Horace Greeley.

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

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and position concealed by a growth
of bushes. At 10 a. m.,** Blunt
advanced in two columns, under
Cols. Judson and Phillips ; deploying
rapidly to right and left when within
400 yards of the enemy's" line, with
cavalry dismounted on either flank,
armed with carbines and fighting te
infSuitry. In two hours, the Bebels
were driven, and, in two or three
more, hunted through two or three
miles of timber to tiie open i»«irie,
when they fied in disorder, leaving
behind them 160 dead and 77 pris-
oners, with one dismounted gun and
900 small arms. Blunt estimates



* Uskj 20. " Near Fort Gibson, Creek NatioxL
VOL. n. — 29



"Jul/l. "July 10. » July 15-16. "July IT.



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their wounded at 400. Our loss was
17 kaied and 90 wounded.

HaSrdly had Cooper fled, when
Cabell, at« 4 p. m., arrived with the
expected Texans, estimated bj Blunt
at 8,000 ; but they did not see fit to
attack; while our men were ex-
hausted with marching and fighting,
and were running short of ammuni-
tion. Bo Blunt halted and waited
till next morning; when he ascer-
tained that the enemy had decamped
during the night, retreating across
the Canadian.

But, though beaten at the fkmt,
the Bebels soon b^an to exhibit a
fi-esh vitality by means of guerrilla
raids in the rear of our forces. The
eth Missouri cavalry, CoL Caiher-
wood, holding Pineville, in the
south-west comer of Missouri, was
next attacked " by Coflfey, raiding up
from Arkansas ; who was beaten off,
with the loss of his wagons, muni-
tions, and cattle, with some 200
killed, wounded, and prisoners.

The next raid was more savage and
more successful. It was made by a
bandit termed Quantrell — though
that was not his real name — who,
collecting a force of 300 Rebel
guerrillas on the Blackwater, in
western Missouri, 60 miles from the
State line, far within the Union
lines, and while no Rebel fiag openly
floated within 100 miles, rode steal-
thily across the border and at early
dawn " into the young city of Law-
rraice, Kansas, where no preparation
for defense existed, fbr no danger of
attadc was ever dreamed of. The
people were surprised in their beds,
the roads picketed, and every one
who emerged from a house with a
weapon was Aot down, of course.



But very few thought of resistanoei
which was manifestly idle. The
Eldridge House, the chief hotel, con-
tained no arms of any kind, and
was formally surrendered by Capl
Banks, who, frankly avowing himself
a Union ofBcer, insisted on seeing
Quantrell, who assured him that
none .who surrendered should receive
personal harm. The banks, stores,
and safes, were all broken open and
robbed, as were the private dwell-
ings. All the horses were taken, of
course; otherwise the booty could
not have been carried off Every
n^ro and every German who were
caught were killed at once. The
Court-house and many of the best
dwellings were fired and burnt.
Eighteen unarmed recruits were
found at the rendezvous near the city,
and killed ; as were quite a number
of private citi2sens ; several of them
after they had surrendered and
given up theii; money under a pro-
mise that they should be spared ;
but those taken in the Eldridge
House were protected by Quantrell
and saved. Few, if any, who were
shot, survived. U. S. Senator J. H.
Lane escaped; as did CoL Deitzler
and some others; Gen. Collamore,
who hid in a well, was suffocated, aa
were two men who successively went
down to help him out. At 10 a. m^
the work of devastation and murder
was complete— 140 men having been
butchered and 186 buildings burned,
including most of the stores and
one-fourth of the dwellings — and the
bandits left; being fired at by some
soldiers across the Kansas, as they
fled, and three of them killed.

A series of fatalities had prevented
the receipt of any warning of thiB



'Aug. 13.



>Atig.2L



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451



raid. One man was riding in ad-
vance of the raiders, to warn Law-
rence, when his horse fell nnder him
and was killed ; while the rider was
so injured that he died next da^.
The banditti had been seen, the
night before, passing five miles south
of Aubrey, near the State line,
where Capt. Pike, with two cavahy
companies, was stationed ; but Pike,
instead of pursidng them, sent word
to Capt. Coleman, at Little Santa
F6 ; who, with IjOO more horsemen,
marched to Aubrey, and, with Pike,
commenced a pursuit ; but the trail
was now cold; and the pursuers
were six miles from Lawrence, on
horses thoroughly blown, when the
bandits, with fresh (stolen) horses,
were leaving the scene of their mur-
ders. They were overtaken near
Palmyra by Senator Lane and a weak
party from Lawrence; but these
could not attack, and were tmable to
keep them in sight; and, in short,
Quantrell, dodging many times his
force, who were after him, rested a
while that night 5 miles north-east of
Paoli, and escaped next day into the
timber of the middle fork of Grand
river, Missouri ; where his band scat-
tered, Becking and finding conceal-
ment with congenial spirits through-
out the surrounding region. Perhaps
100 of them were overtaken and
killed in the pursuit ; but the greater
number escalped, and were soon in-
distinguishable.

CoL Woodson, with 600 Missouri-
ans, starting** fi-om Pilot Knob, Mo.,
dashed into Pocahoi^tas,*^ Ark., where
he captured Gen. M. Jeff. Thompson
and some 50 others; returning un-
molested.

The surrender of Vicksburg and



Port Hudson, with the retreat of Jo.
Johnston from Jackson, having left
Gen. Grant^s army at leispre, Maj.-
Gen. F. Steele was sent to Helena,*
to fit out and lead an expedition for
the capture of LrrrLS Book. The
force assigned him for this task num-
bered 6,000 men of all arms, includ-
ing 600 cavahy, with 2* guns ; but
Gten. Davidson, with nearly 6,000
more men, mainly mounted, and 18
guns, soon joined him from Missouri ;
swelling his aggregate to 1S,000 men
and 40 guns. Steele soon moved
out,** Davidson's cavalry in advance;
crossing White river *^ at Clarendon,
and sending forward ^ Davidson to
reconnoiter the enemy's position at
Brownsville, while he shipped his
extra supplies and his sick — ^by this
time numbering 1,000 — down to Dur
vall's bluff, which was accounted the
healthiest spot in that unhealthy re-
gion.

Davidson advanced, skirmishing,
to Brownsville,** which Marmaduke
evacuated ; retreating to his intrench-
ments at Bayou Metea ; whence he
was, after some fighting, dislodged "
and driven over the bayou ; burning
the bridge behind him, and so diedD-
ing pursuit.

G^ True's brigade, from Mem^
phis, reaching Olarendon on the 29th,
was ferried over the White next
day, and a general advance resumed;
Steele concentrating at Brownsville,
and, after attempting to pass Bayou
Metea on the north and being baffled
by miry swamps, decided to move by
the left to the Arkansas, whidi h^
struck** near Ashley's mills; where
Davidson's cavalry, reconnoitering
in the advance, had jmoth^ sharp
skirmish with the enemy; Steele,



■Aog. 21. ••Aug. 24. » Julj 8L "Aug. 10. «Aag. 17. "Aug. 22. "Aug. 26. "Aug. 27. "Sept 1.



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findiiig himself ombarraased with 700
more sick; whom, along with his
train, he was obliged to leave True's
brigade and Bitter's cavalry to guard,
while he pnahed up the Arkansas
and fought his way into Little Bock ;
Davidson, supported by two divisions
and two batteries, crossing directly,
and approaching that city on the
south side of the river.

Davidson, having completed his
reconnoissances and^ed on his point
of crossing, threw over his pontoons
during the night,** and was all over
by 11 ▲• K. ; ^e fire of his batteries
having speedily silaiced the enemy's
opposition. Advancing directly on
Little Bock, he was more stubbornly
resisted at Bayou Fourche, five miles
out, by Marmaduke's cavalry and
Tappan's brigade of infantry, sup-
porting two batteries, strongly post-
ed; but Steele, advancing simultane-
ously on the north bank of the river,
his batteries fired across at the ene-
my obstructing Davidson ; which en-
abled the latter slowly to gain
ground, until at length, ordering a
chaige by Bitter's brigade and
Strange's howitzers, supported by
part of the 1st Iowa cavalry, his men
went into the city, sab^ in hand, on
the heels of the flying enemy; and,
at 7 p. M., the capital of Arkansas
was formally surrendered by its civil
authorities : the United States arse-
nal being uninjured, and whatever
Bebel stores were there filing into
our hands ; but six steamboats were
completely burned by Price, who had
been in ehief command here, with
several railroad cars; while their
three pontoon-bridges and two loco-
motives, though also fired by them,
ware partially saved.



Steele, moving parallel with Da-
vidson, was opposite the city, when
it was evacuated and given up, and
entered it late that evening: the
enemy making for Arkadelphia too
rapidly to be overtaken by our jaded
horses, to say nothing of our men.

Steele says his entire loss to or by
the enemy during this campaign did
not exceed 100 ; yet he had but 7,000
of his 12,000 when he started that
morning to enter Little Bock. True,
he had left many guarding hospitals
and trains; but he had been reen-
forced by two brigades : so that hia
losses by disease must have been
fearfuL He had taken 1,000 pris-
oners.

Ere this, Gen. Blunt, pursuing the
motley Bebel horde under Stand-
watie and Cabell, had very nearly
brought them to a stand at Perry-
viUe," Choctaw Katipn; but they
were too nimble to receive mudi
damage, and he chased them by Fort
Smith, whereof he took" bloodless
possession. CoL J. M. Johnson, lat
[Union] Arkansas, was. made post
commander. Cabell, it was said, fell
back to participate in the defense of
Little Bock ; but he failed to arrive
in season; joining Price's fugitive
force somewhere on its retreat to the
Washita. Price ultimately fell back
to Bed river.

Gen. Blunt, having been on busi-
ness to Kansas, was returning with a
small cavalry escort to Fort Smith,
when he was struck,** near Bazt^s
springs, Cherokee Kation, by Quan-
trell, with 600 guerrillas, and most
of his small escort killed or disabled:
among the 80 killed — ^nearly all after
they had been captured — were Maj.
H. Z. Curtis, son of Maj.-Gen* S. B.



■Sept 9-10.



"Aug. 26.



>8eptL



•Ooti.



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DBFKNSB 01 PINB BLTJPF— SHELBY'S RAID.



4to



Curtis, and sev^al civflians. Cfen.
Blunt, raUyiDg Bome 15 of his guard,
escaped capture and death bj great
ooolnees and courage: their persist-
egoLCj in boldly fighting creating a be-
lief that they were the van of a heavy
force. A considerable train that ac-
companied them was sacked and
burned. The attack was made very
near the little post known as Fort
Blair, which was next assailed;
but its defenders, though few, were
brave and well led by Lt. Pond, 8d
Wisconsin cavalry, who beat the en-
emy off, inflicting a loss of 11 killed
and many more wounded. Gen.
Blunt and his remnant of escort kept
the prairie till night, then made their
way to the post. They had not ven-
tured thither before, apprehending
that it had been taken.

Praia Blitfp, on the south bank of
tiie Arkansas, 50 miles below Little
!Rock, was occupied, early in October,
by Col. Powell Clayton, 6th Kansas
cavalry, with 850 men and 4 guns.
Harmaduke, at Princeton, 45 miles
south, resolved to retake it. By the
time he advanced to do so,** Clayton
had been r§enforced by the 1st Indi-
ana cavalry : so that he had now 000
men and 9 light guns.

Marmaduke, with 12 guns and a
force estimated at 2,600, advanced in
tiiree columns, and poured in shell
and canister for five hours, setting
fire to the place ; but Powell had or-
ganized 200 negroes to barricade the
streets with cotton-bales, by whose
services the fire was stopped without
subtracting from his slender fighting
force. The Bebel shells burned the



court-house and several dwdHngs,
battering most of the residue ; but'
they could not take the town ; and, '
at 2 p. M., drew oSj having lost 160
killed and wounded, beside 88 prison-
ers. Our loss was but 17 killed and
40 wounded — 6 of the former and
12 of the latter among the n^ro
volunteers.

Part of Cabell's command, which
(as we have seen) had been worsted,
in the Indian TerritOTy, by Blunt and
Phillips, undertook, under Shelley, a
Fall raid into Missouri — ^probably in
quest of subsistence. Emerging from
tiie Choctaw r^on of the Indian
Territory, the raiders passed rapidly
through the north-west comer of
Arkansas, crossing the rivel* eastward
of Fort Smith, and evading any col-
lision with our forces near that post
as well as with those holding lAt&e
Rock, and entering south-western
Mssouri; being joined •* at Crooked
Prairie by a similar force under Cof-
fey, whereby their number was said
to be swelled to 2,500. These ad-
vanced rapidly through Western ICs-
souri to the river at BooneviHe, but
forthwith commenced a retreat — dis-
appointed, probably, in their hopes
of reenforcement from the now pas-
sive Eebels of that disloyal section.
They were pursued by a hastily gath-
ered body of Missouri militia, under
Gen. E. B. Brown, who struck" them
near Arrow Eock at nightfall ; %ht-
ing them till dark; renewing the
attack at 8 next morning, and put-
ting them to flight, with a loss of
some 800 killed, wounded, and pris-
oners.**



" Oct. 25. •^ Oct. 1. • Oct 13.

" « St. Louis, Mo., Oct 14, 1863.

^Uti.'Qetx, Hallbok, QenenO^ii-Ghief:

^ Gen. Brown broug^ht the Rebels under Shel-
bj to a decisive engagemeat jesterdaj. Jho



fight was obstinate and lasted five hours. The
Rebels were finally oompletel/ routed and scat-
tered in all directions, with loss of all their ar-
tillery and baggage and a Urge number of amidP
arms and prisoners. The enemy^ loss in killed



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THB AMBEIOAH GOHFLIOT.



QexL McNeil was at St Louis
when first af^rised ** of this raid, and
at onoe set oat for his post, Lebanon :
whence, gathering up what force he
could, he advanced on Bolivar, mov-
ing by HumansviUe and Stockton on
Lunar, where he hoped to intercept
their flight. But Shelby had ahreadj
passed through HumansviUe, hotly
pursued, losing there his last gun,
wh^a McKeil reached that point ; so
the latter joined the hunt through
Greenfield and Sarco^cie into Arkan-
sas, and on through Huntsville over
BuSalo mountain, taking prisoners
by the w;ay ; continuing the chase to
CSaiksville unable to come fairly up
with the nimble fugitives, who had
now crossed the, Arkansas and van-^
ished among the wilds beyond. Mc-
Neil here gave over the pursuit, mov-
ing deliberately up the river to Fort
Smith. During this chase, he had
been demgnated^' to command of the
Army of the Frontier, vice Gen.
Blunt, relieved.

Standwatie and Quantrell made
another attack*' on CoL Phillips's
outposts near Fort Gibson, Indian
Territory ; but, after a fight of four
or five hours, the assailants were
routed and driven across the Arkan-
sas. This terminated the fighting in
this quarter for the year 1863.



» A general Lidian war on our West-
em frontier had been gravely ap-
prehended in 1862 ; and that appre-
hension was partially realized. Un-
der the administratioivs of Pierce
and Buchanan, the Lidian agents and
other Government employes among
the aboriginal tribes of the great
plains were of course Democrats ;



mai^ of tlmn Southrons, and all
intensely pro-Slavery. These were
generally superseded, under Mr. Lin-
coln, in the course of 1861 ; and were
suspected of having been stimulated^
by wrath at finding themselves dis-
placed and by political and sectional
sympathies, to use their necessarily
great influence among the several
tribes to attach them to the fortunes
and involve them in the struggles of
the Confederacy. Of some of them,
this is probably true ; but it is not
known to be proved, save with those
formerly accredited to the tribes re-
siding within the boundaries of the
Lidian Territory. But, however
caused, the general feeling of the
western Lidians toward us became
more and more hostile during 1861-2 ;
until at length certain bands of the
Sioux of Minnesota, with some other
tribe^ plunged into open war. Little
Crow's band bore a conspicuous part
in these butcheries ; striking in rapid
succession the north-western frontier
settlements at Yellow Medicine,"
New TJlm,** Cedar City,** Minn., and
a few other feeble outposts ; besieging
for nine days Fort Kdgeley;" be-
leaguering and twice assaulting Fort
Abercrombie, whence they were driv-
en with heavy loss ; and butchering
in all some 500 persons, mainly de-
fenseless women and children. Mili-
tia were promptly called out and sent
against them, under Gen. EL EL Sib-
ley ; and the main savage band was
finally struck" at Wood lake ; where
Little Crow was utterly routed, flee-
ing thence into Dakota. Some 500
of the savages were captured; of
whom 498 were tried by court-mar-
tial, and about 300 convicted and



aod woooded is Terj great Cora is also large.
Onr troops are still pursuing the flying Rebels.
''J. JC SoBOfilLD, Miyor-GexMraL''



•Oct 9. ••Oct 20. •■Deals. «Aug. 18,'e2.
•ioig-Sil. ••SeptS/ ••Octn-as. •'SeptM.



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SIBLEY'S AKD CONNOR'S IKDIAN OAMPAIGNS.



MS



sentenced to be lianged ; but Presi-
dent Lincoln deferred their execution,
and moBt of them were nltimatel j set
at liberty.

Next Bnmmer — G«l Pope being
in command of this department —
the irr^nlar frontier* line of settle-
ments in the north-west was picketed
by abont 2,000 men; while Gten.
Sibley moved westward from Fort
Snelling in June, with some 2,500
in&ntry ; Gen. Sully, with a body of
cavalry being sent up the Missouri
on bcMEits to cooperate. The two
commands did not unite ; but Sibley
found and fought^* some of the hos-
tile savages at Missouri Couteau, Big
mound, Dead Buffalo lake, and 8Umj
lake ; killing or wounding some 180
of tiiem; while Sully encountered**
a band at Whitestone hill, rout-
ing them with heavy loss, and tak-
ing 156 prisoners. The remnant
fled across the Miasouii and evaded
pursuit. This was the virtual close
of the Sioux war. Our men oa these



expeditions suffep^ed terribly for water
— a great drouth then prevailing oa
the plains.

Far West, Brig.-Oen. P. K Oonn«,
1st California voluntera^ command^
ing in Utah, on hearing*^ of Indian
depredations by the Shoshonees on
Bear river, western Idaho, marched
thither (140 miles) through deep Win-
ter snows, wherdn 75 of his men
were disabled by frozen feet, and,
with the residuov attacked *' 800 sav-
ages in their stronghold, killing 2S4 ;
his own loss being 12 killed and 4^
wounded. Four months later, Gen.
Connor, with most of his force, tra*
varsed the regicm westward of the
Rocky mountains so far north* as old
Fort Hall on Snake. river, but found
no enemy to combat.

These Indian hostilities, though
inglorious and most unprofitable,
subtracted considerably from our
military strength, and added largely
to our exhausting outlays during tl^
trying year 1868.



XX.

THE CAROLINAS, GEORGIA, FLORIDA— 1862-^68.



Thb Savannah river having, with
its largest affluent, the Tugaloo,
formed the boundary between South
Carolina and Georgia from their
northern verge, after a generally
south-east course of some 800 miles,
passing, at the head of ship naviga-
tion, near its mouth, its namesake
city, which is the commercial empo-
rium of Georgia, winds its sluggish
way to the Atlantic through a clus-



ter of mud-formed, often sand-fringed
sea islands, matted over with a thin
crust of grass-foots, covering a jelly-
like mud several feet deep, resting
uneasily on a bed of light, semi-liquid
clay. Font Pulaski, on Cockspur
island (a mile long by half as wide),
was a careftilly constructed brick Na-
tional fortress 25 feet above ground
by ti thick, completely commanding
not only the main channel of the



* July 25-29, 1863.



'SepkS.



*J«&iiai7, 1868.



•*JtB.a9.



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THE AHRBICAK OOKFLIGT.



Bavannali, but all other inlets prac-
ticable for sea-going vessels to the
city and the firm land above. Having
early fallen an eas j pre j to the devo-
tees of Secession, it was held by a
garrison of 885 men, CoL C. H. 01m-
stead, 1st Qeorgia ; its 40 heavy guns
barring access to the river by our
vessels, and affording shelter and pro-
tection to blockade^ronners and Bebel
ccffsairs.

Yearj soon after our recovery! of
Port Boyal and the adjacent sea-
islands, Qtea. T. W. Sherman direct-
ed' Oen. Quincy A. Gillmore to re^
connoiter this ngly impediment, and
report on the feasibility of overcom-
ing it Gillmore obeyed; and re-
ported' that the fort might be re-
daoed by batteries of mortars and
rifled gtms planted on Big Tybee
island, south-east of it, across the
narrower southern channel of the
Savannah, as also from Yenns |>oint,
on Jones island, over two miles from
Gockspur, in the opposite direction :
and submitted his plan ; which was
sent to Washington, returned ap-
proved, and the requisite ordnance
and other enginery ultimately for-
warded or collected. Meantime, the
46th New York, CoL R. Rosa, was
sent* to occupy Big Tybee, and a
detachment directed quietly to clear
out the Rebel obstructions in " Wall's
cut," an artificial channel connecting
New and Wright rivers, north of
Cockspur, and completing an inland
water passage from Savannah to
Charleston. After some sharp fight-
ing and four nights' hard work, this
was achieved ; ' and, after some far-
ther delay, Yenus point, on Jones
island, north-west of the coveted fort-
ress, was selected' as a point whereon



to place a battery, barring all day-
li^t access to the beleaguered foot
from above. To this point, mortars,
weighing 8^ tuns each, were brought
through New and Wright rivers (each
of them a slu^ish tide-course be-
tween rush-covered islets of semi-
liquid mud) ; being patiently tugged
across Jones island on a movable
causeway of planks laid on poles —
those behind the moving gun being
taken up and placed in its front ;^ and
thus the guns were toilsomely drag-
ged across and placed in battery (m
strong timber platforms, constructed
by night behind an artfully contrived -
screen of bushes and reeds to re-
ceive them. Just as the batteries
were completed, the Rebel steamboat
Ida passed down from Savannah to
Pulaski, and the recoil of our guns
fired at her sent all but one of them
off the platforms ; which had there-
upon to be enlai^^ and improved.
Soon, another battery was established
on Bird island, a little nearer Cock-
spur: and next, vessels having ar-
rived* in Tybee roads with heavy
guns and munitions, the 7th Conn.,
46th New York, and some detached
companies, were employed in land-
ing these on Big Tyb^B, construct-
ing batteries and magazines, making
roads of poles and plank, &c., Ac
Nearly all this work had to be dcme
by night, within range of Pulaski's
guns — the outline presented to the
enemy by the low bushes skirting
the river being skillfully and gradu-
ally altered, night after night, so as
to afford to the garrison no indica-
tion of the menacing work going on
behind its friendly shelter.

The moving of each gun over the
quaking, treacherous bog, from its



*8eoVol.L,p.605. •Nor. 29/61. »Dec.l..*InDea •Jan. 14/63. Van. 23. 'Fob.ia-11. 'FDb.2L



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SCALE



BOMBAXDMSHT OV VOBT PVLAMCL



point of debarkation to its designated
position in battery, was the tedions,
arduous task of 360 men, all per^
formed under the cover of darkness :
the men being forbidden to speak;
their movements being directed by a
-whistle. When a gun slipped, as it
often would, off the planks and ^ skids'
supporting it, the utmost efforts were
required to keep it from plunging
straight down through the 12 feet
of mud to the supporting day, if no
farther.

Thus were the renmant of Febru-
ary and the whole of March int^tly
employed — Maj.-G^. Hunter, who
had just succeeded* to the command
of the department, with Brig.-O^i.
Benham as district commander, vis-
iting the works on Tybee island,
and finding nothing in them to im-
prove.

At length, all was in readiness :'*



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