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Mississippi (United States) (search for this): chapter 7
mers for Vicksburg, I also reembarked for the same destination on the 27th of January. * * * * The object of the Meridian expedition was to strike the roads inland, so to paralyze the rebel forces, that we could take from the defense of the Mississippi River the equivalent of a corps of twenty thousand men, to be used in the next Georgia campaign; and this was actually done. At the same time I wanted to destroy General Forrest, who, with an irregular force of cavalry, was constantly threatenineen fully attained: [special field orders no. 20.] headquarters Department of the Tennessee, Meridian, Miss., February 18th, 1864. 1. Having fulfilled, and well, all the objects of the expedition, the troops will return to the Mississippi River to embark in another equally important movement. 2. * * * * The march will begin on the 20th instant, and the corps commanders will not pass Union and Decatur until they have communicated with each other by couriers across at these point
Corinth (Mississippi, United States) (search for this): chapter 7
as to punish the rebel General Forrest, who had been most active in harassing our garrisons in West Tennessee and Mississippi. * * * * * * A chief part of the enterprise was to destroy the rebel cavalry commanded by General Forrest, who were a constant threat to our railway communications in Middle Tennessee, and I committed this task to Brigadier-General W. Sooy Smith. General Hurlbut had in his command about seven thousand five hundred cavalry, scattered from Columbus, Kentucky, to Corinth, Mississippi, and we proposed to make up an aggregate cavalry force of about seven thousand effective out of these and the twenty-five hundred which General Smith had brought with him from Middle Tennessee. With this force General Smith was ordered to move from Memphis straight for Meridian, Mississippi, and to start by February 1st. I explained to him personally the nature of Forrest as a man, and of his peculiar force; told him that in his route he was sure to encounter Forrest, who always at
Selma (Alabama, United States) (search for this): chapter 7
on his return, February 26th: Much more had been expected at the North from the preparations made for the movement, and the statements circulated as to its object. It was the general belief that the expedition was to penetrate as far east as Selma, one of the interior points of greatest value to the enemy, and also turn upon Mobile. This impression was current at General Grant's headquarters and at Washington, and General Grant himself had written to Halleck, under date of January 15th, 1t to Thomas at Chattanooga, on the 19th of January, he said: He (Sherman) will proceed eastward as far as Meridian at least, and will thoroughly destroy the roads east and south from there, and, if possible, will throw troops as far east as Selma; or, if he finds Mobile so far unguarded as to make his force sufficient for the enterprise, will go there. To cooperate with this movement you want to keep up appearances of preparation of an advance from Chattanooga. It may be necessary even
Decatur (Tennessee, United States) (search for this): chapter 7
nion of the forces there, and declares that all the objects of the expedition had been fully attained: [special field orders no. 20.] headquarters Department of the Tennessee, Meridian, Miss., February 18th, 1864. 1. Having fulfilled, and well, all the objects of the expedition, the troops will return to the Mississippi River to embark in another equally important movement. 2. * * * * The march will begin on the 20th instant, and the corps commanders will not pass Union and Decatur until they have communicated with each other by couriers across at these points. * * * * 4. The march should be conducted slow; about fifteen miles per day, and in good order. * * * * There is no seeming danger, but every precaution should be taken against cavalry dashes at our trains. * * * * By order of Major-General W. T. Sherman, L. M. Dayton, Aid-de-Camp. From General Smith's report, it appears that Warring's brigade did not reach him until the 8th. It had marched two hu
Tombigbee River (United States) (search for this): chapter 7
had not kept employed in his own front, was moving to join Forrest against him. But aside from this expected reenforcement of the enemy the various reports disclose abundant reason for turning back from West Point. The force in General Smith's front was fully equal to his own, and was posted behind a river which became impassable when so held. The enemy's left was covered by a swamp and river, and a movement in that direction was impracticable, while his right was protected by the Tombigbee River which General Smith could not cross. His command was encumbered with a large body of negroes that he had gathered up in pursuance of orders and was in honor bound to protect. A rebel brigade was moving to the rear to occupy a strong point in his line of retreat. At this time General Sherman was retiring from Meridian, and had it been possible for General Smith to advance beyond West Point it would have been a move upon Polk's whole army, resulting in utter defeat. General Smith pe
Meridian (Mississippi, United States) (search for this): chapter 7
Chapter 7: The Meridian campaign unjust Arraignment of General W. Sooy Smith. Generksburg February 3d, 1864, his columns reached Meridian on the 14th, remained there till the 20th, caall direct Sherman, therefore, to move out to Meridian with his spare forceā€”the cavalry going from Cis, under General Sooy Smith, had not reached Meridian as was intended. The Memoirs give this verered to move from Memphis straight for Meridian, Mississippi, and to start by February 1st. I explthe Mobile and Ohio Railroad. We waited at Meridian till the 20th to hear from General Smith, butman also assured him that his own movement on Meridian and the contemplated operations there did notneral Sherman's view, when he himself reached Meridian four days after the date he had fixed for hisry, when his orders contemplated his being at Meridian on the 10th, and when he knew I was marching t this time General Sherman was retiring from Meridian, and had it been possible for General Smith t[3 more...]
West Point (Mississippi, United States) (search for this): chapter 7
tart, he allowed General Forrest to head him off and to defeat him with an inferior force near West Point, below Okalona, on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. We waited at Meridian till the 20th to hea General Smith had not started from Memphis at all till the 11th of February, had only reached West Point, and turned back on the 22d, the march back to Memphis being too rapid for a good effect. Nlry, it was believed to be, and in fact was, fully six thousand. Instead of being defeated at West Point with an inferior force, General Smith was not defeated there at all; and further, he moved bac reenforcement of the enemy the various reports disclose abundant reason for turning back from West Point. The force in General Smith's front was fully equal to his own, and was posted behind a rivererman was retiring from Meridian, and had it been possible for General Smith to advance beyond West Point it would have been a move upon Polk's whole army, resulting in utter defeat. General Smith
Canton (Mississippi, United States) (search for this): chapter 7
t Meridian till the 20th to hear from General Smith, but hearing nothing whatever, and having utterly destroyed the railroads in andaround that junction, I ordered General McPherson to move back slowly toward Canton. With Winslow's cavalry and Hurlbut's infantry I turned north to Marion, and thence to a place called Union, whence I dispatched the cavalry farther north to Philadelphia and Louisville, to feel as it were for General Smith, and then turned all the infantry columns toward Canton, Mississippi. On the 26th we all reached Canton, but we had not heard a word of General Smith, nor was it until sometime after (at Vicksburg) that I learned the whole truth of General Smith's movement and of his failure. Of course I did not, and could not, approve of his conduct, and I know that he yet chafes under the censure. I had set so much store on his part of the project that I was disappointed, and so reported officially to General Grant. General Smith never regained my confidence as
Mobile, Ala. (Alabama, United States) (search for this): chapter 7
tion was to penetrate as far east as Selma, one of the interior points of greatest value to the enemy, and also turn upon Mobile. This impression was current at General Grant's headquarters and at Washington, and General Grant himself had written toe enemy will not attempt to rebuild them during the rebellion. He will then return, unless the opportunity of going into Mobile with the force he has, appears perfectly plain. And writing on the same subject to Thomas at Chattanooga, on the 19tly destroy the roads east and south from there, and, if possible, will throw troops as far east as Selma; or, if he finds Mobile so far unguarded as to make his force sufficient for the enterprise, will go there. To cooperate with this movement you whom he desired. to cooperate with it. So, while General Sherman insists that he had no intention of going through to Mobile, and that he wanted Banks to keep up a show of attack in that direction, it is evident that Grant had such a move in mind
Okalona (Tennessee, United States) (search for this): chapter 7
th did not fulfill his orders, which were clear and specific, as contained in my letter of instructions to him of January 27th, at Memphis, and my personal explanations to him at the same time. Instead of starting at the date ordered, February 1st, he did not leave Memphis till the 11th, waiting for some regiment that was ice bound near Columbus, Kentucky; and then, when he did start, he allowed General Forrest to head him off and to defeat him with an inferior force near West Point, below Okalona, on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. We waited at Meridian till the 20th to hear from General Smith, but hearing nothing whatever, and having utterly destroyed the railroads in andaround that junction, I ordered General McPherson to move back slowly toward Canton. With Winslow's cavalry and Hurlbut's infantry I turned north to Marion, and thence to a place called Union, whence I dispatched the cavalry farther north to Philadelphia and Louisville, to feel as it were for General Smith, and t
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