Thursday, January 30, 2014

January 27, 1864

January 27, 1864

---Battle of Fair Garden, Tennessee:  Near the Little Pigeon River, about ten miles east of Sevierville, Sturgis has deployed his divisions, under Garrard, Wolford, and Edward McCook.  McCook sends forward one of his brigade under Archibald Campbell.  Col. Campbell has a Michigan regiment and a Pennsylvania regiment dismount, and they advance through the wooded area on foot, along with a battery of artillery.  They charge (on foot) Morgan’s Rebels, and drive them out of their position.  Another Federal brigade under LaGrange advances on foot, and attacks another part of Morgan’s brigade.  LaGrange’s men, outnumbered, nevertheless drive the Rebels back quickly, and capture the Southern artillery.  The Rebels counterattack, but are stopped with heavy losses.  Campbell pushes forward again, and finally the 4th Indiana make a mounted charge and capture the Rebel artillery.  Rebel losses exceed 165, and the Union losses are minor.  Union Victory.

---Sergeant L.G. Sleeper, of the 44th Mississippi Infantry Regiment, after having spent a furlough at home, returns to his regiment and writes this letter to Secretary of War Seddon about the depredations of Confederate cavalry (not Union) against his family and property in Southern Mississippi, thus revealing one of the great ironies of Southern life in wartime:

Having just returned from my home in Amite County, Miss., to which place I was sent by order of General Hardee, to obtain clothing for the company to which I belong, I am compelled to complain of the shameful conduct of our own soldiers for the manner in which my place, effects, and family have been treated by Logan's brigade of cavalry in South Mississippi, now commanded by General Wirt Adams. Last summer they camped near my place for ten days. During that time they stole 6 of my mules and horses, killed nearly all my hogs and sheep, destroyed my corn by turning their horses in the field when the corn was ripening. As many as 10 to 40 men and officers would come to the house, order their meals of victuals, and have their horses fed; and that at a time when my family were buying their subsistence at the most exorbitant prices.

This, sir, is to inquire of you if I have no recourse upon our Government, and if I am not entitled to damages for the outrage thus perpetrated upon one, a soldier, who has a large family of negroes, a wife and child, dependent upon their own exertions for a support during my absence? As for my conduct as a soldier, I refer you to the indorsement of my commanding officer.

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