Progress of the war.
Trading negroes for cotton.
The charge that some of the Yankee Generals
were more intent on making money than whipping the rebels, though made frequently and as often substantiated, is proven more conclusively than ever by facts that have come before the McDowell
investigation in St. Louis
The grossest charge is that made against Col. Hovey
, of Illinois
, of trading negroes for cotton.
The following is the testimony on the subject:
Brice Suffield being called and sworn, rectified
Q.--State whether you ever made an expedition for cotton on the steamer Iatan
in September, 1862 and if so, what occurred at that time?
A.--I did. Our company, commanded by Capt. Twining
, was ordered out from a camp near Helena
, to go down on the steamer Iatan
The captain of the boat told us the intention was to take us down to get some wood for fuel.
We landed on the Mississippi
side of the river, opposite the cut-off — White river
There was aboard the boat one Brown
, an overseer of Col. McGee
's plantation; he was on the beat when we went aboard After the boat was tied up, Brown
went ashore; this was after dark.
Sometime afterwards a man wearing a Government overcoat and spurs came aboard the boat.
Some of our company, supposing him to be a rebel soldier, asked him where he got his clothes.
He told them he got them in the Mexican
war. He went to the captain of the boat and told him it was all right — that the cotton would be in in the course of a few hours.
In due time Brown
returned, bringing with him twenty six bales of cotton.--After the cotton was delivered the boatmen, by order of the captain, put on shore fifteen negroes that had been used as boat hands.
After getting them on shore they tied them, after considerable struggling on the part of the negroes.
In the tying operation one of the negroes escaped.
After they were tied Brown
took them away.
I was on picket post, and Brown
, with the negroes, stopped at the post and bid me good evening, and then went on. Some time after taking the negroes away, Brown
came back and went aboard the boat and stayed till daylight.
A member of my company (don't recollect his name) told me he saw Captain Weaver
some money — we supposed for the cotton.
Q.--What part did Captain Twining
or soldiers present take in this transaction of putting off the negroes?
A.--Merely acting under orders.
They put us cut on shore to guard against surprise.
We guarded the boat.
That was our duty.
We had nothing to do with the negroes at all.
Q.--On what date was this?
A.--It was about the 24th of September.
Q.--Was any military officer on board the boat besides the officers of your company?
A.--I think not. There was a man on board, but I don't think he was a commissioned officer; he was acting as aid to Colonel Hovey
His name is Washington
Q.--How many negroes, acting as deck hands, were there on board the boat when you went aboard with your company?
Q.--After these fifteen negroes were put shore, did any other negroes come back with you as deck hands in the service of the boat?
A.--No, sir. These negroes were taken on an expedition to the same place some weeks before, from the same plantation.
Q.--Under whose charge was that expedition?
Raid on the Railroad Trains--Gen. Wheeler's last Exploits.
The Mobile Register
publishes a very interesting and graphic account of the recent railroad raids by Gen. Wheeler
The cavalry composing Gen
. W.'s force were from Texas
, and Tennessee
It left Unionville
on the 5th inst., and reached the Cumberland river
on the 10th, about ten miles from Nashville
, Here they laid in wait for the train on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, which was to pass on the opposite side of the river.
The correspondent says:
The battery, commanded by Lieut. Arthur Pue
, was admirably masked, and the advance regiments of Crew
's brigade, being dismounted, were placed in ambush for the train from Louisville
, So admirably was all this preparation executed that the sentinels on the opposite bank, who were passing the bank, who were passing the railroad bridge, and the Yankees
occupying the stockade never discovered our presence.
After waiting about 1½ hours, the freight train came rushing down.
opens his battery upon them, the first shot disabling the engine and the others making it a wreck.
In the meantime the dismounted men pour volley after volley into the cars, wounding and killing the battle and horses aboard.
The horses were intended for mounting their infantry.
A few minutes sufficed to accomplish the work.
The river intervening, it was impossible to reach the train, and this surprise and destruction of property, the object of this part of the expedition, was accomplished.
About 5 o'clock we left the Cumberland
, and dark found us opposite the Hermitage, on the pike.
The command then returned near Lebanon
, and at 12 o'clock bivouacked for the night.
Horass and men were greatly fatigued, for they had traveled over fifty miles. The next day we returned to our camp on Spring Creek
, this side of Lebanon
The next day 400 picked men were detailed under Col. Farrell
to "top" the Nashville
F. reached it in the evening.
The letter says:
At once be dispatched four men to tear up the
track and out the telegraph wire.
The Rangers, under command of Capt. E. P. Christian
, were placed in his rear to protect him in case a force should advance upon him from Lavergne
The 1st Kentucky was placed on picket upon the Nashville and Murfreesboro' pike
The balance of the command was dismounted and ambuscaded behind the and rocks to await the train.
In a few moments the whistle announced its approach.
The Rangers, being mounted and exposed, were first discovered, and the guard fired upon them, but doing no damage.
They were not allowed to return it on secount of reserving their fire for the enemy which might suddenly come up and attack the rear.
It was but a moment more and the train was opposite the ambuscaded men, when they poured volley after volley into it. They first made an effort to stop the train for battle, but our firing was so steady and heavy they could not stand it.--The next effort was to run forward and escape; but this failed to bring them deliverance, for the ears ran off the track and they were brought to a halt.
The guards then leaped from the ears and endeavored to form a line of battle, but were cut down as fast they attempted to form.
After several ineffectual efforts they surrendered.
The train was crowded with soldiers, and some few passengers, for Nashville
A great many had gone up on the tops of the cars for variety, and were fine targets for our sharpshooters.
When our firing commenced they rolled off hastily.
at once had the sick, wounded and killed removed from the cars, and they were fired and destroyed.
The express ear contained a large mail and much express matter.
The troops had just been paid off, and almost every letter contained more or less "greenbackns, " besides large amounts expressed to individuals and companies, When the fighting was over the dismounted men rushed to the express our and got a large amount of money.
The mail also furnished a good deal from the opened letters.
But this was not the place for delay, and as soon as the work of destruction was completed it was necessary to retire.
The enemy lost in killed and wounded about 75--one Colonel
, one Lieutenant
and the engineer among the killed.
78 prisoners were captured; of these 15 were commissioned officers, and 63 were non- commissioned and privates.
The loss on our side was one man slightly wounded.
There were on board forty eight of our soldiers who were prisoners, including two lieutenants.
All were released except one of the Eleventh Texas, who was killed on the cars during the fight.
We escaped remarkably.
The command was now ordered to mount and march forward with the prisoners.
A portion being turned over to Capt. Christian
he was directed to proceed to the pike form a line of battle, and hold the position until all could get safely across.
About one mile above the place of attack he was fired into by Yankees from a stockade which was near by. --They had come out for the purpose of cutting him off, but driving them back he passed safely through and was soon joined by the remainder of the command and the prisoners.
having received information that a large force of cavalry and infantry was drawn up in line of battle at Lavergne
, and there being a strong probability that by delay he would be cut off from his fording place on Stones river
, he deemed it prudent to reach that point as soon as possible.
Crossing the river in safety, after marching four miles, he halted to forage the horses and parole the prisoners.--All were paroled except eleven officers, who refused it, and were retained.
Among these were two Colonels
, one Major
, eight Captains
They doubtless thought they would be recaptured.
The capture of Striplings battery near Suffolk.
A correspondent of the Petersburg Express
, writing from near Suffolk
, gives some particulars of the capture of our battery at Keeling
When the Yankees
charged and captured the battery they gave a cheer which was heard by the 55th North Carolina Regiment, about a mile and a half off.--The regiment immediately marched for the spot.
The letter says:
Arrived on the field within three hundred yards of the captured fort, the regiment was halted for the rear to close up, and then a line of battle was formed.
Just here the Colonel
, in passing down the front of his line, made one of those pithy speeches which occasionally find their way into history--one which for force, brevity, and pointedness, rivals the best on record.
This is the speech "Now, men by G — d you've got to retake that battery; forward, march" Short and sweet, and much to the point Daniel Webster
couldn't have said it better. "We'll do it," said one of the men as we moved forward.
We had advanced but a short distance when we were met by Capt. Terrell
. Law's Assistant Adjutant- General
He informed the Colonel
that the recapture of the fort was utterly impracticable; that it could be approached only by the front; that the front was protected by a bog; that this bog was impassable but at one place and that only five or six men could march abreast through that place.--Captain Terrell
further said that he was on the way to the fort when it fell with two companies, to relieve the two which were in the fort supporting the battery.
In consequence of the representations of Capt. Terrell
, the Colonel
determined not to attempt to retake the lost battery.
He then formed his line of battle at a distance of about three hundred yards from the fort, and sent Lieut-Col. Smith
forward with two companies deployed as skirmishers to discover if the enemy still occupied the fort, and if so, in what force.
very soon showed their position and strength by a most furious fire of shell, grape, shot and musketry.
The regiment lay there under fire from seven gunboats, two land batteries and a heavy skirmishing force of the enemy, for upwards of an hour, without flinching.
Finding that nothing could be done, as we were alone on the field, and that we were exposing ourselves uselessly, the regiment then fell back in good order some two hundred yards. There a new position was taken and maintained under the same terrible fire.
The object of this position was to protect Capt. Smoot
's battery of two 30 pound rifle pieces, on our left and lower down the river, until they could be removed.
The guns having been removed, the regiment still held its position to meet any advance of the enemy until orders were received from Gen
. Law, about 8 o'clock A. M., to fall back to the edge of the woods beyond the field, In this position we remained until relieved by Gen. Robinson
's brigade late in the morning, having been under a heavy and incessant fire for sixteen hours. In the evening we returned to our bivouac of the day previous, which closed the part taken by the Fifty fifth in the affair of the 19th and 20th.
Considering the heaviness of the fire sustained by the regiment for so long a time, our casualties were few, owing to the darkness of the night.
One man mortally wounded, nine less severely, and one missing, supposed to be dead.
The horrors of war.
A Murfreesboro' correspondent of the New York Tribune
, writing under date of April 12, after detailing the recent battle between Generals Stanley
Among the prisoners captured at and near Snow Hill
were two men who wore the National
uniform, and who according to the orders of the War Department, were subject to the penalty of death by shooting.
In accordance with the authority vested in him, the Colonel
had the two executed. --At the same time he had suspended to the nearest limb, until dead, a prisoner who was represented as having once, as captain of a guerilla band, ordered the execution of an old man whose two sons are in Stokes
's Federal cavalry, The effect of the act was demonstrated a few hours afterward.--Col. Wilder
had detailed a small party at Reynoldsville
, to act as rear guard.
The enemy pounced upon the little company, and succeeded in capturing two soldiers, named Vance
, belonging to the 78th Pennsylvania.
They carried the prisoners with them, and, following Col. Willis
, came up to the place where the three had been executed.
Up to this time no indignity had been offered our men.--The particulars of the execution, however, having been elicited from the citizens in the vicinity, the rebels immediately shot their prisoners, killing Vance
instantly, and shooting Montgomery
through the neck, destroying the power of speech, and through the jaw, destroying the use of an eye.--Montgomery
, left for dead, lay all night in the woods, unconscious.
Reviving as morning dawned, and following the directions of a negro, he made his way to the main road, and was picked up by a detachment of our cavalry and brought to Murfreesboro
'. He is yet alive, and strong hopes are entertained of his ultimate recovery.