War of the Rebellion: Serial 126 Page 0504 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

enemy, were in progress. A large rebel force under John Morgan invaded Kentucky and was defeated by General Burbridge in a severe engagement at Cynthiana on the 12th day of June. John Morgan was surprised and killed, and his staff captured by General Gillem on the 4th day of September, 1864. In the month of November a rebel expedition under Breckinrindge, Duke, and Vaughn was repulsed by General Ammen and driven from East Tennessee. An expedition under General Stoneman and General Burbridge penetrated to Saltville, in Southwestern Virginia, destroyed the works at that place, broke up the railroads, and inflicted great destruction upon the enemy's supplies and communications.

After the withdrawal of our troops from the Red River a large rebel force to Kansas, and penetrated thence into the Department of the Missouri; but they were at length driven back with heavy loss.

Other military operations of greater or less magnitude occurred during the year, some attended with disaster, some with brilliant success. Of the former class were Kilpatrick's raid against Richmond; the capture of Plymouth and its garrison at the commencement of the year by the rebels under Hoke; the defeat of the expedition from Memphis under Forrest, and Stoneman's expedition to Andersonville. On the other hand, the raids of Grierson from Memphis in December, or Stoneman and Burbridge into Virginia, of Wilson into Alabama, inflicted sore distress upon the enemy, and brought the rebels to a solemn sense of the sufferings caused to themselves by the war they had undertaken against their Government.

At the commencement of the year 1865 all hearts were more anxious than ever to bring the war to a speedy close. Every preparation to that end was made by the Department and by the military commanders in the field. Adequate appropriations were voted and new popular loans authorized by Congress. Further measures for recruiting the Army, prompted by experience, were enacted. A new draft for half a million of men was put into prompt execution. The State executives renewed their labors in calling for volunteers. The people responded to the demands of the occasion, and rapid recruitment began in all the States, and was at its height when Richmond fell. Troops were at that time being raised, organized, armed, and equipped as fast as they could be conveniently transported to the field. To the coming campaigns through the Carolinas and in Virginia all eyes looked for a speedy and decisive result that should end the war. The military position is thus stated by the lieutenant-general:

In March, 1865, General Canby was moving an adequate force against Mobile and the army defending it under General Dick Taylor; Thomas was pushing out two large and weel-appointed cavalry expeditions-one from Middle Tennessee, under Brevet Major-General Wilson, against the enemy's vital points in Alabama; the other from East Tennessee, under Major-General Stoneman, toward Lynchburg-and assembling the remainder of his available forces preparatory to offensive operations from East Tennessee; General Sheridan's cavalry was at White House; the Armies of the Potomac and James were confronting the enemy under Lee in his defenses of Richmond and Petersburg; General Sherman, with his armies re-enforced by that of General Schofield, was at Goldsborough; General Pope was making preparations for a spring campaign against the enemy under Kirby Smith and Price west of the Mississippi, and General Hancock was concentrating a force in the vicinity of Winchester, Va., to guard against invasion, or to operate offensively, as might prove necessary.