Horace Greeley.

The American conflict: a history of the great rebellion in the United States of America, 1860-'64 online

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cavalry, waa surrendered by Lt.-CoL
Buel, after a short resistance. Gen.
Coffey, with 1,500 Rebel cavalry from
Arkansas, early in August, invaded
south-western Missouri, and, avoid-
ing Springfield, moved rapidly north-
ward. Col. Clark Wright, 6th Mis-
souri cavalry, was sent with 1,200
men in pursuit; Gen. Totten being
directed by Schofield to strike the
band which had just captured Inde-
pendence, before it could be joined
by Coffey; while Gen. Blunt, com-
manding in Arkansas, was requested
to send a force from Fort Scott, to
cooperate in cutting off Coffey's re-
treat ; and Col. Fitz-Henry Warren,
1st Iowa cavalry, was dispatched from
Clinton with 1,500 men to effect a
junction with Maj. Foster ; who, with
the 7th militia cavalry, 800 strong,
had been pushed out from Lexington
by Totten, in quest of Hughes.

These combinations upon our side
failed most signally. Coffey and
Hughes united their forces and fought



Maj. Foster at Lone Jack, Jackson
coxmty, woimded and defeated him,
with the loss of his two guns, and
compelled him to Ml back to Lex-
ington, upon which place Coffey was
advancing with an army now aug-
mented to 4,500 men ; when, finding
that Gen. Blunt was in strong force,
threatening his line of retreat, while
Loan's and Wright^s and other com-
mands were concentrating upon him
from every direction, he relinquished
the hope of capturing Lexington and
relieving the Rebels north of the
river, and turned to fiy. Eluding
Gen. Blunt in the night, he was hotly
pursued to the Arkansas line, but
escaped without serious disaster.

Gen. Schofield was soon after" su*
perseded in the command of the de-
partment, by Gen. Curtis, but imme-
diately placed at the head of the
forces confronting the enemy in the
south-west, where the Eebels, now
led by Gen. T. C. Hindman," were
threatening a fresh invasion. Setting
forward fi^m Springfield" to Sarcoxie
to reconnoiter tlie enemy's position.
Gen. Salomon's advance had been
overwhelmed at Newtonia by a large
body of Eebel cavalry. Salomon had
thereupon moved forward to their
support, and renewed the battle at
noon ; fighting until sunset without
serious lo6S,ultimately retiring in good
order from the field. He estimated his
strength at 4,500, and the enemy's in
his front at 7,000. Gen. Schofield,
being roenforced by Gen. Blunt from
Arkansas, found himself at the head
of 10,000 men ; while the Kebels at
Newtonia were estimated at 13,000
to 20,000. He resolved to advance
that night and attack at daylight
next morning ; Geii. Blunt approach-



' Aug. 11.



' Sept 24.



" Late H. C. from Arkansas.



'Octl.



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GEK. SCHOFIBLB ADVANCES INTO ARKANSAS.



37



ing Kewtonia from the nortli and
-west, and Gen. Totten from the east
He found, on coming np, that the
enemy had sent their baggage to the
rear, and were preparing to retreat.
Immediatelj Aargmg with cavalry
and artillery, the Eebels fled without
resistance, and were chased 30 miles
into Arkansafl. It appeared that,
though in great numbers, they were
badly armed, many of them not at
all; having been sorely disappointed
by the capture of a vessel laden with
arms for their use on the Mississippi
some time previously. Schofield
pressed on" to the old battle-ground
of Pea Bidge, only to find the ene-
my's forces divided: a p^, under
Cooper, having moved westward to-
ward Maysville, with intent to oper-
ate on our communications with Fort
Bcott, while the main body had re-
treated sou&-westerly toward Hunts-
ville, leaving two or three thousand
cavalry in our front to screen these
movements. Oen. Blunt was there-
upon sent after Cooper ; and, after a
hard night's march, found him in
camp near Maysville, and at once at-
tacked, capturing his* 4 guns and
completely routing his command.
The Bebels fled in disorder across
the Arkansas to Fort Gibson. Their
loss in material would have been
greater had they had more to lose.

Oen. Schofield, with the residue of
his army, made a forced march over
White River Mountains, to a point 8
miles west of Huntsville, where Bains
had encamped the day before. His
advance was next morning pushed
&rwBTd into Huntsville, whence a
few Bebd cavalry fled at his ap-
proach. He here learned that Eains
was retreating across the mountains



to Ozark, resolved not to fight until
reenforc^nents should arrive, and
that further pursuit would be useless;
so he retraced his steps, via Benton-
ville, to Cross Hollows and Osage
Springs, sending Oen. Herron, with •
the 1st Iowa and 7th militia cavalry,
about 1,000 in all, to attack in the
rear some 3,000 or 4,000 Rebel cav-
alry who were encamped on White
river, 8 miles from Fayetteville; while
Oen. Totten, advancing via Fayette-
ville, was to assail them in fix>nt.
Oen. Herron reached their camp at
early dawn,** and immediately at-
tacked with such vigor that the
Bebels, though in superior numbers^
fled rapidly into the mountains, with
the loss of their camp equipage. Oen.
Totten did not arrive till after they
had vanished. Oen. Schofield foimd
no further enemies within striking
distance, until compelled by sickness
to resign his command,*^ leaving Mis-
souri substantially pacified.

But Oen. Hindman, conunanding -
the Confederate forces in Arkansas,
was not disposed to rest satisfied with
such a conclusion of the campaign.
Having collected, by concentration
and conscription, a force estimated
by our officers in his fit)nt at 25,000
to 30,000 men — while he officially re-
ports that, for want of stores, etc, he
was able to take on this expedition
but 9,000 infantry, 2,000 cavalry, and
his artillery — ^he crossed the Arkan-
sas river at or near Van Buren, and
advanced upon our scattered and nu-
merically far inferior division, which
was watching him from the neighr
borhood of the last conflict. It was
now December ; but the weather was
dear and dry, and the days bright
and warm, though the nights were



•Oct 11



•Oct 28.



" Nov. 20.



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88



THB AMBEIOAN CONFLICT.



chilly ; whfle the roads were in good
oondyition. Qen. Blunt, commanding
the Ist division, in good part of Kan-
sas troops, nnmbering about 5,000
men, was at Cane Hill, or Boones-
borough, some 10 miles north-west of
Van Buren, and 18 south-west of
Fajetteyille, when he was apprised
6{ this advance," with one of his
three brigades (Gen. Salomon^s), pro-
tecting his trains at Khea's Mills, 8
miles north. Determined not to be
driven out of Arkansas, he tele-
gn^hed in various directions for
G^n. Herron, commanding the 2d
and 3d divisions, now in Missouri,
and left subject to his orders by Gen.
Schofield's departure; and attempted,
by showing a bold fbont and direct-
ing his cavalry to skirmish sharply
with the Eebel vanguard, to delay
Hindman's advance until Herron
could reach him. Blimt's dispatch
Ibund " that able and earnest leader
at Wilson's creek, some 10 miles
south of Springfield, but with most
of his command from 10 to 20 miles
nearer the Arkansas line. Within
three hours, his divisions were in mo-
tion southerly, making marches of
fully 20 miles per day, with all their
guns and trains. Having reached
Elkhom,'* he dispatched CoL Wick-
ersham, with his 3,000 cavalry, to
the more immediate relief of Blunt ;
and pushing on to Fayetteville,
inarching all night, he entered that
place at 4 a. ic, on Sunday morning,
Dec. 7th. Impressed with the peril



of Blunt, he rested his men but aB
hour or so before putting his column
again in motion, and had proceeded
but 5 or 6 nules when his advance
was met by the 1st Arkansas and
7th Missouri (Union) eavalry, being a
part of those he had dispatched from
Elkhom to the aid of Blunt, who had
just before been attacked and thrown
into great disorder by Mannaduke's
Eebel cavalry, forming the vanguard
of Hindman's army.

Gen. Blunt had been skirmishing
for the last two days with what he
supposed the advance of the enemy^s
main body ; but learned, at 8 p. h. of
the 6th, that Hindman had turned
his left and interposed between him
and all of Herron's infantry and ar-
tillery. CJoLWickersham, with 4 cav-
alry regiments, reported to Blunt at
Cane Hill two hours afterward, with
tidings that Herron would be at Fay-
etteville early next morning.

Blunt now attempted to warn Her-
ron of his danger, but it was too late ;
his messengers were intercepted by
Mar maduke's cavalry. Hindman was
probably reaching for Blunt's trains
at Ehea's Mills, when, to their mu-
tual astonishment, he locked horns
with Herron on Hlinois creek, near
the settlement known as Pbaieus
Gbove.

Herron, divested of his cavahy,
had but about 4,000 men in hand,
and ought to have stood on the de-
fensive," availing himself of every
advantage of position and shelter.



" Dec 2. " Dea 3. *• On the evening of the 6th.

^ Gen. Heboil, in a priyate letter to a Mend
aft Dubuque, Iowa» dated Dea 16, sajs:

"For four miles, we fought their cavahy, dri-
Ting them back to Ulinols creek, where I found
their whide force stronglj posted on a long
ridge, with magnificent positions for batteries.
For one mile in fi'ont, it was dear ground, and
mj road laj right in the center of their line.



From a prisoner taken, I learned that Hindman
was on ihe ridge, with his whole force, and in-
tended to whip me out before Blunt could get
up ; in other words, to take us one at a time.
The case locked tough, with Blunt ten miles
awaj, and 26,000 men between us; but I saw
at a glance there were Just two things that could
be done; namely, fight them without delay, and
depend cm the chance of Bhrnt^a hearing me



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BATTLE OP PRAIRIE aROVB.



S9



AmdoTiSy however, for Bltint's safe-
ly, and apprehending that he might
be at that moment enveloped by an
overwhehning Rebel force, he drove
the Bebel cavalry impetuondy across
flie creek, only to find their infantry
and artillery strongly posted on a
high, wooded ridge, three-qnarters of
a mile distant; their nnmbers con-
cealed by the timber and thick nn-
derbrofih. Sending across a light
battery, which was instantly driven
back, he, while still threatening a
fresh advance on the road, cnt a
path to the creek, half a mile farther,
down, and pnshefl across a battery
at a point which enabled it to draw
the fire of the Eebel artillery. This
movement, being nnsnspected and
miperceived by the enemy, was en-
lireljsiiccessfal; and, before the Reb-
els had recovered from their surprise
and confnsion, Herron had pushed
three full batteries, backed by three
good regiments of infantry, across
the regular ford. These batteries
were so excellent and so admirably
served that they had silenced, in one
hour's firing, their Rebel antagonists.
Ours were thereupon advanced
across an open field, firing volleys
of grape and canister, until within
a hundred yards of the ridge held
by the Rebels, when the 20th Wis-
consin and 19th Iowa infantry were
ordered to chaige the Rebel battery
in their front. They did so most
gallantly, hurling back its supports
and taking the battery ; but were un-
able to hold it, and compelled to
fiill back. Their charge was at once
returned with interest by the Rebel
infantry, intent on the capture of
our three batteries, and rushing up to
within a hundred yards of the guns.



when they were likewise repulsed
with great slaughter. A fresh bri-
gade, consisting of the 26th Indiana
and 37th Illinois infantry, being now
brought up fix)m the right to the
relief of our exhausted center, CoL
Houston ordered and led a charge
against the same Rebel battery which
had been fiiiitlessly charged already.
Again it was taken, and again the
captors were compelled to abandon
it by the overwhelming fire of infan-
try concentrated upon them.

Thus the battle stood, still desper-
ately contested, neither lost nor won,
when, at 2J p. m., Herron heard the
welcome music of a battery opening
at some distance otf his right, and
was soon assured that Blunt's division
was on hand.

Blunt had that morning sent OoL
"Wickersham, with his cavalry, in ad-
vance, followed by G^. Salomon's
infantry brigade, with directions to
move rapidly on ihe FayetteviUe road,
and form a junction, if possible, with*
Herron. Three miles north of GiMf
Hill, however, "Wickersham had taken*
the left-hand road to Rhea's MiDs,
instead of the right, leading dire(5tly'
to Fayetteville ; and Blunt, on reach-
ing the fork, had followed, deeming
it imprudent to dislocate his* com-
mand. Coming up at length Trtth'
Wickersham, he ordered him to face'
toward Fayetteville, and endeavor ii&
reach •Herton. Wickerdhttm had
barely started, when, a little after
noon, the boom of artillery was heard
in the north-east, and, leaviiig Q^.
Salomon's brigade to guaini his trdn^
at Rhea's Mills, Blunt set fbtward^
over a bKnd, hilly road, with his tWo
others, in the direction of the fire.

At 1:45 p. M., Gen. Blunt, in adZ



ind coming up, or retreat and lose my whole train. It required no time to make a dectslbn.'"



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40



THE AMBRIOAH CONFLICT.



yaace of his division, came into full
view of the field where the battle
was fiercely raging. The Eebels were
very strongly posted on high, rolling
ground, covered by timber, and only
approached fi^om the north over
large, open fields, which afforded no
cover, save that a part of them bore
a crop of ripe com. Blunt's eccen-
tric advance had brought him in front
of the enemy's left, where they had
been massing a large force for the
purpose of flanking Herron's position.
The flankers found an enemy much
nearer than they expected, and were
at once hotly engaged with Blunt's
division. Its three batteries, firing
shell and case-shot at short range,
Boon proved an overmatch for the two
Sebel batteries opposed to them,
driving them and their supports back
into the woods; where fliey were
charged by Col. "Weer, leadkig the
lOth^ 13th, and part of the 2d and
11th Kansas and 20th Iowa, and a
musketry %ht of three hours was
maintained with equal energy by the
contending hosts. Meantime, our
batteries were advanced at various
points and served with rare efficiency ;
lieut. Tenney, with six 10-pound
Parrotts, repelling with shell and can-
ister, while unsupported, a formidable
infantry attack. Here fell the Eebel
Gen. Stein, of Missouri, A battery
of 10 guns, well supported, opening
upon Tenney, he in ten minutes si-
lenced its clamor, dismounting two
of the guns, and driving off the resi-
due. An attempt to capture Babb's
and Hopkins's batteries, which were
supported by the 11th Kansas, Lt-
Col. Moonl^ht, was defeated with
fearful slaughter.



As darkness came on, the firing
gradually slackened and ceased ; the
Rebels recoiling into their woody
covert, our soldiers sleeping on their
arms in the open field where they
had so bravely struggled, expecting
to renew the combat at daylight.
Meanwhile, our wounded were all
cared for, the trains of the whole
army sent to Fayetteville ; and Gen.
Salomon's brigade, relieved from the
duty of guarding them, ordered to
the field; ammunition brought up
and distributed, and everything made
ready for proceeding to business at
dawn ; but, just before daylight, Gen.
Blunt received a flag of truce from
Hindman, asking a^ personal inter-
view with reference to the burial of
the dead and relief of the wounded.
Blunt met Hindman accordingly, and
was soon satisfied that the meting
so solicited was but a trick; that
Hindman had no force present or
near but his staff-escort, and a party
left to gather up his wounded ; that
the bulk of his army had commenced
retreating several hours before.

Our loss in this battle was 167
killed, 798 wounded, and 183 miss-
ing — total, 1,148. Most of the miss-
ing were captured in Marmaduke's
initial attack on our cavalry, and
were exchanged directly afterward.
Of our loss, no less than 953 fell on
Herron's command of hardly more
than 4,000 men. Lt.-Col. McFar-
land, who led the 19th Iowa in its
first charge, was killed ; as was Maj .
Burdett, of the 7th Mi^ouri cavalry.
Lt.-CoL Black, 37th Illinois, and
Maj. Thompson, 20th Iowa, were
among the woxmded. The Rebel
loss*' must have been greater, because



" Qen. Huntk in his official report, BajBi
'^IlieenemT'B loss in killed and wounded can



not fall short of 3,000, and will probablj much
exceed that number^ aa man/ of tiiem, not se-



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THE TENNESSEE EIYEB.



41



of onr BuperiOTity in artillery, with
which the principal execution was
done. Hindman's official report
makes it, 164 killed, 817 woonded,



336 missing — total, 1,317 ; and claims
to have taken 275 prisoners, 5
flags, 23 wagons, and over 600
small arms.



m.



KENTUCKY— TEKNESSEE— ALABAMA.



Ths river Tennessee, taking rise
in the nigged valleys of sonth-west-
em Viiginia, between the Alleghany
and the Cmnberland ranges of moun-
tains, but drawing tribute also from
western North Carolina and northern
Gborgia, traverses East Tennessee in
a generally "W. S. "W. direction, en-
tering Alabama at its N. E. comer ;
and, after a detour of some 300 miles,
through the northern part of that
8ta£e, passes out at its N. W. comer ;
i^entering Tennessee, and, passing
again through that State in*a course
due north, and forming the boimdary
between what are designated respec-
tively West and Middle Tennessee,
thence flowing N. N. W. till it falls
into the Ohio scarcely 70 miles above
the mouth of that river, whereof it



is the largest tributary, draining an
area of over 40,000 square miles.
Very rarely frozen, it is usually navi-
gable, save in dry summers, from its
mouth to the Muscle Shoals, toward
the lower end of its course through
Alabama, and thence by smaUer boats
at high stages of water some 500
miles, to Knoxville, the capital of
East Tennessee. The Cumberland,
draining the opposite slope of the
Cumberland Mountains, takes its rise
in the heart of eastern Kentucky, and,
pursuing a similar but shorter course,
runs W. S. W. into Middle Tennes-
see, which it traverses very much as
the Tennessee does northern Alaba-
ma, passing Nashville, its capital,
bendhig N. "W. into Kentucky some
20 miles eastward of the latter river,



▼erelj wounded, were taken to Van Buren.
Their loes in killed upon the ground will reach
1,000; the greater number of whom have been
buried bj mj command."
PoUard, on the other hand, says of this battle:
" Oar whole line of infantry were in dose oon-
ffici nearly the whole day with the enemy, who
were attempting, with their force of 18,000 men,
to drire us from our position. In every instance,
they were repulsed, and finally driven back
from the field ; Gen. Hindman driving them to
within 8 miles of Fayetteville; when our forces
feQ back to their supply d^pdt, between Cane
fiiU and Van Buren. W« captured 300 prison-
ers, and vast quantities of stores. The enemy's
loss to killed and wounded was^about 1,000; the
OoBfederate loss, hi killed, wounded, and missing,
about 300."
Oen. Blnnt Airther says of this Pollard victory :



*' Their transportation had been left south of
the mountains, and their retreat thereby made
unincumbered and stealthy. I am assured by
my own men who were prisoners with them, as
well as by deserters fh>m their ranks, that they
tore up the blankets of their men to muffle the
wheels of their artillery."

Gen. Herron, in a private letter, dated Deo.
15th, says :

"The loss of the enemy is terrific. After
their burial-parties had been on the ground for
three days, we had to turn in and bury 300 for
them. The country for 25 miles around is full
of their wounded. We have, as captures, 4
caissons full of ammunition, and about 300 stand
of arms. Hindman had prepared himself, and
risked all on this fight His movements were
shrewdly managed; and nothing but desperately
hard fighting ever carried us through."



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43



THB AKEBIOAN 'OONFLIOT.



and' ptusning a generally parallel
course to that stream^ to its own re-
ception by the Ohio, and being navi-
gable for 260 miles by large steam-
boats, save in seasons of snmmer
drouth, and by boats of 500 tuns for
some 300 miles further. These two —
the only rivers, save the Mississippi,
navigable southward from the border
of the Free into the Slave States —
were obviously regarded on both
sides, in view of the notorious im-
practicability of Southern roads in
"Winter and Spring, as the natural
routes of advance for our "Western
armies collected and drilled on and
near the Ohio during the Autumn of
. 1861 and the WintOT following.

The close of 1861 left Gen. Hum-
phrey Marshall, commanding the0on-
fed^-ate forces in south-eastern Ken-
tucky, intrenched at Paintville, John-
son county, intent on gathering sup-
plies and recruiting. Col. James A.
Garfield, of Ohio, commanding a
Union brigade consisting of the 42d
Ohio, 14th Kentucky, and a squad-
ron of Ohio cavalry, moved up the
Big Sandy early in 1862, occupying
Paintville* without resistance, and
pushing on to Prestonburg, Floyd
county ; near which town, at the forks
of Middle creek, he encountered Mar-
shall, whom he put to flight with
little loss on either side. Qt^rfield
reported his full strength in this
engagement at 1,800, and estimated
that of Marshall at 2,500. Marshall
was obliged to retreat into Virginia.

Cumberland Gap was abandoned
without resistance to the Unionists
next month;* and Gen. Qurfield,
with 600 men, made a rapid excur-
sion* to Pound Gap, where he sur-
prised a Rebel camp, capturing 300



rifles, destroying the camp equipage,
and returning to Pikeville without
loss.



Gen. ZoUicoffer, at the close of
1861, held a position on the Cumber-
land, near the head of steamboat nav-
igation on that sinuous stream, which
may be regarded as the right of the
Rebel army covering Tennessee and
holding a small part of southern Ken-
tucky. His force did not exceed
6,000 men ; but even this was with
great difficulty meagerly subsisted by
inexorable foraging on that thinly
settled and poorly cultivated regioi^
His principal camp was at Mill
Spbino, in Wayne county, on the
south side of the river ; but, finding
himself unmolested, he .established
himself on the opposite bank, in
a substantial earthwork, which he
named Camp Beach Grove. He had
one small steamboat, which had run
up with munitions from Nashville,
and was employed in gathering sup-
plies for his hungry men; but the
advance of a Union detachment to
Columbia, on his left, had rendered
his navigation of the river below him
precarious, if not entirely obstructed
it. On his right front. Gen. Schoepf,
with a force of 8,000 mien, occupied
Somerset ; but was content to occupy
it, without attempting or desiring to
make trouble. But Gen. George H.
ThcHuas, having been ordered* by
Gen. Buell to take command in this
quarter, had scarcely reached Lo-
gan's Cross-Roads * when Maj.-Gen*
George B. Crittenden, who had re-
cently joined ZoUicoffer and super-
seded him in command, finding him-
self nearly destitute of subsistence,
and apprehending an attack in over-



* Jan. 7, 1862. •• About Feb. 22. • March 16. * Dec 29, 1861. • Jan. IT, 1862.



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BATTLE OF LOGAN'S CROSS-ROADS.



48



wfaelming strength from all oiirforcjes
in that part of Kentucky, resolved to
anticipate it ; ' and, at midnight after
the next day,' advanced with his en-
tire available force, consisting of six
Tennessee, one Alabama, and one
Itfississippi regiments of infantry, six
cannon, and two battalions of cav-
aby, to strike and surprise the three
or fouCr Union regiments which he
was assured were alone posted be-
tween him and Somerset. He struck
them as he had expected, but did not
surprise them ; Gen. Thomas having
taken the precaution to send out
strong pickets of infantry on the
roads leading toward the enemy,
with a picket of cavalry still farther
in advance. These were encountered
by Crittenden's vanguard before day-
light ; • but, after firing, retired slowly
and in good order, and reported to
OoL M. B. Hanson, conunanding the
advance brigade, who in ten minutes
had his two regiments — 10th Indiana
and 4:th Kentucky, CoL S.S. Fry-
in readiness ; and the Rebels, in that
hour of darkness, necessarily pro-
ceeded with caution, doubling them-
selves as they advanced. Thomas
was of course at the jEront, having or-
dered up his remaining regiments,
within ten minutes afterward.



Online LibraryHorace GreeleyThe American conflict: a history of the great rebellion in the United States of America, 1860-'64 → online text (page 5 of 113)