24 Series I Volume XXXVIII-I Serial 72 - The Atlanta Campaign Part I

Page 24 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

hotly pursued by the enemy. By this, however, the enemy was defeated in this designs upon Sherman's line of communications. The persistence with which he followed up this success exhausted him, and made a season for rest and repairs necessary. In the mean time Major General A. J. Smith, with the troops of the Army of the Tennessee that had been sent by General Sherman to General Banks, arrived at Memphis on their return from Red River, where they had done most excellent service. He was directed by General Sherman to immediately take the offensive against Forrest. This he did with the promptness and effect which has characterized his whole military career. On the 14th of July he met the enemy at Tupelo, Miss., and whipped him badly. The fighting continued through three days. Our loss was small compared with that of the enemy. Having accomplished the object of his expedition, General Smith returned to Memphis.* During the months of March and April this dame force under Forrest us considerably. On the 24th of March it captured Union City, Ky., and its garrison, and on the 24th [25th] attacked Paducah, commanded by Colonel S. G. Hicks, Fortieth Illinois Volunteers. Colonel Hicks having but a small force, withdrew to the forts near the river, from where he repulsed the enemy and drove him from the place. On the 13th of April part of Columbus, Ky., to surrender, but received for reply from Colonel Lawrence, Thirty-fourth New Jersey Volunteers, that, being placed there by his Government with adequate force to hold his post and repel all enemies from it, surrender was out of the question. On the morning of the same day+ Forrest attacked Fort Pillow, Tenn., garrisoned by a detachment of Tennessee cavalry and the First Regiment Alabama Colored Troops, commanded by Major Booth. The garrison fought bravely until about 3 o'clock in the afternoon, when the enemy carried the works by assault, and, after our men threw down their arms, proceeded to an inhuman and merciless massacre of the garrison. On the 14th General Buford, having failed at Columbus, appeared before Paducah, but was again driven off.++

Guerrillas and raiders, seemingly emboldened by Forrest's operations were also every active in Kentucky. The most noted of these was Morgan. With a force of from 2,000 to 3,000 cavalry he entered the State through Pound Gap in the latter part of May. On the 11th of June he attacked and captured Cynthiana, with its entire garrison. On the 12th he was overtaken by General Burbridge and completely routed with heavy loss, and was finally driven out of the State. This notorious guerrilla was afterward surprised and killed near Greenville, Tenn., and his command captured and dispersed by General Gillem.^

In the absence of official reports of the commencement of the Red River expedition, except so far as relates to the movements of the troops sent by General Sherman under A. J. Smith, I am unable to give the date of its starting. The troops under General Smith, comprising two divisions of the Sixteenth and a detachment of the Seventeenth

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*Subordinate reports of Sturgis' and A. J. Smith's expeditions will appear in Vol. XXXIX.

+A mistake. Forrest attacked Fort Pillow on April 12.

++For subordinate reports of Forrest's expedition into West Tennessee and Kentucky, see Vol. XXXII, Part I, p.501.

^For subordinate reports of operations in Kentucky and East Tennessee, see Vol. XXXIX.

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Page 24 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.