Battles & Leaders of the Civil War
THE SOOY SMITH EXPEDITION.
15,000 in four divisions. [For organization, see pp. 286 and 289.) In the new organization General Stanley was assigned to duty with the infantry in the Army of the Cumberland. The details of the service of the cavalry in the Atlanta campaign cannot be given here. It participated in all the movements and engagements from May to August, 1864. When the lines were drawn closely about Atlanta the cavalry became very active.
Meanwhile Major-General L. H. Rousseau, who had been stationed at Nashville for the protection of Sherman's rear, and who had succeeded in preventing Wheeler from injuring the Nashv Railroad, was ordered to execute a very important duty. On the 10th of July, 1864, he started from Decatur, Alabama, with two brigades of cavalry, under Colonels T. J. Harrison, 8th Indiana, and William D. Hamilton, 9th Ohio.
In nine days he had traveled 300 miles, and was 100 miles in rear of Johnston's army. He destroyed railroads and supplies, and safely joined Sherman in Georgia near Atlanta.
On the 27th of July General McCook moved down the right bank of the Chattahoochee to Campbelltown, and crossing pushed boldly into the Macon road, damaging it, burning trains, and capturing four hundred prisoners. On his return he encountered the enemy in strong force, and was not only compelled to give up his prisoners, but lost many of his own men.
On the same date General Stoneman moved from the other flank and destroyed the railroads leading from Macon to Augusta, but he, too, suffered greatly, Stoneman himself and part of his command being captured. Colonel Silas Adams of the 1st Kentucky Cavalry successfully fought his way back with the brigade he commanded.
After the fall of Atlanta a portion of the cavalry, under General Kilpatrick, accompanied General Sherman on his march to the sea ; the remainder was placed under General Thomas for the protection of Tennessee against the expected movements of Hood, and went to Tuscumbia early in November, 1864, commanded by General Edward Hatch.
During the Atlanta campaign Kentucky was protected against guerrillas and raiders by General S. G. Burbridge. In May he started for Virginia with a large mounted force, and at the same time Morgan came into Kentucky through Pound Gap. This was Morgan's last raid. He was attacked at Cynthiana, Mount Sterling, and Augusta, Kentucky, by the Federal cavalry under Colonel John Mason Brown, Colonel Wickliffe Cooper, and others, and finally was driven into east Tennessee, where he was killed, at Greenville, on the 4th of September, 1864. [See article by General Duke, p. 243.] In October, 1864, General Hood, having led higia into northern Alabama, was organizing for his expedition into Tennessee. At the same time Forrest was operating with his usual energy and activity. On the 30th of October he suddenly appeared with a strong force on the Tennessee River, near Johnsonville, where he captured a gun-boat, the Undine, and two transports-an exploit which excited very general admiration. He then joined Hood near Decatur. At this time General John T. Croxton, with a brigade of Union cavalry, was watching along the north bank of the Tennessee, and on the 7th of November was joined by General Edward Hatch with a division. This body, numbering about three thousand men, kept a sharp lookout for indications of Hood's advance. On the 20th it became apparent that Hood was moving in the direction of Lawrenceburg. Hatch skirmished with Forrest, and while the infantry under Schofield fell back from Pulaski to Columbia, Hatch also backed steadily until that point was reached.
At Columbia General J. H. Wilson, who had been transferred from the cavalry corps of the Army of the Potomac and assigned to the command of all the cavalry in General Thomas's department, came up and took personal charge. [See p. 466.)
The fame of Forrest, Morgan, and Wheeler was accented by the widespread heralding of all their exploits. On the other hand the services of the Union cavalry, being far southward and beyond the reach of newspapers, excited less notice ; but for boldness and effectiveness, devotion to duty, endurance, celerity of movement, and accomplishment of results the Federal cavalry in the West made a proud record, and its history, when written in detail, will be full of thrilling interest,
THE S00Y SMITH EXPEDITION (FEBRUARY, 1864).BY GEORGE E. WARING, JR., COLONEL, 4TH MISSOURI CAVALRY, U. S. V., COMMANDING BRIGADE.
IN January, 1864, General Sherman arranged for an expedition from Vicksburg to Meridian with 20,000 infantry, under his own command, and a cooperating cavalry expedition, 7000 mounted men and 20 pieces of artillery, u of General W. Sooy Smith, chief-of cavalry on General Grant's staff. This cavalry force was ordered to start from Collierville, east of Memphis, on the 1st of February, and to join Sherman at Meridian as near the 10th as possible, destroying public property and supplies and the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, from Okolona south.
Sherman left Vicksburg with his force February 3d, reached Meridian on the 14th, remained there until the 20th, and in Canton until the 28th, hoping to receive word of Smith's whereabouts. None coming, he then returned to Vicksburg.
Smith's command comprised three brigades of cavalry : First, Waring's ; Second, Hepburn's ; Third McCrillis's ; and a battalion of the 4th