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[73]

In the meantime, Peck's (2d) Division of the Fourth Corps was ordered to remain on the Peninsula, from whence it went, after a few months stay. to Suffolk, Va. The Fourth Corps was officially dliscontinued in August, 1862, and its divisions were never reunited.


Fourth Corps.
(Army of the Cumberland.)


This corps was composed of fighting regiments. Of the regiments in the Western armies, take the ones that sustained the greatest losses in battle, and it will be found that more of them were in the Fourth Corps than in any other. Although all of their fighting was not done while in the Fourth Corps, it was done either in it or in the two corps which were consolidated in order to form the Fourth.

On October 9, 1863, the Fourth Corps was organized by the consolidation of the Twentieth (McCook's) and Twenty-first (Crittenden's) Corps, in compliance with the President's order of September 28th. Though newly-formed, it was composed of veteran brigades whose battle flags were scarred with the marks of hard fought fields; within this new command they were destined to wave amid the smoke and fire of many more. The command of the Fourth Corps was given to General Gordon Granger, the man who marched his division to Chickamauga with no other orders or direction than “the sound of the enemy's cannon.” The three divisions of this new corps were placed under the commands of Generals Palmer, Sheridan, and Wood. Soon after its organization the corps went into action at Missionary Ridge, where it distinguished itself by its brilliant and successful charge up the heights. In this battle the two divisions of Sheridan and Wood lost 280 killed, 2,078 wounded, and 12 missing; total, 2,370, or more than half the casualties at Missionary Ridge. The first division, under command of General Cruft, was also engaged.

During the following winter the corps marched to the relief of Knoxville, a campaign memorable for the suffering, hunger, and hardships endured by the men. In May, 1864, it moved on the Atlanta campaign, General Howard commanding the corps, and Generals Stanley, Newton, and Wood the divisions. Its hardest fighting during that campaign occurred at Pickett's Mills, and in the unsuccessful assault on Kenesaw Mountain.

After the evacuation of Atlanta, the Fourth and Twenty-third Corps, under General Thomas, marched northward to confront Hood's forces, while Sherman, with the main army, wended his way, unmolested, to the sea. General Stanley was then in command of the Fourth Corps, General Howard having been promoted to the command of the Army of the Tennessee, upon the death of Mac Pherson; Kimball, Wagner, and Wood were in command of the divisions. On November 20, 1864, a few days before the battle of Spring Hill, the corps numbered 14,715 present for duty; about 2,200 more joined before the battle of Franklin. In that battle the Confederates received the bloodiest repulse of the war, their men fighting with unusual desperation, while twelve of their generals were killed or wounded in their unsuccessful attack on the Union intrenchments. At Franklin, Opdycke's Brigade of the Fourth Corps won special distinction by its promptness and gallantry in retaking a part of the works which the enemy had seized. General Stanley was severely wounded in this action, and General Thomas J. Wood succeeded to his place.

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