previous next

From the South.

Morgan's last exploit is thus described by a letter from Lenores, in East Tennessee, dated August 26th:

On last Wednesday morning an Indiana regiment was dispatched from Nashville by rail as far as the burnt bridge at Sandersville, from thence to proceed on foot to Gallatin, to recapture that place, and at the same time (if possible) to capture the redoubtable John Morgan. The Colonel of this regiment (Hefferen) entered Gallatin and arrested every male citizen, including many of the oldest in the county. He permitted his men to sack the stores and destroy the property of quiet, peaceable citizens and also to enter the Masonic Lodge at Gallatin and scatter the furniture and paraphernalia of the order in every direction. They then proceeded with their captives down the road towards Nashville. In the meantime Gen. Morgan, with 1,200 men, returned to Gallatin from Hartsville, and bearing of the recent visit of the ‘"Yanks,"’ started with his command in pursuit.

He chased the Indianians to within ten miles of Nashville, killing some fifty or sixty, and capturing about fifty prisoners. At the junction of the Edgefield and Kentucky Railroad and the Louisville and Nashville Road the Yankees made a stand behind a triangular stockade work, and Gen. Morgan drew off his men, rather than sacrifice them in the attempt to capture the few Yankees that had taken refuge there, and returned to Gallatin. In the fight at the Junction two of his officers were killed--Lieut. J. A. Smith, of Company A, and Adjutant Niles. Only three of his men were wounded.

At Gallatic the next morning intelligence reached Morgan that Gen. Johnson, with a large Federal cavalry force, was rapidly advancing. Morgan callled his men and moved out the Hartsville road to meet him. Both parties ran together at the first toll-gate on the Hartsville road, and the fight commenced, but ceased shortly at the appearance of a flag of truce from the Yankees. Johnson requested an armistice. He was taken by surprise and his men were not all together. Morgan sent word to him that he had been following him from point to point, and now he could get it. The fight was resumed, but shortly ended in a complete victory for Morgan--Gen. Johnson, with 600 of his men, having surrendered. About five hundred escaped by fording the Cumberland, swimming the river, and leaving their horses on the wrong side, and getting on the safe side of that stream in the speediest and most practicable way possible. As I came up to Lebanon about 4 o'clock on the evening of the fight, I saw Johnson's men ‘"skedaddling"’ (to use a Yankee vulgarism) in the most disgraceful manner. Many of them were hatless and even bootless after their bootless effort to capture John Morgan. They tarried not in Lebanon, nor even till they landed safely in Nashville.

Many of them on foot were pressing horses and vehicles of every kind with which to get away from Morgan, and their guns and accoutrements were strewn from Lebanon to the toll-gate nearest to Nashville. They acknowledged themselves to be citizens of Lebanon, that they were badly whipped; in fact, ‘"cut all to pieces."’ Morgan, I believe, is still at Hartsville, or perhaps at Gallanting, and Forrest must have joined him by this time. New recruits were flocking to Morgan from every direction in Kentucky and Tennessee, and the citizens are once again hopeful of deliverance from the Philistines. I was unable to ascertain Morgan's loss in the last fight. I have heard it estimated at 100 killed and wounded, but I do not believe it is half that.

The last raid of the gunboats on James river amounted to a little less than nothing. On Thursday last the flotilla off Harrison's Landing steamed up James river for the purpose, it was supposed, of ‘"reducing"’ Drury's Bluff. A letter to the Petersburg Express gives the particulars of the reduction:

On arriving at the month of the Appomattox, a large 18-gunboat which was in the advance, ran aground. This caused the balance, nine in number, to take positions along the Appomattox channel, while the iron-clads Galena and Monitor moved up the James, with the intention doubtless of going on; but finding the big sloop-of-war still aground, they slipped their anchors and formed in line of battle, extending from Bermuda Hundreds to Dr. McComer's late residence on the Appomattox.

The flotilla consisted of the two iron-clads already mentioned; one sloop-of-war, 18 guns; one of 16, and one of 10 guns; ten New York ferry-boats, carrying four 9-inch guns each; two steam tugs of two guns each, and two transports. They also brought with them many schooners loaded with coal, evidently intending to remain up the river for several days.

The vessels remained in the position above described until 6½ o'clock Friday morning, when all weighed anchor and moved down James river, seemingly in a great hurry, as one of the sloops slipped her cable instead of weighing it leaving small steamer rug to grabbing the anchor. While this tug was busily engaged in endeavoring to rescue the anchor, the Confederate picket stationed at City Point delivered a volley at the little tug, which seemed to surprise the bunkers very much. The tug immediately turned about and returned the fire from a small brass howitzer, but did no damage to our men. While thus engaged, the Monitor and two small gunboats came to the aid of the tug, and commenced shelling both sides of the Appomattox at City Point and Ray's farm. In the meantime, our pickets, nothing daunted, rushed down to the water's edge at City Point, and poured volley after volley at the exposed bunkers on the deck of the tug, evidently causing them to suffer severely.--The tug soon withdrew beyond the range of small arms at the Point, and brought their guns to bear on the signal station at Ray's farm, shelling the station for one hour and ten minutes, and cutting down trees and tearing up the ground in the yard where the station is situated. The signal men did not shrink from duty during this terrible shower of shell, but continued to wave their flags and pass messages along the line to Petersburg and Richmond.

At 2 o'clock the firing ceased, and the Monitor and consorts steamed down the river and joined the flotilla lying at anchor off Harrison's Landing.

Nothing more was heard from the fleet until Friday morning, August 29th, when, at 10 o'clock, the entire flotilla commenced the work of weighing anchor and making fast to their sail transports.--We at first thought this was preparatory to a move for Richmond, but to my great surprise they steamed down the river, taking with them all their schooners, lighters, and negroes. At 12 o'clock the last mast had disappeared from view at Berkley.

Thus ends the great work for the present, that Com. Wilkes, with his invincible fleet, was to have accomplished before the 15th of August.

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.
John Morgan (12)
Johnson (4)
Ray (2)
Yanks (1)
Wilkes (1)
J. A. Smith (1)
Niles (1)
McComer (1)
Forrest (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.
August 29th (1)
August 26th (1)
August 15th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: