previous next

[87] only surprised, but he had made a very faulty disposition of his troops. The men were not only attacked without a warning shot, but were taken at a terrible disadvantage. Anything beyond a brief resistance was impossible, and they were obliged to abandon their position as any other corps must have done under the same circumstances. Still, some of the brigades changed front under the attack, and made a gallant resistance for over an hour, seriously retarding the enemy's onset, after which they retired slowly and in good order. The loss of the corps at Chancellorsville was 217 killed, 1,218 wounded, and 972 captured or missing total, 2,407.

At Gettysburg the corps was still under the command of Howard; the divisions were under Generals Barlow, Steinwehr, and Schurz, and contained 26 regiments of infantry and 5 batteries. It was engaged, in company with the First Corps, in the battle of the first day, and, on the second day, it participated in the gallant defence of Cemetery Hill. On the day before the battle of Gettysburg, the corps reported 10,576 officers and men for duty; its loss in that battle was 368 killed, 1,922 wounded, and 1,511 captured or missing; total, 3,801, out of less than 9,000 engaged.

It accompanied the Army on the return to Virginia after Gettysburg, and, on August 7th, the First Division (Schimmelfennig's) was permanently detached, having been ordered to Charleston Harbor. On the 24th of September, the Second and Third divisions (Steinwehr's and Schurz‘) were ordered to Tennessee, together with the Twelfth Corps. These two corps, numbering over 20,000 men, were transported, within a week, over 1,200 miles, and placed on the banks of the Tennessee River, at Bridgeport, without an accident or detention.

During the following month, on October 28th, Howard's two divisions were ordered to the support of the Twelfth Corps, in the midnight battle at Wauhatchie, Tenn. Arriving there, Smith's Brigade of Steinwehr's Division charged up a steep hill in the face of the enemy, receiving but not returning the fire, and drove Longstreet's veterans out of their intrenchments, using the bayonet alone. Some of the regiments in this affair suffered a severe loss, but their extraordinary gallantry won extravagant expressions of praise from various generals, high in rank, including General Grant. A part of the Eleventh Corps was also actively engaged at Missionary Ridge, where it cooperated with Sherman's forces on the left. After this battle it was ordered to East Tennessee for the relief of Knoxville, a campaign whose hardships and privations exceeded anything within the previous experience of the command.

In April, 1864, the two divisions of the Eleventh Corps were broken up and transferred to the newly-formed Twentieth Corps. General Howard was transferred to the command of the Fourth Corps, and, subsequently, was honored by a promotion to the command of the Army of the Tennessee.

Twelfth Corps.

The corps that never lost a color or a gun. When its designation was changed to the Twentieth, it still preserved unbroken the same grand record. The veteran divisions of Williams and Geary wore their star-badges through all the bloody battles of the Atlanta campaign and the Carolinas, and still kept their proud claim good, marching northward to the grand review with the same banners that had waved at Antietam and Lookout

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.
Von Steinwehr (3)
O. O. Howard (3)
Schurz (2)
A. S. Williams (1)
W. F. Smith (1)
William T. Sherman (1)
Schimmelfennig (1)
Longstreet (1)
Ulysses S. Grant (1)
John W. Geary (1)
Francis C. Barlow (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.
April, 1864 AD (1)
October 28th (1)
September 24th (1)
August 7th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: