previous next

From Tennessee.

an interesting story — the late defeat — Faith in the success of our cause.

[correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch]

Knoxville, Tenn., Jan. 30, 1862.
I yesterday conversed with a young man in the General Hospital at this place, whose story is interesting. His name is W. L. Richardson; he is a native of Choctaw county, Mississippi; he was eighteen years old the 5th of last September. Some two years ago he left home and proceeded to St. Louis to engage in the service of a fur company, and go on an expedition to the Rocky Mountains Falling in this, he went up into Minnesota, and settled near St. Paul. When the present war broke out he started back to Mississippi. Arriving at St. Joseph, Missouri, he was unable to get farther; he volunteered in the Northern army, expecting to be sent to Fort Smith, Arkansas, and intending to desert from that place and make his way to Mississippi. He was attached to the 2d Missouri regiment, Col. Martin. Instead of going to Fort Smith, this regiment was ordered, via Columbus, Ohio, to Western Virginia, and formed part of the command of Gen. Rosecrans.

He says he was in the battle of Carnafax Ferry, or Ganley Cliffs, as it is called by the Federals. I questioned him particularly about this engagement and its results to the Lincoln army. He affirmed that Rosecrans lost eighteen hundred killed in the battle. He said many placed it at twenty-two hundred, but the common estimate was the former number. I interrogate him two or three times on this point, and he was distinct and emphatic in making the above statement.

I then inquired how many were wounded? He said the number was very large — that from that point back to Charleston, a distance of thirty miles, every house along the road was filled with the wounded, people being turned out of doors to make room for them.

You may estimate these statements at what you think they are worth. If I remember, the Dispatch at one time expressed an opinion that the Federal loss in that battle was vastly greater than reported and commonly believed to be. In the table published in your columns a few days ago, their killed are put down at 150, and wounded at 250. Their aggregate losses during the war are figured up at 4,825 killed in battle, and 7,614 wounded. Whereas the New York Times places their losses at 11,000 killed, and 17,000 wounded. The obvious inference is that in many instances we have greatly under-estimated the number which they have lost.

This young man said Rosecrans had in that expedition eighteen regiments, and that he employed eleven of them in the attack on Floyd's forces. He says they advanced seven times against the latter's breastworks, and that, being stationed on the side of Ganley mountain, on Rosecrans's left, he witnessed five of the charges. After the firing ceased, the Federal General retired about four miles, and sent a force of several regiments to go round Gauley mountain, by old Mr. Gooseberry's, and come down the river, upon Floyd's rear. The distance to be gone over was about 11 miles; but before they could accomplish the march, Floyd was gone. The day after the battle, he was within Floyd's evacuated fortification, but saw no blood, or traces of men having been killed and wounded. The breastwork, about six hundred yards in length, reached from Gauley river across a bottom to Gauley mountain, on the right. He admired the position very much, and also the military character of Gen. Floyd, whom he considered more than a match for Rose crane. Referring to him, he said, ‘"I would like to be under that man. I would be willing to fight under him as long as the war lasts. I would as soon risk him as any of them. "’ A similar feeling, I find, prevails with the volunteers encamped here. They think Floyd would be the man to retrieve the Fishing creek disaster, repulse the advance of the Federalists into East Tennessee, and lead our forces to victory.

The young Mississippian, after an unsuccessful effort to desert, succeeded on a second trial. He made his way through South western Virginia into Tennessee, was arrested and taken to Cumberland Gap, then brought to this place. He soon enlisted as a recruit for a company in the harbor of Charleston, S. C. The day before he was to start he was attacked with typhoid fever, from which he is just recovered. When fully able, he will join his company.

With reference to the recent defeat in Kentucky, everybody deplores it, but the public mind has quieted and resumed a tone of confidence. All accounts, both Southern and Northern, agree our men fought well. Those who left the ranks and dispersed after crossing the river are being collected together and sent back to rejoin their commands. With able generalship thorough, effective drilling and discipline, efficient men in the Quarter-master and Commissary Departments, sobriety and temperance among officers and privates, and the help of God, our forces will be invincible and victorious. A. B.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Floyd (6)
Rosecrans (4)
W. L. Richardson (1)
John Martin (1)
Gooseberry (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
May, 9 AD (1)
January 30th, 1862 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: