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Doc. 63.-fight near Coffeeville, Miss. Chicago Tribune account. in camp north of the Taconapatafa, seventeen miles South of Oxford, Miss., December 6, 1862. when I penned my last letter, we were hotly pressing the rear of Gen. Van Dorn's retreating column, and fully expected to encamp to-day at Coffeeville. From here to Grenada is but eleven miles, and here we thought to spend the Sabbath. We did propose to capture Coffeeville, but just as the hand was outstretched which was to inclose them within its grasp, they managed to escape, and came near inclosing us within their grip. Not to put too fine a point upon it, they came very near capturing our whole command, and making a muss of the expedition. My narrative left us at Water Valley, with the following order of march for the morrow: Col. Mizener with the Third brigade in the advance; Col. Lee with the First brigade in the centre, and Col. Hatch with the Second brigade in the rear. This order was changed in the
with rations of hard bread and salt, and ready for six days scout, with no more wagons than necessary to haul the rations. Major Ricker, with a battalion of the Fifth Ohio cavalry, was sent to the south from Paris to make a demonstration toward Grenada, and the residue of the Second brigade was sent with the train to the rear, to camp upon the Yockna River. Colonel Mizener was ordered to take command of the First and Third brigades, to guard the crossings of the Osuckalofa River, and to make a strong cavalry reconnoissance toward Grenada on the Coffeeville route, reporting directly to Major-General U. S. Grant. At nine A. M., on Sunday, the fourteenth, with a small escort from company F, Fourth Illinois cavalry, under Lieut. Carter, and Colonel Hatch's detachment of eight hundred men from the Second Iowa cavalry, and the Seventh Illinois cavalry, I took the road for Okolona, and reached Pontotoc, forty-five miles march, at half-past 9 on Monday morning. On the way we fell in with
t much left that is eatable in this country, Gen. Pope's plan of subsisting on the enemy could not be put into practice here, and the supplies can come from no direction but the North. Three or four days rations are not sufficient to push on to Grenada and open the road from there to Memphis. Those who know Gen. Grant best, know, that if it could be done he would do it. The army will now probably fall back until the road to Columbus is rendered secure. With the supplies it will then get, it quantities, suddenly got a very black eye, as they say on 'change; sutlers began to pack up, and to-day every thing looks like taking the back-track. A very ridiculous rumor got afloat among outsiders that a tremendous army was marching up from Grenada, and a few of the cotton-buyers, who had heard of the bad fortunes of the brethren at Holly Springs became very nervous. The troubles of one nervous pair have already become a subject of fun for hundreds. They were lodging together at the hote
ississippi from the North, with the object of taking Vicksburgh in the rear, while their navy would attack that place in front. Such was the programme which had been proclaimed for the invasion and subjugation of your State. But when I went to Grenada, I found that the enemy had retired from our front, and that nothing was to be seen of them but their backs. It is probable that they have abandoned that line, with the intention of reenforcing the heavy column now descending the river. Vicksbe who are so are those on whom the iron tread of the invader has fallen, or those who, skulking from their duty, go home with fearful tales to justify their desertion. Nor is the army despondent; on the contrary, it is confident of victory. At Grenada I found the only regret to be that the enemy had not come on. At Vicksburgh, even without reenforcements, the troops did not dream of defeat. I go, therefore, anxious but hopeful. My attachment to Misissippi, and my esteem for her people, have
ll as cavalry, was reported moving from Memphis, with the supposed view of taking possession of Grenada. The same day the following communication was telegraphed to General Cooper, A and I. G.: I hen at Newton Station, on the Southern Railroad. Captain Henderson, commanding special scouts at Grenada, was also instructed to send couriers to Generals Loring, Buford, and Ruggles, notifying those eneral Featherstone, with his brigade, then at, or en route for, Winona, was ordered to move to Grenada, if there was any approach of the enemy (as was reported) from the north on that place, unless ing its numbers. Orders, therefore, were immediately transmitted to the officers in command at Grenada, Columbus and Jackson, to move all available forces to Vicksburg as rapidly as possible. On ngineer, for his professional skill and excellent judgment, wherever occasion required it, from Grenada to Port Hudson; during the siege of Vicksburg, none exposed themselves more fearlessly to dange
ached the city just in advance of his opponent —both armies footsore and jaded from constant marching and frequent skirmishing. An early march, and one well worthy of remark, was that ordered and directed by General Grant, in the fall of 1862. The objective point was the rear of Vicksburg. His army moved in two columns—one from La Grange, Tennessee, under his own personal command; the other from Memphis, Tennessee, under General Sherman. Their advance reached the neighborhood of Grenada, Mississippi, having marched a distance of one hundred miles. Further progress was stayed by the capture of Holly Springs, Mississippi, in their rear, with all its ammunition stores and commissary supplies, by the Confederate general, Forrest. As a consequence, a retrograde march was inevitable. Protecting the rear for the march to the sea The armed guard indicates that the pick-and-shovel detail is made up of delinquent soldiers serving petty sentences. It seems strange that the throwi
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 6. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Van Dorn's operations in Northern Mississippi--recollections of a Cavalryman. (search)
— the most perfect quiet prevailed between the lines. The situation was now as follows: General Jackson, with the Confederate cavalay, held the country between Grenada and Coffeeville. The infantry had crossed the Yalobusha at Grenada, and occupied defensive positions along the south bank of the river. General Van Dorn had beeGrenada, and occupied defensive positions along the south bank of the river. General Van Dorn had been superseded by General Pemberton. A few reinforcements were added to the force about the time General Pemberton assumed command, but the whole was entirely inadequate to cope with General Grant. The main body of the Federal army was encamped near Water Valley, with advance outposts in the vicinity of Coffeeville. It seemed tole harmless shelling. We crossed to the south bank of the Tallahatchie, and went into camp, but they manifested no disposition to follow. The command arrived at Grenada about the 1st of January, having been absent two weeks. During that two weeks General Van Dorn had marched nearly 400 miles, had killed, wounded and captured more
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 7. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), General Van Dorn's operations between Columbia and Nashville in 1863. (search)
he captured more men than he had in his own command. I may not be entirely accurate in all I have said, but substantially it is correct. If, however, you want to be minute you had better send this to General Forest or General Jackson, either of whom can verify it or correct any inaccuracy of my memory, if it be at fault. It is deeply to be regretted that the details of Van Dorn's plans and actions as a cavalry commander in Tennessee, or while covering Pemberton's retreat before Grant to Grenada, and in the signal affair at Holly Springs, fraught as the latter was with results more momentous than those involved in any action of its kind of which I ever knew or heard, should be lost to the history of cavalry; but I fear to trust my memory, and must confine myself to these brief outlines, hoping that some one of those who followed him whose memory is better than mine may yet do justice to a cavalier whose feats when written out must give him a place beside the greatest of those who i
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 7. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Meeting at the White Sulphur Springs. (search)
an, Mississippi, and at the same time sent a force up by Yazoo City, to take Forrest in rear at Grenada, and ordered General W. Sooy Smith to move from Collierville on Pontotoc and Okalona, &c., and beville, watching the crossings of the Tallahatchie river, while Jeff. Forrest's brigade was at Grenada, watching the forces at Yazoo City, and Bell, at Oxford, organizing. On the 10th Smith startedw Albany, where I crossed the Tallahatchie river without opposition. Forrest then fell back to Grenada, and I moved on by way of Pontotoc. In his more formal report of his operations made March 4thr to bring A. J. Smith with all dispatch to Vicksburg and up the Yazoo river and rapidly occupy Grenada. His appearance there, with ten thousand men, will be a big bombshell in Forrest's camp, should he, as I fear he will, elude General Hurlbut. At Grenada, Smith will do all the mischief he can, and then strike boldly across the country by Aberdeen to Russellville and Decatur. This movement w
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 8. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Sherman's Meridian expedition and Sooy Smith's raid to West point. (search)
at Canton, and French at Morton — about nine thousand men. S. D. Lee, with four brigades of cavalry — Stark and Ross of Jackson's division and Ferguson's and Adams' brigades — covering the country from opposite Yazoo City to Natchez, numbering about three thousand five hundred (3,500) effectives. Forrest was south of Tallahatchie river in northwest Mississippi, picketing towards Memphis and the Memphis and Charleston rairoad; his command being principally at Panola, Abbeville, Oxford and Grenada — his aggregate force for duty being about thirty-five hundred (3,500) in the four brigades of Jeff. Forrest, Bell, McCullough and Richardson. The entire Confederate force in Mississippi not exceeding sixteen thousand (16,000). This was the condition of affairs in January, 1864. About January 23d the spies in Vicksburg reported that Sherman would soon leave Vicksburg for the interior with an army of at least four divisions of infantry. This information was at once reported to Lieuten
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