Chapter 20: events West of the Mississippi and in Middle Tennessee.
- Department of the Tennessee -- Grant's position, 524. -- Curtis's March toward the Mississippi -- weakness of military force in Arkansas, 525. -- land and naval forces on the Mississippi, 526. -- brief siege of Vicksburg, 527. -- the ram Arkansas -- bombardment of Donaldsonville, 528, -- Battfe at Baton Rouge, 529. -- the La Fourche District “repossessed,” 530. -- Generals Banks and Butler in New Orleans -- military operations in Missouri, 531. -- War on its Western borders, 532. -- Confederates driven into Arkansas, 533. -- battle on Boston Mountains, 534. -- battle of Prairie Grove, 535. -- sufferings of Loyalists in Western Texas, 536. -- massacre of Unionists, 537. -- the Army of the Cumberland, 538. -- Bragg's Army at Murfreesboroa -- Jefferson Davis at head -- quarters, 539. -- Rosecrans's Army at Nashville, 540. -- activity of his troops, 541. -- advance of the Army of the Cumberland, 542. -- its appearance before Murfreesboroa, 543. -- opening of the battle of Murfreesboroa, or Stone's River, 544. -- disaster to the right wing of the National Army, 545. -- struggle of Hazen's brigade, 546. -- progress of the battle, 547, 548, and 549. -- victory for the Nationals -- pursuit delayed, 550. -- Bragg retreats southward, 551. -- important cavalry raids, 552. -- a visit to the Murfreesboroa battle — field, 553.
The repulse of the Confederates at Corinth was followed by brief repose in the Department over which General Grant had command, and which, by a general order of the 16th of October, was much extended, and named the Department of the Tennessee,1 with Headquarters at Jackson. He made a provisional division of it into four districts, commanded respectively by Generals W. T. Sherman, S. A. Hurlbut, C. S. Hamilton, and T. A. Davies--the first commanding the district of Memphis, the second that of Jackson, the third the district of Corinth, and the fourth the district of Columbus. Vicksburg, a city of Mississippi, situated on a group of high eminences known as the Walnut Hills, on the eastern bank of the Mississippi River, at a bold turn of the stream, and a point of great military importance, had been fortified by the Confederates,2 and was daily growing stronger. It was becoming a Gibraltar for them in opposing the grand scheme of the Nationals for gaining the command of the Great River, and thus severing important portions of the Confederacy. Toward the seizure of that point operations in the southwest were now tending. Vicksburg was not in General Grant's department, but its capture became his great objective, as well as that of others, and for that purpose a large portion of his forces had moved southward, and at the beginning of December had taken post between Holly Springs and Coldwater, on the two railways diverging from Grenada, in Mississippi, and the Tallahatchee River, behind which lay the Confederates in strength. There he was prepared to co-operate with the National forces westward of the Mississippi, and on the river below. That we may have a clear understanding of the relations of these co-operating forces, let us glance a moment at their antecedents, and especially their more recent movements. These forces, in other forms and numbers, we left, in former chapters, some under General Curtis, after the battle of Pea Ridge,3 and others under General Butler4 and Admiral Farragut.5 Let us first follow the fortunes of Curtis's army after the battle of Pea Ridge. We left it at Batesville, on the White River, in Arkansas, on the  6th of May,6 where Curtis expected to find gun-boats and supplies, in charge of Colonel Fitch. The lowness of the water in the river had prevented their ascent, and one of the war-vessels had been destroyed by explosion in a struggle with a Confederate battery at St. Charles. This was a great disappointment to Curtis, for he had expected to advance on Little Rock, the capital of Arkansas. Being compelled to depend for his supplies by wagontrains from Rolla, far up in Missouri, he did not feel warranted in making aggressive movements, and he remained at Batesville until the 24th of June, when he moved on toward the Mississippi, crossing the Big Black River on pontoon bridges, and traversing a: dreary country, among a thin and hostile population, until he reached Clarendon, on the White River, a little below the mouth of the Cache River. Curtis was joined at Jacksonport
June 25, 1862.