War of the Rebellion: Serial 095 Page 0033 Chapter LVIII. THE RICHMOND CAMPAIGN.

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an interest unsurpassed by anything in history. His own report, and those of his subordinate commanders accompanying it, give the details of that most successful campaign.* He was dependent for the supply of his armies upon a single-track railroad from Nashville to the point where he was operating. This passed the entire distance through a hostile country, and every foot of it had to be protected by troops. The cavalry force of the enemy under Forrest, in Northern Mississippi, was evidently waiting for Sherman to advance far enough into the mountains of Georgia to make a retreat disastrous, to get upon this line and destroy it beyond the possibility of further use. To guard against this danger Sherman left what he supposed to be a sufficient force to operate against Forrest in West Tennessee. He directed General Washburn, who commanded there, to send Brigadier General S. D. Sturgis, in command of this force, to attack him. On the morning of the 10th of June General Sturgis me the enemy near Guntown, Miss., was badly beaten, and driven back in utter route and confusion to memphis, a distance of about 100 miles, hotly perused by the enemy. By this, however, the enemy was defeated in is designs upon Shermans' line of communications. The persistency with which he followed up this success exhausted him, and made a season for rest and repairs necessary. In the meantime 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 same force under Forrest annoyed 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 this force, under the rebel General Buford, summoned the garrison 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.@


*For subordinate reports of the Atlanta campaign, see Vol. XXXVIII, Parts I, II, and III.


+For subordinate reports of Sturgis; and A. J. Smith's expeditions, see Vol. XXXIX, Part I, pp. 85 and 250.

#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.