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Military Reminiscences of the Civil War V2 by Jacob Dolson Cox

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_Formerly Major-General commanding Twenty-Third Army Corps_






Importance of unity in command--Inevitable difficulties in a double
organization--Burnside's problem different from that of
Rosecrans--Co-operation necessarily imperfect--Growth of Grant's
reputation--Solid grounds of it--Special orders sent him--Voyage to
Cairo--Meets Stanton at Louisville--Division of the Mississippi
created--It included Burnside's and Rosecrans's
departments--Alternate forms in regard to Rosecrans--He is
relieved--Thomas succeeds him--Grant's relations to the change--His
intellectual methods--Taciturnity--Patience--Discussions in his
presence--Clear judgments--His "good anecdote"--Rosecrans sends
Garfield to Washington--Congressman or General--Duplication of
offices--Interview between Garfield and Stanton--Dana's
dispatches--Garfield's visit to me--Description of the rout of
Rosecrans's right wing--Effect on the general--Retreat to
Chattanooga--Lookout Mountain abandoned--The President's
problem--Dana's light upon it--Stanton's use of it--Grant's
acquiescence--Subsequent relations of Garfield and
Rosecrans--Improving the "cracker line"--Opening the
Tennessee--Combat at Wauhatchie.



Departments not changed by Grant--Sherman assigned to that of the
Tennessee--Burnside's situation and supplies--His
communications--Building a railroad--Threatened from Virginia--His
plans--Bragg sends Longstreet into East Tennessee--Their
cross-purposes--Correspondence of Grant and Burnside--Dana and
Wilson sent to consult--Grant approves Burnside's course--Latter
slowly retires on Knoxville--The place prepared for a siege--Combat
at Campbell's station--Within the lines at Knoxville--Topography of
the place--Defences--Assignment of positions--The forts--General
Sanders killed--His self-sacrifice--Longstreet's lines of
investment--His assault of Fort Sanders--The combat--The
repulse--The victory at Missionary Ridge and results--Division of
Confederate forces a mistake--Grant sends Sherman to raise the siege
of Knoxville--East Tennessee a "horror"--Longstreet retreats toward
Virginia--Sherman rejoins Grant--Granger's unwillingness to
remain--General Foster sent to relieve Burnside--Criticism of this
act--Halleck's misunderstanding of the real situation--Grant's easy
comprehension of it--His conduct in enlarged responsibility--General
Hunter's inspection report.



Administrative duties--Major McLean adjutant-general--His loyalty
questioned--Ordered away--Succeeded by Captain Anderson--Robert
Anderson's family--Vallandigham canvass--Bounty-jumping--Action of
U. S. Courts--of the local Probate Court--Efforts to provoke
collision--Interview with the sheriff--Letter to Governor
Tod--Shooting soldiers in Dayton--The October election--Great
majority against Vallandigham--The soldier vote--Wish for field
service--Kinglake's Crimean War--Its lessons--Confederate plots in
Canada--Attempt on military prison at Johnson's Island--Assembling
militia there--Fortifying Sandusky Bay--Inspection of the
prison--Condition and treatment of the prisoners.



Ordered to East Tennessee--Preparation for a long ride--A small
party of officers--Rendezvous at Lexington, Ky.--Changes in my
staff--The escort--A small train--A gay cavalcade--The blue-grass
country--War-time roads--Valley of the Rockcastle--Quarters for the
night--London--Choice of routes-Longstreet in the way--A turn
southward--Williamsburg--Meeting Burnside--Fording the
Cumberland--Pine Mountain--A hard pull--Teamsters' chorus--Big Creek
Gap--First view of East Tennessee--Jacksboro--A forty-mile
trot--Escape from unwelcome duty--In command of Twenty-third
Corps--The army-supply problem--Siege bread--Starved
beef--Burnside's dinner to Sherman.



Blain's Cross-roads--Hanson's headquarters--A hearty
welcome--Establishing field quarters--Tents and houses--A good
quartermaster--Headquarters' business--Soldiers' camps--Want of
clothing and shoes--The rations--Running the country
mills--Condition of horses and mules--Visit to Opdycke's camp--A
Christmas dinner--Veteran enlistments--Patriotic spirit--Detachment
at Strawberry Plains--Concentration of corps there--Camp on a
knoll--A night scene--Climate of the valley--Affair at Mossy
Creek--New Year's blizzard--Pitiful condition of the
troops--Patience and courage--Zero weather.



Grant at Knoxville--Comes to Strawberry Plains--A gathering at
Parke's quarters--Grant's quiet manner--No conversational
discussion--Contrast with Sherman--Talk of cadet days--Grant's
riding-school story--No council of war--Qualities of his
dispatches--Returns by Cumberland Gap--Longstreet's
situation--Destitution of both armies--Railroad repairs and improved
service--Light-draught steamboats--Bridges--Cattle herds on the
way--Results of Grant's inspection tour--Foster's movement to
Dandridge on the French Broad--Sheridan--His qualities--August
Willich--Hazen--His disagreement with Sheridan--Its causes and
consequences--Combat at Dandridge--A mutual surprise--Sheridan's
bridge--An amusing blunder--A consultation in Dandridge--Sturgis's
toddy--Retreat to Strawberry Plains--A hard night march--A rough
day--An uncomfortable bivouac--Concentration toward
Knoxville--Rumors of reinforcement of Longstreet--Expectation of
another siege--The rumors untrue.



Sending our animals to Kentucky--Consultations--Affair with enemy's
cavalry--Roughing it--Distribution of troops--Cavalry engagement at
Sevierville--Quarters in Knoxville--Leading Loyalists--Social and
domestic conditions--Discussion of the spring campaign--Of Foster's
successor--Organization of Grant's armies--Embarrassments in
assignment of officers to duty--Discussion of the system-Cipher
telegraphing--Control of the key--Grant's collision with
Stanton--Absurdity of the War Department's method--General Stoneman
assigned to Twenty-third Corps--His career and character--General
Schofield succeeds to the command of the Department of the Ohio.



Fresh reports of Longstreet's advance--They are unfounded--Grant's
wish to rid the valley of the enemy--Conference with
Foster--Necessity for further recuperation of the army--Continuance
of the quiet policy--Longstreet's view of the situation--His
suggestions to his government--He makes an advance again-Various
demonstrations--Schofield moves against Longstreet--My appointment
as chief of staff in the field--Organization of the active
column--Schofield's purposes--March to Morristown--Going the Grand
Rounds--Cavalry outpost--A sleepy sentinel--Return to New
Market--Once more at Morristown--Ninth Corps sent East--Grant
Lieutenant-General--Sherman commands in the West--Study of plans of
campaign--My assignment to Third Division, Twenty-third
Corps--Importance of staff duties--Colonel Wherry and Major
Campbell--General Wood--Schofield and the politicians--Post at
Bull's Gap--Grapevine telegraph--Families going through the
lines--Local vendetta--The Sanitary Commission--Rendezvous assigned
by Sherman--Preliminary movements--Marching to Georgia--A spring
camp on the Hiwassee--The Atlanta campaign begun.



Grant's desire for activity in the winter--Scattering to
live--Subordinate movements--The Meridian expedition--Use of the
Mississippi--Sherman's estimate of it--Concentration to be made in
the spring--Grant joins the Potomac Army--Motives in doing so--Meade
as an army commander--Halleck on concentration--North Carolina
expedition given up--Burnside to join Grant--Old relations of
Sherman and Halleck--Present cordial friendship--Frank
correspondence--The supply question--Railway administration--Bridge
defences--Reduction of baggage--Tents--Sherman on spies and
deserters--Changes in Confederate army--Bragg
relieved--Hardee--Beauregard--Johnston--Davis's suggestion of
plans--Correspondence with Johnston--Polk's
mediation--Characteristics--Bragg's letters--Lee writes
Longstreet--Johnston's dilatory discussion--No results--Longstreet
joins Lee--Grant and Sherman have the initiative--Prices in the



The opposing forces--North Georgia
triangle--Topography--Dalton--Army of the Ohio enters
Georgia--Positions of the other armies--Turning Tunnel Hill--First
meeting with Sherman--Thomas--Sherman's plan as to
Dalton--McPherson's orders and movement--Those of Thomas and
Schofield--Hopes of a decisive engagement--Thomas attacks north end
of Rocky Face--Opdycke on the ridge--Developing Johnston's
lines--Schofield's advance on 9th May--The flanking march through
Snake Creek Gap--Retiring movement of my division--Passing
lines--Johnston's view of the situation--Use of temporary
intrenchments and barricades--Passing the Snake Creek defile-Camp
Creek line--A wheel in line--Rough march of left flank--Battle of
Resaca--Crossing Camp Creek--Storming Confederate line--My division
relieved by Newton's--Incidents--Further advance of left
flank--Progress of right flank--Johnston retreats.



Tactics modified by character of the country--Use of the
spade--Johnston's cautious defensive--Methods of Grant and
Sherman--Open country between Oostanaula and Etowah--Movement in
several columns--Sherman's eagerness--Route of left wing--Of
McPherson on the right--Necessity of exact system in such
marches--Route of Twenty-third Corps--Hooker gets in the way--Delays
occasioned--Closing in on Cassville--Our commanding
position--Johnston's march to Cassville--His order to fight
there--Protest of Hood and Polk--Retreat over the Etowah--Sherman
crosses near Kingston--My reconnoissance to the Allatoona
crossing--Destruction of iron works and mills--Marching without
baggage--Barbarism of war--Desolation it causes--Changes in our
corps organization--Hascall takes Judah's division--Our place of
crossing the Etowah--Interference again--Kingston the new
base--Rations--Camp coffee.



Sherman's plan for June--Movements of 24th May-Johnston's position
at Dallas and New Hope Church--We concentrate to attack--Pickett's
Mill--Dallas--Flanking movements--Method developed by the character
of the country--Closer personal relations to Sherman--Turning
Johnston's right--Crossroads at Burnt Church-A tangled
forest--Fighting in a thunderstorm--Sudden freshet--Bivouac in a
thicket---Johnston retires to a new line--Formidable character of
the old one--Sherman extends to the railroad on our left--Blair's
corps joins the army--General Hovey's retirement--The principles
involved--Politics and promotions.



Continuous rains in June--Allatoona made a field depot on the
railway and fortified--Johnston in the Marietta lines--That from
Pine Mountain to Lost Mountain abandoned--Swinging our right
flank--Affair at Kolb's farm--Preparing for a general attack--Battle
of Kennesaw-The tactical problem--Work of my division--Topography
about Cheney's--Our advance on the 27th--Nickajack valley
reached--The army moves behind us--Johnston retreats to the
Chattahoochee--Twenty-third Corps at Smyrna Camp-ground--Crossing
the Chattahoochee at Soap Creek--At Roswell--Johnston again
retreats--Correspondence with Davis--Mission of B. H. Hill--Visit of
Bragg to Johnston--Johnston's unfortunate reticence--He is relieved
and Hood placed in command--Significance of the change to the
Confederacy and to us.



Lines of supply by field trains--Canvas pontoons--Why replaced by
bridges--Wheeling toward Atlanta--Battle of Peachtree Creek--Battle
of Atlanta--Battle of Ezra Church--Aggressive spirit of Confederates
exhausted--Sherman turns Atlanta by the south--Pivot position of
Twenty-third Corps--Hood's illusions--Rapidity of our troops in
intrenching--Movements of 31st August--Affair at Jonesboro--Atlanta
won--Morale of Hood's army--Exaggerating difference in
numbers--Examination of returns--Efforts to bring back
absentees--The sweeping conscription--Sherman's candid
estimates--Unwise use of cavalry--Forrest's work--Confederate
estimate of Sherman's campaign.



Position of the Army of the Ohio at Decatur--Refitting for a new
campaign--Depression of Hood's army--Sherman's reasons for a
temporary halt--Fortifying Atlanta as a new base--Officers detailed
for the political campaign-Schofield makes inspection tour of his
department--My temporary command of the Army of the Ohio--Furloughs
and leaves of absence--Promotions of several colonels--General
Hascall resigns--Staff changes--My military family--Anecdote of
Lieutenant Tracy--Discipline of the army--Sensitiveness to approval
or blame--Illustration--Example of skirmishing advance--Sufferings
of non-combatants within our lines--A case in point--Pillaging and
its results--Citizens passing through the lines--"The rigors of the
climate"--Visit of Messrs. Hill and Foster--McPherson's death--The
loss to Sherman and to the army--His personal traits--Appointment of
his successor.



Hood's plan to transfer the campaign to northern Georgia--Made
partly subordinate to Beauregard--Forrest on a raid--Sherman makes
large detachments--Sends Thomas to Tennessee--Hood across the
Chattahoochee--Sherman follows--Affair at Allatoona--Planning the
March to the Sea--Sherman at Rome--Reconnoissance down the
Coosa--Hood at Resaca--Sherman in pursuit--Hood retreats down the
Chattooga valley--We follow in two columns--Concentrate at
Gaylesville--Beauregard and Hood at Gadsden--Studying the
situation--Thomas's advice--Schofield rejoins--Conference regarding
the Twenty-third Corps--Hood marches on Decatur--His explanation of
change of plan--Sherman marches back to Rome--We are ordered to join
Thomas--Hood repulsed at Decatur marches to Tuscumbia--Our own march
begun--Parting with Sherman--Dalton--Chattanooga--Presidential
election--Voting by steam--Retrospect of October camp-life--Camp
sports--Soldiers' pets--Story of a lizard.



Schofield to command the army assembled at Pulaski--Forrest's
Tennessee River raid--Schofield at Johnsonville--My division at
Thompson's--Hastening reinforcements to Thomas--Columbia--The
barrens--Pulaski--Hood delays--Suggests Purdy as a base--He advances
from Florence--Our march to Columbia--Thomas's distribution of the
forces--Decatur evacuated--Pontoon bridge there--Withdrawing from
Columbia--Posts between Nashville and Chattanooga--The cavalry on
29th November--Their loss of touch with the army.



Defensive works of Nashville--Hood's lines--The ice
blockade--Halleck on remounts for cavalry--Pressing horses and its
abuse--The cavalry problem--Changes in organization--Assignment of
General Couch--Confederate cavalry at Nashville--Counter-movements
of our own--Detailed movements of our right--Difference of
recollection between Schofield and Wilson--The field
dispatches--Carrying Hood's works--Confederate rout.



Night after the battle--Unusual exposure--Hardships of company
officers--Bad roads--Halt at Franklin--Visiting the
battlefield--Continued pursuit--Decatur reoccupied--Hood at Tupelo,
Miss.--Summary of captures--Thomas suggests winter-quarters--Grant
orders continued activity--Schofield's proposal to move the corps to
the East--Grant's correspondence with Sherman--Schofield's
suggestion adopted--Illness--I ask for "sick-leave"--Do not use
it--Promotion--Reinforcements--March from Columbia to
Clifton--Columns on different roads--Western part of the
barrens--Fording Buffalo River--An illumined camp--Dismay of the
farmer--Clifton on the Tennessee--Admiral Lee--Methods of
transport--Weary waiting--Private grumbling--Ordered East--Revulsion
of spirits--On the transport fleet--Thomas's frame of mind at close
of the campaign.



Rendezvous at Washington--Capture of Fort Fisher--Schofield ordered
to North Carolina--Grant and Schofield visit Terry--Department of
North Carolina--Army of the Ohio in the field--Correspondence of
Grant and Sherman--Sherman conscious of his risks but hopeful of
great results--His plan of march from Savannah--Relation of
Wilmington to New Berne--Our arrival at Washington--The Potomac
frozen--Peace conference at Fort Monroe--Interview with Mr.
Stanton--The thirteenth amendment of the Constitution--Political
excitement at the capital--A little dinner-party--Garfield, H. W.
Davis, and Schenck--Davis on Lincoln--Destination of our
army--Embarkation--Steamship "Atlantic"--Visit to Fort Monroe--The
sea-voyage--Cape Fear Inlet--General Terry's lines--Bragg the
Confederate commander--Reconnoitring his lines--The colored
troops--"Monitor" engaged with Fort Anderson--Alternate
plans--Marching on Wilmington by the west bank of the river--My
column opposite the town--Orders not applicable to the
situation--Difficulty of communication--Use of
discretion--Wilmington evacuated--A happy result.



The Confederates lose Charleston and Columbia--Facing a
crisis--Hopeless apathy of Southern people--Mr. Davis's
perplexity--Beauregard startles him--Lee calls Johnston to
command--Personal relations of leading officers--Dwindling
armies--The cavalry--Assignments of generals--The Beaufort and New
Berne line--Am ordered to New Berne--Provisional corps--Advance to
cover railway building--Dover and Gum swamps--Bragg concentrates to
oppose us--Position near Kinston--Bragg's plan of attack--Our own
movements--Condition of railroad and river--Our advance to Wise's
Forks and Southwest Creek--Precautions--Conference with
Schofield--Battle of Kinston--Enemy attack our left front--Rout of
Upham's brigade--Main line firm--Ruger's division reaches the field
Enemy repulsed--End of first day's fight--Extending our trenches on
the left--Sharp skirmishing of the 9th--Bragg's reinforcements--His
attack of the 10th--Final repulse and retreat of the enemy.



Occupation of Kinston--Opening of Neuse River--Rebel ram
destroyed--Listening to the distant battle at Bentonville--Entering
Goldsborough--Meeting Sherman--Grant's congratulations--His own
plans--Sketch of Sherman's march--Lee and Johnston's
correspondence--Their gloomy outlook--Am made commandant of
Twenty-third Corps--Terry assigned to Tenth--Schofield promoted in
the Regular Army--Stanton's proviso--Ill effects of living on the
country--Stopping it in North Carolina--Camp jubilee over the fall
of Richmond--Changes in Sherman's plans--Our march on
Smithfield--House-burning--News of Lee's surrender--Overtures from
Governor Vance--Entering Raleigh--A mocking-bird's greeting--Further
negotiations as to North Carolina--Johnston proposes an
armistice--Broader scope of negotiations--The Southern people desire
peace--Terrors of non-combatants assuaged--News of Lincoln's
assassination--Precautions to preserve order--The dawn of peace.



Sherman's earlier views of the slavery question--Opinions in
1864--War rights vs. statesmanship--Correspondence with
Halleck--Conference with Stanton at Savannah--Letter to General
Robert Anderson--Conference with Lincoln at City Point--First effect
of the assassination of the President--Situation on the Confederate
side--Davis at Danville--Cut off from Lee--Goes to
Greensborough--Calls Johnston to conference--Lee's surrender--The
Greensborough meeting--Approach of Stoneman's cavalry raid--Vance's
deputation to Sherman--Davis orders their arrest--Vance asserts his
loyalty--Attempts to concentrate Confederate forces on the
Greensborough-Charlotte line--Cabinet meeting--Overthrow of the
Confederacy acknowledged--Davis still hopeful--Yields to the
cabinet--Dictates Johnston's letter to Sherman--Sherman's
reply--Meeting arranged--Sherman sends preliminary correspondence to
Washington--The Durham meeting--The negotiations--Two points of
difficulty--Second day's session--Johnston's power to promise the
disbanding of the civil government--The terms agreed
upon--Transmittal letters--Assembling the Virginia
legislature--Sherman's wish to make explicit declaration of the end
of slavery--The assassination affecting public sentiment--Sherman's
personal faith in Johnston--He sees the need of modifying the
terms--Grant's arrival.



Davis's last cabinet meeting--Formal opinions approving the
"Basis"--"The Confederacy is conquered"--Grant brings disapproval
from the Johnston administration--Sherman gives notice of the
termination of the truce--No military disadvantage from
it--Sherman's vindication of himself--Grant's admirable
conduct--Johnston advises Davis to yield--Capitulation assented to,
but a volunteer cavalry force to accompany Davis's flight--A new
conference at Durham--Davis's imaginary treasure--Grant's return to
Washington--Terms of the parole given by Johnston's army--The
capitulation complete--Schofield and his army to carry out the
details--The rest of Sherman's army marches north--His farewell to
Johnston--Order announcing the end of the war--Johnston's fine
reply--Stanton's strange dispatch to the newspapers--Its tissue of
errors--Its baseless objections--Sherman's
exasperation--Interference with his military authority over his
subordinates--Garbling Grant's dispatch--Sherman strikes
back--Breach between Sherman and Halleck--It also grew out of the
published matter--Analysis of the facts--My opinion as recorded at
the time.



General Schofield's policy when left in command--Lincoln's
Emancipation Proclamation in force--Davis's line of flight from
Charlotte, N. C.--Wade Hampton's course of conduct--Fate of the
cabinet officers--Bragg, Wheeler, and Cooper--Issuing paroles to
Johnston and his army--Greensborough in my district--Going there
with Schofield--Hardee meets and accompanies us--Comparing
memories--We reach Johnston's headquarters--Condition of his
army--Our personal interview with him--The numbers of his
troops--His opinion of Sherman's army--Of the murder of
Lincoln--Governor Morehead's home--The men in gray march
homeward--Incident of a flag--The Salisbury prison site--Treatment
of prisoners of war--Local government in the interim--Union
men--Elements of new strife--The negroes--Household service--Wise
dealing with the labor question--No money--Death of
manufactures--Necessity the mother of invention--Uses of
adversity--Peace welcomed--Visit to Greene's battle-field at






Importance of unity in command--Inevitable difficulties in a double
organization--Burnside's problem different from that of
Rosecrans--Cooperation necessarily imperfect--Growth of Grant's
reputation--Solid grounds of it--Special orders sent him--Voyage to
Cairo--Meets Stanton at Louisville--Division of the Mississippi
created--It included Burnside's and Rosecrans's
departments--Alternate forms in regard to Rosecrans--He is
relieved--Thomas succeeds him--Grant's relations to the change--His
intellectual methods--Taciturnity--Patience--Discussions in his
presence--Clear judgments--His "good anecdote"--Rosecrans sends
Garfield to Washington--Congressman or General--Duplication of
offices--Interview between Garfield and Stanton--Dana's
dispatches--Garfield's visit to me--Description of the rout of
Rosecrans's right wing--Effect on the general--Retreat to
Chattanooga--Lookout Mountain abandoned--The President's
problem--Dana's light upon it--Stanton's use of it--Grant's
acquiescence--Subsequent relations of Garfield and
Rosecrans--Improving the "cracker line"--Opening the
Tennessee--Combat at Wauhatchie.

It is very evident that, at the close of September, Mr. Lincoln and
Mr. Stanton had become satisfied that a radical change must be made
in the organization of the Western armies. The plan of sending
separate armies to co-operate, as Rosecrans's and Burnside's had
been expected to do, was in itself vicious. It is, after a fashion,
an attempt of two to ride a horse without one of them riding behind.
Each will form a plan for his own army, as indeed he ought to do,
and when one of them thinks the time has come for help from the
other, that other may be out of reach or committed to operations
which cannot readily be dropped. It is almost axiomatic that in any
one theatre of operations there must be one head to direct.
[Footnote: Napoleon used to ridicule the vicious practice of
subdividing armies in the same theatre of war. He called it putting
them up in small parcels, "_des petits paquets_." Memoirs of Gouvion
St.-Cyr, vol. iv.] In the present case it ought to have been evident
to the authorities at Washington that as soon as Burnside occupied
East Tennessee, both distance and the peculiar conditions of his
problem would forbid any efficient cooperation with Rosecrans. The
latter was the junior in rank, and knew that, whatever might be
Burnside's generosity, there were many possible contingencies in
such a campaign in which the War Department might find it the easy
solution of a difficulty to direct the senior officer to assume the
command of both armies. So long as matters went well, Rosecrans had
little or no communication with Burnside; but as soon as the enemy
began to show a bold front, he became impatient for assistance. The
perplexities of his own situation made him blind to those of
Burnside. This is human nature, and was, no doubt, true of both in
varying degrees. Halleck, at Washington, was in no true sense a
commander of the armies. He had given peremptory orders to advance
in June and again in July, but when asked whether this relieved the
subordinate of responsibility and took away his discretion, could
make no distinct answer. The unpleasant relations thus created
necessarily affected the whole campaign. Halleck hesitated to advise
a halt when he learned that Longstreet had gone to reinforce Bragg,
and Rosecrans dreaded the blame of halting without such suggestion.
So the battle had to be fought, and the ill consequences had to be
repaired afterward as best they could.

The official correspondence of the summer shows a constantly growing
faith in Grant. His great success at Vicksburg gave him fame and
prestige, but there was beside this a specific effect produced on
the President and the War Department by his unceasing activity, his
unflagging zeal, his undismayed courage. He was as little inclined
to stop as they at Washington were inclined to have him. He was as
ready to move as they were to ask it, and anticipated their wish. He
took what was given him and did the best he could with it. The
result was that the tone adopted toward him was very different from
that used with any other commander. It was confidently assumed that
he was doing all that was possible, and there was no disposition to
worry him with suggestions or orders.

When the operations in the Mississippi valley were reduced to
secondary importance by the surrender of Vicksburg, it was certain
that Grant would be called to conduct one of the great armies which
must still make war upon the rebellion. In a visit to New Orleans to
consult with Banks, he had been lamed by a fractious horse and was
disabled for some days. As soon as he was able to ride in an
ambulance he was on duty, and was assured by General Halleck that
plenty of work would be cut out for him as soon as he was fully
recovered. [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xxx. pt. iv. p. 274.]
At the beginning of October he was ordered to take steamboat and go
to Cairo, where he would find special instructions. This dispatch
reached him on the 9th, and the same day he sailed for Cairo,
arriving there on the 16th, when he learned that an officer of the
War Department would meet him at Louisville. Hastening to Louisville
by rail, he met Mr. Stanton himself, who had travelled _incognito_
from Washington. The Secretary of War produced the formal orders
which had been drawn at the War Department creating the Division of
the Mississippi, which included Rosecrans's, Burnside's, and his own
departments, and put him in supreme command of all. [Footnote:
_Id_., p. 404.] The order was drawn in two forms, one relieving
Rosecrans and putting Thomas in command of the Department of the
Cumberland, and the other omitting this. After consultation with Mr.
Stanton, the order relieving Rosecrans was issued and Grant
published his own assumption of command. His staff had accompanied
him, on a hint contained in an earlier dispatch, and after a day
spent with the Secretary of War (October 18-19) he immediately
proceeded to Chattanooga. He was hardly able to mount a horse, and
when on foot had to get about on crutches.

It has been commonly assumed that the choice whether he would remove
Rosecrans was submitted to Grant as a personal question affecting
his relations with his subordinates, and that he decided it on the
ground of his dislike of Rosecrans. The records of the official
correspondence seem to me to show the fact rather to be that
Rosecrans's removal was thought best by the Secretary, the doubt
being whether Grant would prefer to retain him instead of meeting
the embarrassments incident to so important a change in the
organization of the beleaguered army. Grant was always disposed to
work with the tools he had, and through his whole military career
showed himself averse to meddling much with the organization of his
army. He had strong likes and dislikes, but was very reticent of his
expression of them. He would quietly take advantage of vacancies or
of circumstances to put men where he wanted them, but very rarely
made sweeping reorganization. If any one crossed him or became
antagonistic without open insubordination, he would bear with it
till an opportunity came to get rid of the offender. He hated verbal
quarrelling, never used violent language, but formed his judgments
and bided his time for acting on them. This sometimes looked like a
lack of frankness, and there were times when a warm but honest
altercation would have cleared the air and removed
misunderstandings. It was really due to a sort of shyness which was
curiously blended with remarkable faith in himself. From behind his
wall of taciturnity he was on the alert to see what was within
sight, and to form opinions of men and things that rooted fast and
became part of his mental constitution. He sometimes unbent and
would talk with apparent freedom and ease; but, so far as I
observed, it was in the way of narrative or anecdote, and almost
never in the form of discussion or comparison of views. It used to
be said that during the Vicksburg campaign he liked to have Sherman
and McPherson meet at his tent, and would manage to set them to
discussing the military situation. Sherman would be brilliant and
trenchant; McPherson would be politely critical and intellectual;
Rawlins would break in occasionally with some blunt and vigorous
opinion of his own: Grant sat impassable and dumb in his camp-chair,
smoking; but the lively discussion stimulated his strong
commonsense, and gave him more assured confidence in the judgments
and conclusions he reached. He sometimes enjoyed with a spice of
real humor the mistaken assumption of fluent men that reticent ones
lack brains. I will venture to illustrate it by an anecdote of a
date subsequent to the war. One day during his presidency, he came
into the room where his cabinet was assembling, quietly laughing to
himself. "I have just read," said he, "one of the best anecdotes I
have ever met. It was that John Adams after he had been President
was one day taking a party out to dinner, at his home in Quincy,
when one of his guests noticed a portrait over the door and said,
'You have a fine portrait of Washington there, Mr. Adams!' 'Yes,'
was the reply, 'and that old wooden head made his fortune by keeping
his mouth shut;'" and Grant laughed again with uncommon enjoyment.
The apocryphal story gained a permanent interest in Grant's mouth,
for though he showed no consciousness that it could have any
application to himself, he evidently thought that keeping the mouth
shut was not enough in itself to ensure fortune, and at any rate was
not displeased at finding such a ground of sympathy with the Father
of his country. Grant's telling the story seemed to me, under the
circumstances, infinitely more amusing than the original.

During the month which followed the battle of Chickamauga, Rosecrans
had elaborated his report of the campaign. On the 15th of October he
ordered General Garfield to proceed to Washington with it and to
explain personally to the Secretary of the War and the
General-in-Chief the details of the actual condition of the army,
its lines of communication, the scarcity of supplies and especially
of forage for horses and mules, with all other matters which would
assist the War Department in fully appreciating the situation.
Garfield's term as member of Congress began with the 4th of March
preceding, but the active session would only commence on the first
Monday of December. There was some doubt as to the status of army
officers who were elected to Congress. General Frank P. Blair had
been elected as well as Garfield, and it was in Blair's case that
the issue was made by those who objected to the legality of what
they called a duplication of offices. Later in the session of
Congress it was settled that the two commissions were incompatible,
and that one must choose between them. Blair resigned his seat at
Washington and returned to Sherman's army. Garfield, who had found
camp life a cause of oft-recurring and severe disease of his
digestive system, resigned his army commission and retained his
place in Congress. When he left Rosecrans, however, he was still
hopeful that the two duties might be found consistent, and looked
forward to further military employment.

On his way to Nashville, Garfield made a careful inspection of the
road to Jasper and Bridgeport, and reported it with recommendations
for the improvement of the transportation service. He arrived at
Nashville on the 19th of October, and was met by the rumor that the
Secretary of War and General Grant were at Louisville, and that
Grant would come down the road by special train next day. He
telegraphed the news to Rosecrans with the significant question,
What does it mean? Rosecrans knew what it meant, for Grant's order
assuming command and relieving him had been earlier telegraphed to
him, and he had already penned his dignified and appropriate
farewell order to the Army of the Cumberland.

Mr. Stanton awaited Garfield's coming at Louisville, and there was a
full and frank interview between them. The order relieving Rosecrans
ended Garfield's official connection with him, and, even if it had
not been so, it would have been his duty to make no concealments in
answering the earnest and eager cross-questioning of the Secretary.
Mr. Stanton had not only had dispatches full of information from
General Meigs, who now also met him at Louisville, but his
assistant, Mr. Charles A. Dana, had gone early to Chattanooga, had
been present at the battle of Chickamauga, and had there some
perilous experiences of his own. Dana was still with Rosecrans, and
had sent to the Secretary a series of cipher dispatches giving a
vivid interior view of affairs and of men. [Footnote: Official
Records, vol. xxx. pt. i. pp. 220, etc.; vol. xxxi. pt. i. pp.
69-74, 265; pt. ii. pp. 52-70.] The talented journalist had known
how to give his communications the most lively effect, and they had
great weight with the Secretary. They were not always quite just,
for they were written at speed under the spell of first impressions,
and necessarily under the influence of army acquaintances in whom he
had confidence. There is, however, no evidence that he was
predisposed to judge harshly of Rosecrans, and the unfavorable
conclusions he reached were echoed in Mr. Stanton's words and acts.
[Footnote: Since this was written Mr. Dana has published his
Recollections, based on his dispatches, but the omissions make it
still important to read the originals.] The Secretary of War was
consequently prepared to show such knowledge of the battle of
Chickamauga and the events which followed it, that it would be
impossible for Garfield to avoid mention of incidents which bore
unfavorably upon Rosecrans. He might have been silent if Mr. Stanton
had not known so well how to question him, but when he found how
full the information of the Secretary was, his duty as a military
subordinate coincided with his duty as a responsible member of
Congress, and he discussed without reserve the battle and its
results. Mr. Stanton also questioned General Steedman, who was on
his way home, and wrote to his assistant in Washington for the
information of the President, that his interview with these officers
more than confirmed the worst that had reached him from other
sources as to the conduct of Rosecrans, and the strongest things he
had heard of the credit due to Thomas. [Footnote: Official Records,
vol. xxxi. pt. i. p. 684.]

Garfield came from Louisville to Cincinnati, where I was on duty at
headquarters of my district, and found me, as may easily be
believed, full of intense interest in the campaign. I had been kept
informed of all that directly affected Burnside, my immediate chief,
but my old acquaintance with Rosecrans and sincere personal regard
for him made me desire much more complete information touching his
campaign than was given the public. Garfield's own relations to it
were hardly less interesting to me, and our intimacy was such that
our thoughts at that time were common property. He spent a day with
me, and we talked far into the night, going over the chief points of
the campaign and his interview with Mr. Stanton. His friendship for
Rosecrans amounted to warm affection and very strong personal
liking. Yet I found he had reached the same judgment of his mental
qualities and his capacity as a commander which I had formed at an
earlier day. Rosecrans's perceptions were acute and often
intuitively clear. His fertility was great. He lacked poise,
however, and the steadiness of will necessary to handle great
affairs successfully. Then there was the fatal defect of the
liability to be swept away by excitement and to lose all efficient
control of himself and of others in the very crisis when complete
self-possession is the essential quality of a great general.

We sat alone in my room, face to face, at midnight, as Garfield
described to me the scene on the 20th of September on the
battlefield, when through the gap in the line made by the withdrawal
of Wood's division the Confederates poured. He pictured the
astonishment of all who witnessed it, the doubt as to the evidence
of their own senses; the effort of Sheridan further to the right to
change front and strike the enemy in flank; the hesitation of the
men; the wavering and then the breaking of the right wing into a
panic-stricken rout, each man running for life to the Dry Valley
road, thinking only how he might reach Chattanooga before the enemy
should overtake him, officers and men swept along in that most
hopeless of mobs, a disorganized army. He described the effort of
Rosecrans and the staff to rally the fugitives and to bring a
battery into action, under a shower of flying bullets and crashing
shells. It failed, for men were as deaf to reason in their mad panic
as would be a drove of stampeded cattle. What was needed was a fresh
and well-organized division to cover the rout, to hold back the
enemy, and to give time for rallying the fugitives. But no such
division was at hand, and the rush to the rear could not be stayed.
The enemy was already between the headquarters group and Brannan's
division which Wood had joined, and these, throwing back the right
flank, were presenting a new front toward the west, where
Longstreet, preventing his men from pursuing too far, turned his
energies to the effort to break the curved line of which Thomas at
the Snodgrass house was the centre.

The staff and orderlies gathered about Rosecrans and tried to make
their way out of the press. With the conviction that nothing more
could be done, mental and physical weakness seemed to overcome the
general. He rode silently along, abstracted, as if he neither saw
nor heard. Garfield went to him and suggested that he be allowed to
try to make his way by Rossville to Thomas, the sound of whose
battle seemed to indicate that he was not yet broken. Rosecrans
assented listlessly and mechanically. As Garfield told it to me, he
leaned forward, bringing his excited face close to mine, and his
hand came heavily down upon my knee as in whispered tones he
described the collapse of nerve and of will that had befallen his
chief. The words burned themselves into my memory.

Garfield called for volunteers to accompany him, but only a single
orderly with his personal aide-de-camp followed him; and he made his
way to the right, passed through the gap at Rossville, saw Granger,
who was preparing to move Steedman's division to the front, and rode
on to join Thomas, running the gantlet of the enemy's fire as he
passed near them on the Kelley farm. He never tired of telling of
the calm and quiet heroism of Thomas, holding his position on the
horse-shoe ridge till night put an end to the fighting, and then
retiring in perfect order to the Rossville Gap, to which he was
ordered. This part of the story has been made familiar to all. An
eyewitness has told how, when Rosecrans reached Chattanooga, he had
to be helped from his horse. His nerves were exhausted by the strain
he had undergone, and only gradually recovered from the shock.
[Footnote: Cist, The Army of the Cumberland, p. 226.] His first
dispatch to Washington was the announcement that his army had met
with a serious disaster, the extent of which he could not himself
tell. [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xxx. pt. i. p. 142.] The
most alarming feature of the news was that he was himself a dozen
miles from the battlefield and had evidently lost all control of
events. The truth turned out to be that two divisions would include
all the troops that were broken,--namely, Sheridan's, two brigades
of Davis's, and one of Van Cleve's,--whilst seven other divisions
stood firm and Thomas assumed command of them. As these retired in
order, and as the enemy had suffered more in killed and wounded than
our army, Bragg was entitled to claim a victory only because the
field was left in his hands with large numbers of wounded and
numerous trophies of cannon. It was then claimed by some of our best
officers, and is still an open question whether, if Rosecrans had
been with Thomas and, calling to him Granger's troops, had resumed
the offensive, the chances were not in our favor, and whether Bragg
might not have been the one to retreat.

Unfortunately there was no doubt that the general was defeated,
whether his army was or not. The most cursory study of the map
showed that the only practicable road by which the army could be
supplied was along the river from Bridgeport. Lookout Mountain
commanded this; and not to hold Lookout was practically to announce
a purpose to retreat into middle Tennessee. Dana informed the
Secretary of War that Garfield and Granger had urged Rosecrans to
hold the mountain, but that he would not listen to it. [Footnote:
Official Records, vol. xxx. pt. i. p. 215.] He could much better
afford to intrench a division there than Bragg could, for the
Confederates were tied to Mission Ridge by the necessity of covering
the Atlanta Railroad, which was their line of supply, and any troops
put across the Chattanooga valley were in the air and likely to be
cut off if the long and thin line which connected them were broken.
Had Lookout Mountain been held, Hooker could have come at once into
his place in line when he reached the Tennessee, and the reinforced
army would have been ready, as soon as it was rested and supplied,
to resume an offensive campaign. Instead of this, the country was
for a month tortured with the apprehension that the Army of the
Cumberland must retreat because it could not be fed by means of the
mountain road over Walden's Ridge. After the fortifications at
Chattanooga were strong enough to put the place beyond danger from
direct assault, it would only be adding to the danger of starvation
to send more men there before a better line of supply was opened.

The problem which the President and Secretary of War pondered most
anxiously was the capacity and fitness of Rosecrans to conduct the
new campaign. Would he rise energetically to the height of the great
task, or would he sink into the paralysis of will which so long
followed the battle of Stone's River? Dana's dispatches were studied
for the light they threw on this question more than for all the
other interesting details they contained. For the first three or
four days, they teemed with impressions of the battle itself and the
cause of the disaster to the right wing. Then came the assurance
that Chattanooga was safe and could withstand a regular siege. Next,
in logical order as in time, was the attempt to look into the future
and to estimate the commander by the way he grappled with the
difficulties of the situation. On the 27th of September Dana
discussed at some length the army feeling toward the corps and
division commanders who had been involved in the rout, and the
embarrassment of Rosecrans in dealing with the subject. "The defects
of his character," he wrote, "complicate the difficulty. He abounds
in friendliness and approbativeness, and is greatly lacking in
firmness and steadiness of will. He is a temporizing man, dreads so
heavy an alternative as is now presented." [Footnote: Official
Records, vol. xxx. pt. i p. 202.] On the 12th of October he returned
to the subject of Rosecrans's characteristics, mentioning his
refusal to listen to the urgent reasons why he should hold Lookout
Mountain to protect his supply line. "Rosecrans," he said, "who is
sometimes as obstinate and inaccessible to reason as at others he is
irresolute, vacillating, and inconclusive, rejected all their
arguments, and the mountain was given up." [Footnote: Official
Records, vol. xxx. pt. i. p. 215.] Picturing the starvation of the
horses and mules and the danger of it for the soldiers, he added:
"In the midst of this the commanding general devotes that part of
the time which is not employed in pleasant gossip, to the
composition of a long report to prove that the government is to
blame for his failure. It is my duty to declare that while few
persons exhibit more estimable social qualities, I have never seen a
public man possessing talent with less administrative power, less
clearness and steadiness in difficulty, and greater practical
incapacity than General Rosecrans. He has inventive fertility and
knowledge, but he has no strength of will and no concentration of
purpose. His mind scatters. There is no system in the use of his
busy days and restless nights, no courage against individuals in his
composition, and with great love of command he is a feeble
commander." [Footnote: _Ibid_.]

It needs no proof that such a report would have great influence at
Washington, and if it at all harmonized with the drift of
impressions caused by the inaction and the wrangling of the summer,
it would be decisive. It was with it in his pocket that Mr. Stanton
had cross-questioned Garfield, and drew out answers which, as he
said, corroborated it. The same correspondence had set forth the
universal faith in Thomas's imperturbable steadiness and courage,
and the admiring faith in him which had possessed the whole army.
The natural and the almost necessary outcome of it all was that
Thomas should be placed in command of the Department and Army of the
Cumberland, and Grant in supreme control of the active operations in
the whole valley of the Mississippi. As to Rosecrans's removal,
Grant did not bring it about, he only acquiesced in it; willingly,
no doubt, but without initiative or suggestion on his part.
[Footnote: Grant's Personal Memoirs, vol. ii. p. 18.]

It may be well here to say a word upon the subsequent relations of
Garfield and Rosecrans. In the next winter a joint resolution was
offered in Congress thanking General Thomas and the officers and men
under his command for their conduct in the battle of Chickamauga.
The established etiquette in such matters is to name the general
commanding the army, whose services are recognized, and not his
subordinates; these are included in the phrase, "officers and men
under his command." To omit Rosecrans's name and to substitute
Thomas's was equivalent to a public condemnation of the former.
Garfield had been promoted to be major-general for his conduct in
the battle, and it was popularly understood that this meant his
special act in volunteering to make his way to Thomas after
Rosecrans and the staff were swept along the Dry Valley road in the
rout. The promotion was recognized as a censure by implication on
his chief. As Garfield was now chairman of the committee of the
House of Representatives on military affairs, he was placed in a
peculiarly embarrassing position. His sincere liking for Rosecrans
made him wish to spare him the humiliation involved in the passage
of such a resolution, and his generosity was the more stimulated by
the knowledge that his own promotion had been used to emphasize the
shortcoming of his friend. He could not argue that on the
battlefield itself there had been no faults committed; but he was
very earnest in insisting that the general strategy of the campaign
had been admirable, and the result in securing Chattanooga as a
fortified base for future operations had been glorious. He therefore
moved to amend the resolution by inserting Rosecrans's name and
modifying the rest so as to make it apply to the campaign and its
results. He supported this in an eloquent speech which dwelt upon
the admirable parts of Rosecrans's generalship and skilfully avoided
the question of personal conduct on the field. He carried the House
with him, but a joint resolution must pass the Senate also, and it
never came to a vote in that body.

When in 1880 Garfield was elected President, and in the midst of a
heated campaign had to run the gantlet of personal attacks
infinitely worse than the picket fire under which he had galloped
across the Kelley farm, a letter was produced which he had written
to Mr. Chase, Secretary of the Treasury, in June, 1863, when he was
urging Rosecrans to terminate the inglorious delays at Murfreesboro
by marching on Tullahoma. In his letter to Mr. Chase he had
expressed in warmest terms his personal affection for Rosecrans, but
had also condemned the summer's delays as unnecessary and contrary
to military principles. In the violence of partisan discussion the
letter was seized upon as evidence of a breach of faith toward his
chief, who was now acting with the political party opposed to
Garfield's election. The letter was a personal one, written in
private friendship to Mr. Chase, with whom Garfield had kept up an
occasional correspondence since the beginning of the war. I had done
the like, for Mr. Chase had admitted us both to his intimacy when he
was Governor of Ohio. It cannot for a moment be maintained that
military subordination is inconsistent with temperate and respectful
criticism (for such this was) of a superior, in private
communications to a friend. But it was argued that the relation of
chief of staff involved another kind of confidence. It
unquestionably involved the duty of observing and maintaining
perfectly every confidence actually reposed in him. But the public
acts of the chief were anything but confidential. They were in the
face of all the world, and these only were the subject of his
private and friendly criticism. That criticism he had, moreover,
expressed to Rosecrans himself as distinctly as he wrote it to Mr.
Chase, and had declared it publicly in the written consultation or
council of war to which the corps and division commanders were
called. [Footnote: _Ante_, vol. i. p. 483.]

But Garfield was also at that time a member of Congress, having
duties to the President, the Cabinet, and his colleagues and fellow
members growing out of that relation. Rosecrans not only knew this,
but was supposed by many to have invited Garfield to take the staff
appointment partly by reason of this. Under all the circumstances,
therefore, the ground of complaint becomes shadowy and disappears.
Rosecrans, however, was made to think he had suffered a wrong. He
forgot the generosity with which Garfield had saved him from
humiliation in the session of 1863-64, and said bitter things which
put an end to the friendly relations which had till then been

To return to Chattanooga in October, 1863: one thing remained to be
done before a new campaign could begin. A better mode of supplying
the army must be found. Thomas had answered Grant's injunction to
hold Chattanooga at all hazards by saying, "I will hold the town
till we starve." The memorable words have been interpreted as a
dauntless assurance of stubborn defence; but they more truly meant
that the actual peril was not from the enemy, but from hunger.
Rosecrans had begun to feel the necessity of opening a new route to
Bridgeport before he was relieved, and on the very day he laid down
the command, he had directed Brigadier-General W. F. Smith, sent to
him to be chief engineer of his army since the battle, to examine
the river banks in the vicinity of Williams Island, six or seven
miles below the town by the river, and to report upon the
feasibility of laying a pontoon bridge there which could be
protected. The expectation had been that Hooker would concentrate
his two corps at Bridgeport, make his own crossing of the Tennessee,
and push forward to the hills commanding Lookout Valley. By
intrenching himself strongly in the vicinity of Wauhatchie, he would
confine the Confederates to Lookout Mountain on the west, and cover
the roads along the river so as to make them safe for supply trains.
The only interruption in the connected communications would then be
around the base of Lookout itself, where the road could not be used,
of course, so long as Bragg should be able to hold the mountain. If,
however, a bridge could be laid somewhere in rear of such a
fortified position, the road on the north bank of the river could be
used, for this road ran across the neck of Moccasin Point, out of
range of a cannonade from the mountain, and after a short haul of a
mile or two, the wagon trains could recross the river by the bridge
at the town.

Hooker had showed no eagerness to take the laboring oar in this
business, and excused his delay in concentrating at Bridgeport by
the lack of wagons. General Smith's reconnoissance satisfied him
that Brown's Ferry, a little above the island, would admirably serve
the purpose. A roadway to the river on each side already existed. On
the south side was a gorge and a brook, which sheltered the landing
there, and would cover and hide troops moving toward the top of the
ridge commanding Lookout Valley. Smith reported his discovery to
Thomas and suggested that pontoons be built in Chattanooga, and used
to convey a force by night to the ferry, where they might be met by
Hooker coming from below. Thomas approved the plan, and as soon as
Grant arrived, he inspected the ground in company with Thomas and
Smith, and ordered it to be executed. The boats were completed by
the end of a week, and on the night of the 26th of October the
expedition started under the command of General Smith in person.
Brigadier-Generals Hazen and Turchin and Colonel T. R. Stanley of
the Eighteenth Ohio [Footnote: Colonel Stanley had been one of my
associates in the Ohio Senate in the winter of 1860-61. On the
origin and development of the plan and its complete execution, see
Reports of General Smith and others, Official Records, vol. xxxi.
pt. i. pp. 77-137.] were assigned to command the three detachments
of troops and boats assigned to the duty, and reported to Smith.
Covered by the darkness and in absolute silence, they were to float
down the stream which flowed around Moccasin Point in a great curve
under the base of Lookout, on which batteries commanded long reaches
of the river both above and below. Reaching the ferry on the enemy's
side, they would land and carry the picket posts with a rush, Hazen
to move to the left and seize the ridge facing the mountain, and
Turchin to do the like toward the right, facing down stream. Colonel
Stanley's detachment had the charge of the boats, which were fitted
with row-locks and oars, and these were to do the ferrying when the
proper place was reached. Each boat contained a corporal and four
men as a crew, and twenty-five armed soldiers. They were fifty in
number, besides two flatboats to be used as a ferry to cross the
artillery. The whole force consisted of 5000 men and three batteries
of artillery. The boats carried about a third of the whole, and the
principal columns marched by the road on the north bank to the
places assigned and were concealed in the forest. The plan worked
beautifully. Starting at three o'clock in the morning of the 27th,
the darkness of the night and a slight fog hid the boats from the
Confederate pickets. The oars were only used to keep the boats in
proper position in the current, and great care was taken to move
silently. Colonel Stanley took the lead with General Hazen in one of
the flatboats, having a good guide. The landing on the south bank
was found, and the troops landed and drove off the enemy's picket,
which was taken completely by surprise. The boats were swiftly
pulled to the north bank, where the troops which marched by the road
were already in position. The ferrying was hurried with a will, and
before the Confederates had time to bring any considerable force to
oppose, strong positions were taken covering the ferry, these were
covered by an abatis of slashed forest trees and intrenched. The
surprise had been complete, and the success had been perfect.

Hooker crossed the river on the bridge at Bridgeport, and on the
morning of the 28th marched by way of Running Waters and Whitesides
to Wauhatchie. Geary's division reached Wauhatchie about five in the
afternoon, and about midnight was fiercely attacked by Jenkins'
division of Longstreet's corps. The combat continued for some time,
the enemy having some advantage at first as they attacked Geary's
left flank in a direction from which he did not expect them. Other
troops were urged forward to Geary's assistance, but the enemy
retired as they approached the scene of action and only his division
was seriously engaged. He reported a list of 216 casualties, whilst
the Confederates admitted a loss of about 400. [Footnote: Official
Records, vol. xxxi. pt. i. pp. 119, 233.] Hooker's position was made
strongly defensible, so that Bragg did not again venture to disturb
it, and the easy lines of supply for Chattanooga were opened. The
subsistence problem was solved.



Departments not changed by Grant--Sherman assigned to that of the
Tennessee--Burnside's situation and supplies--His
communications--Building a railroad--Threatened from Virginia--His
plans--Bragg sends Longstreet into East Tennessee--Their
cross-purposes--Correspondence of Grant and Burnside--Dana and
Wilson sent to consult--Grant approves Burnside's course--Latter
slowly retires on Knoxville--The place prepared for a siege--Combat
at Campbell's station--Within the lines at Knoxville--Topography of
the place--Defences--Assignment of positions-The forts--General
Sanders killed--His self-sacrifice--Longstreet's lines of
investment--His assault of Fort Sanders--The combat--The
repulse--The victory at Missionary Ridge and results--Division of
Confederate forces a mistake--Grant sends Sherman to raise the siege
of Knoxville--East Tennessee a "horror"--Longstreet retreats toward
Virginia--Sherman rejoins Grant--Granger's unwillingness to
remain--General Foster sent to relieve Burnside--Criticism of this
act--Halleck's misunderstanding of the real situation--Grant's easy
comprehension of it--His conduct in enlarged responsibility--General
Hunter's inspection report.

One of the first questions which General Grant had to decide was
that of the continuance of the three separate departments of the
Ohio, the Cumberland, and the Tennessee. It was very undesirable to
concentrate the ordinary administrative work of these departments at
his own headquarters. It would overburden him with business routine
which need not go beyond a department commander. He needed to be
free to give his strength to the conduct of military affairs in the
field. It was also convenient to have the active army under a triple
division of principal parts. All these reasons led him to a prompt
determination to preserve the department organizations if the War
Department would consent. The very day of his arrival at Chattanooga
(October 23) he recommended Sherman for the Department of the
Tennessee and the continuance of the others. His wish was approved
at Washington, and acted upon, so that from this time to the end of
the war the organization in the West remained what he now made it.

Before reaching Chattanooga, Grant had telegraphed to Burnside and
had received from him a detailed statement of the numbers and
positions of his troops. [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xxxi. pt.
i. pp. 680, 681.] Burnside also laid before him the dearth of
supplies and short stock of ammunition, with the great need of
clothing. Unless the railroad to Chattanooga could be fully
reopened, he suggested making a depot at McMinnville, where was the
end of one of the branches of the railway, from which the road to
Knoxville would be considerably shorter than from Kentucky. He also
informed Grant that he had taken steps to repair the wagon road from
Clinton in East Tennessee to the mouth of South Fork of the
Cumberland, the head of steamboat navigation when the stream should
be swollen by the winter rains. [Footnote: _Id_., pt. iii. pp. 33,
34.] The problem of supplies for him was as difficult as for the
Cumberland army, and was not so soon solved. It grew more serious
still when the siege of Knoxville interrupted for a month all
communication with a base in Kentucky, in middle Tennessee, or at

In reply to an inquiry from General Grant, Burnside, on the 22d,
[Footnote: _Id_., pt. i. p. 702.] gave his opinion as to the
relative importance of points in East Tennessee, pointing out that
unless communication with Kentucky were to be wholly abandoned, the
valley must be held nearly or quite to the Virginia line; Knoxville
would be the central position, and Loudon would be the intermediate
one between him and Chattanooga. In a dispatch to the President of
the same date, Burnside said that his command had been on half
rations of everything but fresh beef ever since his arrival in the
valley. [Footnote: _Id_., p. 701.] He also explained that he was
improving the wagon road along the line of projected railroad down
the South Fork of the Cumberland, so that sections of it could be
laid with rails and the wagoning gradually shortened. He had been
able to make an arrangement with the railroad company in Kentucky to
assume the cost of the extension of the line from the northward, and
by using his military power to call out negro laborers and to
provide the engineering supervision, was making considerable
progress without any money appropriations from Congress for this
specific purpose. The quartermaster's department had taken issue
with the general as to his authority to do this; but the President
and Secretary of War sanctioned his acts and would not allow him to
be interfered with. [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xxx. pt iii,
p. 787.] The work stopped when he was relieved of command; but so
long as he was in power, his clear apprehension of the vital
necessity of a railway line to feed and clothe his army kept him
persistent and indomitable in his purpose. The withdrawal of the
enemy southward from Chattanooga, and the conversion of that place
into a great military depot in the spring superseded Burnside's
plan, but he had been right in concluding that East Tennessee could
not be held if the troops depended upon supply by wagon trains.

Grant had hardly reached Chattanooga when Halleck informed him that
it was pretty certain that Ewell's corps of 20,000 or 25,000 men had
gone from Lee's army toward East Tennessee by way of southwestern
Virginia. [Footnote: _Id_., vol. xxxi. pt. i. p. 712.] There thus
seemed to be strong confirmation of rumors which Burnside had before
reported. Before the end of the month there were also signs of a
concentration south of Loudon, and the question became a pressing
one, what line of action should be prescribed for Burnside if the
Confederates should thus attack him from both ends of the valley. He
did not credit the rumor as to Ewell's corps, but began to think
that a large detachment from Bragg's army would attack him from the
south. It is curious to find the report rife that Longstreet would
march against Burnside, even before Bragg had issued orders to that
effect. [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xxxi. pt. i. p. 718. Oct.
24.] Burnside himself proposed to take up the pontoon bridge at
Loudon, and move it to Knoxville, for both the Holston and the
Little Tennessee were now unfordable and would protect his flank
against small expeditions of the enemy. [Footnote: 2 _Id_., p. 756.]
His plan was to hold all the country he could and to concentrate at
Knoxville and stand a siege whenever the enemy should prove too
strong for him in the open field. Grant was not yet persuaded that
this was best, and wanted the line of the Hiwassee held for the
present, so that Burnside should draw nearer to Thomas rather than
increase the distance before the Cumberland army should be prepared
for active work in the field. [Footnote: _Id_., p. 770.]

Bragg's order to Longstreet to march against Burnside was issued on
the 4th of November. [Footnote: _Id_. pt. iii. p. 634.] Railway
transportation was provided for the first stages of the movement,
but it was not efficiently used. Longstreet had no confidence in the
result of the expedition, as his correspondence with Bragg very
plainly shows. Stevenson's division of Hardee's corps was at
Sweetwater, the end of the railway at that time, and about a day's
march from the crossing of the Holston at Loudon. Ten days had been
wasted in getting Longstreet's corps to Sweetwater, and Bragg and he
each charged the other with the responsibility for it. Longstreet
asserted that he had been given no control over the railway, and
Bragg insisted that the control was ample. Then the former had urged
that Stevenson's division should be attached to his command, saying
this was his understanding at the start. Bragg replied that he never
had any such intention and that Stevenson could not be spared.
Longstreet retorted that with his present force it would be
unreasonable to expect great results. [Footnote: Official Records,
vol. xxxi. pt. iii. pp. 635-637, 644, 670, 671, 680, 681, 687:
Longstreet's Report, _Id_., pt. i. pp. 455, etc.]

Meanwhile Sherman was hastening to Chattanooga, and the chances for
making the diversion against Burnside profitable to the Confederate
cause were rapidly diminishing. They soon vanished entirely, and
Grant's great opportunity came instead. Longstreet's corps consisted
of nine brigades of infantry in two strong divisions under
Major-General McLaws and Brigadier-General Jenkins, two battalions
of artillery aggregating nine batteries, and a cavalry corps of
three divisions and three batteries of artillery under Major-General
Wheeler. [Footnote: _Id_., pp. 451, 454.] Besides these troops a
force was collected in the upper Holston valley to operate from the
northeast in conjunction with Longstreet and under his command. At
its head was Major-General Ransom, and it consisted of three
brigades of infantry and three of cavalry, with six batteries of
artillery. The column with Longstreet numbered 14,000 infantry and
artillery, and about 6000 cavalry. It was strengthened when before
Knoxville by Buckner's division about 3300 strong. Ransom's forces
numbered 7500. [Footnote: These numbers are taken from the official
returns for October 31st, except Wheeler's cavalry, which was not
then reported and is estimated. Longstreet's corps is given in the
tables, Official Records, vol. xxxi. pt. ii. p. 656. Ransom's,
_Id_., pt. iii. p. 644.] On November 22d Bragg wrote to Longstreet
that nearly 11,000 reinforcements were moving to his assistance, but
of what these were made up (except Buckner's division) does not
clearly appear. [Footnote: _Id_., p. 736.]

The information Halleck collected at Washington indicated that
Longstreet's column was a strong one, possibly numbering 40,000, but
he urged that Burnside should not retreat. [Footnote: _Id_., p.
145.] The National forces in East Tennessee consisted, first, of the
troops under General Willcox at Cumberland Gap and the vicinity,
4400; the Ninth Corps, Brigadier-General Potter commanding, 6350;
and part of the Twenty-third Corps, 7800, with two bodies of cavalry
numbering 7400. [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xxxi. pt. i. p.
811.] Willcox's troops and part of the cavalry were ordered to hold
in check the Confederates under Ransom, one brigade of cavalry under
Colonel Byrd was posted at Kingston to keep up communication with
Chattanooga, and the rest was available to meet Longstreet, either
in the field or behind intrenchments at Knoxville, as Grant should

Longstreet's army was considerably overrated in the information
received from Washington, but not unnaturally. [Footnote: Halleck to
Grant, _Id_., pt. iii. p. 145.] It was assumed that he had with him
all three divisions of his corps, and it was not known that Walker's
division was detached. It had also been known that Stevenson's
division was at Sweetwater two or three weeks before Longstreet
assembled his forces there, and it seemed certain that it was the
advance-guard of his whole command. Indeed Longstreet himself
supposed so, and complained because it was not allowed to remain
with him. [Footnote: _Id_., p. 635.] Concluding, therefore, that
Burnside could not safely meet Longstreet in the field, Grant
proposed that he should hold the Confederates in check, retreating
slowly. He believed that in a week from the time Longstreet showed
himself at the Holston River, he could assume the aggressive against
Bragg so vigorously as to bring Longstreet back at speed and relieve
Burnside of the pressure. [Footnote: _Id_., p. 143; to Halleck, p.
154.] Bragg also expected this, and had ordered that the railway
connection should be maintained as far as possible, looking for a
crushing blow at Burnside and a quick reassembling of his forces.
The delays between the 4th and 14th of November had been fatal to
this plan, and it would have been the part of wisdom to abandon it

Neither the authorities at Washington nor Grant gave Burnside
credit, at first, for the cheerful courage with which he was ready
to take the losing side of the game, if need be, and thus give a
glorious opportunity to the co-operating army. His chivalrous
self-forgetfulness in such matters was perfect, when it was likely
to lead to the success of the larger cause he had at heart. To reach
a more perfect understanding than could be had by correspondence
Grant sent Colonel J. H. Wilson of his staff to Knoxville to consult
personally with Burnside. This officer was accompanied by Mr. Dana,
and their dispatches to Grant and to the Secretary of War give a
clear and vivid picture of the situation. [Footnote: Official
Records, vol. xxxi. pt. i. pp. 258, etc; pt. iii. pp. 146, 154.]
Burnside clearly saw the importance of making his stand at
Knoxville, and proposed to fortify that place so that he could stand
a siege there. [Footnote: Burnside to Willcox, _Id_., p. 177. B.'s
Report, _Id_., pt. i. p. 273.] He proposed to draw back slowly from
the Holston at Loudon, tolling Longstreet on and getting him beyond
supporting distance of Bragg. When Grant should have disposed of the
weakened enemy in his front, he could easily drive Longstreet out of
East Tennessee into Virginia. Grant approved without qualification
the course taken by Burnside. [Footnote: Grant to Burnside, _Id_.,
pt. iii. p. 177.] During the siege which followed, there was a good
deal of solicitude about Burnside, but it should be remembered in
justice to him that his own confidence never faltered and was fully
justified by the result.

Prior to the visit of Wilson and Dana he had sent his engineer,
Captain O. M. Poe, to Loudon to remove the pontoon bridge before the
occupation of the south bank of the Holston by the enemy should make
it impossible to save it. The bridge had been made of unusually
large and heavy boats, and it was a difficult task to haul them out
of the water and drag them half a mile to the railway. The south end
of the bridge was loosened and the whole swung with the current
against the right bank, where the dismantling and removal of the
boats was successfully accomplished under the eyes of a cavalry
force of the enemy which watched the performance from the opposite
bank. The bridge was carried to Knoxville and laid across the
Holston there. Its size and weight proved to be great points in its
favor for the special use there, and it was of inestimable value
during the partial investment of the town. [Footnote: Poe's Report,
Official Records, vol. xxxi. pt. i. p. 294. Century War Book, vol.

On the 13th of November Longstreet brought up his own pontoons and
laid a bridge near Loudon, and the next day began a vigorous advance
upon Knoxville. Burnside had matured his plans, and opposed the
advance of Longstreet with one division, Hartranft's of the Ninth
Corps, and another, White's of the Twenty-third Corps. He was weak
in cavalry, however, and could only meet Wheeler's corps with a
single division under Brigadier-General Sanders. Burnside had
secured Sanders's promotion from Mr. Stanton when the Secretary was
at Louisville in October, in recognition of the ability and
gallantry shown in the expedition to East Tennessee in June and his
other services during the campaign. By giving Shackelford charge of
the cavalry operating in the upper valley and putting Sanders in
command of those resisting Wheeler, Burnside was sure of vigor and
courage in the leadership of both divisions. Longstreet kept Wheeler
on the left bank of the Holston, directing him to overwhelm Sanders
and move directly opposite Knoxville, taking the city by a surprise
if possible. But Sanders opposed a stubborn resistance, falling back
deliberately, and held the hills south of Knoxville near the river.
Wheeler was thus baffled, and returned to Longstreet on the 17th of
November. The absence of his cavalry had been a mistake, as it
turned out; for the Confederate infantry, after crossing at Loudon
to the right bank, had not been able to push Burnside back as fast
as Bragg's plans required, nor had they succeeded at all in getting
in the rear of the National forces.

As soon as it was definitely known at Knoxville that Longstreet was
over the Holston, Burnside went to the front at Lenoir's to take
command in person. [Footnote: Burnside's Report, Official Records,
vol. xxxi. pt. i. p. 273.] He left General Parke as chief of staff
in general charge of affairs at headquarters, with Captain Poe in
charge of the engineer work of preparing lines of defence connecting
the forts already planned and partly constructed. Wilson and Dana
stayed in Knoxville till the 15th, and then rode rapidly to the
westward, passing around Longstreet's columns and rejoining Grant at
Chattanooga on the night of the 17th, with latest assurances from
Burnside that he would hold Knoxville stubbornly. Longstreet's
tactics were to move one of his infantry divisions directly at
Burnside's position, while with the other he turned its flank and
sought to get to the rear. Burnside met the plan by the analogous
one of alternate withdrawals of a division, one holding the enemy at
bay while the other took post in echelon in the rear and opposed the
flanking column till a concentration could be made.

At Campbell's Station Longstreet attacked with vigor, determined to
finish matters with the force before him. Ferrero's division of the
Ninth Corps had now joined. Hartranft repulsed an attack by McLaws,
whilst the trains and the division of Ferrero passed on, and Ferrero
took a strong position half a mile in rear covering the junction of
roads. White then retired and came into line on Ferrero's left. When
these were solidly in place Hartranft took an opportune moment to
withdraw and came into line on the left of White. The manoeuvres
were perfectly performed, and the fighting of our troops had been
everything that could be desired, meeting and matching Longstreet's
veterans in a way to establish the soldierly reputation of all. The
comparatively new organization of the Twenty-third Corps proved
itself equal to the best, and Burnside declared that he could desire
no better soldiers. The same tactics were continued through the day,
and Burnside followed the hard labor and the fighting of the day
with a night march which brought him to Knoxville on the morning of
the 17th. [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xxxi. pt. i. pp. 274,
275, 296.] He had personally handled his little army through the day
with coolness and success, and had raised to enthusiasm the
confidence and devotion of his men. Each side had a casualty list of
about 300.

Wheeler had marched back along the left bank of the Holston half-way
to Lenoir's and crossed at Louisville, joining Longstreet again near
Knoxville on the 17th, as has been already stated. He now took the
advance and pressed sharply in upon the town. General Sanders had
been recalled by Burnside from the south, and entering Knoxville by
the pontoon bridge, passed out to the westward on the Loudon road,
meeting the enemy as he advanced, and gradually falling back to a
position a mile beyond the lines, where he made a stubborn stand and
held Wheeler at bay till night closed the combat. From the fortified
points about the city the cavalry engagement had been in full view,
and the heroism of Sanders and his men was in the presence of a
cloud of witnesses. They made little barricades of rail piles, and
though these were frequently sent flying by the cannon balls and
shells with which Alexander's artillery pounded them all day, they
held at nightfall the line Sanders had been directed to hold in the
morning, and had not given back an inch. [Footnote: Colonel O. M.
Poe, in "Century War Book," vol. iii. p. 737.]

Knoxville was so situated that its outline was a sort of
parallelogram of high ground, averaging a hundred and fifty feet or
more above the river which ran along the town on the south. Two
creeks ran through the town in little valleys, and in the northern
suburbs where the land was much lower than the town it had been
practicable, by damming these streams to make inundations which
covered a considerable part of the northern front and added very
materially to the defences. At the four corners of the
parallelogram, enclosed works had been planned for use by a small
garrison, and these had been partly constructed. Captain Poe, the
chief engineer, had staked out infantry lines connecting these
forts, with epaulements for artillery at intervals, and work had
been hastened during the days from the 13th of November, as soon as
Burnside's plan of holding the city had been approved. When the
troops approached the city on the morning of the 17th, the position
for every brigade and every battery had been assigned, and officers
were in waiting to lead each to its place. All the infantry was put
in line except Reilly's brigade of the Twenty-third Corps, which was
placed in reserve in the streets of the town. [Footnote: Poe's
Report, Official Records, vol. xxxi. pt. i. p. 295.]

The most important of the forts was at the northwest angle of the
works, upon a commanding hill. It was afterward called Fort Sanders
in honor of the cavalry commander who lost his life in front of its
western face. This work was planned as approximately a square with
sides of about a hundred yards and bastions at the corners. The
eastern front had not been completed, and was now left entirely
open, as the northern face connected with the infantry trench. The
ditch was twelve feet wide and about eight deep, and the parapet was
about twelve feet high, making its crest about twenty feet above the
bottom of the ditch. The berme usually left between the bottom of
the parapet slope and the ditch was cut away so as to leave no level
standing-place at the top of the scarp. This was the work which
Longstreet afterward assaulted. Its chief defect was due to the
situation and the contour of the ground around, which made its
position so prominent a salient in the lines that the flanking fire
was necessarily imperfect, leaving a considerable sector without
fire beyond the angle of the northwest bastion. The point of the
bastion was truncated, and a single gun put in the _pan coupé_. The
three other forts were less elaborate but of similar profile.

As soon as the infantry took position, the men were set
industriously to work to strengthen the defences. The first infantry
trench between the forts had been a mere rifle-pit two and one half
feet deep with the earth heaped in front as it was thrown out, to
raise a parapet. Every hour made the line stronger, and work on it
was continued till nearly every part of it was a good cover against
artillery fire. The critical time was during the 18th of November,
when as yet there was practically no cover between the forts. The
cavalry was ordered to oppose the most determined resistance to the
establishment of close investing lines by the enemy, and Sanders set
his men a most inspiring example. He was a classmate of Captain Poe
at West Point, and on the night of the 17th he shared Poe's blanket.
Before dawn he went to the front, and passed from one to another of
the little barricades held by his dismounted troopers. The
Confederates increased the vigor of their attacks, and if any of our
men were driven back by the hot fire, Sanders would walk
deliberately up to the rail-pile and stand erect and exposed till
his men rallied to him. For hours he did this, and his life seemed
to be charmed, but about the middle of the afternoon he was mortally
wounded, and the screen he had so resolutely interposed between the
enemy and our infantry digging in the trenches was rolled aside.
[Footnote: Paper by General Poe in "Century War Book," vol. iii. p.
737.] The time thus gained had been precious, though it was bought
at so high a price. The lines were already safe against a _coup de
main_. [Footnote: Poe's Report, Official Records, vol. xxxi. pt. i.
p. 296.]

Longstreet's principal lines were north of Knoxville beyond the
railway and the station buildings. He also occupied a line of hills,
but pushed forward strong skirmish lines and detachments to cover
the making of intrenchments closer to the town. There were frequent
bickering combats, but no general engagement. The enemy made efforts
to destroy the pontoon bridge by sending down logs and rafts from
above. These were met by an iron cable boom stretched across the
river above the bridge, borne on wooden floats to keep it at the
surface. [Footnote: Century War Book, vol. iii. p. 739.] Several
efforts were made to drive Burnside's men from the hills covering
the town on the south side of the river, but they were defeated, and
communication was kept up with the valley of the French Broad River,
and supplies enough were brought in to make it certain that Burnside
could not be starved out, although the rations were reduced to the
smallest quantity and the fewest elements which would support life.

A week passed thus, Burnside being shut off from all communication
with the outer world. The 25th of November came with the almost
miraculous storming of Missionary Ridge by the army under Grant at
Chattanooga. Bragg retreated southward and Longstreet had no longer
a possibility of rejoining him. Yet Burnside knew nothing of it, and
did not dream of the more than complete justification his slow
defensive campaign was having, in the tout and demoralization of the
Confederate army in Georgia in Longstreet's absence. The latter was
now forced to attack the fortifications or to raise the siege of
Knoxville. He knew, at least by rumor, what Burnside was ignorant
of,--not only the defeat of Bragg, but that a force was already
moving from Grant's army to the relief of Knoxville. Bragg had also
sent to him a staff officer with exhortations to prompt action. For
a day or two Longstreet tried to attract Burnside's attention to the
south of the river and to other parts of the lines, and then on the
28th prepared a desperate assault upon the great salient of Fort

The artillery in the fort was under the command of Lieutenant Samuel
N. Benjamin, Second U. S. Artillery, whose battery of twenty-pounder
Parrotts had done good service at South Mountain and Antietam. The
infantry was of Ferrero's division of the Ninth Corps. There was a
slight abatis in front of the fort, and on the suggestion of Mr.
Hoxie, an officer of the railway, some old telegraph wire left at
the depot was used by Captain Poe to make an entanglement by
fastening it between small stumps of a grove which had been felled
along the slope northwest of the bastion at the salient.
Longstreet's plan of assault was to attack the northwest angle of
the fort with two columns of regiments, consisting of Wofford's and
Humphrey's brigades of McLaws's division. Anderson's brigade was to
attack the infantry trench a little east of the fort. Longstreet's
instructions were to make the assault at break of day on the 29th.
The columns were to move silently and swiftly without firing and
endeavor to carry the parapet by the bayonet. [Footnote:
Longstreet's Report, Official Records, vol. xxxi. pt. i. p. 461.]
The determined advance of the enemy's rifle pits by his skirmishers
in the night of the 28th gave warning of what was to be expected.
The morning of the 29th was damp and foggy, but the watchful pickets
detected the formation of the enemy's columns. About six o'clock the
Confederate batteries opened a heavy fire on the fort, which did not
reply, ammunition being too precious to be wasted. In about twenty
minutes the cannonade ceased and the columns moved to the assault.
The fire of our lines was concentrated upon them, and they lost
heavily; but they kept on, somewhat disordered by the entanglement
as well as by their losses, and came to the ditch. No doubt its
depth and the high face of the parapet surprised them, for they had
no scaling ladders. They jumped into the ditch and tried to scramble
up the slope of the earthwork. Some got to the top, only to be shot
down or captured. The guns flanking the ditch raked it with double
charges of canister. Shells were lighted and thrown as hand-grenades
into the practically helpless crowd below. Those who had not entered
the ditch soon wavered and fell back, at first sullenly and slowly,
then in despair running for life to cover. Those who remained and
could walk surrendered and were marched to the southwest angle of
the fort, where they were brought within the lines.

The remnants of the broken columns were rallied behind their outer
lines, but no effort was made to renew the assault. They had done
all that was possible for flesh and blood. The casualties in the
assault had been about 1000, whilst within the fortifications only
13 killed and wounded were reported. [Footnote: Official Records,
vol. xxxi. pt. i. pp. 277, 278, 344, 461, 487, 490, 519, 520.]
Buckner's division had joined Longstreet a day or two before the
assault, but took no active part in it. Their absence from
Missionary Ridge still further reduced Bragg's army, whilst it did
not give to Longstreet any practical benefit. The division of the
Confederate forces had thus proved to be a great military mistake.
Its only chance had been in a swift attack upon Burnside and a
prompt return, and this chance had vanished with the delays in the
railroad transportation of Longstreet's men to Sweetwater. Prudence
dictated that the expedition should be abandoned on the 13th of
November; but the fear of seeming vacillating, a weakness of
second-rate minds as great as vacillation itself, had made Bragg
order the column forward. Burnside's well-conducted retreat, on the
other hand, had lured Longstreet forward, and the patient endurance
of a siege had kept the enemy in front of Knoxville, and even led to
the further depletion of Bragg by the detachment of Buckner, giving
to Grant the very opportunity he desired. The good fortune of the
National commander culminated at Missionary Ridge. Soldiers believe
in good luck quite as much as in genius, and follow a leader whose
star is in the ascendant with a confidence which is the guaranty of
victory. Great opportunities, however, come to all. The difference
between a great soldier and an inferior one is that the great man
uses his opportunities to the full, and so fortune seems to be in
league with him. When Grant had driven Bragg back on Dalton, the
latter could realize what he had lost by his errors. It was now
impossible for Longstreet to rejoin him. It was even doubtful if
Wheeler's cavalry could do so. The whole National army was between
the widely separated Confederate wings, and nothing was left to
Longstreet but a humiliating march back to Lee by way of the upper
Holston and the headwaters of the James River. Pride delayed it, and
the depth of winter favored the delay; but it was a foregone
conclusion from the hour that Wood's and Sheridan's divisions
crowned Missionary Ridge.

For two weeks there had been no communication between Burnside and
the outer world. Lincoln had been full of anxiety, but had found
some comfort in the reports from Cumberland Gap that cannonading was
still heard in the direction of Knoxville. It proved that Burnside
held out, and gave additional earnestness to the President's
exhortation to hurry a column to his relief immediately after
Grant's victory. Grant needed no urging. A report had reached him
that Burnside still was confident on the 23d, and had supplies for
ten or twelve days on the scale of short rations he was issuing. On
the very evening of his success he wrote to Sherman, "The next thing
now will be to relieve Burnside." He directed Thomas to detach
Granger's Corps, and this with part of the Army of the Tennessee
would make a column of 20,000 men to march at once for Knoxville
under Granger's command. Three days passed, and Grant, being
dissatisfied that the relieving column was not already far on its
way, directed Sherman on the 29th to take command in person and push
it energetically toward Burnside. [Footnote: Official Records, vol.
xxxi. pt. ii. pp. 45, 49; Sherman's Memoirs, vol. i. pp. 366, 368.]
Sherman immediately went forward, and on the 1st of December he was
over the Hiwassee River, approaching Loudon. He telegraphed Grant
that he would let Burnside hear his guns on the 3d or 4th at
farthest; but he added what throws much light on the feeling of
military men in regard to campaigning in East Tennessee. In his
frank and familiar style he said, "Recollect that East Tennessee is
my horror. That any military man should send a force into East
Tennessee puzzles me. Burnside is there and must be relieved; but
when relieved, I want to get out and he should come out too."
[Footnote: Official Records, vol. xxxi. pt. iii. p. 297.] From a
strictly military point of view this was sound; but Burnside had
been sent there more from political than from military reasons, and
it was now too late to think of letting the loyal mountaineers
return under Confederate rule.

Meanwhile at Knoxville Burnside was closely watching the evidences
of Longstreet's purposes and eagerly listening for news from
Chattanooga. On the 1st of December wagon trains began to move
eastward from the besiegers' camp, and on the 3d and 4th more of
them, so that it became probable that Longstreet was about to raise
the siege. In the night of the 3d Captain Audenried, Sherman's
aide-de-camp, came into Knoxville from the south, having made a long
circuit with a small body of cavalry, from Sherman's camp, which on
the night of the 2d was forty miles from the city by the direct
road. Colonel Long, commanding Sherman's cavalry, had selected part
of his best mounted men for the expedition, and Audenried had
accompanied him. The good news of Sherman's approach was thus made
certain, and it was evident that Longstreet's information was
earlier than Burnside's. The Confederate camps were evacuated on the
night of the 4th, and on the 5th Burnside, sending a detachment to
follow up Longstreet's retreat toward the east, sent one of his
staff with an escort in the other direction to meet Sherman. The
messenger from Burnside met the head of the relieving column at
Marysville, a day's march for infantry. Sherman halted his little
army, and wrote Burnside that he felt disposed to stop, "for a stern
chase is a long one," since Longstreet had retreated. He rode in to
Knoxville the next day and consulted with Burnside. He was evidently
dubious of any advantage from a pursuit of Longstreet, and
Burnside's disposition was to avoid urging any comrade to undertake
an unpleasant task for his sake. He therefore cordially assisted
Sherman in solving his doubts in favor of taking back all his troops
except Granger's Fourth Corps, and wrote a letter of warm thanks for
the prompt march to his relief, adding his opinion that the Fourth
Corps would make him strong enough to meet Longstreet, and that it
was advisable for Sherman to rejoin Grant with the rest. [Footnote:
Official Records, vol. xxxi. pt. ii. p. 36.] This was accordingly
done, and Sherman was free to give his attention to a winter
campaign toward the Gulf, from which he hoped important results.

Granger did not relish the prospect of a protracted absence from the
Army of the Cumberland, and protested in vigorous and long
dispatches to Thomas, to Grant, to Burnside, to Sherman, and later
to Foster, [Footnote: _Id_., pt. iii. pp. 358, 365, 391-393;
Sherman's Memoirs, vol. i. p. 368.] but with no effect, except that
Grant was displeased with his original reluctance to march to
Burnside's relief as well as with these protests. The result showed
itself in the spring, when Granger was relieved from the command of
the corps, which was conferred upon Howard.

The raising of the siege brought Burnside into communication with
Cumberland Gap, and he learned that Major-General John G. Foster was
at Tazewell, under orders to relieve him of the command of the
department. This was in apparent accord with the wish which Burnside
had expressed, [Footnote: _Ante_, vol. i. pp. 527, 528.] but as
action had been postponed it was reasonable to expect that further
consultation would be had before he should be relieved, and that
Grant's judgment would be asked in regard to it. After the
controversies which followed the battle of Fredericksburg, Halleck
was habitually unfriendly to Burnside, and we have seen how
uniformly a wrong interpretation was given to the events of the
current campaign. Foster's appointment to succeed Burnside was dated
the 16th of November, [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xxxi. pt.
iii. p. 166.] and he had been in Kentucky or near Cumberland Gap
during the siege of Knoxville. The day the order was made relieving
Burnside was that on which he was battling with Longstreet at
Campbell's Station, holding him at bay in the slow retreat upon
Knoxville, where he arrived on the 17th. On this morning Grant was
writing him, "So far you are doing exactly what appears to me
right," [Footnote: _Id_., p. 177.] and this was written after the
receipt of Dana and Wilson's full dispatches of the 13th and 14th,
as well as Burnside's of the 13th. [Footnote: _Id_., p. 138.] Yet so
strangely was the same information misread by Halleck, that on the
16th he was telegraphing Grant that Burnside was hesitating whether
to fight or retreat out of East Tennessee. "I fear he will not
fight," he added, "although strongly urged to do so. Unless you can
give him immediate assistance, he will surrender his position to the
enemy." [Footnote: _Id_., p. 163. This dispatch of Halleck seems to
have been called out by one of Dana to Stanton on the 14th in which
he said, "Burnside has determined to retreat toward the Gaps."
(Official Records, vol. xxxi. pt. i. p. 259.) Halleck failed to
interpret this in connection with one of the 13th in which Dana had
stated alternate lines of retreat, "if finally compelled," and
Burnside's judgment in favor of the line of Cumberland Gap in such
last resort rather than toward Kingston. (_Ibid_.) Dana had fully
conveyed, however, Burnside's determination to hold Knoxville "as
long as possible," and his reasons for making a stubborn fight
there. By failing to keep this in mind, the Secretary and
General-in-Chief became unnecessarily agitated, and forgot in their
conduct what was due to Grant almost as much as what was due to
Burnside.] On the next day Burnside entered Knoxville, where
fortifications had been hurriedly built, and the siege began. The
heroic defence of Knoxville lasted three weeks, and when Longstreet
withdrew toward Virginia, the successful general learned that he had
been removed from command at the very moment he was completing, with
Grant's unqualified approval, the preparation for that stubborn
resistance which saved East Tennessee and averted the "terrible
misfortune" which Halleck feared. [Footnote: _Id_., pt. iii. p.
145.] The importance of holding East Tennessee, now that it had been
liberated, was urged upon the War Department by Burnside from the
beginning. He had pointed it out when ordered to abandon it and
march to Rosecrans's assistance. [Footnote: _Id_., vol. xxx. pt.
iii. p. 904.] So far from hesitating to fight Longstreet, Dana found
him determined to "expose his whole force to capture rather than
withdraw from the country." [Footnote: _Id_., vol. xxxi. pt. i. p.
260.] It was not till Mr. Dana's later dispatches were received that
the misapprehensions were corrected at Washington. Then the story of
the occupation and defence of East Tennessee was explained, and
justice was done the wisdom of the general's course as well as his
patriotic and unselfish spirit. A part of the trouble had been due
to the fact that after Grant reached Nashville Burnside's
correspondence was with him, and, in accord with military usage, he
dropped direct correspondence with Washington, except when addressed
from there.

It was too late, however, to undo what had been done. Foster was in
Kentucky, carrying forward into East Tennessee such detachments as
could be picked up. He reached Knoxville on the 10th of December,
and the next day Burnside turned over the command to him, and
started for Cincinnati by way of Jacksboro and Williamsburg.
[Footnote: Official Records, vol. xxxi. pt. iii. pp. 372, 384.] The
President was most hearty in his approval of Burnside's conduct when
once he understood it, and insisted that after a brief rest he
should again enter into active service. Congress passed strong
resolutions of thanks to him and to his troops, [Footnote: _Id_.,
pt. i. p. 281.] and it began to be understood that the campaign had
been a creditable one.

It was in such a command that Burnside appeared at his best. The
independence of his campaign gave full play to his active energy,
whilst the bodies of troops were not so large as to prevent his
personal leadership in their combats. In a great army he was at a
disadvantage from lack of true system in handling great and
complicated affairs when he was in chief command; and if his
position was a subordinate one he lacked the sort of responsibility
which called out his best qualities, and he was therefore liable to
become the formal intermediary for the transmission of orders. In
such cases, too, he was in danger of suffering from faults of
subordinates whom his kind heart had permitted to retain important
positions for which they were not fit. When acting immediately under
his eye, he could give them energy and courage which they would lack
when left to themselves. The sore spot in his experience in 1864 was
the failure to make full use of the explosion of the mine at
Petersburg, and the Court of Inquiry made it clear that the fault
lay with inefficient subordinates. One of the most prominent of
these was said to have stayed in a bomb-proof instead of leading his
command. But the same officer had done the same thing in Fort
Sanders at Knoxville, as had been officially reported by Captain
Benjamin, the Chief of Artillery; [Footnote: Official Records, vol.
xxxi. pt. i. p. 344.] and Benjamin was an officer of such military
and personal standing that a court-martial should certainly have
investigated the case. A mistaken leniency brought bitter fruit.

The campaign had been a new test for General Grant also, and it is
instructive to follow him in grasping the details of his enlarged
responsibility. When communication with Burnside became difficult
and infrequent, he gave orders to Willcox at Cumberland Gap and to
subordinates of Burnside in Kentucky and Ohio. He provided for
starting supplies to Knoxville by all practicable routes as soon as
the siege should be raised. He cut trenchantly through pretences
where he thought a lack of vigorous performance was covered up by
verbosity of reports. [Footnote: _Id_., pt. iii. p. 233.] He was
quietly but easily master, and showed no symptom of being
overweighted by his task or flurried by the excitements of a
critical juncture in affairs. He does not impress one as brilliant
in genius, but as eminently sound and sensible. His quality of
greatness was that he handled great affairs as he would little ones,
without betraying any consciousness that this was a great thing to
do. He reminds one of Wellington in the combination of lucid and
practical common-sense with aggressive bull-dog courage. Some
telling lines, developing his traits as he appeared to a critical
observer, are found in a dispatch of General David Hunter to the
Secretary of War, giving a report of his visit to Chattanooga where
he was sent to inspect the army. Hunter was one of the oldest of the
regular officers in service, knew thoroughly Grant's history and
early army reputation, and his words have peculiar significance.
Grant had received him with a sort of filial kindness, making him at
home in his quarters, and opening his mind and his purposes to him
with his characteristic modesty and simplicity of manner. Hunter
says: "I saw him almost every moment, except when sleeping, of the
three weeks I spent in Chattanooga.... He is a hard worker, writes
his own dispatches and orders, and does his own thinking. He is
modest, quiet, never swears, and seldom drinks, as he took only two
drinks during the three weeks I was with him. He listens quietly to
the opinions of others and then judges promptly for himself; and he
is very prompt to avail himself in the field of all the errors of
his enemy. He is certainly a good judge of men, and has called
around him valuable counsellors." He naively adds: "Prominent as
General Grant is before the country, these remarks of mine may
appear trite and uncalled for, but having been ordered to inspect
his command, I thought it not improper for me to add my testimony
with regard to the commander." [Footnote: Official Records, vol.
xxxi. pt. iii. p. 402.]



Administrative duties--Major McLean adjutant-general--His loyalty
questioned--Ordered away--Succeeded by Captain Anderson--Robert
Anderson's family--Vallandigham canvass--Bounty-jumping--Action of
U. S. Courts--of the local Probate Court--Efforts to provoke
collision--Interview with the sheriff--Letter to Governor
Tod--Shooting soldiers in Dayton--The October election--Great
majority against Vallandigham--The soldier vote--Wish for field
service--Kinglake's Crimean War--Its lessons--Confederate plots in
Canada--Attempt on military prison at Johnson's Island--Assembling
militia there--Fortifying Sandusky Bay--Inspection of the
prison--Condition and treatment of the prisoners.

In the sketch I have given of the campaign in East Tennessee, I have
reached the time when I joined the Twenty-third Corps in front of
Knoxville, and became part of the organization with which my
fortunes were to be united till the end of the war. It is necessary,
however, to go back and pick up the threads of personal experience
during this autumn of 1863.

The arrangement of the business of the department which I have
mentioned [Footnote: _Ante_, vol. i. p. 492.] gave me some work in
addition to that which properly belonged to the District of Ohio and
Michigan. I did not appear officially in it, but under Burnside's
instructions to his adjutant-general on leaving Cincinnati, the
questions arising in daily administration were submitted to me, and
on my advice current orders were issued in Burnside's name. This
kept me in close communication with the general personally as well
as officially, and made me aware of the progress of events more
perfectly than I could otherwise have been. The adjutant-general in
charge of the Cincinnati headquarters was Major N. H. McLean, an
experienced officer of the regular army, and most systematic and
able in his administrative duties. He was punctilious in his
performance of duty, and was especially averse to having his
military conduct seem in any way influenced by political motives.
Like many other officers of the army, he made his devotion to his
government as a soldier the basis of all his action, and disclaimed
any interest in politics. But in the summer of 1863 politics in Ohio
became too heated to allow any neutrality or even any hesitation in
open declarations of principle. Vallandigham was a candidate for
governor, although an exile under the judgment of the military
court. Local politicians were not always discreet, and some of them
demanded avowals of Major McLean, which he refused to make, not
because of any sympathy with Vallandigham's partisans, but because
he thought it unbecoming his military character to submit to
catechising. This was enough to condemn him in the eyes of those who
literally enforced the proverb that "he that is not for us is
against us," and they sent to the War Department a highly colored
statement of McLean's conduct, accusing him of disloyalty. Mr.
Stanton, in his characteristic way, condemned him first and tried
him afterward. The first we knew of it, an order came sending McLean
off to the Pacific coast,--to Oregon, I believe. General Burnside
protested, and warmly sustained the major as a loyal man and able
officer; but the mischief was done, and it was months before it
could be undone. Indeed it was years before the injury done him in
his professional career was fully recognized and a serious attempt
was made to recompense him.

When Major McLean was thus removed, the business of his office fell
into the hands of Captain William P. Anderson of the
adjutant-general's department, who issued the orders and conducted
the correspondence in General Burnside's name. The captain was a
nephew of General Robert Anderson, and though the general had no
sons himself, his near kinsmen gave striking evidence of the earnest
and militant patriotism of a loyal Kentucky stock closely allied to
a well-known Ohio family. The roster of the members of the family
who saw military service is an exceptional one. [Footnote: Colonel
Charles Anderson, brother of the general, was in Texas when the
Civil War began, but abandoned his interests there, and coming back
to Ohio was made colonel of the Ninety-third Ohio Infantry, which he
led in the battle of Stone's River, where he was wounded. He was in
1863 made the Union candidate for lieutenant-governor on the ticket
with John Brough, whom he succeeded as governor when Brough died in

Colonel Latham Anderson, son of Charles, graduated at West Point in
1859 and became a captain in the Fifth U. S. Infantry and colonel of
the Eighth California Volunteers. His war service was mostly in New
Mexico and on the frontier.

Larz Anderson, another brother of the general, was represented in
the War of the Rebellion by five sons who had honorable records: (1)
Nicholas Longworth Anderson was adjutant, lieutenant-colonel, and
colonel of the Sixth Ohio Infantry. He was severely wounded at
Stone's River and Chickamauga. He left the service at the close of
the war as brevet-major-general.

(2) William Pope Anderson enlisted as a private in the Sixth Ohio
Infantry, became sergeant-major and second lieutenant. He was then
appointed assistant-adjutant-general with rank of captain. He was
slightly wounded in the battle of Shiloh.

(3) Edward Lowell Anderson was first lieutenant and captain in the
Fifty-second Ohio Infantry. He was wounded at Jonesboro, but
continued in service to the end of the war.

(4) Frederick Pope Anderson was first lieutenant in the One Hundred
and Eighty-first Ohio Infantry.

(5) Larz Anderson, Jr., was a mere lad, but served without
commission as volunteer aide-de-camp on the staff of
Brigadier-General N. C. McLean.

William Marshall Anderson, of Chillicothe, Ohio, another brother of
the general, had two sons in the war service: (1) Thomas McArthur
Anderson was captain in the Fourteenth U.S. Infantry, and after the
war became its colonel, and later a general officer in the

Including the general himself, his brother Charles, and the nephews,
ten kinsmen supported the flag of the country in the field. Such a
family record is so remarkable as to be worthy of preservation.

To return to the affairs of our military administration of the
department and district, the situation was complicated by the fact
that Vallandigham had openly declared a purpose to return to Ohio

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