War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0182 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

Search Civil War Official Records

of my assault; that Lawler's and Landram's commands, forming the column of attack on my left center, planted their colors on the enemy's works; moreover, that they were carried inside of one of the main forts; that officers and men of the commands of once or both of them forced their way into the same fort; that observing that the assaulting column was weak, I ordered it to be supported; that immediately afterward information was brought to me that the advance of Smith's DIVISION, together with Benton's brigade, of Carr's DIVISION, forming another column of attack, had effected another lodgment in the enemy's works, and had also planted our flag on them; that prisoners had been captured and brought out of the fort assaulted by Lawler and Landram; that afterward an officer brought word to me that the same fort was ours, and a request that it should not be further fixed upon; that, doubting, I sent a staff officer to verify the fact; that he brought word from Colonel Landram not only that the fort was ours, but a note from Lieutenant-Colonel Graham, of the Twenty SECOND Iowa, with the remark that "the note was written inside of the fort," and that he was fully persuaded of the truth of the information; that the Twenty-SECOND Iowa advanced against one fort, and the Eleventh Wisconsin against another, and that Colonel Stone and Lieutenant-Colonel Dunlap [killed] saw the Twenty-SECOND and Twenty-first Iowa Regiments advance upon two different forts, and the enemy retire from both, and the rifle pits connecting them, down a hill and toward the city, and talked about it while it was going on. They prove that I could have used more men in making my assault, and with timely re-enforcements off two DIVISIONS would have crowned it with success; that my position was much more favorable than General Grant's for seeing what was going on in front of my corps; that my position was near the center of my line, and only 500 or 600 yards from the enemy's works, while General Grant's was about 1 1/2 miles to the right of my position; that my dispatches to General Grant were a qualification rather than an exaggeration of my success, and that the re-enforcements finally ordered by General Grant did not arrive in time, Quinby's DIVISION only arriving about 5 o'clock, and too late to be properly formed and successfully applied, and McArthur's not until next day.

As I have already shown, General Grant says that-

The works entered by him [Sergeant Griffith] from its position could give us no practical advantage, unless other to the right and left of it were carried and held at the same time.

Is not this declaration too broad? Is it not as much as to say that no practical advantage could have been derived from taking any part less than the whole of the enemy's works at once; that the possession of any part, however extended, flanked by other parts held by the enemy, would have been worthless? Is it nos as much as to say that the only condition of our success was the impossibility of carrying the whole of the enemy's line, which was much longer than our own, at once, and consequently that our attack must have been by our forces in line, instead of in column, as he directed? And yet, strange enough, he censures me for asking for the co-operation of a simultaneous attack by Sherman and McPherson, according to the terms of his original plan, and without which, by his own admission, "no practical advantage" could have resulted from Sergeant Griffith's partial success. By his own showing, I only asked for what his original plan promised, and what, by his own admission, was necessary to our success.

This of itself is a sufficient refutation of the charge that what I asked