Henry Martyn Cist.

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The scope of this work precluded the entering into de-
tails as to the minor operations of the troops in the com-
mands named. It has even been impossible to give the
movements of troops on the battlefields in lesser organiza-
tions than brigades. The rosters of the several armies given
in full in the appendices will enable those interested to trace
the movements of the minor commands.

The subject is too great a one to be fully and justly treated
within the limitations, both of time and space, which have
necessarily been imposed here. Still, with the hope that the
future student of history may glean something of value in
this volume not found elsewhere, it is sent forth for the
favorable consideration of its readers.

■ To the many friends who have kindly aided me in various
ways, I return my sincere thanks. To Col. E. N. Scott,
U.S.A., I am under special obligations for data furnished.

The maps for this volume were prepared by permission
from those of Captain Euger in Van Home's " History of the
Army of the Cumberland," published by Robert Clarke & Co.,

H. M. C.




List of Maps, ix

Early Movements, 1

Mill Springs, 9

Concentration at Nashville, 21

Morgan's and Forrest's Raids, 31

Bragg' s Advance into Kentucky 48

Battle of Perryville, 61

Tiie Advance to Murfreesroro, 87




The Battle op Stone's River, 102

In Murfreesboro, . 13G

The Advance on Tullahoma, 154

The Movement to Ciiickamauga, . . . . .173

TnE Battle op Chickamauga, 193

TnE Siege of Chattanooga, 230


Chattanooga, Lookout Mountain, and Missionary
Ridge Battles, 243

Appendix, 263

Index, 273


General Map op the Campaign,

Mill Springs, .

Battle op Perry ville,

Battle-Map Stone's River,
Chickamauga Campaign,
Battle op CHrcKAMAUGA, .
Battlefield op Chattanooga,

. 1

. 15

. 64

. 103

. 172

. 194

• 343




In Kentucky, during the spring of 1861, every shade of
opinion prevailed, from the most pronounced Union senti-
ment to the most ultra secession sympathy.

The Government at Washington wished to enlist Ken-
tucky heartily in support of the Union, while every effort
was made by the rebel leaders to secure the secession of the
State from the Union, and to have it join its fortunes to
those of the South. These several efforts enlisted the active
support of those in the State in sympathy with them, and Ken-
tuckians became ultimately divided into two sharply defined
parties. Under the peculiar doctrine of " armed neutrality "
adopted by the local authorities, no serious infraction of
the peace of the State was had until the fall. With the invi-
tation given General Anderson to take command in Kentucky,
by the State Legislature, the doctrine of " armed neutrality "
came to an end. While it at times restrained prompt action
on the part of the Union men of Kentucky during the first
six months of the war, and hampered the Federal Govern-
ment in the movement of troops in the State, still in the end
it was of immense benefit to the cause of the Union, and
VII.— 1


enabled those in support of it in Kentucky to unite and
perfect their plans in comparative peace, unmolested by the
rebels from Tennessee and their own State. Under cover of
"armed neutrality " the Union men remained quiet until the
time had arrived for prompt and decided action, with men,
and arms for their support, in the measures they adopted to
retain Kentucky in the Union.

In accordance with a general plan of operations adopted
by General Albert Sidney Johnston, on September 18th,
General Buckner broke camp with the rebel forces at Camp
Boone, Tenn., near the Kentucky line, and marching north,
occupied Bowling Green, throwing out his advance as far as

On receipt of reliable information as to Buckner's move-
ments, General Anderson sent General W. T. Sherman,
second in command, to Camp Joe Holt, with instructions to
order Colonel Bousseau with his entire command to report
at once in Louisville. The " Home Guards " were also
ordered out, and they assembled promptly in large force,
reporting at the Nashville depot, and by midnight they were
started to the front by train. Bousseau's command followed
at once, General Sherman being in command of the entire
force, amounting to some three thousand men. The advance
by train was stopped at the Boiling Fork of Salt Biver,
about thirty-one miles south of Louisville, at which point
the railroad bridge had been burned by the rebels. During
the following day the troops under Bousseau forded the
stream, and pressing forward occupied Muldraugh's Hills with
its two trestles and a tunnel over fifteen hundred feet long.
The Home Guards were left in camp at Lebanon Junction,
some two or three miles in the real', where Lieuteuant-
Colonel B. "W. Johnson of the Third Kentucky Cavalry
reported later in the day with some additional companies of


Home Guards, and, by order of General Anderson, assumed
command of this camp.

This disposition of the troops caused Buckner to retire
with his entire command to Bowling Green, where he
strongly fortified his position.

The Kentucky State troops were under orders for ten
days' service only, and their place was then filled by several
regiments from the States immediately north of Kentucky.
These troops were placed in camp, and there received in-
struction in drill, discipline, and camp regulations, waiting
orders for the advance.

General Johnston, under his general plan of creating a de-
fensive line from Columbus on the west, running through
Bowling Green east to some point to be determined on,
early in September sent General Zollicoffer with a force
numbering several thousand men to make an advance into
Eastern Kentucky by way of Knoxville, East Tennessee,
through Cumberland Gap to Cumberland Ford, threaten-
ing Camp Dick Bobinson. On the 19th of that month thf
advance of Zollicoffer's command had a spirited skirmish
with the " Home Guards " at Barboursville Bridge. These
troops were compelled to retire, which they did, to Bock
Castle Hills, where they were reinforced by two Kentucky
regiments under Colonel T. T. Garrard, of the Seventh
Kentucky Infantry, who had received instructions from
General Thomas to obstruct the roads and to hold the rebels
in check. Garrard established his force at Camp Wildcat,
behind temporary breastworks, where, on October 21st, he
was attacked by Zollicoffer with 7,000 troops. Shortly after
the attack General Schoepff, with five regiments of infantry,
one of cavalry, and a battery of artillery, reinforced Garrard,
and after a severe fight the enemy was repulsed.

After Buckner's retreat to Bowling Green, Zollicoffer


fell back to Mill Springs, on the southern bank of the Cum-
berland Eiver, and soon afterward crossed the river to the
opposite bank at Beech Grove, fortifying this encampment
with extensive earthworks.

During the month of September, General George H.
Thomas, who with General Win. T. Sherman had been
ordered to report to General Anderson for duty in Ken-
tucky — at General Anderson's personal request of the Presi-
dent — was placed in command of Camp Dick Robinson, re-
lieving General Nelson. The latter then established Camp
Kenton in Mason County, three miles from Maysville, near
the spot where Simon Kenton's station was erected in 1785.

On the 7th of October General Anderson, on account of
ill-health, relinquished the command of the department,
and General W. T. Sherman on the following day succeeded
him. At the same time General A. McD. McCook was placed
in command of the force that been ordered to the front un-
der Sherman.

During the month of October the rebel Colonel J. S.
Williams was organizing a force of some two thousand
troops at Prestonburg, on the Big Sandy Eiver, intending to
operate in Central Kentucky through McCormick's Gap.
General Nelson early in the month started with all the
troops of his command to drive the rebels out of their en-
campment. Nelson ordered the Second Ohio under Colonel
L. A. Harris to move from Paris, and the Twenty-first Ohio
under Colonel Norton to advance from Nicholasville to Olym-
pia Springs, where the entire command was concentrated.
From here he advanced to McCormick's Gap, and then di-
vided his command, sending the Second Ohio, a section of
Captain Konkle's battery, and a company of Ohio cavalry
under Captain McLaughlin — all under the command of Col-
onel Harris — through West Liberty to unite with the com-


mand at Salyersville. Nelson then moved forward with
three regiments of infantry, two detachments of Kentucky
troops, and two sections of Konkle's battery, with a bat-
talion of cavalry, on the road to Hazel Green. On the 23d
Harris occupied West Liberty, after a brisk skirmish. The
command united at Salyersville and followed the enemy to
Prestonburg. At this point Nelson sent the Thirty-third
Ohio, with the Kentucky troops and a section of Konkle's
battery under Colonel Sill, by a detour to the right to
flank the rebel position at Ivy Mountain. Nelson on the
next day then advanced with his command on the direct
road to Piketon, and encountered the enemy in ambush on
the mountain at Ivy Creek. Pushing forward at once with
the force under his immediate command, Nelson attacked the
enemy, and after a brisk engagement, lasting over an hour,
routed them from their cover and drove them in full retreat.

Sill occupied Piketon on the 9th without much opposi-
tion. Genei*al Nelson arrived there on the 10th, when the
rebels leaving the State and retreating through Pound Gap,
he was ordered to report with his command to General
Buell at Louisville.

On the retirement of General Anderson, as the ranking
officer in the department, General Sherman assumed the
command. On the 9th of November, by general order from
the headquarters of the army, No. 97, the Department of
the Ohio was created, " to consist of the States of Ohio,
Michigan, Indiana, that portion of Kentucky east of the
Cumberland River, and the State of Tennessee, and to be
commanded by Brigadier-General D. C. Buell, headquarters
at Louisville ; " and General Sherman was relieved from
command at his own request.

Nelson's command being ordered out of East Kentucky,
the rebel forces again entered, and in small bands were


depredating on Union people in the Big Sandy Valley.
The Fourteenth Kentucky under Colonel L. P. Moore was
ordered to move from Catlettsburg and advance up the val-
ley. General . Buell finding that the rebel force had been
largely reinforced by the advance of General Humphrey
Marshall, one of the ablest rebel generals in that part of the
country, ordered the Twenty-second Kentucky under Colonel
Lindsay from Maysville to join the Fourteenth, and Lindsay
was placed in command of the two regiments. Marshall
was a graduate of "West Point ; he had served in the Black
Hawk war and had seen service in Mexico as a colonel of
Kentucky cavalry, winning distinction at Buena Vista. He
had now entered the State from Virginia through Pound
Gap, and had reached a strong natural position near Paint-
ville, where he was rapidly increasing his army, with the
intention of raising a sufficient force — already some five
thousand — to operate on General Buell's flank and to re-
tard his advance into Tennessee. The Forty-second Ohio, just
'organized, was in a camp of instruction near Columbus, Ohio,
under its colonel, James A. Garfield. While there, in Decern -
ber, he was ordered by General Buell to move his regiment
at once to Catlettsburg, at the mouth of the Big Sandy River,
and to report in person to Louisville for orders.

Starting his regiment eastward, from Cincinnati, Garfield,
on the 19th of December, reported to General Buell, who
informed him that he had been selected to command an ex-
pedition to drive Marshall and his forces from Kentucky.
That evening Garfield received his orders, which organized
the Eighteenth Brigade of the Army of the Ohio, and placed
him in command. General Buell with these orders sent
a letter of instruction, giving general directions as to the
campaign, leaving all matters of detail and the fate of the
expedition, however, largely to the discretion of the brigade


commander. The latter reached his command on the 24th
of December, at Louisa, some twenty-eight miles up the Big
Sandy. He then proceeded to concentrate his troops, the
main body consisting of his own regiment — the Forty-second
Ohio — the Fourteenth Kentucky, and a battalion of Ohio
cavalry under Major McLaughlin, which was with him ; but
these gave only some fifteen hundred men for duty.

The next largest portion of his command was stationed
at Paris, Kentucky, under Colonel Cranor, with his regi-
ment, the Fortieth Ohio, 800 strong. Cranor was ordered
to join the main body as expeditiously as possible, and to
bring with him that portion of Colonel Wolford's Ken-
tucky cavalry stationed at Stanford, consisting of three
small battalions under Lieutenant-Colonel Letcher, and to
report at Prestonburg. The Twenty-second Kentucky was
ordered from Maysville, and some three hundred men of that
command reported before Garfield reached Paintville. He
was also joined by a battalion of West Virginia cavalry
under Colonel Bolles. After a toilsome march in mid-win-
ter, Garfield's command, on the 7th of January, drove Mar-
shall's forces from the mouth of Jenny's Creek, and occu-
pied Paintville. On the morning of the 9th, Cranor reported
with his command, footsore and exhausted, after a march
of over one hundred miles through the mountains of East-
ern Kentucky. At noon of the 9th Garfield advanced his
command to attack Marshall with his cavalry, pressing the
rebels as they fell back. Beaching Prestonburg some fif-
teen miles from Paintville, he learned that Marshall was
encamped and fortified on Abbott's Creek. Pushing on to
the mouth of the creek, some three miles below Prestonburg,
he there encamped for the night, a sleety rain adding to
the discomfort of the men. Intending to force the enemy
to battle, he ordered up his reserves under Colonel Sheldon


from Paintville, with every available man. As soon as the
morning light enabled the command to move, Garfield
advanced, and soon engaged the rebel cavalry, which was
driven in after a slight skirmish, falling back on the main
body some two miles in the rear, strongly posted on high
ground, between Abbott's Creek and Middle Creek, at the
mouth of the latter stream. It was impossible to tell what
disposition Marshall had made for his defence, owing to the
formation of the ground at this point concealing his troops
until our forces drew his fire. Throwing several detachments
forward, the entire command was soon actively engaged.
The engagement lasted for some four hours, commencing at
about twelve o'clock. At 4 p.m., the reserves under Sheldon
reached the field of battle, and the enemy was driven from
his position. Night coming on prevented pursuit.

Marshall's command fled down the valley, set fire to
their stores, and pressed forward in rapid retreat to Abing-
ton, Va. Garfield with his command returned to Paintville,
where it could receive supplies. In February he received
orders from Buell, directing him to advance to Piketon,
and drive the rebels from that place, which he did, and
later from Pound Gap. This freed Eastern Kentucky of
rebel troops, and relieved the Union men of that section of
the depredations that had been committed on them by the
roving bands of the enemy. The services of Garfield's com-
mand were recognized by Buell, and the thanks of the
Commanding General extended to Garfield and his troops.
Shortly after this Garfield received his commission as
Brigadier-General of Volunteers, to date from the " Battle
of Middle Creek."

In the latter part of March General Garfield was ordered
to leave a small force in the Big Sandy Valley, and to report
with the rest of his brigade to General Buell at Louisville.



On September 10, 1861, General Albert Sidney Johnston,
who had resigned the colonelcy of the Second United States
Cavalry to engage in the service of the Confederacy, was as-
signed to the command of the Department of the West, em-
bracing, with a large number of the Western States, the
States of Kentucky and Tennessee. On the 18th Johnston
directed Buckner to occupy Bowling Green, and ordered
Zollicoffer to advance from Knoxville to Cumberland Gap.
The rebels, under General Polk, occupied Columbus, Ky.,
September 7th, and the line of operations of the Confeder-
ates, under General Johnston, as then formed, had the Mis-
sissippi River at its extreme left, Cumberland Gap at its
extreme right, with Bowling Green as the centre. With the
force at his command, no point in advance of Bowling Green
could have been safely taken by the Confederate general,
owing to the disposition of the Union troops in Kentucky
at that time.

As we have seen, Zollicoffer with his command was
driven from Bock Castle Hills and Wildcat, and taking a
new position nearer Bowling Green, encamped at Beech
Grove, where he fortified his position.

General Zollicoffer was a civilian appointment, without
military training of any kind. He had been editor of a
Nashville paper, had held a number of minor State offices,


and served two terms in Congress prior to the war. John-
ston, in ordering Zollicoffer to the Cumberland River at
Mill Springs, intended that he should occupy a position of
observation merely until he should be reinforced, or his
troops be incorporated in the main command. He could
not have been located farther west without inviting the
advance of the Federal forces into East Tennessee or to
Nashville, flanking Bowling Green. Zollicoffer had no abil-
ity as a soldier to handle troops, and General George B.
Crittenden, of Kentucky, a graduate of "West Point, who had
seen service in the Mexican War, and who held, at the out-
break of the rebellion, a commission as Lieutenant-Colonel
in the regiment of Mounted Riflemen, was, in November,
assigned to the command of the district as Major-General,
with headquarters at Knoxville. Great expectations were
entertained in regard to Crittenden's military abilities ; and
about the first of the year 1862 he assumed command in person
of the rebel forces at Beech Grove. The fact that Zollicof-
fer had established his camp on the north side of the Cum-
berland, " with the enemy in front and the river behind,"
was known to Johnston, and information given by him to
Crittenden. General Johnston had written Zollicoffer that
the interests of the service required him simply to watch
the river, and that he could do this better from Mill Springs
without crossing it.

Zollicoffer, however, had crossed the river before he heard
from Johnston, and replied that, while from this letter he
inferred that he should not have done so, it was now too
late, as his means of recrossing were so limited that he
could hardly accomplish it in the face of the enemy. On
his reaching the Cumberland with his command, he had
sent forward his cavalry to seize the ferryboats at Mill
Springs. In this they failed, and the crossing was effected


on one ferry-boat, seized lower down, and barges built by
his troops.

General Thomas was ordered in November to concentrate
his command in order to be prepared for any movement
Zollicoffer might make, and, if necessary, to attack him in
his camp. General Carter with his brigade was stationed at
London, Colonel Hoskins was near Somerset, and Colonel
Bramlette at Columbia, all watching Zollicoffer's move-
ments, and reporting them to General Thomas, who endeav-
ored to stop his advance at the Cumberland Eiver. Five
hundred of Wolford's Cavalry were ordered from Columbia
to reinforce Colonel Hoskins ; and General Schoepff, with
the Seventeenth Ohio, the Thirty-eighth Ohio, and Stan-
dart's battery, to take position on the Cumberland Eiver at
Waitsborough, where he could command the crossing.
Here he was to fortify and guard the river at this point and
above and below, to prevent the enemy from crossing, or
from obtaining the means for doing so.

On December 2d, Zollicoffer, while building his ferries,
sent some troops to shell General Schoepff' s camp. A brisk
cannonading was kept up for some time, when the rebels
withdrew. Schoepff regarding this as a feint, and anticipat-
ing a movement of Zollicoffer's troops to cross the river,
ordered two companies of cavalry under Captain Dillon to
guard the ford and to give timely notice of any attempt to
effect a crossing. He also ordered the Seventeenth Ohio
with three pieces of artillery and another company of cavalry,
all under the command of Colonel Connell, to support the
cavalry under Dillon. The latter proved wholly incompe-
tent, and failed to comply with his orders in any particular.
He went into camp two miles in the rear from where he was
ordered, and neglected even to post his men to guard the
ford, whereby Zollicoffer was enabled to occupy the north


bank of the Cumberland without opposition and without
Dillon's even knowing that the movement had been made.
This was only discovered on the 4th, when the rebels drove
back the Federal cavalry and attacked Connell, who was ad-
vancing on a reconnoissance. Connell, in ignorance of the
movement of the enemy, had reached the vicinity of the ford
and found himself confronted by a strong force of rebels,
who had crossed the river, and who being rapidly reinforced
rendered his situation one of extreme peril. He withdrew
under cover of the night beyond Fishing Creek, without
being molested. Schoepff, finding that the advance of the
rebels was supported by reinforcements and that Zollicof-
fer's entire force was slowly crossing, which would make the
enemy's force in his front largely exceed his own, asked Gen-
eral Carter at London to reinforce him. He also ordered
Colonel Coburn with the Thirty-third Indiana to move from
Crab Orchard to his support ; and on the 6th established his
camp in a strong position three miles north of Somerset,
where he was able to command both the Stanford and the
Crab Orchard roads. Here Carter reported with two regi-
ments on the 9th, Colonel Vandeveer's regiment, the Thirty-
fifth Ohio, with Captain Hewitt's battery having already ar-
rived. On the 8th, the rebel cavalry crossed Fishing Creek
and reconnoitred the Federal camps. They were fired on by
Wolford's cavalry, which then fell back ; and after a brisk
skirmish with the Thirty-fifth Ohio they were driven back
with a loss of two or three men on each side.

General Buell had ordered Thomas to keep his immedi-
ate command at Columbia, and had directed him not to send
any more troops to Schoepff at Somerset, considering that
the latter had sufficient force to drive the rebels across the
Cumberland. Thomas was also directed to hold himself in
readiness to make an immediate movement, when ordered,


from Columbia on the rebel General Hindman, who with
some seven thousand troops was operating in that vicinity,
throwing out his cavalry far in advance of his main column,
and feeling the position of the Federal forces. Hindman
had been ordered by General Johnston to make a diversion
in favor of Zollicoffer ; and when Thomas from Columbia
checked Hindman's advance, the latter reported that the

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Online LibraryHenry Martyn CistArmy of the Cumberland → online text (page 1 of 23)