Tuesday, January 14, 2014

December 14, 1863

December 14, 1863

---Battle of Bean’s Station, Tennessee: Longstreet’s men, having slept all night in the rain, are on the road, and arrive in front of Bean’s Station by early afternoon.  Gen. Shackelford, with 5,000 cavalry, faces 12,000 Confederates.  Longstreet has sent one column of cavalry around south of the Federal flank, and another to go around the northern flank.  Longstreet sends in Gracie’s brigade, which hits Shackelford’s lead brigade.  The Federal cavalry pour rapid fire into the Confederate ranks with their repeating Spencer carbines.  But Gracie’s attack splinters the foreward blue line, and while another brigade joins him, they dash across nearly a mile of open ground to the town.  Longstreet orders in Bushrod Johnson’s brigade, and the Federals begin giving way.  The Federals anchor their line in the center of town, and McLaw’s division is added to the Rebel attack.  Kershaw’s Brigade turns the Federal left, and the Union forces finally retreat.  But the two cavalry columns that are supposed to surround the Federals fail to do so, and the Rebel victory is tainted by the escape of Shackelford’s Federal cavalry.  Confederate Victory.


---In Richmond, Mary Boykin Chestnut writes in her journal of her social activities on a winter Sunday:

Preston Hampton went with me to see Conny Cary. The talk was frantically literary, which Preston thought hard on him. I had just brought the St. Denis number of Les Miserables.

Sunday, Christopher Hampton walked to church with me. Coming out, General Lee was seen slowly making his way down the aisle, bowing royally to right and left. I pointed him out to Christopher Hampton when General Lee happened to look our way. He bowed low, giving me a charming smile of recognition. I was ashamed of being so pleased. I blushed like a schoolgirl.

We went to the White House. They gave us tea. The President said he had been on the way to our house, coming with all the Davis family, to see me, but the children became so troublesome they turned back. . . .

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