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XIII. Rosecrans's Winter campaign.

Gen. Rosecrans, on assuming1 command of Buell's Army of the Ohio, found it seriously depleted and demoralized by the exhaustive marches and indecisive conflicts of the last six months. With a strength fully adequate to the rout and destruction of all the forces led into Kentucky by Bragg and Kirby Smith, it had see:, that State ravaged throughout by that locust horde, which had in due time recrossed the Cumberland Mountains unassailed, returning to East Tennessee as if in triumph. Of the 100,000 men formerly borne on its muster-rolls, he found, on examination, no less than 26,482 “absent by authority” --most, but not nearly all of them, doubtless, in hospitals-sick or wounded; while 6,48: more were “absent without authority” --in other words, had deserted. His effective force was thus reduced to about 65,00. men; while his cavalry was so inferior in numbers and efficiency that the troopers of Forrest and John Morgan rode around us at will, striking at posts and supply trains, and compelling enormous and constantly increasing, exhausting details to keep open our communications and preserve our army from starvation.

The railroad from Louisville to Nashville had been reopened to and across Green river; so that, though there was no considerable force of the enemy in its front — Bragg's army being still on its tedious, toilsome, circuitous retreat through East Tennessee-our army was clustered around Bowling Green, whence it could advance only so fast as the repair of its sole line of supply should be perfected. Its designation had been clanged to “Fourteenth army corps ;” the Department having been curtailed, and rechristened that of the Cumberland. It was now organized into three grand divisions: the Right, under Maj.-Gen. McCook, with Brig.-Gens. J. W. Sill, Phil. H. Sheridan, and Col. W. E. Woodruff at the head of its subordinate divisions respectively; the Center, under Maj.-Gen. Geo. II. Thomas, with its subordinate divisions led by Maj.-Gen. L. H. Rousseau, Brig.-Gens. Negley, Palmer, Dumont, and Fry; whereof Dumont and Fry were soon reliever, and Palmer transferred to the Left Wing, of which Maj.-Gen. T. L. Crittenden had command, and which consisted of the sub-divisions of Brig.-Gens. T. J. Wood, II. P. Van Cleve, and W. S. Smith. Rosecrans assigned the chief command of his dilapidated cavalry to Maj.-Gen. D. S. Stanley ; while Lt.-Col. Julius P. Garesche--an officer of rare capacity and merit — was placed at tile head of his staff, with Capt. J. St. Clair Morton as Chief Engineer, and Col. Wm. Truesdail as Chief of Army Police.

The railroad having been rendered serviceable, Rosecrans left2 Bowling Green by special train for Mitchellsville; where he took horse and proceeded to Nashville, whose garrison, [271] commanded by Gen. Negley, he reviewed next day. His divisions, as they arrived, were thrown out in front of the city, covering the roads leading southward ; the command of the Right here devolving on Gen. Jeff: C. Davis; Gen. R. B. Mitchell relieved Negley as commandant at Nashville, enabling him to go to the front; while Dumont's division was merged: a new one being created, and Brig.-Gen. J. J. Reynolds assigned to its command. Until the railroad was fully reopened3 hence to Louisville, our men only lived from hand to mouth, rendering a farther advance impossible; so that Bragg's army had time to conclude its long, march and reappear in our front at Murfreesborough, before Rosecrans was prepared to assume the offensive.

Meantime, Morgan had been exhibiting his audacity and vigor as a leader of cavalry. Several daring dashes on our supply trains below Mitchellsville had resulted in the capture of a number of our wagons and at least 150 men; Lt. Beals and 20 men of the 4th Michigan cavalry had been picked up4 near Stone river; but Gen. Stanley, reporting for duty about this time, soon drove the Rebel raiders from our rear; and, in several partisan affairs occurring directly afterward, the advantage was with us — a Texas regiment being chased5 by Col. L. M. Kennett some 15 miles down the Franklin turnpike; while Brig.-Gen. E. N. Kirk that day drove Wheeler out of LavergneWheeler himself being wounded. Phil. Sheridan, on another road, pressed the enemy back to Nolensville, without loss on our part; and Col. Roberts, 42d Illinois, surprised and captured Capt. Portch and a small squad of Morgan's men; bringing in their arms and horses. A Rebel force having, about this time, (lashed across the Cumberland near Hartsville, capturing a forage train and its escort, Major Hill, 2d Indiana, chased the captors 18 miles, recovering all we had lost, and killing some 18 or 29 Rebels--for which he was publicly complimented by Rosecrans; who, finding that some of his soldiers were base enough to surrender wantonly to the enemy, in order to be paroled and sent home, had fifty of the caitiffs dressed up III ridiculous night-caps,6 and thus paraded, before their jeering comrades, through Nashville, to the music of the Rogue's March; after which, they were forwarded to the parole camp in Indiana. The lesson did not require repetition.

Gen. Thomas having thrown forward on our left a brigade — nearly 2,000 strong — to Hartsville, its command fell to Col. A. B. Moore, 104th Illinois, who allowed himself to be surprised7 by Morgan, at the lead of 1,500 cavalry and mounted infantry, and most disgracefully captured; though the residue of Gen. Dumont's division was at Castilian Springs, only nine miles distant. Moore had neglected to fortify or even intrench himself; his ved<*>ttes were surprised and picked up; Morgan advanced on him at 7 A. M., in broad daylight, having previously gained his rear without exciting an alarm; when Moore, who had hastily taken post on a hill. and who soon contrived to evince every species of incapacity, cowardice inclusive, surrendered, and was hurried off with about 1,500 [272] of his men; the residue escaping and giving the alarm at the Springs; whence Col. Harlan's brigade arrived just in time to throw a few shells after the escaping Rebels, scaring them from some of their plunder and taking a few prisoners. Moore's men were first hurried to Murfreesboroa, stripped by the way of their blankets and over-coats, and thence marched directly up to our lines to be there exchanged — contrary to the cartel agreed on by the military chiefs of the belligerents. Gen. Rosecrans exchanged them; but gave notice that he would do so no more. In the Hartsville disgrace, sone 150 on either side were killed or wounded8

Two days later, Wheeler, with a large force of mounted infantry and cavalry, attacked a brigade of our infantry, under Col. Stanley Matthews, which was foraging between the two armies; but was received with determined spirit, and driven off, with a loss of 100 to our 40. Matthews returned in triumph, bringing in his train ; and was publicly thanked by Rosecrans.

Gen. Stanley, having received and distributed among his best horsemen some 2,000 revolving rifles, resolved to test their efficiency. Pushing down the turnpike leading to Franklin, he rode into9 that town, driving the Rebel vedettes before him, taking a few prisoners, gaining important intelligence, and returning to his camp in triumph.

At length-two months provisions having been accumulated at Nashville, and a good part of the Rebel cavalry having been dispatched to West Tennessee and to Kentucky, to operate on our lines of supply--. Rosecrans determined to advance.

His disposable force had been reduced by details and by casualties to 46,910 men : of whom 41,421 were infantry, 2,223 artillery, and 3,266 cavalry-much of the cavalry very raw. The Right Wing, under McCook, numbered 15,933 ; the Center, under Thomas, 13,39; the Left, under Crittenden, 13,288; beside Morton's brigade of Engineers, numbering 1,700. This army was essentially weakened by its division-or rather dispersion-into no less than 110 infantry and 10 cavalry regiments; its; artillerymen serving no less than 24 batteries, or 150 guns.

Our army, now well concentrated in front of Nashville, commenced its advance at daylight, Dec. 21 ; Rosecrans and staff riding out of Nashville to join it, several hours afterward. The three grand divisions covered all the roads leading south and south-west from that city. Of course, it rained heavily, as usual when our Generals attempted an important movement in Winter; amid McCook, on our right, was soon enveloped in a fog so dense as to bring him to a halt. Within two miles after passing our picket-line, our advance was resisted by heavy bodies of cavalry, well backed by infantry and artillery; who skirmished sharply [273] and constantly, taking advantage of the continually increasing roughness of the country, which is in good part heavily wooded with forests of oak and dense thickets of cedar, rendering the movement slow and by no means bloodless. McCook, with our right, rested that night at Nolensville, and the next at Triune; Crittenden, with our left, advanced the first day to Lavergne, and the next to Stewart's creek, where Rosecrans seems to have expected that the Rebels might give him battle. The third day, being Sunday, our troops mainly rested. Next morning, MeCook pressed on to Wilkinson's Cross-Roads, six miles from Murfreesboroa; while Crittenden, with Palmer's division in advance, moved on the main Murfreesboroa pike to Stone river; finding the Rebel army in position along the bluffs across that stream. Palmer, observing an apparently retrogade movement on the part of the enemy, erroneously reported to headquarters that they were retreating; and Crittenden was thereupon ordered to push across a division and occupy Murfreesboroa. Harker's brigade was accordingly Sent across — the stream being almost everywhere fordable-and drove a Rebel regiment back upon their main body in some confusion; but prisoners thus captured reporting that Breckinridge's entire corps was there present, Crittenden wisely took the responsibility of disobeying Rosecrans's order, and, favored by night-fall, withdrew Harker across the river without serious loss.

Next day10 McCook fought his way down nearly to Stone river, somewhat west of Murfreesboroa; and before night our army was nearly all in position along a line stretching irregularly from north to south, a distance of some three or four miles': Crittenden on the left, Thomas in the center, and McCook on the right-; and, at 9 P. M., the three met, by invitation, at Rosecrans's headquarters and received their orders for the morrow.

It being now certain that Bragg had deliberately chosen this as his ground whereon to stand and fight, and that he had concentrated here his forces, while his cavalry so stubbornly contested and impeded our advance, Rosecrans proposed at daylight to throw forward his left and center, crushing Breckinridge, who held the Rebel right, and then, wheeling rapidly, fall with overwhelming force in front and flank on their center, sweeping through Murfreesboroa and gaining the rear of the enemy's center and left, pushing then off their natural lire of retreat, and so cutting up and destroying their entire army. In pursuance of this plan, Van Cleve's division, on our extreme left, advanced soon after daylight; Wood's being ready to support arid follow him.

Bragg, however, had already decided to fight his own battle, and not Rosecrans's. To this end, lie had concentrated heavily on his left, where Hardee was in command, with orders to attack McCook at daylight.11 Bishop Polk, in his center, strengthened by McCown's division, was directed to second and support Hardee's attack; the two corps moving by a constant right wheel, and crushing back our routed right upon our center, seizing first the Wilkinson [274] and then the Nashville turnpike; interposing between our army and its supply-trains, whenever they should have flanked our right and gained our rear.

According to Rosecrans's plan, McCook, however strongly assailed, was to hold his position for three hours, receding — if attacked in over-whelming force — very slowly, and fighting desperately; which he had undertaken to do. But there was a serious mistake in the calculation. Before 7 A. M., Hardee's corps burst from the thickets in McCook's front and on his right; Cleburne's four brigades charging vehemently its extreme right, Cheatham's and McCown's divisions striking it more directly in front, hurling back our skirmishers at once on our lines, and crumbling these into a fleeing mob within a few minutes. Of the two brigade commanders in Johnson's division, holding our extreme right, Gen. Kirk was severely wounded at the first fire; while Gen. Willich had his horse killed and was himself captured. So sudden and unexpected was the attack, that a portion of our battery horses had been unhitched from the guns and sent off to drink, a few minutes before. The guns, of course, were lost.

McCook attempted to reform in the woods behind his first position; but his right was too thoroughly routed, and was chased rapidly back toward our center. A large part of this (Johnson's) division was gathered up as prisoners by the Rebel cavalry; the rest was of little account during the remainder of the fight.

McCook's remaining divisions, under Jeff. C. Davis and Sheridan, had repulsed several resolute attacks on their front, when the disappearance of Johnson's division enabled the Rebels to come in on their flank, compelling them also to give ground; and, though repeated efforts were made by Davis and his subordinates to bring their men again up to the work, their fighting did not amount to much thereafter.

Sheridan's division fought longer and better; but of his brigade commanders, Gen. J. W. Sill was killed early in the day, while leading a successful charge, and Cols. Roberts and Shaeffer at later periods — each falling dead at the head of his brigade, while charging or being charged. This division fought well throughout; but was pushed back neatly or quite to the Nashville turnpike, with tho loss of Houghtaling's and a section of Bush's battery.

By 11 A. M., the day was apparently lost. McCook's corps — a full third of our army — was practically demolished, and the Rebel cavalry in our rear working its wicked will upon our supply trains and stragglers. Nearly half the ground held by our army at daylight had been won by the triumphant enemy, who had now several batteries in position, playing upon our center, where Negley's division of Thomas's corps was desperately engaged, with its ammunition nearly expended, its artillery horses disabled, and a heavy Rebel column pushing in between it and what was left of McCook's corps, with intent to surround and capture it. This compelled Negley to recoil ; when Gen. Rousseau, pushing up his reserve division to the front, sent Maj. Ring's battalion of regulars to Negley's assistance. The regulars made a most gallant and effective [275]

Stone river, or Murfreesboroa.

[276] charge, losing heavily, but rendering admirable service.

The weight of the Rebel attack had by this time fallen wholly on Thomas, commanding our center; Sheridan, entirely out of ammunition, falling still farther to the rear, and the triumphant Rebels pressing on until they had reached a position which gave them a concentric crossfire at short-range on Negley's and Rousseau's divisions. This compelled Thomas to withdraw them from the cedar woods to more open and favorable ground; his artillery holding a ridge on the right (south) of the Nashville turnpike. In executing this movement, the regulars, Lt.-Col. Shepherd, were brought under a murderous lire, by which they lost 530 men. But the ground now taken was held; our batteries here concentrated, and the Rebels' progress finally arrested; their repeated attempts to advance out of the cedar thicket on our right and front being defeated with great slaughter.

Palmer's division, holding the right of our left wing, had advanced, at 8 A. M., to support Negley's movement, covering his left; but had not proceeded far when Palmer found his safety compromised by a Rebel advance on his rear. Halting Cruft's brigade, and ordering Col. Grose to face to the rear, he opened fire on the Rebels, and quickly repulsed them; while Col. Hazen, falling back a short distance, occupied the crest of a low, wooded hill, between the Nashville turnpike and railroad, and held it firmly until Grose, having driven the enemy from his rear, came up to his assistance; as did two or three other regiments. Again and again was his position assailed; but each attack was repulsed; and the fight closed on this part of the field with our troops entirely successful.

Bragg had brought t all his army across the creek to overwhelm our right and center, save that Breckin-ridge, with his division, remained opposite our left. At 10 1/2 A. M., he, too, received an order to advance and attack ; but lie had only moved half a mile, when a new order came to detach one or two brigades to the support of Polk, in the center; and lie sent two brigades accordingly. He soon received a still further order to advance and attack, and then one to report to Polk with all but Hanson's brigade. Moving his remaining brigades, under Preston and Palmer, by the left flank, lie crossed the creek and reported to Polk and Bragg just in season to see the brigades of Jackson and Adams, which lie had previously sent, recoil from an assault on our line,); Adams being among the wounded. Breckinridge was now ordered to charge with Preston's and Palmer's brigades, and did so; gaining some ground, but losing considerably, and finally desisting, as light fell, because the position in his front was too strong to be carried by is force. During the night, he was ordered back, with Palmer's brigade, to his old position on the Rebel right.

Gen. Wood, who was in command of our division thus assailed, was wounded in the foot at 10 A. M. ; but remained in the saddle till evening, when lie turned over his command to Gen. M. S. Hascall. Though he had been obliged, early in the fight, to spare Hascall's and Harker's brigades to the relief of the center and right, he held his ground nobly through the day; his batteries replying forcibly [277] to those with which the enemy annoyed us from the heights south of the river, and his infantry repelling every charge made by the enemy. Before night, Estep's battery, which, with Cox's, had been splendidly served throughout, had lost so heavily that a detail of infantry was required to aid in working its guns. Bradley's 6th Ohio battery at one time lost two of its guns; but they were subsequently recaptured by the 13th Michigan.

Night fell on our army successful against every attempt which had for some hours been made to drive it; but with little reason for exultation. It had lost, since daylight, including stragglers, at least one-fourth of its numbers, with an equal proportion of its guns. It had lost half the ground on which it was encamped in the morning ; and the Rebel cavalry were on its line of communications, making free with its baggage and supplies. Almost any General but Rosecrans would have supposed that there was but one point now to be considered: how to get back to Nashville with the least additional loss. But Rosecrans took stock of his ammunition, and found that there was enough left for another battle; so lie resolved to stay. His guns were now well posted, and had the range of the ground in their front; and it had been fairly proved that the enemy could not take them, even with the help of the 28 we had lost. So, giving orders for the issue of all the remaining ammunition, drawing in his left a few rods, so that it might rest advantageously on the creek, and welcoming and posting the brigades of Starkweather and Walker, which had come up as night fell, he lay down with his army to await such a New Year's Day as it should please God to send them. Ammunition being rather scanty, and fresh supplies expected, lie proposed to keep the holiday in quiet, unless Bragg should decide otherwise.

On a calm review of this day's desperate and doubtful carnage, there can not be a doubt that the battle was saved after it had been lost; and that the man who saved it was William S. Rosecrans. Thousands had done nobly — Thomas, Sheridan, Wood, Rousseau, Palmer, Van Cleve, and others, eminently so-but the day might have been saved without any of them ; while without Rosecrans it must have been lost. It was he who, when apprised too late of the sudden and utter demolition of his right wing, instantly pushed up Rousseau from his center to its relief, and hurried across Van Cleves' and other divisions from the left to stay the tide of Rebel success; it was he who-Van Cleve having just fallen-led the charge by a part of his division, which finally arrested the Rebels and repelled their advance on our right-Rousseau forth — with emulating his example, charging desperately the enemy in his front, and hurling them back into the cedars with fearful loss on both sides, but with prisoners taken by ours only.12 And when, later in the day, the storm of battle rolled around to [278] our center and left, falling heavily on Palmer's and Wood's divisions, Rosecrans was there, directing, encouraging, steadying; though the head of his chief of staff, Garesche was blown to pieces by a shell while riding by the General's side, and three or four others of his staff or escort were wounded-one of them mortally-and as many more lost their horses. To Garesche, he was deeply attached — they two being Roman Catholics, as were none other of his military family-but he was too intent on his work to seem to heed the fall of his beloved friend; and when another of the staff said to him, “Garesche is dead,” “I am very sorry,” was the quiet response, “but we can not help it.” Soon word came (erroneously), “McCook is killed.” “We can not help it,” was the General's calm reply; “this battle must be won.” And it was won. Before sunset, the Rebels had tried him on every side, and been beaten back — with fearful carnage, indeed, but no greater on our side than on theirs-their advantage being confined to our loss of guns and prisoners in the morning, consequent on McCook's sudden, overwhelming disaster. In the fighting since 11 o'clock, the carnage had been greater on the side of the Rebels; and they had lost confidence, if not ground. At 9 A. M., they had supposed our army in their hands; at sunset, Bragg had enough to do to save his own. Says Rosecrans, in his official report:

The day closed, leaving us masters of the original ground on our left, and our line advantageously posted, with openly ground in front, swept at all points by our artillery. We had lost heavily in killed and wounded, and a considerable number in stragglers and prisoners; also, 28 pieces of artillery: the horses having been slain, and our troops being unable to withdraw them, by hand, over tile roughly ground; but the enemy had been roughly handled, and badly damaged at all points, having had no success where we had open ground, and our troops properly posted; none, which did not depend on the original crushing of our right and the superior masses which were, in consequence, brought to bear upon the narrow front of Sheridan's and Negley's divisions, and a part of Palmer's, coupled with the scarcity of ammunition, caused by the circuitous road which the train had taken, and the inconvenience of getting it from a remote distance through the cedars.

Both armies maintained their respective positions throughout the following day.13 There were artillery duels at intervals, and considerable picket-firing, whereby some casualties were suffered, mainly on our center and left; but nothing like a serious attack: the lines of the two armies confronting cache other at close range, alert and vigilant; while brigades and regiments were silently moved from point to point, and rifle-pits and other hasty defenses were constructed on either side, in preparation for the impending struggle. Meantime, some ammunition trains — which tire Rebel cavalry had driven from their proper positions in our rear, and compelled to make long [279] circuits to rejoin their commands — were brought up and their contents distributed. At night, our men lay down on their arms again, and all was quiet. Hitherto, the weather had been bright and mild; so that there was no suffering save on the part of the wounded.

The quiet remained unbroken till 8 next morning ;14 when the Rebels suddenly opened fire from many batteries which had meantime been stealthily planted in front of our center and left. Hascall's division of Crittenden's corps was exposed to the heaviest of this fire, and suffered severely — Estep's battery being quickly disabled, losing so many horses that its guns were necessarily drawn off by infantry. But Bradley's and other batteries now opened on our side; and, after half an hour's firing, the Rebels ceased as suddenly as they had begun. Our infantry, though losing heavily, did not change its position.

Van Cleve's division, after losing its chief; Lad been moved back toward our left, Col. Sam. Beatty commanding; and, at daybreak this morning, had in good part been sent across the stream, taking post on the bluff beyond, as if in pursuance of Rosecrans's original purpose to take Murfreesboroa by a determined advance of his left. Throughout the morning, the rest of Van Cleve's infantry, and two or three batteries, followed. The Rebel army having been nearly all moved farther to our right, in executing or in following up the original demonstration on that wing, this movement encountered no opposition; though skirmishing along Beatty's front grew livelier and more determined toward midday; showing that the enemy were gradually creeping up. At noon, a battery opened on our front, while other batteries were seen moving to our left, as if to flank us in that quarter. At 3 P. M., our skirmishers reported that the enemy were throwing down the fences before them, as if making ready to charge; and, before any dispositions could be made to receive them, Breckinridge's entire corps, strengthened by 10 Napoleon 12-pounders, forming three magnificent columns of assault, seemed to emerge from the earth, and, aided by a heavy enfilading fire of Bishop Polk's artillery, toward the center, swept on to the charge.

Their strength was overwhelming; and the fire of our first line, consisting of the 51st Ohio, 8th Kentucky, 35th and 78th Indiana, barely sufficed to check their determined and confident advance. In a few minutes, our men gave way in disorder, sweeping the second line with them, or constraining it to follow their example. The reserve, consisting of the 19th Ohio, 9th and 11th Kentucky, was then sent up, and fought gallantly; but were far too weak, and, being threatened by a movement on their right flank, fell back, fighting, to the river and across it, losing heavily.

But now the solid Rebel masses, formed six deep, eagerly pursuing, came within the range of Crittenden's carefully planted batteries across the stream, and were plowed through and through; while the divisions of Negley and Jeff. C. Davis, with St. Clair Morton's engineers, pressed forward to the rescue. The Rebels were in [280] turn overmatched and hurled back in disorder; losing four of their guns, the flag of the 26th Tennessee, and a considerable body of prisoners. Had not darkness fallen directly, while a heavy rain had set in, Rosecrans would have pursued the fugitives right into Murfreesboroa.15 As it was, Crittenden's corps and Davis's division both passed over, reoccupied the commanding ground, and, before morning, were solidly intrenched there, ready for whatever emergency.

Another night of anxious watchfulness gave place to a morning16 of pouring rain, by which the ground was so sodden as to impede the movement of artillery. We were short of ammunition till 10 A. M., when an anxiously expected train was welcomed. Batteries were now constructed on the ground so handsomely gained on our left, by which even Murfreesboroa could be shelled; and Gens. Thomas and Rousseau, who had for days been annoyed by Rebel sharp-shooters from the cedar thickets in their front, obtained permission from Rosecrans to dislodge them by a charge, following a sharp fire of artillery-four regiments entering and soon clearing the woods, capturing 70 or 80 prisoners. No counter-movement being attempted, the fourth day closed peacefully, and was followed by a quiet night.

Quiet on our side only. Bragg had concluded to leave, and commenced the movement, as stealthily as possible, at 11 P. M.; gathering up his men and guns s so cautiously that even our pickets were not aware of his Hegira till broad daylight,17 when too late for effective pursuit; which, in fact, our inferiority in cavalry must at any rate have rendered comparatively fruitless. We do not seem even to have advanced on his track till Monday.18

Wheeler's cavalry, after vigorously resisting our advance to Stone river, had been dispatched19 by Bragg to the rear of our army ; capturing Lavergne,20 taking 700 prisoners, and destroying heavy army trains, with a large amount of stores. Thence hastening to Rock Spring and Nolensville, they made still further captures at each ; and, having passed around21 our army, reached the left flank of Bragg's, just as it commenced its great and successful charge on McCook ; guarding that flank, and coming into action as it gained the Nashville turnpike, just north of Overall's creek. Wheeler of course claims the advantage in this fight; but admits that lie fell back at the close, numbering Col. Allen and Lt.-Col. Webb among his wounded. Next morning, lie went up the turnpike to Lavergne; capturing another train and a gun ; regaining, by order, tho front during the night; and, being again sent, at 9 P. M., to our rear; [281] where he, at 2 P. M. next day,22 had a fight with a heavily guarded ordnance train, which he stopped, and claims to have damaged, but was unable to capture or destroy; returning during the night to Bragg's left flank, and covering his retreat on the 4th and 5th.

On the whole, the enemy's operations in the rear of our army, during this memorable conflict, reflect no credit on the intelligence and energy with which they were resisted. The prisoners--2,000 or more — taken by the Rebels were of course mainly stragglers and fugitives, barely worth paroling; but they figure largely in Wheeler's and in Bragg's reports. And it is not doubtful that Rosecrans's inability to improve his ultimate success was largely owing to the destruction of his trains by these triumphant raiders.

The silver lining to this cloud is a most gallant defense made on the 1st by Col. Innes's 1st Michigan Engineers and Mechanies, only 391 strong, who had taken post on high ground near Lavergne, and formed such a barricade of cedars, &c., as they hurriedly might. Here they were23 attacked, at 2 P. M., by Wharton's cavalry, whom they successfully resisted and beat off. Wharton's official report is their best eulogium. He was in command of six or eight regiments, and here is his account of this affair:

A regiment of infantry, under Col. Dennis, also was stationed in a cedar-brake, and fortifications, near this point. I caused the battery, under Lt. Pike, who acted with great gallantry, to open on it. The fire. at a range of not more than 400 yards, was kept up for moro than an hour; and must have resulted in great damage to the enemy. I caused the enemy to be charged on three sides at the same time, by Cols. Cox and Smith and Lt.-Col. Malone; and the charge was repeated four times; but the enemy was so strongly posted that it was found impossible to dislodge him.

Rosecrans makes his entire force who participated in this struggle 37,977 infantry, 3,200 cavalry, and 2,223 artillery: total, 43,400 ; and states his; losses as follows: killed, 1,533; 24 wounded, 7,245; total, 8,778, or fully 20 per cent, of the number engaged. He adds that his provostmarshal says his loss of prisoners will fall below 2,800. He says nothing of prisoners taken by him, though we certainly did take at least 500, beside wounded. He judges that the Rebels had fifteen per cent. advantage in their choice of ground and knowledge of the country; and says that they had present 132 regiments of infantry and 20 of cavalry, beside 24 smaller organizations of cavalry, 12 battalions of sharp-shooters, and 23 batteries: of artillery — all which, he estimates, must have presented an aggregate of fully 62,720 men. He thinks their killed and wounded must have amounted to 14,560 men. If lie had only told us how many of them he buried, and how many wounded (or others) fell into his hands, he would have earned our gratitude.

Bragg, per contra, says he had but 35,000 men on the field when the fight commenced, of whom but about 30,000 were infantry and artillery; and that he lost of these over 10,000, of whom 9,000 were killed [282] and wounded. 25 He claims to have taken 6,273 prisoners, many of them by the raids of his cavalry on the trains and fugitives between our army and Nashville; and lie estimates our losses at 24,000 killed and wounded, with over 30 guns to his 3. lie claims to have captured, in addition, 6,000 small arms and much other valuable spoil, beside burning 800 wagons, &c., &c. It seems odd that, after such a fight, he should have retired so hastily as to leave 1,500 of his sick and wounded (Union accounts says 2,600), with 200 medical and other attendants, in his deserted hospitals at Murfreesboroa. 26

It is a fair presumption that our losses, both in men (prisoners included) and material, were greater than those of the Rebels ; and that Rosecrans's army was disabled by those losses for any effective pursuit; but this does not and can not demolish the fact that the battle of Stone river, so gallantly, obstinately, desperately fought, was lost by Bragg and the Rebels, and won by the army of the Cumberland and its heroic commander.

On the day27 of the great struggle at Stone river, Gen. Forrest, who, with 3,500 cavalry, had been detached 28 by Bragg to operate on our communications in West Tennessee, and who had for two weeks or more been raiding through that section, threatening Jackson, capturing Trenton, Humboldt, Union City, &c., burning bridges, tearing up rails, and paroling captured Federals (over 1,000, according to his reports--700 of them at Trenton alone), was struck on his return at Parker's Cross-roads, between Huntingdon and Lexington, and thoroughly routed. He first encountered Col. C. L. Dunham, with a small brigade of 1,600; who had, the day before, been pushed forward from Huntingdon by Gen. J. C. Sullivan, and who was getting the worst of the fight — having been nearly surrounded, his train captured, and he summoned to surrender — when Sullivan came up at double-quick, with the two fresh brigades of Gen. Haynie and Col. Fuller, and rushed upon the astonished Rebels, who fled in utter rout, not attempting to make a stand, nor hardly to fire a shot. Forrest himself narrowly escaped capture; losing 4 guns, over 400 prisoners, including his Adjutant, Strange, two Colonels, many horses, arms, &c., &c. He fled eastward to Clifton, where he recrossed the Tennessee, and thence made his way back to Bragg. He lost in the fight about 50 killed and 150 wounded--the latter being included among the prisoners. Dunham reports his loss at 220: 23 killed, 139 wounded, and 58 missing.

Gen. John II. Morgan, who had been likewise dispatched by Bragg to operate on Rosecrans's commnunications, [283] simultaneously with Forrest's doings in West Tennessee, passing the left of Rosecrans's army, rode into the heart of Kentucky; and, after inconsiderable skirmishes at Glasgow, Upton, and Nolin, 29 pressed on to Elizabethtown, which he took, after a brief, one-sided conflict, capturing there and at the trestlework on the railroad, five or six miles above, several hundred prisoners, destroying 30 the railroad for miles, with a quantity of army stores. lie then raided up to Bards own, where he turned 31 abruptly southward, being threatened by a far superior force; retreating into Tennessee by Spring-field and Campbellsville; having inflicted considerable damage and incurred very little loss.

But his raid was fully countered by one led 32 about the same time by Brig.-Gen. H. Carter (formerly Col. 2d Tennessee) from Winchester, Ky., across the Cumberland, Powell's, and Clinch mountains, through a corner of Lee county, Va., to Blountsville and Zollicoffer (formerly Union Station), East Tennessee, where 150 of the 62d North Carolina, Maj. McDowell, were surprised and captured without a shot, and the railroad bridge, 720 feet long, over the Holston, destroyed, with 700 small arms and much other material of war. Pushing on ten miles, to Clinch's Station, Carter had a little fight, captured 75 prisoners, and destroyed the railroad bridge, 400 feet long, over the Watauga, with a locomotive and several cars; returning thence by Jonesville, Lee county, Va., recrossing the Cumberland range at Hauk's Gap; and, after two or three smart skirmishes, returning in triumph to his old quarters; having lost but 20 men, mainly prisoners — and killed or captured over 500. Having been ridden all but incessantly 690 miles, with very little to eat, many of his horses gave out and were left to die on the return.

Gen. Wheeler, in chief command of Bragg's cavalry, 4,500 strong, with Forrest and Wharton as Brigadiers, passing Rosecrans's army by its right, concentrated his forces at Franklin, and pushed north-west-ward rapidly to Dover, near the site of old Fort Donelson, which our Generals had seen no reason to repair and occupy. But he found 33 Dover held by Col. A. C. Harding, 83d Illinois, with some 00 men fit for duty; his battery and one or two companies being absent; but Harding proved the man for the exigency. He at once sent across to Fort Henry for assistance, and dispatched a steamboat down the Cumberland for gunboats; at the same time throwing out and deploying his men so as to impede to the utmost the advance of the Rebels, and opening upon them so soon as they came within range, with a 32-pounder and 4 brass guns, which were all lie had. Thus fighting with equal energy and judgment, he repelled alternate charges and invitations to surrender until dark, though nearly surrounded and pressed from both sides by his assailants, who, with reason, confidently expected to capture him. In their last charge, the Rebels lost Col. McNairy, of Nashville, who fell while vainly endeavoring to rally his men. No relief arrived from Fort Henry till next morning; but the gunboat [284] Fair Play, Lt. Fitch, leading four others, all of them convoying a fleet of transports up the river, lad be hailed 2-4 miles below by Harding's messenger, and incited to make speed to the rescue. Harding was still holding his ground firmly, though nearly out of ammunltion — having lost one of his guns and 45 out of 60 artillery horses — when, at 8 P. M., the Fair Play arrived, and considerably astonished the Rebels by a raking fire along their line. The other gunboats were soon on hand, and doing likewise, but to little purpose; since the Rebels had taken to their heels at the first sound of guns from the water, leaving 150 dead and an equal number of prisoners behind them. Harding estimates their wounded at 400, and makes his own loss 16 killed, 60 wounded, and 50 prisoners. Wheeler, as if satisfied with this experience, returned quietly to Franklin.

Gen. Jeff. C. Davis, with his division of infantry and two brigades of cavalry, under Col. Minty, had been sent 34 westward by Rosecrans, as if to intercept Wheeler on his way southward. He captured 141 of Wheeler's men, including two Colonels; but returned 35 to Murfreesboroa without a fight and without loss.

Gen. P. H. Sheridan next made 36 a similar demonstration southward, nearly to Shelbyville, then turning north-westward to Franklin; having two or three skirmishes with inferior forces, under Forrest and Van Dorn, who fled, losing in all about 100, mainly prisoners; while our loss was 10. Sheridan returned to Murfreesboroa after an absence of ten days.

Meantime, Van Dorn had dealt us a skillful blow at Spring Hill, 10 miles south of Franklin, and 30 from Nashville, whither Col. John Coburn, 33d Indiana, had been dispatched from Franklin, with 2,000 infantry, 600 cavalry, and a light battery, simultaneously with Sheridan's advance from Murfreesboroa. Before reaching Spring Hill, his advance was contested; and, on the morning of the next day, 37 he was assailed by a far superior force, by which he was in the course of the on day all but surrounded; and, after fighting until his ammunition was exhausted, was compelled to surrender his remaining infantry, 1,306 in number. His cavalry and artillery, having run away in excellent season, escaped with little loss. Van Dorn's force consisted of six brigades of cavalry and mounted infantry.

A fortnight later, Col. A. S. Hall, 105th Ohio, with four regiments, numbering 1,323 men, moved nearly cast from Mrurfreesboroa, intending to surprise a Rebel camp at Gainesville; but he missed his aim, and was soon to confronted by a regiment of hostile cavalry; before which, Hall slowly withdrew to the little village of Milton, 12 miles north-east of Murfrees-boroa, taking post on Vaught's Hill, a mile or so distant; where he was assailed38 by a superior Rebel force, under Gen. Morgan. But his men were skillfully posted, supporting a section of Harris's 19th Indiana battery, which was admirably served, and doubtless contributed very essentially to Morgan's defeat, with a loss of 63 killed and some 200 or 300 wounded, including himself. Hall's entire loss was but 55.

Franklin, being occupied by a [285] Union force of 4,500 men, under Gen. Gordon Granger, Van Dorn, with a superior force, assailed,39 with intent to capture it; but was easily beaten off, with a loss of 200 or 300, including 80 prisoners; our loss being 37 only.

A few days later, Maj.-Gen. J. J. Reynolds pushed out,40 with his division and two brigades of cavalry, to McMinnville; whence he drove out Morgan, talking 130 prisoners, destroying a large amount of Rebel store;, and returning41 without loss.

Col. Watkins, 6th Kentucky, with 500 cavalry, surprised42 a Rebel camp on the Carter's creek pike, 8 miles from Franklin; capturing 140 men, 250 horses and mules, and destroying a large amount of camp equipage.

Col. A. D. Streight, 51st Indiana, at the head of 1,800 cavalry, was next dispatched43 by Rosecrans to the rear of Bragg's army, with instructions to cut the railroads in northwestern Georgia, and-destroy generally all depots of supplies and manufactories of arms, clothing, &c. Having been taken up the Tennessee on steamboats from Fort Henry to Eastport, Ala., where lie was joined by an infantry force under Gen. Dodge, they attacked and captured Tuscumbia, inflicting considerable loss on the Rebels; and, while Gen. Dodge made a sweeping raid through North Alabama, returning ultimately to his headquarters at Corinth, Col. Streight struck for Northern Georgia, expecting to swoop down successively on Rome and Atlanta, destroying there large manufactories, machline-shops, and magazineo. He was hardly well on his road, however, before Forrest and Roddy, with a superior force of Rebel cavalry, were after him ; following sharply, and easily gaining upon him, through a running fight of over 100 mile; when, his ammunition being exhausted and his men nearly worn out, Streight surrendered, when 15 miles from Rome. His men were treated as other captives and exchanged; while Streight and his officers were retained for a time in close prison, on a demand of Gov. Brown, of Georgia, that they be treated as felons, under a law of that State, which makes the inciting of slaves to rebellion a high crime. The specific charge was that negroes were found among their men in uniform and bearing arms; which was strenuously denied: the few negroes with them being claimed as servants of officers; and the only one who was armed insisting that he was carrying his employer's sword, as an act of duty. After a long confinement, Streight, will 107 other of our officers, escaped44 from Libby Prison, Richmond: 60 of them, including Streight, making their way to our lines. He estimates his loss in killed and wounded during this raid at 100, including Col. Hathaway, killed; and puts the Rebel loss at five times that number. He surrendered, in all, 1,365 men.

1 Oct. 30, 1862.

2 Nov. 10.

3 Nov. 26.

4 Nov. 13.

5 Nov. 27.

6 Nov. 28.

7 Dec. 7.

8 Moore says he had but 1,200 men in the fight, and that he “was hemmed in on all sides by an overwhelming force of five or six to one.” Bragg says Morgan had “not more than 1,200 in action,” and that he took “1,800 prisoners,” with two gnus and 2,000 small arms. The Rebel Banner (Murfreesboroa, Dec. 11 says: “All told, our forces were about 1,300.” Moore says the Rebel loss in killed and wounded was “about 400:” Bragg says their loss in killed and wounded was 125, and ours 500. Moore lays his defeat at the door of the 106th Ohio, Col. Taffle, whom he charges with intense cowardice.

9 Dec. 12.

10 Dec. 30.

11 Dec. 31.

12 Rousseau, in his official report, says:

As the enemy emerged from the woods in great force, shouting and cheering, the batteries of Loomis and Guenther, double-shotted with canister, opened upon them. They moved straight ahead for a while; but were finally driven back with immense loss. In a little while, they rallied again, and, as it seemed, with fresh troops, again assailed our position: and were again, after a fierce struggle, driven back. Four deliberate and fiercely sustained assaults were made upon our position, and repulsed. During the last assault, I was informed that our troops were advancing on our right, and saw troops, out of my division, led by Gen. Rosecrans, moving in that direction. I informed Gen. Thomas of the fact, and asked leave to advance my lines. He directed me to do so. We made a charge upon the enemy, and drove him into the woods; my staff and orderlies capturing some 17 prisoners, including a Captain and Lieutenant, who were within 130 yards of the batteries. This ended the fighting of that day: the enemy in immense force hovering in the woods during the night, while we slept on our arms on the field of battle. We occupied this position during the three following days and nights of the fight. Under Gen. Thomas's direction. I had it intrenched by rifle-pits, and believe the enemy could not have taken it at all.

13 Friday, Jan. 1, 1863.

14 Jan. 2.

15 He says, in his report:

The enemy retreated more rapidly than they had advanced. In twenty minutes, they had lost 2,000 men.

16 Saturday, Jan. 3.

17 Sunday, Jan. 4.

18 Rosecrans, in his official report, says he received news on Sunday morning that the enemy had fled from Murfreesboroa; when burial parties were sent out to inter the dead, and the cavalry ordered to reconnoiter. He adds that Thomas, on Monday morning, drove the Rebel rear-guard (cavalry) six or seven miles southward, and that--

“We learned that the enemy's infantry had reached Shelbyville by 12 M. on Sunday; but, owing to the impracticability of bringing up supplies, and the loss of 557 artillery horses, farther pursuit was deemed inadvisable.”

19 Night of Dec. 29-30.

20 Dec. 30.

21 Dec. 31.

22 Jan. 3.

23 Jan. 1.

24 Among our killed, beside those already mentioned, were Cols. Jones, 24th Ohio, McKee, 3d Ky., Williams, 25th Ill., Harrington, 27th Ill., Stem, 101st Ohio, and Millikin, 3d Ohio cavalry. Among our wounded, beside those already named, were Cols. Forman, 15th Ky., Humphreys. 88th Ind. Alexander, 21st Ill., Hines, 57th Ind., Blake, 40th Ind., and Lt.-Col. Tanner, 22d Ind.

25 Among his killed were Gens. James E. Rains (Missouri), and Roger W. Hanson (Kontucky); and Cols. Moore, 8th Tenn., Burks, 11th Texas, Fisk, 16th La., Cunningham, 28th Tonn, and Black, 5th Ga. Among his wounded were Gens. James R. Chalmers and D. W. Adams.

26 He says, in his report, that his men were “greatly exhausted” by the long contest and its privations — as if they were peculiar in that respect — when they had Murfreesboroa just behind them, with their depots and hospitals; while our troops had scarcely a roof to their heads — and that--

“The only question with me was, whether the movement should be made at once, or delayed 24 hours to save a few of our wounded. As it was probable that we should lose by exhaustion as many as we should remove of the wounded, my inclination to remain was yielded.”

27 Dec. 31.

28 Crossing the Tennessee at Clifton, Dec. 13.

29 Dec. 24.

30 Dec. 28.

31 Dec. 30.

32 Dec. 20.

33 Feb. 3, 1863.

34 Jan. 31.

35 Feb. 13.

36 March 4.

37 March 5.

38 March 20.

39 April 10.

40 April 20.

41 April 26.

42 April 27.

43 April 29.

44 Feb. 9, 1864.

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