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He will proceed eastward as far as Meridian, at least, and will thoroughly destroy the roads east and south from there, and, if possible, will throw troops as far east as Selma ) or, if he finds Mobile so far unguarded as to make his force sufficient for the enterprise, will go there. To cooperate with this movement, you want to keep up appearances of preparation of an advance fi*om Chattanooga; it may be necessary, even, to move a column as far as Lafayette. The time for this advance, however, would not be before the 30th instant, or when you might learn the enemy were falling back. Logan will also be instructed to move at the same time what force he can from Bellefonte toward Rome. We will want to be ready at the earliest possible moment in the spring for a general advance. I look upon the line for this army to secure in its next campaign to be that from Chattanooga to Mobile, Atlanta and Montgomery being the important intermediate points. I look upon the Tennessee River and Mobile as being the most practicable points from which to start, and to hold as bases of supplies after the line is secured.

It was expected of Sherman that he would so eflfect-ually destroy the railroads south of Corinth and around Meridian* that the Confederates would not attempt to rebuild them during the war, thus cutting off Mississippi as a source of supply, and materially aid in closing all that section—including West Tennessee—to the Confederates. How far the expectations of this campaign were realized will appear in this chapter.

On January 10, Sherman at Memphis wrote McPherson at Vicksburg to get ready for a movement upon Meridian and Selma; and on the 11th, Hurlburt, his other corps-commander, to whom Sherman had unfolded his plans, wrote his subordinate, A. J. Smith, to prepare for the service expected of them, which, to quote his own words, was as follows:

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We have a heavy march before us, and the oommand must be fully prepared. It is the intention of General Sherman to move with the artillery and infantry, and such troops as he can get, from Vicksburg direct on Demopolis and Selroa, the cavalry moving down the Mobile and Ohio railroad to meet us near Meridian, thus forcing the enemy to let go of their hold on Dalton, or endangering the loss of Selma, and perhaps Mobile. Close attention is therefore necessary to the fitting out of the individual soldier, and will be impressed upon field and line officers.

In permitting General Sherman to concentrate these troops at Vicksburg, the government had at first some idea of utilizing his command as part of an attempt upon the State of Texas, where, for political reasons, a lodgment was desired. General Banks at New Orleans, and General Steele in Arkansas, were then being prepared for this campaign, which was to be made along the line of Red River. But the water in the stream was too low for navigation at tliat tune. Grant was therefore permitted to use Sherman for the furtherance of his designs upon Polk's department.

The force placed at Sherman's disposal was as follows: For his immediate command in the movement, the corps of McPherson and Hurlburt, which, with a small cavalry force (about 2000 men), gave him a column of 23,689 effective men, with 66 pieces of artillery. To cooperate with this force he organized a column of cavalry under Sooy Smith, numbering 6923 effective men, with 12 pieces of artillery. Smith was ordered to move forward and join Sherman at Meridian. That he might move as rapidly as possible, a well-appointed pack-train was furnished him. With this combined force of 30,000 men assembled at Meridian, General Sherman expected to be able to move forward and accomplish the ultimate objects of his campaign.

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To aid the movement, Grant had directed Thomas to threaten Johnston at Dalton; and Logan, from the direction of Larkinsbnrg, was now instructed to threaten Rome and the valuable interests lying in north Alabama. Banks, who was preparing for his R«d River expedition, (ionsented, with the aid of Admiral Farragut, to make a demonstration against Mobile; and Sherman himself, in order to distract Polk's immediate attention, dispatched a small force—1000 men—with gunboats up the Yazoo River toward north Mississippi.

The nature and extent of these preparations had not escaped General Polk. On January 14 he dispatched tlie

following to Mr. Davis:

Meridian, January 14,1864. His Excellency y President Davis:

General Johnston says to me he has refused to you the restoration of the four brigades seut from this army to that of Tennessee. I think it plain that Grant cannot move before the spring opens, and therefore that Johnston will be unemployed. He can in that case well spare all foiur. It is now clear that an attack on Mobile is meditated. My department is large, and force small. I do not see how I can do without those brigades, and hope yoa will order them to report to Mobile. What is done ought to be done at once.

L. Polk, Lieutenant-General.

Polk made a hurried inspection of the west43m part of his department as far north a« Grenada, and, returning, gave the defense of MobUe careful attention. Meanwhile, as the movements of Sherman and Smith took shape, he concentrated his forces. General Lee on the 19th was ordered to recall his brigades operating on the Mississippi River, and to hold his command well in hand. General Forrest, who was expected to operate against Smith's column, was called to Meridian that he might be fully infonned as to the general situation.

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General Maury, already on the alert at Mobile, was directed to hold his force ready for any service that might be required. French's division was advanced to Jackson, and with Loring's division was held ready for immediate movement. To still further shorten his line, Polk now withdrew Forrest to Grenada, leaving a part of his command to keep a close watch on Smith.

Touching Logan's movement upon north Alabama, he dispatched word to General Johnston that he must help him in that direction, and, if possible, spare him reinforcements to oppose Sherman. On the 26th he sent the following to the government:

I have dispatched you several times recently, in regard to movements of the enemy. I am now satisfied it is his iutention to move on the western front of this department at an early day, and in heavy force. He will probably move from Vicks-burg, Yazoo City, and perhaps Natchez, at the same time. A column is also concentrating at Grand Junction, in West Tennessee, as a cooperating force. The amount of force at my disposal is known to the department. The department is also informed of the reported intention of the enemy to move upon Mobile. These movements will probably be made upon different fronts at the same time.

On February 3 Sherman mai'ched out of Vicksburg. Lee met him with three brigades of cavalry, but could make little impin^ssion, however, as Sherman placed his trains in the midst of his troops and moved in a compact mass. We can now best follow the campaign by giving extracts from the telegraphic reports made by Polk to his government:

Meridian, February 6.

The movement in force of the enemy from the Mississippi at Vicksburg, which I dispatched you was contemplated, has been made. A column estimated at 20,000 entered Jackson

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on the evening of the 5th. Another ooltunn (nmnbers not known) has moved up Yazoo River,—intended, probably, for Yazoo Qity. These columns were opposed by cavalry. I am concentrating my force of infantry at Morton. Whether the enemy intends to move in force across Pearl River does not yet appear.

February 9.

I have kept the War Department informed in regard to the movements of the enemy on the western front of this department. He moved out in heavy force from Vicksburg toward Jackson, also in boats up the Yazoo River. Both columns were met and held in check by the cavalry until developed.

He entered Jackson at 6 p.m., Friday, 5th, and, from the most reliable information, with a force of from 35,000 to 40,000 infantry, 60 pieces of artillery, and cavalry not known.

He crossed Pearl River at 10 a.m. on the 7th with his whole force, and moved rapidly upon Morton, destroying all the bridges behind him. He reached Morton last night, and turned toward Mobile to-day. My infantry force in this part of the department consists of Major-General Loring's division, about 6000, and Frenches, 1250, with 1700 exchanged prisoners imperfectly organized,— say 9000. The rest of the infantry composed the garrison of Mobile. A portion of this, on consultation with General Maury, was withdrawn and ordered to the front in tlie hope of making a campaign before it should be needed at Mobile. But the enemy's force proving so much larger than was anticipated, and other indications pointing to a combined attack on Mobile, made it necessary to restore this garrison and avoid giving battle, which, under other circumstances, might have beeu hazarded. I have therefore ordered the force from Mobile back to that garrison, and added other forces to it, so as to strengthen it up to the point deemed necessary by General Maury. These troops, I have no reason to doubt, will reach their destination in due time. I have just returned from an inspection of the defenses of Mobile, and although not completed, are yet in fine condition and very efficient. The garrison has six months' supply of subsistence and is very confident. I shall

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take immediate steps to increase its stores by the rivers. It is of the highest consequenoe that its reqtiisitioiis for ammunition for heavy guns should be supplied at once. I have General Loring's force and the cavalry still in the field, and am not without a prospect of increasing both.

The two brigades drawn from Mobile brought General Polk's force up to 14,000 men of all arms. Lee's cavalry command numbered but 2500, owing to the abse/ice of Chalmers's division, Ross's brigade, and a part of Ferguson's. These, excepting Ross, were operating with Forrest. Ross was left to watch the Tazoo column, and did not join Lee until after Sherman had reached Meridian. The movement toward Mobile which this dispatch reported, proved, upon closer investigation, to be a feint; but this fact exerted little influence upon General Polk's plans, as he had already concluded not to fight Sherman's column with the force in hand. He was convinced, as his letters show, that the forces set in motion about his department were intended for something more than the superficial tearing up of a few miles of railroad, but, on the contrary, meant a movement upon Mobile or Selma, which latter view, as we have seen, was in accordance with General Sherman's instructions and intentions.

Finding that he was not strong enough to fight the main column successfully, General Polk now shaped his course so that he might concentrate upon the smaller cooperating column (Sooy Smith's); for, in the absence of the aid which he had asked from General Johnston and the government, this was the only course open to him by which he could hope to break up General Sherman's campaign.

The country as far as Meridian, and even for some distance beyond, was comparatively barren and unim-

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portant in a military sense. No great injury could, therefore, result from the march of the enemy through it. It was necessary, however, to delay him long enough to permit the removal of all stores from Meridian and the points above, and also to allow the rolling-stock of the railroads to be placed in safety. General Polk therefore determined to keep his force in Sherman's front long enough to accomplish these ends, and then, moving rapidly, place his infantry and artillery behind the Tom-bigbee River, and thus free all his cavalry for operations against Sooy Smith's. Concentrating his attention upon these objects, Polk pressed their execution with characteristic energy. Under cover of a feint toward Gi-enada, General Sooy Smith now began his march for Meridian. Concerning this movement, Polk dispatched the government as follows:

Newton, Miss., via Mobile, February 10. I dispatched the Presideut yesterday as to the sitaation. Since then a dispatch from General Forrest announces two columns of cavalry—one to move on them at Grenada, the other on the com region in the neighborhood of Columbus.

No better account of the progress and defeat of Sherman's campaign can possibly be given than was furnished by General Polk in the dispatches he continued to send to his government. We therefore reproduce them entire:

February 17.

The enemy entered Meridian the 14th, the day after my last dispatch. His forward movement was retarded by my cavalry, who assailed him in front and flank. His' movement was so compact as to make it dif&cult to do more than annoy him.

Since he has been in Meridian he has been breaking up the Mobile and Ohio and the Meridian and Demopohs railroads. I am informed by General Lee he has moved also on Enter-

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prise. What bis intentions are has not yet been determined. He may still go to Mobile or return to Jackson. Ordered Lee and Forrest to harass him and to intercept a column of cavalry coming down to join him from West Tennessee, reported 10,000 strong. Am holding my small force in hand at Demopolifl to take advantage of events. All stores from the Mobile and Ohio railroad of special value removed, and rolling-stock placea beyond his reach. Am increasing stores of garrison at Mobile.

Demopolis, February 18.

By my orders, General Forrest left a force to hold enemy in check near Memphis some days ago, and is now moving rapidly with his column to strike that of the enemy on its way to Columbus from West Tennessee. The column is one of cavalry, reported 10,000 strong, and is moving to join Sherman and secure food for his infantry at Meridian. The head of this column is reported near Pontotoc; General Forrest close by. General Lee moved forward under orders yesterday to cooperate with Forrest in an attack upon it [Smithes column]. A command under General Buggies and the Mississippi State troops will unite in the attack. To crush that force is important.

February 20.

No movement of the enemy in any direction from Meridian up to the present, probably awaititig the arrival of his cavalry column coming down from West Tennessee. That column reported to-night as arrived at Aberdeen. Generals Lee and Forrest's columns ordered to unite and attack it. They are both between it and Sherman at Meridian, and in supporting distance. Head of my reinforcing column reported at Montgomery.

February 21.

Head of Hardee's column arriving to-day. Shall throw head of mine across the Tombigbee to-morrow, push the whole force forward as fast as it arrives, and move upon the enemy.

Demopolis, February 22. The success of my cavalry in preventing a junction of the enemy's two columns appears to have broken up his campaign.

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The following dispatch just received:

Laudbbdaui, Febraary 22,186i. 3 p.m. General PiOk:

The latest rattable informatloii is that the enemy left the MobUe and Ohio railroad in two oolnmns; one from Meridian going to Decatur, and the other from this place going to Herbert to meet at Union, and go thence to Carthage and to Oanton.

B. O. PxBRiN, OoUmtH ConmamUng.

At last advices General Forrest had the enemy's column of cavalry between the Chuokatouchee and the Tombigbee, and was holding it there for the arrival of General Lee. The latter would join him with his column perhaps to-day. I confidently expect a satisfactory result. I move my infantry forward in the morning. Two of General Hardee's brigades have arrived*

Dbmopolis, February 23.

The following dispatches just received:


Scouts from Daleville report the enemy have all left the Mobile and Ohio railroad. Column from Marion marched three miles west of Dale-viUe. The column from Meridian is moving west to form Junction with column from Marion at Union, which is thirty rnUes west of Daleville; thence by way of Carthage to Canton. It is thought a small force has been sent by way of De Kalb to bum government com at that place.

B. O. Pkrrin, Colonel Commanding.

Lnn Cbbek, Nxnx Milks Southwest of Wbst Point, February 22, 1864. 10 a.m. Arrived here at daylight. Enemy are retiring rapidly. General Forrest is pursuing, and at last report is sixteen miles above West Point. He does not know yet whether they are trying to join Sherman via Hons> ton and Greensborough, or not. Have halted my command till I hear further from him. It is in position to intercept raiders, unless they are off for Memphis, which I think is the case. Their force was ovenrated, I think.

S. D. IiEB, Mqjor-GenertU.1

From the above and other dispatches, all of the same tenor, preceding these, I think it now certain that the campaign of the enemy is broken up. He must go beyond Pearl River,

1 ** Official Records, War of Rebellion,'' voL xxzii, pt. 1, pp. 334, 345.

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and I shall pursue him with my cavalry and follow with infantry, reestablishing my former lines as early as practicable. Is it your wish that General Hardee^s column be employed in operations farther westf

I shall send General Forrest without delay into the western district to break up the Federal elections proposed to be held there within the next ten days, and to bring out other troops, horses, etc., from there and southern Kentucky,

Demopolis, February 22. I have already taken measures to have all the roads broken up by him [Sherman] rebuilt, and shall press that work vigorously. The amount of road destroyed by him [Sherman] may be in all about fifty miles, extending out on the four roads from Meridian as a center.

To continue this story, we give an extract from the official report made by General Sherman after his cam. paign.

My plan of action was as follows: General William Sooy Smith to move from Memphis by or before the 1st of February with an effective force of 7000 cavalry lightly equipped, to march straight on Pontotoc, Okolona, Artesia, and Meridian, to arrive there about February 10, distance 250 miles, . . . while I, with four divisions of infantry and artillery, would at the same time move from Vicksburg on the same objective point, 150 miles distant. When met at Meridian, being present in person, I could then order anew, according to the then circumstances, condition of road, and time left at my disposal.

In providing for the contingencies of the campaign, General Polk had designated West Point as the place at which Forrest should endeavor to concentrate in case Smith moved as he did finally. The selection of West Point was due to the fact that it was upon the outer limit of the grain country, which it was desired to protect. It was upon the Mobile and Ohio railroad, and was

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the starting-point for the line of couriers which had been established between the telegraph line and Forrest's head-(juarters at Oxford; but, above all, it was in the direction of a concentration of all the forces upon the interior hues he had selected.

Referring now to that part of Smith's official report which deals with the causes of his retreat, we find that he says:

Exaggerated reports of Forrest's strength reached me constantly, and it was reported that Lee was about to reinforce him with a portion or the whole of his command. Columbus had been evacuated, and all the State troops that could be assembled from every quarter were drawn together in my front. (West Pomt.)

Under all these circumstances, Smith, as he says, determined not to move into the trap which Polk had set for him. He therefore halted at West Point, and on the 22d began his retreat. Forrest, whose available force numbered about 3000, attacked him at once, and kept up a persistent fight nearly as far as Memphis, to which place General Smith proceeded without any unnecessary delay.

General Lee, who had an intimate knowledge of General Polk's plans, says in the " Southern Historical Society Papers " (vol. viii. No. 2, p. 58):

Lieutenant-General Polk, in the exercise of a wise discretion, determined from the first not to fight Sherman if his army was as large as represented; for he felt that he was too weak to inflict a telling blow unless he was considerably reinforced. He determined to let Sherman expend himself in the piney woods, unless he moved to the Tombigbee River toward Selma or toward Mobile, in which case he expected to receive assistance from Johnston^s army in Georgia, and to crush Sherman. The movement of troops for this purpose (Hardee's corps) was at the time in progress.

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General Polk's orders to Lee, operating against Sherman, plainly showed he did not want Sherman materially interfered with, but rather encouraged to move as far as he would. It is true, Sherman's march was skillfully conducted, and he gave Lee but Uttle opportunity to hurt him. In fact, Lee could only keep in his foragers and stragglers, and aid him in keeping compact while in motion.

General Polk, in carrying out his plan, at once seized the opportunity offered by W. S. Smith's cavalry expedition against Forrest, to order Lee's entire cavalry force to leave Sherman in hig loneliness, and to unite with Forrest and beat Smith before he could reach Meridian, while he [Polk] was at the same moment arranging a similar concentration for Sherman's benefit, as soon as Smith was discomfited. Both Sherman and Smith displayed sagacity on this occasion. Smith, in his candor, says he retreated to avoid falling ** into the trap set for me by the rebels," while Sherman, to cover his discomfiture, protests in his book that he never had any idea of either MohUe or Selma.

This protest of General Sherman's is met fully enough in his instructions; but if further evidences of his discomfiture were needed, it would be found in his abuse of General Sooy Smith for not reaching Meridian. Smith was not necessary to Sherman's work at Meridian, but was essential to the completion of the campaign as originally mapped out.

In his "Memoirs" General Sherman says: "I was de-tennined to damage the roads so that they could not be used again for hostile purposes during the rest of the war." How far he succeeded in this work may be gathered from the record, which shows that by the 10th of May all trtegraph lines and railways injured by him had been so thoroughly repaired that they were in better condition than before his raid.

In addition to this, the road from Meridian had been

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extended to Jackson, the Mobile and Ohio raih^ad had been repaired as far north as Corinth, and that place, after being in the hands of the engmy since General Beauregard surrendered it in J\ine, 1862, was now presented to General Forrest as a base for further operations in west Tennessee.^

Work upon the New Orleans and Jackson and Mississippi Central railroads was also pushed to completion, with the view of giving an unbroken line of rail from Lake Pontchartrain to Gi'enada and beyond j i-ailroad communication between these points haWng been severed since General Sherman's visit in July, 1863. This work was completed on the 15th of May, 1864, and this road was used as a base for the operations upon the Mississippi River, which General Polk now instituted along this entire front for the pui-pose of impeding its navigation.

It is needless to say that the result of the campaign was gratifying to General Polk, and he had the additional satisfaction of receiving the commendation of his government. But the greatest satisfaction was derived fr^om the reports which came to him of the ex)nfidence and approval of his subordinates. General George B. Hodge, who made an inspection of the department for the government, writing General Polk upon returning to Richmond, said: " I was greatly pleased to hear the cordial terms in which your subordinates indorsed your campaign."

But the campaign had fallen short of General Polk's wishes and intentions. Having warned the authorities in ample time of the extent and purpose of the enemy's movements, he had a right to expect that an effort would be made to send him proper reinforcements in time to

1 *' Official Records, War of Bebemon/' vol. xxxix, pt. ii, p. 565.

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permit such an attack upon Sherman as would have made his return to Vicksburg doubtful, if not impossible. General Polk was confident that he had force enough to prevent the juncture of Sherman's columns, and counted ui)on this to check him, but he looked beyond this to the hope of inflicting such a stunning blow to both columns as would prevent their employment in any other quarter for some time to come. General Polk believed at the time, and on February 28 said, that the main column would reappear in Johnston's front at Dal-ton. This it did promptly, and under General McPher-son it operated, and continued to operate, throughout the Atlanta campaign, as one of the most efficient corps of General Sherman's army.

As will be seen by referring to General Polk's dispatch of February 21, General Hardee, with Cleburne's and Cheatham's divisions, was sent fi-om General Johnston's army at Dalton, the head of the column coming by rail, reaching Demopolis that day. Polk had already recrossed the river with his own troops, and only awaited Hardee's arrival to advance the whole force ujwn Sherman the following day, the 22d j but Sherman began his retreat from Meridian the morning of the 22d, and consequently was too far distant to be intercepted. Hardee was therefore returned to Dalton. It appears from correspondence in the hands of the writer that Hardee would have arrived at Demopolis on February 15, had the orders of the government been earned out. The President directed that the reinforcements be sent from Dalton, and, in view of General Johnston's apprehension for the safety of his position, arranged to replace the loss by troops from Charleston. General Johnston was not properly informed of the government's action to replace Hardee, and being misled by Thomas's action, who in

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accordance with Grant's instructions made the feint upon Dalton, delayed Hardee's departure a week later than the time specified.

Had General Polk advanced upon Sherman on February 16 with all the forces at his disposal on the 22d, it is not saying too much to affirm that the Atlanta campaign would have received an introductory battle near Meridian which would have materially strengthened General Johnston in the task subsequently presented hun from Dalton \o Atlanta. Reverting to the campaign as actually completed by General Polk, his dispositions show that the only thing which prevented the accomplishment of his purpose toward Smith's column was the judicious action of that officer in eluding the combination of Lee's and Forrest's forces prepared for him. General Polk counted confidently upon catching Smith between these two, and his hasty retreat alone saved him.

Turning his attention now to other opportunities for aggression, General Polk next made the following suggestions to the government. The wisdom of the proposal was subsequently appreciated, but it was then, as with so many other movements in this war, too late for it to be of service.

Demopolis, Ala., February 28,1864.

Sherman^s campaign being over,—which from the Yankee acoouats it seemed was. intended t6 be a precursor of that of Grant from Chattanooga,—the mind turns naturally to the latter. In reflecting on the posture of affairs, there are certain views upon which my mind has settled in regard to the spring campaign, which I beg leave respectfully to submit for your consideration.

The point from which the most important movement is to be made in the spring is Chattanooga. The amount of force confronting it under General Johnston is not beUeved to be

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adequate to resist it successfully. The remoteness of Chattanooga from the enemy^s base exposes his flanks through long lines ) that in front of me not less than six hundred miles from Chattanooga to the Mississippi River. I respectfully suggest that the infantry force under my command be increased by the addition from General Johnston's army of one division, and I strongly desire that the division sent me be my old <livision of Tennesseeans, now commanded by Major-General Cheatham. This division consists of about 4000 effectives. The material composing it was raised by me chiefly in the western district of Tennessee; a few regiments from Middle Tennessee. If this division were ordered to report to me at once I would send it up to the border of the district, or into it, and I am confident that I could increase its strength to double its present numbers by recovering a large number of men who during the last three years have left it and gone back to the district, and others who have never been in the service. The addition of this force to my present command, and the additions I shall receive from Mississippi and Alabama to that command, will give me a column of 15,000 infantry. To that I am confident of adding a command of 15,000 cavalry, which would give me a united column of 30,000 with which to operate on Grant's right flank in the spring. To enable me to do this it would be necessary to order General Kirby Smith to operate with all the troops at his command vigorously upon Banks's whole Hne, and upon any point in Sherman's department west of the Mississippi at which he might leave forces. These demonstrations, together with the garrison at Mobile, thought to be adequate to take care of itself, and detachments of cavalry along the Mississippi River front, would be all that would be required to protect my department pending the campaign. It is not doubted that General Grant will recall Sherman's army, which must constitute a large part of the force with which he must operate from Chattanooga. It is his old and tried army, and he would and must have it with him if he proposed a heavy movement. My plan would be to throw myself across the Tennessee River by the use of pontoon trains^ which I can easily get up, and assail his flank and rear. If,

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at the same time. General Longstreet were ordered, with the forces under General Breckinridge, to constitute a column and throw himself across the mountains on his left flank, with Morgan's cavalry to aid him, and with as many of Johnston's as he could spare, I should feel quite confident of being able to break up Grant's expedition effectually, if not shatter his army. Should we be successful, we might take the offensive and invade his territory.

His Excellency, President Davis, Richmond.

In connection with this letter, the following extract from General Sherman's " Memoirs" is of special interest: "The Atlanta campaign would simply have been impossible without the use of the railroads — from Louisville to Nashville, 185 miles; from Nashville to Chattanooga, 151 miles; Chattanooga to Atlanta, 137 miles; every mile single-tracked and marked by several tunnels, one quite long." ^

Finding that the government did not sanction the plan. General Polk devoted himself to strengthening FoiTest, so that every possible damage might be inflicted upon the enemy in West Tennessee, and provision made for gathering into tliis command the material he had hoped to throw into Cheatham's division, the remnant of his first command.

In view of the active operations upon the Tennessee front, foreshadowed in the above letter, Polk was assiduous in having the command under him armed and equipped as thoroughly as practicable. He secured for his artillery new guns of approved patterns, and, as the country around had become exhausted by previous drafts, citizens were solicited and cheerfully gave up their carriage horses for the use of the army, until the supply filled all present need. Infantry were supplied

1 YoL il, p. 398.

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with clothing; commissary stores collected and housed; small-arms repaired or replaced by new; daily drills were ordered and enforced.

The deserters, absentees without leave, and fugitive conscripts enjoyed a respite during Sherman's raid. The delay allowed them in which to return had passed. They remained hostile and defiant. Greneral Polk now sent expeditions to the disaffected districts, which succeeded in subduing all lawlessness and in restoring to the army large numbers of absentees.

General Polk, writing to a member of his family on June 11, said of this work:

The results following upon the measures of my administration of the Department of Mississippi, in arousing the public mind and getting up and stirring out the men who had deserted from their commands, have been in the highest degree gratifying. It is believed that those measig'es have put into the field at least 5000 men who were lost to the Confederacy; and, besides this, the effect has been admirable in relieving the country districts of that number of discontents on the one hand, and raising its spirit by that much rehef on the other. Those people have rested upon the heart of the home population like an incubus, and it feels a great relief at its removal. It also feels that the power of the Confederacy is not dead, but is not only living, but moving. The moral effect upon the whole department has been excellent, and it has more life and spirit than at any time since the early periods of the war.

We now present a very interesting letter from General Patton Anderson, commanding a division in the Army of Tennessee, and one of its best and most influential officers, of whom it need only be said that he fully deserved the many tributes paid him in the reports of all his commanders. This letter deals with the question of the enlistment of negroes as soldiers, and suggests a feeling against such action on the part of the south-

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em soldiers which it is at first difficult to understand. The difficulty is removed, however, when it is realized that the most bitter opponents of negro enfranchisement and negro equaUty were the rank and file of the southern army. They were not, as a rule, the men who 6wned slaves, but they represented the class upon whose heels the enfranchised negro would inevitably tread; and the query which would naturally suggest itself to them in this connection was, Why should they continue to face the danger and endure the hardships of war longer, if by so doing they only gained a success which placed them no better than tliey could now be by simply throwing down their arms and going to their homes—to families that in many instances were already reduced to dire want because of their absence f

General Anderson's own attitude toward the proposition was undoubtedly that of a large numl)er of south-em men of the class to which he and General Polk belonged. These men entered upon Uie Civil War far less with a desii'e for separat.e government than for the right to manage their own affairs; and while their individual preference undoubtedly favored ultimate freedom of the negro, they regarded this step as one belonging exclusively to themselves, and one in which they should be free to act without outside dictation or interference. The commercial aspect of emancipation was to them the least element in the problem of slavery. That it was a curse to blacks and whites alike they saw only too plainly, but they did not believe it would be mitigated for either by suddenly and violently altering the relation of the two races. On the contrary, they felt that any such action would only add to tlie curse, as it inevitably would lead to race antagonism, which, hanging like a pall over the country, could but end in disaster to the weaker.

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Putting aside, then, every other objection to the project, the fact that its adoption would take the very core out of the principle upon which men like Anderson stood in their opposition to the Federal Union was enough to cause them to antagonize it. General Cleburne, a foreigner by birth and education, naturally viewed the proposition from a wholly different standpoint. An old soldier and a very able one, it was to him merely a question of the adaptation of the means at hand to the end to be attained, and from this standpoint the suggestion was correct in principle j but in application, in this instance, it would have failed, for the simple reason that the negro would not have supported it.

Anderson's prediction was evidently brought home to the authorities, because, in spite of the widespread agitation of the subject, the employment of negroes other than as teamsters and builders of fortifications was never attempted.

The letter reached General Polk just as he was in the midst of the preparations to meet the advance of General Sherman; his answer was consequently postponed. Unfortunately, no record of it has been found. The tribute to General Polk is especially valuable, coming as it does from one who had served under him for two years, and who occupied so prominent a position in the army with which he had so long been associat/cd.

Dalton, Ga., January 14,1864. (ConfidenUal.)

Lieutenant-General L. Polk, Enterprise, Miss.

General: After you have read what I am about to disclose tx> you, I hope you will not think I have assumed any unwarrantable intimacy in writing this communication as "confidential."

My thoughts for ten days past have been so oppressed with the might of the subject as to arouse in my mind the most

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pamfol apprehensioiis of fature results, and have caused me to cast about for a friend of clear head, ripe judgment, and pure patriotism with whom to confer and take counsel.

My choice has fallen upon you, sir, and I proceed at once to lay the matter before you.

On the 2d of January I received a circular order from the headquarters Hindman's corps, informing me that the commanding general of the army desired division commanders to meet him at his quarters at seven o'clock that evening.

At the hour designated I was at the appointed place. I met in the room General Johnston, Lieutenant-General Hardee, Major-Generals Walker, Stewart, and Stevenson, and in a moment afterward Major-Generals Hindman and Cleburne entered, Brigadier-General Bate coming in a few minutes later,—the whole, with the general commanding, embracing all the corps and division commanders (infantry) of this army, except Major-General Cheatham, who was not present. In a few minutes General Johnston requested Lieutenant-Gcneral Hardee to explain the object of the meeting, which he did by stating that Major-General Cleburne had prepared with great care a paper on an important subject, addressed to the officers of this army, and he proposed that it now be read.

General Cleburne proceeded to read an elaborate article on the subject of our past disasters, present condition, and inevitable future ruin unless an entire change of policy might avert it. That change he boldly and proudly proposed to effe<*.t by emancipating our slaves and putting muskets in the hands of all of them capable of hearing armSy thus securing them to us as allies and equals, and ensuring a superiority of numbers over our enemies, etc.

Yes, sir, this plain — but in my view monstrous — proposition was calmly submitted to the generals of this army for their sanction and adoption, with the avowed purpose of canying it to the rank and file.

I will not attempt to describe my feelings on being confronted with a project so startling in its character,— may I say so revolting to southern sentiment, southern pride, and southern honor f And not the least painful of the emotions

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awakened by it was the consciousness which forced itself upon me, that it met with favor by others beside the author in high station then prQ^ent.

Ton have a place, general, in the southern heart perhaps not less exalted than that you occupy in her army. No one knows better than yourself all the hidden powers and secret springs which move the great moral machinery of the South. You know whence she derived that force which three years ago impelled her to the separation, and has since that time, to this present hour, enabled her to lay all she has, even the blood of her best sons, upon the altar of Independence, and do you believe that thtU South will now listen to the voices of those who would ask her to stultify herself by entertaining a proposition which heretofore our insolent foes themselves had not even dared to make in terms so bold and undisguised f

What are we to dot If this thing is once openly proposed to the army, the total disintegration of that army will follow in a fortnight, and yet to speak and work in opposition to it is an agitation of the question scarcely less to be dreaded at this time, and brings down the universal indignation of the southern people and the southern soldiers upon the head of at least one of our bravest and most accomplished officers. Then, I repeat, what is to be done t

What relief it would afford me to talk to you about this matter! —but, as that may not be, do I go too far in asking you to write to me f

I start in a few days for my home in Monticello, Fla., where I expect to spend twenty days with my family, and I assure you, general, it would add much to the enjoyment of my visit if you would favor me by mail with some of the many thoughts which this subject will arouse in your mind.

Believe me, general, very truly your friend,

Patton Anderson.

As it is the purpose of this narrative to show not only how Leonidas Polk performed the duties of his several positions, but to reveal his personality under

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the vandng conditions of his life, we present here the closing of the narrative prepared by Mrs. Polk for her children in the last year of the Civ-il War. As will be seen, it ends amid the scenes of which this chapter treats.

On the 7th of November we left Atlanta, spent Sunday in Montgomeiy at Qenend Withers^s, and went to Mobile the next day. Here the general was detained a few days, but on Friday, the 13th, we went to Enterprise and took possession of a ivM)m kindly offered us by General O'Ferral.

Those were happy days passed in the log room, sixteen feet square, lighted by one window, and I enjoyed them more than I can tell. Soon after his arrival he went up to report to (General Johnston, and took a severe cold in consequence of being in an overheated car. On his return he was confined to his bed for several days. I never can think of those days without tears. He would often say, *' I am so glad you are here—so glad you are here." Much of this time was passed in repeating collects and Psalms, and in having me read the Bible to him—the lesson for the day, and Psalms and other parts which bore upon them. He seemed to commune constantly with God; and when I was not reading, I often heard him in prayer, but in a tone which did not allow me to hear the words. He was daily fitting for heaven. O God, why was he taken, and so many worthless left t " Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Thy sight ; " but it is hard to say.

In December he was ordered to take command of the department. General Johnston having been placed in command of the Army of Tennessee. He spent a few days in Brandon, seeing General Johnston, and returned on the eve of Christmas to spend it with us—the last we were together. I should have mentioned that Sally joined us on the 5th of December, and she and her father had much to say. On Tuesday, the 29th, the general removed to Meridian, while Sally and I followed on the 2d. I cannot say anything of the military affairs which so much engrossed him j I only know that, no matter at what hour of night he retired, he always awoke me to have prayers.

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Upon one ocoacdon I remember how mnoh I was stmok by his prayer for himself—the outpouring of his heart to his Maker, as a very present help who knew all, and yet to whom, as to a friend, it was his delight to unbosom his heart. His dependence upon Gtodj his cheerful submission to his will, feeling it his duty to do everything he could and then leave the result in God's hands, ensured contentment in all that occurred. He had always had a great horror of death,—I mean the separation of soul and body. And when I would remark upon the sadness of life, he would say he did not think so at all; that there was so much to be thankful for in the daily gifts of life, and that the knowledge that we were daily doing the will of God brought with it such entire happiness, he was, if left to himself, unwilling to exchange it for a state of which he knows little 'y here faith must come in, and we must trust our future, as well as our present, in God's hands.

One morning he stretched out his arm and said, '' To think that this arm, so full of life, must one day be quiet in the grave; that this right hand must lose its cunning, and this brain cease to think!" '' But the soul does not," was my remark. " I know, in another sphere or form; but what pain and suffering may attend that change! I never like to think— I do not think—of it j I leave that to God, knowing that when the time comes, whatever befalls at the hour of death, g^race and strength will be given to bear." I have sometimes thought his death was sent in mercy,—I mean its manner, for our Heavenly Father " considereth our frame."

One morning he was dressing, and, as his wont, talking a good deal. At last he said,'' Wife, have you ever thought what you would do if I should be killed, and this contest prove unsuccessful t" I replied, " If we are all ruined together, I think I shall go into the Santa Anna,i until such time as my children can devise some means for my support." He came toward me with tears in his eyes, clasped me in his arms, and said,'' I have not lived in vain if you can say and feel this. How changed in your apprehensions of evil!" And now, whatever comes, I think of him and of his pleasure that

1 An asylum in New Orleans.

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I could think of misfortune without being utterly cast down, and his spirit supports me. We had but few moments together, for his duties occupied the whole of his time; but those were very precious. The only time he ever alluded to the possibility of our want of success was the one mentioned above. One day we had been reading some of the collects, and he especially dwelt upon that for the fourth Sunday after Trinity, and remarked, '^ That is the best advice that can be given, as well as prayer.'' And on that dreadful day when he left me, I asked him,'' Have you any message for our children ? ^ He said, '^ Tell them, in l^e words of the collect, to take God for their ruler and guide, that they may so pass through things temporal that they may finally not lose things eternal. I can say no more than that if I spoke forever." On Monday, February 8, he left with the troops to meet General Sherman; the history of his plans and their result is written. The last few minutes were all he could give me; he spent part of those in praying with me for his family and country, and, commending us to God, left me.

As the spring opened, affairs in front of the army under General Johnston in northern Georgia beigan to wear a threatening aspect.

In anticipation of a general advance on the part of the enemy from that direction, and to gaard the left of General Johnston's line, General Polk now pushed his infantry and a division of cavalry well up toward north-em Alabama.

See " Official Becords, War of Rebellion/' vol. xzzii, pt. ill, p. 579, for a rei>ort to Departanent Headquarters upon the extent and kind of damage inflicted by General Sherman at and about Meridian. This report was made by the writer, March 3, 1864, after a careful personal inspection of the area in question. In the published records, through misreading, the report is signed A. H. instead of W. M. Polk, as in the original. See flies. War Records Office.

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Sherman's movement against Johnston.—Polk ordered to Johnston's aid.—Assumes command at Resaca.—Sherman's strategy.— General Mc-Pherson.—Battle of Resaca.—Meeting of Johnston and Polk.—Retreat from Resaca.—A pen-picture of General Polk.—Baptism of Generals Hood and Johnston.—Johnston's account of the movements at Cass-yille.— A Sunday morning's service in the field.— Sherman's steady advance.—New Hope Church and Dallas.—r General Polk's popularity.— Last letters to his family.— Hopeful and spirited condition of the army.— "Purity upon a field of blood."—The general's headquarters.—Last reading of the Church service.—A fatal ride.—Inspection of the works. — Dangerous exposure.—A farewell view.—The fatal shot.—The hero's death.

When General Polk found that his plan for operations upon General Sherman's rear were not approved, he concentrated his efforts upon his own front. The district of Mobile was so amply provided for in the thorough efficiency of its able commander, General Dabney H. Maury, but little was needed in that direction. The resources of the department were therefore directed toward points where just then more was to be gained. Provision was made for the brilliant operations of General Forrest in the district of north Mississippi and West Tennessee, and measures were adopted looking to an organized and continuous effort along the entire Mississippi river-front, to render the navigation of that stream as perilous as possible. We have seen that, in anticipation of General


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Sherman's advance from Chattanooga, General Polk had placed the divisions of Loring and French, and the cavalry division of Jackson, at points in north Alabama from which he might meet any movement upon his own department, or move to General Johnston's aid, as should be required.

On May 5 General Sherman began his movement upon General Johnston at Dalton. The relative strength of the two forces was then about as two to one. General Sherman's army numbering about 98,d00 men of all arms, and General Johnston's about 45,000.

In accordance with his expectations. General Polk on the 4th received a dispatch from General Johnston asking for assistance, and at the same time he received an order from the government to go to General Johnston's aid with all the troops that could be spared from his department.

After consulting with General Stephen D. Lee, who succeeded to the command, Polk telegraphed General Johnston that he would move at once to his relief with the infantry divisions of Canty, Loring, and French, and the cavalry of Jackson, about 19,000 men in all. Canty's division had already been sent forward from General Maury's district, and the remainder of the command now followed. Just here he had his last contact with General Bragg, who, because of solicitude for the Mississippi front, undertook to prevent the transfer of so many troops to Johnston's aid. Polk ignored his interference, however, and keeping in touch with General Cooper, the adj. general, did as he and the President thought best.^ Polk had confidence in the ability of General Lee to control the situation with the cavalry left him, aided by the State troops available; a confidence amply

* "Rec. War Reb/* Polk Correspondence, April and May, 1864.

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justified by General Lee's victories over the successive invasions of North Mississippi which occurred that summer.

The concluding arrangement of the affairs of his department made it impossible for General Polk himself to leave before the 8th, the entire night of the 7th being spent in completing and in giving his final instructions and suggestions to Generals Lee and Forrest.

He reached Resaca with the rear of Loring's division on the 11th, his advance division (General Canty's) and Loring's advance brigade (Scott's), having arrived there the day before.' Under instructions from General Johnston, Polk now assumed command at this point, relieving General Hood, who only awaited his arrival to turn over the command and return to his corps at Dalton.

Resaca, commanding as it did the railroad bridge over the Oostenaula River, was a point of vital importance to the communications of General Johnston's army, not only with its base, Atlanta, but with Polk's command as well. Twenty miles in rear of Dalton, it could be easily reached from the direction of Sherman's right. Johnston had therefore halted here the advance of Polk's command (Canty's division), and charged it with the duty of protecting the position for the present.

General Sherman had by this time developed the initial steps of his campaign, which was to hold Johnston at Dalton by a bold threat upon his front, while he moved a strong column to his rear for the purpose of seizing and holding Resaca.

This was the first, and, all things considered, the best planned of that series of flank movements which characterized all General Sherman's operations in northern Georgia. Owing to his great superiority of force prior

^ Canty's advance brigade arrived on the 8th.

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to Polk's arrival, which it is clear he had not then counted upon, he confidently expected at the outset to place his army upon General Johnston's conununications, and thus at one blow sever him from his base, Atlanta. The movement had been carefully planned. Sherman's old troops, the army with which he and General Grant had won their fame, and which he himself had just employed in the Meridian campaign, were assigned the duty of executing it.

The officer in command, General McPherson, was one of the best soldiers in the Federal army, and the writer pauses a moment that he may pay tribute to his memory. Young, brave, and generous, full of life and courage, he was one of the most interesting figures of the Civil War; and had he lived,* no doubt he would have won the highest place in the army of the United States.

While Sherman had been pressing Johnston in front, McPherson with 23,000 men turned the Confederate left and seized the railroad a few miles north of Resaca. A resolute advance might have fulfilled Sherman's expectations, but McPherson, finding that his own army had not followed his movement as closely as he expected, and being firmly resisted by Canty, withdrew his column, and allowed Johnston to reestablish his communications.

General Polk's orders were to hold Resaca at all hazard pending the withdrawal which General Johnston was now attempting from Dalton. McPherson, reinforced by Hooker, was again but a few miles distant, advancing. Following him came the remainder of Sherman's army, through Snake Creek Gap. The enemy threatening his rear by a movement to cross the river below Resaca, General Polk detached Walker's division of Hood's corps, which had moved down from Dalton to his aid, to meet it. 1 General McPherson was killed in battle before Atlanta.

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On the 13th there was irregular skirmishing along Johnston's entire front, closing with an attack upon the position held by General Cheatham several miles northward. In order the better to cover Johnston's movement, Polk now thre^V forward Loring's division on the Snake Creek Gap road, where the enemy was met in heavy force and was held in check until the entire army was in position at Resaca,—-Hood occupying the right, Hardee the center, and Polk the left. It seemed particularly appropriate that General Polk's command should be the one to meet and defeat this first movement, especially as the force with which Sherman attempted it was the one with which, as he claimed, he had so recently destroyed Polk in Mississippi. As a matter of personal gratification, the reception accorded General Polk by the commander of his own army compensates for the distress which the "Memoirs" show he caused General Sherman; for, as he reported at Dal ton, Johnston grasped his extended hand, and, warmly shaking it, said, " How can I thank you? I asked for a division, but you have come yourself and brought me your army."

Saturday, the 14th, was passed in irregular skirmishing and in strengthening the defenses. A sharp and successful attack was now made upon the picket line in front of Canty. The line was carried by the enemy; being reinforced. Canty reestablished it after a severe conflict. Later in the day, however, owing to the weakening of Polk's line to aid an attack upon the enemy's left by Hood, Canty lost a position held by his advance troops which commanded the railroad bridge. During the night the enemy crossed a division over the Ooste-naula at Calhoun, and, in view of a retreat, which this movement made unavoidable, all wagon trains were now ordered to Kingston.

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On Sunday, May 15, there was skirmishing on the entire line. In making a reconnoissance in front of his line, Polk became suddenly exposed to a heavy fire, during which the horse of one of his staff-officers was killed, and two were wounded; at the same time a bullet struck the horse which he himself was riding. At 2 p.m. an assault was made on Hood's line. It was successfully repelled, but the position at Resaca had become one of some peril without compensating advantage. A council of war was therefore called, an immediate retreat was resolved, and the corps commanders separated to put it into execution. General Polk was assigned the duty of covering the retreat by holding his position until the remainder of the army could be withdrawn. Toward morning the Federals became aware of the retrograde movement, and, pressing forward, their advance in the darkness became mingled and confused with the rear of General Polk's command. Polk himself was one of the last to cross the bridge, which was then fired.

We may be pardoned for now presenting a final picture of Leonidas Polk as he appeared on the battlefield.'

Wrapped in his old gray hunting-shirt, with slouched hat and sabre, he sat his horse and received the leaden compliments of the enemy with complacent yet not indifferent good-humor. He had a habit of shrugging his shoulders when a Mini6 ball came too close to his ear, and sometimes he would drop a chance word as though in reply. But he never got out of the way for them, and, if there was anything interesting at hand, was wholly indifferent to their importunities. In battle he was a daring old man, with his heart in the fray, and his best faith on the result; riding through shot and shell from point to point, unconscious of danger, directing the movements of his line with a quiet self-possession which bespoke

1 Sketch by the Hon. Heniy Watteraon.

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knowledge. At Shiloh, at Perryville, at Murfreesboro, at Chickamauga, and at Resaca, he was to be seen constantly at the front, at every part of his line, supervising the progress of events with his own presence. . . . One day at Resaca he called the writer of these rude lines and said, "You look hungry, and must divide my lunch with me." Some one had presented him a box of guava jelly and a bit of wheat bread (rarities in those Confederate times), and the prospect was tempting. "But," said I, "wouldn't it go a Uttle better if we were in a safer place?" He laughed kindly, and replied, "Certainly it would." And we proceeded to find one. We had scarcely seated ourselves, however, behind an oak-tree at the bottom of the hill, when a shrapnel came tearing through the air, struck the oak broadside about thirty feet above us, and precipitated both, lunch and all, amid a mass of limbs and fragments into a gully below. "Hey-dcyl" cried the general, picking himself out of the rubbish, "you're a pretty fellow for selecting covers' Come! we may as well take ourselves back to the front." He was kind and considerate of his men; he was approachable and self-denying in his own person; and he did not know the name of fear. He possessed that faculty of inspiring all who came about him with courage, attributed to General Zachary Taylor. He was proverbial for getting into "hot places"; and he seemed to be able to pass along a line of fire like the children through the fiery furnace, untouched. His staff loved him most fondly. He was every inch a gentleman, without mannerism or assimiption,—simple and innocent, yet dignified and imposing.

On the night of his arrival at Resaca he went with General Hood to Dalton to report to General Johnston. While on the way, General Hood signified to General Polk his desire to be baptized and received into the communion of the Episcopal Church, and it was arranged that the rite should be performed that same evening. On reaching Dalton, General Hood directed his aides to

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await him at his quarters, while the two generals repaired to army headquarters, where they remained with General Johnston until near midnight. They then went to General Hood's quarters, a room simply furnished with a mess-table and four chairs, and dimly lighted by a single candle. It was then occupied by a group of staff-officers. The simple preparation for the baptism was quickly made. The tin basin which was to serve as font being at hand, the general informed General Hood that he was ready. The gallant and sorely wounded soldier, who could kneel but with great difficulty, was told that he might sit; but he arose, and, leaning on his crutches, reverently bowed his head to be signed with the sign of the cross by the Bishop of Louisiana.

On Monday, the 16th, the retreat was continued to a point two and a half miles south of Calhoun, where the army halted and preparations were made for a stand. The position was abandoned, however, and at 2.30 p.m. on Tuesday, the 17th, the retreat was resumed, and was continued on the 18th in the direction of Adairsville. About 5 P.M. on the 18th General Polk was requested by General Johnston to officiate in his priestly office, in accordance with the request of Mrs. Johnston, which had been previously expressed in the following exquisite


Atlanta, Ga., May 16. My dear General Polk: You are never too much occupied, I well know, to pause to perform a good deed, and will, I am sure, even whilst leading your soldiers on to victory, lead my soldier nearer to God. General Johnston has never been baptized. It is the dearest wish of my heart that he should be, and that you should perform the ceremony would be a great gratification to me. I have written to him on the subject, and am sure he only waits your leisure. I rejoice that you are near him in these trying times. May God crown all

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your efforts with success, and spare your life for your country and friends. With high esteem,

I remain, very truly yours,

L. McLane Johnston.

That night, after the usual conference with his corps-commanders. General Johnston was baptized. Kneeling in his tent with but four present, the bishop fulfilled his wish, the witnesses being.General Hardee and General Hood.

On the 19th the retreat was continued to Cassville. The enemy advanced slowly and cautiously, with about half his force near Kingston, the remainder following the retreating army from Adairsville. General Johnston decided to send the two corps (Hood's and Polk's), which were then at Cassville, to attack the force advancing from Adairsville, Hood's corps leading on the right.

In reference to this movement we now give General Johnston's letter, kindly written to Colonel W. D. Gale, General Polk's aide-de-camp. As will be seen, it states General Polk's attitude at Cassville more fully than was done in General Johnston's official report and in his "Narrative," and in so doing it does him justice.

Savannah, May 24, 1869. My dear Colonel: I have just had the pleasure to read your letter of the 17th. You can well understand that the good wishes and kindly feelings of those with whom I was associated in the most trying period of my life are more valuable to me than those of other men. I assure you that our intercourse in that time was of a nature to make me value your friendly language especially. As to the occurrences at Cassville: there were two changes of plan there, one in the morning, when an intended attack on the enemy was prevented by General Hood, who made a retrograde instead of a forward

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movement as ordered; the other at night. The first was that which disappointed the army. It was to the second that you refer. Both are mentioned briefly in my report of the campaign.

In the first case the Federal army advancing from Adairs-ville was divided, the larger portion following ihe road by Kingston, the other the direct one by which Polk's and Hood's corps had marched the day before. I determined to attack the latter with those two corps, General Polk to meet and attack the enemy in front, General Hood to move northward by a parallel country road, a mile east of the main one, and fall upon his left flank. A brief order, you may remember, was read to the troops, announcing that they were about to assume the offensive. While we were waiting for Hood's corps to get into position (for it was to be in advance by a distance equal to its front), the general heard in some way that a Federal army was approaching our right from the rear by the Canton road. Without informing me, he moved back and formed his corps across that road facing to the east. This frustrated the intended attack, and made a defensive pdsition or retreat necessary. The first course was adopted, and the crest of the ridge in the rear of Cassville, previously examined, was chosen. Soon after the troops were formed on it, a light cannonade was begun by the enemy, which was continued until night. Regarding the right and center as strong, I passed the afternoon with General Hardee on the left, and after sunset met you on the road from Cassville to Carters-ville, a little in the rear of General Polk's center, and received what I took for an invitation to sup with General Polk to meet the other lieutenant-generals. I went about eight o'clock, and found General Hood, but not General Hardee, with General Polk. The former introduced the subject of our position and the cannonade, which he said enfiladed a part of his and a part of General Polk's line so severely as to have produced demoralization of the exposed troops, especially the part of French's division that occupied the enfiladed portion of General Polk's position. Both expressed the opinion that the

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Federal artillery would so sweep these two points next day that they would be untenable; they held it to be necessary to the safety of the army, therefore, that it should be moved before daybreak, and cross the Etowah. After a discussion of about two hours, I yielded, on the ground that it would be hazardous to attempt to defend a position r^arded as untenable by two of the three lieutenant-generals; for I thought the exposure to artillery much less than it had been in front of Resaca, where Hardee's right and Hood's left joined. Hardee joined the party near eleven o'clock, and was greatly disappointed to learn the determination to abandon such a position, for he and his men were full of confidence. You say truly that General Polk advocated offensive fighting. He was anxious that we should assail the enemy, and if he, instead of General Hood, had been on the right in the morning, the attack ordered would have been executed. He was opposed, however, to the course I thought most politic for us then— defending intrenched lines. Our difference of opinion on these military ^ questions did not in the least affect our personal relations.

General Hardee heard the reason of the order to fall back from General Hood. I think that General Clayton was occasionally present during the evening. I have no recollection of seeing General French during the evening. He was repeatedly quoted, however.

Yours very truly,

J. E. Johnston.

The continuation of our story is now mainly reproduced from Colonel Gale's diary:

"Altoona, Sunday, May 22. "Still waiting, the army resting. After breakfast the general ordered his horse, and, taking two officers of

^ We here refer the reader to the report of General Polk's engineer officer, Captain Walter J. Morris, for the reasons which governed General Polk in the advice which he gave on this occasion. See Appendix to Chapter IX.

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his personal staff, rode off, without indicating where he was going. Passing along the bank of Altoona Creek, amidst his troops, he proceeded to the brigade of General Sears. While at Demopolis, a young Mr. Bake-well, from Louisiana, who had been studying for the ministry and was a candidate for orders, came to headquarters to obtain permission to repair to some place where he could be ordained, with the view of being assigned to duty with some Louisiana regiment as its chaplain. His request was cheerfully complied with. He left, and, in the hurry and excitement that ensued, was apparently forgotten. He had been kept in mind, however, and now General Polk availed himself of his first leisure moment to lend him assistance and encouragement. Finding him with his regiment, he asked to hear him read the church service. The regiment was soon assembled on the slope of a hill, and there under the shade of the forest trees, surrounded by his troops, sitting, standing, and kneeling, this beautiful Sunday morning, the general listened while this young man led the service. This was the last time General Polk ever heard the service read by mortal lips except his own. After a few minutes of private conversation with Mr. Bakewell, he bade him good-by and returned to his own camp."

On Monday, the 23d, the army marched toward Dallas to oppose the advance of Sherman in that direction. It reached the vicinity of New Hope Church on the evening of the 25th. Here a fierce but unsuccessful onslaught was made, first upon Hood's corps and then upon a portion of Hardee's. In this position Johnston's army stood on the defensive and was constantly under fire. Day by day, and in regular lines of intrenchment, Sherman

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approached. Polk, as usual, devoted his personal attention to his command. His habit was to rise early, take a light breakfast, mount his horse, and, accompanied by his aides, inspect his entire line minutely, patiently, €ind thoroughly. He never appeared to grow weary; his mental and physical endurance throughout those last days excelled that of the youngest and most hardy of his staff.

Sherman, having failed to dislodge the Confederate line, now withdrew a portion of his command, with a view to turning Johnston's right and reaching Marietta at one stroke; but Hardee and Polk held McPherson so closely to his position upon the Federal right at Dallas that he could not be extricated in time to permit the carrying out of Sherman's design. In order to meet Sherman's movement, which had extended to the railroad north of Marietta, Johnston now resolved to change his position to the right.

Before this movement was definitely ordered, however, a general attack upon the Federal army had been considered by Johnston and his subordinates. Hood urged that it should be initiated by an attack upon Sherman's left flank. This suggestion was adopted, but, when attempted, was found impracticable because it was met by the flanking movement which Sherman was then making in the same direction. Sherman's preponderance of force enabled him to detach a good portion of his force for operations upon the flank, and yet leave enough men in hand for aggressions in front, should the opportunity present. Therefore the withdrawal of Johnston's army from its position at New Hope Church was a movement of delicacy, requiring tact and celerity.

General Polk gave close personal attention to the preparations necessary for withdrawing his command.

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Roads were cut, bridges were built, guides were provided, and a staff-officer was assigned to each division to conduct it over a road which he himself had previously examined.

The night of the 5th of June was selected for the withdrawal. Rain and heat had added to the many discomforts of the army. The night set in with drizzling rain and fog. Each staff-officer received, as usual, from General Polk himself, minute instructions for the march. The line began to move at 11 p.m., leaving skirmishers in position, to be relieved by cavalry at 2 a.m. General Polk followed his command, groping its way through mud and water over narrow and difficult roads. Wherever confusion occurred he was at hand to direct, restore order, and set the column again in motion. Throughout the night he rode back and forth along the line splashing through mud, plunging through water, drenched with rain, keeping the colunm on its march. At dawn he left the men kindling their fires, went to an abandoned dwelling near by, and, throwing himself on his sheepskin, sought a short rest.

The morning of Tuesday, June 7, was passed in comparative quiet, the men being busy with the defenses. At noon a heavy rain flooded the ground and filled the newly made trenches. During the day General Polk was riding rapidly in front of the newly formed line, and, having passed beyond the right of his command, came in front of some Louisiana troops who had served under him at Columbus and Belmont, but who had been separated from him since the battle of Shiloh. As he came in sight a few irregular shouts arose, and as soon as the troops recognized their former general an outburst of huzzas from the entire line greeted his approach. He advanced to the troops which had given so hearty a re-

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ception, and entered into conversation with them. After a while, with encouraging words of confidence and hope, he raised his cap and rode away amid renewed cheers.

This incident was but one of many such which greeted General Polk during this period. First and last, nearly every command in that army had served under his immediate orders, and, as General Johnston wrote but a short time before his own death: "As General Polk had served in that army from its formation, he was greatly loved and admired in it." In fact, as another companion in arms has written of him: "Leonidas Polk's character, viewed in its double light of bishop and general, priest and soldier, in its severe simplicity of truthfulness, inspired the warmest love and most ardent admiration. His brother officers confided in him and relied upon him; the soldiers trusted him and loved him."

On Wednesday, June 8, the army was settling down in the defenses of the newly formed hne. With his command protected, and all quiet. General Polk indulged in the relaxation of "company to dinner," having sent notes of invitation to Generals Hardee and Hood to join him. General Hood, being indisposed, was compelled to decline. General Hardee came. In order to give them the best entertainment in his power the lean calf had been killed, whose dam had just helped to appease the cravings of a neighboring regiment. Aaron, the colored cook, made the best of his scanty resources. The calf's-head soup was pronounced to be all that could be desired, and with jest and anecdote to season the homely meal the general and their aides enjoyed the dinner with greater zest than they -might have done on more formal occasions.

On Thursday, June 9, General Polk rose at daylight and rode to the front, and afterward to army head-

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quarters to confer with the commanding general. In the afternoon he superintended a change of the position of his command, which was moved more to the right, although on the same line.

We now present, consecutively, extracts from letters written by General Polk to members of his family dicing the campaign.

They tell, better than anything heretofore made public, the condition of the army; and they are a sufficient answer, not only to criticisms which have been directed against General Johnston's conduct of its affairs, but are also a reply to those which assumed the existence of dissensions between Johnston and his corps-eommanders. Up to the time of General Polk's death nothing of that natiu'e was developed, and the writer believes that, had Polk lived, General Johnston would never have been displaced from the command of this army. From the close of the Kentucky campaign until Johnston was finally placed in command, Polk, as we have seen, continued to urge his assignment to the command of the Army of Tennessee, and the expressions in the privacy of these letters show the continuance of his confidence and regard.

General Polk's attitude toward the tale-bearers and gossips whom the rivalries and jealousies common to a soldier's life seem inevitably to develop in every army, is characteristically expressed in a reply which he made to one of them the day after the retreat from Cassville. He was told there was a current report in the army to the effect that he and General Hood were responsible for the failure of the army to fight at that position. "Is that so?" replied Polk. " Well, you may say that I take all the blame upon myself." Later, when one of his aides remonstrated with him, he said, ''Ah, well; let

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it go, my shoulders are no doubt broad enough to bear it." His real responsibility we have abeady shown.

Altoona Station, six miles south op THE Etowah River, May 21, 1864.

My dear Wife: I informed you I had been ordered by the President to turn over the temporary command of my department to General Lee, and to take charge of so much of my force as I deemed I could spare from the department, to move to the assistance of General Johnston. I did so, and joined him with the divisions of General Loring, General French, and General Canty (infantry), and of General Jackson (of the cavalry). I was placed in command of the left wing of the army (infantry). After my army joined it, I held Resaca until General Johnston's forces passed the Oostenaula at that place. . . . We lost nothing, and burned the bridge after us. Since that we have been falling back from point to point, to find ground on which General Johnston was willing to fight them. I think, with the addition of force brought from Mississippi, we are strong enough to do all that ought to be asked of us, and by God's blessing to have our own way with what is before us. When General Johnston will offer battle I do not know, but think that it cannot be many da3rs hence. The troops are in fine spirit, and feel quite confident of their ability to succeed to the utmost of their wishes.

The campaign has been a very hard one thus far; a good deal of marching and but little sleep. ... All my old friends are much pleased to see me here again, and the troops have received me with cordial demonstrations of pleasure. All this is very grateful to my feelings, and I hope I appreciate it properly.

You will be interested in hearing that the first night of my arrival with the army I baptized Lieutenant-General Hood. It was on the eve of an expected battle. The scene was a touching one,—he, with one leg, leaning on his crutches, a veteran in the midst of his and my officers, and I the officiating minister. His heart was fully in it. A few nights after.

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at the instance of General Johnston, and in compliance with the request of the enclosed note, I baptized him also, Lieuten-ant-Generals Hardee and Hood being witnesses. It was a deeply solenm scene, and what a passage for history!

Near New Hope Church, Friday, 27th May, 1864.

My hdaved Wife: I wrote you about four days ago stating-we were all well. Since then I have received your welcome letter, written on our wedding-day. How many delightful reflections and remembrances that day suggests. We have had our trials, dear wife, but we have had our blessings too, and oh! how many, in comparison with the unworthiness of the subjects of them! God be praised for all His mercies, but, above and beyond all, for the knowledge and grace brought to us through His beloved Son, our Lord and Saviour. I thank Him and praise Him, and magnify His holy name for ail His abounding loving-kindness and tender mercies. We have as yet not met the enemy in a pitched battle, but I think we shall before many days. Our troops are in exceedingly fine spirits and very confident. We have, I think, a very fine army, and one which is very united. The relations between the general officers—^Johnston, Hardee, Hood, and myself—are very pleasant.

I hope your health has become better, or at least that it will become so. "Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid"; your Father's hand is under you, and he will take care of you and yours, hereafter as heretofore. Give my tender love to all the dear children.

New Hope Church, Paulding Citt, NEAR Marietta, Ga., June 1, 1864. My dear Wife: I am in receipt yesterday of your letter of the 25th, which was very welcome, as it gave me intelligence of your improving health. I can well imagine your surprise at finding me so suddenly transferred to the field. But it is what might have been expected, and considering that the

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Anny of the Mississippi (Federal) was sent here, there was a propriety in the Army of the Mississippi (CJonfederate) being sent also to confront it. I have been very hard at work getting my army into condition, and have now about 14,000 effectives—^that is, muskets (independent of officers)—of infantry, and about 4,000 cavalry; in all, an army of about 19,000 men.

This army, too, is in fine condition and fine splits. It b a most welcome addition to the strength of Johnston. I think I have never seen the troops, one and all, in such fine spirits and condition as they now are, and am of the very common opinion that under God we shall beat them when the collision shall take place. Indeed, the army is just ready to go along. itself when it shall be put at its work. Their numbers are somewhat larger than ours, but the difference is not such as in our opinion to affect the result. I think it likely we shall find it expedient to pass the Chattahoochie, but the battle may happen on this side.

Lost Mountain P. O., June 7, 1864,


My hdoved Wife: We are all well. Our army is in fine spirits, and, under God, quite ready to meet the enemy. But be does not appear to be inclined to meet us. He prefers operating on our flanks. I take it Johnston will terminate this shortly. He is suffering by delay much more than we are. Indeed, my own Army of the Mississippi has increased, and is increasing every day; we are stronger by several thousand than when I started from Mississippi, and my command is in fine condition, and is thought to be well organized and equipped, and the spirit of its administration is as fine as I could desire, great harmony prevailing everywhere.

We had, three nights ago, the hardest and most trying march I have ever experienced. All night in the rain, and the roads as sloppy and deep as you may imagine; the cheerful spirits of the troops, joking, etc., was very striking. I am ordered to move my army from the extreme left over to the extreme

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right to-day, and it is now moving. My right will rest on the railroad station above Marietta. The troops are well fed, and we are getting plenty of subsistence for the horses. My stafiF is well organized and quite full, so there is no confusion, and there is efficiency.

In the Field, four miles north of Marietta,

June 11, 1864.

Things are much as they have been for some days past. We have taken up a strong position, which we have fortified and now hold, across the railroad four miles above Marietta. The enemy has rebuilt the railroad bridge across the Etowah, and will be able to use it to-morrow or the next day most probably. He is in the meantime deplo3dng in our front so as to extend over the ground covered by us. He will perhaps not move forward until his supplies get up by rail; this may take a day or two. Nor do I think he will attack us in front. He will most probably attempt to occupy us in front while he attempts to turn one or other of our flanks—I think our right flank. Our army is in fine condition and in excellent spirits, and I think, under the blessing of God, will do its duty. We feel easy about the result, though there must be inevitably a good deal of hard fighting.

I have never known the army to be so well clad and shod and fed as at present, or so well organized, or so easily handled. Its experience in campaigning has been highly instructive and profitable, and its general temper is* as good as we could desire. This is quite remarkable, seeing that the campaign from Dalton down to this place has certainly been the hardest I have experienced since the war began. It is very gratifying to find that the troops and the country appear to have undiminished confidence in the ability and skill of General Johnston, and he seems to be managing things very prudently. Our losses in the campaign have been comparatively small. I think those of the enemy cannot fall much short of 20,000 from the battles and skirmishes and other causes, so that upon the whole the situation is satisfactory. . . .

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I continue to receive every day fresh accessions to my command. My own health has at no time been better, and you may say to your mother that she is greatly mistaken if she thinks I do not take care of m3rself.

We now give the last letter written by Leonidas Polk:

June 13, 1864.

My dear Daughter: Since I heard of your marriage I have been more constantly and intently engaged than I have been in any campaign I have ever made, and so have not found time to write to you as I had hoped.

You have now, my dear child, entered upon a new field, and under God's blessing (upon which, if you look to Him, you may count) your future happiness and success will depend very much upon yourself. Do always what is right, not calculating what is expedient, but try and find out what is right, and with a pure heart and true devotion go straight forward and do it. Be always kind and considerate of the feelings and rights of others, and you will be very apt to have your feelings and rights respected. Watch against impatience of spirit. If you keep your heart always under the dominion of the grace of God's spirit you will be very apt to have your own power of self-control complete and perfect. That is a thing to be cultivated, and is the fruit of watchfulness and prayerfulness. Let it be the business of your life to strive for large attainments in that way. It will be your greatest safety from yourself, the world, and the devil, and will be a shield and tower of strength for you. . . .

I trust it cannot be a great while before this war will be at an end, and we shall then find field enough for us all to make a living in, and that we shall in the meantime practice such economy as shall enable us to live through the war.

I am now looking for an attack of the enemy on our lines, and avail myself of the pause and quiet that preyail to write you these few lines.

Our army is in good spirits, and confident, under the blesa-

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ing of God, of success in the coming conflict. It is also in high condition. Our trust is in God.

May the good Lord bless and keep you and yours, my dear child, in all. your coming experiences and trial of life, and afterward receive you to glory, is the prayer of your affectionate father. L. Polk.

On the morning of Friday, June 10, before leaving his headquarters on his daily round. General Polk gave orders to have them removed to the dwelling of Mr. Hardige, a mile nearer Marietta. There were several young grandchildren of his host, Mr. Kirk,* who had been objects of interest to the staff, but to no one of them more than to General Polk. One of his aides had given each of the children a plate of sorghum molasses as a treat before leaving. They had made good use of it, and bountifully smeared their lips and cheeks with its sweetness. In this plight General Polk found them as he was about to leave. He stooped down and raised a curly-headed girl of four summers, of whom he had become very fond, and set her on his knee, to give her a parting kiss. After several attempts he said as if to himself, " I can't find a spot clean enough to kiss," and then to an officer near, " I have a great mind to get some water and wash her face; do you think her mother would care?" He took another look, got in a kiss somewhere amidst the molasses, and, letting her gently down from his knee, moved away.

The enemy now appeared in front, and there was heavy skirmishing all along the line.

Saturday, June 11, set in gloomy and rainy. Mr. Hardige's dwelling. General Polk's present headquarters, was four miles from Marietta, on the Lost Mountain

^ Mr. Kirk, seventy-eight years old, had given eight sons to the Confederate army, five of whom had been killed in battle.

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road, almost under the shadow of Kenesaw Mountain. It was a frame house, with the body of it partitioned into two rooms. A piazza extended along the front of the dwelling, and one end of it was boarded in so as to form a room, which was set apart for him. It was furnished with a single bed, a small table, and a chair. On the table were inkstand, pens, paper, and envelopes, such as the hard fortunes of the Confederacy afiforded, together with maps of the siurounding country. In a comer stood his sword. In front of the house, a little to one side, within call, was a large tent, which was his adjutant-general's office, while the wooded slope of an adjacent lot was whitened with the tents and enlivened by the camp-fires of his general stafif and his escort, the Orleans light-horse. We quote again from Colonel Gale's diary:

To-day several designs for corps, division and brigade flags were submitted to the general, and for his headquarters he selected a white cross on a red field, with the remark that he liked it best because of the emblem, "Purity upon a field of blood." In the afternoon he rode to the front and thence to army headquarters, returning at night during a heavy rain.

On Sunday, June 12, the morning broke foggy and rainy. For twelve successive days it had rained more or less heavily. The roads were almost impassable, and the condition of the men in the trenches was deplorable.

General Polk seemed more abstracted to-day than usual. He kept his room and was engaged in reading his Bible and some little books which had been prepared by Dr. Quintard, and adapted to the use of the soldiers as a convenient substitute for the Book of Common Prayer. The general seemed deeply interested, as he was observed to be intently reading

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them by an officer who had occasion to enter his room on official business. The rain was still pouring down through the rising fog. An occasional shot from the skirmish-line, as it sent its deadened report through the heavy air, was all that reminded us that the enemy was still near. About

10 A.M., the general came out and said to an officer of his staff that he would like to read the church service. The announcement gave general satisfaction, and in a few moments the family sitting-room was made ready, and the audience assembled. A small table placed near a window served as a desk. The room, the house, the piazza, were filled with men in gray, and, as there was not space enough inside, quite a number stood near the windows and doors and under the dripping eaves; their rapt attention gave evidence of their interest in the occasion. Of those who were within, some sat in chairs, some on the floor, and others stood during the whole service, while those without, drawing their hats down over their necks, stood patiently while the pouring rain ran in rivulets down their shoulders. With dignity and solemnity worthy of a prophet of old, the general read the service throughout, and joined in the singing of a psalm and hymn, his whole manner being remarkable for its impressivencss and devotion. In a voice tremulous with emotion he read the concluding prayer, and, asking a blessing, sat down in profound silence. This was the last time he ever read the service of the Church.

The morning of Monday, June 13, broke like the day before it, foggy and rainy. As all was quiet in front, General Polk remained within doors, writing. About

11 A.M. he received the following note from general headquarters:

9.30 A.M., June 13, 1864.

General: You will do me a favor by giving me the benefit of your opinion on the subject of the mode of occupying our intrenchments to the best advantage. It is important that we should keep in our works only the number of men necessary to hold them, that we may have a strong movable force.

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For the line you now occupy, how many men, on an average, would be necessary for each one hundred yards, and how many gun3 for the front?

I respectfully suggest that your artillery officer and Brigadier-General Shoup together examine the line from your right to General Hood's, to determine what number of guns can be advantageously placed upon it.

Very respectfully,

J. E. Johnston. Lieutenant-General Polk.

To this General Polk replied:

June 13, 1864, 1.30 p.m.

General: I have had a conference with my division commanders, and have arrived at the conclusion that I could, in case of an attack by us on the enemy, hold the line now occupied by my command with a fraction more than one-third of its whole force, say 5,000 men. That presumes that the other two-thirds are out of the trenches, in the rear of the line, and held ready to be employed, either to support the right or the left, or to be used to support the front line should it be attacked. I am in receipt of your note from General Hood, and perceive he makes about the same estimate. I will call this evening and see you.

.Yours respectfully, L. Polk, LieutenantrGeneral.

General J. E. Johnston.

General Polk went to army headquarters and had a consultation with the conunanding general, who expressed a desire to make a personal inspection, on the following morning, of an advanced position, held by the division of Major-General Bate, on Pine Mountain, and he ret[uested General Polk to accompany him and assist in the examination. An appointment for that purpose having been made, General Polk returned to his headquarters.

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The morning of Tuesday, June 14, dawned clear, and the rainy season seemed to be over. General Polk took an early breakfast, and his horse was ready to be mounted as soon as General Johnston appeared. In the meantime he sent the following, his last order, to Major-General French:

June 14, 1864, 8 a.m.

General: General Polk derares you to extend your present line, at once, to the left, so as to cover the recent line occupied by General Canty. Respectfully,

Thos. M. Jack, A, A.-G.

Major-General French.

He then sent verbal directions to General French to extend his skirmishers so as to connect with the skirmish line of General Hardee, the writer being charged with the delivery of this message and the supenosion of the execution of its details.^

General Johnston arrived soon after 8 a.m. General Polk mounted and rode with him toward the headquarters of General Hardee, who was to join them in the examination. Each general was attended by several members of his staff. General PoJk was accompanied by Lieutenant-Colonel Jack, A. A.-G., Colonel W. D. Gale,^ A.-D.-C, Major Frank McNairy, volunteer A.-D.-C., and Lieutenant Hopkins of the Orleans light-horse. The party reached the quarters of General Hardee about 10 A.M. and dismounted; after a short consultation all mounted again and rode forward. In a few minutes they were on the main line of the intrenchments, through

1 General Polk called the writer to him, and leaning upon his shoul-dor, drew the line of battle upon the ground with the toe of his boot. Then, explaining what was needed, he directed him to execute it, and after that to report back to headquarters and await his return.

> The account of this ride and General Polk's death is taken from the notes of General Polk's aide. Colonel W. D. Gale.

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which they passed aiid continued their course for nearly a mile, when they dismounted behind a sharp hill, known as Pine Mountain, and moved cautiously over the top, and then down a few yards to a small earthwork, occupied by a battery and its supports.

On reaching the crest of the hill the spectators had a full view of the surrounding country, over which sunshine and shadow moved, keeping pace with the slowly drifting clouds. Both lines of battle were plainly visible. Bodies of men could be seen, busy with axe and spade. Guns were being placed in position. Groups of officers could be distinguished moving about behind the lines. The adjacent fields were white with the covers of a thousand wagons. In the distance, to the front, lay the hills of Etowah; to the right, the peaks of Kenesaw.

The constant firing of the heavy lines of skirmishers, reinforced here and there by the guns of some battery, whose position was marked by the white smoke which in the still air settled about it—^all combined to make the scene one of unusual beauty and grandeur. In the enthusiasm of the moment some of the officers stood on the parapet and exposed themselves to the sharp gaze of hostile eyes. The men of the battery vainly warned them of the danger. While they were speaking there was a flash, a puff of smoke, a sharp report, and in an instant fragments of splintered rock and flying earth scattered around them, as a shot was buried in the parapet. The officers separated, each seeking some place of greater safety. General Johnston and General Polk moved together to the left, and stood for a few moments in earnest conversation behind a parapet. Several shots now passed together just above the parapet and touched the crest of the hill. Generals Johnston and Polk, having apparently completed their observations, began to

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retrace their steps. General Johnston fell a few paces behind, and diverged to the right; General Polk walked to the crest of the hill, and, entirely exposed, turned himself around, as if to take a farewell view. Folding his arms across his breast, he stood intently gazing on the scene below. While he thus stood, a cannon-shot crashed through his breast, and opening a wide door, let free that indomitable spirit. Amid the shot and shell now poured upon the hill, his faithful escort gathered up the body and bore it to the foot of the hill. There, in a sheltered ravine, his sorrow-stricken comrades, silent and in tears, gathered around his mangled corpse.^

Hardee, bending over the lifeless form, said to Johnston, "General, this has been a dear visit. We have lost a brave man, whose death leaves a vacancy not easily filled"; then, kneeling by the side of the dead body, he exclaimed: ''My dear, dear friend, little did I think this morning that I should be called upon to witness this." Johnston, with tears in his eyes, knelt and laid his hand upon the cold brow of the fallen hero, saying, "We have lost much! I would rather anything but this."

During the afternoon Hood wrote to Johnston: "I am too sad to come over this evening. It is hard that one so noble, generous, and brave as our friend should be taken from us."

^ This account of the death of Leonidas Polk is given in the words of his aide, Col. W. D. Gale, who was anxiously watching him as he stood. Lieut. Aristide Hopkins and Col. Gale were the first of his staff to reach him. Lieut. Hopkins states, " I saw General Polk alone, on the very crest of the hill, with arms crossed and looking intently to his front, as though loath to leave the spot. It was always the habit of his staff, in the General's frequent moments of unnecessary exposure, to try and draw him from these places of danger. In an instant I was at his side, but, alas, too late, for at that very instant he was struck."—Address before Camp Beauregard, No. 30, Louisiana Division, Confederate Veterans, April 10, 1907.

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The news went along the line from left to right that Polk had fallen. It reached the pickets, passed from them to the enemy in front, then to their comirades in the rear. Before his limbs were become rigid in death, his fall was known in Washington as well as Richmond.

His body was at length placed in an ambulance, and the mournful cavalcade slowly and silently retraced its steps, and followed his remains to headquarters. "Jerry," the noble roan he had ridden in nearly all his marches and battles, was led riderless in front.

That afternoon the following general order to the army marked the end of the eventful career of Leonidas


Headquarters, Army of Tennessee, In the Field, June 14, 1864. General Field Orders No. 2.

Comrades: You are called to mourn your first captain, your oldest companion in arms. Lieutenant-General Polk fell today at the outpost of this army,—the army he raised and commanded, in all of whose trials he shared, to all of whose victories he contributed.

In this distinguished leader we have lost the most courteous of gentlemen, the raost gallant of soldiers.

The Christian, patriot, soldier, has neither lived nor died in vain. His example is before you; his mantle rests with you.

J. E. Johnston, General.

KiNLOCK Falconer, A. A.-G.

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New York, Jtme 25, 1878. Dr. W. M. Polk, 288 Fifth Avenue, New York.

Dear Sir: In reply to your note of the 20th inst., asking me to give you my recollections of the circumstances in regard to the retreat of the Confederate armies from Cassville, Ga., to the south side of the Etowah River, I will state the facts as connected with myself, as follows:

At the time when the Confederate armies of Tennessee and Mississippi, under the command of General J. E. Johnston, and the Federal armies under General Sherman, were manoeu-vering in the neighborhood of Cassville, I had nearly completed my joume}^ from Demopolis, Ala., to that town, to join Lieutenant-General Polk, commanding the Army of Mississippi, who was with General Johnston in that vicinity. I had crossed the country in company with a part of that command. I arrived at the Cassville railway station about half-past three or four o^dock of the afternoon of the l&th of May, 1864, and met one of our staff, who informed me that the lieutenant-general desired to see me as soon as I arrived. I passed on without delay to his headquarters, about half a mile to the northeast of the railway station, and met General Polk at the door of the cabin used for headquarter ptu*po8es. I entered immediately, and he placed a skeleton map before me, giving the surrounding country, and pointed out the positions of the Confederate forces, and the known and supposed locations of the Federals, giving such additional information as to enable me to fully understand the actual condition of affairs. This was done rapidly. He then requested me to go at once and examine the extreme right of his line, as he considered it untenable for defense.


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First. He desired me to form an opinion if, by constructing a rifle-pit, his line could be held against such an attack as might be reasonably expected in the morning.

Second, To carefully examine that part of the line enfiladed, to see if it was possible to construct traverses to enable him •to hold the position on the defensive.

Third. To examine the ground immediately in his front, m reference to advancing, and to note in reference the positions then occupied by the several batteries in front and to the right of Lieutenant-General Hood^s line.

Fourth. If these batteries to the front and right of Hood's line could be taken by special movement.

These explanations, noting them down and getting a tracing of the skeleton map, required about thirty minutes, and I started for that part of the line in question, General Polk impressing upon me the necessity of reaching that part of the line as soon as possible, as I would only have about two hours of daylight to make the examinations. Furnishing me with a fresh horse, one of his own, and the necessary glides .from his escort, I reached the ground in fifteen minutes. I wasUn-structed to return as soon after dark as possible, for, if necessary, an invitation would be sent to General Johnston to come to his (General Polk's) headquarters. Lieutenant-General Hood was, I think, with General Polk when I left.

Arriving upon the line of battle, I found Major-Generul French's division (Army of the Mississippi) located on the extreme right of the army, and occupying the part of the line in question. To his right was the line of Lieutenant-General Hood's corps (Army of Tennessee), forming the extreme right of the Confederate infantry forces.

The crest of the ridge occupied by French's division was about 140 feet above the plain or vaUey in which the town of Cassville is located. This ridge is cut across by a ravine of about 50 feet deep, its sides rising from the bottom on either side at about 30 degrees. The location of this ravine on French's line was 500 or 600 feet to the left of his extreme right. To the left of this ravine, for 1200 or 1500 feet, the crest of the ridge was entirely open, as was to the rear for 800

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or 1000 feet. There were a few scattered trees of stunted growth in and about the ravine. The remaining portion of General French's line to the left and to the rear was timbered, as aJso to the front for 100 to 800 feet, increasing in depth toward the left. The ground to the front of the left half of his line descended about 140 feet for half a mile, continuing on to Cassville, about one and a quarter miles to the northwest of his left The ground in front of the right half of his line descended about 100 feet on the left and 80 feet on the right, for a distance of one half mile on the left, and one fourth of a mile on the extreme right, then ascending to 80 feet on the left and 100 on the right to a ridge opposite and due north. This opposing ridge passed on a line about 23 degrees south of west, forming an angle with General Polk's Une of defense of about 25 degrees, and forming something less of an angle with Lieutenant-General Hood's line. This opposite ridge was occupied by the enemy: their left resting on a poiut about one and a quarter miles northeast, on a prolongation of General Polk's line, and from one half to three quarters of a mile in front of Lieutenant-General Hood's, and passing on to the westward at a distance of one half a mile to one and a quarter miles north of General Polk's, and in frontof his extreme right. The line occupied by the enemy on the opposing ridge was from 20 to 40 feet higher than the position of General Hood's line, and from 40 to 60 feet higher than General Polk's. The batteries of the enemy were posted on the most prominent and available points along their ridge, extending for a mile from their extreme left toward their right, reaching a point to the north and front of General Polk's extreme right, and directly in front of the ravine, and open part of French's lines. These batteries enfiladed and cross-fired upon the entire open crest from 45 to 50 degrees, and with a plunging fire from 20 to 60 feet, and sweeping through the ravine and across the rear of the ridge to a distance of about 1000 feet — this rear fire being still more plunging than that on the crest.

There was no cover for the men within a reasonable distance to the crest, for, from the extreme positions of the left batteries of the enemy, it would not be necessary for them to

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cease firing, during an attack, until their infantry had reached a line very close to the crest of the ridge occupied by Polk's command.

The extreme right or eastern batteries of the enemy necessarily enfiladed a considerable portion of General Hood's line. Having made these examinations and noted them down, I formed the following opinions:

Fifrat, That the right of the line occupied by Lieutenant-General Polk's command could not be held as it then was, nor could it be held by constructing a rifie-pit along the crest.

Second, That traverses would be of no avail either for the rifle-pits upon the crest or as a covered way to the rear, as such traverses would cover nearly the entire surface.

Third, That it was extremely hazardous for Lieutenant-General Polk to advance his line to make an attack upon the enemy while their batteries held the positions they occupied.

Faurth, As to forming an opinion as to the taking of these left batteries of the enemy by special flank movement: This I could not do, as I was imable to examine to the right of General Hood's line, as it had grown dark; but, judging from the stream as located on the skeleton map, there must have been a very narrow ridge to approach the enemy upon their left.

At the time I arrived about the center of General Polk's right, where the open crest of the ridge commenced, I found a very heavy enfilading and cross fire going on from the enemy's batteries; there were but a few sentinels remaining upon the crest. The main body of men intended to occupy this part of the line were compelled to withdraw to the right and left at the foot of the ridge, out of sight, but not out of range of the enemy's batteries. I found that Major-General French had one or two batteries in position upon this part of the line near the ravine; and while they were coming into their positions, and before the guns could be unlimbered, from one to two horses of each piece were kiUed. On my return over this part of the line about dark, the fire from the enemy had nearly ceased.

Having completed this reconnaissance, I returned to Lieu-

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tenant-General Polk's headquarters just after dark. I placed before him my sketches and notes, and explained to him substantially these facts. Lieutenant-General Polk sent at onoe to ask General Johnston to come to his headquarters. Lieu-tenant-General Hood was already with General Polk. General Johnston arrived about nine o^cIock. I remained in the cabin during the conversation as to holding the position then occupied, or advancing or retiring the armies to the south of the Etowah River, about seven miles to our rear. Lieutenant-General Polk expressed himself convinced that he could not hold his line against attack, and that Major-General French, who occupied that part of his line in question, was of the same opinion, as was his (General Polkas) engineer (myself), who had examined the position and reported that traverses would be of no avail. Lieutenant-General Hood stated that he was also convinced that neither he nor General Polk could hold their lines for an hour against such an attack as they might certainly expect in the morning.

These generals both advocating to the commanding general to take the offensive and advance on the enemy from these lines, in reference to this proposed forward movement, General Johnston's attention was particularly called to the advantages of taking possession of the positions occupied by the batteries of the enemy on their extreme left, either by a special flank movement, or by prompt action at the time when the Confederate lines would be advanced. Lieutenant-General Polk expressed himself entirely willing and ready to cooperate with Lieutenant-General Hood to accomplish this object. After some moments of silence. General Johnston decided to withdraw the armies to the south of the Etowah. Soon after this, Lieutenant-General Hardee arrived. General Johnston informed him of the decision to cross the river, stating that Generals Polk and Hood had informed him that they could not hold their lines. Lieutenant-General Hood then restated the reasons, and said that Lieutenant-General Polk could not hold his line an hour, nor could he (Hood) hold his two hours, if attacked in the morning. Lieutenant-General Polk again explained the facts as they existed in reference

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to his line, and stated his willingness to assume the offensive at any time,—then, or in the morning,—rather than to await the attack of the enemy in his (Polk's) present position. Upon these points Generals Polk and Hood entirely agreed, urging the offensive rather than await the enemy. Lieutenant-General Hardee made but few, if any, remarks that I heard. After a few moments Genera] Johnston gave the orders for the armies to move to the south side of the Etowah.

Lieutenant-General Polk called to his assistant adjutant-general to issue the orders to his division commanders; this was about half-past ten or eleven oVlock. The orders to Major-General Loring (Army of Mississippi) were given to me to deliver; also one to him to order to report to me an officer with three hundred men, to occupy the exposed part of Major-General French's line as soon as his command was withdrawn. I was instructed by General Polk to place this detail along that part of the line, and keep up such fires as would indicate the presence of the withdrawn command, and to cut timber and drive stakes to indicate that works were being thrown up, and to remain there imtil daylight, and observe the movements of the enemy before leaving.

I went at once to General Loring's headquarters on the left of the Cassville road, saw that general, and delivered the orders; obtained the officer and detail, and arrived at General French's line about half-past eleven o'clock, and found that command ready to move; by twelve o'clock midnight they had withdrawn, and the detail was posted with a few men out in front.

It was a calm, clear, starlight night, and the position of the enemy upon the opposite ridge was clearly seen without their fires, which could be traced along their line, and the cutting of the timbers could be distinctly heard and located. In addition to the enemy's location upon the crest of the ridge, and passing through or just in front of the town of Ca^viUe, and on the west, there were also strong indications of an advance line upon the plain nearer to the foot of the ridge occupied by us; and their chopping and driving rails was very distinct, and their voices could occasionally be heard.

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The work of the detail was kept up daring the night; at daylight I instructed the officer to assemble the men to the rear. During this time of preparing to leave the line, I closely observed the enemy and his positions through a very strong field-glass. I found that many of the enemy's batteries along the ridge had been advanced, and their principal and somewhat intrenched lines api>eared to leave the ridge at a point about a mile east of Cassville, and passing to the south of west, full half a mile in front of lines of the previous evening. It appeared that the enemy had been aware of the movements of the Confederate armies, and their line advanced during the night was now vacated, and there were trains and artillery moving to the west upon the Eangston road, and solid bodies of infantry moving in the same direction.

The detail having been assembled, I placed them upon a by-road to Cassville station, on the main road to Cartersville. I instructed the officer to proceed to the south side of the Etowah River by way of the CartersviUe bridge, and to report back to his division commanders. I passed on to cross the river at this same point, arriving there about half-past ten o'clock, and found the Army of the Mississippi nearly over to the south side of the river, which was accomplished by noon. Very truly yours,

Walter J. Mobbis, Captain Engineer Corps, C. 8. Army, and Chirf Engineer of the Army of Mississippi,

N. B. Enclosed herewith you will find a map^ made by me from my notes taken at the time of reconnaissance.

Yours, etc.,

W. J. M.

1 Seept zlii., pUte IziL, No. vlL, Maps ** Official Beeords, War of BebeU ion."

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BURIAL. June 14 to June 29, 1864.

Bemoval of General Polk's 1[>ody to Atlanta.—Services at St Luke's Church.—Arrival at Augosta.—Lying in state.—The funeral procession.—The burial service of the Church.— Committed to earth.— In me-moriam.—A shepherd to the last.—Blood-stained memorials.—Testimony of comrades in arms.—President Davis's tribute.—Tributes from brothers in the Church.—Extract from Bishop Elliott's ''Burial Address."— Under the shadow of the cross.

The body of General Polk was taken to the railway station during the afternoon for the purpose of being removed to Atlanta. On reaching that place it was received by a committee of the city, and placed within the chancel of St. Luke's. Clothed in Confederate uniform, it rested with a cross of white roses upon the breast, and by the coffin's side lay his sword. Throughout the morning the church was filled by those who came to pay the last tribute of affection. At noon an appropriate service, followed by an address, was conducted by the Rev. Dr-Quintard.

The military escort, having arrived at an early hour, was drawn up in front of the church, and, when the services were over, the body was placed in a field-ambulance, and was escorted to the station, followed by the dead generaFs personal staff, by Generals 6. W. Smith, Wright, Ruggles, and Reynolds, Colonel EweU, by other officers of the army, and by citizens generally.


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The members of General Polk's staff and the committee representing the city of Atlanta were met at Augusta at dawn on the next morning by the rectors and vestry of the churches of the Atonement and St. Paul's, and the body was conveyed to St. Paul's, where a guard of honor received it.

After remaining two days at the church, the body was placed in the city hall, in charge of a guard.

Upon the day appointed, the 29th of June,— by a happy coincidence the feast of St. Peter the Apostle,— the miUtary force of Augusta, consisting of one regiment of infantry, a battery of artillery, and a company of cavalry, was drawn up at the city hall. At half-past nine o'clock the case enclosing the body, draped in the Confederate flag and covered with wreaths of laurel and bay, was brought and placed upon the hearse by the guard of soldiers. The military escort, headed by its band, now began the solemn march j the colonel commanding the post, and the mayor of the city, immediately preceding the hearse. Wardens and vestrymen, representing St. Paul's Church, Augusta, St. John's, Savannah, and the Church of the Atonement, Augusta, marched on either side as pall-bearers. After them came the military family of General Polk, the clergy, officers of the army and nav}^, civil officers of the Confederate government, city authorities, membei*s of the medical and legal professions, and other citizens. The procession moved to St. Paul's, thi*ough streets thronged with a multitude who bad come to pay loving homage to the Christian soldier. All places of business were closed; no sound was in the air save the dirge of the band and the monotone of tolling bells. As the procession approached the church, which was free of all show except snow-white flowers in the font, the

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bishops of Georgia, Mississippi, and Arkansas, in full canonical robes, with a company of surpliced priests, moved from the church down the avenue, which was flanked by the files of soldiers detailed as the guard of honor. Meeting the body at the gate, they turned and in fitting order preceded it into the church, the senior })ishop (Bishop Elliott) repeating the words of the service for the burial of the dead: " I am the Resurrection and the Life, saith the Lord."

Approaching the chancel, the bishops entered within the rail, the attendant priests took place on either side without, and the body was placed at the foot of the steps. The anthem, " Lord, let me know mine end," was chantc»d to the solemn accompaniment of the organ. The Bishop of Arkansas read the lesson, the people united in singing "I would not live alway," and then the senior bishop, in the presence of the vast assemblage gathered within and around the church, delivered the "Burial Address," giving as his text, "The Master is come and calleth for thee." From beginning to end it was the outpouring of a great, noble spirit, which to this day stirs the hearts of all who heard it. It came as if bursting from the depths of a brother's soul, who, himself student, sage, orator, cast it in anguish before the people. No man had ever truer tribute, and if Leonidas Polk had done no more than win such love, such devotion, fn)m so great, so grand a man as Stephen Elliott, he would not have lived in vain.

At the close of the address, the body, under military escort, preceded by the bishops and priests, was carried to the grave beneath the chancel window in rear of the church.' While it was being lowered into the grave the

1 The cbAncel has recently been extended, so that now two graves -* his own and his wife*s — rest beneath the chancel raU.

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senior bishop pronounced the sentences beginning^ ^'Man that is bom of woman/' continuing with the form of commitment of the body to the ground, and the sentence," I heard a voice from heaven." As he uttered the words, ^' Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust," earth was cast upon the body by the Bishop of Mississippi, the Bishop of Arkansas, and Lieutenant-General Longstreet, and then, amid the concluding words of the services of the church, the guns of the battery gave forth the last salute to the soldier-priest who on Pine Mountain " gave his body to that pleasant country's earth, and his pure soul unto his Captain, Christ, under whose colors he had fought so long."


Nearing the end of his task, the writer is tempted to give space to recollections which here come crowding upon him;. but as they would convey less interest than what was said by men who were chief actors in the scenes amid which the eventful life of Leonidas Polk was closed, he foregoes the wish and completes the work along the lines he has followed throughout. " The duty next me," his oft-repeated words, give the key to his life; and when we add the lack of care or thought of self, his acts in all of its emergencies arrange themselves in natural and logical order.

It was the chance of battle that the Church was never again to receive Leonidas Polk into its active service. But through all the labors, the alarms, the vigils, and the dangers that soldiers know; amid all the allurements of the " big wars that make ambition virtue," his firm spirit never wavered in its devotion to the Christian work, and his dearest wish was to return to that chosen field as the shepherd of a Christian flock.

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Even in the busy campaign that cost his life, he found time to aid missionary work in the army j and, when the fatal shot cut him down, a blood-stained prayer-book was found next his heart, in one breast-pocket of his coat, and in the other, four copies of a little manual entitled " Balm for the Weary and Wounded." This tract had been written for use among the soldiers by the Rev. C. T. Quintard, now Bishop of Tennessee, whose ministration as chaplain in the Army of Tennessee, and whose devotion to every duty of his position, whether in battle, in camp, or on the march, endeared him to the thousands who had felt the inspiration and relief of his untiring care. The first four copies that came from the press were forwarded to General Polk, who upon the fly-leaves of three of them had written the names respectively of General J. E. Johnston, Lieutenant-General Hardee, and Lieutenant-General Hood, each " with the compliments of Lieutenant-General Leonidas Polk, June 12, 1864." Upon the fourth was his own name. All were saturated with lus blood.

The day after his death these were forwarded, by Major Douglas West, of General Polkas staff, to the persons for whom they were intended. The following were the replies:

Headquarters, Army of Tennessee, June 16,1864.

My dear Major: I have just had the sad pleasure to receive the precious relic which you were so kind as to enclose to me yesterday. The autograph and noble blood which almost effaced it make it a souvenir truly precious, one which I shaU cherish whilst the Almighty leaves me upon earth.

Accept, my dear major, my cordial thanks for the manner in which you have sent me what I regard as an inestimable bequest, and for your beautifully appropriate note accompanying it. Be assured that I shall remember both. Very respectfully and truly, J. E. Johnston.

Major Douglas West, A.A,-G,

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In the Field, June 16,1864. My dear Sir: I have just received the tract you have been so kind as to send me. It is useless for me to say that I most thoroughly appreciate it. I had grown to love General Polk with my whole heart. He was so noble, so generous, and withal such an able soldier, that I soon found myself strongly attached to him. Very truly yours,

J. B. Hood, Lieutenant-GenercU. To Major Douglas West.

Headquarters, Hardee's Corps, in the Field,

June 16,186t.

My dear Sir: The little book which Lieutenant-General Polk, a short time before his death, addressed to me, and which is stained with his blood, was conveyed to me by yourself, and has been received with deep emotion. It shall be preserved as the last and most touching of many proofs of his esteem and regard. I, perhaps, more than any other of his brothers-in-arms, from ray long and close relations with him as a soldier and Christian, have had opportunities to know and appreciate him as he was; and apart from my sympathy with the army and the country in their mourning for the fall of a great leader and a good man, I claim an exclusiveness of grief at the loss of the friend, which I am persuaded few can feel.

To yourself and the other members of the military household of your chief, I tender my heartfelt sympathies. For his bereaved widow and stricken famUy I can only ask the gentle dealing of a merciful Pro\ndence.

With high regard, I am very truly yours,

W. J. Hardee, Lieutenant-General.

To Major Douglas West, A.A.-G.

These letters tell as well as an^iihing else the place which Leonidas Polk had won among his fellows in this war. But the following tributes to his worth round out the picture so completely that they cannot be omitted here.

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A war correspondent, writing from the front, thus expresses the feeling of the army:

The history of this dismal period will present no name of more romantic interest. He was a great churchman—he was a great warrior. He laid aside his miter of bishop to take up the sword of the patriot. For three years, in every variety of command and under every circumstance, he has sustained the most unsulhed reputation. As chief of a corps, he had no superior; as a separate departmental officer, he certainly possessed amplitude of comprehension, resource, and industry, to say nothing of the higher points. As a man, he was unrivaled for the graces of culture, native dignity, and high bearing. He was affable, self-possessed, and approachable. No man looked the hero more effectually. There was manliness in his eye and lip and gait; there was true nobility in his whole aspect. His soldiers—and, at one time or another, he had commanded all the troops of liis army—were devoted to him. He was so dashing in battle, he was so wise and just in council, they could not but love him.

The private soldier here speaks his admiration and affection:^

Oeneral Leonidas Polk, our old leader whom we had followed all through that long war. . . . My pen and ability are inadequate to the task of doing his memory justice. Every private soldier loved him. Second to Stonewall Jackson, his loss was the greatost the South ever sustained. When I saw him there dead, I fult that I had lost a friend whom I had ever loved and respected, and that the South had lost one of her best and greatest generals.

His soldiers ever loved and honored him; they called him •* Bishop Polk.'' " Bishop Polk " was ever a favorite with the army; and when any position was to be held, and it was known that ^^ Bishop Polk'' was there, we knew and felt that " all was well."

1 " History of Company H, Maury Grays, Ist Tennessee Regiment," by Samuel R. Watkins, p. 139.

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Writing Bishop Elliott upon the occasion of the bnrial, the President of the Confederacy said:

My relations with Bishop Polk were very near and affectionate when we were cadets together in the army, and the years which have passed since have only served to increase my regard for him. I feel much concern for the loss the army has sustained in his death, and I beg you, sir, to believe that I sorrow with his brothers in the ministry, who will now miss his manly coimsel and cooperation.

And in his " Rise and Pall of the Confederate Government" Jefferson Davis adds tliis final tribute to the many which had gone before:

Oar army, our country, and mankind at large sustained an irreparable loss in the death of tliat noble Christian and soldier, Lieutenant-General Polk. . . . Since the calamitous fall of General Albert Sidney Johnston 'at Shiloh, and of General Thomas J. Jackson at Chancellorsville, the coimtry sustained no heavier blow than in the death of General Polk.^

Reaching now the question which more than all else pei'sonal would have api)ealed to Leonidas Polk, and which stands above every other in any estimate which may be made of his life, we ask, "What of the place which he had won and still held among his fellows in the Church f " Leaving aside the letters of Bishop Otw and others given in the eighth chapter of the first volume of this work, and taking from among the many letters bearing upon this subject three which ox>me from men well (qualified to speak, we have answers which should content even those who in their love for the Church saw but reproach in the militant act of this their brother.

1 "Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government," vol. 11, p. 554.

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Burlington, Vt., Feb. 36,1867. My dear Mrs, Polk: ... I deeply regretted your dear husband's act in accepting a general's conunission in the army, but I never doubted that he was governed by the purest conscientious desire to do what he regarded as his duty to God and to his country. The spirit of a Christian martyr was an element in his lofty character, and, while I could not have seen the case in the same Ught, I was well persuaded that he regarded his course as a sacrifice laid on the aJtar of truth, and went forth believing himself to be called to wield the sword of the Lord and of Gideon. To our beloved brethren in the South he has left a legacy of zeal and devotion never surpassed and rarely equaled in the whole range of human history. And the memory of his labors for the Church, and his sacrifices in the cause of independence, will be cherished in the hearts of thousands through future generations, after the false glory of worldly triumphs shall have passed away. Sincerely and truly yours,

John Henry Hopkins. [BisTiop of Vermont]

Wadesborough, July 11,1864. My dear Mrs, Polk : . . . While our whole country mourns the loss of a man so useful and so eminent, I knew enough of him to know with what especial weight that loss falls upon his immediate family. His affectionate, cheerful, cordial nature, while it made him a universal favorite among his acquaintances, must have caused him to be especially beloved at home. I have often said that in our old House of Bishops, in which there were, certainly, many good and some great men, I knew of but one for whom there was so general affection entertained as for him whom you have lost, and that one was Bishop Cobbs. These two were objects of kindly feeling to all, and the reason, no doubt, was that they were themselves possessed by such kindly feelings. The world never will know what elements of strength were mixed with this loving nature in the character of Bishop Polk. But while the great man is mourned by his country, you, I am

. I

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sure, and all who were especially connected with him, rather delight to think of him as the good man who delighted to make others happy, and who was loved and honored by the good. ... I remain, with great respect and regard, Truly your friend,

Thomas Atkinson. [Bishop of North CaroUna^ Mrs. Frances A. Polk.

Albemarle County, August 16,1864.

My dear Mrs, Polk: I have delayed tliis letter, hoping to visit you in person, and to mingle the voice of the weeping over the ashes of the sainted dead. I bless the memory of your husband, that his life and his death have made me know more of the depth of my own nature,—the susceptibilities of my heart to reverence and admiration, to sympathy and grief. But this is no private grief: the world is poorer now that he has left it, and the Church lifts with a more trembling hand the veil which conceals from her sight the coming event of a dark and unknown future. Who is there left with the same power and influence to make her voice heard in the future councils of this government t Who with the same boldness and intrepidity to marshal her energies in the cause of Christian education! Who to gird the sword upon the thigh, and to give full vigor to her efforts for the extirpation of the errors which threaten her lifet Oh! that his life could have been spared to hail the resurgent life of the Church, purified from the heresies of this creedless age, and his hopes had been realized, and his labors had received their appropriate reward. Come what may, he has fulfilled his task, he has borne his testimony, and our faith is permitted to behold him safely delivered from the malice of foes, clothed in the panoply reser\ied for those who in defense of the truth have " waxed valiant in fight, and turned to flight the armies of the aliens," and witnessed in death to the power of the Christian faith.

May I be permitted, my honored friend, to proffer you my humble services in any way which may be most useful to

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you and your beloved children. In suoh a fearful condition of things it will not be a violation of delicacy to say that if my means or credit can be made serviceable to you, it would add a new charm to my life, lately so bereft of value to myself and others. With the warmest love of my family to you and yours, I am most affectionately your friend and servant,

J. P. B. WiLMEB.l

Upon this subject, these letters, particularly the one from Bishop Wilmer of Louisiana, would seem sufficient answer; but if another is wanted, it will be found in that memorable address spoken over the dead body of Leoiiidas Polk by that bishop of the Chm-ch who knew him best, and who in all the Church work of his latter years stood closest to him. The time has not yet come when Stephen EUiott^s oration can be given in its fullness ; and until then we who loved Leonidas Polk must be content with what these pages have shown, for they at least carry him without favor or without fear through all the trials and triumphs of a life which his more than brother thus summed up in ending his sublime tribute to his memory:

" Time does not permit me to enter into any detail of his long and useful career as a bishop in the Church of God. That must be left for the biographer, who shall, in moments of leisure and of peace, gather up the threads of his most eventful life and weave them into a narrative which shall be strange as any flctian. Bom to large hereditary estates, and increasing that fortune by intermarriage with the noble woman whom he had loved from boyhood, and who has cheerfully shared with him all his Christian pilgrimage, he has died leaving his family

1 The sucoessor of Bishop Polk in the dlooese of Loniriana.

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without any settled dwelling-place, wanderers from the pleasant homes which knew their childhood and their yonth. Trained as a man of the world and a man of pleasure, he has lived a life of almost entire self-denial, a servant of servants, and has died a bloody death upon the battlefield. Destined in his own intention to mount to earthly glory by the sword and his own brave heart, he has mounted to heavenly glory by the crook of the shepherd and the humiliation of that heart. Pull of heroic purposes as he leaped into the arena of life,—purposes always high and noble, even when imsanctifled,— he has been made, by the overruling hand of God, to display that heroism in the fields which Christ his Master illustrated, teaching the ignorant, enlightening the blind, gathering together the lost sheep of Israel, comforting the bedside of sickness and affliction, watching long days and nights by the suffering slave. Oh, how many records has he left with God of heroic self-devotion of which the world knows nothing — records made up in silence and darkness, when no eye saw him save the eye of the Invisible! The world speaks of him now as a hero. He has always been a hero; and the bloody fields which have made him conspicuous are but the outburst of the spirit which has always distinguished him. Battles which he fought long since with himself and his kind I which he waged against the pomps and vanities of the world and the pride of life j which he contested with the pestilence that walketh in darkness and the destruction that wasteth at noonday — were far more terrific than Belmont, or Shiloh, or PenyviUe. These required qualities which were natural to him; those, qualities which came from the grace of God and the spirit of Jesus. If, as the wise man says, ^ Greater is he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city,' then

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was he truly great—for he had a spirit hard to rule, and Christ gave him the mastery over it.

"But his work is done, and now he rests from his labors! That brave heart is quiet in the gravej that faithful spirit has returned to its God. * The beauty of Israel is slain upon the high places. The mighty is fallen in the midst of the battle. I am distressed for thee, my brother—very pleasant hast thou been unto me.' And thou hast come to die at my very door, and to find thy burial amid my pleasant places. Welcome in death, as in life j welcome to thy grave as thou hast ever been to my home and to my heart. Thy dust shall repose under the shadow of the Church of Christ. These solemn groves shall guard thy rest -, the glorious anthems of the City of God shall roll over thy grave a perpetual requiem.'^

The End

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We present here in chronological order the following oflS-cial tributes to Leonidas Polk.

General Stephen D. Lee, who succeeded to the command of the Department of Alabama, Missouri, and Elast Louisiana, issued the following order:

Heabquabtebs, Department of Alabama, Mississippi,

AND East Louisiana, Meridian, Miss., June 18,1864. General Orders No. 81.

It is with profound sorrow that the major-general commanding announces to the troops of this department the death of their late commander, Lieutenant-General Leonidas Polk. On the 14th instant, in a skirmish near Marietta, Gki., this gallant warrior and Christian gentleman yielded up his life — a costly sacrifice to his country's liberties.

It would be superfluous here to recount the services of this lamented patriot. They are already before the world, and will form one of the brightest pages in the history of this memorable struggle. His high administrative talents, his distinguished gallantry upon many battlefields, his eminent virtues and kind and genial traits of character, have alike won the admiration and love of his countrymen.

From the toils and cares of this fitful existence, from the blood-red fields of battle, the Christian soldier has passed to that eternal rest which it was ever the aim of his life to secure. Let his memory ever be fresh amongst us, and let each strive to imitate his example and emulate his virtues.

As a mark of honor to the distinguished dead, the colors of 396

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the troops of this command will be draped in mourning for the period of thirty days from the receipt of this order. By command of Major-General S. D. Lee.

William Elliott, Assistant Adjutant-Generdl,

At the General Council of the Church of the Confederate States assembled at Augusta, Ga., the following was passed as a mark of respect to the late Bishops of Tennessee and Louisiana:

The joint committee to whom was referred the duty of preparing a suitable expression of the respect of this Council for the memory of the late Bight Bev. James H. Otey, D.D., LL.D., Bishop of Tennessee, and the late Bight Bev. Leonidas Polk, D.D., Bishop of Louisiana, beg leave to recommend the adoption of the following resolutions:

Resolved, 1. That In the absence of these beloved fathers from the scenes of their earthly labors, at a time wten tbeir ardent devotion to the interests of Christ and his holy Church, their enlarged wisdom and ripe experience, would have rendered their counsel and cooperation especially valuable and important, we And cause for profound regret and sorrow, while we desire to bow in humble resignation to the afOictive dispensation of Divine Providence.

2. That, holding in deserved and affectionate remembrance their many virtues, their untiring energy, and their self-sacrificing efforts to maintain and defend the truth, we will study so to advance those great designs for the moral and religious culture of our dioceses, to which each of them had given so much time and thought, as will perpetuate the influence among us of their Christian character and elevated aims.

3. That copies of these resolutions be spread upon the journal of this body, and also communicated to the dioceses of Tennessee and Louisiana and to the families of the departed.

The Council of the Protestant Episcopal Church in North Carolina, desiring to testify their sympathy with the general sadness occasioned by the death of the Bigbt Bev. Leonidas

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Polk, D.D., Biflhop of Louisiana, directed the foUowing resolutions to be entered on its journals:

Resolved, That we have learned with profound reg^t the death of this distinguished prelate, and heartily S3mipathize with his family and diocese in their peculiar sorrows.

Resolved, That in this melancholy event the Church has lost a bishop to whose energy of purpose, and abundant labors, and rare administrative ability, and faithfulness in high office, the Churches of the Southwest have been largely indebted for their growth and prosperity, and whose genuine manliness and Christian care for his dependents, and simple piety, and devoted churchmanship, have earned our warm affection and admiration.

Resolvedj That among the noble men who adorn the walks of public in the Confederacy we can point to very few whose purity of life, enlarged views, unselfish patriotism, and earnest following the calls of duty, entitle them to higher honor and a more lasting remembrance.

Resolved, That in the death of Bishop Polk the whole country has to lament the loss of a zealous advocate and promoter of education in its highest forms of culture and attainments, and to whose efforts in that cause our people had learned to look with confident expectation of its brilliant development and permanent success.

The diocese of Louisiana tendered the following tribute:

Whereas, on the 14th day of June, in the year of our Lord 1864, it pleased Almighty God, in his wise providence, to take out of tiiis world the Bight Bev. Leonidas Polk, D.D., chief pastor of the Church in Louisiana, the convention of this diocese, assembled in St. Paul's Church, New Orleans, with entire submission to tlie will of God under this trying dispensation, desire to put on record their profound sense, of the great loss which the Church has sustained in the removal of one who, during a long period of iminterrupted labors in the episcopal office, (not only) had greatly endeared himself to the affections of the x>eople whom he served (by the manifold

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attractions of his personal character, and by the wisdom and vigor of his official administration), but was the means, under God, of laying broad and deep the foundation of the Church in Louisiana, and of extending its influence through all parts of the State.

In 1841, on application made by the diocese of Louisiana to the general convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States for some fit person to take the spiritual oversight of the Church in this State, the Right Rev. L. Polk, then missionary bishop of the Southwest, was selected by that venerable body to become diocesan of Louisiana.

In 1864 our Right Reverend Father in God was called away, by a sudden providence, from the responsibilities of earth to the solemnities of his Maker's presence.

During this interval the Church in Louisiana, struggling against many embarrassments, was greatly prospered; the number of her clergy multiplied from four resident ministers, who joined in the application to the general convention, to thirty-two officiating clergrymen whose names appear on the records of the last diocesan convention in 1861. Organized parishes in union with the convention increased from three to forty. In still greater ratio the confirmed and communicants and households, establishing the Church thus more thoroughly in the confidence and respect of the community. The spiritual interest of the colored population was carefully attended to; many congpregations were formed among the servants on the plantations, and numbers, brought under the wholesome discipline of the Church and instructed in the gospel, were annually confirmed and added to her communion. All which fruits of grace were witnesses as to the zeal and devotion of the parochial clergy, so also to the faithfol overseeing of our late lamented bishop, whose counsels and encouragements wore never wanting to sustain the parish ministers in these works of faith and labors of love.

Beaolved, That in the appointment of the general convention in 1841 of the Right Rev. Leonidas Polk, D.D., then missionary bishop of the Southwest, to episcopal jurisdiction over the diocese of Louisiana, we recognize with gratitude to God the elevation over us of one eminently qualified in

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mental endowments and Christian graces to administer the office of a bishop to the glory of God; and particularly adapted by personal and social characteristics to meet the peculiar wants of the Church in Louisiana.

Besolvtdy That this convention entertain a deep sense of the value of the services rendered to this diocese during the administration of Bishop Polk, and of his enlightened devotion to the spiritual interests of the Hock over which the Holy Ghost had made him overseer. The episcopal addresses annually delivered before the conventions bear witness to the abundance of his labors; and while the growth of the Church, its general prosperity up to the date of the late unhappy war between the States, and the unbroken harmony which prevailed throughout the diocese, indicate the prudence and energy of his government.

Resolved, That this convention call to mind, with melancholy satisfaction, the many generous and noble traits of character which distinguished our late beloved Father in God in all his official intercourse with the members of this diocese, and which appeared conspicuously in all his private and social relations to the clergy and laity of the Church, who long cherish the memory of their departed bishop as an affectionate father; a gracious counselor, and a sympathizing friend.

Resolved, That in the plan devised for the creation of the University of the South, and in the measures adopted to secure the permanent endowment of that great enterprise for the religious and intellectual developments of the country, we recognize that broad and comprehensive Christian philanthropy, and that enlightened devotion to the best interests of the Church in the South, which so eminently characterized our late Father in God, in whose mind the noble project had its birth, and by whose untiring energies, in connection with others like-minded in southern dioceses, it had been well-nigh brought to a successful achievement when arrested by the unhappy convulsions of the country.

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions, with a letter by the president of this convention, expressing the Christian sympathies of the Church in Louisiana, be addressed to the afflicted family of our deceased bishop.

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Aberdeen, Mias., Federal forces at, II. Alabama, Bishop of, participates in 329. * - • -

Abolitionists, feelings of, at prospects of disunion, I. 313.

Absentees. See DESRBTEfM.

Adain^villc. Ga., retreat through, II. 354; Federal advance from, 355.

Adams, Brig.-Gen. Daniel W., in battle

exercises at l^ookout Mountain, I. 247. Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana, Department of. See Depart-ut:^n', etc. Alabama troops at Murfreesboro, II. 180. of Perryville, II. 157; at Murfree*- Albany, Polk's visit to, I. 103. boro, 189; at Chickamaugn, 272. Alcorn, Brig.-Gcn. J. I.., sent to Jack-

Adams, John, ij^orance of Mecklen- son. Miss., toseok rcinforremcnt«, II. burg Declaration of Independence, I. 62, 03.

10; letter to Senator Williams on the Alexander, Abram, associated in foun-Merklcnburg Declaration of Inde- dntion of Charlotte, I. 5, 6; hostility pcndcnce, 57, 58; Polk's vu;it to his toward Thomas Polk, 18, 19; chiur-residence, 103. man of meetins which adopted Meek-