previous next
[679] a sortie,1 wherein a part of the garrison gained the rear of the rifle-pits on his left; clearing them and taking 120 prisoners. On that day, one of the batteries on his right was carried and spiked by Col. Morgan's 14th U. S. colored, with some loss; and he drew off westward next evening.

The pressure on Decatur was a feint to cover his crossing farther west; which was soon effected near Florence, in spite of resistance by Gen. Croxton's brigade of cavalry, there picketing the river. Meantime, Forrest, moving eastward from Corinth, Miss., through Paris, Tenn., with 17 regiments of cavalry and 9 guns, had struck the Tennessee at Johnsonville, an important depot connected by railroad with Nashville, and a chief reliance of that city for supplies; defended by Col. C. R. Thompson, 12th U. S. colored, with 1,000 men, aided by Lt. E. M. King with three gunboats; and several days'2 sharp fighting ensued; the enemy ultimately drawing off, upon the approach by rail of Gen. Schofield with his 23d corps from Nashville; but not till — our mariners having been worsted in a fight with Forrest's cavalry — our commanders had fired their gunboats and transports, lest they should fall into the enemy's hands; and the flames had extended to the stores on the levee and the commissary's and quartermaster's depots, involving a loss of $1,500,000 worth of provisions, &c., just when they could worst be spared. Gen. Thomas reports this destruction needless and unjustifiable.

It being no longer doubtful that Hood — who bad been reenforced by part of Dick Taylor's army from below — was about to follow his vanguard across the Tennessee--Gen. Thomas directed a concentration of the 4th and 23d corps on Pulaski, with intent to impede rather than seriously dispute the Rebel advance on Nashville. Hood's infantry, according to our best advices, now exceeded 40,000; his cavalry were 12,000, well equipped, in high spirits, under their boldest and most skillful leader; so that, including artillery, the entire Rebel force, well concentrated, was not far from 55,000 men. Many of these were Tennesseans and Kentuckians, long exiled, who had come home to stay, alive or dead. To oppose these, Thomas had in hand the 4th corps, Gen. Stanley, 12,000; the 23d, Gen. Schofield, 10,000; and 8,000 cavalry, under Hatcher, Croxton, and Capron — in all 30,000 men. He may have had as many more, scattered over the wide region under his command; but, to concentrate these, he must abandon such posts as Chattanooga, Stevenson, Huntsville, Decatur, Athens, &c., and in effect relinquish more to the enemy than they could hope to win by a victory. He knew that time was on his side — that, if he fell back to Nashville, showing a firm front that would compel Hood to keep his army together, our strength would be constantly augmenting, while the enemy must be steadily weakened. There was a more brilliant alternative, but he chose to be safe.

While Sherman remained near Kingston, Ga., menacing his flank and rear, Hood seemed to linger on the Tennessee; possibly deeming the odds against him too great; perhaps not yet fully provided and equipped

1 Oct. 28.

2 Oct. 28-Nov. 5.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
J. B. Hood (4)
F. Thomas (3)
John M. Schofield (2)
N. B. Forrest (2)
Croxton (2)
C. R. Thompson (1)
Dick Taylor (1)
T. G. Stevenson (1)
D. S. Stanley (1)
William T. Sherman (1)
John Morgan (1)
E. M. King (1)
Hatcher (1)
Capron (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
October 28th (2)
November 5th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: