War of the Rebellion: Serial 103 Page 0307 THE MOBILE CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

to exchange no more stock. Previous to this whenever a horse broke down others were taken and these left in their place. On the 20th the column reached Columbus, Miss. All public animals were branded before entering the place. The command was encamped on the west side of the Tombigbee River. Lieutentant-Colonel Marsh, commanding Second Illinois Cavalry, rejoined the command here, reporting much suffering among the people for want of food, and an attempt by women from the neighborhood of Tuscaloosa to break into the Government commissary store-house at that place and obtain relief for themselves and suffering children. In accordance with instructions the Fourth Wisconsin Cavalry marched to West Point to occupy and garrison that place on the 24th. On the 26th orderd were received to march to Vicksburg with ten days' rations, and the command moved the following day to Choctaw Agency Post-Office, and thence, via Louisville, Carthage, Sharon, Canton, Vernon, and Brownsville, to the neighborhood of Vicksburg, crossing the Big River on the 4th of June and camping near the Four Mile Bridge. The Fourth Wisconsin Cavalry moved from West Point Via Kingston, Kosciusko, and Benton, reaching Vicksburg on the 6th of June. It was with difficulty that forage for the command was obtained after leaving Columbus. The guns of the Second Massachusetts Light Battery were sent from Columbus by railroad to Mobile, to be forwarded, via New Orleans, to Vicksburg, the horses being deemed unable to haul them over the road. I observed, in marching through the country, a great difference between the conduct and feelings of the inhabitants who had before been visited by our troops and those who had to a great extent escaped the losses of the war and the ravages attending the passage of troops. In the former case we were treated with comparative respect and civility, while in the latter the people manifested the greatest hatred and defiance toward us, and had no hesitation in insulting our soldiers either by words or actions. They still had confidence in the success of their cause, and declared most emphatically their detestation of the Federal Government and a contempt for its authority. I met very few of either class, more practicularly among the wealthy, who did not desire the triumph of the Confederacy, and submitted only to superior force. I have constantly exerted myself to maintain strict discipline in my command, and any straggling or marauding, whenever it has come to my notice, has been severely punished. Excepting in a few instances where squads of men have stolen from the column and committed depredations, the people have been respectfully treated by my troops. I found that many of the paroled soldiers of the Confederate army returning to their homes were constantly committing outrages to a greater or less extent, which acts a majority of the people were ready to attribute to the troops of my command, though a number of citizens admitted that they had suffered in this way from returning Confederates. I send, together with this report, a list of the number of animals turned over by my quartermaster to citizens who claimed them to separate others taken from them.

A large majority of the animals captured on this march were brought to the column by contrabands leaving their homes. In nearly every instance of negroes coming to the column they have been mounted. Of course the animals were left in the command.


Brigadier-General, Commanding.


Asst. Adjt. General, Cavalry Forces, Department of the Gulf.