Abbildungen der Seite

siege of Corinth, and looked for the capture of Beauregard and his grand army. On the night of the 3d of May, the sentinels heard a great rumbling and rolling of cars in Corinth, and reported it.It continued all night long. Toward morning, loud explosions were heard. What could it all mean? Perhaps re-enforcements were pouring in to the enemy. Halleck said to Sherman, "I cannot explain it ;" and ordered him to "advance and feel the enemy, if still in his front." Sherman advanced and advanced; but there was no enemy to "feel." He entered Corinth: it was a deserted town. There were a few worthless tents, some wooden guns, and a few stragglers firing the public buildings; but the enemy had left. It now appeared, that, for nearly a month, the enemy had been planning to leave the place. Orders were issued to move in the direction of Danville and Booneville. The works were formidable in appearance only, and could easily have been carried. Grant at once rode to the rebel left, the point at which he had advised an attack, to ascertain if he had been correct in his judgment; and found that this was the weak point in Beauregard's line, and, if attacked, could have been carried, and the whole army probably captured.

For two or three days, Beauregard had been sending his sick and his most valuable stores toward Mobile, with the greatest part of his ordnance: the troops had gone to the south and west. The magazines and storehouses had been blown up, and were a mass of ruins.

It is not necessary now to censure any one for this result. Gen. Halleck was a military scholar: he was an over-cautious man. He would have all, but ven

ture nothing. The general who will never move an army of a hundred thousand men until every linch-pin of every wagon has been examined and reported to him will never move. Such a body of men will never all be ready. The campaign was ended as far as results were concerned. It had been a campaign of laborious idleness.

Halleck was doubtless acting under the impulse of opinions formed at St. Louis when he first heard of the attack at Shiloh,- that Grant should have been intrenched; and he came down at once, and began intrenching.

On the contrary, Grant had been on the ground all the time he considered the battle of Shiloh and of Pittsburg Landing as substantially one battle, in which the victory was with him and his troops; that with Buell's army of fresh troops, the rebel army weakened by two days of fighting, our troops should have followed them at once, and destroyed them; that, if this had been done, the whole campaign in the Valley of the Mississippi could have been terminated in thirty days. Grant's plan was not engineering and mining and countermining, but an advance, a battle, and a victory. Subsequent events showed the correctness of this judgment. Beauregard had expected a vigorous pursuit, and had sent to Breckinridge, in command of the rear-guard, This retreat must not be a rout.' As soon as he arrived at Corinth, he telegraphed in cipher to Richmond for re-enforcements, and said, "If defeated here, we lose the Mississippi Valley, and probably our cause." And so it was in a few days, New Orleans was captured, and Memphis fell. Grant's war policy, in a


[ocr errors]

word, was expressed in his letter to Buckner, "I !propose to move immediately on your works:" and it is evident there was one man who agreed with him that this policy would be the most disastrous to the rebel forces; and that was Beauregard. The rebel army was now to be pursued. Grant was there, and Sherman was there; but Buell was sent.

On the 10th of June, he took seventy thousand men, and moved south, toward Booneville. It was a cautious man sending a slow man in pursuit. Buell had doubtless, too, become inspired with the importance of caution as well as deliberation. He went thirty miles, to Booneville, with his splendid army; and, finding no enemy, threw up lines of defence, and waited for them to attack. It was evident to the soldiers the enemy had fled; but Buell, on whom rested the responsibility, did not perceive this.

After a few days, however, he was compelled to march back to Corinth. The rebels were fifty miles distant by the nearest railroad, and seventy miles by wagon-road; and the campaign was ended. The opinion was freely expressed by military men, that, if Gen. Halleck had remained in St. Louis, Grant would have captured Beauregard and his whole army.

On the 17th of July, Halleck was called to Washington as commander-in-chief, and Grant was left in command. Soon after, four divisions of his army were ordered to join Buell, towards Chattanooga.

Grant at once strengthened and improved the works which Beauregard had left.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]




RE-ORGANIZATION of military departnow gave to Gen. Grant the Department of West Tennessee, stretching from the west bank of the Mississippi to the west shores of the Tennessee. This included Memphis, which was now occupied by the Union forces. Gen. Grant now visited that city, and took measures to prevent the sending of letters, fire-arms, goods, and ammunition out of the city. He rented unoccupied buildings owned by traitors, and directed the rent paid to the United States. He notified the families of rebels that they would be required to move from the city unless they signed a parole that they had, in no form whatever, aided the rebel government, and would not do so; that captured guerillas would not be treated as prisoners of war; and that the property of traitors would be sold to indemnify the government for all losses caused by the depredations of outlaws.

Notwithstanding the surrender of the city, and its occupation by the Union army, the rebel press was constantly endeavoring to stir up and keep alive the most bitter hatred toward the Union citizens and soldiers. Gen. Grant found it necessary to stop this; and

one of the most rancorous of the rebel sheets received the following very explicit order:


MEMPHIS, TENN., July 1, 1862.

Messrs. WILLS, BINGHAM, & Co., Proprietors of the Memphis Avalanche,


You will suspend the further publication of your paper. spirit with which it is conducted is regarded as both incendiary and treasonable, and its issue cannot longer be tolerated.

This order will be strictly observed from the time of its reception.

By command of Major.-Gen. U. S. Grant.

WM. S. HILLYER, Provost-Marshal-General.

MEMPHIS, July 1, 1862.

"The Avalanche " can continue by the withdrawal of the author of the obnoxious article, under the caption of "Mischiefmakers," and the editorial allusion to the same.

The guerilla warfare was

U. S. GRANT, Major-General.

continued by the rebels

with fierceness and cruelty; and Gen. Grant found it necessary to issue still more severe orders, to one of which the following is a reply:

TRENTON, TENN., July 29, 1862.

GENERAL, — The man who guided the rebels to the bridge

that was burned was hung to-day. He had taken the oath. The houses of four others who aided have been burned to the ground. (Signed) G. M. DODGE, Brigadier-General.

Slaves in large numbers had early sought refuge within the Union lines; but the government was not yet prepared to enlist them as soldiers. In one instance in Missouri, slaves having given valuable information to the Union forces had been seized by their rebel owner,

« ZurückWeiter »