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Whitesides (search for this): chapter 18
ry. Dana had come to know the country on both sides of the river thoroughly, and it seemed to be as great a pleasure to him in this campaign as in that of Vicksburg to take part in the movements of the troops. We arrived at Bridgeport at noon Monday, but instead of finding all arrangements completed, Hooker was neither there in person nor were his troops ready to begin the movement till sunrise the next morning. We got off at sunrise the next day, reached Shellmound by 10.30 A. M., and Whitesides by night. On the way we inspected the coal-mines and the Nickajack caves. The following day the column, with but little skirmishing, went into camp at Wauhatchie, within a few miles of the bridge which Smith, by a brilliant series of operations, had laid at Brown's Ferry. Instead, however, of remaining with Hooker, we cautioned him against a surprise, and proceeded by way of the new bridge to Chattanooga, and were thus the first to use the shorter cracker line, which was to play such an
ination which he had frequently shown to supplant those in authority over him. He of course knew that he was the legitimate successor of Rosecrans. He knew also that the latter could not longer hold command of that army without great injury to its efficiency, and this was his method of letting it be officially understood that he was done declining the responsibilities and honors to which he was justly entitled. This interview over, we called upon General Smith, the chief engineer, and General Brannan, the chief of artillery. Those distinguished officers at once declared that under the sane and steady guidance of Thomas the danger of further disaster had not only disappeared but that order and confidence had already been established throughout the army. Our next duty was to ride the lines, visit the advance posts, and confer with the actual commanders of the troops. Everywhere we found short rations, little forage, and plenty of hungry soldiers and starving animals. And yet every
Joe Bowers (search for this): chapter 18
end of the road in operation. The incident was a trivial one, but its effect was all that could be desired. It was followed immediately by a call from Hooker, who showed no particular sign of illness, as well as from Rosecrans, Howard, and Butterfield. At nine o'clock the next morning the party set out from Bridgeport on horseback for Chattanooga, by the way of the roundabout road through Jasper. Grant was accompanied in this ride by General Howard, as well as by Dana, Rawlins, Wilson, Bowers, Parker, and a few orderlies. Dana, who knew the road well, was the guide as far as Jasper. Here the party divided, Grant and staff taking the longer route, while Dana and I, after baiting our horses, climbed Walden's Ridge by a cut-off road which he knew well. We made our way by moonlight to the eastern edge of the plateau overlooking the valley of the Tennessee, and the beleaguered town some seven miles away as the crow flies. Here we rested till the moon went down. We then descended
ith other Confederate forces in an effort to drive Burnside out of east Tennessee. Grant therefore became anxious to know the actual condition of affairs in Burnside's department, and concluded to send Dana and myself tved late at night on the 12th. Calling at once on Burnside, we spent most of the night and the next day in co east Tennessee. It was Dana's first meeting with Burnside, whom he found to be a man of impressive appearan theory of the campaign in east Tennessee was that Burnside should hold fast to Knoxville, which was the centrof his command. This it was not difficult to make Burnside understand as a matter of theory, but we found thaleader as Longstreet, have ended in the capture of Burnside and his whole force, we united in earnest remonstr engineer to the forces detached for the relief of Burnside. Grant had pushed Bragg back from Missionary Ridgem henceforth impossible. But Longstreet had shut Burnside up and was closely besieging him in Knoxville. Th
lifications. Knowing Wilson thoroughly, I heartily indorse the application. Grant also wishes to have both Hooker and Slocum removed from his command, and the Eleventh and Twelfth Corps consolidated under Howard. He would himself order Hooker and Slocum away, but hesitates because they have just been sent here by the President. Besides, I think he would rather prefer that so serious a proceeding should come from headquarters. Hooker has behaved badly ever since his arrival, and Slocum hasSlocum has just sent in a very disorderly communication, stating that when he came here it was under promise that he should not have to serve under Hooker, whom he neither regards with confidence nor respects as a man. Altogether, Grant feels that their presenommendation, came in due time, but, for reasons which I never ascertained, Grant's request for the removal of Hooker and Slocum from his command was not granted, and this is specially noticeable for the reason that such requests through Dana were ge
M. K. Lawler (search for this): chapter 18
sting and instructive. I did not know then that Dana had delivered a lecture on Early English Poetry, nor that he had compiled The Household Book of Poetry, but on learning those facts later, I frequently tested the accuracy of his memory by reading passages from his book and then asking who wrote them, and I cannot recall a single instance in which he did not answer correctly except where the author was marked Anonymous. It is an interesting circumstance which surprised us both, that General Lawler, the plain, old-fashioned southern Illinois farmer whom Dana called The high Dominie Dudgeon, made it one of his innocent boasts during the Vicksburg campaign, that no man in the army could repeat a line of standard English poetry of which he could not repeat the one preceding and the one following it. We never lost an opportunity to test the accuracy of that remarkable man's memory, and, greatly to our gratification, never failed to find it as good as he claimed it to be. Before leav
ge and marched away to the north the next day. He had, of course, been advised of Sherman's coming, but as the relieving march was necessarily slow, he had ample start to make it difficult, if not impossible, to overtake him. In addition to taking an active part in all the operations, Dana, by his despatches, as usual kept the government informed as to the incidents of the march, the construction of the bridges, the movements of the various infantry corps and divisions, and the failure of Elliot's cavalry to move from Sparta through Kingston for the purpose of taking part in the campaign. He commented upon the expectations of General Frank P. Blair, as to the command of an army corps, called attention to the anger of Grant at Granger, declared, notwithstanding his previous commendation, that Granger was unfit to command, intimated that Sheridan ought to succeed him, and finally prepared the secretary's mind for the fact that the winter rains would probably put an end to further ope
reportedly Hooker's exposed position, urging that he should be ordered to withdraw to the bridge that night. We pointed out that his camp was within cannon-shot of Lookout Mountain, and that the enemy would doubtless fall upon it in force before daylight. Grant was both provoked and anxious. He had but a poor opinion of Hooker at best, and neither the incident at Stevenson nor our report had diminished his anxiety. We had done all we could to convince Hooker that he was in danger, as had Hazen, who was in command at the bridge-head, but Grant sent no further orders, and Hooker did not move. The temptation was too great for the enemy, and the consequence was the bloody affair of Wauhatchie, which took place between midnight and four o'clock next morning, Dana to Stanton, October 29th and 30th. at the cost of several hundred men killed, wounded, and prisoners. The next morning Dana and I rode with Grant and Thomas into Lookout Valley, where we met Hooker, Howard, and Geary.
ness the deed. It seems as awful as the visible interposition of God. Neither Grant nor Thomas intended it. Their orders were to carry the rifle-pits along the base of the Ridge and capture their occupants, but when this was accomplished, the unaccountable spirit of the troops bore them bodily up those impracticable steels, over bristling rifle-pits on the crest, all thirty cannon enfilading every gully. The order to storm appears to have been given simultaneously by Generals Sheridan and Wood, because the men were not to be held back, dangerous as the attempt appeared to military prudence. Besides, the generals had caught the inspiration of the men, and were ready themselves to undertake impossibilities. As Dana was personally present with the generals in frequent conversations throughout the day, and finally rode with Grant and his staff to the top of the Ridge before the fighting was ended, there is every reason why this account should have contained the exact truth as it d
cted a bridge across the Holston for that purpose, and appeared to think it would be a pity not to use it. As this movement would have left the road to Knoxville open to the advancing columns of the enemy, and might easily, in the presence of such a leader as Longstreet, have ended in the capture of Burnside and his whole force, we united in earnest remonstrance against the suggestion. It was in allusion to this foolish project that Dana, in his despatch of 12 M., November 18th, said: Parke argued against this idea in vain, but finally General Wilson overcame it by representing that Grant did not wish him to include the capture of his entire army among the elements of his plan of operations. Dana's despatches, as published in the Official Records, will well repay the military student by the light they cast upon the difficulty which is frequently encountered in controlling the operations of a widely separated but cooperating army or army corps. The ride of something over
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