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549 AND 551 BROADWAY. 


Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1874, by 


In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. 


I offer these pages as my contribution of mate- 
rials for the use of the future historian of the War 
between the States. 


Passage of Ordinance of Secession by Virginia Convention. — Resign office of 
Quartermaster - General of the United States. — Defense of West Point 
Officers, who resigned, from Unjust Attack. — Assigned to Duty of organ- 
izing Virginia Troops. — Ordered by President Davis to take command at 
Harper's Ferry. — Convinced, on Examination, that it was untenable. — Cor- 
respondence, on the Subject, with General Lee and the Confederate Authori- 
ties. — General Beauregard assigned to command of Confederate Army at 
Manassas. — Movements of General Patterson. — Withdrawal from Harper's 
Ferry. — Affair near Romney. — General Patterson again marches on Martins- 
burg. — Battle offered at Darkesville. — General McDowell advances on Ma- 
nassas. — Precautions preparatory to assisting General Beauregard page 9 

Movement of Troops to Manassas. — Discouragements of the March. — Arrival at 
Manassas. — President Davis's Telegram. — General Beauregard's Proposed 
Plan of Attack approved. — General McDowell anticipates it. — Battle of 
Manassas. — Arrival of President Davis. — Reasons why an Advance on 
Washington was impracticable 36 


The Summer spent in observing the Enemy and preparing for Active Service. — 
Mason's and Munson's Hills occupied. — Colonel J. E. B. Stuart. — General 
McClellan in command of the Federal Forces. — Consequences of Want of 
Preparation for the Struggle beginning to be seriously felt. — The President 
appoints Five Generals. — Correspondence with him on the Subject. — Organi- 
zation of the Confederate Army. — President invited to Headquarters of the 
Army for Consultation. — He visits Fairfax Court-House. — Account of the 
Conference and its Result. — Battle of Leesburg. — Affair at Drainsville. — 
Effective Total of the Confederate Army at the End of the Year 1861.— Allu- 
sion to Events in the West 69 


General Jackson proposes to resign. — Interference of Secretary Benjamin with 
the Army. — Proposition to exchange Prisoners. — Summoned to Richmond 
for Conference. — Preparations for withdrawal from Manassas. — Secretary 
Benjamin continues his Interference with the Discipline of the Army. — 
Movement to the Rappahannock. — Orders to General Jackson. — Battle of 


Kernstown. — Army moved to the Rapidati. — Appointment of General Ran- 
dolph Secretary of War. — Movements of General McClcllan. — Another Con- 
ference with the President. — Its Result ..... page 87 


Take Command on the Peninsula. — General Magruder's Defensive Preparations. 
— Inform War Department of Intention to abandon Yorktown. — Battle of 
Williamsburg. — Affair near Eltham. — No further Interruption to the March. 
— Army withdrawn across the Chickakominy. — Disposition of the Confed- 
erate Forces in Virginia at this Time. — Advance of General McClellan. — 
Reported Movement of McDowell. — Battle of Seven Pines . . 117 


Report for Service at the War-Office. — Received Orders on November 24th. — 
Correspondence with the War Department. — Colonel Morgan's Achievement 
at Hartsville. — Meet the President at Chattanooga, and accompany him to 
Mississippi. — Battle of Murfreesboro'. — Van Dorn attacked at Franklin. — 
While en route to Mississippi, ordered to take direct Command of General 
Bragg's Army. — Events in Mississippi. — General Pemberton's Dispatches. 
— Battle near Port Gibson. — Ordered to Mississippi to take " Chief Com- 
mand " . . 147 


Start for Mississippi. — Dispatch from General Pemberton. — Arrival at Jackson. 
— Movements of the Enemy. — Orders to General Pemberton. — Battle of 
Baker's Creek. — Retreat of General Pemberton across the Big Black to 
Vicksburg. — Letter from General Pemberton. — Order him to evacuate 
Vicksburg. — Investment of Vicksburg by the Enemy. — Port Hudson in- 
vested. — Siege of Vicksburg. — Telegraphic Correspondence with the Presi- 
dent and Secretary of War. — Move to the Relief of General Pemberton. — 
Receive News of the Fall of Vicksburg. — Army retires to Jackson 174 


General Sherman advances on Jackson with Large Force. — Dispositions made 
for its Defense. — Correspondence by Telegraph with the President. — Daily 
Skirmishing. — Enemy expected to attack. — Instead of attacking, begin a 
Siege. — Evacuation of Jackson. — Army withdrawn to Morton. — Enemy, 
after burning much of Jackson, retire to Vicksburg. — Relieved of Com- 
mand of Department of Tennessee. — General Bragg's Telegram; Suggestion 
too late. — Review of the Mississippi Campaign. — Visit Mobile to examine 
its Defenses. — Letter from the President, commenting harshly on my Mili- 
tary Conduct. — My Reply to it. — Congress calls for the Correspondence. — 
My Letter not furnished. — Both Letters. — Events during the Fall. — Ordered 
to take Command of the Army at Dalton. — Arrive on 2Cth and assume 
Command on 27th of December 205 


Find Letter of Instruction from Secretary of War at Dalton. — My Reply. — Let- 
ter from the President. — Mine in reply. — Condition of the Army. — General 


Hardee ordered to Mississippi to repel General Sherman's Advance. — 
Movements of the Enemy in our Front. — Dispositions to meet them. — Gen- 
eral Hardee and his Troops return to Dalton. — Correspondence with Gen- 
eral Bragg. — Effective Strength of the Army of Tennessee. — Advance of 
General Sherman ......... page 262 


Disposition of the Confederate Troops. — Affair at Dug Gap. — Cavalry Fight at 
Varnell's Station. — Fighting at Resaca. — General Wheeler encounters 
Stoneman's Cavalry. — Army withdrawn to Resaca to meet Flanking Move- 
ment of the Enemy 287 


Skirmishing at Resaca along our whole Lines. — The Enemy cross the Ooste- 
naula. — Our Army put in Position to meet this Movement. — Causes of leav- 
ing Dalton. — The Dispositions there of the Confederate Army. — The Army 
at Cassville. — The Position a strong one. — In Line of Battle. — Generals 
Hood and Polk urge Abandonment of Positions, stating their Inability 
to hold their Ground. — General Hardee remonstrates. — Position abandoned, 
and Army crosses the Etowah. — Losses up to Date. — Affairs near New Hope 
Church. — Manoeuvring of Federal Troops. — Kenesaw. — General Assault. — 
Battle of Kenesaw. — Army crosses the Chattahoochee. — Visit of General 
Brown. — Relieved from Command of the Army of Tennessee. — Explain my 
Plans to General Hood. — Review of the Campaign. — Grounds of my Removal 
— Discussion of them. — General Cobb's Defense of Macon . . 304 

Again ordered to the Command of the Army of Tennessee in North Carolina. — In- 
terview with General Beauregard. — Movement of the Federal Forces in North 
Carolina. — General Bragg attacks the Enemy successfully near Kinston. 
— General Hardee attacked by Two Corps near Averysboro'. — Battle of Ben- 
tonville. — Events in Virginia. — Evacuation of Richmond, and Surrender of 
General Lee's Army. — Negotiations begun with General Sherman. — Details 
of the Conference. — Armistice and Convention agreed on. — The latter 
represented by Washington Authorities. — The Army surrenders. — Fare- 
well Order to the Confederate Troops 371 


Causes of Failure. — Misapplication of Means. — Inefficient Financial System. — 
Bad Impressment Laws. — No Want of Zeal or Patriotism. — Refutation of 
Charges against Secretary Floyd. — Facts of the Case. — Deficiency of Small- 
Arms at the South 421 


Mr. Davis's Unsent Message. — Letters of Governor Humphreys and Major 
Mims. — Synopsis of Unsent Message. — Reply to Unsent Message . 430 



Map of Peninsula 

Map of Vicksburg 

Map of Dalton, North Georgia, No. 1 

Map of Adairsville, North Georgia, No, 

Map of Marietta, North Georgia, No. 3 

Map of Atlanta, . 

General Joseph E. Johnston 
General G. T. Beauregard 
Major-General Irwin McDowell 
Lieutenant-General T. J. Jackson 
General George B. McClellan 
Lieutenant-General James Longstreet 
Lieutenant-General R. S. Ewell 
General Braxton Bragg 
Lieutenant-General William J. Hardee 
Lieutenant-General Leonidas Polk 
Lieutenant-General U. S. Grant 
Major-General W. T. Sherman 
General John B. Hood 
Lieutenant-General A. P. Stewart 
Lieutenant-General Wade Hampton 


to face page 119 


to face page 38 



Passage of Ordinance of Secession by Virginia Convention. — Resign Office of 
Quartermaster-General of the United States. — Defense of West Point 
Officers, who resigned, from Unjust Attack. — Assigned to Duty of organ- 
izing Virginia Troops. — Ordered by President Davis to take command at 
Harper's Ferry. — Convinced, on Examination, that it was untenable. — Cor- 
respondence, on the Subject, with General Lee and the Confederate Authori- 
ties. — General Beauregard assigned to command of Confederate Army at 
Manassas. — Movements of General Patterson. — Withdrawal from Harper's 
Ferry. — Affair near Romney. — General Patterson again marches on Martins- 
burg. — Battle offered at Darkesville. — General McDowell advances on Ma- 
nassas. — Precautions preparatory to assisting General Beauregard. 

The composition of the convention assembled in 
Richmond in the spring of 1861, to consider the ques- 
tion of secession, proved that the people of Virginia 
did not regard Mr. Lincoln's election as a sufficient 
cause for that measure, for at least two-thirds of 
its members were elected as "Union men." And 
they and their constituents continued to be so, until 
the determination to "coerce" the seceded States 
was proclaimed by the President of the United 
States, and Virginia required to furnish her quota 
of the troops to be organized for the purpose. War 
being then inevitable, and the convention compelled 
to decide whether the State should aid in the subju- 


gation of the other Southern States, or join them in 
the defense of principles it had professed since 1789 
— belong to the invading party, or to that standing 
on the defensive — it chose the latter, and passed its 
ordinance of secession. The people confirmed that 
choice by an overwhelming vote. 

The passage of that ordinance, in secret session 
on the 1 7th of April, was not known in Washing- 
ton, where, as Quartermaster-General of the United 
States Army, I was then stationed, until the 19th. 
I believed, like most others, that the division of the 
country would be permanent ; and that, apart from 
any right of secession, the revolution begun was 
justified by the maxims so often repeated by Ameri- 
cans, that free government is founded on the con- 
sent of the governed, and that every community 
strong enough to establish and maintain its inde- 
pendence has a right to assert it. Having been edu- 
cated in such opinions, I naturally determined to re- 
turn to the State of which I was a native, join the 
people among whom I was born, and live with my 
kindred, and, if necessary, fight in their defense. 

Accordingly, the resignation of my commission, 
written on Saturday, was offered to the Secretary of 
War Monday morning. That gentleman was re- 
quested, at the same time, to instruct the Adjutant- 
General, who had kindly accompanied me, to write 
the order announcing its acceptance, immediately. 

No other officer of the United States Army of 
equal rank, that of brigadier-general,, relinquished 
his position in it to join the Southern Confederacy. 

Many officers of that army, of Southern birth, 
had previously resigned their commissions, to return 


to the States of which they were citizens, and many 
others did so later. Their objects in quitting the 
United States Anny, and their intentions to enter 
the service of the seceded States, were well known 
in the War Department. Yet no evidence of disap- 
proval of these intentions was given by the Federal 
Administration, nor efforts made by it to prevent 
their execution. This seems to me strong proof 
that they were not then considered criminal. 

Northern editors and political speakers accuse 
those who thus left the service of the United States 
for that of the Southern Confederacy, of perjury, in 
breaking their oaths of allegiance. It is impossible 
that the inventors and propagators of this charge can 
be ignorant that it is false. The acceptance of an 
officer's resignation absolves him from the obligations 
of his military oath as completely as it releases the 
government from that of giving him the pay of the 
grade he held. An officer is bound by that oath to 
allegiance to the United States, and obedience to the 
officers they may set over him. When the contract 
between the government and himself is dissolved by 
mutual consent, as in the cases in question, he is no 
more bound, under Ms oatJi, to allegiance to the gov- 
ernment, than to obedience to his former commander. 
These two obligations are in force only during ten- 
ure of office. The individual who was an officer has, 
when he becomes a citizen, exactly the same obliga- 
tions to the United States as other citizens. 

This principle was always acted upon by the 
United States. Whenever a military officer received 
a new appointment, either of a higher grade, or of 
an equal one in another corps, he was required to 


repeat the oath of office, because the previous one, in- 
cluding of course that of allegiance, was held to have 
expired with the previous office, although the in- 
dividual had not ceased to be an officer of the army. 
When he left the army, as well as a particular office 
in it, the case was certainly stronger. 

Leaving all my property but personal arms and 
clothing, I set off to Kichmond with my family, on 
Tuesday. In consequence of railroad accidents, 
however, we did not reach that place until day- 
break, Thursday. 

General Lee had been appointed commander-in- 
chief, with the rank of major-general. There were, 
however, several other officers of that grade. A few 
hours after my arrival, Governor Letcher gave me 
the appointment of major-general. 

The commander-in-chief assigned me to the ser- 
vice of organizing and instructing the volunteers 
then just beginning to assemble at the call of the 
Governor. He himself was then selecting the points 
to be occupied by these troops for the protection of 
the State, and determining the number to be as- 
signed to each. Norfolk, a point near Yorktown, 
another in front of Fredericksburg, Manassas Junc- 
tion, Harper's Ferry, and Grafton, seemed to be re- 
garded by him as the most important positions, for 
they were to be occupied in greatest force. 

I was assisted in my duties by Lieutenant-Colo- 
nel Pemberton, Majors Jackson and Gilham, and 
Captain T. L. Preston. Near the end of April, how- 
ever, the second named was promoted to a colonelcy 
and assigned to the command of Harper's Ferry, 
held until then by Colonel Kenton Harper. 

1861.] HARPER'S FERRY. 13 

I was employed in this way about two weeks. 
Then, Virginia having acceded to the Southern 
Confederacy, the government of which assumed the 
direction of military affairs, I accepted a brigadier- 
generalcy offered me by telegraph by the President. 
It was then the highest grade in the Confederate 
army. The offer had been made in one or two pre- 
vious telegrams sent to General Lee, for me, but not 
delivered. The Virginia Convention had abolished 
my office in the State service, and offered me the 
next lower. But, as it was certain that the war 
would be conducted by the Confederate Govern- 
ment, and its officers had precedence of those having 
like State grades, I preferred the Confederate com- 

The President had me called to Montgomery to 
receive instructions, and there assigned me to the 
command of Harper's Ferry. 

In my journeys from Washington to Richmond, 
from Richmond to Montgomery, and thence to Har- 
per's Ferry, I saw in the crowds assembled at all the 
railroad-stations the appearance of great enthusiasm 
for the war against subjugation — so much as to give 
me the impression that all of the population fit for 
military service might have been brought into the 
field, if the Confederate Government could have fur- 
nished them with arms and ammunition — which, un- 
fortunately, it had not provided. That government 
depended for arms, for the war then imminent, main- 
ly upon those found in the arsenals at Fayetteville, 
Charleston, Augusta, Mount Vernon, and Baton 
Rouge; United States muskets and rifles of dis- 
carded pattern, the number supposed to be about 


seventy -five thousand ; above forty thousand muskets 
belonging to the State of Virginia in course of rapid 
conversion from "flint" to "percussion lock" by 
Governor Letcher's orders; and twenty thousand 
lately procured for the State of Georgia, by Gov- 
ernor Brown. 

I reached Harper's Ferry soon after noon of the 
23d of May, accompanied by Colonel E. Kirby 
Smith, 1 acting adjutant-general, Major W. H. C. 
Whiting, 8 of the Engineer Corps, Major E. McLean, 
of the Quartermaster's Department, and Captain T. 
L. Preston, assistant adjutant-general. Within an 
hour the commanding officer, Colonel Jackson, 3 
visited me ; learned the object of my coming, and 
read the order of the War Department, assigning 
me to the command he had been exercising. My 
order announcing the change of commanders, made 
by the President's authority, was sent to him next 
morning, with the request that he would have the 
proper number of copies made and distributed to 
the troops, as I had no office as yet. He replied very 
courteously, in writing, that he did not " feel at lib- 
erty to transfer his command to another without 
further instructions from Governor Letcher or Gen- 
eral Lee;" but offered me, in the mean while, every 
facility in his power for obtaining information relat- 
ing to the post. Major Whiting, who had been his 
school-fellow, saw him at my request, and convinced 
him very soon that the President's authority was 
paramount in military affairs, and his action in the 

1 Afterward lieutenant-general. 

9 Who fell at Fort Fisher, a major-general. 

9 Who became so celebrated as lieutenant-general. 

1861.] HARPER'S FERRY. 15 

case in accordance with military usage. This misun- 
derstanding of military custom produced little more 
delay than the time consumed by the messenger in 
bringing me Colonel Jackson's note, and by Major 
Whiting in going to that officer's quarters from mine. 

This little affair is mentioned, only because what 
seems to me a very exaggerated account of it has 
been published. 1 

Governor Letcher had taken possession of Har- 
per's Ferry as soon as possible, and had it occupied 
by a body of troops commanded by Colonel Kenton 
Harper — not soon enough, however, to prevent the 
destruction of the small-arms stored in the armory. 
The Federal commanding officer, when compelled by 
the approach of the Virginia troops to abandon the 
place, set fire to the buildings containing these arms, 2 
to destroy what he could not save for his govern- 
ment. Soon after being appointed commander-in- 
chief of the forces of the State, General Lee increased 
the garrison of Harper's Ferry, and placed Colonel 
Jackson in command there. On extending its control 
of military affairs over Virginia, the Confederate Gov- 
ernment, as if equally impressed with the importance 
of the position, made another addition to the troops 
assembled there — of three regiments and two bat- 
talions of infantry. I was also instructed in Mont- 
gomery to "take Lynchburg in my route, and to 
make arrangements there for sending forward to Har- 
per's Ferry ' such force ' as I might deem necessary to 
strengthen my command." I found no available 
" force " there, however. 

1 In Dabney's " Life of Jackson." 

a It was said that there were about seventeen thousand of them. 


The forces thus assembled were, the Second, 
Fourth, Fifth, Tenth, Thirteenth, and Twenty-sev- 
enth Virginia, Second and Eleventh Mississippi and 
Fourth Alabama regiments of infantry, and a Mary- 
land and a Kentucky battalion ; four companies of 
artillery (Virginia), with four guns each, but with- 
out caissons, horses, or harness ; and the First Eegi- 
ment of Virginia Cavalry — of about two hundred 
and fifty men, including Captain Turner Ashby's 
company, temporarily attached to it by Colonel Jack- 
son — in all, about five thousand two hundred effective 
men. Among the superior officers were several who 
subsequently rose to high distinction : " Stonewall " 
Jackson ; A. P. Hill, who won the grade of lieutenant- 
general ; Stuart, matchless as commander of outposts ; 
and Pendleton, General Lee's commander of artillery. 

These troops were undisciplined, of course. They 
were also badly armed and equipped — several regi- 
ments being without accoutrements — and were almost 
destitute of ammunition, and, like all new troops as- 
sembled in large bodies, they were suffering very 
much from sickness ; nearly forty per cent. 1 of the 
"total" being in the hospitals there or elsewhere, 
from the effects of measles and mumps. 

General Lee's command in Virginia, as major-gen- 
eral in the State service, was continued until Rich- 
mond became the Confederate seat of government. 
The law converting the Confederate brigadier-generals 
into generals, approved May 16th, had not been pub- 
lished to the army in orders, by the War Department, 
but was known to be in existence, for it had appeared 
in the newspapers. 

1 This proportion is given from memory. 

1861.] EAEPEK'S FERRY, -tf 

My conversations with General Lee in Richmond, 
and the President's oral instructions to me in Mont- 
gomery, had informed me distinctly that they re- 
garded Harper's Ferry as a natural fortress — com- 
manding the entrance into the Valley of Virginia 
from Pennsylvania and Maryland — and that it was 
occupied in that idea, and my command not that of a 
military district and active army, but of a fortress 
and its garrison. Maps, and intelligent persons of 
the neighborhood, told me that the principal route 
into " the Valley " from Pennsylvania crosses the Po- 
tomac at "Williamsport, and the railroad at Martins- 
burg, at least twenty miles west of this garrison, and 
of course beyond its control. A careful examination 
of the position and its environs, made on the 25th, 
with the assistance of an engineer of great ability, 
Major Whiting, convinced me that it could not be 
held against equal numbers by such a force as then 
occupied it. 

Harper's Ferry is untenable against an army by 
any force not strong enough to hold the neighboring 
heights north of the Potomac and east of the Shen- 
andoah, as well as the place itself. It is a triangle 
formed by the Potomac, Shenandoah, and Furnace 
Ridge, the latter extending from river to river, a mile 
and a half above their junction. Artillery on the 
heights above mentioned to the north and east could 
sweep every part of this space. As the rivers are 
fordable at various points, it was easy to turn or 
invest the place, or assail it on the west (Furnace 
Ridge) side. 

Two main routes lead from Maryland and Penn- 


sylvania into the Valley of Virginia, meeting at Win- 
chester: one passing through Frederick, and cross- 
ing the Potomac at Harper's Ferry ; the other lead- 
ing through Chanibersburg, Williamsport (where it 
crosses the Potomac), and Martinsburg. These roads 
are met at Winchester by the principal one from 
Northwestern Virginia into " the Valley," and also 
by a good and direct one from Manassas Junction, 
through Ashby's Gap, which, east of the Blue Eidge, 
had the advantage of easy communication with the 
Manassas Gap Eailroad. This road is, perhaps, lit- 
tle shorter than that from Manassas Junction to 
Harper's Ferry ; but there were insuperable objec- 
tions to the latter. Near Harper's Ferry it fol- 
lows the course of the Potomac, and could be 
completely swept by artillery on the north bank 
of the river, so that it might have been closed to 
us by a few Federal batteries ; and, even if our 
troops following it escaped that danger, they might 
have been intercepted near Centreville by the Fed- 
eral amry. 

The United States had, at that time, three armies 
threatening Virginia. The principal one at Wash- 
ington, commanded by Major-General McDowell ; 
the second at Chambersburg, under Major-General 
Patterson's command ; and the third in Northwest- 
ern Virginia, under that of Major-General McClellan. 

We supposed that these armies would cooperate 
with each other, and that the Federal general-in- 
ch ief would direct their combined forces against 
Richmond. This supposition was partially sustained 
by our scouts and friends in Maryland, who reported 
that the armies of Generals Patterson and McClel- 

1831.] HARPER'S FERRY. 1Q 

Ian were to unite at Winchester ; and this report was 
confirmed "by the Northern press. 

It was necessary, of course, that the Confederate 
troops in the Valley should always be ready to meet 
this invasion, as well as to unite quickly with the 
army at Manassas Junction, whenever it might be 
threatened by General McDowell's. At Harper's 
Ferry, they were manifestly out of position for either 
object, for Patterson's route from Chambersburg 
lay through Willianisport and Martinsburg — a long 
day's march to the west ; and the only direct road 
thence to Manassas Junction was completely under 
the enemy's control. Winchester was obnoxious to 
neither objection, but, on the contrary, fulfilled the 
conditions desired better than any other point. The 
commanders on both sides, in the subsequent mili- 
tary operations in that region, seem to have appre- 
ciated its importance, and to have estimated its 
value as I did, except those who disposed the forces 
of the United States in September, 1862, when eleven 
thousand men, placed at Harper's Ferry as a garrison, 
were captured, almost without resistance, by General 
Lee's troops, coining from Maryland. 

My objections to Harpers Ferry as a position, 
and to the idea of matins: a garrison instead of an 
active force of the troops intrusted with the defense 
of that district, were expressed to the proper au- 
thorities in letters dated May 26th and 28th, and 
June 6th, and replied to by General Lee ' on the 1st 
and 7th of June. These letters of his express the 

1 After Richmond became the seat of the Confederate Government, 
General Lee performed a part of the duties of the Secretary of War, 
and of the Adjutant-General. 


dissent of the authorities from my views, and their 
opinion that the maintenance of the existing arrange- 
ment was necessary to enable us to retain the com- 
mand of the Valley of Virginia, and our communica- 
tions with Maryland, held to be very important. 

General Lee wrote in his letter of June 1st : "I 
received, on my return from Manassas Junction, your 
communications of the 25th and 28th ult., in refer- 
ence to your position at Harper's Ferry. The diffi- 
culties which surround it have been felt from the 
beginning of its occupation, and I am aware of the 
obstacles to its maintenance with your present force. 
Every effort has been made to remove them, and will 
be continued. But, with similar necessities pressing 
on every side, you need not be informed of the diffi- 
culty of providing against them. . . ." And in that 
of the 7th : " I have had the honor to receive your 
letter of the 6th inst. The importance of the subject 
has induced me to lay it before the President, that 
he may be informed of your views. He places great 
value upon the retention of the command of the 
Shenandoah Valley, and the position at Harper's 
Ferry. The evacuation of the latter would interrupt 
our communication with Maryland, and injure our 
cause in that State. . . ." 

The objects of the Confederate Government, ex- 
pressed in these letters, were not to be accomplished 
by the concentration of its forces at Harper's Ferry ; 
for General Patterson's invasion was to be from 
Chambersburg, and therefore by Williamsport and 
Martinsburg, a route beyond the control of Harper's 

Notwithstanding this determination on the part 

1861.] HARPER'S FERRY. 21 

of the Executive, I resolved not to continue to occupy 
the place after the purposes for which the troops 
were sent to it should require them elsewhere. 

About the 9th of June, however, I again repre- 
sented to the Government the objections to its plan, 
and urged it to change the character of my command. 1 

General Beauregard came to Manassas Junction 
and assumed command on that frontier, a week after 
my arrival at Harper's Ferry. We communicated 
with each other at once, and agreed that the first 
attacked should be aided by the other to his utmost. 
"We were convinced of our mutual dependence, and 
agreed in the opinion that the safety of the Confed- 
eracy depended on the cooperation of the armies we 

In the mean time the Potomac was observed by 
the cavalry from the Point of Rocks to the western 
part of the county of Berkeley, as had been done un- 
der my predecessor. The manufacture of cartridge- 
boxes and belts was ordered in the neighboring towns 
and villages. Cartridges were made of powder fur- 
nished by Governor Letcher, and lead found at the 
place, or procured in the neighborhood. Caps (in small 
quantities only) were smuggled from Baltimore. Cais- 
sons were constructed at Captain Pendleton's sugges- 
tion, by fixing roughly-made ammunition-chests on the 
running-parts of farm-wagons. Horses, and harness 
of various kinds, for the artillery, and wagons and 

1 In my report of the military operations, ending in the battle of 
Manassas, published by the Government, I briefly reminded the War 
Department of these views, and of the expression of them by me at 
the time, and that " the continued occupation of the place was deemed 
by it indispensable." {See fourth and fifth paragraphs of that report.) 


teams for field-transportation, were collected in the 
surrounding country; and the work of removing 
the machinery of the armory, begun by Governor 
Letcher's orders, was continued. Two heavy guns on 
naval carriages, that had been placed in battery on 
the west side of the village by Colonel Jackson's di- 
rection, were mounted on Furnace Eidge. My pred- 
ecessors had constructed two very slight outworks, 
one on the summit of the mountain on the Maryland 
side of the Potomac, the other on the Loudon Heights. 

Before the end of the first week in June the Sev- 
enth and Eighth Georgia and Second Tennessee regi- 
ments had arrived. 

About the 10th of the month, General Patterson, 
who had been organizing and instructing his troops 
at Chambersburg, advanced from that place to Ha- 
gerstown. According to the information we could ob- 
tain from scouts and intelligent people of the country, 
they amounted to about eighteen thousand men. The 
organization of this army, as published in a newspa- 
per of Hagerstown, corresponded very well with this 
estimate ; for twenty-four regiments of infantry were 
enumerated in it, and several small bodies of regular 
artillery and cavalry. 1 

The garrison of Harper's Ferry had then been in- 
creased to almost seven thousand men of all arms. 

At sunrise on the 13th the Hon. James M. Ma- 
son brought from Winchester intelligence, received 
there the nisrht before, that two thousand Federal 
troops, supposed to be the advanced guard of Gen- 
eral McClellan's army, had marched into Eomney the 
day before. That place is forty-three miles west of 

1 This statement is from memory. 


Winchester. As this information had come from the 
most respectable sources, it was "believed, and Colonel 
A. P. Hill immediately dispatched to Winchester 
with his own (Thirteenth) and Colonel Gibbons's 
(Tenth Virginia) regiments on trains provided by 
Mr. Mason's forethought. Colonel Hill was instructed 
to add Colonel Vaughn's (Third Tennessee) regiment, 
which had just reached the town, to his detachment, 
and to move on toward Romney without delay, and 
to take the best measures in his power to retard the 
progress of the Federal troops, if they should be ap- 
proaching " the Valley." 

During that day and the next the heavy baggage 
of the troops (almost every private soldier had a 
trunk), the property of the quartermaster's and sub- 
sistence departments, and the remaining machinery 
of the armory, were removed to Winchester by 
railroad, whence the machinery was transported 
over the turnpike to Strasburg, on the Manassas 
Gap Railroad, and the bridges over the Potomac 
were destroyed from the Point of Rocks to Skep- 

The troops followed on the morning of the 15th, 
by the Berry ville road, and bivouacked for the night 
three or four miles beyond Charlestown. 

Before the time for resuming the march next 
morning, intelligence was received from the cavalry 
outposts that General Patterson's army had crossed 
the Potomac below Williamsport, and was marching 
toward Martinsburg. I determined at once to op- 
pose its advance on that road ; and directed the march 
of the Confederate troops across the country to Bun- 
ker's Hill, midway between Martinsburg and Win- 


cliester, to prevent the junction of Patterson's and 
McClellan's forces. 

While we were waiting for a guide to lead us by 
the "best road to Bunker's Hill, a courier from Rich- 
mond brought me a letter ' from General Cooper, 2 
dated June 13th, giving me the President's au- 
thority to abandon Harper's Ferry and retire tow- 
ard Winchester in such a contingency as the present, 
in the following passages : " . . . You will consider 
yourself authorized, whenever the position of the 
enemy shall convince you that he is about to turn 
your position, to destroy every thing at Harper's 
Ferry which could serve the purposes of the enemy, 
and retire upon the railroad toward Winchester. . . . 
Should you not be sustained by the population of 
1 the Valley,' so as to enable you to turn upon the 
enemy before reaching Winchester, you will continue 
to retire slowly to the Manassas road, in some of the 
passes of which, it is hoped, you will be able to make 
an effective stand, even against a very superior force. 
. . . Should you move so far as to make a junction 
with General Beauregard, the enemy would be free 
immediately to occupy the Valley of Virginia, and to 
pass to the rear of Manassas Junction. . . ." 

We moved at nine o'clock, and, passing through 
Smithiield, reached the turnpike at Bunker's Hill in 
the afternoon, and bivouacked on the banks of the 
stream that flows through the hamlet. 

Next morning the troops were formed on the high 
ground on the Martin sburg side, which offered a fa- 
vorable position for battle, to await the approach of 

1 In reply to mine of the 9th. 

8 The Adjutant-General of the Confederate States army. 


the Federal army. About noon, however, informa- 
tion that it had recrossed the Potomac was received — 
we supposed in consequence of this movement of 
ours. It was really because some of General Patter- 
son's best troops had just been taken from him. 

In pursuance of my original design, the army 
marched toward Winchester, and bivouacked some 
three miles from the town, and on the 18th was dis- 
posed in camps in its immediate vicinity, on the Mar- 
tin sburg front, except the cavalry, which was re- 
placed in observation along the Potomac ; its colonel 
had already won its full confidence, and mine. 

In the night of the 18th Colonel Hill, then at 
Eomney, detached Colonel Vaughn with two compa- 
nies of his regiment (Third Tennessee), and two of 
the Thirteenth Virginia, to destroy the bridge of the 
Baltimore and Ohio Eailroad over New Creek. Colo- 
nel Vaughn learned, when near the bridge, that a 
small body of Federal troops — two hundred and fifty 
infantry and two field-pieces — was near it, on the 
other side of the Potomac. He crossed the river at 
sunrise in their presence, 1 put them to flight, and 
captured their cannon and colors; the guns were 
found loaded, and spiked. 

As it had become certain that no considerable 
body of United States troops was approaching from 
the west, Colonel Hill's detachment was called back 
to Winchester. 

It being ascertained that some of the public prop- 
erty (rough gun-stocks) had been left at Harper's 
Ferry, Lieutenant-Colonel Gr. H. Stewart was sent 
with his Maryland Battalion to bring it away, which 

1 Colonel Vaughn's official report to Colonel Hill. 


was done in about a day ; nothing worth removing 
was left. 

In a letter dated the 18th, addressed to me at 
Winchester, giving the President's further instruc- 
tions, General Cooper wrote : " . . . You are expected 
to act as circumstances may require, only keeping in 
mind the general purpose to resist invasion as far as 
may be practicable, and seek to repel the invaders 
whenever and however it may be done. 

" In order that all dispositions may be made to 
meet your wants, it is necessary that you write fre- 
quently and fully as to your position, and the move- 
ments that may be contemplated by you. Since the 
date of my last letter reenforcements have been stead- 
ily sent forward to the camp at Manassas Junction, 
and others will be added to that place and to yours, 
as the current of events may determine us to advance 
on one line or the other. . . . 

" Reenforcements will be sent to you of such char- 
acter and numbers as you may require and our 
means will enable us to afford. ..." 

In another, written on the 19th, he added: "A 
large supply of ammunition for your command left 
here this morning, including eighty thousand per- 
cussion caps. An additional supply will be for- 
warded by to-morrow morning's train. Every effort 
will be made to support and sustain you, to the ex- 
tent of our means. . . . 

" The movements of the enemy indicate the im- 
portance he attaches to the possession of the Valley 
of Virginia, and that he has probably seen the power 
he would acquire if left free to do so, by advancing 
as far as Staunton and distributing his forces so as 


to cut off our communication with the west and 
south, as well as to operate against our Army of the 
Potomac, by movements upon its lines of communi- 
cations, or attacking upon the reverse, supplying him- 
self at the same time with all the provisions he may 
acquire in the Valley of the Shenandoah, enabling 
him. to dispense with his long line of transportation 
from Pennsylvania. Every thing should be destroyed 
which would facilitate his movements through ' the 

In a few days the army was strengthened by the 
accession of Brigadier-General Bee, Colonel Elzey, 
and the Ninth Georgia regiment. It was then re- 
organized : Jackson's brigade was formed of the Sec- 
ond, Fourth, Fifth, and Twenty-seventh Virginia 
regiments, and Pendleton's battery; Bee's of the 
Second and Eleventh Mississippi, Fourth Alabama, 
and Second Tennessee regiments, and Imboden's 
battery ; Elzey's of the Tenth and Thirteenth Vir- 
ginia, Third Tennessee and Maryland regiments, and 
Groves's battery ; and Bartow's of the Seventh, Eighth, 
and Ninth Georgia regiments, the Kentucky Bat- 
talion, and Alburtis's battery. 

As the intelligence obtained from Maryland indi- 
cated that General Patterson was preparing to cross 
the Potomac again, Colonel Jackson was sent with 
his brigade to the vicinity of Martinsburg to support 
the cavalry. Pie was instructed also to protect and 
aid an agent of the Government, appointed for the 
work, in removing such of the rolling-stock of the 
Baltimore and Ohio Kailroad as he might select for 
the use of the Confederacy, or as much of it as practi- 
cable. It was to be transported to the railroad at 


Strasburg, on the turnpike through Winchester. The 
orders of the Government required the destruction of 
all that could not be brought away. 

It has been said ' somewhat hastily, and I think 
harshly, that those w^ho had the power to seize and 
remove this property committed a gross blunder by 
failing to send it to Winchester by railroad from 
Harper's Ferry before the evacuation of that place. 
This charge falls upon the Executives of the State and 
of the Confederacy, and the military commanders, 
General Jackson and myself. I presume that all were 
governed by the same considerations — those that di- 
rected my course. It would have been criminal as 
well as impolitic on our part to commit such an act 
of war against citizens of Maryland, when we were 
receiving aid from the State then, and hoping for its 
accession to the Confederacy. The seizure of that 
property by us could have been justified only by the 
probability of its military use by the enemy. Such 
a probability did not appear, of course, until after 
our evacuation of Harper's Ferry. Besides, at the 
time in question, the Winchester Railroad and its roll- 
ing-stock were required exclusively for the transpor- 
tation of property far more valuable to the Confed- 
eracy than engines and cars — the machinery of the 
armory. There was another cogent reason, the en- 
gines of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad were too 
heavy for use on the other, or even to pass over it, 
especially near the Shenandoah, where it rests on 
trestles. While at Harper's Ferry I was prevented 
from attempting to use them in the removal of the 
machinery by the remonstrances of the engineers of 
1 In Dabney's "Life of Jackson." 


both roads, founded on their opinions that the heav- 
ier engines of the Baltimore and Ohio Kailroad 
would crush the trestle-work of the Winchester road 
if brought upon it. 

Mr. Davis wrote to me in a letter dated 22d: " I 
congratulate you on the brilliant movement of Colo- 
nel Vaughn's command. To break the line of 
the Baltimore and Ohio Kailroad was essential to 
our operations, and if the bridge at Cheat River 
and the Grand Tunnel could be destroyed so as to 
prevent the use of that railroad for the duration of 
the war the effect upon public opinion in Western 
Virginia would doubtless be of immediate and great 
advantage to our cause. 

" If the enemy has withdrawn from your front to 
attack on the east side of the mountain, it may be 
that an attempt will be made to advance from Lees- 
burg to seize the Manassas Gap road and to turn 
Beauregard's position. ... In that event, if your 
scouts give you accurate and timely information, an 
opportunity will be offered to you by the roads 
through the mountain-passes to make a flank attack 
in conjunction with Beauregard's column, and with 
God's blessing to achieve a victory alike glorious and 
beneficial. ... I wish you would write whenever 
your convenience will permit, and give me fully both 
information and suggestions." 

Twenty-five hundred militia, called out in Fred- 
erick and the surrounding counties, were assembling 
at Winchester under Brigadier-Generals Carson and 
Meem ; and, especially to increase their value, Major 
Whiting was directed to have a few light defensive 
works constructed on the most commanding positions 


on the northeast side of the town, and to have some 
very ineffective heavy guns, on ship-carriages found 
there, mounted in them. 

On the 2d, General Patterson's army, which had 
been strongly reenforced, again crossed the Poto- 
mac and marched toward Martin sburg, driving be- 
fore it the little body of cavalry that Stuart was able 
to gather. Colonel Jackson directed his brigade to 
retire, according to the instructions he had received ; 
and with the rear-guard, composed of three hundred 
and eighty men of Colonel Harper's (Fifth Virginia) 
regiment and a field-piece, 1 which Stuart joined with his 
little detachment, engaged the enemy's leading troops 
near Falling Waters. By taking a position in which 
the smallness of his force was concealed, he was able 
to keep the greatly superior Federal numbers in check 
for a considerable time, long enough for his object, 
the safety of his baggage, and retired only when his 
position was about to be turned. He lost in this 
affair 2 two men killed and six or eight wounded, and 
brought off forty-five prisoners, besides inflicting 
other loss; two brigades were ensued with this 
little rear-guard. 3 

On this intelligence, received at sunset, the army 
was ordered forward, and met Jackson's brigade re- 
tiring, at Darksville, six or seven miles from Mar- 
tinsburg, soon after daybreak. We bivouacked there 
in order of battle, as the Federal army was supposed 
to be advancing to attack us. We waited in this po- 
sition four days, expecting to be attacked, because we 

1 Commanded by Captain Pendleton himself. 

2 General Jackson's report. 

3 General Patterson's report. 


did not doubt that General Patterson had invaded 
Virginia for that purpose. But, unwilling to assail 
greatly superior numbers in a town so defensible as 
Martin sburg, with its solid buildings and inclosures 
of masonry, and convinced, at length, that we were 
waiting to no purpose, I ordered the troops to return 
to "Winchester, much to their disappointment, for they 
were eager to fight. 

Our effective force, then, was not quite nine thou- 
sand men, of all arms. General Patterson's was 
about twenty thousand, I believe, instead of thirty- 
two thousand, the estimate of the people of Martins- 
burg at the time. "We overrated each other's strength 
greatly, as was generally done by the opposing com- 
manders during the war — probably from the feeling 
in Gil Bias, which made his antagonist's sword seem 
" d'une longueur excessive." 

In a letter, dated July 10th, the President said : 
" . . . . Your letter found me trying by every method 
to hasten reinforcements to you. . . . 

" Colonel Forney's regiment will, I suppose, get 
off in the morning, if not this evening, and more shall 
follow as fast as the railroad will permit. . . ." 

And in another, dated the 13th: "... .Another 
(regiment) for the war came yesterday. It was fully 
equipped, and to-day has gone to your column. . . . 
I could get twenty thousand from Mississippi, who 
impatiently wait for notice that they can be armed. 
In Georgia, numerous tenders are made to serve for 
any time, at any place, and to these and other offers 
I am still constrained to answer, ' I have not arms to 
supply you.' . . ." 

The rich country around us furnished abundant 


supplies of provision and forage, which the farmers 
and millers willingly sold on credit to the quarter- 
masters and commissaries of the army. We neither 
received nor required assistance from the Commissary 
Department at Richmond, except for the articles 
of coffee and sugar, which were then parts of the 
Confederate soldier's ration. The army was so for- 
tunate as to have Major Kersley for its chief commis- 
sary, a gentleman of sense and vigor, well acquainted 
with that district and its resources. Under his ad- 
ministration of the commissariat, " the Valley " could 
have supplied abundantly an army four times as large 
as ours. 

It was not so easy to procure ammunition : no 
large quantity had been imported ; and the Ordnance 
Department, then not fully organized, had neither 
time nor means to prepare half the amount required. 
The very small supply brought from Harper's Ferry 
was increased, however, by applications to the chief 
of the department at Richmond, and by sending 
officers elsewhere for caps as well as cartridges. 

On the 15th, Colonel Stuart reported that the 
Federal army had advanced from Martinsburg to 
Bunker's Hill. It remained there on the 16th, and 
on the 17th moved by its left flank a few miles to 
Smithfield. This gave the impression that General 
Patterson's design .was to continue this movement 
through Berryville, to interpose his army between 
the Confederate forces at Winchester and those at 
Manassas Junction, while the latter should be assailed 
by McDowell, or perhaps to attack Winchester from 
the south, thus avoiding the slight intrenchments. 

Since the return of the army from Darksville, 


the Thirty-third Virginia regiment, organized by 
Colonel A. C. Cummings, had been added to Jack- 
son's brigade ; the Sixth North Carolina to Bee's ; 
the Eleventh Georgia to Bartow's ; ' and a fifth bri- 
gade formed, for Brigadier-General E. Kirby Smith, 
just promoted, of the Nineteenth Mississippi, Eighth, 
Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Alabama regiments, and 
Stannard's Battery. Measles, mumps, and other dis- 
eases, to which new troops are subject, had been so 
prevalent, that the average effective strength of the 
regiments of this army did not much exceed five hun- 
dred men. 

About one o'clock a. m., on the 18th, I received 
the following telegram from General Cooper, Adju- 
tant and Inspector- General : " General Beauregard is 
attacked; to strike the enemy a decisive blow, a junc- 
tion of all your effective force will be needed. If 
practicable, make the movement, sending your sick 
and baggage to Culpepper Court-House either by 
railroad or by Warrenton. In all the arrangement, 
exercise your discretion." A half-hour later, a tele- 
gram from General Beauregard informed me of his 
urgent need of the aid I had promised him in such 
an emergency. This intelligence, dispatched to me 
by him when he reported to the War Department, 
had been unaccountably delayed. 

Being confident that the troops under my com- 
mand could render no service in " the Valley," so im- 
portant to the Confederacy as that of preventing a 
Federal victory at Manassas Junction, I decided, 
without hesitation, to hasten to that point with my 

1 The Ninth Georgia had joined it soon after the troops reached 



whole force. The only question was, whether to at- 
tempt to defeat or to elude General Patterson. The 
latter, if practicable, was to be preferred, as quickest 
and safest. Stuart's first report was expected to give 
the means of judging of its practicability, while the 
troops were preparing to move. Although the Fed- 
eral cavalry had greatly the advantage of the Con- 
federate in arms and discipline, it was not in the 
habit, like ours, of leaving the protection of the in- 
fantry. This enabled Stuart to maintain his out- 
posts near the enemy's camps, and his scouts near 
their columns, learning their movements quickly, and 
concealing our own. 

Stuart's expected report showed that the Federal 
army had not advanced from Smithfield at nine 
o'clock. It was certainly too far from our road, 
therefore, to be able to prevent or delay our march. 
This information left no doubt of the exj)ediency of 
moving as soon as possible. 

The order to send the sick to Culpepper Court- 
House was not obeyed, because obedience would 
have caused a delay of several days, when hours were 
precious, 1 for it would have involved their trans- 
portation in wagons eighteen miles to Strasburg, and 

1 There were about seventeen hundred of them. In my report of 
the battle of Manassas, as published by the Administration, this sen- 
tence does not appear : " The delay of sending our sick, seventeen hun- 
dred in number, to Culpepper Court-House, would have made it impos- 
sible to arrive at Manassas in time ; they were, therefore, provided for 
in Winchester." And this one is in its place : " Our sick, seventeen 
hundred in number, were provided for in Winchester." The original is 
in possession of the Government in Washington. In an indorsement on 
it, by Mr. Davis, I am accused of reporting his telegram to me inaccu- 
rately. I did not profess to quote his words, but to give their meaning, 
which was done correctly. 


none were available for the purpose but those that 
had been procured for the troops, and were absolute- 
ly necessary for the march. Therefore they were 
provided for in Winchester, comfortably and quickly. 
The brigades (militia) of Generals Carson and Meem 
were left to defend the place and district, for which 
their strength was quite sufficient ; for it could 
scarcely be doubted that General Patterson would 
follow the movement to Manassas Junction with his 
main force, at least, as soon as he discovered it. To 
delay this discovery as long as possible, Colonel 
Stuart was instructed to establish as perfect a cordon 
as his regiment could make, and as near the Feeler al 
army as practicable, to prevent access to it from the 
side of Winchester and Berryville, and to maintain 
it until night ; then to follow the army through Ash- 
by's Gap. 


Movement of Troops to Manassas. — Discouragements of the March. — Arrival at 
Manassas. — President Davis's Telegram. — General Beauregard's Proposed 
Plan of Attack approved. — General McDowell anticipates it. — Battle of 
Manassas. — Arrival of President Davis. — Reasons why an Advance on 
Washington was impracticable. 

The troops left their camps about noon, Jackson's 
brigade leading. After the march was fairly begun, 
and the rear had left Winchester a mile or two, the 
different regiments were informed, at the same time, 
of the important object in view, of the necessity of a 
forced march, and exhorted to strive to reach the field 
in time to take part in the great battle then immi- 

The discouragement of that day's march 'to one 
accustomed, like myself, to the steady gait of regular 
soldiers, is indescribable. The views of military com- 
mand and obedience, then taken both by officers 
and privates, confined those duties and obligations 
almost exclusively to the drill-ground and guards. In 
camps and marches they were scarcely known. Con- 
sequently, frequent and unreasonable delays caused 
so slow a rate of marching as to make me despair of 
joining General Beauregard in time to aid him. Ma- 
jor Whiting was therefore dispatched to the nearest 
station of the Manassas Gap Railroad, Piedmont, to 


ascertain if trains, capable of transporting the troops 
to their destination more quickly than they were 
likely to reach it on foot, could be provided there, 
and, if so, to make the necessary arrangements. That 
officer met me at Paris, after executing his instruc- 
tions, with a report so favorable as to give me reason 
to expect that the transportation of the infantry over 
the thirty-four miles between Piedmont and Manassas 
Junction would be accomplished easily in twenty- 
four hours. 

Jackson's brigade, his leading men, that is to say, 
reached Paris, seventeen miles from Winchester, 
about two hours after dark. The four others halted 
for the night on the Shenandoah, having marched 
thirteen miles; Jackson's brigade marched the six 
miles from Paris to Piedmont before ei^ht o'clock, 
Friday morning ; and, as trains enough for its trans- 
portation were found there, it moved in an hour or 
two. The other brigades came up separately in the 
afternoon — Bartow's first. Other trains, callable of 
transporting two regiments, being in readiness about 
three o'clock, the Seventh and Eighth Georgia regi- 
ments were dispatched in them. No other infantry 
had the means of moving that day, although the presi- 
dent of the railroad company had promised that the 
last regiment should reach Manassas Junction Satur- 
day morning — nine thousand men — before sunrise. 

The artillery and cavalry were directed to con- 
tinue their march by the wagon-road, under Colonels 
Stuart and Pendleton. 

At night, Captain Chisholm, an officer of General 
Beauregard's staff, arrived, bringing a suggestion 
from him to me, to march by Aldie and fall upon the 


rear of the Federal right, at Centreville, while his 
troops, advancing from Bull Run, assailed that army 
in front. I did not agree to the plan, because, ordi- 
narily, it is impracticable to direct the movements of 
troops so distant from each other, by roads so far 
separated, in such a manner as to combine their ac- 
tion on a field of battle. It would have been impos- 
sible, in my opinion, to calculate when our undisci- 
plined volunteers would reach any distant point that 
might be indicated. I preferred the junction of the 
two armies at the earliest time possible, as the first 
measure to secure success. 

Enough of the cars, sent down in the morning to 
convey about two regiments, were brought back be- 
fore midnight, but the conductors and engineers dis- 
appeared immediately, to pass the night probably in 
sleep, instead of on the road. And it was not un- 
til seven or eight o'clock Saturday morning that the 
trains could be put in motion, carrying the Fourth 
Alabama and Second Mississippi regiments, with two 
companies of the Eleventh. General Bee and myself 
accompanied these troops. Brigadier-General E. 
Kirby Smith was left at Piedmont to expedite the 
transportation of the remaining brigades — about 
three-fifths of the army. 

We reached General Beauregard's position about 
noon. The Seventh and Eighth Georgia regiments 
were united to the detachment just arrived, to form 
a temporary brigade for General Bee. 

As the army had not been informed, in the usual 
way, of the promotion of Generals Cooper, Lee, and 
myself, to the grade of general, I had, after leaving 
Winchester, requested the President, by telegraph, to 



state what ray rank in the army was, to prevent the 
possibility of a doubt of the relative rank of General 
Beauregard and myself in the mind of the former. 
His reply was received on the 20th, His excellency 
said, in his telegram : " You are a general in the 
Confederate army, possessed of all the powers attach- 
ing to that rank." 

The position occupied by the Confederate army 
was too extensive, and the ground, much of it, too 
broken, thickly wooded, and intricate, to be studied 
to any purpose in the brief space of time at my dis- 
posal ; for I had come impressed with the opinion 
that it was necessary to attack the enemy next morn- 
ing, to decide the event before the arrival of General 
Patterson's forces. Meanwhile, it might reasonably 
be expected all of ours would be united. Delay was 
dangerous, because it was not to be hoj)ed that our 
movement from Winchester could be concealed from 
General Patterson more than twenty-four hours ; or 
that, after learning it, he would fail to follow the 
movement, and march promptly to join McDowell. 
Battle being inevitable, it was certainly our part to 
bring it on before the arrival of so great an addition 
to the number of our enemies. My intention, and 
these reasons for it, were expressed to General Beau- 
regard at once. He had formed the same opinion, as 
I had expected. 

He then showed me, on a map prepared by his 
engineer officers, the position of his own troops, and 
that of the Federal army near Centreville. Unfor- 
tunately, this map only represented the roads and 
streams, without expressing the configuration of the 


He had chosen the southern "bank of Bull Eun 
for his defensive line ; and, on information commu- 
nicated by spies, to the effect that Lieutenant-General 
Scott had ordered the Federal army to advance from 
Centreville by roads eastward of that leading directly 
to Manassas Junction, which crosses Bull Bun at 
Mitchell's Ford, he had posted his main force below 
(to the east of) that ford : Ewell's brigade on the 
right, at Union Mills, D. B. Jones's at McLean's Ford, 
Longstreet's at Blackburn's, and Bonham's at Mitch- 
ell's. Holmes's and Early's were in the second line, 
the former on the right. The remaining brigade, 
Colonel Cocke's, was at Ball's Ford, four miles above 
Mitchell's. Fourteen companies and a battery be- 
longing to that brigade, under Colonel Evans, guardeof 
" the Stone Bridge " (by which the Warrenton turn- 
pike crosses Bull Bun) a half-mile above, and a farm- 
ford a thousand yards still farther up the stream. 
Jackson's and Bee's brigades, as they arrived, had 
been placed near Bonham's and Longstreet's by Gen- 
eral Beauregard's orders. 

Some slight field-works constructed for the defense 
of the depot at Manassas Junction were armed with 
fourteen or fifteen old twenty-four-pounders on naval 
carriages, and occupied by two thousand men. The 
heavy artillery was under the command of naval 

General Beauregard pointed out, on his map, five 
roads converging to Centreville from different points 
of his front, and proposed an order of march on these 
roads, by which the army should be concentrated 
near the Federal camps. It was accepted without 
hesitation ; and, having had no opportunity to sleep 


in either of the three nights immediately preceding, 
I requested him to draw up this order of march and 
have the number of copies necessary written by our 
staff-officers and brought to me in time for distribu- 
tion that evening, while I was preparing, by rest, for 
the impending battle. 

These papers were not ready for distribution that 
evening, nor until the next morning (21st), when I 
was able to sign them by the light of day in the 
grove where I had slept. They were not in the form 
usual in the United States Army, being written by 
General Beauregard's adjutant-general in his name, 1 
my sanction to be written on each copy. This was 
too immaterial to be worth correction ; but, even if 
it had not been so, it was now too late to make such 
a correction, for the troops sjiould then have been 
in motion. 

Soon after sunrise, and before the distribution of 
these orders could have been completed, a light can- 
nonade was opened upon our troops at the Stone 
Bridge, and a little later a similar demonstration 
was made in General Bonham's front. At half-past 
five o'clock a report was received from Colonel Evans 
that a body of Federal infantry, with a long line of 
skirmishers deployed before it, was visible on the 
opposite side of the valley of Bull Eun. I had pre- 
viously requested General Beauregard to send orders 
for me to Bee and Jackson to move their brigades to 
the left and place them near the Stone Bridge. He 
also ordered Colonel Hampton with the infantry of 
his legion, just arrived at Manassas, to hasten to the 
same locality. 

1 See copy of this order, Appendix. 


The plan of operations adopted the day before 
was now, apparently, made impracticable by the 
enemy's advance against our left. It was abandoned, 
therefore, and another adopted — suggested by Gen- 
eral Beauregard. This was, a change of front to the 
left, and a vigorous attack on the left flank of the 
troops assailing our left, by the six brigades of our 
centre and right, while Cocke's, Jackson's, and Bee's 
brigades, and Hampton's legion, were meeting their 
assault. The orders for this, like those preceding 
them, were distributed by General Beauregard's staff- 
officers, because they were addressed to his troops, 
and my staff knew neither the positions of the dif- 
ferent brigades, nor the paths leading to them. Want 
of promptness in the delivery of these orders frus- 
trated this plan — perhaps fortunately. 

Scouts, sent forward in the mean time by Generals 
Longstreet and D. B. Jones, reported strong bodies 
of Federal troops on the wooded heights in front of 
their brigades. From their reports it seemed to be 
as probable that McDowell was forming his main 
force in front of our main body, as that he was di- 
recting it against our left. At nine o'clock, Captain 
Alexander, of the Engineer Corps, who was also chief 
signal-officer, reported that large bodies of Federal 
troops could be seen from one of his signal-stations, 
crossing the valley of Bull Bun, about two miles 
above our extreme left. When these troops were 
just observed, the head of the column had passed 
the open ground, in which they were visible. Their 
number, consequently, could not be estimated. He 
called our attention, soon after, to a heavy cloud of 
dust, such as the marching of an army might raise, 

^ — } f Jrt 

RO A J : 


about ten miles from us, to the north-northwest — 
the direction of the road from Harper's Ferry. This 
excited apprehensions of the near approach of Gen- 
eral Patterson's army. 

General McDowell had marched from the Poto- 
mac with instructions from the general-in-chief to 
turn the right of the Confederate army and seize its 
line of communication with Eichmond. Before in- 
volving himself in such an enterprise, the .Federal 
general bestowed three days upon the examination 
of the ground before him. In this way he learned 
that the region into which he would have been led, 
by obedience to his instructions, was altogether un- 
favorable to the more numerous assailing army, and 
advantageous to the smaller force standing on the 
defensive ; for it is rugged, and covered with thick 
woods, and the Occoquan, a stream to be crossed, is 
large enough to be a serious obstacle ; while to the 
west the country is open, the hills gentle, and Bull 
Run almost everywhere fordaWe. He therefore de- 
cided, judiciously, to attempt to turn the Confederate 
line by moving through the open and favorable 
ground on his right, instead of involving his army 
in the thick woods and rugged hills on his left. The 
best argument for this change of plan, however, was 
the object explained by General McDowell — " to 
break up the communication between the two Con- 
federate armies," an object which might have been 
accomplished by prompt action. 

For some unexplained purpose, one Federal divis- 
ion, Runyon's, had been left between the Potomac 
and Centreville, near Vienna. Leaving another, 
Miles's, at Centreville, to divert attention from the 


movements of his main body by demonstrations in 
front of the Confederate right and centre, General 
McDowell had marched at daybreak with Tyler's, 
Hunter's, and Heintzelman's divisions, to cross Bull 
Kun at Sudley Ford, two miles and a half above the 
Warrenton Turnpike, seize that road, and, as he 
expresses it, " send out a force to destroy the rail- 
road at or near Gainesville, and thus break up the 
communication between the enemy's forces at Manas- 
sas and those in the Valley of Virginia." l 

The Federal army followed the Warrenton Turn- 
pike three miles, and then turned to the right into a 
country-road by which it reached Sudley Ford and 
Church. There it entered, at right angles, a road 
crossing the turnpike a mile and a half from the 
Stone Bridge, and leading, though not very directly, 
to Manassas Junction. Before the column turned 
out of the turnpike, the leading brigade and a bat- 
tery were sent forward and formed near the Stone 
Bridge, to conceal the movement around the Confed- 
erate left. 

This movement was reported to Colonel Evans, 
by his detachment stationed above the bridge. On 
receiving the intelligence, he moved rapidly to the 
left and rear with eleven companies and two field- 
pieces, to endeavor to check or delay the progress of 
the enemy, having left three companies and two field- 
pieces to prevent the passage of the bridge by the 
body of troops he had been observing in front of it. 
Following the base of the hill on the north of 
Young's Branch, he threw himself in the enemy's 
way a little in advance of the intersection of the 

1 General McDowell's report. 


turnpike and Sudley road, and formed Ms small 
force under cover of a detached wood. Here lie was 
soon assailed by greatly superior and continually- 
increasing numbers, against which he and his little 
band held their ground bravely. The change of di- 
rection at Sudley Ford was so strong that the portion 
of the column beyond the stream, when the firing 
commenced, was almost parallel with the line of 
battle. This greatly expedited the deployment of 
the Federal army. Burnside's brigade, leading the 
march, attacked first, and was soon joined by a part 
of Porter's and one of Heintzelman's regiments. 

The noise and smoke of the fight were distinctly 
heard and seen by General Beauregard and myself 
near Mitchell's Ford, five miles off ; but, in its earlier 
stages, they indicated no force of the enemy that the 
troops on the ground and those of Bee, Hanrpton, and 
Jackson, that we could see hastening toward the 
firing in the order given, were not competent to cope 

Bee, who was much in advance of the others, saw 
the strength and dispositions of the combatants, and 
the character of the ground around and before him, 
from the summit of the hill south of Young's Branch ; 
and, seeing the advantage given to this position by 
its greater elevation than that of the opposite ridge, 
on which the enemy stood, by its broad, level top, 
and by the extent of open ground before it, he formed 
his brigade, including Bartow's two regiments and 
Imboden's battery, there ; but, being appealed to for 
aid by Evans, then fully engaged, and seeing that his 
troops, that had suffered much in the unequal con- 
test, were about to be overwhelmed, he moved for- 


ward to disengage hirn, and, crossing the valley under 
the fire of the Federal artillery, formed on the right, 
and in advance of his line. 

Although, even after this accession, the Confed- 
erate force was less than that of a Federal brigade, 
Bee maintained the fight for some time with such ap- 
pearance of equality as to inspire in him the hope, 
apparently, of holding his ground until effective aid 
could reach him. At length, however, finding him- 
self engaged with fivefold numbers in Burnside's, 
Porter's, Sherman's, and Keyes's brigades, and in dan- 
ger of being enveloped by the coming into action of 
Heintzelman's division, he fell back to the position 
he had first chosen ; crossing the broad, open valley, 
closely pressed by the Federal army. 

Fortunately Hampton, hastening up with his le- 
gion, had reached the valley when the retrograde 
movement began. He promptly formed his battalion 
and joined in the action, and, by his courage and ad- 
mirable soldiership, seconded by the excellent con- 
duct of the gentlemen he had assembled in his le- 
gion, contributed greatly to the maintenance of order 
in the retreat. His lieutenant-colonel, Johnson, fell 
while gallantly aiding him. Imboden rendered ex- 
cellent service with his battery in this difficult opera- 

On the ground where he intended to reform, Bee 
met Jackson at the head of his brigade, and they 
began, the one to reform, and the other to deploy, 
simultaneously ; Jackson on the left. 

In the mean time, I had waited with General 
Beauregard, on an eminence near the centre, where 
my headquarters had been fixed at eight o'clock, the 


full development of General McDowell's designs. 
The violence of the firing on the left indicated a bat- 
tle, but the heavy forces, reported by chosen scouts 
to be in front of our centre and right, kept me in un- 
certainty. At length, near eleven o'clock, reports that 
those forces were felling trees gave me the impres- 
sion that they were preparing for defense, not attack ; 
and new clouds of dust showed that a large body of 
Federal troops was arriving on the field, and about 
to take part in the action. These indications con- 
vinced me that the great effort was in progress against 
our left. This conviction was expressed to General 
Beauregard as well as the consequent necessity of 
strengthening that wing as much and as soon as pos- 
sible, and my intention to hurry to it. Orders were 
accordingly dispatched at once to General Holmes 
and Colonel Early to march with their brigades as 
rapidly as possible to the scene of conflict marked 
by the firing ; and to General Bonham, to send up 
two of his regiments and a battery ; he, Longstreet, 
and D. R. Jones, were also directed to feel the enemy 
in their front. 

It was now evident that a battle was to be fought 
entirely different, in place and circumstances, from 
either of the two plans previously adopted. Events 
just related had prevented us from attacking the 
Federal army near Centreville ; or, later, engaging it 
between that place and Bull Run, according to the 
second plan, suggested by General Beauregard. In- 
stead of taking the initiative and operating in front of 
our line, we were now compelled to fight on the defen- 
sive, a mile and a half behind that line, and at right 
angles to it, on ,a new and unsurveyed field, with no 


other plans than those suggested by the changing 
events of battle. 

As soon as the necessary orders had been dis- 
patched, I set out at a rapid gallop, accompanied by 
General Beauregard, to give such aid as we could to 
our troops engaged four miles off. Passing Colonel 
Pendleton, chief of artillery, with his former battery 
and Alburtis's, I desired him to follow with them as 
fast as possible. 

We came upon the field not a moment too sood. 
The long contest against great odds, and the heavy 
losses, especially of field-officers, had discouraged Bee's 
troops, and destroyed or dispersed those of Evans — 
for we found him apparently without a command. 
The Fourth Alabama Regiment, of Bee's brigade, 
had lost all its field-officers, and was without a com- 
mander. Colonel S. R. Gist, 1 a volunteer on General 
Bee's staff, was requested to take command of it. 

Our presence with the troops under fire, and the 
assurance it gave of more material aid, had the hap- 
piest effect on their spirits. Order was easily and 
quickly restored, and the battle well reestablished. 
It was during the efforts for this that Jackson and 
his brigade are said to have acquired the name they 
have since borne — by Bee's calling to his men to 
observe how Jackson and his brigade a stood " like a 
stone-wall," a name made still more glorious in every 
battle in which general and brigade afterward fought. 

After assigning General Beauregard to the coni- 

1 Distinguished in the Army of Tennessee, as hrigadier-general, and 
fell at Franklin. 

9 Those in sight of Bee's troops were lying down hy Jackson's order, 
to avoid the enemy's artillery. 


mand of the troops immediately engaged, which he 
properly suggested belonged to the second in rank, not 
to the commander of the army, I returned to the 
supervision of the whole field. The aspect of affairs 
was not encouraging, yet I had strong hope that 
Beauregard's capacity and courage, the high soldierly 
qualities of Bee and Jackson, and the patriotic en- 
thusiasm of our Southern volunteers, would main- 
tain the fight until adequate reinforcements could be 
brought to their aid. 

Urgent messages were sent to Bonham, Holmes, 
and Early, to hasten the inarch of their troops ; and 
Ewell was directed to follow them with his brigade 


as quickly as possible. Colonel Hunton with his 
regiment, and Colonel (Governor) Smith with his 
battalion, both detached from Cocke's brigade, were 
sent to Bee's support. Many of the broken troops, 
individual stragglers as well as fragments of com- 
panies, were reorganized and led back into the fight 
with the help of my own staff and a part of General 
Beauregard's. The largest of these bodies, about 
equal to four companies, and so organized, having no 
field-officer with it, was placed under the command 
of Colonel F. J. Thomas, chief ordnance-officer, who 
fell while gallantly leading it against the enemy. 
These troops were all sent to the right to strengthen 
and encourage the regiments that had been weakened 
in the previous contest. 

Cocke's brigade was held in rear of the right of 
our line, to observe a strong body of Federal troops, 
on the north side of Bull Kun, in a position from 
which it could have struck Bee in flank in a few 



After these additions to the forces engaged, we 
had nine regiments and two companies of infantry, 
two hundred and fifty cavalry, and five field-batteries 
(twenty guns) of the Army of the Shenandoah, and 
twenty-seven companies of infantry, six companies 
of cavalry, and six pieces of artillery of the Army 
of the Potomac, contending with three divisions of 
the United States army and superior forces of 
cavalry and artillery; yet the brave Southern volun- 
teers lost not a foot of ground, but repelled the re- 
peated attacks of the heavy masses of the enemy, 
whose numbers enabled them to bring forward fresh 
troops after each repulse. Colonel Stuart contributed 
materially to one of these repulses, by a well-timed 
and vigorous charge upon the Federal right flank 
with two of his companies, those of Captains Welby 
Carter and J. B. Hoge. 

It must not be supposed that such successful re- 
sistance by the Southern troops was due in any de- 
gree to want of prowess in their assailants. The 
army they fought belonged to a people who had 
often contended on the field on at least equal terms 
with the nation that had long claimed to be the most 
martial in Europe. The Northern army had the dis- 
advantage, a great one to such undisciplined troops 
as were engaged on both sides, of being the assail- 
ants, and advancing under fire to the attack, which 
can be well done only by trained soldiers. They 
were much more liable to confusion, therefore, than 
the generally stationary ranks of the Confederates. 

About two o'clock an officer of General Beaure- 
gard's adjutant-general's office galloped from Manas- 
sas Junction to report to me that a Federal army had 


reached the Manassas Gap Railroad, was marching 
toward us, and was then but three or four miles from 
our left flank. Although it seemed to me impossible 
that General Patterson could have come up so soon, 
and from that direction, I fixed on a new field upon 
which to concentrate our whole force should the re- 
port prove to be true — one nearly equidistant from 
Manassas Junction, the troops engaged, and those 
on the right — and sent orders to the commanders 
of the latter to gather their respective brigades 
south of the stream, that they might be ready to 
move to it promptly. 

On the appearance of Fisher's (Sixth North Car- 
olina) regiment soon after (at half-past two o'clock), 
approaching from the direction of Manassas Junc- 
tion, Colonel Cocke was desired to lead his brigade 
into action on the right ; which he did with alacrity. 
When Fisher's regiment came up, the Federal gen- 
eral seemed to be strengthening his right. It was or- 
dered to the left, therefore. Kershaw's and Cash's 
regiments of Bonham's brigade, then in sight, re- 
ceived similar orders on arriving. 

Soon after three o'clock, while General McDowell 
seemed to be striving, by strengthening his right, to 
drive back our left, and thus separate us from Ma- 
nassas Junction, Brigadier-General Kirby Smith, hast- 
ening with Elzey's brigade from that railroad-sta- 
tion, arrived by the route Fisher had followed. He 
was instructed, by a staff-officer sent forward to meet 
him, to form on the left of the line, with his left 
thrown forward, and to assail the enemy's right flank. 
At his request I joined him, directed his march, and 
gave these instructions in person. Before the forma- 


tion was completed, lie fell, severely wounded, direct- 
ing, while falling from his horse, Colonel Elzey to 
take command of the brigade. That officer, who un- 
derstood and appreciated the manoeuvre, executed it 
well. General Beauregard pronrptly seized the op- 
portunity thus afforded, and threw forward his whole 
line. The enemy was driven from the long-contested 
hill, but rallied in the valley, upon a very strong re- 
serve ; and the united force, much stronger than any 
previously engaged at one time, was formed for an- 
other attack. . 

In the mean time Colonel Early came upon the 
field with his brigade, by the route on which we had 
first seen Fisher's and Kirby Smith's troops. He was 
instructed by me to move around our left, to form 
facing the Federal right flank, and fall upon it. On 
the way he was reenforced by five companies of cav- 
alry, commanded by Colonel Stuart, and a battery 
under Lieutenant Beckham. He reached the position 
intended just when the Federal army, reformed, was 
apparently about to resume the offensive, and assailed 
its exposed flank. The attack was conducted with 
too much skill and courage to be for a moment 
doubtful. The Federal right was at once thrown into 
confusion. A general advance of the Confederate line, 
directed by General Beauregard, completed our suc- 
cess, and terminated the battle. The right of the 
Federal army fled in wild confusion from the field 
toward Sudley Ford, while the centre and left 
marched off hastily by the turnpike toward Centre- 

It was then twenty minutes before five o'clock. 
Instructions were immediately sent to General Bon- 

1861.] . BATTLE OF MANASSAS. 53 

liam, through Lieutenant-Colonel Lay of his staff, who 
happened to be with me, to march with his own and 
Longstreet's brigades by the quickest route to the 
turnpike, and form them across it to intercept the re- 
treating enemy. Colonel Eadford, with two squad- 
rons that had been held in reserve near me, was di- 
rected to cross Bull Run at Ball's Ford, and strike 
that column in flank, on the turnpike ; and Stuart, 
with the cavalry he had in hand and Beckham's bat- 
tery, pursued the fugitives on the Sudley road. The 
number of prisoners taken by these little bodies of 
cavalry greatly exceeded their own force, but they 
were too weak to make any serious impression upon 
an army, even a defeated one. 

The body of troops that had passed the day near 
the Stone Bridge and beyond the stream made a 
demonstration toward the rear of our right, when the 
retreat commenced ; it was quickly met and repelled 
by Holmes's brigade just arriving, principally by his 
artillery, Captain Lindsay "Walker's battery 

"When General Bonham saw the Federal column 
on the turnpike, its appearance presented so little 
indication of rout that he thought the execution of 
the instructions he had received impracticable ; ' he 
therefore ordered the two brigades to march back to 
their camps. 

Some half-hour after the termination of the bat- 
tle, the President rode upon the field, conducted from 
Manassas Station by Lieutenant-Colonel Jordan. He 
had arrived there from Richmond when the struggle 
had just closed, and had, doubtless, hurried out to 
take part in it. The crowd of fugitives he had seen 

J Eeports (verbal) of staff-officers ; no others were received. 


from his railroad-car, before reaching the station, had 
so strongly impressed upon his mind the idea that 
we were defeated, that it was not immediately re- 
moved by the appearance of the field. I judged so, 
at least, from his first words, while we were shaking 
hands : " How has the battle gone ? " 

In Alfriend's " Life of Jefferson Davis " it is as- 
serted (p. 305) that the President reached " the bat- 
tle-field while the struggle was still in progress ; " that 
" to the troops his name and bearing were the symbols 
of victory ; " that " while the victory was assured, but 
by no means complete, he urged that the enemy, still 
on the field (Heintzelman's troops, as subsequently 
appeared), be warmly pursued, as was successfully 
done" (p. 313). 

These are fancies. He arrived upon the field after 
the last armed enemy had left it, when none were 
within cannon-shot, or south of Bull Run, when the 
victory was " complete " as well as " assured," and no 
opportunity left for the influence of " his name and 

General Ewell reported to me for orders soon 
after the firing ceased, and informed me that his 
brigade, then probably about four miles froni us, was 
hurrying on as fast as possible. He had ridden for- 
ward to study the part of the field to which he might 
be assigned, to prepare to act intelligently in the 
battle. He was told that it would not be wanted, 
and desired to lead it back to its carnp; General 
Holmes was requested to do likewise ; their immedi- 
ate commander, General Beauregard, was requested 
to give them orders, however. 

The preceding narrative shows how great were 


tlie odds against which the Southern volunteers con- 
tended in the early stages of this action ; their num- 
bers engaged, gradually increasing, amounted at its 
close to about thirteen thousand men of all arms. 
But two of the superior officers of General McDow- 
ell's army gave in their reports the numbers of their 
troops, General Heintzelman and Colonel Porter : the 
former led nine thousand five hundred men into bat- 
tle that day, in his division, and the latter three 
thousand seven hundred in his brigade. From these 
indications it may reasonably be inferred that the 
three Federal divisions on the field were about 
two to one compared with the Confederates, at four 
o'clock, and four to one at noon ; at eleven o'clock 
the disparity of numbers was much greater. 

Considering the length of time in which the troops 
were engaged at short range, the losses were small in 
relation to their numbers. That of the Confederates 
was : in the Army of the Shenandoah two hundred 
and seventy killed, nine hundred and seventy-nine 
wounded, eighteen missing ; in that of the Potomac, 
one hundred and eight killed, five hundred and ten 
wounded, twelve missing : total, three hundred and 
seventy-eight killed, fourteen hundred and eighty- 
nine wounded, thirty missing. 

That of the Federal army could not be ascer- 
tained by us accurately. Including prisoners, it must 
have been about four thousand. 

Twenty-eight pieces of artillery, four thousand 
five hundred muskets, almost half a million car- 
tridges, a garrison-flag, and ten regimental colors, 
were taken on the field, or near it in the pursuit, be- 
sides sixty-four artillery-horses with their harness, 


twenty-six wagons, and camp-equipage, clothing, and 
other military property. 

The Southern infantry had great advantage over 
the Northern in their greater familiarity with fire- 
arms. It was the reverse, however, in relation to the 
artillery ; for that of the South had had neither time 
nor ammunition for practice, while much of that of 
the North belonged to the regular service. Still, 
ours, directed principally by Colonel Pendleton, was 
more effective even than the regular batteries of the 
United States army, in that battle. 

The pursuit was pressed as long as it was effec- 
tive. But when the main column of retreating in- 
fantry was encountered, after the parties in its rear 
and on the flanks had been dispersed or captured, 
our cavalry found itself too weak to make any seri- 
ous impression, and returned with the prisoners 
already taken. The infantry was not required to 
pursue far from the field, because by doing so it 
would have been harassed to no purpose. It is well 
known that infantry, unencumbered by baggage- 
trains, can easily escape pursuing infantry. 

The victory was as complete as one gained by in- 
fantry and artillery only can be. 

The Army of the Potomac, exclusive of the garri- 
son of the intrenched position at Manassas Junction, 
amounted then to about nineteen thousand men of 
all arms. A large proportion of it was not en- 
gaged in the battle. This was a great fault on my 
part. When Bee's and Jackson's brigades were 
ordered to the vicinity of the Stone Bridge, those of 
Holmes and Early should have been moved to the 
1 left also, and placed in the interval on Bonham's left 

1861.] . BATTLE OF MANASSAS. 57 

— if not then, certainly at nine o'clock, when a Fed- 
eral column was seen turning our left ; and, when it 
seemed certain that General McDowell's great effort 
was to be made there, Bonham's, Longstreet's, Jones's, 
and Ewell's brigades, leaving a few regiments and 
their cavalry to impose on Miles's division, should 
have been hurried to the left to join in the battle. 

If the tactics of the Federals had been equal to 
their strategy, we should have been beaten. If, in- 
stead of being brought into action in detail, their 
troojos had been formed in two lines with a proper 
reserve, and had assailed Bee and Jackson in that 
order, the two Southern brigades must have been 
swept from the field in a few minutes, or enveloped. 
General McDowell would have made such a forma- 
tion, probably, had he not greatly under-estimated 
the strength of his enemy. 

It was not until the 22d that any of the troops 
left at Piedmont by General Kirby Smith rejoined 
the army. All came on that day, however. 

In the biography referred to, on page 12, it is as- 
serted that " General Jackson's infantry was placed 
upon trains there (at Piedmont) on the forenoon of 
Friday (the 19th July) ; . . . . but, by a collision, 
which was with great appearance of reason attributed 
to treachery, the track was obstructed, and all the 
remaining troops detained, without any provision for 
their subsistence, for two successive days. Had they 
been provided with food, and ordered to continue 
their forced march, their zeal would have brought 
the whole to the field long before the commence- 
ment of the battle." 

Three brigades of the Army of the Shenandoah 


were engaged in the battle, not General Jackson's 
alone, as is .stated in the above extract. 1 The only 
collision in the transportation of these troops from 
the Piedmont to the Manassas Station, occurred 
Saturday night or Sunday morning, of a train bear- 
ing Colonel Fisher's (Sixth North Carolina) regi- 
ment, with an empty one returning. It " obstruct- 
ed" the track so little, that the regiment was carried 
on, reached its destination Sunday morning, and took 
part in the battle. Elzey's brigade, following on an- 
other train, passed over the place of collision soon 
after the occurrence, and arrived upon the field but 
an hour later than Fisher's regiment. The detention, 
that kept " all the remaining troops " out of the bat- 
tle, was due to miserable mismanagement of the rail- 
road trains, such as could neither have been foreseen 
nor apprehended by those who directed this move- 

The troops a had been nine or ten hours in march- 
ing from Winchester to the Shenandoah — thirteen 
miles. It was therefore certain that they would not 
accomplish the forty-four still before them in less 
than three days, or before Sunday evening. We met, 
at Paris, intelligence of the affair of the 18th, show- 
ing that the Federal army was in the immediate pres- 
ence of that of General Beauregard, so that a battle 
on Friday was probable — its occurrence later than 
Saturday very unlikely. It was evident, therefore, 
from such experience as we had, that there was no 
hope of reaching the field in time, but by the rail- 

1 See previous Narrative, and Johnston's and Beauregard's reports. 

2 Except Jackson's. 


The troops were provided with rations for five 
days, before leaving Winchester. 1 If any of them 
were without food at Piedmont, it must have been 
because they had thrown away their rations, then 
not unusual on a march. 

The President remained at Manassas Junction un- 
til nine or ten o'clock a. m., on the 23d, employed 
chiefly in matters of military organization. When I 
recommended to him General Beauregard's promo- 
tion to the grade of general in the Confederate army, 
he informed me that the nomination had already been 
written, or determined on. He also promoted Colo- 
nel Elzey, Lieutenant-Colonel S. Jones, and Major 
W. H. C. Whiting, to brigadier-generalcies. He of- 
fered me the command in Western Virginia, subse- 
quently conferred on General Lee, promising to in- 
crease the forces there adequately from the army 
around us. In replying, I expressed the opinion 
that the Government of the United States would 
organize a great army near Washington, which 
would be ready for offensive operations before the 
end of the fall, when we might expect another inva- 
sion, on a much larger scale than that just defeated. 
Being in position to command against it, I was un- 
willing to be removed to a much less important 
though more immediate service. 

If the tone of the press indicated public opinion 
and feeling in the South, my failure to capture Wash- 
ington received strong and general condemnation. 
Many erroneously attributed it to the President's 
prohibition ; but he gave no orders, and expressed 

1 The rich neighborhood of Piedmont Station could have furnished 
food, if it had been needed. 


neither wish nor opinion on the subject, that ever 
came to my knowledge. Considering the relative 
strength of the belligerents on the field, the Southern 
people could not reasonably have expected greater 
results from their victory than those accomplished : 
the defeat of the invasion of Virginia, and the pres- 
ervation of the capital of the Confederacy. 

All the military conditions, we knew, forbade an 
attempt on "Washington. The Confederate army was 
more disorganized by victory than that of the United 
States by defeat. The Southern volunteers believed 
that the objects of the war had been accomplished 
by their victory, and that they had achieved all that 
their country required of them. Many, therefore, in 
ignorance of their military obligations, left the army 
— not to return. Some hastened home to exhibit 
the trophies picked up on the field ; others left their 
regiments without ceremony to attend to wounded 
friends, frequently accompanying them to hospitals 
in distant towns. Such were the reports of general 
and staff officers, and railroad officials. Exaggerated 
ideas of the victory, prevailing among our troops, cost 
us more men than the Federal army lost by defeat. 

Besides this condition of our army, the reasons 
for the course condemned by the non-combatant mili- 
tary critics were : 

The unfitness of our raw troops for marching, or 
assail ino; intrenchments. 

The want of the necessary supplies of food and 
ammunition, and means of transporting them. Until 
near the 10th of August, we never had rations for 
more than two days, and sometimes none ; nor half 
enough ammunition for a battle. 


The fortifications upon which skillful engineers, 
commanding the resources of the United States, had 
been engaged since April, manned by at least fifty- 
thousand Federal troops, 1 half of whom had not suf- 
fered defeat. 

The Potomac, a mile wide, bearing United States 
vessels-of-war, the heavy guns of which commanded 
the wooden bridges and southern shore. 

The Confederate army would have been two days 
in marching from Bull Bun to the Federal intrench- 
ments, with less than two days' rations, or not more. 9 
It is asserted that the countiy, teeming with grain 
and cattle, could have furnished food and forage 
in abundance. Those who make the assertion forget 
that a large Federal army had passed twice over the 
route in question. Many of the Southern people have 
seen tracts of country along which a Federal army 
has passed once ; they can judge, therefore, of the 
abundance left where it has passed twice. As we 
had none of the means of besieging, an immediate as- 
sault upon the forts would have been unavoidable ; 
it would have been repelled, inevitably, and our half 
supply of ammunition exhausted; and the enemy, 
previously increased to seventy thousand men by 
the army from Harper's Ferry, and become the vic- 
torious party, could and would have resumed their 
march to Richmond without fear of further opposi- 

And, if we had miraculously been successful in 
our assault, the Potomac would have protected 

1 Mansfield's, Miles's, and Eunyon's divisions, and eleven thousand 
men sent from camps in Pennsylvania, July 22d. 
4 Dabney's "Life of Jackson." 


"Washington, and rendered our further progress im- 

It is certain that the Federal Government and 
generals did not regard the capture of Washington 
"by us as practicable, like the non-combatant authors 
of the criticisms to which I refer. The fact that the 
army at Harper's Ferrj 7 was left idle there instead 
of being brought to Washington, is conclusive on 
that point. I have never doubted the correctness of 
my course on that occasion. Had I done so, the re- 
sults of the invasions made subsequently by disci- 
plined and much more numerous armies, properly 
equipped and provided, and commanded by the best 
soldiers who appeared in that war, would have re- 
assured me. The first of these expeditions was after 
General Lee's victory ovef Pope, and those of Majors- 
General Jackson and Ewell over Fremont, Banks, 
and Shields, in 1862 ; the second, when the way was 
supposed to have been opened by the effect of Gen- 
eral Lee's victory at Chancellorsville, in 1863. 

The armies defeated on those occasions were four 
times as numerous as that repulsed on the 21st of 
July, 1861, and their losses much greater in propor- 
tion to numbers ; yet the spirit of the Northern peo- 
ple was so roused by these invasions of their country, 
that their armies, previously defeated on our soil, 
met ours on their own at Sharpsburg and Gettysburg 
so strong in numbers and in courage as to send back 
the war into Virginia from each of those battle-fields. 
The failure of those invasions, directed by Lee, aided 
by Longstreet and Jackson, with troops inured to 
marches and manoeuvres as well as to battle, and at- 
tempted under the most favorable circumstances of 


the war, proves that the Confederacy was too weak 
for offensive warfare, and is very strong evidence in 
favor of the course against which Southern writers 
have declaimed vehemently. 

The authors of Alfriend's "Life of Jefferson Da- 
vis " seem to regard this tone of the Southern press 
as evidence of Southern opinion on this question, 
and claim that " Mr. Davis was far from approving 
the inaction which followed Manassas. He confi- 
dently expected a different use of the victory. . . . 
Indeed, before leaving Manassas, President Davis 
favored the most vigorous pursuit practicable. . . . 
The evidences of disorganization upon which Gen- 
eral Johnston dwells with such force and emphasis 
were indeed palpable, but Mr. Davis confidently be- 
lieved that an efficient pursuit might be made by 
such commands as were in comparatively good con- 
dition. Such were his impressions then; and that 
he contemplated immediate activity, as the sequel 
of Manassas, is a matter of indisputable record " (pp. 

These assertions are accompanied by no proofs, 
by no orders, nor even suggestions to the commander 
of the army by the President while he was at Man- 
assas Junction, nor correspondence on the subject 
after his return to Eichmond. The author cannot 
assume for him, as he does for Jackson, that "his 
sense of official propriety sealed his lips." He came 
to the army as President — to give instructions — and, 
if necessary, orders in such a crisis. 

If he had been " far from approving the inaction 
that followed Manassas," he would have required 


If lie had " expected a different use of victory," 
lie would have compelled me to attempt to fulfil that 
expectation. He came to control Iboth general and 

If he thought that " an advance " would secure 
" immediate and consecutive triumphs," and the cer- 
tainty of " even more glorious and valuable achieve- 
ments," he violated his duty and his oath, by neglect- 
ing to compel an aggressive movement by the army, 
to accomplish such results. 

He was with the army about forty hours — quite 
long enough to see what had been accomplished, and 
to learn if more could be done, but expressed none 
of the " views " and opinions ascribed to him in the 
biography, and gave me no orders for movements of 
troops, and discussed no matters concerning the army, 
except such as related to administration. The fact 
that he gave no instructions in relation to the employ- 
ment of the army, nor orders to make any aggressive 
movement nor even suggested such, proves conclu- 
sively that he thought none expedient, and was sat- 
isfied with the victory as it was. His dispatch of 
Sunday night, and the speech at the depot of the 
Central Railroad in Kichmond, express that satisfac- 
tion, and it only. 

The President approved the course pursued after 
the victory at Manassas, because he knew the dis- 
couragements of a march without sufficient food, the 
Utterly inadequate supply of ammunition, the hope- 
lessness of assailing a far more numerous enemy in 
strong intrenchments, and that the Potomac was im- 
passable. At that time, too, defensive war was re- 
garded by the Southern leaders as our best policy, 

1861.] HEALTH OF TEOOPS. 35 

as, it was apprehended, invasion "by ns would unite 
all the people of the North, Democrats and Kepub- 
licans, in the defense of their country. It is certain 
that either country could have raised armies stronger, 
"both in numbers and in spirit, for defensive than for 
offensive war. 

The President could have expected no " different 
use of victory," because he , knew that I thought that 
the next important service of that anny would be 
near the end of October, against the invasion of a 
much greater Federal army than McDowell's ; and 
he proposed, the day after the battle, to send me, 
with a part of the army at Manassas, to Western 

Our own dead were buried without unnecessary 
delay ; but the expectation on our part that General 
McDowell would send a party of his own soldiers to 
perform that duty to their late comrades, left the 
Federal dead unburied several days, until we found 
it necessary to inter them. 

After the troops had been somewhat reorganized, 
new positions were assigned to them. Among the 
charges against me, is that of exposing the army at 
the same time to the stench of the battle-field, 1 and 
the miasma of the August heat, and thus producing 
" camp-fevers tenfold more fatal than the bullets of 
the enemy." 

Those who have seen large bodies of new troops 
know that they are sickly in all climates. Our South- 
ern volunteers were peculiarly so, being attacked in 
the early part of their camp-life by measles and 

1 See page 36. 

2 Dabney's "Life of Jackson," p. 234. 


mumps — epidemics to which adults of thickly-inhab- 
ited regions, like the Northern States, are not liable. 
The former was often followed by pneumonia or ty- 
phoid fever. The ignorant attributed the prevalence 
of inevitable disease to extraordinary causes. The 
troops of the Army of the Shenandoah suffered as 
much in the healthy climate of the Valley as they 
and others did at Centreville and Fairfax Court- 

I have said that the dead were all buried as soon 
as it appeared that General McDowell intended to 
leave his share of that duty to us. Before their 
burial, the nearest troops, a mile or mile and a half 
from the field, were not incommoded by its neighbor- 
hood ; they were Whiting's (late Bee's) and Evans's 
brigades. I say this from personal observation, hav- 
ing been in their camps daily. After the interments 
were all made, parties of ladies visited the ground 
without inconvenience. The camp of Whiting's 
brigade was removed to the neighborhood of Bris- 
tow, on account of complaints of bad water — not of 
stench or tainted air ; and Evans's was sent to Lees- 
burg as an outpost. Longstreet's, D. R. Jones's, 
Cocke's, and Forney's brigades, were placed near and 
beyond Centreville ; those of Ewell, S. Jones, and 
Early, were encamped from seven to nine miles from 
the places of burial. Jackson's camp, 1 the nearest to 
them, was about four miles off. The headquarters of 
the army were at the same distance. On the 29th of 
July the surgeons of Jackson's brigade reported that 
the number of its sick was increasing. Upon that 
information General Jackson was requested to choose 

1 After the removal of Whiting's and Evans's. 


the most convenient and healthy position for his 
camp that could be found. He selected one a mile 
from Centreville, on the road to Fairfax Court-House, 
on which he established his camp on the 1st or 2d of 
August. The cavalry was in advance of Fairfax 
Court-House, supported by Elzey's brigade. The 
positions described above, except Jackson's, were 
occupied by the troops on the 23d or 24th of July. 

Although we were near the rich Piedmont region, 
and on a railroad leading from the Valley of the 
Shenandoah, complaints of scarcity, even absolute 
want of food, were not unfrequent. Until the 10th 
of August we never had a supply for more than two 
days, somtimes none. The chief commissary of the 
army, Lieutenant-Colonel E. B. Lee, an officer of capa- 
city and experience, and a tried soldier, was not permit- 
ted by the chief of his department to purchase the more 
important articles of food for the troops — products 
of the country — but was required to apply for them 
to a commissary in Richmond ; so the flour sent to us 
in one week had, in most cases, passed by our depot 
on its way to Richmond the previous one. The effects 
of this system were delay and irregularity in receiv- 
ing this important article, and an addition of at least 
twenty-five per cent, to its price. Efforts were made 
by General Beauregard and myself, by correspondence 
with the Government, to bring about a change of 
system for the sake of economy, regularity of supply, 
and the military object of anticipating the Federal 
army in the consumption of the beef and flour of 
the rich and exposed counties of Loudon, Jefferson, 
and Frederick. 

These efforts had no effect, unless they caused 


the loss to the army of its excellent chief commissary, 
who was summarily removed. He had no other part 
in them than furnishing, at my orders, information 
from his office for my use in the correspondence. 


The Summer spent in observing the Enemy and preparing for Active Service. — 
Mason's and Munson's Hills occupied. — Colonel J. E. B. Stuart. — General 
McClellan in command of the Federal Forces. — Consequences of Want of 
Preparation for the Struggle beginning to be seriously felt. — The President 
appoints Five Generals. — Correspondence with him on the Subject. — Organi- 
zation of the Confederate Army. — President invited to Headquarters of the 
Army for Consultation. — He visits Fairfax Court-House. — Account of the 
Conference and its Result. — Battle of Leesburg. — Affair at Drainsville. — 
Effective Total of the Confederate Army at the End of the Year 1861.— Allu- 
sion to Events in the West. 

No military event deserving notice occurred on 
our part of the frontier during the remainder of the 
summer. We were employed in observing the enemy 
and preparing our troops for active service by dili- 
gent instruction. The captured material enabled 
Colonel Pendleton to increase and improve our artil- 
lery very much. 

At the beginning of September the army was 
encamped about Fairfax Court-House, with strong 
outposts at Munson's and Mason's Hills, with the 
cavalry on their flanks. Stuart, w T ho commanded it, 
had already impressed those who had opportunity to 
observe him, with the sagacity and courage that 
qualified him so admirably for the command of out- 
posts. As had been his previous practice, his pick- 
ets were always near the enemy, while the Federal 
cavalry rarely ventured beyond the protection of 


The Federal intrenchnients, in front of which 
General McClellan had encamped his army, had been 
greatly extended by him, and they covered the heights 
on the Virginia side of the Potomac from a point 
above Georgetown to the hill south of Alexandria. 

The accessions to the army since July 21st had 
been the excellent brigade of Georgians formed and 
brought to Virginia by General Toombs, two regi- 
ments from Mississippi, and one each from North 
Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, and Texas. 1 

The consequences of neglect on the part of the 
Government of the Confederate States to prepare for 
a great war before its actual commencement, were 
now severely felt. While the United States was or- 
ganizing an army of half a million of men, almost 
half of whom were assembling in front of Washing- 
ton, we, with a population far more eager to defend 
their country than that of the Northern States to in- 
vade it, were able to add but ten regiments, aver- 
aging little more than five hundred men, to our prin- 
cipal army. If arms and ammunition could have 
been furnished then, hands to use them would have 
been offered promptly, and the Confederate army 
would have outnumbered that which the Federal 
Government was forming for our subjugation. 

It was reported, about the end of August, that 
General A. S. Johnston, coming from California by 
the southern (land) route, had entered the Confeder- 
acy ; and, on the 31st of the month, the President 
nominated five persons to be generals in the Confed- 
erate army : First, S. Cooper, to rank from May 16th, 
the date of the law creating the grade ; second, A. S. 

1 This statement is from memory. 


Johnston, to rank from May 28th; third, R. E. Lee, 
from June 14th ; fourth, J. E. Johnston, from July 
4th; and, fifth, Gr. T. Beauregard, from July 21st, the 
date of the appointment previously conferred upon 
him. 1 

This action was altogether illegal, and contrary to 
all the laws enacted to regulate the rank of the class 
of officers concerned. Those laws were : 

1. The act of March 6th, fixing the military es- 
tablishment of the Confederacy, and providing for 
four brigadier-generals, that being the highest grade 

2. The act of March 14th, adding a fifth 
brigadier-general, and authorizing the President to 
assign one of the five to the duties of adjutant and 
inspector-general ; and, 3. Enacting further, " that in 
all cases of officers who have resigned, or who may, 
within six months, tender their resignations from the 
army of the United States, and who have been, or 
may be appointed to original vacancies in the army 
of the Confederate States, the commissions issued 
shall bear one and the same date, so that the relative 
rank of officers of each grade shall be determined by 
their former commissions in the United States army, 
held anterior to the secession of these Confederate 
States from the United States." 

4. The act of May 16th: "That the five general 
officers, provided by existing laws for the Confederate 
States, shall have the rank and denomination of gen- 
eral, instead of brigadier-general, which shall be the 
highest military grade known to the Confederate 
States. . . . Appointments to the rank of general, 

1 See the President's telegrams on p. 21. 


after the army is organized, shall be made by selec- 
tion from the amiy." 

Under the first act, S. Cooper, R. E. Lee, and my- 
self, were brigadiers-general on the lGtli of May, when 
the fourth was approved ; and under the third ranked 
relatively, as we had done in the United States 
army before secession, when I was brigadier-general, 
General Cooper colonel, and General Lee lieutenant- 
colonel in that army. The passage of the fourth act 
made us generals, and, according to military rule, 
without affecting this relative rank. It also abol- 
ished the grade of brigadier-general in the army to 
which we belonged. General Cooper, General Lee, 
and myself, had no commissions if we were not gen- 
erals. If we were generals, executive action could 
not give our commissions new dates. The order of 
rank established by law was — first, J. E. Johnston 
(brigadier-general U. S. A.) ; second, S. Cooper 
(colonel U. S. A.) ; third, A. S. Johnston (colonel 
U. S. A.); fourth, R. E. Lee (lieutenant-colonel 
U. S. A.) ; G. T. Beauregard (captain U. S. A.). 
The change in the legal arrangement was made by 
my removal from the first place on the list to the 

Information of these nominations, and their con- 
firmation, came to me at the same time. On receiv- 
ing it, I wrote to the President such a statement as 
the preceding, and also expressed my sense of the 
wrong done me. But, in order that sense of injury 
might not betray me into the use of language im- 
proper from an officer to the President, I laid aside 
the letter for two days, and then examined it dispas- 
sionately, I believe ; and was confident that what it 

1861.] LEWINSYILLE. 73 

contained was not improper to be said by a soldier 
to the President, nor improperly said. The letter 
was, therefore, dispatched. 

It is said that it irritated him greatly, and that 
his irritation was freely expressed. The animosity 
asrainst me that he is known to have entertained ever 


since was attributed, by my acquaintances in public 
life, in Richmond at the time, to this letter. 

On the 11th Colonel Stuart ascertained that a 
body of Federal troops had advanced to Lewinsville. 
To prevent it from holding the position by intrench- 
ing itself there, which would have annoyed us very 
much, he determined to attack it with three hundred 
and five infantry (Thirteenth Virginia), under Major 
Terrill, a section of Rosser's battery, and Captain 
Patrick's company of cavalry. He conducted the 
march of his party so adroitly as to surprise the en- 
emy completely, and by a bold attack drove them 
off in confusion. It was the escort of a reconnoi- 
tring officer 1 — a brigade of infantry, a battery of 
eight guns, and a detachment of cavalry. 

At this time such an organization of the army as 
that completed a year later was proposed to the Ad- 
ministration — the formation of corps and divisions 
as well as brigades, and the creation of the grades 
of lieutenant-general and major-general. It was par- 
tially adopted then, and four divisions formed of the 
thirteen brigades of the army. E. Van Dorn, Gr. W. 
Smith, J. Longstreet, and T. J. Jackson, were ap- 
pointed majors-general to command them. Bon- 
ham's, Early's, and Rodes's brigades, formed Van 
D. R. Jones's, Ewell's, and Cocke's, 

1 Stuart's report. 


joined Long-street's; those of S. Jones, Toombs, and 
Wilcox, G. W. Smith's ; and Jackson's was composed 
of his former brigade, Elzey's, Crittenden's, and 

No army composed of new troops ever had gen- 
eral officers of more merit than those just enumerated. 
This fact, and the admirable character of the troops 
themselves, justified me in the belief that it was 
practicable for us to hold our position against such 
a force even as General McClellan was supposed to 
command. It was important to do so, to avoid the 
discouragement that would have been caused by fall- 
ing back to the line of the Rappahannock, to protect 
so many more of our people, and to retain for the 
Confederate armies the use of the products of the 
valley of the Shenandoah, and of the counties of Lou- 
don and Fauquier. But, that we might be prepared 
for the possible necessity of withdrawing from this 
position, Colonel Williamson, of the Engineer De- 
partment, was then engaged in the construction of 
field-works on the Rappahannock, to improve that 
line, naturally much stronger than the present one. 
Early in September the construction of batteries at 
Evansport was begun under the direction of Briga- 
dier-General Trimble, by order of the War Depart- 
ment, to prevent the navigation of the Potomac by 
vessels of the United States. 

About the 20th of the month I became convinced 
that the increasing strength and efficiency of the 
Federal army were rendering the position of the out- 
posts at Munson's and Mason's Hills more hazardous 
daily, and therefore had them withdrawn. 

We had been hoping, since the battle of Manassas, 


that the effective strength of the army would be so 
increased as to justify us in assuming the offensive, 
If such a change of policy was to be adopted, there 
was no time to lose, for the end of the season 
for active operations was near. I determined, there- 
fore, to suggest it to the President, in the hope 
that he might regard many of the troops stationed 
in unthreatened parts of country as available for 
such a purpose. With that view the subject was 
put before him in a letter addressed by me to the 
Secretary of War, on the 26th, in which it was pro- 
posed that the President himself should come to the 
headquarters of the army, then at Fairfax Court- 
House, to decide this question, after conference with 
such officers as he might select, or send the Secretary 
of War, or some other confidential officer. Mr. 
Davis preferred the former course, and came himself, 
promptly, arriving on the last day of September 
(I think). He had a conference of several hours on 
the matter in question, the evening of the next day, 
in General Beauregard's quarters, with that officer, 
Major-General G. W. Smith, and myself. 

It was conceded that no decisive success could 
be gained by attacking General McClellan's army in 
its position under the guns of a long line of forts. 
It was agreed, too, that decisive action before the 
winter was important to us ; for it was certain that 
without it, when the spring campaign opened, the 
effective strength of the United States army would 
be much increased by additional numbers and better 
discipline. Ours, on the contrary, could not be ma- 
terially increased ; for the Confederacy had no arms 
but those in the hands of the volunteers, and 


twenty-five hundred of those captured on the 21st 
of July, which were in the ordnance-store of the 
army, at Fairfax Court-House. 

Under these circumstances, the three military 
officers proposed, as the course offering the best 
chance of success, the concentration there of all the 
available forces of the Confederate States ; crossing 
the Potomac, into Maryland, at the nearest ford with 
this army, and placing it in rear of Washington. 
This, we thought, would conrpel McClellan to fight 
with the chances of battle against him. Success 
would bring Maryland into the Confederacy, we 
thought, and enable us to transfer the war to the 
northern border of that State, where the defensive 
should be resumed. In our opinion, Confederate 
troops could not be employed advantageously then 
in any other part of the South. And we supposed 
that North and South Carolina and Georgia, which 
were unthreatened, could easily furnish the neces- 
sary reenforcements. The President asked us, begin- 
ning with General Smith, what was the smallest num- 
ber of men with which such a campaign might be 
commenced. He replied, " Fifty thousand soldiers." 
General Beauregard answered, " Sixty thousand;" 
and I the same number. Each of the three explained 
that he meant such soldiers as formed the army 
around us. We also explained to the President 
that large additions to our supply of ammunition 
and means of transportation would be required; 
for we had not then enough of either for our pres- 
ent force. 

The President replied that no such reenforce- 
ments as we ashed for could be furnished to the 


anny ; that the whole country was applying for 
.arms and troops; that he could take none from 
other points for that army, and could do no more to 
increase its strength than send it as many recruits 
as there were arms in our ordnance-store — twenty- 
live hundred. This, of course decided the question 
of active operations then. 

Mr. Davis then proposed some operations of a 
partisan character, especially an expedition, by a de- 
tachment, against Hooker's division, in Maryland, 
opposite to Evansport. I objected to this proposi- 
tion, because we had no means of transporting any 
sufficient body of men to the Maryland shore 
quickly ; and the Potomac being controlled by Fed- 
eral vessels-of-war, such a body, if thrown into 
Maryland, would inevitably be captured or de- 
stroyed in attempting to return, even if successful 
against the land forces. Upon my declining such 
an enterprise, the conference terminated. 

The army had advanced to Fairfax Court-House, 
for the contingency of being made strong enough to 
assume the offensive while General McClellan's was 
still unprepared to take the field. The semicircular 
course of the Potomac, and roads converging from 
different points on it to our position, made it easy 
for the Federal army to turn either of our flanks 
without exposing its own communications. As that 
great army became capable of manoeuvring, the 
position of ours, of course, became more hazardous. 
On the 19th of October, therefore, it was drawn 
back to Centreville — a position much stronger in 
front, as well as less easily and safely turned. Van 
Dora's and Longstreet's divisions occupied the 


ground between Union Mills and the village of Cen- 
treville — the former on the right; G. W. Smith's 
formed on the left, thrown back on the heights near- 
ly parallel to and north of the "Warrenton Turnpike ; 
and Jackson's, constituting the reserve, was posted in 
rear of Centreville. The engineers were directed to 
fortify the summit of the hill near this village — 
that, by holding it, the strongest and salient point of 
the position, with two or three thousand men, the 
army itself might be free to manoeuvre. As we had 
not artillery enough for their works and for the 
army fighting elsewhere, at the same time, rough 
wooden imitations of guns were made, and kept 
near the embrasures, in readiness for exhibition in 
them. To conceal the absence of carriages, the em- 
brasures were covered with sheds made of bushes. 
These were the quaker guns afterward noticed in 
Northern papers. 

The President's visit to the army seems to have 
suggested to him its reorganization in such a manner, 
as far as practicable, as to put the regiments of each 
State into the same brigades and divisions. The or- 
ganization then existing had been made by General 
Beauregard and myself, necessarily without reference 
to States. The four or five regiments arriving first 
formed the first brigade, the next four or five the 
second, and so on. As the regiments united in this 
manner soon became attached to each other and to 
their commanders, it had been thought impolitic, 
generally, to disturb this arrangement. Soon after 
the President's return to Kichmond, orders were is- 
sued directing me to organize the troops anew, so 
that each brigade should be formed of regiments be- 


longing to the same State. I was instructed to do 
this, however, only when it might he done safely. 1 

As the enemy was nearer to our centre than that 
centre to either flank of the army, and another ad- 
vance upon us by the Federal army not improbable 
on any day, it seemed to me unsafe to make the re- 
organization then; for it would have exposed the 
army to the danger of being attacked by the enemy 
while in the confusion incident to a general change 
of position by our regiments, when most of them 
would be unable to take their places in the line of 

Although displeased by the delay, the President 
did not take from me the discretion as to selection 
of time, previously given. "While expressing dissat- 
isfaction, he repeated his order in the terms in which 
it had first been given : to make the reorganization 2 
when it could be done without exposing the army to 

It is asserted in the " Rebellion Record," that, on 
the 16th of October, General Geary ascertained that 
the Eighth Virginia and Thirteenth and Eighteenth 
Mississippi infantry, and Ashby's cavalry regiments, 
were at Harper's Ferry, and, crossing the Poto- 
mac at that point with ten companies of Federal 
infantry, attacked, defeated, and drove them off. 
Ashby was not under my command, so that I can- 
not assert that his regiment was not at Harper's 
Ferry at the time specified ; but the three infantry 

1 The underscoring and phraseology are mine. 

s "To be executed as early as in your discretion it could be safely 
done." — Letter of Mr. Benjamin, acting Secretary of War, December 
9, 1861. 


regiments named "belonged to Evans's brigade, of 
the army I commanded, and to my certain knowl- 
edge were no nearer Harper's Ferry on the 16th than 
on the 21st of October. If Ashby was ever defeated 
at Harper's Ferry, I believe that he died unconscious 
of the fact ; and, under the circumstances, Confeder- 
ate soldiers may reasonably doubt the occurrence, not 
merely of the victory claimed, but of any serious en- 

On the 21st, Evans's brigade, near Leesburg, 
was attacked by a detachment of Federal troops, 
commanded by Colonel Baker. Four Federal regi- 
ments crossed the Potomac at Edwards's Ferry, and 
were held in check by Colonel Barksclale's (Thir- 
teenth) Mississippi regiment. Five others, under 
Colonel Baker's immediate direction, crossed the 
river at the same time at Ball's Bluff, and were met 
by Hunton's (Eighth Virginia), Featherston's (Sev- 
enteenth Mississippi), and Burt's (Eighteenth Mis- 
sissippi) regiments, and after an obstinate contest 
driven over Ball's Bluff in such a panic that num- 
bers rushed into the river and were drowned. Colo- 
nel Baker had fallen on the field. 

Brigadier-General Evans reported that the Con- 
federate loss was thirty-six killed, including the gal- 
lant Colonel Burt, one hundred and seventeen wound- 
ed, and two captured ; and that of the enemy, thir- 
teen hundred killed, wounded, and drowned, and 
seven hundred and ten prisoners. 

Colonel Barksdale attacked a superior force next 
day in advance of Edwards's Ferry, and drove it 
back to the river, which it recrossed in the night. 

At the end of October the " effective total" of 


the army (by the return in my possession) was 
twenty-seven thousand infantry and artillery, and 
twenty-four hundred cavalry, at and in front of Cen- 
treville, twenty-two hundred at Manassas Junction, 
six thousand seven hundred between Dumfries and 
the Occoquan, and twenty-seven hundred at Leesburg 
— in all forty-one thousand capable of going into bat- 
tle. According to the information given us by spies, 
the effective force of the Federal army opposed to us 
was a hundred and fifty thousand. 

About the 1st of November a new military ar- 
rangement was made on the northern frontier of Vir- 
ginia, by which my command was extended to the 
Alleghany on one side and the Chesapeake on the 
other, by the formation of " the Department of North- 
ern Virginia." It was composed of " the Valley dis- 
trict," lying between the Alleghany and Blue Ridge, 
commanded by Major-Gen eral Jackson ; " the District 
of the Potomac," commanded by General Beauregard, 
and extending from the Blue Ridge to the Quantico ; 
and that of the Acquia, lying between the Quantico 
and the Chesapeake, commanded by Major-General 

" The Stonewall Brigade " was transferred with 
General Jackson to the Valley district. Brigadier- 
General R. B. Garnett, who joined the army soon 
after, was sent to Winchester, where General Jack- 
son's headquarters were established, to command it. 
Major-General E. Kirby Smith, who had recovered 
from his wound, and rejoined the army just then, 
succeeded General Jackson in the command of the 



The Texan Brigade, ever after so distinguished in 
the Army of Northern Virginia, had then been com- 
pleted by Brigadier-General WigfaJ.1. 

A trifling circumstance that occurred at this time 
was the foundation of a grave accusation, said to have 
been frequently made against me orally, by Mr. Ben- 
jamin, then acting Secretary of War. 

Major-General Van Dorn reported to me that he 
had information, from an excellent source, that the 
left Federal division (General Heintzelman) had ad- 
vanced so far on the Occoquan road as to be entirely 
separated from the army — so far that it might be 
beaten by a prompt attack, before aid could reach it. 
He proposed that we should take advantage of this 
exposure, and attack it. I had daily intelligence that 
contradicted this, but desired General Van Dorn to 
send one of our best scouts, who belonged to his di- 
vision, to obtain accurate information, promising that 
he should make the attempt he suggested should the 
intelligence brought justify it. A day or two after 
this General Van Dorn told me that the scout's re- 
port had satisfied him that the report he had pre- 
viously made to me was incorrect, and that there 
had been no forward movement of the Federal left. 
Gentlemen coming to the army from Richmond, at 
different times during the earlier part of the winter, 
stated that the acting Secretary of War had re- 
peatedly, in conversation, accused me of having 
neglected to destroy a body of some twelve thousand 
men which the Federal general had left long exposed. 
This charge had no better foundation than the inci- 
dents just related. 

At the end of November the " effective total " of 


the troops of the Department of Northern Virginia 
was forty-seven thousand two hundred, of whom 
four thousand eight hundred belonged to the Acquia 
district, and three thousand seven hundred to that 
of the Valley. 1 Brigadier-General D. H. Hill had 
succeeded Brigadier-General Evans in the command 
of the troops near Leesburg, the latter being trans- 
ferred to South Carolina. 

Early in December, Major Blair, the chief com- 
missary of the army, was compelled by ill health to 
leave that position. He was succeeded in it by 
Major R. G. Cole, who assumed its duties about the 
20th of the month, and continued to perform them 
until the end of the war. He was desired to have 
the stock of provision for the army increased to a 
supply for fifteen days, and to have that quantity 
kept on hand ; and also to establish a reserve-depot 
at Culpepper Court-House. This measure was a 
preparation for the contingency of our finding it 
necessary or expedient to fall back from Centreville 
to the line of the Rappahannock. 

On the 20th, Brigadier-General Stuart was sent 
to forage in the southeastern part of the county of 
Loudon, with an escort of sixteen hundred infantry 
and Cutts's battery. To protect the party gathering 
forage, he placed his escort at Drainsville, between 
that party and the Federal army. In taking that 
position, he encountered the escort of a Federal 
foraging-party. Finding this body of troops much 
stronger than his own, he thought it necessary to 
draw off his foraging-party, and, to cover its with- 
drawal, attacked the enemy, and kept them engaged 

1 The figures are taken from the return in my possession. 


until liis trains were safe, when lie fell back with 
his escort. He was undisturbed in this movement, 
and his adversary withdrew also very soon after. 
Cutts's battery did excellent service in this affair. 

Three brigades under Brigadier-General Loring, 
transferred from "Western Virginia to the Valley dis- 
trict, reported to Major-General Jackson in Decem- 
ber : the first, commanded by Colonel Taliaferro, early 
in the month ; the two others, Brigadier-General S. K. 
Anderson's and Colonel Gilham's, near its close. 

In the course of the month two regiments were 
received in the Potomac district, which completed 
Hampton's brigade ; that officer's military merit pro- 
cured his assignment to this command, but I was un- 
able to induce the Administration to give him corre- 
sponding rank. 

At the end of the year, the effective total of the 
troops belonging to the de£>artments was fifty seven 
thousand three hundred and thirty-seven — ten thou- 
sand two hundred and forty-one in the Valley dis- 
trict, forty thousand eight hundred and thirty-nine 
in that of the Potomac, and six thousand two hun- 
dred and fifty-seven in the Acquia district. 

Although the great Federal army was so near, 
our military exercises had never been interrupted. 
No demonstrations were made by the troops of that 
army, except the occasional driving in of a Confed- 
erate cavalry-picket by a large mixed force. The 
Federal cavalry rarely ventured beyond the protec- 
tion of infantry, and the ground between the two 
armies had been less free to it than to that of the 
Confederate army. Until the end of December, mili- 
tary operations were practicable ; but, from that time 


to the beginning of spring, the condition of the conn- 
try south of the Potomac and east of the Blue Ridge 
would have made them extremely difficult — indeed, 
almost impossible. The quantity of rain that fell, 
and of snow, always melting quickly, made a depth 
of mud rarely equaled. 

The Confederate troops fought bravely and well 
wherever they encountered those of the United 
States, in 1861. At Bethel, under Magruder and D. 
H. Hill ; at Oakhill, under Price and McCulloch ; on 
the Gauley, under Floyd ; on the Greenbrier, under 
H. R. Jackson ; on Santa Rosa Island, under R. H. 
Anderson ; at Belmont, under Polk and Pillow ; on 
the Alleghany, under Edward Johnson, and at Chas- 
tenallah, under Mcintosh. On all these occasions 
they were superior to their adversaries, from greater 
zeal and more familiarity with the use of fire-arms. 
The thorough system of instruction introduced into 
the United States army gradually established equal- 
ity in the use of fire-arms, and our greater zeal finally 
encountered better discipline. 

Had the Confederate troops in Arkansas been 
united under a competent, or even a merely respect- 
able commander, their fighting would have been 
effective, and valuable to the Southern cause. I 
might have gained the powerful state of Missouri to 
the Confederacy, and brought sixty thousand of its 
martial inhabitants into the Southern armies. Such 
an accession to the Southern Confederacy might, and 
probably would, have made the northern and eastern 
borders of that State the seat of war, instead of Mis- 
sissippi and Tennessee. 

Among the measures to hold Tennessee and gain 


Kentucky were intrenched camps, made at Colum- 
bus, Island No. 10, Forts Henry and Donelson, and 
Bowling Green ; each of which required an army to 
hold it; and, consequently, a respectable army di- 
vided among them, gave each one a force utterly inad- 
equate to its defense. Regular forts, each requiring 
a garrison of one or two thousand men, and con- 
structed with much less labor than the intrenched 
camps, would have held the ground much better, and 
made it practicable to form an active army at the 
same time, capable of facing those of Buell and 
Grant, one after the other. As it was, the Confeder- 
ates were alike weak at every point, and, when the 
Federal armies advanced, they were captured, or 
abandoned the country precipitately, after much mis- 
directed labor had been expended in preparations to 
defend it. 


General Jackson proposes to resign. — Interference of Secretary Benjamin with 
the Army. — Proposition to exchange Prisoners. — Summoned to Richmond 
for Conference. — Preparations for Withdrawal from Manassas. — Secretary 
Benjamin continues his Interference with the Discipline of the Army. — 
Movement to the Rappahannock. — Orders to General Jackson. — Battle of 
Kernstown. — Army moved to the Rapidan. — Appointment of General Ran- 
dolph Secretary of War. — Movements of General McClellan. — Another Con- 
ference with the President. — Its Result. 

In the beginning of the year, General Jackson 
moved from Winchester with four brigades of infan- 
try and a regiment of cavalry, to drive the Federal 
troops, then in the northern part of his district, 
across the Potomac. Their number being inconsid- 
erable, he succeeded in ten days, without serious 
fighting. His men suffered very much, however, from 
cold, and hard marches. 

In the distribution of the troops of the district, 
agreed upon by General Jackson and myself, Gen- 
eral Loring's three brigades were Stationed near 
Romney, General Meem's brigade of militia at Mar- 
tinsburg, General Carson's at Bath, and the militia 
regiments of Colonels Monroe, McDonald, Harness, 
and Johnson, occupied Moorfield, and different points 
on a curved line thence, in advance of Romney, to 

A week or two after these dispositions were com- 
pleted, General Jackson received the following order 


from Mr. Benjamin, acting Secretary of War: "Our 
news indicates that a movement is being made to cut 
off General Loring's command. Order him back to 
"Winchester immediately." After I had received 
from General Jackson information of this singular 
interference, it seemed to occur to Mr. Benjamin that 
his order should have been sent directly to me, for a 
copy came to my office then. 

General Jackson thought himself so much 
wronged, officially, by this procedure of the acting 
Secretary of War that, immediately after obeying 
the order, he sent me a letter addressed to that officer, 
for transmission to him, asking to be relieved of his 
command, either by restoration to his professorship 
in the Virginia Military Institute, or by the accept- 
ance of the resignation of his commission in the Con- 
federate army. I retained the letter, and wrote him 
this remonstrance : " My dear friend, I have just read, 
with profound regret, your letter to the Secretary of 
War, asking to be relieved from your present com- 
mand, either by an order to the Virginia Military 
Institute, or the acceptance of your resignation. 

" Let me beg you to reconsider this matter. Un- 
der ordinary circumstances, a due sense of one's own 
dignity, as well as care for professional character and 
official rights, would demand such a course as yours. 
But the character of this war, the great energy ex- 
hibited by the Government of the United States, the 
danger in which our very existence as an indepen- 
dent people lies, require sacrifices from us all who 
have been educated as soldiers. I receive my in- 
formation of the order of which you have such cause 
to complain, from your letter. Is not that as great 


an official wrong to me as the order itself to you ? 
Let us dispassionately reason with the Government 
on this subject of command, and, if we fail to influ- 
ence its practice, then ask to be relieved from po- 
sitions, the authority of which is exercised by the 
War Department, while the responsibilities are left 
to us. 

" I have taken the liberty to detain your letter, 
to make this appeal to your patriotism, not merely 
from warm feelings of personal regard, but from the 
official opinion which makes me regard you as neces- 
sary to the service of the country in your present 

He agreed, ultimately, to remain in the army. 

I wrote to the President on this subject on the 
5th : " I have just received from Major-General Jack- 
son a copy of the letter of the Secretary of War to 
him, directing the evacuation of Romney, and with- 
drawal of our troops to Winchester. 

" On a former occasion I ventured to appeal to 
your excellency against such exercise of military com- 
mand by the Secretary of War. Permit me now to 
suggest the separation of the Valley district from my 
command, on the ground that it is necessary for the 
public interest. A collision of the authority of the 
Hon. Secretary of War with mine might occur at a 
critical moment ; in such an event disaster would be 

" The responsibility of the command has been im- 
posed upon me; your excellency's known sense of 
justice will not hold me to that responsibility while 
the corresponding control is not in my hands. 

"Let me assure your excellency that I am 


prompted in this matter by no love of privileges 
of position, or of official rights, as such, but by a firm 
belief that, under the circumstances, what I propose 
is necessary to the safety of our troops and cause." 

The suggestion made in this letter was not ac- 
cepted. Early in the month the army lost Major- 
General Van Dora, and in the latter part of it Gen- 
eral Beauregard, who held the first place in the esti- 
mation of much the larger number of the troops ; 
both were sent by the Government to the valley of 
the Mississippi. 

"What was known in the army as the bounty and 
furlough law went into effect on the first day of the 
year. It was intended to encourage reengagement 
in the service by those who had volunteered for but 
one year. Either from defects in the law itself, or 
faults in the manner in which it was administered, 
it had the effect of weakening the army by its imme- 
diate operation, without adding to its strength sub- 
sequently. Its numbers were greatly reduced before 
the end of the month by furloughs under the recent 
law, given directly by the acting Secretary of War. 
It was further weakened, and its discipline very much 
impaired, by Mr. Benjamin's daily interference in 
its administration and interior management. That 
officer was in the habit of granting leaves of absence, 
furloughs, and discharges, accepting resignations, and 
detailing soldiers to labor for contractors, or on nomi- 
nal service, taking them out of the army upon appli- 
cations made directly to himself, without the knowl- 
edge of the officers whose duty it was to look to the 
interests of the Government in such cases. He also 
granted indiscriminately to officers, private soldiers, 


and civilians, authority to raise companies of cavalry 
and artillery, especially the latter, from our excellent 
infantry regiments, in some instances for merely local 
service. Although the artillery of the army already 
exceeded the European proportion, many addition- 
al batteries were thus authorized. Fortunately the 
Ordnance Department was unable to arm and equip 
them ; otherwise the army would have been deprived 
of several regiments of excellent infantry, and en- 
cumbered with artillery that could not have been 
taken into battle without danger of capture, for want 
of infantry to protect it. In all this the Honorable 
Secretary did more mischief by impairing the disci- 
pline of the army than by reducing its numbers. 1 My 
respectful remonstrances were written to him on the 
1st, as follows : 

" Your letter of the 25th, in reply to mine of the 
ISth, did not reach me until yesterday. 

" In entering upon the delicate and difficult work 
assigned to me, I shall keep in view your advice ' to 
go to the extreme verge of prudence in tempting my 
twelve-months men, by liberal furloughs, to reenlist.' 
It is, however, indispensable to the success of the 
undertaking, that you should remove certain difficul- 
ties which not only embarrass the execution of these 
particular orders, but are also causing great confusion 
and an approach to demoralization in the army. 
They result from a practice of giving orders to the 
army in matters of military detail which should only 

1 There was such a want of arms at this time, that I was directed 
by the acting Secretary of War to send those of all soldiers "sick in 
hospital" to Richmond {see Appendix; in this way the army lost six 
thousand muskets. 


come from the commanding officers present. It is 
impossible to specify in detail all these orders, as 
many of them are brought incidentally to my knowl- 
edge by the difficulties attending their execution. I 
allude especially to those granting furloughs, leaves of 
absence, discharges, and acceptances of resignations, 
made directly by yourself, without giving the officers 
concerned a hearing ; detailing mechanics and other 
soldiers to labor for contractors ; ordering troops into 
this department and from it without consulting me, 
or even informing me of the fact ; and removing com- 
panies from point to point within it. Two of these 
companies were at Manassas — having been selected 
to man some heavy batteries there ; they had become 
well instructed in that service, and, of course, were 
unpractised as infantry. The companies that take 
their places will for weeks be worthless as artillery, 
as they are as infantry. Our organization being 
incomplete, I am compelled thus to select troops for 
special service ; and, if, as general, I cannot control 
such matters, our heavy guns are useless expense. 

" The matters above mentioned are purely mili- 
tary, and, I respectfully submit, should be left under 
the control of military officers. 

"I have been informed that you have already 
granted furloughs to four entire companies, but have 
received only one of the orders. They are, it is said, 
enlisted as artillery ; we shall thus lose good infan- 
try, and gain artillery having no other advantage over 
recruits than that of being inured to camp-life. This 
increases the difficulty of inducing reenlistment of 
infantry as such. You will perceive readily that, while 
you are granting furloughs on such a scale at Rich- 


mond, I cannot safely grant them at all. To execute 
these orders consistently and advisedly, there must 
be a system ; if the War Department continues to 
grant these furloughs without reference to the plan 
determined on here, confusion and disorganizing col- 
lisions must be the result. 

" I have been greatly surprised to-day to receive 
an order from the War Office, detailing a private for 
a working-party here. I hazard nothing in saying 
that a Secretary of War never before, in time of war, - 
made such a detail. 

" In calling your attention to the mischiefs result- 
ing from the orders alluded to above, I assure you I 
am making no point upon mere official propriety ; 
they are practical evils which are weighing heavily 
upon this army. Officers, laboring under the impres-' 
sions that I am in some way responsible for the 
changes they direct, complain that they are made 
without consulting their wishes, and in opposition to 
their plans. The discipline of the army cannot be 
maintained under such circumstances. The direct 
tendency of such orders is to insulate the command- 
ing general from his army, to impair his authority 
with his troops, to diminish his moral as well as his 
official control over them, and to harass him with the 
constant fear that his most matured plans may be 
contravened by orders from the Government which 
it is impossible for him to anticipate. 

" I respectfully request that you will forbear the 
exercise of your power upon these points. You have 
seen proper to intrust to 'my skill and judgment,' 
as you kindly express it, a work full of hazards and 
difficulties : may I not ask that you will extend your 


confidence in me to those matters of minor detail 
which legitimately belong to my position ? 

" I appreciate fully the demands upon your atten- 
tion by the great pressure upon all our lines of 
defense, which you so vividly present in your letter 
of the 25th ult. By leaving to me the exclusive con- 
trol of the military arrangements appertaining to my 
command here, you will be relieved of much that 
must divert your mind from that general supervision 
which your exalted station requires. 

" I have written, sir, in no spirit of captiousness, 
but with perfect frankness, in order to remove any 
causes of misunderstanding, and to secure concert 
of action between us. From all I can learn, the dis- 
position to reenlist is not very general. I will do 
what I can to stimulate it into activity. Care must 
be taken, however, not to reduce the army to such 
an extent as to make its very feebleness the induce- 
ment to the enemy's attack." 

The Secretary took no notice of this letter, and 
in no degree abated his irregular course remonstrat- 
ed against ; and gave furloughs under the " bounty 
and furlough law" as lavishly as if he had not 
especially delegated its execution to me. 

About the end of January the Confederate Gov- 
ernment desired the adoption of measures for the 
exchange of all prisoners taken by the armies of the 
belligerents, and the Secretary of War instructed me 
to propose to General McClellan the proper arrange- 
ments for that object. 

These instructions were obeyed on the 1st of 
February, by transmitting the following letter of 
that elate to General McClellan, by the hands of 


Lieutenant-Colonel Julian Harrison, of the Virginia 
cavalry, who was selected to bear it on account of 
the interest attaching to the subject, and its im- 

" Sir : I am instructed by the Secretary of War 
of the Confederate States to propose to you to enter 
into arrangements for a general exchange of prison- 
ers of war, on terms in accordance with the usages 
of civilized warfare. 

" This proposition is intended to be general — to 
embrace not merely the prisoners of war taken by 
armies near the Potomac, but to apply to those cap- 
tured by all the forces of either belligerent. 

" The terms of exchange, which seem to me ap- 
propriate, are those which have been established in 
modern war — equal exchange of those having simi- 
lar rank ; equivalent values when there is not equal- 
ity of rank. 

" In the hope that your answer will be favorable, 
and that we may thus together take at least one 
step to diminish the sufferings produced by the war, 
I am," etc. 

As this proposition was not entertained nor the 
letter noticed, the matter is introduced here only to 
show how early in the war the Confederate Govern- 
ment attempted to lessen the sufferings of prisoners 
of war by shortening their terms of confinement, 
and how little of that spirit was exhibited by the 
Federal Administration. 

When the Department of East Tennessee was 
constituted, Major-General E. Kirby Smith was se- 


lected to command it. Maney's, Bate's, and Vaughn's 
Tennessee regiments were transferred with him to 
that department. Major-General R. S. Ewell, just 
promoted, succeeded to the command of General E. 
K. Smith's division. 

Soon after the middle of this month, I was sum- 
moned to Richmond by the President, who wished 
to confer with me on a subject in which secrecy was 
so important that he could not venture, he said, to 
commit it to paper, and the mail. I arrived in 
Richmond on the 20th, early enough to reach the 
President's office two hours before noon. The cabi- 
net was in session, and I was summoned into the 
room. The President explained that he had sent for 
me to discuss the question of withdrawing the army 
to a less exposed position. I replied that, although 
the withdrawal of the army from Centreville would 
be necessary before McClellan's invasion, which 
might be expected as soon as the country should be 
in condition for the marching of armies, it was im- 
possible then, without much suffering by the troops, 
and great sacrifice of military property, including 
baggage. On that account, I thought the measure 
should be postponed until the end of the winter, 
and represented that the artillery-horses could not 
then draw field-pieces with their ammunition-chests, 
nor loaded caissons. This brought on a long discus- 
sion of the best mode of bringing off the guns of 
the Evansport batteries, which prolonged the con- 
ference until near sunset. It terminated without 
the giving of orders, but with the understanding 
on my part that the army was to fall back as soon 
as practicable. 


The discussion was understood to be strictly con- 
fidential; yet, on reaching the hotel, going directly 
from the President's office, I was asked by Colonel 
Pender, Sixth North Carolina regiment, just arrived 
in the city on his way to the army, after leave of 
absence, if I had heard a report that he had found in 
that house, that the cabinet had been discussing 
that day the question of withdrawing the army from 
the line then occupied. On my way back to Cen- 
treville next day, I met an acquaintance from the 
county of Fauquier, too deaf to hear conversation not 
intended for his ear, who gave me the same informa- 
tion that he had heard, he said, the evening be- 

This extraordinary proof of the indiscretion of the 
members of the cabinet, or of some one of them, 
might have taught the danger of intrusting to that 
body any design the success of which depended upon 

On the 22d orders were given to the chiefs of the 
quartermaster's and subsistence departments to re- 
move the military property in the depots at Manassas 
Junction and its dependencies, to Gordonsville, as 
quickly as possible ; and the president and superin- 
tendent of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad were 
requested to work it to its utmost capacity for that 
object. To expedite the operation, as well as for the 
probability of their being required near that point, 
Colonel Cole was instructed to have a portion of his 
stores deposited at Orange Court-House. A supply 
for ten days had been placed previously at Culpepper 
Court-House, for the contingency of the occupation 
of the line of the Rappahannock by the army. 


An enormous quantity of military property had 
been accumulated at Manassas Junction, besides that 
of the Confederate Government in the hands of its 
officers of the quartermaster's and subsistence de- 
partments. There were large stores of provisions 
and clothing belonging to States, and under the 
charge of State agents ; there was also such a quan- 
tity of baggage as no such army had ever before col- 
lected together. As the different regiments had been 
brought from their homes to Manassas Junction by 
railroad, the amount of their baggage had not been 
limited, consequently a trunk had come with each 

The arrangements of the commissary department, 
made without reference to probable military opera- 
tions, or the views of the commander of the army, 
added still more to the great quantity of public 
property depending on the troops for protection. 
Major R. G. Cole, 1 chief commissary of the army, had 

1 In a letter to rue on this subject, dated February 7, 1871, Colo- 
nel R. G. Cole states : " By your direction I requested the commissary- 
general to increase the supply of provisions to an amount sufficient for 
fifteen days' rations for the army. In a short time I discovered that 
the accumulation was too large, and reported the fact to you, and by 
your direction I telegraphed, on the 4th of January, 1S62, to the Com- 
missary-General, that you desired all stores sent from Richmond stopped 
at Culpepper Court-House. At this place I had, by your orders, estab- 
lished a reserve depot. Supplies continued to come from Richmond, 
Lynchburg, Staunton, and Fredericksburg. I requested the commis- 
sary-general by telegraph, on the 16th of January, to have the ship- 
ments to Manassas stopped. On the 29th I repeated the request, indi- 
cating that the amount at Manassas was nearly double that required. . . . 

" The gross weight of supplies at Manassas was three million two 
hundred and forty thousand three hundred and fifty-four pounds. In 
addition, there was, in the packing-establishment at Thoroughfare, the 
rise of two million, mostly of salt meat; the gross weight of provision 
necessary for the army was one million five hundred and thirty-seven 


endeavored, under my instructions, to limit the quan- 
tity of provisions in his storehouses to a supply for fif- 
teen days — in weight about fifteen hundred thousand 
pounds. But the subsistence department, disregard- 
ing his repeated representations of my views, had 
collected there more than three million pounds. It 
had also located a meat-curing establishment for the 
Confederate armies at Thoroughfare Gap, on the Ma- 
nassas Gap Railroad, without my knowledge. In this 
establishment there were more than two million 
pounds of meat, cured and in the process, besides 
large herds of cattle and hogs : so that the subsist- 
ence department, contrary to my expressed wishes and 
opinion, had encumbered the army with above five 
million pounds of its property, more than three hun- 
dred and fifty car-loads ; while by my system there 
would have been about a million and a half pounds, 
a hundred car-loads, for removal. 

In the mean time the Secretary of War continued 
to pursue the course against which I had remon- 
strated on the 1st of February, to the great injury 

thousand two hundred and fifty-four pounds. The gross weight of sup- 
plies abandoned was one million four hundred and thirty-four thousand 
three hundred and sixteen pounds. Of these stores, fifty thousand seven 
hundred and fifteen pounds of vinegar, two hundred and forty-six thou- 
sand three hundred and seventy-one of hard bread, and one hundred 
and forty-six thousand eight hundred and ninety-eight of flour, were 
damaged by exposure to the weather, owing to want of shelter, and 
totally unfit for issue." 

By this statement of the best authority, not much more than a sixth 
of the food recklessly brought from the interior to the frontier was 
lost, exclusive of that spoiled. In spite of the accumulation at Manassas, 
every thing would have been saved but for the establishment of the 
meat-packery of the Confederate armies on that frontier ; as if our 
troops were maintained to protect this establishment, not to meet the 
movements of the enemy. 


of the army. I therefore asked tlie President's inter- 
vention, on the 1st of March, as follows : 

" I ask permission to call your attention to prac- 
tices prevailing at the War Department, which are 
disorganizing in their effects upon this army, and 
destructive to its discipline. 

"Orders of the "War Department are received 
daily, granting leaves of absence and furloughs, and 
detailing soldiers for some service away from their 
companies, based upon applications made directly to 
the Hon. Secretary of War, without the knowledge 
of commanding officers, and in violation of the army 
regulations on this subject. The object of this whole- 
some rule, which Was to give the Government the 
right to be heard through its officers, is defeated, 
the Department acting upon mere ex-parte state- 
ments. This is especially the case in reference to 
furloughs, their arrival being, usually, the first inti- 
mation of an application. . . . 

" My object in writing to your excellency on this 
subject is, to invoke your protection of the discipline 
and organization of this army. My position makes 
me responsible for the former, but the corresponding 
authority has been taken from me. Let me urge its 
restoration. The course of the Secretary of War has 
not only impaired discipline, but deprived me of the 
influence in the army without which there can be 
little hope of success. 

" I have respectfully remonstrated with the Hon. 
Secretary, but without securing his notice. . . ." 

His excellency's reply gave me reason to suppose 
that he would not interfere ; for he assured me, in 
his answer to my appeal, that I had been imposed 


upon "by 'spurious orders; saying, in explanation: 
" The Secretary of "War informs me that he has not 
granted leaves of absence or furloughs to soldiers of 
your command for a month past." The adjutant- 
general, Major T. G. Ehett, to whom I read the letter 
on account of this statement, told me that a large 
package of the orders in question had been received 
by the mail in which that letter had come ! Mr. 
Benjamin's removal from the War Department, soon 
after, implied that the President thought less poorly 
of my intelligence than the language of his letter 

In writing to the President on the 2 2d of Feb- 
ruary, I had requested him to have the assignment 
of officers of engineers expedited; such an assign- 
ment had been applied for early in the month. Cap- 
tain Powhatan Robinson reported to me, with three 
or four lieutenants, in the first two or three days of 
March. He was directed, with his party, to examine 
the two roads leading from our camps to the Rappa- 
hannock near the railroad-bridge. He reported, on 
the 6th, that they were j^racticable, but made diffi- 
cult by deep mud. On the 7th he was sent to the 
Rappahannock, to have the railroad-bridge made 
practicable for wagons. 

We had to regard four routes to Richmond as 
practicable for the Federal army : that chosen in 
the previous July ; another east of the Potomac to 
the mouth of Potomac Creek, and thence by Freder- 
icksburg ; the third and fourth by water, the one to 
the Lower Rappahannock, the other t(5 Fort Monroe ; 
and from those points respectively by direct roads. 

As the Confederate troops in Virginia were dis- 


posed, it seemed to me that invasion by the second 
ronte would be the most difficult to meet ; for, as the 
inarch in Maryland would be covered by the Poto- 
mac, the Federal general might hope to conceal it 
from us until the passage of the river was begun, and 
so place himself at least two days' march nearer to 
Eichmond than the Army of Northern Virginia, on 
Bull Run. I did not doubt, therefore, that this route 
would be taken by General McClellan. The opinion 
was first suggested by the location of a division of 
the United States army * on it, opposite to Dumfries. 

On the 5th, information from Brigadier-General 
"Whiting, of unusual activity in the division opposite 
to him — that referred to above — suggested that the 
Federal army was about to take the field ; so I deter- 
mined to move to the position already prepared for 
such an emergency — the south bank of the Rappa- 
hannock — strengthened by field-works, and provided 
with a depot of food ; for in it we should be better 
able to resist the Federal army advancing by Manas- 
sas, and near enough to Fredericksburg to meet the 
enemy there, should he take that route ; as well as to 
unite with any Confederate forces that might be sent 
to oppose him should he move by the Lower Rappa- 
hannock or Fort Monroe. 

Brigadier-Generals Whiting and D. II. Hill were 
ordered to march on the morning of the 7th: the 
first from the Lower Occoquan and neighborhood of 
Dumfries, with his own, Wigfall's, and Hampton's 
brigades, to Fredericksburg, where Major-General 
Holmes was directed to concentrate his troops; 
and the second from Leesburg by Thoroughfare and 

1 General Hooker's. 


"Warrenton to the south side of the Eappahannock. 
The troops near Centreville and Manassas Junction 
were directed to march on the morning of the 8th ; 
Smith's and Longstreet's divisions and Pendleton's 
reserve artillery by the Turnpike — to the south side 
of the Eappahannock — by the bridge near the War- 
renton Springs; and Ewell's and Early's (late 
Bonham's) to the south side of that river near the 
railroad-bridge — one part taking the road follow- 
ing the railroad, and the other that to the south of 
it, through Brentsville. In all cases artillery and 
wagons were to precede troops. It was found neces- 
sary to transport the ammunition-chests of the artil- 
lery — those of the caissons as well as of the pieces — 
by railroad. 

So much property was still remaining in the de- 
pots on the morning of the 8th, that the commanders 
of the divisions at Centreville and Bull Run were 
directed to keep their positions. They remained in 
them until the evening of the 9th, when they 
marched to rejoin their baggage — the trains having 
moved the day before. Much provision was left 
at Manassas, and salt meat at Thoroughfare. The 
country people were invited to divide this meat 
among themselves, as soon as Hill's brigade, in pass- 
ing, had taken as much of it as it could transport. 

General Stuart occupied the line of Bull Run 
with the cavalry, during the night of the 9th, and 
at ten o'clock next morning set fire to the abandoned 
storehouses. Early on the 11th all the infantry 
and artillery crossed the Rappahannock. Ewell's 
and Early's divisions encamped near the river, on 
both sides of the railroad, and Smith and Long- 


street inarched on to Culpepper Court-House, as no 
enemy appeared on the turnpike. The cavalry oc- 
cupied Warrenton Junction, with pickets on Cedar 
Run and the turnpike. My headquarters were near 
the Rappahannock Station, but south of the river. 

The authors of Alfriend's "Life of Jefferson 
Davis " assert that " the destruction of valuable ma- 
terial, including an extensive meat-curing establish- 
ment containing large supplies of meat, and estab- 
lished by the Government, which ensued upon the 
evacuation of Manassas, elicited much exasperated 

The censure elicited by this " destruction " should 
have been directed at those who located the great 
meat-curing establishment of the Government on the 
frontier, instead of in the interior of the country; 
this, too, without the knowledge of the commander 
on that frontier ; and who burdened the army, be- 
sides, with more than three millions of rations, 
when the general protested against a supply of more 
than fifteen hundred thousand pounds. 1 Fifteen days 
(from the 23d of February to the 9th of March, in- 
clusive) were devoted by the army to the work of 
removing the property in question, quite long enough 
to subordinate the operations of an army to the pro- 
tection of commissary stores exposed against the 
wishes and remonstrances of the general. 

Orders to remove the enormous accumulation of 
public property were given by me at Manassas on 
the 22d. The work was begun next morning, and 
continued fifteen days. During that time I called 
the President's attention, five times, to unavoidable 

1 See Colonel R. G. Cole's statement, Appendix. 


delays in the preparations for our change of position, 
in the following passages of letters : February 22d : 
" . . . . The condition of the country is even worse 
than I described it to be, and rain is falling fast. I 
fear that field artillery near the Potomac cannot be 
removed soon.". . . . February 23d: "In the present 
condition of the country, the orders you have given 
me cannot be executed promptly, if at all. Well- 
mounted officers from the neighborhood of Dumfries 
report that they could ride no faster than at the rate 
of twelve miles in six hours and a half." .... Feb- 
ruary 25th: " . . . . They" (the roads) "are not now 
practicable for field artillery with our teams of four 
horses .... The accumulation of subsistence stores 
at Manassas is now a great evil. The commissary- 
general was requested, more than once, to suspend 
those supplies. A very extensive meat-packing 
establishment near Thoroughfare is also a great en- 
cumbrance The vast quantities of personal 

property in our camps is a still greater one. Much 
of both kinds of property must be sacrificed in the 
contemplated movement." .... February 28th: "I 
regret to be unable to make a favorable report of the 
l^rogress of our preparations to execute your plan. 
.... As I remarked to you orally, 1 the measure must 
be attended with great sacrifice of property, and per- 
haps much suffering " . . . . March 3d : " Your orders 
for moving cannot be executed now, on account of 
the condition of roads and streams It is evi- 
dent that a large quantity of it" (public projDerty) 
" must be sacrificed. ... In conversation with you, 9 

1 In the " consultation," February 20th. 
3 February 20th. 


and before the cabinet, I did not exaggerate the diffi- 
culties of marching in that region. The sufferings 
and sickness that would be produced can hardly be 

These passages, written after the "falling back" 
of the army had been authorized in the consultation, 
indicate a strong disposition on my part to postpone 
it, on account of the difficulties and hardships of 
marching at that season. They proved, too, that the 
President was reminded of these difficulties when 
we were discussing the measure in his office, with 
his cabinet. 

After it had become evident that the Valley was 
to be invaded by an army too strong to be encounter- 
ed by Jackson's division, that officer was instructed to 
endeavor to employ the invaders in the Valley, but 
without exposing himself to the danger of defeat, 
by keeping so near the enemy as to prevent him 
from making any considerable detachment to reen- 
force McClellan, but not so near that he might be 
compelled to fight. 

Under these instructions, when General Banks, 
approaching with a Federal force greatly superior to 
his own, was within four miles of Winchester, Gen- 
eral Jackson 1 fell back slowly before him to Stras- 
burg— marching that distance, of eighteen miles, in 
two days. After remaining there undisturbed un- 
til the 16th, finding that the Federal army was 
again advancing, he fell back to Mount Jackson, 
twenty-four miles, his adversary halting at Stras- 

General Jackson's report, showing these relative 

1 March 12th. 



positions, made with his usual promptness, was re- 
ceived on the 1 9th, when I suggested to him that his 
distance from the Federal army was too great for the 
object in view. In the note acknowledging this, dis- 
patched on the 21st, he wrote that he was about to 
move his headquarters to Woodstock, twelve miles 
from the enemy's camp ; and at half-past 6 a. m., on 
the 23d, at Strasburg, he expressed the hope that he 
should be near Winchester that afternoon ; and at 
ten o'clock that night he wrote, in his brief manner, 
that he attacked the Federal army at Kernstown 
at 4 p. m. and was repulsed by it at dusk. In his 
formal report, written on the 29th of April, he re- 
ported that his force on the field was three thousand 
and eighty-seven infantry, two hundred and ninety 
cavalry, and twenty-seven pieces of artillery. He es- 
timated that of the enemy at eleven thousand. The 
Confederate loss was eighty killed, three hundred 
and forty-two wounded, and two hundred and thirty 
prisoners ; he supposed that of the Federal army to 
have been three times as great. On the 24th and 
25th he returned to Mount Jackson. 

In the Federal report of this action, General 
Shields's force is set down at seven thousand, and 
his loss at seven hundred and eighteen, that of the 
Confederate army at five hundred killed and a thou- 
sand wounded. 

After remaining seven days in the positions to 
which they had marched from Manassas, the troops 
crossed the Eapidan and encamped between Orange 
Court-House and the railroad-bridge. Ewell's divis- 
ion, however, was left in its position near the Rap- 
pahannock, with Stuart's cavalry, in observation of 


a Federal division that had followed our march to 
Cedar Run, where it halted. 

The line of the Rappahannock had been taken 
temporarily, in preference to that of the Rapidan, be- 
cause it is nearer Bull Run, and covered more of the 
country ; the river being deeper, protected the troops 
better, and we wished to use the provision then in 
its rich valley, as well as to deprive the enemy of it. 
On the 18th it had become evident that the activity 
reported in Maryland, two weeks before, was con- 
nected with no advance of the enemy on the Freder- 
icksburg route. This made the selection of one of 
the eastern routes by the Federal general seem to me 
more probable than I had before thought it. The 
army was, therefore, ordered to move to the south side 
of the Rapidan, where it was in better position to unite 
with the Confederate forces between Richmond and 
the invading army. Ewell's division and Stuart's bri- 
gade remained on the Rappahannock, in observation. 

Before the end of the month, General Randolph 
was appointed Secretary of War, which enabled the 
military officers to reestablish the discipline of the 
army ; and the expiration of furloughs, and a draft of 
about thirty thousand Virginians, made by Gov- 
ernor Letcher, made it stronger in numbers than it 
had ever been before. 

From the 25th to the 29th of the month, our 
scouts, observing the Potomac, reported steam trans- 
ports, loaded with Federal troops and military mate- 
rial, passing down the river continually. By their 
estimates of the number of men carried by each boat 
and their count of the number of trips, an army of 
one hundred and forty thousand men was conveyed 


in this way to some point beyond the month of the 
Potomac, probably Fort Monroe, as no reports of 
such vessels entering the Rappahannock were re- 
ceived. Eeports of the Adjutant-General of the 
United States Army, published subsequently, show 
that it amounted to one hundred and twenty-one 
thousand men, and two hundred and forty field - 
pieces; it was joined, not long after, by a division of 
twelve thousand men. 

The President was uncertain whether this army 
was destined for Fort Monroe, to invade Virginia by 
the peninsula, or for the invasion of North Carolina. 
I learned this at Gordonsville, where he summoned 
me to meet him to decide upon some measure of prep- 
aration for either event. The result was, an order 
to me to send two brigades to Richmond, to be held 
in reserve there under his direction. Brigadier- Gen- 
eral John G. Walker's was sent from Fredericksburg, 
and that of Brigadier-General Wilcox from the Rapi- 
dan ; neither was permitted to pause in Richmond, 
however, the first being sent on to join the Confed- 
erate forces in North Carolina, and the second to 
Magruder's army near Yorktown. 

Major-General Holmes having been assigned to 
the command of the Confederate forces in North 
Carolina, I transferred Major-General Smith to Fred- 
ericksburg, to command the troops there. Brigadier- 
General D. R. Jones was promoted to command 
Smith's division. 

When it was ascertained, about the 5th of April, 
that the Federal army was marching from Fort Mon- 
roe toward Yorktown, D. H. Hill's, D. R. Jones's, and 
Early's divisions, were transferred from the Army of 


Northern Virginia to that of the Peninsula, The 
former was thus reduced to four divisions : Jackson's 
at Mount Jackson, Ewell's on the Rappahannock, 
Longstreet's at Orange Court-House, and G. "W. 
Smith's at Fredericksburg. 

Before the 10th, the President was convinced, by 
Major-General Magruder's reports, that the entire 
army just brought down the Potomac from Alexan- 
dria, by General McClellan, was then on the Penin- 
sula, to move upon Richmond by that route. He 
therefore directed me to make such defensive arrange- 
ments as might be necessary in the Department of 
Northern Virginia, and put my remaining troops in 
march for Richmond, and then to report to him for 
further instructions. In obedience to these orders, 
Major-General Ewell was left with his division and 
a regiment of cavalry, in observation on the Upper 
Rappahannock; and Major-General Longstreet was 
directed to march with his to Richmond. Major- 
General Jackson was left in the Valley to oppose 
greatly superior Federal forces, and authorized to 
call Ewell's division to his assistance in case of neces- 
sity ; and General Ewell was instructed to comply 
with such a call. Major-General Smith was instructed 
to leave a mixed force, equal to a brigade, in front of 
Fredericksburg, and move toward Richmond with 
all his remaining troops. 

On reporting to the President, I was informed by 
him that my command was to be extended over the 
Departments of the Peninsula and Norfolk ; and his 
excellency desired me to visit those departments im- 
mediately, to ascertain their military condition, before 
assuming the command. 




I went to the Peninsula as soon as possible, reach- 
ing General Magruder's headquarters early in the 
morning ; and passed the day in examining his works 
with the assistance of General Whiting, who accom- 
panied me for the purpose, and in obtaining all the 
pertinent information General Magruder could give. 

That officer had estimated the importance of at 
least delaying the invaders until an army capable of 
coping with them could be formed; and opposed 
them with about a tenth of their number, 1 on a line 
of which Yorktown, intrenched, made the left flank. 
This boldness imposed upon the Federal general, and 
made him halt to besiege instead of assailing the 
Confederate position. This resolute and judicious 
course on the part of General Magruder was of in- 
calculable value. It saved Kichmond, and gave the 
Confederate Government time to swell that officer's 
handful to an army. 

His defensive line was "Warwick Kiver, a tide- 
water branch of the James ; a system of inundations 
along Warwick Creek, the stream of which the river 
is the estuary, extending to the bend in its course 
opposite to Yorktown, and a line of field-works just 
begun, to connect the inundations with the intrench- 
ments of the village. Gloucester Point, on the 
north bank of the York Kiver, and directly opposite 
to Yorktown, was also intrenched. Water-batteries 
had been established at both places, to command 
the channel between them. General Magruder had 
placed his left there, because it is the only point 
where the river could be commanded by such guns 
as ours. Everywhere else it is about two miles 

1 Thirteen thousand effective men. 


wide, there less than one. The works had been con- 
structed under the direction of engineers without ex- 
perience in war or engineering. They were then 
held by about thirty-five thousand men; but the 
Federal array threatening them amounted to a hun- 
dred and thirty-three thousand. 1 This army was 
provided with an artillery proportionally formidable, 
including a hundred Parrott guns of the largest 
calibre, and at least thirty siege-mortars, besides a 
full proportion of field-batteries. 

Before nightfall I was convinced that we could do 
no more on the Peninsula than delay General McClel- 
lan's progress toward Eichmond, and that, if he found 
our intrenchments too strong to be carried certainly 
and soon, he could pass around them by crossing 
York Eiver. It seemed to me the more probable, 
however, that he would open York River to his ves- 
sels by demolishing our water-batteries, and passing 
us by water, unless tempted, by discovering the weak- 
ness of our unfinished works between Yorktown and 
the head of the inundations, to force his way through 
our line there. For these reasons I thought it of 
great importance that a different plan of operations 
should be adopted without delay ; and, leaving Gen- 
eral Magruder's headquarters at nightfall, I hastened 
back to Richmond to suggest such a one, and arrived 
next morning early enough to see the President in 
his office as soon as he entered it. 

After describing to him Magruder's position and 
the character of his defensive arrangements, I en- 
deavored to show that, although they were the most 
judicious that that officer could have adopted when 

1 Report of Congress on the conduct of the war. 


he devised them, they would not enable us to defeat 
McClellan; and called his attention to the great 
length of the line compared to the number of troops 
occupying it; the still unfortified space between 
Yorktown and the head of the inundations ; the fact 
that these inundations protected the Federal troops 
as well as the Confederate ; the certainty that the 
Federal rifled cannon, mounted out of range of our 
obsolete " smooth-bore" guns, could destroy the bat- 
teries of Yorktown and Gloucester Point ; and the 
very strong probability that General McClellan's 
plan was to open York River to his fleet by demolish- 
ing those batteries with his powerful artillery. That 
being done, we could not prevent him from turning 
our position, by transporting his army up the river 
and landing in our rear, or by going on to Richmond 
and taking possession there. 

Instead of only delaying the Federal army in its 
approach, I proposed that it should be encountered 
in front of Richmond by one quite as numerous, 
formed by uniting there all the available forces of 
the Confederacy in North Carolina, South Carolina, 
and Georgia, with those at Norfolk, on the Penin- 
sula, and then near Richmond, including Smith's 
and Longstreet's divisions, which had arrived. The 
great army thus formed, surprising that of the 
United States by an attack when it was expecting 
to besiege Richmond, would be almost certain to 
win ; and the enemy, defeated a hundred miles from 
Fort Monroe, their place of refuge, could scarcely es- 
cape destruction. Such a victory would decide not 
only the campaign, but the war, while the present 
plan could produce no decisive result. 


The President, who had heard me with apparent 
interest, replied that the question was so important 
that he would hear it fully discussed before making 
his decision, and desired me to meet General Ean- 
dolph (Secretary of War) and General Lee, in his 
office, at an appointed time, for the purpose ; at my 
suggestion, he authorized me to invite Major-Gen- 
erals Smith and Longstreet to the conference. I was 
confident of the support of the former, for at Fairfax: 
Court-House and Centreville we had discussed the 
general question, and agreed that the Confederate 
Government ought to meet McClellan's invasion with 
all its available forces. In giving the invitation to 
General Smith, I explained to him the object of the 
conference, after which we agreed perfectly upon the 
course to be advocated. 

The conference began more than an hour before 
noon, by my describing, 1 at the President's request, 
General Magruder's defensive arrangements, as I had 
done to him, and representing that General McClel- 
lan's probable design of molesting our batteries at 
Gloucester Point and Yorktown, and turning our 
position by transporting his army up the river, could 
not be prevented, so that the adoption of a new plan 
was necessary. 

Major-General Smith was then asked by the 
President to give his ojnnion, and suggested the 
course we had agreed upon : the assembling all the 
Confederate forces available for the purpose, near Rich- 
mond — Magruder's troops, and Huger's from Norfolk, 
to arrive among the last — and assail the Federal army 
when, following Magruder, it came within reach. 

1 And exhibiting the memorandum in the Appendix. 


Iii the discussion that followed, General Kan- 
dolph, who had been a naval officer, objected to the 
plan proposed, because it included at least the tern- 
poraiy abandonment of Norfolk, which would in- 
volve the probable loss of the materials for many 
vessels-of-war, contained in the navy-yard there. 
General Lee opposed it, because he thought that the 
withdrawal from South Carolina and Georgia of any 
considerable number of troops would expose the 
important seaports of Charleston and Savannah to 
the danger of capture. He thought, too, that the 
Peninsula had excellent fields of battle for a small 
army contending with a great one, and that we 
should for that reason make the contest with McClel- 
lan's army there. General Longstreet took little 
part, which I attributed to his deafness. I main- 
tained that all to be accomplished, by any success 
attainable on the Peninsula, would be to delay the 
enemy two or three weeks in his march to Kichniond, 
for the reasons already given ; an# that success would 
soon give us back every thing temporarily abandoned 
to achieve it, and would be decisive of the war, as 
well as of the campaign. 

At six o'clock the conference was adjourned by 
the President, to meet in his house at seven. The 
discussion was continued there, although languidly, 
until 1 a. m., when it ceased, and the President, who 
previously had expressed no opinion on the question, 
announced his decision in favor of General Lee's 
opinion, and directed that Smith's and Longstreet's 
divisions should join the Army of the Peninsula, 
and ordered me to go there and take command, the 


Departments of Norfolk and the Peninsula being 
added to that of Northern Virginia. 

The belief that events on the Peninsula would 
soon compel the Confederate Government to adopt 
my method of opposing the Federal army, reconciled 
me somewhat to the necessity of obeying the Presi- 
dent's order. 


Take Command on the Peninsula. — General Magruder's Defensive Preparations. 
— Inform War Department of Intention to abandon Yorktown. — Battle of 
Williamsburg. — Affair near Eltham. — No further Interruption to the March. 
— Army withdrawn across the Chickahominy. — Disposition of the Confed- 
erate Forces in Virginia at this Time. — Advance of General McClellan. — 
Reported Movement of McDowell. — Battle of Seven Pines. 

I assumed my new command on the 17th. The 
arrival of Smith's and Longstreet's divisions increased 
the army on the Peninsula to about fifty-three thou- 
sand men, including three thousand sick. It was 
opposed to a hundred and thirty-three thousand Fed- 
eral soldiers. 1 Magruder's division formed the Con- 
federate right wing, Longstreet's the centre, D. H. 
Hill's the left, and Smith's the reserve. The field- 
works at Gloucester Point and Yorktown, on the left 
flank, and Mulberry Point, on the right, were occu- 
pied by eight thousand men. 

In this position we had nothing to do but to fin- 
ish the works begun, between Yorktown and the 
head of the inundations, and observe the enemy's 
operations. They were limited to a little skirmish- 
ing at long range, and daily cannonading, generally 
directed at Magruder's left, or Longstreet's right, 
and the construction of a long line of batteries in 

1 Franklin's division, of twelve thousand men, was kept on board 
of transports, in readiness to move up York River. 


front of Yorktown, and beyond the range of our old- 
fashioned ship-guns. These batteries, our scouts re- 
ported, were for about one hundred of the heaviest 
Parrott guns, and above thirty mortars. A battery 
on the shore, three miles (pilot's distance) below 
Yorktown, received the first guns mounted. Shots 
of the first volley, fired to get the range of the Con- 
federate works, fell in the camp of the reserve, a mile 
and a half beyond the village. 

It was evident that the enemy was pursuing the 
course predicted, and preparing to demolish our bat- 
teries on York Kiver. The greater range of his guns 
would have enabled him to do it without exposure, 
and at the same time to inflict great loss upon our 
garrisons. I could see no other object in holding the 
position than that of delaying the enemy's progress, 
to gain time in which arms might be received and 
troops organized. But, as the additional day or two 
to be gained by enduring a cannonade would have 
been dearly bought in blood, I determined to remain 
in the position only so long as it could be done with- 
out exposing our troops to the powerful artillery 
which, I doubted not, would soon be brought to bear 
upon them. 

Finding, on the 27th, that the Federal batteries 
would be ready for action in five or six days, I in- 
formed the War Department of the fact, and of my 
intention to abandon Yorktown and the Warwick, 
before the fire of that artillery should be opened up- 
on our troops. The suggestion made in the confer- 
ence in the President's office was also repeated : to 
form a powerful army near Richmond, of all the avail- 
able forces of the Confederacy, to fall upon McClel- 



lan's army when it should come within reach. Major- 
General Huger was instructed, at the same time, to 
prepare to evacuate Norfolk, and Captain S. S. Lee, 
commanding the navy-yard at Gosport, to remove to 
a place of safety as much of the valuable property it 
contained as he could. 

On Saturday, the 3d of May, the army was or- 
dered to fall back, on information that the Federal 
batteries would be ready for service in a day or two ; 
Longstreet's and Magruder's divisions by the War- 
wick road, through Williamsburg, and G. W. Smith's 
and D. H. Hill's by that from Yorktown — the 
movement to begin at midnight, and the rear-guard, 
of cavalry, to follow at daybreak. Information of 
this was sent to Commodore Tatnall, commanding 
the iron-clad Virginia, and Captain Lee, at the navy- 
yard, and instructions were sent to Major-General 
Huger to march to Richmond. 

The four divisions were assembled at Williams- 
burg about noon of the 4th. Magruder's division, 
temporarily commanded by Brigadier-General D. R. 
Jones, was ordered to move on in the afternoon, by 
the " New Kent road," and to turn off at the " Burnt 
Ordinary," toward the Diascund Bridge ; to be fol- 
lowed, at two o'clock next morning, by G. W. Smith's, 
which was to keep the New Kent road. The bag- 
gage was to- move next, in rear of which D. H. Hill's 
and Longstreet's divisions were to march. 1 

About four o'clock p. m., the cavalry rear-guard, 
on the Yorktown road, was driven in, and rapidly 
followed by the enemy. Brigadier-General McLaws 

1 This order of march was hased on the idea that a part of the Fed- 
eral army might pass us hy the river. 


was sent with the two brigades nearest, Kershaw's 
and Semmes's, to support the rear-guard. He met 
the enemy near and beyond Fort Magruder, made his 
dispositions with promptness, skill, and courage, and 
quickly drove the Federal troops from the field, 
taking a piece of artillery. At sunset a rearguard of 
two brigades of Longstreet's division — Anderson's 
and Pryor's, commanded by General Anderson — occu- 
pied Fort Magruder and four of the little redoubts 
on its rio;ht, and two of those on the left. 

At daybreak on the 5th, Smith's division and the 
baggage-train marched in a heavy rain and deep mud. 
An hour or two later, the enemy appeared again in 
front of Fort Magruder, and opened a light cannon- 
ade, and a brisk fire of skirmishers upon Ander- 
son's brigade. Both gradually increased, and at ten 
o'clock Wilcox's and A. P. Hill's brigades were sent 
to the assistance of the troops engaged, and, as the 
Federal force on the field continued to increase, 
Pickett's and Colston's brigades also reenforced 

At noon the fighting was reported by Longstreet 
and Stuart to be so sharp, that D. H. Hill's division, 
which had marched several miles, was ordered back 
to Williamsburg, and I returned myself; for at ten 
o'clock, when the action had lasted more than four 
hours, there seemed to be so little vigor in the enemy's 
conduct, that I became convinced that it was a mere 
demonstration, intended to delay our march — that the 
Federal army might pass us by water — and had rid- 
den forward to join the leading troops. At three 
o'clock General Longstreet reported that the enemy 
was threatening to turn his left. I therefore directed 



General Hill to move toward Longstreet's left, and 
rode to the field myself, to take command whenever 
more than Longstreet's division should be engaged 
on the Confederate side. 

Until ten o'clock the fighting had been limited to 
the fire of artillery and skirmishers upon Fort Ma- 
gruder, returned by the eight field-pieces belonging 
to General R. H. Anderson's command. That officer, 
observing that a division 1 of Federal troops had en- 
tered the wood a thousand yards to the right of 
Fort Magruder, placed Wilcox's brigade before it ; 
being further reenforced by A. P. Hill's and Pickett's 
brigades, he determined to attack the Federal division, 
and formed the newly-arrived brigades and a part of 
Pryor's from the redoubts in rear, on Wilcox's right, 
and ordered all to advance. This was done with 
such regularity and vigor that the Federal troops 
were driven back, after a spirited contest of several 
hours, into the open fields in rear, west and southwest 
of the point where the Warwick road enters this 
open ground — the southeastern part of that in which 
Williamsburg stands. The contest was just leaving 
the wood and entering the open ground when I first 
saw it. Here Colston's brigade joined the Confeder- 
ate, and Kearney's division the Federal troops en- 
gaged. But in the open ground the Confederates 
were more rapidly successful than in the earlier part 
of the affair, and drove the enemy into the forest on 
the east of the scene of conflict. When the com- 
batants were near it, I cautioned General Longstreet 
against permitting his division to attempt to enter 
the forest, but to be content to hold the open field, 

1 Hooker's. 


as the enemy was in force in front as well as to the 
left of Fort Magruder. 

About five o'clock General Early sent an officer to 
report that a "battery, that had "been firing upon Fort 
Magruder and the troops near it, was near in his front, 
and asked permission to attack it. The message was 
delivered to General Longstreet in my presence, and 
he referred it to me. I authorized the attempt, but 
enjoined caution in it. Early's brigade advanced in 
two equal detachments, commanded, one by Major- 
General Hill, and the other by himself. They were 
separated in a thick wood, and General Early, in is- 
suing from it, found a redoubt near and in front of 
him. He attempted an assault, in which he was se- 
verely wounded, after which his two regiments were 
quickly defeated, with a loss of nearly four hundred 

In the mean time Longstreet had driven the enemy 
before him, out of the open ground, which, there ex- 
tends a mile from the position of our rear-guard, 
where it began. 

This terminated what deserved to be called an 
action ; although firing of field-pieces and skirmish- 
ing were continued until ' after sunset, without at- 
tempt, on the Federal part, to recover the lost 
ground. The remainder of the afternoon and the 
evening were devoted to burying the dead and pro- 
viding for the comfort of our wounded, who, with 
many of those of the Federal army, who had been 
captured, were placed in hospitals and private resi- 
dences in "Williamsburg. Longstreet's and Hill's di- 
visions slept on the field. 

The Confederate loss was about twelve hundred 


killed and wounded. The proportion of the former 
was unusually small ; but it included Colonel Mott, 
Nineteenth Mississippi, and Colonel Ward, Second 
Florida regiment. The Confederate officers, who 
saw the ground upon which the dead and wounded 
of "both parties lay, supposed that of the enemy to be 
from three to five times greater than ours. General 
Hooker, on oath before the committee on the con- 
duct of the war, said that his division alone lost 
seventeen hundred men. About four hundred un- 
wounded prisoners, ten colors, and twelve field- 
pieces, were taken from the enemy. We had the 
means of bringing off but five of these guns. The 
carriages of five were cut to pieces with an axe, and 
two were left in another part of the field uninjured, 
because the captors had no axe. 

Five Confederate guns without equipments, found 
at the College Creek wharf, where they had probably 
passed the winter, had been hauled to Williamsburg 
that morning, by Major Barbour's orders. As we 
had no more spare horses and harness than those ap- 
propriated to five of the captured guns, these pieces 
were necessarily left in the road where we found 

Longstreet reported nine thousand men of his 
division engaged with Hooker's and Kearney's di- 
visions on the right. General Sumner, the ranking 
Federal officer on the field, stated that two-thirds of 
Smith's division and Peck's brigade were also en- 
gaged ; and General Couch complimented his division, 
in orders, for its conduct in the battle. As the Fed- 
eral army, except Franklin's division, had marched 


but nine miles to the field the day before, by two 
roads, one cannot understand why four, or even six 
divisions, if necessary, were not brought into action. 
The smallness of the force engaged on this occasion 
greatly strengthened my suspicion that the army it- 
self was moving up York Kiver in transports. 

We fought for no other purpose than to hold the 
ground long enough to enable our baggage-trains to 
get out of the way of the troops. This object was 
accomplished without difficulty. There was no time 
during the day when the slightest uncertainty ap- 
peared. I rode from the field a little before dark, 
because the action, except desultory firing of skir- 
mishers, had ceased nearly two hours before. The oc- 
cupation of a redoubt beyond our left by a Federal 
brigade did not affect us, otherwise than by the loss 
of some four hundred men by the two Confederate 
regiments that attacked it — an attack due to the 
fact that its existence was unknown to us, until 
General Early, issuing from a wood, came upon it 

The army had no ambulances, and the wagons 
had moved on in the morning. We were compelled, 
therefore, to leave all the wounded unable to march. 
At eleven o'clock at night, when all had been cared 
for, Dr. Cullen, General Longstreet's chief surgeon, 
reported that the number was about four hundred. 

In the Federal reports, a victory is claimed at 
Williamsburg. The proofs against that claim are : 

That what deserves to be called fighting, ceased 
two hours before dark, yet the Confederates held the 
field until the next morning, when they resumed 
their march. 


That they fought only to protect their trains and 
artillery, and accomplished that object. 

That, although they marched but twelve miles 
the day after the action, the rear-guard saw no indi- 
cations of pursuit ; unless the appearance of a scout- 
ing-party, once, may be so called. 

That they inflicted a loss twice as great as that 
they suffered. 

And in the ten days following the battle they 
marched but thirty-seven miles from the field, and 
then moved to the neighborhood of Richmond, only 
because the Federal gun-boats had possession of 
James River. 

It is true that they left four hundred wounded 
in "Williamsburg, because they had no means of 
transporting them; but an equal number of un- 
wounded Federal soldiers was brought off, with 
colors and cannon — the best evidences of successful 
fighting, except that already mentioned — sleeping on 
the field of battle. 

Magruder's division, then commanded by Briga- 
dier-General D. R. Jones in consequence of the ill- 
ness of the major-general, passed the night of the 
5th at Diascund Bridge ; that of Major-General Smith 
at Barhamsville, twelve miles from New Kent Court- 
House ; those of Longstreet and D. H. Hill, with the 
cavalry, at Williamsburg, as has been said. 

In Federal dispatches of the 6th many prisoners 
are claimed to have been taken. The Confederate 
officers were conscious of no other losses of the kind 
than the captures made by Hancock, from the Fifth 
North Carolina and Twenty-fourth Virginia regi- 
ments. The cavalry rear-guard, following all the by- 


roads and paths parallel to the main road, found no 
lurkers or stragglers from Longstreet's and Hill's 

The day after the action those troops marched at 
daybreak, and Stuart's at sunrise, and encamped soon 
after noon at the Burnt Ordinary, twelve miles from 
Williamsburg; Smith's and Magruder's divisions 
were stationary; Colonel Fitzhugh Lee, who was 
observing York Eiver with his regiment of cavalry, 
reported a Federal fleet of vessels-of-war and trans- 
ports, passing up toward West Point. 

In the evening Major-General Smith sent me in- 
telligence, to the Burnt Ordinary, that a large body 
of United States troops had landed at Eltham's, and 
nearly opposite to West Point, on the southern shore 
of York Eiver. Early next morning the army was 
concentrated near Barhamsville. In the mean time 
General Smith had ascertained that the enemy was 
occupying a thick wood between the New Kent road 
and Etham's Landing. The security of our march 
required that he should be dislodged, and General 
Smith was intrusted with this service. He performed 
it very handsomely with Hampton's and Hood's bri- 
gades, under Whiting, driving the enemy, in about 
two hours, a mile and a half through the wood, to 
the protection of their vessels-of-war. General Smith's 
two brigades sustained a trifling loss in killed and 
wounded. If statements published in Northern news- 
papers are accurate, their loss was ten times as great 
as ours. 

The way being thus cleared, the march was re- 
sumed. Smith's and Magruder's divisions followed 
the road by New Kent Court-House, and Long- 


street's and Hill's that by tlie Long Bridges. In 
these marches the right column reached the Balti- 
more Cross-roads, nineteen miles from Barhamsville, 
and the left the Long Bridges. The army remained 
five days in this position, in line facing to the east, 
Longstreet's right covering the Long Bridges, and 
Magruder's left the York Kiver Bailroad ; it was 
easily and regularly supplied by the railroad, and 
could no longer be turned by water. 

It will be remembered that in reporting to the 
Government, on the 27th of April, my intention 
to withdraw the army from the Peninsula, I re- 
peated the suggestion made to the President in 
Richmond twelve days before, to concentrate all his 
available forces before McClellan's army. In making 
the suggestion on this second occasion, I had no 
doubt of its adoption, for the Federal forces on the 
Peninsula were to ours at least in the ratio of five to 
two ; the expediency, even necessity, of this concen- 
tration, was much greater at that time than in June, 
when the measure was adopted, for the ratio had 
been reduced then to about eleven to seven. In my 
correspondence with the Administration in May, this 
suggestion was repeated more than once, but was 
never noticed in the replies to my letters. 

Intelligence of the destruction of the iron-clad 
Virginia was received on the 14th. I had predicted 
that its gallant commander, Commodore Tatnall, 
would never permit the vessel to fall into the hands 
of the enemy # The possession of James River by the 
naval forces of the United States, consequent upon 
this event, and their attack upon the Confederate 
battery at Drury's Bluff, suggested the necessity of 


being ready to meet an advance upon Richmond up 
the river, as well as from the direction of West Point. 
The Confederate forces were, in consequence, ordered 
to cross the Chickahominy on the 15th. And Colo- 
nel Goode Bryan, with his regiment of Georgia rifle- 
men, was sent to aid in the defense of Drury's Bluff,' 
by occupying the wooded bluff on the north side of 
the river, and immediately below the battery. On 
this height his rifles could easily have commanded 
the decks of vessels in the river below. On the 17th, 
the army encamped about three miles from Rick- 
moncl, in front of the line of redoubts constructed in 
1861. Hill's division, in the centre, formed across the 
Williamsburg road ; Longstreet's on the right, cover- 
ing the river road ; Magruder's on the left, crossing 
the Nine-miles road ; and Smith's in reserve, behind 
Hill's left and Magruder's right. 

Generals Jackson and Ewell, the former com- 
manding as senior officer, were then opposing Gen- 
eral Banks, in the Valley of the Shenandoah, still 
under my direction. The President had placed Brig- 
adier-General J. R. Anderson, with nine thousand 
men, in observation of General McDowell, who was 
at Fredericksburg with forty-two thousand men; 
Brigadier-General Branch, with four or five thousand, 
at Gordonsville ; and had halted Huger's division at 
Petersburg, when on its way to Richmond, under my 
orders. That division, estimated by the Secretary of 
War and General Lee at eighteen thousand a month 
before, was then reduced to nine thousand by detach- 
ments to Branch and J. R. Anderson. 

On leaving the Rapidan, I had requested Gener- 
als Jackson and Ewell to send their letters to me 


through, the Adjutant- General's office. These papers 
must have been acted upon in Richmond, for none 
were forwarded to me until the army had reached the 
neighborhood of the Chickakoininy. Then, one from 
General Jackson, written soon after his return 
from McDowell, was delivered to me. In it he de- 
scribed the position of the Federal army, near Stras- 
burg, and asked instructions. These were given at 
once, and were to advance and attack, unless he found 
the enemy too strongly intrenched. 

Instead of moving directly on Strasburg, General 
Jackson took the road by Front Royal, to turn the 
Federal army. His movement was so prompt as to 
surprise the enemy completely*. Ewell, who was 
leading, captured most of the troops at Front Royal, 
and pressed on to Winchester, by the direct road, 
with his troops, while Jackson, turning across to 
that from Strasburg, struck the main Federal column 
in flank, and drove a large part of it back toward 
Strasburg. The pursuit was pressed to Winchester, 
but the Federal troops continued their flight into 
Maryland. Two thousand prisoners were taken in 
this pursuit. 

After reaching the Chickahominy, General Mc- 
Clellan's troops advanced very slowly. Sumner's, 
Franklin's, and Porter's corps, were on and above the 
railroad, and Heintzelinan's and Keyes's below it, 
and on the Williamsburg road. The last two, after 
crossing the stream, at Bottom's Bridge, on the 2 2d, 
were stationary, apparently, for several days, con- 
structing a line of intrenchments two miles in ad- 
vance of the bridge. They then advanced, step by 
step, forming four lines, each of a division, in advan- 



cing. I hoped that their advance would give us an 
opportunity to make a successful attack upon these 
two corps, by increasing the interval between them 
and the larger portion of their army remaining be- 
yond the CLickahominy. 

On the 24th their leading troops encountered 
Hatton's Tennessee brigade, of Smith's division, 
within three miles of Seven Pines, and were driven 
back by it, after a sharp skirmish. It was proposed 
that we should prepare to hold the position then oc- 
cupied by Hatton's brigade, to stop the advance of 
the enemy there. But it seemed to me more judi- 
cious to await a better opportunity, which the further 
advance of the Federal troops would certainly give, 
by increasing the interval between them and the 
three corps beyond the Chickahominy. 

On the same day, Federal troops drove our cav- 
alry out of Mechanicsville and occupied the village. 
This extension to the west by the Federal right 
made me apprehend the separation of the detach- 
ments near Fredericksburg and Gordonsville, from 
the army, and induced me to order them to fall back 
and unite where the Fredericksburg road crosses the 
Chickahominy. Near Hanover Court-House, on the 
27th, Branch's brigade was attacked by Porter's 
corps, and suffered severely in the encounter. It 
was united with Anderson's on the same day, how- 
ever, at the point designated for their junction. 
There a division was formed of these troops, to the 
command of which General A. P. Hill, just pro- 
moted, was assigned. 

In the afternoon a party of cavalry left near Fred- 
ericksburg by General Anderson, to observe McDow- 


ell's movements, reported tliat liis troops were inarch- 
ing southward. As the expediency of the junction 
of this large corps with the principal army was mani- 
fest, the object of the march could not be doubted. 
Accordingly, I determined to attack that army be- 
fore it could receive so great an accession. 

For this object, Huger's division, 1 now reduced to 
three brigades, 1 was called to the army from Peters- 
burg. A. P. Hill's division was ordered to march 
by the left bank of the Chickahominy to Meadow's 
Bridge, and to remain on that side of the stream. 
General Smith was directed to place his division on 
the left of Magruder's — on the Mechanicsville turn- 
pike — that he, the second officer of the army in 
rank, might be in position to command on the left. 
Longstreet's division was placed on the left of that 
of D. H. Hill, and Huger's in rear of the interval 
between the two last-named. 

It was intended that Major-General Smith, with 
his own division and that of A. P. Hill, should move 
against the extreme right of the Federal army, and 
that Magruder's and Huger's, crossing by the New 
Bridge, should form between the left wing and the 
Cliickahominy, while Longstreet's and D. H. Hill's 
divisions, their left thrown forward, assailed the right 
flank of the two corps on the Williamsburg road, 
and on the Bichmond side of the stream. I sup- 
posed that the bridges and fords of the little river 
would furnish means of sufficient communication be- 
tween the two parts of the Confederate army. 

At night, when the major-generals were with me 
to receive instructions for the expected battle, Gen- 

1 One had been transferred to Drury's Bluff by the Government. 


eral Stuart, who had a small body of cavalry observ- 
ing McDowell's corps, reported that the troops that 
had been marching southward from Fredericksburg 
had returned. This indicated, of course, that the 
intention of uniting the two Federal armies was no 
longer entertained. 

As the expediency to us of an immediate general 
engagement depended on the probability of so great 
an accession to McClellan's force as McDowell could 
bring, this intelligence induced me to abandon the 
intention of attacking, and made me fall back upon 
my first design — that of assailing Heintzelman's and 
Keyes's corps as soon as, by advancing, they should 
sufficiently increase the interval between themselves 
and the three corps beyond the Chickahominy. Such 
an opportunity was soon offered. 

On the morning of the 30th, armed reconnais- 
sances were made under General D. H. Hill's direc- 
tion — on the Charles City road by Brigadier-Gener- 
al Ehodes, and on the Williamsburg road by Briga- 
dier-General Garland. No enemy was found by Gen- 
eral Rhodes ; but General Garland encountered Fed- 
eral outposts more than two miles west of Seven 
Pines, in such strength as indicated the presence of a 
corps at least. This fact was reported to me by Gen- 
eral Hill soon after noon. He was informed, in re- 
ply, that he would lead an attack upon this enemy 
next morning. 

An hour or two later, orders were given for the 
concentration of twenty-three of our twenty-seven 
brigades against McClellan's left wing — about two- 
fifths of his army. The four others were observing 
the river, from the New Bridge up to Meadow 


Bridge. Longstreet and Huger were directed to con- 
duct their brigades to D. H. Hill's position, as early 
as they could next morning ; and Smith to march 
with his to the point of meeting of the New Bridge 
and Nine-miles roads, near which Magruder had five 

Longstreet, as ranking officer of the three di- 
visions to be united near Hill's camp, was instructed, 
verbally, to form his own and Hill's division in two 
lines crossing the Williamsburg road at right angles, 
and to advance to the attack in that order; while 
Huger's division should march along the Charles City 
road by the right flank, to fall upon the enemy's left 
flank as soon as our troops became engaged with 
them in front. It was understood that abatis, or 
earthworks, that might be encountered, should be 
turned. General Smith was to engage any troops 
that might cross the Chickahominy to assist Heintzel- 
man's and Keyes's corps ; or, if none came, he was to 
fall upon the right flanks of those troops engaged 
with Longstreet. The accident of location prevented 
the assignment of this officer to the command of the 
principal attack, to which he was entitled by his 
rank. As his division was on the left of all those to 
be engaged, it was apprehended that its transfer to 
the right might cause a serious loss of time. 

The rain began to fall violently in the afternoon, 
and continued all night ; and, in the morning, the lit- 
tle streams near our camps were so much swollen as 
to make it seem probable that the Chickahominy was 
overflowing its banks, and cutting the communication 
between the two parts of the Federal army. 

Being confident that Longstreet and Hill, with 


their forces united, would be successful in the earlier 
part of the action against an enemy formed in several 
lines, with wide intervals between them, I left the 
immediate control, on the Williamsburg road, to 
them, under general instructions, and placed myself 
on the left, where I could soonest learn the approach 
of Federal reenforcements from beyond the Chicka- 
liominy. From this point scouts and reconnoitering 
parties were sent forward to detect such movements, 
should they be made. 

An unexpected delay in the forward movement 
on the right disappointed me greatly, and led to in- 
terchanges of messages between General Longstreet 
and myself for several hours. 

Although the condition of the ground and little 
streams had delayed the troops in their movements, 
those of Smith and Longstreet were in position quite 
early enough. But the soldiers from Norfolk, who 
had seen garrison service only, and were unaccus- 
tomed to the incidents of a campaign, were unneces- 
sarily stopped in their march by a swollen rivulet, 
which, unfortunately, flowed between them and their 

After waiting in vain for this division until two 
o'clock, Longstreet put his own and Hill's in motion 
toward the enemy, in order of battle, the latter form- 
ing the first- line,* with the centre on the "Williams- 
burg road ; three of Longstreet's brigades constitut- 
ing the second line, two advancing on the Charles 
City road on the right, and one along the York Eiver 
Kailroad on the left. 

At three o'clock the Federal advanced troops were 
encountered. They were a long line of skirmish- 


ers supported by five or six regiments of infantry, 
covered by abatis. The ardor and greatly superior 
numbers of the Confederates soon overcame their re- 
sistance, and drove them back to the main position 
of the first line of Keyes's corps — Casey's division. 
It occupied a line of rifle-pits, strengthened by a re- 
doubt, and covered by abatis. Here the resistance 
was obstinate; for the Federal troops, commanded 
by an officer of tried courage, fought as soldiers 
usually do under good leaders, and time and vigor- 
ous efforts were required to drive them from their 
position. But the resolution of Garland's and 
George B. Anderson's brigades, that pressed forward 
on the left through an open field, under a destruc- 
tive fire; the admirable service of Carter's and 
Bondurant's batteries, and a skillfully combined at- 
tack upon the Federal left, under General Hill's 
direction, by Rodes's brigade in front, and that of 
Rains in flank, were finally successful, and the 
enemy abandoned their intrenchments. Just then 
reenforcements were received from their second line, 
and they turned to recover their lost position. But 
to no purpose — they were driven back, fighting, 
upon their second line — Couch's division at Seven 
Pines. R. H. Anderson's brigade, transferred by 
Longstreet to the first line, after the capture of 
Casey's position, bore a prominent part in the last 

Keyes's corps, united in this second position, was 
assailed with such spirit by the Confederate troops 
that, although reenforced by Kearney's division of 
Heintzelman's corps, it was broken, divided, and 
driven from its ground — the greater part along the 


Williamsburg road, to General Heintzelman's in- 
trenched line, two miles from Bottom's Bridge, and 
two brigades to the southeast into White-oak 

General Hill pursued the enemy toward Bot- 
tom's Bridge, more than a mile ; then, night being 
near, he gathered his troops and re-formed them, fac-- 
ing to the east, as they had been fighting. The line 
thus formed crossed the Williamsburg road at 
right angles. The left, however, was thrown back 
to face Sumner's corps at Fair Oaks. In an 
Jiour or two Longstreet's and Huger's division, 
whom it had not been necessary to bring into 
action, came into this line under General Longstreet's 

When the action began on the right, the musket- 
ry was not heard at my position on the Nine-miles 
road, from the unfavorable condition of the air to 
sound. I supposed, therefore, that the fight had not 
begun, and that we were hearing an artillery duel. 
However, a staff-officer was sent to ascertain the fact. 
He returned at four o'clock, with intelligence that 
our infantry as well as artillery had been engaged 
for an hour, and that our troops were pressing for- 
ward with vigor. As no approach of Federal troops 
from the other side of the Chickahominy had been 
discovered or was suspected, I hoped strongly that 
the bridges were impassable. It seemed to me idle, 
therefore, to keep General Smith longer out of ac- 
tion, for a contingency so remote as the coming of 
reinforcements from the Federal right. He was de- 
sired, therefore, to direct his division against the 
right flank of Longstreet's adversaries. I thought it 


prudent, however, to leave Magruder's division in re- 
serve. It was under arms, near. 

General Smith moved promptly along the Nine- 
miles road. His leading regiment, the Sixth North 
Carolina, soon became engaged with the Federal 
skirmishers and their reserves, and in a few minutes 
drove them off entirely. On my way to Long- 
street's left, to combine the action of the two "bodies 
of Confederate troops, I passed the head of General 
Smith's column near Fair Oaks, and saw the camj) of 
a body of infantry of the strength of three or four 
regiments, apparently in the northern angle between 
the York River Railroad and the Nine-miles road, 
and the rear of a body of infantry moving in quick 
time from that point toward the Chickahominy, by 
the road to the Grape-vine Ford. A few minutes 
after this, a battery, at the point where this infantry 
had disappeared, opened its fire upon the head of 
the Confederate column. A regiment sent against it 
was received with a volley of musketry, as well as 
canister, and recoiled. The leading brigade, com- 
manded by Colonel Law, then advanced, and so 
much strength was developed by the enemy, that 
General Smith formed his other brigades and 
brought them into battle on the left of Law's. An 
obstinate contest began, and was maintained on 
equal terms; although the Confederates engaged 
superior numbers in a position of their own choos- 

I had passed the railroad some little distance 
with Hood's brigade, when the action commenced, 
and stopped to see its termination. But, being confi- 
dent that the Federal troops opposing ours were 


tliose whose camps I had just seen, and therefore not 
more than a brigade, I did not doubt that General 
Smith was quite strong enough to cope with them. 
General Hood was desired to go forward, therefore, 
and, connecting his right with Longstreet's left, to 
Ml upon the right flank of his enemy. The direc- 
tion of the firing was then (near five o'clock) decid- 
edly to the right of Seven Pines. It was probably at 
Casey's intrenched position. 

The firing at Fair Oaks soon increased, and I 
rode back to that field — still unconvinced, however, 
that General Smith was fighting more than a brigade, 
and thinking it injudicious to engage Magruder's di- 
vision yet, as it was the only reserve. While wait- 
ing the conclusion of this struggle, my intercourse 
with Lon^street was maintained through staff-offi- 
cers. The most favorable accounts of his progress 
were from time to time received from them. 

The contest on the left was continued with equal 
determination by the two parties, each holding the 
ground on which it had begun to fight. 

This condition of affairs existed on the left at 
half-past six o'clock, and the firing on the right 
seemed then to be about Seven Pines. It was evi- 
dent, therefore, that the battle would not be termi- 
nated that day. So I announced to my staff-officers 
that each regiment must sleep where it might be 
standing when the contest ceased for the night, to 
be ready to renew it at dawn next morning. 

About seven o'clock I received a slight wound 
in the right shoulder from a musket-shot, and, a few 
moments after, was unhorsed by a heavy fragment of 
shell which struck my breast. Those around had 


me Lome from the field in an ambulance ; not, how- 
ever, before the President, who was with General 
Lee, not far in the rear, had heard of the accident, 
and visited me, manifesting great concern, as he 
continued to do until I was out of danger. 

The firing ceased, terminated by darhiess only, 
before I had been carried a mile from the field. 

As next in rank, Major-General G. "W. Smith 
succeeded to the command of the array. 

His division remained in the immediate presence 
of the enemy during the night, its right resting on 
the railroad, where it joined Longstreet's left. Ma- 
gruder's division was within supporting distance. 

Next morning, Brigadier-General Pickett, whose 
brigade was near the left of Longstreet's and Hill's 
line, learned that a strong body of Federal troops, 
was before him and near. He moved forward and 
attacked it, driving it from that ground. Very soon, 
being reenforced apparently, the Federals (several 
brigades) assumed the offensive, and attacked him. 
In the mean time General Hill had sent two regi- 
ments of Colston's brigade to him. Although large- 
ly outnumbered, Pickett met this attack with great 
resolution, and after a brisk but short action re- 
pulsed the enemy, who disappeared, to molest him 
no more. I have seen no Confederate officer who 
was conscious of any other serious fighting, by the 
troops of those armies, on Sunday. A strong proof 
of that fact is, that during the day Hill had almost 
seven thousand small-arms gathered from the field, 
which was covered by his line of troops, and much 
other military property ; proof, also, that the Confed- 
erates were not even threatened. 


About noon General Lee was assigned to the 
command of the Army of Northern Virginia, by the 
President; and at night the troops were ordered 
by him to return to their camps near Richmond, 
which they did soon after daybreak, Monday. 

The operations of the Confederate troops in this 
battle were very much retarded by the dense woods 
and thickets that covered the ground, and by the 
deep mud and broad ponds of rain-water, in many 
places more than knee-deep, through which they had 
to struggle. 

The loss in Lougstreet's and Hill's divisions was- 
about three thousand ; * among the killed were Colo- 
nels Lomax, Jones, and Moore, of Alabama. About 
five-sixths of the loss was in the latter division, upon 
which the weight of the fighting on the right fell. 
The officers of those troops, who followed the enemy 
over all the ground on which they fought, and saw 
the dead and wounded of both parties on the field, 
were confident that the Federal loss was more than 
three times as great as ours. It was published in 
Northern papers as from ten to twelve thousand. 

General Smith reported a loss of twelve hundred 
and thirty-three in his division, including Brigadier- 
General Hatton, of Tennessee, killed ; and General 
Sumner's was twelve hundred and twenty - three, 
according to General McClellan's report. 

Three hundred and fifty prisoners," ten pieces of 
artillery, six thousand seven hundred muskets and 

1 Longstreet's report. General McClellan adds Hill's loss, twenty- 
five hundred, to the sura, of which it already made five-sixths, thus 
counting it twice — making the total six thousand seven hundred and 
thirty-three, instead of four thousand two hundred and thirty-three. 

2 See General D. II. Hill's report. 


rifles in excellent condition, a garrison-flag and four 
regimental colors, medical, commissary, quartermas- 
ter's and ordnance stores, tents, and sutlers' property, 
were captured and secured. 

The troops in position to renew the battle on Sun- 
day were, at Fair Oaks, on the Federal side, two 
divisions and a brigade; one of the divisions, Eich- 
ardson's, had not been engaged, having come upon 
the field about, or after, nightfall. On the Confed- 
erate side, ten brigades in Smith's and Magruder's 
divisions, six of which were fresh, not having fired 
a shot. On the Williamsburg road four Federal 
divisions, three of which had fought and been thor- 
oughly beaten — one, Casey's, almost destroyed. On 
the Confederate side, thirteen brigades, but five of 
which had been engaged on Saturday — when they de- 
feated the three Federal divisions that were brought 
against them successively. After nightfall, Saturday, 
the two bodies of Federal troops were completely 
separated from the two corps of their right, beyond 
the Chickakoininy, by the swollen stream, which had 
swept away their bridges, and Sumner's corps at 
Fair Oaks was six miles l from those of Heintzelman 
and Keyes, which were near Bottom's Bridge ; but 
the Confederate forces were united 1 on the front and 
left flank of Sumner's corps. Such advantage of posi- 
tion and superiority of numbers would have enabled 
them to defeat that corps had the engagement been re- 
newed on Sunday morning, before any aid could have 
come from Heintzelman, after which his troops, in the 
condition to which the action of the day before had re- 
duced them, could not have made effectual resistance. 

1 See map. 



I was eager to fight on the 31st, from the belief 
that the flood in the Chickakoniiny would be at its 
height that day, and the two parts of the Federal 
army completely separated by it : it was too soon, 
however. We should have gained the advantage 
fully by a day's delay. This would also have given 
us an accession of about eight thousand men that 
arrived from the south next morning, under Major- 
General Holmes and Brigadier-General Kipley ; they 
had been ordered to Kichmond without my knowl- 
edge, nor was I informed of their approach. 1 

After this battle of Seven Pines — or Fair Oaks, 
as the Northern people prefer to call it — General 
McClellan made no step forward, but employed his 
troops industriously in intrenching themselves. 

I had repeatedly suggested to the Administration 
the formation of a great army to repel McClellan's 
invasion, by assembling all the Confederate forces, 
available for the object, near Kichmond. As soon 
as I had lost the command of the Army of Virginia 
by wounds in battle, my suggestion was adopted. 
In that way, the largest Confederate army that ever 
fought, was formed in the month of June, by 
strengthening the forces near Kichmond with troops 
from North and South Carolina and Georgia. But, 
while the Confederate Government was forming this 
great army, the Federal general was, with equal in- 
dustry, employed in making defensive arrangements ; 
so that in the " seven days 1 fighting" his intrench- 
ments so covered the operation of " change of base," 
that it was attended with little loss, considering the 
close proximity and repeated engagements of two 

1 Such information would have induced me to postpone the attack. 


sucli armies. Had ours been so strengthened in time 
to attack that of the United States when it reached 
the Chickakoniiny, and before being intrenched, re- 
suits might and ought to have been decisive ; still, 
that army, as led by its distinguished commander, 
compelled the Federal general to abandon his plan 
of operations, and reduced him to the defensive, and 
carried back the war to Northern Virginia. 

No action of the war has been so little understood 
as that of Seven Pines; the Southern people have 
felt no interest in it, because, being unfinished in con- 
sequence of the disabling of the commander, they saw 
no advantage derived from it ; and the Federal com- 
manders claimed the victory because the Confederate 
forces did not renew the battle on Sunday, and fell 
back to their camps on Monday. 

General Sumner stated to the committee on the 
conduct of the war, that he had, in the battle of 
Fair Oaks, five or six thousand men in Sedgwick's 
division, part of Couch's, and a battery, and that, 
after the firing had continued some time, six regi- 
ments which he had in hand on the left of the bat- 
tery charged directly into the woods; the enemy 
then fled, and the battle was over for that day. 

General Heintzelman, before the same committee, 
claimed the victory at Seven Pines, upon no other 
ground that I can perceive, than the withdrawal of 
the Confederates to their camps on Monday, although 
his statement shows clearly that all his troops and 
Keyes's l that fought there were defeated, and driven 
back six or seven miles to the shelter of intrench- 
ments previously prepared by his forethought ; and 

1 Kearney's division ; Hooker's was not engaged. 


that they remained Sunday under the protection of 
these intrenchments wbile Hill was gathering the 
arms scattered in woods and thickets, more than two 
miles in extent. 

The proofs against these claims are, that General 
McClellan, who had been advancing, although cau- 
tiously, up to the time of this battle, made no step 
forward after it, but employed his troops industri- 
ously in intrenching themselves, and that both of 
his subordinates — the commanders at Fair Oaks and 
on the Williamsburg road — stood on the defensive 
the day after the battle, while the Confederate right 
covered all the ground on wdiich it fought the day be- 
fore, and had leisure and confidence enough to devote 
much of the day to gathering the valuable military 
property, including arms, won the day before; and 
Smith's division, prolonging the line beyond the rail- 
road and Fair Oaks, was confronting Sumner's corps. 

General Sumner's extravagant statement, that six 
of his regiments charged and put to flight Smith's 
whole division, needs no comment. His estimate of 
his force on Saturday is not more accurate. Accord- 
ing to it, there were in Sedgwick's division, which con- 
stituted half of his corps, less than five thousand men ; 
consequently, his corps must have had in it- less than 
ten thousand ; and McClellan's army, of which that 
corps was a fifth, less than fifty thousand. As that 
army numbered a hundred and fifteen thousand men 
a month before, its number could not have been less 
than one hundred thousand, nor that of Sumner's 
corps less than twenty thousand ; nor his force on 
Saturday, at Fair Oaks, less than thirteen or fourteen 


General Sumner's corps was united at Fair Oaks 
Saturday evening. If he had driven Smith's division 
from the field in flight, it is not to "be imagined that 
with at least twenty thousand men on the flank of 
the remaining Confederate troops, Longstreet's and 
Hill's, he would have failed to attack and destroy 
them on Sunday ; for, being ranking officer, he could 
have united Heintzelman's and Keyes's corps to his 
own, and attacked the Confederates both in front 
and flank. 

The claims of the same officers to decided suc- 
cesses on Sunday are disproved by what immediately 
precedes, and the reports of Generals Hill and Pick- 
ett. The chances of success on that day were all 
in favor of the Confederates. The numbers of the op- 
posing forces were nearly equal. But three of the six 
Federal divisions had, successively, been thoroughly 
beaten the day before by five Confederate brigades. 

The authors of Alfriend's " Life of Jefferson Da- 
vis," and some other biographers, represent, to my 
disparagement, that the army with which General 
Lee fought in " the seven days " was only that which 
I had commanded. It is very far from the truth. 
General Lee did not attack the enemy until the 26th 
of June, because he was employed, from the 1st until 
then, in forming a great army, by bringing, to that 
which I had commanded, fifteen thousand 1 men from 
North Carolina, under Major-General Holmes, 2 twenty- 

1 General Holmes told me in General Lee's presence, just before the 
fight began on the 31st, that he had that force ready to join me when 
the President should give the order. I have also the written testimony 
of Colonel Archer Anderson, then of General Holmes's staff, that he 
brought that number into General Lee's army. 

8 General Pvipley gave me this number. He brought the first bri- 


two thousand from South Carolina and Georgia, and 
above sixteen thousand from "the Valley" in the 
divisions of Jackson and Ewell, which the victories 
of Cross Keys and Port Bepublic had rendered dis- 

gade — five thousand men. General Lawton told me that his was six 
thousand, General Drayton that his was seven thousand; there was 
another brigade, of which I do not know the strength. 


Report for Service at the "War-Office. — Received Orders on November 24th. — 
Correspondence with the "War Department. — Colonel Morgan's Achievement 
at Hartsville. — Meet the President at Chattanooga, and accompany him to 
Mississippi. — Battle of Murfreesboro'. — Van Dorn attacked at Franklin. — 
While en route to Mississippi, ordered to take direct Command of General 
Bragg's Army. — Events in Mississippi. — General Pemberton's Dispatches. 
— Battle near Port Gibson. — Ordered to Mississippi to take " Chief Com- 

The effects of the wounds received at Seven Pines 
made me unfit for active military service until about 
the 12th of November, when I reported for duty at 
the war-office. 

At that time General Lee's army had been reor- 
ganized, and was in high condition, and much 
stronger than when it fought in Maryland ; but that 
to which it was opposed was much stronger in num- 
bers. General Bragg had returned from his expe- 
dition into Kentucky, and was placing at Murfrees- 
boro' the army he had received at Tupelo — outnum- 
bered greatly, however, by the Federal forces in and 
near Nashville, commanded by Major-General Rose- 
crans. Lieutenant-General Pemberton, recently ap- 
pointed to command the Department of Mississippi 
and East Louisiana, had garrisons thought to be 
adequate, in Vicksburg and Port Hudson, and an ac- 
tive army of twenty-three thousand men 1 on the Tal- 

1 Lieutenant-General Pemberton's reports to me. 


lahatcliie, observing the Federal army of forty-five 
thousand men under Major-General Grant, between 
that river and Holly Springs. 1 In Arkansas, Lieuten- 
ant-General Holmes, who commanded the Trans-Mis- 
sissippi Department, had a large army, supposed to 
amount to fifty-five thousand men, the main body, 
near Little Bock, opposed to no enemy, except garri- 
sons, at Helena, and perhaps at one or two other 
points on the Mississippi. 

Without actual assignment, I was told, on report- 
ing, that the Government intended to place the De- 
partments of Tennessee and Mississippi under my di- 
rection. This intimation justified me, I thought, in 
suggesting to the Secretary of War, General Ean- 
dolph, that, as the Federal troops invading the Val- 
ley of the Mississippi were united under one com- 
mander, our armies for its defense should also be 
united, east of the Mississippi. By this junction, we 
should bring about seventy thousand men against 
forty-five thousand, and secure all the chances of vic- 
tory, and even the destruction of the Federal army ; 
which, defeated so far from its base, could have little 
chance of escape. That success would enable us to 
overwhelm Bosecrans, by joining General Bragg with 
the victorious army, and transfer the war to the Ohio 
River, and to the State of Missouri, in which the best 
part of the population was friendly to us. I visited 
him in his office for this purpose, and began to ex- 
plain myself. Before I had finished, he asked me, 
with a smile, to listen to a few lines on the subject ; 
and, opening a large book, he read me a letter to 
Lieutenant-General Holmes, in which he directed 

1 Lieutenant-General Pemberton's reports to me. 



that officer to cross the Mississippi with his forces, 
and unite them with those of Lieutenant-Gen eral 
Pemberton. He then read me a note from the Presi- 
dent, directing him to countermand his instructions 
to Lieutenant-General Holmes. A day or two after 
this, General Randolph retired from the War Depart- 
ment, to the great injury of the Confederacy. 

On the 24th, I received orders of that date, as- 
signing me to the command of the departments of 
General Bragg, Lieutenant-General E. Kirby Smith, 
and Lieutenant-General Pemberton. 

I replied, on the same day : " I had the honor, 
this afternoon, to receive special orders, No. 225, of 
this date. 

"If I have been correctly informed, the forces 
which it places under my command are greatly infe- 
rior in number to those of the enemy opposed to 
them, while in the Trans-Mississippi Department our 
army is very much larger than that of the United 
States. Our two armies on this side of the Missis- 
sippi have the disadvantage of being separated by the 
Tennessee River, and a Federal army (that of Major- 
Gen eral Grant) larger, probably, than either of them. 

" Under such circumstances, it seems to me that 
our best course would be to fall upon Major-General 
Grant with the forces of Lieutenant-Generals Holmes 
and Pemberton, united for the purpose ; those of 
General Bragg cooperating, if practicable. 

" The defeat of General Grant would enable us 
to hold the Mississippi, and permit Lieutenant-Gen- 
eral Holmes to move into Missouri. 

" As our troops are now distributed, Vicksburg 
is in danger." 


This suggestion was not adopted, nor noticed. 

Several railroad accidents delayed me in my jour- 
ney to Chattanooga — the location for my headquar- 
ters chosen by the \Yar Department — so that I did 
not reach that place until the morning of the 4th of 

A telegram from General Cooper, found there, 
informed me that Lieutenant-General Pemberton was 
falling back before superior forces, and that Lieuten- 
ant-General Holmes had been "peremptorily ordered " 
to reenforce him ; but that, as Lieutenant-General 
Holmes's troops might be too late, the President 
urged upon me the importance of sending a sufficient 
force from General Bragg's command to Lieutenant- 
General Pemberton's aid. 

I replied immediately, by telegraph as well as by 
mail, that the troops near Little Rock could join 
General Pemberton sooner than those in Middle Ten- 
nessee ; and requested General Bragg, by telegraph, 
to detach a large body of cavalry to operate in Gen- 
eral Grant's rear and cut his communications. On 
the following day, the 5th, at Murfreesboro', I again 
wrote to General Cooper by mail and by telegraph, 
giving him General Bragg's estimates of his own force 
and that of General Rosecrans, and endeavoring to 
show that he could not give adequate aid to General 
Pemberton without giving up Tennessee, adding, that 
troops from Arkansas could reach the scene of action 
in Mississippi much sooner than General Bragg's ; 
and saying, besides, that I would not weaken the 
Army of Tennessee without express orders to do so. 
He was also informed that two thousand cavalry 
would be detached to break the Louisville and Nash- 


ville Railroad, and four thousand to operate on Gen- 
eral Grant's communications. 

On the 7th, Colonel J. H. Morgan achieved a 
very handsome feat of arms at Harts ville, where, 
with a portion of his cavalry and two regiments of 
Kentucky infantry, in all not much above fifteen hun- 
dred men, he attacked and defeated almost twice his 
number of Federal troops, taking eighteen hundred 
prisoners. In reporting this action on the 8th, I 
recommended his appointment to the grade of briga- 

While engaged in acquainting myself with the 
condition of General Bragg's army, I was summoned 
by telegraph to Chattanooga to meet the President. 
On doing so, I found that the object of this meeting, 
on his part, was to confer with me in relation to 
transferring a strong body of troops from the Army 
of Tennessee to that of Mississippi. As the expres- 
sion of my opinion, a copy of my letter to General 
Cooper from Murfreesboro', was given to him. Ap- 
parently he was not satisfied by it, for he went on 
to Murfreesboro' and consulted General Bragg, and 
determined to transfer nine thousand infantry and 
artillery of that anny to Lieutenant-General Pember- 
ton's command. 

The President returned to Chattanooga in a few 
days, and directed me to give the orders necessary to 
carry his wishes into effect. Under those directions, 1 
Major-General C. L. Stevenson was ordered to move 
by railroad, without delay, to Jackson, with his own 
division increased by a brigade of Major-General 
McCown's. These troops were named to me by his 

1 The order was given in the President's name, being his own act. 


excellency himself. As soon as these orders had 
been given, he set off for Mississippi, desiring me to 
accompany him. 

He arrived in Jackson in the morning of the 
19th. Governor Pettus had just convened the Legis- 
lature, in order that the whole military force of the 
State might he brought out and added to the Con- 
federate forces under Lieutenant- General Pemberton, 
which were utterly inadequate to the defense of the 
State, or to hold the Mississippi River. On the 20th, 
he went to Vicksburg, and was occupied there two 
days in examining the extensive but very slight in- 
trenchments of the place. The usual error of Con- 
federate engineering had been committed there. An 
immense intrenched camp, requiring an army to hold 
it, had been made instead of a fort requiring only a 
small garrison. In like manner the water-batteries 
had been planned to prevent the bombardment of 
the town, instead of to close the navigation of the 
river to the enemy ; consequently the small number 
of heavy guns had been distributed along a front of 
two miles, instead of being so placed that their fire 
might be concentrated on a single vessel. As attach 
was supposed to be imminent, such errors could not 
be corrected. 

It was reported in Vicksburg, the day of the 
President's arrival, that a division of General 
Holmes's army, of ten thousand men, was approach- 
ing from Little Rock. According to the estimate 
of Major-General M. L. Smith, a garrison of twelve 
thousand men was necessary to hold the place. He 
then had about half the number. From a map of 
Port Hudson which he showed me, that place seemed 


to require a force almost as great to defend it. I 
therefore proposed to the President that General 
Holmes should be instructed to send twenty thou- 
sand of his troops to Mississippi, instead of the ten 
thousand supposed to be on the way, because such 
an additional force would have enabled us to put 
adequate garrisons into Vicksburg and Port Hud- 
son, by which we held the part of the Mississippi 
between them, and to oppose General Grant with 
an active force of forty thousand men. In writing 
to the President on this subject, however, I expressed 
again the opinion that Holmes's and Peniberton's 
troops should be concentrated in Mississippi. The 
President suggested to General Holmes, but did not 
order him, to send the twenty thousand men asked 
for. General Holmes, very properly, waited for or- 

From Vicksburg the President visited Lieuten- 
ant-General Pemberton's army, near Grenada, where 
it was constructing intrenchments to contest the 
passage of the Yallabusha Eiver by the Federal 
army. The front was so extensive, however, that it 
is probably fortunate that the practicability of de- 
fending it was never tested. In conversing before 
the President in relation to the defense of his de- 
partment, Lieutenant-General Pemberton and myself 
differed widely as to the mode of warfare best adapt- 
ed to our circumstances. 

On the 25th the President returned to Jackson, 
accompanied by Lieutenant-General Pemberton as 
well as myself. 

On the 27th Major-General Loring, who was com- 
manding at Grenada, reported that General Grant's 


army, which had been advancing, was retiring, and 
in a few hours the immediate cause became known 
— the destruction of the Federal depot at Holly 
Springs, by Major-General Van Dorn. That officer, 
with three thousand cavalry, surprised the garrison 
at daybreak, took two thousand prisoners, and de- 
stroyed the large stores of provision and ammuni- 
tion, and six thousand muskets. 

The approach of the expedition against Vicks- 
burg, under Major-General Sherman's command, 
being reported by Lieutenant-General Pemberton's 
scouts, the detachments of Stevenson's division were 
sent to that place as they arrived by railroad. The 
last of them did not reach Jackson until the 7th of 
January, although the management of the railroad 
trains was at least as good as usual in such cases. 

After exhorting the Legislature, in a fervent ad- 
dress, to take all the measures necessary to enable 
the Governor to bring out the whole remaining 
military force of the State to aid the Confederate 
troops in the defense of its soil, Mr. Davis returned 
to Eichmond. 

Being convinced, before he left Jackson, that my 
command was little more than nominal, I so repre- 
sented it to him, and asked to be assigned to a dif- 
ferent one, on the ground that two armies far apart, 
like those of Mississippi and Tennessee, having dif- 
ferent objects, and opposed to adversaries having 
different objects, could not be commanded by the 
same general. After reflection, he replied that the 
seat of government was so distant from the two the- 
atres of war, that he thought it necessary to have 
an officer nearer, with authority to transfer troops 


from one army to the other in an emergency. If 
such an officer was needed, I certainly was not the 
proper selection; for I had already expressed the 
opinion distinctly that such transfers were imprac- 
ticable, because each of the two armies was greatly 
inferior to its antagonist; and they were too far 
from each other for such mutual dependence. The 
length of time consumed in the transportation of 
Stevenson's division without artillery or wagons, 
from Tennessee to Mississippi, fully sustained this 
opinion. That time was more than three weeks. 

Brigadier-General Forrest, who was detached by 
General Bragg to operate on Major-General Grant's 
rear, was very successful in breaking railroads in 
West Tennessee. After destroying large quantities 
of military stores also, and paroling twelve hundred 
prisoners, he was pressed back into Middle Tennes- 
see by weight of numbers. At the same time, a 
body of Federal cavalry under Brigadier-General 
Carter, supposed to be fifteen hundred, burned the 
Holston and Watauga railroad bridges near Bris- 

As soon as Major-General Eosecrans was informed 
of the large detachment from the Confederate army 
of Tennessee to that of Mississippi, he prepared to 
take advantage of it, and on the 26th of December 
marched from Nashville toward Murfreesboro'. On 
his approach this movement was promptly reported 
to General Bragg by Brigadier-General Wheeler, 
who commanded his cavalry. In consequence of 
this intelligence the Confederate army was immedi- 
ately concentrated in front of Murfreesboro'. It 
numbered about thirty thousand infantiy and artil- 


lery in five divisions, and five thousand mounted 

On the 28th General Bragg reported to me "by- 
telegraph : " The enemy stationary within ten miles ; 
my troops all ready and confident." And on the 
30th : " Artillery firing at intervals, and heavy skir- 
mishing all day. Enemy very cautious, and declin- 
ing a general engagement. Both armies in line of 
battle within sight." 

These lines were at right angles to the Nashville 
road. The Federal left rested on Stone's Kiver. The 
Confederate right, Breckenridge's division, faced this 
left, and was separated from Polk's corps, forming 
the centre, by the little river, the course of which 
there crossed General Bragg's line obliquely. Har- 
dee's corps constituted the left wing. Both armies 
were drawn up in two lines. The Federal, much the 
more numerous, had a strong reserve. 

Both generals determined to attack in the morn- 
ing of the 31st, and their plans of attack were simi- 
lar — General Bragg to advance in echelon by his left, 
to drive the Federal right and centre behind their 
left and to the east of the Nashville road, and seize 
that line of retreat; and that of Major-General Rose- 
crans, to operate with his left leading, to drive the 
Confederate army to the west of the Murfreesboro' 
road, with a similar object. 

Lieutenant-General Hardee's corps was in motion 
at dawn, and his attack made at sunrise by McCown's 
division, his first line ; his second, Cleburne's division, 
coming up on its right and engaging the enemy soon 
after. The Federal troops, surprised and assailed 
with the skill and vigor that Hardee never failed to 



exhibit in battle, were driven back, although formed 
in two lines, while the assailants were in but oue. 
Their commander called for aid, and, very soon after, 
reported his wing being driven — " a fact that was 
but too manifest by the rapid movement of the noise 
of battle toward the north." ' The attack was taken 
up by the brigades of Polk's corps successively, from 
left to right, but they encountered a more determined 
resistance, and the success they obtained was won 
after an obstinate contest, and at the price of much 
blood. "When the right brigade of Polk's corps had 
become fully engaged, the Federal right and centre, 
except the left brigade, 3 had been driven back in the 
manner intended. They were succored by Kousseau's 
and Van Cleve's divisions, however, and rallied on 
a new line perpendicular to the original one ; their 
left joining the right of the brigade that still held its 
first position. The Confederate troops could make 
no impression upon this new and stronger line which 
was covered by a railroad-cut, and the contest ceased, 
except at the angle where the new and old lines met. 
The brigade there, with the aid of several batteries 
and the advantages of a strong position and an ex- 
cellent commander, 3 repelled the successive attacks of 
two detachments of two brigades each, drawn from 
the Confederate right. 4 

The fight was not renewed. On the 1st of Jan- 
uary it was found that the position assailed and de- 
fended so bravely, the previous afternoon, had been 
abandoned by the Federals. 

1 General Rosecrans's report. 

8 The left brigade of Palmer's division. 

3 Brigadier-General Hazen. 4 Lieutenant-General Polk's report. 


On the 2d, a division of the Federal left crossed 
Stone's Eiver and took possession of a hill in front 
of the Confederate right, that commanded the right 
of Lieutenant-General Polk's position. Major-Gen- 
eral Breckenridge was directed to drive the enemy 
from it with his division. He did so with less diffi- 
culty than might have been expected, although his 
troops in advancing to the attack were exposed to a 
well-directed fire of artillery while marching five or 
six hundred yards in open ground. They were not 
checked, however, by this cannonade, and closed with 
the Federal infantry with a spirit that drove them 
very soon down the hill and across the stream. But 
fresh troops in much stronger bodies, especially on 
the right, supported by as many batteries, apparently, 
as could be brought to bear, then advanced against 
the Confederates. The unequal straggle that ensued 
was soon ended by the defeat of the latter with 
severe loss, and the recovery of the contested hill 
by the enemy. Breckenridge's division resumed its 
former position at dusk. 

During this engagement, the ground occupied on 
the 31st by Hazen's brigade was recovered by the 
enemy. In the morning of the 3d of January it was 
retaken by a detachment formed from Coltart's and 
White's brigades. A vigorous but ineffectual effort 
to dislodge this detachment was made by the Fed- 

The armies faced each other without serious 
fighting during the remainder of the day. General 
Bragg was employed all the afternoon in sending 
his trains to the rear, and in other preparations to 
retire. The army was put in motion about mid- 



night, and marched quietly- across Duck Kiver, 
Polk's corps halting opposite to Shelbyville, and 
Hardee's at Tullahoma. 

General Bragg estimates his force at thirty thou- 
sand infantry and artillery, and five thousand cavalry, 
and his loss at more than ten thousand, including 
twelve hundred severely wounded and three hundred 
sick, left in Murfreesboro'. He claims to have cap- 
tured "over thirty pieces of artillery, six thousand 
prisoners, six thousand small-arms, nine colors, am- 
bulances and other valuable property," and to have 
destroyed eight hundred loaded wagons. 

Major-General Rosecrans reports that he had in 
his army forty-three thousand four hundred infantry 
and artillery, and tbr»ee thousand three hundred cav- 
alry; of whom nine thousand two hundred and 
sixty-seven were killed and wounded, and three 
thousand four hundred and fifty made prisoners — in 
all, twelve thousand seven hundred and seventeen. 

While these events were occurring in Middle 
Tennessee, Major-General Sherman was operating 
against Vicksburg. He had embarked an army, esti- 
mated at thirty thousand men by Lieutenant-General 
Pemberton's scouts, on transports at Memphis, and, 
descending the Mississippi, ascended the Yazoo a few 
miles, and landed his troops on the southern shore 
on the 26th of December. Lieutenant-General Pem- 
berton reported, the day after, that his lines had been 
attacked at four different points, and each attacking 
party handsomely repulsed. As his loss amounted 
to but five killed and fifteen wounded, these were 
probably reconnoissances rather than serious assaults. 
On the 29th, however, a real assault was made by a 


body of several thousand Federal troops, near Chick- 
asaw Bayou, where Brigadier-General S. D. Lee 
commanded. That gallant soldier was successful in 
defeating the attempt with his brigade, inflicting a 
loss of eleven hundred upon the enemy, while his 
own was but a hundred and fifty. 

On the 2d of January General Sherman reern- 
barked and ran up to Milliken's Bend. His fleet of 
transports disappeared soon after. 

Mississippi was thus apparently free from invasion, 
General Grant's forces having already reached the 
northern border of the State. The condition of the 
country was such, too, as to make military operations 
on a large scale in it impracticable ; and the most in- 
telligent class of the inhabitants supposed that it 
would remain in that condition until the middle of 
the spring. In Tennessee, on the contrary, after the 
most effective fighting made by either party up to 
that time, our army had lost much ground, and was 
in clanger of farther disaster. For, while the United 
States Government was sending such reenforcements 
as reestablished the strength of its army, the Con- 
federate War Department made no answer to Gen- 
eral Bragg's calls for twenty thousand additional 
troops, which he required, he said, to enable him to 
hold the southern part of Middle Tennessee, which 
was still in his possession. 

At this time Lieutenant-General Pemberton had 
some six thousand cavalry near Grenada, unem- 
ployed, and almost unorganized. Under the circum- 
stances described, Major-General Van Dorn was 
directed to form a division of two-thirds of these 
troops, and to move into Tennessee, after preparing 


it for the field. When there he was either to assist 
General Bragg in holding his new position, or cover 
the country near Columbia, upon which the army 
depended for food. These troops were so poorly 
equipped, and the difficulty of supplying deficiencies 
so great, that the division was not ready for actual 
service until February, nor able to cross the Ten- 
nessee until the middle of the month. It was di- 
rected to Columbia, and, by occupying that neighbor- 
hood, enabled General Bragg to feed his army in 
Middle Tennessee. Without such aid he could not 
have done this, and would have been compelled to 
abandon the country north of the Tennessee River. 

In the middle of January General Wheeler made 
an expedition with the principal part of the cavalry 
of the Army of Tennessee, to interrupt the Federal 
communications. After burning the railroad-bridge 
over Mill Creek, nine miles from Nashville, he went 
on to the Cumberland and captured there four loaded 
transports, three of which, with their cargoes, were 
destroyed, and the fourth bonded to carry home four 
hundred paroled prisoners. A gunboat which pur- 
sued the party was also captured with its armament. 
General Wheeler then crossed the swollen stream, 
the horses swimming through floating ice, and at the 
landing-place near Harpeth Shoals destroyed a great 
quantity of provisions in wagons, ready for transpor- 
tation to Nashville. 

While inspecting the defenses of Mobile on the 
2 2d of January, I received a telegram from the Presi- 
dent, directing me to proceed, " with the least delay, 
to the headquarters of General Bragg' s army," and 
informing me that " an explanatory letter would -be 


found at Chattanooga." The object of this visit, as 
explained in the letter found in Chattanooga, was to 
ascertain the feeling toward the general entertained 
by the army — " whether he had so far lost its confi- 
dence as to impair his usefulness in his present posi- 
tion ; " to obtain such information as would enable 
me " to decide what the best interests of the service 
required;" and "to give the President the advice 
which he needed at that juncture." Mr. Davis re- 
marked, in this letter, that his own confidence in 
General Bragg was unshaken. 

I bestowed three weeks upon this investigation, 
and then advised against General Bragg's removal, 
because the field-officers of the army represented that 
their men were in high spirits, and as ready as ever 
for fight ; such a condition seeming to me incompati- 
ble with the alleged want of confidence in their 
general's ability. 

On the 24th a fleet of transports, bearing the 
united forces of Generals Grant and Sherman, de- 
scending the Mississippi from Memphis, appeared near 
Vicksburg. This army did not repeat the attack 
upon the place from the Yazoo, but landed on the 
west side of the river, and commenced the excavation 
of a canal through the point of land opposite the 

No military event worth mentioning occurred in 
either department in February. On the 5th of March 
Van Dorn's division was attacked, seven or eight 
miles south of Franklin, by the Federal garrison of 
that place, but repulsed the assailants, taking twenty- 
two hundred prisoners. Four or five days after this, 
however, this division was driven back to Columbia 


by the same troops largely reenforced; it escaped 
with difficulty, Duck Kiver being considerably 

As there were no indications of intention on the 
part of the Federal commander in Tennessee to take 
the offensive soon, and my presence seemed to me 
more proper in Mississippi than in Tennessee, I left 
Chattanooga for Jackson, on the 9th, and at Mobile, 
when continuing on the 12th the inspection inter- 
rupted by the President's telegram on the 2 2d of 
January, I received the following dispatch from the 
Secretary of War, dated March 9th : " Order General 
Bragg to report to the War Department here, for con- 
ference ; assume yourself direct charge of the army 
in Middle Tennessee." In obedience to these in- 
structions I returned immediately to Tennessee, and 
reached Tullahoma on the 18th, and there, without 
the publication of a formal order on the subject, as- 
sumed the duties of commander of the army. In con- 
sequence of information that the general was devot- 
ing himself to Mrs. Bragg, who was supposed to be 
at the point of death, I postponed the communica- 
tion of the order of the Secretary of War to him, and 
rej)orted the postponement, and the cause, to the 

The day after my arrival, dispatches from Lieu- 
tenant-General Pemberton informed me that the 
United States naval officers on the Lower Mississippi 
had ascertained the practicability of passing the Con- 
federate batteries at Port Hudson with their iron-clad 
gunboats ; two of them, the Hartford and Albatross, 
having passed those batteries on the 15th, while 
they were engaged with the other vessels of Admiral 


Farragut's squadron. The success of this attempt 
greatly reduced the value of the two posts, Vicks- 
burg and Port Hudson, by which we had been hop - 
ing to retain the command of the part of the river 
between them. 

I soon found myself too feeble to command an 
army, and in a few days became seriously sick ; so 
that, when the state of General Bragg's domestic 
affairs permitted him to return to military duty, I 
was unfit for it. He, therefore, resumed the position 
of commander of the Army of Tennessee. 

In the latter part of the winter Lieutenant-Gen- 
eral Pemberton had reason to apprehend that the 
enemy would attempt to approach Vicksburg through 
the Yazoo Pass, Coldwater, Tallahatchie, and Yazoo, 
and directed Major-General Loring, with an adequate 
body of troops, to select and intrench a position to 
frustrate such an attempt. That officer constructed 
Fort Pemberton in consequence of these orders, veiy 
judiciously located near the junction of the Yallo- 
busha with the Tallahatchie, 1 with the usual acces- 
sory, a raft to obstruct the channel of the latter. 

On the 11th the Federal flotilla appeared, descend- 
ing the Tallahatchie. — nine gunboats, two of which, 
the Chillicothe and De Kalb, were iron-clads, and 
twenty "transports bearing four thousand five hun- 
dred infantry and artillery. The gunboats opened 
their fire upon the Confederate works very soon and 
continued it for several hours. The 12th was de- 
voted by the enemy to the construction of a battery 
on land, and on the 13th a spirited cannonade was 
maintained against Fort Pemberton by this battery 

1 Major-General Loring's report. 


and the gunboats. It was resumed next morning, but 
ceased in half an hour. The contest was renewed on 
the 16th, and continued until night, when it ceased 
finally. The enemy was inactive until the 20th, 
probably repairing the damages their vessels had 
suffered. The flotilla then withdrew and returned 
to the Mississippi. 

Until the end of the month Lieutenant-General 
Peruberton's dispatches represented that General 
Grant's troops were at work industriously digging a 
canal opposite to Vicksburg ; his design being, evi- 
dently, to turn the Confederate batteries in that way, 
and reach a landing-place below the town, to attack 
it from the south. On the 3d of April, however, he 
reported that the Federal army was preparing for 
reembarkation ; the object of which, he thought, 
might be to reenforce General Kosecrans in Middle 
Tennessee. In the reply to this dispatch, he was 
instructed to return Stevenson's division, or send an 
equal number of other troops to General Bragg, 
should he discover that his surmise was correct. 

On the 11th General Pemberton expressed the 
opinion that " most of General Grant's forces were 
being withdrawn to Memphis ; " and said that he 
was assembling troops at Jackson ; and was then 
ready to send four thousand to Tennessee. This dis- 
patch was received on the 13th, and on the same 
day he was desired to send forward the troops. In 
another telegram of that date, after announcing that 
he would send General Bragg eight thousand men, 
he added, "I am satisfied that Eosecrans will be 
reenforced from General Grant's army." 

On the 16th, however, General Pemberton ex- 


pressed the belief that no large part of Grant's array 
would be sent away. For that reason he thought it 
proper to transfer then but two brigades from his 
army to that of Tennessee. His dispatches, of the 
17th, gave intelligence of the return of the Federal 
army ' to its former position, and resumption of its 
operations against Vicksburg. He also reported that 
a body of Federal troops occupied New Carthage, 
and that there were nine gun-boats, of the two Fed- 
eral fleets, between Port Hudson and Vicksburg. 

In consequence of this information, the two bri- 
gades of infantry, under General Buford, on the way 
from Mississippi to Tennessee, were ordered to re- 

The only activity apparent in either of the prin- 
cipal armies, before the end of March, was exhibited 
by that of General Grant, in its efforts to open a way 
by water around Vicksburg, to some point on the 
river, below the town. But in the beginning of 
April this enterprise was abandoned, and General 
Grant decided that his troops should march to a 
point selected, on the west bank of the Mississippi, 
and that the vessels-of-war and transports should 
run down to that point, passing the Confederate bat- 
teries at night. McClernand's corps (Thirteenth) led 
in the march, followed, at some distance, by McPker- 
son's (Seventeenth). 

About the middle of the month a Federal detach- 
ment of five regiments of cavalry, and two of infan- 
try, with two field-batteries, moved from Corinth 
along the railroad toward Tuscumbia. Colonel Eod- 

1 Probably Sberman's corps, left to divert General Pemberton's at- 
tention from the movement toward Grand Gulf. 

-2-?^^ *^(~ 


dy, who liad just l)een transferred from General 
Bragg's to General Pemberton's command, met it 
with his brigade, on the 18th, near Bear Creek, on 
the Alabama side, and, in skirmishes, which contin- 
ued most of the day, cajriured above a hundred pris- 
oners, and a field-piece and caisson, with their horses. 

The enemy waited until the next day for reen- 
forcements, which increased their force to three full 
brigades, under General Dodge, and resumed their 
movement toward Tuscumbia, opposed at every step 
by Eoddy, who skirmished so effectively with the 
head of the column as to make the rate of marching 
not more than five miles a day; until the 25th, when 
Tuscumbia was reached. 

In the mean time a body of Federal troops landed 
at Eastport, on the south bank of the Tennessee, and 
burned the little town and several plantation-houses 
in the neighborhood. 

General Dodge's division moved on slowly, press- 
ing back Roddy to Town Creek, where, on the 28th, 
Forrest, with his brigade, joined Roddy. Near that 
place the Federal forces divided ; the cavalry, under 
Colonel Streight, turning off to the south, toward 
Moulton, and the main body, under General Dodge, 
halting, and then marching back. Leaving Roddy 
to observe Dodge, Forrest pursued Streight's party 
with three regiments, and captured it within twenty 
miles of Rome, after a chase of five days, and repeated 
fights, in which he killed and wounded three hun- 
dred of the enemy. Fourteen hundred and sixty or 
seventy officers and privates surrendered to him, a 
number much exceeding that of the victors. 

In writing to the President on the 10th of the 


month, I informed him of my continued illness and 
inability to serve in the field, and added, " General 
Bragg is therefore necessary here." A similar report 
of the condition of my health was made on the 28th, 
to the Secretary of "War. 

While Forrest and Eoddy were engaged with 
Dodge and Streight, Colonel Grierson made a raid 
entirely through Mississippi. Leaving Lagrange 
April 17th, with a brigade of cavalry, and passing 
through Pontotoc and Decatur, he reached the South- 
ern Kailroad at Newton on the 24th, where he de- 
stroyed some cars and engines, and small bridges. 
Crossing Pearl Kiver at Georgetown, he struck the 
New Orleans and Jackson Railroad at Hazelhurst, 
where cars were destroyed, and some ammunition. 
At Brookhaven, the railroad-depot and more cars 
were burned, and the party arrived at Baton Rouge 
May 2d. 

In the night of April 16th the Federal fleet, of 
gunboats and three transports towing barges, passed 
the batteries of Vicksburg, and ran down to " Hard 
Times," where the land-forces were ; and in the night 
of the 22d six more transports and barges followed. 
The whole effect of the artillery of the batteries on 
the two occasions was the burning of one transport, 
sinking of another, and rendering six barges unser- 

General Grant's design seems to have been to 
take Grand Gulf by a combined military and naval 
attack, and operate against Vicksburg from that 
point. The squadron, under Admiral Porter, opened 
its fire upon the Confederate intrenchments at 8 a. m. 
on the 29th, and the Thirteenth Corps was held in 


readiness to land and storm them as soon as their 
guns should be silenced. As that object had not 
been accomplished at six o'clock in the afternoon, 
General Grant abandoned the attempt, and deter- 
mined to land at Bruinsburg. For this purpose 
the troops debarked at Hard Times, and marched 
to the plain below Grand Gulf; and the gunboats 
and transports, passing that place in the night, as 
they had done at Vicksburg, were in readiness at 
daybreak next' morning to ferry the troops to Bruins- 
burg, six miles. The number of vessels was sufficient 
to transport a division at a time. 

General Pemberton reported to me, by telegraph, 
that day: "The enemy is at Hard Times in large 
force, with barges and transports, indicating a pur- 
pose to attack Grand Gulf, with a view to Vicksburg. 
Very heavy firing at Grand Gulf; enemy shelling 
our batteries from above and below." 

At that time, according to General Pemberton's 
reports to me, more than twenty vessels, most of them 
gunboats, had passed the Confederate batteries, and 
were ready to aid the Federal army in its passage of 
the river. 

Brigadier-General Bowen, who commanded at 
Grand Gulf, observing the movement of the Federal 
forces down the river, and their landing at Bruins- 
burg, placed Green's and Tracy's brigades on the 
route from that point into the interior, four miles in 
advance of Port Gibson. Here they were encoun- 
tered and attacked early in the morning of the 1st of 
May, by the four divisions of McClernand's corps, 
which had crossed the river in the day and night of 
the 30th of April, and at once moved forward. 


Although outnumbered five to one, Bowen was 
enabled to hold his ground until late in the afternoon, 
ten hours, by his own skill and courage, and the ex- 
cellent conduct of Brigadier-Generals Tracy and 
Green, and the firmness of their troops — aided greatly^, 
it is true, by the strength of the position, intersected 
by deej) ravines and covered with fallen timber, and 
bushes interlaced with vines. He then began to fall 
back, but, being reenforced by Baldwin's brigade, 
which had marched twenty miles to join him, he 
halted and again formed for battle, supposing, prob- 
ably, that the whole Confederate anny was advan- 
cing to meet the enemy, but the Federal commander 
did not renew the engagement. 

General Bowen reported that his loss in this action 
was severe in killed and wounded, but slight in pris- 
oners ; among the first was the gallant Tracy, whose 
death was much regretted by the army. 

While the troops were engaged, General Peniber- 
ton telegraphed to me : "A furious battle has been 
going on since daylight, just below Port Gibson. . . . 
General Bowen says he is outnumbered trebly. . . . 
Enemy can cross all his army from Hard Times 
to Bruinsburg. ... I should have large reenforce- 
ments. . . . Enemy's success in passing our batteries 
has completely changed character of defense." In 
the reply, dispatched immediately, he was told: 
"If General Grant's army lands on this side of 
the river, the safety of the Mississippi depends on 
beating it. For that object you should unite your 
whole force." In a telegram, dispatched to him 
next day, the instruction was repeated : " If Grant's 
army crosses, unite all your troops to beat him ; sue- 


cess will give you back what was abandoned to win 

General Peniberton's call for large reinforce- 
ments was transmitted by telegraph to the War De- 
partment forthwith, and I added, " They cannot be 
sent from here without giving up Tennessee." 

On the 2d Bowen was j)ressed back through Port 
Gibson, but in perfect order; and returned to his 
post — Grand Gulf. On the 3d, however, finding his 
position turned, he abandoned it, after spiking his 
guns and blowing up his magazine, and marched to 
Hankinson's Ferry, to cross the Big Black there. 
General Loring, coming to his assistance with a divis- 
ion from Jackson, by Edwards's Depot, sent a detach- 
ment to hold Grindstone Ford, and turned to join 
him at the ferry. All their troops crossed the river 
that day unmolested, and rejoined General Pember- 

To divert General Peniberton's attention from 
his real design, General Grant had left the Fifteenth 
Corps and a division at Milliken's Bend, under Gen- 
eral Sherman, to make a demonstration against 
Vicksburg from the side of the Yazoo. This was 
executed by a slight attack upon Haynes's Bluff on 
the 30th of April, repeated next morning ; after 
which General Sherman returned to Milliken's Bend, 
and marched from that point to rejoin the army. 

The union of the Thirteenth and Seventeenth 
Corps was completed on the 3d, near Willow Spring, 
where they waited for Sherman's troops until the 8th. 
The army then moved forward on two parallel roads, 
the Thirteenth on one, the Seventeenth on the other, 
abreast, the Fifteenth following on both ; the Thir- 


teenth turned into the road to Edwards's Depot, 
however, while the Seventeenth kept that to Jackson, 
followed at an interval of a few miles by the Thir. 

On the 5th, as Lieutenant-General Pemberton s 
dispatches subsequent to that of the 1st bad con- 
tained no reference to the movements of the Federal 
army, nor to the result of the battle near Port Gib- 
son, I asked bim to give me information on the two 
points. His reply, written on the 6tb or 7th, con- 
tained no allusion to General Grant's forces, but 
gave bis own positions, in cipher, so that they were 
imperfectly understood. He informed me, however, 
that General Bowen had been driven from the field 
with a loss of six or seven hundred men. I was 
thus left uncertain whether or not any but a detach- 
ment of the Federal forces had crossed the Missis- 

On the 9th, in the evening, I received, at Tulla- 
homa, the following dispatch of that date from the 
Secretary of War : " Proceed at once to Mississippi 
and take chief command of the forces there, giving 
to those in the field, as far as practicable, the encour- 
agement and benefit of your personal direction. Ar- 
range to take for temporary service with you, or to 
be followed without delay, three thousand good 
troops who will be substituted in General Bragg's 
army by a large number of prisoners returned from 
the Arkansas Post capture, and reorganized, now on 
their way to General Pemberton. Stop them at the 
point most convenient to General Bragg. 

" You will find reinforcements from General Beau- 
regard to General Pemberton, and more may be ex- 


pected. Acknowledge receipt." I replied at once : 
" Your dispatcli of tliis morning received. I shall 
go immediately, although unfit for field-service." 

I had "been prevented, by the orders of the Ad- 
ministration, from giving my personal attention to 
military affairs in Mississippi * at any time since the 
2 2d of January. On the contrary, those orders had 
required my presence in Tennessee during the whole 
of that period. 

1 The reader's attention is called to this fact, because I have been 
accused of neglecting Mississippi, to give my time to Tennessee. 


Start for Mississippi. — Dispatch from General Pemberton. — Arrival at Jackson. 
— Movements of the Enemy. — Orders to General Pemberton. — Battle of 
Baker's Creek. — Retreat of General Pemberton across the Big Black to 
Vicksburg. — Letter from General Pemberton. — Order him to evacuate 
Vicksburg. — Investment of Vicksburg by the Enemy. — Port Hudson in- 
vested. — Siege of Vicksburg. — Telegraphic Correspondence with the Presi- 
dent and Secretary of War. — Move to the Relief of General Pemberton. — 
Receive News of the Fall of Vicksburg. — Army retires to Jackson. 

I set out for Mississippi on the first train that left 
Tullahoma, after the order of the Secretary of War was 
received. It was in the morning of the 10th of May. 

The intelligence of the assassination of the gal- 
lant Van Dorn had been received, and General 
Bragg and myself joined in recommending General 
Forrest as his successor. 

At Lake Station, in Mississippi, on the 13th, a 
dispatch from Lieutenant-General Pemberton, dated 
Vicksburg, May 12th, was sent to me from the tele- 

I was informed in it that " the enemy is appar- 
ently moving in heavy force toward Edwards's 
Depot, on Southern Railroad. 1 With my limited 
force I will do all I can to meet him. That will be 
the battle-field, if I can carry forward sufficient force, 
leaving troops enough to secure the safety of this 

1 McClernand's Thirteenth Corps was apparently mistaken for the. 
" heavy force." 

1863.] AFFAIR AT RAYMOND. 175 

place. Reenforcernents are arriving very slowly — 
only fifteen hundred having arrived as yet. I 
urgently ask that more be sent. Also that three 
thousand cavalry be at once sent to operate on this 
line. I urge this as a positive necessity. The en- 
emy largely outnumbers me ; and I am obliged to 
keep a considerable force on either ilank of Vicks- 
burg out of supporting distance." 

This telegram contained the first mention of the 
Federal army made to me by Lieutenant-General 
Pemberton, since that he dispatched while the con- 
test at Port Gibson was going on. 

In the mean time, Lieutenant-General Pemberton 
had ordered Greg's brigade coming from Port Hud- 
son to Raymond, and W. H. T. Walker's, just ar- 
rived at Jackson, from General Beauregard's depart- 
ment, to join him there. On the 12th, McPherson 
with his corps encountered Gregg near Raymond, 
and drove him back, after a spirited resistance, con- 
sidering that it was made by a brigade against a 
corps. 1 He fell back to Jackson, in conformity to 
General Pemberton's instructions for such a case, 
accompanied by Walker, whom he met at Mississippi 
Springs. They reached the place with their bri- 
gades on the evening of the 13th. 

General Gregg, the senior of the two, reported 
to me on my arrival at night. 3 He informed me 
that he had learned from Colonel Wirt Adams, who 

1 In the Northern official statement, this affair is greatly exagger- 
ated. Its effects were trifling, on the numbers as well as on the spirits of 
Gregg's brigade, which joined me less than two days after it. The los3 
of Colonel Randal McGavock, Tenth Tennessee regiment, who fell gal- 
lantly in this action, was much regretted. 

8 See telegram to Secretary of War, Appendix. 


with His cavalry was observing the enemy's move- 
ments, that Lieutenant-General Peniberton's active 
forces were at Edwards's Depot, and his headquarters 
at Bovina; that McPherson's corps had marched 
from Raymond to Clinton ; and was thus interposed 
between the Army of Mississippi and ourselves, and 
but ten miles from us. General Maxey's brigade, he 
added, was expected to reach Jackson in the course 
of the next day, from Port Hudson. I had learned, 
on the way, that reenforcements were coming from 
General Beauregard's department, and that the fore- 
most of them, under Brigadier-General Gist, might 
join us next day, and, with Maxey's brigade, would 
raise the force at Jackson to eleven or twelve thou- 
sand men. 

Under the impression given me by General Pem- 
berton's dispatch of the 12th, that the main body 
of General Grant's army was to the south of Ed- 
wards's Depot, I inferred that McPherson's corps had 
been detached to Clinton to hold the Confederate line 
of communication, and prevent the junction of reen- 
forcements with the army. I therefore sent a note 1 
to that officer by Captain Yerger, who happened to 
be in Jackson and volunteered to bear it, informing 
him of the position of McPherson's corps between 
us at Clinton ; urging the importance of reestablish- 
ing his communications, that reenforcements might 
join his army, and ordering, "if practicable come up 
on his rear at once. To beat such a detachment 
would be of immense value. The troops here could 
cooperate. All the force you can quickly assemble 
should be brought. Time is all-important." 

1 See the note in Appendix. 


Early next morning it was reported that another 
Federal corps, Sherman's, was on the Raymond road, 
twelve miles from Jackson ; and, soon after, intelli- 
gence was received that both it and McPherson's 
were marching toward the place, one on each road. 
A brigade was sent forward to meet each corps, to 
delay the enemy's approach by skirmishing with the 
heads of the two columns. The resistance offered in 
this way so impeded the progress of the Federal 
troops as to give ample time for the evacuation of 
the place, and the removal of such military property 
as we had the means of transporting. 1 Fortunately, 
Major Mims, the chief quartermaster of the depart- 
ment, was in Jackson ; and, foreseeing, from the in- 
telligence received the day before, that a movement 
was inevitable, had begun at once to prepare for it. 

Orders were sent to Brigadier-Generals Gist and 
Maxey, for the security of the troops under their 
respective commands. The train, loaded, left the 
town by the Canton road before two o'clock ; and 
the two brigades were called in, and followed it, 
and encamped about five miles from the town. 
This road was chosen because its direction was more 
favorable than that of any other for effecting a junc- 
tion with the Army of Mississippi. 

While Sherman's and McPherson's corps were 
moving upon Jackson, McClernand's divisions were 

1 In the Federal official report, their skirmishing with Gregg's and 
Walker's brigades is exaggerated into a heavy engagement of two 
hours, in which the Confederate main body was badly beaten and pur- 
sued until night. On the contrary, the skirmishing was trifling, and 
there was nothing like pursuit — into Jackson even. And no body of 
Federal soldiers was discovered by our rear-guard and reconnoitring- 
party between Jackson and our camp. 


ordered to Raymond, Mississippi Springs, and Clin- 

From the events of the 14th, I supposed that 
General Grant intended to occupy Jackson and hold 
it, to prevent the troops then there, and those com- 
ing from the East, from joining Lieutenant-General 
Pemberton's army. That army, including the gar- 
rison of Vicksburg, was probably about thirty-two 
thousand men. 

In the evening of that day a letter was addressed 
to General Pemberton, to inform him of the events 
of the day, and of the instructions given to Briga- 
dier-Generals Gist and Maxey. The hope was also 
expressed in it that those troops would be able to 
prevent General Grant's forces, in Jackson, from ob- 
taining supplies from the East ; and that the troops on 
the Canton road might keep those of the country to 
the north from them. He was asked if he could close 
their communication with the Mississippi, and, above 
all, if he could beat them, should they be compelled, 
by want of supplies, to fall back.' He was told, also, 
that prisoners reported that the force in Jackson con- 
stituted half of Grant's army, and that it would de- 
cide the campaign to beat it ; which could be done 
only by concentrating, especially when the troops 
expected from the East should arrive. 

This letter was not answered. I found the ex- 
planation of this in Lieutenant-General Pemberton's 
report. It was not delivered to him until after the 
battle of Baker's Creek — too late to influence his ac- 

On the 15th the march of Gregg's and Walker's 
troops was continued ten miles, to Calhoun Station. 


While on the way, at ten o'clock a. m., a letter to me, 
from General Pemberton, was delivered by Captain 
Yerger. It was dated Edwards's Depot, 5.40 p. m., 
May 14th, and contained no reference to mine of the 
13th, carried to him by that gentleman, and deliv- 
ered, he told me, about 7 a. m., on the 14th. In 
this note General Pemberton announced that he 
would "move as early as practicable on the 15th, 
with a column of seventeen thousand men, to Dillon's, 
on the main road from Jackson to Port Gibson, " for 
the purpose of" cutting the enemy's communications," 
and compelling them to attack him, as he did not 
think his force sufficient to justify him in attacking. 

The fact that this letter was written almost eleven 
hours after my order had been delivered, and an- 
nounced continued inaction for many more, when 
every hour was so important, was very discouraging, 
especially when the movement for which the prepa- 
rations seemed to be made so deliberately would 
greatly increase the difficulty of our junction. In a 
reply, written and dispatched without delay, General 
Pemberton was told that the only mode by which 
we could unite was by his moving directly to Clin- 
ton and informing me, that I might meet him there 
with about six thousand men. 

As the brigadier-generals represented that their 
troops required rest after the fatigue they had under- 
gone in the skirmishes and marches of the last five 
or six days, and we wanted such intelligence from 
General Pemberton as would enable us to meet him, 
we were stationary on the 16th. 

In the afternoon of that day, a reply to my first 
dispatch to General Pemberton was received, dated 


Bovina, 9.10 o'clock a. m., of tlie 14th. It was to 
inform me that he would move at once, in obedience 
to my order, with his whole available force. He 
said, in conclusion : " In directing this move, I do 
not think you fully comprehend the position that 
Vieksburg will be left in. 1 But I comply at once 
with your order." General Pemberton's letter of a 
later date, received the day before, showed that my 
order, referred to, had been set aside. 

In the evening, a reply to my dispatch of the 
loth was received from General Pemberton, dated 
four miles south of Edwards's Depot, eight o'clock 
a. m., May 16th, saying that my note was received at 
6.30 a. M., and that it found the army on the middle 
road to Kaymond, and that the order to counter- 
march had been given. Then followed a minute and 
clear description of the route he intended to take, to 
direct my course in marching to meet him. He 
added, in a postscript, " Heavy skirmishing is now 
going on in our front." 

General Grant had been told in Jackson, on the 
14th, that Lieutenant-General Pemberton had been 
ordered peremptorily to march from Edwards's Depot 
to attack him in rear. He determined, therefore, to 
concentrate his own forces and fall upon General Pem- 
berton's. For that object, McPherson with two di- 
visions at Jackson, McClernand with three at Kay- 
mond, Hovey with one at Clinton, and Blair with one 
at New Auburn, were ordered, on the 15th, to march 
to Bolton's Depot, eight miles from Edwards's. 

1 It had a garrison of more than two divisions, quite sufficient to 
make it safe, while a Confederate army was employing that of General 
Grant, and was between it and Vieksburg. 


After receiving, at Bovina, early in the morning 
of tine 14th, my order of the night before, directing 
him to march upon Clinton, General Pemberton rode 
to the camp of his army just south of Edwards's De- 
pot, and convened a council of war, composed of his 
general officers, to which he exhibited my note, mak- 
ing a long argument against obedience to the order 
expressed in it. 1 A majority of the members of the 
council voted for moving upon Clinton in obedience 
to orders. A minority advocated a plan for seizing 
the enemy's communications by placing the army on 
the road from Jackson and Raymond to Port Gibson, 
to compel General Grant to attack it. Although 
averse to both opinions, General Pemberton adopted 
that of the minority of his council,* and determined 
to execute a measure which he disapproved, which 
his council of war opposed, and which was in viola- 
tion of the orders of his commander. 

Twenty-four hours after the adoption of this res- 
olution, in the afternoon of the 15th, the army com- 
menced its march, and, after crossing Baker's Creek, 
encamped near Champion Hill, some three miles from 
the ground it had left. It had been compelled to 
march twice as far, however, by the destruction of a 
bridge by a flood in Baker's Creek. 

General Pemberton was informed at night, that 
the camp of a strong body of Federal troops was 
near, in the direction of Bolton. 3 The fires were dis- 
tinctly visible. It was that of Hovey's division, of 
the Thirteenth Corps. 

Early in the morning of the 16th, Lieutenant- 

1 Lieutenant-General Pemberton's official report. a Ibid. 
3 Ibid. 


General Peniberton received my order of the day 
before, and prepared to obey it ' by directing Major- 
General Stevenson to nave the baggage-train turned 
and moved as rapidly as possible across Baker's Creek 
on the road by which they had advanced the day be- 
fore. While the troops were waiting for the clearing 
of the road by this movement, that they might take 
the same direction, Colonel Wirt Adams's cavalry- 
pickets were attacked by the skirmishers of the Fed- 
eral division; upon which Lieutenant-General Peni- 
berton formed his three divisions for battle on a line 
extending from the Kaymond to the Clinton road — 
Lorino-'s division on the right, Bowen's in the centre, 
and Stevenson's on the left. 

In this position the Confederate troops remained 
passive before a single division of the enemy some five 
hours 2 — until near noon — when they were attacked 
by General Grant, who had then completed the con- 
centration of his forces, uninterrupted by his adver- 

When McPherson, with two divisions, had come 
up, and McClernand with four, including Blair's of 
Sherman's corps, was within an hour's march of the 
field, the action was begun by Hovey's division, which 
assailed the left and centre of Stevenson's. Logan's 
division, moving by the right of Hovey's, passed the 
left of Stevenson's line as if to take it in reverse. 
Stevenson transferred Barton's brigade from his right 
to the left rear to meet this movement, while with 
Cumming's and Lee's he opposed Hovey's attack. 

1 At sunrise. (See General Stevenson's report.) 
a General Grant says the action commenced at eleven o'clock — Lieu- 
tenant-General Pemberton says about noon. 


This opposition was so effective that General Hovey 
called for aid, and McPherson's other division, Quim- 
by's, was sent to his assistance. In the mean time 
Lo^an had en^asred Barton, and Stevenson's three 
brigades were forced back by the three Federal 
divisions; and at two o'clock they had lost the 
ground on which they had just stood, many men, 
and much of their artillery. Lieutenant-General 
Pemberton restored the fight by bringing Bowen's 
division, unemployed till then, to the assistance of 

In the mean time, General McClernand, with his 
four divisions, had been confronting Loring — not ven- 
turing to attack, on account of the strength of the 
Confederate position, while Loring felt himself well 
employed in holding four divisions of the enemy in 
check with his single one. • 

After bringing Bowen's troops into action, General 
Pemberton directed Loring to join in it with at least 
a part of his. That officer, for some time, did not 
obey, from the consideration that his movement 
would be followed by that of the corps that he had 
been keeping out of action, and our defeat thus made 

Stevenson's and Bowen's troops, and the reserve 
artillery, well placed and served under the direction 
of Colonel W. E. Withers, its commander, maintained 
the contest until four o'clock ; then the battle seemed 
to be so completely lost that retreat was ordered. 
The withdrawal of the troops that had been engaged 
was covered by Loring with his division ; Feather- 
ston's and Buford's brigades protecting Stevenson's 
and Bowen's divisions in their retreat; and Tilgh- 


man's resisting tlie advance of the enemy by the 
Raymond road. Tilghman himself fell in this duty, 
while encouraging his troops, when hardest pressed, 
by his brave example. 

By the time that Stevenson's and Bowen's divis- 
ions had crossed Baker's Creek, the Federal troops 
were so near the stream as to render its passage 
by Boring's division impracticable; so that officer 
marched southward, and, after passing entirely be- 
yond the enemy's left, turned to the east and led his 
division to Jackson. 

Lieutenant-General Pemberton directed the re- 
treat of Stevenson's division across the Big Black to 
Bovina, near which it bivouacked about one o'clock ; 
but he halted Bowen's troops at a line of rifle-pits, 
three-quarters of a mile in advance of the railroad- 
bridge ; this line had been occupied for several days 
by Vaughn's brigade, which Bowen's troops found 
in it. 

The object of this measure was to defend the 
bridge to enable Boring's division to cross the Big 

In the morning of the 17th the Confederates 
were attacked in these lines by General Grant, with 
McPherson's and McClernand's corps. His vigorous 
assault was scarcely resisted, either because the Con- 
federates had become disheartened by recent events ; 
or else, feeling the danger of fighting a victorious ene- 
my with a river behind them, each was eager to secure 
his own escape by being the first to reach the bridge. 
Sixteen or eighteen field -pieces were abandoned. 
After crossing the river on the railroad-bridge and a 
temporary one near it, these troops were conducted 


to Vicksburg by Major-General Stevenson, with his 
own division. They left the west bank of the Big 
Black about ten o'clock a. m., after destroying the 
bridges. This was by Licutenant-General Pember- 
ton's coram and. 

The Federal army crossed the river on the 18th ; 
McPherson's and McClernand's corps on floating- 
bridges, constructed by them near the railroad, and 
Sherman's, which left Jackson on the 16th, on a pon- 
toon-bridge laid at Bridgeport. Its advanced troops 
skirmished in the afternoon with those in the field- 
works of Vicksburg, 1 and the investment of the place 
was completed on the 19th. 2 

On the 17th the two brigades with me marched 
fifteen or eighteen miles in the direction pointed out 
in Lieuten ant-General Pemberton's- note of the day 
before, and bivouacked on the road leading from 
Livingston to Edwards's Depot. Supposing that the 
Army of Mississippi had marched the clay before 
by the route the general had described, I was confi- 
dent that we should meet it that day, or early in the 
next. At night, however, Captain Henderson, who 
was the commander of General Pemberton's scouts, 
brought me a letter from that officer, written at Bo- 
vina in the morning, in which he said : " I notified 
you, on the morning of the 14th, of the receipt of 
your instructions to move and attack the enemy 
toward Clinton. I deemed the movement very haz- 
ardous, preferring to remain in position behind the 
Big Black, and near to Vicksburg. I called a coun- 
cil of war composed of all the general officers who 
were then with my movable army, and, placing the 

1 General Grant's report. 2 Ibid. 


subject before them (including your instructions) 
in every view in which it appeared to me, asked 
their opinions respectively. A majority of the offi- 
cers expressed themselves favorable to the movement 
indicated by you. The others, including Major-Gen- 
erals Loring and Stevenson, preferred a movement 
by which this army might endeavor to cut off the 
enemy's supplies from the Mississippi. My own 
views were expressed as unfavorable to any move- 
ment which would remove me from my base, which 
was, and is, Vicksburg. I did not, however, see fit 
to place my own judgment and opinions so far in 
opposition as to prevent the movement altogether; 
but, believing the only possibility of success to be 
in the plan proposed, of cutting off the enemy's sup- 
plies, I directed all my disposable force, say seven- 
teen thousand five hundred, toward Eaymond or 
Dillon's, encamping on the night of the 15th at Mrs. 
Ellison's, on the main Eaymond and Edwards's Depot 
road, at a fork from which I could advance either 
to Eaymond or Dillon's." Then came a brief account 
of the circumstances of the battle of Baker's Creek, 
and his retreat to the Big Black Kiver, after which 
he continued: "I am, for the present, holding the 
Big Black bridge, where a heavy cannonading is now 
going on. There are so many points by which I can 
be flanked that I fear I shall be compelled to with- 
draw ; if so, the position at Snyder's Mill will also be 
untenable. General Tilghman was killed yesterday. 
I have about sixty days' rations in Vicksburg and 
Snyder's Mill. I respectfully await your orders." 

Soon after reading this letter, I received, from 
good but unofficial sources, intelligence that the army 


Lad abandoned the line of the Big Black Kiver, and 
fallen back to Vicksburg. On this information my 
fourth order to Lieutenant-Gen eral Pemberton was 
dispatched. It was this : " If Haynes's Bluff is un- 
tenable, Vicksburg is of no value and cannot be held ; 
if, therefore, you are invested in Vicksburg you must 
ultimately surrender. Under such circumstances, in- 
stead of losing both troops and place, we must, if 
possible, save the troops. If it is not too late, evacu- 
ate Vicksburg and its dependencies, and march to the 

I should have joined Lieutenant-General Pember- 
ton's " movable army," and taken command of it, if 
at any time after my arrival in Jackson I had been 
strong enough to attempt such a ride. 

In the hope that my order for the evacuation of 
Vicksburg would be obeyed, I directed that the two 
brigades with me should move to the northwest, to 
expedite their junction with Lieutenant-General 
Pemberton's troops. When about to mount my 
horse next morning, for the day's march, I received a 
dispatch from General Pemberton, dated Vicksburg, 
May 17th, in which he reported that the army had 
been driven from its position on the Big Black Biver, 
" owing to the demoralization consequent upon the 
retreat of yesterday," and " fallen back to the line of 
intrenchments around Vicksburg." In concluding 
his note the writer said : " I greatly regret that I felt 
compelled to make the advance beyond the Big 
Black, which has proved so disastrous in its results." 
This sentence, and the similar one in his previous dis- 
patch of the same day, seemed designed to convey the 
impression that I " compelled him to cross the Big 


Black River from tlie west. His telegram of the 12th, 1 
dispatched "before I entered Mississippi, and his official 
report, 4 prove that before I reached Jackson, where 
my first order to him was written, he had established 
his "movable army" six or seven miles " beyond " 
the river ; and a large detachment (two brigades) 
near Raymond, twelve or fourteen miles still farther 
east. Those papers prove, also, that he had crossed 
the Big Black to give battle to the enemy, and ex- 
pected Edwards's Depot to be the battle-field. 

Early on the 19th, when near Vernon, I received 
Lieutenant-General Pemberton's reply to my note, 
conveying to him the order to evacuate Vicksburg. 
It was dated May 18th. After acknowledging the 
receipt of that order, General Pemberton said : " On 
the receipt of your communication, I immediately as- 
sembled a council of war of the general officers of 
this command, and having laid your instructions be- 
fore them, asked the free expression of their opinions 
as to the practicability of carrying them out. The 
opinion was unanimously expressed that it was im- 
possible to withdraw the army from this position 
with such morale and material as to be of further use 
to the Confederacy. While the council of war was 
assembled, the guns of the enemy opened on the 
works. ... I have decided to hold Vicksburg as long 
as possible, with the firm hope that the Government 
may yet be able to assist me in keeping this obstruc- 
tion to the enemy's free navigation of the Mississippi 
River. I still conceive it to be the most important 
point in the Confederacy." 

Such an estimate of the military value of Vicks- 

1 See page 174. a See General Pemberton's report, page 33. 


burg, expressed five or six weeks earlier, might not 
have seemed unreasonable ; for then the commanders 
of the United States squadrons believed, apparently, 
that its batteries were too formidable to be passed 
by their vessels-of-war. But, when Lieutenant-Gen- 
eral Pemberton wrote the letter quoted from, those 
batteries had been proved to be ineffective, for 
Admiral Porter's squadron had passed them, and in 
that way had made " the severance of the Confeder- 
acy," before the end of April, that General Pember- 
ton apprehended would be permitted, if he obeyed 
my order, to save his army by withdrawing it to the 
northeast, on the 18th of May. 

In my reply to this letter, dispatched promptly, 
I said : " I am trying to gather a force which may 
attempt to relieve you. Hold out." 

On the same day instructions were sent to Major- 
General Gardner, both by telegraph and by courier, 
to evacuate Port Hudson, and march toward Jack- 

After General Pemberton's investment in Vicks- 
burg, there was no longer an object for moving to the 
northwest; Gregg's and "Walker's brigades were, 
therefore, ordered to march to Canton, that they 
might be joined by the reinforcements expected from 
the East, and where, while being equipped for the 
field, they might have the advantage of railroad 

On the 20th and 21st, Gist's brigade, sent by 
General Beauregard, and Ector's and McNair's, from 
General Bragg's army, joined me. Loring's division, 
separated from the army in the retreat, after the 
battle of Baker's Creek, reached Jackson on the 


20th, and Maxey's brigade, from Port Hudson, on 
the 23d. On the 3d of June we had been reenforced, 
in addition to these, by Evans's brigade from South 
Carolina, and Breckenridge's division, and about two 
thousand cavalry from the Army of Tennessee. 1 This 
body of cavalry was commanded by Brigadier-Gen- 
eral W. H. Jackson. 

The Federal army was receiving considerable 
additions in the mean time, estimated by our scouts 
at not less than twenty thousand men. 

The Confederate forces enumerated above, not 
equal to a third of the Federal army, were almost 
without artillery and field transportation, and defi- 
cient in ammunition for all arms ; and could not, 
therefore, have been moved, with any hope of suc- 
cess, against that powerful army, already protected 
by lines of counter and circumvallation. 

All the supplies that had been collected in the 
department were, of course, with the troops in Vicks- 
burg and Port Hudson. 

The troops coming from the East, by railroad, 
had brought neither artillery nor wagons. Frequent 
drafts upon the country had so much reduced the 
number of horses and mules, that it was not until 
near the end of June that artillery and wagons, and 
draught-animals enough for them, could be pro- 
cured, generally from long distances — most of the 
artillery and wagons from Georgia. Some twelve 
pieces, found without carriages, were mounted on 
such as could be made in Canton. 

There was no want of provision and forage in 
the department, but they were still to be collected j 

1 General Bragg's report. 


and we had small means of collecting them, and 
none of transporting them with a moving army. 

On the 23d, a dispatch was received from Major- 
General Gardner, dated 21st, informing me that all 
the Federal forces that had been assembled at Baton 
Rouge were now before Port Hudson, and asking 
for reinforcements. In reply to this, I repeated my 
order to him to evacuate the place, informed him 
that he could not be reenforced, and told him to 
march toward Jackson. This dispatch was never 
delivered, Port Hudson being invested before the 
arrival of the courier who bore it. 

On the 24th such demonstrations were made by 
the enemy, beyond the Big Black and along the 
Yazoo, that Walker was sent with his division to 
Yazoo City, with orders to fortify that point. And 
these demonstrations being repeated, Loring's di- 
vision was sent to Benton on the 31st. In order to 
superintend the preparation necessary to enable the 
troops to march as far as to the position of the army 
investing Vicksburg, and at the same time be ready 
for military ojoerations near the Yazoo, I divided 
each day between Jackson and Canton. 

I can give no better account of the siege of 
Vicksburg than that contained in Lieutenant-General 
Pemberton's dispatches to me during its operations, 
of which I had ten, and occasional verbal messages 
by the officers who bore them. 

On the 24th two were received, dated the 20th 
and 21st. In the first he wrote: "The enemy as- 
saulted our intrenched lines yesterday at two j)oints, 
centre and left, and was repulsed with heavy loss. 
Our loss small. I cannot estimate the enemy's force 


now engaged around Vicksburg at less than sixty 
thousand It is probably more. At this hour (8 a. 
m.) he is briskly cannonading with long-range guns. 
That we may save ammunition, his fire is rarely 
returned. At present, our main necessity is musket- 
caps. Can you not send them to me by hands of 
couriers and citizens % An army will be necessary to 
relieve Vicksburg, and that quickly. Will it not be 
sent ? " The bearer of the note gave a verbal mes- 
sage to the effect that a million caps were required. 

In the second dispatch General Peinberton wrote : 
"The enemy kept up incessant sharp-shooting all 
yesterday, on the left and centre, and picked off our 
officers and men whenever they showed themselves. 
Their artillery-fire was very heavy — ploughed up 
our works considerably, and dismounted two guns in 
the centre. The works were repaired and the guns 
replaced last night. The great question is ammuni- 
tion. The men credit, and are encouraged by, a re- 
port that you are near with a strong force. They 
are fighting in good spirits, and their organization is 
complete." At two o'clock he added : " Brisk mus- 
ketry and artillery fire to-day on centre. Three guns 
dismounted. These will be replaced as far as pos- 
sible. . . . Incessant mortar-firing from the river, and 
last night three gunboats engaged our lower bat- 

I wrote to General Pemberton on the 25th: "My 
last note was brought back by the messenger. Two 
hundred thousand caps have been sent. It will be 
continued as they arrive. Bragg is sending a di- 
vision. When it comes I will move to you. Which 
do you think the best route? How and where is 


the enemy encamped ? What is your force ? " It 
was supposed then that artillery and means of trans- 
portation would be procured before the arrival of 
those troops. I wrote on the 29th : "lam too weak 
to save Vicksburg. Can do no more than attempt 
to save you and your garrison. It will be impos- 
sible to extricate you unless you cooperate, and we 
make mutually-supporting movements. Communi- 
cate your plans and suggestions, if possible." 

Lieutenant-General Pemberton replied on the 3d 
of June : " Have not heard from you since the 29th ; 
enemy continues to work on his intrenchments, and 
very close to our lines ; is very vigilant. I can get 
no information from outside as to your position and 
strength, and very little in regard to the enemy. I 
have heard that ten messengers with caps have been 
captured. In what direction will you move, and 
when ? I hope north of the Jackson road." 

In replying to this dispatch on the 7th, I said : 
" Cooperation is absolutely necessary. Tell us how 
to effect it, and by what routes to approach." 

Lieutenant-General Pemberton wrote on the same 
day : " I am still without information from you, or 
of you, later than your dispatch of the 25th. The 
enemy continues to intrench his position around 
Vicksburg. I have sent out couriers to you almost 
daily. The same men are in the trenches constantly, 
but are in good spirits, expecting your approach. 
The enemy is so vigilant that it is impossible to ob- 
tain reliable information. When may I expect you 
to move, and in what direction? My subsistence 
may be put down for about twenty days." 

On the 10th General Pemberton wrote: "The 



enemy Lombards the city day and niglit from seven 
mortars on opposite side of peninsula ; he also keeps 
up constant fire on our lines with artillery and sharp- 
shooters; we are losing many officers and men. I 
am waiting most anxiously to know your intentions. 
Have heard nothing from you nor of you since 25th 
of May. I shall endeavor to hold out as long as we 
have any thing to eat. ..." On the 12th he said in 
a brief note : ". . . . Yery heavy firing yesterday, from 
niortars and on lines," and on the 15th: "The ene- 
my has placed several very heavy guns in position 
against our works, and is approaching them very 
nearly. His firing is almost continuous. Our men 
are becoming much fatigued, but are still in pretty 
good spirits. I think your movement should be 
made as soon as possible. The enemy is receiving 
reenforcements. "We are living on greatly-reduced 
rations, but, I think, sufficient for twenty days." 

In dispatches dated 14th and 15th I told General 
Pemberton that our joint forces could not compel 
the enemy to raise the siege of Vicksburg, and there- 
fore that we could attempt no more than to save the 
garrison, but that for this exact cooperation was in- 
dispensable ; that my communications could best be 
preserved by my operating north of the railroad ; 
and inquired where an attack upon the enemy by 
me would be most favorable to him. He was also 
informed that Major-General Taylor, with eight 
thousand men, would endeavor to open communi- 
cations with him from Richmond, Louisiana. 

He replied on the 21st : " .... I suggest that, giv- 
ing me full information in time to act, you move 
.by the north of the railroad, drive in the enemy's 

1863.] PEMBERTOX'S PLAX. 195 

pickets at night, and at daylight next morning en- 
gage him heavily with skirmishers, occupying him 
during the entire day ; and that on that night I move 
by the Warren ton road by Hankinson's Ferry ; to 
which point you should previously send a brigade 
of cavalry, with two field-batteries, to build a bridge 
there and hold that ferry; also Hall's and Bald- 
win's, to cover my crossing at Hankinson's. I shall 
not be able to move with my artillery and wagons. 

u I suggest this as the best plan, because all the 
other roads are too strongly intrenched, and the 
enemy in too heavy force for reasonable prospect of 
success, unless you move in sufficient force to compel 
him to abandon his communication with Snyder's 
Mill, which I still hope we may be able to do. . . . " 
Captain Saunders, who brought the dispatch, told 
me that he was directed to say, from Lieutenant-Gen- 
eral Pemberton, that I ought to attempt nothing 
with less than forty thousand men. 

This dispatch was answered on the 2 2d : " Gen- 
eral Taylor is sent by General E. K. Smith to cooper- 
ate with you from the west bank of the river, to 
throw in supplies, and to cross with his forces if ex- 
pedient and practicable. I will have the means of 
moving toward the enemy in a day or two, and will 
try to make a diversion in your favor ; and, if possible, 
communicate with you, though I fear my force is too 
small to effect the latter. I have only two-thirds of 
the force you told Captain Saunders to tell me is the 
least with which I ought to make an attempt. If I 
can do nothing to relieve you, rather than surrender 
the garrison, endeavor to cross the river at the last 
moment, if you and General Taylor communicate." 


Iu a dispatch dated 22d, Lieutenant-General Pem- 
berton suggested that I should propose terms to Gen- 
eral Grant, the surrender of the place but not of the 
troops, adding, however : " I still renew my hope of 
your being, by force of arms, enabled to act with me 
to hold out, if there is hope of our ultimate relief, 
for fifteen days longer. . . . Federals opened all their 
batteries on our lines about half after three this 
morning, and continued the heaviest fire we have yet, 
sustained, until eight o'clock ; but did not assault 
our works. . . . The enemy's works are within twenty- 
five feet of our redan, and also very close on the 
Jackson and Baldwin's Ferry roads. I hope you 
will advance with the least possible delay. My 
men have been thirty-four days and nights in the 
trenches without relief, and the enemy is within con- 
versation distance. We are living on very reduced 
rations. . . ." 

In replying, on the 27th, to Lieutenant-General 
Pemberton's last dispatch, I said that the determina- 
tion manifested by him, and General E. K. Smith's 
expected cooperation, encouraged me to hope that 
something might yet be done to save Vicksburg ; 
but that if it should become necessary to make prop- 
ositions to General Grant, they must be made by 
him, as my making them would be an impolitic •con- 
fession of weakness. 

Whatever may have been written subsequently 
by Lieutenant-General Pemberton, was intercepted 
or lost. The last dispatch received from him while 
in Vicksburg was that of the 2 2d. 

The only intelligence I received from Port Hud- 
son, during the siege, was given by a dispatch from 


Major-General Gardner, dated June lOtli : " I have 
repulsed the enemy in several attacks, but am still 
closely invested. I am getting short of provisions 
and ammunition of all kinds, and should be speedily 
reenforced." This was received in Jackson on the 
15th. In my reply, he was informed that we had 
not the means of relieving the place ; that General 
Taylor, on the opposite side of the Mississippi, would 
give him all the assistance in his power, and that it 
was of the greatest importance that Port Hudson 
should hold out as long as possible, to keep General 
Banks's army employed in the South. This was 
repeated on the 20th. 

In the mean time, my telegraphic correspondence 
with the President and Secretary of War had kept 
them informed of the condition of military affairs 
in Mississippi, especially of the inadequacy of the 
forces they had collected to break the investment of 
Vicksburg. In a telegram of the 24th of May, the 
President said : " .... I hope you will soon be able to 
break the investment, make a junction, and carry in 
munitions. ..." I replied on the 27th :".... Gen- 
eral Pemberton estimates Grant's force at not less 
than sixty thousand. When all reenforcements arrive, 
I shall have about twenty-three thousand. Tel] me if 
additional troops can be furnished." 

On the 28th he wrote by telegraph: " The reen- 
forcements sent you exceed, by say seven thousand, 
the estimate of your dispatch of the 27th instant. 
We withheld nothing which it is practicable to give. 

" And on the 30th : " Added to the forces 

you have from Pemberton's army, he " (the Secretary 
of War) " states your whole force to be thirty-four 


thousand exclusive of militia." ' I replied on the 1st 
of June : " The Secretary of War is greatly mistaken 
in his numbers. By their own returns, the troops at 
my disposal available against Grant are : of Pember- 
ton's, nine thousand seven hundred ; of Bragg's, eight 
thousand four hundred; of Beauregard's, six thou- 
sand ; not including irregular cavalry, nor Jackson's 
command 8 (cavalry), the strength of which I do not 
know. . . ." In a telegram to Mr. Seddon (Secretary 
of War), dated June 2d, I said: " Your letter of the 
25th, and a telegram from the President, show that 
you are misinformed as to the force at my disposal. 
The effective force, infantry and artillery, is, from 
Lieutenant-General Pemberton, nine thousand eight 
hundred and thirty-one ; from General Bragg, seven 
thousand nine hundred and thirty-nine ; from Gen- 
eral Beauregard, six thousand two hundred and 
eighty - three. Brigadier - General Jackson's cavalry 
not arrived, and irregular troops protecting Northern 
and Southern frontiers, not included. Grant is re- 
ceiving continual accessions. Tell me if it is your 
intention to make up the number you gave the 
President as my force, or if I may expect more troops. 
With the present force we cannot succeed, without 
great blunders by the enemy." 

In a telegram of the 3d, Mr. Seddon explained 
his estimate of my force ; asked what his mistake 
was ; expressed great anxiety concerning my " plans," 
and desired me to inform him of them as far as I 

1 1 had no militia, and supposed that the State had none ; for the Con- 
federate military laws put the whole population fit to bear arms under 
the President's control. 

a About two thousand, by General Bragg's report. 


might think it safe to do so. To this I replied on 
the 4th : " The mistake on your part is, that all your 
numbers are too large ; in reference to General Beau- 
regard, nearly as ten to six. The troops you mention, 
including Jackson's, just arrived, are less than twenty- 
six thousand. My only plan is to relieve Vicksburg. 
My force is too small for the purpose. Tell me if 
you can increase it, and how much. Grant is receiv- 
ing reenforcements. Port Hudson is closely invested. 
The great object of the enemy in this campaign is 
to acquire possession of the Mississippi. Can you 
collect here a force sufficient to defeat this object?" 

In Mr. Seddon's next dispatch, dated June 5th, 
he said : " .... I regret my inability to promise more 
troops, as we have drained resources even to the dan- 
ger of several points. You know best concerning 
General Bragg's army, but I fear to withdraw more. 
We are too far outnumbered in it l to spare any. You 
must rely on what you have, and the irregular forces 
Mississippi can afford." On the 8th he asked, on the 
same subject, "Do you advise more reenforcements 
from General Bragg ? " I replied on the 10th : " I have 
not at my disposal half the number of troops neces- 
sary. It is for the Government to determine what 
department, if any, can furnish the reenforcements 
required." The Secretary's dispatch, in cipher, could 
be only partially deciphered. On the 12th, some- 
thing more being understood, the answer was con- 
tinued: "To take from Bragg a force that would 
make this army fit to oppose Grant's, would involve 
yielding Tennessee. It is for the Government to de- 

1 In Mr. Davis's quotation, in his letter of July 15th, this word is 
"Virginia." In the dispatch to me it is a word of two letters. 


cide between this State and Tennessee." A dupli- 
cate of this dispatch of the 8th was deciphered and an- 
swered on the 15th : " I cannot advise as to the points 
from which troops can best be taken, having no means 
of knowing. Nor is it for me to judge which it is 
best to hold, Mississippi or Tennessee — that is for 
the Government to determine. Without some great 
blunder of the enemy, we cannot hold both. The 
odds against me are much greater than those you 
express (two to one). I consider saving Vicksburg 

Mr. Seddon replied on the 16th : "Your telegram 
grieves and alarms me. Vicksburg must not be lost 
without a desperate struggle. The interest and honor 
of the Confederacy forbid it. I rely on you still to 
avert the loss. If better resources do not offer, you 
must attack. It may be made in concert with the 
garrison, if practicable, but otherwise, without — by 
day or night, as you think best." 

I wrote in answer to this on the 19th: "I think 
that you do not appreciate the difficulties in the course 
you direct, nor the probability and consequences of 
failure. Grant's position, naturally very strong, is 
intrenched, and protected by powerful artillery, and 
the roads obstructed. His reenforcements have been 
at least equal to my whole force. The Big Black 
covers him from attack, and would cut off our retreat 
if defeated. We cannot combine operations with 
General Pemberton, from uncertain and slow commu- 
nication. The defeat of this little army would at 
once open Mississippi and Alabama to Grant. I will 
do all I can, without hope of doing more than aid to 
extricate the garrison." 

1863.] SEDDON'S DISPATCH. 201 

Mr. Secldon rejoined on the 21st : " Consequences 
are realized and difficulties recognized as being very 
great. But I still think, other means failing, the 
course recommended should be hazarded. The aim, 
in my judgment, justifies any risk, and all probable 
consequences." In another telegram of the same date, 
he added : " Only my conviction of almost impera- 
tive necessity for action, induces the official dispatch 
I have just sent you. On every ground I have great 
deference for your superior knowledge of the position, 
your judgment, and military genius, but feel it right 
to share — if need be, to take — the responsibility, and 
leave you free to follow the most desperate course 
the occasion may demand. Rely upon it, the eyes 
and hopes of the whole Confederacy are upon you, 
with the full confidence that you will act, and with 
the sentiment that it is better to fail nobly daring, 
than, through prudence even, to be inactive. I look 
to attack in the last resort, but rely on your resources 
of generalship to suggest less desperate modes of 
relief. I can scarce dare to suggest, but might it not 
be possible to strike Banks first, and unite the gar- 
rison of Port Hudson with you, or to secure sufficient 
cooperation from General Smith, or to practically be- 
siege Grant by operations with artillery, from the 
swamps, now dry, on the north side of the Yazoo, 
below Haynes's Bluff? I rely upon you for all pos- 
sible to save Vicksburg." 

I explained, on the 24th : " There has been no 
voluntary inaction. When I came, all military ma- 
terials of the department were in Vicksburg and 
Port Hudson. Artillery had to be brought from the 
East ; horses for it, and field transportation, procured 


in an exhausted country; much from Georgia, brought 
over wretched railroads ; and provision collected. I 
have not had the means of moving. We cannot con- 
tend with the enemy north of the Yazoo. He can 
place a large force there in a few hours — we, a small 
one, in ten or twelve days. We cannot relieve Port 
Hudson without giving up Jackson, by which we 
should lose Mississippi. . . ." 

The want of field transportation was then delay- 
ing an expedition toward Vicksburg. That want 
inside it impossible, then, to march the much longer 
distance to Port Hudson, even if it had been expedi- 
ent to do so. But such an expedition, by us, would 
have enabled General Grant to destroy our army, 
for, by the help of his strong lines, two-thirds of his 
forces could have been sent to intercept us, while the 
other maintained the investment of Vicksburg. 

On the 28th, the necessary supplies and field 
transportation having been procured, the equipment 
of the artillery completed, and a serviceable floating- 
bridge finished (the first constructed having proved 
a failure), the army ' was ordered to march next morn- 
ing toward the Big Black Kiver. In the afternoon 
of July 1st, Loring's, French's, and Walker's divisions 
bivouacked near Birdsong's Ferry, on that river, and 
Breckenridge's, with the floating-bridge, near Ed- 
wards's Depot. The cavalry, under General W. H. 
Jackson, was placed in observation along the river. 

This expedition was not undertaken in the wild 
spirit that dictated the dispatches from the War De- 
partment, of the 16th and 21st of June. I did not 

1 The " effective force" was a little above twenty thousand infantry 
and artillery, and two thousand cavalry. 


indulge in " the sentiment " that it was "better for me 
to waste the lives and blood of "brave soldiers, " than, 
through prudence even," to spare them ; and there- 
fore intended to make such close and careful exami- 
nation of the enemy's lines as might enable me to 
estimate the probability of our being able to break 
them; and, should the chances of success seem to 
justify it, attack in the hope of breaking them, and 
rescuing the army invested in Vicksburg. There 
was no hope of saving the place by raising the siege. 

In providing the means necessary for this expe- 
dition, I had looked to the employment of at least 
three days in reconnaissance, and thought it necessary 
to provide food and wagons for the Vicksburg troops, 
who, if the attempt to extricate them should prove 
successful, might be expected to join us with no 
other sujyplies than the ammunition in their car- 

Reconnaissances, to which the 2d, 3d, and 4th of 
July were devoted, convinced me that no attack upon 
the Federal position, north of the railroad, was practi- 
cable. They confirmed the previous reports of our 
scouts, that the besieging army was covered by a 
line of field-works, extending from the railroad-bridge 
to the Yazoo ; that the roads leading to this line had 
all been obstructed with felled trees, and that strong 
bodies of Federal infantry and cavalry observed and 
guarded the river. This observation of ours, how- 
ever, was not extended below the railroad. 

I determined to move on the morning of the 5th, 
by Edwards's Depot, to the south of the road — think- 
ing, from the reports of the ofiicers who had recon- 
noitred on that side, that the Federal works there 


were less strong, and the river unguarded, and the 
chances of success, therefore, much better on that 
side; although the consequences of defeat would 
have been more disastrous, as General Sherman's 
troops, in the line between the bridge and Yazoo, 
might have intercepted retreat. 

On the 3d a courier from Vicksburg arrived, but 
without dispatches from General Pemberton. He 
had been in such danger of capture, he said, as to 
think it necessary to destroy the letter he was bring- 
ing. He had left Vicksburg on the 28th of June, 
and the letter had that date. In a note dispatched 
at night General Pemberton was informed of this ; 
and told that we were about to attempt to create a 
diversion, to enable him to cut his way out of the 
place, and hoped to attack the enemy, for this ob- 
ject, on the 7th. 

But, in the evening of the 4th, intelligence of the 
surrender of Vicksburg was received ; in consequence 
of which the army fell back to Jackson, which it 
reached on the afternoon of the 7th. 


General Sherman advances on Jackson with Large Force. — Dispositions made 
for its Defense. — Correspondence by Telegraph with the President. — Daily 
Skirmishing. — Enemy expected to attack. — Instead of attacking, begin a 
Siege. — Evacuation of Jackson. — Army withdrawn to Morton. — Enemy, 
after burning much of Jackson, retire to Vicksburg. — Relieved of Com- 
mand of Department of Tennessee. — General Bragg' s Telegram; Suggestion 
too late. — Review of the Mississippi Campaign. — Visit Mobile to examine 
its Defenses. — Letter from the President, commenting harshly on my Mili- 
tary Conduct. — My Reply to it. — Congress calls for the Correspondence. — 
My Letter not furnished. — Both Letters. — Events during the Fall. — Ordered 
to take Command of the Army at Dalton. — Arrive on 26th and assume 
Command on 27th of December. 

About seven o'clock in the morning of the 9th 
of July General Sherman, with three corps of the 
Federal army, appeared before the slight line of field- 
works thrown up for the defense of Jackson by Gen- 
eral Pemberton's orders. These works, consisting of 
a very light line of rifle-pits, with low embankments 
at intervals to cover field-pieces, extended from a 
point north of the town, and a little east of the Can- 
ton road, to one south of it within a short distance 
of Pearl River, and covered the approaches to the 
place west of the river. These intrenchments were 
very badly located and constructed, and offered very 
slight obstacle to a vigorous assault. 

The commanding officers of the comparatively 
small bodies of our troops that had encamped near 
Jackson in May and June, had reported that no oth- 


er supply of water for troops was to be found than 
that of Pearl River. This led me to believe that the 
Federal army, which, as General Jackson reported, 
advanced from Clinton in a deep order of battle, 
could not besiege us, but would be compelled to 
make an immediate assault. This army consisted of 
three corps and a division. Notwithstanding the 
great superiority of numbers against them, the spirit 
and confidence manifested by the Confederate troops 
were so great, that I felt assured that, with the ad- 
vantage given by our intrenchments, weak as they 
were, they would repel any assault certainly and de- 

On the appearance of the enemy, our troops took 
the positions in the line of defense assigned to them 
the day before, in expectation of an immediate at- 
tack — Major-General Loring's division on the right, 
crossing the Canton road; Major-General Brecken- 
ridge's on the left, crossing the New Orleans Rail- 
road ; Major-General French's between Breckenridge's 
and the Clinton road ; and Major-General Walker's 
between that road and Loring's. Brigadier-General 
Jackson was directed to observe and guard the fords 
of Pearl River above and below the town with his 

Instead of attacking as soon as it came up, as we 
had been hoping, the Federal army intrenched itself, 
and began to construct batteries. 

On the 10th there was spirited skirmishing, with 
a light cannonade, continuous throughout the day. 
This was kept up, with varying intensity and but lit- 
tle interruption, until the period of our evacuation. 
Hills within easy cannon-range, commanding and en- 

1863.] SIEGE OF JACKSOK 207 

circling the town, offered very favorable sites for 
Federal batteries. A cross-fire of shot and shell 
reached all parts of the town, showing that the posi- 
tion would be untenable under the fire of a power- 
ful artillery. Such, as it was ascertained, was soon 
to be brought to bear upon it. 

On the 11th, I described to the President, by 
telegraph, the weakness of the position, and the de- 
fects of the intrenched line; and explained that want 
of supplies, which we had been unable to collect, 
made it impossible to stand a siege ; and therefore, 
unless the enemy should attack us, we must at the 
last moment abandon the place ; for we could not 
make a serious attack without exposing ourselves to 
destruction. Brisk skirmishing was continued until 

On the 12th, besides the usual skirmishing, there 
was increased fire of artillery, especially by batteries 
near the Canton road, and those immediately to the 
south of that, to Clinton. The missiles fell in all 
parts of the town. An assault, though not a vigor- 
ous one, was made on Breckenridge's front. It was 
quickly repulsed, however, by the well-directed fire 
of Slocomb's and Cobb's batteries, and a flank attack 
by the skirmishers of the First, Third, and Fourth 
Florida, and Forty-seventh Georgia regiments. The 
enemy lost about two hundred prisoners, the same 
number killed, many wounded, and the colors of the 
Twenty-eighth, Forty-first, and Fifty-third Illinois 
regiments. The attacking troops did not advance 
far enough to be exposed to the fire of Breckenridge's 

On the 13th the Federal lines had been so ex- 


tended that "both flanks rested, upon Pearl Kiver. 
Colonel C. A. Fuller, of Lieutenant-General Pember- 
ton's staff, arrived from Vicksburg, and informed us 
of the terms of the capitulation. The garrison was 
paroled and permitted, to return to the Confederacy, 
officers retaining their side-arms and personal bag- 
gage. He stated, also, that, at the time of surren- 
der, about eighteen thousand men were reported fit 
for duty in the trenches, and about six thousand 
sick and wounded in the hospitals. And the esti- 
mates for rations to be furnished to the troops of 
the garrison by the United States commissary de- 
partment were based on a total of thirty-one thou- 
sand men. 

On the 14th our scouts reported that a large 
train, loaded with artillery-ammunition, had left 
Vicksburg by the Jackson road. The enemy was 
observed to be actively employed in the construction 
of batteries on all suitable positions. He was evi- 
dently preparing to concentrate upon us the fire of 
about two hundred pieces of ordnance. This made 
it certain that the abandonment of Jackson could be 
deferred little longer. General Jackson was directed, 
however, to endeavor to intercept and destroy the 
ammunition-train, to postpone at least the necessity 
of abandoning the place. 

In reporting these things to the President by 
telegraph on the 15th, I said that the enemy would 
make no assault, but had begun a siege which we 
could not resist, and that it would be madness on 
our part to attack him. 

Early in the afternoon of the 16th it was ascer- 
tained that the attempt by our cavalry to intercept 


the ammunition-train from Vicksburg had failed, and 
that the train was near the Federal camp. This, and 
the advanced condition of the enemy's batteries, 
made it probable that the fire of all his artillery 
would, commence next day. The evacuation of Jack- 
son that night was decided on and accomplished be- 
fore daybreak. All public property, and the sick and 
wounded, except a few not in condition to bear re- 
moval, had been carried to the rear, to Brandon and 
beyond. The right wing marched on the new, and 
the left on the old Brandon road, crossing the Pearl 
River on the bridges prepared for the expedition 
beyond the Big Black, which had been laid by Cap- 
tain Lockett, the engineer-officer who constructed 
them, at the two ferries of the river. They were de- 
stroyed by the cavalry rear-guard, after the troops had 

By the division reports our loss in Jackson was 
seventy-one killed, five hundred and four wounded, 
and twenty-five missing. 

At Brandon, where we halted several hours, some 
of our soldiers who, according to their own accounts, 
were asleep when the troops left Jackson, rejoined 
their regiments. They said that they had left the 
town at seven or eight o'clock, and that, apparent- 
ly, the enemy had not then discovered its evacua- 

I intended to place the troops in a position near 
Brandon, and encamp on the nearest stream, but 
the water was neither good nor sufficiently abundant. 
The movement eastwardly was therefore resumed on 
the 18th, and continued at the rate of six or eight 
miles a day, in search of good camping-ground, until 


the 20th, when we halted three or four miles west 
of Morton. 

Two divisions of Federal infantry and a body of 
cavalry, drove our cavalry rear-guard through Bran- 
don on the 19th, and returned to Jackson on the 
20th. The object of the expedition seemed to be 
the destruction of the railroad-bridges and depot, to 
which the outrage of setting fire to the little town, 
and burning the greater part of it, was added. 

On the 12th I received from Colonel J. L. Logan, 
commanding a small brigade of cavalry in the south- 
ern part of the State, intelligence of the surrender of 
Port Hudson on the 9th. This report was confirmed 
by Major Jackson, General Gardner's adjutant-general, 
who stated that the stock of provisions was ex« 
hausted, and but twenty-five hundred of the garrison 
were fit for duty at the time of surrender. 

Federal forces advanced against Yazoo City, both 
by land and water, on the 13th. The attack by the 
gunboats was handsomely repulsed by the heavy 
battery, under the direction of Commander J. N. 
Brown, Confederate States Navy. The De Kalb, the 
flag-ship of the United States squadron, an iron- 
clad, carrying thirteen guns, was sunk by a torpedo. 
The garrison, commanded by the lieutenant-colonel 
of the Twenty-ninth North Carolina regiment, of- 
fered little, if any, resistance to the enemy's land- 

The Federal army remained only five or six days 
in Jackson, but in that short time it destroyed all of 
the town so closely built that fire could communicate 
from house to house ; its rear-guard left the place, for 
Ticksburg, on the 23d. 


On that day the following telegram from General 
Cooper, dated 22d, reached me : " In conformity with 
your expressed wish, you are relieved from the fur- 
ther command of the Department of Tennessee, which, 
as advised by you, is united to that of East Tennessee, 
so as to extend General Bragg's command over the 
department of General Buckner." 

On the 18th a dispatch, dated 17th, was received 
from General Bragg, in which he suggested the 
transfer of his troops to Mississippi, and an effort to 
defeat the Federal army with our combined forces. 
It was too late: such a combination might have 
been advantageous before or during the siege of 
Vicksburg : but not after its disastrous termination. 

It was notorious that, after the events just re- 
lated, the President censured me very strongly and 
openly ; ascribed the loss of Vicksburg to my mis- 
conduct, and asserted that, with the means placed by 
him at my disposal, I could have defeated the besieg- 
ing army, or, at least, broken the investment of the 

Telegraphic correspondence with the President 
and Secretary of War, and the returns of the troops, 
made by their immediate commanders, informed 
them accurately of the whole strength of my com- 
mand. 1 Sickness, and details for various employ- 
ments out of the ranks, reduced the fighting force of 
that command to about twenty thousand before it 
could be equipped for the field. 

• General Grant's army was estimated at sixty 
thousand when it crossed the Mississippi, and, imme- 
diately after the investment of Vicksburg, it began 

1 See -page 198. 


to receive accessions which socn increased it to 
eighty thousand, according to the reports of our 
scouts in observation along the Mississippi. It is 
unlikely that this is an exaggeration; for General 
Grant Lad a hundred and thirty thousand men at 
his disposal for the siege. 1 Before my little force 
was in condition to take the field, the besiegers were 
as strongly intrenched as the besieged. And more 
than half their number, under General Sherman, 
were charged with the defense of the works cover- 
ing the operations of the siege against attack from 
without. General Pemberton's army and mine were 
nearly equal. His was enabled by its fortifications 
to repulse all the assaults of the enemy, and Yicks- 
burg was reduced by blockade. It is certain, there- 
fore, that some twenty thousand Confederates could 
not have stormed intrenchments as strong as those 
of Vicksburg, and defended by more than twice their 
number of soldiers. It is equally certain that fail- 
ure would have brought ruin upon us, for an unford- 
able river in the rear would have barred retreat. 

The opinions of Governor Pettus and four other 
prominent Southern gentlemen who were in Jackson, 
and, having the same sources of information, knew 
as well as the Administration the relative forces of 
the belligerents in Mississippi, were in full agreement 
with mine. I give their opinions as expressed by 
themselves, in a telegram dated Jackson, June 18, 

"President Davis: From information derived 
from the military authorities here, we are convinced 

1 Badeau's "Life of General Grant." 


that it will require not less than thirty thousand 
additional troops to relieve Vicksburg. The with- 
drawal of these troops may possibly involve the sur- 
render of all Middle Tennessee to the enemy. The 
failure to reenforce to this extent, certainly involves 
the loss of the entire Mississippi Valley. General 
Johnston believes that the question should be de- 
cided by the Government, and we concur with 
him. We respectfully submit that Vicksburg, and 
the country dependent upon it, should be held at 
every sacrifice, and that you order the requisite 
number of troops to be sent forward with that 
view. It is unnecessary to say that time is all im- 
portant ; and that the decision should be pronrptly 

" John J. Pettus, E. Barksdale, 
A. G. Brown, W. P. Harris." 

D. F. Kennek, 

After all reinforcements had been received, in a 
dispatch to the President dated June 3d, Governor 
Pettus had expressed the ojDinion that our army was 
too small for the objects to be accomplished ; and 
urged his excellency to "send such reinforcements 
as would give guarantee of success." 

The President said in his reply, dated June 5th : 
" .... I have riot the power to comply with the re- 
quest you make. Had it been otherwise, your ap- 
plication would have been anticipated . . . . " Thus 
admitting the inadequacy of my forces. 

Lieutenant-General Pemberton also confirmed my 
opinion that my force was inadequate, by warning' 

1 See page 195, message by Captain Saunders. 


me that forty thousand was the smallest number of 
troops with which I should attempt to force the 
Federal line of circumvallation. 

Lieutenant-General Pemberton also maintained 
that I produced the disasters to our cause in his de- 
partment — not, however, by failing to attack the 
besieging army in its intrenchments, according to the 
expressed desire ' of the Administration, but by giv- 
ing him orders that caused the disastrous battle of 
Baker's Creek, on the 16th of May, and thus led to 
the siege and capture of Vicksburg. That idea is the 
foundation of Lieutenant-General Pemberton's de- 
fense, in his " Report of the Operations previous to 
and during the Siege of Vicksburg." This report, 
dated August 2d, was transmitted to the War De- 
partment on the 25th, from Gainesville, Alabama, 
where the writer then was. This fact came to my 
knowledge on the 12th of September, and I imme- 
diately reminded the War Department that the re- 
port should have been made to me, General Pember- 
ton's commander, during the operations to which it 
related, and requested that it should be transmitted 
to me. No reply was received. After waiting until 
the 6th of October, I repeated the request. On the 
8th, the War Department promised that, as soon 
as the reports and sub-reports could be copied, I 
"should be furnished." As these papers, when 
published, made a hundred and seventy-five large, 
closely-printed pages, the copy promised was not re- 
ceived until the end of the month. In this elabo- 
rate document, the author makes a mistake, by no 

1 In the telegrams of the Secretary of "War, one dated the 16th, and 
two the 21st of June. 


means unusual, that of regarding accusation of me, 
whom he had selected for an adversary, as defense 
of himself. 

Although this report is probably the longest on 
record, compared with the operations described, the 
Secretary of War took the very unusual course of sug- 
gesting, as he did ' in a letter to General Pemberton, 
dated October 1st, an additional one, to strengthen 
its weak points, which were indicated. This was 
made, dated November 10th ; and, after General Pem- 
berton had read my report in the war office, he 
asked and obtained permission to offer a second sup- 
plemental one. This is explained by Mr. Seddon, in 
a letter published with the reports, thus : " After see- 
ing the report of General Johnston, General Pember- 
ton considered his reply to that letter" (Mr. Seddon's 
of October 1st) " as not so fully elucidating the ]5oints 
of inquiry as the additional details presented by 
GeneralJohnston rendered appropriate and necessary. 
He therefore asked the privilege of making a further 
reply, 'which, injustice to himself" (the honorable 
Secretary naively acids), "was accorded." The addi- 
tional comments upon my conduct thus published, 
with no opportunity on my part for defense, are 
almost as long as my whole report. The facts that 
the Administration, after reading General Pember- 
ton's report, desired him to strengthen his case in a 
maimer which it pointed out, and permitted him, 
after studying my defense, to reply to it in another 
supplemental report, show very clearly how little it 
occupied itself with "justice" to me. 

Notwithstanding these advantages on his part, 

1 He says in that letter, " at the suggestion of the President." 


who, by his manner of using them, constituted him- 
self my adversary, I should have made no comments 
on these publications, but should have limited my 
defense to the preceding narrative ; because it is dis- 
tasteful, even painful to me, although in self-defense, 
to write unfavorably of a brother officer, who, no 
doubt, served to the best of his ability ; the more so, 
because that officer was, at the time, severely judged 
by the Southern people, who, on the contrary, have 
always judged me with their hearts instead of their 
minds. But Lieutenant-General Pemberton has re- 
cently revived the question, and published, or rather 
procured to be published, a longer, more elaborate, 
and more uncandid attack upon me than those con- 
tained in his official report, and its two supple- 

In these publications, General Pemberton endeav- 
ors, by implication, as well as by direct assertion, to fix 
upon me the responsibility for the course, on his part, 
which led him to defeat at Baker's Creek and the Big 
Black River, and caused the capture of Vicksburg and 
the gallant army that formed its garrison. I assert, on 
the contrary, that, in the short campaign preceding the 
siege of Vicksburg, he obeyed none of my orders, and 
regarded none of my instructions; and that his dis- 
asters were due to his own misapprehension of the 
principles of the warfare he was directing. He would 
have observed those principles by assailing the Fed- 
eral troops with at least three divisions, instead of 
two or three brigades, on the 1st of May, when they 
were divided in the passage of the Mississippi ; or, 
after that time, by attacking McPherson's and McCler- 
naud's corps with all his forces, near Hankinson's 


Ferry, 1 where tliey waited for Sherman's until the 
8th ; 9 or, having failed to seize those opportunities, 
by falling upon McClernand's corps on the 12th, 3 when 
it was between Fourteen-mile Creek and his camp, 
near Edwards's Depot, and Sherman's and McPher- 
son's corps were at and near Raymond. On all those 
occasions, the chances of success would have been 
decidedly in his favor, and the consequences of vic- 
tory much greater, and of defeat much less, to him 
than to his adversary. 

It was evident, after the 12th, that the Federal 
army had passed to the east of General Pemberton's 
position near Edwards's Depot, and, consequently, 
that that army must defeat General Pemberton's be- 
fore it could "assault" Vieksburg; so that there was 
no shadow of reason to keep two divisions in the 
town. Those two divisions, and four brigades de- 
tached, including Gregg's 4 and Walker's, ordered to 
Jackson, could and should have been in the battle of 
Baker's Creek, and would have increased the Confed- 
erate force on that field to nearly thirty-five thousand 
men. Such an army, respectably commanded, must 
have won, for Hovey's division was unsupported 6 till 
eleven o'clock, when McPherson with his two divisions 
arrived by the Jackson road. It was at least an hour 8 
later when McClernand's corps appeared, coming from 
Raymond. The advantage of engaging the three 
fractions of the Federal army successively, would, 
inevitably, have given General Pemberton the vic- 
tory ; and, as the enemy had abandoned their coininu- 

1 General Grant's report. 

9 This would have been obedience, too, to my instructions of May 
1st and 2d. {See page 170.) s General Grant's report. 

4 See page 175. 5 General Grant's report. • Ibid. 


ideations, such a result would have been more disas- 
trous to them than that of the siege of Vicksburg 
was subsequently to the Southern army. 

In like manner, when the defense of the Bi^ 
Black Biver was decided upon, all available troops, 
including those in Vicksburg, should have been con- 
centrated for the object. The opposite principle that 
had been controlling Confederate operations since 
the 1st, governed, however, on the 17th. And, in- 
stead of strengthening and encouraging the defeated 
remnant of his army by bringing two fresh divisions 
into it, General Pemberton further discouraged that 
disheartened remnant, by leaving one-half in front 
of the river to fight, and sending the other behind 
it, to bivouac some two miles in rear. 

General Pemberton received four orders from me 
during this canrpaign. 

The first, 1 dated May 1st, and repeated on the 
2d, directed him to attack the Federal army with all 
his forces united for the purpose. 

The second, 4 dated May 13th, is that by which 
he professes to have been instigated to the movement 
which entangled him with Federal skirmishers in 
the morning of the 16th, and involved him in the 
battle which he lost. He was ordered to march 
seventeen miles to the east, for the expressed object 
of attacking a large detachment, in conjunction with 
the troops in Jackson, to reopen his communications 
and enable coming reinforcements to join him. His 
intended movement was to a point nine and a half 
miles almost south, for the avowed object of compel- 
ling the Federal army to attack him in a position 
1 See pago 170. 9 See page 170. 


where our cooperation would nave been impossible, 
and where reinforcements could not have reached 
him. He was ordered to the east, to take part in 
a combined attack upon a detachment. He moved 
southward, to fight an army in a position where aid 
could not have reached him. His movement defeated 
my purpose, distinctly expressed to him, of uniting 
all the expected reenforcements with his army, a 
measure necessary to give reasonable hope of success. 
Yet, in all his publications on the subject, General 
Pemberton repeats the assertion, that obedience to 
this order exposed him to attack and led to his de- 
feat — when his design and objects, and mine, were 
founded on exactly oj)posite military principles. 

But this march of Peniberton's would have in- 
volved no other commander in a battle. He moved 
but three or four miles on the 15th. The j)resence 
of the enemy was reported to him that night. 1 It 
frustrated the intention in such slow course of execu- 
tion; therefore, he must have felt himself free to re- 
turn to the " chosen ground " a near Edwards's Depot, 
on which his " matured plans " were to have been 
executed. His army could have marched to it in 
about an hour. 

Even if he had a right to think himself acting un- 
der my order on the 15th, he could not have thought 
so on the 16th ; for at 6.30 a. m. 3 he received my third 
order, again directing him to march to the east to 
meet me, that our troops might be united. Obedi- 
ence was easy, for the engagement did not begin 

1 See his second supplemental report. 

2 See first supplemental report. 

9 See General Pemberton's report, p. 37. 


until near mid-clay ; and in the mean time there was 
"but a division of the enemy before him. Instead of 
remaining passive four or five hours, until the Fed- 
eral army was ready to attack him, he could have 
extricated himself in a few minutes from the skir- 
mishers of a force so inferior to his own, and obeyed 
the last order. Instead of pursuing this obvious 
course, General Pemberton remained inactive while 
General Grant was assembling his forces and prepar- 
ing to attack him. 

In discussing this question, Lieutenant-General 
Pemberton assumes that the loss of the battle of 
Baker's Creek was inevitable. It certainly was made 
probable by the complete separation of Gregg's and 
Walker's brigades ' from his army, and his detaching 
Vaughn's and Reynold's. The presence of these 
four brigades on the field would have added not 
less than ten thousand men to his fighting force. It 
is not unreasonable to think that such an addition 
would have given us the victory ; for but three Fed- 
eral divisions actually fought, while four were held 
in check by Loring, or rather, by two of Loring's 
three brigades. 8 

In looking for the causes of the Confederate re- 
verses in this campaign, it is needless to go beyond 
Lieutenant-General Pemberton's startling disclosure, 
that his movement from Edwards's Depot 8 in viola- 
tion of my orders, and in opposition to the opinion 
of his council of war, "was made against his judg- 
ment, in opposition to his previously-expressed in- 

1 See General Pemberton's report, pp. 205, 206. 

2 See General Grant's report. 

8 See General Pemberton's report, p. 44. 


tentions, and to the subversion of Lis matured plans." 
The author of such a measure might well regard 
defeat inevitable in a battle brought on by it. 

To be successful in that campaign, it was neces- 
sary that the Confederate general should comprehend 
that he must defeat the invading army in the field, 
and that Vicksburg must fall if besieged. 

The invading army could not be defeated without 
the concentration of the Confederate forces; but 
they were always more divided than the much more 
numerous army of the enemy. And the whole course 
of the Confederate general indicates a determination, 
from the beginning, to be besieged in Vicksburg. 

Our best opportunity to engage the Federal army 
was, manifestly, while it was divided in the passage 
of the Mississippi. Such a force as that which Lieu- 
ten ant-General Pemberton 'afterward placed near 
Edwards's Depot, used for this object, and directed 
with vigor, would have had all reasonable chance of 
success. As well convinced of it then as now, I di- 
rected Lieutenant-General Pemberton to attack the 
enemy with all his force, as soon as I was informed, 
by his dispatch of May 1st, that Major -General 
Bowen had been attacked by a large body of Fed- 
eral troops. This order was repeated on the 2d, only 
to be disregarded. Advantageous opportunities to 
engage the Federal army were offered continually, 
until the investment of Vicksburg ; for, until then, 
that army had been united but three or four of the 
twenty days elapsed since it began to cross the Mis- 

If Lieutenant-General Pemberton had obeyed 
either of my orders to march eastwardly from Ed- 


wards's, an army of thirty-five thousand men might 
Lave been formed. Such a force, properly command- 
ed, would have prevented the siege of Vicksburg. 

Being confident that, should Vicksburg be be- 
sieged, a Confederate force sufficient to break the 
investment would not be assembled for the purpose, 
as well as of the fact that it and Port Hudson had 
lost their importance since the occupation of the 
river between them by many Federal vessels-of-war, 
I directed the evacuation of both places. Port Hud- 
son was invested before the order reached General 
Gardner, if it ever reached him. It was received by 
General Pemberton, 1 but set aside, by advice of a 
council of war; for the extraordinary reason that, 
" it was impossible to withdraw the army from this 
position " 2 (Vicksburg) " with such morale and ma- 
terial as to be of further service to the Confederacy." 
This assertion was fully refuted by the courage and 
constancy with which " the army" faced the dangers 
and endured the labors and hardships of a long siege. 

Lieutenant-General Pemberton dwells much upon 
his want of cavalry, which he attributes to me ; and- 
repeatedly refers to his aj^plications to me for troops 
of that arm. These applications specified that the 
troops were required to repel raids in Northern Mis- 
sissippi. Indeed, General Pemberton's whole corre- 
spondence with me in April indicated that he was 
much more apprehensive of predatory incursions, 
than of the formidable invasion preparing under his 

1 This was my fourth order to General Pemherton ; see p. 181, for 
this order. 

9 See p. 49 of General Pemberton's report. 


About the 20th of April, General Bragg was re- 
quested by me to send a strong brigade of cavalry 
into Mississippi. He promptly sent the nearest and 
strongest, General Eoddy's. That brigade encoun- 
tered the very troops, from Corinth, whose incursions 
General Pemberton wished to meet ; and were contend- 
ing with threefold odds of those troops, while the 
Federal army was crossing the Mississippi. They 
were thus employed in the service for which they 
were required, in his opinion. 

Lieutenant-General Pemberton says: "With a 
moderate cavalry force at my disposal, I am firmly 
convinced that the Federal army under General Grant 
would have been unable to maintain its communica- 
tions with the Mississippi ; and that the attempt to 
reach Jackson and Vicksbur^ from that base would 
have been as signally defeated in May, 1863, as a 
like attempt, from another base, had, by the employ- 
ment of cavalry, been defeated in December, 1862." 

In its march from Bruinsburg by Port Gibson to 
Jackson, and thence to Yicksburg, the Federal army 
'drew its supplies from the country ; and did not in 
the least depend on " its communications with the 
Mississippi." Consequently, cavalry placed on what 
General Pemberton regarded as "its communica- 
tions," would have been altogether useless. Major- 
General Van Dorn's success, referred to, was obtained 
by the surprise of the garrison of Holly Springs and 
the destruction of General Grant's military supplies 
in depot in the town. At the time in question, Gen- 
eral Grant had no garrison to be surprised nor depots 
to be destroyed, in Mississippi ; and no disposition 

1 See his report, p. 32. 


of Confederate cavalry would have been less incon- 
venient to liim than that by which his opponent 
fancies that he would have been defeated. 

Lieutenant-General Peniberton comments thus 
on my order to him to evacuate Vicksburg : " The 
evacuation of Vicksburg ! It meant the loss of the 
valuable stores and munitions of war collected for 
its defense, the fall of Port Hudson, the surrender 
of the Mississippi River, and the severance of the 
Confederacy." * 

Before the 18th of May, when General Peniber- 
ton received the order referred to — indeed, before 
General Grant's army landed in Mississippi — the river 
had been captured by the Federal fleets, and the 
" severance of the Confederacy " accomplished. Be- 
fore the end of April the portion of the river between 
Vicksburg and Port Hudson was more strongly held 
by the Federal vessels-of-war than any other. The 
discovery by the United States naval commanders 
of the ineffectiveness of our batteries at Vicksburg 
and Port Hudson, destroyed the illusion that those 
places were valuable. They were occupied and in-% 
trenched to prevent the United States vessels-of-war . 
from passing them. It had been demonstrated that 
they could not do so. They were valuable on the 
18th of May, therefore, only for the munitions of war 
they contained. 

But, without reference to the military value of 
the place, the army should not have been exposed to 
investment in it ; for the capture of the place was 
the certain result of a siege. After investment, sur- 
render was a mere question of time ; there could be 

1 See General Pemberton's report, p. 48. 


no reasonable hope of relief. As the Confederate 
Government had been unable to prevent a siege, 
it was certain that it could not break one. As the 
capture of the place could not be prevented, the army 
should have been saved by leading it away. 

If I and the reenforcements sent from Beaure- 
gard's department had been ordered to Mississippi in 
April, in time to join General Pemberton's army, I 
could have directed the Confederate forces, and would 
have been responsible for events ; but, by hesitating 
to transfer troops and send a new commander until 
too late, the Administration made itself and General 
Pemberton responsible for consequences, and those 
consequences were the ruin of our affairs in Tennes- 
see as well as in Mississippi. They were ruined in 
Mississippi by the long delay of the Administration 
in sending reenforcements to General Pemberton's 
army ; and in Tennessee, by a draft of eight thousand 
men from General Bragg's army, whose going to 
Mississippi was useless, because too late, while it so 
weakened that army as to enable its antagonist to 
drive it rapidly across the Cumberland Mountain 
and Tennessee Biver. 

It would have been much less hazardous to send 
Longstreet's corps to Mississippi than to weaken the 
Army of Tennessee, then scarcely strong enough to 
cope with that of General Bosecrans. The military 
condition in Virginia seems to have been such in all 
the spring of 1863, that that corps was not required 
in General Lee's army, for in all that time it was 
detached generally in the southern and eastern parts 
of the State, in some service far less important, cer- 
tainly, than that which might have been given it 



near Vicksburg. While it was thus detached, Gen- 
eral Lee was able not only to hold the Federal army 
in check at Fredericksburg, but to gain the victory 
of Chancellorsville. Until the expedition into Penn- 
sylvania was decided upon, it was engaged in some 
operations not above secondary. It was well worth 
delaying an invasion of the Northern States, to pre- 
serve the great valley of the Mississippi; and, by 
sending Longstreet with his corps to that depart- 
ment, we might have been able to repel Grant's in- 
vasion, without exposing our armies in Virginia and 

During the remainder of the year the operations 
of the forces of the United States in Mississippi 
were limited to predatory expeditions, generally by 
mounted troops. They seemed to have no other 
object than the infliction of suffering upon the in- 
habitants of the districts invaded, and the destruc- 
tion of the few villages and hamlets reached. Our 
military objects were to defeat such raids, to guard 
against the destruction, by the enemy, of the railroads 
and their machinery, and to be in readiness to reen- 
force the garrison of Mobile. 

Most of the predatory warfare was waged by 
Federal troops stationed on the Memphis and Charles- 
ton Kailroad, and near it in Mississippi. On the 
eastern part of that frontier Brigadier-General Kug- 
gles commanded Ferguson's brigade of Confederate 
cavalry, and ten or twelve field-pieces ; and the west- 
ern was defended by Brigadier-General Chalmers, 
with his brigade of cavalry and a field-battery ; Colo- 
nel Logan, with auother mounted brigade, operated 
near Natchez and Port Hudson ; and Colonel Power 


with liis regiment, also mounted, in Northeastern 
Louisiana, These dispositions had "been made by 
Lieutenant-General Pemberton. After the Federal 
army, under Major-General Sherman, moved from 
Jackson to Vicksburg, General W. H. Jackson's di- 
vision was advanced to the line from Livingston to 
Kaymond, to observe the Federal army beyond the 
Big Black River, and protect the reconstruction of 
the railroad north and south of the town of Jack- 
son ; miles of it, in each direction, were destroyed by 
the Federal army before its return to Vicksburg. 
That the railroad company might repair this im- 
portant road as soon as possible, military protection 
was promised, as well as the necessary laborers and 
wagons, which Major L. Minis, who was at the head 
of the quartermaster's department in the State, was 
instructed to procure by impressment as needed. 
The same arrangements were made for the rebuild- 
ing of the railroad-bridge at Jackson. 

Major-General Maury, who commanded at Mobile, 
reported that he had but two thousand infantry, ten 
field-pieces, and five hundred mounted troops for the 
defense of the works on the land-side of the place. 
According to the estimate that accompanied this re- 
port, fifteen thousand infantry and four field-batteries 
were necessary. The general added that he had just 
received intelligence that preparations on a large 
scale were in progress at Pensacola and New Orleans, 
for a combined attack, by land and water, upon the 
batteries and town. 

In consequence of these reports, application was 
made to. Governor Shorter for any considerable part 
of the seven thousand troops which the State of Ala- 


bama was required to hold ready for such service, 
that could be furnished for the defense of Mobile. 
This application was repeated a few days after. The 
Governor replied that, under the military laws of the 
Confederacy, he had no power to raise troops ; but 
informed me that he was having negro laborers col- 
lected and sent to Mobile, to work on the fortifica- 

Lieutenant-General Hardee, transferred from the 
Army of Tennessee to that of Mississippi, had arrived 
at Morton. Confidence in that distinguished soldier 
made me feel at liberty to leave the army. I there- 
fore went to Mobile to complete the examination of 
its defenses, which had been twice begun (in January 
and March), and on each occasion interrupted by 
orders of the Administration, which directed me to 
repair to General Bragg's headquarters. 

These defenses seemed to me very imperfect. 
They consisted of a little work at Grant's Pass, in 
which three guns were mounted ; Fort Morgan on 
the east, and an unfinished work on the west side of 
the entrance to the bay from the gulf, which (the en- 
trance) is three miles wide, and an interior line of 
batteries to command the channels leading from the 
bay to the city ; the left of this line, however, would 
have been commanded by batteries placed on the 
eastern shore of the bay. A line of redoubts from the 
river-bank north of the city, to the bay-shore south- 
. west of it, promised a sufficient protection on the land- 
side, when finished. 

A naval force under Admiral Buchanan was to 
cooperate with these forts and batteries ; but, with 
capacity to command a squadron, and officers compe- 


tent to handle its ships, that gallant seaman then had 
but three little wooden vessels. 

Near the end of the month, before leaving Mobile 
to return to Morton, I received, from an officer to 
whom it had been intrusted, a letter from the Presi- 
dent, ostensibly to correct 'a misapprehension of mine 
in relation to the telegram of May 9th, directing me 
to assume immediate command of the army in Mis- 
sissippi, but actually commenting very harshly upon 
much of my military conduct since the previous De- 
cember. It was not unexpected, for General "Wigfall, 
of the Confederate States Senate, had told me, in re- 
cent letters, that a friend of his had twice seen such 
a paper in preparation in the office of the Secretary 
of State. 

If all the misconduct alleged had been actually 
committed, the Administration was unjustifiable in 
keeping me in a position so important as the com- 
mand of a department. As good-natured weakness 
was never attributed to Mr. Davis as a fault, it is not 
easy to reconcile the assertions and tone of this letter 
with his official course toward me — his not only re- 
taining me in command of a department, but subse- 
quently assigning me to that of the Army of Tennes- 
see after its defeat under General Bragg at Mission- 
ary Ridge — the latter being far more important than 
any other military position in the Confederate service, 
except that occupied by General Lee. 

The accusations of this letter were answered seri- 
atim, on my return to my office in Morton, in a letter 
dated August 8th. 

In its next session, and on the 11th of December, 
Congress called for the " correspondence of the Presi- 


dent, Secretary of War, and Adjutant and Inspector 
General, with General J. E. Johnston, during the 
months of May, June, and July, concerning his com- 
mand, and the operations in his department." This 
was on the motion of Mr. Grimes, of Texas, a devoted 
follower of the President. * 

In his letter to Congress accompanying the cor- 
respondence, the President explained : " As the reso- 
lution fixes definitely the dates within which the 
correspondence is desired, I have not deemed it 
proper to add any thing which was prior or subse- 
quent to those dates." On that principle, his charges 
against me, making much the larger part of his share 
of the correspondence, were not accompanied by my 
defense. Yet six papers less relevant were included 
— an order dated November, 1862, and a correspond- 
ence (five dispatches) between the President and 
General Brae^. It would have been as consistent 
with propriety to transmit my defense with his ac- 
cusations, and certainly as much so with fairness. 
Eepeated calls for this paper by Congress, to com- 
plete the published correspondence, were unnoticed 
by the Executive. This fact gave me the impression, 
at the time, that my defense must have been regard- 
ed as in some degree effective by those who thus pre- 
vented its publication. 

As the charges so published were extensively 
circulated, I take this occasion to defend myself, and 
to present the case fairly by giving both letters. 

"Richmond, July 15, 18C3. 
" General : I. Your dispatch of the 5th instant, 
stating that you ' considered ' your ' assignment to 


the immediate command in Mississijypi ' as giving 
you ' a new position ' and as l limiting your authori- 
ty,' being a repetition of a statement which you 
were informed was a grave error, and being persisted 
in after your failure to point out, when requested, 
the letter or dispatch justifying you in such a con- 
clusion, rendered it necessary, as you were informed 
in my dispatch of 8th instant, that I should make a 
more extended reply than could be given in a tele- 
gram. That there may be no possible room for fur- 
ther mistake in the matter, I am compelled to reca- 
pitulate the substance of all orders and instructions 
given to you, so far as they bear on this question. 

II. "On the 24th November last you were as- 
signed, by Special Order No. 275, to a definite geo- 
graphical command. The description includes a 
portion of Western North Carolina, and Northern 
Georgia, the States of Tennessee, Alabama, and Mis- 
sissippi, and that part of the State of Louisiana east 
of the Mississippi Eiver. The order concluded in 
the following language : l General Johnston will, for 
the purpose of correspondence and reports, establish 
his headquarters at Chattanooga, or such other place 
as in his judgment will best secure communication 
with the troops within the limits of his command, 
and will repair in person to any part of said com- 
mand, whenever his presence may for the time be 
necessary or desirable.' 

III. " This command by its terms embraced the 
armies under command of General Bragg in Tennes- 
see, of General Pemberton at Vicksburg, as well as 
those at Port Hudson, Mobile, and the forces in East 


IV. " This general order has never been changed 
nor modified so as to affect your command in a 
single particular, nor has your control over it been 
interfered with. I have, as commander-in-chief, 
given you some orders, which will be hereafter 
noticed, not one of them, however, indicating in any 
manner that the general control confided to you was 
restricted or impaired. 

V. " You exercised this command by visiting in 
person the armies at Murfreesboro', Vicksburg, Mo- 
bile, and elsewhere; and on the 22d January I wrote 
you, directing that you should repair in person to the 
army at Tullahoma, on account of a reported want 
of harmony and confidence between General Bragg 
and his officers and troops. This letter closed with 
the following passage : ' As that army is part of 
your command, no order will be necessary to give 
you authority there, as, whether present or absent, 
you have a right to direct its operations, and do 
whatever else belongs to the general commanding.' 

VI. " Language cannot be plainer than this, and, 
although the different armies in your geographical 
district were ordered to report directly to Eichmond, 
as well as to yourself, this was done solely to avoid 
the evil that would result from reporting through 
you, when your headquarters might be, and it was 
expected frequently would be, so located as to create 
delays injurious to the public interest. 

VII. " "While at Tullahoma you did not hesitate 
to order troops from General Pemberton's army, and, 
learning that you had ordered the division of cavalry 
from North Mississippi to Tennessee, I telegraphed 
you that this order did not change your orders, and, 


although I thought them injudicious, I refrained from 
exercising my authority, in deference to your views. 

VIII. " When I learned that prejudice and ma- 
lignity had so undermined the confidence of the 
troops at Vicksburg as to threaten disaster, I deemed 
the circumstances such as to present the case fore- 
seen in Special Order No. 275, that you should 're- 
pair in person to any part of said command when- 
ever your presence might for the time be necessary 
or desirable.' 

IX. " You were therefore ordered, on 9th May, to 
1 proceed at once to Mississippi and the chief com- 
mand of the forces, giving to those in the field as 
far as practicable the encouragement and benefit of 
your personal direction.' 

X. " Some details were added about reinforce- 
ments, but not a word affecting in the remotest de- 
gree your authority to command your geographical 

XI. " On the 4th June you telegraphed to the 
Secretary of War in reference to his inquiry, 'saying, 
1 My only plan is to relieve Vicksburg ; my force is 
far too small for the purpose ; tell me if you can in- 
crease it and how much.' 

XII. " To which he answered on the 5th : ' I re- 
gret inability to promise more troops, as we have 
drained resources even to the danger of several 
points. You know best concerning General Bragg's 
army, but I fear to withdraw more. We are too 
far outnumbered in Virginia to spare any,' etc., etc. 

XIII. " This dispatch shows that, up to the 5th 
June, the war-office had no knowledge of any im- 
pression on your part that you had ceased to control 


Bragg's army, but, on the contrary, you were clearly 
informed that you were considered the proper person 
to withdraw troops from it, if you deemed it judi- 

XIV. " On the 8th June the Secretary was more 
explicit, if possible. He said : ' Do you advise more 
reenforcements from General Bragg ? You, as com- 
mandant of the department, have power so to order, 
if you in view of the whole case so determine.' 

XV. " On the 10th June you answered that it 
was for the Government to determine what depart- 
ment could furnish the reenforcements; that you 
could not know how General Bragg's wants com- 
pared with yours, and that the Government could 
make the comparison. 

XVI. " Your statement that the Government in 
Richmond was better able to judge of the relative 
necessities of the armies under your command than 
you were, and the further statement that you could 
not know how General Bragg's wants compared with 
yours, were considered extraordinary ; but, as they 
were accompanied by the remark that the Secretary's 
dispatch had been imperfectly deciphered, no obser- 
vation was made on them till the receipt of your 
telegram to the Secretary, of the 12th instant, stat- 
ing : 1 1 have not considered myself commanding in 
Tennessee since assignment here, and should not 
have felt authorized to take troops from that depart- 
ment after having been informed by the Executive 
that no more could be spared.' 

XVII. " My surprise at these two statements was 
extreme. You had never been ' assigned ' to the 
Mississippi command, you went there under the cir- 


cum stances and orders already quoted, and no justifi- 
cation whatever is perceived for your abandonment 
of your duties as commanding general of the geo- 
graphical district to which you were assigned. Or- 
ders as explicit as those under which you were sent 
to the West and under which you continued to act 
up to the 9th May, when you were directed to repair 
in person to Mississippi, can only be impaired or set 
aside by subsequent orders equally explicit; and 
your announcement that you had ceased to consider 
yourself charged with the control of affairs in Ten- 
nessee because ordered to repair in person to Missis- 
sippi, both places being within the command to 
which you were assigned, was too grave to be over- 
looked ; and, when to this was added the assertion 
that you should not have felt authorized to draw 
troops from that department (Tennessee), after be- 
ing informed by the ' Executive that no more could 
be spared,' I was unable to account for your lan- 
guage, being entirely confident that I had never 
given you any such information. 

XVIII. " I shall now proceed to separate your 
two statements, and begin with that which relates 
to your ' not considering yourself commanding in 
Tennessee since assignment here,' i. e., in Mississippi. 

XIX. "When you received my telegram of 15th 
of June, informing you that ' the order to go to Mis- 
sissippi did not diminish your authority in Tennes- 
see, both being in the country placed under your 
command in original assignment,' accompanied by an 
inquiry about the information said to have been de- 
rived from me restricting your authority to transfer 
troops, your answer on the 16th of June was, 'I 


meant to tell the Secretary of War that I considered 
the order directing me to command here as limiting 
my authority to this department, especially when 
that order was accompanied by War Department or- 
ders transferring troops from Tennessee to Missis- 

XX. " This is in substance a repetition of the 
previous statement, without any reason being given 
for it. The fact of orders being sent to you to trans- 
fer some of the troops in your department from one 
point to another, to which you were proceeding in 
person, could give no possible ground for your ' con- 
sidering' that Special Order No. 275 was rescinded 
or modified. Your command of your geographical 
district did not make you independent of my orders 
as your superior officer, and, when you were directed 
by me to take troops with you to Mississippi, your 
control over the district to which you were assigned 
was in no way involved. But the statement that 
troops were transferred from Tennessee to Missis- 
sippi by order of the War Department, when you 
were directed to repair to the latter State, gives but 
half the fact ; for, although you were ordered to 
take with you three thousand good troops, you were 
told to replace them by a greater number then on 
their way to Mississippi, and whom you were re- 
quested to direct to Tennessee, the purpose being to 
hasten reinforcements to Pemberton without weak- 
ening Bragg. This was in deference to your own 
opinion that Bragg could not be safely weakened, 
nay, that he ought even to be reenforced at Pember- 
ton's expense, for you had just ordered troops from 
Pemberton's command to reenforce Bragg. I differed 


in opinion from you, and thought Vieksburg far more 
exposed to danger than Bragg, and was urging for- 
ward reinforcements to that point both from Caro- 
lina and Virginia, before you were directed to assume 
command in person in Mississippi. 

XXI. " I find nothing, then, either in your dis- 
patch of 16th June, or in any subsequent commu- 
nication from you, giving a justification for your 
saying that ' you have not considered yourself com- 
manding in Tennessee since assignment here ' (i. e., 
in Mississippi). Your dispatch of the 5th instant is 
again a substantial repetition of the same statement, 
without a word of reason to justify it. You say, ' I 
considered my assignment to the immediate com- 
mand in Mississippi as giving me a new position and 
limiting my authority to this department.' I have 
characterized this as a grave error, and in view of 
all the facts cannot otherwise regard it. I must add 
that a review of your correspondence shows a con- 
stant desire on your part, beginning early in Janu- 
ary, that I should change the order placing Tennes- 
see and Mississippi in one command and under your 
direction, and a constant indication on my part 
whenever I wrote on the subject, that in my judg- 
ment the public service required that the two armies 
should be subject to your control. 

XXII. " I now proceed to your second statement 
in your telegram of 12th June, that 'you should 
not have felt authorized to take troops from that 
department ' (Tennessee), ' after having been in- 
formed by the Executive that no more could be 

XXIII. "To my inquiry for the basis of this 


statement, you answered on the 16th by what was in 
substance a reiteration of it. 

XXIV. " I again requested, on the 17th, that you 
should refer "by dates to any such communication 
as that alleged by you. 

XXV. " You answered on 20th June, apologized 
for carelessness in your first reply, and referred me 
to a passage from my telegram to you of 28th May, 
and to one from the Secretary of War of 5th June ; 
and then informed me that you considered ' Execu- 
tive ' as including Secretary of War. 

XXVI. " Your telegram of 12th June was ad- 
dressed to the Secretary of War in the second per- 
son ; it begins ' your dispatch,' and then speaks of 
the Executive in the third person, and, on reading it, 
it was not supposed that the word Executive referred 
to any one but myself; but, of course, in a matter 
like this, your explanation of your meaning is conclu- 

XXVII. "The telegram of the Secretary of War 
of 5th June, followed by that of 8th June, conveyed 
unmistakably the very reverse of the meaning you 
attribute to them, and your reference to them as sup- 
porting your position is unintelligible. I revert, 
therefore, to my telegram of 28th May. That tele- 
gram was in answer to one from you in which you 
stated that on the arrival of certain reinforcements, 
then on the way, you would have about twenty- 
three thousand ; that Pemberton could be saved only 
by beating Grant ; and you added : ' Unless you can 
promise more troops, we must try with that num- 
ber. The odds against us will be very great. Can 
you add seven thousand? ' 


" My reply was : ' The reenforcenients sent to you 
exceed, "by say seven thousand, the estimates of your 
dispatch of the 27th instant. We have withheld 
nothing which it was practicable to give you. We 
cannot hope for numerical equality, and time will 
probably increase the disparity.' 

XXVIII. " It is on this language that you rely 
to support a statement that I informed you no more 
troops could be spared from Tennessee, and as re- 
stricting your right to draw troops from that depart- 
ment. It bears no such construction. The reen- 
forcements sent you, with an exception presently to 
be noticed, were from points outside of your depart- 
ment. You had in telegrams of the 1st, 2d, and 7th 
of May, and others, made repeated applications to 
have troops withdrawn from other departments to 
your aid. You were informed that we would give 
all the aid we possibly could. Of your right to 
order any change made in the distribution of troops 
in your own district, no doubt had ever been sug- 
gested by yourself nor could they occur to your 
superiors here, for they had given you the authority. 

XXIX. " The reenforcements, which went with 
you from Tennessee, were (as already explained and 
as was communicated to you at the time) a mere ex- 
change for other troops sent from Virginia. 

XXX. " The troops subsequently sent to you 
from Bragg were forwarded by him under the follow- 
ing dispatch from me of the 22d of May : ' The vital 
issue of holding the Mississippi at Vicksburg is de- 
pendent on the success of General Johnston in an 
attack on the investing force. The intelligence from 
there is discouraging. Can you aid him ? If so, 


and you are without orders from General Johnston, 
act on your judgment.' 

XXXI. " The words that I now underscore suf- 
fice to show how thoroughly your right of command 
of the troops in Tennessee was recognized. I knew 
from your own orders that you thought it more ad- 
visable to draw troops from Mississippi to reenforce 
Bragg, than to send troops from the latter to Pember- 
ton ; and, one of the reasons which induced the in- 
struction to you to proceed to Mississippi was, the 
conviction that your views on this point would be 
changed on arrival in Mississippi. Still, although 
convinced myself that troops might be spared from 
Bragg's army, without very great danger, and that 
Vieksburg was, on the contrary, in imminent peril, I 
was unwilling to overrule your judgment of the 
distribution of your troops while you were on the 
spot, and therefore simply left to General Bragg the 
power to aid you if he could, and if you had not 
given contrary orders. \ 

■ XXXII. " The cavalry sent you from Tennessee 
was sent you on a similar dispatch from the Secretary 
of War to General Bragg, informing him of your 
earnest appeal for cavalry, and ashing him if he 
coidd spare any. Your request was for a regiment 
of cavalry to be sent to you from Georgia. My dis- 
patch of 18th May pointed out to you the delay 
which a compliance would involve, and suggested 
that cavalry could be drawn from ' another part of 
your department ' as had been previously indicated. 

XXXIII. " In no manner, by no act, by no lan- 
guage, either of myself or of the Secretary of "War, 
has your authority to draw troops from one portion 


of your department to another been withdrawn, re- 
stricted, or modified. 

XXXIV. " Now that Vicksburg has disastrously 
fallen, this subject would present no pressing demand 
for attention, and its examination would have been 
postponed to a future period, had not your dispatch 
of the 5th instant, with its persistent repetition of 
statements which I had informed you were erroneous, 
and without adducing a single fact to sustain them, 
induced me to terminate the matter at once by a re- 
view of all the facts. The original mistakes in your 
telegram of 12th of June would gladly have been 
overlooked as accidental, if acknowledged when 
pointed out. The perseverance with which they 
have been insisted on has not permitted me to pass 
them by as mere oversights, or, by refraining from an 
answer, to seem to admit the justice of the state- 

" Very respectfully, 

" Your obedient servant, 
(Signed) "Jefferson Davis." 

Geneeal J. E. Johnston. 

Note. — The paragraphs in the above letter were numbered by me, 
for precision of reference. 

This letter seems to have been written to prove 
that I committed a grave military offense, by regard- 
ing the order of May 19th as assigning me to a new 
position, and limiting my command to the Depart- 
ment of Mississippi. 

Much of it is to prove what those concerned could 
not doubt, and never denied: that, on the 24th of 
November, 1862, I was assigned to the command of 



the armies under General Bragg, and Lieutenant-Gen- 
erals E. Kirby Smith and Pemberton, in Tennessee 
and Mississippi. The object of much more of it 
is to show, to as little purpose, that the order of 
May 9th annulled no part of that of November 24, 

The President's interpretation of his own orders 
was conclusive. That in question was interpreted 
in a telegram dated June 8th, five or six weeks be- 
fore this letter left his office. This explanation made 
all arguments and instances useless, and left no occa- 
sion for a very long and harsh letter. The fact that 
General Bragg's department had been formally sepa- 
rated from mine (July 22d) before this letter was 
dispatched, would have made it useless, if it had not 
been so before. 

I am also accused of having persisted in my er- 
ror. The only ground of this charge is, that being 
asked by the President the same question in three 
distinct telegrams, I replied to them successively, 
endeavoring to make each reply clearer than the 
preceding one. 

I maintain that, however the order of May 9th 
may have been intended, it dissolved practically my 
connection with General Bragg and his army. For 
it is certain that while commanding one army in 
Mississippi, in the presence of the much more power- 
ful one of General Grant, it was impossible for me 
to direct the operations of another far off in Tennes- 
see, also greatly outnumbered by its enemy. That a 
general should command but one army, and that 
every army should have its general present with it, 


are maxims observed "by all governments — because 
the world lias produced few men competent to com- 
mand a large army when present with it, and none 
capable of directing the operations of one hundreds 
of miles off; still less one capable of doing both 
at the same time. My interpretation of the order 
in question was the only one consistent with the re- 
spect I entertained for the President's knowledge of 
military affairs, and therefore did not make me ob- 
noxious to the rebuke expressed in every part of 
this letter. My belief that he was incapable of an 
absurdity too gross to have been committed by the 
government of any other civilized nation, certainly 
should not have brought upon me his harsh cen- 

I hold now, as I did then, that it was quite imma- 
terial whether or not my lawful authority extended 
over General Bragg's army when I was in Mississip- 
pi ; for it was impossible for me to exercise it. I 
might have drawn troops from Tennessee to Missis- 
sippi. But the Executive knew that for months my 
opinion had been opposed to that, and I knew from 
the two dispatches of June 5th, 1 one to Governor 
Pettus, the other a to me, that it thought that General 
Bragg could spare no more men, as I did. 

The charge in paragraph XVI., that I abandoned 
my " duties as commanding general of a military dis- 
trict," is utterly unfounded, unless the not doing 3 
what both the President and I thought ought not 
to be done constituted failure to discharge my du- 

1 See p. 213. 9 See p. 199. 

8 Transferring troops from Bragg's army to Pemberton's in June. 


"Morton, August 8, 18G3. 

"Mr. President: I. Your letter of July 15th 
was handed to me in Mobile on the 28th, by Colo- 
nel Shaller. The want of papers to which it was 
necessary to refer prevented me from replying 

" II. I respectfully ask your Excellency to recon- 
sider the several allegations of your letter, and es- 
pecially to consider whether my misapprehension of 
the order sending me to Mississippi, my having re- 
garded my assignment to the immediate command 
in that department as having given me a new posi- 
tion and limiting my authority — an opinion which 
had no practical results, which affected in no way the 
exercise of my military functions, and which had been 
removed before you noticed it — was a serious military 
offense. It affected my military course in no way, 
because, while commanding on the spot in Missis- 
sippi, I could not direct General Bragg's operations 
in Tennessee, and because I felt that the question of 
ordering more troops from Bragg, one of great magni- 
tude, involving at least the temporary loss of Ten- 
nessee and Mississippi, ought to be decided by the 
Government, and not by me. This opinion was ex- 
pressed in my dispatch to the Secretary of War of 
June 12th, in these words: 'To take from Bragg a 
force which would make this army fit to oppose that 
of Grant would involve yielding Tennessee. It is 
for the Government to decide between this State and 
Tennessee.' The idea was thus repeated on the 15th : 
' Nor is it for me to judge which it is best to hold, 
Mississippi or Tennessee, that is for the Government 
to determine; without some great blunder by the 


enemy, we cannot hold both.' Had I received a copy 
of your orders of May 22d, directing General Bragg 
to send troops from his army to Mississippi, my error 
would have been corrected then ; but it was not sent 
to me, and I have its evidence for the first time in 
your letter. The dispatch of the Secretary of "War, 
of June 8th, received on the 10th, removed my mis- 

" III. In regard to the repetition and persistence 
which you impute to me in the first sentence of your 
letter, I cannot feel that my three brief telegrams, 
dictated by the respect due from me to you, deserve 
to be so characterized; the first and second, being 
replies to direct questions in yours of the 15th and 
17th, and the third, in reply to yours of the 30th 
June, an attempt to say more clearly what had been 
carelessly expressed in the first. They are so brief 
as to require scarcely more than a minute for reading, 
and are respectful in thought and language. You 
subsequently characterized my misunderstanding the 
order sending me to Mississippi as a grave er,ror. 
This error of mine, which was removed by the dis- 
patch of the "War Department, dated June 8th, and 
which had no effect on my military course, does not 
seem to me, I must confess, a grave one. 

" IV. In the seventh paragraph of your letter you 
write : ' "While at Tullahoma you did not hesitate to 
order troops from General Pemberton's army, and, 
learning that you had ordered the division of cavalry 
from Northern Mississippi to Tennessee, I telegraphed 
you that this order left Mississippi exposed to cav- 
alry raids without means of checking them. You did 
not change your order,' etc. The only order I gave, 


sending cavalry from Mississippi to Tennessee, was 
early in January, when I was at Jackson, not Tulla- 
lioma. I can find but one telegram received from 
you on tlie subject ; it is dated April 30th, and in 
these words : ' General Pemberton telegraphs that 
unless he has more cavalry the approaches to North 
Mississippi are almost unprotected, and that he can- 
not prevent the cavalry raids.' My reply is of the 
same date : ' About three thousand of General Bragg's 
cavalry, beyond the Tennessee, are employing about 
twelve thousand Federal troops from Mississippi. 
General Pemberton has been so informed twice.' 
The main body of the cavalry of Mississippi was 
near Grenada in January, unorganized and unem- 
ployed, and from the condition of the country it was 
supposed by the officers and intelligent citizens whom 
I consulted, including the Governor, that it would 
be useless in the State until late in the spring. Grant 
had fallen back toward Memphis, and Sherman and 
McClernand had been repulsed at Vicksburg, but 
Bragg's army had been terribly reduced by the en- 
gagements near Murfreesboro'. I therefore directed 
Major-General Van Dorn to form about two-thirds of 
the cavalry near Grenada into a division, and to join 
General Bragg with it. These troops were trans- 
ferred from a country in which they could not operate, 
and a department not threatened, and in which the 
enemy had just been repulsed, to one in which they 
were greatly needed, where we had just suffered a 
reverse and were in danger of another. These troops 
and their gallant leader rendered very important 
services in Tennessee. They had several engage- 
ments with the enemy, to the advantage and honor 


of our ai'ms. Without theni we could not have held 
the country which, till the latter part of June, fur- 
nished food for Bragg's army. More than two weeks 
before your Excellency's dispatch of April 30th, a 
brigade of cavalry was sent across the Tennessee to 
aid in the protection of Mississippi, and, reports of 
large reenforcements to the garrison of Corinth being 
received, Brigadier-General Forrest was sent with 
another on April 23d. These two brigades consti- 
tuted the force referred to in my dispatch of April 
30th. As soon as the falling back of the Federal 
army made it practicable, Colonel Roddy was trans- 
ferred to Mississippi, with about two-thirds of the 
joint forces. 

" In paragraph XII. you quote the dispatch of the 
War Department to me of June 5th, as follows : ' I 
regret inability to promise more troops, as we have 
drained resources even to the danger of several points. 
You know best concerning General Bragg's army, 
but I fear to withdraw more. We are too far out- 
numbered in Virginia to spare any,' etc., etc. The 
dispatch sent to me reads thus : ' I regret inability to 
promise more troops. Drained resources to the dan- 
ger of several points. You know best concerning 
General Bragg's army, but I fear to withdraw more. 
We are too far outnumbered in it to spare any. You 
must rely on what you have and the irregular forces 
Mississippi can afford,' etc. This is one of the dis- 
patches which gave me the impression that the Exec- 
utive wished no more troops withdrawn from Ten- 

" V. I did not draw from that telegram the in- 
ference which you express in the next paragraph, 


but understood the words, ' you know best concern- 
ing General Bragg's army,' to refer to the acquaint- 
ance with military affairs in Middle Tennessee, that 
I might be suj)posed to have acquired. 

" VI. In paragraph XVI. your Excellency charges 
me with abandonment of my duties as commanding 
general of a geographical district. I respectfully 
deny the commission of such a military crime. Dur- 
ing the month ending June 10th, in which I believed 
myself to be commanding only the department of 
Mississippi, it was not possible for me to direct oper- 
ations in Tennessee also. It is true that I might 
have drawn troops from it to Mississippi ; but my 
opinion on that subject was expressed to the War 
Department in my dispatches of June 12th and 15th 
as follows : ' To take from Bragg a force that would 
make this army fit to oppose Grant, would involve 
the yielding Tennessee. It is for the Government to 
decide between this State and Tennessee. Nor is it 
for me to judge which it is best to hold, Mississippi 
or Tennessee; that is for the Government to deter- 
mine. Without some great blunder by the enemy, 
we cannot hold both.' 

" In paragraph XX. you write : ' This was in def- 
erence to your own opinion that Bragg could not be 
safely weakened — nay, that he ought even to be re- 
enforced at Pemberton's expense ; for you had just 
ordered troops from Pemberton's command to reen- 
force Bragg.' The time alluded to seems to be the 
9th of May, as your reference is to the order of that 
date. The United States army had then crossed the 
Mississippi, and defeated a large detachment of ours. 
To have ' ordered troops from Pemberton's command 


to reenforce Bragg,' at that time, would have been 
evidence of the grossest incapacity. Your excellency 
will therefore pardon me, I am sure, for denying the 
existence of such evidence. I have ordered troops 
from Mississippi to Tennessee but twice. On both 
occasions the condition of affairs was very different 
from that existing at the time referred to. The first 
order was that given to the cavalry early in January ; 
it was explained in paragraph IV. The second was 
given about the 13th of April, when Lieutenant-Gen- 
eral Pemberton informed me that Grant had aban- 
doned operations against Vicksburg, and was moving 
his army up the river, he supposed to join Bosecrans. 
He had no enemy before him ; Vicksburg was no 
longer threatened. Bragg, on the other hand, could 
not fully cover the country which fed his troops. I 
therefore directed a force equal to that sent from 
Bragg to Pemberton in December last under your in- 
structions, to be sent from Mississippi to Tennessee ; 
intending, should Lieutenant-General Pemberton's 
surmise prove correct, to continue to draw troops 
from his army. But in a few days Lieutenant-Gen- 
eral Pemberton reported the United States army 
returning ; and the troops on the way to Bragg, none 
of which had arrived, were ordered back. This was 
about the 19th of April, when the Federal army was 
on the Mississippi in transports, or on the west side 
of the river, and Pemberton's condition far less un- 
favorable than it was at the time to which you refer, 
when the enemy had crossed the river and driven 
back his advanced troops. 

"In paragraph XXXI., in explaining your or- 
ders to General Bragg of May 2 2d, you say, * I knew 


from your own orders that you thought it more ad- 
visable to draw troops from Mississippi to reenforce 
Bragg thau to send troops from the latter to Peniber- 
ton.' I have transferred but two bodies of troops 
from Mississippi to Tennessee — the first a division 
of cavalry, the other a division of infantry: the 
first in January, when McClernand and Sherman had 
abandoned the siege of Vicksburg, and Bragg had 
not begun to recover from the effects of the battle 
of Murfreesboro' ; the second on the 13th of April, 
when Grant's army had abandoned Vicksburg. I 
respectfully submit to your Excellency that these or- 
ders do not prove that at a subsequent period, when 
the relative condition of the two armies w r as entirely 
changed, when Pemberton was most threatened, a 
powerful army having forced the passage of the Mis- 
sissippi and beaten back his advanced troops, I 
thought it ' more advisable to draw troops from Mis- 
sissippi to reenforce Bragg than to send troops from 
the latter to Pemberton.' But my sending back the 
division of infantry, employing a division of Bragg's 
cavalry to aid Pemberton in April, transferring a 
large brigade of cavalry into Mississippi on the 5th 
of May, and applying for reinforcements for Pem- 
berton on the 7th, suggesting that the withdrawal of 
Foster's troops might enable Beauregard to furnish 
them, prove the contrary. 

"In paragraph XXL, your Excellency refers to the 
constant desire shown in my correspondence, begin- 
ning early in January, that you should change the 
order placing Tennessee and Mississippi in one com- 
mand under my direction. That desire was founded 


on the belief that the arrangement was not in ac- 
cordance with military principles, which require 
that every army should have its own general, and es- 
pecially that two armies far apart, having different 
objects, and opposed to enemies having different ob- 
jects, should not be under one general. I thought 
these armies too far apart to reenforce each other in 
emergencies. Experience has confirmed that opin- 
ion. I thought, however, that the troops in Arkan- 
sas should cooperate with those of Lieutenant-Gen- 
eral Pemberton, for both had the same great ob- 
ject — the defense of the Mississippi Valley ; and both 
were opposed to troops having one object — the pos- 
session of the Mississippi : and the main force of 
these troops was operating on this side of the 

" Permit me to say that, after careful considera- 
tion, I can find nothing in my three brief telegrams 
which seems to me to call for the animadversions in 
your last paragraph. They were written in answer to 
dispatches of yours, and referred to an opinion of mine 
which had been corrected before your attention was 
called to it. I had no other object, besides the duty 
of replying to your dispatches, than to prevent your 
supposing that the opinion concerning which you 
questioned me was entirely unfounded. But, wheth- 
er well founded or unfounded, that opinion was a 
thing of the past when first brought to your notice, 
and therefore I cannot feel that the having once en- 
tertained it is a military offense, or that the manner 
in which I attempted to extenuate my rnisapj)rehen- 
sion of the Honorable Secretary's telegram of May 


9th, makes me obnoxious to the imputations of 
your letter, especially those of the concluding para- 

" Most respectfully 

" Your obedient servant, 
(Signed) " J. E. Joiinstox, 

" General^ 


In a letter from the War Department, dated the 
6th, the temporary rebuilding of the railroad-bridge 
at Jackson was suggested to me — the work to be 
under the direction of the engineer-officers of the 
army ; its object, the bringing off the rolling-stock 
and a part of the iron of the Mississippi Central 
Railroad. A part of that rolling-stock, not in daily 
use, was then at Grenada, where the principal offi- 
cers of the railroad company had placed it for safety. 
As the measures already taken seemed to me more 
proper as well as better than this one, no change 
was made. If, however, there had been no impedi- 
ment to the removal of the engines and cars at Gre- 
nada, I should not have advocated the measure, 
for they could not have been carried beyond the 
Mobile & Ohio Railroad, on which, near Mobile, 
there was then a very large collection of that kind 
of property ; and I think that it would not have 
been judicious to collect all the spare engines and 
cars of the department at one point. 

On the 15th it was ascertained that a body of 
eight or nine hundred Federal cavalry was moving 
from Yazoo City, by Lexington, toward Grenada; 
and another, of equal strength, advancing from the 
vicinity of Grand Junction, as if to meet it. Brig- 


adier-General Jackson sent Lis nearest troops (Whit- 
field's brigade) in pursuit of the party from Yazoo 
City ; and Major-General Lee took prompt measures 
to unite Chalmers's and Ferguson's brigades with 

Brigadier-General Whitfield pressed forward rap- 
idly to Duck Hill ; but, having learned there that 
the two Federal parties had united at Grenada, he 
turned back, and destroyed, in his retreat along the 
railroad, all the rolling-stock that was found on it. 
The two Federal parties united were at the same 
time moving to the north, after burning about a 
fourth of the town of Grenada, and the engines and 
cars in depot there. 

On the lvth an order was received instituting a 
court of inquiry to meet in Montgomery on the 15th, 
to investigate the management of recent affairs in 
Mississippi, and ascertain the causes of our disasters. 
Although the purpose of this investigation was to 
decide whether Lieutenant-General Pemberton or my- 
self was responsible for those disasters, the arrange- 
ment made by the Administration did not make me 
a party to it. In a telegram of that date to General 
Cooper, I claimed the right to be present for my de- 
fense, and on the 21st the War Department con- 
ceded that right. 

On the 2 2d the following dispatch, dated King- 
gold, August 21st, was received from General Bragg: 
" Enemy in force opposite us, and reported in large 
force moving on Knoxville. Will need help if he 
advances with his troops from Tennessee and Ken- 
tucky." I immediately asked the War Department, 
by telegraph, if I was authorized to reenforce Gen- 


eral Bragg with a part of the troops of the Depart- 
ment of Mississippi, if he should require aid, and in- 
formed General Bragg of the inquiry; telling him 
also that, in the event of an affirmative answer, two 
divisions would be sent to him. In preparation for 
the contingency, Major-Generals Breckenridge and 
W. II. S. Walker were directed to hold their divis- 
ions ready to move; and Major Barbour, chief 
quartermaster, to order the necessary means of 
railroad transportation. General Cooper's reply, in 
the affirmative, was received that evening, as well as 
Major Barbour's report that the railroad trains re- 
quired were promised at two o'clock p. m. next day. 
General Bragg was immediately told of this, and in- 
formed that the troops would move as soon as the 
railroad-trains were ready. He was also requested 
to give the necessary orders at West Point and 

All the infantry in the department would have 
been sent to the assistance of the Army of Tennessee 
but for the supposed probability of the investment 
of Mobile by the enemy. According to the esti- 
mates of Major-General Maury, and his chief-engi- 
neer, Brigadier-General Leadbetter, fifteen thousand 
infantry would be necessary for the defense of the 
place on the land-side in the event of a siege. He 
had but two thousand ; and they and the troops re- 
maining in Mississippi, to join the garrison if neces- 
sary, amounted to but eleven thousand. 

On the 29th Lieutenant-General Hardee was as- 
signed by the Administration to the service of reor- 
ganizing the prisoners paroled at Vicksburg and then 
returning from furlough. He fixed his headquarters 


at Enterprise, where Hebert's and Baldwin's bri- 
gades had been ordered to assemble. 

Being summoned by the judge-advocate, Major 
Barton, to attend the court of inquiry, to be held in 
Atlanta, in relation to the loss of Vieksburg and Port 
Hudson, I set out for that place in the evening of the 
2d of September, but stopped in Montgomery in conse- 
quence of intelligence received there that its time of 
meeting had been postponed. On the 6th, while still 
there, I received a dispatch from General Bragg, ask- 
ing that a division of infantry might be hurried to At- 
lanta, to save that depot and give him time to defeat 
the enemy's plans. Lieutenant-General Hardee was 
immediately requested to send Gregg's and McNair's 
brigades from Meridian and Enterprise to Atlanta, 
and to replace them at those points by Featherston's 
and Adams's. This movement was begun the fol- 
lowing night. When it became evident that Atlanta 
was in no danger, the two brigades sent to defend it 

© i © 

were ordered to join General Bragg's army near 
Chattanooga, and were engaged in the battle of 

© 7 © © 



Being informed that another day of meeting of 
the court of inquiry had been appointed (the 9th), I 
was in attendance in the morning of that day. Those 
concerned who were present were then informed by 
Major-General B. Bansom, the president of the court, 
that the officers composing it were ordered by the 
Administration to return to their several stations. 

At Meridian, where the headquarters of the de- 
partment were established after my return to Missis- 
sippi, a telegram, dated 2 2d, was received from Gen- 
eral Bragg on that day, announcing that " after 

256 JOHNSTON'S NARRATIVE. [Septembee, 

four days' fighting we had driven the enemy from 
the State of Georgia, and were still pursuing him ; 
that he had encountered the most obstinate resist- 
ance, but the valor of our troops, under great priva- 
tions, had overcome them all. Under God's provi- 
dence our loss was severe, but results were commen- 
surate." McNair's and Ector's brigades, the latter 
substituted for Gregg's, were sent back to Missis- 
sippi by General Bragg, after the battle of Chicka- 
mauga. The honorable part they bore in that terri- 
ble fight had exposed them to very heavy losses. 

At Canton, on the 27th, Brigadier-General W. H. 
Jackson informed me that his scouts on the Missis- 
sippi, between Vicksburg and Memphis, reported 
that sixteen thousand United States troops had 
passed up the river since the 20th, on their way, it 
was supposed, to join the army at Chattanooga. 

On the 28th, six or eight regiments of Federal 
cavalry, with a field-battery, advanced toward Canton 
from the direction of Vernon ; but General Jackson, 
coming from Livingston, interposed Whitfield's bri- 
gade of his division, upon which the Federal troops 

The following telegram from General Bragg, 
dated the 29th, came to me in Oxford on that day : 
" Give us all the assistance you can. Enemy is evi- 
dently assembling all his available forces. He is 
strongly fortified in Chattanooga, but is embarrassed 
to supply over the mountains. We hold the railroad 
to Bridgeport. Should he open the route, your cavalry 
might pass up rear." 

I promised, on the same day, to send a body of 
cavalry under Major-General Lee, to interrupt the 


railroad communication of the Federal army through 
Tennessee, and suggested to General Bragg, in that 
connection, the expediency of adding General Rod- 
dy's brigade, belonging to his department, and then 
near Tuscumbia, to Major-General Lee's detachment. 

That officer was instructed to make the expe- 
dition as soon as possible, and to select from it about 
twenty-five hundred of the best cavalry in Northern 
Mississippi, and his most effective battery, to march 
by the route on which he would be most likely to 
escape the observation of the enemy, to the points 
on the railroad from Nashville to Chattanooga, where 
most injury could be done to it with least exposure 
of his troops; and to order Chalmers's brigade to 
attack the Federal troops stationed along the Missis- 
sippi & Charleston Railroad a day or two before his 
movement began. 

Captain Henderson, who directed the service of 
our scouts, reported that a part of Sherman's (Fif- 
teenth) corps was at Memphis at this time, on its 
way to join the United States army at Chattanooga. 

On the 10th of October, Brigadier-General Chal- 
mers, then at Holly Springs, reported that on the 6th 
he had driven a detachment of about eight hundred 
Federal troops from Coldwater, after a slight skirmish, 
and that on the 8th he had encountered a body of two 
thousand with six field-pieces, at Salem, and routed 
it after an engagement of three hours. His loss 
was three killed and forty-seven wounded. Ten of 
the enemy were killed, but the number of their 
wounded could not be ascertained. 

On the 12th, at Byhalia, he reported that, after 
tearing up the rails of the Memphis & Charleston 


road in four places, lie Lad attacked the Federal 
forces at Colliersville in their camp, driven them into 
their intrenchments, burned the camp and a quantity 
of military property, including thirty wagons, brought 
off a hundred and four prisoners, five colors, and 
about twenty wagons. He did not learn the enemy's 
loss in killed and wounded. His own was fifty. 
On the approach of fresh Federal troops from La- 
fayette and Germantown, he retreated to Byhalia. 

On the 14th, at Oxford, he reported that eleven 
regiments of cavalry had followed him to Byhalia 
and attacked him there; that, after fighting them 
four hours, he had fallen back, skirmishing, to the 
Tallahatchie at Wyat, where the assailants were re- 
pulsed, and retired, after burning the village. The 
Confederate baggage and the captured property 
were preserved. 

On the 15th, being still at Oxford, he sent me 
intelligence (on the authority of his scouts) that 
some four thousand United States troops, with a 
hundred wagons, had passed through Holly Springs 
the day before, going southward. To meet this in- 
cursion, Major-General Loring was ordered to hasten 
to Grenada with his division. Next day, however, 
another dispatch from General Chalmers, sent from 
Water Valley, informed me that the Federal party 
had turned back — " burning in every direction," in- 
cluding the village of Chulahoma. 

In the mean time intelligence was received from 
Canton that two divisions of Federal infantry, a bri- 
gade of cavalry, and some artillery, had crossed the 
Big Black at Messenger's Ferry, and were marching 
toward Brownsville — very slowly, however, for 


General Jackson, with a part of his division, was 
opposing every step of their progress with character- 
istic resolution ; and with such effect that, in that 
and the two following days, they advanced but 
twelve miles. Upon this information, Major-General 
Loring was directed to join Jackson with his divis- 
ion, and Ector's and McNair's brigades. Before all 
of these troops had reached Canton, however, Gen- 
eral Jackson reported that the enemy had turned 
back (in the morning of the 18th) seven or eight 
miles from Livingston, and retired rapidly toward 
Vicksburg by Bolton's and Edwards's Depots. 

Soon after the middle of the month, Major-Gen- 
eral Lee arrived at the point where he intended to 
cross the Tennessee River, near the head of the Mus- 
cle Shoals, with the detachment he had organized for 
the expedition against the communications of the 
army at Chattanooga. There he met General VvTheel- 
er with his division, returning from Middle Tennes- 
see, where he had been operating under General 
Bragg's orders. His representations of the number 
of Federal troops in that district of country con- 
vinced General Lee that he could not operate in it 
with hope of success, or without great danger of los- 
ing his detachment, especially as Roddy's brigade 
had not been put at his disposal. He, therefore, 
very judiciously abandoned the enterprise. 

He found employment for his troops without 
going far, however ; for General Sherman's corps, 
on its way from Vicksburg via Memphis, to the 
army at Chattanooga, was then between Tuscumbia 
and Corinth. In a dispatch dated 2 2d, and received 
on the 26th, he reported that he was then ten miles 


west of Tuscumbia, impeding the niarcli of Slier- 
man's corps toward Decatur, encountering Oster- 
haus's division, which was the leading one. General 
Sherman's headquarters were at Iuka. 

Brigadier-General Chalmers was immediately di- 
rected to do his utmost to interrupt the communica- 
tion of those troops with Memphis, by breaking the 
railroad in their rear, and otherwise. 

In a telegram received on the 26th, General Bragg 
wrote : " Bosecrans is relieved, and his department 
merged in Grant's. Thomas commands the army. 
Grant is here, or soon to be, and this is to be the 
theatre of future operations." 

Major-General Lee, with his twenty-five hundred 
cavalry, continued to oppose the march of Sherman's 
troops very effectively for the space of ten days. 
The contest was terminated at the end of that time, 
by a change of plan by the Federal commander, who, 
falling back, crossed the Tennessee below the Muscle 
Shoals and then resumed his course toward Chatta- 
nooga on the north side of the river. 

General Bragg, then at Missionary Bidge, informed 
me by telegraph, on the 4th of November, of the ap- 
proach of the Fifteenth Corps, and also that Gen- 
eral Grant had assumed command of the army con- 
fronting him. He added that he should probably 
be attacked as soon as all the expected reenforce- 
ments joined the Federal army, and therefore that 
he should hope for any troops I could spare from 
Mobile or Mississippi, but that my " previous gener- 
osity forbade him to ask for any thing.'' 

In consequence of this information, two more 
brigades were immediately ordered to join the Army 


of Tennessee in front of Chattanooga. They were 
Quarles's and Baldwin's, the latter composed of 
Vicksburg troops. 

On the 18th the President visited the troops at 
Demopolis, and on the 20th those at Enterprise. 
While there he transferred Lieutenant-General Har- 
dee back to the Army of Tennessee, and assigned 
Lienten ant-General Polk to the position he had occu- 
pied in the Department of Mississippi and East 
Louisiana. With Lieutenant-General Hardee he 
transferred Pettus's and Moore's brigades, then at 
Demopolis, to General Bragg' s command. All left 
Demopolis, for the Army of Tennessee, on the 27th. 

About that time Brigadier-General Ferguson, 
who had been detached, by Major-General Lee, with 
a part of his brigade in pursuit of a party of Fed- 
eral cavalry on a predatory incursion, in Marion 
County, Alabama, attacked and routed it, capturing 
its artillery. It was driven home by this defeat. 

On Dec. 18th, a telegram from the President was 
delivered to me in the camp of General Eoss's bri- 
gade of Texan cavalry near Bolton's Depot, directing 
me to transfer the command of the Department of 
Mississippi and East Louisiana to Lieutenant-General 
Polk, and to repair to Dalton and assume that of 
the Army of Tennessee ; and promising that I should 
find instructions there. 

In obedience to these orders, I transferred my 
command to Lieutenant-General Polk as soon as pos- 
sible, proceeded to Dalton without delay, arrived 
in the evening of the 26th, and assumed the com- 
mand of the Army of Tennessee on the 27th. 


Find Letter of Instruction from Secretary of War at Dal ton.— My Reply. — Let- 
ter from the President. — Mine in reply.— Condition of the Army. — General 
Hardee ordered to Mississippi to repel General Sherman's Advance. — 
Movements of the Enemy in our Front. — Dispositions to meet them. — Gen- 
eral Hardee and his Troops return to Dalton. — Correspondence with Gen- 
eral Bragg. — Effective Strength of the Army of Tennessee. — Advance of 
General Sherman. 

I found in Dalton a part of the instructions prom- 
ised me by the President in his telegram of the 18th 
of December, in the following letter from the Sec- 
retary of War, Mr. Seddon, dated the 20th : 

" General : You have been instructed by the 
President to proceed to Dalton and take command 
of the army now under the charge of Lieutenant- 
General Hardee. You were also informed that you 
would there receive fuller instructions. Such I now 
aim, in behalf of this department, to communicate. 

u It is apprehended the army may have been, by 
recent events, somewhat disheartened, and deprived 
of ordnance and material. Your presence, it is hoped, 
will* do much to reestablish hope and inspire confi- 
dence, and through such influence, as well as by the 
active exertions you are recommended to make, men 
who have straggled may be recalled to their stand- 
ards, and others, roused to the dangers to which fur- 
ther successes of the enemy must expose the more 


Southern States, may be encouraged to recruit the 
ranks of your army. It is desired that your early 
and vigorous efforts be directed to restoring the dis- 
cipline, prestige, and confidence of the army, and to 
increasing its numbers ; and that at the same time 
you leave no means unspared to restore and supply 
its deficiencies in ordnance, munitions, and transpor- 
tation. It is feared also that under the grave em- 
barrassments to which the commissariat is exposed, 
both from the deficiencies of supplies in the country, 
and the impediments which unfortunately the dis- 
contents of producers and the opposition of State 
authorities to the system of impressment established 
by the law of Congress have caused, you may find 
deficiences in and have serious difficulties in pro- 
viding the supplies required for the subsistence of 
the army. You will use all means in your power to 
obtain supplies from the productive States around 
you, and strong confidence is entertained that you 
may be enabled to rouse among the people and au- 
thorities a more willing spirit to part with the means 
of subsistence for the army that defends them. Mean- 
time the efforts of the Commissary Bureau will be 
directed to aid in your supply, and General Polk 
will be instructed to afford from your late depart- 
ment such resources as can be spared. 

" The movements of the enemy give no indica- 
tions of a purpose to attack your army, and it is 
probable that they may mean to strengthen them- 
selves in the occupation of the portions of Tennessee 
they have overrun. It is not desirable they should 
be allowed to do so with impunity, and, as soon as 
the condition of your forces will allow, it is hoped 


you will be able to resume the offensive. Inactivity, 
it is feared, may cause the spirit of despondency to 
recur, and the practice of desertion and straggling to 
increase. Should the enemy venture to separate his 
army, or send off detachments on different expe- 
ditions, it is hoped you may be able. early to strike 
them with effect. While, however, these suggestions 
are ventured, your own experience and judgment 
are relied on to form and act on your plans of mili- 
tary operations, and there will be the fullest disposi- 
tion on the part of this department to sustain and 
cooperate with them. With this view you are in- 
vited to communicate freely with the department, 
and to disclose your conceptions of the military situ- 
ation, and how the most efficient cooperation may 
be given you. At the same time it is feared the other 
imperative claims on the department must confine 
you almost exclusively to the resources of your pres- 
ent department, and such general aid as it may be 
in the power of General Polk to render, with whom 
consultation, as to the general ends to be accom- 
plished by both, is recommended." 

Although unable at the time to discover the 
Honorable Secretary's object in addressing such a 
letter to one thought competent, apparently, to the 
second military position in importance in the Con- 
federacy, or to find in it much that was instructive, 
I replied immediately, and gravely. 

" Sir : I had the honor to receive your ' letter of 
instructions' yesterday. Having perused it care- 
fully more than once, I respectfully inclose it here- 


with, that you may do me the favor to affix your 
signature and return it. 

" Having arrived but two days ago, I have been 
able to obtain no information, directly, of the ene 
my's positions and strength ; and the principal ofii 
cers of the army can give me but little. It is be 
lieved by them that the army in our front amounts 
to about eighty thousand men; occupying Chatta 
nooga, now strongly fortified, Bridgeport, and Steven 
son. I find the country unfit for military operations, 
from the effect of heavy rains. Its condition pre- 
vents military exercises — a most important means of 

"The duties of military administration that you 
point out to me shall be attended to with diligence. 
The most difficult of them will be the procuring sup- 
plies of food. Foreseeing this before leaving Missis- 
sippi, I applied for permission to bring Major W. E. 
Moore with me, to be chief commissary of the army. 
The reply of the adjutant and inspector general 
was, that Major Moore had been collecting supplies 
in Mississippi so long that it was deemed inexpedi- 
ent to transfer him. General Cooper was mistaken. 
Major Moore has not served long in Mississippi, nor 
collected large supplies there. He made his reputa- 
tion in this army. Major Dameron directs the pur- 
chase and impressment of provisions in Mississippi. 
So that Major Moore's position is not an important 
one. Therefore Lieutenant-General Polk, from inter- 
est in this army, is anxious that he should be its 
chief commissary. I therefore most respectfully re- 
peat my application. 

" This army is now far from being in condition to 


'resume the offensive.' It is deficient in numbers, 
arms, subsistence stores, and field transportation. 

" In reference to the subsistence of the army, you 
direct me to ' use all means in my power to obtain 
supplies from the productive States around me.' 
Let me remind you that I have little if any power 
to procure supplies for the army. The system estab- 
lished last summer deprives generals of any control 
over the officers of the quartermaster's and subsist- 
ence departments detailed to make purchases in the 
different States. I depend upon three majors in 
each State, neither of whom owes me obedience. 
Having no power to procure means of feeding, 
equipping, and moving the army, I am also released 
from the corresponding responsibilities. I refer to 
this matter in no spirit of discontent — for I have no 
taste, personally, for the duties in question — but to 
beg you to consider if the responsibility for keeping 
the army in condition to move and fight ought not 
to rest upon the general, instead of being divided 
anions: a number of officers w T ho have not been 
thought by the Government competent to the duties 
of high military grades." 

On the 31st I received the following letter from 
the President, dated 23d. Like that of the Secre- 
tary of War, it w^as ostensibly intended for my in- 

" Geneeal : This is addressed under the suppo- 
sition that you have arrived at Dalton, and have 
assumed command of the forces at that place. The 
intelligence recently received respecting the condi- 


tion of that army is encouraging, and induces ine to 
hope that you will soon be able to commence active 
operations against the enemy. 

" The reports concerning the battle at Missionary 
Ridge show that our loss in killed and wounded 
was not great, and that the reverse sustained is not 
attributable to any general demoralization or reluc- 
tance to encounter the opposing army. The brilliant 
stand made by the rear-guard at Ringgold sustains 
this belief. 

" In a letter written to me soon after the battle, 
General Bragg expressed his unshaken confidence in 
the courage and morale of the troops. He says : 
• We can redeem the past. Let us concentrate all 
our available men, unite them with this little army, 
still full of zeal, and burning to redeem its lost char- 
acter and prestige — hurl the whole upon the enemy, 
and crush him in his power and his glory. I believe 
it practicable, and that I may be allowed to partici- 
pate in the struggle which may restore to us the 
character, the prestige, and the country, we have just 
lost. This will give us confidence and restore hope 
to the country and the army, while it will do what 
is more important, give us subsistence, without 
which I do not see how we are to remain united.' 

"The^ official reports made to my aide-de-camp, 
Colonel Ives, who has just returned from Dalton, 
presented a not unfavorable view of the material of 
the command. 

"The chief of ordnance reported that, notwith- 
standing the abandonment of a considerable num- 
ber of guns during the battle, there was still on 
hand, owing to previous large captures by our 


troops, as many Latteries as were proportionate to 
the strength, of the army, well supplied with horses 
and equipment; that a large reserve of small-arms 
was in store at readily-accessible points ; and that the 
supply of ammunition was abundant. 

" Courparatively few wagons and ambulances 
had been lost, and sufficient remained for transpor- 
tation purposes, if an equal distribution were made 
throughout the different corps. The teams appeared 
to be generally in fair condition. The troops were 
tolerably provided with clothing, and a heavy in- 
voice of shoes and blankets daily expected. 

"The returns from the commissary department 
showed that there were thirty days' provisions on 

" Stragglers and convalescents were rapidly com- 
ing in, and the morning reports exhibited an effective 
total, that, added to the two brigades last sent from 
Mississippi, and the cavalry sent back by Long- 
street, would furnish a force exceeding in number 
that actually engaged in any battle on the Confeder- 
ate side during the present war. General Hardee 
telegraphed to me on the 11th instant: 'The army 
is in good spirits; the artillery reorganized and 
equipped, and we are now ready to fight.' 

" The effective condition of your new command, 
as thus reported to me, is a matter of much congratu- 
lation, and I assure you that nothing shall he want- 
ing on the part of the Government to aid you in your 
efforts to regain possession of the territory from 
which we have been driven. You will not need 
to have it suggested that the imperative demand for 
prompt and vigorous action arises not only from the 


importance of restoring tlie prestige of the army, and 
averting the injurious and dispiriting results that 
must attend a season of inactivity, but from the 
necessity of reoccupying the country, upon the sup- 
plies of which the proper subsistence of our armies 
materially depends. 

" Of the immediate measures to be adopted in 
attaining this end, the full importance of which I am 
sure you appreciate, you must be the best judge, 
after due inquiry and consideration on the spot shall 
have matured an opinion. It is my desire that you 
should communicate fully and freely with me con- 
cerning your proposed plan of action, that all the 
assistance and cooperation may be most advanta- 
geously afforded that it is in the power of the Gov- 
ernment to render. 

" Trusting that your health may be preserved, and 
that the arduous and responsible duties you have 
undertaken may be successfully accomplished, I re- 

" Very respectfully and truly yours, 
(Signed) " Jefferson Davis." 

I was unable then, as now, to imagine any mili- 
tary object for which this letter could have been 
written, especially by one whose time was supposed 
to be devoted to the most important concerns of 
government. The President could not have thought 
that I was to be taught the moral and material con- 
clition of the army around me by him, from the 
observations of his aide-de-camp, who had never 
seen military service, instead of learning them by 
my own. Nor could he have believed that the army 


which he so described was competent to recover 
"the territory from which it had been driven." He 
had visited it some two months before, and seen that 
it could make no forward movement for the purpose 
then, when the ojyposing Federal army had not been 
increased by the corps of twenty thousand veterans, 
led from Mississippi by Sherman ; nor ours weakened 
by the withdrawal from it of Longstreet's corps, 1 and 
its losses at Missionary Eidge. Those losses must 
have been severe, for such troops are not easily 
driven from strong and intrenched positions; still 
less, easily routed. As I had much better means of 
information on the subjects of this paper than its au- 
thor, it could not have been written for my instruction. 

The two high executive officers expressed in their 
letters very different opinions of the effect of its re- 
cent defeat, upon the army. The Secretary of War 
expressed plainly his consciousness of the great 
losses it had suffered in men, morale, and material. 
The President, on the contrary, regarded " the effec- 
tive condition " of the army as " a matter of much 
congratulation." And, to give a distinct idea of its 
strength, he asserted that " the morning report ex- 
hibited an effective total that, added to the two bri- 
gades last sent from Mississippi, 2 and the cavalry sent 
back by Longstreet, 3 would furnish a force exceeding 
in number that actually engaged in any battle, on 
the Confederate side, during the present war." 

To disprove this assertion, it is not necessary to 

1 About fourteen thousand of the best of the Confederate troops. 

2 Quarles's and Baldwin's brigades, sent back to Mississippi by the 
President two weeks after. 

3 No cavalry had been sent back by Longstreet ; Martin's division, 
referred to, rejoiued us in April following. 


go back to the previous years of the war, and the 
greatest of the Confederate armies — those directed 
"by General Lee against McClellan and Pope. It is 
enough to refer to the recent history of this very 
army — the remnant of that which fought at Chicka- 
mauga and Missionary Ridge. On the first of those 
occasions a number more than double the " effective 
total " in question must have been led into battle, 
for it lost eighteen thousand men then. 1 At least 
seven thousand were killed, wounded, dispersed, or 
taken at Missionary Ridge, and in the retreat thence 
to Dalton, and fifteen thousand five hundred a had 
been sent from it in Longstreet's corps, and Ector's 
and McNair's brigades. On the other hand, " the 
two last brigades sent from Mississippi " had an 
effective total of three thousand, and four thousand 
of the fugitives of Missionary Ridge had rejoined 
their regiments at Dalton. According to these fig- 
ures, forty thousand men had been lost, and seven 
thousand gained by this army. So that its " effective 
total " scarcely exceeded half the number that fought 
on the Confederate side at Chickamauga. Cavalry 
is not included in the foregoing figures. The number 
of troops of that arm had been reduced also, and, as 
Martin's division fought at Chickamauga, its presence 
at Dalton would not have affected the above state- 
ment materially, for hard service had told so severely 
upon its horses that much less than half were effec- 

1 Statement of General Mackall, General Bragg's chief-of-staff. 

2 Longstreet's corps had fourteen thousand infantry and artillery 
{see General Bragg's letter of March, p. 293). Ector's and McNair's 
brigades numbered about fifteen hundred when they returned to Missis- 


Heavy rains, which were prevailing at the time 
of my arrival at Dalton, and the consequent deep 
mud, prevented the immediate bringing out of the 
troops for inspection, to ascertain their condition. 
In replying to the President's letter on the 2d of 
January, I endeavored to avoid erring on the unfa- 
vorable side of the case. Fuller information, soon 
obtained by personal observation, showed that the 
statements in it relating to the clothing of the troops, 
and the condition of the horses and mules of the 
army, were much too favorable. That reply was as 
follows ; 

"Dalton, January 2, 1864. 

" Mr. President : I have received the letter which 
you did me the honor to write to me on the 23d 

" Having been here but six days, during four of 
which it rained heavily, I have not been able to ob- 
serve the condition of the army. I judge, however, 
from the language of the general officers, that it has 
not entirely recovered its confidence, and that its dis- 
cipline is not so thorough as it was last spring. The 
men are, generally, comfortably clothed ; a few shoes 
and blankets are wanting in each brigade, which the 
chief quartermaster promises to supply very soon. 

"According to the return of December 20th, the 
effective total of the army (infantry and artillery) is 
not quite thirty-six thousand; the number present 
about foii^-three thousand ; that present and absent 
about seventy-seven thousand. The reports of the 
adjutant-general show that about four thousand men 
have returned to the ranks since the battle of Mission- 
ary Ricige. My predecessor estimated the enemy's 


force at Chattanooga, Bridgeport, and Stevenson, at 
about eighty thousand. 

"Major-General Wheeler reports that about two- 
thirds of his cavalry is with General Longstreet. 
He has about sixteen hundred in our front; Ma- 
jor-General "Wharton has eight hundred and fifty 
near Rome, and Brigadier-General Roddy, with his 
brigade, is supposed to be near Tuscurnbia — his 
strength not reported. I am afraid that this cavalry 
is not very efficient — that want of harmony among 
the superior officers causes its discipline to be im- 
perfect. I will endeavor to improve it during the 

" The artillery is sufficient for the present strength 
of the army, but is deficient in discipline and instruc- 
tion, especially in firing. The horses are not in good 
condition. It has about two hundred rounds of am- 
munition. Its organization is very imperfect. 

"We have more than one hundred and twenty 
rounds of infantry ammunition, and no difficulty in 
obtaining more. 

"The chief quartermaster reports that, besides 
the baggage-wagons of the troops, he has enough to 
transport eight days' rations, but that will leave no 
means of transporting forage and other stores of 
his department. The teams are improving, but 
are far from being in good condition. One hun- 
dred and twenty wagons are expected from the De- ' 
partment of Mississippi, promised by Lieufcenant-Gen- 
eral Polk. 

" The army depends for subsistence upon an officer 
at Atlanta (Major Cummings), who acts under the 
orders of the Commissary-General. The chief com- 



missary of the array reports that that officer has pro- 
vided for the next month, but we depend upon the 
railroad for bringing supplies to the troops. As yet 
rations for but five days have been accumulated here, 
with a supply for three previously placed at Calhoun, 
twenty miles to the rear. We have had no receipts 
for two days, for want, it is said, of good fuel on the 
road. The practice of transporting beef-cattle by 
railroad has made it impossible to accumulate stores 
here. I propose, as soon as the arrangement can be 
made, to have the cattle driven, but the change will 
require time. The men are not entirely satisfied with 
the ration, it is said. 

" Your Excellency well impresses upon me the 
importance of recovering the territory we have lost. 
I feel it deeply, but difficulties aj^pear to me in the 

" The Secretary of War has informed me that I 
must not hope for reenforcements. To assume the 
offensive from this point, we must move either into 
Middle or East Tennessee. To the first, the obstacles 
are Chattanooga, now a fortress, the Tennessee River, 
the rugged desert of the Cumberland Mountains, and 
an army outnumbering ours more than two to one. 
The second course would leave the way into Georgia 
open. We have neither subsistence nor field trans- 
portation enough for either march. General Bragg 
and Lieutenant-General Hardee, in suggesting the 
offensive, proposed to operate with a powerful army 
formed upon this as a nucleus. The former was un- 
able to advance before the arrival of Sherman had 
added twenty-five thousand men to the Federal army, 
and the march of Lomrstreet into East Tennessee had 


reduced ours by twelve thousand. The latter, in his 
letter to you of the 17th ultimo, expresses the opinion 
that this army is too weak to oppose the enemy 
should he advance. 

" There w r ould be much less difficulty, I think, in 
advancing from Northern Mississippi, avoiding the 

" I can see no other mode of taking the offensive 
here, than to beat the enemy when he advances, and 
then move forward. But, to make victory probable, 
the army must be strengthened. A ready mode of 
doing this would be by substituting negroes for all 
the soldiers on detached or daily duty, as well as 
company cooks, pioneers, and laborers for engineer 
service. This would give us at once ten or twelve 
thousand men. And the other armies of the Confed- 
eracy might be strengthened in the same proportion. 
Immediate and judicious legislation would be neces- 
sary, however. 

" I earnestly ask your Excellency's consideration 
of this matter. A law authorizing the Government 
to take negroes for all the duties out of the ranks, 
for which soldiers are now detailed, giving the slave 
a portion of the pay, and punishing the master for 
not returning him if he deserts, would enable us to 
keep them in service. This is the opinion of the 
seven or eight ranking officers present. 

" My experience in Mississippi was, that impressed 
negroes run away whenever it is possible, and are 
frequently encouraged by their masters to do so ; 
and I never knew one to be returned by his master. 

"I respectfully suggest the division of this army 
into three corps, and, should your Excellency adopt 


that suggestion, the appointment of lieutenant-gen- 
erals from some other army. 

" Very respectfully, 

"J. E. Johnston." 

I supposed, from the information given me by 
the ranking general officers, that Dalton had not 
been selected by General Bragg for its value as a de- 
fensive position, but that the retreat from Mission- 
ary Ridge had ceased at that point, because it was 
ascertained there that the pursuit had been aban- 
doned by the Federal army. Each division, conse- 
quently, was occupying the position it had taken for 
the encampment of a night, and on it had con- 
structed huts for its winter quarters. These divis- 
ions formed two corps: one commanded by Lieu- 
tenant-General Hardee, composed of Cheatham's, 
Breckenridge's, Cleburne's, and Walker's divisions ; 
the other, commanded by Major-General Hindman, 
was composed of his own, Stevenson's, and Stewart's 

Major-General Wheeler, with such of his cavalry 
as was fittest for active service, amounting to about 
sixteen hundred, was at the village of Tunnel Hill, 
on the railroad, seven miles from Dalton, in the di- 
rection of Ringgold ; his pickets on Taylor's Ridge, 
in front, and on the left, but extending to the right 
beyond the Cleveland road. Cleburne's division oc- 
cupied the crest of Tunnel Hill, on both sides of the 
wagon-road from Dalton to Ringgold. Stewart's di- 
vision had one brigade in front of, one in, and two 
immediately in rear of Mill-Creek Gap. Brecken- 
ridge was between the Gap and Dalton ; Hind- 


man's, two miles southwest of Dalton, except a bri- 
gade on the Cleveland road ; Stevenson's, near Hind- 
man's ; Walker's, three miles east of Dalton ; and 
Cheatham's, near and to the south of Walker's. 

The Federal army in our front — that by which 
ours had been driven from Missionary Kidge to Dal- 
ton — was estimated by our principal officers, who 
had been confronting it for almost two years, at 
eighty thousand men, exclusive of cavalry. This 
was undoubtedly an over-estimate. 1 These troops 
occupied Chattanooga, Bridgeport, and Stevenson. 
Besides them, the Ninth and Twenty-third Corps, 
twenty-five or thirty thousand, were at Knoxville. 
Longstreet's corps and Martin's cavalry division of 
the Army of Tennessee were in observation of these 
troops, forty miles from them, toward Virginia. 8 

The position of Dalton had little to recommend 
it as a defensive one. It had neither intrinsic 
strength nor strategic advantage. It neither fully 
covered its own communications nor threatened 
those of the enemy. The railroad from Atlanta to 
Chattanooga passes through Bocky-Faced , Bidge by 
Mill-Creek Gap, three miles and a half beyond Dal- 
ton, but very obliquely, the course of the road be- 
ing about thirty degrees west of north, and that of 
the ridge about five degrees east of north. As it ter- 
minates but three miles north of the gap, it offers 
little obstacle to the advance of a superior force 

1 This number was estimated to be sixty -five thousand by an officer 
who belonged to General Grant's staff at Chattanooga. 

3 Besides these, there were about eight hundred and fifty men under 
General Wharton's command, in a sort of camp for broken-down horses, 
to the south of Kome, and Brigadier- General Koddy's strong brigade 
near Tuscumbia. 


from Kinggold to Dalton. Between Mill-Creek and 
Snake-Creek Gaps, this ridge protects the road to 
Atlanta on the west, but at the same time covers 
any direct approach from Chattanooga to Kesaca or 
Calhoun — points on the route from Dalton to At- 
lanta — or flank movement in that direction, by an 
army in front of Mill- Creek Gap. These considera- 
tions would have induced me to draw the troops 
back to the vicinity of Calhoun, to free our left flank 
from exposure, but for the earnestness w T ith which 
the President- and Secretary of War, in their letters 
of instructions, wrote of early assumption of offen- 
sive operations and apprehension of the bad effect 
of a retrograde movement upon the spirit of the 
Southern people. 

An active campaign of six months, half of it in 
the rugged region between Chattanooga and Dalton, 
had so much reduced the condition of the horses of 
the cavalry and artillery, as well as of the mules of 
the wagon-trains, that most of them were unfit for 
active service. The rest they had been allowed at 
Dalton had not improved their condition materially ; 
for, from want of good fuel, the railroad-trains had 
not been able to bring up full supplies of forage. 
This continued until near the end of January, when 
the management of the railroad had been greatly 
improved by the intervention of Governor Brown, 
and a better system introduced in the manner of for- 
warding military supplies. 

This scarcity of food made it necessary to send 
almost half of the artillery-horses and all the mules 
not required for camp-service to the valley of the 
Etowah, where long forage could be found, and the 


sources of supply of grain were nearer. In that 
connection, I find, in a letter to the President dated 
January 15th, this passage: "Since my arrival, very 
little long forage has been received, and nothing like 
full rations of corn — that weevil-eaten. The officer 
commanding the artillery of a division that I in- 
spected to-day reported that his horses had had but 
thirteen pounds each, of very bad corn, in the last 
three days." 

In the course of the inspection made as soon as 
practicable, I found the condition of the army much 
less satisfactory than it had appeared to the Presi- 
dent on the 23d of December. There was a great 
deficiency of blankets ; and it was painful to see the 
number of bare feet in every regiment. In the letter 
quoted in the last paragraph, the President was in- 
formed that two of the four brigades inspected by 
me that day were not in condition to march, for want 
of shoes. There was a deficiency, in the infantry, of 
six thousand small-arms. The artillery-horses were 
generally still so feeble from long, hard service and 
scarcity of forage, that it would have been impos- 
sible to manoeuvre our batteries in action, or to 
march with them at any ordinary rate on ordinary 
roads. It was long before they could draw the guns 
through fields. Early in February, when the supply 
of forage had become regular, and the face of the 
country almost dry, after the review of a corps, the 
teams of the Napoleon guns were unable to draw 
them up a trifling hill, over which the road to their 
stables passed. 

On the 15th and 16th, Quarles's and Baldwin's 
brigades, "the last two sent from Mississippi," re- 


turned to that department in obedience to orders 
from the Secretary of War. At the same time Gov- 
ernor Brown transferred two regiments of State 
troops to the army. They were placed as guards for 
the protection of the railroad-bridges between Dal- 
ton and Atlanta.. Intrenchments for this object 
were then in course of construction, under the direc- 
tion of the chief-engineer of the army, Brigadier- 
General Leadbetter. 

To supply the great want of effective cavalry, 
Brigadier-General Roddy was ordered to join the 
army with his brigade, except one regiment, which 
he was instructed to leave near Tuscumbia. Soon 
after his arrival, however, I was directed by the Sec- 
retary of War to send him back to his former posi- 
tion. I was taught in this way that my authority 
over that brigade was ostensible only. About one- 
third of the brigade, under Colonel Hannon, was re- 
tained by me, and served with the army in the cam- 
paign of that year. 

The time of winter was employed mainly in im- 
proving the discipline and instruction of the troops, 
and attention to their comfort. Before the end of 
April, more than five thousand absentees had been 
brought back to their regiments. The establishment 
of a system which allowed furloughs to all the men 
in turn, it was thought, contributed greatly to this 
result. Military operations were confined generally 
to skirmishing between little scouting-parties of cav- 
alry of our army with pickets of the other. On the 
28th of January, however, a strong body of infantry, 
advancing from Ringgold, drove in our cavalry out- 
posts and approached Tunnel Hill, closely enough to 


see that it was still occupied. It then returned, as 
if the object of the expedition had been accom- 

On the 11th of February, intelligence was received 
from Lieutenant-General Polk that- General Sher- 
man was leading an army of thirty-five thousand in- 
fantry and artillery eastwardly from Vicksburg, had 
crossed Pearl River at Jackson, and was moving 
along the railroad toward Meridian. Mobile was 
assumed to be the object of this expedition. Orders 
by telegraph were received on the same day from the 
President, directing me to aid Lieutenant-General 
Polk, either by sending him reenforcements or by 
joining him myself " with what force I could." The 
President urged that the enemy should be met before 
he had established a new base to which supplies and 
reenforcements might be sent by sea. I replied on 
the same day, and suggested that it would be im- 
possible for troops from Dalton to meet this Federal 
army before it reached the Gulf, and therefore asked 
instructions in that view of the case. This dispatch 
did not reach the President's hands, and on the 13th 
he asked me by telegraph what I could do toward 
striking at the enemy while in motion, and before 
he had established a new base. I replied that such 
an expedition would require two-thirds of the Army 
of Tennessee and would involve the abandonment of 
" that line." 

On the 16th I was instructed to " detach for 
temporary service, unless immediately threatened, 
enough infantry to enable Lieutenant-General Polk 
to beat the detachment which the enemy had thrown 
so far into the interior of our country." My reply, 


on the same day, was to the effect that such a de- 
tachment, either marching or transported "by rail- 
road, would be too late for the object. 

On the 17th the President directed me, by tele- 
grajm, to dispatch Lieutenant-General Hardee to 
Mississippi with Cheatham's, Cleburne's, and Walk- 
er's divisions of his corps, with instructions to unite 
with Lieutenant-General Polk as soon as possible. 
This order was obeyed as promptly as our means of 
transportation permitted. 

The Federal commanders in Tennessee seem to 
have anticipated such a detachment, and to have 
exaggerated its strength ; for, on the 14th, General 
Grant, who, the day before, had instructed Major- 
General Thomas to move to Knoxville with all the 
troops that could be spared from Chattanooga, " to 
cooperate with the Army of the Ohio in driving 
Longstreet from East Tennessee," countermanded 
that order, and directed a movement to the immedi- 
ate front instead, " to gain possession of Dalton, and 
as far south of that as possible." ' 

On the 2 2d, intelligence was received from Lieu- 
tenant-General Polk's headquarters, at Demopolis, 
that Sherman's invading column, after passing Merid- 
ian, which it destroyed, had turned, and was march- 
ing back toward Yicksburg ; and Lieutenant-General 
Hardee's corps, of which only the leading troops had 
reached that place, were about to return. At night 
our scouts reported that the Federal army, in march- 
ing order, had advanced from Chattanooga to Ring- 
gold that day, and that a large body of infantry and 

1 General Thomas's report of March 10, 1864. 


artillery, accompanied by Long's ' brigade of cavalry, 
had, at the same time, marched from Cleveland to 
Eed Clay. 

To meet these movements, Stewart's and Breck- 
enridge's divisions were posted in the eastern outlet 
of Mill-Creek Gap, Hindman's in reserve near, and 
Stevenson's in front of Dalton, on the Cleveland 
road. This was on the morning of the 23d. The 
two bodies of Federal troops united in front of King- 
gold in the afternoon, and, advancing upon the Con- 
federate cavalry, drove it from the village of Tunnel 
Hill to Cleburne's abandoned camp. After being 
annoyed by the fire of General Wheeler's artillery 
from this commanding position, near night, the Fed- 
eral army drew back three or four miles, and en- 

On the 24th the Federal army advanced in three 
columns, the centre one directed against the Con- 
federate cavalry. The horse-artillery, by its accurate 
fire, checked this column until those of the right and 
left had advanced so far as, by threatening their 
flanks, to compel General Wheeler's troops to retire. 
They were led through the gap, and placed in ob- 
servation in Crow Valley (that lying east of Rocky- 
Face Ridge), two miles to the north. The Federal 
army encamped in the valley immediately west of 
the pass. 

In the morning of the 25th the Federal skirmish- 
ers engaged those of the two divisions in the pass, 
and desultory firing was maintained during the day. 

1 This officer was instructed to give instant information to General 
Crafts, if the Confederate troops had abandoned Dalton, that he might 
promptly advance to the place. 


Later, Major- General Wheeler reported that two 
strong columns had passed around the mountain and 
were moving down Crow Valley toward us, one fol- 
lowing the base of the mountain, and the other the 
parallel ridge to the east of it. The first was formed 
by a division and six regiments under General Crufts ; 
the other was General Baird's division. Major-Gen- 
eral Hindman was directed to meet this demonstra- 
tion with Stevenson's division and Clayton's bri- 
gade of Stewart's. He chose the best position for this 
purpose, and disposed his troops in it skillfully: 
Clayton's and Keynold's brigades on a detached hill 
near the base of the mountain and in the inter- 
mediate pass, and Stevenson's three other brigades 
(Brown's, Pettus's, and Cunimings's) on the opposite 
height to the east. The skirmishers soon became 
engaged on both sides of the valley, and the enemy 
halted. The skirmishing continued, however, with 
more or less spirit, until near night. Late in the af- 
ternoon a sharp attack was made upon Hindman's 
left, falling principally upon Clayton's brigade, but, 
after a brisk engagement of half an hour, the assail- 
ants were repulsed. The other Federal division re- 
tired at the same time, having engaged Stevenson, only 
with its skirmishers and artillery. In Mill-Creek 
Gap one threat of serious assault was made by a body 
of troops which entered it on the north side of the 
stream, and advanced against Stewart's division; 
they met, however, the fire of a battery in their front 
and musketry from the hill above, which drove them 
back in confusion. 

When I returned to Dalton after nightfall, it was 
reported to me that the guard posted in Dug Gap had 


been driven from it "by a regiment of Federal mounted 
infantry, and without resistance. Fortunately, Gran- 
berry's " Texas " brigade, the foremost of the return- 
ing troops of Hardee's corps, had just arrived at the 
railroad-station and was leaving the train. He was 
directed to march by the Villanow road, which passes 
through the Dug Gap, to the foot of the mountain, 
to bivouac there, and at dawn next morning to re- 
cover the position. 

That gallant officer executed these instructions 
with the intelligent courage he always exhibited in 
presence of the enemy. The appearance of a part of 
his brigade on the crest of the mountain, at a point 
commanding the Gap, and that of another in front 
at the same time, dislodged the Federal troops before 
sunrise, and they abandoned the ground with a pre- 
cipitation that amused the Texans greatly. 

It was ascertained soon after that the Federal 
army had retired during the night. 

In his report of these operations, dated March 
10, 1864, General Thomas wrote: "Being convinced 
that the rebel army at Dalton largely outnumbered 
the strength of the four divisions I had opposed to 
it, and the movement against Johnston being a com- 
plete success, inasmuch as it caused the recalling 
of the reinforcements sent to oppose General Sher- 
man's expedition against Meridian, I concluded to 
withdraw my troops to the position they occupied 
before the reconnaissance." When writing this pas- 
sage the general had forgotten, apparently, a previous 
one, in which he stated that this expedition was 
made by General Grant's order, and for the purpose 
of occupying Dalton, "and as far south of that as 


possible." In relation to tliat object, for which the 
expedition was ordered, it certainly was not "a suc- 
cess," " complete " or partial. And as to any relation 
between General Thomas's operations near Mill-Creek 
Gap, and General Sherman's " against Meridian," the 
latter was abandoned on the 20th, and the retrograde 
movement to Vicksburg began on the 21st. In conse- 
quence of this, Hardee's troops (" the reenforcements " 
referred to above), only the foremost of which had 
reached the Tombigbee, were recalled by the Presi- 
dent on the 23d, before General Thomas's designs 
had been discovered. It is incredible that the skir- 
mishing about Mill-Creek Gap on the 25th and 26th 
of February could have been intended to " cause the 
recalling " of Hardee's troops, for they had been on 
their way back two or three days ; or for the relief 
of Sherman, who was four or five days' march on his 
return to Vicksburg, while Lieutenant-General Polk's 
troops were on the Tombigbee. As to being out- 
numbered, the Federal army had four divisions and 
six regiments — probably at least seventeen brigades ; 
it encountered seven Confederate brigades on the 
25th, and eleven on the 26th. 


Disposition of the Confederate Troops. — Affair at Dug Gap. — Cavalry Fight at 
Varnell's Station. — Fighting at Resaca. — General Wheeler encounters 
Stoneman's Cavalry. — Army withdrawn to Resaca to meet Flanking Move- 
ment of the Enemy. 

. As, since the President's letter of December 23d, 
no reference had been made to the design of recover- 
ing Middle Tennessee, I reminded him of it on the 
27th, through General Bragg, who was virtually his 
chief staff-officer, in the following letter : 

" General : Letters received from the President 
and Secretary of War, soon after my assignment to 
this command, gave me the impression that a for- 
ward movement by this army was intended to be 
made in the spring. If I am right in that impres- 
sion, and the President's intentions are unchanged, I 
respectfully suggest that much preparation is neces- 
sary — large additions to the number of troops, a 
great quantity of field transportation, subsistence 
stores, and forage, a bridge-equipage, and fresh artil- 
lery-horses, to be procured. Few of those we have 
are fit for a three days' march, as they have not 
recovered from the effect of the last campaign. To 
make our artillery efficient, at least a thousand fresh 
horses are required, even if we stand on the defen- 


sive. Let me suggest that the necessary measures 
be taken without delay. 

" The artillery also wants organization, and es- 
pecially a competent commander. I therefore re- 
spectfully urge that such a one be sent me. I have 
applied for Colonel Alexander, 1 but General Lee ob- 
jects that he is too valuable in his present position 
to be taken from it. His value to the country 
would be more than doubled, I think, by the promo- 
tion and assignment I recommend. 

" Should the movement in question be made, Lieu- 
tenant-General Longstreet's command would neces- 
sarily take part in it. Other troops might be drawn 
from General Beauregard's and Lieutenant-General 
Polk's departments. The infantry of the latter is so 
small a force that what would remain after the for- 
mation of proper garrisons for Mobile would be use- 
less in Mississippi, but a valuable addition to the 
Army of Tennessee. But of these matters you are 
much better informed than I." 

General Bragg replied on the 4th of March : 

"General: In reply to yours of the 27th ult., 
just received, I hasten to inform you that your infer- 
ence from the letters of the President and Secretary 
of War is correct and you are desired to have all 
things in readiness at the earliest practicable moment 
for the movement indicated. 3 It is hoped but little 
time will be required to prepare the force now under 

1 Recommending his promotion. 

8 Under rules established by Mr. Seddon, I had no authority to do 


your command, as the season is at hand, and the 
time seems propitious. 

" Such additional forces will be ordered to you 
as the exigencies of the service elsewhere will per- 
mit, and it is hoped your own efforts will secure 
many absentees and extra-duty men to the ranks. 

"The deficiency you report in artillery-horses 
seems very large, and so different from the account 
given by General Hardee on turning over the com- 
mand, that hopes are entertained that there must 
be some error on your part. Prompt measures 
should be taken by you, however, to supply the 
want, whatever it may be. 

" The part of your letter relative to this and field 
transportation will be referred to the Quartermaster- 

" Colonel Alexander, applied for by you, as chief 
of artillery, is deemed necessary by General Lee, in 
his present position. Brigadier-General W. N. Pen- 
dleton, an experienced officer of artillery, has been 
ordered to your headquarters to inspect that part 
of your command, and report its condition. 

" Should his services be acceptable to you, I am 
authorized to say you can retain him. 

" I am exceedingly anxious to gratify you on this 
point, for I know the deficiency now existing. 

" It is more than probable that such a junction 
may soon be made as to place Colonel Alexander 
under your command." 

Keply, dated March 12, 1864. 

"General: I had the honor to receive your 
letter of the 4th instant, in which I am desired to 



* have all things in readiness at the earliest practi- 
cable moment, for the movement indicated.' 

" The last two words quoted give me the impres- 
sion that some particular plan of operations is re- 
ferred to. If so, it has not been communicated to me. 
A knowledge of it and of the forces to be provided 
for is necessary, to enable me to make proper requi- 
sitions. Permit me, in that connection, to remind 
you that the regulations of the War Department do 
not leave the preparations referred to to me, but to 
officers who receive their orders from Richmond — 
not from my headquarters. 

" The defects in the organization of the artillery 
cannot be remedied without competent superior offi- 
cers. For them we must depend upon the Govern- 

" I respectfully beg leave to refer to my letter to 
the President, dated January 2d, for my opinions on 
the subject of our operations on this line. 

" Is it probable that the enemy's forces will in- 
crease during the spring ? Or will they diminish in 
May and June by expiration of terms of service ? 
It seems to me that our policy depends on the an- 
swers to these questions. If that to the first is af- 
firmative, we should act promptly. If that to the 
second is so, we should not, but on the contrary put 
off action, if possible, until the discharge of many 
of his soldiers, if any considerable number is to be 

" P. S. — Should Sherman join Thomas, this army 
would require reenforcement to enable it to hold its 
ground. Our army that takes the offensive should 
be our strongest in relation to its enemy." 


On the 18th Colonel Sale, General Bragg's mili- 
tary secretary, brought me the following letter from 
that officer, dated the 12th : 

" General : In previous communications it has 
been intimated to you that the President desired a 
forward movement by the forces under your com- 
mand ; and it was suggested that such preparations 
as are practicable and necessary should be com- 
menced immediately. 

" I now desire to lay before you, more in detail, 
the views of the Department in regard to the pro- 
posed operations, and to inform you of the means in- 
tended to be placed at your disposal. Of course 
but a general outline is necessary, as matters of de- 
tail must be left to your judgment and discretion. 

" It is not deemed advisable to attempt the cap- 
ture of the enemy's fortified positions by direct at- 
tack, but to draw out, and then, if practicable, force 
him to battle in the open field. To accomplish this 
object, we should so move as to concentrate our 
means between the scattered forces of the enemy, 
and, failing to draw him out for battle, to move 
upon his lines of communication. The force in 
Knoxville depends in a great measure on its connec- 
tion with Chattanooga for support, and both are 
entirely dependent on regular and rapid communica- 
tion with Nashville. To separate these two by in- 
terposing our main force, and then strike and destroy 
the railroad from Nashville to Chattanooga, fulfills 
both conditions. 

"To accomplish this, it is proposed that you 
move as soon as your means and force can be collect- 


ed, so as to reach the Tennessee Kiver near Kingston, 
where a crossing can be effected ; that Lieutenant- 
General Longstreet move simultaneously by a route 
east and south of Knoxville, so as to form a junction 
with you near this crossing. As soon as you come 
within supporting distance, Knoxville is isolated, 
and Chattanooga threatened, with barely a possibili- 
ty for the enemy to unite. Should he not then offer 
you battle outside of his intrenched lines, a rapid 
move across the mountains from Kingston to Sparta 
(a very practicable and easy route) would place you, 
with a formidable army, in a country full of re- 
sources, where it is supposed, with a good supply of 
ammunition, you may be entirely self-sustaining. 
And it is confidently believed that such a move 
would necessitate the withdrawal of the enemy to 
the line of the Cumberland. 

" At the same time when this move is made, it is 
proposed to throw a heavy column of cavalry, as a 
diversion, into West Tennessee ; and thence, if prac- 
ticable, into Middle Tennessee, to operate on the 
enemy's lines of communication and distract his at- 

" If by a rapid movement, after crossing the moun- 
tains, you can precipitate your main force upon Nash- 
ville, and capture that place before the enemy can 
fall back for its defense, you place him in a most pre- 
carious position. But in any event, by a movement 
in rear of Nashville while the Cumberland is low, 
similar to the one in passing Chattanooga, you isolate 
that position and compel a retrograde movement of 
the enemy's main force. 

"It is needless, General, for me to impress upon 


you the great importance, not to say necessity, of 
reclaiming the provision country of Tennessee and 
Kentucky ; and, from my knowledge of the country 
and people, I believe that other great advantages 
may accrue, especially in obtaining men to till your 

" The following forces, it is believed, will be avail- 
able, if nothing shall occur to divert them, viz. : 

Infantry. Artillery. Cavalry. Total. 

' Your own command 





General Martin's cavalry, 

now en route to you . . . 



From Lieut. -Gen. Polk. .. 



From Gen. Beauregard . . . 



From Gen. Longstreefs 










" It is proposed to hold the reenforcements ready, 
and to put them in motion just as soon as you may 
be able to use them. To throw them to the front 
now, would only impede the accumulation of sup- 
plies necessary for your march. 

" Measures have been taken to aid in supplying 
you with artillery-horses. Additional means of trans- 
portation will be furnished as soon as practicable. 

" The efficient organization of engineer troops in 
your command will supply every want in that de* 

" Ammunition in abundance is on hand, subject 
to your call ; and it is believed that the means of 
subsistence are ample in your immediate rear, if 
efficient measures are inaugurated to get them for- 
ward. On this point you are desired to act at once, 


in your own behalf, as the Department here could do 
no more than refer you to its resources within your 
reach and control. 

" It will give me much pleasure, General, to have 
your views in full on this subject, in all its bearings, 
and no effort will be spared in bringing to your as- 
sistance the resources of the Government not essential 
at other points. 

" Communicate fully at once, and afterward in 
detail, as points may arise requiring action." 

As invited at the conclusion of this letter, I ex- 
pressed "my views" both by telegraph and mail, 
without delay ; and still more fully by the intelli- 
gent officer who had brought the plan of campaign 
to me from llichmond. 

The telegram, dispatched in an hour or two, was 
in these words, addressed to General Bragg : " Your 
letter by Colonel Sale received. Grant is at Nash- 
ville; Sherman, by last accounts, at Memphis ; where 
Grant is, we must expect the great Federal effort ; we 
ought, therefore, to be prepared to beat him here ; he 
has not come back to Tennessee to stand on the defen- 
sive ; his advance, should we be ready for it, will be 
advantageous for us ; to be ready, we must have the 
troops you name immediately, otherwise we might be 
beaten, which would decide events; give us those 
troops, and if we beat him, we follow ; should he not 
advance, we will then be ready for the offensive ; the 
troops can be fed as easily here as where they now 

The letter referred to was addressed also to Gen- 
eral Bragg on the same day: 


" General : I Lad the honor to receive your let- 
ter of the 12th from Colonel Sale yesterday, and to 
make a suggestion, by telegraph, on the subject to 
which it relates. 

" Permit me to suggest that the troops intended 
for the operations you explain should be assembled 
in this vicinity. The enemy could, without particu- 
lar effort, prevent their junction near Kingston by 
attacking one of our armies with his united forces. 
His interior positions make it easy. There is another 
reason : Grant's return to Tennessee indicates that 
he will retain that command, for the present at least. 
He certainly will not do so to stand on the defensive. 
I therefore believe that he will advance as soon as 
he can, with the greatest force he can raise. We 
cannot estimate the time he will require for prep- 
aration, and should, consequently, put ourselves 
in condition for successful resistance as soon as pos- 
sible, by assembling here the troops you enumer- 
ate. I am doing ail I can in other preparations, 
and do not doubt that abundance of ammunition, 
food, and forage, will be collected long before we 
can be supplied with field-transportation. My de- 
partment is destitute of mules. I must, there- 
fore, depend on the Quartermaster's Department for 

" It strikes me that we cannot ' isolate ' Knox- 
ville in the manner you propose, because we cannot 
hope to be able to take with us such supplies as 
would enable us to remain on the line of communica- 
tion long enough to incommode the forces there. We 
cannot do so unless we can occupy a position from 
which we can maintain our own communications and 


interrupt those of Knoxville. Sucli a position can 
only be found near Chattanooga. 

" The march into Middle Tennessee, via Kingston, 
would require all the stores we should be able to 
transport from Dalton., so that we could not re- 
duce Knoxville l en route.' Would it not be easier 
to march into Middle Tennessee through North Ala- 
bama ? 

"I believe fully, however, that Grant will be 
ready to act before we can be ; and that, if we are 
ready to fight him on our own ground, we shall have 
a very plain course, with every chance of success. 
For that, we should make exactly such preparations 
as you indicate for the forward movement, except 
that I would have the troops assembled here without 
delay, to repel Grant's attack, and then make our 
own ; or, should the enemy not take the initiative, do 
it ourselves. Our first object then should be, your 
proposition to bring on a battle on this side of the 

" Should not the movement from Mississippi pre- 
cede any advance from this point so much as to 
enable those troops to cross the Tennessee before 
we move ? Lieutenant-General Polk thought at the 
end of February that he could send fifteen thousand 
cavalry on such an expedition. Even two-thirds of 
that force might injure the railroads enough to com- 
pel the evacuation of Chattanooga. Certainly it 
could make a powerful diversion. 

"I apprehend no difficulty in procuring food 
(except meat) and forage. This department can 
furnish nothing. Its officers receive supplies from 
those of the Subsistence and Quartermaster's De- 


partments at and beyond Atlanta. The efficient 
head of the Ordnance Department has never permit- 
ted us to want any thing that could reasonably be 
expected from him. I am afraid that the collection 
of the additional field-transportation will require a 
good deal of time. None can be obtained within 
the limits of my authority. 

" There has been an unnecessary accumulation of 
bread-stuffs and corn at Mobile — six months' supply 
for a much larger force than Major-General Maury's. 
Half of it will spoil during the summer, if left in 
Mobile. It would be economical, therefore, as well 
as convenient, to transfer that portion of it to this 

"Lieutenant-Colonel Cole, at Augusta, informs 
me that the artillery-horses required will be fur- 
nished by the 1st of May." 

Besides the foregoing, other reasons for opposing 
the plan of operations explained by General Bragg, 
were committed to Colonel Sale, to be delivered 
orally — such as : That the interior positions be- 
longed to the enemy, instead of being held by us as 
was supposed by the military authorities in Rich- 
mond; for the Federal army at Knoxville, equally 
distant from Chattanooga and Dalton, was exactly 
between Longstreet and our main army — and, to 
unite near Kingston as proposed, each of our armies 
would be compelled to march in front of a much 
greater Federal force, exposed to attack in a column 
five times as long and not a tenth as strong as its 
order of battle ; that the only manner in which we 
could " isolate " Knoxville would be by placing our 


united forces on the road from that place to Chatta- 
nooga, at the point nearest to Dalton, and employing 
our cavalry, with its artillery, to close the navigation 
of the Tennessee — the army in Chattanooga might 
be induced in that way to attack in order to drive 
us back and reopen the routes to Knoxville ; and 
that the attempt to unite the Army of Tennessee and 
Longstreet's corps, near Kingston, would be a viola- 
tion of a sound military rule, never to assemble the 
troops that are to act together, in such a manner that 
the enemy's army may attack any considerable body 
of them before their union. 

General Bragg replied on the 21st to my dispatch 
of the 18th. His telegram, received on the 22d, indi- 
cated that the plan of offensive operations devised 
by the Administration was an ultimatum. " Recent 
Northern papers report Grant superseded Halleck, 
who becomes chief of staff. Sherman takes Grant's 
command. Your dispatch of 19th does not indicate 
an acceptance of the plan proposed. The troops can 
only be drawn from other points for an advance. 
Upon your decision of that point further action must 

To correct the misapprehension of my views on 
the part of the Administration which General Bragg 1 s 
language indicated, I replied immediately : ' 

"In my dispatch of the 18th I expressly accept 
taking the offensive. Only differ with you as to details. 
I assume that the enemy will be prepared to advance 
before we are, and will make it to our advantage. 
Therefore I propose, as necessary both for the offen- 
sive and defensive, to assemble our troops here imme- 

1 In the original, the words in italics were written in cipher. 


cliately. Other preparations for advance are going 

No notice was taken of this explanation. 

In the mean time our scouts were furnishing evi- 
dence of almost daily arrivals of Federal reinforce- 
ments, which was punctually communicated to the 
Administration through General Bragg. From these 
indications it was clear that the military authorities 
of the United States were assembling in our front 
a much greater force than that which had driven us 
from Missionary Ridge a few months before. On 
the contrary, our army had not recovered from the 
effects of that defeat — numerically, that is to say. It 
was as plain that these Federal preparations were 
made not for the purpose of holding the ground won 
from us in the previous campaign, but for the re- 
sumption of offensive operations. On the 25th, 
therefore, I again urged upon the Government the 
necessity of strengthening the Army of Tennessee, 
and suggested that further delay would be dan- 

On the 3d of April Lieutenant-Colonel A. H. 
Cole, one of the most efficient officers of the Quarter- 
master's Department, came to Dalton. He was in- 
structed, as he informed me, to superintend the pro- 
curing the number of artillery-horses and the amount 
of field-transportation required by the army for an 
offensive campaign. 

The fact that my letter of the 18th and telegram 
of the 22d of March were not answered made me ap- 
prehend that my correspondence with General Bragg 
in relation to the spring campaign had not been un- 
derstood by the President. Colonel B. S. Ewell, 


Adjutant-General of the Army of Tennessee, my per- 
sonal friend, and an officer who had my full confi- 
dence, was therefore sent to Eichmond on the 8th, to 
endeavor to remove any misapprehension of the sub- 
ject that might exist in his Excellency's mind. 

He was instructed to show the President that in 
my correspondence with the Government I had not 
declined to assume the offensive — as General Bragg 
charged — but, on the contrary, was eager to move 
forward whenever the relative forces of the opposing 
armies should justify me in such a measure ; to 
point out the difference between the plan of opera- 
tions proposed through General Bragg and that 
which I advocated, and in that connection to explain 
that I had been actively engaged in preparations to 
take the field — those over which I had control being 
in a satisfactory state of forwardness. But in the im- 
portant element of field-transportation, the need of 
which had several times been represented to the 
Government, and which I had neither means nor au- 
thority to collect, nothing had been done, while steps 
to collect the large number of artillery-horses neces- 
sary, had just been taken ; and that the surest 
means of enabling; us to 2:0 forward was to send the 
proposed reinforcements to Dalton at once; then, 
should the enemy take the initiative, as was almost 
certain, we might defeat him on this side of the Ten- 
nessee, where the consequences of defeat would be so 
much more disastrous to the enemy, and less so to 
us, than if the battle were fought north of that 

He was also desired to say that, according to the 
best information we could obtain, the Federal army 


opposed to us had been increased, since the battle of 
Missionary Eidge, by about fifteen thousand men ; 
but that ours was not so strong as on the morning 
of that battle. 

A day or two after Colonel Ewell's departure, 
General Pendleton, commander of the artillery of 
General Lee's army, came to Dalton from Richmond. 
He was sent by the President, to explain his Excel- 
lency's wishes in relation to the employment of the 
Army of Tennessee, and to ascertain if I was willing 
to assume the offensive with an army weaker by six- 
teen thousand men than that proposed in General 
Bragg's letter of March 12th. 

The object of Colonel Ewell's mission to Kich- 
mond was explained to him, and the instructions 
given to that officer repeated, as explanations of my 
military opinions. 

Neither General Pendleton's report nor Colonel 
Ewell's representations led to any action on the part 
of the Executive — none, at least, that concerned the 
Army of Tennessee. 

This correspondence between the Administration 
and myself has been given fully, because I have been 
accused of disobeying the orders of the President and 
the entreaties of General Bragg to assume the offen- 
sive. As there was no other correspondence between 
the Administration and myself on the subject, the 
accusation must have this foundation, if any. 

In the morning of the 2d May, a close reconnais- 
sance of our outpost at Tunnel Hill was made under 
the protection of a strong body of infantry, cavalry, 
and artillery. The reports received on the 1st, 2d, 
and 4th, indicated that the beginning of an active cam- 


paign was imminent. They showed that the enemy 
was approaching our position, and repairing the rail- 
road from Chattanooga to Ringgold. The intelli- 
gence received on each day was immediately trans- 
mitted to General Bragg. That officer suggested to 
me, on the 2d, that I was deceived, probably, by mere 
demonstrations, made for the purpose. 

On that day, Mercer's brigade, about fourteen 
hundred effective infantry, joined the army, from Sa- 
vannah. It was to be replaced there by J. K. Jack- 
son's, of the Army of Tennessee. The latter was re- 
tained, for the present, where it was most needed, for 
we were threatened, and Savannah was not. 

The effective strength of the Army of Tennessee, 
as shown by the return of May 1, 1864, was thirty- 
seven thousand six hundred and fifty-two infantry, 
twenty-eight hundred and twelve artillery (forty 
thousand four hundred and sixty-four), and twenty- 
three hundred and ninety-two cavalry. This was the 
entire strength of the army, " at and near Dalton," at 
that time. Canty's brigade (thirteen hundred and 
ninety-five effectives) is included improperly- It had 
just arrived at Rome, sent there from the vicinity of 
Mobile, by Major-General Maury. But, on the other 
hand, Mercer's was not ; nor was Martin's division 
of cavalry, then near Cartersville, because its horses, 
worn down by continuous hard service since the be- 
ginning of the previous summer, were unfit for the 
field. It had seventeen hundred men fit for duty, 

The Federal army which Major-General Sherman 
was about to lead against us was composed of the 
troops that fought at Missionary Ridge, under Gen- 


eral Grant, the Sixteenth, and Twenty-third Corps, 
and Hovey's division. The veteran regiments of this 
army had made a very large number of recruits while 
on furlough in the previous winter — probably fifteen 
or eighteen thousand. These men, mixed in the 
ranks, were little inferior to old soldiers. We had 
been estimating the cavalry, under General Kilpat- 
rick, at five thousand ; but, at the opening of the 
campaign, Stoneman's, Garrard's, and McCook's di- 
visions arrived — adding, probably, twelve thousand. 

Our scouts reported that the Fourth Corps and 
McCook's division of cavalry were at Cleveland, and 
the Army of the Ohio at Charleston, on the 2d, both 
on the way to Chattanooga ; and that these troops 
and the Army of the Cumberland reached Ringgold 
in the afternoon of the 4th and encamped there. 

Our pickets (cavalry) were at the same time 
pressed back beyond Varnell's Station, on the Cleve- 
land road, and within three miles of Tunnel Hill, on 
that from Ringgold. 

Upon these indications that the enemy was ad- 
vancing upon us in great force, I again urged the 
Administration, by telegraph, to put about half of 
Lieutenant-General Polk's infantry under my control, 
and ordered Major-General Martin, with his division, 
from the valley of the Etowah to that of the Ooste- 
naula, to observe it from Resaca to Rome. Brigadier- 
General Kelly, whose little division of cavalry had 
just come up from the vicinity of Resaca, was ordered 
to join the troops of that arm in observation on the 
Cleveland road. 


Skirmishing at Resaca along our whole Lines. — The Enemy cross the Ooste- 
naula. — Our Army put in Position to meet this Movement. — Causes of leav- 
ing Dalton. — The Dispositions there of the Confederate Army. — The Army 
at Cassville. — The Position a strong one.— In Line of Battle. — Generals 
Hood and Polk urge Abandonment of Positions, stating their Inability 
to hold their Ground. — General Hardee remonstrates. — Position abandoned, 
and Army crosses the Etowah. — Losses up to Date. — Affairs near New Hope 
Church. — Manoeuvring of Federal Troops. — Kenesaw. — General Assault. — 
Battle of Kenesaw. — Army crosses the Chattahoochee. — Visit of General 
Brown. — Relieved from Command of the Army of Tennessee. — Explain my 
Plans to General Hood. — Review of the Campaign. — Grounds of my Removal. 
— Discussion of them. — General Cobb's Defense of Macon. 

On the 5th, the Confederate troops were formed 
to receive the enemy : Stewart's and Bate's divisions, 
in Mill-Creek Gap, in which they had constructed 
some slight defensive works — the former on the right 
of the stream, Cheatham's on Stewart's right, occu- 
pying about a mile of the crest of the mountain ; 
Walker's in reserve ; Stevenson's across Crow Val- 
ley, its left joining Cheatham's right, on the crest of 
the mountain ; Hindman's, on the right of Steven- 
son's ; and Cleburne's immediately in front of Dalton, 
and behind Mill Creek, facing toward Cleveland. 

On the same day the Federal army was formed 
in order of battle, three miles in front of Tunnel Hill, 
and in that position skirmished with our advanced 
guard until dark. It was employed all of the next 
in selecting and occupying a position just beyond the 


range of the field-pieces of the Confederate advanced- 
guard, on which it halted for the night. 

In the evening, a telegram from Lieutenant- Gen- 
eral Polk informed me that he had been ordered to 
join the Army of Tennessee with all his infantry. 

At daybreak on the 7th, the Federal army moved 
forward, annoyed and delayed in its advance by dis- 
mounted Confederate cavalry, firing upon it from the 
cover of successive lines of very slight intrenchments, 
prepared the day before. Its progress was so slow, 
that the Confederates were not driven from Tunnel 
Hill until eleven o'clock a. il, nor to Mill-Creek 
Gap until three p. M. In the afternoon the Federal 
army placed itself in front of the Confederate line, 
its right a little south of Mill-Creek Gap, and its left 
near the Cleveland road. 

In the evening, intelligence was received of the 
arrival of Canty's brigade at Eesaca. It was ordered 
to halt there, to defend that important position. 

On the 8th, the cavalry, which had been driven 
through Mill-Creek Gap the day before, was divided ; 
Grigsby's (Kentucky) brigade going to the foot of 
the mountain, near Dug Gap, and the remainder to 
the ground then occupied by Kelly's troops, in front 
of our right. 

About four o'clock p. m., a division of Hooker's 
corps, said to be Geary's, assailed our outpost in Dug 
Gap — two very small regiments of Eeynolds's Ar- 
kansas brigade, commanded then by Colonel Wil- 
liamson. They held their ground bravely, and were 
soon joined by Grigsby's Kentuckians, who, leaving 
their horses, hastened up the mountain-side, on foot, 
to their aid. As soon as the musketry was so in- 


creased "by this accession to our force as to give evi- 
dence of a serious attack, Lieutenant-General Hardee 
was requested to hurry Granberry's (Texan) brigade, 
which was the nearest, to the assistance of the troops 
engaged ; and, on account of the importance of the 
jwsition, his own offer to direct its defense was ea- 
gerly accepted. The encouragement given to the de- 
fenders by that distinguished soldier's arrival among 
them, made the position secure until the leading 
Texans came up, at full gallop, on the Kentucky 
horses they had found a mile from the place of com- 
bat, when the contest was terminated and the assail- 
ants repulsed. 

A sharp attack was also made upon the angle 
where the Confederate right and centre joined on the 
crest of the mountain. This point was held by Pet- 
tus's brigade, by which the assailants, Newton's di- 
vision of the Fourth Corps, were quickly and hand- 
somely repulsed. Brown's brigade was then moved 
from Stevenson's right to the crest of the mountain, 
joining Pettus's left. 

On the 9th another assault was made uj)on the 
troops at the angle, including Brown's brigade as 
well as Pettus's, and much more vigorous than that 
of the day before, by a larger force advancing in col- 
umn and exhibiting great determination. It was 
met, however, with the firmness always displayed 
when Pettus or Brown commanded, and their troops 
fought ; and the enemy was driven back with a loss 
proportionate to the determination of their attack. 
Similar assaults upon Stewart and Bate in the gap, 
made with the same resolution, were in like manner 
defeated. The actions of the day, in General Sher- 



man's language, " attained the dimensions of a bat- 

The Confederate troops suffered little in these en- 
gagements, for they fought under the protection of 
intrenchments. But we had reason to believe that 
the enemy, who were completely exposed, often at 
short range and in close order, sustained heavy 
losses. This belief was strengthened in my mind 
by the opinion, long entertained, that the soldiers of 
the United States never give way without good 

On the same day Major-General Wheeler, with 
Dibrell's and Allen's brigades, encountered a large 
body of Federal cavalry near Varnell's Station. 
Dismounting all of his troops but two regiments, he 
made a combined attack of infantry and cavalry, by 
which the enemy was put to flight. A standard, 
many small-arms, and a hundred prisoners, were 
captured. Among the prisoners were Colonel La 
Grange, commanding a brigade, three captains, and 
five lieutenants. From information given him 'by 
the colonel, General Wheeler estimated the force he 
had just encountered at about five thousand men. 

At night Brigadier-General Canty reported that 
he had been engaged at Resaca until dark with 
troops of the Army of the Tennessee, which was 
commanded by Major-General McPherson, and had 
held his ground. As intelligence of the arrival of 
that army in Snake-Creek Gap had been received, 
Lieutenant-General Hood was ordered to move to 
Resaca immediately with three divisions — those of 
Hindman, Cleburne, and Walker. 

On the 10th that officer reported that the enemy 


was retiring; and was recalled, but directed to 
leave Cleburne's and Walker's divisions near Tilton 
— one on each road. 

Skirmishing, renewed in the morning near Dal- 
ton, continued all day, to our advantage — both at 
the gap and on Stevenson's front. Near night an 
attack, especially spirited, was made upon Bate's 
position, on the hill-side facing the gap on the south. 
It was firmly met, however, and repulsed. 

At night reports were received from the scouts 
in observation near the south end of Rocky Face, to 
the effect that General McPherson's troops were in- 
trenching their position in Snake-Creek Gap. And 
on the 11th various reports were received indicating 
a general movement to their right by the Federal 
troops, as if to unite with those of McPherson. 

On the same day, Brigadier-General Canty again 
announced that a Federal army was approaching 
Resaca from the direction of Snake - Creek Gap. 
But intelligence that Lieutenant-General Polk had 
reached that point with Boring's division, prevented 
any immediate apprehension for the place. He was 
instructed to hold it with the troops then under his 
command there, and authorized to call Cleburne's and 
Walker's divisions to him, if necessary. They were 
within six miles. 

In the evening of the same day, Major-General 
Wheeler was directed to move at dawn of the next, 
around the north end of Rocky-Face Ridge, toward 
Tunnel Hill, with all his available cavalry; to as- 
certain if the movement southward by the Federal 
army had been a general one ; and to learn, also, 
what forces were still in that vicinity. Major-General 


Hindman was instructed to follow this movement 
with his division, to support the cavalry. 

In this movement, made with about twenty-two 
hundred men, Wheeler encountered what prisoners 
reported to be Major-General Stoneman's division of 
United States cavalry, and drove it back; killing, 
wounding, and capturing a hundred and fifty men. 
In consequence of the result of this skirmish, the 
Federal troops burned many of their loaded wagons. 
According to the reports of the scouts and people 
of the neighborhood, four hundred were thus de- 

This reconnaissance confirmed the impression 
that the main body of the Federal army was march- 
ing toward Snake-Creek Gap, on its way to Resaca. 
This march was made without exposure, being com- 
pletely covered by the mountain — Rocky Face. 

About one o'clock A. m. on the 13th the Confed- 
erate infantry and artillery were withdrawn from 
the position they had been holding in and near Mill- 
Creek Gap, and marched to Resaca — the cavalry be- 
ing ordered to follow after daybreak as rear-guard, 
and to observe any body of Federal troops that might 
advance through Dalton. 

The Federal army, approaching Resaca on the 
Snake-Creek Gap road, was met about a mile from 
the place by Loring's division, and held in check 
long enough to enable Hardee's and Hood's corps, 
then just arriving, to occupy their ground undis- 
turbed. As the army was formed (in two lines), 
Polk's and Hardee's corps were west of the place 
and railroad, facing to the west ; the former on the 
left, with its left resting on the Oostenaula. Hood's 


corps extended from Hardee's right across the rail- 
road to the Connesauga, facing to the northwest. 

There was brisk skirmishing all the afternoon 
of May 13th on Polk's front, and that of Hardee's left 
division — Cheatham's. 

The Fourth Corps had been left in front of Mill- 
Creek Gap, probably to prevent or delay the discovery 
by us of the withdrawal of the main body of the Fed- 
eral army. Major-General Wheeler, falling back before 
that corps, reached Tilton at three o'clock in the after- 
noon. He received instructions there to do every thing 
possible to prevent it from passing that point before 
nightfall, to give Lieutenant-General Hood time to 
dispose his corps carefully, and make other prepara- 
tions to hold his ground. For this object his cavalry 
was reenforced by Brown's brigade. These instruc- 
tions were executed, and the enemy delayed until 
night — quite long enough for the object in view. 

The skirmishers became engaged along our whole 
line early in the day (May 14th), beginning on the 
left. Those of Polk's corps, from some unaccount- 
able mistake, abandoned their ground, which was 
regained only by great personal efforts on the part 
of their field-officers, Colonel Conoly and Major J. 
W. Dawson. A vigorous assault was made upon 
Hindman's division, but the assailants were hand- 
somely repulsed. 

Major-General Wheeler was directed to ascertain 
the position and formation of the enemy's left. The 
performance of this service involved him in much 
desultory fighting, however. The information he 
obtained indicated circumstances favorable to an at- 
tack upon the Federal left, and Lieutenant-General 

1864.] HOOD'S ATTACK. 3H 

Hood was directed to make it with Stewart's and Ste- 
venson's divisions by a half-change of front to the 
left, that the enemy might be driven to the west ; the 
two divisions were to be supported by four brigades 
drawn from the centre and left. 

On the arrival of these brigades, Lieutenant-Gen- 
eral Hood put his troops in motion, and engaged the 
enemy about six o'clock in the afternoon, gradually 
changing front to the west in advancing. Stevenson's 
troops, being nearest to the pivot upon which the 
wheel was executed, moved upon shorter lines than 
those of Stewart's division, and therefore kept some- 
what in advance of them ; consequently, the larger 
share of fighting fell to their lot, but all moved and 
fought with admirable precision and vigor, and be- 
fore dark the Federal left was driven from its ground. 
Less resistance was encountered than had been ex- 
pected ; this encouraged me, during the engagement, 
to hope that Hood's corps, and the second line of 
Polk's and Hardee's, might constitute a force strong 
enough to defeat the left of the Federal army, while 
its right was held in check by the remaining third 
of ours, protected by intrenchments. Lieutenant- 
General Hood was accordingly instructed to prepare 
to renew the fight at daybreak next morning, and to 
let his troops understand it that evening. This an- 
nouncement, and such success as they had had, elated 
them greatly. 

On riding from the right to the left, after nightfall, 
I learned that Lieutenant-General Polk's advanced 
troops had been driven from a hill in front of his 
left, which commanded our bridges at short range. 
A report from Major-General Martin was received at 


the same time, to the effect that Federal forces were 
crossing the Oostenaula, near Calhoun, by a pontoon- 
bridge, on which two divisions had already passed. 
Under such circumstances it was, in my opinion, not 
only imprudent to weaken our left in the manner in- 
tended, but necessary to meet this movement threat- 
ening our communications. As a first step, Walker's 
division, of Hardee's corps, was ordered to march im- 
mediately to the point named by Major-General Mar- 
tin. Lieutenant-General Hood was also informed of 
the change of plan, and desired to bring back the 
two divisions that had been engaged, to the position 
from which they had been advanced; and, to secure an 
unobstructed passage of the Oostenaula, Lieutenant- 
Colonel Prestman, the chief-engineer, was directed 
to make a road during the night, and lay a pontoon- 
bridge a mile above those now commanded by the 
enemy's artillery. 

On the 15th sharp skirmishing on our whole front 
commenced early, and continued throughout the day. 
Several vigorous assaults were made upon Hindman's 
division ; in the last especially the assailants exhib- 
ited great resolution, many of them pressing forward 
to the- Confederate intrenchments. All were repelled, 
however, by the first line alone. 

About noon a large body of Federal cavalry cap- 
tured the hospitals of Hood's corps, which were in an 
exposed situation east of the Connesauga. Major-Gen- 
eral Wheeler, who was sent to the spot with Allen's 
and Humes's brigades, drove off the enemy and pur- 
sued them two miles, taking two standards, and cap- 
turing forty prisoners. 

An hour or two after noon, intelligence was re- 


ceived from Major-General Walker, near Calhoun, that 
the report of the passage of the Oostenaula by the 
enemy was unfounded. So the plan abandoned the 
evening before was again adopted, and Lieutenant- 
General Hood was desired to prepare to assail the 
enemy's left as he had done the day before, and to 
advance as soon as he should be joined by three 
brigades ordered to him from Polk's and Hardee's 

Major-General Stevenson had, early in the day, and 
with Lieutenant-General Hood's approval, resumed 
the position from which he had. been recalled the 
night before. Here he was directed by the Lieuten- 
ant-General to place a field-battery in a position some 
eighty yards in front of his line of infantry. Before 
the necessary arrangements begun for its protection 
were completed, he was directed by General Hood 
to open its fire. This was no sooner done, than so 
impetuous an attack was made upon it, that the guns 
could not be drawn back to the main line of the di- 
vision. After a very sharp contest, the enemy was 
driven beyond the battery by the well-directed fire 
of Brown's and Reynolds's brigades, but found shelter 
in a ravine not far from it. From this position their 
musketry commanded the position, of the battery 
equally as well as that of the Confederate infantry, 
so that neither could remove the guns, and they were 
left between the two armies until night. 

Just when Lieutenant-General Hood was about to 
move forward, a second message from Major-General 
Walker gave positive information that the right of the 
Federal army was actually crossing the Oostenaula, 
near Calhoun. Upon this, the idea of fighting north 


of tlie Oostenaula was abandoned at once, and the 
orders to Lieutenant-General Hood were counter- 
manded. Stewart's division did not receive the coun- 
termand from corps headquarters in time to prevent 
its execution of the previous order, and engaging the 
enemy, and of course it suffered before being recalled. 

The danger that threatened our line of commu- 
nications made me regard the continued occupation 
of Resaca as too hazardous. The army was therefore 
ordered to cross the river about midnight: Polk's 
and Hardee's corps by the railroad-bridge, and one 
on trestles near it ; and Hood's by the pontoon-bridge 
laid by Colonel Prestman the night before. After 
this had been done, Hood's corps took the Spring 
Place and Adairsville road, and Polk's and Hardee's 
that to Calhoun. 

At that place Lieutenant-General Hardee was 
directed to move with his corps by the Rome road, 
to its intersection with that from Snake-Creek Gap 
to Adairsville, by which the foremost Federal troops 
were advancing, to hold them in check as long as 
might be necessary. The other corps halted about 
a mile and a half south of Calhoun. Hardee's ob- 
ject was accomplished by sharp skirmishing for sev- 
eral hours, to our advantage. 

The Federal troops, advancing directly from 
Eesaca, were opposed by the Confederate cavalry. 
That opposition, and the passage of the Oostenaula, 
delayed them so much, that our soldiers had' abun- 
dant time for rest in the positions in which they had 

The preceding narrative shows that the Confed- 
erate army was dislodged from its first position, that 


in front of Dalton, by General Sherman's movement 
to his right through Snake-Creek Gap, threatening 
our line of communications at Resaca; and from 
the position taken at Resaca to meet that movement, 
by a similar one on the part of the Federal general 
toward Calhoun — the second being covered by the 
river, as the first had been by the mountain. In 
both cases, the great numerical superiority of almost 
three to one enabled him, with little risk, to avail 
himself of the features of the country, which covered 
such manoeuvres. 

The only mode of preventing these operations 
would have been to defeat the Federal army in its 
position in front of Tunnel Hill on the 5th. But at 
that time there were two arguments against such an 
attempt by us : one, that, in the event of an attack 
by us, the greater strength of the enemy would have 
made the chances of battle decidedly against us, and 
the consequences of defeat would have been disas- 
trous ; the other, that the position of the Federal 
army indicated clearly the purpose of assailing us. 
And there was no reasonable doubt of the ability of 
the Confederate forces to maintain themselves in the 
position selected for them, and prepared by them, 
against three times their number. 

In his report, General Sherman expresses the 
opinion that nothing saved the Confederate army 
from the effects of his first manoeuvre " but the im- 
practicable nature of the country, which made the 
passage of the troops across the valley almost im- 
possible." l 

This obstacle to a rapid march by the United 
1 From Snake-Creek Gap to Eesaca. 


States army was not unknown to the Confederates. 
"We had examined the country very minutely ; and 
learned its character thoroughly. We could calcu- 
late with sufficient accuracy, therefore, the time that 
would be required for the march of so great an army 
from Tunnel Hill to Kesaca, through the long defile 
of Snake-Creek Gap, and by the single road beyond 
that pass. We knew also in how many hours our 
comparatively small force, moving without baggage- 
trains and in three columns, on roads made g-ood bv 
us, would reach the same point from Dalton. 

Our course in remaining at Dalton until the night 
of the 12th was based on such calculations, and the 
additional consideration that the single road avail- 
able to the Federal army was closed at Eesaca by 
our intrenched camp. On the 9th of May, when 
that camp was defended by two brigades, Major- 
General McPherson, a skillful engineer as well as able 
general, thought it " too strong to be carried by 
assault by the Army of the Tennessee," led by him. 
On the 11th, when General Sherman's march toward 
Snake-Creek Gap was begun, the place was much 
more formidable. The defenses had been improved, 
and the number of defenders increased from two to 
thirteen brigades, 1 so that on the 11th and 12th its 
strength, compared with that of the entire Federal 
army, was much greater than it had been on the 9th, 
compared with that of the Army of the Tennessee, 
so that we had no reasonable ground to apprehend 
that we might be intercepted — cut off from our base 
— by this manoeuvre. 

It is true that we did not know certainly, on the 

1 Including those of Calhoun and Walker, six miles off. 


11th, that the main body of the United States forces 
had moved from their camps about Tunnel Hill and 
Mill-Creek Gap, and our five divisions near Dalton 
were kept in their positions in the lingering hope of 
a strong assault upon them. It was easy to march 
to Resaca in the night of the 12th, if necessary ; and 
it was certain that the Federal army could not reach 
that point so soon ; consequently there was no serious 
danger in the course pursued. 

The disposition of the Confederate army about 
Dalton was predicated on the belief that the Federal 
general would attack it there with his whole force. 
For that reason its entire strength was concentrated 
there, and the protection of its communications left 
to Lieutenant-General Polk's troops, then on their 
way from Alabama through Rome to join us. I sup- 
posed, from General Sherman's great superiority of 
numbers, that he intended to decide the contest by a 
battle, and that he would make that battle as near his 
own and as far from our base as possible — that is to 
say, at Dalton. On general principles, that was his 
true policy. It is evident that he did not so act, be- 
cause he thought as I did — that, in the event of his 
assailing us, the chances would have been very strong 
in our favor. 

My own operations, then and subsequently, were 
determined by the relative forces of the armies, and 
a higher estimate of the Northern soldiers than our 
Southern editors and politicians were accustomed to 
express, or even the Administration seemed to enter- 
tain. This opinion had been formed in much service 
with them against Indians, and four or five battles in 
Mexico — such actions, at least, as were then called 


battles. Observation of almost twenty years of ser- 
vice of this sort had impressed on my mind the "be- 
lief that the soldiers of the regular army of the 
United States — almost all Northern men — were 
equal, in fighting qualities, to any that had been 
formed in the wars of Great Britain and France. 
General Sherman's troops, with whom we were con- 
tending, had received a longer training in war than 
any of those with whom I had served in former 
times. It was not to be supposed that such troops, 
under a sagacious and resolute leader, and covered 
by intrenchments, were to be beaten by greatly in- 
ferior numbers. I therefore thought it our policy to 
stand on the defensive, to spare the blood of our 
soldiers by fighting under cover habitually, and to 
attack only when bad position or division of the 
enemy's forces might give us advantages counter- 
balancing that of superior numbers. So we held 
every position occupied until our communications 
were strongly • threatened ; then fell back only far 
enough to secure them, watching for opportunities to 
attack, keeping near enough to the Federal army to 
assure the Confederate Administration that Sherman 
could not send reinforcements to Grant, and hoping 
to reduce the odds against us by partial engagements. 
A material reduction of the Federal army might also 
be reasonably expected before the end of June, by 
the expiration of the terms of service of the regi- 
ments that had not reenlisted. I was confident, too, 
that the Administration would see the expediency 
of employing Forrest and his cavalry to break the 
enemy's railroad communications, by which he could 
have been defeated. 


In crossing the Oostenaula, I hoped to find a 
good position near Calhoun, covering the several 
roads leading southward from Snake-Creek Gap and 
the neighborhood of Resaca. No such were there, 
however. The large creek, the Oothcaloga, which 
must have divided any position taken, would have 
been a great impediment. But it appeared, from 
the map prepared by our engineer-officers, that, a 
mile or two north of Adairsville, the valley of this 
stream was so narrow that our army, formed in order 
of battle across it, would hold the heights on the 
right and left with its flanks — the stream being too 
small to be an obstruction. So, after resting fifteen 
or eighteen hours where they had halted, the troops 
marched, early in the morning of the 17th, seven or 
eight miles, to Adairsville ; Polk's and Hood's corps 
by the Spring Place road, and Hardee's by that from 
Snake-Creek Gap, on which it had been engaged the 
day before. 

The leading Federal troops appeared in the after- 
noon, pressing back our cavalry. Lieutenant-General 
Hardee was desired to send forward a division of his 
corps to support it, and prevent the near approach 
of the enemy, that our troops might not be disturbed 
in their bivouacs. Cheatham's division was detailed, 
and it and Wheeler's troops together kept the head 
of the Federal column at a convenient distance, by 
sharp skirmishing, until nightfall. 

During the day the division of cavalry command- 
ed by Brig. -General W. H. Jackson joined the army 
at Adairsville. It had been ordered to it from Mis- 
sissippi by Lieutenant-General Polk. 

The breadth of the valley here exceeded so much 


tlie front of our army properly formed for battle, 
that we could obtain no advantage of ground ; so, 
after resting about eighteen hours, the troops were 
ordered to move to Cassville. 

Two roads lead southward from Adairsville — one 
following the railroad through Kingston, and, like 
it, turning almost at right angles to the east at that 
place ; the other, quite direct to the Etowah Kailroad- 
bridge, passing through Cassville, where it is met by 
the first. The probability that the Federal army 
would divide — a column following each road — gave 
me a hope of engaging and defeating one of them 
before it could receive aid from the other. In that 
connection the intelligent engineer-officer who had 
surveyed that section, Lieutenant Buchanan, was 
questioned minutely over the map as to the character 
of the ground, in the presence of Lieutenant-Generals 
Polk and Hood, w r ho had been informed of my ob- 
ject. He described the country on the direct road 
as open, and unusually favorable for attack. It was 
evident, from the map, that the distance between the 
two Federal columns would be greatest when that 
following the railroad should be near Kingston. 
Lieutenant Buchanan thought that the communica- 
tions between the columns at this part of their 
march would be eight or nine miles, by narrow and 
crooked country roads. 

In the morning of the 18th, Hardee's corps 
marched to Kingston ; and Polk's and Hood's, fol- 
lowing the direct road, halted within a mile of Cass- 
ville — the former deployed in two lines, crossing the 
road and facing Adairsville ; the latter halted on its 
ri^ht. Jackson's division observed the Federal col- 


uinn on the Kingston road, and Wheeler's troops 
that moving toward Cassville. Those two officers 
were instructed to keep me accurately informed of 
the enemy's progress. 

French's division of Polk's corps joined the army 
from Mississippi in the afternoon. 

Next morning, when Brig.-General Jackson's re- 
ports showed that the head of the Federal column 
following the railroad was near Kingston, Lieutenant- 
General Hood was directed to move with his corps to 
a country road about a mile to the east of that from 
Adairsville, and parallel to it, and to march north- 
ward on that road, right in front. Polk's corps, as 
then formed, was to advance to meet and engage the 
enemy approaching from Adairsville; and it was 
expected that Hood's would be in position to fall 
upon the left flank of those troops as soon as Polk 
attacked them in front. An order was read to each 
regiment, announcing that we were about to give 
battle to the enemy. It was received with exulta- 

When General Hood's column had moved two or 
three miles, that officer received a report from a mem- 
ber of his star!, to the effect that the enemy was ap- 
proaching ' on the Canton road, in rear of the right 
of the position from which he had just inarched. 
Instead of transmitting this rej)ort to me, and moving 
on in obedience to his orders, he fell back to that 
road and formed his corps across it, facing to our 

1 The Federal army had been under our unceasing observation for 
thirteen days, in the direction of Adairsville and Dalton, and our rear- 
guards were then skirmishing with it on that side; so that the report 
upon which -General Hood acted was manifestly untrue. 


right and rear, toward Canton, without informing 
me of this strange departure from the instructions 
he had received. I heard of this erratic movement 
after it had caused such loss of time as to make the 
attack intended impracticable; for its success de- 
pended on accuracy in timing it. The intention was 
therefore abandoned. 1 

The sound of the artillery of the Federal column 
following Hardee's corps, and that of the skirmish- 
ing of Wheeler's troops with the other, made it evi- 
dent in an hour that the Federal forces would soon 
be united before us, and indicated that an attack by 
them was imminent. To be prepared for it, the Con- 
federate army was drawn up in a position that I re- 
member as the best that I saw occupied during the war 
— the ridge immediately south of Cassville, with a 
broad, open, elevated valley in front of it com- 
pletely commanded by the fire of troops occupying 
its crest. 

The eastern end of this ridge is perhaps a mile to 
the east of Cassville. Its southwest end is near the rail- 
road, a little to the west of the Cassville Station. Its 
length was just sufficient for Hood's and Polk's corps, 
and half of Hardee's, formed as usual in two lines, 
and in that order from right to left. The other half 
of Hardee's troops, prolonging this line, were south- 
west of the railroad, on undulating ground on which 
they had only such advantage as their own labor, 
directed by engineering, could give them. They 
worked with great spirit, however, and were evidently 
full of confidence. This gave me assurance of suc- 
cess on the right and in the centre, where we had 
very decided advantage of ground. 

1 See General Mackall's letter in note, page 323. 


Brigadier-General Shoupe, chief of artillery, had 
pointed out to me what he thought a weak point 
near General Polk's right, a space of a hundred and 
fifty or two hundred yards, which, in his opinion, 
might be enfiladed by artillery placed on a hill more 
than a mile off, beyond the front of our right — so far, 
it seemed to me, as to make the danger trifling. Still, 
he was requested to instruct the officer commanding 
there to guard against such a chance by the construc- 
tion of traverses, and to impress upon him that no 
attack of infantry could be combined with a fire of 
distant artillery, and that his infantry might safely 
occupy some ravines immediately in rear of this po- 
sition during any such fire of artillery. 

The Federal artillery commenced firing upon 
Hood's and Polk's troops soon after they were formed, 
and continued the cannonade until night. 

On reaching my tent soon after dark, I found in 
it an invitation to meet the Lieuten ant-Generals at 
General Polk's quarters. General Hood was with 
him, but not General Hardee. The two officers, Gen- 
eral Hood taking the lead, 1 expressed the opinion 

1 In General Ilood's second report of his operations in Georgia and 
Tennessee, which was made in Richmond, he contradicts this statement, 
which was published in my official report. 

General Hardee wrote in reference to that contradiction, April 10, 
18G7 : "At Cassville, May 19th, about ten o'clock in the evening, in answer 
to a summons from you, I found you at General Polk's headquarters, 
in company with Generals Polk and Hood. You informed me that it 
was determined to retire across the Etowah. In reply to my exclama- 
tion of surprise, General Hood, anticipating you, answered : ' General 
Polk, if attacked, cannot hold bis position three-quarters of an hour ; and 
I cannot hold mine two hours.' Orders were then given for the move- 

On the same subject General W. W. Mackall wrote, April 29, 1873 : 
"I read your report of your operations in Georgia, in Macon, soon 


very positively that neither of their corps would be 
able to hold its position next day ; because, they said, 
a part of eacli was enfiladed by Federal artillery. 
The part of General Polk's corps referred to was 
that of which I had conversed with Brigadier-Gen- 
eral Siioupe. On that account they urged me to 
abandon the ground immediately, and cross the Eto- 

A discussion of more than an hour followed, in 
which they very earnestly and decidedly expressed 
the opinion, or conviction rather, that when the 
Federal artillery opened upon them next day it 
would render their positions untenable in an hour or 

Although the position was the best we had occu- 
pied, I yielded at last, in the belief that the confi- 
dence of the commanders of two of the three corps of 
the army, of their inability to resist the enemy, would 
inevitably be communicated to their troops, and pro- 
duce that inability. Lieutenant-General Hardee, who 
arrived after this decision, remonstrated against it 
strongly, and was confident that his corps could hold 
its ground, although less favorably posted. The error 
was adhered to, however, and the position abandoned 
before daybreak. 

The army was led to the Etowah, 1 crossed it about 

after it was made, and every thing therein stated in regard to General 
Hood corresponded with my recollections, of the then recent transac- 
tions. I was not present in General Polk's quarters when the aban- 
donment of Cassville was proposed, hut, heing afterward called there 
hy you, I heard General Hood say, to a general officer who entered 
after me (I think General French), that it was impossible to hold his 

1 Near the railroad-bridge. 


noon, and bivouacked as near the river as was con- 
sistent with the comfort of the troops. The cavalry 
was placed in observation along the stream — Wheel- 
er's above and Jackson's below the infantry. 

Our loss in killed and wounded, not including 
cavalry, from the commencement of the campaign to 
the passage of the Etowah, was, as shown by there- 
port of the medical director of the army, Surgeon 
A. J. Foard: 

Killed. Wounded. Total. 

In Hardee's corps 116 850 966 

In Hood's corps 283 1,564 1,847 

In Polk's corps 46 529 575 


As the intervention of the river prevented close 
observation of the movements of the Federal army, 
Major-General Wheeler was directed to cross it on 
the 2 2d, five or six miles to our right, with all his 
troops not required for outpost duty, and move tow- 
ard Cassville, to ascertain in what direction the Fed- 
eral army was moving. He was instructed, also, to 
avail himself of all opportunities to inflict harm upon 
the enemy, by breaking the railroad, and capturing or 
destroying trains and detachments. 

He soon ascertained that the Federal army was 
moving westward, as if to cross the Etowah near 
Kingston; and, on the 24th, after defeating the 
troops guarding a large supply-train, near Cassville, 
he brought off seventy loaded wagons, with their 
teams, three hundred equipped horses and mules, and 
a hundred and eighty-two prisoners, having burned 
a much greater number of wagons, with their loads, 
than were brought awav. 


In the mean time Jackson had given information 
of General Sherman's march toward the bridges near 
Stilesboro', and of the crossing of the leading Federal 
troops there on the 23d. In consequence of this in- 
telligence, Lieutenant-General Hardee was ordered 
to march that afternoon, by New Hope Church, to 
the road leading from Stilesboro', through Dallas, to 
Atlanta; and Lieutenant-General Polk to move to 
the same road, by a route farther to the left. Lieu- 
tenant-General Hood was instructed to follow Har- 
dee on the 24th. Hardee's corps reached the point 
designated to him that afternoon ; Polk's was within 
four or five miles of it to the east, and Hood's within 
four miles of New Hope Church, on the road to it 
from Alatoona. On the 25th the latter reached New 
Ho]3e Church, early in the day. Intelligence was re- 
ceived from General Jackson's troops soon after, that 
the Federal army was near — its right at Dallas, and 
its line extending toward Alatoona. 

Lieutenant-General Hood was immediately in- 
structed to form his corps parallel with the road by 
which he had marched, and west of it, with the cen- 
tre ' opposite to the church ; Lieutenant-General Polk 
to place his a in line with it, on the left, and Lieuten- 
ant-General Hardee to occupy a ridge extending from 
the ground allotted to Polk's corps, across the road 
leading from Dallas toward Atlanta — his left divis- 
ion, Bate's, holding that road. 

As soon as his troops were in position, Lieutenant- 
General Hood, to "develop the enemy," sent for- 

1 A road from Dallas to Marietta, passing by New Hope Church, at 
right angles to General Hood's line, was held in this way. 

2 General Polk's corps was about five miles from this position. 


ward Colonel Bush Jones, with his regiment (the 
united Thirty-second and Fifty-eighth Alabama) and 
Austin's sharpshooters, in all about three hundred 
men. After advancing about a mile, this detach- 
ment encountered Hooker's (Twentieth) corps. 
Having the written order of his corps commander to 
hold his ground after meeting the enemy, Colonel 
Jones resisted resolutely the attack of the over- 
whelming Federal forces. But, after a gallant 1 fight, 
he was, of course, driven back to his division — Stew- 

An hour and a half before sunset, a brisk cannon- 
ade was opened upon Hood's centre division, Stew- 
art's, opposite to New Hope Church. Major-General 
Stewart regarding this as the harbinger of assault, 
leaped upon his horse and rode along his line, to in- 
struct the officers and encourage the men. He soon 
found the latter to be superfluous, from the confident 
tone in which he was addressed by his soldiers, and 
urged by them to lay aside all anxiety, and trust, 
for success, to their courage. Such pledges were well 
redeemed. The enemy soon appeared — Hooker's 
corps — in so deep order that it presented a front 
equal only to that of Stewart's first line — three bri- 
gades. After opening their fire, the Federal troops 
approached gradually but resolutely, under the fire 
of three brigades and sixteen field-pieces, until within 
fifty paces of the Confederate line. Here, however, 
they were compelled first to pause, and then to fall 
back, by the obstinate resistance they encountered. 

1 So gallant a one that the commander of Hooker's leading division 
thought he was engaged with a brigade, at least. {See General Geary's 


They were led forward again, advancing as reso- 
lutely, and approaching as near to the Confederate 
line as before, but were a second time repulsed by 
the firmness of their opponents, and their deliberate 
fire of canister-shot and musketry. The engagement 
was continued in this manner almost two hours, 
when the assailants drew off. 

In this action a few of the men of Clayton's and 
Baker's brigades were partially sheltered by a hasty 
arrangement of some fallen timber which they found 
near their line. The other brigade engaged, Stovall's, 
had no such protection. Nothing entitled to the 
term " breastworks " had been constructed by the di- 

We found, next morning, that the Federal line 
extended much farther to our right than it had done 
the day before. Polk's corps w T as transferred to the 
right of Hood's, therefore, covering the road to Ac- 
worth. Consequently, all the ground between Hood's 
left and the Powder Sjn'ing road was guarded by 
Hardee's corps. There was little activity apparent 
in either army during the day. No other engage- 
ments of infantry occurred than attempts by the skir- 
mishers of each army to harass those of the other. 
But late in the afternoon a large body of Federal 
cavalry, probably feeling for our right flank, en- 
countered Avery's regiment of Georgia cavalry. Al- 
though desperately wounded in the onset, Colonel 
Avery, supported in his saddle by a soldier, con- 
tinued to command, and maintained the contest un- 
til the arrival of forces capable of holding the 

The Federal troops extended their intrenched 



line so rapidly to their left, that it was found neces- 
sary in the morning of the 27th to transfer Cle- 
burne's division of Hardee's corps to our right, where 
it was formed on the prolongation of Polk's line. 
Kelly's cavalry, composed of Allen's and Hannon's 
Alabama brigades, together less than a thousand 
men, occupied the interval, of half a mile, between 
Cleburne's right and Little Pumpkin- Vine Creek. 
Martin's division (cavalry) guarded the road from 
Burnt Hickory to Marietta, two miles farther to the 
right; and Humes's the interval between Kelly's 
and Martin's divisions. 

Between five and six o'clock in the afternoon, 
Kelly's skirmishers were driven in by a body of 
Federal cavalry, whose advance was supported by the 
Fourth Corps. This advance was retarded by the 
resistance of Kelly's troops fighting on foot behind 
unconnected little heaps of loose stones. As soon 
as the noise of this contest revealed to Major-General 
Cleburne the manoeuvre to turn his right, he brought 
the right brigade of his second line, Granberry's, to 
Kelly's support, by forming it on the right of his 
first line; when the thin line of dismounted cavalry, 
that had been bravely resisting masses of infantry 
gave place to the Texan brigade. 

The Fourth Corps came on in deep order, and as- 
sailed the Texans with great vigor, receiving their 
close and accurate fire with the fortitude always ex- 
hibited by General Sherman's troops in the actions 
of this campaign. They had also to endure the fire 
of Govan's right, 1 including two pieces of artillery, 
on their right flank. At the same time, Kelly's and 

1 Originally the right brigade of the first line. 


a part of Humes's troops, directed by General Wheel- 
er, met the Federal left, which was following the 
movement of the main body, and drove back the 
leading brigade, taking thirty or forty prisoners. 1 
The united force continued to press forward, how- 
ever, but so much delayed by the resistance of 
Wheeler's troops as to give time for the arrival, on 
that part of the field, of the Eighth and Ninth Ar- 
kansas regiments under Colonel Bancum, detached 
by General Govan to the assistance of the cavalry. 
This little body met the foremost of the Federal 
troops as they were reaching the prolongation of 
Granberry's line, and, charging gallantly, drove them 
back, and preserved the Texans from an attack in 
flank which must have been fatal. Before the Fed- 
eral left could gather to overwhelm Bancum and his 
two regiments, Lowry's brigade, hurried by General 
Cleburne from its position as left of his second line, 
came to join them, and the two, formed abreast of 
Granberry's brigade, stopped the advance of the 
enemy's left, and successfully resisted its subsequent 

The contest of the main body of the Fourth Corps 
with Granberry's brigade was a very fierce one. a 
The Federal troops approached within a few yards 
of the Confederates, but at last were forced to give 
way by their storm of well-directed bullets, and fell 
back to the shelter of a hollow near and behind 
them. They left hundreds of corpses within twenty 
paces of the Confederate line. 

When the United States troops paused in their 
advance, within ' fifteen paces of the Texan front 

1 General Wheeler's report. 2 General Cleburne's report. 


rank, one of their color-bearers planted his colors 
eight or ten feet in front of his regiment, and 
was instantly shot dead ; a soldier sprang forward 
to his place, and fell also, as he grasped the color- 
staff; a second and third followed successively, and 
each received death as speedily as his predecessors ; 
a fourth, however, seized and bore back the object 
of soldierly devotion. 1 

About ten o'clock at night, Granberry ascer- 
tained that many of the Federal troops were still in 
the hollow immediately before him, and charged 
and drove them from it, taking two hundred and 
thirty-two prisoners, seventy-two of whom were se- 
verely wounded. 

The Federal dead lying near our line were 
counted by many persons — officers and soldiers. 
According to those counts, there were seven hun- 
dred of them. The loss in Cleburne's division was 
eighty-five killed, and three hundred and sixty-three 
wounded. A similar proportion of dead and wound- 
ed in the Fourth Corps would give three thousand 
five hundred as its loss in killed and wounded. 
We found about twelve hundred small-arms on the 
field. I had no report of General Wheeler's loss, 
nor means of ascertaining that which he inflicted. 

In the affair at New Hope Church, two clays be- 
fore, greater forces were engaged — three Confeder- 
ate brigades with sixteen field-pieces, against the 
Twentieth Federal corps, which, unless our informa- 
tion was inaccurate, was much stronger than the 
Fourth. It is reasonable to suppose that greater 

1 This circumstance was related to me on the ground by a number 
of the nearest Texans. 


numbers, exposed at least as long to a much heavier 
fire, suffered greater losses. Stewart had, also, the ad- 
vantage of less uneven ground "before him, which 
must have greatly increased the effect of his fire 
both of musketry and artillery. 

The changes of disposition, made in this action 
of the 27th, extended our right and the Federal left 
to Little Pumpkin-Vine Creek. 

Major-General Lovell, whose assignment to the 
Army of Tennessee, as a corj)S commander, I had 
earnestly asked in the preceding winter, joined it at 
this time as a volunteer, prompted by a zeal in the 
cause which made him regardless of the claims of 
his rank. He was immediately requested to exam- 
ine the fords and ferries of the Chattahoochee, and 
to dispose the available State trooj)s, including some 
artillery, to guard them against any bodies of Federal 
cavalry that might attempt to surprise Atlanta, for 
the purpose of destroying our depots there. 

As circumstances indicated that many troops had 
been withdrawn from the intrenchments of the Fed- 
eral right, in front of Dallas, Major-General Bate, 
whose division then formed the left of the Confeder- 
ate army, was instructed, on the morning of the 28th, 
to ascertain, by a forced reconnaissance, if those in- 
trenchments were still held by adequate forces. Gen- 
eral Bate determined to seize those works if it should 
be found that they were occupied, but only feebly. 
He therefore directed the commanders of his three 
brigades to form their troops and keep them under 
arms, and, if an explained signal should be given, to 
advance rapidly against the enemy before them. 
General Armstrong, whose brigade of cavalry was 


on the left of the infantry, was then directed to ap- 
proach the extreme right of the Federal line of 
works, to learn how it was occupied, if at all. His 
brigade was received with a cannonade and fire of 
musketry so spirited that each of the two brigade 
commanders of the division of infantry supposed 
that all of the troops but his own were engaged, 
and hastily assailed the field-works before him. 
Both, however, were soon convinced of their error 
by the reception given them, and drew off, but not 
before they had lost some three hundred men killed 
and wounded. 

When the three lieutenant-generals were together 
in my quarters that day, as usual, Lieutenant-Gen- 
eral Hood suggested that we should make an attack 
upon the Federal army, to commence on its left flank. 
The suggestion was accepted, and the three officers 
were desired to be ready for battle next morning. 
Lieutenant-General Hood was instructed to draw his 
corps out of the line to the rear, and to march dur- 
ing the night around our right, and form it facing 
the enemy's left flank, somewhat obliquely to his 
line, and to assail that flank at dawn next day. 
Polk and Hardee were instructed to join in the bat- 
tle successively, obliquely to the present formation, 
when the progress made on the right of each should 
enable him to do so. 

We waited next morning for the signal agreed upon 
— the musketry of Hood's corps — from the appointed 
time until about 10 a. m., when a message from the 
Lieutenant-General was delivered to me by one of his 
aide-de-camps, to the effect that he had found John- 
son's division, on the Federal left, thrown back 


almost at riglit angles to the general line, and in- 
trenching ; that, under such circumstances, he had 
thought it inexpedient to attack, and asked for in- 
structions. I supposed, from the terms of this message, 
that Hood's corps was in the presence of the enemy, 
and that, his movement and position "being known to 
them, they would be prepared to repel his assault as 
soon as he to make it, after his aide-de-camp's return. 
If the attack had "been expedient when Lieutenant- 
General Hood's message was dispatched, the resulting 
delay, by enabling the enemy to reenforce the threat- 
ened point and complete the intrenchments begun, 
made it no longer so. He was therefore recalled. 1 

The Federal intrenched line was extended daily 
toward the railroad, in the direction of Alatoona. 
We endeavored to keep pace with this extension, to 
prevent being cut off from the railroad and Marietta. 
But, from the great inequality of force, two or 
three miles of the right of ours was occupied by dis- 
mounted cavalry in skirmishing order. The enemy's 
demonstrations against this part of our front led to 

1 General Hood contradicts this statement, as it appeared in my offi- 
cial report, in Ins own, referred to in the notes to page 324. (In confir- 
mation of my statement, see General Mackall's statement in those notes.) 
Lieutenant-General Hardee, in the letter quoted in the note to page 
324, wrote : " On the 28th of May, at New Hope Church, instructions 
were given the assembled corps commanders, Generals Polk, Hood, and 
myself, for a general engagement the next day. General Hood was to 
get in position during the night, and attack the left flauk of the enemy 
the following morning. The attack thus begun was to he joined in by 
the rest of the army successively. I was present with you in the fore- 
noon of the 29th, awaiting the attack by General Hood, which was to 
signal the general engagement, when a report was received from him 
stating that he had found the enemy intrenched, and, deeming it inex- 
pedient to attack, asked instructions. The opportunity had passed. 
General Hood was recalled, and the army resumed its defensive atti- 


skirmishing with Wheeler's troops, in which the lat- 
ter captured above a hundred prisoners between the 
1st and 4th of June. The infantry skirmishers of 
the two armies were incessantly engaged at the same 
time, from right to left, when there was light enough 
to distinguish and aim at a man. 

At the end of that time it was evident that the 
great body of the Federal army was moving to its 
left rear, toward the railroad, the movement being 
covered by its long line of intrenchment. The Con- 
federate army then marched to a position selected 
beforehand, and carefully marked out by Colonel 
Prestman, the chief-engineer. Its left was on Lost 
Mountain, and its right, composed of cavalry, beyond 
the railroad and behind Noonday Creek. 

According to the report of the medical director 
of the army, the losses of the three corps in killed 
and wounded, between the time of the passage of 
the Etowah and that of the last change of position, 
were : 

Killed. Wounded. Total. 

Hardee's Corps 156 879 1,035 

Hood's Corps 103 756 859 

Polk's Corps 17 94 111 


That of the cavalry of the right, commanded by 
Major-General Wheeler, from the 6th to the 31st of 
May inclusive, was : seventy- three killed, and three 
hundred and forty-one wounded. In the same period 
those troops took more than five hundred prisoners, 
as many horses, and five standards and colors. Gen- 
eral Jackson made no report. 

Soon after the army was established in the position 
just described, a large body of Federal cavalry, ad- 


vancing on the Big Shanty and Marietta road, en- 
countered a part of Wheeler's. After a succession 
of skirmishes, the Confederates charged and drove 
the enemy before them several miles beyond Big 
Shanty. The losses of the two parties were not as- 
certained, except that of forty-five prisoners by the 

Five or six days elapsed before the enemy ap- 
proached near enough for the usual skirmishing and 
partial engagements. The cavalry on both flanks 
was active, however; especially near the railroad, 
where it was most numerous. 

On the 8th, the body of the Federal army seemed 
to be near Ac worth. Our army was, for that reason, 
formed to cover the roads leading from that vicinity 
toward Atlanta : the left of Hardee's corps at Gilgal 
Church, Bate's division occupying the summit of 
Pine Mount, a detached hill about three hundred feet 
high ; Polk's right near the Acworth and Marietta 
road, covered by Noonday Creek; and Hood's massed 
on the right of that road ; Jackson's division on the 
left, and Wheeler's in front of the right. 

On the 11th, the left of the Federal army could 
be seen from the Confederate signal-station on Kene- 
saw, intrenched on the high ground beyond Noon- 
day Creek. The centre lay a third or half mile in 
front of the summit of Pine Mount, and the right 
extended across the Burnt Hickory and Marietta 

The cavalry of the Federal right was held in check 
by Jackson's division, aided by the line of intrench- 
ments constructed by our infantry between Lost 
Mountain and Gilgal Church; but that of the left 


was very active and encountered ours daily, occasion- 
ally in large bodies. According to Major-General 
"Wheeler's reports, these affairs were always to our 

In the evening of the 13th, Lieutenant-General 
Hardee expressed apprehension that Bate's division, 
posted on Pine Mount, might be too far from the line 
occupied by his corps, and requested me to visit that 
outpost, and decide if it should be maintained. We 
rode to it together next morning, accompanied by 
Lieutenant-General Polk, who wished to avail him- 
self of the height to study the ground in front of his 
own corps. 

Just when we had concluded our examination, 
and the abandonment of the hill had been decided 
upon, a party of soldiers, that had gathered behind 
us from mere curiosity, apparently tempted an artil- 
lery officer whose battery was in front, six or seven 
hundred yards from us, to open his fire upon them ; 
at first firing shot very slowly. Lieutenant-General 
Polk, unconsciously exposed by his characteristic in- 
sensibility to danger, fell by the third shot, which 
passed from left to right through the middle of his 
chest. The death of this eminent Christian and sol- 
dier, who had been distinguished in every battle in 
which the Army of Tennessee had been engaged, 
produced deep sorrow in our troops. Major-General 
Loring, the officer next in rank in the corps, succeeded 
temporarily to its command. 

Before daybreak of the 15th, the Pine Mount was 

abandoned, and Bate's division placed in reserve. 

The Confederate skirmishers were vigorously pressed 

from right to left. Loring's, attacked in open ground 



and far in front by a full line, were driven in, and 
their ground held by the enemy. 

A division of State militia organized by Govern- 
or Brown, under Major-General G. W. Smith, and 
transferred to the army, was charged about this time 
with the defense of the bridges and ferries of the 
Chattahoochee, near Atlanta, to guard against the 
surprise of the town by the Federal cavalry. 

On the 16th a new disposition was made on the 
left. Hardee's corps changed front to the rear on its 
right, by which it was placed on the high ground 
east of Mud Creek, facing to the west. The right of 
the Federal army made a corresponding movement, 
and approached Hardee's line, opposed in advan- 
cing by Jackson's division, as well as twenty-five 
hundred men can contend with twenty -five thou- 

This disposition made an angle where Hardee's 
right joined Loring's left, which was soon found to 
be a great defect, for it exposed the troops near it to 
annoyance from enfilade, which should have been 
foreseen. Another position, including the crest of 
Kenesaw, was chosen on the 17th, and prepared for 
occupation under the direction of Colonel Prestman. 
The troops were placed on this line on the 19th: 
Hood's corps massed between the railroad and that 
from Marietta to Canton ; Loring's, with a division 
(his own commanded by Featherston) between the 
railroad and eastern base of the mountain ; and Wal- 
thall's and French's along the crest of the short ridge 
— French's left reaching its southwestern base, and 
Hardee's from French's left almost due south across, 
the Lost Mountain and Marietta road, to the brow of 


the high ground iniinediately north of the branch of 
Nose's Creek that runs from Marietta — Walker's di- 
vision on the right, Bate's next, then Cleburne's, and 
Cheatham's on the left. 

Immediately after this new disposition, heavy and 
long-continued rains made Nose's Creek impassable, 
and under its cover the Federal line was extended 
some miles beyond our left toward the Chattahoo- 
chee. When the stream subsided, the enemy's right 
was found to be protected by intrenchments con- 
structed in the mean time. 

On the 20th the most considerable cavalry affair 
of the campaign occurred on our right. The Confed- 
ate cavalry on that flank, being attacked by that 
under General Garrard's command, repulsed the 
assailants, whom, as they were retiring, Wheeler 
charged with above a thousand men, and routed, 
capturing a hundred men and horses, and two stand- 
ards. Fifty of the enemy's dead were counted on 
the field. The Confederate loss was fifteen killed 
and fifty wounded. 

As the extension of the Federal army toward the 
Chattahoochee made a corresponding one necessary 
on our part, Hood's corps was transferred from the 
right to the Marietta and Powder-Spring road, his 
right near and south of Cheatham's left. General 
Hood was instructed to endeavor to prevent any prog- 
ress of the Federal right toward the railroad ; the 
course of which was nearly parallel to our left and 
centre. Our jDosition, consequently, was a very haz- 
ardous one. 

Next day a sharp but brief fire of musketry on 
the left, succeeded by that of, apparently, several 


Latteries, announced that Hood's corps, or a large 
part of it, was engaged. Soon after the firing ceased, 
General Hood reported that Hindman's and Steven- 
son's divisions of his corps had been attacked, and 
that they had not only repulsed the enemy, but had 
followed them to a line of light intrenchments and 
driven them from it ; but that, being exposed, in this 
position, to a fire of intrenched artillery, they had 
been compelled to withdraw. 

Subsequent 1 and more minute accounts of this 
affair, by general and staff officers of the corps, con- 
verted the favorable impression made by this report 
into the belief that, instead of achieving success, we 
had suffered a reverse. It appeared that our troops 
had not fallen back merely to escape annoyance, but 
that, after the Federal infantry had beeu driven back 
to and then beyond its line of breastworks, Lieuten- 
ant-General Hood determined to capture the in- 
trenched artillery referred to in his brief report. It 
crowned a high, bare hill, facing the interval between 
his right and the left of Hardee's corps. To direct 
his line toward it, a partial change of front to the 
right was necessary, and that slow operation, j>er- 
formed under the fire of a formidable artillery, sub- 
jected his two divisions to a loss so severe that 
the attempt was soon abandoned — I am uncertain 
whether by the decision of the commander, or the 
discretion of the troops themselves; not, however, 
until they had lost about a thousand men. 

An unusually vigorous attack was made upon 
the skirmishers of Hardee's corps on the 24th. They 
repelled it unaided, firing from rifle-pits. A similar 

1 Since the end of the war. 


attack upon Stevenson's skirmishers, the day after, 
was defeated in like manner. 

In the morning of the 27th, after a furious can- 
nonade, the Federal army made a general assault 
upon the Confederate position, which was received 
everywhere with firmness, and repelled with a loss 
to the assailants enormously disproportionate to that 
which they inflicted. At several points the charac- 
teristic fortitude of the Northwestern soldiers held 
them under a close and destructive fire long after 
reasonable hope of success was gone. The attack 
upon Loring's corps was by the Army of the Tennes- 
see ; that upon Hardee's by the Army of the Cumber- 
land. The principal efforts of the enemy were di- 
rected against Loring's right and left brigades, and 
the left of Hardee's corps. 

The attack upon Loring's right — Scott's brigade 
of Featherston's division — was by troops of the Sev- 
enteenth Corps, advancing in three lines, preceded by 
skirmishers. They received five or six volleys from 
Nelson's (Twelfth Louisiana) regiment, deployed as 
skirmishers, in rifle-pits, six hundred yards in front 
of the brigade. This regiment held its ground until 
the first Federal line had approached within twenty- 
five paces. It then retired to the line of battle. The 
Federal troops advanced steadily, and two hundred 
paces from the Confederate line met the fire of Scott's 
infantry, and received in their flanks that of four bat- 
teries. This concentrated fire compelled them to 
halt. Unable to advance farther, and unwilling to 
retreat, they remained where they had halted almost 
an hour, before withdrawing from the shower of 


During this time a single line of Federal infantry 
was engaged with Wheeler's troops, the skirmishers 
of Featherston's own, and Adams's brigades, and 
those of Quarles's brigade of Walthall's division — 
all in the shelter of rifle-pits. The firing was always 
within easy, and frequently very short range. A 
body of the assailants charged into Quarles's rifle- 
pits, where most of them were killed or captured. 

In the assault upon Loring's left (Cockrell's Mis- 
souri brigade) the assailants advanced rapidly from 
the west — their right extending to the south of the 
Burnt Hickory and Marietta road, and their left en- 
countering the brigade (Sears's) on Cockrell's right. 
Their right dashed through the skirmishers of Walk- 
er's right before they could be reenforced, and took 
in reverse those on the right and left, while they were 
attacked in front. In a few minutes about eighty of 
Walker's men had been bayoneted or captured in 
their rifle-pits. The Federal troops approaching 
Walker's line on the south of the road were driven 
back by the fire of artillery directed against their left 
flank by Major-General French ; but the main body, 
unchecked by Cockrell's skirmishers, pressed for- 
ward steadily under the fire of the brigade, until 
within twenty or thirty paces of its line. Here' it 
was checked and ultimately repulsed, by the steady 
courage of the Missourians. The action had contin- 
ued with spirit for almost an hour, during most of 
which time fifty field-pieces were playing upon the 
Confederate troops. 

But the most determined and powerful attack fell 
upon Cheatham's division and the left of Cleburne's. 
The lines of the two armies were much nearer to each 


other there; therefore the action was begun at 
shorter range. The Federal troops were in greater 
force, and deeper order, too, and pressed forward 
with the resolution always displayed by the Ameri- 
can soldier when properly led. An attempt to turn 
the left was promptly met and defeated by Cheat- 
ham's reserve — Vaughn's brigade. After maintain- 
ing the contest for three-quarters of an hour, until 
more of their best soldiers lay dead and wounded 
than the number of British veterans that fell in Gen- 
eral Jackson's celebrated battle of New Orleans, the 
foremost dead lying against our breastworks, they 
retired — unsuccessful — because they had encountered 
intrenched infantry unsurpassed by that of Napo- 
leon's Old Guard, or that which followed Wellington 
into France, out of Sj^ain. Our losses were : 


Killed. "Wounded. Missing. Total. 

Cheatham's Division 26 75 94 195 

Cleburne's Division 2 9 — 11 

"Walker's Division Killed or taken 80 



Killed. Wounded. Missing. TotaL 

Featherston's Division 8 13 1 22 

French's Division 17 92 77 186 

Walthall's Division 6 22 — 28 


The comparatively severe loss in French's division 
was accounted for by its position — on the descending 
crest of the end of Kenesaw — where it was exposed 
to the fire of about fifty guns ; and by the turning of 
his line of skirmishers. That of Cheatham's was 
principally in the reserve, which fought in open 
ground, unprotected by intrenchments. 


From the number 1 of dead counted from his 
breastworks, Lieutenant-General Hardee estimated 
the loss of the troops engaged with his corps at five 
thousand ; and in his official report, dated July 30th, 
Major-General Loring estimated that of the Army of 
the Tennessee, which assailed his corps, at twenty-five 

I think that the estimate of Northern officers of 
their killed and wounded on that occasion, " near 
three thousand," does great injustice to the character 
of General Sherman's army. Such a loss, in the large 
force that must have been furnished for a decisive 
and general attack by an army of almost a hundred 
thousand men, would have been utterly insignificant 
— too trifling to discourage, much less defeat brave 
soldiers, such as composed General Sherman's army. 
It does injustice to Southern marksmanship, too. 
The fire of twenty thousand infantry inured to bat- 
tle, and intrenched, and of fifty field-pieces poured 
into such columns, frequently within pistol-shot, 
must have done much greater execution. 

On the 29th a truce was agreed to, to permit the 
Federal soldiers to bury their dead lying near our 

The reports from the flanks showed that the en- 
emy had much reduced the cavalry of their left, and 
proportionally increased the strength of that of their 
right. Major-General Smith was therefore desired to 
bring forward his division to the support of Jack- 
son's troops. It was done ; and the State troops 
under him rendered good service. 

1 One thousand. The ordinary proportion of one killed to five 
wounded gives six thousand. 


As the Federal commander manifested a strong 
disposition to operate by his right, which was already 
nearer to Atlanta than the Confederate left, another 
position was selected for the army, ten miles south of 
Marietta, which Colonel Prestman was desired to 
have prepared for occupation ; and Brigadier-Gen- 
eral Shoupe was directed to construct a line of re- 
doubts on a plan devised by himself, on a line 
selected by Major-General Lovell on the high ground 
near the Chattahoochee, and covering the approaches 
to the railroad bridge and Turner's Ferry. Negro 
laborers had been impressed for the work. Some 
time before, Captain Grant, the engineer-officer who 
directed the construction of the intrenchments around 
Atlanta, was instructed to strengthen them in a man- 
ner explained to him, and was authorized to impress 
negro laborers for the work. 

The reports of outposts, and observation from the 
top of Kenesaw on the 1st and 2d of July, showed 
that General Sherman was transferring strong bodies 
of troops to his right. The Confederate army was 
therefore moved to the position prepared for it by 
Colonel Prestman, which it reached early on the 3d, 
and occupied in two lines crossing the road to Atlan- 
ta almost at right angles — Loring's corps on the right 
and Hardee's on the left of the road, Hood's on the 
left of Hardee's, Wheeler's on the right of Loring's 
corps, and Jackson's, supported by General Smith, on 
the left of Hood's. 

During the twenty-six days in which the two 
armies confronted each other near Marietta, besides 
the incessant musketry of skirmishers, the Confed- 
erate troops had to endure an almost uninterrupted 


cannonade — and to endure without returning it ; for 
their supply of artillery-ammunition was so inade- 
quate, that their Latteries could be used only to repel 
assaults, or in serious engagements. 

On the 4th, Lieutenant-General Hood's reports 
indicated that the enemy was turning his left, and 
that his own forces were insufficient to defeat their 
design, or hold them in check. Cheatham's division, 
therefore, was sent to his assistance. In the even- 
ing, Major-General Smith reported that the Federal 
cavalry was pressing on him in such force, that he 
would be compelled to abandon the ground he had 
been holding, and retire, before morning, to General 
Shoupe's line of redoubts. As the position in question 
covered a very important route to Atlanta, and was 
nearer than the main body of our army to that place, 
the necessity of abandoning it involved the taking a 
new line. The three corps were accordingly brought 
to the intrenched position just prepared by General 
Shoupe, which covered both routes to Atlanta, in the 
morning of the 5th — Major-General Wheeler covering 
the withdrawal of the right and centre, and General 
Jackson that of the left. After the infantry and artil- 
lery were disposed in the new position, the cavalry 
was sent to the south bank of the Chattahoochee ; 
Wheeler's to observe the river above, and Jackson's 

The Federal army approached as cautiously as 
usual, covering itself by intrenchments as soon as its 
scouts discovered our line of skirmishers. As soon 
as these works were strong enough to protect thor- 
oughly the troops occupying them, the passage of 
the river was commenced by General Sherman above, 



where fords are numerous and broad. On the 8th, 
two of his corps crossed and intrenched. In conse- 
sequence of this, the Confederate army crossed the 
Chattahoochee in the night of the 9th (each corps had 
two bridges), and was established two miles from it. 

Lieutenant-General Stewart, promoted to the 
office made vacant by the death of Lieutenant- 
General Polk, had assumed the command of his 
corps on the 7th. 

As soon as the army passed the Chattahoochee, 
its engineer-officers joined in the work of strength- 
ening the intrenchments of Atlanta with all the negro 
laborers that could be collected. 1 Colonel Prestman 
was instructed to devote his first attention to the 
works between the Augusta and Marietta roads, as 
there was no reasonable doubt that the enemy's ap- 
proach would be on that side. 

The character of Peach-Tree Creek, which empties 
into the Chattahoochee just above the railroad- 
bridge, and the course of the river, and number of 
fords above that point, prevented the Confederates 
from attempting to do more than observe that part 
of the valley. The broad, deep, and muddy channel 
of the creek would have been a serious impediment 
to the passage of troops from right to left, if our line 
had crossed it ; and the course of the river would 
have put us under the further disadvantage of a con- 
cave line.* But a position on the high ground look- 
ing down into the valley of the creek from the south 

1 Captain Grant, who constructed those intrenchments, had been 
employing a large body of laborers in strengthening them, by my direc- 
tion, since the beginning of June. 

a "While, on the contrary, the creek and river below its mouth formed 
a convex one. 


was selected for the army; to be occupied when all 
the Federal forces had crossed the Chattahoochee, 
and from which to attack it, while divided in the 
passage of the creek; when I hoped that a favorable 
opportunity would occur. 

On the 14th a division of Federal cavalry crossed 
the Chattahoochee by Moore's bridge, opposite to 
Newnan. But Brigadier-General Jackson, who had 
observed its movement to his left, detached Arm- 
strong's brigade to meet it, which bravely attacked 
and drove it back. 

Just then the army was visited by General Bragg. 
That officer was directly from Richmond, on his way, 
he said, to Lieutenant-General S. D. Lee's headquar- 
ters, to confer with him and communicate with Lieu- 
tenant-General E. Kirby Smith — to ascertain what 
reinforcements for me their departments could fur- 
nish. His visit to me was unofficial, he assured me. 

At the same time Governor Brown promised to 
bring ten thousand more State militia into the army - 
he was confident that it would be done in ten days. 
The promise gave me great satisfaction, for such a 
force might be made very valuable in operations 
about Atlanta. 

On the 17th, 1 Major- General Wheeler reported 
that the whole Federal army had crossed the Chat- 
tahoochee, and was near it, between Roswell and 
Powers's Ferry. At ten o'clock p. m., while Colonel 
Prestman was with me receiving instructions in rela- 
tion to his work of the next day on the intrench- 
ments of Atlanta, the following telegram was received 
from General Cooper, dated July 17th: "Lieutenant- 

1 At night. 


General J. B. Hood lias been commissioned to the 
temporary rank of general, nnder the late law of 
Congress. I am directed by the Secretary of "War to 
inform you that, as you have failed to arrest the ad- 
vance of the enemy to the vicinity of Atlanta, far in 
the interior of Georgia, and express no confidence 
that you can defeat or repel him, you are hereby re- 
lieved from the command of the Army and Depart- 
ment of Tennessee, which you will immediately turn 
over to General Hood." 

Orders transferring the command of the army to 
General Hood were written and published immedi- 
ately, and next morning I replied to the Hon. Secre- 
tary's telegram: "Your dispatch of yesterday re- 
ceived and obeyed. Command of the Army and 
Department of Tennessee has been transferred to 
General Hood. As to the alleged cause of my re- 
moval, I assert that Sherman's army is much stronger 
compared with that of Tennessee, than Grant's com- 
pared with that of Northern Virginia. Yet the 
enemy has been compelled to advance much more 
slowly to the vicinity of Atlanta, than to that of 
Richmond and Petersburg; and penetrated much 
deeper into Virginia than into Georgia. 

" Confident language by a military command- 
er is not usually regarded as evidence of compe- 

General Hood came to my quarters early in the 
morning of the 18th, and remained there during the 
day. Intelligence soon came from Major-Gen. Wheeler, 
that the Federal army was marching toward Atlanta, 
and at General Hood's earnest request I continued 
to give orders through Brigadier-Gen. Mackall, chief 


of staff, 1 until sunset. By one of them the army was 
placed in the previously-chosen position covering the 
roads by which the enemy was approaching. 

In transferring the command to General Hood I 
explained my plans to him. a First, I expected an 
opportunity to engage the enemy on terms of advan- 
tage while they were divided in crossing Peach-Tree 
Creek, trusting to General Wheeler's vigilance for 
the necessary information. If successful, the great 
divergence of the Federal line of retreat from the 
direct route available to us would enable us to secure 
decisive results ; if unsuccessful, we had a safe place 
of refuge in our intrenched lines close at hand. 
Holding it, we could certainly keep back the enemy, 
as at New Hope Church and in front of Marietta, 
until the State troops promised by Governor Brown 
were assembled. Then, I intended to man the works 
of Atlanta on the side toward Peach-Tree Creek with 
those troops, and leisurely fall back with the Con- 
federate troops into the town, and, when the Federal 
army approached, march out with the three corps 
against one of its flanks. If we were successful, the 
enemy would be driven against the Chattahoochee 
where there are no fords, or to the east, away from 
their communications, as the attack might fall on 
their right or left. If unsuccessful, the Confederate 
army had a near and secure place of refuge in At- 
lanta, which it could hold forever, and so win the 
campaign, of which that place was the object. The 

1 General Mackall was requested to use General Hood's authority, 
as I had none. 

9 See my official report of the campaign, published by the Govern- 


passage of Peach-Tree Creek may not have given an 
opportunity to attack; but there is no reason to 
think that the second and far most promising plan 
might not have been executed. 

Under the control of the Chief of Staff, Brigadier- 
General Mackall, the administrative departments had 
been admirably conducted. The condition of the 
horses of the artillery and mules of the trains, much 
better on the 18th of July than on the 5th of May, 
proved the efficiency of the Chief Quartermaster, 
Colonel McMicken, and the regularity and abundance 
of the supply of provision to the soldiers, that of 
Colonel W. E. Moore, Chief Commissary. We were 
fortunate in depending for the collection of these 
supplies upon Major J. F. Cummings, one of the most 
intelligent and zealous agents of the Commissary- 
general that I encountered during the war. 

No material was lost by us in the campaign, but 
the four field-pieces exposed and abandoned at Resaca 
by General Hood. 1 

The troops themselves, who had been seventy- 
four days in the immediate presence of the enemy; 
laboring and fighting daily; enduring toil and en- 
countering danger with equal cheerfulness; more con- 
fident and high-spirited even than when the Federal 
army presented itself before them at Dalton ; and, 
though I say it, full of devotion to him who had 
commanded them, and belief of ultimate success in 
the campaign, were then inferior to none who ever 
served the Confederacy, or fought on this conti- 

At the commencement of this campaign, the army 
1 See p. 232. 


I commanded was that defeated under General Bragg 
at Missionary Ilidge, with one brigade added, Mer- 
cer's, and two taken from it, Quarles's and Baldwin's. 
The Federal army opposed to us was Grant's army 
of Missionary Ridge, then estimated at eighty thou- 
sand men "by the principal officers of the Army of 
Tennessee, increased by the Sixteenth and Twenty- 
third Corps, Hovey's division, 1 and probably twelve 
or fifteen thousand recruits received during the pre- 
vious winter ; for each regiment that reenlisted re- 
ceived a furlough, and was a recruiting-party while 
at home. The cavalry of that army amounted to 
about six thousand on the 1st of May; but it 
was increased in a few days by at least twelve thou- 
sand men in Stoneman's, McCook's, and Garrard's 

The troops received "by the Army of Tennessee 
during the campaign, were those sent and brought 
to it by Lieutenant-General Polk, and formed the 
corps of the army which he commanded. Of these, 
Canty's division of about three thousand effectives, 
reached Resaca on the 9th of May ; Loring's, of five 
thousand, on the 11th; French's, of four thousand, 
joined us at Cassville on the 18th; and Quarles's 
brigade, of twenty-two hundred, at New Hope Church 
on the 2Gtk. a 

The effective force of the Confederate cavalry " at 
and near Dalton," on the 1st of May, was twenty- 
three hundred and ninety-two. Martin brought three 
thousand five hundred from the Etowah into the 

1 A distinguished officer of the United States army, then on General 
Grant's staff, estimated the infantry and artillery at sixty-five thousand. 

2 See Major Falconer's letter of May 1, 1805, Appendix. 


field on the 9th, and Jackson's three thousand nine 
hundred met us at Adairsville on the 17th; total, 
nine thousand two hundred and ninety- two. On the 
10th of July, the effective total was nine thousand 
nine hundred and seventy-one. Tne gradual resto- 
ration to condition for service, of the horses broken 
down in the previous hard campaign, and captures 
in this, enabled us to remount many dismounted men, 
and thus more than supply daily losses. 

The Federal amiy received much greater acces- 
sions. Our scouts, observing the railroad in its rear, 
reported several trains filled with troops, passing to 
it daily, in all the month of May. They were gen. 
erally garrisons and bridge-guards from Kentucky 
and Tennessee, relieved by "hundred days' men," 
to join the army in the field. And the Seventeenth 
Corps, accompanied by two thousand cavalry, joined 
it soon after the passage of the Etowah. 

General Hood, in his report of his own disastrous 
operations, accused me of gross official misstatements 
of the strength of the army and of its losses — assert- 
ing that I had " at and near Dalton " an available 
force of seventy-five thousand men, and that twenty- 
two thousand five hundred of them were lost in the 
campaign, including seven thousand prisoners. He 
recklessly appealed for the truth of these assertions 
to Major Kinloch Falconer, assistant adjutant-general, 
by whom the returns of the army were made, which 
were my authority for the statement attacked by 
General Hood. At my request, made in consequence 
of this attack, Major Falconer made another state- 
ment ' from the official data in his possession, which 

1 See it in Appendix. 


contradicts the appellant. By that statement, the 
effective strength of this army " at and near Dalton " 
was forty thousand four hundred and sixty-four in- 
fantry and artillery, and twenty- three hundred and 
ninety cavalry. The prisoners of Avar taken since 
the organization of the Army of Tennessee, in 1862, 
were always borne on its returns. In 1864 there were 
not quite seven thousand of them. More than two- 
thirds 1 of the number reported by General Hood; 
the remainder 5 by General Hardee; none by Polk, 
whose corps had not belonged to this army before 
1864. To swell the list of my losses, General Hood 
asserted that the prisoners taken by the enemy at 
Shiloh, Murfreesboro', Chickamauga, Missionary 
Ridge, and in the intermediate skirmishes, were lost 
by me in the campaign in Georgia. 

The only prisoners taken from us during this cam- 
paign, that I heard of, were a company of skirmishers 
of Hardee's corps, and an outpost of Hood's (some 
two hundred men), captured about the middle of 
June, and a few taken from the right of Walker's and 
left of French's skirmishers on the 27th. As we 
usually fought in intrenched lines which were always 
held, the enemy rarely had an opportunity to make 
prisoners. The fact that those referred to by General 
Hood belouged to his corps and Hardee's only, which 
were the old Army of Tennessee, while none were re- 
ported in Polk's corps, which had never before be- 
longed to that army, indicates clearly that those 
prisoners were captured in operations previous to this 

1 Four thousand eight hundred and thirty-five. 
a Twenty-one hundred and fifty-nine. 


Besides the grounds of my removal alleged in 
the telegram announcing it, various accusations were 
made against me subsequently. Some were published 
in newspapers appearing to have official authority; 
others were circulated orally, and referred to General 
Bragg's authority. The principal were : 

That I persistently disregarded the President's 

That I would not fight the enemy. 

That I refused to defend Atlanta. 

That I refused to communicate with General 
Bragg in relation to the operations of the army. 

That I disregarded his entreaties to change my 
course, and attack the enemy. 

And gross exaggerations of the strength and 
losses of the army. 

The President did not give me the benefit of his 
instructions in the manner of conducting this cam- 
paign, further than a brief telegram received early 
in July, in which he warned me against receiving 
battle with the Chattahoochee behind the army and 
near it. But as Lieutenant-General Pemberton's re- 
treat from the Tallahatchie to the Yallobusha, in De- 
cember, 1862, before an army which he thought not 
quite double his own ; and General Bragg's, first from 
Murfreesboro' to Tullahoma, then from Tullahoma 
beyond the Tennessee River, and afterward the rout 
on Missionary Ridge and flight to Dalton, apparently 
had not lowered the President's estimate of the mili- 
tary merit of those officers, I supposed that my course 
would not be disapproved by him ; especially as Gen- 
eral Lee, by keeping on the defensive, and falling 
back toward Grant's objective point, under circum- 


stances like mine, was increasing Iris great fame. I 
believed then, as firmly as I do now, that the system 
pursued was the only one at my command that prom- 
ised success, and that, if adhered to, it would have 
given us success. 

The foregoing narrative shows that the Ariny of 
Tennessee did fight, and effectively; and probably 
inflicted upon the enemy greater injury, in proportion 
to that it received, than we read of in the history of 
any other campaign of the war — unless in General 
Lee's operations in May of the same year. 

At Dalton, the great numerical superiority of the 
Federal army would have made the chances of battle 
on equal ground much against us, and that army, even 
if beaten, would have had a secure place of refuge 
near, in the fortress of Chattanooga ; while our near- 
est, indeed only place of safety in the event of de- 
feat, was Atlanta — a hundred miles off, with three 
rivers intervening. Therefore, a victory gained by 
us could not have been decisive, while defeat would 
have been utterly disastrous. Between Dalton and 
the Chattahoochee, we could have given battle only 
by attacking the enemy in intrenchments, unless 
we had opportunities on the 19th l and 28th a of 

The loss of the Confederate army in this campaign, 
while under my command, was nine thousand nine 
hundred and seventy-two killed and wounded, 3 not 
including cavalry. About a third of it occurred near 
Dalton and at Resaca. 

1 See page 321. a See page 333. 

3 See Medical Director's statement, Appendix. 


From the observation of our most experienced 
officers, daily statements of prisoners, and publica- 
tions which we read in the newspapers of Louisville, 
Cincinnati, and Chicago, the Federal loss in killed 
and wounded must have been six times as great as 
ours. The only occasions on which we had opportu- 
nities to estimate it were, the attack on our right by 
the Fourth Corps, May 27th, and that on our whole 
army, June 27th. If, as is probable, the proportion 
of killed to wounded was the ordinary one of one to 
five, in the Federal army, its losses, on those two oc- 
casions, exceeded ours by more than ten to one. The 
Federal prisoners concurred in saying that their 
greatest losses occurred in the daily attacks made by 
them in line of battle upon our skirmishers in their 
rifle-pits. Whether these attacks were successful or 
not, they exposed the assailants to heavy losses, and 
the assailed to almost none. In memoranda of the 
service of his own corps in this campaign, General 
Hardee wrote : " But the heaviest losses of' the ene- 
my were not in the assaults and partial engagements 
of the campaign, but in the daily skirmishing. This 
was kept up continuously for seventy days, during 
which the two armies never lost their grapple. It 
soon became customary, in taking up a new position, 
to intrench the skirmish-line, until it was only less 
strong than the main one. This line was well 
manned, and the roar of musketry on it was some- 
times scarcely distinguishable from the sound of a 
general engagement. It was not unfrequently the case 
that one, two, and even three lines of battle of the ene- 
my were repulsed in an assault upon one of our skir- 
mish-lines." The Federal cemetery at Marietta con- 


tains the graves of above ten thousand Federal sol- 
diers who died south of the Etowah. About a thou- 
sand of them fell in General Hood's four actions, near 
Atlanta and Jonesboro'. Not more than two thou- 
sand could have died of disease ; for hospitals for the 
sick were not near the army. As our loss north of 
the Etowah was about half of that south of that 
river, it is reasonable to suppose that there was 
nearly the same proportion among the Federals ; or, 
ten thousand killed, while the Confederate army was 
under my command, and five times as many wound- 
ed. 1 This cemetery completely vindicates General 
Sherman's soldiers from the aspersions cast upon 
their courage by the under-estimates of their losses 
made by their officers. 

In the course so strongly condemned by the Presi- 
dent, our troops, always fighting under cover, had 
losses very trifling compared with those they in- 
flicted ; so that it was not unreasonable to suppose 
that the numerical superiority of the Federal army 
was reduced daily, nor to hope that we might be 
able to cope with it on equal ground beyond the 
Chattahoochee, where defeat would be its destruc- 
tion. The Confederate army, on the contrary, if 
beaten there, had a place of refuge in Atlanta, too 
strong to be taken by assault, and too extensive to 
be invested. I also ho]3ed to be able to break, or to 
procure the breaking of, the railroad by which the 
invading army was supplied, and thus compel it to 
assail ours on our own terms, or to a retreat easily 
converted into a rout. After the passage of the 
Etowah by the Confederate army, five detachments 

1 Five wounded to one killed being the usual proportion. 


of cavalry were successively sent to the enemy's rear, 
with instructions to destroy as much as possible of 
the railroad between that river and Dalton. All 
failed, because too weak. We could never spare a 
body of cavalry strong enough for such a service ; 
for its assistance was indispensable in holding every 
position defended by the army. Captain Harvey, an 
officer of great sagacity and courage, on account of 
which he was selected by Brig.-Gen. W. H. Jackson, 
was detached, with a hundred men, on the 11th of 
June, and remained several weeks near the railroad, 
frequently interrupting, but too weak to prevent its 
use. Early in the campaign, the accounts of the num 
ber of cavalry in Mississippi given by Lieutenant-Gen- 
eral Polk, just from the command of that department, 
and my correspondence with his successor, Lieuten- 
ant-General S. D. Lee, gave me reason to believe that 
an adequate force to destroy the railroad communica- 
tions of the Federal army could be furnished in Mis- 
sissippi and Alabama, under an officer fully compe- 
tent to head such an enterprise — General Forrest. I 
therefore suggested the measure to the President, di- 
rectly on the 13th of June and 10th of July ; and 
through General Bragg on the 3d, 12th, 13th, 16th, 
and 26th of June ; also, to Lieutenant-General Lee on 
the 10th of May, and 3d, 11th, and 16th of June. 
That officer promised, on two occasions, to make the 
attempt. But, in each case, the troops that were to 
have been employed were diverted from that object 
to repel a Federal raid into Mississippi. I made 
these suggestions in the strong belief that this cav- 
alry would serve the Confederacy far better by con- 
tributing to the defeat of a formidable invasion, than 


by waiting for and repelling raids. The Confederate 
Administration seemed to estimate the relative value 
of the two services differently. 

In these efforts, as on all other occasions when he 
had the power, I was zealously seconded by Governor 
Brown. This led to the following correspondence 
between him and the President : 

"Atlanta, June 28, 1864. 
" His Excellency Jefferson Davis : 

" I need not call your attention to the fact that 
this place is to the Confederacy almost as important 
as the heart is to the human body. We must hold it. 
I have done all in my power to reenforce and 
strengthen General Johnston's army. As you know, 
further reinforcements are greatly needed on account 
of the superior numbers of the enemy. Is it not in 
your power to send more troops ? Could not Forrest 
or Morgan, or both, do more now for our cause in 
Sherman's rear than anywhere else ? He brings his 
supplies from Nashville, over nearly three hundred 
miles of railroad, through a rough country, over a 
great number of bridges. If these are destroyed, it 
is impossible for him to subsist his large army, and 
he must fall back through a broad scope of country 
destitute of provisions, which he could not do with-' 
out great loss, if not annihilation. I do not wish to 
volunteer advice, but so great is our anxiety for the 
success of our arms, and the defense of the State, that 
I trust you will excuse what may seem to be an in- 

(Signed) "Joseph E. Brown." 


Reply of President Davis, received at Atlanta, 
July 4, 1864. 

" Richmond, June 29th. 
" To Governor J. E. Brown : 

" Your dispatch of yesterday received. I fully 
appreciate the importance of Atlanta, as evinced by 
my past action. I have sent all available reenforce- 
nients, detaching troops even from points that re- 
main exposed to the enemy. The disparity of force 
between the opposing armies in Northern Georgia is 
less, as reported, than at any other point. The cav- 
alry of Morgan is on district service, and may fulfill 
your wishes. Forrest's command is now operating 
on Sherman's lines of communication and is neces- 
sary for other purposes in his present field of service. 
I do not see that I can change the disposition of our 
forces so as to help General Johnston more effect- 
ually than by the present arrangement. 

(Signed) " Jefferson Davis." 

"Atlanta, July 4, 1864. 
" His Excellency President Davis : 

"I received your dispatch last night. I regret 
exceedingly that you cannot grant my request, as I 
am satisfied Sherman's escape with his army would 
be impossible if ten thousand good cavalry under 
Forrest were thrown in his rear this side of Chatta- 
nooga, and his supplies cut off. The whole country 
expects this, though points of less importance 
should, for a time, be overrun. Our people believe 
that General Johnston is doing all in his power with 
the means at his command, and all expect you to 


send the necessary force to cut off the enemy's sub- 
sistence. We do not see how Forrest's operations in 
Mississippi, or Morgan's raids as conducted in Ken- 
tucky, interfere with Sherman's plans in this State, 
as his supplies continue to reach him. 

" Destroy these, and Atlanta is not only safe, but 
the destruction of the army under Sherman opens 
up Tennessee and Kentucky to us. Your informa- 
tion as to the relative strength of the two armies in 
North Georgia cannot be from reliable sources. If 
your mistake should result in the loss of Atlanta 
and the occupation of other strong points in this 
State by the enemy, the blow may be fatal to our 
cause and remote posterity may have reason to 
mourn over the error. 

(Signed) " Joseph E. Beow^." 

It can scarcely be doubted that five thousand cav- 
alry directed by Forrest's sagacity, courage, and en- 
terprise, against the Federal railroad communications, 
would have been at least so far successful as to pre- 
vent as much food as was absolutely necessary for 
its subsistence, from reaching the Federal army. 
Such a result would have compelled General Sher- 
man to the desperate resource of a decisive battle on 
our terms, which involved attacking excellent troops 
intrenched, or to that of abandoning his enterprise. 
In the first event, the chances of battle would have 
been greatly in our favor. In the second, a rout of 
the Federal army could scarcely have been pre- 

The importance to the Confederacy of defeat- 
ing the enterprise against Atlanta was not to be 


measured by military consequences alone. Political 
considerations were also involved, and added much 
to the interest of that campaign. 

The Northern Democrats had pronounced the 
management of the war a failure ; and declared 
against its being continued; and the presidential 
election, soon to occur, was to turn upon the question 
of immediate peace or continued war. In all the 
earlier part of the year 1864, the press had been 
publishing to the Northern people most exaggerated 
ideas of the military value of Atlanta, and that it 
was to be taken, and that its capture would termi- 
nate the war. If Sherman had been foiled, these 
teachings would have caused great exaggeration of 
the consequences of his failure, which would have 
strengthened the peace party greatly ; so much, per- 
haps, as to have enabled it to carry the presidential 
election, which would have brought the war to an 
immediate close. 

The proofs that I intended to defend Atlanta, 
seen by General Bragg and recognized by General 
Hood are : that under my orders the work of 
strengthening its defenses, begun several weeks 
before, was going on vigorously ; that I had just 
brought heavy rifled cannon from Mobile, to mount 
on the intrenchments ; the communication made on 
the subject to General Hood, and the fact that my 
family was residing in the town ; the removal of the 
machinery and workmen of the military shops, and 
prohibition to accumulate large supplies in the town, 
alleged by General Bragg to be evidence of the in- 
tention not to defend it, were measures of common 
prudence, and no more indicated that it was to be 


abandoned, than sending the "baggage of an army to 
the rear in time of battle proves a foregone determi- 
nation to fly from the field. 

When General Bragg was at Atlanta, about the 
middle of July, we had no other conversation con- 
cerning the Army of Tennessee than such as I intro- 
duced. He asked me no questions regarding its 
operations, past or future, made no comments upon 
the one, nor suggestions for the other, and, so far 
from having reason to suppose that Atlanta would 
not be defended, he saw the most vigorous prepara- 
tions for its defense in progress. Supposing that he 
had been sent by the President to learn and report 
upon the condition of military affairs there, I de- 
scribed them to him briefly, when he visited me, and 
proposed to send for the lieutenant-generals, that he 
might obtain from them such minute information as 
he desired. He replied that he would be glad to see 
those officers as friends, but only in that way, as his 
visit was unofficial. He added that the object of his 
journey was to confer with Lieutenant-General Lee, 
and from his headquarters to communicate with Lieu- 
tenant-General E. Kirby Smith, to ascertain what 
reinforcements for me could be furnished by their de- 
partments. He talked much more of military affairs 
in Virginia than of those in Georgia, asserting, what 
I believed, that Sherman's army exceeded Grant's in 
fighting force ; and impressed upon me distinctly that 
his visit was merely personal. His progress to Lieu- 
tenant-General Lee's headquarters terminated in Mont- 
gomery ; and his communications with the command- 
ers of two departments, concerning military aid to me, 
subsided into a visit to that city. 


General Hood asserts in his published report, 
that the army had become demoralized when he was 
appointed to command it, and ascribes his invariable 
defeats partly to that cause. The allegation is dis- 
proved by the record of the admirable conduct of 
those troops on every occasion on which that general 
sent them to battle — and inevitable disaster. Their 
courage and discipline were unsubdued by the slaugh- 
ter to which they were recklessly offered in the four 
attacks on the Federal army near Atlanta, as they 
proved in the useless butchery at Franklin 1 — and sur- 
vived the rout and disorganization at Nashville — as 
they proved at Bentonville. If, however, such proof 
is not conclusive, the testimony of the two most dis- 
tinguished officers of that army — Lieutenant-Gen- 
erals Hardee and Stewart — is certainly not less than 
equivalent to General Hood's assertion. 

In a letter to me, dated April 20, 1868, Lieu- 
tenant-General Hardee testifies : 

" General : In regard to the condition of the 
' Army of Tennessee' when, on the 18th of July, 1864, 
at Atlanta, Georgia, you were relieved of command, 
I have the honor to say : 

" That, in my opinion, the organization, morale, 
and effectiveness of that army, excellent at the open- 
ing of the campaign, had not been impaired at its 
close. There had been nothing in the campaign to 
produce that effect. It is true that the superior num- 
bers of the enemy, enabling them to cover our front 

1 General Hartsuff, General Schofield's Inspector-General, told me in 
the succeeding spring that the valor and discipline of our troops at 
Franklin won the highest admiration in the Federal army. 


with a part of their forces, and to use the remainder 
for flanking purposes, rendered our positions succes- 
sively untenable, and that Ave lost territory. But the 
enemy's loss in men and morale was more than an 
equivalent. The continuous skirmishing and sharp 
partial engagements of the campaign uniformly re- 
sulted in success to our arms ; and, in the seventy 
days preceding the 18th of July, we had inflicted 
upon the enemy a loss probably equal to our whole 

" Our changes of position were deliberate, and 
without loss, disorder, or other discouragement. The 
troops were well fed, well cared for, and well han- 
dled. When we reached Atlanta, we were nearer to 
our base, and the enemy farther from his ; the dis- 
parity in numbers between the two armies had been 
diminishing daily ; our army had suffered no disas- 
ter, and the enemy's had gained no advantage ; and, 
altogether, the results of the campaign summed up 
largely in our favor. Our soldiery were intelligent 
enough to appreciate this ; and in my judgment, then, 
it was not only a fact, but a natural and logical re- 
sult of the premises, that the morale of the army, so 
far from being impaired, was improved. 

" The troops were in buoyant spirits. They felt 
that they had been tested in a severe and pro- 
tracted campaign, and that they had borne the test. 
They had more confidence in themselves and in 
their officers; and, especially, they had unwaver- 
ing and unbounded confidence in the commanding 

" Speaking for my own corps, I have no hesitancy 
in saying that I should have led them into action 


with more confidence at the close than at the "begin- 
ning of the campaign." 

On the 11th of February, 18G8, Lieutenant-Gen- 
eral Stewart wrote to me on the same subject : 
" . . . . You desired my opinion as to the condition 
of the army when you were relieved from command. 
I first joined that army a few days before the battle 
of Shiloh. It was then mostly without discipline, as 
the battle of Shiloh too sadly evinced. Our stay at 
Tupelo, Mississippi, after the retreat from Corinth, 
was improved in drilling and disciplining the army. 
General Bragg had brought it to a high state of effi- 
ciency by the time he set out on his campaign into 
Kentucky. The army was in a fine condition also 
when General Bragg retreated from Middle Tennessee, 
in 1863, and up to the disaster on Missionary Ridge 
in November of that year. I do not know that its 
morale was ever before equal, certainly never supe- 
rior, to what it was when the campaign opened in 
Georgia in 1864, under your command. You were 
the only commander of that army whom men and 
officers were disposed to trust and confide in without 
reserve. While at Dalton, I frequently heard this 
subject, of the unbounded confidence of the men in 
' Old Joe,' discussed among the officers, who seemed 
but little, if any, exceeded by the rank and file in 
this respect. The officers seemed to regard this feel- 
ing as a great element of strength (as it certainly 
was), and looked upon it as a part of their duty to 
cherish and promote it. The army had confidence 
in itself, and had long been wanting a commander in 
whom they could place reliance. The consequence 


was, that army surrendered to you j they gave you 
their love and unlimited confidence, were willing to 
follow you, advancing or retreating, and you could 
have led them wherever you chose. At the time of 
the retreat from Resaca, and perhaps for a few days 
following, this feeling of entire trust in you somewhat 
abated ; but it speedily revived, and was as perfect 
as ever when you retired. I cannot imagine it possi- 
ble for an army to entertain more personal aifection 
for a commander, or to place more implicit reliance 
on one, than that army did for you. I believe the 
last man of them would have willingly died at your 

" You know how I felt when you showed me the 
order relieving you — when, after the- fall of Atlanta, 
President Davis visited us at Palmetto Station, be 
asked me whom the army preferred as its commander. 
My reply was, in substance, they prefer General 
Johnston ; next to him, of those available for the com- 
mand, they prefer General Beauregard. He then 
inquired as to the grounds of their preference for 
General Johnston. Another officer present advanced 
the opinion that it was because they believed General 
Johnston would take care of them and not expose 
them to danger. I interrupted, and asserted em- 
phatically that such ideas did great injustice to the 
army; that the true reason of their confidence in 
General Johnston was, they trusted his skill and 
judgment, and believed that, whenever he issued an 
order for battle, they would fight to some purpose. 
They would have engaged the enemy under your 
command, on the day you left it, with as much cheer- 
fulness and confidence, as on the day the campaign 


opened. You left on Monday (the 18th, I believe, 
of July). My own corps showed no demoralization 
on Wednesday the 20th, on Peach-Tree Creek, and it 
was not either any demoralization on our side, nor 
the ' electric ' effect of General Hooker's presence on 
his troops, that saved him that day. 

" Did not the troops fight well on the 20th and 
22d, and everywhere under General Hood, especially 
at Franklin, Tennessee ? Had they then been demor- 
alized? I could say much more on this subject, but 
perhaps have said enough. . . . 

"You are not now, general, at the head of an 
army, with influence and promotions to award ; what 
may be said cannot be ascribed to interested motives. 
The Army of Tennessee loved you and confided in 
you implicitly, as an army of brave men will love and 
confide in skill, pluck, and honor. . . ." 

Immediately after my removal from command, I 
went to Macon, Georgia, to reside ; and, soon after 
doing so, had the pleasure to witness a gallant de- 
fense of the place by Major-General Cobb. It was 
attacked by a division of United States cavalry, with 
the object, probably, of destroying the valuable 
workshops which had been established there by the 
chief of ordnance, General Gorgas. The place had 
neither intrenchments nor garrison. Fortunately, 
however, two regiments of the militia promised me 
while commanding the army, by Governor Brown, 
were passing on their way to Atlanta. Their officers 
were serving in the army as privates. So they had 

With them and as many of the mechanics of the 



workshops and volunteers of the town as he could 
find arms for, in all fifteen or eighteen hundred, Gen- 
eral Cobb met the Federal forces on the high ground 
east of the Ocmulgee ; and repelled them after a con- 
test of several hours, by his own courage and judi- 
cious disposition, and the excellent conduct of his 
troops, who heard hostile shot then for the first 


Again ordered to the Command of the Army of Tennessee in North Carolina. — In- 
terview with General Beauregard. — Movement of the Federal Forces in North 
Carolina. — General Bragg attacks the Enemy successfully near Kinston. 
— General Hardee attacked by two Corps near Averysboro'. — Battle of Ben- 
tonville. — Events in Virginia. — Evacuation of Richmond, and Surrender of 
General Lee's Army. — Negotiations begun with General Sherman. — Details 
of the Conference. — Armistice and Convention agreed on. — The latter 
represented by Washington Authorities. — Military Convention. — Fare- 
well Order to the Confederate Troops. 

I was residing in Lincolnton, North Carolina, in 
February, 1865, and on the 23d of the month re- 
ceived, by telegraph, instructions from the Adminis- 
tration to report for orders to General Lee, recently 
appointed general-in-chief. A dispatch from General 
Lee, in anticipation of such a report from me, was 
received on the same day. In it he directed me to 
assume the command of the Army of Tennessee and 
all troops in the Department of South Carolina, 
Georgia, and Florida, and to " concentrate all avail- 
able forces and drive back Sherman." 

Before assuming the command thus assigned to 
me, I visited General Beauregard in Charlotte, where 
his headquarters then .were, to ascertain if he had 
been consulted on the subject, and if my assignment 
to this command was agreeable to him. He assured 
me that the feeble and precarious condition of his 
health made the arrangement a very desirable one to 


liim. He also gave ine a ccypy of a dispatch tliat lie 
had addressed to General Lee the day before, in which 
the same feeling was expressed. I therefore accepted 
the command, confident of the same loyal and cor- 
dial support from that distinguished officer, in the 
final operations of the war, that he had given me at 
its commencement. This was done with a full con- 
sciousness on my part, however, that we could have 
no other object, in continuing the war, than to obtain 
fair terms of peace ; for the Southern cause must 
have appeared hopeless then, to all intelligent and 
dispassionate Southern men. I therefore resumed 
the duties of my military grade with no hope beyond 
that of contributing to obtain peace on such condi- 
tions as, under the circumstances, ought to satisfy 
the Southern people and their Government. 

The " available forces " were about five thousand 
men of the Army of Tennessee, and the troops of 
the department, amounting to about eleven thou- 
sand. Two thousand of the former, commanded by 
Major-General Stevenson, were near Charlotte. A 
thousand, under Lieutenant-General Stewart, were 
near Newberry, approaching Charlotte ; and two 
thousand, under command of Major-General Cheat- 
ham, were between Newberry and Augusta, also 
marching toward Charlotte. The troops of the de- 
partment, under Lieutenant-General Hardee's com- 
mand, were moving from Charleston to Cheraw; 
eleven hundred of them were South Carolina militia 
and reserves, not expected to leave the State. Major- 
General Sherman had seventy thousand men in his 
four corps, and about five thousand cavalry in Kil- 
patrick's division. 


After moving along the Columbia and Charlotte 
Railroad beyond Winnsboro', that army had turned 
to the right toward Cheraw, and had just crossed the 
Catawba; consequently, it was near the northern 
edge of the triangle formed by the points at which 
the three bodies of Confederate troops assigned to 
me then were ; and, by keeping on its way without 
losing time, it could prevent their concentration in 
its front. But, even if united before the powerful 
Federal army, the Confederate forces were utterly 
inadequate to the exploit of driving it back, being 
less than a fourth of its number. 

In returning from its disastrous expedition 
against Nashville, the Army of Tennessee had halted 
in Northeastern Mississippi. A large proportion of 
these troops were then furloughed by General Hood, 
and went to their homes. When General Sherman's 
army invaded South Carolina, General Beauregard 
ordered those remaining on duty to repair to that 
State. The first detachment, under Major-General 
Stevenson, arrived soon enough to oppose the Fed- 
eral army in its passage of the Edisto, and at Colum- 
bia; and had been directed by General Beauregard 
to march thence to Charlotte. The second, led by 
Lieutenant-General Stewart, had reached Newberry 
at this time ; and the third, following it, under Major- 
General Cheatham, was between the place last named 
and Augusta. The remaining troops of that army 
were coming through Georgia in little parties, or in- 
dividually, unaided by the Government; most of 
them were united at Augusta afterward, by Lieu- 
tenant-General Lee, and conducted by him to the 
army near Smithfield, N. C. That spirited soldier, 


although still suffering from a wound received in 
Tennessee, had taken the field in this extremity. At 
least two-thirds of the amis of these troops had been 
lost in Tennessee. 1 They had, therefore, depended 
on the workshops of Alabama and Georgia for mus- 
kets, and had received but a partial supply. But this 
supply, and the additions that the Ordnance Depart- 
ment had the means of making to it, left almost thir- 
teen hundred of that veteran infantry unarmed, and 
they remained so until the war ended. These de- 
tachments were without artillery and baggage-wag- 
ons, and consequently were not in condition to oper- 
ate far from railroads. 

In acknowledging General Lee's order, I gave 
him the substance of the preceding statement ; be- 
lieving, from the terms of that order, that he was not 
informed of the numbers or positions of the troops 
with which he expected me to " drive back Sher- 
man." On assuming command, I found difficulties 
in the way of prompt movement, besides the dispersed 
state of the troops. They were due, apparently, to 
the scarcity of food in General Lee's camps. The 
officers of the commissariat in North Carolina, upon 
whom the army, in Virginia depended for subsist- 
ence, were instructed by the Commissary-General, just 
then, to permit none of the provisions they collected 
in that State to be used by the troops serving in it. 
Similar instructions were sent to me from the War 
Department. Under them, I was to depend upon 
the wagons of the army for the collection of pro- 
risions during military operations. Such a mode of 
supplying an army in a thinly-peopled country, made 

1 Lieutenant - General Stewart and Brigadier -General Polk, oral 


rapid movements, or even the ordinary rate of march- 
ing, impossible. These orders indicated excessive 
caution, at the least ; for there were, at that time, ra- 
tions for sixty thousand men for more than four 
months, in the principal railroad-depots between 
Charlotte, Danville, and Weldon, inclusive. The fact 
was ascertained by taking account of those stores, 
which was done under the direction of Colonel W. 
E. Moore ; and the very zealous and efficient officer, 
Major Charles Carrington, who was at the head of 
the service of collecting provisions in North Carolina, 
for the army, was increasing the quantity rapidly. 

As the wagon-train of the Army of Tennessee had 
not yet passed through Georgia, on its way from Mis- 
sissippi, it was perhaps fortunate that so small a part 
of the troops had arrived. ; Colonel A. H. Cole's ex- 
cellent system, with the assistance promptly rendered 
by Governor Vance, furnished the means of collect- 
ing and bringing food to the troops as they arrived, 
and subsequently, until their own wagons came up. 

General Lee's army had many sick and wounded 
in Charlotte and other towns of North Carolina. 
There was also an important naval station at Char- 
lotte, containing what we then regarded as large 
stores of sugar, coffee, tea, and brandy — articles of 
prime necessity to sick and wounded, but almost for- 
gotten in Confederate hospitals. As we had no 
longer a navy, and such articles would have been 
very valuable in the military hospitals, I suggested 
to the Government their transfer to the army. The 
Administration, however, thought it necessary to 
keep them where they were. Soon after the middle 
of April they were scattered by men of the Virginia 


army, joined by citizens, "but not before the naval 
officer in command had transferred all that he could 
control to the military hospital department. 

I was equally unsuccessful in an application to 
the Government for money for the troops, who had 
received none for many months. 

The course of the march of the Federal army 
from Winnsboro' indicated that it would cross the 
Cape Fear at Fayetteville, and be joined there by 
General Schofield, with his forces, believed by us 
to be at "Wilmington. It was a question, on the 1st 
of March, whether the troops of the department, com- 
ing from Charleston, or the Federal army, would 
reach Cheraw first. The latter, however, was more 
retarded than the Confederate troops, by the streams, 
then much swollen by recent heavy rains ; for the 
course of its march crossed the larger streams, while 
that of the Confederates was parallel to them. Thus 
General Hardee crossed the Pedee, at Cheraw, on 
the morning of the 3d, with all the military stores 
he had the means of transporting — having assembled 
his forces there on the 2d. His rear-guard was so 
closely pressed by the leading Federal troops, that 
it had barely time to destroy the bridge after passing 
over it. In the march from Winnsboro', the Fifteenth 
and Seventeenth Corps, which formed General Sher- 
man's right wing, crossed the Catawba at Peay's 
Ferry ; the left wing, consisting of the Fourteenth 
and Twentieth Corps, after destroying the railroad- 
track as far as Blackstock, crossed the river at Kocky 
Mount ; the Seventeenth Corps crossed Lynch's Creek 
by Young's Bridge ; the Fifteenth, moving farther 
to their right, sent detachments to Camden to burn 


the bridge, railroad-depot, and stores, and marched 
to Cheraw by Tiller's and Kelly's Bridges. The 
left wing was detained from the 23d to the 26th, in 
consequence of the breaking of its pontoon-bridge 
by a flood in the Catawba; and the right wing 
seems to have been as much delayed ; probably by 
bad roads, produced by the rains that caused the 

Wheeler's division of Confederate cavalry, about 
three thousand effectives, and Butler's, about one 
thousand, all commanded by Lieutenant-General 
Hampton, observed and as much as possible impeded 
this march. Just before the Federal army turned to 
the east, Lieutenant-General Hampton placed But- 
ler's division on its right flank. By the change of 
direction, Wheeler's division, previously in front, was 
on the left flank, and Butler's in front, in the march 
from the Catawba to the Pedee. The service expect- 
ed of this cavalry was, to retard the enemy's progress, 
and as much as possible to protect the people of the 
country from exactions of Federal foraging-parties, 
and robbery by stragglers. 

Having received information, on the evening of 
the 3d, that Stewart's troops had reached the rail- 
road at Chester, and that Cheatham's were near that 
point; and feeling confident from Lieutenant-General 
Hardee's reports of his own movements, and Lieu- 
tenant-General Hampton's of those of the enemy, 
that the former had secured the passage of the 
Pedee at Cheraw; it seemed to me practicable to 
unite those troops, Stewart's, Cheatham's, and Steven- 
son's, near Fayetteville, in time to engage one of the 
enemy's columns while crossing the Cape Fear. The 


order of march of the Federal army by wings fre- 
quently a day's march from each other, and the man- 
ner in whjch those wings had crossed the Catawba 
and Lynch's Creek, and seemed by their course to be 
about to cross the Pedee, justified me in hoping to 
find an opportunity to attack one of those columns 
in the passage of the Cape Fear when the other was 
not within supporting distance. 

As it had become certain that the first serious 
opposition to General Sherman's progress was to be 
in North Carolina, I suggested to the general-in-chief 
that it was important that the troops of that depart- 
ment should be added to my command. The sug- 
gestion was adopted, and the necessary orders given 
without loss of time. General Lee had previously 
authorized me to direct the movements of those 
troops, should my operations bring me near them. 
They were under General Bragg's command near 
Goldsboro', and supposed to amount to six or eight 
thousand men. 

Leaving General Beauregard to protect the line 
of railroad from Charlotte to Danville, and to send 
the troops of the Army of Tennessee, as they ar- 
rived, to Smithfield by railroad, I transferred my 
headquarters, on the 4th, from Charlotte to Fay- 
etteville, considering the latter as a better point 
to obtain quick intelligence of the enemy's move- 
ments, and to direct those of the Confederate 

On the 6th General Bragg, then at Goldsboro', 
informed me that the enemy was approaching Kins- 
ton in " heavy force," and was then but nine miles 
from the place. He suggested that the troops just 


arrived at Sniithfield from Charlotte could join hint 
in a few hours, and that such a reenforcement might 
enable him to win a victory. Major-General D. H. 
Hill, who commanded the troops referred to, was, for 
the object in view, placed under General Bragg's or- 
ders. The troops were united at Kinston on the 
7th. Clayton's division, the remnant of it rather, 
which reached Smithfield during the day, was sent 
forward also, and joined General Bragg's forces at 
Kinston next morning. 

After receiving these accessions to his force, to- 
gether less than two thousand men, General Bragg 
attacked the enemy, supposed to be three divisions 
under Major-General Cox, with such vigor as to 
drive them from the field, three miles during the 
afternoon. Fifteen hundred prisoners and three field- 
pieces were captured in the engagement and pursuit. 
In reporting this success by telegraph, at night, Gen- 
eral Bragg said : " The number of the enemy's dead 
and wounded left on the field is large. Our own 
loss, under Providence, is small. Major- Generals 
Hill and Hoke exhibited their usual zeal, energy, 
and gallantry." The two parties skirmished a little 
on the 9th, in front of the position taken by the 
enemy the evening before, which had been in- 
trenched in the mean time. On the following morn- 
ing General Bragg ordered a demonstration in the 
enemy's front by one body of his troops, while 
another attempted to turn the intrenchments. He 
was unsuccessful. But, although the failure was at- 
tended with little loss, the withdrawal, which became 
necessary, impaired greatly the encouragement which 
had been given to the troops by their success on the 


first day. They fell back to Goldsboro' by General 
Bragg's order. 

AYhile General Sherman was moving from Colum- 
bia toward Charlotte, General Beanregard instruct- 
ed Lientenant-General Hardee to direct his march 
toward Greensboro'. As soon as it was ascertained 
that the Federal army was moving upon Fayette- 
ville, orders were sent to Lieutenant-General Hardee 
to turn directly to that place ; but they were not 
delivered. Acting under his first instructions, there- 
fore, after crossing the Pedee on the 3d, that officer 
moved toward Greensboro' as far as Rockingham, 
which his troops reached on the 4th. The instruc- 
tions to turn toward Fayetteville, repeated, reached 
him there, and were immediately observed. He also 
transmitted similar instructions to Lieutenant-Gen- 
eral Hampton. That officer had been compelled, by 
the swollen condition of the Pedee, to diverge with 
Wheeler's cavalry, far to the left of his direct route, 
to the fords near and above the grassy islands, and 
was unable to complete the passage of the river be- 
fore the afternoon of the 7th. The Federal army 
had crossed it two days before — the right at Cheraw, 
and the left at Sneedsboro' — and was continuing the 
march to Fayetteville in its former order. General 
Kilpatriek's division of cavalry was apparently on 
the left of the army. 

On the 8th Lieutenant-General Hampton united 
his two divisions ; and, having discovered and recon- 
noitred. General Kilpatriek's camp in the night of 
the 9th, he surprised him at daybreak on the 10th, 
drove the troops into a neighboring swamp, and held 
possession of their artillery and wagons for seme 


time ; but many of the Confederate troops took ad- 
vantage of the opportunity to plunder, and carried 
off so many of the captured horses and mules that 
neither guns nor wagons could be secured. They 
were made unserviceable, however, by cutting their 
wheels to pieces. After suffering a good deal, espe- 
cially in officers, by a spirited fire directed at them 
by a brigade of infantry or dismounted cavalry, the 
Confederate troops were withdrawn. Both Lieuten- 
ant-General Hampton and Major-General Wheeler 
thought the Federal loss in killed and wounded 
much greater than theirs. They brought away five 
hundred prisoners, and released a hundred and sev- 
enty-three that had been captured by the enemy. 

The important object of opening the road to 
Fayetteville, blocked by this camp, was gained by 
this action; and Lieutenant-General Hampton reached 
the place at night with his troops by that road. The 
Federal army was then within seven miles of the 
town, and Lieutenant-General Hardee's troops in and 
around it. The latter crossed the Cape Fear Eiver 
soon after the arrival of their cavalry, which followed 
next morning, burning the bridge after crossing the 

In the march from the Catawba to the Cape Fear, 
the cavalry of the two armies rarely met. In all the 
encounters that occurred, if all of them came to my 
knowledge, the Confederates had the advantage. 
They were: at Mount Elon, where Major-General But- 
ler intercepted and drove back a Federal party sent 
to destroy the railroad-track near Florence ; at Homes- 
boro' on the 4th of March, when General Wheeler 
attacked the Federal left flank and took fifty prison- 


ers; at Rockingham on the 7th, when the same offi- 
cer defeated another party, killing and capturing 
thirty-five; on the 8th, when Lieutenant-General 
Hampton attacked and defeated a detachment ; that 
of the morning of the 10th, just described ; and on 
the 11th, at Fayette ville, when a large Federal squad- 
ron that dashed into the town was routed by Lieu- 
tenant-General Hampton with an inferior force. 

As it was uncertain whether General Sherman 
intended to take the route through Goldsboro' or 
that through Raleigh, General Bragg's troops and 
those of the Army of Tennessee were ordered to 
Smithfield, about midway between the two places ; 
and Lieutenant-General Hardee was instructed to fol- 
low the road from Fayetteville to Raleigh, which for 
thirty miles is also that to Smithfield. On the 11th 
he halted on that road, five miles from Fayetteville. 
The South Carolina State troojDS, eleven hundred in 
number, being recalled by Governor Magrath, left 
the army and returned to the State. 

Lieutenant-General Hampton placed Wheeler's 
division on the Raleigh road, and Butler's on that to 
Goldsboro'. The former was pressed on the 13th, 
eight or ten miles from Fayetteville, but held its 
ground; and on the 14th, at Silver Creek, where it 
was intrenched under General Hampton's direction, 
it easily drove off the Federal cavalry that felt its 

During this time, the Fayetteville Arsenal, which 
had been constructed by the Government of the 
United States, was destroyed by the Federal army. 
A quantity of valuable machinery, that had been 
brought to it from Harper's Ferry, was destroyed 


with the buildings. As it was impossible that the 
Confederacy could ever recover it, its destruction was, 
at the least, injudicious. 

On the 15th the Confederate cavalry, on the 
Ealeigh road, was pressed back by the Fourteenth 
and Twentieth Corps, and at seven o'clock next morn- 
ing Lieutenant-General Hardee was attacked by those 
corps in a position four miles south of Averysboro', 
that he had intrenched. The enemy compelled him 
to abandon it, however, by turning his left ; but he 
fell back only four hundred yards, to a better position 
than that just abandoned. There he was repeatedly 
attacked during the day, but repelled the assailants 
without difficulty. In the afternoon he was informed, 
by Lieutenant-General Hampton, that the enemy had 
crossed Black River, at various points below, as if to 
turn his left ; he therefore abandoned his position in 
the night, some hours after the fighting had ceased, 
and marched toward Smithfield, to Elevation, which 
he reached about noon of the next day. 

In his brief report by telegraph, General Hardee 
stated that his loss in killed, wounded, and missing, 
was about five hundred ; prisoners taken next day, said 
that theirs was above three thousand ; as reported 
to General Sherman, it was seventy-seven killed, and 
four hundred and seven wounded. That report, if 
correct, proves that the soldiers of General Sherman's 
army had been demoralized by their course of life 
on Southern plantations. Those soldiers, when fight- 
ing between Dalton and Atlanta, could not have 
been driven back repeatedly by a fourth of their 
number, with a loss so utterly insignificant. It is 
unaccountable, too, that the party fighting under cover 


and holding its ground should have a hundred and 
eight men killed, and that unsheltered and repulsed, 
but seventy-seven. 

It was ascertained, on the 17th, that the troops 
with which Lieutenant-General Hardee was engaged 
the day before were not marching toward Raleigh ; 
but no precise intelligence of the movements of the 
Federal forces was gathered during the day. General 
Hardee remained at Elevation to give his men the rest 
they needed much. At Smithfield, General Bragg 
had Hoke's excellent division of North Carolinians, 
four thousand seven hundred and seventy-five effec- 
tive men ; and Lieutenant-General Stewart thirty-nine 
hundred and fifty of the Army of Tennessee. The 
value of the latter was much increased by the com- 
paratively great number of distinguished officers serv- 
ing among them, who had long been the pride and 
ornaments of that army. 

About daybreak, on the 18th, information came 
to me from General Hampton, that the Federal army 
was marching toward Goldsboro' : the right wing, on 
the direct road from Fayetteville, had crossed Black 
River ; the left wing, on the road from Averysboro', 
had not reached that stream, and was more than a 
day's march from the point in its route opposite to 
the hamlet of Bentonville, where the two roads, ac- 
cording to the map of North Carolina, were ten or 
twelve miles apart. The hamlet itself is about two 
miles from the road and to the north of it, and six- 
teen from Smithfield. According to the reports of 
our cavalry, the Federal right wing was about half 
a day's march in advance of the left ; so that there 


was probably an interval of a day's march between 
the heads of the two columns. 

To be prepared to attack the head of the left 
Federal column next morning, the troops at Smith- 
field and at Elevation were ordered to march imme- 
diately to Bentonville, and to bivouac that night 
between the hamlet and the road on which the left 
Federal column was marching. By the map, the dis- 
tance from Elevation to Bentonville was but twelve 
miles ; the timely arrival of all the troops seemed to 
be certain, therefore. The map proved to be very 
incorrect, and deceived me greatly in relation to the 
distance between the two roads on which the Federal 
columns were marching, which it exaggerated very 
much, and that from Elevation, which it reduced 
almost as much. General Hardee found it too great 
for a day's march. 

Lieutenant-General Hampton gave all necessary 
information that night in Bentonville. He described 
the ground near the road abreast of us as favorable 
for our purpose. The Federal camp, however, was 
but four or five miles from that ground, nearer, by 
several miles, than Hardee's bivouac, and therefore 
we could not hope for the advantage of attacking the 
head of a deep column. But Lieutenant-General 
Hampton had caused some light intrenchments to be 
thrown up across the road between the Federal camp 
and the proposed field of battle, by the help of which 
he expected Butler's division to keep back the en- 
emy until the arrival of Hardee's corps should enable 
us to attack. 

As soon as General Hardee's troops reached Ben- 
tonville next morning, we moved by the left flank, 



Hoke's division leading, to the ground selected by 
General Hampton, and adopted from his description. 
It was the eastern edge of an old plantation, extend- 
ing a mile and a half to the west, and lying princi- 
pally on the north side of the road, and surrounded, 
east, south, and north, by dense thickets of black- 
jack. As there was but one narrow road through 
the thicket, the deployment of the troops consumed 
a weary time. Hoke's division was formed with its 
centre on the road, its line at right angles to it, on 
the eastern edge of the plantation, and its left ex- 
tending some four hundred yards into the thicket to 
the south. His two batteries, our only artillery, 
were on his right, commanding the ground in front 
to the extent of the range of the guns. The troops 
belonging to the Army of Tennessee were formed on 
the right of the artillery, their right strongly thrown 
forward, conforming to the edge of the open ground. 
In the mean time the leading Federal troops appeared 
and deployed, and, when so much of the Confederate 
disposition as has been described had been made, 
their right attacked Hoke's division vigorously, espe- 
cially its left — so vigorously, that General Bragg 
apprehended that Hoke, although slightly intrenched, 
would be driven from his position. He therefore 
applied urgently for strong reinforcements. Lieu- 
tenant-General Hardee, the head of whose column 
was then near, was directed, most injudiciously, to 
send his leading division, McLaws's, to the assistance 
of the troops assailed ; the other, Taliaferro's, mov- 
ing on to its place on the extreme right. McLaws's 
division, struggling through the thicket, reached the 
ground to which it was ordered just in time to see 


the repulse of the enemy by Hoke, after a sharp con- 
test of half an hour, at short range. Soon after the 
firing on the left ceased, a similar assault was made 
upon Stewart, whose troops, like those on their left, 
had already constructed breastworks. This attack 
was directed mainly against Stewart's own corps, 
commanded by Loring, and Clayton's division, by 
which it was received as firmly and repelled as 
promptly as that just described had been by 

Lieutenant-General Hardee was then directed to 
charge with the right wing — Stewart's troops and 
Taliaferro's division, as they faced — obliquely to the 
left ; and General Bragg to join in the movement 
with his brigades successively, from right to left, 
each making the necessary change of front to the 
left in advancing. 

As it could be seen that the Federal first line, 
except its right, which was hidden by woods, had 
thrown up intrenchments like our own, a body 
of troops was prepared to strike its flank, to lessen 
the danger of failure. It was a needless precaution, 
however, for the result of the charge was not for five 
minutes doubtful. The Confederates passed over 
three hundred yards of the space between the two 
lines in quick time, and in excellent order, and the 
remaiuing distance in double quick, without pausing 
to fire until their near approach had driven the 
enemy from the shelter of their intrenchments, in full 
retreat, to their second line. After firing a few 
rounds, the Confederates again pressed forward, and, 
when they were near the second intrenchment, now 
manned by both lines of Federal troops, Lieut.-Gen. 


Hardee, after commanding the double-quick, led the 
charge, and, with his knightly gallantry, dashed over 
the enemy's breastworks on horseback, in front of 
his men. Some distance in the rear there was a very 
thick wood of young pines, into which the Federal 
troops were pursued, and in which they rallied and 
renewed the fight. But the Confederates continued 
to advance, driving the enemy back slowly, notwith- 
standing the advantage given to ihe party on the 
defensive by the thicket which made united action 
by the assailants impossible. On the extreme left, 
however, General Bragg's troops were held in check 
by the Federal right, which had the aid of breast- 
works and the thicket of black-jack. 

The denseness of the thicket through which Har- 
dee's troops were penetrating made it impossible to 
preserve their order of battle. They were ordered 
to halt to reestablish it. This pause seemed to be 
misunderstood by the enemy ; for, before the Con- 
federate lines could be re-formed, a very slow process 
on such ground, they made a partial attempt to as- 
sume the offensive, and assailed Stewart's troops, of 
the Army of Tennessee, directing their greatest ef- 
forts against those commanded by Brigadier-General 
Pettus ; but this attack was easily and quickly re- 

Having found it impossible to advance in order 
through so dense a wood, control the movements of 
troops, or combine their efforts, I determined not to 
renew the attack, but only to hold the ground won 
until all the wounded still upon the field should be 
removed to the temporary hospitals. When this 
had been done, some time after nightfall, the Con- 


federate army resumed the position from which it 
had moved to attack the enemy. 

The action really ceased with the repulse of the 
attack made upon Stewart's corps; but desultory 
firing was continued until night. 

Four pieces of artillery were taken ; but, as we 
had only spare harnessed horses enough to draw off 
three, one was left on the field. 

The impossibility of concentrating the Confed- 
erate forces in time to attack the Federal left wing, 
while in column on the march, made complete suc- 
cess also impossible, from the enemy's great numer- 
ical superiority. One important object was gained, 
however — that of restoring the confidence of our 
troops, who had either lost it in the defeat at Wil- 
mington, or in those of Tennessee. All were greatly 
elated by the event. 

There was now no object in remaining in pres- 
ence of the enemy, but that of covering the bearing 
off of our wounded. The orders necessary for this 
duty were given without delay ; but very bad roads, 
and the want of comfortable means of transportation, 
compelled us to devote two days to the operation. 

Early in the morning of the 20th Brig.-Gen. Law, 
temporarily commanding Butler's division, which 
was observing the Federal right wing, reported that 
that wing, which had been following the Fayette- 
ville road to Goldsboro', had crossed to that from 
Averysboro', on which we were, about five miles 
east of us, and was coming up rapidly upon the rear 
of Hoke's division. That officer was directed to 
change front to the left on his right flank, by which 
his line was formed parallel to and fronting the road, 


and near enough to command it. In this position the 
usual light intrenchments were immediately begun 
and soon finished. Hampton prolonged this line to 
the left, to Mill Creek, with Butler's division, and 
Wheeler's, which had come up from the direction of 
Avery sboro\ 

The Federal army was united "before us about 
noon, and made repeated attacks, between that time 
and sunset, upon Hoke's division ; the most spirited 
of them was the last, made upon Kirkland's brigade. 
In all, the enemy was so effectually driven back, that 
our infirmary corps brought in a number of their 
wounded that had been left on the field, and carried 
them to our field-hospitals. 

It was soon ascertained that our left was very far 
overlapped by the Federal right. Lieut.-Gen. Hardee 
was therefore requested to detach McLaws's division 
to Hoke's left. We were so outnumbered, however, 
that much of the cavalry was deployed as skirmish- 
ers on McLaws's left, to show a front equal to that 
of the enemy. 

On the 21st the skirmishing was resumed with 
spirit by the enemy, with Hoke's and McLaws's 
divisions, and the cavalry on the left of the latter. 
To ascertain why our right was unmolested, Stewart's 
and Taliaferro's skirmishers were thrown forward. 
They found the Federal troops in their front drawn 
back and formed obliquely to the general line ; the 
left retired, and intrenched. During the whole after- 
noon a very brisk fire was directed against our centre 
and left. About four o'clock the cavalry was so 
pressed that the little infantry reserves and Taliafer- 
ro's division were ordered to the left to support it. 



A few minutes later Lieutenant-General Hampton 
reported that the Seventeenth Corps had broken 
through the mere " skirmish-line " of his left, and 
was pressing rapidly toward Bentonville, in rear of 
our centre and on the only route of retreat. Lieu- 
tenant-General Hardee was directed to unite the 
troops then marching to the left, and to oppose this 
movement with them. But the rapid march of the 
leading Federal troops, Mower's division, left no 
time for this union. Fortunately, Lieut.-Gen. Hamp- 
ton, while leading a cavalry reserve to meet the ene- 
my, saw Cumining's Georgia brigade, commanded by 
Colonel Henderson, on its way to the left, and di- 
rected it toward Bentonville. It reached the point 
in the road toward which the enemy was marching 
just as he appeared. Lieut.-Gen. Hardee galloped up at 
the same time, followed by the Eighth Texas cavalry 
regiment which he had found on the way. He in- 
stantly directed Henderson to charge the enemy in 
front, and the Texans their left flank; Lieut.-Gen. 
Hampton coming up on the other side with Young's 
brigade, commanded at the time by Colonel Wright, 
threw it against Mower's right flank; and Maj.-Gen. 
Wheeler, at a considerable distance from this point, 
assailed the rear of the Federal column in flank with 
a part of Allen's Alabamians. These simultaneous 
attacks were so skillfully and bravely made, that in 
spite of the great disparity of numbers, the enemy 
was defeated in a few minutes, and driven back 
along the route by which the column had advanced. 
In the Eighth Texan regiment, Lieut.-Gen. Hardee's 
only son, a noble youth of sixteen, charging bravely 
in the foremost rank, fell mortally wounded. 


The firing upon our front Avas sustained until the 
return of the Seventeenth Corps to its place in line, 
when it subsided into desultory skirmishing. 

At night all the wounded that could bear trans, 
portation had been removed; so that we had no 
object for remaining in a position made very hazard- 
ous by the stream behind us, rendered unfordable by 
recent rain. The army was therefore ordered to 
cross Mill Creek by the bridge ' at Bentonville before 
daybreak of the 22d. About eight o'clock they 
were halted beyond the stream, two miles north of 
Mill Creek. Soon after Maj.-Gen. VvTheeler had posted 
his rear-guard on our bank of the stream to hold the 
bridge, the leading Federal troops appeared on the 
other. They made repeated attempts to force the 
passage, but failed in all, after brave efforts, in which 
three color-bearers fell within fifty feet of the Con- 
federate rear-guard. 2 

At noon the march was resumed, and the troops 
bivouacked in the evening near Smithfield, but south 
of the Neuse. 

In the action of the 19th, the Confederate force 
engaged w T as about fourteen thousand one hundred 
infantry and artillery. Butler's division of cavalry 
was employed in observing General Sherman's right 
column ; and Wheeler's, coming from the direction 
of Averysboro', approached on the north side of Mill 
Creek, which recent rains had made impassable, so 
that he could not join in the action as expected, by 
falling upon the left flank of the enemy. The Fed- 
eral army exceeded seventy thousand men; about 
1 The only one. 2 General Wheeler's report. 


half of it was present on the 19th, and all of it after 
noon of the 20th. 

The Confederate loss on the 19th, according to the 
morning reports of the 20th, was one hundred and 
eighty killed, twelve hundred and twenty wounded, 
and five hundred and fifteen missing : in all, nineteen 
hundred and fifteen. On the 20th, it was six killed, 
ninety wounded, and thirty-one missing ; and on the 
21st, thirty-seven killed, one hundred and fifty-seven 
wounded, and one hundred and seven missing: 
amounting, in the three days, to two hundred and 
twenty-three killed, fourteen hundred and sixty-seven 
wounded, and six hundred and fifty-three missing. 
Most of the latter were captured in rear of the Fed- 
eral lines, which they passed through in small parties 
by the intervals caused by the thicket in which the 
fight ended on the 19th. Several such parties, in- 
cluded in the number of missing reported above, es- 
caped around the flanks of the Federal army, and 
rejoined their regiments near Smithfield. Our losses 
were supplied by the arrival, on the 20th and 21st, 
of about two thousand men of the Army of Tennes- 
see in several detachments. Major-General Cheat- 
ham came with one of them. 

We captured nine hundred and three prisoners in 
the three days, but had no means of ascertaining the 
number of the enemy's killed and wounded ; but, as 
our troops were generally successful, and were cov- 
ered by intrenchments in a part of the fighting on the 
19th, all of that of the 20th, and most of that on the 
21st, it must have exceeded ours very much. From 
the appearance of the field, and the language of Fed- 
erals, it largely exceeded four thousand. 


On the 23d, Major-General Sherman united his 
own army and that of Major-General Schofield at 
Goldsboro'. It was uncertain whether his march to 
Virginia would be through Raleigh, or by the most 
direct route, that through Weldon. So the Confed- 
erate army was placed between the two roads, in or- 
der to be able to precede him on either ; and, to 
make the junction of the Army of Northern Virginia 
with it practicable, should General Lee determine to 
abandon his intrenchments to fall upon Sherman's 
army with our united forces. The cavalry was, at the 
same time placed in close observation of the ene- 
my — Wheeler's division on the north, and Butler's 
on the west of their camps around Goldsboro'. 

We learned, from prisoners captured occasionally, 
that the United States troops did not expect to re- 
sume their march very soon, but to remain in their 
present camps for some weeks, to rest, and receive 
such supplies as they needed. 

This pause was advantageous to us too ; for it 
gave time for the arrival of several thousand men 
of the Army of Tennessee coming along the route 
through Georgia in detachments, to rejoin their corps. 
Most of them were united into one body in Augusta, 
by Lieutenant-General S. D. Lee. Many, indeed the 
greater number of these veterans, were .unarmed; 
and all the exertions of two excellent officers, Lieu- 
tenat-Colonel Kennard, chief ordnance-officer, and 
Captain Vanderford, his assistant, could not procure 
infantry arms as fast as they were required, the Ord- 
nance Department ' being unable to furnish the num- 

1 And yet at this time the Confederate Government was so earnest 
in the scheme of raising negro troops, that I was directed to furnish a 


ber, and on the 10th of April thirteen hundred of this 
admirable infantry were still unarmed. This inaction 
gave time for conference with the General-in-Chief 
with reference to the union of our forces against 
General Sherman's army, and an officer ' of high rank, 
the personal friend of both, visited General Lee, for 
me, on this interesting subject. It also enabled the 
chief quartermaster and chief commissary to provide 
for a march by collecting supplies of food and forage. 
The press dispatches, received in the morning of 
April 5th, announced that Richmond was evacuated 
by the Administration in the night of the 2d. I in- 
ferred from this that General Lee was about to aban- 
don the defense of Richmond, to unite our forces. 
Supposing the Secretary of War to be with the Pres- 
ident at Danville, I asked him, in a telegram directed 
to that place, to give me full information of the 
movements of the Army of Northern Virginia. This 
dispatch was acknowledged on the same day by the 
President, who was unable to give me the informa- 
tion asked for. Telegrams from Brigadier-General 
H. H. Walker, at Danville, and Colonel Wood, the 
President's aide-de-canrp, at Greensboro', dated the 7th 
and 8th respectively, were favorable. One from the 
Secretary of War dated the 9th, at a railroad-station 
near the Staunton River, was less so. But there was 
nothing in any one of the three to suggest the idea 
that General Lee had been driven from the position 
held many months with so much skill and resolution. 
The last indicated, however, that he was encountering 

cavalry officer of ability, General J. T. Morgan, for that service, in Al- 

1 Lieutenant-General Holmes. 


the difficulties, in attempting to move southward, that 
he apprehended when corresponding with me on the 

On the 9th, Lieutenant-General Hampton in- 
formed me that the country people living near the 
Federal camps reported, that the soldiers exj)ected 
to march toward Ealeigh next morning ; and early 
in the morning of the 10th he reported the march 
begun. The Confederate forces were ordered to 
march to Raleigh : Hardee's corps, with Butler's di- 
vision as rearguard, by the Goldsboro' road, which 
the Federal army was following ; and Stewart's and 
Lee's, with "Wheeler's division as rear-guard, by that 
crossing the Neuse at Battle's Bridge. Near that 
bridge, where I encamped that night, at one o'clock 
in the morning a telegram was received from the 
President, dispatched from Danville the evening be- 
fore, conveying the intelligence that an unofficial re- 
port had just been brought to that place, to the effect 
that General Lee had surrendered on Sunday, the 9th. 

The three corps reached Raleigh early in the after- 
noon of that day. In a telegram, dated Greensboro', 
4.30 p. m., the President directed me to leave the 
troops under Lieutenant-General Hardee's command, 
and report to him there. 

Taking the first train, about midnight, I reached 
Greensboro' about eight o'clock in the morning, on 
the 12th, and was General Beauregard's guest. His 
quarters were a burden-car near, and in sight of those 
of the President. The General and myself were sum- 
moned to the President's office in an hour or two, and 
found Messrs. Benjamin, Mallory, and Reagan, with 
him. We had supposed that we were to be questioned 


concerning the military resources of our department, 
in connection with the question of continuing or ter- 
minating the war. But the President's object seemed 
to "be to give, not to obtain information ; for, address- 
ing the party, he said that in two or theee weeks he 
would have a large army in the field by bringing 
back into the ranks those who had abandoned them 
in less desperate circumstances, and by calling out 
the enrolled men whom the conscript bureau with its 
forces had been unable to bring into the army. It 
was remarked, by the military officers, that men who 
had left the army when our cause was not desperate, 
and those who, under the same circumstances, could 
not be forced into it, would scarcely, in the present 
desperate condition of our affairs, enter the service 
upon mere invitation. Neither opinions nor informa- 
tion was asked, and the conference terminated. Be- 
fore leaving the room we learned that Maj.-Gen. 
Breckenridge's arrival was expected in the course of 
the afternoon, and it was not doubted that he would 
bring certain intelligence of the state of affairs in 

General Breckenridge came as expected, and con- 
firmed the report of the surrender of the army in Vir- 
ginia. General Beauregard and myself, conversing 
together after the intelligence of the great disaster, 
reviewed the condition of our affairs, and carefully 
compared the resources of the belligerents, and agreed 
in the opinion that the Southern Confederacy was 
overthrown. In conversation with General Brecken- 
ridge afterward, I repeated this, and said that the 
only power of government left in the President's 
hands was that of terminating the war, and that this 


power should be exercised without more delay. I 
also expressed my readiness to suggest to the Presi- 
dent the absolute necessity of such action, should an 
opportunity to do so be given me. General Breck- 
enridge promised to make me this opportunity. 

Mr. Mallory came to converse with me on the 
subject, and showed great anxiety that negotiations 
to end the war should be commenced, and urged that 
I was the person who should suggest the measure to 
the President. I, on the contrary, thought that such 
a suggestion would come more properly from one of 
his " constitutional advisers," but told Mr. Mallory 
of my conversation with General Breckenridge. 

That gentleman fulfilled his engagement promptly ; 
and General Beauregard and myself were summoned 
to the President's office an hour or two after the meet- 
ing of his cabinet there, next morning. Being de- 
sired by the President to do it, we compared the 
military forces of the two parties to the war : ours, 
an army of about twenty thousand infantry and ar- 
tillery, and five thousand mounted troops ; those of 
the United States, three armies that could be com- 
bined against ours, which was insignificant compared 
with either — Grant's, of a hundred and eighty thou- 
sand men ; Sherman's, of a hundred and ten thousand, 
at least, and Canby's of sixty thousand — odds of 
seventeen or eighteen to one, which in a few weeks 
could be more than doubled. 

I represented that under such circumstances it 
would be the greatest of human crimes for us to at- 
tempt to continue the war ; for, having neither money 
nor credit, nor arms but those in the hands of our 
soldiers, nor ammunition but that in their cartridge- 


boxes, nor shops for repairing arms or fixing ammu- 
nition, the effect of our keeping the field would be, 
not to harm the enemy, but to complete the devasta- 
tion of our country and ruin of its people. I there- 
fore urged that the President should exercise at once 
the only function of government still in his j)ossession, 
and open negotiations for peace. 

The members of the cabinet present were then 
desired by the President to express their opinions on 
the important question. General Breckenridge, Mr. 
Mallory, and Mr. Reagan, thought that the war was 
decided against us ; and that it was absolutely 
necessary to make peace. Mr. Benjamin expressed 
the contrary opinion. The latter made a speech for 
war, much like that of Sempronius in Addison's 
play. The President replied to our suggestion as if 
somewhat annoyed by it. He said that it was idle 
to suggest that he should attempt to negotiate, when 
it was certain, from the attempt previously made, 
that his authority to treat would not be recognized, 
nor any terms that he might offer considered by the 
Government of the United States. I reminded him 
that it had not been unusual, in such cases, for mili- 
tary commanders to initiate negotiations upon which 
treaties of peace were founded ; and proposed that 
he should allow me to address General Sherman on 
the subject. After a few words in opposition to 
that idea, Mr. Davis reverted to the first suggestion, 
that he should offer terms to the Government of the 
United States — which he had put aside; and 
sketched a letter appropriate to be sent by me to 
General Sherman, proposing a meeting to arrange 
the terms of an armistice to enable the civil authori- 


ties to agree upon terms of peace. That this course 
might be adopted at once, I proposed that he should 
dictate the letter then to Mr. Mallory, who was a 
good penman, and that I should sign and send it to 
the Federal commander immediately. The letter, 
prepared in that way, was sent "by me with all dis- 
patch to Lieutenant-General Hampton, near Hills- 
boro', to be forwarded by him to General Sherman. 
It was delivered to the latter next day, the 14th, 
and was in these terms : 

" The results of the recent campaign in Virginia 
have changed the relative military condition of the 
belligerents. I am therefore induced to address you, 
in this form, the inquiry whether, in order to stop 
the further effusion of blood and devastation of 
property, you are willing to make a temporary sus- 
pension of active operations, and to communicate to 
Lieutenant-General Grant, commanding the armies 
of the United States, the request that he will take 
like action in regard to other armies — the object be- 
ing, to permit the civil authorities to enter into the 
needful arrangements to terminate the existing war." 

Lieutenant-General Hardee directed the march of 
the Confederate army from Raleigh on the 12th, in 
two columns — Stewart's and Lee's corps and But- 
ler's division, now commanded by that officer himself, 
by the Hillsboro' road, and the other, his own corps, 
and Wheeler's division, by that through Chapel Hill. 
Lieut.-Gen. Hanqrion had been desired to take meas- 
ures to discover any movements of the Federal troops 
by the Pittsboro' road, and all others by which they 
could turn directly toward Charlotte or Salisbury. 

the evening of the 13th, to 


rejoin the army, and, although detained on the way 
the greater part of the night by one of the accidents 
then inevitable on the North Carolina Railroad, met 
Stewart's column at Hillsboro' early in the morning 
of the 14th, just as it was beginning the day's march. 
Reports were there given me from Lieutenant-Gen- 
eral Hampton to the effect that the instructions to 
observe all roads by which the enemy could turn to 
the left, directly toward Charlotte or Salisbury, had 
been executed, and that no such movement had been 

The risrht column reached the Haw River Bridge 
that afternoon, and encamped there. The left crossed 
the stream at a ford near Ruinn's Mill. The Federal 
cavalry did not advance beyond Morrisville or its 

In the morning of the 16th, when the army was 
within a few miles of Greensboro', a reply ' to the 
letter of the 13th was received from General Sher- 
man, signifying his assent to the proposal that we 
should meet for conference in relation to an armis- 
tice. Supposing that the President was waiting in 
Greensboro' to open negotiations should the armis- 
tice be agreed upon, I hastened there to show Gen- 
eral Sherman's rej)ly, and to receive any instructions 
he might have to give. He had quitted the town, 
however, and was on the way to Charlotte. 

Having requested Lieutenant-General Hampton, 
by telegraph, to arrange the time and place of meet- 
ing, I went to his headquarters, two or three miles 
southeast of Hillsboro'. There General Hampton 

1 It was dated the 14th, and should have heen received twenty-four 
hours sooner. The delay was by Federal officers, not ours. 


informed me that the conference was to be at noon 
next day, at a house on the Raleigh road midway 
"between the pickets of the two armies. 

General Sherman met me at the time and place 
appointed — the house being that of a Mr. Bennett. 
As soon as we were without witnesses in the room 
assigned to us, General Sherman showed me a tele- 
gram from Mr. Stanton, announcing the assassination 
of the President of the United States. A courier, 
he told me, had overtaken him with it, after he left 
the railroad-station from which he had ridden. 
After reading the dispatch, I told General Sherman 
that, in my opinion, the event was the greatest pos- 
sible calamity to the South. 

When General Sherman understood what seemed 
to have escaped him in reading my letter, that my 
object was to make such an armistice as would give 
opportunity for negotiation between the "civil au- 
thorities " of the two countries, he said that such 
negotiations were impossible — because the Govern- 
ment of the United States did not acknowledge the 
existence of a Southern Confederacy ; nor, conse- 
quently, its civil authorities as such. Therefore he 
could not receive, for transmission, any proposition 
addressed to the Government of the United States 
by those claiming to be the civil authorities of a 
Southern Confederacy. He added, in a manner that 
carried conviction of sincerity, expressions of a wish 
to divert from the South such devastation as the 
continuance of the war would make inevitable; and, 
as a means of accomplishing that object, so far as the 
armies we commanded were concerned, he offered me 
such terms as those given to General Lee. 


I replied that our relative positions were too dif- 
ferent from those of the armies in Virginia to justify 
me in such a capitulation, but suggested that we 
might do more than he proposed : that, instead of 
a partial suspension of hostilities, we might, as 
other generals had done, arrange the terms of a per- 
manent peace, and among other precedents reminded 
him of the preliminaries of Leoben, and the terms 
in which Napoleon, then victorious, proposed nego- 
tiation to the Archduke Charles; and the senti- 
ment he expressed, that the civic crown earned by- 
preserving the life of one citizen confers truer glory 
than the highest achievement merely military. Gen- 
eral Sherman replied, with heightened color, that he 
appreciated such a sentiment, and that to put an end 
to further devastation and bloodshed, and restore the 
Union, and with it the prosperity of the country, 
were to him objects of ambition. We then entered 
into a discussion of the terms that might be given 
to the Southern States, on their submission to the 
authority of the United States. General Sherman 
seemed to regard the resolutions of Congress and the 
declarations of the President of the United States as 
conclusive that the restoration of the Union was the 
object of the war, and to believe that the soldiers 
of the United States had been fighting for that ob- 
ject. A long official conversation with Mr. Lincoln, 
on Southern affairs a very short time before, had 
convinced him that the President then adhered to 
that view. 

In the course of the afternoon we agreed upon 
the terms expressed in the memorandum drawn up 
on the 18th, except that General Sherman did not 


consent to include Mr. Davis and the officers of his 
cabinet in an otherwise general amnesty. 1 Much of 
the afternoon was consumed in endeavors to dispose 
of this part of the question in a manner that would 
be satisfactory both to the Government of the United 
States and the Southern people, as well as to the 
Confederate President ; but at sunset no conclusion 
had been reached, and the conference was suspended, 
to be resumed at ten o'clock next morning. Think- 
ing it probable that the confidential relations of the 
Secretary of War with Mr. Davis might enable him 
to remove the only obstacle to an adjustment, I re- 
quested him by telegraph to join me as soon as pos- 

General Brecken ridge and Mr. Reagan came to 
General Hampton's quarters together, an hour or 
two before daybreak. After they had received from 
me as full an account of the discussion of the day 
before as my memory enabled me to give, and had 
learned the terms agreed upon, and the difficulty in 
the way of full agreement, Mr. Reagan proposed to 
reduce them to writing, to facilitate reconsideration. 
In doing so, he included the article for amnesty with- 
out exceptions, the only one not fully agreed to. 
This paper, being unfinished when General Brecken- 
ridge and myself set out to the place of meeting, was 
to be sent to me there. 

When we met, I proposed to General Sherman 
that General Breckenridge should be admitted to 

1 This consideration was mine, of course. General Sherman did not 
desire the arrest of these gentlemen. lie was too acute not to foresee 
the embarrassment their capture would cause; therefore he wished 
them to escape. 


our discussion, as Lis personal relations with the 
President of the Confederacy might enable him to 
remove the obstacle to agreement that we had en- 
countered the clay before. He assented, and that 
gentleman joined us. 

"We had conversed on the subject discussed the 
day before perhaps a half-hour, when the memoran- 
dum written by Mr. Keagan was brought. I read 
this paper to General Sherman, as a basis for terms 
of peace, pointing out to him that it contained noth- 
ing which he had not already accepted, but the lan- 
guage that included the President and cabinet in the 
terms of amnesty. After listening to General Breck- 
enridge, who addressed him six or eight minutes in 
advocacy of these conditions of j)eace, General Sher- 
man wrote very rapidly the memorandum that fol- 
lows, with the paper presented by me before him. 
He wrote so rapidly that I thought, at the time, that 
he must have come to the place prepared to agree to 
amnesty with no exceptions. His paper differed from 
mine only in being fuller. 

Memorandum, or Basis of Agreement, made this ISth 
Day of April, a. d. 1865, near Durham's Station, 
in the State of North Carolina, by and between 
General Joseph JJ. Johnston, commanding the 
Confederate Army, and Major- General William 
T. Sherman, commanding the Army of the 
United States in North Carolina, both present. 

1. The contending armies now in the field to 
maintain the status quo until notice is given by the 
commanding general of any one to its opponent, and 


reasonable time — say forty-eight (48) hours — al- 

2. The Confederate armies, now in existence, to 
be disbanded and conducted to their several State 
capitals, there to deposit their arms and public prop- 
erty in the State arsenal ; and each officer and man 
to execute and file an agreement to cease from acts 
of war, and to abide the action of the State and Fed- 
eral authority. The number of arms and munitions 
of war to be reported to the Chief of Ordnance at 
Washington City, subject to the future action of the 
Congress of the United States, and, in the mean time, 
to be used solely to maintain peace and order within 
the borders of the States respectively. 

3. The recognition, by the Executive of the 
United States, of the several State governments, on 
their officers and Legislatures taking the oaths pre- 
scribed by the Constitution of the United States, and, 
where conflicting State governments have resulted 
from the war, the legitimacy of all shall be submit- 
ted to the Supreme Court of the United States. 

4. The reestablishment of all the Federal courts 
in the several States, with powers as defined by the 
Constitution and laws of Congress. 

5. The people and inhabitants of all the States to 
be guaranteed, so far as the Executive can, their po- 
litical rights and franchises, as well as their rights of 
person and property, as defined by the Constitution 
of the United States and of the States respectively. 

6. The Executive authority of the Government 
of the United States not to disturb any of the people 
by reason of the late war, so long as they live in 
peace and quiet, abstain from acts of armed hostil- 


ity, and obey the laws in existence at the place of 
their residence. 

7. In general terms — the war to cease ; a general 
amnesty, so far as the Executive of the United 
States can command, on condition of the disband - 
ment of the Confederate armies, the distribution of 
the arms, and the resumption of peaceful pursuits by 
the officers and men hitherto composing said armies. 

Not being fully empowered by our resj>ective 
principals to fulfill these terms, we individually and 
officially pledge ourselves to promptly obtain the 
necessary authority, and to carry out the above pro- 

J. E. Johnston, W. T. Sherman, 

General commanding Confederate Major- General commanding Army 
States Army in N. C. of the United States in N. 0. 

As soon as the requisite number of copies of this 
paper was made and duly signed, one was dispatched 
to each President, and we separated. 

The next day General Sherman published the 
following orders to his troops : ' 

" The general commanding announces to the 
army a suspension of hostilities, and an agreement 
with General Johnston and high officials which, 
when formally ratified, will make peace from the 
Potomac to the Rio Grande. Until the absolute 
peace is arranged, a line passing through Tyrrell's 
Mount, Chapel University, Durham's Station, and 
West Point, on the Neuse River, will separate the 
two armies. Each army commander will group his 
camps entirely with a view to comfort, health, and 
good police. All the details of military discipline 

1 Special Field Orders, No. 58. 


must be maintained, and the General hopes and be- 
lieves that in a very few days it will be his good 
fortune to conduct you all to your homes. The fame 
of this army for courage, industry, and discipline, is 
admitted all over the world. Then let each officer 
and man see that it is not stained by any act of vul- 
garity, rowdyism, and petty crime. The cavalry will 
patrol the front of the line, General Howard will 
take charge of the district from Raleigh up to the 
cavalry, General Slocuni to the left of Raleigh, and 
General Schofield in Raleigh, right and rear. Quar- 
termasters and commissaries will keep their supplies 
up to a light load for the wagons, and the railroad 
superintendent will arrange a depot for the conven- 
ience of each separate army." 

I arrived in Greensboro', near which the Confed- 
erate troops were in bivouac, before daybreak on the 
19th. Colonel Archer Anderson, adjutant-general 
of the army, gave me two papers addressed to me by 
the President. The first directed me to obtain from 
Mr. J. N. Hendren, treasury agent, thirty-nine thou- 
sand dollars in silver, which was in his hands, sub- 
ject to my order, and to use it as the military chest 
of the army. The second, received subsequently by 
Colonel Anderson, directed me to . send this money 
to the President at Charlotte. This order was not 
obeyed, however. As only the military part of our 
Government had then any existence, I thought that 
a fair share of the fund still left should be appropri- 
ated to the benefit of the army, especially as the 
troops had received no pay for many months. This 
sum (except twelve hundred dollars which Mr. Hen- 
dren said that the Commissary-General had taken) 


was divided among the troops irrespective of rank, 
each individual receiving the same share. 

As there was reason to suppose that the Confed- 
erate Executive had a large sum in specie in its pos- 
session, I urged it earnestly, in writing, to apply a 
part of it to the payment of the army. This letter 
was intrusted to Lieutenant-Colonel Mason, who 
was instructed to wait for an answer. Its receipt 
was acknowledged by telegraph, and an answer 
promised. After waiting several days to no j3ur- 
pose, Colonel Mason returned without one. 

During the conference, Major-General Stoneman, 
who had come from the "West with a large "body of 
cavalry, approached the line of railroad in Middle 
North Carolina. General Sherman sent him notice 
of the armistice by Confederate officers, and directed 
him to suspend hostilities. Before these orders were 
received, if they were ever delivered to General Stone- 
man, the railroad bridges over the Catawba between 
Chesterville and Charlotte, and Charlotte and Lin- 
colnton, and the railroad depot at Salisbury, were 
destroyed by these troops. Pettus's brigade, sent 
from Greensboro' to protect the railroad bridge over 
the Yadkin, arrived in time to repel the large party 
sent to burn it. The arrival of Brigadier-General 
Echols with Duke's and Vaughn's brigades of cav- 
airy from Southwestern Virginia removed any ap- 
prehension of further damage of the kind. 

On the 21st, a dispatch was received from Major- 
General Cobb, announcing the occupation of Macon 
by Major-General Wilson's cavalry the day before — 
the Federal commander declining to respect the in- 
formation of an armistice given by his enemy. 


During the military operations preceding the 
armistice, there were ainple supplies of provision and 
forage for our forces in the railroad-depots of North 
Carolina. We were forming similar depots in South 
Carolina, then, and collecting provisions abundantly, 
in a district that had been thought destitute. Early 
in March, when the wagons of the Army of Tennes- 
see reached Augusta, their number was so large com- 
pared with that of the troops, that the officer in 
charge of them was directed to employ three hun- 
dred in the gaps in the line of railroad across South 
Carolina ; and Colonel W. E. Moore * was desired to 
use one hundred in collecting provisions to form a 
line of depots between Charlotte, North Carolina, 
and "Washington, Georgia. Before the 20th, Colonel 
Moore reported that more than seven hundred thou- 
sand rations had been collected in those depots. 

The meeting between General Sherman and my- 
self, and the armistice that followed, produced great 
uneasiness in the army. It was very commonly be- 
lieved amono; the soldiers that there was to be a sur- 
render, by which they would be prisoners of war, to 
which they were very averse. This apprehension 
caused a great number of desertions between the 
19th and 24th of April — not less than four thousand 
in the infantry and artillery, and almost as many 
from the cavalry ; many of them rode off artillery 
horses, and mules belonging to the baggage-trains. 

In the afternoon of the 24th, the President of the 
Confederacy, then in Charlotte, communicated to me, 
by telegraph, his approval of the terms of the con- 
vention of the 17th and 18th, and, within an hour, 

1 At his own suggestion. 


a special messenger from General Hampton brought 
me two dispatches from General Sherman. In one 
of them he informed me that the Government of the 
United States rejected the terms of peace agreed upon 
by us ; and in the other he gave notice of the termi- 
nation of the armistice in forty-eight hours from noon 
that day. 

The substance of these dispatches was immediate- 
ly communicated to the Administration by telegraph, 1 
instructions asked for, and the disbanding of the 
army suggested, to prevent further invasion and 
devastation of the country by the armies of the 
United States. The reply, dated eleven o'clock p. m., 
was received early in the morning of the 25th ; it 
suggested that the infantry might be disbanded, with 
instructions to meet at some appointed place, and 
directed me to bring oif the cavalry, and all other 
soldiers who could be mounted by taking serviceable 
beasts from the trains, and a few light field-pieces. I 
objected, immediately, that this order provided for 
the performance of but one of the three great duties 
then devolving upon us — that of securing the safety 
of the high civil officers of the Confederate Govern- 
ment ; but neglected the other two — the safety of 
the people, and that of the army. I also advised the 
immediate flight of the high civil functionaries under 
proper escort. 

The belief that impelled me to urge the civil 
authorities of the Confederacy to make peace, that 
it would be a great crime to prolong the war, 
prompted me to disobey these instructions — the 
last that I received from the Confederate Govern- 

1 At six o'clock p. m. 


merit. They would Lave given the President an 
escort too heavy for flight, and not strong enough to 
force a way for him; and would have spread ruin 
over all the South, by leading the three great invad- 
ing armies in pursuit. In that belief, I determined 
to do all in my power to bring about a termination 
of hostilities. I therefore proposed to General Sher- 
man another armistice and conference, for that pur- 
pose, suggesting, as a basis, the clause of the recent 
convention relating to the army. This was reported 
to the Confederate Government at once. General 
Sherman's dispatch, expressing his agreement to a 
conference, was received soon after sunrise on the 
26th ; and I set out for the former place of meeting, 
as soon as practicable, after announcing to the Ad- 
ministration that I was about to do so. 

We met at noon in Mr. Bennett's house, as before. 
I found General Sherman, as he appeared m our pre- 
vious conversation, anxious to prevent further blood- 
shed, so we agreed without difficulty upon terms 
putting an end to the war within the limits of our 
commands, which happened to be coextensive — terms 
which we expected to produce a general pacification : 

Terms of a Military Convention entered into this 
twenty-sixth (26$) day of April, 1865, at Ben- 
nett's House, near Durham's Station, North Caro- 
lina, between General Joseph JE. Johnston, com- 
manding the Confederate Army, and Major- Gen- 
eral W. T. Sherman, commanding the United States 
Army in North Carolina. 

1. All acts of war on the part of the troops under 
General Johnston's command, to cease from this date. 


2. All arms and public property to be deposited at 
Greensboro', and delivered to an ordnance-officer of 
the United States Army. 3. Eolls of all the officers 
and men to be made in duplicate ; one copy to be re- 
tained by the commander of the troops, and the other 
to be given to an officer to be designated by General 
Sherman. Each officer and man to give his individ- 
ual obligation in writing, not to take up arms against 
the Government of the United States, until properly 
released from this , obligation. 4. The side-arms of 
officers and their private horses and baggage to be 
retained by them. 5. This being done, all the officers 
and men will be permitted to return to their homes, 
not to be disturbed by the United States authorities 
so long as they observe their obligation, and the laws 
in force where they may reside. 

(Signed) (Signed) 

J. E. Johnston, W. T. Sherman-, 

General commanding Confederate Major- General commanding United 
States Forces in A 7 ". C, States Forces in A r . C. 

Military Convention of April 26, 1865 — Supple- 
mental Terms. 

1. The field transportation to be loaned to the 
troops for their march to their homes, and for subse- 
quent use in their industrial pursuits. Artillery- 
horses may be used in field transportation, if neces- 

2. Each brigade or separate body to retain a 
number of arms equal to one-seventh of its effective 
strength, which, when the troops reach the capitals 
of their States, will be disposed of as the general 
commanding the department may direct. 


3. Private horses, and other private property of 
"both officers and men, to be retained by them. 

4. The commanding general of the Military Di- 
vision of West Mississippi, Major-Gen eral Canby, will 
be requested to give transportation by water, from 
Mobile or New Orleans, to the troops from Arkansas 
and Texas. 

5. The obligations of officers and soldiers to be 
signed by their immediate commanders. 

6. Naval forces within the limits of General John- 
ston's command to be included in the terms of this 

(Signed) (Signed) 

J. E. Johnston, J. M. Schofield, 

General commanding Confederate Major- General commanding United 
States Forces in N. C. States Forces in N. C. 

General Sherman assured me that he would re- 
move from the department all the troops he had 
brought into it as soon as practicable, after returning 
to his headquarters, leaving only those of General 
Schofield's command, who were thought necessary 
for the maintenance of law and order. Accordingly, 
on the 27th (the day after), his order No. 66 of that 
year was published, announcing a final agreement 
between us, terminating the war east of the Chatta- 
hoochee River ; sending his own army to Washing- 
ton; Major- General Wilson's cavalry back to the 
Tennessee River, near Decatur; and directing Major- 
General Stoneman's division to return to East Ten- 

General Sherman was accompanied on this occa- 
sion by several among the most distinguished officers 
of the United States Army. The impression was 


made distinctly on my mind that they, and the army 
generally, desired peace on the conditions of the con- 
vention of the 18th, and regretted the rejection of 
those terms by the President of the United States. 

The pacification was announced by me to the 
States immediately concerned, by the following tele- 
gram, addressed to their governors : 

" The disaster in Virginia, the capture by the en- 
emy of all our workshops for the preparation of am- 
munition and repairing of arms, the impossibility of 
recruiting our little army opposed to more than ten 
times its number, or of supplying it except by rob- 
bing our own citizens, destroyed all hope of success- 
ful war. I have made, therefore, a military con- 
vention with Major-General Sherman, to terminate 
hostilities in North and South Carolina, Georgia, and 
Florida. I made this convention to spare the blood 
of this gallant little army, to prevent further suffer- 
ings of our people by the devastation and ruin inev- 
itable from the marches of invading armies, and to 
avoid the crime of waging a hopeless war." 

It was also published to the Confederate army, 
in general orders No. 18 of April 27th, as follows: 

"By the terms of a military convention made on 
the 26th instant by Major-General W. T. Sherman, 
United States Army, and General J. E. Johnston, 
Confederate States Army, the officers and men of 
this army are to bind themselves not to take up 
arms against the United States until properly re- 
lieved from that obligation ; and shall receive guar- 
antees from the United States officers against moles- 
tation by the United States authorities, so long as 


they observe that obligation and the laws in force 
where they reside. 

" For these objects, duplicate muster-rolls will be 
made immediately, and, after the distribution of the 
necessary papers, the troops will march under their 
officers to their respective States, and there be dis- 
banded; all retaining personal property. 

" The object of the convention is pacification, to 
the extent of the authority of the commanders who 
made it. 

" Events in Virginia, which broke every hope of 
success by war, imposed on its General the duty of 
sparing the blood of this gallant army, and of sav- 
ing our country from further devastation, and our 
people from ruin." 

General Sherman published it to the Federal 
army, in his field-order No. 66, on the same day : 

" Hostilities having ceased, the following changes 
and dispositions of the troops in the field will be 
made with as little delay as practicable : 

" 1. The Tenth and Twenty-third Corps will re- 
main in the Department of North Carolina, and 
Major-General J. M. Schofield will transfer back to 
Major-General Gillmore, commanding Department 
of the South, the two brigades formerly belonging 
to the division of Brevet Major-General Grover, at 
Savannah. The Third Division, cavalry corps, Brevet 
Major-General J. Kilpatrick commanding, is hereby 
transferred to the Department of North Carolina, 
and General Kilpatrick will report in person to 
Major-General Schofield for orders. 


"2. The cavalry command of Major-General 
George Stoneman will return to East Tennessee, and 
that of Brevet Major-General J. H. Wilson will be 
conducted back to the Tennessee River, in the neigh- 
borhood of Decatur, Alabama, 

" 3. Major-General Howard will conduct the 
Army of the Tennessee to Richmond, Virginia, fol- 
lowing roads substantially by Lewisburg, Warren- 
ton, Lawrenceville, and Petersburg, or to the right 
of that line. Major-General Slocum will conduct the 
Army of Georgia to Richmond by roads to the left 
of the one indicated for General Howard, viz., 
by Oxford, Boydton, and Nottoway Court-House. 
These armies will turn in, at this point, the contents 
of their ordnance-trains, and use the wagons for ex- 
tra forage and provisions. These columns will be 
conducted slowly and in the best of order, and aim 
to be at Richmond, ready to resume the march, by 
the middle of May. 

" 4. The chief quartermaster and commissary of 
the military division, Generals Easton and Beck- 
with, after making proper dispositions of their de- 
partments here, will proceed to Richmond and make 
suitable preparations to receive those columns, and 
provide them for the further journey." 

Before the Confederate army came to Greens- 
boro', much of the pro visions in depot there had 
been consumed or wasted by fugitives from the 
Army of Virginia ; still, enough was left for the sub- 
sistence of the troops until the end of April. In 
making the last agreement with General Sherman, 
I relied upon the depots recently established in 


South Carolina, for the subsistence of the troops on 
the way to their homes. A few days before they 
marched, however, Colonel Moore informed me that 
those depots had all been plundered by the crowd 
of fugitives and country - people, who thought, ap 
parently, that, as there was no longer a government 
they might assume the division of this property 
That at Charlotte had either been consumed by our 
cavalry in the neighborhood or appropriated by in 
dividuals. So we had no other means of supplying 
the troops on their homeward march, than a stock 
of cotton yarn, and a little cloth, to be used as 
money by the quartermasters and commissaries. 
But this was entirely inadequate ; and great suffer- 
ing would have ensued, both of the troops and the 
people on their routes, if General Sherman, when in- 
formed of our condition, had not given us two hun- 
dred and fifty thousand rations, on no other condi- 
tion than my furnishing the means of transporting 
them by railroad from Morehead City. This averted 
any danger of suffering or even inconvenience. 

The preparation and signature of the necessary 
papers occupied the officers of the two armies in- 
trusted with that business until the 2d of May. On 
ifcat day the three corps and three little bodies of 
cavalry were ordered to march to their destinations, 
each under its own commander. And my military 
connection with those matchless soldiers was termi- 
nated by the following order : 

General Orders No. 22. 

" Comrades : In terminating our official relations, 
I earnestly exhort you to observe faithfully the 


terms of pacification agreed upon ; and to discharge 
the obligations of good and peaceful citizens, as well 
as you have performed the duties of thorough sol- 
diers in the field. By such a course, you will best 
secure the comfort of your families and kindred, and 
restore tranquillity to our country. 

" You will return to your homes with the admi- 
ration of our people, won by the courage and noble 
devotion you have displayed in this long war. I 
shall always remember with pride the loyal support 
and generous confidence you have given me. 

" I now part with you with deep regret — and bid 
you farewell with feelings of cordial friendship ; and 
w r ith earnest wishes that you may have hereafter all 
the prosperity and happiness to be found in the 

(Signed) " J. E. Johnston, General. 

Official : 

(Signed) " Kinlock Falconer, A. A. G." 

The United States troops that remained in the 
Southern States, on military duty, conducted them- 
selves as if they thought that the object of the war 
had been the restoration of the Union. They treat- 
ed the people around them as they would have done 
those of Ohio or New York if stationed among 
them, as their fellow-citizens. 1 Those people sup- 
posed, not unnaturally, that if those who had fought 
against them were friendly, the great body of the 
Northern people, who had not fought, must be more 
so. This idea inspired in them a kindlier feeling to 
the people of the North and the Government of the 
1 This language excludes those of the Freedmen's Bureau. 


United States, than that existing ten years before. 
It created, too, a strong expectation that the Southern 
States would soon resume their places in the Union. 
The most despondent apprehended no such " recon- 
struction" as that subsequently established by Con- 


Causes of Failure. — Misapplication of Means. — Inefficient Financial System. — 
Bad Impressment Laws. — No Want of Zeal or Patriotism. — Refutation of 
Charges against Secretary Floyd. — Facts of the Case. — Deficiency of Small- 
Arms at the South. 

Much has been written and much more said of the 
canse of the overthrow of the Confederate States in 
their great contest for independence. One class, and 
much the largest — for it includes the people who were 
victorious in the war, and those Europeans who 
watched the struggle with interest, as well as many 
of the Southern people — ascribes it to the superior 
population and greater resources of the Northern 
States. Another, a class of Southern people, attrib- 
utes our defeat to a want of perseverance, unanimity, 
and even of loyalty, on our own part ; and the con- 
sequent abandonment of the Government of the Con- 
federacy in its efforts, by the people themselves. In 
my view, both are far wrong. 

The cause of the subjugation of the Southern 
States was neither want of wealth and population, 
nor of devotion to their own cause on the part of 
the people of those States. That people was not 
guilty of the high crime of undertaking a war with- 
out the means of waging it successfully. They had 
ample means, which, unfortunately, were not applied 


to the object of equipping great armies, and bring- 
ing them into the field. 

A full treasury was necessary to defray the ex- 
penses of a great war. The South had the means of 
making one, in its cotton alone. But its Government 
rejected those means, and limited its financial ef- 
forts to printing bank-notes, with which the country 
was soon flooded. The necessity of actual money in 
the treasury, and the mode of raising it, were gen- 
erally understood in the country. It was that the 
Government should take the cotton from the owners 
and send it to Europe as fast as possible, to be sold 
there. This was easily practicable ; for the owners 
were ready to accept any terms the Government 
might fix ; and sending to Europe was easy in all the 
first year of the Confederacy's existence. Its Govern- 
ment went into operation early in February. The 
blockade of the Southern ports was proclaimed in 
May, but not at all effective until the end of the fol- 
lowing winter ; so that there was a period of about 
twelve months for the operation of converting four 
or five million bales of cotton into money. The sum 
raised in that way would have enabled the War 
Department to procure at once arms enough for half 
a million of men, and after that expenditure the 
Confederate treasury would have been much richer 
than that of the United States. By applying the 
first money obtained in this way, to the purchase of 
arms and military accoutrements, or using for the 
purpose the credit which such an amount of prop- 
erty would have given, the War Department would 
have been able to equip troops as fast as they could 
be assembled and organized. And, as the Southern 


people were full of enthusiasm, five hundred thou- 
sand men could have been ready and in the field had 
such a course been pursued, at the time when the 
first battle was actually fought — the 21st of July, 
1861. Such a force placed on the Northern borders 
of the Confederacy before the United States had 
brought a fourth of the number into the field, would 
probably have prevented the very idea of " coercion." 
Such a disposition of such an army, and the posses- 
sion of financial means of carrying on war for years, 
would have secured the success of the Confederacy. 
The timely adoption of such a financial system 
would have secured to us the means of success, even 
without an extraordinary importation of arms, and 
the immediate organization of large armies. It would 
have given the Confederacy a treasury richer than 
that of the United States. "We should thus have 
had, to the end of the war, the means of paying our 
soldiers ; and that would have enabled such of them 
as belonged to the laboring class to remain in the 
ranks. This class, in the Confederacy as in all other 
countries, formed the body of the army. In all the 
earlier part of the war, when the Confederate money 
was not much below that of the United States in 
value, our troops were paid with some regularity, 
and the soldiers of the laboring class who had fami- 
lies, fed and clothed them with their pay, as they 
had formerly done with the wages of their labor. 
And so long as that state of things continued, the 
strength of the Confederate armies was little im- 
paired ; and those armies were maintained on such a 
footing as to justify the hope, which was general in 
the South until the fall of 1864, that we were to win 


in the contest. But after the Confederate currency had 
become almost worthless — when a soldier's month's 
pay would scarcely buy one meal for his family — and 
that was the case in all the last period of ten or twelve 
months — those soldiers of the laboring class who had 
families were compelled to choose between their mili- 
tary service and the strongest obligations men kuow 
— their duties to wives and children. They obeyed 
the strongest of those obligations, left the army, and 
returned to their homes to support their families. 

The wretched impressment laws deprived the 
army of many valuable men of a class less poor than 
that just referred to. Those laws required the im- 
pressment of all articles of military necessity that 
could not be purchased. The Government had the 
power of regulating the prices to be paid by it for all 
such commodities ; and its commissioners appointed 
for the purpose fixed them much below the market 
values. No one would sell to the Government, of 
course, when he could get from his neighbors twice 
the government price for his horses or grain ; conse- 
quently the officers of the Government could never 
purchase, but had always to procure supplies by im- 
pressment. No rules for their guidance were pre- 
scribed ; none at least that were observed by them 
or known to the public, and they were subjected to 
no supervision. All the property of Confederate 
citizens applicable to military purposes was, therefore, 
under their absolute control. The bad and indiffer- 
ent officers impressed what they were called upon to 
furnish, in the manner least inconvenient to them- 
selves, usually on the nearest plantations or farms, or 
those where opposition was not to be apprehended. 



The farms of soldiers were generally under the man- 
agement of women, and therefore were, not unusually, 
drawn upon for much more than their proportion. 
Hence it was not uncommon for a soldier to be writ- 
ten to by his wife, that so much of the food he had 
provided for herself and his children had been im- 
pressed, that it was necessary that he should return 
to save them from suffering or starvation. Such a 
summons, it may well be supposed, was never un- 

The sufferings of the soldiers themselves, produced 
by the want of proper clothing, drove many of the 
least hardy out of the ranks. Want of food also is 
said to have had the same effect, especially in the army 
before Richmond, in the last winter of the war. 

It was by such causes, all due to an empty treasury, 
that our armies were so reduced in the last months 
of the war. 

As to the charge of want of loyalty, or zeal in 
the war, I assert, from as much opportunity for ob- 
servation as any individual had, that no people ever 
displayed so much, under such circumstances, and 
with so little flagging, for so long a time continu- 
ously. This was proved by the long service of the 
troops without pay, and under exposure to such hard- 
ships, from the causes above mentioned, as modern 
troops have rarely endured ; by the voluntary con- 
tributions of food and clothing sent to the armies 
from every district that furnished a regiment; by 
the general and continued submission of the people 
to the tyranny of the impressment system as prac- 
tised — such a tyranny, I believe, as no other high- 
spirited people ever endured — and by the sympathy 

426 joiixston'S narrative. 

and aid given in every house to all professing to he- 
long to the army, or to be on the way to join it. And 
this spirit continued not only after all hope of suc- 
cess had died, but after the final confession of defeat 
by their military commanders. 

But, even if the men of the South had not been 
zealous in the cause, the patriotism of their mothers 
and wives and sisters would have inspired them with 
zeal or shamed them into its manifestation. The 
women of the South exhibited that feeling wherever 
it could be exercised : in the armies, by distributing 
clothing made with their own hands ; at the railroad- 
stations and their own homes, by feeding the march- 
ing soldiers ; and, above all, in the hospitals, where 
they rivaled Sisters of Charity. I am happy in the 
belief that their devoted patriotism and gentle char- 
ity are to be richly rewarded. 

An error in relation to the state of preparation 
for war, of each of the two sections of the country, 
in the beginning of 1861, has prevailed in the North 
since then. I refer to the belief that, when the 
Southern Confederacy was formed, the arms that 
had been provided by the Government of the United 
States for the common defense were in the posses- 
sion of the seceded States. 

This belief was produced by the most malignant 
and industriously circulated slanders by which the 
reputation of any public man of the United States 
ever suffered — the accusation against John B. 
Floyd, of Virginia, that while Secretary of War he 
had all the public arms removed from Northern to 
Southern arsenals ; to disarm the North and arm the 
South for the impending war. This accusation was 


so extensively circulated as to lead to an investiga- 
tion by a committee of the House of Representa- 
tives, in January, 1861. The chairman of that com- 
mittee was one of the most respected members of 
the Republican party in that House, Mr. Stanton, of 
Ohio. The report of that committee completely ex- 
onerated Mr. Floyd, and refuted the calumny. Yet 
it continued to be circulated and believed — while 
the refutation, although by such a body, was unno- 
ticed — and, I believe, is now forgotten. 

The facts that were distorted into that calumny 
are clearly stated in the report of the committee, 
and must be well known by the principal officers of 
the United States Ordnance Bureau, and recorded in 
that Bureau ; for the orders in question were given 
through that, the proper channel. They are briefly 
these : 

Previous to the year 1859, the infantry arms 
manufactured under the direction of the War De- 
partment had been accumulating in the Springfield 
Armory, in consequence of the neglect of an old 
rule of the Government which required the distribu- 
tion of these arms in arsenals constructed for the 
purpose, in the different sections of the country. In 
the beginning of that year, the accumulation had 
filled the places of deposit at Springfield, where the 
newly-adopted improved arms were made. To make 
room there for the new arms as they were finished, 
Mr. Floyd ordered the removal of about a hundred 
and five thousand muskets * and ten thousand rifles, 

1 The chief of ordnance, Colonel Craig, in his report on the subject, 
states that but sixty thousand of the arms ordered by Mr. Floyd to be 
sent to the South were actually removed. 


to empty Southern arsenals, constructed many years 
before to receive them, under laws of Congress. 
These were old-fashioned arms that had been dis- 
carded by the Government on account of the recent 
improvements in small-arms, and the adoption by it 
of the " rifled musket." About four hundred thou- 
sand of the old discarded arms, and all of the new 
and improved, were left in the North. About a 
year later two thousand rifled muskets were offered 
for distribution to the States under an act of Con- 
gress. Only seven hundred of them went to the 
South, however, because even then there was so lit- 
tle apprehension of war that several Southern States 
refused or neglected to take their portions. Mr. 
Floyd's orders, as I have said, were given before 
secession had been thought of, or war apprehended, 
by the people of any part of the United States. 

The seceding States, in general, made no prepara- 
tion for war by procuring arms — none of conse- 
quence, that is to say. I believe that Georgia pro- 
cured twenty thousand old-fashioned muskets, and 
Virginia had forty thousand, made in a State armory 
more than forty years before. They had, of course, 
flint locks. Each of the other Southern States, on 
seceding, claimed, and, when practicable, took posses- 
sion of, the military property of the United States 
within its limits. They obtained, in that way, the 
arms with which they began the war. 

To recapitulate : the Confederate States began the 
war with one hundred and twenty thousand arms of 
obsolete models, and seven hundred of the recently 
adopted weapons, "rifled muskets;" and the United 
States with about four hundred and fifty thousand 


of the old and all of the modern arms that had been 
made since the adoption of the new model, about 
the middle of General Pierce's administration, when 
Mr. Davis was at the head of the War Department, 
except, however, the seven hundred held by the 
Confederacy. The equipped field -batteries and fixed 
ammunition of all kinds were in the North, as well 
as the establishments for the manufacture of arms, 
and the preparation of ammunition ; except tbat at 
Harper's Ferry, which, being on the border, was 
abandoned by the United States, after an attempt to 
destroy it, which left little besides machinery. 


Mr. Davis's Unsent Message. — Letters of Governor Humphreys and Major 
Mims. — Synopsis of Unsent Message. — Eeply to Unsent Message. 

Ix the winter of 1866-67, I learned in Jackson, 
Mississippi, that a paper had been seen by my three 
or four friends there, purporting to be a message from 
the President of the Confederacy to the two Houses 
of Congress, explaining why his Excellency could not 
conscientiously restore me to military command. 
This explanation was, ostensibly, a narrative of my 
military service to the time of my removal from the 
command of the Army of Tennessee, with comments. 

My friends endeavored, but unsuccessfully, to 
obtain a copy of the paper for me. They gave me, 
however, the name of the gentleman to whom they 
supposed that it had been committed. 

When informed of Mr. Davis's address, or rather, 
how I could send a letter to him, I requested him to 
instruct the gentleman my friends had named to me, 
to give me a copy of the document. He replied 
promptly that, although he had written no such mes- 
sage, he desired the gentleman named, by that mail, 
to give me a copy of any paper written by him in 
relation to me, that might be in his possession. In 
due time that gentleman informed me that he had 
not the paper, but told me who had it in his keep- 


ing. I then wrote to Mr. Davis again, explaining 
my mistake, and requesting hini to instruct the gen- 
tleman who really had the message to give me a 
copy. As Mr. Davis had gone to Mississippi in the 
mean time, this letter was sent to a gentleman in Jack- 
son, who was his friend as well as mine. In that way 
I know it was received, although never acknowledged ; 
nor was the copy asked for given ; I am therefore com- 
pelled to believe that the instructions so promptly 
received by one who had not the paper described, 
were not <nven to him to whom it had been intrusted. 
The fact that this document was shown to the 
only gentlemen of Jackson whom I was well ac- 
quainted with, gives me reason to think that it has 
been exhibited freely, while the care with which it 
is preserved, and the language of him who has it in 
his keeping, indicate that it is so preserved for publi- 
cation. Having waited for that event as long as one 
at my time of life can afford to do, I now defend 
myself against these accusations as given in the fol- 
lowing synopsis — the only form in which I have been 
able to see them. I am confident of its accuracy, 
from the best evidence— that of gentlemen of intel- 
ligence and honor, who are well known in Missis- 
sippi. It is given in the following letter : 

Vicksbukg, Miss., January 10, 1870. 

"Dear Gexeeal: Your letter of 26th December 
last was received while I was confined to my bed 
with catarrh-fever, which is my excuse for the delay 
in answering it. 

" I have carefully read the synopsis (furnished you 
by a friend and sent to me) of the paper read to me 


by General T. J. "Wharton, in the Executive Office at 
Jackson in I860, purporting to be a message prepared 
by President Davis, to be sent to Congress, giving his 
reasons for withholding from you any further com- 
mand in the Confederate Army. I find it to agree won- 
derfully with my recollections of the contents of that 
paper. The synopsis is somewhat meagre in elabora- 
tion and detail, but, with some few omissions, it is sub- 
stantially correct, I think. First, in the charges stated 
in regard to your conduct and course in the Valley 
before the battle of Manassas; then of what is said of 
your movement from Manassas and preliminary to it ; 
then the accusations against you at Yorktown, at Seven 
Pines, and at Vicksburg ; and the alleged misconduct 
in Georgia, are all given substantially correct. As 
to the omissions I allude to, I think it is stated in the 
original paper that you were ordered to take command 
of Bragg's army in January, 1863, if it appeared to 
you to be advisable, but that you sustained Bragg, ex- 
jn*essed confidence, etc., in him. Then you are taken to 
task for remaining in Tennessee instead of going to 
Mississippi, where you ought to have been, and where 
you did not go until expressly ordered. I think anoth- 
er omission is, that you were charged with the loss of 
rolling-stock on the railroad above Big Black, in July, 
1863, which could have been saved easily by making 
a temporary bridge at Jackson. I think, if the origi- 
nal paper ever sees daylight, it will show the synopsis 
and these omissions to be substantially given as stated. 
" Very truly, your sincere friend, 

(Signed) "Benj. G. Humphreys. 

" To General J. E. Johnston, 

u Savannah, GaT 


" SAYAsra-AH, Ga., October 8, 1873. 

" Dear General : I have carefully examined the 
paper which you submitted to me, claiming to be an 
abstract of a certain manuscript message purporting 
to have been j>repared by Mr. Davis, during his pres- 
idency of the Confederate States, but which was not 
submitted to the Confederate Congress, in which he 
gives his reasons for not reinstating you to command 
after your removal before Atlanta. 

" This latter document was in my possession for 
a while, and I read it very carefully, and according to 
my recollection the abstract or synoj^sis in your pos- 
session is, as far as it goes, correct. I don't think 
that the points as stated therein are as strong as 
made in the original, while some are not embraced in 
it. Without referring to other omissions, I well re- 
member the original as containing some strictures 
upon you for failing to provide against the heavy loss 
of rolling-stock on the railroad about Big Black, in 
July, 1863, which it was claimed could have been 
done by building a temporary bridge over Pearl 
River ; and another, your failure to take command 
of Bragg's army in 1863, as ordered. 

"Yours truly, 
(Signed) "L. Mims. 

" General J. E. Johnston, 
"Savannah, Ga." 

I. 1 It is stated in this paper that, at the begin- 
ning of the struggle, he (the President) had entire 
confidence in General Johnston's ability, and as soon 
as active operations commenced placed him in com- 

1 The numbers are mine, for clearness of reference. 


inand of the troops covering and defending, as was 
then thought, the most important strategical point 
in Virginia — Harper's Ferry; that in his letters 
that officer fully sustained the opinions of others in 
regard to this point, and estimated its importance as 
very great, considered either as a place from which 
to operate against General McClellan, coming from 
the West, or Patterson, or McDowell; that sud- 
denly he changed his tactics, and represented that 
the position was untenable, etc., etc., although it had 
been fortified ; and that, abandoning at Harper's 
Ferry much valuable machinery, he took a new posi- 
tion at or near Winchester, where for several days, 
if not weeks, he remained in front of Patterson with 
the avowed object of crushing him — replying to 
suggestions and orders from Richmond to reenforce 
General Beauregard at Manassas, that it was essen- 
tial that he should keep between McClellan and Pat- 
terson, to prevent their junction; and that when, 
finally, he obeyed an imperative and repeated order 
from Richmond to reenforce General Beauregard at 
Manassas, he managed so badly as to arrive barely in 
time to save General Beauregard from a defeat which 
would have brought great disaster upon our arms. 

2. That, as ranking officer, General Johnston was 
assigned to the command of the army, and his plan 
was to assume the defensive, fortify Centreville 
Heights, and recruit the army there. His communica- 
tions to the Richmond authorities, made voluntarily, 
and in reply to questions, indicated perfect satisfac- 
tion with the excellence and strength of the position 
and army, which was further shown by the concen- 
tration of a vast amount of stores and material of 


war in and about Manassas. But, to the astonish- 
ment of the authorities, he indicated an intention to 
fall back ; and when, in their surprise, they desired to 
know to what point he would retreat and stop, he 
confessed his total ignorance of the country behind 
him, and could give no satisfactory answer. Sur- 
prised and alarmed at this intelligence, engineer offi- 
cers were sent from Richmond to sketch the topo- 
graphical features of the country, to furnish General 
Johnston with information which, as commanding 
general of the army, he should have given to the 
Richmond authorities. The matter was deemed of 
sufficient importance to call him to Richmond for 
consultation ; and, when he left that place to return 
to the army, no such thing as a hasty retreat was an- 
ticipated ; but preparations for a rapid movement by 
the army, as circumstances might direct, were agreed 
upon. Suddenly, however, he put the army in mo- 
tion, after destroying vast quantities of supplies, 
which should have been removed ; and halted only 
when imperative instructions from Richmond com- 
manded him to do so. 

3. McClellan having changed his base to Fort 
Monroe, it then became necessary to face him at 
Yorktown, involving long marches, and much suffer- 
ing, and the occupation of a country in which it was 
very difficult to procure supplies and feed an army. 
Here General Johnston's judgment was strongly in 
favor of his position, the strength of his works, and 
the qualities of his troops. But, just when public 
confidence was beginning to be restored, he suddenly 
evacuated his position, destroying quantities of sup- 
plies, and refusing the gage of battle, although the 

43G joiinston'S narrative. 

disparity of numbers did not seem to justify it. To 
check his retreat short of Richmond, orders were 
finally sent to him to halt; and the line of the 
Chickahominy was occupied. As soon as McClellan 
came up, however, he again broke up his camps, and 
fell back to Richmond, to whose small natural de- 
fensive advantages he added nothing by fortification, 
although he remained in front of the city several 

4. When McClellan, emboldened by Johnston's 
want of enterprise, placed a division on his side of 
the Chickahominy, which a rain, sweeping away the 
bridges, put conrpletely at his mercy, his dispositions 
were so faulty, and his knowledge of the country so 
imperfect, that the combat which followed was bare- 
ly rendered successful as a feat of arms, and was 
barren of results, that should have been tangible 
and important. His wound in this battle having dis- 
abled him, it became necessary to intrust the com- 
mand to another, who had the confidence of the 
army and people. General Lee was selected. When 
General Johnston recovered, it was deemed impoli- 
tic to remove General Lee at a time when his plans 
for future operations were maturing, the policy of 
which was in accordance with the views of the Gov- 
ernment, and to substitute one whose plans would 
have to be matured, and whose dispositions might 
cause such delay as to seriously threaten the fair 
prospects of the army and country. 

5. Although the President's confidence in General 
Johnston's ability was somewhat shaken by that 
officer's conduct, he determined to place him in com- 
mand of the most important department of the Con- 


federacy. Johnston's friends were confident of his 
ability, and the President thought that his own judg- 
ment should not be put in opposition to so many 
good, judicious, and intelligent men. He was there- 
fore assigned to the command of the Department of 
the West; his headquarters at Chattanooga; with 
full and complete control over the armies operating 
in Tennessee and Mississippi. After assuming that 
command, he was directed to go to Tullahoma, to as- 
certain if General Bragg had so lost the confidence 
of his troops as to render it expedient to remove 
him. After reporting in favor of that officer, he re- 
mained in Tullahoma, instead of returning to Jack- 
son, where his presence was required by the immi- 
nence of General Grant's invasion; and, even in 
such a crisis, he went to Mississippi only in conse- 
quence of a positive order from the Secretary of 

On arriving in Jackson, instead of leading his 
troops to join Lieutenant-General Pemberton's, or 
going to his headquarters, which was feasible, and 
assuming command in person, he retired with the 
troops he had, in the direction of Canton, without 
striking a blow, or endeavoring to impede the prog- 
ress of the enemy in any manner whatever; and 
remained inactive for three weeks, although all the 
troops that could possibly be sent had been directed 
to reenforce him, swelling his numbers to a respect- 
able army, strong enough to have cut through 
Grant's lines and relieve Pemberton. Finally, he did 
move ; but only in time to reach the banks of the 
Big Black Biver to hear of Pemberton's surrender. 
This caused him to fall back to Jackson; which 


place lie represented to be of importance, and worth 
defending at all hazards. But after remaining there 

for he telegraphed to the Government that 

the works were feeble, badly arranged, etc., and 
Jackson indefensible; although he had first tele- 
graphed that it was well fortified. Losses of stores, 
army dispirited, confidence of people weakened, fol- 
lowed the evacuation. 

After this, while his troops were unemployed, a 
brigade of Federal cavalry destroyed the portion of 
the rolling-stock of the Mississippi Central Railroad 
kept in Grenada. The loss of these cars and engines 
was much felt in the latter part of the war, when 
they would have been very valuable, to transport 
provisions to Lee's army. Their preservation would 
have been easy. It would have required nothing 
more than the construction of a temporary bridge 
over Pearl River at Jackson. 

C. After this the President's confidence in John- 
ston's ability as a general was so far destroyed, that 
he determined not to intrust him a^ain with the com- 
mand of an important army. He remained in com- 
mand at Morton and Meridian until December, and 
in his department nothing of importance occurred. 
After the battle of Missionary Ridge, public clamor 
and the army demanded a change in the command of 
the Army of Tennessee. General Bragg's repeated 
applications to be relieved were finally granted, and, 
upon the earnest, repeated, and urgent appeals of 
many of the best and foremost men of the country, 
the President was induced, contrary to his judgment, 
to assign General Johnston to that command. That 
officer was immediately notified of the arrangement 


(as soon as made) for a campaign, and also of the 
troops that would be sent him. A plan of campaign 
was also transmitted to him by the War Department. 
To this plan he objected, without proposing a better 
one, and, while the correspondence was going on, 
Sherman commenced his movement which induced 
Johnston to retreat. 

7. That, at the opening of the campaign, Johnston 
had subject to his orders between sixty and seventy 
thousand men, and the disparity of forces between 
Sherman and him was so much less than between 
Lee and Grant, that constant hope was entertained 
of a great and glorious victory ; but be only kept on 
retreating, refusing all the advantages which an able 
general would have seized ; that the positions taken 
up by him were almost impregnable by Nature, and 
but little art was necessary to make them quite so to 
Sherman's onward progress; that, as Sherman would 
extend his flanks to envelop him, instead of concen- 
tration and battle, it was a retreat and a new 
position, and so on until he arrived at Atlanta; that 
his losses, when he arrived there, amounted to 
twenty -five thousand; that his army was dis- 
pirited and broken down by the immense fatigue 
they had undergone ; and the confidence in his abil- 
ity to check Sherman's onward progress entirely de- 

8. That, upon direct interrogatory as to his ability 
to hold Atlanta, Johnston failed to impress the De- 
partment with the belief that he entertained any hope 
of doing so. It was then determined to change the 
tactics of the campaign, and put in command one who 
not only would command the confidence of the army, 


but one who would not surrender territory without 
disputing its possession. 

He (the President) adds that upon no consider- 
ation could he be induced, over his own signature, 
to intrust Johnston again with the command of an 

1. My opinion of Harper's Ferry was thus ex- 
pressed in my report to the Administration: "Its 
garrison was out of position to defend the Valley, or 
to prevent General McClellan's junction with Gen- 
eral Patterson. These were the obvious and impor- 
tant objects to be kept in view. Besides being in 
position for them, it was necessary to be able, on 
emergency, to join General Beauregard. 

" The occupation of Harper's Ferry by our army 
perfectly suited the enemy's views. We were bound 
to a fixed point. His movements were unrestricted. 
These views were submitted to the military authori- 
ties. The continued occupation of the place was, 
however, deemed by them indispensable. 

"The practicable roads from the west and north- 
west, as well as from Manassas, meet the routes 
from Pennsylvania and Maryland at Winchester. 
That was therefore, in my opinion, our best posi- 

General E. Kirby Smith wrote to me as follows, 
May 28, 1867: "From the date of assuming com- 
mand at Harper's Ferry to your evacuation of the 
place, you always expressed the conviction that, with 
the force under your command, the position was weak 
and untenable. . . . My recollection is that, after as- 
suming command, you reported to General Lee against 
the occupation of Harper's Ferry, and that authority 


for its evacuation was received about the time the 
position was abandoned." 

It is evident from General Lee's letters/ of June 
1st and 7th, that mine of May 26th and 28th, and 
June 6th, expressed opinions decidedly unfavorable 
to Harper's Ferry as a military position, and proposed 
its evacuation. General Smith's testimony is direct 
and positive to the same effect; and the extract 
above, from my official report of the events in ques- 
tion, is conclusive as to the opinion of the intrinsic 
strength and strategical value of Harper's Ferry that 
I expressed to the Administration. And all combine 
with the narrative, from page 6 to page 16, to prove 
that, from the first, my language and conduct were 
consistent, and that I abandoned the place from no 
sudden change of opinion, but in conformity with 
that officially expressed in the first two days of my 
command, and reiterated. 

The movement to Winchester was indispensable, 
and so regarded by the President himself. For, in 
the first passage quoted from General Cooper's letter 2 
of June 13th, he authorized it, as well as the evacua- 
tion of Harper's Ferry. That authority had been 
anticipated, however. But for that movement, the 
battle of Manassas would have been lost ; for, if our 
troops had escaped capture in Harper's Ferry, they 
could not have reached that field from it, in time to 
take part in the action. 

The place was not fortified, unless mounting two 
heavy naval guns in battery on Furnace Kidge made 
it so. No valuable machinery was left there. Even 
wood for gunstocks ' was brought away. 

1 Page 20. a See page 24. * See page 25. 


Between the middle of June, when we moved 
from Harper's Ferry, to the 18th of July, when we 
moved from Winchester to Manassas, nine regiments l 
were sent to the army in the Valley, and the Presi- 
dent thought more urgently required. If I had been 
professing to be able to crush Patterson, those regi- 
ments would not have been sent to me, nor would 
the President have explained a so earnestly why he 
did not send more. This when Beauregard needed 
them greatly. 

Not even a suggestion to move to Manassas was 
sent to me before the telegram of July 17th, received 
on the 18th. On the contrary, the President's in- 
structions to me in General Cooper's letters of June 
13th, 18th, and 19th, and in his own of June 22d, 
and July 10th and 18th, prove that he had no such 
thought. And these letters prove that in all the 
time between the march from Harper's Ferry to 
Winchester, and that to Manassas, the intended that 
the army I commanded should be enrployed in the 
defense of the Valley. In the letter quoted, General 
E. K. Smith wrote : " As second in command and your 
adjutant-general, possessing your confidence, my posi- 
tion was one that made it exceedingly improbable 
that any orders could have been received at head- 
quarters without my cognizance. No order in my 
recollection was received, either authorizing or di- 
recting you to join General Beauregard, other than 
that of July 17th, which was promptly complied 

No imperative and repeated order to reenforce 

1 About six thousand effective men. 

2 See his letters on pages 29 and 31. 


General Beauregard was given to me ; no dispatch 
on the subject came to me but that given on page 33, 
which is not "imperative." General E. K. Smith 
testifies that I received no other ; and that that one- 
was acted upon promptly. 

I am accused of arriving at Manassas barely in 
time to save General Beauregard from defeat. If the 
Army of the Shenandoah had actually come upon 
the field too late, the President would have been re- 
sponsible, not I. For, instead of giving me informa- 
tion of McDowell's advance on the 16th of July, as 
should have been done, he dispatched his telegram 
on the subject in the night of the 17th, after the Fed- 
eral army had encamped at Centreville, but three and 
a half miles from Beauregard's line, the Army of the 
Shenandoah being then at least four days' march, for 
such undisciplined troops, from that position. The 
operations so criticised secured the concentration that, 
for the time, saved the Confederacy, by enabling us 
to gain the battle of Manassas. At the time, the 
Government and people of the South were satisfied 
with the Army of the Shenandoah, because it came 
upon the field soon enough, and fought manfully 
after coming upon it. Now, the novel charge is made 
that it arrived almost too late. 

2. The two armies were equally on the defensive 
at the time apparently referred to. The result of 
the conference 1 at Fairfax Court-House terminated 
our hope of assuming the offensive, and, in conse- 
quence, the army was placed at Centreville and in- 

So far from expressing satisfaction with the 
1 See pages 75 and 76. 


strength and excellence of the army, I urged, at Fair- 
fax Court-House, that it shonld be increased by at 
least fifty per cent., and my only letter l on the subject 
expressed the strongest dissatisfaction with the con- 
dition in numbers and discipline to which the army 
was reduced by the interference of the War Dej^art- 
ment with its interior management. The concentra- 
tion of a vast amount of stores and material of war 
in and about Manassas was made by the Govern- 
ment itself against my repeated remonstrances, 9 ex- 
pressed through my proper staff-officer, Major R. Gr. 
Cole, chief commissary. Fifteen days were devoted 
by the army to the removal of the public property 
that had been recklessly collected at Manassas. It 
would have been very dangerous to the public safety 
to employ it longer in that way ; for, on the eve of 
a formidable invasion, it was of great importance 
that it should be so placed as to be able to unite 
promptly with other available forces, to repel this 

I indicated no intention to "fall back" before the 
" consultation " on the 20th of February. The con- 
dition of the country made military operations on a 
large scale impossible, so that the most timid could 
have imagined no cause for hasty retreat. And in 
the " consultation " later, when the country was some- 
what less impracticable, I opposed s any movement 
on account of the difficulty, which indicates that I 
could not have intended one when the difficulties 
would have been much greater. 

1 See those especially of February 1st to the acting Secretary of "War, 
page 91 ; and March 1st, to the President, page 100. 

a See note page 98, including Colonel Cole's letter of February 7th, 
1871, and pages 104 and 105. 3 See fifth paragraph, page 106. 



I was not ignorant of the country. I had studied 
it carefully, and had selected and prepared a position 
for the army behind the Kappahannock. But, if it had 
been otherwise, I had the usual resource of generals — 
a good map, which would have shown me by what 
routes to march, and where to halt. 

Engineers were not sent to the army at the time 
(before the consultation) nor for the object asserted, 
but in consequence of an application by me, repeated 
after the consultation, 1 and they reported about the 
3d of March, when an attempt by them to make a 
map of the country would have been absurd, if they 
had been competent to such work. On that subject, 
Captain Powhatan Robinson, their commander, wrote 
to me October 6, 1869: "I reported to you on the 
1st or 2d of March. The rest of the topographical 
corps reported to me afterward. As regards the 
efficiency of the party, Lieutenant Heinrichs and my- 
self were the only ones who had any experience in 
sketching topography, and, this being our first essay 
in the military line, we were ridiculously minute, 
and consequently very slow. I left Manassas March 
3d, on my reconnaissance to the Kappahannock ; I 
taking the upper route, and sending Lieutenant Ran- 
dolph, who had just reported, by the lower. I re- 
ported to you on the 6th, at Centreville; received 
orders on the 7th to prepare Rappahannock Bridge 
for the passage of trains. The bridge was completed 
Tuesday morning (11th), just as the trains came 

In the consultation, the President seemed to 
think that the army was exposed, and desired its re- 

1 February 22d. 

44G JonxsTON's narrative. 

moval. I thought the object of change of position 
ought to be, facility of uniting all our forces prompt- 
ly, when McClellan's designs should be developed. 
It terminated with informal verbal orders to me 
to fall back as soon as practicable. Nothing was 
said of positions or routes — proof that the President 
had not then discovered my ignorance of the coun- 

The movement was not " hasty." We were pre- 
paring for it fifteen days ; in which I wrote to the 
President five times in relation to those preparations. 
It would not have been proper to bestow more time 
upon the preservation of commissary stores. The 
" vast quantities " (rather more than a sixth of the 
whole supply) destroyed ought not to have been re- 
moved. It would have been too hazardous. 

The army was not halted by the President's com- 
mand. It left Centreville and Bull Run to take 
position on the south bank of the Rappahannock ; 
and had reached that line before the President knew 
that it had moved. The position had been prepared 
by field-works near the railroad-bridge, and a depot 
of provision. The Chief Commissary was informed 
early in the winter that, when the army left its pres- 
ent position, its next would be behind the Rappa- 
hannock. When the orders to remove public prop- 
erty were given on the 2 2d of February, the princi- 
pal staff-officers were informed that the new position 
of the army would be the south bank of the Rap- 
pahannock. The right wing, ordered to Fredericks- 
burg, had taken its position before the main body 
moved. The President certainly did not stop it. 

Colonel A. H. Cole, of the Quartermaster's De- 


partment, wrote to nie on the 30th of March, 1872 ; 
" In reply to your questions in relation to the with- 
drawal of the army from Centreville and Bull Run 
in March, 1862, I will state that, when you ordered 
the removal of the military stores from Manassas, 
February 2 2d, your principal staff-officers were in- 
formed that the position of the army would "be on 
the south side of the Rappahannock, near the rail- 
road-bridge. I accompanied you from Manassas to 
this position, and in such official and personal rela- 
tions to you as to give me full knowledge of your 
correspondence, and I am sure that you received no 
dispatches from Richmond on the way. You could 
have received no telegram, for there was no tele- 
graph-office on our route." 

We reached the Rappahannock before noon of 
the 11th, and the troops bivouacked immediately. 
A telegraph-office was established afterward in a 
house near the bridge. 1 

If " imperative instructions " to halt ever came 
to me from Richmond, it must have been when the 
army was established in its new position; so that 
they had no effect, and therefore made no impression 
on my memory. The representatives of Northern 
Virginia, in Congress, were greatly excited by the 
withdrawal of the army from Centreville, and saw 
the President on the subject. This may have drawn 
from him an order to me to halt — after the fact. 

3. The allegations of this paragraph are com- 
pletely refuted by the narrative, from page 113 to 
page 116, the first part of my official report presented 

1 The railroad-bridge. 


to the Executive, May 19th, and the testimony of 
Generals "Wigfall and Longstreet. 

In the report I said : " Before taking command on 
the Peninsula, I had the honor to express to the 
President my opinion of the defects of the position 
then occupied by our troops." 

After taking command, I reported that the oj)in- 
ion previously expressed was fully confirmed. 

Some of my objections were : that its length was 
too great for our force ; that it ' prevented offensive 
movements, except at great disadvantage ; and that 
it would be untenable after the guns of Yorktown 
should be silenced — a result admitted to be inevi- 
table by all our officers, from the enemy's great supe- 
riority in artillery. York River being thus opened, 
a large fleet of transports and several hundred bat- 
teaux a would enable him to turn us in a few hours. 

General Longstreet wrote to me, March 21, 
1867 : "I cannot remember, at this late clay, the par- 
ticular reasons that were given for and against the 
move of the army to Yorktown in 1862, in our coun- 
cil held in Richmond while the move was going on. 
Mr. Davis, Mr. Benjamin, 3 and General Lee, seemed 
to favor the move to Yorktown— you to oppose it, 
and I think, General G. W. Smith. 

" The effort to represent you as favoring the move 
of the army to Yorktown is untrue and unjust, if 
such an effort is being made." 

General Wigfall wrote to me on the 29th of 
March, 1873: "I know, from conversations at the 

1 Being covered by inundations. a Spies reported five hundred. 

8 General Randolph, who had lately succeeded Mr. Benjamin in the 


time with Mr. Davis, that you did propose to him 
the concentration of all available forces at Rich- 
mond, for the purpose of giving battle to McClellan 
there, instead of concentrating and fighting at York- 
town. These conversations occurred immediately 
after I learned from you that your plan had been re- 
jected, and when the matter was fresh in my memory. 
And I found the President fully possessed of your 
views as previously explained by you to me. I can 
not give you the precise date. It was the last time 
I saw you before the battle of Williamsburg, when 
you were in Richmond on your way from the Rapi- 
dan to take command at Yorktown." 

These three papers prove that I earnestly main- 
tained opinions precisely opposite to those ascribed 
to me in the " message." 

The movement from Yorktown was not made 
" suddenly." The President was informed of the de- 
termination to make it on the 27th of April. It 
was begun about midnight of May 3d and 4th. The 
time of traveling from Richmond was not more 
than ten hours. So that there was ample time to 
forbid the measure if it had been disapproved. 

No supplies were lost, except some hospital stores 
left on the wharf at Yorktown by the negligence of 
a surgeon, who was arrested for the offense, and 
some intrenching-tools. 1 

In a memorandum on the subject, Colonel R. Gr. 
Cole stated : " To sum up, then, the amount of loss 
sustained by the department, from the withdrawal 
from Yorktown by the army, I regard as so inconsid- 

1 A manuscript narrative by General Early is my authority. 


erable in comparison with the number of troops as 
to justify me in stating that it was nothing. 

We refused no " gage of battle," but were ready 
to repel the enemy's attack each day of the sixteen 
during which we confronted him near Yorktown; 
and fought him successfully at Williamsburg, and 
drove him out of our way at Barhamsville. 

As to disparity of numbers, it was a hundred 
and thirty-three thousand * to fifty thousand ; far 
greater than existed when General Lee took com- 
mand of that army on the first of June, or than that 
against us in Mississippi in December, 1862, or in 
Middle Tennessee in 1863. Yet General Lee was 
justly sustained by the Administration and people 
for postponing his attack upon McClellan four weeks, 
that he might make it with a force adequate to win ; 
and Lieutenant-General Pemberton's course was ap- 
proved when he refused Grant's " gage of battle," 
and retired from the Tallahatchie; and General 
Bragg's when he refused Rosecrans's " gage of bat- 
tle " in the valley of Duck River, and retreated rap- 
idly across the Cumberland Mountains and Tennes- 
see River. 

After the battle of Williamsburg the Federal 
army did not approach us; although our march 
thence to the Baltimore cross-roads, thirty-seven 
miles, occupied live days and we remained there five 
more. We waited for the enemy in that position 
because it was a good one — the first we had found 
not liable to be turned by water, while it was acces- 
sible by railroad from Richmond. We halted there 

1 Report of Adjutant-General of the United States Army to com- 
mittee on conduct of the war. 


not only without the President's orders, but without 
his knowledge. The line of the Chickakoniiny was 
not taken, nor would the President's order have com- 
pelled ine to take it ; for, by offering our right flank 
to the enemy, it would have put us at his mercy. 

We did not "fall back to Richmond" because 
McClellan "came up," but took that position in 
expectation of his transferring J his base to James 
River. We crossed the Chickahominy on the loth — 
he not until the 22d. 

I did not add to the fortifications of Richmond, be- 
cause they were sufficient — planned and constructed 
by the ablest engineer in the Confederacy, Colonel 
Andrew Tallcott. 

4. McClellan placed not a division, but two corps 
of his army, " on our side of the Chickahominy." 
We attacked them, and were successful until night 
interrupted the action. That the combat was success- 
ful is evidence that the dispositions for it were not 
very faulty. " Tangible results " were not secured, be- 
cause the action was not continued 3 next day, as it 
would have been, but for my desperate wound. In 
Alfriend's 3 "Life of Jefferson Davis," there is an 
elaborate attempt to show that Mr. Davis took an 
active part in the battle. If so, it could have been 
in no secondary one, but only as commander. This 
would make him responsible for the want of re- 

General Lee had not acquired the confidence of 
the army and people, then. His great fame was ac- 
quired subsequently, at the head of that army. Mr. 
Davis can claim no merit for the selection, for Gen- 

1 See pages 127, 128. a See page 1 38. 3 See page 403. 


eral Lee was the only general available; and was 
then, as he had been previously, in a position inade- 
quate to his rank. 

5. When the President assigned me to the com- 
mand of Generals Bragg, Peinberton, and Kirby 
Smith, he fixed my headquarters in Tennessee. Be- 
fore the end of December I transferred them to Mis- 
sissippi. On the 23d of January he ordered me to 
Tennessee on special service. When I was returning 
to Mississippi after having performed it, he ordered 1 
me to return to Tullahoma and take personal command 
of General Bragg's army. This made it officially 
impossible for me to return to Jackson; so that all 
my absence from Mississippi, in 18G3, was compelled 
by the President. I went to Mississippi in May 
" only in consequence of a positive order," because I 
had been deprived by the President of the power to 
go without one. On arriving at Jackson, I took the 
promptest a measure to unite the troops in Jackson 
with those immediately under General Pemberton. 
The measure was defeated 3 by disobedience of my 
orders. The troops in Jackson rendered the only 
service possible, by delaying the approach of the Fed- 
eral forces long enough to enable Major Mims, chief 
quartermaster of the department, to save such public 
property as he had the means of removing. To at- 
tempt to strike a blow upon at least two corps, 4 with 
two brigades, would have been gross folly. 

We were not inactive 5 during the siege of Vicks- 
burg, nor were my forces adequate to cut through 
Grant's lines. General Pemberton, as much inter- 

1 See page 163. 2 See page 176. 3 See page 181. 

4 General Grant's report. 6 See pages 191-203. 


ested as any one could "be in bold measures for the 

relief of Vicksburg, thought forty thousand men a 

minimum for the attempt. Governor Pettus, Hon- 

orables A. G. Brown, D. F. Kenner, E. Barksdale, 

and W. P. Harris, 1 thought thirty thousand more 

troops necessary, they being on the spot. For the 

causes of Confederate disasters in Mississippi, the 

reader is referred to pages 204-211. 

The assertions concerning the little sie«;e of Jack- 
et o 

son are contradicted by the very correspondence 2 re- 
ferred to, and in pages 207 and 208. On the first 
day, July 9th, I telegraphed to Mr. Davis that I 
should endeavor to hold the place. Onthellth: 
"It" (the intrenched line) "is very defective; cannot 
stand a siege, but improves a bad position against 
assault." On the 13th : " The enemy's rifles (cannon) 
reached all parts of the town, showing the weakness 
of the position, and its untenableness against a pow- 
erful artillery. ... If the position and works were 
not bad, want of stores, which could not be collected, 
would make it impossible to stand a siege." These 
were my only dispatches to the President on the 

Stores were not lost, for we had none in Jackson. 
"We were supplied by the railroad from the East, and 
our depot was at its terminus east of Pearl River, so 
that its contents were easily saved. The soldiers 
were not dispirited by finding that their lives and 
blood were valued ; but their confidence in the Gov- 
ernment, as well as that of the people of the State, 

1 See their dispatch, pages 212, 213. 

2 See it as published by Confederate Congress, and in Appendix, 

454 joiinstox'S narrative. 

was weakened by the disasters at Baker's Creek and 
the Big Black, the loss of Vicksburg, and capture 
of its brave garrison. 

These disasters were caused by the hesitation of 
the Government to reenforce the Army of the Missis- 
sippi. About eighteen thousand men were sent to 
it from Beauregard's and Bragg's departments be- 
tween the 12th and the end of May. This could have 
been done as easily between the middle of April, 
when General Grant's plan became distinctly known, 
and the 1st of May, when he crossed the Mississippi. 
"With such an addition to his strength, General Peru- 
berton would certainly have enabled Bowen to meet 
McClernand's corps, near Bruinsburg, with a superior 
force, and probably decide the campaign by defeat- 
ing it. 

The only proper measures in my power were 
taken to rebuild the railroad and bridge at Jackson, 
after their destruction by the Federal army in July. 
As many laborers, wagons, and teams, as the engi- 
neers of the railroad companies required, were im- 
pressed for their use. It was with such assistance 
that one company repaired its road and the other 
was repairing its bridge, after their destruction in 
May by General Grant's orders. As that course was 
not disapproved in the first case, it was reasonable 
to follow it in the second ; especially as we had not 
seen Confederate troops employed on such work. 

The rolling-stock of the Mississippi Central Rail- 
road Company, referred to, was destroyed partly in 
Grenada by a Federal raiding-party, and partly at 
different places near the railroad, by a brigade of 
Confederate cavalry sent to protect it ; but enough 


for the business of the road escaped. This was not 
a military loss, however, and was not felt "by the 
transportation department. If the railroad-bridge 
had not been burnt or had been repaired in a few 
days, it is very unlikely that the engines and cars of 
the Mississippi Central Railroad would have been 
taken from it for use in the East ; for there was a gap 
in each of the two railroad routes through Alabama, 
as difficult to pass as that I am censured for not hav- 
ing closed. A strong proof of this is the fact that 
the unused cars and engines of the Mobile & Ohio 
Railroad, in far greater numbers than the Mississippi 
Central ever had, lay in the company's places of de- 
posit from the time in question until the end of the 
war. If such means of transportation had been re- 
quired in the East by the Government, these would 
have been taken in preference to those more distant, 
in Mississippi. 

6. I may reasonably claim that the earnest, re- 
peated, and urgent appeals of many of the best and 
foremost men of the country, furnish respectable evi- 
dence for me against the President's very unfavorable 
judgment. I was notified of arrangements to be 
made, not made, and not immediately, but about the 
middle of March, 1 when they should have been com- 
pleted. The troops referred to were to be sent to 
Dalton when all preparations for a long march 
should be concluded. This made it almost certain 
that we should be attacked at Dalton 3 and probably 
forced back before the arrival of these reenforce- 

1 See correspondence, pages 287-300. 

a It is admitted in the "message" that this occurred: ""While the 
correspondence was going on, Sherman commenced his movement." 


merits, and the "plan of campaign" defeated "before 
being begun. That was my first objection to it. 1 
I did propose what seemed to me a better one — to 
assemble at once all the troops promised, that we 
might defeat the enemy when he should attack us, 
that attack being inevitable, and then assume the 
offensive. Instead of sixty or seventy thousand 
men, I had forty thousand four hundred and sixty 
four infantry and artillery and two thousand three 
hundred and ninety-two cavalry fit for service, sub- 
ject to my orders at the opening of the campaign. 
This is shown by the only authentic statement on 
the subject — the return sent to the Confederate War- 
Office, prepared by Major Kinloch Falconer of the 
Adjutant-General's Department, from the reports of 
Lieutenant-Generals Hardee and Hood, and Major- 
General . Wheeler. General Sherman states in his 
report that he commenced the campaign with above 
ninety-eight thousand men. But, as three of his four 
divisions a of cavalry, probably not less than twelve 
thousand men, are not included in his estimate, it is not 
impossible that some infantry may have been omitted 
also. The Army of Tennessee was certainly numeri- 
cally inferior to that of Northern Virginia, and General 
Bragg asserted 3 that Sherman's was superior in fight- 
ing force to Grant's. But if the disparity of force 
was greater in General Lee's case than in mine, I 
submit to the Southern people that to condemn me 
alone of all those who served them in the field, for 

1 For others, see pages 297, 298. 

2 Stonernan's, McCooks, and Garrard's. The other, Kilpatrick's, ex 
ceeded five thousand ; it had heen with the army since the previous 

3 See page 364. 


not coming up to their highest standard, is a harsh 
judgment. If the troops l enumerated by General 
Bragg had reenforced the army at Dalton, the Presi- 
dent might have had a right to hope for such a vic- 
tory as would have opened the way for us into Mid- 
dle Tennessee. But as the case actually was — odds 
of almost three to one against that army — he had no 
reason to entertain such a hope. If the writer was 
informed of opportunities " refused " by me, he should 
have named them. As he has not done so, I have a 
right to claim that he knew of none. If the Federal 
general gave us favorable opportunities to attack 
him, they were discovered by no one in our army. 
"We neither occupied nor saw positions almost im- 
pregnable. None such are to be found between 
Dalton and Atlanta. Wherever the two armies con- 
fronted each other, the ground occupied by one was 
as favorable for defense as that held by the other. 
Both armies depended on intrenchments ; not on the 
natural strength of their positions. General Sher- 
man never extended his flanks in the manner de- 
scribed. As we were able to hold our intrench- 
ments against his greatly superior forces, it was evi- 
dent that we could not attack those forces in field- 
works equally strong, with reasonable chances of 
success. "We were compelled to abandon Dalton, 
not by the extension of a flank, but by the march of 
the Federal army itself toward Resaca — that march 
being completely covered by the mountain, Rocky- 
Face. And at Resaca, after intrenching his army so 
strongly as to make it secure from assault, General 
Sherman availed himself of the course of the Ooste- 

* See page 293. 


naula, almost parallel to our railroad, to extend Iris 
line, protected by it, to the neighborhood of Cal- 
houn, which compelled us to pass to the rear of that 
point, to avoid being cut off from Atlanta. At 
New-Hope Church, where the armies were parallel 
to each other almost two weeks, General Sherman 
gradually extended his intrenchments toward the 
railroad. When he reached it, we established our- 
selves in front of Marietta, and held that ground 
about four weeks until the Federal numbers enabled 
General Sherman to extend his works parallel to 
our railroad, and five or six miles beyond our left. 
This made it necessary to draw back again ; to place 
ourselves nearer than the enemy to Atlanta. In all 
this, I was sustained by General Lee's similar course 
in Virginia. The difference between the two cam- 
paigns was but that of the characters of the two 
Federal commanders — General Grant attacked re- 
peatedly, with all his strength, and suffered great 
losses in battles, but reached his destination in about 
a month. General Sherman, who was cool and cau- 
tious, made one general and several partial attacks — 
the latter to be followed up if successful— but drew 
off his forces in each case, when he found his oppo- 
nents ready and resolute. He sought for weak 
points in our lines daily, and with that object skir- 
mished incessantly. Those engagements, as he ex- 
presses it, occasionally swelling to the dimensions of 
battles. My part of this campaign continued sev- 
enty-four days; the Federal army being two days 
from Atlanta when I was removed from my com- 
mand. In comparing the operations in Upper Geor- 
gia with those in Virginia, it is to be considered that 


Sherman's condition "became more hazardous as lie 
approached Atlanta, and that of the Confederate 
army absolutely safe, when it reached the place, in 
which, as I have already said, 1 it could neither be 
assailed nor invested. General Grant, on the con- 
trary, found a secure base on James River. The 
assertion that the Army of Tennessee lost twenty- 
five thousand men while under my command is an 
enormous exaggeration. The only authentic state- 
ment of that loss is in the reports of Surgeon A. J. 
Foard, medical director. According to them, 2 it was 
nine thousand nine hundred and seventy-two killed 
and wounded. We had good reason to think the 
enemy's loss six times as great. It is a calumny to 
say that the Army of Tennessee was dispirited or 
broken clown. It had never before been in finer 
condition — the men in a high state of discipline, 
and full of confidence from uniform success in their 
engagements with the enemy, and the horses of the 
cavalry and artillery, and the mules of the trains, in 
fine order for service — much better than when the 
campaign was begun. As for fatigue, they but once 
made more than a half-day's march in one day, 3 and 
never two half-days' marches in two consecutive days. 
I was never questioned as to my ability to hold At- 
lanta. General Bragg, who undoubtedly visited the 

1 Page 358. 

2 Less than a sixth of the number were killed. At Dalton, and 
thence to the Etowah, four hundred and forty-four were killed, and 
two thousand eight hundred and twenty-eight wounded. Near New- 
Hope Church three hundred and nine were killed and one thousand nine 
hundred and twenty-nine wounded. Thence, to the Chattahoochee, 
five hundred and thirty-five were killed, and three thousand nine hun- 
dred and thirty-five wounded. Cavalry are not included. 

3 From Allatoona to New-Hope Church. 


army in that connection, saw the most efficient prep- 
arations to hold it in progress — the industrious 
strengthening by me of the intrenchments made by 
General Gilmer's wise foresight, and the mounting 
of heavy rifle-cannon, just brought from Mobile, on 
the front toward the enemy. 

As to the almost impregnable character of the 
available positions ; General Hardee wrote in his let- 
ter of April 10, 1868, already quoted : "The country 
between Dalton and Atlanta is, for the most part, 
open, intersected by numerous practicable roads, and 
readily penetrable. In some portions it is rugged 
and broken, but the ridges and ranges of hills, where 
they occur, are neither continuous nor regular enough 
to afford material advantage for defense. It offers 
no advantage to one side not shared by the other. 
There are no strongholds in that section, and no po- 
sitions effectual for defense against largely superior 
numbers." For the manner in which the progress 
of the enemy was resisted, the dispirited condition 
of the army, and its want of confidence in me, the 
reader is referred to General Hardee's testimony in 
..the letter on pages 365, 366, and General Stewart's 
in that on pages 367-369. 

Mr. Davis's official course toward me, from the 
commencement of the war to the 17th of July, 1864, 
strongly contradicts all his statements in the " mes- 
sage." If he had believed, when McDowell was near 
Manassas, that I had been exhibiting at Harper's 
Ferry, and elsewhere in the Valley, the singular in- 
capacity for war he describes in the first part of this 
paper, he could not have ordered me to Manassas to 
command in a battle the result of which was to de- 


cide the fate of the Confederacy, for the time, at 
least. If, from the time of that action until the 
Army of Northern Virginia was ordered to York- 
town, my conduct had more than confirmed previous 
bad impressions, it is impossible that the President 
could have so forgotten his obligations to the country 
as to leave me in the most important military com- 
mand of the Confederacy. Still more so, that he 
could have greatly enlarged that command by add- 
ing two armies to it, and this when General Lee, 
whom he regarded (though illegally) as my senior, 
was in a mere staff-office in Richmond. And if in the 
fall of 1862 he had thought of my conduct at York- 
town, and in the battle of Seven Pines, as he wrote 
of it in 1865, his oath of office would not have per- 
mitted him to place me in command of the most im- 
portant department of the Confederacy. And, al- 
though he terminated this message with an assur- 
ance to the Confederate Congress that nothing would 
induce him to assign me to an adequate command, 
the paper was not sent to Congress, and I was 
ordered to report to General Lee (who had just been 
appointed commander-in-chief), and assigned to the 
command of the second department of the Confeder- 
acy in importance. 

In war, the testimony of an enemy in one's fa- 
vor is certainly worth more than that of a friend, 
as he who receives a blow can better estimate the 
dexterity of the striker than any spectator. I there- 
fore offer that of one of the most prominent officers 
of the United States Army, who was conspicuous in 
this campaign, in the following letter : 


"New York City, October 21, 1873. 
" General M. Lovell : 

" My dear General : Your letter of the 15th insi, 
requesting my professional opinion concerning the 
conduct of the retreat of the Confederate army in 
1SG4, while commanded by General Joseph E. John- 
ston, and also of the impression produced in the 
Union army on being informed, of the removal of 
that officer from his position, was received. I have 
no possible objection to communicating to you my 
views on this subject, briefly, of course (as I have 
not my notes and maps of the campaign near me to 
refer to), and, besides, I wish it to be understood, in ad- 
vance, that my opinions on this subject are expressed 
in no ostentatious manner, but merely to comply with 
your request, and to do justice, as far as lies in my 
power, to a brother officer toward whom I have al- 
ways felt the highest admiration for his superior 
military accomplishments. 

" I was familiar with his services in the Seminole 
War, and also in our war with Mexico. 

" During the campaign to which you refer, I served 
in the army opposed to him, in command of a corps, 
on which, as you intimate, much of the heavy work 
of the campaign devolved — I mean the retreat of the 
Confederate army from Buzzard's Roost Pass to near 
Atlanta, Ga., embracing the period from May 6th to 
July 27th. At the former point Johnston found him- 
self too weak to cope with our army with any pros- 
pect of success, and it became his problem to weaken 
the Union army by drawing it from its base of op- 
erations and seeking opportunities in the mean time 
to attack and destroy it whenever occasions presented 


themselves to do so advantageously. Our vast su- 
periority in numbers enabled us to divide our army, 
and turn all Lis positions without risk from any 

"General Johnston, however, as he abandoned 
his intrenched positions, conducted his retreat, in my 
judgment, in a prudent and consummate manner, both 
in strategy and tactics. All the positions chosen for 
making a stand were selected with the utmost sa- 
gacity and skill, and his defenses were thrown up 
and strengthened with the exercise of marvelous in- 
genuity and judgment. This was the case near Dal- 
ton, Resaca, Cassville, New-Hope Church, Kenesaw 
Mountain, Peach -Tree Creek, and other points which 
I do not now remember. Considering that John- 
ston's army was on the retreat, I think it remarkable 
that we found no deserters, no stragglers, no muskets 
or knapsacks, and no material of war. Johnston's 
troops also covered and protected the citizens living 
in the vast district in which we were operating, in 
carrying off all their property from before us. In 
fact, it was the cleanest and best-conducted retreat, 
as was remarked by every one, that we had seen or 
read of. Wherever we went we encountered a for- 
midable line of battle which all commanders were in- 
clined to respect ; I know that this was my feeling, 
and other officers in command of armies and corps 
appeared to feel as I did. Indeed, this retreat was 
so masterly that I regard it as a useful lesson for 
study for all persons who may hereafter elect for their 
calling the profession of arms. After having given 
the subject a good deal of reflection, I unhesitatingly 
state as my conviction that this retreat was the most 


prominent feature of the war, and, in rny judgment, 
reflects the highest credit upon its author. The news 
that General Johnston had been removed from the 
command of the army opposed to us was received by 
our officers with universal rejoicing. 

". . . . One of the prominent historians of the 
Confederacy ascribes the misfortunes of the ' Lost 
Cause ' to the relief of General Johnston ; I do not 
think this, but it certainly contributed materially to 
hasten its collapse. 

" Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

"J. Hooker, 1 Major- General? 

In the Adjutant-General's office in Richmond, in 
December, 1864, on referring to my report of the 
campaign of the previous summer in Upper Georgia, 
I found and read an indorsement on it by the Presi- 
dent, to the effect that my narrative differed essen- 
tially from statements that he had seen, " contempo- 
raneous " with the events described 

I immediately wrote him the following note, 
through the Adjutant-General, which that officer 
promised to put into his hands next morning. He 
also promised to obtain a reply as soon as possible. 

"Richmond, December 21, 186-4. 

"General: In referring to my report of Octo- 
ber 20th, in your office, I saw and read the President's 
indorsement upon it. 

" I respectfully ask his Excellency to permit the 
substance, at least, of the communications referred 

1 1 find this letter in a late circular of the Messrs. Appleton, of 
New York, announcing the publication, at an early day, of this book. 


to by him, to be furnished to me, as well as the names 
of their authors. My object is to meet, as fully as 
possible, whatever in those letters differs from the 
statements in my report. 

u I regret the want of fullness in the report, but 
am gratified to find that the President understands 
the cause of it. 

" Most respectfully, your obedient servant, 

"J. E. Johnston - , General. 
" General S. Coopee, A. & I. General? 

No reply to this note was ever received, so that 
I now have no more knowledge of the statements in 
question than that gained by reading the President's 




Headquarters Army of the Potomac, ) 
July 20, 1861. f 

Special Order, No. — 

The following order is published for the information of 
division and brigade commanders : 

1st. Brigadier - General E well's brigade will march via 
Union Mills Ford, and place itself in position of attack upon 
the enemy. It will be held in readiness, either to support 
attack upon Centreville, or to move in the direction of Sang- 
ster's Cross-roads, according to circumstances. 

The order to advance will be given by the commander- 

2d. Brigadier-General Jones's brigade, supported by Colo- 
nel Early's brigade, will march via McLean's Ford to place 
itself in position of attack on the enemy, or about the Union 
Mill and Centreville road. It will be held in readiness, 
either to support the attack on Centreville, or to move in 
the direction of Fairfax Station, according to circumstances, 
with its right flank toward the left of Ewell's command, 
more or less distant according to the nature of the country 
and attack. 

The order to advance will be given by the commander- 

3d. Brigadier-General Longstreet's brigade, supported by 
Brigadier-General Jackson's brigade, will march via Mc- 
Lean's Ford, to place itself in position of attack upon the 
enemy on or about the Union Mill and Centreville road. 
It will be held in readiness, either to support the attack on 

47Q APPENDIX. [July, 

Centreville, or to move in the direction of Fairfax Court- 
House, according to circumstances, with its right flank tow- 
ard the left of Jones's command, more or less distant accord- 
ing to the nature of the country. 

The order to advance will be given by the commander- 

4th. Brigadier-General Bonham's brigade, supported by 
Colonel Barton's brigade, will march via Mitchell's Ford to 
the attack of Centreville, the right wing to the left of the 
Third Division, more or less distant according to the nature 
of the country and of the attack. 

The order to advance will be gjven by the commander- 

5th. Colonel Cocke's brigade, supported by Colonel El- 
zey's brigade, will march via Stone Bridge and the fords on 
the right, thence to the attack of Centreville, the right wing 
to the left of the Fourth Division, more or less distant ac- 
cording to the nature of the country and of the attack. 

The order to advance will be given by the commander- 

6th. Brigadier-General Bee's brigade, supported by Colo- 
nel Wilcox's brigade, Colonel Stuart's regiment of cavalry, 
and the whole of Walton's battery, will form the reserve, and 
will march via Mitchell's Ford, to be used according to cir- 

7th. The light batteries will be distributed as follows : 

(1.) To General E well's command ; Captain Walker's, six 

(2.) To Brigadier-General Jones ; Captains Alburtis's and 
Stannard's batteries, eight pieces. 

(3.) To Brigadier-General Longstreet's ; Colonel Pendle- 
ton's and Captain Imboden's batteries, eight pieces. 

(4.) To Brigadier- General Bonham's ; Captains Kem- 
per's and Shields's batteries, eight pieces. 

(5.) To Colonels Cocke and Hunton ; Captains Latham's 
and Beckham's batteries, twelve pieces. 

8th. Colonel Eadforcl, commanding cavalry, will detail to 
report immediately as follows : 

1861.] APPENDIX. 4fi 

To General Ewell, two companies of cavalry. 

To General Jones, two companies of cavalry. 

To General Longstreet, two companies of cavalry. 

To General Bonham, two companies of cavalry. 

To Colonel Cocke the remaining companies of cavalry, 
except those on special service. 

9th. The Fourth and Fifth Divisions, after the fall of Cen- 
treville, will advance to the attack of Fairfax Court-House 
via the Braddock and Turnpike roads, to the north of the 

The First, Second, and Third Divisions will, if neces- 
sary, support the Fourth and Fifth Divisions. 

10th. In this movement the First, Second, and Third Di- 
visions will form the command of General Holmes, the 
Fourth and Fifth Divisions that of the second in command. 
The reserve will move upon the plains between Mitchell's 
Ford and Stone Bridge, and together with the Fourth and 
Fifth Divisions will be under the immediate direction of 
General Beauregard. 

By command of General Beauregard : 
(Signed) Thomas Jordan, 

Assistant Adjutant- General. 

Special Order, No. — ) 

Headquarters Army of the Potomac. ) 

The plan of attack given by Brigadier-General Beaure- 
gard in the above order is approved, and will be executed 

(Signed) J. E. Johnston, General C. S. A. 

Edgefield, January 14, 1874. 

My dear General : Your letter of the 15th of April, 
1870, as to first Manassas, has been too long unanswered ; 
but circumstances, not necessary here to mention, have 
caused the delay. 

472 APPENDIX. [July, 

You are substantially correct as to what occurred after 
five o'clock of the 21st. In' obedience to your orders, as de- 
livered by Colonel Lay, with my own brigade and Long- 
street's, I moved directly on Centreville, as the best and 
most practicable route for intercepting the enemy's retreat. 
Guided by the dust, the enemy fired a shot in the direction 
of our advance. I sent forward Colonel Lay with an escort 
of cavalry to reconnoitre. I am not sure whether Major 
Whiting of your staff, then with me, accompanied Colonel 
Lay — he probably did. The enemy opened fire with artil- 
lery on this party ; they reported, on their return, that the 
enemy were in force in line of battle on the heights of Cen- 
treville. In the course of the conference which followed, 
and upon the state of facts then presented, Major "Whiting 
said, in substance, that as a member of your staff he would 
suggest — possibly that he would direct — the farther pursuit 
stopped. The views of Major Whiting thus expressed had, 
justly, great weight with, and possibly ought to have con- 
trolled, me ; but all the circumstances led me to the same 
conclusion. I did stop, and deployed the two brigades on 
the right and left of the road ; and Major Whiting went to 
the junction to report, and sent me from there further in- 
structions for the night. 

I made a report after the battle, but did not write the 
details of Major Whiting's connection with the matter. 

General McGowan, of Abbeville, and Judge Aldrich, 
of Barnwell, then on my staff, remember this matter sub- 
stantially as stated ; and probably others of my staff. 
Yours very truly, 

M. L. Boxham. 

General J. E. Johnston. 

General McDowell's orders for the 21st of July were as 
follows : 

Headquarters Department Armt of Eastern Virginia, \ 
Centreville, July 20, 1861. J 

The enemy has planted a battery on the Warrenton 
turnpike to defend the passage of Bull Bun ; has seized 

1861.] APPENDIX. 473 

the Stone Bridge and made a heavy abattis on the right 
hank, to oppose our advance in that direction. The ford 
above the bridge is also guarded, whether with artillery or 
not is not positively known, but every indication favors the 
belief that he proposes to defend the passage of the stream. 
It is intended to turn the position, force the enemy from 
the road, that it may be reopened, and, if possible, destroy 
the railroad leading from Manassas to the Yalley of Vir- 
ginia, where the enemy has a large force. As this may be 
resisted by all the force of the enemy, the troops will be dis- 
posed as follows : The First Division (General Tyler), with 
the exception of Richardson's brigade, will, at half-past two 
o'clock in the morning precisely, be at the "Warrenton turn- 
pike to threaten the passage of the bridge, but will not open 
fire until full daybreak. The Second Division (Hunter's) 
will move from its camp at two o'clock in the morning pre- 
cisely, and, led by Captain "Woodbury of the Engineers, will, 
after passing Cub Run, turn to the right, and pass the Bull 
Run stream above the ford at Sudley's Spring, and, then 
turning down to the left, descend the stream and clear away 
the enemy who may be guarding the lower ford and bridge. 
It will then bear off to the right, and make room for the 
succeeding division. The Third Division (Ileintzelman's) 
will march at half-past two in the morning, and will follow 
the road taken by the Second Division, but will cross at the 
lower ford, after it has been turned as above ; and then, go- 
ing to the left, take place between the stream and Second 
Division. The Fifth Division (Miles's) will take position 
on the Centreville Heights (Richardson's brigade will for 
the time form part of the Fifth Division, and will continue 
in its present position). One brigade will be in the village, 
and one near the present station of Richardson's brigade. 
This division will threaten the Blackburn Ford, and remain 
in reserve at Centreville. The commander will open fire 
with artillery only, and will bear in mind that it is a dem- 
onstration only he is to make. He will cause such defen- 
sive works, abattis and earthworks, to be thrown up as will 
strengthen his position. Lieutenant Prime, of the Engi- 

474 APPENDIX. [Januaky, 

neers, will be charged with this duty. These movements 
may lead to the gravest results, and commanders of divis- 
ions and brigades should bear in mind the immense conse- 
quences involved. There must be no failure, and every ef- 
fort must be made to prevent straggling. ~No one must be 
allowed to leave the ranks without special authority. After 
completing the movements ordered, the troops must be held 
in order of battle, as they may be attacked at any moment. 
By command of 

Brigadier-Gen eral McDowell. 
James B. Fey, Adjutant- General. 

IIeadquarters, Centreville, ) 
January 28, 1862. J 

General S. Cooper, 

Adjutant Inspector-General . 
Sm : I am informed that General Order ~Ko. 2 has been 
distributed to the " war regiments" of the army. 

A recent order of the Secretary of War directs me to 
send to Richmond six thousand of the muskets belonging 
to our absent sick. This deprives the different regiments 
of the means of arming their men who return from the hos- 
pital even, and of course there are no arms for recruits. I 
shall not, under such circumstances, permit the expense of 
recruiting to be incurred, without additional orders. 
Yery respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

J. E. Johnston, General. 

Headquarters, Centreville, ) 
January 28, 1862. \ 

Major-General Jackson, 

Commanding Yalley District, Winchester. 

General: I have to-day received your letters of 21st 
and 24th. 

I regret to be unable to reenforce you. May not your 
own cavalry — Colonel Ashby's regiment — be concentrated 
and used for the purpose for which you apply to me for cav- 

1862.] APPENDIX. 475 

airy ? I am an enemy to much distribution of troops. May 
not yours be brought together — so posted, that is to say, 
that you may be able to assemble them all to oppose an en- 
emy coming from Harper's Ferry, Williamsport, or the 
northwest ? 

Should the report given by General Hill prove to be cor- 
rect, it would be imprudent, it seems to me, to keep your 
troops dispersed as they now are. Do you not think so ? 
The enemy might not only prevent yours concentrating, 
but interpose himself between us, which we must never 
permit. Most respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

J. E. Johnston, General. 

Headquarters Department op Northern Virginia, ) 
Centreville, January 29, 1802. \ 

Colonel S. Bassett French, 

Aide-de-camp of Governor of Yirginia. 

Sir : Your letter of the 25th inst., in relation to arms, 
the property of the Commonwealth of Yirginia, not in the 
hands of the troops of this army, and desiring me to take 
measures for their return to the State authorities so far as 
they can be found within this Department of the Army of 
the Confederate States, has been duly received. 

I am sorry that I can afford little information and less 
aid in relation to the important and interesting object of 
your communication. 

The troops under my command have generally come in- 
to my department with arms in their hands. I had and 
have no means of ascertaining by whom the arms were fur- 
nished. I understand that Yirginia does not wish to re- 
claim arms now in actual use. As arms have become dis- 
posable by the deaths or discharges of soldiers, they have 
been withdrawn from my control under orders of the War 
Department of the Confederate States. These orders have 
been repeatedly issued by the Department and executed by 
me. Of late they have gone to the length of taking the 
arms of the sick. When removed from the army, the arms, 

47G APPENDIX. [Januaet, 

of course, passed under tlie direct control of the Department 
of War. To that Department I must refer you for the in- 
formation which you seek of me. 

There are no flint-lock muskets in the hands of my sol- 
diers, nor have there been any since I assumed the com- 
mand here. There were five hundred such in the depot at 
Manassas when I arrived here from the Valley. They were 
soon afterward sent to Richmond, in accordance with the 
general practice in such matters above specified. 

Do me the favor to express to the Governor my grateful 
acknowledgments of his kind and patriotic message. Noth- 
ing earthly could afford me higher gratification than the 
fulfillment of his good wishes by the army striking a great 
blow for the freedom and independence of Virginia and the 
South. Most respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 
Colonel S. Bassett Feench, 

Aide-de-camj) to the Governor of Virginia. 

Centrkvillk, January 2!), 1S62. 

Hon. J. P. Benjamet, Secretary of War. 

Sir : I have just had the honor to receive your letter of 
the 26th inst., inclosed with one to General Beauregard, 
assigning him to command at Columbus, Ky. 

General Beauregard will be relieved from his present 
command to-morrow. 

I regret very much that it is thought necessary to re- 
move this distinguished officer from this district, especially 
at the present time, when the recent law granting bounty 
and furloughs is having a disorganizing effect. I fear that 
General Beauregard's removal from the troops he has 
formed may increase this effect among them. 

In this connection, permit me to urge the necessity to 
this army, of the general officers I have asked for more than 
once. Most respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

J. E. Johnston, General. 

1862.] APPENDIX. 477 

Centreville, February 2, 1862. 

General S. Cooper, 

Adjutant and Inspector-General. 

Sir : "We are beginning to feel the want of the arms re- 
cently sent to Richmond under orders from the War De- 
partment. One regiment already has twenty-three men 
returned from hospital, who are without arms. The re- 
cruiting directed in General Order ~No. 2 will give us men 
who cannot be armed, unless a part at least of the arms re- 
ferred to can be returned. 

Permit me again to remind the War Department that a 
division and five brigades are without their proper generals. 
The great number of colonels and other field-officers who 
are absent sick, makes the want of general officers the more 

Several of the colonels of this army are well qualified to 
be brigadier-generals. Besides Colonels A. P. Hill and 
Forney, Colonels Hampton, Winder, Garland, and Mott, 
are fully competent to command brigades. 
Most respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

J. E. JorcsrsTox, General. 

Headquarters Department of Northern Virginia, ) 
January 30, 1862. \ 

General S. Cooper, 

Adjutant and Inspector-General. 

Sir: The execution of War Department General Or- 
der ~No. 1 will greatly reduce the strength of the "one 
year " regiments of this army. They constitute about two- 
thirds of the whole number. I respectfully suggest that 
men to fill those regiments, say twenty or thirty per com- 
pany, be sent to us as soon as possible. 

The Secretary of War proposed to send unarmed regi- 
ments to supply the places of the men furloughed. Such 
regiments would be of little value for some time, but the 
men composing them, if distributed among our present 

478 APPENDIX. [Febkuaby, 

troops and mixed with tlicra in companies, would be valu- 
able at once, and soon equal to the old soldiers. 
Very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

J. E. Johnston, General. 

Headquarters Department of Northern Virginia, ) 
Centreville, February 7, 1862. ) 

To the Hon. J. P. Benjamin, Secretary of "War. 

Sir : I had the honor to receive your letter of the 3d 
instant by the last mail. 

On the 2d instant, I sent Lieutenant-Colonel Harrison, 
Virginia cavalry, with a proposition to Major-General Mc- 
Clellan for an exchange of prisoners of war. That officer 
was stopped by the enemy's pickets near Falls Church, and 
his dispatches carried to Brigadier-General "Wadsworth at 
Arlington. That officer informed Lieutenant-Colonel Har- 
rison that they were promptly forwarded to General Mc- 
Clellan. He waited for the answer until yesterday, when, 
being informed by Brigadier-General Wadsworth that he 
could form no opinion as to the time when it might be 
expected, he returned. 

On receiving your letter in reply to mine, in relation to 
reenlistments, I directed your orders on that subject to be 
carried into immediate effect ; furloughs to be given at the 
rate of twenty per cent, of the men present for duty. 

The order directing recruiting for the war regiments is 
also in course of execution. 

In my opinion, the position of the "Valley Army" 
ought, if possible, to enable it to cooperate with that of the 
Potomac, but it must also depend upon that of the enemy 
and his strength. General Jackson occupied Romney 
strongly, because the enemy was reported to be concentrat- 
ing his troops, including those supposed to be near Harper's 
Ferry, at New Creek. I regret very much that you did not 
refer this matter to me before ordering General Loring to 
"Winchester, instead of now. I think that orders from me, 

1862.] APPENDIX. 479 

now conflicting with those you have given, would have an 
unfortunate effect — that of making the impression that our 
views do not coincide, and that each of us is pursuing his 
own plan. This might especially be expected among Gen- 
eral Loring's troops, if they are, as represented to me, in a 
state of discontent little removed from insubordination. 

Troops stationed at Moorefield could not well cooperate 
with those in the northern part of the Valley, as the Presi- 
dent remarks. 

Let me suggest that, having broken up the dispositions 
of the military commander, you give whatever other orders 
may be necessary. 

Most respectfully, 

Tour obedient servant, 

J. E. Johnston, General. 

Centketille, February 9, 1862. 

Adjutant and Inspector-General. 

Sro : I am informed that a law recently passed author- 
izes the President to organize a provisional corps of engi- 

Officers and soldiers of that branch of the service are 
greatly needed by us. If one or two competent engineers, 
with eight or ten subalterns of those appointed under this 
law, could be sent to this district soon, their services would 
be of great value. They should have sappers and ponto- 
niers as soon as practicable. Such an organization would add 
greatly to our strength, and, in the event of marches, would 
be essential. 

We should have a much larger cavalry force. The 
greatest objection, or rather difficulty, in increasing it, is 
said to be the want of proper arms. This can be easily re- 
moved by equipping a large body of lancers. These weap- 
ons can be furnished easily and soon, and would be formi- 
dable — much more so than sabres — in the hands of new 
troops, especially against the enemy's numerous artillery. 

480 AITENDIX. [Febeuaet, 

The shafts should be about ten feet long, and the heads 
seven or eight inches. Those furnished to us are, many of 
them, of heavy wood, and too short, the heads too thin and 
unnecessarily broad. Ash is the best wood. 
Most respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

J. E. Johnston, General. 

Centreville, February 11, 1862. 

Hon. J. P. Benjasiin, Secretary of "War. 

Sm : On the morning of the 2d instant, I dispatched 
to Major-General G. B. McClellan a proposition for the 
general exchange of prisoners of war according to modern 
usage. He was informed that the proposition was made 
under authority derived from you. 

According to some of the Northern newspapers, this let- 
ter was the subject of a cabinet council at which General 
McClellan assisted. 

No answer has been received, and it is now reasonable to 
suppose that none is intended. Under such circumstances, 
permit me to suggest the propriety of at least suspending 
the unprecedented mode of exchange now practised. 
Most respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

J. E. Johnston, General. 

Headquarters Department of Northern Virginia, ) 
Centreville, February 11, 1862. ) 

General S. Cooper, 

Adjutant and Inspector-General. 
Sir : An order from the "War Department removed two 
artillery companies which manned four of the heavy bat- 
teries at Manassas. I cannot supply their places without 
taking for the purpose excellent infantry who are ignorant 
of artillery service. I therefore respectfully ask that two 
companies may be sent to Manassas to man the batteries in 

1862.] APPENDIX. 481 

question without delay. They might be sent without small- 

Let me again urge the importance of sending to the 
army the proper number of general officers. The great 
number of sick field-officers makes the want of them felt 
the more. Most respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

J. E. Johnston, General. 

Headquarters Department of Northern Virginia, ) 
Centreville, February 14, 1862. ) 

To the Hon. J. P. Benjamin, Secretary of War. 

Sir : .... In a letter dated February 12th, Major-Gen- 
eral Jackson informed me that, since the evacuation of Rom- 
ney by your orders, the United States troops have returned 
to it ; and that the officer commanding at Moorefield re- 
ported that the enemy, three thousand strong, were ap- 
proaching that place. 

The reduction of our force by the operation of the fur- 
lough system, makes it impracticable to reenforce the Yal- 
ley district from that of the Potomac. 
Most respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

J. E. Johnston, General. 

Headquarters Department of Northern Virginia, ) 
Centreville, February 16, 1862. J 

To the Hon. J. P. Benjamin, Secretary of "War. 

Sir : I have the honor to acknowledge your letter of the 
11th inst., in relation to Captain Rhett, and that of Captain 
Dyerle to you, dated February 8th, referred to me. 

I think that you were mistaken in regarding General 
Beauregard as the commander of these troops. I have been 
so considered here, and so styled by yourself. 

More furloughs have already been granted than the 
condition of the army will justify. I hope, therefore, that 

4.gO APPENDIX. [February, 

you will not require a rule published to the army to be 
broken in the case of Captain Khett's company. 

The army is so much weakened by loss of officers from 
sickness, and. soldiers on furlough, that I am compelled to 
use every man in the way in which he can serve best. It is 
essential that this authority should not be taken from me. 
Captain Dyerle's company is serving as infantry, as it en- 
gaged to do, for a year. It would be useless as artillery. 

The granting authority to raise artillery companies from 
our present force of infantry has interfered very much with 
the object of your order No. 1. Besides the persons having 
such authority, many others have been induced by their suc- 
cess to attempt to form such companies, and have thereby 
injured the reorganization of our infantry. The infantry 
which has been converted into artillery is excellent infantry, 
but entirely ignorant of artillery. "We therefore lose decid- 
edly by the change. 

The rules of military correspondence require that letters 
addressed to you by members of this array should pass 
through my office. Let me ask, for the sake of discipline, 
that you have this rule enforced. It will save much time 
and trouble, and create the belief in the army that I am its 
commander ; and moreover will enable you to see both sides 
of every case (the military and personal) at once. 

I have just received information from General Whiting 
that the enemy's forces near Evansport have just been con- 
siderably increased, both on land and on water. And from 
General Jackson, that from Moorefield the enemy has a 
graded road to Strasburg, passing a good deal to the south 
of Winchester. Most respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

J. E. Johnston, General. 

Headquarters, Centreville, ) 
February 25, 1862. J 

To his Excellency the President : 

I respectfully inclose a copy of a report by Major-Gen- 
eral Jackson. 

1862.] APPENDIX. 483 

Brigadier-General "Whiting informs me that Brigadier- 
General French and Captain Chatard think it impracticable 
to make the desired movement by water. I submit Gen- 
eral French's letter on the subject. The land transporta- 
tion would, it seems to me, require too much time and 
labor, even were the roads tolerable. They are not now 
practicable for our field artillery with their teams of four 

The army is crippled, and its discipline greatly impaired, 
by the want of general officers. The four regiments observ- 
ing the fords of the lower Occoquan are commanded by a 
lieutenant-colonel, and a division and five brigades besides 
are without generals, and at least half the field-officers are 
absent — generally sick. 

The accumulation of subsistence stores at Manassas is 
now a great evil. The Commissary-General was requested, 
more than once, to suspend those supplies. A very ex- 
tensive meat-packing establishment at Thoroughfare is also 
a great incumbrance. The great quantities of personal prop- 
erty in our camps is a still greater one. Much of both 
kinds of property must be sacrificed in the contemplated 

Most respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

J. E. Johnston, General. 

Headquarters, Centretille, ) 
March 3, 1862. \ 

His Excellency. 

Me. Pbesident : I respectfully submit three notes from 
Major-General Jackson, and one from Brigadier-General 
Hill, for the information they contain of the enemy. 

Your orders for moving cannot be executed now, on ac- 
count of the condition of the roads and streams. The re- 
moval of public property goes on with painful slowness, be- 
cause, as the officers employed in it report, a sufficient num- 
ber of cars and engines cannot be had. It is evident that a 
large quantity of it must be sacrificed, or your instructions 

484 APPENDIX. f March, 

not observed. I shall adhere to them as closely as possible. 
In conversation with you, and before the cabinet, I did not 
exaggerate the difficulties of marching in this region. The 
suffering and sickness which would be produced can hardly 
be exaggerated. Most respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

J. E. Johnston, General. 

Headquarters, Centreyille, ) 
March 5, 1862. f 

To His Excellency. 

Mk. President : In connection with one of the subjects 
of my letter of the 1st inst., I respectfully submit herewith 
a handbill said to be circulating in our camps. Several 
such recruiting advertisements have been pointed out to me 
in the newspapers. It is said that such cases are common — 
that many officers profess to have letters from the Honorable 
Secretary of War authorizing them to raise troops endowed 
with special privileges, which would render them useless as 
soldiers, should their generals be weak enough to respect 
such privileges. 

It is easy to perceive how ruinous to the reoganization 
of our excellent infantry such a system must be, and how it 
is calculated to produce present discontent and future mu- 

I have just directed that a citizen should be excluded 
from the camps who professes to have the privilege, granted 
by the War Department, of raising troops in this army for 
local service — in " the Yalley." 

Most respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

J. E. Johnston, General. 


In regard to supplies lost at Yorktown, it is sufficient 
that I should call attention to the fact that, after the Army 

1862.] APPENDIX. 4g5 

of Northern Virginia arrived at the vicinity of Yorktown, 
application was made to have stopped the supplies from 
Richmond, except upon my requisition. Very few stores 
were at the post of Yorktown, and transports could not 
with safety reach the post. A portion of the troops drew 
regularly from Yorktown. Provisions for the regular sup- 
ply were hauled in wagons from King's-Mill Landing on 
James River. A few days' supply for a division was kept 
upon a sloop near Mulberry Island. The reserve for the 
army was kept at Williamsburg, and issued to the troops as 
they passed. And the best evidence of no loss at this main 
depot is the fact that the last divisions were unable to get a 
day's rations. The small depot at Gloucester Point lost 
little or nothing. The meat from there came to the army 
at Baltimore Cross-roads. Small amount, at Jamestown 
Island, not removed, of little value. 

To sum up, then : the amount of loss sustained by the 
department by the withdrawal of the army I regard as so 
inconsiderable in comparison with the number of troops as to 
justify me in stating that the loss was nothing. 

(Signed) R. G. Cole. 

Headquarters, Barhamsville, }_ 
May 1, 1862. \ 

General : The enemy has a large fleet of gunboats 
(seven iron-clads) and transports at "West Point. He has 
been landing troops and artillery under his guns, but in a 
position in which we cannot reach him. The want of pro- 
vision, and of any mode of obtaining it here— still more the 
dearth of forage — makes it impossible to wait to attack him 
while landing ; the sight of the iron-clad boats makes me 
apprehensive for Richmond, too — so I move on in two col- 
umns, one by the New Kent road, under Major-General 
Smith ; the other by that of the Chickahominy, under Ma- 
jor-General Longstreet. The battle of Williamsburg seems 
to have prevented the enemy from following from that 
direction. All the prisoners were of Heintzelman's corps, 
except a few of the last, who said they belong to Sumner's. 

486 APPENDIX. [Mat, 

Fresh troops seemed to be arriving upon the field continu- 
ally during the day. Yours, most respectfully, 

(Signed) J. E. Johnston. 

General Lee. 

Headquarters, Cross-Roads, New Kent Court-House, ) 
May 10, 18G2, 10.30 p. m. \ 

General : I have written to you several times on the 
subject of concentrating near Richmond all the troops within 
reach. I have ordered Major-General linger to evacuate 
Norfolk, and conduct his troops to Richmond, but have no 
information of his progress. " The Army of the North " 
must be in the Department of Northern Virginia, but, as I 
have been informed neither of its location, strength, nor the 
name of its immediate commander, I must suppose that it is 
not under my orders. If the President will direct the con- 
centration of all the troops of North Carolina and Eastern 
Virginia, we may be able to hold Middle Virginia at least. 
If we permit ourselves to be driven beyond Richmond, we 
lose the means of maintaining this army. 

The enemy is now almost exactly between us and " The 
Army of the North." That army should, therefore, be 
drawn back to secure its communication with this one. 

A concentration of all our available forces may enable 
us to fight successfully. Let us try. 
Most respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 
(Signed) J. E. Johnston. 

General R. E. Lee. 

Headquarters, Department of Northern Virginia, ) 
May 19, 1862. \ 

Sir : Before taking command in the Peninsula I had the 
honor to express to the President my opinion of the defects 
of the position then occupied by our troops there. After 
taking command, I reported that the opinion previously ex- 
pressed was fully confirmed. 

1862.] APPENDIX. 487 

Some of my objections to the position were, that its 
length was too great for our force ; that it prevented offen- 
sive movements, except at great disadvantage ; and that it 
was untenable after the guns of Yorktown were silenced — a 
result admitted to be inevitable by all our officers — from the 
enemy's great superiority in artillery. York River being 
thus opened, a large fleet of transports and five or six hun- 
dred hatteaux would enable him to turn us in a few hours. 

It seemed to me that there were but two objects in re- 
maining in the Peninsula : the possibility of an advance upon 
us by the enemy ; and gaining time, in which arms might 
be received and troops organized. I determined, there- 
fore, to hold the position as long as it could be done with- 
out exposing our troops to the fire of the powerful artillery 
which, I doubted not, would be brought to bear upon them. 

I believed that, after silencing our batteries on York 
"River, the enemy would attempt to turn us by moving up to 
West Point by water. 

Circumstances indicating that the enemy's batteries were 
nearly ready, I directed the troops to move toward Williams- 
burg on the night of the 3d by the roads from Yorktown and 
Warwick Court-House. They were assembled about Wil- 
liamsburg by noon on the 4th, and were ordered to march 
by the road to Richmond, Major-General Magruder leading. 

Early in the afternoon the cavalry rear-guard on the 
Yorktown road was driven in, and rapidly followed by the 
enemy. Brigadier-General McLaws was sent with the bri- 
gades of Kershaw and Semmes to support the cavalry. He 
met the enemy near the line of little works constructed by 
Major-General Magruder's forethought, made his dispositions 
with prompt courage and skill, and quickly drove the Fed- 
eral troops from the field, in spite of disparity of numbers. 
I regret that no report of this handsome affair has been 
made by General McLaws. Major-General Magruder's. 
march was too late to permit that of Major-General Smith's 
the same afternoon. His division moved at daybreak on 
the 5th, in heavy rain and deep mud. 

About sunrise the rear-guard was again attacked. The 

488 APPENDIX. [Mat, 

action gradually increased in magnitude, until about three 
o'clock, when General Longstrcet, commanding the rear, 
requested that a part of General Hill's troops might be sent 
to his aid. Upon this I rode upon the field, but found my- 
self compelled to be a mere spectator ; for Longstreet's clear 
head and brave heart left me no apology for interference. 
For details of the action, see the accompanying reports. 

Our wounded, and many of those of the enemy, were 
placed in hospitals and residences in "Williamsburg. Major- 
General Smith's division reached Barhamsville, eighteen 
miles ; and Major-General Magruder's (commanded by Briga- 
dier-General D. R. Jones) the Diascund Bridge on the 
Chickahominy road on that clay. Those of Longstreet and 
Hill marched from Williamsburg, twelve miles, on the 6th. 
On that evening Major-General Smith reported that the 
enemy's troops were landing in force on the south side of 
York River, near "West Point. On the following morning 
the army was concentrated near Barhamsville. In the mean 
time it had been ascertained that the enemy occupied a thick 
and extensive wood between Barhamsville and their landing- 
place. Brigadier-General Whiting was directed by General 
Smith to dislodge him, which was handsomely done — the 
brigade of Hood, and part of that of Hampton, performed 
the service. You are respectfully referred, for details, to the 
accompanying reports. 

Want of means of subsistence compelled the army to 
move on toward Richmond ; the divisions of Smith and Ma- 
grader taking the road by New Kent Court-House, those of 
Longstreet and Hill that along the Chickahominy. On the 
evening of the 9th the army halted ; its left near the Cross- 
roads on the New Kent Court-House road, and its right 
near the Long Bridge. In this position the York River 
Railroad supplied us from Richmond. 

On the loth the attack upon the battery at Drury's 
Bluff by the enemy's gunboats suggested to me the neces- 
sity of so placing the army as to be prepared for the enemy's 
advance up the river or on the south side, as well as from 
the direction of West Point. We therefore crossed the 

1862.] APPENDIX. 439 

Chickakominy, to take a position six or seven miles from 
Richmond. That ground being unfavorable, the present po- 
sition was taken on the 17th. Had the enemy beaten us on 
the 5th, as he claims to have done, the army would have lost 
most of its baggage and artillery. We should have been 
pursued from "Williamsburg, and intercepted from West 
Point. Our troops engaged, leaving Williamsburg on the 
following morning, marched but twelve miles that day ; and 
the army on its march to the Cross-roads averaged less than 
ten miles a day. Had not the action of the 5th been, at the 
least, discouraging to the enemy, we would have been pur- 
sued on the road, and turned by way of West Point. About 
four hundred of our wounded were left in William sbure\ 
because they were not in condition to be moved. Nothing 
else was left which we had horses to draw away. Five 
pieces, found by the chief quartermaster at the Williamsburg 
wharf, were abandoned for want of horses and harness. In 
the three actions above mentioned our troops displayed high 
courage, and, on the march, endured privations and hard- 
ships with admirable cheerfulness. 

Most respectfully., 

Your obedient servant, 
(Signed) J. E. Johnston, General. 

General Coopee, Adjutant and Inspector-General. 

Headquarter?, Harrison's, ) 
May 20, 1862. \ 

General : I had the honor to write to you on Saturday, 
expressing the opinion that it is absolutely necessary that 
the Department of Henrico should be included in my com- 
mand. Having received no reply, I respectfully repeat the 
suggestion, and ask the President to have the proper orders 
in the case given. It is needless to remind either of you of 
the mischief inevitable from divided command. 
Most respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 
(Signed) J. E. Johnston. 

General Lee. 

490 APPEXDIX. [Mat, 


Headquarters, Harrison's, ) 
May 28, 18G2, 9 a.m. ) 

General : If McDowell is approaching, of wMeli there 
can be no doubt, we must fight very soon. Every man we 
have should be here. Major-General Holmes's troops should, 
therefore, be ordered to Richmond forthwith — they may be 
wanted to-morrow. I have more than once suggested a 
concentration here of all available forces. 
Most respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 
(Signed) J. E. Johnston. 

General Lee. 
I shall bring up Huger. 

Richmond, Virginia, ) 
November 24, 1862. ) 

General Cooper, 

Adjutant and Inspector-General. 

Sir : I had the honor, this afternoon, to receive Special 
Order No. 225, of this date. 

If I have been correctly informed, the forces which it 
places under my command are greatly inferior in number to 
those of the enemy's opposed to them, while in the Trans- 
Mississippi Department our army is very much larger than 
that of the United States. Our two armies on this side of 
the Mississippi have the further disadvantage of being sepa- 
rated by the Tennessee River and a Federal army (that of 
Major-Gen eral Grant), larger, probably, than either of 

Under such circumstances, it seems to me that our best 
course would be to fall upon Major-General Grant with the 
troops of Lieutenant-Generals Holmes and Pemberton united 
for the purpose — those of General Bragg cooperating, if 

The defeat of Major-General Grant would enable us to 
hold the Mississippi, and permit Lieutenant-Gen eral Holmes 

1862.] APPENDIX. 491 

to move into Missouri. As our troops are now distributed, 
Most respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

J. E. JonxsTON, General. 

Chattanooga, Tennessee, ) 
December 4, 1862. f 

General S. Coopee, 

Adjutant and Inspector-General. 

Snt : I have received, this morning, your telegram of 
yesterday, informing me that Lieutenant-General Pember- 
ton is falling back before a very superior force ; that Lieu- 
tenant-General Holmes has been "peremptorily ordered" 
to reenforce him ; but that, as General Holmes's troops may 
be too late, the President urges on me the importance of 
sending a sufficient force from General Bragg's command to 
the aid of Lieutenant-General Pemberton. 

Three railroad-accidents delayed my journey so much 
that I did not reach this place until after twelve last night. 
Consequently, your dispatch was delivered to-day too late for 
communication with General Bragg before to-morrow, when 
I shall visit his headquarters. 

I do not know General Pemberton's late positions. His 
march, I suppose, will be toward Yicksburg, where General 
Holmes's troops must cross the river. His movements, 
therefore, are facilitating the junction, while they daily ren- 
der that of General Bragg with him more difficult. The 
enemy, too, is exactly between the latter and himself. It 
seems to me, consequently, that the aid of General Holmes 
can better be relied on than that of General Bragg. 1, 
therefore, respectfully suggest that that officer be urged to 
the utmost expedition. 

Should the enemy get possession of Yicksburg, we can- 
not dislodge him. 

The Tennessee River is a formidable obstacle to the ex- 
peditious march of General Bragg's troops into Mississippi. 
He may, besides, be compelled to take a circuitous route. 

492 APPENDIX. [December, 

Of this, however, I am not fully informed. Nor have I 
learned the enemy's attitude in Tennessee. It is to be pre- 
sumed that all such information can be acquired at General 
Bragg's headquarters, which I shall reach to-morrow. 
Most respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

J. E. Johnston, General. 


Chattanooga, Tennessee, ) 
December 4, 1862. \ 

General Cooper, Eichmond, Virginia : 

The map convinces me that General Holmes's troops can 
reenforce sooner than General Bragg's. Urge him again to 
press his troops forward. I shall be with Bragg as soon as 
possible, which will be to-morrow. J. E. Johnston. 


Chattanooga, Tennessee, \ 
December 4, 1862. \ 

General Bragg, Murfreesboro : 

The enemy is advancing on General Pemberton, who is 
falling back. Can you delay the advance by throwing cav- 
alry on the enemy's rear ? I will join you to-morrow. 1 

J. E. Johnston. 

Murfreesboro, December 6, 18C2. 

General S. Coor-ER, Adjutant-General : 

General Eosecrans has an army of about sixty-five thou- 
sand men* in and around Nashville, and some thirty-five 
thousand distributed along the railroad to Louisville and in 

1 This dispatch was not received by General Bragg, who took the 
measure suggested, upon intelligence given him by Lieutenant-General 

Q These were General Bragg's figures. 

1862.] APPENDIX. 493 

Kentucky. General Bragg lias about forty-two thousand 
men, besides irregular cavalry, which in a few days will oc- 
cupy Eeadyville, this place, and Eagleville. They can cross 
the Tennessee only by ferrying, a very slow process, which 
Eosecrans would certainly interrupt. The movement to 
join General Pemberton would, by any route, require at 
least a month. From the information given me here, I be- 
lieve that the country between the Tennessee and General 
Pemberton could not support the trains our troops would 
require for a march through it. If I am right in this esti- 
mate, the President's object of a speedy reinforcement of 
the army in Mississippi, cannot be accomplished by sending 
troops from Tennessee. To send a strong force would be to 
give up Tennessee, and would, the principal officers here 
think, disorganize this army. Eosecrans could then move 
into Virginia, or join Grant, before our troops could reach 
Pemberton's position ; for the Tennessee is no obstacle to 
them. The passage of the Tennessee is so difficult and slow 
that we shall be unable to use the same troops on both sides 
of the river until next summer. Two thousand cavalry will 
be sent to break up the Louisville and Nashville Eailroad, 
and four thousand will be employed in the same way in 
"West Tennessee and Northern Mississippi. The latter 
may delay General Grant. 

Most respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

J. E. Johnston, General. 

Vicksburg, December 22, 1862. 

Mk. President : From such information as I have been 
able to obtain, I think that we shall require, to hold this de- 
partment and the Mississippi Eiver, an active army of about 
forty thousand men, to oppose the troops of Grant and 
Banks, and for garrisons at Yicksburg and Port Hudson, ca- 
pable of holding those places against combined attacks until 
succored by the active army. 

Major-General Smith has about five thousand nine Iran- 

494 APPENDIX. [December 

dred artillery and infantry for duty to defend a line of ten 
miles, exclusive of the position of Snyder's Mill, which re- 
quires three of his eight regiments. Should the enemy at- 
tack by land as well as by water, which is highly probable 
— almost certain — we would require at least eight more 
regiments of five or six hundred men each. 

I have not seen Port Hudson, but a map of the ground 
gives me the opinion that it requires a garrison as strong as 
that necessary here. It now amounts to about five thousand 
five hundred of all arms ; so that an addition of as many 
more will be required there — in all, eleven or twelve thou- 
sand men. For the active force we have now twenty- 
one thousand men near the Yallobusha. About nine thou- 
sand have been ordered to this department from Lieutenant- 
General Smith's, and it is supposed that an equal force is on 
its way from Arkansas. 

No more troops can be taken from General Bragg with- 
out the danger of enabling Eosecrans to move into Vir- 
ginia, or to reenforce Grant. Our great object is to hold 
the Mississippi. The country beyond the river is as much 
interested in that object as this ; and the loss to us of the 
Mississippi involves that of the country beyond it. The 
eight or ten thousand men which are essential to its safety 
ought, therefore, I respectfully suggest, to be taken from 
Arkansas ; to return after the crisis in this department. 

I firmly believe, however, that our true system of war- 
fare would be to concentrate the forces of the two depart- 
ments on this side of the Mississippi, beat the enemy here, 
and then reconquer the country beyond it which he might 
have gained in the mean time. 

I respectfully ask your Excellency's attention to the ac- 
companying letter of Major-General Smith in relation to 
the inadequacy of the garrison of Vicksburg, begging you 
to take his estimate of the force needed instead of mine, as 
his is based upon accurate calculation. 
Most respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

J. E. JonNSTON, General. 

1862.] APPENDIX. 495 

Jackson, January 2, 1863. 

Mk. President : General Pemberton continues to com- 
mand at Yicksburg. He has asked for all the troops liere, 
after being reenforced by Maury's division, in addition to 
those brigades agreed upon between us. The line of twelve 
miles to Snyder's Mills probably requires them all. I fear 
difficulty of subsisting them, however. A report just handed 
in by the inspecting officers shows that the supply of provi- 
sion is" much smaller than General Pemberton supposed. 
The place may be reduced, I fear, in consequence of this; or, 
should it be invested, we shall not have a sufficient force to 
break the investment. 

Grant is still on the Tallahatchie, so that the remainder 
of Loring's and Price's troops cannot be withdrawn from Gre- 
nada. From his halting I suppose he is repairing the rail- 
road. The force at Grenada (about eleven thousand effec- 
tives) is too weak to do more than delay the passage of the 
river by the enemy. My hope of keeping him back is in 
Yan Dorn, under whom I propose to unite all the available 
cavalry, when Forrest and Poddy can be found. 

Should Grant join Sherman at Yicksburg, it would be 
very embarrassing, for, as he could reach the place from 
Memphis as soon as we could learn whether he was embark- 
ing or moving along the railroad to Grenada, it could be in- 
vested by the combined armies. "We could not break the 
investment with eleven thousand men, but it would be ne- 
cessary to try. 

The necessity of holding the Yazoo, as well as Yicks- 
burg, employs a large force, too widely distributed to be in 
condition for the offensive. 

We have no news from Arkansas, which proves, I think, 
that we are to get no help from that side of the Mississippi. 

The Legislature has done nothing yet. 

We require about twenty thousand men, the number you 
have asked for from Arkansas, to make headway against 
both Grant and Sherman. "Will the great victory at Fred- 
ericksburg enable General Lee to spare a part of his force ? 

Should the enemy's forces be respectably handled, the 

49G APPENDIX. [January, 

task you have set me will be above my ability. But the 
hand of Almighty God has delivered us in times of great 
danger ! Believing that He is with us, I will not lose hope. 

Jackson, Jainiary 6, 18G3. 

Colonel B. S. Ewell, Chattanooga: 

Ascertain General Bragg's intentions, wants, and con- 
dition, compared with that of the enemy. Ask him for 
full information. The enemy did not follow. Can he not 
hold a part of the rich country northwest of the mountains 
and disturb the enemy's foraging with his cavalry ? If he 
wants Roddy, he must take him. 

J. E. 

Jackson, January 6, 1863. 

To the President, Richmond : 

Your dispatch of yesterday received. Enemy's troops 
and transports reported gone up the river from Milliken's 
Bend. We hear of no movement in this direction oy Gen- 
eral Holmes. Grant's forces are reported distributed at 
Memphis, Holly Springs, and Corinth. The country said to 
be impracticable. General Bragg reports he has been 
checked. I hear indirectly that he has withdrawn from 
Murfreesboro. Should he need help, and there appear no 
danger in Mississippi except by the river, could E. K. Smith's 
men return ? The impossibility of my knowing the condi- 
tion of things in Tennessee shows that I cannot' direct 
both parts of my command at once. I am hoping to hear 

J. E. Johnston, General. 

Jackson, January 7, 18G3. 

To the President, Bichmond : 

General Bragg telegraphs from Winchester that the 
enemy did not follow in force. I regret his falling back so 

1863.] APPENDIX. 497 

far. He wants twenty thousand more men to secure East 
Tennessee. Can any large part of it be furnished % E. K. 
Smith's troops here might be spared for a few weeks, unless 
Sherman reappears. One of Grant's divisions is at Hum- 
boldt. "Which is most valuable, Tennessee or the Mississippi % 

Jackson, Mississippi, January 6, 1863. 

To General Peiibeeton, Vicksburg : 

Please have a message sent across the river to learn if 
there are any movements from Arkansas connected with 
ours. J. E. Johnston, General. 

Jackson', Mississippi, January 7, 1863. 

To the Peesident, Richmond : 

The following dispatch was received from General M. L. 
Smith : "lam returning from Little Rock. No troops will 
be sent." 

Jackson, January 18, 1863. 

To the Peesident, Richmond : 

I am much relieved to find our troops are on the Duck 
River. Not at Decker ed. 

J. E. Johnston, General. 

Jackson, January 9, 1863. 

To the Peesident, Richmond, Yirginia : 

Colonel Ewell informs me, from Chattanooga, that on the 
31st General Bragg had thirty -five thousand, including 
"Wharton's cavalry. Lost nine thousand — three thousand 
sick since from exposure. "We have not force enough here 
if the enemy is vigorous. Prisoners tell General Bragg of 
Federal reinforcements from West Tennessee. 

J. E Johnston, General. 

498 APPENDIX. [Januaey, 

Jackson, January 11, 1SG3. 

Licutenant-General Pembekton, Port Hudson : 

I want to combine a cavalry expedition in the two de- 
partments. Please assign General Yan Dorn to the same 
cavalry, with instructions to report to me. 

J. E. Johnston, General. 

Jackson, January 11, 1SC3. 

General Beagg, Tullahoma : 

One of Yan Dorn's great objects will be to cover your 
left, by preventing Federal troops from going from "West to 
Middle Tennessee. Eoddy will contribute far more to this 
object under Yan Dorn, than separate. This is the only 
pressure possible by the troops in Mississippi. Please order 
Roddy to report to Yan Dorn. Grant is reported to intend 
to repair the railroad to Corinth : 

J. E. Johnston, General. 

Jackson, Mississippi, ) 
January 11, 1863. \ 

Lieutenant-General Pembeeton, Port Gibson. 

The object of the expedition under Yan Dorn will be to 
interrupt any movement into Mississippi or Middle Tennes- 
see. J. E. Johnston, General. 

Jackson, Mississippi, ) 
January 12, 1863. f 

General S. Cooper, Richmond. 

Sm: General Bragg thinks twenty thousand more men 
necessary to enable him to hold Middle Tennessee. Lieu- 
tenant-General Smith's force in East Tennessee is not more 
than sufficient to prevent raids. 

Lieutenant-General Pemberton informs me that there 
are forty-two thousand artillery and infantry in this depart- 
ment ; of which he regards twenty-four thousand as abso- 
lutely necessary for the immediate defense of Port Hud- 
son and Yicksburg. Grant's army is estimated at thirty- 
eight thousand; that which attacked Yicksburg at thirty 

1863.] APPENDIX. 499 

thousand; and Banks is supposed to be assembling twenty- 
five thousand at Baton Eouge. Should a large portion of 
these forces act upon this river, they may invest our two 
positions, which would fall in the course of time, unless we 
have an active army to break the investment. 

The condition of the country and the breaking of rail- 
roads by our cavalry have compelled Grant to fall back, but 
we must expect him to advance again as soon as practicable. 
Should Banks and Sherman move at the same time, we 
could not oppose such a combination with our present 

The country will probably be in its present condition 
for several months. In the mean time Grant may reenforce 

I make these statements to show how much these three 
departments need reinforcements, and to ask if there is 
any. J. E. Johnston - , General. 

Richmond, Virginia, ) 
January 22, 1863. \ 

General J. E. Johnston, Chattanooga. 

General : As announced in my telegram, I address this 
letter to you to explain the purpose for which I desire yon 
to proceed promptly to the headquarters of General Bragg's 
army. The events connected with the late battle at Mur- 
freesboro', and retreat from that place, have led to criticisms 
upon the conduct of General Bragg which induced him to 
call upon the commanders of corps for an expression of 
opinion, and for information as to the feeling in their com- 
mands in regard to the conduct of General Bragg. And 
also whether he had so far lost the confidence of the army 
as to impair his usefulness in his present position. The an- 
swers I am informed have been but partially given ; but are, 
so far, indicative of a want of confidence, such as is essential 
for success. Why General Bragg should have selected that 
tribunal and invited its judgment upon him is to me unex- 
plained. It manifests, however, a condition of things which 
seems to me to require your presence. The enemy is said 

500 APPENDIX. [February, 

to be preparing to advance and, though my confidence in 
General Bragg is unshaken, it cannot be doubted that, if he 
is distrusted by his officers and troops, a disaster may result, 
which but for that cause would have been avoided. You 
will, I trust, be able, by conversation with General Bragg 
and others of his command, to decide what the best inter- 
ests of the service require, and to give me the advice which 
I need at this juncture. As that army is a part of your 
command, no order will be necessary to give you authority 
there ; as, whether present or absent, you have a right to di- 
rect its operations, and do whatever else belongs to the gen- 
eral commanding. 

Very respectfully and truly yours, 

Jefferson Davis. 

Tullahoma, February 2, 1863. 

Hon J. A. Seddon, Secretary of War, Richmond : 

I have just read the report of furloughs and discharges 
at Atlanta — from General Bragg's troops alone, sixty-six dis- 
charges, fourteen hundred and eighty-one furloughs in three 
months preceding January 14th — and respectfully repeat 
my recommendation that Article 4, General Orders No. 72, 
be revoked because it is draining the army. 

J. E. Johnston, General. 

Tullahoma, February 3, 1863. 

Mr. President : Your telegram ordering me to General 
Bragg's headquarters was received in Mobile, when I was on 
my way to them. Your letter of January 22d reached me 
here on the 30th. I have spoken to General Bragg, Lieu- 
tenant-Generals Polk and Hardee, and Governor Harris, on 
the subject of your letter. ... I respectfully suggest that, 
should it then appear to you necessary to remove General 
Bragg, no one in this army, or engaged in this investigation, 
ought to be his successor. 

Most respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

J. E. Johnston, General. 

1863.] APPENDIX. 501 

Tullahoma, February 12, 1863. 

Major-General Eosecbans, United States Army. 

General : I have had the honor to receive your letters 
of the 18th and 19th ultimo, addressed to me, as I under- 
stand, because you find yourself compelled, by a sense of 
duty to humanity, to decline communicating with General 
Bragg by flag of truce, etc. Being unable to perceive how 
the interests of humanity are to be promoted by the sus- 
pension of correspondence between the commanders of 
opposite armies, I very much regret your determination. 
The more so, because it is not in my power to reestablish 
that correspondence. General Bragg is the commander-in- 
chief of the Army of Tennessee, not I. One of his func- 
tions as such is, of course, the conducting of such corre- 
spondence as you propose to hold with me. I can assume 
none of the duties or privileges of the position in which our 
common superior, the President of the Confederacy, placed 
him. I gladly avail myself of this opportunity to express to 
you my appreciation of your humanity exhibited in the case 
of our wounded who fell into your hands at Murfreesboro'. 
Most respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

J. E. Johnston, General. 

Tullahoma, February 12, 1863. 

Mk. President : ... In Mississippi every thing depends 
upon the result of the labor opposite to Yicksburg. If 
Grant should succeed in making a navigable canal, and 
through it pass Yicksburg and invest Port Hudson with the 
combined armies, it would be difficult for us to succor the 
place. Indeed, we have not the means of forming a re- 
lieving army. General Pemberton is not communicative. 
I am told, however, that he is confident that the canal can- 
not be made. It seems to me to depend upon the condition 
of the river, whether or not it is too high for work with 

502 APPENDIX. [February, 

I have been told by Lieutenant-Generals Polk and Har- 
dee that they have advised you to remove General Bragg 
and place me. in command of this army. I am sure that 
you will agree with me that the part that I have borne in 
this investigation would render it inconsistent with my per- 
sonal honor to occupy that position. I believe, however, 
that the interests of the service require that General Bragg 
should not be removed. 

Most respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

J. E. Johnston, General. 

Chattanooga, February 26, 1863. 

Major-General Van Dokn. 

General : Your letter of the 22d inst. is just received. 
My first object in bringing you into Middle Tennessee was 
to enable you to take part in a battle in the event of the 
advance of the Federal army. The second, that you might 
operate upon his line of communication previous to his 
moving from Murfreesboro', and up to he time of engage- 
ment ; or, if it should appear to be expedient— battle being 
unlikely — that you might move into Kentucky, or farther. 

The movement in General Bragg's theatre of operations 
will be, necessarily, under his control. Those from it and 
beyond it, I will at least inaugurate. 

There should be no attack upon Franklin until full in- 
formation is obtained of the enemy's strength. If expedi- 
ent, it will require a considerable addition to your force. I 
hope to be able to visit you very soon. 
Most respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

Chattanooga, February 25, 1S63. 

Hon. J. A. Seddon, Secretary of War, Richmond : 

General Bragg reports reinforcements continue to reach 
Nashville. Major-General Cox arrived last week with a 

1863.] APPENDIX. 503 

division from "West Yirginia, and Major-General Sigel is 
just in with more troops. Should not our troops in "West 
Virginia follow the movement of the Federals ? It seems 

J. E. Johnston, General. 

Mobile, March 12, 1863. 

Hon. J. A. Seddon : 

I received your dispatch ordering me to Tullahoma here 
on my way to Mississippi. Shall return as soon as I can. 

J. E. Johnston, General. 

Mobile, March 12, 1863. 

Hon. J. A. Seddon : 

There are no resources under my control to meet the 
advance you refer to. On the contrary, I have repeatedly 
asked for reinforcements for all the departments you men- 
tion. As the enemy has certainly sent troops from Virginia 
to Middle Tennessee, we ought to do the same without de- 
lay. Troops will not be likely to move from Corinth until 
Eosecrans advances. 

J. E. Johnston, General. 

Mobile, March 12, 1863. 

Hon. J. A. Seddon, Secretary of War. 

Sm : I have had the honor to receive here, being on my 
way to Lieutenant-General Pemberton's headquarters, two 
dispatches (telegraphic) from you, by way of Chattanooga, 
to which I have briefly replied by telegraph. 

The second asks if I have any resources under my con- 
trol to meet the advance from Corinth, reported by Lieu- 
tenant-General Pemberton; if troops can be spared from 
Mobile or Mississippi, or from Middle Tennessee, for the 
purpose — if Yan Dorn's cavalry, at least, might not return. 

504 APPENDIX. [Maech, 

The infantry for defense on the land-side of Mobile, 
amounts to but twenty-five hundred. 

I reported to the President in December that nearly 
twenty thousand additional troops were required in Missis- 
sippi. Since then, Grant's army has been heavily reen- 
forced. Allow me to remind you, also, of what I have said 
of the length of time necessary for the transfer of troops, in 
any considerable number, from Mississippi to Tennessee. 
Those two departments are more distant from each other in 
time than Eastern Virginia and Middle Tennessee. 

In relation to detaching from General Bragg's army, 
permit me to remind you that I have been, for the last two 
months, asking the department to strengthen it, and repre- 
senting it as too weak to oppose the powerful army in front 
of it with confidence. On that account, Major-General 
Yan Dorn's cavalry was added to it. Dividing that army 
might be fatal to it. 

Major-General Jones reported some time ago that the 
enemy was sending troops from the Kanawah Yalley. Soon 
after, our friends about Nashville informed General Bragg 
that Major-General Cox had arrived with his division from 
Western Virginia, and a little later that Major-General Sie- 
gel's division had also joined Rosecrans. I therefore sug- 
gested that the troops which had been opposed to those in 
Virginia should be sent to General Bragg without delay. 
Allow me to repeat that suggestion. 
Most respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

J. E. Johnston, General. 

Tullahoma, March 19, 1863. 

Hon. J. A. Seddon, Secretary of War, Eichmond : 

On account of Mrs. Bragg's critical condition, I shall not 
now give the order for which I came. The country is be- 
coming practicable. Should the enemy advance, General 
Bragg will be indispensable here. 

J. E. Johnston, General. 

1863.] APPENDIX. 505 

Tullahoma, March 28, 1863. 

Mk. President : I have had the honor to receive your 
letter of the 20th, and with it a copy of your telegram of 
the 16th. I fear that my reply to the latter did not express 
my meaning, from my anxiety to be hrief. 

At Mobile, in Mississippi, and in Middle Tennessee, we 
cannot foresee attack long enough beforehand to be able to 
reenforce the threatened army from either of the others. 
At the first two, the enemy's appearance may, and probably 
would be the first indication of his intention to attack. In 
Middle Tennessee, after he begins to advance, his march 
may be so delayed as to give us three or four days, but in 
that time troops could be drawn from East Tennessee only, 
and that department could furnish but a small force. The 
transportation of eight or ten thousand infantry (without 
their wagons) from Jackson to Tullahoma, would require 
more than three weeks. The wagons and horses would re- 
quire five. I think, therefore, that it is not practicable to 
strengthen this army by drawing to it "for temporary use" 
a portion of the troops of Mississippi or Mobile. At the 
latter, besides the garrisons of the forts and batteries for wa- 
ter-defense, General Buckner has but three thousand infan- 
try to hold the land-side. 

Most respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

J. E. Johnston. 

Tullahoma, April 5, 1863. 

Lieutenant-General PEMnERTON : 

Tour dispatch of the 3d received. If you discover that 
the enemy reenforces Eosecrans, let Stevenson's troops, or 
an equal number, come here immediately. . . . 

J. E. Johnston. 

50G APPENDIX. [Mat, 

Tullatioxia, April 18, 1863. 

Brigadier-General Jackson, Chattanooga : 

Stop all troops from the Department of Mississippi nntil 
General Bnford receives General Pemberton's orders. Do 
it at Atlanta, as well as Chattanooga. 

J. E. Johnston, General. 

Jackson, May 13, 1863. 

Hon. J. A. Seddon, Richmond : 

I arrived this evening, finding the enemy in force be- 
tween this place and General Pemberton, cutting off the 
communication. I am too late. 

J. E. Johnston, General. 

Jackson, May 13, 1863. 

Lieutcnant-General Pembekton : 

I have lately arrived, and learn that Major-General Sher- 
man is between us, with four divisions, at Clinton. It is 
important to reestablish communication that you may be re- 
enforced. If practicable, come up on his rear at once. To 
beat such a detachment would be of immediate value ; the 
troops here could cooperate. 

All the strength you can quickly assemble should be 
brought. Time is all-important. 

Your obedient servant, 

J. E. Johnston, General. 

War Department, May 27, 1863. 

General J. E. Johnston, Commanding, etc. 

Geneeal: Brigadier-General G. J. Rains having been 
detailed for duty in connection with torpedoes and sub-terra 
shells, has been ordered to report to you. 

The President has confidence in his inventions, and is 
desirous that they should be employed both on land and 
river, if opportunity offers, both at Yieksburg and its vicin- 
ity. Should communications allow, you are desired to send 

1863.] APPENDIX. 597 

him there ; but if otherwise, to employ hiin in his devices 
against the enemy, where most assailable in that way, else- 
where. All reasonable facilities in the supply of men or 
material for the fair trial of his torpedoes or shells, are re- 
quested on your part. Such means of offense against the 
enemy are approved and recognized by the Department as 
legitimate weapons of warfare. 

"With high esteem, 

Yery truly yours, 

James A. Seddon, 

Secretary of War. 

Canton, May 31, 1«863. 

Lieutenant-Gen eral E. Kikbt Smith, 

Commanding Trans-Mississippi Department : 
Port Hudson is invested by Major-General Banks, Yicks- 
burg by Major-General Grant. I am preparing to aid Yicks- 
burg, but cannot march to Port Hudson without exposing 
my little army to destruction. If you can do any thing to 
succor Port Hudson, I beg you to do it. 
Yery respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

J. E. Johnston, Ge7ierah 

Canton, May 31, 18G3. 

His Excellency the President, Richmond : 

Your dispatch of 30th received. By official returns, 
troops near Canton, including Gist's and Walker's brigades 
of Beauregard's army, Ector's and McNair's of Bragg's, and 
Gregg's of Pemberton's, have effective nine thousand four 
hundred. Troops near Jackson, including Boring's division 
and Maxey's brigade of Pemberton's troops, and Evans's 
of Beauregard's, have effective seven thousand eight hun- 
dred. Major-General Breckenriclge reports to-day five thou- 
sand eight hundred. Brigadier-General Jackson's cavalry, 
numbering about sixteen hundred when I was in Tennessee, 
not included, nor five field-batteries, probably four hundred. 

508 APPENDIX. [Jusb, 

General Cooper informs me that no other reinforcements 
have been ordered to tins department. Major - General 
Gardner is invested in Port Hudson. 

J. E. Johnston, General. 

Canton, June 5, 1863. 

Hon. J. A. Seddon. 

Dear Sir : I thank you cordially for your kind letter of 
May 25th, but almost regret that you feel such confidence in 
me as is expressed in it. From the present condition of 
affairs, I fear that confidence dooms you to disappointment. 
Every day gives some new intelligence of the enemy's 
strength, and of reinforcements on the way to him. My 
first intention on learning that Lieutenant-General Pember- 
ton was in Vicksburg was to form an army to succor him. 
I suppose from my telegraphic correspondence with the Gov- 
ernment that all the troops to be hoped for have arrived. 
Our resources seem so small, and those of the enemy so 
great, that the relief of Vicksburg is beginning to appear 
impossible to me. Pemberton will undoubtedly make a 
gallant and obstinate defense, and hold out as long as he 
can make resistance. But unless we assemble a force strong 
enough to break Grant's line of investment, the surrender 
of the place will be a mere question of time. General 
Grant is receiving reinforcements almost daily. His force, 
according to the best information to be had, is more than 
treble that which I command. Our scouts say, too, that he 
has constructed lines of circumvallation, and has blocked up 
all roads leading to his position. 

The enterprise of forcing the enemy's lines would be a 
difficult one to a force double that at my disposal. If you 
are unable to increase that force decidedly, I must try to 
accomplish something in aid of the besieged garrison ; and 
yet, when considering it, it seems to me desperate. 

Tour suggestion to General Kirby Smith was promptly 
dispatched to him. I have no doubt that the time is favor- 
able for attacking Helena. 

In replying by telegraph to your letters and telegrams, I 

1863.] APPENDIX. 599 

have said that, if you can increase the army, it should be 
done ; if you cannot, nothing is left for us but to struggle 
manfully with such means as the Government can furnish. 

I beg you to consider, in connection with affairs in this 
department, that I had not only to organize, but to provide 
means of transportation and supplies of all sorts for an 
army. The artillery is not yet equipped. All of Lieu- 
tenant-Gen eral Pemberton's supplies were, of course, with 
his troops about Yicksburg and Port Hudson. 

I found myself, therefore, without subsistence, stores, 
ammunition, or the means of conveying those indispensa- 
bles. It has proved more difficult to collect wagons and 
provisions than I had expected. We have not yet the 
means of operating for more than four days away from the 
railroads. That to Yicksburg is destroyed. 

We draw our provisions from the northern part of the 
State. The protection of that country employs about twen- 
ty-five hundred irregular cavalry. It is much too small. I 
am endeavoring to increase it by calling for volunteers, but 
am by no means sanguine as to the result. 
Most respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

J. E. Johnston, General. 

Richmond, Virginia, June 5, 1863. 

General J. E. Johnston : 

I regret my inability to promise more troops, as we have 
drained resources, even to the danger of several points. 
You know best concerning General Bragg's army, but I fear 
to withdraw more. We are too far outnumbered in Yir- 
ginia to spare any. You must rely on what you have, and 
the irregular forces Mississippi can afford. Your judgment 
and skill are fully relied on, but I venture the suggestion 
that, to relieve Yicksburg, speedy action is essential. With 
the facilities and resources of the enemy, time works against 
us. (Signed) J. A. Seddon, 

Secretary of War. 

510 APPENDIX. [June, 

Richmond, June 8, 1863. 

General J. E. Johnston : 

General was believed to be peculiarly acceptable to 

his brigade. "What is the objection ? Do you advise more 
reinforcements from General Bragg? You, as commandant 
of the department, have the power so to order, if yon, in 
view of the whole case, so determine. We cannot send from 
Virginia or elsewhere, for we stand already not one to two. 
(Signed) J. A. Seddon, 

Secretary of War. 

Jackson, June 10, 1863. 

Hon. J. A. Seddon, Secretary of "War: 

Your dispatch of June 8th, in cipher, received. You do 
not give orders in regard to the recently-appointed general 
officers. I have not at my command half the number of 
troops necessary. It is for the Government to determine 
what department, if any, can furnish the troops required. 
I cannot know here General Bragg's wants compared with 
mine. The Government can make such comparisons. Your 
dispatch is imperfectly deciphered. J. E. Johnston. 

Jackson, June 12, 1863. 

Hon. J. A. Seddon, Secretary of "War : 

Your dispatch of the 8th imperfectly deciphered and par- 
tially answered on the 10th. I have not considered myself 
commanding in Tennessee since assignment here ; and 
should not have felt authorized to take troops from that de- 
partment after having been informed by the Executive that 
no more could be spared. To take from Bragg a force that 
would make this army fit to oppose Grant's would involve 
yielding Tennessee. It is for the Government to decide be- 
tween this State and Tennessee. 

(Signed) J. E. Johnston. 

1863.] APPENDIX. 511 

Jackson, June 15, 18G3. 

Hon. J. A. Seddon, Secretary of "War : 

Tour repeated dispatch of the 8th is deciphered. I can- 
not advise in regard to the points from which troops can 
best be taken, having no means of knowing. !Nor is it for 
me to judge which it is best to yield, Mississippi or Tennes- 
see. That is for the Government to determine. Without 
some great blunder by the enemy, we cannot hold both. 
The odds against me are much greater than those you ex- 
press. I consider saving Yicksburg hopeless. 

(Signed) J. E. Johnston. 

Richmond, June 15, 1863. 

General J. E. Johnston : 

Your dispatch of the 12th instant, to the Secretary of 
War, noted. The order to go to Mississippi did not dimin- 
ish your authority in Tennessee, both being in the country 
placed under your command in original assignment. To 
what do you refer as information from me restricting your 
authority to transfer troops because no more could be spared % 
Officers ordered to you for duty generally are, of course, 
subject to assignment by you. Jefferson Davis. 

Jackson, June 16, 1863. 

To his Excellency the President : 

Your dispatch of 15th received. I meant to tell the 
Secretary of War that I considered the order directing me 
to command here as limiting my authority to this depart- 
ment, especially as that order was accompanied by War De- 
partment orders transferring troops from Tennessee to Mis- 
sissippi. And, whether commanding there or not, that 
your reply to my application for more troops, that none 
could be spared, would have made it improper for me to 
order more troops from Tennessee. Permit me to repeat 
that an officer having a task like mine, far above his ability, 

512 APPENDIX. [Junk, 

cannot, in addition, command other remote departments. 
No general can command separate armies. 

I Lave not yet been able to procure the means of moving 
these troops. They are too weak to accomplish much. The 
reinforcements you mention have joined Grant. 

(Signed) J. E. Johnston. 

Richmond, June 17, 1863. 

General J. E. Johnston: 

I do not find in my letter-book any communication to 
you containing the expression which you again attribute to 
me, and cite as a restriction on you against withdrawing 
troops from Tennessee, and have to repeat my inquiry, To 
what do you refer ? Give date of dispatch or letter. 

(Signed) Jefferson Davis. 

Jackson, June 20, 1863. 

To his Excellency the President : 

I much regret the carelessness of my reply of the 16th 
to your telegram of the 15th. In my dispatch of the 12th, 
to the Secretary of War, I referred to your words, " We 
have withheld nothing which it was practicable to give," in 
your telegram of May 28th, and to the telegram of June 
5th, 1 except the last sentence. I considered Executive as in- 
cluding the Secretary of War. J. E. Johnston. 

War Department, June 16, 1863. 

General J. E. Johnston: 

Your telegram a grieves and alarms me. Yicksburg must 
not be lost without a desperate struggle. The interest and 
honor of the Confederacy forbid it. I rely on you still to 
avert the loss. If better resources do not offer, you must 
hazard attack. It may be made in concert with the garri- 
son, if practicable, but otherwise without, by day or night, 
as you think best. James A. Seddon, 

Secretary of War. 

1 From the Secretary of War. 3 That of June 15th. 

1863.] APPENDIX. 513 

Jackson, June 19, 1863. 

Hon. J. A. Seddon: 

Dispatch of 16th received. I think that you do not ap- 
preciate the difficulties in the course you direct, nor the 
probabilities in consequence of failure. Grant's position, 
naturally very strong, is intrenched, and protected by pow- 
erful artillery ; and the roads are obstructed. His rein- 
forcements have been at least equal to my whole force. The 
Big Black covers him from attack, and would cut off our re- 
treat if defeated. We cannot combine operations with Gen- 
eral Pemberton, from uncertain and slow communication. 
The defeat of this little army would at once open Mississippi 
and Alabama to Grant. I will do all I can, without hope 
of doing more than aid to extricate the garrison. 

J. E. JonNSTON. 

Richmond, June 21, 1863. 

General J. E/ Johnston: 

Yours of the 19th received. Consequences are realized, 
and difficulties are recognized as very great ; but still think, 
other means failing, the course recommended should be haz- 
arded. The aim, in my judgment, justifies any risk, and all 
probable consequences. James A. Seddon, 

Secretary of War. 

Richmond, June 21, 1863. 

General J. E. Johnston : 

Only my conviction (of almost imperative necessity for 
action) induces the official dispatch I have just sent you. 
On every ground I have great deference to your superior 
knowledge of the position, your judgment and military 
genius ; but I feel it right to share, if need be to take, the 
responsibility, and leave you free to follow the most des- 
perate course the occasion may demand. Bely upon it, the 
eyes and hopes of the whole Confederacy are upon you, with 
the full confidence that you will act, and with the sentiment 
that it were better to fail, nobly daring, than, through pru- 

514 APPENDIX. [June, 

dence even, to be inactive. I look to attack in last resort, 
but rely on your resources of generalship to suggest less 
desperate modes of relief. I can scarce dare to suggest, but 
might it not be possible to strike Banks first, and unite the 
garrison of Port Hudson with you, or to secure sufficient 
cooperation from General Smith, or to practically besiege 
Grant by operations with artillery from the swamps, now 
dry, on the north side of the Yazoo, below Haynes's Bluff? 
I rely on you for all possible means to save Yicksburg. 

J. A. Seddon. 

Canton, June 24, 1863. 

Hon. J. A. Seddon : 

Your two dispatches of 21st received. There has been 
no voluntary inaction. "When I came, all military materials 
of the department were in Yicksburg and Port Hudson. 
Artillery had to be brought from the East — horses for it, and 
all field transportation, procured in an exhausted country ; 
much from Georgia, and brought over wretched railroads, 
and provision collected. I have not had the means of mov- 
ing. We cannot contend with the enemy north of the Ya- 
zoo. He can place a large force there in a few hours ; we, a 
small one in ten or twelve days. We cannot relieve Port 
Hudson without giving up Jackson, by which we should 
lose Mississippi. ... J. E. Johnston. 

Richmond, June 30, 1863. 

General J. E. Johnston : 

After full examination of all the correspondence between 
you and myself and the War-Office, including the dispatches 
referred to in your telegram of the 20th instant, I am still 
at a loss to account for your strange error in stating to the 
Secretary of War that your right to draw reenforccments 
from Bragg's army had been restricted by the Executive, or 
that your command over the Army of Tennessee had been 

Jefferson Davis. 

1863.] APPENDIX. 51 5 

Camp on Canet Creek, ) 
July 5, 1863. )" 

To his Excellency the Pkesident : 

Your dispatch of June 30th received. I considered my as- 
signment to the immediate command in Mississippi as giving 
me a new position, and limiting my authority to this depart- 
ment. The orders of the War Department transferring three 
separate bodies of troops from General Bragg' s army to this, 
two of them without my knowledge, and all of them with- 
out consulting me, would have convinced me, had I doubted. 
These orders of the "War Department expressed its judgment 
of the number of troops to be transferred from Tennessee. 
I could no more control this judgment by increasing the 
number, than by forbidding the transfers. I regret very 
much that an impression which seemed to me to be natural, 
should be regarded by you as a " strange error." 

J. E. Johnston. 

Richmond, July 9, 1863. 

General J. E. Johnston : 

Your dispatch of the 5th instant received. The mistakes 
it contains will be noticed by letter. Your dispatch of the 
7th instant to the Secretary of War, announcing the disas- 
trous termination of the siege of Yicksburg, received the 
same day. 

Painfully anxious as to the result, I have remained with- 
out information from you as to any plans proposed or at- 
tempted to raise the siege. Equally uninformed as to your 
plans in relation to Port Hudson. I have to request such 
information in relation thereto as the Government has a 
right to expect from one of- its commanding generals in the 
field. Jefferson Davis. 

Jackson, July 9, 1863. 

To his Excellency the Pkesident : 

Your dispatch of to-day received. I have never meant 
to fail in the duty of reporting to the Executive whatever 

516 APPENDIX. [1803. 

might interest it in my command. I informed the Secretary 
of War that my force was much too weak to attempt to 
raise the siege of Vicksburg, and that to attempt to relieve 
Port Hudson would be to give up Mississippi, as it would 
involve the loss of this point, and that want of adequate 
means of transportation kept me inactive until the end of 
June. I then moved toward Vicksburg to attempt to extri- 
cate the garrison, but could not devise a plan until after re- 
connoitring, for which I was too late. "Without General 
Pemberton's cooperation, any attempt must have resulted in 

The slowness and difficulty of communication rendered 
cooperation next to impossible. J. E. Johnston. 

Extract from Lieutenant- General Pemberton's Report of the 
Battles of Port Gibson, Baker's Creek, and the Siege of 

Headquarters, Gainesville, Alabama, ) 
August 2, 1863. \ 

General S.. Cooper, 

Adjutant and Inspector-General, Richmond, Ya. : 

On the 30th of April I received the first information of 
the landing of the enemy on the east bank of the Mississippi 
Eiver. General Bowen reported by telegraph that three 
thousand (3,000) Federal troops were at Bethel Church, ten 
miles from Port Gibson, at three o'clock on the morning of 
the 29th, and that they were still landing at Bruinsburg. 
Brigadier -General Tracey, of Stevenson's division, had 
reached Grand Gulf with his brigade on the 30th. Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Brown, of the Twentieth Mississippi, with 
fifty mounted men of his regiment, left Jackson for the same 
place on the 29th ;. and Major J. D. Bradford, a good artil- 
lery-officer, was sent to replace the lamented Colonel Wade 
as chief of artillery. 

Between twelve and two o'clock p.m., on the 30th, 
Brio-adier-General Baldwin, with his brigade of Smith's di- 
vision, had crossed the Big Black at Hankinson's Ferry. At 

1863.] APPENDIX. 517 

nine o'clock a. m., May 1st, General Bowen informed me by 
telegraph, his army being then in position three miles south 
of Port Gibson, that General Baldwin was entering the 
latter place. On the same day, General Bowen telegraphed 
me that prisoners taken reported McClernand in command ; 
that three divisions had landed, one of which took the 
right-hand road from Rodney, and that the enemy's force 
was estimated at twenty thousand men. He added, how- 
ever, " I disbelieve the report." At three p. m., the same 
day, General Bowen advised me that he still held his posi- 
tion, but that he was hard pressed, and concluded by asking 
when Major-General Loring would arrive. In reply, he was 
notified by telegram that another brigade from Yicksburg 
was en route to reenforce him, and would probably reach 
him before Major-General Loring could arrive from Jack- 
son. At half-past five p. m., he informed me that he was 
falling back across the Bayou Pierre, and that he would 
endeavor to hold that position until the arrival of reenforce- 
ments. On reaching Eocky Springs, about eighteen miles 
from Grand Gulf, Major-General Loring, learning that Brig- 
adier-General Bowen had fallen back before a large force, 
from Port Gibson, in the direction of Grand Gulf, directed 
two regiments and a field-battery of Tilghman's brigade, 
which had been withdrawn from the Big Black Bridge, to 
move as rapidly as possible to Grindstone Ford, and hold it 
at all hazards, to prevent the enemy from flanking Bowen 
in that direction, and then proceeded himself to the head- 
quarters of General Bowen, near Grand Gulf. Major-Gen- 
eral Loring concurring with General Bowen as to the im- 
practicability of holding his position with so small a force, 
directed its withdrawal across Big Black, at Hankinson's 

In his official report, Major-General Loring says : " This 
had hardly been determined upon, when your communica- 
tion was received, stating that the enemy Had fallen back 
toward Grand Gulf, and ordering it to move at once out of 
its position, and to cross the Big Black at Hankinson's 
Ferry." The movement was promptly carried out. Previ- 

518 APPENDIX. [18G3. 

ous to crossing the river, however, Colonel A. W. Reynolds's 
brigade, of Stevenson's division, had arrived. jSTot having 
heard from General Bowen after half-past five P. m., on the 
1st instant, I dispatched him, via Rocky Springs, on the 
murning of the 2d, as follows : 

" If you are holding your position on the Bayou Pierre, 
and your communication is open by the Big Black to this 
place, continue to hold it. I am informed that you have 
fallen back to Grand Gulf ; if this is so, carry out my in- 
structions just sent in cipher." 

These instructions were, in case he had fallen back to 
Grand Gulf, which is a cul-de-sac, to destroy his heavy guns 
and such stores as could not be transported, and endeavor to 
retire across the Big Black. The last brigade of Major- 
General Stevenson's division, w T hich had been hurried for- 
ward to reenforce Bowen, with the hope of enabling him to 
hold his position on the Bayou Pierre, or, in case he should 
be compelled to fall back, to protect his retreat, had not all 
arrived when the retiring column under Major-General 
Loring commenced crossing the Big Black at Hankinson's 

For the details of the battle at Port Gibson, the list of 
casualties, etc., I beg to refer to the official report of Briga- 
dier-General Bowen, and the reports of his subordinate com- 
manders, which I have the honor to transmit herewith, as 
also the report of Major-General Loring, who commanded 
the retreat after the column had been put in motion by 
Brigadier - General Bowen. Among the slain whom the 
country deplores, I regret to mention Brigadier-General E. 
D. Tracy, a brave and skillful officer, who fell, where it is 
the soldier's pride to fall, at the post of duty and of danger. 

Though disastrous in its results, the bloody encounter in 
front of Port Gibson nobly illustrated the valor and constancy 
of our troops, and shed additional lustre upon the Confederate 
arms. Confronted by overwhelming numbers, the heroic 
Bowen and his gallant officers and men maintained the un- 

1863.] APPENDIX. 51 9 

equal contest for many hours, with a courage and obstinacy 
rarely equaled ; and, though they failed to secure a victory, 
the world will do them the justice to say they deserved it. 

With, a moderate cavalry force at my disposal, 1 am 
firmly convinced that the Federal army under General 
Grant would have been unable to maintain its communica- 
tions with the Mississippi River, and that the attempt to 
reach Jackson and Vicksburg from that base would have 
been as signally defeated in May, 1863, as a like attempt, 
from another base, had, by the employment of cavalry, been 
defeated in December, 1862. The repulse of General Bowen 
at Port Gibson, and our consequent withdrawal to the north 
bank of the Big Black, rendered it necessary that I should, 
as rapidly as possible, concentrate my whole force for the 
defense of Yicksburg from an attack in the rear by Grant's 
army, which was hourly swelling its numbers. Orders, 
therefore, were immediately transmitted to the officers in 
command at Granada, Columbus, and Jackson, to move all 
available forces to Yicksburg as rapidly as possible. On 
the morning of the 3d, two of the enemy's barges, loaded 
with hospital and commissary stores, were destroyed in at- 
tempting to pass the batteries at Yicksburg. On the 5th, 
I telegraphed General Johnston that six thousand cavalry 
should be used to keep my communications open, and that 
the enemy advancing on me was double what I could bring 
into the field. To the Honorable Secretary of "War I sent 
the following telegram, under date of May 6th : " General 
Beauregard sends but two brigades, perhaps not five thousand 
men. This is a very insufficient number. The stake is a 
great one : I can see nothing so important." On the 7th 
the President notified me that all the assistance in his 
power to send should be forwarded, and that it was deemed 
necessary to hold Port Hudson, as a means of keeping up 
our communications with the Trans-Mississippi department. 
Major-General Gardner, who, with Brigadier- General Max- 
cey and five thousand (5,000) men, had previously been or- 
dered to Jackson to reenforce this army, was immediately 
directed to send Maxcey's brigade rapidly forward, and to 

520 APPENDIX. [1863. 

return himself with two thousand (2,000) men to Port Hud- 
son, and hold the place at all hazards. On the 7th indica- 
tions rendered it probable that the enemy would make a 
raid on Jackson. The staff departments, therefore, and all 
valuable stores, were ordered to be removed East. In the 
mean time, my troops were so disposed as to occupy the 
"Warrenton and HalPs-Ferry road, which afforded great fa- 
cilities for concentration, and various positions on the Bald- 
win's Ferry road, and from thence between Bovina and Ed- 
wards's Depot, each division being in good supporting dis- 
tance of the other. Colonel "Waul, commanding Fort Pem- 
berton, was directed to leave a garrison of three hundred 
(300) men at that place, and proceed with the remainder of 
his force to Snyder's Mills. On the 10th, information was re- 
ceived from a scouting party that visited Cayuga and Utica, 
where the enemy had recently been, that his cavalry force 
was about two thousand, and that he was supposed to be mov- 
ing on Vicksburg. My dispositions were made accordingly, 
and every effort was used to collect all the cavalry possible. 
Such as could be obtained were placed under the command of 
Colonel Wirt Adams, who was directed to harass the enemy 
on his line of march, cut his communications wherever practi- 
cable, patrol the country thoroughly, and to keep Brigadier- 
General Gregg (who had just arrived with his brigade from 
Port Hudson, and was then at Raymond) fully advised of the 
enemy's movements. On the 11th, Brigadier-General John 
Adams, commanding at Jackson, was directed to hurry for- 
ward, as fast as they could arrive, the troops from South 
Carolina, to reenforce Brigadier-General Gregg, at Raymond. 
At this time, information was received from Brigadier Gen- 
eral Tilghman that the enemy was in force opposite Bald- 
win's Ferry, and Gregg was notified accordingly, and 
informed that the enemy's movements were apparently 
toward the Big Black Bridge, and not, as had been supposed, 
against Jackson. On the 12th, the following was addressed 
to Major-General Stevenson : 

" From information received, it is evident the enemy is 

1863.] APPENDIX. 521 

advancing in force on Edward's Depot and Big Black Bridge ; 
hot skirmishing has been going on all the morning, and the 
enemy are at Fourteen-Mile Creek. You must move up 
with your whole division to the support of Loring and 
Bowen at the bridge, leaving Baldwin's and Moore's bri- 
gades to protect your right." 

In consequence of this information, Brigadier-General 
Gregg was ordered not to attack the enemy until he 
was engaged at Edwards's or the bridge, but to be ready 
to fall on his rear or flank at any moment, and to be partic- 
ularly cautious not to allow himself to be flanked or taken 
in the rear. Thus it will be seen that every measure had 
been taken to protect Edwards's Depot and Big Black Bridge, 
and, by offering or accepting battle, to endeavor to preserve 
my communications with the East. At this juncture, how- 
ever, the battle of Raymond was fought, by a large body of 
the enemy's forces, and one brigade of our troops under the 
command of Brigadier-General Gregg. I have received no 
official report of that affair, and hence cannot say how it was 
fought, or by whom the engagement was brought on. Un- 
official information represents Brigadier-General Gregg and 
his small command to have behaved with great gallantry and 
steadiness, but after an obstinate conflict of several hours 
they w r ere finally overwhelmed by superior numbers, and 
compelled to retire. The command was withdrawn in good 
order, and retired to Jackson. On the 14th, a large bdoy 
of the enemy made their appearance in front of Jackson, 
the capital of the State. After some fighting, our troops 
were withdrawn, and the enemy took possession of the 
place ; but as General Johnston was commanding there in 
person, his official report, which has doubtless gone forward, 
will furnish all the information required. 

On the 12th, the following telegram was sent to General 
J. E. Johnston : 

" The enemy is apparently moving his heavy force tow- 
ard Edwards's Depot, on Southern Eailroad. With my 

522 APPENDIX. [18G3. 

limited force I will do call I can to meet him ; that will be 
the battle-field, if I can cany forward sufficient force, leav- 
ing troops enough to secure the safety of this place (Yicks- 
burg). Reenforcements are arriving very slowly, only fif- 
teen hundred having arrived as yet. I urgently ask that 
more be sent, also that three thousand cavalry be at once 
sent to operate on this line. I urge this as a positive 
necessity. The enemy largely outnumber me, and I am 
obliged to hold back a large force at the ferries on Big Black, 
lest he cross and take this place. I am also compelled to 
keep considerable force on either flank of Yicksburg, out of 
supporting distance." 

The same dispatch was also sent to his Excellency Presi- 
dent Davis on the same date. The divisions of Major-Gen- 
erals Loring and Stevenson moved from the line they had 
occupied between "Warrenton and Big Black Bridge to Ed- 
wards's Depot, General Stevenson being directed to keep well 
closed up on the rear of General Boring's column. On the 
evening of the 12th I moved my headquarters to Bovina, to 
be nearer the scene of active operations. The command 
arrived at Edwards's Depot on the 13th, and was placed in 
position, covering all approaches from the south and east in 
the following order, viz. : Bowen on the right, Loring in 
the centre, and Stevenson on the left. This position was 
occupied from the night of the 13th until the morning of 
the 15th. 

On the 13th the following dispatch was sent to General 
Johnston : 

" General Forney reports, from Yicksburg this morning, 
four transports loaded with troops, arrived at Young's Point 
this morning. Five regiments and a battery passed down 
by Brown and Johnson's. Wagon-trains continue to pass 
back and forth. My reenforcements will be very small, and 
arrive very slowly. If possible, Port Hudson should be re- 
enforced. I have been forced to draw largely from there. 
I have no major-general to command brigades arriving in 

1863.] APPENDIX. 503 

Jackson. I am in position with eight brigades near Ed- 
wards's Depot." 

On the morning of the 14th, while on my way to Ed- 
wards's Depot from Bovina, I received the following dis- 
patch, dated May 13th, from General Johnston, then at 
Jackson : 

" I have lately arrived, and learn that Major-General 
Sherman is between ns, with four divisions, at Clinton. It 
is important to reestablish communications, that you may be 
reenforced. If practicable, come up in his rear at once ; to 
beat such a detachment would be of immense value. The 
troops here could cooperate. All the troops you can quickly 
assemble should be brought. Time is all-important." 

I immediately replied as follows : 

" Bovina, May 14, 1863. 

" I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your com- 
munication. I moved at once with whole available force, 
about sixteen thousand, from Edwards's Depot, leaving 
Yaughan's brigade, about fifteen hundred, at Big Black 
Bridge ; Tilghman's brigade, fifteen hundred, now at Bald- 
win's Ferry, I have ordered to bring up the rear of my col- 
umn ; he will be, however, from fifteen to twenty miles be- 
hind it. Baldwin's Ferry will be left, necessarily, unpro- 
tected. To hold Yicksburg are Smith's and Forney's divis- 
ions, extending from Snyder's Mills to "Warrenton, number- 
ing, effective, seven thousand eight hundred men. The men 
have been marching several days, are much fatigued, and I 
fear will straggle very much. In directing this move, I do 
not think you fully comprehend the position that Yicksburg 
will be left in ; but I comply at once with your order." 

The " detachment " General Johnston speaks of in his 
communication consisted of four divisions of the enemy, 
constituted an entire army corps, numerically greater than 
my whole available force in the field ; besides, the enemy 

524 APPENDIX. [18G3. 

had at least an equal force to the south, on my right flank, 
which would be nearer Yicksburg than myself, in case I 
should make the movement proposed. I had, moreover, 
positive information that he was daily increasing his 
strength. I also learned, on reaching Edwards's Depot, 
that one division of the enemy (A. J. Smith's) was at or 
near Dillon's. 

This confirmed me in the opinion, previously expressed, 
that the movement indicated by General Johnston was ex- 
tremely hazardous. I accordingly called a council of war of 
all the general officers present, and, placing the subject be- 
fore them (including General Johnston's dispatch), in every 
view in which it appeared to me, asked their opinions re- 
spectively. A majority of the officers present expressed 
themselves favorable to the movement indicated by General 
Johnston. The others, including Major-Generals Loring 
and Stevenson, preferred a movement by which the army 
might attempt to cut off the enemy's supplies from the Mis 
sissippi River. 

My own views were strongly expressed as unfavorable to 
any advance which would separate me farther from Yicks- 
burg, which was my base. I did not, however, see fit to put 
my own judgment and opinions so far in opposition as to 
prevent a movement altogether, but, believing the only pos- 
sibility of success to be in the plan of cutting the enemy's 
communications, it was adopted, and the following dispatch 
was addressed to General Johnston : 

"Edwards's Depot, May 14, 1863. 

" I shall move as early to-morrow morning as practicable, 
with a column of seventeen thousand men, to Dillon's, sit- 
uated on the main road leading from Eaymond to Port Gib- 
son, seven and a half miles below Eaymond, and nine and a 
half miles from Edwards's Depot. 

" The object is to cut the enemy's communications, and 
to force him to attack me, as I do not consider my force suf- 
ficient to justify an attack on the enemy in position, or to 
attempt to cut my way to Jackson. At this point your 

1863.] APPENDIX. 525 

nearest communication would be through .Raymond. I wish 
very much I could join my reinforcements. "Whether it 
will be most practicable for the reinforcements to come by 
Raymond (leaving it to the right, if the march cannot be 
made through Raymond), or to move them west along the 
line of railroad (leaving it to the left and south of the line 
of march) to Bolton's Depot or some other point west of it, 
you must determine. In either movement, I should be ad- 
vised as to the time and road, so that cooperation may be 
had to enable the reinforcements to come through. I send 
you a map of the country, which will furnish you with a 
correct view of the roads and localities." 

Pursuant to the plan laid down in this dispatch, the 
army was put in motion on the 15th, about 1 p. m., in ac- 
cordance with the following order, viz. : 

" Headquarters Department Mississippi and East Louisiana, ) 
Edwards's Depot, May 14, 1863. \ 

" Special Order, \ 
No. — . \ 

" This army will move to-morrow morning, 15th instant, 
in the direction of Raymond, on the military road, in the 
following order : 

" 1. Colonel Wirt Adams's cavalry will form the ad- 
vance-guard, keeping at least one mile in advance of the 
head of the column, throwing out one company in front of 
his column, and a small detachment in its advance, besides 
the flankers upon his column, when practicable. 

"2. Loring's division will constitute the right and the 
advance in the line of march. He will throw a regiment of 
infantry, with a section of artillery, at least two hundred 
yards in his front, with a company of infantry at least sev- 
enty-five yards in its advance — all with the necessary de- 
tachments and flankers. 

" 3. Bowen's division will constitute the centre, and will 
follow the leading division. 

" 4. Stevenson's division will constitute the left, bring- 
ing up the rear of the column. 

520 APPENDIX. [18G3. 

" 5. The artillery of eacli brigade will march in tlie rear 
of the brigade. 

" 6. The ambulances of each brigade will follow in the 
rear of their brigade. 

" 7. The ordnance-wagons of each division will follow in 
the rear of their division. 

" 8. The wagon-train will follow in rear of the entire 

" 9. Should Tilghman's brigade arrive after the departure 
of the column, it will constitute, with a field-battery, the 
rear-guard, following immediately in rear of the wagon- 

" 10. A company of Wirt Adams's cavalry will close the 
order of march. 

" 11. The wagon-train will follow in the order of division 
— that is to say, the wagon-train of Loring's division on the 
right of the train ; that of Bowen's in the centre, etc. 

"Quartermasters, commissaries, and ordnance-officers, 
will remain with their trains, unless otherwise ordered. 
Straggling, always disgraceful in an army, is particularly 
forbidden. Stringent orders will be issued by the division 
commanders to prevent this evil ; the rear-guard is especial- 
ly instructed to permit no one to fall to the rear under any 

A continuous and heavy rain had made Baker's Creole 
impassable by the ordinary ford on the main Raymond road, 
where the country-bridge had been washed away by previous 
freshets ; in consequence of this the march was delayed for 
several hours ; but, the water not falling sufficiently to make 
the creek fordable, the column was directed by the Clinton 
road, on which was a good bridge, and, after passing the 
creek, upward of one and a half-miles, was filed to the right, 
along Neighborhood road, so as to strike the Raymond road 
about three and a half miles from Edwards's Depot. The 
march was continued until the head of the column had 
passed Mrs. Elliston's house, where it was halted, and the 
troops bivouacked in order of march. 

1863.] APPENDIX. 527 

I made my headquarters at Mrs. Elliston's, where I 
found Major-General Loring had established his. The divis- 
ions of Generals Stevenson and Bo wen having been on the 
march until past midnight, and the men considerably fa- 
tigued ; desiring also to receive reports of reconnoissances 
made in my front before proceeding farther, I did not issue 
orders to continue the movement at an early hour the fol- 
lowing morning. 

Immediately on my arrival at Mrs. Elliston's, on the 
night of the 15th, I sent for Colonel Wirt Adams, command- 
ing the cavalry, and gave him the necessary instructions for 
picketing all approaches in my front, and directed him to 
send out scouting-parties to discover the enemy's wherea- 
bouts. I also made strenuous efforts to effect the same ob- 
ject through citizens, but without success. Nothing unusual 
occurred during the night. 

On the morning of the lGth, at about six and a half 
o'clock, Colonel "Wirt Adams reported to me that his pickets 
were skirmishing with the enemy on the Raymond road, 
some distance in our front. While in conversation with 
him, a courier arrived, and handed me the following dispatch 
from General Johnston : 

"Benton Road, Ten Miles from Jackson, ) 
May 15, 1863, 8.30 a. m. J 

" Our being compelled to leave Jackson makes your plan 
impracticable. The only mode by which we can unite is by 
your moving directly to Clinton, and informing me that we 
may move to that point with about six thousand. I have 
no means of estimating the enemy's force at Jackson. 

" The principal officers here differ very widely, and I fear 
he will fortify if time is left him. Let me hear from you im- 
mediately. General Maxcey was ordered back to Brook- 
haven. You probably have time to make him join you. Do 
so before he has time to move away." 

I immediately directed a countermarch, ©r rather a retro- 
grade movement, by reversing the column as it then stood, 

528 APPENDIX. [1863. 

for the purpose of returning toward Edwards's Depot to 
take the Brownsville road, and then to proceed toward Clin- 
ton by a route north of the railroad. A written reply to 
General Johnston's instructions, in which I notified him that 
the countermarch had been ordered, and of the route I 
should take, was dispatched in haste, and without allowing 
myself sufficient time to take a copy. 

Just as this reverse movement commenced, the enemy 
drove in Colonel Adams's cavalry-pickets, and opened with 
artillery, at long range, on the head of my column on the 
Raymond road ; not knowing whether this was an attack in 
force, or simply an armed reconnoissance, and being anxious 
to obey the instructions of General Johnston, I directed the 
continuance of the movement, giving the necessary instruc- 
tions for securing the safety of the wagon-train. The demon- 
strations of the enemy soon becoming more serious, orders 
were sent to division commanders to form in line of battle 
on the cross-road from the Clinton to the Eaymond road — 
Loring on the right, Bowen in the centre, and Stevenson on 
the left. Major-General Stevenson was instructed to make 
the necessary dispositions for the protection of the trains 
then on the Clinton road and crossing Baker's Creek. The 
line of battle was quickly formed, without any interference 
on the part of the enemy ; the position selected was natu- 
rally a strong one, and all approaches from the front well 
covered. A short time after the formation of the line, Lor- 
ing's division was thrown back so as to cover the military 
road, it being reported that the enemy had appeared in that 
direction. The enemy made his first demonstration on our 
right, but, after a lively artillery-duel for an hour or more, 
this attack was relinquished, and a large force was thrown 
against our left, where skirmishing became heavy about ten 
o'clock, and the battle began in earnest along Stevenson's 
entire front about noon. Just at this time a column of the 
enemy were seen moving in front of our centre toward the 
right. Landis's battery, of Bowen's division, opened upon 
and soon broke this column, and compelled it to retire. I 
then directed Major-General Loring to move forward and 

1863.] APPENDIX. 529 

crush the enemy in his front, and directed General Bowen 
to cooperate with him in the movement. Immediately on 
the receipt of my message, General Bowen rode up and an- 
nounced his readiness to execute his part of the movement 
as soon as Major-General Loring should advance. No 
movement was made by Major-General Loring, he inform- 
ing me that the enemy was too strongly posted to be at- 
tacked, but that he would seize the first opportunity to as- 
sault, if one should offer. The enemy still making strenuous 
efforts to turn Major-General Stevenson's left flank, com- 
pelled him to make a similar movement toward the left, thus 
extending his own line, and making a gap between his and 
Bowen's divisions. General Bowen was ordered to keep 
this interval closed, and the same instructions were sent to 
General Loring in reference to the interval between his and 
General Bowen's division. General Stevenson having in- 
formed me that, unless reenforced, he would be unable to 
resist the heavy and repeated attacks along his whole line, 
Bowen was ordered to send one brigade to his assistance, 
which was promptly brought forward under Colonel F. M. 
Cockrell, and in a very short time his remaining brigade, 
under the command of Brigadier-General Martin E. Green, 
was put in, and the two together, under their gallant lead- 
ers, charged the enemy, and for a time turned the tide of 
battle in our favor, again displaying the heroic courage 
which this veteran division has made conspicuous on so 
many stricken fields. The enemy still continued to move 
troops from his left to his right, thus increasing his vastly 
superior forces against Stevenson's and Bowen's divisions. 
Feeling assured that there was no important force in his 
front, I dispatched several staff-officers in rapid succession to 
Major-General Loring, ordering him to move all but one 
brigade (Tilghman's, which was directed to hold the Ray- 
mond road and cover the bridge and ford at Baker's Creek) 
to the left as rapidly as possible. To the first of these mes- 
sages, sent about two o'clock p. m., answer was returned by 
Major-General Loring that the enemy was in strong force in 
his front, and endeavoring to flank him. Hearing no firing 

530 APPENDIX. [18G3. 

on the right, I repeated my orders to Major-General Loring, 
explained to hhn the condition of affairs on the left, and di- 
rected him to put his two left brigades into the fight as soon 
as possible. In the transmission of these various messages 
to and fro, over a distance of more than a mile, much valu- 
able time was necessarily consumed, which the enemy did 
not fail to take advantage of. 

About four o'clock p. m., a part of Stevenson's division 
broke badly, and fell back in great disorder, but was par- 
tially rallied by the strenuous exertions of myself and staff, 
and put back under their own officers into the fight ; but, 
observing that large numbers of men were abandoning the 
field on Stevenson's left, deserting their comrades, who in 
this moment of greatest trial stood manfully at their posts, I 
rode up to General Stevenson, and, informing him that I 
had repeatedly ordered two brigades of General Loring' s di- 
vision to his assistance, and that I was momentarily expect- 
ing them, asked him whether he could hold his position. He 
replied that he could not ; that he was fighting from sixty 
to eighty thousand men. I then told him I would endeavor 
myself to find General Loring and hasten him up ; and 
started immediately with that object. I presently met 
Brigadier-General Buford's brigade of Boring's division, on 
the march and in rear of the right of Bowen's division. 
Colonel Cockrell, commanding the First Missouri brigade, 
having, in person, some time previously urgently asked for 
reinforcements, which (none of Boring's troops having come 
up) I was then unable to give him, one regiment of Bu- 
ford's brigade was detached at once, and directed to his sup- 
port ; the remainder of Buford's brigade was moved as rap- 
idly as possible to the assistance of General Stevenson. 
Finding that the enemy's vastly superior numbers were 
pressing all my forces engaged steadily back into old fields, 
where all advantages of position would be in his favor, I 
felt it to be too late to save the day, even should Brigadier- 
General Featherston's brigade of Boring's division come up 
immediately. I could, however, learn nothing of General 
Loring's whereabouts ; several of my staff-officers were in 

1863.] APPENDIX. 53 1 

search of him, but it was not until after General Bowen had 
personally informed me that he could not hold his position 
longer, and not until after I had ordered the retreat, that 
General Loring, with Featherston's brigade, moving, as I 
subsequently learned, by a country-road which was consider- 
ably longer than the direct route, reached the position on 
the left known as Champion's Hill, where he was forming a 
line of battle when he received my order to cover the re- 
treat. Had the movement in support of the left been 
promptly made, when first ordered, it is not improbable that 
I might have maintained my position, and it is possible the 
enemy might have been driven back, though his vastly su- 
perior and constantly-increasing numbers would have ren- 
dered it necessary to withdraw during the night to save my 
communications with Yicksburg. 

Early in the day, Major Lockett, Chief Engineer, had 
been instructed to throw a bridge over Baker's Creek, on 
the Raymond road. The stream had also fallen sufficiently 
to render the ford practicable. The retreat was ordered to 
be conducted by that route, and a staff-officer immediately 
dispatched to Brigadier-General Tilghman, who was directed 
to hold the Raymond road at all hazards. It was in the ex- 
ecution of this important duty, which could not have been 
confided to a fitter man, that the lamented general bravely lost 
his life. He was struck by a fragment of a shell, and died al- 
most instantly. Although, as before stated, a large number 
of men had shamefully abandoned their commands and 
were making their way to the rear, the main body of the 
troops retired in good order. On reaching the ford and 
bridge, at Baker's Creek, I directed Brigadier-General Bow- 
en to take position with his division on the west bank, and 
to hold the crossing until Boring's division, which was di- 
rected to bring up the rear, had effected the passage. I 
then proceeded at once to the intrenched line, covering the 
wagon and railroad bridges over the Big Black, to make the 
necessary arrangements for holding that point during the 
passage of the river. 

In his official report, Major-General Stevenson says : 

532 APPENDIX. [1863. 

" On my arrival, about sunset, at the ford on Baker's 
Creek, I found that the enemy had crossed the bridge above, 
and were advancing artillery in the direction of the road on 
which we were moving. One battery had already taken po- 
sition and were playing on the road, but at right angles and 
at too long a range to prevent the passage of troops. Here 
I found, on the west side, the brigades of General Green and 
Colonel Cockrell, of Bowen's division, who had there halted 
and taken up position to hold the point until Boring's divis- 
ion could cross. I found Colonel Scott, of the Twefth 
Bouisiana regiment, of Boring's division, halted about half a 
mile from the ford on the east side, and directed him to 
cross. I then addressed a note to General Boring, inform- 
ing him of what I had done, telling him of the change I 
had caused Colonel Scott to make in his position, stating 
that, with the troops then there, and others that I could col- 
lect, I would hold the ford and road until his division could 
cross, and urging him to hasten the movement. To this 
note I received no answer, but in a short time Colonel Scott 
moved off his regiment quickly in the direction of his origi- 
nal position, in obedience, I was informed, to orders from 
General Boring. Inferring from this that General Boring 
did not intend to cross at that ford, he having had ample 
time to commence the movement, I suggested to General 
Green and Colonel Cockrell to move forward to the railroad- 
bridge. My command reached that point at about one 
o'clock that night, and bivouacked near Bovina." 

The entire train of the army, under the judicious man- 
agement of Colonel A. W. Reynolds, commanding Tennes- 
see brigade of Stevenson's division, was crossed without 
loss, though the movements of the enemy compelled Colo- 
nel Reynolds's brigade to cross the Big Black above the rail- 

.On reaching the line of intrenchments occupied by 
Brigadier-General Vaughan's brigade of East-Tennesseeans 
(Smith's division), he was instructed by myself, in person, to 
man the trenches from the railroad to the left, his artillery 

1863.] APPENDIX. 533 

to remain as then posted, and all wagons to cross the river 
at once. Special instructions were left with Lieutenant J. 
H. Morrison, aide-de-camp, to be delivered to Generals Lor- 
ing, Stevenson, and Bowen, as they should arrive, and were 
delivered to all, except to General Loring, as follows : 

" General Stevenson's division to cross the river and 
proceed to Mount Alban ; General Loring's to cross and 
occupy the west bank ; Brigadier-General Bowen's division, 
as it should arrive, was directed to occupy the trenches to 
the right and left of Yanghan's, and his artillery to be 
parked, that it might be available for any point of the lines 
most threatened." 

General Stevenson's division arriving very late in the 
night, did not move beyond Bovina, and I awaited in vain 
intelligence of the approach of General Loring. It was 
necessary to hold the position to enable him to cross the 
river, should the enemy, which was probable, follow him 
closely up. For this purpose alone, I continued the troops 
in position, until it was too late to withdraw them under 
cover of night. I then determined not to abandon so 
strong a front while there was yet a hope of his arrival. I 
have not, up to this time, received General Loring's re- 
port of the share taken by his division in the battle of 
Baker's Creek, nor have I yet been informed of the reason 
why he foiled to rejoin the army under my command. 

The Big Black River, where it is crossed by the railroad- 
bridge, makes a bend somewhat in the shape of a horse- 
shoe. Across this horseshoe, at its narrowest part, a line of 
rifle-pits had been constructed, making an excellent cover for 
infantry, and at proper intervals dispositions were made for 
field-artillery. The line of pits ran nearly north and south, 
and was about one mile in length. North of, and for a con- 
siderable distance south of the railroad, and of a dirt-road 
to Edwards's Depot, nearly parallel with it, extended a ba- 
you, which in itself opposed a serious obstacle to an assault 
upon the pits. This line abutted north on the river and 

534 APPENDIX. [1863. 

south upon a cypress-brake which spread itself nearly to 
the bank of the river. In addition to the railroad-bridge, 
which I had caused to be floored for the passage even of 
artillery and wagons, the steamer Dot, from which the ma- 
chinery had been taken, was converted into a bridge by 
placing her fore and aft across the river. Between the 
works and the bridge, about three-quarters of a mile, the 
country was open, being either clear or cultivated fields, 
affording no cover should the troops be driven from the 
trenches. East and south of the railroad the topographical 
features of the country, over which the enemy must neces- 
sarily pass, were similar to those above described ; but north 
of the railroad, and about three hundred yards in front of 
the rifle-pits, a copse of wood extended from the road to the 
river. One line was manned on the right by the gallant 
Cockrell's Missouri brigade, the extreme left by Brigadier- 
General Green's Missouri and Arkansas men, both of Bow- 
en's division, and the centre by Brigadier-General Yaugh- 
an's brigade of East-Tennesseeans, in all about four thousand 
men, as many as could be advantageously employed in de- 
fending the line, with about twenty pieces of field-artillery. 
So strong was the position, that my greatest — almost only 
— apprehension was a flank movement by Bridgeport or 
Baldwin's Ferry, which would have endangered my com- 
munications with Yicksburg. Yet this position was aban- 
doned by our troops almost without a struggle, and with the 
loss of nearly all our artillery. I speak not now of the 
propriety or of the necessity of holding this position. I 
had, as heretofore noticed, my object in doing so. I con- 
sidered that object sufficient, and I also deemed the force 
employed for the purpose ample. 

Brigadier-General Yanghan's brigade had not been en- 
gaged at Baker's Creek ; his men were fresh and, I believed, 
were not demoralized. I knew that the Missouri troops, 
under their gallant leaders, could be depended upon. By 
whose order the battery-horses were so far removed from 
their guns as not to be available, I do not know ; it cer- 
tainly was not by mine. General Bowen, with whom I had 

1863.] APPENDIX. 535 

a personal interview in his tent on the night of the 16th, 
and who received his instructions from my own lips (Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Montgomery, of Lieutenant-General E. Kir- 
by Smith's staff, being then present and acting as my aide-de- 
camp), I do not believe to be responsible for it ; he was too 
old and too good a soldier. Enough, however, will, I think, 
be developed in a few words to cover the whole case. Early 
on the morning of the 17th the enemy opened his artillery 
at long range, and very soon pressed forward with infantry 
into the copse of wood north of the railroad ; about the 
same time, he opened on Colonel Coekrell's position with 
two batteries, and advanced a line of skirmishers, throwing 
forward a column of infantry, which was quickly driven 
back by our batteries. Pretty heavy skirmishing was for a 
while kept up along our whole line, but presently the enemy, 
who had massed a large force in the woods immedi- 
ately north of the railroad, advanced at a run, with loud 
cheers. Our troops in their front did not remain to receive 
them, but broke and fled precipitately. One portion of the 
line being broken, it very soon became a matter of sauve 
qui ypexit. I shall only add, with reference to the affair of 
Big Black, that a strong position, with an ample force of 
infantry and artillery to hold it, was shamefully abandoned, 
almost without resistance. 

The troops occupying the centre did not do their duty. 
"With an almost impassable bayou between themselves and 
the enemy, they fled before the enemy had reached that 

I have received no report from Brigadier-General Yaugh- 
an of the operations of his brigade on this occasion. Colo- 
nel Cockrell says, in his official report : 

" After a lively skirmish-fire had been kept up for some 
time along our whole front, I saw the line between the rail- 
road and first skirt of timber north of the railroad beginning 
to give way and then running in disorder. I watched this 
disorderly falling back a few minutes, when I saw that the 
enemy had possession of the trenches north of the railroad, 

536 APPENDIX. [1863. 

and were rapidly advancing toward the bridge, our only- 
crossing and way of escape ; the enemy now being nearer 
this crossing than my line, I therefore ordered the brigade 
to fall back, and, moving rapidly, gained the bridge, crossed 
over, and reformed on the west bank of the river, north of 
the railroad." 

Colonel Gates, commanding second brigade Bowen's di- 
vision, says in his official report : 

"They " (the enemy) "formed their men on the river, in 
the timber, where we could not see them. They brought 
their men out by the right flank, in column of four, about 
one hundred and forty yards in front of my regiment, at a 
double quick. I then opened a most terrific fire upon them, 
and kept it up until the brigade had passed out of my sight 
behind a grove of timber immediately upon my right. 
They moved so as to strike the trenches occupied by Gen- 
eral Yaughan's brigade, so I am informed. I do not know 
whose troops were there, but it was immediately on the 
right of Green's brigade. After they had passed me, I lis- 
tened for our men to open a heavy volley on my right and 
drive the enemy back. Upon not hearing any firing on the 
right, I directed Lieutenant-Colonel Law to mount his horse 
and go to General Green and know whether the centre was 
holding its position or not. Colonel Law returned in a 
few minutes and said that General Green ordered me to fall 
back. I did so at once. After I had got back below the 
bend of the river, I discovered that they had crossed the 
ditches, and were between me and the bridge." 

In this precipitate retreat but little order was observed, 
the object with all being to reach the bridge as rapidly as 
possible. Many were unable to do so, but effected their es- 
cape by swimming the river ; some were drowned in the 
attempt. A considerable number, unable to swim, and 
others too timid to expose themselves to the fire of the ene- 
my by an effort to escape, remained in the trenches and 
were made prisoners. In this connection I deem it my duty 

1863.] APPENDIX. 537 

to make the following extract from the report of Colonel 
Cockrell : 

" Captain I. B. "Wilson, of the Second infantry, Com- 
pany G, claiming to have been exhausted, did not go with 
his company into the battle of Baker's Creek, and, having 
made his way to Big Black, joined his company in the rifle- 
pits early on the morning of the 17th instant, and, when his 
company was ordered to fall back, abandoned his company 
and remained lying in the rifle-pits, and was captured by 
the enemy ; and, while a prisoner, stated to Colonel Elijah 
Gates, of the First Missouri cavalry, who was also a pris- 
oner, that he (Captain Wilson) intended to take the oath, 
and then go to fighting the enemy as a guerrilla. Such con- 
duct merits a dismissal in disgrace, and such an officer should 
not remain in the way of gallant and efficient officers now 
commanding his company." 

In this opinion I fully concur. Neither Brigadier-Gen- 
eral Bowen nor Green had furnished reports of the action 
on Big Black previous to his death. To the former had 
been intrusted the defense of the tele de po?it, and he had 
received my instructions in person ; the latter had been sec- 
ond in command. Brigadier-General Yaughan having failed 
to render his report, I am dependent for the particulars of 
the action upon those of Colonels Gates and Cockrell, which 
are respectfully forwarded herewith. Major Lockett, chief- 
engineer, was instructed to fire both bridges, after seeing 
that all the troops had crossed ; this was effectually accom- 
plished, under his personal supervision. The guns in posi- 
tion were ample for the defense, but, the infantry failing to 
support them, they were abandoned ; such as were not in 
position were safely brought from the field, placed in bat- 
tery on the bluff on the west bank, and, with others already 
established, and a sufficient force of infantry, held the ad- 
vancing columns of the enemy effectually in check. It had 
become painfully apparent to me that the morale of my army 
was not such as to justify an attempt to hold the line of the 

538 APPENDIX. [1863. 

Big Black River. Not only was it greatly weakened by tlie 
absence of General Boring's division, but also by the large 
number of stragglers who, having abandoned their com- 
mands, were already making their way into Yicksburg. 
The enemy, by flank movement on my left by Bridge- 
port, and on my right by Baldwin's or other ferries, might 
reach Yicksburg almost simultaneously with myself, or per- 
haps might interpose a heavy force between me and that 

Under these circumstances, nothing remained but to 
retire the army within the defenses of Yicksburg, and to 
endeavor, as speedily as possible, to reorganize the depressed 
and discomfited troops. Orders were accordingly issued, 
at ten a. m., and Major-General Stevenson directed to con- 
duct the retreat, which was executed without haste and in 
good order. I myself proceeded at once to Yicksburg to 
prepare for its defense. 

I think it due to myself, in bringing this portion of my 
report to a conclusion, to state emphatically that the advance 
movement of the army from Edwards's Depot, on the after- 
noon of the 15th of May, was made against my judgment, 
in opposition to my previously-expressed intentions, and to 
the subversion of my matured plans. In one contingency 
alone I had determined to move toward Jackson. The 
safety of Yicksburg was of paramount importance ; under 
no circumstances could I abandon my communication with 
it. A sufficient force must also be left to defend the river- 
front of the city, the approaches by Chickasaw Bayou, by 
Snyder's Mills, and "Warrenton, against a coup de main. 
My effective aggregate did not exceed twenty-eight thou- 
sand ; at least eight thousand would be required for these 
purposes. It would also be necessary to hold the bridges 
across the Big Black, on the line of the Southern Railroad. 
With these deductions, my movable army might reach 
eighteen thousand five hundred. I give this number as the 

In the event, therefore, of the enemy advancing with his 
whole force, east of the Mississippi Iiiver, against Jackson, 

1863.] APPENDIX. 539 

my communications by the shortest line being open, would 
have enabled me to move upon his rear. General John- 
ston's forces and my own might have formed a junction, or 
have attacked simultaneously in front and rear ; but I did 
not think it would be wise to attempt to execute this plan 
until the arrival of expected reinforcements at or near Jack- 
son, hence I received General Johnston's instructions, on the 
morning of the 14th, to move to Clinton with all the force 
I could quickly collect, with great regret, and I well remem- 
ber that, in the presence of one or more of my staff-officers, 
I remarked, in substance, " Such a movement will be sui- 
cidal." Nevertheless, notifying General Johnston of tho 
fact, I took measures for an advance movement at once, not, 
it is true, directly toward Clinton, but in the only direction 
which, from my knowledge of the circumstances surround- 
ing me, I thought offered a possibility of success. Had I 
moved directly to Clinton, the enemy would not have given 
me battle in front, but would have interposed a force greater 
than my own between me and Yicksburg. 

It is only necessary to refer to the maps accompanying 
this report to see how feasible was such a movement. I 
have already given in the body of this report the two letters 
of instruction from General Johnston, dated respectively 
13th and 15th of May, 1863. In obedience to the injunc- 
tions contained in the former, which was received on the 
morning of the 14th, I lost no time in putting my army in 
motion in the direction already stated, and for the reasons 

About seven a. m., on the 16th, I received the letter 
which reiterated the previous instructions. I had, in no 
measure, changed my views as to the propriety of the move- 
ment therein indicated, but I no longer felt at liberty to 
deviate from General Johnston's positive orders. He had 
been made aware of my views, and did not sustain them. 
The order of march was at once reversed, but the army 
was hardly in motion before it became necessary to form 
line of battle to meet the greatly superior forces of the 

540 APPENDIX. [1863. 

About six r. m., on tlie 16th, while on the retreat, the 
following: communication was handed to me : 

" Camp Seven Miles from Jackson ) 
May 14, 1863. \ 

" Geneeal : The body of troops, mentioned in my note 
of last night compelled Brigadier-General Gregg and his 
command to evacuate Jackson about noon to-day ; the neces- 
sity of taking the Canton road, at right angles to that upon 
which the enemy approaches, prevented an obstinate de- 
fense. A body of troops, reported this morning to have 
reached Eaymond last night, advanced at the same time from 
that direction. 

" Prisoners say that it was McPherson's corps (four di- 
visions) which marched from Clinton. I have certain infor- 
mation of the other ; both skirmished very cautiously. Tele- 
grams were dispatched, when the enemy was near, directing 
General Gist to assemble the approaching troops at a point 
forty or fifty miles from Jackson, and General Maxcey to 
return to his wagons and provide for the security of his bri- 
gade ; for instance, by joining General Gist. That body of 
troops will be able, I hope, to prevent the enemy in Jackson 
from drawing provision from the East, and this one may be 
able to keep him from the country toward Panola. Can he 
supply himself from the Mississippi ? Can you not cut him 
off from it ; and, above all, should he be compelled to fall 
back for want of supplies, beat him ? As soon as the re- 
enforcements are all up, they must be united to the rest of 
the army. I am anxious to see a force assembled, that they 
be able to inflict a heavy blow upon the enemy. 

" Would it not be better to place the forces to support 
Vicksburg between General Loring and that place, and 
merely observe the ferries, so that you might unite if op- 
portunity to fight presented itself? General Gregg will 
move toward Canton to-morrow. If prisoners tell the truth, 
the force at Jackson must be half of Grant's army. It 
would decide the campaign to beat it, which can only be 
done by concentrating, especially when the remainder of 

1863.] APPENDIX. 541 

the Eastern troops arrive. They are to be twelve or thir- 
teen thousand. 

" Most respectfully, 

" Tour obedient servant, 

"J. E. Johnston." 

It will be observed that General Johnston's letter of the 
15th, which caused me to reverse my column with the view 
of marching to Clinton, was received before the retreat com- 
menced, and about eleven hours earlier than this one of the 
14th just presented. 

I know nothing of the causes which produced this result, 
but I respectfully invite attention to the fact that, in this 
letter of the 14th, General Johnston suggests the very move- 
ment which I had made, and for the purpose I had indi- 
cated. After expressing the hope that certain dispositions 
made by himself might prevent the enemy from drawing 
provisions from the East or from the country toward Panola, 
he says : " Can he supply himself from the Mississippi ? Can 
you not cut him off from it ; and, above all, should he be 
compelled to fall back for want of supplies, beat him ? " 

I have introduced General Johnston's letter entire, that 
the context, as well as that portion to which I have particu- 
larly called attention, may be considered. 

I had resisted the popular clamor for an advance, which 
began from the moment the enemy set his polluting foot 
upon the eastern bank of the Mississippi River. I had re- 
sisted the universal sentiment, I believe, of the army — IV 
know of my general officers — in its favor, and yielded only 
to the orders of my superiors. I was not invited by 
General Johnston to submit my plans to him for his con- 
sideration ; it is, therefore, unnecessary now to speak of 

One of the immediate results of the retreat from Big 
Black was the necessity of abandoning our defenses on the 
Yazoo at Snyder's Mills ; that position, and the line of 
Chickasaw Bayou, were no longer tenable. All stores that 
could be transported were ordered to be sent into Yicksburg 

542 APPENDIX. [1863. 

as rapidly as possible ; the rest, including heavy guns, to be 

There was, at this time, a large quantity of corn, prob- 
ably twenty-five or thirty thousand bushels, on boats, much 
of which might have been brought in had it been possible to 
furnish the necessary wagons. The boats were sent up the 
river. Two companies were directed to remain at Snyder's 
Mills, making a show of force until the approach of the en- 
emy by land should compel them to retire. To them was 
intrusted the duty of forwarding all stores possible, and of 
destroying the remainder. This detachment rejoined its 
command in Yicksburg on the morning of the 18th. Every 
precaution was taken to guard the important approaches to 
the city by Forney's and Smith's divisions, while the troops 
which had been engaged in the battles of the 16th and 17th 
were bivouacked in the rear of the intrenchments. During 
these battles the troops of Major-General Forney's division 
were disposed as follows : Brigadier-General Hebert's bri- 
gade occupied the line along the Yazoo Kiver, from Haines's 
Bluff to the Mississippi, including the approaches by Chicka- 
saw Bayou ; Brigadier-General Moore's brigade, with the 
Mississippi State troops, under General Harris, attached 
(about six hundred), guarded the front at Warrenton and 
the approaches from the lower ferries on the Big Black 
Kiver ; Brigadier-General Shoupe's brigade of Major-Gen- 
eral Smith's division guarded the river-front of the city. 
Brigadier-General Baldwin's brigade, with Waiil's Legion 
attached, guarded the approaches to the city from the Hall's 
Ferry road around to the railroad-bridge on the Big Black ; 
the heavy artillery at the batteries on the river-front, under 
Colonel Higgins. Brigadier-General Moore's brigade was 
drawn in at once from "Warrenton, and placed in the in- 
trenchments on either side of Baldwin's Ferry road. Briga- 
dier-General Hebert's brigade arrived before daylight on 
the 18th, bringing with it all the light pieces, and, in addi- 
tion, two twenty-pound Parrotts and a Whitworth gun. 
This brigade immediately occupied the intrenchments on 
both sides of the Jackson road. 

1863.] APPENDIX. 543 

On the morning of the 18th the troops were disposed 
from right to left as follows : Major-General Stevenson's di- 
vision of five brigades occupied the line from the Warrenton 
road, including a portion of the river-front, to the railroad, 
a distance of about five miles ; Major-General Forney, with 
two brigades, the line between the railroad and the grave- 
yard road, about two miles ; and Major-General Smith, with 
three brigades, the Mississippi State troops, and a small de- 
tachment from Loring's division, the line from the grave- 
yard road to the river-front, on the north, about one and a 
quarter miles. Brigadier-General Bowen's division was held 
in reserve to strengthen any portion of the line most threat- 
ened, and Waul's Texas Legion (about five hundred) was in 
reserve especially to support the right of Moore's or the left 
of Lee's brigades. On the entire line, one hundred and 
two pieces of artillery of different calibre, principally field, 
were placed in position at such points as were deemed most 
suitable to the character of the gun, changes of location 
being made when occasion called for it. An engineer- officer, 
under the supervision of Major Lockett, Chief Engineer of 
the Department, was assigned to each division, with an as- 
sistant to each brigade commander. Daily reports were 
made, through the proper channel, to Major Lockett, of the 
operations of the engineer department, and of the progress 
of the enemy's works. Major Lockett thus kept me con- 
stantly informed of all important changes, making himself a 
daily report. 

Instructions had been given from Bovina that all cattle, - 
sheep, and hogs, belonging to private parties, and likely to 
fall into the hands of the enemy, should be driven within 
our lines. A large amount of fresh meat was secured in 
this way. The same instructions were given in regard to 
corn, and all disposable wagons applied to this end. On 
the 18th, Colonel Wirt Adams, who had been previously di- 
rected to cross to the west bank of the Big Black, with all his 
cavalry, was notified that Snyder's Mills would be aban- 
doned, and that he was expected to operate on the flank and 
rear of the enemy, with the view of cutting off his supplies in 

544 APPENDIX. [1863. 

that direction. Colonel Adams's force was, however, very 
inadequate to this purpose. During the night of the 17th 
nothing of importance occurred. Most of the artillery was 
speedily placed in position on the lines, and immediately 
measures were taken to arm all men who had either unavoid- 
ably lost or who had thrown away their arms on the retreat. 
General Johnston was notified, on the 17th, of the result of 
the battles of Baker's Creek and Big Black, and informed 
that I had, in consequence, been compelled to evacuate Sny- 
der's Mills. About noon of the 18th of May, while engaged 
in an inspection of the intrenchments with Major Lockett, 
my chief-engineer, and several of my general officers, the 
enemy was reported to be advancing by the Jackson road. 
Just at this moment the following communication was re- 
ceived by courier : 

" Camp between Livingston and Brownsville, ) 
May 17, 1863. S 

" Lieutenant-General Pembekton : 

" Your dispatch of to-day, by Captain Henderson was 
received. If Haines's Bluff is untenable, Yicksburg is of no 
value, and cannot be held. If, therefore, you are invested 
in Vicksburg, you must ultimately surrender. Under such 
circumstances, instead of losing both troops and place, we 
must, if possible, save the troops. If it is not too late, 
evacuate Yicksburg and its dependencies, and march to the 
northeast. Most respectfully, 

" Your obedient servant, 

"J. E. Johnston, General? 

The evacuation of Yicksburg ! It meant the loss of the 
valuable stores and munitions of war collected for its defense, 
the fall of Port Hudson, the surrender of the Mississippi 
Kiver, and the severance of the Confederacy. These were 
mighty interests, which, had I deemed the evacuation prac- 
ticable in the sense in which I interpreted General John- 
ston's instructions, might well have made me hesitate to 
execute them. I believed it to be in my power to hold 

1863.] APPENDIX. 545 

Yicksburg. I knew. I appreciated the earnest desire of the 
Government and the people that it should be held. I knew, 
perhaps better than any other individual, under all the cir- 
cumstances, its capacity for defense. As long ago as the 
17th of February last, in a letter addressed to his Excellency 
the President, I had suggested the possibility of the invest- 
ment of Yicksburg by land and water, and for that reason 
the necessity of ample supplies of ammunition, as well as of. 
subsistence, to stand a siege. My application met his favor- 
able consideration, and additional ammunition was ordered. 
"With proper economy of subsistence and ordnance stores, 
I knew that I could stand a siege. I had a firm reliance in 
the desire of the President and of General Johnston 'to do 
all that could be done to raise a siege. I felt that every 
effort would be made, and I believed it would be successful. 
"With these convictions on my own mind, I immediately 
summoned a council of war, composed of all my general 
officers. I laid before them General Johnston's communica- 
tion, but desired them to confine the expression of their 
opinions to the question of practicability. Having obtained 
their views, the following communication was addressed to 
General Johnston : 

"Headquarters, Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana, [ 
Vicksburg, May 18, 1863. \ 

" General Joseph E. Johnston. 

" General : I have the honor to acknowledge the re- 
ceipt of your communication, in reply to mine, by the hands 
of Captain Henderson. In a subsequent letter, of same 
date as this latter, I informed you that the men had failed 
to hold the trenches at Big Black Bridge, and that, as a con- 
sequence, Snyder's Mill was directed to be abandoned. On 
the receipt of your communication, I immediately assembled 
a council of war of the general officers of this command, 
and, having laid your instructions before them, asked the 
free expression of their opinion as to the practicability of 
carrying them out. The opinion was unanimously expressed 
that it was impossible to withdraw the army from this posi- 

546 APPENDIX. [18G3. 

tion with such morale and materiel as to be of further ser- 
vice to the Confederacy. "While the council of war was as- 
sembled, the guns of the enemy opened on the works, and 
it was at the same time reported that they were crossing the 
Yazoo River at Brandon's Ferry, above Snyder's Mills. I 
have decided to hold Vicksburg as long as possible, with the 
firm hope that the Government may yet be able to assist me 
in keeping this obstruction to the enemy's free navigation 
of the Mississippi River. I still conceive it to be the most 
important point in the Confederacy. 
" Very respectfully, 

" Your obedient servant, 

"J. C. Pemeeeton, 
" Lieutenant- General commanding." 

Confederate: States of America, War Department, ) 
Richmond, October 1, 1863. j 

Lieutenant-General J. C. Pembeeton, 

Richmond, Virginia. 

Geneeal : At the suggestion of the President, I would 
call your attention to several points in your recent report of 
operations in Mississippi, which it would be gratifying to me 
to have elucidated or explained. 

The first dispatch of General Joseph E. Johnston, from 
Jackson, instructed you to advance and attack in the rear 
the corps of the enemy at Clinton, and promised coopera- 
tion in such attack, on his part. Clinton was on the rail- 
road between General Johnston and Jackson, and yourself 
at Edwards's Depot. I understood this direction to instruct 
you to march toward Clinton at once, and by the direct or 
nearest route, considering the rear to be the side most re- 
mote from him (General Johnston), and nearest you, and 
not to have contemplated that you should make a detour to 
come around on the rear of the line by which the enemy 
had advanced toward Clinton. "Was a different view enter- 
tained by you of the intent of this order? 

As the object of the order was to have the corps at 
Clinton promptly assailed while separate and beyond sup- 

1863.] APPENDIX. 547 

port, I have supposed it contemplated immediate movement 
on your part to execute it, and that the distance was not so 
great but that you might, could you have marched at once, 
have reached and struck the corps in from twelve to twenty- 
four hours. 

Will you state the distance, and what obstacles pre- 
vented movement on your part for some twenty-six hours % 

I have deemed it unfortunate that, on receiving this first 
dispatch from General Johnston, you, knowing that he must 
necessarily be very imperfectly acquainted with your posi- 
tion and resources, as well as with the movements and forces 
of the enemy, did not take the responsibility of acting on 
your better knowledge, and maintain your preconceived 
plan, or, if unwilling to do that, that you did not at once 
carry out strictly the order received. It appears to me the 
more to be regretted that, having written to General John- 
ston that you would move at once, though against your judg- 
ment, in execution of his instructions, you should afterward 
have so far deviated from them as to resolve to direct your 
movements toward Eaymond instead of toward Clinton. 
"When you came to this resolve, you at once informed Gen- 
eral Johnston, but it happened, unfortunately, that, after the 
receipt of your first order, General Johnston had been com- 
pelled to act by the advance of the enemy on Jackson, and to 
proceed in evacuating, on the supposition that you were exe- 
cuting his first orders, and that you were more easily to be 
approached by his moving out to the north rather than to 
the south of the Yicksburg Railroad. Had he known of 
your purpose to move toward Raymond, the reasonable in- 
ference is, he would have directed his movements southward, 
or more in the direction of your proposed advance. I think 
it not unlikely misapprehension on this subject prevented 
his so moving as to have enabled him to have taken part in 
the battle so soon to be fought by you. 

Will you explain more fully the motives for your devia- 
tion from the direct execution of the instructions, and the 
consequences which, in your judgment, would have resulted 
from pursuing the instructions literally ? 

548 APPENDIX. [1863. 

Were you acquainted with the movements of the several 
corps of the enemy, when, as it appears, they were separated 
into, two or more distinct columns, separated by twelve or 
fifteen miles, and when you were nearer to one, and perhaps 
to two, than they were to each other, could you not have 
struck at one separately, and, if so, what reasons induced 
you to wait till nearly all their several forces concentrated 
and attached you on your march in obedience to General 
Johnston's renewed order? 

While I have not approved General Johnston's instruc- 
tions — as, under the circumstances, I think it would have 
beei: better to have left you to the guidance of your supe- 
rior knowledge of the position, and your own judgment — I 
confess to have been surprised that, seeing he had taken the 
responsibility of positive directions with a view to a prompt 
attack on a separate detachment of the enemy, you had not 
seized the occasion, while they were severed, to attempt the 
blow. I consider the essential part of his orders to have 
been immediate advance and attach on a separate column, and 
that, if you could not execute that, you would have been 
well justified in attempting no other compliance, and falling 
back on your previous plan. As it was, neither plan was 
pursued, and invaluable time, and the advantage of position, 
were lost in doubtful movements ; so, at least, the case has 
struck my mind. 

On another distinct point I should be pleased to have in- 
formation. How happened it that General Gregg, with his 
small force, was so far separate from you, and compelled 
alone, at Raymond, to encounter the greatly superior forces 
of the enemy % Had he been placed at such distance as a 
covering force to Jackson, the capital, or with what view ? 

To recur again to the battle of Baker's Creek, I should 
be pleased to know if General Loring had been ordered to 
attack before General Cummings's brigade gave way ; and 
whether, in your opinion, had Stevenson's division been 
promptly sustained, the troops with him would have fought 
with so little tenacity and resolution as a portion of them 
exhibited ? Have you had any explanation of the cxtraor- 

1863.] APPENDIX. 549 

dinary failure of General Loring to comply with your re- 
iterated orders to attack ? And do you feel assured your 
orders were received by him ? His conduct, unless ex- 
plained by some misapprehension, is incomprehensible to 

You will, I trust, general, excuse the frankness with 
which I have presented the foregoing subjects of inquiry. 
They will doubtless only enable you more fully to explain 
the movements made by you, and the reasons inducing them, 
to the satisfaction as well of others interested as of 
Yours, with esteem, 

James A. Seddon, Secretary of War. 

Richmond, November 10, 1863. 

Hon. James A. Seddon, Secretary of "War. 

Ser : To your communication of the 1st ultimo, I have 
the honor to make the following reply, taking the points 
presented in order as you have placed them : 

The first order from General Johnston was, I conceived, 
to move on the rear of the corps of the enemy known by 
him to be at Clinton, and I believed his intent to be by the 
most direct route ; but as he did not in his dispatch indicate 
by what route, it was consequently left entirely with my 
own judgment and discretion — had I seen fit to move to 
Clinton at all — to decide the most advantageous route, under 
the circumstances, for the advance. 

I deem that to have made the movement to Clinton by 
any route, but more especially the "most direct or nearest 
route," would have been hazardous in the extreme — yes, 
suicidal ; for in that case would my flank and rear have 
been entirely unprotected, and a large portion of the 
enemy's force, of whose position General Johnston seemed 
to be entirely ignorant, could have interposed itself be- 
tween my army and its base of operations. Yicksburg, and 
have taken that stronghold almost without a struggle, so 
small was the garrison after I had withdrawn all my avail- 
able force for the field. 

550 APPENDIX. [1863. 

The object, no doubt, of the order was, that the detach- 
ment of the enemy at Clinton should be promptly assailed, 
" while separate and beyond support." But was it beyond 
supporting distance of the other columns % Of the position of 
the enemy I was not definitely informed, but only knew that 
the whole of Grant's army (three corps) had taken the general 
direction northeast toward the railroad. At what point on 
this they would strike, or the positions of the two corps not 
mentioned nor seemingly regarded by General Johnston, I 
was not informed, except inasmuch as I had learned from 
prisoners that Smith's division was at Dillon's, and the rest 
of the corps to which he was attached was near him. 

Could I make the movement on the one corps at Clin- 
ton, irrespective and regardless of the major force of the 
enemy? — jeopardizing my line of communication and re- 
treat, and giving up Yicksburg an easy capture to the ene- 
my, the retention of which in our posession I knew to be 
the great aim and object of the Government in the cam- 
paign ; and for this end all my dispositions of troops had 
been made and plans arranged — plans now subverted en- 
tirely by the order under consideration ; for it had not been 
my intention to make any forward movement from Ed- 
wards's Depot, but to have there awaited an attack from the 
enemy (which must have taken place in forty-eight hours, 
or he would have been compelled to have sought supplies 
at his base on the Mississippi River) in a chosen position, 
with my lines secured, and, if overwhelmed by numbers, a 
way of retreat open across the Big Black, and which line 
of defense I would have then held as an obstruction to the 
enemy's investing Yicksburg. And this disarrangement 
of my plans caused " the delay for some twenty-six hours." 
Not having contemplated an advance, all the arrangements 
had to be made for the movement, all my available troops 
had to be collected, and great difficulty was caused by the 
heavy rain which fell in the twenty-four hours succeeding 
the receipt of the order. My movement, considering the 
difficulties to be encountered, and the preparations necessary 
to be made, was, I think, promptly executed, and without 

1863.] APPENDIX. 551 

"delay," in the usual acceptation of the meaning of that 

General Johnston not having consulted with me, or in 
any way asked for my plan or opinion, I had perhaps no 
right to suppose that he was " imperfectly acquainted with 
my position and resources, as well as with the movements 
and forces of the enemy ; " but on the contrary, when he 
ordered my advance, I would have heen justified in suppos- 
ing that he must have been better informed as to the dispo- 
sition of the forces of the enemy than myself; but, notwith- 
standing this, had I been upheld by the opinions of my 
general officers, I would not have advanced beyond Ed- 
wards's Depot, as I deemed it very hazardous to make any 
forward movement, but would there have awaited, on chosen 
ground, the attack of the enemy. 

The interval which elapsed between my communications 
(informing General Johnston, in the first, that I would obey 
his instructions at once, though against my own judgment ; 
and, in the second, that I would move in a direction to cut 
off the supplies of the enemy) was not long enough to 
change or interfere with any movement of his. 

By no possibility could General Johnston have effectu- 
ally cooperated with me in the movement toward Clinton. 
He, at that time, having retired before the greatly superior 
force of the enemy, in the direction of Canton, was some 
twenty miles distant from Clinton ; and, moreover, the enemy 
would certainly have forced battle from me before 1 should 
have reached the latter place. " The consequence which, in 
my judgment, would have resulted from pursuing the in- 
structions literally," would have been the certain fall of Yicks- 
burg, almost without a blow being struck in its defense, so 
overwhelming a force could the enemy then have thrown, 
without opposition, on its small garrison. For further 
elucidation on this point, I beg leave to refer you to an 
examination of the positions on the map accompanying my 

In consequence of my great deficiency in cavalry — the 
force of that arm in my command being scarcely adequate 

552 APPENDIX. [18G3. 

for the necessary picketing — I was not " acquainted with the 
movements of the several corps of the enemy," but only 
knew, as before stated, that the general direction of the 
whole of Grant's army was to the northeast, from its base 
on Mississippi Eiver. General Johnston, when he sent me 
the first instructions for the movement on the detachment 
at Clinton, was not informed of the position of the other 
detachments of the enemy ; for he writes me on the next 
morning, the 14th, that another corps of the enemy, he 
learns, is at Eaymond, to which he had not, in any manner, 
referred in his letter of the 13th. 1 

Having concluded that it would be suicidal to make the 
direct advance to Clinton, I would have attempted " no other 
compliance " with the order, had the opinion of my general 
officers in any manner sustained me in so doing ; but, they 
being all eager for an advance, I made a movement in the 
shortest possible time to threaten the roads to Eaymond 
and to Dillon, thus to cut off the supplies of the enemy, 
which a communication previously written (of the 14th) by 
General Johnston, but not received until after the battle of 
Baker's Creek, suggested. General Gregg, with his brigade 
from Port Hudson, having arrived at a point near Jackson, 
and being without his wagon transportation, was ordered to 
take position at Eaymond (that being an advantageous point 
for the collection of the troops, either to move on the flank 
of the enemy advancing on Edwards's Depot, or to retire on 
Jackson), and on there being joined by the reinforcements 
which were expected, and daily arriving, at Jackson, includ- 
ing, as I hoped, a force of cavalry, to move on the rear and 
flank of the enemy, should he attack me in position at Ed- 
wards's Depot. To await and draw on this attack I had 
matured all my plans and arrangements {see following tele- 
grams to Generals Gregg and Walker on this point, where 
it will be seen that, though General Gregg sustained the ad- 
vance of the enemy nobly and bravely, my orders, however, 
were for him to retire on Jackson, if attacked by a greatly 
superior force) : 

1 Raymond is eight miles from Clinton. 

1863.] APPENDIX. 553 

Vicksburg, May 11, 1863. 

" General Gregg : From information from General 
Tilghman, of the enemy being in force opposite the ferry at 
Baldwin's, it is very probable that the movement toward 
Jackson is, in reality, on Big Black Bridge, in which case 
you must be prepared to attack them in rear or on flank. 
" J. C. Pemberton, 

" Lieutenant-General commanding." 

" Vicksburg, May 11, 1863. 

" Brigadier-General Walker, Jackson : 

" Move immediately with your command to Raymond. 
General Gregg has been ordered, if the enemy advance on 
him in too strong force, to fall back on Jackson. You will 
do likewise, in conjunction with him. If the enemy advance 
on you in not too strong force, you will meet them. If, in- 
stead of advancing on Jackson, they should advance on Big 
Black Bridge, the command, under direction of the senior 
officer, will attack them in rear and flank. 

"J. C. Pemberton, 

" Lieutenant-General." 

"Vicksburg, May 11, 1863. 

" Brigadier-General Walker, Jackson : 

" Enemy is reported advancing in heavy force on Jack- 
son. Hold your command in readiness, and move toward 
Raymond, either to support General Gregg at that place or 
to cover his retreat. Telegraph to hurry up reenforcements. 
" J. C. Pemberton, 

" Lieutenant-General commanding." 

General Loring had been ordered to attack before Gen- 
eral Cummings's brigade gave way, and the order had been 
again and again repeated ; and, in my opinion, " had Ste- 
venson's division been promptly sustained," his troops would 
have deported themselves gallantly and creditably. I have 
received no explanation of "the extraordinary failure of 

554 APPENDIX. [1863. 

General Loring to comply with my reiterated orders to 
attack," and I do feel " assured that my orders were re- 
ceived by him." 

Hoping, sir, that these explanations may be satisfactory, 
I am, with respect, your obedient servant, 
J. 0. Pemberton, 

Lieutenant- General commanding. 

Richmond, December 14, 1863. 

Hon. James A. Seddon, Secretary of War. 

Sir : Having been allowed the opportunity of reading 
General J. E. Johnston's report of the military operations 
in the Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana during 
the months of May, June, and July last, in justice to my- 
self I request to be permitted to make the following addi- 
tional report : 

The first order from General Johnston, dated at Jack- 
son, the 13th of May, was received by me near Bovina, on 
the morning of the 14th, I think, between nine and ten 
o'clock. It was in these terms : 

"I have lately arrived, and learn that Major-General 
Sherman is between us, with four divisions, at Clinton. It 
is important to reestablish communication that you may be 
reenforced. If practicable, come up in his rear at once ; to 
beat such a detachment would be of immense value ; the 
troops here could cooperate. All the strength you can 
quickly assemble should be brought ; time is all-impor- 

In this note General Johnston does not intimate a prob- 
able movement of the corps under General Sherman from 
Clinton upon Jackson, nor does he say how " the troops 
here " (at Jackson) " could cooperate." He only directs me, 
for purposes named, " if practicable, to come up in his " 
(enemy's) " rear at once." General Sherman, with his corps 
of four divisions, was represented by General Johnston to 
be between him and myself at Clinton. It was not clear to 

1863.J APPENDIX. 555 

me by what route General Johnston wished me to advance. 
If the enemy should await my approach at Clinton, and give 
me battle there, General Johnston would have been in his 
rear, and might have cooperated ; or, if he advanced upon 
Jackson, and engaged the small force there, and I could, by 
any possibility, in obedience to General Johnston's orders, 
have come up in his rear while so occupied, there would 
have been cooperation. But, in either event, to unite our 
troops in this way, it is plain that the enemy, whatever his 
strength, must be first completely routed. I see no other 
mode by which, a junction could have been effected, unless 
either General Johnston or myself should pass completely 
around the position or moving columns of the enemy. I 
have no reason to suppose he contemplated such a movement 
when he addressed to me his note of the 13th. In the ab- 
sence of special instructions as to my route to reach the rear 
of the enemy at Clinton, I was certainly at liberty to select 
that which I should deem the most advantageous ; time or 
the distance to be marched being only one element, though 
a very important one, which should influence my selection. 
I have no desire, however, to conceal the fact that my un- 
derstanding of General Johnston's orders was to move as 
rapidly as possible to attack Sherman's corps at Clinton or 
wherever I might find it ; and I believed that his instruc- 
tions were influenced by his supposing that .these were the 
only troops I could encounter, as no reference is made to 
any other force of the enemy. It will be remembered, now, 
that I received these instructions between nine and ten 
o'clock on the morning of the 14th, near Bovina, on the 
west of the Big Black Biver. I at first determined to obey 
them at once, although, in my judgment, fraught with peril 
and absolute disaster ; and so informed General Johnston. 
Before leaving Bovina, I gave some necessary instructions 
to meet this unexpected movement, and, as soon as possible, 
proceeded to Edwards's Depot, where I arrived at about 
twelve o'clock, and learned, from prisoners just captured, that 
a corps of the enemy was on my right flank, with one division 
of it near Dillon's. It will be observed in General John- 

556 APPENDIX. [18C3. 

ston's communication of the 14th, given in my report, un- 
fortunately not received until the evening of the 16th, that 
he informs me he was compelled to evacuate Jackson about 
noon on that day ; thus showing that, within less than three 
hours of my receipt of his order, he was himself compelled 
to leave Jackson, the enemy having moved from Clinton 
against that place. 

And, in the same communication, he further informs me 
that a body of troops, which was reported to have readied 
Eaymond on the preceding night, advanced at the same 
time from that direction. Therefore, had I moved imme- 
diately, which I could not have done with more than sixteen 
thousand effective men, I should have encountered their 
combined forces in my front, had they chosen to give me 
battle ; while McClernand's corps, upon my right, could 
either have interposed between me and Yicksburg, or have 
moved at once upon my rear. Nor could I have had much 
assistance from the reinforcements referred to by General 
Johnston ; for, in the same communication, he informs me 
that " telegrams were dispatched when the enemy was near, 
directing General Gist to assemble the approaching troops 
at a point forty or fifty miles from Jackson, and General 
Maxcey to return to his wagons and provide for the security 
of his brigade, for instance, by joining General Gist ; " he 
himself having moved on the 14th, with the small force at 
Jackson, some seven miles toward Canton, and thus placed 
himself not less than fifteen miles, as I am informed, by the 
nearest practicable route, from Clinton ; and, on the follow- 
ing day, he marched ten and a half miles nearer to Canton 
and farther from Clinton. 

Let us suppose, therefore, for the moment, that, neglect- 
ing all provision for the safety of Yicksburg, and by with- 
drawing Yaughan's brigade of fifteen hundred men from 
the defense of the Big Black Bridge (my direct line of com- 
munication with Yicksburg), I had swelled my little army 
at Edwards's Depot to seventeen thousand five hundred (it 
must be remembered Tilghman's brigade was west of Big 
Black guarding the important approach by Baldwin's Ferry, 

1863.] APPENDIX. 557 

which was threatened by the whole of McClernand's corps, 
and he could not, therefore, have joined me earlier than the 
morning of the 15th), and that I had then pushed hurriedly 
forward on the direct road to Clinton. I ask any candid 
mind, What would probably — nay, what must certainly — 
have been the result ? I can see none other than the entire 
destruction or capture of my army and the immediate fall of 
Vicksburg. Such were my firm convictions at the time, 
anti I so expressed myself to my general officers in council, 
and such they are still. 

I have explained in my report why, contrary to my own 
judgment, and to the subversion of all my plans for the de- 
fense of Yicksburg, I determined to advance from my posi- 
tion at Edwards's Depot, and thus abandon the line of the 
Big Black, which (although I had crossed when I learned 
that the main body of General Grant's army was approach- 
ing the Southern Eailroad, to protect my communications 
with the East, and more easily to avail myself of the assist- 
ance of my reinforcements which were daily arriving) I 
was yet in a position to recross readily, by both the bridges 
at the railroad and by Bridgeport, and thus defend my vital 
positions at Snyder's Mills and Chickasaw Bayou, if I 
should find that the enemy was advancing in too heavy force 
against Edwards's Depot. And I accordingly informed 
General Johnston, on the 1 2th May, that the enemy was ap- 
parently moving his heavy force toward Edwards's Depot, 
adding, " That will be the battle-field if I can carry forward 
sufficient force, leaving troops enough to secure the safety 
of this place (Yicksburg)." 

I was firmly convinced that the enemy's supplies must 
be very limited, as he moved with but few wagons, and 
his dependence upon those to be drawn from his distant 
base at Grand Gulf or Bayou Pierre very precarious. I had 
good reason, therefore, to believe that he would be forced 
either to advance immediately upon Edwards's Depot to give 
me battle (which I should have accepted or avoided, accord- 
ing to circumstances), or to return at once to his base upon 
the Mississippi River. 

558 APPENDIX. [1863. 

On the 7th May, and previous to my movement across 
the Big Black, the President of the Confederate States tele- 
graphed me as follows : 

" I am anxiously expecting intelligence of your further 
active operations. Want of transportation of supplies must 
compel the enemy to seek a junction with their fleet, after a 
few days' absence from it. To hold "both Vicksburg and 
Port Hudson is necessary to a connection with trans-Missis- 
sippi. You may expect whatever it is in my power to do." 

I have now shown how important I considered it not to 
advance beyond my direct communication with Vicksburg, 
and close proximity to the Big Black. Nor would I have 
done so, and I believe that every general officer of my com- 
mand, who attended the council held at Edwards's Depot, 
will sustain me in the assertion (so far as his opinion may 
go), but for the orders received from General Johnston on 
the morning of the 14th May. They know, one and all, the 
loud-voiced public sentiment which urged a forward move- 
ment. They also know (there may be an individual excep- 
tion or two) how eager they themselves were (though' they 
differed as to the preferable movement) to leave the posi- 
tion in which they had been in line of battle from the 13th 
.to the morning of the 15th, and to advance upon the enemy ; 
and they know, further, the feeling of their respective com- 
mands on the same subject. I have stated in my official re- 
port, and I reiterate here, that " I had resisted the popular 
clamor for an advance, which began from the moment the 
enemy set his polluting foot upon the eastern bank of the 
Mississippi Eiver. I had resisted, I believe, the universal 
sentiment of the army — I know of my general officers — in 
its favor" (I now add there may have been an exception or 
two) " and yielded only to the orders of my superiors." 

I do not say, nor have I ever said, that General John- 
ston ordered me to make the movement I did make. He 
did, however, order a forward movement, the consequence 
of which would, in my judgment, have been utterly disas- 

1863.] APPENDIX. 559 

trous had I attempted literally to execute it. But, when it 
was known that General Johnston had ordered an advance, 
the weight of his name made the pressure upon me too 
heavy to bear. The council was, I think, nearly equally di- 
vided in opinion as to the respective advantages of the two 
movements ; among others, those of most experience and of 
highest rank, advocated that which was ultimately adopted 
by my accepting what I declared to be, in my judgment, 
only the lesser of two evils. 

When, on the 28th April, General Bowen informed me 
by telegraph that " transports and barges loaded down with 
troops were landing at Hard Times, on the west bank," I 
made the best arrangements I could, if it became necessary, 
to forward to his assistance, as rapidly as possible, all the 
troops not, in my opinion, absolutely indispensable to pre- 
vent a coup de main, should it be attempted, against Vicks- 
burg. It was indispensable to maintain a sufficient force to 
hold Snyder's Mills, Chickasaw Bayou, the city front, and 
AVarrenton — a line of over twenty miles in length. 

In addition to his troops at Young's Point (whose 
strength I had no means of ascertaining), which constantly 
threatened my upper positions, the enemy had, as has al- 
ready been shown, a large force at Hard Times, and afloat 
on transports between Yicksburg and Grand Gulf, which 
threatened the latter as well as Warrenton, where a landing, 
under cover of his gunboats, might have been easily effected, 
and his whole army concentrated there instead of at Bruins- 
burg ; and this movement would have placed him at once 
west of the Big Black. It was impossible for me to form an 
estimate of his absolute or relative strength at the two points 

To concentrate my whole force south and east of Big 
Black for the support of General Bowen against a landing 
at Grand Gulf, or any other point south of it, not yet even 
apparently threatened, would, I think, have been unwise, to 
say the least of it. To show that I was not alone in my 
opinion, I add a telegram from General Stevenson, then 
commanding the troops in and about Yicksburg : " The men 

5G0 APPENDIX. [1863. 

Avill be ready to move promptly. To cross the Mississippi, 
both gunboats and transports must pass the batteries at 
Grand Gulf. An army large enough to defend itself on this 
side would consume much time in crossing. As it is not 
known what force has been withdrawn from the front, it is 
not improbable that the force opposite to Grand Gulf is there 
to lay waste the country on that side, and a feint to with- 
draw troops from a main attack here. I venture to express 
the hope that the troops will not be removed far, until 
further developments from below render it certain that they 
will cross in force." 

On the 30th of April, I received, by telegraph from Gen- 
eral Bowen, the first information of the landing of the enemy 
at Bruinsburg, and on the following day (May 1st) the battle 
of Port Gibson was lost by us. In corroboration of the 
statement made with regard, to the threatening aspect of 
affairs toward Vicksburg and its flank defenses, I beg leave 
to draw attention to the following dispatches from General 
Stevenson : 

"Vicksburg, May 29, 18G3. 
.... "Eight boats loaded with troops from our front 
are now moving up Yazoo. The display made in moving 
them showed a desire to attract our attention." 

" Yicksburg, May 30, 1863. 

" The enemy have been shelling Snyder's at long range 
most of the day. Forney thinks that five regiments have 
landed at Blake's lower quarters." 

The only instructions or suggestions received from General 
Johnston, in reference to the movements at Grand Gulf, are 
contained in the following dispatches, which were dated and 
received after the battle of Port Gibson, and when our army, 
in retreat from that position, was recrossing the Big Black : 

" Tullahoma, May 1, 1863. 

" If Grant's army lands on this side of the river, the 
safety of Mississippi depends on beating it. For that object 
you should unite your whole force." 

1863.1 APPENDIX. 5Qi 

" Tullahoma, May 2, 1863. 

" If Grant crosses, unite your whole force to beat him. 
Success will give back what was abandoned to win it." 

The question of supplies, and the necessity of a sufficient 
cavalry force (without which I was powerless) to protect my 
communications, in event of a movement south of Big Black, 
toward Bayou Pierre, has been sufficiently referred to in the 
body of my report. 

I have one more remark to make in reference to cavalry. 
General Johnston informed me, about the middle of April, 
that he had ordered a brigade to my assistance. So far as 
my knowledge extends, it did not enter the limits of my de- 
partment ; for a few days subsequently General Johnston 
notified me that a strong force of the enemy in front of Rod- 
dy prevented his leaving Northern Alabama at that time, and 
requested me, if possible, to send a force to cooperate with 
him. To this I replied, under date of April 20th, from 
Jackson, reminding him that I had but a feeble cavalry force, 
but that I would certainly give Colonel Roddy all the aid I 
could, and added : " I have virtually no cavalry from Grand 
Gulf to Yazoo City, while the enemy is threatening to pass 
(cross) the river between Vicksburg and Grand Gulf, having 
twelve vessels below Yicksburg." 

In relation to the battle of Baker's Creek, I wish to add 
a few words, in elucidation of my official report. "When I left 
my position at Edwards's Depot, it was with the expectation 
of encountering the enemy. I was, therefore, neither sur- 
prised nor alarmed when, on the night of the 15th, I learned 
his close proximity. Nor should I have then desired or at- 
tempted to avoid battle, but for my anxiety to comply with 
General Johnston's instructions of the 15th instant, in which 
he says : " The only mode by which we can unite is by your 
moving directly to Clinton, informing me that we may move 
to that point with about six thousand." The remainder of 
this dispatch is embodied in my report. I used every exer- 
tion to comply implicitly with his directions, but the enemy 
prevented it. It appears, as will be seen by reference, 

562 APPENDIX. [1863. 

that General Johnston supposed the enemy to be still at 
Jackson, when he wrote on the 15th; w T hile in his note of 
the 14th (received subsequently), the enemy being then also 
at Jackson, he informed me that the force under General 
Gist, he " hopes, will be able to prevent the enemy in Jack- 
son from drawing provisions from the East. This one 
(Gregg's, with which he was present in person) may be able 
to keep him from the country toward Panola. Can he sup- 
ply himself from the Mississippi % Can you not cut him off 
from it, and, above all, should he be compelled to fall back 
for want of supplies, beat him % " The remainder of this 
dispatch is also embodied in my report. 

I here insert a dispatch from General Johnston, not 
given nor referred to in my report : 

" Calhoun Station, May 16, 1863. 
" I have just received a dispatch from Captain Yerger, 
informing me that a detachment of his squadron went into 
Jackson this morning, just as the enemy was leaving it. 
They (the Federals) took the Clinton road. It is matter of 
great anxiety to me to add this little force to your army, but 
the enemy being exactly between us, and consultation by 
correspondence so slow, it is difficult to arrange a meeting. 
I will take the route you suggest, however, if I understand 
it. "We have small means of transportation, however. Send 
forward a little cavalry to communicate with me orally. Is 
the force between us too strong for you to fight, if it inter- 
poses itself?" 

The various suggestions and instructions in these dis- 
patches seem to me to evidence a want of clear and well- 
defined plans ; and all, however, seem to ignore Yicksburg, 
the defense of which I had conceived to be the main pur- 
pose of the Government in retaining the army in Mississippi. 

I would only further remark that when General Johnston, 
on the 13th of May, informed me that Sherman was at Clin- 
ton, and ordered me to attack him in the rear, neither he 
nor I knew that Sherman was in the act of advancing on 

1863.] APPENDIX. 563 

Jackson, which place he entered at twelve o'clock, on the 
next day ; that a corps of the enemy was at Raymond, fol- 
lowing Sherman's march upon Jackson, and that another 
corps was near Dillon's, and consequently that the order to 
attack Sherman could not be executed. Nor was I myself 
aware, until several hours after I had received, and promised 
to obey, the order, that it could not be obeyed without the 
destruction of my army ; but on my arrival at Edwards's De- 
pot, two hours after I received the order, I found a large 
force of the enemy near Dillon's, on my right flank, and 
ready to attack me in the flank or rear, if I moved on Clin- 
ton. Not being able, therefore, to make the movement, I 
determined, in consequence of the wish indicated by General 
Johnston's order for a forward movement on my part, to 
make the only movement of that description which gave 
any promise of success ; and in so doing I relinquished my 
own plans for the purpose of carrying out what I supposed 
to be those of General Johnston. The battle of Baker's 
Creek, and the entire consequences of my movement, resulted 
from General Johnston's order, and he is, in part, respon- 
sible for them ; for if that order had never been given, the 
battle of Baker's Creek would not have been fought. 

In relation to General Johnston's complaint that I had 
made my report direct to the War Department, instead of to 
him, I am surprised, inasmuch as General J. had been pre- 
viously informed by the War Department that I had the 
right to do so. 

In conclusion, I earnestly ask that there may be as little 
delay as possible in reconvening the court of inquiry directed 
to investigate the subjects herein referred to. 

Yery respectfully, your obedient servant, 
J. C. Pembeeton, 

Lieutenant- General. 


Richmond, July 9, 1863. 

General J. E. Johnston : 

If it be true that General Taylor has joined General 

5G4 APPENDIX. [July, 

Gardner and routed Banks, you will endeavor to draw heavy 
reinforcements from that army, and delay a general engage- 
ment until your junction is effected. Thus, it is hoped, the 
enemy may yet be crushed, and the late disaster be re- 

Send by telegraph a list of the general and staff officers 
who have come out on parole from Yicksburg, so that they 
may be exchanged immediately. As soon as practicable, let 
the lists of regiments and other organizations be forwarded 
for same purpose. General Eains should now apply his in- 
vention. Jefferson Davis. 

Jackson, July 9, 1863. 

To his Excellency the President : 

The enemy is advancing in two columns on Jackson, 
now about four miles distant. I shall endeavor to hold the 
place, as the possession of Mississippi depends on it. His 
force is about double ours. J. E. Johnston. 

Jackson, July 10, 1863. 
To his Excellency the President : 

Your dispatch of yesterday received. No report of 
General Taylor's junction with Gardner has reached me, as 
it must have done, if true, for we have twelve hundred cav- 
alry in that vicinity. I have nothing official from Yicks- 

(A list of paroled Yicksburg officers follows.) 

J. E. JonNSTON. 

Jackson, July 11, 1863. 

To his Excellency the President : 

Under General Pemberton's orders, a line of rifle-pits 
was constructed from the Canton road, at Colonel "Withers's 
house, a few hundred yards from the railroad-depot, and 
going to the New Orleans Kailroad, a thousand yards south. 
It is very defective, cannot stand siege, but improves a bad 
position against assault. I thought that want of water 

1863.] APPENDIX. 565 

would compel this ; but the enemy has made no attempt, 
but skirmished all day yesterday. Should he not assault, we 
must attack him or leave the place. Prisoners say these are 
Ord's and Sherman's corps, and three other divisions. Their 
right is near the Eaymond road, their left on Pearl Kiver, 
opposite Insane Asylum. 

J. E. Johnston. 

Richmond, July 11, 1863. 

General J. E. Johnston : 

Dispatch of this day received, and remarks on intrenched 
position noted. Though late to attempt improvement, every 
effort should be made to strengthen the line of defense, and 
compel the enemy to assault. 

Beauregard and Bragg are both threatened — the former 
now engaged with the enemy. "We are entitled to discharge 
of paroled prisoners, and the "War Department will spare no 
effort to promptly secure it. 

The importance of your position is apparent, and you 
will not fail to employ all available means to insure success. 

I have too little knowledge of your circumstances to be 
more definite, and have exhausted my power to aid you. 

Jefferson Davis. 

Jackson, July 12, 1863. 
To his Excellency President Davis : 

Your dispatch of 11th received. A heavy cannonade 
this morning for two hours from batteries east of the Can- 
ton and south of the Clinton roads. The enemy's rifles 
reached all parts of the town, showing the weakness of the 
position and its untenableness against a powerful artillery. 

Breckenridge's front, south of the town, was assaulted 
this morning, but not vigorously. A party of skirmishers 
of the First, Third, and Fourth Florida, Forty-seventh 
Georgia, and Cobb's battery, took the enemy in flank, and 

566 APPENDIX. [July, 

captured two hundred prisoners and the colors of the Twen- 
ty-eighth, Forty-first, and Fifty-third Illinois regiments. 
Heavy skirmishing all day yesterday. 

J. E. Johnston. 

Jackson, July 13, 1863. 

To his Excellency the President : 

Your dispatch of the 11th received. 

I think Grant wilj keep the Vicksburg prisoners until 
operations here are ended. He may be strongly reenforced 
from Port Hudson. If the position and works were not 
bad, want of stores, which could not be collected, would 
make it impossible to stand siege. If the enemy will not 
attack, we must, or at the last moment withdraw. We can- 
not attack without seriously risking the army. But it is dif- 
ficult to yield this vital point without a struggle. In after- 
noon of 11th the enemy extended his right to Pearl Piver. 

J. E. Johnston. 

Jackson, July 14, 1863. 

To his Excellency President Davis : 

We learn from Yicksburg that a large force lately left 
that place to turn us on the north. This will compel us to 
abandon Jackson. The troops before us have been intrench- 
ing, and erecting batteries ever since their arrival. 

J. E. JonNSTON. 

Jackson, July 15, 1863. 

To President Davis : 

The enemy will not attack, but has intrenched. Is evi- 
dently making a siege, which we cannot resist. It would 
be madness to attack him. In the beginning it might have 
been done. But 1 thought then that want of water would 
compel him to attack us. It is reported by some of its offi- 
cers who were here yesterday, and by some gentlemen of 
Brandon, that the Yicksburg garrison is diminishing rapidly. 
Incessant but slight cannonading kept up ; our loss, in killed 
and wounded, about three hundred and fifty. The re- 

1863.] APPENDIX. 557 

mainder of the army under Grant at Yicksburg is, beyond 
doubt, on its way to this place. J. E. Johnston. 

Jackson, July 16, 1863. 
To bis Excellency President Davis : 

The enemy being strongly reenforced, and able, when 
he pleases, to cut us off, I shall abandon this place, which it 
is impossible for us to hold. J. E. Johnston. 

Brandon, July 16, 1863. 

To his Excellency President Davis : 

Jackson was abandoned last night. The troops are now 
moving through this place to encamp three miles to the 
east. Those officers who have seen the Yicksburg troops 
think that they cannot be kept together. General Pember- 
ton thinks the best policy is to furlough them by regiments. 

J. E. Johnston. 

Richmond, July 18, 1863. 

General J. E. Johnston : 

Your dispatch of yesterday received, informing me of 
your retreat from Jackson toward the east. I desire to know 
your ulterior purpose. The enemy may not pursue, but 
move up the Central road to lay waste the rich country tow- 
ard Tennessee, and cooperate afterward with Kosecrans. 
Another column, Eastern Louisiana being abandoned, may 
be sent from New Orleans to attack Mobile on the land- 

The recommendation to furlough the paroled troops from 
Yicksburg offers a hard alternative under the pressure of our 
present condition. Jefferson Davis. 

Savannah, Georgia, July 27, 1871. 

Immediately after our return to Jackson after its occupa- 
tion by the forces under General Grant, I was ordered by 
General Johnston to furnish the Southern Railroad authori- 

568 APPENDIX. [October, 

ties all tlie means within the power of my department to 
rebuild the bridge across Pearl River, and repair the rail- 
road-track beyond it. I at once assigned Major George 
Whitfield, then on duty with me (afterward assigned to the 
important duty of repairs of railroads destroyed by the en- 
emy), to this special duty. Negroes in large numbers were 
impressed, sufficient transportation afforded, materials fur- 
nished, and mechanics and skilled laborers employed, and 
placed under control of the railroad authorities. The work 
was vigorously prosecuted, and would have been completed 
in a few days but for the occupation by the forces under 
General Sherman. 

L. Mlmms, Mayor and Chief 

Quartermaster of the Department of 

Mississippi mid East Louisiana. 


Pontotoc, October 2, 1863. 

Collect about twenty-five hundred of the best troops of 
Chalmers's, Ferguson's, and Ross's brigades, with Owens's 
battery, for the expedition into Middle Tennessee, for which, 
at Oxford on the 29th ult., you were desired to prepare, to 
break the railroad in rear of Rosecrans's army. It is im- 
portant to move as soon as possible — and by the route least 
likely to meet the enemy — to the points on the railroad where 
most injury can be done with the least exposure of our troops. 
The bridges over the branches of Duck River and of the 
Elk are suggested. 

As the fords of the Tennessee are in and above the 
Muscle Shoals, it would be well to move toward Tuscumbia 
first, and, in crossing the river and moving forward, to as- 
certain as many routes as possible by which to return. 

Fayetteville would be a point in the route to the part of 
the railroad between Elk and Duck Rivers. 

General Bragg is informed of your intended movement, 
and has been recpiested to put Brigadier-General Roddy 
under your command. 

1863.] APPENDIX. 569 

Should circumstances now unforeseen make the enter- 
prise too hazardous, abandon it. Your own judgment must 
decide if risks do or do not counterbalance the important re- 
sults to be hoped for from success. 

Brigadier -General Chalmers's move to Memphis and 
Charleston Railroad should precede yours by a day if prac- 

Brigadier-General Jackson was instructed, three or four 
months ago, to issue the cavalry-arms for which I had ap- 
plied to the Ordnance Department, so as to convert the best- 
instructed regiments into cavalry first. Let those instruc- 
tions be executed. Brigadier-General Jackson is under the 
misapprehension that you have countermanded them. 

J. E. Johnston. 


Dalton, February 8, 1864. 

The effective total of the army (infantry and artillery), 
thirty-six thousand one hundred and eleven. At the end of 
December it was thirty-six thousand eight hundred and 
twenty -six, which, during the month, was reduced by the 
transfer of Quarles's and Baldwin's brigades (twenty-seven 
hundred). The present brigades of the army, therefore, 
were increased by nineteen hundred and eighty-five effectives 
during January. We have a few unarmed men in each bri- 
gade. About half are without bayonets. Many barefooted 
— the number of the latter increasing rapidly. Thirteen 
thousand three hundred pairs of shoes are now wanted for 
infantry and artillery. 

The artillery is not efficient, is unorganized, and there 
are not means of ascertaining if it has officers fit for colo- 
nels and lieutenant-colonels. Both these grades should be 
filled. I am endeavoring to improve the organization. 
About four hundred artillery-horses are wanting. The chief 
quartermaster is procuring others. There are one hundred 
and twelve pieces, sixty of which are present, with teams, in- 
capable of manoeuvring them on a field of battle. Forty- 

570 APPENDIX. [February, 

eight are near Kingston, to improve their horses. I have 
applied for the promotion and assignment of Colonel E. P. 
Alexander to the grade of brigadier-general to command 
this artillery. It requires such an officer to prepare it for 
the field. The efficient chief of ordnance supplies us well 
with every thing pertaining to his department, except bayo- 
nets, which it is known cannot be procured. By taking 
about three hundred baggage-wagons from the troops we 
have for supply-trains six hundred wagons. Many of their 
mules require rest and food to make them fit for a cam- 
paign. One hundred and thirty wagons are being altered 
to bear pontoons. Such trains would not carry food and 
forage for more than three days for this army. Although 
the performance of the railroads is greatly improved, espe- 
cially that of the Western & Atlantic, we do not yet re- 
ceive sufficient supplies of long forage to restore artillery- 
horses to the condition they lost on Missionary Eidge. The 
army is composed of two corps. It cannot be manoeuvred 
in battle without forming a third. I have, therefore, so rec- 
ommended, and beg consideration of that recommendation. 
The army should be organized, as nearly as practicable, as it 
is to fight. These troops are very healthy, and in fine spir- 
its. This position is too much advanced. But for fear of 
effect on the country, I would fall back so that we might not 
be exposed to be turned by the route leading through 

The written effective total of cavalry is five thousand 
four hundred and forty-two, but Major- General Wheeler re- 
ports that but twenty-three hundred of these have efficient 
horses. It is necessary to keep about two- thirds of them 
below Rome, near the Coosa, on account of forage. 

At the end of December, the effective total was . S6,826 
« " " total present and absent 77,653 

" " January, the effective total was . 36,111 

" " " total present and absent 69,514 

(Cavalry not included.) 

1864.] APPENDIX. 571 

At the end of December, the effective total of cavalry- 
was 1 ...... 5,613 

At the end of December, the total present and ab- 
sent ...... 13,290 

At the end of January, the effective total of cavalry 

was 1 ...... 5,442 

At the end of January, the total present and ab- 
sent .... . 12,152 

Respectfully submitted : 
(Signed) J. E. Johnston, General. 


Near Marietta, June 12, 1864. 

General Bragg, Richmond : 

I have urged General S. D. Lee to send his cavalry at 
once to break the railroad between Dalton and the Etowah. 
If you agree with me in the opinion that it can at this time 
render no service in Mississippi to be compared with this, I 
suggest that you give him orders. 

J. E. Johnston, General. 

Near Marietta, June 12, 1864. 

His Excellency the President, Richmond : 

Fearing that a previous telegram may not have reached 
you, I respectfully recommend the promotion of Brigadier- 
General Walthall to command the division of Lieutenant- 
General Polk's troops now under Brigadier-General Canty. 

General Polk regards this promotion as important as I do. 
J. E. Johnston, General. 

Note. — Bad health makes General Canty unable to serve 
in the field. 

Near Marietta, June 13, 1864. 

General Bkagg, Richmond : 

I earnestly suggest that Major-General Forrest be or- 
dered to take such parts as he may select of the commands 

1 The number of men able to serve — two-thirds of their horses, 
however, were unfit for service, so that the term " effective," applied 
to them as cavalry, is incorrect. 

572 APPENDIX. ["June. 

of Pillow, Chalmers, and Eoddy, all in Eastern Alabama, 
and operate in the enemy's rear between his army and 
Dalton. J. E. Johnston, General. 

Near Marietta, June 28, 1864. 

General S. Cooper, Eichmond: 

I have received your dispatch inquiring why three regi- 
ments had not been sent to Savannah in exchange for those 
of Mercer's brigade. 

They have not been sent, because, before Mercer's bri- 
gade joined, we were engaged with an enemy more than 
double our numbers, and ever since have been in his imme- 
diate presence. 

I considered the fact that the Government ' reenforced 
us from the coast afterward proof that my course was right. 
The three regiments shall be sent as soon as it can be done 
without danger to our position. They are now, like all this 
army, within rifle-shot of the enemy. 

J. E. Johnston. 

Near Marietta, June 29, 1 864. 

General Braxton Bragg, Eichmond : 

I recommend the assignment of Major-General Lovell to 
the command of Stewart's division. 

All quiet yesterday. 

(Signed) J. E. Johnston. 

Near Marietta, June 29, 1864. 

General Bragg, Eichmond : 

I respectfully urge the importance of immediate decision 
on my recommendation of assignment of Lovell to Stewart's 
division. He is now serving as a volunteer — without com- 
mand, of course. J. E. Johnston. 
1 Canty's troops. 

1864.] APPENDIX. 5^3 

July 3, 1864. 

General B. Bragg, Bichmond : 

Stewart's division requires a commander immediately. 
It will be useless unless one is assigned. I again urge, most 
respectfully, the assignment of Major-General Lovell to it. 
(Signed) J. E. Johnston. 

Near Chattahoochee Railroad Bridge, ) 
July 8, 1864. \ 

His Excellency the President, Bichmond : 
I have received your dispatch of yesterday. 
Our falling back has been slow. Every change of posi- 
tion has been reported to General Bragg. We have been 
forced back by the operations of a siege, which the enemy's 
extreme caution and greatly superior numbers have made it 
impossible for me to prevent. I have found no opportunity 
for battle, except by attacking intrenchments. 

J. E. Johnston. 

Near Atlanta, July 11, 1864. 

General Bragg, Bichmond : 

I strongly recommend the distribution of the United 
States prisoners, now at Andersonville, immediately. 

J. E. Johnston. 

Near Atlanta, July 16, 1864. 

His Excellency the President, Bichmond : 

Your dispatch of to-day received. 

The slight change in the enemy's dispositions made since 
my dispatch of the 14th to General Cooper was reported to 
General Bragg yesterday. It was a report from General 
Wheeler that Schofield's corps had advanced eastwardly 
about three miles from Isham's Ford, and intrenched. 

As the enemy has double our numbers, we must be on 
the defensive. My plan of operations must, therefore, de- 

574 APPENDIX. [Mat, 

pend upon that of the enemy. It is, mainly, to watch for 
an opportunity to light to advantage. 

We are trying to put Atlanta in condition to be held for 
a day or two by the Georgia militia, that army movements 
mav be freer and wider. J. E. Johnston. 

Near Greensboro, North Carolina, ) 
May 1, 1865. \ 

1. The " effective strength" of the Army of Tennessee, 
as shown by the tri-monthly return of the 1st of May, 1864, 
was : Infantry, thirty- seven thousand six hundred and fifty- 
two ; artillery, two thousand eight hundred and twelve 
(forty thousand four hundred and sixty-four) ; cavalry, 
twenty-three hundred and ninety-two. This was the entire 
strength of the army, " at and near Dalton," at that date. 

2. The movement from Dalton began on the 12th of 
May. On that day Loring's division, Army of the Missis- 
sippi, and Canty's division, joined at Resaca, with about 
eight thousand effectives. French's division, same army, 
joined near Kingston several days later (about four thou- 
sand effectives). Quarles's brigade from Mobile (about 
twenty -two hundred effectives) joined at New Hope 
Church on the 26th. The cavalry of the Mississippi Amiy, 
which joined near Adairsville, was estimated at three thou- 
sand nine hundred effectives ; and Martin's cavalry division, 
which joined near Resaca, at three thousand five hundred. 
These were the only reinforcements received while General 
Johnston had command of the army. 

3. There was no return (field) of the army made after 
May 1st, until June 10th. The return of June 10th gave, 
as effectives : Infantry, forty-four thousand eight hundred 
and sixty ; artillery, three thousand eight hundred and sev- 
enty-two (forty-eight thousand seven hundred and thirty- 
two) ; cavalry, ten thousand five hundred and sixteen. 

4. The next return was made on the 1st of July. Effec- 
tives : Infantry, thirty-nine thousand one hundred and nine- 
ty-seven ; artillery, three thousand four hundred and sixty- 

1865.] APPENDIX. 575 

nine (forty-two thousand six hundred and sixty- six) ; cavalry, 
ten thousand and twenty-three. On the 3d of July, at Vin- 
ing's Station, the Fifth and Forty-seventh Georgia regiments 
(about six hundred effectives) left the army for Savannah, 
under Brigadier-General J. K. Jackson. 

5. The next and last return made under General John- 
ston was on the 10th of July. Effectives : Infantry, thirty- 
six thousand nine hundred and one ; artillery, three thousand 
seven hundred and fifty-five (forty thousand six hundred and 
fifty-six) ; cavalry, nine thousand nine hundred and seventy- 
one (exclusive of escorts serving with infantry). This was 
the estimated force turned over by General Johnston to Gen- 
eral Hood. 

6. The report was made under General Johnston, and 
signed by General Hood. On the 18th of July the com- 
mand was turned over to General Hood. The first re- 
turn thereafter was that of August 1st, after the engage- 
ments of Peach-tree Creek, on the 21st, and around Atlanta, 
on the 22d and 28th July. 

7. The foregoing figures are taken from the official rec- 
ords kept by me as Assistant Adjutant-General of the Army. 

(Signed) Kinloch Falconer, 

Assistant Adjutant-General. 

In the return of the Army of Tennessee, printed July 
10, 1864, opposite to " Hardee's Corps," in the column of 
remarks, is written : " One hundred and seven officers and 
two thousand and fifty-two men, prisoners of war, are re- 
ported among the ' absent without leave.' " And, opposite 
to " Hood's Corps," " two hundred and thirty-eight officers 
and four thousand five hundred and ninety-seven men, pris- 
oners of war, are reported among the ' absent without leave.' " 
Below is written this explanation, in Major Falconer's hand- 
writing : " The officers and soldiers reported ' absent with- 
out leave,' and who are ' prisoners of war,' include all cap- 
tured in the army in all previous engagements, and some of 
whom have hitherto been incorrectly reported ' absent with- 
out leave ' or ' absent.' " 













570 APPENDIX. [Apbil, 

Columbus, Georgia, ) 
April 3, 1866. J 

Consolidated Summaries in the Armies of Tennessee and 
Mississippi during the Campaign commencing May 7, 
1864, at Dalton, Georgia, and ending after the Engage- 
ment with the Enemy at Joneslord' and the Evacuation 
at Atlanta, furnished for the Information of General 
Joseph E. Johnston : 

Consolidated Summary of Casualties of the Armies of Tennessee and 
Mississippi in the Series of Engagements around and from Dalton, 
Georgia, to the Etowah River, for the Period commencing May 7, 
and ending May 20, 1864:- 



Polks army, Mississippi. . 

444 2,828 3,272 

Consolidated Summary of Casualties of the Armies of Tennessee and 
Mississippi in the Series of Engagements around New Hope Church, 
near Marietta, Georgia : 

Corps. Killed. 

Hardee's 173 

Hood's 103 

Polk's army, Mississippi. . . 33 


Consolidated Summary of Casualties of the Armies of Tennessee and 
Mississippi in the Series of Engagements around Marietta, Georgia, 
from June 4 to July 4, 1864 : 



Polk's army, Mississippi, 

Consolidation of the above three reports 


Dalton to Etowah Eiver. . . 444 

New Hope Church 309 

Around Marietta 468 

T ounded. 










1,221 8,229 

1866.] APPENDIX. 57 

Consolidated Summary of Casualties of the Army of Tennessee (Army 
of Mississippi being merged into it) in the Series of Engagements 
around Atlanta, Georgia, commencing July 4, and ending July 31, 

Corps. Killed. Wounded. Total. 

JJardee's 523 2,774 3,297 

Lee's Sol 2,408 2,759 

Stewart's 436 2,141 2,577 

Wheeler's cavalry 29 156 185 

Engineer's 2 21 23 

1,341 7,500 8,841 

Consolidated Summary of Casualties in Army of Tennessee in Engage- 
ments around Atlanta and Jonesboro' from August 1 to September 
1, 1864: 

Corps. Killed. Wounded. Total. 

Hardee's 141 1,018 1,159 

Lee's 248 1,631 1,879 

Stewart's 93 574 667 

482 3,223 3,705 

Consolidation of which two reports is as follows : 

Killed. Wounded. Total. 

Around Atlanta, July 4 to 

July 31, 1864 1,341 7,500 8,841 

Atlanta and Jonesboro' Au- 
gust 1 to September 1, 
1864 482 3,223 3,705 

1,823 10,723 12,546 

I certify that the above reports are from the returns made 
to my office, and are in my opinion correct. 
(Signed) A. J. Foaed, 

Medical Director late Army of Tennessee. 

Note. — The Atlanta-Dalton campaign began on May 7th, and ended 
on the 1st of September, 1864, and the above reports are exact copies 
of those made to the commanding general during its progress, and in 
the order in which they here appear. 

General Johnston commanded from the commencement of the cam- 
paign until the 18th of July, when he was relieved from duty, and Gen- 
eral Hood assigned to the" command of the army. Hence the casualties 
of battle which occurred in the army between the 4th and the 18th of 
July belong to the period of General Johnston's command, and are as 

578 APPENDIX. [1864. 

follows: killed, sixty-seven; wounded, four hundred and fifty-five; 
total, five hundred and twenty-two. These figures, added to the total 
of casualties as reported up to July 4th, viz., killed, twelve hundred 
and twenty-one, wounded, eight thousand two hundred and twenty- 
nine, total, nine thousand four hundred and fifty, gives the entire losses 
(killed and wounded) in hattle for the whole army, while under the 
command of General Johnston, as follows : viz., killed, twelve hundred 
and eighty-eight; wounded, eight thousand six hundred and eighty- 
four ; total, nine thousand nine hundred and seventy-two. A deduction 
of the same, viz., killed, sixty-seven, wounded, four hundred and fifty-five, 
total, five hundred and twenty-two, from the total of casualties reported 
from July 4th to September 1st, viz., killed, eighteen hundred and twen- 
ty-three, wounded, ten thousand seven hundred and twenty-three, total, 
twelve thousand five hundred and forty-six, gives of killed seventeen 
hundred and fifty-six, wounded, ten thousand two hundred and sixty- 
seven ; total, twelve thousand twenty-three, as the entire losses in killed 
and wounded during that period of the campaign when the army was 
commanded by General Hood, viz., from July 18 to September 1, 1864, 
when it ended, and the army was then prepared for the campaign into 

(Signed) A. J. Foard, 

Medical Director late 

Army of Tennessee. 

Memoranda of the Operations of my Corps, while under 
the command of General J. E. Johnston, in the Dalton 
and Atlanta, and North Carolina Campaigns. 


At the beginning of the campaign my corps consisted 
of Cheatham's, Cleburne's, Walker's, and Bate's divisions 
(about twenty thousand muskets), and four battalions of ar- 

May 1th. 

Cheatham's and Bate's divisions sent to report to Hood, 
and put in position at and to the right of Mill Creek Gap, 
where they were constantly skirmishing till night of 12th. 

May 8 th. 

Cleburne's division moved to Dug Gap, and assisted 
Grigsby's cavalry to repel attack of part of Hooker's corps. 

1866.] APPENDIX. 579 

Walker had to be sent to Eesaca, and moved subsequently 
to left front of Calhoun, to meet advance of McPherson. 

May 12th. 

At night my corps moved to Eesaca. Heavy skirmish- 
ing and occasional assaults on my line at Eesaca 13th, 14th, 
and 15th May — on 13th principally, on Cheatham's line ; 
on 14th and 15th, on Cleburne's and Bate's lines. A man 
who assisted to disinter dead at Eesaca, after the war, re- 
ported finding one hundred and seventy Confederate and 
seventeen hundred and ninety Federal dead. 

May 15th. 

Night of 15th moved to Calhoun, where "Walker was al- 
ready skirmishing all next day with McPherson. Polk's 
brigade of Cleburne's division had a sharp fight with a body 
of the enemy, and punished them handsomely. 

May Uth. 

On night of 16th moved to Adairville. Cheatham had a 
heavy skirmish with enemy on 17th. 

May 18th. 

Moved to Kingstree and Cross Station. 

May 19th. 

Formed line of battle on left of army ; battle-order read 

to troops. Enemy in sight, and skirmishing begun. Troops 

wild with enthusiasm and delight. 


On account of some movement of Hood, ordered to 
withdraw, about one and a half mile to Cassville line. 
Troops in fine spirits, expecting to attack enemy next morn- 
ing. But Polk and Hood could not " hold their lines," and 
that night withdrew and crossed Etowah following day. 

May 21th. 

At New Hope Church, Cleburne's division formed left 
of army. About four o'clock p. m. attacked by four corps 
of the enemy. Cleburne, with no advantage save well- 
chosen positions, repulsed corps after obstinate fight of an 
hour and a half. 

At the close of fight, seven hundred Federal dead, with- 
in a dozen paces of Cleburne's line. Four color-bearers sue- 

580 APPENDIX. [1864. 

cessively killed within ten paces of line. Fifth bore off 
colors. Enemy's loss four thousand ; Cleburne's, four hun- 
dred and fifty killed and wounded. 

May 28lh. 

Bate's division, on left of army and in front of village 
of Dallas, ordered to envelop enemy, who not believed to 
be in force. Bate attacked, and was repulsed with loss of 
several hundred men. 

June 21th. 

At Kenesaw Mountain, in general assault by enemy. 
Cheatham's and Cleburne's divisions attacked by Blair's 
corps of the Army of the Cumberland ; assault of enemy 
very resolute ; at its close, three hundred Federal dead left 
in front of Cleburne's line, some lying against his works. 
Cleburne's loss two killed and nine wounded. Enemy in 
his front over eighteen hundred. On Cheatham's line en- 
emy's loss still more severe. Cheatham's loss some two hun- 
dred and fifty. Fighting in front of "Walker's, on right of 
Cleburne's, confined to skirmish-line held by Mercer's bri- 
gade, until many of the men bayoneted where they stood. 
Enemy's loss this day, in my front alone, could not have 
been less than five thousand. 

But the heaviest losses of the enemy were not in the as- 
saults and partial engagements of the campaign, but in the 
daily skirmishing. This was kept up continuously for sev- 
enty days, during which the two armies never lost their 
grapple. It soon became customary, in taking up a new po- 
sition, to extend the skirmish-lines until they were only less 
strong than the main one. This line was well manned, and 
the roar of musketry on it was sometimes scarcely distin- 
guishable from the sound of a general engagement. It was 
not unfrequently the case that one, two, or even three, lines 
of battle were repulsed in an assault upon one of our skir- 


At Cheraw, South Carolina, received an order from Gen- 
eral J. E. Johnston dated 25th of February, assuming com- 

1864.] APPENDIX. 581 

mand of the Army of Tennessee and the forces of the De- 
partment of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. 

My orders on leaving Charleston had been to move to 
Greensboro, North Carolina, via Wilmington. Capture of 
latter place, 21st of February, left route by Cheraw the only 
practicable one. 

Arriving at Cheraw in advance of my troops, I found 
Sherman had changed his course, hitherto directed to Char- 
lotte, North Carolina, and was marching on Cheraw. His 
advance was within a few miles of the place. A staff-offi- 
cer, Major Black, sent out to reconnoitre, was captured, but 
escaped by a daring act of horsemanship. As fast as my 
troops came up I pushed them out toward the enemy and 
held him in check until my transportation and supplies 
came up and I was ready to resume the march. 

Cheraw was the terminus of the railroad, and I sent the 
accumulated rolling-stock back to the central part of the 
State or the point least exposed. Two thousand prisoners 
of war left at Florence when Confederate States prison was 
removed to Salisbury, North Carolina, were exchanged by a 
staff-officer sent to Federal commander at "Wilmington for 
that purpose. 

As I marched out of Cheraw, the enemy pressed my 
rear closely and there was a sharp skirmish over the bridge 
spanning the Great Pedee. Skirmishers and flying artil- 
lery opened from the opposite bank upon my rear-guard 
as it cleared the bridge. Major - General Butler, with a 
squad of cavalry, charged repeatedly for the head of the 
bridge and drove back the enemy. He passed the bridge 
himself after it had been fired in a dozen places. The ene- 
my attempted to extinguish the flames, but were prevented 
by the First Georgia regulars, under Colonel Wayne, from 
the opposite bank of the river. 

Left Cheraw March 3d, and subsequently received orders 
from General Johnston to move to Smithfield, North Caro- 
lina, by way of Rockingham and Fayetteville. 

March 10th. 

Hampton and Wheeler, who had been hanging on the 

582 APPENDIX. [1864. 

left flank of the enemy, gained a success over Kilpatrick's 
cavalry only less complete from encountering two brigades of 
infantry assigned to protect Ivilpatrick from the rough usage 
he had been receiving from the hands of "Wheeler. 

A handsome little affair occurred at Fayetteville next 
morning. Infantry had crossed Cape Tear, and cavalry had 
not come in, when one hundred and fifty of the enemy's 
cavalry charged into the town, which was full of trains and 
led horses, but without troops. General Hampton, at the 
head of a dozen men — staff-officers and couriers — charged 
the body, killing two with his own hand, capturing some, 
and driving the remainder out of town. 

March lUh. 

Arrived in vicinity of Averysboro. Breaking off near 
here are roads leading to Ealeigh, Smith's Lane, and Golds- 
boro ; and, to ascertain whether I was followed by Sher- 
man's whole army, or a part of it, and what was its destina- 
tion, I determined to make a stand here, to develop num- 
bers and object of enemy. I selected a point where Cape 
Fear and Black Kivers were contiguous. 

My force, two divisions, commanded by McLaws and 
Taliaferro, small originally, and now reduced by the deser- 
tions it had been impossible to prevent in a rapid march, 
and by the withdrawal of a brigade of South Carolina 
militia, which Governor Magrath had refused to let go out 
of the State, footed up six thousand effectives, including a 
brigade of South Carolina reserves. My flank was protected 
by "Wheeler, with a part of his cavalry. The enemy brought 
against me the Fourteenth and Twentieth Corps infantry, 
and Kilpatrick's cavalry. Sherman was on the field in 

My troops, for the most part, had never seen field-ser- 
vice, were organized on the march, etc. Regiments and 
brigades went into action under disadvantages. But, during 
the day, they changed position under fire, and repelled all 
attempts of the enemy to break or turn their position, with 
the steadiness of veterans. My loss was five hundred killed 

1864.] APPENDIX. 583 

and wounded ; the enemy's, if statement of prisoners sub- 
sequently captured may be credited, three thousand. 1 My 
troops were much cheered and inspirited by this affair. 

I lost at Averysboro two guns, of Stewart's battery, I 
think — not taken by the enemy, but abandoned in one of 
the several rapid evolutions of the day, after every horse at- 
tached to the guns had been killed or disabled. 

May Ulh. 

Received orders from General Johnston to march to Ben- 
tonville, some twenty miles distant, and arrived on the 
ground the morning of the 19th. In the afternoon was 
placed in command of the Army of Tennessee (four thou- 
sand), and Taliaferro's division (fifteen hundred), and ordered 
to attack on the right, to be followed up by Hoke (four thou- 
sand five hundred), McLaws (three thousand) on the left in 
reserve. Enemy's force on the ground believed to be thir- 
ty-five thousand. Moved forward at 3 p. m., carried enemy's 
temporary works, took three pieces of artillery and a stand 
of colors, and drove enemy one and a half mile, when at 
nightfall they were found to be in too great force to make it 
advisable to press them farther. Occupied at night line of 
battle in rear of advance position of the day, and next day 

In afternoon of 21st Cummings's brigade (Georgia in- 
fantry), three hundred effectives, commanded by Colonel 
Henderson, and eight of Terry's Hangers, attacked and 

1 My loss at Averysboro is given on the authority of an entry made 
in a diary kept by my adjutant-general at the time, which states the 
loss in round numbers at five hundred. I have no means now of de- 
termining the proportion of killed, wounded, and missing, of our num- 
ber. The estimate of the enemy's loss is made upon the credit of a 
numher of prisoners who were in the fight and captured next day by 
General Wheeler, and who agreed in stating the loss at about three 
thousand, strengthened by comparing my loss with the enemy's, who 
were exposed while my troops were protected, and who were constantly 
attacking and being repulsed all day. 

" General : I remember that the entry in my diary was a tran- 
script from the official reports of the losses made by division command- 
ers. T. B. Roy." 

584 APPENDIX. [1864. 

drove from the ground two divisions of the Seventeenth 
Corps, Federal infantry, commanded by General Mower, 
which had broken through the cavalry line which formed 
the left of the army, and had penetrated to within a few 

hundred yards of and were threatening the bridge over 

Creek, near the village of Bentonville. 

AY. J. Hardee. 

Headquarters, IIood's Corps, ) 
In the Field, 1864. J" 

General: Agreeable to the direction of the general 
commanding, I have the honor to herewith submit the oper- 
ations of the troops of my command since the 7th of May. 
On that day Major-General Stewart, with his division, took 
position at Mill Creek Gap in Eocky Face Mountain, three 
miles northeast of Dalton, the enemy appearing in his im- 
mediate front. In the afternoon Major-General Bate, with 
his division, reported to me, and was placed in position on 
the left of Stewart, and west of railroad. On the 8th Ma- 
jor-General Cheatham, with his division, reported to me, 
one brigade of which was placed in position on the right of 
Stewart and along the crest of Eocky Face. On the right 
the division of Major-General Stevenson was in position, 
extending across Crow Yalley, General Hindman occupying 
the right of my line. Some skirmishing took place along 
the line on the 8th, and on the 9th the enemy made five dif- 
ferent attempts to gain the mountains, but were each time 
driven back, and foiled in all their designs. After this noth- 
ing of very great importance occurred up to the time the 
army marched for Eesaca. On arriving there I took posi- 
tion on the right of the army, Hindman's division on my 
left, Stevenson's in the centre, and Stewart on the right. 
On the 14th the enemy made repeated assaults on Hind- 
man's left, but not in very heavy lines. Walthall's brigade, 
occupying the left of Hindman, suffered severely from en- 
filade fire of the enemy's artillery, himself and men dis- 
playing conspicuous valor throughout under very adverse 
circumstances. Brigadier-General Tucker, commanding; bri- 

1864.] APPENDIX. 535 

gade in reserve, was severely wounded. About the middle 
of the day on the 15th, the enemy made assaults upon Ste- 
venson's front and the right of Hindman in several lines of 
battle, each successive time being repulsed with loss. At 
four o'clock in the afternoon General Stewart moved for- 
ward, from the right, with his division, driving the enemy 
before him, but was subsequently forced to resume his 
original position before largely superior numbers. Dur- 
ing the attack on General Stevenson, a four-gun battery 
in position thirty paces in front of his line, the gunners 
being driven from it, was left in dispute. The army with- 
drew that night, and the guns, without caissons or limber- 
boxes, were abandoned to the enemy, the loss of life it 
would have cost to withdraw them being considered worth 
more than the game. After this the march was continued 
to the south side of the Etowah via Adairsville, and Cass- 
ville ; some slight skirmishing at the latter place. On the 
morning of the 24th the march was resumed in the direction 
of Dallas, and, on the morning of the 25th, with my entire 
command, I arrived at New Hope Church, four miles east 
of Dallas. About mid-day the enemy was reported advan- 
cing, when my line was forward, Hindman on the left, Stew- 
art in the centre, and Stevenson on the right. At five 
o'clock r. m. a very determined attack was made upon Stew- 
art, extending along a very small portion of Brown's bri- 
gade of Stevenson's division. The engagement continued 
actively until night closed in, the enemy being repeatedly 
and handsomely repulsed at all points. Then Hooker's en- 
tire corps was driven back by three brigades of Stewart's di- 
vision ; prisoners taken were of that corps. Too much 
praise cannot be accorded to the artillery under the imme- 
diate direction of Colonel Beckham, which did great execu- 
tion in the enemy's ranks, and added much to their discom- 

On the morning of the 2Gth, the enemy found to be ex- 
tending their left. Hindman's division was withdrawn from 
my left, and placed in position on the right, the enemy con- 
tinuing to extend his left. Major-General Cleburne, with 

586 APPENDIX. [1864. 

his division, was ordered to report to me, and was massed 
on Ilindman's right. On the morning of the 27th, the en- 
emy known to be extending rapidly to the left, attempting 
to turn my right as they extended. Cleburne's was de- 
ployed to meet them, and, at half-past five r. h., a very stub- 
born attack was made on his division, extending to the right, 
where Major-General "Wlieeler, with his cavalry dismounted, 
was engaging them. The assault was continued with great 
determination upon both Cleburne and Wheeler until after 
night, but every attempt to break their lines was gallantly 
repulsed. About ten o'clock at night, Brigadier-General 
Granberry, with his brigade of Texans, made a dashing charge 
on the enemy, driving them from the field, their killed and 
wounded being left in our hands. During this engagement 
two or three hundred prisoners were captured, all belonging 
to Howard's corps. After the engagement around New 
Hope Church nothing of very great importance transpired 
while occupying that line. The enemy changed position to 
Lost Mountain, my corps in the centre. Afterward I moved 
to the right near Kenesaw Mountain ; subsequently changed 
position to the extreme left of the army. However, noth- 
ing of importance occurred on my line while in this posi- 
tion, save that, on the 22d of June, the divisions of Steven- 
son and Hindman attacked the enemy, driving him from 
two lines of works, and capturing some prisoners belonging 
to Schofield and Hooker. From here the army changed po- 
sition to the vicinity of ISTickagack Creek, my corps on the left. 

"We subsequently withdrew from this position, and took 
up a line on the immediate noi'th bank of the Chattahoochee 
River. After remaining here for several days, the enemy 
crossed the river and went into bivouac. For further par- 
ticulars, I refer you to reports of generals of divisions. I 
inclose Major-General Cleburne's report, and will forward 
others as soon as received. 


J. B. Hood, 

Lieutenant- General. 

General J. E. Johnston, Macon, Georgia. 

1865.] APPENDIX. 587 

Richmond, February 22, 18G5. 

General J. E. Johnston : 

The Secretary of War directs that you report by tele- 
gram to General E. E. Lee, Petersburg, Virginia, for orders. 
S. Coopek, 

Adjutant and Inspector-General. 

Headquarters, February 22, 1865. 

General J. E. Johnston : 

Assume command of the Army of Tennessee and all 
troops in the Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and 
Florida. Assign General Beauregard to duty under you as 
you may select. Concentrate all available forces and drive 
back Sherman. E. E. Lee. 

Lincolnton, North Carolina, ) 
February 23, 1865. ) 

General E. E. Lee : 

It is too late to expect me to concentrate troops capable 
of driving back Sherman. 

The remnant of the Army of Tennessee is much divided. 
So are other troops. 

I will get information from General Beauregard as soon 
as practicable. 

Is any discretion allowed me ? 

I have no staff. J. E. Johnston. 

Charlotte, February 28, 1865. 

Hon. J. Ci Breckeneidge, 

Secretary of War, Eichmond : 
I respectfully urge that four months' pay be immedi- 
ately given to the troops of this department, and a small 
part in specie to each private, and that the money be sent to 
Major Deslond. 

Four months' pay for twenty thousand men. 

J. E. Johnston. 

588 APPENDIX. [February, 

Charlotte, February 28, 1865. 

Hon. J. C. Beeckestridge, 

Secretary of "War, Richmond : 
The Kavy Department has a quantity of coffee here. It 
would he very valuable to our troops. I suggest its trans- 
fer. J. E. Johnston. 

Report of Hon. L. T. Wigfall in the Senate of the Confed- 
erate States, March 18, 1865. 

Mr. "Wigfall, chairman of the Committee on Military 
Affairs, returned the, correspondence between the Presi- 
dent and General Johnston, and recommended that it be 

Mr. Wigfall also returned the report of General Hood, 
and said : 

Mr. President : I return the report of General Hood, 
with a recommendation from the Committee on Military 
Affairs that it be printed. I am instructed by the com- 
mittee to say that this recommendation would not have 
been made had the house not already ordered it to be pub- 
lished. USTo action of the Senate can now keep the report 
from the public, however desirable it might be. Indeed, 
having even been sent to both Houses in open session by the 
President without any warning as to " its tendency to in- 
duce controversy " or cause " prejudice to the public ser- 
vice," as in the case of General Johnston's report, the dam- 
age was already done — if damage should result from its con- 
tents being made known. The official report of the Secre- 
tary of War at the beginning of this Congress contains an 
attack upon General Johnston. It was sent to us by the 
President in open session, and published by order of Con- 
gress. General Johnston's report, which contained his de- 
fense against this attack, was asked for promptly, but was 
withheld for months. It was finally sent to us in secret ses- 
sion, with a protest against its publication. A report of the 
operations of the Army of Tennessee while tinder the com- 
mand of General Hood is asked for, and we receive this 

1865.] APPENDIX. 589 

paper in open session as soon as it can be copied. No word 
of warning as to its character is given. 

Much of it is but a repetition of the charges made by the 
late Secretary of War, and, if they can be sustained, it is 
manifest that our present disasters are not to be attributed 
to General Johnston's removal, but to his ever having been 
appointed. It follows, too, that he should not be continued 
in his present command. It becomes necessary, therefore, 
to examine into the correctness of these charges. The Sen- 
ate did not ask for a review of General Johnston's campaign, 
but for a report of the operations of the army while under 
the command of General Hood. Though uncalled for, it 
is before us and the people, and I propose to give it a fair 
and calm consideration. 

In reviewing the review I shall refer to the official 
" field returns " on file in the Adjutant and Inspector-Gen- 
eral's office, made and signed by Colonel Mason, Assistant 
Adjutant-General, and approved by General Johnston, and 
not to those with the army, revised and " corrected," which 
I have never seen. The field returns on file here are, or 
should be, duplicates of those with the army, which are 
made up from the returns of the corps commanders. ISTot 
having the honor of a personal acquaintance with Colonel 
Falconer, I do not know what reliance is to be placed on his 
corrections of official documents. I do know Colonel Ma- 
son and General Johnston, and I do not believe either ca- 
pable of making a false or fraudulent return. 

General Hood in his review gives the effective total of 
General Johnston's army, "at and near Dalton," to be 
seventy thousand on the 6th of May, 1864. These returns 
appear to have been made tri-monthly, on the 1st, 10th, and 
20th of each month. The last official " field return," pre- 
viously to the 6th of May, on file in the Adjutant and In- 
spector-General's office, is of the 1st of May. It shows his 
effective total to be forty thousand nine hundred and 
thirteen infantry and artillery, and twenty-nine hundred 
and seventy-four cavalry, amounting in all to forty-three 
thousand eight hundred and eighty - seven. This return 

590 APPENDIX. [1865. 

shows, however, that two brigades of cavalry, under the 
command of General Johnston, were in the rear recruiting 
their horses, the effective total of which is not given. Gen- 
eral Johnston, in his report, estimates his cavalry at this 
time at "about four thousand," which would make the effec- 
tive total of these brigades one thousand and twenty-six, 
which, added to the twenty-nine hundred and seventy-four 
" at " Dalton, makes the four thousand. Estimating his 
cavalry at four thousand, it is obvious that from the official 
returns he had but forty-four thousand nine hundred and 
thirteen effective total " at and near " Dalton on the 1st of 
May, the date of the last return before the 6th of that 
month. The official records show, then, that General Hood 
over-estimated General Johnston's forces " at and near Dal- 
ton " by twenty-five thousand and eighty-seven men. 

If General Hood, by the term " at and near Dalton," re- 
fers to the forces after this date received by General John- 
ston from General Polk, he is again in error as to numbers. 
It was not till the 4th of May that General Polk was or- 
dered to " move with Loring's division and other available 
force at your command, to Pome, Georgia, and thence unite 
with General Johnston." On the 6th, the day on which 
General Hood says this army " lay at and near Dalton, wait- 
ing the advance of the enemy," General Polk telegraphs to 
General Cooper from Demopolis : "My troops are concen- 
trating and moving as directed." On the 10th, at Pome, he 
telegraphs the President : " The first of Loring's brigade 
arrived and sent forward to Pesaca ; the second just in ; the 
third will arrive to-morrow morning. . . . French's brigade 
was to leave Blue Mountain this morning. The others will 
follow in succession ; Ferguson will be in supporting dis- 
tance day after to-morrow ; Jackson's division is thirty-six 
hours after." Yet General Hood asserts that, four days be- 
fore this, the army was " assembled " at and near Dalton, 
and " within the easy direction of a single commander." 
The last of these reinforcements joined General Johnston at 
Kew Hope Church the 26th of May, nearly three weeks 
after they were alleged to be " at and near Dalton," and 

1865.] APPENDIX. 591 

amounted to less than nineteen thousand men. If none 
were lost by sickness, desertion, or the casualties of battle, 
which is not probable, General Johnston had at New Hope 
about sixty-four thousand men on the 26th of May, instead 
of seventy thousand, at Dalton, on the 6th — a difference 
of six thousand, not very great, it is admitted, yet it shows 
General Hood to be not quite accurate in his estimates. 

General Hood asserts that General Johnston lost twenty- 
two thousand seven hundred men in his retreat, and offers 
to prove that by the record. At New Hope he had about 
sixty-four thousand men. The field returns of the 10th of 
July, the last made while the army were under his com- 
mand, shows, at Atlanta : forty thousand six hundred and 
fifty-six infantry and artillery, and ten thousand two hun- 
dred and seventy-six cavalry — fifty thousand nine hundred 
and thirty-two — say fifty-one thousand. Deduct this from 
sixty-four thousand and it leaves thirteen thousand loss in 
artillery, infantry, and cavalry, instead of twenty-two thou- 
sand seven hundred, as alleged by General Hood. General 
Johnston does not give the losses of his cavalry, for want of 
reports. He had four thousand at Dalton, and received four 
thousand (Polk's) at Adairsville on the 17th of May — eight 
thousand. At Atlanta he had ten thousand two hundred and 
seventy-six, showing that he had recruited his cavalry twen- 
ty-two hundred and seventy-six over and above his losses. 
Leaving out his cavalry, he had at Atlanta, 10th of July, 
forty thousand six hundred and fifty-six infantry and artil- 
lery. At New Hope he had of all arms sixty-four thousand. 
Of these, eight thousand were cavalry, supposing it not to 
have increased by recruiting up to that time. That gives 
him fifty-six thousand infantry and artillery. At Atlanta 
he had, of these arms, forty thousand six hundred and fifty- 
six, which deduct from the fifty-six thousand and it shows 
his losses to be, in infantry and artillery, fifteen thousand 
three hundred and forty-four. 

Under repeated orders from the War Department, Gen- 
eral Johnston had before this time sent off three regiments. 
Supposing them to average two hundred effective total, they 

592 APPENDIX. [1865. 

would amount to six hundred each ; deduct that amount 
from the fifteen thousand three hundred and forty-four, and 
it leaves but fourteen thousand seven hundred and forty- 
four total loss in killed, wounded, deserters, stragglers, and 
prisoners, of his infantry and artillery. From this amount 
deduct ten thousand killed and wounded, and we have four 
thousand seven hundred and forty-four lost from all other 
causes in these arms. But it appears that the cavalry had 
increased twenty-two hundred and seventy-six. Deduct 
this from the four thousand seven hundred and forty-four, 
and his losses in all arms, except in killed and wounded, 
amount to hut twenty-four hundred and sixty-eight. 

"We have, then, a loss by desertion and straggling, and 
prisoners, of only some two thousand five hundred from the 
" digging and retreating " policy. The demoralization of 
the army could not have been as great as General Hood sup- 
poses, or its losses from these causes would have been 
greater. The "working by night and traveling by day*' 
would seem, too, not to be a