A Brief History of the United States
Barnes & Co.
Part 5 out of 8
Battle of Lundy's Lane, July 25,
Washington captured by the British, August 24,
Battle of Plattsburg and Lake Champlain, September 11,
Bombardment of Fort McHenry, September 13,
Hartford Convention, December 15,
Treaty of Peace, December 24,
1815. Battle of New Orleans, January 8,
War with Algiers,
1816. Indiana admitted to the Union, December 11,
1817. James Monroe inaugurated, March 4,
Mississippi admitted to the Union, December 10,
1818. Illinois admitted to the Union, December 3,
1819. Alabama admitted to the Union, December 14,
Florida purchased of Spain, February 22,
1820. Missouri Compromise passed, March 3,
Maine admitted to the Union, March 15,
1821. Missouri admitted to the Union, August 10,
1824. Visit of La Fayette, August 15,
1825. John Quincy Adams inaugurated, March 4,
1826. Adams and Jefferson died, July 4,
1829. Jackson inaugurated, March 4,
1832. Black Hawk War,
Nullification in South Carolina,
1835. Dade's massacre by the Seminoles, December 28,
1836. Arkansas admitted to the Union, June 15,
1837. Michigan admitted to the Union, January 26,
Martin Van Buren inaugurated, March 4,
Battle of Okechobee, Seminoles routed by Taylor, Dec. 25,
1837-8. The "Patriot War"--Canada,
1841. Wm. H. Harrison inaugurated, March 4,
President Harrison died, April 4,
John Tyler inaugurated, April 6,
1842. Dorr's Rebellion,
1845. Florida admitted to the Union, March 3,
James K. Polk inaugurated, March 4
Texas admitted to the Union, December 27,
1846. Battle of Palo Alto, May 8,
Battle of Resaca de la Palma, May 9,
Congress declared war against Mexico, May 11,
Monterey captured, September 24,
Iowa admitted to the Union, December 28,
1847. Battle of Buena Vista, February 23,
Vera Cruz captured, March 29,
Battle of Cerro Gordo, April 18,
Battle of Contreras, August 20,
Capture of Chapultepec, September 13,
Mexico surrendered, September 14,
1848. Treaty of peace with Mexico, February 2,
Gold discovered in California, February,
Wisconsin admitted to the Union, May 29,
1849. General Taylor inaugurated, March 5,
1850. General Taylor died, July 9,
Millard Fillmore inaugurated, July 16,
California admitted to the Union, September 9,
1853. Franklin Pierce inaugurated, March 4,
1854. Commodore Perry's treaty with Japan, March,
Kansas-Nebraska Bill passed, May,
1857. James Buchanan inaugurated, March 4,
1858. Minnesota admitted to the Union, May 11,
1859. Oregon admitted to the Union, February 14,
1860. South Carolina seceded from the Union, December 20,
1861. Steamer Star of the West fired upon, January 9,
Kansas admitted into the Union as a State, January 29,
Southern Confederacy formed at Montgomery, Feb. 4,
* * * * *
REFERENCES FOR READING.
_Lossing's Field Book of the War of_ 1812.--_Lewis and
Clarke's Journal_.--_Mackenzie's Life of Paul Jones_.
--_Parton's Life of Jackson; also of Aaron Burr_.--_Cooper's
History of the American Navy_.--_Irving's Astoria_.
--_Powell's Life of Taylor_.--_Fremont's Explorations_.
--_Benton's_ 30 _Years View of Public Affairs_.
--_Street and Reid's Osceola_ (_Poem_).--_Ripley's War
with Mexico_.--_Hull's Military and Civil Life_.
--_Parker's Historic Americans_.--_Lossing's Eminent
Americans_.--_McPherson's Political History of the United
States_.--_Tome's Battles of America by Sea and Land_.
--_Lowell's Bigelow Papers_.--_The Exiles of Florida, by
Giddings_.--_Jay's Mexican War and Dawson's American
Battle-fields_.--"_The Mississippi Scheme_" _in Mackay's
Popular Delusions_.--_Mrs. John Adams's Correspondence_.
--_Headley's Second War with England_.--_Whittier's Angel of
Buena Vista_ (_Poetry_).--_Randall's and Tucker's Lives
of Jefferson_.--_Griswold's Court of Washington_.
--_Clarke's Campaign of_ 1812.--_Ingersoll's Second War with
Great Britain_--_Wilson's Sketches of Illustrious
Soldiers_.--_Martin's Civil Government_ (_Constitution of
THE CIVIL WAR.
From 1861--Inauguration of Lincoln,
To 1865--Surrender of Lee's Army.
[Footnote: Abraham Lincoln was born in Kentucky, February 12, 1809;
died in Washington, April 15, 1865. His father was unable to read
or write, and his own education consisted of one-year's schooling.
When he was eight years old his father moved to Indiana, the family
floating down the Ohio on a raft. When nineteen years of age, the
future President hired out as a hand on a flat-boat at $10 per
month, and made a trip to New Orleans. On his return he accompanied
the family to Illinois, driving the cattle on the journey. Having
reached their destination he helped them to build a cabin, and to
split rails to enclose the farm. He was now in succession a
flat-boat hand, clerk, captain of a company of volunteers in the
Black Hawk War, country store-keeper, postmaster, and surveyor, yet
he managed to get a knowledge of law by borrowing books at an
office before it closed at night, returning them at its opening in
the morning. On being admitted to the bar, he rapidly rose to
distinction. At twenty-five he was sent to the Legislature, and was
thrice re-elected. Turning his attention to politics, he soon
became a leader. He was sent to Congress; he canvassed the State,
haranguing the people daily on great national questions; and, in
1858, he was candidate for Senator, a second time, against Stephen
A. Douglas. The two rivals stumped the State together. The debate,
unrivalled for its statesmanship, logic, and wit, won for Lincoln a
national reputation, but he lost the election in the Legislature,
his party being in the minority. After his accession to the
Presidency, his history, like Washington's, is identified with that
of his country. He was a tall, ungainly man, little versed in the
refinements of society, but gifted by nature with great common
sense, and everywhere known as "Honest Abe." Kind, earnest,
sympathetic, faithful, democratic, he was anxious only to serve his
country. His wan, fatigued face, and his bent form, told of the
cares he bore, and the grief he felt. His only relief was when,
tossing aside for a moment the heavy load of responsibility, his
face would light up with a humorsome smile, while he narrated some
incident whose irresistible wit and aptness to the subject at hand,
convulsed his hearers, and rendered "Lincoln's stories" household
words throughout the nation.]
(SIXTEENTH PRESIDENT: 1861-1865)
[Footnote: _Questions on the Geography of the Fifth Epoch_. --Locate
the following places noted as battle-fields. Names of places in italic
letters, as well as the Battles before Richmond, may be found on
pages--and--. Philippi. Big Bethel. Boonville (Booneville). Carthage.
Rich Mountain. Bull Run. Wilson's Creek. Hatteras Inlet. Lexington,
Mo. Ball's Bluff. Belmont. Port Royal. Mill Spring. Fort Henry.
Roanoke Island. Fort Donelson. Pea Ridge. New Berne (Newberne).
Winchester. Pittsburg Landing. Island No. 10. Fort Pulaski. Fort
Jackson. Fort Macon. Beaufort. Yorktown. Williamsburg. Corinth. _Fair
Oaks._ Mechanicsville. _Gaines's Mill_. _Malvern Hill_. Cedar
Mountain. South Mountain. Antietam. Fredericksburg. Holly Springs.
Murfreesboro. Galveston. Fort Sumter (see map, p--). Chancellorsville.
Vicksburg. Gettysburg. Port Hudson. Chickamauga. Chattanooga.
Knoxville. Fort de Russy. Sabine Cross Roads. Fort Pillow. Wilderness.
_Bermuda Hundred_. Spottsylvania Court House. Resaca. Dallas. _Cold
Harbor_. Lost Mountain. Petersburg. Atlanta. Mobile. Fort Gaines. Fort
Morgan. Cedar Creek. Fort McAlister (or McAllister). Nashville.
Savannah. Fort Fisher. Columbia. Goldsboro. Fort Steadman. Five Forks.
Appomattox Court House. (The battles above are named in chronological
INAUGURATION.--Rumor of a plan to assassinate Lincoln impelled him
to come to Washington in disguise. He was inaugurated March 4,
1861, surrounded by troops under the command of General Scott.
CONDITION OF THE COUNTRY--All was now uncertainty. The southern
officers in the army and navy of the United States were daily
resigning, and linking their fortunes with the Confederate cause.
There was still, however, a strong Union sentiment at the South.
Many prominent men in both sections hoped that war might be
averted. The Federal authorities feared to act, lest they should
precipitate civil strife. In striking contrast to this indecision
was the marked energy of the new Confederate government. It was
gathering troops, voting money and supplies, and rapidly preparing
for the issue.
CAPTURE OF FORT SUMTER (April 14).--Finding that supplies were to
be sent to Fort Sumter, General Peter G. T. Beauregard
(bo-re-gard), who had command of the Confederate troops at
Charleston, called upon Major Anderson to surrender. Upon his
refusal, fire was opened from all the Confederate forts and
[Footnote: The first gun of the war was fired at half-past four
o'clock Friday morning, April 12, 1861.]
This "strange contest between seventy men and seven thousand,"
lasted for thirty-four hours, no one being hurt on either side. The
barracks having been set on fire by the shells, the garrison worn
out, suffocated, and half-blinded, were forced to capitulate. They
were allowed to retire with the honors of war, saluting their flag
before hauling it down.
_The Effect_ of this event was electrical. It unified the
North and also the South. The war spirit swept over the country
like wild-fire. Party lines vanished. The Union men at the South
were borne into secession, while the republicans and democrats at
the North combined for the support of the government, Lincoln
issued a requisition for seventy-five thousand troops. It was
responded to by three hundred thousand volunteers, the American
flag, the symbol of Revolutionary glory and of national unity,
being unfurled throughout the North. The military enthusiasm at the
South was equally ardent. Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, and
Tennessee, which had before hesitated, joined the Confederacy.
Virginia troops seized the United States armory at Harper's Ferry,
and the Navy Yard at Norfolk.
[Footnote: Here were foundries, ship-yards, machine shops, two
thousand cannon, two hundred and fifty thousand pounds of
gunpowder, great quantities of shot and shell, and twelve ships of
war. The ships were scuttled or fired, but vast stores, which were
of inestimable value at the beginning of the war, fell into the
Richmond, Va., was made the Confederate capital. Troops from the
extreme South were rapidly pushed into Virginia, and threatened
Washington. A regiment of Massachusetts militia hurrying to the
defence of the national capital, was attacked in the streets of
Baltimore, and several men were killed. Thus the first blood shed
in the civil war was on April 19, the anniversary of Lexington and
[Footnote: A Union soldier who was shot in this affray, turned
about, saluted the flag, and exclaiming, "All hail the stars and
stripes!" fell lifeless.]
THE WAR IN VIRGINIA.
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS AND ALEXANDRIA
Were seized (May 24) by the national troops. This protected
Washington from any immediate danger of attack.
[Footnote: Alexandria is on the southern side of the Potomac, eight
miles below Washington. Arlington Heights are directly opposite the
[Footnote: Alexandria was occupied by Colonel Elmer E. Ellsworth
and his Zouaves. After the capture, seeing the Confederate flag
still flying from the roof of a hotel, he went up and took it down.
As he descended, he was shot at the foot of the stairs, by the
landlord, Jackson, who in turn fell at the hands of private
FORTRESS MONROE Was now garrisoned by a heavy force under General
B. F. Butler.
[Footnote: This is located at the entrance of the Chesapeake, and
is the most formidable fortification in the United States. It
covers over sixty acres of ground, and is nearly a mile in circuit.
Its walls are of granite, thirty-five feet high. Its garrison, at
this time, consisted of a small body of artillerists, under General
[Footnote: At Hampton, which had been occupied by the Confederates,
some negroes were captured who had been employed in building
fortifications. Butler declared them "contraband of war," and this
gave rise to the popular term, "Contrabands."]
An expedition made soon after against _Big Bethel_ was
singularly mismanaged. On the route the troops fired into each
other by mistake, and when they came to attack the Confederate
defences, they were repulsed with loss.
[Footnote: In this attack, Major Theodore Winthrop, who had
achieved some literary reputation, was killed; as was, also,
Lieutenant Greble, who gave great promise as an officer.]
WESTERN VIRGINIA adhered to the Union, and was ultimately formed
into a separate State. The Confederates, however, occupied it in
force. The Federals, under General George B. McClellan, afterward
commander of the Potomac army, defeated them at _Philippi, Rich
Mountain_, and _Carrick's Ford_, thus wresting the entire
State from their control. Shortly afterward, Governor Wise and
General Floyd (President Buchanan's Secretary of War) led a
Confederate force into that region; but Floyd was suddenly attacked
by General Rosecrans at _Carnifex Ferry_, and, Wise failing to
support him, was compelled to retreat. General Robert E. Lee,
McClellan's future antagonist on the Potomac, having been repulsed
at _Cheat Mountain_ (September 14), now came to the rescue.
Nothing decisive being effected, the Confederate government
recalled their forces. The only Union victories of this year were
achieved in this region (map opp. p.223).
BATTLE OF BULL RUN (July 21).--The Northern people, seeing so many
regiments pushed forward to Washington, were impatient for an
advance. The cry, "On to Richmond!" became too strong to be
resisted. General Irvin McDowell, in command of the Army of the
Potomac, moved to attack the main body of the Confederates, who
were strongly posted under Beauregard at Bull Run.
[Footnote: This is near Manassas Junction about twenty-seven miles
After a sharp conflict the Confederates were driven from the field.
They were rallied, however, by General T. J. Jackson and others, on
a plateau in the rear. While the Federal troops were struggling to
drive them from this new position, at the crisis of the battle,
seventeen hundred men, under Kirby Smith, rushing across the fields
from Manassas Station, struck the Union flank and poured in a cross
fire. The effect was irresistible. McDowell's men fled. As the
fugitives converged toward the bridge in the rear, a shell burst
among the teamsters' wagons, a caisson was overturned, and the
passage choked. The retreat now became a panic-stricken rout.
Traces were cut, cannon abandoned, mounted men went plunging
through the struggling mass, and soldiers threw away their guns and
ran streaming over the country, many never stopping till they were
safe across the Long Bridge at Washington.
[Footnote: General Bee, as he rallied his men shouted 'There's
Jackson standing like a stone wall' "From that time" says Draper
"the name he had received in a baptism of fire displaced that he
had received in a baptism of water and he was known as Stonewall
[Illustration: STONEWALL JACKSON AT BULL RUN]
[Footnote: These troops composed a part of General Johnston's
command at Winchester. General Patterson, with twenty thousand men,
had been left to watch him, and prevent his joining Beauregard.
Johnston was too shrewd for his antagonist, and, slipping out of
his hands, reached Bull Run in time to decide the battle.]
_The Effect_ of this defeat was momentous. At first the Northern
people were chagrined and disheartened. Then came a renewed
determination. They saw the real character of the war, and no longer
dreamed that the South could be subdued by a mere display of military
force. They were to fight a brave people--Americans--who were to be
conquered only by a desperate struggle. Congress voted $500,000,000
and five hundred thousand men. General McClellan, upon whom all eyes
were turned, on account of his brilliant campaign in Western Virginia,
was appointed to the command of the Army of the Potomac.
[Footnote: Soon after, General Scott, weighed down by age, retired
from active service, and General McClellan became General-in-Chief
of all the armies of the United States.]
BALL'S BLUFF (October 21).--About two thousand Federals, who had
crossed the Potomac at Ball's Bluff on a reconnoitering expedition,
were attacked by the Confederates, and forced down the slippery,
clayey bluff, fifty to one hundred and fifty feet high, to the
river below. The two old scows in which they came were soon sunk,
and, in trying to escape, many were drowned, some were shot, and
scarcely half their number reached the other bank Colonel Baker,
United States Senator from Oregon, was among the killed.
[Footnote: December 20, General E. O. C. Ord, having gone out on a
foraging excursion to _Dranesville_, in a severe skirmish
routed the Confederates. This little victory greatly encouraged the
people at the North, who had been disheartened by the disastrous
affair of Ball's Bluff.]
THE WAR IN MISSOURI.
This State was largely Union. The Convention had declined to pass
an ordinance of secession; yet there was a strong effort made by
Governor Jackson to preserve, at least, an armed neutrality.
Captain Lyon foiled this attempt. He broke up Camp Jackson, saved
the United States arsenal at St. Louis, and defeated Colonel
Marmaduke at _Booneville_ (June 17). General Sigel (se-gel),
however, having been defeated by the Confederates in an engagement
at _Carthage_ (July 5), Lyon, now General, found that he must
either fight the superior forces of Generals McCulloch and Price,
or else abandon that part of the State. He chose the former course.
At the head of about five thousand he attacked more than twice that
number at _Wilson's Creek_ (August 10). He fell, gallantly
leading a bayonet charge. His men were defeated. Colonel Mulligan
was forced to surrender Lexington after a brave defence. General
John C. Fremont now assumed charge, and drove Price as far south as
Springfield. Just as he was preparing for battle, he was replaced
by General Hunter, who took the Union army back to St. Louis.
Hunter was soon superseded by General Halleck, who crowded Price
south to Arkansas. Later in the fall, General Grant made an
unsuccessful attack upon a Confederate force which had crossed over
from Kentucky and taken post at _Belmont_ (map opp. p. 222).
[Footnote: The Confederates, in their final assault, fought behind
a movable breastwork, composed of hemp-bales, which they rolled
toward the fort as they advanced.]
[Footnote: Kentucky, like Missouri, had tried to remain neutral,
but was unsuccessful. Soon both Confederate and Union troops were
encamped on her soil, and the State was ravaged by hostile armies.
In all the border States affairs were in a most lamentable
condition. The people were divided in opinion, and enlisted in both
armies. As the tide of war surged to and fro, armed bands swept
through the country, plundering and murdering those who favored the
Early in the war, Davis issued a proclamation offering to
commission privateers. In reply, Lincoln declared a blockade of the
Southern ports. At that time there was but one efficient vessel on
the Northern coast, and only forty-two ships in the United States
navy; but at the close of the year there were two hundred and
[Footnote: The Savannah was the first privateer which got to sea,
but this vessel was captured after having taken only a single
prize. The Petrel, also from Charleston, bore down upon the United
States frigate St. Lawrence, which the captain mistook for a
merchant ship; his vessel was sunk by the first broadside of his
formidable antagonist. The Sumter, under Captain Semmes, captured
and burned a large number of Federal ships, but, at last, it was
blockaded in the Bay of Gibraltar by a Union gunboat, and, being
unable to escape, was sold.]
Two joint naval and military expeditions were made during the year.
The first captured the forts at _Hatteras Inlet_, N. C. The
second, under Commodore Dupont and General Thomas W. Sherman, took
the forts at _Port Royal Entrance_, S. C., and Tybee island,
at the mouth of the Savannah. Port Royal became the great depot for
the Union fleet.
[Footnote: During this engagement the ships described a circle
between the forts, each vessel delivering its fire as it slowly
sailed by, then passing on, and another taking its place. The line
of this circle was constantly changed to prevent the Confederates
from getting the range of the vessels.]
THE TRENT AFFAIR.--England and France had acknowledged the
Confederate States as _belligerents_, thus placing them on the
same footing with the United States. The Southern people having,
therefore, great hopes of foreign aid, appointed Messrs. Mason and
Slidell commissioners to those countries. Escaping through the
blockading squadron, they took passage at Havana on the British
steamer Trent. Captain Wilkes, of the United States steamer San
Jacinto, followed the Trent, took off the Confederate envoys, and
brought them back to the United States. This produced intense
excitement in England. The United States government, however,
promptly disavowed the act and returned the prisoners.
[Illustrations: ADVANCE UPON ATLANTA.
SHERMAN'S MARCH TO THE SEA.
CAMPAIGNS IN KENTUCKY, TENNESSEE, ETC.
CAMPAIGNS IN MISSOURI. RED RIVER EXPEDITION, ETC.]
GENERAL REVIEW OF THE FIRST YEAR OF THE WAR.--The Confederates had
captured the large arsenals at Harper's Ferry and Norfolk. They had
been successful in the two great battles of the year--Bull Run and
Wilson's Creek; also in the minor engagements at Big Bethel,
Carthage, Lexington, Belmont, and Ball's Bluff. The Federals had
saved Fort Pickens* and Fortress Monroe, and had captured the forts
at Hatteras Inlet and Port Royal. They had gained the victories of
Philippi, Rich Mountain, Booneville, Carrick's Ford, Cheat Mountain,
Carnifex Ferry, and Dranesville. They had saved to the Union Missouri,
Maryland, and West Virginia. Principally, however, they had thrown the
whole South into a state of siege--the armies on the north and west by
land, and the navy in the east by sea, maintaining a vigilant blockade.
[Footnote: This fort was situated near Pensacola. Lieutenant
Slemmer, seeing that an attack was about to be made upon him,
transferred his men from Fort McRae, an untenable position, to Fort
Pickens, an almost impregnable fortification, which he held until
THE SITUATION.--The national army now numbered 500,000; the
Confederate, about 350,000. During the first year there had been
random fighting; the war henceforth assumed a general plan. The
year's campaign on the part of the North had three main objects:
(1) the opening of the Mississippi; (2) the blockade of the
Southern ports; and (3) the capture of Richmond.
[Illustration: VIEW OF RICHMOND, VA.]
THE WAR IN THE WEST.
The Confederates here held a line of defence with strongly
fortified posts at Columbus, Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, Bowling
Green, Mill Spring, and Cumberland Gap. It was determined to pierce
this line near the centre, along the Tennessee River. This would
compel the evacuation of Columbus, which was deemed impregnable,
and open the way to Nashville (map opp p 222).
CAPTURE OF FORTS HENRY AND DONELSON.--Accordingly, General Giant
with his army, and Commodore Foote with his gunboats, moved from
Cairo (kay'-ro) upon Fort Henry.
[Footnote: As a part of the general movement, in January General
Thomas had advanced against _Mill Spring_ and on the 19th
driven out the Confederate force at that place, with the loss of
General Zolhcoffer (tsol'le ko-fer) a favorite Southern leader]
A bombardment (Feb. 6) from the gunboats reduced the place in about
an hour. The land troops were to cut off the retreat; but as they
did not arrive in time, the garrison escaped to Fort Donelson. The
fleet now went back to the Ohio, and ascended the Cumberland, while
Grant crossed to co-operate in an attack on Fort Donelson. The
fight lasted three days.
[Footnote: For four nights of inclement winter weather, amid snow
and sleet, with no tents, shelter, fire, and many with no blankets,
these hardy western troops maintained their position. The wounded
suffered intensely, and numbers of them froze to death as they lay
on the icy ground.]
The fleet was repulsed by the fire from the fort, and Commodore
Foote seriously wounded. Grant, having been reinforced till he had
nearly thirty thousand men, defeated the Confederates in an attempt
to cut their way out, and captured a part of their intrenchments.
As he was about to make the final assault, the fort was surrendered
(Feb. 16), with about fifteen thousand men.
[Footnote: When General Buckner, commander of the fort, wrote to
General Grant, offering capitulation, Grant replied that no terms
would be received except an "unconditional surrender," and that he
"proposed to move immediately upon their works." These expressions
have been much quoted, and U. S. Grant has been often said to
signify "Unconditional Surrender Grant."]
_Effect of these Victories_.--As was expected, Columbus and
Bowling Green were evacuated, while General Buell at once occupied
Nashville. The Confederates fell back to Corinth, the great
railroad centre for Mississippi and Tennessee, where their forces
were gradually collected under the command of Generals Albert
Sidney Johnston and Beauregard. The Union army ascended the
Tennessee to Pittsburg Landing. Grant was placed in command, and
General Buell ordered to reinforce him.
The next movement was to capture the Memphis and Charleston
railroad, thus cutting off Memphis and securing another section of
the Mississippi Eiver.
BATTLE OF SHILOH (April 6, 7).--The Confederates determined to rout
Grant's army before the arrival of Buell. On Sunday morning, at
daylight, moving out of the woods in line of battle, they suddenly
fell on the Union camps.
[Footnote: On the very heels of the pickets, who rushed in to give
the alarm, came the shells, and then, pouring at double-quick from
the woods, the regular lines of battle. Whether or not this attack
was a surprise, has been one of the mooted questions of the war. Le
Comte de Paris said, "The surprise was complete and unquestionable;
the Union commanders sought in vain to excuse themselves;" and it
was currently stated at the time that so unexpected was the attack
that many of the "men were bayoneted in their beds." On the other
hand, General Sherman asserts that his "troops were in line of
battle and ready" before the engagement began, and he personally
assures the writer that after the battle he offered in vain a
reward for the body of any person killed by a bayonet-wound.
General Grant, also, denies that the attack was a surprise to him,
and declares that so well satisfied was he with the result of the
first day's struggle, that at night he gave orders for a forward
movement early in the morning.]
On the one side were the Southern dash, daring, and vigor; on the
other, the Northern firmness and determination. The Federals slowly
yielded, but for twelve hours obstinately disputed every inch of
the way. At last, pushed to the very brink of the river, Grant
massed his artillery, and gathered about it the fragments of
regiments for the final stand. The Confederates, to meet them, had
to cross a deep ravine, where, struggling through the mud and
water, they melted away under the fire of cannon and musketry from
above, and the shells from the gunboats below. Pew reached the
slippery bank beyond. At the same time, Buell's advance came
shouting on the field. The tide of battle was stayed. The
Confederates fell back. They possessed, however, all the
substantial fruits of victory. They had taken the Union camps,
three thousand prisoners, thirty flags, and immense stores; but
they had lost their commander, General Albert Sidney Johnston, who
fell in the heat of the action (map opp. p. 222).
The next morning the tide turned. Buell's army had come, and fresh
troops were poured on the wearied Confederates. Beauregard,
obstinately resisting, was driven from the field. He retreated,
however, in good order, and, unmolested, returned to Corinth.
General Halleck now assumed command, and by slow stages followed
the Confederates. Beanregard, finding himself outnumbered,
evacuated Corinth, and Halleck took possession (May 30).
ISLAND NO. 10.--The Confederates, on retreating from Columbus, fell
back to Island No. 10. There they were bombarded by Commodore Foote
for three weeks, with little effect. General Pope, crossing the
Mississippi in the midst of a fearful rain-storm, took the batteries
on the opposite bank, and prepared to attack the fortifications in
the rear. The garrison, seven thousand strong, surrendered (April 7)
the very day of the conflict at Shiloh.
[Footnote: The islands in the Mississippi are numbered in order
from the mouth of the Ohio to New Orleans.]
[Footnote: Pope, with his army, was on the Missouri side of the
river. He could not cross, as the Confederate batteries were
planted on the opposite shore. A canal was therefore dug through
Donaldson's Point. It was twelve miles long and fifty feet wide.
Part of the distance was among heavy timber, where the trees had to
be cut off four feet below the surface of the water. Yet the work
was accomplished in nineteen days. Through this canal steamboats
and barges were safely transferred below the newly-made island,
while the two largest gunboats ran the batteries. Under their
protection Pope crossed the river.]
[Illustration: DONALDSON'S POINT, AND ISLAND NO 10.]
_The Effects_ of the desperate battle at Shiloh were now fully
apparent. The Union gunboats moved down the river and (May 10)
defeated the Confederate iron-clad fleet. On the evacuation of
Corinth, Fort Pillow was abandoned. The gunboats, proceeding,
destroyed the Confederate flotilla in front of Memphis, took
possession of that city, and secured the Memphis and Charleston
railroad. The great State of Kentucky and all Western Tennessee had
been wrenched from the Confederacy.
[Footnote: Besides the results here named, the concentration of
troops at Corinth had absorbed the troops from the South. Thus New
Orleans, as we shall see hereafter, fell an easy prey to Farragut.]
[Footnote: Gen. Halleck having been called to Washington as
General-in-Chief of the armies of the United States, General Grant
was appointed to the command of this army.]
The Union army now held a line running from Memphis, through
Corinth, nearly to Chattanooga, toward which point General Buell
was steadily pushing his troops. We shall next consider the efforts
made by the Confederates to break through this line of investment.
At this time they were concentrated under Bragg at Chattanooga,
Price at Iuka, and Van Dorn at Holly Springs.
BRAGG'S EXPEDITION.--The first movement was made by General Bragg,
who with rapid marches, hastened toward Louisville. General Buell
fell back to Nashville, where he found out his enemy's plan. Now
commenced a race between them of three hundred miles. Buell came
out one day ahead. He was heavily reinforced to the number of one
hundred thousand men. Bragg then fell back, Buell slowly following.
[Footnote: At Frankfort, Bragg was joined by the part of his army
under Kirby Smith, who had marched from Knoxville, routed a Union
force under General Manson at Richmond, Ky., inflicting a loss of
six thousand, and had then moved north as far as Cynthiana. There
he threatened to attack Cincinnati, but was repelled by the
extensive preparation made by General Lew Wallace]
At _Perryville_ (October 8), Bragg fiercely turned upon Buell,
and a desperate battle was fought. In the darkness, however, Bragg
retreated, and finally escaped, though his wagon train extended a
distance of forty miles. At this juncture (October 31), General
Buell was superseded by General Rosecrans.
BATTLES OF IUKA AND CORINTH (September 19, October 4).--Every one
of Grant's veterans who could possibly be spared had been sent
north to help Buell. Price and Van Dorn, taking advantage of the
opportunity, were manoeuvring to get possession of Corinth. Grant,
thinking that he could capture Price and then get back to Corinth
before Van Dorn could reach it from Holly Springs, ordered
Rosecrans to move upon Iuka. Through some mistake, Rosecrans failed
to occupy Price's line of retreat, and after a severe conflict
(Sept. 19), the latter escaped. Thereupon the two Confederate
generals joined their forces, and attacked Rosecrans in his
intrenchments at Corinth. The Confederates exhibited brilliant
courage, but were defeated, and pursued forty miles with heavy
[Footnote: The Texas and Missouri troops made a heroic charge upon
Fort Robinette. They advanced to within fifty yards of the
intrenchments, received a shower of grape and canister without
flinching, and were driven back only when the Ohio brigade poured a
full volley of musketry into their ranks. They were then rallied by
Colonel Rogers, of the Second Texas, who, at their head, led them
to a fresh charge up through the abattis, when, with the colors in
his hand, he sprang upon the embankment and cheered on his men. An
instant more and he fell, with five brave fellows who had dared to
leap to his side in this desperate assault. The Union troops
admiringly buried his remains, and neatly rounded off the little
mound where they laid the hero to rest.]
BATTLE OF MURFREESBORO (December 31, January 2).--Rosecrans, on
assuming command of Buell's army, concentrated his forces at
Nashville. Thence he marched to meet Bragg, who, with a heavy
column moving north on a second grand expedition, had already
reached Murfreesboro (map opp. p. 222). Both generals had formed
the same plan for the approaching contest.
[Footnote: This coincidence reminds one of the battle of Camden
(see p. 133). The plan was to mass the strength on the left, and
with that to fall upon and crush the enemy's right. The advantage
clearly lay with the army which struck first. Bragg secured the
initiative, and Rosecrans's only course was to give up all thought
of an attack and to save his right and centre from a rout.]
As the Union left was crossing Stone River to attack the
Confederate right, the strong Confederate left fell heavily on the
weak Union right. At first the onset was irresistible. But Gen.
Sheridan was there, and by his consummate valor held his ground
until Rosecrans could recall the left, replant his batteries, and
establish a new line. Upon this fresh front the Confederates
charged four times, but were driven back with very great loss. Two
days after, Bragg renewed the attack, but being unsuccessful,
retreated. This was one of the bloodiest contests of the war, the
loss being one-fourth of the number engaged.
_The Effect of this Battle_.--The attempt of the Confederates
to recover Kentucky was now abandoned. The way was open for another
Union advance on Chattanooga. Bragg's force was reduced from an
offensive to a defensive attitude.
FIRST VICKSBURG EXPEDITION.--While Rosecrans was repelling this
advance of Bragg, an expedition against Vicksburg had been planned
by Grant. He was to move along the Mississippi Central Railroad,
while Sherman was to descend the river from Memphis with the
gunboats under Porter. In the meantime, however, by a brilliant
cavalry dash, Van Dorn destroyed Grant's depot of supplies at Holly
Springs. This spoiled the whole plan. Sherman, ignorant of what had
happened, pushed on, landed up the Yazoo River, and made an attack
at Chickasaw Bayou (bi-yoo), north of Vicksburg. After suffering a
bloody repulse, and learning of Grant's misfortune, he fell back.
The capture of Arkansas Post (Jan. 11, 1863) by a combined army and
naval force, closed the campaign of 1862 on the Mississippi Eiver.
THE WAR IN MISSOURI.--In February, General Curtis pushed General
Price out of Missouri into Arkansas. The Confederates, by great
exertion, increased their army to twenty thousand--General Van Dorn
now taking command. General Curtis, in a desperate battle, totally
defeated him at _Pea Ridge_ (March 7, 8). During the rest of
the war no important battles were fought in this State.
[Footnote: Some four or five thousand Indians had joined the
Confederate army, and took part in this battle. They were difficult
to manage, says Pollard, in the deafening roar of the artillery,
which drowned their loudest war-whoops. They were amazed at the
sight of guns which ran around on wheels; annoyed by the falling of
the trees behind which they took shelter; and, in a word, their
main service was in consuming rations.]
[Footnote: The next year, Quantrell, a noted guerrilla, with three
hundred men, entered Lawrence, Kansas, plundered the bank, burned
houses, and murdered one hundred and forty persons. Before a
sufficient force could be gathered, he escaped.]
THE WAR ON THE SEA AND THE COAST.
CAPTURE OF NEW ORLEANS (April 25).--The effort to open the
Mississippi was not confined to the north. Early in the spring,
Captain Farragut, with a fleet of forty-four vessels, carrying
eight thousand troops under General Butler, attempted the capture
of New Orleans, which commands the mouth of the river. The
mortar-boats, anchored along the bank under the shelter of the
woods, threw thirteen-inch shells into Forts Jackson and St. Philip
for six days and nights, with little effect.
[Footnote: To conceal the vessels, they were dressed out with leafy
branches, which, except by close observation, rendered them
undistinguishable from the green woods. The direction had been
accurately calculated, so that the gunners did not need to see the
points towards which they were to aim. So severe was the
bombardment that "windows at the Balize, thirty miles distant, were
broken. Fish, stunned by the explosion, lay floating on the surface
of the water."]
Farragut then boldly resolved to carry the fleet past the defences
to New Orleans. A chain supported on hulks and stretched across the
river closed the channel. An opening broad enough to admit the
passage of the gunboats having been cut through this obstruction,
at three o'clock in the morning (April 24) they advanced, and
poured grape and canister into the forts at short range, receiving
in return heavy volleys from the forts and batteries on shore.
[Footnote: The vessels were made partly iron-clad by looping two
layers of chain cables over their sides, and their engines were
protected by bags of sand, coal, etc.]
After running a fearful gauntlet of shot, shell, and the flames of
fire-rafts, they next encountered the Confederate fleet of thirteen
armed steamers, including the steam-battery Louisiana and the
iron-plated ram Manassas. After a desperate struggle twelve of the
Confederate flotilla were destroyed. The fleet then steamed up to
New Orleans, which lay helpless under the Union guns. The forts
being now threatened in the rear by the army, soon surrendered.
Captain Farragut afterward ascended the river, took possession of
Baton Rouge and Natchez, and, running the batteries at Vicksburg,
joined the Union fleet above.
[Footnote: Steamers, ships, vast quantities of cotton, etc., were
burned by the order of the governor of Louisiana, and the military
commander of the Confederate States, to prevent their falling into
Federal hands. Pollard says: "No sooner had the Federal fleet
turned the point and come within sight of the city, than the work
of destruction commenced. Vast columns of smoke darkened the face
of heaven and obscured the noonday sun; for five miles along the
levee fierce flames darted through the lurid atmosphere. Great
ships and steamers wrapped in fire floated down the river,
threatening the Federal vessels with destruction. Fifteen thousand
bales of cotton, worth one million and a half of dollars, were
consumed. About a dozen large river steamboats, twelve or fifteen
ships, a great floating battery, several unfinished gunboats, the
immense ram Mississippi, and the docks on the other side of the
river, were all embraced in the fiery sacrifice."]
[Illustration: VIEW OF NEW ORLEANS.]
BURNSIDE'S EXPEDITION AGAINST ROANOKE ISLAND
Was an important step toward the enforcement of the blockade. The
Confederate forts were captured, and the ships destroyed.
Newbern--an excellent seaport--Elizabeth City, and, finally, Fort
Macon, at the entrance to Beaufort harbor, were taken. Thus all the
coast of North Carolina, with its intricate network of water
communication, fell into the Union hands.
[Footnote: Roanoke Island, the scene of Raleigh's colonization
scheme, was the key to the rear defences of Norfolk "It unlocked
two sounds, eight rivers, four canals, and two railroads" It
controlled largely the transmission of supplies to that region
afforded an excellent harbor and a convenient rendezvous for ships,
and exposed a country to attack]
FLORIDA AND GEORGIA EXPEDITIONS.--After its capture in the autumn
of 1861, Port Royal became the base of operations against Florida
and Georgia. Fernandina, Fort Clinch, Jacksonville, Darien, and St.
Augustine, were taken. Fort Pulaski, also, was reduced after a
severe bombardment, and thus the port of Savannah was closed. At
the end of the year every city of the Atlantic sea-coast, except
Savannah and Charleston, was held by the Federal armies.
THE MERRIMAC AND THE MONITOR.--About noon, March 8, the
long-looked-for iron-clad Merrimac, convoyed by a fleet of small
vessels, steamed into Hampton Roads. Steering directly for the
sloop-of-war Cumberland, whose terrific broadsides glanced
harmlessly "like so many peas" from the Merrimac's iron roof, she
struck her squarely with her iron beak, making a hole large enough
for a man to enter. The Cumberland, with all on board, went down.
[Footnote: As the Cumberland sank, the crew continued to work their
guns until the vessel plunged beneath the sea. Her flag was never
struck, but floated above the water from the mast-head after she
had gone down. ]
[Footnote: When the United States navy-yard at Norfolk was given
up, the steam-frigate Merrimac, the finest in the service, was
scuttled. The Confederates afterward raised this vessel, razed the
deck, and added an iron prow and a sloping roof made of railroad
iron. The ship thus prepared looked not unlike a great house sunk
in the water to the eaves. The Federals knew that the Merrimac was
fitting for battle, and her coming was eagerly expected. ]
Warned by the fate of the Cumberland, the captain of the frigate
Congress ran his vessel ashore, but the Merrimac, taking a position
astern, fired shells into the frigate till the helpless crew were
forced to surrender. At sunset, the Merrimac returned to Norfolk,
awaiting, the next day, an easy victory over the rest of the Union
fleet. All was delight and anticipation among the Confederates; all
was dismay and dismal foreboding among the Federals. That night the
Monitor arrived in harbor.
[Footnote: This "Yankee cheese-box," as it was nicknamed at the
time, was the invention of Captain Ericsson. It was a hull, with
the deck a few inches above the water, and in the centre a curious
round tower made to revolve slowly by steam power, thus turning in
any direction the two guns it contained The upper part of the hull,
which was exposed to the enemy's fire, projected several feet
beyond the lower part, and was made of thick white oak, covered
with iron plating six inches thick on the sides and two inches on
Though of but nine hundred tons burden, she prepared to meet her
adversary of five thousand. Early in the morning the Merrimac
appeared, moving toward the steam-frigate Minnesota. Suddenly, from
under her lee, the Monitor darted out, and hurled at the monster
two one hundred and sixty-eight pound balls. Startled by the
appearance of this unexpected and queer-looking antagonist, the
Merrimac poured in a broadside, such as the night before had
destroyed the Congress, but the balls rattled harmlessly off the
Monitor's turret, or broke and fell in pieces on the deck.
[Illustration: NAVAL DUEL BETWEEN THE MONITOR AND THE MERRIMAC]
Then began the battle of the iron ships. It was the first of the
kind in the world. Close against each other, iron rasping on iron,
they exchanged their heaviest volleys. Five times the Merrimac
tried to run down the Monitor, but her huge beak only grated over
the iron deck, while the Monitor glided out unharmed. Despairing of
doing anything with her doughty little antagonist, the Merrimac now
steamed back to Norfolk.
[Footnote: As the Merrimac drew off she hurled a last shot, which,
striking the Monitor's pilot-house, broke a bar of iron nine by
twelve inches, seriously injuring the eyes of the gallant
commander, Lieutenant Worden, who was at that moment looking out
through a narrow slit and directing the fire of his guns]
_The Effect_ of this contest can hardly be overestimated. Had
the Merrimac triumphed, aided by other iron vessels then preparing
by the Confederacy, she might have destroyed the rest of the Union
fleet in Hampton Roads, reduced Fortress Monroe, prevented the
Peninsular campaign (see below), steamed up the Potomac and
terrified the capital, sailed along the coast and broken up the
blockade, swept through the shipping at New York, opened the way
for foreign supplies, made an egress for cotton, and perhaps
secured the acknowledgment of the Confederacy by European nations.
On this battle hinged the fate of the war.
THE WAR IN THE EAST.
THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN.-Kichmond was here the objective point. It
having been decided to make the advance by way of the Peninsula,
the Army of the Potomac was carried in transports down the river
from Washington. Landing at Fortress Monroe about one hundred
thousand strong (April 4), they marched toward Yorktown.
[Footnote: Previous to this (March 10), McClellan made an advance
toward Manassas, where the Confederates had remained intrenched
since McDowell's defeat. The fortifications, which were evacuated
on his approach, were found to be quite insignificant, and to be
mounted partly with "Quaker guns," _i. e._, logs shaped and
painted to imitate artillery. This incident excited much ridicule
through the country.]
_Siege of Yorktown_.--At this place, General Magruder, with
only about five thousand men, by his masterly skill maintained so
bold a front along a line thirteen miles in length, that McClellan
was brought to a stop. Heavy guns were ordered from Washington, and
a regular siege was begun. As McClellan was ready to open fire,
Magruder, having delayed the Union army a month, quietly retired.
When the movement was discovered, a vigorous pursuit was commenced.
[Footnote: On the evacuation of Yorktown--the Confederate forces
being concentrated for the defence of Richmond-Norfolk was
abandoned, the Navy Yard burned, and the Merrimac, the pride of the
South, blown up. United States troops from Fortress Monroe took
possession of the city, and gunboats sailed up James River as far
as Fort Darling. Here a plunging fire from the bluff forbade
[Illustration: MAP OF THE PENINSULA]
_Battle of Williamsburg_ (May 5).--The Confederate rearguard,
now reinforced from Johnston's army at Richmond, stopped in the
forts at _Williamsburg_ to gain time for the baggage train and
a fierce battle at once ensued.
[Footnote: This was General Joseph E. Johnston, who so unexpectedly
brought his men to take part in the battle of Bull Run (p. 220). He
was wounded in the battle of Seven Pines, but appeared again in two
campaigns against Sherman (pp. 257, 272). General Albert Sidney
Johnston was killed in the battle of Shiloh (p. 226).]
General Hooker, "Fighting Joe," with his division, maintained the
contest for nine hours. Other troops at last arrived on the bloody
field, and, Williamsburg having been evacuated in the night, the
pursuit was continued to within seven miles of Richmond.
_Richmond Threatened_.--There was a great panic in that city,
and the Confederate Congress hastily adjourned. Everything looked
like an immediate attack, when McClellan discovered that a
Confederate force was at _Hanover Court House_. This
threatened his communications by rail with White House Landing, and
also with General McDowell, who, with thirty thousand men, was
marching from Fredericksburg to join him. General Fitz John Porter,
after a sharp skirmish, captured Hanover Court House. The army
looked now hourly for McDowell's aid in the approaching great
contest. "McClellan's last orders at night were that McDowell's
signals were to be watched for and without delay reported to him"
But General Johnston was too shrewd to permit this junction. He
accordingly ordered General Jackson to move up the Shenandoah
Valley and threaten Washington.
_Jackson in the Shenandoah._--Stonewall Jackson having been
reinforced by General Ewell's division of ten thousand men, hurried
down the valley after Banks at Strasburg. The Union troops fell
back, and by tremendous exertion--"marching thirty-five miles in a
single day"--succeeded in escaping across the Potomac. Great was
the consternation in Washington. The President took military
possession of all the railroads. The governors of the Northern
States were called upon to send militia for the defence of the
capital. Fremont at Franklin, Banks at Harper's Ferry, and McDowell
at Fredericksburg, were ordered to capture Jackson. It was high
time for this dashing leader to be alarmed. He rapidly retreated,
burning the bridges as he passed. Fremont brought him to bay at
_Cross Keys_ (June 8), but was hurled off. Shields struck at
him at _Port Republic_, the next day, but was driven back five
miles, while Jackson made good his escape from the Shenandoah
Valley, having burned the bridges behind him.
[Footnote: When the Federal forces took possession of the bridge
over the Shenandoah, Jackson and his staff were on the south side,
his army being on the north side. It is said that "he rode toward
the bridge, and rising in his stirrups, called sternly to the
Federal officer commanding the artillery placed to sweep it: 'Who
ordered you to post that gun there, sir? Bring it over here!'" The
bewildered officer bowed, limbered up his piece, and prepared to
move. Jackson and his staff seized the lucky moment and dashed
across the bridge before the gun could be brought to bear upon
_The Effect_ of this adroit movement was evident. With fifteen
thousand men, Jackson had occupied the attention of three
major-generals and sixty thousand men, prevented McDowell's
junction, alarmed Washington, and saved Richmond.
_Battle of Fair Oaks_ (May 31, June l).--While these stirring
events had been going on in the Shenandoah Valley, McClellan had
pushed his left wing across the Chickahominy. A terrible storm had
flooded the swamps, turned the roads to mud, and converted the
Chickahominy Creek into a broad river. Johnston seized the
opportunity to fall with tremendous force upon the exposed wing. At
first, the Confederates swept all before them, but General Sumner
throwing his men across the tottering bridges over the
Chickahominy, checked the column which was trying to seize the
bridges and thus separate the two portions of the army. General
Johnston was severely wounded. Night put an end to the contest. In
the morning, the Confederates renewed the attack, but the loss of
their general was fatal, and they were repulsed in great disorder.
_The Union Army Checked_.--General Lee, who now took command
of the Confederate army, was anxious to assume the offensive.
[Footnote: Robert Edward Lee was born in Stratford, Virginia, Jan.
19, 1807; died in Lexington, Oct. 12, 1870. His father, Henry Lee,
was the celebrated "Light-horse Harry" of Revolutionary fame.
Robert early evinced a love for a military life, and during his
West Point course became noted for his devotion to his studies. In
the Mexican war he was Scott's chief engineer, and was thrice
brevetted for his services. When Virginia seceded, he threw in his
fortunes with his native State, although Scott had already
intimated his intention of nominating him as his successor. Lee was
immediately appointed major-general of the Virginia forces, and was
soon after designated to fortify Richmond. The wonderful success he
achieved in the Seven-Days fight made "Uncle Robert," as he was
familiarly called, the most trusted of the Confederate leaders. For
three years he baffled every attempt to take Richmond, which fell
only with the government of which it was the capital, and the army
and general which were its defence. General Lee was handsome in
face and figure, a graceful rider, grave and silent in
deportment--just the bearing to captivate a soldier; while his deep
piety, truth, sincerity, and honesty won the hearts of all.]
General Stuart led off (June 12) with a bold cavalry raid, in which
he seized and burned supplies along the railroad leading to White
House, made the entire circuit of the Union army, and returned to
Richmond in safety. McClellan also meditated an advance, and Hooker
had pushed his pickets within sight of the Richmond steeples.
At this moment, there came news of the "same apparition which had
frightened Banks" in the Shenandoah. Stonewall Jackson had appeared
near Hanover Court House, and threatened the Union communications
with White House. There was no longer any thought of moving on
Richmond. Hooker was recalled. McClellan resolved to "change his
base" of supply from the York River to the James.
[Illustration: GENERAL ROBERT E. LEE.]
_The Seven-Days Battles_.--The very morning McClellan came to
this decision, and ere the flank movement had commenced, Lee,
massing his strength on his left, fell upon the Union right at
_Mechanicsville_ (June 26). Having repulsed this attack, at
dawn the troops retired to _Gaines's Mill_, where by the most
desperate exertions Porter held the bridges across the Chickahominy
until night, and then, burning them, withdrew to the south bank.
That night (June 28) Lee detected McClellan's movement, and
instantly started columns along the roads that intersected the line
of retreat. Magruder struck the Federal flank (June 29) at
_Savage's Station_. The Union troops maintained their position
till night, and then continued the movement. Longstreet and Hill
encountered the line of march as it was passing _Frazier's
Farm_ (June 30), but could not break it. During the darkness,
the Union troops, worn out by the constant marching or fighting and
the terrible heat and dust, collected at _Malvern_. On an
elevated plateau rising in the form of an amphitheatre, on whose
sloping sides were arranged tier upon tier of batteries, with
gunboats protecting the left, the broken fragments of the splendid
Army of the Potomac made their last stand (July 1). Here Lee
received so bloody a check that he pressed the pursuit no further.
The Union troops retired undisturbed to Harrison's Landing.
_The Effect_ of this campaign was a triumph for the
Confederates. The Union retreat had been conducted with skill, the
troops had shown great bravery and steadiness, the repulse at
Malvern was decided, and Lee had lost probably twenty thousand men;
yet the siege of Richmond had been raised, ten thousand prisoners
captured, immense stores taken or destroyed, and the Union army was
now cooped up on James Kiver, under the protection of the gunboats.
The discouragement at the North was as great as after the battle of
Bull Run. Lincoln called for a levy of three hundred thousand
CAMPAIGN AGAINST POPE.--Richmond being relieved from present peril,
Lee threatened to march his victorious army against Washington.
General Pope, who commanded the troops for the defence of that
city, was stationed at the Rapidan. General McClellan was directed
to transfer his army to Acquia Creek (see map), and put it under
the command of General Pope. Lee, now relieved from all fear for
Richmond, immediately massed his troops against Pope to crush him
before the Army of the Potomac could arrive.
[Footnote: In the meantime Jackson attacked Banks at _Cedar
Mountain_ (August 9) and defeated him after a bloody battle,
but, unable to maintain his position, fell back on Lee's advancing
army. Pope, seeing the fearful odds against which he was to
contend, took post behind the Rappahannock.]
Pope being held in check by the main army in front, General Jackson
was sent around Pope's right wing to flank him. Passing through
Thoroughfare Gap he reached the railroad at Bristoe's Station, in
the rear of Pope's army (August 26). General Pope, seeing an
opportunity while Lee's army was thus divided to cut it up in
detail, turned upon Jackson. But the Army of the Potomac not
promptly reinforcing him, his plans failed, and instead of "bagging
" Jackson's division, he was compelled, with only forty thousand
men, to fight the entire Confederate army on the old battlefield of
Bull Run. Exhausted, cut off from supplies, and overwhelmed by
numbers, the shattered remains of the Union forces were glad to
take refuge within the fortifications of Washington.
[Footnote: During the pursuit by Lee's forces, an engagement took
place at _Chantilly_ (September 1). It cost the Union army two
able officers--Generals Stevens and Kearney. The latter, especially,
was devotedly loved by his soldiers. On the battlefield, brandishing
his sword in his only hand, and taking the reins in his teeth, he had
often led them in the most desperate and irresistible charges.]
_The Effect_.--In this brief campaign the Union army lost thirty
thousand men and vast supplies, while the way to Washington
was opened to the Confederates. The Capital had not been in such
peril since the war began. Without, was a victorious army; within,
were broken battalions and no general.
INVASION OF MARYLAND.--Flushed with success, Lee now crossed the
Potomac and entered Maryland, hoping to secure volunteers and
incite an insurrection.
[Footnote: This was Sept. 5, the very day that Bragg entered
Kentucky on his great raid.]
McClellan, who had been restored to the command of the Army of the
Potomac, reorganized the shapeless mass and set out in pursuit. On
the way he found a copy of Lee's order of march. Learning from this
that Lee had divided his forces, and that but a portion remained in
his front, he hastened in pursuit.
[Footnote: Lee had sent Jackson with twenty-five thousand men
against _Harper's Ferry_. That redoubtable leader quickly
carried the heights which overlook the village, forced Colonel
Miles, with eleven thousand men, to surrender, and then hastened
back to take part in the approaching contest.]
Overtaking the Confederate rear at _South Mountain_, and
forcing the passes, the Union army poured into the valley beyond
(map opp. p. 223).
_Battle of Antietam_ (September 17).--Lee, perceiving his
mistake, fell back across Antietam (An-te'-tam) Creek and hurried
off couriers to hasten the return of his scattered corps.
Fortunately for him, McClellan delayed his attack a day, and in the
meantime Jackson had returned. At early dawn, Hooker fell upon the
Confederate left, while Burnside, as soon as affairs looked
favorable there, was to carry the bridge and attack their right.
The Union army was over eighty thousand strong, and the Confederate
but half that number. The Union advance was impetuous, but the
Confederate defence was no less obstinate. Hooker was wounded, and
his corps swept from the field. Both sides were reinforced.
Burnside advanced, but too late to relieve the pressure on the
Union right. Night ended this bloody fight. The morning found
neither commander ready to assail his opponent. That night, Lee
retired unmolested across the Potomac.
[Footnote: During this invasion the Confederate soldiers had
endured every privation; one-half were in rags, and thousands
barefooted had marked their path with crimson. Yet shoeless,
hatless, and ragged, they had marched and fought with a heroism
like that of the Revolutionary times. But they met their equals at
Antietam. Jackson's and Hooker's men fought until both sides were
nearly exterminated, and when the broken fragments fell back, the
windrows of dead showed where their ranks had stood.]
Six weeks after, the Union army crossed into Virginia.
_The Effect_ of this indecisive battle was that of a Union
victory. The North was saved from invasion, and Washington from any
danger of attack. Lincoln now determined to issue the Emancipation
Proclamation, declaring freedom to all the slaves in the seceded
[Footnote: Lincoln prepared the original draft in the July
preceding, when the Union forces were in the midst of reverses.
Carpenter repeats President Lincoln's words thus: "I put the draft
of the proclamation aside, waiting for a victory. Well, the next
news we had was of Pope's disaster at Bull Run. Things looked
darker than ever. Finally came the week of the battle of Antietam.
I determined to wait no longer. The news came, I think, on
Wednesday, that the advantage was on our side. I was then staying
at the Soldier's Home. Here I finished writing the second draft of
the proclamation; came up on Saturday; called the Cabinet together
to hear it, and it was published the following Monday. _I made a
solemn vow before God, that if General Lee was driven back from
Maryland I would crown the result by the declaration of freedom to
BATTLE OF FREDERICKSBURG.--General dissatisfaction being expressed
at the slowness with which McClellan pursued the retreating army,
General Burnside was appointed his successor. Crossing the
Rappahannock on pontoon bridges at Fredericksburg, he attempted
(December 13) to storm the works in the rear of the town. The
Confederates, intrenched behind a long stone wall, and on heights
crowned with artillery, easily repulsed the repeated assaults of
the Union troops. Night mercifully put an end to the fruitless
massacre. The Federal loss was over twelve thousand, nearly half of
whom fell before the fatal stone wall.
[Footnote: This solid stone wall, four feet high, completely
sheltered the troops, while they poured a murderous fire upon the
attacking party. In the assault, Meagher's Irish troops especially
distinguished themselves, leaving two-thirds of their number on the
field of their heroic action. The London Times's correspondent, who
watched the battle from the heights, speaking of their desperate
valor, says: "Never at Fontenoy, Albuera, nor at Waterloo, was more
undoubted courage displayed by the sons of Erin than during those
six frantic dashes which they directed against the almost
impregnable position of their foe. That any mortal man could have
carried the position, defended as it was, it seems idle for a
moment to believe. But the bodies which lie in dense masses within
forty-eight yards of the muzzles of Colonel Walton's guns are the
best evidence what manner of men they were who pressed on to death
with the dauntlessness of a race which has gained glory on a
thousand battle-fields, and never more richly deserved it than at
the foot of Marye's Heights, on the 18th day of December, 1862."]
The survivors drew back into the city, and the next night passed
quietly across the bridges to their old camping-ground.
GENERAL REVIEW OF THE SECOND YEAR OF THE WAR.--The Confederates had
gained the victories of Jackson in the Shenandoah; of Lee in the
Peninsular campaign and those against Pope; Bragg's great raid in
Kentucky; and the battles of Cedar Mountain, Chickasaw Bluff, and
The Federals had taken Forts Henry, Donelson, Pulaski, Macon,
Jackson, St. Philip, and Island No. 10; had opened the Mississippi
to Vicksburg, occupied New Orleans, Roanoke Island, Newberne,
Yorktown, Norfolk, and Memphis; had gained the battles of Pea
Ridge, Williamsburg, Fair Oaks, South Mountain, Antietam, Iuka,
Corinth, and Murfreesboro, and had checked the career of the
Merrimac. The marked successes were mainly at the West and along
the coast; while in Virginia, as yet, defeats had followed
victories so soon as to hide their memory.
THE SIOUX WAR.
In the midst of this civil strife, the Sioux (soo) Indians became
dissatisfied with the Indian traders, and the nonpayment of the
money due them. Bands of warriors under Little Crow and other
chiefs perpetrated horrible massacres in Minnesota, Iowa, and
Dakota. Over seven hundred whites were slain, and many thousands
driven from their homes. Col. Sibley, after a month's pursuit of
the savages, routed them, and took five hundred prisoners.
Thirty-nine were hung on one scaffold, at Mankato, Minn.
THE SITUATION.--The plan of the war was the same as in the
preceding year, but included also the occupation of Tennessee. The
Federal army was about seven hundred thousand strong; the
Confederate, not more than half that number. The Emancipation
Proclamation was issued at the opening of the year.
THE WAR IN THE WEST.
THE SECOND EXPEDITION AGAINST VICKSBURG.--Grant continued his great
task of opening the Mississippi. After several weeks of fruitless
effort against Vicksburg upon the north, he marched down the west
side of the river, while the gunboats, running the batteries,
passed below the city and ferried the army across. Hastening
forward, he defeated the Confederate advance under Pemberton, at
_Port Gibson_ (May 1).
[Footnote: The running of the batteries with transports was
considered so hazardous that the officers would not order their
crews to take the risk, but called for volunteers. So many privates
offered, that they were compelled to draw lots. One boy, drawing a
lucky number, was offered $100 for his chance, but refused it, and
lived to tell the story. The gauntlet of batteries extended eight
miles. The first gunboat crept silently down in the shadow of the
trees which lined the bank. The Confederates at Vicksburg
discovering the movement, kindled a bonfire which lighted up the
whole scene, and made the other vessels a fair target for their
[Illustration: VICINITY OF VICKSBURG.]
Learning that Gen. Jos. E. Johnston was coming to Pemberton's
assistance, he rapidly pushed between them to Jackson, that, while
holding back Johnston with his right hand, with his left he might
drive Pemberton into Vicksburg, and thus capture his whole army.
Pursuing this design, he defeated Johnston at _Jackson_ (May
14), and then, turning to the west, drove Pemberton from his
position at _Champion Hills_ (May 16); next at _Big Black
River_ (May 17); and in seventeen days after crossing the
Mississippi, shut up Pemberton's army within the works at
Vicksburg. Two desperate assaults upon these having failed, the
Union troops began to throw up intrenchments. Mines and
countermines were now dug. Not one of the garrison could show his
head above the works without being picked off by the watchful
riflemen. A hat, held above a port-hole, in two minutes was pierced
with fifteen balls. Shells reached all parts of the city, and the
inhabitants burrowed in caves to escape the iron storm. The
garrison, worn out by forty-seven days of toil in the trenches,
surrendered on the 4th of July.
_The Effect_.--This campaign cost the Confederates five battles, the
cities of Vicksburg and Jackson, thirty-seven thousand prisoners, ten
thousand killed and wounded, and immense stores. On the fall of
Vicksburg, Port Hudson, which had been besieged by General Banks for
many weeks, surrendered.
[Footnote: To escape the fiery tempest which constantly swept over
Port Hudson, and to provide for the safety of their magazines, the
garrison dug deep recesses in the bluffs, approached by steps cut
out of the earth. An eye-witness says: "As we rode along the
earthworks inside, after the siege, it was curious to mark the
ingenious ways in which they had burrowed holes to shelter
themselves from shell and from the intolerable rays of the sun;
while at work, they must have looked like so many rabbits popping
in and out of their warrens."]
The Mississippi was now open to the Gulf, and the Confederacy cut
in twain. One great object of the North was accomplished.
THE WAR IN TENNESSEE AND GEORGIA.
Rosecrans, after the battle of Murfreesboro, made no formal
movement until June, With sixty thousand men, he then marched
against Bragg. By threatening his communications, he compelled
Bragg to evacuate Chattanooga (Sept. 8).
[Footnote: One objection which Rosecrans opposed to a forward
movement was his inferiority in cavalry. This was removed in July,
when General John H. Morgan, with about four thousand Confederate
cavalry, crossed the Ohio at Brandenburg, swept around Cincinnati,
and struck the river again near Parkersburg. During his entire
route, he was harassed by militia. At this point he was overtaken
by his pursuers, while gunboats in the river prevented his
crossing. Nearly the entire force was captured. Morgan escaped, but
was finally taken and confined in the penitentiary at Columbus.
Four months afterward, he broke jail and reached Richmond in
[Footnote: General Bragg had here an opportunity to be shut up in
Chattanooga, as Pemberton had been in Vicksburg; but, a more acute
strategist, he knew the value of an army in the field to be greater
than that of any fortified city.]
Rosecrans pushed on in pursuit of Bragg, whom he supposed to be in
full retreat. Bragg, however, having received powerful
reinforcements, turned upon his pursuers so suddenly that they
narrowly escaped being cut up in detail, while scattered along a
line forty miles in length. The Union forces rapidly concentrated,
and the two armies met on the Chickamauga.
[Footnote: In the Indian language, the "River of Death"--an ominous
BATTLE OF CHICKAMAUGA (Sept. 19, 20).--The first-day's fight was
indecisive. About noon of the second day, the Federal line became
broken from the movement of troops to help the left wing, then hard
pressed. Longstreet seized the opportunity, pushed a brigade into
the gap, and swept the Federal right and centre from the field. The
rushing crowd of fugitives bore Rosecrans himself away. In this
crisis of the battle all depended on the left, under Thomas. If
that yielded, the army would be utterly routed. All through the
long afternoon the entire Confederate army surged against it. But
Thomas held fast.
[Footnote: Thomas was thenceforth styled the "Rock of Chickamauga."
He was in command of men as brave as himself. Col. George, of the
Second Minnesota, being asked, "How long can you hold this pass?"
replied, "Until the regiment is mustered out of service."]
At night he deliberately withdrew to Chattanooga, picking up five
hundred prisoners on the way. The Union army, however, defeated in
the field, was now shut up in its intrenchments. Bragg occupied the
hills commanding the city, and cut off its communications. The
garrison was threatened with starvation.
[Footnote: "Starvation had so destroyed the animals that there were
not artillery horses enough to take a battery into action. The
number of mules that perished was graphically indicated by one of
the soldiers of the army of the Tennessee: 'The mud was so deep
that we could not travel by the road, but we got along pretty well
by stepping from mule to mule as they lay dead by the way.'"
[Illustration: VICINITY OF CHATTANOOGA.]
BATTLE OF CHATTANOOGA
[Footnote: In the Cherokee language, "The Hawk's Nest."]
(Nov. 24, 25).--Grant having been appointed successor to Rosecrans,
immediately hastened to Chattanooga. Affairs soon wore a different
look. Hooker came with two corps from the Army of the Potomac; and
Sherman hastened by forced marches from Iuka, two hundred miles
[Footnote: Thomas held command after Rosecrans left, and Grant was
afraid he might surrender before reinforcements could reach him,
and therefore telegraphed him to hold fast. The characteristic
reply was, "I will stay till I starve."]
[Footnote: Twenty-three thousand strong, they were carried by rail
from the Rapidan, in Virginia, to Stevenson, in Alabama, eleven
hundred and ninety-two miles, in seven days. The Confederates did
not know of the change of base until Hooker appeared in front.]
Communications were re-established. Thomas made a dash and seized
Orchard Knob (Nov. 23). The following day Hooker charged the
fortifications on Lookout Mountain, His troops had been ordered to
stop on the high ground, but, carried away by the ardor of the
attack, they swept over the crest, driving the enemy before them.
[Footnote: It was a beautiful day. The men had on their best
uniforms, and the bands discoursed the liveliest music. The hills
were crowded with spectators. The Confederates on Lookout Mountain
and Missionary Ridge could see every movement. Bragg's pickets
stood leaning on their muskets watching Thomas's columns drawn up
as if on parade. Suddenly the Union line broke into a double-quick,
and the review was turned into a battle.]
[Footnote: The first day the Confederate left rested on Lookout
Mountain, there two thousand four hundred feet high; the right,
along Missionary Ridge-so called because, many years ago, Catholic
missionaries had Indian schools upon it; and the centre, in the
valley between. The second day their army simply occupied
Missionary Ridge, in the centre of their former line, in front of
Grant at Orchard Knob.--On Lookout Mountain, Hooker met with so
feeble a resistance, that Grant is reported to have declared the
so-called "battle above the clouds" to be "all poetry, there having
been no action there worthy the name of battle."]
Through the mist that filled the valley, the anxious watchers below
caught only glimpses of this far-famed "battle above the clouds."
The next morning Hooker advanced on the south of Missionary Ridge.
Sherman during the whole time had been heavily pounding away on the
northern flank. Grant, from his position on Orchard Knob,
perceiving that the Confederate line in front of him was being
weakened to repel these attacks on the flanks, saw that the
critical moment had come, and launched Thomas's corps on its
[Footnote: The signals for the attack had been arranged: six
cannon-shots, fired at intervals of two seconds. The moment
arrived. "Strong and steady the order rang out: 'Number one, fire!
Number two, fire! Number three, fire!'" "It seemed to me," says
Taylor, "like the tolling of the clock of destiny. And when at
'Number six, fire!' the roar throbbed out with the flash, you
should have seen the dead line, that had been lying behind the
works all day, come to resurrection in the twinkling of an eye, and
leap like a blade from its scabbard."]
The orders were to take the rifle-pits at the foot of Missionary
Ridge, then halt and re-form; but the men forgot them all, carried
the works at the base, and then swept on up the ascent. Grant
caught the inspiration, and ordered a grand charge along the whole
front. Up they went, over rocks and chasms, all lines broken, the
flags far ahead, each surrounded by a group of the bravest. Without
firing a shot, and heedless of the tempest hurled upon them, they
surmounted the crest, captured the guns, and turned them on the
[Illustration: CHARGING UP MISSIONARY RIDGE.]
That night the Union camp-fires, glistening along the heights about
Chattanooga, proclaimed the success of this, the most brilliant of
Grant's achievements and the most picturesque of all the battles of
_The Effects_ of this campaign were the utter rout of Bragg's
army, the resignation of that general, and the possession of
Chattanooga by the Union forces. This post gave control of East
Tennessee, and opened the way to the heart of the Confederacy. It
became the doorway by which the Union army gained easy access to
Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama.
THE WAR IN EAST TENNESSEE.
While Rosecrans was moving on Chattanooga, Burnside, being relieved
of the command of the Army of the Potomac, was sent into East
Tennessee, where he met with great success. In the meantime the
Confederate President Davis visited Bragg, and thinking Chattanooga
was sure to be captured, sent Longstreet with his corps to the
defence of Tennessee. His men were in a deplorable state--hungry,
ragged, and tentless; but under this indefatigable leader, they
shut up Burnside's force in the works at Knoxville. Meanwhile,
Grant, in the moment of his splendid triumph at Chattanooga,
ordered Sherman's torn, bleeding, barefoot troops over terrible
roads one hundred miles to Burnside's relief. Longstreet, in order
to anticipate the arrival of these reinforcements, made a desperate
assault upon Burnside (November 29), but it was as heroically
repulsed. As Sherman's advance guard reached Knoxville (December
4), Longstreet's troops filed out of their works in retreat.
THE WAR IN THE EAST.
BATTLE OF CHANCELLORSVILLE (May 2, 3).--Burnside, after the defeat
at Fredericksburg, was succeeded by General Hooker (January 26).
The departure of Longstreet from his force, leaving Lee only sixty
thousand to oppose to the Potomac army of over one hundred
thousand, offered a favorable opportunity for an attack.
Accordingly, Sedgwick was left to carry the intrenchments at
Fredericksburg, while the main body crossed the Rappahannock some
miles above, and took position in the wilderness near
Chancellorsville (map 4, opp. p. 223). Lee, relying on the dense
woods to conceal his movements, risked the perilous chance of
dividing his army in the presence of a superior enemy. While he
kept up a show of fight in front, Jackson, by a detour of fifteen
miles, got to the rear with twenty thousand men, and, suddenly
bursting out of the dense woods, routed the Union right. That
night, Hooker took a new position; but by constant attacks through
the next day, Lee gradually forced the Union line from the field of
battle, and captured Chancellor House.
[Footnote: A pillar on the veranda of this house, against which
Hooker was leaning, being struck by a cannon-ball, that general was
stunned, and for an hour, in the heat of the fight, the Union army
was deprived of its commander.]
As he was preparing for a final grand charge, word was received
that Sedgwick had crossed the Rappahannock, taken Fredericksburg,
and had fallen on his rear. Drawing back, he turned against this
new antagonist, and by severe fighting that night and the following
day, compelled him to recross the river. Lee then went to seek
Hooker, but he was already gone. The Army of the Potomac was soon
back on its old camping ground opposite Fredericksburg.
[Footnote: In this battle the South was called to mourn the death
of Stonewall Jackson, whose magical name was worth to their cause
more than an army. In the evening after his successful onslaught
upon the flank of the Union line, while riding back to camp from a
reconnoissance at the front, he was fired upon by his own men, who
mistook his escort for federal cavalry.]
LEE'S SECOND INVASION OF THE NORTH.--Lee; encouraged by his
success, now determined to carry the war into the Northern States,
and dictate terms of peace in Philadelphia or New York.
[Footnote: The Union disasters which had happened since the
beginning of the year encouraged this hope. Galveston, Texas, had
been retaken by General Magruder, whereby not only valuable stores
had been acquired, but a sea-port had been opened, and the Union
cause in that State depressed. Burnside had been checked in his
victorious career in Tennessee (p. 250). The naval attack on
Charleston had proved a failure (p. 254). An attempt to capture
Fort McAlister had met with no success. Rosecrans had made no
progress against Bragg. Banks had not then taken Port Hudson.
Vicksburg still kept Grant at bay. The Army of the Potomac had been
checked at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, and at one time two
hundred soldiers per day were deserting its ranks. The term of
service of forty thousand men had expired, and the total Union
strength was now only eighty thousand. The cost of the war was
enormous, and a strong peace party had arisen at the North. The
draft was very unpopular. Indeed, during Lee's invasion, a riot
broke out in New York to resist it; houses were burned, negroes
were pursued in the streets, and, when captured, were beaten, and
even hung, for three days the city was a scene of outrage and
With the finest army the South had ever sent forth, the flower of
her troops, carefully equipped and confident of success, he rapidly
moved down the Shenandoah, crossed the Potomac, and advanced to
Chambersburg. The Union army followed along the east side of the
Blue Ridge and South Mountains. Lee, fearing that Meade, who now
commanded the Federals, would strike through some of the passes and
cut off his communications with Richmond, turned east to threaten
Baltimore, and thus draw off Meade for its defence.
[Illustration: VICINITY OF GETTYSBURG]
BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG (July l-3).--_First Day._--The Confederate
advance unexpectedly met the Union cavalry just westward from
Gettysburg, on the Chambersburg road.
[Footnote: Neither general had planned to have the fight at this
place; Lee had intended not to fight at all, except a defensive
battle, and Meade proposed to make the contest at Pipe Creek, about
fifteen miles southeast from Gettysburg. The movement of cavalry
which brought on this great battle, was only a screen to conceal
the Union army marching towards Meade's desired
Reinforcements came up on both sides, but the Federal troops were
finally forced back, and, becoming entangled in the streets of the
village, lost many prisoners. All that night the troops kept
arriving and taking their positions by moonlight, to be ready for
the contest which they saw was now close at hand.
[Footnote: The Union line was upon a fish-hook-shaped ridge about
six miles long, with Culp's Hill at the barb, Cemetery Ridge along
the side, and Little Round Top and Round Top, two eminences, at the
eye. The Confederate line was on Seminary Ridge, at a distance of
about a mile and a half. The Union troops lay behind rock ledges
and stone walls, while the Confederates were largely hidden in the
woods. In the valley between, were fields of grain and pastures
where cattle were feeding all unconscious of the gathering storm.]
_Second Day._--In the afternoon, Longstreet led the first
grand charge against the Union left, in order to secure Little
Round Top. General Sickles, by mistake, had here taken a position
in front of Meade's intended line of battle. The Confederates, far
out-flanking, swung around him, but as they reached the top of the
hill they met a brigade which Warren had sent just in time to
defeat this attempt. Sickles was, however, driven back to Cemetery
Ridge, where he stood firm. Ewell, in an attack on the Federal
right, succeeded in getting a position on Culp's Hill.
[Footnote: Lee, encouraged by these successes, resolved to continue
the fight. The Confederate victories, however, were only apparent.
Sickles had been forced into a better position than at first, and
the one which Meade had intended he should occupy; while Ewell was
driven out of the Union works early the next morning.]
_Third Day._--At one o'clock P. M., Lee suddenly opened on
Cemetery Ridge with one hundred and fifty guns. For two hours the
air was alive with shells.
[Footnote: It is customary in battle to demoralize the enemy before
a grand infantry charge, by concentrating upon the desired point a
tremendous artillery fire.]
Then the cannonade lulled, and out of the woods swept the
Confederate double battle-line, over a mile long, and preceded by a
cloud of skirmishers. A thrill of admiration ran along the Union
ranks, as, silently and with disciplined steadiness, that
magnificent column of eighteen thousand men moved up the slope of
Cemetery Ridge. A hundred guns tore great gaps in their front.
Infantry volleys smote their ranks. The line was broken, yet they
pushed forward. They planted their battle-flags on the breastworks.
They bayoneted the cannoneers at their guns. They fought, hand to
hand, so close that the exploding powder scorched their clothes.
Upon this struggling mass the Federals converged from every side.
No human endurance could stand the storm. Out of that terrible fire
whole companies rushed as prisoners into the Union lines, while the
rest fled panic-stricken from the field.
[Footnote: At the very moment when the last charge was being
repulsed, Pemberton was negotiating for the surrender of Vicksburg
to Grant. This was the turning point of the war. From that time the
Confederacy began to wane.]
The Federal loss in the three-days fight was twenty-three thousand;
the Confederate was not officially reported, but probably much
exceeded that number. Meade slowly followed Lee, who re-crossed the
Potomac, and took position back of the Rapidan.
_The Effect_ of this battle was to put an end to the idea of a
Northern invasion. Lee's veterans who went down in the awful
charges of Gettysburg could never be replaced.
THE WAR ON THE SEA AND THE COAST.
ATTACK ON CHARLESTON (April 7).--Such was the confidence felt in
the ability of the iron-clads to resist cannonballs, that Admiral
Dupont determined to run the fortifications at the entrance to
Charleston, and force his way up to the city. The attempt was a
[Footnote: The Keokuk was sunk and nearly all the vessels were
seriously injured. The officers declared that the strokes of the
shots against the iron sides of their ships were as rapid as the
ticks of a watch.]
General Gillmore now took charge of the Union troops, and, landing
on Morris Island, by regular siege approaches and a terrible
bombardment captured Fort Wagner and reduced Fort Sumter to a
shapeless mass of rubbish (map, p. 280). A short time after, a
party of sailors from the Union fleet essayed to capture it by
night, but its garrison, upstarting from the ruins, drove them back
with great loss.
[Footnote: In a marsh west of Morris Island, piles were driven in
the mud twenty feet deep, and a platform made on which was placed
an eight-inch rifled Parrot gun, which was nicknamed the "Swamp
Angel." It threw shells five miles into Charleston, but burst on
the thirty-sixth round. The bombardment of the city was afterward
continued from the other batteries.]
[Footnote: Two unsuccessful charges were made on this fort. In one,
the 54th regiment, Colonel Shaw, bore a prominent part. It was the
first colored regiment organized in the free States. In order to be
in season for the assault it had marched two days through heavy
sands and drenching storms. With only five minutes rest it took its
place at the front of the attacking column. The men fought with
unflinching gallantry, and planted their flag on the works; but
their colonel, and so many of the officers were shot, that what was
left of the regiment was led off by a boy--Lt. Higginson. No
measure of the war was more bitterly opposed than the project of
arming the slaves. It was denounced at the North, and the
Confederate Congress passed a law which threatened with death any
white officer captured while in command of negro troops, leaving
the men to be dealt with according to the laws of the State in
which they were taken. Yet, so willing were the negroes to enlist,
and so faithful did they prove themselves in service, that in
December, 1863, over fifty thousand had been enrolled, and before
the close of the war that number was quadrupled.]
GENERAL REVIEW OF THE THIRD YEAR OF THE WAR--The Confederates had
gained the great battles of Chickamauga and Chancellorsville,
seized Galveston, and successfully resisted every attack on
The Federals had gained the battles before Vicksburg, and at
Chattanooga and Gettysburg. They had captured the garrisons of
Vicksburg and Port Hudson. The Mississippi was patrolled by
gunboats, and the supplies from the West were entirely cut off from
the Confederate army. Arkansas, East Tennessee, and large portions
of Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, had been won for the Union.
THE SITUATION.--In March, General Grant was made Lieutenant-General
in command of all the forces of the United States. Heretofore the
different armies had acted independently. They were now to move in
concert, and thus prevent the Confederate forces from aiding each
other. The strength of the South lay in the armies of Lee in
Virginia, and Jos. E. Johnston in Georgia. Grant was to attack the
former, Sherman the latter, and both were to keep at work,
regardless of season or weather. While the army of the Potomac was
crossing the Rapidan (May 4), Grant, seated on a log by the
road-side, penciled a telegram to Sherman to start.
CROSSING THE RAPIDAN--GRANT'S TELEGRAM.]
THE WAR IN TENNESSEE AND GEORGIA.
ADVANCE UPON ATLANTA.--Sherman, with one hundred thousand men, now
moved upon Johnston, who, with nearly fifty thousand, was stationed
at Dalton, Ga. (map opp. p. 222). The Confederate commander,
foreseeing this advance, had selected a series of almost
impregnable positions, one behind the other, all the way to
Atlanta. For one hundred miles there was continued skirmishing
among mountains and woods, which presented every opportunity for
such a warfare. Both armies were led by profound strategists.
Sherman would drive Johnston into a stronghold, and then with
consummate skill outflank him, when Johnston with equal skill would
retreat to a new post and prepare to meet his opponent again.
[Footnote: When either party stopped for a day or two, it fortified
its front with an abattis of felled trees and a ditch with a
head-log placed on the embankment The head-log was a tree twelve or
fifteen inches in diameter resting on small cross-sticks, thus
leaving a space of four or five inches between the log and the
dirt, through which the guns could be pointed.]
[Illustration: AN IMPROMPTU FORTIFICATION.]
At _Dalton, Resaca, Dallas,_ and _Lost_ and _Kenesaw Mountains_ bloody
battles were fought. Finally, Johnston retired to the intrenchments of
Atlanta (July 10).
CAPTURE OF ALANTA.--Davis, dissatisfied with this Fabian policy,
now put Hood in command. He attacked the Union army three times
with tremendous energy, but was repulsed with great slaughter.
Sherman, thereupon re-enacting his favorite flank movement, filled
his wagons with fifteen-days rations, dexterously shifted his whole
army on Hood's line of supplies, and thus compelled the evacuation
of the city.
[Footnote: During this campaign, Sherman's supplies were brought up
by a single line of railroad from Nashville, a distance of three
hundred miles, and exposed throughout to the attacks of the enemy.
Yet so carefully was it garrisoned and so rapidly were bridges
built and breaks repaired, that the damages were often mended
before the news of the accident had reached camp. Sherman said that
the whistle of the locomotive was quite frequently heard on the
camp-ground before the echoes of the skirmish-fire had died away.]
_The Effect_.--This campaign during four months of fighting
and marching, day and night, in its ten pitched battles and scores
of lesser engagements, cost the Union army thirty thousand men, and
the Confederate, thirty-five thousand. Georgia was the workshop,
storehouse, granary and arsenal of the Confederacy. At Atlanta,
Rome, and the neighboring towns were manufactories, foundries, and
mills, where clothing, wagons, harnesses, powder, balls, and cannon
were furnished to all its armies. The South was henceforth cut off
from these supplies.
HOOD'S INVASION OF TENNESSEE.--Sherman now longed to sweep through
the Atlantic States. But this was impossible as long as Hood, with
an army of forty thousand, was in front, while the cavalry under
Forrest was raiding along his railroad communications toward
Chattanooga and Nashville. With unconcealed joy, therefore, Sherman
learned that Hood was to invade Tennessee.
[Footnote: Hood's expectation was that Sherman would follow him
into Tennessee, and thus Georgia be saved from invasion. Sherman
had no such idea. "If Hood will go there," said he, "I will give
him rations to go with." Now was presented the singular spectacle
of these two armies, which had been so lately engaged in deadly
combat, marching from each other as fast as they could go.]
Relieved of this anxiety, he at once prepared his army for its
celebrated "March to the Sea."
_Battle of Nashville_ (December 15, 16)--Hood crossed the
Tennessee, and after severe fighting, driving Schofield's army
before him, shut up General Thomas within the fortifications at
Nashville. For two weeks little was done.
[Footnote: Great disappointment was felt at the North over the
retreat to Nashville, and still more at Thomas's delay in that
city. Grant ordered him to move, and had actually started to take
charge of his troops in person, when he learned of the splendid
victory his slow but sure general had achieved.]
When Thomas was fully ready, he suddenly sallied out on Hood, and
in a terrible two-days battle drove the Confederate forces out of
their intrenchments into headlong flight. The Union cavalry
thundered upon their heels with remorseless energy. The infantry
followed closely behind. The entire Confederate army, except the
rear-guard, which fought bravely to the last, was dissolved into a
rabble of demoralized fugitives, who at last escaped across the
_The Effect_.--For the first time in the war an army was destroyed.
The object which Sherman hoped to obtain when he moved on Atlanta was
accomplished by Thomas, three hundred miles away. Sherman could now go
where he pleased with little danger of meeting a foe. The war at the
West, so far as any great movements were concerned, was finished.
SHERMAN'S MARCH TO THE SEA.--Breaking loose from his communications
with Nashville, and burning the city of Atlanta, Sherman started
(Nov. 16), with sixty thousand men, for the Atlantic coast (map
opp. p. 222). The army moved in four columns, with a cloud of
cavalry under Kilpatrick, and skirmishers in front to disguise its
route, stormed Fort McAlister, and captured Savannah.
[Footnote: The ubiquity of the cavalry movements of the war is
remarkable. In February preceding, Kilpatrick, who now opened up
the way for Sherman's march through Georgia, made a dash with the
cavalry of the Army of the Potomac to rescue the Union prisoners at
Richmond. He got within the defences of the city, but not fully
appreciating his success, withdrew, while Colonel Ulric Dahlgren,
who headed a cooperating force, through the ignorance or treachery
of his guide, lost his route, was surrounded by the enemy, and fell
in an attempt to cut his way out. Great damage was done to
railroads and canals near Richmond. These various raids had little
effect, however, upon the issue of the contest, though they served
to provoke the bitter enmity of both sides.]
[Footnote: A feint which Sherman made toward Augusta led to a
concentration at that city of all the cavalry and militia called
out to dispute his progress. The real direction of his march was
not discovered until he had entered the peninsula between the
Savannah and Ogeechee rivers.]
[Footnote: The first news received at the North from Sherman was
brought by three scouts, who left the Union army just as it was
closing in on Savannah. They hid in the rice swamps by day and
paddled down the river by night. Creeping past Fort McAlister
undiscovered, they were picked up by the Federal gunboats.]
[Footnote: Sherman sent the news of its capture with twenty-five
thousand bales of cotton and one hundred and fifty cannon, to
President Lincoln, as a Christmas present to the nation.]
_The Effect_ of this march can hardly be over-estimated. A
fertile region, sixty miles wide and three hundred long, was
desolated; three hundred miles of railroad were destroyed; the
eastern portion of the already-sundered Confederacy was cut in
twain; immense supplies of provisions were captured, and the
hardships of war brought home to those who had hitherto been exempt
from its actual contact.
THE WAR IN VIRGINIA.
BATTLE OF THE WILDERNESS (May 5, 6).--After crossing the Rapidan,
the Union army plunged into the Wilderness. While the columns were
toiling along the narrow roads, they were suddenly attacked by the
[Footnote: This was near the old battle-ground of Chancellorsville,
and just a year and two days after that fierce fight.]
The dense forest forbade all strategy. There was none of the pomp
or glory of war, only its horrible butchery. The ranks simply
dashed into the woods. Soon came the patter of shots, the heavy
rattle of musketry, and then there streamed back the wreck of the
battle--bleeding, mangled forms, borne on stretchers. In those
gloomy shades, dense with smoke, this strangest of battles, which
no eye could follow, marked only by the shouts and volleys, now
advancing, now receding, as either side gained or lost, surged to
and fro. The third day, both armies, worn out by this desperate
struggle, remained in their intrenchments. Neither side had been
conquered. Grant had lost twenty thousand men, and Lee ten
thousand. It was generally supposed that the Federals would retire
back of the Rapidan. Grant thought differently. He quietly gathered
up his army and pushed it by the Confederate right flank toward
Spottsylvania Court House.
BATTLE OF SPOTTSYLVANIA (May 8-12).--Lee detected the movement, and
hurried a division to head off the Union advance. When Grant
reached the spot, he found the Confederate army planted right
across the road, barring his progress. Five days of continuous
manoeuvring and fighting, having given little advantage, Grant
concluded to try the favorite movement of the year, and turn Lee's
right flank again.
[Footnote: During this time the sharpshooters on both sides, hidden
in the trees, were busy picking off officers. On the 9th, General
Sedgwick was superintending the placing of a battery in the front.
Seeing a man dodging a ball, he rebuked him, saying, "Pooh! they
can't hit an elephant at this distance." At that moment he was
himself struck, and fell dead.]
[Footnote: On the morning of the 12th, Hancock's corps, hidden by a
dense fog, charged upon the Confederate line, broke the abattis,
surrounded a division, and took three thousand prisoners, including
two generals. So complete was the surprise, that the officers were
captured at breakfast. Lee, however, rallied, and the fighting was
so fierce to regain this lost position, that "a tree eighteen
inches in diameter was cut in two by the bullets which struck it.
Ten thousand men fell on each side. Men in hundreds, killed and
wounded together, were piled in hideous heaps, some bodies, which
had lain for hours under the concentric fire of the battle, being
perforated with wounds. The writhing of the wounded beneath the
dead moved these masses at times; while often a lifted arm or a
quivering limb told of an agony not quenched by the Lethe of death
[Footnote: It was during this terrible battle that Grant sent his
famous despatch, "I propose to fight it out on this line if it
takes all summer."]
BATTLE OF COLD HARBOR (June 3).--Lee, however, moving on the inner
and shorter line, reached the _North Anna_ first. Here some
severe fighting occurred, when, Grant moving to flank again, Lee
slipped into the intrenchments of Cold Harbor. At daybreak a
general assault was made. "Twenty minutes after the first shot was
fired, ten thousand Union men were stretched writhing on the sod or
still and calm in death, while the enemy's loss was little over one
thousand." The army, weary of this useless slaughter, refused to
continue the attack.
[Footnote: Grant had arranged, in the general plan of the campaign,
for three co-operative movements to attract the attention and
divide the strength of the Confederate army before Richmond: 1.
General Sigel, with ten thousand men, was to advance up the
Shenandoah Valley and threaten the railroad communication with
Richmond. He was, however, totally routed at _New Market_ (May
15). General Hunter, who superseded him, defeated the Confederates
at _Piedmont_ (June 5), but pushing on to Lynchburg with about
twenty thousand men, he found it too strong, and prudently retired
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