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esident Davis replied to his explanations, Necessity justifies your action. Polk was rapidly fortifying, when General Johnston arrived at Columbus. About this time, September 10th, Grant wrote to Fremont, proposing to attack Columbus, which, under the circumstances, seems to the writer judicious though apparently bold; but Fremont took no notice of his application. Badeau's Life of Grant, vol. i., p. 13. After the failure of the campaign projected against St. Louis, in the summer of 1861, General Polk turned his attention toward perfecting the river-defenses. Missouri and Arkansas were added to his department, but he was unable to avail himself of these increased powers, as the defense of the Mississippi was his main object, and occupied all his resources. Dr. Polk says : Finding in Island No.10 a most advantageous position, works were begun there. His design now was to make that the advanced point of defense-holding Fort Pillow as a position to fall back upon, in th
June, 1861 AD (search for this): chapter 22
wing old gracefully in the beneficent exercise of two responsible functions, as a patriarchal master of many slaves, and as an overseer of part of Christ's flock, when the clangor of war called him to the field of battle. Considerable surprise was created by Bishop Polk's action in taking a military command early in the war. The circumstances were as follows, as they are detailed to the writer by Dr. William M. Polk, the bishop's son, himself a gallant soldier of the Lost cause: In June, 1861, Bishop Polk went to Virginia to visit the Louisiana troops in his episcopal capacity. Governor Harris, of Tennessee, had asked him to call upon Mr. Davis, and urged upon him prompt measures for the defense of the Mississippi Valley. This, together with a desire to see his old friend, induced him to call on the President. The bishop, knowing the transcendent ability of General Johnston, urged Mr. Davis to reserve that most important field for him. As it was known that the general could
October 11th, 1861 AD (search for this): chapter 22
ernor of Missouri, might lead to misconstruction of my course, should I serve in any other State. The Missouri Unionists, we believed, would endeavor to dampen the hopes of the Confederate element in the State, by representing that the second officer of its government had so little confidence in our holding it, that he had joined a campaign in some other quarter. The only incident at all resembling actual hostilities during General Johnston's stay at Columbus, Kentucky, occurred on October 11, 1861. A Federal gunboat commenced shelling the fortifications we were erecting on the high bluff immediately north of the town. That shelling continued only about an hour. During all of it he and his immediate staff remained near the battery of Captain Bankhead, which from the bluff was answering the fire of the gunboat. We stood close by the battery; and, after a shell had exploded near to it, Captain Bankhead came up to the general and remarked to him that the gunboat was evidently get
November, 1861 AD (search for this): chapter 22
t was known that the general could not reach us for some time, the question came up as to who should be sent out to take the position pending his arrival. To Bishop Polk's utter surprise, Mr. Davis urged it upon him. Suffice it to say, that, after mature deliberation, he deemed it his duty to accept the position, and he did so; it being understood that, so soon as General Johnston had assumed full control, General Polk should be allowed to resign and return to his episcopal work. In November, 1861, General Polk, feeling that there was no longer a necessity for his remaining in the army, and anxious to be permitted to return to his episcopal work, sent in his resignation to the President. Mr. Davis declined to receive it, however, and gave such reasons, backed up by those of other members of the Government, as to convince General Polk that it was not proper, at that time, to urge the matter further. lie therefore consented to hold his position until such time as the Government sh
October 10th, 1862 AD (search for this): chapter 22
pe of this work to give a detailed account. At Perryville, at Murfreesboro, at Chickamauga, in baffling Sherman in February, 1864, and in General J. E. Johnston's retreat from North Georgia, his courage and skill made him one of the main supports of the Confederate cause in the West. Whoever was at the head, it was upon Polk and Hardee, the corps commanders, as upon two massive pillars, that the weight of organization and discipline rested. General Polk was made a lieutenant-general, October 10, 1862, and was killed by a shell aimed at him, June 14, 1864, near Marietta, Georgia, while boldly reconnoitring the enemy's position. Hon. Thomas C. Reynolds, the constitutional Lieutenant-Governor of Missouri, and, after Governor Jackson's death, its legal Governor, has given the writer his recollections of General Johnston at Columbus. Himself a gentleman of fine talents and culture, Governor Reynolds's opinions and impressions cannot fail to receive consideration: My recollectio
February, 1864 AD (search for this): chapter 22
was required upon Columbus and Pillow; and a proportionate amount was put on No. 10 and New Madrid; so that when the time came to occupy them, they, as well as Fort Pillow, were in a proper state of defense. General Polk's share in this campaign will appear as the events arise. Of his valuable and conspicuous services after the battle of Shiloh, it is not within the scope of this work to give a detailed account. At Perryville, at Murfreesboro, at Chickamauga, in baffling Sherman in February, 1864, and in General J. E. Johnston's retreat from North Georgia, his courage and skill made him one of the main supports of the Confederate cause in the West. Whoever was at the head, it was upon Polk and Hardee, the corps commanders, as upon two massive pillars, that the weight of organization and discipline rested. General Polk was made a lieutenant-general, October 10, 1862, and was killed by a shell aimed at him, June 14, 1864, near Marietta, Georgia, while boldly reconnoitring the ene
June 14th, 1864 AD (search for this): chapter 22
e, at Murfreesboro, at Chickamauga, in baffling Sherman in February, 1864, and in General J. E. Johnston's retreat from North Georgia, his courage and skill made him one of the main supports of the Confederate cause in the West. Whoever was at the head, it was upon Polk and Hardee, the corps commanders, as upon two massive pillars, that the weight of organization and discipline rested. General Polk was made a lieutenant-general, October 10, 1862, and was killed by a shell aimed at him, June 14, 1864, near Marietta, Georgia, while boldly reconnoitring the enemy's position. Hon. Thomas C. Reynolds, the constitutional Lieutenant-Governor of Missouri, and, after Governor Jackson's death, its legal Governor, has given the writer his recollections of General Johnston at Columbus. Himself a gentleman of fine talents and culture, Governor Reynolds's opinions and impressions cannot fail to receive consideration: My recollections of your illustrious father are of little or no histor
ning courtesy, although occasionally indulging in pleasantry. At present I can recall but two of those conversations. One evening we received a St. Louis paper containing a general order of General Fremont, announcing his staff — a numerous body, composed largely of gentlemen with foreign names. As, for instance, General Asboth, Colonel De Alma, Majors Kappner and Blome, Captains Emavic Meizaras, Kalmanuezze, Zagonyi, Vanstein Kiste, Sacche, and Geister, Lieutenants Napoleon Westerburg, Addone, Kroger, etc. After the list was read over to him, the general, with an expressive smile, remarked, There is too much tail to that kite. I believe the United States Government soon afterward came to the same conclusion. On another evening, some of his staff were discussing the question of the probable boundary-line of the Confederate States, in the final treaty of peace; none then doubted their achievement of independence. The general's opinion being requested, he answered: In the beginni
immediate staff, and his conversations in those social reunions gave me the very highest opinion of his profound judgment. He was a man of stately but winning courtesy, although occasionally indulging in pleasantry. At present I can recall but two of those conversations. One evening we received a St. Louis paper containing a general order of General Fremont, announcing his staff — a numerous body, composed largely of gentlemen with foreign names. As, for instance, General Asboth, Colonel De Alma, Majors Kappner and Blome, Captains Emavic Meizaras, Kalmanuezze, Zagonyi, Vanstein Kiste, Sacche, and Geister, Lieutenants Napoleon Westerburg, Addone, Kroger, etc. After the list was read over to him, the general, with an expressive smile, remarked, There is too much tail to that kite. I believe the United States Government soon afterward came to the same conclusion. On another evening, some of his staff were discussing the question of the probable boundary-line of the Confederate S
Robert Anderson (search for this): chapter 22
n might require. Recruiting was pushed night and day; the entire country was ransacked for small-arms, and metal from which to manufacture field-ordnance; nitre-beds were opened; and, under the supervision of Colonel Hunt, ordnance-officer, arrangements for the manufacture of all kinds of ordnance material were completed. Thus did General Polk obtain a large proportion of the ordnance-supplies for his entire command. Under the management of Major Thomas Peters, quartermaster, aided by Major Anderson, and of Major J. J. Murphy, commissary, quartermaster and commissary supplies were abundantly accumulated. When it is remembered that this successful organization, not only of an army but of the departments necessary to equip an army, was the work of a few months, all being created from the raw material, one can afford to smile at those who pretend that the Southern people are without energy. One of the pleasantest moments of General Polk's life was at Columbus, where General Johnst
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