MILITARY REMINISCENCES OF THE CIVIL WAR
BY JACOB DOLSON COX, A.M., LL.D.
Formerly Major-General commanding Twenty-Third Army Corps_
NOVEMBER 1863-JUNE 1865
GRANT IN COMMAND--ROSECRANS RELIEVED
Importance of unity in command--Inevitable difficulties in a double organization--Burnside's problem different from that of Rosecrans--Co-operation necessarily imperfect--Growth of Grant's reputation--Solid grounds of it--Special orders sent him--Voyage to
Louisville--Division of the Mississippi created--It included Burnside's and Rosecrans's departments--Alternate forms in regard to Rosecrans--He is relieved--Thomas succeeds him--Grant's relations to the change--His intellectual methods--Taciturnity--Patience--Discussions in his presence--Clear judgments--His "good anecdote"--Rosecrans sends Garfield to Washington--Congressman or General--Duplication of offices--Interview between Garfield and Stanton--Dana's dispatches--Garfield's visit to me--Description of the rout of Rosecrans's right wing--Effect on the general--Retreat to Chattanooga--Lookout Mountain abandoned--The President's problem--Dana's light upon it--Stanton's use of it--Grant's acquiescence--Subsequent relations of Garfield and Rosecrans--Improving the "cracker line"--Opening the Tennessee--Combat at Wauhatchie.
KNOXVILLE--END OF BURNSIDE'S CAMPAIGN
Departments not changed by Grant--Sherman assigned to that of the Tennessee--Burnside's situation and supplies--His communications--Building a railroad--Threatened from Virginia--His plans--Bragg sends Longstreet into East Tennessee--Their cross-purposes--Correspondence of Grant and Burnside--Dana and Wilson sent to consult--Grant approves Burnside's course--Latter slowly retires on Knoxville--The place prepared for a siege--Combat at Campbell's station--Within the lines at Knoxville--Topography of the place--Defences--Assignment of positions--The forts--General Sanders killed--His self-sacrifice--Longstreet's lines of investment--His assault of Fort Sanders--The combat--The repulse--The victory at Missionary Ridge and results--Division of Confederate forces a mistake--Grant sends Sherman to raise the siege of Knoxville--East Tennessee a "horror"--Longstreet retreats toward Virginia--Sherman rejoins Grant--Granger's unwillingness to remain--General Foster sent to relieve Burnside--Criticism of this act--Halleck's misunderstanding of the real situation--Grant's easy comprehension of it--His conduct in enlarged responsibility--General Hunter's inspection report.
AFFAIRS IN DISTRICT OF OHIO--PLOT TO LIBERATE PRISONERS AT JOHNSON'S ISLAND
Administrative duties--Major McLean adjutant-general--His loyalty questioned--Ordered away--Succeeded by Captain Anderson--Robert Anderson's family--Vallandigham canvass--Bounty-jumping--Action of U. S. Courts--of the local Probate Court--Efforts to provoke collision--Interview with the sheriff--Letter to Governor Tod--Shooting soldiers in Dayton--The October election--Great majority against Vallandigham--The soldier vote--Wish for field service--Kinglake's Crimean War--Its lessons--Confederate plots in Canada--Attempt on military prison at Johnson's Island--Assembling militia there--Fortifying Sandusky Bay--Inspection of the prison--Condition and treatment of the prisoners.
A WINTER RIDE ON THE CUMBERLAND MOUNTAINS
Ordered to East Tennessee--Preparation for a long ride--A small party of officers--Rendezvous at Lexington, Ky.--Changes in my staff--The escort--A small train--A gay cavalcade--The blue-grass country--War-time roads--Valley of the Rockcastle--Quarters for the night--London--Choice of routes-Longstreet in the way--A turn southward--Williamsburg--Meeting Burnside--Fording the Cumberland--Pine Mountain--A hard pull--Teamsters' chorus--Big Creek Gap--First view of East Tennessee--Jacksboro--A forty-mile trot--Escape from unwelcome duty--In command of Twenty-third Corps--The army-supply problem--Siege bread--Starved beef--Burnside's dinner to Sherman.
WINTER BIVOUACS IN EAST TENNESSEE
Blain's Cross-roads--Hanson's headquarters--A hearty welcome--Establishing field quarters--Tents and houses--A good quartermaster--Headquarters' business--Soldiers' camps--Want of clothing and shoes--The rations--Running the country mills--Condition of horses and mules--Visit to Opdycke's camp--A Christmas dinner--Veteran enlistments--Patriotic spirit--Detachment at Strawberry Plains--Concentration of corps there--Camp on a knoll--A night scene--Climate of the valley--Affair at Mossy Creek--New Year's blizzard--Pitiful condition of the troops--Patience and courage--Zero weather.
GRANT'S VISIT--THE DANDRIDGE AFFAIR
Grant at Knoxville--Comes to Strawberry Plains--A gathering at Parke's quarters--Grant's quiet manner--No conversational discussion--Contrast with Sherman--Talk of cadet days--Grant's riding-school story--No council of war--Qualities of his dispatches--Returns by
Cumberland Gap--Longstreet's situation--Destitution of both armies--Railroad repairs and improved service--Light-draught steamboats--Bridges--Cattle herds on the way--Results of Grant's inspection tour--Foster's movement to Dandridge on the French Broad--Sheridan--His qualities--August Willich--Hazen--His disagreement with Sheridan--Its causes and consequences--Combat at Dandridge--A mutual surprise--Sheridan's bridge--An amusing blunder--A consultation in Dandridge--Sturgis's toddy--Retreat to Strawberry Plains--A hard night march--A rough day--An uncomfortable bivouac--Concentration toward Knoxville--Rumors of reinforcement of Longstreet--Expectation of another siege--The rumors untrue.
WINTER QUARTERS IN EAST TENNESSEE--PREPARATIONS FOR a NEW CAMPAIGN
Sending our animals to Kentucky--Consultations--Affair with enemy's cavalry--Roughing it--Distribution of troops--Cavalry engagement at Sevierville--Quarters in Knoxville--Leading Loyalists--Social and domestic conditions--Discussion of the
spring campaign--Of Foster's successor--Organization of Grant's armies--Embarrassments in assignment of officers to duty--Discussion of the system-Cipher telegraphing--Control of the key--Grant's collision with Stanton--Absurdity of the War Department's method--General Stoneman assigned to Twenty-third Corps--His career and character--General Schofield succeeds to the command of the Department of the Ohio.
SCHOFIELD IN EAST TENNESSEE---DUTIES AS CHIEF OF STAFF--FINAL OPERATIONS IN THE VALLEY
Fresh reports of Longstreet's advance--They are unfounded--Grant's wish to rid the valley of the enemy--Conference with Foster--Necessity for further recuperation of the army--Continuance of the quiet policy--Longstreet's view of the situation--His suggestions to his government--He makes an advance again-Various demonstrations--Schofield moves against Longstreet--My appointment as chief of staff in the field--Organization of the active column--Schofield's purposes--March to Morristown--Going the Grand Rounds--Cavalry outpost--A sleepy sentinel--Return to New Market--Once more at Morristown--Ninth Corps sent East--Grant Lieutenant-General--Sherman commands in the West--Study of plans of campaign--My assignment to Third Division, Twenty-third Corps--Importance of staff duties--Colonel Wherry and Major Campbell--General Wood--Schofield and the politicians--Post at Bull's Gap--Grapevine telegraph--Families going through the lines--Local vendetta--The Sanitary Commission--Rendezvous assigned by Sherman--Preliminary movements--Marching to Georgia--A spring camp on the Hiwassee--The Atlanta campaign begun.
HALLECK, AND SHERMAN--JOHNSTON AND MR. DAVIS
Grant's desire for activity in the winter--Scattering to live--Subordinate movements--The Meridian expedition--Use of the Mississippi--Sherman's estimate of it--Concentration to be made in the spring--Grant joins the Potomac Army--Motives in doing so--Meade as an army commander--Halleck on concentration--North Carolina expedition given up--Burnside to join Grant--Old relations of Sherman and
Halleck--Present cordial friendship--Frank correspondence--The supply question--Railway administration--Bridge defences--Reduction of baggage--Tents--Sherman on spies and deserters--Changes in Confederate army--Bragg relieved--Hardee--Beauregard--Johnston--Davis's suggestion of plans--Correspondence with Johnston--Polk's mediation--Characteristics--Bragg's letters--Lee writes Longstreet--Johnston's dilatory discussion--No results--Longstreet joins Lee--Grant and Sherman have the initiative--Prices in the Confederacy.
ATLANTA CAMPAIGN: DALTON AND RESACA
The opposing forces--North Georgia triangle--Topography--Dalton--Army of the Ohio enters Georgia--Positions of the other armies--Turning Tunnel Hill--First meeting with Sherman--Thomas--Sherman's plan as to Dalton--McPherson's orders and movement--Those of Thomas and Schofield--Hopes of a decisive engagement--Thomas attacks north end of Rocky Face--Opdycke on the ridge--Developing Johnston's lines--Schofield's advance on 9th May--The flanking march through Snake Creek Gap--Retiring movement of my division--Passing lines--Johnston's view of the situation--Use of temporary intrenchments and barricades--Passing the Snake Creek defile-Camp Creek line--A wheel in line--Rough march of left flank--Battle of Resaca--Crossing Camp Creek--Storming Confederate line--My division relieved by Newton's--Incidents--Further advance of left flank--Progress of right flank--Johnston retreats.
ATLANTA CAMPAIGN: ADVANCE TO THE ETOWAH
Tactics modified by character of the country--Use of the spade--Johnston's cautious defensive--Methods of Grant and Sherman--Open country between Oostanaula and Etowah--Movement in several columns--Sherman's eagerness--Route of left wing--Of McPherson on the right--Necessity of exact system in such marches--Route of Twenty-third Corps--Hooker gets in the way--Delays occasioned--Closing in on Cassville--Our commanding position--Johnston's march to Cassville--His order to fight there--Protest of Hood and Polk--Retreat over the Etowah--Sherman crosses near Kingston--My reconnoissance to the Allatoona crossing--Destruction of iron works and mills--Marching without baggage--Barbarism of war--Desolation it causes--Changes in our corps organization--Hascall takes Judah's division--Our place of crossing the Etowah--Interference again--Kingston the new base--Rations--Camp coffee.
ATLANTA CAMPAIGN: NEW HOPE CHURCH AND THE KENNESAW LINES
Sherman's plan for June--Movements of 24th May-Johnston's position at Dallas and New Hope Church--We concentrate to attack--Pickett's Mill--Dallas--Flanking movements--Method developed by the character of the country--Closer personal relations to Sherman--Turning Johnston's right--Crossroads at Burnt Church-A tangled forest--Fighting in a thunderstorm--Sudden freshet--Bivouac in a thicket---Johnston retires to a new line--Formidable character of the old one--Sherman extends to the railroad on our left--Blair's corps joins the army--General Hovey's retirement--The principles involved--Politics and promotions.
ATLANTA CAMPAIGN: MARIETTA LINES--CROSSING THE CHATTAHOOCHEE
Continuous rains in June--Allatoona made a field depot on the railway and fortified--Johnston in the Marietta lines--That from Pine Mountain to Lost Mountain abandoned--Swinging our right flank--Affair at Kolb's farm--Preparing for a general attack--Battle of Kennesaw-The tactical problem--Work of my division--Topography about Cheney's--Our advance on the 27th--Nickajack valley reached--The army moves behind us--Johnston retreats to the Chattahoochee--Twenty-third Corps at Smyrna Camp-ground--Crossing the Chattahoochee at Soap Creek--At Roswell--Johnston again retreats--Correspondence with Davis--Mission of B. H. Hill--Visit of Bragg to Johnston--Johnston's unfortunate reticence--He is relieved and Hood placed in command--Significance of the change to the Confederacy and to us.
HOOD'S DEFENCE OF ATLANTA--RESULTS OF ITS CAPTURE
Lines of supply by field trains--Canvas pontoons--Why replaced by bridges--Wheeling toward Atlanta--Battle of Peachtree Creek--Battle of Atlanta--Battle of Ezra Church--Aggressive spirit of Confederates exhausted--Sherman turns Atlanta by the south--Pivot position of Twenty-third Corps--Hood's illusions--Rapidity of our troops in intrenching--Movements of 31st August--Affair at Jonesboro--Atlanta won--Morale of Hood's army--Exaggerating difference in numbers--Examination of returns--Efforts to bring back absentees--The sweeping conscription--Sherman's candid estimates--Unwise use of cavalry--Forrest's work--Confederate estimate of Sherman's campaign.
THE REST AT ATLANTA--STAFF ORGANIZATION AND CHANGES
Position of the Army of the Ohio at Decatur--Refitting for a new campaign--Depression of Hood's army--Sherman's reasons for a temporary halt--Fortifying Atlanta as a new base--Officers detailed for the political campaign-Schofield makes inspection tour of his department--My temporary command of the Army of the Ohio--Furloughs and leaves of absence--Promotions of several colonels--General Hascall resigns--Staff changes--My military family--Anecdote of Lieutenant Tracy--Discipline of the army--Sensitiveness to approval or blame--Illustration--Example of skirmishing advance--Sufferings of non-combatants within our lines--A case in point--Pillaging and its results--Citizens passing through the lines--"The rigors of the climate"--Visit of Messrs. Hill and Foster--McPherson's death--The loss to Sherman and to the army--His personal traits--Appointment of his successor.
CAMPAIGN OF OCTOBER--HOOD MOVES UPON OUR COMMUNICATIONS
Hood's plan to transfer the campaign to northern Georgia--Made partly subordinate to Beauregard--Forrest on a raid--Sherman makes large detachments--Sends Thomas to Tennessee--Hood across the Chattahoochee--Sherman follows--Affair at Allatoona--Planning the March to the Sea--Sherman at Rome--Reconnoissance down the Coosa--Hood at Resaca--Sherman in pursuit--Hood retreats down the Chattooga valley--We follow in two columns--Concentrate at Gaylesville--Beauregard and Hood at Gadsden--Studying the situation--Thomas's advice--Schofield rejoins--Conference regarding the Twenty-third Corps--Hood marches on Decatur--His explanation of change of plan--Sherman marches back to Rome--We are ordered to join Thomas--Hood repulsed at Decatur marches to Tuscumbia--Our own march begun--Parting with Sherman--Dalton--Chattanooga--Presidential election--Voting by steam--Retrospect of October camp-life--Camp sports--Soldiers' pets--Story of a lizard.
NASHVILLE CAMPAIGN--HOOD'S ADVANCE FROM THE TENNESSEE
Schofield to command the army assembled at
Pulaski--Forrest's Tennessee River raid--Schofield at Johnsonville--My division at Thompson's--Hastening reinforcements to Thomas--Columbia--The barrens--Pulaski--Hood delays--Suggests Purdy as a base--He advances from Florence--Our march to Columbia--Thomas's distribution of the forces--Decatur evacuated--Pontoon bridge there--Withdrawing from Columbia--Posts between Nashville and Chattanooga--The cavalry on 29th November--Their loss of touch with the army.
NASHVILLE-HOOD'S ARMY ROUTED
Defensive works of Nashville--Hood's lines--The ice blockade--Halleck on remounts for cavalry--Pressing horses and its abuse--The cavalry problem--Changes in organization--Assignment of General Couch--Confederate cavalry at Nashville--Counter-movements of our own--Detailed movements of our right--Difference of recollection between Schofield and Wilson--The field dispatches--Carrying Hood's works--Confederate rout.
PURSUIT OF HOOD--END OF THE CAMPAIGN
Night after the battle--Unusual exposure--Hardships of company officers--Bad roads--Halt at Franklin--Visiting the battlefield--Continued pursuit--Decatur reoccupied--Hood at Tupelo, Miss.--Summary of captures--Thomas suggests winter-quarters--Grant orders continued activity--Schofield's proposal to move the corps to the East--Grant's correspondence with Sherman--Schofield's suggestion adopted--Illness--I ask for "sick-leave"--Do not use it--Promotion--Reinforcements--March from Columbia to Clifton--Columns on different roads--Western part of the barrens--Fording Buffalo River--An illumined camp--Dismay of the farmer--Clifton on the Tennessee--Admiral Lee--Methods of transport--Weary waiting--Private grumbling--Ordered East--Revulsion of spirits--On the transport fleet--Thomas's frame of mind at close of the campaign.
CAMPAIGN IN NORTH CAROLINA--CAPTURE OF WILMINGTON
Washington--Capture of Fort Fisher--Schofield ordered to North Carolina--Grant and Schofield visit Terry--Department of North Carolina--Army of the Ohio in the field--Correspondence of Grant and Sherman--Sherman conscious of his risks but hopeful of great results--His plan of
march from Savannah--Relation of Wilmington to New Berne--Our arrival at Washington--The Potomac frozen--Peace conference at
Fort Monroe--Interview with Mr. Stanton--The thirteenth amendment of the Constitution--Political excitement at the capital--A little dinner-party--Garfield, H. W. Davis, and Schenck--Davis on
Lincoln--Destination of our army--Embarkation--Steamship "Atlantic"--Visit to Fort Monroe--The sea-voyage--Cape Fear Inlet--General Terry's lines--Bragg the Confederate commander--Reconnoitring his lines--The colored troops--"Monitor" engaged with Fort Anderson--Alternate plans--Marching on Wilmington by the west bank of the river--My column opposite the town--Orders not applicable to the situation--Difficulty of communication--Use of discretion--Wilmington evacuated--A happy result.
THE CONFEDERACY IN STRAITS--JOHNSTON COMMANDS IN THE CAROLINAS--OUR OPERATIONS FROM NEW BERNE--BATTLE OF KINSTON
The Confederates lose
Charleston and Columbia--Facing a crisis--Hopeless apathy of Southern people--Mr. Davis's perplexity--Beauregard startles him--Lee calls Johnston to command--Personal relations of leading officers--Dwindling armies--The cavalry--Assignments of generals--The
Beaufort and New Berne line--Am ordered to New Berne--Provisional corps--Advance to cover railway building--Dover and Gum swamps--Bragg concentrates to oppose us--Position near Kinston--Bragg's plan of attack--Our own movements--Condition of railroad and river--Our advance to Wise's Forks and Southwest Creek--Precautions--Conference with Schofield--Battle of Kinston--Enemy attack our left front--Rout of Upham's brigade--Main line firm--Ruger's division reaches the field Enemy repulsed--End of first day's fight--Extending our trenches on the left--Sharp skirmishing of the 9th--Bragg's reinforcements--His attack of the 10th--Final repulse and retreat of the enemy.
JUNCTION WITH SHERMAN AT GOLDSBOROUGH--THE MARCH ON RALEIGH--CESSATION OF HOSTILITIES
Occupation of Kinston--Opening of Neuse River--Rebel ram destroyed--Listening to the distant battle at Bentonville--Entering Goldsborough--Meeting Sherman--Grant's congratulations--His own plans--Sketch of Sherman's march--Lee and Johnston's correspondence--Their gloomy outlook--Am made commandant of Twenty-third Corps--Terry assigned to Tenth--Schofield promoted in the Regular Army--Stanton's proviso--Ill effects of living on the country--Stopping it in North Carolina--Camp jubilee over the fall of Richmond--Changes in Sherman's plans--Our march on Smithfield--House-burning--News of Lee's surrender--Overtures from Governor Vance--Entering Raleigh--A mocking-bird's greeting--Further negotiations as to North Carolina--Johnston proposes an armistice--Broader scope of negotiations--The Southern people desire peace--Terrors of non-combatants assuaged--News of
Lincoln's assassination--Precautions to preserve order--The dawn of peace.
THE SHERMAN-JOHNSTON CONVENTION
Sherman's earlier views of the
slavery question--Opinions in 1864--War rights vs. statesmanship--Correspondence with
Halleck--Conference with Stanton at Savannah--Letter to General Robert Anderson--Conference with
City Point--First effect of the
assassination of the President--Situation on the Confederate side--Davis at Danville--Cut off from Lee--Goes to Greensborough--Calls Johnston to conference--Lee's surrender--The Greensborough meeting--Approach of Stoneman's cavalry raid--Vance's deputation to Sherman--Davis orders their arrest--Vance asserts his loyalty--Attempts to concentrate Confederate forces on the Greensborough-Charlotte line--Cabinet meeting--Overthrow of the Confederacy acknowledged--Davis still hopeful--Yields to the cabinet--Dictates Johnston's letter to Sherman--Sherman's reply--Meeting arranged--Sherman sends preliminary correspondence to Washington--The Durham meeting--The negotiations--Two points of difficulty--Second day's session--Johnston's power to promise the disbanding of the civil government--The terms agreed upon--Transmittal letters--Assembling the Virginia legislature--Sherman's wish to make explicit declaration of the end of slavery--The assassination affecting public sentiment--Sherman's personal faith in Johnston--He sees the need of modifying the terms--Grant's arrival.
THE SECOND SHERMAN-JOHNSTON CONVENTION--SURRENDER
Davis's last cabinet meeting--Formal opinions approving the "Basis"--"The Confederacy is conquered"--Grant brings disapproval from the Johnston administration--Sherman gives notice of the termination of the truce--No military disadvantage from it--Sherman's vindication of himself--Grant's admirable conduct--Johnston advises Davis to yield--Capitulation assented to, but a volunteer cavalry force to accompany Davis's flight--A new conference at Durham--Davis's imaginary treasure--Grant's return to Washington--Terms of the parole given by Johnston's army--The capitulation complete--Schofield and his army to carry out the details--The rest of Sherman's army marches north--His farewell to Johnston--Order announcing the end of the war--Johnston's fine reply--Stanton's strange dispatch to the newspapers--Its tissue of errors--Its baseless objections--Sherman's exasperation--Interference with his military authority over his subordinates--Garbling Grant's dispatch--Sherman strikes back--Breach between Sherman and Halleck--It also grew out of the published matter--Analysis of the facts--My opinion as recorded at the time.
PAROLING AND DISBANDING JOHNSTON'S ARMY--CLOSING SCENES OF THE WAR IN NORTH CAROLINA
General Schofield's policy when left in command--Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation in force--Davis's line of flight from Charlotte, N. C.--Wade
Hampton's course of conduct--Fate of the cabinet officers--Bragg,
Wheeler, and Cooper--Issuing paroles to Johnston and his army--Greensborough in my district--Going there with Schofield--Hardee meets and accompanies us--Comparing memories--We reach Johnston's headquarters--Condition of his army--Our personal interview with him--The numbers of his troops--His opinion of Sherman's army--Of the murder of Lincoln--Governor Morehead's home--The men in gray march homeward--Incident of a flag--The Salisbury prison site--Treatment of prisoners of war--Local government in the interim--Union men--Elements of new strife--The negroes--Household service--Wise dealing with the labor question--No money--Death of manufactures--Necessity the mother of invention--Uses of adversity--Peace welcomed--Visit to Greene's battle-field at Guilford-Old-Court-House.