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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 1. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), chapter 6.36 (search)
ernoon of to-day we were relieved from picket and returned to camp, where I have written down these thoughts of the stirring incidents of this day two years ago. Captain Dan. Partridge is now our excellent brigade ordnance officer, and is ably assisted by Sergeant A. G. Howard, a disabled soldier. September 15th and 16th Many grape-vine telegraphic reports ar eafloat in camp. None worthy of credence; but those of a cheerful nature exert a good influence over the tired soldiers. September 17th Rodes' and Gordon's divisions, with Braxton's artillery, marched to Bunker Hill. September 18th Gordon's division, with Lomax's cavalry, moved on to Martinsburg, and drove Averill's cavalry division out of town, across the Opequon, and then returned to Bunker Hill. The Twelfth Alabama went on picket after dark. By referring to previous pages of this Diary, I find we have camped at Bunker Hill, July 25th and 31st, August 1st, 2d, 3d, 7th, 8th, 9th, 19th, 20th, 27th, 28th, 29th
to him were as follows: You will, in order to cover the northern line occupied by the Confederate army in this department, and threatened by the army of the United States, concentrate your command at Bowling Green, Kentucky, and secure and hold this important point in our line of defense . . . Secrecy in preparation and promptness in execution give the best, if not the only, promise of success; and the general is confident you will be wanting in neither. Buckner moved on the 17th of September by rail, and entered Bowling Green on the 18th, at 10 A. M. He had some 4,000 men, about 3,000 of whom were Tennessee troops from Camp Trousdale, near Nashville, and the remainder Kentuckians, composed of the Second Kentucky Regiment, Byrne's battery, and part of the Third and Fourth Kentucky Regiments, the greater part being left behind unarmed. Colonel Hawes was thrown forward with the Second Kentucky Regiment and Byrne's battery, as an outpost, to the Green River railroad bridge, w
r. Zollicoffer was deficient in facilities for effective fortification, and was prompted by an ardent and enterprising temper to more active operations. In the centre of a hostile population, and of a poor, mountainous country, he was urged both by the want of supplies and the necessity for vigilance to send out frequent expeditions. One of these brought on the first hostile collision in Kentucky. General Zollicoffer sent out Colonel J. A. Battle, who, with about 800 men, on the 17th of September, attacked and dispersed a camp of 300 Home Guards at Barboursville, eighteen miles distant from the position of the main body of the Confederates. The Confederates lost two killed and three wounded, and reported the known loss of the enemy as twelve killed and two prisoners. Having captured twenty fire-arms, and destroyed Camp Andrew Johnson, they returned to Cumberland Ford. On September 26th an expedition, sent by Zollicoffer to get salt, broke up a large encampment at Laurel Br
tly brought to the attention of the Government. One transport-boat, the Eastport, was ordered to be purchased and converted into a gunboat on the Tennessee River, but it was, unfortunately, too late to be of any service. Respectfully, your obedient servant, L. Polk, Major-General commanding. To General A. S. Johnston, commanding Army of the Mississippi, Corinth, Mississippi. A rigid examination of all the data confirms this report in its most important particulars. On the 17th of September General Johnston ordered Lieutenant Dixon, a young engineer of extraordinary skill, courage, and character, to report at Fort Donelson for engineer duty. Immediately afterward he applied to the adjutant-general for other engineer-officers, but for some time in vain. They were scarce, and otherwise assigned. From this time these defenses never ceased to be the subject of extreme solicitude to General Johnston. The preparations for resistance were necessarily enlarged with the magnit
Chapter 43: McClellan's unaccountable inaction activity of Lee and Jackson engagements at the South Mountain approach of the Federals to Sharpsburgh battle of Antietam, or Sharpsburgh, September seventeenth an indecisive engagement retreat of the Southern army into Virginia Jackson guards the rear, and repulse of the enemy's advance guard, etc. From a general review of our operations between the time of Jackson's departure from Frederick on the eleventh and the surrender of Harper's Ferry on the fifteenth, and from an estimate of the forces and the distance of the two armies operating within so few miles of each other during that time, McClellan's tardiness of action, in the face of Jackson's small force and activity, seemed to me inexplicable. The advance posts of the Federal cavalry exchanged shots with ours on the banks of the Monocacy on the eleventh, and at that time the true state of affairs must have been known to Federal commanders, for Union sympathiz
Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: The Opening Battles. Volume 1., chapter 12.46 (search)
,000 Federal troops. There were, it is true, some four thousand more raw recruits in camps of Birthplace of Albert Sidney Johnston, Washington, Ky. From a photograph. instruction, but they were sick and not half armed. Of course he might have abandoned the Mississippi River to Grant and brought Polk to his aid, but he had no thought of that; that would have been all which the Federals could have asked. The boldest policy seemed to him the best, and he resolved on a daring step. On September 17th he threw forward his whole force of four thousand men under Buckner by rail Fort Anderson, Paducah, in April, 1862. from a lithograph. into Kentucky and seized Bowling Green. It was a mere skirmish line to mask his own weakness. But if he could maintain it, even temporarily, it gave him immense strategic and political advantages, and, most of all, time to collect or create an army. And then (I hold in spite of some dilettante criticism) it gave him a formidable line, with Cumberlan
ing air. With great difficulty I at last found General Stuart, late in the evening, at the headquarters of General Lee. He appointed to meet Captain Blackford and myself in an hour's time, at a church about two miles from Sharpsburg, to which place of rendezvous we repaired; but the General came not. Having waited long for him, we finally rode off a short distance, and made our bivouac for the night on some stacks of straw, which seemed to offer the most comfortable spot for repose. 17th September. We obtained but little sleep. Occasional shots were fired all night in our neighbourhood. To add to our discomfort, a fine drizzling rain, which began to fall about daybreak, wet us to the skin, and, chilled as we were, we had no breakfast to reinvigorate us for the field. In the morning we discovered General Stuart, who had bivouacked quite near us, and, at his request, I rode with him along our line of battle, which stretched out, nearly four miles in length, over several of the
Robert Lewis Dabney, Life and Commands of Lieutenand- General Thomas J. Jackson, Chapter 17: the campaign in Maryland. (search)
became the reserve. Thus the troops lay down upon their arms, with the skirmishers immediately confronting the lines of the enemy, and sought such repose asthey might, amidst the alarms of a continual dropping fire. The morning of the 17th of September dawned with all the mellow splendor of the American autumn; but scarcely had the sun arisen, when its quiet and beauty were obscured by the thunders and smoke of a terrific cannonade, which burst from the whole Federal line. The plan of Mcweening vanity and arrogance, claimed a victory at Sharpsburg to which they knew they were not entitled; and filled the public ear with fictions of the discomfiture of the Confederates which they knew were exaggerated. They thus created for themselves a moral necessity to press them with boldness, and the penalty was the slaughter of September 20th. The three thousand corpses floating down the Potomac, or lining its banks, were the price paid by them for the rain boastings of September 17th.
Thomas C. DeLeon, Four years in Rebel capitals: an inside view of life in the southern confederacy, from birth to death., Chapter 24: echo of Seven days, North and South. (search)
re at his will toward the Ohio. That a Confederate army, at least equal in all respects, save perhaps numbers, to that of the enemy, should thus allow him to escape was then inexplicable to the people; and, as far as I have learned, it is so still. There is no critic so censorious as the self-appointed one; no god so inexorable as the people's voice. General Bragg's last hold upon the southern masses-military and civil — was lost now. The fight at Munfordville occurred on the 17th of September, but it was not until the 4th of the next month that the junction with Smith was effected at Frankfort. Then followed a Federal advance upon that town, which proved a mere diversion; but it produced the effect of deceiving General Bragg and of causing him to divide his forces. Hardee's and Buckner's divisions were sent to Perryville; and they with Cheatham's — who joined them by a forced marchbore the brunt of the battle of Perryville on the 8th of October. Notwithstanding the great
r confidence and more secure became their calculations; and the vivid contrast between the ragged, shoeless and incongruous army of the South with the sleek, spruce garrison surrendered to them, only, heightened the zest of the victory and the anticipation of those to follow. But a sudden check was to come to this mid-career of anticipation, and a pall of doubt and dismay was to drape the fair form of Hope, even in her infancy. Two days after the fall of Harper's Ferry — on the 17th of September-Lee had massed some 35,000 men on the banks of the Antietam, near Sharpsburg — a village ten miles north-east of Harper's Ferry. McClellan, pressing him hard with an army four times his own numbers-composed in part of raw levies and hastily-massed militia, and in part of the veterans of the armies of the Potomacseemed determined on battle. Trusting in the valor and reliability of his troops, and feeling the weakness of being pressed by an enemy he might chastise, the southern chief
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