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pi --and in the third-west of the Mississippi. When the Confederates, about September I, 1861, invaded Kentucky, they stationed General Pillow at the strongly fortified town of Columbus on the Mississippi River, with about six thousand men; General Buckner at Bowling Green, on the railroad north of Nashville, with five thousand; and General Zollicoffer, with six regiments, in eastern Kentucky, fronting Cumberland Gap. Up to that time there were no Union troops in Kentucky, except a few regiments of Home Guards. Now, however, the State legislature called for active help; and General Anderson, exercising nominal command from Cincinnati, sent Brigadier-General Sherman to Nashville to confront Buckner, and Brigadier-General Thomas to Camp Dick Robinson, to confront Zollicoffer. Neither side was as yet in a condition of force and preparation to take the aggressive. When, a month later, Anderson, on account of ill health turned over the command to Sherman, the latter had gathered o
y fortified Columbus on the Mississippi River that it came to be called the Gibraltar of the West, and now had a garrison of twenty thousand to hold it; while General Buckner was supposed to have a force of forty thousand at Bowling Green on the railroad between Louisville and Nashville. For more than a month Buell and Halleck had time to restore Grant's advantage in numbers. Serious disagreement among the Confederate commanders also hastened the fall of the place. On February 16, General Buckner, to whom the senior officers had turned over the command, proposed an armistice, and the appointment of commissioners to agree on terms of capitulation. To t a characteristic spirit of determination: No terms except unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted. I propose to move immediately upon your works. Buckner complained that the terms were ungenerous and unchivalric, but that necessity compelled him to accept then; and Grant telegraphed Halleck on February 16: We have
General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 24 (search)
lace, sent me boxes of the choicest brands from everywhere in the North. As many as ten thousand were soon received. I gave away all I could get rid of, but having such a quantity on hand, I naturally smoked more than I would have done under ordinary circumstances, and I have continued the habit ever since. General Grant never mentioned, however, one incident in connection with the battle of Donelson, and no one ever heard of it until it was related by his opponent in that battle, General Buckner. In a speech made by that officer at a banquet given in New York on the anniversary of General Grant's birthday, April 27, 1889, he said: . . . Under these circumstances, sir, I surrendered to General Grant. I had at a previous time befriended him, and it has been justly said that he never forgot an act of kindness. I met him on the boat, and he followed me when I went to my quarters. He left the officers of his own army and followed me, with that modest manner peculiar to himself,
ty-five years of age. Three fourths of them are grey-headed, and many have long white beards, giving them a venerable appearance. Many have sent their sons to the field, and are now following them. One of the arts by which the Southern heart is fired is this: Soon after the battle of Murfreesboro, the rebel General Bragg caused to be printed and widely circulated in the army counterfeits of the Nashville Union, in which was conspicuously displayed Startling News! Four States Seceded from the Old Government! Missouri, Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky! This was followed by an editorial bewailing the loss of these States. Of course the whole affair was a forgery, but the illiterate soldiery of the South, a large proportion of whom cannot read at all, could not detect it. While Buckner was in Kentucky, bogus copies of the Louisville Journal were freely circulated by the rebels, filled with all kinds of matter adapted to inflame and encourage the rebels, and discourage the loyal.
s of nitre to the confederate powder-mill. But now the question arises, how is our great crop of wheat to be saved? It was suggested to the commander of this department that the nitre brigade might render essential service in this matter. General Buckner, being a practical man as well as a valiant soldier, has consented that the nitre men shall have a furlough during harvest, not only to gather their own crops, but to assist their neighbors, and especially the wives and children of soldiers as they please in regard to their own fields; we have only to say that we think they have not acted prudently or wisely. There was labor enough in the country to plant a great crop in spite of all the croakers, and we venture to say there is labor enough to save the crop in East-Tennessee, great as it is. General Buckner has acted very promptly in view of the emergency, and we have reason to believe that the measures he has taken will be ample to meet all the requirements of the season.
h a heavy slouch hat upon his head. When, in the course of brief conversation, I stated that we would rout the enemy the following day, he sprang to his feet, exclaiming, My dear Hood, I am delighted to hear you say so. You give me renewed hope; God grant it may be so. After receiving orders from General Bragg to advance the next morning as soon as the troops on my right moved to the attack, I returned to the position occupied by my forces, and camped the remainder of the night with General Buckner, as I had nothing with me save that which I had brought from the train upon my horse. Nor did my men have a single wagon, or even ambulance in which to convey the wounded. They were destitute of almost everything, I might say, except pride, spirit, and forty rounds of ammunition to the man. During that night, after a hard day's fight by his old and trusty troops, General Longstreet joined the Army. He reported to General Bragg after I had left Army headquarters, and, the next morn
ould undergo exposure in the mountains, and laugh at the idea of my obtaining a scanty subsistence in this exhausted region. Let them hear from me that no honorable sacrifice is too great for the purchase of liberty. I had rather tread the wilderness a free man than to inhabit the palace a bondman. How much more glorious was William Tell, the Swiss mountaineer, than the pampered slave of Gessler! How much more noble and infinitely more comfortable are the chains that fetter the limbs of Buckner, Hanson, and their brave comrades than those which are worn unconsciously or ingloriously by the Kentuckians who submit to the usurper Lincoln or his generals. I can tell you and these people who amuse themselves at my expense that I look upon the captivity of my son (who languishes in an Ohio prison) as glorious when compared to their condition; for I would rather see him rot in a dungeon or die ten thousand deaths than to live one moment after an ignoble compromise of his constitutional
Owen Wister, Ulysses S. Grant, IV. (search)
imself out of the army. He departed into an era that was to be one of deepening gloom, remarking, Whoever hears of me in ten years will hear of a well-to-do old Missouri farmer. Expecting money at San Francisco, he did not get it. Sixteen hundred dollars were also owed him by the post-trader at Vancouver. He saw the man again, but the dollars never. The chief quartermaster of the coast found him penniless and forlorn, and helped him to go East. In New York he was generously helped by Buckner, who had ascended Popocatapetl with him. In the autumn he is seen working as a labourer on his father-in-law's farm near St. Louis. With his own hands he builds a cabin on some of this land, and names it Hardscrabble. It is recorded that every animal about his farm was a pet. In 1858 he sold his farm at auction. He went into real estate, and next into the custom-house, and was even an auctioneer, it is said. Sometimes army friends came to visit him, for he retained their regard; and, wi
Owen Wister, Ulysses S. Grant, V. (search)
Pillow, he made the error worse. Grant knew them. He struck, and won. They deserted, leaving Buckner to conduct the surrender. The news to the Union was a breath of health after jaded months of sstfallen Buckner capitulated, and Grant found him penniless in the forlorn place, he remembered Buckner's friendly help when he had been penniless in New York. He left the officers of his own army (says Buckner in a speech long afterward), and followed me, with that modest manner peculiar to himself, into the shadow, and there tendered me his purse. It seems to me, Mr. Chairman, that in the moto hide it from the world. We can appreciate that, sir. Indeed, we can; and we can appreciate Buckner's own warm heart whenever history gives us a glimpse of it. When Grant was bidding this world good-by in patience and suffering, Buckner was one of the last to visit him, and take his hand. The pen would linger over Donelson; over Smith's gallantry that saved the day on the 15th, and his de
Owen Wister, Ulysses S. Grant, VI. (search)
grew worse. Reviving, however, his vast will pushed on with the book, in order to leave something for his wife's support. He had no voice any more, but whispered his dictation, and wrote on days when he was strong enough. He held death away until the book was finished, and then gave death leave to come. In June he had been taken up the Hudson River to Mount McGregor, near Saratoga, from his New York house. His eyes followed West Point as the train passed by it. On July 3 his old friend Buckner, of Donelson, came affectionately to bid him farewell; and he spoke of his happiness in the growing harmony between North and South. On July 9, in a trembling pencil, he wrote to Mr. Wood: I am glad to say that, while there is much unblushing wickedness in this world, yet there is a compensating generosity and grandeur of soul. In my case I have not found that republics are ungrateful, nor are the people. On July 23 he died. To pay his debts, he had so utterly stripped himself of all hi
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