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[1]

General Beauregard's report of the battle of Drury's Bluff.

Headquarters in the field, Swift Creek, Va., June 10th, 1864.
General Samuel Cooper, A. & I. G., C. S. A., Richmond, Virginia.
General: While we were hurriedly assembling by fragments, an army, weak in numbers, wanting the cohesive force of previous organization and association, the enemy, operating from his fortified base at Bermuda Hundred's Neck, had destroyed much of the Richmond and Petersburg railroad, and occupied the main line of communication southward, and menaced its river gate (Drury's Bluff) and south-side land defences, with a formidable army and fleet.

In these conditions, the possession of our line of communication southward, became the main point of contest.

To wrest it from the enemy, I selected a course which promised the most fertile results, that of capturing or destroying his army, in its actual position, after cutting him off from his base of operations; or failing in this, of depriving him of future power to control or obstruct [2] our communications, by driving him before our front and locking him up in his fortified camp at Bermuda Hundred's Neck.

Our army was organized into three divisions, right, left and reserve, under Major-Generals Hoke and Ransom, and BrigadierGen-eral Colquitt.

The general direction of the roads and adjacent river, was north and south, the general alignment of the armies, east and west.

Our left wing (Ransom) lay behind the trenches on Kings'-lańd creek, which runs an easterly course, not far in front of Drury's Bluff.

Our right wing (Hoke) occupied the intermediate line of fortifications from Fort Stevens, crossing the turnpike to the railroad.

Colquitt's reserve, in rear of Hoke, centered at the turnpike. The cavalry were posted on our flank, and in reserve, and the artillery distributed among the divisions.

A column from Petersburg, under Major-General Whiting had been directed to proceed to Swift creek, on the turnpike, over three miles from Petersburg, and nine from my lines, and was under orders to advance, at day-break, to Port Walthall Junction, three miles nearer.

The line of the enemy's forces under Butler, comprising the corps of Gillmore and W. F. Smith (10th and 18th) was generally parallel to our intermediate line of works, somewhat curved, concentric and exterior to our own, they held our own outer line of works, crossing the turnpike half a mile in our front. Their line of breastworks and entrenchments increased in strength westward and northward: its right, and weakest point, was in the edge of Wm. Gregory's woods, about half a mile west of James river.

The line of hostile breastworks from their right flank continued westwardly, intersecting the turnpike near our outer line of fortifications.

Near this point of intersection, at Charles Friend's farm, was advantageously posted a force of the enemy throughout the day's struggle, and here are said to have been the headquarters of Generals Butler and Smith.

Butler's lines thence, following partly the course of our outer works, crossed them, and run westwardly, through fields and woods, until after crossing the railroad, his extreme left inclined to the north. With the foregoing data, I determined upon the following plan: That our left wing, turned and hurled upon Butler's weak right, should, with crushing force, double it back on its centre, thus interposing an [3] easterly barrier between Butler and his base; that our right wing should simultaneously with its skirmishers and afterwards in force as soon as the left became fully engaged, advance and occupy the enemy to prevent his reinforcing his right, and thus check him in front, without, however, prematurely seeking to force him far back, before our left could completely out-flank, and our Petersburg column close upon his rear; and finally that the Petersburg column, marching to the sound of heaviest firing, should interpose a southern barrier to his retreat.

Butler thus environed by three lines of fire, could have, with his defeated troops, no resource against capture or destruction, except in an attempt at partial and hazardous escape westward, away from his base, trains or supplies.

Two difficulties, alone, might impede or defeat the success of my plan. One was a possible and effective resistance by the enemy, in virtue of his superior numbers. Another, probably a graver one, existed as to the efficient, rapid handling of a fragmentary army like ours, hastily assembled and organized, half the brigades without general officers, some of the troops unacquainted with their commanders and neighbors, staff-officers unknown to each other, &c. The moral force, which, derived from the unity which springs from old association, was entirely wanting, and from this cause, generally so productive of confusion and entanglement, great inconvenience arose.

On the other hand, I reckoned on the advantages of being all in readiness at day-break, with short distances over which to operate, a long day before me to manoeuvre in; plain, direct routes, and simplicity in the movements to be executed.

Accordingly, at 10.45 A. M. on the 15th of May, preparatory information and orders were forwarded to Major-General Whiting, then at Petersburg, twelve miles from me, to move with his force to Swift creek, three miles nearer, during the night, and at day-break next morning to proceed to Port Walthall Junction, about three miles nearer. These instructions were duly received by that officer and were as follows:

I shall attack enemy in my front, at day-break, by River road, to cut him off from his Bermuda base. You will take up your position, to-night, at Swift creek, with Wise's, Martin's, Dearing's, and two regiments of Colquitt's brigades, with about twenty field pieces, under Colonel Jones. At day-break, you will march to Port Walthall Junction, and when you hear an engagement in your front, you will advance boldly and rapidly, by the shortest road, in the direction [4] of heaviest firing, to attack enemy in rear or flank. You will protect your advance and flanks with Dearing's cavalry, taking necessary precautions to distinguish friends from foes.

Please communicate this to General Hill.

This revokes all former orders of movements.

[Signed]

G. T. Beauregard, General Commanding.
P. S. I have just received a telegram from General Bragg, informing me that he has sent you orders to join me at this place. You need not do so, but follow, to the letter, the above instructions.

[Signed] G. T. B.

In the early afternoon, I delivered, in person, to the other Division Commanders, the following circular instructions of battle, with additional oral instructions to Major-General Ransom, that while driving the enemy he should promptly occupy, with a brigade, the crossing of Proctor's creek, by the River road, which was the enemy's shortest line of retreat to Bermuda Hundred's Neck:

Circular to division commanders.

headquarters Department N. C. S. C., Va., Drury's Farm, May 15th, 1864.
General: The following instructions for battle, to-morrow, are communicated for your information and action.

The purpose of the movement is to cut off the enemy from his base of operations at Bermuda Hundreds, and capture or destroy him in his present position. To this end we shall attack and turn, by the river road, his right flank, now resting on James river, whilst his center and left flank are kept engaged, to prevent him from reenforc-ing his right flank.

Major-General Ransom's division will, to-night take position, the most favorable for attack, on the enemy's right flank, to be made by him at day-break to-morrow morning. His skirmishers will drive back vigorously those of the enemy, in his front, and will be followed closely by his line of battle, which will, at the proper time, pivot on its right flank, so as to take the enemy in flank and rear. He will form in two lines of battle, and will use his battalion of artillery to the best advantage.

Colonel Dunnovant's regiment of cavalry will move with this division, under the direction of General Ransom. [5]

Major General Hoke's division, now in the trenches, on the right of the position herein assigned to General Ransom will, at day-light, engage the enemy with a heavy line of skirmishers, and will hold the rest of his forces in hand, ready to attack with vigor the enemy's line in his front, as soon as he shall find it wavering before his skirmishers, or as soon as Ransom's line of battle shall have become fairly engaged with the enemy. General Hoke will form in two lines of battle, four hundred yards apart, in front of his trenches, at the proper time, and in such manner as not to delay his forward movement. He will use his battalion of artillery to the best advantage.

Colonel Baker's regiment of cavalry will move in conjunction with Hoke's division, so as to protect his right flank. He will receive more definite instructions from Major General Hoke. Colonel Shingler's regiment of cavalry will move with the reserve division.

The division commanded by Brigadier-General Colquitt will constitute the reserve, and will, to-night, form in column, by brigades, in rear of Hoke's present position, the centre of each brigade resting on the turnpike. The division will be massed under cover of the hill now occupied by Hoke's troops, so as to be sheltered, at the outset, from the enemy's fire in front. During the movement, the head of the column will be kept at a distance of about five hundred yards from Hoke's second line of battle. As soon as practicable, the intervals between the brigades of the reserve division will be maintained at from two to three hundred yards.

The reserve artillery, under General Colquitt, will follow along the turnpike, about three hundred yards in rear of the last brigade. He will use it to the best advantage. Simultaneously with these movements, Major-General Whiting will move with his division from Petersburg along the Petersburg and Richmond turnpike, and attack the enemy in flank and rear.

The movement above indicated must be made with all possible vigor and celerity.

The Generals commanding divisions, and Colonels Baker and Shingler, commanding cavalry will report at these headquarters at 6 P. M., to-day. In the meantime, they will give all neccessary instructions for providing their respective commands with sixty rounds of ammunition issued to each man, and at least twenty rounds for each in reserve. They will cause their commands to be supplied with two days cooked rations.

[Signed]

G. T. Beauregard, General Commanding.

[6]

Ransom moved at 4.45 A. M., being somewhat delayed by a dense fog which lasted several hours after dawn, and occasioned some embarrassment. His division consisted of the following brigades in the order mentioned, commencing from the left: Gracie's, Kemper's (commanded by Colonel Terry), Barton's (under Colonel Fry), and Colonel Lewis's (Hoke's old brigade.)

He was soon engaged, carrying at 6 A. M., with some loss, the enemy's line of breastworks in his front, his troops moving splendidly forward to the assault, capturing five stands of colors and some five hundred prisoners. The brigades most heavily engaged were Gracie's and Kemper's, opposed to the enemy's right, the former turning his flank. General Ransom then halted to form, reported his loss heavy, and troops scattered by the fog, his ammunition short, and asked for a brigade from the reserve. Colquitt's brigade was sent him at 6.30 A. M., with orders for its return when it ceased to be indispensable.

Before either ammunition or the reserve brigade had arrived, he reported the enemy driving Hoke's left, and sent the right regiment of Lewis's brigade forward at double quick towards the point of supposed danger. This held the enemy long enough for the reserve brigade to arrive, charge and drive him back from the front of our left centre, (where the affair occurred,) over and along the works, to the turnpike.

It will be seen, in a subsequent part of this report, that one of Hagood's advance regiments had unexpectedly come in contact with the enemy, and had been ordered back, it not being contemplated to press, at this point, until Ransom should swing around his left as directed in the battle-order. This, possibly, originated Ransom's impression as to the situation of Hoke's left, which had, in fact, steadily maintained its proper position.

At 7.15 A. M., Colquitt's brigade of the reserve, was re-called from Ransom, and a slight modification of the original movement was made to relieve Hoke, on whose front the enemy had been allowed to mass his forces, by the inaction of the left.

Ransom was ordered to flank the enemy's right by changing the front of his right brigade, supported by another in echelon—to advance a third towards Proctor's creek, and to hold a fourth in reserve. This modification was intended to be temporary, and the original plan was to be fully carried out, on the seizure of the River road and Proctor's creek crossing.

In proceeding to execute this order, Ransom found the reserve brigade engaged, and his own troops moving by the right flank [7] towards the firing at the centre. He therefore sent Barton's brigade back, instead of Colquitt's, and reported a necessity to straighten and reform his lines in the old position, near the lines he had stormed. Here his infantry rested during the greater part of the day—Dunnovant's cavalry dismounted, being thrown forward, as skirmishers, towards a small force which occupied a ridge, in the edge of George Gregory's woods, north of Proctor's neck. This force of the enemy, with an insignificant body of cavalry (believed to be negroes), and a report of some gunboats, coming up the river, were the only menace to our left.

At 10 A. M., I withheld an order for Ransom to move until further developments should be made, for the following reasons:

The right was heavily engaged—all of the reserve had been detached, right and left, at different times—the silence of Whiting's guns, which had been heard a short time about 8 A. M., gave reasonable hope that he had met no resistance and would soon be engaged —a dispatch had been sent him at 9 A. M., which was repeated at 9.30 A. M., to ‘press on and press over everything in your front, and the day will be complete;’ Ransom, moreover, not only reported the enemy in strong force in his front, but expressed the opinion that the safety of his command would be compromised by an advance.

On the right, Hoke had early advanced his skirmishers and opened with his artillery. The fog and other causes temporarily delayed the advance of his line of battle; when he finally moved forward, he soon became hotly engaged and handled his command with judgment and energy.

Hagood and Johnson were thrown forward by him with a section of Eschelman's Washington Artillery, and found a heavy force of the enemy, with six or eight pieces of artillery, occupying the salient of the outer line of works on the turnpike and his own defensive lines.

Our artillery engaged at very short range, disabling some of the enemy's guns and blowing up two limbers. Another section of the same command opened from the right of the turnpike. They both held their positions, though with heavy loss, until their ammunition was spent, when they were relieved by an equal number of pieces from the reserve artillery under Major Owens. Hagood with great vigor and dash, drove the enemy from the outer lines in his front, capturing a number of prisoners, and, in conjunction with Johnson, five pieces of artillery—three 20-pounder Parrots and two fine Napoleons. He then took position in the works, his left regiment being thrown forward by Hoke to connect with Ransom's right. In advancing, [8] this regiment encountered the enemy behind a second line of works in the woods, with abattis interlaced with wire; an attack at that point not being contemplated, it was ordered back to the line of battle, but not before its intrepid advance had caused it to sustain considerable loss. This circumstance has been referred to before, as the occasion of a mistake by Ransom.

Johnson, meanwhile, had been heavily engaged. The line of the enemy bent around his right flank, subjecting his brigade, for a time, to fire in flank and front. With admirable firmness he repulsed frequent assaults of the enemy, moving in masses against his right and rear. Leader, officers and men alike displayed their fitness for the trial to which they were subjected. Among many instances of heroism, I cannot forbear to mention that of Lieutenant Waggoner, of the Seventeenth Tennessee regiment, who went alone through a storm of fire, and pulled down a white flag which a small, isolated body of our men had raised, receiving a wound in the act. The brigade holding its ground nobly, lost more than a fourth of its entire number. Two regiments of the reserve were sent up to its support, but were less effective than they should have been, through a mistake of the officer posting them. Hoke also sent two regiments from Clingman to protect Johnson's flank; but through a similar error they were posted in the woods where the moral and material effect of their presence was lost.

I now ordered Hoke to press forward his right for the relief of his right centre, and he advanced Clingman with his remaining regiments and Corse with his brigade.

He drove the enemy with spirit, suffering some loss; but the gap between Clingman and the troops on his left induced him to retire his command, to prevent being flanked, and reform it in the intermediate lines. Thus Corse became isolated, and learning from his officers that masses were forming against his right flank, he withdrew some distance back, but not as far as his original position.

These two brigades were not afterwards engaged, though they went to the front; Corse about one hour after he fell back, and Clingman at about 2.15 P. M. The enemy did not re-occupy the ground from which he was driven before they retired.

In front of Hagood and Johnson the fighting was stubborn and prolonged. The enemy slowly retiring from Johnson's right took a strong position on the ridge in front of Proctor's creek, massing near the turnpike, and occupying the advantageous ground at the house and grove of Charles Friend. [9]

At length Johnson having brushed the enemy from his right flank in the woods, with some assistance from the Washington Artillery, and cleared his front, rested his troops in the shelter of the outer works.

One of the captured pieces having opened on the enemy's masses, he finally fell back behind the woods and ridge at Proctor's creek, though his skirmish line continued the engagement some hours longer.

Further movements were here suspended to await communication from Whiting, or the sound of his approach, and to re-organize the troops which had become more or less disorganized. Brief firing at about 1:45 P. M., gave some hope of his proximity.

I waited in vain. The firing heard was probably an encounter between Dearing and the enemy's rear guard. Dearing had been ordered by Whiting to communicate with me, but unsupported as he was by infantry or artillery, he was unable to do so, except by sending a detachment by a circuitous route, which reached me after the work of the day was closed.

At 4 P. M. all hope of Whiting's approach was gone, and I reluctantly abandoned so much of my plan as contemplated more than a vigorous pursuit of Butler, and driving him to his fortified base.

To effect this I resumed my original formation, and directed General Hoke to send two brigades forward along the Courthouse road to take the enemy in flank and establish enfilading batteries in front of the heights west of the railroad. The formation of our line was checked by a heavy and prolonged storm of rain. Meanwhile the enemy opened a severe fire, which was soon silenced by our artillery.

Before we were ready to advance darkness approached, and upon consultation with several of my subordinate commanders, it was deemed imprudent to attack, considering the probability of serious obstacles and the proximity of Butler's entrenched camp. I, therefore, put the army in position for the night, and sent instructions to Whiting to join our right, at the railroad, in the morning.

During the night the enemy retired to the fortified line of his present camp, leaving in our hands some fourteen hundred prisoners, five pieces of artillery, and five stands of colors. He now rests there, hemmed by our lines, which have since, from time to time, been advanced after every skirmish, and now completely cover the southern communications of the capital, thus securing one of the principal objects of the attack. The more glorious results anticipated were lost by the hesitation of the left wing, and the premature halt of the Petersburg [10] column, before obstacles in neither case sufficient to have deterred from the execution of the movements prescribed.

Too much praise cannot be bestowed on the officers and men who fought the battle of Drury's Bluff, for the order and intrepidity displayed by them whenever called upon to meet the foe, regardless of his advantage in number and position. I shall take pleasure in presenting the names of those who most distinguished themselves as soon as the detailed reports of subordinate commanders shall have been received at these headquarters.

The same opportunity will be taken to mention the names and services of those members of my personal and general staff who were present during that battle, and of those officers who, belonging to other commands, kindly volunteered their services on that occasion. The intelligent zeal and activity of all these officers in transmitting orders and conveying information from one portion of the field to the other contributed largely to the success of the day.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

[Signed]


A high private's sketch of Sharpsburg. Paper no. 2.

By Alexander Hunter.

[Conclusion.]

Late in the evening the column halted near Sharpsburg, a little village nestling at the bottom of the hills, a simple country hamlet, that none outside, save perhaps a postmaster, ever heard of before, and yet which in one day awoke to find itself famous, and the hills around it historic. This tiny town was a quiet, cool, still place—like the locality where Rip Van Winkle lived his days. One could almost imagine he saw the shambling figure, followed by his dog, disappear up the far street, and from just such a casement Dame Gretchen must have fired her farewell shot at her lazy, good-for-nothing spouse.

The hamlet was deserted now—more so probably than our Sweet Auburn, the loveliest village of the plain, ever was—not a soul was to be seen, the setting sun tinged the windows with its glowing rays, and made more vivid the dark background of the high hills beyond. The setting sun, ah, many eyes, all unconscious, looked their last [11] upon the glowing incandescence as they stood on the crest watching the bright luminary going down.

O, setting sun awhile delay,
     Linger on sea and shore,
For thousand eyes now gaze on thee,
     That shall not see thee more;
A thousand hearts beat proudly now,
     Whose race like thine is o'er.

The 17th of September found our command in a line in the rear of Sharpsburg; we are very tired with marching, exhausted with excitement, and savagely hungry. Had we been well fed, and with nothing to do, there were none who could not have lain at ease, and enjoyed the fine view—so rich and gaudy in the autumn coloring—with the fair garden country spreading out all around, looking its best in the sweet morning air. But sentiment could find no place in a man who had nothing but the memory of what he had eaten to fill his stomach, and as we felt our limp haversacks, the sole absorbing thought crossed each man's mind—where is our breakfast, or our dinner, or our supper coming from? The men began to grumble at being forced to fight on an empty stomach, and a long line of famine-drawn faces and gaunt figures sat there in the ranks, chewing straws merely to keep their jaws from rusting and stiffening entirely. Just at this time a cow—a foolish, innocent, confiding animal—not knowing soldiers' ways, came grazing up to our lines; a dozen bullets crashed through her skull, and a score of knives were soon at work, in an incredibly short space of time, quicker indeed than you could skin a rabbit, the hide of the female bovine was pared and cut off, and a ravenous pack of wolves could not sooner have laid bare her bones than did these hungry soldiers. Everything was eaten, even her tail, that was but an hour ago calmly and easily switching the flies from her back. Some soldier skinned it, burnt it over the fire, and picked it clean in a few minutes. There were no cooking utensils in the whole regiment, not a single skillet or frying-pan, indeed our rations of green corn and apples left us but little need for those articles, but something must be done to cook the beef. The soldier is an inventive genius, he can prepare and dress anything, even to making ‘stone soup,’ which by the way happened thus:

A hungry looking, lank, angular specimen of the genus Reb, appeared at the farm house of a widow lady—not far from Gordonsville, who was noted for her niggardliness and parsimony. So close indeed, [12] and mean was she, that a placard was nailed on her gate with the inscription: ‘No soldiers fed or housed here.’

The best foragers and pirooters of the brigade met their match in this old woman, and returned defeated from the field, and at last she was left in undisturbed possession of her place and no hungry soldiers ever were fed at her table.

When this animated picture and figure of famine stalked in her yard, the old lady was prepared for hostilities immediately.

The sad faced defender of the soil, asked in a humble way:

‘Please marm, lend me your iron pot?’

‘Man, I haven't no iron pot for you!’

‘Please marm, I wont hurt it.’

‘You don't s'pose I am agwine to lend you my pot to carry it to camp, do you? I would never see it again. Go over there where Mrs. Hanger lives, she will lend hers to you.’

‘Marm I will bring your pot back, hope I may die if I don't. I wont take it out of the yard and will kindle the fire here.’

‘What do you want with it?’ said the old lady.

‘I want to bile some stone soup,’ answered the soldier, looking plaintively at the questioner.

Stone soup! What's stone soup?’ and the old lady's curiosity began to rise. ‘How do you make it, and what for?’

‘Marm,’ replied the sad faced infantryman, ‘ever since the war began, the rations have become scarcer and scarcer, until they have stopped entirely, and we uns have to live on stone soup to keep from starving.’

Stone soup, how do you make it?’

‘Please marm you get a pot with some water, and I will show you. We biles the stone.’

The ancient dame trotted off, full of wonder and inquisitiveness to get the article, and by the time she returned the soldier had kindled a fire, and settling the kettle on the pile, waited for the water to boil, taking a rock about the size of his head, he washed it clean and put it in the pot, and then he said to the old woman who was peering in the pot:

‘Marm, please get me a small piece of bacon, about the size of your hand, to gin the soup a relish.’

The old lady again toddled off and got it for him. Another five minutes passed by.

‘Is it done?’ inquired the woman.

‘It's most done; but please marm give me a half a head of cabbage [13] just to make it taste right.’ The cabbage was brought. Ten minutes came and went.

‘Is it done, now?’ asked the wondering daughter of Eve.

‘Mos' done; but please marm give me a half a dozen potatoes, just to gin it a final flavor.’ ‘All right,’ answered the widow, who by this time had become deeply absorbed in the operation. The potatoes followed the cabbage and meat. Another ten minutes was numbered in the cycle of eternity. ‘Isn't it done yet, 'pears to me that it's a long time a cooking,’ remarked the antique mother, who was getting impatient.

‘Mos' done; jest get me a handful of flour, some pepper and salt, one or two termartusses, and it will be all right.’

These things were brought, and after bubbling in the pot awhile, the utensil was lifted off the fire, the soldier pulled his knife, with spoon attachment, and commenced to eat. The economical widow went in, got a plate, came out, and filled it, the first spoonful she tasted she exclaimed,

‘Why, man, this is nothing but common vegetable soup.’

‘So it is, marm,’ responded the soldier, who was making the best time he could; ‘but we uns calls it stone soup.’

The old lady carried her pot in the house, learning that the ingenuity of a soldier can compass anything.

But I will return to my mutton—or, rather, my beef. The men were not to be balked of their meal because there wasn't a cooking range or French cooks to prepare their dinner; they hunted about and found flat stones, that were lying around in the greatest profusion, and broiled their beef on them, and then went at it tooth and nail. It would be an interesting study to know how much meat some of those men ate—enough, indeed, to hold his own in that line against a Pawnee or Piute Indian.

After this dejeuner, a squad of us went into Sharpsburg. The enemy's artillery had begun to play upon the village, and the many hills echoed and re-echoed the thunder, the war music so common to our ears the last three months.

We stayed a short time, and on our return came down the road towards the Seventeenth. We were passing a group of soldiers lying behind a fence watching the flash of the enemy's artillery, which was on a high hill about a mile off. All at once a large twelve-pounder shell from one of these very guns struck the ground in the front, and then, as if cast by a child's hands, rolled gently around the group, and there it rested, with the fuse spluttering and blazing. The [14] effect was ludicrous. We did not stop on the order of going, but went at once. Every man jumped, hopped, ran, or rolled from that harmless-looking little black ball, and did not stop until they were at a respectable distance, when, lying flat down, they awaited the explosion. It soon came, and shattered a whole panel of fence by the force of its discharge. How thankful we were that the fuse was so long. Going back, we picked as best we could the fallen fruit which we forgot to carry when that shell came along. We lost our grapes, though.

The Yankees were preparing for their battle. On the heights, some two thousand yards away, fresh batteries would take their position and open; ours would reply, and so, as the hours of the forenoon wore on, the war clamor grew greater, and soon on our left the splashes of musketry, and then the steady, rattling discharges showed the battle was fairly joined.

The old cry soon came to us, ‘Fall in!’ and, soon in line, we advanced and took our place and waited with clenched teeth and fearless front for the attack.

Our position was directly in front of the village of Sharpsburg, on a high hill, behind a new post and rail fence; the topography of the country and the configuration of the ground was peculiar, consisting of a succession of undulating hills and corresponding valleys. The elevation that we were on sunk rather abruptly to a deep bottom, and then rose suddenly, forming another hill, the crest of which was about sixty yards from the top of the eminence where we rested. Any attacking force would be invisible until they arrived on the top of the crest opposite, and in pistol-shot distance, or what we call point blank musketry range.

On our front about a mile away was Antietam creek, spanned by a bridge. This was guarded by Toombs's Georgia brigade, which was only a skeleton command, being about one-fifth of its full ranks.

Our army surrounded Sharpsburg in a semi-circle, and we could lie there and hear and see the raging frenzied battle on our left. The reports of the cannon were incessant and deafening: at times it seemed as if a hundred guns would explode simultaneously, and then run off at intervals into splendid file firing. No language can describe its awful grandeur. The thousand continuous volleys of musketry mingle in a grand roar of a great cataract, and together merging, seemed as if the earth was being destroyed by violence, the canopy of the battle's fume, from this vast burning of gunpowder, rising above the battle-field in such thick clouds, that the [15] sun looked down gloomy red in the sky, while the dust raised by the mass of men floated to the clouds.

Listen! the fight has commenced down at Antietam bridge, where Toombs lies with his Georgians. The Yankees have commenced to shell their front, which, we all know, is but a prelude to the deadlier charge of infantry.

The shells begin to sail over us as we lay close behind the fence, shrieking its wild song, a canzonet of carnage and death. These missiles howled like demons, and made us cower in the smallest possible space, and wish we had each a little red cap in the fairy tale, which, by putting on our heads, would make us invisible. But what is that infernal noise that makes the bravest duck their heads? That is a ‘Hotchkiss’ shell. Thank goodness, it bursted far in the rear. It is no more destructive than some other projectile, but there is a great deal in mere sound to work on men's fears, and the moral effect of the Hotchkiss is powerful.

The tremendous scream of this shell is caused by a ragged edge of lead which is left on the missile as it leaves the gun. In favorable positions of light the phenomenon can sometimes be seen as you stand directly behind the gun of the clinging of the air to the ball. The missile seems to gather up the atmosphere and carry it along, as our globe carries its air through space. Men are frequently killed by the wind of a cannon ball. There is a law of Nature which causes the atmosphere to cling to the earth, or which presses upon it with a force on the surface of fifteen pounds to the square inch. Does the same law pertain to cannon balls in their flight?

The enemy are silent, but it is the calm that is but a prefix to a hurricane. It comes suddenly and the musketry at the bridge breaks out fiercely; it rises and swells into a full compass: there is sharp work going on. In about an hour Toombs's brigade came rushing back, its lines broken, but its spirit and morale all right. It retreated to the village and was reformed and held in reserve to us.

We made ready and expected to see the victorious Yankees following hard upon the heels of the retreating Rebels, but to our astonishment an hour or two of absolute inaction followed; no advance nor demonstrations were made in our front, but on the left the battle was raging as fiercely as ever. What could it mean, we asked each other, but none could solve the question.

At last towards evening their shelling was renewed. A battery supporting the first brigade replied to it. Soon came the singing of the minnies overhead. There is a peculiar tuneful pitch in the flight [16] of these little leaden balls; a musical ear can study the different tones as they skim through the space. A comrade lying next to me, an ameteur musician of no mean merit, spoke of this. Said he, ‘I caught the pitch of that minnie that just passed. It was a swell from E flat to F, and as it retrograded in the distance receded to D—a very pretty change.’

It was now getting late in the afternoon, and the men were becoming cramped from lying in their constrained position; some were moving up and down, some stretching themselves, for there was a cessation of firing in our front—an interval of quiet. It was but a short time, for the guarded, stern, nervous voice of our officer, calling, ‘Quick, men, back to your posts!’ sent every soldier into line. And then, as we waited, each man looked along the line — the slight, thin, frail line—stretched out behind that crest to withstand the onset of solid ranks of blue, and felt his heart sink within him. Yet who could not but feel pride at such soldiers as these; they were the fleur de mille of the army. They had kept up in this campaign solely by an unquenchable pride and indomitable will. As dirty, as gaunt, as tattered as they looked, they were ‘gentlemen.’ One could say of them, as Marshal Villars had cried out with uncontrollable enthusiasm, as he witnessed the Scotch gentry fighting in the ranks under the Chevalier St. George at the battle of Malplaquet: ‘Pardi! un gentilhomme est toujours gentilhomme.’

Yes, that thin string of tattered men, lying there with their bright rifles clasped tight in their hands, had marched onward, and onward, though their gaunt frames seemed as if they would sink at every step, they had followed their colors on the hot, dusty march, with fatigue relaxing their muscles, closing their eyes and deadening their wills, they had dragged themselves along to the battle-field with stone-bruised feet; they had fought and won battles on empty stomachs; they had kept steadily on making their allotted march, famishing and nearly naked, covered with dust, half devoured by vermin; they marched onward, still onward, through all the smoke of battle, through the torrid heat of a summer's sun; they had followed their flags through all of this with cheers like the songs of gods.

There was a grand patriotism, an abnegation of self, a sublime devotion to the cause they had espoused, displayed by these wearied, dust-stained, ragged men, that will make the pages of American history shine with splendid lustre.

Our brigade was a mere outline of its former strength, not a sixth remaining. Our regiment, the Seventeenth, that once carried into [17] battle eight hundred muskets, now stood on the crest, ready to die in a forlorn hope, with but forty-six muskets. My company, that often used to march in a grand review in two platoons of fifty men each, carried into Sharpsburg but two muskets (the writer and one other), commanded by Lieutenant Perry. Is it a wonder that we deliberately made up our minds to die on that hill, knowing what a force must be sent against us?

All at once, an eight gun battery, detecting our position, tried to shell us out, preparatory to their infantry advance, and the air around was filled by the bursting iron. Our battery of four guns took its place about twenty steps on our right, for our right flank was entirely undefended. They replied to the enemy. During the fire a shell burst not ten feet above where the Seventeenth lay, prone on their faces, and literally tore poor Appich, of Company E, to pieces, shattering his body terribly, and causing the blood to spatter over many who lay around him. A quiver of the form, and then it remained still. Another Hotchkiss came screeching where we lay, and exploded, two more men were borne to the rear; still the line never moved nor uttered a sound. The shells split all around, and knocked up the dust until it sprinkled us so, that if it intended to keep the thing up, it threatened to bury the command alive.

Oh, those long minutes that we lay with closed eyes, expecting mutilation, and a shock of the plunging iron, with every breath we drew—would it never end? But it kept up for fully fifteen minutes, and the men clenched their jaws tight and never moved; a line of corpses could not have been more stirless.

At last! at last! the firing totally ceases, then the battery with us limbered up and moved away, because, as they said, their ammunition was exhausted; but murmurs and curses loud and deep were heard from the brigade, who openly charged the battery with deserting them in the coming ordeal. It was in truth a desertion, for instead of throwing their shells at the enemy's eight gun battery, thereby drawing their dreadful fire upon us, they should have laid low and waited until the infantry attack was made, then every shot would have told, every shell or solid shot a help—but they moved away and left us.

An ominous silence followed premonitory of the deluge. The Seventeenth lay with the rest of the brigade, recumbent on the earth, behind the fence, with their rifles resting on the lower rails. The men's faces are pale, their features set, their hearts throbbing, their muscles strung like steel. [18]

The officers cry in low tones, ‘steady men! steady, they are coming. Ready!’

The warning click of the hammers raised as the guns are cocked, run down the lines, a monetary solemn sound—for when you hear that, you know that the supreme moment has come.

The hill in our front shut out all view, but the advancing enemy were close on us, they were coming up the hill, the loud tones of their officers, the clanking of their equipments, and the steady tramp of the approaching host was easily distinguishable.

Then our Colonel said in a quiet calm tone, that was heard by all, ‘steady lads, steady! Seventeenth, don't fire until they get above the hill.’

Each man sighted his rifle about two feet above the crest, and then, with his finger on the trigger, waited until an advancing form came between the bead and the clear sky behind.

The first thing we saw appear was the gilt eagle that surmounted the pole, then the top of the flag, next the flutter of the Stars and Stripes itself slowly mounting—up it rose; then their hats came in sight; still rising, the faces emerged; next a range of curious eyes appeared, then such a hurrah as only the Yankee troops could give broke the stillness, and they surged towards us.

‘Keep cool, men—don't fire yet,’ shouted Colonel Corse; and such was their perfect discipline that not a gun replied. But when the bayonets flashed above the hill-top the forty-six muskets exploded at once, and sent a leaden shower full in the breasts of the attacking force, not over sixty yards distant. It staggered them—it was a murderous fire—and many fell; some of them struck for the rear, but the majority sent a stunning volley at us, and but for that fence there would have been hardly a man left alive. The rails, the posts, were shattered by the balls; but still it was a deadly one—fully one-half of the Seventeenth lay in their tracks; the balance that is left load and fire again and again, and for about ten minutes the unequal struggle is kept up. The attacking force against the First brigade, as I learned, was a full brigade, three thousand strong, and against our little remnant is a full regiment. What hope is there? None. And yet for the space of a few rounds the combat is kept up, the combatants not over thirty yards apart. We stood up against this force more from a blind dogged obstinacy than anything else, and gave back fire for fire, shot for shot, and death for death. But it was a pin's point against Pelides' spear. Our Colonel falls wounded; [19] every officer except five of the Seventeenth is shot down; of the forty-six muskets thirty-five are dead, dying or struck down; three, myself among them, are run over by the line in blue, and throw up our hands in token of surrender.

Two of them stopped to take our small squad in charge, and the rest of their line hurried forward towards the village. As we turned to leave we saw our whole brigade striking for the rear at a 2:40 gait. The South Carolina brigade on our left had given away, and the enemy swept on triumphantly, with nothing to bar his progress and save the village, the coveted prize, from falling into their hands; but Toombs's Georgia brigade, which had been driven from the Antietam bridge early in the forenoon, had reformed in our rear, and covered the hamlet.

When a farewell glance of the ground was taken there was a sad sight; there rested the line of the Seventeenth just as they had fallen.

The three prisoners were hurried to the rear, and on reaching the opposite crest found that our fire had been very destructive; each man had probably killed or wounded his man. On the ground surrounded by a group of officers and a surgeon was the Colonel of the regiment that had charged the Seventeenth. He appeared to be mortally hurt, and was deathly pale. Hurrying us back a few hundred yards on the top of a hill, out of the reach of shot and shell, captured and capturers turned to look at the scene before them. As far as our eye could reach our forces seemed to be giving ground; and as line after line of the Yankee reserves pushed forward it looked dark for the Rebels—it seemed to us as if Sharpsburg was to be our Waterloo.

A frightful struggle was now going on in the woods half a mile or so to our left. It appeared to us as if all the demons of hell had been unloosed—all the dogs of war unleashed to prey upon and rend each other; long volleys of musketry vomited their furious discharges of pestilential lead; the atmosphere was crowded by the exploding shells; baleful fires gleamed through the foliage, as if myriads of fireflies were flitting through the boughs, and there was a fringe of vivid, sparkling flame spurting out along the skirt of the forest, while the concussion of the cannon seemed to make the hills tremble and totter.

But a change takes place in this panorama; a marvellous change, before our very eyes. One moment the lines of blue are steadily advancing everywhere and sweeping everything before them; another moment and all is altered. The disordered ranks of blue come rushing [20] back in disorder, while the Rebels followed fast, and then bullethitting around us caused guards and prisoners to decamp.

What was the import of this?

None could tell, but still the reflux tide bore us back with it. At last a prisoner, a wounded Rebel officer, was being supported back to the rear, and we asked him, and the reply came back: ‘Stonewall Jackson has just gotten back from Harper's Ferry, those troops fighting the Yankees now are A. P. Hill's division.’

Well, we felt all right, if Old Stonewall was up, none need care about the result.

Still forward came the wave of gray, still backward receeded the billows of blue, heralded by warning hiss of the bullets, the sparkling of the rifle flashes, the purplish vapor settling like a veil over the lines, the mingled hurrahs and wild yells, and the bass accompaniment over on our left of the hoarse cannonading. Back we went, stopping on top of every rise of the ground to watch the battle. It was nearly night, the last gleam of the sun's rays struck upon the glass windows of the houses of the little village of Sharpsburg, and made them shine like fire, brighter, more vivid, than even the flames bursting from one house that had been set on fire by an exploding shell.

At last the bridge is reached—the stone bridge that crosses Antietam creek—the key point of the Federal position, the weak point in their line, the spot so anxiously watched by McClellan, for he sent repeated dispatches to Burnside late that evening, as A. P. Hill bore back the advancing tide—his order was: ‘Hold on to the bridge at all hazards; if the bridge is lost all is lost.’

Here was the point Toombs's Georgians made such a gallant defence of the river early in the forenoon, and the dead lay thick all around.

But the battle in our front ceased suddenly, though on other parts of the field it still kept up. As we approached the bridge we were astonished to see so many troops—not a man under ten thousand said my comrade—and they were all fresh troops. Certainly, there was no danger of Burnside losing the bridge, with all those splendid soldiers ready to defend it. Had those men advanced early in the day, instead of being held back, it would have been a black day for the South, and the Yankees would have gained a glorious victory, for we had no reserves, and A. P. Hill was miles away in the morning.

The ground all about the bridge was covered with the dead and wounded, for the Yankees had established a sort of field hospital here, and the desperately hurt in the immediate front were left at this [21] point. And, besides, a fierce struggle had occurred between Toombs and Burnside's corps, and though short it was sharp and bloody. The dead were many. A group of four figures in blue lay together just as they had fallen—all killed by the explosion of a single shell. One of the Georgians lay on his face with his body almost in two parts, looking as if he had been run over by a train of cars; a solid shot had struck him in the centre of the body. Another of Toombs's brigade was shot just as he was taking aim; one eye was still open, while the other was closed, and one arm was extended in a position of holding his rifle, which lay beside him on the ground. Death had been sudden, instantaneous and painless. The gun had been fired; a spasmodic contraction of the fingers had probably pressed the trigger and set loose the prisoned missile.

Night came at last, stopping the carnage of the dreadful day, and the tender, pitiful stars shone in the vast dome above and looked down upon the scene of desolation and death. The firing had ceased, and only the sound of the groans, unheard before, of the stricken, the maimed, the dying, and a murmuring breeze stealing across the hills in plaintive sympathy.

We were carried on the other side of the stream and placed among our other prisoners taken in the battle—representatives from every command in our army—numbering some five hundred, with about a dozen officers. A guard being placed around us, every man's freed spirit was soon soaring away wherever his fancy led him, and slumber for a time held all in her silken chain

The Maryland line in the Confederate Army.

By General. B. T. Johnson.
The prevailing idea among the Marylanders, who went South to join their fortunes with those of the Confederate States, was to concentrate themselves into one body, commanded by their own officers, carrying the flag of the State, and to be called the Maryland Line.

I marched the first company across the Potomac from Frederick, the Frederick Volunteers, and by the permission and under the direction of Colonel Jackson, established myself with it at the Point of Rocks on the 9th day of May, 1861. I selected that point as most convenient for rendezvous of such men as might desire to join us.

In a few days I was joined by Captain C. C. Edelin, with another company, and other companies under Captains Herbert, Nicholas, [22] and others, were rapidly organized at Harper's Ferry. But we intelligently declined to enter the service of Virginia, and insisted upon being mustered into that of the Confederate States.

Accordingly on May 21, 1861, the two companies at the Point of Rocks were mustered into the Army of the Confederate States, by Lieutenant-Colonel George Deas, as Companies A and B, of the First Maryland regiment. Six other companies were mustered into the same service and regiment on the 22nd at Harper's Ferry. They were afterward consolidated into four companies. Other Marylanders congregated at Leesburg, and on June 6th, 1861, held a meeting, at which five counties and the City of Baltimore were represented, of which Coleman Yellott was President, and Frank A. Bond, Secretary. They formed an association, calling themselves ‘The Independent Association of the Maryland Line,’ and adopted a constitution which provided for organizing the members into companies, regiments and brigades. Nothing further ever came of this movement.

The companies of Dorsey, Murray and Robertson were, late in May and early in June, mustered into the Virginia service at Richmond, and then transferred to the First Maryland regiment, which they joined at Winchester, June 16, 1861.

As this regiment was marching into the battle of Manassas, July 21, 1861, Captain Charles Snowden presented to us a flag which had been brought through the lines by Miss Hettie Carey. It was a Maryland State color, with the arms of the State painted on blue silk on the one side, and on the other, ‘Presented by the Ladies of Baltimore to the First Regiment Maryland Line.’ The regiment carried that color through all the battles in Virginia until it was disbanded, August 12, 1862. Before then, it had carried the color presented to my Frederick company when we left home. Colonel Steuart attached the new flag to the staff with the old one, and thus the regiment went through the fight at Manassas with two flags, side by side on one lance. The regimental color was presented by the fragment of the regiment left to be disbanded to my wife, who has it now. My company flag is also in my possession.

During, the winter of 1861-62, Colonel George H. Steuart, commanding the First Maryland regiment; of which I was then Lieutenant-Colonel, exerted himself for the organization of the Maryland Line.

Our people had become scattered all through the army. We had the First regiment of infantry, Maryland Light Artillery, Captain R. Snowden Andrews, and Baltimore Light Artillery, Captain J. B. [23] Brockenbrough, as the sole Maryland representatives in the army. But besides that there were Maryland companies in the First, Sixth and Seventh Virginia cavalry, Thirteenth, Twenty-first and Forty-seventh Virginia infantry; besides a body of Marylanders enlisted in the First South Carolina artillery, and Lucas's battalion of South Carolina artillery, and our men, alone, or by twos or threes, were in very many regiments from Texas to Virginia.

The Congress of the Confederate States, in response to the efforts of Colonel Steuart mainly—for, while others assisted, his exertions were the principal cause of its action—on February 15, 1862, passed the following act:

An act to authorize and provide for the organization of the Maryland line.

Sec. 1. The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That all native or adopted citizens of Maryland, who have heretofore volunteered, are now in or may hereafter volunteer in the service of the Confederate States, may, at their option, be organized and enrolled into companies, squadrons, battalions and regiments, and with the First Maryland regiment and several companies now in service, into one or more brigades, to be known as the Maryland Line; said organization to be in accordance with existing laws.


In consequence of, and to carry into effect this Act of Congress, the following General Order was issued:

General order no. 8.

war Department, Adjutant & Inspector General's Office, Richmond, February 26, 1862.
I. The following Act of Congress with Regulations of the Secretary of War thereupon, are published for the information of the Army.

[Here follows the above act.]

II. In accordance with the requirements of the above act, all Marylanders now in service in the military organizations, other than that of the First Maryland regiment, will, upon application, (proper evidence setting forth the fact that they are native or adopted Marylanders being furnished,) be transferred to the First Maryland regiment; or where the numbers are sufficient, may be organized into companies, squadrons, battalions, or regiments, which, with the First Maryland regiment will be formed into brigades, to be known as the Maryland Line. [24]

III. Colonel George H. Steuart, now commanding the First Maryland regiment, is assigned to this duty of organization, re-enlisting for his own regiment, and re-organizing from the material obtained by enlistments and transfers, in accordance with the foregoing law—having command of the whole.

By order of the Secretary of War,

S. Cooper, Adjutant & Inspector General.

Colonel Steuart was promoted to be Brigadier-General in the following March, and on reporting to Major-General Ewell, of Jackson's army in the Valley, was allotted the First Maryland regiment, Brown's troop of cavalry, and the Baltimore Light Artillery, which thus constituted the Maryland Line.

During the Campaign of the Valley, however, in the advance he commanded a brigade of cavalry, and it was not until after the battle of Winchester (May 26) that he assumed command of the Line, which was attached to the second brigade Jackson's division, also under Steuart's command. On June 8th, at Cross Keys, he was wounded, and the command devolved on me. I retained it, and commanded the Maryland Line, as a separate organization, during the remainder of operations in the Valley, during the Seven Days battles around Richmond, and until August 12th, when the First regiment was disbanded—its numbers having been greatly reduced.

The Second regiment was organized in the fall of 1862, and during the winter elected Lieutenant-Colonel James R. Herbert to command it. It served in the Valley under General W. E. Jones, but no attempt was made, that I am aware of, to consolidate the Maryland commands.

The army moved northward in June, 1863. I was then member of a military court in Richmond, and the Secretary of War gave me a commission on June 22, 1863, of Colonel First regiment Maryland Line, with orders to report at once to Major-General I R. Trimble, of Ewell's corps, with orders to them to put me in command of the Maryland troops serving with them. With the commission and orders, he issued to me this authority:

Sir,—You are hereby authorized to recruit from Marylanders and muster into service companies, battalions and regiments of infantry, cavalry and artillery, to serve for the war, and to be attached to and form part of the Maryland Line.

By command of the Secretary of War.


[25]

I joined the army on July 2d, but—as, in the graphic language of General Ewell, ‘This is no time for swapping horses’—I did not get my command to which I had been ordered.

I was assigned to command the Second brigade of Jackson's division.

On November 1, 1863, General Lee directed me to collect the Maryland troops and proceed to Hanover Junction, and ordered to report to me at once the Second Maryland Infantry, the First Maryland Cavalry, and the Baltimore Light Artillery. I was to have the other troops as soon as the exigencies of the service would permit.

The Maryland Line, then, was established at Hanover Junction during the winter of 1863-64, charged with the duty of watching Lee's flanks, and particularly of protecting the bridges over the South Anna, which preserved his communication with Richmond.

During the winter the Chesapeake Artillery, Captain W. Scott Chene, and the First Maryland Artillery, Captain W. F. Dement, reported to me and became part of the Maryland Line. The batteries were designated: First Maryland Artillery, formerly Maryland Light; Second Maryland Artillery, formerly Baltimore Light; Third Maryland Artillery, Captain Latrobe, serving in the Western army; Fourth Maryland Artillery, formerly Chesapeake.

It was decided by President Davis that, under the law, an election must be held for commanding officer of the whole. Accordingly, I received this letter:

Adjutant and Inspector General's office, Richmond, February 4, 1864.
Sir,—You are hereby required to cause an early election for the Colonelcy of your present command in the Maryland Line; the election to be full and complete.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


The election was held on February 6th, under the direction and supervision of Lieutenant-Colonel Ridgeley Brown, by Captains Emack, Welsh and Schwartz, of the cavalry; Captains Crane, Mc-Aleer and Gwynn, of the infantry, and Captain Griffin and Lieutenant Brown, of the artillery.

The Colonel of the First regiment Maryland Line was unanimously [26] elected to command the Line. This was the largest force of Marylanders ever collected during the war in the Confederate army. It consisted of a regiment of infantry, one of cavalry, and four batteries, all in a high state of efficiency.

On March 23, 1864, a general order was issued from the Adjutant and Inspector General's office, directing the establishment of two camps, in which Marylanders could be collected and organized. The one at Hanover Junction to be called Camp Howard, under the command of Colonel Bradley T. Johnson, with the troops then under his command, and a new rendezvous at Staunton, to be called Camp Maryland, under Major-General Arnold Elzey. This order and this effort accomplished nothing. General Elzey established himself at Staunton with his staff, and no sufficient number of men ever reported to organize a single company. At Hanover Junction I got together the troop above described.

When the army fell back to the line of the South Anna after the battle of the Wilderness, in May, 1864, I was ordered off with the cavalry to go behind Grant's army. The infantry was absorbed by Breckenridge, where it did splendid service, and was designated by General Lee in orders, ‘the gallant battalion’; and the artillery assigned to infantry or cavalry according to its equipment.

I retained the Baltimore Light (Second Maryland) with the cavalry as the Maryland Line during Early's Valley and Maryland Campaign of 1864.

The reasons why the Marylanders could not be collected into one command were as manifest to me in 1862-64 as they are now. They had no relation to the gallant soldier Steuart, who made such an effort, or splendid old Elzey, whom we all honored and loved-nor to any Maryland soldier, officer or private. I do not purpose to explain them now; I will do so in the future. I merely desire to furnish a connected narrative of historical facts concerning the Maryland Line in the Confederate army.

Our cause in history.

By Rev. H. Melville Jackson, of Richmond.
[The following eloquent response to a toast at the Howitzers's Banquet in Richmond, Dec. 13th 1882, takes a view of ‘our cause in History’ that is hopeful, and well worthy of preservation. It only [27] needs to be emphasized, that we must see to it, that the facts are preserved.]


Toast-our cause in history.

Sentiment.—‘A land without ruins is a land without memories—a land without memories is a land without history. A land that wears a laurel crown may be fair to see; but twine a few sad cypress leaves around the brow of any land, and be that land barren, beautiless and bleak, it becomes lovely in its consecrated coronet of sorrow, and it wins the sympathy of the heart and of history. * * * The triumphs of might are transient—they pass and are forgotten—the sufferings of right are graven deepest on the chronicle of nations.’

Rev. H. M. Jackson responded as follows, amidst frequent applause:

Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen.—I esteem myself highly honored in being permitted to mingle with you on this festal occasion, to share with you in the reminiscence of events in which I had no part, and to join in the commemoration of a past of which I know but little—save by the hearing of the ear.

I could not help, you know, being born a few years too late; but, while the mere ‘accident of birth’ debarred me from participation in the glory and horror of war, I thank you that you admit me to share in these lingering echoes of the past, which, in the ‘piping time of peace,’ memory reproduces, in mimic minature, to kindle again the smouldering fires in the soldier's breast.

It is however, Sir, the duty, as it is the pleasure, of man, to look both backward and forward; and therefore, while memory plays her part to-night in recalling the past, you have directed that we should project our thoughts into the future to inquire how that Cause, which still remains dear to your hearts, shall fare at the hands of the historian.

It has been said of General Robt. E. Lee that he often expressed the fear lest posterity should not know the odds against which he fought. What then was in the mind of the great warrior? Was he apprehensive lest his military fame should suffer? Was he fearful that his name might not be written large on the annals of history? All who knew that man know full well no such thought found harbour in his breast. No solicitude respecting his future fame disturbed the serenity of a mind lifted above the petty ambitions of personal reputation; but, the daily witness of incredible heroism, daily spectator of the dauntless courage with which a decimated army faced undismayed an [28] overwhelming foe, the chieftain of your armies, gentlemen, feared lest the examples of knightly valour and splendid fortitude, which you have exhibited to the ages, might, through the incapacity or incredulity, or venal mendacity of the historian, be finally lost to the human race.

And there is, I will venture to say, scarcely a soldier of the Confederacy who does not share this apprehension that posterity may not do justice to the cause in which he fought. Soldiers, you cannot bear to think that your children's children shall have forgotten the fields on which you have shed your blood. You cannot think with equanimity that a day will come when Virginia shall have suffered the fame of her heroes to be lost in obscurity, and the valorous achievements of her sons to fade from memory. And if you thought, to-night, that the muse of history would turn traitor to your cause, misrepresent the principles for which you fought, and deny to you those attributes of valour, fortitude and heroic devotion you have grandly won, your souls would rise up within you in immediate and bitter and protesting indignation.

This apprehension is thought by some to be not altogether groundless. The North, it is said, is making the literature of these times, has secured the ear of the age and will not fail to make an impression, unfavorable to you, which time will deepen rather than obliterate. Diligent fingers are carving the statues of the heroes of the Northern armies, writing partizan and distorted versions of their achievements, altering, even in this generation, the perspective of history, until, at no distant day, they shall have succeeded in crowding out every other aspirant of fame and beguiled posterity into believing that the laurels of honor should rest, alone and undisturbed, upon the brows of your adversaries.

It is to dispel this apprehension that I am here to-night. I am here to tell you that the muse of history will not turn traitor to your cause, that your fame shall not be forgotten—no, not so long as unwearied time shall count out the years to mortal man!

There is a law which governs the compilation of history, gentlemen,—a law which is succinctly stated in this sentiment to which I am responding: ‘The triumphs of might are transient—they pass and are forgotten—the sufferings of right are graven deepest on the chronicles of nations.’

Rome made the literature of her day; Carthage made none; Rome was the victorious power; Carthage was obliterated:—and yet, the figure of Hannibal stands out, luminously clear, from the misty background [29] of those times, while Scipio Africanus is known to the ear only as a name, and the heroic defence of Carthage, when the women of that devoted city plaited their long tresses into bow-strings for the archers, and beat their jewels into arrow points, remains among the inspirations of history.

Or, to take more modern instance, England made the literature of her time—Scotland made none; England conquered—Scotland was overcome; and yet none remembers the victorious Edward——he has passed and is forgotten—but the names of William Wallace and Robert Bruce are graven ineffaceably upon the ‘Chronicles of Nations’ and the story of their deeds and their sufferings have been strangely intertwined with all that is noblest and best in human action.

Nothing lives, either in story or in song, but that which appeals to the heart of humanity; and nothing on God's earth so moves the sympathies of man as when the weak are seen defending their honor, their principles or their homes—against the strong. The instincts of man incline to the overpowered, and these instincts are the best and dominant guides in the construction of history. ‘The triumphs of might,’ brute force crushing power, have no admirable aspect, awaken no worthy sentiment, possess no inspiration; but there is something allied to our higher and God-born nature in suffering for the right, something we instinctively feel must not be permitted to perish from the earth, something which man, for man's sake, must guard with zealous care and transmit as the heirloom of generations.

Therefore, Sir, if the same laws prevail in the future as have prevailed in the past, you need have no apprehension of misrepresentation. The righteousness of your cause precludes fear. You may commit the principles for which you fought, you may confide the story of your deeds, you may consign the heritage of heroism you have bequeathed the world, with confident expectation of justice, to the hands of the annalist.

In seeds of laurel in the earth,
     The blossom of your fame is blown;
And somewhere waiting for its birth,
     The shaft is in the stone.

But, Sir, I am reminded by the presence of two guests at your banquet, that it cannot be truthfully said the South is making no literature. The presence here (if I may be pardoned personal allusion) of the Author of the Life of Lee, who as Editor of the Southern Historical Society Papers, is accumulating the material for the future historian—a work the importance of which I fear we do not [30] duly appreciate—and the presence here of the Author of ‘Minutiae of Soldier Life,’ a book which preserves for us, in all the delicious freshness of local colouring, that interior life of the soldier which is the best index of his character and the best indication of his stalwart and sturdy fortitude, confute the allegation.

And yet, perhaps, Sir, the best history is the unwritten history. The best schools of history are around the hearth-stone. The best lessons of patriotism, of veneration for the past, of true and laudable appreciation of noble deeds, are received at the lips of a mother. Her unerring instincts teach her to select with wonderful skill the best exemplars to kindle the aspirations of youth. The women of modern times take the place, and perform the duty, of the minstrels of an older age. They keep alive the traditions of a land and suffer nothing of enduring value to perish. Happy, then, is that land which can furnish the lips of its fair minstrels with rich stores of inspiration, drawn from the achievements of its sons. Happy that land which has placed in the mystic temple of fame such embodiments of all the manly virtues as may be found in the soldier of the Confederacy, whether the chieftain of its armies or the humblest private in the ranks. All the better if the laurels of their fame is intertwined with the emblematic cypress of sorrow. All the better if the paeon of their praise is interpersed with minor cadences speaking softy of sufferings nobly, if vainly, borne. All the better if the blood they shed be intermingled with tears, so that the baptism of blood and tears may descend in fructifying influence, upon this fair land.

Yes give me a land of the wreck and the tomb,
There is grandeur in graves — there is glory in gloom,
For out of the gloom future brightness is born
As after the night comes the sunrise of morn;
And the graves of the dead with grass overgrown
May yet be the footstool of liberty's throne,
And each single wreck in the war path of might
Shall yet be a stone in the temple of right.

The Merrimac and Monitor.

The claim now before the United States Senate, for prize money by the crew of the ‘Monitor’ on the ground that she disabled the ‘Merrimac,’ and thus saved Washington and even New York from destruction, has revived interest in the famous ‘Battle of Hampton Roads,’ and elicited a number of papers worth preserving for the [31] use of the future historian. The official report of Admiral Buchanan (Vol. 7, page 305, Southern Historical Society Papers), and the admirable narrative of Captain Catesby Ap. R. Jones (which we printed in the Southern Magazine and shall reprint hereafter), settle the question beyond peradventure, and we cannot conceive that partizan influence can prevail on Congress to grant this absurd claim of the crew of the Monitor.

General D. H. Maury has given a summary of the facts in the following letter addressed to Senator Johnston:

Letter from General Maury.

office of the Southern Historical Society, November, 1882.
Senator John W. Johnston, of Virginia .
Dear Sir,—At your request I forward to you the essential facts about the Battle in Hampton Roads between the Confederate ironclad, Virginia (Merrimac) and the Federal fleet, consisting of the Monitor (ironclad) and the Cumberland, Congress, and Minnesota.

On March 8, 1862, the Virginia steamed out of Norfolk to attack the frigates Congress and Cumberland, then lying in Hampton Roads. She was commanded by Admiral Franklin Buchanan.

She first encountered the United States frigate Cumberland, whom she struck with her prow and sunk—her iron prow was broken off in the collision and sunk with the Cumberland.

The Cumberland behaved with conspicuous devotion from first to last. She was at anchor and received the Virginia firmly, and sunk working her battery and with her colors flying.

The Congress slipped her cables and ran ashore and after a gallant defence surrendered and was taken possession of. She was set on fire and blew up at midnight.

The Monitor had not yet appeared. All of the other ships retired below Old Point except the Minnesota, and she got ashore, beyond the reach of the Virginia, and so escaped.

On the morning of March 9th the Monitor hove in sight, and steamed to attack the Virginia.

These two ironclads exchanged a number of shots. No serious damage was inflicted by either upon the other—but after having been rammed by the Virginia with her wooden prow and having received a shot which jarred her turret and disabled her commander, the Monitor retired into shoal water beyond the Virginia's reach and never again encountered her. [32]

The Virginia the next morning returned to Norfolk, went into dock and repaired damages—put on a new steel prow, exchanged two of her guns for two others, and on May 8, more formidable than ever, again went out to attack the Federal fleet which had been reinforced by the Galena and Vanderbilt, and was bombarding the Confederate batteries, on the shore. On the approach of the Virginia the Monitor and all the rest of the fleet retired below Old Point beyond her reach and never again came out.

The Virginia maintained this attitude of defiance and victory until May 11th, 1862, when Norfolk was evacuated by the Confederate forces and all stores and munitions of war not movable were destroyed, including the Virginia (Merrimac).

These facts are attested by eye-witnesses and actors in these events of high authority, and are drawn from carefully prepared narratives and reports in the office of the Southern Historical Society in the capitol of Virginia.

With high respect your obedient servant,

Dabney H. Maury, Chairman Executive Committeee S. H S.

Midshipman Littlepage who was on the Merrimac, furnished the following to the Washington Post.

Statement of midshipman Littlepage.

To the Editor of The Post.—From the article which appeared in the columns of The Post this morning, I learn that the officers and men of the Monitor have memorialized Congress for prize money for the disabling of the Merrimac by that vessel. As there is not an officer or man who was on the Monitor on that memorable occasion who does not know that the Monitor did not disable the Merrimac, I cannot conceive upon what grounds the claim for prize money is made. It reminds me of the old sailor, who, whenever he heard others speaking of fine horses, would always tell of the remarkable traits of his own horse. He told it so often that he actually believed he had a horse, and when the ship went into Vera Cruz he bought a fine Mexican saddle for it. The statement that the Merrimac was disabled and driven from Hampton Roads into Norfolk is entirely incorrect and absurb. It only convinces me that I. R. G., like many others who have written upon this subject, was not there. The Monitor was neither the direct nor the remote cause of the destruction of the Merrimac; if prize money is to be awarded for her, let it [33] be given to the gallant officers and crew of the Cumberland, which went down with her colors flying after doing nearly all the damage sustained by the Merrimac on the 8th and 9th of March, 1862. The broadside fired by the Cumberland just as the Merrimac rammed her cut one of the Merrimac's guns off at the trunnions, the muzzle off another, tore up the carriage of her bow pivot gun, swept away her anchors, boats and howitzers, riddled her smoke-stack and steam-pipe, and killed and wounded nineteen men.

The next day in the fight with the Monitor the Merrimac did not have a man killed or wounded nor a gun disabled. The only damage sustained by her worth mentioning was by ramming the Monitor with her wooden stem, her cast-iron bow having been wrenched off the day before in the Cumberland. This probably saved the Monitor from a similar fate. 'Tis true the Monitor struck us some powerful blows with her eleven-inch guns when only a few feet from us, but not one of her shots penetrated our armor. If instead of scattering her shot over our shield she had concentrated them upon some particular spot, a breach might have been made. When the Merrimac left Hampton Roads for Norfolk, the Monitor had passed over the bar and hauled off into shoal water, where we could not reach her— the Merrimac's draft being over twenty-two feet, and hers only about ten. As there was nothing more to fight, the tide being favorable, the Merrimac returned to Norfolk, where she was docked. She was then thoroughly overhauled and equipped for fighting an ironclad. A prow of steel and wrought iron was put on. Bolts of wrought iron and chilled iron were supplied for the rifle guns, and other preparations made especially for the Monitor. They were such as to make all on the Merrimac feel confident that we would either make a prize of or destroy the Monitor when we met again. On the 11th of April, all being ready for the expected fray, the Merrimac again went to Hampton Roads. The Monitor was laying at our moorings, at the mouth of the Elizabeth river, publishing to the world that she was blockading the Merrimac. Greatly to our surprise she refused to fight us, and as we approached she gracefully retired, and closely hugged the shore under the guns of Fortress Monroe. As if to provoke her to combat, the Jamestown was sent in, and she captured several prizes, in which the Monitor seemed to acquiesce, as she offered no resistance. French and English men-of-war were present; the latter cheered and dipped their flags as the Jamestown passed with the prizes.

On the 8th of May, when the Merrimac had returned to Norfolk [34] for supplies, a squadron consisting of the Monitor, Naugatuck and Galena (iron-clads) and five large men-of-war, commenced to bombard our batteries at Sewell's Point. The Merrimac immediately left Norfolk for the scene of conflict. As she approached the squadron at full speed the Vanberbilt, one of the fastest steamers then afloat, which, we understood, had been fitted with a prow especially for ramming us, joined the other ships. We regarded the attack as an invitation to come out, and we expected a most desperate encounter. Much to the disappointment of our Commodore, and greatly to the relief of many others besides myself, as soon as the Merrimac came within range they seemed to conclude that Sewell's Point was not worth fighting about, and all hurried below the guns of Fortress Monroe and the Rip-Raps. The Merrimac pursued at full speed until she came well under the fire of the latter port, when she retired to her moorings at the mouth of the river. After the evacuation of Norfolk the Merrimac was taken above Craney Island and blown up on the 11th of May. The Monitor was then up James river, having gone up the day before, and was probably more than fifty miles away. She had refused the gage of battle offered her by the Merrimac daily since the 11th of April.

Wherefore doth she claim prize money?

In stating the above facts I do not wish to detract one iota from the just deserts of the brave officers and men of the Monitor. They did their whole duty, but not more gallantly than their less fortunate comrades on the Cumberland, Congress, Minnesota and other ships in the Roads, and are therefore no more entitled to prize money. Those on the Merrimac by no means regarded the Monitor as a lion in her path. Having served on the Merrimac from the time work was first begun upon her until the night of her destruction, in justice to all concerned, and that honor may be done to whom honor is due, I simply desire the facts to be known.


The following letter from Captain W. H. Parker to the Norfolk Landmark, is also an interesting and unanswerable statement of the question:

Letter from Captain Parker.

Norfolk, Va., December 11, 1882.
To the Editor of the Landmark
The claim of the crew of the U. S. S. Monitor for prize money for [35] the destruction of the Confederate vessel Virginia (Merrimac) has naturally called forth many letters from those engaged in the naval operations in Hampton Roads from March 8, 1862, to May 6, 1862.

I commanded the Beaufort in the battles of the 8th and 9th of March, and in the operations under Commodore Tattnal, to which I shall allude. In fact, I may say I commanded a consort of the Merrimac from the time she was put in commission until she was blown up. I therefore profess to be familiar with her history.

The battle of March 8th I propose describing at some future day, in order to show more particularly what part the wooden vessels took in that memorable engagement. The battle of March 9th—that between the Monitor and the Merrimac—has been fully described by Captain Catesby Jones, her Commander, and by other of her officers. I do not propose here to repeat it; but there are some points in relation to the operations subsequent to that engagement which have either been unnoticed, or but lightly touched upon. These points are in my judgment so important, and bear so immediately upon the claim of the Monitor for prize money, that I venture to submit the following:

I. After the battle of the 9th of March, the Merrimac went into dock to replace the prow, or ram, which had been lost in sinking the Cumberland, to exchange some of her guns, and to make some small repairs to her armor and machinery. On the 11th of April Commodore Tattnall, who had succeeded Commodore Buchanan in the command, went down with his entire squadron, consisting of the Merrimac, Patrick Henry, Jamestown, Teaser, Beaufort and Raleigh, to offer battle to the Federal fleet then lying in Hampton Roads, or below Old Point. The Merrimac was the only iron-clad. Upon the appearance of our squadron the entire Federal fleet retreated below the Rip-Raps, or under the guns of Old Point. Three merchant vessels were run on shore by their masters between Newport's News and Old Point, and were partially abandoned. The Jamestown and Raleigh towed them off almost under the guns of Old Point and the Federal fleet. Their flags were hauled down and hoisted Union down under the Confederate flag as a defiance to induce the fleet to attempt to retake them. The fleet, under Flag-officer Goldsborough, consisted of a large number of wooden vessels, some of them very heavy frigates, the Monitor, the Naugatuck (a small iron-clad), and even the Vanderbilt, a powerful steamer specially prepared ‘to run down and sink the Merrimac.’

An English and a French man-of-war were present in the Roads [36] and went up off Newport's News, evidently to witness the serious engagement, which we, at least, expected. Their crews repeatedly waved their hats and handkerchiefs to our vessels as we passed and repassed them during the day.

The Merrimac, with her consorts, held possession of the Roads, and defied the enemy to battle during the entire day, and for several days after—the Federal fleet lying in the same position below Old Point. Towards sunset of the first day the Merrimac fired a single gun at the enemy; it was immediately replied to by the Naugatuck, lying, I think, inside Hampton Bar.

I do not know what Commodore Tattnall thought about attacking the Federal fleet as it stood, nor do I know what his instructions were, but I do know that our officers generally believed that torpedoes had been placed in the channel between Old Point and the Rip-Raps; indeed, we supposed that to be the reason why Flag-officer Goldsborough declined to fight us in the Roads; moreover, fighting the entire fleet, Monitor, Naugatuck, Vanderbilt, and all in the Roads, was one thing, and fighting the same under the guns of Old Point and the Rip-Raps, was another.

II. The Merrimac remained for some days in this position, offering battle, and protecting the approaches to Norfolk and Richmond, and then went up to the Navy Yard to water. I think it was on the 8th day of May that Flag-officer Goldsborough took advantage of her absence to bombard Sewell's Point with a number of his vessels—the Monitor, Galena, and Naugatuck included—all three ironclads. When the fact was known in Norfolk, the Merrimac cast off from her moorings and steamed down to take a hand in the fight. As soon as her smoke was seen the entire fleet fled, and again took refuge below the guns of Old Point, where the Merrimac declined to pursue, for reasons satisfactory to her gallant commander.

III. From this time, until the 10th of May, the Merrimac maintained the same attitude. On that day she was blown up by her commander in consequence of the evacuation of Norfolk by the Confederates. Then, and not till then, Commodore John Rodgers was sent up the James river with the Galena, Monitor, and Naugatuck, all iron-clads, to attack Drewry's Bluff or Fort Darling, and make an attempt on Richmond.

IV. The above facts go to show what Flag-officer Goldsborough thought of the Merrimac, and in citing them, I wish it to be understood that I intend to cast no imputations upon him and his gallant officers. I have been told by some of them that he had positive [37] orders from his government not to attack the Merrimac; and I believe it to be case. Let us now see what some of the other officials thought.

At a council of war, assembled March 13th, 1862, at Fairfax C. H., Va., present, Generals Keyes, Heintzelman, McDowell, and Sumner, it was decided that General McClellan's plan to attack Richmond by York river should be adopted; provided, first, ‘that the enemy's vessel, Merrimac, can be neutralized.’ Page 55, series 1, vol. 5, official records of the Union and Confederate armies.

On page 751 I find the following letter:

Adjutant-General's office, Washington, March 13, 1862.
Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy.
Sir,—I am directed by the Secretary of War to say that he places at you disposal any transports or coal vessels at Fort Monroe for the purpose of closing the channel of the Elizabeth river to prevent the Merrimac again coming out.

I have the honor, &c.,

L. Thomas, Adjutant-General.

And on page 752 I find the following:

Navy Department, March 13, 1862.
Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War.
Sir,—I have the honor to suggest that this Department can easily obstruct the channel to Norfolk so as to prevent the exit of the Merrimac, provided the army will carry the Sewell's Point batteries, in which duty the navy will give great assistance.

Very respectfully,


Be it remembered that the above extracts are all dated March 13th, four days after the so-called victory of the Monitor over the Merrimac! Would it not seem that a doubt rested in the minds of the writers?

V. The memorial claims that the Monitor not only whipped the Merrimac on the 9th of March but that she ever after prevented her from going below Old Point; and thus saved Baltimore, Washington, and even New York!!! The answer to this is that the Merrimac could not have gone to Baltimore or Washington without lightening her so much that she would no longer have been an ironclad: that is, she would have risen in the water so as to expose her unarmored [38] sides. As to her going outside of Cape Henry it was impossible; she would have foundered. She could not have lived in Hampton Roads in a moderate gale.

I served in the Palmetto State at Charleston, a similarly constructed vessel, but better sea-boat, and infinitely more buoyant, and have seen the time when we had to leave the outer harbor and take refuge in the inner in only a moderate blow!

VI. From the above-mentioned facts I think it clearly appears, (I) that the Monitor, after her engagement with the Merrimac on the 9th of March, never again dared encounter her, though offered frequent opportunities; (2) that so much doubt existed in the minds of the Federal authorities as to her power to meet the Merrimac, that orders were given her Commander not to fight her voluntarily; (3) that the Monitor never ventured above Old Point from the 9th of March until after the destruction of the Merrimac by her own crew, save on the occasion above referred to; (4) that the Merrimac, so far from being seriously injured in her engagement, efficiently protected the approaches to Norfolk and Richmond until Norfolk was evacuated; (5) that the Merrimac could not have gotten to Washington or Baltimore in her normal condition; (6) that she could not have gone to sea at all; (7) that, although she could have run by the Federal fleet and Old Point (barring torpedoes in the channel) and threatened McClellan's base at Yorktown, in exceptionably good weather, yet would have had to leave the James river open.

VII. For the truth of the very important facts mentioned in sections I, II and III, I am willing to abide by the log-book of the Monitor, the dispatches of Flag officer Goldsborough, or the testimony of Commander Dana Greene, United States Navy, who was the gallant and efficient executive officer of the Monitor from the day she left New York until she foundered off Cape Hatteras.

VIII. In conclusion I would like to say, and I do so most cheerfully, that the Monitor made her appearance in Hampton Roads at a critical time—the night of the 8th of March, 1862—and although an untried vessel, of a new and peculiar construction, did on the next day what the old Federal fleet present declined to do—she fought the Merrimac.

If the claim for a reward was put upon this ground alone, no one would be more gratified to see it granted her gallant crew than myself; but to claim prize-money on the ground that the Monitor defeated and permanently disabled the Merrimac, thus saving Washington [39] and New York, &c., &c., is, in view of the facts above cited, in my humble opinion, preposterous.

Very respectfully, &c.,

Note.—The ‘Merrimac’ was christened the ‘Virginia’ by the Confederate authorities; but I have preferred in this article to give her the name she was best known by.



Federal testimony as to the Merrimac and Monitor.

Norfolk, Va., December 27, 1882.
To the Editor of the Landmark:
Referring to my article on the claim of the crew of the Monitor for prize money, published in your valuable paper of the 12th inst., I desire to put on record the following extracts from the report of the late Captain G. J. Van Brunt, United States Navy, who commanded the United States frigate Minnesota in the engagement of March 8th and 9th, 1862.

It will be remembered that the Minnesota got aground on the 8th and remained there during the whole of the 9th. Under these circumstances it may well be imagined that Captain Van Brunt was an interested observer of the fight between the Merrimac and Monitor, and closely noted the result!

Here is what he says: (the italics are mine.)

United States steamer Minnesota, March 10, 1862.
Sir—

As soon as she got off she (the Merrimac) stood down the bay, the little battery chasing her with all speed, when suddenly the Merrimac turned around and run full speed into her antagonist. For a moment I was anxious; but instantly I saw a shot plunge into the iron roof of the Merrimac, which surely must have damaged her. For some time after this the rebels concentrated their whole battery upon the tower and pilot-house of the Monitor, and soon after the latter stood down for Fortress Monroe, and we thought it probable she had exhausted her supply of ammunition, or sustained some injury.

Soon after the Merrimac and the two other steamers headed for my ship, and I then felt to the fullest extent my condition. I was hard and immovably aground, and they could take position under my stern and rake me. I had expended most of my solid shot; my [40] ship was badly crippled, and my officers and men were worn out with fatigue, but even in this extreme dilemma I determined never to give up the ship to the rebels, and after consulting with my officers I ordered every preparation to be made to destroy the ship after all hope was gone of saving her.

‘On ascending the poop-deck, I observed that the enemy's vessels had changed their course and were heading for Craney Island.’

I have the honor to be, your very obedient servant,

G. J. Van Brunt, Captain U. S. N. Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy.

Assuming, Mr. Editor, the account of Captain Van Brunt to be correct, how does the claim that the Monitor whipped the Merrimac on that occasion stand?

Respectfully,


The Army of Tennessee.

By Colonel Wm. Preston Johnston.
[The following eloquent response to a toast at the splendid banquet of the Army of Tennessee Association, in New Orleans the 7th of April last, is a fitting eulogy on as brave men as the world ever saw, and we are glad of the privilege of putting it on our record. Colonel Johnston was received by the veterans with great enthusiasm and cheered to the echo when he took his seat.]

Colonel Johnston said:

Soldiers of the Army of Tennessee,—In rising, at your invitation, to respond to the sentiment just announced, I feel a deep embarrassment. In any other presence I could stand forth unabashed as the chronicler of your deeds and the eulogist of your martial virtues. There are many links that bind me to you. It was at Camp Borne, Tennessee, that I did my first service in helping to build up the frame work of your army; and though I was soon transferred to the Army of Northern Virginia, I can never forget that your ranks were the arena which I chose as my field of service. Again, as the frequent intermediary staff officer of President Davis with the Generals of your army, I learned to know the Army of Tennessee in every bone and sinew and artery of its organization; and those who knew [41] it best admired it most. But most of all, as the son and biographer of one of your leaders, whom it has pleased you to honor, I feel a fraternal sympathy with you in every pulsation of my heart. I have, therefore, much to bind me to you, and anywhere else could proudly recount the famous deeds you have done, as one who had a common interest with you. But here, among the very actors of the most terrific tragedy of modern times—here, face to face with heroes who I know wrought such miracles of valor, I confess I stand abashed. But your kindness and your magnanimity reassure me.

But, soldiers, I do not accept the honor done me to-day as personal to myself. I recognize in it a tribute to the memory of my beloved father, whom Louisiana always treated as a favored child. Louisiana was the State which gave him his military education and toward which his kindliest feelings always flowed forth. And this city of New OrleansQueen of the Southern Waters, the Venice of the West—was the city of all cities pre-eminently dear to his heart. Here he numbered many of his choicest friends. Here he was most cherished in life and most honored in death. I can never forget that New Orleans received his mortal remains into her bosom as he was borne from the battle upon his shield, and that her mourning mingled the antique grandeur and tearful tenderness of the Spartan mother. I remember how your women made constant and solemn decoration of his tomb in the years it was with you, and until it was borne away to his adopted State of Texas.

It is needless, then, to dwell upon the fraternal ties which bind me to you. Soldiers of the Army of Tennessee, we know that we are brothers.

How then, am I coldly and critically to measure your worth, to weigh your acts and to enumerate your services? I cannot do it. It is useless to try, and I will not attempt it. From Bowling Green and Columbus, where, with a skirmish line, you held at bay the hesitating hosts of the North through all the eventful contests of the mightiest struggle of modern times, your army so bore itself as to win an imperishable renown.

It has been my privilege to write a history of the opening scenes of the war in the west; and I believe I have so written it that the tongues of the combatants will attest its truth. It has been questioned whether on Sunday evening at Shiloh—twenty years ago today—you were able to grasp the results of victory. I appeal to the men who were at the front; and on this issue I challenge all comers to abide by your verdict. [42]

But it is past. We did our duty, and whether victory crowned our arms, or the inextinguishable fires of hate cease not to pour upon us the consequences of defeat, yet it is well with us. We stand as the representatives of what has been poetically named ‘The Lost Cause.’ It is a good name, for we lost so much. The ruin around us, from which political vindictiveness and greed will not allow us to recover, still shows how much of material prosperity was overthrown by the doctrinaires who swayed the masses and controlled the policy of the North. But who shall count the tears, the broken hearts, the crushed hopes of this generous and gallant people? Much, indeed, was lost. But the central idea for which we fought is not lost; the right of self-government, the right to strike back when any alien hand attempts to put its shackles, or to impose its will, upon us or our communities. This is not lost. It is not dead, and since lovers of freedom live North as well as South, it will not die, but will grow and strengthen until the end. Louisiana, here in this city of New Orleans, has evinced this by the combined wisdom and manhood with which she broke the fetters that an impartial tyranny had placed upon her. Honor to the brave men who did it!

When the Southern Confederacy took the attitude of a combatant, it was with sword and shield. She chose to employ the Army of Northern Virginia as the sword of her right hand; while in her left the Western army guarded 1,000 miles of front. If glory gleamed from our flashing falchion in the east at Manassas, and Richmond, and Chancellorsville, and in the Valley, the shield of the west bore all the tests of as high a resolution, and of as noble endurance at Shiloh, and Perryville, and Murfreesboro, and Chickamauga, down to those last days when a remnant under Gibson held Canby and his 40,000 veterans in check at Spanish Fort.

If the Army of Northern Virginia was ‘the sword of the Lord and of Gideon’—sheathed by the mighty hand of Lee at Appomattox—verily, when the weeping eyes of our women were turned to where you guarded so long and well, the heart of the Confederacy, through the noise of the lamentation, a voice went up, crying, ‘This is, indeed, my shield and my buckler.’

And so may it ever be. May you, veterans of the Army of Tennessee, by the arms of your vigorous manhood and the counsels of your mature age, ever prove a shield and a defense for your people.

[43]

Notes and Queries.

Our refutation of General Doubleday's slander of General Armistead has elicited hearty thanks from many quarters. Among others a gallant soldier and distinguished citizen (once governor) of another State, who was Armistead's comrade in the Mexican War, writes: ‘Your complete vindication of General Armistead in your August and September issue, furnishes a valuable leaf in the history of the war between the States, and relieves from calumny the memory of as gallant a soldier, and as true a patriot, as ever drew sword in a just cause.’

General Fitzhugh Lee invited to lecture in New England.

The following letter from Dr. Hamlin (a nephew of ex-Vice President Hamlin) explains itself. Its frank, manly spirit, and the feelings which dictated it, will be appreciated and reciprocated by our Confederate soldiers and people:

Bangor, Maine, December 8, 1882.
General,—I am instructed by the Grand Army Post, No. 12, of this city, which numbers among its members about three hundred and fifty old soldiers, to invite you to deliver before them and the citizens of Bangor your lecture on the Battle of Chancellorsville, which we understand you are now delivering in Southern cities for the benefit of the Southern Historical Society.

We shall be pleased to listen to your description of the battle, and we shall be prepared to accept its truth; for the deeds of valor performed on either side during the war have now become the property of the nation.

Moreover, we might just as well admit them now as to leave them to posterity to admire.

The invitation extended to you is offered in good faith, and has no ulterior political object whatever. You will not be expected to arrange your lecture to suit our fancies, but to say whatever you think is proper and right.

If the proposition is acceptable to you, I think that we can make arrangements for you to deliver the same lecture on your return trip homeward at Portland, Providence, and perhaps, at other cities in New England.

I think the old soldiers of the Grand Army would be very glad to lend their assistance in aiding you to obtain funds for the use of the Southern Historical Society; for the truth must prevail in the end. [44]

Furthermore we hope this friendly offer on our part will be received in a true soldierly spirit.

Very respectfully,

Aug. C. Hamlin, Chairman of Committee. To General Fitzhugh Lee, Virginia.

Editorial paragraph.

renewals are now very much in order, and we beg our friends to forward us promptly the $3.00 due us by so many of our subscribers. And while sending your own renewal, do try and send us also at least one new subscription.

General Geo. D. Johnston, after a splendid campaign in Mississippi, goes now to Arkansas in the interests of our Society, looking after ‘Permanent Endowment’ as well as annual subscriptions. If this gallant soldier, accomplished gentleman, and ‘Prince of Agents’ needed any commendation from us there is very much we could say. But to friends among whom he may go we will only say: ‘Hear him for his cause,’ and help him as you love the name and fame of our Confederate soldiers and people.

our General index to first ten volumes of Southern Histori-Cal Society Papers, which we published in our December number, cost us a good deal of labor, and considerable extra expense for the printing; but we are sure our readers will appreciate it as a very important addition to the value of our volumes. A glance at it will show the invaluable work which the Society has already done, and will indicate the great work which yet remains to be accomplished.

We intended it as a New Year's offering to our subscribers, and an earnest of what we have in store for them in future—always providing they do not forget the little matter of sending us their renewal fees.

General Fitz. Lee's Southern tour, and the splendid ovation which he received has excited general attention and interest, and invitations for him to repeat the lecture are pouring in from every quarter.

We could write many pages more of the details of our charming trip, but we find our space this month, as last, too crowded for us to do more than give a bare summary of what it would be very pleasant to write out fully. [45]

Our visit to Savannah is fragrant with many hallowed memories, for, besides the lavish hospitality with which we were treated, there are few places in the country which so teem with historic associations as the beautiful ‘Forrest city.’

Captain A. A. Winn, who had been very active in inviting General Lee to Savannah, called a meeting, to arrange for his visit, and at this meeting the following committee was appointed:

Henry R. Jackson, A. R. Lawton, Robert H. Anderson, John Screven, G. M. Sorrel, T. F. Screven, H. M. Branch, Peter Reilly, B. H. Richardson, David Waldhauer, George P. Walker, C. C. Hardwicke, J. F. Brooks, J. H. Estill, R. P. Myers, M. D., James L. Taylor, Charles H. Olmstead, Geo. W. Alley, C. H. Morel, W. S. Bogart, G. M. Ryals, A. H. Lane, Rufus E. Lester, W. S. Basinger, J. B. Read, M. D., Joel Kennard, A. McC. Duncan, E. P. Alexander, John F. Wheaton, LaFayette McLaws, Henry C. Wayne, George A. Mercer, John Schwarz, W. W. Gordon, Fred. M. Hull, A. A. Winn, H. M. Comer, T. B. Chisholm, W. G. Waller, John Talliaferro, J. D. Johnston, T. S. Wayne, C. L. Chestnut, John Flannery, Daniel Lahey, D. G. Purse, Wm. Duncan, C. W. Anderson, R. G. Gaillard, J. F. Gilmer, Cormack Hopkins, J. G. Thomas, M. D., C. C. Schley, M. D., Julian Myers, E. M. Anderson.

The committee had arranged a brilliant reception of General Lee at the depot—an open barouche drawn by four beautiful grays, a turnout of the military, etc.—but ‘the cavalry flanked them’ by arriving some hours ahead of the appointed time and quietly finding at the Pulaski House the elegant rooms which the Messrs. Goodsell had set apart as our quarters. But the committee and other friends were not long in ascertaining that we had ‘stolen a march on them,’ and we were soon ‘surrounded and captured’ by genial, courteous gentlemen who left no wish unattended to during our stay, and no effort unspared to make our visit a continued pleasure. Our drives, and walks (when we could steal off from the carriages which were in constant attendance), about the city and its beautiful suburbs—our visit to the Georgia Historical Society, the cemeteries, monuments, wharves, parks, cotton presses, &c., &c.—were rendered the more delightful by congenial company.

We have asked a competent hand to write us, for future publication, some sketches of points of historic interest about Savannah, and we cannot further allude to them now than to say that we were particularly struck with the superb bronze statue of the Confederate soldier on the Confederate monument, (the generous gift of the late G. W. J. DeRenne, Esq.)—the beautiful Pulaski monument, one of the finest in the world,—‘Hodgson Hall,’ the Library of the Georgia Historical Society, which was the gift of Mrs. Telfair Hodgson as a memorial to her husband—and other points which we cannot now even mention. [By the way what more appropriate and beautiful monument to a deceased loved one can be erected than a Historical Society building? And is there not one somewhere who desires thus to connect the name of some loved one with a building for the Southern Historical Society?]

As we said in our last, General Lee's lecture at the Savannah theatre was [46] a splendid success. The brilliant audience—the eloquent introduction of Capt. Geo. A. Mercer,—the presence on the platform of General Lafayette McLaws, General E. P. Alexander, Mayor John F. Wheaton, Judge William D. Harden, General G. M. Sorrel, General R. H. Anderson, Colonel Chas. H. Olmstead, Major G. M. Ryals, Colonel Rufus E. Lester, Major A. A. Winn, Major Lachlan McIntosh, Dr. Wm. Charters, W. S. Bogart, Esq., and R. J. Larcombe, Esq.—and the enthusiastic and oft-repeated applause with which General Lee was greeted—all combined to make the scene an inspiring and long-to-be-remembered one, and fully justified the Morning News in saying that ‘the audience was thoroughly delighted, entertained, interested, and instructed by one of the most pleasing and graphic lectures ever delivered.’

The ‘Reception’ at the City Hall, presided over by his Honor, Mayor Wheaton, (to whom we were indebted for many courtesies, none the less gracefully tendered, and cordially received, because he was a gallant Confederate soldier,) was a very pleasant affair.

The banquet of the Chatham Artillery (of whose armory and grand old history we will have much to say hereafter), was a magnificent affair in all of its details, from the beautiful carriage, and four spanking bays, which conveyed us to and from the armory to the last greetings in the ‘wee smaa hours,’ as the company rose, and with clasped hands, sang ‘Auld Lang Syne.’

Admirable speeches were made, in response to toasts, by General Lee, General A. R. Lawton, Corporal Walter G. Charlton, Captain Geo. A. Mercer, Colonel Clifford W. Anderson, Major B. J. Burgess, General McLaws, Sergeant J. R. Saussy, Major J. G. Ryals, General R. H. Anderson, Judge Harden, and others. But as a specimen of the spirit of the occasion we give in full the following eloquent response of W. S. Bogart, Esq., to the call made on him:

Gentlemen of the Chatham Artillery:—It has been my pleasure many times before to share in your entertainments, and as an honorary member retired from active service to enjoy your festivities, and to recall, so far as memory can, the pleasures and the pride of former days. But none of these happy occasions do I remember with more satisfaction, or with a greater sense of the fitness of things, than the present one, when we are recalling the memories of the past in the suggestive presence of one who has illustrated them so well. The surviving heroes of our patriotic struggles are few enough, and are yearly becoming fewer. Let me congratulate you then that you have in your hall to-night one of these gallant survivors as your welcome guest. Personally he may, until this visit, have been a stranger to most of us, but his name and his military life have been for years familiar with us all. He bears the cognomen of that noble hero, whose nephew he is, and whose fame is immortal. It will never be, or if it shall, not until memory and gratitude are both forgotten, that there shall be lacking in Savannah a welcome to a Lee of that Virginia stock, which gave us the ‘patriot [47] brothers’ of the first Revolution, their great cousin, ‘Harry Lee of the Legion,’ and his greater son — in the Chevalier, ‘sans peur et sans reproche’—our second Washington. The knightly graces of this household, and the golden honors it has won in a century and a half will never be forgotten, but reproduced, as they have been, in each generation, and coupled with the personal merits of each individual inheritor, the law of ‘noblesse oblige’ will ever preserve them. For gallantry in war, for manliness in peace, for faithfulness to principle, for eloquent vindication of patriotic motives, and for patient sufferance, yet with hearty indignation of wrong to his native State, from foes without and from traitors within, our distinguished guest is a worthy scion of the old stock.

Nor is it without a certain sense of fitness that the grandson of Washington's favorite cavalry officer, and the nephew of him whom we love even more than Washington—because he had Washington's virtues, and was nearer to us in years — should be your guest to-night. Both of these Southern heroes have, each in his own day, visited Savannah, have seen your battery in line, have complimented its personnel and its ‘dextrous’ drill, and have shared the greetings of the oldest artillery corps of the South, now close approaching its Centennial anniversary. Fitting, then, it is, that this honored military body, representing in the past its founders in almost Revolutionary days (for its first service was to bury in yonder cemetery General Nathaniel Greene), and in the present, its gallant Captain and brave canoneers, in the sufferings and trials of our four years civil war, should pay this tribute of hospitality to one who is so closely connected, by alliance or by blood, with these noblest Americans, and who, by his own brilliant deeds, illustrates so well the heritage he has received.

This distinguished soldier and his reverend friend, equally welcomed here—himself no untried specimen of a soldier, who followed the camp from Manassas to Appomattox—visit Savannah on a mission of high purpose and value. Having helped to make history in troublous days, they come to induce us to help preserve and perpetuate it. The gathering and the publishing the records of the war are the essential justification of our cause, and on these depend the honor, the patriotism and the right of our people in history. These records, then, become the weapons with which we are to fight over again, before the forum of the world's judgment, the great war of secession and independence. In that contest the Southern mind and the Southern tongue and pen will not be less brilliant but more successful than than the Southern heart and the Southern sword. Let us do what we can to help this great purpose and end.

Fellow citizens and guests, I offer you the name and fame of Fitzhugh Lee, the worthy comrade in the saddle of Stuart and of Hampton, and the good deeds of J. William Jones, the Chaplain of ‘The Boys in Gray,’ whose life-work will perpetuate on the enduring page the memory of our heroes living and dead.

Our printers report our space all filled, and we must reluctantly leave out [48] what we had to say of Augusta, Athens, Rome, and Greenville, S. C., at all of which places we met a cordial greeting, and were placed under high obligations for courtesies freely extended.

But we must say, that Colonel C. C. Jones, Jr., and the committee in AugustaDr. Newton, Captain Charlton, and others, in AthensCaptain Bamwell, Colonel Magruder, and others, in Rome-General Capers, Colonel Montgomery, and others, in Greenville—all did their best to make our visits pleasant, and the lecture a success, and that the Greenville News but voiced the general feeling at all of these places when it said the morning of our arrival: ‘General Lee! Greenville welcomes you to-day with the heartiness born of loyalty to the cause you represent, of love for the name you bear, and of honor for the fame you won, when fame was gained with bared breast and blade, fearless heart, and patriotism that recked nothing of consequence.’

Our programme is not yet definitely arranged, but we are purposing another tour very soon, when we can ask nothing more than that we may meet with like treatment and success.

Literary notices.

Swinton's Army of the Potomac, revised by the author, and reissued by Charles Scribner's Sons, New York.

We are indebted to the publishers for this admirable edition of a book which has long been noted for its real ability, and whose author President Davis justly pronounces ‘the fairest and most careful of the Northern writers on the war.’

We expect to have hereafter a full review of the book, and to point out some very serious errors into which the author has fallen; but meantime we advise our friends to buy the book.

The publishers, J. R. Osgood & Co., Boston, have sent us a copy of their beautifully gotten up ‘memoir of Admiral John A. Dahlgren,’ by his widow, Mrs. M. V. Dahlgren.

The book is largely autobiographical, as it quotes fully from the diaries, letters, etc., of the distinguished Admiral, and touches on many matters of deepest interest, and historic importance, to which we shall hereafter give attention.

The Bivouac,’ Louisville, Ky., for December, is an interesting and valuable number, and we again commend it as worthy of a wide circulation. We thank the editors for kindly reference to our Papers.

[49]

The battle of Chickamauga.


Report of General Braxton Bragg.

[We propose to give during the year the official reports of the most prominent Confederate officers engaged in this great battle, and we naturally begin with that of the gallant soldier who commanded our army on that field.]

Warm Springs, Georgia, December 28th, 1863.
General S. Cooper, A. G., C. S. A., Richmond, Virginia.
Sir,—Most of the subordinate reports of the operations of our troops at the battle of Chickamauga having been received are herewith forwarded, and for the better understanding of the movements preceding and following that important event, the following narrative is submitted:

On the 20th of August, it was ascertained certainly that the Federal army from Middle Tennessee, under General Rosecrans, had crossed the mountains to Stevenson and Bridgeport. His force of effective [50] infantry and artillery amounted to fully 70,000, divided into four corps. About the same time, General Burnside advanced from Kentucky towards Knoxville, East Tennessee, with a force estimated by the General commanding that department at over 25,000. In view of the great superiority of numbers brought against him, General Buckner concluded to evacuate Knoxville, and with a force of about 5,000 infantry and artillery and his cavalry, took position in the vicinity of Lovdon. Two brigades of his command, Frazier's at Cumberland gap, and Jackson's in northeast Tennessee, were thus severed from us. The enemy having already obtained a lodgment in East Tennessee by another route, the continued occupation of Cumberland Gap became very hazardous to the garrison and comparitively unimportant to us. Its evacuation was accordingly ordered, but on the appeal of its commander, stating his resources and ability for defence, favorably endorsed by Major-General Buckner, the orders were suspended on the 31st August. The main body of our army was encamped near Chattanooga, whilst the cavalry force, much reduced and enfeebled by long service on short rations, was recruiting in the vicinity of Rome, Georgia. Immediately after crossing the mountains to the Tennessee, the enemy threw a corps by way of Sequatchie Valley to strike the rear of General Buckner's command, whilst Burnside occupied him in front. One division already ordered to his assistance, proving insufficient to meet the force concentrating on him, Buckner was directed to withdraw to the Hiawassee, with his infantry, artillery and supplies, and to hold his cavalry in front to check the enemy's advance. As soon as this change was made, the corps threatening his rear was withdrawn, and the enemy commenced a movement in force against our left and rear. On the last of August, it became known that he had crossed his main force over the Tennessee river, at and near Carpenter's ferry, the most accessible point from Stevenson. By a direct route he was now as near our main depot of supplies as we were, and our whole line of communication was exposed, whilst his was partially secured by mountains and the river. By the timely arrival of two small divisions from Mississippi, our effective force, exclusive of cavalry, was now a little over 35,000, with which it was determined to strike on the first favorable opportunity. Closely watched by our cavalry, which had been brought forward, it was soon ascertained that the enemy's general movement was towards our left and rear, in the direction of Dalton and Rome, keeping Lookout mountain between us. The nature of the country, and the want of supplies in it, with the presence of Burnside's force [51] on our right, rendered a movement on the enemy's rear with our inferior force extremely hazardous, if not impracticable. It was, therefore, determined to meet him in front, whenever he should emerge from the mountain gorges. To do this, and hold Chattanooga was impossible, without such a division of our small force a to endanger both parts. Accordingly, our troops were put in position on the 7th and 8th of September, and took position from Lee and Gordon's mill to Lafayette, on the road leading south from Chattanooga and fronting the east slope of Lookout mountain. The forces on the Hiawassee and at Chickamauga Station, took the route by Ringgold. A small cavalry force was left in observation at Chattanooga, and a brigade of infantry, strongly supported by cavalry, was left at Ringgold to hold the railroad and protect it from raids.

As soon as our movement was known to the enemy, his corps nearest Chattanooga, and which had been threatening Buckner's rear, was thrown into that place, and shortly thereafter commenced to move on our rear by the two roads to Lafayette and Ringgold. Two other corps were now in Wills's valley, one nearly opposite the head of McLemore's cove, a valley formed by Lookout mountain and a spur of the main ridge called Pigeon mountain, and the other at or near Colonel Winston's, opposite Alpine.

During the 9th, it was ascertained that a column, estimated at from four thousand to eight thousand, had crossed Lookout mountain into the cove by way of Stevens's and Cooper's gaps. Thrown off his guard by our rapid movement, apparently in retreat, when, in reality we had concentrated opposite his center, and deceived by the information from deserters and others sent into his lines, the enemy pressed on his columns to intercept us, and thus exposed himself in detail.

Major-General Hindman received verbal instructions on the 9th to prepare his division to move against this force, and was informed that another division from Lieutenant-General Hills's command, at Lafayette, would join him. That evening the following written orders were issued to Generals Hindman and Hill:

headquarters Army of Tennessee, Lee and Gordon's mills. 11 3/4 P. M., September 9, 1863.
Major-General Hindman, Commanding Division:
General,—You will move your division immediately to Davis's cross-roads, on the road from Lafayette to Stevens's gap. [52] At this point you will put yourself in communication with the column of General Hill, ordered to move to the same point, and take command of the forces, or report to the officer commanding Hill's column, according to rank. If in command, you will move upon the enemy, reported to be 4,000 or 5,000 strong, encamped at the foot of Lookout mountain, at Stevens's gap. Another column of the enemy is reported to be at Cooper's gap—number not known.

I am, General, etc.,

Kinloch Falconer, Assistant Adjutant-General.

headquarters Army of Tennessee, Lee and Gordon's Mill. 11 3/4 P. M., September 9th, 1863.
Lieutenant-General Hill, Commanding Corps.
General,—I enclose orders given to General Hindman. General Bragg directs that you send or take, as your judgment dictates, Cleburne's division to unite with General Hindman, at Davis's cross-roads to-morrow morning. Hindman starts at twelve o'clock to-night, and he has thirteen miles to make. The commander of the column, thus united, will move upon the enemy encamped at the foot of Stevens's gap, said to be 4,000 or 5,000. If unforeseen circumstances should prevent your movement, notify Hindman. A cavalry force should accompany your column. Hindman has none. Open communication with Hindman with your cavalry in advance of the junction. He marches on the road from Dr. Anderson's to Davis's crossroads.

I am, General, etc.,

Kinloch Falconer, Assistant Adjutant-General.

On the receipt of this order, during the night, General Hill replied that the movement required by him was impracticable, as General Cleburne was sick, and both the gaps, Dug's and Catlett's had been blocked by felling timber, which would require twenty-four hours for its removal. Not to lose this favorable opportunity, Hindman by a prompt movement being already in position, the following orders were issued at 8 A. M., on the 10th, for Major-General Buckner to move with his two divisions, and report to Hindman: [53]

headquarters Army of Tennessee, Lee and Gordon's Mill. 8 A. M., September 10th, 1863.
Major-General Buckner, Anderson's.:
General,—I enclose orders issued last night to Generals Hill and Hindman. General Hill has found it impossible to carry out the part assigned to Cleburne's division. The General commanding desires that you will execute, without delay, the order issued to General Hill. You can move to Davis's cross-roads, by the direct road, from your present position at Anderson's, along which General Hindman has passed.

I am, General, etc.,

Geo. W. Brent, Assistant Adjutant-General.

And both Hindman and Hill were notified. Hindman had halted his division at Morgan's, some three or four miles from Davis's crossroads in the cove, and at this point Buckner joined him during the afternoon of the 10th. Reports fully confirming previous information in regard to the position of the enemy's forces, were received during the 10th, and it became certain that he was moving his three columns to form a junction upon us, at or near Lafayette. The corps near Colonel Winston's, moved on the mountain towards Alpine, a point twenty miles south of us. The one opposite the cove continued its movement, and threw forward its advance to Davis's cross-roads, and Crittenden moved from Chattanooga on the roads to Ringgold and Lee and Gordon's mills. To strike these isolated commands in succession was our obvious policy. To secure more prompt and decided action in the movement ordered against the enemy's centre, my headquarters were removed to Lafayette, where I arrived about half-past 11 P. M., on the 10th, and Lieutenant-General Polk was ordered forward with his remaining division to Anderson's, so as to cover Hindman's rear during the operations in the cove. At Lafayette, I met Major Nocquet, engineer officer on General Buckner's staff, sent by General Hindman after a junction of their commands, to confer with me, and suggest a change in the plan of operations. After hearing the reports of this officer, and obtaining from the active and energetic cavalry commander in front of our position, Brigadier-General Martin, the latest information of the enemy's movements and position, I verbally directed the Major to return to General Hindman, [54] and say, that my plans could not be changed, and that he would carry out his orders. At the same time the following written orders were sent to the General by courier:

headquarters Army of Tennessee, Lafayette, Ga., 12 P. M., Sept. 10, 1863.
Major-General Hindman, Commanding, etc.:
General,—Headquarters are here, and the following is the information:

Crittenden's corps is advancing on us from Chattanooga. A large force from the south has advanced to within seven miles of this point. Polk is left at Anderson's to cover your rear. General Bragg orders you to attack and force your way through the enemy to this point at the earliest hour you can see him in the morning. Cleburne will attack in front the moment your guns are heard.

I am, General, etc.,

George W. Brent, Assistant Adjutant-General.

Orders were also given for Walker's reserve corps to move promptly and join Cleburne's division at Dug gap, to unite in the attack. At the same time Cleburne was directed to remove all obstructions in the road in his front, which was promptly done, and by day-light he was ready to move. The obstructions in Catlett's gap were also ordered to be removed, to clear the road in Hindman's rear. Breckinridge's division, Hill's corps, was kept in position south of Lafayette to check any movement the enemy might make from that direction.

At daylight, I proceeded to join Cleburne at Dug gap, and found him waiting the opening of Hindman's guns to move on the enemy's flank and rear. Most of the day was spent in this position, waiting in great anxiety for the attack by Hindman's column. Several couriers and two staff officers were dispatched at different times, urging him to move with promptness and vigor. About the middle of the afternoon the first gun was heard, when the advance of Cleburne's division discovered the enemy had taken advantage of our delay and retreated to the mountain passes. The enemy now discovered his error and commenced to repair it by withdrawing his corps from the direction of Alpine, to unite with the one near McLemore's cove, whilst that was gradually extended towards Lee and [55] Gordon's mills. Our movement having thus failed in its justly anticipated results, it was determined to turn upon the third corps of the enemy, approaching us from the direction of Chattanooga. The forces were accordingly withdrawn to Lafayette, and Polk's and Walker's corps were moved immediately in the direction of Lee and Gordon's mills. The one corps of the enemy in this direction was known to be divided—one division having been sent to Ringgold. Upon learning the dispositions of the enemy from our cavalry commander in that direction, on the afternoon of the 12th Lieutenant-General Polk, commanding the advance forces, was directed in the following note:

headquarters Army of Tennessee, Lafayette, Ga., 6 P. M., Sept. 12th.
Lieutenant-General Polk:
General,—I enclose you a dispatch from General Pegram. This presents you a fine opportunity of striking Crittenden in detail, and I hope you will avail yourself of it at daylight to morrow. This division crushed, and the others are yours. We can then turn on the force in the cove. Wheeler's cavalry will move on Wilder so as to cover your right. I shall be delighted to hear of your success.

Very truly yours,


To attack at daylight on the 13th. Upon further information the order was renewed in two notes, at later hours of the same day as follows:

headquarters Army of Tennessee, Lafayette, Ga., 6 P. M., Sept 12th, 1863.
Lieutenant-General Polk, Commanding Corps:
General,—I enclose you a dispatch marked ‘A,’ and I now give you the orders of the Commanding General, viz: to attack at day-dawn to-morrow the column reported in said dispatch, at three-quarters of a mile beyond Peavine Church, on the road to Graysville, from Lafayette.

I am, General, etc.,

George W. Brent, Assistant Adjutant-General.

[56]

headquarters Army of Tennessee, Lafayette, Ga., Sept. 12th, 1863.
Lieutenant-General Polk, Commanding Corps:
General,—The enemy is approaching from the south, and it is highly important that your attack in the morning should be quick and decided. Let no time be lost.

I am, General, etc,

George W. Brent. Assistant Adjutant-General.

At 11 P. M., a dispatch was received from the General, stating that he had taken a strong position for defence, and requesting that he should be heavily reinforced. He was promptly ordered not to defer his attack, his force being already numerically superior to the enemy, and was reminded that his success depended upon the promptness and rapidity of his movements. He was further informed that Buckner's corps would be moved within supporting distance the next morning.

Early on the 13th I proceeded to the front, ahead of Buckner's command, to find that no advance had been made on the enemy, and that his forces had formed a junction, and re-crossed the Chickamauga. Again disappointed, immediate measures were taken to place our trains and limited supplies in safe positions, when all our forces were concentrated along the Chickamauga, threatening the enemy in front. Major-General Wheeler, with two divisions of cavalry, occupied the positions on the extreme left, vacated by Hill's corps, and was directed to press the enemy in McLemore's cove, to divert his attention from our real movement. Brigadier-General Forrest, with his own and Pegram's division of cavalry, covered the movement on our front and right. Brigadier-General B. R. Johnston, whose brigade had been at Ringgold holding the railroad, was moved towards Reed's bridge, which brought him on the extreme right of the line. Walker's corps formed on his left, opposite Alexander's bridge. Buckner's next, near Ledford's ford. Polk's opposite Lee and Gordon's mills, and Hill's on the extreme left. With Johnston, moved two brigades, just arrived from Mississippi, and three of Longstreet's corps, all without artillery and transportation.

The following orders were issued on the night of the 17th for the forces to cross the Chickamauga, commencing the movement at 6 o'clock A. M., on the 18th, by the extreme right at Reed's bridge: [57]

[Circular.]

Headquarter's Army of Tennessee, in the field, Leet's Tan-Yard, Sept. 18, 1863.
I. Johnston's column (Hood's) on crossing at or near Reed's bridge will turn to the left by the most practicable route, and sweep up the Chickamauga towards Lee and Gordon's mills.

II. Walker, crossing at Alexander's bridge, will unite in this move, and push vigorously on the enemy's flank and rear in the same direction.

III. Buckner, crossing at Ledford's ford, will join in the movement to the left, and press the enemy up the stream from Polk's front at Lee and Gordon's mills.

IV. Polk will press his forces to the front of Lee and Gordon's mills, and if met by too much resistance to cross, will bear to the right and cross at Dalton's ford, or at Ledford's, as may be necessary, and join the attack wherever the enemy may be.

V. Hill will cover our left flank from an advance of the enemy from the cove, and, by pressing the cavalry in his front, ascertain if the enemy is reinforcing at Lee and Gordon's mills, in which event he will attack them in flank.

VI. Wheeler's cavalry will hold the gap in Pigeon mountain, and cover our rear and left and bring up the stragglers.

VII. All teams, etc., not with troops, should go towards Ringgold and Dalton, Georgia, beyond Taylor's ridge. All cooking should be done at the trains; rations, when cooked, will be forwarded to the troops.

VIII. The above movements will be executed with the utmost promptness and persistence.

By command of General Bragg,

George W. Brent, Assistant Adjutant-General.

The resistance offered by the enemy's cavalry and the difficulties arising from the bad and narrow country roads, caused unexpected delays in the execution of these movements. Though the commander of the right column was several times urged to press forward, his crossing was not affected until late in the afternoon. At this time Major-General Hood, of Longstreet's corps, arrived and assumed command of the column, Brigadier-General Johnston resuming his [58] improvised division of three brigades. Alexander's bridge was hotly contested and finally broken up by the enemy, just as General Walker secured possession. He moved down stream, however, a short, distance and crossed, as directed, at Byron's ford, and thus secured a junction with Hood after night.

The movement was resumed at daylight on the 19th, and Buckner's corps, with Cheatham's division, of Polk's, had crossed and formed, when a brisk engagement commenced with our cavalry, under Forrest on the extreme right. About nine o'clock a brigade from Walker was ordered to Forrest's support, and soon after Walker was ordered to attack with his whole force. Our line was now formed with Buckner's left resting on the Chickamauga, about one mile below Lee and Gordon's mills. On his right came Hood with his own and Johnston's divisions, with Walker on the extreme right, Cheatham's division being in reserve, the general direction being a little east of north. The attack ordered by our right was made by General Walker in his usual gallant style, and soon developed a largely superior force opposed. He drove them handsomely, however, and captured several batteries of artillery in most gallant charges. Before Cheatham's division, ordered to his support, could reach him, he had been pressed back to his first position, by the extended lines of the enemy assailing him on both flanks. The two commands united were soon enabled to force the enemy back again, and recover our advantage, though we were yet greatly outnumbered. These movements on our right were in a direction to leave an opening in our line between Cheatham and Hood. Stewart's division, forming Buckner's second line, was thrown to the right to fill this, and it soon became hotly engaged, as did Hood's whole front. The enemy, whose left was at Lee and Gordon's mills when our movement commenced, had rapidly transferred forces from his extreme right, changing his entire line, and seemed disposed to dispute, with all his ability, our effort to gain the main road to Chattanooga in his rear. Lieutenant-General Polk was ordered to move his remaining division across at the nearest ford, and to assume the command in person on our right. Hill's corps was also ordered to cross below Lee and Gordon's mills and join the line on the right.

Whilst these movements were being made, our right and centre were heavily and almost constantly engaged. Stewart, by a vigorous assault, broke the enemy's centre, and penetrated far into his lines, but was obliged to retire for want of sufficient force to meet the heavy enfilade fire which he encountered from the right. Hood, later [59] engaged, advanced from the first fire, and continued to drive the force in his front until night. Cleburne's division, of Hill's corps, which first reached the right, was ordered to attack immediately, in conjunction with the force already engaged. This veteran command, under its gallant chief, moved to its work after sunset, taking the enemy completely by surprise, driving him in great disorder for nearly a mile, and inflicting a very heavy loss. Night found us masters of the ground, after a series of very obstinate contests with largely superior numbers.

From captured prisoners and others we learned with certainty that we have encountered the enemy's whole force, which had been moving day and night since they first ascertained the direction of our march. Orders had been given for the rapid march to the field of all reinforcements arriving by railroad, and three additional brigades from this source joined us early next morning. The remaining forces on our extreme left, east of the Chickamauga, had been ordered up early in the afternoon, but reached the field too late to participate in the engagement of that day. They were ordered into line on their arrival, and disposed for a renewal of the action early the next morning. Information was received from Lieutenant-General Longstreet of his arrival at Ringgold and departure for the field. Five small brigades of his corps, about five thousand effective infantry, no artillery, reached us in time to participate in the action, three of them on the 19th and two more on the 20th.

Upon the close of the engagement on the evening of the 19th, the proper commanders were summoned to my camp fire, and there received specific information and instructions touching the disposition of the troops, and for the operations of the next morning. The whole force was divided for the next morning into two commands and assigned to the two senior Lieutenant Generals—Longstreet and Polk. The former to the left, where all his own troops were stationed, the latter continuing his command of the right. Lieutenant-General Longstreet reached my headquarters about 11 P. M., and immediately received his instructions. After a few hours' rest at my camp fire, he moved at daylight to his line, just in front of my position. Lieutenant-General Polk was ordered to assail the enemy on our extreme right at day-dawn on the 20th, and to take up the attack in succession, rapidly to the left. The left wing was to await the attack by the right; take it up promptly when made, and the whole line was then to be pushed vigorously and persistently against the enemy throughout its extent. Before the dawn of day, myself and staff were ready [60] for the saddle, occupying a position immediately in rear of, and accessible to all parts of the line. With increasing anxiety and disappointment, I waited untill after sunrise without hearing a gun, and at length dispatched a staff-officer to Lieutenant-General Polk to ascertain the cause of the delay, and urge him to a prompt and speedy movement. This officer not finding the General with his troops, and learning where he had spent the night, proceeded across Alexander's bridge to the east side of the Chickamauga, and there delivered my message. Proceeding in person to the right wing, I found the troops not even prepared for the movement. Messengers were immediately dispatched for Lieutenant-General Polk, and he shortly after joined me, my orders were renewed, and the General was urged to their prompt execution, the more important as the ear was saluted throughout the night, with the sounds of the axe and fallen timber, as the enemy industriously labored to strengthen his position by hastily constructed barricades and breastworks. A reconnoissance made in the front of our extreme right, during this delay, crossed the main road to Chattanooga, and proved the important fact that this greatly desired position was open to our possession.

The reasons assigned for this unfortunate delay by the wing commander, appear in part in the reports of his subordinates. It is sufficient to say they are entirely unsatisfactory. It also appears from these reports that when the action was opened on the right, about 10 o'clock A. M., the troops were moved to the assault in detail, and by detachments, unsupported until nearly all parts of the right wing were in turn repulsed with heavy loss. Our troops were led with the greatest gallantry, and exhibited great coolness, bravery and heroic devotion. In no instance did they fail, when called on, to rally and return to the charge; but though invariably driving the enemy with great slaughter, at the points assailed, they were compelled in turn to yield to the greatly superior numbers constantly brought against them. The attack on the left, promptly made as ordered, met with less resistance, much of the enemy's strength having been transferred to our right, and was successfully and vigorously followed up. About 2 P. M., passing along the line to our left, I found we had been checked in our progress by encountering a strong position, strengthened by works, and obstinately defended. Unable to afford assistance from any other part of the field, written orders were immediately dispatched to Lieutenant-General Polk, to again assault the enemy in his front with his whole force, and to persist until he should dislodge him from his position. Directing the operations on our left to be continued, I [61] moved again to the right and soon dispatched a staff officer to General Polk, urging a prompt and vigorous execution of my written orders. About 4 P. M., this general assault was made and the attack was continued from right to left, until the enemy gave way at different points and, finally, about dark, yielded us his line. The contest was severe, but the impetuous charge of our troops could not be resisted when they were brought to bear in full force, even where the enemy possessed all the advantage of position and breastworks. The troops were halted, by their respective commanders, when the darkness of the night, and the density of the forest rendered further movements uncertain and dangerous, and the army bivouaced on the ground it had so gallantly won. Both flanks having advanced more rapidly than the centre, they were found confronting each other in lines nearly parallel, and within artillery range. Any advance by them, especially at night, over ground so thickly wooded, might have resulted in the most serious consequences.

The enemy, though driven from his lines, still confronted us, and desultory firing was heard until eight P. M. Other noises, indicating movements and dispositions for the morrow, continued until a late hour at night.

During the operations by the main forces, on the 19th and 20th, the cavalry, on the flanks, was actively and usefully employed, holding the enemy in observation and threatening or assailing him as occasion offered. From the report of Major-General Wheeler, commanding on the left, it will be seen what important service was rendered, both on the 20th and 21st, by his command, especially in the capture of prisoners and property, and in the dispersion of the enemy's cavalry. Brigadier-General Forrest's report will show equally gallant and valuable services by his command on our right.

Exhausted by two days battle, with very limited supply of provisions, and almost destitute of water, some time in daylight was absolutely essential for our troops to supply these necessaries and replenish their ammunition before renewing the contest. Availing myself of this necessary delay to inspect and readjust my lines, I moved, as soon as daylight served, on the 21st. On my arrival, about sunrise, near Lieutenant-General Polk's bivouac, I met the ever vigilant General Liddell, commanding a division in our front line, who was awaiting the General to report that his pickets this morning discovered the enemy had retreated during the night from his immediate front. Instructions were promptly given to push forward our whole line of skirmishers to the front, and I moved to the [62] left and extended these orders. All the cavalry at hand, including my personal guard, were ordered to the front. Members of my staff, in passing through the lines of our left wing with their escort, were warned of danger, and told that they were entering on the neutral ground between us and the enemy. But this proved to be an error, and our cavalry soon came upon the enemy's rear guard, where the main road passes through Missionary ridge. He had availed himself of the night to withdraw from our front, and his main body was already in position within his lines at Chattanooga. Any immediate pursuit by our infantry and artillery would have been fruitless, as it was not deemed practicable, with our weak and exhausted forces, to assail the enemy, now more than double our numbers, behind his entrenchments. Though we had defeated him and driven him from the field with heavy loss in men, arms and artillery, it had only been done by heavy sacrifices, in repeated, persistent and most gallant assaults upon superior numbers strongly posted and protected.

The conduct of our troops was excellent throughout the prolonged contest. Often repulsed where success seemed impossible, they never failed to rally and return to the charge, until the last combined and determined effort, in which the spirit of every man seemed to conspire for success, was crowned with the reward due to such gallantry in a just cause.

Our loss was in proportion to the prolonged and obstinate struggle. Two-fifths of our gallant troops had fallen, and the number of general and staff officers stricken down will best show how these troops were led. Major-General Hood, the model soldier and inspiring leader, fell after contributing largely to our success, and has suffered the irreparable loss of a leg. That his valuable life should be spared to us is, however, a source of thankfulness and gratitude. Major-General Hindman, highly distinguished for gallantry and good conduct, received a severe contusion, but persisted in keeping the saddle until he witnessed the success in which his command largely participated. Brigadier-Generals B. H. Helm, Preston Smith, and James Deshla died upon the field in the heroic discharge of duty. They were true patriots and gallant soldiers, and worthy of the high reputation they enjoyed. Brigadier-Generals Adams, Gregg and McNair fell severely wounded whilst gallantly leading their commands in the thickest of the fight. It is gratifying to know they are convalescing and will be again found at the post of duty and danger.

Judging from appearances on the field, the enemy's losses must have exceeded our own largely, but we have no means of correctly estimating [63] them. We captured over eight thousand prisoners, fifty-one pieces of artillery, fifteen thousand stand of small arms, and quantities of ammunition, with wagons, ambulances and teams, medicines, and hospital stores in large quantities. The accompanying maps, one, two, three and four, based on accurate surveys, will afford the necessary information for the correct understanding of the movements of both armies. The positions of the troops on the field are given mostly from the sketches of their respective commanders. The times selected for indication were the morning of the 19th, when the action commenced—the morning of the 20th and the evening of the 20th, at the close of the operations. There has been much delay in rendering some of the subordinate reports, and none have been received from Lieutenant-Generals Polk and Hill, and only two from brigades in Longstreet's corps. The absence of these has caused a delay in making up my own, and induced me to defer forwarding the others, hoping that all might be submitted together.

For the many deeds of daring and acts of heroic devotion exhibited on this field reference is made to the subordinate reports. It will be remarked that the private soldier is eminently distinguished, as he always will be, in an army where the rank and file is made up of the best citizens of the country.

The medical officers, both in the field and in the hospitals, earned the lasting gratitude of the soldier and deserve the highest commendation. The great number of wounded thrown suddenly upon their hands taxed every energy and every faculty. With means greatly inadequate, especially in transportation, they soon reduced confusion into order, and by assiduity and skill, afforded to the gallant sufferers that temporal relief for which they might look in vain to any other source. In this connection, it is a pleasing duty to acknowledge in grateful terms the deep indebtness of the army to the Hospital Relief Associations, which so promptly and so generously pressed forward their much needed assistance. Under the admirable management of their officers in Atlanta, we were soon furnished with every necessary and comfort, and stores continued to arrive until notice was given that our wants were all supplied. The officers of my staff, personal and general, served me on this field and on the arduous marches preceding, with their usual zeal, intelligence and gallantry.

The whole cavalry force having been dispatched to press the enemy and cut off detachments, orders were given for the army to move to a point near the railroad and convenient to water, still interposing between the enemy and our large number of wounded, our trophies, [64] and our wounded prisoners, whose removal from the field occupied many days.

Our supplies of all kinds were greatly reduced, the railroad having been constantly occupied in transporting troops, prisoners, and our wounded, and the bridges having been destroyed to a point two miles south of Ringgold. These supplies were ordered to be replenished, and as soon as it was seen that we could be subsisted, the army was moved forward to seize and hold the only communication the enemy had with his supplies in the rear. His important road, and the shortest, by half, to his depot at Bridgeport, lay along the south bank of the Tennessee. The holding of this all-important route was confided to Lieutenant-General Longstreet's command, and its possssion forced the enemy to a road double the length, over two ranges of mountains, by wagon transportation. At the same time, our cavalry, in large force, was thrown across the river to operate on this long and difficult route. These dispositions, faithfully sustained, ensured the enemy's speedy evacuation of Chattanooga for want of food and forage. Possessed of the shortest road to his depot, and the one by which reinforcements must reach him, we held him at our mercy, and his destruction was only a question of time. The disastrous loss of these advantages must be the subject of a future communication. The suggestion of a movement by our right, immediately after the battle, to the north of the Tennessee, and thence upon Nashville, requires notice only because it will find a place on the files of the department. Such a movement was utterly impossible for want of transportation. Nearly half our army consisted of reinforcements just before the battle, without a wagon or an artillery horse, and nearly, if not quite, a third of the artillery horses on the field had been lost. The railroad bridges, too, had been destroyed to a point south of Ringgold, and in all the road from Cleveland to Knoxville. To these insurmountable difficulties were added the entire absence of means to cross the river, except by fording at a few precarious points too deep for artillery, and the well known danger of sudden rises, by which all communication would be cut,—a contingency which did actually happen a few days after the visionary scheme was proposed. But the most serious objection to the proposition was its entire want of military propriety. It abandoned to the enemy our entire line of communication, and laid open to him our depots of supplies, whilst it placed us with a greatly inferior force beyond a difficult and, at times, impassable river, in a country affording no subsistence to men or animals. It also left open to the enemy, at a distance of only ten [65] miles, our battle field, with thousands of our wounded and his own and all the trophies and supplies we had won. All this was to be risked and given up for what? To gain the enemy's rear and cut him off from his depot of supplies by the route over the mountains, when the very movement abandoned to his unmolested use the better and more practicable route of half the length on the south side of the river. It is hardly necessary to say the proposition was not even entertained, whatever may have been the inferences drawn from subsequent movements.

I am, Sir, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

Braxton Bragg, General.

Services of the ‘Virginia’ (Merrimac).

by Capt. Catesby Ap R. Jones.
[The following deeply interesting narrative of the gallant and accomplished executive officer of the Virginia was prepared for our Society not long before his lamented death. It will be found to dispose of most conclusively the claim of the Monitor for prize money.]

When on April 21st, 1861, the Virginians took possession of the abandoned navy-yard at Norfolk, they found that the Merrimac had been burnt and sunk. She was raised; and on June 23d following, the Hon. S. R. Mallory, Confederate Secretary of the Navy, ordered that she should be converted into an iron clad, on the plan proposed by Lieutenant John M. Brooke, C. S. Navy.

The hull was 275 feet long. About 160 feet of the central portion was covered by a roof of wood and iron, inclining about thirty-six degrees. The wood was two feet thick; it consisted of oak plank four inches by twelve inches, laid up and down next the iron, and two courses of pine; one longitudinal of eight inches thickness, the other twelve inches thick.

The intervening space on top was closed by permanent gratings of two-inch square iron two and one-half inches apart, leaving openings for four hatches, one near each end, and one forward and one abaft the smoke-stack. The roof did not project beyond the hull. There was no knuckle as in the Atlanta, Tennessee and our other iron clads [66] of later and improved construction. The ends of the shield were rounded.

The armor was four inches thick. It was fastened to its wooden backing by one and three-eighths inch bolts, countersunk and secured by iron nuts and washers. The plates were eight inches wide. Those first made were one inch thick, which was as thick as we could then punch cold iron. We succeeded soon in punching two inches, and the remaining plates, more than two-thirds, were two inches thick. They were rolled and punched at the Tredegar Works, Richmond. The outside course was up and down, the next longitudinal. Joints were broken where there were more than two courses.

The hull, extending two feet below the roof, was plated with one inch iron; it was intended that it should have had three inches.

The prow was of cast iron, wedge-shape, and weighed 1,500 pounds. It was about two feet under water, and projected two feet from the stem; it was not well fastened.

The rudder and propeller were unprotected.

The battery consisted of ten guns, four single-banded Brooke rifles and six nine-inch Dahlgren's shell guns. Two of the rifles, bow and stern pivots, were seven-inch, of 14,500 pounds; the other two were 6.4-inch (32 pounds calibre), of 9,000 pounds, one on each broadside. The nine-inch gun on each side nearest the furnaces was fitted for firing hot shot. A few nine-inch shot with extra windage were cast for hot shot. No other solid shot were on board during the fight.

The engines were the same the vessel had whilst in the United States Navy. They were radically defective, and had been condemned by the United States Government. Some changes had been made, notwithstanding which the engineers reported that they were unreliable. They performed very well during the fight, but afterwards failed several times, once whilst under fire.

There were many vexatious delays attending the fitting and equipment of the ship. Most of them arose from the want of skilled labor and lack of proper tools and appliances. Transporting the iron from Richmond also caused much delay: the railroads were taxed to supply the army.

The crew, 320 in number, were obtained with great difficulty. With few exceptions they were volunteers from the army; most of them were landsmen. Their deficiencies were as much as possible overcome by the zeal and intelligence of the officers; a list of them is appended. In the fight one of the nine-inch guns was manned by a detachment of the Norfolk United Artillery. [67]

The vessel was by the Confederates called Virginia. She was put in commission during the last week of February, but continued crowded with mechanics until the eve of the fight. She was badly ventilated, very uncomfortable, and very unhealthy. There was an average of fifty or sixty at the hospital, in addition to the sick-list on board.

The Flag-Officer, Franklin Buchanan, was detained in Richmond in charge of an important bureau, from which he was only relieved a few days before the fight. There was no captain; the ship was commissioned and equipped by the Executive and Ordnance Officer, who had reported for duty in November. He had by special order selected her battery, and was also made responsible for its efficiency.

A trial was determined upon, although the vessel was in an incomplete condition. The lower part of the shield forward was only immersed a few inches, instead of two feet as was intended; and there was but one inch of iron on the hull. The port-shutters, &c., were unfinished.

The Virginia was unseaworthy, her engines were unreliable, and her draft, over twenty-two feet, prevented her from going to Washington. Her field of operation was therefore restricted to the bay and its immediate vicinity; there was no regular concerted movement with the army.1

The frigates Congress and Cumberland temptingly invited an attack. It was fixed for Thursday night, March 6th, 1862; the pilots, of whom there were five, having been previously consulted. The sides were slushed, supposing that it would increase the tendency of the projectiles to glance. All preparations were made, including lights at obstructions. After dark the pilots declared that they could not pilot the ship during the night. They had a high sense of their responsibility. In justice to them it should be stated that it was not easy to pilot a vessel of our great draft under favorable circumstances, and that the difficulties were much increased by the absence of lights, buoys, &c., to which they had been accustomed.

The attack was postponed to Saturday, March 8th. The weather [68] was favorable. We left the navy yard at 11 A. M, against the last half of the flood tide, steamed down the river past our batteries, through the obstructions, across Hampton Roads, to the mouth of James river, where off Newports News lay at anchor the frigates Cumberland and Congress, protected by strong batteries and gunboats. The action commenced about 3 P. M. by our firing the bow-gun2 at the Cumberland, less than a mile distant. A powerful fire was immediately concentrated upon us from all the batteries afloat and ashore. The frigates Minnesota, Roanoke and St. Lawrence with other vessels, were seen coming from Old Point. We fired at the Congress on passing, but continued to head directly for the Cumberland, which vessel we had determined to run into, and in less than fifteen minutes from the firing of the first gun we rammed her just forward of the starboard fore chains. There were heavy spars about her bows, probably to ward off torpedoes, through which we had to break before reaching the side of the ship. The noise of the crashing timbers was distinctly heard above the din of battle. There was no sign of the hole above water. It must have been large, as the ship soon commenced to careen. The shock to us on striking was slight. We immediately backed the engines. The blow was not repeated. We here lost the prow, and had the stem slightly twisted. The Cumberland3 fought her guns gallantly as long as they were above water. She went down bravely, with her colors flying. One of her shells struck the still of the bow-port and exploded; the fragments killed two and wounded a number. Our after nine-inch gun was loaded and ready for firing, when its muzzle was struck by a shell, which broke it off and fired the gun. Another gun also had its muzzle shot off; it was broken so short that at each subsequent discharge its port was set on fire. The damage to the armor was slight. Their fire appeared to have been aimed at our ports. Had it been concentrated at the water-line we would have been seriously hurt, if not sunk. Owing to the ebb tide and our great draft we could not close with the Congress without first going up stream and then turning, which was [69] a tedious operation, besides subjecting us twice to the full fire of the batteries, some of which we silenced

We were accompanied from the yard by the gunboats Beaufort, Lieutenant-Commander W. H Parker, and Raleigh, LieutenantCom-mander J. W. Alexander. As soon as the firing was heard up James river, the Patrick Henry, Commander John R Tucker, Jamestown, Lieutenant Commander J. N. Barney, and the gunboat Teaser, Lieutenant-Commander W. A. Webb, under command of Captain John R. Tucker, stood down the river, joining us about four o'clock. All these vessels were gallantly fought and handled, and rendered valuable and effective service.

The prisoners from the Congress stated that when on board that ship it was seen that we were standing up the river, that three cheers were given under the impression that we had quit the fight. They were soon undeceived. When they saw us heading down stream, fearing the fate of the Cumberland, they slipped their cables, made sail, and ran ashore bows on. We took a position off her quarter, about two cables' length distant, and opened a deliberate fire. Very few of her guns bore on us, and they were soon disabled. The other batteries continued to play on us, as did the Minnesota, then aground about one and one-half miles off. The St. Lawrence also opened on us shortly after. There was great havoc on board the Congress. She was several times on fire. Her gallant commander, Lieutenant Joseph B. Smith,4 was struck in the breast by the fragment of a shell and instantly killed The carnage was frightful. Nothing remained but to strike their colors, which they did. They hoisted the white flag, half-masted, at the main and at the spanker gaff. The Beaufort and Raleigh were ordered to burn her. They went alongside and secured several of her officers and some twenty of her men as prisoners. The officers urgently asked permission to assist their wounded out of the ship. It was granted. They did not return. A sharp fire of musketry from the shore killed some of the prisoners and forced the tugs to leave. A boat was sent from the Virginia to burn her, covered by the Teaser. A fire was opened on them from the shore, and also from the Congress, with both of her white flags flying, wounding Lieutenant Minor and others. We replied to this outrage upon the usages of civilized warfare by reopening on the Congress with hot shot and incendiary shell. Her crew escaped by boats, as did that of the Cumberland. Canister and grape would have prevented [70] it; but in neither case was any attempt made to stop them, though it has been otherwise stated, possibly from our firing on the shore or at the Congress.

We remained near the Congress to prevent her recapture. Had she been retaken, it might have been said that the Flag-Officer permitted it, knowing that his brother5 was an officer of that vessel.

A distant and unsatisfactory fire was at times had at the Minnesota. The gunboats also engaged her. We fired canister and grape occasionally in reply to musketry from the shore, which had become annoying.

About this time the Flag Officer was badly wounded by a rifle-ball, and had to be carried below. His bold daring and intrepid conduct won the admiration of all on board. The Executive and Ordnance officer, Lieutenant Catesby Ap R. Jones, succeeded to the command.

The action continued until dusk, when we were forced to seek an anchorage. The Congress was riddled and on fire. A transport steamer was blown up. A schooner was sunk and another captured. We had to leave without making a serious attack on the Minnesota, though we fired at her as we passed on the other side of the Middle Ground, and also at the St. Lawrence.6 The latter frigate fired at us by broadsides, not a bad plan for small calibres against iron-clads, if concentrated. It was too dark to aim well. We anchored off our batteries at Sewell Point. The squadron followed.

The Congress7 continued to burn; ‘she illuminated the heavens, and varied the scene by the firing of her own guns and the flight of her balls through the air,’ until shortly after midnight, ‘when her magazine exploded, and a column of burning matter appeared high in the air, to be followed by the stillness of death,’ [extract from report of General Mansfield, U. S. A.] One of the pilots chanced about 11 P. M. to be looking in the direction of the Congress, when there passed a strange looking craft, brought out in bold relief by the brilliant light of the burning ship, which he at once proclaimed to be the [71] Ericsson. We were therefore not surprised in the morning to see the Monitor at anchor near the Minnesota. The latter ship was still aground. Some delay occurred from sending our wounded out of the ship; we had but one serviceable boat left. Admiral Buchanan was landed at Sewell Point.

At eight A. M. we got under way, as did the Patrick Henry, Jamestown and Teaser. We stood towards the Minnesota and opened fire on her. The pilots were to have placed us half-a-mile from her, but we were not at any time nearer than a mile. The Monitor8 commenced firing when about a third of a mile distant. We soon approached, and were often within a ship's length; once while passing we fired a broadside at her only a few yards distant. She and her turret appeared to be under perfect control. Her light draft enabled her to move about us at pleasure. She once took position for a short time where we could not bring a gun to bear on her. Another of her movements caused us great anxiety; she made for our rudder and propeller, both of which could have been easily disabled. We could only see her guns when they were discharged; immediately afterward the turret revolved rapidly, and the guns were not again seen until they were again fired. We wondered how proper aim could be taken in the very short time the guns were in sight. The Virginia, however, was a large target, and generally so near that the Monitor's shot did not often miss. It did not appear to us that our shell had any effect upon the Monitor. We had no solid shot. Musketry was fired at the look-out holes. In spite of all the care of our pilots we ran ashore, where we remained over fifteen minutes. The Patrick Henry and Jamestown, with great risk to themselves, started to our assistance. The Monitor and Minnesota were in full play on us. A small rifle-gun on board the Minnesota, or on the steamer alongside of her, was fired with remarkable precision.

When we saw that our fire made no impression on the Monitor, we determined to run into her if possible. We found it a very difficult feat to do. Our great length and draft, in a comparatively narrow channel, with but little water to spare, made us sluggish in our movements, and hard to steer and turn. When the opportunity presented all steam was put on; there was not, however, sufficient time to gather full headway before striking. The blow was given with the broad [72] wooden stem, the iron prow having been lost the day before. The Monitor received the blow in such a manner as to weaken its effect, and the damage was to her trifling. Shortly after an alarming leak in the bows was reported. It, however, did not long continue.

Whilst contending with the Monitor, we received the fire of the Minnesota,9 which we never failed to return whenever our guns could be brought to bear. We set her on fire and did her serious injury, though much less than we then supposed. Generally the distance was too great for effective firing. We blew up a steamer alongside of her.

The fight had continued over three hours. To us the Monitor appeared unharmed. We were therefore surprised to see her run off into shoal water where our great draft would not permit us to follow, and where our shell could not reach her. The loss of our prow and anchor, and consumption of coal, water, &c., had lightened us so that the lower part of the forward end of the shield was awash.

We for some time awaited the return of the Monitor to the Roads. After consultation it was decided that we should proceed to the navyyard, in order that the vessel should be brought down in the water and completed. The pilots said if we did not then leave that we could not pass the bar until noon of the next day. We therefore at 12 M. quit the Roads and stood for Norfolk. Had there been any sign of the Monitor's willingness to renew the contest we would have remained to fight her. We left her in the shoal water to which she had withdrawn, and which she did not leave until after we had crossed the bar on our way to Norfolk.

The official report says: ‘Our loss is two killed and nineteen wounded. The stem is twisted and the ship leaks; we have lost the prow, starboard anchor, and all the boats; the armor is somewhat damaged, the steam-pipe and smoke-stack both riddled, the muzzles of two of the guns shot away. It was not easy to keep a flag flying; the flag-staffs were repeatedly shot away; the colors were hoisted to the smoke-stack, and several times cut down from it.’ None were killed or wounded in the fight with the Monitor. The only damage she did was to the armor. She fired forty-one shots. We were enabled to receive most of them obliquely. The effect of a shot striking obliquely on the shield was to break all the iron, and sometimes [73] to displace several feet of the outside course; the wooden backing would not be broken through. When a shot struck directly at right angles, the wood would also be broken through, but not displaced. Generally the shot were much scattered; in three instances two or more struck near the same place, in each case causing more of the iron to be displaced, and the wood to bulge inside. A few struck near the water-line. The shield was never pierced; though it was evident that two shots striking in the same place would have made a large hole through everything.

The ship was docked; a prow of steel and wrought iron put on, and a course of two-inch iron on the hull below the roof extending in length 180 feet. Want of time and material prevented its completion. The damage to the armor was repaired; wrought-iron port-shutters were fitted, &c. The rifle guns were supplied with bolts of wrought and chilled iron. The ship was brought a foot deeper in the water, making her draft 23 feet.

Commodore Josiah Tatnall relieved Admiral Buchanan in command. On the 11th of April he took the Virginia down to Hampton Roads, expecting to have a desperate encounter with the Monitor. Greatly to our surprise, the Monitor refused to fight us. She closely hugged the shore under the guns of the fort, with her steam up. Hoping to provoke her to come out, the Jamestown10 was sent in, and captured several prizes, but the Monitor would not budge. It was proposed to take the vessel to York river, but it was decided in Richmond that she should remain near Norfolk for its protection.

Commodore Tatnall commanded the Virginia forty-five days, of which time there were only thirteen days that she was not in dock or in the hands of the navy-yard. Yet he succeed in impressing the enemy that we were ready for active service. It was evident that the enemy very much overrated11 our power and efficiency. The South also had the same exaggerated idea of the vessel.

On the 8th of May a squadron, including the Monitor, bombarded our batteries at Sewell Point. We immediately left the yard for the Roads. As we drew near, the Monitor and her consorts ceased bombarding, and retreated under the guns of the forts, keeping beyond the range of our guns. Men-of-war from below the forts, and vessels [74] expressly fitted for running us down, joined the other vessels between the forts. It looked as if the fleet was about to make a fierce onslaught upon us. But we were again to be disappointed. The Monitor and the other vessels did not venture to meet us, although we advanced until projectiles from the Rip Raps fell more than half a mile beyond us. Our object, however, was accomplished; we had put an end to the bombardment, and we returned to our buoy.

Norfolk was evacuated on the 10th of May. In order that the ship might be carried up the James river, we commenced to lighten her, but ceased on the pilots saying they could not take her up. Her shield was then out of water; we were not in fighting condition. We therefore ran her ashore in the bight of Craney Island, landed the crew, and set the vessel on fire. The magazine exploded about half-past 4 on the morning of the 11th of May, 1862. The crew arrived at Drewry's Bluff the next day, and assisted in defeating the Monitor, Galena, and other vessels on the 15th of May.

Commodore Tatnall was tried by court-marshal for destroying the Virginia, and was ‘honorably acquitted’ of all the charges. The court stated the facts, and their motives for acquitting him. Some of them are as follows: ‘That after the evacuation of Norfolk, Westover on James river became the most suitable position for her to occupy; that while in the act of lightening her for the purpose of taking her up to that point, the pilots for the first time declared their inability to take her up. . . . . That when lightened she was made vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy. . . . . The only alternative, in the opinion of the court, was to abandon and burn the ship then and there, which, in the judgment of the court, was deliberately and wisely done.’


List of officers of the C. S. Iron-clad Virginia, March 8th, 1862.

Flag-OfficerFranklin Buchanan. LieutenantsCatesby Ap R. Jones, Executive and Ordnance officer; Charles C. Simms, R. D. Minor (flag), Hunter Davidson, J. Taylor Wood, J. R. Eggleston, Walter Butt. Midshipmen—Foute, Marmaduke, Littlepage, Craig, Long, and Roots. PaymasterJames Semple. SurgeonDinwiddie Phillips. Assistant-SurgeonAlgernon S. Garnett. Captain of MarinesReuben Thom. Engineers—H. A. Ramsey, Acting Chief; Assistants—Tynan, Campbell, Herring, Jack and White. Boatswain—Hasker. Gunner—Oliver. Carpenter—Lindsey. Clerk [75] —Arthur Sinclair, Jr. Volunteer AideLieutenant Douglas Forrest, C. S. A.; Captain Kevil, commanding detatchment of Norfolk United Artillery. Signal CorpsSergeant Tabb.

Campaign against Steele in April, 1864.


Report of General Marmaduke.

headquarters Marmaduke's division, in the field, May 28th, 1864.
Colonel,—In obedience to orders from the Major-General commanding, I have the honor to make the following report of the operations of my command in the campaign against the Federal forces under Major-General Steele, which was ended on the 30th ult. by their retreat across the Saline, and to their base, Little Rock.

At the time information was received of the advance of Steele's army from Little Rock southward on the military road, and of his arrival at Benton, my division, consisting of Cabell's Arkansas Cavalry brigade and Shelby's and Greene's (Marmaduke's) Missouri Cavalry brigades, numbering about thirty-two hundred (3,200) effectively armed and mounted men for duty, was stationed as follows: Cabell's brigade sixteen miles west of Washington, and sixty-six miles from Camden; Shelby's and Greene's brigades at Camden. To meet the movement of the enemy I made the following dispositions: March 22, Cabell's brigade was ordered to Tate's Bluff, twenty-three miles northwest of Camden, at the junction of the Little Missouri with the Ouachita river; March 25, Shelby's brigade was ordered to Princeton, but no forage being there, moved fifteen miles northeast of Princeton (47 miles from Camden), and on the 28th March, with Greene's brigade and a section of Blocker's battery under Lieutenant Zimmerman, I marched directly to Tate's Bluff. The several brigades could by this disposition co-operate against the enemy's front, or if need be, Cabell and Greene against his front, while Shelby was in position to march directly to and operate upon his rear. On my arrival at Tate's Bluff, March 30, finding no forage nor subsistence in its vicinity, and ascertaining that the enemy 9,500 strong, infantry, cavalry and artillery, had reached Rockport and were marching upon Arkadelphia, I ordered Shelby to cross the Ouachita river and move upon the enemy's rear, and Cabell's brigade [76] (which in view of the probability of the enemy advancing direct upon Washington, and the derth of forage and subsistence at Tate's Bluff, had been ordered to halt fifteen miles southwest of that point) to cross the Little Missouri by the military road and resist him in front, while Greene's brigade (the middle column) would cross the Little Missouri at Tate's Bluff and attack his left flank, and as he advanced southward from Arkadelphia co-operate with Cabell, each command to make short and desperate attacks, retire, and attack again, until the enemy reached the Little Missouri river, when all would concentrate to prevent the passage of that stream. Before the several brigades could cross the river and get into position, the enemy had entered Arkadelphia.

On the 1st of April, Steele with his whole force moved out of Arkadelphia, directing his march on the ‘military road’ toward Washington. Late on the evening of the 1st the scouts in advance of Shelby's brigade had entered Arkadelphia, capturing a dozen stragglers, including one Captain, and closed up to the enemy's rear. But the main body of his brigade had not arrived. Cabell had, however, moved up to the Antoine, eighteen miles southwest of Arkadelphia, and his advance commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Fayth, struck the advance of the enemy, consisting of two regiments of cavalry, near Spoonville, ten miles southwest of Arkadelphia. Here several sharp fights occurred, in which the enemy suffered considerable loss and were driven back upon the main body. Greene, on the enemy's left had attacked and driven in with loss his flankers to the main body. On the night of the 1st Steele encamped near Spoonville, having marched only ten miles. Shelby encamped that night near Arkadelphia, Cabell on the Antoine, and Greene was at nightfall about eight miles east of Spooneville. The design of the enemy evidently was to co-operate with the Federal army under Banks, then moving against Shreveport. His shortest route to Shreveport was by way of Washington. The crossing of the Little Missouri river on the military road was a good one. The latest information from my scouts on the 1st (I was then with Greene's column) was that Steele had certainly advanced as far as Spooneville, on the direct Washington road. These facts taken into consideration, I ordered Colonel Greene to leave Lawther's regiment of his brigade on the enemy's left flank, and, marching that night, join Cabell at Cottingham's store, fourteen miles northeast of Washington and three south of Little Missouri river on the military road. Before daylight on the morning of the 2d, I had joined Cabell at Antoine. At Spooneville [77] a good road makes off southward from the military road by way of Okalona to Elkin's Ferry, and by roads leading from it to several of the fords and ferries on Little Missouri river. Fearing that Steele might take this road and reach and occupy one of the fords below the military road crossing, on the morning of the 2d April, after leaving Monroe's regiment, Fayth's battalion, and a section of Hughey's battery, all under command of Colonel Monroe of Cabell's brigade, at the Antoine, I withdrew the balance of the regiment to Cottingham's store, where it could either reinforce Monroe when driven back to the river, or resist the occupation by the enemy of any of the fords below the military road.

No change appeared in the direction of the enemy's march on the 2d. His supposed advance came up with Colonel Monroe's force at the Antoine, and was driven back with loss; Monroe, according to instructions, then falling slowly back. At Wolf Creek he again halted and took position; the enemy again advanced, and this time Monroe by his excellent dispositions, the well directed fire of the small arms of his command, and of the section of Hughey's battery, drove him in wild disorder back upon his main body. At 2 o'clock P. M. the march of the enemy was partially developed—he had taken the road leading off by way of Okalona. Simultaneously, almost with this information, the small picket which had been stationed at Elkin's Ferry galloped up to inform me that the enemy had occupied that ford with a ‘small force.’ About 4 o'clock Greene arrived, having marched when he heard the firing between Monroe and the enemy in a northwesterly direction to the assistance of Cabell, as he supposed, but finding that the enemy was in strong force, and would in his then position overpower him, retired to Cottingham's store. By this time the enemy had occupied Elkin's Ferry with a strong force, and posted artillery to sweep any line attempting to drive them from it; and his main body was in supporting distance.

In the meanwhile, Shelby encountering the enemy's rear-guard, consisting of a brigade of infantry, regiment of cavalry, and a battery, had with the gallantry and dash, which ever accompany him and his brigade, charged in line of battle mounted—charged and charged again until the sun went down, and driven it to seek safety with the main body now encamped twelve miles from the scene of his first attack. Shelby then encamped. In this day's fight, foremost in the pursuit, fell mortally wounded second Lieutenant Trigg of my escort, who was sent by me to General Shelby with despatches, and having accomplished that duty, and the fight coming on, joined the advance, [78] and there fought with a valor worthy the emulation of the bravest. Captain Thorpe, of Elliott's battalion, the advance, charged with his company through a regiment of Federal infantry, scattering them to the four winds. He received a severe though not mortal wound in that charge.

Placing a sufficient force at Elkin's Ferry to hold in check any further advance until it could be reinforced, Cabell's and Greene's brigades were camped so as to reach in time any of the fords yet liable to be crossed by the main body of the Federal army. The 3d of April was passed by the enemy in closing up to the river with his main force. His point of crossing was not yet ascertained, and Burbridge's regiment of Greene's brigade, under Lieutenant-Colonel Preston, was thrown forward to make a forced reconnoissance at Elkin's Ferry. Late in the day, after having driven in the advanced posts on the south side of the river with sharp skirmishing, the enemy was discovered in heavy masses. Yet during that day his main body still remained on the north bank. His slow, changeful marches, his seeming indecision were inexplicable, until Shelby's cannon were heard in his rear. On the morning of the 3d, Shelby had again attacked his rear-guard, when finding that it was being heavily reinforced, and closing its flanks around his small force, he withdrew in good order. In these actions General Shelby fought his brigade entirely mounted, and, time and again, the irresistible charge of his line thoroughly demoralized and completely routed the long and serried lines of the enemy's infantry, causing them great loss in killed, wounded and prisoners, while Collins's battery did most effective service, and almost exceeded its usual superlative excellence in the accuracy of the fire and the devoted bravery of the company.

On the 4th, as afterward appeared, Steele commenced crossing his main army. Having concentrated Greene and Cabell in front of the ferry, posted the main portion of Cabell's brigade as a reserve on a naturally strong position at the edge of the bottom, with Greene's brigade, Colonel Greene commanding, one piece of Blocker's battery, under Lieutenant Zimmerman, Monroe's regiment, Colonel S. C. Monroe commanding, and a section of Hughey's battery under Lieutenant Miller, of Cabell's brigade, twelve hundred in all, I advanced and attacked the enemy, to finally determine if he intended to cross his whole force here, and to relieve Shelby. The troops were rapidly formed, and the attack quickly and vigorously made, which resulted in my driving the enemy two miles before he could mass his forces against me. Lieutenant Fackler of my staff was captured in [79] this affair. From the official reports of the enemy, captured afterwards, it appeared that I fought a greatly superior force, and killed and wounded a great number. I cannot pay too high a tribute to the alacrity, steadiness, and splendid bravery of Greene's brigade and Monroe's regiment, nor compliment the artillery of Lieutenants Zimmerman and Miller more fittingly than in the enemy's own language, who complained that our ‘artillerists must have measured the ground before the battle.’ The enemy's design of crossing here was now made fully manifest.

Shelby was enabled to join me on the evening of that day without molestation, and again my whole force was united. No forage being in the vicinity of the ferry, I was compelled to withdraw my main force on the morning of the 5th to the south side of Prairie d'anne, on the Washington road, about sixteen miles from the ferry. Here I had breastworks of logs and small earthworks thrown up with which to deceive the enemy into the belief that I would here give him battle. This day my outpost, Greene's regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell, skirmished heavily with him, and again on the 6th. On the 7th the enemy continued to advance slowly, my advance, under Captain Porter, of Burbridge's regiment; skirmishing with him the entire day. General Price now arrived with Dockery and Crawford's brigades and Woods's battalion, and took command. Cabell's brigade was taken from me and placed in Fagan's division. On the 8th the enemy again advanced, driving Captain Porter with my outpost to the northeast edge of the prairie. Greene's brigade was then relieved from outpost duty by troops of Fagan's division.

On the evening of the 9th, the enemy having been reinforced by Thayer's division from Fort Smith, four thousand strong, cavalry, infantry and artillery, marched upon the outposts of our army under General Dockery, drove them in, and was preparing to flank General Shelby's camp when he evacuated it, and being ordered to keep in the enemy's front, threw his force into line of battle across the Elkin's Ferry and Washington and Camden roads, ordered Dockery to protect his flank, and attacked the advancing enemy. The picket fighting soon assumed heavy proportions. The enemy moved up and opened upon Shelby with fifteen pieces of artillery, and continued to advance, but the resistance was as dogged as their advance was overwhelming. The section of Collins's battery, under the immediate command of Captain Collins, with almost unexampled courage, held the column of the enemy at bay, while the brigade swept from flank to flank, by the fierce fire of artillery and small arms, budged [80] not until the order for retiring came. At nightfall the enemy had advanced but half a mile south of his position in the morning. At midnight I withdrew Shelby. The enemy had now reached the point where the roads from Washington, Camden and Louisville join, looking northward. He wished to move to Camden, but he could not leave a force so near on the Washington road to attack his rear, and he feared to attack the fortified position on the southwest edge of the prairie. Two days he spent, the 10th and 11th, in preparing for battle. On the 12th, with his whole force in line of battle, a glorious sight in the open prairie, he moved upon the works, flanking them on the left, to find them abandoned. The works had served their purpose admirably, deceiving the enemy, and forcing him to waste his time and keep his army starving in a barren country for nearly three days. Greene's brigade was again in action, skirmishing in the enemy's front, and bringing up the rear of our army with its usual cool, desperate courage.

On the night of the 12th my division encamped on Prairie de Rhoan, and for the first time in fourteen nights enjoyed uninterrupted quiet. On the morning of the 13th, at 10 A. M., we were again en route to reach the enemy's front and oppose his advance on Camden. At 4 P. M., on the 14th, we were in his front, fourteen miles from Camden, at the junction of the Prairie d'anne and Camp Bragg and Camden and Washington roads, having marched sixty miles. That evening, night and the next day, were spent in continued fighting. Late on the evening of the 15th, finding that the enemy was determined to reach Camden that night, and that further resistance was unwise and unprofitable, and having sent Captain John C. Moore, my A. A. General to Camden to destroy such government property there as would benefit the enemy, and leaving Colonel Lawther's regiment with orders to contest the enemy's advance, and after being driven from Camden to move out on the Shreveport wire-road and watch the enemy on that approach—I crossed my command from the Prairie d'anne and Washington road to the Camp Bragg and Camden road, and encamped eight miles from Camden. Colonel Lawther fought the enemy's advance in gallant style to the town, and encamped as directed. That night the enemy occupied Camden.

Such were the operations of my command up to the entrance of Steele's army into Camden. For over three weeks no day passed without hard marching and fighting; few nights in which it had rest. Its rations consisted mainly of jerked beef, with occasionally corn meal. During that time no complaint was ever heard; their courage [81] was high and confident; their conduct in battle admirable and worthy the highest praise—indeed in and out of battle it was noble. For the last six days we were assisted by other troops; during the remainder of the time we were opposed alone to the enemy, and General Steele's army of 13,000 men consumed twelve days in marching about as many miles.

The enemy was now encamped in and around Camden. On the 16th Shelby's brigade was ordered to Miller's Bluff to watch the river, and I then had only Greene's brigade of about 500 effective men with me. On the 16th Greene drove in the enemy's pickets on the Prairie d'anne road. They were driven in on the 17th on various roads by portions of that brigade. On the morning of the 17th Colonel Greene's scouts informed me that a large train, two hundred and twenty-five wagons, with a guard of three regiments, two of infantry and one of cavalry, and two pieces of artillery, had moved out on the Prairie d'anne road from Camden I wrote to General Fagan for assistance, as I had only five hundred men. He sent me immediately Cabell's and Crawford's brigades. That night I marched to attack this train, but was met with information that the guard had been reinforced by two regiments of infantry and two pieces of artillery, making their force now 2,500 and four pieces of artillery. With the reinforcement of Cabell and Crawford my force was but 1,500, and as I was certain the train could not return until next morning, I wrote to General Fagan for more assistance, and requested him to send my letter to General Price for his approval. The plan was for Greene, Cabell and Crawford to intersect the road ten miles from Camden, for the other troops to enter the road at Poison Springs, fifteen miles from Camden, at 8 o'clock next morning. This plan was agreed upon. With Greene's, Cabell's and Crawford's brigades I marched early, and about 10 o'clock met the enemy's advanced pickets at Poison Springs, drove it back with my escort and staff, and occupied an advantageous position on the brow of a hill, deployed my escort as skirmishers on the slope, and held the enemy in check until Cabell and Crawford came up, dismounted and deployed in front of the enemy. Greene was held in reserve dismounted. At this time General Maxey's troops, chiefly Indians, and Wood's battalion arrived. General Maxey being my senior in rank, I reported to him, asking his plan of battle and stating how I had disposed my troops. He answered that as I had planned the whole movement I should take charge and make the fight. This I did, requesting him to post his command at right angles with my line, enfilading the [82] enemy's line in my front, and to open the fight. My purpose was to cause them to ‘change front’ toward Maxey, and while they were executing this movement, to attack their flank with the main line. Wood's battalion was dismounted by my order and posted on my extreme right; both flanks were guarded by cavalry. Maxey's troops attacked and drew the enemy's attention and front towards him. Cabell's and Crawford's brigades, under General Cabell, advanced cheering and were driving the enemy when Greene's brigade rushed to the charge, and the enemy was soon broken and their retreat shortly became a rout. After driving then two miles I ordered Wood's battalion to mount and move rapidly to the front in pursuit of the enemy. General Maxey, who from this time assumed command, countermanded this order and put Wood to work at the train to assist in getting off the wagons. At this juncture I received an order from General Maxey to withdraw the whole force from the pursuit. Federal loss in this engagement from 400 to 600 left dead on the field, about 100 wounded, and 120 prisoners. Four pieces of artillery, 195 wagons—six mules each—and many hundred small arms were brought off, and thirty wagons were burned. I cannot but think that at least 1,000 prisoners would have been added to the list had the pursuit been continued. Cabell, inimitable almost in personal gallantry, led his command and first broke the enemy's columns, and assisted by Greene, who brought up his line under a heavy fire as steadily as on parade, crushed the enemy, who turned and fled in total confusion. On the evening of the 18th we were again in camp. Cabell's and Crawford's brigades reported back to General Fagan, and with Greene's brigade I marched on the 19th, to the Wire Road, twelve miles from Camden. At the same time General Shelby's brigade was detached temporarily from my command and ordered to General Fagan for duty. From the 20th to the 26th inclusive, my command was encamped, picketing to the front, and had various small but successful encounters with the enemy. On the 26th I was ordered to report direct to General Smith. On the 27th, the evacuation of Camden by General Steele having been discovered, my command marched to Whitehall on the Ouachita river, where Wood's battalion was ordered to report to me, swam the river, came up with the retreating enemy, and fought him until General Smith arrived with the infantry, and the battle of Jenkins's Ferry was fought, in which engagement the brigade was commanded by Colonel Greene.

During this long and arduous campaign, fought as most of it was under my own eye, I take pleasure in speaking of the officer-like conduct [83] and the many acts of splendid bravery of my officers and men. To speak of the quick perception and reckless boldness of Shelby, the cool and chrivalous bearing of Cabell, or the perseverance, thoughtfulness, and steady courage of Greene, is telling an oft-told tale. The list is too long to narrate, but, I say it with pride, of all the officers and men in my division, not one have I seen or heard of who shrank from the performance of any duty, however dangerous.

In conclusion, I desire to express my happiness at the conduct of the whole division, and my belief that posterity will do them the honor they so well deserve. At present I cannot give my losses in killed, wounded and missing, as several of the commands which were under me are temporarily or permanently absent; but I am of opinion that my loss compared with that of the enemy is as one to twenty.

John S. Marmaduke, Major-General Commanding.

Recollections of Libby prison.

by Rev. J. L. Burrows, D. D.

[read before the Louisville Southern Historical Association.]

The Libby prison was a large brick tobacco factory, three stories high, owned and used by the manufacturer whose name it bears. It was opened by the Confederate authorities as a hotel for the reception of Federal troops, who persisted in marching ‘on to Richmond,’ after the first battle of Manassas, and who, instead of being required wearily to tramp into the capital of the ‘Old Dominion,’ were generously allowed to make the journey in railway cars.

The first installment of Federal troops, gathered from the panicstricken field of Manassas (or Bull Run), about 1,000 in number, rather reluctantly filed into its chambers within a week after the 21st of July, 1861. Some four hundred others, wounded, were elsewhere provided for in extemporized hospitals. The accommodations furnished these gentlemen were not equal to those ordinarily found in a first-class hotel. They had not been expected in such numbers, and due preparation had not been made for their reception. There was not a Confederate official in the land who had any experience in taking care of prisoners of war. They were therefore necessarily subjected to many inconveniences and privations, which a suddenly improvised commissariat and superintending staff could not at once remedy. [84] They slept upon the floor on their blankets, if they had been thoughtful enough to bring any, and ate their rations from their fingers, or spread them out on boxes or barrel-heads. Knives, forks and spoons were not abundantly supplied. But all this was better than sleeping on the bare ground without blankets and masticating scant and course rations while on the march, as multitudes of soldiers in both armies were often compelled to do.

Something like order, however, was soon arranged, and the prisoners, by orders of the Confederate authorities, were as well fed and better sheltered than the soldiers of the Confederate armies in the field.

Prisons are always uncomfortable places for subjective, if not for objective, reasons. I never have happened to meet one from either side who, while prisoner of war, was satisfied with his accommodations or victuals. It is not in human nature to be contented under physical restraints, and it is among the privileges and luxuries of prisoners to grumble; and he is a hard-hearted jailer who will attempt to deprive them of these alleviations. Feather-beds are hard and tenderloin steaks are tough behind iron gratings, and the kindest and most liberal commissary never satisfied prisoners. No external conditions can soothe the spirit's chafings; and as these men did not have soft couches, nor juicy roasts, they had a right to croak, and they exercised it.

Among those earliest introduced into Libby prison was Congressman Ely, of Rochester, N. Y., who, with other civilians, had taken a holiday excursion in carriages to witness a battle and congratulate the Federal victors. He amused himself by writing a diary of his observations and experiences, which he afterwards published in a volume ill-natured enough to be amusing, and in which so humble a personage as myself was singled out for special censure. All that I am conscious of having done to deserve this honorable mention, was, in a good-humored way, to reply to arguments urged to convince me that the Southern States had no right to secede, and that the United States Government was justifiable in sending armies to suppress the insurrection. Of course the prisoners having little else to do, were fond of talking, and so I imagined that I was gratifying them by responding and improvising a cheerful debate to help them while away the time which hung so heavily on their hands. I sometimes ventured to keep the ball rolling in a spirit of pure benevolence, perhaps just tinctured with a grain or two of impure reconciliation with their lot. If I ever uttered an ill-natured or abusive or churlish word to a prisoner [85] I would sorrowfully repent of it if I could only remember it. It may be that occasionally I did not sufficiently allow for the irritable sensitiveness of men whose anticipations had been so suddenly and disastrously checked. The sensitiveness put its own somber interpretation upon words which were never meant to offend. For example, one of the chaplains, a clergyman of my own faith, asked me if I could lend him a volume of Hamilton's Logic. The next day I carried it to him, and presented it to him with the remark that it required brains to master Hamilton's Philosophy. He published afterward in a northern paper that Dr. B. had insulted him by intimating that he (the chaplain) had not brains enough to comprehend Hamilton's Philosophy. He did not tell his readers, however, that he had accepted the volume, though tendered with so rude an insult. It was simply an irrascible interpretation of what, in another mood, he would have accepted as a compliment.

Among the Manassas prisoners were ten field officers. One of these was the notorious Michael Corcoran, Colonel of the Sixty-ninth New York regiment. He had been, as far as his known biography reports, proprietor of a drinking saloon in the Bowery of New York city, and was quite prominent among the political manipulators of the Tweed school. He aided in enlisting a regiment of New York roughs, of which he was elected Colonel. He led his regiment to the field of Manassas, and thence led or followed many of his boys in a forced march ‘on to Richmond.’ Walking through the prison one day, in company with a gentlemanly Federal officer, he asked me if I would be introduced to Colonel Corcoran. ‘Where is he?’ I asked. He pointed out a rough, coarse-looking man in his shirt sleeves, sitting in a corner, with a crowd of cronies around him playing cards on the head of a barrel, accompanying the shuffle of the cards with boisterous oaths and coarse jests. ‘Excuse me,’ I said, ‘I will not interrupt the gentlemen in their sports.’ I never was introduced to him, and never, that I can call to memory, interchanged a word with him.

Soon after the war I visited some of my kinfolks in Albany, New York, and from some of my old friends met a rather cool reception. I soon found out that the reason for the cold shoulder was a communication to an interviewer, made by the redoubtable Colonel, and published in one of the daily papers, setting forth, among other instances of his sagacity and valor, that an impertinent minister, named Burrows, had preached a discourse in Libby prison, in which he fiercely abused the prisoners for invading the sacred soil of Virginia, and intimating [86] that they all ought to have been shot on the field instead of being allowed to occupy such luxurious quarters. This assault, according to his own showing, so aroused the ire of the doughty Colonel, that, regardless of consequences, he sprang to his feet, leaped to the pulpit, shook his fist in the preacher's face, and declared his instant determination, if such insult were repeated, to kick the parson down stairs at the risk of his life. Of course he thus announced himself as a slashing fire-eater, to be admired and worshipped as an intrepid hero by the credulous interviewer and some of his readers.

It seemed a pity to spoil a fiction so sensational and narrated ‘with circumstance,’ but a card published in the papers, over my own signature, set the matter right with the good people of Albany, by assuring them that I had never preached in Libby prison on any subject while Colonel Corcoran was there; that I had never spoken to him nor he to me on any subject, and that the whole statement was a vaporing canard woven out of the spider-web stuff of a braggart's flimsy brain. The close of Colonel Corcoran's life, as I have learned, was characteristic. In December 1863, having meanwhile been exchanged and having joined his regiment, while drunk he mounted a spirited horse near Fairfax Courthouse, and spurring and curbing the steed into madness, he was violently thrown from his back and had his neck broken.

The prisoners very naturally, like Sterne's starling, wanted to get out, and occasionally some would escape by digging tunnels, evading guards, bribing sentinels, scaling the roof and other ingenious devices. They were very anxious to fix up a schedule for exchanges, and wrote piteous appeals to officials at Washington and to friends everywhere to induce the Federal Government to consent to a system of exchanges. But to exchange prisoners would be to recognize belligerent rights to the Confederacy, and that the United States Government seemed very unwilling at that time to do. I need not enter into the particulars of that controversy. It has been proven with the clearness of demonstration, that the Confederate authorities were willing and anxious to exchange man for man, officer for officer, at every period during the whole war, and sometimes when a large balance of prisoners was upon their side, to let all go, upon the usual parole not to serve until regularly exchanged. The obstacles to exchanges were uniformly created by the United States authorities. The prisoners of Libby soon came to understand this, and while some dolefully declared themselves willing to suffer if their Government thought best, the multitude muttered curses both loud and deep against the [87] officials who prevented their liberation. They claimed that they were kept prisoners by their own Government. The controversy was forced to a crisis by the action of the Federal authorities in relation to captured privateersmen. During the summer of 1861, the privateers fitted out by authority of the Confederate Government became quite troublesome by interfering with the commerce of the United States. A number of merchantmen were taken and sent into confederate or neutral ports or destroyed. In anticipation of such a mode of carrying on the war, President Lincoln on April 18, 1861, had issued a proclamation declaring that all persons taken on privateers that had molested a vessel of the United States should ‘be held amenable to the laws of the United States for the prevention and punishment of piracy.’

The schooner Savannah, formerly a United States pilot boat, on a cruise from Charleston harbor, was captured by the United States brig Perry, and Captain Baker and fourteen of the crew were sent in irons to New York to be tried as pirates. It was proposed to hang them. Great commotion was excited in Libby prison on the 9th of November, 1861, by an order to General Winder to select thirteen of the Federal officers of highest rank, and confine them in cells, to be dealt with in the same manner as the crew of the Savannah should be. The name of Colonel Corcoran was the first drawn out of the urn, to be held as a hostage for Captain Smith, of the privateer Jefferson Davis, who had been condemned to be hung in Philadelphia. Colonel Corcoran was given to understand that he would be hung on the day after authentic information was received that Captain Smith had been put to death. Thirteen others, drawn by lot, were placed in close confinement to await the issue of the hanging of the crew of the Savannah. They were as finally settled—Captains Ricketts and Mc-Quade, who had drawn fatal numbers, on account of their wounds being substituted by others—Colonels Lee, Cogswell, Wilcox, Woodruff and Woods; Lieutenant-Colonels Bowman and Neff; Majors Potter, Revere and Vogdes; Captains Rockwood, Bowman and Keffer. None of the privateers were executed, and the hostages were subsequently released and exchanged.

An interesting episode took place in relation to Colonel E. Raymond Lee, of Boston, in connection with these transactions. A few days before he had been designated, at the request of the prisoners, to go North on parole to procure clothing, blankets, etc., for their use during the approaching winter. The papers had been prepared, and he expected to leave on his humane errand the next morning. But [88] on that ominous morning the order for the lot selection came. Colonel Lee was one of the hostages. General Winder, a West Point classmate and personal friend of Colonel Lee, with a sad heart entered the prison and said to him:

Colonel, everything is changed. I come to tell you that I am ordered to place you and thirteen other officers of highest rank in close confinement as hostages for an equal number of so-called pirates. I am sorry to say, Colonel, that if these men hang so must you.’

Colonel Lee met the disappointment like a brave man, simply saying: ‘I left home thinking it possible that I might die on a battlefield; but if my country thinks that I can serve best by dying at the hangman's hands, I can meet even that death without a shudder.’ The stringent measure checked the thirst for the ‘pirates'’ blood, and the hostages, a few weeks later, were released and exchanged. As Colonel Lee was leaving Captain Warner—the humane and efficient commissary of the prison—who had won the confidence and esteem of the prisoners by his assiduous and kindly endeavors to promote their comfort—intrusted to Colonel Lee $80 in specie, to be transmitted to his (Captain Warner's) wife, then living in Central City, Illinois. He learned by letters through the lines that his wife had not received the money. After the war the Captain, being in Boston, called on Colonel Lee, was received with great kindness and hospitality. He accompanied the Captain to a Boston bank, and drew out the identical leathern purse with its inclosure of $78 in gold, and four silver half dollars, explaining that by a mistake in memoranda it had been forwarded to Central City, Ohio, instead of Illinois, whence it had been returned by express to the Colonel, and deposited in bank awaiting the owner's claim.

Many interesting incidents connected with my visits to the prisoners occur to me while writing. I remember a handsome boy, about sixteen years old, brought in wounded from Ball's Bluff, I think. His leg had been amputated above the knee. To my inquiries he answered, ‘I ran away from Rochester, N. Y., to get into the army. I had a happy home; was a Sunday-school boy, and always went to church, and only to think I have lost my leg, and may be I'll die and never get home again.’ He was among the first exchanged.

Another poor boy I call to mind too weak to talk much, and yet who did talk a little and hopefully, had both arms and both legs amputated. In a few days death ended his sufferings.

Something like yellow fever for a few weeks was endemic among [89] the prisoners, and among our own troops too. The city Alms-house, a splendid building by the way, was appropriated as a hospital for these cases. Sitting one day by the cot of a New York soldier, upon whose brow death had stamped his seal, I kneeled to pray for his departing soul, when a gush of black vomit struck me full in the face and breast, and the prayer was interrupted by the poor fellow's apologies and assurances that he could not help it. I wiped his face more tenderly than I did my own and held his hand for half an hour later, when his spirit passed away.

A prisoner for a few weeks who excited considerable interest and amusement was Miss Dr. Mary Walker. She had a room to herself in Castle Thunder, and sometimes was permitted to stroll into the streets, where her display of Bloomer costume, blouse, trowsers and boots secured her a following of astonished and admiring boys. She was quite chatty, and seemed rather to enjoy the notoriety of her position. She claimed to be a surgeon in the Federal army, and, I believe, had some sort of commission, or permission perhaps as hospital nurse to travel with the army.

Captain Gibbs, commandant of Castle Thunder, had generally at his heels ‘the monstrous savage Russian bloodhound’ as he was very unjustly stigmatized by the Federal soldiers who took him prisoner at the evacuation and who turned some profitable pennies by exhibiting him in New York and New England as a specimen of the cruel devices of Southern officials to worry and torture prisoners.

There was absolutely nothing formidable about the dog but his size, which was immense. He was one of the best-natured hounds whose head I ever patted, and one of the most cowardly. If a fise or a black-and-tan terrier barked at him as he stood majestic in the office-door, he would tuck his tail between his legs and skulk for a safer place. I never heard that he bit anything but the bones that were thrown him, and he was quite a playfellow with the prisoners when permitted to stalk among them.

In 1863—my memoranda are lost—I was sent for to visit a prisoner in solitary confinement named Webster, who was about to be tried by court-martial as a spy. He was quite reticent as to his antecedents until after the trial, which resulted in a death sentence. Then he talked with me quite freely about his career. He had been recognized by some of the guards as having been an enlisted Confederate soldier at Island No.10, on the Mississippi river, which had been captured in April, 1862. He acknowledged, what had clearly been proven on the trial, that he had enlisted in a Confederate regiment for the purpose of examining and reporting the state of the defences on Island No. [90] 10. He had secretly made full drawings of the fortifications and forwarded them, or by escaping carried them to the Federal leaders. He was a well-educated, athletic, handsome young man, and was said to have been a nephew or relative of John Brown. On the morning appointed for his execution I visited him early, and, after conversing and praying with him, proposed to introduce one of the United States chaplains, of whom several were then in Libby prison, to be with him in his last hours. I obtained permission and authority from General Winder and brought to his cell one of those chaplains. I remained in the hall to bid him farewell, and when I took his hand he said to me: ‘You have been very kind to me, and I thank you for it. I have only one more request to make of any man on earth, and that is that you will go with me, pray for me at the scaffold, and stay with me to the last.’ I was surprised and very reluctant to witness a scene so horrible, but of course could not refuse the wish of a dying man. The Federal chaplain was returned to his quarters, and I rode with him in a carriage to the Fair Grounds, the place of execution. He talked with me quite calmly, charged me with some messages to his family, begged me to accept a ring which he took from his finger; said he did not feel as though he was to be executed for any mean or disgraceful crime; that he was trying to serve his country at the suggestion of his officers, and knew well the danger to which he had exposed himself, and was prepared to meet it. He was as brave a man as I ever met, and with perfect self-possession mounted the scaffold, and, glancing at the rope and the distance to the ground, quietly said to the marshal, who was fastening the cord to the cross-beam: ‘Please make the fall longer!’ I trembled more than he did, and so did many brave hearts among his guards when the drop fell.

These are a few of the memories photographed upon my brain in connection with my experiences in Libby Prison which will obtrude themselves, unwelcome as nightmare visions, in some of my brooding hours.

And now fresh from Thanksgiving festivities, can we not all join hearts in the poet's benignant invocation:

Blow, bugles of battle, the marches of peace;
     East, West, North and South let the long quarrel cease;
Sing the song of great joy that the angels began;
     Sing of glory to God and of good will to man!
Hark! joining in chorus,
     The heavens bend o'er us!
The dark night is ending and dawn has begun.

[91] [After concluding his paper Dr. Burrows stated that a clipping from a newspaper had been sent to him after he had prepared his paper, giving an incident of considerable interest, which he desired to read to the meeting, and on being informed by the President that the meeting would be pleased to hear it, he read the following extract from a letter written by M. Quad in the Detroit Free Press of a recent date]:

One of the occupants of the Castle, in the winter of 1864-5, was a Federal named James Hancock, claiming to be a scout attached to Grant's army. He was captured under circumstances which seemed to prove him a spy, and while waiting for his case to be investigated he was sent to Castle Thunder. Hancock was a jolly, rollicking fellow, having wonderful facial expression and great powers of mimicry. One evening, while singing a song for the amusement of his fellow-prisoners, he suddenly stopped, threw up his hands, staggered, and fell like a bag of sand to the floor. There was great confusion at once, and as some of the men inspected the body and pronounced it without life, the guards were notified of what had occurred. The post surgeon was called in to see whether it was a faint or a case of sudden death. He had just come in from a long, cold ride, and his examination was a hasty one.

“Dead as a door-nail!” he said, as he rose up, and in the course of twenty minutes the body was deposited in a wagon and started for the hospital, to be there laid in a cheap coffin and forwarded to the burying place. When the driver reached the end of the journey he was gone! There was no tail-board to his vehicle, and thinking he might have jolted the body out on the way, he drove back and made inquiry of several persons if they had seen a lost corpse anywhere.

Hancock's “sudden death” was a part of his plan to escape. While he had great nerve and an iron will, he could not have passed the surgeon under favorable circumstances. On the way to the hospital he dropped out of the wagon and joined the pedestrians on the walk. When the driver returned to the Castle, and told his story, a detail of men was at once sent out to capture the tricky prisoner, and the alarm was given all over Richmond. To leave the city was to be picked up by a patrol; to remain was to be hunted down.

Hancock had money sewed in the lining of his vest, and he walked straight to the best hotel, registered himself as from Georgia, and put in a good night's sleep. In the morning he procured a change of clothing, and sauntered around with the greatest unconcern, carrying the idea to some that he was in Richmond on a Government [92] contract, and to others that he was in the secret service of the Confederacy. Shortly after dinner he was arrested on Main street by a squad of provost troops, who had his description to a dot. But, lo! no sooner had they put hands on him than the prisoner was seen to be cross-eyed, and to have his mouth drawn to one side. The men were bewildered, and Hancock was feeling “for letters to prove his identity,” when the hotel clerk happened to pass, and at once secured his liberty.

Four days after his escape from the Castle the scout found himself without funds, and while in the corridor of the post-office he was again arrested. This time he drew his mouth to the right, brought a squint to his left eye and pretended to be very deaf. He was, however, taken to the Castle, and there a wonderful thing occurred. Guards who knew Hancock's face perfectly well, were so confused by his squint that no man dared give a certain answer. Prisoners who had been with him for four months were equally at fault, and it was finally decided to lock him up and investigate his references. For seven long days the scout kept his squint, and then he got tired of it and resumed his accustomed phiz. The minute he did this he was recognized by everybody, and the Confederates admired his nerve and perseverance fully as much as did his fellow-prisoners. The close of the war gave him his liberty with the rest, but ten days longer would have seen him shot as a spy.

Reminiscences of Floyd's operations in West Virginia in 1861.

By Dr. Thomas J. Riddle, Private in the Goochland Artillery.
As drops compose the mighty ocean, so the aggregation of isolated facts make up correct history for future research. This must be my apology for presenting this paper to public notice. Though a youth of sixteen summers, when the tocsin of war sounded I entered the service of my native State, Virginia. On the 25th of August, 1861, my company, Guy's battery, consisting of upwards of one hundred men and four pieces of artillery, were ordered to join General J. B. Floyd's command in Southwest Virginia as soon as practicable. We took the Central cars (now the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway), and were conveyed to its terminus at Jackson river by the next evening. Here we encamped that night. The next morning we commenced our line of march by Covington, the White Sulphur Springs, Lewisburg, [93] Meadow Bluff, and across the Big Sewel Mountain, thence to Carnifax Ferry, where we joined General Floyd's brigade, about the 8th of September, just a few days before the Battle of Carnifax Ferry. General Floyd anticipated an engagement with the enemy at an early day. Consequently he wanted reinforcements as soon as possible, and we lost no time in reaching his command.

As my company had never had the privilege of participating in battle, they were enthusiastic and very eager for the conflict. Upon forming Floyd's brigade, our battery was at once placed in position, and temporary breastworks erected, which occupied a prominent place, commanding an open field for about a mile direct, and half mile probably in width, with woods on both our right and left flanks. To make an attack upon us, the enemy had to come directly through this open field. In a day or two, however, September 10th, about 2 P. M., our videts were driven in hurriedly, and the enemy at once made his appearance in full force. My company had now prepared for action in reality, ready to give the enemy a warm reception. It is proper to state just here, that Floyd's command did not exceed nineteen hundred available men. It consisted of Guy's battery, four pieces, Jackson's battery, two pieces, all six-pounders, a few cavalry companies, and the remainder of infantry.

The enemy came bravely forward, and the battle raged furiously from 2 1/2 o'clock, P. M., until darkness caused a cessation of hostilities, which was, doubtless, agreeable and acceptable to both parties.

The enemy fought with undaunted courage and bravery, making successive charges on our works.

In the engagement Colonel Lytle (afterwards a Major-General), who commanded an Ohio regiment, led the first charges. (He was killed subsequently in the battle, I think, of Chickamauga, Tenn.) This brave officer was seriously wounded while leading a charge on us. His fine black stud came over our works with part of the Colonel's equipments, with a mortal wound in his chest, which rendered him worthless. During the battle, General Floyd, who was just in the rear of my battery, received a slight flesh wound in one of his arms.

The enemy's loss in this engagement was considered heavy. In the charges on our battery their loss must necessarily have been great. Double the quantity of grape and canister were thrown into their ranks with fearful results—avenues were made through their ranks at times, yet they for awhile continued to close ranks, and forward, to meet shell and shot, until, doubtless, they were convinced that it was a useless sacrifice of life to persist in the assault. [94]

In this battle our loss was comparatively small, which was due, in a great measure, to our respective positions on the field, our position being the most advantageous one of the two. While we had the advantage in position, yet we labored under the disadvantage in numbers. It was estimated that the enemy had upwards of five thousand men on the field under General Rosecrans, while our command did not exceed nineteen hundred men, as above stated. That night, after the battle was over, about 12 o'clock, owing to our small force, and the reported reinforcements of the enemy, General Floyd very wisely ordered a retreat as quietly as possible. Many of us were asleep behind our breastworks when the evacuation was ordered, broken down from fatigue and excitement, and nothing disturbed our slumber save the groans of the wounded, not far from our fortifications, until an officer of the guard awoke us, saying that we had orders to evacuate our position as soon as possible. Orders were obeyed accordingly as with as little difficulty as could be expected under the circumstances.

Fortunately for us a bridge had just been completed across Gauley river that evening, upon which we passed over successfully to the opposite side. Carnifax Ferry is about one and a half miles from the battle ground, and to reach that point a very rugged and rough road has to be traveled (and especially in the dark as we did), winding as it does on the mountain, and should you go too far to the right or left as it might be, you would in all probability be precipitated hundreds of feet.

The retreat was considered one of the most remarkable of the war; in coming down this dangerous road to the ferry that dark night, we only lost one caison, besides a good deal of baggage, which went over a precipice. It was conceded by the command that had it not been for ‘Guy's’ battery, Floyd's brigade would have been captured at the battle of Carnifax Ferry; and General Floyd recognized this fact, and expressed himself as grateful to us for his brigade's successful escape on that memorable occasion.

On the next morning just about sunrise the enemy commenced shelling our breastworks actively—not knowing we had abandoned our position about twelve o'clock that night, and that we were several miles on the other side of the river. After cannonading for several hours, and receiving no response, the works were at once taken possession of, although they did not pursue us further than the river. After marching several miles, we met General H. A. Wise's Legion, on their way to reinforce General Floyd's command. So [95] quietly and expeditiously was this retreat conducted that General Wise's command did not seem to know anything about it until that morning. Both commands now took up a line of march for ‘Dogwood Gap,’ not many miles distant—we arrived at this place the next day. After remaining here two days, about twelve o'clock at night, the long roll sounded, and we were ordered to strike tents at once, and prepare to fall back, as it was reported that General Cox, with a large force, was rapidly advancing upon us; we lost no time in executing these orders, and were soon on the march. Floyd's command fell back to ‘Meadow Bluff,’ which consumed several days. Here we encamped for about two weeks. General Wise's brigade fell back to Little Sewel Mountain—the General fortified his position, and said that he ‘would remain there until that hot place froze over.’ In a short while General Rosencrans, with his command of Federal troops came up and took their position, on Big Sewel Mountain, only a few miles from General Wise's position, all in sight.

About the 1st of October, General Floyd was ordered to reinforce General Wise at Little Sewel. These orders were executed in a few days. My command encamped at the eastern base of Little Sewel in anticipation daily of an engagement with the enemy. We remained here nearly two weeks. On a bright October morning, while walking down the mountain slope, I met a Confederate officer, who attracted my attention very much by his personal appearance. He was a noble looking soldier, had the eye of an eagle; he was riding a fine gray steed, and there was something about this officer that challenged my admiration and esteem. He rode up and spoke to me, and asked me where was General Wise's brigade. I informed him; he thanked me and rode in the direction I had given him. Upon meeting one of my officers I asked who was that noble looking officer just passed our camp; he replied that it was General Robert E. Lee, who at that time was little known to the Confederacy, but was destined to become one of the greatest captains the world ever saw, and whose name will ever live upon the brightest page of the historian. After remaining at Little Sewell mountain upwards of two weeks, General Lee made preparations to attack General Rosecrans; contrary, doubtless, to General Lee's expectations, on the morning the attack was to be made, General Rosecrans had very quietly evacuated Big Sewell, and only left a few broken down horses and wagons, and a few tents pitched to make it appear that he still occupied his position. This was considered a very ingenious piece of strategy, as General Lee was much disappointed when he found [96] that General Rosecrans had so quietly and adroitly eluded him on the previous night.

In a day or two after this occurrence General Floyd's command was ordered to Cotton Mountain, probably a hundred miles distant. Floyd's command was now reinforced, and consisted of the following troops: Twenty-first Virginia regiment, Thirty-sixth Virginia regiment, Forty-fifth Virginia regiment, Fiftieth Virginia regiment, and Fifty-first Virginia regiment; the Thirteenth Georgia, Georgia battalion of cavalry, Twentieth Mississippi regiment, a company of Louisiana sharpshooters, Captain John H. Guy's artillery company, and Captains Jackson's and Adams's batteries, and a few cavalry companies. From Little Sewell to Cotton Mountain we had to march through a very rugged section of country, and were compelled to take a very circuitous route in order to reach this place. It was with great difficulty that we succeeded in conveying our cannon up and over some of the mountains we had to cross. Our horses being in such a weakened condition, we had to hitch twelve to one piece of cannon and put our shoulders to the wheels. However, we reached Cotton Mountain after no little trouble, and went into camp near its southern base.

A few days after remaining here it was reported that the enemy would attempt to cross New river on a certain morning. Two pieces of artillery from my battery were placed in position on a road leading from the ferry, about two hundred yards distant; but the enemy did not attempt to cross; their pickets fired into us, though did no damage. In a day or two General Floyd ordered a piece of cannon from my battery to be placed upon the summit of Cotton Mountain and to shell the enemy on the opposite side of the river, as he could be seen distinctly in the vicinity of Colonel Tompkins's residence. It was with great difficulty that we succeeded in conveying the cannon on the top of this mountain, which was accomplished by means of ropes, bushes, &c.

After placing our piece in position, we opened fire on the enemy, and a response was soon received. An artillery duel was kept up ten days, with little damage to either side, the distance was too great to do much execution, though the enemy was very much interfered with in consequence of transporting supplies down the river at times, when we would give them a few shells from above.

My command remained in this section of country nearly three weeks, the latter part of which time we had cold, rainy weather, being without tents, and nearly out of rations, save raw beef, and [97] flour without salt to season, and only an improvised piece of board to prepare these supplies on for our palates. The Confederacy was not destitute of provisions at this time, but my command was upwards of one hundred miles from any depot, the nearest was Dublin, Va., and the roads were almost impassable; consequently transportation was well nigh impossible—I mean a sufficient supply for three or four thousand men. Our troops suffered a great deal from sickness, which was due to inadequate diet and exposure. General Floyd, under these unpropitious circumstances, was necessarily compelled to fall back where supplies were more accessible, though possibly he left sooner than he had anticipated, owing to an authentic report that a large force of Federal troops were attempting to cut him off and surround him; this was about the middle of November. We began to fall back as rapidly as possible, leaving one evening and marching some ten or twelve miles before stopping.

After passing a mile beyond Nicholas Courthouse we went into camp.. This was about 12 o'clock at night. At 4 o'clock the next morning we resumed our march, and made fifteen or twenty miles that day, and encamped about one mile this side of McCoy's Mill in an open field. It is believed that if General Floyd's command had been an hour later in leaving camp near Nicholas Courthouse his forces would have been cut off, as the enemy, in full force, soon came in the vicinity of the Courthouse just after Floyd left. It was said that the General commanding the Federal forces was much surprised and disappointed in not capturing Floyd and his command, and was astonished at the successful retreat of his enemy.

We were pursued by the Federals slowly; and on leaving our camp near McCoy's Mill on the morning of the third day the enemy arrived within a short distance of us, and opened fire on us with artillery. This was very unexpected by most of us. However, we at once placed a piece of cannon in position and returned the fire. There was considerable excitement and confusion at this particular time. Colonel Chrowe, of the Georgia Battalion of Cavalry, had an engagement with the enemy near McCoy's Mill, in a skirt of woods. In this fight the Colonel was killed. This little skirmish only lasted an hour or two, resulting in very small loss on either side.

General Floyd continued his march to Raleigh Courthouse, which consumed some two or three days. It was raining the whole time, and the roads were in a terrible condition. The command suffered severely. A few horses and wagons were lost on the retreat, as it [98] was impossible to bring them with us. Of course they were so disabled to render them useless to any one.

The enemy followed us a short distance from McCoy's Mill. Floyd continued to fall back several miles the other side of Raleigh Courthouse, just beyond a considerable creek which rose in winter to a great extent. Here we rested a few days, then resumed our line of march to Peterstown, not far from the Gray Sulphur Springs, at which place we expected to go into winter-quarters and recuperate for the spring campaign. We at once begun to erect our quarters, though in a few days orders came for the command to go to Dublin, Pulaski county, Va. The men were much elated on receiving such welcome tidings. They certainly had been for several months in the most rugged and seemingly forsaken section of country that I ever saw.

We had suffered both for food and raiment; the latter part of November was very bad on us, it rained, snowed and froze the most of the time.

About the 5th of December, 1861, my command proceeded to Dublin depot, and reached our destination on the 9th inst. In a short while, however, orders were received for General Floyd and his brigade to report to General Albert Sidney Johnston, whose command was then in the vicinity of Bowling Green, Ky.

On the 26th day of December, my company of artillery left on the Virginia and Tennessee railroad, en route for General Johnston's army.

Thus ends a brief history of my experience in the campaign of 1861, in Southwestern Virginia, under General Jno. B. Floyd's command.

Confederate Artillery service.

By Gen. E. P. Alexander, late Chief of Artillery of Longstreet's Corps.
[The following interesting and valuable paper was written in 1866 as an appendix to a proposed history of Longstreet's corps by its able and accomplished Chief of Artillery.]

As the Confederate artillery labored throughout the war under disadvantages which have scarcely been known outside of its own ranks, and which can hardly be fully appreciated except by those who have served with that arm, I have thought it better to give in this form a connected account of the difficulties encountered, and the gradual improvements made in this branch of the service. [99]

The drawbacks upon its efficiency at the beginning of the war were very serious, and came both from its organization and from its equipment. The faults of its organization were recognized, and gradually overcome, within eighteen months. The deficiencies of equipment, the result of causes many of which were beyond control, continued with but partial mitigation to the end of the war. The batteries were generally composed of but four guns, which is not an economical arrangement; but as no objection was made to it, either at army headquarters or at the War Department, and as the scarcity both of horses and ordnance equipment made it difficult to get, and more so to maintain a six-gun battery, it resulted in that few six-gun batteries were put in the field, and nearly every one of these was eventually reduced to four guns.

During the first year of the war each brigade of infantry had a battery attached, which was under the orders of the brigadecom-mander; while the remaining batteries with the army were organized into one or more regiments, or battalions, under the command of the Chief of Artillery on the staff of the Commanding General.

The infantry at this period was organized in divisions, the commanding officer of which each had, or was supposed to have, on his staff a Chief of Artillery, who was to exercise a general supervision over the brigade-batteries of the division.

This organization was very inefficient, for the following reasons. The brigade-batteries depended for their rations, forage, and all supplies, upon the brigade-staff, and received from brigadehead-quarters all orders, and thus acquired an independence of the division Chief of Artillery, which was often fostered by the Brigadier-Generals resenting any interference with parts of their commands by junior officers, and took from the Chiefs of Artillery the feeling of entire responsibility which every officer should feel for the condition and action of his command. In action the Brigadier could not give proper supervision both to his infantry and artillery; and the Chief of Artillery with the best intentions could himself manage the batteries but inefficiently, as they were so scattered in position along the line of battle. Now it is well known that, for artillery to produce its legitimate effects, its fire should be concentrated; and it is plain that under the above organization there could be but little concentration of batteries, except by bringing in the general reserve, which was commanded by the Chief of Artillery of the army. This body, however, not being in intimate relations with the infantry, who always develop the situation, and being invariably put on the march [100] either behind the infantry commands or on some road to itself, was never promptly available on an emergency. Indeed, if the history of the general reserve artillery during its entire existence be investigated, it will be found that although excellent in material, and comparatively so in equipment, the service that it rendered was greatly disproportionate to its strength. It resulted, therefore, that although the numerical strength of the Confederate artillery was as great in the first year of the war as ever afterwards, its weight in the scale of actual conflict is never seen to affect the result, until the second battle of Manassas. For instance, during the Seven Days battles around Richmond, General Lee's artillery numbered about three hundred guns (nearly four guns to every thousand men), ninety-eight of these being in the general reserve; but in the history of the fighting this powerful organization has only left the faintest traces of its existence. Now the wretched character of the ammunition which filled its chests may well be charged with many of its shortcomings; but an examination of the official reports of the battles will show, that scattered, and either uncommanded or too much commanded, as it was, there was an entire absence of that ensemble of action necessary to the efficiency of all arms, but peculiarly so to the artillery; and that when fought at all, it was put in only in inefficient driblets. I select two or three examples where the most important consequences were involved.

On the morning of the 30th of June, 1862, General Jackson, leading four divisions in pursuit, struck the enemy's rear-guard at White Oak Swamp about 9.30 A. M., and decided to force the crossing with artillery. It was 1.45 P. M. before twenty-eight guns could be concentrated and opened.12 The only battery of the enemy in sight was at once driven off, but in a short while eighteen guns were opened in reply from behind a wood, and a brisk contest was maintained until dark, when the enemy withdrew, having kept Jackson's whole force out of the critical action fought by Longstreet and A. P. Hill late in the afternoon at Frazier's Farm. The superior ammunition and guns of the enemy made this contest about an equal one; but even had the Confederate equipment fully equalled the Federal, the odds were by no means sufficient to warrant the expectation of any very speedy and decisive result. At one thousand yards' range, a well-manned artillery can hold its ground for a long time against double its force [101] of ordinary field-guns, especially if the ground affords the least cover. In this case the distance was fully a thousand yards, and a very dense wood entirely concealed each party from the other's view. All the firing was therefore at random, and the damage sustained was trifling on each side, if we except the disabling of one gun in the Federal battery exposed to view at the commencement of the affair. If it was deemed impossible to use the infantry to force a crossing, at least seventy-five guns (that number might have easily been had) should have been crowded in the Confederate line to hope to accomplish anything by such a random fire.

At the same time that this affair was going on, General Huger's division, numbering about eleven thousand muskets, and accompanied by thirty-seven guns, while pressing down the Charles City road was checked about two miles from Frazier's Farm, where Longstreet and Hill were already engaged, by a ‘powerful battery of rifled guns’ posted on high open ground. General Huger says, ‘General Mahone advanced a battery of artillery (Moorman's), and a sharp artillery fire was kept up for some time. The enemy's fire was very severe, and we had many men killed and wounded.’ General Mahone says, ‘Two pieces of Moorman's battery were put in position and opened fire on his position, which was returned by the enemy with energy and effect.’ The contrast between the results accomplished by the artillery forces of the two armies is very striking in these two instances, and is even more so in the battle of Malvern Hill, which, it is well known, was decided by the powerful artillery concentrated by the enemy. General Lee had designed that a very heavy artillery fire should precede the infantry attack, and ample time (from 10 A. M. to 5 P. M.) had been allowed for all dispositions to be made. The execution of this design is best described by General D. H. Hill in his official report: ‘Instead of ordering up one or two hundred pieces of artillery to play on the Yankees, a single battery (Moorman's) was ordered up and knocked to pieces in a few moments. One or two others shared the same fate of being beaten in detail. Not knowing how to act under these circumstances, I wrote to General Jackson that the firing from our batteries was of the most farcical character.’

The serious defects of the artillery organization were, however, not entirely unappreciated, even before the experience of the Seven Days. On the 22nd of June, General Lee had issued an order which would have materially improved its condition, had there been time for its operation to become effective. It did not do away with the institution [102] of the brigade-batteries, but its tendency was encouraging, toward the formation of one battalion of the artillery in each division, by imposing specific duties and responsibilities on the Chiefs of Artillery of the divisions, who before existed and acted only at the discretion of their division-commanders, and were often charged with the additional duties of chief of ordnance. Under the influence of this order and the experience of the battles, the brigade-batteries, though not abolished by order, were during the summer gradually absorbed into division-battalions, numbering from three to six batteries each, and commanded by the division Chief. These battalions first appeared on the field as such at Second Manassas, and the service rendered by them there is notorious. They were no less efficient at Sharpsburg and Fredericksburg, and the utility of the organization being now proven, it was no longer left to division-commanders to effect, (in some divisions it had even yet been but partially done, owing to a lack of field-officers of artillery,) but it was formally adopted by order, and general orders from the War Department directed a similar organization in all the armies of the Confederacy.13 General Lee's order effecting this organization was issued on the 15th of February, 1863. It divided the artillery of each of his two army corps into six battalions, all of which were to be entirely under the command of the Chief of Artillery of the corps, and the whole force to be superintended by and to report to the Chief of Artillery of the army, who also personally commanded a small reserve of two battalions. In the Second Corps four of these battalions numbered four batteries each, one numbered five, and one six. In the First Corps five battalions numbered four batteries each, and one six. The two battalions of the general reserve numbered three each. This organization was well tested in the battle of Chancellorsville, where, in spite of the difficulties of the Wilderness, the cooperation of the artillery with the infantry was never excelled in promptness and vigor. When the Third Army Corps (A. P. Hill's) was formed, in June, 1863, the general reserve was broken up, and its two battalions, with one from each of the other corps and a newly organized battalion, were transferred to it, so that at the commencement of the Gettysburg campaign each [103] of the three corps (composed of three divisions of infantry each) had with it five battalions of artillery, averaging eighteen guns each.14 In the Second and Third Corps a Chief of Artillery was appointed at once to the exclusive command of the whole force, but in the First Corps no regular appointment of a Chief was made until the spring of 1864, the ranking battalion-commander present, meanwhile, bearing the title and assuming the office responsibilities of the entire command.

This organization was maintained until the close of the war, and fuller experience with it only developed its merits and suggested no practical improvements. A theoretical drawback, perhaps, existed in the fact that the Chief of Artillery of each corps really had two independent commanders, namely, his corps commander and the Army Chief of Artillery, between whom their might arise conflict of orders. The objection would be very material if the Chief of Artillery should be considered like the Chief of Cavalry as the actual commander of that arm; but it vanishes when he is regarded simply as a staff-officer of the Commanding General's, charged with the supervision of that rather peculiar branch of the service, and only giving orders through the corps commander, except in matters of mere routine and report. The original orders directing the organization were not explicit upon this point, but common-sense and circumstances soon gave the proper turn to the matter, and not the slightest discord ever occurred.

When first organized, the battalion suffered for lack of field and staff-officers, owing to the fact that they were not organizations authorized by law, and consequently no appointments could be made for them. Field-officers of artillery were indeed authorized by Congress at the rate of a Brigadier-General to every eighty guns, a Colonel to every forty, a Lieutenant-Colonel to every twenty-five, and a Major to every twelve, which should have amply supplied officers of these grades. The promotions, however, were either never made in full, or else the officers appointed were sent to other duties, for during the whole of 1863 the majority of the battalions had but one field-officer, which was often insufficient. The staff-officers for the battalions, and for the Chiefs of Artillery, were provided generally by details from the batteries, which, though somewhat detrimental to the latter, operated well enough, except for quarter-master and commissary duties, for which bonded officers of these departments are absolutely required. [104] Supernumerary officers of these and the medical departments were, however, gradually collected, and the battalions being then organized and supplied exactly as regiments, everything worked smoothly. It was at one time attempted to furnish all quarter-master, commissary and ordnance supplies through officers of these departments attached to the staff of the Chief of Artillery of the army, but the system was found so inconvenient that it was soon abandoned, and these supplies were drawn through the same channels by which the infantry of each corps were supplied. Each battalion organized from the united resources of its batteries a ‘forge train,’ under control of the ordnance officer, which was ample for all blacksmithing and harness repairs, and more economical and efficient than when each battery had to depend only on itself. No ordnance-wagons accompanied the battalions, the total supply of reserve ammunition being concentrated into one train under the ordnance-officer on the staff of the Chief of Artillery of the corps. These trains never exceeded one wagon to three guns, which was sufficient when within a day's march of a depot of supplies, but compelled the greatest saving in the use of ammunition when on active campaigns. Indeed, the limited resources of the Confederacy, the scarcity of skilled workmen and workshops, and the enormous consumption, kept the supply of ammunition always low. The Ordnance Department in Richmond were never able to accumulate any reserve worth mentioning even in the intervals between campaigns, and during active operations the Army of Northern Virginia lived, as it were, from hand to mouth. The great majority of the batteries took the field without having ever fired a round in practice, and passed through the war without aiming a gun at any target but the enemy. The order ‘save your ammunition’ was reiterated on every battle-field, and many an awful pounding had to be borne in silence from the Yankee guns, while every shot was reserved for their infantry.

The scarcity of ammunition was, however, the least difficulty connected with it, for its quality was the greatest incubus under which the artillery labored. When the war commenced a small amount of smooth-bore ammunition was on hand in the Southern arsenals, which was of good quality, and was used in the early affairs and issued to the batteries first put in the field. This ammunition was all put up with the Bormann fuse, and this fuse being adopted by the Confederate Ordnance Department, a factory was established for its manufacture. Large quantities of ammunition fitted with these fuses were sent to the field in the summer of 1861, and complaints of its bad [105] quality were immediately made. Careful test being made of it, it was found that fully four-fifths of the shell exploded prematurely, and very many of them in the gun. The machinery for their manufacture was overhauled, and a fresh supply made and sent to the field, where the old ones were removed and the new were substituted, but no improvements was discernable. The trouble was found to be in the hermetical sealing of the under-side of the horse-shoe channel containing the fuse composition. Although this was seemingly accomplished at the factory, the shock of the discharge would unseat the horse-shoe-shaped plug which closed this channel, and allow the flame from the composition to reach the charge of the shell without burning around to the magazine of the fuse. Attempts were made to correct the evil by the use of white-lead, putty and leather under the fuse, and in the winter of 1861 these correctives were applied to every shell in the army with partial but not universal success. Repeated attempts were made to improve the manufacture, but they accomplished nothing, and until after the battle of Chancellorsville the Bormann fuse continued in use, and premature explosions of shell were so frequent that the artillery could only be used over the heads of the infantry with such danger and demoralization to the latter that it was seldom attempted. Earnest requests were made of the Ordnance Department to substitute for the Bormann fuse, the common paper-fuses, to be cut to the required length and fixed on the field, as being not only more economical and more certain, but. as allowing, what is often very desirable, a greater range than five seconds, which is the limit of the Bormann fuse. These requests, repeated and urged in January, 1863, on the strength of casualties occurring from our own guns among the infantry in front during the battle of Fredericksburg, were at length successful in accomplishing the substitution. The ammunition already on hand, however, had to be used up, and its imperfections affected the fire even as late as Gettysburg. The paper-fuse was found to answer much better, and no further complaints of ammunition came from the smooth-bores.

The difficulties which beset the rifled guns and their ammunition were, however, even greater than those under which the smooth-bores suffered so long, and they were never so nearly solved. With the exception of a single battery of six ten-pounder Parrott rifles and one or two imported Blakely guns, the Confederates possessed no rifled field-pieces at the commencement of the war. Several foundries, however, undertook their manufacture at an early day, under the direction of the Ordnance Departments of Confederate or State governments, [106] and soon turned out a number, generally of three inches calibre, and with five or seven grooves. They were all adapted to the same ammunition, but were not of uniform length or shape, and varied in weight from a thousand to twelve hundred pounds. Several of these guns were used at the first battle of Manassas, and three of them were engaged in the first ‘artillery duel’ at Blackburn's Ford on the 18th of July, 1861. The projectiles furnished for them at that time were of two kinds, known as the Burton and the Archer, both of which were expected to receive the rotary motion from a leaden ring or sabot which the discharge forced into the grooves. They differed about two pounds in weight, and the charges for them differed three ounces; but as the latter could not be easily distinguished from each other, they were used indiscriminately. In the excitement of the battle these projectiles were supposed to possess superior accuracy and effect to the Parrott projectiles used by the enemy, and very favorable reports were made of them, and their manufacture was increased. It was some months before cooler occasions exposed the error and the utter worthlessness of the projectiles. They never took the grooves, and consequently their range was less than that of the smooth-bores, their inaccuracy was excessive; and in addition to this not one shell in twenty exploded. Their manufacture was discontinued early in 1862, and a new projectile, having a saucer-shaped copper sabot attached by bolts after the shell was cast, was substituted for it.15 This shell was a slight improvement on Burton's and Archer's, as it sometimes took the grooves and then its flight was excellent. It failed, however, about three times out of four from breaking its connection with the copper sabot, and it very frequently exploded in the gun; while of those which flew correctly, not one-fourth exploded at all. It may readily be imagined that practice with them was very uncertain, even at a fixed target whose distance was known. Against an enemy in the field it was of little [107] real value. Attempts were made to insure the ignition of the fuse by filing notches in the copper sabot to allow the flame of the discharge to pass, but they did not succeed. This was the condition of the three-inch rifled guns during the whole of 1862, and these projectiles were used also in the beautiful United States ‘three-inch Ordnance Rifles,’ of which about forty were captured during the year. In 1863 several improvements were attempted in the method of attaching the copper to the shell, and the saucer-shaped sabot was finally exchanged for a band or ring of copper, cast around the base of the shell, which form was continued until the close of the war. It considerably resembled the heavy Parrott projectiles, and was the best field rifle-shell the Confederates ever made, but was always liable to explode in the gun, to ‘tumble,’ or not to explode at all. The last defect was partially corrected by the use of ‘McAvoy's Fuse Igniter,’ a very simple and ingenious little contrivance attached to the fuse when loading, and later by fuses with strands of quickmatch for ‘priming.’ The first two defects were very serious and of very frequent occurrence, not only with the three-inch rifles, but still more so with the Parrott guns. The ‘tumbling’ was due to imperfect connection between the copper ring and the shell, which in its turn was due to the inferior quality of iron necessarily used (the best iron was saved for gun metal), to unskilled workmen, and to the fact that the demand greatly exceeded the supply, and even those which a careful inspection would have condemned were better than none.

The causes of the premature explosions were never fully understood. They were generally attributed to defects in the casting, which either allowed the flame of the discharge to enter the shell, or by weakening the shell caused it to crush under the shock of the discharge and the ‘twist’ given by the grooves of the gun.

As a single illustration of the extent to which these defects of the Parrott projectiles sometimes went: at the siege of Knoxville, Captain Parker's battery of four captured Parrott rifles fired one hundred and twenty shell at the enemy's batteries and pontoon-bridge, of which only two failed to ‘tumble,’ or to burst prematurely. Of the most valuable kind of rifle ammunition, shrapnel, the Confederates made none, on account of the scarcity of lead. Of the next most useful kind, percussion shell, (invaluable for getting the range,) few were to be had until the last year of the war. The fuse then used, Girardey's, was excellent, probably better than any of the enemy's patterns, and it possessed the peculiar excellence of being carried [108] loose in the chest and applied to any shell at the moment it was needed, so that just as many shells could be made ‘percussion’ as the gunner wished. This perfection of the fuse, however, was only reached during the fall of 1864, and before that period the percussionshell had a fuse-plug specially fitted to it at the arsenal, and the supply furnished was very small.

The scarcity and bad quality of our rifle-ammunition gave security to the enemy on many occasions where he could have been seriously annoyed, if not materially damaged. When Bragg invested Chattanooga, in October 1863, the Confederate guns with good ammunition could have reached every foot of Grant's crowded camps, and with an abundance of it could have made them untenable. The effort which was made only showed how much demoralization and harm an effective shelling might have accomplished. In many other instances the Confederate artillery was amiable and forbearing by force of necessity, one illustration of which will be sufficient. At Bermuda Hundreds the enemy erected a signal-tower of open frame-work, about a hundred and twenty feet high, from the top of which the Confederate lines were impudently overlooked. What could be seen from it was very little, and it probably was never the cause of any harm; but as it was only 2,500 yards from Confederate ground, the artillery were very anxious to demolish it, and preparations were made to do so. A thousand rounds of good percussion-shell would doubtless have accomplished it easily, but some experimental firing in preparation for the attempt showed so very great a proportion of defective shell that it was abandoned.

A few of the favorite English rifled guns were brought through the blockade, and used in the Army of Northern Virginia, comprising the Clay, Whitworth, Blakely, and Armstrong shunt-pattern. The Clay gun was a breech-loader, and was called an improvement upon the breech-loading Armstrong, which was manufactured for the English Government only, and could not be obtained. Its grooving and projectiles were very similar to the breech-loading Armstrong, and its breech-loading arrangements appeared simpler and of greater strength. On trial, however, it failed in every particular. Every projectile fired ‘tumbled’ and fell nearer the gun than the target, and at the seventh round the solid breech-piece was cracked through and the gun disabled.

One muzzle-loading six-pounder and six breech-loading twelvepounder Whitworths were distributed through the army, and often rendered valuable service by their great range and accuracy. They [109] fired solid shot almost exclusively; but they were perfectly reliable, and their projectiles never failed to fly in the most beautiful trajectory imaginable. Their breech-loading arrangements, however, often worked with difficulty, and every one of the six was at some time disabled by the breaking of some of its parts, but all were repaired again and kept in service. As a general field-piece its efficiency was impaired by its weight and the very cumbrous English carriage on which it was mounted, and while a few with an army may often be valuable, the United States three-inch rifle is much more generally serviceable with good ammunition. The Blakely guns were twelve-pounder rifles, muzzle-loaders, and fired very well with English ammunition (‘built-up’ shells with leaden bases), but with the Confederate substitute, they experienced the same difficulties which attended this ammunition in all guns The only advantage to be claimed for this gun is its lightness, but this was found to involve the very serious evil that no field-carriage could be made to withstand its recoil. It was continually splitting the trails or racking to pieces its carriages, though made of unusual strength and weight. Of the Armstrong shunt-guns, six were obtained just before the close of the war, and they were never tried in the field. They were muzzleloaders, and nothing could exceed their accuracy and the perfection of the ammunition. Their heavy English carriages were more unwieldy than those of the American rifles, but taking all things into consideration, the guns are probably the most effective field-rifles yet made.

Besides these English rifles, a few captured James rifles (brass sixpounder smooth-bores, grooved to fire the James projectile), and some old iron four-pounders grooved, were tried in the field for a short while, but were found to be very poor, and as a multiplicity of calibres rendered the supplying of ammunition very difficult, they were soon turned in. In fact, the variety of calibres comprised in the artillery was throughout the war a very great inconvenience, and materially affected the efficiency of the ordnance-service both in the quantity of ammunition carried and the facility with which it was supplied. At the commencement of the war this variety was often almost ludicrously illustrated by single batteries of four guns, of four different calibres, and it was only after the battalions were well organized in the winter of 1862 that anything was done to simplify this matter.

The heavy guns which defended the James river against the enemy's fleet were principally the ordinary eight-inch and ten-inch columbiads, [110] and ‘Brooke's rifles’ of six and four-tenths and seven inches calibre. These rifles only needed telescopic sights (which could not be made in the Confederacy) to be perfect arms of their class, their trajectories being more uniform than the sighting of the guns could be made by the eye. In addition to these rifles Captain Brooke also furnished some heavily banded smooth-bores of ten and eleven inches calibre, to fire wrought iron balls with very high charges against the ironclads, which would doubtless have been extremely effective at short ranges.

On several occasions during 1863 and 1864 where mortar-fire was desirable in the field, the twelve and twenty-four pounder howitzers were used for the purpose very successfully, by sinking the trails in trenches to give the elevation, while the axles were run up on inclined skids a few inches to lift the wheels from the ground and lessen the strain of the recoil. The skids would not be necessary where the desired range is not great. During the siege of Petersburg a number of iron twelve and twenty-four pounder Coehorn mortars were made and rendered excellent service. Wooden mortars were also made and tried for short ranges, but even when they did not split, the ranges were so irregular that they could not be made useful.

In the location of batteries to defend lines of intrenchment, the campaign of 1864 gave the Confederate artillerists and engineers much experience, and a few of the deductions therefrom may not be out of place.

Embrasures for the protection of the guns and men became unpopular, and were considered very objectionable, except for the rare cases where guns are to be reserved entirely for a flank defence of important points. The objections to them are that they restrict the field of fire, and thus render it difficult to conform the defence to unforeseen attacks. They are liable to be choked by the enemy's shot, and can only be repaired with much exposure of the men, and they do not accomplish their intended object, the protection of the men and guns. Sharpshooters' balls coming obliquely through the embrasures, or glancing off the gun or carriage, and artillery projectiles piercing the angles of the cheeks, make the limits of the dangerous space in rear of the embrasures very vague, and men are often unnecessarily exposed and hit without being aware of their danger. The barbette-gun not only has a greater field of view, but is more rapidly made ready, can be concealed from view until wanted, can only be silenced by being hit, offers a less conspicuous mark than an embrasure, and can be worked with less exposure of the artillerists. [111] To accomplish this, trenches were dug in front of the gun and on each side about a yard from the wheels, in which the artillerists stood while loading and manoeuvring the gun, their heads being below the parapet, and only the hands of those ramming being exposed. The dangerous space was well defined and easy to be avoided, and only the head of the gunner while in the act of aiming was at all endangered. Mantlets for the gunners' protection while aiming were proposed, and some were constructed of thick oak-plank to rest upon the axles and trunnions, and they were used to some extent. The material of which they were composed, however, prevented their general adoption; for wooden mantlets would cause the explosion of a percussion-shell if struck by one, and would themselves make dangerous splinters. Barbette-guns are easily withdrawn from the enemy's view and fire, and yet kept ready for instant use.

Magazines were seldom built except where the guns were exposed to a mortar-fire; dismounted limber-chests covered with tarpaulins being used instead without disadvantage. A very important adjunct to each battery was found to be a ‘look out’ upon each flank. The ‘looking out’ is the most important part of the battery service, not only that no time may be lost on any appearance of the enemy, but that the aiming of the gunners may be superintended and corrected; and to insure its being well done it should be made as safe as possible.

Except in the siege of Petersburg the Army of Northern Virginia seldom built second lines of intrenchments in rear of the first; not from any doubt of their value, but because they rarely had the force to spare from the front line. Even when the second line at Petersburg was built it was principally intended as a means of covered communication which could not be otherwise obtained, and in was only occupied by a few guns in rear of the most exposed points of the first line, which were designed to check the enemy should he penetrate them. Where the ammunition is safe to be fired over the heads of the first line, it would doubtless be an excellent plan to put all of the rifled guns in detached batteries in rear of exposed points, where they would have an excellent effect in checking an enemy who should penetrate and either seek to advance or sweep down the lines. An instance of the effect of such batteries may be found in the battle of the Crater, at Petersburg, July 30th 1864, which is indeed about the only case where the Confederate lines ever had even detached batteries in rear of a point gotten possession of by the enemy. Flanner's battery in the Jerusalem plankroad five hundred yards directly in rear of the Crater, and Wright's, [112] about the same distance towards the left, checked every effort of the enemy to advance upon Cemetery Hill according to his programme, or to move down the lines on either side of the Crater for some hours, and until an infantry force was collected to retake it. Each battery took in flank any advance upon the other, and the enemy was kept under shelter of the earth thrown up by the explosion. A somewhat similar position of batteries first checked the Yankee advance after the capture of Fort Harrison, Sept. 29th, 1864, and the Confederate assault on Fort Steadman on the 25th of March 1865 was discomfitted in the same way. Indeed the Federal intrenchments very frequently comprised a second line of redoubts, if not of infantry parapet, in rear of the first, and its very moral effect often prevented attempts upon the first which promised well.

Lest some of the statements of this article should be misunderstood to reflect in any way upon the Ordnance Bureau of the War Department, it is but just to close it, not only by disclaiming any such intention, but with the express statement that the energy, enterprise and intelligence which characterized the administration of this bureau were of the highest order, and that the results accomplished by it make a record of which its officers may well be proud. On assuming its duties at the commencement of the war, its admirable chief, General J. Gorgas, might well have hesitated at the task before him. The emergencies and demands of the war were already upon him, and the immense supplies which it became his duty to provide were of a character which the South had neither the factories nor the skilled workmen to produce. With scarcely a single assistant instructed in the peculiar and technical details which are the first elements of an ordnance officer's attainments, and without even an office organization for the transaction of business, the whole machinery of a department was to be organized, which, to illustrate with the history of a single article, should induce the formation of saltpetre from the atmosphere by slow chemical affinities; separate and refine it from impurities by most delicate processes; provide for it, and combine with it sulphur and charcoal in the dangerous operations of the powder manufactory; transport it safely to the arsenal and put it up in safe and convenient cartridges; transport it to the field of battle, and have it at hand where the particular gun to which it is adapted shall receive it ready for use at the moment it is required. And in addition to these operations, the same department, to prevent waste and loss, and to know and anticipate the wants of the army, must institute a system of reports and accounts, which shall not only keep its chief [113] informed of the supplies in the magazine of every gun, and in the cartridge-box of every soldier in the whole Confederacy, but which shall trace every ounce of saltpetre in all of its various shapes, and hold to a rigid accountability every man who handles it from the moment that it is washed from the nitre-bed until its use upon the battle-field. With indefatigable energy General Gorgas formed and put in motion this whole machinery, selecting his important subordinates with such excellent judgment that the efficiency of the ordnance service was not only always equal to the demand upon it, but, in spite of continually increasing demands and decreasing resources, (from the gradual loss of blockade-running facilities and of valuable territory,) and in spite of serious interferences with the skilled labor of the arsenals and workshops by continued conscriptions, its efficiency continually increased, and all of its functions were faithfully performed as long as there was an army to need them. It is true that the Confederate armies were never in condition to use ammunition as lavishly as the enemy frequently did, but the supply never failed to be equal to the actual emergency, and no disaster was ever to be attributed to its scantiness. Wherever insufficiency was apprehended and economy imposed, in fact the scarcity arose far more from the lack of transportation to carry it with the army than from inability of the arsenals to furnish it.

E. P. Alexander.

Sketch of Third battery of Maryland Artillery.

by Captain William L. Ritter.

Paper no. 4.

Thursday evening July 16th, 1863, the Confederate works at Jackson, Mississippi, were abandoned, Lieutenant Ritter's section being the last to leave them. Next day, the 17th, Brandon was reached, and on the 20th Morton. Here the section was paid off, after considerable insistance, not having received any money for a number of months. On the 24th of August the battery was attached to Preston's battalion of reserve artillery, and on the 5th of September, ordered to Demopolis, Alabama, for repairs.

In new uniforms, well dressed, well drilled, and well equipped, on the 12th of October the battery took part in a review had for General Johnston, and was chosen to fire a salute of eleven guns in his honor; [114] as also one afterwards on the 15th, in honor of the arrival of President Davis.

At this place an effort was made to consolidate Moore's and Ritter's sections, but it failed, as the sequel will show. Lieutenant Ritter had now been on detached service for some time, and being anxious to return to his old command, on the 2d August, 1863, he wrote to Brigadier-General A. W. Reynolds, and also to Major-General Carter L. Stevenson, asking their influence to that end. He made an application likewise to General Joseph E. Johnston, sending it through the regular channel. He heard from none of these except the one sent to General Stevenson. That officer approved of the application, and sent it to General Hardee's headquarters in Mississippi, who referred it to General Johnston. General Johnston's Adjutant, thinking the section had accompanied General Walker's division to Chickamauga, sent the application to General Walker for further action. But this not being the case, General Walker endorsed on the paper that the section was not with his division, having been left at Morton, Miss., and sent to General Bragg. The application was returned to General Stevenson, through General Longstreet's headquarters. General Stevenson sent it by Lieutenant Stillwell of Corput's battery, to General Johnston's headquarters at Meridian, Miss. The General's Adjutant referred him to General Hardee, who told him he had nothing to do with the section; but at the same time instructed Colonel Wickliffe, by telegraph, not to let the section leave Demopolis, as a battery had already been taken from his department, and he did not intend any other should leave. This information was received from Colonel Wickliffe, who also told the Lieutenant that it was General Hardee's determination to consolidate the two sections, and promote Lieutenant Ritter to Captain.

On the return of Lieutenant Stillwell from Meridian, Miss., he met General Johnston in Demopolis, who expressed a desire to see the commander of the section that evening at Mrs. Whitfield's residence, where he was stopping. Ritter in company with Stillwell, went there and met the General at the gate, as he was leaving for Mississippi. Being introduced by Lieutenant Stillwell, Ritter stated his business. The General asked him a great many questions with regard to his section, how long it had been on detached service, where it had been, &c. He said that as soon as he returned to his office, he would order the section to its original command. On the 19th of October the order came, and the next morning Lieutenant [115] Ritter and his men proceeded to the depot, and took the cars for Selma, having turned over the guns and horses to the quartermas-ter. From Selma to Montgomery, and thence to Atlanta, Georgia, where they arrived on the 23d. The next day they rejoined the battery at Decatur, Ga., having been absent from the old command over six months.


The re-organization.

The number of men in the battery had been much reduced by its losses in Louisiana and Mississippi, so that Captain Rowan applied to the Secretary of War for seventy-five conscripts. While at Decatur the guns, horses and equipments of a four gun battery were received, and Dr. Thomas J. Rogers was assigned to the battery as surgeon. On the 29th of October, it was ordered to Sweet Water, East Tennessee, to rejoin Stevenson's division; whence, on the 5th of November, the whole division marched to reinforce General Bragg at Missionary Ridge. On the 12th, twenty-seven men were transferred to the battery from the Fortieth, Forty-first, Forty-third, Fifty-second and Fifty-sixth Georgia regiments to act as drivers. The battery encamped at the foot of Lookout Mountain on the 13th, and on the 23d joined Johnston's battalion, which was then encamped across Lookout Creek, near Missionary Ridge.

On the morning of the 23d of November, the enemy, under cover of a heavy fog, moved up and attacked the left wing of General Bragg's army, at the foot of Lookout Mountain, and drove it back rapidly, the line at that point being weak and the attack unexpected. The evacuation of Lookout Mountain followed and Bragg withdrew to Missionary Ridge.

Early the following morning Johnston's battalion was ordered to the extreme right of the Confederate line, and reached the position assigned it at 2 o'clock in the afternoon. Two of the batteries, Corput's and Carnes's, were ordered to the front at once, while the Third Maryland was held in reserve. In the struggle which ensued, the enemy was three times repulsed by Stevenson's division, losing a number of prisoners and the colors of three regiments. Their attack on the center was more successful, our troops at that point of the line giving way and retreating precipitately. The Orderly Sergeant of the Third Maryland, Johnny Hooper, who had been back with the wagons two miles in the rear, came up about dusk with the information that the center of the army was retreating, followed closely by the enemy, and that if we did not soon leave the field we should be [116] captured. Nothing, of course, could be done without orders from General Stevenson, whose division was yet on the Ridge, fighting the enemy. About 7 P. M. he moved off the field, and sent orders to the Third Maryland to march to Chickamauga station, crossing Chickamauga river at the railroad bridge.


An artillerists troubles.

Then followed a series of troubles peculiar to the artillery service. On account of the darkness and the crookedness and roughness of the road, one of the gun carriages ran against a tree, and occasioned an unwelcome delay, as the enemy was in pursuit and not far behind. The piece had to be unlimbered, the gun-carriage run back, the piece limbered up again, and a cautious drive around the tree made. This mishap having been overcome, others followed. The battery had not gone far before another gun ran against a stump; and soon after, in crossing the branch near Stone Bridge, a wheel slipped into a deep chuck-hole on the side of the road. The canoneers had to unlimber again, to pull the piece out. Owing to the detentions the rest of the battery got a mile ahead. The Captain sent back four horses to assist in pulling the piece up the hill, near the bridge; and instructed the officer in charge of the bridge not to fire it till the last gun had crossed. The bridge had just been fired, however, and was already in flames when the gun crossed over.

Again, when near the railroad, the battery encountered a boggy place, in which Lieutenant Ritter's piece stuck fast. The horses were untrained and balky, and refused to pull, while the drivers could not well see which way to move, because of the darkness. A sergeant was sent to Captain Rowan requesting him to send a mule team. About day-light the mules came, the gun carriage was soon out of the mud, and at the station.

Ordering the mule team to go on with the gun, Lieutenant Ritter remained behind with the horses, to bring up the forge from which the mules had been taken. His troubles began anew. Although the forge had been lightened by the removal of all the iron, still the horses, when hitched to it, would not budge a step. He was determined not to lose the forge, and rode on to inform Captain Rowan of the situation, and ask for four mules.

The Captain referred him to General Pettus who had that morning lost some wagons, and probably had mules to spare. His quarter-master turned over the mules, but without stretchers, so that only [117] two of them could be used. These two were hitched to the forge, and the six horses placed in front. One of the canoneers was asked to drive, but replied that he ‘knew nothing about mules.’ Not having leisure just then to attend to the question of military discipline raised by this reply, Lieutenant Ritter told the man to take his horse and ride, and that he himself, though no expert in the art, would drive the mules.

The infantry rear-guard was at this time passing by, and told Ritter that he had better abandon his forge; that the enemy was coming up, and he would certainly be captured, as he would be between the lines. Being bent on succeeding in the task he had assigned himself, he mounted his team, and by a little perseverance, all difficulties were overcome.

Ringgold was reached on the night of the 25th, and the next day at 5 P. M., the battery encamped near Dalton.

General Bragg was here superseded in the command of the army by General Joseph E. Johnston.


In winter quarters.

The command proceeded to Sugar Valley on the 27th of November, to go into quarters for the winter, and during all the early part of December the men were engaged in building houses for themselves and stables for the horses. The officers, Captain Rowan, Lieutenants Ritter, Giles and Doucaster, and Surgeon Rogers built themselves a cabin twelve by sixteeen feet, with a fireplace and chimney, window and door. After their long campaigning, this was a delightful change.

On the 20th of January, 1864, the whole battalion, for easier access to long forage, was ordered to Kingston, where it again built winter quarters. Between the 1st and 10th of January sixty men were received from the State of Georgia, and the battery was shortly afterwards joined by fifteen volunteer recruits. This accession necessitated drill, which was had twice a day. The camp here was in a wood near Hightower Creek, a beautiful stream emptying into Etowah river

The Third Maryland was, on the 23d of March, ordered to Dalton to rejoin the battalion which had been sent thither, to aid in repelling the enemy, now pressing that point. The command remained encamped near Dalton till the 6th of May.

On the reorganization of the Artillery of the Army of Tennessee, [118] Johnston's battalion, to which the Third Maryland belonged, was put in Smith's regiment, but was soon afterwards transferred to Beckham's regiment, of Hood's corps. The artillery was made an independent body, no longer subject to the orders of division commanders, and constituted a brigade under General Shoup.

Reminiscences of service in Charleston Harbor in 1863.

by Colonel Charles H. Olmstead.
[The following paper was read by its gallant and accomplished author before the Georgia Historical Society, March 3d, 1879, and we are sure our readers will thank us for giving them an opportunity of enjoying its perusal. We only regret that the crowded condition of our pages compels us to divide it.]

In preparing the following paper, it has been my desire only to record what its title suggests—personal reminiscences.

Leaving to other and abler pens the task of writing an accurate history of the scenes and events to which reference is now about to be made, I shall confine myself simply to the task of setting down such things as came under my personal observation, or within the scope of my individual knowledge.

I do this the more confidently, remembering the marked interest that invariably attaches to the testimony of an eye-witness, and also bearing in mind (for my own comfort) that this interest will always incline his hearers to leniency in judging literary demerits. It is probable, too, that some of my old comrades will be pleased at this recurrence to an eventful period in their lives, while a younger generation in the ranks may be glad to have placed before them a record, not of the ‘pomp and circumstance of glorious war,’ but of its privations, its hardships, its perils, and, it may be added, its lessons of self-abnegation and of devotion to duty.

Early in the month of July, 1863, while stationed very comfortably at the Isle of Hope, a courier, ‘spurring in hot haste,’ brought orders from department headquarters that set our camp at once in a turmoil of eager and excited preparation. The Thirty-second Georgia, Colonel George P. Harrison, Jr., the Twelfth and Eighteenth Georgia battalions, Lieutenant-Colonel H. D. Capers and Major W. S. Basinger, and a battalion from the First Volunteer regiment of Georgia, [119] were ordered to proceed with the least possible delay to Savannah, there to take cars for Charleston.

A private note at the same time brought the intelligence that that city, so long threatened, and indeed, once already assailed by sea, was now to undergo a vigorous and combined attack from both land and naval forces. The day was an eventful one to us without this additional stimulant. In the morning we had received the sad news of the fall of Vicksburg, and the consequent opening of the Mississippi river to the Federal fleet, from the mountains to the sea, a disaster that secured to the enemy the grand object of his most strenuous exertions, while it severed the young Confederacy in twain and deprived our armies east of the river of all the aid and comfort in the way of material supplies and gallant recruits, that had been so long and so freely drawn from the west bank. We had just learned, too, of the check received by General Lee at the battle of Gettysburg, and now came the summons to tell that our turn had come for a little squeeze in the folds of the traditional ‘Anaconda,’ that the New York Herald had so graphically depicted as encircling the South.

The men received the orders with enthusiasm—indeed, when was it otherwise with the Southern soldier. Thoroughly conversant, as they all were, with the details of the war, they could not but be depressed by the news of such grave reverses to our arms as the morning's mail had brought them, and they gladly welcomed the relief that active service promised from the tedium of camp life, and the necessity of thinking upon melancholy subjects.

Our march began in the midst of a terrific thunder-storm, that had the effect, not only of cooling down any overplus of excitement, but also of rendering the road to the city almost a quagmire throughout its entire length.

There are pleasanter ways of spending a summer's evening than in trudging for eight miles, through mud and rain, in heavy marching order; but upon this, as on similar occasions during the war, I was deeply impressed by the uncomplaining patience and cheerfulness with which the men endured hardships that few would care to face now, but which, then, were regarded as mere matters of course— distasteful, certainly—but not worth talking about.

The storm delayed our march considerably, and upon reaching the depot we found that the Thirty-second regiment, which had been stationed at a point nearer the city, had already taken train for Charleston.

We, too, were soon en route, and early in the forenoon of the following [120] day—July 10, 1863—the three battalions were safely in bivouac at the terminus of the Savannah and Charleston railroad. Here we were met by a staff-officer, who informed us that we were to reinforce the garrison of Battery Wagner, on Morris Island, and that at dusk the necessary transportation would be furnished to take us down to the fort. He also told us that the enemy, under cover of a tremendous fire of artillery, from batteries on Folly Island, which had been unmasked during the night, had effected a lodgment on the south end of Morris Island, and had driven our forces back upon ‘Wagner,’ which fortification would, doubtless, be attacked on the next day. We learned, also, that another force was threatening James Island, and that the Thirty-second had been sent, with other troops, to meet that danger. Events proved that this last was a feint, to distract attention from the main attack.

All day we remained quietly at this place, endeavoring to make out the various points of interest in the beautiful harbor spread before us, and watching the little clouds of smoke that ascended from the parapets of Fort Sumter, as its guns were slowly fired at the enemy. It was a lovely day, clear and bright, without a cloud in the sky. The vegetation about us, freshened by the rain of the previous evening, added sweet odors to the soft sea-breeze that came up the bay. Upon our left the city of Charleston ‘sat like a queen,’ her roof tops and spires glittering in the sunlight, while afar down, over an expanse of shining water, could be seen the ships of the fleet swinging lazily at their anchors.

The picture was beautiful, and for one, I would have found it difficult to realize that beneath it all were the grim front and iron hand of war, but for the dull rumble of the constantly recurring shot from Sumter. That was ‘the fly in the ointment of the apothecary,’ that ‘the spectre at the feast,’ that the refrain ever ringing in our ears and suggesting the unwelcome thought—‘it looks peaceful enough now, but just wait until to-morrow.’

About nightfall we embarked in a steamer that had been sent for us and, after many delays, were safely landed at Cumming's Point, on the northern end of Morris Island. The line was formed at once, and we set out for Battery Wagner, reporting to its commander, Colonel Graham, of the Twenty-First South Carolina regiment, at about 11 o'clock at night.

At the risk of being somewhat tedious, I must here devote a few lines to the topography of this famous Island. It is a long, narrow strip of sand, running almost due north and south for about four [121] miles, varying in breadth from, say one hundred yards at the narrowest point to half a mile at the broadest. Upon the west side the Island is separated from James Island by Vincent's Creek and by broad marshes intersected by numerous salt water creeks, while its eastern shore is washed throughout its entire length by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. At the south end were the batteries from which our troops had been driven in the morning. Light House Inlet separated this point from Folly Island, and across this Inlet the enemy had suddenly thrown their forces, under cover of a furious fire of artillery, as has already been stated. At the northern extremity of the island, known as Cumming's Point, was located Battery Gregg, and about three-quarters of a mile to the south of this, Battery Wagner stretched entirely across the island from the sea on the left, to Vincent's Creek on the right, the battery facing due south. It was an irregular work. On the extreme left, a heavy traverse and curtain protected the sally port and gave a flanking fire down the beach, to any force that might assail the main work. Then came a salient, one face of which commanded the ship channel, then a broken line, arranged for flanking fires, extending to the marsh. The parapets were solid, and a broad, deep, dry moat added boldness to their profile. Within the parade were bomb-proofs and lightly constructed barracks for the small garrison that had heretofore occupied the work. The armament consisted of one 10-inch Columbiad and some 32-pounders in the sea face, and four or five lighter guns, chiefly howitzers on the land-side. A short distance in front of the right of the line an inward bend of Vincent's creek narrowed the island in such manner as to render it obligatory upon an attacking force to deliver its assault only against the left half of the fort, and also affording scant opportunity for the deployment of such a column. In point of fact this peculiar feature in the topography proved of great service to us, and correspondingly troublesome to the enemy in the operations that followed. The surface of the island is but little raised above the level of the sea and presents a glaring stretch of white sandy hillocks, which were sparsely dotted with the coarse grasses of the coast, and which changed their contour in every high wind.

There is but to add that the main channel by which ships enter Charleston harbor runs within easy gunshot of Morris Island from one end of it to the other, then crosses to the northward and passes between Fort Moultrie on Sullivan's Island, and Fort Sumter, built upon a shoal about midway between the two islands.

From this rapid sketch, reference being had to the map, it will be [122] readily appreciated that from the base held by the enemy, a front attack upon Charleston could begin here and nowhere else; and that, as the defences of the inner harbor were at that time imperfect, the immediate fall of Wagner would gravely impair the safety of Charleston also. But that little mound of sand had its history to make, a story that will ever bring a flush of honest pride to the face of every man who participated in the long defence.

As soon as we had reported to Colonel Graham, the troops were put into position, the Eighteenth battalion in the salient, the Twelfth upon its right, and the First Georgia on the left, occupying the flanking curtain and the sea face, to which allusion has been made. The guns were all manned by South Carolina artillery and the right and centre of the fort were held by infantry from the same State. The men were cautioned that an attack was expected at daylight, and then, tired out, they slept on their arms upon the ramp, ready at a moment's call for action. Captain C. Werner, of the German Volunteers, was appointed officer of the night, and in a few minutes every sound was hushed save the swash of the waves upon the beach, and the occasional challege of a sentinel from his post.

My own resting place was upon the parapet, and looking up to the cloudless heavens above, the solemn glory of the night impressed itself upon my last waking thoughts.

At the first peep of dawn, on the 11th, we were wakened by a few straggling shots in our front, followed by a ringing cheer and three distinct volleys of musketry from our picket line. The anticipated assault was upon us. In an instant, the garrison was aroused, and as the men had slept in position they had only to spring to their feet, and we were ready. Now we could see our pickets, their duty having been faithfully performed, retiring rapidly towards our right, in accordance with the instructions they had received, so as to uncover the advancing columns of the enemy. And, then, through the dim, gray light of the morning we could distinguish a dark, blue mass of men moving up the beach towards us, at the double quick, cheering as they came.

Then came the thunder of our first gun (what old soldier is there who does not recall its startling effect), then another and another, then the deafening rattle of small arms, mingled with yells and cheers, and we were fairly in the midst of battle. The issue was never doubtful for a moment. The attacking column attempted to deploy after passing the narrow neck in front, but entirely failed to do so; while the dense formation rendered it an easy mark for both infantry and [123] artillery. Still it pressed gallantly on, and some few of the foremost men reached the scarp of the work, only to find themselves unsupported by their comrades, and with no alternative than to yield themselves prisoners. One brave fellow I saw, however, who had not the thought of yielding in him. Alone he reached the top of the parapet, immediately in front of a 32-pounder, double charged with grape shot. The officer in command (Lieutenant Gilchrist, of South Carolina, if memory serves me), struck by his bearing, called to him to come in before the gun was fired. His only reply was to put his musket to his shoulder, and a bullet whizzed by Gilchrist's head. The explosion of the gun followed, and a blue and mangled body, all that remained of a brave man and a good soldier, was hurled across the ditch.

The engagement was of short duration; the attack had failed, and soon the broken column was in full retreat, rapidly, and without any semblance of order, leaving some hundreds of their number, stretched dead and wounded on the sands, or prisoners in the fort.

Our own loss was insignificant in numbers, but the First regiment was sorely bereaved in the death of Captain Werner. This gallant officer was slain early in the fight. He died in the discharge of duty, nobly battling for the land of his adoption. His voice, calling his comrades to arms, had been the first to greet our ears as the morning broke, and now it was hushed forever. Modest, simple, and unpretending in his manners, he had won a warm place in the affections of the command, while his perfect reliability under all circumstances enforced the respect and admiration of all who knew him. Savannah was called upon to mourn the loss of many sons in those terrible years, but none of them had taken up arms in her defense sooner, none suffered privation and imprisonment for her more patiently, and none died more gallantly than Claus Werner.

The loss in the Eighteenth Georgia was heavier than in any other organization, as it had occupied the salient, against which the assault was principally directed.

Lieutenant Frederick Tupper was severely wounded, and among the killed was young Edward Postell, who now sleeps in Laurel Grove, side by side with a noble brother, who, like himself, as the marble record testifies, ‘died in battle.’

Immediately after the action, a singular instance of the ups and downs and uncertainties of warfare, was brought to our attention. Among the first troops to enter Fort Pulaski, at its capture in the previous year, was the Seventh Connecticut regiment, then [124] commanded by Colonel Alfred H. Terry (subsequently MajorGen-eral). Both officers and men had behaved towards us with great kindness during the few days that we remained at the fort after its capture and we had become personally acquainted with quite a number of them. Now, we were the victors, and among the prisoners brought in at our end of the line, were many of our old friends of the Seventh Connecticut, who recognized and called us by name.

The news of the attack created much excitement in Charleston, and during the morning many visitors, both military and civilian, came to the island, some to assure themselves of the continued strength of our position; others to gratify a pardonable curiosity. Among the former was Brigadier-General Ripley, the district commander, who was much elated at the successful issue of the fight, and who wished to examine, personally, the ground in front of the fort.

Now, at one point in our front, torpedoes had been planted the day before, and to prevent any of the garrison from treading upon them, a sentinel was placed to warn them off. At that time the man who held this post was private Donnolly, of Company G, First Georgia, a native of the Emerald Isle, as his name would indicate, and a true son of his mother. Of any knowledge of ordinary military manoeuvres he was calmly innocent. On one occasion a Lieutenant of the company asked him, impatiently:

Donnolly, why don't you keep step? All the men are complaining about you.’ And received the reply:

‘Faith, its divil a one of 'em can kape shtep wid me!’

Past this hero General Ripley spurred his horse, and was riding straight for the dangerous ground, when he was suddenly brought to a halt by a loud ‘Shtop!’ uttered in the most emphatic tone, and the emphasis receiving additional point from Donnolly's attitude, as he stood with his musket at full cock, at the shoulder, and squinted along the barrel, taking dead aim at the General. For a moment there was strong probability of a vacancy among the Brigadiers of the Confederate army, but an officer rushed forward, struck up the gun, and explained to General Ripley the reason for his being halted.

Subsequently, our sentinel was asked:

Donnolly, what were you going to do?’

‘I was going to shot him.’

‘And why?’

‘To kape him from being blown up with the saltpaters, to be sure.’ Donnolly's comrades, in view of his little infirmities of drill, had [125] always insisted upon his having a place in the rear rank, but on this day he was heard to say, with much satisfaction:

‘There's moighty little throuble getting in the front rank now.’

Stonewall Jackson.


A lecture delivered in Baltimore, in November, 1872, by Rev. Dr. R. L. Dabney.

[Anything from the able pen of Dr. Dabney concerning Stonewall Jackson would be read with interest. His position as Chief of Staff, his intimate personal relations with the great chieftain, and his study of his character and his campaigns when acting as his chosen biographer, peculiarly fit Dr. Dabney to tell the story of Jackson's life, or to delineate his character. We are confident, therefore, that our readers will thank us for giving them the following paper, even though there may be dissent from some of the views presented. We print it just as it was orignally delivered, only regretting that we are compelled by the press upon our pages to divide it into two parts.]

I am expected to speak to-night of Stonewall Jackson. The subject sounds remote, antiquated, in these last days. How seldom does that name, once on every tongue, mix itself now-a-days, with the current speech of men? Is it not already a fossil name, almost? I must ask you, in order to inspect it again, to lift off sundry superincumbent strata of your recent living memories and interests, to dig down to it. Great is the contrast wrought by the nine calendar years which have intervened since the glory of conquering Jackson, and the sequel ‘Jackson is dead,’ were blown by fame's trumpet from Chancellorsville over all lands, and thrilled the proecordia in every Southern bosom. Then, the benumbing shock which the words struck into our hearts, taught us how great and heroic this man had made himself, how essential to our cause, how foremost in all our hopes. And when his great Superior said [with a magnanimity which matches Jackson's heroism], ‘Tell him he has lost his left arm; but I have lost my right arm;’ all men felt, ‘Yea! Lee has lost his right arm; the cause has lost its right arm.’ And the thickening disasters which that loss soon entailed, taught them, educated them, for a time, to appreciate Jackson's as the transcendant fame of all our war. It sounded in every true heart; it echoed in us from the thunder of the final downfall. But now, who recalls it to his speech? [126]

Why this? Was that fame an empty simulacrum, worthy only to be a nine-day's wonder, or was his devotion a blunder? Or are our people changed, so as to be no longer able to appreciate that devotion? We hope not, for it were a sad thing for them, betokening moral death, decay and putrescence, that they should become incapable of a heart homage to this name. We hope not.

But it is already antiquated; for the world moves fast in these times. Many things have happened in these times, to stir, to fatigue, to wring our hearts; great wrongs to be endured passively until endurance obtused the sensibility, multiplied tragical wails of friends sinking in the abyss of poverty and obscure despair; a social revolution; a veritable cataclysmus, which has swept away our old, fair, happy world, with its pleasant homes fragrant with ancestral virtues and graces, and has left us a new world, as yet chiefly a world of quicksand and slime; with no olive tree, alas, as yet growing. Yes; we have lived long in these nine evil years; to us they are a century of experiences. We are old, very old, superannuated perhaps, those of us who remember Jackson, and the days when he fought for freedom. Will you not then bear with our garrulity a little, should we even babble of our hero? For it is a pleasant thing to recall those old days of wearing the grey, with a Jackson to lead us to assured victory, when we were men as yet; with rights and freedom of our own, slipping then indeed from our too inept hands, yet enough our own still to fight for; when we had hope, and endeavour and high emprise, inspired by our leader's example; and hardship and danger for the cause, endured cheerily, as a sport; when we had a country, loved all the more proudly that she was insulted and bleeding. The memory of those days is bright; but it is attended by a contrast most black and grim. Over against that splendid past, there glooms the shadow of the Mammon Molock, named by mockery, “reconstruction,” with its most noisome scalawag odour reeking of the pit. The joy of this reminiscence must be then a mixed joy, and the duty assigned me, while sacred and not unpleasing—never shall it be unpleasing to us to celebrate the fame of Jackson; for him the shadow touches not—yet a duty difficult and sad.

I remember well, that naught except a circumstance is deemed by you to have endowed this hand with any fitness to refresh the characters of that fame; the circumstance of a brief association with his person during the most glorious part of his career. You would fain hear from me what manner of man he appeared to one who was next to him, the ordinary mouthpiece of his will, the sharer of his bivouac [127] and his morsel, who got the nearest glimpses through the portals of that reserve, which no man might enter, who watched closely, and he may even venture to affirm, intelligently, the outworkings of the secret power within. This so reasonable desire of yours I propose to satisfy, not by presuming to name and catalogue his attributes, analytically, by my judgment, or conceit, as may be—for this would be to regard you as pupils, rather than patrons—nor yet, by studying the cumulation of superlative, laudatory epithets,—for this would imply that I deemed you not only pupils, but gullible—but by painting before you some select, significant action of Jackson's own, wherein you may judge for yourselves as freely as other spectators, what manner of man this was. And I exhort you to expect in this description no grace, save the homely one of clear truth: homely it may be and most ungarnished, yet truly what my eyes saw and my ears heard. For is not this the quality most worthy of him who would portray Jackson? And should the narrative have, with its other unskilfulness, that of a certain egotism, I pray you bear in mind, that the necessity of this emerges in a manner from my task. For what is my qualification therefor? save that it was my fortune, along with many worthier men in the ranks to behold (not my merit to do) some of these wonders whereof you would fain hear; and when you ask for the testimony of the eye-witness, the humble Ego must needs speak in the egotistical first person.

And first, that I should ever have been invited to be next his person at all, was characteristic of Jackson. He, who was an alumnus of the military academy at West Point, and nothing but a professional military man all his life, was least bound in professional trammels. This trait he signified, in part, by his selection of successive chiefs for his staff, none of whom had even snuffed the classical air of West Point or Lexington, my intended predecessor and actual successor (J. A. Armstrong and C. J. Faulkner), and the next successor (A. S. Pendleton), but chiefly by the selection of me, a man of peace, and soldier of the Prince of Peace, innocent, even in youth, of any tincture of military knowledge. Herein was indeed a strange thing; that I, the parson, tied to him by no blood tie, or interest, and by acquaintanceship only slightest and most transient; that I, at home nursing myself into partial convalescence from tedious fever, contracted in the performance of my spiritual functions among the soldiers of the previous campaign; that I, conscious only of unfitness, in body and mind, for any direct help to the cause, save a most sore apprehension of its need of all righteous help, and true [128] love to it; that such an one as I should, in the spring of 1862, be invited by him to that post. Verily, had not all known ‘this is a man that doth not jest,’ it should have seemed to me a jest. But the wisest men speaking most in God's fear, replied to me: ‘See that thou be not rash to shut this door, if it be that God hath opened unto thee.’ And I feared to shut it, until he, by whom the call was uttered, should know how unfit I was to enter in. Further than this, in very truth, my mind went not.

But if you would hear on what wise Jackson was wont to speak, these are the ipsissima verba:

near Mt. Jackson, April 8th, 1862.
My dear Doctor.

The extra session of our Legislature will prevent Mr. Jas. D. Armstrong, of the Virginia Senate, from joining me as my A. A. General. If the position would be acceptable to you, please take the accompanying recommendation to Richmond, get the appointment, and join me at once, provided you can make your arrangements to remain with me during the remainder of the war. Your rank will be that of Major. Your duties will require early rising and industry. Please let me hear from you at once.

Very truly your friend,


Now, is not the fashion of these words a very revelation to him who will consider of the fashion of the man? He has time to tell that which is essential, but no word more. He makes it known, that his war means work, and is no dilettantism, or amateur soldiering. Nor is it the warfare of gallant barbarians, wherein much castramental laziness or even license can redeem itself by some burst of daring and animal phrensy; but ‘early rising and industry.’ ‘Now, wilt thou, or wilt thou not?’ And, if yes, then let thy act follow thy assent without dallying. But yet, only on one condition must this ‘yes’ be said to such as him, to remain unchanged ‘during the remainder of the war.’ He who would aspire to work and fight as Jackson's next assistant, must be one who would not look back after he had just put his hand to the plough; but one, who like his master, came to stay with his work until it was ended, except, perchance, God should first end him.

Thus then went I, to show Jackson why I might not enter into this door of service, and yet seem no recreant (in staying out) to my [129] country's needs. I found him at a place, gateway of the mountains that befriended him, named of the vicinage Conrad's Store; the Shenandoah flood before him, and beyond, multitudinous enemies thronging—held at bay, checkmated, gnashing vainly upon him; while he, in the midst of din and marching battalions, going to the watch-post, and splashing squadrons, splashing through mire most villainous, and of snow-wracks and sleet of the ungenial spring, ‘Winter lingering in the lap of spring,’—stood calm, patient, modest, yet serious, as though abashed at the meanest man's reverence for him; but at sternest peril unabashed. After most thoughtful, yea, feminine care of food and fire for me, he took me apart saying, ‘I am glad that you have come.’ But I told him that I was come, I feared, uselessly, only to reveal my unfitness, and retire; already half-broken by camp-disease, and enervated by student's toil. ‘But Providence,’ replied he, ‘will preserve your health, if he designs to use you.’ I was unused to arms, and ignorant of all military art. ‘You can learn,’ said he. ‘When would you have me assume my office?’ ‘Rest to-day, and study the “Articles of war,” and begin to-morrow.’ ‘But I have neither outfit, nor arms, nor horse, for immediate service.’ ‘My quartermaster shall lend them, until you procure your own.’ ‘But I have a graver disqualification, which candor requires me to disclose to you, first of mortals: I am not sanguine of success; our leaders and legislators do not seem to me to comprehend the crisis, nor our people to respond to it; and, in truth, the impulse which I feel to fly out of my sacred calling, to my country's succour, is chiefly the conviction that her need is so desperate. The effect on me is the reverse of that which the old saw ascribes to the rats when they believe the ship is sinking.’ ‘But,’ saith he, laughing; ‘If the rats will only run this way, the ship will not sink.’ Thus was I overruled.

You will remember that theory of his character, which most men were pleased to adopt, when he was first entrusted with command: ‘This man,’ said they, ‘is true, and brave, and religious; but narrow and mechanical. He is the man to lead a fighting battalion, under the direction of a head that can think; but strategy, prudence, science, are not in him. His very reserve and reluctance to confer result from his own consciousness, that he has no faculty of speech nor power of thought, to debate with other men.’ Had I been capable of so misjudging his silence and modesty, as to adopt this theory, his career must ere this have blown it all into thin air; the first Manassas and Kernstown, and the retreat before Banks had already done [130] that, for all save fools. All who served under him had already learned that there was in him abundant thought and counsel, deep and sagacious. He asked questions of all; sought counsel of none; gave no account to any man of his matters. Once only, did council of war ever sit for him, to help him to ‘make up his mind.’ And it was then, by their inferior sagacity, made up so little to his liking, that he asked such aid no more. Power of speech there was in him also, as I witnessed; such truly eloquent speech, as uttered quickly the very heart of his thought, and could fire the heart of the listener. But he deemed that the controversy he waged was no longer parliamentary; that the only logic seemly for us at that stage, was the ultima ratio Regum. To such respondent as the times then appointed unto him, the cannon peal, and the charging yell of the ‘men in grey,’ were the reply, which to him seemed eloquent: all else was emptier than silence

But instead of leading you to a brief review of his whole career, which would perforce be trite, because hurried, I would describe to you some one of the exploits of his genius, which best illustrates it. One of these I suppose to be Port Republic. Let me, then, present it to you.

To comprehend the battles of Port Republic, you must recall the events which ushered them in; the defeat of Milroy at McDowell in the early May of 1862, that of Banks at Winchester; the concentration of Generals Fremont and Shields towards Strasbourg to entrap Jackson at that place; his narrow escape, and retreat up the great Valley to Harrisonburg. He brought with him, perhaps, a force of twelve thousand men, footsore from forced marches, and decimated by their own victories. No more succours could come to Jackson from the east; the coil of the snake around Lee and the Capital was becoming too close for him to assist others; and all that the government expected of Jackson was, to retreat indefinitely, fortunate if he could at once escape complete destruction, and detain the pursuers from a concentration against Richmond. Such was the outlook of affairs upon the 8th of June. On the 11th of June, both the pursuers were in full retreat, broken and shattered, fleeing to shelter themselves near the banks of the Potomac, while Jackson was standing intact, his hands full of trophies, and ready to turn to the help of Lee in his distant death-grapple with McClellan. Such was the achievement. Let us see how his genius wrought it out.

The skill of the strategist is in availing himself of the natural features of the country, which may be helpful to him. In this case these [131] features were mainly the Blue Ridge mountains, dividing the great Valley from Piedmont, Virginia; the Shenandoah river, a noble stream at all times, and then everywhere unfordable because of its swollen state; and the Great Valley Turnpike, a paved road extending parallel to the mountain and river, from the Potomac to Staunton. From a point east of Strasburg to another point east of Harrisonburg extends the Masanuttin mountain, a ridge of fifty miles length, parallel to the Blue Ridge, and dividing the Great Valley into two valleys. Down the eastern of these, usually called the Page county valley, the main river passes, down the other passes the great road. Up this road, west of the Masanuttin mountain was Jackson now retreating, in his deliberate, stubborn fashion, while Fremont's 18,000 pursued him. Up another road parallel, but on the eastern side both of that mountain and of the main river, marched Shields, with his 8,000 picked troops. Neither had any pontoon train, for Banks had burned his in his impotent flight in May. Why did not Shields, upon coming over from the Piedmont to Front Royal, for the purpose of intercepting Jackson in the lower valley, at once cross the Shenandoah and place himself in effectual concert with his partner, Fremont? He had possession of a bridge at Front Royal. They were endeavoring to practice a little lesson in the art of war, which they fancied they had learned from the great teacher, Jackson, which they desired to improve, because it was learned, as they sorely felt, at the cost of grevious stripes, and indignities worse than those of the dunceblock. But their teacher would show them again, that they were not yet instructed enough to descend from that ‘bad eminence.’ Let me explain this first lesson.

The Blue-Ridge, parallel to the great Valley road, is penetrated only at certain ‘gaps,’ by roads practicable for armies. On the east of it lay the teeming Piedmont land, untouched by ravage as yet, and looking towards the capital and the main army of the Confederacy. This mountain, if Jackson chose to resort to it, was both his fastness and his ‘base of operations’; for the openings of its gaps offered him natural strongholds, unassailable by an enemy, with free communication at his rear for drawing supplies or for retreating. When Banks first pursued him up the Valley, he had turned aside at Harrisonburg to the eastward, and seated himself behind the river at Conrad's Store in the mouth of Swift Run Gap. And then Banks began to get his first glimpse of his lesson in strategy. He found that his coveted way (up the great Valley road) was now parallel to [132] his enemy's base. Even into his brain did the inconvenience of such line of advance now insinuate itself, and he paused at Harrisonburg. Paused awkwardly, with the road open to his coveted prize, Staunton, the strategical key of the commonwealth, with not a man in gray there to affiright his doughty pickets: the quarry trembling for the expected swoop of the vulture. Forward, General Banks. Carpe diem; the road is open. But Banks would not forward—could not! There was a poised eagle upon the vulture's flank, with talons and beak ready to tear out the vitals beneath his left wing. Shall Banks face to the left and drag the eagle from his aerie, and then advance? Let him try that. Then, there is the water-flood in front to be crossed, only by one long, narrow bridge, which would be manifestly a bridge of Lodi, but not with obtuse, kraut-consuming Austrians behind it. And there is the mountain, opening its dread jaws, right and left, to devour the assailant. No, Banks cannot even try that! What then shall he try? Alas, poor man, he knows not what, he must consider, sitting meanwhile upon that most pleasant village of Harrisonburg, amidst its green meadows. Is not the village now his veritable dunce-stool for the time, where he shall sit, reluctant, uneasy, ‘swelling and snubbing,’ until it appear whether he can learn his horn-book or not? And it was while he was there sitting, the horn-book not mastered, that Jackson like the tornado, made his first astounding gyration, his first thunder clap at McDowell, away on the western mountain, his second echoing to it from Front Royal on the far east, his crowning, rending crash at Winchester. And Masters Banks and Shields find themselves with incomprehensible smoke and dust, clean outside the school-room, yea, the play-ground, they scarcely know how, (they ‘stood not on the order of their going,’) with eyes very widely glaring, yet with but little light of speculation in them.

This was lesson number first. And now say my masters to each other, ‘This lesson which cost us so dear, learned by buffetings so rude, yea, even kicks, with the bitter chorus of inextinguishable laughter of rivals, shall we not profit by it? Shall we not use it in our turn? Yea, we will not be always dunces: we will let people see that we can say, at least, that lesson again. The lion will retreat surlily, after he brake the toils at Strasburg, up the great Valley road, growling defiance, huge ribs of the prey between his jaws. Fremont shall closely pursue his rear with 18,000, and Shields shall advance abreast, between him and the mountain, with 8,000, to head [133] him off from his rock-fastness. We shall circumvent him in the open field; we shall confound him on the right hand and the left; the one shall amuse him in front, when he stands at bay, and the other shall smite him by guile under the ribs; and we shall take his spoils.’ And, therefore, it was that Shields crossed not the river below, at Strasburg, but remained apart from his mate.

They forgot that it is the prerogative of genius, to have no need to repeat itself; its resources are ever new; it can invent, can create upon occasion. It is dull dunce-hood, which only knows how to repeat the lesson that has been well beaten into it. The Southern Lion, then, marches surlily up the great Valley, turning at bay here and there, when the whelps dog his heels too insolently, with a glare and a growl instructive to them to observe a wholesome interval; while Ashby, ubiquitous, peers everywhere over the Masanuttin, upon the advance of Shields—burns bridge after bridge, Mount Jackson bridge, White House bridge, Columbia bridge, entailing continued insulation upon him. The mighty hunt reaches Harrisonburg. Will it turn again eastward to the mountain? Shields shall see, he reaches Conrad's store. There is the old lair, the munition of rocks, but no Jackson seeking to crouch in it; only the bridge leading to it, (and which alone could lead him out of it) just in flames. Evidently Jackson will teach some other lesson this time, and Shields and Fremont must learn it, at what cost they may. He will turn eastward again, and resort to the river and the mountains, whose floods and forests he will make fight for him, even as ‘the stars in their courses fought against Sisera,’ but under conditions wholly novel.

Now that you may comprehend Jackson, I must endeavor to make you see this region of Port Republic, as nearly as may be. Behold then the side road from Harrisonburg to that village, passing over sundry miles of those high hills, common to calcareous regions, [lofty as the highest viewed from the northernmost end of your Druid Hill Park,] mostly parallel to each other, and at right angles to the road, clad also frequently with woodlands upon their summits, the vales between filled with farms. Close at the foot of the last of these ridges flows the shining river, here running almost due east, as does the great mountain parallel to it, three miles away. Look thitherward, and between you and that green rampart you see, first the water, then smooth meadows far below you, spreading wider to the left, away to Lewiston, until their breadth expands almost to a mile; while underneath you stretches the long bridge, and nestles the white [134] village amidst the level fields. Beyond the forest begins, thick,. tangled and bosky, pierced by more narrow, serpentine, but easy roadways, than your eye would suspect, and spreads away, rising into hills as it recedes towards the true mountain foot. Just below the village comes a sparkling tributary, South river, deemed scarcely worthy of a bridge, and mingles its waters at the angle of the little green with its elder sister; while the one broad thoroughfare leads up the village and away to the southwest to Staunton, and the other, fording the lesser stream to the left, plunges into the forest to seek Brown's Gap. Look now, far away to the east, where river and mountain begin to lose themselves in the summer haze. You perceive that the tangled wilderness, after embaying one more modest farm below Lewiston, closes in upon the bank of the stream, ending for many miles, champaign and tillage, and allowing but one narrow highway to Conrad's Store, fifteen miles away. Such is your landscape from your elevated outlook northwest of the river: and this is the chess-board upon which the master hand is to move knights and castles, not his own merely, but also his adversary's.

Saturday, the 7th of June, Jackson led all his troops to those high hills northwest of the river, posting half of them three miles back, under Ewell, to confront Fremont, and the remainder upon the heights overlooking Port Republic, while he himself crossed the bridge and lodged in that village. That evening Fremont sat down before Ewell, and Shields, perceiving that he must seek Jackson still farther, pushed his army up the narrow forest road from Conrad's Store, and showed its head at Lewiston. Thus, Jackson's army and Fremont's were upon the one side of the river, Shields's and the village upon the other. To cross it there remained now but the one passage, which lay under the muzzles of Jackson's cannon, for all the bridges above and below had been burned.

Fremont and Shields would now, therefore, apply the old strategy, which red tape once deemed appropriate for the superior numbers. They would surround Jackson on sundry sides, with divided forces, from different directions, and thus crush him. The lessons of the old Napoleon had not been enough to teach them: this new Virginian Napoleon will, perhaps, illuminate their obtuseness, but with light too sulphurous for their delectation. This old plan, attempted against a wakeful and rapid adversary, capable of striking successive blows, only invites him “to divide and conquer.” This Jackson will now teach them in his own time, and it shall be lesson number second.. [135] They shall never strike together: nay, Shields shall never strike at all, but be stricken: thus hath the master of the game already decided.

Shall Jackson, then, hold Shields at arms' length, and strike the larger prey, Fremont, first? This the impassable river and the dominant position of his artillery overlooking the bridge, enabled him to do. He might have driven back Shields's co-operative advance in the meadows beneath, by a storm of shells, while he assailed his partner three miles away; and Shields might have beguiled the day, by looking helplessly over at the smoke surging up over the treetops, and listening to the thunder of the battle rolling back to Harrisonburg with Fremont's defeat; or, by reckoning when his own time would come, if that better pleased him. Shall Jackson, then, strike Fremont first? ‘Yes,’ said Ewell: ‘Strike the larger game first.’ But Jackson said, ‘No. The risk is less to deal first with the weaker. In a battle with Shields, should disaster perchance befall us, we shall be near our trains, and our way of retreat; and true courage, however much prudent audacity it may venture, never boasts itself invulnerable. But if an inauspicious attack were made on Fremont, the defeated Confederates would have behind them a deep river, to be crossed only by one narrow bridge, and a line of retreat threatened by Shields's unbroken force. Again, Shields defeated, had but one difficult and narrow line of retreat, between the flood and the mountain, and might be probably destroyed. Fremont, if defeated, had an open country and many roads by which to retire; and could not be far pursued, with Shields's force still unbroken threatening our rear.’ Thus argued Jackson, but only to himself, then; he was wont to give no account of his measures to others.

Shall Jackson, then, prepare to deal with his weaker adversary, by withdrawing all his army to the Southern side, burning the bridge behind him, and thus leaving Fremont an idle spectator of Shields's overthrow? Again, No; and for two reasons: First, this would permit Fremont to crown all those dominating heights on the north side, with his artillery, so that Shields, though still separated from his friends by the water, might enjoy the effectual shelter of their guns. And second, supposing Shields dealt with satisfactorily, then it might be desired to pay the same polite attentions to Fremont; and Jackson meant not to deprive himself too soon of the means of access to him. Shields, then, shall be first attended to, on the south side; but yet the bridge not destroyed, nor the heights beyond surrendered.

[136]

Stonewall Jackson's way.’

A song by Dr. John Williamson Palmer.
[This famous camp song was originally published from what purported to be ‘a Ms. found on the person of a dead Confederate soldier,’ and its authorship has never, so far as we know, been claimed by any one until recently Dr. John Williamson Palmer, in a letter to the New York World avows the authorship and claims that he ‘made this song at Oakland, Alleghany Co. Md., to the tune of the guns of Antietam, which he could hear as he wrote.’

Dr. Palmer is a native of Baltimore, and a writer of no mean repute, and his letter seems to settle the authorship. He gives the following as the original and correct version of the song.]

Come, stack arms, men; pile on the rails;
     Stir up the camp fire bright!
No growling if the canteen fails;
     We'll make a roaring night.
Here Shenandoah brawls along,
     There burly Blue Ridge echoes strong-
To swell the brigade's rousing song
     Of Stonewall Jackson's way.

We see him now; that queer slouched hat
     Cocked o'er his eye askew;
The shrewd, dry smile, the speech so pat,
     So calm, so blunt, so true!
The Blue-light Elder knows them well;
     Says he: “That's Banks: he's fond of shell.
Lord save his soul! we'll give him” —Well!
     That's Stonewall Jackson's way.

Silence! Ground arms! Kneel all! Caps off!
     Ole massa's goina to pray.
Strangle the fool! that dares to scoff;
     Attention! it's his way.
Appealing from his native sod,
     In forma pauperis, to God,
“Lay bare thine arms! Stretch forth thy rod;
     Amen!” —that's Stonewall's way.

He's in the saddle now. Fall in!
     Steady, the whole brigade!
Hill's at the ford, cut off. We'll win
     His way out, ball and blade. [137]
What matter if our shoes are worn?
     What matter if our feet are torn?
Quick step! We're with him before dawn.
     That's Stonewall Jackson's way.

The sun's bright lances rout the mists
     Of morning; and, by George!
Here's Longstreet struggling in the lists,
     Hemmed in an ugly gorge.
Pope and his Yankees whipped before,
     ‘Bayonets and Grape!’ hear Stonewall roar.
Charge, Stuart! Pay off Ashby's score
     In Stonewall Jackson's way!

Ah, maiden! wait and watch, and yearn
     For news of Stonewall's band.
Ah, widow! read with eyes that burn
     That ring upon thy hand.
Ah, wife! sew on, pray on, hope on;
     Thy life shall not be all forlorn,
The foe had better ne'er been born
     That gets in Stonewall's way!

Notes and Queries.

Field Notes at Chancellorsville from Stuart and Jackson.

My Dear Sir,—Mrs. Thos. R. Price, of Richmond, Va., has recently submitted to my perusal some letters and papers left by her son, Major R. Channing Price, General Stuart's Adjutant-General, who was killed in battle near Chancellorsville, on 1st May, 1863. Among these I find one of the last field dispatches written by Stonewall Jackson.


General Stuart writes to General Jackson as follows:

headquarters cavalry division, 12 M., May 1st, 1863.
General,—I am on a road running from Spotsylvania C. H. to Silvers, which is on Plank Road, three miles below Chancellorsville. General Fitz. Lee is still further to the left and extends scouts to Plank Road (Orange), and has the Turnpike watched beyond [138] to see if any large movement takes place that way. I will close in on the flank and help all I can when the ball opens. I will communicate through Wickham and Owens to you.

May God grant us victory.

Yours truly,

J. E. B. Stuart, Major-General.

Upon the back of this dispatch General Jackson writes, evidently while on horseback, and with a badly pointed lead pencil:

12 1/2 P. M., May 1st, 1863.
General.
I trust that God will grant us a great victory.

Keep closed on Chancellorsville.

Yours very truly,


What a commentary upon the lives of these two great men!

Yours very truly,


The ‘Macon Light Artillery’ at Fredericksburg.

Our gallant friend, Major N. M. Hodgkins, sends us the following note:

Macon, Ga., November 17th, 1882.
Rev. J. Wm. Jones, Secretary Southern Historical Society, Richmond, Va..
My Dear Sir,—In your last (October and November), General E. P. Alexander, in his admirable paper (No. 2) relative to ‘the battle of Fredericksburg,’ says:

‘Their advance exposed their left flank to a raking fire from the artillery on Lee's hill, which with good ammunition ought to have routed them without the aid of infantry. As it was some single shots were made which were even terrible to look at. Gaps were cut in their ranks visible at the distance of a mile, and a long cut of the unfinished Orange railroad was several times raked through by the thirty-pound Parrot, which enfiladed it from Lee's Hill, while filled with troops.’ * * * General A., in his ‘notes,’ says, ‘This gun [139] exploded during the afternoon at the thirty-ninth discharge, but fortunately did no harm, though Generals Lee, Longstreet, and others were standing very near it.’

Now, what I desire to state is, this gun was one of a section of the Macon Light Artillery, of Macon, Georgia, referred to in General A's first paper, wherein he says, ‘Among the guns in position on Lee's hill were two thirty-pound Parrotts, under Lieutenant Anderson, which had just been sent from Richmond,’ and which ‘did beautiful practice until they burst, one at the thirty-ninth round, and the other at the fifty-fourth.’

In connection with this I will state, that during this engagement an officer bore a message from General Lee, complimenting the command upon its effective fire. In returning, and in sight of the men, this officer was killed by a fragment of shell. Now, who was this officer? We have had his name given as Captain King. We have alluded to this incident in a former publication, and wish to give his name if we can.

The Macon Light Artillery afterwards formed a part of Colonel John C. Haskell's command in North Carolina. Colonel Edgar F. Moseley in Virginia, and Major Jos. G. Blount, of Georgia, commanded the batallion at the surrender, composed of Young's, Cummings's, Mitlers, and the Macon Light Artillery.

Very respectfully,


The hero of Fredericksburg of whom General Alexander spoke in his admirable paper in our November (1882) number, as carrying water to the wounded of the enemy at the peril of his own life was, of course, Richard Kirkland, of South Carolina, of whom General Kershaw wrote so interesting a sketch. [See Vol. 8, S. H. S. Papers, page 186.]

Two ‘unknown heroes’ of the ranks.

Our accomplished friend, Colonel Charles H. Olmstead, of Savannah, has furnished us the following incident which is but one of a thousand similar ones which might be given to illustrate the morale of ‘the men who wore the gray’:

At the time of General Hood's defeat before Nashville, the brigade [140] to which my regiment belonged, Smith's brigade, Cleburne's division, was detached and operating with General N. B. Forrest in the vicinity of Murfreesboro. Hood's retreat in the direction of Columbia placed the enemy on the direct line between our little force and the main body of the army, and in consequence we were obliged to make a wide detour by a forced march across the country to regain our place in our division line. In this march the men suffered terribly, as large numbers of them were barefooted and there were not half a dozen overcoats in the brigade, while the weather was intensely cold and the whole earth covered with sleet and snow. We reached Columbia at about nine o'clock at night, at least the head of the column did; but ‘the lame and the halt’ were coming up by ones and twos all night.

Early the next morning we were formed to march through the town, the First Georgia in the lead. In the first file of fours was a young fellow of about twenty years, who on the march of the day before had been compelled by physical weakness to throw away a part of his burden as a soldier. He had parted with his blanket and held on to his musket. Now, as we marched, with indomitable pluck he was at the head of the regiment though his trowsers were worn to a fringe from the knees down, and his bare feet cracked and bleeding left their marks upon the frozen road. At this moment a private of cavalry came riding by—he turned and looked at the poor lad— then reining in his horse he threw his leg over the pommell of the saddle and took off first one shoe and then the other, and throwing the pair of them down at the poor fellow's feet with these words: ‘Friend, you need them more than I do,’ he galloped away. Who he was I never knew, but surely no knight of old ever bore himself more like a true gentleman than he. I thought at the time of Philip Sydney and the acts and words that have made him immortal as he passed the cup of water from his own fevered and dying lips to those of another. And it almost startles me now to think that the words were nearly identical. Sydney said, ‘Friend, thy need is greater than mine.’ The same noble spririt of self-sacrifice was in both men, separated though they were by centuries of time. And both gave equal evidence that the divine spark in their natures was indeed ‘a living fire.’

[141]

Editorial Paragraphs.

our February and March numbers are combined under one cover for the convenience of the Secretary, who expects to be absent from his office from the 19th of February until the 16th of March, but we are sure our readers will not object as they get their full quota of pages, and a number of great variety and interest.

renewals have been coming in quite briskly, but a large number of our subscribers have forgotten this important matter and we beg them to attend to it at once. We are running our Papers on a cash basis, and as we are paying cash for our printing, etc., we need the renewals of all of our subscribers.

New subscriptions have been coming in in most gratifying numbers, and our subscription list is steadily increasing, but we can find room for many more, and hope that our friends will not cease their efforts to extend our circulation.

‘the Tennessee soldiers' Association’ is an organization which has its headquarters in Nashville, and is composed of ‘the soldiers of Tennessee in all of the wars,’ its object being to have prepared a history of the soldiery of the ‘Volunteer State,’ with a Roster of all living Tennessee soldiers. They have happily chosen as their historian, Dr. J. B. Lindsley, whose untiring research and facile pen will doubtless perform in the most satisfactory manner, the task assigned him. The following are the officers of the Association:

President, Colonel John A. Fite, Carthage; First Vice-President, Captain J. T. Martin, Nashville; Second Vice-President, Captain W. Ledgerwood, Knoxville; Third Vice-President, Captain Albert T. McNeal, Bolivar; Fourth Vice-President, Private Rhum Payne, Knoxville; Fifth Vice-President, Captain Jno. W. Morton, Nashville; Sixth Vice-President, Colonel C. R. Rurteau, Memphis; Secretary, Captain S. W. Steele, Nashville; Corresponding Secretary, Major John S. Bransford, Nashville; Treasurer, Colonel Jno. P. Maguire, Nashville.

At a recent meeting of their Executive Committee to confer with our General Agent for Tennessee, and Kentucky (Colonel H. D. Capers), Captain Robt. A. Cox offered the folllowing, which was unanimously adopted:

Whereas, the ‘Tennessee Soldiers’ Association have become aware of the presence at Nashville of Colonel Henry D. Capers, General Agent of the “Southern Historical Soeiety,” an institution whose labor for the past ten years has resulted in the proper presentation to the impartial world of the record made by the people of the Southern States during their struggle for independence, it is therefore

Resolved, That this Association extend to Colonel Capers, as the representative [142] of the Southern Historical Society, a cordial welcome to Nashville and to Tennessee.

That we heartily sympathize with the noble mission which has enlisted his sympathies, and will aid him to extend the work and the influence of his Society among our people.

That after years of trial we express our hearty congratulations to the board of management and to the editor, upon the character of the “Histori-Cal Society Papers,” which we regard as an impartial and a truthful record. We heartily commend these “Papers” to all who desire the preservation of the facts of our history during the war.

That we invite the Southern Historical Society to hold its next annual meeting in Nashville, and assure our comrades of a cordial greeting.

We heartily thank the Association for their kind interest in our work, and assure them that we highly appreciate, and warmly reciprocate their words of encouragement. We hail all such organizations as co-workers in a common cause, and bid them God-speed in their efforts.

General Fitzhugh Lee (accompanied by the Secretary) expects to start on the 19th of this month (February) on his second lecturing tour in behalf of the Southern Historical Society.

The programme of lectures as now arranged is as follows:

Knoxville, February 20th; Montgomery, February 22d; Mobile, February 23d; New Orleans, February 26th; Houston, Texas, February 28th; Galveston, March 1st; San Antonio, March 3d; Austin, March 5th; Waco March 6th; Corsicana, March 7th; Dallas, March 8th; Forth Worth, March 9th;