Camp-Fire and Cotton-Field eBook

Thomas W. Knox
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 458 pages of information about Camp-Fire and Cotton-Field.
touching a dead or wounded Rebel at nearly every step.  Two Rebel colonels were killed side by side, one of them falling with his hand over the edge of the ditch.  They were buried where they died.  In the attack in which the Rebels entered the edge of the town, the struggle was nearly as great.  It required desperate fighting for them to gain possession of the spot, and equally desperate fighting on our part to retake it.  All our officers who participated in this battle spoke in admiration of the courage displayed by the Rebels.  Praise from an enemy is the greatest praise.  The Rebels were not defeated on account of any lack of bravery or of recklessness.  They were fully justified in retreating after the efforts they made.  Our army was just as determined to hold Corinth as the Rebels were to capture it.  Advantages of position turned the scale in our favor, and enabled us to repulse a force superior to our own.

Just before the battle, General Grant sent a division under General McPherson to re-enforce Corinth.  The Rebels had cut the railway between the two points, so that the re-enforcement did not reach Corinth until the battle was over.

On the morning following the battle, our forces moved out in pursuit of the retreating Rebels.  At the same time a column marched from Bolivar, so as to fall in their front.  The Rebels were taken between the two columns, and brought to an engagement with each of them; but, by finding roads to the south, managed to escape without disorganization.  Our forces returned to Corinth and Bolivar, thinking it useless to make further pursuit.

Thus terminated the campaign of the enemy against Corinth.  There was no expectation that the Rebels would trouble us any more in that quarter for the present, unless we sought them out.  Their defeat was sufficiently serious to compel them to relinquish all hope of expelling us from Corinth.

During the time of his occupation of West Tennessee, General Grant was much annoyed by the wandering sons of Israel, who thronged his lines in great numbers.  They were engaged in all kinds of speculation in which money could be made.  Many of them passed the lines into the enemy’s country, and purchased cotton, which they managed to bring to Memphis and other points on the river.  Many were engaged in smuggling supplies to the Rebel armies, and several were caught while acting as spies.

On our side of the lines the Jews were Union men, and generally announced their desire for a prompt suppression of the Rebellion.  When under the folds of the Rebel flag they were the most ardent Secessionists, and breathed undying hostility to the Yankees.  Very few of them had any real sympathy with either side, and were ready, like Mr. Pickwick, to shout with the largest mob on all occasions, provided there was money to be made by the operation.  Their number was very great.  In the latter half of ’62, a traveler would have thought the lost tribes of Israel were holding a reunion at Memphis.

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Camp-Fire and Cotton-Field from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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