Monday, January 2, 2017

HISTORY AS IT HAPPENED: The intelligence from the West.

The Richmond Daily Dispatch: Jan. 2, 1863:

    The telegram of General Bragg announces a great victory, after a bloody battle, at Murfreesboro. We should at once give way to the most joyful feelings, were it not for the concluding sentence, which announces that the enemy still he'd out on the extreme left. We confess this acts as somewhat of a damper upon our pleasure, which would otherwise be unmeasured, and we will not give way to our feelings until we hear what has become of the enemy on the extreme left. We recollect but too well the telegram from Corinth announcing a
Gen. Braxton Bragg
splendid victory, and the announcement which followed a few days after. We recollect Shiloh, also, and the second edition of the news from that point. We do not wish to clamp the enthusiasm of our readers. So far as heard from, the victory is a splendid one. Four thousand prisoners and thirty-one guns make if among the most splendid of the war. All we hope is that trouble some "extreme left" may have been gotten out of the way or captured. Then, indeed, our joy would be complete, and we should not only about ourselves but call on the whole Confederate States to about with us.
     Should the signs hold out to the last, and the cup of victory not be dashed from the mouth of General Bragg before he shall have fairly tasted its contents, this will have been one of the most important events of the whole war. It will prove, if we are not mistaken, the turning point in the affairs of the West. The Western people, discouraged by frequent failures, will be reanimated to the point of giving an irresistible impulse to our military proceedings. The winter campaign in that quarter, so largely counted on by the enemy, will have proved a failure even before it shall have begun. The whole South and Southwest will rally, our armies will become concentrated, and under the lead of General Johnston they will be invincible.
     The intelligence from Vicksburg, also, is cheering. We really believe there is very little reason to fear for Vicksburg. It is probably the most defensible city on the continent, except Grand Gulf and Natchez, from a land attack. The country in its rear is broken and rolling, and strong positions, where a small army may set a large one at defiance, sound everywhere. Advantage, we understand, has been taken to the almost of all the local features which it presents. Stupendous fortifications rise in all directions — fortifications which nothing we have yet seen of Yankee valor warrants us to believe that they will attack with success.
[Editor's Note: This article references the battles of Murphressboro, Tenn. and the Battle of Chickasaw Bayou above Vicksburg in Mississippi.]

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