiment of
free negroes, and early the next year the legislature of Virginia
provided for the enrolment of the same class.

[Illustration: THE COOK.]


But the idea that emancipated slaves should be employed to fight
against their late masters and for the enfranchisement of their own
race, appeared to be new, startling, and unwelcome; and the
Confederates, both officially and unofficially, threatened the direst
penalties against all who should lead black soldiers, as well as
against such soldiers themselves. General Beauregard wrote to a friend
in the Congress at Richmond: "Has the bill for the execution of
Abolition prisoners, after January next, been passed? Do it, and
England will be stirred into action. It is high time to proclaim the
black flag after that period. Let the execution be with the garrote."
Mr. Davis, late in December, 1862, issued a proclamation outlawing
General Butler and all commissioned officers in his command, and
directing that whenever captured they should be reserved for
execution, and added, "That all negro slaves captured in arms be at
once delivered over to the executive authorities of the respective
States to which they belong, to be dealt with according to the laws of
said States," and, "That the like orders be executed with respect to
all commissioned officers of the United States, when found serving in
company with said slaves." The Confederate Congress passed a series of
resolutions in which it was provided that on the capture of any white
commissioned officer who had {236} armed, organized, or led negro
troops against the Confederacy, he should be tried by a military court
and put to death or otherwise punished.

Democratic journalists and Congressmen at the North were hardly less
violent in their opposition to the enlistment of black men. They
denounced the barbarity of the proceeding, declared that white
soldiers would be disgraced if they fought on the same field with
blacks, and anon demonstrated the utter incapacity of negroes for war,
and laughed at the idea that they would ever face an enemy. Most of
the Democratic senators and representatives voted against the
appropriation bills, or supported amendments providing that "no part
of the moneys shall be applied to the raising, arming, equipping, or
paying of negro soldiers," and the more eloquent of them drew pitiful
pictures of the ruin and anarchy that were to ensue. Representative
Samuel S. Cox, then of Ohio, said: "Every man along the border will
tell you that the Union is forever rendered hopeless if you pursue
this policy of taking the slaves from the masters and arming them in
this civil strife."

It is impossible at this distance of time, and after the question of
slavery in our country has been so thoroughly settled that nobody
disputes the righteousness and wisdom of its abolition, to convey to
younger readers an adequate idea either of the diversity of opinion or
the intensity of feeling on the subject, when it was still under
discussion and was complicated with great military and political
problems. Not only before the Emancipation Proclamation was issued,
but for a considerable time afterward, these opinions were tenaciously
held and these feelings expressed. The so-called conservatives of the
Northern States constantly affirmed that abolitionists of whatever
degree, and active secessionists, were equally wrong and blameworthy;
that the latter had no right to break up the Union for any cause, and
that the former had no right to emancipate the slaves even to save the
Union. They assumed that the Constitution of the United States was
perpetual, perfect, and infallible for all time, and ignored the
natural antagonism between the systems of slave labor and free labor.
In June, 1862, the conservative members of Congress held a meeting,
and adopted a declaration of principles which included the following:
"At the call of the Government a mighty army, the noblest and most
patriotic ever known, sprung at once into the field, and is bleeding
and conquering in defence of its Government. Under these circumstances
it would, in our opinion, be most unjust and ungenerous to give any
new character or direction to the war, for the accomplishment of any
other than the first great purpose, and especially for the
accomplishment of any mere party or sectional scheme. The doctrines of
the secessionists and abolitionists, as the latter are now represented
in Congress, are alike false to the Constitution and irreconcilable to
the peace and unity of the country. The first have already involved us
in a cruel civil war, and the others--the abolitionists--will leave
the country but little hope of the speedy restoration of the Union or
peace, if the schemes of confiscation, emancipation, and other
unconstitutional measures which they have lately carried, and
attempted to carry, through the House of Representatives, shall be
enacted into the form of laws and remain unrebuked by the people. It
is no justification of such acts that the crimes committed in the
prosecution of the rebellion are of unexampled atrocity, nor is there
any such justification as State necessity known to our government or

On the other hand, at a great mass meeting held in Union Square, New
York City, July 15, 1862, a series of resolutions was adopted which
included the following:

"That we are for the union of the States, the integrity of the
country, and the maintenance of this Government without any condition
or qualification whatever, and at every necessary sacrifice of life or

"That we urge upon the Government the exercise of its utmost
skill and vigor in the prosecution of this war, unity of design,
comprehensiveness of plan, a uniform policy, and the stringent use of
all the means within its reach consistent with the usages of civilized

"That we acknowledge but two divisions of the people of the United
States in this crisis--those who are loyal to its Constitution and
every inch of its soil and are ready to make every sacrifice for the
integrity of the Union and the maintenance of civil liberty within it,
and those who openly or covertly endeavor to sever our country or to
yield to the insolent demand of its enemies; that we fraternize with
the former and detest the latter; and that, forgetting all former
party names and distinctions, we call upon all patriotic citizens to
rally for one undivided country, one flag, one destiny."

The extreme of opinion in favor of immediate and unqualified
emancipation, and of employment of colored troops, with impatience at
all delay in adopting such a policy, was represented picturesquely, if
not altogether justly, by Count Gurowski. Adam Gurowski was a Pole who
had been exiled for participating in revolutionary demonstrations, and
after a varied career had come to the United States, where he engaged
in literary pursuits, and from 1861 to 1863 was employed as a
translator in the state department at Washington. He was now between
fifty and sixty years of age, and was a keen observer and merciless
critic of what was going on around him. He had published several books
in Europe, and his diary kept while he was in the state department has
also been put into print. It is exceedingly outspoken in every
direction; and though it is often unjust, and represents hardly more
than his own exaggerated eccentricity, yet in many respects he struck
at once into the heart of important truths which slower minds
comprehended less readily or less willingly. The following extracts
are suggestive and interesting. Their dates range from April, 1862, to
April, 1863.

"Mr. Blair [Montgomery Blair, Postmaster-General] worse and worse; is
more hot in support of McClellan, more determined to upset Stanton;
and I heard him demand the return of a poor fugitive slave woman to
some of Blair's Maryland friends. Every day I am confirmed in my creed
that whoever had slavery for mammy is never serious in the effort to
destroy it. Whatever such men as Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Blair will do
against slavery will never be radical by their own choice or
conviction, but will be done reluctantly, and when under the
unavoidable pressure of events.... Mr. Lincoln is forced out again
from one of his pro-slavery intrenchments; he was obliged to yield,
and to sign the hard-fought bill for emancipation in the District of
Columbia. But how reluctantly, with what bad grace he signed it! Good
boy; he wishes not to strike his mammy. And to think that the friends
of humanity in Europe will credit this emancipation not where it is
due, not to the noble pressure exercised by the high-minded Northern
masses! Mr. Lincoln, his friends assert, does not wish to hurt the
feelings of any one with whom he has to deal. Exceedingly amiable
quality in a private individual, but at times turning almost to be a
vice in a man intrusted with the destinies of a nation. So he never
could decide to hurt the feelings of McClellan, and this after all
{237} the numerous proofs of his incapacity. But Mr. Lincoln hurts
thereby, and in the most sensible manner, the interests, nay, the
lives of the twenty millions of people.... The last draft could be
averted from the North if the four millions of loyal Africo-Americans
were called to arms. But Mr. Lincoln, with the Sewards, the Blairs,
and others, will rather see every Northern man shot than to touch the
palladium of the rebels.... Proclamation _conditionally_ abolishing
slavery from 1863. The _conditional_ is the last desperate effort made
by Mr. Lincoln and by Mr. Seward to save slavery. The two statesmen
found out that it was dangerous longer to resist the decided,
authoritative will of the masses. But if the rebellion is crushed
before January 1st, 1863, what then? If the rebels turn loyal before
that term? Then the people of the North will be cheated. The
proclamation is written in the meanest and the most dry routine style;
not a word to evoke a generous thrill, not a word reflecting the warm
and lofty comprehension and feelings of the immense majority of the
people on this question of emancipation. Nothing for humanity, nothing
to humanity. How differently Stanton would have spoken! General
Wadsworth truly says that never a noble subject was more belittled by
the form in which it was uttered.... The proclamation of September 22d
may not produce in Europe the effect and the enthusiasm which it might
have evoked if issued a year ago, as an act of justice and of
self-conscientious force, as an utterance of the lofty, pure, and
ardent aspirations and will of a high-minded people. Europe may see
now in the proclamation an action of despair made in the duress of
events.... Every time an Africo-American regiment is armed or created,
Mr. Lincoln seems as though making an effort, or making a gracious
concession in permitting the increase of our forces. It seems as if
Mr. Lincoln were ready to exhaust all the resources of the country
before he boldly strikes the Africo-American vein."

One hundred and seventy thousand negroes were enlisted, and many of
them performed notable service, displaying, at Fort Wagner, Olustee,
and elsewhere, quite as much steadiness and courage as any white
troops. If the expressions of doubt as to the military value of the
colored race were sincere, they argued inexcusable ignorance; for
black soldiers had fought in the ranks of our Revolutionary armies,
and Perry's victory on Lake Erie in 1813--which, with the battle of
the Thames, secured us the great Northwest--was largely the work of
colored sailors.


[Illustration: A "CONTRABAND."]


The President recognized the obligation of the Government to protect
all its servants by every means in its power, and issued a
proclamation directing that "for every soldier of the United States
killed in violation of the laws of war, a rebel soldier shall be
executed; and for every one enslaved by the enemy or sold into
slavery, a rebel soldier {238} shall be placed at hard labor on the
public works." But such retaliation was never resorted to.

[Illustration: COLONEL ROBERT G. SHAW. (Commanding the Fifty-fourth
Massachusetts Colored Regiment.)]

Before the war it had been a constant complaint of the Southerners,
that the discussion of schemes for the abolition of slavery, and the
scattering of documents that argued the right of every man to liberty,
were likely to excite bloody insurrection among the slaves. And many
students of this piece of history have expressed surprise that when
the war broke out the blacks did not at once become mutinous all over
the South, and make it impossible to put Confederate armies in the
field. But it must be remembered, that although the struggle resulted
in their liberation, yet when it was begun no intention was expressed
on the part of the Government except a determination to save the
Union, and the war had been in progress a year and a half before the
blacks had any reason to suppose it would benefit them whichever way
it might turn. They were often possessed of more shrewdness than they
were credited with. Their sentiments up to the time of the
Emancipation Proclamation were perhaps fairly represented by one who
was an officer's servant in an Illinois regiment, and was at the
battle of Fort Donelson. A gentleman who afterward met him on the deck
of a steamer, and was curious to know what he thought of the struggle
that was going on, questioned him with the following result:

"Were you in the fight?"

"Had a little taste of it, sa."

"Stood your ground, did you?"

"No, sa; I runs."

"Run at the first fire, did you?"

"Yes, sa; and would ha' run soona had I know'd it war comin'."

"Why, that wasn't very creditable to your courage."

"Dat isn't in my line, sa; cookin's my perfeshun."

"Well, but have you no regard for your reputation?"

"Refutation's nuffin by de side ob life."

"Do you consider your life worth more than other people's?"

"It's worth more to me, sa."

"Then you must value it very highly?"

"Yes, sa, I does; more dan all dis wuld; more dan a million of
dollars, sa: for what would dat be wuf to a man wid de bref out of
him? Self-perserbashum am de fust law wid me."

"But why should you act upon a different rule from other men?"

"Because different men set different values upon dar lives: mine is
not in de market."

"But if you lost it, you would have the satisfaction of knowing that
you died for your country."

"What satisfaction would dat be to me when de power ob feelin' was

"Then patriotism and honor are nothing to you?"

"Nuffin whatever, sa: I regard dem as among de vanities: and den de
Gobernment don't know me; I hab no rights; may be sold like old hoss
any day, and dat's all."

"If our old soldiers were like you, traitors might have broken up the
Government without resistance."

"Yes, sa; dar would hab been no help for it. I wouldn't put my life in
de scale 'ginst any gobernment dat ever existed; for no gobernment
could replace de loss to me."

"Do you think any of your company would have missed you if you had
been killed?"

"May be not, sa; a dead white man ain't much to dese sogers, let alone
a dead nigga; but I'd a missed myself, and dat was de pint wid me."

Incidents like this were eagerly reported by journals that chose to
argue that the colored men would not fight in any case, and such
assertions were kept up and repeated by them long after they had
fought most gallantly on several fields. Somebody in describing one of
these battles used the expression, "The colored troops fought nobly,"
and this was seized upon and repeated sneeringly in hundreds of
head-lines and editorials, always with an implication that it was
buncombe, until the readers of those journals were made to believe
that such troops did not fight at all. The fact was that their
percentage of losses on the whole number that went into the service
was slightly greater than that of the white troops; and when we
consider that they fought with a prospect of being either murdered or
sold into slavery, if they fell into the hands of the enemy, it must
be acknowledged that they were entitled to a full measure of credit.
Immediately after the proclamation of emancipation was issued, Lorenzo
Thomas, adjutant-general of the army, was sent to Louisiana, where he
explained his mission in a speech to the soldiers, in the course of
which he said:

"Look along the river, and see the multitude of deserted plantations
upon its banks. These are the places for these freedmen, where they
can be self-sustaining and self-supporting. All of you will some day
be on picket-duty; and I charge you all, if any of this unfortunate
race come within your lines, that you do not turn them away, but
receive them kindly and cordially. They are to be encouraged to come
to us; they are to be received with open arms; they are to be fed and
clothed; they are to be armed. This is the policy that has been fully
determined upon. I am here to say that I am authorized to raise as
many regiments of blacks as I can. I am authorized to give
commissions, from the highest to the lowest; and I desire those
persons who are earnest in this work to take hold of it. I desire only
those whose hearts are in it, and to them alone will I give
commissions. I don't care who they are, or what their present rank may
be. I do not hesitate to say, that all proper persons will receive

"While I am authorized thus in the name of the Secretary of War, I
have the fullest authority to dismiss from the army any man, be his
rank what it may, whom I find maltreating the freedmen. This part of
my duty I will most assuredly perform if any case comes before me. I
would rather do that than give {239} commissions, because such men are
unworthy the name of soldiers. This, fellow soldiers, is the
determined policy of the Administration. You all know, full well, when
the President of the United States, though said to be slow in coming
to a determination, once puts his foot down, it is there; and he is
not going to take it up. He has put his foot down. I am here to assure
you that my official influence shall be given that he shall not raise

Major-Gen. B. M. Prentiss then made a speech, in which he said, that
"from the time he was a prisoner, and a negro sentinel, with firm
step, beat in front of his cell, and with firmer voice commanded
silence within, he prayed God for the day of revenge; and he now
thanked God that it had come."

General Prentiss, it will be remembered, had been captured at the
battle of Shiloh, and from this incidental testimony it appears that
he found the Confederates had negroes doing duty as sentinels at

Col. Thomas W. Higginson, who saw much service in General Saxton's
department on the coast of South Carolina, and who there raised and
commanded a regiment of colored troops, wrote: "It needs but a few
days to show up the absurdity of distrusting the military availability
of these people. They have quite as much average comprehension as
whites of the need of the thing, as much courage I doubt not, as much
previous knowledge of the gun, and, above all, a readiness of ear and
imitation which for purposes of drill counterbalances any defect of
mental training. As to camp life, they have little to sacrifice; they
are better fed, housed, and clothed than ever in their lives before,
and they appear to have fewer inconvenient vices. They are simple,
docile, and affectionate almost to the point of absurdity. The same
men who stood fire in open field with perfect coolness, on the late
expedition, have come to me blubbering in the most irresistibly
ludicrous manner on being transferred from one company in the regiment
to another. This morning I wandered about where different companies
were target shooting, and their glee was contagious. Such exulting
shouts of 'Ki! ole man,' when some steady old turkey-shooter brought
his gun down for an instant's aim and unerringly hit the mark; and
then, when some unwary youth fired his piece into the ground at half
cock, such infinite guffawing and delight, such rolling over and over
on the grass, such dances of ecstasy, as made the Ethiopian minstrelsy
of the stage appear a feeble imitation."


The first regiment of colored troops raised at the North was the
Fifty-fourth Massachusetts, commanded by Col. Robert G. Shaw, who fell
at their head in the desperate assault on Fort Wagner. The
whole-heartedness with which, when once permitted to enlist, the
colored soldiers entered into the war, is {240} indicated by the fact
that their enthusiasm added not only to the muskets in the field, but
also to the music and poetry in the air. A private in the regiment
just mentioned produced a song which, whatever its defects as poetry,
can hardly be criticised for its sentiments.

  Frémont told them, when the war it first begun,
  How to save the Union, and the way it should be done;
  But Kentucky swore so hard, and Old Abe he had his fears,
  Till every hope was lost but the colored volunteers.


    Oh, give us a flag all free without a slave!
    We'll fight to defend it as our fathers did so brave.
    The gallant Comp'ny A will make the rebels dance;
    And we'll stand by the Union, if we only have a chance.

  McClellan went to Richmond with two hundred thousand brave;
  He said, "Keep back the niggers," and the Union he would save.
  Little Mac he had his way, still the Union is in tears:
  _Now_ they call for the help of the colored volunteers.
    _Cho._--Oh, give us a flag, etc.

  Old Jeff says he'll hang us if we dare to meet him armed--
  A very big thing, but we are not at all alarmed;
  For he first has got to catch us before the way is clear,
  And "that's what's the matter" with the colored volunteer.
    _Cho._--Oh, give us a flag, etc.

  So rally, boys, rally! let us never mind the past.
  We had a hard road to travel, but our day is coming fast;
  For God is for the right, and we have no need to fear;
  The Union must be saved by the colored volunteer.
    _Cho._--Oh, give us a flag, etc.

How many of them Jeff Davis did hang, or otherwise murder, will never
be known; but it is certain that many of those captured were disposed
of in some manner not in accordance with the laws of war. At the
surrender of Port Hudson not a single colored man was found alive,
although it was known that thirty-five had been taken prisoners by the
Confederates during the siege. It is no wonder that when they did go
into battle they fought with desperation. The first regular engagement
in which they took part was the battle of Milliken's Bend, La., June
7, 1863; concerning which an eye-witness wrote:

"A force of about five hundred negroes, and two hundred men of the
Twenty-third Iowa, belonging to the Second Brigade, Carr's division
(the Twenty-third Iowa had been up the river with prisoners, and was
on its way back to this place), was surprised in camp by a rebel force
of about two thousand men. The first intimation that the commanding
officer received was from one of the black men, who went into the
colonel's tent, and said, 'Massa, the secesh are in camp.' The colonel
ordered him to have the men load their guns at once. He instantly
replied: 'We have done did that now, massa.' Before the colonel was
ready, the men were in line, ready for action. As before stated, the
rebels drove our force toward the gunboats, taking colored men
prisoners and murdering them. This so enraged them that they rallied,
and charged the enemy more heroically and desperately than has been
recorded during the war. It was a genuine bayonet charge, a
hand-to-hand fight, that has never occurred to any extent during this
prolonged conflict. Upon both sides men were killed with the butts of
muskets. White and black men were lying side by side, pierced by
bayonets, and in some instances transfixed to the earth. In one
instance, two men--one white and the other black--were found dead,
side by side, each having the other's bayonet through his body. If
facts prove to be what they are now represented, this engagement of
Sunday morning will be recorded as the most desperate of this war.
Broken limbs, broken heads, the mangling of bodies, all prove that it
was a contest between enraged men--on the one side, from hatred to a
race; and on the other, desire for self-preservation, revenge for past
grievances and the inhuman murder of their comrades. One brave man
took his former master prisoner, and brought him into camp with great
gusto. A rebel prisoner made a particular request that his own negroes
should not be placed over him as a guard."

Capt. M. M. Miller, who commanded a colored company in that action,
said: "I went into the fight with thirty-three men, and had sixteen
killed, eleven badly wounded, and four slightly. The enemy charged us
so close that we fought with our bayonets hand to hand. I have six
broken bayonets to show how bravely my men fought. The enemy cried,
'No quarter!' but some of them were very glad to take it when made
prisoners. Not one of my men offered to leave his place until ordered
to fall back. No negro was ever found alive that was taken a prisoner
by the rebels in this fight."







After Burnside's failure at Fredericksburg, he was superseded, January
25, 1863, by General Joseph Hooker, who had commanded one of his grand
divisions. Hooker, now forty-eight years old, was a graduate of West
Point, had seen service in the Florida and Mexican wars, had been
through the peninsula campaign with McClellan, was one of our best
corps commanders, and was a favorite with the soldiers, who called him
"Fighting Joe Hooker." In giving the command to General Hooker,
President Lincoln accompanied it with a remarkable letter, which not
only exhibits his own peculiar genius, but suggests some of the
complicated difficulties of the military and political situation. He
wrote: "I have placed you at the head of the Army of the Potomac. Of
course I have done this upon what appear to me sufficient reasons, and
yet I think it best for you to know there are some things in regard to
which I am not quite satisfied with you. I believe you to be a brave
and skilful soldier, which of course I like. I also believe you do not
mix politics with your profession, in which you are right. You have
confidence in yourself, which is a valuable if not indispensable
quality. You are ambitious, which, within reasonable bounds, does good
rather than harm; but I think that during General Burnside's command
of the army you have taken counsel of your ambition, and thwarted him
as much as you could, in which you did a great wrong to the country,
and to a most meritorious and honorable brother officer. I have heard,
in such a way as to believe it, of your recently saying, that both the
army and the government needed a dictator. Of course it was not for
this, but in spite of it, that I have given you the command. Only
those generals who gain successes can set up dictators. What I now ask
of you is military success, and I will risk the dictatorship. The
Government will support you to the utmost of its ability, which is
neither more nor less than it has done and will do for all commanders.
I much fear that the spirit which you have aided to infuse into the
army, of criticising their commander, and withholding confidence from
him, will now turn upon you. I shall assist you as far as I can to put
it down. Neither you nor Napoleon, were he alive again, could get any
good out of any army while such a spirit prevails in it. And now,
beware of rashness! Beware of rashness! But with energy and sleepless
vigilance go forward and give us victories."


Hooker restored the discipline of the Army of the Potomac, which had
been greatly relaxed, reorganized it in corps, and opened the spring
campaign with every promise of success. The army was still on the
Rappahannock, opposite Fredericksburg, and he planned to cross over
and strike Lee's left. Making a demonstration with Sedgwick's corps
below the town, he moved a large part of his army up-stream, crossed
quickly, and had forty-six thousand men at Chancellorsville before Lee
guessed what he was about. This "ville" was only a single house, named
from its owner. Eastward, between it and Fredericksburg, there was
open country; west of it was the great thicket known as the
Wilderness, in the depths of which, a year later, a bloody battle was

Instead of advancing into the open country at once, and striking the
enemy's flank, Hooker lost a day in inaction, which gave Lee time to
learn what was going on and to make dispositions to meet the
emergency. Leaving a small force to check Sedgwick, who had carried
the heights of Fredericksburg, he moved toward Hooker with nearly all
his army, May 1st, and attacked at various points, endeavoring to
ascertain Hooker's exact position. By nightfall of this same day,
Hooker appears to have lost confidence in the plans with which he set
out, and been deserted by his old-time audacity; for instead of
maintaining a tactical offensive, he drew back from some of his more
advanced positions, formed his army in a semicircle, and awaited
attack. His left and his centre were strongly posted and to some
extent intrenched; but his right, consisting of Howard's corps, was
"in the air," and, moreover, it faced the Wilderness. When this weak
spot was discovered by the enemy, on the morning of the 2d, Lee sent
Jackson with twenty-six thousand men to make a long detour, pass into
the Wilderness, and, emerging suddenly from its eastern edge, take
Howard by surprise. Jackson's men were seen and counted as they passed
over the crest of a hill; they were even attacked by detachments from
Sickles's corps; and Hooker sent orders to Howard to strengthen his
position, advance his pickets, and not allow himself to be surprised.
But Howard appears to have disregarded all precautions, and in the
afternoon the enemy came down upon him, preceded by a rush of
frightened wild animals driven from their cover in the woods by the
advancing battle-line. Howards corps was doubled up, thrown into
confusion, and completely routed. The enemy was {242} coming on
exultingly, when General Sickles sent Gen. Alfred Pleasonton with two
regiments of cavalry and a battery to occupy an advantageous position
at Hazel Grove, which was the key-point of this part of the
battlefield. Pleasonton arrived just in time to see that the
Confederates were making toward the same point and were likely to
secure it. There was but one way to save the army, and Pleasonton
quickly comprehended it. He ordered Major Peter Keenan, with the
Eighth Pennsylvania cavalry regiment, about four hundred strong, to
charge immediately upon the ten thousand Confederate infantry. "It is
the same as saying we must be killed," said Keenan, "but we'll do it."
This charge, in which Keenan and most of his command were slain,
astonished the enemy and stopped their onset, for they believed there
must be some more formidable force behind it.[1]

[Footnote 1: This is the story of Keenan's charge as told by General
Pleasanton, and generally accepted, which has been made the theme of
much comment and several poems. Nobody questions that the charge was
gallantly made, and resulted in heavy loss to the intrepid riders; but
several participants have recorded their testimony that it did not
take place by order of General Pleasanton or in any such manner as he
relates--in fact, that it was rather an unexpected encounter with the
enemy when the regiment was obeying orders to cross over from a point
near Hazel Grove to the aid of General Howard. Among these is Gen.
Pennock Huey, who was the senior major in command of the regiment, and
was one of the few officers that survived the charge.]

In the precious minutes thus gained, Pleasonton brought together
twenty-two guns, loaded them with double charges of canister, and had
them depressed enough to make the shot strike the ground half-way
between his own line and the edge of the woods where the enemy must
emerge. When the Confederates resumed their charge, they were struck
by such a storm of iron as nothing human could withstand; other troops
were brought up to the support of the guns, and what little artillery
the Confederates had advanced to the front was knocked to pieces.



Here, about dusk, General Jackson rode to the front to reconnoitre. As
he rode back again with his staff, some of his own men, mistaking the
horsemen for National cavalry, fired a volley at them, by which
several were killed. Another volley inflicted three wounds upon
Jackson; and as his frightened horse dashed into the woods, the
general was thrown violently against the limb of a tree and injured
still more. Afterward, when his men were bearing him off, a National
battery opened fire down the road, one of the men was struck, and the
general fell heavily to the ground. He finally reached the hospital,
and his arm was amputated, but he died at the end of a week. Jackson's
corps renewed its attack, under Gen. A. P. Hill, but without success,
and Hill was wounded and borne from the field.

The next morning, May 3d, it was renewed again under Stuart, the
cavalry leader, and at the same time Lee attacked in front with his
entire force. The Confederates had sustained a serious disaster the
evening before, in the loss of Lee's ablest lieutenant; but now a more
serious one befell the National army, for General Hooker was rendered
insensible by the shock from a cannon-ball that struck a pillar of the
Chancellor house, against which he was leaning. After this there was
no plan or organization to the battle on the National side--though
each corps commander held his own as well as he could, and the men
fought valiantly--while Lee was at his best. The line was forced back
to some strong intrenchments that had been prepared the night before,
when Lee learned that Sedgwick had defeated the force opposed to him,
captured Fredericksburg heights, and was promptly advancing upon the
Confederate rear. Trusting that the force in his front would not
advance upon him, Lee drew off a large detachment of his army and
turned upon Sedgwick, who after a heavy fight was stopped, and with
some difficulty succeeded in crossing the river after nightfall. Lee
then turned again upon Hooker; but a great storm suspended operations
for twenty-four hours, and the next night the National army all
recrossed the Rappahannock, leaving on the field fourteen guns,
thousands of small arms, all their dead, and many of their wounded. In
this battle or series of battles, the National loss was about
seventeen thousand men, the Confederate about thirteen thousand.
Hooker had commanded about one hundred and thirteen thousand five
hundred, to Lee's sixty-two thousand (disregarding the different
methods of counting in the two armies); but as usual they were not in
action simultaneously; many were hardly in the fight at all, and at
every point of actual contact, with the exception of Sedgwick's first
engagement, the Confederates were superior in numbers.

Three general officers were killed in this battle. On the National
side, Major-Gens. Hiram G. Berry and Amiel W. Whipple; on the
Confederate side, Brig.-Gen. E. F. Paxton. {243} General Jackson, as
already mentioned, was mortally wounded, and several others were hurt,
some of them severely.


Sedgwick's part of this engagement is sometimes called the battle of
Salem Heights, and sometimes the second battle of Fredericksburg.

Two coincidences are noticeable in this action. First, each commander
made a powerful flank movement against his opponent's right, and
neither of these movements was completely successful, although they
were most gallantly and skilfully made. Second, each commander, in his
after explanations accounting for his failure to push the fight any
farther, declared that he could not conscientiously order his men to
assail the strong intrenchments of the enemy.


General Hooker's explanation of his failure, so far as it could be
explained, was given in a conversation with Samuel P. Bates, his
literary executor, who visited the ground with him in 1876. Mr. Bates
says: "Upon our arrival at the broad, open, rolling fields opposite
Banks's Ford, three or four miles up the stream, General Hooker
explained, waving his hand significantly: 'Here on this open ground I
intended to fight my battle. But the trouble was to get my army on it,
as the banks of the stream are, as you can see, rugged and
precipitous, and the few fords were strongly fortified and guarded by
the enemy. By making a powerful demonstration in front of and below
the town of Fredericksburg with a part of my army, I was able,
unobserved, to withdraw the remainder, and, marching nearly thirty
miles up the stream, to cross the Rappahannock and the Rapidan
unopposed, and in four days' time to arrive at Chancellorsville,
within five miles of this coveted ground.... But at midnight General
Lee had moved out with his whole army, and by sunrise was in firm
possession of Jackson's Ford, had thrown up this line of breastworks,
which you can still follow with the eyes, and it was bristling with
cannon from one end to the other. Before I had proceeded two miles the
heads of my columns, while still upon the narrow roads in these
interminable forests, where it was impossible to manoeuvre my forces,
were met by Jackson with a full two-thirds of the entire Confederate
army. I had no alternative but to turn back, as I had only a fragment
of my command in hand, and take up the position about Chancellorsville
which I had occupied during the night, as I was being rapidly
outflanked upon my right, the enemy having open ground on which to
operate.... Very early on the first day of the battle I rode along the
whole line and examined every part, suggesting some changes and
counselling extreme vigilance. Upon my return to headquarters I was
informed that a continuous column of the enemy had been marching past
my front since early in the morning. This put an entirely new phase
upon the problem, and filled me with apprehension for the safety of my
right wing, which was posted to meet a front attack from the south,
but was in no condition for a flank attack from the west. I
immediately dictated a despatch to Generals Slocum and Howard, saying
that I had good reason to believe that the enemy was moving to our
right, and that they must be ready to meet an attack from the west....
The failure of Howard to hold his ground cost us our position, and I
was forced, in the presence of the enemy, to take up a new one.'"[2]

[Footnote 2: "Battles and Leaders of the Civil War," vol. iii, p. 217,
_et seq._]

{245} General Howard says he did not receive that despatch, and in his
report he gave the following reasons for the disaster that overtook
his corps: "I. Though constantly threatened and apprised of the moving
of the enemy, yet the woods were so dense that he was able to mass a
large force, whose exact whereabouts neither patrols, reconnoissances,
nor scouts ascertained. He succeeded in forming a column opposite to
and outflanking my right. II. By the panic produced by the enemy's
reverse fire, regiments and artillery were thrown suddenly upon those
in position. III. The absence of General Barlow's brigade, which I had
previously located in reserve and _en echelon_ with Colonel Von
Gilsa's, so as to cover his right flank. This was the only general
reserve I had."

[Illustration: MAJOR PETER KEENAN.]


C. S. A.]


Every such battle has its interesting incidents, generally enough to
fill a volume, and they are seldom repeated. Some of the most
interesting incidents of Chancellorsville are told by Capt. Henry N.
Blake, of the Eleventh Massachusetts Regiment. Here are a few of them:

"A man who was loading his musket threw away the cartridge, with a
fearful oath about government contractors; and I noticed that the
paper was filled with fine grains of dry earth instead of gunpowder.
In the thickest of the firing an officer seized an excited
soldier--who discharged his piece with trembling hands near the ears,
and endangered the lives, of his comrades--and kicked him into the
centre of the road. Trade prospered throughout the day, and the United
States sharp-shooters were constantly exchanging their dark green caps
for the regulation hats which were worn by the regiment. The captain
of one of the companies of skirmishers was posted near a brook at the
base of a slight ascent upon which the enemy was massed, and there was
a scattering fire of bullets which cautioned all to 'lie down.' While
he was rectifying the alignment he perceived with amazement one of his
men, who sat astride a log and washed his hands and face, and then
cleansed the towel with a piece of soap which he carried. One
sharp-shooter shielded himself behind a blanket; and another concealed
himself behind an empty cracker-box, the sides of which were half an
inch in thickness, exposed his person as little as possible, and felt
as secure as the ostrich with his head buried in the sand.

"The ominous silence of the sharp-shooters in front was a sure
indication that the main force was approaching; and a rebel officer,
upon the left, brought every man into his place in the ranks by
exclaiming to his command: 'Forward, double-quick, march! Guide left!'
The hideous yells once more disclosed their position in the dark
woods; but the volleys of buck and ball, and the recollection of the
previous repulse, quickly hushed their outcries, and they were again
vanquished. The conflict upon the left still continued, and the
defeated soldiers began to reinforce the troops that were striving by
desperate efforts to pierce the line, until a company swept the road
with its fire and checked the movement, and only one or two rebels at
intervals leaped across the deadly chasm. A demand for ammunition was
now heard--the most fearful cry of distress in a battle--and every man
upon the right contributed a few cartridges, which were carried to the
scene of action in the hats of the donors. The forty rounds which fill
the magazines are sufficient for any combat, unless the troops are
protected by earthworks or a natural barrier; and the extra
cartridges, which must be placed in the pockets and knapsacks, are
seldom used.

"It was after sunset; but the flashes of the rifles in the darkness
were the targets at which the guns were fired, until the enemy retired
at nine P.M., and the din of musketry was succeeded by the groans of
the wounded. The song of the whippoorwills increased the gloom that
pervaded the forest; and the pickets carefully listened to them,
because the hostile {246} skirmishers might signal to each other by
imitating the mournful notes. The rebels gave a yell as soon as they
were beyond the range of Union bullets, and repeated it in tones which
grew more distinct when they had retreated a great distance and
considered themselves safe. The abatis upon the extreme left was set
on fire in this prolonged struggle; and a gallant sergeant--who fell
at Gettysburg--sprang over the work, and averted the most serious
results by pouring water from the canteens of his comrades until the
flames were extinguished. The skirmishers began to exchange shots at
daybreak upon May 3d, and a bullet penetrated the head of a lieutenant
who was asleep in the adjoining company, and he never moved. There was
a ceaseless roll of musketry; at half-past five A.M. the batteries
emitted destructive charges of canister, and most of the men in the
ranks of the support crouched upon the ground while the balls passed
over them. For two hours the hordes of Jackson, encouraged by their
easy victory upon May 2d, screamed like fiends, assailed the troops
that defended the plank road, and succeeded in turning their left, and
compelling them to retire through the forest, and re-form their
shattered lines. There was no running: the soldiers fell back slowly,
company after company, and wished for some directing mind to select a
new position. Unfortunately the National cause had lost General Berry,
the brave commander of the division; the ranking brigadier, General
Mott, was wounded; another brigadier was an arrant coward; and the
largest part of nine regiments were marched three miles to the rear by
one of the generals without any orders. The regiments of the brigade,
under the supervision of their field and line officers, rallied in the
open field near the Chancellor house, which was the focus upon which
Lee concentrated his batteries, until the shells ignited it; and the
flames consumed some of the wounded who were helpless, and three women
that remained in the cellar for safety barely escaped from the ruins.
The brigade was aligned upon the road to the United States ford at
nine A.M., and the men recovered their knapsacks in the midst of a
heavy cannonading which still continued. No symptoms of fear were
manifested, although the artillery was planted upon the left, in the
rear and the front, from which point most of the shells were hurled;
and the force was threatened with capture. A rebel and a member of the
brigade rested together near an oak, and mutually assisted each other
to fight the fire in the forest, that began raging while the battle
was in progress; and joyfully clasped their scorched and aching hands
in friendship when it was quelled. Colors were captured, and hundreds
of the foe threw down their arms and retreated with the Union forces;
and happy squads without any guard were walking upon the road, and
inquiring the way to the rear. Three batteries lost most of their
horses, and a large proportion of their men, by the concentration of
Lee's artillery, and the bullets of the sharp-shooters, who were
specially instructed to pick off the animals before they shot the
gunners. Several pieces, including one without wheels, which had been
demolished, were drawn from the field by details from the infantry.
Some of those who were slightly injured returned to their commands
after their wounds had been dressed, and fought again. One cannon-ball
killed a cavalryman and his horse; and a shell tore the clothing from
an aid, but inflicted no personal hurt, and he returned, after a brief
absence, to search for his porte-monnaie, which he carried in the
pocket that had been so suddenly wrested from him.

"The corps color was always waving in the front; and General Sickles,
smoking a cigar, stood a few feet from the regiment, in the road up
which the troops had marched from the Chancellor house; and aids and
orderlies were riding to and fro, one of whom reported that his steed
had been killed. 'Captain, the Government will furnish you with
another horse,' he complacently replied.

"A rebel officer of high rank, who had been captured, stopped {247}
near the general, and sought to open a conversation, with the
following result:

"'General, I have met you in New York.'

"'Move forward that battery.'

"'General, I have seen you before.'

"'The brigade must advance to the woods.'

"'General, don't you remember'--

"'Go to the rear, sir; my troops are now in position.'

[Illustration: BRIGADIER-GENERAL J. H. VAN ALLEN. (Aide-de-Camp to
General Hooker.)]

"There were few, if any, stretcher bearers at the front, and wounded
men that had lost a leg or an arm dragged themselves to the
field-hospital; and the surgeons of some regiments which had not been
engaged in the battle sat upon a log in idleness, and refused, with a
great display of dignity, to assist the suffering who were brought to
them, because they did not belong to their commands. This shameful
conduct, which I often witnessed, exasperated the officers and
soldiers; and they compelled the surgeons to discharge their duty in a
number of cases by threatening to shoot them. The heat was very
severe; many cannoneers divested themselves of their uniforms while
they were working; and a number of the skirmishers, who were posted in
the open field, and obliged to lie low without any shelter, were
sometimes afflicted by sunstroke. 'I will win a star or a coffin in
this battle,' remarked a colonel as he was riding to the scene of
conflict in which a bullet checked his noble military aspirations. 'To
take a soldier without ambition is to pull off his spurs.' 'I have got
my leave of absence now,' gladly said an officer, whose application
had always been refused at headquarters, when he left the regiment to
go to the hospital. The appearance of a rabbit causes an excitement
and a chase upon all occasions, and one ran in front of the line as
the action commenced; and the birds were flying wildly among the
trees, as if they anticipated a storm; and a soldier shouted, 'Stop
him, stop him! I could make a good meal if I had him.' 'This is
English neutrality,' an intelligent metal moulder remarked, in
examining the fragment of a shell, and explaining the process of its
manufacture to the company; while the rebel batteries every minute
added some specimens to his collection. The officials in Richmond
published at this time an order, directing that the clothing should be
taken from the bodies of their dead and issued to the living. They
always stripped the dead and the dying upon every field; and I noticed
that one man who had been stunned, and afterward effected his escape,
wore merely a shirt and hat when he entered the lines. An officer who
was going the rounds in the night was surprised to find one of his
most faithful men who returned no answer to his inquiries; and
supposing that he had been overcome by fatigue, and fallen asleep,
grasped his hands to awaken him: but they were cold with death. The
soldier, killed upon his post of duty, rested in the extreme front,
with his musket by his side, and face toward the enemies of his
country. General Whipple, the able commander of the third division of
the corps, was mortally wounded by a sharp-shooter who was one-third
of a mile from him; and a priest administered the last rites of the
Roman Catholic Church upon the spot where he fell, in the presence of
his weeping staff and soldiers, by whom he was greatly beloved. A
brigade made a reconnoissance in the forest at one P.M., and captured
forty sharp-shooters who were perched upon the limbs of lofty oaks,
and could not descend and escape before this force advanced.

"The rebels ascertained the location of the trains upon the north bank
of the Rappahannock, opened a battery upon them, and a squad of three
hundred prisoners uttered a yell of joy when they saw a cannon-ball
enter a large tent which was crowded with the dying and disabled. The
direction of the firing was changed, and caused utter dismay when some
of the number were killed by the missiles that were hurled by their
comrades in the army of Lee."







After the battle of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, public
opinion in the South began to demand that the army under Lee should
invade the North, or at least make a bold movement toward Washington.
Public opinion is not often very discriminating in an exciting crisis;
and on this occasion public opinion failed to discriminate between the
comparative ease with which an army in a strong position may repel a
faultily planned or badly managed attack, and the difficulties that
must beset the same army when it leaves its base, launches forth into
the enemy's country, and is obliged to maintain a constantly
lengthening line of communication. The Southern public could not see
why, since the Army of Northern Virginia had won two victories on the
Rappahannock, it might not march forward at once, lay New York and
Philadelphia under contribution, and dictate peace and Southern
independence in the Capitol at Washington. Whether the Confederate
Government shared this feeling or not, it acted in accordance with it;
and whether Lee approved it or not, he was obliged to obey. Yet, in
the largest consideration of the problem, this demand for an invasion
of the North was correct, though the result proved disastrous. For
experience shows that purely defensive warfare will not accomplish
anything. Lee's army had received a heavy reinforcement by the arrival
of Longstreet's corps, its regiments had been filled up with
conscripts, it had unbounded confidence in itself, and this was the
time, if ever, to put the plan for independence to the crucial test of
offensive warfare. Many subsidiary considerations strengthened the
argument. About thirty thousand of Hooker's men had been enlisted in
the spring of 1861, for two years, and their term was now expiring.
Vicksburg was besieged by Grant, before whom nothing had stood as yet;
and its fall would open the Mississippi and cut the Confederacy in
two, which might seal the fate of the new Government unless the shock
were neutralized by a great victory in the East. Volunteering had
fallen off in the North, conscription was resorted to, the Democratic
party there had become more hostile to the Government and loudly
abusive of President Lincoln and his advisers, and there were signs of
riotous resistance to a draft. Finally, the Confederate agents in
Europe reported that anything like a great Confederate victory would
secure immediate recognition, if not armed intervention, from England
and France.

[Illustration: CEMETARY GATE.]

Hooker, who had lost a golden opportunity by his aberration or his
accident at Chancellorsville, had come to his senses again, and was
alert, active, and clear-headed. As early as May 28, 1863, he informed
the President that something was stirring in the camp on the other
side of the river, and that a northward movement might be expected. On
the 3d of June, Lee began his movement, and by the 8th two of his
three corps (those of Ewell and Longstreet) were at Culpeper, while A.
P. Hill's corps still held the lines on the Rappahannock.

It was known that the entire Confederate cavalry, under Stuart, was at
Culpeper; and Hooker sent all his cavalry, under Pleasonton, with two
brigades of infantry, to attack it there. The assault was to be made
in two converging columns, under Buford and Gregg; but this plan was
disconcerted by the fact that the enemy's cavalry, intent upon masking
the movement of the great body of infantry and protecting its flank,
had advanced to Brandy Station. Here it was struck first by Buford and
afterward by Gregg, and there was bloody fighting, with the advantage
at first in favor of the National troops; but the two columns failed
to unite during the action, and finally withdrew. The loss was over
five hundred men on each side, including among the killed Col. B. F.
Davis, of the Eighth New York cavalry, and Colonel Hampton, commanding
a Confederate brigade. Both sides claimed to have accomplished their
object--Pleasonton to have ascertained the movements of Lee's army,
and Stuart to have driven back his opponent. Some of the heaviest
fighting was for possession of a height known as Fleetwood Hill, and
the Confederates name the action the battle of Fleetwood. It is of
special interest as marking the turning-point in cavalry service
during the war. Up to that time the Confederate cavalry had been
generally superior to the National. This action--a cavalry fight in
the proper sense of the term, between the entire mounted forces of the
two armies--was a drawn battle; and thenceforth the National cavalry
exhibited superiority in an accelerating ratio, till finally nothing
mounted {250} on Southern horses could stand before the magnificent
squadrons led by Sheridan, Custer, Kilpatrick, and Wilson.

Hooker now knew that the movement he had anticipated was in progress,
and he was very decided in his opinion as to what should be done. By
the 13th of June, Lee had advanced Ewell's corps beyond the Blue
Ridge, and it was marching down the Shenandoah Valley, while Hill's
was still in the intrenchments on the Rapidan, and Longstreet's was
midway between, at Culpeper. Hooker asked to be allowed to interpose
his whole army between these widely separated parts of its antagonist
and defeat them in detail; but with a man like Halleck for military
adviser at Washington, it was useless to propose any bold or brilliant
stroke. Hooker was forbidden to do this, and ordered to keep his army
between the enemy and the capital. He therefore left his position on
the Rappahannock, and moved toward Washington, along the line of the
Orange and Alexandria Railroad. Ewell moved rapidly down the
Shenandoah Valley, and attacked Winchester, which was held by General
Milroy with about ten thousand men. Milroy made a gallant defence; but
after a stubborn fight his force was broken and defeated, and about
four thousand of them became prisoners. The survivors escaped to
Harper's Ferry.

The corps of Hill and Longstreet now moved, Hill following Ewell into
the Shenandoah Valley, and Longstreet skirting the Blue Ridge along
its eastern base. Pleasonton's cavalry, reconnoitring these movements,
met Stuart's again at Aldie, near a gap in the Bull Run Mountains, and
had a sharp fight; and there were also cavalry actions at Middleburg
and Upperville. Other Confederate cavalry had already crossed the
Potomac, made a raid as far as Chambersburg, and returned with
supplies to Ewell. On the 22d, Ewell's corps crossed at Shepherdstown
and Williamsport, and moved up the Cumberland Valley to Chambersburg.
A panic ensued among the inhabitants of that region, who hastened to
drive off their cattle and horses, to save them from seizure. The
governors of New York and Pennsylvania were called upon for militia,
and forwarded several regiments, to be interposed between the enemy's
advance and Philadelphia and Harrisburg. The other two corps of Lee's
army crossed the Potomac on the 24th and 25th, where Ewell had
crossed; and Hooker, moving on a line nearer Washington, crossed with
his whole army at Edward's Ferry, on the 25th and 26th, marching
thence to Frederick. He now proposed to send Slocum's corps to the
western side of the South Mountain range, have it unite with a force
of eleven thousand men under French, that lay useless at Harper's
Ferry, and throw a powerful column upon Lee's communications, capture
his trains, and attack his army in the rear. But again he came into
collision with the stubborn Halleck, who would not consent to the
abandonment, even temporarily, of Harper's Ferry, though the
experience of the Antietam campaign, when he attempted to hold it in
the same way and lost its whole garrison, should have taught him
better. This new cause of trouble, added to previous disagreements,
was more than Hooker could stand, and on the 27th he asked to be
relieved from command of the army. His request was promptly complied
with, and the next morning the command was given to General Meade,
only five days before a great battle.




George Gordon Meade, then in his forty-ninth year, was a graduate of
West Point, had served through the Mexican war, had done engineer duty
in the survey of the Great Lakes, had been with McClellan on the
peninsula, and had commanded a corps in the Army of the Potomac at
Antietam, at Fredericksburg, and at Chancellorsville. The first thing
he did on assuming command was what Hooker had been forbidden to do:
he ordered the evacuation of Harper's Ferry, and the movement of its
garrison to Frederick as a reserve.

At this time, June 28th, one portion of Lee's army was at
Chambersburg, or between that place and Gettysburg, another at York
and Carlisle, and a part of his cavalry was within sight of the spires
of Harrisburg. The main body of the cavalry had gone off on a raid,
Stuart having an ambition to ride a third time around the Army of the
Potomac. This absence of his cavalry {251} left Lee in ignorance of
the movements of his adversary, whom he appears to have expected to
remain quietly on the south side of the Potomac. When suddenly he
found his communications in danger, he called back Ewell from York and
Carlisle, and ordered the concentration of all his forces at
Gettysburg. Many converging roads lead into that town, and its
convenience for such concentration was obvious. Meade was also
advancing his army toward Gettysburg, though with a more certain
step--as was necessary, since his object was to find Lee's army and
fight it, wherever it might go. His cavalry, under Pleasonton, was
doing good service; and that general advanced a division under Buford
on the 29th to Gettysburg, with orders to delay the enemy till the
army could come up. Meade had some expectation of bringing on the
great battle at Pipe Creek, southeast of Gettysburg, where he marked
out a good defensive line; but the First Corps, under Gen. John F.
Reynolds, advanced rapidly to Gettysburg, and on the 1st of July
encountered west of the town a portion of the enemy coming in from
Chambersburg. Lee had about seventy-three thousand five hundred men
(infantry and artillery), and Meade about eighty-two thousand, while
the cavalry numbered about eleven thousand on each side, and both
armies had more cannon than they could use.[1]

[Footnote 1: Various figures and estimates are given as representing
the strength of the two armies, some of which take account of
detachments absent on special duty, and some do not. The figures here
given denote very nearly the forces actually available for the

[Illustration: MAP OF THE BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG. (Reproduced by
permission of Dick & Fitzgerald, N. Y., from "Twelve Decisive Battles
of the War.")]

When Reynolds advanced his own corps (the First) and determined to
hold Gettysburg, he ordered the Eleventh (Howard's) to come up to its
support. The country about Gettysburg is broken into ridges, mainly
parallel, and running north and south. On the first ridge west of the
village stood a theological seminary, which gave it the name of
Seminary Ridge. Between this and the next is a small stream called
Willoughby Run, and here the first day's battle was fought. Buford
held the ridges till the infantry arrived, climbing in the belfry of
the seminary and looking anxiously for their coming. The Confederates
were advancing by two roads that met in a point at the edge of the
village, and Reynolds disposed his troops, as fast as they arrived, so
as to dispute the passage on both roads. The key-point was a piece of
high ground, partly covered with woods, between the roads, and the
advance of both sides rushed for it. Here General Reynolds, going
forward to survey the ground, was shot by a sharp-shooter and fell
dead. He was one of the ablest corps commanders that the Army of the
Potomac ever had. The command devolved upon Gen. Abner Doubleday, who
was an experienced soldier, having served through the Mexican war,
been second in command under Anderson at Fort Sumter, and seen almost
constant service with the Army of the Potomac. The Confederate force
contending for the woods was Archer's brigade; the National was
Meredith's "Iron Brigade." Archer's men had been told that they would
meet nothing but Pennsylvania militia, which they expected to brush
out of the way with little trouble; but when they saw the Iron
Brigade, some of them were heard saying: "'Taint no militia; there are
the ---- black-hatted fellows again; it's the Army of the Potomac!"
The result here was that Meredith's men not only secured the woods,
but captured General Archer and a large part of his brigade, and then
advanced to the ridge west of the run.

On the right of the line there had been bloody fighting, with
unsatisfactory results, owing to the careless posting of regiments and
a want of concert in action. Two National regiments were driven from
the field, and a gun was lost; while on the other hand a Confederate
force was driven into a railroad cut for shelter, and then subjected
to an enfilading fire through the cut, so that a large portion were
captured and the remainder dispersed.

Whether any commander on either side intended to bring on a battle at
this point, is doubtful. But both sides were rapidly and heavily
reinforced, and both fought with determination. The struggle for the
Chambersburg road was obstinate, especially after the Confederates had
planted several guns to sweep it. "We have come to stay," said Roy
Stone's brigade, as they came into line under the fire of these guns
to support a battery of their own; and "the battle afterward became so
severe that {252} the greater portion did stay," says General
Doubleday. A division of Ewell's corps soon arrived from Carlisle,
wheeled into position, and struck the right of the National line.
Robinson's division, resting on Seminary Ridge, was promptly brought
forward to meet this new peril, and was so skilfully handled that it
presently captured three North Carolina regiments.

Gen. Oliver O. Howard, being the ranking officer, assumed command when
he arrived on this part of the field; and when his own corps (the
Eleventh) came up, about one o'clock, he placed it in position on the
right, prolonging the line of battle far around to the north of the
town. This great extension made it weak at many points; and as fresh
divisions of Confederate troops were constantly arriving, under Lee's
general order to concentrate on the town, they finally became powerful
enough to break through the centre, rolling back the right flank of
the First Corps and the left of the Eleventh, and throwing into
confusion everything except the left of the First Corps, which retired
in good order, protecting artillery and ambulances. Of the fugitives
that swarmed through the town, about five thousand were made
prisoners. But this had been effected only at heavy cost to the
Confederates. At one point Iverson's Georgia brigade had rushed up to
a stone fence behind which Baxter's brigade was sheltered, when
Baxter's men suddenly rose and delivered a volley that struck down
five hundred of Iverson's in an instant, while the remainder, who were
subjected also to a cross-fire, immediately surrendered--all but one
regiment, which escaped by raising a white flag.

In the midst of the confusion, Gen. Winfield S. Hancock arrived, under
orders from General Meade to supersede Howard in the command of that
wing of the army. He had been instructed also to choose a position for
the army to meet the great shock of battle, if he should find a better
one than the line of Pike Creek. Hancock's first duty was to rally the
fugitives and restore order and confidence. Steinwehr's division was
in reserve on Cemetery Ridge, and Buford's cavalry was on the plain
between the town and the ridge; and with these standing fast he
stopped the retreat and rapidly formed a line along that crest.

The ridge begins in Round Top, a high, rocky hill; next north of this
is Little Round Top, smaller, but still bold and rugged; and thence it
is continued at a less elevation, with gentler slopes, northward to
within half a mile of the town, where it curves around to the east and
ends at Rock Creek. The whole length is about three miles. Seminary
Ridge is a mile west of this, and nearly parallel with its central
portion. Hancock without hesitation chose this line, placed all the
available troops in position, and then hurried back to headquarters at
Taneytown. Meade at once accepted his plan, and sent forward the
remaining corps. The Third Corps, commanded by General Sickles, being
already on the march, arrived at sunset. The Second (Hancock's)
marched thirteen miles and went into position. The Fifth (Sykes's) was
twenty-three miles away, but marched all night and arrived in the
morning. The Sixth (Sedgwick's) was thirty-six miles away, but was put
in motion at once. At the same time, Lee was urging the various
divisions of his army to make the concentration as rapidly as
possible, not wishing to attack the heights till his forces were all


It is said by General Longstreet that Lee had promised his corps
commanders not to fight a battle during this expedition, unless he
could take a position and stand on the defensive; but the excitement
and confidence of his soldiers, who felt themselves invincible,
compelled him. While he was waiting for his divisions to arrive,
forming his lines, and perfecting a plan of attack, Sedgwick's corps
arrived on the other side, and the National troops were busy
constructing rude breastworks.

Between the two great ridges there is another ridge, situated somewhat
like the diagonal portion of a capital N. The order of the corps,
beginning at the right, was this: Slocum's, Howard's, Hancock's,
Sickles's, with Sykes's in reserve on the left, and Sedgwick's on the
right. Sickles, thinking to occupy more advantageous ground, instead
of remaining in line, advanced to the diagonal ridge, and on this
hinged the whole battle of the second day. For there was nothing on
which to rest his left flank, and he was obliged to "refuse" it--turn
it sharply back toward Round Top. This presented a salient angle
(always a weak point) to the enemy; and here, when the action opened
at four o'clock in the afternoon, the blow fell. The angle was at a
peach orchard, and the refused line stretched back through a
wheat-field; General Birney's division occupying this ground, while
the right of Sickles's line was held by Humphreys.


[Illustration: FIELD HOSPITAL--HEADQUARTERS. (From the Panorama of
Gettysburg, at Chicago.)]

Longstreet's men attacked the salient vigorously, and his extreme
right, composed of Hood's division, stretched out toward Little Round
Top, where it narrowly missed winning a position that would have
enabled it to enfilade the whole National line. Little Round Top had
been occupied only by signal men, when General Warren saw the danger,
detached Vincent's brigade from {254} a division that was going out to
reinforce Sickles, and ordered it to occupy the hill at once. One
regiment of Weed's brigade (the 140th New York) also went up, dragging
and lifting the guns of Hazlett's battery up the rocky slope; and the
whole brigade soon followed. They were just in time to meet the
advance of Hood's Texans, and engage in one of the bloodiest
hand-to-hand conflicts of the war, and at length the Texans were
hurled back and the position secured. But dead or wounded soldiers, in
blue and in gray, lay everywhere among the rocks. General Weed was
mortally wounded; General Vincent was killed; Col. Patrick H. O'Rorke,
of the 140th, a recent graduate of West Point, of brilliant promise,
was shot dead at the head of his men; and Lieut. Charles E. Hazlett
was killed as he leaned over General Weed to catch his last words. "I
would rather die here," said Weed, "than that the rebels should gain
an inch of this ground!" Hood's men made one more attempt, by creeping
up the ravine between the two Round Tops, but were repelled by a
bayonet charge, executed by Chamberlain's Twentieth Maine Regiment;
and five hundred of them, with seventeen officers, were made
prisoners. The peculiarity of Chamberlain's charge, which was one of
the most brilliant manoeuvres ever executed on a battlefield,
consisted in pushing the regiment forward in such a manner that the
centre moved more rapidly than the flanks, which gradually brought it
into the shape of a wedge that penetrated the Confederate line and cut
off the five hundred men from their comrades.

Meanwhile terrific fighting was going on at the salient in the peach
orchard. Several batteries were in play on both sides, and made
destructive work; a single shell from one of the National guns killed
or wounded thirty men in a company of thirty-seven. Here General Zook
was killed, Colonel Cross was killed, General Sickles lost a leg, and
the Confederate General Barksdale was mortally wounded and died a
prisoner. There were repeated charges and counter-charges, and
numerous bloody incidents; for Sickles was constantly reinforced, and
Lee, being under the impression that this was the flank of the main
line, kept hammering at it till his men finally possessed the peach
orchard, advanced their lines, assailed the left flank of Humphreys,
and finally drove back the National line, only to find that they had
forced it into its true position, from which they could not dislodge
it by any direct attack, while the guns and troops that now crowned
the two Round Tops showed any flank movement to be impossible. About
sunset Ewell's corps assailed the Union right, and at heavy cost
gained a portion of the works near Rock Creek.

One of the most dramatic incidents of this day was a charge on
Cemetery Hill by two Confederate brigades led by an organization known
as the Louisiana Tigers. It was made just at dusk, and the charging
column immediately became a target for the batteries of Wiedrick,
Stevens, and Ricketts, which fired grape and canister, each gun making
four discharges a minute. But the Tigers had the reputation of never
having failed in a charge, and in spite of the frightful gaps made by
the artillery and by volleys of musketry, they kept on till they
reached the guns, and made a hand-to-hand fight for them. Friend and
foe were fast becoming mingled, when Carroll's brigade came to the
rescue of the guns, and the remnants of the Confederate column fled
down the hill in the gathering darkness, hastened by a double-shotted
fire from Ricketts's battery. Of the seventeen hundred Tigers, twelve
hundred had been struck down, and that famous organization was never
heard of again.



Many exciting incidents of this twilight battle are told. When the
Confederates charged on Wiedrick's battery, there was a difficulty in
depressing the guns sufficiently, or they probably never would have
reached it; and when they did reach it the gunners stood by and fought
them with pistols, handspikes, rammers, {255} and stones; for they had
received orders not to limber up under any circumstances, but to fight
the battery to the last, and they obeyed their orders literally and
nobly. Nearly all of them, however, were beaten down by the
Confederate infantrymen, and the battery was captured entire; but the
victorious assailants were now subjected to a flank fire from
Stevens's battery, which poured in double-shotted canister at
point-blank range, before the arrival of Carroll's brigade completed
their destruction. At Ricketts's battery a Confederate lieutenant
sprang forward and seized the guidon, when its bearer, Private Riggen,
shot him dead with his revolver. The next moment a bullet cut the
staff of the guidon, and another killed Riggen, who fell across the
body of the lieutenant. Another Confederate lieutenant, rushing into
the battery, laid his hand upon a gun and demanded its surrender; his
answer was a blow from a handspike that dashed out his brains. At
another gun a Confederate sergeant, with his rifle in his hand,
confronted Sergeant Stafford with a demand for the surrender of the
piece; whereupon Lieutenant Brockway threw a stone that knocked him
down, and Stafford, catching his rifle, fired it at him and wounded
him seriously. Sergeant Geible, of the One Hundred and Seventh Ohio,
sprang upon the low stone wall when the Confederates were charging,
and defiantly waved the regimental colors, but was immediately shot,
and the flag fell outside. Adjutant Young then jumped over the wall
and rescued it, while at the same time the color-sergeant of the
Eighth Louisiana was rushing up at the head of his regiment and waving
his flag. Young sprang upon him, seized the flag, and shot the
sergeant; but he also received a bullet which passed through his arm
and into his lung, and at the same time a Confederate officer aimed a
heavy blow at his head, which was parried by a comrade. Clinging
tenaciously to the captured flag, Young managed to get back into his
own lines, and sank fainting from loss of blood; but his life was
saved, and he was promoted for his gallantry.




While the actions of the first two days were complicated, that of the
third was extremely simple. Lee had tried both flanks, and failed. He
now determined to attempt piercing the centre of Meade's line.
Longstreet, wiser than his chief, protested, but in vain. On the other
hand, Meade had held a council of war the night before, and in
accordance with the vote of his corps commanders determined to stay
where he was and fight it out.

Whether General Meade contemplated a retreat, has been disputed. On
the one hand, he testified before the Committee on the Conduct of the
War that he never thought of such a thing; on the other, General
Doubleday, in his "Chancellorsville and Gettysburg," presents {256}
testimony that seems to leave no reasonable doubt. There is nothing
intrinsically improbable in the story. Meade's service in that war had
all been with the Army of the Potomac, and it was the custom of that
army to retreat after a great battle. The only exception thus far had
been Antietam; and two great battles, with the usual retreat, had been
fought since Antietam. Meade had been in command of the entire army
but a few days, and he cannot be said to have been, in the ordinary
sense of the term, the master-spirit at Gettysburg. It was Reynolds
who went out to meet the enemy, and stayed his advance, on the first
day; it was Hancock who selected the advantageous position for the
second day; it was Warren who secured the neglected key-point. The
fact of calling a council of war at all implies doubt in the mind of
the commander. But, after all, the question is hardly important, so
far at least as it concerns Meade's place in history. He is likely to
be less blamed for contemplating retreat at the end of two days'
fighting when he had the worst of it, than for not contemplating
pursuit at the end of the third day when the enemy was defeated. There
are some considerations, however, which must give Meade's conduct of
this battle a very high place for generalship. He seemed to know how
to trust his subordinates, and to be uninfluenced by that weakness
which attacks so many commanders with a fear lest something shall be
done for which they themselves shall not receive the credit. He
unhesitatingly accepted Hancock's judgment as to the propriety of
receiving battle on Cemetery Hill, and showed every disposition to do
all that would tend to secure the great purpose, without the slightest
reference to its bearing on anybody's reputation. Furthermore, he had,
what brilliant soldiers often lack, a complete comprehension of the
entire situation, as regarded the war, and appreciated the importance
of the action in which he was about to engage. This is proved by the
following circular, which he issued on the 30th of June, one day
before the battle, to his subordinates:

"The commanding general requests that, previous to the engagement soon
expected with the enemy, corps and all other commanding officers will
address their troops, explaining to them briefly the immense issues
involved in this struggle. The enemy are on our soil. The whole
country now looks anxiously to this army to deliver it from the
presence of the foe. Our failure to do so will leave us no such
welcome as the swelling of millions of hearts with pride and joy at
our success would give to every soldier in the army. Homes, firesides,
and domestic altars are involved. The army has fought well heretofore.
It is believed that it will fight more desperately and bravely than
ever if it is addressed in fitting terms. Corps and other commanders
are authorized to order the instant death of any soldier who fails in
his duty at this hour."

[Illustration: ARTILLERY COMING INTO ACTION. (From the Panorama of
Gettysburg, at Chicago.)]


[Illustration: DEVIL'S DEN. Position occupied by Confederate
Sharp-shooters, the point from which they shot at Union Officers on
Little Round Top. From photograph by W. H. Tipton, Gettysburg.]



Lee's first intended movement was to push the success gained at the
close of the second day by Ewell on the National right; but Meade
anticipated him, attacking early in the morning and driving Ewell out
of his works. In preparation for a grand charge, Lee placed more than
one hundred guns in position on Seminary Ridge, converging their fire
on the left centre of Meade's line, where he intended to send his
storming column. Eighty guns (all there was room for) were placed in
position on Cemetery Ridge to reply, and at one o'clock the firing
{257} began. This was one of the most terrific artillery duels ever
witnessed. There was a continuous and deafening roar, which was heard
forty miles away. The shot and shells ploughed up the ground,
shattered gravestones in the cemetery, and sent their fragments flying
among the troops, exploded caissons, and dismounted guns. A house used
for Meade's headquarters, in the rear of the line, was completely
riddled. Many artillerists and horses were killed; but the casualties
among the infantry were not numerous, for the men lay flat upon the
ground, taking advantage of every shelter, and waited for the more
serious work that all knew was to follow. At the end of two hours Gen.
Henry J. Hunt, Meade's chief of artillery, ordered the firing to
cease, both to cool the guns and to save the ammunition for use in
repelling the infantry charge. Lee supposed that his object--which was
to demoralize his enemy and cause him to exhaust his artillery--had
been effected. Fourteen thousand of his best troops--including
Pickett's division, which had not arrived in time for the previous
day's fighting--now came out of the woods, formed in heavy columns,
and moved forward steadily to the charge. Instantly the National guns
reopened fire, and the Confederate ranks were ploughed through and
through; but the gaps were closed up, and the columns did not halt.
There was a mile of open ground for them to traverse, and every step
was taken under heavy fire. As they drew nearer, the batteries used
grape and canister, and an infantry force posted in advance of the
main line rose to its feet and fired volleys of musketry into the
right flank. Now the columns began visibly to break up and melt away;
and the left wing of the force changed its direction somewhat, so that
it parted from the right, making an interval and exposing a new flank,
which the National troops promptly took advantage of. But Pickett's
diminishing ranks still pushed on, till they passed over the outer
lines, fought hand to hand at the main line, and even leaped the
breastworks and thought to capture the batteries. The point where they
penetrated was marked by a clump of small trees on the edge of the
hill, at that portion of the line held by the brigade of Gen.
Alexander S. Webb, who was wounded; but his men stood firm against the
shock, and, from the eagerness of all to join in the contest, men
rushed from every side to the point assailed, mixing up all commands,
but making a front that no such remnant as Pickett's could break. Gen.
Lewis A. Armistead, who led the charge and leaped over the wall, was
shot down as he laid his hand on a gun, and his surviving soldiers
surrendered themselves. On the slope of the hill many of the
assailants had thrown themselves upon the ground and held up their
hands for quarter; and an immediate sally from the National lines
brought in a large number of prisoners and battle-flags. Of that
magnificent column which had been launched out so proudly, only a
broken fragment ever returned. Nearly every officer in it, except
Pickett, had been either killed or wounded. Armistead, a prisoner and
dying, said to an officer who was bending over him, "Tell Hancock I
have wronged him and have wronged my country." He had been opposed to
secession, but the pressure of his friends and relatives {259} had at
length forced him into the service. Hancock had been wounded and borne
from the field, and among the other wounded on the National side were
Generals Doubleday, Gibbon, Warren, Butterfield, Stannard, Barnes, and
Brook; General Farnsworth was killed, and Gen. Gabriel R. Paul lost
both eyes. Among the killed on the Confederate side, besides those
already mentioned, were Generals Garnett, Pender, and Semmes; and
among the wounded, Generals Hampton, Jenkins, Kemper, Scales, J. M.
Jones, and G. T. Anderson.


While this movement was in progress, Kilpatrick with his cavalry rode
around the mountain and attempted to pass the Confederate right and
capture the trains, while Stuart with his cavalry made a simultaneous
attempt on the National right. Each had a bloody fight, but neither
was successful. This closed the battle. Hancock urged that a great
return charge should be made immediately with Sedgwick's corps, which
had not participated, and Lee expected such a movement as a matter of
course. But it was not done.

That night Lee made preparations for retreat, and the next day--which
was the 4th of July--the retreat was begun. General Imboden, who
conducted the trains and the ambulances, describes it as one of the
most pitiful and heart-rending scenes ever witnessed. A heavy storm
had come up, the roads were in bad condition, few of the wounded had
been properly cared for, and as they were jolted along in agony they
were groaning, cursing, babbling of their homes, and calling upon
their friends to kill them and put them out of misery. But there could
be no halt, for the Potomac was rising, and an attack was hourly
expected from the enemy in the rear.

Meade, however, did not pursue for several days, and then to no
purpose; so that Lee's crippled army escaped into Virginia, but it was
disabled from ever doing anything more than prolonging the contest.
Gettysburg was essentially the Waterloo of the war, and there is a
striking parallel in the losses. The numbers engaged were very nearly
the same in the one battle as in the other. At Waterloo the victors
lost twenty-three thousand one hundred and eighty-five men, and the
vanquished, in round numbers, thirty thousand. At Gettysburg the
National loss was twenty-three thousand one hundred and
ninety--killed, wounded, and missing. The Confederate losses were
never officially reported, but estimates place them at nearly thirty
thousand. Lee left seven thousand of his wounded among the unburied
dead, and twenty-seven thousand muskets were picked up on the field.

[Illustration: MAJOR-GENERAL DANIEL BUTTERFIELD. (Chief of Staff to
General Meade.)]


The romantic and pathetic incidents of this great battle are
innumerable. John Burns, a resident of Gettysburg, seventy years old,
had served in the War of 1812, being one of Miller's men at Lundy's
Lane, and in the Mexican war, and had tried to enlist at the breaking
out of the Rebellion, but was rejected as too old. When the armies
approached the town, he joined the Seventh Wisconsin Regiment and
displayed wonderful skill as a sharp-shooter; but he was wounded in
the afternoon, fell into the hands of the Confederates, told some
plausible story to account for his lack of a uniform, and was finally
carried to his own house. Jennie Wade was baking bread for Union
soldiers when the advance of the Confederate line surrounded her house
with enemies; but she kept on at her work in spite of orders to
desist, until a stray bullet struck her dead. An unknown Confederate
officer lay mortally wounded within the Union lines, and one of the
commanders sent to ask his name and rank. "Tell him," said the dying
man, "that I shall soon be where there is no rank;" and he was never
identified. Lieut. Alonzo H. Cushing commanded a battery on General
Webb's line, and in the cannonade preceding the great charge on the
third day all his guns but one were disabled, and he was mortally
wounded. When the charging column approached, he exclaimed, "Webb, I
will give them one more shot!" ran his gun forward to the stone wall,
fired it, said "Good-by!" and fell dead. Barksdale, of Mississippi,
had been an extreme secessionist, and had done much to bring on the
war. At that part of the line where he fell, the Union commander was
Gen. David B. Birney, son of a slaveholder that had emancipated his
slaves, had been mobbed for his abolitionism, and had twice been the
presidential candidate of the Liberty party. A general of the National
army, who was present, remarks that Barksdale died "like a brave man,
with dignity and resignation." On that field perished also the cause
that he represented; and as Americans we may all be proud to say that,
so far as manly courage {260} could go, it died with dignity if not
with resignation.

Gen. Rufus R. Dawes, who was colonel of the Sixth Wisconsin Regiment,
gives some particulars of the fight at the railroad cut on the first
day: "The only commands I gave, as we advanced, were, 'Align on the
colors! Close up on that color!' The regiment was being broken up so
that this order alone could hold the body together. Meanwhile the
colors were down upon the ground several times, but were raised at
once by the heroes of the color-guard. Not one of the guard escaped,
every man being killed or wounded. Four hundred and twenty men started
as a regiment from the turnpike fence, of whom two hundred and forty
reached the railroad cut. Years afterward I found the distance passed
over to be one hundred and seventy-five paces. Every officer proved
himself brave, true, and heroic in encouraging the men to breast this
deadly storm; but the real impetus was the eager, determined valor of
our men who carried muskets in the ranks. The rebel color could be
seen waving defiantly just above the edge of the railroad cut. A
heroic ambition to capture it took possession of several of our men.
Corporal Eggleston, a mere boy, sprang forward to seize it, and was
shot dead the moment his hand touched the color. Private Anderson,
furious at the killing of his brave young comrade, recked little for
the rebel color; but he swung aloft his musket, and with a terrific
blow split the skull of the rebel who had shot young Eggleston.
Lieutenant Remington was severely wounded in the shoulder while
reaching for the colors. Into this deadly mélêe rushed Corporal
Francis A. Waller, who seized and held the rebel battle-flag. It was
the flag of the Second Mississippi Regiment.... Corporal James Kelly
turned from the ranks and stepped beside me as we both moved hurriedly
forward on the charge. He pulled open his woollen shirt, and a mark
where the deadly minié-ball had entered his breast was visible. He
said: 'Colonel, won't you please write to my folks that I died a

Department photograph.)]


The story of the critical struggle for the possession of Little Round
Top, or at least of an important portion of it, has been graphically
related by Adjutant Porter Farley, of the One Hundred and Fortieth New
York Regiment, which went up at the same time with Hazlett's battery.
Captain Farley writes:

"Just at that moment our former brigadier, Gen. G. K. Warren, chief
engineer of the army, with an orderly and one or two officers, rode
down toward the head of our regiment. He came from the direction of
the hill-top. His speed and manner {261} indicated unusual excitement.
Before he reached us he called out to O'Rorke to lead his regiment
that way up the hill. O'Rorke answered him that General Weed had gone
ahead and expected this regiment to follow him. 'Never mind that,'
answered Warren, 'I'll take the responsibility.' Warren's words and
manner carried conviction of the importance of the thing he asked.
Accepting his assurance of full justification, O'Rorke turned the head
of the regiment to the left, and, following one of the officers who
had been with Warren, led it diagonally up the eastern slope of Little
Round Top. Warren rode off, evidently bent upon securing other troops.
The staff officer who rode with us, by his impatient gestures, urged
us to our greatest speed. Some of the guns of Hazlett's battery broke
through our files before we reached the hill-top amid the frantic
efforts of the horses, lashed by the drivers, to pull their heavy
pieces up that steep acclivity. A few seconds later the head of our
regiment reached the summit of the ridge, war's wild panorama spread
before us, and we found ourselves upon the verge of battle. It was a
moment which called for leadership. There was no time for tactical
formation. Delay was ruin. Hesitation was destruction. Well was it for
the cause he served that the man who led our regiment that day was one
prompt to decide and brave to execute. The bullets flew in among the
men the moment the leading company mounted the ridge; and as not a
musket was loaded, the natural impulse was to halt and load them. But
O'Rorke permitted no such delay. Springing from his horse, he threw
the reins to the sergeant-major; his sword flashed from its scabbard
into the sunlight, and calling, 'This way, boys,' he led the charge
over the rocks, down the hillside, till he came abreast the men of
Vincent's brigade, who were posted in the ravine to our left. Joining
them, an irregular line was formed, such as the confusion of the rocks
lying thereabout permitted; and this line grew and was extended toward
the right as the successive rearward companies came upon the seen of
action. There, while some were partly sheltered by the rocks and
others stood in the open, a fierce fight went on with an enemy among
the trees and underbrush. Flushed with the excitement of battle, and
bravely led, they pushed up close to our line. The steadfastness and
valor displayed on both sides made the result for some few minutes
doubtful; but a struggle so desperate and bloody could not be a long
one. The enemy fell back; a short lull was succeeded by another
onslaught, which was again repelled.

"When that struggle was over, the exultation of victory was soon
chilled by the dejection which oppressed us as we counted and realized
the cost of all that had been won. Of our regiment eighty-five
enlisted men and six officers had been wounded. Besides these,
twenty-six of the comrades who had marched with us that afternoon had
fallen dead before the fire of the enemy. Grouped by companies, a row
of inanimate forms lay side by side beneath the trees upon the eastern
slope. No funeral ceremony, and only shallow graves, could be accorded
them. In the darkness of the night, silently and with bitter
dejection, each company buried its dead. O'Rorke was among the dead.
Shot through the neck, he had fallen without a groan, and we may hope
without a pang. The supreme effort of his life was consummated by a
death heroic in its surroundings and undisturbed by pain."

[Illustration: COLONEL P. H. O'RORKE.]




It has been well said that Gettysburg was the common soldier's battle;
that its great results were due, not so much to any generalship either
in strategy or in tactics, as to the intelligent courage and
magnificent staying powers of the Northern soldier. If any one man was
more than another the hero of the fight, it was General Hancock, who
for his services on that field received the thanks of Congress.
Senator Washburn, who saw him the next year at the Wilderness,
remarked: "He was the {262} finest-looking man above ground; he was
the very impersonation of war." Hancock not only chose the ground for
the battle and set things in order for the conflict of the second day,
but seemed to be everywhere present, animating the men with the spirit
of his own valor and enthusiasm. He was especially conspicuous during
the terrific cannonade that preceded the great charge of the third
day, riding slowly up and down the lines. It is said that when he
began this ride he was accompanied by thirty men, and when he finished
it there was but one man with him--the horseman who carried his corps
flag. All the others had either been struck down by the missiles of
the enemy, or been called to imperative duty on different parts of the
line. As he rode slowly along, he stopped frequently to speak to the
men who were lying upon the ground to avoid the shells and balls, and
clutching their rifles ready to spring up and meet the charge which
they knew would follow as soon as the artillery fire ceased. While
this famous charge was in progress, Hancock rode down to speak to
General Stannard, whose Vermonters were to move forward and strike the
charging column in flank, and at this moment he was most grievously
wounded. A rifle ball struck the pommel of his saddle, tearing out and
twisting a nail from it, and both bullet and nail entered his thigh.
Two of General Stannard's aids caught him as he fell from his horse,
and put him into an ambulance. Here he wrote a note to General Meade
urgently advising that, as soon as the Confederate charge was over, a
return charge be made with the comparatively fresh troops of the Sixth
Corps. Some think that if this had been done the Army of Northern
Virginia would have found the end of its career then and there,
instead of at Appomattox a year and a half later. But General
Longstreet says he expected such a charge and was prepared for it, and
that if it had been made Sedgwick's men would have fared as badly as




It is a little difficult to understand why so much has been made in
literature of this charge of Pickett's, unless, perhaps, it is owing
to the picturesque circumstances. It was at the close of the greatest
battle of the war; it was heralded by the mightiest cannonade of the
war; it was witnessed by two great armies; it was made in the middle
of the afternoon of a summer day, on a gentle slope, with the sun at
the backs of the assailants, the best possible arrangement for a grand
display; it exhibited magnificent courage and confidence on the part
of the soldiers that made it, and quite as great courage and
confidence on the part of those who met and thwarted it. It is,
perhaps, for these reasons that it has been made unduly famous; for,
after all, it was a blunder and a failure. There were other charges
{263} in the war that tested quite as much the devotion and endurance
of soldiers, and they were not all failures. The charge of Hooker's
and Thomas's men up the heights of Lookout Mountain and Mission Ridge
was even more picturesque, and was a grand success. The National
position at Gettysburg is always represented as being along a ridge,
and this, in a general way, is true; but near the centre the ridge is
so low that it almost dies away into the plain, and Pickett's men,
being directed toward this point, had only the very gentlest of slopes
to ascend. Gen. Alexander S. Webb, whose command was at this point,
said in conversation: "We had no intrenchments there, not a sod was
turned." "But why did you not intrench?" "Because we never supposed
that anybody would be fool enough to charge up there." The peril to
the charging column was more from the cross-fire of the batteries on
the higher ground to the right and left, than from the direct fire in



{264} [Illustration: BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG, THIRD DAY.]

REAR UNDER GUARD. (From the Panorama of Gettysburg, at Chicago.)]

General Sickles has been criticised somewhat severely for the
erroneous position taken by his corps on the second day of the battle,
which resulted in the great slaughter at the peach orchard and the
wheat-field. On a subsequent visit to Gettysburg he gave this
explanation of his action:

"It was quite early when I rode to General Meade's headquarters for
orders. The general told me that he did not think we would be
attacked, as he believed the enemy was in no condition to renew the
fight. I freely expressed to him my belief that the enemy would not
only force a battle at Gettysburg, but would do so soon. From General
Meade's conversation, and from his manner, I concluded he did not
intend to fight the battle at Gettysburg if he could avoid it. General
Butterfield, his chief of staff, told me that orders were being then
prepared for a change of position to Pipe Clay Creek. After waiting
some time for a decision as to what was to be done, I said to General
Meade that I should put my command in position with a view to meet any
emergency along my front, and at the same time asked him to send
General Butterfield with me to look over the field and inspect the
position I had decided to occupy. 'Butterfield is busy,' said he, and
he suggested that I use my own judgment. I again replied that I should
prefer to have some one of his staff officers sent with me, and asked
that General Hunt, chief of the artillery, be sent. General Meade
assented, and Hunt and I rode away. Carefully we surveyed the ground
in my front. I expressed the opinion that the high ground running from
the Emmetsburg road to Round Top was the most advantageous position.
Hunt agreed with me.

"'Then I understand that I am to take this position, and you, as
General Meade's representative, so order.' 'I do not care,' said he,
'to take the responsibility of ordering you to take that position, but
as soon as I can ride to General Meade's headquarters you will receive
his orders to do so.'

"He rode away, but before he reached headquarters, or I received
orders, my danger became imminent, and I was forced to go into line of
battle. Just after I had taken position on the high ground selected,
with Humphrey on the right, within and beyond the peach orchard, and
Birney on the left toward Round Top, I received an order from General
Meade to report at his headquarters. There was vigorous skirmishing on
my front, and I returned word to the general that I was about to be
attacked and could not leave the field. It was not long before I
received a peremptory order to report at once to headquarters, as
General Meade was going to hold an important conference of corps
commanders. I sent for Birney, put him in command, and rode rapidly to
Meade's headquarters. As I rode along I could hear the increasing fire
along the line, and felt very solicitous for my command. As I came up
to headquarters at a rapid gait, Meade came out hurriedly and said:
'Don't dismount, don't dismount; I fear your whole line is engaged;
return to your command, and in a few moments I will join you on the
field.' I rode back with all possible speed, reaching my corps before
the enemy had made his first furious assault. General Meade soon
joined me, as he had promised, and together we inspected {265} the
position I had taken. 'Isn't your line too much extended?' said he.
'It is,' I replied; 'but I haven't the Army of the Potomac, and have
a wide space to cover. Reserves should at once be sent up. My
dependence will have to be upon my artillery until support comes, and
I need more guns.' 'Send to Hunt for what you want,' said he, and he
glanced over the slender line of infantry that stretched toward Round
Top. Just before he left I said to him: 'Does my position suit you? If
it does not, I will change it.' 'No, no!' he replied quickly; 'I'll
send up the Fifth Corps, and Hancock will give any other supports you
may require.'

"He rode away, and soon after the battle began. The terrific struggle
along the whole line, and especially in the peach orchard and the
wheat-field on the right and left of my line, respectively, need not
be gone over. It is a matter of history. I sent to Hunt, when Meade
had gone, for forty pieces of artillery, which, added to the sixty I
had, gave me the guns to keep up the fighting while I waited for
reinforcements. Warren, who was then an engineer officer, was on Round
Top sending urgent appeals to me to send troops to hold that important
position. One brigade sent to me I immediately despatched him. As the
fighting went on and increased in intensity, I looked for the Fifth
Corps again and again, and sent an aid several times to hurry them up.
Sykes was slow, and, finding the needs of the hour growing greater and
greater every moment, I sent to Hancock for help. Hancock was always
prompt and generous, and with eager haste pushed forward his best
troops to the assistance of the struggling Third Corps. But the
moments I waited for reinforcements that day were as long to me as an
eternity, and the brave boys who wore the diamond during all this time
were obliged to stand the shock of as furious an assault as was ever
dealt against troops on any battlefield of modern times. The struggle
in that now peaceful peach-orchard was then fierce as death. The
wheat-field yonder was like the winepress with the dead and dying. Men
fought there, hand to hand, I think, as never they grappled before.
Onward and over against each other they bent again and again. Now the
Confederates would drive madly into the conflict. Now our boys would
push them back again at the point of the bayonet. Graham's and the
Excelsior Brigades, that I organized and commanded during the first of
the war, were in that section of the field, and hundreds of them lay
down to sleep under the shade of the peach trees that hot July day."





[Illustration: LIEUTENANT-GENERAL R. S. EWELL, C. S. A.]

One who participated in the bloody struggle of the wheat-field on the
second day writes:

"General Birney rode up and ordered a forward movement, and directed
that the largest regiment of the brigade be sent double-quick to
prolong the line on the left, so as to fill in the intervening gap to
the foot of Round Top, for the occupation of which both forces were
now engaged in a deadly struggle. General de Trobriand designated the
Fortieth New York for this duty, and ordered me to conduct it to its
assigned position, and, if necessary, to remain there with it. We
proceeded. The air was filled with smoke and the interchanging fires
of artillery and musketry. The shouts of both armies were almost
deafening, but I succeeded in placing the regiment where it was
ordered, and decided to remain with it.

"The enemy had us at a disadvantage. They were on higher ground, and
were pouring a terrific fire into our front. I trust in God I may
never again be called to look upon such scenes as I there beheld. Col.
Thomas W. Egan, the commander of the regiment, one of the bravest men
I ever knew, was charging with his command, when a ball from the enemy
pierced the heart of his mare, who sank {266} under him. Major Warner
of the same regiment was borne past me for dead, but was only terribly
wounded. He afterward recovered. His horse came dashing by a few
moments afterward, and my own having been disabled from wounds and
rendered unfit for use, I caught and mounted him. The poor brute that
I was riding had two minie balls buried in him--one in the shoulders,
the other in the hip--and was so frantic with pain that he had
wellnigh broken my neck in his violent fall. My sword was pitched a
dozen yards from me, and was picked up by one of the men and returned
to me that night.

"Col. A. V. H. Ellis, of the One Hundred and Twenty-fourth New York,
one of the most chivalrous spirits that ever breathed, had received
his mortal wound. He was riding at the head of his regiment, waving
his sword in the air, and shouting to his men--his orange blossoms, as
he called them, the regiment having been raised in Orange County, New
York--when a bullet struck him in the forehead. He was borne to the
rear, his face covered with blood, and the froth spirting from his
mouth. He died in a few moments. Major Cromwell, also of that
regiment, was killed almost at the same instant by a shot in the
breast. He died without a groan or struggle. The adjutant of the
regiment was killed by a shot through the heart as it was moving off
the field. He had fought bravely for hours, and it seemed hard that
one so young and hopeful should be thus stricken down by a chance shot
after having faced the thickest of the fight unharmed. I learned
afterward that the noble young soldier was engaged to be married to a
beautiful young lady in his native State.

"It happened by the merest accident that I was within a few feet of
General Sickles when he received the wound by which he lost his leg.
When our command fell back after being relieved by General Sykes, I
hastened to find General De Trobriand, and, seeing a knot of officers
near the brick house into which General Sickles was so soon to be
taken, I rode up to see whether he (De Trobriand) was among them. The
knot of officers proved to be General Sickles and his staff. I saluted
him and was just asking for General De Trobriand, when a terrific
explosion seemed to shake the very earth. This was instantly followed
by another equally stunning, and the horses all began to jump. I
instantly noticed that General Sickles's pants and drawers at the knee
were torn clear off to the leg, which was swinging loose. The jumping
of the horse was fortunate for him, as he turned just in time for him
to alight on the upper side of the slope of the hill. As he attempted
to dismount he seemed to lose strength, and half fell to the ground.
He was very pale, and evidently in most fearful pain, as he exclaimed
excitedly, 'Quick, quick! get something and tie it up before I bleed
to death.' These were his exact words, and I shall never forget the
scene as long as I live, for we all loved General Sickles, who
commanded our corps. He was carried from the field to the house I have
mentioned, coolly smoking a cigar, quietly remarking to a Catholic
priest, a chaplain to one of the regiments in his command, 'Man
proposes and God disposes.' His leg was amputated within less than
half an hour after his receiving the wound."

CEMETARY HILL. (From the Panorama of Gettysburg, at Chicago.)]

Major Joseph G. Rosengarten says of General Reynolds: "In all the
intrigues of the army, and the interference of the politicians in its
management, he silently set aside the tempting offers to take part,
and served his successive commanders with {267} unswerving loyalty and
zeal and faith. In the full flush of life and health, vigorously
leading on the troops in hand, and energetically summoning up the rest
of his command, watching and even leading the attack of a
comparatively small body, a glorious picture of the best type of
military leader, superbly mounted, and horse and man sharing in the
excitement of the shock of battle, Reynolds was, of course, a shining
mark to the enemy's sharp-shooters. He had taken his troops into a
heavy growth of timber on the slope of a hill-side, and, under their
regimental and brigade commanders, the men did their work well and
promptly. Returning to rejoin the expected divisions, he was struck by
a minie-ball fired by a sharp-shooter hidden in the branches of a tree
almost overhead, and was killed at once. His horse bore him to the
little clump of trees, where a cairn of stones and a rude mark on the
bark, now almost overgrown, still tell the fatal spot. At the moment
that his body was taken to the rear, for his death was instantaneous,
two of his most gallant staff officers, Captains Riddle and Wadsworth,
in pursuance of his directions, effected a slight movement, which made
prisoners of Archer's brigade, so that the rebel prisoners went to the
rear almost at the same time, and their respectful conduct was in
itself the highest tribute they could pay to him who had thus fallen."



Gen. D. McM. Gregg, who commanded one of the two cavalry divisions of
the Army of the Potomac, while Gen. John Buford commanded the other,
in a rapid review of the part taken by the cavalry in the campaign,
writes: "The two divisions were put in motion toward the Potomac, but
did not take exactly the same route, and the Army of the Potomac
followed their lead. The advance of Stuart's Confederate cavalry
command had reached Aldie, and here, on June 17th, began a series of
skirmishes or engagements between the two cavalry forces, all of which
were decided successes for us, and terminated in driving Stuart's
cavalry through the gap at Paris. Kilpatrick's brigade, moving in the
advance of the second division, fell upon the enemy at Aldie, and
there ensued an engagement of the most obstinate character, in which
several brilliant mounted charges were made, terminating in the
retreat of the enemy. On June 19th, the division advanced to
Middleburg, where a part of Stuart's force was posted, and was
attacked by Col. Irvin Gregg's brigade. Here, as at Aldie, the fight
was very obstinate. The enemy had carefully selected the most
defensible position, from which he had to be driven step by step, and
this work had to be done by dismounted skirmishers, owing to the
unfavorable character of the country for mounted service. On the 19th,
Gregg's division moved on the turnpike from Middleburg in the
direction of Upperville, and soon encountered the enemy's cavalry in
great force. The attack was promptly made, the enemy offering the most
stubborn resistance. The long lines of stone fences, which are so
common in that region, were so many lines of defence to a force in
retreat; these could be held until our advancing skirmishers were
almost upon them, but then there would be no escape for those behind;
it was either to surrender or attempt escape across the open fields to
fall before the deadly fire of the carbines of the pursuers. Later in
the day General Buford's division came in on the right, and took the
enemy in flank. Then our entire force, under General Pleasonton,
supported by a column of infantry, moved forward and dealt the
finishing blow. Through Upperville the pursuit was continued at a run,
the enemy flying in the greatest {268} confusion; nor were they
permitted to re-form until night put a stop to further pursuit at the
mouth of the gap. Our losses in the fighting of these three days
amounted to five hundred in killed, wounded, and missing; of the
latter there were but few. The enemy's loss was much greater,
particularly in prisoners. Our captures also included light guns,
flags, and small arms. These successful engagements of our cavalry
left our infantry free to march, without the loss of an hour, to the
field of Gettysburg. At Frederick, Md., the addition of the cavalry,
formerly commanded by General Stahl, made it necessary to organize a
third division, the command of which was given to General Kilpatrick.
Buford, with his division in advance of our army, on July 1st, first
encountered the enemy in the vicinity of Gettysburg. How well his
brigades of regulars and volunteers resisted the advance of that
invading host, yielding so slowly as to give ample time for our
infantry to go to his support, is well known. Kilpatrick's division
marched from Frederick well to the right, at Hanover engaged the
enemy's cavalry in a sharp skirmish, and reached Gettysburg on the
1st. On the left of our line, on the 3d, one of his brigades, led by
General Farnsworth, gallantly charged the enemy's infantry and
protected that flank from any attack, with the assistance of General
Merritt's regular brigade. Gregg's division crossed the Potomac at
Edward's Ferry and reached Gettysburg on the morning of the 2d, taking
position on the right of our line. On the 3d, during that terrific
fire of artillery, it was discovered that Stuart's cavalry was moving
to our right, with the evident intention of passing to the rear to
make a simultaneous attack there. When opposite our right, Stuart was
met by General Gregg with two of his brigades and Custer's brigade of
the Third Division, and on a fair field there was another trial
between two cavalry forces, in which most of the fighting was done in
the saddle, and with the trooper's favorite weapon, the sabre. Stuart
advanced not a pace beyond where he was met; but after a severe
struggle, which was only terminated by the darkness of night, he
withdrew, and on the morrow, with the defeated army of Lee, was in
retreat to the Potomac."


The obstinate blindness of English partisanship in our great struggle
was curiously illustrated by an incident on the field of Gettysburg.
One Fremantle, a lieutenant-colonel in the British army, had come over
to visit the seat of war, and published his observations upon it in
_Blackwood's Magazine_. He was near General Longstreet when Pickett's
charge was made. Standing there with his back to the sun, and
witnessing the operation on the great slope before him, he, although a
soldier by profession, was so thoroughly possessed with the wish and
the expectation that the Confederate cause might succeed, that he
mistook Pickett's awful defeat for a glorious success, and rushing up
to General Longstreet, congratulated him upon it, and told him how
glad he was to be there and see it. "Are you, indeed?" said
Longstreet, surprised. "I am not."

About a month after the battle, General Lee wrote a letter to
Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy, in which he said:

"We must expect reverses, even defeats. They are sent to teach us
wisdom and prudence, to call forth greater energies, and to prevent
our falling into greater disasters. Our people have only to be true
and united, to bear manfully the misfortunes incident to war, and all
will come right in the end. I know how prone we are to censure, and
how ready to blame others for the non-fulfilment of our expectations.
This is unbecoming in a generous people, and I grieve to see its
expression. The general remedy for the want of success in a military
commander is his removal. This is natural, and in many instances
proper; for, no matter what may be the ability of the officer, if he
loses the confidence of his troops, disaster must, sooner or later,
ensue. I have been prompted by these reflections more than once since
my return from Pennsylvania to propose to your Excellency the
propriety of selecting another commander for this army. I have seen
and heard of expressions of discontent in the public journals at the
result of the expedition. I do not know how far this feeling extends
in the army. My brother officers have been too kind to report it, and
so far the troops have been too generous to exhibit it. It is fair,
however, to suppose that it does exist, and success is so necessary to
us that nothing should be risked to secure it. I, therefore, in all
sincerity, request your Excellency to take measures to supply my

Mr. Davis declined to relieve General Lee from his command of the Army
of Northern Virginia, and, consequently, he retained it until he
surrendered himself and that army as prisoners of war in the spring of

{269} The effect that the news of Gettysburg produced in Europe is
said to have been the absolute termination of all hope for a
recognition of the Confederacy as an independent power. A writer in
the _London Morning Advertiser_ says: "Mr. Disraeli, although never
committing himself, as Mr. Gladstone and Lord John Russell did, to the
principles for which the Southern Confederacy was fighting, always
regarded recognition as a possible card to play, and was quite
prepared, at the proper moment, to play it. The moment seemed to have
come when General Lee invaded the Federal States. At that time it was
notorious that the bulk of the Tory party and more than half of the
Ministerialists were prepared for such a step. I had frequent
conversations with Mr. Disraeli on the subject, and I perfectly
recollect his saying to me that the time had now come for moving in
the matter. 'But,' he said, 'it is of great importance that, if the
move is to be made, it should not assume a party character, and it is
of equal importance that the initiative should come from our (the
Conservative) side. If the thing is to be done, I must do it myself;
and then, from all I hear and know, the resolution will be carried,
Lord Palmerston being quite disposed to accept the declaration by
Parliament in favor of a policy which he personally approves. But I
cannot speak without more knowledge of the subject than I now possess,
and I should be glad if you could give me a brief, furnishing the
necessary statistics of the population, the institutions, the
commercial and political prospects of the Southern States, in order
that when the moment comes I may be fully armed.' I procured the
necessary information and placed it in his hands. Every day seemed to
bring the moment for its use nearer, and the general feeling in the
House of Commons was perfectly ripe for the motion in favor of
recognition, when the news of the battle of Gettysburg came like a
thunder-clap upon the country. General Meade defeated Lee, and saved
the Union, and from that day not another word was heard in Parliament
about recognition. A few days afterward I saw Mr. Disraeli, and his
exact words were, 'We nearly put our foot in it.'"

A great national cemetery was laid out on the battlefield, and the
remains of three thousand five hundred and sixty soldiers of the
National army who had fallen in that campaign were placed in it,
arranged in the order of their States. This was dedicated on the 19th
of November in the year of the battle, 1863; and this occasion
furnished a striking instance of the difference between natural genius
and artificial reputation. The orator of the day was Edward Everett,
who, by long cultivation and unlimited advertising, had attained the
nominal place of first orator in the country; but he was by no means
entitled to speak for the men who had there laid down their lives in
the cause of universal liberty; for, through all his political life,
until the breaking out of the war, he had been a strong pro-slavery
man. President Lincoln was invited to be present, as a matter of
course, and was informed that he would be expected to say a little
something. Mr. Everett delivered a long address, prepared in his usual
elaborate and artificial style, which was forgotten by every hearer
within twenty-four hours. Mr. Lincoln, on his way from Washington,
jotted down an idea or two on the back of an old envelope, by way of
memorandum, and when he was called upon, rose and delivered a speech
of fewer than three hundred words, which very soon took its place
among the world's immortal orations. Some time after the delivery of
the address, Mr. Lincoln, at the request of friends, carefully wrote
it and affixed his signature. This copy is here reproduced in such a
way as to give an exact fac-simile of his writing.

[Illustration: (hand written)

Address delivered at the dedication of the Cemetery at Gettysburg.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this
continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the
proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation,
or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are
met on a great battle field of that war. We have come to dedicate a
portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here
gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting
and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate--we can not consecrate--we
can not hallow--this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who
struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or
detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say
here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the
living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they
who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us
to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us--that from
these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which
they gave the last full measure of devotion--that we here highly
resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain--that this nation,
under God, shall have a new birth of freedom--and that government of
the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the

Abraham Lincoln.

November 19, 1863.]





In the autumn of 1862, after the battles of Iuka and Corinth, the
National commanders in the West naturally began to think of further
movements southward into the State of Mississippi, and of opening the
great river and securing unobstructed navigation from Cairo to the
Gulf. The project was slow in execution, principally from division of
authority, and doubt as to what general would ultimately have the
command. John A. McClernand, who had been a Democratic member of
Congress from Illinois, and was what was known as a "political
general," spent some time in Washington, urging the plan upon the
President (who was an old acquaintance and personal friend), of course
in the expectation that he would be intrusted with its execution. But
he found little favor with General Halleck. At this time General Grant
hardly knew what were the limits of his command, or whether, indeed,
he really had any command at all.


Rear-Admiral and Chief of Bureau of Navigation.)]

[Illustration: COMMODORE W. D. PORTER.]

Vicksburg is on a high bluff overlooking the Mississippi, where it
makes a sharp bend enclosing a long, narrow peninsula. The railroad
from Shreveport, La., reaches the river at this point, and connects by
ferry with the railroad running east from Vicksburg through Jackson,
the State capital. The distance between the two cities is forty-five
miles. About a hundred miles below Vicksburg is Port Hudson, similarly
situated as to river and railways. Between these two points the great
Red River, coming from the borders of Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana,
flows into the Mississippi. As the Confederates drew a large part of
their supplies from Texas and the country watered by the Red River, it
was of the first importance to them to retain control of the
Mississippi between Vicksburg and Port Hudson, especially after they
had lost New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Memphis.

After taking New Orleans, in April, 1862, Farragut had gone up the
river with some of his ships, in May, and demanded the surrender of
Vicksburg; but, though the place was then but slightly fortified, the
demand was refused, and without a land force he could not take the
city, as it was too high to be damaged by his guns. He ran by the
batteries in June, and communicated with the river fleet of Capt.
Charles H. Davis. But all the while new batteries were being planted
on the bluffs, and after a time it became exceedingly hazardous for
any sort of craft to run the gantlet under their plunging fire. In
August, a Confederate force, under Gen. John C. Breckinridge,
attempted the capture of Baton Rouge, expecting to be assisted in the
assault by an immense iron-clad ram, the _Arkansas_, which was coming
down the river. The city was occupied by a force under Gen. Thomas
Williams, who made a stubborn and bloody fight, driving off the enemy.
General Williams was killed, as were also the Confederate General
Clarke and numerous officers of lower rank on either side, and more
than six hundred men in all were killed or wounded. The ram failed to
take part in the fight, because her machinery broke down. She was
attacked next day by two or three vessels, commanded by Captain (now
Admiral) David D. Porter, and when she had been disabled her crew
abandoned her and set her on fire, and she was blown into a thousand
fragments. After this defeat, General Breckinridge turned his
attention {271} to the fortification of Port Hudson, which was made
almost as strong as Vicksburg.

On the 12th of November, 1862, General Grant received a despatch from
General Halleck placing him in command of all troops sent to his
department, and telling him to fight the enemy where he pleased. Four
days later Grant and Sherman had a conference at Columbus, and a plan
was arranged and afterward modified, by which Grant (who then had
about thirty thousand men under his personal command) was to move
southward and confront an equal force, commanded by Gen. John C.
Pemberton, on the Tallahatchie; while Sherman, with thirty thousand,
was to move from Memphis down the eastern bank of the Mississippi,
and, assisted by Porter and his gunboats, attempt the capture of
Vicksburg from the rear. If Pemberton moved toward that city, Grant
was to follow and engage him as soon as possible.

Sherman and Porter, with their usual energy, went to work with all
speed to carry out their part of the programme. Grant moved more
slowly, because he did not wish to force his enemy back upon
Vicksburg, but to hold him as far north as possible. He established
his dépôt of supplies at Holly Springs, and waited for Sherman's
movement. But the whole scheme was ruined by the activity of two
Confederate cavalry detachments under Generals Van Dorn and Forrest.
On the 20th of December Van Dorn made a dash at Holly Springs, which
was held by fifteen hundred men under a Colonel Murphy, and captured
the place and its garrison. Grant had more than two million dollars'
worth of supplies there, and as Van Dorn could not remove them he
burned them all, together with the storehouses and railroad buildings.
Forrest, making a wide detour, tore up a portion of the railroad
between Jackson, Tenn., and Columbus, Ky., so that Grant's army was
cut off from all communication with the North for more than a week. It
had not yet occurred to anybody that a large army could leave its
communications and subsist on supplies gathered in the enemy's
country; so Grant gave up this part of his plan and moved back toward

But Sherman and Porter, not hearing of the disaster at Holly Springs,
had proceeded with their preparations, embarked the troops, and gone
down the river in a long procession, the gunboats being placed at
intervals in the line of transports. Sherman says: "We manoeuvred by
divisions and brigades when in motion, and it was a magnificent sight.
What few of the inhabitants remained at the plantations on the river
bank were unfriendly, except the slaves. Some few guerilla parties
infested the banks, but did not dare to molest so strong a force as I
then commanded." The guerilla bands alluded to had been a serious
annoyance to the boats patrolling the river. Besides the
sharp-shooters with their rifles, small parties would suddenly appear
at one point or another with a field gun, fire at a passing boat, and
disappear before any force could be landed to pursue them. Farragut
had been obliged to destroy the town of Donaldsonville, in order to
punish and break up this practice on the lower reaches of the river.

[Illustration: MAP OF THE VICKSBURG CAMPAIGN. By permission of Dick &
Fitzgerald, N. Y., from "Twelve Decisive Battles of the War."]

The expedition arrived at Milliken's Bend on Christmas, where a
division was left, and whence a brigade was sent to break the railroad
from Shreveport. The next day the boats, with the three remaining
divisions, ascended the Yazoo thirteen miles to a point opposite the
bluffs north of Vicksburg, where the troops were landed. They were
here on the low bottom-land, which was crossed by numerous bayous,
some parts of it heavily wooded, the clearings being abandoned cotton
plantations. The bluffs were crowned with artillery, and along their
base was a deserted bed of the Yazoo. Most of the bridges were
destroyed, and the whole district was subject to inundation. It was
ugly ground for the operations of an army; but Sherman, confident that
Grant was holding Pemberton, felt sure there could not be a heavy
force on the heights, and resolved to capture them without delay. The
27th and 28th were spent in reconnoitring, selecting points for
attack, and placing the troops. On the 29th, while the gunboats made a
diversion at Haines's Bluff, and a part of Steele's division made a
feint on the right, near Vicksburg, the main force crossed the
intervening bayous at two points and attacked the centre of the
position. The battle was begun by a heavy artillery fire, followed by
musketry, and then the rush of the men. They had to face guns, at the
foot of the bluff, {272} that swept the narrow approaches, and at the
same time endure a cross-fire from the heights. Blair's brigade
reached the base of the hills, but was not properly supported by
Morgan's, and had to fall back again, leaving five hundred of its men
behind. The Sixth Missouri Regiment, at another point, had also gone
forward unsupported, reached the bluff, and could not return. The men
quickly scooped niches in the bank with their hands and sheltered
themselves in them, while many of the enemy came to the edge of the
hill, held out their muskets vertically at arm's-length, and fired
down at them. These men were not able to get back to their lines till
nightfall. This assault cost Sherman eighteen hundred and forty-eight
men, and inflicted upon the Confederates a loss of but two hundred. He
made arrangements to send a heavy force on the transports to Haines's
Bluff in the night of December 30, to be debarked at dawn, and storm
the works there, while the rest of the troops were to advance as soon
as the defences had been thus taken in reverse. But a heavy fog
prevented the boats from moving, and the next day a rain set in.
Sherman observed the water-marks on the trees ten feet above his head,
and a great deal more then ten feet above his head in the other
direction he saw whole brigades of reinforcements marching into the
enemy's intrenchments. He knew then that something must have gone
wrong with Grant's co-operating force, and so he wisely re-embarked
his men and munitions, and steamed down to the mouth of the Yazoo.


On the 4th of January, 1863, General McClernand assumed command of the
two corps that were commanded by Generals Sherman and George W.
Morgan. A fortnight before, a Confederate boat had come out of
Arkansas River and captured a mail boat, and it was known that there
was a Confederate garrison of five thousand men at Fort Hindman, or
Arkansas Post, on the Arkansas. It occurred to Sherman that there
could be no safety for boats on the Mississippi near the mouth of the
Arkansas till this post was captured or broken up; and accordingly he
asked McClernand to let him attack it with his corps, assisted by some
of the gunboats. McClernand concluded to go himself with the entire
army, and Porter also accompanied in person. They landed on the 10th,
below the fort, and drove in the pickets. That night the Confederates
toiled all night to throw up a line of works reaching from the fort
northward to an impassable swamp. On the 11th the whole National force
moved forward simultaneously to the attack, the gunboats steaming up
close to the fort and sweeping its bastions with their fire, while
Morgan's corps moved against its eastern face, and Sherman's against
the new line of works. The ground to be passed over was level, with
little shelter save a few trees and logs; but the men advanced
steadily, lying down behind every little projection, and so annoying
the artillerymen with their sharp-shooting that the guns could not be
well served. When the gunboats arrived abreast of the fort and
enfiladed it, the gunners ran down into {273} the ditch, a man with a
white flag appeared on the parapet, and presently white flags and rags
were fluttering all along the line. Firing was stopped at once, and
the fort was surrendered by its commander, General Churchill. About
one hundred and fifty of the garrison had been killed, and the
remainder, numbering forty-eight hundred, were made prisoners. The
National loss was about one thousand. The fort was dismantled and
destroyed, and the stores taken on board the fleet. McClernand
conceived a vague project for ascending the river farther, but on
peremptory orders from Grant the expedition returned to the
Mississippi, steaming down the Arkansas in a heavy snow-storm.

In accordance with instructions from Washington, Grant now took
personal command of the operations on the Mississippi, dividing his
entire force into four corps, to be commanded by Generals McClernand,
Sherman, Stephen A. Hurlbut, and James B. McPherson. Hurlbut's corps
was left to hold the lines east of Memphis, while the other troops,
with reinforcements from the North, were united in the river

McClernand and Sherman went down the peninsula enclosed in the bend of
the river opposite Vicksburg, and with immense labor dug a canal
across it. Much was hoped from this, but it proved a failure, for the
river would not flow through it. Furthermore, there were bluffs
commanding the river below Vicksburg, and the Confederates had already
begun to fortify them; so that if the canal had succeeded, navigation
of the stream would have been as much obstructed as before. Still the
work was continued till the 7th of March, when the river suddenly rose
and overflowed the peninsula, and Sherman's men barely escaped
drowning by regiments.

Grant was surveying the country in every direction, for some feasible
approach to the flanks of his enemy. One scheme was to move through
Lake Providence and the bayous west of the Mississippi, from a point
far above Vicksburg to one far below. This involved the cutting of
another canal, from the Mississippi to one of the bayous, and
McPherson's corps spent a large part of the month of March in digging
and dredging; but this also was a failure. On the eastern side of the
Mississippi there had once been an opening, known as Yazoo Pass, by
which boats from Memphis made their way into Coldwater River, thence
into the Tallahatchie, and thence into the Yazoo above Yazoo City; but
the pass had been closed by a levee or embankment. Grant blew up the
levee, and tried this approach. But the Confederates had information
of every movement, and took prompt measures to thwart it. The banks of
the streams where his boats had to pass were heavily wooded, and great
trees were felled across the channel. Worse than this, after the boats
had passed in and removed many of the obstructions, it was found that
the enemy were felling trees across the channel behind them, so that
they might not get out again. Earthworks also were thrown up at the
point where the Yallabusha and Tallahatchie unite to form the Yazoo,
and heavily manned. Here the advance division of the expedition had a
slight engagement, with no result. Reinforcements arrived under Gen.
Isaac F. Quinby, who assumed command, and began operations for
crossing the Yallabusha and rendering the Confederate fortification
useless, when he was recalled by Grant, who had found that the
necessary light-draught boats for carrying his whole force through to
that point could not be had.

One more attempt in this direction was made before the effort to flank
Vicksburg on the north was given up. It was proposed to ascend the
Yazoo a short distance from its mouth, turn into Steele's bayou,
ascend this, and by certain passes that had been discovered get into
Big Sunflower River, and then descend that stream into the Yazoo above
Haines's Bluff. Porter and Sherman took the lead in this expedition,
and encountered all the difficulties of the Yazoo Pass project,
magnified several times--the narrow channels, the felled trees, the
want of solid ground on which troops could be manoeuvred, the horrible
swamps and canebrakes, through some of which they picked their way
with lighted candles, and the annoyance from unseen sharp-shooters
that swarmed through the whole region. Porter at one time was on the
point of abandoning his boats; but finally all were extricated, though
some of them had to back out through the narrow pass for a distance of
thirty miles.


[Illustration: REAR-ADMIRAL HENRY WALKE. (Commander of the "Tyler" and

In March, Farragut with his flagship and one gunboat had run by the
batteries at Port Hudson, but the remainder of his fleet had failed to
pass. Several boats had run by the batteries at Vicksburg; and Grant
now turned his attention to a project for moving an army by transports
through bayous west of the Mississippi to a point below the city,
where Porter, after running by the batteries with his iron-clads, was
to meet him and ferry the troops across to the eastern bank. The use
of the bayous was finally given up, and the army marched by the roads.
The fleet ran by the batteries on the night of April 16. As soon as it
was discovered approaching, the Confederates set fire to immense piles
of wood that they had prepared on the bank, the whole scene became as
light as day, and for an hour and a half {274} the fleet was under a
heavy fire, which it returned as it steadily steamed by; but beyond
the destruction of one transport there was no serious loss.

Bridges had to be built over bayous, and a suitable place discovered
for crossing the Mississippi. New Carthage was tried, but found
impracticable, as it was nearly surrounded by water. Grand Gulf was
strongly fortified, and on the 29th of April seven of Porter's
gunboats attacked it. They fired five hundred shots an hour for five
hours, and damaged the works somewhat, but only killed or wounded
eighteen men, while the fleet lost twenty-six men, and one boat was
seriously disabled. Grant therefore gave up the project of crossing
here, moved his transports down stream under cover of darkness, and at
daylight on the 30th began the crossing at Bruinsburg. McClernand's
corps was in the advance, and marched on Port Gibson that night. At
dawn the enemy was found in a strong position three miles west of that
place. There was sharp fighting all day, the Confederate force
numbering about eight thousand, and contesting every foot of the
ground; but the line was finally disrupted, and at night-fall they
made an orderly retreat, burning bridges behind them. The National
loss had been eight hundred and forty-nine men, killed, wounded, or
missing; the Confederate, about one thousand. Grant's movements at
this time were greatly assisted by one of the most effective cavalry
raids of the war. This was conducted by Col. Benjamin H. Grierson, who
with seventeen hundred men set out from La Grange, Tenn., on the 17th
of April, and rode southward through the whole State of Mississippi,
tearing up railroads, burning bridges, destroying supplies, eluding
every strong force that was sent out to stop him, defeating several
small ones, floundering through swamps, swimming rivers, spreading
consternation by the celerity and uncertainty of his movements, and
finally riding into Baton Rouge at the end of sixteen days with half
his men asleep in their saddles. He had lost but twenty-seven.

[Illustration: LIEUTENANT E. M. KING.]

[Illustration: LAKE PROVIDENCE.]


The fortifications at Grand Gulf were abandoned. Porter took
possession of them, and Grant established his base there. A bridge had
to be rebuilt at Port Gibson, and then Crocker's division pushed on in
pursuit of the retreating Confederates, saved a burning bridge at
Bayou Pierre, came up with them at Willow Springs, and after a slight
engagement drove them across the Big Black at Hankinson's Ferry, and
saved the bridge. There was a slight delay, for Sherman's corps and
the supplies to arrive, and then Grant pressed on resolutely with his
whole army. He had with him about forty-one thousand men, subsequently
increased to forty-five thousand; and Pemberton at this time had about
fifty thousand.

Grant moved northeasterly, toward Jackson, and on the 12th of May
found a hostile force near Raymond. It numbered but three thousand,
and was soon swept away, though not until it had lost five hundred men
and inflicted a loss of four hundred and thirty-two upon the National
troops. It was the purpose of the Union commander to move swiftly, and
beat the enemy as much as possible in detail before the scattered
forces could concentrate against him. Believing there was a
considerable force at Jackson, which he would not like to leave in his
rear, he {275} marched on that place, and the next conflict occurred
there, May 14th. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston (whom we took leave of when
he was wounded at Seven Pines, nearly a year before) had just been
ordered by the Confederate Government to take command of all the
forces in Mississippi, and arrived at Jackson in the evening of the
13th, finding there about twelve thousand men subject to his orders.
Pemberton was at Edwards Station, thirty miles westward, and Grant was
between them. Johnston telegraphed to Richmond that he was too late,
but took what measures he could for defence. It rained heavily that
night, and the next morning, when the corps of Sherman and McPherson
marched against the city, they travelled roads that were a foot under
water. McPherson came up on the west, and Sherman on the southwest and
south. The enemy was met two miles out, and driven in with heavy
skirmishing. While manoeuvring was going on before the intrenchments,
the Union commanders seeking for a suitable point to assault, it was
discovered that the enemy was evacuating the place, and Grant and his
men went in at once and hoisted the National colors. They had lost two
hundred and ninety men in the skirmishing; the enemy, eight hundred
and forty-five, mostly captured. Seventeen guns were taken, but the
Confederates burned most of their stores.

Leaving Sherman at Jackson to destroy the railroad, and the factories
that were turning out goods for the Confederacy, which he did very
thoroughly, Grant ordered all his other forces to concentrate
at Bolton, twenty miles west. Marching thence westward, keeping
the corps well together, and ordering Sherman to send forward an
ammunition-train--for he knew that a battle must soon be fought--Grant
found Pemberton with twenty-three thousand men waiting to receive him
at Champion's Hill, on high ground well selected for defence, which
covered the three roads leading westward. The battle, May 15th, lasted
four hours, and was the bloodiest of the campaign. The brunt of it, on
the National side, was borne by the divisions of Hovey, Logan, and
Crocker; and Hovey lost more than one-third of his men. Logan's
division pushed forward on the right, passed Pemberton's left flank,
and held the only road by which the enemy could retreat. But this was
not known to the Union commander at the time, and when Hovey, hard
pressed, called for help, Logan was drawn back to his assistance, and
the road uncovered. A little later Pemberton was in full retreat
toward the crossing of the Big Black River, leaving his dead and
wounded and thirty guns on the field. Grant's loss in the
action--killed, wounded, and missing--was twenty-four hundred and
forty-one. Pemberton's was over three thousand killed and wounded
(including General Tilghman killed), besides nearly as many more
captured in battle or on the retreat.

The enemy was next found at the Big Black River, where he had placed
his main line on the high land west of the stream, and stationed his
advance (or, properly speaking, his rear guard) along the edge of a
bayou that ran through the low ground on the east. This advanced
position was attacked vigorously on the 17th, and when Lawler's
brigade flanked it on the right, that general leading a charge in his
shirt-sleeves, the whole line gave way, and Pemberton resumed his
retreat, burning the bridge behind him and leaving his men in the
lowland to their fate. Some swam the river, some were drowned, and
seventeen hundred and fifty were made prisoners. Eighteen guns were
captured here. The National loss was two hundred and seventy-nine.




Sherman now came up with his corps, and Grant ordered the building of
three bridges. One was a floating or raft bridge. One was made by
felling trees on both sides of the stream and letting them fall so
that their boughs would interlace over the channel, the trunks not
being cut entirely through, and so hanging to the stumps. Planks laid
crosswise on these trees made a good roadway. The third bridge was
made by using cotton bales for pontoons. Sherman's troops made a
fourth bridge farther up the stream; and that night he and Grant sat
on a log and watched the long procession of blue-coated men with
gleaming muskets marching across the swaying structure by the light of
pitch-pine torches. All the bridges were finished by morning, and that
day, the 18th, the entire army was west of the river.

Pemberton marched straight into Vicksburg, which had a long line of
defences on the land side as well as on the water front, and shut
himself up there. Grant, following closely, invested the place on the
19th. Sherman, holding the right of the line, was at Haines's Bluff,
occupying the very ground beneath which his men had suffered defeat
some months before. Here, on the Yazoo, Grant established a new base
for supplies. McPherson's corps was next to Sherman's on the left, and
McClernand's next, reaching to the river below the city. Sharp
skirmishing went on while the armies were getting into position, and
an assault in the afternoon of the 19th gained the National troops
some advantage in the advancement of the line to better ground.
Grant's army had been living for three weeks on five days' rations,
with what they could pick up in the country they passed through, which
was {276} not a little; and his first care was to construct roads in
the rear of his line, so that supplies could be brought up from the
Yazoo rapidly and regularly. He had now about thirty thousand men, the
line of defences before him was eight miles long, and he expected an
attack from Johnston in the rear. At ten o'clock on the 22d,
therefore, he ordered a grand assault, hoping to carry the works by
storm. But though the men at several points reached the breastworks
and planted their battle-flags on them, it was found impossible to
take them. McClernand falsely reported that he had carried two forts
at his end of the line, and asked for reinforcements, which were sent
to him, and a renewal of the assault was made to help him. This caused
additional loss of life, to no purpose, and shortly afterward that
general was relieved of his command, which was given to Gen. E. O. C.

After this assault, which had cost him nearly twenty-five hundred men,
Grant settled down to a siege of Vicksburg by regular approaches. The
work went on day by day, with the usual incidents of a siege. There
was mining and counter-mining, and two large mines were exploded under
angles of the Confederate works, but without any practical result. The
great guns were booming night and day, throwing thousands of shells
into the city, and more than one citizen picked up and threw into a
heap hundreds of pounds of the iron fragments that fell into his yard.
Caves were dug in the banks where the streets had been cut through the
clayey hills, and in these the people found refuge from the shells. A
newspaper was issued regularly even to the last day of the siege, but
it was printed on the back of wallpaper. Provisions of course became
scarce, and mule-meat was eaten. Somebody printed a humorous bill of
fare, which consisted entirely of mule-meat in the various forms of
soup, roast, stew, etc. All the while the besiegers were digging away,
bringing their trenches closer to the defences, till the soldiers of
the hostile lines bandied jests across the narrow intervening space.
At the end of forty-seven days the works arrived at the point where a
grand assault must be the next thing, and at the same time famine
threatened, and the National holiday was at hand. After some
negotiation General Pemberton unconditionally surrendered the city and
his army of thirty-one thousand six hundred men, on the 4th of July,
1863, one day after Lee's defeat at Gettysburg.

Port Hudson, which Banks with twelve thousand men and Farragut with
his fleet had besieged for weeks, was surrendered with its garrison of
six thousand men, five days after the fall of Vicksburg. The entire
Confederate loss in Mississippi, from the time Grant entered the State
at Bruinsburg to the surrender, was about fifty thousand; Grant's was
about nine thousand. But the great triumph was in the opening of the
Mississippi River, which cut the Confederacy completely in two.


By Grant's orders there was no cheering, no firing of salutes, no
expression of exultation at the surrender; because the triumph was
over our own countrymen, and the object of it all was to establish a
permanent Union.

In his correspondence with Pemberton, while demanding an unconditional
surrender, Grant had written: "Men who have shown so much endurance
and courage as those now in Vicksburg will always challenge the
respect of an adversary, and I can assure you will be treated with all
the respect due to prisoners of war. I do not favor the proposition of
appointing commissioners to arrange the terms of capitulation, because
I have no terms other than those indicated above." As soon as the
surrender was effected, the famished Confederate army was liberally
supplied with food, Grant's men taking it out of their own haversacks.
All the prisoners at Vicksburg and Port Hudson were immediately
paroled and furnished with transportation and supplies, under the
supposition that they would go to their homes and remain there till
properly exchanged.



The coöperation of Porter's fleet of river gunboats above the city,
and some of Farragut's vessels below it, had been a great assistance
during the siege, in cutting off the city from communication across
the river. General Grant's thoughtfulness and mastery of details in
great military movements are suggested by one of his letters to
Farragut at this time. Knowing that Farragut's ships would need a
constant supply of coal, he sent him a large cargo, and wrote:
"Hearing nothing from Admiral Porter, I have determined to send you a
barge of coal from here. {277} The barge will be cast adrift from the
upper end of the canal at ten o'clock to-night. Troops on the opposite
side of the point will be on the lookout, and, should the barge run
into the eddy, will start it adrift again."




One of the most ludicrous incidents of the siege was the career of the
dummy monitor, sometimes called the "Black Terror." The _Indianola_,
of Porter's fleet, had been attacked by the Confederates and captured
in a sinking condition. They were hard at work trying to raise her,
when they saw something coming down the river that struck them with
terror. Admiral Porter had fitted up an old flat-boat so that, at a
little distance, it looked like a monitor. It had mud furnaces and a
smokestack made of pork barrels. Fire was built in the furnaces, and
she was set adrift on the river without a single person on board. The
men at the Vicksburg batteries were startled at the appearance of a
monitor in those waters, and opened a furious cannonade, but did not
succeed in stopping the stranger, which passed on with the current. In
the excitement, orders were given to destroy the _Indianola_, and she
was blown up just before the trick was discovered.

A few days after the capture of Vicksburg, President Lincoln wrote
this characteristically frank and generous letter to General Grant:

MY DEAR GENERAL: I do not remember that you and I ever met personally.
I write this now as a grateful acknowledgment for the almost
inestimable service you have done the country. I wish to say further:
when you first reached the vicinity of Vicksburg, I thought you should
do what you finally did--march the troops across the neck, run the
batteries with the transports, and thus go below; and I never had any
faith, except a general hope that you knew better than I, that the
Yazoo Pass expedition and the like could succeed. When you got below
and took Fort Gibson, Grand Gulf and vicinity, I thought you should go
down the river and join General Banks; and when you turned northward,
east of the Big Black, I feared it was a mistake. I now wish to make a
personal acknowledgment that you were right and I was wrong.

  Yours very truly,
                     A. LINCOLN.

After the surrender Grant reorganized his army, issued instructions
for the care and government of the blacks who had escaped from slavery
and come within his lines, and gave orders for furloughs to be granted
freely to those of his soldiers who had been conspicuous for their
valor and attention to duty during the campaign. It is said that he
also took particular care that no exorbitant prices should be demanded
of these soldiers on the steamboats by which they ascended the river
in going to their homes. His own modesty and loyalty are exhibited in
a letter that he wrote, a month later, when the loyal citizens of
Memphis proposed to give him a public dinner. He said: "In accepting
this testimonial, which I do at great sacrifice of personal feelings,
I simply desire to pay a tribute to the first public exhibition in
Memphis of loyalty to the Government which I represent in the
Department of the Tennessee. I should dislike to refuse, for
considerations of personal convenience, to acknowledge anywhere or in
any form the existence of sentiments which I have so long and so
ardently desired to see manifested in this department. The stability
of this Government and the unity of this nation depends solely on the
cordial support and the earnest loyalty of the people."


Of the innumerable incidents of the marches and the siege, in this
campaign, some of the most interesting were told by Gen. Manning F.
Force in a paper read before the Ohio Commandery of the Loyal Legion,
all of them being drawn from his own experience. In that campaign he
was colonel of the Twentieth Ohio infantry.

"About the 20th of April I was sent, with the Twentieth Ohio and the
Thirtieth Illinois, seven miles out from Milliken's Bend, to build a
road across a swamp. When the sun set, the leaves of the forest seemed
to exude smoke, and the air became a saturated solution of gnats. When
my mess sat down to supper under a tree, the gnats got into our
mouths, noses, eyes, and ears. They swarmed upon our necks, seeming to
encircle them with bands of hot iron. Tortured and blinded, we could
neither eat nor see. We got a quantity of cotton, and made a circle
around the group, and set it on fire. The pungent smoke made water
stream from our eyes, but drove the gnats away. We then supped in
anguish, but in peace. I sent back to camp and got some mosquito
netting from a sutler. Covering my {279} head with many folds, I
slept, waking at intervals to burn a wad of cotton. Many of the men
sat by the fire all night, fighting the gnats, and slept next day. In
the woods we found stray cattle, sheep, and hogs. A large pond was
full of fish. We lived royally.

"On the 25th of April, Logan's division marched. The Twentieth Ohio
had just drawn new clothing, but had to leave it behind. Stacking
spades and picks in the swamp, they took their place in the column as
it appeared, taking with them only the scanty supplies they had there.
Six days of plodding brought them over nearly seventy miles, to the
shore of the river opposite Bruinsburg. We marched six miles one day,
and those six miles by evening were strewn with wrecks of wagons and
their loads and half-buried guns. At a halt of some hours the men
stood in deep mud, for want of any means of sitting. Yet when we
halted at night, every man answered to his name, and went laughing to
bed on the sloppy ground.

"On the 12th of May the Seventeenth Corps marched on the road toward
Raymond. The Thirtieth Illinois was deployed with a skirmish line in
front, on the left of the road; the Twentieth Ohio, in like manner on
the right. About noon we halted--the Twentieth Ohio in an open field,
bounded by a fence to the front, beyond which was forest and rising
ground. An unseen battery on some height beyond the timber began
shelling the fields. The Twentieth advanced over the fence into the
woods. The First Brigade came up and formed on our right. All at once
the woods rang with the shrill rebel yell and a deafening din of
musketry. The Twentieth rushed forward to a creek, and used the
farther bank as breastworks. The timber beyond the creek and the fence
was free from undergrowth. The Twentieth Illinois, the regiment next
to the right of the Twentieth Ohio, knelt down in place and returned
the fire. The enemy advanced into the creek in its front. I went to
the lieutenant-colonel, who was kneeling at the left flank, and asked
him why he did not advance into the creek. He said, 'We have no
orders.' In a few minutes the colonel of the regiment was killed. It
was too late to advance, it was murder to remain, and the
lieutenant-colonel withdrew the regiment in order back behind the
fence. I cannot tell how long the battle lasted. I remember noticing
the forest leaves, cut by rifle-balls, falling in thick eddies, still
as snowflakes. At one time the enemy in our front advanced to the
border of the creek, and rifles of opposing lines crossed while
firing. Men who were shot were burned by the powder of the rifles that
sped the balls.

"In eighteen days Grant marched two hundred miles, won five battles,
four of them in six days, inflicted a loss of five thousand men,
captured eighty-eight pieces of artillery, compelled the abandonment
of all outworks, and cooped Pemberton's army within the lines of
Vicksburg, while he had opened for himself easy and safe communication
with the North. During these eighteen days the men had been without
shelter, and had subsisted on five days' rations and scanty supplies
picked up on the way. The morning we crossed the Big Black I offered
five dollars for a small piece of corn bread, and could not get it.
The soldier said bread was worth more to him than money.

"The Twentieth was placed in a road-cut, which was enfiladed by one of
the enemy's infantry intrenchments. But when we sat with our backs
pressed against the side of the cut toward Vicksburg, the balls
whistled by just outside of our knees. At sunset the company cooks
were possessed to come to us with hot coffee. They succeeded in
running the gantlet, and the garrison could hear the jingling of tin
cups and shouts of laughter as the cramped men ate their supper. After
dark we were recalled and placed on the slope of a sharp ridge, with
orders to remain in place, ready to move at any moment, and with
strict injunctions not to allow any man's head to appear above the
ridge. There we lay two or three days in line. Coffee was brought to
us by the cooks at meal-time. Not a man those two or three days left
the line without a special order. The first night Lieutenant
Weatherby, commanding the right company reported that the slope was so
steep where he was that the men as soon as they fell asleep began to
roll down hill. I had to give him leave to shift his position.

"One day when there was a general bombardment I was told a soldier
wished to see me. Under the canopy of exploding shell I found a youth,
a boy, lying on his back on the ground. He was pale and speechless;
there was a crimson hole in his breast. As I knelt by his side he
looked wistfully at me. I said, 'We must all die some time, and the
man is happy who meets death in the discharge of duty. You have done
your whole duty well.' It was all he wanted. His eyes brightened, a
smile flickered on his lips, and I was kneeling beside a corpse.

"One day when the Twentieth Ohio was in advance, we came, at a turn in
the road, upon two old colored people, man and woman, plump and sleek,
riding mules, and coming toward us. As they caught sight of the long
column of blue-coats, the woman, crossing her hands upon her bosom,
rolled up her eyes and cried in ecstasy 'Bress de Lord! Bress Almighty
God! Our friends is come, our friends is come!' On the return, we
crossed a plantation where the field-hands were ploughing. The
soldiers like mules, and the negroes gladly unharnessed them, and
helped the soldiers to mount. I said to one, 'The soldiers are taking
your mules.' The quick response was, 'An' dey is welcome to 'em, sar;
dey is welcome to 'em.' Men and women looked wistfully at the marching
column, and began to talk about joining us. They seemed to wait the
determination of a gray-headed darky who was considering. Presently
there was a shout, 'Uncle Pete's a-gwine, an' I'm a-gwine, too!' As
they flocked after us, one tall, stern woman strode along, carrying a
wooden tray and a crockery pitcher as all her effects, looking
straight to the front. Some one asked, 'Auntie, where are you going?'
She answered, without looking, 'I don't car' whicher way I go, so as I
git away from dis place.'

"When the working parties carried the saps to the base of the works,
the besieged used to light the fuses of six-pound shells and toss them
over the parapet. They would roll down among the working parties and
explode, sometimes doing serious damage. A young soldier of the
Twentieth Ohio, named Friend, devised wooden mortars. A very small
charge of powder in one of these would just lift a shell over the
enemy's parapet and drop it within. After the surrender there was much
inquiry from the garrison how they were contrived."

Concerning this tossing of the shells, one who had been a private in
Grant's army said to the writer: "I was in the trenches one evening
when a shell came over without noise, as if thrown by hand.
Fortunately it did not explode, or it would have injured a good many
of us. This greatly surprised me, and when in a few minutes another
came, I was on the watch and noted the point from which it seemed to
start. By strange luck this also failed to explode. I then laid my
rifle across the breastwork, cocked it, and put my eye to the sight,
with the muzzle facing the point from which the shell had come.
Presently I saw a man {280} rise in the enemy's trench with a third
shell in his hand--but he never threw it."


[Illustration: MAKING GABIONS.]


[Illustration: BRIGADIER-GENERAL N. G. EVANS, C. S. A.]


When the siege began, General Pemberton issued an order that all
non-combatants leave the city; but many of them refused to go--some
because they had no other home, or means to sustain themselves
elsewhere--and a few women and children were among those who remained.
One lady, wife of an officer in Pemberton's army, published the next
year an account of her life in the city during the siege, which is
especially interesting for its picturesque and suggestive details,
many of which are not to be found elsewhere. A few passages are here

"The cave [of a friend] was an excavation in the earth the size of a
large room, high enough for the tallest person to stand perfectly
erect, provided with comfortable seats, and altogether quite a large
and habitable abode (compared with some of the caves in the city),
were it not for the dampness and the constant contact with the soft
earthy walls.

"Two negroes were coming with a small trunk between them, and a
carpet-bag or two, evidently trying to show others of the profession
how careless of danger they were, and how foolish 'niggars' were to
run 'dat sort o' way.' A shell came through the air and fell a few
yards beyond the braves, when, lo! the trunk was sent tumbling, and
landed bottom upward; the carpet-bag followed--one grand somerset; and
amid the cloud of dust that arose, I discovered one porter doubled up
by the side of the trunk, and the other crouching close by a pile of
plank. A shout from the negroes on the cars, and much laughter,
brought them on their feet, brushing their knees and giggling, yet
looking quite foolish, feeling their former prestige gone. The
excitement was intense in the city. Groups of people stood on every
available position where a view could be obtained of the distant
hills, where the jets of white smoke constantly passed out from among
the trees.

"The caves were plainly becoming a necessity, as some persons had been
killed on the street by fragments of shells. The room that I had so
lately slept in had been struck by a fragment of a shell during the
first night, and a large hole made in the ceiling. Terror-stricken, we
remained crouched in the cave, while shell after shell followed each
other in quick succession. I endeavored by constant prayer to prepare
myself for the sudden death I was almost certain awaited me. My heart
stood still as we would hear the reports from the guns, and the
rushing and fearful sound of the shell as it came toward us. As it
neared, the noise became more deafening; the air was full of the
rushing sound; pains darted through my temples; my ears were full of
the confusing noise; and, as it exploded, the report flashed through
my head like an electric shock, leaving me in a quiet state of terror
the most painful that I can imagine, cowering in a corner, holding my
child to my heart--the only feeling of my life being the choking
throbs of my heart, that rendered me almost breathless. I saw one fall
in the road without the mouth of the cave, like a flame of fire,
making the earth tremble, and, with a low, singing sound, the
fragments sped on in their work of death.

"So constantly dropped the shells around the city that the inhabitants
all made preparations to live under ground during the siege.
M---- sent over and had a cave made in a hill near by. We seized the
opportunity one evening, when the gunners were probably at their
supper, for we had a few moments of quiet, to go over and take

"Some families had light bread made in large quantities, and subsisted
on it with milk (provided their cows were not killed from one milking
time to another), without any more cooking, until called on to
replenish. Though most of us lived on corn bread and bacon, served
three times a day, the only luxury of the meal consisting in its
warmth, I had some flour, and frequently had some hard, tough biscuit
made from it, there being no soda or yeast to be procured. At this
time we could also procure beef. A gentleman friend was kind enough to
offer me his camp-bed; another had his tent-fly stretched over the
mouth of our residence to shield us from the sun. And so I went
regularly to work keeping house under ground. Our new habitation was
an excavation made in the earth, and branching six feet from the
entrance, forming a cave in the shape of a T. In one of the wings my
bed fitted; the other I used as a kind of dressing-room. In this the
earth had been cut down a foot or two below the floor of the main
cave; I could stand erect here; and when tired of sitting in other
portions of my residence I bowed myself into it, and stood impassively
resting at full height--one of the variations in the still
shell-expectant life.

"We were safe at least from fragments of shell, and they were flying
in all directions. We had our roof arched and braced, the supports of
the bracing taking up much room in our confined quarters. The earth
was about five feet thick above, and seemed hard and compact.

"'Miss M----,' said one of the more timid servants, 'do they want to
kill us all dead? Will they keep doing this until we all die?' I said
most heartily, 'I hope not.' The servants we had with us seemed to
possess more courage than is usually attributed to negroes. They
seldom hesitated to cross the street for water at any time. The 'boy'
slept at the entrance of the cave, with a pistol I had given him,
telling me I need not be 'afeared--dat any one dat come dar would have
to go over his body first.' He never refused to carry out any little
article to M---- on the battlefield. I laughed heartily at a dilemma
{281} he was placed in one day. The mule that he had mounted to ride
out to the battlefield took him to a dangerous locality, where the
shells were flying thickly, and then, suddenly stopping, through
fright, obstinately refused to stir. It was in vain that George kicked
and beat him--go he would not; so, clinching his hand, he hit him
severely in the head several times, jumped down, ran home, and left
him. The mule stood a few minutes rigidly; then, looking round, and
seeing George at some distance from him, turned and followed quite

"One morning, after breakfast, the shells began falling so thickly
around us, that they seemed aimed at the particular spot on which our
cave was located. Two or three fell immediately in the rear of it,
exploding a few minutes before reaching the ground, and the fragments
went singing over the top of our habitation. I at length became so
much alarmed--as the cave trembled excessively--for our safety, that I
determined, rather than be buried alive, to stand out from under the
earth; so taking my child in my arms, and calling the servants, we ran
to a refuge near the roots of a large fig-tree, that branched out over
the bank, and served as a protection from the fragments of shells. As
we stood trembling there--for the shells were falling all around
us--some of my gentleman friends came up to reassure me, telling me
that the tree would protect us, and that the range would probably be
changed in a short time. While they spoke, a shell, that seemed to be
of enormous size, fell, screaming and hissing, immediately before the
mouth of our cave, sending up a huge column of smoke and earth, and
jarring the ground most sensibly where we stood. What seemed very
strange, the earth closed in around the shell, and left only the newly
upturned soil to show where it had fallen.

"The cave we inhabited was about five squares from the levee. A great
many had been made in a hill immediately beyond us; and near this hill
we could see most of the shells fall. Caves were the fashion--the
rage--over besieged Vicksburg. Negroes who understood their business
hired themselves out to dig them, at from thirty to fifty dollars,
according to the size. Many persons, considering different localities
unsafe, would sell them to others who had been less fortunate or less
provident; and so great was the demand for cave workmen, that a new
branch of industry sprang up and became popular--particularly as the
personal safety of the workman was secured, and money withal.

"A large trunk was picked up after the sinking of the _Cincinnati_,
belonging to a surgeon on board. It contained {282} valuable surgical
instruments that could not be procured in the Confederacy.

"I was sitting near the entrance, about five o'clock, thinking of the
pleasant change--oh, bless me!--that to-morrow would bring, when the
bombardment commenced more furiously than usual, the shells falling
thickly around us, causing vast columns of earth to fly upward,
mingled with smoke. I was startled by the shouts of the servants and a
most fearful jar and rocking of the earth, followed by a deafening
explosion such as I had never heard before. The cave filled instantly
with powder, smoke, and dust. I stood with a tingling, prickling
sensation in my head, hands, and feet, and with a confused brain. Yet
alive!--was the first glad thought that came to me; child, servants,
all here, and saved!--from some great danger, I felt. I stepped out,
to find a group of persons before my cave, looking anxiously for me;
and lying all around, freshly torn, rose-bushes, arbor-vitæ trees,
large clods of earth, splinters, pieces of plank, wood, etc. A mortar
shell had struck the corner of the cave, fortunately so near the brow
of the hill that it had gone obliquely into the earth, exploding as it
went, breaking large masses from the side of the hill, tearing away
the fence, the shrubbery and flowers, sweeping all like an avalanche
down near the entrance of my good refuge.

"A young girl, becoming weary in the confinement of the cave, hastily
ran to the house in the interval that elapsed between the slowly
falling shells. On returning, an explosion sounded near her--one wild
scream, and she ran into her mother's presence, sinking like a wounded
dove, the life-blood flowing over the light summer dress in crimson
ripples from a death-wound in her side, caused by the shell fragment.
A fragment had also struck and broken the arm of a little boy playing
near the mouth of his mother's cave. This was one day's account.

"I was distressed to hear of a young Federal lieutenant who had been
severely wounded and left on the field by his comrades. He had lived
in this condition from Saturday until Monday, lying in the burning sun
without water or food; and the men on both sides could witness the
agony of the life thus prolonged, without the power to assist him in
any way. I was glad, indeed, when I heard the poor man had expired on
Monday morning. Another soldier left on the field, badly wounded in
the leg, had begged most piteously for water; and lying near the
Confederate intrenchments, his cries were all directed to the
Confederate soldiers. The firing was heaviest where he lay, and it
would have been at the risk of a life to have gone to him; yet a
Confederate soldier asked and obtained leave to carry water to him,
and stood and fanned him in the midst of the firing, while he eagerly
drank from the heroic soldier's canteen.

"One morning George made an important discovery--a newly made stump of
sassafras, very near the cave, with large roots extending in every
direction, affording us an inexhaustible vein of tea for future use.
We had been drinking water with our meals previous to this disclosure;
coffee and tea had long since been among the things that were, in the
army. We, however, were more fortunate than many of the officers,
having access to an excellent cistern near us; while many of our
friends used muddy water or river water.

"On another occasion, a gentleman sent me four large slices of ham,
having been fortunate enough to procure a small piece himself. Already
the men in the rifle-pits were on half rations--flour or meal enough
to furnish bread equivalent in quantity to two biscuits in two days.
They amused themselves, while lying in the pits, by cutting out little
trinkets from the wood of the parapet and the minie-balls that fell
around them. Major Fry, from Texas, excelled in skill and ready
invention, I think; he sent me one day an armchair that he had cut
from a minie-ball--the most minute affair of the kind I ever saw, yet
perfectly symmetrical. At another time, he sent me a diminutive plough
made from the parapet wood, with traces of lead, and a lead point made
from a minie-ball.

"The courier brought many letters to the inhabitants from friends
without. His manner of entering the city was singular. Taking a skiff
in the Yazoo, he proceeded to its confluence with the Mississippi,
where he tied the little boat, entered the woods, and awaited the
night. At dark he took off his clothing, placed his despatches
securely within them, bound the package firmly to a plank, and, going
into the river, he sustained his head above the water by holding to
the plank, and in this manner floated in the darkness through the
fleet, and on two miles down the river to Vicksburg, where his arrival
was hailed as an event of great importance in the still life of the

"The hill opposite our cave might be called 'death's point,' from the
number of animals that had been killed in eating the grass on the
sides and summit. Horses or mules that are tempted to mount the hill
by the promise of grass that grows profusely there invariably come
limping down wounded, to die at the base, or are brought down dead
from the summit.

"A certain number of mules are killed each day by the commissaries,
and are issued to the men, all of whom prefer the fresh meat, though
it be of mule, to the bacon and salt rations that they have eaten for
so long a time without change.

"I was sewing, one day, near one side of the cave, where the bank
slopes and lights up the room like a window. Near this opening I was
sitting, when I suddenly remembered some little article I wished in
another part of the room. Crossing to procure it, I was returning,
when a minie-ball came whizzing through the opening, passed my chair,
and fell beyond it. Had I been still sitting, I should have stopped






The second attempt at invasion by Lee had ended at Gettysburg even
more disastrously than the first, and he returned to Virginia at the
head of hardly more than one-half of the army with which he had set
out; on the next day Vicksburg fell, the Mississippi was opened, and
Pemberton's entire army stacked their muskets and became prisoners.
Then the war should have ended; for the question on which the appeal
to arms had been made was practically decided. Four great slave
States--Maryland, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Missouri--had never really
joined the Confederacy, though some of them were represented in its
Congress, and the territory that it actually held was steadily
diminishing. The great blockade was daily growing more effective, the
largest city in the South had been held by National troops for fifteen
months, and the Federal authority was maintained somewhere in every
State, with the sole exception of Alabama. The delusion that Southern
soldiers would make a better army, man for man, than Northern, had
long since been dispelled. The nation had suffered from incompetent
commanders; but time and experience had weeded them out, and the
really able ones were now coming to the front. The taboo had been
removed from the black man, and he was rapidly putting on the blue
uniform to fight for the enfranchisement of his race. Lincoln with his
proclamation, and Meade and Grant with their victories, had destroyed
the last chance of foreign intervention. In the military situation
there was nothing to justify any further hope for the Confederacy, or
any more destruction of life in the vain endeavor to disrupt the
Union. If there was any justification for a continuance of the
struggle on the part of the insurgents, it was to be found only in a
single circumstance--the attitude of the Democratic party in the
Northern States; but it must be confessed that this was such as to
give considerable color to their expectation of ultimate success.


The habitual feeling of antagonism to the opposite party, from which
few men in a land of popular politics are ever wholly free, was
reinforced by a sincere belief on the part of many that the
Government, in determining to crush the rebellion, had undertaken a
larger task than it could ever accomplish. This belief was born of an
ignorance that it was impossible to argue with, because it supposed
itself to be enlightened and fortified by great historical facts. Both
conscious and unconscious demagogues picked out little shreds of
history and formulated phrases and catch-words, which village
newspapers and village statesmen confidently repeated as unanswerable
arguments from the experience of nations. Thus Pitt's exclamation
during the war of American independence, "You cannot conquer America!"
was triumphantly quoted thousands of times, as an argument for the
impossibility of conquering the South. Assertions were freely made
that the despotism of the Administration (in trying to save the
National armies from useless slaughter, by arresting spies and
traitors at the North) exceeded anything ever done by Cæsar or the
Russian Czar. The word "Bastile" was given out, without much
explanation, and was echoed all along the line. The war Governors of
the free States, and especially the provisional military Governors in
Tennessee and Louisiana, were called Lincoln's satraps; and "satraps,"
with divers pronunciations, became a popular word. The fathers of the
Republic were all mentioned with sorrowful reverence, and it was
declared that the Constitution they had framed was destroyed--not by
the Secessionists, but by Mr. Lincoln and his advisers. Somebody
invented a story that Secretary Seward had said he had only to reach
forth his hand and ring a bell, and any man in the country whom he
might designate would at once be seized and thrown into prison;
whereupon "the tinkle of Seward's little bell" became a frequent
head-line in the Democratic journals. The army before Vicksburg was
pointed at in derision, as besieging a place that could never be

It did not occur to any of these orators and journalists to explain
the difference between an ocean three thousand miles wide, and the
Rappahannock River; or the difference between an absolute monarch born
to the purple, and a president elected by a free vote of the people;
or even the difference between a state of peace and a state of war.
None of them told their hearers that, only eight years before, the
city of Sebastopol had withstood the combined armies of England and
France for almost a year, while the city of Vicksburg, when Grant
besieged it, fell on the forty-seventh day. Nor did any of them ever
appear to consider what the probable result would be if the entire
Democratic party in Northern States should give the Administration as
hearty support as it received from its own.

It is easy to see the fallacy of all those arguments now, and the
unwisdom of the policy from which they sprang; but they were a power
in the land at that time, and wrought unmeasured mischief. The most
conspicuous opponent of the Government in the West was Clement L.
Vallandigham, of Ohio, whose position will be understood most readily
from a few of his public utterances. He wrote, in May, 1861: "The
audacious usurpation of President Lincoln, for which he deserves
impeachment, in daring, against the very letter of the Constitution,
and without the shadow of law, to raise and support armies, and to
provide and maintain a navy, for three years, by mere executive
proclamation, I will not vote to sustain or {284} ratify--never."
Speaking in his place in the House of Representatives in January,
1863, he said: "I have denounced, from the beginning, the usurpations
and infractions, one and all, of law and Constitution, by the
President and those under him; their repeated and persistent arbitrary
arrests, the suspension of _habeas corpus_, the violation of freedom
of the mails, of the private house, of the press and of speech, and
all the other multiplied wrongs and outrages upon public liberty and
private right which have made this country one of the worst despotisms
on the earth for the past twenty months. To the record and to time I
appeal for my justification." In proposing conciliation and compromise
as a substitute for the war, he said, borrowing the language of the
Indiana Democratic platform, "In considering terms of settlement, we
will look only to the welfare, peace, and safety of the white race,
without reference to the effect that settlement may have upon the
condition of the African." For these and similar utterances,
especially in regard to a military order that forbade the carrying of
firearms and other means of disturbing the peace, and for the effect
they were having upon his followers, Mr. Vallandigham was arrested in
May, 1863, by the military authorities in Ohio, tried by
court-martial, and sentenced to imprisonment during the war. The
President commuted the sentence to banishment beyond the lines, and
the prisoner was taken south through Kentucky and Tennessee, and sent
into Confederate territory under a flag of truce. This of course
placed him in the light of a martyr, and a few months later it made
him the Democratic candidate for Governor of Ohio.

In the East, ex-President Pierce, of New Hampshire, loomed up as a
leader of the opposition. On January 6, 1860, he had written to
Jefferson Davis (who had been Secretary of War in his cabinet) a
letter in which he said: "Without discussing the question of right--of
abstract power to secede--I have never believed that actual disruption
of the Union can occur without blood; and if through the madness of
Northern abolitionists that dire calamity must come, the fighting will
not be along Mason and Dixon's line merely. It will be within our own
borders, and in our own streets, between the two classes of citizens
to whom I have referred. Those who defy law and scout constitutional
obligations will, if we ever reach the arbitrament of arms, find
occupation enough at home." In an elaborate Fourth-of-July oration at
Concord in 1863, he said: "No American citizen was then [before the
war] subject to be driven into exile for opinion's sake, or
arbitrarily arrested and incarcerated in military bastiles--even as he
may now be--not for acts or words of imputed treason, but if he do but
mourn in silent sorrow over the desolation of his country. Do we not
all know that the cause of our calamities is the vicious intermeddling
of too many of the citizens of the Northern States with the
constitutional rights of the Southern States, coöperating with the
discontents of the people of those States? We have seen, in the
experience of the last two years, how futile are all our efforts to
maintain the Union by force of arms; but, even had war been carried on
by us successfully, the ruinous result would exhibit its utter
impracticability for the attainment of the desired end. With or
without arms, with or without leaders, we will at least, in the effort
to defend our rights as a free people, build up a great mausoleum of
hearts, to which men who yearn for liberty will in after years, with
bowed heads and reverently, resort, as Christian pilgrims to the
sacred shrines of the Holy Land." This was long referred to, by those
who heard it, as "the mausoleum-of-hearts speech."

In the great State of New York the Democratic leader was Horatio
Seymour, who had been elected Governor in the period of depression
that followed the military defeats of 1862. While Pierce was speaking
in Concord, Seymour was delivering in New York a carefully written
address, in which--like Pierce and Vallandigham--he complained, not of
the secessionists for making war at the South, but of the
Administration for curtailing the liberty of the Government's enemies
at the North. He said: "When I accepted the invitation to speak at
this meeting, we were promised the downfall of Vicksburg [the
telegraph brought news of it while he was speaking], the opening of
the Mississippi, the probable capture of the Confederate capital, and
the exhaustion of the rebellion. When the clouds of war overhung our
country, we implored those in authority to compromise that difficulty;
for we had been told by that great orator and statesman, Burke, that
there never yet was a revolution that might not have been prevented by
a compromise opportunely and graciously made. Until we have a united
North, we can have no successful war; until we have a united,
harmonious North, we can have no beneficent peace. Remember this, that
the bloody and treasonable and revolutionary doctrine of public
necessity can be proclaimed by a mob as well as by a government."

The practical effect of all these protests, in the name of liberty,
against arrests of spies and traitors, and suspension of the _habeas
corpus_, was to assist the slave-holders in their attempt to make
liberty forever impossible for the black race, in pursuance of which
they were willing to destroy the liberties of the white race and
sacrifice hundreds of thousands of lives, most of which were valuable
to their country and to mankind, being lives of men who earned a
living by the sweat of their own faces. All the abridgment of the
liberties of Northern citizens, in time of war, by President Lincoln's
suspension of the writ, and by arbitrary arrests, was not a tithe of
what those same citizens had suffered in time of peace from the
existence of slavery under the Constitution. Yet neither President
Pierce, nor Chief Justice Taney, nor Horatio Seymour, nor Mr.
Vallandigham, had ever uttered one word of protest against the denial
of free speech in criticism of that institution, or against the
systematic rifling of mails at the South, or against the refusal to
permit American citizens to sojourn in the slave States unless they
believed in the divine right of slavery.

It was no wonder that such utterances as those quoted above, by the
leaders of a party, at such a time, should be translated by its baser
followers into reasons for riot, arson, and butchery. Another exciting
cause was found in the persistent misinterpretation of what was meant
to be a beneficent provision of the conscription law. Drafts had been
ordered in several of the States to fill up quotas that were not
forthcoming under the volunteer system. The law provided that a man
whose name was drawn, if he did not wish to go into the service
himself, might either procure a substitute or pay three hundred
dollars to the Government and be released. In the North, where
there were no slaves to do the necessary work at home, it was
absolutely essential to have some system of substitution; and the
three-hundred-dollar clause was introduced, not because the Government
wanted money more than it wanted men, but to favor the poor by keeping
down the price of substitutes, for it was evident that that price
could never rise above the sum necessary for a release. Yet this
very clause was attacked by the journals that assumed to champion
the cause of the poor, as being a discrimination in favor of the
rich! Mr. Vallandigham {285} said in a speech at Dayton: "The
three-hundred-dollar provision is a most unjust discrimination against
the poor. The Administration says to every man between twenty and
forty-five, 'Three hundred dollars or your life.'" When the clause had
been repealed, in consequence of the ignorant clamor raised by this
persistent misrepresentation, the price of substitutes rapidly went
beyond a thousand dollars.

A new levy of three hundred thousand men was called for in April,
1863, with the alternative of a draft if the quotas were not filled by
volunteering. The quota of the city of New York was not filled, and a
draft was begun there on Saturday, the 11th of July. There had been
premonitions of trouble when it was attempted to take the names and
addresses of those subject to call, and in the tenement-house
districts some of the marshals had narrowly escaped with their lives.
On the morning when the draft was to begin, several of the most widely
read Democratic journals contained editorials that appeared to be
written for the very purpose of inciting a riot. They asserted that
any draft at all was unconstitutional and despotic, and that in this
case the quota demanded from the city was excessive, and denounced the
war as a "mere abolition crusade." It is doubtful if there was any
well-formed conspiracy, including any large number of persons, to get
up a riot; but the excited state of the public mind, especially among
the laboring population, inflammatory handbills displayed in the
grogshops, the presence of the dangerous classes, whose best
opportunity for plunder was in time of riot, and the absence of the
militia that had been called away to meet the invasion of
Pennsylvania, all favored an outbreak. It was unfortunate that the
draft was begun on Saturday, and the Sunday papers published long
lists of names that were drawn--an instance of the occasional
mischievous results of journalistic enterprise. Those interested had
all Sunday to talk it over in their accustomed meeting-places, and
discuss wild schemes of relief or retaliation; and the insurrection
that followed was more truly a popular uprising than the rebellion
that it assisted and encouraged.

When the draft was resumed on Monday, the serious work began. One
provost-marshal's office was at the corner of Third Avenue and
Forty-sixth Street. It was guarded by sixty policemen, and the wheel
was set in motion at ten o'clock. The building was surrounded by a
dense, angry crowd, who were freely cursing the draft, the police, the
National Government, and "the nigger." The drawing had been in
progress but a few minutes when there was a shout of "Stop the cars!"
and at once the cars were stopped, the horses released, the conductors
and passengers driven out, and a tumult created. Then a great human
wave was set in motion, which bore down everything before it and
rolled into the marshal's office, driving out at the back windows the
officials and the policemen, whose clubs, though plied rapidly and
knocking down a rioter at every blow, could not dispose of them as
fast as they came on. The mob destroyed everything in the office, and
then set the building on fire. The firemen came promptly, but were not
permitted to throw any water upon the flames. At this moment
Superintendent John A. Kennedy, of the police, approaching
incautiously and unarmed, was recognized and set upon by the crowd,
who gave him half a hundred blows with clubs and stones, and finally
threw him face downward into a mud-puddle, with the intention of
drowning him. When rescued, he was bruised beyond recognition, and was
lifted into a wagon and carried to the police headquarters. The
command of the force now devolved upon Commissioner Thomas C. Acton
and Inspector Daniel Carpenter, whose management during three fearful
days was worthy of the highest praise.

detachment of troops for service against the rioters.]

[Illustration: HORATIO SEYMOUR.]


Another marshal's office, where the draft was in progress, was at
Broadway and Twenty-ninth Street, and here the mob burned the whole
block of stores on Broadway between Twenty-eighth and Twenty-ninth
Streets. At Third Avenue and Forty-fourth Street there was a battle
between a small force of police and a mob, in which the police were
defeated, many of them being badly wounded by stones and pistol-shots.
Some of them who were knocked down were almost instantly robbed of
their clothing. Officer Bennett fell into the hands of the crowd, and
was beaten so savagely that no appearance of life was left in him,
when he was carried away to the dead-house at St. Luke's Hospital.
Here came his wife, who discovered that his heart was still beating;
means of restoration were used promptly, and after three days of
unconsciousness and a long illness he recovered. {286} Another officer
was stabbed twice by a woman in the crowd; and another, disabled by a
blow from an iron bar, was saved by a German woman, who hid him
between two mattresses when the pursuing mob was searching her house
for him. In the afternoon a small police force held possession of a
gun factory in Second Avenue for four hours, and was then compelled to
retire before the persistent attacks of the rioters, who hurled stones
through the windows and beat in the doors.

Toward evening a riotous procession passed down Broadway, with drums,
banners, muskets, pistols, pitchforks, clubs, and boards inscribed "No
Draft!" Inspector Carpenter, at the head of two hundred policemen,
marched up to meet it. His orders were, "Take no prisoners, but strike
quick and hard." The mob was met at the corner of Amity (or West
Third) Street. The police charged at once in a compact body, Carpenter
knocking down the foremost rioter with a blow that cracked his skull,
and in a few minutes the mob scattered and fled, leaving Broadway
strewn with their wounded and dying. From this time, the police were
victorious in every encounter.

During the next two days there was almost constant rioting, mobs
appearing at various points, both up-town and down-town. The rioters
set upon every negro that appeared--whether man, woman, or child--and
succeeded in murdering eleven of them. One they deliberately hanged to
a tree in Thirty-second Street, his only offence being the color of
his skin. At another place, seeing three negroes on a roof, they set
fire to the house. The victims hung at the edge of the roof a long
time, but were obliged to drop before the police could procure
ladders. This phase of the outbreak found its worst expression in the
sacking and burning of the Colored Orphan Asylum, at Fifth Avenue and
Forty-fourth Street. The two hundred helpless children were with great
difficulty taken away by the rear doors while the mob were battering
at the front. The excitement of the rioters was not so great as to
prevent them from coolly robbing the building of everything valuable
that could be removed before they set it on fire. Bed-clothing,
furniture, and other articles were passed out and borne off (in many
cases by the wives and sisters of the rioters) to add to the comfort
of their own homes. Several tenement houses that were occupied by
negroes were attacked by the mob with a determination to destroy, and
were with difficulty protected by the police.

engraving published in "Frank Leslie's Illustrated Weekly," during the

The office of the _Tribune_ was especially obnoxious to the rioters,
because that paper was foremost in support of the Administration and
the war. Crowds approached it, singing

  "We'll hang old Greeley on a sour-apple-tree,"

and at one time its counting-room was entered by the mob and a fire
was kindled, but the police drove them out and extinguished the
flames. The printers were then supplied with a quantity of muskets and
bomb-shells, and long board troughs {287} were run out at the windows,
so that in case of an attack a shell could be lighted and rolled out,
dropping from the end of the trough into the crowd, where its
explosion would produce incalculable havoc. Happily the ominous
troughs proved a sufficient warning.

A small military force was brought to the aid of the police, and
whenever an outbreak was reported, a strong body was sent at once to
the spot. The locust clubs, when wielded in earnest, proved a terrible
weapon, descending upon the heads of rioters with blows that generally
cracked the skull. A surgeon who attended twenty-one men reported that
they were all wounded in the head, and all past recovery. One of the
most fearful scenes was in Second Avenue, where the police and the
soldiers were assailed with stones and pistol-shots from the windows
and the roofs. Dividing into squads, they entered the houses, which,
amid the cries and curses of the women, they searched from bottom to
top. They seized their cowering assailants in the halls, in the dark
bedrooms, wherever they were hiding, felled them, bayoneted them,
hurled them over the balusters and through the windows, pursued them
to the roof, shot them as they dodged behind chimneys, refusing all
mercy, and threw the quivering corpses into the street as a warning to
the mob. It was like a realization of the imaginary taking of

One of the saddest incidents of the riot was the murder of Col. Henry
J. O'Brien, of the Eleventh New York Volunteers, whose men had
dispersed one mob with a deadly volley. An hour or two later the
Colonel returned to the spot alone, when he was set upon and beaten
and mangled and tortured horribly for several hours, being at last
killed by some frenzied women. Page after page might be filled with
such incidents. At one time Broadway was strewn with dead men from
Bond Street to Union Square. A very young man, dressed in the
working-clothes of a mechanic, was observed to be active and daring in
leading a crowd of rioters. A blow from a club at length brought him
down, and as he fell he was impaled on the picket of an iron fence,
which caught him under the chin and killed him. On examination, it was
found that under the greasy overalls he wore a costly and fashionable
suit, and there were other indications of wealth and refinement, but
the body was never identified.

Three days of this vigorous work by the police and the soldiers
brought the disturbance to an end. About fifty policemen had been
injured, three of whom died; and the whole number of lives destroyed
by the rioters was eighteen. The exact number of rioters killed is
unknown, but it was more than twelve hundred. The mobs burned about
fifty buildings, destroying altogether between two million and three
million dollars' worth of property. Governor Seymour incurred odium by
a speech to the rioters, in which he addressed them as his friends,
and promised to have the draft stopped, and by his communications to
the President, in which he complained of the draft, and asked to have
it suspended till the question of its constitutionality could be
tested in the courts. His opponents interpreted this as a subterfuge
to favor the rebellion by preventing the reinforcement of the National
armies. The President answered, in substance, that he had no objection
to a testing of the question, but he would not imperil the country by
suspending operations till a case could be dragged through the courts.

Fourteen of the Northern States had enacted laws enabling the soldiers
to vote without going home. In some of the States it was provided that
commissioners should go to the camps and take the votes; in others the
soldier was authorized to seal up his ballot and send it home to his
next friend, who was to present it at the polls and make oath that it
was the identical one sent to him. The enactment of such laws had been
strenuously opposed by the Democrats, on several grounds, the most
plausible of which was, that men under military discipline were not
practically free to vote as they pleased. The most curious argument
was to this effect: a soldier that sends home his ballot may be killed
in battle before that ballot reaches its destination and is counted.
Do you want dead men to decide your elections?

These were the darkest days of the war; but the riots reacted upon the
party that was supposed to favor them, the people gradually learned
the full significance of Gettysburg and Vicksburg, and at the autumn
election the State of New York, which a year before had elected
Governor Seymour, gave a handsome majority in favor of the
Administration. In Ohio, where the Democrats had nominated
Vallandigham for Governor, and made a noisy and apparently vigorous
canvass, the Republicans nominated John Brough. When the votes were
counted, it was found that Mr. Brough had a majority of one hundred
thousand, the largest that had ever been given for any candidate in
any State where there was a contest. Politically speaking, this buried
Mr. Vallandigham out of sight forever, and delivered a heavy blow at
the obstructive policy of his party.






As Charleston was the cradle of secession, there was a special desire
on the part of the Northern people that it should undergo the heaviest
penalties of war. They wanted poetic vengeance to fall upon the very
men that had taught disunion, fired upon Sumter, and kindled the
flames of civil strife. And there were not a few at the South who
shared this sentiment, believing that they had been dragged into ruin
by the politicians of South Carolina. Many would have been glad if the
whole State could have been pried off from the rest of the Union and
slidden into the depths of the sea. But there was a better than
sentimental reason for directing vigorous operations against
Charleston. Its port was exceedingly useful to the Confederates for
shipping their cotton to Europe and receiving in return the army
clothing, rifles, and ammunition that were produced for them by
English looms and arsenals. Early in the war the Government attempted
to close this port with obstructions. Several old whale-ships were
loaded with stone, towed into the channel, and sunk, at which there
was a great outcry, and the books were searched to see whether this
barbarous proceeding, as it was called, was permissible under the laws
of war and of nations. In 1854 the harbor of Sebastopol had been
obstructed in the same way; but that was done by the Russians, whose
harbor it was, to prevent the enemy from coming in. The strong
currents at Charleston soon swept away the old hulks or buried them in
the sand, and a dozen war vessels had to be sent there to maintain the
blockade. This was an exceedingly difficult task. The main channel ran
for a long distance near the shore of Morris Island, and was protected
by batteries. The westward-bound blockade runners commonly went first
to the British port of Nassau, in the West Indies, and thence with a
pilot sailed for Charleston. After the main channel had been closed in
consequence of the occupation of Morris Island by National troops,
steamers of very light draft, built in England for this special
service, slipped in by the shallower passes. A great many were
captured, for the blockaders {289} developed remarkable skill in
detecting their movements, but the practice was never wholly broken up
till the city was occupied by the National forces in February, 1865.


In January, 1863, two Confederate iron-clads steamed out of the
harbor, on a hazy morning, and attacked the blockading fleet. Two
vessels, by shots through their steam-drums, were disabled, and struck
their colors; but the remainder of the fleet came to their assistance,
and the iron-clads were driven back into the harbor, leaving their
prizes behind. General Beauregard and Captain Ingraham (commanding the
military and naval forces of the Confederacy at Charleston) formally
proclaimed this affair a victory that had "sunk, dispersed, and driven
off or out of sight the entire blockading fleet," and, consequently,
raised the blockade of the port. These assertions, repeated in foreign
newspapers, threatened for a time to create serious complications with
European powers, by raising the question whether the blockade
(supposed to be thus broken) must not be re-proclaimed, and notice
given to masters of merchant vessels, before it could be
reëstablished. But the falsity of the claim was soon shown, and no
foreign vessels accepted the invitation to demand free passage into
the port of Charleston.


This affair increased the desire to capture the port, put an absolute
end to the blockade-running there, and use it as a harbor of refuge
for National vessels. Accordingly, a powerful fleet was fitted out for
the purpose, and placed under the command of Rear-Admiral S. F. Du
Pont, who had reduced the forts of Port Royal in November, 1861. It
consisted of seven monitors, an iron-clad frigate, an iron-clad ram,
and several wooden gunboats. On the 7th of April, 1863, favored by
smooth water, Du Pont steamed in to attack the forts, but most
extraordinary precautions had been taken to defend the city. The
special desire of the Northern people to capture it was offset by an
equally romantic determination on the part of the Secessionists not to
part with the cradle in which their pet theory had been rocked for
thirty years. Besides the batteries that had been erected for the
reduction of Fort Sumter, they had established others, and they
occupied that fort itself. All these works had been strengthened, and
new guns mounted, including some specially powerful ones of English
manufacture. All the channels were obstructed with piles and chains,
with innumerable torpedoes, some of which were to be fired by electric
wires from the forts, while others were arranged to explode whenever a
vessel should run against them. The main channel, between Fort
Moultrie and Fort Sumter, was crossed by a heavy cable supported on
empty barrels, with which was connected a network of smaller chains.
In the south channel there was a tempting opening in the row of piles;
but beneath this were some tons of powder waiting for the electric

The monitor _Weehawken_ led the way, pushing a raft before her to
explode the torpedoes. Not a man was to be seen on any of the decks,
and the forts were ominously silent. But when the _Weehawken_ had
reached the network of chains, and had become somewhat entangled
therein with her raft, the batteries opened all around, and she and
the other monitors that came to her assistance were the target for a
terrible concentric fire of bursting shells and solid bolts. The
return fire was directed principally upon Sumter, and was kept up
steadily for half an hour, but seemed to have little effect; and after
trying both the main and the south channel, the fleet retired. The
monitor _Keokuk_, which had made the nearest approach to the enemy,
was struck nearly a hundred times. Shots passed through both of her
turrets, and there were nineteen holes in her hull. That evening she
sank in an inlet. Most of the other vessels were injured, and some of
the monitors were unable to revolve their turrets because of the
bending of the plates.


Du Pont's defeat was offset two months later, when the Confederate
iron-clad _Atlanta_ started out on her first cruise. She was
originally an English blockade-runner, and as she was unable to get
out of the port of Savannah after the fall of Fort Pulaski, the
Confederates conceived the idea of iron-plating her {290} after the
fashion of the _Merrimac_ and sending her out to sink the monitors and
raise the blockade of Charleston. It was said that the ladies of
Charleston contributed their jewelry to pay the expenses, and after
fourteen months of hard labor she was ready for action. But Du Pont
had heard the story, and sent two monitors to watch her. On the 17th
of June, early in the morning, she dropped down the channel, followed
by two steamers loaded with citizens, including many ladies, who
anticipated a great deal of pleasure in seeing their powerful
iron-clad sink the monitors. These came up to meet her, the
_Weehawken_, Captain Rodgers, taking the lead. Rodgers fired just five
shots from his enormous eleven-inch and fifteen-inch guns. One struck
the shutter of a port-hole and broke it, another knocked off the
_Atlanta's_ pilot-house, another struck the edge of the deck and
opened the seams between the plates, and another penetrated the iron
armor, splintered the heavy wooden backing, and disabled forty men.
Thereupon the _Atlanta_ hung out a white flag and surrendered, while
the pleasure-seekers hastened back to Savannah. It is said that the
vessel might have been handled better if she had not run aground. She
was carrying an immense torpedo at the end of a boom thirty feet long,
which projected from her bow under water. She was found to be
provisioned for a long cruise, and was taken to Philadelphia and
exhibited there as a curiosity.

[Illustration: REAR-ADMIRAL D. M. FAIRFAX.]

The city of Charleston, between its two rivers, with its
well-fortified harbor, bordered by miles of swampy land, was
exceedingly difficult for an enemy to reach. General Quincy A.
Gillmore, being sent with a large force to take it, chose the approach
by way of Folly and Morris Islands, where the monitors could assist
him. Hidden by a fringe of trees, he first erected powerful batteries
on Folly Island. On the northernmost point of Morris Island (Cumming's
Point) was the Confederate Battery Gregg, the one that had done most
damage to Sumter at the opening of the war. South of this was Fort
Wagner, and still farther south were other works.

Fort Wagner was a very strong earthwork, measuring on the inside six
hundred and thirty feet from east to west, and two hundred and
seventy-five feet from north to south. It had a bomb-proof magazine,
and a heavy traverse protecting its guns from any possible attack on
the land side. Behind the sea-face was a well-constructed bomb-proof,
into which no shot ever penetrated. The land-face was constructed with
reëntering angles, so that the approaches could all be swept by cross
fire, and the work was surrounded by a ditch filled with water, in
which was a line of boarding-pikes fastened together with interlaced
wire, and there were also pickets at the front of the fort with
interwoven wire a slight distance above the ground, to impede the
steps of any assaulting force. It was one of the most elaborate works
constructed during the war. Its engineer, Captain Cleves, was killed
by one of the first shells fired at it.

On the morning of July 10th, Gillmore suddenly cut down the trees in
his front and opened fire upon the most southerly works on Morris
Island, while at the same time the fleet commanded by Admiral
Dahlgren, who had succeeded Du Pont, bombarded Fort Wagner. Under
cover of this fire troops were landed, and the earthworks were quickly

The day being terribly hot, the advance on Fort Wagner was postponed
till the next morning, and then it was a failure. A week later a
determined assault was made with a force of six thousand men, the
advance being led by the first regiment of colored troops (the
Fifty-fourth Massachusetts) that had been raised under the
authorization that accompanied the Emancipation Proclamation. A
bombardment of the fort by the land batteries and the fleet was kept
up from noon till dusk, and during its last hour there was a heavy
thunder-storm. As soon as this was over, the assaulting columns were
set in motion. They marched out under a concentrated fire from all the
Confederate batteries, then met sheets of musketry fire that blazed
out from Wagner, then crossed the ditch waist-deep in water, while
hand-grenades were thrown from the parapet to explode among them, and
even climbed up to the rampart. But here the surviving remnant met a
stout resistance and were hurled back. General Strong, Colonel
Chatfield, Colonel Putnam, and Robert G. Shaw, the young commander of
the black regiment, were all killed, and a total loss was sustained of
fifteen hundred men, while the Confederates lost but about one

Staff to General Gillmore.)]


In burying the dead, the Confederates threw the body of Colonel Shaw
into the bottom of a trench, and heaped {291} upon it the bodies of
black soldiers, whose valor, no less than their color, had produced an
uncontrollable frenzy in the Confederate mind. When it was inquired
for, under flag of truce, word was sent back: "We have buried him with
his niggers." Those who thus tried to cast contempt upon the boyish
colonel were apparently not aware that he was braver than any of his
foes. In advancing along that narrow strip of land, every foot of
which was swept by a deadly fire, crossing the ditch and mounting the
parapet, Colonel Shaw exhibited a physical courage that it was
impossible to surpass; while in organizing and leading men of the
despised race that was now struggling toward liberty, he showed a
moral courage such as the rebels neither shared nor comprehended.

Among those who participated in this sorrowful enterprise was the Rev.
Henry Clay Trumbull, chaplain of the Tenth Connecticut Regiment, who
was so assiduous in his attentions to the wounded, and remained so
long on the field among them, that he was captured by the
Confederates, who held him a prisoner for several months. Among those
in attendance at the hospital at the first parallel was Clara Barton,
who afterward became famous for her humane services.



Gen. Alvin C. Voris, who was seriously wounded in the assault on Fort
Wagner, has given a vivid description of his experiences there, from
which we quote a few interesting passages:

"All through the night of July 17th I lay with my men, the
Sixty-seventh Ohio, within half canister range of the fort. It was
very dark, cloudy, and enlivened by an occasional splash of rain and
lightning, by which we could see sentinels on beat on the fort. Just
before break of day we crawled quietly away, and took a good square
breath of relief as we passed behind our first line of intrenchments.
There we undertook to rest under a most scorching sun and on burning
white sand, which reflected back both light and heat rays with
torturing rigor. We were compelled to work night and day, twelve hours
on and twelve off, all the while under shot and exploding shell from
some quarter. When off duty we tried to rest ourselves under the
shelter of the low sand-waves silently thrown up by the wind. Our poor
tired bodies became so exhausted under the great pressure upon us that
we would stretch out on the burning sands, even when under the
greatest danger, and snatch a few hours of fitful, anxious sleep,
frequently to be awakened by the explosion of some great shell. The
land and sea breezes kept the air full of floating sand, which
permeated everything--clothing, {292} eyes, ears, nostrils--and at the
height of the wind would fly with such force as to make the face and
hands sting with pain.

"Just at dark ten regiments of infantry were formed along the beach,
one and a half miles below the fort, and the charge was at once
undertaken. Quietly the column marched until its head had passed the
line of our field batteries. No sooner had this taken place than one
thousand six hundred men in Wagner and Gregg sprang to arms and opened
on the advancing columns with shot, shell, and musketry, which called
to their immediate assistance the armed energies of Sumter, Moultrie,
and Beauregard, and all the batteries on Sullivan's and James's
Islands. When we got within canister range of the fort there were
added to this awful cataclysm double-shotted charges of canister from
eight heavy guns directly raking our approach, each discharge equal to
a double pailful of cast-iron bullets, three-fourths of an inch in
diameter. Every moment some unfortunate comrade fell, to rise no more,
but we closed up our shattered ranks and pressed on with such
impetuosity that we scaled the walls and planted our banners on the
fort. The Sixty-seventh, with heroic cheers, flung her flag to the
midnight breezes on the rampart of Wagner, but only to bring it away
riddled to tatters. Seven out of eight of the color-guard were shot
down, and Color-Sergeant McDonald, with a broken leg, brought it away.
Lieutenant Cochran went alone to headquarters, two thousand five
hundred yards to the rear, for reinforcements, assuring General
Gillmore that we could hold the fort, and then went back to Wagner and
brought off eighteen out of forty men with whom he started in the
column in that fatal charge. Two other lieutenants, with a dozen men,
held one of the enemy's large guns for nearly two hours, over which
they had hand-to-hand contests with the soldiers in charge of the

"I was shot within a hundred and fifty yards of the fort, and so
disabled that I could not go forward.... Two boys of the Sixty-second
Ohio found me and carried me to our first parallel, where had been
arranged an extempore hospital. Here a surgeon sent his savage
finger-nail into my lacerated side and pronounced the bullet beyond
his reach, and said I would not need his further attention. Like a
baby I fainted, and, on reviving, laid my poor aching head on a
sand-bag to recruit a little strength. That blessed chaplain, Henry
Clay Trumbull, found me and poured oil of gladness into my soul and
brandy into my mouth, whereat I praised him as a dear good man and
cursed that monster of a surgeon, which led the chaplain to think the
delirium of death was turning my brain, and he reported me among the
dead of Wagner."

General Gillmore now resorted to regular approaches for the reduction
of Fort Wagner. The first parallel was soon opened, and siege guns
mounted, and the work was pushed as rapidly as the unfavorable nature
of the ground would admit. By the 23d of July a second parallel was
established, from which fire was opened upon Fort Sumter, two miles
distant, and upon the intervening earthworks. As the task proceeded
the difficulty increased, for the strip of land grew narrower as Fort
Wagner was approached, and the men in the trenches were subjected to
cross-fire from a battery on James's Island, as well as from
sharp-shooters and from the fort itself. A dozen breaching batteries
of enormous rifled guns were established, most of the work being done
at night, and on the 17th of August all of them opened fire. The shot
and shell were directed mainly against Fort Sumter, and in the course
of a week its barbette guns were dismounted, its walls were knocked
into a shapeless mass of ruins, and its value as anything but a rude
shelter for infantry was gone.

The parallels were still pushed forward toward Wagner, partly through
ground so low that high tides washed over it, and finally where mines
of torpedoes had been planted. When they had arrived so near that it
was impossible for the men to work under ordinary circumstances, the
fort was subjected to a bombardment with shells fired from mortars and
dropping into it almost vertically, while the great rifled guns were
trained upon its bomb-proof at short range, and the iron-clad frigate
_New Ironsides_ came close in shore and added her quota in the shape
of eleven-inch shells fired from eight broadside guns. Powerful
calcium lights had been prepared, so that there was no night there,
and the bombardment went on incessantly. At the end of two days, three
columns of infantry were ready to storm the work, when it was
discovered that the Confederates had suddenly abandoned it. Battery
Gregg, on Cumming's Point, was also evacuated.

It is easy to tell all this in a few words; but no brief account of
that operation can give the reader any adequate idea of the enormous
labor it involved, the danger, the anxiety, and the dogged
perseverance of the besiegers. It required the efforts of three
hundred men to move a single gun up the beach. General Gillmore was
one of the most accomplished of military engineers, and we present
here a few of the more interesting passages from his admirable
official report:

At the second parallel the "Surf Battery" had barely escaped entire
destruction, about one-third of it having been carried away by the
sea. Its armament had been temporarily removed to await the issue of
the storm. The progress of the sap was hotly opposed by the enemy,
with the fire of both artillery and sharp-shooters. At one point in
particular, about two hundred yards in front of Wagner, there was a
ridge, affording the enemy good cover, from which we received an
unceasing fire of small-arms, while the guns and sharp-shooters in
Wagner opened vigorously at every lull in the fire directed upon it
from our batteries and gunboats. The firing from the distant James's
Island batteries was steady and accurate. One attempt, on the 21st, to
obtain possession of the ridge with infantry having failed, it was
determined to advance by establishing another parallel. On the night
of August 21st the fourth parallel was opened about one hundred yards
from the ridge, partly with the flying sap and partly with the full
sap. At the place selected for it the island is about one hundred and
sixty yards in width above high water. It was now determined to try
and dislodge the enemy from the ridge with light mortars and navy
howitzers in the fourth parallel, and with other mortars in rear
firing over those in front. The attempt was made on the afternoon of
August 26th, but did not succeed. Our mortar practice was not very
accurate. Brigadier-General Terry was ordered, on the 26th of August,
to carry the ridge at the point of the bayonet, and hold it. This was
accomplished, and the fifth parallel established there on the evening
of the same day, which brought us to within two hundred and forty
yards of Fort Wagner. The intervening space comprised the narrowest
and shallowest part of Morris island. It was simply a flat ridge of
sand, scarcely twenty-five yards in width, and not exceeding two feet
in depth, over which the sea in rough weather swept entirely across to
the marsh on our left. Approaches by the flying sap were at once
commenced on this shallow beach, from the right of the fifth parallel,
and certain means of defence in the parallel itself were ordered. It
was soon ascertained that we had now reached the point where the
really formidable, passive, defensive arrangements of the enemy
commenced. An {293} elaborate and ingenious system of torpedo mines,
to be exploded by the tread of persons walking over them, was
encountered, and we were informed by the prisoners taken on the ridge
that the entire area of firm ground between us and the fort, as well
as the glacis of the latter on its south and east fronts, was thickly
filled with these torpedoes. This knowledge brought us a sense of
security from sorties, for the mines were a defence to us as well as
to the enemy. By daybreak on the 27th of August our sappers had
reached, by a rude and unfinished trench, to within one hundred yards
of Fort Wagner. The dark and gloomy days of the siege were now upon
us. Our daily losses, although not heavy, were on the increase, while
our progress became discouragingly slow, and even fearfully uncertain.
The converging fire from Wagner alone almost enveloped the head of our
sap, delivered, as it was, from a line subtending an angle of nearly
ninety degrees, while the flank fire from the James's Island batteries
increased in power and accuracy every hour. To push forward the sap in
the narrow strip of shallow shifting sand by day was impossible, while
the brightness of the prevailing harvest moon rendered the operation
almost as hazardous by night. Matters, indeed, seemed at a standstill,
and a feeling of despondency began to pervade the rank and file of the
command. There seemed to be no adequate return in accomplished results
for the daily losses which we suffered, and no means of relief,
cheering and encouraging to the soldier, appeared near at hand. In
this emergency, although the final result was demonstrably certain, it
was determined, in order to sustain the flagging spirits of the men,
to commence vigorously and simultaneously two distinct methods of
attack, viz., first, to keep Wagner perfectly silent with an
overpowering curved fire from siege and coehorn mortars, so that our
engineers would have only the more distant batteries of the enemy to
annoy them; and, second, to breach the bomb-proof shelter with rifled
guns, and thus deprive the enemy of their only secure cover in the
work, and, consequently, drive them from it. Accordingly, all the
light mortars were moved to the front and placed in battery; the
capacity of the fifth parallel and the advanced trenches for
sharp-shooters was greatly enlarged and improved; the rifled guns in
the left breaching batteries were trained upon the fort and prepared
for prolonged action; and powerful calcium lights to aid the
night-work of our cannoneers and sharp-shooters, and blind those of
the enemy, were got in readiness. The coöperation of the powerful
battery of the _New Ironsides_, Captain Rowan, during the daytime, was
also secured.

[Illustration: A BOMB-PROOF.]


These final operations against Fort Wagner were actively inaugurated
at break of day on the morning of September 5th. For forty-two
consecutive hours the spectacle presented was of surpassing sublimity
and grandeur. Seventeen siege and coehorn mortars unceasingly dropped
their shells into the work, over the heads of our sappers and the
guards of the advanced trenches; thirteen of our heavy Parrott
rifles--one hundred, two hundred, and three hundred pounders--pounded
away at short though regular intervals, at the southwest corner of the
bomb-proof; while during the daytime the _New Ironsides_, with
remarkable regularity and precision, kept an almost incessant stream
of eleven-inch shells from her eight-gun broadside, ricocheting over
the water against the sloping parapet of Wagner, whence, deflected
upward with a low remaining velocity, they dropped nearly vertically,
exploding within or over the work, and rigorously searching every part
of it except the subterranean shelters. The calcium lights turned
night into day, and while throwing around our own men an impenetrable
obscurity, they brilliantly illuminated every object in front, and
brought the minutest details of the fort into sharp relief. In a few
hours the fort became practically silent.

The next night, after the capture of Fort Wagner, a few hundred
sailors from the fleet went to Fort Sumter in row-boats and attempted
its capture. But they found it exceedingly difficult to climb up the
ruined wall; most of their boats were knocked to pieces by the
Confederate batteries; they met an unexpected fire of musketry {294}
and hand-grenades, and two hundred of them were disabled or captured.

While all this work was going on, General Gillmore thought to
establish a battery near enough to Charleston to subject the city
itself to bombardment. A site was chosen on the western side of Morris
Island, and the necessary orders were issued. But the ground was soft
mud, sixteen feet deep, and it seemed an impossible task. The captain,
a West Pointer, to whom it was assigned, was told that he must not
fail, but he might ask for whatever he needed, whereupon he made out a
formal requisition for "a hundred men eighteen feet high," and other
things in proportion. The jest seems to have been appreciated, but the
jester was relieved from the duty, which was then assigned to Col.
Edward W. Serrell, a volunteer engineer, who accomplished the work.
Piles were driven, a platform was laid upon them, and a parapet was
built with bags of sand, fifteen thousand being required. All this had
to be done after dark, and occupied fourteen nights. Then, with great
labor, an eight-inch rifled gun was dragged across the swamp and
mounted on this platform. It was nearly five miles from Charleston,
but by firing with a high elevation was able to reach the lower part
of the city. The soldiers named this gun the "Swamp Angel." Late in
August it was ready for work, and, after giving notice for the removal
of non-combatants, General Gillmore opened fire. A few shells fell in
the streets and produced great consternation, but at the thirty-sixth
discharge the Swamp Angel burst, and it never was replaced.

Gillmore had supposed that when Sumter was silenced the fleet would
enter the harbor, but Admiral Dahlgren did not think it wise to risk
his vessels among the torpedoes, especially as the batteries of the
inner harbor had been greatly strengthened. As Fort Wagner and Battery
Gregg were nearer the city by a mile than the Swamp Angel, Gillmore
repaired them, turned their guns upon Charleston, and kept up a
destructive bombardment for weeks.

As a protection to the city, under the plea that its bombardment was a
violation of the rules of war, the Confederate authorities selected
from their prisoners fifty officers and placed them in the district
reached by the shells. Capt. Willard Glazier, who was there, writes:
"When the distant rumbling of the Swamp Angel was heard, and the cry
'Here it comes!' resounded through our prison house, there was a
general stir. Sleepers sprang to their feet, the gloomy forgot their
sorrows, conversation was hushed, and all started to see where the
messenger would fall. At night we traced along the sky a slight stream
of fire, similar to the tail of a comet, and followed its course until
'whiz! whiz!' came the little pieces from our mighty two-hundred
pounder, scattering themselves all around." By placing an equal number
of Confederate officers under fire, the Government compelled the
removal of its own.






While Grant's army was pounding at the gates of Vicksburg, those of
Rosecrans and Bragg were watching each other at Murfreesboro', both
commanders being unwilling to make any grand movement. General Grant
and the Secretary of War wanted Rosecrans to advance upon Bragg, lest
Bragg should reinforce Johnston, who was a constant menace in the rear
of the army besieging Vicksburg. The only thing Grant feared was, that
he might be attacked heavily by Johnston before he could capture the
place. But Rosecrans refused to move, on the ground that it was
against the principles of military science to fight two decisive
battles at once, and that the surest method of holding back Bragg from
reinforcing Johnston was by constantly standing ready to attack him,
but not attacking. As it happened that Bragg was very much like
Rosecrans, and was afraid to stir lest Rosecrans should go to Grant's
assistance, the policy of quiet watchfulness proved successful--so far
at least as immediate results were concerned. Bragg did not reinforce
Johnston, Johnston did not attack Grant; and besiegers and besieged
were left, like two brawny champions of two great armies, to fight it
out, dig it out, and starve it out, till on the 4th of July the city
fell. Whether it afterward fared as well with Rosecrans as it might if
he had attacked Bragg when Grant and Stanton wanted him to, is another

But though the greater armies were quiescent, both sent out
detachments to make destructive raids, and that season witnessed some
of the most notable exploits of the guerilla bands that were operating
in the West, all through the war, in aid of the Confederacy. Late in
January, 1863, a Confederate force of cavalry and artillery, about
four thousand men, under Wheeler and Forrest, was sent to capture
Dover, contiguous to the site of Fort Donelson, in order to close the
navigation of Cumberland River, by which Rosecrans received supplies.
The place was held by six hundred men, under command of Col. A. C.
Harding, of the Eighty-third Illinois Regiment, who, with the help of
gunboats, repelled two determined attempts to storm the works
(February 3), and inflicted a loss of seven hundred men, their own
loss being one hundred and twenty-six.

Early in March, a detachment of about twenty-five hundred National
troops, under Colonels Coburn and Jordan, moving south of Franklin,
Tenn., unexpectedly met a force of about ten thousand Confederates
under Van Dorn, and the stubborn fight that ensued resulted in the
surrounding and capture of Coburn's entire force, after nearly two
hundred had been killed or wounded on each side. A few days later, Van
Dorn was attacked and driven southward by a force under Gen. Gordon
Granger. Still later in the month a detachment of about fourteen
hundred men under Colonel Hall went in pursuit of the guerilla band
commanded by John Morgan, fought it near Milton, and defeated it,
inflicting a loss of nearly four hundred men. Early in April another
detachment of National troops, commanded by Gen. David S. Stanley,
found Morgan's men at Snow Hill, and defeated and routed them so
thoroughly that it was two weeks before the remnants of the band could
be brought together again.


{296} [Illustration: MISSIONARY RIDGE, FROM ORCHARD KNOB. (From a
Government photograph.)]

In the same month Col. A. D. Streight, with eighteen hundred men, was
sent to make a raid around Bragg's army, cut his communications, and
destroy supplies. This detachment was pursued by Forrest, who attacked
the rear guard at Day's Gap, but was repelled, and lost ten guns and a
considerable number of men. Streight kept on his way, with continual
skirmishing, destroyed a dépôt of provisions at Gadsden, had another
fight at Blount's Farm, in which he drove off Forrest again, and
burned the Round Mountain Iron Works, which supplied shot and shell to
the Confederates. But on the 3d of May he was confronted by so large a
force that he was compelled to surrender, {297} his men and horses
being too jaded to attempt escape.

These are but examples of hundreds of engagements that took place
during the war of secession and are scarcely known to the general
reader because their fame is overshadowed by the magnitude of the
great battles. Had they occurred in any of our previous wars, every
schoolboy would know about them. In Washington's celebrated victory at
Trenton, the number of Hessians surrendered was fewer than Streight's
command captured by Forrest; and in the bloodiest battle of the
Mexican war, Buena Vista, the American loss (then considered heavy)
was but little greater than the Confederate loss in the action at
Dover, related above. The armies surrendered by Burgoyne and
Cornwallis, if combined, would constitute a smaller force than the
least of the three that surrendered to Grant.

One of these affairs in the West, however, was so bold and startling
that it became famous even among the greater and more important
events. This was Morgan's raid across the Ohio. In July he entered
Kentucky from the south, with a force of three thousand cavalrymen,
increased as it went by accessions of Kentucky sympathizers to about
four thousand, with ten guns. He captured and robbed the towns of
Columbia and Lebanon, reached the Ohio, captured two steamers, and
crossed into Indiana. Then marching rapidly toward Cincinnati, he
burned mills and bridges, tore up rails, plundered right and left, and
spread alarm on every side. But the home guards were gathering to meet
him, and the great number of railways in Ohio and Indiana favored
their rapid concentration, while farmers felled trees across the roads
on hearing of his approach. He passed around Cincinnati, and after
much delay reached the Ohio at Buffington's Ford. Here some of his
pursuers overtook him, while gunboats and steamboats filled with armed
men were patrolling the river, on the watch for him. The gunboats
prevented him from using the ford, and he was obliged to turn and give
battle. The fight was severe, and resulted in Morgan's defeat. Nearly
eight hundred of his men surrendered, and he with the remainder
retreated up the river. They next tried to cross at Belleville by
swimming their horses; but the gunboats were at hand again, and made
such havoc among the troopers that only three hundred got across,
while of the others some were shot, some drowned, and the remnant
driven back to the Ohio shore. Morgan with two hundred fled still
farther up the stream, but at last was compelled to surrender at New
Lisbon. He was confined in the Ohio penitentiary, but escaped a few
months later by digging under the walls. A pathetic incident of this
raid was the death of the venerable Daniel McCook, sixty-five years
old. He had given eight sons to the National service, and four of them
had become generals. One of these was deliberately murdered by
guerillas, while he was ill and riding in an ambulance in Tennessee.
The old man, hearing that the murderer was in Morgan's band, took his
rifle and went out to join in the fight at Buffington's Ford, where he
was mortally wounded.

[Illustration: BRIGADIER-GENERAL J. H. MORGAN, C. S. A.]



When at last Rosecrans did move, by some of the ablest strategy
displayed in the whole war he compelled Bragg to fall back
successively from one position to another, all the way from Tullahoma
to Chattanooga. This was not done without frequent and heavy
skirmishes, however; but the superiority of the National cavalry had
now been developed at the West as well as at the East, and they all
resulted in one way. Colonel (afterward Senator) John F. Miller was
conspicuous in several of these actions, and in that at Liberty Gap
one of his eyes was shot out by a rifle-ball.

The purpose of Rosecrans was to get possession of Chattanooga; and
when Bragg crossed the Tennessee and occupied that town, he set to
work to manoeuvre him out of it. To effect this, he moved southwest,
as if he were intending to pass around Chattanooga and invade Georgia.
This caused Bragg to fall back to Lafayette, and the National troops
took {298} possession of Chattanooga. But at this time Rosecrans
was for a while in a critical situation, where a more skilful
general than Bragg would probably have destroyed him; for his three
corps--commanded by Thomas, Crittenden, and McCook--were widely
separated. The later movements of this campaign had been rendered
tediously slow by the heavy rains and the almost impassable nature of
the ground; so that although Rosecrans had set out from Murfreesboro'
in June, it was now the middle of September.

Supposing that Bragg was in full retreat, Rosecrans began to follow
him; but Bragg had received large reinforcements, and turned back from
Lafayette, intent upon attacking Rosecrans. The two armies, feeling
for each other and approaching somewhat cautiously for a week, met at
last, and there was fought, September 19 and 20, 1863, a great battle
on the banks of a creek, whose Indian name of Chickamauga is said to
signify "river of death."

Rosecrans had about fifty-five thousand men; Bragg, after the arrival
of Longstreet at midnight of the 18th, about seventy thousand. The
general direction of the lines of battle was with the National troops
facing southeast, and the Confederates facing northwest, though these
lines were variously bent, broken, and changed in the course of the
action. Thomas held the left of Rosecrans's line, Crittenden the
centre, and McCook the right. Bragg was the attacking party, and his
plan was, while making a feint on the National right, to fall heavily
upon the left, flank it, crush it, and seize the roads that led to
Chattanooga. If he could do this, it would not only cut off Rosecrans
from his base and insure his decisive defeat, but would give Bragg
possession of Chattanooga, where he could control the river and the
passage through the mountains between the East and the West. The
concentration of the National forces in the valley had been witnessed
by the Confederates from the mountain height southeast of the creek,
who therefore knew what they had to meet and how it was disposed.

The battle of the 19th began at ten o'clock in the forenoon, and
lasted all day. The Confederate army crossed the creek without
opposition, and moved forward confidently to the attack. But the left
of the position--the key-point--was held by the command of Gen. George
H. Thomas, who for a slow and stubborn fight was perhaps the best
corps commander produced by either side in the whole war. Opposed to
him, on the Confederate right, was Gen. (also Bishop) Leonidas Polk.
There was less of concerted action in the attack than Bragg had
planned for, partly because Thomas unexpectedly struck out with a
counter-movement when an opportunity offered; but there was no lack of
bloody and persistent fighting. Brigades and divisions moved forward
to the charge, were driven back, and charged again. Batteries were
taken and re-taken, the horses were killed, and the captains and
gunners in some instances, refusing to leave them, were shot down at
the wheels. Brigades and regiments were shattered, and on both sides
many prisoners were taken. Thomas's line was forced back, but before
night he regained his first position, and the day closed with the
situation practically unchanged.


During the night both sides corrected their lines and made what
preparation they could for a renewal of the struggle. Bragg intended
to attack again at daybreak, his plan (now perfectly evident to his
opponent) being substantially the same as on the day before. He wanted
to crush the National left, force back the centre, and make a grand
left wheel with his entire army, placing his right firmly across the
path to Chattanooga. But the morning was foggy, Polk was slow, and the
fighting did not begin till the middle of the forenoon. Between Polk
and Thomas the edge of battle swayed back and forth, and the
Confederates could make no permanent impression. Thomas was obliged to
call repeatedly for reinforcements, which sometimes reached him and
sometimes failed to; but whether they came or not, he held manfully to
all the essential portions of his ground.

Rosecrans was constantly uneasy about his right centre, where he knew
the line to be weak; and at this point the great disaster of the day
began, though in an unexpected manner. It arose from an order that was
both miswritten and misinterpreted. This order, addressed to Gen.
Thomas J. Wood, who commanded a division, was written by a member of
Rosecrans's staff who had not had a military education, and was not
sufficiently impressed with the exact meaning of the technical terms.
It read: "The general commanding directs that you close up on Reynolds
as fast as possible, and support him." It was impossible to obey both
clauses of this order; since to "close up" means to bring the ends of
the lines together so that there shall be no gap and they shall form
one continuous line, while to "support," in the technical military
sense, means to take a position in the rear, ready to advance when
ordered. The aid that wrote the order evidently used the word
"support" only in the general sense of assist, strengthen, protect,
encourage, and did not dream of its conflicting with the command to
"close up." General Wood, a West Point graduate, instead of sending or
going to Rosecrans for better orders, obeyed literally the second
clause, and {299} withdrew his command from the line to form it in the
rear of Reynolds. Opposite to the wide and fatal opening thus left was
Longstreet, the ablest corps commander in the Confederate service, who
instantly saw his advantage and promptly poured his men, six divisions
of them, through the gap. This cut off McCook's corps from the rest of
the army, and it was speedily defeated and routed in confusion. The
centre was crumbled, and it looked as if the whole army must be
destroyed. Rosecrans, who had been with the defeated right wing,
appeared to lose his head completely, and rode back in all haste to
Chattanooga to make arrangements for gathering there the fragments of
his forces. At nightfall he sent his chief of staff, Gen. James A.
Garfield (afterward President), to find what had become of Thomas, and
Garfield found Thomas where not even the destruction of three-fifths
of the army had moved or daunted him.

When Thomas's right flank was exposed to assault by the disruption of
the centre, he swung it back to a position known as Horseshoe Ridge,
still covering the road. Longstreet was pressing forward to pass the
right of this position, when he was stopped by Gordon Granger, who had
been with a reserve at Rossville Gap, but was wiser and bolder than
his orders, and, instead of remaining there, moved forward to the
support of Thomas. The Confederate commander, when complete victory
was apparently so near, seemed reckless of the lives of his men,
thrusting them forward again and again in futile charges, where
Thomas's batteries literally mowed them down with grape and canister,
and a steady fire of musketry increased the bloody harvest. About dusk
the ammunition was exhausted, and the last charges of the Confederates
were repelled with the bayonet. Thomas had fairly won the title of
"the rock of Chickamauga." In the night he fell back in good order to
Rossville, leaving the enemy in possession of the field, with all the
dead and wounded. Sheridan, who had been on the right of the line and
was separated by its disruption, kept his command together, marched
around the mountain, and before morning joined Thomas at Rossville,
whence they fell back the next day to Chattanooga, where order was
quickly restored and the defences strengthened.

The National loss in the two-days' battle of Chickamauga--killed,
wounded, and missing--was sixteen thousand three hundred and
thirty-six. The Confederate reports are incomplete and unsatisfactory;
but estimates of Bragg's loss make it at least eighteen thousand, and
some carry it up nearly to twenty-one thousand. With the exception of
Gettysburg, this was thus far the most destructive action of the war.
Tactically it was a victory for Bragg, who was left in possession of
the field; but that which he was fighting for, Chattanooga, he did not


20th, 1863.]

Among the killed in this battle were Brig.-Gen. William H. Lytle on
the National side, and on the Confederate side Brig.-Gens. Preston
Smith, Benjamin H. Helm, and James Deshler; also on the National side,
three colonels who were in command of brigades--Cols. Edward A. King
of the Sixty-eighth Indiana Regiment, Philemon P. Baldwin of the Sixth
Indiana, and Hans C. Heg of the Fifteenth Wisconsin. The number of
officers of lower rank who fell, generally when exhibiting notable
courage in the performance of their dangerous duties, was very great.
Of General Whittaker's staff, numbering seven, three were killed and
three wounded. His brigade lost nearly a thousand men, and Colonel
Mitchell's brigade of four regiments lost nearly four hundred. The
Ninety-sixth Illinois Regiment went into the battle with four {301}
hundred and fifteen men, and lost one hundred and sixty-three killed
or wounded. Of its twenty-three officers, eleven were either killed or
wounded. In the fall of General Lytle we lost another man of great
literary promise, though his published writings were not extensive,
whose name must be placed on the roll with those of Winthrop, Lander,
and O'Brien. He was the author of the popular poem that begins with
the line--

  "I am dying, Egypt, dying."

Another poet who distinguished himself on this field was Lieut.
Richard Realf, of the Eighty-eighth Illinois Regiment, who was
honorably mentioned, especially for his services in going back through
a heavy fire and bringing up a fresh supply of ammunition when it was
sorely needed. Realf was a personal friend of Lytle's, and the bullet
that killed Lytle passed through a sheet of paper in his pocket,
containing a little poem that Realf had addressed to him a short time
before. Some of Realf's war lyrics are among the finest that we have.
Here are two stanzas from one:

  "I think the soul of Cromwell kissed
     The soul of Baker when,
   With red sword in his bloody fist,
     He died among his men.
   I think, too, that when Winthrop fell,
     His face toward the foe,
   John Hampden shouted, 'All is well!'
     Above that overthrow.

  "And Lyon, making green and fair
     The places where he trod;
   And Ellsworth, sinking on the stair
     Whereby he passed to God;
   And those whose names are only writ
     In hearts, instead of scrolls,
   Still show the dark of earth uplit
     With shining human souls."

And here is a sonnet suggested by the loss of many of his comrades on
the battlefield:

  "Thank God for Liberty's dear slain; they give
   Perpetual consecration unto it;
   Quickening the clay of our insensitive
   Dull natures with the awe of infinite
   Sun-crowned transfigurations, such as sit
   On the solemn-brooding mountains. Oh, the dead!
   How they do shame the living; how they warn
   Our little lives that huckster for the bread
   Of peace, and tremble at the world's poor scorn,
   And pick their steps among the flowers, and tread
   Daintily soft where the raised idols are;
   Prone with gross dalliance where the feasts are spread,
   When most they should stride forth, and flash afar
   Light like the streaming of heroic war!"

General Garfield was distinguished in this action for his judgment and
incessant activity. As chief of staff he wrote every order issued by
General Rosecrans during the action, except the blundering order that
caused the disaster by the withdrawal of Wood's division from the
line. He was advanced to the rank of major-general "for gallant and
meritorious services at the battle of Chickamauga."


General Rosecrans, in his official report, says of his own personal
movements on the field:

"At the moment of the repulse of Davis's division [when the
Confederates poured through the gap left by Wood] I was standing in
rear of his right, waiting the completion of the closing of McCook's
corps to the left. Seeing confusion among Van Cleve's troops, and the
distance Davis's men were falling back, and the tide of battle surging
toward us, the urgency for Sheridan's troops to intervene became
imminent, and I hastened in person to the extreme right, to direct
Sheridan's movement on the flank of the advancing rebels. It was too
late. The crowd of returning troops rolled back, and the enemy
advanced. Giving the troops directions to rally behind the ridges west
of the Dry Valley road, I passed down it, accompanied by General
Garfield, Major McMichael, and Major Bond, of my staff, and a few of
the escort, under the shower of grape, canister, and musketry, for two
or three hundred yards, and attempted to rejoin General Thomas and the
troops sent to his support, by passing to the rear of the broken
portion of our line, but found the routed troops far toward the left;
and hearing the enemy's advancing musketry and cheers, I became
doubtful whether the left had held its ground, and started for
Rossville. On consultation and further reflection, however, I
determined to send General Garfield there, while I went to Chattanooga
to give orders for the security of the pontoon bridges at Battle Creek
and Bridgeport, and to make preliminary disposition, either to forward
ammunition and supplies should we hold our ground, or to withdraw the
troops into good position.

"General Garfield despatched me from Rossville that the left and
centre still held its ground. General Granger had gone to its support.
General Sheridan had rallied his division, and was advancing toward
the same point, and General Davis was going up the Dry Valley road, to
our right. General Garfield proceeded to the front, remained there
until the close of the fight, and despatched me the triumphant defence
our troops there made against the assaults of the enemy."


{302} General Rosecrans says concerning the general conduct of the

"The fight on the left, after two P.M., was that of the army. Never,
in the history of this war at least, have troops fought with greater
energy or determination. Bayonet charges, often heard of but seldom
seen, were repeatedly made by brigades and regiments in several of our
divisions. After the yielding and severance of the division of the
right, the enemy bent all efforts to break the solid portion of our
line. Under the pressure of the rebel onset, the flanks of the line
were gradually retired until they occupied strong, advantageous
ground, giving to the whole a flattened, crescent shape. From one to
half-past three o'clock the unequal contest was sustained throughout
our line. Then the enemy, in overpowering numbers, flowed around our
right, held by General Brannan, and occupied a low gap in the ridge of
our defensive position, which commanded our rear. The moment was
critical. Twenty minutes more, and our right would have been turned,
our position taken in reverse, and probably the army routed.
Fortunately Major-General Granger, whose troops had been posted to
cover our left and rear, with the instinct of a true soldier and a
general, hearing the roar of the battle, and being beyond the reach of
orders from the general commanding, moved to its assistance. He soon
encountered the enemy's skirmishers, whom he disregarded, well knowing
that at that stage of the conflict the battle was not there. Posting
Col. Daniel McCook's brigade to take care of anything in that vicinity
and beyond our line, he moved the remainder to the scene of action,
reporting to General Thomas, who directed him to our suffering right.
He discovered at once the peril and the point of danger--the gap--and
quick as thought directed his advance brigade upon the enemy. General
Steedman, taking a regimental color, led the column. Swift was the
charge and terrible the conflict, but the enemy was broken. A thousand
of our brave men, killed and wounded, paid for its possession, but we
held the gap. Two divisions of Longstreet's corps confronted the
position. Determined to take it, they successively came to the
assault. A battery of six guns, placed in the gorge, poured death and
slaughter into them. They charged to within a few yards of the pieces;
but our grape and canister and the leaden hail of our musketry,
delivered in sparing but terrible volleys, from cartridges taken, in
many instances, from the boxes of their fallen companions, was too
much even for Longstreet's men. About sunset they made their last
charge, when our men, being out of ammunition, rushed on them with the
bayonet, and gave way to return no more."

General Rosecrans adds that: "The battle of Chickamauga was absolutely
necessary to secure our concentration and cover Chattanooga. It was
fought in a country covered with woods and undergrowth, and wholly
unknown to us. Every division came into action opportunely, and fought
squarely on the 19th. We were largely outnumbered, yet we foiled the
enemy's flank movement on our left, and secured our own position on
the road to Chattanooga."

In this battle the National army expended two million six hundred and
fifty thousand rounds of musket cartridges and seven thousand three
hundred and twenty-five rounds of artillery ammunition. With figures
like these the reader may realize how nearly true is the saying that
it requires a man's own weight of metal to kill him in battle.
Rosecrans lost thirty-six pieces of artillery and eight thousand four
hundred and fifty stand of small arms. He took two thousand prisoners.
He says in his report: "A very great meed of praise is due to Capt.
Horace Porter, of the Ordnance, for the wise system of arming each
regiment with arms of the same calibre, and having the ammunition
wagons properly marked, by which most of the difficulties of supplying
ammunition where troops had exhausted it in battle were obviated."


[Illustration: COLONEL B. F. SCRIBNER. (Afterward Brevet


Gen. T. J. Wood says in his report, concerning the fight on his part
of the line: "A part of the contest was witnessed by that able and
distinguished commander Major-General Thomas. I think it must have
been two o'clock P.M. when he came to where my command was so hotly
engaged. His presence was most welcome. The men saw him, felt they
were battling under the eye of a great chieftain, and their {303}
courage and resolution received fresh inspiration from this

In this terrible two days' struggle there were innumerable instances
of the display of special personal courage and timely gallantry. When
the One Hundred and Fifteenth Illinois Regiment was struggling to
rally after being somewhat broken, General Steedman took the flag from
the color-bearer and advanced toward the enemy, saying to the
regiment: "Boys, I'll carry your flag if you'll defend it." Whereupon
they rallied around him and went into the fight once more.

William S. Bean, a quartermaster's sergeant, whose place was at the
rear, and who might properly have remained there, went forward to the
battle line, and is said to have done almost the work of a general in
encouraging the bold and animating the timid. Lieut. C. W. Earle, a
mere boy, was left in command of the color company of the Ninety-sixth
Ohio Regiment, and stood by his colors unfalteringly throughout the
fight, though all but two of the color-guard were struck down and the
flag was cut to pieces by the bullets of the enemy. The Twenty-second
Michigan Regiment did not participate in the first day's battle, but
went in on the second day with five hundred and eighty-four officers
and men, and lost three hundred and seventy-two. Its colonel, Heber
LeFavour, received high praise for the manner in which he led his
regiment in a bayonet charge after their ammunition was exhausted. He
was taken prisoner late in the action.

General Bragg, in his report of the battle, complains bitterly of
General Polk's dilatoriness in obeying orders to attack, and says:
"Exhausted by two days' battle, with very limited supply of
provisions, and almost destitute of water, some time in daylight was
absolutely essential for our troops to supply these necessaries and
replenish their ammunition before renewing the contest. Availing
myself of this necessary delay to inspect and readjust my lines, I
moved, as soon as daylight served, on the 21st.... Our cavalry soon
came upon the enemy's rear guard where the main road passes through
Missionary Ridge. He had availed himself of the night to withdraw from
our front, and his main body was already in position within his lines
at Chattanooga. Any immediate pursuit by our infantry and artillery
would have been fruitless, as it was not deemed practicable, with our
weak and exhausted forces, to assail the enemy, now more than double
our numbers, behind his intrenchments. Though we had defeated him and
driven him from the field with heavy loss in arms, men, and artillery,
it had only been done by heavy sacrifices, in repeated, persistent,
and most gallant assaults upon superior numbers strongly posted and
protected. Our loss was in proportion to the prolonged and obstinate
struggle. Two-fifths of our gallant troops had fallen, and the number
of general and staff officers stricken down will best show how these
troops were led. Major-General Hood, the model soldier and inspiring
leader, fell after contributing largely to our success, and has
suffered the irreparable loss of a leg."

General Bragg believed that although he did not gain possession of
Chattanooga by the battle of Chickamauga, he had only to make one more
move to secure the prize. And perhaps he would have been correct in
this calculation if the commander opposed to him had not been
succeeded about a month later by General Grant. Bragg advanced his
army to positions on Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge, and put
the town of Chattanooga into a state of siege, managing to stop the
navigation of the river below and cut off all Rosecrans's routes of
supply except one long and difficult wagon road. This campaign
virtually closed the military career of General Rosecrans. He had
shown many fine qualities as a soldier, and had performed some
brilliant feats of strategy; but, as with some other commanders, his
abilities appeared to stop suddenly short at a point where great
successes were within easy reach. It was not more science that was
wanted, but more energy. When Grant appeared on the scene, with no
more knowledge of the military art than Rosecrans, but with boundless
and tireless energy, the conditions quickly changed.

[Illustration: "DO NOT SKULK HERE--"]



LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN IN THE DISTANCE. (From a war-time photograph.)]





A month after the battle of Chickamauga the National forces in the
West were to some extent reorganized. The departments of the Ohio, the
Cumberland, and the Tennessee were united under the title of Military
Division of the Mississippi, of which General Grant was made
commander, and Thomas superseded Rosecrans in command of the Army of
the Cumberland. General Hooker, with two corps, was sent to Tennessee.
Grant arrived at Chattanooga on the 23d of October, and found affairs
in a deplorable condition. It was impossible to supply the troops
properly by the one wagon road, and they had been on short rations for
some time, while large numbers of the mules and horses were dead.

From the National lines the tents and batteries of the Confederates on
Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge were in plain sight; their
sentinels walked the rounds in a continuous line not a thousand yards
away; and from these heights their guns occasionally sent a shot
within the lines. When General Sherman, on his arrival, walked out and
surveyed the situation, he turned to Grant and exclaimed in surprise,
"Why, General, you are besieged." "Yes," said Grant, "it is too true,"
and pointed out to him a house on Missionary Ridge which was known to
be Bragg's headquarters. General Rosecrans, like a similar commander
at the East, was able to give most excellent reasons for his prolonged
inaction. And so able a soldier as Gen. David S. Stanley, in an
article read by him before the Ohio Commandery of the Loyal Legion,
seems to justify Rosecrans. The unpleasant and unsatisfactory
correspondence of this period, between Rosecrans and the War
Department, culminated when the former, having reported the success of
an expedition against McMinnville, received a despatch from General
Halleck, which said: "The Secretary of War says you always report your
successes, but never report your reverses." And Rosecrans replied: "If
the Secretary of War says I report my successes, but do not report my
reverses, the Secretary of War lies."

It may be that the poor condition of the cavalry, and other
discouraging circumstances, were really a proper cause for non-action
to a general who was more inclined to study the safety of his own army
than the destruction of the enemy; but somehow or other, wherever
General Grant appeared, reasons for inactivity seemed to melt away,
and the spirit of determined aggression to take their place.


Grant's first care was to open a new and better line of supply.
Steamers could come up the river as far as Bridgeport, and he ordered
the immediate construction of a road and bridge to reach that point by
way of Brown's Ferry, which was done. Within five days the "cracker
line," as the soldiers called it, was opened, and thenceforth they had
full rations and abundance of everything. The enemy attempted to
interrupt the work on the road; but Hooker met them at Wauhatchie,
west of Lookout Mountain, and after a three hours' action drove them

Chattanooga was now no longer in a state of siege; but it was still
seriously menaced by Bragg's army, which held a most {306} singular
position. Its flanks were on the northern ends of Lookout Mountain and
Missionary Ridge, the crests of which were occupied for some distance,
and its centre stretched across Chattanooga Valley. This line was
twelve miles long, and most of it was well intrenched.

Grant ordered Sherman to join him with one corps, and Sherman promptly
obeyed; but, as he did considerable railroad repairing on the way, he
did not reach Chattanooga till the 15th of November. Moreover, he had
to fight occasionally, and be ready to fight all the time. At
Colliersville he was aroused from a nap in the car by a great noise
about the train, and was informed that the pickets had been driven in,
and there was every reason to suppose that a large cavalry force would
soon make an attack. Sherman immediately got his men out of the train
and formed them in a line on a knoll near a railroad cut. Presently a
Confederate officer appeared with a flag of truce, and Sherman sent
out two officers to meet him, secretly instructing them to keep him in
conversation as long as possible. When they returned, it was with the
message that General Chalmers demanded the surrender of the place.
Sherman ordered his officers to return again to the line and talk as
long as possible with the Confederate officer, but finally give him a
negative answer. In the little time thus gained he got a telegraph
message sent to Memphis and Germantown, ordering Corse's division to
hurry forward, and at the same time backed the train into the depot,
which was a loopholed brick building, and drew his men into some
smaller works that surrounded it. In a few minutes the enemy swooped
down, cutting the wires and tearing up the rails on both sides, and
then attacked Sherman's little band in their intrenchments. Sherman
ordered all the houses that were near enough to shelter the enemy's
sharp-shooters to be set on fire, and, finding some muskets in the
depot, put them into the hands of the clerks and orderlies, making
every man available for an active defence. The Confederates had some
artillery, with which they knocked his locomotive to pieces, and set
fire to the train; but many of Sherman's men were excellent marksmen
and trained soldiers, and they not only kept the enemy at bay but
managed to put out the fire. This state of things lasted about three
hours, when the approach of Corse's division caused the enemy to
withdraw. Corse's men had come twenty-six miles on the double quick.



General Sherman, in his graphic "Memoirs," gives many incidents of
this march, some of which were not only interesting but significant.
Just before he set out, a flag of truce came in one day, borne by a
Confederate officer with whom he was acquainted, and escorted by
twenty-five men. Sherman invited the officer to take supper with him,
and gave orders to his own escort to furnish the Confederate escort
with forage and whatever else they wanted during their stay. After
supper the conversation turned upon the war, and the Confederate
officer said: "What is the use of your persevering? It is simply
impossible to subdue eight millions of people. The feeling in the
South has become so embittered that a reconciliation is impossible."
Sherman answered: "Sitting as we are here, we appear to be very
comfortable, and surely there is no trouble in our becoming friends."
"Yes," said the Confederate officer, "that is very true of us; but we
are gentlemen of education, and can easily adapt ourselves to any
condition of things; but this would not apply equally well to the
common people or the common soldiers." Thereupon, General Sherman took
him out to the campfires behind the tent and showed him the men of the
two escorts mingled together, drinking coffee, and apparently having a
happy time. "What do you think of that?" said he. And the Confederate
officer admitted that Sherman had the best of the argument.
Nevertheless, in spite of the fact that the war had now continued more
than two years, that the territory held by the Confederates had
steadily diminished, that they had passed the climax of their military
resources while those of the North were still abundant, that
Gettysburg and Vicksburg had rendered their terrible verdicts, and
that all hope of foreign assistance or even recognition was at an
end--the opinions {307} expressed by the officer just quoted were very
generally held at the South. It is perhaps not wonderful that the
ordinary people and the soldiers in the ranks, few of whom understood
the philosophy of war in its larger aspects, and to all of whom their
generals and their Government continually misrepresented the state of
affairs, should have believed that they were invincible. But their
educated generals and statesmen ought to have known better; yet either
they did not know better, or they concealed their real opinions.
Alexander H. Stephens, by many considered the ablest statesman in the
Confederacy, late in July of this year (1863), made a speech at
Charlotte, N. C., in which he assured his hearers that there was no
reason for anything but the most confident hope. He said that the loss
of Vicksburg was not as severe a blow as the loss of Fort Pillow,
Island No. 10, or New Orleans, and, as the Confederacy had survived
those losses, it would also survive this one. He declared that if they
were to lose Mobile, Charleston, and Richmond, it would not affect the
heart of the Confederacy, which would survive all such losses and
finally secure its independence. The enemy, he said, had made two
years of unsuccessful war, and thus far had not broken the shell of
the Confederacy. He alluded to the fact that during the Revolutionary
war the British at one time had possession of North Carolina, South
Carolina, New York, and Philadelphia, and yet did not conquer our
forefathers; and he added: "In the war of 1812 the British captured
the capital of the nation, Washington city, and burned it, yet they
did not conquer us; and if we are true to ourselves now, true to our
birthright, the Yankee nation will utterly fail to subjugate us.
Subjugation would be utter ruin and eternal death to Southern people
and all that they hold most dear. Reconstruction would not end the
war, but would produce a more horrible war than that in which we are
now engaged. The only terms on which we can obtain permanent peace is
final and complete separation from the North." With such argument and
appeal as this, from statesmen, demagogues, generals, ministers of the
gospel, journalists, and other citizens of lesser note, the Southern
people were induced to continue the terrible struggle, until, when the
final surrender came, they had hardly anything left to surrender
except the ground on which they stood.

Another incident of the march was one that gave the Fifteenth Corps
its badge. An Irish soldier of that corps one day straggled out and
joined a party of the Twelfth Corps at their campfire. Seeing a star
marked on every tent, wagon, hat, etc., he asked if they were all
brigadier-generals in that corps; and they explained that the star was
their corps badge, and then in turn asked him what was the badge of
his (the Fifteenth) corps. Now, this corps as yet had not adopted any
badge, and the Irishman had never before even heard of a corps badge;
but he promptly answered, "Forty rounds in the cartridge box and
twenty in the pocket." When General Logan heard this story, he adopted
the cartridge box and forty rounds as the badge of his corps.




The condition of affairs at this time in that department, and the
reasons for it, are set forth with admirable clearness in a letter
addressed by General Halleck to General Grant, under date of October
20, 1863:

"It has been the constant desire of the Government, from the beginning
of the war, to rescue the loyal inhabitants of East Tennessee from the
hands of the rebels, who fully appreciated the importance of
continuing their hold upon that country. In addition to the large
amount of agricultural products drawn from the upper valley of the
Tennessee, they also obtained iron and other materials from the
vicinity of Chattanooga. The possession of East Tennessee would cut
off one of their most important railroad communications, and threaten
their manufactories at Rome, Atlanta, etc.

"When General Buell was ordered into East Tennessee in the summer of
1862, Chattanooga was comparatively unprotected; but Bragg reached
there before Buell, and, by threatening his communications, forced him
to retreat on Nashville and Louisville. Again, after the battle of
Perryville, General Buell {308} was urged to pursue Bragg's defeated
army and drive it from East Tennessee. The same was urged upon his
successor; but the lateness of the season, or other causes, prevented
further operations after the battle of Stone River.

"Last spring, when your movements on the Mississippi River had drawn
out of Tennessee a large force of the enemy, I again urged General
Rosecrans to take advantage of that opportunity to carry out his
projected plan of campaign, General Burnside being ready to coöperate
with a diminished but still efficient force. But he could not be
persuaded to act in time, preferring to lie still till your campaign
should be terminated.

"When General Rosecrans finally determined to advance, he was allowed
to select his own lines and plans for carrying out the objects of the
expedition. He was directed, however, to report his movements daily,
till he crossed the Tennessee, and to connect his left, so far as
possible, with General Burnside's right. General Burnside was directed
to move simultaneously, connecting his right, as far as possible, with
General Rosecrans's left, so that, if the enemy concentrated upon
either army, the other could move to its assistance. When General
Burnside reached Kingston and Knoxville, and found no considerable
number of the enemy in East Tennessee, he was instructed to move down
the river and coöperate with General Rosecrans. These instructions
were repeated some fifteen times, but were not carried out, General
Burnside alleging as an excuse that he believed that Bragg was in
retreat, and that General Rosecrans needed no reinforcements. When the
latter had gained possession of Chattanooga he was directed not to
move on Rome as he proposed, but simply to hold the mountain-passes,
so as to prevent the ingress of the rebels into East Tennessee. That
object accomplished, I considered the campaign as ended, at least for
the present.

"The moment I received reliable information of the departure of
Longstreet's corps from the Army of the Potomac, I ordered forward to
General Rosecrans every available man in the Department of the Ohio,
and again urged General Burnside to move to his assistance. I also
telegraphed to Generals Hurlbut, Sherman, and yourself, to forward all
available troops in your department. If these forces had been sent to
General Rosecrans by Nashville, they could not have been supplied; I
therefore directed them to move by Corinth and the Tennessee River.
The necessity of this has been proved by the fact that the
reinforcements sent to him from the Army of the Potomac have not been
able, for the want of railroad transportation, to reach General
Rosecrans's army in the field.

"It is now ascertained that the greater part of the prisoners paroled
by you at Vicksburg, and General Banks at Port Hudson, were illegally
and improperly declared exchanged, and forced into the ranks to swell
the rebel numbers at Chickamauga. This outrageous act, in violation of
the laws of war, of the cartel entered into by the rebel authorities,
and of all sense of honor, gives us a useful lesson in regard to the
character of the enemy with whom we are contending. He neither regards
the rules of civilized warfare, nor even his most solemn engagements.
You may, therefore, expect to meet in arms thousands of unexchanged
prisoners released by you and others on parole not to serve again till
duly exchanged. Although the enemy, by this disgraceful means, has
been able to concentrate in Georgia and Alabama a much larger force
than we anticipated, your armies will be abundantly able to defeat
him. Your difficulty will not be in the want of men, but in the means
of supplying them at this season of the year. A single-track railroad
can supply an army of sixty or seventy thousand men, with the usual
number of cavalry and artillery; but beyond that number, or with a
large mounted force, the difficulty of supply is very great."

Meanwhile, General Longstreet, with about twenty thousand men, was
detached from Bragg's army and sent against Burnside at Knoxville,
which is about one hundred and thirty miles northeast of Chattanooga.
After Sherman's arrival, Grant had about eighty thousand men. He
placed Sherman on his left, on the north side of the Tennessee,
opposite the head of Missionary Ridge; Thomas in the centre, across
Chattanooga valley; and Hooker on his right, around the base of
Lookout Mountain. He purposed to have Sherman advance against Bragg's
right and capture the heights of Missionary Ridge, while Thomas and
Hooker should press the centre and left just enough to prevent any
reinforcements from being sent against Sherman. If this were
successful Bragg's key-point being taken, his whole army would be
obliged to retreat. Sherman laid two bridges in the night of November
23d, and next day crossed the river and advanced upon the enemy's
works; but he met with unexpected difficulties in the nature of the
ground, and was only partially successful. Hooker, who had more genius
for fighting than for strictly obeying orders, moved around the base
of Lookout Mountain, and attacked the seemingly impregnable heights.

General Geary's command led the way, encountering intrenchments and
obstructions of all sorts, both in the valley and on the slope of the
mountain. Having crossed the Tennessee River below, it moved eastward
across Lookout Creek, and thence marched directly up the mountain till
its right rested on the palisaded heights. At the same time Grose's
brigade advanced farther up stream, drove the Confederates from a
bridge, put it into repair, and then moved on. At this moment the
Confederates were seen leaving their camps on the mountain and coming
down to the rifle-pits and breastworks at its foot to dispute the
progress of their enemy. Then another brigade was sent still farther
up the stream to make a crossing, and a section of artillery was
placed where it could enfilade the position just taken by the
Confederates, while another section was established to enfilade the
route they had taken in coming down the mountain. All the batteries
within range began to play upon the Confederates, and it was made so
hot for them that they were glad to abandon their intrenchments in the
valley. Then the remainder of Hooker's men were pushed across the
stream, and the ascent of the mountain began in earnest. They climbed
up over ledges and bowlders directly under the muzzles of the guns on
the summit, driving their enemy from one position after another, and
following him as closely as possible, in order to make him a shield
from the fire of the batteries. The advance had begun at eight o'clock
in the morning, and by noon Geary's men had reached the summit of the
mountain. Other brigades came up in rapid succession at various
points, and on the