Monday, October 6, 2014

3.5.2014 Tennessee Civill War Notes

              5, Newspaper Report on Samuel Tate, President of the Memphis & Charleston Railroad on Confederate Railroad Problems. "The Government has taken from us forty to fifty cars and carried them to the Nashville and Louisville Railroad."

Memphis and Charleston Railroad.-We find in the latest received number of the Memphis Appeal, a long statement, signed by the President of this road, Samuel Tate, Esq., in reply to the communication in this journal, of the 26th ult., from Robert McRee, Esq., in relation to the detention of freight, and the bad treatment of freighters by the agents of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad; and also commenting on our incidental remark that if such things do really occur in the transmission of freight over that road, the Government had better interpose to prevent it.

Mr. Tate denies the statements of Mr. McRee explicitly, and moreover says that the officers of the road know of no misunderstanding between them and the New Orleans and Jackson Railroad, unless it has occurred on the part of the latter, about the detention of freight at the Junction, within the last few weeks. "They seem," says the President, "to think that the Memphis and Charleston Railroad is out to receive and transport freight promptly from them, whether the roads at Chattanooga take it away from us or not. There never has been one third as much freight detained over at the Junction at any one time as we have had for weeks detained at Chattanooga, and it is simply ridiculous for a railroad man to expect a connecting company to receive freight from him, and forward it, beyond the amount he can get it taken away from him at the end of his road after he has transported it. The facts," continues Mr. Tate, "are these:"

["]For several weeks past there has been great difficulty in getting freight promptly transported over the roads in East Tennessee and Virginia, owing principally to the transit of motive power and cars on the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad. This company has assisted them in every way it could. They now have three of our best engines and over one hundred of our cars between Chattanooga and Bristol, and one hundred and twenty more cars loaded at Chattanooga to go east, and have not been able for the past week to get over five or ten cars a day taken away from there. The Government has taken from us forty to fifty cars and carried them to the Nashville and Louisville Railroad. This tied up over one half of our cars, yet we might get along even with half our cars, if connecting roads would receive freights from us and relieve us promptly at Chattanooga, but it is impossible for us to transport freight and no one to receive it from us on delivery at the end of our road. Our depot and sidetracks at Chattanooga are now all filled and no one to receive it from us, and we are compelled to refuse freights going in that direction for either individuals or connecting roads.

The government freight we give preference, and transport it daily as they give us privilege at Chattanooga of sending around by the Augusta route. We sent this freight forward by a day and night express, without delay. We have ample machinery and cars to do all the business promptly, but we cannot do it while we have to furnish one-half of our rolling stock to other roads, and then cannot get what freight we carry with the other half taken from us promptly.["]

Daily Picayune, October 5, 1861. [1]



               5, Military security restrictions, high food prices and a free market for the poor in Nashville

Market for the Poor.

For several weeks troops of Confederate brigands have been infesting all the roads leading into the city, and have, to the utmost of their power prevented market-people from bringing supplies to our citizens. We learn that within a few miles of town notices are posted up by the Captains of these troops of scoundrels, warning the country people that if they are caught bringing marketing to this place, they shall forfeit their loads, their wagons and their teams. In the face of these difficulties few market people now venture in, and then only by stealth, and consequently our supplies of vegetables are almost entirely cut off. Butter sells at 75 cts. and $1.00; Irish potatoes, 70 cents a peck and the very few other articles offered for sale at corresponding prices. Fowls, apples, eggs, etc., can rarely be obtained at any price. As supplies are so difficult to obtain, it is very natural for those who have means to buy much larger quantities of any article than they would do was it more abundant, and thus it becomes almost impossible for the poor to buy anything, as they are not only without the means to buy much, but are crowded out of the market by a few monopolizers. To illustrate, if butter were abundant, a housekeeper might prefer to purchase but two or three pounds at once, but if it makes its appearance but once a week he will, if he has the means, buy up three or four times that quantity, and thus the poor are virtually excluded from the market. Cannot the Governor or the Military authorities give some protection to persons who will supply our market? why for instance, cannot worthy persons be allowed to go out with the forage trains, under the protection of our soldiers, for supplies? The only privilege granted to these traders would be the privilege of buying on fair terms—free the farmers who are not allowed to come to market. In this way the greatest abundance of supplies of all kinds could be brought in. It is easy to see how this scheme, which is perfectly simple, reasonable, and practicable, might be enlarged, so as to make it embrace a free market for the poor; a step which we think would be much more beneficial and certainly far cheaper than the donation of money. We are convinced that with a free market, our authorities can do more to assist the poor with one dollar, than they can do by the donation in money of three or four times that amount. We earnestly urge the suggestion for the consideration of our authorities; with this additional one, that none of the benefits enumerated shall be extended to the disloyal.

Nashville Daily Union, October 5, 1862



               5, Engagement at Hatchie (or Davis') Bridge, Big Hatchie River, near Metamora[2]

Reports of Maj. Gen. Edward O.C. Ord, U. S. Army, commanding detachment Army of West Tennessee, of engagement at Hatchie Bridge.

HOSPITAL NEAR DAVIS' BRIDGE, October 5, 1862-2. 10 p. m.

We have been fighting all a. m. and have driven the enemy across Davis' Bridge, on the Hatchie; they are contesting the ground at every point, and Van Dorn's forces are increasing rapidly. If you can possibly produce a diversion do so.

By order of E.O.C. Ord, major-general:

A. B. SHARPE, Capt. and Aide-de-Camp.


Care of Gen. Grant.

P. S.-Gen. Ord is wounded and Gen. Hurlbut is in command.

A. B. SHARPE, Capt. and Aide-de-Camp.

HOSPITAL NEAR POCAHONTAS, TENN., October 5, 1862-6 p. m.

Maj. Gen. U. S. GRANT:

I joined the columns and took command at 7. 30 this a. m., and found that Gen. Hurlbut had drive in the enemy's vedettes and had skirmished considerably on the afternoon of the 4th. I also found that he made excellent arrangements for the advance to-day.

About half a mile from our camp of last night the enemy began to dispute our advance, first with cavalry, to which their infantry and artillery in force were soon added. The road, narrow and winding, through swamp and jungle, for their infantry, and every ridge for their artillery, from which we successfully drove them, generally at the double-quick, for 5 miles, to and across the Hatchie at Davis' Bridge, over which and up the steep beyond we pushed them so rapidly that they had not time to burn the bridge. In driving the enemy we took two batteries and have them, and at the river captured between 200 and 300 prisoners, among whom are field officers and an aide-de-camp to Gen. Van Dorn, who commanded the enemy.

On account of the fact that we had frequently to attack across open fields and up hills, while the enemy were under dense cover, we have lost quite a number of officers and men, and have several hundred wounded, probably a greater number than the enemy.

Gen. Veatch was very badly contused by a spent ball striking him in the side.

I will send you regimental list of killed and wounded as soon as they can be brought in.

Gen. Hurlbut has cavalry in pursuit of the enemy, who moved off to the south about 4 o'clock this afternoon.

Our infantry, which started from Bolivar at 3 a. m. yesterday, marched 26 miles, and to-day fighting 5 miles over this country under fire at short range for seven hours, being too much fatigued to pursue to-day; besides it will take until dark to bring in the wounded.

The troops in their charge over the miserable bridge at Davis' Creek and up the steep beyond, exposed to a murderous fire of shell and grape and canister, with three of their batteries playing upon them at canister-range, however, proved that wherever their officers dare to lead them the men will go.

Gen.'s Hurlbut, Veatch, and Lauman, the former commanding the division and the latter two brigades, did not confine themselves alone to their duties as commanders, but did everything that men could do to make victory complete. Gallant officers! So much praise of them is entirely unnecessary.

To their respective staff officers I must also add my sincere thanks for the zeal and energy with which they discharged their arduous duties throughout the day.

To the officers of the line and the men, from what I have seen of them to-day, I can only say that, should the fortunes of war continue them under my command, it will be my pride to win their confidence.

Gen. Veatch pushed the enemy with great vigor and success in front until their forces were so much increased that it became necessary to bring up our reserve, under command of Gen. Lauman, which I ordered at once; whereupon the enemy were driven from their last stronghold, Gen. Lauman showing by his coolness, energy, and courage that the front was his proper place.

Gen. Hurlbut has reported to me that he has gathered about 900 arms already, thrown away by the enemy in their retreat and expects to collect a large number to-morrow. The names of 289 prisoners have already been registered, and they are still being brought in.

From the nature of the country over which we fought it is impossible to arrive at an accurate estimate of the number of the enemy; but this may be inferred from the number of arms thrown away, the quantity of their artillery, and the fact that a portion of their forces engaged against us were not at Corinth.

Guns are heard to-night in the direction of Corinth. Gen. Hurlbut will push forward early to-morrow morning, as it is presumed Gen. Rosecrans is harassing the rear of the enemy.

My personal staff, Div. Surg. S. B. Davis, Capt. Sharpe, and Lieut. Brown, aides-de-camp, and Capt. Hotaling, Second Illinois Cavalry, and aide-de-camp, were by turns colonels of regiments or captains of batteries. Cheering and leading the men through the thickest of the fight, they always took the shortest line to danger on the field, and were always on hand when wanted. I commend them to the considerations of the Government.



Report of Capt. Alexander B. Sharpe, U. S. Army, Aide-de-Camp, of engagement at Hatchie Bridge.


GEN.: We are in severe engagement across the Hatchie at Davis' Bridge. We drove the enemy for about a mile to that point, taking at least 200 prisoners and two batteries. The enemy has four batteries playing upon us and a large body of infantry, and Gen. Ord is apprehensive we will have to fall back unless we are speedily re-enforced. This was the stage of the battle when we left for the hospital a few moments ago, when Gen. Ord was severely wounded just as he was directing to send this dispatch to you.

A. B. SHARPE, Capt. and Aide-de-Camp.

P. S.-We have driven the enemy and taken possession of heights on the other side. This I infer, as the firing has ceased and our men are going forward. The firing has commenced. They have probably taken a new position.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. I, pp. 301-303.


Report of Major Charles S. Hayes, Fifth Ohio Cavalry:


CAPT.: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the First and Second Battalions of the Fifth Ohio Cavalry, in the advance, of the 4th Instant, to Metamora, and in the engagement of the 5th In the valley of the Hatchie, near Davis' bridge:

With the First Battalion I proceeded in advance of Gen. Lauman's brigade to Middleton, and left Maj. Ricker with the Second Battalion to Gen. Veatch. My whole force numbered 294. While halted at Middleton the pickets outside the village reported the advance along the railroad from the direction of Pocahontas of a body of the enemy's cavalry, upon which they fired. When I came to their support the enemy, some 60 or 70 strong, fled precipitately and scattered in the woods in all directions. Presently one of our vedettes reported the Second Regt. [sic] Arkansas Cavalry encamped a mile south of the town. I then sent for Maj. Ricker's battalion, and after reconnoitering found that they had left a short time previously.

I was then ordered forward to the State Line road, and we again drove back the enemy's pickets into the woods joining the roads, when they fell back upon a force about 200 strong. We had a brisk skirmish i.e., at Middleton with them, when the enemy again fled, leaving 3 men and 2 horses killed, we having 1 man mortally wounded (since dead) and 3 horses disabled.

I then [4th] advanced rapidly to the small village of Metamora, situated on the river above Davis' Bridge, when the advance guard came upon a heavy cavalry picket of the enemy, which they drove into a corn field on the left. I deployed two companies to surround the field and capture them. We had taken 2 prisoners and 6 of their horses, when Lieut. Dempster, commanding the advance, reported to me that he was attacked by a heavy force and would be unable to hold his position on the top of the ridge. Finding that he was being pursued by a force of 600 or 700 I immediately rallied the battalion in the edge of the woods west from Metamora and opened fire, when a brisk skirmish ensued. I ordered up the Second Battalion and engaged them with my whole force for an hour, when, my ammunition being exhausted, I fell back to where the division had halted. The enemy showed no desire to follow. We had 2 men slightly wounded and 2 horses disabled.

Upon Sunday, the 5th instant, being ordered to take seven companies and make a detour to the right or left, as I saw fit, I accordingly took the road leading to the left, through Pocahontas, and approached Metamora from the north. When within a mile of that place we came upon a considerable force of cavalry and infantry, upon whom I charged and drove them before us, when they broke and fled down the hillside toward the river. I then advanced to the cross-roads at Metamora, clearing the roads of small detachments. Here I discovered the enemy crossing the bridge at Davis' in force, and that they were bringing their guns into position on the right and left of the road in the open field below, of which I immediately informed Gen. Veatch, upon whose advance I divided my force and placed them to watch on the right and left of the division. Here they remained until it was see that the enemy was retreating at about 4 p. m., when Maj. Ricker's battalion was ordered to move up the river in the direction of Jonesborough, and I was sent with four companies upon the road at Crum's Mill, on the left of the river. I followed the retreating enemy 3 or 4 miles, whom I found to be crossing the river 7 miles above Davis' Bridge and making a very hasty retreat, scattering baggage and ammunition in great quantities upon the road. We attacked their rear guard, but it was too strong and had too much cover for me to do much with, so I returned and reported.

Upon Monday, the 6th, Maj. Ricker was sent toward the Tuscumbia, to open communication with Gen. Rosecrans, while four companies were sent to the neighborhood of Pocahontas to procure wagons, mules, &c., and brought into camp 20 horses and mules, 6 buggies and wagons, and 13 privates.

....I cannot speak too highly of the conduct of the officers and men under my command. Every man did his duty; not one shirked.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

CHAS. S. HAYES, Maj., Comdg. Fifth Ohio Volunteer Cavalry.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. I, pp. 320-321


Report of Maj. Charles C. Campbell, First Illinois Light Artillery, Chief of Artillery, of engagement at Hatchie Bridge.


Camp at Bolivar, Tenn., October 10, 1862.

I joined the division on the evening of October 4 on the opposite bank of the Big Muddy and reported to Gen. Hurlbut for duty as chief of artillery, I having just returned from Saint Louis, where I had been on duty in conformity with Special Orders, No. 175.

On the morning of the 5th I was ordered by Maj.-Gen. Hurlbut to the front to take charge of the batteries. I proceeded something like half a mile or more and found one section of Bolton's battery in position on the side of a hill, shelling a house, distant about half a mile, in which were stationed some of the rebel pickets. They left in haste, as all of the six shells thrown took effect. I then rode to the front about 1 1/2 miles, where I met Maj. Hayes, of the Fifth Ohio Cavalry, and he informed me that the rebels were planting a battery on the flat near the Hatchie River, on the opposite side of a hill or hog-back which intervened. I immediately ordered Capt. Bolton's battery (Company L, Second Illinois Light Artillery) forward, and planted it just in rear of the brow of the hill, three of the pieces in the road and one on the right of the house which stood on the right of the road, leaving the caissons in the rear about a mile.

As soon as Capt. Bolton came into position he opened on the enemy's battery, who immediately returned the fire, which was very heavy. During the firing I rode to the right about 100 yards to see the effect of the shot, when I discovered on the right and front of Bolton's battery, within 300 yards, the rebel infantry, as I supposed, preparing to make a charge on the battery. I immediately ordered Burnap's Seventh Ohio forward, and stationed one section on the right of Capt. Bolton, and removed the remaining section still farther to the right, and with the right section of the battery commenced shelling the rebel infantry, drove them back, and completely routed them. The batteries then directed their fire on the enemy's battery, which was soon silenced, as they were then under a cross-fire from Bolton's and Burnap's batteries.

When this was done Gen. Veatch ordered the Second Brigade forward. As soon as they had dropped down the hill out of our range the batteries again opened and continued firing until our infantry engaged the enemy. I immediately ordered the limbers filled from the caissons and then to move down the hill. The enemy were found to have crossed the bridge, and I was ordered by Gen. Ord to move a section up to the bridge and shell the opposite side of river, which was done by one section of Capt. Bolton's battery, commanded by Capt. Bolton, and one section of Mann's battery (Company C, First Missouri Light Artillery), commanded by Lieut. Brotzmann, but finding that it was endeavoring the lives of our own men I ordered them to cease firing.

Gen. Ord then ordered me to take the two sections across the river, which was done under a very heavy fire from the enemy's battery and infantry, which was stationed upon the high ground back from the river and completely surrounded with heavy timber, which prevented our using our artillery. The fire here was tremendous and the two sections were in the very thickest of it. We remained in that position until the enemy were driven from the hill by our infantry, when I ordered Bolton's battery and Mann's battery up the hill on the right of the road, as the enemy's battery had dropped back to the timber at the junction of the two roads. Before the batteries had fairly got in position the enemy's batteries opened upon them, which was returned with vigor by Bolton and Brotzmann. I immediately ordered Capt. Spear's battery (Fifteenth Ohio) up on the hill on the left of the road. They came up (one piece on the right and rear of an old loghouse and three on the left) and opened fire on the enemy's battery with shot and shell, bringing them under a cross-fire from our three batteries, which soon silenced them. Our batteries continued throwing shell into the timber, driving the enemy for about ten minutes after the battery was silenced.

About this time it was reported to me by a colonel, whose name I do not know, that the enemy were planting a battery directly in front of Spear's battery. I immediately ordered the battery forward by a left oblique, which was executed under a heavy fire from the enemy's sharpshooters. The battery took position and opened upon the enemy with such good effect that they did not fire a shot, but left the field, leaving their only remaining caisson behind them. During this firing the enemy made a charge on Spear's battery, but were repulsed by one section of Bolton's battery, commanded by Lieut. James, who drove them back, capturing their colors. In the mean time I had stationed Capt. Burnap's battery on the right of Capt. Spear's, when all four of our batteries opened upon the enemy, driving them from the timber and we saw no more of them.

Wounded in the engagement: Capt. W. H. Bolton's battery, 5. I regret to have to complain of neglect in the case of Charles S. Adams, who was wounded early in the engagement and lay in a helpless condition, without surgical aid, for thirty-six hours, the battery surgeon refusing to do anything for him. I hope the general commanding will investigate it. Capt. Burnap's battery, 1; Capt. Spear's battery, 2; Capt. Mann's battery, 6.

Capt. Mann's battery lost in the action 3 horses killed and 3 wounded; Capt. Bolton 8 horses killed and 2 pieces temporarily disabled, which were repaired by substituting from the captured battery.

During the engagement Capt. Bolton's battery fired, solid shot, 24; canister, 34; shell, 145. Burnap's battery fired, shot, 8; canister, 65; shell, 61. Mann's battery fired, shot, 10; canister 57; shell, 17; spherical case, 84. Spear's battery fired, shot 76; canister, 28; spherical case, 154, making a total spherical case, 283; solid shot, 118; canister, 184; and shell, 223. Total shot, shell, canister, and spherical case, 763 rounds.

Too much praise cannot be awarded to the officers and men of the four batteries. All did their duty well and faithfully. None flinched from duty, even under a galling fire. I would call special attention to Capt.'s Bolton and Burnap; also to Lieut.'s Moore, James, Burrows, and Brechtel, they being under fire for the first time. They fought like veterans, always at their posts, cool and collected. Also Lieut. Brotzmann, commanding Mann's battery. He is a fine officer; was at Carthage, Pittsburg, and Shiloh. There were other officers of the batteries equally deserving, but I do not know their names. In fact all men and officers did their duty throughout faithfully.

With due respect I submit the foregoing report to Maj.-Gen. Hurlbut for approval.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

C. C. CAMPBELL, Maj. and Chief of Artillery.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17. pt. I, pp. 309-311.


Report of Col. Robert K. Scott, Sixty-eighth Ohio Infantry, commanding Provisional Brigade, of engagement at Hatchie Bridge.

HDQRS. SECOND BRIGADE, In the Field, near Pocahontas, Tenn., October 6, 1862.

SIR:In compliance with your order I have the honor to report as follows:

First. Inclosed you will find reports of Lieut.-Col. Graves, Twelfth Michigan, and Maj. John S. Snook, Sixty-eighth Ohio, which I send for want of proper writing material and time.

Second. Those two regiments formed line of battle on the left of the Pocahontas road about 9 a. m., and immediately advanced through a large open field, under a heavy fire of shell and canister from the enemy's battery posted near the bridge. Soon after we came upon the enemy posted in a lane in strong force. They opened a galling fire, which, however, did but little damage, and I ordered my men to lie down. We returned the fire by giving them three volleys along the whole line, then again advanced in double-quick, driving the enemy rapidly before us until we reached the river, where we halted for some time. The enemy's artillery continued to fire upon us, but with little effect, most of the shots passing over us. About this time the lieutenant-colonel commanding the Forty-sixth Illinois reported to me for orders (the colonel of said regiment having been wounded). We were then ordered to cross the bridge, which we did in fine style, although continually under a heavy fire of grape and canister; then moved down the river about the fourth of a mile, and took position, as directed, on the left of the Fifteenth Illinois Infantry; then advanced in line of battle to the large field on the top of the hill, where we remained, supporting the Seventh and Fifteenth Ohio Batteries, until the close of the engagement.

During the day my command took about 75 prisoners and 100 stand of small-arms, with accouterments.

The casualties were as follows: Sixty-eighth Ohio-wounded 6, 2 severely; Twelfth Michigan-wounded 7, 3 severely.

In conclusion allow me to say that during the whole action both officers and men acquitted themselves with honor. All the time being without orderly or aide and both regiments being deficient in field officers, I was compelled to rely entirely upon Lieut. George E. Welles, Sixty-eighth Ohio, acting assistant adjutant-general, in conveying my orders along the line, whose promptness and coolness during the whole day entitle him to the highest praise.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. K. SCOTT, Col., Comdg.

Brig.-Gen. VEATCH, Comdg.

OR, Ser. I., Vol. 17, pt. I, pp. 333-334.


Report of Lieut. Col. E. R. Hawkins, First Texas Legion, Second Brigade, including engagement at Hatchie Bridge.

HDQRS. FIRST TEXAS LEGION, October 11, 1862.

COL.: Having been ordered to give a report of the engagement at Davis' Bridge on the 5th I respectfully submit the following:

On the morning of October 5, at 7. 30 o'clock, I received an order from Maj.-Gen. Van Dorn to report with my command and a section of Capt. Dawson's battery, commanded by Lieut. Olds, to Col. Wirt Adams, at Davis' Bridge, on the Hatchie, and in a few minutes I moved and hastened to obey the order from Gen. Van Dorn, when I met Col. Adams at the point above mentioned at about 8. 30 o'clock with 360 effective men. Col. Adams ordered me to post the Legion on the east bank of the Hatchie, which I did, and remained in line of battle some three-quarters of an hour. Col. Adams then ordered me to cross the stream and take a position in line of battle on the west side of the stream, with the right wing of the Legion a few yards below the bridge and with the left wing, viz.,: Companies E, G, H, and M, moved by the left flank above the bridge about 100 yards, to move forward in line of battle. I then moved forward, leaving the Hatchie, 500 or 600 yards into an open field under a galling fire of grape-shot and shell from a battery advantageously posted in our front and supported by an overwhelming force of infantry, their line extending as far as I could see on my right. I had moved up to and was occupying the position indicated by Col. Adams, when the enemy got into position with a second battery farther to my left and opened a terrific fire of grape-shot. At this moment one of Gen. Maury's staff -I do not know his name-came up and ordered that I should fall back to a position for the purpose of flanking the enemy's artillery. I moved back in good order and halted opposite to and on the left of the section of Dawson's battery commanded by Lieut. Olds, which had been put in position by order of Gen. Maury near the road about 150 yards west from Davis' house, and which was used with much skill-and with coolness and bravery seldom witnessed-by the lieutenant until he was compelled to leave the field in consequence of having exhausted his ammunition. I then fired upon the enemy's infantry as they emerged from under cover of fences, ditches, and hedges in large forces both in front and on my right and left and held them in check in front, but only to see a regiment moving up rapidly on my right to prevent our reaching the bridge, and was therefore compelled to retire or fall into the hands of the enemy with the five companies above mentioned. When I reached the bridge with these companies I found that the right wing-under command of Senior Capt. J. T. Whitfield, and composed of the following companies: I, D, K, M, C, F, and L-was crossing to the east side of the Hatchie by order of Col. Ross, of the Sixth Regt. [sic] Texas Cavalry. Gen. Moore then came up, and ordered that inasmuch as it was impossible to hold a position near the bridge to move back to a position which he would indicate. I then met with Gen. Price, who ordered me to the Second Brigade, as it was then coming up.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. R. HAWKINS, Lieut.-Col., Comdg. First Texas Legion.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. I, pp. 392-393.


Report of Capt. Edward H. Cummins, C. S. Army, Acting Inspector-Gen., including engagement at Hatchie Bridge.

NEAR HOLLY SPRINGS, MISS., October 11, 1862.

DEAR GEN.: Knowing that your patriotism embraces the whole country and that your heart is with all our Armies alike, I make no apology for sending you what I intend to be a brief account of our recent expedition and disaster:

* * * *

[On the morning of the 5th]...we fell back, intending to retreat by the same route by which we had approached, but found the passage of the Hatchie River disputed by Hurlbut's corps, 12,000 strong, which had marched across from Bolivar and reached Pocahontas before us. The bridge was about 2 miles from Pocahontas. Moore's and Phifer's remnants of brigades crossed and were again gobbled up and we lost one battery. The rest of the division got up and, though greatly exhausted, managed to hold the enemy in check for two hours, the other fragments of brigades and regiments composing Hebert's division coming up feebly and supporting us. We gave up the attempt to cross, and fell back again and marched by another route to the south. The enemy had burned the bridge by which we now hoped to get out, but Frank [C.] Armstrong, who proved our salvation, had, with great foresight and energy, rebuilt it. The enemy did not pursue with any great vigor, and we saved nearly everything but our wounded, and some of them. Bowen lost part of his train. We brought off two captured guns, and lost five and brought along 300 prisoners.

* * * *

Your devoted friend and servant,


OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. I, pp. 395-397.


Report of Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn, C. S. Army, commanding Army of West Tennessee, including engagement at Hatchie Bridge and operations August 30-October 12.

HOLLY SPRINGS, MISS., October 7, 1862.


Dispatch received at Pocahontas, near Corinth. Attacked Corinth. Took all the outer works by storm and got within the town. Enemy received fresh re-enforcement and we could not complete the work; retired. The Bolivar force came down on my line of retreat and prevented crossing of Hatchie. Moved south. Crossed 6 miles below, and now at Ripley with all baggage and as many of the wounded as could carry. Bloody affair. Enemy still threaten. Will fight him at all points. There are about 40,000 men still in West Tennessee. Will have hard fighting.



Respectfully submitted to the President.

G. W. RANDOLPH, Secretary of War.

Read. It will be necessary to re-enforce, if possible, at once.

J. D.

OR Ser. Vol. 17, pt. I, pp. 375-376.


Report of Brig. Gen. Dabney H. Maury, C. S. Army, commanding Division, including engagement at Hatchie Bridge.

HDQRS. MAURY'S DIVISION, Camp on Tippah, October 10, 1862.

CAPT.: I have the honor to report that this division of the Army of the West moved from Ripley toward Corinth on September 30, numbering 3, 896 infantry, five light batteries of four guns each, and 881 cavalry.

On the morning of October 3 we moved at daylight from our camp near Chewalla to attack the enemy in Corinth. The division was formed in line of battle near Walker's house, north of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, Moore's brigade with its right resting near the railroad; Phifer's brigade was formed on Moore's left, extending to Hebert's division, and Cabell's brigade was held in reserve. The line faced Corinth and the enemy's advanced line of entrenchments. The sharpshooters of Moore's and Phifer's brigades, under Col.'s Rogers, Stirman, and Bridges, soon became briskly engaged with those of the enemy and forced them back into their entrenchments.

At 10 a. m. our whole line moved forward and the strong outworks of the enemy were carried without a check. Moore and Phifer at once pushed on toward Corinth in pursuit of the retreating enemy. When within little more than a mile of the town they were halted….

*  *  *  *

….The brigades of Gen.'s Moore, Phifer, and Cabell were gallantly led by their commanders to them[3], planted their colors within them, drove the enemy from them, and held them until forced back by the overwhelming reserves of the enemy. The division was then reformed and marched back to encamp near Chewalla.

Next morning it moved toward Pocahontas. When within 5 miles of Davis' Bridge couriers from Col. Wirt Adams, who had been guarding that point, apprised us that the enemy was advancing in force to seize it before we could cross. Moore's brigade-now reduced to about 300 men-was pushed forward, and with the Saint Louis Battery and two guns taken from the enemy at Corinth, all under Maj. Burnet's orders, marched across the bridge and formed with the view of storming the heights of Metamora, but they were too few and too late. The enemy's artillery and infantry, already in position, swept them away, and were close upon the bridge before Phifer's brigade, commanded by Col. Ross, could cross and form to meet them. We lost four of our guns here. Nothing remained for us to dispute the enemy's passage over the bridge and to hold him in check as long as possible. This was gallantly done for more than an hour by the remnants of Moore's, Phifer's, and Cabell's brigades, and by the batteries of Hogg, Sengstak, Dawson, Lieut.'s Moore and Miles, superintended by Maj. Burnet. They were all then ordered to retire and take up a new position within the timber. This was done in good order, and, the enemy not advancing, the whole division was withdrawn and put upon the march by another route, our rear being covered by Gen. Villepigue's brigade. Last night the division bivouacked at this point.

I inclose herewith the reports of the several brigade commanders, and refer you to them for more detailed accounts of the actions than I can give.

I can bear honest testimony to the fidelity and valor of the officers and troops under my command. The instances of gallant conduct would include too many for me to mention here; but there are two men of humble rank whose conspicuous courage and energy at Davis' Bridge attacked general attention and admiration. One is Earnest Goolah, chief bugler of Ross' regiment. The other is Benjamin J. Chandler, a private of Company C, Slemons' cavalry. I recommend them to the most favorable consideration of the general commanding as worthy of the honors due to conspicuous courage upon the battle-field.

My staff officers were always prompt, intelligent, and gallant.

I inclose the reports of our losses.[4] You will observe that they have been very heavy; but, sir, we remember that our noble dead fell in the streets and in the innermost fortifications of Corinth, and that our torn colors have floated in triumph over the very stronghold of the foe.

I am, sir, very respectfully, yours,

DABNEY H. MAURY, Brig.-Gen., Comdg. Division.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17. pt. I, pp. 393-395.


Report of Brig. Gen. John S. Bowen, C. S. Army, commanding Third Brigade, including engagement at Hatchie Brigade.

HDQRS. THIRD BRIGADE, LOVELL'S DIVISION, Holly Springs, Miss., October 12, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to forward herewith reports[5] from my several commands in regard to the part taken by the actions of the 3d, 4th, and 5th instant at and near Corinth:

It will be seen that-passing over the deployments between Chewalla and the creek west of Corinth, where the enemy's outposts were driven in with little or no resistance-this brigade first formed line of battle to the east of Cypress Creek, with Rust's brigade on its right and Villepigue's the left, a heavy line of skirmishers, composed of the First Missouri Regt. and the Mississippi battalion of sharpshooters, proceeding in advance, supported by the Twenty-second and Fifteenth Mississippi Regt.'s in line, and the Sixth Mississippi Regt. (Col. Lowry) and Watson Battery (Capt. Bursley) in reserve. The line advanced steadily, forcing back the enemy's sharpshooters into their entrenchments, and pushing on charged their works, capturing their battery at the salient near the railroad and driving their entire infantry force from the trenches. Rust and Villepigue carrying the trenches in front of them about the same time rendered the work comparatively easy for my brigade.

The Twenty-second Mississippi Regt. Capt. Lester commanding, deserve special mention for their gallant charge on this occasion. The Mississippi battalion of sharpshooters, Capt. Caruthers commanding, were conspicuous for their coolness and courage; also for joining the Twenty-second Mississippi Regt. in the charge in which they captured battery. The First Missouri Regt., gathering in charged while deployed as skirmishers and drove the enemy from the trenches before I could reach the position with the Fifteenth Mississippi Regt., which was advancing toward the same point. The First Missouri Regt., Lieut.-Col. Riley commanding, proceeding onward, drove the enemy from one of their encampments nearly a mile inside of their works, holding the same under fire until the second line of battle was formed toward sunset for the attack on the right. The enemy having abandoned the works on our right, the second line above alluded to advance and occupied their encampments, capturing a few stragglers in the evening.

On the morning of the 4th the brigade was formed, in accordance with instructions received the night before, immediately in advance of the encampment occupied, and advanced steadily, with Villepigue on its left and Rust in reserve, the whole moving together. Arriving within 600 yards of a strong redoubt, supported on the right and left by a similar work, with a formidable line of infantry intrenched connecting them, it was halted and after a protracted skirmish, which failed to develop the enemy's strength on the position, I determined, in absence of the major-general commanding, to feel them more effectually and force them to show their strength. The Watson Battery (four guns) was ordered to open upon the work immediately in our front, and during the second round was answered by a terrific cannonade from, the right left, and front, convincing me that the information given that there were only three at this point was erroneous, as I had thus developed at least twenty. The battery was ordered to the rear, and after the firing slightly I moved the brigade a short distance to the rear near Rust's line, in order to take advantage of the ground and save it from a repetition of the galling fire which had been opened upon them.

The brigade loss during this shelling was about 50 men killed and wounded, and the whole command deserves special commendation for their coolness under fire.

After remaining some two hours in the new position, our skirmishers keeping up a continuous fire on our front and right, and after Villepigue had repelled the attack made on his line and moved to the left, my brigade was ordered to the rear, while Rust formed line of battle beyond, at the salient near the railroad crossing. The First Missouri Regt., deployed as skirmishers, covered the rear of both brigades. The command, after a successful evacuation, encamped at Chewalla about sunset.

Detailed on the morning of the 5th as the rear guard of the army, the brigade left its encampment in rear of the train at about 10 a. m., marching slowly, very much annoyed and delayed by the wagons.

At 12 m. the enemy's advance overtook us, and I formed line of battle with the Mississippi battalion and one section of artillery, under Lieut. Barlow, in advance, our line then fronting the enemy. The attack was made by their cavalry and vigorously repulsed by two companies of Jackson's cavalry and the Mississippi battalion, and their rout completed by the rapid and effective fire of Lieut. Barlow's section. Resuming the retreat, we were not again molested until compelled to halt for several hours at the Tuscumbia River Bridge, allowing the wagons to cross. The enemy arrived at our position near the bridge about sunset. Deploying, they endeavored to turn my left in order to cut me off from the brigade, at the same time advancing strongly on my front and center. After heavy skirmishing, well maintained on both sides, and some artillery firing by the enemy, they advanced boldly in front of my center, opposite the Fifteenth Mississippi Regt. Taking command of this regiment in person, I advanced it about fifteen paces and then poured in a deliberate, well-aimed, and simultaneous volley. This fire-which was handsomely seconded by several rounds of canister from Bursley's (first) section, under Lieut. Toledano, on our immediately right, which enfiladed their line, followed up by a rapid, well-aimed, and continuous file-fire from the Fifteenth Mississippi Regt.-must have proved destructive, as the advance was not only thus checked, but heir whole force fled from the fled. I then crossed the Tuscumbia at my leisure, tore up and burned the brigade, obstructed the ford near by, and joined the division about 3 miles beyond.

My loss in the action of the Tuscumbia was 2 or 3 killed and 8 or 10 wounded. This brigade was subsequently detailed as the rear guard of the army, but had no other engagement with the enemy.

I have the honor to transmit herewith a full list of the killed,[6] wounded and missing in the three days' actions alluded to.

The officers of my staff were present and untiring in the discharge of their respective duties. In addition to the assistance given by my adjutant-general, Capt. Hutchinson; my inspector-general, Capt. Percy, and Lieut. Carter, aide-de-camp, I am indebted to Caldwell, of the Watson Battery, for bearing orders on the field. All of these gentlemen were and on the retreat.

In closing I would call the attention of the division commander to the unexampled courage and endurance displayed by the troops, who, under hardships and privations which can only be appreciated by those who experienced them, never faltered in the discharge of their arduous duties. The exceptions mentioned in the report[7] of Col. Farrell, Fifteenth Mississippi Regt., were conspicuous in a brigade which acted so well that they deserve to be immediately punished. I know of no better way of rewarding the 2,000 brave men than by casting out the two or three cowards who happened to be among them. I therefore recommend that Second Lieut. T. J. Clark, Company A, Fifteenth Mississippi Regt., be dismissed in disgrace, and that Corporal Bennett and Privates Applegate and Spivey, Company B, be dammed out of the service and their names published, with the sentence attached.

Very respectfully,

JNo. S. BOWEN, Brig.-Gen., Comdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt I, pp. pp. 411-414.





[1] As cited in PQCW

[2] There are 36 reports relative the engagement at Hatchie Bridge. All are found in OR, Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. I. A representative cross section is presented here.

[3] The Confederate earthworks.

[4] Not found.

[5] Not found.

[6] Not found.

[7] Not found.

James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-770-1090 ext. 123456

(615)-532-1549  FAX


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