Wednesday, February 18, 2015

150-years-ago -- BATTLE OF HATCHER'S RUN, Virginia

Hatcher's Run fortifications. (Library of Congress)



Battle of Hatcher’s Run
            When the men of the 10th Louisiana Infantry got to Hatcher’s Run, one mile in rear of Burgess’ Mill, they began building winter quarters. The regiment, what was left of it, took part in the agonizing drama that unfolded that winter. They shed more blood in the Battle of Hatcher’s Run, Feb. 5-7, 1865, the Battle of Fort Stedman, March 25, 1865 and the Battle of Appomattox, April 9, 1865. The Battle of Hatcher’s  Run took place when a division of Federal cavalry, under Brigadier General David Gregg  was ordered to intercept a Confederate wagon train helping the railroad to supply the Southern army. The cavalry was supported by Warren’s 5th  Corps and two divisions of the Federal 2nd Corps under the command of Major General A.A. Humphreys. Confederate forces were made up of Gordon’s 2nd  Corps and Major General William Mahone’s division of A.P. Hill’s 3rd  Corps. Mahone was absent sick, and Brigadier General Joseph Finegan of Florida was the temporary division commander. The Federals fielded 34,517 men and the Confederates, 13,835. The bluecoat cavalry pounded up and down the pike leading to Dinwiddie Court House February 5,  but managed to nab only 18 wagons and 50 prisoners. They found no heavily laden Confederate wagon train. The battle began in the afternoon when Humpreys’ division was attacked by Brigadier General Joseph R. Cooke’s North Carolina Brigade of Heth’s division, Third Corps. Evans’ division, including Peck’s Louisianians, came up in support of the North Carolinians. The fighting began at 4 o’clock that afternoon and lasted only about 90 minutes. The Confederates pushed to within about 100 yards before darkness ended the fighting that day. Evans’ men were brought up on Cooke’s left late in the battle. General Lee was watching the battle from the rear.
            On the next day, February 6, the most prolonged fighting took place in the three day battle. General Lee, seeing that the Federals were just trying to disrupt the Confederate supply line,  ordered Mahone’s and Evans’ divisions back to their original places. Pegram’s division was ordered to begin probing from Dabney’s Mill in an eastward direction to find the enemy. Although the Federals outnumbered the Confederates by more than 2-1, the heavily forested area essentially nullified that advantage, the way it had on The Wilderness battlefield. The confusing command and control situation, and poor management by Grant and Meade, also plagued the Federals as it had at The Wilderness. Warren’s and Humphreys’ commands were ordered to reconnoiter to determine if any Confederates were outside their fortifications. Warren, however, interpreted the order to mean that Humphreys was to do the probing and his 5th  Corps was to standby to support him if he ran into trouble. Humphreys pushed out in a northern

 
Map by M.D. Jones

direction that morning, and then found nothing threatening and returned to his works at noon. When Meade personally straightened out Warren about  the order, Brigadier General Samuel W. Crawford’s division was ordered at 1:15 o’clock that afternoon, to move out to the west to see if there were any Confederates out that way. Neither side was particularly looking for battle at that time and place, but they soon found one.
            When the two opposing forces met at about 2 o’clock the fighting started and the Federals began slowly pushing Pegram’s division back. Mahone’s (Finegan’s) and Evans’ divisions were called back to the scene of action as Pegram continued fighting the Federal infantry and cavalry alone. Evans’ division came up and fell in on Pegram’s left, with a considerable gap between the two, and counterattacked. They began slowly pushing the Federals back, but the Yankees brought up ample reinforcements and counterattacked and drove the gray jackets back. Evans’ men then were then readily reformed near the enemy lines and “advanced with spirit” into the swirling cauldron of battle again, with Pegram on the right, and the enemy was again driven back. Tragically, however, General Pegram was mortally wounded by a bullet wound to the side while cheering his men forward. Major Henry Kyd Douglas was riding near Pegram when he was hit. The major jumped off his horse and caught the general slumping from his mount, and helped the general to the ground. The 33-year-old general was dead by the time they got him off his horse. Pegram had been married to Miss Hetty Carey of Richmond just three weeks before his death. His funeral was held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, where he had also been married. He was buried in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond. 
            Mahone’s division came up and filled in the gap between Evans and Pegram. The reinforced Confederates then went forward for another push. This time the Federals fell back in confusion to their defenses on Hatcher’s Run. Crawford’s and Ayres’ infantrymen were beginning to panic, some of whom threw down their weapons and ran to the rear. Warren complained of the poor quality of the new soldiers that were filling up the ranks of his corps. He said they had to be kept under constant supervision. It was also bitterly cold and that night the rain turned to snow. It was a miserable night in which the Confederates were given only a small pone of cornbread to eat, and had to try to sleep on frozen ground under wet blankets.  General Lee, who had been present for the battle, said in his report of February 8 that the men  had been without any meat at all for three days. He also noted they had been exposed to “cold, hail and sleet.” Lee said that his chief commissary officer told him he had no meat at all, so he ordered the officer back to Richmond to find some. “The physical strength of the men, if their courage survives, must fail under this treatment,” Lee wrote. He warned Richmond of dire consequences if the condition of his soldiers was not improved.
            The third day of the battle, February 7, was confined to skirmishing with pickets. Both sides were apparently satisfied with their current positions, but Warren sent Crawford’s division back out into the tangled, frozen woods and they encountered only Confederate pickets who they pressed slowly back until 6 o’clock that evening. They also buried some of their men who had been killed on the previous days. Warren then pulled them back to their new fortifications on Hatcher’s Run. The Confederates also stretched their entrenchments a little further, which  made the thin gray line manning those trenches, even thinner. The Federals reported a total of 1,539 casualties, including 171 killed, 1,181 wounded and 187 missing or captured. Confederate losses are estimated at around 1,000. The 10th Louisiana casualties are also unknown.

Gen. Clement Evans
(Library of Congress)



Saturday, January 31, 2015

HUNLEY update

C.S.S. Hunley, first submarine to sink an enemy ship. 
(Naval History and Heritage Command)

The World’s First Successful Combat Submarine Almost Fully Visible    


Image and Raw Video Available to Press: http://tinyurl.com/puy8mgx Public Youtube Video: http://youtu.be/E1SUSiPiQls
     North Charleston, South Carolina – For the first time in over one hundred and fifty years, you can actually see the Hunley. Until recently, the submarine was completely covered by concretion, an encrusted layer of sand, sediment and shells that built up slowly over time. The concretion masked the original surface of the legendary vessel, hiding many of her finer features. For the past four months, Clemson University conservators have been conducting the delicate task of chiseling away this encrustation.
      Nearly 70% of the submarine’s exterior has been revealed and they hope to complete the outside of the submarine in the coming weeks. The last areas remaining are being called “forensic hot spots,” indicating areas where they think there may be evidence that could help scientists understand why the Hunley vanished after becoming the world’s first successful combat submarine.
     “Being able to see the surface in minute detail for the very first time is shedding new light on our understanding of the submarine,” said Paul Mardikian, Senior Hunley Conservator with Clemson University.
     Until now, archaeologists have been given the difficult task of studying an artifact they could not actually see. With the exterior of the submarine partially exposed, the Clemson team has already made some interesting discoveries:
     - In one area of the hull, the metal surface is stamped with the letters “C N “. The meaning on this stamp is being investigated, but it is thought to represent the foundry where the Hunley’s iron was forged.
     - We are learning more about how the weapon system worked. The Hunley’s designers were always looking for ways to improve upon the submarine and it’s method of attack. Because of this process of evolution, it has been unclear how the small Confederate Hunley was able to deliver and detonate the torpedo that brought down one of the Union’s largest and mightiest ships.
     - There are areas below the dive planes where it looks like the metal surface of the submarine had somehow been pushed in, causing it to be dented. At this point, there is no telling what could have caused these areas of deformation on the hull. One possible scenario is they were inflicted by 19th century recovery efforts. In 1863, the Hunley sank twice during test missions. Each time, divers used ropes and chains to bring her back to land for repair.
     While removing the concretion has opened up a new avenue of historical discovery, it will also allow for a conservation treatment to be applied to the fragile 19th century submarine. Conservators have been using small hand tools, drills and chisels to break away the concretion, which in some places is harder than the corroded iron it covers. They must be careful because even the smallest mistake could potentially damage one of maritime history’s most treasured artifacts.
     “Removing the concretion is an intimidating task for all involved. There is no room for error when working on a one-of-a-kind artifact like the Hunley. With our team of well-trained experts and perhaps a little luck, everything has gone according to plan,” said Nestor Gonzalez, Associate Director of Clemson University’s Warren Lasch Conservation Center.
     The Hunley is made from cast and wrought iron. Most of the concretion that has been removed up until this point has been on the wrought iron plates. The cast iron has a greater chance of having retained potentially important historical fingerprints, such as gunfire, scrapes, and other damage. However, cleaning of corroded cast iron is very challenging as it is quite soft and brittle and can be easily damaged during treatment.
     The last areas left to complete on the outside of the submarine are mainly the sections made of cast iron, specifically sections of the bow and conning towers. As these sensitive areas of “forensic hotspots” are uncovered, the team is hopeful to find evidence that will teach us more about the mysterious events surrounding the Hunley’s final voyage and disappearance.

The Hunley Project
On the evening of February 17, 1864, the H. L. Hunley became the world’s first successful combat submarine by sinking the USS Housatonic. After signaling to shore that the mission had been accomplished, the submarine and her crew of eight mysteriously vanished. Lost at sea for over a century, the Hunley was located in 1995 by Clive Cussler’s National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA). The innovative hand-cranked vessel was raised in 2000 and delivered to the Warren Lasch Conservation Center, where an international team of scientists are at work to conserve the submarine for future generations and piece together clues to solve the mystery of her disappearance. The Hunley Project is conducted through a partnership with the Clemson University Restoration Institute, South Carolina Hunley Commission, Naval History and Heritage Command, and Friends of the Hunley.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Stonewall Jackson - Happy Birthday!

Lt. Gen. T.J. "Stonewall" Jackson
by John Adams Elder
Statue of Stonewall Jackson at his grave
in Lexington, Va. (Library of Congress)
It was on 21 January 1824  that Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson was born in Clarksburg (or Parkersburg), West Virginia. He was orphaned at an early age and raised by an uncle, Cummins Jackson. He was admitted to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. in 1842 and graduated 17th in a class of 59 cadets in 1846. Jackson fought with the artillery at the Siege of Vera Cruz and in the battles of Contreras, Chapultepec, and Mexico City. By the end of the war he was promoted to the brevet rank of major. Jackson left the army in 1851 and took a teaching position at the Virginia Military Academy. He was married the first time to Elinor Junkin, with whom he had one child who was stillborn. Elinor died soon after of complications. He remarried to Mary Annna Morrison, and they had two children. The first was a daughter who died at one month. The second child, Julia, was their only surviving child. Jackson entered the Confederate Army as a colonel and was promoted to brigadier general and commanded the 1st Virginia Infantry Brigade, afterward known as the "Stonewall Brigade," at the First Battle of Manassas 21 July 1861. His brigade famously stopped a Federal assault, which led to a great Confederate victory. It was there he received his immortal nickname by standing like a "Stonewall." Promotions followed to major general of a division, and then lieutenant general of the Second Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia. His other notable battles and campaigns included the Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1863; the Seven Days Battles; the Battle of Cedar Mountain; the Second Battle of Manassas; the Battle of Chantilly; the Battle of Sharpsburg  and the Battle of Chancellorsville. At the last battle he led his corps on a famous flank march that shattered the Federal right and led to one of the greatest Confederate victories of the war. Jackson, however, was mortally wounded by friendly fire and died May 10, 1863. He was buried with full military honors at Lexington, Va. and mourned by the entire Confederacy. Jackson was known at a man of deep Christian faith who was instrumental in bringing many of his men to Christ. All honor to his memory.

Monday, January 19, 2015

ROBERT E. LEE - HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Today, January 19, 2015, is an official state holiday in Louisiana. All honor and respect to Robert E. Lee!
Gen. Robert E. Lee
by John Adams Elder

Robert E. Lee at Stonewall Jackson's
grave in Lexington, Va.

Post war image of Lee on Traveler in Lexington, Va.

Equestrian statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, astride his horse, Traveller, in the park that surrounds the headquarters of the Dallas Park Board in Oak Lawn section of Dallas, Texas. (Library of Congress)
Lee and Jackson's Last Meeting

Lee at Jackson's grave in Lexington, Virginia

Recumbent State of Robert E. Lee, Lee Chapel,
Lexington, Va. (Library of Congress)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

150-years-ago FALL OF FORT FISHER, North Carolina

Fall of Fort Fisher, North Carolina on Jan. 15, 1865
(Library of Congress)

[National Park Service]


North Carolina artillery soldier with
North Carolina belt buckle and sword.
(Lilijenquist Family Collection
Library of Congress)
Maj. Gen. Benjamin Butler was relieved of command of the Army of the James and assigned to lead an amphibious expedition against Fort Fisher, which protected Wilmington, the South’s last open seaport on the Atlantic coast. Learning that large numbers of Union troops had embarked from Hampton Roads on December 13, Lee dispatched Hoke’s Division to meet the expected attack on Fort Fisher. On December 24, the Union fleet under Rear Adm. David D. Porter arrived to begin shelling the fort. An infantry division disembarked from transports to test the fort’s defenses. The Federal assault on the fort had already begun when Hoke approached, discouraging further Union attempts. Butler called off the expedition on December 27 and returned to Fort Monroe. Estimated total casualties were 320.

After the failure of his December expedition against Fort Fisher, Maj. Gen. Benjamin Butler was relieved of command.  Maj. Gen. Alfred Terry was placed in command of a “Provisional Corps,” including Paine's Division of U.S. Colored Troops, and supported by a naval force of nearly 60 vessels, to renew operations against the fort. After a preliminary bombardment directed by Rear Adm. David D. Porter on January 13, Union forces landed and prepared an attack on Maj. Gen. Robert Hoke's infantry line. On the 15th, a select force moved on the fort from the rear. A valiant attack late in the afternoon, following the bloody repulse of a naval landing party carried the parapet. The Confederate garrison surrendered, opening the way for a Federal thrust against Wilmington, the South's last open seaport on the Atlantic coast. Estimated casualties were a total of 2,000.


Saturday, January 3, 2015

150-years-ago The Blockade was Pourous

Richmond Daily Dispatch
January 3, 1865

Blockade Runner Teaser off Fort Monroe, Virginia. (Library of Congress)
     Notwithstanding the alleged ceaseless vigilance of the Yankee navy in watching blockade-runners on the Atlantic and Gulf coast of the Confederate States, their close attention has amounted to comparatively little. Setting aside all that has been supported on State and individual account, the proceeds of the blockade have been very great. The restrictions imposed upon foreign commerce by the act of Congress of last session prohibiting, absolutely, during the pending war, the importation of any articles not necessary for the defence of the country — namely; wines, spirits, jewelry, cigars, and all the finer fabrics of cotton, flaw, wool, or silk, as well as all other merchandise Serving only for the indulgence of luxurious habits, has not had the effect to reduce the number of vessels engaged in blockade-running; but, on the contrary, he number has steadily increased within the last year, and many are understood to be now on the way to engage in the business.
     The President, in a communication to Congress on the subject says that the number of vessels arriving at two ports only from the 1st of November to the 6th of December was for:-three, and but a very small proportion of those outward bound were captioned. Out of 11,796 bales of cotton shipped since the 1st of July last, but 1,272 ere lost — not quite eleven per cent.
     The special report of the Secretary of the Treasury in relation to the matter shows that there have been imported into the Confederacy at the ports of Wilmington and Charleston site October 26, 1864, 8,632,000 pounds meat, 1,507,000 pounds of lead, 13,000 pounds of saltpetre, 546,000 pairs of shoes, 346,000 pairs of blankets, pounds of coffee, 69,000 rifles, 97 packages of revolvers, 2,639 packages of medicine, 43 cannon, with a large quantity of other articles, of which we ed make no mention. Besides these, any valuable stores and supplies are brought, by way of the Northern lines, to Florida, by the port of Galveston through Mexico, across the Rio Grande.
     The shipments of cotton made Government account since March 1864, amount to $5,296,006 in specie. Of this, cotton, to the value of $1,500,000, has been shipped since the 1st of July and up to the 1st of December.
     It is a matter of absolute impossibility for the Federal to stop our blockade-running at the port of Wilmington. If the wind blows off the coast, the blockading fleet is driven off. If the wind blows landward, they are compelled to haul off to a great distance to escape the terrible sea which dashes on a rocky coast without a harbor within three days sail. 
      The shoals on the North Carolina coast are from five to twenty miles wide; and they are, moreover, composed of the most treacherous and bottomless quicksands. The whole coast is scarcely equalled in the world for danger and fearful appearance, particularly when a strong easterly wind meets the ebb tide.
     It is an easy matter for a good pilot to run a vessel directly out to sea or into port; but in the stormy months, from October to April, no blockading vessel can lie at anchor in safety off the Carolina coast. Therefore supplies will be brought in despite the keenest vigilance.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

150-years-ago -- The Battle of Nashville, Tennessee, Dec. 15-16, 1864.

[Excerpted from Company Aytch, Maury Grays, First Tennesse Regiment, or A Sideshow of the Big, by Sam R. Watkins, Columbia, Tenn. 1900]  

Pvt. Sam Watkins, Co. H, 1st Tenn. Inf.
NASHVILLE.

      A few more scenes, my dear friends, and we close these
memoirs. We march toward the city of Nashville. We camp
the first night at Brentwood. The next day we can see the fine
old building of solid granite, looming up on Capitol Hill the
capitol of Tennessee. We can see the Stars and Stripes flying
from the dome. Our pulse leaps with pride when we see the
grand old architecture. We can hear the bugle call, and the
playing of the bands of the different regiments in the Federal
lines. Now and then a shell is thrown into our midst from
Fort Negley, but no attack or demonstrations on either side.
We bivouac on the cold and hard-frozen ground, and when we walk about, the echo of our footsteps sound like the echo of a  tombstone. The earth is crusted with snow, and the wind from the northwest is piercing our very bones. We can see our ragged soldiers, with sunken cheeks and famine-glistening eyes. Where were our generals? Alas! there were none. Not one
single general out of Cheatham s division was left not one.
      General B. F. Cheatham himself was the only surviving general
of his old division. Nearly all our captains and colonels were
gone. Companies mingled with companies, regiments with
regiments, and brigades with brigades. A few raw-boned horses
stood shivering under the ice-covered trees, nibbling the short,
scanty grass. Being in range of the Federal guns from Fort
Negley, we were not allowed to have fires at night, and our thin
and ragged blankets were but poor protection against the cold,
raw blasts of December weather the coldest ever known. The
cold stars seem to twinkle with unusual brilliancy, and the pale
moon seems to be but one vast heap of frozen snow, which
glimmers in the cold gray sky, and the air gets colder by its coming ;
our breath, forming in little rays, seems to make a thousand
little coruscations that scintillate in the cold frosty air. I can tell
you nothing of what was going on among the generals. But
there we were, and that is all that I can tell you. One morning
about daylight our army began to move. Our division was then
on the extreme right wing, and then we were transferred to the
left wing. The battle had begun. We were continually
moving to our left. We would build little temporary breastworks,
then we would be moved to another place. Our lines kept on
widening out, and stretching further and further apart, until it
was not more than a skeleton of a skirmish line from one end to
the other. We started at a run. We cared for nothing. Not
more than a thousand yards off, we could see the Yankee cavalry,
artillery, and infantry, marching apparently still further to our
left. We could see regiments advancing at double-quick across
the fields, while, with our army, everything seemed confused.
The private soldier could not see into things. It seemed to be
somewhat like a flock of wild geese when they have lost their
leader. We were willing to go anywhere, or to follow anyone
who would lead us. We were anxious to flee, fight, or fortify.
I have never seen an army so confused and demoralized. The
whole thing seemed to be tottering and trembling. When,
Halt! Front! Right dress! and Adjutant McKinney reads
the following order :

     "Soldiers: The commanding general takes pleasure in
announcing to his troops that victory and success are now within
their grasp; and the commanding general feels proud and
gratified that in every attack and assault the enemy have been
repulsed; and the commanding general will further say to his
noble and gallant troops, Be of good cheer all is well.

"GENERAL JOHN B. HOOD,
"KINLOCK FALCONER, "General Commanding.
"Acting Adjutant-General."

       I remember how this order was received. Every soldier
said, "O, shucks ; that is all shenanigans for we knew that we
had never met the enemy or fired a gun outside of a little
skirmishing. And I will further state that that battle order,
announcing success and victory, was the cause of a greater
demoralization than if our troops had been actually engaged in battle.
They at once mistrusted General Hood’s judgment as a
commander. And every private soldier in the whole army knew
the situation of affairs. I remember when passing by Hood,
how feeble and decrepit he looked, with an arm in a sling, and a
crutch in the other hand, and trying to guide and control his
horse. And, reader, I was not a Christian then, and am but
little better to-day; but, as God sees my heart to-night, I prayed
in my heart that day for General Hood. Poor fellow, I loved
him, not as a General, but as a good man. I knew when that
army order was read, that General Hood had been deceived, and
that the poor fellow was only trying to encourage his men.
Every impulse of his nature was but to do good, and to serve his
country as best he could. Ah ! reader, some day all will be well.
       We continued marching toward our left, our battle-line
getting thinner and thinner. We could see the Federals
advancing, their blue coats and banners flying, and could see
their movements and hear them giving their commands. Our
regiment was ordered to double quick to the extreme left
wing of the army, and we had to pass up a steep hill, and
the dead grass was wet and as slick as glass, and it was with
the greatest difficulty that we could get up the steep hill
side. When we got to the top, we, as skirmishers, were ordered
to deploy still further to the left. Billy Carr and J. E. Jones,
two as brave soldiers as ever breathed the breath of life in fact,
it was given up that they were the bravest and most daring men
in the Army of Tennessee and myself ; were on the very
extreme left wing of our army. While we were deployed as
skirmishers, I heard, "Surrender, surrender," and on looking
around us, I saw that we were right in the midst of a Yankee
line of battle. They were lying down in the bushes, and we
were not looking for them so close to us. We immediately
threw down our guns and surrendered. J. E. Jones was killed
at the first discharge of their guns, when another Yankee raised
up and took deliberate aim at Billy Carr, and fired, the ball
striking him below the eye and passing through his head. As
soon as I could, I picked up my gun, and as the Yankee turned
I sent a minnie ball crushing through his head, and broke and
run. But I am certain that I killed the Yankee who killed
Billy Carr, but it was too late to save the poor boy’s life. As I
started to run, a fallen dogwood tree tripped me up, and I fell
over the log. It was all that saved me. The log was riddled
with balls, and thousands, it seemed to me, passed over it. As
I got up to run again, I was shot through the middle finger of
the very hand that is now penning these lines, and the thigh.
But I had just killed a Yankee, and was determined to get
away from there as soon as I could. How I did get back I
hardly know, for I was wounded and surrounded by Yankees.
One rushed forward, and placing the muzzle of his gun in two
feet of me, discharged it, but it missed its aim, when I ran at
him, grabbed him by the collar, and brought him off a prisoner.
Captain Joe P. Lee and Colonel H. R. Field remember this, as
would Lieutenant-Colonel John L. House, were he alive; and
all the balance of Company H, who were there at the time. I
had eight bullet holes in my coat, and two in my hand, beside
the one in my thigh and finger. It was a hail storm of bullets.
The above is true in every particular, and is but one incident of
the war, which happened to hundreds of others. But, alas! all
our valor and victories were in vain, when God and the whole
world were against us.
       Billy Carr was one of the bravest and best men I ever
knew. He never knew what fear was, and in consequence of
his reckless bravery, had been badly wounded at Perryville.
Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, the octagon house, Dead Angle,
and the 22nd of July at Atlanta. In every battle he was
wounded, and finally, in the very last battle of the war, surrendered
up his life for his country s cause. No father and mother
of such a brave and gallant boy, should ever sorrow or regret
having born to them such a son. He was the flower and
chivalry of his company. He was as good as he was brave. His
bones rest yonder on the Overton hills to-day, while I have no
doubt in my own mind that his spirit is with the Redeemer of
the hosts of heaven. He was my friend. Poor boy, farewell!
When I got back to where I could see our lines, it was one
scene of confusion and rout. Finney s Florida brigade had
broken before a mere skirmish line, and soon the whole army
had caught the infection, had broken, and were running in every
direction. Such a scene I never saw. The army was panic stricken.
The woods everywhere were full of running soldiers.
Our officers were crying, "Halt ! halt !" and trying to rally and
re-form their broken ranks. The Federals would dash their
cavalry in amongst us, and even their cannon joined in the
charge. One piece of Yankee artillery galloped past me, right
on the road, unlimbered their gun, fired a few shots, and galloped
ahead again.
       Hood’s whole army was routed and in full retreat. Nearly
every man in the entire army had thrown away his gun and
accouterments. More than ten thousand had stopped and allowed
themselves to be captured, while many, dreading the horrors
of a Northern prison, kept on, and I saw many, yea, even
thousands, broken down from sheer exhaustion, with despair
and pity written on their features. Wagon trains, cannon,
artillery, cavalry, and infantry were all blended in inextricable
confusion. Broken down and jaded horses and mules refused
to pull, and the badly-scared drivers looked like their eyes would
pop out of their heads from fright. Wagon wheels, interlocking
each other, soon clogged the road, and wagons, horses and
provisions were left indiscriminately. The officers soon became
effected with the demoralization of their troops, and rode on in
dogged indifference. General Frank Cheatham and General
Lor ing tried to form a line at Brentwood, but the line they
formed was like trying to stop the current of Duck river with a
fish net. I believe the army would have rallied, had there been
any colors to rally to. And as the straggling army moves on
down the road, every now and then we can hear the sullen roar
of the Federal artillery booming in the distance. I saw a
wagon and team abandoned, and I unhitched one of the horses
and rode on horse-back to Franklin, where a surgeon tied up my
broken finger, and bandaged up my bleeding thigh. My boot
was full of blood, and my clothing saturated with it. I was at
General Hood s headquarters. He was much agitated and af
fected, pulling his hair with his one hand (he had but one),
and crying like his heart would break. I pitied him, poor fellow.
I asked him for a wounded furlough, and he gave it to
me. I never saw him afterward. I always loved and honored
him, and will ever revere and cherish his memory. He gave
his life in the service of his country, and I know to-day he wears
a garland of glory beyond the grave, where Justice says "well
done, and Mercy has erased all his errors and faults.
I only write of the under strata of history; in other words,
the privates history as I saw things then, and remember them
now.