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
TESTIMONIALS OF COMMANDERS
_Rosecrans, in his Report of the Campaign of_ 1861, _Nov._ 25, 1861. _Official Records, vol. v.p._ 259.
"It is a great pleasure to say to the commanding general that I have found General Cox prudent, brave, and soldierly, and I specially commend his prudence and firmness in occupying Cotton Hill, details of which are given in his report in the appendix."
_Rosecrans, in Correspondence with McClellan_, _Nov._ 19, 1861, _asking for Changes in Officers, etc._ _Official Records, vol. v.p._ 657.
"General Cox is the only reliable man here;" _i. e._, of the brigadiers with him at Gauley, Schenck having gone home sick.
_McClellan, to Army Headquarters, after South Mountain and Antietam_, _Oct._ 5, 1862. _Official Records, vol. xix. pt. ii. p._ 383.
"MAJOR-GEN. HALLECK, General-in-Chief.
In compliance with your instructions, General Cox has been ordered to report to you for duty on the Kanawha. General Cox's gallant services in the battle of South Mountain and at Antietam, during which, after Reno's fall, he commanded an army corps, contributed greatly toward our success in those hard-fought engagements. He has been recommended by
General Burnside, his immediate commander, for promotion. Although I am now to lose the services of this valuable officer with this army, it is no more than an act of justice to him that I should concur in the recommendation of General Burnside, which I do most cordially and earnestly, and request that the promotion be made at once. (Signed) GEORGE B. McCLELLAN, Maj.-Gen."
Sherman, after the Atlanta Campaign. Official Records, vol. xxxix. pt. ii. p_. 366.
"HEADQUARTERS, ARMY OF THE OHIO, DECATUR, GA., Sept. 12th, 1864.
MAJOR-GEN. W. T. SHERMAN, Commanding Military Division of the Mississippi.
GENERAL,--I have the honor to recommend for promotion the following named officers of my command for gallant and meritorious services during the campaign just ended:
Brigadier-General J. D. Cox is now the senior Brigadier-General of Volunteers in active service. He has held various important commands during the war and was appointed Major-General in 1862, but his name was withdrawn from the list sent to the Senate for confirmation, because of the limitation by law of the number of Major-Generals authorized to be appointed. General Cox commanded the 23d Army Corps for some time previous to the assignment of
Major-General Stoneman to that command. During the summer's campaign he has commanded the third division of that corps under my immediate personal observation. I have no hesitation in saying that I have never seen a more able and efficient division commander. General Cox is possessed of a very high order of talent and superior education. As a commander he is discreet, energetic, and brave. As a just reward for long, faithful, and efficient service, and as an act of justice to the army and the country, I earnestly recommend that Brigadier-General J. D. Cox be appointed Major-General of Volunteers.
I earnestly hope all the appointments above recommended may be made. Should the number of vacancies in the grades of Major-General and Brigadier-General not justify the appointment of so large a number from this army, I respectfully request that the officers who may not be appointed may receive the Brevet of the rank for which they are recommended. Very respectfully, Your obedient servant, (Signed) J. M. SCHOFIELD, Major-General Commanding."
Halleck, after the Atlanta Campaign. Official Records, vol. xxxix. pt. iii. p._ 413.
"HEADQUARTERS, MIL. DIV. OF THE MISS. IN THE FIELD, GAYLESVILLE, ALA., Oct. 24,1864.
GENERAL H. W. HALLECK, Chief of Staff, etc.
GENERAL,--I always designed to canvass the claims to promotion of all aspirants in the army, so as to save the President the invidious task of judging among so many worthy men, all of whom can only be known to him by the record. But events and movements have followed each other so rapidly that my army commanders have not been able to attend to the matter, but have sent into my office the detached papers of each. These I herewith inclose, indorsed with my own individual opinion. I have not
General Thomas' list, but will instruct him to send it direct from Nashville, where he now is. If necessary [_sic_] to promote to divisions and brigades the officers now exercising the rank of major-general and brigadier-general, it be necessary to create vacancies, I do think the exigencies of the country would warrant the muster out of the same number of generals now on the list that have not done service in the past year.
The following persons should be promoted to the rank of major-general: . . .
Army of the Ohio: Brig.-Gen. J. D. Cox to be major-general....
All these are actual division commanders, men of marked courage, capacity, and merit, who are qualified to separate commands....
I am, with respect, your obedient servant, (Signed) W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General."
_Schofield to Thomas, after the Battles of Franklin and Nashville. Official Records, vol. xlv. pt. ii._ p. 273.
"HEAD QUARTERS, ARMY OF THE OHIO, FRANKLIN, TENN., Dec. 19, 1864.
MAJ.-GEN. GEORGE H. THOMAS, Commanding Dep't of the Cumberland.
GENERAL,--I have the honor to enclose herewith a letter to
Maj.-Gen. Halleck, Chief of Staff, urging the promotion of Brig.-Gen. Cox, and to urge that it may be forwarded with your indorsement. Unless General Cox can obtain the promotion which he has so often earned, he will soon quit the service, which would be an irreparable loss to my command. I am, general, Very Respectfully, Your obed't serv't, (Signed) J. M. SCHOFIELD, Maj.-Gen."
Halleck, after the Battles of Franklin and Nashville. Official Records, vol. xlv. pt. ii. p. 273._
"HEADQUARTERS, ARMY OF THE OHIO, FRANKLIN, TENN., Dec. 19, 1864.
MAJOR-GENERAL H. W. HALLECK, Chief of Staff, U. S. Army, D. C. GENERAL,--I desire earnestly to ask your attention, and, through you, that of the President and Secretary of War, to the claims of Brigadier-General J. D. Cox to promotion. It is unnecessary to recite, in detail, the services of so distinguished an officer. He has merited promotion scores of times by skilful and heroic conduct in as many battles. He is one of the very best division commanders I have ever seen, and has often shown himself qualified for a higher command.
Permit me to say that in overlooking the merits of such an officer as General Cox, the Government has, unintentionally of course, committed an act of great injustice, and one which must soon deprive the country of his services. An officer cannot exercise for three years a command which he is universally admitted to be eminently qualified for, and yet be denied the corresponding rank, while his juniors, notoriously less deserving, are promoted, without feeling such mortification and chagrin as must drive him from the army.
Excuse, General, the earnestness with which I refer to this matter. I do not exaggerate the merits of the case; on the contrary, I do not half state it. I am, General, very respectfully, Your obedient servant, J. M. SCHOFIELD, Major-General."
Halleck, after the Battles of Franklin and Nashville. Official Records, vol. xlv. pt. ii. p. 274._
[Indorsement] "HEAD Q'RS, DEP'T OF THE CUMBERLAND. IN THE FIELD, TENNESSEE, Dec. 20, 1864.
Respectfully forwarded, earnestly recommending the promotion of Brig.-Gen. J. D. Cox to the grade of Major-General. His services on the Atlanta campaign entitle him to the promotion asked for, and at the battle of Franklin he was eminently distinguished for personal courage as well as for the skilful management of his command.
GEORGE H. THOMAS, Maj.-Gen. Com'g."
_Thomas to Halleck, Dec. 23, 1864, again recommending General Cox for Promotion. Official Records, vol. xlv. pt. ii. pp. 234, 235._
"HEADQUARTERS THIRD DIVISION, 23D ARMY CORPS. ON GRANNY WHITE PIKE, December 17, 1864.
MAJ. J. A. CAMPBELL, Ass't Adj't-Gen., Army of the Ohio.
MAJOR,--I have the honor to claim for my command the capture of eight pieces of the enemy's artillery, in the charge made by the first brigade last evening. The four pieces captured by the Eighth Tennessee Infantry, as stated by Colonel Doolittle in the accompanying dispatch, were not put under guard at the moment, and a guard was subsequently put over them and the pieces claimed by McArthur's division, Sixteenth Corps.
J. D. Cox, Brigadier-General Commanding."
[Inclosure] "H'DQ'RS, 1ST BRIGADE, 30 Div., 23d ARMY CORPS. IN THE FIELD, December 17, 1864.
CAPT. THEODORE Cox, Ass't Adj't-General.
SIR,--I have the honor to report that in the charge on the enemy's works yesterday, my brigade captured eight pieces of artillery, light twelves, instead of four as reported verbally. The four pieces claimed by McArthur's division, Sixteenth Corps, were taken by the 8th Tennessee, who drove the enemy from them. The 12th Kentucky took the other four pieces. CHAS. C. DOOLITTLE, Col. 18th Michigan Inft'y, Commanding."
[First Indorsement] "HEAD Q'RS, ARMY OF THE OHIO, FRANKLIN, TENN., Dec. 19th, 1864.
Respectfully forwarded to Head Quarters Department of the Cumberland.
(Signed) J. M. SCHOFIELD, Major-General."
[Second Indorsement] "H'DQ'RS DEP'T OF THE CUMBERLAND, DUCK RIVER, TENN., Dec. 23, 1864.
Respectfully forwarded to
Maj.-Gen. H. W. Halleck, Chief of Staff, recommending that Brig.-Gen. J. D. Cox be promoted to the grade of Major-General.
(Signed) GEO. H. THOMAS, Maj.-Gen. U. S. Vols., Commanding."
RECOMMENDATION FOR CORPS COMMAND
"HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA,
WILMINGTON, N. C., February 24, 1865.
LIEUT.-GEN. U. S. GRANT, Commanding Armies of the United States.
City Point, Va.
GENERAL,--I respectfully request that the troops in this department which do not belong to the Twenty-third Army Corps may be organized into an army corps, and that Maj.-Gen. Alfred H. Terry be assigned to its command. Also that Maj.-Gen. J. D. Cox may be assigned to the command of the Twenty-third Army Corps.
I am, General, very respectfully, your obedient servant, J. M. SCHOFIELD, Major-General." [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xlvii. pt. ii. p. 559.]
[_Letter of same date_.]
"... I have asked for the assignment of General Cox and General Terry to corps commands, both because the strength of my command renders it desirable, and because it will enable me to leave either the one or the other in command of the column which I may not be with at any time." [Footnote: _Ibid_.]
"HEADQUARTERS, ARMY OF THE OHIO, GOLDSBOROUGH, N. C., March 22, 1865. LIEUTENANT-GENERAL GRANT, City Point, Va.
Near a month ago I wrote you a letter requesting that Maj.-Gen. J. D. Cox be assigned to the command of the Twenty-third Army Corps, and that the remaining troops in this department be organized into a corps in command of Maj.-Gen. A. H. Terry. Having received no reply, I presume that my letter did not reach you; therefore I beg leave to renew the request. But if it be not deemed advisable to organize a corps for General Terry, I nevertheless respectfully request that Major-General Cox may be assigned to the command of the Twenty-third Corps. J. M. SCHOFIELD, Major-General."
[Indorsement] "GOLDSBOROUGH, N. C., March 23, 1865.
I approve this. I know that General Cox is a good officer, and General Terry has the best possible reputation. General Schofield will want two corps organizations as soon as possible.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding." [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xlvii. pt. ii. pp. 960, 961.]
"CITY POINT, VA., March 25, 1865.
E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War, Washington.
General Schofield recommends and I approve the appointment of General Cox to the command of the Twenty-third Corps. He also asks the organization of the balance of the troops in his department into a corps under General Terry. This will be of great advantage to his command. I would suggest that Terry's corps be called the Tenth.
U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General." [Footnote: _Id._, pt. iii. p 18.]
"GENERAL ORDERS No. 49.
WAR DEP'T, ADJ'T-GENERAL'S OFFICE, WASHINGTON, March 27, 1865.
By direction of the President, the following assignments are hereby made:
I. Maj.-Gen. A. A. Humphreys, to the command of the Second Army Corps.
II. Maj.-Gen. J. G. Parke to the command of the Ninth Army Corps.
III. Maj.-Gen. J. D. Cox to the command of the Twenty-third Army Corps.
IV. All other troops in North Carolina not belonging to corps in
General Sherman's army will constitute the Tenth Army Corps, of which Maj.-Gen. A. H. Terry is assigned to the command.
By command of the Secretary of War, E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant
Adjutant-General." [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xlvii. pt.
iii. p. 34.]