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Chapter 30:

  • A train of Confederate successes in the beginning of 1864.
  • -- the battle of Ocean Pond. -- Gen. Seymour's expedition into Florida. -- its defeat and complete disaster. -- Sherman's expedition in the Southwest. -- his first experiment of “the moveable column.” -- his designs upon Mobile and the Confederate lines in North Georgia. -- the co-operating column of cavalry. -- Gen. Polk evacuates Meridian, and falls back to Demopolis. -- Forrest defeats the Federal cavalry. -- disastrous and disgraceful conclusion of Sherman's adventure. -- the Red River expedition. -- Gen. Banks' designs upon Texas. -- the Confederate commands in the Trans-Mississippi. -- the Federal advance up Red River. -- the Confederates fall back towards Shreveport. -- battle of Mansfield. -- how the action was brought on. -- rout of the enemy. -- singular scenes on the pursuit. -- battle of Pleasant Hill. -- an unfortunate mistake of orders. -- Churchill's corps panic-stricken. -- Gen. Walker holds the field. -- the enemy continues his retreat to Alexandria. -- his march a career of unparalleled cowardice and crime. -- large spoils of the Confederates. -- the extent of Banks' disaster. -- termination of his vision of empire west of the Mississippi. -- Forrest's expedition up the Mississippi. -- capture of Fort Pillow. -- Hoke's operations on the North Carolina coast. -- comparative unimportance of these Confederate successes. -- the raid of Ulric Dahlgren. -- the parts of Custer and Kilpatrick. -- failure and ludicrous cowardice of the several expeditions. -- Dahlgren's atrocious designs. -- he retreats, and is chased by Pollard. -- manner of his death. -- discovery of “the Dahlgren papers.” -- sensation in Richmond. -- President Davis' melodrama. -- statement of Edward W. Halbach in relation to the “Dahlgren papers.” -- the papers first found by the schoolboy Littlepage. -- how transmitted to Richmond. -- the theory of forgery. -- its utter absurdity

Although the Northern public was gratified in contemplating the sum of Federal victories in the year 1863, it had yet to see in the early months of 1864 a remarkable train of Confederate successes, which, in the aggregate, did much to re-animate the Confederates, and to subdue expectation at Washington. These successes were principally a decisive victory in Florida; the defeat of Sherman's expedition in the Southwest; and a triumphant issue in the most important campaign that had yet taken place west of the Mississippi River.

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W. T. Sherman (3)
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