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mmenced my march from Nashville on the 15th of March, with a rapid movement of cavalry, followed by McCook's division, to seize the bridges which were yet in possession of the enemy. The latter, however, succeeded in destroying the bridge over Duck River, at Columbia, forty miles distant, and another a few miles farther north. At that time our armies were not provided with pontoon-trains, and rivers had to be crossed with such means as we could make. The streams were out of their banks. DuckDuck River was a formidable barrier, and it was not until the 81st that the army was able to cross. Hie says this work was prosecuted with intelligence, energy, and diligence. In the mean time I had been placed by the War Department under the orders of General Halleck, and he designated Savannah, on the east bank of the Tennessee, as the place for our junction. The distance from Columbia is ninety miles, and was marched at the rate of fifteen miles a day, without a halt. The distance from
moon added to its beauty for awhile, but disappeared long before I dropped off to sleep. We entered Shelbyville at noon. There are more Union people here than at Murfreesboro, and we saw many glad faces as we marched through the streets. The band made the sky ring with music, and the regiment deported splendidly. One old woman clapped her hands and thanked heaven that we had come at last. Apparently almost wild with joy, she shouted after us, God be with you! We went into camp on Duck river, one mile from the town. April, 5 General Mitchell complimented me on the good behavior and good appearance of the Third. He said it was the best regiment in his division. At Bacon creek, Kentucky, he was particularly severe on us, and attributed all our trouble to defective discipline and bad management on the part of the officers. On the evening when the acceptance of Marrow's resignation was read, the General was present. After parade was dismissed, I shook hands with him and
Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: The Opening Battles. Volume 1., Shiloh reviewed. (search)
s over streams which were liable to frequent interruption by high water, to leave only a sufficient working party and guard for that purpose; to use all possible industry and energy, so as to move forward steadily and as rapidly as possible without forcing the march or straggling; and to send Major-General Alexander McD. McCook. From a photograph. forward at once to communicate with General Smith at Savannah, and learn his situation. When the cavalry reached Columbia the bridge over Duck River was found in flames, and the river at flood stage. General McCook immediately commenced the construction of a frame bridge, but finding, after several days, that the work was progressing less rapidly than had been expected, I ordered the building of a boat bridge also, and both were completed on the 30th. On the same day the river became fordable. I arrived at Columbia on the 26th. General Nelson succeeded in getting a portion of his division across by fording on the 29th, and was given
Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: The Opening Battles. Volume 1., chapter 12.47 (search)
sembled might be caught and crushed between the armies of Grant and Buell, and that it would also expose to capture the large stock of military supplies collected so far in advance as Bowling Green and Clarksville, as well as at Nashville. In this decision sight was certainly lost of the facts that having no pontoon-train, General Buell could not possibly throw his army across the Cumberland, between Donelson and Nashville, so as to prevent the Confederates from falling safely back behind Duck River, or retreating upon Nashville behind the Cumberland, as we would hold the interior or shorter lines. Fort Henry having fallen after an ineffective but gallant defense of twenty-four hours, immediately thereafter the railroad bridge across the Tennessee, about twelve miles southward of the surrendered fortress, was destroyed. The direct line of communication between our forces eastward of that stream and those at Columbus having thus been broken, on the 7th of February I again urged as
The Annals of the Civil War Written by Leading Participants North and South (ed. Alexander Kelly McClure), Van Dorn, the hero of Mississippi. (search)
istmas eve, 1862, when, leaving the army at Grenada, under Loring's command, he moved with two thousand horse around Grant's army, swooped down upon Holly Springs, captured the garrison, destroyed three months stores for sixty thousand men, and defeated Grant's whole campaign and compelled him to abandon Mississippi. From that time Van Dorn resumed his proper role as a general of cavalry, in which he had no superior in either army. His extrication of his cavalry division from the bend of Duck river, equaled his conduct in the forks of the Hatchie. In the spring of 1863, he was the chief commander of the cavalry of Bragg's army, then at Tullahoma; he had as brigade commanders Armstrong, Jackson, Cosby, and Martin, and, with about eight thousand men, was preparing to move across the Ohio. His command was bivouacked in the fertile region of Middle Tennessee. His headquarters were at Spring Hill, and almost daily he would engage the enemy with one of his brigades while the other th
Ulysses S. Grant, Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant, The battle of Franklin-the battle of Nashville (search)
ting on foot, in which the Confederates were again routed and driven in great disorder. Our cavalry then went into bivouac, and renewed the pursuit on the following morning. They were too late. The enemy already had possession of Franklin, and was beyond them. It now became a chase in which the Confederates had the lead. Our troops continued the pursuit to within a few miles of Columbia, where they found the rebels had destroyed the railroad bridge as well as all other bridges over Duck River. The heavy rains of a few days before had swelled the stream into a mad torrent, impassable except on bridges. Unfortunately, either through a mistake in the wording of the order or otherwise, the pontoon bridge which was to have been sent by rail out to Franklin, to be taken thence with the pursuing column, had gone toward Chattanooga. There was, consequently, a delay of some four days in building bridges out of the remains of the old railroad bridge. Of course Hood got such a start
equel proved this to be the case; and the ill-judged assault led by Breckenridge ending in entire defeat, Bragg retired from Murfreesboroa the night of January 3. General Rosecrans occupied Murfreesboroa on the 4th and 5th, having gained a costly victory, which was not decisive enough in its character to greatly affect the general course of the war, though it somewhat strengthened and increased our hold on Middle Tennessee. The enemy in retiring did not fall back very far-only behind Duck River to Shelbyville and Tullahoma-and but little endeavor was made to follow him. Indeed, we were not in condition to pursue, even if it had been the intention at the outset of the campaign. As soon as possible after the Confederate retreat I went over the battle-field to collect such of my wounded as had not been carried off to the South and to bury my dead. In the cedars and on the ground where I had been so fiercely assaulted when the battle opened on the morning of the 31st, evidences
Minty's troops directly on Spring Hill, with a view to making some reprisal; but Van Dorn had no intention of accommodating us, and retired from Spring Hill, offering but little resistance. He continued to fall back, till finally he got behind Duck River, where operations against him ceased; for, in consequence of the incessant rains of the season, the streams had become almost impassable. Later, I returned by way of Franklin to my old camp at Murfreesboroa, passing over on this march the grouved the plan of the Tullahoma campaign and the one succeeding it; and is therefore entitled to every credit that attended their execution, no matter what may be claimed for others. On the 23d of June Bragg was covering his position north of Duck River with a front extending from McMinnville, where his cavalry rested, through Wartrace and Shelbyville to Columbia, his depot being at Tullahoma. Rosecrans, thinking that Bragg would offer strong resistance at Shelbyville — which was somewhat pro
r Major-General Gordon Granger, which moved on Monday against Van Dorn's rebel army, returned to Franklin, Tenn., this afternoon, having driven the enemy beyond Duck River. The infantry went no farther than Rutherford Creek, but the cavalry, under Colonel Minty, of the Fourth brigade, made a thorough reconnaissance of the country beyond the creek to Duck River. The second day's march brought the expedition to Rutherford Creek, where, for a time, the rebels promised fight. Their positions were well chosen, their artillery commanding the pike and several crossings. A blinding rain, however, prevented General Granger attempting the passage of the streampproaches. Soon word came back that the rebels were in rapid retreat, and finally at night the cavalry returned, announcing that all the rebels had fled beyond Duck River, which, of course, determined the return of the expedition. The different cavalry skirmishes resulted in the loss on the National side of two killed and seve
March 19. The British steamer Georgianna, with a cargo of medicines, dry goods, and six pieces of field artillery of the Whitworth and Blakely patterns, was disabled and subsequently destroyed by the National blockading fleet off Charleston, S. C.--The Union gunboat Chenango was launched at Greenpoint, N. Y.--A party of soldiers sent to Rush County, Ind., to arrest deserters, succeeded in capturing six, but while on their way to the cars the deserters were rescued by a large party of mounted Southern sympathizers, who were armed with rifles. Two companies of infantry were then sent from Indianapolis, and the deserters were again taken into custody.--A skirmish occurred on Duck River, near Franklin, Tenn.--The schooner Fanny Lewis arrived at London, from Wilmington, N. C., having run the blockade with a cargo of cotton and turpentine.--London News.
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