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tion in season to intercept the retreating foe. The dangerous point was safely passed. But for this untoward circumstance, the entire force of the enemy, with his materiel of war, must have fallen into General Burnside's hands. But our cavalry was early in the saddle, and General Shackleford with his troops, made a rapid and energetic pursuit, pushing the enemy across the Watauga and beyond the Virginia line, and driving him onward whenever he attempted to make a stand. General Shackleford continued on the trail for several days, burning six bridges, capturing and destroying three locomotives and thirty cars, and even proceeding so far as to threaten the salt works at Abingdon and Saltville. Our loss in this engagement was about one hundred killed and wounded. The enemy suffered more severely, and left in our hands one hundred and fifty prisoners.
On the 16th, a regiment of loyal North Carolina troops captured Warm Springs and occupied Paint Rock Gap. The remainder of General Burnside's troops were concentrated at Knoxville and Loudon, picketing down to the left of the Army of the Cumberland, pushing out scouts and outposts on the south side of the Tennessee, and clearing the country between the little Tennessee and Hiwassee' rivers. General Burnside, besides these operations, was occupied during the greater part of the month in organizing his loyal East Tennessee regiments, and in preparing for the new movements inaugurated by the advent, upon this interesting scene, of the successful soldier whose name had already filled the country in connection with his grand triumph at Vicksburg.
THE SIEGE OF KNOXVILLE.
N the 18th of October, Major General Ulysses S. Grant,
by order of the President, assumed command of the Military Division of the Mississippi,” composed of the three Departments of the Ohio, the Cumberland and the Tennessee. The changes that had taken place upon the military chess board required more concentration of command, especially in the West.
As many as four different armies were operating upon the soil of Tennessee, and to ensure their efficient coordinate action, a single head was required. General Grant's merit and distinguished service pointed him out as the most suitable for such command.
Operations in this quarter were now almost solely occupying public attention. The Army of the Potomac, after the battle of Gettysburg, had contented itself with quietly following General Lee's retreating forces to the line of the Rapidan, where the two armies, with an occasional episode of conflict, subsided into comparative quiet. General Hooker was despatched with two corps—the eleventh and twelfth--to the aid of General Rosecrans on the one side. On the other, General Longstreet had been sent westward by General Lee with a large reënforcement, and had even joined General Bragg in season to take a prominent and active part in the battle of Chickamauga. General Grant was returning from the successful siege of Vicksburg. General Parke, with the Ninth Corps, had already reached Knoxville, and General Sherman, with the fifteenth
corps, was marching across the country from Memphis. It seemed as though the chief struggle of the war was impending among the mountainous regions of northern Georgia and East Tennessee. The two great combatants appeared to feel the importance of the occasion, and each prepared to do his utmost. While the East lay comparatively quiescent, the West was to become the scene of the contest of giants.
General Grant, upon his advent, made a few changes in his Military Division. General Burnside was retained in his command at Knoxville. General Sherman was appointed to the command of the Department of the Tennessee, General Rosecrans was relieved and General Thomas was appointed in his place, to command the Department of the Cumberland. Under such able guidance, the country looked with confidence to a successful result of the autumnal operations. The wellgrounded hopes of the public were not destined to disappointment. General Grant repaired in person to Chattanooga, and, bringing up General Hooker with his command, speedily relieved the force there by pressing back the enemy from the Tennessee river beyond the passes of the overhanging moun
General Sherman restored the communications with the Mississippi river. General Burnside held the line of the Tennessee on General Grant's left flank, from Knoxville down to Washington, with his communications northward through Cumberland Gap well guarded. In this position, the further developments of the campaign were awaited with undiminished trust.
In General Burnside's immediate front, indications of the enemy's approach began to be perceived as early as the middle of October. General Bragg, having been forced back from his position before Chattanooga, extended his right flank beyond Cleveland, and finally decided to detach General Longstreet to attack General Burnside, and sever his communications with the rapidly concentrating army of General Grant. On the 20th of October, Colonel Wolford, during the pendency of some negotiations respecting prisoners, carried on under a flag