Infomotions, Inc.The Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman, Volume I., Part 2 / Sherman, William T. (William Tecumseh), 1820-1891

Author: Sherman, William T. (William Tecumseh), 1820-1891
Title: The Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman, Volume I., Part 2
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Title: The Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman, Vol. I., Part 2

Author: William T. Sherman

Release Date: June 9, 2004 [EBook #5851]

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Produced by David Widger


By William T. Sherman

Volume I., Part 2




And now that, in these notes, I have fairly reached the period of
the civil war, which ravaged our country from 1861 to 1865--an
event involving a conflict of passion, of prejudice, and of arms,
that has developed results which, for better or worse, have left
their mark on the world's history--I feel that I tread on delicate

I have again and again been invited to write a history of the war,
or to record for publication my personal recollections of it, with
large offers of money therefor; all of which I have heretofore
declined, because the truth is not always palatable, and should not
always be told.  Many of the actors in the grand drama still live,
and they and their friends are quick to controversy, which should
be avoided.  The great end of peace has been attained, with little
or no change in our form of government, and the duty of all good
men is to allow the passions of that period to subside, that we may
direct our physical and mental labor to repair the waste of war,
and to engage in the greater task of continuing our hitherto
wonderful national development.

What I now propose to do is merely to group some of my personal
recollections about the historic persons and events of the day,
prepared not with any view to their publication, but rather for
preservation till I am gone; and then to be allowed to follow into
oblivion the cords of similar papers, or to be used by some
historian who may need them by way of illustration.

I have heretofore recorded how I again came into the military
service of the United States as a colonel of the Thirteenth Regular
Infantry, a regiment that had no existence at the time, and that,
instead of being allowed to enlist the men and instruct them, as
expected, I was assigned in Washington City, by an order of
Lieutenant-General Winfield Scott, to inspection duty near him on
the 20th of June, 1861.

At that time Lieutenant-General Scott commanded the army in chief,
with Colonel E. D. Townsend as his adjutant-general,

Major G. W. Cullum, United States Engineers, and Major Schuyler
Hamilton, as aides.-de-camp.  The general had an office up stairs
on Seventeenth Street, opposite the War Department, and resided in
a house close by, on Pennsylvania Avenue.  All fears for the
immediate safety of the capital had ceased, and quite a large force
of regulars and volunteers had been collected in and about
Washington.  Brigadier-General J. K. Mansfield commanded in the
city, and Brigadier-General Irvin McDowell on the other side of the
Potomac, with his headquarters at Arlington House.  His troops
extended in a semicircle from Alexandria to above Georgetown.
Several forts and redoubts were either built or in progress, and
the people were already clamorous for a general forward movement.
Another considerable army had also been collected in Pennsylvania
under General Patterson, and, at the time I speak of, had moved
forward to Hagerstown and Williamsport, on the Potomac River.  My
brother, John Sherman, was a volunteer aide-de-camp to General
Patterson, and, toward the end of June, I went up to Hagerstown to
see him.  I found that army in the very act of moving, and we rode
down to Williamsport in a buggy, and were present when the leading
division crossed the Potomac River by fording it waist-deep.  My
friend and classmate, George H. Thomas, was there, in command of a
brigade in the leading division.  I talked with him a good deal,
also with General Cadwalader, and with the staff-officers of
General Patterson, viz., Fitz-John Porter, Belger, Beckwith, and
others, all of whom seemed encouraged to think that the war was to
be short and decisive, and that, as soon as it was demonstrated
that the General Government meant in earnest to defend its rights
and property, some general compromise would result.

Patterson's army crossed the Potomac River on the 1st or 2d of
July, and, as John Sherman was to take his seat as a Senator in the
called session of Congress, to meet July 4th, he resigned his place
as aide-de-camp, presented me his two horses and equipment, and we
returned to Washington together.

The Congress assembled punctually on the 4th of July, and the
message of Mr. Lincoln was strong and good: it recognized the fact
that civil war was upon us, that compromise of any kind was at an
end; and he asked for four hundred thousand men, and four hundred
million dollars, wherewith to vindicate the national authority, and
to regain possession of the captured forts and other property of
the United States.

It was also immediately demonstrated that the tone and temper of
Congress had changed since the Southern Senators and members had
withdrawn, and that we, the military, could now go to work with
some definite plans and ideas.

The appearance of the troops about Washington was good, but it was
manifest they were far from being soldiers.  Their uniforms were as
various as the States and cities from which they came; their arms
were also of every pattern and calibre; and they were so loaded
down with overcoats, haversacks, knapsacks, tents, and baggage,
that it took from twenty-five to fifty wagons to move the camp of a
regiment from one place to another, and some of the camps had
bakeries and cooking establishments that would have done credit to

While I was on duty with General Scott, viz., from June 20th to
about June 30th, the general frequently communicated to those about
him his opinions and proposed plans.  He seemed vexed with the
clamors of the press for immediate action, and the continued
interference in details by the President, Secretary of War, and
Congress.  He spoke of organizing a grand army of invasion, of
which the regulars were to constitute the "iron column," and seemed
to intimate that he himself would take the field in person, though
he was at the time very old, very heavy, and very unwieldy.  His
age must have been about seventy-five years.

At that date, July 4, 1861, the rebels had two armies in front of
Washington; the one at Manassas Junction, commanded by General
Beauregard, with his advance guard at Fairfax Court House, and
indeed almost in sight of Washington.  The other, commanded by
General Joe Johnston, was at Winchester, with its advance at
Martinsburg and Harper's Ferry; but the advance had fallen back
before Patterson, who then occupied Martinsburg and the line of the
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.

The temper of Congress and the people would not permit the slow and
methodical preparation desired by General Scott; and the cry of "On
to Richmond!" which was shared by the volunteers, most of whom had
only engaged for ninety days, forced General Scott to hasten his
preparations, and to order a general advance about the middle of
July.  McDowell was to move from the defenses of Washington, and
Patterson from Martinsburg.  In the organization of McDowell's army
into divisions and brigades, Colonel David Hunter was assigned to
command the Second Division, and I was ordered to take command of
his former brigade, which was composed of five regiments in
position in and about Fort Corcoran, and on the ground opposite
Georgetown.  I assumed command on the 30th of June, and proceeded
at once to prepare it for the general advance.  My command
constituted the Third Brigade of the First Division, which division
was commanded by Brigadier-General Daniel Tyler, a graduate of West
Point, but who had seen little or no actual service.  I applied to
General McDowell for home staff-officers, and he gave me, as
adjutant-general, Lieutenant Piper, of the Third Artillery, and, as
aide-de-camp, Lieutenant McQuesten, a fine young cavalry-officer,
fresh from West Point.

I selected for the field the Thirteenth New York, Colonel Quinby;
the Sixty-ninth New York, Colonel Corcoran; the Seventy-ninth New
York, Colonel Cameron; and the Second Wisconsin, Lieutenant-
Colonel Peck.  These were all good, strong, volunteer regiments,
pretty well commanded; and I had reason to believe that I had one
of the best brigades in the whole army.  Captain Ayres's battery of
the Third Regular Artillery was also attached to my brigade.  The
other regiment, the Twenty-ninth New York, Colonel Bennett, was
destined to be left behind in charge of the forts and camps during
our absence, which was expected to be short.  Soon after I had
assumed the command, a difficulty arose in the Sixty-ninth, an
Irish regiment.  This regiment had volunteered in New York, early
in April, for ninety days; but, by reason of the difficulty of
passing through Baltimore, they had come via Annapolis, had been
held for duty on the railroad as a guard for nearly a month before
they actually reached Washington, and were then mustered in about a
month after enrollment.  Some of the men claimed that they were
entitled to their discharge in ninety days from the time of
enrollment, whereas the muster-roll read ninety days from the date
of muster-in.  One day, Colonel Corcoran explained this matter to
me.  I advised him to reduce the facts to writing, and that I would
submit it to the War Department for an authoritative decision.  He
did so, and the War Department decided that the muster-roll was the
only contract of service, that it would be construed literally; and
that the regiment would be held till the expiration of three months
from the date of muster-in, viz., to about August 1, 1861.  General
Scott at the same time wrote one of his characteristic letters to
Corcoran, telling him that we were about to engage in battle, and
he knew his Irish friends would not leave him in such a crisis.
Corcoran and the officers generally wanted to go to the expected
battle, but a good many of the men were not so anxious.  In the
Second Wisconsin, also, was developed a personal difficulty.  The
actual colonel was S. P. Coon, a good-hearted gentleman, who knew
no more of the military art than a child; whereas his lieutenant-
colonel, Peck, had been to West Point, and knew the drill.
Preferring that the latter should remain in command of the
regiment, I put Colonel Coon on my personal staff, which reconciled
the difficulty.

In due season, about July 15th, our division moved forward
leaving our camps standing; Keyes's brigade in the lead, then
Schenck's, then mine, and Richardson's last.  We marched via
Vienna, Germantown, and Centreville, where all the army, composed
of five divisions, seemed to converge.  The march demonstrated
little save the general laxity of discipline; for with all my
personal efforts I could not prevent the men from straggling for
water, blackberries, or any thing on the way they fancied.

At Centreville, on the 18th, Richardson's brigade was sent by
General Tyler to reconnoitre Blackburn's Ford across Bull Run, and
he found it strongly guarded.  From our camp, at Centreville, we
heard the cannonading, and then a sharp musketry-fire.  I received
orders from General Tyler to send forward Ayres's battery, and very
soon after another order came for me to advance with my whole
brigade.  We marched  the three miles at the double-quick, arrived
in time to relieve Richardson's brigade, which was just drawing
back from the ford, worsted, and stood for half an hour or so under
a fire of artillery, which killed four or five of my men.  General
Tyler was there in person, giving directions, and soon after
he ordered us all back to our camp in Centreville.  This
reconnoissance had developed a strong force, and had been made
without the orders of General McDowell; however, it satisfied us
that the enemy was in force on the other side of Bull Run, and had
no intention to leave without a serious battle.  We lay in camp at
Centreville all of the 19th and 20th, and during that night began
the movement which resulted in the battle of Bull Run, on July
21st.  Of this so much has been written that more would be
superfluous; and the reports of the opposing commanders, McDowell
and Johnston, are fair and correct.  It is now generally admitted
that it was one of the best-planned battles of the war, but one of
the worst-fought.  Our men had been told so often at home that all
they had to do was to make a bold  appearance, and the rebels would
run; and nearly all of us for the first time then heard the sound
of cannon and muskets in anger, and saw the bloody scenes common to
all battles, with which we were soon to be familiar.  We had good
organization, good men, but no cohesion, no real discipline, no
respect for authority, no real knowledge of war.  Both armies were
fairly defeated, and, whichever had stood fast, the other would
have run.  Though the North was overwhelmed with mortification and
shame, the South really had not much to boast of, for in the three
or four hours of fighting their organization was so broken up that
they did not and could not follow our army, when it was known to be
in a state of disgraceful and causeless flight.  It is easy to
criticise a battle after it is over, but all now admit that none
others, equally raw in war, could have done better than we did at
Bull Run; and the lesson of that battle should not be lost on a
people like ours.

I insert my official report, as a condensed statement of my share
in the battle:

FORT CORCORAN, July 25, 1861

To Captain A. BAIRD, Assistant Adjutant-General, First Division
(General Tyler's).

Sir: I have the honor to submit this my report of the operations of
my brigade during the action of the 21st instant.  The brigade is
composed of the Thirteenth New York Volunteers, Colonel Quinby's
Sixty-ninth New York, Colonel Corcoran; Seventy-ninth New York,
Colonel Cameron; Second Wisconsin, Lieutenant-Colonel Peck; and
Company E, Third Artillery, under command of Captain R. B. Ayres,
Fifth Artillery.

We left our camp near Centreville, pursuant to orders, at half-past
2 A. M., taking place in your column, next to the brigade of
General Schenck, and proceeded as far as the halt, before the
enemy's position, near the stone bridge across Bull Run.  Here the
brigade was deployed in line along the skirt of timber to the right
of the Warrenton road, and remained quietly in position till after
10 a.m.  The enemy remained very quiet, but about that time we saw
a rebel regiment leave its cover in our front, and proceed in
double-quick time on the road toward Sudley Springs, by which we
knew the columns of Colonels Hunter and Heintzelman were
approaching.  About the same time we observed in motion a large
mass of the enemy, below and on the other side of the stone bridge.
I directed Captain Ayres to take position with his battery near our
right, and to open fire on this mass; but you had previously
detached the two rifle-guns belonging to this battery, and, finding
that the smooth-bore guns did not reach the enemy's position, we
ceased firing, and I sent a request that you would send to me the
thirty-pounder rifle-gun attached to Captain Carlisle's battery.
At the same time I shifted the New York Sixty-ninth to the extreme
right of the brigade.  Thus we remained till we heard the
musketry-fire across Bull Run, showing that the head of Colonel
Hunter's column was engaged.  This firing was brisk, and showed that
Hunter was driving before him the enemy, till about noon, when it
became certain the enemy had come to a stand, and that our forces on
the other side of Bull Run were all engaged, artillery and infantry.

Here you sent me the order to cross over with the whole brigade, to
the assistance of Colonel Hunter.  Early in the day, when
reconnoitring the ground, I had seen a horseman descend from a
bluff in our front, cross the stream, and show himself in the open
field on this aide; and, inferring that we could cross over at the
same point, I sent forward a company as skirmishers, and followed
with the whole brigade, the New York Sixty-ninth leading.

We found no difficulty in crossing over, and met with no opposition
in ascending the steep bluff opposite with our infantry, but it was
impassable to the artillery, and I sent word back to Captain Ayres
to follow if possible, otherwise to use his discretion.  Captain
Ayres did not cross Bull Run, but remained on that side, with the
rest of your division.  His report herewith describes his
operations during the remainder of the day.  Advancing slowly and
cautiously with the head of the column, to give time for the
regiments in succession to close up their ranks, we first
encountered a party of the enemy retreating along a cluster of
pines; Lieutenant-Colonel Haggerty, of the Sixty-ninth, without
orders, rode out alone, and endeavored to intercept their retreat.
One of the enemy, in full view, at short range, shot Haggerty, and
he fell dead from his horse.  The Sixty-ninth opened fire on this
party, which was returned; but, determined to effect our junction
with Hunter's division, I ordered this fire to cease, and we
proceeded with caution toward the field where we then plainly saw
our forces engaged.  Displaying our colors conspicuously at the
head of our column, we succeeded in attracting the attention of our
friends, and soon formed the brigade in rear of Colonel Porter's.
Here I learned that Colonel Hunter was disabled by a severe wound,
and that General McDowell was on the field.  I sought him out, and
received his orders to join in pursuit of the enemy, who was
falling back to the left of the road by which the army had
approached from Sudley Springs.  Placing Colonel Quinby's regiment
of rifles in front, in column, by division, I directed the other
regiments to follow in line of battle, in the order of the
Wisconsin Second, New York Seventy-ninth, and New York Sixty-ninth.
Quinby's regiment advanced steadily down the hill and up the ridge,
from which he opened fire upon the enemy, who had made another
stand on ground very favorable to him, and the regiment continued
advancing as the enemy gave way, till the head of the column
reached the point near which Rickett's battery was so severely cut
up.  The other regiments descended the hill in line of battle,
under a severe cannonade; and, the ground affording comparative
shelter from the enemy's artillery, they changed direction, by the
right flank, and followed the road before mentioned.  At the point
where this road crosses the ridge to our left front, the ground was
swept by a most severe fire of artillery, rifles, and musketry, and
we saw, in succession, several regiments driven from it; among them
the Zouaves and battalion of marines.  Before reaching the crest of
this hill, the roadway was worn deep enough to afford shelter, and
I kept the several regiments in it as long as possible; but when
the Wisconsin Second was abreast of the enemy, by order of Major
Wadsworth, of General McDowell's staff, I ordered it to leave the
roadway, by the left flank, and to attack the enemy.

This regiment ascended to the brow of the hill steadily, received
the severe fire of the enemy, returned it with spirit, and
advanced, delivering its fire.  This regiment is uniformed in gray
cloth, almost identical with that of the great bulk of the
secession army; and, when the regiment fell into confusion and
retreated toward the road, there was a universal cry that they were
being fired on by our own men.  The regiment rallied again, passed
the brow of the hill a second time, but was again repulsed in
disorder.  By this time the New York Seventy-ninth had closed up,
and in like manner it was ordered to cross the brow of, the hill,
and drive the enemy from cover.  It was impossible to get a good
view of this ground.  In it there was one battery of artillery,
which poured an incessant fire upon our advancing column, and the
ground was very irregular with small clusters of pines, affording
shelter, of which the enemy took good advantage.  The fire of
rifles and musketry was very severe.  The Seventy-ninth, headed by
its colonel, Cameron, charged across the hill, and for a short time
the contest was severe; they rallied several times under fire, but
finally broke, and gained the cover of the hill.

This left the field open to the New York Sixty-ninth, Colonel
Corcoran, who, in his turn, led his regiment over the crest; and
had in full, open view the ground so severely contested; the fire
was very severe, and the roar of cannon, musketry, and rifles,
incessant; it was manifest the enemy was here in great force, far
superior to us at that point.  The Sixty-ninth held the ground for
some time, but finally fell back in disorder.

All this time Quinby's regiment occupied another ridge, to our
left, overlooking the same field of action, and similarly engaged.
Here, about half-past 3 p.m., began the scene of confusion and
disorder that characterized the remainder of the day.  Up to that
time, all had kept their places, and seemed perfectly cool, and
used to the shell and shot that fell, comparatively harmless, all
around us; but the short exposure to an intense fire of small-arms,
at close range, had killed many, wounded more, and had produced
disorder in all of the battalions that had attempted to encounter
it.  Men fell away from their ranks, talking, and in great
confusion.  Colonel Cameron had been mortally wounded, was carried
to an ambulance, and reported dying.  Many other officers were
reported dead or missing, and many of the wounded were making their
way, with more or less assistance, to the buildings used as
hospitals, on the ridge to the west.  We succeeded in partially
reforming the regiments, but it was manifest that they would not
stand, and I directed Colonel Corcoran to move along the ridge to
the rear, near the position where we had first formed the brigade.
General McDowell was there in person, and need all possible efforts
to reassure the men.  By the active exertions of Colonel Corcoran,
we formed an irregular square against the cavalry which were then
seen to issue from the position from which we had been driven, and
we began our retreat toward the same ford of Bull Run by which we
had approached the field of battle.  There was no positive order to
retreat, although for an hour it had been going on by the operation
of the men themselves.  The ranks were thin and irregular, and we
found a stream of people strung from the hospital across Bull Run,
and far toward Centreville.  After putting in motion the irregular
square in person, I pushed forward to find Captain Ayres's battery
at the crossing of Bull Run.  I sought it at its last position,
before the brigade had crossed over, but it was not there; then
passing through the woods, where, in the morning, we had first
formed line, we approached the blacksmith's shop, but there found a
detachment of the secession cavalry and thence made a circuit,
avoiding Cub Run Bridge, into Centreville, where I found General
McDowell, and from him understood that it was his purpose to rally
the forces, and make a stand at Centreville.

But, about nine o'clock at night, I received from General Tyler, in
person, the order to continue the retreat to the Potomac.  This
retreat was by night, and disorderly in the extreme.  The men of
different regiments mingled together, and some reached the river at
Arlington, some at Long Bridge, and the greater part returned to
their former camp, at or near Fort Corcoran.  I reached this point
at noon the next day, and found a miscellaneous crowd crossing over
the aqueduct and ferries..  Conceiving this to be demoralizing, I
at once commanded the guard to be increased, and all persons
attempting to pass over to be stopped.  This soon produced its
effect; men sought their proper companies and regiments.
Comparative order was restored, and all were posted to the best

I herewith inclose the official report of Captain Belly, commanding
officer of the New York Sixty-ninth; also, fall lists of the
killed, wounded, and missing.

Our loss was heavy, and occurred chiefly at the point near where
Rickett's battery was destroyed.  Lieutenant-Colonel Haggerty was
killed about noon, before we had effected a junction with Colonel
Hunter's division.  Colonel Cameron was mortally wounded leading
his regiment in the charge, and Colonel Corcoran has been missing
since the cavalry-charge near the building used as a hospital.

For names, rank, etc., of the above, I refer to the lists herewith.

Lieutenants Piper and McQuesten, of my personal staff, were under
fire all day, and carried orders to and fro with as much coolness
as on parade.  Lieutenant Bagley, of the New York Sixty-ninth, a
volunteer aide, asked leave to serve with his company, during the
action, and is among those reported missing.  I have intelligence
that he is a prisoner, and slightly wounded.

Colonel Coon, of Wisconsin, a volunteer aide, also rendered good
service during the day.

W. T. SHERMAN, Colonel commanding Brigade.

This report, which I had not read probably since its date till now,
recalls to me vividly the whole scene of the affair at Blackburn's
Ford, when for the first time in my life I saw cannonballs strike
men and crash through the trees and saplings above and around us,
and realized the always sickening confusion as one approaches a
fight from the rear; then the night-march from Centreville, on the
Warrenton road, standing for hours wondering what was meant; the
deployment along the edge of the field that sloped down to
Bull-Run, and waiting for Hunter's approach on the other aide from
the direction of Sudley Springs, away off to our right; the
terrible scare of a poor negro who was caught between our lines;
the crossing of Bull Run, and the fear lest we should be fired on
by our own men; the killing of Lieutenant-Colonel Haggerty, which
occurred in plain sight; and the first scenes of a field strewed
with dead men and horses.  Yet, at that period of the battle, we
were the victors and felt jubilant.  At that moment, also, my
brigade passed Hunter's division; but Heintzelman's was still ahead
of us, and we followed its lead along the road toward Manassas
Junction, crossing a small stream and ascending a long hill, at the
summit of which the battle was going on.  Here my regiments came
into action well, but successively, and were driven back, each in
its turn.  For two hours we continued to dash at the woods on our
left front, which were full of rebels; but I was convinced their
organization was broken, and that they had simply halted there and
taken advantage of these woods as a cover, to reach which we had to
pass over the intervening fields about the Henry House, which were
clear, open, and gave them a decided advantage.  After I had put in
each of my regiments, and had them driven back to the cover of the
road, I had no idea that we were beaten, but reformed the regiments
in line in their proper order, and only wanted a little rest, when
I found that my brigade was almost alone, except Syke's regulars,
who had formed square against cavalry and were coming back.  I then
realized that the whole army was "in retreat," and that my own men
were individually making back for the stone bridge.  Corcoran and I
formed the brigade into an irregular square, but it fell to pieces;
and, along with a crowd, disorganized but not much scared, the
brigade got back to Centreville to our former camps.  Corcoran was
captured, and held a prisoner for some time; but I got safe to
Centreville.  I saw General McDowell in Centreville, and understood
that several of his divisions had not been engaged at all, that he
would reorganize them at Centreville, and there await the enemy.  I
got my four regiments in parallel lines in a field, the same in
which we had camped before the battle, and had lain down to sleep
under a tree, when I heard some one asking for me.  I called out
where I was, when General Tyler in person gave me orders to march
back to our camps at Fort Corcoran.  I aroused my aides, gave them
orders to call up the sleeping men, have each regiment to leave the
field by a flank and to take the same road back by which we had
come.  It was near midnight, and the road was full of troops,
wagons, and batteries.  We tried to keep our regiments separate,
but all became inextricably mixed.  Toward morning we reached
Vienna, where I slept some hours, and the next day, about noon, we
reached Fort Corcoran.

A slow, mizzling rain had set in, and probably a more gloomy day
never presented itself.  All organization seemed to be at an end;
but I and my staff labored hard to collect our men into their
proper companies and into their former camps, and, on the 23d of
July, I moved the Second Wisconsin and Seventy-ninth New York
closer in to Fort Corcoran, and got things in better order than I
had expected.  Of course, we took it for granted that the rebels
would be on our heels, and we accordingly prepared to defend our
posts.  By the 25th I had collected all the materials, made my
report, and had my brigade about as well governed as any in that
army; although most of the ninety-day men, especially the
Sixty-ninth, had become extremely tired of the war, and wanted to
go home.  Some of them were so mutinous, at one time, that I had
the battery to unlimber, threatening, if they dared to leave camp
without orders, I would open fire on them.  Drills and the daily
exercises were resumed, and I ordered that at the three principal
roll-calls the men should form ranks with belts and muskets, and
that they should keep their ranks until I in person had received
the reports and had dismissed them.  The Sixty-ninth still occupied
Fort Corcoran, and one morning, after reveille, when I had just
received the report, had dismissed the regiment, and was leaving, I
found myself in a crowd of men crossing the drawbridge on their way
to a barn close by, where they had their sinks; among them was an
officer, who said: "Colonel, I am going to New York today.  What
can I do for you?" I answered: "How can you go to New York? I do
not remember to have signed a leave for you."  He said, "No; he did
not want a leave.  He had engaged to serve three months, and had
already served more than that time.  If the Government did not
intend to pay him, he could afford to lose the money; that he was a
lawyer, and had neglected his business long enough, and was then
going home."  I noticed that a good many of the soldiers had paused
about us to listen, and knew that, if this officer could defy me,
they also would.  So I turned on him sharp, and said: "Captain,
this question of your term of service has been submitted to the
rightful authority, and the decision has been published in orders.
You are a soldier, and must submit to orders till you are properly
discharged.  If you attempt to leave without orders, it will be
mutiny, and I will shoot you like a dog!  Go back into the fort
now, instantly, and don't dare to leave without my consent."  I had
on an overcoat, and may have had my hand about the breast, for he
looked at me hard, paused a moment, and then turned back into the
fort.  The men scattered, and I returned to the house where I was
quartered, close by.

That same day, which must have been about July 26th, I was near the
river-bank, looking at a block-house which had been built for the
defense of the aqueduct, when I saw a carriage coming by the road
that crossed the Potomac River at Georgetown by a ferry.  I thought
I recognized in the carriage the person of President Lincoln.  I
hurried across a bend, so as to stand by the road-side as the
carriage passed.  I was in uniform, with a sword on, and was
recognized by Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Seward, who rode side by side in
an open hack.  I inquired if they were going to my camps, and Mr.
Lincoln said: "Yes; we heard that you had got over the big scare,
and we thought we would come over and see the 'boys.'"  The roads
had been much changed and were rough.  I asked if I might give
directions to his coachman, he promptly invited me to jump in and
to tell the coachman which way to drive.  Intending to begin on the
right and follow round to the left, I turned the driver into a
side-road which led up a very steep hill, and, seeing a soldier,
called to him and sent him up hurriedly to announce to the colonel
(Bennett, I think) that the President was coming: As we slowly
ascended the hill, I discovered that Mr. Lincoln was full of
feeling, and wanted to encourage our men.  I asked if he intended
to speak to them, and he said he would like to.  I asked him then
to please discourage all cheering, noise, or any sort of confusion;
that we had had enough of it before Bull Run to ruin any set of
men, and that what we needed were cool, thoughtful, hard-fighting
soldiers--no more hurrahing, no more humbug.  He took my remarks in
the most perfect good-nature.  Before we had reached the first
camp, I heard the drum beating the "assembly," saw the men running
for their tents, and in a few minutes the regiment was in line,
arms presented, and then brought to an order and "parade rest!"

Mr. Lincoln stood up in the carriage, and made one of the neatest,
best, and most feeling addresses I ever listened to, referring to
our late disaster at Bull Run, the high duties that still devolved
on us, and the brighter days yet to come.  At one or two points the
soldiers began to cheer, but he promptly checked them, saying:
"Don't cheer, boys.  I confess I rather like it myself, but Colonel
Sherman here says it is not military; and I guess we had better
defer to his opinion."  In winding up, he explained that, as
President, he was commander-in-chief; that he was resolved that the
soldiers should have every thing that the law allowed; and he
called on one and all to appeal to him personally in case they were
wronged.  The effect of this speech was excellent.

We passed along in the same manner to all the camps of my brigade;
and Mr. Lincoln complimented me highly for the order, cleanliness,
and discipline, that he observed.  Indeed, he and Mr. Seward both
assured me that it was the first bright moment they had experienced
since the battle.

At last we reached Fort Corcoran.  The carriage could not enter, so
I ordered the regiment, without arms, to come outside, and gather
about Mr. Lincoln, who would speak to them.  He made to them the
same feeling address, with more personal allusions, because of
their special gallantry in the battle under Corcoran, who was still
a prisoner in the hands of the enemy; and he concluded with the
same general offer of redress in case of grievances. In the crowd I
saw the officer with whom I had had the passage at reveille that
morning.  His face was pale, and lips compressed.  I foresaw a
scene, but sat on the front seat of the carriage as quiet as a
lamb.  This officer forced his way through the crowd to the
carriage, and said: "Mr. President, I have a cause of grievance.
This morning I went to speak to Colonel Sherman, and he threatened
to shoot me."  Mr. Lincoln, who was still standing, said,
"Threatened to shoot you?"  "Yes, sir, he threatened to shoot me."
Mr. Lincoln looked at him, then at me, and stooping his tall, spare
form toward the officer, said to him in a loud stage-whisper,
easily heard for some yards around: "Well, if I were you, and he
threatened to shoot, I would not trust him, for I believe he would
do it."  The officer turned about and disappeared, and the men
laughed at him.  Soon the carriage drove on, and, as we descended
the hill, I explained the facts to the President, who answered, "Of
course I didn't know any thing about it, but I thought you knew
your own business best."  I thanked him for his confidence, and
assured him that what he had done would go far to enable me to
maintain good discipline, and it did.

By this time the day was well spent.  I asked to take my leave, and
the President and Mr. Seward drove back to Washington.  This spirit
of mutiny was common to the whole army, and was not subdued till
several regiments or parts of regiments had been ordered to Fort
Jefferson, Florida, as punishment.

General McDowell had resumed his headquarters at the Arlington
House, and was busily engaged in restoring order to his army,
sending off the ninety-days men, and replacing them by regiments
which had come under the three-years call.  We were all trembling
lest we should be held personally accountable for the disastrous
result of the battle.  General McClellan had been summoned from the
West to Washington, and changes in the subordinate commands were
announced almost daily.  I remember, as a group of officers were
talking in the large room of the Arlington House, used as the
adjutant-general's office, one evening, some young officer came in
with a list of the new brigadiers just announced at the War
Department, which-embraced the names of Heintzehvan, Keyes,
Franklin, Andrew Porter, W. T. Sherman, and others, who had been
colonels in the battle, and all of whom had shared the common
stampede.  Of course, we discredited the truth of the list; and
Heintzehvan broke out in his nasal voice, "Boys, it's all a lie!
every mother's son of you will be cashiered."  We all felt he was
right, but, nevertheless, it was true; and we were all announced in
general orders as brigadier-generals of volunteers.

General McClellan arrived, and, on assuming command, confirmed
McDowell's organization.  Instead of coming over the river, as we
expected, he took a house in Washington, and only came over from
time to time to have a review or inspection.

I had received several new regiments, and had begun two new forts
on the hill or plateau, above and farther out than Fort Corcoran;
and I organized a system of drills, embracing the evolutions of the
line, all of which was new to me, and I had to learn the tactics
from books; but I was convinced that we had a long, hard war before
us, and made up my mind to begin at the very beginning to prepare
for it.

August was passing, and troops were pouring in from all quarters;
General McClellan told me he intended to organize an army of a
hundred thousand men, with one hundred field-batteries, and I still
hoped he would come on our side of the Potomac, pitch his tent, and
prepare for real hard work, but his headquarters still remained in
a house in Washington City.  I then thought, and still think, that
was a fatal mistake.  His choice as general-in-chief at the time
was fully justified by his high reputation in the army and country,
and, if he then had any political views or ambition, I surely did
not suspect it.

About the middle of August I got a note from Brigadier-General
Robert Anderson, asking me to come and see him at his room at
Willard's Hotel.  I rode over and found him in conversation with
several gentlemen, and he explained to me that events in Kentucky
were approaching a crisis; that the Legislature was in session, and
ready, as soon as properly backed by the General Government, to
take open sides for the Union cause; that he was offered the
command of the Department of the Cumberland, to embrace Kentucky,
Tennessee, etc., and that he wanted help, and that the President
had offered to allow him to select out of the new brigadiers four
of his own choice.  I had been a lieutenant in Captain Anderson's
company, at Fort Moultrie, from 1843 to 1846, and he explained that
he wanted me as his right hand.  He also indicated George H.
Thomas, D. C. Buell, and Burnside, as the other three.  Of course,
I always wanted to go West, and was perfectly willing to go with
Anderson, especially in a subordinate capacity: We agreed to call
on the President on a subsequent day, to talk with him about it,
and we did.  It hardly seems probable that Mr. Lincoln should have
come to Willard's Hotel to meet us, but my impression is that he
did, and that General Anderson had some difficulty in prevailing on
him to appoint George H. Thomas, a native of Virginia, to be
brigadier-general, because so many Southern officers, had already
played false; but I was still more emphatic in my indorsement of
him by reason of my talk with him at the time he crossed the
Potomac with Patterson's army, when Mr. Lincoln promised to appoint
him and to assign him to duty with General Anderson.  In this
interview with Mr. Lincoln, I also explained to him my extreme
desire to serve in a subordinate capacity, and in no event to be
left in a superior command.  He promised me this with promptness,
making the jocular remark that his chief trouble was to find places
for the too many generals who wanted to be at the head of affairs,
to command armies, etc.

The official order is dated:

[Special Order No. 114.]
Washington, August 24, 1881.

The following assignment is made of the general officers of the
volunteer service, whose appointment was announced in General
Orders No. 82, from the War Department

To the Department of the Cumberland, Brigadier-General Robert
Anderson commanding:

Brigadier-General W. T. Sherman,
Brigadier-General George H. Thomas.

By command of Lieutenant-General Scott:
E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant adjutant-General.

After some days, I was relieved in command of my brigade and post
by Brigadier General Fitz-John Porter, and at once took my
departure for Cincinnati, Ohio, via Cresson, Pennsylvania, where
General Anderson was with his family; and he, Thomas, and I, met by
appointment at the house of his brother, Larz Anderson, Esq., in
Cincinnati.  We were there on the 1st and 2d of September, when
several prominent gentlemen of Kentucky met us, to discuss the
situation, among whom were Jackson, Harlan, Speed, and others.  At
that time, William Nelson, an officer of the navy, had been
commissioned a brigadier-general of volunteers, and had his camp at
Dick Robinson, a few miles beyond the Kentucky River, south of
Nicholasville; and Brigadier-General L. H. Rousseau had another
camp at Jeffersonville, opposite Louisville.  The State Legislature
was in session at Frankfort, and was ready to take definite action
as soon as General Anderson was prepared, for the State was
threatened with invasion from Tennessee, by two forces: one from
the direction of Nashville, commanded by Generals Albert Sidney
Johnston and Buckner; and the other from the direction of
Cumberland Gap, commanded by Generals Crittenden and Zollicoffer.
General Anderson saw that he had not force enough to resist these
two columns, and concluded to send me in person for help to
Indianapolis and Springfield, to confer with the Governors of
Indiana, and Illinois, and to General Fremont, who commanded in St.

McClellan and Fremont were the two men toward whom the country
looked as the great Union leaders, and toward them were streaming
the newly-raised regiments of infantry and cavalry, and batteries
of artillery; nobody seeming to think of the intervening link
covered by Kentucky.  While I was to make this tour, Generals
Anderson and Thomas were to go to Louisville and initiate the
department.  None of us had a staff, or any of the machinery for
organizing an army, and, indeed, we had no army to organize.
Anderson was empowered to raise regiments in Kentucky, and to
commission a few brigadier-generals.

At Indianapolis I found Governor Morton and all the State officials
busy in equipping and providing for the new regiments, and my
object was to divert some of them toward Kentucky; but they were
called for as fast as they were mustered in, either for the army of
McClellan or Fremont.  At Springfield also I found the same general
activity and zeal, Governor Yates busy in providing for his men;
but these men also had been promised to Fremont.  I then went on to
St. Louis, where all was seeming activity, bustle, and preparation.
Meeting R. M. Renick at the Planters' House (where I stopped), I
inquired where I could find General Fremont.  Renick said, "What do
you want with General Fremont?"  I said I had come to see him on
business; and he added, "You don't suppose that he will see such as
you?" and went on to retail all the scandal of the day: that Fremont
was a great potentate, surrounded by sentries and guards; that he
had a more showy court than any real king; that he kept senators,
governors, and the first citizens, dancing attendance for days and
weeks before granting an audience, etc.; that if I expected to see
him on business, I would have to make my application in writing,
and submit to a close scrutiny by his chief of staff and by his
civil surroundings.  Of course I laughed at all this, and renewed
my simple inquiry as to where was his office, and was informed that
he resided and had his office at Major Brant's new house on
Chouteau Avenue.  It was then late in the afternoon, and I
concluded to wait till the next morning; but that night I received
a dispatch from General Anderson in Louisville to hurry back, as
events were pressing, and he needed me.

Accordingly, I rose early next morning before daybreak, got
breakfast with the early railroad-passengers, and about sunrise was
at the gate of General Fremont's headquarters.  A sentinel with
drawn sabre paraded up and down in front of the house.  I had on my
undress uniform indicating my rank, and inquired of the sentinel,
"Is General Fremont up?"  He answered, "I don't know."  Seeing that
he was a soldier by his bearing, I spoke in a sharp, emphatic
voice, "Then find out."  He called for the corporal of the guard,
and soon a fine-looking German sergeant came, to whom I addressed
the same inquiry.  He in turn did not know, and I bade him find
out, as I had immediate and important business with the general.
The sergeant entered the house by the front-basement door, and
after ten or fifteen minutes the main front-door above was slowly
opened from the inside, and who should appear but my old San
Francisco acquaintance Isaiah C. Woods, whom I had not seen or
heard of since his flight to Australia, at the time of the failure
of Adams & Co. in 1851!  He ushered me in hastily, closed the door,
and conducted me into the office on the right of the hall.  We were
glad to meet, after so long and eventful an interval, and mutually
inquired after our respective families and special acquaintances.
I found that he was a commissioned officer, a major on duty with
Fremont, and Major Eaton, now of the paymaster's Department, was in
the same office with him.  I explained to them that I had come from
General Anderson, and wanted to confer with General Fremont in
person.  Woods left me, but soon returned, said the general would
see me in a very few minutes, and within ten minutes I was shown
across the hall into the large parlor, where General Fremont
received me very politely.  We had met before, as early as 1847, in
California, and I had also seen him several times when he was
senator.  I then in a rapid manner ran over all the points of
interest in General Anderson's new sphere of action, hoped he would
spare us from the new levies what troops he could, and generally
act in concert with us.  He told me that his first business would
be to drive the rebel General Price and his army out of Missouri,
when he would turn his attention down the Mississippi.  He asked my
opinion about the various kinds of field-artillery which
manufacturers were thrusting on him, especially the then
newly-invented James gun, and afterward our conversation took a wide
turn about the character of the principal citizens of St. Louis,
with whom I was well acquainted.

Telling General Fremont that I had been summoned to Louisville and
that I should leave in the first train, viz., at 3 p.m., I took my
leave of him.  Returning to Wood's office, I found there two more
Californians, viz., Messrs.  Palmer and Haskell, so I felt that,
while Fremont might be suspicious of others, he allowed free
ingress to his old California acquaintances.

Returning to the Planters' House, I heard of Beard, another
Californian, a Mormon, who had the contract for the line of
redoubts which Fremont had ordered to be constructed around the
city, before he would take his departure for the interior of the
State; and while I stood near the office-counter, I saw old Baron
Steinberger, a prince among our early California adventurers, come
in and look over the register.  I avoided him on purpose, but his
presence in St. Louis recalled the maxim, "Where the vultures are,
there is a carcass close by;" and I suspected that the profitable
contracts of the quartermaster, McKinstry, had drawn to St. Louis
some of the most enterprising men of California.  I suspect they
can account for the fact that, in a very short time, Fremont fell
from his high estate in Missouri, by reason of frauds, or supposed
frauds, in the administration of the affairs of his command.

I left St. Louis that afternoon and reached Louisville the next
morning.  I found General Anderson quartered at the Louisville
Hotel, and he had taken a dwelling homes on ______ Street as an
office.  Captain O. D. Greens was his adjutant-general, Lieutenant
Throckmorton his aide, and Captain Prime, of the Engineer Corps,
was on duty with him.  General George H. Thomas had been dispatched
to camp Dick Robinson, to relieve Nelson.

The city was full of all sorts of rumors.  The Legislature, moved
by considerations purely of a political nature, had taken the step,
whatever it was, that amounted to an adherence to the Union,
instead of joining the already-seceded States.  This was
universally known to be the signal for action.  For it we were
utterly unprepared, whereas the rebels were fully prepared.
General Sidney Johnston immediately crossed into Kentucky, and
advanced as far as Bowling Green, which he began to fortify, and
thence dispatched General Buckner with a division forward toward
Louisville; General Zollicoffer, in like manner, entered the State
and advanced as far as Somerset.  On the day I reached Louisville
the excitement ran high.  It was known that Columbus, Kentucky, had
been occupied, September 7th, by a strong rebel force, under
Generals Pillow and Polk, and that General Grant had moved from
Cairo and occupied Paducah in force on the 6th.  Many of the rebel
families expected Buckner to reach Louisville at any moment.  That
night, General Anderson sent for me, and I found with him Mr.
Guthrie, president of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad, who had
in his hands a dispatch to the effect that the bridge across the
Rolling Fork of Salt Creek, less than thirty miles out, had been
burned, and that Buckner's force, en route for Louisville, had been
detained beyond Green River by a train thrown from the track.  We
learned afterward that a man named Bird had displaced a rail on
purpose to throw the train off the track, and thereby give us time.

Mr. Guthrie explained that in the ravine just beyond Salt Creek
were several high and important trestles which, if destroyed, would
take months to replace, and General Anderson thought it well.
worth the effort to save them.  Also, on Muldraugh's Hill beyond,
was a strong position, which had in former years been used as the
site for the State "Camp of Instruction," and we all supposed that
General Buckner, who was familiar with the ground, was aiming for a
position there, from which to operate on Louisville.

All the troops we had to counteract Buckner were Rousseau's Legion,
and a few Home Guards in Louisville.  The former were still
encamped across the river at Jeffersonville; so General Anderson
ordered me to go over, and with them, and such Home Guards as we
could collect, make the effort to secure possession of Muldraugh's
Hill before Buckner could reach it.  I took Captain Prime with me;
and crossed over to Rousseau's camp.  The long-roll was beaten, and
within an hour the men, to the number of about one thousand, were
marching for the ferry-boat and for the Nashville depot.  Meantime
General Anderson had sent to collect some Home Guards, and Mr.
Guthrie to get the trains ready.  It was after midnight before we
began to move.  The trains proceeded slowly, and it was daybreak
when we reached Lebanon Junction, twenty-six miles out, where we
disembarked, and marched to the bridge over Salt River, which we
found had been burnt; whether to prevent Buckner coming into
Louisville, or us from going out, was not clear.  Rousseau's Legion
forded the stream and marched up to the State Camp of Instruction,
finding the high trestles all secure.  The railroad hands went to
work at once to rebuild the bridge.  I remained a couple of days at
Lebanon Junction, during which General Anderson forwarded two
regiments of volunteers that had come to him.  Before the bridge
was done we  advanced the whole camp to the summit of Muldraugh's
Hill, just back of Elizabethtown.  There I learned definitely that
General Buckner had not crossed Green River at all, that General
Sidney Johnston was fortifying Bowling Green, and preparing for a
systematic advance into Kentucky, of which he was a native, and
with whose people and geography he must have been familiar.  As
fast as fresh troops reached Louisville, they were sent out to me
at Muldraugh's Hill, where I was endeavoring to put them into shape
for service, and by the 1st of October I had the equivalent of a
division of two brigades preparing to move forward toward Green
River.  The daily correspondence between General Anderson and
myself satisfied me that the worry and harassment at Louisville
were exhausting his strength and health, and that he would soon
leave.  On a telegraphic summons from him, about the 5th of
October, I went down to Louisville, when General Anderson said he
could not stand the mental torture of his command any longer, and
that he must go away, or it would kill him.  On the 8th of October
he actually published an order relinquishing the command, and, by
reason of my seniority, I had no alternative but to assume command,
though much against the grain, and in direct violation of Mr.
Lincoln's promise to me.  I am certain that, in my earliest
communication to the War Department, I renewed the expression of my
wish to remain in a subordinate position, and that I received the
assurance that Brigadier-General Buell would soon arrive from
California, and would be sent to relieve me.  By that time I had
become pretty familiar with the geography and the general resources
of Kentucky.  We had parties all over the State raising regiments
and companies; but it was manifest that the young men were
generally inclined to the cause of the South, while the older men
of property wanted to be let alone--i.e., to remain neutral.  As to
a forward movement that fall, it was simply impracticable; for we
were forced to use divergent lines, leading our columns farther and
farther apart; and all I could attempt was to go on and collect
force and material at the two points already chosen, viz., Dick
Robinson and Elizabethtown.  General George H. Thomas still
continued to command the former, and on the 12th of October I
dispatched Brigadier-General A. McD. McCook to command the latter,
which had been moved forward to Nolin Creek, fifty-two miles out of
Louisville, toward Bowling Green.  Staff-officers began to arrive
to relieve us of the constant drudgery which, up to that time, had
been forced on General Anderson and myself; and these were all good
men.  Colonel Thomas Swords, quartermaster, arrived on the 13th;
Paymaster Larned on the 14th; and Lieutenant Smyzer, Fifth
Artillery, acting ordnance-officer, on the 20th; Captain Symonds
was already on duty as the commissary of subsistence; Captain O.
D. Greene was the adjutant-general, and completed a good working

The everlasting worry of citizens complaining of every petty
delinquency of a soldier, and forcing themselves forward to discuss
politics, made the position of a commanding general no sinecure.  I
continued to strengthen the two corps forward and their routes of
supply; all the time expecting that Sidney Johnston, who was a real
general, and who had as correct information of our situation as I
had, would unite his force with Zollicoffer, and fall on Thomas at
Dick Robinson, or McCook at Nolin: Had he done so in October, 1861,
he could have walked into Louisville, and the vital part of the
population would have hailed him as a deliverer.  Why he did not,
was to me a mystery then and is now; for I know that he saw the
move; and had his wagons loaded up at one time for a start toward
Frankfort, passing between our two camps.  Conscious of our
weakness, I was unnecessarily unhappy, and doubtless exhibited it
too much to those near me; but it did seem to me that the
Government at Washington, intent on the larger preparations of
Fremont in Missouri and McClellan in Washington, actually ignored
us in Kentucky.

About this time, say the middle of October, I received notice, by
telegraph, that the Secretary of War, Mr. Cameron (then in St.
Louis), would visit me at Louisville, on his way back to
Washington.  I was delighted to have an opportunity to properly
represent the actual state of affairs, and got Mr. Guthrie to go
with me across to Jeffersonville, to meet the Secretary of War and
escort him to Louisville.  The train was behind time, but Mr.
Guthrie and I waited till it actually arrived.  Mr. Cameron was
attended by Adjutant-General Lorenzo Thomas, and six or seven
gentlemen who turned out to be newspaper reporters.  Mr. Cameron's
first inquiry was, when he could start for Cincinnati, saying that,
as he had been detained at St. Louis so long, it was important he
should hurry on to Washington.  I explained that the regular
mail-boat would leave very soon--viz., at 12 M.--but I begged him
to come over to Louisville; that I wanted to see him on business as
important as any in Washington, and hoped he would come and spend
at least a day with us.  He asked if every thing was not well with
us, and I told him far from it; that things were actually bad, as
bad as bad could be.  This seemed to surprise him, and Mr. Guthrie
added his persuasion to mine; when Mr. Cameron, learning that he
could leave Louisville by rail via Frankfort next morning early,
and make the same connections at Cincinnati, consented to go with
us to Louisville, with the distinct understanding that he must
leave early the next morning for Washington.

We accordingly all took hacks, crossed the river by the ferry, and
drove to the Galt House, where I was then staying.  Brigadier-
General T. J. Wood had come down from Indianapolis by the same
train, and was one of the party.  We all proceeded to my room on
the first floor of the Galt House, where our excellent landlord,
Silas Miller, Esq., sent us a good lunch and something to drink.
Mr. Cameron was not well, and lay on my bed, but joined in the
general conversation.  He and his party seemed to be full of the
particulars of the developments in St. Louis of some of Fremont's
extravagant contracts and expenses, which were the occasion of
Cameron's trip to St. Louis, and which finally resulted in
Fremont's being relieved, first by General Hunter, and after by
General H. W. Halleck.

After some general conversation, Mr. Cameron called to me, "Now,
General Sherman, tell us of your troubles."  I said I preferred not
to discuss business with so many strangers present.  He said,
"They are all friends, all members of my family, and you may speak
your mind freely and without restraint."  I am sure I stepped to
the door, locked it to prevent intrusion, and then fully and fairly
represented the state of affairs in Kentucky, especially the
situation and numbers of my troops.  I complained that the new
levies of Ohio and Indiana were diverted East and West, and we got
scarcely any thing; that our forces at Nolin and Dick Robinson were
powerless for invasion, and only tempting to a general such as we
believed Sidney Johnston to be; that, if Johnston chose, he could
march to Louisville any day.  Cameron exclaimed: "You astonish me!
Our informants, the Kentucky Senators and members of Congress,
claim that they have in Kentucky plenty of men, and all they want
are arms and money."  I then said it was not true; for the young
men were arming and going out openly in broad daylight to the rebel
camps, provided with good horses and guns by their fathers, who
were at best "neutral;" and as to arms, he had, in Washington,
promised General Anderson forty thousand of the best Springfield
muskets, instead of which we had received only about twelve
thousand Belgian muskets, which the Governor of Pennsylvania had
refused, as had also the Governor of Ohio, but which had been
adjudged good enough for Kentucky.  I asserted that volunteer
colonels raising regiments in various parts of the State had come
to Louisville for arms, and when they saw what I had to offer had
scorned to receive them--to confirm the truth of which I appealed
to Mr. Guthrie, who said that every word I had spoken was true, and
he repeated what I had often heard him say, that no man who owned a
slave or a mule in Kentucky could be trusted.

Mr. Cameron appeared alarmed at what was said, and turned to
Adjutant-General L. Thomas, to inquire if he knew of any troops
available, that had not been already assigned.  He mentioned
Negley's Pennsylvania Brigade, at Pittsburg, and a couple of other
regiments that were then en route for St. Louis.  Mr. Cameron
ordered him to divert these to Louisville, and Thomas made the
telegraphic orders on the spot.  He further promised, on reaching
Washington, to give us more of his time and assistance.

In the general conversation which followed, I remember taking a
large map of the United States, and assuming the people of the
whole South to be in rebellion, that our task was to subdue them,
showed that McClellan was on the left, having a frontage of less
than a hundred miles, and Fremont the right, about the same;
whereas I, the centre, had from the Big Sandy to Paducah, over
three hundred miles of frontier; that McClellan had a hundred
thousand men, Fremont sixty thousand, whereas to me had only been
allotted about eighteen thousand.  I argued that, for the purpose
of defense we should have sixty thousand men at once, and for
offense, would need two hundred thousand, before we were done.  Mr.
Cameron, who still lay on the bed, threw up his hands and
exclaimed, "Great God! where are they to come from?"  I asserted
that there were plenty of men at the North, ready and willing to
come, if he would only accept their services; for it was notorious
that regiments had been formed in all the Northwestern States,
whose services had been refused by the War Department, on the
ground that they would not be needed.  We discussed all these
matters fully, in the most friendly spirit, and I thought I had
aroused Mr. Cameron to a realization of the great war that was
before us, and was in fact upon us.  I heard him tell General
Thomas to make a note of our conversation, that he might attend to
my requests on reaching Washington.  We all spent the evening
together agreeably in conversation, many Union citizens calling to
pay their respects, and the next morning early we took the train
for Frankfort; Mr. Cameron and party going on to Cincinnati and
Washington, and I to Camp Dick Robinson to see General Thomas and
the troops there.

I found General Thomas in a tavern, with most of his regiments
camped about him.  He had sent a small force some miles in advance
toward Cumberland Gap, under Brigadier-General Schoepf.  Remaining
there a couple of days, I returned to Louisville; on the 22d of
October, General Negley's brigade arrived in boats from Pittsburg,
was sent out to Camp Nolin; and the Thirty-seventh Indiana.,
Colonel Hazzard, and Second Minnesota, Colonel Van Cleve, also
reached Louisville by rail, and were posted at Elizabethtown and
Lebanon Junction.  These were the same troops which had been
ordered by Mr. Cameron when at Louisville, and they were all that I
received thereafter, prior to my leaving Kentucky.  On reaching
Washington, Mr. Cameron called on General Thomas, as he himself
afterward told me, to submit his memorandum of events during his
absence, and in that memorandum was mentioned my insane request for
two hundred thousand men.  By some newspaper man this was seen and
published, and, before I had the least conception of it, I was
universally published throughout the country as "insane, crazy,"
etc.  Without any knowledge, however, of this fact, I had
previously addressed to the Adjutant-General of the army at
Washington this letter:

October 22, 1881.

To General L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General, Washington, D. C.

Sir: On my arrival at Camp Dick Robinson, I found General
Thomas had stationed a Kentucky regiment at Rock Castle Hill,
beyond a river of the same name, and had sent an Ohio and an
Indiana regiment forward in support.  He was embarrassed for
transportation, and I authorized him to hire teams, and to move his
whole force nearer to his advance-guard, so as to support it, as he
had information of the approach of Zollicoffer toward London.  I
have just heard from him, that he had sent forward General Schoepf
with Colonel Wolford's cavalry, Colonel Steadman's Ohio regiment,
and a battery of artillery, followed on a succeeding day by a
Tennessee brigade.  He had still two Kentucky regiments, the
Thirty-eighth Ohio and another battery of artillery, with which he
was to follow yesterday.  This force, if concentrated, should be
strong enough for the purpose; at all events, it is all he had or I
could give him.

I explained to you fully, when here, the supposed position of our
adversaries, among which was a force in the valley of Big Sandy,
supposed to be advancing on Paris, Kentucky.  General Nelson at
Maysville was instructed to collect all the men he could, and
Colonel Gill's regiment of Ohio Volunteers.  Colonel Harris was
already in position at Olympian Springs, and a regiment lay at
Lexington, which I ordered to his support.  This leaves the line of
Thomas's operations exposed, but I cannot help it.  I explained so
fully to yourself and the Secretary of War the condition of things,
that I can add nothing new until further developments, You know my
views that this great centre of our field is too weak, far too
weak, and I have begged and implored till I dare not say more.

Buckner still is beyond Green River.  He sent a detachment of his
men, variously estimated at from two to four thousand toward
Greensburg.  General Ward, with about one thousand men, retreated
to Campbellsburg, where he called to his assistance some
partially-formed regiments to the number of about two thousand.
The enemy did not advance, and General Ward was at last dates at
Campbellsburg.  The officers charged with raising regiments must of
necessity be near their homes to collect men, and for this reason
are out of position; but at or near Greensburg and Lebanon, I
desire to assemble as large a force of the Kentucky Volunteers as
possible.  This organization is necessarily irregular, but the
necessity is so great that I must have them, and therefore have
issued to them arms and clothing during the process of formation.
This has facilitated their enlistment; but inasmuch as the
Legislature has provided money for organizing the Kentucky
Volunteers, and intrusted its disbursement to a board of loyal
gentlemen, I have endeavored to cooperate with them to hasten the
formation of these corps.

The great difficulty is, and has been, that as volunteers offer, we
have not arms and clothing to give them.  The arms sent us are, as
you already know, European muskets of uncouth pattern, which the
volunteers will not touch.

General McCook has now three brigades--Johnson's, Wood's, and
Rousseau's.  Negley's brigade arrived to-day, and will be sent out
at once.  The Minnesota regiment has also arrived, and will be sent
forward.  Hazzard's regiment of Indiana troops I have ordered to
the month of Salt Creek, an important point on the turnpike-road
leading to Elizabethtown.

I again repeat that our force here is out of all proportion to the
importance of the position.  Our defeat would be disastrous to the
nation; and to expect of new men, who never bore arms, to do
miracles, is not right.

I am, with much respect, yours truly,

W. T. SHERMAN, Brigadier-General commanding.

About this time my attention was drawn to the publication in all
the Eastern papers, which of course was copied at the West, of the
report that I was "crazy, insane, and mad," that "I had demanded
two hundred thousand men for the defense of Kentucky;" and the
authority given for this report was stated to be the Secretary of
War himself, Mr. Cameron, who never, to my knowledge, took pains to
affirm or deny it.  My position was therefore simply unbearable,
and it is probable I resented the cruel insult with language of
intense feeling.  Still I received no orders, no reenforcements,
not a word of encouragement or relief.  About November 1st, General
McClellan was appointed commander-in-chief of all the armies in the
field, and by telegraph called for a report from me.  It is
herewith given:

Kentucky, November 4, 1861

General L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General, Washington, D. C.

Sir: In compliance with the telegraphic orders of General
McClellan, received late last night, I submit this report of the
forces in Kentucky, and of their condition.

The tabular statement shows the position of the several regiments.
The camp at Nolin is at the present extremity of the Nashville
Railroad.  This force was thrown forward to meet the advance of
Buckner's army, which then fell back to Green River, twenty-three
miles beyond.  These regiments were substantially without means of
transportation, other than the railroad, which is guarded at all
dangerous points, yet is liable to interruption at any moment, by
the tearing up of a rail by the disaffected inhabitants or a hired
enemy.  These regiments are composed of good materials, but devoid
of company officers of experience, and have been put under thorough
drill since being in camp.  They are generally well clad, and
provided for.  Beyond Green River, the enemy has masked his forces,
and it is very difficult to ascertain even the approximate numbers.
No pains have been spared to ascertain them, but without success,
and it is well known that they far outnumber us.  Depending,
however, on the railroads to their rear for transportation, they
have not thus far advanced this side of Green River, except in
marauding parties.  This is the proper line of advance, but will
require a very large force, certainly fifty thousand men, as their
railroad facilities south enable them to concentrate at
Munfordsville the entire strength of the South.  General McCook's
command is divided into four brigades, under Generals Wood, R. W.
Johnson, Rousseau, and Negley.

General Thomas's line of operations is from Lexington, toward
Cumberland Gap and Ford, which are occupied by a force of rebel
Tennesseeans, under the command of Zollicoffer.  Thomas occupies
the position at London, in front of two roads which lead to the
fertile part of Kentucky, the one by Richmond, and the other by
Crab Orchard, with his reserve at Camp Dick Robinson, eight miles
south of the Kentucky River.  His provisions and stores go by
railroad from Cincinnati to Nicholasville, and thence in wagons to
his several regiments.  He is forced to hire transportation.

Brigadier-General Nelson is operating by the line from Olympian
Springs, east of Paris, on the Covington & Lexington Railroad,
toward Prestonburg, in the valley of the Big Sandy where is
assembled a force of from twenty-five to thirty-five hundred rebel
Kentuckians waiting reenforcements from Virginia.  My last report
from him was to October 28th, at which time he had Colonel Harris's
Ohio Second, nine hundred strong; Colonel Norton's Twenty-first
Ohio, one thousand; and Colonel Sill's Thirty-third Ohio, seven
hundred and fifty strong; with two irregular Kentucky regiments,
Colonels Marshall and Metcalf.  These troops were on the road near
Hazel Green and West Liberty, advancing toward Prestonburg.

Upon an inspection of the map, you will observe these are all
divergent lines, but rendered necessary, from the fact that our
enemies choose them as places of refuge from pursuit, where they
can receive assistance from neighboring States.  Our lines are all
too weak, probably with the exception of that to Prestonburg.  To
strengthen these, I am thrown on the raw levies of Ohio and
Indiana, who arrive in detachments, perfectly fresh from the
country, and loaded down with baggage, also upon the Kentuckians,
who are slowly forming regiments all over the State, at points
remote from danger, and whom it will be almost impossible to
assemble together.  The organization of this latter force is, by
the laws of Kentucky, under the control of a military board of
citizens, at the capital, Frankfort, and they think they will be
enabled to have fifteen regiments toward the middle of this month,
but I doubt it, and deem it unsafe to rely on them: There are four
regiments forming in the neighborhood of Owensboro, near the mouth
of Green River, who are doing good service, also in the
neighborhood of Campbellsville, but it is unsafe to rely on troops
so suddenly armed and equipped.  They are not yet clothed or
uniformed.  I know well you will think our force too widely
distributed, but we are forced to it by the attitude of our
enemies, whose force and numbers the country never has and probably
never will comprehend.

I am told that my estimate of troops needed for this line, viz.,
two hundred thousand, has been construed to my prejudice, and
therefore leave it for the future.  This is the great centre on
which our enemies can concentrate whatever force is not employed
elsewhere.  Detailed statement of present force inclosed with this.

With great respect, your obedient servant,

W. T. SHERMAN, Brigadier-General commanding.


First Brigade (General ROUSSEAU).-Third Kentucky, Colonel Bulkley;
Fourth Kentucky, Colonel Whittaker; First Cavalry, Colonel Board;
Stone's battery; two companies Nineteenth United States Infantry,
and two companies Fifteenth United States Infantry, Captain Gilman.

Second Brigade (General T. J. WOOD).-Thirty-eighth Indiana, Colonel
Scribner; Thirty-ninth Indiana, Colonel Harrison; Thirtieth
Indiana, Colonel Bass; Twenty-ninth Indiana, Colonel Miller.

Third Brigade (General JOHNSON).-Forty-ninth Ohio, Colonel Gibson;
Fifteenth Ohio, Colonel Dickey; Thirty-fourth Illinois, Colonel
King; Thirty-second Indiana, Colonel Willach.

Fourth Brigade (General NEGLEY).-Seventy-seventh Pennsylvania,
Colonel Hambright; Seventy-eighth Pennsylvania, Colonel Sinnell;
Seventy-ninth Pennsylvania, Colonel Stambaugh; Battery, Captain

Camp Dick Robinson (General G. H. THOMAS).---Kentucky, Colonel
Bramlette;--Kentucky, Colonel Fry;--Kentucky Cavalry, Colonel
Woolford; Fourteenth Ohio, Colonel Steadman; First Artillery,
Colonel Barnett; Third Ohio, Colonel Carter;--East Tennessee,
Colonel Byrd.

Bardstown, Kentucky.-Tenth Indiana, Colonel Manson.

Crab Orchard.-Thirty-third Indiana, Colonel Coburn.

Jeffersonville, Indiana.-Thirty-fourth Indiana, Colonel Steele;
Thirty-sixth Indiana, Colonel Gross; First Wisconsin, Colonel

Mouth of Salt River.-Ninth Michigan, Colonel Duffield;
Thirty-seventh Indiana, Colonel Hazzard.

Lebanon Junction..-Second Minnesota, Colonel Van Cleve.

Olympian Springs.-Second Ohio, Colonel Harris.

Cynthiana, Kentucky.-Thirty-fifth Ohio, Colonel Vandever.

Nicholasville, Kentucky.-Twenty-first Ohio, Colonel Norton;
Thirty-eighth Ohio, Colonel Bradley.

Big Hill.-Seventeenth Ohio, Colonel Connell.

Colesburg.-Twenty-fourth Illinois, Colonel Hecker.

Elizabethtown, Kentucky.-Nineteenth Illinois, Colonel Turchin.

Owensboro' or Henderson.-Thirty-first Indiana, Colonel Cruft;
Colonel Edwards, forming Rock Castle; Colonel Boyle, Harrodsburg;
Colonel Barney, Irvine; Colonel Hazzard, Burksville; Colonel
Haskins, Somerset.

And, in order to conclude this subject, I also add copies of two
telegraphic dispatches, sent for General McClellan's use about the
same time, which are all the official letters received at his
headquarters, as certified by the Adjutant-General, L. Thomas, in a
letter of February 1, 1862; in answer to an application of my
brother, Senator John Sherman, and on which I was adjudged insane:

Louisville, November 3, 10 p.m.

To General McLELLAN, Washington, D. C.:

Dispatch just received.  We are forced to operate on three lines,
all dependent on railroads of doubtful safety, requiring strong
guards.  From Paris to Prestonbnrg, three Ohio regiments and some
militia--enemy variously reported from thirty-five hundred to seven
thousand.  From Lexington toward Cumberland Gap, Brigadier-General
Thomas, one Indiana and five Ohio regiments, two Kentucky and two
Tennessee; hired wagons and badly clad.  Zollicoffer, at Cumberland
Ford, about seven thousand.  Lee reported on the way with Virginia
reenforcements.  In front of Louisville, fifty-two miles, McCook,
with four brigades of about thirteen thousand, with four regiments
to guard the railroad, at all times in danger.  Enemy along the
railroad from Green River to Bowling Green, Nashville, and
Clarksville.  Buckner, Hardee, Sidney Johnston, Folk, and Pillow,
the two former in immediate command, the force as large as they
want or can subsist, from twenty-five to thirty thousand.  Bowling
Green strongly fortified.  Our forces too small to do good, and too
large to sacrifice.

W. T. SHERMAN, Brigadier-General.

Kentucky, November 6, 1861

General L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General.

Sir: General McClellan telegraphs me to report to him daily the
situation of affairs here.  The country is so large that it is
impossible to give clear and definite views.  Our enemies have a
terrible advantage in the fact that in our midst, in our camps, and
along our avenues of travel, they have active partisans, farmers
and business-men, who seemingly pursue their usual calling, but are
in fact spies.  They report all our movements and strength, while
we can procure information only by circuitous and unreliable means.
I inclose you the copy of an intercepted letter, which is but the
type of others.  Many men from every part of the State are now
enrolled under Buckner--have gone to him--while ours have to be
raised in neighborhoods, and cannot be called together except at
long notice.  These volunteers are being organized under the laws
of the State, and the 10th of November is fixed for the time of
consolidating them into companies and regiments.  Many of them are
armed by the United States as home guards, and many by General
Anderson and myself, because of the necessity of being armed to
guard their camps against internal enemies.  Should we be
overwhelmed, they would scatter, and their arms and clothing will
go to the enemy, furnishing the very material they so much need.
We should have here a very large force, sufficient to give
confidence to the Union men of the ability to do what should be
done--possess ourselves of all the State.  But all see and feel we
are brought to a stand-still, and this produces doubt and alarm.
With our present force it would be simple madness to cross Green
River, and yet hesitation may be as fatal.  In like manner the
other columns are in peril, not so much in front as rear, the
railroads over which our stores must pass being much exposed.  I
have the Nashville Railroad guarded by three regiments, yet it is
far from being safe; and, the moment actual hostilities commence,
these roads will be interrupted, and we will be in a dilemma.  To
meet this in part I have put a cargo of provisions at the mouth of
Salt River, guarded by two regiments.  All these detachments weaken
the main force, and endanger the whole.  Do not conclude, as
before, that I exaggerate the facts.  They are as stated, and the
future looks as dark as possible.  It would be better if some man
of sanguine mind were here, for I am forced to order according to
my convictions.

Yours truly,
W. T. SHERMAN, Brigadier-General commanding.

After the war was over, General Thomas J. Wood, then in command of
the district of Vicksburg, prepared a statement addressed to the
public, describing the interview with the Secretary of War, which
he calls a "Council of War."  I did not then deem it necessary to
renew a matter which had been swept into oblivion by the war
itself; but, as it is evidence by an eyewitness, it is worthy of
insertion here.


On the 11th of October, 1861, the writer, who had been personally
on mustering duty in Indiana, was appointed a brigadier-general of
volunteers, and ordered to report to General Sherman, then in
command of the Department of the Cumberland, with his headquarters
at Louisville, having succeeded General Robert Anderson.  When the
writer was about leaving Indianapolis to proceed to Louisville, Mr.
Cameron, returning from his famous visit of inspection to General
Fremont's department, at St. Louis, Missouri, arrived at
Indianapolis, and announced his intention to visit General Sherman.

The writer was invited to accompany the party to Louisville.
Taking the early morning train from Indianapolis to Louisville on
the 16th of October, 1861, the party arrived in Jeffersonville
shortly after mid-day.  General Sherman met the party in
Jeffersonville, and accompanied it to the Galt House, in
Louisville, the hotel at which he was stopping.

During the afternoon General Sherman informed the writer that a
council of war was to be held immediately in his private room in
the hotel, and desired him to be present at the council.  General
Sherman and the writer proceeded directly to the room.  The writer
entered the room first, and observed in it Mr. Cameron, Adjutant-
General L. Thomas, and some other persons, all of whose names he
did not know, but whom he recognized as being of Mr. Cameron's
party.  The name of one of the party the writer had learned, which
he remembers as Wilkinson, or Wilkerson, and who he understood was
a writer for the New York Tribune newspaper.  The Hon. James
Guthrie was also in the room, having been invited, on account of
his eminent position as a citizen of Kentucky, his high civic
reputation, and his well-known devotion to the Union, to meet the
Secretary of War in the council.  When General Sherman entered the
room he closed the door, and turned the key in the lock.

Before entering on the business of the meeting, General Sherman
remarked substantially: "Mr. Cameron, we have met here to discuss
matters and interchange views which should be known only by persons
high in the confidence of the Government.  There are persons
present whom I do not know, and I desire to know, before opening
the business of the council, whether they are persons who may be
properly allowed to hear the views which I have to submit to you."
Mr. Cameron replied, with some little testiness of manner, that the
persons referred to belonged to his party, and there was no
objection to their knowing whatever might be communicated to him.

Certainly the legitimate and natural conclusion from this remark of
Mr. Cameron's was that whatever views might be submitted by General
Sherman would be considered under the protection of the seal of
secrecy, and would not be divulged to the public till all
apprehension of injurious consequences from such disclosure had
passed.  And it may be remarked, further, that justice to General
Sherman required that if, at any future time, his conclusions as to
the amount of force necessary to conduct the operations committed
to his charge should be made public, the grounds on which his
conclusions were based should be made public at the same time.

Mr. Cameron then asked General Sherman what his plans were.  To
this General Sherman replied that he had no plans; that no
sufficient force had been placed at his disposition with which to
devise any plan of operations; that, before a commanding general
could project a plan of campaign, he must know what amount of force
he would have to operate with.

The general added that he had views which he would be happy to
submit for the consideration of the Secretary.  Mr. Cameron desired
to hear General Sherman's views.

General Sherman began by giving his opinion of the people of
Kentucky, and the then condition of the State.  He remarked that he
believed a very large majority of the people of Kentucky were
thoroughly devoted to the Union, and loyal to the Government, and
that the Unionists embraced almost all the older and more
substantial men in the State; but, unfortunately, there was no
organization nor arms among the Union men; that the rebel minority,
thoroughly vindictive in its sentiments, was organized and armed
(this having been done in advance by their leaders), and, beyond
the reach of the Federal forces, overawed and prevented the Union
men from organizing; that, in his opinion, if Federal protection
were extended throughout the State to the Union men, a large force
could be raised for the service of the Government.

General Sherman next presented a resume of the information in his
possession as to the number of the rebel troops in Kentucky.
Commencing with the force at Columbus, Kentucky, the reports
varied, giving the strength from ten to twenty thousand.  It was
commanded by Lieutenant-General Polk.  General Sherman fixed it at
the lowest estimate; say, ten thousand.  The force at Bowling
Green, commanded by General.  A. S. Johnston, supported by Hardee,
Buckner, and others, was variously estimated at from eighteen to
thirty thousand.  General Sherman estimated this force at the
lowest figures given to it by his information--eighteen thousand.

He explained that, for purposes of defense, these two forces ought,
owing to the facility with which troops might be transported from
one to the other, by the net-work of railroads in Middle and West
Tennessee, to be considered almost as one.  General Sherman
remarked, also, on the facility with which reinforcements could be
transported by railroad to Bowling Green, from the other rebellions

The third organized body of rebel troops was in Eastern Kentucky,
under General Zollicoffer, estimated, according to the most
reliable information, at six thousand men.  This force threatened a
descent, if unrestrained, on the blue-grass region of Kentucky,
including the cities of Lexington, and Frankfort, the capital of
the State; and if successful in its primary movements, as it would
gather head as it advanced, might endanger the safety of

General Sherman said that the information in his possession
indicated an intention, on the part of the rebels, of a general and
grand advance toward the Ohio River.  He further expressed the
opinion that, if such advance should be made, and not checked, the
rebel force would be swollen by at least twenty thousand recruits
from the disloyalists in Kentucky.  His low computation of the
organized rebel soldiers then in Kentucky fixed the strength at
about thirty-five thousand.  Add twenty thousand for reenforcements
gained in Kentucky, to say nothing of troops drawn from other rebel
States, and the effective rebel force in the State, at a low
estimate, would be fifty-five thousand men.

General Sherman explained forcibly how largely the difficulties of
suppressing the rebellion would be enhanced, if the rebels should
be allowed to plant themselves firmly, with strong fortifications,
at commanding points on the Ohio River.  It would be facile for
them to carry the war thence into the loyal States north of the

To resist an advance of the rebels, General Sherman stated that he
did not have at that time in Kentucky more than some twelve to
fourteen thousand effective men.  The bulk of this force was posted
at camp Nolin, on the Louisville & Nashville Railway, fifty miles
south of Louisville.  A part of it was in Eastern Kentucky, under
General George H. Thomas, and a very small force was in the lower
valley of Green River.

This disposition of the force had been made for the double purpose
of watching and checking the rebels, and protecting the raising and
organization of troops among the Union men of Kentucky.

Having explained the situation from the defensive point of view,
General Sherman proceeded to consider it from the offensive
stand-point.  The Government had undertaken to suppress the
rebellion; the onus faciendi, therefore, rested on the Government.
The rebellion could never be put down, the authority of the
paramount Government asserted, and the union of the States declared
perpetual, by force of arms, by maintaining the defensive; to
accomplish these grand desiderata, it was absolutely necessary the
Government should adopt, and maintain until the rebellion was
crushed, the offensive.

For the purpose of expelling the rebels from Kentucky, General
Sherman said that at least sixty thousand soldiers were necessary.
Considering that the means of accomplishment must always be
proportioned to the end to be achieved, and bearing in mind the
array of rebel force then in Kentucky, every sensible man must
admit that the estimate of the force given by General Sherman, for
driving the rebels out of the State, and reestablishing and
maintaining the authority of the Government, was a very low one.
The truth is that, before the rebels were driven from Kentucky,
many more than sixty thousand soldiers were sent into the State.

Ascending from the consideration of the narrow question of the
political and military situation in Kentucky, and the extent of
force necessary to redeem the State from rebel thraldom,
forecasting in his sagacious intellect the grand and daring
operations which, three years afterward, he realized in a campaign,
taken in its entirety, without a parallel in modern times, General
Sherman expressed the opinion that, to carry the war to the Gulf of
Mexico, and destroy all armed opposition to the Goverment, in the
entire Mississippi Valley, at least two hundred thousand troops
were absolutely requisite.

So soon as General Sherman had concluded the expression of his
views, Mr. Cameron asked, with much warmth and apparent irritation,
"Where do you suppose, General Sherman, all this force is to come
from."  General Sherman replied that he did not know; that it was
not his duty to raise, organize, and put the necessary military
force into the field; that duty pertained to the War Department.
His duty was to organize campaigns and command the troops after
they had been put into the field.

At this point of the proceedings, General Sherman suggested that it
might be agreeable to the Secretary to hear the views of Mr.
Guthrie.  Thus appealed to, Mr. Guthrie said he did not consider
himself, being a civilian, competent to give an opinion as to the
extent of force necessary to parry the war to the Gulf of Mexico;
but, being well informed of the condition of things in Kentucky, he
indorsed fully General Sherman's opinion of the force required to
drive the rebels out of the State.

The foregoing is a circumstantial account of the deliberations of
the council that were of any importance.

A good deal of desultory conversation followed, on immaterial
matters; and some orders were issued by telegraph, by the Secretary
of War, for some small reenforcements to be sent to Kentucky
immediately, from Pennsylvania and Indiana.

A short time after the council was held--the exact time is not now
remembered by the writer--an imperfect narrative of it appeared in
the New York Tribune.  This account announced to the public the
conclusions uttered by General Sherman in the council, without
giving the reasons on which his conclusions were based.  The
unfairness of this course to General Sherman needs no comment.  All
military men were shocked by the gross breach of faith which had
been committed

TH. J. WOOD, Major-General Volunteers

Vicksburg, Mississippi, August 24, 1886.

Brigadier-General Don Carlos Buell arrived at Louisville about the
middle of November, with orders to relieve me, and I was
transferred for duty to the Department of the Missouri, and ordered
to report in person to Major-General H. W. Halleck at St. Louis.  I
accompanied General Buell to the camp at Nolin, where he reviewed
and inspected the camp and troops under the command of General A.
McD. McCook, and on our way back General Buell inspected the
regiment of Hazzard at Elizabethtown.  I then turned over my
command to him, and took my departure for St. Louis.

At the time I was so relieved I thought, of course, it was done in
fulfillment of Mr. Lincoln's promise to me, and as a necessary
result of my repeated demand for the fulfillment of that promise;
but I saw and felt, and was of course deeply moved to observe, the
manifest belief that there was more or less of truth in the rumor
that the cares, perplexities, and anxiety of the situation had
unbalanced my judgment and mind.  It was, doubtless, an incident
common to all civil wars, to which I could only submit with the
best grace possible, trusting to the future for an opportunity to
redeem my fortune and good name.  Of course I could not deny the
fact, and had to submit to all its painful consequences for months;
and, moreover, I could not hide from myself that many of the
officers and soldiers subsequently placed under my command looked
at me askance and with suspicion.  Indeed, it was not until the
following April that the battle of Shiloh gave me personally the
chance to redeem my good name.

On reaching St. Louis and reporting to General Halleck, I was
received kindly, and was shortly afterward (viz., November 23d)
sent up to Sedalia to inspect the camp there, and the troops
located along the road back to Jefferson City, and I was ordered to
assume command in a certain contingency.  I found General Steels at
Sedalia with his regiments scattered about loosely; and General
Pope at Otterville, twenty miles back, with no concert between
them.  The rebel general, Sterling Price, had his forces down about
Osceola and Warsaw.  I advised General Halleck to collect the whole
of his men into one camp on the La Mine River, near Georgetown, to
put them into brigades and divisions, so as to be ready to be
handled, and I gave some preliminary orders looking to that end.
But the newspapers kept harping on my insanity and paralyzed my
efforts.  In spite of myself, they tortured from me some words and
acts of imprudence.  General Halleck telegraphed me on November
26th: "Unless telegraph-lines are interrupted, make no movement
of troops without orders;" and on November 29th: "No forward
movement of troops on Osceola will be made; only strong
reconnoitring-parties will be sent out in the supposed direction of
the enemy; the bulk of the troops being held in position till more
reliable information is obtained."

About the same time I received the following dispatch:

November 28, 1881.
Brigadier-General SHERMAN, Sedalia:

Mrs. Sherman is here.  General Halleck is satisfied, from reports
of scouts received here, that no attack on Sedalia is intended.
You will therefore return to this city, and report your
observations on the condition of the troops you have examined.
Please telegraph when you will leave.

SCHUYLER HAMILTON, Brigadier-General and Aide-de-Camp.

I accordingly returned to St. Louis, where I found Mrs. Sherman,
naturally and properly distressed at the continued and reiterated
reports of the newspapers of my insanity, and she had come from
Lancaster to see me.  This recall from Sedalia simply swelled the
cry.  It was alleged that I was recalled by reason of something
foolish I had done at Sedalia, though in fact I had done absolutely
nothing, except to recommend what was done immediately thereafter
on the advice of Colonel McPherson, on a subsequent inspection.
Seeing and realizing that my efforts were useless, I concluded to
ask for a twenty days' leave of absence, to accompany Mrs. Sherman
to our home in Lancaster, and to allow the storm to blow over
somewhat.  It also happened to be mid-winter, when, nothing was
doing; so Mrs. Sherman and I returned to Lancaster, where I was
born, and where I supposed I was better known and appreciated.

The newspapers kept up their game as though instigated by malice,
and chief among them was the Cincinnati Commercial, whose editor,
Halsted, was generally believed to be an honorable man.  P. B.
Ewing, Esq., being in Cincinnati, saw him and asked him why he, who
certainly knew better, would reiterate such a damaging slander.  He
answered, quite cavalierly, that it was one of the news-items of
the day, and he had to keep up with the time; but he would be most
happy to publish any correction I might make, as though I could
deny such a malicious piece of scandal affecting myself.  On the
12th of November I had occasion to write to General Halleck, and I
have a copy of his letter in answer:

ST. Louis, December 18, 1881.
Brigadier-General W. T. SHERMAN, Lancaster, Ohio.

My DEAR GENERAL: Yours of the 12th was received a day or two ago,
but was mislaid for the moment among private papers, or I should
have answered it sooner.  The newspaper attacks are certainly
shameless and scandalous, but I cannot agree with you, that they
have us in their power "to destroy us as they please."  I certainly
get my share of abuse, but it will not disturb me.

Your movement of the troops was not countermanded by me because I
thought it an unwise one in itself, but because I was not then
ready for it.  I had better information of Price's movements than
you had, and I had no apprehension of an attack.  I intended to
concentrate the forces on that line, but I wished the movement
delayed until I could determine on a better position.

After receiving Lieutenant-Colonel McPherson's report, I made
precisely the location you had ordered.  I was desirous at the time
not to prevent the advance of Price by any movement on our part,
hoping that he would move on Lexington; but finding that he had
determined to remain at Osceola for some time at least, I made the
movement you proposed.  As you could not know my plans, you and
others may have misconstrued the reason of my countermanding your

I hope to see you well enough for duty soon.  Our organization goes
on slowly, but we will effect it in time.  Yours truly,


And subsequently, in a letter to Hon. Thomas Ewing, in answer to
some inquiries involving the same general subject, General Halleck
wrote as follows:

Hon. THOMAS  EWING, Lancaster, Ohio.

DEAR SIR: Your note of the 13th, and one of this date, from Mr.
Sherman, in relation to Brigadier-General Sherman's having being
relieved from command in Sedalia, in November last, are just
received.  General Sherman was not put in command at Sedalia; he
was authorized to assume it, and did so for a day or two.  He did
not know my plans, and his movement of troops did not accord with
them.  I therefore directed him to leave them as they were, and
report here the result of his inspection, for which purpose be had
been ordered there.

No telegram or dispatch of any kind was sent by me, or by any one
with my knowledge or authority, in relation to it.  After his
return here, I gave him a leave of absence of twenty days, for the
benefit of his health.  As I was then pressing General McClellan
for more officers, I deemed it necessary to explain why I did so.
I used these words: "I am satisfied that General Sherman's physical
and mental system is so completely broken by labor and care as to
render him, for the present, unfit for duty; perhaps a few weeks'
rest may restore him."  This was the only communication I made on
the subject.  On no occasion have I ever expressed an opinion that
his mind was affected otherwise than by over-exertion; to have said
so would have done him the greatest injustice.

After General Sherman returned from his short leave, I found that
his health was nearly restored, and I placed him temporarily in
command of the camp of instruction, numbering over fifteen thousand
men.  I then wrote to General McClellan that he would soon be able
to again take the field.  I gave General Sherman a copy of my
letter.  This is the total of my correspondence on the subject.  As
evidence that I have every confidence in General Sherman, I have
placed him in command of Western Kentucky--a command only second in
importance in this department.  As soon as divisions and columns
can be organized, I propose to send him into the field where he can
render most efficient service.  I have seen newspaper squibs,
charging him with being "crazy," etc.  This is the grossest
injustice; I do not, however, consider such attacks worthy of
notice.  The best answer is General Sherman's present position, and
the valuable services he is rendering to the country.  I have the
fullest confidence in him.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. W. HALLECK, Major-General.

On returning to St. Louis, on the expiration of my leave of
absence, I found that General Halleck was beginning to move his
troops: one part, under General U. S. Grant, up the Tennessee
River; and another part, under General S. R. Curtis, in the
direction of Springfield, Missouri.  General Grant was then at
Paducah, and General Curtis was under orders for Rolls.  I was
ordered to take Curtis's place in command of the camp of
instruction, at Benton Barracks, on the ground back of North St.
Louis, now used as the Fair Grounds, by the following order:

[Special Order No. 87].

St. Louis, December 23, 1861


Brigadier-General W. T. Sherman, United States Volunteers, is
hereby assigned to the command of the camp of instruction and post
of Benton Barracks.  He will have every armed regiment and company
in his command ready for service at a moment's warning, and will
notify all concerned that, when marching orders are received, it is
expected that they will be instantly obeyed; no excuses for delay
will be admitted.  General Sherman will immediately report to these
headquarters what regiments and companies, at Benton Barracks, are
ready for the field.

By order of Major-General Halleck,

J. C. KELTEN, Assistant Adjutant-General.

I immediately assumed command, and found, in the building
constructed for the commanding officer, Brigadier-General Strong,
and the family of a captain of Iowa cavalry, with whom we boarded.
Major Curtis, son of General Curtis, was the adjutant-general, but
was soon relieved by Captain J. H. Hammond, who was appointed
assistant adjutant-general, and assigned to duty with me.

Brigadier-General Hurlbut was also there, and about a dozen
regiments of infantry and cavalry.  I at once gave all matters
pertaining to the post my personal attention, got the regiments in
as good order as possible, kept up communication with General
Halleck's headquarters by telegraph, and, when orders came for the
movement of any regiment or detachment, it moved instantly.  The
winter was very wet, and the ground badly drained.  The quarters
had been erected by General Fremont, under contract; they were mere
shells, but well arranged for a camp, embracing the Fair Grounds,
and some forty acres of flat ground west of it.  I instituted
drills, and was specially ordered by General Halleck to watch
Generals Hurlbut and Strong, and report as to their fitness for
their commissions as brigadier-generals.  I had known Hurlbut as a
young lawyer, in Charleston, South Carolina, before the Mexican
War, at which time he took a special interest in military matters,
and I found him far above the average in the knowledge of
regimental and brigade drill, and so reported.  General Strong had
been a merchant, and he told me that he never professed to be a
soldier, but had been urged on the Secretary of War for the
commission of a brigadier-general, with the expectation of be
coming quartermaster or commissary-general.  He was a good,
kind-hearted gentleman, boiling over with patriotism and zeal.  I
advised him what to read and study, was considerably amused at his
receiving instruction from a young lieutenant who knew the company
and battalion drill, and could hear him practise in his room the
words of command, and tone of voice, "Break from the right, to
march to the left!"  "Battalion, halt!"  "Forward into line!" etc.
Of course I made a favorable report in his case.  Among the
infantry and cavalry colonels were some who afterward rose to
distinction--David Stuart, Gordon Granger, Bussey, etc., etc.

Though it was mid-winter, General Halleck was pushing his
preparations most vigorously, and surely he brought order out of
chaos in St. Louis with commendable energy.  I remember, one night,
sitting in his room, on the second floor of the Planters' House,
with him and General Cullum, his chief of staff, talking
of things generally, and the subject then was of the much-talked-of
"advance," as soon as the season would permit.  Most people urged
the movement down the Mississippi River; but Generals Polk and
Pillow had a large rebel force, with heavy guns in a very strong
position, at Columbus, Kentucky, about eighteen miles below Cairo.
Commodore Foote had his gunboat fleet at Cairo; and General U. S.
Grant, who commanded the district, was collecting a large force at
Paducah, Cairo, and Bird's Point.  General Halleck had a map on his
table, with a large pencil in his hand, and asked, "where is the
rebel line?"  Cullum drew the pencil through Bowling Green, Forts
Donelson and Henry, and Columbus, Kentucky.  "That is their line,"
said Halleck.  "Now, where is the proper place to break it?"  And
either Cullum or I said, "Naturally the centre."  Halleck drew a
line perpendicular to the other, near its middle, and it coincided
nearly with the general course of the Tennessee River; and he said,
"That's the true line of operations."  This occurred more than a
month before General Grant began the movement, and, as he was
subject to General Halleck's orders, I have always given Halleck
the full credit for that movement, which was skillful, successful,
and extremely rich in military results; indeed, it was the first
real success on our side in the civil war.  The movement up the
Tennessee began about the 1st of February, and Fort Henry was
captured by the joint action of the navy under Commodore Foote, and
the land forces under General Grant, on the 6th of February, 1862.
About the same time, General S. R. Curtis had moved forward from
Rolls, and, on the 8th of March, defeated the rebels under
McCulloch, Van Dom, and Price, at Pea Ridge.

As soon as Fort Henry fell, General Grant marched straight across
to Fort Donelson, on the Cumberland River, invested the place, and,
as soon as the gunboats had come round from the Tennessee, and had
bombarded the water-front, he assaulted; whereupon Buckner
surrendered the garrison of twelve thousand men; Pillow and
ex-Secretary of War General Floyd having personally escaped across
the river at night, occasioning a good deal of fun and criticism at
their expense.

Before the fall of Donelson, but after that of Henry, I received,
at Benton Barracks, the following orders:

St. Louis, February,13, 1862

Brigadier-General SHERMAN, Benton Barracks:

You will immediately repair to Paducah, Kentucky, and assume
command of that post.  Brigadier-General Hurlbut will accompany
you.  The command of Benton Barracks will be turned over to General

H. W. HALECK,  Major-General.

I started for Paducah the same day, and think that General Cullum
went with me to Cairo; General Halleck's purpose being to push
forward the operations up the Tennessee River with unusual vigor.
On reaching Paducah, I found this dispatch:

St. Louis, February 15, 1862

Brigadier-General SHERMAN, Paducah, Kentucky:

Send General Grant every thing you can spare from Paducah and Smith
and also General Hurlbut.

Bowling Green has been evacuated entirely.

H. W. HALLECK, Major-General.

The next day brought us news of the surrender of Buckner, and
probably at no time during the war did we all feel so heavy a
weight raised from our breasts, or so thankful for a most fruitful
series of victories.  They at once gave Generals Halleck, Grant,
and C. F. Smith, great fame.  Of course, the rebels let go their
whole line, and fell back on Nashville and Island No. Ten, and to
the Memphis & Charleston Railroad.  Everybody was anxious to help.
Boats passed up and down constantly, and very soon arrived the
rebel prisoners from Donelson.  I saw General Buckner on the boat,
he seemed self-sufficient, and thought their loss was not really so
serious to their cause as we did.

About this time another force of twenty or twenty-five thousand men
was collected on the west bank of the Mississippi, above Cairo,
under the command of Major-General John Pope, designed to become
the "Army of the Mississippi," and to operate, in conjunction with
the navy, down the river against the enemy's left flank, which had
held the strong post of Columbus, Kentucky, but which, on the fall
of Fort Donelson, had fallen back to New Madrid and Island No. 10.




By the end of February, 1862, Major-General Halleck commanded all
the armies in the valley of the Mississippi, from his headquarters
in St: Louis.  These were, the Army of the Ohio, Major-General
Buell, in Kentucky; the Army of the Tennessee, Major-General Grant,
at Forts Henry and Donelson; the Army of the Mississippi,
Major-General Pope; and that of General S. R. Curtis, in Southwest
Missouri.  He posted his chief of staff, General Cullum, at Cairo,
and me at Paducah, chiefly to expedite and facilitate the important
operations then in progress up the Tennessee, and Cumberland

Fort Donelson had surrendered to General Grant on the 16th of
February, and there must have been a good deal of confusion
resulting from the necessary care of the wounded, and disposition
of prisoners, common to all such occasions, and there was a real
difficulty in communicating between St. Louis and Fort Donelson.

General Buell had also followed up the rebel army, which had
retreated hastily from Bowling Green to and through Nashville, a
city of so much importance to the South, that it was at one time
proposed as its capital.  Both Generals Grant and Buell looked to
its capture as an event of great importance.  On the 21st General
Grant sent General Smith with his division to Clarksville, fifty
miles above Donelson, toward Nashville, and on the 27th went
himself to Nashville to meet and confer with General Buell, but
returned to Donelson the next day.

Meantime, General Halleck at St. Louis must have felt that his
armies were getting away from him, and began to send dispatches to
me at Paducah, to be forwarded by boat, or by a rickety
telegraph-line up to Fort Henry, which lay entirely in a hostile
country, and was consequently always out of repair.  On the 1st of
March I received the following dispatch, and forwarded it to
General Grant, both by the telegraph and boat:

To General GRANT, Fort Henry

Transports will be sent you as soon as possible, to move your
column up the Tennessee River.  The main object of this expedition
will be to destroy the railroad-bridge over Bear Creek, near
Eastport, Mississippi; and also the railroad connections at
Corinth, Jackson, and Humboldt.  It is thought best that these
objects be attempted in the order named.  Strong detachments of
cavalry and light artillery, supported by infantry, may by rapid
movements reach these points from the river, without any serious

Avoid any general engagements with strong forces.  It will be
better to retreat than to risk a general battle.  This should be
strongly impressed on the officers sent with expeditions from the
river.  General C. F. Smith or some very discreet officer should be
selected for such commands.  Having accomplished these objects, or
such of them as may be practicable, you will return to Danville,
and move on Paris.

Perhaps the troops sent to Jackson and Humbolt can reach Paris by
land as easily as to return to the transports.  This must depend on
the character of the roads and the position of the enemy.  All
telegraphic lines which can be reached must be cut.  The gunboats
will accompany the transports for their protection.  Any loyal
Tennesseeans who desire it, may be enlisted and supplied with arms.
Competent officers should be left to command Forts Henry and
Donelson in your absence.  I have indicated in general terms the
object of this.

H. W. HALLECK, Major-General.

Again on the 2d:

Cairo, March 1, 1862

To General GRANT:

General Halleck, February 25th, telegraphs me: "General Grant will
send no more forces to Clarksville.  General Smith's division will
come to Fort Henry, or a point higher up on the Tennessee River;
transports will also be collected at Paducah.  Two gunboats in
Tennessee River with Grant.  General Grant will immediately have
small garrisons detailed for Forts Henry and Donelson, and all
other forces made ready for the field"

From your letter of the 28th, I learn you were at Fort Donelson,
and General Smith at Nashville, from which I infer you could not
have received orders.  Halleck's telegram of last night says: "Who
sent Smith's division to Nashville?  I ordered it across to the
Tennessee, where they are wanted immediately.  Order them back.
Send all spare transports up Tennessee to General Grant."
Evidently the general supposes you to be on the Tennessee.  I am
sending all the transports I can find for you, reporting to General
Sherman for orders to go up the Cumberland for you, or, if you
march across to Fort Henry, then to send them up the Tennessee.

G. W. CULLUM, Brigadier-General.

On the 4th came this dispatch:

To Major-General U. S. GRANT

You will place Major-General C. F. Smith in command of expedition,
and remain yourself at Fort Henry.  Why do you not obey my orders
to report strength and positions of your command?

H. W. HALLECK, Major-General.

Halleck was evidently working himself into a passion, but he was
too far from the seat of war to make due allowance for the actual
state of facts.  General Grant had done so much, that General
Halleck should have been patient.  Meantime, at Paducah, I was busy
sending boats in every direction--some under the orders of General
Halleck, others of General Cullum; others for General Grant, and
still others for General Buell at Nashville; and at the same time I
was organizing out of the new troops that were arriving at Paducah
a division for myself when allowed to take the field, which I had
been promised by General Halleck.  His purpose was evidently to
operate up the Tennessee River, to break up Bear Creek Bridge and
the railroad communications between the Mississippi and Tennessee
Rivers, and no doubt he was provoked that Generals Grant and Smith
had turned aside to Nashville.  In the mean time several of the
gunboats, under Captain Phelps, United States Navy, had gone up the
Tennessee as far as Florence, and on their return had reported a
strong Union feeling among the people along the river.  On the 10th
of March, having received the necessary orders from General
Halleck, I embarked my division at Paducah.  It was composed of
four brigades.  The First, commanded by Colonel S. G. Hicks, was
composed of the Fortieth Illinois, Forty-sixth Ohio, and Morton's
Indiana Battery, on the boats Sallie List, Golden Gate, J. B.
Adams, and Lancaster.

The Second Brigade, Colonel D. Stuart, was composed of the
Fifty-fifth Illinois, Seventy-first Ohio, and Fifty-fourth Ohio;
embarked on the Hannibal, Universe, Hazel Dell, Cheeseman, and
Prairie Rose.

The Third Brigade, Colonel Hildebrand, was composed of the
Seventy-seventh Ohio, Fifty-seventh Ohio, and Fifty-third Ohio;
embarked on the Poland, Anglo-Saxon, Ohio No. Three, and

The Fourth Brigade, Colonel Buckland, was composed of the
Seventy-second Ohio, Forty-eighth Ohio, and Seventieth Ohio;
embarked on the Empress, Baltic, Shenango, and Marrengo.

We steamed up to Fort Henry, the river being high and in splendid
order.  There I reported in person to General C. F. Smith, and by
him was ordered a few miles above, to the remains of the burned
railroad bridge, to await the rendezvous of the rest of his army.
I had my headquarters on the Continental.

Among my colonels I had a strange character--Thomas Worthington,
colonel of the Forty-sixth Ohio.  He was a graduate of West Point,
of the class of 1827; was, therefore, older than General Halleck,
General Grant, or myself, and claimed to know more of war than all
of us put together.  In ascending the river he did not keep his
place in the column, but pushed on and reached Savannah a day
before the rest of my division.  When I reached that place, I found
that Worthington had landed his regiment, and was flying about
giving orders, as though he were commander-in-chief.  I made him
get back to his boat, and gave him to understand that he must
thereafter keep his place.  General C. F. Smith arrived about the
13th of March, with a large fleet of boats, containing Hurlbut's
division, Lew. Wallace's division, and that of himself, then
commanded by Brigadier-General W. H. L. Wallace.

General Smith sent for me to meet him on his boat, and ordered me
to push on under escort of the two gunboats, Lexington and Tyler,
commanded by Captains Gwin and Shirk, United States Navy.  I was to
land at some point below Eastport, and make a break of the Memphis
& Charleston Railroad, between Tuscumbia and Corinth.  General
Smith was quite unwell, and was suffering from his leg, which was
swollen and very sore, from a mere abrasion in stepping
into a small boat.  This actually mortified, and resulted in his
death about a month after, viz., April 25, 1862.  He was
adjutant of the Military Academy during the early part of my
career there, and afterward commandant of cadets.  He was a very
handsome and soldierly man, of great experience, and at Donelson
had acted with so much personal bravery that to him many attributed
the success of the assault.

I immediately steamed up the Tennessee River, following the two
gunboats, and, in passing Pittsburg Landing, was told by Captain
Gwin that, on his former trip up the river, he had found a rebel
regiment of cavalry posted there, and that it was the usual
landing-place for the people about Corinth, distant thirty miles.
I sent word back to General Smith that, if we were detained up the
river, he ought to post some troops at Pittsburg Landing.  We went
on up the river cautiously, till we saw Eastport and Chickasaw,
both of which were occupied by rebel batteries and a small rebel
force of infantry.

We then dropped back quietly to the mouth of Yellow River, a few
miles below, whence led a road to Burnsville, a place on the
Memphis & Charleston road, where were the company's repair-shops.
We at once commenced disembarking the command: first the cavalry,
which started at once for Burnsville, with orders to tear up the
railroad-track, and burn the depots, shops, etc; and I followed
with the infantry and artillery as fast as they were disembarked.
It was raining very hard at the time.  Daylight found us about six
miles out, where we met the cavalry returning.  They had made
numerous attempts to cross the streams, which had become so swollen
that mere brooks covered the whole bottom; and my aide-de-camp,
Sanger, whom I had dispatched with the cavalry, reported the loss,
by drowning, of several of the men.  The rain was pouring in
torrents, and reports from the rear came that the river was rising
very fast, and that, unless we got back to our boats soon, the
bottom would be simply impassable.  There was no alternative but to
regain our boats; and even this was so difficult, that we had to
unharness the artillery-horses, and drag the guns under water
through the bayous, to reach the bank of the river.  Once more
embarked, I concluded to drop down to Pittsburg Landing, and to
make the attempt from there.  During the night of the 14th, we
dropped down to Pittsburg Landing, where I found Hurlbut's division
in boats.  Leaving my command there, I steamed down to Savannah,
and reported to General Smith in person, who saw in the flooded
Tennessee the full truth of my report; and he then instructed me to
disembark my own division, and that of General Hurlbut, at
Pittsburg Landing; to take positions well back, and to leave room
for his whole army; telling me that he would soon come up in
person, and move out in force to make the lodgment on the railroad,
contemplated by General Halleck's orders.

Lieutenant-Colonel McPherson, of General C. F. Smith's, or rather
General Halleck's, staff, returned with me, and on the 16th of
March we disembarked and marched out about ten miles toward
Corinth, to a place called Monterey or Pea Ridge, where the rebels
had a cavalry regiment, which of course decamped on our approach,
but from the people we learned that trains were bringing large
masses of men from every direction into Corinth.  McPherson and I
reconnoitred the ground well, and then returned to our boats.  On
the 18th, Hurlbut disembarked his division and took post about a
mile and a half out, near where the roads branched, one leading to
Corinth and the other toward Hamburg.  On the 19th I disembarked my
division, and took post about three miles back, three of the
brigades covering the roads to Purdy and Corinth, and the other
brigade (Stuart's) temporarily at a place on the Hamburg Road, near
Lick Creek Ford, where the Bark Road came into the Hamburg Road.
Within a few days, Prentiss's division arrived and camped on my
left, and afterward McClernand's and W. H. L. Wallace's divisions,
which formed a line to our rear.  Lew Wallace's division remained
on the north side of Snake Creek, on a road leading from Savannah
or Cramp's Landing to Purdy.

General C. F. Smith remained back at Savannah, in chief command,
and I was only responsible for my own division.  I kept pickets
well out on the roads, and made myself familiar with all the ground
inside and outside my lines.  My personal staff was composed of
Captain J. H. Hammond, assistant adjutant-general; Surgeons
Hartshorn and L'Hommedieu; Lieutenant Colonels Hascall and
Sanger, inspector-generals; Lieutenants McCoy and John Taylor,
aides-de-camp.  We were all conscious that the enemy was collecting
at Corinth, but in what force we could not know, nor did we know
what was going on behind us.  On the 17th of March, General U. S.
Grant was restored to the command of all the troops up the
Tennessee River, by reason of General Smith's extreme illness, and
because he had explained to General Halleck satisfactorily his
conduct after Donelson; and he too made his headquarters at
Savannah, but frequently visited our camps.  I always acted on the
supposition that we were an invading army; that our purpose was to
move forward in force, make a lodgment on the Memphis & Charleston
road, and thus repeat the grand tactics of Fort Donelson, by
separating the rebels in the interior from those at Memphis and on
the Mississippi River.  We did not fortify our camps against an
attack, because we had no orders to do so, and because such a
course would have made our raw men timid.  The position was
naturally strong, with Snake Creek on our right, a deep, bold
stream, with a confluent (Owl Creek) to our right front; and Lick
Creek, with a similar confluent, on our left, thus narrowing the
space over which we could be attacked to about a mile and a half or
two miles.

At a later period of the war, we could have rendered this position
impregnable in one night, but at this time we did not do it, and it
may be it is well we did not.  From about the 1st of April we were
conscious that the rebel cavalry in our front was getting bolder
and more saucy; and on Friday, the 4th of April, it dashed down and
carried off one of our picket-guards, composed of an officer and
seven men, posted a couple of miles out on the Corinth road.
Colonel Buckland sent a company to its relief, then followed
himself with a regiment, and, fearing lest he might be worsted, I
called out his whole brigade and followed some four or five miles,
when the cavalry in advance encountered artillery.  I then, after
dark, drew back to our lines, and reported the fact by letter to
General Grant, at Savannah; but thus far we had not positively
detected the presence of infantry, for cavalry regiments generally
had a couple of guns along, and I supposed the guns that opened on
the on the evening of Friday, April 4th, belonged to the cavalry
that was hovering along our whole front.

Saturday passed in our camps without any unusual event, the weather
being wet and mild, and the roads back to the steamboat landing
being heavy with mud; but on Sunday morning, the 6th, early, there
was a good deal of picket-firing, and I got breakfast, rode out
along my lines, and, about four hundred yards to the front of
Appler's regiment, received from some bushes in a ravine to the
left front a volley which killed my orderly, Holliday.  About the
same time I saw the rebel lines of battle in front coming down on
us as far as the eye could reach.  All my troops were in line of
battle, ready, and the ground was favorable to us.  I gave the
necessary orders to the battery (Waterhouse's) attached to
Hildebrand's brigade, and cautioned the men to reserve their fire
till the rebels had crossed the ravine of Owl Creek, and had begun
the ascent; also, sent staff-officers to notify Generals McClernand
and Prentiss of the coming blow.  Indeed, McClernand had already
sent three regiments to the support of my left flank, and they were
in position when the onset came.

In a few minutes the battle of "Shiloh" began with extreme fury,
and lasted two days.  Its history has been well given, and it has
been made the subject of a great deal of controversy.  Hildebrand's
brigade was soon knocked to pieces, but Buckland's and McDowell's
kept their organization throughout.  Stuart's was driven back to
the river, and did not join me in person till the second day of the
battle.  I think my several reports of that battle are condensed
and good, made on the spot, when all the names and facts were fresh
in my memory, and are herewith given entire:


Captain Wm.  McMICHAEL, Assistant Adjutant-General to General C. F
SMITH, Savannah, Tennessee.

SIR: Last night I dispatched a party of cavalry, at 6 p.m., under
the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Heath, Fifth Ohio Cavalry, for a
strong reconnoissance, if possible, to be converted into an attack
upon the Memphis road.  The command got off punctually, followed at
twelve o'clock at night by the First Brigade of my division,
commanded by Colonel McDowell, the other brigades to follow in

About one at night the cavalry returned, reporting the road
occupied in force by the enemy, with whose advance-guard they
skirmished, driving them back--about a mile, taking two prisoners,
and having their chief guide, Thomas Maxwell, Esq., and three men
of the Fourth Illinois wounded.

Inclosed please find the report of Lieutenant-Colonel Heath; also a
copy of his instructions, and the order of march.  As soon as the
cavalry returned, I saw that an attempt on the road was frustrated,
and accordingly have placed McDowell's brigade to our right front,
guarding the pass of Snake Creek; Stuart's brigade to the left
front, to watch the pass of Lick Creek; and I shall this morning
move directly out on the Corinth road, about eight miles to or
toward Pea Ridge, which is a key-point to the southwest.

General Hurlbut's division will be landed to-day, and the artillery
and infantry disposed so as to defend Pittsburg, leaving my
division entire for any movement by land or water.

As near as I can learn, there are five regiments of rebel infantry
at Purdy; at Corinth, and distributed along the railroad to Inca,
are probably thirty thousand men; but my information from prisoners
is very indistinct.  Every road and path is occupied by the enemy's
cavalry, whose, orders seem to be, to fire a volley, retire, again
fire and retire.  The force on the Purdy road attacked and driven
by Major Bowman yesterday, was about sixty strong.  That
encountered last night on the Corinth road was about five companies
of Tennessee cavalry, sent from Purdy about 2 p.m.  yesterday.

I hear there is a force of two regiments on Pea Ridge, at the point
where the Purdy and Corinth roads come together.

I am satisfied we cannot reach the Memphis & Charleston road
without a considerable engagement, which is prohibited by General
Halleck's instructions, so that I will be governed by your orders
of yesterday, to occupy Pittsburg strongly, extend the pickets so
as to include a semicircle of three miles, and push a strong
reconnoissance as far out as Lick Creek and Pea Ridge.

I will send down a good many boats to-day, to be employed as you
may direct; and would be obliged if you would send a couple of
thousand sacks of corn, as much hay as you can possibly spare, and,
if possible, a barge of coal.

I will send a steamboat under care of the gunboat, to collect corn
from cribs on the river-bank.

I have the honor to be your obedient servant,

Brigadier-General, commanding First Division.

Pittsburg, March 18, 1882.

Captain RAWLINS, Assistant Adjutant-General
to General GRANT.

SIR: The division surgeon having placed some one hundred or more
sick on board the Fanny Bullitt, I have permitted her to take them
to Savannah.  There is neither house nor building of any kind that
can be used for a hospital here.

I hope to receive an order to establish floating hospitals, but in
the mean time, by the advise of the surgeon, allow these sick men
to leave.  Let me hope that it will meet your approbation.

The order for debarkation came while General Sherman was absent
with three brigades, and no men are left to move the effects of
these brigades.

The landing, too, is small, with scarcely any chance to increase
it; therefore there is a great accumulation of boats.  Colonel
McArthur has arrived, and is now cutting a landing for himself.

General Sherman will return this evening.  I am obliged to
transgress, and write myself in the mean time,

Respectfully your obedient servant,

J. H. HAMMOND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

P. S--4 p.m.--Just back; have been half-way to Corinth and to
Purdy.  All right.  Have just read this letter, and approve all but
floating hospitals; regimental surgeons can take care of all sick,
except chronic cases, which can always be sent down to Paducah.

Magnificent plain for camping and drilling, and a military point of
great strength.  The enemy has felt us twice, at great loss and
demoralization; will report at length this evening; am now much
worn out.

W. T. SHERMAN, Brigadier-General.

Pittsburg Landing, March 19, 1862.

Captain RAWLINS, Assistant Adjutant-General
to General GRANT, Savannah, Tennessee.

SIR: I have just returned from an extensive reconnoissance toward
Corinth and Purdy, and am strongly impressed with the importance of
this position, both for its land advantages and its strategic
position.  The ground itself admits of easy defense by a small
command, and yet affords admirable camping-ground for a hundred
thousand men.  I will as soon as possible make or cause to be made
a topographical sketch of the position.  The only drawback is that,
at this stage of water, the space for landing is contracted too
much for the immense fleet now here discharging.

I will push the loading and unloading of boats, but suggest that
you send at once (Captain Dodd, if possible) the best quartermaster
you can, that he may control and organize this whole matter.  I
have a good commissary, and will keep as few provisions afloat as
possible.  Yours, etc.,

W. T. SHERMAN, Brigadier-General commanding.

Camp Shiloh, near Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee, April 2, 1862

Captain J. A. RAWLINS, Assistant Adjutant-General
to General GRANT.

SIR: In obedience to General Grant's instructions of March 31st,
with one section of Captain Muench's Minnesota Battery, two
twelve-pound howitzers, a detachment of Fifth Ohio Cavalry of one
hundred and fifty men, under Major Ricker, and two battalions of
infantry from the Fifty-seventh and Seventy-seventh Ohio, under the
command of Colonels Hildebrand and Mungen, I marched to the river,
and embarked on the steamers Empress and Tecumseh.  The gunboat
Cairo did not arrive at Pittsburg, until after midnight, and at 6
p.m.  Captain Bryant, commanding the gunboat, notified me that he
was ready to proceed up the river.  I followed, keeping the
transports within about three hundred yards of the gunboat.  About
1 p.m., the Cairo commenced shelling the battery above the mouth of
Indian Creek, but elicited no reply.  She proceeded up the river
steadily and cautiously, followed close by the Tyler and Lexington,
all throwing shells at the points where, on former visits of the
gunboats, enemy's batteries were found.  In this order all
followed, till it was demonstrated that all the enemy's batteries,
including that at Chickasaw, were abandoned.

I ordered the battalion of infantry under Colonel Hildebrand to
disembark at Eastport, and with the other battalion proceeded to
Chickasaw and landed.  The battery at this point had evidently been
abandoned some time, and consisted of the remains of an old Indian
mound, partly washed away by the river, which had been fashioned
into a two-gun battery, with a small magazine.  The ground to its
rear had evidently been overflowed during the late freshet, and led
to the removal of the guns to Eastport, where the batteries were on
high, elevated ground, accessible at all seasons from the country
to the rear.

Upon personal inspection, I attach little importance to Chickasaw
as a military position.  The people, who had fled during the
approach of the gunboats, returned to the village, and said the
place had been occupied by one Tennessee regiment and a battery of
artillery from Pensacola.  After remaining at Chickasaw some
hours, all the boats dropped back to Eastport, not more than a mile
below, and landed there.  Eastport Landing during the late freshet
must have been about twelve feet under water, but at the present
stage the landing is the best I have seen on the Tennessee River.

The levee is clear of trees or snags, and a hundred boats could
land there without confusion.

The soil is of sand and gravel, and very firm.  The road back is
hard, and at a distance of about four hundred yards from the water
begin the gravel hills of the country.  The infantry scouts sent
out by Colonel Hildebrand found the enemy's cavalry mounted, and
watching the Inca road, about two miles back of Eastport.  The
distance to Inca is only eight miles, and Inca is the nearest point
and has the best road by which the Charleston & Memphis Railroad
can be reached.  I could obtain no certain information as to the
strength of the enemy there, but am satisfied that it would have
been folly to have attempted it with my command.  Our object being
to dislodge the enemy from the batteries recently erected near
Eastport, and this being attained, I have returned, and report the
river to be clear to and beyond Chickasaw.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

Brigadier-General commanding Division.

CAMP SHILOH, April 5, 1862.

Captain J. A. RAWLINS, Assistant Adjutant-General, District of
Western Tennessee.

SIR: I have the honor to report that yesterday, about 3 p.m., the
lieutenant commanding and seven men of the advance pickets
imprudently advanced from their posts and were captured.  I ordered
Major Ricker, of the Fifth Ohio Cavalry, to proceed rapidly to the
picket-station, ascertain the truth, and act according to
circumstances.  He reached the station, found the pickets had been
captured as reported, and that a company of infantry sent by the
brigade commander had gone forward in pursuit of some cavalry.  He
rapidly advanced some two miles, and found them engaged, charged
the enemy, and drove them along the Ridge road, till he
met and received three discharges of artillery, when he very
properly wheeled under cover, and returned till he met me.

As soon as I heard artillery, I advanced with two regiments of
infantry, and took position, and remained until the scattered
companies of infantry and cavalry had returned.  This was after

I infer that the enemy is in some considerable force at Pea Ridge,
that yesterday morning they crossed a brigade of two regiments
of infantry, one regiment of cavalry, and one battery of
field-artillery, to the ridge on which the Corinth road lies.  They
halted the infantry and artillery at a point abort five miles in my
front, sent a detachment to the lane of General Meeks, on the north
of Owl Creek, and the cavalry down toward our camp.  This cavalry
captured a part of our advance pickets, and afterward engaged the
two companies of Colonel Buckland's regiment, as described by him
in his report herewith inclosed.  Our cavalry drove them back upon
their artillery and Infantry, killing many, and bringing off ten
prisoners, all of the First Alabama Cavalry, whom I send to you.

We lost of the pickets one first-lieutenant and seven men of the
Ohio Seventieth Infantry (list inclosed); one major, one
lieutenant, and one private of the Seventy-second Ohio, taken
prisoners; eight privates wounded (names in full, embraced in
report of Colonel Buckland, inclosed herewith).

We took ten prisoners, and left two rebels wounded and many killed
on the field.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

Brigadier-General, commanding Division.

Camp Shiloh, April 10, 1862.

Captain J. A. RAWLINS, Assistant Adjutant-General
to General GRANT.

SIR: I had the honor to report that, on Friday the 4th inst., the
enemy's cavalry drove in our pickets, posted about a mile and a
half in advance of my centre, on the main Corinth road, capturing
one first-lieutenant and seven men; that I caused a pursuit by the
cavalry of my division, driving them back about five miles, and
killing many.  On Saturday the enemy's cavalry was again very bold,
coming well down to our front; yet I did not believe they designed
any thing but a strong demonstration.  On Sunday morning early, the
6th inst., the enemy drove our advance-guard back on the main body,
when I ordered under arms all my division, and sent word to General
McClernand, asking him to support my left; to General Prentiss,
giving him notice that the enemy was in our front in force, and to
General Hurlbut, asking him to support General Prentiss.  At that
time--7 a.m.--my division was arranged as follows:

First Brigade, composed of the Sixth Iowa, Colonel J. A. McDowell;

Fortieth Illinois, Colonel Hicks; Forty-sixth Ohio, Colonel
Worthington; and the Morton battery, Captain Behr, on the extreme
right, guarding the bridge on the Purdy road over Owl Creek.

Second Brigade, composed of the Fifty-fifth Illinois, Colonel D.
Stuart; the Fifty-fourth Ohio, Colonel T. Kilby Smith; and the
Seventy-first Ohio, Colonel Mason, on the extreme left, guarding
the ford over Lick Creek.

Third Brigade, composed of the Seventy-seventh Ohio, Colonel
Hildebrand; the Fifty-third Ohio, Colonel Appler; and the
Fifty-seventh Ohio, Colonel Mungen, on the left of the Corinth
road, its right resting on Shiloh meeting-house.

Fourth Brigade, composed of the Seventy-second Ohio, Colonel
Buckland; the Forty-eighth Ohio, Colonel Sullivan; and the
Seventieth Ohio, Colonel Cookerill, on the right of the Corinth
road, its left resting on Shiloh meeting-house.

Two batteries of artillery--Taylor's and Waterhouse's--were posted,
the former at Shiloh, and the latter on a ridge to the left, with a
front-fire over open ground between Mungen's and Appler's
regiments.  The cavalry, eight companies of the Fourth Illinois,
under Colonel Dickey, were posted in a large open field to the left
and rear of Shiloh meeting-house, which I regarded as the centre of
my position.

Shortly after 7 a.m., with my entire staff, I rode along a portion
of our front, and when in the open field before Appler's regiment,
the enemy's pickets opened a brisk fire upon my party, killing my
orderly, Thomas D. Holliday, of Company H, Second Illinois Cavalry.
The fire came from the bushes which line a small stream that rises
in the field in front of Appler's camp, and flows to the north
along my whole front.

This valley afforded the enemy partial cover; but our men were so
posted as to have a good fire at them as they crossed the valley
and ascended the rising ground on our side.

About 8 a.m.  I saw the glistening bayonets of heavy masses of
infantry to our left front in the woods beyond the small stream
alluded to, and became satisfied for the first time that the enemy
designed a determined attack on our whole camp.

All the regiments of my division were then in line of battle at
their proper posts.  I rode to Colonel Appler, and ordered him to
hold his ground at all hazards, as he held the left flank of our
first line of battle, and I informed him that he had a good battery
on his right, and strong support to his rear.  General McClernand
had promptly and energetically responded to my request, and had
sent me three regiments which were posted to protect Waterhouse's
battery and the left flank of my line.

The battle opened by the enemy's battery, in the woods to our
front, throwing shells into our camp.  Taylor's and Waterhouse's
batteries promptly responded, and I then observed heavy battalions
of infantry passing obliquely to the left, across the open field in
Appler's front; also, other columns advancing directly upon my
division.  Our infantry and artillery opened along the whole line,
and the battle became general.  Other heavy masses of the enemy's
forces kept passing across the field to our left, and directing
their course on General Prentiss.  I saw at once that the enemy
designed to pass my left flank, and fall upon Generals McClernand
and Prentiss, whose line of camps was almost parallel with the
Tennessee River, and about two miles back from it.  Very soon the
sound of artillery and musketry announced that General Prentiss was
engaged; and about 9 A. M. I judged that he was falling back.
About this time Appler's regiment broke in disorder, followed by
Mungen's regiment, and the enemy pressed forward on Waterhouse's
battery thereby exposed.

The three Illinois regiments in immediate support of this battery
stood for some time; but the enemy's advance was so vigorous, and
the fire so severe, that when Colonel Raith, of the Forty-third
Illinois, received a severe wound and fell from his horse, his
regiment and the others manifested disorder, and the enemy got
possession of three guns of this (Waterhouse's) battery.  Although
our left was thus turned, and the enemy was pressing our whole
line, I deemed Shiloh so important, that I remained by it and
renewed my orders to Colonels McDowell and Buckland to hold their
ground; and we did hold these positions until about 10 a.m., when
the enemy had got his artillery to the rear of our left flank and
some change became absolutely necessary.  Two regiments of
Hildebrand's brigade--Appler's and Mungen's--had already
disappeared to the rear, and Hildebrand's own regiment was in
disorder.  I therefore gave orders for Taylor's battery--still at
Shiloh--to fall back as far as the Purdy and Hamburg road, and for
McDowell and Buckland to adopt that road as their new line.  I rode
across the angle and met Behr's battery at the cross-roads, and
ordered it immediately to come into battery, action right.  Captain
Behr gave the order, but he was almost immediately shot from his
horse, when drivers and gunners fled in disorder, carrying off the
caissons, and abandoning five out of six guns, without firing a
shot.  The enemy pressed on, gaining this battery, and we were
again forced to choose a new line of defense.  Hildebrand's brigade
had substantially disappeared from the field, though he himself
bravely remained.  McDowell's and Buckland's brigades maintained
their organizations, and were conducted by my aides, so as to join
on General McClernand's right, thus abandoning my original camps
and line.  This was about 10 1/2 a.m., at which time the enemy had
made a furious attack on General McClernand's whole front.  He
straggled most determinedly, but, finding him pressed, I moved
McDowell's brigade directly against the left flank of the enemy,
forced him back some distance, and then directed the men to avail
themselves of every cover-trees, fallen timber, and a wooded valley
to our right.  We held this position for four long hours, sometimes
gaining and at others losing ground; General McClernand and myself
acting in perfect concert, and struggling to maintain this line.
While we were so hard pressed, two Iowa regiments approached from
the rear, but could not be brought up to the severe fire that was
raging in our front, and General Grant, who visited us on that
ground, will remember our situation about 3 p.m.; but about 4 p.m.
it was evident that Hurlbut's line had been driven back to the
river; and knowing that General Lew Wallace was coming with
reinforcements from Cramp's Landing, General McClernand and I, on
consultation, selected a new line of defense, with its right
covering a bridge by which General Wallace had to approach.  We
fell back as well as we could, gathering in addition to our own
such scattered forces as we could find, and formed the new line.

During this change the enemy's cavalry charged us, but were
handsomely repulsed by the Twenty-ninth Illinois Regiment.  The
Fifth Ohio Battery, which had come up, rendered good service in
holding the enemy in check for some time, and Major Taylor also
came up with another battery and got into position, just in time to
get a good flank-fire upon the enemy's column, as he pressed on
General McClernand's right, checking his advance; when General
McClernand's division made a fine charge on the enemy and drove him
back into the ravines to our front and right.  I had a clear field,
about two hundred yards wide, in my immediate front, and contented
myself with keeping the enemy's infantry at that distance during
the rest of the day.  In this position we rested for the night.

My command had become decidedly of a mixed character.  Buckland's
brigade was the only one that retained its organization.  Colonel
Hildebrand was personally there, but his brigade was not.  Colonel
McDowell had been severely injured by a fall off his horse, and had
gone to the river, and the three regiments of his brigade were not
in line.  The Thirteenth Missouri, Colonel Crafts J. Wright, had
reported to me on the field, and fought well, retaining its
regimental organization; and it formed a part of my line during
Sunday night and all Monday.  Other fragments of regiments and
companies had also fallen into my division, and acted with it
during the remainder of the battle.  General Grant and Buell
visited me in our bivouac that evening, and from them I learned the
situation of affairs on other parts of the field.  General Wallace
arrived from Crump's Landing shortly after dark, and formed his
line to my right rear.  It rained hard during the night, but our
men were in good spirits, lay on their arms, being satisfied with
such bread and meat as could be gathered at the neighboring camps,
and determined to redeem on Monday the losses of Sunday.

At daylight of Monday I received General Grant's orders to advance
and recapture our original camps.  I dispatched several members of
my staff to bring up all the men they could find, especially the
brigade of Colonel Stuart, which had been separated from the
division all the day before; and at the appointed time the
division, or rather what remained of it, with the Thirteenth
Missouri and other fragments, moved forward and reoccupied the
ground on the extreme right of General McClernand's camp, where we
attracted the fire of a battery located near Colonel McDowell's
former headquarters.  Here I remained, patiently waiting for the
sound of General Buell's advance upon the main Corinth road.  About
10 a.m.  the heavy firing in that direction, and its steady
approach, satisfied me; and General Wallace being on our right
flank with his well-conducted division, I led the head of my column
to General McClernand's right, formed line of battle, facing south,
with Buckland's brigade directly across the ridge, and Stuart's
brigade on its right in the woods; and thus advanced, steadily and
slowly, under a heavy fire of musketry and artillery.  Taylor had
just got to me from the rear, where he had gone for ammunition, and
brought up three guns, which I ordered into position, to advance by
hand firing.  These guns belonged to Company A, Chicago Light
Artillery, commanded by Lieutenant P. P. Wood, and did most
excellent service.  Under cover of their fire, we advanced till we
reached the point where the Corinth road crosses the line of
McClernand's camp, and here I saw for the first time the
well-ordered and compact columns of General Buell's Kentucky
forces, whose soldierly movements at once gave confidence to our
newer and less disciplined men.  Here I saw Willich's regiment
advance upon a point of water-oaks and thicket, behind which I knew
the enemy was in great strength, and enter it in beautiful style.
Then arose the severest musketry-fire I ever heard, and lasted some
twenty minutes, when this splendid regiment had to fall back.  This
green point of timber is about five hundred yards east of Shiloh
meeting-home, and it was evident here was to be the struggle.  The
enemy could also be seen forming his lines to the south.  General
McClernand sending to me for artillery, I detached to him the three
guns of Wood's battery, with which he speedily drove them back,
and, seeing some others to the rear, I sent one of my staff to
bring them forward, when, by almost providential decree, they
proved to be two twenty-four pound howitzers belonging to
McAlister's battery, and served as well as guns ever could be.

This was about 2 p.m.  The enemy had one battery close by Shiloh,
and another near the Hamburg road, both pouring grape and canister
upon any column of troops that advanced upon the green point of
water-oaks.  Willich's regiment had been repulsed, but a whole
brigade of McCook's division advanced beautifully, deployed, and
entered this dreaded wood.  I ordered my second brigade (then
commanded by Colonel T. Kilby Smith, Colonel Smart being wounded)
to form on its right, and my fourth brigade, Colonel Buckland, on
its right; all to advance abreast with this Kentucky brigade before
mentioned, which I afterward found to be Rousseau's brigade of
McCook's division.  I gave personal direction to the twenty-four
pounder guns, whose well-directed fire first silenced the enemy's
guns to the left, and afterward at the Shiloh meeting-house.

Rousseau's brigade moved in splendid order steadily to the front,
sweeping every thing before it, and at 4 p.m.  we stood upon the
ground of our original front line; and the enemy was in full
retreat.  I directed my several brigades to resume at once their
original camps.

Several times during the battle, cartridges gave out; but General
Grant had thoughtfully kept a supply coming from the rear.  When I
appealed to regiments to stand fast, although out of cartridges, I
did so because, to retire a regiment for any cause, has a bad
effect on others.  I commend the Fortieth Illinois and Thirteenth
Missouri for thus holding their ground under heavy fire, although
their cartridge-boxes were empty.

I am ordered by General Grant to give personal credit where I think
it is due, and censure where I think it merited.  I concede that
General McCook's splendid division from Kentucky drove back the
enemy along the Corinth road, which was the great centre of this
field of battle, where Beauregard commanded in person, supported by
Bragg's, Polk's, and Breckenridge's divisions.  I think Johnston
was killed by exposing himself in front of his troops, at the time
of their attack on Buckland's brigade on Sunday morning; although
in this I may be mistaken.

My division was made up of regiments perfectly new, nearly all
having received their muskets for the first time at Paducah.  None
of them had ever been under fire or beheld heavy columns of an
enemy bearing down on them as they did on last Sunday.

To expect of them the coolness and steadiness of older troops would
be wrong.  They knew not the value of combination and organization.
When individual fears seized them, the first impulse was to get
away.  My third brigade did break much too soon, and I am not yet
advised where they were during Sunday afternoon and Monday morning.
Colonel Hildebrand, its commander, was as cool as any man I ever
saw, and no one could have made stronger efforts to hold his men to
their places than he did.  He kept his own regiment with individual
exceptions in hand, an hour after Appler's and Mungen's regiments
had left their proper field of action.  Colonel Buckland managed
his brigade well.  I commend him to your notice as a cool,
intelligent, and judicious gentleman, needing only confidence and
experience, to make a good commander.  His subordinates, Colonels
Sullivan and Cockerill, behaved with great gallantry; the former
receiving a severe wound on Sunday, and yet commanding and holding
his regiment well in hand all day, and on Monday, until his right
arm was broken by a shot.  Colonel Cookerill held a larger
proportion of his men than any colonel in my division, and was with
me from first to last.

Colonel J. A. McDowell, commanding the first brigade, held his
ground on Sunday, till I ordered him to fall back, which he did in
line of battle; and when ordered, he conducted the attack on the
enemy's left in good style.  In falling back to the next position,
he was thrown from his horse and injured, and his brigade was not
in position on Monday morning.  His subordinates, Colonels Hicks
and Worthington, displayed great personal courage.  Colonel Hicks
led his regiment in the attack on Sunday, and received a wound,
which it is feared may prove mortal.  He is a brave and gallant
gentleman, and deserves well of his country.  Lieutenant-Colonel
Walcutt, of the Ohio Forty-sixth, was severely wounded on Sunday,
and has been disabled ever since.  My second brigade, Colonel
Stuart, was detached nearly two miles from my headquarters.  He had
to fight his own battle on Sunday, against superior numbers, as the
enemy interposed between him and General Prentiss early in the day.
Colonel Stuart was wounded severely, and yet reported for duty on
Monday morning, but was compelled to leave during the day, when the
command devolved on Colonel T. Kilby Smith, who was always in the
thickest of the, fight, and led the brigade handsomely.

I have not yet received Colonel Stuart's report of the operations
of his brigade during the time he was detached, and must therefore
forbear to mention names.  Lieutenant-Colonel Kyle, of the
Seventy-first, was mortally wounded on Sunday, but the regiment
itself I did not see, as only a small fragment of it was with the
brigade when it joined the division on Monday morning.  Great
credit is due the fragments of men of the disordered regiments who
kept in the advance.  I observed and noticed them, but until the
brigadiers and colonels make their reports, I cannot venture to
name individuals, but will in due season notice all who kept in our
front line, as well as those who preferred to keep back near the
steamboat-landing.  I will also send a full list of the killed,
wounded, and missing, by name, rank, company, and regiment.  At
present I submit the result in figures:

[Summary of General Sherman's detailed  table:]
Killed ........................  318
Wounded ....................... 1275
Missing .......................  441
Aggregate loss in the division: 2034

The enemy captured seven of our guns on Sunday, but on Monday we
recovered seven; not the identical guns we had lost, but enough in
number to balance the account.  At the time of recovering our camps
our men were so fatigued that we could not follow the retreating
masses of the enemy; but on the following day I followed up with
Buckland's and Hildebrand's brigade for six miles, the result of
which I have already reported.

Of my personal staff, I can only speak with praise and thanks.  I
think they smelled as much gunpowder and heard as many cannon-balls
and bullets as must satisfy their ambition.  Captain Hammond, my
chief of staff, though in feeble health, was very active in
rallying broken troops, encouraging the steadfast and aiding to
form the lines of defense and attack.  I recommend him to your
notice.  Major Sanger's intelligence, quick perception, and rapid
execution, were of very great value to me, especially in bringing
into line the batteries that cooperated so efficiently in our
movements.  Captains McCoy and Dayton, aides-de-camp, were with me
all the time, carrying orders, and acting with coolness, spirit,
and courage.  To Surgeon Hartshorne and Dr. L'Hommedieu hundreds of
wounded men are indebted for the kind and excellent treatment
received on the field of battle and in the various temporary
hospitals created along the line of our operations.  They worked
day and night, and did not rest till all the wounded of our own
troops as well as of the enemy were in safe and comfortable
shelter.  To Major Taylor, chief of artillery, I feel under deep
obligations, for his good sense and judgment in managing the
batteries, on which so much depended.  I inclose his report and
indorse his recommendations.  The cavalry of my command kept to the
rear, and took little part in the action; but it would have been
madness to have exposed horses to the musketry-fire under which we
were compelled to remain from Sunday at 8 a.m. till Monday at
4 p.m. Captain Kossack, of the engineers, was with me all the time,
and was of great assistance.  I inclose his sketch of the
battlefield, which is the best I have seen, and which will enable
you to see the various positions occupied by my division, as well as
of the others that participated in the battle.  I will also send in,
during the day, the detailed reports of my brigadiers and colonels,
and will indorse them with such remarks as I deem proper.

I am, with much respect, your obedient servant,

Brigadier-General commanding Fifth Division.

Tuesday, April 8,1862

Sir: With the cavalry placed at my command and two brigades of my
fatigued troops, I went this morning out on the Corinth road.  One
after another of the abandoned camps of the enemy lined the roads,
with hospital flags for their protection; at all we found more or
less wounded and dead men.  At the forks of the road I found the
head of General T. J. Wood's division of Buell's Army.  I ordered
cavalry to examine both roads leading toward Corinth, and found the
enemy on both.  Colonel Dickey, of the Fourth Illinois Cavalry,
asking for reenforcements, I ordered General Wood to advance the
head of his column cautiously on the left-hand road, while I
conducted the head of the third brigade of my division up the
right-hand road.  About half a mile from the forks was a clear
field, through which the road passed, and, immediately beyond, a
space of some two hundred yards of fallen timber, and beyond that
an extensive rebel camp.  The enemy's cavalry could be seen in this
camp; after reconnoisance, I ordered the two advance companies of
the Ohio Seventy-seventh, Colonel Hildebrand, to deploy forward as
skirmishers, and the regiment itself forward into line, with an
interval of one hundred yards.  In this order we advanced
cautiously until the skirmishers were engaged.  Taking it for
granted this disposition would clear the camp, I held Colonel
Dickey's Fourth Illinois Cavalry ready for the charge.  The enemy's
cavalry came down boldly at a charge, led by General Forrest in
person, breaking through our line of skirmishers; when the regiment
of infantry, without cause, broke, threw away their muskets, and
fled.  The ground was admirably adapted for a defense of infantry
against cavalry, being miry and covered with fallen timber.

As the regiment of infantry broke, Dickey's Cavalry began to
discharge their carbines, and fell into disorder.  I instantly sent
orders to the rear for the brigade to form line of battle, which
was promptly executed.  The broken infantry and cavalry rallied on
this line, and, as the enemy's cavalry came to it, our cavalry in
turn charged and drove them from the field.  I advanced the entire
brigade over the same ground and sent Colonel Dickey's cavalry a
mile farther on the road.  On examining the ground which had been
occupied by the Seventy-seventh Ohio, we found fifteen of our men
dead and about twenty-five wounded.  I sent for wagons and had all
the wounded carried back to camp, and caused the dead to be buried,
also the whole rebel camp to be destroyed.

Here we found much ammunition for field-pieces, which was
destroyed; also two caissons, and a general hospital, with about
two hundred and eighty Confederate wounded, and about fifty of our
own wounded men.  Not having the means of bringing them off,
Colonel Dickey, by my orders, took a surrender, signed by the
medical director (Lyle) and by all the attending surgeons, and a
pledge to report themselves to you as prisoners of war; also a
pledge that our wounded should be carefully attended to, and
surrendered to us to-morrow as soon as ambulances could go out.  I
inclose this written document, and request that you cause wagons or
ambulances for our wounded to be sent to-morrow, and that wagons'
be sent to bring in the many tents belonging to us which are
pitched along the road for four miles out.  I did not destroy them,
because I knew the enemy could not move them.  The roads are very
bad, and are strewed with abandoned wagons, ambulances, and
limber-boxes.  The enemy has succeeded in carrying off the guns,
but has crippled his batteries by abandoning the hind limber-boxes
of at least twenty caissons.  I am satisfied the enemy's infantry
and artillery passed Lick Creek this morning, traveling all of last
night, and that he left to his rear all his cavalry, which has
protected his retreat; but signs of confusion and disorder mark the
whole road.  The check sustained by us at the fallen timber delayed
our advance, so that night came upon us before the wounded were
provided for and the dead buried, and our troops being fagged out
by three days' hard fighting, exposure, and privation, I ordered
them back to their camps, where they now are.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

Brigadier-General commanding Division.

General Grant did not make an official report of the battle of
Shiloh, but all its incidents and events were covered by the
reports of division commanders and Subordinates.  Probably no
single battle of the war gave rise to such wild and damaging
reports.  It was publicly asserted at the North that our army was
taken completely by surprise; that the rebels caught us in our
tents; bayoneted the men in their beds; that General Grant was
drunk; that Buell's opportune arrival saved the Army of the
Tennessee from utter annihilation, etc.  These reports were in a
measure sustained by the published opinions of Generals Buell,
Nelson, and others, who had reached the steamboat-landing from the
east, just before nightfall of the 6th, when there was a large
crowd of frightened, stampeded men, who clamored and declared that
our army was all destroyed and beaten.  Personally I saw General
Grant, who with his staff visited me about 10 a.m.  of the 6th,
when we were desperately engaged.  But we had checked the headlong
assault of our enemy, and then held our ground.  This gave him
great satisfaction, and he told me that things did not look as well
over on the left.  He also told me that on his way up from Savannah
that morning he had stopped at Crump's Landing, and had ordered Lew
Wallace's division to cross over Snake Creek, so as to come up on
my right, telling me to look out for him.  He came again just
before dark, and described the last assault made by the rebels at
the ravine, near the steamboat-landing, which he had repelled by a
heavy battery collected under Colonel J. D. Webster and other
officers, and he was convinced that the battle was over for that
day.  He ordered me to be ready to assume the offensive in the
morning, saying that, as he had observed at Fort Donelson at the
crisis of the battle, both sides seemed defeated, and whoever
assumed the offensive was sure to win.  General Grant also
explained to me that General Buell had reached the bank of the
Tennessee River opposite Pittsburg Landing, and was in the act of
ferrying his troops across at the time he was speaking to me.

About half an hour afterward General Buell himself rode up to where
I was, accompanied by Colonels Fry, Michler, and others of his
staff.  I was dismounted at the time, and General Buell made of me
a good many significant inquiries about matters and things
generally.  By the aid of a manuscript map made by myself, I
pointed out to him our positions as they had been in the morning,
and our then positions; I also explained that my right then covered
the bridge over Snake Creek by which we had all day been expecting
Lew Wallace; that McClernand was on my left, Hurlbut on his left,
and so on.  But Buell said he had come up from the landing, and had
not seen our men, of whose existence in fact he seemed to doubt.  I
insisted that I had five thousand good men still left in line, and
thought that McClernand had as many more, and that with what was
left of Hurlbut's, W. H. L. Wallace's, and Prentiss's divisions, we
ought to have eighteen thousand men fit for battle.  I reckoned
that ten thousand of our men were dead, wounded, or prisoners, and
that the enemy's loss could not be much less.  Buell said that
Nelson's, McCook's, and Crittendens divisions of his army,
containing eighteen thousand men, had arrived and could cross over
in the night, and be ready for the next day's battle.  I argued
that with these reenforcements we could sweep the field.  Buell
seemed to mistrust us, and repeatedly said that he did not like the
looks of things, especially about the boat-landing,--and I really
feared he would not cross over his army that night, lest he should
become involved in our general disaster.  He did not, of course,
understand the shape of the ground, and asked me for the use of my
map, which I lent him on the promise that he would return it.  He
handed it to Major Michler to have it copied, and the original
returned to me, which Michler did two or three days after the
battle.  Buell did cross over that night, and the next day we
assumed the offensive and swept the field, thus gaining the battle
decisively.  Nevertheless, the controversy was started and kept up,
mostly to the personal prejudice of General Grant, who as usual
maintained an imperturbable silence.

After the battle, a constant stream of civilian surgeons, and
sanitary commission agents, men and women, came up the Tennessee to
bring relief to the thousands of maimed and wounded soldiers for
whom we had imperfect means of shelter and care.  These people
caught up the camp-stories, which on their return home they
retailed through their local papers, usually elevating their own
neighbors into heroes, but decrying all others: Among them was
Lieutenant-Governor Stanton, of Ohio, who published in Belfontaine,
Ohio, a most abusive article about General Grant and his
subordinate generals.  As General Grant did not and would not take
up the cudgels, I did so.  My letter in reply to Stanton, dated
June 10, 1862, was published in the Cincinnati Commercial soon
after its date.  To this Lieutenant-Governor Stanton replied, and I
further rejoined in a letter dated July 12, 1862.  These letters
are too personal to be revived.  By this time the good people of
the North had begun to have their eyes opened, and to give us in
the field more faith and support.  Stanton was never again elected
to any public office, and was commonly spoken of as "the late Mr.
Stanton."  He is now dead, and I doubt not in life he often
regretted his mistake in attempting to gain popular fame by abusing
the army-leaders, then as now an easy and favorite mode of gaining
notoriety, if not popularity.  Of course, subsequent events gave
General Grant and most of the other actors in that battle their
appropriate place in history, but the danger of sudden popular
clamors is well illustrated by this case.

Tho battle of Shiloh, or Pittsburg Landing, was one of the most
fiercely contested of the war.  On the morning of April 6, 1862,
the five divisions of McClernand, Prentiss, Hurlbut, W. H. L.
Wallace, and Sherman, aggregated about thirty-two thousand men.  We
had no intrenchments of any sort, on the theory that as soon as
Buell arrived we would march to Corinth to attack the enemy.  The
rebel army, commanded by General Albert Sidney Johnston, was,
according to their own reports and admissions, forty-five thousand
strong, had the momentum of attack, and beyond all question fought
skillfully from early morning till about 2 a.m., when their
commander-in-chief was killed by a Mini-ball in the calf of his
leg, which penetrated the boot and severed the main artery.  There
was then a perceptible lull for a couple of hours, when the attack
was renewed, but with much less vehemence, and continued up to
dark.  Early at night the division of Lew Wallace arrived from the
other side of Snake Creek, not having fired a shot.  A very small
part of General Buell's army was on our side of the Tennessee River
that evening, and their loss was trivial.

During that night, the three divisions of McCook, Nelson, and
Crittenden, were ferried across the Tennessee, and fought with us
the next day (7th).  During that night, also, the two wooden
gunboats, Tyler, commanded by Lieutenant Groin, and Lexington,
Lieutenant Shirk, both of the regular navy, caused shells to be
thrown toward that part of the field of battle known to be occupied
by the enemy.  Beauregard afterward reported his entire loss as ten
thousand six hundred and ninety-nine.  Our aggregate loss, made up
from official statements, shows seventeen hundred killed, seven
thousand four hundred and ninety-five wounded, and three thousand
and twenty-two prisoners; aggregate, twelve thousand two hundred
and seventeen, of which twenty-one hundred and sixty-seven were in
Buell's army, leaving for that of Grant ten thousand and fifty.
This result is a fair measure of the amount of fighting done by
each army.




While, the "Army of the Tennessee," under Generals Grant and C. F.
Smith, was operating up the Tennessee River, another force, styled
the "Army of the Mississippi," commanded by Major-General John
Pope, was moving directly down the Mississippi River, against that
portion of the rebel line which, under Generals Polk and Pillow,
had fallen back from Columbus, Kentucky, to Island Number Ten and
New Madrid.  This army had the full cooperation of the gunboat
fleet, commanded by Admiral Foote, and was assisted by the high
flood of that season, which enabled General Pope, by great skill
and industry, to open a canal from a point above Island Number Ten
to New Madrid below, by which he interposed between the rebel army
and its available line of supply and retreat.  At the very time
that we were fighting the bloody battle on the Tennessee River,
General Pope and Admiral Foote were bombarding the batteries on
Island Number Ten, and the Kentucky shore abreast of it; and
General Pope having crossed over by steamers a part of his army to
the east bank, captured a large part of this rebel army, at and
near Tiptonville.

General Halleck still remained at St. Louis, whence he gave general
directions to the armies of General Curtis, Generals Grant, Buell,
and Pope; and instead of following up his most important and
brilliant successes directly down the Mississippi, he concluded to
bring General Pope's army around to the Tennessee, and to come in
person to command there.  The gunboat fleet pushed on down the
Mississippi, but was brought up again all standing by the heavy
batteries at Fort Pillow, about fifty miles above Memphis.  About
this time Admiral Farragut, with another large sea-going fleet, and
with the cooperating army of General Butler, was entering the
Mississippi River by the Passes, and preparing to reduce Forts
Jackson and St, Philip in order to reach New Orleans; so that all
minds were turned to the conquest of the Mississippi River, and
surely adequate means were provided for the undertaking.

The battle of Shiloh had been fought, as described, on the 6th and
7th of April; and when the movement of the 8th had revealed that
our enemy was gone, in full retreat, leaving killed, wounded, and
much property by the way, we all experienced a feeling of relief.
The struggle had been so long, so desperate and bloody, that the
survivors seemed exhausted and nerveless; we appreciated the value
of the victory, but realized also its great cost of life.  The
close of the battle had left the Army of the Tennessee on the
right, and the Army of the Ohio on the left; but I believe neither
General Grant nor Buell exercised command, the one over the other;
each of them having his hands full in repairing damages.  All the
division, brigade, and regimental commanders were busy in
collecting stragglers, regaining lost property, in burying dead men
and horses, and in providing for their wounded.  Some few new
regiments came forward, and some changes of organization became
necessary.  Then, or very soon after, I consolidated my font
brigades into three, which were commanded: First, Brigadier-General
Morgan L: Smith; Second, Colonel John A. McDowell; Third,
Brigadier-General J. W. Denver.  About the same time I was promoted
to major-general volunteers.

The Seventy-first Ohio was detached to Clarksville, Tennessee, and
the Sixth and Eighth Missouri were transferred to my division.

In a few days after the battle, General Halleck arrived by
steamboat from St. Louis, pitched his camp near the steamboat-
landing, and assumed personal command of all the armies.  He was
attended by his staff, composed of General G. W. Cullum, U. S.
Engineers, as his chief of staff; Colonel George Thom, U. S.
Engineers; and Colonels Kelton and Kemper, adjutants-general.  It
soon became manifest that his mind had been prejudiced by the
rumors which had gone forth to the detriment of General Grant; for
in a few days he issued an order, reorganizing and rearranging the
whole army.  General Buell's Army of the Ohio constituted the
centre; General Pope's army, then arriving at Hamburg Landing, was
the left; the right was made up of mine and Hurlbut's divisions,
belonging to the old Army of the Tennessee, and two new ones, made
up from the fragments of the divisions of Prentiss and C. F. Smith,
and of troops transferred thereto, commanded by Generals T. W.
Sherman and Davies.  General George H. Thomas was taken from Buell,
to command the right.  McClernand's and Lew Wallace's divisions
were styled the reserve, to be commanded by McClernand.  General
Grant was substantially left out, and was named "second in
command," according to some French notion, with no clear,
well-defined command or authority.  He still retained his old
staff, composed of Rawlins, adjutant-general; Riggin, Lagow, and
Hilyer, aides; and he had a small company of the Fourth Illinois
Cavalry as an escort.  For more than a month he thus remained,
without any apparent authority, frequently visiting me and others,
and rarely complaining; but I could see that he felt deeply the
indignity, if not insult, heaped upon him.

General Thomas at once assumed command of the right wing, and,
until we reached Corinth, I served immediately under his command.
We were classmates, intimately acquainted, had served together
before in the old army, and in Kentucky, and it made to us little
difference who commanded the other, provided the good cause

Corinth was about thirty miles distant, and we all knew that we
should find there the same army with which we had so fiercely
grappled at Shiloh, reorganized, reenforced, and commanded in chief
by General Beauregard in place of Johnston, who had fallen at
Shiloh.  But we were also reenforced by Buell's and Pope's armies;
so that before the end of April our army extended from Snake Creek
on the right to the Tennessee River, at Hamburg, on the left, and
must have numbered nearly one hundred thousand men.

Ample supplies of all kinds reached us by the Tennessee River,
which had a good stage of water; but our wagon transportation was
limited, and much confusion occurred in hauling supplies to the
several camps.  By the end of Aril, the several armies seemed to be
ready, and the general forward movement on Corinth began.  My
division was on the extreme right of the right wing, and marched
out by the "White House," leaving Monterey or Pea Ridge to the
south.  Crossing Lick Creek, we came into the main road about a
mile south of Monterey, where we turned square to the right, and
came into the Purdy road, near "Elams."  Thence we followed the
Purdy road to Corinth, my skirmishers reaching at all times the
Mobile & Ohio Railroad.  Of course our marches were governed by the
main centre, which followed the direct road from Pittsburg Landing
to Corinth; and this movement was provokingly slow.  We fortified
almost every camp at night, though we had encountered no serious
opposition, except from cavalry, which gave ground easily as we
advanced.  The opposition increased as we neared Corinth, and at a
place called Russell's we had a sharp affair of one brigade, under
the immediate direction of Brigadier-General Morgan L. Smith,
assisted by the brigade of General Denver.  This affair occurred on
the 19th of May, and our line was then within about two miles of
the northern intrenchments of Corinth.

On the 27th I received orders from General Halleck "to send a force
the next day to drive the rebels from the house in our front, on
the Corinth road, to drive in their pickets as far as possible, and
to make a strong demonstration on Corinth itself;" authorizing me
to call on any adjacent division for assistance.

I reconnoitred the ground carefully, and found that the main road
led forward along the fence of a large cotton-field to our right
front, and ascended a wooded hill, occupied in some force by the
enemy, on which was the farm-house referred to in General Halleck's
orders.  At the farther end of the field was a double log-house,
whose chinking had been removed; so that it formed a good block
house from which the enemy could fire on any person approaching
from our quarter.

General Hurlbut's division was on my immediate left, and General
McClernand's reserve on our right rear.  I asked of each the
assistance of a brigade.  The former sent General Veatch's, and the
latter General John A. Logan's brigade.  I asked the former to
support our left flank, and the latter our right flank.  The next
morning early, Morgan L. Smith's brigade was deployed under cover
on the left, and Denver's on the right, ready to move forward
rapidly at a signal.  I had a battery of four twenty-pound Parrott
guns, commanded by Captain Silversparre.  Colonel Ezra Taylor,
chief of artillery, had two of these guns moved up silently by hand
behind a small knoll, from the crest of which the enemy's
block-house and position could be distinctly seen; when all were
ready, these guns were moved to the crest, and several quick rounds
were fired at the house, followed after an interval by a single
gum.  This was the signal agreed on, and the troops responded
beautifully, crossed the field in line of battle, preceded by their
skirmishers who carried the position in good style, and pursued the
enemy for half a mile beyond.

The main line halted on the crest of the ridge, from which we could
look over the parapets of the rebel works at Corinth, and hear
their drum and bugle calls.  The rebel brigade had evidently been
taken by surprise in our attack; it soon rallied and came back on
us with the usual yell, driving in our skirmishers, but was quickly
checked when it came within range of our guns and line of battle.
Generals Grant and Thomas happened to be with me during this
affair, and were well pleased at the handsome manner in which the
troops behaved.  That night we began the usual entrenchments, and
the next day brought forward the artillery and the rest of the
division, which then extended from the Mobile & Ohio Railroad, at
Bowie Hill Out, to the Corinth & Purdy road, there connecting with
Hurlbut's division.  That night, viz., May 29th, we heard unusual
sounds in Corinth, the constant whistling of locomotives, and soon
after daylight occurred a series of explosions followed by a dense
smoke rising high over the town.  There was a telegraph line
connecting my headquarters with those of General Halleck, about
four miles off, on the Hamburg road.  I inquired if he knew the
cause of the explosions and of the smoke, and he answered to
"advance with my division and feel the enemy if still in my front"
I immediately dispatched two regiments from each of my three
brigades to feel the immediate front, and in a very short time
advanced with the whole division.  Each brigade found the rebel
parapets abandoned, and pushed straight for the town, which lies in
the northeast angle of intersection of the Mobile & Ohio and
Memphis & Charleston Railroads.  Many buildings had been burned by
the enemy on evacuation, which had begun the night before at 6
p.m., and continued through the night, the rear-guard burning their
magazine at the time of withdrawing, about daybreak.  Morgan L.
Smith's brigade followed the retreating rear-guard some four miles
to the Tuacumbia Bridge, which was found burned.  I halted the
other brigades at the college, about a mile to the southwest of the
town, where I was overtaken by General Thomas in person.

The heads of all the columns had entered the rebel lines about the
same time, and there was some rather foolish clamor for the first
honors, but in fact there was no honor in the event.  Beauregard
had made a clean retreat to the south, and was only seriously
pursued by cavalry from General Pope's flank.  But he reached
Tupelo, where he halted for reorganization; and there is no doubt
that at the moment there was much disorganization in his ranks, for
the woods were full of deserters whom we did not even take
prisoners, but advised them to make their way home and stay there.
We spent the day at and near the college, when General Thomas, who
applied for orders at Halleck's headquarters, directed me to
conduct my division back to the camp of the night before, where we
had left our trains The advance on Corinth had occupied all of the
month of May, the most beautiful and valuable month of the year for
campaigning in this latitude.  There had been little fighting, save
on General Pope's left flank about Farmington; and on our right.  I
esteemed it a magnificent drill, as it served for the instruction
of our men in guard and picket duty, and in habituating them to
out-door life; and by the time we had reached Corinth I believe
that army was the best then on this continent, and could have gone
where it pleased.  The four subdivisions were well commanded, as
were the divisions and brigades of the whole army.  General Halleck
was a man of great capacity, of large acquirements, and at the time
possessed the confidence of the country, and of most of the army.
I held him in high estimation, and gave him credit for the
combinations which had resulted in placing this magnificent army of
a hundred thousand men, well equipped and provided, with a good
base, at Corinth, from which he could move in any direction.

Had he held his force as a unit, he could have gone to Mobile, or
Vicksburg, or anywhere in that region, which would by one move have
solved the whole Mississippi problem; and, from what he then told
me, I believe he intended such a campaign, but was overruled from
Washington.  Be that as it may, the army had no sooner settled down
at Corinth before it was scattered: General Pope was called to the
East, and his army distributed among the others; General Thomas was
relieved from the command of the right wing, and reassigned to his
division in the Army of the Ohio; and that whole army under General
Buell was turned east along the Memphis & Charleston road, to march
for Chattanooga.  McClernand's "reserve" was turned west to Bolivar
and Memphis.  General Halleck took post himself at Corinth,
assigned Lieutenant-Colonel McPherson to take charge of the
railroads, with instructions to repair them as far as Columbus,
Kentucky, and to collect cars and locomotives to operate them to
Corinth and Grand Junction.  I was soon dispatched with my own and
Hurlbut's divisions northwest fourteen miles to Chewalla, to save
what could be of any value out of six trains of cars belonging to
the rebels which had been wrecked and partially burned at the time
of the evacuation of Corinth.

A short time before leaving Corinth I rode from my camp to General
Halleck's headquarters, then in tents just outside of the town,
where we sat and gossiped for some time, when he mentioned to me
casually that General Grant was going away the next morning.  I
inquired the cause, and he said that he did not know, but that
Grant had applied for a thirty days' leave, which had been given
him.  Of course we all knew that he was chafing under the slights
of his anomalous position, and I determined to see him on my way
back.  His camp was a short distance off the Monterey road, in the
woods, and consisted of four or five tents, with a sapling railing
around the front.  As I rode up, Majors Rawlins, Lagow, and Hilyer,
were in front of the camp, and piled up near them were the usual
office and camp chests, all ready for a start in the morning.  I
inquired for the general, and was shown to his tent, where I found
him seated on a camp-stool, with papers on a rude camp-table; he
seemed to be employed in assorting letters, and tying them up with
red tape into convenient bundles.  After passing the usual
compliments, I inquired if it were true that he was going away.  He
said, "Yes."  I then inquired the reason, and he said "Sherman, you
know.  You know that I am in the way here.  I have stood it as long
as I can, and can endure it no longer."  I inquired where he was
going to, and he said, "St. Louis."  I then asked if he had any
business there, and he said, "Not a bit."  I then begged him to
stay, illustrating his case by my own.

Before the battle of Shiloh, I had been cast down by a mere
newspaper assertion of "crazy;" but that single battle had given me
new life, and now I was in high feather; and I argued with him
that, if he went away, events would go right along, and he would be
left out; whereas, if he remained, some happy accident might
restore him to favor and his true place.  He certainly appreciated
my friendly advice, and promised to wait awhile; at all events, not
to go without seeing me again, or communicating with me.  Very soon
after this, I was ordered to Chewalla, where, on the 6th of June, I
received a note from him, saying that he had reconsidered his
intention, and would remain.  I cannot find the note, but my answer
I have kept:

Chewalla, Jane 6, 1862.

Major-General GRANT.

My DEAR SIR: I have just received your note, and am rejoiced at
your conclusion to remain; for you could not be quiet at home for a
week when armies were moving, and rest could not relieve your mind
of the gnawing sensation that injustice had been done you.

My orders at Chewalla were to rescue the wrecked trains there, to
reconnoitre westward and estimate the amount of damage to the
railroad as far as Grand Junction, about fifty miles.  We camped
our troops on high, healthy ground to the south of Chewalla, and
after I had personally reconnoitred the country, details of men
were made and volunteer locomotive engineers obtained to
superintend the repairs.  I found six locomotives and about sixty
cars, thrown from the track, parts of the machinery detached and
hidden in the surrounding swamp, and all damaged as much by fire as
possible.  It seems that these trains were inside of Corinth during
the night of evacuation, loading up with all sorts of commissary
stores, etc., and about daylight were started west; but the
cavalry-picket stationed at the Tuscumbia bridge had, by mistake or
panic, burned the bridge before the trains got to them.  The
trains, therefore, were caught, and the engineers and guards
hastily scattered the stores into the swamp, and disabled the
trains as far as they could, before our cavalry had discovered
their critical situation.  The weather was hot, and the swamp
fairly stunk with the putrid flour and fermenting sugar and
molasses; I was so much exposed there in the hot sun, pushing
forward the work, that I got a touch of malarial fever, which hung
on me for a month, and forced me to ride two days in an ambulance,
the only time I ever did such a thing during the whole war.  By the
7th I reported to General Halleck that the amount of work necessary
to reestablish the railroad between Corinth and Grand Junction was
so great, that he concluded not to attempt its repair, but to rely
on the road back to Jackson (Tennessee), and forward to Grand
Junction; and I was ordered to move to Grand Junction, to take up
the repairs from there toward Memphis.

The evacuation of Corinth by Beauregard, and the movements of
General McClernand's force toward Memphis, had necessitated the
evacuation of Fort Pillow, which occurred about June 1st; soon
followed by the further withdrawal of the Confederate army from
Memphis, by reason of the destruction of the rebel gunboats in the
bold and dashing attack by our gun-boats under command of Admiral
Davis, who had succeeded Foote.  This occurred June 7th.  Admiral
Farragut had also captured New Orleans after the terrible passage
of Forts Jackson and St. Philip on May 24th, and had ascended the
river as high as Vicksburg; so that it seemed as though, before the
end of June, we should surely have full possession of the whole
river.  But it is now known that the progress of our Western armies
had aroused the rebel government to the exercise of the most
stupendous energy.  Every man capable of bearing arms at the South
was declared to be a soldier, and forced to act as such.  All their
armies were greatly reenforced, and the most despotic power was
granted to enforce discipline and supplies.  Beauregard was
replaced by Bragg, a man of more ability--of greater powers of
organization, of action, and discipline--but naturally exacting and
severe, and not possessing the qualities to attract the love of his
officers and men.  He had a hard task to bring into order and
discipline that mass of men to whose command he succeeded at
Tupelo, with which he afterward fairly outmanoeuvred General Buell,
and forced him back from Chattanooga to Louisville.  It was a fatal
mistake, however, that halted General Halleck at Corinth, and led
him to disperse and scatter the best materials for a fighting army
that, up to that date, had been assembled in the West.

During the latter part of June and first half of July, I had my own
and Hurlbut's divisions about Grand Junction, Lagrange, Moscow, and
Lafayette, building railroad-trestles and bridges, fighting off
cavalry detachments coming from the south, and waging an
everlasting quarrel with planters about their negroes and fences
--they trying, in the midst of moving armies, to raise a crop of
corn.  On the 17th of June I sent a detachment of two brigades,
under General M. L. Smith, to Holly Springs, in the belief that I
could better protect the railroad from some point in front than
by scattering our men along it; and, on the 23d, I was at
Lafayette Station, when General Grant, with his staff and a very
insignificant escort, arrived from Corinth en route for Memphis, to
take command of that place and of the District of West Tennessee.
He came very near falling into the hands of the enemy, who infested
the whole country with small but bold detachments of cavalry.  Up
to that time I had received my orders direct from General Halleck
at Corinth, but soon after I fell under the immediate command of
General Grant and so continued to the end of the war; but, on the
29th, General Halleck notified me that "a division of troops under
General C. S. Hamilton of 'Rosecrans's army corps,' had passed the
Hatchie from Corinth," and was destined for Holly Springs, ordering
me to "cooperate as far as advisable," but "not to neglect the
protection of the road."  I ordered General Hurlbut to leave
detachments at Grand Junction and Lagrange, and to march for Holly
Springs.  I left detachments at Moscow and Lafayette, and, with
about four thousand men, marched for the same point.  Hurlbut and I
met at Hudsonville, and thence marched to the Coldwater, within
four miles of Holly Springs.  We encountered only small detachments
of rebel cavalry under Colonels Jackson and Pierson, and drove them
into and through Holly Springs; but they hung about, and I kept an
infantry brigade in Holly Springs to keep them out.  I heard
nothing from General Hamilton till the 5th of July, when I received
a letter from him dated Rienzi, saying that he had been within
nineteen miles of Holly Springs and had turned back for Corinth;
and on the next day, July 6th, I got a telegraph order from General
Halleck, of July 2d, sent me by courier from Moscow, "not to
attempt to hold Holly Springs, but to fall back and protect the
railroad."  We accordingly marched back twenty-five miles--Hurlbut
to Lagrange, and I to Moscow.  The enemy had no infantry nearer
than the Tallahatchee bridge, but their cavalry was saucy and
active, superior to ours, and I despaired of ever protecting a
railroad, preventing a broad front of one hundred miles, from their

About this time, we were taunted by the Confederate soldiers and
citizens with the assertion that Lee had defeated McClellan at
Richmond; that he would soon be in Washington; and that our turn
would come next.  The extreme caution of General Halleck also
indicated that something had gone wrong, and, on the 16th of July,
at Moscow, I received a dispatch from him, announcing that he had
been summoned to Washington, which he seemed to regret, and which
at that moment I most deeply deplored.  He announced that his
command would devolve on General Grant, who had been summoned
around from Memphis to Corinth by way of Columbus, Kentucky, and
that I was to go into Memphis to take command of the District of
West Tennessee, vacated by General Grant.  By this time, also, I
was made aware that the great, army that had assembled at Corinth
at the end of May had been scattered and dissipated, and that
terrible disasters had befallen our other armies in Virginia and
the East.

I soon received orders to move to Memphis, taking Hurlbut's
division along.  We reached Memphis on the 21st, and on the 22d I
posted my three brigades mostly in and near Fort Dickering, and
Hurlbut's division next below on the river-bank by reason of the
scarcity of water, except in the Mississippi River itself.  The
weather was intensely hot.  The same order that took us to Memphis
required me to send the division of General Lew Wallace (then
commanded by Brigadier-General A. P. Hovey) to Helena, Arkansas, to
report to General Curtis, which was easily accomplished by
steamboat.  I made my own camp in a vacant lot, near Mr. Moon's
house, and gave my chief attention to the construction of Fort
Pickering, then in charge of Major Prime, United States Engineers;
to perfecting the drill and discipline of the two divisions under
my command; and to the administration of civil affairs.

At the time when General Halleck was  summoned from Corinth to
Washington, to succeed McClellan as commander-in-chief, I surely
expected of him immediate and important results.  The Army of the
Ohio was at the time marching toward Chattanooga, and was strung
from Eastport by Huntsville to Bridgeport, under the command of
General Buell.  In like manner, the Army of the Tennessee was
strung along the same general line, from Memphis to Tuscumbia, and
was commanded by General Grant, with no common commander for both
these forces: so that the great army which General Halleck had so
well assembled at Corinth, was put on the defensive, with a
frontage of three hundred miles.  Soon thereafter the rebels
displayed peculiar energy and military skill.  General Bragg had
reorganized the army of Beauregard at Tupelo, carried it rapidly
and skillfully toward Chattanooga, whence he boldly assumed the
offensive, moving straight for Nashville and Louisville, and
compelling General Buell to fall back to the Ohio River at

The army of Van Dorn and Price had been brought from the
trans-Mississippi Department to the east of the river, and was
collected at and about Holly Springs, where, reenforced by
Armstrong's and Forrests cavalry, it amounted to about forty
thousand brave and hardy soldiers.  These were General Grant's
immediate antagonists, and so many and large detachments had been
drawn from him, that for a time he was put on the defensive.  In
person he had his headquarters at Corinth, with the three divisions
of Hamilton, Davies, and McKean, under the immediate orders of
General Rosecrans.  General Ord had succeeded to the division of
McClernand (who had also gone to Washington), and held Bolivar and
Grand Junction.  I had in Memphis my own and Hurlbut's divisions,
and other smaller detachments were strung along the Memphis &
Charleston road.  But the enemy's detachments could strike this
road at so many points, that no use could be made of it, and
General Grant had to employ the railroads, from Columbus, Kentucky,
to Corinth and Grand Junction, by way of Jackson, Tennessee, a
point common to both roads, and held in some force.

In the early part of September the enemy in our front manifested
great activity, feeling with cavalry at all points, and on the 13th
General Van Dorn threatened Corinth, while General Price seized the
town of Iuka, which was promptly abandoned by a small garrison
under Colonel Murphy.  Price's force was about eight thousand men,
and the general impression was that he was en route for Eastport,
with the purpose to cross the Tennessee River in the direction of
Nashville, in aid of General Bragg, then in full career for
Kentucky.  General Grant determined to attack him in force,
prepared to regain Corinth before Van Dorn could reach it.  He had
drawn Ord to Corinth, and moved him, by Burnsville, on Iuka, by the
main road, twenty-six miles.  General Grant accompanied this column
as far as Burnsville.  At the same time he had dispatched Rosecrans
by roads to the south, via Jacinto, with orders to approach Iuka by
the two main roads, coming into Iuka from the south, viz., they
Jacinto and Fulton roads.

On the 18th General Ord encountered the enemy about four miles out
of Iuka.  His orders contemplated that he should not make a serious
attack, until Rosecrans had gained his position on the south; but,
as usual, Rosecrans had encountered difficulties in the confusion
of roads, his head of column did not reach the vicinity of Iuka
till 4 p.m.  of the 19th, and then his troops were long drawn out
on the single Jacinto road, leaving the Fulton road clear for
Price's use.  Price perceived his advantage, and attacked with
vehemence the head of Rosecrans's column, Hamilton's division,
beating it back, capturing a battery, and killing and disabling
seven hundred and thirty-six men, so that when night closed in
Rosecrans was driven to the defensive, and Price, perceiving his
danger, deliberately withdrew by the Fulton road, and the next
morning was gone.  Although General Ord must have been within four
or six miles of this battle, he did not hear a sound; and he or
General Grant did not know of it till advised the next morning by a
courier who had made a wide circuit to reach them.  General Grant
was much offended with General Rosecrans because of this affair,
but in my experience these concerted movements generally fail,
unless with the very best kind of troops, and then in a country on
whose roads some reliance can be placed, which is not the case in
Northern Mississippi.  If Price was aiming for Tennessee; he
failed, and was therefore beaten.  He made a wide circuit by the
south, and again joined Van Dorn.

On the 6th of September, at Memphis, I received an order from
General Grant dated the 2d, to send Hurlbut's division to
Brownsville, in the direction of Bolivar, thence to report by
letter to him at Jackson.  The division started the same day, and,
as our men and officers had been together side by side from the
first landing at Shiloh, we felt the parting like the breaking up
of a family.  But General Grant was forced to use every man, for he
knew well that Van Dorn could attack him at pleasure, at any point
of his long line.  To be the better prepared, on the 23d of
September he took post himself at Jackson, Tennessee, with a small
reserve force, and gave Rosecrans command of Corinth, with his
three divisions and some detachments, aggregating about twenty
thousand men.  He posted General Ord with his own and Hurlbut'a
divisions at Bolivar, with outposts toward Grand Junction and
Lagrange.  These amounted to nine or ten thousand men, and I held
Memphis with my own division, amounting to about six thousand men.
The whole of General Grant's men at that time may have aggregated
fifty thousand, but he had to defend a frontage of a hundred and
fifty miles, guard some two hundred miles of railway, and as much
river.  Van Dom had forty thousand men, united, at perfect liberty
to move in any direction, and to choose his own point of attack,
under cover of woods, and a superior body of cavalry, familiar with
every foot of the ground.  Therefore General Grant had good reason
for telegraphing to General Halleck, on the 1st of October, that
his position was precarious, "but I hope to get out of it all
right."  In Memphis my business was to hold fast that important
flank, and by that date Fort Dickering had been made very strong,
and capable of perfect defense by a single brigade.  I therefore
endeavored by excursions to threaten Van Dorn's detachments to the
southeast and east.  I repeatedly sent out strong detachments
toward Holly Springs, which was his main depot of supply; and
General Grierson, with his Sixth Illinois, the only cavalry I had,
made some bold and successful dashes at the Coldwater, compelling
Van Dorn to cover it by Armstrong's whole division of cavalry.
Still, by the 1st of October, General Grant was satisfied that the
enemy was meditating an attack in force on Bolivar or Corinth; and
on the 2d Van Dorn made his appearance near Corinth, with his
entire army.  On the 3d he moved down on that place from the north
and northwest, General Roseerana went out some four miles to meet
him, but was worsted and compelled to fall back within the line of
his forts.  These had been began under General Halleck, but were
much strengthened by General Grant, and consisted of several
detached redoubts, bearing on each other, and inclosing the town
and the depots of stores at the intersection of the two railroads.
Van Dorn closed down on the forts by the evening of the 3d, and on
the morning of the 4th assaulted with great vehemence.  Our men,
covered by good parapets, fought gallantly, and defended their
posts well, inflicting terrible losses on the enemy, so that by
noon the rebels were repulsed at all points, and drew off, leaving
their dead and wounded in our hands.  Their losses, were variously
estimated, but the whole truth will probably never be known, for in
that army reports and returns were not the fashion.  General
Rosecrans admitted his own loss to be three hundred and fifteen
killed, eighteen hundred and twelve wounded, and two hundred and
thirty-two missing or prisoners, and claimed on the part of the
rebels fourteen hundred and twenty-three dead, two thousand and
twenty-five prisoners and wounded.  Of course, most of the wounded
must have gone off or been carried off, so that, beyond doubt, the
rebel army lost at Corinth fully six thousand men.

Meantime, General Grant, at Jackson, had dispatched Brigadier-
General McPherson, with a brigade, directly for Corinth, which
reached General Rosecrans after the battle; and, in anticipation of
his victory, had ordered him to pursue instantly, notifying him
that he had ordered Ord's and Hurlbut's divisions rapidly across to
Pocahontas, so as to strike the rebels in flank.  On the morning of
the 5th, General Ord reached the Hatchie River, at Davies bridge,
with four thousand men; crossed over and encountered the retreating
army, captured a battery and several hundred prisoners, dispersing
the rebel advance, and forcing the main column to make a wide
circuit by the south in order to cross the Hatchie River.  Had
General Rosecrans pursued promptly, and been on the heels of this
mass of confused and routed men, Van Dorn's army would surely have
been utterly ruined; as it was, Van Dom regained Holly Springs
somewhat demoralized.

General Rosecrans did not begin his pursuit till the next morning,
the 5th, and it was then too late.  General Grant was again
displeased with him, and never became fully reconciled.  General
Rosecrans was soon after relieved, and transferred to the Army of
the Cumberland, in Tennessee, of which he afterward obtained the
command, in place of General Buell, who was removed.

The effect of the battle of Corinth was very great.  It was,
indeed, a decisive blow to the Confederate cause in our quarter,
and changed the whole aspect of affairs in West Tennessee.  From
the timid defensive we were at once enabled to assume the bold
offensive.  In Memphis I could see its effects upon the citizens,
and they openly admitted that their cause had sustained a
death-blow.  But the rebel government was then at its maximum
strength; Van Dorn was reenforced, and very soon Lieutenant-General
J. C. Pemberton arrived and assumed the command, adopting for his
line the Tallahatchie River, with an advance-guard along the
Coldwater, and smaller detachments forward at Grand Junction and
Hernando.  General Grant, in like manner, was reenforced by new

Out of those which were assigned to Memphis, I organized two new
brigades, and placed them under officers who had gained skill and
experience during the previous campaign.



JULY, 1882 TO JANUARY, 1883

When we first entered Memphis, July 21,1862, I found the place
dead; no business doing, the stores closed, churches, schools, and
every thing shut up.  The people were all more or less in sympathy
with our enemies, and there was a strong prospect that the whole
civil population would become a dead weight on our hands.  Inasmuch
as the Mississippi River was then in our possession northward, and
steamboats were freely plying with passengers and freight, I caused
all the stores to be opened, churches, schools, theatres, and
places of amusement, to be reestablished, and very soon Memphis
resumed its appearance of an active, busy, prosperous place.  I
also restored the mayor (whose name was Parks) and the city
government to the performance of their public functions, and
required them to maintain a good civil police.

Up to that date neither Congress nor the President had made any
clear, well-defined rules touching the negro slaves, and the
different generals had issued orders according to their own
political sentiments.  Both Generals Halleck and Grant regarded the
slave as still a slave, only that the labor of the slave belonged
to his owner, if faithful to the Union, or to the United States, if
the master had taken up arms against the Government, or adhered to
the fortunes of the rebellion.  Therefore, in Memphis, we received
all fugitives, put them to work on the fortifications, supplied
them with food and clothing, and reserved the question of payment
of wages for future decision.  No force was allowed to be used to
restore a fugitive slave to his master in any event; but if the
master proved his loyalty, he was usually permitted to see his
slave, and, if he could persuade him to return home, it was
permitted.  Cotton, also, was a fruitful subject of controversy.
The Secretary of the Treasury; Mr. Chase, was extremely anxious at
that particular time to promote the purchase of cotton, because
each bale was worth, in gold, about three hundred dollars, and
answered the purpose of coin in our foreign exchanges.  He
therefore encouraged the trade, so that hundreds of greedy
speculators flocked down the Mississippi, and resorted to all sorts
of measures to obtain cotton from the interior, often purchasing it
from negroes who did not own it, but who knew where it was
concealed.  This whole business was taken from the jurisdiction of
the military, and committed to Treasury agents appointed by Mr.

Other questions absorbed the attention of military commanders; and
by way of illustration I here insert a few letters from my
"letter-book," which contains hundreds on similar subjects:

Memphis, Tennessee, August 11, 1862

Hon. S. P. CHASE, Secretary of the Treasury.

Sir: Your letter of August 2d, just received, invites my discussion
of the cotton question.

I will write plainly and slowly, because I know you have no time to
listen to trifles.  This is no trifle; when one nation is at war
with another, all the people of the one are enemies of the other:
then the rules are plain and easy of understanding.  Most
unfortunately, the war in which we are now engaged has been
complicated with the belief on the one hand that all on the other
are not enemies.  It would have been better if, at the outset, this
mistake had not been made, and it is wrong longer to be misled by
it.  The Government of the United States may now safely proceed on
the proper rule that all in the South are enemies of all in the
North; and not only are they unfriendly, but all who can procure
arms now bear them as organized regiments, or as guerrillas.  There
is not a garrison in Tennessee where a man can go beyond the sight
of the flag-staff without being shot or captured.  It so happened
that these people had cotton, and, whenever they apprehended our
large armies would move, they destroyed the cotton in the belief
that, of course, we world seize it, and convert it to our use.
They did not and could not dream that we would pay money for it.
It had been condemned to destruction by their own acknowledged
government, and was therefore lost to their people; and could have
been, without injustice, taken by us, and sent away, either as
absolute prize of war, or for future compensation.  But the
commercial enterprise of the Jews soon discovered that ten cents
would buy a pound of cotton behind our army; that four cents would
take it to Boston, where they could receive thirty cents in gold.
The bait was too tempting, and it spread like fire, when here they
discovered that salt, bacon, powder, fire-arms, percussion-caps,
etc., etc., were worth as much as gold; and, strange to say, this
traffic was not only permitted, but encouraged.  Before we in the
interior could know it, hundreds, yea thousands of barrels of salt
and millions of dollars had been disbursed; and I have no doubt
that Bragg's army at Tupelo, and Van Dorn's at Vicksburg, received
enough salt to make bacon, without which they could not have moved
their armies in mass; and that from ten to twenty thousand fresh
arms, and a due supply of cartridges, have also been got, I am
equally satisfied.  As soon as I got to Memphis, having seen the
effect in the interior, I ordered (only as to my own command) that
gold, silver, and Treasury notes, were contraband of war, and
should not go into the interior, where all were hostile.  It is
idle to talk about Union men here: many want peace, and fear war
and its results; but all prefer a Southern, independent government,
and are fighting or working for it.  Every gold dollar that was
spent for cotton, was sent to the seaboard, to be exchanged for
bank-notes and Confederate scrip, which will buy goods here, and
are taken in ordinary transactions.  I therefore required cotton to
be paid for in such notes, by an obligation to pay at the end of
the war, or by a deposit of the price in the hands of a trustee,
viz., the United States Quartermaster.  Under these rules cotton is
being obtained about as fast as by any other process, and yet the
enemy receives no "aid or comfort."  Under the "gold" rule, the
country people who had concealed their cotton from the burners, and
who openly scorned our greenbacks, were willing enough to take
Tennessee money, which will buy their groceries; but now that the
trade is to be encouraged, and gold paid out, I admit that cotton
will be sent in by our open enemies, who can make better use of
gold than they can of their hidden bales of cotton.

I may not appreciate the foreign aspect of the question, but my
views on this may be ventured.  If England ever threatens war
because we don't furnish her cotton, tell her plainly if she can't
employ and feed her own people, to send them here, where they
cannot only earn an honest living, but soon secure independence by
moderate labor.  We are not bound to furnish her cotton.  She has
more reason to fight the South for burning that cotton, than us for
not shipping it.  To aid the South on this ground would be
hypocrisy which the world would detect at once.  Let her make her
ultimatum, and there are enough generous minds in Europe that will
counteract her in the balance.  Of course her motive is to cripple
a power that rivals her in commerce and manufactures, that
threatens even to usurp her history.  In twenty more years of
prosperity, it will require a close calculation to determine
whether England, her laws and history, claim for a home the
Continent of America or the Isle of Britain.  Therefore, finding us
in a death-struggle for existence, she seems to seek a quarrel to
destroy both parts in detail.

Southern people know this full well, and will only accept the
alliance of England in order to get arms and manufactures in
exchange for their cotton.  The Southern Confederacy will accept no
other mediation, because she knows full well that in Old England
her slaves and slavery will receive no more encouragement than in
New England.

France certainly does not need our cotton enough to disturb her
equilibrium, and her mediation would be entitled to a more respect
consideration than on the part of her present ally.  But I feel
assured the French will not encourage rebellion and secession
anywhere as a political doctrine.  Certainly all the German states
must be our ardent friends; and, in case of European intervention;
they could not be kept down.

With great respect, your obedient servant,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

23, 1862

Dr. E. S. PLUMMER and others, Physician  in Memphis, Signers to a

GENTLEMEN: I have this moment received your communication, and
assure you that it grieves my heart thus to be the instrument of
adding to the seeming cruelty and hardship of this unnatural war.

On my arrival here, I found my predecessor (General Hovey) had
issued an order permitting the departure south of all persons
subject to the conscript law of the Southern Confederacy.  Many
applications have been made to me to modify this order, but I
regarded it as a condition precedent by which I was bound in honor,
and therefore I have made no changes or modifications; nor shall I
determine what action I shall adopt in relation to persons
unfriendly to our cause who remain after the time limited by
General Hovey's order had expired.  It is now sunset, and all who
have not availed themselves of General Hovey's authority, and who
remain in Memphis, are supposed to be loyal and true men.

I will only say that I cannot allow the personal convenience of
even a large class of ladies to influence me in my determination to
make Memphis a safe place of operations for an army, and all people
who are unfriendly should forthwith prepare to depart in such
direction as I may hereafter indicate.

Surgeons are not liable to be made prisoners of war, but they
should not reside within the lines of an army which they regard as
hostile.  The situation would be too delicate.

I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.


SAMUEL SAWYER, Esq., Editor Union Appeal, Memphis.

DEAR SIR: It is well I should come to an understanding at once
with the press as well as the people of Memphis, which I am ordered
to command; which means, to control for the interest, welfare; and
glory of the whole Government of the United States.

Personalities in a newspaper are wrong and criminal.  Thus, though
you meant to be complimentary in your sketch of my career, you make
more than a dozen mistakes of fact, which I need not correct, as I
don't desire my biography to be written till I am dead.  It is
enough for the world to know that I live and am a soldier, bound to
obey the orders of my superiors, the laws of my country, and to
venerate its Constitution; and that, when discretion is given me, I
shall exercise it wisely and account to my superiors.

I regard your article headed "City Council--General Sherman and
Colonel Slack," as highly indiscreet.  Of course, no person who can
jeopardize the safety of Memphis can remain here, much less
exercise public authority; but I must take time, and be satisfied
that injustice be not done.

If the parties named be the men you describe, the fact should not
be published, to put them on their guard and thus to encourage
their escape.  The evidence should be carefully collected,
authenticated, and then placed in my hands.  But your statement of
facts is entirely qualified; in my mind, and loses its force by
your negligence of the very simple facts within your reach as to
myself: I had been in the army six years in 1846; am not related by
blood to any member of Lucas, Turner & Co.; was associated with
them in business six years (instead of two); am not colonel of the
Fifteenth Infantry, but of the Thirteenth.  Your correction, this
morning, of the acknowledged error as to General Denver and others,
is still erroneous.  General Morgan L. Smith did not belong to my
command at the battle of Shiloh at all, but he was transferred to
my division just before reaching Corinth.  I mention these facts in
kindness, to show you how wrong it is to speak of persons.

I will attend to the judge, mayor, Boards of Aldermen, and
policemen, all in good time.

Use your influence to reestablish system, order, government.  You
may rest easy that no military commander is going to neglect
internal safety, or to guard against external danger; but to do
right requires time, and more patience than I usually possess.  If
I find the press of Memphis actuated by high principle and a sole
devotion to their country, I will be their best friend; but, if I
find them personal, abusive, dealing in innuendoes and hints at a
blind venture, and looking to their own selfish aggrandizement and
fame, then they had better look out; for I regard such persons as
greater enemies to their country and to mankind than the men who,
from a mistaken sense of State pride, have taken up muskets, and
fight us about as hard as we care about.  In haste, but in
kindness, yours, etc.,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE, July 27, 1882.

JOHN PARK, Mayor of Memphis, present.

Sir: Yours of July 24th is before me, and has received, as all
similar papers ever will, my careful and most respectful
consideration.  I have the most unbounded respect for the civil
law, courts, and authorities, and shall do all in my power to
restore them to their proper use, viz., the protection of life,
liberty, and property.

Unfortunately, at this time, civil war prevails in the land, and
necessarily the military, for the time being, must be superior to
the civil authority, but it does not therefore destroy it.  Civil
courts and executive officers should still exist and perform
duties, without which civil or municipal bodies would soon pass
into disrespect--an end to be avoided.  I am glad to find in
Memphis a mayor and municipal authorities not only in existence,
but in the co-exercise of important functions, and I shall endeavor
to restore one or more civil tribunals for the arbitration of
contracts and punishment of crimes, which the military have neither
time nor inclination to interfere with.  Among these, first in
importance is the maintenance of order, peace, and quiet, within
the jurisdiction of Memphis.  To insure this, I will keep a strong
provost guard in the city, but will limit their duty to guarding
public property held or claimed by the United States, and for the
arrest and confinement of State prisoners and soldiers who are
disorderly or improperly away from their regiments.  This guard
ought not to arrest citizens for disorder or minor crimes.  This
should be done by the city police.  I understand that the city
police is too weak in numbers to accomplish this perfectly, and I
therefore recommend that the City Council at once take steps to
increase this force to a number which, in their judgment, day and
night can enforce your ordinances as to peace, quiet, and order; so
that any change in our military dispositions will not have a
tendency to leave your people unguarded.  I am willing to instruct
the provost guard to assist the police force when any combination
is made too strong for them to overcome; but the city police should
be strong enough for any probable contingency.  The cost of
maintaining this police force must necessarily fall upon all
citizens equitably.  I am not willing, nor do I think it good
policy, for the city authorities to collect the taxes belonging to
the State and County, as you recommend; for these would have to be
refunded.  Better meet the expenses at once by a new tax on all
interested.  Therefore, if you, on consultation with the proper
municipal body, will frame a good bill for the increase of your
police force, and for raising the necessary means for their support
and maintenance, I will approve it and aid you in the collection of
the tax.  Of course, I cannot suggest how this tax should be laid,
but I think that it should be made uniform on all interests, real
estate, and personal property, including money, and merchandise.

All who are protected should share the expenses in proportion to
the interests involved.  I am, with respect, your obedient servant,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General commanding.

MEMPHIS, August 7, 1862.

Captain FITCH, Assistant Quartermaster, Memphis, Tennessee.

SIR: The duties devolving on the quartermaster of this post, in
addition to his legitimate functions, are very important and
onerous, and I am fully aware that the task is more than should
devolve on one man.  I will endeavor to get you help in the person
of some commissioned officer, and, if possible, one under bond, as
he must handle large amounts of money in trust; but, for the
present, we most execute the duties falling to our share as well as
possible.  On the subject of vacant houses, General Grant's orders
are: "Take possession of all vacant stores and houses in the city,
and have them rented at reasonable rates; rent to be paid monthly
in advance.  These buildings, with their tenants, can be turned
over to proprietors on proof of loyalty; also take charge of such
as have been leased out by disloyal owners."

I understand that General Grant takes the rents and profits of this
class of real property under the rules and laws of war, and not
under the confiscation act of Congress; therefore the question of
title is not involved simply the possession, and the rents and
profits of houses belonging to our enemies, which are not vacant,
we hold in trust for them or the Government, according to the
future decisions of the proper tribunals.

Mr. McDonald, your chief agent in renting and managing this
business, called on me last evening and left with me written
questions, which it would take a volume to answer and a Webster to
elucidate; but as we can only attempt plain, substantial justice, I
will answer these questions as well as I can, briefly and to the

First.  When ground is owned by parties who have gone south, and
have leased the ground to parties now in the city who own the
improvements on the ground?

Answer.  The United States takes the rents due the owner of the
land; does not disturb the owner of the improvements.

Second.  When parties owning houses have gone south, and the tenant
has given his notes for the rent in advance?

Answer.  Notes are mere evidence of the debt due landlord.  The
tenant pays the rent to the quartermaster, who gives a bond of
indemnity against the notes representing the debt for the
particular rent.

Third.  When the tenant has expended several months' rent in
repairs on the house?

Answer.  Of course, allow all such credits on reasonable proof and

Fourth.  When the owner has gone south, and parties here hold liens
on the property and are collecting the rents to satisfy their

Answer.  The rent of a house can only be mortgaged to a person in
possession.  If a loyal tenant be in possession and claim the rent
from himself as due to himself on some other debt, allow it; but,
if not in actual possession of the property, rents are not good
liens for a debt, but must be paid to the quartermaster.

Fifth.  Of parties claiming foreign protection?

Answer.  Many claim foreign protection who are not entitled to it.
If they are foreign subjects residing for business in this,
country, they are entitled to consideration and protection so
long as they obey the laws of the country.  If they occupy
houses belonging to absent rebels, they must pay rent to the
quarter-master.  If they own property, they must occupy it by
themselves, tenants, or servants.

Eighth.  When houses are occupied and the owner has gone south,
leaving an agent to collect rent for his benefit?

Answer.  Rent must be paid to the quartermaster.  No agent can
collect and remit money south without subjecting himself to arrest
and trial for aiding and abetting the public enemy.

Ninth..  When houses are owned by loyal citizens, but are

Answer.  Such should not be disturbed, but it would be well to
advise them to have some servant at the house to occupy it.

Tenth.  When parties who occupy the house are creditors of the
owner, who has gone south? Answer.  You only look to collection of
rents.  Any person who transmits money south is liable to arrest
and trial for aiding and abetting the enemy; but I do not think it
our business to collect debts other than rents.

Eleventh.  When the parties who own the property have left the city
under General Hovey's Order No. 1, but are in the immediate
neighborhood, on their plantations?

Answer.  It makes no difference where they are, so they are absent.

Twelfth.  When movable property is found in stores that are closed?

Answer.  The goods are security for the rent.  If the owner of the
goods prefers to remove the goods to paying rent, he can do so.

Thirteenth.  When the owner lives in town, and refuses to take the
oath of allegiance?

Answer.  If the house be occupied, it does not fall under the
order.  If the house be vacant, it does.  The owner can recover his
property by taking the oath.

All persons in Memphis residing within our military lines are
presumed to be loyal, good citizens, and may at any moment be
called to serve on juries, posses comitatua, or other civil service
required by the Constitution and laws of our country.  Should they
be called upon to do such duty, which would require them to
acknowledge their allegiance and subordination to the Constitution
of the United States, it would then be too late to refuse.  So long
as they remain quiet and conform to these laws, they are entitled
to protection in their property and lives.

We have nothing to do with confiscation.  We only deal with
possession, and therefore the necessity of a strict accountability,
because the United States assumes the place of trustee, and must
account to the rightful owner for his property, rents, and profits.
In due season courts will be established to execute the laws, the
confiscation act included, when we will be relieved of this duty
and trust.  Until that time, every opportunity should be given to
the wavering and disloyal to return to their allegiance to the
Constitution of their birth or adoption.  I am, etc.,


Major-General commanding.

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE, August 26,1862

Major-General GRANT, Corinth, Mississippi.

Sir: In pursuance of your request that I should keep you advised of
matters of interest here, in addition to the purely official
matters, I now write.

I dispatched promptly the thirteen companies of cavalry, nine of
Fourth Illinois, and four of Eleventh Illinois, to their respective
destinations, punctually on the 23d instant, although the order was
only received on the 22d.  I received at the same time, from
Colonel Dickey, the notice that the bridge over Hatchie was burned,
and therefore I prescribed their order of march via Bolivar.  They
started at 12 m.  of the 23d, and I have no news of them since.
None of the cavalry ordered to me is yet heard from.

The guerrillas have destroyed several bridges over Wolf Creek; one
at Raleigh, on the road by which I had prescribed trade and travel
to and from the city.  I have a strong guard at the lower bridge
over Wolf River, by which we can reach the country to the north of
that stream; but, as the Confederates have burned their own
bridges, I will hold them to my order, and allow no trade over any
other road than the one prescribed, using the lower or Randolph
road for our own convenience.  I am still satisfied there is no
large force of rebels anywhere in the neighborhood.  All the navy
gunboats are below except the St. Louis, which lies off the city.
When Commodore Davis passes down from Cairo, I will try to see him,
and get him to exchange the St. Louis for a fleeter boat not
iron-clad; one that can move up and down the river, to break up
ferry-boats and canoes, and to prevent all passing across the
river.  Of course, in spite of all our efforts, smuggling is
carried on.  We occasionally make hauls of clothing, gold-lace,
buttons, etc., but I am satisfied that salt and arms are got to the
interior somehow.  I have addressed the Board of Trade a letter on
this point, which will enable us to control it better.

You may have been troubled at hearing reports of drunkenness here.
There was some after pay-day, but generally all is as quiet and
orderly as possible.  I traverse the city every day and night, and
assert that Memphis is and has been as orderly a city as St. Louis,
Cincinnati, or New York.

Before the city authorities undertook to license saloons, there was
as much whiskey here as now, and it would take all my command as
customhouse inspectors, to break open all the parcels and packages
containing liquor.  I can destroy all groggeries and shops where
soldiers get liquor just as we would in St. Louis.

The newspapers are accusing me of cruelty to the sick; as base a
charge as was ever made.  I would not let the Sanitary Committee
carry off a boat-load of sick, because I have no right to.  We have
good hospitals here, and plenty of them.  Our regimental hospitals
are in the camps of the men, and the sick do much better there than
in the general hospitals; so say my division surgeon and the
regimental surgeons.  The civilian doctors would, if permitted,
take away our entire command.  General Curtis sends his sick up
here, but usually no nurses; and it is not right that nurses should
be taken from my command for his sick.  I think that, when we are
endeavoring to raise soldiers and to instruct them, it is bad
policy to keep them at hospitals as attendants and nurses.

I send you Dr. Derby's acknowledgment that he gave the leave of
absence of which he was charged.  I have placed him in arrest, in
obedience to General Halleck's orders, but he remains in charge of
the Overton Hospital, which is not full of patients.

The State Hospital also is not full, and I cannot imagine what Dr.
Derby wants with the Female Academy on Vance Street.  I will see
him again, and now that he is the chief at Overton Hospital, I
think he will not want the academy.  Still, if he does, under your
orders I will cause it to be vacated by the children and Sisters of
Mercy.  They have just advertised for more scholars, and will be
sadly disappointed.  If, however, this building or any other be
needed for a hospital, it must be taken; but really, in my heart, I
do not see what possible chance there is, under present
circumstances, of filling with patients the two large hospitals now
in use, besides the one asked for.  I may, however, be mistaken in
the particular building asked for by Dr. Derby, and will go myself
to see.

The fort is progressing well, Captain Jenney having arrived.
Sixteen heavy guns are received, with a large amount of shot and
shell, but the platforms are not yet ready; still, if occasion
should arise for dispatch, I can put a larger force to work.
Captain Prime, when here, advised that the work should proceed
regularly under the proper engineer officers and laborers.
I am, etc.,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General commanding.

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE, September 4, 1862

Colonel J. C, KELTON, Assistant Adjutant-General, Headquarters of
the army, Washington, D. C.

DEAR COLONEL: Please acknowledge to the major-general commanding
the receipt by me of his letter, and convey to him my assurances
that I have promptly modified my first instructions about cotton,
so as to conform to his orders.  Trade in cotton is now free, but
in all else I endeavor so to control it that the enemy shall
receive no contraband goods, or any aid or comfort; still I feel
sure that the officers of steamboats are sadly tempted by high
prices to land salt and other prohibited articles at waypoints
along the river.  This, too, in time will be checked.  All seems
well here and hereabout; no large body of the enemy within striking
distance.  A force of about two thousand, cavalry passed through
Grand Junction north last Friday, and fell on a detachment of the
Bolivar army at Middleburg, the result of which is doubtless
reported to you.  As soon as I heard of the movement, I dispatched
a force to the southeast by way of diversion, and am satisfied that
the enemy's infantry and artillery fell back in consequence behind
the Tallahatchie.  The weather is very hot, country very dry, and
dust as bad as possible.  I hold my two divisions ready, with their
original complement of transportation, for field service.  Of
course all things most now depend on events in front of Washington
and in Kentucky.  The gunboat Eastport and four transports loaded
with prisoners of war destined for Vicksburg have been lying before
Memphis for two days, but are now steaming up to resume their
voyage.  Our fort progresses well, but our guns are not yet
mounted.  The engineers are now shaping the banquette to receive
platforms.  I expect Captain Prime from Corinth in two or three

I am, with great respect, yours,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General commanding.

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE, September 21, 1862

Editor Bulletin.

SIR: Your comments on the recent orders of Generals Halleck and
McClellan afford the occasion appropriate for me to make public the
fact that there is a law of Congress, as old as our Government
itself, but reenacted on the 10th of April, 1806, and in force ever
since.  That law reads:

"All officers and soldiers are to behave themselves orderly in
quarters and on the march; and whoever shall commit any waste or
spoil, either in walks of trees, parks, warrens, fish-ponds, houses
and gardens, cornfields, inclosures or meadows, or shall
maliciously destroy any property whatever belonging to the
inhabitants of the United States, unless by order of the
commander-in-chief of the armies of said United States, shall
(besides such penalties as they are liable to by law) be punished
according to the nature and degree of the offense, by the judgment
of a general or regimental court-martial."

Such is the law of Congress; and the orders of the commander-
in-chief are, that officers or soldiers convicted of straggling and
pillaging shall be punished with death.  These orders have not come
to me officially, but I have seen them in newspapers, and am
satisfied that they express the determination of the commander-
in-chief.  Straggling and pillaging have ever been great military
crimes; and every officer and soldier in my command knows what
stress I have laid upon them, and that, so far as in my power lies,
I will punish them to the full extent of the law and orders.

The law is one thing, the execution of the law another.  God
himself has commanded: "Thou shalt not kill,"  "thou shalt not
steal,"  "thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's goods," etc.  Will
any one say these things are not done now as well as before these
laws were announced at Sinai.  I admit the law to be that "no officer
or soldier of the United States shall commit waste or destruction
of cornfields, orchards, potato-patches, or any kind of pillage on
the property of friend or foe near Memphis," and that I stand
prepared to execute the law as far as possible.

No officer or soldier should enter the house or premises of any
peaceable citizen, no matter what his politics, unless on business;
and no such officer or soldier can force an entrance unless he have
a written order from a commanding officer or provost-marshal, which
written authority must be exhibited if demanded.  When property
such as forage, building or other materials are needed by the
United States, a receipt will be given by the officer taking them,
which receipt should be presented to the quartermaster, who will
substitute therefor a regular voucher, to be paid-according to the
circumstances of the case.  If the officer refuse to give such
receipt, the citizen may fairly infer that the property is
wrongfully taken, and he should, for his own protection, ascertain
the name, rank, and regiment of the officer, and report him in
writing.  If any soldier commits waste or destruction, the person
whose property is thus wasted must find out the name, company, and
regiment of the actual transgressor.  In order to punish there must
be a trial, and there must be testimony.  It is not sufficient that
a general accusation be made, that soldiers are doing this or that.
I cannot punish my whole command, or a whole battalion, because one
or two bad soldiers do wrong.  The punishment must reach the
perpetrators, and no one can identify them as well as the party who
is interested.  The State of Tennessee does not hold itself
responsible for acts of larceny committed by her citizens, nor does
the United Staten or any other nation.  These are individual acts
of wrong, and punishment can only be inflicted on the wrong-doer.
I know the difficulty of identifying particular soldiers, but
difficulties do not alter the importance of principles of justice.
They should stimulate the parties to increase their efforts to find
out the actual perpetrators of the crime.

Colonels of regiments and commanders of corps are liable to severe
punishment for permitting their men to leave their camps to commit
waste or destruction; but I know full well that many of the acts
attributed to soldiers are committed by citizens and negroes, and
are charged to soldiers because of a desire to find fault with
them; but this only reacts upon the community and increases the
mischief.  While every officer would willingly follow up an
accusation against any one or more of his men whose names or
description were given immediately after the discovery of the act,
he would naturally resent any general charge against his good men,
for the criminal conduct of a few bad ones.

I have examined into many of the cases of complaint made in this
general way, and have felt mortified that our soldiers should do
acts which are nothing more or less than stealing, but I was
powerless without some clew whereby to reach the rightful party.  I
know that the great mass of our soldiers would scorn to steal or
commit crime, and I will not therefore entertain vague and general
complaints, but stand, prepared always to follow up any reasonable
complaint when the charge is definite and the names of witnesses

I know, moreover, in some instances when our soldiers are
complained of, that they have been insulted by sneering remarks
about "Yankees,"  "Northern barbarians,"  "Lincoln's hirelings,"
etc.  People who use such language must seek redress through some
one else, for I will not tolerate insults to our country or cause.
When people forget their obligations to a Government that made them
respected among the nations of the earth, and speak contemptuously
of the flag which is the silent emblem of that country, I will not
go out of my way to protect them or their property.  I will punish
the soldiers for trespass or waste if adjudged by a court-martial,
because they disobey orders; but soldiers are men and citizens as
well as soldiers, and should promptly resent any insult to their
country, come from what quarter it may.  I mention this phase
because it is too common.  Insult to a soldier does not justify
pillage, but it takes from the officer the disposition he would
otherwise feel to follow up the inquiry and punish the wrong-doers.

Again, armies in motion or stationary must commit some waste.
Flankers must let down fences and cross fields; and, when an attack
is contemplated or apprehended, a command will naturally clear the
ground of houses, fences, and trees.  This is waste, but is the
natural consequence of war, chargeable on those who caused the war.
So in fortifying a place, dwelling-houses must be taken, materials
used, even wasted, and great damage done, which in the end may
prove useless.  This, too, is an expense not chargeable to us, but
to those who made the war; and generally war is destruction and
nothing else.

We must bear this in mind, that however peaceful things look, we
are really at war; and much that looks like waste or destruction is
only the removal of objects that obstruct our fire, or would afford
cover to an enemy.

This class of waste must be distinguished from the wanton waste
committed by army-stragglers, which is wrong, and can be punished
by the death-penalty if proper testimony can be produced.

Yours, etc.,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General commanding.

Satisfied that, in the progress of the war, Memphis would become an
important depot, I pushed forward the construction of Fort
Pickering, kept most of the troops in camps back of the city, and
my own headquarters remained in tents on the edge of the city, near
Mr. Moon's house, until, on the approach of winter, Mrs. Sherman
came down with the children to visit me, when I took a house nearer
the fort.

All this time battalion and brigade drills were enforced, so that,
when the season approached for active operations farther south, I
had my division in the best possible order, and about the 1st of
November it was composed as follows:

First Brigade, Brigadier-General M. L. SMITH--Eighth Missouri,
Colonel G. A. Smith; Sixth Missouri, Colonel Peter E. Bland; One
Hundred and Thirteenth Illinois, Colonel George B. Hoge;
Fifty-fourth Ohio, Colonel T. Kilby Smith; One Hundred and
Twentieth Illinois, Colonel G. W. McKeaig.

Second Brigade, Colonel JOHN ADAIR McDOWELL.--Sixth Iowa,
Lieutenant-Colonel John M. Corse; Fortieth Illinois, Colonel J. W.
Booth; Forty-sixth Ohio, Colonel O. C. Walcutt; Thirteenth United
States Infantry, First Battalion, Major D. Chase.

Third Brigade, Brigadier-General J. W. DENVER.--Forty-eighth Ohio,
Colonel P. J. Sullivan; Fifty-third Ohio, Colonel W. S. Jones;
Seventieth Ohio, Colonel J. R. Cockerill.

Fourth Brigade, Colonel DAVID STUART.--Fifty-fifth Illinois,
Colonel O. Malmburg; Fifty-seventh Ohio, Colonel W. Mungen;
Eighty-third Indiana, Colonel B. Spooner; One Hundred and Sixteenth
Illinois, Colonel Tupper; One Hundred and Twenty-seventh Illinois,
Lieutenant-Colonel Eldridge.

Fifth Brigade, Colonel R. P. BUCKLAND.--Seventy-second Ohio,
Lieutenant-Colonel D. W. C. Loudon; Thirty-second Wisconsin,
Colonel J. W. Howe; Ninety-third Indiana, Colonel Thomas;
Ninety-third Illinois, Major J. M. Fisher.

Subsequently, Brigadier-General J. G. Lauman arrived at Memphis,
and I made up a sixth brigade, and organized these six brigades
into three divisions, under Brigadier-Generals M. L. Smith, J. W.
Denver, and J. G. Lauman.

About the 17th of November I received an order from General Grant,

LAGRANGE, November 16, 1862.

Meet me at Columbus, Kentucky, on Thursday next.  If you have a
good map of the country south of you, take it up with you.

U. S. GRANT, Major-General.

I started forthwith by boat, and met General Grant, who had reached
Columbus by the railroad from Jackson, Tennessee.  He explained to
me that he proposed to move against Pemberton, then intrenched on a
line behind the Tallahatchie River below Holly Springs; that he
would move on Holly Springs and Abberville, from Grand Junction;
that McPherson, with the troops at Corinth, would aim to make
junction with him at Holly Springs; and that he wanted me to leave
in Memphis a proper garrison, and to aim for the Tallahatchie, so
as to come up on his right by a certain date.  He further said that
his ultimate object was to capture Vicksburg, to open the
navigation of the Mississippi River, and that General Halleck had
authorized him to call on the troops in the Department of Arkansas,
then commanded by General S. R. Curtis, for cooperation.  I
suggested to him that if he would request General Curtis to send an
expedition from some point on the Mississippi, near Helena, then
held in force, toward Grenada, to the rear of Pemberton, it would
alarm him for the safety of his communications, and would assist us
materially in the proposed attack on his front.  He authorized me
to send to the commanding officer at Helena a request to that
effect, and, as soon as I reached Memphis, I dispatched my aide,
Major McCoy, to Helena, who returned, bringing me a letter from
General Frederick Steele, who had just reached Helena with
Osterhaus's division, and who was temporarily in command, General
Curtis having gone to St. Louis.  This letter contained the
assurance that he "would send from Friar's Point a large force
under Brigadier-General A. P. Hovey in the direction of Grenada,
aiming to reach the Tallahatchie at Charleston, on the next Monday,
Tuesday, or Wednesday (December 1st) at furthest."  My command was
appointed to start on Wednesday, November 24th, and meantime
Major-General S. A. Hurlbut, having reported for duty, was assigned
to the command of Memphis, with four regiments of infantry one
battery of artillery, two companies of Thielman's cavalry and the
certain prospect of soon receiving a number of new regiments, known
to be en route.

I marched out of Memphis punctually with three small divisions,
taking different roads till we approached the Tallahatchie, when we
converged on Wyatt to cross the river, there a bold, deep stream,
with a newly-constructed fort behind.  I had Grierson's Sixth
Illinois Cavalry with me, and with it opened communication with
General Grant when we were abreast of Holly Springs.  We reached
Wyatt on the 2d day of December without the least opposition, and
there learned that Pemberton's whole army had fallen back to the
Yalabusha near Grenada, in a great measure by reason of the
exaggerated reports concerning the Helena force, which had reached
Charleston; and some of General Hovey's cavalry, under General
Washburn, having struck the railroad in the neighborhood of
Coffeeville, naturally alarmed General Pemberton for the safety of
his communications, and made him let go his Tallahatchie line with
all the forts which he had built at great cost in labor.  We had to
build a bridge at Wyatt, which consumed a couple of days, and on
the 5th of December my whole command was at College Hill, ten miles
from Oxford, whence I reported to General Grant in Oxford.

On the 8th I received the following letter:

OXFORD MISSISSIPPI, December 8, 1862--Morning

General SHERMAN, College Hill.

DEAR GENERAL: The following is a copy of dispatch just received
from Washington:

WASHINGTON, December 7, 1862--12M

General GRANT:

The capture of Grenada may change our plans in regard to Vicksburg.
You will move your troops as you may deem best to accomplish the
great object in view.  You will retain, till further orders, all
troops of General Curtis now in your department.  Telegraph to
General Allen in St. Louis for all steamboats you may require.  Ask
Porter to cooperate.  Telegraph what are your present plans.

H. W. HALLECK, General-in.-Chief.

I wish you would come over this evening and stay to-night, or come
in the morning.  I would like to talk with you about this matter.
My notion is to send two divisions back to Memphis, and fix upon a
day when they should effect a landing, and press from here with
this command at the proper time to cooperate.  If I do not do this
I will move our present force to Grenada, including Steele's,
repairing road as we proceed, and establish a depot of provisions
there.  When a good ready is had, to move immediately on Jackson,
Mississippi, cutting loose from the road.  Of the two plans I look
most favorably on the former.

Come over and we will talk this matter over.
Yours truly,

U. S. GRANT, Major-General.

I repaired at once to Oxford, and found General Grant in a large
house with all his staff, and we discussed every possible chance.
He explained to me that large reenforcements had been promised,
which would reach Memphis very soon, if not already there; that the
entire gunboat fleet, then under the command of Admiral D. D.
Porter, would cooperate; that we could count on a full division
from the troops at Helena; and he believed that, by a prompt
movement, I could make a lodgment up the Yazoo and capture
Vicksburg from the rear; that its garrison was small, and he, at
Oxford, would so handle his troops as to hold Pemberton away from
Vicksburg.  I also understood that, if Pemberton should retreat
south, he would follow him up, and would expect to find me at the
Yazoo River, if not inside of Vicksburg.  I confess, at that moment
I did not dream that General McClernand, or anybody else, was
scheming for the mere honor of capturing Vicksburg.  We knew at the
time that General Butler had been reenforced by General Banks at
New Orleans, and the latter was supposed to be working his way
up-stream from New Orleans, while we were working down.  That day
General Grant dispatched to General Halleck, in Washington, as

OXFORD, December 8, 1862.

Major-General H. W. HALLECK, Washington, D. C.:

General Sherman will command the expedition down the Mississippi.
He will have a force of about forty thousand men; will land above
Vicksburg (up the Yazoo, if practicable), and out the Mississippi
Central road and the road running east from Vicksburg, where they
cross Black River.  I will cooperate from here, my movements
depending on those of the enemy.  With the large cavalry force now
at my command, I will be able to have them show themselves at
different points on the Tallahatchie and Yalabusha; and, when an
opportunity occurs, make a real attack.  After cutting the two
roads, General Sherman's movements to secure the end desired will
necessarily be left to his judgment.

I will occupy this road to Coffeeville.

U. S. GRANT, Major-General.

I was shown this dispatch before it was sent, and afterward the
general drew up for me the following letter of instructions in his
own handwriting, which I now possess:

OXFORD, Mississippi, December 8, 1862.

Major-General W. T. SHERMAN, commanding Right Wing Army In the
Field, present.

GENERAL: You will proceed with as little delay as practicable to
Memphis, Tennessee, taking with you one division of your present
command.  On your arrival at Memphis you will assume command of all
the troops there, and that portion of General Curtis's forces at
present east of the Mississippi River, and organize them into
brigades and divisions in your own way.

As soon as possible move with them down the river to the vicinity
of Vicksburg, and, with the cooperation of the gunboat fleet under
command of Flag-Officer Porter, proceed to the reduction of that
place in such manner as circumstances and your own judgment may

The amount of rations, forage, land transportation, etc., necessary
to take, will be left entirely to yourself.

The quartermaster in St. Louis will be instructed to send you
transportation for thirty thousand men.  Should you still find
yourself deficient, your quartermaster will be authorized to make
up the deficiency from such transports as may come into the port of

On arriving in Memphis put yourself in communication with Admiral
Porter, and arrange with him for his cooperation.

Inform me at the earliest practicable day of the time when you will
embark, and such plans as may then be matured.  I will hold the
forces here in readiness to cooperate with you in such manner as
the movements of the enemy may make necessary.

Leave the District of Memphis in the command of an efficient
officer and with a garrison of four regiments of infantry, the
siege-guns, and what  ever cavalry force may be there.

One regiment of infantry and at least a section of artillery will
also be left at Friar's Point or Delta, to protect the stores of
the cavalry post that will be left there.  Yours truly,

U. S. GRANT, Major-General.

I also insert here another letter, dated the 14th instant, sent
afterward to me at Memphis, which completes all instructions
received by me governing the first movement against Vicksburg:

OXFORD, MISSISSIPPI, December 14, 1862

Major-General SHERMAN, commanding, etc.,
Memphis, Tennessee.

I have not had one word from Grierson since he left, and am getting
uneasy about him.  I hope General Gorman will give you no
difficulty about retaining the troops on this side the river, and
Steele to command them.  The twenty-one thousand men you have, with
the twelve thousand from Helena, will make a good force.  The enemy
are as yet on the Yalabusha.  I am pushing down on them slowly, but
so as to keep up the impression of a continuous move.  I feel
particularly anxious to have the Helena cavalry on this side of the
river; if not now, at least after you start.  If Gorman will send
them, instruct them where to go and how to communicate with me.  My
headquarters will probably be in Coffeeville one week hence....  In
the mean time I will order transportation, etc.... It would be well
if you could have two or three small boats suitable for navigating
the Yazoo.  It may become necessary for me to look to that base for
supplies before we get through....

U. S. GRANT, Major-General.

When we rode to Oxford from College Hill, there happened a little
circumstance which seems worthy of record.  While General Van Dorn
had his headquarters in Holly Springs, viz., in October, 1862, he
was very short of the comforts and luxuries of life, and resorted
to every possible device to draw from the abundant supplies in
Memphis.  He had no difficulty whatever in getting spies into the
town for information, but he had trouble in getting bulky supplies
out through our guards, though sometimes I connived at his supplies
of cigars, liquors, boots, gloves, etc., for his individual use;
but medicines and large supplies of all kinds were confiscated, if
attempted to be passed out.  As we rode that morning toward Oxford,
I observed in a farmer's barn-yard a wagon that looked like a city
furniture-wagon with springs.  We were always short of wagons, so I
called the attention of the quartermaster, Colonel J. Condit Smith,
saying, "There is a good wagon; go for it."  He dropped out of the
retinue with an orderly, and after we had ridden a mile or so he
overtook us, and I asked him, "What luck?"  He answered, "All
right; I have secured that wagon, and I also got another," and
explained that he had gone to the farmer's house to inquire about
the furniture-wagon, when the farmer said it did not belong to him,
but to some party in Memphis, adding that in his barn was another
belonging to the same party.  They went to the barn, and there
found a handsome city hearse, with pall and plumes.  The farmer
said they had had a big funeral out of Memphis, but when it reached
his house, the coffin was found to contain a fine assortment of
medicines for the use of Van Dorn's army.  Thus under the pretense
of a first-class funeral, they had carried through our guards the
very things we had tried to prevent.  It was a good trick, but
diminished our respect for such pageants afterward.

As soon as I was in possession of General Grant's instructions of
December 8th, with a further request that I should dispatch Colonel
Grierson, with his cavalry, across by land to Helena, to notify
General Steele of the general plan, I returned to College Hill,
selected the division of Brigadier-General Morgan L. Smith to
return with me to Memphis; started Grierson on his errand to
Helena, and ordered Generals Denver and Lauman to report to General
Grant for further orders.  We started back by the most direct
route, reached Memphis by noon of December 12th, and began
immediately the preparations for the Vicksburg movement.  There I
found two irregular divisions which had arrived at Memphis in my
absence, commanded respectively by Brigadier-General A. J. Smith
and Brigadier-General George W. Morgan.  These were designated the
First and Third Divisions, leaving the Second Division of Morgan Z.
Smith to retain its original name and number.

I also sent orders, in the name of General Grant, to General
Gorman, who meantime had replaced General Steele in command of
Helena, in lieu of the troops which had been east of the
Mississippi and had returned, to make up a strong division to
report to me on my way down.  This division was accordingly
organized, and was commanded by Brigadier-General Frederick Steele,
constituting my Fourth Division.

Meantime a large fleet of steamboats was assembling from St. Louis
and Cairo, and Admiral Porter dropped down to Memphis with his
whole gunboat fleet, ready to cooperate in the movement.  The
preparations were necessarily hasty in the extreme, but this was
the essence of the whole plan, viz., to reach Vicksburg as it were
by surprise, while General Grant held in check Pemberton's army
about Grenada, leaving me to contend only with the smaller garrison
of Vicksburg and its well-known strong batteries and defenses.  On
the 19th the Memphis troops were embarked, and steamed down to
Helena, where on the 21st General Steele's division was also
embarked; and on the 22d we were all rendezvoused at Friar's Point,
in the following order, viz.:

Steamer Forest Queen, general headquarters, and battalion
Thirteenth United States Infantry.

First Division, Brigadier-General A. J. SMITH.--Steamers Des Arc,
division headquarters and escort; Metropolitan, Sixth Indiana; J.
H. Dickey, Twenty-third Wisconsin; J. C. Snow, Sixteenth Indiana;
Hiawatha, Ninety-sixth Ohio; J. S. Pringle, Sixty-seventh Indiana;
J. W. Cheeseman, Ninth Kentucky; R. Campbell, Ninety-seventh
Indiana; Duke of Argyle, Seventy-seventh Illinois; City of Alton,
One Hundred and Eighth and Forty-eighth Ohio; City of Louisiana,
Mercantile Battery; Ohio Belle, Seventeenth Ohio Battery; Citizen,
Eighty-third Ohio; Champion, commissary-boat; General Anderson,

Second Division,, Brigadier-General M. L. SMITH.--Steamers
Chancellor, headquarters, and Thielman's cavalry; Planet, One
Hundred and Sixteenth Illinois; City of Memphis, Batteries A and B
(Missouri Artillery), Eighth Missouri, and section of Parrott guns;
Omaha, Fifty-seventh Ohio; Sioux City, Eighty-third Indiana; Spread
Eagle, One Hundred and Twenty-seventh Illinois; Ed.  Walsh, One
Hundred and Thirteenth Illinois; Westmoreland, Fifty-fifth
Illinois, headquarters Fourth Brigade; Sunny South, Fifty-fourth
Ohio; Universe, Sixth Missouri; Robert Allen, commissary-boat.

Third Division, Brigadier-General G. W. MORGAN.--Steamers Empress,
division headquarters; Key West, One Hundred and Eighteenth
Illinois; Sam Gaty, Sixty-ninth Indiana; Northerner, One Hundred
and Twentieth Ohio; Belle Peoria, headquarters Second Brigade, two
companies Forty-ninth Ohio, and pontoons; Die Vernon, Third
Kentucky; War Eagle, Forty-ninth Indiana (eight companies), and
Foster's battery; Henry von Phul, headquarters Third Brigade, and
eight companies Sixteenth Ohio; Fanny Bullitt, One Hundred and
Fourteenth Ohio, and Lamphere's battery; Crescent City,
Twenty-second Kentucky and Fifty-fourth Indiana; Des Moines,
Forty-second Ohio; Pembina, Lamphere's and Stone's batteries; Lady
Jackson, commissary-boat.

Fourth Division, Brigadier-General FREDERICK STEELE--Steamers
Continental, headquarters, escort and battery; John J. Roe, Fourth
and Ninth Iowa; Nebraska, Thirty-first Iowa; Key West, First Iowa
Artillery; John Warner, Thirteenth Illinois; Tecumseh, Twenty-sixth
Iowa; Decatur, Twenty-eighth Iowa; Quitman, Thirty-fourth Iowa;
Kennett, Twenty ninth Missouri; Gladiator, Thirtieth Missouri;
Isabella, Thirty-first Missouri; D. G. Taylor, quartermaster's
stores and horses; Sucker State, Thirty-second Missouri; Dakota,
Third Missouri; Tutt, Twelfth Missouri Emma, Seventeenth Missouri;
Adriatic, First Missouri; Meteor, Seventy-sixth Ohio; Polar Star,
Fifty-eighth Ohio.

At the same time were communicated the following instructions:

FOREST QUEEN, December 23, 1882.

To Commanders of Divisions, Generals F. STEELE, GEORGE W. MORGAN,

With this I hand to each of you a copy of a map, compiled from the
best sources, and which in the main is correct.  It is the same
used by Admiral Porter and myself.  Complete military success can
only be accomplished by united action on some general plan,
embracing usually a large district of country.  In the present
instance, our object is to secure the navigation of the Mississippi
River and its main branches, and to hold them as military channels
of communication and for commercial purposes.  The river, above
Vicksburg, has been gained by conquering the country to its rear,
rendering its possession by our enemy useless and unsafe to him,
and of great value to us.  But the enemy still holds the river from
Vicksburg to Baton Rouge, navigating it with his boats, and the
possession of it enables him to connect his communications and
routes of supply, east and west.  To deprive him of this will be a
severe blow, and, if done effectually, will be of great advantage
to us, and probably, the most decisive act of the war.  To
accomplish this important result we are to act our part--an
important one of the great whole.  General Banks, with a large
force, has reinforced General Butler in Louisiana, and from that
quarter an expedition, by water and land, is coming northward.
General Grant, with the Thirteenth Army Corps, of which we compose
the right wing, is moving southward.  The naval squadron (Admiral
Porter) is operating with his gunboat fleet by water, each in
perfect harmony with the other.

General Grant's left and centre were at last accounts approaching
the Yalabusha, near Grenada, and the railroad to his rear, by which
he drew his supplies, was reported to be seriously damaged.  This
may disconcert him somewhat, but only makes more important our line
of operations.  At the Yalabusha General Grant may encounter the
army of General Pemberton, the same which refused him battle on the
line of the Tallahatchie, which was strongly fortified; but, as he
will not have time to fortify it, he will hardly stand there; and,
in that event, General Grant will immediately advance down the high
ridge between the Big Black and Yazoo, and will expect to meet us
on the Yazoo and receive from us the supplies which he needs, and
which he knows we carry along.  Parts of this general plan are to
cooperate with the naval squadron in the reduction of Vicksburg; to
secure possession of the land lying between the Yazoo and Big
Black; and to act in concert with General Grant against Pemberton's
forces, supposed to have Jackson, Mississippi, as a point of
concentration.  Vicksburg is doubtless very strongly fortified,
both against the river and land approaches.  Already the gunboats
have secured the Yazoo up for twenty-three miles, to a fort on the
Yazoo at Haines's Bluff, giving us a choice for a landing-place at
some point up the Yazoo below this fort, or on the island which
lies between Vicksburg and the present mouth of the Yazoo.  (See
map [b, c, d], Johnson's plantation.)

     But, before any actual collision with the enemy, I purpose,
after our whole land force is rendezvoused at Gaines's Landing,
Arkansas, to proceed in order to Milliken's Bend (a), and there
dispatch a brigade, without wagons or any incumbrances whatever, to
the Vicksburg & Shreveport Railroad (at h and k), to destroy that
effectually, and to cut off that fruitful avenue of supply; then to
proceed to the mouth of the Yazoo, and, after possessing ourselves
of the latest and most authentic information from naval officers
now there, to land our whole force on the Mississippi side, and
then to reach the point where the Vicksburg & Jackson Railroad
crosses the Big Black (f); after which to attack Vicksburg by land,
while the gun-boats assail it by water.  It may be necessary
(looking to Grant's approach), before attacking Vicksburg, to
reduce the battery at Haine's Bluff first, so as to enable some of
the lighter gunboats and transports to ascend the Yazoo and
communicate with General Grant.  The detailed manner of
accomplishing all these results will be communicated in due season,
and these general points are only made known at this time, that
commanders may study the maps, and also that in the event of
non-receipt of orders all may act in perfect concert by following
the general movement, unless specially detached.

You all now have the same map, so that no mistakes or confusion
need result from different names of localities.  All possible
preparations as to wagons, provisions, axes, and intrenching-tools,
should be made in advance, so that when we do land there will be no
want of them.  When we begin to act on shore, we must do the work
quickly and effectually.  The gunboats under Admiral Porter will do
their full share, and I feel every assurance that the army will not
fall short in its work.

Division commanders may read this to regimental commanders, and
furnish brigade commanders a copy.  They should also cause as many
copies of the map to be made on the same scale as possible, being
very careful in copying the names.

The points marked e and g (Allan's and Mount Albans) are evidently
strategical points that will figure in our future operations, and
these positions should be well studied.

I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

The Mississippi boats were admirably calculated for handling
troops, horses, guns, stores, etc., easy of embarkation and
disembarkation, and supplies of all kinds were abundant, except
fuel.  For this we had to rely on wood, but most of the wood-yards,
so common on the river before the war, had been exhausted, so that
we had to use fence-rails, old dead timber, the logs of houses,
etc.  Having abundance of men and plenty of axes, each boat could
daily procure a supply.

In proceeding down the river, one or more of Admiral Porter's
gunboats took the lead; others were distributed throughout the
column, and some brought up the rear.  We manoeuvred by divisions
and brigades when in motion, and it was a magnificent sight as we
thus steamed down the river.  What few inhabitants remained at the
plantations on the river-bank were unfriendly, except the slaves;
some few guerrilla-parties infested the banks, but did not dare to
molest so, strong a force as I then commanded.

We reached Milliken's Bend on Christmas-day, when I detached one
brigade (Burbridge's), of A. J. Smith's division, to the southwest,
to break up the railroad leading from Vicksburg toward Shreveport,
Louisiana.  Leaving A. J. Smith's division there to await the
return of Burbridge, the remaining three divisions proceeded, on
the 26th, to the mouth of the Yazoo, and up that river to
Johnson's plantation, thirteen miles, and there disembarked
Steele's division above the mouth of Chickasaw Bayou, Morgans
division near the house of Johnson (which had been burned by the
gunboats on a former occasion), and M. L. Smith's just below.  A.
J. Smith's division arrived the next night, and disembarked below
that of M. L. Smith.  The place of our disembarkation was in fact
an island, separated from the high bluff known as Walnut Hills, on
which the town of Vicksburg stands, by a broad and shallow
bayou-evidently an old channel of the Yazoo.  On our right was
another wide bayou, known as Old River; and on the left still
another, much narrower, but too deep to be forded, known as
Chickasaw Bayou.  All the island was densely wooded, except
Johnson's plantation, immediately on the bank of the Yazoo, and a
series of old cotton-fields along Chickasaw Bayou.  There was a
road from Johnson's plantation directly to Vicksburg, but it
crossed numerous bayous and deep swamps by bridges, which had been
destroyed; and this road debouched on level ground at the foot of
the Vicksburg bluff, opposite strong forts, well prepared and
defended by heavy artillery.  On this road I directed General A. J.
Smith's division, not so much by way of a direct attack as a
diversion and threat.

Morgan was to move to his left, to reach Chickasaw Bayou, and to
follow it toward the bluff, about four miles above A. J. Smith.
Steele was on Morgan's left, across Chickasaw Bayou, and M. L.
Smith on Morgan's right.  We met light resistance at all points,
but skirmished, on the 27th, up to the main bayou, that separated
our position from the bluffs of Vicksburg, which were found to be
strong by nature and by art, and seemingly well defended.  On
reconnoitring the front in person, during the 27th and 28th, I
became satisfied that General A. J. Smith could not cross the
intervening obstacles under the heavy fire of the forts immediately
in his front, and that the main bayou was impassable, except at two
points--one near the head of Chickasaw Bayou, in front of Morgan,
and the other about a mile lower down, in front of M. L. Smith's

During the general reconnoissance of the 28th General Morgan L.
Smith received a severe and dangerous wound in his hip, which
completely disabled him and compelled him to go to his steamboat,
leaving the command of his division to Brigadier General D.
Stuart; but I drew a part of General A. J. Smith's division, and
that general himself, to the point selected for passing the bayou,
and committed that special task to his management.

General Steele reported that it was physically impossible to reach
the bluffs from his position, so I ordered him to leave but a show
of force there, and to return to the west side of Chickasaw Bayou
in support of General Morgan's left.  He had to countermarch and
use the steamboats in the Yazoo to get on the firm ground on our
side of the Chickasaw.

On the morning of December 29th all the troops were ready and in
position.  The first step was to make a lodgment on the foot-hills
and bluffs abreast of our position, while diversions were made by
the navy toward Haines's Bluff, and by the first division directly
toward Vicksburg.  I estimated the enemy's forces, then strung from
Vicksburg to Haines's Bluff, at fifteen thousand men, commanded by
the rebel Generals Martin Luther Smith and Stephen D. Lee.  Aiming
to reach firm ground beyond this bayou, and to leave as little time
for our enemy to reenforce as possible, I determined to make a show
of attack along the whole front, but to break across the bayou at
the two points named, and gave general orders accordingly.  I
pointed out to General Morgan the place where he could pass the
bayou, and he answered, "General, in ten minutes after you give the
signal I'll be on those hills."  He was to lead his division in
person, and was to be supported by Steele's division.  The front
was very narrow, and immediately opposite, at the base of the hills
about three hundred yards from the bayou, was a rebel battery,
supported by an infantry force posted on the spurs of the hill
behind.  To draw attention from this, the real point of attack, I
gave instructions to commence the attack at the flanks.

I went in person about a mile to the right rear of Morgan's
position, at a place convenient to receive reports from all other
parts of the line; and about noon of December 29th gave the orders
and signal for the main attack.  A heavy artillery-fire opened
along our whole line, and was replied to by the rebel batteries,
and soon the infantry-fire opened heavily, especially on A. J.
Smith's front, and in front of General George W. Morgan.  One
brigade (DeCourcey's) of Morgan's troops crossed the bayou safely,
but took to cover behind the bank, and could not be moved forward.
Frank Blairs brigade, of Steele's division, in support, also
crossed the bayou, passed over the space of level ground to the
foot of the hills; but, being unsupported by Morgan, and meeting a
very severe cross-fire of artillery, was staggered and gradually
fell back, leaving about five hundred men behind, wounded and
prisoners; among them Colonel Thomas Fletcher, afterward Governor
of Missouri.  Part of Thayer's brigade took a wrong direction, and
did not cross the bayou at all; nor did General Morgan cross in
person.  This attack failed; and I have always felt that it was due
to the failure of General G. W. Morgan to obey his orders, or to
fulfill his promise made in person.  Had he used with skill and
boldness one of his brigades, in addition to that of Blair's, he
could have made a lodgment on the bluff, which would have opened
the door for our whole force to follow.  Meantime the Sixth
Missouri Infantry, at heavy loss, had also crossed the bayou at the
narrow passage lower down, but could not ascend the steep bank;
right over their heads was a rebel battery, whose fire was in a
measure kept down by our sharp-shooters (Thirteenth United States
Infantry) posted behind logs, stumps, and trees, on our side of the

The men of the Sixth Missouri actually scooped out with their hands
caves in the bank, which sheltered them against the fire of the
enemy, who, right over their heads, held their muskets outside the
parapet vertically, and fired down So critical was the position,
that we could not recall the men till after dark, and then one at a
time.  Our loss had been pretty heavy, and we had accomplished
nothing, and had inflicted little loss on our enemy.  At first I
intended to renew the assault, but soon became satisfied that, the
enemy's attention having been drawn to the only two practicable
points, it would prove too costly, and accordingly resolved to look
elsewhere for a point below Haines's Bluff, or Blake's plantation.
That night I conferred with Admiral Porter, who undertook to cover
the landing; and the next day (December 30th) the boats were all
selected, but so alarmed were the captains and pilots, that we had
to place sentinels with loaded muskets to insure their remaining at
their posts.  Under cover of night, Steele's division, and one
brigade of Stuart's, were drawn out of line, and quietly embarked
on steamboats in the Yazoo River.  The night of December 30th was
appointed for this force, under the command of General Fred Steele,
to proceed up the Yazoo just below Haines's Bluff, there to
disembark about daylight, and make a dash for the hills.  Meantime
we had strengthened our positions near Chickasaw Bayou, had all our
guns in good position with parapets, and had every thing ready to
renew our attack as soon as we heard the sound of battle above.

At midnight I left Admiral Porter on his gunboat; he had his fleet
ready and the night was propitious.  I rode back to camp and gave
orders for all to be ready by daybreak; but when daylight came I
received a note from General Steele reporting that, before his
boats had got up steam, the fog had settled down on the river so
thick and impenetrable, that it was simply impossible to move; so
the attempt had to be abandoned.  The rain, too, began to fall, and
the trees bore water-marks ten feet above our heads, so that I
became convinced that the part of wisdom was to withdraw.  I
ordered the stores which had been landed to be reembarked on the
boats, and preparations made for all the troops to regain their
proper boats during the night of the 1st of January, 1863.  From
our camps at Chickasaw we could hear, the whistles of the trains
arriving in Vicksburg, could see battalions of men marching up
toward Haines's Bluff, and taking post at all points in our front.
I was more than convinced that heavy reenforcements were coming to
Vicksburg; whether from Pemberton at Grenada, Bragg in Tennessee,
or from other sources, I could not tell; but at no point did the
enemy assume the offensive; and when we drew off our rear-guard, on
the morning of the 2d, they simply followed up the movement,
timidly.  Up to that moment I had not heard a word from General
Grant since leaving Memphis; and most assuredly I had listened for
days for the sound of his guns in the direction of Yazoo City.  On
the morning of January 2d, all my command were again afloat in
their proper steamboats, when Admiral Porter told me that General
McClernand had arrived at the mouth of the Yazoo in the steamboat
Tigress, and that it was rumored he had come down to supersede me.
Leaving my whole force where it was, I ran down to the month of the
Yazoo in a small tug boat, and there found General McClernand, with
orders from the War Department to command the expeditionary force
on the Mississippi River.  I explained what had been done, and what
was the actual state of facts; that the heavy reenforcements
pouring into Vicksburg must be Pemberton's army, and that General
Grant must be near at hand.  He informed me that General Grant was
not coming at all; that his depot at Holly Springs had been
captured by Van Dorn, and that he had drawn back from Coffeeville
and Oxford to Holly Springs and Lagrange; and, further, that
Quinby's division of Grant's army was actually at Memphis for
stores when he passed down.  This, then, fully explained how
Vicksburg was being reenforced.  I saw that any attempt on the
place from the Yazoo was hopeless; and, with General McClernand's
full approval, we all came out of the Yazoo, and on the 3d of
January rendezvoused at Milliken's Bend, about ten miles above.
On the 4th General McClernand issued his General Order No. 1,
assuming command of the Army of the Mississippi, divided into two
corps; the first to be commanded by General Morgan, composed of his
own and A. J. Smith's divisions; and the second, composed of
Steele's and Stuart's divisions, to be commanded by me.  Up to that
time the army had been styled the right wing of (General Grant's)
Thirteenth Army Corps, and numbered about thirty thousand men.  The
aggregate loss during the time of any command, mostly on the 29th
of December, was one hundred and seventy-five killed, nine hundred
and thirty wounded, and seven hundred and forty-three prisoners.
According to Badeau, the rebels lost sixty-three killed, one
hundred and thirty-four wounded, and ten prisoners.  It afterward
transpired that Van Dorn had captured Holly Springs on the 20th of
December, and that General Grant fell back very soon after.
General Pemberton, who had telegraphic and railroad communication
with Vicksburg, was therefore at perfect liberty to reenforce the
place with a garrison equal, if not superior, to my command.  The
rebels held high, commanding ground, and could see every movement
of our men and boats, so that the only possible hope of success
consisted in celerity and surprise, and in General Grant's holding
all of Pemberton's army hard pressed meantime.  General Grant was
perfectly aware of this, and had sent me word of the change, but it
did not reach me in time; indeed, I was not aware of it until after
my assault of December 29th, and until the news was brought me by
General McClernand as related.  General McClernand was appointed to
this command by President Lincoln in person, who had no knowledge
of what was then going on down the river.  Still, my relief, on the
heels of a failure, raised the usual cry, at the North, of
"repulse, failure, and bungling."  There was no bungling on my
part, for I never worked harder or with more intensity of purpose
in my life; and General Grant, long after, in his report of the
operations of the siege of Vicksburg, gave us all full credit for
the skill of the movement, and described the almost impregnable
nature of the ground; and, although in  all official reports I
assumed the whole responsibility, I have ever felt that had General
Morgan promptly and skillfully sustained the lead of Frank Blair's
brigade on that day, we should have broken the rebel line, and
effected a lodgment on the hills behind Vicksburg.  General Frank
Blair was outspoken and  indignant against Generals Morgan and De
Courcey at the time, and always abused me for assuming the whole
blame.  But, had we succeeded, we might have found ourselves in a
worse trap, when General Pemberton was at full liberty to turn his
whole force against us.  While I was engaged at Chickasaw Bayou,
Admiral Porter was equally busy in the Yazoo River, threatening the
enemy's batteries at Haines's and Snyder's Bluffs above.  In a
sharp engagement he lost one of his best officers, in the person of
Captain Gwin, United States Navy, who, though on board an ironclad,
insisted on keeping his post on deck, where he was struck in the
breast by a round shot, which carried away the muscle,  and
contused the lung within, from which he died a few days after.  We
of the army deplored his loss quite as much as his fellows of the
navy, for he had been intimately associated with us in our previous
operations on the Tennessee River, at Shiloh and above, and we had
come to regard him as one of us.

On the 4th of January, 1863, our fleet of transports was collected
at Milliken's Bend, about ten miles above the mouth of the Yazoo,
Admiral Porter remaining with his gunboats at the Yazoo.  General
John A. McClernand was in chief command, General George W. Morgan
commanded the First Corps and I the Second Corps of the Army of the

I had learned that a small steamboat, the Blue Wing, with a mail,
towing coal-barges and loaded with ammunition, had left Memphis for
the Yazoo, about the 20th of December, had been captured by a rebel
boat which had come out of the Arkansas River, and had been carried
up that river to Fort Hind.

We had reports from this fort, usually called the "Post of
Arkansas," about forty miles above the mouth, that it was held by
about five thousand rebels, was an inclosed work, commanding the
passage of the river, but supposed to be easy of capture from the
rear.  At that time I don't think General McClernand had any
definite views or plays of action.  If so, he did not impart them
to me.  He spoke, in general terms of opening the navigation of the
Mississippi, "cutting his way to the sea," etc., etc., but the
modus operandi was not so clear.  Knowing full well that we could
not carry on operations against Vicksburg as long as the rebels
held the Post of Arkansas, whence to attack our boats coming and
going without convoy, I visited him on his boat, the Tigress, took
with me a boy who had been on the Blue Wing, and had escaped, and
asked leave to go up the Arkansas, to clear out the Post.  He made
various objections, but consented to go with me to see Admiral
Porter about it.  We got up steam in the Forest Queen, during the
night of January 4th, stopped at the Tigress, took General
McClernand on board, and proceeded down the river by night to the
admiral's boat, the Black Hawk, lying in the mouth of the Yazoo.
It must have been near midnight, and Admiral Porter was in
deshabille.  We were seated in his cabin and I explained my views
about Arkansas Post, and asked his cooperation.  He said that he
was short of coal, and could not use wood in his iron-clad boats.
Of these I asked for two, to be commanded by Captain Shirk or
Phelps, or some officer of my acquaintance.  At that moment, poor
Gwin lay on his bed, in a state-room close by, dying from the
effect of the cannon shot received at Haines's Bluff, as before
described.  Porter's manner to McClernand was so curt that I
invited him out into a forward-cabin where he had his charts, and
asked him what he meant by it.  He said that "he did not like him;"
that in Washington, before coming West, he had been introduced to
him by President Lincoln, and he had taken a strong prejudice
against him.  I begged him, for the sake of harmony, to waive that,
which he promised to do.  Returning to the cabin, the conversation
was resumed, and, on our offering to tow his gunboats up the river
to save coal, and on renewing the request for Shirk to command the
detachment, Porter said, "Suppose I go along myself?"  I answered,
if he would do so, it would insure the success of the enterprise.
At that time I supposed General McClernand would send me on this
business, but he concluded to go himself, and to take his whole
force.  Orders were at once issued for the troops not to disembark
at Milliken's Bend, but to remain as they were on board the
transports.  My two divisions were commanded--the First, by
Brigadier-General Frederick Steele, with three brigades, commanded
by Brigadier-Generals F. P. Blair, C. E. Hooey, and J. M. Thayer;
the Second, by Brigadier-General D. Stuart, with two brigades,
commanded by Colonels G. A. Smith and T. Kilby Smith.

The whole army, embarked on steamboats convoyed by the gunboats, of
which three were iron-clads, proceeded up the Mississippi River to
the mouth of White River, which we reached January 8th.  On the
next day we continued up White River to the "Cut-off;" through this
to the Arkansas, and up the Arkansas to Notrib's farm, just below
Fort Hindman.  Early the next morning we disembarked.  Stuart's
division, moving up the river along the bank, soon encountered a
force of the enemy intrenched behind a line of earthworks,
extending from the river across to the swamp.  I took Steele's
division, marching by the flank by a road through the swamp to the
firm ground behind, and was moving up to get to the rear of Fort
Hindman, when General McClernand overtook me, with the report that
the rebels had abandoned their first position, and had fallen back
into the fort.  By his orders, we counter-marched, recrossed the
swamp, and hurried forward to overtake Stuart, marching for Fort
Hindman.  The first line of the rebels was about four miles below
Fort Hindman, and the intervening space was densely, wooded and
obscure, with the exception of some old fields back of and close to
the fort.  During the night, which was a bright moonlight one, we
reconnoitred close up, and found a large number of huts which had
been abandoned, and the whole rebel force had fallen back into and
about the fort.  Personally I crept up to a stump so close that I
could hear the enemy hard at work, pulling down houses, cutting
with axes, and building intrenchments.  I could almost hear their
words, and I was thus listening when, about 4 A. M. the bugler in
the rebel camp sounded as pretty a reveille as I ever listened to.

When daylight broke it revealed to us a new line of parapet
straight across the peninsula, connecting Fort Hindman, on the
Arkansas River bank, with the impassable swamp about a mile to its
left or rear.  This peninsula was divided into two nearly equal
parts by a road.  My command had the ground to the right of the
road, and Morgan's corps that to the left.  McClernand had his
quarters still on the Tigress, back at Notrib's farm, but moved
forward that morning (January 11th) to a place in the woods to our
rear, where he had a man up a tree, to observe and report the

There was a general understanding with Admiral Porter that he was
to attack the fort with his three ironclad gunboats directly by its
water-front, while we assaulted by land in the rear.  About 10 a.m.
I got a message from General McClernand, telling me where he could
be found, and asking me what we were waiting for.  I answered that
we were then in close contact with the enemy, viz., about five or
six hundred yards off; that the next movement must be a direct
assault; that this should be simultaneous along the whole line; and
that I was waiting to hear from the gunboats; asking him to notify
Admiral Porter that we were all ready.  In about half an hour I
heard the clear ring of the navy-guns; the fire gradually
increasing in rapidity and advancing toward the fort.  I had
distributed our field-guns, and, when I judged the time had come, I
gave the orders to begin.  The intervening ground between us and
the enemy was a dead level, with the exception of one or two small
gullies, and our men had no cover but the few standing trees and
some logs on the ground.  The troops advanced well under a heavy
fire, once or twice falling to the ground for a sort of rest or
pause.  Every tree had its group of men, and behind each log was a
crowd of sharp-shooters, who kept up so hot a fire that the rebel
troops fired wild.  The fire of the fort proper was kept busy by
the gunboats and Morgan's corps, so that all my corps had to
encounter was the direct fire from the newly-built parapet across
the peninsula.  This line had three sections of field-guns, that
kept things pretty lively, and several round-shot came so near me
that I realized that they were aimed at my staff; so I dismounted,
and made them scatter.

As the gunboats got closer up I saw their flags actually over the
parapet of Fort Hindman, and the rebel gunners scamper out of the
embrasures and run down into the ditch behind.  About the same time
a man jumped up on the rebel parapet just where the road entered,
waving a large white flag, and numerous smaller white rags appeared
above the parapet along the whole line.  I immediately ordered,
"Cease firing!" and sent the same word down the line to General
Steele, who had made similar progress on the right, following the
border of he swamp.  I ordered my aide, Colonel Dayton, to jump on
his horse and ride straight up to the large white flag, and when
his horse was on the parapet I followed with the rest of my staff.
All firing had ceased, except an occasional shot away to the right,
and one of the captains (Smith) of the Thirteenth Regulars was
wounded after the display of the white flag.  On entering the line,
I saw that our muskets and guns had done good execution; for there
was a horse-battery, and every horse lay dead in the traces.  The
fresh-made parapet had been knocked down in many places, and dead
men lay around very thick.  I inquired who commanded at that point,
and a Colonel Garland stepped up and said that he commanded that
brigade.  I ordered him to form his brigade, stack arms, hang the
belts on the muskets, and stand waiting for orders.  Stuart's
division had been halted outside the parapet.  I then sent Major
Hammond down the rebel line to the right, with orders to stop
Steele's division outside, and to have the other rebel brigade
stack its arms in like manner, and to await further orders.  I
inquired of Colonel Garland who commanded in chief, and he said
that General Churchill did, and that he was inside the fort.  I
then rode into the fort, which was well built, with good parapets,
drawbridge, and ditch, and was an inclosed work of four bastions.
I found it full of soldiers and sailors, its parapets toward the
river well battered in, and Porter's gunboats in the river, close
against the fort, with their bows on shore.  I soon found General
Churchill, in conversation with Admiral Porter and General A. J.
Smith, and about this time my adjutant-general, Major J. H.
Hammond, came and reported that General Deshler, who commanded the
rebel brigade facing and opposed to Steele, had refused to stack
arms and surrender, on the ground that he had received no orders
from his commanding general; that nothing separated this brigade
from Steele's men except the light parapet, and that there might be
trouble there at any moment.  I advised General Churchill to send
orders at once, because a single shot might bring the whole of
Steele's division on Deshler's brigade, and I would not be
responsible for the consequences; soon afterward, we both concluded
to go in person.  General Churchill had the horses of himself and
staff in the ditch; they were brought in, and we rode together to
where Garland was standing, and Churchill spoke to him in an angry
tone, "Why did you display the white flag!"  Garland replied, "I
received orders to do so from one of your staff."  Churchill denied
giving such an order, and angry words passed between them.  I
stopped them, saying that it made little difference then, as they
were in our power.  We continued to ride down the line to its
extreme point, where we found Deshler in person, and his troops
were still standing to the parapet with their muskets in hand.
Steele'e men were on the outside.  I asked Deshler: "What does this
mean? You are a regular officer, and ought to know better."  He
answered, snappishly, that "he had received no orders to
surrender;" when General Churchill said: "You see, sir, that we are
in their power, and you may surrender."  Deshler turned to his
staff-officers and ordered them to repeat the command to "stack
arms," etc., to the colonels of his brigade.  I was on my horse,
and he was on foot.  Wishing to soften the blow of defeat, I spoke
to him kindly, saying that I knew a family of Deshlers in Columbus,
Ohio, and inquired if they were relations of his.  He disclaimed
any relation with people living north of the Ohio, in an offensive
tone, and I think I gave him a piece of my mind that he did not
relish.  He was a West Point graduate, small but very handsome, and
was afterward killed in battle.  I never met him again.

Returning to the position where I had first entered the rebel line,
I received orders from General McClernand, by one of his staff, to
leave General A. J. Smith in charge of the fort and prisoners, and
with my troops to remain outside.  The officer explained that the
general was then on the Tigress, which had moved up from below, to
a point in the river just above the fort; and not understanding his
orders, I concluded to go and see him in person.  My troops were
then in possession of two of the three brigades which composed the
army opposed to us; and my troops were also in possession of all
the ground of the peninsula outside the "fort-proper" (Hindman).  I
found General McClernand on the Tigress, in high spirits.  He said
repeatedly: "Glorious! glorious! my star is ever in the ascendant!"
He spoke complimentarily of the troops, but was extremely jealous
of the navy.  He said: "I'll make a splendid report;"  "I had a man
up a tree;" etc.  I was very hungry and tired, and fear I did not
appreciate the honors in reserve for us, and asked for something to
eat and drink.  He very kindly ordered something to be brought, and
explained to me that by his "orders" he did not wish to interfere
with the actual state of facts; that General A. J. Smith would
occupy "Fort Hindman," which his troops had first entered, and I
could hold the lines outside, and go on securing the prisoners and
stores as I had begun.  I returned to the position of Garland's
brigade and gave the necessary orders for marching all the
prisoners, disarmed, to a pocket formed by the river and two deep
gullies just above the fort, by which time it had become quite
dark.  After dark another rebel regiment arrived from Pine Bluff,
marched right in, and was also made prisoners.  There seemed to be
a good deal of feeling among the rebel officers against Garland,
who asked leave to stay with me that night, to which I of course
consented.  Just outside the rebel parapet was a house which had
been used for a hospital.  I had a room cleaned out, and occupied
it that night.  A cavalry-soldier lent me his battered coffee-pot
with some coffee and scraps of hard bread out of his nose-bag;
Garland and I made some coffee, ate our bread together, and talked
politics by the fire till quite late at night, when we lay down on
straw that was saturated with the blood of dead or wounded men.
The next day the prisoners were all collected on their boats, lists
were made out, and orders given for their transportation to St.
Louis, in charge of my aide, Major Sanger.  We then proceeded to
dismantle and level the forts, destroy or remove the stores, and we
found in the magazine the very ammunition which had been sent for
us in the Blue Wing, which was secured and afterward used in our
twenty-pound Parrott guns.

On the 13th we reembarked; the whole expedition returned out of the
river by the direct route down the Arkansas during a heavy
snow-storm, and rendezvoused in the Mississippi, at Napoleon, at
the mouth of the Arkansas.  Here General McClernand told me he had
received a letter from General Grant at Memphis, who disapproved of
our movement up the Arkansas; but that communication was made
before he had learned of our complete success.  When informed of
this, and of the promptness with which it had been executed, he
could not but approve.  We were then ordered back to Milliken's
Bend, to await General Grant's arrival in person.  We reached
Milliken's Bend January 21st.

McClernand's report of the capture of Fort Hindman almost ignored
the action of Porter's fleet altogether.  This was unfair, for I
know that the admiral led his fleet in person in the river-attack,
and that his guns silenced those of Fort Hindman, and drove the
gunners into the ditch.

The aggregate loss in my corps at Arkansas Post was five hundred
and nineteen, viz., four officers and seventy-five men killed,
thirty-four officers and four hundred and six men wounded.  I never
knew the losses in the gunboat fleet, or in Morgan's corps; but
they must have been less than in mine, which was more exposed.  The
number of rebel dead must have been nearly one hundred and fifty;
of prisoners, by actual count, we secured four thousand seven
hundred and ninety-one, and sent them north to St. Louis.




The campaign of 1863, resulting, in the capture of Vicksburg, was
so important, that its history has been well studied and well
described in all the books treating of the civil war, more
especially by Dr. Draper, in his "History of the Civil War in
America," and in Badeau's "Military History of General Grant."  In
the latter it is more fully and accurately given than in any other,
and is well illustrated by maps and original documents.  I now need
only attempt to further illustrate Badeau's account by some
additional details.  When our expedition came out of the Arkansas
River, January, 18,1863, and rendezvoused at the river-bank, in
front of the town of Napoleon, Arkansas, we were visited by General
Grant in person, who had come down from Memphis in a steamboat.
Although at this time Major-General J. A. McClernand was in command
of the Army of the Mississippi, by virtue of a confidential order
of the War Department, dated October 21, 1862, which order bore the
indorsement of President Lincoln, General Grant still exercised a
command over him, by reason of his general command of the
Department of the Tennessee.  By an order (No. 210) of December 18,
1862, from the War Department, received at Arkansas Post, the
Western armies had been grouped into five corps d'armee, viz.: the
Thirteenth, Major-General McClernand; the Fourteenth, Major-General
George H. Thomas, in Middle Tennessee; the Fifteenth, Major-General
W. T. Sherman; the Sixteenth, Major-General Hurlbut, then at or
near Memphis; and the Seventeenth, Major-General McPherson, also at
and back of Memphis.  General Grant when at Napoleon, on the 18th
of January, ordered McClernand with his own and my corps to return
to Vicksburg, to disembark on the west bank, and to resume work on
a canal across the peninsula, which had been begun by General
Thomas Williams the summer before, the object being to turn the
Mississippi River at that point, or at least to make a passage for
our fleet of gunboats and transports across the peninsula, opposite
Vicksburg.  General Grant then returned to Memphis, ordered to Lake
Providence, about sixty miles above us, McPherson's corps, the
Seventeenth, and then came down again to give his personal
supervision to the whole movement.

The Mississippi River was very high and rising, and we began that
system of canals on which we expended so much hard work
fruitlessly: first, the canal at Young's plantation, opposite
Vicksburg; second, that at Lake Providence; and third, at the Yazoo
Pass, leading into the head-waters of the Yazoo River.  Early in
February the gunboats Indianola and Queen of the West ran the
batteries of Vicksburg.  The latter was afterward crippled in Red
River, and was captured by the rebels; and the Indianola was butted
and sunk about forty miles below Vicksburg.  We heard the booming
of the guns, but did not know of her loss till some days after.
During the months of January and February, we were digging the
canal and fighting off the water of the Mississippi, which
continued to rise and threatened to drown us.  We had no sure place
of refuge except the narrow levee, and such steamboats as remained
abreast of our camps.  My two divisions furnished alternately a
detail of five hundred men a day, to work on the canal.  So high
was the water in the beginning of March, that McClernand's corps
was moved to higher ground, at Milliken's Bend, but I remained at
Young's plantation, laid off a due proportion of the levee for each
subdivision of my command, and assigned other parts to such
steamboats as lay at the levee.  My own headquarters were in Mrs.
Grove's house, which had the water all around it, and could only be
reached by a plank-walk from the levee, built on posts.  General
Frederick Steele commanded the first division, and General D. Smart
the second; this latter division had been reenforced by General
Hugh Ewing's brigade, which had arrived from West Virginia.

At the time of its date I received the following note from General

MILLIKEN'S BEND, March 16, 1863

General SHERMAN.

DEAR SIR: I have just returned from a reconnoissance up Steele's
Bayou, with the admiral (Porter), and five of his gunboats.  With
some labor in cutting tree-tops out of the way, it will be
navigable for any class of steamers.

I want you to have your pioneer corps, or one regiment of good men
for such work, detailed, and at the landing as soon as possible.

The party will want to take with them their rations, arms, and
sufficient camp and garrison equipage for a few days.  I will have
a boat at any place you may designate, as early as the men can be
there.  The Eighth Missouri (being many of them boatmen) would be
excellent men for this purpose.

As soon as you give directions for these men to be in readiness,
come up and see me, and I will explain fully.  The tug that takes
this is instructed to wait for you.  A full supply of axes will be

Very respectfully,

U. S. GRANT, Major-General.

This letter was instantly (8 a.m.) sent to Colonel Giles A. Smith,
commanding the Eighth Missouri, with orders to prepare immediately.
He returned it at 9.15, with an answer that the regiment was all
ready.  I went up to Milliken's Bend in the tug, and had a
conference with the general, resulting in these orders:

BEFORE VICKSBURG, March 16, 1863

Major-General W. T. SHERMAN, commanding Fifteenth Army Corps.

GENERAL: You will proceed as early as practicable up Steele's
Bayou, and through Black Bayou to Deer Creek, and thence with the
gunboats now there by any route they may take to get into the Yazoo
River, for the purpose of determining the feasibility of getting an
army through that route to the east bank of that river, and at a
point from which they can act advantageously against Vicksburg.

Make such details from your army corps as may be required to clear
out the channel of the various bayous through which transports
would have to ran, and to hold such points as in your judgment
should be occupied.

I place at your disposal to-day the steamers Diligent and Silver
Wave, the only two suitable for the present navigation of this
route.  Others will be supplied you as fast as required, and they
can be got.

I have given directions (and you may repeat them) that the party
going on board the steamer Diligent push on until they reach Black
Bayou, only stopping sufficiently long at any point before reaching
there to remove such obstructions as prevent their own progress.
Captain Kossak, of the Engineers, will go with this party.  The
other boat-load will commence their work in Steele's Bayou, and
make the navigation as free as possible all the way through.

There is but little work to be done in Steele's Bayou, except for
about five miles abort midway of the bayou.  In this portion many
overhanging trees will have to be removed, and should be dragged
out of the channel.

Very respectfully,

U. S. GRANT, Major-General.

On returning to my camp at Young's Point, I started these two boats
up the Yazoo and Steele's Bayou, with the Eighth Missouri and some
pioneers, with axes, saws, and all the tools necessary.  I gave
orders for a part of Stuart's division to proceed in the large
boats up the Mississippi River to a point at Gwin's plantation,
where a bend of Steele's Bayou neared the main river; and the next
day, with one or two stag-officers and orderlies, got a navy-tug,
and hurried up to overtake Admiral Porter.  About sixty miles up
Steele's Bayou we came to the gunboat Price, Lieutenant Woodworth,
United States Navy; commanding, and then turned into Black Bayou, a
narrow, crooked channel, obstructed by overhanging oaks, and filled
with cypress and cotton-wood trees.  The gunboats had forced their
way through, pushing aside trees a foot in diameter.  In about four
miles we overtook the gunboat fleet just as it was emerging into
Deer Creek.  Along Deer Creek the alluvium was higher, and there
was a large cotton-plantation belonging to a Mr. Hill, who was
absent, and the negroes were in charge of the place.  Here I
overtook Admiral Porter, and accompanied him a couple of miles up
Deer Creek, which was much wider and more free of trees, with
plantations on both sides at intervals.  Admiral Porter thought he
had passed the worst, and that he would be able to reach the
Rolling Fork and Sunflower.  He requested me to return and use all
possible means to clear out Black Bayou.  I returned to Hill's
plantation, which was soon reached by Major Coleman, with a part
of the Eighth Missouri; the bulk of the regiment and the pioneers
had been distributed along the bayous, and set to work under
the general supervision of Captain Kosaak.  The Diligent and
Silver Wave then returned to twin's plantation and brought up
Brigadier-General Giles A. Smith, with the Sixth Missouri, and part
of the One Hundred and Sixteenth Illinois.  Admiral Porter was then
working up Deer Creek with his iron-clads, but he had left me a tug,
which enabled me to reconnoitre the country, which was all under
water except the narrow strip along Deer Creek.  During the 19th I
heard the heavy navy-guns booming more frequently than seemed
consistent with mere guerrilla operations; and that night I got a
message from Porter, written on tissue-paper, brought me through
the swamp by a negro, who had it concealed in a piece of tobacco.

The admiral stated that he had met a force of infantry and
artillery which gave him great trouble by killing the men who had
to expose themselves outside the iron armor to shove off the bows
of the boats, which had so little headway that they would not
steer.  He begged me to come to his rescue as quickly as possible.
Giles A. Smith had only about eight hundred men with him, but I
ordered him to start up Deer Creek at once, crossing to the east
side by an old bridge at Hill's plantation, which we had repaired
for the purpose; to work his way up to the gunboat, fleet, and to
report to the admiral that I would come, up with every man I could
raise as soon as possible.  I was almost alone at Hill's, but took
a canoe, paddled down Black Bayou to the gunboat Price, and there,
luckily, found the Silver wave with a load of men just arrived from
twin's plantation.  Taking some of the parties who were at work
along the bayou into an empty coal-barge, we tugged it up by a
navy-tug, followed by the Silver Wave, crashing through the trees,
carrying away pilot-house, smoke-stacks, and every thing
above-deck; but the captain (McMillan, of Pittsburg) was a brave
fellow, and realized the necessity.  The night was absolutely
black, and we could only make two and a half of the four miles.  We
then disembarked, and marched through the canebrake, carrying
lighted candles in our hands, till we got into the open
cotton-fields at Hill's plantation, where we lay down for a few
hours' rest.  These men were a part of Giles A. Smith's brigade,
and part belonged to the brigade of T. Bilby Smith, the senior
officer present being Lieutenant-Colonel Rice, Fifty-fourth Ohio,
an excellent young officer.  We had no horses.

On Sunday morning, March 21st, as soon as daylight appeared, we
started, following the same route which Giles A. Smith had taken
the day before; the battalion of the Thirteenth United States
Regulars, Major Chase, in the lead.  We could hear Porter's guns,
and knew that moments were precious.  Being on foot myself, no man
could complain, and we generally went at the double-quick, with
occasional rests.  The road lay along Deer Creek, passing several
plantations; and occasionally, at the bends, it crossed the swamp,
where the water came above my hips.  The smaller drummer-boys had
to carry their drums on their heads, and most of the men slang
their cartridge-boxes around their necks.  The soldiers generally
were glad to have their general and field officers afoot, but we
gave them a fair specimen of marching, accomplishing about
twenty-one miles by noon.  Of course, our speed was accelerated by
the sounds of the navy-guns, which became more and more distinct,
though we could see nothing.  At a plantation near some Indian
mounds we met a detachment of the Eighth Missouri, that had been up
to the fleet, and had been sent down as a picket to prevent any
obstructions below.  This picket reported that Admiral Porter had
found Deer Creek badly obstructed, had turned back; that there was
a rebel force beyond the fleet, with some six-pounders, and nothing
between us and the fleet.  So I sat down on the door-sill of a
cabin to rest, but had not been seated ten minutes when, in the
wood just ahead, not three hundred yards off, I heard quick and
rapid firing of musketry.  Jumping up, I ran up the road, and found
Lieutenant-Colonel Rice, who said the head of his column had struck
a small force of rebels with a working gang of negroes, provided
with axes, who on the first fire had broken and run back into the
swamp.  I ordered Rice to deploy his brigade, his left on the road,
and extending as far into the swamp as the ground would permit, and
then to sweep forward until he uncovered the gunboats.  The
movement was rapid and well executed, and we soon came to some
large cotton-fields and could see our gunboats in Deer Creek,
occasionally firing a heavy eight-inch gun across the cotton field
into the swamp behind.  About that time Major Kirby, of the Eighth
Missouri, galloped down the road on a horse he had picked up the
night before, and met me.  He explained the situation of affairs,
and offered me his horse.  I got on bareback, and rode up the
levee, the sailors coming out of their iron-clads and cheering most
vociferously as I rode by, and as our men swept forward across the
cotton-field in full view.  I soon found Admiral Porter, who was on
the deck of one of his iron-clads, with a shield made of the
section of a smoke-stack, and I doubt if he was ever more glad to
meet a friend than he was to see me.  He explained that he had
almost reached the Rolling Fork, when the woods became full of
sharp-shooters, who, taking advantage of trees, stumps, and the
levee, would shoot down every man that poked his nose outside the
protection of their armor; so that he could not handle his clumsy
boats in the narrow channel.  The rebels had evidently dispatched a
force from Haines's Bluff up the Sunflower to the Rolling Fork, had
anticipated the movement of Admiral Porter's fleet, and had
completely obstructed the channel of the upper part of Deer Creek
by felling trees into it, so that further progress in that
direction was simply impossible.  It also happened that, at the
instant of my arrival, a party of about four hundred rebels, armed
and supplied with axes, had passed around the fleet and had got
below it, intending in like manner to block up the channel by the
felling of trees, so as to cut off retreat.  This was the force we
had struck so opportunely at the time before described.  I inquired
of Admiral Porter what he proposed to do, and he said he wanted to
get out of that scrape as quickly as possible.  He was actually
working back when I met him, and, as we then had a sufficient force
to cover his movement completely, he continued to back down Deer
Creek.  He informed me at one time things looked so critical that
he had made up his mind to blow up the gunboats, and to escape with
his men through the swamp to the Mississippi River.  There being no
longer any sharp-shooters to bother the sailors, they made good
progress; still, it took three full days for the fleet to back out
of Deer Creek into Black Bayou, at Hill's plantation, whence
Admiral Porter proceeded to his post at the month of the Yazoo,
leaving Captain Owen in command of the fleet.  I reported the facts
to General Grant, who was sadly disappointed at the failure of the
fleet to get through to the Yazoo above Haines's Bluff, and ordered
us all to resume our camps at Young's Point.  We accordingly
steamed down, and regained our camps on the 27th.  As this
expedition up Deer Creek was but one of many efforts to secure a
footing from which to operate against Vicksburg, I add the report
of Brigadier-General Giles A. Smith, who was the first to reach the

March 28, 1863

Captain L. M. DAYTON, Assistant Adjutant-General.

CAPTAIN:  I have the honor to report the movements of the First
Brigade in the expedition up Steele's Bayou, Black Bayou, and Deer
Creek.  The Sixth Missouri and One Hundred and Sixteenth Illinois
regiments embarked at the month of Muddy Bayou on the evening of
Thursday, the 18th of March, and proceeded up Steele's Bayou to the
month of Black; thence up Black Bayou to Hill's plantation, at its
junction with Deer Creek, where we arrived on Friday at four
o'clock p.m., and joined the Eighth Missouri, Lieutenant-Colonel
Coleman commanding, which had arrived at that point two days
before.  General Sherman had also established his headquarters
there, having preceded the Eighth Missouri in a tug, with no other
escort than two or three of his staff, reconnoitring all the
different bayous and branches, thereby greatly facilitating the
movements of the troops, but at the same time exposing himself
beyond precedent in a commanding general.  At three o'clock of
Saturday morning, the 20th instant, General Sherman having received
a communication from Admiral Porter at the mouth of Rolling Fork,
asking for a speedy cooperation of the land forces with his fleet,
I was ordered by General Sherman to be ready, with all the
available force at that point, to accompany him to his relief; but
before starting it was arranged that I should proceed with the
force at hand (eight hundred men), while he remained, again
entirely unprotected, to hurry up the troops expected to arrive
that night, consisting of the Thirteenth Infantry and One Hundred
and Thirteenth Illinois Volunteers, completing my brigade, and the
Second Brigade, Colonel T. Kilby Smith commanding.

This, as the sequel showed; proved a very wise measure, and
resulted in the safety of the whole fleet.  At daybreak we were in
motion, with a regular guide.  We had proceeded but about six
miles, when we found the enemy had been very busy felling trees to
obstruct the creek.

All the negroes along the route had been notified to be ready at
night fall to continue the work.  To prevent this as much as
possible, I ordered all able-bodied negroes to be taken along, and
warned some of the principal inhabitants that they would be held
responsible for any more obstructions being placed across the
creek.  We reached the admiral about four o'clock p.m., with no
opposition save my advance-guard (Company A, Sixth Missouri) being
fired into from the opposite side of  the creek, killing one man,
and slightly wounding another; having no way of crossing, we had to
content ourselves with driving them beyond musket-range.
Proceeding with as little loss of time as possible, I found the
fleet obstructed in front by fallen trees, in rear by a sunken
coal-barge, and surrounded, by a large force of rebels with an
abundant supply of artillery, but wisely keeping their main force
out of range of the admiral's guns.  Every tree and stump covered a
sharp-shooter, ready to pick off any luckless marine who showed his
head above-decks, and entirely preventing the working-parties from
removing obstructions.

In pursuance of orders from General Sherman, I reported to Admiral
Porter for orders, who turned over to me all the land-forces in his
fleet (about one hundred and fifty men), together with two
howitzers, and I was instructed by him to retain a sufficient force
to clear out the sharp-shooters, and to distribute the remainder
along the creek for six or seven miles below, to prevent any more
obstructions being placed in it during the night.  This was
speedily arranged, our skirmishers capturing three prisoners.
Immediate steps were now taken to remove the coal-barge, which was
accomplished about daylight on Sunday morning, when the fleet moved
back toward Black Bayou.  By three o'clock p.m.  we had only made
about six miles, owing to the large number of trees to be removed;
at this point, where our progress was very slow, we discovered a
long line of the enemy filing along the edge of the woods, and
taking position on the creek below us, and about one mile ahead of
our advance.  Shortly after, they opened fire on the gunboats from
batteries behind the cavalry and infantry.  The boats not only
replied to the batteries, which they soon silenced, but poured a
destructive fire into their lines.  Heavy skirmishing was also
heard in our front, supposed to be by three companies from the
Sixth and Eighth Missouri, whose position, taken the previous night
to guard the creek, was beyond the point reached by the enemy, and
consequently liable to be cut off or captured.  Captain Owen, of
the Louisville, the leading boat, made every effort to go through
the obstructions and aid in the rescuing of the men.  I ordered
Major Kirby, with four companies of the Sixth Missouri, forward,
with two companies deployed.  He soon met General Sherman, with the
Thirteenth Infantry and One Hundred and Thirteenth Illinois,
driving the enemy before them, and opening communication along the
creek with the gunboats.  Instead of our three companies referred
to as engaging the enemy, General Sherman had arrived at a very
opportune moment with the two regiments mentioned above, and the
Second Brigade.  The enemy, not expecting an attack from that
quarter, after some hot skirmishing, retreated.  General Sherman
immediately ordered the Thirteenth Infantry and One Hundred and
Thirteenth Illinois to pursue; but, after following their trace for
about two miles, they were recalled.

We continued our march for about two miles, when we bivouacked for
the night.  Early on Monday morning (March 22d) we continued our
march, but owing to the slow progress of the gunboats did not reach
Hill's plantation until Tuesday, the 23d instant, where we remained
until the 25th; we then reembarked, and arrived at Young's Point on
Friday, the 27th instant.

Below you will find a list of casualties.  Very respectfully,

Giles A. SMITH,
Colonel Eighth Missouri, commanding First Brigade.

P. S.-I forgot to state above that the Thirteenth Infantry and One
Hundred and Thirteenth Illinois being under the immediate command
of General Sherman, he can mention them as their conduct deserves.

On the 3d of April, a division of troops, commanded by
Brigadier-General J. M. Tuttle, was assigned to my corps, and
was designated the Third Division; and, on the 4th of April,
Brigadier-General D. Stuart was relieved from the command of the
Second Division, to which Major-General Frank P. Blair was appointed
by an order from General Grant's headquarters.  Stuart had been with
me from the time we were at Benton Barracks, in command of the
Fifty-fifth Illinois, then of a brigade, and finally of a division;
but he had failed in seeking a confirmation by the Senate to his
nomination as brigadier-general, by reason of some old affair at
Chicago, and, having resigned his commission as colonel, he was out
of service. I esteemed him very highly, and was actually mortified
that the service should thus be deprived of so excellent and gallant
an officer.  He afterward settled in New Orleans as a lawyer, and
died about 1867 or 1868.

On the 6th of April, my command, the Fifteenth Corps, was composed
of three divisions:

The First Division, commanded by Major-General Fred Steele; and his
three brigades by Colonel Manter, Colonel Charles R. Wood, and
Brigadier-General John M. Thayer.

The Second Division, commanded by Major-General Frank P. Blair; and
his three brigades by Colonel Giles A. Smith, Colonel Thomas Gilby
Smith, and Brigadier-General Hugh Ewing.

The Third Division, commanded by Brigadier-General J. M. Tuttle;
and his three brigades by Brigadier-General R. P. Buckland, Colonel
J. A. Mower, and Brigadier-General John E. Smith.

My own staff then embraced: Dayton, McCoy, and Hill, aides; J. H.
Hammond, assistant adjutant-general; Sanger, inspector-general;
McFeeley, commissary; J. Condit Smith, quartermaster; Charles
McMillan, medical director; Ezra Taylor, chief of artillery;
Jno. C. Neely, ordnance-officer; Jenney and Pitzman, engineers.

By this time it had become thoroughly demonstrated that we could
not divert the main river Mississippi, or get practicable access to
the east bank of the Yazoo, in the rear of Vicksburg, by any of the
passes; and we were all in the habit of discussing the various
chances of the future.  General Grant's headquarters were at
Milliken's Bend, in tents, and his army was strung along the river
all the way from Young's Point up to Lake Providence, at least
sixty miles.  I had always contended that the best way to take
Vicksburg was to resume the movement which had been so well begun
the previous November, viz., for the main army to march by land
down the country inland of the Mississippi River; while the
gunboat-fleet and a minor land-force should threaten Vicksburg on
its river-front.

I reasoned that, with the large force then subject to General
Grant's orders-viz., four army corps--he could easily resume the
movement from Memphis, by way of Oxford and Grenada, to Jackson,
Mississippi, or down the ridge between the Yazoo and Big Black; but
General Grant would not, for reasons other than military, take any
course which looked like, a step backward; and he himself concluded
on the river movement below Vicksburg, so as to appear like
connecting with General Banks, who at the same time was besieging
Port Hudson from the direction of New Orleans.

Preliminary orders had already been given, looking to the digging
of a canal, to connect the river at Duckport with Willow Bayou,
back of Milliken's Bend, so as to form a channel for the conveyance
of supplies, by way of Richmond, to New Carthage; and several steam
dredge-boats had come from the upper rivers to assist in the work.
One day early in April, I was up at General Grant's headquarters,
and we talked over all these things with absolute freedom.  Charles
A. Dana, Assistant Secretary of War, was there, and Wilson,
Rawlins, Frank Blair, McPherson, etc.  We all knew, what was
notorious, that General McClernand was still intriguing against
General Grant, in hopes to regain the command of the whole
expedition, and that others were raising a clamor against General
Grant in the news papers at the North.  Even Mr. Lincoln and
General Halleck seemed to be shaken; but at no instant of time did
we (his personal friends) slacken in our loyalty to him.  One
night, after such a discussion, and believing that General
McClernand had no real plan of action shaped in his mind, I wrote
my letter of April 8, 1863, to Colonel Rawlins, which letter is
embraced in full at page 616 of Badeau's book, and which I now
reproduce here:


Colonel J. A. RAWLINS, Assistant Adjutant-General to General GRANT.

SIR: I would most respectfully suggest (for reasons which I will
not name) that General Grant call on his corps commanders for their
opinions, concise and positive, on the best general plan of a
campaign.  Unless this be done, there are men who will, in any
result falling below the popular standard, claim that their advice
was unheeded, and that fatal consequence resulted therefrom.  My
own opinions are:

First. That the Army of the Tennessee is now far in advance of the
other grand armies of the United States.

Second.  That a corps from Missouri should forthwith be moved from
St. Louis to the vicinity of Little Rock, Arkansas; supplies
collected there while the river is full, and land communication
with Memphis opened via Des Arc on the White, and Madison on the
St. Francis River.

Third.  That as much of the Yazoo Pass, Coldwater, and Tallahatchie
Rivers, as can be gained and fortified, be held, and the main army
be transported thither by land and water; that the road back to
Memphis be secured and reopened, and, as soon as the waters
subside, Grenada be attacked, and the swamp-road across to Helena
be patrolled by cavalry.

Fourth.  That the line of the Yalabusha be the base from which to
operate against the points where the Mississippi Central crosses
Big Black, above Canton; and, lastly, where the Vicksburg & Jackson
Railroad crosses the same river (Big Black).  The capture of
Vicksburg would result.

Fifth.  That a minor force be left in this vicinity, not to exceed
ten thousand men, with only enough steamboats to float and
transport them to any desired point; this force to be held always
near enough to act with the gunboats when the main army is known to
be near Vicksburg--Haines's Bluff or Yazoo City.

Sixth.  I do doubt the capacity of Willow Bayou (which I estimate
to be fifty miles long and very tortuous) as a military channel, to
supply an army large enough to operate against Jackson,
Mississippi, or the Black River Bridge; and such a channel will be
very vulnerable to a force coming from the west, which we must
expect.  Yet this canal will be most useful as the way to convey
coals and supplies to a fleet that should navigate the lower reach
of the Mississippi between Vicksburg and the Red River.

Seventh.  The chief reason for operating solely by water was the
season of the year and high water in the Tallahatchie and Yalabusha
Rivers.  The spring is now here, and soon these streams will be no
serious obstacle, save in the ambuscades of the forest, and
whatever works the enemy may have erected at or near Grenada.
North Mississippi is too valuable for us to allow the enemy to hold
it and make crops this year.

I make these suggestions, with the request that General Grant will
read them and give them, as I know he will, a share of his
thoughts.  I would prefer that he should not answer this letter,
but merely give it as much or as little weight as it deserves.
Whatever plan of action he may adopt will receive from me the same
zealous cooperation and energetic support as though conceived by
myself.  I do not believe General Banks will make any serious
attack on Port Hudson this spring.  I am, etc.,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

This is the letter which some critics have styled a "protest."  We
never had a council of war at any time during the Vicksburg
campaign.  We often met casually, regardless of rank or power, and
talked and gossiped of things in general, as officers do and
should.  But my letter speaks for itself--it shows my opinions
clearly at that stage of the game, and was meant partially to
induce General Grant to call on General McClernand for a similar
expression of opinion, but, so far as I know, he did not.  He went
on quietly to work out his own designs; and he has told me, since
the war, that had we possessed in December, 1862, the experience of
marching and maintaining armies without a regular base, which we
afterward acquired, he would have gone on from Oxford as first
contemplated, and would not have turned back because of the
destruction of his depot at Holly Springs by Van Dorn.  The
distance from Oxford to the rear of Vicksburg is little greater
than by the circuitous route we afterward followed, from Bruinsburg
to Jackson and Vicksburg, during which we had neither depot nor
train of supplies.  I have never criticised General Grant's
strategy on this or any other occasion, but I thought then that
he had lost an opportunity, which cost him and us six months'
extra-hard work, for we might have captured Vicksburg from the
direction of Oxford in January, quite as easily as was afterward
done in July, 1863.

General Grant's orders for the general movement past Vicksburg, by
Richmond and Carthage, were dated April 20, 1863.  McClernand was
to lead off with his corps, McPherson next, and my corps (the
Fifteenth) to bring up the rear.  Preliminary thereto, on the night
of April 16th, seven iron-clads led by Admiral Porter in person, in
the Benton, with three transports, and ten barges in tow, ran the
Vicksburg batteries by night.  Anticipating a scene, I had four
yawl-boats hauled across the swamp, to the reach of the river below
Vicksburg, and manned them with soldiers, ready to pick up any of
the disabled wrecks as they floated by.  I was out in the stream
when the fleet passed Vicksburg, and the scene was truly sublime.
As soon as the rebel gunners detected the Benton, which was in the
lead, they opened on her, and on the others in succession, with
shot and shell; houses on the Vicksburg side and on the opposite
shore were set on fire, which lighted up the whole river; and the
roar of cannon, the bursting of shells, and finally the burning of
the Henry Clay, drifting with the current, made up a picture of the
terrible not often seen.  Each gunboat returned the fire as she
passed the town, while the transports hugged the opposite shore.
When the Benton had got abreast of us, I pulled off to her,
boarded, had a few words with Admiral Porter, and as she was
drifting rapidly toward the lower batteries at Warrenton, I left,
and pulled back toward the shore, meeting the gunboat Tuscumbia
towing the transport Forest Queen into the bank out of the range of
fire.  The Forest Queen, Captain Conway, had been my flag-boat up
the Arkansas, and for some time after, and I was very friendly with
her officers.  This was the only transport whose captain would not
receive volunteers as a crew, but her own officers and crew stuck
to their boat, and carried her safely below the Vicksburg
batteries, and afterward rendered splendid service in ferrying
troops across the river at Grand Gulf and Bruinsburg.  In passing
Vicksburg, she was damaged in the hull and had a steam-pipe cut
away, but this was soon repaired.  The Henry Clay was set on fire
by bursting shells, and burned up; one of my yawls picked up her
pilot floating on a piece of wreck, and the bulk of her crew
escaped in their own yawl-boat to the shore above.  The Silver
Wave, Captain McMillan, the same that was with us up Steele's
Bayou, passed safely, and she also rendered good service afterward.

Subsequently, on the night of April 26th, six other transports with
numerous barges loaded with hay, corn, freight, and provisions,
were drifted past Vicksburg; of these the Tigress was hit, and sunk
just as she reached the river-bank below, on our side: I was there
with my yawls, and saw Colonel Lagow, of General Grant's staff, who
had passed the batteries in the Tigress, and I think he was
satisfied never to attempt such a thing again.  Thus General
Grant's army had below Vicksburg an abundance of stores, and boats
with which to cross the river.  The road by which the troops
marched was very bad, and it was not until the 1st of May that it
was clear for my corps.  While waiting my turn to march, I received
a letter from General Grant, written at Carthage, saying that he
proposed to cross over and attack Grand Gulf, about the end of
April, and he thought I could put in my time usefully by making a
"feint" on Haines's Bluff, but he did not like to order me to do
it, because it might be reported at the North that I had again been
"repulsed, etc."  Thus we had to fight a senseless clamor at the
North, as well as a determined foe and the obstacles of Nature.  Of
course, I answered him that I would make the "feint," regardless of
public clamor at a distance, and I did make it most effectually;
using all the old boats I could get about Milliken's Bend and the
mouth of the Yazoo, but taking only ten small regiments, selected
out of Blair's division, to make a show of force.  We afterward
learned that General Pemberton in Vicksburg had previously
dispatched a large force to the assistance of General Bowers, at
Grand Gulf and Port Gibson, which force had proceeded as far as
Hankinson's Ferry, when he discovered our ostentatious movement up
the Yazoo, recalled his men, and sent them up to Haines's Bluff to
meet us.  This detachment of rebel troops must have marched nearly
sixty miles without rest, for afterward, on reaching Vicksburg, I
heard that the men were perfectly exhausted, and lay along the road
in groups, completely fagged out.  This diversion, made with so
much pomp and display, therefore completely fulfilled its purpose,
by leaving General Grant to contend with a minor force, on landing
at Bruinsburg, and afterward at Port Gibson and Grand Gulf.

In May the waters of the Mississippi had so far subsided that all
our canals were useless, and the roads had become practicable.
After McPherson's corps had passed Richmond, I took up the route of
march, with Steele's and Tuttle's divisions.  Blair's division
remained at Milliken's Bend to protect our depots there, till
relieved by troops from Memphis, and then he was ordered to follow
us.  Our route lay by Richmond and Roundabout Bayou; then,
following Bayou Vidal we struck the Mississippi at Perkins's
plantation.  Thence the route followed Lake St. Joseph to a
plantation called Hard Times, about five miles above Grand Gulf.
The road was more or less occupied by wagons and detachments
belonging to McPherson's corps; still we marched rapidly and
reached Hard Times on the 6th of May.  Along the Bayou or Lake St.
Joseph were many very fine cotton plantations, and I recall that of
a Mr. Bowie, brother-in-law of the Hon. Reverdy Johnson, of
Baltimore.  The house was very handsome, with a fine, extensive
grass-plot in front.  We entered the yard, and, leaving our horses
with the headquarters escort, walked to the house.  On the
front-porch I found a magnificent grand-piano, with several
satin-covered arm-chairs, in one of which sat a Union soldier (one
of McPherson's men), with his feet on the keys of the piano, and
his musket and knapsack lying on the porch.  I asked him what he
was doing there, and he answered that he was "taking a rest;" this
was manifest and I started him in a hurry, to overtake his command.
The house was tenantless, and had been completely ransacked;
articles of dress and books were strewed about, and a handsome
boudoir with mirror front had been cast down, striking a French
bedstead, shivering the glass.  The library was extensive, with a
fine collection of books; and hanging on the wall were two
full-length portraits of Reverdy Johnson and his wife, one of the
most beautiful ladies of our country, with whom I had been
acquainted in Washington at the time of General Taylor's
administration.  Behind the mansion was the usual double row of
cabins called the "quarters."  There I found an old negro (a family
servant) with several women, whom I sent to the house to put things
in order; telling the old man that other troops would follow, and
he must stand on the porch to tell any officers who came along that
the property belonged to Mr. Bowie, who was the brother-in-law of
our friend Mr. Reverdy Johnson, of Baltimore, asking them to see
that no further harm was done.  Soon after we left the house I saw
some negroes carrying away furniture which manifestly belonged to
the house, and compelled them to carry it back; and after reaching
camp that night, at Hard Times, I sent a wagon back to Bowie's
plantation, to bring up to Dr. Hollingsworth's house the two
portraits for safe keeping; but before the wagon had reached
Bowie's the house was burned, whether by some of our men or by
negroes I have never learned.

At the river there was a good deal of scrambling to get across,
because the means of ferriage were inadequate; but by the aid of
the Forest Queen and several gunboats I got my command across
during the 7th of May, and marched out to Hankiuson's Ferry
(eighteen miles), relieving General Crocker's division of
McPherson's corps.  McClernand's corps and McPherson's were still
ahead, and had fought the battle of Port Gibson, on the 11th.  I
overtook General Grant in person at Auburn, and he accompanied my
corps all the way into Jackson, which we reached May 14th.
McClernand's corps had been left in observation toward Edwards's
Ferry.  McPherson had fought at Raymond, and taken the left-hand
road toward Jackson, via Clinton, while my troops were ordered by
General Grant in person to take the right-hand road leading through
Mississippi Springs.  We reached Jackson at the same time;
McPherson fighting on the Clinton road, and my troops fighting just
outside the town, on the Raymond road, where we captured three
entire field-batteries, and about two hundred prisoners of war.
The rebels, under General Joe Johnston, had retreated through the
town northward on the Canton road.  Generals Grant, McPherson, and
I, met in the large hotel facing the State-House, where the former
explained to us that he had intercepted dispatches from Pemberton
to Johnston, which made it important for us to work smart to
prevent a junction of their respective forces.  McPherson was
ordered to march back early the next day on the Clinton road to
make junction with McClernand, and I was ordered to remain one day
to break up railroads, to destroy the arsenal, a foundery, the
cotton-factory of the Messrs.  Green, etc., etc., and then to
follow McPherson.

McPherson left Jackson early on the 15th, and General Grant during
the same day.  I kept my troops busy in tearing up railroad-tracks,
etc., but early on the morning of the 16th received notice from
General Grant that a battle was imminent near Edwards's Depot; that
he wanted me to dispatch one of my divisions immediately, and to
follow with the other as soon as I had completed the work of
destruction.  Steele's division started immediately, and later in
the day I followed with the other division (Tuttle's).  Just as I
was leaving Jackson, a very fat man came to see me, to inquire if
his hotel, a large, frame building near the depot, were doomed to
be burned.  I told him we had no intention to burn it, or any other
house, except the machine-shops, and such buildings as could easily
be converted to hostile uses.  He professed to be a law-abiding
Union man, and I remember to have said that this fact was manifest
from the sign of his hotel, which was the "Confederate Hotel;" the
sign "United States" being faintly painted out, and "Confederate"
painted over it! I remembered that hotel, as it was the
supper-station for the New Orleans trains when I used to travel the
road before the war.  I had not the least purpose, however, of
burning it, but, just as we were leaving the town, it burst out in
flames and was burned to the ground.  I never found out exactly who
set it on fire, but was told that in one of our batteries were some
officers and men who had been made prisoners at Shiloh, with
Prentiss's division, and had been carried past Jackson in a
railroad-train; they had been permitted by the guard to go to this
very hotel for supper, and had nothing to pay but greenbacks, which
were refused, with insult, by this same law-abiding landlord.
These men, it was said, had quietly and stealthily applied the fire
underneath the hotel just as we were leaving the town.

About dark we met General Grant's staff-officer near Bolton
Station, who turned us to the right, with orders to push on to
Vicksburg by what was known as the upper Jackson Road, which
crossed the Big Black at Bridgeport.  During that day (May 16th)
the battle of Champion Hills had been fought and won by
McClernand's and McPherson's corps, aided by one division of mine
(Blairs), under the immediate command of General Grant; and
McPherson was then following the mass of  Pemberton's army,
disordered and retreating toward Vicksburg by the Edwards's Ferry
road.  General Blair's division had come up from the rear, was
temporarily attached to McClernand's corps, taking part with it in
the battle of Champion Hills, but on the 17th it was ordered by
General Grant across to Bridgeport, to join me there.

Just beyond Bolton there was a small hewn-log house, standing back
in a yard, in which was a well; at this some of our soldiers were
drawing water.  I rode in to get a drink, and, seeing a book on the
ground, asked some soldier to hand it to me.  It was a volume of
the Constitution of the United States, and on the title-page was
written the name of Jefferson Davis.  On inquiry of a negro, I
learned that the place belonged to the then President of the
Southern Confederation.  His brother Joe Davis's plantation was not
far off; one of my staff-officers went there, with a few soldiers,
and took a pair of carriage-horses, without my knowledge at the
time.  He found Joe Davis at home, an old man, attended by a young
and affectionate niece; but they were overwhelmed with grief to see
their country overran and swarming with Federal troops.

We pushed on, and reached the Big Black early, Blair's
troops having preceded us by an hour or so.  I found General
Blair in person, and he reported that there was no bridge across
the Big Black; that it was swimming-deep; and that there was
a rebel force on the opposite side, intrenched.  He had ordered
a detachment of the Thirteenth United States Regulars, under
Captain Charles Ewing, to strip some artillery-horses, mount the
men, and swim the river above the ferry, to attack and drive
away the party on the opposite bank.  I did not approve of this
risky attempt, but crept down close to the brink of the
river-bank, behind a corn-crib belonging to a plantation house near
by, and saw the parapet on the opposite bank.  Ordering a section of
guns to be brought forward by hand behind this corn-crib, a few
well-directed shells brought out of their holes the little party
that was covering the crossing, viz., a lieutenant and ten men, who
came down to the river-bank and surrendered.  Blair's pon-toon-train
was brought up, consisting of India-rubber boats, one of which was
inflated, used as a boat, and brought over the prisoners.  A
pontoon-bridge was at once begun, finished by night, and the troops
began the passage.  After dark, the whole scene was lit up with
fires of pitch-pine.  General Grant joined me there, and we sat on a
log, looking at the passage of the troops by the light of those
fires; the bridge swayed to and fro under the passing feet, and made
a fine war-picture.  At daybreak we moved on, ascending the ridge,
and by 10 a.m. the head of my column, long drawn out, reached the
Benton road, and gave us command of the peninsula between the Yazoo
and Big Black.  I dispatched Colonel Swan, of the Fourth Iowa
Cavalry, to Haines's Bluff, to capture that battery from the rear,
and he afterward reported that he found it abandoned, its garrison
having hastily retreated into Vicksburg, leaving their guns
partially disabled, a magazine full of ammunition, and a hospital
full of wounded and sick men.  Colonel Swan saw one of our gunboats
lying about two miles below in the Yazoo, to which he signaled.  She
steamed up, and to its commander the cavalry turned over the battery
at Haines's Bluff, and rejoined me in front of Vicksburg.  Allowing
a couple of hours for rest and to close up the column, I resumed the
march straight on Vicksburg. About two miles before reaching the
forts, the road forked; the left was the main Jackson road, and the
right was the "graveyard" road, which entered Vicksburg near a large
cemetery.  General Grant in person directed me to take the
right-hand road, but, as McPherson had not yet got up from the
direction of the railroad-bridge at Big Black, I sent the Eighth
Missouri on the main Jackson road, to push the rebel skirmishers
into town, and to remain until relieved by McPherson's advance,
which happened late that evening, May 18th.  The battalion of the
Thirteenth United States Regulars, commanded by Captain Washington,
was at the head of the column on the right-hand road, and pushed the
rebels close behind their parapets; one of my staff, Captain
Pitzman, receiving a dangerous wound in the hip, which apparently
disabled him for life. By night Blair's whole division had closed up
against the defenses of Vicksburg, which were found to be strong and
well manned; and, on General Steele's head of column arriving, I
turned it still more to the right, with orders to work its way down
the bluff, so as to make connection with our fleet in the
Mississippi River.  There was a good deal of desultory fighting that
evening, and a man was killed by the aide of General Grant and
myself, as we sat by the road-side looking at Steele's division
passing to the right.  General Steele's men reached the road which
led from Vicksburg up to Haines's Bluff, which road lay at the foot
of the hills, and intercepted some prisoners and wagons which were
coming down from Haines's Bluff.

All that night McPherson's troops were arriving by the main Jackson
road, and McClernand'a by another near the railroad, deploying
forward as fast as they struck the rebel works.  My corps (the
Fifteenth) had the right of the line of investment; McPherson's
(the Seventeenth) the centre; and McClernand's (the Thirteenth) the
left, reaching from the river above to the railroad below.  Our
lines connected, and invested about three-quarters of the
land-front of the fortifications of Vicksburg.  On the supposition
that the garrison of Vicksburg was demoralized by the defeats at
Champion Hills and at the railroad crossing of the Big Black,
General Grant ordered an assault at our respective fronts on the
19th.  My troops reached the top of the parapet, but could not
cross over.  The rebel parapets were strongly manned, and the enemy
fought hard and well.  My loss was pretty heavy, falling chiefly on
the Thirteenth Regulars, whose commanding officer, Captain
Washington, was killed, and several other regiments were pretty
badly cut up.  We, however, held the ground up to the ditch till
night, and then drew back only a short distance, and began to
counter-trench.  On the graveyard road, our parapet was within less
than fifty yards of the rebel ditch.

On the 20th of May, General Grant called the three corps commanders
together, viz., McClernand, McPherson, and Sherman.  We compared
notes, and agreed that the assault of the day before had failed, by
reason of the natural strength of the position, and because we were
forced by the nature of the ground to limit our attacks to the
strongest parts of the enemy's line, viz., where the three
principal roads entered the city.

It was not a council of war, but a mere consultation, resulting in
orders from General Grant for us to make all possible preparations
for a renewed assault on the 22d, simultaneously, at 10 a.m.  I
reconnoitred my front thoroughly in person, from right to left, and
concluded to make my real attack at the right flank of the bastion,
where the graveyard road entered the enemy's intrenchments, and at
another point in the curtain about a hundred yards to its right
(our left); also to make a strong demonstration by Steele's
division, about a mile to our right, toward the river.  All our
field batteries were put in position, and were covered by good
epaulements; the troops were brought forward, in easy support,
concealed by the shape of the ground; and to the: minute,  viz.,
10 a.m. of May 22d, the troops sprang to the assault.  A small
party, that might be called a forlorn hope, provided with plank to
cross the ditch, advanced at a run, up to the very ditch; the lines
of infantry sprang from cover, and advanced rapidly in line of
battle.  I took a position within two hundred yards of the rebel
parapet, on the off slope of a spur of ground, where by advancing
two or three steps I could see every thing.  The rebel line,
concealed by the parapet, showed no sign of unusual activity, but
as our troops came in fair view, the enemy rose behind their
parapet and poured a furious fire upon our lines; and, for about
two hours, we had a severe and bloody battle, but at every point we
were repulsed.  In the very midst of this, when shell and shot fell
furious and fast, occurred that little episode which has been
celebrated in song and story, of the boy Orion P. Howe, badly
wounded, bearing me a message for cartridges, calibre 54,
described in my letter to the Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War.
This boy was afterward appointed a cadet to the United States Naval
Academy, at Annapolis, but he could not graduate, and I do not now
know what has become of him.

After our men had been fairly beaten back from off the parapet, and
had got cover behind the spurs of ground close up to the rebel
works, General Grant came to where I was, on foot, having left his
horse some distance to the rear.  I pointed out to him the rebel
works, admitted that my assault had failed, and he said the result
with McPherson and McClernand was about the same.  While he was
with me, an orderly or staff-officer came and handed him a piece of
paper, which he read and handed to me.  I think the writing was in
pencil, on a loose piece of paper, and was in General McClernand's
handwriting, to the effect that "his troops had captured the rebel
parapet in his front," that, "the flag of the Union waved over the
stronghold of Vicksburg," and asking him (General Grant) to give
renewed orders to McPherson and Sherman to press their attacks on
their respective fronts, lest the enemy should concentrate on him
(McClernand).  General Grant said, "I don't believe a word of it;"
but I reasoned with him, that this note was official, and must be
credited, and I offered to renew the assault at once with new
troops.  He said he would instantly ride down the line to
McClernand's front, and if I did not receive orders to the
contrary, by 3 o'clock p.m., I might try it again.  Mower's fresh
brigade was brought up under cover, and some changes were made in
Giles Smith's brigade; and, punctually at 3 p.m., hearing heavy
firing down along the line to my left, I ordered the second
assault.  It was a repetition of the first, equally unsuccessful
and bloody.  It also transpired that the same thing had occurred
with General McPherson, who lost in this second assault some most
valuable officers and men, without adequate result; and that
General McClernand, instead of having taken any single point of the
rebel main parapet, had only taken one or two small outlying
lunettes open to the rear, where his men were at the mercy of the
rebels behind their main parapet, and most of them were actually
thus captured.  This affair caused great feeling with us, and
severe criticisms on General McClernand, which led finally to his
removal from the command of the Thirteenth Corps, to which
General Ord succeeded.  The immediate cause, however, of
General McClernand's removal was the publication of a sort of
congratulatory order addressed to his troops, first published in
St. Louis, in which he claimed that he had actually succeeded in
making a lodgment in Vicksburg, but had lost it, owing to the fact
that McPherson and Sherman did not fulfill their parts of the
general plan of attack.  This was simply untrue.  The two several
assaults made May 22d, on the lines of Vicksburg, had failed, by
reason of the great strength of the position and the determined
fighting of its garrison.  I have since seen the position at
Sevastopol, and without hesitation I declare that at Vicksburg to
have been the more difficult of the two.

Thereafter our proceedings were all in the nature of a siege.
General Grant drew more troops from Memphis, to prolong our general
line to the left, so as completely to invest the place on its
land-side, while the navy held the river both above and below.
General Mower's brigade of Tuttle's division was also sent across
the river to the peninsula, so that by May 31st Vicksburg was
completely beleaguered.  Good roads were constructed from our camps
to the several landing-places on the Yazoo River, to which points
our boats brought us ample supplies; so that we were in a splendid
condition for a siege, while our enemy was shut up in a close fort,
with a large civil population of men, women, and children to feed,
in addition to his combatant force.  If we could prevent sallies,
or relief from the outside, the fate of the garrison of Vicksburg
was merely a question of time.

I had my headquarters camp close up to the works, near the centre
of my corps, and General Grant had his bivouac behind a ravine to
my rear.  We estimated Pemberton's whole force in Vicksburg at
thirty thousand men, and it was well known that the rebel General
Joseph E. Johnston was engaged in collecting another strong force
near the Big Black, with the intention to attack our rear, and thus
to afford Pemberton an opportunity to escape with his men.  Even
then the ability of General Johnston was recognized, and General
Grant told me that he was about the only general on that side whom
he feared.  Each corps kept strong pickets well to the rear; but,
as the rumors of Johnston's accumulating force reached us, General
Grant concluded to take stronger measures.  He had received from
the North General J. G. Parker's corps (Ninth), which had been
posted at Haines's Bluff; then, detailing one division from each of
the three corps d'armee investing Vicksburg, he ordered me to go
out, take a general command of all, and to counteract any movement
on the part of General Johnston to relieve Vicksburg.  I
reconnoitred the whole country, from Haines's Bluff to the railroad
bridge, and posted the troops thus:

Parke's two divisions from Haines's Bluff out to the Benton or
ridge road; Tuttle's division, of my corps, joining on and
extending to a plantation called Young's, overlooking Bear Creek
valley, which empties into the Big Black above Messinger's Ferry;
then McArthurs division, of McPherson's corps, took up the line,
and reached to Osterhaus's division of McClernand's corps, which
held a strong fortified position at the railroad-crossing of the
Big Black River.  I was of opinion that, if Johnston should cross
the Big Black, he could by the favorable nature of the country be
held in check till a concentration could be effected by us at the
point threatened.  From the best information we could gather,
General Johnston had about thirty or forty thousand men.  I took
post near a plantation of one Trible, near Markham's, and
frequently reconnoitred the whole line, and could see the enemy
engaged in like manner, on the east aide of Big Black; but he never
attempted actually to cross over, except with some cavalry, just
above Bear Creek, which was easily driven back.  I was there from
June 20th to the 4th of July.  In a small log-house near Markham's
was the family of Mr. Klein, whose wife was the daughter of Mrs.
Day, of New Orleans, who in turn was the sister of Judge T. W.
Bartley, my brother-in-law.  I used frequently to drop in and take
a meal with them, and Mrs. Klein was generally known as the
general's cousin, which doubtless saved her and her family from
molestation, too common on the part of our men.

One day, as I was riding the line near a farm known as Parson
Fog's, I heard that the family of a Mr. Wilkinson, of New Orleans,
was "refugeeing" at a house near by.  I rode up, inquired, and
found two young girls of that name, who said they were the children
of General Wilkinson, of Louisiana, and that their brother had been
at the Military School at Alexandria.  Inquiring for their mother,
I was told she was spending the day at Parson Fox's.  As this house
was on my route, I rode there, went through a large gate into the
yard, followed by my staff and escort, and found quite a number of
ladies sitting on the porch.  I rode up and inquired if that were
Parson Fox's.  The parson, a fine-looking, venerable old man, rose,
and said that he was Parson Fox.  I then inquired for Mrs.
Wilkinson, when an elderly lady answered that she was the person.
I asked her if she were from Plaquemine Parish, Louisiana, and she
said she was.  I then inquired if she had a son who had been a
cadet at Alexandria when General Sherman was superintendent, and
she answered yes.  I then announced myself, inquired after the boy,
and she said he was inside of Vicksburg, an artillery lieutenant.
I then asked about her husband, whom I had known, when she burst
into tears, and cried out in agony, "You killed him at Bull Run,
where he was fighting for his country!"  I disclaimed killing
anybody at Bull Run; but all the women present (nearly a dozen)
burst into loud lamentations, which made it most uncomfortable for
me, and I rode away.  On the 3d of July, as I sat at my bivouac by
the road-side near Trible's, I saw a poor, miserable horse,
carrying a lady, and led by a little negro boy, coming across a
cotton-field toward me; as they approached I recognized poor Mrs.
Wilkinson, and helped her to dismount.  I inquired what had brought
her to me in that style, and she answered that she knew Vicksburg,
was going to surrender, and she wanted to go right away to see her
boy.  I had a telegraph-wire to General Grant's headquarters, and
had heard that there were symptoms of surrender, but as yet nothing
definite.  I tried to console and dissuade her, but she was
resolved, and I could not help giving her a letter to General
Grant, explaining to him who she was, and asking him to give her
the earliest opportunity to see her son.  The distance was fully
twenty miles, but off she started, and I afterward learned that my
letter had enabled her to see her son, who had escaped unharmed.
Later in the day I got by telegraph General Grant's notice of the
negotiations for surrender; and, by his directions, gave general
orders to my troops to be ready at a moment's notice to cross the
Big Black, and go for Joe Johnston.

The next day (July 4, 1863) Vicksburg surrendered, and orders were
given for at once attacking General Johnston.  The Thirteenth Corps
(General Ord) was ordered to march rapidly, and cross the Big Black
at the railroad-bridge; the Fifteenth by Mesainger's, and the Ninth
(General Parker) by Birdsong's Ferry-all to converge on Bolton.  My
corps crossed the Big Black during the 5th and 6th of July, and
marched for Bolton, where we came in with General Ord's troops; but
the Ninth Corps was delayed in crossing at Birdsong's.  Johnston
had received timely notice of Pemberton's surrender, and was in
full retreat for Jackson.  On the 8th all our troops reached the
neighborhood of Clinton, the weather fearfully hot, and water
scarce.  Johnston had marched rapidly, and in retreating had caused
cattle, hogs, and sheep, to be driven into the ponds of water, and
there shot down; so that we had to haul their dead and stinking
carcasses out to use the water.  On the l0th of July we had driven
the rebel army into Jackson, where it turned at bay behind the
intrenchments, which had been enlarged and strengthened since our
former visit in May.  We closed our lines about Jackson; my corps
(Fifteenth) held the centre, extending from the Clinton to the
Raymond road; Ord's (Thirteenth) on the right, reaching Pearl River
below the town; and Parker's (Ninth) the left, above the town.

On the 11th we pressed close in, and shelled the town from every
direction.  One of Ords brigades (Lauman's) got too close, and was
very roughly handled and driven back in disorder.  General Ord
accused the commander (General Lauman) of having disregarded his
orders, and attributed to him personally the disaster and heavy
loss of men.  He requested his relief, which I granted, and General
Lauman went to the rear, and never regained his division.  He died
after the war, in Iowa, much respected, as before that time he had
been universally esteemed a most gallant and excellent officer.
The weather was fearfully hot, but we continued to press the siege
day and night, using our artillery pretty freely; and on the
morning of July 17th the place was found evacuated.  General
Steele's division was sent in pursuit as far as Brandon (fourteen
miles), but General Johnston had carried his army safely off, and
pursuit in that hot weather would have been fatal to my command.

Reporting the fact to General Grant, he ordered me to return, to
send General Parkes's corps to Haines's Bluff, General Ord's back
to Vicksburg, and he consented that I should encamp my whole corps
near the Big Black, pretty much on the same ground we had occupied
before the movement, and with the prospect of a period of rest for
the remainder of the summer.  We reached our camps on the 27th of

Meantime, a division of troops, commanded by Brigadier-General W.
Sooy Smith, had been added to my corps.  General Smith applied for
and received a sick-leave on the 20th of July; Brigadier-General
Hugh Ewing was assigned to its command; and from that time it
constituted the Fourth Division of the Fifteenth Army Corps.

Port Hudson had surrendered to General Banks on the 8th of July (a
necessary consequence of the fall of Vicksburg), and thus
terminated probably the most important enterprise of the civil
war--the recovery of the complete control of the Mississippi River,
from its source to its mouth--or, in the language of Mr. Lincoln,
the Mississippi went "unvexed to the sea."

I put my four divisions into handsome, clean camps, looking to
health and comfort alone, and had my headquarters in a beautiful
grove near the house of that same Parson Fox where I had found the
crowd of weeping rebel women waiting for the fate of their friends
in Vicksburg.

The loss sustained by the Fifteenth Corps in the assault of May
19th, at Vicksburg, was mostly confined to the battalion of the
Thirteenth Regulars, whose commanding officer, Captain Washington,
was mortally wounded, and afterward died in the hands of the enemy,
which battalion lost seventy-seven men out of the two hundred and
fifty engaged; the Eighty-third Indiana (Colonel Spooner), and the
One Hundred and Twenty seventh Illinois (Lieutenant-Colonel
Eldridge), the aggregate being about two hundred.

In the assaults of the 22d, the loss in the Fifteenth Corps was
about six hundred.

In the attack on Jackson, Mississippi, during the 11th-16th of
July, General Ord reported the loss in the Thirteenth Army Corps
seven hundred and sixty-two, of which five hundred and thirty-three
were confined to Lauman's division; General Parkes reported, in the
Ninth Corps, thirty-seven killed, two hundred and fifty-eight
wounded, and thirty-three missing: total, three hundred and
twenty-eight.  In the Fifteenth Corps the loss was less; so that,
in the aggregate, the loss as reported by me at the time was less
than a thousand men, while we took that number alone of prisoners.

In General Grant's entire army before Vicksburg, composed of the
Ninth, part of the Sixteenth, and the whole of the Thirteenth;
Fifteenth, and Seventeenth Corps, the aggregate loss, as stated by
Badeau, was:

Killed: .......................  1243
Wounded:.......................  7095
Missing: ......................   535

Total: ........................  8873

Whereas the Confederate loss, as stated by the same author,

Surrendered at Vicksburg ..............  32000
Captured at Champion Hills.............   3000
Captured at Big Black Bridge ..........   2000
Captured at Port Gibson................   2000
Captured with Loring ..................   4000
Killed and wounded ....................  10000
Stragglers.............................   3000

Total..................................  56000

Besides which, "a large amount of public property, consisting of
railroads, locomotives, cars, steamers, cotton, guns, muskets,
ammunition, etc., etc., was captured in Vicksburg."

The value of the capture of Vicksburg, however, was not measured by
the list of prisoners, guns, and small-arms, but by the fact that
its possession secured the navigation of the great central river of
the continent, bisected fatally the Southern Confederacy, and set
the armies which had been used in its conquest free for other
purposes; and it so happened that the event coincided as to time
with another great victory which crowned our arms far away, at
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  That was a defensive battle, whereas
ours was offensive in the highest acceptation of the term, and the
two, occurring at the same moment of time, should have ended the
war; but the rebel leaders were mad, and seemed determined that
their people should drink of the very lowest dregs of the cup of
war, which they themselves had prepared.

The campaign of Vicksburg, in its conception and execution,
belonged exclusively to General Grant, not only in the great whole,
but in the thousands of its details.  I still retain many of his
letters and notes, all in his own handwriting, prescribing the
routes of march for divisions and detachments, specifying even the
amount of food and tools to be carried along.  Many persons gave
his adjutant general, Rawlins, the credit for these things, but
they were in error; for no commanding general of an army ever gave
more of his personal attention to details, or wrote so many of his
own orders, reports, and letters, as General Grant.  His success at
Vicksburg justly gave him great fame at home and abroad.  The
President conferred on him the rank of major-general in the regular
army, the highest grade then existing by law; and General McPherson
and I shared in his success by receiving similar commissions as
brigadier-generals in the regular army.

But our success at Vicksburg produced other results not so
favorable to our cause--a general relaxation of effort, and desire
to escape the hard drudgery of camp: officers sought leaves of
absence to visit their homes, and soldiers obtained furloughs and
discharges on the most slender pretexts; even the General
Government seemed to relax in its efforts to replenish our ranks
with new men, or to enforce the draft, and the politicians were
pressing their schemes to reorganize or patch up some form of civil
government, as fast as the armies gained partial possession of the

In order to illustrate this peculiar phase of our civil war, I give
at this place copies of certain letters which have not heretofore
been published:


WASHINGTON, August 29, 1868.

Major-General W. T. SHERMAN, Vicksburg, Mississippi

My DEAR GENERAL: The question of reconstruction in Louisiana,
Mississippi, and Arkansas, will soon come up for decision of the
Government, and not only the length of the war, but our ultimate
and complete success, will depend upon its decision.  It is a
difficult matter, but I believe it can be successfully solved, if
the President will consult opinions of cool and discreet men, who
are capable of looking at it in all its bearings and effects.  I
think he is disposed to receive the advice of our generals who have
been in these States, and know much more of their condition than
gassy politicians in Congress.  General Banks has written pretty
fully, on the subject.  I wrote to General Grant, immediately,
after the fall of Vicksburg, for his views in regard to
Mississippi, but he has not yet answered.

I wish you would consult with Grant, McPherson, and others of cool,
good judgment, and write me your views fully, as I may wish to use
them with the President.  You had better write me unofficially, and
then your letter will not be put on file, and cannot hereafter be
used against you.  You have been in Washington enough to know how
every thing a man writes or says is picked up by his enemies and
misconstrued.  With kind wishes for your further success,

I am yours truly,


[Private and Confidential.]

H. W. HALLECK, Commander-in-Chief, Washington, D. C.

DEAR GENERAL: I have received your letter of August 29th, and with
pleasure confide to you fully my thoughts on the important matters
you suggest, with absolute confidence that you will use what is
valuable, and reject the useless or superfluous.

That part of the continent of North America known as Louisiana,
Mississippi, and Arkansas, is in my judgment the key to the whole
interior.  The valley of the Mississippi is America, and, although
railroads have changed the economy of intercommunication, yet the
water-channels still mark the lines of fertile land, and afford
cheap carriage to the heavy products of it.

The inhabitants of the country on the Monongahela, the Illinois,
the Minnesota, the Yellowstone, and Osage, are as directly
concerned in the security of the Lower Mississippi as are those who
dwell on its very banks in Louisiana; and now that the nation has
recovered its possession, this generation of men will make a
fearful mistake if they again commit its charge to a people liable
to misuse their position, and assert, as was recently done, that,
because they dwelt on the banks of this mighty stream, they had a
right to control its navigation.

I would deem it very unwise at this time, or for years to come, to
revive the State governments of Louisiana, etc., or to institute in
this quarter any civil government in which the local people have
much to say.  They had a government so mild and paternal that they
gradually forgot they had any at all, save what they themselves
controlled; they asserted an absolute right to seize public moneys,
forts, arms, and even to shut up the natural avenues of travel and
commerce.  They chose war--they ignored and denied all the
obligations of the solemn contract of government and appealed to

We accepted the issue, and now they begin to realize that war is a
two-edged sword, and it may be that many of the inhabitants cry for
peace.  I know them well, and the very impulses of their nature;
and to deal with the inhabitants of that part of the South which
borders on the great river, we must recognize the classes into
which they have divided themselves:

First.  The large planters, owning lands, slaves, and all kinds of
personal property.  These are, on the whole, the ruling class.
They are educated, wealthy, and easily approached.  In some
districts they are bitter as gall, and have given up slaves,
plantations, and all, serving in the armies of the Confederacy;
whereas, in others, they are conservative.  None dare admit a
friendship for us, though they say freely that they were at the
outset opposed to war and disunion.  I know we can manage this
class, but only by action.  Argument is exhausted, and words have
lost their usual meaning.  Nothing but the logic of events touches
their understanding; but, of late, this has worked a wonderful
change.  If our country were like Europe, crowded with people, I
would say it would be easier to replace this class than to
reconstruct it, subordinate to the policy of the nation; but, as
this is not the case, it is better to allow the planters, with
individual exceptions, gradually to recover their plantations, to
hire any species of labor, and to adapt themselves to the new order
of things.  Still, their friendship and assistance to reconstruct
order out of the present ruin cannot be depended on.  They watch
the operations of our armies, and hope still for a Southern
Confederacy that will restore to them the slaves and privileges
which they feel are otherwise lost forever.  In my judgment, we
have two more battles to win before we should even bother our minds
with the idea of restoring civil order--viz., one near Meridian, in
November, and one near Shreveport, in February and March next, when
Red River is navigable by our gunboats.  When these are done, then,
and not until then, will the planters of Louisiana, Arkansas, and
Mississippi, submit.  Slavery is already gone, and, to cultivate
the land, negro or other labor must be hired.  This, of itself, is
a vast revolution, and time must be afforded to allow men to adjust
their minds and habits to this new order of things.  A civil
government of the representative type would suit this class far
less than a pure military role, readily adapting itself to actual
occurrences, and able to enforce its laws and orders promptly and

Second.  The smaller farmers, mechanics, merchants, and laborers.
This class will probably number three-quarters of the whole; have,
in fact, no real interest in the establishment of a Southern
Confederacy, and have been led or driven into war on the false
theory that they were to be benefited somehow--they knew not how.
They are essentially tired of the war, and would slink back home if
they could.  These are the real tiers etat of the South, and are
hardly worthy a thought; for they swerve to and fro according to
events which they do not comprehend or attempt to shape.  When the
time for reconstruction comes, they will want the old political
system of caucuses, Legislatures, etc., to amuse them and make them
believe they are real sovereigns; but in all things they will
follow blindly the lead of the planters.  The Southern politicians,
who understand this class, use them as the French do their masses
--seemingly consult their prejudices, while they make their orders
and enforce them.  We should do the same.

Third.  The Union men of the South.  I must confess I have little
respect for this class.  They allowed a clamorous set of demagogues
to muzzle and drive them as a pack of curs.  Afraid of shadows,
they submit tamely to squads of dragoons, and permit them, without
a murmur, to burn their cotton, take their horses, corn, and every
thing; and, when we reach them, they are full of complaints if our
men take a few fence-rails for fire, or corn to feed our horses.
They give us no assistance or information, and are loudest in their
complaints at the smallest excesses of our soldiers.  Their sons,
horses, arms, and every thing useful, are in the army against us,
and they stay at home, claiming all the exemptions of peaceful
citizens.  I account them as nothing in this great game of war.

Fourth.  The young bloods of the South: sons of planters, lawyers
about towns, good billiard-players and sportsmen, men who never did
work and never will.  War suits them, and the rascals are brave,
fine riders, bold to rashness, and dangerous subjects in every
sense.  They care not a sou for niggers, land, or any thing.  They
hate Yankees per se, and don't bother their brains about the past,
present, or future.  As long as they have good horses, plenty of
forage, and an open country, they are happy.  This is a larger
class than most men suppose, and they are the most dangerous set of
men that this war has turned loose upon the world.  They are
splendid riders, first-rate shots, and utterly reckless.  Stewart,
John Morgan, Forrest, and Jackson, are the types and leaders of
this class.  These men must all be killed or employed by us before
we can hope for peace.  They have no property or future, and
therefore cannot be influenced by any thing, except personal
considerations.  I have two brigades of these fellows in my front,
commanded by Cosby, of the old army, and Whitfield, of Texas.
Stephen D. Lee is in command of the whole.  I have frequent
interviews with their officers, a good understanding with them, and
am inclined to think, when the resources of their country are
exhausted, we must employ them.  They are the best cavalry in the
world, but it will tax Mr. Chase's genius for finance to supply
them with horses.  At present horses cost them nothing; for they
take where they find, and don't bother their brains as to who is to
pay for them; the same may be said of the cornfields, which have,
as they believe, been cultivated by a good-natured people for their
special benefit.  We propose to share with them the free use of
these cornfields, planted by willing hands, that will never gather
the crops.

Now that I have sketched the people who inhabit the district of
country under consideration, I will proceed to discuss the future.

A civil government now, for any part of it, would be simply
ridiculous.  The people would not regard it, and even the military
commanders of the antagonistic parties would treat it lightly.
Governors would be simply petitioners for military assistance, to
protect supposed friendly interests, and military commanders would
refuse to disperse and weaken their armies for military reasons.
Jealousies would arise between the two conflicting powers, and,
instead of contributing to the end of the war, would actually defer
it.  Therefore, I contend that the interests of the United States,
and of the real parties concerned, demand the continuance of the
simple military role, till after all the organized armies of the
South are dispersed, conquered, and subjugated.

The people of all this region are represented in the Army of
Virginia, at Charleston, Mobile, and Chattanooga.  They have sons
and relations in each of the rebel armies, and naturally are
interested in their fate.  Though we hold military possession of
the key-points of their country, still they contend, and naturally,
that should Lee succeed in Virginia, or Bragg at Chattanooga, a
change will occur here also.  We cannot for this reason attempt to
reconstruct parts of the South as we conquer it, till all idea of
the establishment of a Southern Confederacy is abandoned.  We
should avail ourselves of the present lull to secure the
strategical points that will give us an advantage in the future
military movements, and we should treat the idea of civil
government as one in which we as a nation have a minor or
subordinate interest.  The opportunity is good to impress on the
population the truth that they are more interested in civil
government than we are; and that, to enjoy the protection of laws,
they most not be passive observers of events, but must aid and
sustain the constituted authorities in enforcing the laws; they
must not only submit themselves, but should pay their share of
taxes, and render personal services when called on.

It seems to me, in contemplating the history of the past two years,
that all the people of our country, North, South, East, and West,
have been undergoing a salutary political schooling, learning
lessons which might have been acquired from the experience of other
people; but we had all become so wise in our own conceit that we
would only learn by actual experience of our own.  The people even
of small and unimportant localities, North as well as South, had
reasoned themselves into the belief that their opinions were
superior to the aggregated interest of the whole nation.  Half our
territorial nation rebelled, on a doctrine of secession that they
themselves now scout; and a real numerical majority actually
believed that a little State was endowed with such sovereignty that
it could defeat the policy of the great whole.  I think the present
war has exploded that notion, and were this war to cease now, the
experience gained, though dear, would be worth the expense.

Another great and important natural truth is still in contest, and
can only be solved by war.  Numerical majorities by vote have been
our great arbiter.  Heretofore all men have cheerfully submitted to
it in questions left open, but numerical majorities are not
necessarily physical majorities.  The South, though numerically
inferior, contend they can whip the Northern superiority of
numbers, and therefore by natural law they contend that they are
not bound to submit.  This issue is the only real one, and in my
judgment all else should be deferred to it.  War alone can decide
it, and it is the only question now left for us as a people to
decide.  Can we whip the South? If we can, our numerical majority
has both the natural and constitutional right to govern them.  If
we cannot whip them, they contend for the natural right to select
their own government, and they have the argument.  Our armies must
prevail over theirs; our officers, marshals, and courts, must
penetrate into the innermost recesses of their land, before we have
the natural right to demand their submission.

I would banish all minor questions, assert the broad doctrine that
as a nation the United States has the right, and also the physical
power, to penetrate to every part of our national domain, and that
we will do it--that we will do it in our own time and in our own
way; that it makes no difference whether it be in one year, or two,
or ten, or twenty; that we will remove and destroy every obstacle,
if need be, take every life, every acre of land, every particle of
property, every thing that to us seems proper; that we will not
cease till the end is attained; that all who do not aid us are
enemies, and that we will not account to them for our acts.  If the
people of the South oppose, they do so at their peril; and if they
stand by, mere lookers-on in this domestic tragedy, they have no
right to immunity, protection, or share in the final results.

I even believe and contend further that, in the North, every member
of the nation is bound by both natural and constitutional law to
"maintain and defend the Government against all its enemies and
opposers whomsoever."  If they fail to do it they are derelict, and
can be punished, or deprived of all advantages arising from the
labors of those who do.  If any man, North or South, withholds his
share of taxes, or his physical assistance in this, the crisis of
our history, he should be deprived of all voice in the future
elections of this country, and might be banished, or reduced to the
condition of a mere denizen of the land.

War is upon us, none can deny it.  It is not the choice of the
Government of the United States, but of a faction; the Government
was forced to accept the issue, or to submit to a degradation fatal
and disgraceful to all the inhabitants.  In accepting war, it
should be "pure and simple" as applied to the belligerents.  I
would keep it so, till all traces of the war are effaced; till
those who appealed to it are sick and tired of it, and come to the
emblem of our nation, and sue for peace.  I would not coax them, or
even meet them half-way, but make them so sick of war that
generations would pass away before they would again appeal to it.

I know what I say when I repeat that the insurgents of the South
sneer at all overtures looking to their interests.  They scorn the
alliance with the Copperheads; they tell me to my face that they
respect Grant, McPherson, and our brave associates who fight
manfully and well for a principle, but despise the Copperheads and
sneaks at the North, who profess friendship for the South and
opposition to the war, as mere covers for their knavery and

God knows that I deplore this fratricidal war as much as any man
living, but it is upon us, a physical fact; and there is only one
honorable issue from it.  We must fight it out, army against army,
and man against man; and I know, and you know, and civilians begin
to realize the fact, that reconciliation and reconstruction will be
easier through and by means of strong, well-equipped, and organized
armies than through any species of conventions that can be framed.
The issues are made, and all discussion is out of place and
ridiculous.  The section of thirty-pounder Parrott rifles now
drilling before my tent is a more convincing argument than the
largest Democratic meeting the State of New York can possibly
assemble at Albany; and a simple order of the War Department to
draft enough men to fill our skeleton regiments would be more
convincing as to our national perpetuity than an humble pardon to
Jeff.  Davis and all his misled host.

The only government needed or deserved by the States of Louisiana,
Arkansas, and Mississippi, now exists in Grant's army.  This needs,
simply, enough privates to fill its ranks; all else will follow in
due season.  This army has its well-defined code of laws and
practice, and can adapt itself to the wants and necessities of a
city, the country, the rivers, the sea, indeed to all parts of this
land.  It better subserves the interest and policy of the General
Government, and the people here prefer it to any weak or servile
combination that would at once, from force of habit, revive sad
perpetuate local prejudices and passions.  The people of this
country have forfeited all right to a voice in the councils of the
nation.  They know it and feel it, and in after-years they will be
the better citizens from the dear bought experience of the present
crisis.  Let them learn now, and learn it well, that good citizens
must obey as well as command.  Obedience to law, absolute--yea,
even abject--is the lesson that this war, under Providence, will
teach the free and enlightened American citizen.  As a nation, we
shall be the better for it.

I never have apprehended foreign interference in our family
quarrel.  Of coarse, governments founded on a different and it may
be an antagonistic principle with ours naturally feel a pleasure at
our complications, and, it may be, wish our downfall; but in the
end England and France will join with us in jubilation at the
triumph of constitutional government over faction.  Even now the
English manifest this.  I do not profess to understand Napoleon's
design in Mexico, and I do not, see that his taking military
possession of Mexico concerns us.  We have as much territory now as
we want.  The Mexicans have failed in self-government, and it was a
question as to what nation she should fall a prey.  That is now
solved, and I don't see that we are damaged.  We have the finest
part of the North American Continent, all we can people and can
take care of; and, if we can suppress rebellion in our own land,
and compose the strife generated by it, we shall have enough
people, resources, and wealth, if well combined, to defy
interference from any and every quarter.

I therefore hope the Government of the United States will continue,
as heretofore, to collect, in well-organized armies, the physical
strength of the nation; applying it, as heretofore, in asserting
the national authority; and in persevering, without relaxation, to
the end.  This, whether near or far off, is not for us to say; but,
fortunately, we have no choice.  We must succeed--no other choice
is left us except degradation.  The South must be ruled by us, or
she will rule us.  We must conquer them, or ourselves be conquered.
There is no middle course.  They ask, and will have, nothing else,
and talk of compromise is bosh; for we know they would even scorn
the offer.

I wish the war could have been deferred for twenty years, till the
superabundant population of the North could flow in and replace the
losses sustained by war; but this could not be, and we are forced
to take things as they are.

All therefore I can now venture to advise is to raise the draft to
its maximum, fill the present regiments to as large a standard as
possible, and push the war, pure and simple.  Great attention
should be paid to the discipline of our armies, for on them may be
founded the future stability of the Government.

The cost of the war is, of course, to be considered, but finances
will adjust themselves to the actual state of affairs; and, even if
we would, we could not change the cost.  Indeed, the larger the
cost now, the less will it be in the end; for the end must be
attained somehow, regardless of loss of life and treasure, and is
merely a question of time.

Excuse so long a letter.  With great respect, etc.,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

General Halleck, on receipt of this letter, telegraphed me that Mr.
Lincoln had read it carefully, and had instructed him to obtain my
consent to have it published.  At the time, I preferred not to be
drawn into any newspaper controversy, and so wrote to General
Halleck; and the above letter has never been, to my knowledge,
published; though Mr. Lincoln more than once referred to it with
marks of approval.

CAMP ON BIG BLACK, September 17, 1863

Brigadier-General J. A. RAWLINS,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Vicksburg.

DEAR GENERAL: I inclose for your perusal, and for you to read to
General Grant such parts as you deem interesting, letters received
by me from Prof. Mahan and General Halleck, with my answers.  After
you have read my answer to General Halleck, I beg you to inclose it
to its address, and return me the others.

I think Prof. Mahan's very marked encomium upon the campaign of
Vicksburg is so flattering to General Grant, that you may offer to
let him keep the letter, if he values such a testimonial.  I have
never written a word to General Halleck since my report of last
December, after the affair at Chickasaw, except a short letter a
few days ago, thanking him for the kind manner of his transmitting
to me the appointment of brigadier-general.  I know that in
Washington I am incomprehensible, because at the outset of the war
I would not go it blind and rush headlong into a war unprepared and
with an utter ignorance of its extent and purpose.  I was then
construed unsound; and now that I insist on war pure and simple,
with no admixture of civil compromises, I am supposed vindictive.
You remember what Polonius said to his son Laertes: "Beware of
entrance to a quarrel; but, being in, bear it, that the opposed may
beware of thee."  What is true of the single man, is equally true
of a nation.  Our leaders seemed at first to thirst for the
quarrel, willing, even anxious, to array against us all possible
elements of opposition; and now, being in, they would hasten to
quit long before the "opposed" has received that lesson which he
needs.  I would make this war as severe as possible, and show no
symptoms of tiring till the South begs for mercy; indeed, I know,
and you know, that the end would be reached quicker by such a
course than by any seeming yielding on our part.  I don't want our
Government to be bothered by patching up local governments, or by
trying to reconcile any class of men.  The South has done her
worst, and now is the time for us to pile on our blows thick and

Instead of postponing the draft till after the elections, we ought
now to have our ranks full of drafted men; and, at best, if they
come at all, they will reach us when we should be in motion.

I think General Halleck would like to have the honest, candid
opinions of all of us, viz., Grant, McPherson, and Sherman.  I have
given mine, and would prefer, of course, that it should coincide
with the others.  Still, no matter what my opinion may be, I can
easily adapt my conduct to the plane of others, and am only too
happy when I find theirs better, than mine.

If no trouble, please show Halleck's letter to McPherson, and ask
him to write also.  I know his regiments are like mine (mere
squads), and need filling up.  Yours truly,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.




After the fall of Vicksburg, and its corollary, Port Hudson, the
Mississippi River was wholly in the possession of the Union forces,
and formed a perfect line of separation in the territories of our
opponents.  Thenceforth, they could not cross it save by stealth,
and the military affairs on its west bank became unimportant.
Grant's army had seemingly completed its share of the work of war,
and lay, as it were, idle for a time.  In person General Grant went
to New Orleans to confer with General Banks, and his victorious
army was somewhat dispersed.  Parke's corps (Ninth) returned to
Kentucky, and afterward formed part of the Army of the Ohio, under
General Burnside; Ord's corps (Thirteenth) was sent down to
Natchez, and gradually drifted to New Orleans and Texas; McPhersons
(Seventeenth) remained in and near Vicksburg; Hurlbut's (Sixteenth)
was at Memphis; and mine (Fifteenth) was encamped along the Big
Black, about twenty miles east of Vicksburg.  This corps was
composed of four divisions: Steele's (the First) was posted at and
near the railroad-bridge; Blair's (the Second), next in order, near
Parson Fox's; the Third Division (Tuttle's) was on the ridge about
the head of Bear Creek; and the Fourth (Ewing's) was at Messinger's
Ford.  My own headquarters were in tents in a fine grove of old
oaks near Parson Fox's house, and the battalion of the Thirteenth
Regulars was the headquarters guard.

All the camps were arranged for health, comfort, rest, and drill.
It being midsummer, we did not expect any change till the autumn
months, and accordingly made ourselves as comfortable as possible.
There was a short railroad in operation from Vicksburg to the
bridge across the Big Black, whence supplies in abundance were
hauled to our respective camps.  With a knowledge of this fact Mrs.
Sherman came down from Ohio with Minnie, Lizzie, Willie, and Tom,
to pay us a visit in our camp at Parson Fog's.  Willie was then
nine years old, was well advanced for his years, and took the most
intense interest in the affairs of the army.  He was a great
favorite with the soldiers, and used to ride with me on horseback
in the numerous drills and reviews of the time.  He then had the
promise of as long a life as any of my children, and displayed more
interest in the war than any of them.  He was called a "sergeant"
in the regular battalion, learned the manual of arms, and regularly
attended the parade and guard-mounting of the Thirteenth, back of
my camp.  We made frequent visits to Vicksburg, and always stopped
with General McPherson, who had a large house, and boarded with a
family (Mrs. Edwards's) in which were several interesting young
ladies.  General Grant occupied another house (Mrs. Lum's) in
Vicksburg during that summer, and also had his family with him.
The time passed very agreeably, diversified only by little events
of not much significance, among which I will recount only one.

While, we occupied the west bank of the Big Black, the east bank
was watched by a rebel cavalry-division, commanded by General
Armstrong.  He had four brigades, commanded by Generals Whitfield,
Stark, Cosby, and Wirt Adams.  Quite frequently they communicated
with us by flags of truce on trivial matters, and we reciprocated;
merely to observe them.  One day a flag of truce, borne by a
Captain B...., of Louisville, Kentucky, escorted by about
twenty-five men, was reported at Messinger's Ferry, and I sent
orders to let them come right into my tent.  This brought them
through the camps of the Fourth Division, and part of the Second;
and as they drew up in front of my tent, I invited Captain B....
and another officer with him (a major from Mobile) to dismount, to
enter my tent, and to make themselves at home.  Their escort was
sent to join mine, with orders to furnish them forage and every
thing they wanted.  B....  had brought a sealed letter for General
Grant at Vicksburg, which was dispatched to him.  In the evening we
had a good supper, with wine and cigars, and, as we sat talking,
B....  spoke of his father and mother, in Louisville, got leave to
write them a long letter without its being read by any one, and
then we talked about the war.  He said: "What is the use of your
persevering? It is simply impossible to subdue eight millions of
people;" asserting that "the feeling in the South had become so
embittered that a reconciliation was impossible."  I answered that,
"sitting as we then were, we appeared very comfortable, and surely
there was no trouble in our becoming friends."  "Yes," said he,
"that is very true of us, but we are gentlemen of education, and
can easily adapt ourselves to any condition of things; but this
would not apply equally well to the common people, or to the common
soldiers."  I took him out to the camp-fires behind the tent, and
there were the men of his escort and mine mingled together,
drinking their coffee, and happy as soldiers always seem.  I asked
B....  what he thought of that, and he admitted that I had the best
of the argument.  Before I dismissed this flag of truce, his
companion consulted me confidentially as to what disposition he
ought to make of his family, then in Mobile, and I frankly gave him
the best advice I could.

While we were thus lying idle in camp on the big Black, the Army of
the Cumberland, under General Rosecrans, was moving against Bragg
at Chattanooga; and the Army of the Ohio, General Burnside, was
marching toward East Tennessee.  General Rosecrans was so confident
of success that he somewhat scattered his command, seemingly to
surround and capture Bragg in Chattanooga; but the latter,
reenforced from Virginia, drew out of Chattanooga, concentrated his
army at Lafayette, and at Chickamauga fell on Rosecrans, defeated
him, and drove him into Chattanooga.  The whole country seemed
paralyzed by this unhappy event; and the authorities in Washington
were thoroughly stampeded.  From the East the Eleventh Corps
(Slocum), and the Twelfth Corps (Howard), were sent by rail to
Nashville, and forward under command of General Hooker; orders were
also sent to General Grant, by Halleck, to send what reenforcements
he could spare immediately toward Chattanooga.

Bragg had completely driven Rosecrans's army into Chattanooga; the
latter was in actual danger of starvation, and the railroad to his
rear seemed inadequate to his supply.  The first intimation which I
got of this disaster was on the 22d of September, by an order from
General Grant to dispatch one of my divisions immediately into
Vicksburg, to go toward Chattanooga, and I designated the First,
General Osterhaus--Steele meantime having been appointed to the
command of the Department of Arkansas, and had gone to Little Rock.
General Osterhaus marched the same day, and on the 23d I was
summoned to Vicksburg in person, where General Grant showed me the
alarming dispatches from General Halleck, which had been sent from
Memphis by General Hurlbut, and said, on further thought, that he
would send me and my whole corps.  But, inasmuch as one division of
McPherson's corps (John E. Smith's) had already started, he
instructed me to leave one of my divisions on the Big Black, and to
get the other two ready to follow at once.  I designated the
Second, then commanded by Brigadier-General Giles A. Smith, and the
Fourth, commanded by Brigadier-General Corse.

On the 25th I returned to my camp on Big Black, gave all the
necessary orders for these divisions to move, and for the Third
(Tittle's) to remain, and went into Vicksburg with my family.  The
last of my corps designed for this expedition started from camp on
the 27th, reached Vicksburg the 28th, and were embarked on boats
provided for them.  General Halleck's dispatches dwelt upon the
fact that General Rosecrans's routes of supply were overtaxed, and
that we should move from Memphis eastward, repairing railroads as
we progressed, as far as Athens, Alabama, whence I was to report to
General Rosecrans, at Chattanooga, by letter.

I took passage for myself and family in the steamer Atlantic,
Captain Henry McDougall.  When the boat was ready to start, Willie
was missing.  Mrs. Sherman supposed him to have been with me,
whereas I supposed he was with her.  An officer of the Thirteenth
went up to General McPherson's house for him, and soon returned,
with Captain Clift leading him, carrying in his hands a small
double-barreled shot gun; and I joked him about carrying away
captured property.  In a short time we got off.  As we all stood on
the guards to look at our old camps at Young's Point, I remarked
that Willie was not well, and he admitted that he was sick.  His
mother put him to bed, and consulted Dr. Roler, of the Fifty-fifth
Illinois, who found symptoms of typhoid fever.  The river was low;
we made slow progress till above Helena; and, as we approached
Memphis, Dr. Roler told me that Willie's life was in danger, and he
was extremely anxious to reach Memphis for certain medicines and
for consultation.  We arrived at Memphis on the 2d of October,
carried Willie up to the Gayoso Hotel, and got the most experienced
physician there, who acted with Dr. Roler, but he sank rapidly, and
died the evening of the 3d of October.  The blow was a terrible one
to us all, so sudden and so unexpected, that I could not help
reproaching myself for having consented to his visit in that sickly
region in the summer-time.  Of all my children, he seemed the most
precious.  Born in San Francisco, I had watched with intense
interest his development, and he seemed more than any of the
children to take an interest in my special profession.  Mrs.
Sherman, Minnie, Lizzie, and Tom, were with him at the time, and we
all, helpless and overwhelmed, saw him die.  Being in the very
midst of an important military enterprise, I had hardly time to
pause and think of my personal loss.  We procured a metallic
casket, and had a military funeral, the battalion of the Thirteenth
United States Regulars acting as escort from the Gayoso Hotel to
the steamboat Grey Eagle, which conveyed him and my family up to
Cairo, whence they proceeded to our home at Lancaster, Ohio, where
he was buried.  I here give my letter to Captain C. C. Smith, who
commanded the battalion at the time, as exhibiting our intense

October 4, 1863, Midnight

Captain C. C. SMITH, commanding Battalion Thirteenth United States

MY DEAR FRIEND: I cannot sleep to-night till I record an expression
of the deep feelings of my heart to you, and to the officers and
soldiers of the battalion, for their kind behavior to my poor
child.  I realize that you all feel for my family the attachment of
kindred, and I assure you of full reciprocity.  Consistent with a
sense of duty to my profession and office, I could not leave my
post, and sent for the family to come to me in that fatal climate,
and in that sickly period of the year, and behold the result!  The
child that bore my name, and in whose future I reposed with more
confidence than I did in my own plan of life, now floats a mere
corpse, seeking a grave in a distant land, with a weeping mother,
brother, and sisters, clustered about him.  For myself, I ask no
sympathy.  On, on I must go, to meet a soldier's fate, or live to
see our country rise superior to all factions, till its flag is
adored and respected by ourselves and by all the powers of the

But Willie was, or thought he was, a sergeant in the Thirteenth.  I
have seen his eye brighten, his heart beat, as he beheld the
battalion under arms, and asked me if they were not real soldiers.
Child as he was, he had the enthusiasm, the pure love of truth,
honor, and love of country, which should animate all soldiers.

God only knows why he should die thus young.  He is dead, but will
not be forgotten till those who knew him in life have followed him
to that same mysterious end.

Please convey to the battalion my heart-felt thanks, and assure
each and all that if in after-years they call on me or mine, and
mention that they were of the Thirteenth Regulars when Willie was a
sergeant, they will have a key to the affections of my family that
will open all it has; that we will share with them our last
blanket, our last crust!  Your friend,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-general.

Long afterward, in the spring of 1867, we had his body disinterred
and brought to St. Louis, where he is now buried in a beautiful
spot, in Calvary Cemetery, by the side of another child, "Charles,"
who was born at Lancaster, in the summer of 1864, died early, and
was buried at Notre Dame, Indiana.  His body was transferred at the
same time to the same spot.  Over Willie's grave is erected a
beautiful marble monument, designed and executed by the officers
and soldiers, of that battalion which claimed him as a sergeant and

During the summer and fall of 1863 Major-General S. A. Hurlbut was
in command at Memphis.  He supplied me copies of all dispatches
from Washington, and all the information he possessed of the events
about Chattanooga.  Two of these dispatches cover all essential

WASHINGTON CITY, September 15, 1863--5 p.m.

Major-General S. A. HURLBUT, Memphis:

All the troops that can possibly be spared in West Tennessee and on
the Mississippi River should be sent without delay to assist
General Rosecrans on the Tennessee River.

Urge Sherman to act with all possible promptness.

If you have boats, send them down to bring up his troops.

Information just received indicates that a part of Lee's army has
been sent to reenforce Bragg.

H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief.

Washington, September 19, 1868--4 p.m.

Major-General S. A. HURLBUT, Memphis, Tennessee:

Give me definite information of the number of troops sent toward
Decatur, and where they are.  Also, what other troops are to
follow, and when.

Has any thing been heard from the troops ordered from Vicksburg?

No efforts must be spared to support Rosecrans's right, and to
guard the crossings of the Tennessee River.

H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief.

My special orders were to repair the Memphis & Charleston Railroad
eastward as I progressed, as far as Athens, Alabama, to draw
supplies by that route, so that, on reaching Athens, we should not
be dependent on the roads back to Nashville, already overtaxed by
the demand of Rosecrans's army.

On reaching Memphis, October 2d, I found that Osterhaus's division
had already gone by rail as far as Corinth, and than John E.
Smith's division was in the act of starting by cars.  The Second
Division, then commanded by Brigadier-General Giles A. Smith,
reached Memphis at the same time with me; and the Fourth Division,
commanded by Brigadier-General John M. Corse, arrived a day or two
after.  The railroad was in fair condition as far as Corinth,
ninety-six miles, but the road was badly stocked with locomotives
and cars, so that it took until the 9th to get off the Second
Division, when I gave orders for the Fourth Division and
wagon-trains to march by the common road.

On Sunday morning, October 11th, with a special train loaded with
our orderlies and clerks, the horses of our staff, the battalion of
the Thirteenth United States Regulars, and a few officers going
forward to join their commands, among them Brigadier-General Hugh
Ewing, I started for Corinth.

At Germantown, eight miles, we passed Corse's division (Fourth) on
the march, and about noon the train ran by the depot at
Colliersville, twenty-six miles out.  I was in the rear car with my
staff, dozing, but observed the train slacking speed and stopping
about half a mile beyond the depot.  I noticed some soldiers
running to and fro, got out at the end of the car, and soon Colonel
Anthony (Silty-sixth Indiana), who commanded the post, rode up and
said that his pickets had just been driven in, and there was an
appearance of an attack by a large force of cavalry coming from the
southeast.  I ordered the men to get off the train, to form on the
knoll near the railroad-cut, and soon observed a rebel officer
riding toward us with a white flag.  Colonel Anthony and Colonel
Dayton (one of my aides) were sent to meet him, and to keep him in
conversation as long as possible.  They soon returned, saying it
was the adjutant of the rebel general Chalmers, who demanded the
surrender of the place.  I instructed them to return and give a
negative answer, but to delay him as much as possible, so as to
give us time for preparation.  I saw Anthony, Dayton, and the rebel
bearer of the flag, in conversation, and the latter turn his horse
to ride back, when I ordered Colonel McCoy to run to the station,
and get a message over the wires as quick as possible to Memphis
and Germantown, to hurry forward Corse's division.  I then ordered
the train to back to the depot, and drew back the battalion of
regulars to the small earth redoubt near it.  The depot-building
was of brick, and had been punctured with loop-holes.  To its east,
about two hundred yards, was a small square earthwork or fort, into
which were put a part of the regulars along with the company of the
Sixty-sixth Indiana already there.  The rest of the men were
distributed into the railroad-cut, and in some shallow
rifle-trenches near the depot.  We had hardly made these
preparations when the enemy was seen forming in a long line on the
ridge to the south, about four hundred yards off, and soon after two
parties of cavalry passed the railroad on both sides of us, cutting
the wires and tearing up some rails.  Soon they opened on us with
artillery (of which we had none), and their men were dismounting and
preparing to assault.  To the south of us was an extensive
cornfield, with the corn still standing, and on the other side was
the town of Colliersville.  All the houses near, that could give
shelter to the enemy, were ordered to be set on fire, and the men
were instructed to keep well under cover and to reserve their fire
for the assault, which seemed inevitable.  A long line of rebel
skirmishers came down through the cornfield, and two other parties
approached us along the railroad on both sides.  In the fort was a
small magazine containing some cartridges.  Lieutenant James, a
fine, gallant fellow, who was ordnance-officer on my staff, asked
leave to arm the orderlies and clerks with some muskets which he had
found in the depot, to which I consented; he marched them into the
magazine, issued cartridges, and marched back to the depot to assist
in its defense.  Afterward he came to me, said a party of the enemy
had got into the woods near the depot, and was annoying him, and he
wanted to charge and drive it away.  I advised him to be extremely
cautious, as our enemy vastly outnumbered us, and had every
advantage in position and artillery; but instructed him, if they got
too near, he might make a sally.  Soon after, I heard a rapid fire
in that quarter, and Lieutenant.  James was brought in on a
stretcher, with a ball through his breast, which I supposed to be

[After the fight we sent him back to Memphis, where his mother and
father came from their home on the North River to nurse him.  Young
James was recovering from his wound, but was afterward killed by a
fall from his horse, near his home, when riding with the daughters
of Mr. Hamilton Fish, now Secretary of State.]

The enemy closed down on us several times, and got possession of
the rear of our train, from which they succeeded in getting five of
our horses, among them my favorite mare Dolly; but our men were
cool and practised shots (with great experience acquired at
Vicksburg), and drove them back.  With their artillery they knocked
to pieces our locomotive and several of the cars, and set fire to
the train; but we managed to get possession again, and extinguished
the fire.  Colonel Audenreid, aide-de-camp, was provoked to find
that his valise of nice shirts had been used to kindle the fire.
The fighting continued all round us for three or four hours, when
we observed signs of drawing off, which I attributed to the
rightful cause, the rapid approach of Corse's division, which
arrived about dark, having marched the whole distance from Memphis,
twenty-six miles, on the double-quick.  The next day we repaired
damages to the railroad and locomotive, and went on to Corinth.

At Corinth, on the 16th, I received the following important

MEMPHIS, October 14, 1863--11 a.m.

Arrived this morning.  Will be off in a few hours.  My orders are
only to go to Cairo, and report from there by telegraph.  McPherson
will be in Canton to-day.  He will remain there until Sunday or
Monday next, and reconnoitre as far eastward as possible with
cavalry, in the mean time.

U. S. GRANT, Major-General.

WASHINGTON, October 14, 1863--1 p.m.

Major-General W. T. SHERMAN, Corinth

Yours of the 10th is received.  The important matter to be attended
to is that of supplies.  When Eastport can be reached by boats, the
use of the railroad can be dispensed with; but until that time it
must be guarded as far as need.  The Kentucky Railroad can barely
supply General Rosecrans.  All these matters must be left to your
judgment as circumstances may arise.  Should the enemy be so strong
as to prevent your going to Athena, or connecting with General
Rosecrans, you will nevertheless have assisted him greatly by
drawing away a part of the enemy's forces.

H. W. HALLECK, Major-General.

On the 18th, with my staff and a small escort, I rode forward to
Burnsville, and on the 19th to Iuka, where, on the next day, I was
most agreeably surprised to hear of the arrival at Eastport (only
ten miles off) of two gunboats, under the command of Captain
Phelps, which had been sent up the Tennessee River by Admiral
Porter, to help us.

Satisfied that, to reach Athens and to communicate with General
Rosecrans, we should have to take the route north of the Tennessee
River, on the 24th I ordered the Fourth Division to cross at
Eastport with the aid of the gunboats, and to move to Florence.
About the same time, I received the general orders assigning
General Grant to command the Military Division of the Mississippi,
authorizing him, on reaching Chattanooga, to supersede General
Rosecrans by General George H. Thomas, with other and complete
authority, as set, forth in the following letters of General
Halleck, which were sent to me by General Grant; and the same
orders devolved on me the command of the Department and Army of the

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 16, 1863

Major-General U. S. GRANT, Louisville.

GENERAL: You will receive herewith the orders of the President of
the United States, placing you in command of the Departments of the
Ohio, Cumberland, and Tennessee.  The organization of these
departments will be changed as you may deem most practicable.  You
will immediately proceed to Chattanooga, and relieve General
Rosecrans.  You can communicate with Generals Burnside and Sherman
by telegraph.  A summary of the orders sent to these officers will
be sent to you immediately.  It is left optional with you to
supersede General Rosecrans by General G. H. Thomas or not.  Any
other changes will be made on your request by telegram.

One of the first objects requiring your attention is the supply of
your armies.  Another is the security of the passes in the Georgia
mountains, to shut out the enemy from Tennessee and Kentucky.  You
will consult with General Meigs and Colonel Scott in regard to
transportation and supplies.

Should circumstances permit, I will visit you personally in a few
days for consultation.

H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief.

WASHINGTON, D. C., October 20, 1868.

Major-General GRANT, Louisville.

GENERAL: In compliance with my promise, I now proceed to give you
a brief statement of the objects aimed at by General Rosecrans and
General Burnside's movement into East Tennessee, and of the
measures directed to be taken to attain these objects.

It has been the constant desire of the government, from the
beginning of the war, to rescue the loyal inhabitants of East
Tennessee from the hands of the rebels, who fully appreciated the
importance of continuing their hold upon that country.  In addition
to the large amount of agricultural products drawn from the upper
valley of the Tennessee, they also obtained iron and other
materials from the vicinity of Chattanooga.  The possession of East
Tennessee would cut off one of their most important railroad
communications, and threaten their manufactories at Rome, Atlanta,

When General Buell was ordered into East Tennessee in the summer of
1882, Chattanooga was comparatively unprotected; but Bragg reached
there before Buell, and, by threatening his communications, forced
him to retreat on Nashville and Louisville.  Again, after the
battle of Perryville, General Buell was urged to pursue Bragg's
defeated army, and drive it from East Tennessee.  The same was
urged upon his successor, but the lateness of the season or other
causes prevented further operations after the battle of Stone

Last spring, when your movements on the Mississippi River had drawn
out of Tennessee a large force of the enemy, I again urged General
Rosecrans to take advantage of that opportunity to carry out his
projected plan of campaign, General Burnside being ready to
cooperate, with a diminished but still efficient force.  But he
could not be persuaded to act in time, preferring to lie still till
your campaign should be terminated.  I represented to him, but
without avail, that by this delay Johnston might be able to
reenforce Bragg with the troops then operating against you.

When General Rosecrans finally determined to advance, he was
allowed to select his own lines and plans for carrying out the
objects of the expedition.  He was directed, however, to report his
movements daily, till he crossed the Tennessee, and to connect his
left, so far as possible, with General Burnside's right.  General
Burnside was directed to move simultaneously, connecting his right,
as far as possible, with General Rosecrans's left so that, if the
enemy concentrated upon either army, the other could move to its
assistance.  When General Burnside reached Kingston and Knoxville,
and found no considerable number of the enemy in East Tennessee, he
was instructed to move down the river and cooperate with General

These instructions were repeated some fifteen times, but were not
carried out, General Burnside alleging as an excuse that he
believed that Bragg was in retreat, and that General Rosecrans
needed no reenforcements.  When the latter had gained possession of
Chattanooga he was directed not to move on Rome as he proposed, but
simply to hold the mountain-passes, so as to prevent the ingress of
the rebels into East Tennessee.  That object accomplished, I
considered the campaign as ended, at least for the present.  Future
operations would depend upon the ascertained strength and;
movements of the enemy.  In other words, the main objects of the
campaign were the restoration of East Tennessee to the Union, and
by holding the two extremities of the valley to secure it from
rebel invasion.

The moment I received reliable information of the departure of
Longstreet's corps from the Army of the Potomac, I ordered forward
to General Rosecrans every available man in the Department of the
Ohio, and again urged General Burnside to move to his assistance.
I also telegraphed to Generals Hurlbut, Sherman, and yourself, to
send forward all available troops in your department.  If these
forces had been sent to General Rosecrans by Nashville, they could
not have been supplied; I therefore directed them to move by
Corinth and the Tennessee River.  The necessity of this has been
proved by the fact that the reinforcements sent to him from the
Army of the Potomac have not been able, for the want of railroad
transportation, to reach General Rosecrans's army in the field.

In regard to the relative strength of the opposing armies, it is
believed that General Rosecrans when he first moved against Bragg
had double, if not treble, his force.  General Burnside, also, had
more than double the force of Buckner; and, even when Bragg and
Buckner united, Rosecrans's army was very greatly superior in
number.  Even the eighteen thousand men sent from Virginia, under
Longstreet, would not have given the enemy the superiority.  It is
now ascertained that the greater part of the prisoners parolled by
you at Vicksburg, and General Banks at Port Hudson, were illegally
and improperly declared exchanged, and forced into the ranks to
swell the rebel numbers at Chickamauga.  This outrageous act, in
violation of the laws of war, of the cartel entered into by the
rebel authorities, and of all sense of honor, gives us a useful
lesson in regard to the character of the enemy with whom we are
contending.  He neither regards the rules of civilized warfare, nor
even his most solemn engagements.  You may, therefore, expect to
meet in arms thousands of unexchanged prisoners released by you and
others on parole, not to serve again till duly exchanged.

Although the enemy by this disgraceful means has been able to
concentrate in Georgia and Alabama a much larger force than we
anticipated, your armies will be abundantly able to defeat him.
Your difficulty will not be in the want of men, but in the means of
supplying them at this season of the year.  A single-track railroad
can supply an army of sixty or seventy thousand men, with the usual
number of cavalry and artillery; but beyond that number, or with a
large mounted force, the difficulty of supply is very great.

I do not know the present condition of the road from Nashville to
Decatur, but, if practicable to repair it, the use of that triangle
will be of great assistance to you.  I hope, also, that the recent
rise of water in the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers will enable
you to employ water transportation to Nashville, Eastport, or

If you reoccupy the passes of Lookout Mountain, which should never
have been given up, you will be able to use the railroad and river
from Bridgeport to Chattanooga.  This seems to me a matter of vital
importance, and should receive your early attention.

I submit this summary in the hope that it will assist you in fully
understanding the objects of the campaign, and the means of
attaining these objects.  Probably the Secretary of War, in his
interviews with you at Louisville, has gone over the same ground.
Whatever measures you may deem proper to adopt under existing
circumstances, you will receive all possible assistance from the
authorities at Washington.  You have never, heretofore, complained
that such assistance has not been afforded you in your operations,
and I think you will have no cause of complaint in your present
campaign.  Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief

General Frank P. Blair, who was then ahead with the two divisions
of Osterhaus and John E. Smith, was temporarily assigned to the
command of the Fifteenth Corps.  General Hurlbut remained at
Memphis in command of the Sixteenth Corps, and General McPherson at
Vicksburg with the Seventeenth.  These three corps made up the Army
of the Tennessee.  I was still busy in pushing forward the repairs
to the railroad bridge at Bear Creek, and in patching up the many
breaks between it and Tuscumbia, when on the 27th of October, as I
sat on the porch of a house, I was approached by a dirty,
black-haired individual with mixed dress and strange demeanor, who
inquired for me, and, on being assured that I was in fact the man,
he handed me a letter from General Blair at Tuscumbia, and another
short one, which was a telegraph-message from General Grant at
Chattanooga, addressed to me through General George Crook,
commanding at Huntsville, Alabama, to this effect:

Drop all work on Memphis & Charleston Railroad, cross the Tennessee
and hurry eastward with all possible dispatch toward Bridgeport,
till you meet further orders from me.


The bearer of this message was Corporal Pike, who described to me,
in his peculiar way, that General Crook had sent him in a canoe;
that he had paddled down the Tennessee River, over Muscle Shoals,
was fired at all the way by guerrillas, but on reaching Tuscumbia
he had providentially found it in possession of our troops.  He had
reported to General Blair, who sent him on to me at Iuka.  This
Pike proved to be a singular character; his manner attracted my
notice at once, and I got him a horse, and had him travel with us
eastward to about Elkton, whence I sent him back to General Crook
at Huntsville; but told him, if I could ever do him a personal
service, he might apply to me.  The next spring when I was in
Chattanooga, preparing for the Atlanta campaign, Corporal Pike made
his appearance and asked a fulfillment of my promise.  I inquired
what he wanted, and he said he wanted to do something bold,
something that would make him a hero.  I explained to him, that we
were getting ready to go for Joe Johnston at Dalton, that I
expected to be in the neighborhood of Atlanta about the 4th of
July, and wanted the bridge across the Savannah River at Augusta,
Georgia, to be burnt about that time, to produce alarm and
confusion behind the rebel army.  I explained to Pike that the
chances were three to one that he would be caught and hanged; but
the greater the danger the greater seemed to be his desire to
attempt it.  I told him to select a companion, to disguise himself
as an East Tennessee refugee, work his way over the mountains into
North Carolina, and at the time appointed to float down the
Savannah River and burn that bridge.  In a few days he had made his
preparations and took his departure.  The bridge was not burnt, and
I supposed that Pike had been caught and hanged.

When we reached Columbia, South Carolina, in February, 1865, just
as we were leaving the town, in passing near the asylum, I heard my
name called, and saw a very dirty fellow followed by a file of men
running toward me, and as they got near I recognized Pike.  He
called to me to identify him as one of my men; he was then a
prisoner under guard, and I instructed the guard to bring him that
night to my camp some fifteen miles up the road, which was done.
Pike gave me a graphic narrative of his adventures, which would
have filled a volume; told me how he had made two attempts to burn
the bridge, and failed; and said that at the time of our entering
Columbia he was a prisoner in the hands of the rebels, under trial
for his life, but in the confusion of their retreat he made his
escape and got into our lines, where he was again made a prisoner
by our troops because of his looks.  Pike got some clothes, cleaned
up, and I used him afterward to communicate with Wilmington, North
Carolina.  Some time after the war, he was appointed a lieutenant
of the Regular, Cavalry, and was killed in Oregon, by the
accidental discharge of a pistol.  Just before his death he wrote
me, saying that he was tired of the monotony of garrison-life, and
wanted to turn Indian, join the Cheyennes on the Plains, who were
then giving us great trouble, and, after he had gained their
confidence, he would betray them into our hands.  Of course I wrote
him that he must try and settle down and become a gentleman as well
as an officer, apply himself to his duties, and forget the wild
desires of his nature, which were well enough in time of war, but
not suited to his new condition as an officer; but, poor fellow I
he was killed by an accident, which probably saved him from a
slower but harder fate.

At Iuka I issued all the orders to McPherson and Hurlbut necessary
for the Department of the Tennessee during my absence, and,
further, ordered the collection of a force out of the Sixteenth
Corps, of about eight thousand men, to be commanded by General G.
M. Dodge, with orders to follow as far east as Athens, Tennessee,
there to await instructions.  We instantly discontinued all
attempts to repair the Charleston Railroad; and the remaining three
divisions of the Fifteenth Corps marched to Eastport, crossed the
Tennessee River by the aid of the gunboats, a ferry-boat, and a
couple of transports which had come up, and hurried eastward.

In person I crossed on the 1st of November, and rode forward to
Florence, where I overtook Ewing's division.  The other divisions
followed rapidly.  On the road to Florence I was accompanied by my
staff, some clerks, and mounted orderlies.  Major Ezra Taylor
was chief of artillery, and one of his sons was a clerk at
head-quarters.  The latter seems to have dropped out of the column,
and gone to a farm house near the road.  There was no organized
force of the rebel army north of the Tennessee River, but the
country was full of guerrillas.  A party of these pounced down on
the farm, caught young Taylor and another of the clerks, and after
reaching Florence, Major Taylor heard of the capture of his son, and
learned that when last seen he was stripped of his hat and coat, was
tied to the tail-board of a wagon, and driven rapidly to the north
of the road we had traveled.  The major appealed to me to do
something for his rescue.  I had no cavalry to send in pursuit, but
knowing that there was always an understanding between these
guerrillas and their friends who staid at home, I sent for three or
four of the principal men of Florence (among them a Mr. Foster, who
had once been a Senator in Congress), explained to them the capture
of young Taylor and his comrade, and demanded their immediate
restoration. They, of course, remonstrated, denied all knowledge of
the acts of these guerrillas, and claimed to be peaceful citizens of
Alabama, residing at home.  I insisted that these guerrillas were
their own sons and neighbors; that they knew their haunts, and could
reach them if they wanted, and they could effect the restoration to
us of these men; and I said, moreover, they must do it within
twenty-four hours, or I would take them, strip them of their hats
and coats, and tie them to the tail-boards of our wagons till they
were produced.  They sent off messengers at once, and young Taylor
and his comrade were brought back the next day.

Resuming our march eastward by the large road, we soon reached Elk
River, which was wide and deep, and could only be crossed by a
ferry, a process entirely too slow for the occasion; so I changed
the route more by the north, to Elkton, Winchester, and Deckerd.
At this point we came in communication with the Army of the
Cumberland, and by telegraph with General Grant, who was at
Chattanooga.  He reiterated his orders for me and my command to
hurry forward with all possible dispatch, and in person I reached
Bridgeport during the night of November 13th, my troops following
behind by several roads.  At Bridgeport I found a garrison guarding
the railroad-bridge and pontoon bridge there, and staid with the
quartermaster, Colonel William G. Le Due (who was my school-mate at
How's School in 1836).  There I received a dispatch from General
Grant, at Chattanooga, to come up in person, leaving my troops to
follow as fast as possible.  At that time there were two or three
small steamboats on the river, engaged in carrying stores up as far
as Kelly's Ferry.  In one of these I took passage, and on reaching
Kelly's Ferry found orderlies, with one of General Grant's private
horses, waiting for me, on which I rode into Chattanooga, November
14th.  Of course, I was heartily welcomed by Generals Grant,
Thomas, and all, who realized the extraordinary efforts we had made
to come to their relief.  The next morning we walked out to Fort
Wood, a prominent salient of the defenses of the place, and from
its parapet we had a magnificent view of the panorama.  Lookout
Mountain, with its rebel flags and batteries, stood out boldly, and
an occasional shot fired toward Wauhatchee or Moccasin Point gave
life to the scene.  These shots could barely reach Chattanooga, and
I was told that one or more shot had struck a hospital inside the
lines.  All along Missionary Ridge were the tents of the rebel
beleaguering force; the lines of trench from Lookout up toward the
Chickamauga were plainly visible; and rebel sentinels, in a
continuous chain, were walking their posts in plain view, not a
thousand yards off.  "Why," said I, "General Grant, you are
besieged;" and he said, "It is too true."  Up to that moment I had
no idea that things were so bad.  The rebel lines actually extended
from the river, below the town, to the river above, and the Army of
the Cumberland was closely held to the town and its immediate
defenses.  General Grant pointed out to me a house on Missionary
Ridge, where General Bragg's headquarters were known to be.  He
also explained the situation of affairs generally; that the mules
and horses of Thomas's army were so starved that they could not
haul his guns; that forage, corn, and provisions, were so scarce
that the men in hunger stole the few grains of corn that were given
to favorite horses; that the men of Thomas's army had been so
demoralized by the battle of Chickamauga that he feared they could
not be got out of their trenches to assume the offensive; that
Bragg had detached Longstreet with a considerable force up into
East Tennessee, to defeat and capture Burnside; that Burnside was
in danger, etc.; and that he (Grant) was extremely anxious to
attack Bragg in position, to defeat him, or at least to force him
to recall Longstreet.  The Army of the Cumberland had so long been
in the trenches that he wanted my troops to hurry up, to take the
offensive first; after which, he had no doubt the Cumberland army
would fight well.  Meantime the Eleventh and Twelfth Corps, under
General Hooker, had been advanced from Bridgeport along the
railroad to Wauhatchee, but could not as yet pass Lookout Mountain.
A pontoon-bridge had been thrown across the Tennessee River at
Brown's Ferry, by which supplies were hauled into Chattanooga from
Kelly's and Wauhatchee..

Another bridge was in course of construction at Chattanooga, under
the immediate direction of Quartermaster-General Meigs, but at the
time all wagons, etc., had to be ferried across by a flying-bridge.
Men were busy and hard at work everywhere inside our lines, and
boats for another pontoon-bridge were being rapidly constructed
under Brigadier-General W. F. Smith, familiarly known as "Baldy
Smith," and this bridge was destined to be used by my troops, at a
point of the river about four miles above Chattanooga, just below
the mouth of the Chickamauga River.  General Grant explained to me
that he had reconnoitred the rebel line from Lookout Mountain up to
Chickamauga, and he believed that the northern portion of
Missionary Ridge was not fortified at all; and he wanted me, as
soon as my troops got up, to lay the new pontoon-bridge by night,
cross over, and attack Bragg's right flank on that part of the
ridge abutting on Chickamauga Creek, near the tunnel; and he
proposed that we should go at once to look at the ground.  In
company with Generals Thomas, W. F. Smith, Brannan, and others, we
crossed by the flying-bridge, rode back of the hills some four
miles, left our horses, and got on a hill overlooking the whole
ground about the mouth of the Chickamauga River, and across to the
Missionary Hills near the tunnel.  Smith and I crept down behind a
fringe of trees that lined the river-bank, to the very point
selected for the new bridge, where we sat for some time, seeing the
rebel pickets on the opposite bank, and almost hearing their words.

Having seen enough, we returned to Chattanooga; and in order to
hurry up my command, on which so much depended, I started back to
Kelly's in hopes to catch the steamboat that same evening; but on
my arrival the boat had gone.  I applied to the commanding officer,
got a rough boat manned by four soldiers, and started down the
river by night.  I occasionally took a turn at the oars to relieve
some tired man, and about midnight we reached Shell Mound, where
General Whittaker, of Kentucky, furnished us a new and good crew,
with which we reached Bridgeport by daylight.  I started Ewings
division in advance, with orders to turn aside toward Trenton, to
make the enemy believe we were going to turn Braggs left by pretty
much the same road Rosecrans had followed; but with the other three
divisions I followed the main road, via the Big Trestle at
Whitesides, and reached General Hooker's headquarters, just above
Wauhatchee, on the 20th; my troops strung all the way back to
Bridgeport.  It was on this occasion that the Fifteenth Corps
gained its peculiar badge: as the men were trudging along the
deeply-cut, muddy road, of a cold, drizzly day, one of our Western
soldiers left his ranks and joined a party of the Twelfth Corps at
their camp-fire.  They got into conversation, the Twelfth-Corps men
asking what troops we were, etc., etc.  In turn, our fellow (who
had never seen a corps-badge, and noticed that every thing was
marked with a star) asked if they were all brigadier-generals.  Of
course they were not, but the star was their corps-badge, and every
wagon, tent, hat, etc., had its star.  Then the Twelfth-Corps men
inquired what corps he belonged to, and he answered, "The Fifteenth
Corps."  "What is your badge?"  "Why," said he (and he was an
Irishman), suiting the action to the word, "forty rounds in the
cartridge-box, and twenty in the pocket."  At that time Blair
commanded the corps; but Logan succeeded soon after, and, hearing
the story, adopted the cartridge-box and forty rounds as the

The condition of the roads was such, and the bridge at Brown's so
frail, that it was not until the 23d that we got three of my
divisions behind the hills near the point indicated above
Chattanooga for crossing the river.  It was determined to begin the
battle with these three divisions, aided by a division of Thomas's
army, commanded by General Jeff.  C. Davis, that was already near
that point.  All the details of the battle of Chattanooga, so far
as I was a witness, are so fully given in my official report
herewith, that I need add nothing to it.  It was a magnificent
battle in its conception, in its execution, and in its glorious
results; hastened somewhat by the supposed danger of Burnside, at
Knoxville, yet so completely successful, that nothing is left for
cavil or fault-finding.  The first day was lowering and overcast,
favoring us greatly, because we wanted to be concealed from Bragg,
whose position on the mountain-tops completely overlooked us and
our movements.  The second day was beautifully clear, and many a
time, in the midst of its carnage and noise, I could not help
stopping to look across that vast field of battle, to admire its

The object of General Hooker's and my attacks on the extreme flanks
of Bragg's position was, to disturb him to such an extent, that
he would naturally detach from his centre as against us, so that
Thomas's army could break through his centre.  The whole plan
succeeded admirably; but it was not until after dark that I learned
the complete success at the centre, and received General Grant's
orders to pursue on the north side of Chickamauga Creek:

TENNESSEE, Nov. 25, 1863

Major-General SHERMAN.

GENERAL: No doubt you witnessed the handsome manner in which
Thomas's troops carried Missionary Ridge this afternoon, and can
feel a just pride, too, in the part taken by the forces under your
command in taking first so much of the same range of hills, and
then in attracting the attention of so many of the enemy as to make
Thomas's part certain of success.  The neat thing now will be to
relieve Burnside.  I have heard from him to the evening of the 23d.
At that time he had from ten to twelve days' supplies, and spoke
hopefully of being able to hold out that length of time.

My plan is to move your forces out gradually until they reach the
railroad between Cleveland and Dalton.  Granger will move up the
south side of the Tennessee with a column of twenty thousand men,
taking no wagons, or but few, with him.  His men will carry four
days' rations, and the steamer Chattanooga, loaded with rations,
will accompany the expedition.

I take it for granted that Bragg's entire force has left.  If not,
of course, the first thing is to dispose of him.  If he has gone,
the only thing necessary to do to-morrow will be to send out a
reconnoissance to ascertain the whereabouts of the enemy.  Yours

U. S.  GRANT, Major-General.

P. S.-On reflection, I think we will push Bragg with all our
strength to-morrow, and try if we cannot out off a good portion of
his rear troops and trains.  His men have manifested a strong
disposition to desert for some time past, and we will now give them
a chance.  I will instruct Thomas accordingly.  Move the advance
force early, on the most easterly road taken by the enemy.
U. S. G.

This compelled me to reverse our column, so as to use the bridge
across the Chickamauga at its mouth.  The next day we struck the
rebel rear at Chickamauga Station, and again near Graysville.
There we came in contact with Hooker's and Palmer's troops, who had
reached Ringgold.  There I detached Howard to cross Taylor's Ridge,
and strike the railroad which comes from the north by Cleveland to
Dalton.  Hooker's troops were roughly handled at Ringgold, and the
pursuit was checked.  Receiving a note from General Hooker, asking
help, I rode forward to Ringgold to explain the movement of Howard;
where I met General Grant, and learned that the rebels had again
retreated toward Dalton.  He gave orders to discontinue the
pursuit, as he meant to turn his attention to General Burnside,
supposed to be in great danger at Knoxville, about one hundred and
thirty miles northeast.  General Grant returned and spent part of
the night with me, at Graysville.  We talked over matters
generally, and he explained that he had ordered General Gordon
Granger, with the Fourth Corps, to move forward rapidly to
Burnsides help, and that he must return to Chattanooga to push him.
By reason of the scarcity of food, especially of forage, he
consented that, instead of going back, I might keep out in the
country; for in motion I could pick up some forage and food,
especially on the Hiawassee River, whereas none remained in

Accordingly, on the 29th of November, my several columns marched to
Cleveland, and the next day we reached the Hiawassee at Charleston,
where the Chattanooga & Knoxville Railroad crosses it.  The
railroad-bridge was partially damaged by the enemy in retreating,
but we found some abandoned stores.  There and thereabouts I
expected some rest for my weary troops and horses; but, as I rode
into town, I met Colonel J. H. Wilson and C. A. Dana (Assistant
Secretary of War), who had ridden out from Chattanooga to find me,
with the following letter from General Grant, and copies of several
dispatches from General Burnside, the last which had been received
from him by way of Cumberland Gap:

TENNESSEE, Nov.  29, 1863

Major-General W. T. SHERMAN

News are received from Knoxville to the morning of the 27th.  At
that time the place was still invested, but the attack on it was
not vigorous.  Longstreet evidently determined to starve the
garrison out.  Granger is on the way to Burnside's relief, but I
have lost all faith in his energy or capacity to manage an
expedition of the importance of this one.  I am inclined to think,
therefore, I shall have to send you.  Push as rapidly as you can to
the Hiawassee, and determine for yourself what force to take with
you from that point.  Granger has his corps with him, from which
you will select in conjunction with the force now with you.  In
plain words, you will assume command of all the forces now moving
up the Tennessee, including the garrison at Kingston, and from that
force, organize what you deem proper to relieve Burnside.  The
balance send back to Chattanooga.  Granger has a boat loaded with
provisions, which you can issue, and return the boat.  I will have
another loaded, to follow you.  Use, of course, as sparingly as
possible from the rations taken with you, and subsist off the
country all you can.

It is expected that Foster is moving, by this time, from Cumberland
Gap on Knoxville.  I do not know what force he will have with him,
but presume it will range from three thousand five hundred to five
thousand I leave this matter to you, knowing that you will do
better acting upon your discretion than you could trammeled with
instructions.  I will only add, that the last advices from Burnside
himself indicated his ability to hold out with rations only to
about the 3d of December.  Very respectfully,

U. S. GRANT, Major-General commanding,

This showed that, on the 27th of November, General Burnside was in
Knoxville, closely besieged by the rebel General Longstreet; that
his provisions were short, and that, unless relieved by December
3d, he might have to surrender.  General Grant further wrote that
General Granger, instead of moving with great rapidity as ordered,
seemed to move  "slowly, and with reluctance;" and, although he
(General Grant) hated to call on me and on my tired troops, there
was no alternative.  He wanted me to take command of every thing
within reach, and to hurry forward to Knoxville.

All the details of our march to Knoxville are also given in my
official report.  By extraordinary efforts Long's small brigade of
cavalry reached Knoxville during the night of the 3d, purposely to
let Burnside know that I was rapidly approaching with an adequate
force to raise the siege.

With the head of my infantry column I reached Marysville, about
fifteen miles short of Knoxville, on the 5th of December; when I
received official notice from Burnside that Longstreet had raised
the siege, and had started in retreat up the valley toward
Virginia.  Halting all the army, except Granger's two divisions, on
the morning of the 6th, with General Granger and some of my staff I
rode into Knoxville.  Approaching from the south and west, we
crossed the Holston on a pontoon bridge, and in a large pen on the
Knoxville side I saw a fine lot of cattle, which did not look much
like starvation.  I found General Burnside and staff domiciled in a
large, fine mansion, looking very comfortable, and in, a few words
he described to me the leading events, of the previous few days,
and said he had already given orders looking to the pursuit of
Longstreet.  I offered to join in the pursuit, though in fact my
men were worn out, and suffering in that cold season and climate.

Indeed, on our way up I personally was almost frozen, and had to
beg leave to sleep in the house of a family at Athens.

Burnside explained to me that, reenforced by Granger's two
divisions of ten thousand men, he would be able to push Longstreet
out of East Tennessee, and he hoped to capture much of his
artillery and trains.  Granger was present at our conversation, and
most unreasonably, I thought, remonstrated against being left;
complaining bitterly of what he thought was hard treatment to his
men and himself.  I know that his language and manner at that time
produced on my mind a bad impression, and it was one of the causes
which led me to relieve him as a corps commander in the campaign of
the next spring.  I asked General Burnside to reduce his wishes to
writing, which he did in the letter of December 7th, embodied in my
official report.  General Burnside and I then walked along his
lines and examined the salient, known as Fort Sanders, where, some
days before, Longstreet had made his assault, and had sustained a
bloody repulse.

Returning to Burnside's quarters, we all sat down to a good dinner,
embracing roast-turkey.  There was a regular dining table, with
clean tablecloth, dishes, knives, forks, spoons, etc., etc.  I had
seen nothing of this kind in my field experience, and could not
help exclaiming that I thought "they were starving," etc.; but
Burnside explained that Longstreet had at no time completely
invested the place, and that he had kept open communication with
the country on the south side of the river Holston, more especially
with the French Broad settlements, from whose Union inhabitants he
had received a good supply of beef, bacon, and corn meal.  Had I
known of this, I should not have hurried my men so fast; but until
I reached Knoxville I thought his troops there were actually in
danger of starvation.  Having supplied General Burnside all the
help he wanted, we began our leisurely return to Chattanooga, which
we reached on the 16th; when General Grant in person ordered me to
restore to General Thomas the divisions of Howard and Davis, which
belonged to his army, and to conduct my own corps (the Fifteenth)
to North Alabama for winter-quarters.

ALABAMA December 19, 1863

Brigadier-General John A. RAWLINS, Chief of Staff to General GRANT,

GENERAL: For the first time, I am now at leisure to make an
official record of events with which the troops under my command
have been connected daring the eventful campaign which has just
closed.  Dating the month of September last, the Fifteenth Army
Corps, which I had the honor to command, lay in camps along the Big
Black, about twenty miles east of Vicksburg, Mississippi.  It
consisted of four divisions:

The First, commanded by Brigadier-General P. J. Osterhaus, was
composed of two brigades, led by Brigadier-General C. R. Woods and
Colonel J. A. Williamson (of the Fourth Iowa).

The Second, commanded by Brigadier-General Morgan L. Smith, was
composed of two brigades, led by Brigadier-Generals Giles A. Smith
and J. A. J. Lightburn.

The Third, commanded by Brigadier-General J. M. Tuttle, was
composed of three brigades, led by Brigadier-Generals J. A. Mower
and R. P. Buckland, and Colonel J. J. Wood (of the Twelfth Iowa).

The Fourth, commanded by Brigadier-General Hugh Ewing, was composed
of three brigades, led by Brigadier-General J. M. Corse, Colonel
Loomis (Twenty-sixth Illinois), and Colonel J. R. Cockerill (of the
Seventieth Ohio).

On the 22d day of September I received a telegraphic dispatch from
General Grant, then at Vicksburg, commanding the Department of the
Tennessee, requiring me to detach one of my divisions to march to
Vicksburg, there to embark for Memphis, where it was to form a part
of an army to be sent to Chattanooga, to reenforce General
Rosecrans.  I designated the First Division, and at 4 a. m. the
same day it marched for Vicksburg, and embarked the neat day.

On the 23d of September I was summoned to Vicksburg by the general
commanding, who showed me several dispatches from the general-
in-chief, which led him to suppose he would have to send me and my
whole corps to Memphis and eastward, and I was instructed to
prepare for such orders.  It was explained to me that, in
consequence of the low stage of water in the Mississippi, boats had
arrived irregularly, and had brought dispatches that seemed to
conflict in their meaning, and that General John E. Smith's
division (of General McPherson's corps) had been ordered up to
Memphis, and that I should take that division and leave one of my
own in its stead, to hold the line of the Big Black.  I detailed
my third division (General Tuttle) to remain and report to
Major-General McPherson, commanding the Seventeenth Corps, at
Vicksburg; and that of General John E. Smith, already started for
Memphis, was styled the Third Division, Fifteenth Corps, though  it
still belongs to the Seventeenth Army Corps.  This division is also
composed of three brigades, commanded by General Matthias, Colonel
J. B. Raum (of the Fifty-sixth Illinois), and Colonel J. I.
Alexander (of the Fifty-ninth Indiana).

The Second and Fourth Divisions were started for Vicksburg the
moment I was notified that boats were in readiness, and on the
27th of September I embarked in person in the steamer Atlantic,
for Memphis, followed by a fleet of boats conveying these
two divisions.  Our progress was slow, on account of the
unprecedentedly low water in the Mississippi, and the scarcity of
coal and wood.  We were compelled at places to gather fence-rails,
and to land wagons and haul wood from the interior to the boats;
but I reached Memphis during the night of the 2d of October, and
the other boats came in on the 3d and 4th.

On arrival at Memphis I saw General Hurlbut, and read all the
dispatches and letters of instruction of General Halleck, and
therein derived my instructions, which I construed to be as

To conduct the Fifteenth Army Corps, and all other troops which
could be spared from the line of the Memphis & Charleston Railroad,
to Athens, Alabama, and thence report by letter for orders to
General Rosecrans, commanding the Army of the Cumberland, at
Chattanooga; to follow substantially the railroad eastward,
repairing it as I moved; to look to my own line for supplies; and
in no event to depend on General Rosecrans for supplies, as the
roads to his rear were already overtaxed to supply his present

I learned from General Hurlbut that General Osterhaus's division
was already out in front of Corinth, and that General John E. Smith
was still at Memphis, moving his troops and material by railroad as
fast as its limited stock would carry them.  General J. D. Webster
was superintendent of the railroad, and was enjoined to work night
and day, and to expedite the movement as rapidly as possible; but
the capacity of the road was so small, that I soon saw that I could
move horses, mules, and wagons faster by land, and therefore I
dispatched the artillery and wagons by the road under escort, and
finally moved the entire Fourth Division by land.

The enemy seems to have had early notice of this movement, and he
endeavored to thwart us from the start.  A considerable force
assembled in a threatening attitude at Salem, south of Salisbury
Station; and General Carr, who commanded at Corinth, felt compelled
to turn back and use a part of my troops, that had already reached
Corinth, to resist the threatened attack.

On Sunday, October 11th, having put in motion my whole force, I
started myself for Corinth, in a special train, with the battalion
of the Thirteenth United States Regulars as escort.  We reached
Collierville Station about noon, just in time to take part in the
defense made of that station by Colonel D. C. Anthony, of the
Sixty-sixth Indiana, against an attack made by General Chalmers
with a force of about three thousand cavalry, with eight pieces of
artillery.  He was beaten off, the damage to the road repaired, and
we resumed our journey the next day, reaching Corinth at night.

I immediately ordered General Blair forward to Iuka, with the First
Division, and, as fast as I got troops up, pushed them forward of
Bear Creek, the bridge of which was completely destroyed, and an
engineer regiment, under command of Colonel Flag, was engaged in
its repairs.

Quite a considerable force of the enemy was assembled in our front,
near Tuscumbia, to resist our advance.  It was commanded by General
Stephen D. Lee, and composed of Roddy's and Ferguson's brigades,
with irregular cavalry, amounting in the aggregate to about five

In person I moved from Corinth to Burnsville on the 18th, and to
Iuka on the 19th of October.

Osterhaus's division was in the advance, constantly skirmishing
with the enemy; he was supported by General Morgan L. Smith's, both
divisions under the general command of Major-General Blair.
General John E. Smith's division covered the working-party engaged
in rebuilding the railroad.

Foreseeing difficulty in crossing the Tennessee River, I had
written to Admiral Porter, at Cairo, asking him to watch the
Tennessee and send up some gunboats the moment the stage of water
admitted; and had also requested General Allen, quartermaster at
St. Louis, to dispatch to Eastport a steam ferry-boat.

The admiral, ever prompt and ready to assist us, had two fine
gunboats at Eastport, under Captain Phelps, the very day after my
arrival at Iuka; and Captain Phelps had a coal-barge decked over,
with which to cross our horses and wagons before the arrival of the

Still following literally the instructions of General Halleck, I
pushed forward the repairs of the railroad, and ordered General
Blair, with the two leading divisions, to drive the enemy beyond
Tuscumbia.  This he did successfully, after a pretty severe fight
at Cane Creek, occupying Tuscumbia on the 27th of October.

In the meantime many important changes in command had occurred,
which I must note here, to a proper understanding of the case.

General Grant had been called from Vicksburg, and sent to
Chattanooga to command the military division of the Mississippi,
composed of the three Departments of the Ohio, Cumberland, and
Tennessee; and the Department of the Tennessee had been devolved on
me, with instructions, however, to retain command of the army in
the field.  At Iuka I made what appeared to me the best disposition
of matters relating to the department, giving General McPherson
full powers in Mississippi and General Hurlbut in West Tennessee,
and assigned General Blair to the command of the Fifteenth Army
Corps; and summoned General Hurlbut from Memphis, and General Dodge
from Corinth, and selected out of the Sixteenth Corps a force of
about eight thousand men, which I directed General Dodge to
organize with all expedition, and with it to follow me eastward.

On the 27th of October, when General Blair, with two divisions, was
at Tuscumbia, I ordered General Ewing, with the Fourth Division, to
cross the Tennessee (by means of the gunboats and scow) as rapidly
as possible at Eastport, and push forward to Florence, which he
did; and the same day a messenger from General Grant floated down
the Tennessee over Muscle Shoals, landed at Tuscumbia, and was sent
to me at Iuka.  He bore a short message from the general to this
effect: "Drop all work on the railroad east of Bear Creek; push
your command toward Bridgeport till you meet orders;" etc.
Instantly the order was executed; the order of march was reversed,
and all the columns were directed to Eastport, the only place where
we could cross the Tennessee.  At first we only had the gunboats
and coal-barge; but the ferry-boat and two transports arrived on
the 31st of October, and the work of crossing was pushed with all
the vigor possible.  In person I crossed, and passed to the head of
the column at Florence on the 1st of November, leaving the rear
divisions to be conducted by General Blair, and marched to
Rogersville and Elk River.  This was found impassable.  To ferry
would have consumed to much time, and to build a bridge still more;
so there was no alternative but to turn up Elk River by way of
Gilbertsboro, Elkton, etc., to the stone bridge at Fayetteville,
where we crossed the Elk, and proceeded to Winchester and Deckerd.

At Fayetteville I received orders from General Grant to come to
Bridgeport with the Fifteenth Army Corps, and to leave General
Dodge's command at Pulaski, and along the railroad from Columbia to
Decatur.  I instructed General Blair to follow with the Second and
First Divisions by way of New Market, Larkinsville, and Bellefonte,
while I conducted the other two divisions by way of Deckerd; the
Fourth Division crossing the mountain to Stevenson, and the Third
by University Place and Sweden's Cove.

In person I proceeded by Sweden's Cove and Battle Creek, reaching
Bridgeport on the night of November 13th.  I immediately
telegraphed to the commanding general my arrival, and the positions
of my several divisions, and was summoned to Chattanooga.  I took
the first steamboat daring the night of the 14th for Belly's Ferry,
and rode into Chattanooga on the 16th.  I then learned the part
assigned me in the coming drama, was supplied with the necessary
maps and information, and rode, during the 18th, in company with
Generals Grant, Thomas, W. F. Smith, Brannan, and others, to the
positions occupied on the west bank of the Tennessee, from which
could be seen the camps of the enemy, compassing Chattanooga and
the line of Missionary Hills, with its terminus on Chickamauga
Creek, the point that I was expected to take, hold, and fortify.
Pontoons, with a full supply of balks and chesses, had been
prepared for the bridge over the Tennessee, and all things had been
prearranged with a foresight that elicited my admiration.  From the
hills we looked down on the amphitheatre of Chattanooga as on a
map, and nothing remained but for me to put my troops in the
desired position.  The plan contemplated that, in addition to
crossing the Tennessee River and making a lodgment on the terminus
of Missionary Ridge, I should demonstrate against Lookout Mountain,
near Trenton, with a part of my command.

All in Chattanooga were impatient for action, rendered almost acute
by the natural apprehensions felt for the safety of General
Burnside in East Tennessee.

My command had marched from Memphis, three hundred and thirty
miles, and I had pushed them as fast as the roads and distance
would admit, but I saw enough of the condition of men and animals
in Chattanooga to inspire me with renewed energy.  I immediately
ordered my leading division (General Ewing's) to march via
Shellmound to Trenton, demonstrating against Lookout Ridge, but to
be prepared to turn quickly and follow me to Chattanooga and in
person I returned to Bridgeport, rowing a boat down the Tennessee
from Belly's Ferry, and immediately on arrival put in motion my
divisions in the order in which they had arrived.  The bridge of
boats at Bridgeport was frail, and, though used day and night, our
passage was slow; and the road thence to Chattanooga was dreadfully
cut up and encumbered with the wagons of the other troops stationed
along the road.  I reached General Hooker's headquarters during a
rain, in the afternoon of the 20th, and met General Grant's orders
for the general attack on the next day.  It was simply impossible
for me to fulfill my part in time; only one division (General John
E. Smith's) was in position.  General Ewing was still at Trenton,
and the other two were toiling along the terrible road from
Shellmound to Chattanooga.  No troops ever were or could be in
better condition than mine, or who labored harder to fulfill their
part.  On a proper representation, General Grant postponed the
attack.  On the 21st I got the Second Division over Brown's-Ferry
Bridge, and General Ewing got up; but the bridge broke repeatedly,
and delays occurred which no human sagacity could prevent.  All
labored night and day, and General Ewing got over on the 23d; but
my rear division was cut off by the broken bridge at Brown's Ferry,
and could not join me.  I offered to go into action with my three
divisions, supported by General Jeff.  C. Davis, leaving one of my
best divisions (Osterhaus's) to act with General Hooker against
Lookout Mountain.  That division has not joined me yet, but I know
and feel that it has served the country well, and that it has
reflected honor on the Fifteenth Army Corps and the Army of the
Tennessee.  I leave the record of its history to General Hooker, or
whomsoever has had its services during the late memorable events,
confident that all will do it merited honor.

At last, on the 28d of November, my three divisions lay behind the
hills opposite the mouth of the Chickamauga.  I dispatched the
brigade of the Second Division, commanded by General Giles A.
Smith, under cover of the hills, to North Chickamauga Creek, to man
the boats designed for the pontoon-bridge, with orders (at
midnight) to drop down silently to a point above the mouth of the
South Chickamauga, there land two regiments, who were to move along
the river-bank quietly, and capture the enemy's river-pickets.

General Giles A. Smith then was to drop rapidly below the month of
the Chickamauga, disembark the rest of his brigade, and dispatch
the boats across for fresh loads.  These orders were skillfully
executed, and every rebel picket but one was captured.  The balance
of General Morgan L. Smith's division was then rapidly ferried
across; that of General John E. Smith followed, and by daylight of
November 24th two divisions of about eight thousand men were on the
east bank of the Tennessee, and had thrown up a very respectable
rifle-trench as a tete du pont.  As soon as the day dawned, some of
the boats were taken from the use of ferrying, and a pontoon-bridge
was begun, under the immediate direction of Captain Dresser, the
whole planned and supervised by General William F. Smith in person.
A pontoon-bridge was also built at the same time over Chickamanga
Creek, near its mouth, giving communication with the two regiments
which had been left on the north side, and fulfilling a most
important purpose at a later stage of the drama.  I will here bear
my willing testimony to the completeness of this whole business.
All the officers charged with the work were present, and manifested
a skill which I cannot praise too highly.  I have never beheld any
work done so quietly, so well; and I doubt if the history of war
can show a bridge of that extent (viz., thirteen hundred and fifty
feet) laid so noiselessly and well, in so short a time.  I
attribute it to the genius and intelligence of General William F.
Smith.  The steamer Dunbar arrived up in the course of the morning,
and relieved Ewing's division of the labor of rowing across; but by
noon the pontoon-bridge was done, and my three divisions were
across, with men, horses, artillery, and every thing.

General Jeff. C. Davis's division was ready to take the bridge, and
I ordered the columns to form in order to carry the Missionary
Hills.  The movement had been carefully explained to all division
commanders, and at 1 p.m.  we marched from the river in three
columns in echelon: the left, General Morgan L. Smith, the column
of direction, following substantially Chickamauga Creek; the
centre, General, John E. Smith, in columns, doubled on the centre,
at one brigade interval to the right and rear; the right, General
Ewing, in column at the same distance to the right rear, prepared
to deploy to the right, on the supposition that we would meet an
enemy in that direction.  Each head of column was covered by a good
line of skirmishers, with supports.  A light drizzling rain
prevailed, and the clouds hung low, cloaking our movement from the
enemy's tower of observation on Lookout Mountain.  We soon gained
the foothills; our skirmishers crept up the face of the hills,
followed by their supports, and at 3.30 p.m. we had gained, with no
loss, the desired point.  A brigade of each division was pushed
rapidly to the top of the hill, and the enemy for the first time
seemed to realize the movement, but too late, for we were in
possession.  He opened with artillery, but General Ewing soon got
some of Captain Richardson's guns up that steep hill and gave back
artillery, and the enemy's skirmishers made one or two ineffectual
dashes at General Lightburn, who had swept round and got a farther
hill, which was the real continuation of the ridge.  From studying
all the maps, I had inferred that Missionary Ridge was a continuous
hill; but we found ourselves on two high points, with a deep
depression between us and the one immediately over the tunnel,
which was my chief objective point.  The ground we had gained,
however, was so important, that I could leave nothing to chance,
and ordered it to be fortified during the night.  One brigade of
each division was left on the hill, one of General Morgan L.
Smith's closed the gap to Chickamauga Creek, two of General John E.
Smith's were drawn back to the base in reserve, and General Ewing's
right was extended down into the plain, thus crossing the ridge in
a general line, facing southeast.

The enemy felt our left flank about 4 p.m., and a pretty smart
engagement with artillery and muskets ensued, when he drew off; but
it cost us dear, for General Giles A. Smith was severely wounded,
and had to go to the rear; and the command of the brigade devolved
on Colonel Topper (One Hundred and Sixteenth Illinois), who managed
it with skill during the rest of the operations.  At the moment of
my crossing the bridge, General Howard appeared, having come with
three regiments from Chattanooga, along the east bank of the
Tennessee, connecting my new position with that of the main army in
Chattanooga.  He left the three regiments attached temporarily to
Gen. Ewing's right, and returned to his own corps at Chattanooga.
As night closed in, I ordered General Jeff. C. Davis to keep one of
his brigades at the bridge, one close up to my position, and one
intermediate.  Thus we passed the night, heavy details being kept
busy at work on the intrenchments on the hill.  During the night
the sky cleared away bright, a cold frost filled the air, and our
camp-fires revealed to the enemy and to our friends in Chattanooga
our position on Missionary Ridge.  About midnight I received, at
the hands of Major Rowley (of General Grant's staff), orders to
attack the enemy at "dawn of day," with notice that General Thomas
would attack in force early in the day.  Accordingly, before day I
was in the saddle, attended by all my staff; rode to the extreme
left of our position near Chickamauga Creek; thence up the hill,
held by General Lightburn; and round to the extreme right of
General Ewing.

Catching as accurate an idea of the ground as possible by the dim
light of morning, I saw that our line of attack was in the
direction of Missionary Ridge, with wings supporting on either
flank.  Quite a valley lay between us and the next hill of the
series, and this hill presented steep sides, the one to the west
partially cleared, but the other covered with the native forest.
The crest of the ridge was narrow and wooded.  The farther point of
this hill was held-by the enemy with a breastwork of logs and fresh
earth, filled with men and two guns.  The enemy was also seen in
great force on a still higher hill beyond the tunnel, from which he
had a fine plunging fire on the hill in dispute.  The gorge
between, through which several roads and the railroad-tunnel pass,
could not be seen from our position, but formed the natural place
d'armes, where the enemy covered his masses to resist our
contemplated movement of turning his right flank and endangering
his communications with his depot at Chickamauga Station.

As soon as possible, the following dispositions were made: The
brigades of Colonels Cockrell and Alexander, and General Lightburn,
were to hold our hill as the key-point.  General Corse, with as
much of his brigade as could operate along the narrow ridge, was to
attack from our right centre.  General Lightburn was to dispatch a
good regiment from his position to cooperate with General Corse;
and General Morgan L. Smith was to move along the east base of
Missionary Ridge, connecting with General Corse; and Colonel
Loomis, in like manner, to move along the west bank, supported by
the two reserve brigades of General John E. Smith.

The sun had hardly risen before General Corse had completed his
preparations and his bugle sounded the "forward !" The Fortieth
Illinois, supported by the Forty-sixth Ohio, on our right centre,
with the Thirtieth Ohio (Colonel Jones), moved down the face of our
hill, and up that held by the enemy.  The line advanced to within
about eighty yards of the intrenched position, where General Corse
found a secondary crest, which he gained and held.  To this point
he called his reserves, and asked for reenforcements, which were
sent; but the space was narrow, and it was not well to crowd the
men, as the enemy's artillery and musketry fire swept the approach
to his position, giving him great advantage.  As soon as General
Corse had made his preparations, he assaulted, and a close, severe
contest ensued, which lasted more than an hour, gaining and losing
ground, but never the position first obtained, from which the enemy
in vain attempted to drive him.  General Morgan L. Smith kept
gaining ground on the left spurs of Missionary Ridge, and Colonel
Loomis got abreast of the tunnel and railroad embankment on his
aide, drawing the enemy's fire, and to that extent relieving the
assaulting party on the hill-crest. Captain Callender had four of
his guns on General Ewing's hill, and Captain Woods his Napoleon
battery on General Lightburn's; also, two guns of Dillon's battery
were with Colonel Alexander's brigade.  All directed their fire as
carefully as possible, to clear the hill to our front, without
endangering our own men.  The fight raged furiously about 10 a.m.,
when General Corse received a severe wound, was brought off the
field, and the command of the brigade and of the assault at that
key-point devolved on that fine young, gallant officer, Colonel
Walcutt, of the Forty-sixth Ohio, who fulfilled his part manfully.
He continued the contest, pressing forward at all points.  Colonel
Loomis had made good progress to the right, and about 2 p.m.,
General John E. Smith, judging the battle to be most severe on the
hill, and being required to support General Ewing, ordered up
Colonel Raum's and General Matthias's brigades across the field to
the summit that was being fought for.  They moved up under a heavy
fire of cannon and musketry, and joined Colonel Walcutt; but the
crest was so narrow that they necessarily occupied the west face of
the hill.  The enemy, at the time being massed in great strength in
the tunnel-gorge, moved a large force under cover of the ground and
the thick bushes, and suddenly appeared on the right rear of this
command.  The suddenness of the attack disconcerted the men,
exposed as they were in the open field; they fell back in some
disorder to the lower edge of the field, and reformed.  These two
brigades were in the nature of supports, and did not constitute a
part of the real attack.

The movement, seen from Chattanooga (five miles off ) with
spy-glasses, gave rise to the report, which even General Meiga has
repeated, that we were repulsed on the left.  It was not so.  The
real attacking columns of General Corse, Colonel Loomis, and
General Smith, were not repulsed.  They engaged in a close struggle
all day persistently, stubbornly, and well.  When the two reserve
brigades of General John E. Smith fell back as described, the enemy
made a show of pursuit, but were in their turn caught in flank by
the well-directed fire of our brigade on the wooded crest, and
hastily sought cover behind the hill.  Thus matters stood about 3
p.m.  The day was bright and clear, and the amphitheatre of
Chattanooga sat in beauty at our feet.  I had watched for the
attack of General Thomas "early in the day."   Column after column
of the enemy was streaming toward me; gun after  gun poured its
concentric shot on us, from every hill and spur that gave a view of
any part of the ground held by us.  An occasional shot from Fort
Wood and Orchard Knob, and some musketry-fire and artillery over
about  Lookout Mountain, was all that I could detect on our side;
but about 3 p.m.  I noticed the white line of musketry-fire in
front of Orchard Knoll extending farther and farther right and left
and on.  We could only hear  a faint echo of sound, but enough was
seen to satisfy me that General Thomas was at last moving on the
centre.  I knew that our attack had drawn vast masses of the enemy
to our flank, and felt sure of the result.  Some guns which had
been firing on us all day were silent, or were turned in a
different direction.

The advancing line of musketry-fire from Orchard Knoll disappeared
to us behind a spar of the hill, and could no longer be seen; and
it was not until night closed in that I knew that the troops in
Chattanooga had swept across Missionary Ridge and broken the
enemy's centre.  Of course, the victory was won, and pursuit was
the next step.

I ordered General Morgan L. Smith to feel to the tunnel, and it was
found vacant, save by the dead and wounded of our own and the enemy
commingled.  The reserve of General Jeff. C. Davis was ordered to
march at once by the pontoon-bridge across Chickamauga Creek, at
its mouth, and push forward for the depot.

General Howard had reported to me in the early part of the day,
with the remainder of his army corps (the Eleventh), and had been
posted to connect my left with Chickamauga Creek.  He was ordered
to repair an old broken bridge about two miles up the Chickamauga,
and to follow General Davis at 4 a.m., and the Fifteenth Army Corps
was ordered to follow at daylight.  But General Howard found that
to repair the bridge was more of a task than was at first supposed,
and we were all compelled to cross the Chickamauga on the new
pontoon-bridge at its mouth.  By about 11 a.m.  General Jeff. C.
Davis's division reached the depot, just in time to see it in
flames.  He found the enemy occupying two hills, partially
intrenched, just beyond the depot.  These he soon drove away.
The depot presented a scene of desolation that war alone exhibits
--corn-meal and corn in huge burning piles, broken wagons, abandoned
caissons, two thirty-two-pounder rifled-guns with carriages burned,
pieces of pontoons, balks and chesses, etc., destined doubtless for
the famous invasion of Kentucky, and all manner of things, burning
and broken.  Still, the enemy kindly left us a good supply of forage
for our horses, and meal, beans, etc., for our men.

Pausing but a short while, we passed on, the road filled with
broken wagons and abandoned caissons, till night.  Just as the head
of the column emerged from a dark, miry swamp, we encountered the
rear-guard of the retreating enemy.  The fight was sharp, but the
night closed in so dark that we could not move.  General Grant came
up to us there.  At daylight we resumed the march, and at
Graysville, where a good bridge spanned the Chickamauga, we found
the corps of General Palmer on the south bank, who informed us that
General Hooker was on a road still farther south, and we could hear
his guns near Ringgold.

As the roads were filled with all the troops they could possibly
accommodate, I turned to the east, to fulfill another part of the
general plan, viz., to break up all communication between Bragg and

We had all sorts of rumors as to the latter, but it was manifest
that we should interpose a proper force between these two armies.
I therefore directed General Howard to move to Parker's Gap, and
thence send rapidly a competent force to Red Clay, or the
Council-Ground, there to destroy a large section of the railroad
which connects Dalton and Cleveland.  This work was most
successfully and fully accomplished that day.  The division of
General Jeff. C. Davis was moved close up to Ringgold, to assist
General Hooker if needed, and the Fifteenth Corps was held at
Grayeville, for any thing that might turn up.  About noon I had a
message from General Hooker, saying he had had a pretty hard fight
at the mountain-pass just beyond Ringgold, and he wanted me to come
forward to turn the position.  He was not aware at the time that
Howard, by moving through Parker's Gap toward Red Clay, had already
turned it.  So I rode forward to Ringgold in person, and found the
enemy had already fallen back to Tunnel Hill.  He was already out
of the valley of the Chickamauga, and on ground whence the waters
flow to the Coosa.  He was out of Tennessee.

I found General Grant at Ringgold, and, after some explanations as
to breaking up the railroad from Ringgold back to the State line,
as soon as some cars loaded with wounded men could be pushed back
to Chickamauga depot, I was ordered to move slowly and leisurely
back to Chattanooga.

On the following day the Fifteenth Corps destroyed absolutely and
effectually the railroad from a point half-way between Ringgold and
Graysville, back to the State line; and General Grant, coming to
Graysville, consented that, instead of returning direct to
Chattanooga, I might send back all my artillery-wagons and
impediments, and make a circuit by the north as far as the
Hiawasaee River.

Accordingly, on the morning of November 29th, General Howard moved
from Parker's Gap to Cleveland, General Davis by way of McDaniel's
Gap, and General Blair with two divisions of the Fifteenth Corps by
way of Julien's Gap, all meeting at Cleveland that night.  Here
another good break was made in the Dalton & Cleveland road.  On the
30th the army moved to Charleston, General Howard approaching so
rapidly that the enemy evacuated with haste, leaving the bridge but
partially damaged, and five car-loads of flour and provisions on
the north bank of the Hiawassee.

This was to have been the limit of our operations.  Officers and
men had brought no baggage or provisions, and the weather was
bitter cold.  I had already reached the town of Charleston, when
General Wilson arrived with a letter from General Grant, at
Chattanooga, informing me that the latest authentic accounts from
Knoxville were to the 27th, at which time General Burnside was
completely invested, and had provisions only to include the 3d of
December; that General Granger had left Chattanooga for Knoxville,
by the river-road, with a steamboat following him in the river; but
he feared that General Granger could not reach Knoxville in time,
and ordered me to take command of all troops moving for the relief
of Knoxville, and hasten to General Burnside.  Seven days before,
we had left our camps on the other side of the Tennessee with two
days' rations, without a change of clothing--stripped for the
fight, with but a single blanket or coat per man, from myself to
the private included.

Of course, we then had no provisions save what we gathered by the
road, and were ill supplied for such a march.  But we learned that
twelve thousand of our fellow-soldiers were beleaguered in the
mountain town of Knoxville, eighty-four miles distant; that they
needed relief, and must have it in three days.  This was enough
--and it had to be done.  General Howard that night repaired and
planked the railroad-bridge, and at daylight the army passed over
the Hiawassee and marched to Athens, fifteen miles.  I had supposed
rightly that General Granger was about the mouth of the Hiawassee,
and had sent him notice of my orders; that General Grant had sent
me a copy of his written instructions, which were full and
complete, and that he must push for Kingston, near which we would
make a junction.  But by the time I reached Athens I had better
studied the geography, and sent him orders, which found him at
Decatur, that Kingston was out of our way; that he should send his
boat to Kingston, but with his command strike across to
Philadelphia, and report to me there.  I had but a small force of
cavalry, which was, at the time of my receipt of General Grant's
orders, scouting over about Benton and Columbus.  I left my aide,
Major McCoy, at Charleston, to communicate with this cavalry and
hurry it forward.  It overtook me in the night at Athens.

On the 2d of December the army moved rapidly north toward Loudon,
twenty-six miles distant.  About 11 a.m., the cavalry passed to the
head of the column, was ordered to push to London, and, if
possible, to save a pontoon-bridge across the Tennessee, held by a
brigade of the enemy commanded by General Vaughn.  The cavalry
moved with such rapidity as to capture every picket; but the
brigade of Vaughn had artillery in position, covered by earthworks,
and displayed a force too respectable to be carried by a cavalry
dash, so that darkness closed in before General Howard's infantry
got up.  The enemy abandoned the place in the night, destroying the
pontoons, running three locomotives and forty-eight cars into the
Tennessee River, and abandoned much provision, four guns, and other
material, which General Howard took at daylight.  But the bridge
was gone, and we were forced to turn east and trust to General
Burnside's bridge at Knoxville.  It was all-important that General
Burnside should have notice of our coming, and but one day of the
time remained.

Accordingly, at Philadelphia, during the night of the 2d of
December, I sent my aide (Major Audenried) forward to Colonel Long,
commanding the brigade of cavalry at London, to explain to him how
all-important it was that notice of our approach should reach
General Burnside within twenty-four hours, ordering him to select
the best materials of his command, to start at once, ford the
Little Tennessee, and push into Knoxville at whatever cost of life
and horse-flesh.  Major Audenried was ordered to go along.  The
distance to be traveled was about forty miles, and the roads
villainous.  Before day they were off, and at daylight the
Fifteenth Corps was turned from Philadelphia for the Little
Tennessee at Morgantown, where my maps represented the river as
being very shallow; but it was found too deep for fording, and the
water was freezing cold--width two hundred and forty yards, depth
from two to five feet; horses could ford, but artillery and men
could not.  A bridge was indispensable.  General Wilson (who
accompanied me) undertook to superintend the bridge, and I am under
many obligations to him, as I was without an engineer, having sent
Captain Jenny back from Graysville to survey our field of battle.
We had our pioneers, but only such tools as axes, picks, and
spades.  General Wilson, working partly with cut wood and partly
with square trestles (made of the houses of the late town of
Morgantown), progressed apace, and by dark of December 4th troops
and animals passed over the bridge, and by daybreak of the 5th the
Fifteenth Corps (General Blair's) was over, and Generals-Granger's
and Davis's divisions were ready to pass; but the diagonal bracing
was imperfect for, want of spikes, and the bridge broke, causing
delay.  I had ordered General Blair to move out on the Marysville
road five miles, there to await notice that General Granger was on
a parallel road abreast of him, and in person I was at a house
where the roads parted, when a messenger rode up, bringing me a few
words from General Burnside, to the effect that Colonel Long had
arrived at Knoxville with his cavalry, and that all was well with
him there; Longstreet still lay before the place, but there were
symptoms of his speedy departure.

I felt that I had accomplished the first great step in the problem
for the relief of General Burnside's army, but still urged on the
work.  As soon as the bridge was mended, all the troops moved
forward.  General Howard had marched from Loudon, had found a
pretty good ford for his horses and wagons at Davis's, seven miles
below Morgantown, and had made an ingenious bridge of the wagons
left by General Vaughn at London, on which to pass his men.  He
marched by Unitia and Louisville.  On the night of the 5th all the
heads of columns communicated at Marysville, where I met Major Van
Buren (of General Burnside's staff), who announced that Longstreet
had the night before retreated on the Rutledge, Rogersville, and
Bristol road, leading to Virginia; that General Burnside's cavalry
was on his heels; and that the general desired to see me in person
as soon as I could come to Knoxville.  I ordered all the troops to
halt and rest, except the two divisions of General Granger, which
were ordered to move forward to Little River, and General Granger
to report in person to General Burnside for orders.  His was the
force originally designed to reenforce General Burnside, and it was
eminently proper that it should join in the stern-chase after

On the morning of December 6th I rode from Marysville into
Knoxville, and met General Burnside.  General Granger arrived later
in the day.  We examined his lines of fortifications, which were a
wonderful production for the short time allowed in their selection
of ground and construction of work.  It seemed to me that they were
nearly impregnable.  We examined the redoubt named "Sanders,"
where, on the Sunday previous, three brigades of the enemy had
assaulted and met a bloody repulse.  Now, all was peaceful and
quiet; but a few hours before, the deadly bullet sought its victim
all round about that hilly barrier.

The general explained to me fully and frankly what he had done, and
what he proposed to do.  He asked of me nothing but General
Granger's command; and suggested, in view of the large force I had
brought from Chattanooga, that I should return with due expedition
to the line of the Hiawasaee, lest Bragg, reenforced, might take
advantage of our absence to resume the offensive.  I asked him to
reduce this to writing, which he did, and I here introduce it as
part of my report:

KNOXVILLE, December 7, 1863

Major-General W. T. SHERMAN, commanding, etc.

GENERAL: I desire to express to you and your command my most hearty
thanks and gratitude for your promptness in coming to our relief
during the siege of Knoxville, and I am satisfied your approach
served to raise the siege.  The emergency having passed, I do not
deem, for the present, any other portion of your command but the
corps of General Granger necessary for operations in this section;
and, inasmuch as General Grant has weakened the forces immediately
with him in order to relieve us (thereby rendering the position of
General Thomas less secure), I deem it advisable that all the
troops now here, save those commanded by General Granger, should
return at once to within supporting distance of the forces in front
of Bragg's army.  In behalf of my command, I desire again to thank
you and your command for the kindness you have done us.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. E. BURNSIDE, Major-General commanding.

Accordingly, having seen General Burnside's forces move out of
Knoxville in pursuit of Longstreet, and General Granger's move in,
I put in motion my own command to return.  General Howard was
ordered to move, via Davis's Ford and Sweetwater, to Athena, with a
guard forward at Charleston, to hold and repair the bridge which
the enemy had retaken after our passage up.  General Jeff.  C.
Davis moved to Columbus, on the Hiawaesee, via Madisonville, and
the two divisions of the Fifteenth Corps moved to Tellico Plains,
to cover movement of cavalry across the mountains into Georgia, to
overtake a wagon-train which had dodged us on our way up, and had
escaped by way of Murphy.  Subsequently, on a report from General
Howard that the enemy held Charleston, I diverted General Ewing's
division to Athena, and went in person to Tellico with General
Morgan L. Smith's division.  By the 9th all our troops were in
position, and we held the rich country between the Little Tennessee
and the Hiawasaee.  The cavalry, under Colonel Long, passed the
mountain at Tellico, and proceeded about seventeen miles beyond
Murphy, when Colonel Long, deeming his farther pursuit of the
wagon-train useless, returned on the 12th to Tellico.  I then
ordered him and the division of General Morgan L. Smith to move to
Charleston, to which point I had previously ordered the corps of
General Howard.

On the 14th of December all of my command in the field lay along
the Hiawassee.  Having communicated to General Grant the actual
state of affairs, I received orders to leave, on the line of the
Hiawassee, all the cavalry, and come to Chattanooga with the rest
of my command.  I left the brigade of cavalry commanded by Colonel
Long, reenforced by the Fifth Ohio Cavalry (Lieutenant-Colonel
Heath)--the only cavalry properly belonging to the Fifteenth Army
Corps--at Charleston, and with the remainder moved by easy marches,
by Cleveland and Tyner's Depot, into Chattanooga, where I received
in person from General Grant orders to transfer back to their
appropriate commands the corps of General Howard and the division
commanded by General Jeff.  C. Davis, and to conduct the Fifteenth
Army Corps to its new field of operations.

It will thus appear that we have been constantly in motion since
our departure from the Big Black, in Mississippi, until the present
moment.  I have been unable to receive from subordinate commanders
the usual full, detailed reports of events, and have therefore been
compelled to make up this report from my own personal memory; but,
as soon as possible, subordinate reports will be received and duly

In reviewing the facts, I must do justice to the men of my command
for the patience, cheerfulness, and courage which officers and men
have displayed throughout, in battle, on the march, and in camp.
For long periods, without regular rations or supplies of any kind,
they have marched through mud and over rocks, sometimes barefooted,
without a murmur.  Without a moment's rest after a march of over
four hundred miles, without sleep for three successive nights, we
crossed the Tennessee, fought our part of the battle of
Chattanooga, pursued the enemy out of Tennessee, and then turned
more than a hundred and twenty miles north and compelled Longstreet
to raise the siege of Knoxville, which gave so much anxiety to the
whole country.  It is hard to realize the importance of these
events without recalling the memory of the general feeling which
pervaded all minds at Chattanooga prior to our arrival.  I cannot
speak of the Fifteenth Army Corps without a seeming vanity; but as
I am no longer its commander, I assert that there is no better body
of soldiers in America than it.  I wish all to feel a just pride in
its real honors.

To General Howard and his command, to General Jeff. C. Davis and
his, I am more than usually indebted for the intelligence of
commanders and fidelity of commands.  The brigade of Colonel
Bushbeck, belonging to the Eleventh Corps, which was the first to
come out of Chattanooga to my flank, fought at the Tunnel Hill, in
connection with General Ewing's division, and displayed a courage
almost amounting to rashness.  Following the enemy almost to the
tunnel-gorge, it lost many valuable lives, prominent among them
Lieutenant-Colonel Taft, spoken of as a most gallant soldier.

In General Howard throughout I found a polished and Christian
gentleman, exhibiting the highest and most chivalric traits of the
soldier.  General Davis handled his division with artistic skill,
more especially at the moment we encountered the enemy's
rear-guard, near Graysville, at nightfall.  I must award to this
division the credit of the best order during our movement through
East Tennessee, when long marches and the necessity of foraging to
the right and left gave some reason for disordered ranks:

Inasmuch as exception may be taken to my explanation of the
temporary confusion, during the battle of Chattanooga, of the two
brigades of General Matthias and Colonel Raum, I will here state
that I saw the whole; and attach no blame to any one.  Accidents
will happen in battle, as elsewhere; and at the point where they so
manfully went to relieve the pressure on other parts of our
assaulting line, they exposed themselves unconsciously to an enemy
vastly superior in force, and favored by the shape of the ground.
Had that enemy come out on equal terms, those brigades would have
shown their mettle, which has been tried more than once before and
stood the test of fire.  They reformed their ranks, and were ready
to support General Ewing's division in a very few minutes; and the
circumstance would have hardly called for notice on my part, had
not others reported what was seen from Chattanooga, a distance of
nearly five miles, from where could only be seen the troops in the
open field in which this affair occurred.

I now subjoin the best report of casualties I am able to compile
from the records thus far received:

Killed; Wounded; and Missing...............  1949

No report from General Davis's division, but loss is small.

Among the killed were some of our most valuable officers: Colonels
Putnam, Ninety-third Illinois; O'Meara, Ninetieth Illinois; and
Torrence, Thirtieth Iowa; Lieutenant-Colonel-Taft, of the Eleventh
Corps; and Major Bushnell, Thirteenth Illinois.

Among the wounded are Brigadier-Generals Giles A. Smith, Corse, and
Matthias; Colonel Raum; Colonel Waugelin, Twelfth Missouri;
Lieutenant-Colonel Partridge, Thirteenth Illinois; Major P. I.
Welsh, Fifty-sixth Illinois; and Major Nathan McAlla, Tenth Iowa.

Among the missing is Lieutenant-Colonel Archer, Seventeenth Iowa.

My report is already so long, that I must forbear mentioning acts
of individual merit.  These will be recorded in the reports of
division commanders, which I will cheerfully indorse; but I must
say that it is but justice that colonels of regiments, who have so
long and so well commanded brigades, as in the following cases,
should be commissioned to the grade which they have filled with so
much usefulness and credit to the public service, viz.: Colonel J.
R. Cockerell, Seventieth, Ohio; Colonel J. M. Loomis, Twenty-sixth
Illinois; Colonel C. C. Walcutt, Forty-sixth Ohio; Colonel J. A.
Williamson, Fourth Iowa; Colonel G. B. Raum, Fifty-sixth Illinois;
Colonel J. I. Alexander, Fifty-ninth Indiana.

My personal staff, as usual, have served their country with
fidelity, and credit to themselves, throughout these events, and
have received my personal thanks.

Inclosed you will please find a map of that part of the
battle-field of Chattanooga fought over by the troops under my
command, surveyed and drawn by Captain Jenney, engineer on my
staff.  I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General commanding.

[General Order No. 68.]

WASHINGTON, February 21, 1884

Joint resolution tendering the thanks of Congress to Major-General
W. T. Sherman and others.

Be it resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled, That the thanks of
Congress and of the people of the United States are due, and that
the same are hereby tendered, to Major-General W. T. Sherman,
commander of the Department and Army of the Tennessee, and the
officers and soldiers who served under him, for their gallant and
arduous services in marching to the relief of the Army of the
Cumberland, and for their gallantry and heroism in the battle of
Chattanooga, which contributed in a great degree to the success of
our arms in that glorious victory.

Approved February 19, 1864.
By order of the Secretary of War:

E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

On the 19th of December I was at Bridgeport, and gave all the
orders necessary for the distribution of the four divisions of the
Fifteenth Corps along the railroad from Stevenson to Decatur, and
the part of the Sixteenth Corps; commanded by General Dodge, along
the railroad from Decatur to Nashville, to make the needed repairs,
and to be in readiness for the campaign of the succeeding year; and
on the 21st I went up to Nashville, to confer with General Grant
and conclude the arrangements for the winter.  At that time General
Grant was under the impression that the next campaign would be up
the valley of East Tennessee, in the direction of Virginia; and as
it was likely to be the last and most important campaign of the
war, it became necessary to set free as many of the old troops
serving along the Mississippi River as possible.  This was the real
object and purpose of the Meridian campaign, and of Banks's
expedition up Red River to Shreveport during that winter.




The winter of 1863-'64 opened very cold and severe; and it was
manifest after the battle of Chattanooga, November 25, 1863, and
the raising of the siege of Knoxville, December 5th, that military
operations in that quarter must in a measure cease, or be limited
to Burnside's force beyond Knoxville.  On the 21st of December
General Grant had removed his headquarters to Nashville, Tennessee,
leaving General George H. Thomas at Chattanooga, in command of the
Department of the Cumberland, and of the army round about that
place; and I was at Bridgeport, with orders to distribute my troops
along the railroad from Stevenson to Decatur, Alabama, and from
Decatur up toward Nashville.

General G. M. Dodge, who was in command of the detachment of the
Sixteenth Corps, numbering about eight thousand men, had not
participated with us in the battle of Chattanooga, but had remained
at and near Pulaski, Tennessee, engaged in repairing that railroad,
as auxiliary to the main line which led from Nashville to
Stevenson, and Chattanooga.  General John A. Logan had succeeded to
the command of the Fifteenth Corps, by regular appointment of the
President of the United States, and had relieved General Frank P.
Blair, who had been temporarily in command of that corps during the
Chattanooga and Knoxville movement.

At that time I was in command of the Department of the Tennessee,
which embraced substantially the territory on the east bank of the
Mississippi River, from Natchez up to the Ohio River, and thence
along the Tennessee River as high as Decatur and Bellefonte,
Alabama.  General McPherson was at Vicksburg and General Hurlbut at
Memphis, and from them I had the regular reports of affairs in that
quarter of my command.  The rebels still maintained a considerable
force of infantry and cavalry in the State of Mississippi,
threatening the river, whose navigation had become to us so
delicate and important a matter.  Satisfied that I could check this
by one or two quick moves inland, and thereby set free a
considerable body of men held as local garrisons, I went up to
Nashville and represented the case to General Grant, who consented
that I might go down the Mississippi River, where the bulk of my
command lay, and strike a blow on the east of the river, while
General Banks from New Orleans should in like manner strike another
to the west; thus preventing any further molestation of the boats
navigating the main river, and thereby widening the gap in the
Southern Confederacy.

After having given all the necessary orders for the distribution,
during the winter months, of that part of my command which was in
Southern and Middle Tennessee, I went to Cincinnati and Lancaster,
Ohio, to spend Christmas with my family; and on my return I took
Minnie with me down to a convent at Reading, near Cincinnati, where
I left her, and took the cars for Cairo, Illinois, which I reached
January 3d, a very cold and bitter day.  The ice was forming fast,
and there was great danger that the Mississippi River, would become
closed to navigation.  Admiral Porter, who was at Cairo, gave me a
small gunboat (the Juliet), with which I went up to Paducah, to
inspect that place, garrisoned by a small force; commanded by
Colonel S. G. Hicks, Fortieth Illinois, who had been with me and
was severely wounded at Shiloh.  Returning to Cairo, we started
down the Mississippi River, which was full of floating ice.  With
the utmost difficulty we made our way through it, for hours
floating in the midst of immense cakes, that chafed and ground our
boat so that at times we were in danger of sinking.  But about the
10th of January we reached Memphis, where I found General Hurlbut,
and explained to him my purpose to collect from his garrisons and
those of McPherson about twenty thousand men, with which in
February to march out from Vicksburg as far as Meridian, break up
the Mobile & Ohio Railroad, and also the one leading from Vicksburg
to Selma, Alabama.  I instructed him to select two good divisions,
and to be ready with them to go along.  At Memphis I found
Brigadier-General W. Sooy Smith, with a force of about twenty-five
hundred cavalry, which he had by General Grant's orders brought
across from Middle Tennessee, to assist in our general purpose, as
well as to punish the rebel General Forrest, who had been most
active in harassing our garrisons in West Tennessee and
Mississippi.  After staying a couple of days at Memphis, we
continued on in the gunboat Silver Cloud to Vicksburg, where I
found General McPherson, and, giving him similar orders, instructed
him to send out spies to ascertain and bring back timely
information of the strength and location of the enemy.  The winter
continued so severe that the river at Vicksburg was full of
floating ice, but in the Silver Cloud we breasted it manfully, and
got back to Memphis by the 20th.  A chief part of the enterprise
was to destroy the rebel cavalry commanded by General Forrest, who
were a constant threat to our railway communications in Middle
Tennessee, and I committed this task to Brigadier-General W. Sooy
Smith.  General Hurlbut had in his command about seven thousand
five hundred cavalry, scattered from Columbus, Kentucky, to
Corinth, Mississippi, and we proposed to make up an aggregate
cavalry force of about seven thousand "effective," out of these and
the twenty-five hundred which General Smith had brought with him
from Middle Tennessee.  With this force General Smith was ordered
to move from Memphis straight for Meridian, Mississippi, and to
start by February 1st.  I explained to him personally the nature of
Forrest as a man, and of his peculiar force; told him that in his
route he was sure to encounter Forrest, who always attacked with a
vehemence for which he must be prepared, and that, after he had
repelled the first attack, he must in turn assume  the most
determined offensive, overwhelm him and utterly destroy his whole
force.  I knew that Forrest could not have more than four thousand
cavalry, and my own movement would give employment to every other
man of the rebel army not immediately present with him, so that he
(General Smith) might safely act on the hypothesis I have stated.

Having completed all these preparations in Memphis, being satisfied
that the cavalry force would be ready to start by the 1st of
February, and having seen General Hurlbut with his two divisions
embark in steamers for Vicksburg, I also reembarked for the same
destination on the 27th of January.

On the 1st of February we rendezvoused in Vicksburg, where I found
a spy who had been sent out two weeks before, had been to Meridian,
and brought back correct information of the state of facts in the
interior of Mississippi.  Lieutenant-General (Bishop) Polk was in
chief command, with headquarters at Meridian, and had two divisions
of infantry, one of which (General Loring's) was posted at Canton,
Mississippi, the other (General French's) at Brandon.  He had also
two divisions of cavalry--Armstrong's, composed of the three
brigades of Ross, Stark, and Wirt Adams, which were scattered from
the neighborhood of Yazoo City to Jackson and below; and Forrest's,
which was united, toward Memphis, with headquarters at Como.
General Polk seemed to have no suspicion of our intentions to
disturb his serenity.

Accordingly, on the morning of February 3d, we started in two
columns, each of two divisions, preceded by a light force of
cavalry, commanded by Colonel E. F. Winslow.  General McPherson
commanded the right column, and General Hurlbut the left.  The
former crossed the Big Black at the railroad-bridge, and the latter
seven miles above, at Messinger's.  We were lightly equipped as to
wagons, and marched without deployment straight for Meridian,
distant one hundred and fifty miles.  We struck the rebel cavalry
beyond the Big Black, and pushed them pell-mell into and beyond
Jackson during the 6th.  The next day we reached Brandon, and on
the 9th Morton, where we perceived signs of an infantry
concentration, but the enemy did not give us battle, and retreated
before us.  The rebel cavalry were all around us, so we kept our
columns compact and offered few or no chances for their dashes.  As
far as Morton we had occupied two roads, but there we were forced
into one.  Toward evening of the 12th, Hurlbut's column passed
through Decatur, with orders to go into camp four miles beyond at a
creek.  McPherson's head of column was some four miles behind, and
I personally detached one of Hurlbut's regiments to guard the
cross-roads at Decatur till the head of McPherson's column should
come in sight.  Intending to spend the night in Decatur, I went to
a double log-house, and arranged with the lady for some supper.  We
unsaddled our horses, tied them to the fence inside the yard, and,
being tired, I lay down on a bed and fell asleep.  Presently I
heard shouts and hallooing, and then heard pistol-shots close to
the house.  My aide, Major Audenried, called me and said we were
attacked by rebel cavalry, who were all around us.  I jumped up and
inquired where was the regiment of infantry I had myself posted at
the cross-roads.  He said a few moments before it had marched past
the house, following the road by which General Hurlbut had gone,
and I told him to run, overtake it, and bring it back.  Meantime, I
went out into the back-yard, saw wagons passing at a run down the
road, and horsemen dashing about in a cloud of dust, firing their
pistols, their shots reaching the house in which we were.
Gathering the few orderlies and clerks that were about, I was
preparing to get into a corn-crib at the back side of the lot,
wherein to defend ourselves, when I saw Audenried coming back with
the regiment, on a run, deploying forward as they came.  This
regiment soon cleared the place and drove the rebel cavalry back
toward the south, whence they had come.

It transpired that the colonel of this infantry regiment, whose
name I do not recall, had seen some officers of McPherson's staff
(among them Inspector-General Strong) coming up the road at a
gallop, raising a cloud of duet; supposing them to be the head of
McPherson's column, and being anxious to get into camp before dark,
he had called in his pickets and started down the road, leaving me
perfectly exposed.  Some straggling wagons, escorted by a New
Jersey regiment, were passing at the time, and composed the rear of
Hurlbut's train.  The rebel cavalry, seeing the road clear of
troops, and these wagons passing, struck them in flank, shot down
the mules of three or four wagons, broke the column, and began a
general skirmish.  The escort defended their wagons as well as they
could, and thus diverted their attention; otherwise I would surely
have been captured.  In a short time the head of McPherson's column
came up, went into camp, and we spent the night in Decatur.

The next day we pushed on, and on the 14th entered Meridian, the
enemy retreating before us toward Demopolis, Alabama.  We at once
set to work to destroy an arsenal, immense storehouses, and the
railroad in every direction.  We staid in Meridian five days,
expecting every hour to hear of General Sooy Smith, but could get
no tidings of him whatever.  A large force of infantry was kept at
work all the time in breaking up the Mobile & Ohio Railroad south
and north; also the Jackson & Selma Railroad, east and west.  I was
determined to damage these roads so that they could not be used
again for hostile purposes during the rest of the war.  I never had
the remotest idea of going to Mobile, but had purposely given out
that idea to the people of the country, so as to deceive the enemy
and to divert their attention.  Many persons still insist that,
because we did not go to Mobile on this occasion, I had failed; but
in the following letter to General Banks, of January 31st, written
from Vicksburg before starting for Meridian, it will be seen
clearly that I indicated my intention to keep up the delusion of an
attack on Mobile by land, whereas I promised him to be back to
Vicksburg by the 1st of March, so as to cooperate with him in his
contemplated attack on Shreveport:

VICKSBURG, January 31, 1864

Major-General N. P. BANKS, commanding Department of the Gulf, New

GENERAL: I received yesterday, at the hands of Captain Durham,
aide-de-camp, your letter of the 25th inst., and hasten to reply.
Captain Durham has gone to the mouth of White River, en route for
Little Rock, and the other officers who accompanied him have gone
up to Cairo, as I understand, to charter twenty-five steamboats for
the Red River trip.  The Mississippi River, though low for the
season, is free of ice and in good boating order; but I understand
that Red River is still low.  I had a man in from Alexandria
yesterday, who reported the falls or rapids at that place
impassable save by the smallest boats.  My inland expedition is now
moving, and I will be off for Jackson and Meridian to-morrow.  The
only fear I have is in the weather.  All the other combinations are
good.  I want to keep up the delusion of an attack on Mobile and
the Alabama River, and therefore would be obliged if you would keep
up an irritating foraging or other expedition in that direction.

My orders from General Grant will not, as yet, justify me in
embarking for Red River, though I am very anxious to move in that
direction.  The moment I learned that you were preparing for it, I
sent a communication to Admiral Porter, and dispatched to General
Grant at Chattanooga, asking if he wanted me and Steele to
cooperate with you against Shreveport; and I will have his answer
in time, for you cannot do any thing till Red River has twelve feet
of water on the rapids at Alexandria.  That will be from March to
June.  I have lived on Red River, and know somewhat of the phases
of that stream.  The expedition on Shreveport should be made
rapidly, with simultaneous movements from Little Rock on
Shreveport, from Opelousas on Alexandria, and a combined force of
gunboats and transports directly up Red River.  Admiral Porter will
be able to have a splendid fleet by March 1st.  I think Steele
could move with ten thousand infantry and five thousand cavalry.  I
could take about ten thousand, and you could, I suppose, have the
same.  Your movement from Opelousas, simultaneous with mine up the
river, would compel Dick Taylor to leave Fort De Russy (near
Marksville), and the whole combined force could appear at
Shreveport about a day appointed beforehand.

I doubt if the enemy will risk a siege at Shreveport, although I am
informed they are fortifying the place, and placing many heavy guns
in position.  It would be better for us that they should stand
there, as we might make large and important captures.  But I do not
believe the enemy will fight a force of thirty thousand men, acting
in concert with gunboats.

I will be most happy to take part in the proposed expedition, and
hope, before you have made your final dispositions, that I will
have the necessary permission.  Half the Army of the Tennessee is
near the Tennessee River, beyond Huntsville, Alabama, awaiting the
completion of the railroad, and, by present orders, I will be
compelled to hasten there to command it in person, unless meantime
General Grant modifies the plan.  I have now in this department
only the force left to hold the river and the posts, and I am
seriously embarrassed by the promises made the veteran volunteers
for furlough.  I think, by March 1st, I can put afloat for
Shreveport ten thousand men, provided I succeed in my present
movement in cleaning out the State of Mississippi, and in breaking
up the railroads about Meridian.

I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, commanding.

The object of the Meridian expedition was to strike the roads
inland, so to paralyze the rebel forces that we could take from the
defense of the Mississippi River the equivalent of a corps of
twenty thousand men, to be used in the next Georgia campaign; and
this was actually done.  At the same time, I wanted to destroy
General Forrest, who, with an irregular force of cavalry, was
constantly threatening Memphis and the river above, as well as our
routes of supply in Middle Tennessee.  In this we failed utterly,
because General W. Sooy Smith did not fulfill his orders, which
were clear and specific, as contained in my letter of instructions
to him of January 27th, at Memphis, and my personal explanations to
him at the same time.  Instead of starting at the date ordered,
February 1st, he did not leave Memphis till the 11th, waiting for
Warings brigade that was ice-bound near Columbus, Kentucky; and
then, when he did start, he allowed General Forrest to head him off
and to defeat him with an inferior force, near West Point, below
Okalona, on the Mobile & Ohio Railroad.

We waited at Meridian till the 20th to hear from General Smith, but
hearing nothing whatever, and having utterly destroyed the
railroads in and around that junction, I ordered General McPherson
to move back slowly toward Canton.  With Winslow's cavalry, and
Hurlbut's infantry, I turned north to Marion, and thence to a place
called "Union," whence I dispatched the cavalry farther north to
Philadelphia and Louisville, to feel as it were for General Smith,
and then turned all the infantry columns toward Canton,
Mississippi.  On the 26th we all reached Canton, but we had not
heard a word of General Smith, nor was it until some time after (at
Vicksburg) that I learned the whole truth of General Smith's
movement and of his failure.  Of course I did not and could not
approve of his conduct, and I know that he yet chafes under the
censure.  I had set so much store on his part of the project that I
was disappointed, and so reported officially to General Grant.
General Smith never regained my confidence as a soldier, though I
still regard him as a most accomplished gentleman and a skillful
engineer.  Since the close of the war he has appealed to me to
relieve him of that censure, but I could not do it, because it
would falsify history.

Having assembled all my troops in and about Canton, on the 27th of
February I left them under the command of the senior major-general,
Hurlbut, with orders to remain till about the 3d of March, and then
to come into Vicksburg leisurely; and, escorted by Winslow's
cavalry, I rode into Vicksburg on the last day of February.  There
I found letters from General Grant, at Nashville, and General
Banks, at New Orleans, concerning his (General Banks's) projected
movement up Red River.  I was authorized by the former to
contribute aid to General Banks for a limited time; but General
Grant insisted on my returning in person to my own command about
Huntsville, Alabama, as soon as possible, to prepare for the spring

About this time we were much embarrassed by a general order of the
War Department, promising a thirty-days furlough to all soldiers
who would  "veteranize"--viz., reenlist for the rest of the war.
This was a judicious and wise measure, because it doubtless secured
the services of a very large portion of the men who had almost
completed a three-years enlistment, and were therefore veteran
soldiers in feeling and in habit.  But to furlough so many of our
men at that instant of time was like disbanding an army in the very
midst of battle.

In order to come to a perfect understanding with General Banks, I
took the steamer Diana and ran down to New Orleans to see him.
Among the many letters which I found in Vicksburg on my return from
Meridian was one from Captain D. F. Boyd, of Louisiana, written
from the jail in Natchez, telling me that he was a prisoner of war
in our hands; had been captured in Louisiana by some of our scouts;
and he bespoke my friendly assistance.  Boyd was Professor of
Ancient Languages at the Louisiana Seminary of Learning during my
administration, in 1859-'60; was an accomplished scholar, of
moderate views in politics, but, being a Virginian, was drawn, like
all others of his kind, into the vortex of the rebellion by the
events of 1861, which broke up colleges and every thing at the
South.  Natchez, at this time, was in my command, and was held by a
strong division, commanded by Brigadier-General J. W. Davidson.  In
the Diana we stopped at Natchez, and I made a hasty inspection of
the place.  I sent for Boyd, who was in good health, but quite
dirty, and begged me to take him out of prison, and to effect his
exchange.  I receipted for him; took him along with me to New
Orleans; offered him money, which he declined; allowed him to go
free in the city; and obtained from General Banks a promise to
effect his exchange, which was afterward done.  Boyd is now my
legitimate successor in Louisiana, viz., President of the Louisiana
University, which is the present title of what had been the
Seminary of Learning.  After the war was over, Boyd went back to
Alexandria, reorganized the old institution, which I visited in
1866 but the building was burnt down by an accident or by an
incendiary about 1868, and the institution was then removed to
Baton Rouge, where it now is, under its new title of the University
of Louisiana.

We reached New Orleans on the 2d of March.  I found General Banks,
with his wife and daughter, living in a good house, and he
explained to me fully the position and strength of his troops, and
his plans of action for the approaching campaign.  I dined with
him, and, rough as I was--just out of the woods--attended, that
night, a very pleasant party at the house of a lady, whose name I
cannot recall, but who is now the wife of Captain Arnold, Fifth
United States Artillery.  At this party were also Mr. and Mrs.
Frank Howe.  I found New Orleans much changed since I had been
familiar with it in 1853 and in 1860-'61.  It was full of officers
and soldiers.  Among the former were General T. W. Sherman, who had
lost a leg at Port Hudson, and General Charles P: Stone, whom I
knew so well in California, and who is now in the Egyptian service
as chief of staff.  The bulk of General Banks's army was about
Opelousas, under command of General Franklin, ready to move on
Alexandria.  General Banks seemed to be all ready, but intended to
delay his departure a few days to assist in the inauguration of a
civil government for Louisiana, under Governor Hahn.  In Lafayette
Square I saw the arrangements of scaffolding for the fireworks and
benches for the audience.  General Banks urged me to remain over
the 4th of March, to participate in the ceremonies, which he
explained would include the performance of the "Anvil Chorus" by
all the bands of his army, and during the performance the
church-bells were to be rung, and cannons were to be fired by
electricity.  I regarded all such ceremonies as out of place at a
time when it seemed to me every hour and every minute were due to
the war.  General Banks's movement, however, contemplated my
sending a force of ten thousand men in boats up Red River from
Vicksburg, and that a junction should occur at Alexandria by March
17th.  I therefore had no time to wait for the grand pageant of the
4th of March, but took my departure from New Orleans in the Diana
the evening of March 3d.

On the next day, March 4th, I wrote to General Banks a letter,
which was extremely minute in conveying to him how far I felt
authorized to go under my orders from General Grant.  At that time
General Grant commanded the Military Division of the Mississippi,
embracing my own Department of the  Tennessee and that of General
Steele in Arkansas, but not that of General Banks in Louisiana.
General Banks was acting on his own powers, or under the
instructions of General Halleck in Washington, and our, assistance
to him was designed as a loan of ten thousand men for a period of
thirty days.  The instructions of March 6th to General A. J. Smith,
who commanded this detachment, were full and explicit on this
point.  The Diana reached Vicksburg on the 6th, where I found that
the expeditionary army had come in from Canton.  One division of
five thousand men was made up out of Hurlbut's command, and placed
under Brigadier-General T. Kilby Smith; and a similar division was
made out of McPherson's and Hurlbut's troops, and placed under
Brigadier-General Joseph A. Mower; the whole commanded by
Brigadier-General A. J. Smith.  General Hurlbut, with the rest of
his command, returned to Memphis, and General McPherson remained at
Vicksburg.  General A. J. Smith's command was in due season
embarked, and proceeded to Red River, which it ascended, convoyed
by Admiral Porter's fleet.  General Mower's division was landed
near the outlet of the Atchafalaya, marched up by land and captured
the fort below Alexandria known as Fort De Russy, and the whole
fleet then proceeded up to Alexandria, reaching it on the day
appointed, viz., March 17th, where it waited for the arrival of
General Banks, who, however, did not come till some days after.
These two divisions participated in the whole of General Banks's
unfortunate Red River expedition, and were delayed so long up Red
River, and subsequently on the Mississippi, that they did not share
with their comrades the successes and glories of the Atlanta
campaign, for which I had designed them; and, indeed, they, did not
join our army till just in time to assist General George H. Thomas
to defeat General Hood before Nashville, on the 15th and 16th of
December, 1864.

General Grant's letter of instructions, which was brought me by
General Butterfield, who had followed me to New Orleans, enjoined
on me, after concluding with General Banks the details for his Red
River expedition, to make all necessary arrangements for
furloughing the men entitled to that privilege, and to hurry back
to the army at Huntsville, Alabama.  I accordingly gave the
necessary orders to General McPherson, at Vicksburg, and continued
up the river toward Memphis.  On our way we met Captain Badeau, of
General Grant's staff, bearing the following letter, of March 4th,
which I answered on the 10th, and sent the answer by General
Butterfield, who had accompanied me up from New Orleans.  Copies of
both were also sent to General McPherson, at Vicksburg:



DEAR SHERMAN: The bill reviving the grade of lieutenant-general in
the army has become a law, and my name has been sent to the Senate
for the place.

I now receive orders to report at Washington immediately, in
person, which indicates either a confirmation or a likelihood of
confirmation.  I start in the morning to comply with the order, but
I shall say very distinctly on my arrival there that I shall accept
no appointment which will require me to make that city my
headquarters.  This, however, is not what I started out to write

While I have been eminently successful in this war, in at least
gaining the confidence of the public, no one feels more than I how
much of this success is due to the energy, skill, and the
harmonious putting forth of that energy and skill, of those whom it
has been my good fortune to have occupying subordinate positions
under me.

There are many officers to whom these remarks are applicable to a
greater or less degree, proportionate to their ability as soldiers;
but what I want is to express my thanks to you and McPherson, as
the men to whom, above all others, I feel indebted for whatever I
have had of success.  How far your advice and suggestions have been
of assistance, you know.  How far your execution of whatever has
been given you to do entitles you to the reward I am receiving, you
cannot know as well as I do.  I feel all the gratitude this letter
would express, giving it the most flattering construction.

The word you I use in the plural, intending it for McPherson also.
I should write to him, and will some day, but, starting in the
morning, I do not know that I will find time just now.  Your

U. S. GRANT, Major-General.


NEAR MEMPHIS, March 10, 1864

General GRANT.

DEAR GENERAL: I have your more than kind and characteristic letter
of the 4th, and will send a copy of it to General McPherson at

You do yourself injustice and us too much honor in assigning to us
so large a share of the merits which have led to your high
advancement.  I know you approve the friendship I have ever
professed to you, and will permit me to continue as heretofore to
manifest it on all proper occasions.

You are now Washington's legitimate successor, and occupy a
position of almost dangerous elevation; but if you can continue as
heretofore to be yourself, simple, honest, and unpretending, you
will enjoy through life the respect and love of friends, and the
homage of millions of human beings who will award to you a large
share for securing to them and their descendants a government of
law and stability.

I repeat, you do General McPherson and myself too much honor.  At
Belmont you manifested your traits, neither of us being near; at
Donelson also you illustrated your whole character.  I was not
near, and General McPherson in too subordinate a capacity to
influence you.

Until you had won Donelson, I confess I was almost cowed by the
terrible array of anarchical elements that presented themselves at
every point; but that victory admitted the ray of light which I
have followed ever since.

I believe you are as brave, patriotic, and just, as the great
prototype Washington; as unselfish, kind-hearted, and honest, as a
man should be; but the chief characteristic in your nature is the
simple faith in success you have always manifested, which I can
liken to nothing else than the faith a Christian has in his

This faith gave you victory at Shiloh and Vicksburg.  Also, when
you have completed your best preparations, you go into battle
without hesitation, as at Chattanooga--no doubts, no reserve; and I
tell you that it was this that made us act with confidence.  I knew
wherever I was that you thought of me, and if I got in a tight
place you would come--if alive.

My only points of doubt were as to your knowledge of grand
strategy, and of books of science and history; but I confess your
common-sense seems to have supplied all this.

Now as to the future.  Do not stay in Washington.  Halleck is
better qualified than you are to stand the buffets of intrigue and
policy.  Come out West; take to yourself the whole Mississippi
Valley; let us make it dead-sure, and I tell you the Atlantic slope
and Pacific shores will follow its destiny as sure as the limbs of
a tree live or die with the main trunk!  We have done much; still
much remains to be done.  Time and time's influences are all with
us; we could almost afford to sit still and let these influences
work.  Even in the seceded States your word now would go further
than a President's proclamation, or an act of Congress.

For God's sake and for your country's sake, come out of Washington!
I foretold to General Halleck, before he left Corinth, the
inevitable result to him, and I now exhort you to come out West.
Here lies the seat of the coming empire; and from the West, when
our task is done, we will make short work of Charleston and
Richmond, and the impoverished coast of the Atlantic.  Your sincere


We reached Memphis on the 13th, where I remained some days, but on
the 14th of March received from General Grant a dispatch to hurry
to Nashville in person by the 17th, if possible.  Disposing of all
matters then pending, I took a steamboat to Cairo, the cars thence
to Louisville and Nashville, reaching that place on the 17th of
March, 1864.

I found General Grant there.  He had been to Washington and back,
and was ordered to return East to command all the armies of the
United States, and personally the Army of the Potomac.  I was to
succeed him in command of the Military Division of the Mississippi,
embracing the Departments of the Ohio, Cumberland, Tennessee, and
Arkansas.  General Grant was of course very busy in winding up all
matters of business, in transferring his command to me, and in
preparing for what was manifest would be the great and closing
campaign of our civil war.  Mrs. Grant and some of their children
were with him, and occupied a large house in Nashville, which was
used as an office, dwelling, and every thing combined.

On the 18th of March I had issued orders assuming command of the
Military Division of the Mississippi, and was seated in the office,
when the general came in and said they were about to present him a
sword, inviting me to come and see the ceremony.  I went back into
what was the dining-room of the house; on the table lay a rose-wood
box, containing a sword, sash, spurs, etc., and round about the
table were grouped Mrs. Grant, Nelly, and one or two of the boys.
I was introduced to a large, corpulent gentleman, as the mayor, and
another citizen, who had come down from Galena to make this
presentation of a sword to their fellow-townsman.  I think that
Rawlins, Bowers, Badeau, and one or more of General Grant's
personal staff, were present.  The mayor rose and in the most
dignified way read a finished speech to General Grant, who stood,
as usual, very awkwardly; and the mayor closed his speech by
handing him the resolutions of the City Council engrossed on
parchment, with a broad ribbon and large seal attached.  After the
mayor had fulfilled his office so well, General Grant said: "Mr.
Mayor, as I knew that this ceremony was to occur, and as I am not
used to speaking, I have written something in reply."  He then
began to fumble in his pockets, first his breast-coat pocket, then
his pants, vest; etc., and after considerable delay he pulled out a
crumpled piece of common yellow cartridge-paper, which he handed to
the mayor.  His whole manner was awkward in the extreme, yet
perfectly characteristic, and in strong contrast with the elegant
parchment and speech of the mayor.  When read, however, the
substance of his answer was most excellent, short, concise, and, if
it had been delivered by word of mouth, would have been all that
the occasion required.

I could not help laughing at a scene so characteristic of the man
who then stood prominent before the country; and to whom all had
turned as the only one qualified to guide the nation in a war that
had become painfully critical.  With copies of the few letters
referred to, and which seem necessary to illustrate the
subject-matter, I close this chapter:


Major-General N. P. BANKS, commanding Department of the Gulf, New

GENERAL: I had the honor to receive your letter of the 2d instant
yesterday at New Orleans, but was unable to answer, except
verbally, and I now reduce it to writing.

I will arrive at Vicksburg the 6th instant, and I expect to meet
there my command from Canton, out of which I will select two
divisions of about ten thousand men, embark them under a good
commander, and order him:

1st. To rendezvous at the mouth of Red River, and, in concert with
Admiral Porter (if he agree), to strike Harrisonburg a hard blow.

2d.  To return to Red River and ascend it, aiming to reach
Alexandria on the 17th of March, to report to you.

3d.  That, as this command is designed to operate by water, it will
not be encumbered with much land transportation, say two wagons to
a regiment, but with an ample supply of stores, including mortars
and heavy rifled guns, to be used against fortified places.

4th.  That I have calculated, and so reported to General Grant,
that this detachment of his forces in no event is to go beyond
Shreveport, and that you will spare them the moment you can, trying
to get them back to the Mississippi River in thirty days from the
time they actually enter Red River.

The year is wearing away fast, and I would like to carry to General
Grant at Huntsville, Alabama, every man of his military division,
as early in April as possible, for I am sure we ought to move from
the base of the Tennessee River to the south before the season is
too far advanced, say as early as April 15th next.

I feel certain of your complete success, provided you make the
concentration in time, to assure which I will see in person to the
embarkation and dispatch of my quota, and I will write to General
Steele, conveying to him my personal and professional opinion that
the present opportunity is the most perfect one that will ever
offer itself to him to clean out his enemies in Arkansas.

Wishing you all honor and success, I am, with respect, your friend
and servant,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

VICKSBURG, March 6, 1864

Brigadier-General A. J. SMITH, commanding Expedition up Red River,
Vicksburg, Mississippi.

GENERAL: By an order this day issued, you are to command a strong,
well-appointed detachment of the Army of the Tennessee, sent to
reinforce a movement up Red River, but more especially against the
fortified position at Shreveport.

You will embark your command as soon as possible, little encumbered
with wagons or wheeled vehicles, but well supplied with fuel,
provisions, and ammunition.  Take with you the twelve mortars,
with their ammunition, and all the thirty-pound Parrotts the
ordnance-officer will supply.  Proceed to the mouth of Red River
and confer with Admiral Porter.  Consult with him, and in all the
expedition rely on him implicitly, as he is the approved friend of
the Army of the Tennessee, and has been associated with us from the
beginning. I have undertaken with General Banks that you will be at
Alexandria, Louisiana, on or before the 17th day of March; and you
will, if time allows, cooperate with the navy in destroying
Harrisonburg, up Black River; but as I passed Red River yesterday I
saw Admiral Porter, and he told me he had already sent an expedition
to Harrisonburg, so that I suppose that part of the plan will be
accomplished before you reach Red River; but, in any event, be
careful to reach Alexandria about the 17th of March.

General Banks will start by land from Franklin, in the Teche
country, either the 6th or 7th, and will march via Opelousas to
Alexandria.  You will meet him there, report to him, and act under
his orders.  My understanding with him is that his forces will move
by land, via Natchitoches, to Shreveport, while the gunboat-fleet
is to ascend the river with your transports in company.  Red River
is very low for the season, and I doubt if any of the boats can
pass the falls or rapids at Alexandria.  What General Banks
proposes to do in that event I do not know; but my own judgment is
that Shreveport ought not to be attacked until the gunboats can
reach it.  Not that a force marching by land cannot do it alone,
but it would be bad economy in war to invest the place with an army
so far from heavy guns, mortars, ammunition, and provisions, which
can alone reach Shreveport by water.  Still, I do not know about
General Banks's plans in that event; and whatever they may be, your
duty will be to conform, in the most hearty manner.

My understanding with General Banks is that he will not need the
cooperation of your force beyond thirty days from the date you
reach Red River.  As soon as he has taken Shreveport, or as soon as
be can spare you, return to Vicksburg with all dispatch, gather up
your detachments, wagons, tents, transportation, and all property
pertaining to so much of the command as belongs to the Sixteenth
Army Corps, and conduct it to Memphis, where orders will await you.
My present belief is your division, entire, will be needed with the
Army of the Tennessee, about Huntsville or Bridgeport.  Still, I
will leave orders with General, Hurlbut, at Memphis, for you on
your return.

I believe if water will enable the gunboats to cross the rapids at
Alexandria, you will be able to make a quick, strong, and effective
blow at our enemy in the West, thus widening the belt of our
territory, and making the breach between the Confederate Government
and its outlying trans-Mississippi Department more perfect.

It is understood that General Steele makes a simultaneous move from
Little Rock, on Shreveport or Natchitoches, with a force of about
ten thousand men.  Banks will have seventeen thousand, and you ten
thousand.  If these can act concentrically and simultaneously, you
will make short work of it, and then General Banks will have enough
force to hold as much of the Red River country as he deems wise,
leaving you to bring to General Grant's main army the seven
thousand five hundred men of the Sixteenth Corps now with you.
Having faith in your sound judgment and experience, I confide this
important and delicate command to you, with certainty that you will
harmonize perfectly with Admiral Porter and General Banks, with
whom you are to act, and thereby insure success.

I am, with respect, your obedient servant,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General commanding.

MEMPHIS, March 14, 1864

Major General McPHERSON, commanding, etc, Vicksburg, Mississippi

DEAR GENERAL: I wrote you at length on the 11th, by a special
bearer of dispatches, and now make special orders to cover the
movements therein indicated.  It was my purpose to await your
answer, but I am summoned by General Grant to be in Nashville on
the 17th, and it will keep me moving night and day to get there by
that date.  I must rely on you, for you understand that we must
reenforce the great army at the centre (Chattanooga) as much as
possible, at the same time not risking the safety of any point on
the Mississippi which is fortified and armed with heavy guns.  I
want you to push matters as rapidly as possible, and to do all you
can to put two handsome divisions of your own corps at Cairo, ready
to embark up the Tennessee River by the 20th or 30th of April at
the very furthest.  I wish it could be done quicker; but the
promise of those thirty-days furloughs in the States of enlistment,
though politic, is very unmilitary.  It deprives us of our ability
to calculate as to time; but do the best you can.  Hurlbut can do
nothing till A. J. Smith returns from Red River.  I will then order
him to occupy Grenada temporarily, and to try and get those
locomotives that we need here.  I may also order him with cavalry
and infantry to march toward Tuscaloosa, at the same time that we
move from the Tennessee River about Chattanooga.

I don't know as yet the grand strategy of the next campaign, but on
arrival at Nashville I will soon catch the main points, and will
advise you of them..

Steal a furlough and run to Baltimore incog.; but get back in time
to take part in the next grand move.

Write me fully and frequently of your progress.  I have ordered the
quartermaster to send down as many boats as he can get, to
facilitate your movements.  Mules, wagons, etc., can come up
afterward by transient boats.  I am truly your friend,

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General commanding.

[Special Field Order No. 28.]

MEMPHIS, March 14, 1864

1.  Major-General McPherson will organize two good divisions of his
corps (Seventeenth) of about five thousand men, each embracing in
part the reenlisted veterans of his corps whose furloughs will
expire in April, which he will command in person, and will
rendezvous at Cairo, Illinois, and report by telegraph and letter
to the general commanding at department headquarters, wherever they
may be.  These divisions will be provided with new arms and
accoutrements, and land transportation (wagons and mules) out of
the supplies now at Vicksburg, which will be conveyed to Cairo by
or before April 15th.

4.  During the absence of General McPherson from the district of
Vicksburg, Major-General Hurlbut will exercise command over all the
troops in the Department of the Tennessee from Cairo to Natchez,
inclusive, and will receive special instructions from department

By order of Major-General W. T. Sherman:

L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp.



Report of Brigadier-General G. W. Morgan.

January 8, 1868.

Major J. H. HAMMOND, Chief of Staff:

SIR: On the 1st instant, while pressed by many arduous duties, I
was requested to report to the commanding general the operations of
my division during the affair of the 27th, the action of the 28th,
and the battle of the 29th ult.

I had not received the report of subordinate commanders, nor had I
time to review the report I have the honor to submit.

Herewith I have the honor to forward these reports, connected with
which I will submit a few remarks.

Brigadier-General Blair speaks of having discovered, while on his
retreat from the enemy's works, a broad and easy road running from
the left of my position to the enemy's lines.  The road is neither
broad nor easy, and was advanced over by De Courcey when leading
his brigade to the charge.  The road General Blair speaks of is the
one running from Lake's Landing and intersecting with the Vicksburg
road on the Chickasaw Bluffs.  Its existence was known to me on the
28th ult., but it was left open intentionally by the enemy, and was
commanded by a direct and cross fire from batteries and rifle-pits.
The withdrawal of his brigade from the assault by Colonel De
Courcey was justified by the failure of the corps of A. J. Smith,
and the command of Colonel Lindsey, to advance simultaneously to
the assault.  Both had the same difficulties to encounter
--impassable bayous.  The enemy's line of battle was concave, and
De Courcey advanced against his centre--hence he sustained a
concentric fire, and the withdrawal of Steele from the front of the
enemy's right on the 28th ult. enabled the enemy on the following
day to concentrate his right upon his centre.

I regret to find, from the report of Brigadier-General Thayer, some
one regiment skulked; this I did not observe, nor is it mentioned
by General Blair, though his were the troops which occupied that
portion of the field.  As far as my observation extended, the
troops bore themselves nobly; but the Sixteenth Ohio Infantry was
peerless on the field, as it had ever been in camp or on the march.
Lieutenant-Colonel Kershner, commanding, was wounded and taken
prisoner.  He is an officer of rare merit, and deserves to command
a brigade.  Lieutenant-Colonel Dieter, commanding the Fifty-eighth
Ohio, was killed within the enemy's works; and Lieutenant-Colonel
Monroe, Twenty-second Kentucky, was struck down at the head of his

I again express my profound acknowledgments to Brigadier-Generals
Blair and Thayer, and Colonels De Conrcey, Lindsey, and Sheldon,
brigade commanders.  Also to Major M. C. Garber, assistant
quartermaster; Captain S. S. Lyon, acting topographical engineer;
Lieutenant Burdick, acting ordnance officer; Lieutenant Hutchins,
acting chief of staff; Lieutenants H. G. Fisher and Smith, of
Signal Corps; Lieutenant E. D. Saunders, my acting assistant
adjutant-general; and Lieutenants English and Montgomery, acting
aides-de-camp, for the efficient services rendered me.

Nor can I close this report without speaking in terms of high
praise of the meritorious and gallant services of Captains Foster
and Lamphier.  Their batteries silenced several of the enemy's
works, and throughout the operations rendered good service.  My
sincere acknowledgments are also due to Captain Griffith,
commanding First Iowa Battery, and Captain Hoffman, commanding
Fourth Ohio Battery.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEORGE W. MORGAN, Brigadier-General Volunteers.

CINCINNATI, February 8, 1876.

MY DEAR GENERAL: Regarding the attack at Chickasaw Bayou, my record
shows the position of Steele on the left; Morgan to his right;
Morgan L. Smith to his right, and A. J. Smith on the extreme right;
the latter not expected to accomplish much more than a diversion,
the result to come from the three other divisions, Morgan having
the best opportunity.  Saturday night they were in position; you
were at Lake's plantation, right and rear of Morgan.

The attack for lodgment on the hills was ordered for Sunday
morning, December 28th.  I was sent to A. J. Smith before daylight,
and returned to you soon after.  You were with Morgan.  You had
fully explained to him the importance of his success, and that he
should be present with the attacking column, which was to be a part
of his division, supported by the remainder, and by Blair's brigade
of Steele's division cooperating.  The attack was to be
simultaneous, by the four divisions, on a signal.

Morgan's answer to you was that, when the signal was given, he
would lead his attack, and with his life he would be on the bluffs
in fifteen minutes. He seemed of positive knowledge, and as sure of
success.  You then retired to a central point, to be in easy
communication with Steele and Morgan L. Smith.  The attack was
made, and developed, in the case of Steele, M. L. Smith, and A. J.
Smith, that to cross the bayou was impossible, if opposed by any
force, and in each they were by a strong one.  Morgan's attacking
force succeeded in getting across the causeway and marsh, but he
did not go with it, nor support it with more men, and a large
number were captured from Blair's brigade after gaining the enemy's
last line of works covering the bayou.  At the time everybody
blamed and criticised Morgan with the failure.  You felt from the
advance of his attack it must be successful, and, as it pushed
forward, you sent me to urge on M. L. Smith, as Morgan was over,
and he, Smith, must aid by persistent attack, and give Morgan as
good a chance as could be to make his lodgment....

I am, etc.,    L. M. DAYTON
Late Colonel of the Staff, now of Cincinnati, Ohio
General W. T. SHERMAN, St. Louis, Missouri


" .  .  .  .  The expedition was wonderfully well provided with
provisions, transportation, and munitions, and even axes, picks,
and shovels, so much in use later in the war, evidenced the
forethought that governed this force.  The boats, from their open
lower deck construction, proved admirable for transports, but their
tinder-box construction made fire-traps of them, requiring
unremitting vigilance.  These points were well understood, and the
readiness with which the troops adapted themselves to circumstances
was a constant source of wonder and congratulations.

"The fleet collected at Friar's Point for final orders, and there
the order of sailing was laid down with great minuteness, and
private instructions issued to commanders of divisions, all of whom
had personal interviews with the commanding general, and received
personal explanations on pretty much every point involved.  Our
headquarters boat, the Forest Queen, was not very comfortable, nor
well provided, but General Sherman submitted cheerfully, on the
grounds of duty, and thought Conway a fine fellow.  I was only able
to concede that he was a good steamboat captain....

"Our camp appointments were Spartan in the extreme, and in their
simplicity would have met the demands of any demagogue in the land.
The nights were cold and damp, and General Sherman uncomfortably
active in his preparations, so that the assistant adjutant-general
had no very luxurious  post just then.  We were surrounded with
sloughs.  The ground was wet, and the water, although in winter,
was very unwholesome.  Many of our men, to this day, have reminders
of the Yazoo in ague, fevers, and diseases of the bowels.  Cavalry
was useless.  One battalion of Illinois cavalry was strongly
suspected of camping in the timber, until time passed enough to
justify the suspicion of having been somewhere.  Really the
strength of Vicksburg was in being out of reach of attack....

"My orders were to learn and report what was going on on the right,
particularly to try and form an idea of the enemy's force in front
of M. L. Smith's division, and at the sand-bar.  Leaving my horse
close in the rear of the Sixth Missouri, when the fire became too
heavy for riding, I succeeded, by taking frequent cover, in
reaching unhurt the verge of the bayou among the drift-logs.
There, by concert of action with Lieutenant-Colonel Blood, of the
Sixth Missouri, his regiment, and the Thirteenth Regular Infantry,
kept up a heavy fire on everything that showed along the levee and
earthworks in front.  The enemy were behind the embankment, not
over one hundred and fifty yards across the bayou.  Several
officers, including Colonel Blood, Colonel Kilby Smith, and myself,
managed, by getting on the piles of drift, to see over the levee
through the cleared fields beyond, even to the foot of the bluff.
The chips and twigs flew around lively enough, but we staid up long
enough to make sure that the enemy had as many men behind the levee
as could get cover.  We saw, also, a line of rifle-pits in the
rear, commanding the rear of the levee, and still beyond, winding
along the foot of the bluff, a road worn by long use deep into the
side-hill, and with the side next us strengthened with a good
earthwork, affording a covered line of communication in the rear.
The fire of our men was so well maintained that we were able to see
all these things, say a minute or more.  Some of those who ventured
were wounded, but those mentioned and myself escaped unhurt.  I
advised that men enough to hold the position, once across--say
three hundred--should make a rush (protected as our lookout had
been by a heavy fire) across the sand-bar, and get a footing under
the other bank of the bayou, as the nucleus of an attacking force,
if General Sherman decided to attack there, or to make a strong
diversion if the attack was made at the head of Chickasaw Bayou, in
front of Morgan.  General A. J. Smith, commanding First and Second
Divisions, approved of this.  While returning to General Sherman, I
passed along the Second and part of the Third Division.  On the
left of the Second I found a new Illinois regiment, high up in
numbers, working its way into position.  The colonel, a brave but
inexperienced officer, was trying to lead his men according to the
popular pictorial idea, viz., riding in advance waving his sword.
I was leading my horse, and taking advantage of such cover as I
could find on my course, but this man acted so bravely that I tried
to save him.  He did not accept my expostulations with very good
grace, but was not rough about it.  While I was begging him to
dismount, he waved his sword and advanced.  In a second he was
shot, through the chest, and dropped from his horse, plucky to the
last. He died, I was told, within the hour.  Many of the regiments
were new and inexperienced, but as a rule behaved well.  The fire
along the bayou was severe, but not very fatal, on account of the
cover.  I was constantly asked what news from Grant, for from the
moment of our arrival in the Yazoo we were in expectation of either
hearing his guns in the rear, or of having communication with him.
This encouraged the men greatly, but the long waiting was
disappointing, as the enemy was evidently in large force in the
plenty of works, and a very strong position.  Careful estimates and
available information placed their force at fifteen to twenty
thousand men.  I returned to headquarters about the middle of the
afternoon, and made my report to the general.  We were busy till
after midnight, and again early in the morning of the 29th, in
preparing orders for the attack.  These were unusually minute in
detail.  It seemed as though no contingency was left unprovided
for.  Urgent orders and cautions as to rations and ammunition were
given.  Drawings of the line of attack, orders for supports, all
and everything was foreseen and given in writing, with personal
explanations to commanders of divisions, brigades, and even
commanders of regiments.  Indeed, the commanding general, always
careful as to detail, left nothing to chance, and with experienced
and ordinate officers we would have succeeded, for the troops were
good.  The general plan involved a feint on our left toward
Haines's Bluff, by the navy, under Admiral Porter, with whom we
were in constant communication, while between him and General
Sherman perfect harmony existed.  On the right a demonstration by
A. J. Smith was to be made.  The Second Division (Stuart's) was to
cross the sand-bar, and the Third (General Morgan's) was to cross
on a small bridge over the dough at the head of Chickasaw Bayou,
and, supported by Steele, was to push straight for the Bluff at the
nearest spur where there was a battery in position, and to effect
a lodgment there and in the earthworks.  General Sherman gave his
orders in person to Morgan and Steele.  I understood Morgan to
promise that he would lead his division in person, and he seemed to
expect an easy victory, and expressed himself freely to that
effect.  The aides were sent out, until I was left alone with the
general and a couple of orderlies.  He located himself in a
position easy of access, and the most convenient afforded to the
point of attack.  He directed me to see what I could, and report if
I met anything that he should know.  I galloped as fast as possible
to the right, and found part of the Sixth Missouri pushing over the
sand-bar covered by the Thirteenth Regulars with a heavy fire.  We
supposed, if once across, they could get up the bank and turn the
levee against the enemy, and left with that impression.  Being in
heavy timber, I was not quite sure of my way back to the general,
his location being new, and therefore pushed full gallop for
Morgan's front, catching a good many stray shots from the
sharpshooters behind the levee, as I was compelled to keep in sight
of the bayou to hold direction.  Something over half-way along
Morgan's division front, the commander of a Kentucky regiment
hailed me and said he must have support, as he was threatened by a
masked battery, and the enemy was in force in his front, and might
cross any moment.  I answered, rather shortly, 'How the devil do
you know there is a masked battery?  If you can't get over, how can
the rebels get at you?'  He insisted on the battery, and danger.  I
finally told him the bayou was utterly impassable there, but, if he
insisted the enemy could cross, I would insist on an advance on our
side at that point.  Hurrying on to make up lost time, I soon
reached Morgan.  He was making encouraging speeches in a general
way, but stopped to ask me questions as to Steele's rank, date of
commission, etc.  I was very much disturbed at this, fearing want
of harmony, and rode on to Steele, whom I found cursing Morgan so
fiercely that I could not exactly make out the source of the
trouble, or reason why; but saw want of concert clearly enough.  I
hastened back to General Sherman, and endeavored to impress my
ideas on him and my fears; but, while he admitted the facts, he
could not be made to believe that any jealousy or personal quarrel
could lead to a failure to support each other, and a neglect of
duty.  The signal for attack had already been given, and the
artillery had opened, when I left him again for Morgan's front.  I
found Morgan where I left him, and the troops advancing.  I had
understood that he was to lead his division, and asked about it,
but, getting no satisfaction, pushed for the front, crossing the
slough at the little bridge at the head of the bayou.  I found the
willows cut off eighteen inches or two feet long, with sharp points
above the mud, making it slow and difficult to pass, save at the
bridge.  I overtook the rear of the advance about two or three
hundred feet up the gentle slope, and was astonished to find how
small a force was making the attack.  I was also surprised to find
that they were Steele's men instead of Morgan's.  I also saw
several regiments across the bayou, but not advancing; they were
near the levee.  A heavy artillery and infantry fire was going on
all this time.  While making my way along the column, from which
there were very few falling back, a shell burst near me, and the
concussion confused me at the time and left me with a headache for
several months.  When I got my wits about me again I found a good
many coming back, but the main part of the force was compact and
keeping up the fight.  I did not get closer to the woods than about
five hundred feet, and found that a large number had penetrated
into the enemy's works.  When our men fell back, very few ran, but
came slowly and sullenly, far more angry than frightened.  I found
General Frank Blair on foot, and with him Colonel Sea, of Southwest
Missouri, and learned that Colonel Thomas Fletcher, afterward
Governor of Missouri, was captured with many of his men.  They both
insisted there on the spot, with those around us, that if all the
men ordered up had gone up, or even all that crossed the bayou had
moved forward, we could have readily established ourselves in the
enemy's works.  I was firmly of the same opinion at the time on the
ground; and, an entrance effected, we could have brought the whole
force on dry ground, and had a base of operations against
Vicksburg--though probably, in view of later events, we would have
had to stand a siege from Pemberton's army.  After explanations
with Blair, I rode to where the men were, who had crossed the
bayou, but had not advanced with the others.  I found them to be De
Courcey's brigade; of Morgan's division, which General Sherman
supposed to be in advance.  In fact, it was the intended support
that made the attack.  A correspondence and controversy followed
between General Blair and Colonel De Courcey, most of which I have,
but nothing came of it.  On reaching the bayou, I found that
Thayer's brigade, of Steele's division, had in some way lost its
direction and filed off to the right.  Remembering the masked
battery, I suspected that had something to do with the matter, and,
on following it up, I learned that the Kentucky colonel before
mentioned had appealed for aid against the masked battery and
invisible force of rebels, and that a regiment had been ordered to
him.  This regiment, filing off into the timber, had been followed
by Thayer's brigade, supposing it to be advancing to the front, and
thus left a single brigade to attack a superior force of the enemy
in an intrenched and naturally strong position.  By the time the
mistake could be rectified, it was too late.  Our loss was from one
hundred and fifty to two hundred killed, and about eleven hundred
prisoners and wounded.  During the afternoon I went with a flag of
truce, with reference to burying the dead.  I saw between eighty
and one hundred of our men dead, all stripped.  There were others
closer into the enemy's works than I was allowed to go.  On going
later to where the Sixth Missouri crossed, I found that they were
under the bank, and had dug in with their hands and bayonets, or
anything in reach, to protect themselves from a vertical fire from
the enemy overhead, who had a heavy force there.  With great
difficulty they were withdrawn at night.  Next day arrangements
were made to attempt a lodgment below Haines's Bluff: This was to
be done by Steele's command, while the rest of the force attacked
again where we had already tried.  During the day locomotives
whistled, and a great noise and fuss went on in our front, and we
supposed that Grant was driving in Pemberton, and expected firing
any moment up the Yazoo or in the rear of Vicksburg.  Not hearing
this, we concluded that Pemberton was throwing his forces into
Vicksburg.  A heavy fog prevented Steele from making his movement.
Rain began to fall, and our location was not good to be in after a
heavy rain, or with the river rising.  During the night (I think)
of January, 1, 1863, our troops were embarked, material and
provisions having been loaded during the day.  A short time before
daylight of the 2d, I went by order of the general commanding, to
our picket lines and carefully examined the enemy's lines, wherever
a camp-fire indicated their presence.  They were not very vigilant,
and I once got close enough to hear them talk, but could understand
nothing.  Early in the morning I came in with the rear-guard, the
enemy advancing his pickets and main guards only, and making no
effort at all to press us.  Once I couldn't resist the temptation
to fire into a squad that came bolder than the rest, and the two
shots were good ones.  We received a volley in return that did come
very close among us, but hurt none of my party.  Very soon after
our rear-guard was aboard, General Sherman learned from Admiral
Porter that McClernand had arrived at the mouth of the Yazoo.  He
went, taking me and one other staff-officer, to see McClernand, and
found that, under an order from the President, he had taken command
of the Army of the Mississippi.  He and his staff, of whom I only
remember two-Colonels Scates and Braham, assistant adjutant-general
and aide-de-camp--seemed to think they had a big thing, and, so far
as I could judge, they had just that.  All hands thought the
country expected them to cut their way to the Gulf; and to us, who
had just come out of the swamp, the cutting didn't seem such an
easy job as to the new-comers.  Making due allowance for the
elevation they seemed to feel in view of their job, everything
passed off pleasantly, and we learned that General Grant's
communications had been cut at Holly Springs by the capture of
Murphy and his force (at Holly Springs), and that he was either in
Memphis by that time or would soon be.  So that, everything
considered, it was about as well that we did not get our forces on
the bluff's of Walnut Hill."

The above statement was sent to General Sherman in a letter dated
"Chicago, February 5,1876," and signed "John H. Hammond."  Hammond
was General Sherman's assistant adjutant-general at the Chickasaw

J. E. TOURTELOTTE, Colonel and Aide-de-Camp.

On 29th December, 1862, at Chickasaw Bayou, I was in command of the
Thirty-first Missouri Volunteer Infantry, First Brigade, First
Division, Fifteenth Army Corps (Blair's brigade).  Colonel Wyman,
of the Thirteenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, having been killed,
I was the senior colonel of the brigade.  General Blair rode up to
where my regiment lay, and said to me:

"We are to make a charge here; we will charge in two lines; your
regiment will be in the first line, and the Twenty-ninth
(Cavender's) will support you.  Form here in the timber, and move
out across the bayou on a double-quick, and go right on to the top
of the heights in your front."  He then told me to await a signal.
I then attempted to make a reconnaissance of the ground over which
we would have to charge, and rode out to the open ground in my
front, and saw that there was water and soft mud in the bayou, and
was fired upon by the sharp-shooters of the enemy, and turned and
went back into the woods where my command lay.  Soon after that
General Blair came near me, and I told him there was water and mud
in the bayou, and I doubted if we could get across.  He answered me
that General Morgan told him there was no water nor mud to hinder
us.  I remarked that I had seen it myself, and General Morgan, or
any one else, could see it if he would risk being shot at pretty
lively.  I then told General Blair that it was certain destruction
to us if we passed over the abatis upon the open ground where there
had once been a corn-field; that we could never reach the base of
the hill.  He turned to me and said, "Can't you take your regiment
up there?"  I told him, "Yes, I can take my regiment anywhere,
because the men do not know any better than to go," but remarked
that old soldiers could not be got to go up there.  General Blair
then said,  "Tom, if we succeed, this will be a grand thing; you
will have the glory of leading the assault."  He then went on to
say that General Morgan's division would support us, and they were
heroes of many battles, and pointed to the Fifty-eighth Ohio, then
forming in the rear of the Thirteenth Illinois on my right, and
said: "See these men? They are a part of Morgan's division, and are
heroes of many battles."  I laughingly said that they might be
heroes, but the regiment did not number as many as one of my
companies.  He again assured me we would be supported by Morgan's
division, and all I had to do was to keep right on and  "keep going
till you get into Vicksburg."  I took my position in advance of my
regiment and awaited the signal.  When we heard it, we raised a
shout, and started at a double-quick, the Thirteenth Illinois on my
right.  I saw no troops on my left.  When we emerged from the
woods, the enemy opened upon us; crossing the bayou under fire, and
many of the men sinking in the mud and water, our line was very
much disordered, but we pretty well restored it before reaching the
abatis.  Here we were greatly disordered, but somewhat restored the
line on reaching the plateau or corn-field.  The Twenty-ninth
Missouri came on, gallantly supporting us.  The Thirteenth Illinois
came out upon the corn-field, and the Fifty-eighth Ohio followed
close upon it.  There was firing to my left, and as I afterward
learned was from the Fourth Iowa of Thayer's brigade (and I believe
of Steele's division).  I was struck and fell, and my regiment went
back in great disorder.  The fire was terrific.  I saw beyond the
Thirteenth Illinois, to my right, a disordered line, and learned
afterward it was the Sixteenth Ohio.  When I was taken from the
field by the enemy and taken into Vicksburg, I found among the
wounded and prisoners men and officers of the Sixteenth and
Fifty-eighth Ohio, and of the Twenty-ninth and Thirty-first
Missouri, and Thirteenth Illinois.  After I was exchanged and
joined my command, General Blair laughingly remarked to me that I
had literally obeyed his order and gone "straight on to Vicksburg."
He lamented the cutting to pieces of our force on that day.  We
talked the whole matter over at his headquarters during the siege
of Vicksburg.  He said that if the charge had been made along our
whole line with the same vigor of attack made by his brigade, and
if we had been supported as Morgan promised to do, we might have
succeeded.  I dissented from the opinion that we could even then
have succeeded.  I asked him what excuse Morgan gave for failing to
support us, and he said that Colonel or General De Courcey was in
some manner to blame for that, but he said Morgan was mistaken as
to the nature of the ground and generally as to the feasibility of
the whole thing, and was responsible for the failure to afford us
the support he had promised; that he and General Sherman and all of
them were misled by the statements and opinions of Morgan as to the
situation in our front, and Morgan was, on his part, deceived by
the reports of his scouts about other matters as well as the matter
of the water in the bayou.



Extracts from Admiral Porter's Journal.

Sherman and I had made arrangements to capture Arkansas Post.

On the 31st of December, while preparing to go out of the Yazoo, an
army officer called to see me, and said that he belonged to General
McClernand's staff, and that the general was at the mouth of the
Yazoo River, and desired to see me at once.  I sent word to the
general that if he wished to see me he could have an opportunity by
calling on board my flag-ship.

A few moments after I had heard the news of McClernand'a arrival, I
saw Sherman pulling about in a boat, and hailed him, informing him
that McClernand was at the mouth of the Yazoo.  Sherman then came
on board, and, in consequence of this unexpected news, determined
to postpone the movement out of the Yazoo River, and let McClernand
take that upon himself.

General McClernand took my hint and came on board the flag-ship,
but I soon discovered that any admiral, Grant, Sherman, or all the
generals in the army, were nobody in his estimation.  Sherman had
been at McClernand's headquarters to see him and state the
condition of affairs, and he then suggested to the latter the plan
of going to Arkansas Post.

I had a number of fine maps hanging up in my cabin, and when
McClernand came on board he examined them all with the eye of a
connoisseur.  He then stated to me as a new thing the plan he
proposed!!! of going to Arkansas Post and stirring up our troops,
which had been "demoralized by the late defeat" (Sherman was
present, looking daggers at him).  I answered, "Yes, General
Sherman and myself have already arranged for going to Arkansas
Post."  Sherman then made some remark about the disposition of the
troops in the coming expedition, when McClernand gave him rather a
curt answer.  McClernand then remarked, "If you will let me have
three gunboats, I will go and take the place."  Now General
McClernand had about as much idea of what a gunboat was, or could
do, as the man in the moon.  He did not know, the difference
between an ironclad and a "tin-clad."  He had heard that gunboats
had taken Fort Henry, and that was all be knew about them.  I said
to him: "I'll tell you what I will do, General McClernand.  If
General Sherman goes in command of the troops, I will go myself in
command of a proper force, and will insure the capture of the
post."  McClernand winced under this, and Sherman quietly walked
off into the after-cabin.  He beckoned me to come there, while
McClernand was apparently deeply engaged in studying out a chart,
making believe he was interested, in order to conceal his temper.
Sherman said to me: "Admiral, how could you make such a remark to
McClernand?  He hates me already, and you have made him an enemy
for life."

"I don't care," said I; "he shall not treat you rudely in my cabin,
and I was glad of the opportunity of letting him know my
sentiments."  By this time, General McClernand having bottled up
his wrath, or cooled down, I went in to him and we discussed the
matter.  He consented that Sherman should go in command of the
troops, and the interview ended pleasantly enough.

The above extracts from Admiral Porter's journal were sent by the
admiral to General Sherman, inclosed in a letter dated "Washington,
May 29, 1875," and signed "David D. Porter."


After leaving the Yazoo, the Army of the Mississippi rendezvous was
at Milliken's Bend.  During the night of January 4th or 5th,
General McClernand came on board the Forest Queen, and with General
Sherman went to the Black Hawk flag-boat.  There an interview took
place, during which the expedition to Arkansas Post took shape.
General Sherman having asked leave to take the post, and Admiral
Porter having decided to go along, McClernand thought best to go
with his entire army, although the enemy were supposed to have only
about four or five thousand men, and the fort was little more than
a large earthwork commanding the river.

General Sherman's command was then entitled the Second Corps, Army
of the Mississippi, and was comprised of the First Division,
Blair's, Hovey's, and Thayer's brigades, commanded by Steele; and
the Second Division, commanded by David Stuart, with Colonels Giles
A. and Kilby Smith commanding brigades.

Our fleet was convoyed by three ironclads and several other
gunboats.  The weather was bitterly cold for that latitude; we were
four days getting into the Arkansas River, which we entered by the
White River cut-off; and my recollection is, that our passing the
mouth of the main river deceived the enemy as to our destination.
The entrance through the cut-off was feasible by reason of high
water, and I think made our appearance a surprise to the force at
the post.  We disembarked on the morning of the 10th of January.
Stuart's division first encountered the enemy behind an earthwork
about four miles from the fort, running across the solid ground
from the river to a swamp.  General Sherman in person took Steele's
division, and followed a road leading to the rear of the earthwork
just mentioned.  We had got fairly under way when the rebels fell
back to the fort, and McClernand, coming up, ordered us to fall
back, and march up the river.  It seemed to me then, and afterward,
that it would have been better to have marched straight to the rear
of the fort, as we started to do.  We soon overtook Stuart and
closed in, General Sherman on the right, Morgan's force on the
left, reaching to the river, where the gunboats were, while Sherman
reached from the road which connected the post with the back
country, toward where the earthworks reached the river above the
fort, and threatened their communications with Little Rock.  The
night was cold and cloudy, with some snow.  There were a good many
abandoned huts to our rear, but our forces in position lay on the
frozen ground, sheltered as best they could, among the bushes and
timber.  We were so close that they could have reached us any time
during the night with light artillery.  The gun-boats threw heavy
shells into the fort and behind the earthworks all night, keeping
the enemy awake and anxious.  The heavy boom of the artillery was
followed by the squeak, squeak of Admiral Porter's little tug, as
he moved around making his arrangements for the morrow.  The sounds
were ridiculous by comparison.  General Sherman and staff lay on
the roots of an old oak-tree, that kept them partly clear of mud.
The cold was sharp, my right boot being frozen solid in a puddle in
the morning.  About half-past two or three o'clock, General
Sherman, with another and myself, crept in as close as possible and
reconnoitred the position.  The general managed to creep in much
closer than the rest of us--in fact, so close as to cause us
anxiety.  The enemy worked hard all night on their abatis and
intrenchments, and in the morning we found a ditch and parapet
running clear across the point on which the post was situated.
This point was cut by a road from the back country, across which
was a heavy earthwork and a battery.  This road was at the
extremity of our left.  General McClernand kept his head-quarters
on his boat, the Tigress.  He came up in the morning to a place in
the woods in our rear.  One of his staff, a cavalry-officer,
climbed a tree to report movements; but from that point there was
very little to be seen.  Between ten and eleven o'clock the fire
opened from the fleet, and we opened along the whole line from
infantry and field-guns.  Our men soon worked in close enough to
keep down the fire of the enemy to a very marked degree.

After reporting to General Sherman, and while explaining the
position of the fleet, the smoke-stacks and flags appeared above
the fort.  What firing was going on in our immediate front ceased.
A good many rebels were in plain sight, running away from the fort
and scattering.  While we were still surprised, the cry was raised
that a white flag was hung out.  I did not see it, but in a few
minutes saw others along the line, and just as the general started
for the fort I saw the flag not far from the white house, near the
parapet.  Orders were given to cease firing.  Captain Dayton was
sent to the fort where the first flag was raised.  Some shots were
fired and some men hurt after this.  The first rebel officer we
encountered was Colonel or General Garland, commanding brigade, who
was ordered to put his men in line and stack arms, which was done.
I was directed to pass along the line to the right, and cause the
prisoners to stack arms and form our men in line, just outside the
work.  This I did till I reached Deshler's brigade, on our extreme
right, or nearly so, and who was opposed to the right of Steele's
force.  Steele's men had rushed up to the very foot of the parapet,
and some were on it, though they did not fire.  The commander of
the enemy (Deshler) refused to obey my orders to stack arms, and
asked a good many questions as to "how it happened;" said he was
not whipped, but held us in check, etc.  I told him there were
eight or nine thousand men right there, that a shot from me, or a
call, would bring down on him, and that we had entire possession of
the place.  After sending two officers from the nearest troops to
explain the condition to Steele, and to warn every officer they met
to pass the word for everybody to be on the sharp lookout, I
arranged with Deshler to keep quiet until I could bring his own
commander, or orders from him.  Returning to General Sherman, I
found a party of young rebel officers, including Robert Johnston's
son (rebel Senate) and Captain Wolf, quartermaster, of New Orleans,
who declined to surrender except to gentlemen.  Some German
Missouri soldiers didn't relish the distinction, and were about
clubbing them over the head, when I interfered and received their
surrender.  Hurrying back to the general, I reported the dangerous
condition of things.  He and General Churchill, commanding officer
of the enemy, started for Deshler's brigade; meeting Garland, a
quarrel and some recrimination followed between him and Churchill,
as to where the fault of the surrender belonged, which was rather
promptly silenced by General Sherman, who hurried to the scene of
trouble.  There, after some ill-natured talk, Deshler ordered his
men to lay down their arms.  I rode into the fort, and found the
parapet badly torn up by the fire from the fleet.  On going to the
embrasure where I had seen the gun while on the river-bank talking
to Captain Shirk, the piece was found split back about eighteen
inches, and the lower half of the muzzle dropped out.  A battered
but unexploded shell lying with the piece explained that it must
have struck the gun in the muzzle, almost squarely.  On passing
along the inside I saw from the torn condition of the earthworks
how tremendous our fire was, and how the fire of the enemy was kept
down.  The fire of the navy had partly torn down the side of the
fort next the river.  A good many sailors were in the fort.
General A. J. Smith, Admiral Porter, and General Burbridge were
there--all in high spirits, but in some contention as to who got in
first. Toward dark, or nearly so, an Arkansas regiment came in as
reenforcements, but surrendered without any trouble.  About the
same time General Sherman received orders to put General A. J.
Smith in charge of the fort, and stay outside with his men.  As his
troops were nearly all inside, and had four-fifths of the prisoners
in charge, these orders were not very clear, and the general left
for headquarters to find out what was meant.  I went on collecting
arms, and as our men were scattering a good deal and were greatly
excited, I took the precaution to pass along the line and march the
prisoners far enough from the stacked arms to be out of temptation.
I was especially urged to this by hearing several rebel officers
speak of their guns being still loaded.  It was dark before all the
prisoners were collected and under guard, including the regiment
that arrived after the fight.  I am confident that all the
prisoners were under guard by General Sherman's troops.

Everything being secure, the staff-officers, all of whom had been
busily engaged, scattered to compare notes and enjoy the victory.
I found my way onboard the Tigress, where every one was greatly
excited, and in high feather regarding our victory, the biggest
thing since Donelson.  I also obtained some food and small comforts
for a few rebel officers, including young Johnston, Wolfe, and the
Colonel Deshler already mentioned.  Then hunted up General Sherman,
whom I found sitting on a cracker-boa in the white house already
mentioned, near where the white flag first appeared.  Garland was
with him, and slept with him that night, while the rest of us laid
around wherever we could.  It was a gloomy, bloody house, and
suggestive of war.  Garland was blamed by the other Confederate
officers for the white flag, and remained with us for safety.  Next
day was very cold.  We worked hard at the lists of prisoners
--nearly five thousand in number--all of whom were sent to St.
Louis, in charge of our inspector-general, Major Sanger.  Our
loss was less than one hundred.  The enemy, although behind
intrenchments, lost more than double what we did.  Their wounded
were much worse hurt than ours, who were mostly hit around the head
and arms.

The losses were nearly all in General Sherman's wing of the army.
The loss in the fleet amounted to little, but their service was
very valuable, and deserved great credit, though they received
little.  There was a good deal of sympathy between our part of the
forces and the fleet people, and I then thought, and still think,
if we had been on the left next the river, that in connection with
the tremendous fire from the navy, we could have carried the work
in an hour after we opened on it.  Their missiles traversed the
whole fortification, clear through to the hospitals at the upper
end, and I stood five minutes in rifle-range of the fort next the
river--not hit, and but seldom shot at, and no one hit near me.

On the 18th we embarked, in a snow-storm; collected at Napoleon,
which seemed to be washing away; and steamed to Milliken's Bend,
were we arrived on January 21st, and soon after went to Young's
plantation, near Vicksburg.

The above statement from General Hammond was received by General
Sherman, inclosed in a letter dated "Chicago, February 5, 1876" and
signed "John H. Hammond," who was adjutant-general to General
Sherman during the winter of 1862-'83.


CINCINNATI, February 3, 1876

MY DEAR GENERAL: At Arkansas Post the troops debarked from steamer
January 9th, from one o'clock to dark, in the vicinity of Notrib's
farm, and on the 10th moved out to get position; Steele to the
right, crossing the low ground to the north, to get a higher
ground, avoid crowding the moving columns, and gain the left (our
right) and rear of the "post," and the river-bank above the post.
Stuart took the river-road the movement commencing at 11 o'clock
a.m.. After crossing the low ground covered with water, you were
called back with Steele, as Stuart had driven out the enemy's
rifle-trench pickets, this giving more and feasible room for
moving.  Stuart was pushed forward, and by dark he and Steele were
well up to their expected positions.  Before daylight on the 11th
you directed me to accompany you for a personal inspection of the
ground to your front, which we made on foot, going so far forward
that we could easily hear the enemy at work and moving about.
Discovering the open fields, you at once directed Steele to move to
the right and front, and pushed Stuart out so as to fully command
them and the field-work of the enemy extending from the fort, to
prevent farther strengthening, as it was evident these works were
the product of a recent thought.  Stuart and Steele were prompt in
taking position, but Morgan's command (not under your control) did
not seem to work up, or keep in junction with you.  At ten o'clock
you sent me to McClernand to ascertain why the delay of attack.  He
attributed it to Admiral Porter, which was really unjust.  The
attack began at 1 p.m., by Admiral Porter, and the sound of his
first gun had not died till your men were engaged--Wood's,
Barrett's, and the Parrott batteries and infantry.  It was
lively for a time, and Stuart pushed clear up to the enemy's
rifle-trenches, and forced them to keep sheltered.  Hammond was
mostly with Steele; Sanger sent to McClernand, and McCoy, myself,
and John Taylor were with you and Stuart.  At about half-past three
I got your permission to go to Giles Smith's skirmish-line, and,
thinking I saw evidence of the enemy weakening, I hurried back to
you and reported my observations.  I was so confident that a demand
for it would bring a surrender, that I asked permission to make it,
and, as you granted me, but refused to let another member of your
staff, at his request, go with me, I rode directly down the road
with only an orderly.  Colonel Garland, commanding a brigade, was
the first officer I saw, to whom, for you, I made the demand.  All
firing ceased at once, or in a few moments.  I sent the orderly back
to you, and you rode forward.  It was then four o'clock.

During the attack, nobody seemed to think McClernand had any clear
idea of what or how it was to be done.  During the day he gave you
no directions, nor came where you were; he was well to the rear,
with his "man up a tree," who in the capacity of a lookout gave
McClernand information, from which he based such instructions as he
made to his subordinates.  He was free to express himself as being
a man of "destiny," and his "star" was in the ascendance.  I am,

L. M. DAYTON, late Colonel of the Staff, now of Cincinnati, Ohio.

General W. T. SHERMAN.


[Special Field Orders, No. 11.]

MEMPHIS, January 27, 1864

V. The expedition is one of celerity, and all things must tend to
that.  Corps commanders and staff-officers will see that our
movements are not encumbered by wheeled vehicles improperly loaded.
Not a tent, from the commander-in-chief down, will be carried.  The
sick will be left behind, and the surgeons can find houses and
sheds for all hospital purposes.

VI. All the cavalry in this department is placed under the orders
and command of Brigadier-General W. S. Smith, who will receive
special instructions.

By order of Major-General W. T. SHERMAN

L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp.

NOTE.-That same evening I started in a steamboat for Vicksburg.
W. T. S.
St. Louis, 1885.

MEMPHIS, January 27, 1864

Brigadier-General W. S. SMITH, commanding Cavalry, etc., present.

DEAR GENERAL: By an order issued this day I have placed all the
cavalry of this department subject to your command.  I estimate you
can make a force of full seven thousand men, which I believe to be
superior and better in all respects than the combined cavalry which
the enemy has in all the State of Mississippi.  I will in person
start for Vicksburg to-day, and with four divisions of infantry,
artillery, and cavalry move out for Jackson, Brandon, and Meridian,
aiming to reach the latter place by February 10th.  General Banks
will feign on Pascagoula and General Logan on Rome.  I want you
with your cavalry to move from Colliersville on Pontotoc and
Okolona; thence sweeping down near the Mobile & Ohio Railroad,
disable that road as much as possible, consume or destroy the
resources of the enemy along that road, break up the connection
with Columbus, Mississippi, and finally reach me at or near
Meridian as near the date I have mentioned as possible.  This will
call for great energy of action on your part, but I believe you are
equal to it, and you have the best and most experienced troops in
the service, and they will do anything that is possible.  General
Grierson is with you, and is familiar with the whole country.  I
will send up from Haines's Bluff an expedition of gunboats and
transports combined, to feel up the Yazoo as far as the present
water will permit.  This will disconcert the enemy.  My movement on
Jackson will also divide the enemy, so that by no combination can
he reach you with but a part of his force.  I wish you to attack
any force of cavalry you meet and follow them southward, but in no
event be drawn into the forks of the streams that make up the Yazoo
nor over into Alabama.  Do not let the enemy draw you into minor
affairs, but look solely to the greater object to destroy his
communication from Okolona to Meridian, and thence eastward to
Selma.  From Okolona south you will find abundance of forage
collected along the railroad, and the farmers have corn standing in
the fields.  Take liberally of all these, as well as horses, mules,
cattle, etc.  As a rule, respect dwellings and families as
something too sacred to be disturbed by soldiers, but mills, barns,
sheds, stables, and such like things use for the benefit or
convenience of your command.  If convenient, send into Columbus,
Mississippi, and destroy all machinery there, and the bridge across
the Tombigbee, which enables the enemy to draw the resources of the
east side of the valley, but this is not of sufficient importance
to delay your movement.  Try and communicate with me by scouts and
spies from the time you reach Pontotoc.  Avoid any large force of
infantry, leaving them to me.  We have talked over this matter so
much that the above covers all points not provided for in my
published orders of to-day.  I am, etc.,

W. T. SHERMAN, Mayor-General, commanding.

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE, January 27, 1864.

Brigadier-General J. P. HATCH, in charge of Cavalry Bureau, St.
Louis, Missouri.

SIR: Your favor of the 21st inst. is just received.  Up to the
present time eight hundred and eighteen horses have arrived here
since Captain Hudson's visit to St. Louis.  I wrote you upon his
return several days ago that it would not be necessary to divert
shipments to this point which could not reach us before February
1st. We shall certainly get off on our contemplated expedition
before that time.  The number of horses estimated for in this
department by its chief quartermaster was two thousand, and this
number, including those already sent, will, I think, completely
mount all the dismounted cavalry of this department.  Recruits for
cavalry regiments are arriving freely, and this will swell our
requisitions for a couple of months to come.  I will as far as
possible procure horses from the regions of country traversed by
our cavalry.

Yours truly,   W. SOOY SMITH, Brigadier-General,

Chief of Cavalry, Military Division of the Mississippi.

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE, January 28, 1864

Brigadier-General GEORGE CROOK, commanding Second Cavalry Division,
Huntsville, Alabama.

I start in about three days with seven, thousand men to Meridian
via Pontotoc.  Demonstrate on Decatur, to hold Roddy.

W. SOOY SMITH, Brigadier-General,
Chief of Cavalry, Military Division of the Mississippi.

General W. T. SHERMAN, Commander-in-Chief, United States Army.

SIR: Your letter of July 7th is just received.

Your entire statement in the "Memoirs" concerning my part in the
Meridian campaign is incorrect.

You overstate my strength, placing it at seven thousand effective,
when it was but six.  The nominal strength of my command was seven

You understate the strength of my enemy, putting Forrest's force at
four thousand.  On our return to Nashville, you stated it, in
General Grant's presence, to have been but twenty-five hundred.
Before and during my movement I positively knew Forrest's strength
to be full six thousand, and he has since told me so himself.

Instead of delaying from the 1st to the 11th of February for "some
regiment that was ice-bound near Columbus, Kentucky," it was an
entire brigade, Colonel Waring's, without which your orders to me
were peremptory not to move.  I asked you if I should wait its
arrival, and you answered: "Certainly; if you go without it, you
will be, too weak, and I want you strong enough to go where you

The time set for our arrival at Meridian, the 10th of February, had
arrived before it was possible for me, under your orders, to move
from Memphis, and I would have been entirely justifiable if I had
not started at all.  But I was at that time, and at all times
during the war, as earnest and anxious to carry out my orders, and
do my full duty as you or any other officer could be, and I set out
to make a march of two hundred and fifty miles into the
Confederacy, having to drive back a rebel force equal to my own.
After the time had arrived for the full completion of my movement,
I drove this force before me, and penetrated one hundred and sixty
miles into the Confederacy--did more hard fighting, and killed,
wounded, and captured more of the enemy than you did during the
campaign--did my work most thoroughly, as far as I could go without
encountering the rebel cavalry set loose by your return from
Meridian, and brought off my command, with all the captured
property and rescued negroes, with very small loss, considering
that inflicted on the enemy, and the long-continued and very severe
fighting.  If I had disobeyed your orders, and started without
Waring's brigade, I would have been "too weak," would probably have
been defeated, and would  have been subjected to just censure.
Having awaited its arrival, as I was positively and distinctly
ordered to do, it only remained for me to start upon its arrival,
and accomplish all that I could of the work allotted to me.  To
have attempted to penetrate farther into the enemy's country, with
the cavalry of Polk's army coming up to reenforce Forrest, would
have insured the destruction of my entire command, situated as it
was.  I cannot now go into all the particulars, though I assure you
that they make the proof of the correctness of my conduct as
conclusive as I could desire it to be.  I was not headed off and
defeated by an inferior force near West Point.  We had the fighting
all our own way near West Point, and at all other points except at
Okalona, on our return, when we had the worst of it for a little
while, but finally checked the enemy handsomely, and continued our
return march, fighting at the rear and on both flanks, repulsing
all attacks and moving in perfect order.  And so my movement was
not a failure, except that I did not reach Meridian as intended,
for the reason stated, and for many more which it is not necessary
for me to detail here.  On the other hand, it was a very decided
success, inflicting a terrible destruction of supplies of every
kind, and a heavy loss of men upon the enemy.  You should have so
reported it in the beginning.  You should so amend your report, and
"Memoirs" now.  This, and no less than this, is due from one
soldier to another.  It is due to the exalted position which you
occupy, and, above all, it is due to that truthfulness in history
which you claim to revere.  If you desire it, I will endeavor to
visit you, and in a friendly manner "fight our battles o'er again,"
and endeavor to convince you that you have always been mistaken as
to the manner in which my part in the "Meridian campaign" was
performed.  But I will never rest until the wrong statements
regarding it are fully and fairly corrected.  Yours truly,


St. Louis, Missouri, July 11, 1875.

General J. D. WEBSTER, Chicago, Illinois

DEAR GENERAL: General W. Sooy Smith feels aggrieved and wronged by
my account of his part in the Meridian campaign, in my "Memoirs,"
pages 394, 395, and properly appeals to me for correction.  I have
offered to modify any words or form of expression that he may point
out, but he asks me to completely change the whole that concerns
him.  This, of course, I will not do, as his part was material to
the whole, and cannot be omitted or materially altered without
changing the remainder, for his failure to reach Meridian by
February 10th was the reason for other movements distant from him.
I now offer him, what seems to me fair and liberal, that we submit
the points at issue to you as arbitrator.  You are familiar with
the ground, the coincident history, and most, if not all, the

I propose to supply you with

1.  Copy of my orders placing all the cavalry under General Smith's
orders (with returns).

2.  My letter of instructions to him of January 27th.

3.  My official report of the campaign, dated Vicksburg, March 7,

4.  General W. Sooy Smith's report of his operations, dated
Nashville, Tennessee, March 4, 1864.

After reading these, I further propose that you address us
questions which we will answer in writing, when you are to make us
a concise, written decision, which I will have published in close
connection with the subject in controversy.  If General Smith will
show you my letter to him of this date, and also deliver this with
his written assent, I will promptly furnish you the above
documents, and also procure from the official files a return of the
cavalry force available at and near Memphis on the date of my
orders, viz., January 27, 1864.

With great respect, your friend and servant,

W. T. SHERMAN, General.

NOTE:--General Smith never submitted his case to the arbitration
offered.  The whole will be made clear by the publication of the
official records, which are already in print, though not yet
issued.  His orders were in writing, and I have no recollection of
the "peremptory" verbal orders to which he refers, and quotes as
from me.

ST. Louis, Missouri, 1895.    W. T. S.

MAYWOOD, ILLINOIS, July 14, 1875.

General W. T. SHERMAN, Commander-in-Chief, etc.

DEAR GENERAL: Your letter of the 11th of July reaches me just as I
am starting to spend the first vacation I have ever allowed myself
--in the Territories, with my wife and son.

It indicates a spirit of fairness from which we have better things
than an arbitration to hope for.  Though, if we should reach such a
necessity, there is no one living to whom our differences might
more properly be referred than to General Webster.  I make no
objection to your writing your "Memoirs," and, as long as they
refer to your own conduct, you are at liberty to write them as you
like; but, when they refer to mine, and deal unjustly with my
reputation, I, of right, object.

Neither do I wish to write my "Memoirs," unless compelled to do so
to vindicate my good name.  There were certain commands which were
to make up mine.  These, Waring's brigade included, were spoken of
by us in the long conversation to which you refer.  This brigade we
knew was having a hard time of it in its movement from Columbus to
Memphis.  I asked you if I should move without it if it did not
arrive, and you answered me as stated in my last letter to you.
Those who immediately surrounded me during the painful delay that
occurred will inform you how sorely I chafed under the restraint of
that peremptory order.

In the conversation that occurred between us at Nashville, while
all the orders, written and verbal, were still fresh in your
memory, you did not censure me for waiting for Waring, but for
allowing myself to be encumbered with fugitive negroes to such an
extent that my command was measurably unfit for active movement or
easy handling, and for turning back from West Point, instead of
pressing on toward Meridian.  Invitations had been industriously
circulated, by printed circulars and otherwise, to the negroes to
come into our lines, and to seek our protection wherever they could
find it, and I considered ourselves pledged to receive and protect
them.  Your censure for so doing, and your remarks on that subject
to me in Nashville, are still fresh in my memory, and of a
character which you would now doubtless gladly disavow.

But we must meet and talk the whole matter over, and I will be at
any trouble to see you when I return.

Meantime I will not let go the hope that I will convince you
absolutely of your error, for the facts are entirely on my side.
Yours truly,


End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of The Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman,
Vol. I., Part 2, by William T. Sherman


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