Billeder på siden

tested field, and in his intercourse with all, Regardless of his own life, he quickly those who came near him, with a full lus- gathered some fifty or sixty brave spirits, tre-yet it remained for this occasion to and like a brave “Navarre,” hurled him. show to his generals, officers and soldiers, self upon the enemy's flanks, driving them not only that the soul of the patriot beat back into the town in utter confusion, in every movement he made, but that his opening the road for the escape of his generosity and nobleness of character command, and placing the wagon train could only seek the good of his country out of danger. The enemy rallied, when and people, despising self-aggrandisement. he was charged again and again, but the He had been left at Shelbyville to dispose Young Murat met them with, volleys of the cavalry, so as to cover the movement pistol shots and the clatter of sabres, and of the army to Tullahoma. Gen. Martin, repulsed them. The boldness and gallantry with one thousand men, arrived at Shelby- displayed in these charges have not been ville, after a severe march of fifty miles, surpassed in the history of this Revolution, in a drenching rain, which had damaged and counterbalanced his paucity of num. his ammunition, and most of his guns had bers. It was now sundown; everything was become too wet to be fired. On the ap- across Duck River in security, and he was proach of the enemy from Murfreesboro. about to make still another charge, when with 12,000 cavalry, supported by infantry, a staff officer caught him, and pointed to under Generals Stanley and Granger, of his rear, where the enemy had again sur. which movement General Wheeler was rounded him. With another column, fully advised. General Martin moved out wheeling quickly, he charged through it,

and took position at the breastworks. Gen. and plunged headlong into the river, then * Wheeler soon joined him, but only in time swollen to a mighty torrent, and amid a

to hear that two hundred of Martin's men, shower of bullets, making the water fairly stationed about one mile to his left, had foam, clambered up the opposite bank. been run over and captured by a large of the sixty who formed this " forlorn force of the enemy. He then ordered the hope," but thirteen escaped, and three of withdrawal of the forces to the town, these were badly wounded. His first which he determined to hold, notwith thought,' after crossing the river, was to standing the condition of his guns and send to Gen. Forrest, by a circuitous route, ammunition, as above stated, until the ar- and explain how he could move out in rival of General Forrest who was momen- safety. It afterwards proved that General tarily expected.

Forrest never came nearer Shelbyville

than the breastworks, from which place Three other heavy columns were presso he sent in a scout and awaited its return. ing upon him. One of them had charged On hearing that the enemy were fighting a portion of his forces, and driven them Gen. Martin's command, and thinking he over the Tullahoma Bridge. Finding him could be of no service, he turned back and self so completely surrounded, this gallant crossed the river some miles below town. officer started the remainder of his com- Gen. Wheeler was dressed in full uniform, mand out of town, and remained with his and citizens and prisoners taken early in escort, and checked one column which the fight so described him that the enemy threatened iheir destruction. Charge after easily recognized him, and called to their charge is made, and his sabre flashed over men to catch him. They afterwari's told the head of many an invader. When en- the citizens of Shelbyville that they “ had tirely surrounded, he charged through a whipped him that day, but that he was the a column which held his line of retreat, bravest man in the world.” It was a poor and might have himself retired without triumph to attain so small a result, aster farther danger. He then saw that a por. fighting for four hours, twelve thousand tion of his forces had been cut off, and the against six hundred. But for the desperate enemy held the bridge over Duck River, resistance they met, many of our trains which, if permitted without further resis. would have been lost. The Shelbyville tance, would have enabled them to have troops, having obtained fresh supplies of pursued and overtaken the army trains.I ammunition, fully revenged themselves in

[ocr errors]

the many brilliant and successful fights in, were captured, and the remainder of the which Gen. Wheeler engaged the enemy command comple:ely routed and disin front of Tullahoma, at Alliaonia Bridge, persed, many of whom were picked up on New Church, Elk River Bridge, University the following day. The entire train of Place, and many others, during that hazar. wagon's fell into his hands, and the Yankee dous but fortunate retreat.

commander escaped with only about After our army had reached Chattanoog seventy-fire men, half of whom were disga, the enemy started a large cavalry raid mounted. During this, and the two preinto. Alabama. Gen. Wheeler frustrated vious days' fighting, 18 stands of colors this raid by meeting it at the Tennessee of colors were captured by Gen. Wheeler, River. After many vain attempts to effect The next morning he warmly engaged the a crossing, the enemy was compelled toenemy, and drove him into Chattanooga, abandon the expedition.

and the following day, being ordered to When our army retired from Chattanoo. drive him from Lookout Mountain, he go to engage the vandal hosts in the great nade a night assault upon the enemy's victory of Chickamauga, Gen. Wheeler's fortifications, driving him off the precipieommand guarded all the passes of the tous edge of Point Lookout, capturing a mountains, and was successful, after se considerable amount of equipage and vere fighting, in checking Rosecrans' right clothing. wing, which was endeavoring to penetrete

This work accomplished, this energetic to Rome. He, with his command, bore a and indefatigable soldier was ordered 16 * prominent part on the battle field of cross the Tennessee River, and, if possiChickamanga, being hotly engaged during ble, inake the circuit of Gen. Rosecrans' bold days of the battle, as well for several army. So worn and jaded were his men days preceding and succeeding that events and borses that his subordinate commandful day, making frequent charges upon the ers gave it as their opinion that it was enemy's lines with the most telling effect. impracticable to execute the order. The During the 19th and 20th of September, he commanders of three brigades entered! captured about 2,000 prisoners, a large solemn protests against their commands train of wagons and ambulances, large being further called upon in their unsersupplies of medical stores, and other val- viceable and worn condition. Cavalry dable property. On the morning of the officers of extended experience asserted 21st he moved with a portion of his forces that half of the command would be lost. into Chattanooga Valley, behind the ene- from inability to travel, and even predictmy's right flank, and soon found two col- ed the entire command would be sacriumns of cavalry moving upon him. Be-ficed. In the face of these discouraging fore these columns could unite, he vigo- statements and predictions, this young

sol. rously attaeked one and drove it back to- dier knew nothing but obedience to his wards Chattanooga. Leaving his escort orders, and the buge notes to "march" and a regiment to hold that column in were sounded, and by a skilful ruse-skecheck, he moved with the remainder of guerre, he boldly crossed the Tennessee bis force, then reduced to scarcely a thou River at Cotton Port, in the face of an band men, upon the other column, which enemy whose strength was fully equal to proved to be a brigade of five regiments of his own, warmly assailed the enemy, and cavalry, numbering not less than 2000 drove him towards the Cumberland mouninen, guarding a large and rich train of tains, capturing nearly a hundred prisonwagons. He skilfully disposed his troops, ers. At dusk the column was put in inoand placing himself at the head of his tion towards Waldron's Ridge, in a drenchcommand, charged with such vigor that ing storm. About 10 o'clock, General their lines were broken, and the whole Wheeler being in advance with his staff mass swept down the valley. Away they and escort, encountered in the extreme went, and our gallant cavalier in hot pur- darkness of the night a regiment of cavalsuit, keeping up a running fight for seven ry, which he charged, driving them into miles, killing and wounding large num- the most perfect confusion, wonpding a bere. Four hundred and fifty prisoners few of the enemy, and capturing ten pris


1000 men,


With great difficulty the command one person saw the entire train. The marched up the mountain, and next day Yankee quartermaster in charge showed reached Sequatchie Valley. By this time by his papers that it numbered 800-six the horses were exceedingly worn. He mile Government wagons, loaded with all selected about 1300 of the best mounted kinds of quartermaster, commissary, ordmen, and took the saddle at 2 A. M. on nance and medical stores, besides which the 2nd of October, to scour the valley in there were a large number of sutlers' wa. search of his prey, while the remainder of gons, and other private vehicles of all the command was ordered to march slow. kinds-probably in all about 1000 wagons. ly over Cimberland mountain towards Many citizens who saw the trains esti. McMinnville. Three lundred of the men mated their number at between 2000 and he started with were uecessarily detailed. 3000 wagons. Some of the enemy's news. to guard "his rear and flanks. After papers have represented it as the richest marching six miles with his escort and train captured during the war, and inflictadvance guard, he captured 32 wagons, ing the heaviest loss of property ever sus200 mules and horses, and a number oftained by them. While withdrawing, he prisoners. These were taken in charge by was attacked by an overwhelming force the 4th Ala. Reg't Cavi, and with the re- from two directions, which he resisted as ' mainder of his command, now less than he fell back, until dark, inflicting upon his

he pressed down the valley. pursuers a heavy loss. By 10 A. M. the As jocund day began to stand tip-toe on next day he had traveled forty miles, and the mountain tops on either side, and the was leading the column which had passed sunbeams to cast their golden radiance directly over Cumberland mountains, in upon the fields of that fertile valley, as if

an attack upon the fortifications at Mc. to cheer the weary soldier for the brilliant Minnville. After a short fight the works achievements before him, a column of the

were carried, and an immense depot, of enemy was encountered, and no

supplies, including quartermaster and ord. seen than the notes of the General's bugle

nance stores, 250 horses, a train of wagons, sounded the charge, and each horseman, twelve stores well stocked with all kinds instinct with new life, rushed forward and of goods, and 587 prisoners, fell into our. dislodged the enemy from each position hands. A large locomotive and train of which he endeavored to hold. On arriving

cars were also captured by Gen. Wheeler at Anderson's ** Roads, upon the level while they were endeavoring to escape. valley as far as the eye could reach, and The remainder of the day and all night all the way up the mountains, nothing but

was spent in destroying all property which the white tops of the immense wagon was not appropriated by the command. trains could be This train was The immense bridges over Hurricane guarded by a brigade of cavalry in front, Creek and Collins River were also thoone in rear, and a brigade of infantry sup. roughly destroyed. ported by cavalry was directly opposed to him. For nearly two hours the enemy

From McMinnville he moved towards

The enemy at resisted stubbornly, but by attacking each the Nashville railroad. column with vigor in detail, before they Murfreesboro' having been strongly reinhad time to concentrate, he succeeded in forced, he deemed it unwise to attack routing them-thus capturing the entire them in their fortifications. After capturtrain, with more than a thousand prison. ing a strong stockade, with its garrison, in ers. Eight hours were now consumed in the suburbs, destroying the large railroad selecting and sending to the rear such ar- bridge over Stone River, and tearing up ticles-mules, wagons, &c.-as could be several miles of the track, he moved down carried off, in" thoroughly destroying the tae railroad to War Trace, capturing two remainder of the wagons, and sabreing or trains with supplies at Christiana and shooting down thousands of mules that Fostersville, tearing up many miles of the were not needed. No accurate estimate of track, burning all the railroad bridges, in. the number of wagons and value of the cluding the large ones near and just below property captured could be made, as no War Trace and over Duck River,and captur



ing the stockades, with the garrisons.perty and rich stores destroyed, and the Thence he marched on Shelbyville, where great damage done to the railroad, is taken be captured and destroyed a large quan. into consideration, this can but be conside tity of stores, the garrison having beat a ered by far the most brilliant and svecesshasty retreat the night previous. . The ful raid of the war. garrison at Columbia also retreated rapid. With but liitle rest, he was ordered into ly toward Nashville, after destroying their East Tennessee, to co-operate with Gen.

Longstreet. By that gallant soldier he was The designs of the expedition having ordered to press towards Knoxville, to been accomplished with far greater success create such a diversion as would hide his than the expectations of the most sanguine, own movements near Loudon. General Gen. Wheeler commenced his return Wheeler pushed boldly over the Tennessee march towards the Tennessee River. River, made a night's march, and attacked Rosecrans' entire cavalry force, not less and captured a Federal cavalry reġiment than 13,000 men, had been warmly fight- at Marysville. Just as the 'regiment suring him in rear and on the flanks for four rendered, Col. Woolford, with his brigade days, being continually repulsed with sof cavalry, crossed Little River, to come great loss by our brave troops. They now to the relief of the party at Marysville. advanced rapidly, after being reinforced Gen. Wheeler charged and drove him by a division of infantry, to attack him. over the river in confusion, capturing one A portion of the command having taken a hundred and ten prisoners, besides killing road different from what they were or- and wounding large numbers. The foldered, were attacked when isolated under lowing morning Gen. Wheeler pushed disadvantageous circumstances. To cor- over Little River and attacked Sander's, rect this error, Gen Wheeler hastens with Shackleford's, Woolford's' and Penderhis available troops, numbering about one bicker's brigade's of cavalry, all being thousand men, to their assistance, on the under Gen. Sanders. After a short fight Lewisburg Pike, and places this body of they were driven two miles, when, with a men in position to check the enemy's ad- battery to assist them, they made a stand vance, until the balance of his command in a strong position beyond a creek which and the wagons could be got out of danger. conld not be crossed by horses, the enemy The enemy advanced in a bold front, and having destroyed the bridge. General our brave troops met them with grape, Wheeler dismounted half his force, discanister, and the roar of their trusty rifles, lodged the enemy, rebuilt the bridge, and and repulsed each and every charge which charged the enemy.mounted, routing their was made by the enemy. So stunning was great reserves, and sweeping them on tothe blow that the enemy received on that wards Knoxville. The charge was conoccasion, that he advanced no further dur-tinued, and the enemy driven pell-mell ing the day, and was content to retire and towards the city. One hundred and fifty be permitted to bury his dead and care for prisoners are captured, a portion of the his wounded. The loss of the enemy in flying troopers hurl themselves into the this fight, as shown by their own reports, river, and attempt to gain the other bank; was more than four times that of our own. a portion go, at lightning speed over the Gen. Wheeler continued his withdrawal to pontoons, rushing into the city, creating the Tennessee River, and crossed it at Mus- the greatest consternation; a portion escle Shoals, the enemy appearing at the caped by scattering in all directions, and northern bank as he reached the southern the ground for three miles is strewn with When the worn condition of his command, their dead and wounded. Gen. Sanders, which had for forty successive days pre- the Yankee commander, was mortally vious been engaged with the enemy, the wounded, and died two days later. Thus large concentration of forces which he Burnside's cavally, which was the boast was compelled to fight almost continually of the " Army of the Ohio," was in two in front, flanks and rear, his exceedingly days thoroughly beaten, captured, killed, small losses compared with those of the scattered or demoralized, by an inferior enemy, the vast amount of valuable pro-l force under the gallant Wheeler, whose

loss in the entire affair was but trifling., create a diversion, while important moveCitizens who were in Knoxville at this ments were carried on in other localities. time state that nothing could be more com. Operations of this character, which are the plete than the rout and affright of this most difficult the service presents, have panic-stricken body of cavalry, as they been conducted by Gen, Wheeler with rushed into the city, creating the wildest such consummate skill, that not only has confusion-during which the “arch trai. he invariably accomplished the desired torsBrownlow and Maynard packed up object, but in almost every case inflicted a and started for the North. Many of these loss upon the enemy far heavier than that Vandals were drowned in attempting to which he himself sustained. swim the river. The enemy's works Gen. Wheeler has had five horses killed being' too strong for him to attack, he under him, and a great number wounded. moved, in obedience to orders, to join His saddle equipments and clothes have Gen. Longstreet on the other side of the also been frequently struck by the missiles river, and assisted in investing Knoxville. of the enemy. He has himself been three While here, he succeeded in capturing a times slightly wounded, and once painnumber of wagons, a large drove of hogs, fully. He has had sixteen staff officers, or and much other valuable property. For acting staff officers, killed or wounded. In the next-eight days he was engaged in the almost every case when his staff officers siege of Knoxville, continually engaging have been wounded, they were immethe enemy. At this time Gen. Grant was diately by his side, as they sank from their making preparations to attack our army in horses to the ground. No officer, since the front of Chattanooga. Gen. Bragg tele. commencement of the war, has been more. graphed for Gen. Wheeler to join him. He exposed to the missiles of death than Gen. starts immediately, travels day and night, Wheeler. That his life has been thus far and reaches the army just in time to cover

ared, while so constantly surrounded by the retreat from Missionary Ridge. This carnage and death, his thanks are due to he did in his usual able manner. On that God who from his infancy he had the third day Gen. Cleburne was ordered been taught to reverence. to remain in the rear, and fought the

Gen. Wheeler, although small in staenemy at Ringold, Ga., Gen. Wheeler ture, is in appearance every inch a soldisposing his cavalry on his flanks. Dur- dier,” and bears a head which, as termed ing this engagement Gen. Wheeler's hat by the phrenologists, is "admirably fixed." was struck by a Minie ball, and his foot His eye is the very impersonation of that contused by the fragment of a shell.

quick conception, heroic valor and daunt. Gen. Wheeler bore a prominent part in less courage, which has stamped him as the great battles of Shiloh, Farmington, one of the great men of this Revolution, the fights around Corinth, Perryville, Mur- and which explains how he manæuvres *freesboro', Chickamauga, the last day at his command under a bail-storm of the Missionary Ridge, and the first eight days missiles of death, regarding them no more of the seige of Knoxville. Besides this, than leaves wafted by the wind-or how and being under fire in over five hundred he leads his squadrons in the charge, skirmishes, Gen. Wheeler has commanded crashing into the enemy's ranks, and perin 127 battles, many of which, considering fectly unconscious of the carnage and death the numbers engaged, were the most se- by wbich he is everywhere surrounded. vere and successful recorded in the his. The contour of his face and the expression tory of cavalry. In each case where his of his countenance exhibit that cool judgstrength has been equal, and in many ment, calm thoughtfulness and quiet dig. cases where it was far inferior to that by nity which marks his career as a soldier which he was opposed, he has entirely and gentleman. The arduous duties he overrun the enemy, capturing or dispersing has performed, whicle bis large cavalry him. In many cases Gen. Wheeler has command devolve upon him, have only been called upon to engage forces many strengthened his energy and endurance: times his superior, in order to retard the His soldiers have learned to love and ad. enemy, while covering retreats, or 'to mire in him all those noble traits, which

« ForrigeFortsæt »