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Title: Life and Military Career of Major-General William Tecumseh Sherman
Author: Headley, P. C. (Phineas Camp)
Language: English
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[Illustration: YOUNG AMERICANS




Author  of  “Napoleon,”  “Josephine,”  “Women  of  the  Bible,”
“Hero  Boy,”  etc.,  etc.

New  York:
William  H.  Appleton,  92  &  94  Grand  Street.

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1865, by
Wm. H. Appleton,
In the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the United States for the
Southern District of New York.

                                  T O

            H E N R Y   S T A N L E Y   A L L E N,  E S Q.,

                         O F   N E W   Y O R K,

                       THIS VOLUME IS INSCRIBED,

     W I T H   S I N C E R E   R E S P E C T   A N D   R E G A R D,

                             BY THE AUTHOR.

                             P R E F A C E.

ALTHOUGH General Sherman’s military career has only reached its most
interesting and brilliant period, grateful and admiring thousands will
welcome an authentic outline of his history to the present time. The
facts of his early life were obtained from those who knew him best.

To Colonel Bowman, an appreciative friend of General Sherman, whose
sketches of him in the _U. S. Service Magazine_ were graphic and
reliable, to the _Army and Navy Journal_ and able correspondents, we are
indebted for valuable material.

The pen-portrait of the great commander, by Mr. Alvord, which has never
before been published, will be read with special interest.

The volume is not offered to the public as a complete biography, with
all that might have been omitted carefully sifted from the essential
statements, but the annals of a remarkable man, with incidents connected
with his movements; affording the youth and all others, a general view
of the nation’s hero, from infancy to the unrivalled distinction he now

May the unpretending volume stimulate the youthful mind to virtuous and
noble deeds, while it contributes to the more complete and voluminous
memoirs which will be written in the peaceful future before us, for
whose blessings of a perpetuated Union and civil liberty we shall owe a
lasting debt of gratitude to General Sherman.

                            C O N T E N T S.

                                CHAPTER I.
  The Boyhood of Heroes—The ancestry of William Tecumseh
    Sherman—The death of his Father—Why the name of the Indian
    Chief was given him—The Birth-place of William Tecumseh,          13

                               CHAPTER II.
  The Eventful Call—“Cump” in the Sandbank—The Unexpected
    Summons—He obeys—His new Home—School days—A Studious and
    Reliable Boy—Is appointed Cadet—Leaves Home for West Point—His
    Life in the Academy—Graduates and goes to Florida,                23

                               CHAPTER III.
  The Lieutenant in the Florida War—Its Origin—The
    “Exiles”—Seminole Indians—Osceola—His wife made prisoner—The
    second Seminole War—Wild Cat’s Daughter—Peace—Lessons of the
    events before and after,                                          28

                               CHAPTER IV.
  Lieutenant Sherman in Fort Moultrie—The Fortress—The Mexican
    War—He goes to California—His Service there—Appointed
    Captain—His Marriage—Exciting Scenes in California—In the
    Commissary Department—Resigns his Commission—Turns Banker,        39

                                CHAPTER V.
  Takes charge of a Military Academy in Alexandria, Louisiana—He
    sees the rising storm of Civil War—Resigns—A noble Letter—He
    repairs to St Louis, and superintends a Street Railroad,          45

                               CHAPTER VI.
  Sumter falls—Sherman repairs to Washington—His Interview with the
    Secretary of War and the President—His Prophetic Insight of the
    Threatening Times—The state of the Country—Rebel Expectations,    50

                               CHAPTER VII.
  The Conflict Deepens—The Captain is made Colonel of the
    Thirteenth New York Volunteers—The Battle of Bull Run—The
    unterrified Commander of the Thirteenth and his Troops—The
    Brave Stand,                                                      54

                              CHAPTER VIII.
  General Sherman goes to Kentucky—Muldraugh’s Hill—His army
    weakened—General Buckner’s superior force—Succeeds General
    Anderson—Writes General McClellan—Interview with Secretary
    Cameron—Paducah,                                                  60

                               CHAPTER IX.
  Pittsburg Landing—The Surprise—The Battle—The Victory—Sherman’s
    glorious part in the Struggle—The Testimony of Officers—His
    Letter on the Contest,                                            67

                                CHAPTER X.
  The Morning after the Battle—General Sherman’s column in
    Motion—What it did—Corinth the next Goal—The Siege—The
    Evacuation—General Sherman’s troops the first to enter the
    Works—The Hero is made Major-General—Advance on Holly
    Springs—Memphis—General Sherman’s successful Command in that
    City—The Guerrillas,                                              82

                               CHAPTER XI.
  General Sherman’s next Post—The Steele’s Bayou Expedition—A Trial
    of Courage—The Leader’s Heroism,                                  89

                               CHAPTER XII.
  The Position of the Western Forces—The Expedition against
    Vicksburg under General Sherman—The Just and Stringent Orders
    of the Chief—He shows the Speculators no Mercy—The Advance of
    the Grand Army Checked—The Embarkation of Troops—The
    Magnificent Pageant—The Progress and Arrival of the Fleet,        95

                              CHAPTER XIII.
  The March—The City—Preparations for an Assault—The Attack—The
    Abatis and Rifle-pits—The Charge upon the Hill—Sherman
    succeeded by McClernand—General Sherman’s Farewell Order—Result
    of the Expedition,                                               105

                               CHAPTER XIV.
  The Plot—General Sherman’s Part—His Successful Feint at Haines’
    Bluff—Joins the Main Army—The Advance toward Jackson, the State
    Capital—The Victorious Entry of the City—On to Vicksburg
    again—Assaults—Siege—Victory—General Sherman goes after “Joe”
    Johnston,                                                        118

                               CHAPTER XV.
  General Sherman watching Joe Johnston—Foraging—An Attack—The
    Enemy steals away in the Night—The Conquering Battalions have a
    brief rest—Encampment on the Big Black River—Scenes
    there—Reënforces General Rosecrans—Death of General Sherman’s
    Son—Beautiful Letter—The Monument,                               127

                               CHAPTER XVI.
  The Grand Advance from Memphis—The Enemy prepare to Meet
    it—General Sherman’s Genius equal to any Emergency—Rapid
    Marches—The Foe driven from the Path—New Command—The Swollen
    River—Into Chattanooga—The Tireless Chief and his Gallant
    Troops push forward to Missionary Ridge,                         136

                              CHAPTER XVII.
  The Place of Battle—The Battle-ground—General Sherman’s Part in
    the Struggle—Desperate Valor—Victory—Pursuit—No Rest—General
    Burnside in Peril—General Sherman hastens to his Relief—The
    Bridge breaks down—It is Rebuilt, and the Heroic Battalions
    save Knoxville—General Sherman again at Chattanooga,             143

                              CHAPTER XVIII.
  A New Expedition—Its Wise Design—Cause of its Failure in the Main
    Purpose—The Hero of Vicksburg is created Lieutenant-General—The
    New Order of Things—Two Grand Lines of March and of
    Conquest—From Chattanooga to Kenesaw Mountain,                   162

                               CHAPTER XIX.
  The Battle of Kenesaw Mountain—On to Marietta—Across the
    Chattahoochie—General Johnston succeeded by General
    Hood—Marching and Fighting—Death of McPherson—Fight at
    Jonesboro—The last struggle for Atlanta—Victory,                 186

                               CHAPTER XX.
  The Tidings of Victory at Washington—The President’s Messages to
    the People and to the Army—General Sherman congratulates his
    Battalions—The Rebel General is indignant—The Correspondence
    between him and General Sherman—The authorities of Atlanta also
    unreconciled to the new order of things—The noble Letters and
    Conduct of the Conquerer,                                        217

                               CHAPTER XXI.
  The Events which followed the Truce—General Hood’s Army in
    Motion—Battle at Allatoona Pass—He is left to the care of the
    gallant Thomas—The New and Magnificent Campaign of General
    Sherman—The Field of his Operations—Burning of Rome—The
    Advance—Atlanta partially Burned—The Rebel Fears and Hopes—The
    March,                                                           249

                              CHAPTER XXII.
  The March beyond the River—The Exciting Discovery by the
    Enemy—General Sherman’s Strategy—On to Savannah—The
    Rebel—Surprise—The Army approach the City—A bold Movement—The
    Scouts—The Signals—Fort McAllister stormed—Savannah invested,    287

                              CHAPTER XXIII.
  The Surrender of the City demanded—The Refusal—Preparation to
    Attack—The Enemy Flee—The Entrance of the Union Army—Scenes
    that followed—General Sherman and the Negroes,                   304

                              CHAPTER XXIV.
  Major-General Sherman appreciated at Home—A Conflagration—A New
    and Bolder Campaign—General Sherman begins his March—Perils and
    Progress—Branchville and Columbia—Charleston,                    330

                               CHAPTER XXV.
  Wilmington—Peace Commissioners—General Sherman’s
    Statesmanship—His Characteristics—Interesting Recollections of
    General Sherman—His Pure Character,                              357

                               CHAPTER I.

   The Boyhood of Heroes—The ancestry of William Teeumseh Sherman—
     The death of his Father—Why the name of the Indian Chief was
     given him—The Birth-place of William Tecumseh.

MY youthful reader, you have heard the adage, “the boy is father of
the man;” which means clearly, that the principles and habits of early
years form the character and destiny of after life. And you will find in
the history of nearly all great and good men, in this country certainly,
that they began, in humble circumstances, their career. Not that poverty
is necessary to success, but the struggle to carve one’s own way in the
world, the almost unaided effort to secure an education for a profession
or business, develops and strengthens character.

Another thing is true of deservedly eminent men; they were obedient and
dutiful while under the parental roof. A selfish, rebellious boy, never
made an honored member of society and of the State. You will find
illustrations of these truths in the lives of Washington, Adams,
Lincoln, Grant, Mitchel, Sherman, and many others, whose fame is lasting
as our institutions.

In the year 1634 the Hon. Samuel Sherman, his brother, Rev. John
Sherman, and their cousin, Captain John Sherman, who were residents of
Dedham, England, came to this country. This was only thirteen years
after the _May Flower_, with its pilgrim company, rocked in
Massachusetts Bay. There were no ocean steamers then proudly ploughing
the broad Atlantic. In a ship like the plain bark which bore the first
colony, whose free principles, civil and religious, lie at the
foundation of this Republic, they embarked for the wilderness of the New

You can see, in imagination, the white-winged vessel glide from its
haven into the “wide, wide sea,” and float like a speck over the waste
of waters. The winds blow, the crested billows toss the _Shermans_, with
the rest of the ship’s company, about for weeks; they little dreaming of
quite a different storm, in which a descendant would figure so
conspicuously, just two hundred and thirty years later. At length the
ship reached Boston harbor.

The Rev. John Sherman; a graduate of Immanuel College, “and a Puritan,”
went at once to his work. The Sabbath dawned, and under an ancient tree
in the present town of Watertown, three miles from Boston, you might
have seen a quiet and attentive congregation listening to his first
sermon in America. Here he settled, after receiving a call to Milford,
Conn. Some of his descendants were excellent and popular divines. The
captain also settled there; and from his branch of the family came Roger
Sherman, the signer of the Declaration of Independence.

The Hon. Samuel Sherman pushed on to Wethersfield, Conn. Soon after he
removed to Stamford, and finally settled down in Stratford. The “coat of
arms,” that is to say, the family escutcheon or badge, bears a lion
rampant, and a sea lion on the crest. The motto is: “Conquer death by
virtue.” From him descended the “hero of our story,” whose grandfather,
Taylor Sherman, for many years judge, died May 4th, 1815, in the
ripeness of his manhood, at the age of fifty-eight.

The widow, like the families of Generals Grant and Mitchel, and of our
most worthy President, turned her face toward the far West; for it was
then a long and weary way to the rich valleys of the Mississippi and its
tributaries. The beautiful State of Ohio—the empire State of the
western world—became her home. The prospects, for her sons especially,
on the cheap, rich soil, and in the rising towns of that vast and new
territory, were much better than in New England.

The pleasant settlement of Lancaster was their first residence.
Subsequently she removed to Mansfield, in the same State, where she died
in 1848. Her children were Charles Robert, who was born September 26th,
1788, Daniel and Betsey. Charles married Mary Hoyt, May 8th, 1810, and
settled in Lancaster. His profession was law, in which he excelled
particularly as an advocate; he was very eloquent and successful in
pleading the cause of his clients before the judge and jury.

In the year 1823 he was elected judge of the Superior Court of Ohio. He
continued in this high position till June 20th, 1829. Could you have
stood in the court room on that early summer day, you would have seen
the fine intelligent face of the judge suddenly grow pale, followed by
an expression of suffering. The eyes of the “gentlemen of the bar,” and
of citizens present, are turned with anxious interest toward him. Soon
after, he is compelled to leave the bench and remove to his private
apartment, where he rapidly sinks into the embrace of death. His disease
was supposed to be that fatal scourge of eastern lands and our own—the
cholera. Probably my young reader was not born when it spread terror
through nearly all the cities of our Union. In 1840 his remains were
removed to Lancaster, Ohio. Should you become a western lawyer, you may
have occasion to consult his decisions, contained in the first three
volumes of the Ohio Reports.

This gifted, highly educated and popular judge left a widow with eleven
children. She was a devoted wife and mother, and a communicant in the
Presbyterian Church. Charles T., the eldest, is now a successful lawyer
in Washington, D. C.; the next in order was Mary Elizabeth; the third,
James; the fourth, Amelia; the fifth, Julia; and the sixth, William
Tecumseh, our hero. After him were L. Parker, John, the able and loyal
senator from Ohio, who was born May 10th, 1823; and after him were Susan
D. Hoyt and Frances B.

William Tecumseh was born February 8th, 1820. It was quite difficult to
decide upon a name for the boy. “What shall we call him?” was the topic
of much domestic chat. Two or three favorite names were suggested and
discussed, but still the child was nameless.

One day the father, who had seen the Indian chieftain Tecumseh, and
admired that really great man, came in and said, “I have the name of a
better man than either we have mentioned.” The eye and ear of those
around the cradle were turned to know whom he could be. The bright boy
only seemed to have no interest in the matter. “_Tecumseh_, we will name
him,” was the almost startling announcement. It was softened down to the
tone of civilized life by the addition of William. The further reason
for the selection of a warrior’s name who fought for the English, I will
tell you, as I did the story of “Ulysses S. Grant,” now his
lieutenant-general, in the language of another who wrote me on the
subject: “Tecumseh, the celebrated chief and warrior of the Shawanoese
tribe, who was killed at the battle of the Thames, October 5th, 1813,
was for a long time kept in rather fond remembrance in this immediate
vicinity, by those who were engaged in that conflict, of whom Captain
Sanderson is still a resident here; because they knew that several times
he prevented the shedding of innocent blood. This fact, with the desire
of Mr. Sherman to have one son educated for military life, led him to
choose Tecumseh for the boy, he being born not long after the death of
that chieftain.”

Tecumthé, or as it is written Tecumseh, a Shawanoese Indian, was born in
Piqua, since called West Boston, on Mad River, in Clarke County, Ohio.
Tecumseh’s grandmother was the daughter of a Southern English colonial
governor, who fancied the handsome young Creek, and married him. Their
only son took for his wife a Shawanese woman, who gave birth to Tecumseh
while on a journey from the southern to the western hunting grounds. A
few years later three more sons were born at the same time, one of whom,
Tenskwautawaw, became the famous prophet who was the artful and
unprincipled instrument of his brother, Tecumseh, in his great lifework,
which was to arouse and unite the western tribes in the last determined
effort to drive and keep their white neighbors from the valley of the
Mississippi. While a boy, his splendid genius gave him the leadership
among his playmates, and he “was in the habit of arranging them in
parties for the purpose of fighting sham battles.”

When about fifteen years old, he was so shocked at the scene then common
among the Indians—burning prisoners at the stake—that he determined to
give his voice against the horrid custom. The young reformer first
displayed his commanding eloquence in his bold condemnation of the
practice, which through his powerful influence gradually disappeared. He
advocated total abstinence from ardent spirits, the principal source of
savage degradation and destruction, and urged his people to drop all
superfluous ornaments, and abstain from the use of articles sold by the
traders. Like his illustrious namesake, our hero, he was mighty in
speech as well as in the battle-field. I will give in illustration a
brief address made August 12th, 1810, to Governor Harrison, whom he met
in council at Vincennes, on the Wabash River. The fine words and grand
views of the warrior, will make you think of our own Tecumseh marching
over the very country from which the ancestors of the Shawanoese came:

“I have made myself what I am; and I would that I could make the red
people as great as the conceptions of my mind, when I think of the Great
Spirit that rules over all. I would not then come to Governor Harrison
to ask him to tear the treaty; but I would say to him, Brother, you have
liberty to return to your own country. Once there was no white man in
all this country; then it belonged to red men, children of the same
parents, placed on it by the Great Spirit to keep it, to travel over it,
to eat its fruits, and fill it with the same race—once a happy race,
but now made miserable by the white people, who are never contented, but
always encroaching. They have driven us from the great salt water,
forced us over the mountains, and would shortly push us into the lakes;
but we are determined to go no further. The only way to stop this evil
is for all the red men to unite in claiming a common and equal right in
the land, as it was at first and should be now—for it never was
divided, and belongs to all. No tribe has a right to sell, even to each
other, much less to strangers, who demand all, and will take no less.
The white people have no right to take the land from the Indians, who
had it first—it is theirs. They may sell, but all must join. Any sale
not made by all is not good. The late sale is bad; it was made by a part
only. Part do not know how to sell. It requires all to make a bargain
for all.”

This upright, humane, and unequalled warrior, after struggling in vain
to save his declining race, fell gloriously during the last war with
England, in the battle of the Thames, not many miles from Detroit, on
the Canada side.

His American namesake, by a singular course of providential events, as
you know and will read in the record of his life more fully, became the
greatest military commander of the age, in the very region from which,
with his people, he emigrated to the West.

I will now take you to the place of William Tecumseh’s birth. Lancaster
is in Fairfield County, Ohio, on the Hockhocking River, twenty-eight
miles east of Columbus, the capital of the State. The valley is very
beautiful. It was the home of the Wyandots less than a century ago, and
was called Tarh or Crowtown, from the name of the principal chief. His
wigwam was on the bank-border of a prairie, near a clear and living
spring, from whose gushing waters he slaked his thirst for many years.

In 1800 a Mr. Fane laid out Lancaster on Mount Pleasant, called by the
Indians, who at that time still lingered there, “Standing-Stone,”
because the summit was formed of masses of sandstone. It was a place of
popular resort on account of the extensive and magnificent views of the
surrounding country. Duke Saxe Weimar, who travelled in this country
about forty years since, carved his name on its rock.

For several years after Lancaster was settled, the people had a curious
regulation, of which I must tell you, and something like which would not
be a bad arrangement at the present day. Stumps of the forest trees so
lately there, were scattered along the streets; and when a man was
caught intoxicated, the penalty was, the _removal of a stump_. The
drunkards and the stumps both were thinned out; for whenever a citizen
went staggering among the remnants of the primeval woods, he was watched
till sober enough to go to work, then set to digging at the roots.
Tipplers were careful to walk abroad in straight lines; and if one
failed to keep within the limits of _temperate_ drinking, he must take
good exercise at the stump, which was both a public exposure and a
blessing to the village.

Lancaster is now a handsome city, full of western activity, and keeping
step to the music—

              “Westward the star of empire takes its way.”

Such was and is the birthplace of William Tecumseh Sherman.


                              CHAPTER II.

   The Eventful Call—“Cump” in the Sandbank—The Unexpected Summons
     —He obeys—His new Home—School days—A Studious and Reliable
     Boy—Is appointed Cadet—Leaves Home for West Point—His Life in
     the Academy—Graduates and goes to Florida.

“MOTHER, may I go and play in the sand?” said a bright boy one day,
cap in hand, ready to bound into the open air. Almost before the
expected “yes” had ceased to echo in the room, “Cump,” as he was
familiarly called, hastened to a bank in which excavations had been
made, and the sand taken away. He was soon “busy as a bee,” throwing up
miniature fortifications and heaps in various forms, after the models of
his own juvenile invention.

Meanwhile the distinguished Hon. Thomas Ewing, now the venerable
representative of the statesmen of the past, a resident of Lancaster,
entered the widowed mother’s dwelling. He knew that the benevolent and
departed father had not left her large family a fortune. It would
therefore be no easy task to educate and start them in the world. And
his errand there was to ask her to commit one of the boys to his home
and care. He said, with a playful earnestness, “I must have the smartest
of the lot; I will take no other, and you must select him for me.” After
a short consultation between the mother and eldest daughter, the choice
fell upon “Cump.” So it was decided that Mr. Ewing should take him to
his house and educate him with his own children.

Leaving the mother and sister saddened with the prospect of parting with
the boy, he went to the sandbank, where we just now left William at
play. “Come, my boy,” said the unexpected visitor, “you are going to
live with me. I have seen your mother; she has given her consent.”

The astonished little worker listened, and looked a moment at his
benefactor, then straightened up, brushed off the sand, and started
after him. That night he went to his bed in his new and beautiful home
with strange thoughts, and a shadow upon his young spirit. He had left
mother and the home of his childhood for life; only as an occasional
visitor. It was a crisis in his history, and one which decided in the
result his brilliant martial career. The public schools, which are now
the pride of our land, were not then known in Ohio. But Lancaster could
boast a good academy, and into its English department Tecumseh was
entered as a pupil. He had reached his ninth year, and soon convinced
his teacher and companions that he could take a high rank among the
boy-students of his age.

Mr. Ewing assured me that there was nothing remarkable or eccentric in
his experience during the years that followed, excepting his executive
ability in little matters of business committed to him. He “never knew
so young a boy who would do an errand so correctly and promptly as he
did. He was transparently honest, faithful, and reliable. Studious and
correct in his habits, his progress in education was steady and
substantial.” At the age of sixteen, Mr. Ewing, in his official
position, had at his disposal the appointment of a cadet to the Military
Academy at West Point, and determined to offer it to his “_protégé_.”
Tecumseh had a taste for military life, and of course gladly accepted
the honor.

Before we follow him to that institution we will take another glimpse of
the home of his adoption. Mrs. Ewing was a highly intelligent lady, a
member of the Roman Catholic Church, and had the privilege of educating
her children in her own faith. Her daughter Ellen was at this time an
attractive girl of nearly the same age of Tecumseh. For half a dozen of
life’s most careless, happy years, they had been to school, talked and
played together. And it is not strange that among the friends he left
behind him, when he turned the second time from home, and now for a
distant abode among strangers, that to part with her should be no common
trial for his young and manly heart. But he had entered for himself

                  “Upon life’s broad field of battle,”

and hastened to the ordeal of examination for admission to the academy.
The bright day of trial has come. Look in upon the spacious hall where
the Examining Board and distinguished visitors have gathered, to see and
hear what the young candidates for freshman honors may know. Now listen;
young Sherman’s name is called. He is modest, yet perfectly
self-possessed. After answering a test question with remarkable
propriety and dignity, a professor remarked: “He is a _blooded_ fellow!”
that is, he was of good blood—had the _ingrained_ qualities of
manliness, and the promise of honorable distinction. This was in the
summer of 1836. He advanced from class to class, mastering the studies
in the course, and maintaining a high reputation in all his relations to
the officers and students of the academy. He was quite at home in
artillery, which you know is the handling of heavy guns; and in the
saddle at the riding school of the institution. He graduated fifth in
his class June 30th, 1840. The rebel General Beauregard was a classmate.

You have learned that, as a man, he _loses no time_ in his military
movements. Created second lieutenant in the Third Artillery, he repaired
to Florida in the service of the regular army. When the autumnal leaves
rustled in the war-path, he was fairly in the ranks and under the old
flag, which he was destined to honor so well, and with whose stars his
name would shine while it floats over the land of his birth.

                              CHAPTER III.

   The Lieutenant in the Florida War—Its Origin—The “Exiles”—
     Seminole Indians—Osceola—His wife made prisoner—The second
     Seminole War—Wild Cat’s Daughter—Peace—Lessons of the events
     before and after.

WHEN Lieutenant Sherman reached the Southern peninsula, our war with
the “exiles” and Seminoles had been in progress about five years. “Who
were the ‘exiles?’” you ask. In answering that question I shall give you
some account of the Florida wars, in which many of our West Point
graduates have been actors; among them Generals Grant, Mitchel, and
Sherman. And I shall let a distinguished statesmen, who has recently
died,[1] and who wrote a book about the “exiles,” tell you some
interesting things concerning these people.

“Florida was originally settled by Spaniards in 1558. They were the
first people to engage in the African slave trade, and sought to supply
other nations with servants from the coast of Guinea. The colonists held
many slaves, expecting to accumulate wealth by the unrequited toil of
their fellow-men.

“Carolina, by her first and second charters, claimed a vast extent of
country, embracing St. Augustine and most of Florida. Here was the first
occasion for hostilities, the conflicting claims to jurisdiction, of the
Spaniards and the colonies. The Carolinians also held many slaves.
Profiting by the labor of their servants, the people sought to increase
their wealth by enslaving the Indians who resided in their vicinity.
Hence in the early slave codes of that colony we find reference to
‘negro and _other_ slaves.’

“When the boundaries of Florida and South Carolina became established,
the colonists found themselves separated by the territory now
constituting the State of Georgia, at that time mostly occupied by the
Creek Indians. The efforts of the Carolinians to enslave the Indians
brought with them the natural and appropriate penalties. The Indians
soon began to make their escape from service to the Indian country. This
example was soon followed by the African slaves, who also fled to the
Indian country, and, in order to secure themselves from pursuit,
continued their journey into Florida.

“We are unable to fix the precise time when the persons thus exiled
constituted a separate community. Their numbers had become so great in
1736 that they were formed into companies, and relied on by the
Floridians as allies to aid in the defence of that territory. They were
also permitted to occupy lands upon the same terms that were granted to
the citizens of Spain; indeed, they in all respects became free subjects
of the Spanish crown. Probably to this early and steady policy of the
Spanish Government, we may attribute the establishment and continuance
of this community of ‘exiles’ in that territory. A messenger was sent by
the Colonial Government of South Carolina to demand the return of those
fugitive slaves who had found an asylum in Florida. The demand was made
upon the Governor of St. Augustine, but was promptly rejected. This was
the commencement of a controversy which has continued for more than a
century, involving our nation in a vast expenditure of blood and
treasure, and it yet remains undetermined. The constant escape of
slaves, and the difficulties resulting therefrom, constituted the
principal object for establishing a free colony between South Carolina
and Florida, which was called Georgia. It was thought that this colony,
being free, could afford the planters of Carolina protection against the
further escape of their slaves from service. These ‘exiles’ were by the
Creek Indians called ‘Seminoles,’ which in their dialect signifies
‘runaways,’ and the term being frequently used while conversing with the
Indians, came into almost constant practice among the whites; and
although it has now come to be applied to a certain tribe of Indians,
yet it was originally used in reference to these ‘exiles’ long before
the Seminole Indians had separated from the Creeks.”

These “exiles,” once slaves, had settled in rich valleys, and had their
flocks, and herds, and children around them. The great State of Georgia
did not like to see this paradise of escaped bondmen prosper. Indeed,
she looked with covetous eye upon every foot of Indian territory within
her limits, and seems to have early decided, with or without the
national sanction and help, to take possession of the “exiles,” and of
the lands belonging to the Aborigines. The first thing was to get
Florida from Spain, then seize the “exiles.”

Such influences were brought to bear upon Congress, that in _secret_
session a law was passed in 1811 to wrest the territory from the
authority of Spain. And now commenced the invasion of that country by
the most desperate men. It was like the outrage upon “bleeding Kansas”

The Seminoles had refused to surrender the “exiles,” and the Georgians
determined to exterminate them. This injustice and cruelty opened the
_first_ war with the Seminoles. Hostilities continued for many years,
attended with deeds of savage heroism, scenes of horror and of death,
till many an American soldier found a grave in the gloomy everglade and
dark river channel. At length there was a pause in the terrible border
warfare. Outrages by the white people continued, “exiles” were captured,
treaties broken, and the effort renewed to remove the Seminoles to the
western territory. Upon a certain day when a consultation was held over
a speech addressed by the Secretary of State, General Cass, urging
emigration, a youthful warrior, named “Osceola,” since very famous, drew
his burnished knife from his belt, and said, while striking it into the
table before him, “_This is the only treaty I will ever make with the
whites._” It was a threat of war again, soon realized. He was the son of
an Indian trader, a white man named Powell. His mother was the daughter
of a Seminole chief. He had recently married a woman said to have been
very “beautiful.” She was the daughter of a chief who had married one of
the “exiles,” but as all colored people, by slaveholding laws, are said
to follow the condition of the mother, she was called an African slave.
Osceola was proud of his ancestry. He hated slavery, and those who
practised the holding of slaves, with a bitterness that is but little
understood by those who have never witnessed its revolting crimes. He
visited Fort King in company with his wife and a few friends, for the
purpose of trading. Mr. Thompson, the agent, was present, and while
engaged in business, the wife of Osceola was seized as a slave.
Evidently having negro blood in her veins, the law pronounced her a
slave; and, as no other person could show title to her, the pirate who
had got possession of her body, was supposed, of course, to be her
owner. Osceola became frantic with rage, but was instantly seized and
placed in irons, while his wife was hurried away to slaveholding
pollution. He remained six days in irons, when, General Thompson says,
he became penitent, and was released. From the moment when this outrage
was committed, the Florida War may be regarded as commenced. Osceola
swore vengeance upon Thompson, and those who assisted in the
perpetration of this indignity upon himself, as well as upon his wife,
and upon our common humanity. The “exiles” endeavored to stimulate the
Indians to deeds of valor. In general council they decreed that the
first Seminole who should make any movement preparatory to emigration,
should suffer death. Charley E. Mathlu, a respected chief, soon after
fell a victim to this decree. Osceola commanded the party who slew him.
He had sold a portion of his cattle to the whites, for which he had
received pay in gold. This money was found upon his person when he fell.
Osceola forbade any one touching the gold, saying it was the price of
the red man’s blood, and with his own hands he scattered it in different
directions as far as he was able to throw it. But his chief object
appeared to have been the death of General Thompson. Other Indians and
“exiles” were preparing for other important operations, but Osceola
seemed intent—his whole soul was absorbed in devising some plan by
which he could safely reach Mr. Thompson, who was the object of his
vengeance. He, or some of his friends, kept constant watch on the
movements of Thompson, who was unconscious of the danger to which he was
exposed. Osceola, steady to his purpose, refused to be diverted from
this favorite object. Thompson was at Fort King, and there were but few
troops to protect that fortress. But Indians seldom attempt an escalade,
and Osceola sought an opportunity to take it by surprise. With some
twenty followers he lay secreted near the fort for days and weeks,
determined to find some opportunity to enter by the open gate, when the
troops should be off their guard. Near the close of December, 1835, a
runner brought him information that Major Dade, with his command, was to
leave Fort Brooke on the twenty-fifth of that month, and that those who
intended to share in the attack upon that regiment, must be at the great
“Wahoo Swamp” by the evening of the twenty-seventh. This had no effect
whatever upon Osceola. No circumstance could withdraw him from the
bloody purpose which filled his soul.

“On the twenty-eighth, in the afternoon, as he and his followers lay
near the road leading from the fort to the house of the sutler, which
was nearly a mile distant, they saw Mr. Thompson and a friend
approaching. That gentleman and his companions had dined, and, on taking
their cigars, he and Lieutenant Smith, of the second artillery, had
sallied forth for a walk and to enjoy conversation by themselves. At a
signal given by Osceola, the Indians fired. Thompson fell pierced by
fourteen balls; Smith received about as many. The shrill war-whoop
followed the sound of the rifles, and alarmed the people at the fort.
The Indians immediately scalped their victims, and then hastened to the
house where Mr. Rogers, the sutler, and two clerks, were at dinner.
These three persons were instantly massacred and scalped. The Indians
took as many valuable goods as they could carry, and set fire to the
building. The smoke gave notice to those in the fort of the fate that
had befallen the sutler and his clerks. But the condition in which the
commandant found his troops forbade his sending out any considerable
force to ascertain the fate of Thompson and his companion. Near
nightfall a few daring spirits proceeded up the road to the hommock, and
brought the bodies to the fort, but Osceola and his followers had
hastened their flight, not from fear of the troops, but with the hope of
joining their companions at Wahoo in time to engage in scenes of more
general interest.”

The election campaign for President occurred the very fall Lieutenant
Sherman went to Florida. Martin Van Buren was defeated, and there was no
greater cause of it than the continuance of the Florida war, wasting
precious life and treasure. You will be interested in the story of Wild
Cat’s daughter. He was the son of King Philip, a Seminole chief, and
became himself one of the mighty leaders in the Indian struggle for
existence. Not far from the time young Sherman went to the field of
conflict, the daughter of Wild Cat, “an interesting girl of twelve years
of age, fell into the hands of our troops in a skirmish near Fort
Mellon. This was regarded as a most fortunate circumstance, as it would
be likely to procure an interview with the father. Miceo, a sub-chief
and friend of Wild Cat, was despatched with a white flag, on which were
drawn clasped hands in token of friendship, with a pipe and tobacco. He
found Wild Cat, and delivered the message of the commanding-general,
requesting an interview. Wild Cat agreed to come in, and gave Miceo a
bundle of sticks, denoting the days which would elapse before he
appeared in camp. Miceo returned and made his report.

“On the fifth of March Wild Cat was announced as approaching the
American camp with seven of his trusty companions. He came boldly within
the line of sentinels, dressed in the most fantastic manner. He and his
party had shortly before killed a company of strolling theatrical
performers, near St. Augustine, and having possessed themselves of the
wardrobe of their victims, put it on. He approached the tent of General
Worth, calm and self-possessed, and shook hands with the officers. He
then addressed the general without hesitation and with dignity, saying
he had received the talk and white flag sent him. He had come according
to invitation to visit the American camp with peaceful intentions,
relying upon his good faith.

“At this moment his little daughter escaped from the tent where she was
to remain till General Worth should think the proper time to present her
to her father had come. With the feelings and habits of her race, she
gave him musket balls and powder which she had managed to obtain and
secret until his arrival. On seeing his child he could no longer command
that dignity of bearing so much the pride of every Indian chief. His
self-possession gave way to parental emotions; the feelings of the
father gushed forth; he averted his face and wept.

“Having recovered his self-possession he addressed General Worth,
saying: ‘The whites dealt unjustly by me. I came to them, when they
deceived me. I loved the land I was upon; my body is made of its sands.
The Great Spirit gave me legs to walk over it; eyes to see it; hands to
aid myself; a head with which I think. The sun, which shines warm and
bright, brings forth our crops; and the moon brings back the spirits of
our warriors, our fathers, our wives and children. The white man comes;
he grows pale and sickly; why can we not live in peace? They steal our
horses and cattle, cheat us, and take our lands. They may shoot us—may
chain our hands and feet, _but the red man’s heart will be free_. I have
come to you in peace, and have taken you all by the hand. I will sleep
in your camp, though your soldiers stand around me thick as pine trees.
I am done: when we know each other better, I will say more.’

“During the interview, Wild Cat spoke with great sincerity; frankly
stated the condition and feelings of his people; stated the friendly
attachment between the ‘exiles’ and Indians; said that they would not
consent to be separated; that nothing could be done until their annual
assemblage in June, to feast on the green corn; that, hard as the fate
was, he would consent to emigrate, and would use his influence to induce
his friends to do so. After remaining four days in camp, he and his
companions left, accompanied by his little daughter, whom he presented
to her mother on reaching his own encampment.”

Young Sherman was created first lieutenant November, 1841, and soon
after the war closed, followed by the removal of the “exiles” to the
country beyond the State of Arkansas, joining the Creeks there.

There are two very interesting facts you will think of in this glimpse
of the early experience of our cadet-soldier. The first is, the real
beginning of the great rebellion, in the unjust and oppressive claims of
the Southern States upon other races, and upon our national legislation.
The other curious fact is the awful desolation of that leading State in
this wrong, Georgia, by the lieutenant, more than a score of years
afterwards, in the defence of our own imperilled liberties.


[1] Hon. Joshua R. Giddings.

                              CHAPTER IV.

   Lieutenant Sherman in Fort Moultrie—The Fortress—The Mexican War
     —He goes to California—His Service there—Appointed Captain—
     His Marriage—Exciting Scenes in California—In the Commissary
     Department—Resigns his Commission—Turns Banker.

LIEUTENANT SHERMAN was next ordered to Fort Moultrie, on Sullivan’s
Island, in Charleston harbor. Do you know the origin of that fortress
and of its name? Six days before the Declaration of Independence was
signed, there was a memorable battle and victory here, over the British
squadron commanded by Sir Peter Parker. A post had been commenced,
which, upon the appearance of the fleet was hastily completed, under the
command of General Moultrie, a very brave officer.

General Charles Lee, the commander-in-chief at this post, urged Moultrie
to abandon the works, because the men-of-war would soon blow them to
pieces. “Then we will fight behind the ruins,” said the gallant leader
of a band, who answered his bold words with a “_hurrah!_” The battle
opened, and soon the American flag, which was then a white crescent on a
ground of blue, went down. The spectators at a distance thought the post
had surrendered. But no—the flag-staff was shot off, and Sergeant
William Jasper leaped through the embrasure of the wall, and seizing it,
restored it to its place on the battlements. He was a young hero, and
his name is among those of the daring defenders of the _first_ banner of
the Revolution.

In this fortress Lieutenant Sherman had an unexciting round of duty. But
more active service was near. If you will turn to the map of the United
States you will see that the boundary between Texas and Mexico on the
south, runs northwesterly toward the Pacific Ocean, where lies
California, bounded on the southern side by Mexico. When war followed
the dispute between the United States and the Mexican Government about
the dividing line, in 1846, it was necessary to have troops in
California. With the forces sent to that new and thinly-settled region,
Lieutenant Sherman went under the banner he loved with all the
enthusiasm of his ardent nature. The fighting was principally done, you
know, at Palo Alto, Resaca de la Palma, Monterey, Molino del Rey, and a
few other points far from the post of Sherman. But he did his duty in
the ranks of the frontier-guard, and was off on recruiting service when
those fierce battles were fought.

California had been for many years under the Government of Mexico. The
people rebelled against Santa Anna, asserted their independence, but
again submitted to the old authority. In 1842 its rich plains attracted
emigration from all lands, which increased rapidly till war with Mexico
was declared. General Fremont was there. A quarrel began between the
Mexican people and the settlers. This was increased by the conflict of
the two nations, which resulted in our establishing a territorial
government. The whole was ceded to the United States at the close of the
war for $15,000,000, and became a State in 1850. With the flood of
population from many countries, before and after Lieutenant Sherman went
there, lawlessness of all kinds prevailed. Gambling was a common
business, incendiarism equally so, and justice was almost unknown, even
in the Government. Men were shot in open day for giving offence; the
people became alarmed, and appointed a vigilance committee, who took law
into their own hands. Our still youthful officer opposed such assumption
of power, believing in redress for wrongs through the constitutional
remedies. And often since the civil war commenced has he beguiled the
weary hours of camp-life by recounting the exciting scenes of those wild
days of California life. He saw a calmer period of history there. The
vigilance committee at length surrendered its power to the State
Government, and California has taken her place among the noblest of our
commonwealths, loyal to the flag in the darkest hour of strife.

California gold! You have heard of the mania for the mines it created
all over our land when the boy now sixteen was in his cradle. But you
may not know what a chance to make a fortune Lieutenant Sherman had in
that territory—that he saw the small _beginning_ of the excitement. He
was dining, February 8th, 1848, with Captain Sutter, of Sacramento, who
was building a saw-mill. The workmen opened a sluice to wash out the
“tail-race,” when lo! there was gold in the sand. A specimen was brought
into the room where the officers sat, and pronounced to be the precious
particles, which have since attracted the fortune-hunters of every land
under the sun. But the lieutenant quietly returned to his post, and left
to others the great discovery.

The rough experiences in southern and western forests—watching the
stealthy Indians, and riding through perilous and difficult paths—were
fitting him for work which would attract the admiring interest of the
world. So well did he improve his opportunities to serve his country and
perfect himself in military science, that his farther promotion to a
captaincy was ordered while on the Pacific coast. The war closed in the
winter of 1848, and the treaty of peace was signed in February of that
year. The life of a “regular” in the army became monotonous. Garrisons
and surveys occupied the troops. But there came, two years later, an
interesting change in the social relations of Captain Sherman.

The friend he left with so much regret when he bade adieu to Lancaster,
Ohio, for a home at West Point, Miss Ellen B. Ewing, attracted the
gallant young soldier’s steps from the round of martial duty. In the
spring of 1850 he led her to the altar of marriage, in Washington, D.
C., where the bride’s father, the Hon. Thomas Ewing, has spent much of
his long life in Congress, and in the Cabinet. Two of the greatest
statesmen in this or any other nation, Daniel Webster and Henry Clay,
were guests on the occasion, also General Zachary Taylor. Not many
weddings in the Republic can boast of so many distinguished persons
among the spectators of the ceremonies, offering their congratulations
to the happy pair.

Captain Sherman was for a period connected with the Commissary
Department of the Army. Its duties are the furnishing of the various
supplies for the troops. Tired of the quiet and tameness of the service,
in 1853 he resigned his commission, and retired to private life. That
well-known and wealthy citizen of St. Louis, Mr. Lucas, proposed to
establish a banking-house in San Francisco, under the name of “Lucas,
Turner & Co.,” at the head of which was placed Captain Sherman.

We have come to a singular turn in his history. The cadet has been from
the Florida swamps to the mountains of the northern border, rising in
position, and steadily, honorably pursuing the object immediately before
him, till tired of an almost useless existence, as it seems, in the
army, he is at length a gentlemanly banker in the principal city of the
“golden coast.” Days, weeks, months, and years, find him in the
comparatively quiet round of business affairs. He is at home in the
material condition and politics of the country; for he is familiar
always with the current events of the times. The faithful boy at
errands, is the trusty soldier and banker also. No stain rests on the
record of his success in life.

                               CHAPTER V.

   Takes charge of a Military Academy in Alexandria, Louisiana—He
     sees the rising storm of Civil War—Resigns—A noble Letter—He
     repairs to St. Louis, and superintends a Street Railroad.

CAPTAIN SHERMAN, of the house of Lucas, Turner & Co., was not
unsuccessful in the banking-office; but it was not suited to his culture
and taste, and he was without large capital. It is not strange,
therefore, that when, in 1860, he was offered the presidency of the
Louisiana State Military Academy at Alexandria, on a salary of five
thousand dollars per annum, he should accept the honorable position.

You know that, besides the national institution for discipline in the
art of war, there are smaller schools of a similar character in several
of the States, besides private enterprises of great merit. The Academy
at Alexandria was organized in 1860, and, intended to accommodate two
hundred cadets. Whether the State had reference to the possibility of a
collision with the Government in this preparatory work we do not know,
but are sure that the chief officer had no thought of serving the cause
of revolt in taking its management. The town is situated on the Red
River, nearly in the centre of the State, three hundred and fifty miles
from New Orleans, which lies southeast of it, and down the Mississippi.

Louisiana is a great cotton-growing State, and Alexandria is in one of
the richest portions of the wide plains skirting the stream which poured
its flood into the magnificent tide of the “Father of Waters.” It is
beautifully situated in the midst of cotton plantations, which, like
snow-fields in summer, spread away in every direction from the village.
Here the professor was directing his genius and attainments to carry out
the wishes of the founders of the school, when the first ominous sounds
of rebellion followed the election of Abraham Lincoln.

He knew the Southern feeling well. The intercourse with the people of
the cotton States, from the association at West Point with their sons to
that hour, convinced him of what we at the North were slow to believe,
that they were determined to have their own way or _fight_. His clear
judgment and forecast caught the signal of revolution in the stormy
councils and secession resolutions which succeeded the political
revolution. The evil spirit of rebellion was in the very atmosphere
about him. There was hot blood, even in the recitation-rooms of the
Academy. The year 1860 closed over a purpose which had slowly but
steadily matured, to leave the institution in which he had just begun to
feel at home, and was fully qualified to manage. It had cost him anxious
thought. But far in advance, as he has been ever since, in his views of
the true issue—the men and the measures we must meet—he was sure a
sanguinary struggle was at hand. It saddened his heart, but nerved his
strong hand to grasp the starry banner and enter the arena of carnage
and victory.

Thus decided in his convictions and loyalty, he did not wait for the
thunder of cannon around Fort Sumter. He wrote the following manly,
strong, and patriotic letter, which tells its own glorious story:

                                                 “JANUARY 18, 1861.

    “SIR:—As I occupy a _quasi_-military position under this State,
    I deem it proper to acquaint you that I accepted such position
    when Louisiana was a State in the Union, and when the motto of
    the seminary was inserted in marble over the main door, ‘_By the
    liberality of the General Government of the United States_: The
    Union—_Esto Perpètua_.’

    “Recent events foreshadow a great change, and it becomes all men
    to choose. If Louisiana withdraws from the Federal Union, _I_
    prefer to maintain my allegiance to the old Constitution as long
    as a fragment of it survives, and my longer stay here would be
    wrong in every sense of the word. In that event, I beg you will
    send or appoint some authorized agent to take charge of the arms
    and munitions of war here belonging to the State, or direct me
    what disposition should be made of them.

    “And furthermore, as President of the Board of Supervisors, I
    beg you to take immediate steps to relieve me as superintendent
    the moment the State determines to secede; for on no earthly
    account will I do any act, or think any thought, hostile to or
    in defiance of the old Government of the United States.

                                     “With great respect, &c.,
                                     “(Signed)      W. T. SHERMAN.”

What a scorching rebuke is that in the first paragraph! How sublimely
loyal the sentiments of the last!

The resignation was accepted. The professor turned his back upon his
cadets and upon Louisiana, till he shall return under the torn and
blackened flag of conquest. Repairing to St. Louis, he had no employment
for his brain or hands. But he was ready for any honest work. Mr. Lucas,
one of the millionaires of the city, offered him the office of
superintendent of a street railroad, on a salary of two thousand dollars
a year. He at once entered upon its duties, without a regret that he had
abandoned the halls of military science and a larger reward for his

My young reader, it is a lesson for all ages and all times. Embrace the
providential openings for reputable and useful labor, without regard to
the present applause or the favor of the busy multitude about you. Think
of the brave Captain—the educated instructor—managing the affairs of a
city horse-railway! Then think of the host of young men, who would
rather starve, or _gamble_, to keep up the appearance of wealth and
position, rather than _go down_ in the world’s estimate of what is
respectable and fashionable, and you will admire the truly heroic
character of the gifted Sherman.

                              CHAPTER VI.

   Sumter falls—Sherman repairs to Washington—His Interview with
     the Secretary of War and the President—His Prophetic Insight of
     the Threatening Times—The state of the Country—Rebel

THE traitorous Secretary of War, John B. Floyd, had not lost sight of
the probable uprising of the South at no distant period, for a moment,
during all of his official career. Every fort on her soil was made an
easy prey to her rebellious hand by reducing their garrisons.

The magnificent Fortress Monroe, on which the United States had expended
nearly two and a half millions, could muster only eight companies of
artillery. The forts, Moultrie, Pinckney, and Sumter, of Charleston
harbor, had only eighty men, who were in Fort Moultrie.

And yet, had you been in the Halls of Congress when Mr. Clarke, of New
Hampshire, offered a resolution of inquiry into the condition of those
defences, you would have heard a storm of apparently virtuous
indignation from Jefferson Davis and his fellow-conspirators, as if the
intimation of treachery were an insult to Southern chivalry.

A week later General Anderson and his band, loyal to the national
banner, having become assured that their capture with Fort Moultrie was
designed, after destroying its equipment as far as possible, stole at
dead of night from its walls and floated over the waters to silent
Sumter, whose massive battlements promised a safer refuge from the
passions of infatuated men. The rebels immediately seized Forts Moultrie
and Pinckney; and ten days later the Star of the West, an unarmed
steamer conveying a reënforcement of two hundred and fifty soldiers and
supplies for the destitute garrison, was fired upon from newly-erected

The spring came with flowers and birds, but the angry storm of rebellion
beat around Sumter with increasing fury. Iron-clad batteries had risen
on every hand to cut off the approach of our ships, and grim ordnance
now pointed toward the old fortress.

April 12th a messenger approached it with a very brief message to Major
Anderson; it was, “Surrender!” The reply was nearly as short: “His sense
of honor and his obligations to the Government would prevent

A few hours after, and “boom! boom!” was the sound, followed with shot
and shell, against Sumter’s walls, which opened a bloody civil war. In
the iron hail the fort was scarred, and its ground covered with
exploding shells. At length the band, one-third the number of the famous
warriors at Thermopylæ, against ten thousand, saw the hopelessness of
resistance, and made honorable terms to themselves, of surrender. Every
telegraphic wire in the land, North and South, trembled to the tidings
of the battle hour.

The Hon. Thomas Ewing wrote Charles Taylor Sherman, of Washington, the
brother of William Tecumseh, to use his influence to get the latter
again into the army. He felt that he was, and _would be_ needed. The
intelligent, patriotic mind of the captain did not require _light_ for
action, but only _opportunity_.

Our railroad superintendent at St. Louis thought that all observant
people must see that a terrible conflict had begun, and like Grant in
Galena, left his office to offer his services to the Government, and his
life, if that should be the sacrifice, included in their acceptance. He
hastened to the nation’s capital. Soon after reaching Washington he
called on Secretary Cameron.

“Mr. Secretary, civil war is imminent, and we are unprepared for it. I
have come to offer my services to the country in the struggle before

“I think,” replies Mr. Cameron, “the ebullition of feeling will soon
subside, we shall not need many troops.”

Indeed the Secretary was quite surprised, if not annoyed, at the
earnestness of Captain Sherman. He next sought an interview with the
President, and made a similar statement and offer to him. The good
President was inclined to take the whole thing as a joke. After
listening to the serious enthusiasm expressed in the strong appeal, he
replied, pleasantly: “We shall not need many more like you; the whole
affair will soon blow over.”

He left the Chief Magistrate of a republic whose very existence he knew
was assailed, with a shadow of disappointment on his brave, loyal
spirit—not for himself, but for the cause near his heart. Friends then
advised him to go to Ohio and superintend the organization of three
months’ men there. He declared “it would be as wise to undertake to
extinguish the flames of a burning building with a squirt gun, as to put
down the rebellion with three months’ troops.”

To talk of any thing less than a gigantic war was to him absurd. But he
was then nearly alone in his just estimate of the struggle.

                              CHAPTER VII.

   The Conflict Deepens—The Captain is made Colonel of the
     Thirteenth New York Volunteers—The Battle of Bull Run—The
     unterrified Commander of the Thirteenth and his Troops—The
     Brave Stand.

INSTEAD of “blowing over,” the storm of rebellion grew darker, and
extended toward every point of the horizon. The appointment of Captain
Sherman to an important command was discussed and urged by those who
knew him. And what do you think he said? You recollect our
Lieutenant-General, when he asked the privilege of serving his country,
declined a generalship because too modest to aspire to its honors. The
lamented Major-General Mitchel desired any place, however humble, where
he might defend the Stars and Stripes. And said the gallant Sherman: “I
do not wish a prominent place; this is to be a long and bloody war.”

Real _ability_ to achieve, and moral worth, are never boastful and
impatient to astonish the people. Even the great rebel General Lee, in a
letter recently published, urges the same unassuming, calm performance
of present duty upon his son: quoting as an illustration the “old
Puritan,” who in the early period of our legislation, when the day
suddenly became outwardly dark, as if the sun had disappeared from the
heavens, causing a pause of alarm, some fearing the judgment-day was at
hand, called for a light, saying he wished to proceed to business, and
be found at his post of duty when the final catastrophe came. This is
good counsel for us all, though from a _rebel’s_ pen.

General McDowell, who was then one of our most popular commanders, seems
to have had a just appreciation of Sherman. He wanted his services; and
on the 13th of June, 1861, offered him the colonelcy of the Thirteenth
Infantry in the regular army, the command dating May 14th of that year.

A month of preparation for the field passed, and the first great meeting
of the opposing armies summoned him to the war-path. July 16th, General
McDowell, with thirty-two thousand five hundred men, moved in four
divisions upon Manassas, through which lay the route to Richmond, the
capital of Virginia and of the Confederacy. From Arlington Heights, Long
Bridge, and Alexandria, the troops marched proudly forward, anticipating
an early victory.

Never before, my young reader, did a large army go to the plain of
carnage with hearts so light and gay—“as if on a pic-nic excursion.” It
was a splendid, and to most of the troops a novel spectacle, that march
upon the “sacred soil” of the “Old Dominion,” to the animating notes of
“The Star Spangled Banner” and other national airs. July 21st, the
Sabbath day, the signals of battle were seen in our lines, regardless of
the hallowed time, and confident of an almost bloodless conquest.

Colonel Bowman, one of General Sherman’s officers since, and a faithful
friend, has given a clear and unvarnished story of his part in the

“The enemy had planted a battery on Warrenton turnpike, to command the
passage of Bull Run, and seized the stone bridge which crossed it,
erecting a heavy abatis to prevent our advance in that direction. The
object of the battle was to force this position, with a view to
subsequent operations beyond. The army engaged was commanded by
Brigadier-General McDowell. The fourth division was left in the rear.
The first, second, third, and fifth were commanded respectively by
Brigadier-General Tyler, and Colonels Hunter, Heintzelman, and Miles. In
the plan of battle, Miles was to be in reserve on the Centreville Ridge;
Tyler was to advance directly in front of Stone Bridge, on the Warrenton
road, and cannonade the enemy’s batteries; Hunter and Heintzelman were
to move to the right and cross the run above, and get to the enemy’s
rear. Colonel Sherman commanded the third brigade in Tyler’s (first)
division, consisting of troops since renowned for gallantry—Captain
Ayres’ Regular Battery, the Thirteenth, Sixty-ninth, and Seventy-ninth
New York, and Second Wisconsin infantry.

“The advance was commenced on the morning of the 21st, and a part of
Hunter’s and Heintzelman’s divisions, according to McDowell’s official
report, ‘forced the enemy back far enough to allow Sherman’s and Keyes’s
brigades of Tyler’s division to cross from their position on the
Warrenton road. These drove the right of the enemy, understood to have
been commanded by Beauregard, from the front of the field, and out of
the detached woods, and down the road, and across it, up the slopes, on
the other side.’ Pressing on, these two brigades, with the two divisions
on the right, came upon an elevated ridge or table of land. Here was the
severest fighting of the famous battle. Sherman led his brigade directly
up the Warrenton road, and held his ground till the general order came
to retreat. It will be the verdict of history that the fighting at Bull
Run was no more disgraceful to us than the unsuccessful fighting of the
French at Waterloo. It was the disorganized _rout_ after the day was
done that showed that our army was as yet but an undisciplined rabble.
The day was lost partly by the delay in attack, but chiefly by the
arrival of reënforcements under Johnston, when victory was already in
our hands. General Patterson was the Grouchy of our Waterloo.

“One fact in the battle has hitherto escaped comment. The orders of
Tyler’s division were to cross Bull Run, when possible, and join Hunter
on the right. This was done, Sherman leading off, with the Sixty-ninth
New York in advance, and encountering a party of the enemy retreating
along a cluster of pines. Lieutenant-Colonel Haggerty, of the
Sixty-ninth, without orders, rode over to intercept their retreat, and
was shot dead by the enemy. Furious at his loss, the Sixty-ninth sprang
forward and opened fire, which was returned. ‘But,’ says Sherman,
‘determined to effect our junction with Hunter’s division, I ordered the
fire to cease, and we proceeded with caution toward the field, where we
then plainly saw our forces engaged.’ Turning to Colonel Burnside’s
official report, we shall find that he was at this time overwhelmingly
pressed by the enemy. It was a critical juncture. At length Major
Sykes’s battalion of regulars came up, and staggered the enemy, and at
the same moment Sherman came marching over the hill. ‘It was Sherman’s
brigade,’ says Burnside, ‘that arrived at about twelve and a half
o’clock, and by a most deadly fire assisted in breaking the enemy’s
lines.’ So much for soldierly promptness and strict obedience to orders.
From the vigor with which Sherman fought his brigade, the loss in his
four regiments was one hundred and five killed, two hundred and two
wounded, two hundred and ninety-three wounded or missing, with six
killed and three wounded in the battery, making a total of six hundred
and nine, the whole division losing eight hundred and fifty-nine. The
loss of the army, excluding prisoners and stragglers, was computed thus:
killed, four hundred and seventy-nine; wounded, eleven hundred and
eleven; total killed and wounded, fifteen hundred and ninety. When the
conduct of Sherman had become known, the Ohio delegation in Congress
unanimously urged his immediate promotion. This was easily effected, and
on the 3d of August, 1861, he was confirmed a brigadier-general of

Colonel Sherman’s brigade was the only one which retired from the field
in order, making a stand at the bridge on the track to Washington, to
dispute bravely “the right of way,” should the enemy pursue our
panic-stricken forces toward the capital.

                             CHAPTER VIII.

   General Sherman goes to Kentucky—Muldraugh’s Hill—His army
     weakened—General Buckner’s superior force—Succeeds General
     Anderson—Writes General McClellan—Interview with Secretary

AWAY on the borders of Kentucky the tramp of war was heard. The hero
of Sumter, General Anderson, was in command of the department. With the
advent of autumn, the Union Home Guards of Kentucky, with other troops,
had gathered to the banks of the Rolling Fork of Salt River—a branch
two hundred feet wide and only three feet deep. Two miles from the road
crossing lie the Muldraugh’s Hills, rising in romantic outline. Half way
upon the ascent runs the railroad, whose bridge is trestle-work ninety
feet high; it then enters Tunnel Hill, emerging into an open plain.

General Buckner, the rebel commander, was at Bowling Green, looking
toward Louisville, where he boasted he would spend the winter. General
Sherman was sent to join General Anderson, the second in command, and
moved his force to Muldraugh’s Hills. Buckner had burned the bridge; the
Home Guards were withdrawn; and the enemy’s troops numbered twenty-five
thousand. To retire to Elizabethtown with the five thousand Union
soldiers was the best that General Sherman could do.

At this crisis General Anderson resigned his command on account of ill
health, and the mantle of authority fell on General Sherman; no very
desirable honor at that time, for “most of the fighting young men of
Kentucky had gone to join the rebels. The non-combatants were divided in
sentiment, and most of them far from friendly. He lacked men, and most
of those he had were poorly armed. He lacked, also, means of
transportation and munitions of war; and if the rebel generals had known
his actual condition, they could have captured or driven his forces
across the Ohio in less than ten days. He applied earnestly and
persistently for reënforcements, and, at the same time, took every
possible precaution to conceal his weakness from the enemy, as well as
from the loyal public. At that time newspaper reporters were not always
discreet, and often obtained and published the very facts that should
have been concealed. He issued a stringent order excluding all reporters
and correspondents from his lines. This brought down upon him the
indignation of the press. More unfortunately still, he failed to impress
the Secretary of War with the necessities of his position and the
importance of holding it. On the 3d of November he telegraphed to
General McClellan the condition of affairs, with the number of his
several forces, showing them to be everywhere, except at one single
point, outnumbered, and concluded his despatch with the emphatic remark,
‘Our forces are too small to do good, and too large to be sacrificed.’

“In reply, General McClellan asks, ‘How long could McCook keep Buckner
out of Louisville, holding the railroad, with power to destroy it inch
by inch?’—giving no hint of a purpose to send reënforcements, but
looking to the probable abandonment of Kentucky. Previous to this,
General Sherman had had an interview with Secretary Cameron, in presence
of Adjutant-General Thomas, at Lexington, Kentucky, and fully explained
to him the situation of his command, and also of the armies opposed to
him; and, on being asked what force was necessary for a successful
forward movement in his department, answered, ‘Two hundred thousand
men.’ By the 1st of November, Adjutant-General Thomas’s official report
of this conversation, in all its details, was published in most of the
newspapers of the country, giving the enemy full knowledge of many
important facts relating to General Sherman’s department. He was too
weak to defend his lines; and the enemy knew it. He had no hope of
reënforcements, and, withal, was evidently in discredit with the War
Department, as being too apprehensive of the power, strength, and
resources of the enemy. He, therefore, felt he could not successfully
conduct the campaign, and asked to be relieved. He was succeeded by
General Buell, who was at once reënforced, and enabled to hold his
defensive positions until Grant, the following spring, should advance
down the Mississippi and up the Cumberland.

“General Sherman was now set down as ‘crazy,’ and quietly retired to the
command of Benton Barracks, near St. Louis. The evidence of his insanity
was his answer to the Secretary of War—_that to make a successful
advance against the enemy, then strongly posted at all strategic points
from the Mississippi to Cumberland Gap, would require an army two
hundred thousand strong_! The answer was the inspiration or the judgment
of a military genius; but to the mind of Mr. Secretary Cameron it was
the prophecy of a false wizard.

“It has been said of the Spaniards, ‘that they generally managed to have
an army when they had no general, and a general when they had no army;’
and during the first years of the war we surpassed in folly their
example. It was vainly expected the rebellion could effectually be put
down without either a general or an army, by a mere flourish of
trumpets—as if the foundations of the Confederacy, like the walls of
Jericho, would yield and fall at the blowing of a ram’s horn. Subsequent
events have sufficiently vindicated General Sherman’s opinion expressed
in his reply to the Secretary of War.

“Meantime General Halleck succeeded to the command of the Department of
the West, and General Sherman was not long allowed to remain in charge
of a recruiting-rendezvous at St. Louis. When General Grant moved on
Fort Donelson, Sherman was intrusted with the forwarding to him of
reënforcements and supplies from Paducah. General Grant subsequently
acknowleged himself ‘greatly indebted for his promptness’ in discharging
that duty. After the capture of that stronghold, General Sherman was put
in command of the fifth division of Grant’s army at Pittsburg Landing.
At the same time Beauregard was industriously collecting the rebel
forces at Corinth, a strong strategic point, well fortified, thirty
miles distant. Grant had moved up from Fort Donelson, and Buell was on
his way.”

How grandly General Grant and Commodore Foote did their work at Forts
Henry and Donelson! What deeds of valor were performed by our Western
boys, whose couch at night was the snowy earth, reddened with the blood
of carnage!

But while that storm of conflict was raging, an officer who had no
superior, and longed to enter its perils and glory for his native land
and his own loyal West, was patiently, and “without observation,”
sending, with an intelligent appreciation of what was needed, and
remarkable promptness, supplies for the heroes of the great border
battles. General Grant _knew_ the value of that service, and warmly
expressed in his despatches his “indebtedness to General Sherman” for
his activity, his timely and indispensable aid, apart from the bloody

My reader will recollect that the fall of Fort Donelson, about the
middle of February, 1862, startled the whole of “rebeldom.” The
strongest fortress in the West was taken. The next position in
importance was Corinth, because at the junction of the Memphis and
Charleston and the Mobile and Ohio Railroads. Memphis, the enemy knew,
must soon be the prize for which our victorious troops would strike.

“Corinth must be defended!” was the cry from the South. General
Beauregard, the hero of Sumter and Bull Run, hastened to the field of
conflict, to lend the power of his name and generalship to the cause of

General Grant had moved the gunboats after the surrender of Fort
Donelson down the Cumberland and up the Tennessee River to Pittsburg
Landing, making Savannah, ten miles distant, his own headquarters.

General Buell, with the Army of the Ohio, was marching toward this point
to join him, from the pursuit of General Johnston through Nashville. The
rebel officers decided to concentrate their forces, by the railroads in
their possession, unexpectedly upon the Union army before Buell could
get there, and after annihilating it, turn upon him and scatter his
battalions. The enemy kept his counsels well, while preparing to hurl
his legions upon our columns.

                              CHAPTER IX.

   Pittsburg Landing—The Surprise—The Battle—The Victory—
     Sherman’s glorious part in the Struggle—The Testimony of
     Officers—His Letter on the Contest.

PITTSBURG is the nearest point to Corinth on the river, three miles
from which, in the sparsely settled country, is the old log building
called Shiloh Church—a dilapidated sanctuary of primitive, or rather
_backwoods_ style. Around this desolate place of former worship lay
General Sherman’s division, bordering both sides of the lower road to

Sunday morning, April 6th, the fifty thousand men or more, under such
leaders as Beauregard, Johnston, Breckinridge, and Polk, fell upon the
army of the Republic, emerging from their forest paths like spectres in
the early light. “Carleton,” who was there, and carefully went over the
field of conflict to know all that was done, thus notices our hero:

“Sherman’s pickets were being driven back by the rapid advance of the
rebel lines. It was a little past sun-rise when they came in,
breathless, with startling accounts that the entire rebel army was at
their heels. The officers were not out of bed. The soldiers were just
stirring, rubbing their eyes, putting on their boots, washing at the
brook, or tending their camp kettles. Their guns were in their tents;
they had a small supply of ammunition. It was a complete surprise.
Officers jumped from their beds, tore open the tent-flies, and stood in
undress to see what it was all about. The rebel pickets rushed up within
close musket range and fired.

“‘Fall in! Form a line! here, quick!’ were the orders from the officers.

“There was running in every direction. Soldiers for their guns, officers
for their sabres, artillerists to their pieces, teamsters to their
horses. There was hot haste, and a great hurly-burly.

“General Hardee made a mistake at the outset. Instead of rushing up with
a bayonet charge upon Sherman’s camp, and routing his unformed brigades
in an instant, as he might have done, he unlimbered his batteries and
opened fire.

“When the alarm was given General Sherman was instantly on his horse. He
sent a request to McClernand to support Hilderbrand. He also sent word
to Prentiss that the enemy were in front, but Prentiss had already made
the discovery, and was contending with all his might against the
avalanche rolling upon him from the ridge south of his position. He sent
word to Hurlbut that a force was needed in the gap between the church
and Prentiss. He was everywhere present, dashing along his lines, paying
no attention to the constant fire aimed at him and his staff by the
rebel skirmishers, within short musket range. They saw him, knew that he
was an officer of high rank, saw that he was bringing order out of
confusion, and tried to pick him off. While galloping down to
Hilderbrand, his orderly, Halliday, was killed.

“Sherman tried to hold his position by the church. He considered it to
be of the utmost importance. He did not want to lose his camp. He
exhibited great bravery. His horse was shot, and he mounted another.
That also was killed, and he took a third, and, before night, lost his
fourth. He encouraged his men, not only by his words but by his reckless
daring. Captain Behr had been posted on the Purdy road with his battery,
and had had but little part in the fight. He was falling back, closely
followed by Pond.

“‘Come into position out there on the right,’ said Sherman, pointing to
the place where he wanted him to unlimber. Then came a volley from the
woods. A shot struck the captain from his horse. The drivers and gunners
became frightened and rode off with the caissons, leaving five unspiked
guns to fall into the hands of the rebels! Sherman and Taylor, and other
officers, by their coolness, bravery, and daring, saved Buckland’s and
McDowell’s brigades from a panic; and thus, after four hours of hard
fighting, Sherman was obliged to leave his camp and fall back behind
McClernand, who now was having, a fierce fight with the brigades which
had pushed in between Prentiss and Sherman.”

You shall hear from the general’s fellow-officers about his appearance
and gallantry on this terrible field of strife. A brave cavalry officer
said of him: “Having occasion to report personally to General Sherman,
about noon of the first day of Shiloh, I found him dismounted, his arm
in a sling, his hand bleeding, his horse dead, himself covered with
dust, his face besmeared with powder and blood. He was giving directions
at the moment to Major Taylor, his chief of artillery, who had just
brought a battery into position. Mounted orderlies were coming and going
in haste; staff officers were making anxious inquiries; everybody but
himself seemed excited. The battle was raging terrifically in every
direction. Just then there seemed to be universal commotion on our
right, where it was observed our men were giving back. ‘I was looking
for that,’ said Sherman, ‘but I am ready for them.’ His quick, sharp eye
flashed, and his war-begrimed face beamed with satisfaction. The enemy’s
packed columns now made their appearance, and as quickly the guns which
Sherman had so carefully placed in position began to speak. The deadly
effect on the enemy was apparent. While Sherman was still managing the
artillery, Major Sanger, a staff officer, called his attention to the
fact that the enemy’s cavalry were charging toward the battery. ‘Order
up those two companies of infantry,’ was the quick reply, and the
general coolly went on with his guns. The cavalry made a gallant charge,
but their horses carried back empty saddles. The enemy was evidently
foiled. Our men, gaining fresh courage, rallied again, and for the first
time that day the enemy was held stubbornly in check. A moment more and
he fell back over the piles of his dead and wounded.”

General Rousseau, a division officer of Buell’s Army of the Cumberland,
speaks of him in the following handsome manner:

“He gave us our first lessons in the field in the face of an enemy; and
of all the men I ever saw he is the most untiring, vigilant, and
patient. No man that ever lived could surpass him. His enemies say that
he was surprised at Shiloh. I tell you no. He was not surprised nor
whipped, for he fights by the week. Devoid of ambition, incapable of
envy, he is brave, gallant, and just. At Shiloh his old legion met him
just as the battle was ended; and at the sight of him, placing their
hats upon their bayonets, gave him three cheers. It was a touching and
fitting compliment to the gallant chieftain. I am thankful for this
occasion to do justice to a brave, honest, and knightly gentleman.”

Nor did he escape the attention of his commanding officer. General
Grant, in a letter to the War Department, under date of July 25, 1863,

“At the battle of Shiloh, on the last day, he held, with raw troops, the
key point of the landing. It is no disparagement to any other officer to
say that I do not believe there was another division commander on the
field who had the skill and experience to have done it. To his
individual efforts I am indebted for the success of that battle.”

Writes Colonel Bowman: “He formed his first line of battle on the brow
of a hill, or rather ridge, on the west of Lick and Owl Creeks, which
served as a natural fortification. The men, by lying down or retiring a
few steps, were well covered, and, by rising and advancing a few paces,
could deliver their fire with terrible effect. But his troops were
mostly green, and wholly untrained in the art of war. The rebel onset
was well directed, rapid, and most persistent. Some of Sherman’s
regiments broke and fled, while others fought like veterans. The fight
soon became general; Beauregard hurled his massed columns with great
impetuosity against our attenuated lines, which, though yielding to the
pressure, did not break. The rebels gained ground inch by inch, but
could do no more than compress the semicircle of our line of battle.
Beauregard had promised his troops to drive us into the Tennessee that
day before three o’clock, but nightfall found him contemplating the
chances of successful retreat; for Buell had arrived. Sherman’s conduct
on that day showed him to be a man of the first order of military
talent. He was not disconcerted by the panic among his green troops,
and, indeed, had expected it. All he asked was, that a reasonable number
should remain and obey orders; and in an American army there can always
be found a goodly proportion of officers and men incapable of being
cowards under any circumstances. With such he did battle on the 6th of
April, 1862—a day long to be remembered, as the day of the battle of
Shiloh. There was not a commanding general on the field who did not rely
on Sherman, and look to him as our chief hope; and there is no question
that but for Sherman our army would have been destroyed. He rode from
place to place, directing his men; he selected from time to time the
positions for his artillery; he dismounted and managed the guns; he sent
suggestions to commanders of divisions; he inspired everybody with
confidence; and yet it never occurred to him that he had accomplished
any thing worthy of remark.”

General Nelson, a few days before his death, in conversation with Larz
Anderson and two or three other gentlemen, said: “During eight hours,
the fate of the army on the field of Shiloh depended on the life of one
man: if General Sherman had fallen, the army would have been captured or

General Halleck, in his despatch to the Secretary of War, recommending
General Sherman for promotion, said of him: “It is the unanimous opinion
here that Brigadier-General W. T. Sherman saved the fortunes of the day
on the 6th of April, and contributed largely to the glorious victory of
the 7th. He was in the thickest of the fight on both days, having three
horses killed under him, and being wounded twice. I respectfully request
that he be made a major-general of volunteers, to date from the 6th

Acting upon this recommendation, General Sherman was promoted to the
rank designated, to date from May 1st, 1862.

I shall give you now a letter of considerable length, written by General
Sherman himself about the battle. Some of my readers may not care to
read it all; but it should have a place in the annals of his life,
because it is one of many illustrations of his power with the pen, and
is also his honest and truthful record of the great contest at Pittsburg

    “_Professor Henry Coppee, Philadelphia_:

    “DEAR SIR: In the June number of the _United States Service
    Magazine_ I find a brief sketch of Lieutenant-General U. S.
    Grant, in which I see you are likely to perpetuate an error,
    which General Grant may not deem of sufficient importance to
    correct. To General Buell’s noble, able, and gallant conduct you
    attribute the fact that the disaster of April 6th, at Pittsburg
    Landing, was retrieved, and made the victory of the following
    day. As General Taylor is said in his later days to have doubted
    whether he was at the battle of Buena Vista at all, on account
    of the many things having transpired there, according to the
    historians, which he did not see, so I begin to doubt whether I
    was at the battle of Pittsburg Landing of modern description.
    But I was at the battles of April 6th and 7th, 1862. General
    Grant visited my division in person about ten A. M., when the
    battle raged fiercest. I was then on the right.

    “After some general conversation, he remarked that I was doing
    right in stubbornly opposing the progress of the enemy; and, in
    answer to my inquiry as to cartridges, told me he had
    anticipated their want, and given orders accordingly; he then
    said his presence was more needed over at the left. About two P.
    M. on the 6th, the enemy materially slackened his attack on me,
    and about four P. M. I deliberately made a new line behind
    McArthur’s drill field, placing batteries on chosen ground,
    repelled easily a cavalry attack, and watched the cautious
    approach of the enemy’s infantry, that never dislodged me there.
    I selected that line in advance of a bridge across Snake Creek,
    by which we had all day been expecting the approach of Lew.
    Wallace’s division from Crump’s Landing. About five P. M.,
    before the sun set, General Grant came again to me, and, after
    hearing my report of matters, explained to me the situation of
    affairs on the left, which were not as favorable. Still the
    enemy had failed to reach the landing of the boat.

    “We agreed that the enemy had expended the _furore_ of his
    attack, and we estimated our loss, and approximated our then
    strength, including Lew. Wallace’s fresh division, expected each
    minute. He then ordered me to get all things ready, and at
    daylight the next day to assume the offensive. That was before
    General Buell had arrived, but he was known to be near at hand.
    General Buell’s troops took no essential part in the first day’s
    fight, and Grant’s army, though collected together hastily,
    green as militia, some regiments arriving without cartridges
    even, and nearly all hearing the dread sound of battle for the
    first time, had successfully withstood and repelled the first
    day’s terrific onset of a superior enemy, well commanded and
    well handled. I know I had orders from General Grant to assume
    the offensive before I knew General Buell was on the west side
    of the Tennessee. I think General Buell, Colonel Fry, and others
    of General Buell’s staff, rode up to where I was about sunset,
    about the time General Grant was leaving me. General Buell asked
    me many questions, and got of me a small map, which I had made
    for my own use, and told me that by daylight he could have
    eighteen thousand fresh men, which I knew would settle the

    “I understood Grant’s forces were to advance on the right of the
    Corinth road and Buell’s on the left, and accordingly at
    daylight I advanced my division by the flank, the resistance
    being trivial, up to the very spot where the day before the
    battle had been most severe, and then waited till near noon for
    Buell’s troops to get up abreast, when the entire line advanced
    and recovered all the ground we had ever held. I know that with
    the exception of one or two struggles, the fighting of April 7th
    was easy as compared with that of April 6th.

    “I never was disposed, nor am I now, to question any thing done
    by General Buell and his army, and know that, approaching our
    field of battle from the rear, he encountered that sickening
    crowd of laggards and fugitives that excited his contempt and
    that of his army, who never gave full credit to those in the
    front line, who did fight hard, who had, at two P. M., checked
    the enemy, and were preparing the next day to assume the
    offensive. I remember the fact the better from General Grant’s
    anecdote of the Donelson battle, which he told me then for the
    first time—that, at a certain period of the battle, he saw that
    either side was ready to give way if the other showed a bold
    front, and he determined to do that very thing, to advance on
    the enemy, when, as he prognosticated, the enemy surrendered.

    “At four P. M. of April 6th, he thought the appearances the
    same, and he judged, with Lew. Wallace’s fresh division, and
    such of our startled troops as had recovered their equilibrium,
    he would be justified in dropping the defensive and assuming the
    offensive in the morning. And, I repeat, I received such orders
    before I knew General Buell’s troops were at the river. I admit
    that I was glad Buell was there, because I knew his troops were
    older than ours, and better systematized and drilled, and his
    arrival made that certain which before was uncertain. I have
    heard this question much discussed, and must say that the
    officers of Buell’s army dwelt too much on the stampede of some
    of our raw troops, and gave us too little credit for the fact
    that for one whole day, weakened as we were by the absence of
    Buell’s army, long expected, of Lew. Wallace’s division, only
    four miles off, and of the fugitives from our ranks, we had
    beaten off our assailants for the time. At the same time our
    Army of the Tennessee have indulged in severe criticism at the
    slow approach of that army which knew the danger that threatened
    us from the concentrated armies of Johnston, Beauregard, and
    Bragg, that lay at Corinth.

    “In a war like this, where opportunities for personal prowess
    are as plenty as blackberries, to those who seek them at the
    front, all such criminations should be frowned down; and were it
    not for the military character of your journal, I would not
    venture to offer a correction to a very popular error.

    “I will also avail myself of this occasion to correct another
    very common mistake in attributing to General Grant the
    selection of that battle-field. It was chosen by that veteran
    soldier, Major-General Charles F. Smith, who ordered my division
    to disembark there, and strike for the Charleston Railroad. This
    order was subsequently modified by his ordering Hurlbut’s
    division to disembark there, and mine higher up the Tennessee to
    the mouth of Yellow Creek, to strike the railroad at Burnsville.
    But floods prevented our reaching the railroad, when General
    Smith ordered me in person also to disembark at Pittsburg
    Landing, and take post well out, so as to make plenty of room,
    with Snake and Lake Creeks the flanks of a camp for the grand
    army of invasion.

    “It was General Smith who selected that field of battle, and it
    was well chosen. On any other we surely would have been
    overwhelmed, as both Lick and Snake Creeks forced the enemy to
    confine his movements to a direct front attack, which new troops
    are better qualified to resist than where flanks are exposed to
    a real or chimerical danger. Even the divisions of that army
    were arranged in that camp by General Smith’s orders, my
    division forming, as it were, the outlying pickets, whilst
    McClernand’s and Prentiss’s were the real line-of-battle, with
    W. H. L. Wallace in support of the right wing, and Hurlbut on
    the left; Lew. Wallace’s division being detached. All these
    subordinate dispositions were made by the order of General
    Smith, before General Grant succeeded him in the command of all
    the forces up the Tennessee—headquarters, Savannah.

    “If there were any error in putting that army on the west side
    of the Tennessee, exposed to the superior force of the enemy
    also assembling at Corinth, the mistake was not General Grant’s;
    but there was no mistake. It was necessary that a combat, fierce
    and bitter, to test the manhood of the two armies, should come
    off, and that was as good as any. It was not then a question of
    military skill and strategy, but of courage and pluck, and I am
    convinced that every life lost that day to us was necessary; for
    otherwise at Corinth, at Memphis, at Vicksburg, we would have
    found harder resistance, had we not shown our enemies that, rude
    and untutored as we then were, we could fight as well as they.

    “Excuse so long a letter, which is very unusual for me; but of
    course my life is liable to cease at any moment, and I happen to
    be a witness to certain truths which are now beginning to pass
    out of memory, and form what is called history.

    “I also take great pleasure in adding that nearly all the new
    troops that at Shiloh drew from me official censure have more
    than redeemed their good name; among them that very regiment
    which first broke, the Fifty-third Ohio, Colonel Appen. Under
    another leader, Colonel Jones, it has shared every campaign and
    expedition of mine since, is with me now, and can march, and
    bivouac, and fight as well as the best regiment in this or any
    army. Its reputation now is equal to that of any from the State
    of Ohio.

                             “I am, with respect, yours truly,
                                    “W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.”

Rarely for young and old is there a finer example of Professor
Longfellow’s words in the Psalm of Life—

                     “Learn to labor and to wait,”

than this part of General Sherman’s career affords. He did his work
well, and two years afterwards the military genius, unrecognized then by
the country, filled the land with his praise.

                               CHAPTER X.

   The Morning after the Battle—General Sherman’s column in Motion—
     What it did—Corinth the next Goal—The Siege—The Evacuation—
     General Sherman’s troops the first to enter the Works—The Hero
     is made Major-General—Advance on Holly Springs—Memphis—
     General Sherman’s successful Command in that City—The

THE eighth of April dawned upon the silent, sanguinary field of recent
conflict. Soon large companies of men were moving from the Union camps
with spades and other implements of burial, to lay in trenches the heaps
of the slain. The weather was warm in that southern latitude, and
General Grant hastened the work of interment alike of slaughtered
friends and foes.

General Beauregard wrote to our commander, requesting leave to take
rebel bodies from our lines under flag of truce; but other hands were
completing the sad labor for the disfigured, blood-stained, and
pulseless warriors.

Look away from that scene, after the battle, along the Corinth road, and
you see the serried files of living men, led by the unresisting Sherman,
dashing along in hot pursuit of the enemy. The chief of the fifth
division, with a force of cavalry and two brigades of infantry, is in
the war-path again. Suddenly appear the white tents of the abandoned
camps of the enemy, and hospital flags are flying over them in the early
breeze. What does it mean? They are _false_ signals, hung out to deceive
the pursuing commander, and protect the deserted canvas cities. Onward
the sagacious, daring leader hurries after the foe.

And now a shout rings from the lips of our “boys.” The rebel cavalry are
in sight. A few moments later swords cross, pistols crack, and horses
rush together in the strife. Then the “graybacks” turn and fly, leaving
the field, camps, and all, to our victorious ranks. The work of
destruction followed. Tents, arms, ammunition, were mingled in a common
ruin. The road for miles was lined with wagons the foe were compelled to
leave in their haste to get out of our way; ambulances stood unused,
although thousands of the mangled were in need of them; limber-boxes,
which belong to the guns, were also abandoned; indeed, every thing
showed a hurried retreat, which but for the cavalry in the rear to cover
the flight of the infantry, would have been a complete rout of the

The victor returned from his gallant exploit only to repeat it. The
general advance toward Corinth immediately followed. The fifth division
swept over the country, which was arrayed in vernal verdure and bloom.
The birds sang as sweetly as in any former spring-time, startled beside
the highway only by the tramp of the marching host.

May 17th the first shock came. The division of General Grant’s army
under Sherman, met the rebels in a severe conflict on the road to
Corinth. They had to fall back before the human tide, crested with fire
and steel. This brief contest only opened the way to the fortress of
rebel strength. And the question was, how shall Corinth be taken? It
must either be by direct and bloody assault, or by siege, surrounding
it, and compelling the imprisoned army to surrender.

Beauregard watched with sleepless vigilance his foe. He ordered troops
to intrench on a ridge near Philip’s Creek and oppose the Union forces.
General Jeff. C. Davis approached the works; then, feigning a retreat,
drew the garrison out, when a severe struggle defeated the enemy
completely. This occurred May 21st; and, on the 27th, General Sherman
also had a fight with the rebels.

The decisive hour at length has come; all is activity and excitement. We
cannot furnish you a more vivid description of the stirring and awfully
sublime scenes of such a crisis in army operations, than one given in a
letter from this field of conquest:

“Regiments and artillery are placed in position, and, generally, the
cavalry is in advance; but when the opposing forces are in close
proximity, the infantry does the work. The whole front is covered by a
cloud of skirmishers, then reserves formed, and then, in connection with
the main line, they advance. For a moment all is still as the grave to
those in the background; as the line moves on, the eye is strained in
vain to follow the skirmishers as they creep silently forward; then,
from some point of the line, a single rifle rings through the forest,
sharp and clear, and, as if in echo, another answers it. In a moment
more the whole line resounds with the din of arms. Here the fire is slow
and steady, there it rattles with fearful rapidity; and the whole is
mingled with the roar of the reserves as the skirmishers are at any part
driven in; and if, by reason of superior force, these reserves fall back
to the main force, then every nook and corner seems full of sound. The
batteries open their terrible voices, and their shells sing horribly
while winging their flight, and their dull explosion speaks plainly of
death; their canister and grape go crashing through the trees, rifles
ring, the muskets roar, and the din is terrific. Then the slackening of
the fire denotes the withdrawing of the one party, and the more distant
picket firing that the work was accomplished. The silence becomes almost
painful after such a scene as this, and no one can conceive the effect
who has not experienced it. The line of works was selected, and, at the
word of command, three thousand men, with axes, spades, and picks,
stepped out into the open field from their cover in the woods. In almost
as short a time as it takes to tell it, the fence rails which surrounded
and divided three hundred farm lots, were on the shoulders of the men,
and on the way to the intended line of works. Then, as, for a time, the
ditches deepen, the dirt is packed on the outer side, the bushes and all
points of concealment are cleared from the front, and the centre
divisions of our army has taken a long stride toward the rebel works.
The siege guns are brought and placed in commanding positions. A
log-house furnishes the hewn and seasoned timber for the platforms, and
the plantation of a southern lord has been thus speedily transformed
into one of Uncle Sam’s strongholds, where the Stars and Stripes float

“Soon after daylight, on Friday morning, the army was startled by rapid
and long-continued explosions, similar to musketry, but much louder. The
conviction flashed across my mind that the rebels were blowing up their
loose ammunition, and leaving. The dense smoke arising in the direction
of Corinth strengthened this belief, and soon the whole army was
advancing on a grand reconnaissance. The distance through the woods was
short, and in a few minutes shouts arose from the rebel lines, which
told that our army was in their trenches. Regiment after regiment
pressed on, and passing through extensive camps just vacated, soon
reached Corinth, and found half of it in flames.”

The troops under General Sherman were first in the works. Their columns,
as we have seen, were conspicuous in the entire and triumphant progress
from Shiloh, sustaining the heaviest blows, and bearing aloft proudly
the banner of the republic. General Sherman was in subordinate command,
but in his field of action he was the uniformly wise, shrewd, daring,
and successful leader. Wrote General Grant: “His services as division
commander in the advance on Corinth, I will venture to say, were
appreciated by the new general-in-chief beyond any other division
commander.” He was appointed major-general of volunteers, dating from
May 1st, 1862.

Holly Springs, of which you will read more hereafter, is situated on the
railroad from Jackson, Tennessee, to New Orleans. June 20th, General
Sherman coolly relieved the rebels of its care, and took possession
himself, burning long stretches of trestle-work on the Mississippi
Central Railroad, to prevent an unpleasant surprise by the rebels. They
had removed their machinery for making and repairing arms to Atlanta,
Georgia, not dreaming of a visit to that city two years later by the
division-general at Holly Springs.

A few weeks after these events, July 11th, General Halleck was ordered
to Washington in the high position of generalissimo of the Union armies,
and a reorganization of them followed. General Grant was placed in
command of the “Department of West Tennessee,” covering a large
territory bordering the Tennessee and Mississippi Rivers. Memphis, which
had surrendered June 6th, was a very important base of operations and
supplies. But guerrillas and contraband traders infested the country
around, making the city a dangerous haunt of traitors from the
border-land. General Grant displayed his wisdom in sending General
Sherman to the post, declaring that he could the most effectually
restore order and security to that disturbed district. Soon quiet
reigned, guerrillas disappeared, and villanous traders went to more
comfortable quarters. General Sherman did all and more than General
Grant expected of him. He was just, humane, and yet severe in his
administration, according to his views freely and often expressed; that
when people appeal to war for the settlement of claims, they must abide
entirely by the rules and consequences of so terrible a means of real or
imaginary redress. His ideas were comprehensive, and, had they prevailed
at an earlier period, our Government and commanders would have ended the
civil strife long ago, we cannot doubt.

                              CHAPTER XI.

   General Sherman’s next Post—The Steele’s Bayou Expedition—A
     Trial of Courage—The Leader’s Heroism.

TO secure the forces necessary for a new movement against Vicksburg,
General Grant requested the War Department to reunite the thirteenth and
fifteenth corps with his own. Accordingly, after the completion of the
work of destruction of rebel defences and munitions at Arkansas Post,
the troops reported to him at Memphis.

The country was then excited over a quiet, and yet startling act of the
Chief Magistrate—one which would be felt over the world, and through
all ages—the Proclamation of Emancipation! General Grant immediately
addressed himself to the enforcement of its provisions within the limits
of his command. Thousands wept for joy; thousands more trembled or
cursed with alarm over the immortal document. Issuing his order in
harmony with it, he soon after removed a portion of his magnificent army
to Young’s Point, in Louisiana, and another at Milliken’s Bend down the
Mississippi River, taking up his headquarters at the former place, where
General Sherman was also stationed with his troops.

There was now a new device to get _around_ Vicksburg, and so open
communication with forces below the city. Canals were tried, but heavy
rains, and the troops being required to _fight_ the floods rushing into
camp and excavations, compelled the commander-in-chief to abandon the
enterprise. Providence Lake and its connections, and Yazoo Pass, were
successively explored, and the effort made to find a ship-path through
the wild region.

Admiral Porter had been looking along the shores of the “Father of
Waters,” to see if he could discover a highway or _byway_ for his
gunboats. About the middle of March, 1862, he told General Grant that he
was quite sure he could get through by Steele’s Bayou, Black Bayou, to
Duck Creek, thence to Deer Creek, into Rolling Fork, and down Sunflower
River into the Yazoo, which empties into the Mississippi.

[Illustration: IN THE BAYOUS.]

General Grant and Admiral Porter proceeded on the experimental excursion
over these dark bayous. “And what are they?” you may ask.

A bayou is a channel or outlet running from a river to other
waters—sometimes it is an old bed of the stream—forming thus
connections by which vessels can pass from one stream to another.

General Grant returned to Young’s Point to send a pioneer corps to cut
away moss-covered trees overhanging the waters, and obstructing the way.
You can scarcely imagine the awful gloom and solitude of those tangled
woods, whose drooping boughs and long plumes of moss sweep the surface
of the dismal bayous.

Admiral Porter soon found that the enemy were on his track, and might
shut him into the wilderness. He therefore sent to General Grant for
troops. The ignorance of the country, and the difficult winding way,
gave the rebels time to cut off the advance, and stop the bold
travellers just when near their journey’s end.

General Sherman now appears in the adventure, ordered forward by his
chief, to help the admiral out of the perilous spot.

The despatch from the Admiral having reached him March 21st, that the
channel was obstructed, and the enemy six hundred strong, with field
batteries disputing his advance, General Sherman, with the promptness
and decision characteristic of his unsleeping martial spirit, issued his
orders to the troops. They made a forced march, skirmishing part of the
way, and reached the gunboats before night of the 22d, a distance of
twenty-one miles, over a terrible road. But the brave fellows had
learned that General Sherman always had a reason for his movements, and
cheerfully advanced to the rescue through exhausting trial and peril.
“During the day the enemy had been largely reënforced from the Yazoo,
and now unmasked some five thousand men—infantry, cavalry, and
artillery. The boats were surrounded with rebels, who had cut down trees
before and behind them, were moving up artillery, and making every
exertion to cut off retreat and capture our boats. A patrol was at once
established for a distance of seven miles along Deer Creek, behind the
boats, with a chain of sentinels outside of them, to prevent the felling
of trees. For a mile and a half to Rolling Fork, the creek was full of
obstructions. Heavy batteries were on its bank, supported by a large
force. To advance was impossible; to retreat seemed almost hopeless. The
gunboats had their ports all closed, and preparations made to resist
boarders. The mortar boats were all ready for fire and explosion. The
army lines were so close to each other that rebel officers wandered into
our lines in the dark, and were captured. It was the second night
without sleep aboard ship, and the infantry had marched twenty-one miles
without rest. But the faithful force, with their energetic leader, kept
successful watch and ward over the boats and their valuable artillery.
At 7 o’clock that morning, the 22d, General Sherman received a despatch
from the admiral, by the hands of a faithful contraband who came along
through the rebel lines in the night, stating his perilous condition.”

He was now fairly shut up in the bayou by the rebels.

“The first firing of the gunboats was heard by General Sherman near the
Shelby plantation. He urged his troops forward, and after an hour’s hard
marching, the advance, deployed as skirmishers, came upon a body of the
enemy who had passed by the force which had been engaged. Immediately
engaging them, the enemy stood a while disconcerted by the unexpected
attack, fought a short time, and gave way.

“The next effort of the rebels was to pass around our lines in the
afternoon and night, and throw their whole force still further below us;
General Stuart, with four regiments, marched on Hill’s plantation the
same morning, having run his transports in the night, and immediately
advanced one regiment up Deer Creek, and another still further to the
right. The rebels, who were making a circuit about General Sherman, thus
found the whole line occupied, and abandoned the attempt to cut off the
gunboats for that day. During the afternoon the troops and gunboats all
arrived at Hill’s plantation.

“There were destroyed by our troops and by the rebels at least two
thousand bales of cotton, fifty thousand bushels of corn, and the gins
and houses of the plantations whose owners had obstructed our progress,
and joined in the warfare. The resources of the country we found ample
to subsist the army at Vicksburg for some length of time, and by the
destruction of them we crippled the enemy so far.”

The rescue of the admiral’s force was next thing to a miracle: it was
God’s kind and timely interposition. A half hour’s delay in the
movements of Generals Sherman and Stuart, or of the second forced march
of the former, and all would have been lost. In the hands of a less
gifted and energetic leader, one of our bravest admirals, with his
fleet, would have been taken by the rebels, who were confident of the
prey and booty.

                              CHAPTER XII.

   The Position of the Western Forces—The Expedition against
     Vicksburg under General Sherman—The Just and Stringent Orders
     of the Chief—He shows the Speculators no Mercy—The Advance of
     the Grand Army Checked—The Embarkation of Troops—The
     Magnificent Pageant—The Progress and Arrival of the Fleet.

BEFORE following our brave commander further in his war-path, let us
survey the field of action in the West. The goal of patriotic ambition
was now the “Gibraltar of the Father of Waters”—Vicksburg. The great
work of preparation to move went forward during the autumn and early
winter under the eye of the patient, persistent Grant.

December 22d, 1862, he issued an order dividing the troops into four
army corps, stating that “the fifth division, Brigadier-General Morgan
L. Smith commanding, the division from Helena, Arkansas, commanded by
Brigadier-General Steele, and the forces in the district of Memphis,
will constitute the fifteenth army corps, and be commanded by
Major-General W. T. Sherman.” Meanwhile, General Sherman had been
quietly put in command of his forces, and ordered to sail for Friar’s
Point, eighteen miles below Helena, and be ready to coöperate with the
main body of troops under General Grant, in a combined movement on the
stronghold. The former had been in the vicinity of the Tallahatchie
River, making reconnaissances, and was acquainted with that country by
this personal observation. He had issued an order of march which showed
no mercy to speculators, and, as you will see, is marked with the clear
thought and forcible words of its gifted author:

“1. The expedition now fitting out is purely of a military character,
and the interests involved are of too important a nature to be mixed up
with personal and private business. _No citizen, male or female, will be
allowed to accompany it_, unless employed as part of a crew or as
servants to the transports. Female chambermaids to the boats and nurses
to the sick alone will be allowed, unless the wives of captains and
pilots actually belonging to the boats. No laundress, officer’s, or
soldier’s wife must pass below Helena.

“2. No person whatever, citizen, officer, or sutler, will, on any
consideration, buy or deal in cotton or other produce of the country.
Should any cotton be brought on board of any transport going or
returning, the brigade quartermaster, of which the boat forms a part,
will take possession of it, and invoice it to Captain A. R. Eddy, Chief
Quartermaster at Memphis.

“3. Should any cotton or other produce be brought back to Memphis by any
chartered boat, Captain Eddy will take possession of the same, and sell
it for the benefit of the United States. If accompanied by its actual
producer, the planter or factor, the quartermaster will furnish him with
a receipt for the same to be settled for, on proof of his loyalty at the
close of the war.

“4. Boats ascending the river may take cotton from the shore for
bulkheads to protect their engines or crew, but on arrival at Memphis it
will be turned over to the quartermaster, with a statement of the time,
place, and name of its owner. The trade in cotton must await a more
peaceful state of affairs.

“5. Should any citizen accompany the expedition below Helena, in
violation of these orders, any colonel of a regiment or captain of a
battery will conscript him into the service of the United States for the
unexpired term of his command. If he show a refractory spirit unfitting
him for a soldier, the commanding officer present will turn him over to
the captain of the boat as a deck hand, and compel him to work in that
capacity without wages until the boat returns to Memphis.

“6. Any person whatever, whether in the service of the United States or
transports, found making reports for publication, which might reach the
enemy, giving them information, aid, and comfort, will be arrested and
treated as spies.”

The columns of the three army corps had advanced along the railroad
leading from Grand Junction to Grenada, the advance passing onward
through Holly Springs the last of November. By the middle of December
General Grant’s headquarters were at Oxford, his face set toward
Vicksburg. On the 20th occurred a painful and memorable affair to check
the forward march. Although Gen. Grant had taken every precaution
against raiding parties, a dash was made at Holly Springs in his rear,
held by Colonel Murphy, who at once surrendered the post.

General Grant was indignant at the cowardly surrender, and immediately
dismissed the unworthy officer from the service. In consequence of the
destruction of supplies, the commander-in-chief had to fall back to
Holly Springs and prepare to start again. While this serious
interruption in the army’s progress was transpiring, General Sherman had
located his headquarters on board of the _Forest Queen_ with his staff.
This magnificent fleet consisted of one hundred and twenty-seven
steamers besides the gunboats. The troops were hardy, western men,
unsurpassed in the ranks for the qualities of brave warriors.

War does not often present such a pageant as that of this _armada_
sailing down the Tennessee and then the Mississippi Rivers. The Stars
and Stripes waved over the crowded decks, and music floated over the
waters. The grand procession of vessels moved majestically over the
broad current, which in the sunlight reflected their forms, and in the
evening unnumbered signal lanterns from mast and prow and stern. Various
were the scenes and incidents of the voyage.

Writes a passenger: “Until we got below Helena, wood was so scarce on
the river that it was only to be obtained by cutting it, either entirely
green or from the water-logged drifts which had caught against the
banks. Wherever a good placer was discovered, the boats lucky enough to
find it landed and all hands went out with axes, and in a few hours
enough was obtained to steam on to the next good place.

“When the fleet approached Napoleon, Arkansas, the _Post Boy_, which is
a transportation boat, was in the advance, and as she neared the shore
she was hailed by a person bearing a flag of truce, with the information
that there was a band of guerrillas just below, waiting to fire upon
her. At this time she was the only boat visible, but in a short time the
remainder of the fleet made its appearance, and the guerrillas, if there
were any, concluded, no doubt, that we were too many for them. At all
events, at this point there was firing. The houses in the town appeared
to be nearly all deserted, but in some of them could be seen persons
standing back in the door, as if to escape the observation of their
neighbors, and waving their handkerchiefs. Napoleon is the place where
the first shot was fired at a Federal steamer on the Mississippi River,
but there may be some Union people there nevertheless.

“As we reached Helena, very little of the city could be seen for the
long line of tents stretched along the bank. The fleet stopped there for
the night and took on the troops that were to accompany the expedition,
and next morning started on for Friar’s Point, the first place of
rendezvous. It lay there all night, and about nine o’clock next morning
again started down the river, and reached Gaines’ Landing, one hundred
and fifty miles below Helena, about two o’clock P. M., where it stopped
to wood. As the fleet approached this point the bank appeared to be
lined with negroes, who all started down the shore hurrahing and
shouting and jumping, and cutting all kinds of antics. I learned from
some of them that they thought the fleet was going down to set all the
slaves free.

“When the boats landed, a negro gave information of a large store of
wood of the best quality, amounting to more than two thousand cords,
secreted in the timber near the bank, in a place where it would not
readily have been found. This was a great prize, and was instantly
levied on for the use of Uncle Sam. Every soldier able to do duty was
sent on shore to pack wood, and by nightfall all the boats were well
supplied for nearly the whole trip. Near the wood were some ten or
twelve houses, one of them a very fine frame. The negroes said the
owners had gone to join the Southern army, and the soldiers, without
more ado, burned them all down. Many of the negroes, if not all, came on
the boats, and are now under the protection of the army.

“At early light the next morning the fleet moved on again, and as
General Morgan’s division came opposite a little village known as Wood
Cottage Landing, some guerrillas, secreted in a clump of undergrowth,
fired a volley at one of his transports. To teach them a lesson for the
future, General Morgan sent some troops on shore and burnt every house
in the neighborhood.

“Milliken’s Bend was to be the last rendezvous of the fleet before it
started out for active operations on Vicksburg, and we arrived there
about dark on the evening of the 24th December. The next day would be
Christmas, and many of the soldiers had the idea that the fleet would
sail right in without difficulty, and that they would take their
Christmas dinner in Vicksburg. Many invitations were given among friends
for a dinner at the Preston House. They little dreamed of the
disappointment in store for them, or that New Year’s day would find them
on the wrong side of the hill.

“On the night of the 24th, General Sherman sent out a detachment of
troops, under command of General M. L. Smith, to tear up a section of
the line of the Vicksburg and Texas Railroad, about ten miles west of
Vicksburg. The work was well and quickly done, and the stations at Delhi
and Dallas burned.

“At daylight next morning all was ready, and the fleet started for its
destined port, which it reached on the banks of the Yazoo about noon the
same day. Many years ago, about eight miles below the mouth of the
Yazoo, the Mississippi cut a new channel for itself across a bend,
coming into the main channel again just above Vicksburg. The Yazoo
followed the old channel, and the mouth of the river is, therefore,
really from twelve to fifteen miles below where it was originally; but
from the old mouth to the new the river is known to pilots as ‘Old
River.’ Where the fleet landed was about three miles above Old River,
where the right rested, and the left extended to within three miles of
Haynes’ Bluff, the intervening space being about six miles.

“On entering the Yazoo, the first object that attracted the attention
was the ruins of a large brick house and several other buildings, which
were still smoking. On inquiry, I learned that this was the celebrated
plantation of the rebel General Albert Sidney Johnston, who was killed
at Shiloh. It was an extensive establishment, working over three hundred
negroes. It contained a large steam sugar refinery, an extensive steam
saw-mill, cotton-gins, machine-shop, and a long line of negro quarters.

“The dwelling was palatial in its proportions and architecture, and the
grounds around it were magnificently laid out in alcoves, with arbors,
trellises, groves of evergreens, and extensive flower-beds. All was now
a mass of smouldering ruins. Our gunboats had gone up there the day
before, and a small battery planted near the mansion announced itself by
plugging away at one of the iron-clads, and the marines went ashore
after the gunboats had silenced the battery, and burned and destroyed
every thing on the place. If any thing were wanting to complete the
desolate aspect of the place, it was to be found in the sombre-hued
pendant moss, peculiar to Southern forests, and which gives the trees a
funereal aspect, as if they were all draped in mourning. As on almost
every Southern plantation, there were many deadened trees standing about
in the fields, from the limbs of all of which long festoons of moss
hung, swaying with a melancholy motion in every breeze.

“The weather, since the starting out of the fleet, had, up to this time,
been very fine; but as evening now approached, a heavy rain commenced,
which, from the appearance of things, bid fair to continue for an
indefinite period. The Yazoo River was low, and the banks steep and
about thirty feet high. Along the edge of the water, and reaching to the
foot of the bank, is a dense undergrowth of willows, briers, thorns,
vines, and live oaks, twined together in a most disagreeably promiscuous
manner. To effect a landing of the troops and trains, a way had to be
cut through this entanglement, from every boat, and this caused such a
delay that it was quite dark before all the troops were got on shore.
Tents were pitched for the night, pickets sent out, and the army
encamped, anxiously awaiting the dawn of the next day.”

That General Grant would fail to communicate with him, General Sherman
could not know. He carried out his part of the great programme, and
steadily advanced in accordance with its provisions for united action.
In this profound ignorance of the occasion of the failure, he prepared
to move upon Vicksburg.

                             CHAPTER XIII.

   The March—The City—Preparations for an Assault—The Attack—The
     Abatis and Rifle-pits—The Charge upon the Hill—Sherman
     succeeded by McClernand—General Sherman’s Farewell Order—
     Result of the Expedition.

ON Saturday morning, December 27th, the advance of the “right wing of
the Army of the Tennessee” reached Vicksburg. The approach to the city
from Johnston’s Landing was very difficult, the town “being on a hill,
with a line of hills surrounding it at a distance of several miles, and
extending from Haines’ Bluff, on the Yazoo River, to Warrenton, ten
miles below, the city, on the Mississippi River. The low country in the
vicinity is swampy, filled with sloughs, bayous, and lagoons; to
approach Vicksburg with a large force by this route, even in times of
peace, would be a matter of great difficulty, and with an enemy in
front, it was almost an impossibility.”

The line of battle was soon formed by the army, and, from different
points, the onset made upon the enemy’s works. Oh! how gallantly those
Western legions beat against the ramparts! And when the twilight shadows
stole over the bristling walls and hill-sides, they had driven the rebel
forces a mile from their original position. Sunday dawned upon the
night’s repose of the combatants, and on the sacred air rang out the
summons to carnage again. But the affair at Holly Springs had broken up
the grand plan of attack, while the flying troops from General Grant’s
front reënforced the garrison. Over the battlements of rebellion poured
the iron tempest upon Sherman’s unyielding lines. Securely the foe
remained behind those defences, rising for two miles along the bluff,
presenting a barrier no army small as the “right wing” could scale or
remove. Meanwhile the sharpshooters from the forest dropped the officers
on every hand.

The brave Sherman was all the while expecting every moment to hear the
roar of General Grant’s guns in the rear. With Monday came a succession
of brilliant charges, which were fruitless as the dash of sunlit waves
against the cannon-pierced granite of Gibraltar. If a momentary
advantage were gained, it was lost in the return tide of overwhelming
numbers. A spectator of these terribly sublime encounters, wrote:

“General Morgan, at eleven o’clock A. M., sent word to General Steele
that he was about ready for the movement upon the hill, and wished the
latter to support him with General Thayer’s brigade. General Steele
accordingly ordered General Thayer to move his brigade forward, and be
ready for the assault. The order was promptly complied with, and General
Blair received from General Morgan the order to assault the hill. The
artillery had been silent for some time; but Hoffman’s battery opened
when the movement commenced. This was promptly replied to by the enemy,
and taken up by Griffith’s First Iowa battery, and a vigorous shelling
was the result. By the time General Blair’s brigade emerged from its
cover of cypress forest, the shell were dropping fast among the men. A
field-battery had been in position in front of Hoffman’s battery; but it
limbered up and moved away beyond the heavy batteries and the

“In front of the timber where Blair’s brigade had been lying was an
abatis of young trees, cut off about three feet above the ground, and
with the tops fallen promiscuously around. It took some minutes to pass
this abatis, and by the time it was accomplished the enemy’s fire had
not been without effect. Beyond this abatis was a ditch fifteen or
twenty feet deep, and with two or three feet of water in the bottom. The
bottom of the ditch was a quicksand, in which the feet of the men
commenced sinking, the instant they touched it. By the time this ditch
was passed the line was thrown into considerable confusion, and it took
several minutes to put it in order. All the horses of the officers were
mired in this ditch. Every one dismounted and moved up the hill on foot.
Beyond this ditch was an abatis of heavy timber that had been felled
several months before, and, from being completely seasoned, was more
difficult of passage than that constructed of the greener and more
flexible trees encountered at first. These obstacles were overcome under
a tremendous fire from the enemy’s batteries and the men in the
rifle-pits. The line was recovered from the disorder into which it had
been thrown by the passage of the abatis; and with General Blair at
their head, the regiments moved forward ‘upon the enemy’s works.’ The
first movement was over a sloping plateau, raked by direct and
enfilading fires from heavy artillery, and swept by a perfect storm of
bullets from the rifle-pits. Nothing daunted by the dozens of men that
had already fallen, the brigade pressed on, and in a few moments had
driven the enemy from the first range of rifle-pits at the base of the
hill, and were in full possession.

“Halting but a moment to take breath, the brigade renewed the charge,
and speedily occupied the second line of rifle-pits, about two hundred
yards distant from the first. General Blair was the first man of his
brigade to enter. All this time the murderous fire from the enemy’s guns
continued. The batteries were still above this line of rifle-pits. The
regiments were not strong enough to attempt their capture without a
prompt and powerful support. For them it had truly been a march

                        Into the jaws of death—
                        Into the mouth of hell.

“Almost simultaneously with the movement of General Blair on the left,
General Thayer received his command to go forward. He had previously
given orders to all his regiments in column to follow each other
whenever the first moved forward. He accordingly placed himself at the
head of his advance regiment, the Fourth Iowa, and his order—‘Forward,
second brigade!’—rang out clear above the tumult. Colonel Williamson,
commanding the Fourth Iowa, moved it off in splendid style. General
Thayer supposed that all the other regiments of his brigade were
following, in accordance with his instructions previously issued. He
wound through the timber skirting the bayou, crossed at the same bridge
where General Blair had passed but a few minutes before, made his way
through the ditch and both lines of abatis, deflected the right and
ascended the sloping plateau in the direction of the rifle-pits
simultaneously with General Blair, and about two hundred yards to his

“When General Thayer reached the rifle-pits, after hard fighting and a
heavy loss, he found, to his horror, that only the Fourth Iowa had
followed him, the wooded nature of the place having prevented his
ascertaining it before. Sadly disheartened, with little hope of success,
he still pressed forward and fought his way to the second line, at the
same time that General Blair reached it on the left. Colonel
Williamson’s regiment was fast falling before the concentrated fire of
the rebels, and with an anxious heart General Thayer looked around for

“The rebels were forming three full regiments of infantry to move down
upon General Thayer, and were massing a proportionately formidable force
against Gen. Blair. The rebel infantry and artillery were constantly in
full play, and two heavy guns were raking the rifle-pits in several
places. With no hope of succor, General Thayer gave the order for a
return down the hill and back to his original position. The Fourth Iowa,
entering the fight five hundred strong, had lost a hundred and twenty
men in less than thirty minutes. It fell back at a quick march, but with
its ranks unbroken and without any thing of panic.

“It appears that just at the time General Thayer’s brigade started up
the hill, General Morgan sent for a portion of it to support him on the
right. General Steele at once diverted the Second Regiment of Thayer’s
brigade, which was passing at the time. The Second Regiment being thus
diverted, the others followed, in accordance with the orders they had
previously received from their commander. Notice of the movement was
sent to General Thayer; but, in consequence of the death of the courier,
the notification never reached him. This accounts for his being left
with nothing save the Fourth Iowa regiment. The occurrence was a sad
one. The troops thus turned off were among the best that had yet been in
action, and had they been permitted to charge the enemy, they would have
won for themselves a brilliant record.

“When General Blair entered the second line of rifle-pits, his brigade
continued to pursue the enemy up the hill. The Thirteenth Illinois
infantry was in advance, and fought with desperation to win its way to
the top of the crest. Fifty yards or more above the second line of
rifle-pits is a small clump of willows, hardly deserving the name of
trees. They stand in a corn-field, and from the banks of the bayou below
presented the appearance of a green hillock. To this copse many of the
rebels fled when they were driven from the rifle-pits, and they were
promptly pursued by General Blair’s men. The Thirteenth met and engaged
the rebels hand to hand, and in the encounter bayonets were repeatedly
crossed. It gained the place, driving out the enemy; but as soon as our
men occupied it, the fire of a field-battery was turned upon them, and
the place became too hot to be held.

“The road from Mrs. Lake’s plantation to the top of the high ground, and
thence to Vicksburg, runs at an angle along the side of the hill, so as
to obtain a slope easy of ascent. The lower side of this road was
provided with a breastwork, so that a light battery could be taken
anywhere along the road and fired over the embankment. From the nearest
point of this embankment a battery opened on the Thirteenth Illinois,
and was aided by a heavy battery on the hill. Several men were killed by
the shell and grape that swept the copse.

“The other regiments of the brigade came to the support of the
Thirteenth, the Twenty-ninth Missouri, Colonel Cavender, being in the
advance. Meantime the rebels formed a large force of infantry to bring
against them, and when the Twenty-ninth reached the copse the rebels
were already engaging the Union troops. The color-bearer of the Twelfth
had been shot down, and some one picked up the standard and planted it
in front of the copse. The force of the rebels was too great for our men
to stand against them, and they slowly fell back, fighting step by step
toward the rifle-pits, and taking their colors with them.

“In this charge upon the hill the regiments lost severely. In General
Blair’s brigade there were eighteen hundred and twenty-five men engaged
in this assault, and of this number six hundred and forty-two were
killed, wounded, and captured.”

Under a flag of truce the dead were buried and the wounded removed,
after which General Sherman gave the order for his troops to reëmbark.

The arrival of General McClernand at the scene of action caused a change
in the command, as he ranked General Sherman by over one month in the
date of his commission; and an order was at once given by the former to
withdraw from the Yazoo River, where the vessels were stationed, and
return to the Mississippi River. General McClernand, on assuming the
command, ordered the title of the army to be changed, and General
Sherman announced the fact in the following order:

        STEAMER FOREST QUEEN, MILLIKEN’S BEND, _January 4, 1863_. }

    “Pursuant to the terms of General Orders No. 1, made this day by
    General McClernand, the title of our army ceases to exist, and
    constitutes in the future the Army of the Mississippi, composed
    of two ‘army corps,’ one to be commanded by General G. W. Morgan
    and the other by myself. In relinquishing the command of the
    Army of the Tennessee, and restricting my authority to my own
    corps, I desire to express to all commanders, to soldiers and
    officers recently operating before Vicksburg, my hearty thanks
    for their zeal, alacrity, and courage manifested by them on all
    occasions. We failed in accomplishing one purpose of our
    movement, the capture of Vicksburg; but we were part of a whole.
    _Ours was but part of a combined movement, in which others were
    to assist. We were on time; unforeseen contingencies must have
    delayed the others._ We have destroyed the Shreveport road, we
    have attacked the defences of Vicksburg, and pushed the attack
    as far as prudence would justify; and having found it too strong
    for our single column, we have drawn off in good order and good
    spirits, ready for any new move. _A new commander is now here to
    lead you._ He is chosen by the President of the United States,
    who is charged by the Constitution to maintain and defend it,
    and he has the undoubted right to select his own agents. _I know
    that all good officers and soldiers will give him the same
    hearty support and cheerful obedience they have hitherto given
    me._ There are honors enough in reserve for all, and work enough
    too. Let each do his appropriate part, and our nation must in
    the end emerge from this dire conflict purified and ennobled by
    the fires which now test its strength and purity. All officers
    of the general staff now attached to my person will hereafter
    report in person and by letter to Major-General McClernand,
    commanding the Army of the Mississippi, on board the steamer
    _Tigress_, at our rendezvous at Gaines’ Landing and at
    Montgomery Point.

                     “By order of      Major-General W. T. SHERMAN.
    “J. H. HAMMOND, A. A.-G.”

The morning light of January the 9th, 1864, fell upon the _White Cloud_,
carrying the mail with tidings of disaster, death, and suffering, bound
for St. Louis, and the _City of Memphis_, bearing the sick and wounded.
In the Army of the Mississippi, under General McClernand, acting for the
time independent of General Grant’s command, the late chief acted a
subordinate part.

The fleet was again in motion, steaming up the broad current for
Arkansas Post, whose fortress was the object of the expedition. It lies
nearly north of Vicksburg, as a glance at the map will show you. On the
11th the transports and gunboats appeared before the fort.

The commander’s brief report will tell the story of attack, conflict,
and victory, in which General Sherman had no inferior part.

                           “HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE MISSISSIPPI, }
                           POST OF ARKANSAS, _January 11, 1863_.  }
    “Major-General U. S. GRANT, _Commanding Department of Tennessee_:

    “I have the honor to report that the forces under my command
    attacked the Post of Arkansas to-day, at one o’clock, having
    stormed the enemy’s work. We took a large number of prisoners,
    variously estimated at from seven thousand to ten thousand,
    together with all his stores, animals, and munitions of war.

    “Rear-Admiral David D. Porter, commanding the Mississippi
    Squadron, effectively and brilliantly coöperated, accomplishing
    this complete success.

                          “JOHN A. MCCLERNAND, Maj.-Gen. Com’ding.”

The noble Admiral Porter, a child of the sea, whose father was famous in
the last war with England, also gives an account of his work with the
grim warriors of the waters:

                             “UNITED STATES MISSISSIPPI SQUADRON, }
                             ARKANSAS POST, _January 11, 1863_.   }
    “Hon. GIDEON WELLES, _Secretary of Navy_:

    “SIR: The gunboats _Louisville_, _De Kalb_, _Cincinnati_, and
    _Lexington_, attacked the heavy fort at the Post, on the
    Arkansas, last night, and silenced the batteries, killing twenty
    of the enemy.

    “The gunboats attacked again this morning, and dismounted every
    gun, eleven in all.

    “Colonel Dunnington, late of the United States Navy, commandant
    of the fort, requested to surrender to the navy. I received his

    “The army coöperated on the land side. The forts were completely
    silenced, and the guns, eleven in number, were all dismounted in
    three hours.

    “The action was at close quarters on the part of the three
    iron-clads, and the firing splendid.

    “The list of killed and wounded is small. The _Louisville_ lost
    twelve, _De Kalb_ seventeen, _Cincinnati_ none, _Lexington_
    none, and _Rattler_ two.

    “The vessels, although much cut up, were ready for action in
    half an hour after the battle.

    “The light draught _Rattler_, Lieutenant-Commander Wilson Smith,
    and the other light draughts, joined in the action when it
    became general, as did the _Black Hawk_, Lieutenant-Commander R.
    B. Breese, with her rifle-guns. Particulars will be given

                    “Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
                          “DAVID D. PORTER, _Acting Rear-Admiral_.”

Thus did the army and navy share equally in the honors of the success;
neither is complete without the other.

The results of the original expedition seem small; and severe comments
were spoken and written about General Sherman’s haste and failure. That
his gallant spirit was loyal, and his aim to serve the country, his
whole career has amply shown. That he relied upon the expected
battalions of Grant to meet the strength of the garrisoned enemy
victoriously, is evident. The defeat was one of the lessons of our early
warfare, which no leader has so well improved as Major-General Sherman.

                              CHAPTER XIV.

   The Plot—General Sherman’s Part—His Successful Feint at Haines’
     Bluff—Joins the Main Army—The Advance toward Jackson, the
     State Capital—The Victorious Entry of the City—On to Vicksburg
     again—Assaults—Siege—Victory—General Sherman goes after
     “Joe” Johnston.

DURING the weeks of early spring the deeply laid plot against
Vicksburg ripened into action. Quietly the master mind of the plan to
reach and take it, had laid out the work for his commanders. On
different sides toward the enemy feigned attacks were made to deceive
the rebels. March 29th, the Thirteenth Corps, led by McClernand, made
the advance from Milliken’s Bend, the grand starting-point.

Gen. Sherman, with the Fifteenth Corps, was to bring up the rear, and
would therefore be last to leave in the general advance.

April 28th a message in cipher, _i. e._ secret characters, understood
only by those in correspondence, was received by him from General Grant,
apprising him of the time chosen for an attack on Grand Gulf. It also
informed him that an assault upon Haines’ Bluff, on the Yazoo River,
should “come off” at the same time, if it could be done in a way to be
understood by our loyal people. For, to deceive the enemy and gain
advantage over him, while the pretended attack was thought to be [the]
real one, ending in defeat, would depress the national feeling, and do
more harm than good. This was the problem for General Sherman to solve.
He was sure he could make the affair understood by his troops, and those
for whom they were fighting would not long be in the dark. He therefore
took ten steamers, and embarking with his true-hearted warriors, started
from Milliken’s Bend for the Yazoo. The spectacle was beautiful—itself
a _deception_ when contrasted with the havoc and horrors of conflict.
When the fleet steamed into the mouth of the river, other vessels were
waiting to join in the _ruse_. The whole number of boats then moved,
April 29th, to the Chickasaw Bayou. The morning of the following day the
fleet pushed forward to the fort. Now came preparation for action in the
gunboats of Admiral Porter, the stir of the gunners about their massive
engines of destruction. A few moments later the thunder of bombardment
opened, and for four hours it echoed over the works and waters. The
gunboats then retired out of range, and General Sherman landed his
force, while the rebels looked on, expecting an immediate attack by him.
No sooner had the last soldier left the transports than the naval force
advanced and renewed the fire on the fortress. General Sherman saw that
the feint had succeeded, the foe was getting ready to resist an assault.

Says General Grant in his official report: “To prevent heavy
reënforcements going from Vicksburg to the assistance of the Grand Gulf
forces, I directed Sherman to make a demonstration on Haines’ Bluff, and
to make all the show possible. From information since received from
prisoners captured, this ruse succeeded admirably.”

Meanwhile, the magnificent naval scene in the passing of Vicksburg by
Admiral Porter’s fleet, and the unrivalled and romantic raid of Colonel
Grierson through the heart of the enemy’s country to Baton Rouge,
cutting railroads southeasterly of the same defiant Gibraltar, gave
their promise of success to the bold plans of General Grant.

While General Sherman was frightening the enemy, and learning his
strength and positions, General Grant sent for the heroic commander. He
at once forwarded to Grand Gulf the two divisions of his corps left at
Milliken’s Bend; and soon as the night covered his feints on the Yazoo,
sailed down the tide to his encampment at Young’s Point. Nor did he
pause long here. With all his troops, excepting a garrison to hold the
position, he hastened to Hard Times, four miles from Grand Gulf, which
you will see lies on the banks of the Mississippi in Louisiana. It was a
remarkable march of sixty-three miles in about five days. The columns
reached Hard Times on the morning of the 6th, and the same evening
commenced crossing the ferry to join General Grant.

And now began in earnest the great movement of the army toward
Vicksburg; for here the supply-wagons were furnished and in line of
march, arrangements made to send on more when needed, and the long
cavalcade put in motion. General Sherman commanded at Hard Times upon
General Grant’s advance, till the provision for the many thousand troops
was completed. Unless you have seen this part of army-work, you have no
idea of the immense scale on which it is conducted. There are miles of
wagons, hundreds of horses and mules to draw them, and an army of
teamsters to drive the brute muscle of the campaign. The gigantic
locomotive storehouse moved toward Hawkinson’s Ferry on the Black River,
where the commander-in-chief was waiting for it and Sherman’s Corps.
While this deliberate and determined progress was made, the
Mississippians were getting alarmed. The Governor of Mississippi issued
a flaming proclamation, calling upon the people “to awake and join their
brothers in arms, who were baring their bosoms to the storm of battle in
defence of all they held dear.”

On May 12th, “Generals Sherman and McClernand had skirmishing at
Fourteen-Mile Creek, and McPherson a successful engagement at Raymond.
Sherman and McPherson then started for Jackson, the capital of
Mississippi, the former on the turnpike road, the latter on the Clinton
road. The rain fell in torrents, making the roads at first slippery and
then miry. But the troops marched without straggling, and in the best of
spirits, about fourteen miles, and engaged the enemy about twelve
o’clock M., near Jackson. The wily rebel General Johnston, in command
there, made a vigorous feint of resisting Sherman’s progress by posting
infantry and artillery on the south side of the city, meanwhile moving
nearly all his force against McPherson. But Sherman at once penetrated
this device, by sending a reconnoitring party to his right, which
flanked the position. The enemy retreated, after a heavy engagement with
McPherson, who had beaten him. From Jackson McPherson and McClernand
turned to Bolton; but Sherman was left at Jackson, and effectually
destroyed the railroads, bridges, factories, workshops, arsenals, and
every thing valuable for the support of the enemy. General Grant
meanwhile, with the other two corps, had gained the decisive victories
of Champion’s Hill on the 16th of May, and Big Black River on the 17th.
Early on the former day he sent for Sherman ‘to move with all possible
speed until he came up with the main force near Bolton. The despatch
reached him at ten minutes past seven A. M., and his advance division
was in motion in one hour from that time.’ The other followed on its
heels, and both reached Bolton that night, by a forced march of twenty
miles. There orders came to keep on to Bridgeport; and by noon of the
next day the march to Bridgeport was accomplished. There Sherman assumed
the advance, starting before dawn of May 18, and rapidly marched toward
Vicksburg. By a quick detour to the right he managed to throw himself
before night on Walnut Hills, in a brilliant manœuvre, and thereby
established communication between the army and the fleet in the Yazoo.
On these latter movements of Sherman the comment of General Grant is as
follows:—‘His demonstration at Haines’ Bluff, in April, to hold the
enemy about Vicksburg, while the army was securing a foothold east of
the Mississippi; his rapid marches to join the army afterwards; his
management at Jackson, Mississippi, in the first attack; his almost
unequalled march from Jackson to Bridgeport, and passage of the Black
River; his securing Walnut Hills on the 18th of May, attest his great
merit as a soldier.’

“General Grant first determined to carry Vicksburg by assault, and
ordered a general attack for two o’clock of the 19th of May. General
Sherman was, curiously enough, on the ground he had before gallantly but
vainly striven to take, in December, having now seized it from the rear
without a struggle. Promptly at the hour his men rushed to the work. The
interval was a broad reach, rugged and broken with deep ravines, and
strewed with abatis or felled timber, and with groves of standing trees.
It would have been a rough and impenetrable region even if unswept with
artillery. But in truth the enemy’s cannon, carefully disposed, raked
and enfiladed almost every step. But the order was Forward! and forward
went the gallant brigade of General A. L. Lee, of Osterhaus’s division,
and, struggling across the impediments, gained the crest of one of the
ridges and planted the colors of the Thirteenth infantry on the enemy’s
first line of works. The charge cost this regiment six officers and
seventy-seven men killed and wounded out of two hundred and fifty. The
column was then called off and covered from fire. General Grant’s report
says: ‘The Fifteenth Army Corps, _from having arrived in front of the
enemy’s works in time_ on the 18th to get a good position, were enabled
to make a vigorous assault. The Thirteenth and Seventeenth Corps
succeeded no further than to gain advanced positions covered from the
fire of the enemy.’ On the morning of the 22d, a second and more
terrific assault was made by all three corps, preceded by a tremendous
cannonading from guns and mortars, mingled with the heavy booming from
the entire fleet. The orders were to advance without firing a musket.
The army dashed forward across ravines and ditches, over ground covered
with artful tangles of cane and grapevines, to find only new
difficulties. Yet so far did some of the gallant brigades advance as to
lie underneath the guns of the fort, while hand-grenades and lighter
shells were hurled over the parapet among them. The assault is worthy to
be mentioned with the names of Mamelon, Vert, and Malakoff. But, like
the Crimean stronghold, this Sebastopol of the Mississippi could only be
carried by assault after a protracted siege. With fearful loss, the
gallant army was retired from the unequal fight, and regular approaches
commenced. The conduct, triumphant issue, and joyful results of the
siege, are familiar. On the 4th of July, 1863, after a campaign of
extraordinary energy, the unconditional surrender of Vicksburg closed up
a series of movements of which General Halleck declares, ‘No more
brilliant exploit can be found in military history.’

“While, however, the rest of the army, on the national holiday, moved
into the city they had won, to rejoice in their success, and to rest
after exhausting labors, for Sherman and his corps there was still work
in hand. About a fortnight before the surrender, General Joe Johnston
was threatening the rear of the besieging army with a large improvised
force. Grant at once sent this message to Sherman: ‘You must whip
Johnston fifteen miles from here.’ But Johnston drew back upon Jackson,
and General Sherman was notified to be ready to start against the latter
place on July 6th. ‘I placed Major-General Sherman in command of all the
troops designated to look after Johnston. Johnston, however, not
attacking, I determined to attack him the moment Vicksburg was in our
possession, and accordingly notified Sherman that I would again make an
assault on Vicksburg at daylight of the 6th, and for him to have up
supplies of all descriptions ready to move upon receipt of orders if the
assault should prove a success. His preparations were immediately made,
and when the place surrendered on the 4th, _two days earlier_ than I had
fixed for the attack, _Sherman was found ready, and moved at once_ with
a force increased by the remainder of both the Thirteenth and Fifteenth
Army Corps, and is at present (July 6th) investing Jackson, where
Johnston has made a stand.’

“General Sherman was now intrusted with the chief part of General
Grant’s army: he moved so quickly that the latter was able to telegraph
to Washington, July 12th, ‘General Sherman has Jackson invested from
Pearl River on the north to the river on the south. This has cut off
many hundred cars from the Confederacy. General Sherman says he has
force enough, and feels no apprehension about the result.’”

Nor was there occasion to fear; for the rebel chief was under the eye of
a lion in war’s arena, that never missed his prey when fairly within his

                              CHAPTER XV.

   General Sherman watching Joe Johnston—Foraging—An Attack—The
     Enemy steals away in the Night—The Conquering Battalions have a
     brief rest—Encampment on the Big Black River—Scenes there—
     Reënforces General Rosecrans—Death of General Sherman’s Son—
     Beautiful Letter—The Monument.

GENERAL SHERMAN was in no haste to strike; he could leisurely watch
the foe chafing in the narrow limits of his beleagured ground.
Expeditions were sent out in different directions, the gallant troopers
destroying railroad tracks, bridges, and culverts, and bringing in
supplies from the enemy’s lands and granaries.

July 11th they accidentally found in an old building, carefully packed
away, a large library, and various mementos of friendship. A glance
revealed the owner. A gold-headed cane bore the inscription, “To
Jefferson Davis, from Franklin Pierce.” Precious plunder! The arch
traitor has hidden in the quiet country, and in a place which could
awaken no suspicion, his valuable library, correspondence, and articles
of cherished regard. The excited troopers soon get into the book pile,
and volumes, heaps of letters, and handsome canes, are borne as trophies
(a new kind of forage) to headquarters. Secession is discovered in many
letters, by Northern friends of the treasonable leader, and his right to
that proud distinction freely granted. Added to their capture, hundreds
of cars were taken from the Confederacy.

On the 13th a heavy fog lay along the river-banks, hiding from each
other’s view the opposing armies. Suddenly rebel shouts came through the
gloom, and a desperate sortie from their works is made upon General
Sherman’s defences. He is ready to meet the shock, and after a brief
struggle they stagger back to their intrenchments.

The twilight hour of July 16th brought to a projection of the works
rebel bands of music, insulting our troops with “Bonnie Blue Flag,” “My
Maryland,” “Dixie’s Land,” and other airs perverted to the service of
treason. The next morning’s dawn gave signs of a retreating foe. The
fighting Joe Johnston had stolen away, leaving all over Jackson the
marks of ruin. The day before—July 15th—the President issued a
proclamation for national thanksgiving, on the 6th day of August, for
the recent victories.

General Johnston _was_ fairly _whipped_, and without the awful waste of
life a great battle involves. And now followed other bloodless, and yet
exciting scenes of war. You might have seen squads of cavalrymen
galloping in every direction, in the wake of the retreating foe, and,
with axe and torch, laying in ruins bridges and barns, and whatever
might serve the cause of rebellion. Of our brave chieftain’s successes
to this time, since he dashed forward to Walnut Hills, after the first
occupation of Jackson, “the siege of Vicksburg and last capture of
Jackson, and dispersion of Johnston’s army, entitle General Sherman to
more honor than usually falls to the lot of one man to earn.”

The short period of rest enjoyed by the heroic army was only one of
preparation for a more difficult and grander advance. The London
_Spectator_ said of the bold and splendid campaign: It comprised “a
series of movements which were overlooked at the time, yet upon which
hung the safety of two Federal armies—the extraordinary march of
General Sherman from Vicksburg to Chattanooga.”

The camp of the Fifteenth Army Corps, during this interlude of marching,
lay along the Big Black River, between Jackson and Vicksburg, about
twenty miles from the latter. It was acting as guard to all that region
against any return movements or raids of the enemy. A glance at the map
will show you the exact position.

But there is a history of this and similar encampments which will never
be written. In the sultry air and poisonous vapors of the Big Black,
officers and men resorted to every possible resource for whiling away
the dull hours and cheering the home-sick invalids.

Not unfrequently, in the light of the evening-lamps, the
commander-in-chief has amused and interested by the hour a circle of
officers gathered about him, with the narratives of his early
adventures, presenting, with the vividness of reality, the exciting life
among the Indians of Florida and the gold-seekers of California.

But one day there was an unusual stir around the General’s headquarters;
for visitors worth more to him than all earthly honors or gold were
escorted to his tent, his wife and his son, bearing his own name, had
come from their western home, to meet him once more before his long and
perilous marches over hostile soil. But the hours of domestic converse
and delight flew swiftly by, the farewells were spoken, and the
well-guarded visitors went on their homeward way. There was no safeguard
against disease lurking in those Southern swamps. The gifted and
beautiful boy, unconsciously to all, had been smitten, and a raging
fever soon laid him at the gate of death. He had been adopted by the
Thirteenth Corps as their pet—a compliment both to him and his father,
who was himself the idol of those brave battalions.

How this bereavement affected him and his old veterans, you will know

September 22d, General Grant telegraphed him from Vicksburg to send
forward immediately a division to reënforce General Rosecrans, who had
been defeated by General Bragg at Chickamauga, and was obliged to
retreat to Chattanooga, unpursued by his successful enemy. General
Rosecrans commanded the Army of the Cumberland, and was now holding the
great central stronghold in the vast battle-field between Vicksburg and
Charleston. At 4 o’clock of the same day the telegram was read by
General Sherman, who is always a minute man. General Osterhaus’ division
was on the road to Vicksburg, and the following day “it was streaming
toward Memphis.” A day later, and the commander-in-chief received orders
to follow with the entire corps. The tents disappeared like dew before
the morning sun, and the proud host were following the columns of
Osterhaus toward Memphis. Two divisions were transported by water. But
the low tide and scarcity of food made their progress slow. The leader
was impatient of delay, for he longed to try the metal of his corps
against that of General Bragg. He is no fancy commander; but an
incarnation of nervous energy, with no display of tinsel in his attire,
helping with his own hands to bring in fence-rails to feed the fires,
then turning teamster to wagons hauling wood from the interior to the

During the first days of October, while General Osterhaus is in front of
Corinth, his boats lie before Memphis.

And amid the absorbing duties of a grand campaign, look into the
General’s tent, and you shall see the warrior for a moment lost in the
grieving father, and will feel that the scene is, indeed, “a touching
episode of the war.” The letter, addressed to the Thirteenth Infantry,
and by its officers ordered to be printed for distribution among the
soldiers of the regiment, cannot but touch a tender chord in every
heart. Stricken father, noble patriot, the hero of uncounted battles;
let the nation pause in its admiration of his gallant deeds, to weep
with the mourner over the young life that no “bugle note” will awaken.

                 “GAYOSO HOUSE, MEMPHIS, TENN., _Oct. 4, Midnight_.
    “Capt. C. C. SMITH, _Commanding Battalion Thirteenth Regulars_:

    “MY DEAR FRIEND: I cannot sleep to-night till I record an
    expression of the deep feelings of my heart to you, and to the
    officers and soldiers of the battalion, for their kind behavior
    to my poor child. I realize that you all feel for my family the
    attachment of kindred; and I assure you all of full reciprocity.
    Consistent with a sense of duty to my profession and office, I
    could not leave my post, and sent for my family to come to me in
    that fatal climate, and in that sickly period of the year, and
    behold the result! The child that bore my name, and in whose
    future I reposed with more confidence than I did in my own plans
    of life, now floats a mere corpse, seeking a grave in a distant
    land, with a weeping mother, brother, and sisters clustered
    about him. But, for myself I can ask no sympathy. On, on, I must
    go to meet a soldier’s fate, or see my country rise superior to
    all factions, till its flag is adored and respected by ourselves
    and all the powers of the earth.

    “But my poor Willy was, or thought he was, a sergeant of the
    Thirteenth. I have seen his eye brighten and his heart beat as
    he beheld the battalion under arms, and asked me if they were
    not real soldiers. Child as he was, he had the enthusiasm, the
    pure love of truth, honor, and love of country, which should
    animate all soldiers. God only knows why he should die thus
    young. He is dead, but will not be forgotten till those who knew
    him in life have followed him to that same mysterious end.

    “Please convey to the battalion my heartfelt thanks, and assure
    each and all that if, in after years, they call on me or mine,
    and mention that they were of the Thirteenth Regulars, when poor
    Willy was a sergeant, they will have a key to the affections of
    my family that will open all it has—that we will share with
    them our last blanket, our last crust.

                     “Your friend,      W. T. SHERMAN, _Maj.-Gen._”

The noble Thirteenth did not stop in their expressions of sympathy with
words. The chieftain went to his war-path, while the sculptor’s chisel
was busy on the marble, until it formed a lasting memorial of manly
affection cherished by the troops for father and son. Wrote one who saw
it in Cincinnati before it was removed to the “silent city:”

“At Rule’s marble works we observed recently a beautiful monument to the
memory of Major-General Sherman’s son, who died over a year since, in
Memphis, while returning home with his mother from the Black River,
where they had been visiting the General, and where, unfortunately, the
boy contracted a fever. The monument was made by order of the Thirteenth
Regiment of Regular United States Infantry, of which General Sherman was
Colonel four years since, and of which his namesake-son, the deceased
child, was, by general consent, considered a sergeant, having been
elected to that position by the members of the regiment, who were very
proud of him. The monument is about two feet square at the base, and six
feet high. Above the rough ground base is the marble base, an
eight-sided, finely-polished and ornamented block. Upon four of the
faces are inscriptions, and upon the other four, between them, the
American shield, with its Stripes and Stars. Surmounting the base is a
full-sized tenor drum, with straps and sticks complete, and crossed
above this two flags of the Union—all in beautiful white marble. The
inscriptions are as follows:

“‘In Thy Tabernacles I shall dwell forever. I shall be protected under
the cover of Thy wing. Psalms l. 1.’

“‘Our Little Sergeant Willie—from the First Battalion, Thirteenth
United States Infantry.’

“‘William Tecumseh Sherman, son of William T. and Ellen E. Sherman. Born
in San Francisco, California, June 8, 1854; died in Memphis, Tennessee,
October 3, 1863.’

“‘In his spirit there was no guile.’

“‘Blessed are they undefiled in the way, who walk in the way of the
Lord. Psalms cxviii.’”

                              CHAPTER XVI.

   The Grand Advance from Memphis—The Enemy prepare to Meet It—
     General Sherman’s Genius equal to any Emergency—Rapid Marches—
     The Foe driven from the Path—New Command—The Swollen River—
     Into Chattanooga—The Tireless Chief and his Gallant Troops push
     forward to Missionary Ridge.

OPEN the map, my reader, and spend a few moments, tracing the long way
before the Union troops, and you will understand the greatness of the
success of the march from Memphis to Chattanooga, which are three
hundred and nine miles apart. The Memphis and Charleston Railway connect
them. The Tennessee and Elk Rivers cross the country, many of whose
bridges were gone, and the foe lurked along the lines of travel.

But when General Sherman received orders from General Halleck to
transport his troops to Athens, Alabama, repairing the railroad and
getting his supplies as best he could, he was off with the haste of a
prepared and fearless leader, whose heart was in the cause, for whose
triumph he fought. But instead of using boats, “his quick eye saw that
he could move his trains faster by road under escort.” He therefore did
so, and conveyed into the enemy’s country the entire Fourth Division
over the iron track.

“Alarmed by this very dangerous move eastward, the enemy quickly
assembled at Salem and Tuscumbia, with intent to thwart it and to foil
the junction with Rosecrans. At the former point Chalmers collected
three thousand cavalry and eight pieces of artillery, and planted
himself in our path. Hearing of this, General Sherman, on October 11th,
put his whole force in motion toward Corinth, and himself started
thither in a special train with a battalion of the Thirteenth Infantry
(his own regiment) as escort. On approaching Colliersville, which was
defended by a few troops in a stockade, the train was fired upon, and it
was discovered that Chalmers was investing the place. Instantly the
General ordered his regulars to charge, and under his eye they scattered
the rebels in all directions, and reached the stockade. Before General
Sherman’s arrival, the little garrison had been sorely pressed in a
severe contest. The General soon changed the aspect of affairs, and beat
off the superior force. Corinth being reached next night, he sent
General Blair to Iuka with the First Division, and pushed troops toward
Bear Creek, five miles east of Iuka, as fast as they came up.

“Foreseeing difficulties in crossing the Tennessee, he had written to
Admiral Porter at Cairo to watch the river and send up gunboats as soon
as the water would permit, and to General Allen at St. Louis to despatch
a ferry-boat to Eastport. The requests were promptly fulfilled. It now
only remained to work away at the railroad, in accordance with orders,
covering his working-parties from the enemy’s attacks. At the same time
he despatched Blair with two divisions to drive the enemy from
Tuscumbia, where, under Stephen Lee, they were five thousand strong. It
was accomplished after a severe fight at Cane Creek; and Tuscumbia was
occupied on the 27th of October.”

Pause here, to get a glimpse of the general movements in the programme
of war, of which this was no inferior part. General Grant had been put
in command of the “Departments of the Ohio, of the Cumberland, and of
the Tennessee, constituting the military division of the Mississippi.”
In the latter General Sherman was appointed to the command, while
General Thomas succeeded General Rosecrans in the department of the
Cumberland. October 23d, General Grant, modestly wearing his new
laurels, reached Chattanooga. The enemy occupying Lookout Mountain, with
their terraces of cannon cut off our troops to get their scanty supplies
by the most difficult mountain routes. Wrote a Union soldier of the sad
condition of things there:

“I confess I do not see any very brilliant prospects for continuing
alive in it all this winter, unless something desperate be done. While
the army sits here, hungry, chilly, watching the ‘key to Tennessee,’ the
‘good dog’ Bragg lies over against us, licking his Chickamauga sores
without whine or growl. He will not reply to our occasional shots from
Star Fort, Fort Crittenden, or the Moccasin Point batteries across the
river; has forbidden the exchange of newspapers and the compliments of
the day between pickets; has returned surly answers to flag-of-truce
messengers; in fact, has cut us dead.

“The mortality among the horses and mules is frightful to contemplate.
Their corpses line the road, and taint the air, all along the Bridgeport
route. In these days, hereabouts, it is within the scope of the most
obtuse to distinguish a quartermaster or a staff officer by a casual
glance at the animal he strides. ‘He has the fatness of twenty horses
upon his ribs,’ as Squeers remarked of little Wackford; and so he has.
God help the others.

“I am assured that this state of things will not last long; that hordes
of men are energetically at work improving our communication, and that
we soon shall be benefited by the overflowing plenty of the North. The
vigor and good spirits of the army all this time are developed in a most
astonishing manner.”

Relief was nearer than the writer deemed at the time. General Sherman,
at Iuka, reorganized his new command on the very day of the battle at
Cane Creek, and sent General Ewing with a division to cross the
Tennessee, and hasten with all possible speed to Eastport. A messenger
from General Grant on the same day came down the river over the Muscle
Shoals, with an order to suspend his work on the railroad, and press
forward to Bridgeport. No message ever found a more welcome ear.
November 1st, the chieftain led his columns across the Tennessee and on
to the branch of the Elk River. But the river was unfordable, and with
no leisure to construct a bridge or ferry, he was compelled to take a
circuitous route along the stream by the way of Fayetteville, where he
mapped out the routes for the different divisions, and hastening to
Bridgeport, sent to General Grant, by telegram, the position of his
army. November 15th, the unresting commander of admiring and
uncomplaining troops reined up his steed at the headquarters of General
Grant in Chattanooga, after more than three hundred miles of varied and
difficult travel between him and Memphis, where he lay during the early
days of October.

The hero of Vicksburg welcomed with delight his peer in the field of
war’s most daring exploits. Though worn and weary with their unrivalled,
if not hitherto unequalled march, such was his confidence in his brave
men, he heard without hesitation the order to bring them across the
Tennessee, secure a position at the extremity of Missionary Ridge, and
also threatened Lookout Mountain; saying for himself, “I saw enough of
the condition of men and animals in Chattanooga to inspire me with
renewed energy.”

Away he flies to execute the commands. He does not wait for means of
conveyance; he has no false ideas of dignity to interfere with the
business in hand. Taking a row-boat, he glides before the strokes of his
own strong arms, down the river to Bridgeport. The divisions are soon in
order of march. But oh! what roads! _Mud—mud—mud!_ is before the
unflinching columns. They toil on, their leader sharing with them the
exhausting labor, till three divisions, on the 23d, are sheltered from
the observation of the enemy behind the hills, opposite the mouth of the

Night comes on, and with silent, stealthy steps, a force advanced along
the Tennessee, taking prisoners nineteen out of twenty men who were on
picket duty. By daylight eight thousand troops were on the banks of the
river, ready to cross over and fasten upon Missionary Ridge. Before the
sun was above the hill-tops, a pontoon bridge, three hundred and fifty
feet long, was commenced, and at 1 P. M. _it was done_. Proudly the
grand cavalcade streamed over the causeway of boats, and advanced toward
the desired position. These movements were favored by the concealment—a
providential interposition—which “a light, drizzling rain and
low-hanging clouds” afforded. Three o’clock found them safely lodged at
the terminus of Missionary Ridge. Up the hill the gallant ranks pressed,
completely surprising the enemy, who, in his vexation at the humiliating
success of the flanking generalship, opened a fruitless fire of
artillery and musketry. The “boys” could not allow this, and, dragging
their own guns up the acclivity, soon silenced the noisy demonstration
of impotent wrath. But beyond and higher was a spur, still more
important in the coming trial of strength between the two great armies.
Fortifying the ground gained, at midnight the orders passed along the
columns to advance at dawn.

                             CHAPTER XVII.

   The Place of Battle—The Battle-ground—General Sherman’s Part in
     the Struggle—Desperate Valor—Victory—Pursuit—No Rest—
     General Burnside in Peril—General Sherman hastens to his Relief
     —The Bridge breaks down—It is Rebuilt, and the Heroic
     Battalions save Knoxville—General Sherman again at Chattanooga.

MY reader cannot even imagine, in his peaceful home, the dread
interest which broods over preparation for a great and decisive battle.
Thoughts of the loved and absent throng the minds of brave men; hasty
letters are written, and messages left, should they fall in mortal
combat. Bibles are read, prayers offered, and hope rekindled in many
heroic hearts. Ambulances and “stretchers” are made ready for the
wounded, and surgeons arrange their instruments, lint, and bandages,
while orders are passed from the commanding general down to the
lieutenant. This work of preparation went forward at Chattanooga during
the hours of November 23d.

Writes Colonel Bowman, the friend of General Sherman, a scholar, a
gentleman, and a gallant soldier: “In the plan of the battle, Hooker was
to hold the enemy at Lookout Mountain, and carry it, if possible.
General Sherman was to vigorously assault Missionary Ridge. As that was
their vital point, the enemy would mass to defend it. This would weaken
the centre, upon which Thomas would rush, to penetrate it. Simple and
plausible as this plan seemed, and successful as it proved, to most men
who looked up at the frowning and precipitous heights which towered even
into the clouds, above Chattanooga, with rebel works studded with
artillery commanding every rugged approach, the idea of carrying them
seemed little short of madness. The rebels felt so secure as to risk
sending Longstreet’s entire corps to Knoxville, where it closely
besieged the army of Burnside. ‘By half-past three P. M. of the 24th,’
says Grant, ‘the whole of the northern extremity of Missionary Ridge, to
near the tunnel, was in Sherman’s possession. During the night he
fortified the position thus secured, making it equal, if not superior,
in strength to that held by the enemy.’

“Before dawn of the 25th of November General Sherman was in the saddle,
and had made the entire tour of his position in the dim light. It was
seen that a deep valley lay between him and the precipitous sides of the
next hill in the series, which was only partially cleared, and of which
the crest was narrow and wooded. The farther point of the hill was held
by the enemy, with a strong breastwork of logs and fresh earth, crowded
with men, and carrying two guns. On a still higher hill beyond the
tunnel he appeared in great force, and had a fair plunging fire on the
intermediate hill in dispute. The gorge between these two latter hills,
through which the railroad-tunnel passes, could not be seen from
Sherman’s position, but formed the natural _place d’armes_, where the
enemy covered his masses ‘to resist our turning his right flank, and
thus endangering his communications with the Chickamauga depot.’ General
Corse was to have the advance; ‘and the sun had hardly risen,’ says
Sherman, ‘before his bugle sounded the “Forward.”’

“His men moved briskly down into the valley and up the steep sides of
the hill in front, and, in spite of all opposition, carried and held a
sort of secondary crest on the enemy’s hill, which, however, was swept
with a murderous fire from the breastworks in front. And now for more
than an hour a very bloody and desperate conflict raged, our line now
swaying up close to the breastwork, as though it would sweep over and
engulf it, and anon dashed back, receding far away to its first
conquest. Meanwhile, Sherman’s left, on the outer spur of the ridge, and
his right abreast of the tunnel, were hotly engaged, and partially drew
the enemy’s fire from the assaulting party on the hill-crest. Our
artillery also plumped shot and shell into the breastwork, and strove to
clear the hill in Corse’s front. About ten A. M. the fight raged
furiously, and General Corse was severely wounded. Two brigades of
reënforcements were sent up; but the crest was so crowded that they had
to fall away to the west of the hill. At once the heavy masses of the
enemy in a gorge, under cover of the thick undergrowth, moved out on
their right and rear. So suddenly overwhelmed, the two supporting
brigades fell back in some confusion to the lower edge of the field,
where they reformed in good order; but, as they constituted no part of
the real attack, the temporary rebuff was unimportant. General Corse,
Colonel Loomis, and General M. L. Smith still stubbornly held the
attacking column proper up at the crest. General Grant says of them,
‘The assaulting column advanced to the very rifle-pits of the enemy, and
held their position firmly and without wavering.’ ‘When the two reserved
brigades fell back,’ says Sherman, ‘the enemy made a show of pursuit,
but was caught in flank by the well-directed fire of one brigade on the
wooded crest, and hastily sought his cover behind the hill.’

“The desperate and incessant attack of General Sherman was triumphantly
successful. It was directed against, in the words of Grant, ‘the enemy’s
most northern and vital point,’ and ‘was vigorously kept up all day.’
Sherman’s position not only threatened the right flank of the enemy, but
also his rear and stores at Chickamauga. The enemy, therefore, began
very early to mass his line down against the single gallant storming
party. ‘At three P. M.,’ writes Sherman, ‘column after column of the
enemy was streaming toward me, gun after gun poured its concentric shot
on us from every hill and spur that gave a view of any part of the
ground.’ Long and anxiously he waited for the centre to open its part of
the contest, and meanwhile held stubbornly to his bloody ridge under
murderous fire. Grant, keeping his eye fixed on this key point, sent a
division to Sherman’s support, but he sent it back with the note that
‘he had all the force necessary.’ Now at last the time had come for
seizing victory out of doubtful battle. Hooker on the right had
gallantly swept round the enemy’s left. ‘Discovering that the enemy,’
says General Grant, ‘in his desperation to defeat or resist the progress
of Sherman, was weakening his centre on Missionary Ridge, determined me
to order the advance at once.’ It was ordered and gallantly executed.
The huge masses with which Sherman was contending, now, to their dismay,
found Thomas on their left flank, and the centre of their long line
broken in. They turned; but it was too late. The white line of Thomas’s
musketry swept up from ridge to ridge, and the army of Bragg was flung
back, in overwhelming defeat, into the valleys of Georgia. Thus was the
great victory of Chattanooga won.

“And now pursuit swiftly followed victory. The same night Sherman pushed
his skirmishers out, and, finding that enemy had given way, sent a
division after him to the depot, and followed it up at four A. M. with a
part of Major-General’s Howard’s Eleventh Corps. As the column advanced,
wagons, guns, caissons, forage, stores, pontoons, and all the ruins of a
defeated army and an abandoned camp, were found on the route. At night
of the 26th, so rapid was the pursuit that the rear-guard of the enemy
was reached, and a sharp fight ensued, till darkness closed in. The next
day all three armies pressed on, Hooker and Thomas sharing with Sherman
the marching and fighting. General Sherman meanwhile detached Howard to
move against the railroad between Dalton and Cleveland, and destroy it.
This was done, and communication thereby cut between Bragg and
Longstreet. The same movement also turned the flank of the enemy, who
were engaging Hooker so heavily further south at Ringgold that the
latter sent to Sherman to turn their position. It was already done
before Hooker’s messenger arrived. Continuing to Ringgold, he found
General Grant. The enemy had been driven from Tennessee, and Sherman was
ordered to move leisurely back to Chattanooga. The next day he
effectually destroyed the railroad from half-way between Graysville and
Ringgold to the State line, and General Grant ‘consented that, instead
of returning to Chattanooga, he might send back all my artillery,
wagons, and impediments, and make a circuit by the north as far as the
Hiawassee.’ This, too, was effected, with the destruction of more
railroad and the capture of more stores. ‘This,’ says Sherman, ‘was to
have been the limit of our journey. Officers and men had brought no
baggage or provisions; and the weather was bitter cold.’ But at this
time Grant received an urgent appeal for relief from Burnside, stating
that his supplies could only last until the 3d of December. Nothing but
incomparable energy would save Knoxville and its gallant commander.
Granger had already been ordered thither, but ‘had not yet got off,’
says General Grant, ‘nor would he have the number of men I directed.
Besides, he moved with reluctance and complaint. I therefore determined,
notwithstanding the fact that two divisions of Sherman’s forces had
marched from Memphis and had gone into battle immediately on their
arrival at Chattanooga, to send him with his command.’ Accordingly
General Sherman received command of all the troops designed for
relieving Knoxville, including Granger’s. ‘Seven days before,’ he
writes, ‘we had left our camps on the other side of the Tennessee, with
two days’ rations, without a change of clothing, stripped for the fight,
with but a single blanket or coat per man, from myself to the private
included. Of course, we then had no provisions, save what we gathered by
the road, and were ill supplied for such a march. But we learned that
twelve thousand of our fellow-soldiers were beleaguered in the mountain
town of Knoxville, eighty-four miles distant, that they needed relief,
and must have it in three days. This was enough; and it had to be done.’

“That night General Howard repaired and planked the railroad-bridge, and
at daylight the army passed the Hiawassee and marched to Athens, fifteen
miles. On the 2d of December the army hurried thence toward London,
twenty-six miles distant, and the cavalry pushed ahead to save the
pontoon bridge across the Tennessee, held by Vaughn’s brigade of the
enemy. They moved with such rapidity as to capture every picket, but
found Vaughn posted strongly in earthworks containing artillery in
position. They were forced to wait till night, when Howard’s infantry
came up. During the night the enemy retreated, destroying the pontoons,
running three locomotives and forty-eight cars into the Tennessee, and
leaving for Howard to capture at daylight a large quantity of
provisions, four guns, and other material.

“The bridge was gone, and but one day of the allotted three remained.
The same night, therefore, Sherman sent word to Colonel Long, commanding
the cavalry brigade, that Burnside must know within twenty-four hours of
his approach—ordering him to select his best material, to start at
once, ford the Little Tennessee, and push into Knoxville, ‘at whatever
cost of life and horse-flesh.’ The distance to be travelled was forty
miles, and ‘the road villanous.’ Before dawn they were off. At daylight
the Fifteenth Corps was turned from Philadelphia to Morgantown; but even
at this place the Little Tennessee was found too deep for fording. A
bridge was skilfully extemporized by General Wilson—‘working partly
with crib-work and partly with square trestles made of the houses of the
late town of Morgantown;’ and by dark of December 4th the bridge was
down and the troops passing. Next morning came the welcome message from
Burnside, dated December 4th, that Long’s cavalry had reached Knoxville
on the night of the 3d, and all was well. Just before this news, the
diagonal bracings of Wilson’s bridge had broken, from want of proper
spikes, and there was delay. But the bridge was mended, and the forced
march continued, till, at Marysville, on the night of the 5th, a staff
officer of General Burnside rode up to announce that Longstreet had
raised the siege the night before. Sending forward Granger’s two
divisions to Knoxville, General Sherman at once ordered the rest of his
gallant army to halt and rest; for their work was done.

“General Sherman rode from Marysville to Knoxville, greeted General
Burnside, and freely expressed his admiration at the skilful
fortification of the place, including Fort ‘Saunders,’ where
Longstreet’s assaulting columns had met a bloody repulse. Knoxville
being saved, it was obviously best for Sherman’s army, excepting
Granger’s two divisions, to return to support the suspended movement
against Bragg. But before General Sherman left he received the following

                                   KNOXVILLE, _December 7th, 1863_.

    I desire to express to you and your command my most hearty
    thanks and gratitude for your promptness in coming to our relief
    during the siege of Knoxville, and am satisfied your approach
    served to raise the siege.

                                     A. E. BURNSIDE, Major-General.

“General Sherman now leisurely returned to Chattanooga, his cavalry
giving chase for some distance to a rebel wagon-train on the way. On the
14th of December his command reached the banks of the Hiawassee. Four
days of easy marches brought them to Chattanooga, after a three-months’
campaign unparalleled in the history of the war. His losses had amounted
to something over two thousand men. His official report states that his
men had marched for long periods, without regular rations or supplies of
any kind, through mud and over rocks, sometimes barefooted, without a
murmur. Without a moment’s rest, after a march of over four hundred
miles, without sleep for three successive nights, they crossed the
Tennessee River, fought their part in the battle of Chattanooga, pursued
the enemy out of Tennessee, then turned more than a hundred miles north
and compelled Longstreet to raise the siege of Knoxville, which had been
the source of anxiety to the whole country. ‘The praises of Confederate
generals,’ says the London _Spectator_, in reviewing some of these
facts, ‘have been sung abundantly on this side the water: the facts are,
that all military skill and military perseverance and courage are not on
one side. . . . Such a display of genuine military qualities should not
pass without some record; and we offer it to our readers as some proof
that, with all their faults, the Federal officers and soldiers are not
without great virtues, which soldiers at least should admire.’”

General Sherman repaired to Vicksburg to look after the affairs of the
widening field of the Union army under his leadership. Here, in answer
to inquiries from Adjutant-General Sawyer, at Huntsville, Alabama, he
wrote a splendid letter, both in comprehensiveness of views and the
clear vigorous style of composition. If you begin it you will want to
finish it, though long. It is full of fire, historical knowledge, and
yet so plain a child can understand it. The matter discussed, is the
treatment of rebels in a conquered territory:

                            VICKSBURG, _Jan. 31, 1864_.           }
    “Major R. M. SAWYER, _Assistant Adjutant-General,_
        _Army of the Tennessee, Huntsville_:

    “DEAR SAWYER: In my former letter I have answered all your
    questions save one, and that relates to the treatment of
    inhabitants known or suspected to be hostile or ‘secesh.’ This
    is in truth the most difficult business of our army as it
    advances and occupies the Southern country. It is almost
    impossible to lay down rules, and I invariably leave the whole
    subject to the local commanders, but am willing to give them the
    benefit of my acquired knowledge and experience.

    “In Europe, whence we derive our principles of war, as developed
    by their histories, wars are between kings or rulers, through
    hired armies, and not between peoples. These remain, as it were,
    neutral, and sell their produce to whatever army is in

    “Napoleon, when at war with Prussia, Austria, and Russia, bought
    forage and provisions of the inhabitants, and consequently had
    an interest to protect farms and factories which ministered to
    his wants. In like manner, the allied armies in France could buy
    of the French inhabitants whatever they needed, the produce of
    the soil or manufactures of the country. Therefore, the rule was
    and is, that wars are confined to the armies, and should not
    visit the homes of families or private interests.

    “But in other examples a different rule obtained the sanction of
    historical authority. I will only instance that, when in the
    reign of William and Mary the English army occupied Ireland,
    then in a state of revolt, the inhabitants were actually driven
    into foreign lands, and were dispossessed of their property, and
    a new population introduced. To this day a large part of the
    north of Ireland is held by the descendants of the Scotch
    emigrants sent there by William’s order and an act of

    “The war which now prevails in our land is essentially a war of
    races. The Southern people entered into a clear compact of
    government, but still maintained a species of separate
    interests, history, and prejudices. These latter became stronger
    and stronger, till they have led to a war which has developed
    fruits of the bitterest kind.

    “We of the North are, beyond all question, right in our lawful
    cause, but we are not bound to ignore the fact that the people
    of the South have prejudices, which form a part of their nature,
    and which they cannot throw off without an effort of reason or
    the slower process of natural change. Now, the question arises,
    should we treat as absolute enemies all in the South who differ
    from us in opinion or prejudice, kill or banish them; or, should
    we give them time to think, and gradually change their conduct
    so as to conform to the new order of things, which is slowly and
    gradually creeping into their country?

    “When men take arms to resist our rightful authority, we are
    compelled to use force, because then all reason and argument
    fail. When the provisions, horses, mules, wagons, etc., are used
    by the enemy, it is clearly our duty and right to take them,
    because otherwise they might be used against us.

    “In like manner, all houses left vacant by an inimical people
    are clearly our right, or such as are needed as storehouses,
    hospitals, and quarters. But a question arises as to dwellings
    used by women, children, and non-combatants. So long as the
    non-combatants remain in their homes and keep to their
    accustomed business, their opinions and prejudices in nowise
    influence the war, and therefore should not be noticed. But if
    any one comes out into the public streets and creates disorder,
    he or she should be punished, restrained, or banished either to
    the rear or front, as the officer in command adjudges. If the
    people, or any of them, keep up a correspondence with parties in
    hostility, they are spies, and can be punished with death, or
    minor punishment.

    “These are well-established principles of war, and the people of
    the South having appealed to war, are barred from appealing to
    our Constitution, which they have practically and publicly
    defied. They have appealed to war, and must abide its rules and
    laws. The United States, as a belligerent party claiming right
    in the soil as the ultimate sovereign, have a right to change
    the population, and it may be and is both politic and just we
    should do so in certain districts. When the inhabitants persist
    too long in hostility, it may be both politic and right we
    should banish them and appropriate their lands to a more loyal
    and useful population. No man will deny that the United States
    would be benefited by dispossessing a single, prejudiced,
    hard-headed and disloyal planter, and substitute in his place a
    dozen or more patient, industrious, good families, even if they
    be of foreign birth. I think it does good to present this view
    of the case to many Southern gentlemen, who grow rich and
    wealthy, not by virtue alone of their industry and skill, but by
    reason of the protection and impetus to prosperity given by our
    hitherto moderate and magnanimous Government. It is all idle
    nonsense for these Southern planters to say that they made the
    South, that they own it, and that they can do as they
    please—even to break up our Government, and to shut up the
    natural avenues of trade, intercourse, and commerce.

    “We know, and they know, if they are intelligent beings, that,
    as compared with the whole world, they are but as five millions
    are to one thousand millions; that they did not create the land;
    that their only title to its use and usufruct is the deed of the
    United States, and that if they appeal to war, they hold their
    ally by a very insecure tenure.

    “For my part, I believe that this war is the result of false
    political doctrines, for which we are all as a people
    responsible, viz.: That any and every people have a right to
    self-government; and I would give all a chance to reflect, and
    when in error to recant. I know slaveowners, finding themselves
    in possession of a species of property in opposition to the
    growing sentiment of the whole civilized world, conceived their
    property in danger, and foolishly appealed to war; and by
    skilful political handling involved with themselves the whole
    South on the doctrines of error and prejudice. I believe that
    some of the rich and slaveholding are prejudiced to such an
    extent that nothing but death and ruin will extinguish, but hope
    that as the poorer and industrial classes of the South will
    realize their relative weakness, and their dependence upon the
    fruits of the earth and good will of their fellow men, they will
    not only discover the error of their ways, and repent of their
    hasty action, but bless those who persistently maintained a
    constitutional Government, strong enough to sustain itself,
    protect its citizens, and promise peaceful homes to millions yet

    “In this behalf, while I assert for our Government the highest
    military prerogatives, I am willing to bear in patience that
    political nonsense of slave rights, State rights, freedom of
    conscience, freedom of press, and such other trash, as have
    deluded the Southern people into war, anarchy, bloodshed, and
    the foulest crimes that have disgraced any time or any people.

    “I would advise the commanding officers at Huntsville, and such
    other towns as are occupied by our troops, to assemble the
    inhabitants and explain to them these plain, self-evident
    propositions, and tell them it is for them now to say whether
    they and their children shall inherit the beautiful land which
    by the accident of nature has fallen to their share. The
    Government of the United States has in North Alabama any and all
    rights which they choose to enforce in war, to take their lives,
    their homes, their lands, their every thing, because they cannot
    deny that the war does exist there, and war is simply power
    unrestrained by constitution or compact. If they want eternal
    war, well and good—we will accept the issue and dispossess
    them, and put our friends in possession.

    “I know thousands and millions of good people who, at simple
    notice, would come to North Alabama and accept the elegant
    houses and plantations now there. If the people of Huntsville
    think different, let them persist in war three years longer, and
    then they will not be consulted. Three years ago, by a little
    reflection and patience they could have had a hundred years of
    peace and prosperity, but they preferred war; very well, last
    year they could have saved their slaves, but now it is too late;
    all the powers on earth cannot restore to them their slaves any
    more than their dead grandfathers. Next year their lands will be
    taken, for in war we can take them, and rightfully, too, and in
    another year they may beg in vain for their lives. A people who
    will persevere in war beyond a certain limit, ought to know the
    consequences. Many, many people, with less pertinacity than the
    South, have been wiped out of national existence.

    “My own belief is, that even now the non-slaveholding classes of
    the South are alienating from their associations in war. Already
    I hear criminations. Those who have property left, should take
    warning in time.

    “Since I have come down here I have seen many Southern planters
    who now hire their negroes, and acknowledge that they knew not
    the earthquake they were to make by appealing to Secession. They
    thought that the politicians had prepared the way, and that they
    could depart in peace. They now see that we are bound together
    as one nation in indissoluble ties, and that any interest or any
    people that set themselves up in antagonism to the nation must

    “While I would not remit one jot or tittle of our nation’s right
    in peace or war, I do make allowances for past political errors
    and false prejudices. Our national Congress and Supreme Courts
    are the proper arenas in which to discuss conflicting opinions,
    and not the battle-field.

    “You may not hear from me again, and if you think it will do any
    good call some of the better people together and explain these
    my views. You may even read to them this letter and let them use
    it, so as to prepare them for my coming.

    “To those who submit to the rightful law and authority, all
    gentleness and forbearance, but to the petulant and persistent
    secessionists, why, death is mercy, and the quicker he or she is
    disposed of the better. Satan, and the rebellious saints of
    heaven, were allowed a continuance of existence in hell, merely
    to swell their just punishment. To such as would rebel against a
    Government so mild and just as ours was in peace, a punishment
    equal would not be unjust.

    “We are progressing well in this quarter. Though I have not
    changed my opinion that we may soon assume the existence of our
    National Government, yet years will pass before ruffianism,
    murder, and robbery will cease to afflict this region of our

                      “Truly, your friend,      W. T. SHERMAN,
                                            Major-Gen. Commanding.”

As it was at the beginning of the war, so in this earnest declaration of
views, the great commander keeps in advance of the popular and ruling
ideas of the conflict.

Like Napoleon in military genius and sublimely daring marches, he is
vastly his superior in principles of human progress, and the foundations
of true national prosperity.

                             CHAPTER XVIII.

   A New Expedition—Its Wise Design—Cause of its Failure in the
     Main Purpose—The Hero of Vicksburg is created
     Lieutenant-General—The New Order of Things—Two Grand Lines of
     March and of Conquest—From Chattanooga to Kenesaw Mountain.

THE holidays of the season which introduced the year 1863 had scarcely
passed, and your gifts of affection, young reader, were still in your
hands, or in a snug corner of your home, when the untiring chief, who
was and is defending that home from the hosts of rebellion, was planning
a grand expedition into Central Mississippi.

The map will show you the town of Meridian, where important railroads
have their junction, more than a hundred miles from Vicksburg. To this
centre of the empire, claimed by the usurper Davis, around which lay the
richest corn and cotton fields of the South, and swarmed the toiling
slaves, General Sherman determined to lead his battalions. You must
recollect, he would have to cut loose from his “base of supplies,” and,
with a long wagon-train carrying rations for twenty days, conduct his
“movable column”—that is, the entire army in motion, and with no
communications open—over the enemy’s country, where well-disciplined
troops were not very far from his path. It was a most daring adventure,
but just like the brave commander who conceived it. Comprehending the
gigantic revolt, and the vital points in the Confederacy, he has had but
one view of the means to suppress the infamous rebellion. Had his plan
been adopted, the war might have been ended now. Large armies, bold and
rapid movements into the home of secession, sparing nothing that affords
it any nourishment, has been the war-creed of General Sherman. February
found the campaign complete in preparation. On the 3d the commander left
the streets of Vicksburg, reining his steed toward Meridian.

Two days before, General W. S. Smith was to leave Memphis, Tenn., with
eight thousand cavalry, and join him at Meridian. The course of march
was in part along the track in which the troops advanced on Vicksburg.
The cavalcade of twenty thousand men, followed by miles of
supply-wagons, crossed the Big Black River, moved along by Champion
Hills and Clinton to Jackson. Here General McPherson, with the Sixteenth
Corps, and General Hurlbut, with the Seventeenth Corps, who had taken
different routes, met General Sherman, and were united to his army.

The rebels did not seem to care about fighting the daring chieftain, but
retreated before him. At Line Creek resistance was offered, a short
battle followed, and again the host moved forward, taking the towns of
Quitman and Enterprise, on every hand spreading alarm.

February 13th he reached the Big Chunkey River. Meridian was the next
point to be gained, when, with all his forces, he could push on, getting
between General Johnston and Mobile, where Commodore Farragut was
thundering with his naval ordnance, and perhaps interfere very much with
General Polk’s army. Meanwhile, military depots would disappear before
the torch, and other havoc with supplies distract and cripple the foe.
With such successes, it would not be difficult to hasten over the
intervening ground, and hurl his legions against the city from the land
side, thus finishing the work Commodore Farragut had so well commenced.
At Meridian, February 13th, 150 miles from Vicksburg, he congratulated
his troops in these words:

“The General Commanding conveys his congratulations and thanks to the
officers and men composing this command, for their most successful
accomplishment of one of the great problems of the war. Meridian, the
great railway centre of the Southwest, is now in our possession, and, by
industry and hard work, can be rendered useless to the enemy, and
deprive him of the chief source of supply to his armies. Secrecy in plan
and rapidity of execution accomplish the best results of war; and the
General Commanding assures all that, by following their leaders
fearlessly and with confidence, they will in time reap the reward so
dear to us all—a peace that will never again be disturbed in our
country by a discontented minority.”

But as General Grant’s delay at Holly Springs, on account of its
cowardly surrender, turned the first attack upon Vicksburg into a
defeat, so by the failure of General Smith to start from Memphis till
the 13th of February, the further success of the expedition was made
impossible. Still, the affair was a magnificent raid into the heart of
“rebeldom,” which spread terror along its way, and left the ruins of
railroads, bridges, and storehouses behind, while securing animals and
various material for the use of the Union army.

The great commander was now compelled to turn his column toward
Vicksburg again, which he entered three weeks after his departure,
having led his troops safely across hostile soil more than two hundred
and fifty miles, surrounded by large armies. March 2d, General Sherman
reached New Orleans in the gunboat _Diana_, and when referring to his
expedition, termed it “a big raid only.” Before he had rested his heroic
men, a law which had been before Congress while he was marching, was
passed, creating the office of Lieutenant-General, the President
conferring the honor of it upon Major-General Grant. The same order of
March 12th gave to General Sherman the command before held by the hero
of Vicksburg, called the Department of the Mississippi, and including
the smaller departments of the Ohio, the Cumberland, and the Tennessee,
with the Arkansas. Around him were to stand Generals McPherson, Hooker,
Thomas, Hurlbut, Logan, Schofield, and Howard, the “Havelock of the

The grandest and most decisive campaigns of the war were now planned.
The Army of the Potomac, commanded by General Meade, was again to start
for Richmond, under the eyes of the Lieutenant-General; and the
divisions of General Sherman were to take Atlanta, the former the “head,
the latter the heart of the Confederacy.”

It was a sublime crisis in the struggle. The two great heroes of the
conflict had in their hands enterprises worthy of their genius, and
which would hold the interest of the nation and of the world. For if
either of the bold movements succeeded, the other it would seem must,
because beyond the single victory were the vast results of the
cöoperating armies on the coast, from the mouth of the James River to
Savannah. Immediately upon receiving the notice of his appointment, in
the middle of March, General Sherman began a tour of inspection,
visiting Athens, Decatur, Huntsville, Chattanooga, Knoxville, and other
places of military importance, carefully acquainting himself with the
extent and resources of the new field of his command. From reports
published, it is believed that on the 1st day of May the effective
strength of the several armies, for offensive purposes, was about as

        _Army of the Cumberland, Major-General Thomas Commanding._

       Infantry                                              54,568
       Artillery                                              2,377
       Cavalry                                                3,828
             Total                                           60,773
             Guns                                               130

       _Army of the Tennessee, Major-General McPherson Commanding._

       Infantry                                              22,437
       Artillery                                              1,404
       Cavalry                                                  624
             Total                                           24,465
             Guns                                                96

         _Army of the Ohio, Major-General Schofield Commanding._

       Infantry                                              11,183
       Artillery                                                679
       Cavalry                                                1,679
             Total                                           13,541
             Guns                                                28

           Grand aggregate number of troops, 98,779; guns, 254.

About these figures were maintained during the campaign, the number of
men joining from furlough and hospitals about compensating for the loss
in battle and from sickness. These armies were grouped on the morning of
May 6th, as follows: That of the Cumberland at and near Ringgold; that
of the Tennessee at Gordon’s Mill, on the Chickamauga; and that of the
Ohio near Red Clay, on the Georgia line, north of Dalton.

A reference to the map again will show you Dalton on the railroad
between Chattanooga and Atlanta, with Ringgold northwest of it. A
distinguished general of the army describes the advance:

“Marching from Chattanooga on the 5th of May, and from Ringgold on the
7th, he first encountered Johnston at Tunnel Hill, a strong position,
but which was used by him merely as an outpost to his still stronger one
of ‘Buzzard Roost.’ This latter is a narrow gorge or pass in the
Chatoogata Mountains, flanked on one side by the precipitous sides of
Rocky Face Ridge (not unlike the Palisades of the Hudson River) and on
the other by the greater but less precipitous elevation called John’s
Mountain. This gorge was commanded on the Dalton side by an amphitheatre
of hills, which, as well as the tops of Rocky Face and John’s Mountain,
was crowned by batteries, lined with infantry, and terraced by
sharpshooters. The railroad and wagon-road wind through the gorge, which
is absolutely the only passage through the mountains at this place.
Taking a leaf from the book of his Yorktown experience, Johnston had
skilfully flooded the entrance to the gorge by damming a neighboring
mountain-stream, and covering both railroad and wagon-road with water to
the depth in some places of eight to ten feet. It is scarcely possible
to conceive a stronger defensive position, and the rebels had been
induced to believe that it was unassailable.”

The pass, which doubtless received its name from a large bird common at
the south, was made impassable by abatis, and piles driven down filling
the defile, and the whole overflowed by the waters of Mill Creek. Two
days’ reconnoissance and sharp skirmishing proved to General Sherman
that an attack in front would cost too great a sacrifice of life, and
that the pass must be turned. The means for this were found in a gap
called Snake Creek Gap, some fifteen miles to the southwest. The thick
dark forest, by its concealment, would protect the march. Rising almost
perpendicularly are the flinty sides of Rocky Face, on the other side of
which stands Oak Knob. Into this wild and romantic seclusion our army
pushed its front, while the rebels lurked in the heights around and
above the Union “boys.”

General Morgan, whose command was there, relates, that “a corporal of
Company I, Sixtieth Illinois, broke from the line, and under the cover
of projecting ledges got up within twenty feet of a squad of rebels on
the summit. Taking shelter from the sharpshooters, he called out:

“‘I say, rebs, don’t you want to hear Old Abe’s amnesty proclamation

“‘Yes! yes!’ was the unanimous cry, ‘give us the ape’s proclamation.’

“‘Attention!’ commanded the corporal, and in a clear and resonant voice
he read the amnesty proclamation to the rebels, beneath the cannon
planted by rebel hands to destroy the fabric of Government established
by our fathers. When he arrived at those passages of the proclamation
where the negro was referred to, he was interrupted by cries of ‘None of
your Abolitionism; look out for rocks!’ And down over his hiding-place
descended a shower of stones and rocks. Having finished the reading, the
corporal asked:

“‘Well, rebs, how do you like the terms? Will you hear it again?’

“‘Not to-day, you bloody Yank. Now crawl down in a hurry and we won’t
fire,’ was the response; and the daring corporal descended and rejoined
his command, which had distinctly heard all that passed. I regret I
could not learn the name of the corporal, for he must get promotion at
the hands of Father Abraham and Governor Dick Yates.”

Another incident of army life at this crisis of the campaign will
interest you: While on Rocky Face General Howard stood upon a ledge of
rocks from which he could see a large force of rebels upon a projecting
spur of the ridge immediately beneath him. Tired of gazing upon the
enemy, the General, in the absence of hand grenades, lighted the fuse of
shells, and amused himself by dropping them down into the centre of the
enemy, in whose ranks there was quite a lively commotion in consequence.
The frightened enemy little suspected that the hand that dropped the
shells into their ranks was the companion of the one lost at Fair Oaks
by the fearless leader of the Eleventh Army Corps.

The flank movement was led by General McPherson with the Fifteenth and
Sixteenth Corps, and Garrard’s division of cavalry, supported by General
Thomas with the Fourteenth and Twentieth Corps, while Generals Howard
and Schofield, with the Fourth, Twenty-third, and Stoneman’s division of
cavalry, “amused the enemy in front.” Suddenly General Johnston waked up
from his dream of security, and hastily abandoning his stronghold fell
back upon a new position to save his communications, which were around
the town of Resaca, almost due south from Chattanooga, and distant from
it by railroad fifty-six miles. It is situated in Gordon County,
Georgia, on the north bank of the Coosawattee River, which flows
southwest, changing its name to the Oostalantee, and joins Etowah at
Rome, the two forming the Coosa, which, joining the Tallapoosa, forms
the Alabama, and flows into the Gulf at Mobile.

The railroad bridge at Resaca, destroyed by the rebels on their retreat,
is one of the most important, perhaps the most important, on the Western
and Atlantic Railway; it is six hundred feet long. The distance from
Resaca to Atlanta is eighty-two miles by rail, and the country much more
favorable for our operations than that from Chattanooga to Resaca.

The rebel general began to learn lessons of caution in the _flanking_
school of General Sherman, and so guarded the extremities of his army
that the latter was compelled to try a direct assault in front. For
three days the sound of battle at intervals echoed among the hills, with
constantly increasing advantage to the vigilant, skilful, and unyielding
Sherman, until he had in his possession commanding hills, with railroads
and bridges in his rear. Eight guns, two flags, large quantities of
stores, and several hundred prisoners, were the trophies of the
hard-earned victories.

The night of the 15th of May the rebel chief, finding himself outwitted
and outflanked, made a hurried retreat. When the morning revealed the
flight of the foe, General Sherman’s army started in pursuit. General
Thomas, second only in splendid achievements and gallantry to his
commander, was “directly on his heels,” while Generals McPherson and
Schofield took different routes. Amusing scenes occasionally lit up the
darkest hours of night and conflict.

During the whole operations of Saturday and Sunday, while forcing
General Johnston from his intrenchments, General Beatty’s brigade, of
Wood’s division, was in reserve. The boys did not relish their position,
and, while the battle raged with great fury, they showed unmistakable
signs of uneasiness. One fellow, more daring than his companions,
quietly sauntered out and made for the front. Meeting a wounded soldier
returning from the front, the “Buckeye” borrowed his “fixins” and
entered Hazen’s brigade, where he fought bravely until shot in the jaw.
Retiring to the rear, he met a staff-officer, who inquired the number of
his regiment, and, learning it was not under fire, asked how he came to
be wounded. “Well,” replied the soldier, “you see I don’t like to be
back in the rear, so I came out to take a shot at the Johnnies, and I be
dogged if they haven’t peppered me.”

At nine on Saturday night the Nineteenth Alabama was lying in line, with
a rebel battery separating it from another regiment. The battery was
withdrawn, and the colonel of the Nineteenth went down to fill the gap
with his regiment; he was accompanied by four hundred men. Arriving at
the gap they found it filled with pickets, who quietly “took them in out
of the wet,” and brought them in. Our boys had crawled up unobserved,
and filled the gap in the enemy’s line, captured Colonel McSpadden and
companions, and retired without receiving a shot. The rebel colonel
himself highly praised the strategy of his captors.

Onward through forest, across streams, and over heights, the nobly proud
and confidant columns pressed toward Atlanta. The song and joke—the
sacred page and prayer—the inexcusable oath—all marked the long
marches, the night encampment, and the morning hour of preparation to
renew the tramp of embattled legions toward the interior of the
Confederate Territory. How sublime the music, rising over that moving
host, which a listener thus describes:

“At early dawn one morning, ere the troops were fully awakened from
their slumbers, the melodious notes of ‘Old Hundred,’ given forth by one
of the brigade bands, rang out upon the air, and were echoed by the
green-capped hills beyond. Soldiers intently occupied in preparing the
morning meal stood still and listened to the melody, and instinctively
joined in it. It flew from regiment to regiment; brigade after brigade
took it up, and, ere the notes of the band ceased to reverberate, five
thousand voices were raised in ‘Praise God from whom all blessings
flow.’ A moment later all was still. Breakfast was taken; and so
silently did the veterans of many battle-fields break camp and fall into
line that everybody remarked it, and complimented them for their
conduct. I have heard ‘Old Hundred’ often, when the lungs of the organ
seemed inspired with life, and a congregation joined their melodious
voices, but never until to-day did I hear it sung with the full
inspiration of the soul.”

May 25th, General Thomas’s troops, with the fearless Hooker in the
advance, were sweeping toward Dallas, when the enemy crossed their path.
The action of New Hope Church came off, leaving the Union colors
streaming victoriously over the exulting volunteers. But there was a
different flag taken from hostile hands. General Stoneman, the splendid
cavalry officer, captured from the Third Texas Cavalry a black flag with
a skeleton figured upon it together with a death’s head and cross-bones.
This flag is no myth or creation of the wild fancy of some terrified
trooper, but a reliable thing now in possession of a surgeon in the
General’s command, and seen and handled by the members of General
Schofield’s staff. They are said to have carried it from the first. What
they expect to have understood by it is easily arrived at from the
remark of a member of another Texas regiment who was taken prisoner and
brought to headquarters. When asked by a member of the staff if he
belonged to the regiment which carried the black flag, he replied that
he did not, else he should not have been brought there. It is, perhaps,
needless to state that our men are reported to have taken no prisoners
from the Third Texas Cavalry.

While the forces were approaching Dallas, occurred one of war’s striking
contrasts, related by a participant in the scenes:

“Last night the enemy kept up a lively demonstration along our whole
line sufficient to interfere slightly with our slumbers at headquarters.
About three o’clock yesterday afternoon Cheney’s First Illinois Battery,
20-pounder Parrott guns, opened a brisk fire upon a strong rebel
fortification, one mile from Dallas, which frowns upon our lines at an
altitude of nearly two hundred feet, and from which a fine view is
easily obtained of our movements. The cannonade was continued till
sunset, shells bursting in all directions, scattering their
death-dealing fragments among loyal and disloyal. The monotony was
relieved by the constant arrival of mounted orderlies bearing their
important despatches of the enemy’s doings from the respective brigade
and division commanders, while the music of the Minié balls, as they
whistled through the trees over our heads, lent enough exhilarating
excitement to the afternoon hours to dispel all thought of drowsiness.
While the musketry rattled quite lively along our lines, causing the
vales to reverberate, and the loud reports of the deadly rifles rang
through the mountain forests, the military bands were discoursing
sentimental and patriotic melodies within sound of the rebel lines.

“So near have our skirmishers advanced to the enemy’s front, that last
night, while a prayer-meeting was being held in the rebel camps, our
troops could hear quite distinctly their appeals to Heaven for peace. I
regret to state that some of the ‘Yankees’ were sacrilegious enough to
interpolate the names of Grant and Sherman, just at the point where the
traitors invoked health and strength to Lee and Johnston. The tone of
their petitions was for peace, which Gen. Sherman is determined they
shall not enjoy until he secures that piece of Georgia which he has
marked out as the reward for his invincible army.”

At this crisis in the march, already among the rivers flowing to the
Gulf, with the iron-works on their banks at different points, General
Sherman issued an order containing directions respecting care of the
wounded, who were to be carried from the field by the musicians and
others not in the ranks; and requiring hospitals to be kept nearer the
moving columns, protecting them by the irregularities on the surface,
and not by distance. Here is what he says of cowards:

“Skulking, shirking, and straggling behind in time of danger, are such
high detestable crimes that the General Commanding would hardly presume
them possible, were it not for his own observation, and the report that
at this moment soldiers are found loafing in the cabins, to the rear, as
far back as Kingston. The only proper fate of such miscreants is that
they be shot, as common enemies to their profession and country; and all
officers and patrols sent back to arrest them, will shoot them without
mercy, on the slightest impudence or resistance. By thus wandering in
the rear they desert their fellows, who expose themselves in battle in
the full faith that all on the rolls are present, and they expose
themselves to capture and exchange as good soldiers, to which they have
no title. It is hereby made the duty of every officer who finds such
skulkers, to deliver them to any provost guard, regardless of corps, to
be employed in menial or hard work, such as repairing roads, digging
drains, sinks, &c. Officers, if found skulking, will be subjected to the
same penalty as enlisted men, viz., instant death, or the hardest labor
and treatment. Absentees not accounted for, should always be mustered as
deserters, to deprive them of their pay and bounties, reserved for
honest soldiers.”

We cannot chronicle all the battles and skirmishes of the “running
fight”—not _from_ the enemy, but after him. The charge upon Allatoona
Pass by the Union cavalry, June 2d, where General Sherman had flanked
General Johnston a week before, was a brilliant display of valor
baptized in blood.

The first week in June had passed, and General Sherman’s troops, after
marching more than a hundred miles since leaving Chattanooga, through a
country unknown to them, daily skirmishing with the watchful foe,
striking against works capable of resisting twice their number of
troops, and all the time without broken ranks, gaining substantial
advantage, now fairly confronted General Johnston intrenched upon Lost
Mountain, Pine Hill, and Kenesaw Mountain, three bold peaks connected
together by a line of ridges, and twenty-six miles north of Atlanta. His
line was closely circumscribed by ours. In no place were the hostile
parallels more than a musket-shot apart. The rebel right rested on
Kenesaw Mountain, on the railroad, four miles north of Marietta, their
left on Lost Mountain, some six miles west of Kenesaw. Between these two
formidable ridges the rebels had gradually been forced back from a
triangle, with the apex toward us, until their line was but a faint
crescent, their centre still being slightly advanced. Right, left, and
centre, their position was closely invested. Our troops shed parallel
after parallel, until the country in their rear was furrowed with
rifle-pits and abatis, and scored with a labyrinth of roads.

“The country is covered with primitive forests, and in very few places
are there cleared spaces sufficiently large to display the movements of
a brigade. There is an abundance of scrubby undergrowth which hides
every thing a few yards distant from view; and when one inspects the
difficulties, it seems hardly credible, though such is the case, that we
fully developed the enemy’s position with two days’ skirmish.”

A brave officer from whose accurate observations passages have already
been taken, says of this halting-place in the great race for Atlanta:
“The ridge in front of Kenesaw commences about Wallace’s House on the
Burnt Hickory and Marietta road, and extends thence across the railroad
behind Noonday Creek about two miles in an east-by-north direction. Lost
Mountain and Kenesaw are about eleven hundred feet high, Pine Hill and
Brushy Hill about four hundred feet high, and the ridges everywhere
about one hundred and fifty to two hundred feet, or about the same as,
and, in fact, not very dissimilar to Missionary Ridge at Chattanooga.
The enemy was everywhere strongly intrenched behind log barricades,
protected by earth thrown against them, with a ditch, formidable abatis,
and in many places a chevaux-de-frise of sharpened fence-rails besides.
Their intrenchments were well protected by thick traverses, and at
frequent intervals arranged with emplacements and embrasures for
field-guns. The thickness of this parapet was generally six to eight
feet _at top_ on the infantry line, and from twelve to fifteen feet
thick at the top, where field-guns were posted or where fire from our
artillery was anticipated. The amount of digging and intrenching that
Johnston’s army had done is almost incredible. General Sherman’s tactics
resulted in wresting Lost Mountain, Pine Hill, the ridge in front of
Kenesaw, and Brushy Hill from the enemy, and forcing back his two wings,
Kenesaw Mountain operating as a sort of hinge, until his left was behind
Olley’s Creek, and his right behind the stream which flows between the
houses named on the map as McAffee and Wiley Roberts. Kenesaw Mountain
then became the projecting fortress of the defensive line, the wings
being turned backward from it. It is a rocky eminence, rather
precipitous, thickly-wooded, and crowned with batteries.

“Our respective lines were about eight or nine miles in length, from six
hundred to seven hundred yards distant from each other, and strongly
intrenched. Skirmishing went on incessantly, and artillery duels
occurred two or three times daily. The enemy at different times made
some dozen or more assaults, sometimes getting within fifty yards of our
intrenchments, but were always repulsed, and generally with heavy loss
to them. To gain certain positions, we opened a heavy artillery fire
upon their whole line, pressed their two flanks heavily, and made
assaults in two places upon their centre. The assaults were
unsuccessful; but the Twenty-third Corps, upon their extreme right,
gained important advantages of position.”

Wrote another: “We fancy out here that the over-expectant loyal public
are disappointed at the seemingly slow progress of our cause in this
department. It is only necessary to state that the immense amount of
supplies required for an army of this size, to be transported a distance
of over two hundred miles through the enemy’s country, with a
single-track railroad, is a gigantic undertaking. As for subsisting upon
the country, that is out of the question, the inhabitants themselves
depending upon the charity of the ‘ruthless invaders’ for daily
sustenance. Forage, ordnance stores, and commissary supplies, must all
flow through this single artery with lightning rapidity, if we would
replenish these stores as fast as exhausted. Nothing but the most
thorough organization and complete system, with great energy in the
various departments, could ever have prevented our troops from suffering
for the want of food and clothing. The public can never appreciate the
innumerable natural obstacles that have embarrassed the operations of
this unflinching army. The truly loyal do not demand any such
explanations as these, for with such leaders as Grant and Sherman
apprehension is groundless; but of late the Copperhead press, not
content with misrepresenting and belittling General Grant’s victorious
advance toward the rebel capital, sneer at General Sherman’s
generalship, and insinuate already, in the face of brilliant successes
achieved, that the ‘On to Atlanta’ movement is a failure.

“Standing upon the martial-crowned top of Pine Mountain, amid the
fluttering of those peculiar flags used by the Signal Corps, we learned
that from this eminence were transmitted, in those mysterious signals,
all the movements of the enemy, and such operations of our army as were
necessary. In front of you stands the defiant, frowning Kenesaw, with
its thick woods concealing the rebel batteries from view that line its
steep sides, while five or six miles west of Kenesaw, Lost Mountain
lifts its sugar-loaf crest to the sky, solitary and alone, looming up
against the gorgeously tinted clouds that deck the heavens. Just before
you, looking south, can be discerned the suburbs of Marietta, with the
Georgia Military Institute standing out prominently in the picture.
Gazing down the steep declivity into the thickly-wooded vales which lie
at the spectator’s feet, a magnificent panorama of natural beauty is
unfurled. So close are the lines of the contending armies, that the
dense volumes of smoke from their camp fires roll up united, but hang in
portentous clouds over friend and foe.

“While wrapt in silent admiration, mixed with a deep sense of awe at the
wild and romantic scene before me, the bands encamped in the valley
which encircles the base of the mountain struck up the ‘John Brown’ or
‘Glory Hallelujah Chorus,’ the echoes of which vibrated, re-echoed, and,
finally, as the sun’s departing rays began to fade from the horizon, its
pathetic notes died away, or mingled with the rattle of musketry which
flashed along our skirmish line. I can never forget the peculiar
impression photographed upon my mind by the swelling of this historical
anthem of Freedom’s first battle, as it grandly sailed over Pine
Mountain. My reverie was soon disturbed by the sudden roar of many
batteries belching out their savage peals with fearful rapidity from
both sides, and for several minutes quite an artillery duel was indulged
in, interspersed with short rolls of musketry. It was curious to watch
the rebel guns, as the smoke lazily curled from the cannon’s mouth,
while the solid shot whizzed and shells shrieked over our breastworks.”

Among the incidents of this part of the great campaign was a dress
parade of the rebels on the top of Kenesaw Mountain. Our lines were so
near, that the display was distinctly visible and audible. Below the
regiment, whose bayonets gleamed in the rays of the setting sun, were
the bristling rifle-pits. A courier suddenly dashed up to the adjutant,
and handed him a despatch from General Johnston, announcing that General
Sherman “had brought his army so far south, that his line of supplies
was longer than he could hold; that he was too far from his base—just
where their commanding general wished to get him; that a part of their
army would hold the railroad, thirty miles north of the Etowah; and that
the great railroad bridge at Allatoona had been completely destroyed;
that in a few days Sherman would be out of supplies, because he could
bring no more trains through by the railroad. They were urged to
maintain a bold front, and in a few days the Yankees would be forced to
retreat. Breathless silence evinces the attention which every word of
the order receives, as the adjutant reads. Cheers are about to be given,
when hark! loud whistles from Sherman’s cars, at Big Shanty, interrupt
them. The number of whistles increase. Allatoona, Ackworth, and Big
Shanty depots resound with them. Supplies have arrived. The effect can
easily be imagined. The illustration was so apt, the commentary so
appropriate, that it was appreciated at the instant. ‘Bully for the base
of supplies!’ ‘Bully for the long line!’ ‘Three cheers for the big
bridge!’ ‘Here’s your Yankee cars!’ ‘There’s Sherman’s rations!’ Bedlam
was loose along their line for a short time.”

There was a tree in front of General Herron’s division of the Fifteenth
Army Corps, to which was given the name of _fatal tree_. Seven soldiers
in succession, who hid behind it to shoot, were killed. Then a board was
put on the tree, on which was chalked “dangerous.” The rebels soon shot
this sign to pieces, when a sergeant took his position there, and in
less than two minutes two Minié balls pierced his body, making the
eighth victim of rebel bullets—a tragical _item_ in war’s dread work.

                              CHAPTER XIX.

   The Battle of Kenesaw Mountain—On to Marietta—Across the
     Chattahoochie—General Johnston succeeded by General Hood—
     Marching and Fighting—Death of McPherson—Fight at Jonesboro—
     The last struggle for Atlanta—Victory.

JUNE 14th, General Hooker was on the right and front of the rebel
intrenchments, General Howard on the left and front. A heavy cannonading
was opened, filling the air with bursting shells and whistling balls,
till the old mountains echoed with the thunder and shouts of battle, and
hung upon their tops the streamers of its sulphurous smoke. Look away
among the rebel battalions, and mark that daring and conspicuous
officer, with the air of dignified, cultivated, and mature manhood. With
words of command on his lips, he reels, and falls from his steed. The
fatal missile has opened the life current of the Bishop and General
Polk, the severest loss to the rebels of that sanguinary day.

The next morning brightened the summit of Pine Mountain without the
gleaming bayonets and bristling cannon on which the sunset rays fell a
few hours before; the enemy had abandoned the summit during the night.
The heroic Thomas and Schofield immediately advanced, and found the
stubborn foe again strongly intrenched along a range of rocky hills
running from Kenesaw to Lost Mountain. General McPherson crowded the
opposing lines on the left. The unyielding and steady advance of the
Union forces made the sides of Lost Mountain too warm for the rebels,
and on the 17th, just when General Sherman was about to order a charge,
they withdrew, leaving in our hands not only the formidable heights, but
the “admirable breastworks connecting it with Kenesaw Mountain.” Onward
through dark forests and across deep ravines, the resolute chief led the
“boys,” fighting every step of the way, toward the next fiery barrier of
bullets and steel. This was found at Kenesaw. The fastness had become
the last defence against the Northern troops among the peaks which had
for more than two weeks frowned upon them. It was the enemy’s front, the
outer lines having fallen back to cover Marietta and the railroad to the

Sadly glorious deeds were done in these wilderness fights. When the One
Hundred and Nineteenth New York regiment was so near the hostile ranks
that a halt to throw up a temporary breastwork of logs was necessary, by
some singular and melancholy mistake a party of twelve or fifteen men
were ordered to advance beyond these works on picket duty. Though
knowing that it was almost certain death to show their heads above the
walls of their little fort, still they obeyed without question or
hesitation. They had advanced scarcely more than a rod beyond their
comrades, when a heavy volley of musketry prostrated to the ground every
man save two! Two were killed instantly, and the rest wounded more or
less severely. All of the wounded, however, were able to drag themselves
back and escape, except one poor fellow, Sergeant Guider, who was so
badly wounded that he could not stir from his place. There he lay almost
within arms-length of his comrades, and yet they were powerless to
rescue him or give him aid, so galling was the rebel fire. One bolder
than the rest made the hazardous attempt, but scarcely had he got over
the breastworks when he fell severely wounded. They endeavored to allay
his raging thirst by throwing to him canteens of water, and even one of
these was pierced by a rebel bullet. Finally, as they could not go over
the breastworks, they dug a way under them with no other implements than
their bayonets, and through it two men crawled and succeeded in reaching
him unhurt. Just as they reached him their comrades in the rear gave an
exultant cheer, which elicited from the rebels another volley. A fatal
ball pierced the poor fellow’s breast for a second time, and he had only
time to murmur feebly to his rescuers, “Now I die content; I am in your
hands,” and expired.

Then came the terrible assault upon the stronghold to dislodge the
enemy. Oh, how bravely yet vainly did the columns to whom the voice of
their leader was enough to take them anywhere, dash against the rocks
terraced with cannon! Again the charge sounded, and, like tides
thundering on the face of Gibraltar, the lion-hearted Hooker hurled his
forces upon the death-dealing intrenchments. There was an Illinois
regiment, whose sublime patriotism, like that of the One Hundred and
Nineteenth New York, shed immortal radiance on the sanguinary field,
assuring all men that our conflict is no tragical play of ambition, or
murderous work of revenge.

“In the bloody charge led by General Hooker, the Twenty-seventh Illinois
was pressing upon the rebel works; and when they had approached very
near them, Michael Delaney, the color-bearer, rushed some ten paces
forward ahead of his regiment, and holding aloft the starry banner of
his country, shouted to his comrades to follow. Just then a ball struck
his left arm, inflicting a flesh wound, from which the blood trickled in
profuse currents. Still grasping the flag, and keeping it to the breeze,
he drew his revolver, and rushing forward, leaped upon the enemy’s
works, waving his flag, and firing his pistol upon the foe. Thus,
standing upon the enemy’s works, his pistol in hand, and his colors
streaming over his head, two rebels approached him, one on each side,
and thrust their bayonets into the sides of the hero martyr. He felt the
cold steel pierce to the very quick of his young life, yet he did not
falter. With the blood gushing from his wounds, he clasped the flag to
his breast, and bore it back in safety to his comrades, among whom he
soon after bled to death. Though no star or eagle decorated his
shoulders, he is of the country’s heroes, his name stamped among theirs,
high on the roll of honor. Though no sculptured marble may mark the spot
of his lonely grave among the melancholy pines of northern Georgia, his
intrepid bravery entitles him to the homage of all who honor the flag he
so bravely bore, and laid down his life to save. The Twenty-seventh
Illinois regiment suffered heavily, but behaved nobly, in this fierce
and unequal contest.”

And the unresting, yet patient, sagacious commander, in his own report,
tells us how he alarmed his antagonist, and drew him away from the
slopes of Kenesaw to save his path of retreat: “On the 1st of July
General McPherson was ordered to throw his whole army by the right down
to and threaten Nickajack Creek and Turner’s Ferry, across
Chattahoochie. General McPherson commenced his movement on the night of
July 2d, and the effect was instantaneous. The next morning Kenesaw was
abandoned, and with the first dawn of day I saw our skirmishers appear
on the mountain top. General Thomas’s whole line was then moved forward
to the railroad, and turned south in pursuit toward the Chattahoochie.
In person I entered Marietta at 8.30 o’clock in the morning, just as the
enemy’s cavalry vacated the place. General Logan’s corps of General
McPherson’s army, which had not moved far, was ordered back into
Marietta by the main road, and General McPherson and General Schofield
were instructed to cross Nickajack, and attack the enemy in flank and
rear, and, if possible, to catch him in the confusion of crossing the
Chattahoochie; but Johnston had foreseen and provided against all this,
and had covered his movement well. He had intrenched a strong
_tête-du-pont_ at the Chattahoochie, with an advanced intrenched line
across the road at Smyrna camp-meeting ground, five miles from

Strange scenes, indeed, are witnessed in this civil war: “The two armies
in Georgia met in the persons of some of their superior
officers—Generals Clayborne, Cheatham, Hindman, and Maney—parties
having been detailed from each by mutual agreement, for the burial of
their dead. Grouped together in seemingly fraternal unity were officers
and men of both contending armies, who but five minutes before were
engaged in the work of slaughter and death. Cheatham looked rugged and
healthy, though seemingly sad and despondent. He wore his ‘fatigue’
dress, a blue flannel shirt, black necktie, gray homespun pantaloons,
and slouch black hat. Colonel Clancy, of the Fifty-second Ohio, in
talking to Generals Maney and Hindman, remarked that it was a sad state
of affairs to witness human beings of a common origin and nationality
dig two hours every day to bury the dead of twenty minutes’ fighting.
‘Yes, yes, indeed,’ said one, ‘but if the settlement of this thing were
left to our armies there would be peace and good fellowship established
in two hours.’”

With the “forward to Atlanta!” ringing over the proud ranks of Generals
Logan, Howard, Palmer, and Hooker, moving out through the enemy’s works,
and defiling into the valley along the railroad toward Marietta, let us
look into the deserted mountain fortress. First you will notice twenty
feet in front of the battlements, to prevent approach, the small trees
cut down and sharpened, presenting an impenetrable thicket of pointed
green-wood under the “dread artillery.” Besides, “hay-rakes,” as they
are called by the “boys,” are added. They are trees half of a foot in
diameter, pierced with two rows of auger holes about the same distance
apart, through which are driven sticks sharp at both ends—no trifling
barrier to a successful charge. Inside of the defences all the means of
strength suggested by military art had been employed to make them
impregnable. But before the irresistible Sherman, General Johnston is
obliged to retreat, hastening on toward the bulwarks of Atlanta.

At Smyrna, General Sherman continues: “General Thomas found him, his
front covered by a good parapet, and his flanks behind the Nickajack and
Rottenwood Creeks. Ordering a garrison for Marietta, and General Logan
to join his own army near the mouth of Nickajack, I overtook General
Thomas at Smyrna. On the 4th of July we pushed a strong skirmish line
down the main road, capturing the entire line of the enemy’s pits, and
made strong demonstrations along Nickajack Creek, and about Turner’s
Ferry. This had the desired effect, and the next morning the enemy was
gone, and the army moved to the Chattahoochie, General Thomas’s left
flank resting on it near Price’s Ferry, General McPherson’s right at the
mouth of Nickajack, and General Schofield in reserve; the enemy lay
behind a line of unusual strength, covering the railroad and pontoon
bridges and beyond the Chattahoochie.”

The commander-in-chief now began to cast about for places to ford the
Chattahoochie, whose waters crossed his path. He had secured three safe
points of passage above his enemy, with good roads running toward the
city, ten miles distant, on which his eager eye was fixed.

Marietta, where General Johnston paused to make a faint resistance
before reaching the river, is a pleasant town which before the war
contained a thousand inhabitants, with neat villas and elegant brick
mansions. Nearly all the families left before or with the rebel army on
their retreat, leaving their deserted houses and gardens as trophies for
the “invading horde of Lincolnites.” But about forty houses were
occupied, principally by rabid rebel women, who, as our officers rode
through the town, betrayed evident uneasiness, rushing into their houses
in some instances, and locking their doors against all callers who
politely asked admittance. The town is beautifully situated in the
Kenesaw valley, with nearly all the houses nestling in beautiful groves
of southern trees that gave forth fragrant odors, to mingle with the air
that is wafted to the mountain resort, where the ladies made their
lookout to witness the efforts of the Federals to drive back Johnston
and his followers. Our troops occupied the town about ten o’clock, while
the bells of the Episcopal Church pealed out the call to public worship.
The minister and the congregation were not interrupted in their
devotions, the troops behaved very orderly, and, after a brief rest,
resumed the march to the Chattahoochie.

While here, the chieftain wrote the following noble letter to a friend
of former days, the wife of Rev. Charles Bowen, in reply to a note
reminding him of the cherished past in their social relations, and of
the melancholy present with its cruel “Yankee invasion.”

                   IN THE FIELD NEAR MARIETTA, GA., _June 30_.    }
    “_Mrs. Anna Gilman Bowen, Baltimore, Md._

    “DEAR MADAM: Your welcome letter of June 18th, came to me here
    amid the sound of battle, and, as you say, little did I dream,
    when I knew you, playing as a school-girl on Sullivan’s Island
    beach, that I should control a vast army, pointing, like the
    swarm of Alaric, toward the plains of the South. Why, oh why is
    this? If I know my own heart it beats as warmly as ever toward
    those kind and generous families that greeted us with such warm
    hospitality in days long past but still present in memory, and
    to-day, were Frank and Mrs. Porcher, and Eliza Gilman, and Mary
    Lamb, and Margaret Blake, the Barksdales, the Quashis, the
    Pryors, indeed any and all of our cherished circle, their
    children, or even their children’s children, to come to me as of
    old, the stern feelings of duty and conviction would melt as
    snow before the genial sun, and I believe I would strip my own
    children that they might be sheltered; and yet they call me
    barbarian, vandal, and monster, and all the epithets that
    language can invent that are significant of malignity and hate.
    All I pretend to say, on earth as in Heaven, man must submit to
    some arbiter. He must not throw off his allegiance to his
    Government or his God without just reason and cause. The South
    has no cause; not even a pretext. Indeed, by her unjustifiable
    course she has thrown away the proud history of the past, and
    laid open her fair country to the tread of devastating war. She
    bantered and bullied us to the conflict. Had we declined battle,
    America would have sunk back, coward and craven, meriting the
    contempt of all mankind. As a nation, we were forced to accept
    battle, and that once begun, it has gone on till the war has
    assumed proportions at which even we in the hurly-burly
    sometimes stand aghast. I would not subjugate the South in the
    term so offensively assumed, but I would make every citizen of
    the land obey the common law, submit to the same that we do—no
    worse, no better—our equals and not our superiors. I know and
    you know that there were young men in our day, now no longer
    young, but who control their fellows, who assumed to the
    gentlemen of the South a superiority of courage and manhood, and
    boastingly defied us of northern birth to arms. God knows how
    reluctantly we accepted the issue, but once the issue joined,
    like the northern race in other ages, though slow to anger, once
    aroused are more terrible than the more inflammable of the
    South. Even yet my heart bleeds when I see the carnage of
    battle, the desolation of homes, the bitter anguish of families;
    but the very moment the men of the South say that instead of
    appealing to war they should have appealed to reason, to our
    Congress, to our courts, to religion, and to the experience of
    history, then will I say Peace—Peace; go back to your point of
    error, and resume your places as American citizens, with all
    their proud heritages. Whether I shall live to see this period
    is problematical, but you may, and may tell your mother and
    sisters that I never forgot one kind look or greeting, or ever
    wished to efface its remembrance; but in putting on the armor of
    war I did it that our common country should not perish in infamy
    and dishonor. I am married, have a wife and six children living
    in Lancaster, Ohio. My course has been an eventful one, but I
    hope when the clouds of anger and passion are dispersed, and
    truth emerges bright and clear, you and all who knew me in early
    years will not blush that we were once dear friends. Tell Eliza
    for me that I hope she may live to realize that the doctrine of
    ‘secession’ is as monstrous in our civil code as disobedience
    was in the Divine law. And should the fortunes of war ever bring
    you or your sisters, or any of our old clique under the shelter
    of my authority, I do not believe they will have cause to regret
    it. Give my love to your children, and the assurance of my
    respects to your honored husband.

                                       “Truly,      W. T. SHERMAN.”

Wrote a loyal pen in that grand cavalcade of freedom from the heights on
the banks of the Chattahoochie: “The view is exceedingly interesting.
Away off to the southeast, ten miles distant, can be distinctly seen the
farm-houses that nestle in the forests around Atlanta—the tall spires
of the churches and public buildings, and the fortifications that guard
the approaches to the ‘Gate City.’ Stretching away to the south, the eye
beholds a vast forest, dotted by innumerable plantations and villages.
Nearer, almost at the base of the mountain, the Serpentine River can be
seen through the thick growth of trees that line its banks, while the
military, State, and private roads to the east and south, remind the
beholder of a huge spider’s web, so numerous are they, and forming so
many angles.

“On the 4th the curiosity of the troops to see Atlanta was so strong,
that stragglers left their regiments and climbed the side from which
they viewed the promised land to which they are ‘pilgrimaging.’ Many of
the poor fellows, I fear, will never live to obtain a nearer view, as a
desperate defence will be made ere Johnston evacuates it for another
position, and by surrendering it open the doors for greater Federal
success beyond and on either side.”

July 10th found General Sherman in possession of the country north and
west of the river, with only the smoking ruins of the enemy’s bridges
left to tell of his hurried retreat toward Atlanta, for whose gates the
race was renewed. Manœuvring, marching, and skirmishing again, marked
the movements of the contending armies.

I shall let you read further the great commander’s own story of the
chase after leaving the banks of the river, in which he pays a passing
tribute to the gallant McPherson:

“On the 21st of July we felt the enemy in his intrenched position, which
was found to crown the heights overlooking the comparatively open ground
of the valley of Peach-tree Creek, his right beyond the Augusta road to
the east, and his left well toward Turner’s Ferry, on the Chattahoochie,
at a general distance from Atlanta of about four miles.

“On the morning of the 22d, somewhat to my surprise, this whole line was
found abandoned, and I confess I thought the enemy had resolved to give
us Atlanta without further contest; but General Johnston had been
relieved of his command, and General Hood substituted. A new policy
seemed resolved on, of which the bold attack on our right was the index.
Our advancing ranks swept across the strong and well-finished parapet of
the enemy, and closed in upon Atlanta, until we occupied a line in the
form of a general circle of about two miles radius, when we again found
him occupying in force a line of finished redoubts, which had been
prepared for more than a year, covering all the roads leading into
Atlanta; and we found him also busy in connecting these redoubts with
curtains strengthened by rifle trenches, abatis, and chevaux-de-frise.

[Illustration: MAP OF GEORGIA]

“General McPherson, who had advanced from Decatur, continued to follow
substantially the railroad, with the Fifteenth Corps, General Logan; the
Seventeenth, General Blair, on its left; and the Sixteenth, General
Dodge, on its right; but as the general advance of all the armies
contracted the circle, the Sixteenth Corps, General Dodge, was thrown
out of line by the Fifteenth connecting on the right with General
Schofield near the Howard House. General McPherson, the night before,
had gained a high hill to the south and east of the railroad, where the
Seventeenth Corps had, after a severe fight, driven the enemy, and it
gave him a most commanding position, within easy view of the very heart
of the city. He had thrown out working-parties to it, and was making
preparations to occupy it in strength with batteries. The Sixteenth
Corps, General Dodge, was ordered from right to left to occupy this
position and make it a strong general, left flank. General Dodge was
moving by a diagonal path, or wagon track, leading from the Decatur road
in the direction of General Blair’s left flank. General McPherson
remained with me until near noon, when some reports reaching us that
indicated a movement of the enemy on that flank, he mounted and rode
away with his staff. I must here also state that the day before I had
detached General Garrard’s cavalry to go to Covington, on the Augusta
road, forty-two miles east of Atlanta, and from that point to send
detachments to break the two important bridges across the Yellow and
Ulcofauhatchee Rivers, tributaries of Ocmulgee, and General McPherson
had also left his wagon-train at Decatur under a guard of three
regiments, commanded by Colonel, now General Sprague. Soon after General
McPherson left me at the Howard House, as before described, I heard the
sounds of musketry to our left rear—at first mere pattering shots, but
soon they grew in volume, accompanied with artillery, and about the same
time the sound of guns was heard in the direction of Decatur. No doubt
could longer be entertained of the enemy’s plan of action, which was to
throw a superior force on our left flank, while he held us with his
forts in front, the only question being as to the amount of force he
could employ at that point. I hastily transmitted orders to all points
of our centre and right to press forward, and to give full employment to
all the enemy in his lines, and for General Schofield to hold as large a
force in reserve as possible, awaiting developments. Not more than half
an hour after General McPherson had left me, viz., about 12½ P. M. of
the 22d, his adjutant-general, Lieutenant-Colonel Clark, rode up and
reported that General McPherson was either dead or a prisoner; that he
had ridden from me to General Dodge’s column, moving as heretofore
described, and had sent off nearly all his staff and orderlies on
various errands, and himself had passed into a narrow path or road that
led to the left and rear of General Giles A. Smith’s division, which was
General Blair’s extreme left; that a few minutes after he had entered
the woods a sharp volley was heard in that direction, and his horse had
come out riderless, having two wounds. The suddenness of this terrible
calamity would have overwhelmed me with grief, but the living demanded
my whole thoughts. I instantly despatched a staff officer to General
John A. Logan, commanding the Fifteenth Corps, to tell him what had
happened; that he must assume command of the Army of the Tennessee, and
hold stubbornly the ground already chosen.

“But among the dead was Major-General McPherson, whose body was
recovered and brought to me in the heat of battle, and I had it sent, in
charge of his personal staff, back to Marietta, on its way to his
northern home. He was a noble youth, of striking personal appearance, of
the highest professional capacity, and with a heart abounding in
kindness, that drew to him the affections of all men. His sudden death
devolved the command of the Army of the Tennessee on the no less brave
and gallant General Logan, who nobly sustained his reputation and that
of his veteran army, and avenged the death of his comrade and

What high appreciation of a gifted and gallant officer, tender regard,
and sublime self-control, are displayed in those words from the field of
carnage! Lieutenant-General Grant was not ashamed to weep in his tent
over McPherson’s death; in the closing circle of conflict around
Atlanta, General Sherman could only feel the pang of poignant regret,
and marshal the unfallen for further and bloodier strife.

At this crisis, Congress having passed a law authorizing the
organization of colored troops, a Massachusetts State Agent applied to
him to know where, in the rebel States penetrated by our troops, would
be the best points for recruiting stations. His letter in reply will
possess interest, because while it furnishes the desired information, it
contains the writer’s views of the subject. The best treasure, and the
best blood of the nation, has been his estimate of the great and
glorious sacrifice demanded in our struggle for national existence. He
scorns all evasions of duty, and resorts to doubtful expedients, for
relief from any of the burdens of such a war.

               IN THE FIELD, NEAR ATLANTA, GA., _July 30, 1864_.  }

    “SIR: Yours from Chattanooga, July 28th, is received, notifying
    me of your appointment by your State as lieutenant-colonel and
    provost-marshal of Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, under the
    act of Congress approved July 4, 1864, to recruit volunteers to
    be credited to the States respectively. On applying to General
    Webster, at Nashville, he will grant you a pass through our
    lines to those States, and, as I have had considerable
    experience in those States, would suggest recruiting depots to
    be established at Macon and Columbus, Miss., Selma, Montgomery,
    and Mobile, Alabama, and Columbus, Milledgeville, and Savannah,
    Georgia. I do not see that the law restricts you to black
    recruits, but you are at liberty to collect white recruits also.
    It is [a] waste of time and money to open rendezvous in
    Northwest Georgia, for I assure you I have not seen an
    able-bodied man, black or white, there, fit for a soldier who
    was not in this army or the one opposed to it.

    “You speak of the impression going abroad that I am opposed to
    the organization of colored regiments. My opinions are usually
    very positive, and there is no reason why you should not know
    them. Though entertaining profound reverence for our Congress, I
    do doubt their wisdom in the passage of this law:

    “1st. Because civilian agents about an army are a nuisance.

    “2d. The duty of citizens to fight for their country is too
    sacred a one to be peddled off by buying up the refuse of other

    “3d. It is unjust to the brave soldiers and volunteers who are
    fighting, as those who compose this army do, to place them on a
    par with the class of recruits you are after.

    “4th. The negro is in a transition state, and is not the equal
    of the white man.

    “5th. He is liberated from his bondage by the act of war; and
    the armies in the field are entitled to all his assistance and
    labor and fighting _in addition_ to the proper quotas of the

    “6th. This bidding and bantering for recruits, white and black,
    has delayed the reënforcement of our armies at the times when
    such reënforcements would have enabled us to make our successes

    “7th. The law is an experiment which, pending war, is unwise and
    unsafe, and has delayed the universal draft which I firmly
    believe will become necessary to overcome the wide-spread
    resistance offered us; and I also believe the universal draft
    will be wise and beneficial; for under the Providence of God it
    will separate the sheep from the goats, and demonstrate what
    citizens will fight for their country, and what will only talk.

    “No one will infer from this that I am not a friend to the negro
    as well as the white race. I contend that the treason and
    rebellion of the master freed the slave, and the armies I have
    commanded have conducted to safe points more negroes than those
    of any general officer in the army; but I prefer negroes for
    pioneers, teamsters, cooks, and servants, others gradually to
    experiment in the art of the soldier, beginning with the duties
    of local garrisons, such as we had at Memphis, Vicksburg,
    Natchez, Nashville, and Chattanooga; but I would not draw on the
    poor race for too large a proportion of its active, athletic
    young men, for some must remain to seek new homes and provide
    for the old and young, the feeble and helpless. These are some
    of my peculiar notions, but I assure you they are shared by a
    large proportion of our fighting men.”

The honesty, directness, and philanthropy of these views, will command
respect from those who opposed them, and would raise an army of
emancipated slaves. With him it was not contempt of the negro, but the
scorn of a timid, easy policy by the North, while exactly the opposite
course was taken by the South.

General Sherman now ordered from Chattanooga four rifled cannon, whose
calibre was four and a half inches, and whose signals of his arrival
were to be dropped into streets of Atlanta. August 10th, these
messengers of _peace with victory_, arrived and began their
negotiations. Night and day they sent their globes of fire into the
city, kindling conflagrations and spreading confusion and terror on
every hand. But the enemy had come to the strongest position along the
entire war-path between Chattanooga and the ocean; and although the
“Gate City” was made a heap of ruins, he was resolved to hold the forts,
which would guard the way, even over the smoking embers of destruction.

The fine cavalry officer, General Stoneman, was sent on a raid to the
Macon Railroad, in which he was taken prisoner. This had so elated the
rebels they began to think of “turning the tables” on General Sherman.
Suddenly Major-General Wheeler appeared before Dalton, which you
recollect was the first important position taken after leaving
Chattanooga, with a force of infantry and cavalry variously reported at
from seventeen hundred to five thousand men. It was defended by a
garrison of four hundred men under Colonel Seibold. Approaching the town
in line of battle, General Wheeler demanded the surrender of the place
in the following terms: “To prevent the effusion of blood, I have the
honor to demand the immediate and unconditional surrender of the forces
under your command at this garrison.” To which Colonel Seibold replied:
“I have been placed here to defend the post, but not to surrender it. B.
Seibold, commanding U. S. forces.”

On the receipt of this reply, an attack was made on the garrison, who
retired into their defences, where they succeeded in holding their
position until the arrival of General Steedman with reënforcements from
Chattanooga, when the rebels were forced to retreat after inflicting
some slight damage to the railroad track near Dalton.

A few days later General Sherman issued orders for a general advance of
the army by the right flank. All the sick, with surplus wagons and
encumbrances of every kind, were sent back to the intrenched position
near the river bridge, reducing the number of wagons to three thousand
and of ambulances to one thousand; and on the night of August 25th the
canvas city gave place to the marshalled host, moving forward in the
darkness to gather more closely the fatal cordon around Atlanta. The
following night flung its shadows upon the still marching thousands,
getting nearer and nearer the throat of the foe. The Army of the
Tennessee moved to the West Point Railroad, when General Sherman ordered
“a day’s work to be expended in destroying the road, and it was done
with a will,” to use his own words. Having surveyed in person the ruins,
and satisfied with the thoroughness of the devastation, he led the whole
army forward.

General Howard moved on the right toward Jonesboro’, General Thomas had
the centre, whose goal was Conch’s, on the Decatur and Fayetteville
road, and General Schofield the extreme left. To get a clear impression
of the army operations here, you will need the help of a large map, on
which the railroads and towns about Atlanta can be seen in their
relation to it. Meanwhile General Hood was growing merry over a fancied
retreat by the manœuvring and confident Sherman. The long trains moving
to the rear, and the course of the battalions backward toward Sandtown
on the Chattahochie, _looked_ like it. But the commander knew his enemy
and the way to trap him.

August 28th, the grand army was keeping cheerful step to the music of
the march to conflict and victory; the long columns of warriors proudly
gazing after their chief, who with equal pride cared for and led them to
the fields of conquest.

Atlanta was now the object of enthusiastic interest. It was profound
strategy which divided the rebel forces at Jonesboro’ and Atlanta,
throwing the Union army like a wedge between them, thus making the fall
of Atlanta certain: “During the night of the 28th, the rest of the army
being well under way, the Twenty-third Corps withdrew and followed the
general movement toward the Macon Road, General Schofield timing his
movements with the corps further on the left, which had the longer arc
of the circle to traverse. The general line of march for the
Twenty-third Corps was toward the junction of the two railroads at East
Point, the Third division, under General Cox, holding the advance, and
with the Second Division, under General Hascall, occasionally erecting
temporary works to guard against threatened attacks from the enemy, who
were on the alert against this demonstration. On the 31st these two
divisions effected a junction with General Stanley, of the Fourth Corps.
General Hascall’s division went into position to guard the left toward
East Point, and General Cox pushed forward toward the Macon road, which
was reached by two or three o’clock P. M., General Stanley, of the
Fourth Corps, striking it about the same time. The troops of these two
corps at once set to work fortifying, while details were sent out, which
destroyed the track for miles. No opposition was encountered, and by
dark strong works had been thrown up, facing east and south, the work of
destruction on the railroad being continued through the night. On the
morning of the 1st of September, Newton’s and Kimball’s divisions were
marched along the line of the railroad the length of a brigade front,
and at a given signal the ties and rails were lifted from their bed,
piled up and burnt. Thus a mile and a half was turned up and destroyed
in half an hour. An advance of another mile and a half was then made
down the road, and the operation repeated. Thus alternately marching and
destroying the road, the two divisions marched a distance of ten miles,
to within two miles of Jonesboro’, where they formed a junction with the
Fourteenth Corps. Soon after the Twenty-third Corps, which followed the
Fourth, came into position on its left. Further to the left was the Army
of Tennessee.

“Previous to this the enemy had discovered the direction of General
Sherman’s march, and two corps under Hardee had been sent to confront
him at Jonesboro’, Hood meanwhile remaining for the defence of Atlanta.
Daring the night of August 30th the march of a rebel column was heard on
our left and centre, and in the morning two corps were found massed on
our right. At daybreak, the Second brigade of Hazen’s division of the
Fifteenth Corps advanced and drove the enemy from a hill, which gave,
our artillery command at Jonesboro’, and the railroad less than one half
mile distant. This success was immediately followed up by the
reënforcement of the brigade holding the hill, by a brigade from
Osterhaus’ division. Toward three P. M. the enemy appeared in front of
Hazen’s position, Lee’s corps advancing to the assault through a field
of corn, while Hardee’s Corps attempted a flanking movement on the
right, which was checked by Harrow’s division. Both divisions were soon
engaged in checking the desperate and determined assault with which the
enemy sought to overwhelm them. The rebels were driven back, only to
rally again and again for the assault, until after two hours of
desperate fighting they were finally repulsed. They had fortunately
struck a position which we held too strongly to be easily dislodged. A
reënforcement of two regiments were sent during the attack, by General
Howard to General Wood, and a brigade of the Seventeenth Corps, Colonel
Bryant’s, to General Hazen. Failing in this assault, Cleburne’s rebel
division marched to our extreme right, and assaulted Kilpatrick, who
held the bridge on Flint River. General Kilpatrick succeeded, however,
in holding his position until relieved by General Giles B. Smith’s

“During the night Hardee despatched Lee’s corps to look after the safety
of Atlanta, so that but a single rebel corps was found opposed to our
army on the morning of September 1st. This corps lay in position in
front of Jonesboro’, with their right resting on the railroad. Having
failed in the assault with which they hoped to drive back our army, they
were prepared to resist its further advance in the best position they
could secure. They had a large number of guns in position, which did
effective service during the day. Late in the afternoon General Davis
formed his troops for a charge upon the enemy’s position;
Brigadier-General Carlin’s division on the left, and Brigadier-General
Morgan, joining the Fifteenth Corps on the right, General Baird being in
reserve. The line was formed in the arc of a circle on the edge of the
woods, the two flanks thrown forward overlapping the enemy, who held a
position on some commanding ridges in front, covering Jonesboro’. In the
face of a deadly fire of musketry, shell, and canister, the gallant
Fourteenth Corps charged upon the rebel position, driving them from
their breastworks and capturing many prisoners, including
Brigadier-General Govan, several colonels and other commissioned
officers. Eight guns were also taken, among them part of Loomis’s
battery captured at Chickamauga. The troops captured belonged to the
fighting division of Cleburne. The approach of night prevented pursuit
of the broken columns of the rebels, who escaped under cover of the

“At daybreak on the 2d, the Fourth and Twenty-third Corps advanced in
pursuit of the retreating rebels, who came to bay near Lovejoy’s
Station, six miles beyond Jonesboro’, toward Macon, taking position on a
wooded ridge behind a swamp bordering a creek. Some skirmishing was had
with the enemy’s first line until night, which was spent by our troops
in intrenching. The enemy being found in strong position, and his
retreat being assured, no further advance was attempted.

“Meantime Atlanta was alive with excitement. Despair had succeeded
confidence as it became known that Hardee had been driven from
Jonesboro’ south, while Hood was left in Atlanta with his communications
severed, and our army threatening both from the north and the south.
Early on Thursday, September 1st, the removal of supplies and ammunition
commenced, and was continued through the day. Large quantities of
provisions that could not be removed were distributed to the citizens,
the storehouses at the same time being thrown open to the troops as they
passed through the city. The rolling stock of the railroad, consisting
of about one hundred cars and six engines, was gathered together and
destroyed. The cars were laden with the surplus ammunition taken out on
the Augusta Railroad, and set on fire and blown up, making the earth
tremble with the explosion. Over one thousand bales of cotton were also
given to the torch. The scene of confusion and excitement among the
town’s people when it became evident that the city was to be evacuated,
is beyond description. Every possible and impossible vehicle was brought
into requisition to carry away the effects of the inhabitants, who, in
sorrowful procession, took up their line of march toward the South. For
the third time the peripatetic Memphis _Appeal_ was on the wing, its
editor reporting himself at this time ‘thoroughly demoralized.’ From the
shanties and cellars of the city swarmed out the lower classes of the
population to seize what they could from the general wreck. The
explosion of ammunition was heard by General Slocum, of the Twentieth
Corps, seven miles distant. Suspecting the cause, he sent out a heavy
column to reconnoitre at daybreak on the morning of the 2d instant. They
met with no opposition, and pushed forward on the roads leading into
Atlanta from the north and northwest. Arriving near the city, they were
met by the mayor, Mr. Calhoun, who formally surrendered the city. The
formalities disposed of, our troops entered Atlanta with banners flying
and music playing, the inhabitants looking on in silence. General Slocum
established his headquarters at the Trout House, the principal hotel of
the city. Eleven heavy guns, mostly sixty-six pounders, were found in
the forts of the city, and others were subsequently discovered buried in
fictitious graves. About three thousand muskets, in good order, and
three locomotives were also secured, besides large quantities of
manufactured tobacco. About two hundred rebel stragglers were gathered
up by the Second Massachusetts, which was detailed for provost duty, its
colonel, Cogswell, being appointed provost-marshal. But a small
proportion of the inhabitants remained in the city, and these
principally of the lower classes, and tradesmen who proposed to make an
honest penny out of the army. Their hopes were speedily cut short by a
peremptory order from General Sherman ordering all civilians from the

In looking back upon this campaign, a very remarkable feature of it was
the protection of his line of communication: “It was not a little
precarious, and more than once aroused the anxiety of the nation. It
might well occasion solicitude. His base was, in one sense, not at
Chattanooga, but at Nashville; with the former point as a secondary
base. Accordingly, the enemy bent his efforts not only to breaking the
railroad between Atlanta and Ringgold, striking it at Dalton and
Calhoun, but also to raiding on the road from Chattanooga back to
Nashville. From Atlanta to Chattanooga the railroad is one hundred and
thirty-five miles long; from Chattanooga to Nashville, only a little
less. With this line of two hundred and fifty miles, stretched clear
across the great Alleghany chain from flank to flank, in a disputed
country, filled with guerrillas and hostile inhabitants, with myriads of
nooks and eyries in the mountainous region, apt for the assemblage and
protection of marauding bands, with that attenuated line infested by
many squadrons of the best cavalry in the Confederacy, long accustomed
to be victorious everywhere—cavalry who had devastated almost with
impunity the broad States of Kentucky and Tennessee again and again,
under such bold and skilful leaders as John Morgan, Forrest, Wheeler,
Stephen Lee, Rhoddy, and Chalmers—in spite of all, for four eventful
months, through victory and repulse, in action and repose alike, Sherman
has been able to keep his lines strong and clear.

“While all the Southern newspapers and many Southern generals, and while
even English journals of great ability were proving by all the laws of
logic and strategy that Sherman _must_ now retreat, Sherman did not
retreat. At the very moment, indeed, when the exultation of the
Confederates was the highest at the absolute certainty of his downfall,
Sherman pushed on and took Atlanta, ending logic and campaign both at

It was one of the grandest, most decisive and exciting scenes of the
civil war, when the great leader of the Union battalions in Georgia
enjoyed the pause in marches and battles afforded by the occupation of
Atlanta. The sound of booming cannon, the crack of musketry, all the
Babel discord of war, was comparatively hushed. In the distance the foe
was reluctantly, slowly retreating; and along the track of both armies
the new-made graves and the wounded were lying, the waymarks of a
gigantic struggle for

           “The land of the brave, and the home of the free.”

                              CHAPTER XX.

   The Tidings of Victory at Washington—The President’s Messages to
     the People and to the Army—General Sherman congratulates his
     Battalions—The Rebel General is indignant—The Correspondence
     between him and General Sherman—The authorities of Atlanta also
     unreconciled to the new order of things—The noble Letters and
     Conduct of the Conquerer.

“ATLANTA has fallen!” flew on lightning-wing over the country, making
the wildest rejoicing of the loyal millions, and darkening with
despondency and wrath the faces of traitors in their own camps and those
among the patriots of the north. “Atlanta is ours, and fairly won!” was
the sublimely simple message of General Sherman. The importance and
grandeur of the achievement called forth an enthusiastic expression of
rejoicing in the Executive mansion, and of gratitude to God.

We can almost imagine our calm and excellent President gathering about
him his Cabinet, and proposing three cheers for Sherman; then retiring
to his private apartment, raising his tearful eye upward to the “King of
kings,” in thankful recognition of the source of strength and conquest,
before he took the pen to send over the land the brief and stirring
messages given below:

    “_To Major-General Dix, New York_:

    “The President has issued the following recommendations and
    orders in relation to the recent successes by the United States
    forces at Mobile and Atlanta.

                              “EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.”

                           “EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON CITY,
                                           _September 3, 1864_.

        “The signal success that Divine Providence has recently
        vouchsafed to the operations of the United States army
        and navy in the harbor of Mobile, and the reduction of
        Forts Powell, Gaines, and Morgan, and the glorious
        achievements of the army under Major-General Sherman in
        the State of Georgia, resulting in the capture of the
        city of Atlanta, call for devout acknowledgments to the
        Supreme Being, in whose hands are the destinies of

        “It is therefore requested that on next Sunday, in all
        places of public worship in the United States,
        thanksgiving be offered to Him for His mercy in
        preserving our national existence against the insurgent
        rebels who so long have been waging a cruel war against
        the Government of the United States for its overthrow,
        and also that prayer be made for the Divine protection
        to our brave soldiers and their leaders in the field,
        who have so often and so gallantly perilled their lives
        in battling with the enemy, and for blessings and
        comfort from the Father of Mercies to the sick, and
        wounded, and prisoners, and to the orphans and widows of
        those who have fallen in the service of their country,
        and that he will continue to uphold the Government of
        the United States against all the efforts of public
        enemies and secret foes.

                                             “ABRAHAM LINCOLN.”

                             “EXECUTIVE MANSION, _September 3_.

        “The national thanks are tendered by the President to
        Major-General William T. Sherman, and the gallant
        officers and soldiers of his command before Atlanta, for
        the distinguished ability, courage, and perseverance
        displayed in the campaign in Georgia, which, under
        Divine favor, have resulted in the capture of the city
        of Atlanta.

        “The marches, battles, sieges, and other military
        operations that have signalized this campaign, must
        render it famous in the annals of war, and entitle those
        who have participated therein to the applause and thanks
        of the nation.

                                             “ABRAHAM LINCOLN.”

                             “EXECUTIVE MANSION, _September 3_.

        “Ordered—_First_. That on Monday, the 5th day of
        September, commencing at the hour of twelve o’clock
        noon, there shall be given a salute of one hundred guns
        at the arsenal and navy yard at Washington, and on
        Tuesday, the 6th of September, or the day after the
        receipt of this order, at each arsenal and navy yard in
        the United States, for the recent brilliant achievements
        of the fleet and the land forces of the United States in
        the harbor of Mobile, in the reduction of Fort Powell,
        Fort Gaines, and Fort Morgan. The Secretary of War and
        Secretary of the Navy will issue the necessary
        directions in their respective Departments for the
        execution of this order.

        “_Second._ That on Wednesday, the 7th day of September,
        commencing at the hour of twelve o’clock noon, there
        shall be fired a salute of one hundred guns at the
        arsenal at Washington, and at New York, Boston,
        Philadelphia, Baltimore, Pittsburg, Newport, Ky., and
        St. Louis, and at New Orleans, Mobile, Pensacola, Hilton
        Head, and Newbern, the day after the receipt of this
        order, for the brilliant achievements of the army under
        the command of Major-General Sherman in the State of
        Georgia, and the capture of Atlanta. The Secretary of
        War will issue directions for the execution of this

                                             “ABRAHAM LINCOLN.”

The glad tidings swept over the broad belt of hostile soil to the
headquarters of the lieutenant-general, who sent back a laconic, but
noble response:

                            “CITY POINT, VA., _September 4–9_ P. M.
    “Major-General SHERMAN:

    “I have just received your despatch announcing the capture of
    Atlanta. In honor of your great victory I have just ordered a
    salute to be fired with shotted guns from every battery bearing
    upon the enemy. The salute will be fired within an hour, amidst
    great rejoicing.

                                 “U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.”

The gallant chieftain of the conquering battalions, followed with his
official congratulations to the proud and exultant columns which had
pierced, like a wedge, the “heart of the Confederacy.” It is a finished
and eloquent order:

                   IN THE FIELD, ATLANTA, GA., _Sept. 8, 1864_.   }

    “The officers and soldiers of the Armies of the Cumberland,
    Ohio, and Tennessee, have, already received the thanks of the
    Nation, through its President and Commander-in-Chief, and it now
    remains only for him who has been with you from the beginning,
    and who intends to stay all the time, to thank the officers and
    men for their intelligence, fidelity, and courage displayed in
    the campaign of Atlanta.

    “On the 1st of May our armies were lying in garrison, seemingly
    quiet from Knoxville to Huntsville, and our enemy lay behind his
    rocky-faced barrier at Dalton, proud, defiant, and exulting. He
    had had time since Christmas to recover from his discomfiture on
    the Mission Ridge, with his ranks filled, and a new
    commander-in-chief, second to none of the Confederacy in
    reputation for skill, sagacity, and extreme popularity. All at
    once our armies assumed life and action, and appeared before
    Dalton; threatening Rocky Face we threw ourselves upon Resaca,
    and the rebel army only escaped by the rapidity of its retreat,
    aided by the numerous roads with which he was familiar, and
    which were strange to us. Again he took position in Allatoona,
    but we gave him no rest, and by a circuit toward Dallas and
    subsequent movement to Ackworth, we gained the Allatoona Pass.
    Then followed the eventful battles about Kenesaw, and the escape
    of the enemy across Chattahoochie River.

    “The crossing of the Chattahoochie and breaking of the Augusta
    road was most handsomely executed by us, and will be studied as
    an example in the art of war. At this stage of our game our
    enemies became dissatisfied with their old and skilful
    commander, and selected one more bold and rash. New tactics were
    adopted. Hood first boldly and rapidly, on the 20th of July,
    fell on our right at Peach Tree Creek, and lost. Again, on the
    22d, he struck our extreme left, and was severely punished; and
    finally, again on the 28th he repeated the attempt on our right,
    and that time must have been satisfied; for since that date he
    has remained on the defensive. We slowly and gradually drew our
    lines about Atlanta, feeling for the railroads which supplied
    the rebel army and made Atlanta a place of importance. We must
    concede to our enemy that he met these efforts patiently and
    skilfully, but at last he made the mistake we had waited for so
    long, and sent his cavalry to our rear, far beyond the reach of
    recall. Instantly our cavalry was on his only remaining road,
    and we followed quickly with our principal army, and Atlanta
    fell into our possession as the fruit of well-concerted
    measures, backed by a brave and confident army. This completed
    the grand task which had been assigned us by our Government, and
    your general again repeats his personal and official thanks to
    all the officers and men composing this army, for the
    indomitable courage and perseverance which alone could give

    “We have beaten our enemy on every ground he has chosen, and
    have wrested from him his own Gate City, where were located his
    foundries, arsenals, and workshops, deemed secure on account of
    their distance from our base, and the seemingly impregnable
    obstacles intervening. Nothing is impossible to an army like
    this, determined to vindicate a Government which has rights
    wherever our flag has once floated, and is resolved to maintain
    them at any and all costs.

    “In our campaign many, yea, very many of our noble and gallant
    comrades have preceded us to our common destination, the grave;
    but they have left the memory of deeds on which a nation can
    build a proud history. McPherson, Harker, McCook, and others
    dear to us all, are now the binding links in our minds that
    should attach more closely together the living, who have to
    complete the task which still lies before us in the dim future.
    I ask all to continue as they have so well begun, the
    cultivation of the soldierly virtues that have ennobled our own
    and other countries. Courage, patience, obedience to the laws
    and constituted authorities of our Government; fidelity to our
    trusts and good feeling among each other; each trying to excel
    the other in the practice of those high qualities, and it will
    then require no prophet to foretell that our country will in
    time emerge from this war purified by the fires of war and
    worthy its great founder—Washington.

                                                 “W. T. SHERMAN,
                                        “Major-General Commanding.”

    “All the corps, regiments, and batteries composing the army may,
    without further orders, inscribe Atlanta on their colors. By
    order of

                                            “Major-General SHERMAN.
     “L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp.”

I am sure you will read with lively interest the remarkable
correspondence between General Hood, with that of the city authorities,
and General Sherman. The favorite motto among literary men, “The pen is
mightier than the sword,” is not quite true perhaps of our hero; for he
excels in the use of _both_, as the Georgia campaign and letters will
show. The annals of war have no finer productions of cultivated genius
from the plains of death and victory. The following orders opened the
spirited battle of the chiefs with the weapons of intellect:

                       “HEADQUARTERS, MILITARY DIV. OF THE MISS., }
                       IN THE FIELD, ATLANTA, GA., _Sept. 4_.     }

    “1. The city of Atlanta being exclusively required for warlike
    purposes, will at once be vacated by all except the armies of
    the United States, and such civilian employés as may be retained
    by the proper departments of Government.

    “2. The chief quartermaster, Colonel Easton, will at once take
    possession of buildings of all kinds, and of all staple article,
    such as cotton, tobacco, &c., and will make such dispositions of
    them as are required by existing regulations, or such orders as
    he may receive from time to time from the proper authorities.

    “3. The chief engineer will promptly reconnoitre the city and
    suburbs, and indicate the sites needed for the permanent defence
    of the place, together with any houses or other buildings that
    stand in his way, that they may be set apart for destruction.
    Colonel Easton will then, on consultation with the proper
    officers of the ordnance, quartermaster, medical, and railroad
    departments, set aside such buildings and lots of ground as will
    be needed for them, and have them suitably marked and set apart;
    he will then, in consultation with Generals Thomas and Slocum,
    set apart such as may be necessary to the proper administration
    of the military duties of the department of the Cumberland and
    of the post of Atlanta, and all buildings and materials not thus
    embraced will be held subject to the use of the Government, as
    may hereafter arise, according to the just rules of the
    quartermaster’s department.

    “4. No general, staff, or other officer, or any soldier, will,
    on any pretence, occupy any house or shanty, unless it be
    embraced in the limits assigned as the camp of the troops to
    which such general or staff belongs. But the chief quartermaster
    may allow the troops to use boards, shingles, or other materials
    of building, barns, sheds, warehouses and shanties, not needed
    by the proper departments of Government, to be used in the
    reconstruction of quarters and barracks as the troops and
    officers serving with them require. And he will also provide, as
    early as practicable, the proper allowance of tents for the use
    of the officers and men in their encampments.

    “5. In proper time, just arrangements will be made for the
    supply to the troops of all articles they may need over and
    above the clothing, provisions, &c., furnished by the
    Government; and on no pretence whatever will traders,
    manufacturers, or suttlers, be allowed to sell in the limits of
    fortified places; and if they manage to come in spite of this
    notice, the quartermaster will seize their stores and
    appropriate them to the use of the troops, and deliver the
    parties or other unauthorized citizens, who thus place their
    individual interest above that of the United States, into the
    hands of some provost-marshal, to be put to labor on the forts,
    or conscripted into one of the regiments or batteries already in

    “6. The same general principles will apply to all military posts
    south of Chattanooga.

                          “By order of Major-General W. T. SHERMAN.
     “L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp.”

The message addressed to the enemy contained the following words, which
were like oil to the fire on the defeated General’s smothered wrath:
“All citizens are required to leave Atlanta and proceed either South or
North. The Government will furnish transportation South as far as Rough
and Ready, and North as far as Chattanooga. All citizens may take their
movable property with them. Transportation will be furnished for all
movables. Negroes who wish to do so may go with their masters. Other
male negroes will be put in Government employ. Negro women and children
will be sent out of the lines.”

The rebel General sent his indignant protest against the determination
of General Sherman to send the disloyal people of Atlanta where their
friends could support them. How well he talks of God and humanity!

                             “HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE, }
                         OFFICE CHIEF OF STAFF, _Sept. 9, 1864_.  }
    “Major-Gen. SHERMAN, _Commanding United States Forces in Georgia_:

    “GENERAL: Your letter borne by James W. Ball and James R. Crew,
    citizens of Atlanta, is received. You say therein, ‘I deem it to
    be to the interest of the United States, that the citizens now
    residing in Atlanta should remove,’ &c. I do not consider that I
    have any alternative in the matter. I, therefore, accept your
    proposition to declare a truce of ten days, or such time as may
    be necessary to accomplish the purpose mentioned, and shall
    render all the assistance in my power to expedite the
    transportation of citizens in this direction. I suggest that a
    staff officer be appointed by you to superintend the removal
    from the city to Rough and Ready, while I appoint a like officer
    to control their removal further South; that a guard of one
    hundred men be sent by either party, as you propose to maintain
    order at that place; and that the removal begin on Monday next.

    “And now, sir, permit me to say that the unprecedented measure
    you propose transcends in studied and ingenious cruelty all acts
    ever before brought to my attention in the dark history of war.

    “In the name of God and humanity I protest, believing that you
    will find that you are expelling from their homes and firesides
    the wives and children of a brave people.

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

                                               J. B. HOOD, General.
     “_Official_—A. MCHUMMETT, Lieutenant, &c.”

Accompanying the above letter was one addressed to Colonel Calhoun,

              “HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE, _Sept. 9, 1864_.
    “Hon. JAMES H. CALHOUN, _Mayor_:

    “SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter
    touching the removal of the citizens of Atlanta, as ordered by
    General Sherman. Please find enclosed my reply to General
    Sherman’s letter. I shall do all in my power to mitigate the
    terrible hardship and misery that must be brought upon your
    people by this extraordinary order of the Federal commander.
    Transportation will be sent to Rough and Ready to carry the
    people and their effects further South.

    “You have my deepest sympathy in this unlooked-for and
    unprecedented affliction. I am, sir, very respectfully, your
    obedient servant,

                                             “J. B. HOOD, General.”

Like his polished sword, flashes with thought and patriotism the pen of
the victor in his reply:

                    “HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DIV. OF THE MISS.,     }
                    IN THE FIELD, ATLANTA, GA., _Sept. 10, 1864_. }
    “General J. B. HOOD, _Comm’g Army of the Tenn. Confederate Army_:

    “GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your
    letter at the hands of Messrs. Ball and Crew, consenting to the
    arrangements I had proposed to facilitate the removal South of
    the people of Atlanta, who prefer to go in that direction.

    “I enclose you a copy of my orders, which will, I am satisfied,
    accomplish my purpose perfectly. You style the measures proposed
    ‘unprecedented,’ and appeal to the dark history of war for a
    parallel, as an act of ‘studied and ungenerous cruelty.’ It is
    not unprecedented, for General Johnston himself very wisely and
    properly removed the families all the way from Dalton down, and
    I see no reason why Atlanta should be excepted. Nor is it
    necessary to appeal to the ‘dark history of war,’ when recent
    and modern examples are so handy. You yourself burned
    dwelling-houses along your parapet, and I saw to-day fifty
    houses that you have rendered uninhabitable because they stood
    in the way of your forts and men. You defended Atlanta on a line
    so close to the town that every cannon-shot and many
    musket-shots from our line of investment, that overshot their
    mark, went into the habitations of women and children. General
    Hardee did the same at Jonesboro’, and General Johnston did the
    same last summer at Jackson, Miss.; I have not accused them of
    heartless cruelty, but merely instance these cases of very
    recent occurrence, and could go on and enumerate hundreds of
    others, and challenge any fair man to judge which of us has the
    heart of pity for the families of ‘a brave people.’ I say it is
    kindness to the families of Atlanta to remove them now at once
    from scenes that women and children should not be exposed to,
    and the ‘brave people’ should scorn to commit their wives and
    children to the rude barbarians who thus, as you say, violate
    the laws of war, as illustrated in the pages of its ‘dark

    “In the name of common sense, I ask you not to appeal to a just
    God in such a sacrilegious manner.

    “You who in the midst of peace and prosperity have plunged a
    nation into war, ‘dark and cruel war;’ who dared and badgered us
    to battle, insulted our flag; seized our arsenals and forts that
    were left in the honorable custody of a peaceful ordnance
    sergeant; seized and made prisoners of war the very garrisons
    sent to protect your people against negroes and Indians, long
    before any overt act was committed by the (to you) hateful
    Lincoln Government; tried to force Kentucky and Missouri into
    rebellion in despite of themselves; falsified the vote of
    Louisiana; turned loose your privateers to plunder unarmed
    ships; expelled Union families by the thousands; burned their
    homes, and declared, by an act of your Congress, the
    confiscation of all debts due to Northern men for goods had and
    received! Talk this to the marines, but not to me, who have seen
    these things, and who will this day make as great sacrifice for
    the peace and honor of the South as the best Southerner among

    “If we must be enemies, let us be men, and fight it out as we
    propose to-day, and not deal in such _hypocritical appeals to
    God and humanity_. God will judge us in due time, and he will
    pronounce whether it be more humane to fight with a town full of
    women and the families of a ‘brave people’ at our back, or to
    remove them in time to places of safety among their own friends
    and people.

    “I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

                              “W. T. SHERMAN, Maj.-Gen. Commanding.
     “[Official copy:]      L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp.”

The conquering chief humanely gives the rebels time to depart, declaring
a truce of ten days:

                  IN THE FIELD, ATLANTA, GA., _Sept. 10, 1864_.   }

    “1. Pursuant to an agreement between General J. B. Hood,
    commanding the Confederate forces in Georgia, and Major-General
    W. T. Sherman, commanding this army, a truce is hereby declared
    to exist from daylight of Monday, September 12, until daylight
    of Thursday, September 22—ten (10) full days—at a point on the
    Macon Railroad known as Rough and Ready, and the country round
    about or a circle of two (2) miles radius, together with the
    roads leading to and from, in the direction of Atlanta and
    Lovejoy station, respectively, for the purpose of affording the
    people of Atlanta a safe means of removal to points South.

    “2. The Chief Quartermaster at Atlanta, Colonel Easton, will
    afford all the citizens of Atlanta who elect to go South all the
    facilities he can spare to remove them comfortably and safely,
    with their effects, to Rough and Ready station, using cars and
    ambulances for that purpose; and commanders of regiments and
    brigades may use their regimental and staff teams to carry out
    the object of this order; the whole to cease after Wednesday,
    21st instant.

    “3. Major-General Thomas will cause a guard to be established on
    the road out beyond the camp-ground, with orders to allow all
    wagons and vehicles to pass that are used manifestly for this
    purpose; and Major-General Howard will send a guard of one
    hundred men, with a field officer in command, to take post at
    Rough and Ready during the truce, with orders in concert with a
    guard from the Confederate army of like size, to maintain the
    most perfect order in that vicinity during the transfer of these
    families. A white flag will be displayed during the truce, and a
    guard will cause all wagons to leave at 4 P. M. of Wednesday,
    the 21st instant, and the guard to withdraw at dark, the truce
    to terminate the next morning.

                     “By order of      Major-General W. T. SHERMAN.
     “L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp.”

The letter of the authorities of Atlanta, referred to by Hood, and his
reply, are as follows:

                                     “ATLANTA, GA., _September 11_.
    “_Major-General W. T. Sherman_:

    “SIR: The undersigned mayor, and two members of council for the
    city of Atlanta, for the time being the only legal organ of the
    people of the said city, to express their wants and wishes, ask
    leave most earnestly, but respectfully, to petition you to
    reconsider the order requiring them to leave Atlanta. At first
    view it struck us that the measure would involve extraordinary
    hardship and loss, but since we have seen the practical
    execution of it, so far as it has progressed, and the individual
    condition of many of the people, and heard their statements as
    to the inconveniences, loss, and suffering attending it, we are
    satisfied that the amount of it will involve in the aggregate
    consequences appalling and heartrending. Many poor women are in
    an advanced state of pregnancy; others now having young
    children, and whose husbands are either in the army, prisoners,
    or dead. Some say: ‘I have such a one sick at home; who will
    wait on them when I am gone?’ Others say: ‘What are we to do? We
    have no houses to go to, and no means to buy, build, or to rent
    any—no parents, friends, or relatives to go to.’ Another says:
    ‘I will try and take this or that article of property, but such
    and such things I must leave behind, though I need them much.’
    We reply to them: ‘General Sherman will carry your property to
    Rough and Ready, and General Hood will take it there on.’ And
    they will reply to this: ‘But I want to leave the railroad at
    such a point, and cannot get conveyance from there on.’ We only
    refer to a few facts to try to illustrate in part how the
    measure will operate in practice. As you advanced, the people
    north of us fell back, and before your arrival here a large
    portion of the people had retired south, so that the country
    south of this is already crowded, and without houses to
    accommodate the people, and we are informed that many are now
    staying in churches and other out-buildings. This being so, how
    is it possible for the people still here (mostly women and
    children) to find any shelter? and how can they live through the
    winter in the woods—no shelter or subsistence—in the midst of
    strangers who know them not, and without the power to assist
    them, if they were willing to do so? This is but a feeble
    picture of the consequences of this measure. You know the woe,
    the horror, and the suffering cannot be described by words.
    Imagination can only conceive of it, and we ask you to take
    these things into consideration. We know your mind and time are
    constantly occupied with the duties of your command, which
    almost deter us from asking your attention to this matter; but
    thought it might be that you had not considered the subject in
    all its awful consequences, and that on more reflection, you, we
    hope, would not make this people an exception to all mankind,
    for we know of no such instance ever having occurred—surely
    none such in the United States; and what has this helpless
    people done, that they should be driven from their homes, to
    wander as strangers, outcasts, and exiles, and to subsist on
    charity? We do not know, as yet, the number of people still
    here. Of those who are here we are satisfied a respectably
    number, if allowed to remain at home, could subsist for several
    months without assistance, and a respectable number for a much
    longer time, and who might not need assistance at any time. In
    conclusion, we most earnestly and solemnly petition you to
    reconsider this order, or modify it, and suffer this unfortunate
    people to remain at home and enjoy what little means they have.
    Respectfully submitted,

                                      “JAMES M. CALHOUN, Mayor.
                                      “E. E. RAWSON,     }
                                      “L. C. WELLS.”     } Councilmen.

Here is General Sherman’s answer to the letter of Mayor Calhoun and the
Councilmen of Atlanta:

                   IN THE FIELD, ATLANTA, _September 12, 1864_.   }
    “JAMES M. CALHOUN, _Mayor_, E. E. RAWSON _and_ S. C. WELLS,
        _representing City Council of Atlanta_:

    “GENTLEMEN: I have your letter of the 11th, in the nature of a
    petition to revoke my order removing all the inhabitants from
    Atlanta. I have read it carefully, and give full credit to your
    statements of the distress that will be occasioned by it, and
    yet shall not revoke my order, simply because my orders are not
    designed to meet the humanities of the case, but to prepare for
    the future struggle in which millions, yea, hundreds of millions
    of good people outside of Atlanta have a deep interest. We must
    have peace, not only in Atlanta, but in all America. To secure
    this, we must stop the war that now desolates our once happy and
    favored country. To stop the war, we must defeat the rebel
    armies that are arrayed against the laws and Constitution which
    all men must respect and obey. To defeat these armies, we must
    prepare the way to reach them in their recesses, provided with
    the arms and instruments which enable us to accomplish our

    “Now I know the vindictive nature of our enemy, and that we may
    have many years of military operations from this quarter, and
    therefore deem it wise and prudent to prepare in time. The use
    of Atlanta for warlike purposes is inconsistent with its
    character as a home for families. There will be no manufactures,
    commerce, or agriculture here for the maintenance of families,
    and, sooner or later, want will compel the inhabitants to go.
    Why not go now, when all the arrangements are completed for the
    transfer, instead of waiting until the plunging shot of
    contending armies will renew the scenes of the past month? Of
    course I do not apprehend any such thing at this moment, but you
    do not suppose this army will be here till the war is over? I
    cannot discuss this subject with you fairly, because I cannot
    impart to you what I propose to do; but I assert that my
    military plans make it necessary for the inhabitants to go away,
    and I can only renew my offer of services to make their exodus
    in any direction as easy and comfortable as possible. You cannot
    qualify war in harsher terms than I will.

    “War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought
    war on our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a
    people can pour out. I know I had no hand in making this war,
    and I know that I will make more sacrifices than any of you
    to-day to secure peace. But you cannot have peace and a division
    of our country. If the United States submits to a division now,
    it will not stop, but will go on till we reap the fate of
    Mexico, which is eternal war. The United States does and must
    assert its authority wherever it has power; if it relaxes one
    bit of pressure it is gone, and I know that such is not the
    national feeling. This feeling assumes various shapes, but
    always comes back to that of _Union_. Once admit the Union, once
    more acknowledge the authority of the National Government, and
    instead of devoting your houses and streets and roads to the
    dread uses of war, I and this army become at once your
    protectors and supporters, shielding you from danger, let it
    come from what quarter it may. I know that a few individuals
    cannot resist a torrent of error and passion such as has swept
    the South into rebellion; but you can point out, so that we may
    know those who desire a Government, and those who insist on war
    and its desolation.

    “You might as well appeal against the thunder-storm as against
    the terrible hardships of war. They are inevitable, and the only
    way the people of Atlanta can hope once more to live in peace
    and quiet at home, is to stop this war, which can alone be done
    by admitting that it began in error, and is perpetuated in
    pride. We don’t want your negroes, or your horses, or your
    houses, or your land, or anything you have; but we do want and
    will have a just obedience to the laws of the United States.
    That we will have; and if it involves the destruction of your
    improvements, we cannot help it. You have heretofore read public
    sentiment in your newspapers, that live by falsehood and
    excitement, and the quicker you seek for truth in other quarters
    the better for you.

    “I repeat, then, that by the original compact of government, the
    United States had certain rights in Georgia which have never
    been relinquished, and never will be; that the South began the
    war by seizing forts, arsenals, mints, custom houses, &c., long
    before Mr. Lincoln was installed, and before the South had one
    jot or tittle of provocation. I myself have seen in Missouri,
    Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi, hundreds and thousands of
    women and children fleeing from your armies and desperadoes,
    hungry, and with bleeding feet. In Memphis, Vicksburg, and
    Mississippi, we fed thousands upon thousands of the families of
    rebel soldiers left on our hands, and whom we could not see
    starve. Now that war comes home to you, you feel very
    different—you deprecate its horrors, but did not feel them when
    you sent carloads of soldiers and ammunition, and moulded shells
    and shot to carry war into Kentucky and Tennessee, and desolate
    the homes of hundreds and thousands of good people, who only
    asked to live in peace at their old homes, and under the
    Government of their inheritance. But these comparisons are idle.
    I want peace, and believe it only can be reached through Union
    and war, and I will ever conduct war purely with a view to
    perfect and early success.

    “But, my dear sirs, when that peace does come, you may call on
    me for anything. Then will I share with you the last cracker,
    and watch with you to shield your homes and families against
    danger from every quarter. Now you must go, and take with you
    the old and feeble; feed and nurse them, and build for them in
    more quiet places proper habitations to shield them against the
    weather, until the mad passions of men cool down, and allow the
    Union and peace once more to settle on your old homes at

                                             “Yours, in haste,
                                    “W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.”

The next effort of his facile pen corrects a falsehood which had been
copied from a rebel paper:

                                        “ATLANTA, _Sept. 24, 1864_.
    “_To the Louisville Agent of the New York Associated Press_:

    “Your press despatches of the 21st embrace one from Macon, of
    the 14th, announcing the arrival of the first train of refugees
    from Atlanta, with this addition, ‘that they were robbed of
    everything before being sent into the rebel lines.’ Of course,
    that is false; and it is idle to correct it so far as the rebels
    are concerned, for they purposed it as a falsehood, to create a
    mischievous public opinion. The truth is, that during the truce,
    446 families were moved South, making 705 adults, 860 children,
    and 479 servants, with 1,651 pounds of furniture and household
    goods on the average for each family, of which we have a perfect
    recollection by name and articles. At the end of the truce,
    Colonel Warner, of my staff, who had general supervision of the
    business, received from Major Clan, of General Hood’s staff, the
    following letter:

                           “‘ROUGH AND READY, _Sept. 21, 1864_.

        “‘COLONEL: Our official communications being about to
        close, you will permit me to bear testimony to the
        uniform courtesy you have shown on all occasions to me
        and my people, and the promptness with which you have
        corrected all irregularities arising in our intercourse.
        Hoping at some future time to be able to reciprocate
        your courteousness, and in many instances your positive
        kindness, I am, with respect, your obedient servant,

            “‘U. T. CLAN, Major and A.-G.-G. Gen. Hood’s Staff.’

    “I would not notice this, but I know the people of the North,
    liable to be misled by a falsehood calculated for special
    purposes, and by a desperate enemy, will be relieved by this
    assurance, that not only care, but real kindness has been
    extended to families who lost their home by the act of their
    male protectors.

                                “(Signed)          W. T. SHERMAN,
                                           “Major-Gen. Commanding.”

The congratulations of the heroic, devoutly Christian General Howard,
who is equally at home in the Sabbath school and in the smoke of battle,
will add to the interest of the records of this eventful time:

    “It is with pride, gratification, and a sense of Divine favor,
    that I congratulate this noble army upon the successful
    termination of the campaign.

    “Your officers claim for you a wonderful record—for example, a
    march of four hundred miles, thirteen distinct engagements, four
    thousand prisoners, and twenty stands of colors captured, and
    three thousand of the enemy’s dead buried in your front.

    “Your movements upon the enemy’s flank have been bold and
    successful; first upon Resaca, second upon Dallas, third upon
    Kenesaw, fourth upon Nickajack, fifth, via Roswell, upon the
    Augusta Railroad, sixth upon ‘Ezra Church,’ to the southwest of
    Atlanta, and seventh upon Jonesboro’ and the Macon Railroad.
    Atlanta was evacuated while you were fighting at Jonesboro’.

    “The country may never know with what patience, labor, and
    exposure you have tugged away at every natural and artificial
    obstacle that an enterprising and confident enemy could
    interpose. The terrific battles you have fought may never be
    realized or credited; still a glad acclaim is already greeting
    you from the Government and people, in view of the results you
    have helped to gain; and I believe a sense of the magnitude of
    the achievements of the last hundred days will not abate, but
    increase with time and history.

    “Our rejoicing is tempered, as it always must be, by the
    soldier’s sorrow at the loss of his companions in arms. On every
    hillside, in every valley throughout your long and circuitous
    route, from Dalton to Jonesboro’, you have buried them.

    “Your trusted and beloved commander fell in your midst; his
    name, the name of MCPHERSON, carries with it a peculiar feeling
    of sorrow. I trust the impress of his character is upon you all,
    to incite you to generous actions and noble deeds.

    “To mourning friends, and to all the disabled in battle, you
    extend a soldier’s sympathy.

    “My first intimate acquaintance with you dates from the 28th of
    July. I never beheld fiercer assaults than the enemy then made,
    and I never saw troops more steady and self-possessed in action
    than your divisions which were then engaged.

    “I have learned that for cheerfulness, obedience, rapidity of
    movement and confidence in battle, the army of the Tennessee is
    not to be surpassed, and it shall be my study that your fair
    record shall continue, and my purpose to assist you to move
    steadily forward and plant the old flag in every proud city of
    the rebellion.

                            “(Signed)      O. O. HOWARD, Major-Gen.
     “_Official_: SAMUEL L. TAGGART, A.-A.-G.”

The most decided and pleasing evidence of the manly and magnanimous
heart of the conqueror, is given by the enemy himself. In his
despatches, General Sherman sends the following note:

                                              “ATLANTA, _Sept. 26_.

    “The following, which belongs to the testimonials from the
    authorities at Atlanta, has just been received in communication;
    and in conclusion of the subject, I send you a copy of the
    mayor’s letter.

                                                    “W. T. SHERMAN.

                                         “‘ATLANTA, _Sept. 20_.

        “‘On leaving Atlanta, I should return my thanks to
        General Sherman, General Slocum, General Ward, Colonel
        Colburn, Major Beck, Captain Mott, and other officers,
        with whom I have had business transactions in carrying
        out the orders of General Sherman for the removal of the
        citizens, and in transacting my private business, for
        their kindness to, and their patience in answering the
        many inquiries I had to make on the duration of the
        delicate and arduous duties devolving on me as mayor of
        this city.

                       “‘Respectfully,      JAMES M. CALHOUN.’”

Similar testimony appeared in the columns of rebel newspapers. The next
quotation is from the Macon _Telegraph_: “Refugees report generally kind
personal treatment from General Sherman and his officers. Whatever
exceptions may have occurred have been in violation of orders—instances
of individual pilfering, which cannot always be prevented in an army,
and in many cases have been detected and punished.

“A friend, whose wife was left an invalid in Atlanta, and came within
our lines a day or two since, says, that at her request General Sherman
came to see her, and finding her unable to attend to the arrangement of
her movables for transportation, had them all bound up nicely and
transported to our lines, even to her washtub.

“The Federal general had three hours’ conversation with her, and
justified at length his order for the removal, insisting that in his
exposed position, liable to be cut off and besieged, it was the part of
humanity to require that non-combatants should not be exposed to the
privations and perils to which his army must probably be subjected; and
worse, because he could not provide food for a large population. Goods
left behind were stored and duplicate receipts given, with the promise
that they should be safely returned.

“Refugees report that Sherman’s army is going North by thousands, and
his force is now very small. Whether this movement is confined to men
going out of service, or embraces reënforcements to Grant, they were
unable to say.”

I must give you a pleasant picture of the chief while marshalling his
troops at Atlanta: “While I was watching to-day the endless line of
troops shifting by, an officer with a modest escort rode up to the fence
near which I was standing, and dismounted. He was rather tall and
slender, and his quick movements denoted good muscle added to absolute
leanness—not thinness. His uniform was neither new nor old, but
bordering on a hazy mellowness of gloss, while the elbows and knees were
a little accented from the continuous agitation of those joints.

“The face was one I should never rest upon in a crowd, simply because,
to my eye, there was nothing remarkable in it save the nose, which organ
was high, thin, and planted with a curve as vehement as the curl of a
Malay cutlass. The face and neck were rough and covered with reddish
hair, the eye light in color and animated; but, though restless and
bounding like a ball from one object to another, neither piercing nor
brilliant; the mouth well closed but common, the ears large, the hands
and feet long and thin, the gait a little rolling, but firm and active.
In dress and manner there was not the slightest trace of pretension. He
spoke rapidly, and generally with an inquisitive smile. To this
_ensemble_ I must add a hat which was the reverse of dignified or
distinguished—a simple felt affair, with a round crown and drooping
brim—and you have as fair a description of General Sherman’s externals
as I can pen.

“Seating himself on a stick of cordwood hard by the fence, he drew a bit
of pencil from his pocket, and spreading a piece of note paper on his
knee, he wrote with great rapidity. Long columns of troops lined the
road a few yards in his front, and beyond the road, massed in a series
of spreading green fields, a whole division of infantry was waiting to
take up the line of march, the blue ranks clear cut against the verdant
background. Those who were near their general looked at him curiously;
for in so vast an army the soldier sees his commander-in-chief but
seldom. Page after page was filled by the general’s nimble pencil, and

“For a half hour I watched him, and, though I looked for and expected to
find them, no symptoms could I detect that the mind of the great leader
was taxed by the infinite cares of a terribly hazardous military _coup
de main_. Apparently it did not lay upon his mind the weight of a
feather. A mail arrived. He tore open the papers and glanced over them
hastily, then chatted with some general officers near him, then rode off
with characteristic suddenness, but with fresh and smiling countenance,
filing down the road beside many thousand men, whose lives were in his

The truly great mind is magnanimous in the hour of victory; a selfish,
narrow one is arrogant and oppressive. We ought to be devoutly grateful
to God for leaders in this second life-struggle of freedom, who in
general character emulate our unrivalled Washington, and do not tarnish
the cause he loved by revengeful or unworthy deeds.

                              CHAPTER XXI.

   The Events which followed the Truce—General Hood’s Army in Motion
     —Battle at Allatoona Pass—He is left to the care of the
     gallant Thomas—The New and Magnificent Campaign of General
     Sherman—The Field of his Operations—Burning of Rome—The
     Advance—Atlanta partially Burned—The Rebel Fears and Hopes—
     The March.

DURING the truce which closed September 22d, General Hood had moved
his army toward Macon, to protect that important town. But the startling
rumor reached his ear that his bold antagonist would turn his front
toward Mobile, away on the shores of the Gulf. This drew the rebel chief
from his position, and brought him by a westward movement across the
track toward the seaboard.

On Sunday, September 25th, at Macon, Jeff Davis addressed the soldiers,
assuring them their feet would soon press the soil of Tennessee,
spreading before them golden visions of conquest and abundance of
supplies. To compel General Sherman to abandon his southern march, and
follow him into Tennessee, the desperate leader of treason’s battalions
wheeled about and recrossed the Chattahoochie River. Thus was abandoned
the great State of Georgia, and the “hotbed of secession,” South
Carolina, to the Union army. Generals Hood and Forrest began to cut
railroad lines and burn bridges.

At Allatoona Pass the enemy made a furious assault on our garrison to
regain this Thermopylæ of the campaign, but dashed in vain upon the
valor of our unyielding ranks. The commander-in-chief of our forces, who
had signalled General Corse from the top of Kenesaw Mountain to meet the
enemy there, sent the “boys” his warm congratulations:

                IN THE FIELD, KENESAW MOUNTAIN, _Oct. 7, 1864_.   }

    “The General commanding avails himself of the opportunity, in
    the handsome defence made of ‘Alatoona,’ to illustrate the most
    important principle in war, that fortified posts should be
    defended to the last, regardless of the relative numbers of the
    party attacking and attacked.

    “Allatoona was garrisoned by three regiments, commanded by
    Colonel Tourtelotte, and reënforced by a detachment from a
    division at Rome, under command of Brigadier-General J. M.
    Corse, on the morning of the 5th, and a few hours after was
    attacked by French’s division of Stewart’s corps, two other
    divisions being near at hand, and in support. General French
    demanded a surrender, in a letter, to ‘avoid a useless effusion
    of blood,’ and gave but five minutes for answer. General Corse’s
    answer was emphatic and strong, that he and his command were
    ready for the ‘useless effusion of blood’ as soon as it was
    agreeable to General French.

    “This was followed by an attack which was prolonged for five
    hours, resulting in the complete repulse of the enemy, who left
    his dead on the ground, amounting to more than two hundred, and
    four hundred prisoners, well and wounded. The ‘effusion of
    blood’ was not ‘useless,’ as the position at Allatoona was and
    is very important to our present and future operations.

    “The thanks of this army are due, and are hereby accorded, to
    General Corse, Colonel Tourtelotte, officers and men, for their
    determined and gallant defence of Allatoona, and it is made an
    example to illustrate the importance of preparing in time, and
    meeting the danger, when present, boldly, manfully, and well.

    “The army, though unseen to the garrison, was cöoperating by
    moving toward the road by which the enemy could alone escape,
    but unfortunately were delayed by the rain and mud; but this
    fact hastened the retreat of the enemy.

    “Commanders and garrisons of the posts along our railroads are
    hereby instructed that they must hold their posts to the last
    minute, sure that the time gained is valuable and necessary to
    their comrades at the front.”

While General Hood was thus retracing his steps, capturing Dalton and
threatening Chattanooga, General Sherman was on his track, pursuing him
to the Tennessee. The lion-hearted Thomas was at Nashville, and, quite
sure that he could “take care of Hood,” as the order ran, the great
commander turned his face again southward.

He had telegraphed to the Secretary of War that his army needed rest at
Atlanta. It was true, but General Sherman did not intend to have it
then. The rebels and the country were bewildered by his mysterious
movements. Early in November he was between the Tennessee and
Chattahoochie, his headquarters at Kingston, with Rome on the line to
Atlanta. The deeply-laid game was played by the master hand in the dark
to others. Preparations were at once made for a grander campaign than
that which had just closed.

On the 10th, when the evening darkened around the beautiful Rome of
Georgia, the heavens glowed with its conflagration. A fearful storm had
ceased, the advance was at hand, and it was necessary, in the stern
demands of war, to make a torch and desolation of that place, in the
wake of the march. The fire was kindled by General Corse, according to
the orders of the commander. A spectator wrote of the scenes of that
terrific conflagration:


“All the barracks were laid in ashes, and a black veil of dense smoke
hung over the war-desolated city nearly all day, arising from the
smouldering ruins.

“Owing to the great lack of railroad transportation, General Corse was
obliged to destroy nearly a million of dollars’ worth of property, among
which was a few thousand dollars’ worth of condemned and unserviceable
government stores. Nine rebel guns, captured at Rome by our troops, were
burst, it being deemed unsafe to use them. One thousand bales of fine
cotton, two flour mills, two rolling mills, two tanneries, one salt
mill, an extensive foundry, several machine shops, together with the
railroad depots and storehouses, four pontoon bridges, built by General
Corse’s pioneer corps for use on the Coosa and Etowah rivers, and a
substantial trestle bridge, nearly completed for use, were destroyed.
This trestle, constructed by the Engineer corps, I am told, would have
cost fifty thousand dollars North. Recollecting the outrages perpetrated
upon Colonel Streight by the ‘Romans,’ our troops, as soon as they
learned that the town was to be abandoned and a portion of it burned,
resolved to lay Rome in ashes in revenge. The roaring of the flames, as
they leaped from window to window, their savage tongues of fire darting
high up into the heavens, and then licking the sides of the buildings,
presented an awful but grand spectacle, while the mounted patrol and the
infantrymen glided along through the brilliant light like the ghostly
spectres of horrid war.”

Concentrating at Atlanta, the last use made of the stronghold and
cherished hope of the Confederacy was the finishing work of getting a
vast army in motion—a grand start into hostile country, away from the
base of supplies.

After the men had bivouacked for the night, the following orders, issued
by General Sherman, were read to the troops, and were greeted with many
manifestations of approbation by the veterans, who, in so many bloody
battles, have followed the lead of Sherman:

                   IN THE FIELD, KINGSTON, GA., _Nov. 8, 1864_.   }

    “The General commanding deems it proper at this time to inform
    the officers and men of the Fourteenth, Fifteenth, Seventeenth,
    and Twentieth Corps, that he has organized them into an army for
    a special purpose well known to the War Department and to
    General Grant. It is sufficient for you to know that it involves
    a departure from our present base, and a long and difficult
    march to a new one. All the chances of war have been considered
    and provided for as far as human sagacity can. All he asks of
    you is to maintain that discipline, patience and courage which
    have characterized you in the past, and he hopes, through you,
    to strike a blow at our enemy that will have a material effect
    in producing what we all so much desire, his complete overthrow.
    Of all things the most important is, that the men, during
    marches and in camp, keep their places, and not scatter about as
    stragglers or foragers, to be picked up by hostile people in

    “It is also of the utmost importance that our wagons should not
    be loaded with anything but provisions and ammunition. All
    surplus servants, non-combatants, and refugees should now go to
    the rear, and none should be encouraged to encumber us on the
    march. At some future time we will be enabled to provide for the
    poor whites and blacks who seek to escape the bondage under
    which they are now suffering.

    “With these few simple cautions in your minds, he hopes to lead
    you to achievements equal in importance to those of the past.

                                                  “By order of
                                     “Major-General W. T. SHERMAN.”

The grand army, of more than fifty thousand men, was divided into two
wings, although in some of its movements arranged in three or more
separate columns. General Slocum commanded the left wing, composed of
the Fourteenth and Twentieth Corps, and General Howard the right wing,
made up of the Fifteenth and Seventeenth Corps. The dashing, brilliant
Kilpatrick was chief of a cavalry force. The marching orders were
issued, and flew along the extended battle front, meeting with a glad
welcome from the troops. The clear directions of the chieftain will
present the line and method of march:

                  “IN THE FIELD, KINGSTON, GA., _November 9, 1864_.

    “I. For the purpose of military operations, this army is divided
    into two wings, viz.: The right wing, Major-General O. O.
    Howard, commanding the Fifteenth and Seventeenth Corps; the left
    wing, Major-General H. W. Slocum, commanding the Fourteenth and
    Twentieth Corps.

    “II. The habitual order of march will be, whenever practicable,
    by four roads, as nearly parallel as possible, and converging at
    points hereafter to be indicated in orders. The cavalry,
    Brigadier-General Kilpatrick commanding, will receive special
    orders from the Commander-in-Chief.

    “III. There will be no general trains of supplies, but each
    corps will have its ammunition and provision train, distributed
    habitually as follows: Behind each regiment should follow one
    wagon and one ambulance; behind each brigade should follow a due
    proportion of ammunition wagons, provision wagons, and
    ambulances. In case of danger, each army corps should change
    this order of march by having his advance and rear brigade
    unencumbered by wheels. The separate columns will start
    habitually at seven A. M., and make about fifteen miles per day,
    unless otherwise fixed in orders.

    “IV. The army will _forage liberally on the country_ during the
    march. To this end each brigade commander will organize a good
    and sufficient foraging party, under the command of one or more
    discreet officers, who will gather, near the route travelled,
    corn or forage of any kind, meat of any kind, vegetables,
    corn-meal, or whatever is needed by the command; aiming at all
    times to keep in the wagon trains _at least ten days’ provisions
    for the command and three days’ forage. Soldiers must not enter
    the dwellings_ of the inhabitants or commit any trespass; during
    the halt or a camp they may be permitted to gather turnips,
    potatoes, and other vegetables, and drive in stock in front of
    their camps. To regular foraging parties must be intrusted the
    gathering of provisions and forage at any distance from the road

    “V. To army corps commanders is intrusted the power _to destroy
    mills, houses, cotton-gins, etc._, and for them this general
    principle is laid down: In districts and neighborhoods _where
    the army is unmolested, no destruction_ of such property should
    be permitted; but should guerillas or bushwhackers molest our
    march, or should the inhabitants burn bridges, obstruct roads,
    or otherwise manifest local hostility, then army corps
    commanders should order and _enforce a devastation more or less
    relentless, according to the measure of such hostility_.

    “VI. As for horses, mules, wagons, etc., belonging to the
    inhabitants, the cavalry and artillery may appropriate freely
    and without limit; discriminating, however, between the rich,
    who are usually hostile, and the poor or industrious, usually
    neutral or friendly. Foraging parties may also take mules or
    horses to replace the jaded animals of their trains, or to serve
    as pack mules for the regiments or brigades. In all foraging, of
    whatever kind, the parties engaged will refrain from abusive or
    threatening language, and may, when the officer in command
    thinks proper, give written certificates of the facts, but no
    receipts; and they will endeavor to leave with each family a
    reasonable portion for their maintenance.

    “VII. _Negroes who are able-bodied and can be of service to the
    several columns, may be taken along_; but each army commander
    will bear in mind that the question of supplies is a very
    important one, and that his first duty is to see to those who
    bear arms.

    “VIII. The organization at once of a good pioneer battalion for
    each corps, composed, if possible, of negroes, should be
    attended to. This battalion should follow the advance guard,
    should repair roads and double them if possible, so that the
    columns will not be delayed after reaching bad places. Also,
    army commanders should study the habit of giving the artillery
    and wagons the road, and marching their troops on one side; and
    also instruct their troops to assist wagons at steep hills or
    bad crossings or streams.

    “IX. Captain O. M. Poe, chief engineer, will assign to each wing
    of the army a pontoon train, fully equipped and organized, and
    the commanders thereof will see to its being properly protected
    at all times.

                    “By order of      Major-General W. T. SHERMAN.”

The feeling of the troops is expressed in the words of another who was
with them: “They do not stop to ask questions. Sherman says ‘Come,’ and
that is the entire vocabulary with them. A most cheerful feature of the
situation is the fact that the men are healthful and jolly as men can
be, hoping for the best, daring to do the worst.

“Behind us we leave a track of smoke and flame. Half of Marietta was
burned up, not by orders, however, for the command is that proper
details shall be made to destroy all property which can ever be of use
to the rebel armies. Stragglers will get into these places, and
dwelling-houses are levelled to the ground. In nearly all cases these
are the deserted habitations formerly owned by rebels, who are now

“Yesterday, as some of the men were marching toward the Chattahoochie
River, they saw in the distance pillars of smoke rising along its banks;
the bridges were in flames. Says one, hitching his musket a bit on the
shoulder in a free and easy way, ‘I say, Charley, I believe Sherman has
set the river on fire.’ ‘Reckon not,’ replied the other, with the same
indifference. ‘If he has, it’s all right.’ And so they pass along,
obeying orders, not knowing what is before them, but believing in their

The foraging parties were to bring in from the country along the
war-path, supplies for the long cavalcade, sweeping over a belt of land
twenty to seventy miles wide, right across the proud State of Georgia.

The regulations respecting retaliation for outrages were wise and
humane, because they prevented the very ruin which the rebels,
unrestrained by fear, would have drawn upon themselves. It was not an
idle threat, but proved to be a most timely, useful one.

November 12th, you might have seen the magnificent spectacle a great war
alone affords. Mounted on his steed, his cork hand on the rein, General
Howard led the right wing in bristling ranks, to the sound of martial
airs, from Atlanta. And here I must tell you about that cork hand. You
may recollect that the heroic chief lost his arm at Fair Oaks, fighting
under General McClellan. He returned soon after to his home in Lewiston,
Maine. It happened that I was there upon a beautiful summer day, when
the Sabbath-school children had a meeting in Rev. Mr. Adams’s church, at
Auburn, across the river. General Howard was present, the first time he
had attended a public gathering since the wound was received. And many
hearts were touched to hear him talk earnestly of truth and duty, while
the yet unhealed stump would try to gesticulate, as the arm did of old.
He is a complete man, and appreciated by his general-in-chief.

The imposing pageant of the advancing host was repeated on the 14th,
when General Slocum marched at the head of the left wing from the doomed
city. Then General Sherman, with his staff and body-guard, gave a last
look, and took his road to Macon. “Let Hood go North; our business is
down South,” was his brief comment upon the rebel general’s movements.

The torch was applied to the public buildings and railroad depots,
flinging at night a lurid light over the dismantled ruined
fortifications, and upon the surrounding hills. The scene was grand and
awful, memorable to all who witnessed this burning of the “Gate City.”
No private residences were designedly given to the flames. “The evidence
of the rebels themselves has since appeared to show, that though Atlanta
had been besieged, captured, and depopulated, there was no heartless or
unavoidable destruction of private property, such as the enemy have
delighted to charge upon General Sherman. Thus abandoned, it was left in
the rear of our army, whose face was now seaward, and the hand of time,
with a higher degree of civilization, can only efface the marks
inflicted by a warlike occupation. Before the war Atlanta was one of the
most thriving inland cities of the South, and contained 12,000

“The rebels at Richmond received their first news of Sherman’s departure
from Atlanta, from the North, but refused to place confidence in it. ‘It
is a big Yankee lie,’ said the Richmond _Examiner_, ‘and if Sherman
really has burnt Atlanta, it is to cover a retreat northward, to look
after Hood.’ ‘But if Sherman is really attempting this prodigious
design,’ it continued, ‘his march will only lead him to the “Paradise of
Fools.”’ The more Southern papers, those of Augusta, Savannah, etc.,
were alike incredulous with those of Richmond, upon the receipt of the
first news of Sherman’s movement. ‘It is rumored that Atlanta is
evacuated,’ said the Augusta _Chronicle_, of November 15, ‘and we trust
the rumor will prove correct.’ The same paper of November 18, implores
the citizens of Augusta to ‘look at the situation without nervousness or
fear—pray to God, but keep your powder dry—meet the storm like
men—it’s always darkest just before day.’

“It is only necessary to follow Sherman’s course, to note the precision
with which he moved, the width of country which he covered, and the
directness of his march upon his objective point, to realize the
impotency of all the shrieks, invocations, and proclamations that only
spoiled so much valuable paper in the Confederacy.”

While the heavens hung like curtains of glowing crimson above and around
the circular theatre of ruin, whose cinders shot through the hot
atmosphere continually, the fine band of the Thirty-third Massachusetts
were playing, “John Brown’s soul goes marching on!” The effect was
awfully grand; the strange stirring anthem rising over the advance of
that mighty host whose way was flashing with the torchlights of burning

Let us suppose we were upon an eminence near Atlanta, with power of
vision to look away over the “heart of Georgia,” the goal of General
Sherman’s moving columns. Running through it are two railroads, the only
lines traversing the State of Georgia, and forming the chief link of
railway connection between Virginia and the States of Alabama and
Mississippi, now the southwestern limit of the so-called Confederacy.
One of these railroads is the Georgia Central, running from Savannah to
Macon, 190 miles, thence to Atlanta, by the Macon and Western Railroad,
101 miles, making the total distance from Savannah to Atlanta by
railroad, 291 miles. The other is the Georgia Railroad, running from
Augusta to Atlanta, at from 40 to 60 miles north of the Georgia Central
Railroad, and making the distance to Atlanta, from Augusta, 171 miles.
At Millen, on the Georgia Central road, 79 miles north of Savannah, is
the junction of a branch road, called the Waynesboro’ Railroad, which
connects with Augusta, 53 miles distant, and makes the distance by rail
from Savannah to Augusta 132 miles. Along these lines of travel the
country is thickly settled, and richly productive. Cotton, wheat, and
corn fields, with forests and streams, mansions and slave huts, make a
southern landscape inviting to a great army, whose thousands of men must
have food to eat, and plenty of it. To cover the railroads and destroy
them as the troops advanced, making Milledgeville, the capital, a point
of rendezvous, was the first object of the commander. General
Kilpatrick’s splendid cavalry protected flank and front—“the eyes of
the army.” On, on, the extended wings move; while a cavalry force sweeps
off toward Macon, where General Cobb commands the rebel militia, to make
him believe an attack upon him is designed. The “fire-eater” is awake to
his perilous position, and ready to defend “Southern rights;” when, lo!
the horsemen suddenly disappear. Their enterprise seems a serious joke,
provoking a laugh; for it was to keep at Macon the only force that could
dispute the way, excepting some cavalry brigades at Macon, till left
fairly in the rear. This being done, General Sherman cared little where
the Confederate hero went. The enemy was amazed and bewildered—the bold
invader’s plans baffled his attempts to decipher them. An extract from a
Richmond paper will be both a curious and interesting illustration.

The _Sentinel_ with assurance declared: “It is not Sherman’s object to
make his way to the Atlantic to assist Meade, leaving Thomas heir to his
far higher honors and responsibilities in the West. If he shall succeed
in penetrating the circle that now surrounds him, and escaping to Port
Royal, his first anxiety, like Kilpatrick’s, will be for ships to take
him away. Steam to Annapolis, and steam to Nashville, if Nashville be
not already fallen, will be all too slow to quiet his impatience and to
mollify his chagrin. While his own course through Georgia will have been
that of an arrow through the air, or a ship over the sea, leaving no
track behind; while his exploits and his honors will have been those of
the baffled fox hounded from the barn-yard, or the disappointed wolf,
chased and pelted by the shepherds; he will return to Tennessee to find
Hood, we trust, in possession of the State. He will return to find that
his campaign into Georgia, so boastfully entered upon, has but lost the
territories won by his predecessors.”

While the editors and other leading minds at the Confederate capital
were thus speculating and wondering, General Sherman was having a most
auspicious start on the long march over rebel soil. “The right wing
moved directly south from Atlanta, which is in Fulton County, to Rough
and Ready and Jonesboro’ stations on the Macon and Western Railroad, in
Fayette County. On November 16th one column of the right wing passed
through Jonesboro’, twenty-six miles south of Atlanta, Wheeler’s cavalry
and Cobb’s militia retiring upon Griffin. Another column of the right
wing occupied McDonough, November 17th, the county seat of Henry County,
some distance east of Jonesboro’, and about thirty-five miles southeast
of Atlanta. Henry County is one of the largest and richest of Georgia,
and here our forces found large supplies of provisions and forage. On
the 16th Wheeler engaged our cavalry at Bear Creek station, ten miles
north of Griffin, and telegraphed General Hardee that he had ‘checked
the Yankee advance.’ The very same evening, at six o’clock, his ragged
troopers fell back through Griffin, in the direction of Barnesville,
where Cobb’s militia had already preceded him. Our cavalry occupied
Griffin, which is the county seat of Spalding County, on the 17th, and
on the 18th drove Wheeler out of Barnesville, in Pike County, and
through Forsyth, the county seat of Monroe County, seventy-six miles
south of Atlanta and twenty-five miles northwest of Macon.”

Turning to the map you will see the Ocumulgee River, on whose banks
Macon is situated, northeast of which, on the Oconee, is Milledgeville,
the State capital. November 20th General Sherman crossed the former
stream with his face toward the seat of government; this was the first
intelligence the rebels had of his purpose to pass by Macon. Meanwhile
General Howard’s columns moved rapidly through Monticello, the shire
town of Jasper County, burning the courthouse, thence to Hillsboro’, the
county seat of Jones County, to reach the Georgia Central Railroad at
Gordon, where the branch track to Milledgeville has its junction. Thus
General Sherman left General Cobb behind, and sending to Griswoldville a
rear-guard of infantry, pushed on the 21st to Milledgeville, with
General Howard’s troops ready to join him.

The march, so far, had averaged thirteen and a half miles each day,
making ninety-five miles from Atlanta. There was no need of great haste,
and the strength of the men was spared for the vast enterprise before
them. “General Sherman camped on the plantation of Howell Cobb. We found
his granaries well filled with corn and wheat, part of which was
distributed and eaten by our animals and men. A large supply of syrup
made from sorghum, which we have found at nearly every plantation on our
march, was stored in an out-house. This was also disposed of to the
soldiers and the poor decrepit negroes, which this humane,
liberty-loving major-general, abandoned to die in this place a few days

“General Sherman distributed to the negroes with his own hands the
provisions left here, and assured them that we were their friends, and
they need not be afraid that we were foes. One old man answered him: ‘I
spose dat you’se true; but, massa, you’se’ll go way tomorrow, and
anudder white man will come.’ He had never known any thing but
oppression, and had been kept in such ignorance that he did not dare put
faith in any white man. The negroes were told that as soon as we got
them into our power, they were put into the front of the battle, and we
killed them if they did not fight; that we threw the women and children
into the Chattahoochie, and when the buildings were burned in Atlanta,
we filled them with negroes, to be devoured by the flames.

“General Sherman invited all able-bodied negroes (others could not make
the march) to join the column, and he takes especial pleasure when they
join the procession, on some occasions telling them they are free: that
Massa Lincoln has given them their liberty, and that they can go where
they please; that if they earn their freedom they should have it, but
that Massa Lincoln had given it to them anyhow. Thousands of negro women
join the column, some carrying household truck; others, and many of them
there are, who bear the heavy burdens of children in their arms, while
older boys and girls plod by their sides. All these women and children
are ordered back, heartrending though it may be to refuse them liberty.

“But the majority accept the advent of the Yankees as the fulfilment of
the millennial prophecies. The ‘day of jubilee,’ the hope and prayer of
a lifetime, has come. They cannot be made to understand that they must
remain behind, and they are satisfied only when General Sherman tells
them, as he does every day, that we shall come back for them some time,
and that they must be patient until the proper hour of deliverance

The enemy finding our army had deceived them and was gone, General Cobb
sent a force from Macon to attack the rear-guard at Griswoldsville, a
part of which had been employed to threaten Macon, where a sharp
skirmish resulted in a loss to them of several hundred killed and
wounded; the severest battle of all the march. General Slocum’s left
wing had pressed on through De Kalb County to Covington, burning
railroad buildings on the way. Near this town, while foraging in the
fine fertile country, a force from one of the brigades of the Twentieth
Corps was assailed by a party of “bushwhackers,” and one of our soldiers
killed. Then followed the execution of General Sherman’s threat of
devastation, involving in it the burning of the Methodist College at
Oxford. The large libraries, the cabinets and apparatus, all were swept
away by the fires of war, the charred ruins of an institution which cost
nearly a million of dollars, only remaining in the wake of relentless
Mars. General Slocum pushed forward his troops, living on the “fat of
the land,” destroying railways, and flinging on his path the flames of
burning warehouses, markets, and bridges. The same day that General
Howard reached Gordon, General Slocum was at Eatonton, the northern
terminus of the branch railroad. The troops came together at
Milledgeville, General Howard entering it first with his troops; because
the far-seeing commander-in-chief found that the best point for crossing
the Oconee was there.

The legislature, which was in session on the 18th, hearing of the
advance of General Sherman’s resistless columns, prepared to flee before
them. Governor Brown departed in his private carriage for Macon, taking
with him the public papers, funds, and whatever of personal effects he
could convey. Never was such a stampede of the law-making chivalry of
Georgia dreamed of by them. Members of this terrified body hurried away
to Augusta, and others followed the Governor to Macon; some in
carriages, some on horses, and others on foot, not having Confederate
currency enough to pay for other means of escape. Two of the honorable
fugitives paid one thousand dollars to be carried eight miles. Scarcely
had Governor Brown reached Macon when he hastened to the City Hall and
issued a flaming proclamation—chanticleer crowing after he is driven
from the field by his rival in the fight.

Catching the contagious alarm, in the wake of the fugitive legislature,
the citizens able to get away, carrying with them to the depot their
household treasures, then also fled, until the infirm and the negroes
only represented the just now proud and defiant population. The latter
were wild with joy, embracing the soldiers, and exclaiming, “Bless de
Lord! tanks be to Almighty God, the Yanks is come; the day of jubilee
hab arrived!” Such was their simple recognition of God in the war, and
of the friends of liberty. General Sherman’s headquarters were at the
Executive Mansion, its former occupant having, with extremely bad grace,
in fleeing from his distinguished visitor, taken with him the entire
furniture of the building. As General Sherman travels with a roll of
blankets, and haversack full of hard tack, which is as complete an
outfit for a life out in the open air as in a palace, this discourtesy
of Governor Brown was not a serious inconvenience.

The campaign toward the sea was now fairly opened, and successful in all
its details: “At first, moving his army in three columns, with a column
of cavalry on his extreme right, upon eccentric lines, he diverted the
attention of the enemy, so that he concentrated his forces at extreme
points, Macon and Augusta, leaving unimpeded the progress of the main
body. In this campaign it was not the purpose of the General to spend
his time before fortified cities, nor yet to encumber his wagons with
wounded men. His instructions to Kilpatrick were to demonstrate against
Macon, getting within five miles of the city.

“With that ignorance of danger common to new troops, the rebels rushed
upon our veterans with the greatest fury. They were received with
grape-shot and musketry at point blank range, our soldiers firing coolly
while shouting derisively to the quivering columns to come on, as if
they thought the whole thing a nice joke. The rebels resumed the attack,
but with the same fatal results, and were soon in full flight, leaving
more than three hundred dead on the field. Our loss was some forty
killed and wounded, while their killed, wounded, and prisoners, are
estimated to exceed two thousand five hundred. A pretty severe lesson
they received. It is said, ‘_Ce n’est que le premier pas qui coûte._’
This first step has been a most expensive one, and judging from the fact
that we have not heard from them since, they seem to have interpreted
the proverb otherwise than in the recognized sense.”

Gov. Brown reluctantly left in Milledgeville three thousand muskets and
several thousand pounds of powder, to be destroyed by our troops. Then
came a comic episode in the march. A number of officers and men took
possession of the State House, elected a speaker, a clerk, and a
chaplain, and went to work upon bills and resolutions in earnest. Calls
to order, deciding between members claiming the floor, and humorous
hits, filled up the time. When in the midst of the amusing excitement, a
courier rushed in, saying, the “Yankees are coming!” then there was a
sudden suspension of business, a panic, and a run for the doors. This
was succeeded by an uproar of laughter.

Somehow the entreaty of the politicians and editors of the Confederacy
to burn and otherwise destroy property likely to fall into our hands,
did not move the hearts of traitors. Each waited to see his neighbor
commence the havoc, and excepting what the army appropriated, and the
rebels carried off, but little damage was done. The enemy was completely
in the mist of mystery, and General Sherman’s skilful, blinding
movements, successfully deluded his antagonists. Their blows were always
hesitating, and, when given by them, were equally ineffectual. It was
evident, however, that the Oconee River must be passed at some point by
our troops. Accordingly, the enemy posted himself where the railroad
crosses the river, five miles east of Gordon, and here burned the
bridge. Wednesday, the 23d, brought our troops well up to the river.

The people along the line of march seldom expressed their sentiments to
the army. A few illustrations from those who saw and heard for
themselves, will give the general feeling: “When they do speak it is not
in vain eulogy of the rebel army and the cause in which they are
engaged. They are broken in spirits, and the haughty secession ladies,
who by force of ‘arms’ and tongue drove their brothers, sons, and
lovers, into the army, are now as meek as singed kittens, and only too
glad to smile upon a good-looking Yankee. They all frankly admit that
their cause is hopeless—that subjugation awaits them in the future, and
all they now wish is for the storm to burst and pass; that peace with
them, crushed beneath the Yankee heel, is preferable to the present
state of things.

“‘Great God!’ exclaimed one very intelligent Milledgeville lady, whose
all had been taken, ‘little did I think, when I bade my dear boys, who
now sleep in their graves, good-bye, and packed them off, that this day
would come, when old, impoverished, and childless, I must ask the men
whom they fought against for a meal of victuals to satisfy my hunger.
But it serves me right; I was deceived, drove them to battle, death, and
infamy, and here I stand, their murderer.’

“Riding up to a house one day, I met an old woman and three grown-up
daughters at the door uttering frantic appeals for help. I inquired what
was wrong, when the old woman pointed to a burning cotton gin, and
exclaimed, ‘Put it out! You uns are burnin’ me child!’ I asked where the
child was, and succeeded in learning that it was in the burning gin
house. Away I went, with some men, to rescue the innocent, and at the
door met a ten year old boy, who, badly singed, issued forth from the
fiery furnace. Returning to the house, I inquired how the boy came
there? Putting the pipe between her lips, to compose her nerves, the old
lady at last ventured an explanation: ‘Well,’ said she, ‘we uns heard
that you uns killed all the little boys, to keep them out from growing
up to fight ye, and we hid ’em.’ Strange as this may seem, among the
poor, ignorant dupes of Davis, it is a common belief that the Yankees
slay all the male children. We found many infant Moseses and Jeffs hid
away in cellars and corn-cribs, but none in bulrushes. An officer called
upon a lady in Effingham County, whose plantation had been stripped of
every thing, and found her in tears and her children crying for bread.
He endeavored to soothe her, when she lifted up her beautiful eyes
beseechingly, and implored, ‘Give me something for my starving
children.’ Away the officer went to his mess and fed the children from
his private larder. On the following morning he was quite chagrined to
witness two oak boxes, one barrel of flour, four trunks, and other
articles exhumed from the garden by the soldiers.”

The eight days’ march to Millen, seventy-five miles from Milledgeville,
was full of varied and remarkable interest. General Kilpatrick, with his
“ubiquitous cavalry,” galloped away to the Central Railroad bridge, over
the Oconee, twenty-five miles southeast of Milledgeville, where General
Howard was trying to build a pontoon bridge, which the rebel General
Wayne, with a brigade of released inmates of the penitentiary, and of
militia, was determined to prevent; a battle followed, and the enemy was
driven back. Then again the unrivalled trooper acted as “a curtain” upon
the extreme left, having covered in the same way the right wing in the
earlier part of the campaign; while all the time he had the nobler aim,
if possible, to reach Millen in time to rescue our incarcerated and
dying prisoners of war. “The stockade or coop in which our prisoners
were confined, after their removal from Andersonville, was located in a
dense pine forest, six miles from Millen station, on the Savannah and
Augusta Railroad. It was a square of fifteen acres, enclosed by pine
logs set upright in the ground, very close together. At intervals of
twenty feet along the palisades were the sentry boxes, fifteen feet from
the ground; access to them could only be had by means of ladders on the
outside. The palisade logs were uniformly ten inches thick, and so
straight and close were they that all view of the pine woods beyond them
was shut out from the unfortunates within. Entering at the broad gate
they crossed the ‘dead line’ (single rail fence) fearlessly, and
approached the burrows or adobe huts where the ‘Yankees’ had slept in
confinement. These were not filthy, because no considerable amount of
filth could accumulate during the three weeks our men were kept there;
but they were cheerless and comfortless. There was no attempt at
regularity in laying out this village of Kennel. In one of them the dead
body of a Union soldier, name unknown, was found unburied. Decidedly the
most comfortable looking appendage to the stockade was the brick
cook-house near the centre, with accommodation for a dozen or fifteen
men to work at a time. At the southeast angle of the stockade, on the
outside, stood a square earthwork, built to command with its guns both
the burrows inside and the approaches to the logs on the outside. In the
hospital huts, a quarter of a mile from the pen, were good
accommodations for three hundred men, and there were evidences that they
were not sufficient. A fine large spring, where excellent water bubbled
out, completed the lists of objects familiar to the brave boys who had
lived in that silent clearing in the pine woods. The dead prisoners were
buried in rows, a short distance from the hospital, graves being
numbered as high as six hundred and fifty. The prisoners were kept at
Millen only three weeks.”

November 29th the “boys” kept Thanksgiving upon the luxuries of Georgia
plantations. The Ogeehee was crossed on November 30th. It is a stream
sixty yards wide, where the troops passed over on a bridge which was put
in repair, and with pontoons.

In a sketch from a reliable source, we have an explanation of the false
charge made by a distinguished orator against General Sherman, that he
removed a bridge, and left unprotected negroes to the enemy. He knew
nothing of the sad affair when it occurred:

“From the time we left Atlanta, with fifty or one hundred contrabands,
the ‘colored brigades’ continued to swell in numbers until we arrived at
the Ogeechee River, when fully ten thousand were attached to the various
columns. They represented all shades and conditions, from the almost
white housemaid servant, worth $15,000 in rebel currency, to the tar
black, pock-marked cotton picker, who never crosses massa’s door sill. A
very large majority of them were women and children, who, mounted on
mules, sometimes five on an animal, in ox wagons, buggies, and vehicles
of every description, blocked the roads and materially delayed the
movement of the columns. It was no unusual sight to behold a slave
mother carrying two young children and leading a third, who, in a half
nude state, trudged along the thorny path to freedom. Columns could be
written descriptive of the harrowing scenes presented by this
unfortunate class of fugitives. So much difficulty did General Davis
find in moving his column, that at the Ogeechee River, as a military
necessity, he placed a guard at the bridge, who halted the caravan of
contrabands until the rear of the column passed, and then removed the
pontoon. The negroes, however, not to be frustrated, constructed a
foot-bridge and crossed. Next day the column had its full complement of

“Arriving at Ebenezer Creek, the same method was taken to clear the
column, with better success. The creek runs through a half mile of
swamp, which is covered by water, and can only be crossed by a narrow
bridge. This bridge was taken up, and the moment our forces disappeared
the brutal Wheeler was in our rear. Next day only a few darkies came up.
Another day passed and still fully two-thirds were missing. Inquiries
elicited the information that Wheeler, on finding the defenceless
negroes blocked, drove them pellmell into the water, where those who
escaped say they struggled to reach the opposite bank, amidst
heartrending shrieks; but most of the mothers went down in the water
with their children clasped to their bosoms, while Wheeler and his
inhuman band looked on with demoniac smiles. How far true this may be I
know not, but all the negroes who escaped, with whom I have talked, seem
to agree in their account of the hellish slaughter.”

The bridges over the Oconee and Fisher’s Creek were burned behind the
army. The rebels were compelled to speak well, on the whole, of General
Sherman’s command. I shall add their testimony, given at the time:

“In their route they destroyed, as far as possible, all mills, cribs,
and gin-houses, cotton screws and gins, cotton implements, etc., and
carried off all stock, provisions, and negroes. When their horses gave
out they shot them. At Eatonton they killed over one hundred. At
Milledgeville they only destroyed the arsenal, depot, and penitentiary.
They did not burn the factory near that place. The right wing of the
Federal army, under General Howard, crossed the Ocmulgee River between
Adams’s Ferry and Macon. It is said that the town of Forsyth was
completely demolished. The Federals expressed great astonishment at the
rich country they were passing, and the abundance of provisions in it.
General Slocum gave orders to the citizens along his route to shoot down
his stragglers without mercy. One punishment inflicted by some of the
Federal generals for plundering, was severe whipping. A portion of Major
Graham’s command reached this city last night. They report that they
visited Atlanta several days since, and found it completely evacuated
and burned. They state that the Federals took all the cattle and forage
in their route, but did not molest those who stayed at home.”

“The most pathetic scenes occur upon our line of march daily and hourly.
Thousands of negro women join the column, some carrying household truck;
others, and many of them there are, who bear the burden of children in
their arms, while older boys and girls plod by their sides. All these
women and children are ordered back, heartrending though it may be to
refuse them liberty. They won’t go. One begs that she may go to see her
husband and children at Savannah. Long years ago she was forced from
them and sold. Another has heard that her boy was in Macon, and she is
‘done gone with grief goin’ on four years.’

“The other day a woman with a child in her arms was working her way
along amongst the teams and crowds of cattle and horsemen. An officer
called to her kindly: ‘Where are you going, aunty?’

“She looked up into his face with a hopeful, beseeching look, and

“‘I’se gwine whar you’se gwine, massa.’

“At a house a few miles from Milledgeville we halted for an hour. In an
old hut I found a negro and his wife, both of them over sixty years old.
In the talk which ensued nothing was said which led me to suppose that
either of them was anxious to leave their mistress, who, by the way, was
a sullen, cruel-looking woman, when all at once the old negress
straightened herself up, and her face, which a moment before was almost
stupid in its expression, assumed a fierce, almost devilish, aspect.

“Pointing her shining black finger at the old man, crouched in the
corner of the fire-place, she hissed out: ‘What for you sit dar? you
spose I wait sixty years for nutten? Don’t yer see de door open? I’se
follow my child; I not stay. Yes, nodder day I goes ’long wid dese
people; yes sar, I walks till I drops in my tracks.’ A more terrible
sight I never beheld. I can think of nothing to compare with it, except
Charlotte Cushman’s Meg Merrilies. Rembrandt only could have painted the
scene, with its dramatic surroundings.

“It was near this place that several factories were burned. It was odd
to see the delight of the negroes at the destruction of places known
only to them as task-houses, where they had groaned under the lash.

“Pointing to the Atlanta and Augusta Railroad, which had been destroyed,
the question was asked, ‘It took a longer time to build this railroad
than it does to destroy it?’

“‘I would think it did, massa; in dat ar woods over dar is buried ever
so many black men who were killed, sar, yes, killed, a working on dat
road—whipped to deth. I seed em, sar.’

“‘Does the man live here who beat them?’

“‘Oh no, sar; he’s dun gone long time.’

“I have seen blind and lame mules festooned with infants in bags, and
led by fond parents so aged and weak they could hardly totter along.
‘Mars’r Sherman was a great man, but dis am de work ob de Lord,’ they

The swampy borders were belted with “corduroy,” and their heavy fogs
hung over the halting columns. At evening the spectacle was weird-like
in its wild romance. “A novel and vivid sight was it to see the fires of
pitch pine flaring up into the mist and darkness, the figures of men and
horses looming out of the dense shadows in gigantic proportions.
Torchlights are blinking and flashing away off in the forests, while the
still air echoed and reëchoed with the cries of teamsters and the wild
shouts of the soldiers. A long line of the troops marched across the
foot-bridge, each soldier bearing a torch, their light reflected in
quivering lines in the swift running stream. Soon the fog, which settles
like a blanket over the swamps and forests of the river bottoms, shut
down upon the scene, and so dense and dark was it that torches were of
but little use, and men were directed here and there by the voice.”

Not far from this spot the troops encountered a singular character. He
had been depot-master before the railroad was destroyed—a shrewd,
intelligent old man, so far as the war is concerned. He said to the
soldiers: “They say you are retreating, but it is the strangest sort of
retreat I ever saw. Why, the newspapers have been lying in this way all
along. They allers are whipping the Federal armies, and they allers fall
back after the battle is over. It was that ar’ idee that first opened my
eyes. Our army was allers whipping the Feds, and we allers fell back. I
allers told ’em it was a humbug, and now by —— I know it, for here you
are right on old John Wells’s place; hogs, potatoes, corn, and fences
all gone. I don’t find any fault. I expected it all.

“‘Jeff. Davis and the rest,’ he continued, ‘talk about splitting the
Union. Why if South Carolina had gone out by herself, she would have
been split in four pieces by this time. Splitting the Union! Why, the
State of Georgia is being split right through from end to end. It is
these rich fellows who are making the war, and keeping their precious
bodies out of harm’s way. There’s John Franklin went through here the
other day running away from your army. I could have played dominoes on
his coat tails. There’s my poor brother, sick with small-pox at Macon,
working for eleven dollars a month, and hasn’t got a cent of the stuff
for a year. Eleven dollars a month and eleven thousand bullets a minute.
I don’t believe in it, sir.

“‘My wife came from Canada, and I kind o’ thought I would some time go
there to live, but was allers afraid of the ice and cold; but I can tell
you this country is getting too hot for me. Look at my fence-rails
burning there. I think I can stand the cold better.

“‘I heard as how they cut down the trees across your road up country and
burn the bridges; why, one of your Yankees can take up a tree and carry
it off, tops and all; and there’s that bridge you put across the river
in less than two hours—they might as well try to stop the Ogeechee as
you Yankees.

“‘The rascals who burnt this yere bridge thought they did a big thing; a
natural born fool would have more sense than any of them.

“‘To bring back the good old time,’ he said, ‘it’ll take the help of
Divine Providence, a heap of rain, and a deal of hard work, to fix
things up again.’”

It is interesting to look over the sea and get a glimpse of the
impressions of our English _friends_ regarding the “wandering host.” The
organ of the army and navy said: “It is clear that, so long as he roams
about with his army inside the Confederate States, he is more deadly
than twenty Grants, and that _he must be destroyed if Richmond or any
thing is to be saved_. Lee will probably be forced by this condition of
affairs to assume the offensive, because he cannot afford to let Grant
hold his hands whilst Sherman is committing burglary in the Southern
mansion. If Sherman has really left his army in the air, and started off
without a base to march from Georgia into South Carolina, he has done
either one of the most brilliant or one of the most foolish things ever
performed by a military leader.”

The great leader and his intelligent troops must have enjoyed the
mystery in which both friends and foes were living; knowing well that in
public and private circles, in the periodical press and the national
councils, the speculations and theories about him, the fears and hopes,
were manifold and often ludicrous, while his battalions were having a
triumphal march over the proudest portion of the Confederacy. “The great
army, over the lands and into the dwellings of the poor and rich alike,
through towns and cities, like a roaring wave, swept, and paused,
revelled and surged on. In the day-time, the splendor, the toil, the
desolation of the march; in the night-time, the brilliance, the gloom,
the music, the joy and the slumber of the camp. Memorable the music
‘that mocked the moon’ of November of the soil of Georgia; sometimes a
triumphant march, sometimes a glorious waltz, again an old air stirring
the heart alike to recollection and to hope. Floating out from throats
of brass to the ears of soldiers in their blankets and generals within
their tents, these tunes hallowed the eves to all who listened.

“Sitting before his tent in the glow of a camp fire one evening, General
Sherman let his cigar go out to listen to an air that a distant band was
playing. The musicians ceased at last. The general turned to one of his
officers; ‘Send an orderly to ask that band to play that tune again.’

“A little while, and the band received the word. The tune was ‘The Blue
Juniata,’ with exquisite variations. The band played it again, even more
beautifully than before. Again it ceased, and then, off to the right,
nearly a quarter of a mile away, the voices of some soldiers took it up
with words. The band, and still another band, played a low
accompaniment; camp after camp began singing; the music of ‘The Blue
Juniata’ became, for a few minutes, the oratorio of half an army.

“Back along the whole wide pathway of this grand march from border to
coast, the eye catches glimpses of scenes whose savage and poetic images
an American, five years ago, would have thought never could have been
revived from the romantic past.”

History records no war scenes so full of poetic interest, with so little
bloodshed, as those along the path of this advancing host.

                             CHAPTER XXII.

   The March beyond the River—The Exciting Discovery by the Enemy—
     General Sherman’s Strategy—On to Savannah—The Rebel—Surprise
     —The Army approach the City—A bold Movement—The Scouts—The
     Signals—Fort McAllister stormed—Savannah invested.

GENERAL HOWARD’S column moved down the east side of the Oconee River,
reaching Sandersville November 26, burning the depot and tearing up the
railroad near that place. General Slocum’s battalions of the right wing
marched northward toward Sparta, the cavalry scouring the country,
getting all the forage they needed, horses and mules, and making havoc
with the railroads, mills, and _gin-houses_. These horsemen galloped
about as if quite at home; more like troops at a “general muster” than
warriors at work, excepting the signals of ruin they left behind.

At this very time, November 25, the secessionists lurking among us at
the North, matured a plot for burning the city of New York, by firing
the principal hotels. Combustibles were placed in rooms which had been
mysteriously engaged, the match applied, and then the doors locked. But
while a dozen hotels or more were thus set on fire, a watchful
Providence led to timely discovery. Indeed, he confused the
conspirators, so that the plot was poorly executed; the very effort to
conceal and give time for the flames to spread, by leaving the
apartments closed, excluding the currents of air, defeated the fiendish

December 1st, the Fourteenth Corps threatened Augusta: “The rebels
became greatly frightened. Up to that time many of them were consoled
with the idea that, after all, Sherman was only on a great raid into the
heart of the State, or would yet turn and move westward upon Columbus,
Montgomery, and Mobile. But such hopes were dispelled when his cavalry
were discovered in Washington and Hancock counties. At Augusta
preparations for defence went on vigorously. Bragg was summoned from
Wilmington, and came, the Augusta papers said, with ten thousand men.
Troops came from Charleston, Hampton’s cavalry came from Virginia, and
the entire population of the city was put under arms, and all the slaves
in the surrounding country were impressed to work upon the
fortifications. Then began, also, a vigorous system of rebel _brag_.
Wheeler was put to his trumps, and required to whip Kilpatrick three
times a day, and to invariably close the report of his victory with the
announcement, ‘after this glorious success we fell back!’ All this
Wheeler most valiantly did; but on one occasion, in a fight near Gibson,
the county seat of Glascock County, being required to bring in
Kilpatrick’s head as a trophy, he humbly apologized with his hat,
observing, that in his haste to fall back, he had left Kilpatrick’s head
on its shoulders.

“Until it was fully ascertained that Sherman had reached Millen, the
rebels believed that he was passing down between the Ogeechee and Oconee
Rivers, aiming to reach the coast at Darien or Brunswick. Very adroit
strategy was necessary at this juncture to conceal the real direction of
the march, for had the rebels known in time that Augusta was certainly
to be avoided, the entire force there could have been sent down to
Millen, and thus thrown in Sherman’s front, and resisted or delayed his
march upon Savannah, and in the end would have proved a formidable
addition to the garrison of that place. Kilpatrick, therefore, pressed
Wheeler more vigorously than ever, and the latter fell back toward
Augusta, which put him out of Sherman’s way most effectually, again
leaving him in the rear of the very army whose advance he was
endeavoring to resist. It was during these cavalry operations that the
fight took place at Waynesboro’, December 3d, where Wheeler attacked
Kilpatrick, and reported that he had ‘doubled him up on the main body.’
But Kilpatrick wouldn’t stay ‘doubled up.’ On the next day Wheeler was
compelled to make his usual report that he had ‘signally repulsed
Kilpatrick’ but was ‘obliged to _fall back_,’ the result of which was
that he was driven back through Waynesboro’ and beyond Brier Creek, the
railway bridge over which was destroyed, within twenty miles of Augusta,
which was the nearest approach of our forces to that city. Kilpatrick
then took up a position to guard Sherman’s rear, and while doing so, his
force loaded their wagons with the forage and provisions of Burke
County, for use in the less fertile counties in the region of the

If you have consulted the map, you have noticed four principal rivers on
the line of march; the Ocmulgee, the most westerly, on whose banks is
Macon; the Oconee, on which is situated Milledgeville; the Ogeechee,
that passes Millen, and the Savannah. Augusta is on the latter. Besides
these there were several small streams, and great swamps across the
war-path of General Sherman. He called the country between Sparta and
Warrenton “one universal bog.”

The 4th of December found the great army “swinging slowly round from its
eastern course,” taking Millen as the pivot, and striking in six
columns, along roads running in the same direction, between the Ogeechee
and Savannah Rivers, for the city of Savannah. General Sherman at his
leisure had secured forage in the rich counties of Washington, Burke,
Glascock, Warren, and Hancock, to prepare for a formidable resistance at
Savannah, which might delay the communication with Port Royal for
supplies. The rebels said he stopped to “grind corn;” but, while this
was unnecessary, because the horses could manage the ears, and the
troops had better fare, he was _grinding_ their hopes of disaster to him
and of escape, to powder. They had sent forces from Charleston and
Wilmington to Augusta and vicinity, sure of meeting him there, when lo!
he was hurrying, like an avalanche, upon the more important city by the
sea. Their feelings, when the bitter truth came fairly home to their
comprehension, were announced in an Augusta paper: “Sherman has not for
a moment hesitated, in our humble judgment, as to the point to be
attacked or the road to it. When his forage and provision trains are
full he will mass his entire force; throwing his cavalry to the rear,
with his wagon-train between the two wings of his army, he will move in
compact columns, steadily but cautiously, upon the city of Savannah,
with no fear of an attack on either flank. The Ogeechee and a few
crossings and terrible swamps on his right, and the Savannah River and
its equally swampy banks on his left, both flanks will be most securely
covered—a grand desideratum in army movements. And thus situated, he
has a march of something over eighty miles to the city of Savannah.”
When the Augusta people heard that their city was no longer threatened,
they drew a long breath and congratulated themselves. “The frowns and
sadness with which the countenances of our citizens have been bedecked,”
said the _Sentinel_, “have given way to smiles and mirth.” That is,
“smiles and mirth” because their neighbors in Savannah were to be the
recipients of Sherman’s favors, and not they.

Generals Davis and Kilpatrick had hitherto concealed and guarded the
army movements. The Fifteenth Corps, on the right bank of the river,
instead of the left wing, now menaced the enemy’s rear. These flank
manœuvres of the dashing Kilpatrick, joined to General Howard as he had
been to General Davis, were indispensable; for our battalions could not
clear the State of rebel troops, and must, therefore, avoid the delays
which would attend the opposition of a much smaller force at the
river-crossings, or any other spot where the difficulties of advance
favored the enemy.

The army found the once magnificent cotton fields some of them having a
thousand acres covered with corn, according to the order of Jeff Davis,
while the fleecy crops of former harvests had been sent to a safer
distance from the suspected course of General Sherman’s columns. At
Ogeechee Church, on the river bearing that name, and the narrowest part
of the peninsula between the streams, the army concentrated on the 5th
and 6th of December. Meanwhile General Kilpatrick, when dashing toward
Alexandria to burn the bridge over Brier Creek, encountered General
Wheeler at Waynesboro’. The sabres gleam in the sunlight, and the
bullets fly on their fatal mission, resulting at each conflict in the
flight of the rebel general. The seventy-nine miles from Millen to
Savannah steadily diminished, the splendid and triumphant army getting
by the 8th within less than a score of miles from the goal of their
martial and patriotic ambition.

The heroic General Howard, at this crisis of affairs, executed a bold
and brilliant movement. The rebels, to hold the Gulf Railroad, which
they were using in earnest, had pushed across the Ogeechee. General
Corse, of “Allatoona memory,” who, before they were aware of it, was
between the Little and Great Ogeechee, thirteen miles in advance of the
main army, reached and bridged the canal connecting the river with
Savannah, then crossing it, intrenched himself securely, almost in sight
of the city. And now the approach was hotly disputed, and brave men fell
in the ranks of General Blair’s columns. But some were killed by the
most cowardly and shameful conduct of the enemy. Shells and torpedoes
had been buried in the way of the march, and the tread of the heroes
exploding them, a number were prostrated in a sudden and horrible death.
The precaution then taken was a just though severe one. Prisoners of war
were ordered forward to remove the murderous and unseen means of
destruction. The prisoners were sent in advance as ordered. Crawling,
begging, praying, as their trembling fingers descended to dig away the
earth about the death-traps which they had, perhaps, helped to set, they
were a piteous spectacle. Soon the path was cleared for the onward steps
of the Union boys. General Howard’s next daring deed was to communicate
immediately with our fleet below Fort McAllister, held by a strong
garrison of the enemy. Here, on the gunboat _Dandelion_, Admiral
Dahlgren was anxiously waiting for tidings from the great army somewhere
between Atlanta and the sea.

On the evening of December 9th General Howard sent three of his
trustiest scouts, Captain Duncan, and Sergeants Myron J. Emmick and
George W. Quinly, in a small boat down the river. What a moment of
thrilling interest to both the General and the brave daring fellows
floating over the waters in that frail bark, right toward bristling
McAllister! All was silent—the speck glided under the cover of darkness
safely by, and hastened toward the _Dandelion_. Up went a white signal
flag, and another from the little boat answered it. The scouts were soon
on board the gunboat. Captain Duncan brought the following despatch from
General Howard:

                             “HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE, }
                           NEAR SAVANNAH CANAL, _Dec. 9, 1864_.   }

    “_To the Commander of the United States Naval Forces in the
    vicinity of Savannah_:

    “SIR: We have met with perfect success thus far. The troops are
    in fine spirits and near by.

                   “Respectfully,      O. O. HOWARD, Major-General,
                                 Commanding Right Wing of the Army.”

This was the first intelligence direct from the army, and “completely
dispelled all doubts and fears, as well as dissipated an immense amount
of rebel bombast and boasting of the impediments and difficulties with
which Sherman had met, to say nothing of the repeated total annihilation
of Kilpatrick’s cavalry, which seems not to have been worthy of mention
by General Howard or General Sherman. Wheeler, who at last accounts was
‘hacking away at Sherman’s rear,’ must have had a very dull sabre.”

The gallant Hazen was preparing, with his western boys, to storm Fort
McAllister, according to General Sherman’s orders. On the Ogeechee,
opposite the fort, stood the rice mill of Dr. Cheroe, from whose roof
the view of the fortress was distinct. There you might have seen
Generals Sherman and Howard, with staff and signal officers about them.
He was waiting for General Hazen’s signals, and gazing away toward the
sea for some sign of the fleet’s presence there. Suddenly a smile lights
up the bronzed face of the eagle-eyed leader of the Union legions, and
he exclaims:

“‘Look! Howard; there is the gunboat!’

“Time passed on, and the vessel now became visible, yet no signal from
the fleet or Hazen. Half an hour passed, and the guns of the fort opened
simultaneously with puffs of smoke that rose a few hundred yards from
the fort, showing that Hazen’s skirmishers had opened. A moment after
Hazen signalled:

“‘I have invested the fort, and will assault immediately.’ At this
moment Bickley announces ‘A signal from the gunboat.’ All eyes are
turned from the fort to the gunboat that is coming to our assistance
with news from home. A few messages pass, which inform us that Foster
and Dahlgren are within speaking distance. The gunboat now halts and

“‘Can we run up? Is Fort McAllister ours?’

“‘No,’ is the reply, ‘Hazen is just ready to storm it. Can you assist?’

“‘Yes,’ is the reply. ‘What will you have us do?’

“But before Sherman can reply to Dahlgren the thunders of the fort are
heard, and the low sound of small arms borne across three miles of marsh
and river. Field glasses are opened, and sitting flat upon the roof the
hero of Atlanta gazes away off to the fort. ‘There they go grandly; not
a waver,’ he remarks.

“Twenty seconds pass, and again he exclaims:

“‘See that flag in the advance, Howard; how steadily it moves; not a man
falters. * * There they go still; see the roll of musketry. Grand!

“Still he strained his eyes, and a moment after speaks without raising
his eyes:

“‘That flag still goes forward; there is no flinching there.’

“A pause for a minute.

“‘Look!’ he exclaims, ‘it has halted. They waver; no! it’s the parapet!
There they go again; now they scale it; some are over. Look! there’s a
flag on the works! Another, another. It’s ours! The fort’s ours!’

“The glass dropped by his side; and in an instant the joy of the great
leader at the possession of the river and the opening of the road to his
new base burst forth in words:

“‘As the old darkie remarked, dis chile don’t sleep dis night!’ And
turning to one of his aids, Captain Auderied, he remarked, ‘Have a boat
for me at once; I must go there,’ pointing to the fort, from which half
a dozen battle flags floated grandly in the sunset.

“And well might William Tecumseh Sherman rejoice; for here, as the
setting sun went down upon Fort McAllister reduced, and kissed a fond
good night to the Starry Banner, Sherman witnessed the culmination of
all his plans and marches, that had involved such desperate resistance
and risk, the opening up of a new and shorter route to his base. Here at
sunset, on the memorable 13th of December, the dark waters of the great
Ogeechee bore witness to the fulfilment of the covenant Sherman made
with his iron heroes at Atlanta twenty-nine days before, to lead them
victorious to a new base.

“Sherman’s account of his movement on Fort McAllister was
characteristic. Said he, ‘I went down with Howard and took a look at it,
and I said to my boys, “Boys, I don’t think there are over four hundred
in that fort; but there it is, and I think we might as well have it.”’
The word was scarcely spoken before the work was done. Fifteen minutes
were all that was required.”

The object of this fortress was the protection of the coast from our war
vessels. It was surrounded by obstructions made of rows of piles,
through which was a small opening for a ship’s entrance.

General Sherman sent word to the fleet “that he would be down that
night, and to look out for his boat. The tug immediately steamed down to
Ossabaw Sound, to find General Foster or Admiral Dahlgren; but they not
being there, despatches were sent to them at Warsaw announcing General
Sherman’s intended visit, and the tug returned to its old position.
While approaching the fort again a small boat was seen coming down. It
was hailed with—

“‘What boat is that?’ and the welcome response came back ‘Sherman.’ It
soon came alongside, and out of the little dugout, paddled by two men,
stepped General Sherman and General Howard, and stood on the deck of the
_Dandelion_. The great leader was received with cheer after cheer, and
with every manifestation of delight and satisfaction by all. He was in
splendid spirits, and expressed his gratification at reaching his base.
He remained on board till about two o’clock in the morning. While on the
boat he wrote his despatches to General Grant, General Halleck, General
Foster, and Admiral Dahlgren.

“On the following day he came on board the _Nemaha_, and was received by
General Foster. The _Nemaha_ then proceeded to Warsaw Sound, when
Admiral Dahlgren, accompanied by his staff, came on board and spent some
time in conversation with the General. Colonel A. H. Markland,
superintendent of mails for the armies, came on board with despatches
for General Sherman, and delivered a verbal message from the President.
Taking the General by the hand, the Colonel said:

“‘General Sherman, before leaving Washington I was directed by the
President to take you by the hand, wherever I met you, and say for him,
‘God bless you and the army under your command;’ and he furthermore
added, ‘Since cutting loose from Atlanta, my prayers, and those of the
nation, have been for your success.’

“General Sherman seemed to be deeply affected, and after a moment’s
silence could only say, ‘I thank the President. Say my army is all

Meanwhile Admiral Dahlgren sent a despatch to the Government, in which
he said of the army’s success and the brave scouts:

“Captain Duncan states that our forces were in contact with the rebels a
few miles outside of Savannah, and that Sherman’s army are not in want
of any thing. Perhaps no event could give greater satisfaction to the
country than that which I announced, and I beg leave to congratulate the
United States Government on its occurrence. It may, perhaps, be
exceeding my province, but I cannot refrain from expressing the hope
that the department will commend Captain Duncan and his companions to
the Hon. Secretary of War for some marks of approbation, for the success
in establishing communications between General Sherman and the fleet. It
was an enterprise that required both skill and courage.”

This was followed by a message from General Sherman:

                                    “ON BOARD ‘DANDELION,’        }
                           OSSABAW SOUND, 11.50 P. M., _Dec. 13_. }

    “To-day, at 5 P. M., General Hazen’s division of the Fifteenth
    Corps carried Fort McAllister by assault, capturing its entire
    garrison and stores. This opened to us the Ossabaw Sound, and I
    pulled down to this gunboat to communicate with the fleet.
    Before opening communication, we had completely destroyed all
    the railroads leading into Savannah, and invested the city. The
    left is on the Savannah River, three miles above the city, and
    the right is on the Ogeechee River, at King’s Bridge. The army
    is in splendid order and equal to any thing. The weather has
    been fine and supplies abundant. Our march was most agreeable,
    and we were not at all molested by guerillas. We reached
    Savannah three days ago, but owing to Fort McAllister we could
    not communicate; now we have McAllister, we go ahead.

    “We have already captured two boats on the Savannah River, and
    have prevented their gunboats from coming down. I estimate the
    population of Savannah at twenty-five thousand and the garrison
    at fifteen thousand. General Hardee commands. We have not lost a
    wagon on the trip, but have gathered in a large supply of mules,
    negroes, horses, etc., and our teams are in far better condition
    than when we started. My first duty will be to clear the army of
    surplus negroes, mules, and horses. We have utterly destroyed
    over two hundred miles of railroad, and consumed stores and
    provisions that were essential to Lee’s and Hood’s armies.

    “The quick work made with Fort McAllister, and the opening of
    communication with our fleet and consequent independence for
    supplies, dissipate all their boasted threats to head me off and
    starve the army. I regard Savannah as already gained. Yours

                                    “W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.”

The fall of the fortress opened, as we have seen, the Ogeechee River to
Ossabaw Sound at its mouth, into which our vessels sailed; it also gave
General Sherman the opportunity of establishing a “water-base” anywhere
on that stream between his army and the sea, just back of Savannah. It
did more; the Savannah and the Albany and Gulf Railroads communicating
with the southern part of the State, were taken from the enemy, cutting
off large supplies. The next move was to stretch the army across the
peninsula between the rivers, the left resting on the Savannah, three
miles above the city, and the extreme right on the Ogeechee at King’s
Bridge. All the railways were in our possession, the rebel gunboats
which had gone up the Ogeechee to prevent General Sherman from crossing
into South Carolina were shut in, and the commander-in-chief prepared to
seize the beautiful town. Savannah, the largest city of Georgia, was
founded by General Oglethorpe in 1731−’32.

The ocean side of the town was well guarded with fortifications—those
grim and silent watchmen when unmolested, whose voice is thunder, and
their words massive globes of iron, frowned along the river-banks. Forts
Jackson and Pulaski were formidable defences; so much so that even the
engineer, Beauregard, did not dream of an approach in the rear of the
invested city. General Hardee commanded the forces keeping it.

The forces of General Sherman were so posted, that Hardee had to divide
and weaken his force to be ready for any attack, while the rice-fields
were flooded from the canals, and every advantage taken by the enemy to
ward off the impending blow. This is the general view of the situation,
December 13th, 1864. Such was the derided _retreat_ of General Sherman,
after General Hood swept backward from burning Atlanta into Tennessee! I
need not record here what the noble Thomas, with tried veterans, did
with the rebel general at Nashville, sending his battalions “whirling”
toward his invaded Secessia, just as the comprehensive genius of the
pursuer had planned, and confidently expected he would. For, the glory
of this marvellous campaign, under God, belongs to that sagacious,
resolute, and modest chieftain.

                             CHAPTER XXIII.

   The Surrender of the City demanded—The Refusal—Preparation to
     Attack—The Enemy Flee—The Entrance of the Union Army—Scenes
     that followed—General Sherman and the Negroes.

DECEMBER 20th, Fort Lee and other defences of Savannah had been taken,
but there was left a single narrow path of escape for the beleaguered
enemy—the Union Causeway, just below Hutchinson’s Island, which it was
difficult for our troops to reach. But General Sherman had his eye on
this outlet, intending to secure it within a day or two, shutting in
General Hardee and his army. The next morning a flag of truce was sent
toward the city gates, under whose protection was conveyed the demand
for its surrender. The brief message of General Sherman closed with the
words which General Hood used in his call for the surrender of Dalton, a
few months before, with its negro troops:

“If the demand is not complied with, I shall take no prisoners.”

General Hardee replied defiantly, declaring that he had men and supplies
for a successful defence. This was done to deceive the army closing like
the coil of an anaconda about him. General Sherman suspected it, but the
officers generally expected a battle. The preparations for assault went
forward rapidly.

The rebel chief improved his opportunity, and suddenly decamped under
cover of night, defiling along the causeway while our weary troops were
resting on their arms. He had stationed his iron-clads near Hutchinson’s
Island, which, with the battalions on its lower end, protected the
highway of the flying thousands whose arms reflected the glare of the
burning Navy Yard, fired during the evacuation. The thunder of exploding
iron-clads, destroyed by the rear-guard, was the last signal of his
retreat from the boastful Hardee: “The night was exceedingly propitious
for such an operation. It was dark and a heavy wind was blowing from the
west, conveying the sound of trampling feet over the pontoons away from
our lines. But during some of the lulls that occurred General Geary,
commanding the Second division, Twentieth Corps, the extreme left of our
lines resting on the Savannah River, heard the movement across the
bridge, but could not decide in which direction the troops were passing.
He ordered his division to be ready at a moment’s notice to move, and
then watched the progress of affairs. At midnight General Geary became
convinced in his own mind that the enemy were evacuating the town, and
notified the commanding general of this fact. The enemy’s skirmish line
continued a fusilade on our pickets, and did not cease until two or
three o’clock, when they were drawn in, and not many moments after our
picket line was advanced, and meeting no opposition, rushed still
further on, crawled through the abatis, floundered through the ditches,
and scrambled over the parapets and found the first line deserted.
General Geary immediately advanced his division, occupied the line and
pushed on toward the city. The second line was found abandoned as well,
and General Geary, at the head of a small body of men, hurried on.”

On the following morning, December 21st, the _Savannah Republican_,
which two days before emulated the departed commander in the language of
defiance—hurling the anathemas of southern chivalry upon the
“Yankees”—came out with an earnest appeal to the citizens, counselling
quiet and decorum, and the use of all proper means to secure the
“_respect of a magnanimous foe_.” What a strange revolution in
tactics—a marvellous light streamed into the city and the editor’s
“sanctum” along the causeway from the wake of the fugitive “Greybacks.”
Before General Geary “had entered the city, Mayor Arnold, of the city,
with four or five of the commonalty, rode up and surrendered the city to
him unconditionally, and expressed a trust in the magnanimity of an
honorable foe for the safety of the lives and property of the
inhabitants. General Geary accepted the surrender unconditionally, and
assured them that their lives and property should be protected. He then
entered the city, despatching Captain Veale of his staff, with four
hundred men, to take possession of Fort Jackson; and also another member
of his staff to General Slocum, to inform him of his occupation of the
town. The officer who bore this message had some difficulty in
convincing our soldiers that Geary’s division was in town. They said to
him, ‘You can’t come that, Johnnie Reb. The game is an old one and will
not work.’ Finally he assured them sufficiently to gain a passage, and
delivered his despatch to General Slocum, commanding the left wing of
the army. At eight o’clock all the enemy’s works were in our possession.
Captain Veale, with his party, took possession of Fort Jackson and Fort
Barlow, taking about sixty heavy guns in both works and lines connecting
with them. The enemy had fired the barracks, but the fire was soon

In the haste of his departure Hardee strangely neglected to destroy the
ammunition of the forts, and the cotton in the city. Only a portion of
the guns left behind were spiked. Munitions of war, more than 30,000
bales of cotton, and railroad rolling stock, fell into our hands.

“General Sherman’s entry into the town was marked by no extraordinary
commotion. The city received him quietly and respectfully, though not
with open arms.

“The population of Savannah, during the past thirty days, has been
immensely increased by emigration from the interior. Thousands of
people, including many wealthy families, fled from the country
threatened by General Sherman’s march, to find, as they presumed, an
undisturbed refuge in the city. The houses overflow with them; numbers
dwell in sheds, and live upon the streets. Negroes form a large part of
this transient population. Many rebel officers and soldiers are found
concealed in houses, and probably considerable valuable property, not
yet estimated in the fruits of this almost bloodless siege, will yet be
brought to light likewise.

“A number of prisoners, which may be counted in addition to those found
in the city, were previously captured during our advance against the
enemy’s works. Colonel Clinch, of General Hardee’s staff, with thirty
men, was taken on board a transport in the Savannah River a few days
before the surrender. A quantity of whiskey was aboard the transport,
and when our officers reached it, every man on board, except Colonel
Clinch, was found in a state of beastly intoxication. General Harrison,
a militia general, and a man of considerable wealth, residing near the
city, was also taken prisoner during the siege.”

While the sun of December 21st was moving toward the zenith, General
Sherman rode at the head of his enthusiastic columns, with music and
banners enlivening the magnificent scene, into the broad, quiet streets
of Savannah, followed by his wing-commanders, the gallant Howard and
Slocum. Hour after hour the tramp of Union soldiers echoes on the
pavements, until at length, in mansions, public buildings, and tents,
the exultant host settled down into comparative repose. The next day the
wires of the telegraph transmitted to the President this laconic

                               “SAVANNAH, GA., _December 22, 1864_.
    “_His Excellency President Lincoln_;

    “I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the city of Savannah,
    with one hundred and fifty heavy guns and plenty of ammunition,
    and also about twenty-five thousand bales of cotton.

                                    “W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.”

In all the world’s history of the Christmas times, was there ever a gift
so memorable, or one more worthy to receive it? You will always
recollect it with the delight expressed by a playful pen: “The sugar
plum which Sherman dropped into the national stocking that Abraham
Lincoln hung up, came in the semblance of Savannah. We have all enjoyed
it. We have admired its roundness and its sweetness. We rejoice over the
one hundred and fifty heavy guns, and the thirty-three thousand bales of
cotton. The capture of Savannah is an event which we have long
anticipated, and are therefore only quietly enjoying it. Reaching us, as
the intelligence did, on a day that was meteorologically gloomy, it shed
an interior sunlight brighter than a more substantial one.”

The quartermaster, in General Sherman’s behalf, a little later
announced, that “all persons wishing to leave the city under existing
orders, and go within the Confederate lines, are informed that the
steamer _F. R. Spalding_ will be in readiness at the wharf at the foot
of Drayton Street, at six o’clock A. M. on Wednesday, the 11th instant,
to transport them to Charleston, S. C. Wagons and ambulances will be
sent to the residences of families, to take them and their baggage to
the boat. As there are no conveniences on the boat to provide food, each
family had better provide itself with what it will require for
twenty-four hours.

“Applications for wagons and ambulances must be made to Captain J. E.
Remington, assistant quartermaster, last house on the west end of Jones
Street, south side.”

About two hundred citizens availed themselves of the opportunity thus
offered them to rejoin their relatives or friends within the enemy’s
lines. The new paper, the _Loyal Georgian_, thus hoisted its flag, with
the notices following: “The mind that conceived, and the arm that, under
Omnipotence, could execute these grand army movements, has not yet
finished its work. That same powerful body which with its gigantic wings
swept over the State of Georgia as a whirlwind, must yet move on its
irresistible course until the whole land shall acknowledge the power and
authority of the Government of the United States. When that day comes,
the commander will lay aside his laurels, the soldier his sword, and
this broad and fair abounding land of ours shall once more teem with the
busy hum of peaceful life. May a merciful God grant the happy day soon
to be ushered in upon us, and peace, sweet peace! be our portion; but
until the ‘last armed foe expires,’ the army of the Union will and must
stand as a bulwark against all destroyers, come from where they may.

“General Sherman has his headquarters at the house of Mr. Charles Green.
General Howard’s headquarters are at the house of Mr. Molyneux, late
British consul at Savannah, who is now in Europe. General Slocum’s
headquarters are at the late residence of Hon. John E. Ward. General
Geary, commandant of the post, has his office in the Bank building, next
door to the Custom House.

“Divine service will be held in the Independent Presbyterian, the
Lutheran, Baptist, St. John’s Church, and Methodist Churches, to-morrow
morning at half-past ten o’clock, by their respective pastors.

                                “I. S. K. AXSON,     D. M. GILBERT,
                                 S. LANDRUM,         A. M. WYNN,
                                              C. F. MCRAE.”

The condition of the city under the new rule was very clearly given by
rebel papers. January 10th, the Richmond _Whig_, whose hatred of the
North has been unsurpassed, was compelled to confess that General
Sherman was wise and humane in his administration, as an extract will

“The Augusta _Chronicle_ and _Sentinel_ of the 4th instant publishes a
number of news items, derived from a gentleman who left Savannah on the
1st instant.

“The most perfect order is maintained in the city. No soldier is allowed
to interfere with the citizens in any particular. A citizen was arrested
by a drunken soldier a few days since. The citizen knocked the soldier
down. The officer of the guard, as soon as he arrived, said nothing to
the citizen, but had the soldier taken to the barracks, gagged and
soundly whipped for his misbehavior.

“A drunken soldier, who undertook to create a disturbance recently, and
who refused to allow himself to be arrested, was shot down at once by
the guard.

“One or two of the Insurance Companies of Savannah are considering the
project of establishing a National Bank for the issue of ‘greenbacks.’

“The Custom House and Post Office are being cleaned and repaired,
preparatory to the commencement of business again.

“The soldiers are not allowed under any circumstances whatever to enter
private residences.

“The negroes in most cases are orderly and quiet, remaining with their
owners and performing their customary duties.

“One store with goods from the North has already been opened.

“Nothing but ‘greenbacks’ are in circulation.

“The churches on Sundays are well filled with ladies. On week days,
however, but few of them are seen on the streets.

“A majority of the male population have remained in the city. The
families of most of the men who have left still remain.

“A majority of the citizens have provisions for some time to come, but
there is a scarcity of wood, but General Sherman has announced that he
will soon remedy this last difficulty by getting wood via the Gulf
Railway, and hauling it to the citizens.

“No pass is allowed to any male person to go toward the city.

“All females who are caught going toward the city are thoroughly

“Eleven hundred loaves of good baker’s bread, which had been collected
for the soldiers of Sherman’s army, but for which authorized agents did
not call, were on Thursday turned over to the Poor Association of
Savannah by the Committee acting in behalf of the Soldier’s Dinner, and
were yesterday distributed to the poor of the city. It was truly a kind
and providential gift, for the city is entirely out of breadstuffs of
every kind, and for days past have been unable to issue a pound of meal
or flour to the hundreds who were sorely in need of it.”

General Sherman had a very summary way of answering inquiries of the
citizens on whose lips was the gall of secession. To a proud lady who
said to him: “General, you may conquer, but you can’t subjugate us,” he
instantly replied, “I don’t want to subjugate you, I mean to kill you,
the whole of you, if you don’t stop this rebellion.” In conversation a
short time since with several citizens of Savannah on the subject of the
war, General Sherman, in his characteristic manner, remarked: “We wish
to cultivate friendly feeling with your people; if they love monarchy we
will not quarrel with them; but we love a strong republic and mean to
maintain it.” He also said he had been through Mississippi twice and
through Georgia once. “The sun goes North on the 21st, and by that time
I shall be ready to go North, too.” In a private letter to a
distinguished military man in New York, his noble and magnanimous spirit

“Colonel Ewing arrived to-day, and bore me many kind tokens from the
North, but none gave me more satisfaction than to know that you watched
with interest my efforts in the national cause. I do not think a human
being could feel more kindly toward an enemy than I do to the people of
the South, and I only pray that I may live to see the day when they and
their children will thank me, as one who labored to secure and maintain
a Government worthy the land we have inherited, and strong enough to
secure our children the peace and security denied us.

“Judging from the press, the world magnifies my deeds above their true
value, and I fear the future may not realize its judgment. But whatever
fate may befall me, I know that you will be a generous and charitable
critic, and will encourage one who only hopes in this struggle to do a
man’s share.”

Two days later a gentleman addressed a note to General Sherman, asking
questions designed to draw from him his views upon the prospects of
Georgia, and her relations to the General Government. His reply is
marked with his original thought, and reveals his high ability as a

                 IN THE FIELD, SAVANNAH, GA., _Jan. 8, 1865_.     }
    “_N. W——, Esq., —— County, Ga._:

    “DEAR SIR: Yours of the 3d instant is received, and in answer to
    your inquiries, I beg to state I am merely a military commander,
    and act only in that capacity; nor can I give any assurances or
    pledges affecting civil matters in the future. They will be
    adjusted by Congress when Georgia is again represented there as
    of old.

    “Georgia is not out of the Union, and therefore the talk of
    ‘reconstruction’ appears to me inappropriate. Some of the people
    have been and still are in a state of revolt; and as long as
    they remain armed and organized, the United States must pursue
    them, with armies, and deal with them according to military law.
    But as soon as they break up their armed organizations and
    return to their homes, I take it they will be dealt with by the
    civil courts. Some of the rebels in Georgia, in my judgment,
    deserve death, because they have committed murder, and other
    crimes, which are punished with death by all civilized
    governments on earth. I think this was the course indicated by
    General Washington, in reference to the Whiskey Insurrection,
    and a like principle seemed to be recognized at the time of the
    Burr conspiracy.

    “As to the Union of the States under our Government, we have the
    high authority of General Washington, who bade us be jealous and
    careful of it, and the still more emphatic words of General
    Jackson, ‘The Federal Union, it must and shall be preserved.’
    Certainly Georgians cannot question the authority of such men,
    and should not suspect our motives, who are simply fulfilling
    their commands. Wherever necessary, force has been used to carry
    out that end; and you may rest assured that the Union will be
    preserved, cost what it may. And if you are sensible men you
    will conform to this order of things or else migrate to some
    other country. There is no other alternative open to the people
    of Georgia.

    “My opinion is, that no negotiations are necessary, nor
    commissioners, nor conventions, nor any thing of the kind.
    Whenever the people of Georgia quit rebelling against their
    Government and elect members of Congress and Senators, and these
    go and take their seats, then the State of Georgia will have
    resumed her functions in the Union.

    “These are merely my opinions, but in confirmation of them, as I
    think, the people of Georgia may well consider the following
    words referring to the people of the rebellious States, which I
    quote from the recent annual message of President Lincoln to
    Congress at its present session;

    “‘They can at any moment have peace simply by laying down their
    arms and submitting to the national authority under the
    Constitution. After so much, the Government would not, if it
    could, maintain war against them. The loyal people would not
    sustain or allow it. If questions should remain we would adjust
    them by the peaceful means of legislation, conference, courts,
    and votes. Operating only in constitutional and lawful channels,
    some certain and other possible questions are and would be
    beyond the Executive power to adjust, as, for instance, the
    admission of members into Congress and whatever might require
    the appropriation of money.’

    “The President then alludes to the general pardon and amnesty
    offered for more than a year past, upon specified and more
    liberal terms, to all except certain designated classes, even
    these being ‘still within contemplation of special clemency,’
    and adds:

    “‘It is still so open to all, but the time may come when public
    duty shall demand that it be closed, and that in lieu more
    vigorous measures than heretofore shall be adopted.’

    “It seems to me that it is time for the people of Georgia to act
    for themselves, and return, in time, to their duty to the
    Government of their fathers.

    “Respectfully, your obedient servant,

                                    “W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.”

Bearing the same date of this able letter, are his words of
congratulation to his rejoicing army:

                            “IN THE FIELD, SAVANNAH, GA., _Jan. 8_.

    “The General Commanding announces to the troops composing the
    military division of the Mississippi, that he has received from
    the President of the United States and from Lieutenant-General
    Grant, letters conveying the high sense and appreciation of the
    campaign just closed, resulting in the capture of Savannah and
    the defeat of Hood’s army in Tennessee.

    “In order that all may understand the importance of events, it
    is proper to revert to the situation of affairs in September
    last. We held Atlanta, a city of little value to us, but so
    important to the enemy that Mr. Davis, the head of the
    rebellious faction in the South, visited his army near Palmetto,
    and commanded it to regain it, as well as to ruin and destroy us
    by a series of measures which he thought would be effectual.

    “That army, by a rapid march, first gained our railroad near Big
    Shanty, and afterward about Dalton. We pursued, but it marched
    so rapidly that we could not overtake it, and General Hood led
    his army successfully far toward Mississippi, in hopes to decoy
    us out of Georgia. But we were not then to be led away by him,
    and purposed to control and lead events ourselves. Generals
    Thomas and Schofield, commanding the department to our rear,
    returned to their posts, and prepared to decoy General Hood into
    their meshes, while we came on to complete our original journey.

    “We quietly and deliberately destroyed Atlanta and all the
    railroads which the enemy had used to carry on war against us;
    occupied his State capital, and then captured his commercial
    capital, which had been so strongly fortified from the sea as to
    defy approach from that quarter.

    “Almost at the moment of our victorious entry into Savannah came
    the welcome and expected news that our comrades in Tennessee had
    also fulfilled, nobly and well, their part; had decoyed General
    Hood to Nashville, and then turned on him, defeating his army
    thoroughly, capturing all his artillery, great numbers of
    prisoners, and were still pursuing the fragments down into
    Alabama. So complete a success in military operations, extending
    over half a continent, is an achievement that entitles it to a
    place in the military history of the world.

    “The armies serving in Georgia and Tennessee, as well as the
    local garrisons of Decatur, Bridgeport, Chattanooga, and
    Murfreesborough, are alike entitled to the common honor, and
    each regiment may inscribe on its colors at pleasure the words
    ‘Savannah,’ or ‘Nashville.’

    “The General Commanding embraces in the same general success the
    operations of the cavalry column under Generals Stoneman,
    Burbridge, and Gillem, that penetrated into Southwestern
    Virginia, and paralyzed the efforts of the enemy to disturb the
    peace and safety of the people of East Tennessee. Instead of
    being put on the defensive, we have, at all points, assumed the
    bold offensive, and completely thwarted the designs of the
    enemies of our country. By order of

                                     “Major-General W. T. SHERMAN.”

This was followed on the 14th by a message regulating the trade and
social life of the people:

                           “IN THE FIELD, SAVANNAH, GA., _Jan. 14_.

    “It being represented that the Confederate army and armed bands
    of robbers, acting professedly under the authority of the
    Confederate government, are harassing the people of Georgia and
    endeavoring to intimidate them in the efforts they are making to
    secure to themselves provisions, clothing, security to life and
    property, and the restoration of law and good government in the
    State, it is hereby ordered and made public:

    “I. That the farmers of Georgia may bring into Savannah,
    Fernandina, or Jacksonville, Fla., marketing, such as beef,
    pork, mutton, vegetables of any kinds, fish, &c., as well as
    cotton in small quantities, and sell the same in open market,
    except the cotton, which must be sold by or through the Treasury
    agents, and may invest the proceeds in family stores, such as
    bacon and flour, in any reasonable quantities, groceries, shoes,
    and clothing, and articles not contraband of war, and carry the
    same back to them families. No trade-store will be attempted in
    the interior, or stocks of goods sold for them, but families may
    club together for mutual assistance and protection in coming and

    “II. The people are encouraged to meet together in peaceful
    assemblages to discuss measures looking to their safety and good
    government, and the restoration of State and national authority,
    and will be protected by the national army when so doing; and
    all peaceable inhabitants who satisfy the commanding officers
    that they are earnestly laboring to that end, must not only be
    left undisturbed in property and person, but must be protected
    as far as possible consistent with the military operations. If
    any farmer or peaceful inhabitant is molested by the enemy,
    viz., the Confederate army of guerillas, because of his
    friendship to the National Government, the perpetrator, if
    caught, will be summarily punished, or his family made to suffer
    for the outrage; but if the crime cannot be traced to the actual
    party, then retaliation will be made on the adherents to the
    cause of the rebellion. Should a Union man be murdered, then a
    rebel selected by lot will be shot; or if a Union family be
    persecuted on account of the cause, a rebel family will be
    banished to a foreign land. In aggravated cases, retaliation
    will extend as high as five for one. All commanding officers
    will act promptly in such cases, and report their action after
    the retaliation is done. By order of

                                     “Major-General W. T. SHERMAN.”

We have now a very remarkable interview between a delegation of the
negro population, including twenty men, nearly all of whom were
preachers, and Secretary Stanton and General Sherman. There were members
of the parishes whose pastors were present, worth from $3,000 to
$30,000. Rev. Garrison Frazier, sixty-seven years of age, was the
speaker. The answers to various questions touching slavery, the war, and
the ability of the negroes to take care of themselves, were promptly and
intelligently answered. After General Sherman had left the room, an
inquiry touching their opinion of General Sherman was made, with the
following reply:

“We looked upon General Sherman prior to his arrival as a man in the
Providence of God specially set apart to accomplish this work, and we
unanimously feel inexpressible gratitude to him, looking upon him as a
man that should be honored for the faithful performance of his duty.
Some of us called on him immediately upon his arrival, and it is
probable he would not meet the Secretary with more courtesy than he met
us. His conduct and deportment toward us characterized him as a friend
and a gentleman. We have confidence in General Sherman, and think
whatever concerns us could not be under better management.”

The conference was followed by the following order:

                    “HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DIV. OF THE MISS.,     }
                    IN THE FIELD, SAVANNAH, GA., _Jan. 16, 1865_. }

    “I. The islands from Charleston, south, the abandoned
    rice-fields along the river for thirty miles back from the sea,
    and the country bordering the St. John River, Florida, are
    reserved and set apart for the settlement of the negroes now
    made free by the acts of war and the President of the United

    “II. At Beaufort, Hilton Head, Savannah, Fernandina, St.
    Augustine, and Jacksonville, the blacks may remain in their
    chosen or accustomed avocations; but on the islands, and in the
    settlements hereafter to be established, no white person
    whatever, unless military officers and soldiers detailed for
    duty, will be permitted to reside; and the sole and exclusive
    management of affairs will be left to the freed people
    themselves, subject only to the United States military authority
    and the acts of Congress. By the laws of war, and orders of the
    President of the United States, the negro is free, and must be
    dealt with as such. He cannot be subjected to conscription or
    forced military service, save by the written orders of the
    highest military authority of the department, under such
    regulations as the President or Congress may prescribe. Domestic
    servants, blacksmiths, carpenters, and other mechanics, will be
    free to select their own work and residence; but the young and
    able-bodied negroes must be encouraged to enlist as soldiers in
    the service of the United States, to contribute their share
    toward maintaining their own freedom, and securing their rights
    as citizens of the United States. Negroes so enlisted will be
    organized into companies, battalions, and regiments, under the
    orders of the United States military authorities, and will be
    paid, fed, and clothed according to law. The bounties paid on
    enlistment may, with the consent of the recruit, go to assist
    his family and settlement in procuring agricultural implements,
    seed, tools, boats, clothing, and other articles necessary for
    their livelihood.

    “III. Whenever three respectable negroes, heads of families,
    shall desire to settle on land, and shall have selected for that
    purpose an island or a locality clearly defined within the
    limits above designated, the Inspector of Settlements and
    Plantations will himself, or by such subordinate officer as he
    may appoint, give them a license to settle such island or
    district, and afford them such assistance as he can to enable
    them to establish a peaceable agricultural settlement. The three
    parties named will subdivide the land, under the supervision of
    the inspector, among themselves and such others as may choose to
    settle near them, so that each family shall have a plot of not
    more than forty acres of tillable ground, and, when it borders
    on some water channel, with not more than eight hundred feet
    front, in the possession of which land the military authorities
    will afford them protection until such time as they can protect
    themselves, or until Congress shall regulate their title. The
    quartermaster may, on the requisition of the Inspector of
    Settlements and Plantations, place at the disposal of the
    inspector one or more of the captured steamers to ply between
    the settlements and one or more of the commercial points
    heretofore named in orders, to afford the settlers the
    opportunity to supply their necessary wants, and to sell the
    products of their land and labor.

    “IV. When a negro has enlisted in the military service of the
    United States, he may locate his family in any of the
    settlements at pleasure, and acquire a homestead and all other
    rights and privileges of a settler as though present in person.
    In like manner negroes may settle their families, and engage on
    board the gunboats, or in fishing, or in the navigation of the
    inland waters, without losing any claim to land or other
    advantages derived from this system. But no one, except an
    actual settler as above defined, or unless absent on government
    services, will be entitled to claim any right to land or
    property in any settlement by virtue of these orders.

    “V. In order to carry out this system of settlement, a general
    officer will be detailed as Inspector of Settlements and
    Plantations, whose duty it shall be to visit the settlements, to
    regulate their police and general management, and who will
    furnish personally to each head of a family, subject to the
    approval of the President of the United States, a possessory
    title in writing, giving as near as possible the description of
    boundaries, and who may adjust all claims or conflicts that may
    arise under the same, subject to the like approval, treating
    such titles as altogether possessory. The same general officer
    will also be charged with the enlistment and organization of the
    negro recruits, and protecting their interests while so absent
    from their settlements, and will be governed by the rules and
    regulations prescribed by the War Department for such purpose.

    “VI. Brigadier-General R. Saxton is hereby appointed Inspector
    of Settlements and Plantations, and will at once enter on the
    performance of his duties. No change is intended or desired in
    the settlement now on Beaufort Island, nor will any rights to
    property heretofore acquired be affected thereby.

                       “By order of      Major-Gen. W. T. SHERMAN.”

This was a kind and honorable provision—giving the unfortunate race
just the opportunity which was desired of self-culture and progress.
They do not desire to come north and mix with the white population, but
own themselves, and have a fair opportunity for improvement.

An “Educational Association” followed, to establish schools for the
freedmen, which should be taught by those of their own people already
possessed of some learning. All were invited to join it by paying three
dollars. The first evening the number of members swelled the fund to
more than seven hundred dollars. Then five hundred children were
gathered together to be formed into schools. Rev. J. W. Alvord was a
leading philanthropist in the work. They were divided into ten schools,
of fifty scholars, and, with a teacher at the head of each, marched in a
procession two by two through the city—a strange spectacle indeed to
all beholders! “The procession marched on till they came to the old
Slave-market—a large building, three stories high. General Geary, who
now commands the city, said they might have this for a school-house. So
they took possession of it, placing the children along the very
platforms where the old slave-traders used to set men and women to be
examined for sale. The fathers and mothers of the children looked on in
wonder to think what a change had taken place; while many wept joyful
tears, and shouted praises to God who had done such great things for

But oh, the sad want and suffering of the masses in the conquered city!
All that could be done by General Sherman to alleviate the famine, was
promptly offered.

The mayor and a few of the citizens had not only a formal meeting to
express loyalty to the Stars and Stripes, so long dishonored there, but
asked for an exchange of rice for other articles of food. For this
purpose a vessel was sent by permission of the commander-in-chief to New
York. That city, Boston, and Philadelphia, immediately took measures to
forward supplies. The accompanying message of the mayor of Boston was a
fraternal and excellent tender of former friendship and a renewal of old
associations. When, on January 19th, the steamship _Rebecca Clyde_ lay
at the wharf with her large cargo of provisions, the mayor thanked the
people of the North for their generosity, and complimented very warmly
the “wise and impartial administration” of General Geary. He said: “He
has restored order out of chaos, and made the people of Savannah feel
that the Northern army has not come among them to ruin or pillage them.
Life and property have been as safe during the Federal occupation as it
ever had been under civil rule.”

Captain Veale, of General Geary’s staff, replied, assuring the mayor
that the “Federal officers and soldiers had always treated the people of
the South with kindness and forbearance, and hoped that they would soon
again join in one bond of brotherhood for the preservation and welfare
of our common country. He also thanked the mayor for his high eulogium
on General Geary, and assured him that the general’s object was to
promote the welfare of Savannah and make her citizens feel that the
Northern army was not inimical to the South.”

Savannah in the old Revolutionary days extended her hand in time of
trouble to Massachusetts, whose sons repay the debt of gratitude with
unfeigned delight.

Such were the events and scenes attending the return of the old flag to
its place in Savannah, never again to be trailed in the dust by
traitorous hands.

                             CHAPTER XXIV.

   Major-General Sherman appreciated at Home—A Conflagration—A New
     and Bolder Campaign—An amusing Letter from a Rebel—General
     Sherman begins his March—Perils and Progress—Branchville and

WITH the advent of the New Year, the friends of General Sherman in his
native State inaugurated a movement to secure a fitting testimonial of
their appreciation of his brilliant achievements. A public meeting was
called at Columbus, Ohio, at which Governor Brough presided, and made
the subjoined remarks: “General Sherman has been identified with our
army from the commencement of the contest. Able and discreet—daring,
yet prudent—ever active and energetic—he has led his forces with
almost universal success. He has been in earnest from the beginning; and
if his life is spared, will so continue to the end. Sharing the
privations and dangers of his army, and, ever consulting and promoting
the comfort and safety of his men, he has acquired their unlimited
respect and confidence. His State should hold him in honor, and the
nation owes him a debt of gratitude.

“While Ohio should not boast, she should not allow her modesty to make
her entirely oblivious to the merits and greatness of her sons. While
other States are providing solid testimonials for men who have perilled
their lives and fortunes, and distinguished themselves in the cause of
the country, we should not hesitate in similar acts of appreciation and
gratitude toward one of our own citizens who has stood in the foremost
rank in all this contest. On the contrary, we should come to it in the
spirit of zeal and enthusiasm. This movement has been inaugurated by the
people of the city where General Sherman was born—its originators are
gentlemen of high character and integrity—and our people should
cordially meet it with the determination that it shall be promptly and
fully successful, and the testimonial be at once worthy of all the
State, and its noble, patriotic, and distinguished citizen.”

Lieutenant-General Grant sent the following expressive note to the
committee having the tribute of grateful affection in charge:

    “DEAR SIRS: I have just this moment received your printed letter
    in relation to your proposed movement in acknowledgment of one
    of Ohio’s greatest sons. I wrote only yesterday to my father,
    who resides in Covington, Ky., on the same subject, and asked
    him to inaugurate a subscription to present Mrs. Sherman with a
    house in the city of Cincinnati. General Sherman is eminently
    entitled to this mark of consideration, and I directed my father
    to head the subscription with five hundred dollars for me, and
    half that amount from General Ingalls, chief quartermaster of
    this army, who is equally alive with myself to the eminent
    services of General Sherman.

    “Whatever direction this enterprise in favor of General Sherman
    may take, you may set me down for the amount named. I cannot say
    a word too highly in praise of General Sherman’s services from
    the beginning of the rebellion to the present day, and will
    therefore abstain from flattery of him. Suffice it to say, the
    world’s history gives no record of his superiors, and but few

    “I am truly glad for the movement you have set on foot, and of
    the opportunity of adding my mite in testimony of so good and
    great a man. Yours truly,

                                 “U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.”

How noble and beautiful such evidence of true greatness, the master
minds of the war-field delighting to honor each other! A frightful
conflagration in Savannah was among the painful incidents of these
winter months, crowded so full of stirring events. The unresting brain
and form of General Sherman had scarcely completed the new order of
things in Savannah, before a still grander campaign in some of its
aspects, one more perilous and decisive in its results on the rebellion,
was planned, and his glad host waiting his word of command to march.
Sherman’s rule of military action is, not to rest while possible motion
promises substantial results. Looking away from Savannah toward South
Carolina, and beyond to Richmond, his masterly genius formed
deliberately the plan of advance, which was kept in his own breast. He
threatened several points at once, so that the enemy could not tell
whether he would strike first with an avalanche of living men,
Branchville, Augusta, Columbia, or Charleston. The “dazzling rapidity”
of his movements always completely paralyzed the foe. To concentrate
after he was fairly in motion, and his immediate object discerned, in
time to successfully stop him, was next to impossible. We have had no
military leader in this intelligent and irresistible celerity of
movement that approaches him. The Secretary of War announced in the
following message to Mr. Lincoln, the fact, that the laurelled chieftain
was again in the war-path over a hostile country, with continuous swamps
and morasses at the very entrance into its perils:

                   “FORTRESS MONROE, TUESDAY, _January 17_—10 P. M.
    “_To the President_:

    “General Sherman renewed the movement of his forces from
    Savannah, last week. The Fifteenth and Seventeenth Corps went in
    transports to Beaufort on Saturday, the 14th. The Seventeenth
    Corps, under Major-General Blair, crossed Port Royal Ferry, and,
    with a portion of General Foster’s command, moved on Pocotaligo.
    General Howard, commanding that wing of the army, reported on
    Sunday, 15th, that the enemy abandoned his strong works in our
    front during Saturday night. General Blair’s corps now occupies
    a strong position across the railroad, covering all approaches
    eastward to Pocotaligo. All the sick of General Sherman’s army
    are in good hospitals at Beaufort and Hilton Head, where the
    genial climate affords advantages for recovery superior to any
    other place. The peace and order prevailing at Savannah since
    its occupation by General Sherman, could not be surpassed. Few
    male inhabitants are to be seen on the streets.

                                                “EDWIN M. STANTON.”

Refer to a large map, and you will perceive at a glance the field of
operations before General Sherman. About half way from Savannah to
Charleston, is Pocotaligo, on the direct railroad—an important place,
which was the object of an expedition soon after Beaufort came into our
hands. Its capture secured General Sherman’s flank from attack in his
progress toward Branchville, a great railway centre, in importance
resembling Atlanta. His advance lay as it did when he approached
Savannah, between two rivers, whose borders were guarded with swamps.
Having carried Pocotaligo Bridge, on the 13th of January, whose strong
garrison had always successfully repulsed us hitherto, the onward march
from Beaufort commenced. General Hatch’s division was already occupying
a “position not far from the bridge, with their guns turned on the
railroad. The Seventeenth Corps crossed Port Royal Ferry on a pontoon
bridge laid by the Engineer Corps, and marched swiftly, but cautiously,
to the railroad. The enemy’s pickets were soon aroused, and attempted
some skirmishing, but were pushed off without trouble. On the 15th, with
the Seventeenth Corps on the left, and Hatch’s troops on the right,
after slight resistance, the railroad was gained, a little south of the
bridge. Our skirmishers dashed lightly ahead, encountered the enemy’s,
who were supported with light artillery, swept them off, gained the
bridge, and a brigade of the Seventeenth charged and carried it,
together with the earthworks at the further end. Several heavy guns,
which the enemy had spiked, fell into our hands; one of the earthworks
carrying seven, and the other five. The great bridge, with the
trestle-work in the swamp on either side, is fully a mile in length. The
enemy, finding he must give up the work he had so long defended, tried
to burn it. But our men were too quick for him and saved it. Our loss
was only about fifty killed and wounded. Lieutenant Chandler, of General
Blair’s staff, was killed while leading a gallant and victorious charge.

“The enemy’s force consisted of General McLaws’s detachment of Hardee’s
forces; and were pushed out of Pocotaligo, the Seventeenth Corps
occupying the railroad from the Coosawatchie to the Salkehatchie. So
soon as this lodgment was effected, Sherman sent the First and Third
divisions of Geary’s Twentieth Corps, of Slocum’s column, across the
Savannah, so as to hold the railroad continuously from Savannah to the
lines of the Seventeenth Corps. On the 16th, also, the Fifteenth Corps
embarked at Thunderbolt for Beaufort.”

On the legions swept toward Branchville, more than half way to Columbia,
the capital of South Carolina, and northwest of Charleston. The
threatening front of our army against Charleston at the same moment,
kept occupied and apart Generals Beauregard and Hardee. General
Kilpatrick hung like a thunder-cloud around Augusta, keeping General D.
H. Hill with his troops there, while General Howard’s right wing reached
and cut the railroad below Branchville; General Blair’s Seventeenth
Corps crossed the Salkehatchie, wading waist deep through the current,
defeating the enemy in the very water, and seizing River’s Bridge; and
General Slocum had gone above Branchville, cutting the railroad there.
This was during the first week in February. Sunday night, the 11th, the
enemy finding Branchville hopelessly encircled, cutting the paths of
communication, fled from the town, and the next day our victorious
troops, with flying banners, entered it.

Over streams, into which they plunged with a shout; through morasses,
building corduroy roads in swamps, destroying railroads for nearly a
hundred miles of a single line, the brave boys had got within reach of
the “tempting prize,” as the Columbia _Guardian_ called it, now seventy
miles distant, and a hundred and forty-three from Augusta, Georgia.

That paper began to use quite different speech from that addressed a few
weeks before to the “gentle warrior.” He thus discoursed to the people:
“South Carolinians are not to be intimidated by the fulminations of a
brutal foe, and we are mistaken if South Carolinians have forgotten how
to treat the insolence of the hireling.” The same paper said that
Columbia would not even be approached, because Sherman was bent on
Charleston. “To believe it is contrary to common sense, contrary to a
knowledge of Sherman’s character and confessed determination, and
contrary to all military strategy. Possibly a _raid_ may be made here
for the purpose of creating a diversion. It will not find us unprepared.
Long before Columbia falls, we look for a battle and a victory.”
Sherman, however, having left Branchville, was marching over the fine,
high, fertile region northward, where supplies were abundant, and the
country roads excellent. Already he was aiming at Kingsville, where he
would, if successful in his object, at one fell swoop destroy the
Columbia and Charleston Railroad, and the Wilmington and Manchester
Railroad. “That he will succeed in doing this, we have doubts—very
grave doubts; for we know something of the dangerous operations of an
army in the hands of Beauregard.” In order to dissipate the doubts of
some skeptical as to which side the operations of Beauregard would be
dangerous, the same journal announced with pleasure the arrival of that
chieftain and his staff at Nickerson’s Hotel in Columbia.

General Sherman, in a brief time, cleared away the painful doubts from
the mind of this editor. Taking Kingsville, he commenced a skirmishing
march on Columbia. While the quiet of a pleasant evening was settling
down upon Columbia, a sudden shriek in the air startled the inhabitants.
The signal shells of approach were fired from “Yankee” guns.

The army then under cover of darkness moved up the river, and in the
morning forded the Saluda and Broad Rivers. While the waters were
surging around the cheerful host, the enemy decided that “prudence was
the better part of valor,” and hastened out of the capital. The female
employés of the treasury department were hurried off to Charlotte, a
panic-smitten company of maidens, young and old; lithographic presses
for the currency were left behind; and a large amount of medical stores
was seized by our troops. General Sherman pressed forward toward
Charlotte after Beauregard, who was completely in the fog respecting the
goal of his antagonist—whether it was Charlotte, North Carolina, a
hundred miles from Columbia, or Florence, South Carolina, ninety miles
away, likewise a railroad centre. The map again will shed light on the
field of this great game of war. The only road remaining for escape from
Charleston was the threatened track to Florence. Meanwhile General
Gilmore’s time to move near the doomed city had come.

February 10th, General Schemmelfinnig threw his command of about 3,000
strong across a bridge laid over the creek separating Folly and Cole
Islands from James Island, and fastened with firm foothold upon the
latter, only three miles from Charleston. The Fifty-fourth New York,
acting as skirmishers, encountered the enemy a mile farther, at
Grimball’s, on Stono River, up which the iron-clads _Augusta_ and
_Savannah_, and the mortar schooner _Commodore McDonough_, made their
way to protect our forces on the flank, shelling the rebels. Toward
night General Hartwell advanced with his brigade, the columns double in
front dashing upon the rifle-pits with a shout that assured him of
victory. The bloody struggle was brief. The foe returned to his main
works, leaving less than a hundred of our troops killed and wounded, and
their own, with twenty prisoners, in our hands. This was the first time
these works had been taken by our troops.

General Potter moved toward Bull’s Bay to cut the railroad north of the
city. General Hatch moved across the Ashepoo, toward the South Edisto.

General Hardee, with General Sherman, master of Columbia, shutting him
on that side, had been watching with eagle eye the manœuvres of General
Potter, endangering his last highway from the city, and resolved upon
flight. Friday, February 17th, his preparations for it began. In the
night the garrisons of Sullivan’s Island and Point Pleasant withdrew,
just in time to escape General Potter’s advance on the road by Christ’s
Church. For the movements of Hardee had been discovered by General
Schemmelfinnig’s watchful scouts and signal officers, and he barely
slipped from the grasp of his antagonist. The troops in the city marched
out by the Northeastern Railroad on Saturday. Wrote Mr. O. G. Sawyer
from the gates of the city:

“Shortly after daylight it was discovered that there were no troops in
and about Sumter, or Moultrie, or in the works on James Island.
Lieutenant-Colonel Bennett, of the Twenty-first United States colored
troops, commanding Morris Island, immediately despatched Major Hennessy,
of the Fifty-second Pennsylvania Volunteers, to Fort Sumter, in a small
boat, to ascertain whether the fort was evacuated. Major Hennessy
proceeded to Sumter, and soon waved the old Stars and Stripes over the
battered battlements of the work, from which they had been torn down in
April, 1861. The sight of the old flag on Sumter was an assurance that
the enemy had evacuated all their works, and it was hailed by every
demonstration of joy by all, on ship and on shore. Another boat in
charge of Lieutenant Hackett of the Third Rhode Island artillery, was
immediately sent to Fort Moultrie to take possession of that work, and
raise again the national colors upon its parapet. The navy, anxious to
share in the honors of the day, also launched a boat, and strove to gain
the beach of Sullivan’s Island before the army, and an exciting race
ensued between the boats of the different branches of the service. Each
boat’s crew were urged on to the utmost by their respective commanders,
and every nerve and muscle was strained to pull the boats to their
utmost speed. It was a friendly but earnest trial of endurance and
skill. Every man felt that the credit and honor of the service rested on
himself, and redoubled his exertions to attain success. The race was a
close one, the boats being evenly matched; and when one forged a little
ahead it was recognized by the cheers of its friends, who watched with
intense interest the progress of the contest.

“Finally, after a hard pull and as fast a race as Charleston harbor ever
witnessed, the army boat, under Lieutenant Hackett, reached the shore in
advance. As she touched the officer and crew sprang out on the beach,
through the surf, and rushed for the goal. The parapet was soon gained
and the flag given to the breeze, amid the cheers of the soldiers and
sailors, who had come up a moment or two behind him. The fort was found
completely evacuated, as were all the works on the island. The guns were
all spiked and some of the carriages somewhat damaged. A large quantity
of munitions was found in the magazines, which the enemy had not found
time to destroy.

“When the flag floated over Moultrie, Lieutenant-Colonel Bennett, Major
Hennessy, and Lieutenant Burr, of the Fifty-second Pennsylvania, started
out for the city, leaving orders to have troops follow. They pulled up
the bay, while the rebel iron-clads and vessels were in flames, and the
city itself was burning at various points. Reaching Fort Ripley, or what
is known as the Middle Ground battery, the flag was displayed over the
work, and waved for a few moments. The party then pushed on to Castle
Pinckney, when the same ceremony of taking possession was observed, and
then the boat was pulled cautiously, but directly, toward the city. No
hostile force was observed, but a large number of negroes and some
whites were congregated on the docks, watching the approach of the
‘Yankee boat.’ Colonel Bennett immediately landed, and ‘Old Glory’ was
displayed again in the city of Charleston, amid the cheers and cries of
joy of the crowd assembled about it. It was a perfect storm of applause,
and outbursts of unfeigned joy and satisfaction. The negroes, with all
their impulsiveness, were equalled by the whites in their exhibition of
satisfaction and pleasure at the great event. They seized the hands of
the officers and men, and wept with excess of exultation and delight.
Such a scene was never dreamed of by the most enthusiastic believer in
the loyalty of a certain portion of the citizens of Charleston. It took
all our men by surprise.

“On landing it was not deemed advisable by Col. Bennett to advance into
the city, as he was informed that a rebel brigade was still at the
depot, taking the cars, and that a force of cavalry was scouring the
city and impressing men into the ranks and driving the negroes before
them. As he had but nine men with him he confined himself merely to
sending to Mayor Macbeth the following peremptory demand for the
surrender of the city:

                             “‘HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES FORCES, }
                             CHARLESTON, S. C. _Feb. 18, 1865_.   }
    “‘Mayor CHARLES MACBETH, _Charleston_:

    “‘MAYOR: In the name of the United States Government, I demand
    the surrender of the city of which you are the executive

    “‘Until further orders all citizens will remain within their

    “‘I have the honor to be, Mayor,

                          “‘Very respectfully, your obed’t serv’t,
                                                   “‘A. G. BENNETT,
                 “‘Lieut.-Col. Commanding U. S. Forces, Charleston.’

“To this demand Colonel Bennett was subsequently handed, by a committee
from the mayor, consisting of Alderman Gilland and Williams, a letter
which he was about to despatch to Morris Island:

    “‘_To the General Commanding U. S. Army at Morris Island_:

    “‘SIR: The military authorities of the Confederate States have
    evacuated this city. I have remained to enforce law and preserve
    order until you take such steps as you may think best.

                   “‘Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
                                         “‘CHARLES MACBETH, Mayor.’

“After a brief interview, in which the aldermen informed Col. Bennett
that the city had been fired by the rebels in various places, and that
the town was threatened by a total destruction, as the firemen were all
secreted, in consequence of the operations of the rebel cavalry, who
were impressing them and driving them from the town whenever found; and
they desired protection from the rebels, in order that the firemen might
perform their duty without fear of being seized. To this application
Colonel Bennett returned to the Mayor the following communication:

                      NEAR ATLANTIC WHARF, _Feb. 18, 1865_.       }

    “‘MAYOR CHARLES MACBETH: I have the honor to acknowledge the
    receipt of your communication of this date. “‘I have in reply
    thereto to state that the troops under my command will render
    every possible assistance to your well-disposed citizens in
    extinguishing the fires now burning. I have the honor to be,
    Mayor, very respect fully, &c.

                                                   “‘A. G. BENNETT,
                “‘Lieut.-Col. commanding U. S. Forces, Charleston.’

“Alderman Williams, who happened to be mounted on a fine horse, rode
back to the Mayor to deliver the communication. He had not proceeded
more than a block or two when he came upon fifty rebel cavalry, who were
watching affairs. They instantly halted the peace commissioner, and
blandly observed that they thought they should be compelled to dismount
him, as they were under the impression that they would take the horse in
the country. He reflected an instant, and then observed, in a careless
way, that perhaps the Yankees, who had just landed five hundred strong,
might object, and he would think of the matter. The announcement of the
arrival of five hundred Yankees was quite enough for the bold troopers.
Without taking his horse or further palaver, they wheeled, and rode
wildly up Meeting Street, announcing the approach of the Yankees to all
stragglers, and there was instantly a great commotion and a hurrying off
trains. Meanwhile the fires were spreading with great rapidity, and
threatened to sweep over the city, until fifty men from Morris Island
reënforced Colonel Bennett’s little handful of men, when he instantly
moved up into town with twenty-five men, sending small detachments to
take charge of the public buildings and depots. His march up Meeting
Street was one continued ovation. Crowds thronged the streets and
cheered, hurrahed, waved handkerchiefs, and in other ways manifested
their delight at the arrival of our troops, and at the sight of the old
flag, borne ahead of the little company of colored troops. The officers
were mounted on horses, borrowed for the occasion, and could hardly keep
their saddles, so many enthusiastic individuals, of both sexes, were at
the same time shaking them by the hand, catching hold of their garments,
hugging their horses, and welcoming them in other violent styles.
Charleston never witnessed such a scene before, or echoed so loudly to
the cheers for ‘President Lincoln,’ the ‘Stars and Stripes,’ the ‘Yankee
army,’ and other patriotic subjects, as it did on that memorable day.
One would suppose that the people had gone mad with joy. It was a
universal outburst of joy, and the little band of Yankees moved on with
all the _éclat_ of most honored friends, instead of successful enemies
and conquerors. Was this, indeed, the hotbed of treason; the very home
of disloyalty and rebellion? None would have dreamed of it had they
witnessed the reception of our flag and troops that day. It was the most
wonderful display of loyalty and patriotism.”

And thus, after all the terrific cannonading of four years, with the
sufferings and death of the long siege, the “accursed city” fell without
a battle for its possession. When the Confederate and Palmetto flags
were raised on the walls of Fort Sumter in place of the dishonored
banner of freedom, in the spring of 1861, the boastful Mayor of
Charleston made a flaming speech, declaring that they should wave there
forever!—that Southern independence was secure, and her career of glory
begun. He assured the enthusiastic people, that if their ensigns were
struck down they would be trailed in “a sea of blood!” We may leave him
to his meditations while we join in the shouts of victory.

Standing on the walls of Sumter, look away in the direction of General
Sherman’s march. From Atlanta to the shattered fortress, in this
campaign “our great victories were almost bloodless, and therefore the
more joyous and the more memorable. Branchville fell by manœuvre, not by
the costly price of heroic troops. The turning of Branchville was the
signal for the evacuation of Charleston, and its capture was the capture
of Charleston. It was as if Sherman, sixty two miles distant from
Hardee, had sent him a telegraphic message to vacate the premises, and
the notice was obeyed without question.

“Ordinarily, one would have supposed that the streams which crossed
Sherman’s path at every step would have been successfully contested. But
he appears to have passed them without a day’s delay at any one. Of such
vital importance was time to both parties—to the one, that he might
make his combinations and concentrations; to the other, that he might
break them—that no sacrifice would have seemed too great on the enemy’s
part to ensure delay. But, at the very first show of resistance at a
river crossing, our advance, not waiting for support, would dash into
it, waist deep, with loud cheers, while the rest of the column hurried
to flank the position above and below, and invariably in a few hours the
enemy was in hot retreat.

“Indeed, the enthusiasm of our troops, with Sherman as a leader, has
known no bounds. They felt themselves invincible, and have laughed at
obstacles. Sixty or seventy thousand troops is a large force for such
operations, but larger ones have miserably failed. It is large enough,
however, when directed by genius and inspired by enthusiasm. On the
other hand, the enemy has fled from Sherman’s path as from that of a
pestilence. His troops feel that there is little use in opposing our
columns, and go as quickly as possible to the rear. The unprejudiced
topographer, speculating upon the probable location of that mysterious
region, ‘the last ditch,’ would hitherto have assigned it to South
Carolina. But the ‘great flanker’ has, in fact, flanked that famous
ditch, and it has been evacuated through fear of enfilading. Day after
day, the theatrical bills of the Confederacy announce ‘one more and
positively the very last ditch;’ and still the comedy is played.
Branchville, Columbia, and Charleston fell, but we see no Derry, no
Saragossa, no Puebla, in their defence. Lame and impotent conclusion
indeed from such bravado of prologue! The chance of becoming the
sepulchre of the Confederacy will be taken from South Carolina.”

But let us walk over Charleston after its occupation by our troops. The
flames shoot up on every hand, and the firemen rush to the centres of
conflagration. Thousands of bales of cotton and many buildings are
consumed, amid the frantic distress of the people, who are principally
the poorer classes, left in the wake of retreat. The depot of the
Northeastern Railroad became the arena of new horrors.

“In this building a quantity of cartridges and kegs of powder had been
stored by the rebels, and as they had not time to remove it they left it
unprotected. A number of men, women, and children had collected to watch
the burning of a quantity of cotton in the railroad yard, which the
rebels had fired, and during the conflagration a number of boys, while
running about the depot, had discovered the powder. For the fun of the
thing, and without realizing the danger they incurred, they began to
take up handfuls of loose powder and cartridges and bear them from the
depot to the mass of burning cotton on which they flung them, and
enjoyed a deal of amusement in watching the flashes of the powder and
the strange effects on the cotton as it was blown hither and thither by
the explosion of the cartridges. Quite a number of boys soon became
engaged in this dangerous pastime, and speedily the powder running from
their hands formed a train upon the ground leading from the fire to the
main supplies of powder in the depot. The result is easily conjectured.
A spark ignited the powder in the train, there was a leaping, running
line of fire along the ground, and then an explosion that shook the city
to its very foundations from one end to the other. The building was in a
second a whirling mass of ruins, in a tremendous volume of flame and
smoke. A report rivalling Heaven’s artillery followed, and then a
silence ensued that, made every one tremble and hold his breath. The
cause of the tremendous explosion soon became known, and a rush was made
for the scene of the catastrophe. Such a sight is rarely witnessed. The
building was in ruins, and from the burning mass arose the agonizing
cries of the wounded, to whom little or no assistance could be rendered
by the paralyzed spectators. Many, wounded by the flying fragments of
the building were removed from the additional danger of the fire, but
those in the depot or immediately about it were irretrievably lost. One
by one was reached by the furious flames, the supplicating voices and
the fearful, agonizing groans, that appalled the stoutest heart, died
away and ceased, and charred remains only were left by the devouring
element as it moved on to new victims, who soon passed amid that horrid
scene from life to death. Language cannot adequately describe the
terrible nature of the scene. The cries for aid and rescue from the
wounded within fell upon willing ears, but nothing could be done to
assist them or even to alleviate the final pangs. The flames, like a
fabled monster, strode on, licking up every thing inflammable, and
enveloping its victims in its fiery and deadly embrace. Fortunately the
sufferings of the unfortunate creatures were not prolonged. The work was
done quickly, and soon every voice was silenced, every moan hushed, and
every spirit gathered to its Maker. The horrors of the scene will never
fade from the minds of those who were so unfortunate as to witness it.
Over one hundred and fifty are said to have been charred in that fiery
furnace, and a hundred men were wounded more or less seriously by the
explosion or were burned by the fire.”

Then came the destruction of the rebel fleet. Very fittingly the
_Palmetto State_ first flew into fragments with a loud report, which
signalled well the fate of the home of secession, and over it soon swept
the free waves. The _Chicora_ and _Charleston_ followed in the work of
ruin. Cotton, rice, tobacco, locomotives, etc., fell into our hands.

“The reports of the Charleston editors that the city experienced but
little damage from our shells, like nearly all others emanating from the
same source, were essentially false. It requires no very extended
examination in the lower streets of the city—those near the bay—to
satisfy the most sceptical of the fact that our shells were working most
serious injury to the town, and that the continuance of the bombardment
would make it a mass of ruins, as it had already rendered it untenable
to the most courageous resident. But two persons resided in
‘Shell-town,’ as some wag named that portion of the city east of the
two-mile post, visited by our shells, and they clung to their firesides
with a tenacity of purpose that the most demonstrative and aggressive
Parrott shell failed to relax. Though their beds were torn to pieces
while they were engaged in their domestic affairs—both being
females—by impertinent shells, and their culinary affairs seriously
damaged by projectiles, their roofs perforated, and ventilators put in
front of their dwellings, they would not move, but endured the
bombardment with a coolness and equanimity rarely found. Even the rebel
officers, who ordered them away from the dangerous ground, failed to
call a third time to ascertain whether or not the order had been obeyed.
They lived through the entire bombardment, became accustomed to the howl
of the rushing shell and its sharp explosion, and paid no rent, although
the buildings they occupied suggested heavy rents. Now that quiet and
safety are insured they propose to repair and live comfortably once

“On landing you observe that the wharves are in a very dilapidated
condition, that tell very plainly that they have not been much in use
the past four years. The palmetto logs that form the cribs are covered
with grass, and the planking is much decayed, full of man-traps, and
about worthless so far as cartage is concerned. Advancing up the rickety
docks, you come to a parapet of sand, over which peer the muzzles of
heavy guns, bearing down the channel, for home defence; then around or
over the batteries into the silent streets, covered with the _débris_
from shattered stores and dwellings, and bearing at points a tolerably
good crop of grass—the same kind of grass that was to have sprung up in
the streets of New York when King Cotton exercised his potent sway. Not
a building for blocks here that is exempt from the marks of shot and
shell. All have suffered more or less. Here is a fine brown-stone bank
building, vacant and deserted, with great gaping holes in the sides and
roof, through which the sun shines and the rain pours, windows and
sashes blown out by exploding shell within, plastering knocked down;
counters torn up, floors crushed in, and fragments of mosaic pavement,
broken and crushed, lying around on the floor, mingled with bits of
statuary, stained glass and broken parts of chandeliers. Ruin within and
without, and its neighbor in no better plight. Here a great shell has
struck the chimney and crushed a large portion of the roof in; then
exploding, distributed its fragments through the ceilings, and burst out
great patches of brick and mortar, which now lie on the pavement below,
untouched since they fell. Every imaginable portion of buildings have
been damaged by our fire, and not a single house in this portion of the
town has escaped. Not a building is occupied, save by the brave women to
whom I have already referred, and the front doors or windows gape open,
through which you may gaze upon battered offices, demolished stores and
counting-rooms in ruin, where commerce once dwelt and active business
men pursued their respective vocations unmolested and undisturbed. The
churches, St. Michael’s and St. Philip’s, have not escaped the storm of
our projectiles. Their roofs are perforated, their walls scarred, their
pillars demolished, and within, the pews filled with plastering or
fragments of mural tablets, which were to perpetuate the memory of some
good man long asleep in the grave-yard near by. You may count up a round
number of shell-holes in their steeples, and many upturned monuments in
their grave-yards. War is cruel, and the howling projectile that takes
its start four miles and a half away is indifferent whether it ploughs
up the marble that affection has placed over the remains of long buried
worth, or crashes into the political halls where treason is plotted or
crime against humanity is conceived. The cold iron has been no respecter
of property in Charleston. The good and bad, rich and poor, criminal and
saint—if there be any of the latter here—have received visits from the
Parrott projectiles, and keenly felt the justice of the visitation.”

February 19th, Charleston was placed under martial law. Some of the
regulations had a peculiar interest in the reference made to _colored_
officers; a condition of things in that most _southern_ of the cities of
the South, in its love of the “peculiar institution,” the wildest
reformer did not dream of four years ago.

General Sherman disdained the display of success on entry into South
Carolina, and remained on the hostile territory surrounded with mystery,
caring only, in his own language, to do “a man’s share” in suppressing
the frightful revolt. On February 19th, he was at Winsboro, thirty miles
north of Columbia, on the railroad leading to Charlotte. The first
telegram from him was dated at Laurel Hill, North Carolina, March 8th,
saying: “We are all well, and have done finely.”

[Illustration: MAP OF CAROLINAS]

                              CHAPTER XXV.

   Wilmington—Peace Commissioners—General Sherman’s Statesmanship—
     His Characteristics—Interesting Recollections of General
     Sherman—His pure Character.

THE able General Schofield has been successful in the Department of
North Carolina. Wilmington was compelled to strike the Confederate flag,
and “Cavalry Sheridan” sent Early’s troops “whirling” from his path
whenever they measured swords on the battle-field.

With light spreading toward the zenith from every part of the horizon of
our land, the first spring month is passing away. The rebellion grows
weak and furious, hastening to the overthrow for which all true freemen
have prayed, and which despots great and small have only feared.

While General Sherman was on his way to Richmond, piercing the Carolinas
with his lines of march and driving the rebel armies from his path, two
important events transpired outside of martial movements. One was the
sending of “peace commissioners” from Richmond, early in February, who
were met near General Grant’s headquarters by the President and
Secretary Seward, and whose conference left the question of peace where
it was before, in the hands of Generals Grant and Sherman. The other
memorable event was the passage of the Constitutional Amendment by
Congress, forbidding, after its approval by three-fourths of the States,
involuntary servitude, excepting for crime, throughout the land. It was
an occasion of intense interest in the national Capitol, followed by
similar scenes in the loyal North, giving to the celebration of
Washington’s Birth Day an importance in connection with the recent
victories which was never known before, nor is it likely to have again.

General Sherman has from the beginning of the war shown those great
qualities of generalship rarely combined, even in successful commanders.
His genius reminds us of Napoleon Buonaparte in the comprehensive
appreciation of the entire field of action and the exact issue, in high
military culture, in the daring campaigns which have given him a
preëminence among the few who stand alone in their unquestioned mastery
of the art of war and ability to meet its largest responsibilities, and
in a statesmanship equal to his military attainments.

Whatever question in the complicated interests of the stirring times he
touches, it finds a clear and decisive answer. He has studied history,
and the principles which lie at the foundation of the Republic. He is
not cruel, but believing war to be simply an engine of destruction to
secure an ultimate good which can be reached by no peaceful means, his
policy is the legitimate working of that engine. He would wield it with
no tears of false philanthropy that would protract the appeal to its
sanguinary settlement of difficulties, nor with the vacillation that
would spare the enemy present suffering and secure a greater amount of
sorrow in the future. Loyal, patriotic, and modest, he has kept his eye
on the national ensign through untold labors and perils, amid detraction
and the rivalries of a mean ambition, holding the rein upon his
war-horse with a warm but unrelaxing grasp.

With a highly nervous temperament and manner, he is always calm and
self-possessed in action. Genial and sincere his troops admire and love
him, and are ready to follow him to the bosom of a boundless wilderness
thronged with foes, or into the swamps waist deep to storm a fortress

Since this biography was written some pleasant reminiscences of General
Sherman have appeared in the Leavenworth _Conservative_, of Kansas,
which, on account of their interesting character, are here added to his

“Citizens of Leavenworth will remember that there stood on Main Street,
between Delaware and Shawnee, in 1857, 1858, and 1859, on the ground now
occupied by handsome brick buildings, a shabby-looking, tumbling,
cotton-wood shell. It was occupied, on the ground floor, by Hampton P.
Denman, ex-mayor, as a land agency office. The rooms above were reached
by a crazy-looking stairway on the outside, up which none ever went
without dread of their falling. Dingy signs informed the curious that
within was a ‘law shop,’ kept by Hugh Ewing, Thomas Ewing, Jr., W. T.
Sherman, and Daniel McCook. Those constituted the firm known here in the
early part of 1859 as Ewing, Sherman, & McCook. All were comparatively
young men. All were ambitious; the one who has gained the greatest fame,
perhaps, the least so of the associated lawyers. The Ewings had the
advantage of high culture, considerable natural abilities, cold,
impassive temperaments, and a powerful family influence to aid their
aspirations. Hugh Ewing was but little known hereabouts, though
acknowledged to be a brilliant and versatile genius by his intimates.
‘Young Tom,’ as the other scion is familiarly called, has always been a
prominent and influential man.

“The third member of the firm fills to-day one of the proudest pages in
the history of our land. His name and fame take rank with the greatest
of earth. All conspire to do him honor. Aliens bow to his genius, and
enemies show the extent of their fears of its power by the virulence of
their hate and its manifestations. W. T. Sherman never mingled in our
public affairs. He lived among us for several months, having some landed
interests here. An outlying part of our city plat is marked on the maps
as ‘Sherman’s Addition.’ Prior to entering upon the practice of law in
this city, he lived for some time in the vicinity of Topeka, upon a farm
of one hundred and sixty acres, which we believe he still owns. His
neighbors tell of his abrupt manner, reserved, yet forcible, speech and
character. Previous to residing in Kansas, Sherman lived in California,
where, as a miner, banker, and lawyer, he made and lost a large fortune.
A graduate of West Point, he had previously held a captain’s commission
in the Topographical Engineer Corps, and, in pursuance of duty, had made
several important surveys and explorations, the reports of which had
been duly published by Government. They relate principally to routes for
the Pacific Railroad.

“A good story is told of Sherman’s experience as counsel, and of his
dissolution of partnership to take the position held by him when the war
broke out—that of President of the Military College of Louisiana.

“While in the practice of the law here, Sherman was consulting partner,
having an almost insurmountable objection to pleading in court. He is
accorded the possession, as a lawyer, of thorough knowledge of legal
principles; a clear, logical perception of the points and equity
involved in any case. He could present his views in the most direct
manner, stripped of all verbiage, yet perfectly accurate in form. He was
perfectly _au fait_ in the authorities.

“But to return to our story. Shortly after the reception of the offer
from the Governor of Louisiana in relation to the college, Sherman was
compelled to appear before the Probate Judge—Gardner, we believe. The
other partners were busy, and Sherman, with his authorities and his case
all mapped out, proceeded to court. He returned in a rage two hours
after. Something had gone wrong. He had been pettifogged out of the case
by a sharp, petty attorney opposed to him, in a way which was disgusting
to his intellect and his convictions. His _amour propre_ was hurt, and
he declared that he would have nothing more to do with the law in this
State. That afternoon the business was closed, partnership dissolved,
and in a very short time Sherman was on his way to a more congenial
clime and occupation. The war found him in Louisiana, and despite of his
strong pro-slavery opinions, found him an intense and devoted patriot.

“We met him here, and though but slightly acquainted, have remembered
ever since the impression he left on our mind. He sphered himself to our
perception as the most remarkable intellectual embodiment of force it
had been our fortune to encounter. Once since, we met him in our lines
before Corinth, where he had command of the right wing of Halleck’s
magnificent army. The same impression was given then, combined with the
idea of nervous vitality, angularity of character, and intense devotion
to what he had in hand. Sherman is truly an idealist, even unto
fanaticism, though, in all probability, if told so, he would abruptly
retort back an unbelieving sarcasm. He outlines himself to our memory as
a man of middle stature, nervous, muscular frame, with a long, keen
head, sharply defined from the forehead and back of the ears. His eyes
have a bluish-gray cast, and an introverted look, but full of
smouldering fire. His mouth is sharp and well cut; the lower part of the
face powerful, but not heavy. His complexion fair, and hair and beard of
a sandy-red, straight, short, and strong. His temperament is nervous
sanguine, and he is full of crotchets and prejudices, which, however,
never stand in the way of practical results. The idea, or rather object,
which rules him for the time, overrides every thing else. Round the
mouth we remember a gleam of saturnine humor, and in the eyes a look of
kindness which would attract to him the caresses of children.

“Such are the impressions left on our mind by the only military educated
member of this legal quartette—all of whom have held commissions as
Generals in our army.”

I shall give you, reader, from the pen of a friend, the Rev. Mr. Alvord,
a pioneer in the religious army-work, who has been much with General
Sherman, the best pen-picture of him which has appeared, and which has
never before been published: “Tall, lithe, almost delicately formed. If
at ease stoops slightly; when excited, erect and commanding. Face stern,
savage almost; yet smiling as a boy’s when pleased. Every movement, both
of mind and body, quick and nervous. A brilliant talker, announcing his
plans, but concealing his real intention. A graceful easy rider, when
leading a column looking as if born only to command. Approachable at
times, almost to a fault, again not to be approached at all.

“I saw him in a grand review at Savannah. His position was in front of
the Exchange on Bay Street. The Twelfth Corps was to pass before him; he
rode rapidly to the spot, almost alone, leaped from his horse, stepped
to the bit and examined it a moment, patted the animal on the cheek,
then adjusted his glove, looked around with an uneasy air as if in want
of something to do; catching in his eye the group of officers on the
balcony he bowed, and commenced a familiar conversation, quite
unconscious of observation by the surrounding and excited crowds.
Presently music sounded at the head of the approaching corps. Quick as
thought he vaulted to the saddle and was in position. There was peculiar
grace in the gesture of arm and head which did not weary, as for an hour
he returned the salutes of every grade of officers. Reverence was added
as the regimental flags were lowered before him. The more blackened and
torn and riddled with shot they were, the higher the General’s hat was
raised and the lower his head was bent in recognition of the honored
colors. Every soldier, as he marched past, showed that he loved his
commander. He evidently loved his soldiers.

“I saw him in his princely headquarters at Charles Green’s, on New
Year’s Day. Many were congratulating him. He was easy, affable,
magnificent. Presently an officer with hurried step entered the circle
and handed him a sealed packet. He tore it open instantly, but did not
cease talking. Read it, still talking as he read. Commodore Porter had
despatched a steamer, announcing the defeat at Fort Fisher.

“‘Butler’s defeated!’ he exclaimed, his eye gleaming as it lifted from
the paper. ‘_Fizzle—great fizzle!_’ nervously, ‘knew ’twould be so. I
shall have to go up there and do that job—eat ’em up as I go and take
’em back side.’ Thus the fiery heart exploded, true to loyalty and

“I entered the rear parlor and sat down at the glowing grate. He came,
and leaning his elbow upon the marble mantel, said: ‘My army, sir, is
not demoralized—has improved on the march—Christian army I’ve
got—soldiers are Christians, if anybody is—noble fellows—God will
take care of them—war improves character. My army, sir, is growing
better all the while.’

“I expressed satisfaction at having such testimony, and the group of
officers who stood around could not suppress a smile at the General’s
earnest Christian eulogium.

“Such is W. T. Sherman. A genius, with greatness grim and terrible, yet
simple and unaffected as a child. The thunderbolt or sunbeam, as
circumstances call him out.

“On the march from Atlanta his order was ‘No plunder by the individual
soldier;’ but his daily inquiry as he rode among them would be, ‘Well,
boys, how do you get along? like to see soldiers enterprising; ought to
live well, boys; you know I don’t carry any thing in my haversack, so
don’t fail to have a chicken leg for me when I come along; must live
well boys on such a march as this.’ The boys always took the hint. The
chicken leg was ready for the General, and there were very few
courts-martial between Atlanta and Savannah to punish men for living as
best they could.

“When McAllister fell, he stood with his staff and Howard by his side,
awaiting the assaulting column. ‘They are repulsed,’ he exclaimed, as
the smoke of bursting torpedoes enveloped the troops; ‘must try
something else.’ It was a moment of agony. The strong heart did not
quail! A distant shout was heard. Again raising his glass the colors of
each of the three brigades were seen planting themselves simultaneously
on the parapet. ‘The fort is ours,’ said he, calmly. He could not
restrain his tears. ‘It’s my old division,’ he added. ‘I knew they’d do

“‘How long, General,’ said a Southron, ‘do you think this war will last;
we hear the Northern people are nearly exhausted?’ ‘Well, well,’ said
he, ‘about six or seven years of this kind of war, then twenty or
twenty-five of guerrilla, until you are all killed off, then we will
begin anew.’

“A wealthy planter appealing to his pity, ‘Yes, yes,’ said he, ‘war is a
bad thing, _very_ bad, cruel institution—very cruel; but you brought it
on yourselves, and you are only getting a taste of it.’

“The English ex-consul asked him for protection and a pass on the ground
of his neutrality and that of his country. ‘Don’t talk to me,’ said
Sherman, ‘of your neutrality, my soldiers have seen on a hundred battle
fields the shot and shell of England with your queen’s mark upon them
all, and they _never_ can forget it. Don’t tell me you couldn’t leave
before I came; you could send out your cotton to pay Confederate bonds
and bring cannon in return—don’t tell me you couldn’t get away

“The consul stood abashed, and awkwardly bowed himself from his

“Such is his treatment of rebels. He receives no apology nor has any
circumlocution. He strikes with his battalions; he strikes with every
word he utters, whether from pen or lips. The secessionists of Georgia
and South Carolina believe he’ll do what he threatens.

“Said the rebel colonel who had placed the torpedoes in the Savannah
River, when ordered to take them up, ‘No! I’ll be d——d if I do any
such drudgery.’

“‘_Then you’ll hang to-morrow morning_; leave me,’ said the stern
commander. The torpedoes were removed.

“In this way, by his words, his manner, his personal presence, his
threats with their literal execution, and the swift and utter
destruction in the track of his army on their late march, he has struck
terror to all hearts. Though thoroughly secretive, he is strangely

“‘Give me your pass, General?’ said I; ‘I’ll meet you again on your

“‘You don’t know where I am going,’ said he, with emphasis.

“‘I think I do, General, if I can catch you.’


“‘At Charleston.’

“‘I’m not going to Charleston.’

“‘Then, at Wilmington.’

“‘I’m not going to Wilmington.’

“‘I’ll see you, I think, in Richmond.’

“‘I’m not going to Richmond. You don’t know where I’m going. Howard
don’t know.’

“But he gave me the pass; I, at least, know where he was not going.

“The country may well honor and admire General Sherman. His personal
presence is an army of itself. His army is duplicated by the spirit with
which he inspires it. Such a man wields destiny. God will guide his way.
May He sanctify him. We shall hear more of him hereafter.”

General Sherman’s character from childhood has been above reproach, and
his honor unsullied. His amiable wife is a member of the Roman Catholic
Church, while he, as has been intimated, usually attends the Episcopal
service. Besides the death of his son recorded in these pages, within a
year he has lost a child he had never seen—born while he was in the
smoke of battle; the young spirit went to heaven before the father’s eye
could rest on its earthly greeting to him through the smile of infancy.

But a nation sympathizes with him in his sublime self-denial and his
griefs, and in the language of our beloved President, “follows him with
its prayers.”

      *      *      *      *      *      *

Transcriber note:

Misspelled words and printer errors have been corrected.

Where multiple spellings occur, majority use has been employed.

Punctuation has been maintained except where obvious printer errors

Some illustrations were moved to facilitate page layout.

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