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that the question of rank was never mentioned in his conversations with General A. S, Johnston. It is not probable that he ever heard of this discussion: he certainly had no share in it. His relative rank was a matter to which he ascribed no importance, and his great responsibilities occupied his full attention. The subject is alluded to only to disclaim for him all connection with it. The command to which General Johnston was called thus embraced all the northern frontier west of the Alleghanies, and a portion of that mountain-barrier. The interests confided to him were not only vast, but often conflicting. The great Mississippi divided his department into two theatres of war with widely-separated bases, and it was penetrated by the solid wedge of the Northwest. A brief view of the situation of affairs in Kentucky and Missouri is necessary, in order to comprehend the campaign which General Johnston conducted against the powerful armies collected by the United States Governm
ent, more clearly than the Confederate, appreciated the character and importance of these mountaineers, and secured the adhesion of their leaders to the Federal side. The consequence was, the loss of the whole population, from the crests of the Alleghanies to their Western foot-hills, and the creation of a disloyal and hostile section, severing the East from the West, and converting the Gibraltar of the South into a stronghold for its foes. a line from the mouth of the Big Sandy River, wheefensive works in progress at different points from Columbus to Memphis might be expected to defy this fresh-water navy; but the River system of Kentucky itself was tributary to the North. The Cumberland and the Tennessee Rivers, rising in the Alleghanies, flow first southwest, and thence by sharp bends to the North, traversing respectively the northern and Southern portions of Tennessee, and finally emptying close together into the Ohio near its mouth. The history of the attempt to defend t
here, in the abandonment of this projected sortie, an illustration of that vacillation and of those divided counsels which brought about the loss of the army at Fort Donelson. There is no need to pursue with unmerited blame any of the generals in command. While the springs of human action remain unchanged, such calamities will result from unforeseen combinations. Floyd was of a bold and impetuous temper, but he was a mountaineer; and, except a few months' experience in warfare among the Alleghanies, a novice in military operations. The moment he felt himself cooped up within intrenchments, his active spirit lost its spring. The correspondence already quoted shows the reluctance with which he came to Fort Donelson. When he went behind breastworks, he was already half beaten. On any other arena than that of war, Floyd would have been esteemed at least the equal of his associates. In a charge, he would not have fallen behind them in gallantry. But lie was a very sympathetic man
Sunday's battle was the most terrible that he had witnessed during his whole career. Badeau remarks (volume i., page 78) in regard to the assault on Sherman Sunday morning, that it was successful, after several hours of as desperate fighting as was ever seen on the American Continent. He says (page 89), With the exception of one or two severe struggles, the fighting of April 7th was light when compared with that of Sunday. Again (page 93): It was the fiercest fight of the war west of the Alleghanies, and, in proportion to the numbers engaged, equaled any contest during the rebellion. I have heard Sherman say that he never saw such terrible fighting afterward, and Grant compared Shiloh only with the Wilderness. He adds truly: In the battle, each party was forced to respect the fighting qualities of the other; the Northerners recognized the impetuous vigor and splendid enthusiasm of the rebels, and the latter found all the tenacity and determination of the North in those who oppose
Chapter 30: June Jackson in the Valley Shields and Fremont battle of cross Keys Ashby killed battle of Port Republic end of the Valley campaign, and rout of the enemy. Charlottesville, June 20th, 1862. Dear friend: In my last I informed you that before Jackson left Page Valley to attack Banks's rear in the Shenandoah, Shields had already left, and gone eastwards across the Blue Ridge, towards Fredericksburgh; also, that Fremont was across the Alleghanies, with Milroy and Blenker, too distant to afford Banks any support, so that we were enabled to attack him with impunity. You will remember that Banks, after his route, crossed the Potomac, and that our army remained in possession of the immense booty we had taken. I will now relate the events that followed. Jackson was now anxiously watching the movements of Shields and Fremont, who from the east and west might cross the mountains, re-enter the valley, and cut off his retreat. We had not lain idle mo
t is to form on the left of the turnpike, and the Dutch regiment on the right, in case the secession forces should be bold enough to come down on us. July, 9 Moved from the Middle Fork of the Buckhannon river at seven o'clock this morning, and arrived at Roaring creek at four P. M. We came over the hills with all the pomp and circumstance of glorious war; infantry, cavalry, artillery, and hundreds of army wagons; the whole stretching along the mountain road for miles. The tops of the Alleghanies can now be seen plainly. We are at the foot of Rich mountain, encamped where our brothers of the secession order pitched their tents last night. Our advance guard gave them a few shots and they fled precipitately to the mountains, burning the bridge behind them. When our regiment arrived a few shots were heard, and the bayonets and bright barrels of the enemy's guns could be seen on the hills. It clouded up shortly after, and before we had pitched our tents, the clouds came over
Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: The Opening Battles. Volume 1., McClellan in West Virginia. (search)
of war, and, by advice of his officers, sent to McClellan, at Beverly, an offer of surrender. This was received on the 13th, and Pegram brought in 30 officers and 525 men. McClellan then moved southward himself, following the Staunton road, by which the remnant of Pegram's little force had escaped, and on the 14th occupied Huttonsville. Two regiments of Confederate troops were hastening from Staunton to reenforce Garnett. These were halted at Monterey, east of the principal ridge of the Alleghanies, and upon them the retreating forces rallied. Brigadier-General H. R, Jackson was assigned to command in Garnett's place, and both Governor Letcher and General Lee made strenuous efforts to increase this army to a force sufficient to resume aggressive operations. On McClellan's part nothing further was attempted, till, on the 22d, he was summoned to Washington to assume command of the army, which had retreated to the capital after the panic of the first Bull Run battle. The affai
Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: The Opening Battles. Volume 1., chapter 12.46 (search)
the Autograph found inside the cover of General Johnston's pocket-map of Tennessee, and written three days before the battle of Shiloh--probably his last Autograph. Cumberland, both of which invited the advance of a hostile force. Some small pretense of fortifications had been made on both rivers at Forts Henry and Donelson, near the boundary line, but practically there was nothing to prevent the Federal army from capturing Nashville, then the most important depot of supplies west of the Alleghanies. Hence the immediate and pressing question for General Johnston was the defense of the Tennessee border. The mock neutrality of Kentucky, which had served as a paper barrier, was terminated, on the 13th of September, by a formal defiance from the Union Legislature of Kentucky. The United States Government had about 34,000 volunteers and about 6000 Kentucky Home Guards assembled in the State under General Robert Anderson, of Fort Sumter fame, who had with him such enterprising corps c
Jackson. I. At five in the evening, on the 27th of June, 1862, General Stonewall Jackson made his appearance on the field of Cold Harbour. Fresh from the hot conflicts of the Valley — an athlete covered with the dust and smoke of the arena-he came now with his veteran battalions to enter upon the still more desperate conflicts of the lowland. At that time many persons asked, Who is Jackson? All we then knew of the famous leader was this — that he was born a poor boy beyond the Alleghanies; managed to get to West Point; embarked in the Mexican war as lieutenant of artillery, where he fought his guns with such obstinacy that his name soon became renowned; and then, retiring from active service, became a Professor at the Lexington Military School. Here the world knew him only as an eccentric but deeply pious man, and a somewhat commonplace lecturer. Stiff and rigid in his pew at church, striding awkwardly from his study to his lectureroom, ever serious, thoughtful, absent
rewed all over with battles; incredible have been the marches of the Foot cavalry; incessant their conflicts. Death has mowed down whole ranks of them; the thinned line tells the story of their losses; but the war-worn veterans still confront the enemy. The comrades of those noble souls who have thus poured out their hearts' blood, hold their memory sacred. They laughed with them in the peaceful years of boyhood, by the Shenandoah, in the fields around Millwood, in Jefferson, or amid the Alleghanies; then they fought beside them, in Virginia, in Maryland, wherever the flag was borne; they loved them, mourn them, every name is written on their hearts, whether officer or private, and is ineffaceable. Their own time may come, to-day or to-morrow; but they feel, one and all, that if they fall they will give their hearts' blood to a noble cause, and that if they survive, the memory of past toils and glories will be sweet. Those survivors may be pardoned if they tell their children
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