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Doc. 12.-General Halleck's report of operations in 1863.

Headquarters of the army, Washington, D. C., November 15, 1863.
Sir: In compliance with your orders, I submit the following summary of military operations since my last annual report:

Department of West-Virginia and army of the Potomac.

When General Burnside relieved General McClellan from his command on the seventh of November of last year, the army of the Potomac was on the south side of the Potomac, under instructions to pursue Lee by a flank march on the interior line to Richmond, hugging closely to the Blue Ridge, so as to observe its passes and to give battle to the enemy whenever an opportunity occurred.

On reaching Warrenton, however, General Burnside proposed to give up this pursuit of Lee's army toward Richmond, and to move down the north side of the Rappahannock to Falmouth, and establish a new base of supplies at Acquia Creek or Belle Plain. This proposed change of base was not approved by me, and in a personal interview at Warrenton I strongly urged him to retain his present base, and to continue his march toward Richmond in a manner pointed out in the President's letter of October thirteenth, 1862, to General McClellan.

General Burnside did not fully concur in the President's view, but finally consented to so modify his plan as to cross his army by the fords of the upper Rappahannock, and then move down and seize the heights south of Fredericksburgh, while a small force was to be sent north of the river to enable General Haupt to reopen the railroad and to rebuild the bridges, the materials for which were nearly ready in Alexandria. I, however, refused to give any official approval of this deviation from the President's instructions until his assent was obtained. On my return to Washington, on the thirteenth, I submitted to him this proposed change in the plan of campaign, and, on its receiving his assent rather than approval, I telegraphed, on the fourteenth, authority to General Burnside to adopt it. I here refer not to General Burnside's written plan to go to Falmouth, but to that of crossing the Rappahannock above its junction with the Rapidan.

It has been inferred, from the testimony of General Burnside before the Congressional Committee on the Conduct of the War, that his plan of marching his whole army on the north of the Rappahannock from Warrenton to Falmouth, had been approved by the authorities in Washington, and that he expected, on his arrival there, to find supplies and pontoons, with gunboats to cover his crossing. In the first place, that plan was never approved, nor was he ever authorized to adopt it. In the second place, he could not possibly have expected supplies and pontoons to be landed at points then occupied in force by the [169] enemy. Again, he was repeatedly informed that gunboats could not at that time ascend the Rappahannock to Fredericksburgh.

General Burnside did not commence his movement from Warrenton till the fifteenth, and then, instead of crossing the Rappahannock by the fords, as he was expected to do, he marched his whole army down on the north bank of the river, his advance reaching Falmouth on the twentieth. Lee's army, in the mean time, moved down the south side of the river, but had not occupied Fredericksburgh on the twenty-first. The river was at this time fordable a few miles above the town, and General Sumner asked permission to cross and occupy the heights, but it was refused, and no attempt was made to effect the passage till the eleventh of December, by which time Lee's army had been concentrated and strongly entrenched. This passage, however, was effected without serious opposition, with the right wing and centre, under Sumner and Hooker, at Fredericksburgh, and the left wing, under Franklin, on the bridges established some miles below. It was intended that Franklin's grand division, consisting of the corps of Reynolds and Smith, should attack the enemy's right, and turn his position on the heights in the rear of Fredericksburgh, while Sumner and Hooker attacked him in front. But by some alleged misunderstanding of orders, Franklin's operations were limited to a mere reconnoissance, and the direct attacks of Sumner and Hooker were unsupported. The contest on the right wing, during the thirteenth, was continued till half-past 5 P. M., when our men were forced to fall back, after suffering terrible losses.

Both armies remained in position till the night of the sixteenth of October, when General Burnside withdrew his forces to the north side of the Rappahannock. General Burnside has been frequently requested to make an official report of these operations, but has furnished no information beyond that contained in his brief telegrams, sent from the battle-field, in one of which he uses the following language: “The fact that I decided to move from Warrenton to this line, rather against the opinion of the President, the Secretary of War, and yourself, and that you have left the whole movement in my hands, without giving me orders, makes me the more responsible.”

The loss of the rebels in this battle is not known. As they were sheltered by their fortifications, it was probably less than our, which, as officially reported, was one thousand one hundred and thirty-eight killed, nine hundred and fifteen wounded, and two thousand six hundred and seventy-eight missing. Most of the missing and many of the slightly wounded soon rejoined the regiments and reported for duty.

It was alleged at the time that the loss of this battle resulted from the neglect to order forward the pontoon train from Washington. This order was transmitted for Warrenton to Brigadier-General Woodbury, then in Washington, on the twelfth of November, and was promptly acted on by him. General Burnside had supposed that the pontoon train was then in Washington or Alexandria, while it was still on the Potomac, at Berlin and Harper's Ferry, General Burnside's order to send it to Washington not having been received by the officer left in charge there. General Burnside had only allowed time for transporting pontoons from Alexandria, when they had to be first transported to that place from Berlin. Delay was therefore entirely unavoidable, and, on investigation of the matter by General Burnside, General Woodbury was exonerated from all blame.

General Hooker relieved General Burnside from his command on the twenty-fifth of January, but no advance movement was attempted till near the end of April, when a large cavalry force, under General Stoneman, was sent across the upper Rappahannock, toward Richmond, to destroy the enemy's communications, while General Hooker, with his main army, crossed the Rappahannock and the Rapidan above their junction, and took position at Chancellorsville, at the same time General Sedgwick crossed near Fredericksburgh, and stormed and carried the heights.

A severe battle took place on the second and third of May, and on the fifth our army was again withdrawn to the north side of the river. For want of official data, I am unable to give any detailed accounts of these operations or of our losses.

It is also proper to remark in this place, that from the time he was placed in the command of the army of the Potomac till he reached Fairfax Station, on the sixteenth of June, a few days before he was relieved from the command, General Hooker reported directly to the President, and received instructions directly from him.

I received no official information of his plans or of their execution.

In the early part of June, Lee's army moved up the south bank of the Rappahannock, occupied the gaps of the Blue Ridge, and threatened the valley of the Shenandoah. General Hooker. followed on at interior lines, by Warrenton Junction, Thoroughfare Gap, and Leesburgh. But the operations of both armies were so masked by the intervening mountains, that neither could obtain positive information of the force and movements of the other. Winchester and Martinsburgh were at this time occupied by us simply as outposts. Neither place was susceptible of a good defence. Directions were therefore given, on the eleventh June, to withdraw their garrisons to Harper's Ferry, but these orders were not obeyed, and on the thirteenth Winchester was attacked, and its armament and a part of the garrison captured. Lee now crossed the Potomac near Williamsport, and directed his march upon Harrisburgh. General Hooker followed on his right flank, covering Washington and Baltimore. On reaching Frederick, Md., on the twenty-eighth June, he was, at his own request, relieved from the command, and Major-General Meade appointed in his place. During these movements, cavalry skirmishes took place at [170] Beverly Ford, Brandy Station, Berryville, and Aldie, some of which were quite severe, but, in the absence of detailed reports, I am unable to give the losses on either side.

When General Meade, under orders of the President, took command of the army of the Potomac, on the twenty-eighth of June, it was mainly concentrated at Frederick, Maryland. Lee's army was supposed to be advancing against Harrisburgh, which was garrisoned by raw militia, upon which little or no reliance could be placed. Ewell's corps was on the west side of the Susquehanna, between that place and Columbia. Longstreet's corps was near Chambersburgh, and Hill's corps between that place and Cashtown.

Stuart's cavalry was making a raid between Washington and Frederick, cutting Meade's line of supplies and capturing his trains.

Our force at Harper's Ferry at this time was supposed to be about eleven thousand. It was incorrectly represented to General Meade to be destitute of provisions, and that he must immediately supply it, or order the abandonment of the place. Accordingly, a few hours after. he assumed the command, he assented to an order drawn up by an officer of General Hooker's staff, directing General French to send seven thousand men of the garrison to Frederick, and with the remainder (estimated at four thousand) to remove and escort the public property to Washington. This order, based on erroneous representations, was not known in Washington till too late to be countermanded. It, however, was not entirely executed when General Meade very judiciously directed the reoccupation of that important point.

On the twenty-ninth, General Meade's army was put in motion, and at night was in position, its left at Emmittsburgh, and right at New-Windsor. The advance of Buford's cavalry was at Gettysburgh, and Kilpatrick's division at Hanover, where it encountered Stuart's cavalry, which had passed around the rear and right of our army without meeting any serious opposition.

On the thirtieth, the First, Third, and Eleventh corps were concentrated at Emmittsburgh, under General Reynolds, while the right wing moved up to Manchester. Buford reported the enemy in force on the Cashtown road near Gettysburgh, and Reynolds moved up to that place on the first of July. He found our cavalry warmly engaged with the enemy, and holding them in check on the Cashtown road. Reynolds immediately deployed the advance division of the First corps, and ordered the Eleventh corps to advance promptly to its support. Wadsworth's division had driven back the enemy some distance, and captured a large number of prisoners, when General Reynolds fell mortally wounded. The arrival of Ewell's corps, about this time, by the York and Harrisburgh roads, compelled General Howard, upon whom the command devolved, to withdraw his force, the First and Eleventh corps, to the Cemetery ridge, on the south side of Gettysburgh. About seven P. M., Generals Sickles and Slocum arrived on the field with the Third and Twelfth corps, which took position, one on the left and the other on the right of the new line. The battle for the day, however, was over.

General Meade arrived on the field during the night with the reserves, and posted his troops in line of battle, the First corps on the right, the Eleventh corps next, then the Twelfth corps, which crossed the Baltimore pike; the Second and Third corps on the Cemetery ridge. On the left of the Eleventh corps the Fifth corps, pending the arrival of the Sixth, formed the reserve. On the arrival of the latter, about two o'clock P. M., it took the place of the Fifth, which was ordered to take position on the extreme left. The enemy massed his troops on an exterior ridge, about a mile and a half in front of that occupied by us. General Sickles, misinterpreting his orders, instead of placing the Third corps on the prolongation of the Second, had moved it nearly three fourths of a mile in advance, an error which nearly proved fatal in the battle. The enemy attacked this corps on the second with great fury, and it was likely to be utterly annihilated, when the Fifth corps moved up on the left, and enabled it to re-form behind the line it was originally ordered to hold. The Sixth corps, and part of the First, were also opportunely thrown into this gap, and succeeded in checking the enemy's advance about sunset. The rebels retired in confusion and disorder.

About eight P. M., an assault was made from the left of the town, which was gallantly repelled by the First, Second, and Eleventh corps. On the morning of the first, we regained, after a spirited contest, a part of our line on the right, which had been yielded to sustain other points. On the second, about one P. M., the enemy opened an artillery fire of one hundred and twenty-five guns on our centre and left. This was followed by an assault of a heavy column on our left and left centre. This was successfully repulsed with terrible loss to the enemy. This terminated the battle, and the rebels retired defeated from the field. The opposing forces in this sanguinary contest were nearly equal in numbers, and both fought with the most desperate courage. The commanders were also brave, skilful, and experienced, and both handled their troops on the field with distinguished ability; but to General Meade belongs the honor of a well-earned victory, in one of the greatest and best-fought battles of the war.

On the morning of the fourth, the enemy apparently occupied a new line in front of our left, but in reality, his army had commenced to retreat, carrying off a part of his wounded. His lines, however, were not entirely evacuated till the morning of the fifth, when the cavalry and Sixth corps were sent in pursuit. The days of the fifth and sixth were employed by General Meade in succoring the wounded and burying the dead left on the battle-field. He then started in pursuit of Lee by a flank movement upon Middletown.

In the mean time General French had reoccupied [171] Harper's Ferry, destroyed the enemy's pontoon train at Williamsport and Falling Waters, and captured its guards. Halting a day at Middletown, General Meade crossed the South-Mountain, and on the twelfth found the enemy occupying a strong position on the heights of Marsh Run, in front of Williamsport. Instead of attacking Lee in this position, with the swollen waters of the Potomac in his rear, without any means of crossing his artillery, and where a defeat must have caused the surrender of his entire army, he was allowed to construct a pontoon bridge with lumber collected from canal-boats and the ruins of wooden houses, and on the morning of the fourteenth his army had crossed to the south side of the river. His rear-guard, however, was attacked by our cavalry and suffered considerable loss. Thus ended the rebel campaign north of the Potomac, from which importal political and military results had been expected. Our own loss in this short campaign had been very severe, namely, two thousand eight hundred and thirty-four killed, thirteen thousand seven hundred and two wounded, and six thousand six hundred and forty-three missing--in all, twenty-three thousand one hundred and eighty-six. We captured three guns, forty-one standards, thirteen thousand six hundred and twenty-one prisoners, and twenty-eight thousand one hundred and seventy-nine small arms. The entire loss of the enemy is not known, but judging from the numbers of his dead and wounded left on the field, it must have been much greater than ours.

After crossing the Potomac, Lee continued his retreat up the valley of the Shenandoah, and through the gaps of the Blue Ridge, till he reached the south bank of the Rapidan, near Orange Court-House, where he took tip a defensive position to dispute the crossing of the river. General Meade continued his flank pursuit by Harper's Ferry, Berlin, and Warrenton, till he reached Culpeper Court-House, where he halted his army, not deeming it prudent to cross the river and attack the enemy, who was now intrenched on the south bank, which completely commanded the approaches on the north side. During this advance, several cavalry skirmishes took place, but without serious loss on either side.

A considerable part of Lee's army was now withdrawn, to reenforce Bragg in the West; but with his diminished numbers he assumed a threatening attitude against General Meade, manoeuvred to turn his flank, and forced him to fall back to the line of Bull Run. Having destroyed the Orange and Alexandria Railroad from the Rapidan to Manassas, the rebels again fell back to their former position near Orange Court-House. During these operations there were several severe engagements between detached forces-but no general battle: October tenth and eleventh, at Robertson's River; twelfth, at Brandy Station; fourteenth, at Bristoe Station; nineteenth, at Buckland Mills; twenty-fourth, at Bealton and the Rappahannock Bridge; and on the seventh of November, on the south bank of that river. Our loss at Bristoe Station was fifty-one killed and three hundred and twenty-nine wounded. We captured five cannon,two colors,and four hundred and fifty prisoners. In the several skirmishes between the ninth and twenty-third of October, the casualties in our cavalry corps were seventy-four killed, three hundred and sixteen wounded, and eight hundred and eighty-five missing. The enemy's loss is not known, but must have been heavy, as we captured many prisoners. Troops sent out from Harper's Ferry, forced him to immediately retreat.

On the seventh of November, Generals Sedgwick and French attacked the enemy at Rappahannock Station and Kelly's Ford, capturing several redoubts, four guns, and eight battle-flags, and about two thousand prisoners. Our loss in killed and wounded was three hundred and seventy. The enemy now retreated to his old position, south of the Rapidan.

The operations of our troops in West-Virginia are referred to here as being intimately connected with those of the army of the Potomac; the force being too small to attempt any important campaign by itself, has acted mostly upon the defensive, in repelling raids and in breaking up guerrilla bands. When Lee's army retreated across the Potomac, in July last, Brigadier-General Kelly concentrated all his available force on the enemy's flank, near Clear Springs, ready to cooperate in the proposed attack by General Meade; they also rendered valuable services in the pursuit after Lee had effected his passage of the river. On the twenty-fourth of July, Colonel Toland attacked the enemy at Wytheville, on the Eastern and Virginia Railroad, capturing two pieces of artillery, seven hundred muskets, and one hundred and twenty-five prisoners. Our loss was seventeen killed and sixty-one wounded; the enemy's killed and wounded reported to be seventy-five.

In August, General Averill attacked a rebel force under General Sam Jones, at Rocky Gap, in Green Brier County, capturing one gun, one hundred and fifty prisoners, and killing and wounding some two hundred. Our loss in killed, wounded, and missing, was one hundred and thirty. On the eleventh of September, Imboden attacked a small force of our troops at Morefield, wounding fifteen and capturing about one hundred and fifty. On the fifth of November, General Averill attacked and defeated the enemy near Lewisburgh, capturing three pieces, over one hundred prisoners, and a large number of small arms, wagons, and camp equipage. The enemy's loss in killed and wounded estimated at three hundred.

Department of Virginia and North-Carolina.

Our force in North-Carolina, during the past year, has been too small for any important operations against the enemy, and, consequently, has acted mostly on the defensive, holding the important positions previously captured from the rebels. Nevertheless, General Foster has given much annoyance to the enemy, and taken every [172] favorable opportunity to threaten and cut his lines. In December last, he marched against Kinston, and on the fourteenth defeated the enemy and captured the place. He then moved up the south side of the Neuse River to Goldsboro, burned the railroad bridge at that place, and tore up much of the railroad between the river and Mount Olive.

He captured four hundred and ninety-six prisoners and nine pieces of artillery. His loss was ninety killed, four hundred and seventy-eight wounded, and nine missing. In March, the rebel General Pettigrew, with a large force of infantry and artillery, made a demonstration on Newbern, but was forced to abandon the attempt on that place. General Foster's loss was only two killed and four wounded. In April, General Hill laid siege to Washington, on Tar River. The place had only a small garrison, and was but slightly fortified. General Foster, however, immediately directed all his energies to strengthen the works so as to resist any assault till reinforcements arrived from Newbern, to raise the siege there. No report of the losses on either side.

An expedition sent against a rebel camp at Gum Swamp, in May, which captured one hundred and sixty-five prisoners and military stores, and another, in July, against Rocky Mount, on Tar River, which destroyed the bridge at that place and a large amount of rebel property, terminate the military operations in that State to the present time.

On being compelled to abandon his attempt upon Washington, the rebel General Hill marched toward Nansemond to reenforce Longstreet, who was investing Suffolk. Failing in his direct assaults upon this place, the enemy proceeded to establish batteries for its reduction. General Peck made every preparation for defence of which the place was capable, and started the construction of his works, till finally, the attempt was abandoned. Our loss in these operations was forty-four killed, two hundred and two wounded, and fourteen missing. We captured four hundred prisoners and five guns during the siege.

As Suffolk possessed no advantages as a military post, and was not susceptible of a good defence, the garrison was afterwards withdrawn within the new lines constructed around Norfolk. When the rebel army was moving North, upon Maryland and Pennsylvania, General Dix sent all of his available force from Norfolk and Fortress Monroe up the York River, for the purpose of cutting off Lee's communications with Richmond and of attacking that place, which was then defended by only a handful of militia. The expedition, however, failed to accomplish a single object for which ,it had been fitted out.

The failure resulting, as it was alleged, from the inefficiency of one of the generals commanding, General Dix, therefore, ordered its return, and sent the troops of which it was composed to reinforce the army of General Meade, north of the Potomac. On the fifth of October, Brigadier-General Wistar was sent with a small force, aided by gunboats, to Matthew County, Virginia, to break up a rebel party known as the Confederate Volunteer Coast-Guard, who were engaged in smuggling goods across the Chesapeake from Maryland and the Eastern Shore. Most of these coastguards were absent at the time, but the expedition resulted in capturing one hundred and fifty boats and schooners, and eighty head of beef cattle.

The navy has given efficient aid in all the operations in this department.

Department of the South.

The withdrawal, last year, of most of our troops in South-Carolina, to reenforce General McClellan on the Peninsula, compelled the Commanding General of that department to confine himself mainly to the defence of the points which he then occupied. An attack upon Fort Sumter and Charleston had long beet in contemplation by the Navy Department, and in March last it was represented that the operations of the iron-clads and monitors would be greatly facilitated by a land force prepared to assist the attack, and to occupy any work reduced by the navy. Accordingly General Foster, with a considerable force and a large siege equipage, which had been prepared for another purpose, was sent to assist in this naval attack.

It was thought that his talents and experience as an engineer officer, and his personal knowledge of the localities and defensive works of Charleston harbor, rendered him peculiarly suited for this duty; but not proving acceptable to the Commanding General of the department, he was permitted to return to his command in the Carolina, leaving his troops and siege preparations in the Department of the South. The naval attack on Fort Sumter took place on the seventh of April; but being unsuccessful, nothing, apparently, remained to be done by the land forces. A siege of Charleston and its defences by land had never been attempted, and, therefore, was on part of the plan.

It was now represented by the Navy Department that a second attack upon Fort Sumter and Charleston was preparing, and that its success required the military occupation of Morris Island, and the establishment of land batteries on that island, to assist in the reduction of Fort Sumter.

The establishment of these batteries and the reduction of the enemy's works, Fort Wagner and Battery Gregg, being a matter of engineering skill, Brigadier-General (now Major-General) Q. A. Gillmore was selected to command the land forces engaged in these operations. In addition to being an educated and skilful military engineer, he had considerable experience in the special duties required in these operations. General Gillmore, despite the enemy's defensive works, landed his force on Morris Island on the tenth of July, and immediately commenced the slow and difficult operations of conducting the siege of Fort Wagner, and establishing batteries against Fort Sumpter.

Without, however, waiting for the reduction [173] of the former, he opened, on the seventeenth of August, his fire on the latter, and, on the twenty-third, after seven days bombardment, Fort Sumter was reported a shapeless and harmless mass of ruins. Being under the fire of other forts of the enemy, and inaccessible by land, our troops could not occupy it, and a few guns have since been temporarily remounted, but they have been as often silenced. General Gillmore now vigorously pushed forward his sappers against Fort Wagner, and on the morning of the seventh of September, took possession of that place, and also of Battery Gregg, most of the garrison having made their escape in boats during the night.

He captured in all thirty-six pieces of artillery and a large amount of ammunition. General Gillmore's operations have been characterized by great professional skill and boldness. He has overcome difficulties almost unknown in modern sieges. Indeed, his operations on Morris Island constitute almost a new era in the science of engineering and gunnery. Since the capture of Forts Wagner and Gregg, he has enlarged the works, and established powerful batteries, which effectually command Fort Sumter, and can render efficient aid to any naval attack upon Charleston. They also control the entrance to the harbor.

Department of the Gulf.

Major-General Banks took command of the Department of the Gulf on the seventeenth of December. Almost immediately on assuming command, he ordered a detachment of troops to Galveston, Texas, to occupy that place under the protection of our gunboats. Colonel Burrill, with three companies of the Forty-second Massachusetts volunteers, the advance of the expedition, arrived at that place on the evening of the twenty-fourth December. On consultation with the commander of the blockading force, he landed his men upon the wharf, and took possession of the city on the first of January.

Before the arrival of the remainder of our forces, the rebels made an attack by land, with artillery and infantry, and by water with three powerful rams. Colonel Burrill's command of two hundred and sixty men were nearly all killed and taken prisoners. The Harriet Lane was captured, and the flag-ship Westfield was blown up by her commander to prevent her falling into the hands of the enemy. The rebels also captured the coal-transports and a schooner. The commanders of the Harriet Lane and Westfield, and a number of other naval officers and men, were killed.

The remainder of the expedition did not leave New-Orleans till December thirty-first, and arrived off Galveston on the second of January, the day after our forces there had been captured or destroyed by the enemy. Fortunately they did not attempt to land, and returned to New-Orleans in safety. It is proper to remark that this expedition was not contemplated or provided for in General Banks's instructions.

On the eleventh of January, General Weitzel, with a force of infantry and artillery, aided by the gunboats under Lieutenant Commanding Buchanan, crossed Berwick Bay, and attacked the rebel gunboat Cotton, in the Bayou Teche. This gunboat, being disabled by the fire of our naval and land forces, was burned by the rebels.

The loss of General Weitzel's command in this expedition was six killed and twenty-seven wounded. A number were killed and wounded on our gunboats, and among the former, Lieutenant Commanding Buchanan.

On learning of the capture of the Queen of the West by the rebels, above Port Hudson, and their movements in Red River and the Teche, Admiral Farragut determined to run past the enemy's batteries, while the land forces at Baton Rouge made a demonstration on the land side of Port Hudson. The demonstration was made, and, on March fourteenth, Admiral Farragut succeeded in passing the batteries with the Hartford and Albatross. The Monongahela and Richmond fell back, and the Mississippi grounded, and was blown up by her commander.

Had our land forces invested Port Hudson at this time, it could have been easily reduced, for its garrison was weak. This would have opened communication, by the Mississippi River, with General Grant at Vicksburgh. But the strength of the place was not then known, and General Banks resumed his operations by the Teche and Atchafalaya. In the latter part of March, Colonel Clarke was sent with a small force up the Pontchatoula, and destroyed the railroad bridge at that place. He captured a rebel officer and four privates, and three schooners loaded with cotton. His loss was six wounded.

At the same time General Dickerson was sent to the Amite River to destroy the Jackson Railroad. He proceeded as far as Camp Moore, captured forty-three prisoners, a considerable amount of cotton, and destroyed valuable rebel manufactories. In his operations up the Teche and Atchafalaya, General Banks encountered the enemy, under Sibley, Taylor, and Mouton, at several points, and defeated them in every engagement. Buttea La Rose was captured, with a garrison and two heavy guns. By the gunboats, under Lieutenant Commanding T. Cooke, of the navy, General Banks reached Alexandria on the eighth of May, the enemy retreating toward Shreveport and into Texas.

In this expedition General Banks reports the capture of two thousand prisoners, twenty-two pieces of artillery, two transports, and a large amount of public property. We destroyed three gunboats and eight transports. Our own loss, in the different engagements with the enemy, was very slight — numbers not given.

General Banks now returned to the Mississippi River, and crossed his ármy to Bayou Sara, where he formed a junction, on the twenty-third of May, with General Augur's forces from Baton Rouge. The latter had an engagement with the enemy at Port Hudson Plains on the twenty-third, [174] in which he lost nineteen killed and eighty wounded.

Port Hudson was immediately invested. While awaiting the slow operations of a siege, General Banks made two unsuccessful assaults upon the place; finally, on the eighth of July, the place unconditionally surrendered. We captured six thousand two hundred and thirty-three prisoners, fifty-one pieces of artillery, two steamers, four thousand four hundred pounds of cannon powder, five thousand small-arms, one hundred and fifty thousand rounds of ammunition, etc.

In order to facilitate General Grant's operations, by destroying the enemy's line of communication, and to prevent the early concentration of any reenforcements, Colonel (now Brigadier-General) Grierson was sent with a cavalry force from La Grange on the seventeenth of April, to traverse the interior of the State of Mississippi. This expedition was most successfully conducted. It destroyed many of the enemy's railroad bridges, depots, and much of the rolling. stock, and reached Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in safety on the second of May.

On returning to Vicksburgh, General Grant found his forces insufficient to entirely invest the enemy's works. There was, therefore, danger that the two bodies of the enemy, under the command of Generals Pemberton and Johnston, might yet effect a junction, as it was known that the latter was being largely reenforced from Bragg's army in Middle and East-Tennessee. Under these circumstances, General Grant deternmined to attempt to carry the place by assault. Two unsuccessful attacks were made on the nineteenth and twenty-second of May; but as reenforcements reached him a few days after, sufficiently large to enable him to completely invest the rebel defences, he resorted to the slower but more effective way of a regular siege. By the third of July his sappers were so far advanced as to render his success certain, and on that day General Pemberton proposed an armistice and capitulation, which were finally accepted, and Vicksburgh surrendered on the fourth of July.

In the language of General Grant's official report, the results of this short campaign were: The defeat of the enemy in five battles outside of Vicksburgh; the occupation of Jackson, the capital of the State of Mississippi, and the capture of Vicksburgh and its garrison, and munitions of war; a loss to the enemy of thirty-seven thousand prisoners, among whom were fifteen general officers, at least ten thousand killed and wounded, and among the killed Generals Tracy, Tilghman, and Green, and hundreds, perhaps thousands, of stragglers, who can never be collected and organized; arms and munitions of war for an army of sixty thousand men have fallen into our hands, beside a large amount of other public property, consisting of railroads, locomotives, cars, steamboats, cotton, etc., and much was destroyed to prevent our capturing it.

Our losses in the series of battles may be summed up as follows:

Port Gibson1807185
Fourteen Mile Creek skirmish,424 
Champion's Hill,4261842189
Big Black Railroad Bridge,292422

Of the wounded, many were but slightly wounded, and continued on duty; many more required but a few days or weeks for their recovery, and not more than one half of the wounded were permanently disabled.

When we consider the character of the country in which this army operated, the formidable obstacles to be overcome, the number of the enemy's force, and the strength of his works, we cannot but admire the courage and endurance of the troops, and the skill and daring of the commander. No more brilliant exploit can be found in military history. It has been alleged, and the allegation has been widely circulated by the press, that General Grant, in the conduct of his campaign, positively disobeyed the instructions of his superiors. It is hardly necessary to remark that General Grant never disobeyed an order or instruction, but always carried out, to the best of his ability, every wish or suggestion made to him by the Government.

Moreover, he has never complained that the Government did not furnish him all the means and assistance in its power to facilitate the execution of any plan which he saw fit to adopt. While the main army of Tennessee was operating against Vicksburgh, the enemy's forces on the west side of the river made successful attacks on Milliken's Bend and Lake Providence, on the sixth and tenth of June. Our loss in the former was one hundred and one killed, two hundred and eighty-five wounded, and two hundred and sixty-six missing. Loss in the latter not reported. It is represented that the colored troops in these engagements fought with great bravery, and that the rebels treated this class of prisoners of war as well as their officers with great barbarity.

It has not been possible, however, to ascertain the correctness of the representations in regard to the treatment of these prisoners. After the capture of Vicksburgh, General Grant reported that his troops were so much fatigued and worn out, with forced marches and the labors of the siege, as absolutely to require several weeks of repose before undertaking another campaign. Nevertheless, as the exigencies of the service seemed to require it, he sent out those who were least fatigued on several important expeditions, while the others remained at Vicksburgh, to put that place in a better defensible condition for a small garrison.

As soon as Vicksburgh was captured, General Sherman was sent in pursuit of Johnston's forces. The latter retreated to Jackson, Mississippi, which place was taken by us on the sixteenth of July. Our loss was about one thousand in killed, wounded, and missing. General Sherman captured seven hundred and sixty-four prisoners, [175] two rifled guns, a large amount of ammunition, and destroyed the railroad, rolling stock, etc. The enemy retreated toward the Alabama line, and General Sherman returned to Vicksburgh to recuperate his forces.

Our loss from the twenty-third to the thirtieth of May, including the assault of the twenty-seventh, as reported, was about one thousand. Being reenforced from General Grant's army on the termination of the Mississippi campaign, General Banks sent an expedition, under General Franklin, to occupy the mouth of the Sabine River, in Texas. It reached the entrance to the harbor on the eighth of September, and the gunboats engaged the enemy's batteries, but two.of them, the Clifton and Sachem, being disabled, were forced to surrender, the others retreated, and the whole expedition returned to Brashear City.

The officers and crews of the gunboats, and about ninety sharp-shooters, who were on board, were captured, and our loss in killed and wounded was about thirty. After a long delay at Brashear City, the army moved forward by Franklin and Vermillionville, and at last accounts occupied Opelousas.

Department of the Tennessee.

At the date of my last annual report General Grant occupied West-Tennessee and the northern boundary of Mississippi. The object of the campaign of this army was the opening of the Mississippi River, in conjunction with the army of General Banks.

General Grant was instructed to drive the enemy in the interior as far south as possible, and destroy their railroad communication; then fall back to Memphis, and embark his available forces on transports, and, with the assistance of the fleet of Admiral Porter, reduce Vicksburgh. The first part of this plan was most successfully executed; but the right wing of the army, sent against Vicksburgh, under General Sherman, found that place much stronger than was expected. Two attacks were made, on the twenty-eighth and twenty-ninth of December, but failing in their object, our troops were withdrawn, and, while waiting reenforcements from General Grant, moved up the Arkansas River to Arkansas Post, which place was, with the assistance of the gunboats, captured on the eleventh of January.

Our loss at Vicksburgh was one hundred and ninety-one killed, nine hundred and eighty-two wounded, and seven hundred and fifty-six missing; at Arkansas Post, one hundred and twenty-nine killed, five hundred and thirty-one wounded, and seventeen missing. We captured at the latter place five thousand prisoners, seventeen pieces of cannon, three thousand small arms, forty-six thousand rounds of ammunition, and five hundred and sixty-three animals.

General Grant now assumed the immediate command of the army on the Mississippi, which was largely reenforced. Being satisfied by the result of General Sherman's operations that the north line of works was too strong to be carried without heavy loss, he directed his attention to opening the canal, which had been commenced the year before by General Williams, across the peninsula, on the west bank of the river.

This canal had been improperly located, its upper terminus being in an eddy, and the lower terminus being exposed to the enemy's guns. Nevertheless, it was thought that it could be completed sooner than a new one could be constructed. While working parties under Captain Prime, Chief Engineer of that army, were diligently employed on this canal,. General Grant directed his attention to several other projects for turning the enemy's position.

These are fully described in his official report. The canal proving impracticable, his other plans being unsuccessful, he determined to move this army by land down the west bank, some seventy miles, while transports for crossing should run past the enemy's batteries at Vicksburgh, the danger of running the batteries being very great and the roads on the west side in horrible condition. This was a difficult and hazardous expedient, but it seemed to be the only possible solution of the problem.

The execution of the plan, however, was greatly facilitated by Admiral Farragut, who had run two of his vessels past the enemy's batteries at Port Hudson and Grand Gulf, and cleared the river of the enemy's boats below Vicksburgh; and, finally, through the indomitable energy of the Commanding General, and the admirable dispositions of Admiral Porter for running the enemy's batteries, the operations were completely successful. The army crossed the river at Bruinsburgh. April thirtieth, turned Grand Gulf, and engaged the enemy near Port Gibson on the first, and at Fourteen Mile Creek on the third of May. The enemy was defeated in both engagements, with heavy loss.

General Grant now moved his forces, by rapid marches, to the north, in order to separate the garrison of Vicksburgh from the covering arm of Johnston. This movement was followed by the battles of Raymond, May twelfth; of Jackson, May fourteenth; of Champion Hills, May sixteenth; and Big Black River Bridge, May twenty-seventh; in all of which our troops were victorious. General Grant now proceeded to invest Vicksburgh.

A military and naval force was sent to Yazoo City on the thirteenth. It took three hundred prisoners, captured one steamer, burned five, took six cannon, two hundred and fifty small arms, and eight hundred horses and mules. No loss on our side reported. Small expeditions were also sent against Canton, Pontotoc, Grenada, and Natchez, Mississippi. At Grenada a large amount of rolling stock was destroyed. Near Natchez, General Ransom captured five thousand head of Texas cattle, a number of prisoners and teams, and a large amount of ammunition. The other expeditions were also successful, meeting with very little opposition. As soon as his army was supplied and rested, General Grant sent a force under General Steele to Helena to cooperate with General Schofield's [176] troops against Little, Rock, and another under Generals Ord and Herron to New-Orleans, to reenforce General Banks for such ulterior operations as he might deem proper to undertake. Some expeditions were also sent to the Red River, and to Harrisonburgh and Monroe, on the Washita, to break up and destroy guerrilla bands. After General Grant left Vicksburgh to assume the general command east of the Mississippi, General McPherson moved with a part of his force to Canton, Mississippi, scattering the enemy's cavalry, and destroying his materials and roads in the centre of that State.

Department of the Missouri.

The withdrawal to Missouri of a large part of our forces in Arkansas, as was stated in my last annual report, left the frontier of the former exposed to raids, of which the rebels were prompt to take advantage. Marmaduke, with the advance of Hindman's rebel army, moved forward with the purpose of entering the south-west of Missouri. Before the enemy could concentrate his forces for battle, Brigadier-General Blunt, by forced marches, encountered him at Cave Hill.

In the Boston Mountains a running fight took place on the eighteenth of November, 1862, in which the enemy was defeated with a heavy loss. Our loss was four killed and thirty-six wounded. Four days after the combat of Cave Hill, from reliable information it was ascertained that Hindman's army had crossed the Arkansas River and formed a junction with Marmaduke at Lee's Creek, fifteen miles north of Van Buren, to which point the latter had retreated after the action of the twenty-eighth of November. The united rebel force was believed to be very much greater than our own, two divisions of which were more than one hundred miles in the rear. Immediately upon learning General Blunt's danger from an overwhelming attack of the enemy, General Herron, by forced marches of one hundred and ten miles in three days, arrived at Fayetteville, Arkansas, early on the morning of the seventh December, and soon after encountered the enemy in force at Prairie Grove, while attempting a flank movement to get between Blunt and the approaching succor, to crush them both in succession. This skilfully devised project was fortunately frustrated by the valor and endurance of Herron's division, which stoutly held their ground till about two o'clock in the afternoon.

When Blunt's forces arrived upon the field, the engagement became general along the entire line, and continued to be fiercely contested until dark. During the night the enemy retreated across the Boston Mountains. Although the enemy suffered much more severely than ourselves, we purchased victory with the loss of one hundred and sixty-seven killed, seven hundred and thirty-eight wounded, and one hundred and eighty-three missing, making a total loss of one thousand one hundred and forty-eight, of which nine hundred and fifty-three were of Herron's division. Early in January, 1863, a rebel force, estimated at from four thousand to six thousand, under Marmaduke, moved upon Lawrence Mills, and proceeded by way of Ozark to the attack of Springfield, Missouri, to which place our small force, consisting chiefly of militia, convalescents, and citizens, was compelled to fall back. This miscellaneous garrison, a motley mass of only about one thousand men, obstinately defended the place most of the day of the eighth of January, with the loss of fourteen killed, one hundred and forty-five wounded, and five missing--in all one hundred and sixty-four.

Under cover of the night the enemy withdrew, and our force was too feeble to make a vigorous pursuit. Another skirmish took place at Hartsville, on the eleventh, in which our loss was seven killed and sixty-four wounded. We captured twenty-seven prisoners. The season was now so far advanced, and the roads so impassable, that further operations could not be carried on by either party. On the fifteenth of July, Major-General Blunt crossed Arkansas River, near Honey Springs, Indian Territory, and on the sixteenth attacked a superior force of rebels, under General Cooper, which he completely routed, the enemy leaving their killed and wounded on the field. Our loss was seventeen killed and sixty wounded, while that of the enemy was a hundred and fifty killed, (buried by our men,) four hundred wounded, and seventy-seven prisoners taken, besides one piece of artillery, two hundred stand of arms, and fifteen wagons. After several skirmishes with the enemy, General Blunt descended Arkansas River, and on the first of September occupied Fort Smith, Arkansas. The main body of our troops in the Department of the Missouri had, in the early part of the season, been sent to reenforce General Grant before Vicksburgh.

Taking advantage of this reduction of force, the enemy moved against Helena and attacked that place on the fourth of July. After a severe engagement he was defeated by Major-General Prentiss, with a heavy loss in killed and wounded, and one thousand one hundred prisoners. Our loss, in killed, wounded, and missing, was only about two hundred and fifty. As soon as Vicksburgh had capitulated, Major-General Steele was sent with a force to Helena, with instructions to form a junction with Brigadier-General Davidson, who was moving south from Missouri by Crowley's Ridge, and drive the enemy south of Arkansas River. The junction being effected, General Steele established his depot and hospitals at Duvall's Bluff, and on the first of August advanced against the enemy, who fell back toward Little Rock. After several successful skirmishes, he reached Arkansas River, and threw part of his force upon the south side to threaten the enemy's communication with Arkadelphia and take his defences in reverse. The enemy, on seeing this movement, destroyed what property they could, and, after a slight resistance, fled in disorder, pursued by our cavalry, and on the tenth September our troops took possession of the capital of Arkansas.

Our loss in killed, wounded, and missing did [177] not exceed one hundred. We captured one thousand prisoners, and such public property as the rebels had not time to destroy. After the capture of Little Rock, and while our cavalry were driving the main force of rebels south, the enemy attempted the recapture of Pine Bluff, but was repulsed with heavy loss. On the twenty-eighth of October, our troops occupied Arkadelphia, the enemy retreating to Red River.

A large part of the military force in the Department of the Missouri has been employed during the past year in repelling raids, and in repressing the guerrilla bands of robbers and murderers who have come within our lines, or been organized in the country. Most of these bands are not authorized belligerents under the laws of war, but simply outlaws from civilized society.

It is exceedingly difficult to eradicate these bands, inasmuch as the inhabitants of the country, sometimes from disloyalty, and sometimes from fear, afford them a subsistence and concealment. They usually hide themselves in the woods, and being well mounted, move rapidly from one point to another, supplying themselves by the way with provisions and fresh horses. They rob and murder wherever they go. In a recent raid of one of these bands into Kansas, they burned the city of Lawrence, and murdered every one they could, without regard to age or sex, committing atrocities more inhuman than those of Indian savages. These are the terrible results of a border contest, incited at first for political purposes, and since increasing in animosity by the civil war in which we are engaged, till all sense of humanity seems to have been lost in the desire to avenge with blood real or fancied grievances. This extraordinary condition of affairs on that frontier seems to call for the application of a prompt and severe remedy. It has been proposed to depopulate the frontier counties of Missouri, and to lay waste the country on the border, so as to prevent its furnishing any shelter or subsistence to these bands of murderers.

Such measures are within the recognized laws of war; they were adopted by Wellington in Portugal, and by the Russian armies in the campaign of 1812, but they should be adopted only in case of overrunning necessity. The execution of General Schofield's order on this subject has been suspended, and it is hoped that it will not be necessary hereafter to renew it.

Department of the North-West.

As soon as the season was sufficiently advanced for a campaign against the Indians, General Pope sent a column, under Brigadier-General Sibley, up the Mississippi River to near our northern boundary, and thence across the country to the Missouri, and another of cavalry, under Brigadier-General Sully, from Sioux City, up the latter river, to cut off the retreat of the hostile Indians whom General Sibley might drive before him from Minnesota and Eastern Dacotah. Unfortunately, these movements were not well timed, and no junction was effected. A portion of the savages driven north took refuge within British territory, where our troops were not permitted to follow them. Some fled westward, and were overtaken by General Sibley near Missouri Coteau, where he encountered a force of Minnesota and Dacotah warriors, estimated at from two thousand two hundred to two thousand five hundred.

In the engagements which followed at Big Mound and Dead Buffalo Lake, the Indians were completely routed, with a heavy loss in killed and wounded, and in the destruction of their provisions and means of transportation. Our loss was five killed and four wounded. The savages who escaped crossed to the west side of the Mississippi, and General Sibley reached that river about forty miles below Fort Clark, on the twenty-ninth July, having marched the distance, some six hundred miles, from St. Paul.

On the third September, General Sully encountered and defeated, at Whitestone Hall, about one hundred and thirty miles above the Little Cheyenne, a body of Indians, a part of which had previously been engaged against Sibley's column. The savages were defeated with a heavy loss in killed and wounded, and one hundred and fifty-six prisoners. Our loss was twenty killed and thirty-eight wounded. With these operations the present Indian campaign was terminated. Recent hostilities in Idaho may render it necessary to send a military expedition into that territory early in the spring.

Department of the Pacific.

This department has been most signally exempt from the evils of civil war, and consequently has enjoyed unexampled prosperity. Some thefts and robberies having been committed by roving bands of Indians on the overland stage route in January last, General Connor marched with a small force to Bear River, Idaho, where, on the twenty-sixth, he overtook and completely defeated them in a severe battle, in which he killed two hundred and twenty-four of the three hundred, and captured one hundred and seventy-five of their horses. His own loss in killed and wounded was sixty-three out of two hundred. Many of his men were severely injured by the frost. Since this severe punishment, the Indians in that quarter have ceased to commit depredations on the whites.

Department of the Ohio.

In December last, Brigadier-General S. P. Carter made a cavalry raid into Eastern Tennessee and destroyed the Union and Wakuka Railroad bridges, a considerable amount of arms, rolling stock, etc. He returned to Kentucky with the loss of only ten men.

On the thirtieth of March, Brigadier-General Gillmore engaged and defeated a large rebel force under General Pegram, near Somerset, Kentucky. Our loss in killed, wounded, and missing was only thirty; that of the enemy is estimated at five hundred. [178]

In June, the rebels attempted a raid into Harrison County, Indiana, but were driven back with the loss of sixty-three prisoners.

About the same time, Colonel Sanders, with two pieces of artillery, the First Tennessee cavalry, and some detachments from General Carter's command, destroyed the railroad near Knoxville, and the bridges at Slate Creek, Strawberry Plains, and Massy Creek, captured ten pieces of artillery, one thousand stand of arms, and five hundred prisoners. Our loss was one killed and two wounded, and a few stragglers.

About the time of Lee's invasion of Pennsylvania, the rebel General John H. Morgan, with a large guerrilla band, attempted a raid into Indiana and Ohio, intending probably to recross the Ohio into West-Virginia or Pennsylvania, and join Lee's army. His force consisted of six pieces of artillery and some three thousand cavalry. This band of robbers and murderers destroyed much public property, and killed a number of the inhabitants of the country through which they passed, but were finally completely destroyed, nearly every man being killed or taken prisoner.

The detachment of the Ninth army corps, to reenforce General Grant before Vicksburgh, delayed somewhat General Burnside's preparations for an active campaign in East-Tennessee. The necessity, however, of cooperating with the movements of General Rosecrans compelled him to take the field without awaiting the return of this corps. His main column moved on three roads, making Kingston his objective point, which place was reached on the first of September. Knoxville was also occupied on the first by Colonel Foster, and General Shackleford moved forward to Loudon Bridge, which was burned by the retreating enemy. Another small column had marched from Kentucky directly on Cumberland Gap. By a rapid flank march from Knoxville upon that place General Burnside cut off the retreat of the garrison, and forced it to surrender September ninth. He captured fourteen pieces of artillery and two thousand prisoners. His infantry made this forced march of sixty miles in fifty-two hours. A column of cavalry at the same time ascended the valley to Bristol, driving the enemy across the Virginia line and destroying the railroad bridges over the Holston and Watauga Rivers, so as to prevent the enemy's retreat into Tennessee. The main body of General Burnside's army was now ordered to concentrate on the Tennessee River, from Loudon, west, so as to connect with General Rosecrans's army, which reached Chattanooga on the ninth. Point Rock Pass into North-Carolina was also occupied by a small force. The restoration of East-Tennessee to the Union was thus effected by skilful combinations, with scarcely any loss on our side. It was now hoped that there would be no further delay in effecting a junction between the two armies of Burnside and Rosecrans, as had been previously ordered. As the country between Dalton and the Little Tennessee was still open to the enemy, General Burnside was cautioned to move down by the north bank of the river, so as to secure its fords and cover his own and General Rosecrans's communications from rebel raids. With our forces concentrated near Chattanooga, the enemy would be compelled to either attack us in position or to retreat farther south into Georgia. If he should attempt a flank movement on Cleveland, his own communications would be cut off, and his own army destroyed. But, although repeatedly urged to effect this junction with the army of the Cumberland, General Burnside retained most of his command in the Upper Valley, which was still threatened, near the Virginia line, by a small force under Sam Jones. On the twenty-first September, Colonel Foster had a skirmish with the enemy near Bristol, on the Virginia line, and on the twenty-eighth and eleventh of October, another sharp engagement took place at Blue Springs.

The enemy was defeated with heavy loss in killed and wounded, and one hundred and fifty prisoners. Our loss was about one hundred. After the battle of Chickamauga, when General Rosecrans had fallen back to Chattanooga, the enemy pushed forward a column into East-Tennessee, to threaten Burnside's position at Loudon, and to cover a cavalry raid upon Rosecrans's communications. Unfortunately, General Burnside had occupied Philadelphia and other points on the south side of the river with small garrisons. The enemy surprised some of these forces, and captured six guns, fifty wagons, and some six hundred or seven hundred prisoners. The remainder retreated to Loudon, and succeeded in holding the crossing of the river. In the mean time Jones had moved down on the north side of the Holston River, to Rogersville, with some three thousand five hundred cavalry, and surprised our garrison at that place, capturing four pieces of artillery, thirty-six wagons, and six hundred and fifty men.

The Department of the Cumberland.

When General Rosecrans took command of the army in Kentucky, it was massed at Bowling Green and Glasgow.

The base of supplies was then at Louisville. A few days later it was advanced to Nashville, which was made a secondary base.

After the battle of Perryville, and our pursuit to Mount Vernon, as stated in my last report, the rebel army retreated across the Cumberland Mountains, leaving a force in Cumberland Gap; then moved down the Tennessee Valley to Chattanooga, and thence by Stevenson and Tullahoma to Murfreesboro, a distance of four hundred miles, while our army had marched to Nashville, a distance of only a little over two hundred miles.

On the twenty-sixth of December, General Rosecrans advanced against Bragg, whose forces were at that time somewhat dispersed along the road. On the thirtieth, our army, after heavy skirmishing en route, reached the vicinity of Murfreesboro, and took up a line of battle The left, under Crittenden, crossed next day to the [179] east side of Stone River, while the centre, commanded by Thomas, and the right by McCook, were posted on the west bank of the river. By the plan of the battle agreed upon, McCook was to hold the enemy in check on the right, at least for three hours, until Crittenden crossed Stone River, crushing the enemy's right to the east of the stream, and forced his way into Murfreesboro, taking the enemy in the flank and reverse, the unsupported rebel centre being exposed at the same time to the vigorous blows of Thomas.

This well-conceived programme, unfortunately, was unsuccessful, from the failure of McCook to maintain his position on our right, brigade after brigade being forced back by the enemy's heavy columns, with regimental front. This retrograde movement of the right caused Crittenden to suspend his march and support our forces on the west bank of the river, the battle on our part changing from the offensive to the defensive.

The day closed with our right and right centre about at right angles to the first line of battle, but leaving us masters of the original ground on our left, and our new line advantageously posted, with open ground in front swept at all points by our artillery.

Though in this day's engagement the enemy had been roughly handled, our loss in men and artillery had been heavy. On the first of January we routed in position the enemy's attack, but the day closed with no offensive operations except two demonstrations producing no results.

On the morning of the second the enemy opened four heavy batteries on our centre, and made a strong demonstration of attack a little further to the right, but a well-directed artillery fire soon silenced his batteries and put an end to his efforts there.

In the afternoon a vigorous attack was made on our left by heavy columns, battalion front, forcing us, after severe fighting, to cross to the west side of the river, from which side, a well-directed artillery fire, well supported by infantry, was opened with terrific havoc on the enemy's masses, inflicting a loss upon him in forty minutes of two thousand killed and wounded.

The defeated and flying enemy were pursued by five brigades, until after dark. We captured four pieces of artillery and a stand of colors. As a heavy rain on the morning of the third rendered the roads impassable to artillery, no pursuit was ordered, and the day terminated without further hostilities than brushing from our front the enemy's numerous sharp-shooters, which much annoyed us from the woods and their riflepits.

On the fifth we occupied Murfreesboro, and pursued the enemy six or seven miles toward Manchester, but the difficulty of bringing up supplies, and the great loss of artillery horses, was thought to render further pursuit inexpedient. Our loss in this battle was one thousand five hundred and thirty-three killed, seven thousand two hundred and forty-five wounded, and two thousand eight hundred missing, and twenty-eight pieces of artillery and a large number of wagons captured by the enemy. Reported rebel loss in killed and wounded was fourteen thousand five hundred and sixty. We captured six pieces of their artillery. After the battle of Murfreesboro, or Stone River, the enemy took position at Shelbyville and Tullahoma, and the winter and spring were passed in raids and unimportant skirmishes.

On the third of February, Generals Wheeler, Forrest, and Wharton invested Fort Donelson and demanded its capitulation. This was promptly refused by its commander, Colonel Harding. After an obstinate attack, which lasted all day, the rebels retired, with an estimated loss of nine hundred. Our loss in the fort was thirteen killed and fifty-one wounded.

On the fourth of March, Colonel Coburn, with one thousand eight hundred and forty-five men, attempted a reconnoissance from Franklin toward Springfield, encountering on his way Van Dorn's rebel column, estimated at seven thousand five hundred.

The enemy retreated, drawing Colonel Coburn into a gorge, where he was surrounded, and nearly all his force captured. Our loss was one thousand four hundred and six. That of the enemy one hundred and fifty killed and four hundred and fifty wounded.

On the twentieth of March, Colonel Hall, while on a reconnoissance, encountered and defeated the rebel General Morgan, with a force of three or four thousand. Our loss was fifty-five. The enemy left sixty-three on the field, but carried off his wounded, estimated at three hundred.

On the twenty-fifth March, the rebel General Forrest made a cavalry raid on the Nashville and Columbia Railroad, burning the bridge and capturing Colonel Bloodgood's command at Brentwood. General Green Clay Smith, arriving opportunely with about six hundred cavalry, attacked the enemy in the rear, and recovered a large portion of the property captured at Brentwood, pursuing the rebels to the Little Harpeth, where they were reenforced. His loss in this attack was four killed, nineteen wounded, and forty missing.

On the tenth of April, a guerilla force attacked a train near Lavergne, guarded by forty men. The cars were destroyed, and nearly half of the guard killed and wounded. At the same time Van Dorn, with a large mounted force, attacked Franklin, but was repulsed by Major-General Granger, with a loss of nineteen killed, thirty-five wounded left on the field, and forty-eight prisoners. Major-General Joseph J. Reynolds made a raid upon the Manchester and McMinnville Railroad, destroying depots, rolling-stock, supplies, and other property, and capturing one hundred and eighty prisoners. Colonel Straight, with about one thousand six hundred men, including reenforcements received from General Dodge at Tuscumbia, started on a raid into Georgia to cut the enemy's communications. After heavy losses in skirmishes with Forrest's cavalry, and when near its destination, he was forced to surrender. [180]

On the twenty-second of May, Major-General Stanley made a raid upon Middleton, capturing eighty prisoners, three hundred horses, six hundred stand of arms, and other property.

On the fourth of June, the rebel General Forrest made a raid on Franklin, and on the eleventh attacked Triune. His losses in these unsuccessful skirmishes were estimated at over one hundred, while ours was only seventeen killed and wounded.

While General Grant was operating before Vicksburgh, information, deemed reliable, was received from captured rebel correspondence, that large detachments were being drawn from Bragg's army to reenforce Johnston in Mississippi. Reenforcements were sent to General Grant from other armies in the West, but General Rosecrans's army was left intact, in order that he might take advantage of Bragg's diminished numbers, and drive him back into Georgia, and thus rescue loyal East-Tennessee from the hands of the rebels, an object which the Government has kept constantly in view from the beginning of the war. I therefore urged General Rosecrans to take advantage of this opportunity to carry out his long projected movement, informing him that General Burnside would cooperate with his force, moving from Kentucky to East-Tennessee. For Various reasons he preferred to postpone his movements until the termination of the siege of Vicksburgh. In order to avoid any misunderstanding of the orders given to General Rosecrans on this subject, I submit the following correspondence:

Murfreesboro, Tenn., June 11, 1863.
Your despatch of to-day is received. You remember, I gave you, as a necessary condition of success, an adequate cavalry force; since that time I have not lost a moment in mounting our dismounted cavalry as fast as we could get horses — not more than three hundred remain to be mounted. The Fifth Iowa, ordered up from Donaldson, arrived to-day. The First Wisconsin will be here by Saturday. My preliminary infantry movements have nearly all been completed, and I am preparing to strike a blow that will tell. But to show you how differently things are viewed here, I called on my corps and division commanders and generals of cavalry for answers in writing to these questions: First. From your best information, do you think the enemy materially weakened in our front? Second, Do you think this army can advance, at this time, with reasonable prospect of fighting a great and successful battle? Third, do you think an advance advisable at this time? To the first, eleven answered no; six yes, to the extent of ten thousand. To the second, four yes, with doubts; thirteen no. To the third, not one yes ; seventeen no.

Not one thinks an advance advisable until Vickburgh's fate is determined. Admitting these officers to have a reasonable share of military sagacity, courage, and patriotism, you perceive that there are graver and stronger reasons than probably appear at Washington, for the attitude of this army. I therefore counsel caution and patience at headquarters. Better wait a little to get all we can ready to insure the best results, if, by so doing, we perforce of Providence, observe a great military maxim: “Not to risk two great and decisive battles at the same time.” We might have cause to be thankful for it. At all events, you see that to expect success I must have such thorough grounds, that when I say forward, my word will inspire conviction and confidence, where both are now wanting. I should like to hear your suggestion.

W. S. Rosecrans, Major-General. To Major-General H. W. Halleck, General-in-Chief.

Washington, June 12.
General: Your telegram of yesterday is just received. I do not understand your application of the military maxim: “Not to fight two great battles at the same time.” It will apply to a single army, but not to two armies acting independently of each other. Johnston and Bragg are acting on interior lines between you and Grant, and it is for their interest, not ours, that they should fight at different times so as to use the same force against both of them. It is for our interest to fight them, if possible, while divided. If you are not strong enough to fight Bragg with a part of his force absent, you will not be able to fight him after the affair at Vicksburgh is over and his troops return to your front.

There is another military maxim, that councils of war never fight. If you say that you are not prepared to fight Bragg, I shall not order you to do so, for the responsibility of fighting or refusing to fight at a particular time or place must rest upon the general in immediate command. It cannot be shared by a council of war, nor will the authorities here make you fight against your will. You ask me to counsel them caution and patience. I have done so very often. But after five or six months inactivity, with your forces all the time diminishing, and no hope of any immediate increase, you must not be surprised that their patience is pretty well exhausted. If you do not deem it prudent to risk a general battle with Bragg, why can you not harass him, or make such demonstrations as to prevent his sending more reenforcements to Johnston? I do not write this in a spirit of faultfinding, but to assure you that the prolonged inactivity of so large an army in the field, is causing much complaint and dissatisfaction, not only in Washington, but throughout the country.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

headquarters Department of the Cumberland, Murfreesboro, June 21.
General: In your favor of the twelfth instant, you say you do not see how the maxim of not fighting two great battles at the same time applies to the case of this army and Grant's. [181] Looking at the matter practically, we and our opposing forces are so widely separated, that for Bragg to materially aid Johnston he must abandon our front substantially, and then we can move to our ultimate work with more rapidity and less waste of material on natural obstacles. If Grant is defeated, both forces will come here, and then we ought to be near our base. The same maxim that forbids, as you take it, a single army fighting two great battles at the same time — by the way a very awkward thing to do — would forbid this nation's engaging all its forces in the great West at the same time, so as to leave it without a single reserve to stem the current of possible disaster. This is, I think, sustained by high military and political considerations. We ought to fight here if we have a stronger prospect of winning a decisive battle over the opposing force, and upon this ground I shall act. I shall be careful not to risk our last reserve without strong ground to expect success.

W. S. Rosecrans, Major General. Major-General H. W. Halleck, General-in-Chief.

When General Rosecrans finally determined to advance, he was permitted to select, without restriction, his own line of operations by which to reach Chattanooga, only being directed to connect his left, so far as practicable, with the army of General Burnside, and to report daily by telegraph his movements till he crossed the Tennessee River. General Burnside was also ordered to connect his right, as much as possible, with General Rosecrans's left, so that if the enemy should concentrate upon either army, the other could move to its assistance. General Rosecrans, on the twenty-fifth of June, commenced a forward movement upon the enemy, well intrenched at Tullahoma, covered in front by the defiles of Duck River, a deep, narrow stream, with few fords or bridges, and a rough, rocky range of hills, which divides the “barrens” from the lower level of Middle Tennessee.

Bragg's main force occupied a strong position north of Duck River, from Shelbyville, which was fortified to Wartrace, all the gaps on the roads leading thereto being held in force. General Rosecrans determined to render useless their intrenchments, by turning on their right and moving on their communications at the railroad bridge on Elk River, thus compelling a battle on our own ground, or driving them on a disadvantageous line of retreat. By admirable combined movements he deceived the enemy by a threatened advance in force on their left at Shelbyville, while the mass of his army in reality, seized Hoover's, Liberty, and the other gaps, by hand-fighting, and moved on Manchester, thus turning the right of the enemy's defences of Duck River, and directly threatening Bragg, who was compelled to fall back to Tullahoma, hotly pursued by Granger, who had brilliantly carried Shelbyville. Dispositions were immediately made to turn Tullahoma and fall upon the enemy's rear, but Bragg abandoned to us his intrenched camp, and rapidly fell back toward Bridgeport, Alabama, pursued as far as practicable by our forces.

In the words of General Rosecrans's official report: ”Thus ended a nine days campaign, which drove the enemy from two fortified positions, and gave us possession of Middle Tennessee. Conducted in one of the most extraordinary rains ever known in Tennessee at that period of the year, over a soil that became almost a quicksand, our operations were retarded thirty-six hours at Hoover's Gap, and sixty hours at and in front of Winchester, which alone prevented us from getting possession of his communications, and forcing the enemy to a very disastrous battle. These results were far more successful than was anticipated, and could only have been obtained by a surprise as to the direction and force of our movements.

Our losses in these operations were eighty-five killed, four hundred and sixty-two wounded, and thirteen missing, making in all five hundred and eighty.

The killed and wounded of the enemy is unknown, but we took one thousand six hundred and thirty-four prisoners, of which fifty-nine were commissioned officers. We captured, besides, six pieces of artillery, many small arms, considerable camp equipage, and large quantities of commissary and quartermaster's stores. After the expulsion of his rebel army from Middle Tennessee, Bragg retreated across the Cumberland Mountains and Tennessee River upon Chattanooga, which he fortified, and threw up defensive works at the crossings of the river as far up as Blythe's Ferry. Having put the railroad to Stevenson in condition to forward supplies, Rosecrans on the sixteenth of August commenced his advance across the Cumberland Mountains, Chattanooga and its covering ridges on the south-east being his objective point. To command and avail himself of the most important passes, the front of his movement extended from the head of Sequatchie Valley, in East-Tennessee, to Athens, Alabama, thus threatening the line of the Tennessee River from Whitesburgh to Blythe's Ferry, a distance of one hundred and fifty miles.

The Tennessee River was reached on the twentieth of August, and Chattanooga shelled from the on the twenty-first. Pontoon boat, raft, and trestle bridges were rapidly prepared at Caperton's Ferry, Bridgeport, mouth of Battle Creek, and Shellmount, and the army, except cavalry, safely crossed the Tennessee in face of the enemy. By the eighth of September, Thomas had moved on Trenton, seizing Frick's and Stevens's Gaps, on the Lookout Mountain. McCook had advanced to Valley Head, and taken Winston's Gap, while Crittenden had crossed to Wauhatchie, communicating on the right with Thomas, and threatened Chattanooga by the pass over the point of Lookout Mountain. The first mountain barrier south of the Tennessee being successfully passed, General Rosecrans decided to threaten the enemy's communication [182] with his right, while his centre and left seized the gaps and commanding points of the mountains in front. General Crittenden's reconnoissance on the ninth developed the fact that the enemy had evacuated Chattanooga on the day and night previous. While General Crittenden's corps took peaceable possession of Chattanooga, the objective point of the campaign, General Rosecrans, with the remainder of his army, pressed forward through the difficult passes of the Lookout and Missionary Mountains, apparently directing his march upon Lafayette and Rome.

On ascertaining these facts, and that General Burnside was in possession of all East-Tennessee above Chattanooga, and hearing that Lee was being rapidly reenforced on the Rapidan, it seemed probable that the enemy had determined to concentrate his forces for the defence of Richmond, or a new invasion of the North. The slight resistance made by him in East-Tennessee, and his abandonment without defence of so important a position as Chattanooga, gave plausibility to the reports of spies and deserters from Lee's army, of reinforcements arriving there from Bragg.

Fearing that General Rosecrans's army might be drawn too far into the mountains of Georgia, where it could not be supplied, and might be attacked before reenforcements could reach him from Burnside, I sent him, on the eleventh, the following telegram:

Headquarters of the army, Washington, D. C., September 11.
General Burnside telegraphs from Cumberland Gap that he holds all East-Tennessee above Loudon, and also the gaps of the North-Carolina mountains. A cavalry force is moving toward Athens to connect with you. After holding the mountain passes to the west of Dalton, or some other point on the railroad, to prevent the return of Bragg's army, it will be decided whether your army shall move further south into Georgia and Alabama.

It is reported here by deserters that a part of Bragg's army is reenforcing Lee. It is important that the truth of this should be ascertained as early as possible.

On the same day the following telegram was sent to General Burnside:

Headquarters of the army, Washington, D. C., September 11, 1863.
I congratulate you on your success. Hold the gap of the North-Carolina mountains, the line of the Holston River, or some point, if there be one, to prevent access from Virginia, and connect with General Rosecrans, at least with your cavalry.

General Rosecrans will occupy Dalton, or some point on the railroad, to close all access from Atlanta, and also the mountain passes on the west. This being done, it will be determined whether the movable force shall advance into Georgia and Alabama, or into the valley of Virginia and North-Carolina.

On the twelfth, General Rosecrans telegraphed that, although he was sufficiently strong for the enemy then in his front, there were indications that the rebels intended to turn his flanks and cut his communications. He, therefore, desired that Burnside should move down his infantry toward Chattanooga, on his left, and that Grant should cover the Tennessee River, toward Whitesburgh, to prevent any raid on Nashville. He was of opinion that no troops had been sent east from Bragg's army, but that Bragg was being reenforced by Loring, from Mississippi.

On the night of the thirteenth, General Foster telegraphed from Fort Monroe that “trains of cars had been heard running all the tine, day and night, for the last thirty-six hours, on the Petersburgh and Richmond road,” evidently indicating a movement of troops in some direction; and on the morning of the fourteenth, that Longstreet's corps was reported to be going south through North-Carolina. General Meade had been directed to ascertain, by giving battle, if necessary, whether any of Lee's troops had left. It was not till the fourteenth he could give me any information on this point, and then he telegraphed: “My judgment, formed of the variety of meagre and conflicting testimony, is, that Lee's army has been reduced by Longstreet's corps, and perhaps, by some regiments from Ewell's and Hill's.”

As soon as I received General Rosecrans's and General Foster's telegrams, of the twelfth and thirteenth, I sent the following telegrams to Generals Burnside, Rosecrans, Hurlbut, Grant, and Sherman:

Headquarters of the army, Washington, D. C., September 13, 1863.
It is important that all the available forces of your command be pushed forward into East-Tennessee; all your scattered forces should be concentrated there. So long as we hold Tennessee, Kentucky is perfectly safe. Move down your infantry as rapidly as possible toward Chattanooga, to connect with Rosecrans. Bragg may merely hold the passes of the mountains to cover Atlanta, and move his main army through Northern Alabama to reach the Tennessee River and turn Rosecrans's right, and cut off his supplies. In this case he will turn Chattanooga over to you, and move to interrupt Bragg.

Headquarters of the army, Washington, D. C., Sept. 13, 1863.
There is no intention of sending General Burnside into North-Carolina. He has orders to move down and connect with you. Should the enemy attempt to turn your right flank through [183] Alabama, Chattanooga should be turned over to Burnside, and your army, or such part of it as may not be required there, should move to prevent Bragg from reentering Middle Tennessee. General Hurlbut will aid you all he can, but most of Grant's available force is west of the Mississippi.

Headquarpers of the army, Washington, D. C., Sept. 18, 1863.
I think, from all accounts, that Steele is sufficiently strong. All your available forces should be sent to Corinth and Tuscumbia to operate against Bragg, should he attempt to turn Rosecrans's right and recross the river into Tennessee. Send to General Sherman, at Vicksburgh, for reenforcements for this purpose. General Grant, it is understood, is sick in New-Orleans.

Headquarters of the army, Washington, D. C., Sept. 13, 1863.
It is possible that Bragg and Johnston will move through Northern Alabama to the Tennessee River, to turn General Rosecrans's right, and cut off his communication with General Grant. Available forces should be sent to Memphis, thence to Corinth and Tuscumbia, to cooperate with General Rosecrans, should the rebels attempt that movement.

On the fourteenth, the following telegrams were sent to Generals Foster, Burnside, and Hurlbut:

Headquarters of the army, Washington, D. C., Sept. 14, 1863.
Information received here indicates that part of Lee's forces have gone to Petersburgh. There are various suppositions for this. Some think it is intended to put down Union feeling in North-Carolina; others, to make an attempt to capture Norfolk; others, again, to threaten Norfolk, so as to compel us to send reenforcements there from the army of the Potomac, and then to move rapidly against Meade. Such was the plan last spring, when Longstreet invested Suffolk. It will be well to strengthen Norfolk as much as possible, and closely watch the enemy's movements. I think he will soon strike a blow somewhere.

Headquarters of the army, Washington, D. C., Sept. 14, 1864.
There are good reasons why troops should be sent to assist General Rosecrans's right with all possible despatch. Communicate with Sherman to assist you, and hurry forward reenforcements as previously directed.

Headquarters of the army, Washington, D. C., Sept. 14, 1863.
There are reasons why you should reenforce General Rosencrans with all possible despatch. It is believed that the enemy will concentrate to give him battle, and you must be there to help him.

In addition to General Burnside's general instructions, a number of despatches of the same purport as the above were sent to him.

Generals Schofield and Pope were directed to send forward to the Tennessee line every available man in their departments, and the commanding officers in Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky, were ordered to make every possible exertion to secure General Rosecrans's lines of communication. General Meade was urged to attack General Lee's army while in its present reduced condition, or at least prevent him from sending off any more detachments. It seemed useless to send any more troops into East-Tennessee and Georgia, on account of the impossibility of supplying them in a country which the enemy had nearly exhausted.

General Burnside's army was on short rations, and that of the Cumberland inadequately supplied.

General Rosecrans had complained of his inadequate cavalry force, but his stables were overcrowded with animals, and the horses of his cavalry, artillery, and trains were dying in numbers for want of forage.

As three separate armies were now to operate in the same field, it seemed necessary to have a single commander, in order to secure a more perfect cooperation than had been obtained with the separate commands of Burnside and Rosecrans.

General Grant, by his distinguished services and his superior rank to all the other generals in the West, seemed entitled to this general command. But, unfortunately, he was at this time in New-Orleans, and unable to take the field. Moreover, there was no telegraphic communication with him, and the despatches of the thir-teenth, directed to him and General Sherman, did not reach them until some days after their dates, thus delaying the movements of General Grant's forces from Vicksburgh.

General Hurlbut, however, had moved the troops of his own corps, then in East-Tennessee, with commendable promptness.

These were to be replaced by reenforcements from Steele's corps, in Arkansas, which also formed a part of Grant's army

Hearing nothing from General Grant, or from General Sherman's corps, at Vicksburgh, it was determined, on the twenty-third, to detach the Eleventh and Twelfth corps from the army of the Potomac, and send them by rail, under the command of General Hooker, to protect General Rosecrans's line of communication from Bridgeport [184] to Nashville. It was known that these troops could not go immediately to the front.

To send more men to Chattanooga, where those already there could not be fully supplied, would only increase the embarrassment, and probably cause the evacuation of that place.

In other words, Hooker's command was to temporarily perform the duties previously assigned to the reenforcements ordered from Grant's army.

We will now return to General Rosecrans's army, the main body of which we left on the fourteenth in the passes of Pigeon Mountain, with the enemy concentrating his forces, near La Fayette, to dispute its further advance. Bragg's threatened movements to the right and left were merely cavalry raids to cut off Rosecrans's line of supplies, and threaten his communications with Burnside. His main army was probably only awaiting the arrival of Longstreet's corps to give battle in the mountains of Georgia.

Of the movements of this corps, so well known to the enemy, we could get no reliable information. All we knew positively was, that one of Longstreet's divisions had arrived in Charleston to reenforce that place. It was said that other divisions had gone to Mobile, to protect it from an attack by Banks's army, but as there was no real danger of such an attack at that moment, it was more probably on its way to reenforce Bragg's army. But the time of its arrival was uncertain, as we had no reliable information of its departure from Richmond. We knew Bragg had been reenforced, by troops sent by Johnston from Mississippi, and it was afterward ascertained that the rebel authorities had falsely declared as exchanged, and released from parole, the prisoners of war captured by Grant and Banks at Vicksburgh and Port Hudson. This shameless violation of the cartel and of the wellestablished usages of civilized warfare, was resorted to by the enemy in order to swell the numbers of Bragg's army in the approaching conflict.

General Rosecrans's troops were, at this time, scattered along in an extended line from Gordon's Mills to Alpine, a distance of some forty miles. By the seventeenth, they were brought more within supporting distance, and on the morning of the eighteenth a concentration was begun toward Crawfish Spring, but slowly executed.

The battle of Chickamauga commenced on the morning of the nineteenth, McCook's corps forming on the right of our line of battle, and Crittenden's the centre, and Thomas's the left. The enemy first attacked our left, with heavy masses, endeavoring to turn it, so as to occupy the road to Chattanooga. But all their efforts proved abortive. The centre was next assailed, and temporarily driven back, but being promptly reenforced, maintained its ground. As night approached the battle ceased, and the combatants rested on their arms. The attack was furiously renewed on the morning of the twentieth, against our left and centre. Division after division was pushed forward to resist the attacking masses of the enemy, when, according to General Rosecrans's report, General Wood, overlooking the direction “to close upon Reynolds,” supposed he was to support him, by withdrawing from the line, and passing in the rear of General Brannan.

By this unfortunate mistake, a gap was opened in the line of battle, of which the enemy took instant advantage, and, striking Davis in the flank and rear, threw his whole division into confusion.

General Wood claims that the orders he received were of such a character as to leave him no option but to obey them in the manner he did.

Pouring in through this break in our line, the enemy cut off our right and right centre, and attacked Sheridan's division, which was advancing to the support of our left. After a gallant but fruitless effort against this rebel torrent, he was compelled to give way, but afterward rallied a considerable portion of his force, and by a circuitous route joined General Thomas, who now had to breast the tide of battle against the whole rebel army.

Our right and part of the centre had been completely broken, and fled in confusion from the field, carrying with them to Chattanooga their commanders, Generals McCook and Crittenden; also, General Rosecrans, who was on that part of the line. His Chief of Staff, General Garfield, however, made his way to the left and joined General Thomas, who still remained immovable in his position. His line had assumed a crescent form with its flanks supported by the lower spurs of the mountain, and here, like a lion at bay, he repulsed the terrible onsets of the enemy. About half-past 3 P. M. the enemy discovered a gap in the hills, in the rear of his right flank, and Longstreet commenced pouring his massive column through the opening. At this critical moment, Major-General Gordon Granger, who had been posted with his reserves to cover our left and rear, arrived upon the field. He knew nothing of the condition of the battle, but, with the true instincts of a soldier, he had marched to the sound of the cannon. General Thomas merely pointed out to him the gap through which the enemy was debouching, when, quick as thought, he threw upon it Steadman's brigade of cavalry.

In the words of General Rosecrans's official report: “Swift was the charge and terrible the conflict, but the enemy was broken. A thousand of our brave men, killed and wounded, paid for its possession, but we held the gap. Two of Longstreet's corps confronted the position: determined to take it, they successively came to the assault. A battery of six guns, which played into the gorge, poured death and slaughter into them. They charged to within a few yards of the pieces, but our grape and canister and the leaden hail of musketry, delivered in sparing but terrible volleys, from the cartridges taken, in many instances, from the boxes of their fallen companions, was too much even for Longstreet's [185] men. About sunset they made their last charge, when our men, being out of ammunition, rushed on them with the bayonet, and they gave way to return no more.”

In the mean time the enemy made repeated attempts to carry General Thomas's position on the left and front, but were as often driven back with loss. At nightfall, the enemy fell back beyond the range of our artillery, leaving Thomas victorious on his hard-fought field.

As most of the corps of McCook and Crittenden were now in Chattanooga, it was deemed advisable, also, to withdraw the left wing to that place. Thomas, consequently, fell back during the night to Rossville, leaving the dead and most of the wounded in the hands of the enemy. He here received a supply of ammunition, and during all the twenty-first offered battle to the enemy, but the attack was not seriously renewed.

On the night of the twenty-first he withdrew the remainder of the army within the defences of Chattanooga.

The enemy suffered severely in these battles, and on the night of the twentieth was virtually defeated, but being permitted to gather the trophies off the field on the twenty-first, he is entitled to claim a victory, however barren in its results.

His loss, in killed, wounded, and missing, as reported in the rebel papers, was eighteen thousand. Our loss in these battles was one thousand six hundred and forty-four killed, nine thousand two hundred and sixty-two wounded, and four thousand nine hundred and forty-five missing. If we add the loss of the cavalry, in its several engagements, about five hundred, we have a total of sixteen thousand three hundred and fifty-one. We lost, in material, thirty-six guns, twenty caissons, eight thousand four hundred and fifty small arms, five, thousand eight hundred and thirty-four infantry accoutrements.

We captured two thousand and three prisoners. After General Rosecrans retreated to Chattanooga, he withdrew his forces from the passes of Lookout Mountain, which covered his line of supplies from Bridgeport. These were immediately occupied by the enemy, who also sent a cavalry force across the Tennessee, above Chattanooga, which destroyed a large wagon train in the Sequatchie Valley, captured McMinsville and other points on the railroad, thus almost completely cutting off the supplies of General Rosecrans's army. Fortunately for us, the line of the railroad was well defended, and the enemy's cavalry being successfully attacked by Colonel McCook, at Anderson's Cross-Roads, on the second October; by General Mitchell, at Shelbyville, on the sixth; and by General Crook, at Farmington, on the eighth, were mostly captured or destroyed.

Major-General Grant arrived at Louisville, and on the nineteenth, in accordance with the orders of the President, assumed general command of the Departments of the Tennessee, Cumberland, and Ohio. In accordance with his recommendation, Major-General G. W. Thomas was placed in the immediate command of the department of the Cumberland, and Major-General Sherman of that of the Tennessee.

As the supply of the army at Chattanooga demanded prompt attention, he immediately repaired to that place. By bringing up from Bridgeport the Eleventh and Twelfth corps, under Hooker, and throwing a force from Chattanooga, under General W. F. Smith, on the south side of the river, at Burns's Ferry, the points of Lookout Mountain commanding the river were recaptured on the twenty-seventh, twenty-eighth, and twenty-ninth of October. This important success restored his communications with his depots of supplies. It is not my province, even if I had the means of doing so, to speak of the brilliant exploits of our navy in the western waters. It may be proper, however, to remark, that General Grant and his department commanders report that Admirals Farragut, Porter, and their officers, have rendered most valuable assistance in all their operations.

General remarks and recommendations.

It has not been possible, in the foregoing summary, to refer to all the engagements which our troops have had with the enemy during the past year, as no official accounts or reports of some of them could be found, and the details given have been compiled from telegrams, despatches, and reports scattered through the various bureaus of the War Department. I respectfully recommend that all these official documents and reports, received since the beginning of the war, be collected and published in chronological order under the direction of the Adjutant-General's Department. Some have already been published by Congress, but they are so incorrectly printed and badly arranged as to be almost useless as historical documents.

The rebel armies live mainly upon the country through which they pass, taking food and forage alike from friend and foe. This enables them to move with ease and great rapidity. Our commanders, operating in the rebel States, generally find no supplies, and in the Border States it is difficult to distinguish between real friends and enemies. To live upon the country passed over often produces great distress among the inhabitants, but it is one of the unavoidable results of war, and is justified by the usages of civilized nations. Some of our commanders have availed themselves of this right of military appropriation, while others have required too large supply trains, and have not depended, as they might have done, upon the resources of the country in which they operated. General Grant says in his official report:

In the march from Bruinsburgh to Vicksburgh, covering a period of twenty days before supplies could be obtained from the Government stores, only five days rations were issued, and three of these were carried in the haversacks at the start, and were soon exhausted. All other subsistence was obtained from the country through which we passed. The march was [186] commenced without wagons, except such as could be picked up through the country.

Instructions have been given to the generals operating in hostile territory to subsist their armies, so far as possible, upon the country, receipting and accounting for every thing taken, so that all persons of proved loyalty may hereafter be remunerated for their losses. By this means our troops can move more rapidly and easily, and the enemy is deprived of supplies if he should reoccupy the country passed over by us. Some of our officers hesitate to fully carry out those measures, from praiseworthy but mistaken notions of humanity, for what is spared by us is almost invariably taken by rebel forces, who manifest very little regard for the suffering of their own people. In numerous cases, women and children have been fed by us to save them from actual starvation, while fathers, husbands, and brothers are fighting in the ranks of the rebel armies, or robbing and murdering in ranks of guerrilla bands.

Having once adopted a system of carrying nearly all our supplies with the army in the field, a system suited to countries where the mass of the population take no active part in the war, it is found very difficult to effect radical changes. Nevertheless, our trains have been very considerably reduced within the past year. A still greater reduction, however, will be required to enable our troops to move as lightly and as rapidly as those of the enemy. In this connection, I would respectfully call attention to the present system of army sutlers. There is no article legitimately supplied by sutlers to officers and soldiers which could not be furnished at much less price by quartermaster and commissary departments.

Sutlers and their employes are now only partially subject to military authority and discipline, and it is not difficult for those who are so disposed to act the part of spies, informers, smugglers, and contraband traders. The entire abolition of the system would rid the army of the incumbrance of sutler wagons on the march, and the nuisance of sutler stalls and booths in camp. It would relieve officers and soldiers of much of their present expenses, and would improve the discipline and efficiency of the troops in many ways, and particularly by removing from the camps the prolific evil of drunkenness.

I referred in my last report to the large number of officers and soldiers absent from their commands. It was estimated, from official returns in January last, that there were then absent from duty eight thousand nine hundred and sixty-seven officers, and two hundred and eighty-two thousand and seventy-three non-commissioned officers and privates. Only a part of these were really disabled or sick. The remainder were mostly deserters, stragglers, maligners, and shirks, or men who absented themselves in order to avoid duty. Much of this evil has been abated; very few furloughs are now given, and officers absent from duty not only lose their pay, but are subject to summary dismissal. Straggling and desertion have also greatly diminished, and might be almost entirely prevented if the punishment could be prompt and certain.

In this respect our military penal code requires revision. The machinery of court-martial is too cumbrous for trial of military offences in time of actual war. To organize such courts it is often necessary to detach a large number of officers from active duty in the field, and then a single case sometimes occupies a court for many months. To enforce discipline in the field, it is necessary that trial and punishment should promptly follow the offence.

In regard to our military organization, I respectfully recommend an increase of the Inspector-General's department, and that it be merged in the Adjutant-General's department.

The grades of commander of armies and of army corps should be made to correspond with their actual commands. The creation of such grades need not cause any additional expense to the Government, as the pay and emoluments of general and lieutenant-general could be made the same as now allowed to major-generals commanding divisions.

I also respectfully call attention to our artillery organization. In the Fifth regiment of United States artillery, each battery is allowed one captain and four lieutenants, eight sergeants and twelve corporals, and all of these, together with the privates, receive cavalry pay and allowance. In the First, Second, Third, and Fourth regiments of the United States artillery, a battery is allowed one captain, three lieutenants, four sergeants, and four corporals, and, with the exception of two batteries to each regiment, for which special allowance was made by laws created March second, 1821, and March third, 1841, all of these receive the pay and allowances of infantry, yet they are all, with the exception of four or five companies, performing precisely similar duties.

A field battery of six guns absolutely requires all the officers and non-commissioned officers allowed in the Fifth artillery, and the additional responsibility of the officers, and the labor of both officers and enlisted men, render necessary the additional pay and allowances accorded by law to those grades in that regiment. A simple remedy for these evils is the enactment of a law giving to the First, Second, Third, and Fourth regiments of United States artillery the same organization and the same rates of pay as the Fifth regiment, which, it may be added, is also the same as that already given to all the volunteer field batteries now in the United States service. A similar discrepancy existed in the cavalry regiments till an act, passed by the last Congress, placed them all upon the same basis of organization and pay.

The act authorizing the President to call out additional volunteers, or the drafted militia, limits the call to the cavalry, artillery, and infantry arms, and makes no provision for organizing volunteer engineer regiments. This was unquestionably a mere verbal omission in the law, and should be supplied, as it creates embarrassments [187] in the organization of armies in the field. The generals commanding these armies complain in strong terms of the deficiency of engineer troops for the repairing of said roads, the construction of pontoon-bridges, and carrying on the operations of a siege, and urge that the evil be promptly remedied.

The waste and destruction of cavalry horses in our service has proved an evil of such magnitude as to require some immediate and efficient remedy. In the army of the Potomac there are thirty-six regiments of cavalry, averaging for the last six months from ten thousand to fourteen thousand men present for duty. The issues of cavalry horses to this army for the same period have been as follows: In May, five thousand six hundred and seventy-three; June, six thousand three hundred and twenty-seven; July, four thousand seven hundred and sixteen; August, five thousand four hundred and ninety-nine; September, five thousand eight hundred and twenty-seven ; October,seven thousand and thirty-six--total, thirty-five thousand and seventy-eight.

To this number should be added the horses captured from the enemy and taken from citizens, making altogether an average remount every two months. We have now in our service some two hundred and twenty-three regiments of cavalry, which will require, at the same rate as the army of the Potomac, the issue, within the coming year, of four hundred and thirty-five thousand horses. The organization of a cavalry bureau in the War Department, with a frequent and thorough inspection, it was hoped would, in some degree, remedy these evils. To reach the source, however, further legislation may be necessary.

Probably the principal fault is in the treatment of these horses by the cavalry soldiers. Authority should therefore be given to dismount and transfer to the infantry service every man whose horse is, through his own fault or neglect, rendered unfit for service. The same rule might be applied to cavalry officers who fail to maintain the efficiency of their regiments and companies. The vacancies thus created could be filled by corresponding transfers from the regular and volunteer infantry.

By the existing law, the chief adjutant-general, inspector-general, quartermaster, and commissary of any corps are allowed additional rank and pay, while no such allowance is made to the chief engineers, artillery, and ordnance in the same corps. These latter officers hold the same relative positions, and perform duties at least as important and arduous as the others, and the existing distinction is deemed unjust to them.

Prisoners of war.

On the twenty-second of July, 1862, Major-General Dix and Major-General Hill entered into a cartel for the exchange of prisoners during the existing war, specially stipulating when and where exchanges should be made and how declared, defining the meaning of a parole and the rights and obligations of prisoners under parole, and when and how they were to be released from their obligations.

Special agreements of this kind, modifying and explaining the general laws of war, furnish the rules of conduct for the contracting parties in all cases for which they provide or to which they are applicable. Finding that the rebel authorities were feeding prisoners contrary to these stipulations, they were notified, on the twenty-second of May last, that all paroles not given in the manner prescribed by the cartel, would be regarded as null and void. Nevertheless they continued to extort, by threats and ill-treatment, from our men paroles unauthorized by the cartel, and also refused to deliver our officers and men for exchange in the manner agreed upon, but retained all the colored prisoners and their officers. It is stated that they sold the former into slavery, and sentenced the latter to imprisonment and death for alleged violation of the local State laws. This compelled a resort to retaliatory measures, and an equal number of their prisoners in our hands were selected as hostages for the surrender of those retained by them. All exchanges under the cartel therefore ceased. In violation of general good faith, and of engagements solemnly entered into, the rebel commissioner then proceeded to declare exchanged all his own paroled prisoners, and ordered their return to the ranks of their regiments then in the field, and we are now asked to confirm these acts by opening new accounts and making new lists for exchange, and they seek to enforce these demands by the most barbarous treatment of our officers and men now in their hands.

The rebel prisoners held by the United States have been uniformly treated with consideration and kindness. They have been furnished with all necessary clothing, and supplied with the same quality and amount of food as our own soldiers; while our soldiers, who, by the casualties of war, have been captured by them, have been stripped of their blankets, clothing, and shoes, even in the winter seasons, and then confined in damp and loathsome prisons, and only half fed on damaged provisions, or actually starved to death, while hundreds have terminated their existence, loaded with irons, in filthy prisons. Not a few, after a semblance of trial by some military tribunal, have been actually murdered by their inhuman keepers.

In fine, the treatment of our prisoners of war by the rebel authorities has been even more barbarous than that which Christian captives formerly suffered from the pirates of Tripoli, Tunis, and Algiers, and the horrors of Belle Isle and Libby Prison exceed even those of British hulks or the Black Hole of Calcutta; and this atrocious conduct is applauded by the people and commended by the public press of Richmond, as a means of reducing the Yankee ranks. It has been proposed to retaliate upon the enemy by treating his prisoners precisely as he treats ours.

Such retaliation is fully justified by the laws and usages of war, and the present case seems to call for the exercise of this extreme right. [188] Nevertheless, it is revolting to our sense of humanity to be forced to so cruel an alternative. It is hoped self-interest, if not a sense of justice, may induce the rebels to abandon a course of conduct which must for ever remain a burning disgrace to them and their cause.


It is seen from the foregoing summary of operations, during the past year, that we have repelled every attempt of the enemy to invade the loyal States, and have recovered from his domination Kentucky and Tennessee, and portions of Alabama and Mississippi, and the greater part of Arkansas and Louisiana, and restored the free navigation of the Mississippi River.

Heretofore the enemy has enjoyed great advantages over us in the character of his theatre of war. He has operated on short and safe interior lines, while circumstances have compelled us to occupy the circumference of a circle; but the problem is now changed by the reopening of the Mississippi River. The rebel territory has been actually cut in twain, and we can strike the isolated fragments by operating on safer and more advantageous lines.

Although our victories, since the beginning of the war, may not have equalled the expectations of the more sanguine, we have every reason to be grateful to Divine Providence for the steady progress of our army. In a little more than two years, we have recaptured nearly every important point held by the rebels on the sea-coast, and we have reconquered and now hold military possession of more than two hundred and fifty thousand square miles of territory held at one time by the rebel armies, and claimed by them as a constituent part of their Confederacy.

The extent of country thus recaptured and occupied by our armies is as large as France or Austria, or the entire peninsula of Spain and Portugal, and twice as large as Great Britain, or Prussia, or Italy. Considering what we have already accomplished, the present condition of the enemy, and the immense and still unimpaired military resources of the loyal States, we may reasonably hope, with the same measure of success as heretofore, to bring this rebellion to a speedy and final termination.

All of which is respectfully submitted.

H. W. Halleck, General-in-Chief. Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War.

Headquarters of the army, Washington, Dec. 6, 1863.
sir: In compliance with your instructions, I submit the following summary of the operations of General Grant's army since my report of the fifteenth ultimo. It appears from the official reports which have been received here, that our loss in the operations of the twenty-seventh, twenty-eighth, and twenty-ninth of October, in reopening communications on the south side of the Tennessee River, from Chattanooga to Bridgeport. was seventy-six killed, three hundred and thirty-nine wounded, and twenty-two missing. Total, four hundred and thirty-seven.

The estimated loss of the enemy was over one thousand five hundred. As soon as General Grant could get up his supplies, he prepared to advance upon the enemy, who had become weakened by the detachment of General Longstreet's command against Knoxville. General Sherman's army arrived upon the north side of Tennessee River, and during the night of the twenty-third and twenty-fourth of November, established pontoon-bridges and crossed to the south side, between Citto Creek and the Chickamauga.

On the afternoon of the twenty-third, General Thomas's forces attacked the enemy's rifle-pits, between Chattanooga and Citto Creek. The battle was renewed on the twenty-fourth along the whole line. Sherman carried the eastern end of Missionary Ridge up to the tunnel, and Thomas repelled every attempt of the enemy to regain the position which he had lost at the centre, while Hooker's force in Lookout Valley crossed the mountain and drove the enemy from its northern slope. On the twenty-fifth, the whole of Missionary Ridge, from Rossville to the Chickamauga, was, after a desperate struggle, most gallantly carried by our troops, and the enemy completely routed.

Considering the strength of the rebel position, and the difficulty of storming his intrenchments, the battle of Chattanooga must be regarded as one of the most remarkable in history. Not only did the officers and men exhibit great skill and daring in their operations on the field, but the highest praise is also due the Commanding General for his admirable dispositions for dislodging the enemy from a position apparently impregnable. Moreover, by turning his right flank, and throwing him back upon Ringgold and Dalton, Sherman's forces were interposed between Bragg and Longstreet, so as to prevent any possibility of their forming a junction.

Our loss in killed, wounded, and missing is reported at about four thousand. We captured about six thousand prisoners, beside the wounded left in our hands, forty-two pieces of artillery, five thousand or six thousand small arms, and a large train. The enemy's loss in killed and wounded is not known. While Generals Thomas and Hooker pushed Bragg's army into Georgia, General Sherman, with his own and General Granger's forces, was sent into East-Tennessee to prevent the return of Longstreet, and to relieve General Burnside, who was then besieged in Knoxville. We have reliable information that General Sherman has successfully accomplished his object, and that Longstreet is in full retreat toward Virginia, but no details have been received in regard to Sherman's operations since he crossed the Hiawassee River. Of Burnside's defence of Knoxville, it is only known that every attack of the enemy on that place was successfully repulsed. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. W. Halleck, General-in-Chief. Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War.

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