Thursday, November 21, 2013

October 29, 1863

October 29, 1863

Chattanooga Campaign: As a result of the Battle of Wauhatchie, Grant is able to open “the cracker line”, which runs by ship up the Tennessee River to Bridgeport, Alabama, and then overland to Brown’s Ferry and then to Chattanooga.  For the moment, at least, Thomas's Army of the Cumberland is saved from starvation.

—In Charleston Harbor, Union naval ships lob 1,691 shells into Fort Sumter, killing over two dozen of the defending garrison.  The shelling will continue, but with little results.

—David Lane, an infantryman in the 17th Michigan with Burnside at Knoxville, writes in his journal of the inexplicable order to go into Winter Quarters, at precisely the time when Washington is prodding Burnside to make a move in East Tennessee:

    All sorts of rumors are afloat. “Bragg, with all his army, is advancing.” Longstreet is crossing the river six miles below Kingston to flank us on the right. Another heavy force is on our left, making for Knoxville. “Wilcox has been driven back from the east,” and a hundred others equally encouraging. We know not what to think of it, and yet must criticise and form conclusions. But it is all explained at last. We fell in at 1 o’clock today, marched about a mile to a beautiful grove near a large spring of never-failing water. Here our division formed in line and stacked arms, with orders to remain in line until further notice. Lieutenant Colonel Comstock soon called our regiment to “attention,” ordered company commanders in front of center, and then and there revealed to them the long-wished-for intelligence. All officers and men were taken by surprise. We were prepared to hear of some great calamity, but not for this. Nothing like it had ever before happened to the Ninth Army Corps. “Our fall campaign is closed. Prepare for yourselves comfortable quarters for the winter.” For a moment there was a silence that could be felt, then a shout went up that “rent the heavens and shook the everlasting hills.” Not simply because we were ordered to prepare winter quarters, but a mysterious movement had been explained—a weight of anxiety removed.

—In the midst of death and destruction, and the rigors of war, there is still time for romance.  Ephraim Shelby Dodd, a trooper with Terry’s Texas Rangers (8th Texas Cavalry Regiment), writes in his journal of the social rounds he made:

    Thursday, 29th—I went down to our old stamping ground to-day. I stopped to see Miss Eugenie Holt; had just returned from a visit to Marietta and was looking very pretty; stopped but a short time. Went on to Mr. Davis’s; nobody at home but Miss Mollie. Crossed the River at Freeman’s Ferry and went to Mr. Somers. Miss Maggie’s husband at home. I staid all night. Miss Mattie came down this morning. I staid till bout 10 o’clock.

No comments:

Post a Comment