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Robert E. Lee Portrait
WE publish on
a portrait, from a photograph by Brady, of GENERAL GEORGE H. THOMAS, the hero of
the Battle of Chicamauga, or Chattanooga.
General Thomas was born in
Southampton Co., Virginia, in July, 1816. He was appointed from that State to
West Point in 1836, graduated on 1st July, 1840, and was appointed to the Third
Artillery. In the following year he distinguished himself in the war against the
Florida Indians, and was brevetted First Lieutenant for his gallantry. He
General Taylor to
Mexico, and at
Monterey won the brevet rank of
Buena Vista, again, he distinguished himself nobly, and was
brevetted Major. On the close of the war he returned home, and in 1850 assumed
the responsible post of Instructor of Artillery and Cavalry at West Point. At
the outbreak of the war Major Thomas was one of the few Virginians whose honor
would not suffer him to rebel against his country's flag, and in May, 1861, he
was appointed Colonel of the Fifth Cavalry—the Colonel,
Robert E. Lee, and the
Lieutenant-Colonel, having joined the rebels. In August of the same year he
received the appointment of Brigadier-General of Volunteers, and proceeded to
the West, where for some time he had an independent command. It was he who, when
all around seemed black and hopeless, restored joy to the hearts of loyal people
by the victory of
Mill Spring, in
Kentucky, the first of that brilliant series
of victories which ended with the
seven days before
Richmond. He was
subsequently appointed to the command of a corps in
Buell's army. When Buell
fell into disgrace and was removed, the President appointed General Thomas in
his stead; but was induced, by the representations of General Thomas himself and
others, to reconsider the change. Subsequently
General Buell was superseded by
General Rosecrans, and General Thomas assumed, and still retains, command of a
corps in the Army of the Cumberland. At the recent Battle of Chicamauga his
skill, and the unfaltering courage of his troops, saved us from an irreparable
disaster, and he is justly entitled to be considered the hero of those bloody
We make some extracts from the
admirable account of this battle written for the Herald by Mr. W. F. G. Shanks—a
narrative we may pronounce equal to any thing ever penned by Napier or
After describing the first check sustained by Longstreet, he says:
Their left thus repulsed, by the
timely arrival of our reinforcements, the enemy in front of Thomas's four
divisions (Brannan, Baird, Johnston, and Reynolds) became less persistent in
their efforts, and upon a charge being ordered by Thomas, the elite of Lee
broke. "Whenever I charged their flank they broke," said General Thomas, in
talking it over afterward. Certainly the idea, as conveyed by the word "broke,"
does not convey to any mind the reality which I beheld. The General is not given
to exaggeration, and I do not think it exaggeration in me to say that their
retreat at this time was as complete a rout as this battle, or any battle of the
war, has witnessed. For the fourth time they were driven over ground that they
had thrice contested, at fearful cost; but their fourth repulse appeared to me
to cost them more than all the rest. They fell at every step, mercilessly shot
down, as they fled like sheep. The glory and renown of Longstreet had departed.
Thomas pursued him for nearly a mile, driving him from every position which he
assumed west of the creek, and forcing him beyond it in such great disorder that
he was unable to recover from it during the day. The charge of that corps should
go down to posterity in language that would insure the immortality of the story.
Moving with admirable precision, yet with great rapidity, the line never wavered
as the enemy, attempting to make a stand, would for a moment halt and turn upon
the terrible line of leaping flame which pursued him. The incidents of that
charge can not be told. A thousand are crowding the note-book of my memory; but
I dare not stop now to tell how noble Birnaud and Ludlow and
thirty men and fifty horses killed, fell over their captured guns, nor how their
battery was retaken, nor how the Sixteenth Infantry threw itself away against
the wall of flame that licked it up till only one wounded captain and twenty men
remained. I had seen two batteries fall into our hands and turned upon those who
abandoned them, helping to strew the plain with their bodies. I can not now
detail how volunteers and regulars vied with each other for the honor of the
day. God knows they won glory enough to cover all. What else could they be but
heroes with such a General as Thomas urging them forward?—he whom nothing could
cheer more than the wild onset-cry of "Charge them!" ringing along his
enthusiastic line, and flung as a defiance to the foe. On that field he at least
had won victory; yet that day fame only sang the prelude to the hymn of praise
that was his. On Saturday General Thomas stands forth the hero and the victor of
the day: and while defeat stared at the broken right and centre, victory
remained with the eagle of his blue battle-flag. On Sunday he is still the
greater victor; for, where he had on Saturday routed a single corps, he repulses
and checks the entire rebel army, and saves the Army of the Cumberland from
irretrievable dishonor, and stands between it and ruin. Had Thomas broke as
McCook and Crittenden had done, Bragg would have found no enemy between him and
After describing the beginning of
the second day's fight, he says:
General Thomas, near the centre
of the army, was engaged, about one o'clock, sitting on his horse in the hollow
of a ridge in an open field behind Harker's brigade, busy watching a heavy cloud
of dust in his rear, in such a direction that it might be General Granger with
reinforcements, or it might be the enemy. It cast a cloud over his spirits which
was plainly visible to one who observed him, as I confess I did that day, with
ever-increasing admiration. The truth is, that General Thomas at one o'clock
P.M., on the last day of this battle, had no disposition to fight any more, and
feared the result of the next rebel attack. And so he watched with natural
anxiety the development of the cloud of dust, which was then no more than a mile
distant. If it dissolved to reveal friends, then they would be welcome; for at
this hour fresh friends were all that was needed. if it disclosed the enemy,
then the day was lost, and it became the duty of those who formed the "last
square" on this battle-field to throw into the teeth of the victorious enemy a
defiance as grandly contemptuous as that of Cambronne, and die. There was no
escape if the troops moving were, as it was feared, the cavalry of the enemy.
"Take my glass, some one of you
whose horse stands steady. Tell me what you see."
In the dust that emerged, thick
as the clouds that precede the storm, nothing could be distinguished but a
moving mass of men. But it was then that they were infantry. This information
made Thomas breathe more freely. If it was infantry, it was much more likely to
be Granger than the enemy. At this moment a tall officer, with the yellow straps
of a captain of infantry, presented himself to General Thomas.
"General," he said, "I am cut off
from General Negley, and can not find him. I beg leave to report to you for
duty, Sir, of any character."
"Captain Johnston," said the
General to the speaker (Captain Johnston, Second Indiana Cavalry.
Inspector-General on General Negley's Staff), "ride over there, and report to me
who and what that force is."
In an instant Johnston was
gone—gone upon a mission which proved itself to be a more dangerous one than any
of us supposed. As he emerged slowly from a dense foliage of willows growing
about a narrow stream in the rear we heard the report of several rifles, and saw
him halt for a second, and then, dashing spurs to his horse, disappear in a
thick wood in the direction of the coming mass of troops still enveloped in
clouds of dust. In a few minutes he again emerged from this timber, and
following him came the red, white, and blue crescent-shaped battle-flag of
Gordon Granger. We had wished for night, and it was Blucher who had come to us.
At a quarter past one Steadman first, and Gordon Granger afterward, had wrung
the hand of the statue Thomas, who had gone all through the terrible scenes of
the last two days' battle to he melted and moved at this hour. As Granger came
up I felt that from the face of the heavens a great cloud had passed, and the
sun was shining once more upon us as with the same benignant rays of former
Of the close of the day's work he
Just behind Harker's brigade,
posted in the key of the position, there was a slight hollow in a large open
field, in which were still standing about a dozen dead trees. In this deflection
of the field, at the time the last fight of Sunday began, there were gathered
together Generals Thomas, Gordon Granger, Garfield, Wood, Brannan, Steadman,
Whittaker, and Colonel Harker. As the fight opened, Harker and Wood ran up the
hill to their brigade and division, both being the one and the same. Steadman,
Brannan, and Whittaker, rode off to join their commands. Garfield continued to
indite his dispatch. Granger and Thomas remained, the latter on his horse, his
arms folded, listening to the awful fire that soon raged along the line with the
coolness of assured victory or the calmness of despair. His lips were
compressed. His eyes glanced from right to left as the shell and canister
exploded about the field, and once I saw him, just as the fight opened, most
furiously glance up at a large, beautiful white pigeon or dove which alighted
upon a dead tree above him and watched the battle from her dangerous nest. The
representative man of that line, in unfaltering courage (Thomas), may be also
said to have represented by his thoughts at that moment the thoughts of all.
Watching him, we could see his anxiety at the reflection that if that line did
not stand all would be lost; and each and every man there knew that the safety
of themselves, but more the safety of the whole army, depended upon them. To be
defeated there was to be cut to pieces or captured. To be routed was to fall
back upon Chattanooga in disgrace, to be ignominiously taken in flight. There
was no help to be expected save in the darkness of the slowly approaching night.
Happily Thomas's men did hold out
till night, and the army was saved.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 10, 1863.
THE BATTLES IN GEORGIA.
WE have at last accounts, oral
and written, of the great battles which were fought in Northwestern Georgia on
19th and 20th September. The battle commenced by an attack of the rebels on our
advance, on Chickamauga Creek, on the morning of Saturday, 19th; it ended with
the repulse of the rebels, at a point near Rossville, by Thomas's corps, about
nightfall on Sunday, 20th, and was immediately followed by the retreat of our
whole army to Chattanooga. During these two days' fighting we lost all the
ground we had occupied between Chattanooga and Chicamauga; some ten thousand men
in killed, wounded, and missing; and a number of guns, by some estimated as high
as fifty. The rebel loss in guns was considerably less than ours; in men
probably considerably more. They gained possession of the battle-field. But they
did not gain possession of Chattanooga, and as there is good reason to believe
that this was the object of their attack, they must be pronounced to have failed
in their purpose.
Chattanooga, besides being a
naturally strong place, and suitable for a depot of supplies, a negro recruiting
station, and a general point d'appui for future operations in Georgia, the
Carolinas, and Alabama, is so far the key to Northern Mississippi and Alabama
that, so long as we hold it as well as the Mississippi, we actually hold
military possession of that section of country, and cut off all communication
between the northern portion of the Gulf States and Virginia and North Carolina.
It is, moreover, within striking distance, at Atlanta, of the only other railway
line between those Gulf States and the rebel States on the Atlantic. So long as
the United States hold Chattanooga, the only communication between Mississippi
and Alabama on the one hand, and Virginia and the Carolinas on the other, is
liable at any moment to be severed as completely as Grant's victories on the
Mississippi have divided Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas from the rest of the
Slave Confederacy. Why General Bragg evacuated so vital a point as this—a point
which we had been repeatedly assured would never be given up, and could be held
indefinitely—we shall not know until the history of the war comes to be written.
There may be some truth in the newspaper stories of the demoralization of
Bragg's army. It may be, as asserted in some quarters, that Rosecrans had
succeeded in flanking the place and threatening Bragg's communications. However
this be, it is plain that the only thing for the rebels to do after we had got
into Chattanooga was to drive us out of it—or perish. They attempted to drive us
out in the battles of the 19th and 20th, and they have failed.
At latest accounts Rosecrans was
undisturbedly fortifying himself at Chattanooga, and there were no indications
of an immediate resumption of the fight. It stands to reason, however, that the
struggle will be renewed at a very early day. If the rebels can not retake
Chattanooga the Confederacy is gone. We may take for granted that
Jeff Davis is
sending every available man from Virginia, North Carolina, Mississippi, and
Alabama to the scene of conflict, with the intention of crushing out Rosecrans's
army, and restoring the communication between the Gulf
and the Atlantic States. It is
likewise safe to assume that our Government is following the example, and that
immense bodies of troops are pouring down toward Chattanooga from every military
station at the North. Thus the issue would seem to be one of time. If Rosecrans
can not hold out at
Chattanooga until his reinforcements arrive, the whole of
the Southern army will presently be in Chattanooga, and marching Northward
through Tennessee; if he can hold out a few days only he will have force enough
to offer Bragg battle with advantage, and can proceed at his leisure to occupy
Atlanta, and give the death-blow to the empire which it was proposed to erect
upon the corner-stone of slavery.
JOHN BULL IN
JOHN BULL in the loyal States is
an epitome of Great Britain. He sniffs and sneers and scolds; depreciating every
national success, and delighting in rebel advantages. That our Government is an
absurdity, that the Union is hopelessly gone, that the breeders of babies for
sale are the only gentlemen in the land, and that all American things are loose,
shiftless, vulgar, and repulsive, is John's profound conviction, which he does
not affect to conceal. The war, of course, he regards as fratricidal and
foolish. He informs us that we have no right, upon our own confessed principles,
to try to preserve our Government; that we have never been any thing but a mob;
and that after dragging through every extreme of terror and blood, we shall be
crushed into silence and order by a military despotism. That despotism, indeed,
in the opinion of John, has already begun. All the safeguards of liberty and
civilization have been swept away. Every national fort is a bastile, and every
citizen who dares to whisper that he does not like the war is immured in slimy
dungeons with toads and bats. Liberty, freedom of speech and the press, all the
guarantees that make civil society tolerable, are utterly overthrown. At least
so Charles Mackay, inspired by Copperheads and speaking for the true-blue John
Bull, has been constantly insisting.
Meanwhile John Bull continues to
live in the abhorred country, and to try to make money out of the vulgar and
ignorant devotees of the almighty dollar. But his continued residence is a
permanent refutation of his perpetual slander. If all the John Bulls among us
really thought what they say they think, they would do exactly as Mr. R. R.
Belshaw, a fellow Bull lately of Montgomery, Alabama, did. He tells his story on
the 5th of September to Lord Russell.
In 1859 he went to Montgomery and
engaged in business. The war came, and his employes went. He immediately began
to close up, but found it impossible, "in consequence of non-payment of debts,"
a chronic difficulty among "the gallant people," who are the only gentlemen,
etc. Last February Mr. Belshaw was arrested as a conscript in his own house,
conveyed to the guard-house, kept three days, and released. Notwithstanding his
subsequent production of a consular certificate of nationality, he was again
seized and hurried off to General Bragg's camp at Tullahoma. Several other
British subjects were "forwarded under guard, in chains, with heavy iron collars
riveted on their necks." They were put into the guard-house, "a filthy den," and
invited to volunteer for the great and glorious cause of women-whipping. They
naturally declined. After a few more solicitations, which they did not accept,
they were put into the camp of the First Louisiana. Mr. Belshaw refused to do
duty, "in obedience to the Queen's proclamation," and was thereupon
incontinently "bucked" in front of General Bragg's head-quarters. Another
refusal brought further "bucking," with pails of water "thrown over some of us."
Continued obstinacy caused him to be tied up by the thumbs, while he saw another
of the Queen's subjects held head downward in a tank of water three times until
almost drowned. "The punishment of slaves has been inflicted upon us, with a
full knowledge of our nationality, in broad daylight, and within a few yards of
General Bragg's head-quarters, in the presence of at least fifty or a hundred
spectators." He appealed to a trial. It cost him four thousand dollars, and he
lost his case. He was adjudged liable to serve. Then he paid three thousand more
for a substitute, but was presently summoned again. Thereupon the luckless
Belshaw left the Confederacy, at a further expense of three thousand dollars;
and is more indebted for his escape to his sister than to the money. In
conclusion he calls upon M'lud Russell for indemnification for three months'
continuous outrage and imminent risk of life, with the loss of ten thousand
dollars, and the damage to his business from enforced absence.
Why should not the John Bulls
resident in New York invite their brother, late of Montgomery, to justify their
constant hatred of our Government by a little expatiation upon the superior
civility and respect for personal rights which distinguish a "gallant nation,"
struggling for independence against a horde of tin peddlers, beaded by a
Gorilla, who are meanly fighting for dominion? If there is one thing you hate,
John, it is cant, isn't it?
REBEL ILIAD IN A NUT-SHELL.
THE Richmond Dispatch, commenting
upon the late battle in Georgia, puts the rebel Iliad in a nutshell. "Unless,
however, he [Rosecrans] be driven across the river, our late victory will have
been of no value."
That is the truth concisely told.
For what, in that case, will have been gained to the rebel cause by Bragg's
advantage? Some guns—nothing more. There has been a battle. The loss on both
sides is great. The armies withdraw. If, then,
there is no reoccupation of
territory, the only question is which of the combatants could best afford to
lose men. How many such battles could the rebels safely fight? In the condition
to which they have been reduced a barren victory is necessarily a disaster.
Consequently, although Bragg claimed a "complete victory" and "a rout" of the
enemy, the wiser rebels, who have been disciplined by the dispatches of
Beauregard, declared that they waited to see Chattanooga retaken before they
gave way to joy.
Should any disaster befall
Burnside, or Rosecrane be compelled to abandon Chattanooga and retire northward,
the rebels may justly claim a decided advantage. Any thing short of this is a
disaster for them. Bunker Hill never ranked high among British victories,
although the Americans withdrew. The battle near Ringgold will not save the
falling cause of treason and slavery if General Rosecrans should justify his
words that he can not be driven from his position.
HEARTS AND FACES.
IT is known that officers and men
of the Massachusetts Fifty-fourth Regiment were captured in the assault upon
Fort Wagner of the 18th July.
Beauregard's chief of staff has reported to
Commissioner Ould, who, in turn, reported to Commissioner Meredith that no such
persons were found. It is now understood that
General Gilmore has been directed
to make a demand for an account of their present condition upon Beauregard, and
in case of any dodging upon the rebel side the Government will presume that the
rebel threats against the prisoners have been carried out, and will act
accordingly. That is to say, an equal number of rebel prisoners will be held to
"involuntary servitude" until the proper explanations are made.
It is quite time that this were
done. It is quite time that the Government of the United States declared by its
acts that whoever serves under its flag shall be equally protected by it. It is
quite time that we hastened to purge ourselves of the suspicion with which we
have taught the men of African descent to regard us. It is certainly fully time,
if we have not the heroism to welcome all loyal men to our ranks with the same
generosity, that we should at least have the honor to refuse the assistance of
all whom we do not mean to protect in every way. A half-hearted policy is a
foolish policy. It invites and secures defeat. If the colored man is good enough
for a soldier, he is good enough to stand upon the same footing with all other
soldiers. If the loyalty and love of liberty among the colored men are to be
effectively invoked, it must be done in such a way that they may know our
friendship for them as surely as they know the contempt and oppression of the
It is by the action which the
Government takes in this very case that the rebels, the Copperheads, and our
foreign enemies will understand our intention and our conscious force. Let them
all see and feel that as the United States have said liberty, they mean liberty.
Let the whole world know, as we know, that the heart and hand of any brave,
earnest, devoted citizen are a thousand-fold more precious to us than the color
of a traitor or Copperhead face.
REBEL VICTORIES IN THE FIELD AND AT THE POLLS.
IF we had heard of some
overwhelming disaster to the army of Rosecrans the chances of the Wood and
Seymour ticket in this State would have been greatly increased. Why? Why should
a national misfortune be of good augury to a political party? If we look at this
question for a moment, the true character of the anti-administration policy will
The immediate consequence of a
great disaster would be despondency and doubt. The old story that the rebels
could not be beaten, despite all that we have done, and the national flag
floating in every State, would be repeated with exultation by the frank, and
with professions of profound sorrow by the sly, Copperheads. The imminence of
European intervention would have been lugubriously pressed. Mr. Fernando Wood
would have demurely suggested that it is clear we must agree to compromise. Mr.
Benjamin Ditto would have chuckled that we had got to let 'em go. And all the
Copperhead organs would have asked if it were not sufficiently clear that the
policy of the Administration was ruining the country, and that nothing but Tom
Seymour in Connecticut, Horatio Seymour in New York, Vallandigham in Ohio, and
McClellan in the field, could possibly save the country.
The effect of a disaster would
thus have been to increase the tendency to ask whether we must not make peace at
any cost whatever, whether it were honor, security, liberty, future tranquillity,
decency, or self-respect. And with this would have come the greater willingness
to vote for the ticket that was felt to represent that policy; not in terms, not
openly, but by the necessity of the case. All the weak in whom disaster would
have bred despair would have clutched at the Wood and Seymour policy. All the
mean who delight in the peril of noble principles would have seized it even more
gladly than they do now. All the traitorous Copperhead crew who agree with
Governor Seymour that the Union had better go rather than slavery, would have
hailed with rapture the possible success of a ticket which would deliver the
imperial State into the hands of men who are more anxious to serve South
Carolina than the Union.
It is because rebel victories in
the field and Copperhead victories at the polls are thus substantially
identical, that the destruction of Rosecrans would have helped defeat the Union
ticket in this State.
BRITANNIA AND RAMS.
MR. VERNON HARCOURT, who, under
the signature "Historicus," has written some most unanswerable letters upon
international questions to the London Times in a spirit friendly to this
country, (Next Page)