Thursday, February 2, 2012

February 1 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

1, Gen. Crittenden's report to Gen. Johnston relative to defending the Upper Cumberland environs

Gainesborough, Tenn., February 1, 1862.


Cmdg. Department of the West:

SIR: I have the honor to inform you that I am unable as yet to make out and transmit to you my detailed report of the engagement on the 19th of January. This delay is owing to the delay of the officers of the command in sending up their reports.

I would suggest that this command be re-enforced by several well-drilled regiments at an early day.
Inclosed I send you a sketch of the section of the country [Not found.] You will see that this position of Gainesborough can be turned by the enemy, and in many respects it is an unfavorable point. I cannot occupy Livingston or any point on the road from Livingston to the Walton road for want of transportation to carry supplies to the camp from the river.

I submit to you, then, the propriety of occupying Chestnut Mound. To that point supplies can be easily hauled from river landings, and it is connected with Nashville, and also with Carthage, by a turnpike. Supplies of corn are abundant on Caney Fork, and could be brought down to a landing on the turnpike near to Chestnut Mound.

I feel some embarrassment with regard to the course to be pursued towards those privates absent without leave from this command. The non-commissioned officer absent without leave I shall reduce to the ranks, and I will have the officers so absent proceeded against with the utmost rigor.

Capt. Morgan, a volunteer aide on my staff, bears this to you. He also bears an order from me, for publication in the journals of Nashville and Knoxville, commanding all absent from this command without leave to report themselves at these headquarters immediately.

Being fully aware of the charges which have been made against me by fugitives from this command I have demanded a court of inquiry, and feel satisfied that an investigation will establish the facts that the battle of Fishing Creek and the subsequent movement were military necessities, for which I am not responsible. I feel assured that I shall have no difficulty in defending my conduct throughout these affairs.

I remain, yours, &c.,

G. B. CRITTENDEN, Maj.-Gen., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 7, p. 855



1, Skirmish at La Grange

COLLIERVILLE, TENN., February 4, 1864.

[Gen. RAWLINS?]:

DEAR GEN.: I am deeply chagrined at the delay in our movement resulting from the non-arrival of the 2,000 cavalry ordered down from Columbus. They were delayed at the crossing of the Obion River, where they had great difficulty in getting over, and lost a considerable number of horses and men drowned. A portion of the command reached Bolivar on the 1st instant, Col. Shanks, of the Seventh Indiana Cavalry, in advance. He sent 70 men into La Grange to communicate with us. Not knowing that the command from above would come by that roundabout way, we were expecting them in at Memphis, and La Grange had been entirely abandoned by us, and McGurik's Third Mississippi Regiment, 300 strong, had taken possession and were having a good time of it generally, when the 70 men pitched into them and sent the whole regiment fleeing pell-mell across the Wolf River, killing 2, wounding several, and capturing 9 prisoners. I intend complimenting them in orders. I have sent three companies to communicate with Col. Waring, commanding the brigade, to bring them in with all haste. The moment they arrive I will be off.

* * * *

Very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

WM. SOOY SMITH, Brig. Gen., Chief of Cavalry, Mil. Div. of the Mississippi.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 32, pt. II, pp. 326-327.

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