Recollections of campaign against Grant in North Mississippi in 1862-63.
[The following paper was written for the Society in the early part of 1872, and published in the Southern Magazine
. Its republication has been frequently called for, and we take pleasure in complying with this demand and putting in our published records this interesting and valuable narrative of the gallant soldier who was an eyewitness, and an important ‘part,’ of what he tells:]
I am the senior surviving General of those who took part in the whole campaign in North Mississippi
in 1862 against the forces of General Grant
, and it is proper I should place on record my knowledge of those operations.
In doing this I must rely upon my own recollections and memoranda, and upon those of such comrades as I may be able to confer with.
There are no official records open to us now, which may, perhaps, be regretted less on this occasion, because the campaign under discussion was outside the grand movements of the war, but it was of deep concern to important communities in the South
, and to the soldiers who bore an active part in it, and to the Southern
widows and orphans whose nearest and dearest died on those battlefields, as bloody and as honorable as any that were ever illustrated by Confederate valor; therefore I write about it. Of the general officers
of our army who took part in those operations, Van Dorn
, Little, Villipigue
, and Bowen
, have all gone to their rest, leaving but three or four of us to toil on until our summons comes, and we shall go to join them again; I shall, therefore, tell my story in no spirit of detraction.
Indeed, I have neither inclination nor occasion to detract from any of them; their honors in those fights were hard-earned, nor can I blame any of them for the disasters which came upon our army.
They were brave men, who devoted all to their country, and among them were commanders of a high order of ability.
On the 30th of May, 1862, General Beauregard
in the presence of Halleck
's army, and in June, 1862, his army was lying around Tupelo
, cantoned on the Mobile and Ohio railroad.
Late in June Van Dorn
was detached from command of his corps, known as the ‘Army of the West,’ and sent to take command at Vicksburg
, which was then threatened with attack.
You will remember how well he acquitted himself in that command.