On January 9, by an order from the War Department, the Army of the Cumberland had been divided into three corps, designated the Fourteenth, Twentieth, and Twenty-first. This order did not alter the composition of the former grand divisions, nor change the commanders, but the new nomenclature was a decided improvement over the clumsy designations Right Wing, Centre, and Left Wing, which were well calculated to lead to confusion sometimes. McCook's wing became the Twentieth Corps, and my division continued of the same organization, and held the same number as formerly-the Third Division, Twentieth Corps. My first brigade was now commanded by Brigadier-General William H. Lytle, the second by Colonel Bernard Laiboldt, and the third by Colonel Luther P. Bradley.
On the 4th of March I was directed to move in light marching order toward Franklin and join General Gordon Granger, to take part in some operations which he was projecting against General Earl Van Dorn, then at Spring Hill. Knowing that my line of march would carry me through a region where forage was plentiful, I took along a large train of empty wagons, which I determined to fill with corn and send back to JOES SOLDIERS BLOG BELOW. THIS IS REALLY INSPIRING. You have to have a look!!!!!!Murfreesboro', believing that I could successfully cover the train by Minty's brigade of cavalry, which had joined me for the purpose of aiding in a reconnoissance toward Shelbyville.
In marching the column I placed a regiment of infantry at its head, then the wagon-train, then a brigade of infantry—masking the cavalry behind this brigade. The enemy, discovering that the train was with us, and thinking he could capture it, came boldly out with his, cavalry to attack. The head of his column came up to the crossroads at Versailles, but holding him there, I passed the train and infantry brigade beyond toward Eagleville, and when my cavalry had been thus unmasked, Minty, followed by the balance of my division, which was still behind, charged him with the sabre. Success was immediate and complete, and pursuit of the routed forces continued through Unionville, until we fell upon and drove in the Confederate outposts at Shelbyville. Here the enemy was taken by surprise evidently, which was most fortunate for us, otherwise the consequences might have been disastrous. Minty captured in the charge about fifty prisoners and a few wagons and mules, and thus enabled me to load my train with corn, and send it back to Murfreesboro' unmolested. In this little fight the sabre was freely used by both sides, and I do not believe that during the whole war I again knew of so large a percentage of wounds by that arm in proportion to the numbers engaged.
That night I encamped at Eagleville, and next day reported to Granger at Franklin, arriving in the midst of much excitement prevailing on account of the loss of Coburn's brigade, which had been captured the day before a little distance south of that point, while marching to form a junction with a column that had been directed on Columbia from Murfreesboro'. Shortly after Coburn's capture General Granger had come upon the scene, and the next day he advanced my division and Minty's troops directly on Spring Hill, with a view to making some reprisal; but Van Dorn had no intention of accommodating us, and retired from Spring Hill, offering but little resistance. He continued to fall back, till finally he got behind Duck River, where operations against him ceased; for, in consequence of the incessant rains of the season, the streams had become almost impassable. Later, I returned by way of Franklin to my old camp at Murfreesboro', passing over on this march the ground on which the Confederate General Hood met with such disaster the following year in his attack on Stanley's corps.eagleville
My command had all returned from the Franklin expedition to Murfreesboro' and gone into camp on the Salem pike by the latter part of March, from which time till June it took part in only the little affairs of outposts occurring every now and then on my own front. In the meanwhile General Rosecrans had been materially reinforced by the return of sick and wounded men; his army had become well disciplined, and was tolerably supplied; and he was repeatedly pressed by the authorities at Washington to undertake offensive operations.below true confederate grey
During the spring and early summer Rosecrans resisted, with a great deal of spirit and on various grounds, these frequent urgings, and out of this grew up an acrimonious correspondence and strained feeling between him and General Halleck. Early in June, however, stores had been accumulated and other preparations made for a move forward, Resecrans seeming to have decided that he could safely risk an advance, with the prospect of good results. Before finally deciding, he called upon most of his corps and division commanders for their opinions on certain propositions which he presented, and most of them still opposed the projected movement, I among the number, reasoning that while General Grant was operating against Vicksburg, it was better to hold Bragg in Middle Tennessee than to push him so far back into Georgia that interior means of communication would give the Confederate Government the opportunity of quickly joining a part of his force to that of General Johnson in Mississippi.
At this stage, and in fact prior to it, Rosecrans seemed to manifest special confidence in me, often discussing his plans with me independent of the occasions on which he formally referred them for my views. I recollect that on two different occasions about this time he unfolded his designs to me in this informal way, outlining generally how he expected ultimately to force Bragg south of the Tennessee River, and going into the details of the contemplated move on Tullahoma. His schemes, to my mind, were not only comprehensive, but exact, and showed conclusively, what no one doubted then, that they were original with him. I found in them very little to criticise unfavorably, if we were to move at all, and Rosecrans certainly impressed me that he favored an advance at an early day, though many of his generals were against it until the operations on the Mississippi River should culminate in something definite. There was much, fully apparent in the circumstances about his headquarters, leading to the conviction that Rosecrans originated the Tullahoma campaign, and the record of his prior performances collaterally sustains the visible evidence then existing. In my opinion, then, based on a clear recollection of various occurrences growing out of our intimacy, he conceived the plan of the Tullahoma campaign and the one succeeding it; and is therefore entitled to every credit that attended their execution, no matter what may be claimed for others.The Timpo below are great for conversions, one good thing is many carry Colts and they are well done. You can cut arms off or replace rifles with flags, back packs and replace heads ewith Kepis.
On the 23d of June Bragg was covering his position north of Duck River with a front extending from McMinnville, where his cavalry rested, through Wartrace and Shelbyville to Columbia, his depot being at Tullahoma. Rosecrans, thinking that Bragg would offer strong resistance at Shelbyville—which was somewhat protected by a spur of low mountains or hills, offshoots of the Cumberland Mountains—decided to turn that place; consequently, he directed the mass of the Union army on the enemy's right flank, about Manchester.below richmond grey
On the 26th of June McCook's corps advanced toward Liberty Gap, my divisions marching on the Shelbyville pike. I had proceeded but a few miles when I encountered the enemy's pickets, who fell back to Christiana, about nine miles from Murfreesboro'. Here I was assailed pretty wickedly by the enemy's sharpshooters and a section of artillery, but as I was instructed to do nothing more than cover the road from Eagleville, over which Brannan's division was to approach Christiana, I made little reply to this severe annoyance, wishing to conceal the strength of my force. As soon as the head of Brannan's column arrived I marched across-country to the left, and encamped that night at the little town of Millersburg, in the vicinity of Liberty Gap. I was directed to move from Millersburg, on Hoover's Gap—a pass in the range of hills already referred to, through which ran the turnpike from Murfreesboro' to Manchester—but heavy rains had made the country roads almost impassable, and the last of my division did not reach Hoover's Gap till the morning of June 27, after its abandonment by the enemy. Continuing on to Fairfield, the head of my column met, south of that place, a small force of Confederate infantry and cavalry, which after a slight skirmish Laiboldt's brigade drove back toward Wartrace. The next morning I arrived at Manchester, where I remained quiet for the day. Early on the 29th I marched by the Lynchburg road for Tullahoma, where the enemy was believed to be in force, and came into position about six miles from the town.
By the 31st the whole army had been concentrated, in spite of many difficulties, and though, on account of the heavy rains that had fallen almost incessantly since we left Murfreesboro', its movements had been slow and somewhat inaccurate, yet the precision with which it took up a line of battle for an attack on (Tullahoma)showed that forethought and study had been given to every detail. The enemy had determined to fall back from Tullahoma at the beginning of the campaign, however, and as we advanced, his evacuation had so far progressed that when, on July 1. We reached the earthworks thrown. up early in the year for the defense of the place, he had almost wholly disappeared, carrying off all his stores and munitions of war except some little subsistence and eleven pieces of artillery. A strong rearguard remained to cover the retreat, and on my front the usual encounters between advancing and retreating forces took place. Just before reaching the intrenchments on the Lynchburg road, I came upon an open space that was covered by a network of fallen trees and underbrush, which had been slashed all along in front of the enemy's earthworks. This made our progress very difficult, but I shortly became satisfied that there were only a few of the enemy within the works, so moving a battalion of cavalry that had joined me the day before down the road as rapidly as the obstructions would permit, the Confederate pickets quickly departed, and we gained possession of the town. Three siege guns, four caissons, a few stores, and a small number of prisoners fell into my hands.
That same evening orders were issued to the army to push on from Tullahoma in pursuit, for, as it was thought that we might not be able to cross Elk River on account of its swollen condition, we could do the enemy some damage by keeping close as possible at his heels. I marched on the Winchester road at 3 o'clock on the 2d of July and about 8 o'clock reachedRock Creek. The stream was for the time truly an impassable torrent, and all hope of crossing by the Winchester ford had to be abandoned. Deeming that further effort should be made, however, under guidance of Card, I turned the head of my column in the direction of Alisona, marching up the river and nearly parallel with it till I came to With a little delay we got across Rock Creek, which was also much swollen, and finding a short distance above its mouth that Card said was practicable, I determined to attempt it: Some of the enemy's cavalry were guarding this ford, but after a sharp little skirmish my battalion of cavalry crossed and took up a strong position on the other bank. The stream was very high and the current very swift, the water, tumbling along over its rocky bed in an immense volume, but still it was fordable for infantry if means could be devised by which the men could keep William Carroll (Bill) Mecoy
1833-1907their feet. A cable was stretched across just below the ford as a lifeline for the weaker ones, and then the men of the entire division having secured their ammunition by placing the cartridge-boxes on their shoulders, the column pushed cheerfully into the rushing current. The men as they entered the water joined each other in sets of four in a close embrace, which enabled them to retain a foothold and successfully resist the force of the flood. When they were across I turned the column down the left bank of Elk River, and driving the enemy from some slight works near Estelle Springs, regained
By this time it was clear that Bragg intended to fall back behind the Tennessee River, and our only chance of accomplishing anything of importance was to smash up his rear-guard before it crossed the Cumberland Mountains, and in pursuance of this idea I was directed to attack such of his force as was holding on to Winchester. At 4 o'clock on the morning of July 2 I moved on that town, and when we got close to it directed my mounted troops to charge a small force of Confederate cavalry that was picketing their front. The Confederates resisted but little, and our men went with them in a disorderly chase through the village to Boiling Fork, a small stream about half a mile beyond. Here the fleeing pickets, rallying behind a stronger force, made a stand, and I was directed by McCook to delay till I ascertained if Davis's division, which was to support me, had made the crossing of Elk River, and until I could open up communication with Brannan's division, which was to come in on my left at Decherd. As soon as I learned that Davis was across I pushed on, but the delay had permitted the enemy to pull his rear-guard up on the mountain, and rendered nugatory all further efforts to hurt him materially, our only returns consisting in forcing him to relinquish a small amount of transportation and forage at the mouth of the pass just beyond Cowan, a station on the line of the
David Andrew McElwain1844-1937
At Cowan, Colonel Watkins, of the Sixth Kentucky Cavalry, reported to me with twelve hundred mounted men. Having heard during the night that the enemy had halted on the mountain near the University—an Patrick Henry Clifton27th Reg't Co. C Mississippi Infantry he was from Tippah County, Mississippi and enlisted in Pontotoc. Also was in the Volunteer 3rd Reg't Company E US Cavlary. He was sent to Rock Island Prison in Illinois. This is the first time I have heard of the 27th put was told apart of Tippah County was also apart of Union County, Ms. Patrick Henry was also a Galvanized Yankee. There were other from Tippah County fought out of the 27th Regt.educational establishment on the summit—I directed Watkins to make a reconnoissance and find out the value of the information. He learned that Wharton's brigade of cavalry was halted at the University to cover a moderately large force of the enemy's infantry which had not yet got down the mountain on the other side, so I pushed Watkins out again on the 5th, supporting him by a brigade of infantry, which I accompanied myself. We were too late, however, for when we arrived at the top of the mountain Wharton had disappeared, and though Watkins pursued to Bridgeport, he was able to do nothing more, and on his return reported that the last of the enemy had crossed the Tennessee River and burned the railroad bridge.Conversion material see below.
Nothing further could now be done, so I instructed Watkins to rejoin the division at Cowan, and being greatly fatigued by the hard campaigning of the previous ten days, I concluded to go back to my camp in a more comfortable way than on the back of my tired horse. In his retreat the enemy had not disturbed the railway track at all, and as we had captured a hand-car at Cowan, I thought I would have it brought up to the station near the University to carry me down the mountain to my camp, and, desiring company, I persuasively invited Colonel Frank T. Sherman to ride with me. I sent for the car by a courier, and for a long time patiently awaited its arrival, in fact, until all the returning troops had passed us, but still it did not come.Cut the Shako down to a kepi or replace it then cut basck the straps and youve got more infantry. Thinking it somewhat risky to remain at the station without protection, Sherman and myself started our horses to Cowan by our orderlies, and set out on foot to meet the car, trudging along down the track in momentary expectation of falling in with our private conveyance. We had not gone very far before night overtook us, and we then began to realize the dangers surrounding us, for there we were alone and helpless, tramping on in the darkness over an unknown railroad track in the enemy's country, liable on the one hand to go tumbling through some bridge or trestle, and on the other, to possible capture or death at the hands of the guerrillas then infesting these mountains. Just after dark we came to a little cabin near the track, where we made bold to ask for water, notwithstanding the fact that to disclose ourselves to the inmates might lead to fatal consequences. The water was kindly given, but the owner and his family were very much exercised lest some misfortune might befall us near their house, and be charged to them, so they encouraged us to move on with a frankness inspired by fear of future trouble to themselves.
At every turn we eagerly hoped to meet the hand-car, but it never came, and we jolted on from tie to tie for eleven weary miles, reaching Cowan after midnight, exhausted and sore in every muscle from frequent falls on the rough, unballasted road-bed. Inquiry. developed that the car had been well manned, and started to us as Below is JOES SOLDIERS BLOG ONE OF THE BEST CHECK IT OUTordered, and nobody could account for its non-arrival. Further investigation next day showed, however, that when it reached the foot of the mountain, where the railroad formed a junction, the improvised crew, in the belief no doubt that the University was on the main line instead of near the branch to Tracy City, followed the main stem until it carried them clear across the range down the Crow Creek Valley, where the party was captured.Below just change the head on this and modify the trousers and youve got more Rebel infantry, you couldf give him a kepi.