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Casualties of the Army of Tennessee, November, 1863.

The casualties of the Army of Tennessee during the subsequent disasters of Missionary Ridge, Lookout Mountain and Knoxville, Tennessee, are comparatively small in comparison to the magnitude of the operations.

The losses of the Confederate forces were:

Knoxville, November 18 to 29—Killed, two hundred and sixty; wounded, eight hundred and eighty; total, one thousand one hundred and forty.

Lookout Mountain, November 23 and 24—Killed, forty-three: wounded, one hundred and thirty-five; total, one hundred and seventy-eight.

Missionary Ridge, November 25, 1863—Killed, three hundred and eighty-three; wounded, one thousand eight hundred and eighty-two; total, two thousand two hundred and sixty-five.

Tunnel Hill, November 27—Killed, thirty; wounded, one hundred and twenty-nine; total, one hundred and fifty-nine.

Aggregate of these engagements—Killed, seven hundred and sixteen: wounded, three hundred and two; total, three thousand seven hundred and forty-two.

We have, then, as a grand aggregate of the Confederate losses in battle in the operations around Chattanooga, Tennessee: [128]

Battle of Chickamauga, Georgia, September 19 and 202,01212,9992,087
Knoxville, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, Tunnel Hill, Nov. 18, 297163,026
Aggregate loss20,840

This estimate does not include the losses in prisoners sustained by General Bragg's army at Knoxville, at Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge, which would swell the total loss to over thirtythou-sand men.

The desperate and bloody nature of the Confederate operations around Chattanooga, in the months of September and November, 1863, will be seen by a brief view of the preceding great battles fought by the armies of Mississippi and Tennessee, and of the subsequent campaigns under General Joseph E. Johnston and General J. B. Hood, in 1864 and 1865.

At the battle of Belmont, Missouri, on the 7th November, 1861, the Confederate forces, under the command of General Leonidas Polk, defeated the Federal forces under General U. S. Grant, with a loss to the former of killed, one hundred and five; wounded, four hundred and nineteen; missing, one hundred and seventeen; total, six hundred and forty-one.

The Confederate operations of 1861 and 1862, as conducted by General Albert Sidney Johnston, at the battle of Shiloh, were characterized by the most appalling disasters.

Fort Henry, Tennessee, fell February 6, 1862, with an insignificant loss of five killed, eleven wounded, sixty-three prisoners.

Fort Donelson, Tennessee, after three days fighting, February 14, 15 and 16, 1862, surrendered, with a loss of killed, two hundred and thirty-one; wounded, one thousand and seven; prisoners, thirteen thousand eight hundred and twenty-nine; total Confederate loss, fifteen thousand and sixty-seven. With the fall of Forts Henry and Donelson, the Cumberland and Tennessee were opened to the passage of the iron-clad gunboats of the Northern army; Kentucky passed under the Federal yoke; Nashville, the proud political and [129] literary emporium of Tennessee, was lost, and this noble State became the common battle-ground of hostile and contending armies.

Both sides levied recruits and supplies from the unfortunate citizens of Tennessee; Columbus, Kentucky, was abandoned, and the fall of Island No.10, Fort Pillow and Memphis followed.

The unbroken tide of Federal victory in the West was rudely arrested by the armies gathered by General Albert Sidney Johnston and General G. T. Beauregard near the southern shore of the Tennessee, at Corinth, Mississippi.

The brave Confederate commander, General Albert Sidney Johnston sealed his devotion to the Southern Confederacy with his life, on the 6th of April, 1862, whilst leading to victory the gallant soldiers of the Armies of Mississippi and Tennessee.

At the battle of Shiloh, April 6 and 7, 1862, the effective total of the Confederate forces, comprising the Army of Mississippi, before the battle, numbered, forty thousand three hundred and fifty-five, and after the bloody repulse of the 7th, the effective total was only twenty-nine thousand six hundred and thirty-six. General Beauregard, in his official report, places his loss at Shiloh at one thousand seven hundred and twenty-eight killed outright, eight thousand nine hundred and twelve wounded, nine hundred and fifty-nine missing, making an aggregate of casualties of ten thousand six hundred and ninety-nine.

The losses at Shiloh were distributed among the different corps of the Confederate army as follows:

First Corps, Major-General Polk3851,95319
Second Corps, Major-General Bragg5532,441634
Third Corps, Major-General Hardee4041,936141
Reserve, Major-General Breckenridge3861,682165

The suffering of the Confederate wounded were great, indeed, as they lay upon the cold ground of Shiloh during the night of the 6th, exposed to the pitiless rain and the murderous fire of the gunboats. In the subsequent siege of Corinth, less than fifty thousand Confederate troops successfully resisted the advance of one hundred and twenty-five thousand Federal troops abundantly supplied with food and water, and armed and equipped with most approved weapons of modern warfare. [130]

The losses of the Confederate forces from disease during the siege of Corinth equalled, if they did not exceed, the casualties of the battle of Shiloh.

General Beauregard, by his masterly evacuation of Corinth, eluded his powerful antagonist. The Armies of Mississippi and Tennessee, under the leadership of General Bragg, inaugurated the campaign of 1862 for the recovery of Tennessee and Kentucky.

At the battle of Perryville, Kentucky, October 8, 1862, the Army of Mississippi, under the command of General Leonidas Polk, lost, killed, five hundred and ten; wounded, two thousand six hundred and thirty-five; missing, two hundred and fifty-one; total, three thousand three hundred and ninety-six.

In the Kentucky campaign of 1862, the Confederate troops under the command of Generals Braxton Bragg and E. Kirby Smith manifested their powers of endurance on long and fatiguing marches, and their excellent discipline in retreating in good order in the face of overwhelming hostile forces.

At the battle of Murfreesboro, December 31, 1862, and January 1, 1863, the Confederate army lost nearly one-third of its number in killed and wounded.

General Bragg, in his official report of this battle, estimates the number of his fighting men in the field on the morning of the 31st of December at less than thirty-five thousand, of which about thirty thousand were infantry and artillery. During the two days fighting General Bragg's army lost one thousand six hundred killed and eight thousand wounded; total, nine thousand six hundred killed and wounded.

From the 6th of April, 1862, to the close of the year 1863, the Army of Mississippi and Tennessee lost in the battles of Shiloh, Murfreesboro and Chickamauga six thousand and forty-six killed on the field, and thirty-two thousand and thirty-five wounded; total killed and wounded, thirty-eight thousand and eighty-one.

We do not include in this estimate the loss sustained at Perryville, in Bragg's Kentucky campaign, or in numberless skirmishes and cavalry engagements. More than fifty thousand wounded men were cared for by the medical officers of the Army of Tennessee during a period of less than twenty-one months.

The deaths from disease exceeded those from gun-shot wounds, and the sick from the camp diseases of armies greatly exceeded the wounded, in the proportion of about five to one; and during the [131] period specified, embracing the battles of Shiloh and Chickamauga, the sick and wounded of the Armies of Tennessee and Mississippi numbered more than two hundred thousand.

Surely from this mass of suffering humanity, valuable records and practical precepts in the practice of medicine and military surgery must have been evolved. It was and is the solemn duty of every member of the Medical Corps of the Army of Tennessee to place the results of his experience in a tangible form, accessible to his comrades; and no officer, however important his position during the Confederate struggle, has the right to withhold for his personal benefit the Hospital and Medical Records of the Army of Tennessee. These views are applicable to the medical and surgical statistics of the several armies of the rate Confederacy east and west of the Mississippi.

The Armies of Tennessee and Mississippi, under the command of General Joseph E. Johnston, sustained a loss of killed, one thousand two hundred and twenty-one, wounded, eight thousand two hundred and twenty-nine; total, nine thousand four hundred and fifty—in the series of engagements around and from Dalton, Georgia, to the Etowah river, May 7th to May 30th, 1864; series of engagements around New Hope Church, near Marietta, June 1, July 4, 1864.

The Army of Tennessee (the Army of Mississippi being merged into it), under the command of General J. B. Hood, during the series of engagements around Atlanta and Jonesboro July 4 to September 1, 1864, loss, killed, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-three, wounded, ten thousand seven hundred and twenty-three; total, twelve thousand five hundred and forty-six.

During a period of four months the Armies of Tennessee and Mississippi fought no less than six important battles, and sustained a loss of killed, three thousand and forty-four, wounded eighteen thousand nine hundred and fifty-two. Total killed and wounded, twenty-one thousand nine hundred and ninety six.

During the month of October, 1864, the Army of Tennessee lost killed, one hundred and eighteen; wounded, six hundred and twenty-two; total, seven hundred and forty. During the month of November: Killed, one thousand and eighty-nine; wounded, three thousand one hundred and thirty-one; total, four thousand two hundred and twenty. These casualties include the bloody battle of Franklin, Tennessee, fought November 30, 1864.1 [132]

As shown by Colonel Mason's official report, made on the 10th of December, ten days after the battle of Franklin, the effective strength of the Army of Tennessee was: Infantry, eighteen thousand three hundred and forty-two; artillery, two thousand four hundred and five; cavalry, two thousand three hundred and six; total, twenty-three thousand and fifty-three. This last number, subtracted from thirty thousand six hundred, the strength of General Hood's army at Florence, shows a total loss, from all causes, of seven thousand five hundred and forty-seven from the 6th of November to the 10th of December, which period embraces the engagements at Columbia, Franklin, and of Forrest's cavalry.2

At the battle of Nashville, the Army of Tennessee lost in killed and wounded about two thousand five hundred, making the total loss during the Tennessee campaign about ten thousand.

According to Colonel Mason's statement, there were, including the furloughed men, about eighteen thousand five hundred men, effectives, of the infantry and artillery at Tupelo after General Hood's retreat from Nashville. Before the advance of the army into Tennessee on the 6th of November, 1864, the effective strength was thirty thousand six hundred, inclusive of the cavalry.

Thus we find at Tupelo, eighteen thousand five hundred infantry and artillery, and two thousand three hundred and six Forrest's cavalry, to which add ten thousand lost from all causes, and the total sum amounts to thirty thousand eight hundred and six effectives. General Hood thus estimates his loss in the Tennessee campaign to have been in excess of ten thousand.

Of the once proud Army of Tennessee, less than twenty thousand foot-sore, shoeless, ragged soldiers escaped with Hood's advance into Tennessee; at the same time a large army (in numbers at least) of sick, wounded and convalescents crowded the general hospitals in Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi.

The life of the Confederacy was bound up in its armies, and when these armies were scattered in the field and their means of sustenance and transportation destroyed, all hope of final success perished. With the Southern Confederacy, the problem was one of endurance and resources; and no Confederate general appears to have comprehended this truth more thoroughly than Joseph E. Johnston. In his masterly retreat from Dalton to Atlanta, he opposed successfully [133] less than fifty thousand Confederate troops against General Sherman's powerful, thoroughly armed and equipped army of more than one hundred thousand brave, stalwart Western soldiers. In his slow retreat, General Johnston was ever ready to give battle, and whilst inflicting greater losses upon his great adversary than his own forces sustained, he, nevertheless, during this incessant fighting maintained the morale, discipline, valor and thorough organization and armament of his soldiers.

The chief executive of the Southern Confederacy, with all his lofty patriotism and burning ardor for the defence of his bleeding country, placed too high an estimate upon his own individual military genius, and failed to grasp in all its bearings the problem of the terrible death struggle of the young nation.

General Hood combined with unbounded energy and dauntless courage and glowing patriotism a fiery ambition for military glory which led him to overestimate his own military genius and resources and at the same time to underestimate the vast resources and military strategy of his antagonist.

When General Hood ceased to confront General Sherman, and opened the way for his desolating march through the rich plantations of Georgia, the Empire State of the South, the fate of the Confederacy was forever sealed. The beleagured Confederacy, torn and bleeding along all her borders, was in no position to hurl her war-worn, imperfectly clad and poorly armed and provisioned battalions upon fortified cities.

The effort to destroy forces aggregating in Georgia and Tennessee near two hundred thousand effectives by a force of less than forty thousand men, which had cut loose from its base of supplies, exceeded the wildest dream of untamed military enthusiasm.

Of the gallant soldiers whose blood reddened the waters of the Tennessee and enriched the hills and valleys of Georgia, Tennessee furnished seventy regiments of infantry and twelve regiments of cavalry.

If the soldiers furnished by Tennessee to the Federal army be added, it is only just to say that she alone furnished more than one hundred thousand men to the American war of 1861-‘65, and won afresh the title of the Volunteer State.

Noble Tennessee! The generous and prolific mother of brave soldiers and of beautiful and intrepid women.

What changes have been wrought in a quarter of a century! The songs of birds, the sturdy blows of the woodman's axe have supplanted [134] the roar of cannon and the rattle of musketry; the soil which drank up the blood of Southern soldiers bears its precious burden of golden corn and snowy white fleecy cotton; the laughter of women and prattle of children, and the merry whistle of the plowman fill the places of the brazen trumpet and the martial music of the fife and drum, and the hoarse shouts of contending men, and groans of the wounded and dying; the entrenched camp and ragged village of 1865 has given place to the thriving city of fifty thousand inhabitants, with its workshops, factories, well filled stores, electric lights and railways, and its universities of science and literature.

Here in this historic place the weary invalids of the Northern clime may rest in the shadows and bathe their fevered brows in the cool breezes of these grand mountains.

In this brief record of the heroic efforts of the soldiers of the Armies of Mississippi and Tennessee to defend the Southern States from the Northern invaders, we have time but to make a brief allusion to the defence of the Mississippi river by the Confederate Government, which was characterized by a long chain of disasters.

The fall of Forts Henry and Donelson opened the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers to the iron clads of the Federals and convoyed and protected their armies as they marched into the heart of the Confederacy. The strong fortifications erected by General Leonidas Polk, at Columbus, Kentucky, were evacuated by the orders of the commanding Generals, Albert Sidney Johnston and G. T. Beauregard.

Island No.10 fell with a loss of seventeen killed and five hundred prisoners, on the 8th of April, 1862, and the navigation of the Mississippi river was secured by the Federal fleet up to the walls of Fort Pillow, above Memphis, Tennessee.

New Orleans, the commercial emporium of the Confederacy, fell after an inglorious defence (April 18, April 28, 1862), characterized by indecision, incompetence and insubordination, with the trifling loss of one hundred and eighty-five killed, one hundred and ninety-seven wounded, four hundred prisoners; total Confederate loss, seven hundred and eighty-two.

Wise statesmanship dictated that the entire power and resources of the Southern Confederacy should have been concentrated upon the defence of the mouth of the Mississippi river. The future historian of this war will find in the tall of Forts Henry, Donelson, and of New Orleans the first and greatest disasters of the Southern cause from which unnumbered and fatal disasters flowed, and which ended in the final destruction of the Confederacy. [135]

The evacuation of Fort Pillow was followed by the surrender at Memphis, Tennessee, June 6, 1862, after a loss of eighty-one killed and wounded, and one hundred missing, incurred in the resistance offered by the Confederate flotilla, consisting of the gunboats Van Dorn, Price, Jeff Thompson, Bragg, Lovell, Beauregard, Sumpter and Little Rebel.

The defence of Vicksburg includes: The battle of Baton Rouge, August 5, 1862, General J. Breckenridge: killed, eighty-four; wounded, three hundred and sixteen; missing, seventy-eight; total Confederate loss, four hundred and sixty-eight. Iuka, Mississippi, September 19 and 20, General Sterling Price: killed, two hundred and sixty-three; wounded, six hundred and ninety-two; missing, five hundred and sixty-one; total, one thousand five hundred and sixteen. Corinth, Mississippi, October 3 and 4, 1862, Generals Van Dorn and Sterling Price: killed, five hundred and ninety-four; wounded, two thousand one hundred and sixty-two; missing, two thousand one hundred and two; total, four thousand eight hundred and six. Port Gibson, May I, 1863, Major-General John S. Bowen: killed and wounded, one thousand one hundred and fifty; missing, five hundred; total, one thousand six hundred and fifty. Baker's Creek, May 16, 1863, Lieutenant-General Pemberton: killed and wounded, two thousand; missing, one thousand eight hundred; total, three thousand eight hundred. Big Black River, May 17, 1863, Lieutenant-General Pemberton: killed and wounded, six hundred; missing, two thousand five hundred; total, three thousand one hundred and ten. Vicksburg, Mississippi, May 18 to July 4, 1863: Lieutenant-General J. C. Pemberton: killed, wounded, missing and prisoners, thirty-one thousand two hundred and seventy-seven. Port Hudson, Louisiana, May 27 to July 9, 1863; killed and wounded, seven hundred and eighty: missing and prisoners, six thousand four hundred and eight; total, seven thousand one hundred and eighty-eight. Jackson, Mississippi, July 9 to 26, General Joseph E. Johnston: killed, seventy one; wounded, five hundred and four; missing, twenty-five; total, six hundred.

During the operations in Mississippi and Louisiana on the east bank of the Mississippi river for the defence of Vicksburg, commencing with the battle of Baton Rouge, August 5, 1862, and ending with the evacuation of Jackson, Mississippi, July 19, 1863, the Confederate army lost in killed, wounded and prisoners, fifty-four thousand four hundred and fifteen officers and men—an army equal in numbers to the largest ever assembled upon any battle-field of the [136] war under any one Confederate commander. If we add to this the losses occurring in the field and general hospitals, from sickness, discharges, deaths and desertions, the loss sustained by the Confederate forces in these operations would equal an army of at least seventy-five thousand.

The heart of the Southern patriot stands still at the recital of these humiliating details. The Confederate commander, General J. C. Pemberton, was not merely outnumbered, but he was outgeneraled by his Northern antagonists.

What medical and surgical records have been preserved of this mass of suffering, disease and death? Who has written the medical history of the sufferings of the brave defenders of Vicksburg?

Fellow soldiers and comrades of the Confederate Army and Navy, I accepted the honor conferred upon me by one of the most illustrious captains of the struggle for Southern independence, not because it conferred power or pecuniary emoluments, but solely that I might in some manner further the chosen project of my life. When my native State, Georgia, seceded from the Federal union in January, 1861, I placed my sword and my life at her service. Entering as a private of cavalry, I served in defense of the sea coast in 1861, and although acting as surgeon to this branch of the service, I performed all the duties required of the soldier in the field. Entering the medical service of the Confederate army in 1862, I served as surgeon up to the dale of my surrender in May, 1865. Through the confidence and kindness of Surgeon-General S. P. Moore, Confederate States Army, I was enabled to inspect the great armies, camps, hospitals, beleagured cities and military prisons of the Southern Confederacy.

The desire of my soul, and the ambition of my entire life, was to preserve, as far as possible, the medical and surgical records of the Confederate army during this gigantic struggle.

The defeat of our armies and the destruction of our government only served to increase my interest and still further to engage all my energies in this great work, which, under innumerable difficulties, I have steadily prosecuted in Augusta, Georgia, Nashville, Tennessee, and New Orleans, Louisiana, up to this happy moment when I greet the stern but noble faces of the survivors of the Confederate Army and Navy.

I hold this position, which has neither military fame nor financial resources, solely for the right which it gives me to issue a last appeal for the preservation of the Medical and Surgical Records of the Medical Corps of the Confederate Army and Navy. [137]

A veteran of more than four years active service in the cause of the Southern Confederacy, at the end of a quarter of a century issues his last call of honor and glory to his comrades, which will be found at length in his report to the general commanding, which is now presented for the consideration of the survivors of the Medical Corps of the Confederate Army and Navy. (See preceding report.)

With the researches and records of the speaker taken during the war and subsequently, he has in his possession ample material for a volume relating to the Medical and Surgical History of the Confederate Army of not less than one thousand five hundred pages, and it is to be hoped that the survivors will furnish such data as will enable him to give accurate statements with reference to the labors, names and rank of the medical officers.

1 Report of Surgeon A. J. Foard, Medical Director Army of Tennessee.

2 General J. B. Hood, ‘Advance and Retreat,’ p. 298.

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