Major-General William Stark Rosecrans. Hero Of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 1)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 1)

Description

[page 1]

[corresponds to front cover of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

Major-General

William Stark

Rosecrans.

Hero of Iuka,

Corinth and Stone

River, and Father of

the Army of the

Cumberland

By L. W. Mulhane.

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 2)

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Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 2)

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[page 2]

[corresponds to inside cover of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

[blank]
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 3)

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Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 3)

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[page 3]

[corresponds to unnumbered page of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

Ohio authors p. 460 20.-

P Purcell [handwritten]
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 4)

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Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 4)

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[page 4]

[corresponds to blank page of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 5)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 5)

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[page 5]

[corresponds to blank page of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 6)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 6)

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[page 6]

[corresponds to unnumbered page of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

[photograph]


Los Angeles Cal

With many thanks + best wishes

W. S. Rosecrans

Bvt. Maj. Gen. U S army

June 3, 1895
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 7)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 7)

Description

[page 7]

[corresponds to unnumbered page of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]


Memorial of

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans.

~~~~~~~~~~

Born in Kingston Township, Delaware County, Ohio,

September 6, 1819.

~~~~~~~~~~

Died at Rosecrans, near Los Angeles, California,

March 11, 1898

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 8)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 8)

Description

[page 8]

[corresponds to blank page of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 9)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 9)

Description

[page 9]

[corresponds to Preface of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

PREFACE

__________


This little sketch of the life of Major-General

Rosecrans is compiled chiefly from current

accounts of his life and from an acquaintance

first formed in the house of his brother,

Bishop Rosecrans of Columbus, Ohio. The author

feels that "the present generation stands too close to

the monument to take a just view of either its height

or its beautiful proportions and that men shall have to

get away from it a generation or two in order to under-

stand its grand effect upon the surroundings, and the

measure of its shadow"; and hence prints these few

pages only as a tribute to his memory and a souvenir

that may assist in keeping green the remembrance of

the Christian warrior's noble life.

L. W. Mulhane.

Mt. Vernon, Ohio, March 31, 1898

June 3, 1895

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 10)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 10)

Description

[page 10]

[corresponds to blank page of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 11)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 11)

Description

[page 11]

[corresponds to Contents of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

CONTENTS

__________

CHAPTER I-

His Birth, Life and Death . . . . . . . . . . 9

CHAPTER II-

The Battle of Chickamauga . . . . . . . . . . 32

CHAPTER III-

How He Missed the Presidency. . . . . . . . . 45

CHAPTER IV-

His Conversion to the Catholic Church . . . . 48

CHAPTER V-

Tributes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

CHAPTER VI-

Notes and Anecdotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65

CHAPTER VII-

Conclusion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 12)

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Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 12)

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[page 12]

[corresponds to blank page of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 13)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 13)

Description

[page 13]

[corresponds to page 9 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

CHAPTER I.

HIS BIRTH, LIFE AND DEATH.

The last survivor of Ohio's great military quar-

tet, - Grant and Sherman, Sheridan and

Rosecrans, - has been summoned from earth

and

"The muffled drum's sad roll has beat

The soldier's last tattoo."

His war record is written on the pages of American

history, and as time goes on will be brighter and

greater and better known, when time-servers and

applause-seekers have had their day. To those who

had the pleasure and honor of knowing the old hero

in the avenues of private life, the news of his death

came accompanied by the one thought that

"An empire is his sepulchre

His epitaph is Fame."

William Stark Rosecrans was born in Kingston

Township, Delaware County, Ohio, September 6, 1819.

The name Rosecrans, originally Rosenkrantz, is Dutch

and means a Crown or Wreath of Roses. The paternal

ancestors of the subject of this memorial were Dutch,

coming to America from Amsterdam and settling in

Pennsylvania near Wilkesbarre. In 1808, Crandall
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 14)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 14)

Description

[page 14]

[corresponds to page 10 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

Rosecrans moved to Ohio, locating in Kingston Town-

ship, Delaware County, near the line of Licking

County. He was married to Jemima Hopkins, a rel-

ative of Stephen Hopkins, Rhode Island's signer of

the Declaration of Independence, of whom John Adams

says: "the pleasantest part of my labors for the four

years I spend in Congress, from 1774 to 1778, was in

the naval committee. Mr. Lee and Mr. Gasden were

sensible men and very cheerful, but Gov. Hopkins

of Rhode Island, above 70 years of age, kept us all

alive. Upon business his experience and judgment

were very useful." Hopkins is an Irish name and the

ancestors of General Rosecrans' mother originally

came from Ireland; so that in his veins were mingled

Dutch and Irish blood. His father, Crandall, was a

Captain in one of General Harrison's light-horse bri-

gades in our second war with England. He received

his second name, Stark, in memory of the famous

Revolutionary General Stark of New Hampshire, many

of the people of that State having moved to Ohio, in

the vicinity of General Rosecrans' birthplace.

On December 5, 1894, the writer officiated at the

burial of an aged lady near Brandon, Knox County,

not far from the Licking County line, and in his note

book is the following entry: - "Death of Mrs. Hulda

Collopy, age 77. She was a granddaughter of the

Revolutionary Chapmans of Vermont and New Hamp-

shire. Her father served in the war of 1812. In her

childhood days she was a schoolmate of General and

Bishop Rosecrans. She became a Catholic on her

deathbed, influenced all her life by the thought of these
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 15)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 15)

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[page 15]

[corresponds to page 11 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

two childhood companions embracing the Catholic

Faith."

When the future General was yet quite young, his

father moved across to Licking County, taking up his

residence in the village of Homer, and for a number

of years, managed the village tavern, at the same time

following farming.

William attended, for a few months of each year, at

the log school-house of the village, acquiring the rudi-

ments of education. About 1833, a Lancaster mer-

chant, George Arnold, opened a general country store

at Utica, Licking County, a few miles from Homer,

and young Rosecrans went into the store as a clerk.

With him, associated as a clerk, was J. D. Martin,

still living and a venerable citizen of Lancaster, Ohio.

Arnold moved his store to Mansfield in the course of

a year or two, Rosecrans accompanying him. One

conversant with the facts says: "While at Mansfield

young Rosecrans was the driver for T. W. Bartley,

the future Supreme Court Judge of Ohio, on a trip to

Columbus. He proved to be an intelligent and inter-

esting talker and so pleased Bartley that he urged him

to obtain an education." With this in view, Rosecrans

and his father opened a correspondence with the Con-

gressman from that district and finally he was success-

ful in obtaining an appointment to West Point. In

the mean time he had spent some time at Kenyon

College, Gambier, near Mt. Vernon, preparing him-

self for the West Point examination. He entered that

institution in 1837, and graduated in 1842, standing

fifth in general merit and third in mathematics in a
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 16)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 16)

Description

[page 16]

[corresponds to page 12 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

class which included Longstreet, Van Dorn, McLaws,

Lovell, R. H. Anderson and Gustavus Smith, after-

ward of the Confederate Army; and Pope, Doubleday

and Newton of the Union Army. He entered the ser-

vice as Brevet 2nd Lieutenant of Engineers, and after

a year as Assistant Engineer, building fortifications

at Hampton Roads, Virginia, he returned to West

Point in 1843 as Assistant Professor of Engineering.

In 1847 he was again put in active sevice at Fort

Adams, Newport, Rhode Island, to superintend some

repairs on that fortification. April 1, 1854, he resigned,


[image: "W. S. ROSECRANS, AS LIEUTENANT."]


being then First Lieutenant of Engineers, journeyed

to Cincinnati, and began business as a consulting en-

gineer and architect; but while he acquired an enviable

reputation in his profession, his earnings were scanty.
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 17)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 17)

Description

[page 17]

[corresponds to page 13 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

In 1855 he took charge of the Cannel Coal Company,

Coal River, West Virginia, becoming also, in 1856,

president of the Coal River Navigation Company; and

in 1857 he organized the Preston Coal Oil Company

for the manufacture of kerosene.

THE CIVIL WAR.

At the beginning of the Civil War he volunteered

as aide to Gen. George B. McClellan, who was then

commanding the department of the Ohio, and assisted

in organizing and equipping home guards. He was

appointed chief engineer of Ohio, with the rank of

colonel, on June 9, 1861, and on June 10 was made

colonel of the Twenty-third Ohio Volunteers. Soon

after organizing Camp Chase at Columbus, O., he

received a commission as brigadier-general in the reg-

ular army to date from May 16, 1861; he took the

field with command of a provisional brigade under

Gen. McClellan in western Virginia. His first import-

ant action was that of Rich Mountain, which he won

on July 11, 1861. After Gen. McClellan's call to

higher command, Rosecrans succeeded him, on July

25, in the department of the Ohio, which consisted

of western Virginia, Ohio, Michigan and Indiana. He

had command of the national forces, defeated Gen.

John B. Floyd at Carnifex Ferry, September 10, 1861,

and thwarted all Lee's attempts to gain a footing in

western Virginia; and when he went into winter quar-

ters at Wheeling, and announced that he had cleared

West Virginia of organized Confederate forces, he

received the thanks of the Legislature of that State

and of Ohio for his management of the campaign.
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 18)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 18)

Description

[page 18]

[corresponds to page 14 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

One of the queerest experiences of military history

was his work in the spring of 1862, when he found and

extricated Gen. Blenker, who had actually lost himself

and his command in the mountains of West Virginia

and whose whereabouts were unknown to his superior

officers. In May, Rosecrans was sent to Gen. Halleck,

who gave him command of the right wing before

Corinth.

BATTLES OF IUKA AND CORINTH

He succeeded Gen. Pope in the command of the

Army of the Mississippi and, with four brigades, fought

the battle of Iuka, September 19, where he defeated

Gen. Price; after which he returned to Corinth, where,

anticipating an attack, he fortified the town, and on

October 3 and 4 defeated the Confederate army under

Van Dorn and Price. On the first day of the battle

the enemy was simply checked, and early on the morn-

ing of the second day the whole rebel army assaulted

Rosecrans' forces. The fighting was fierce, the enemy

charging almost into the town. Once, the Union

troops came near giving way, but Rosecrans rallied

them in person and finally won the day. After this

battle he received a letter from Lincoln couched in

these words:

"I have received the reports of the various com-

manders. I have now to tell you that the magnitude

of the stake - the battle and the results - become

more than ever apparent. Upon the issue of this fight

depended the possession of West Tennessee, and per-

haps even the fate of operations in Kentucky. The

entire available force of the rebels in Mississippi, save
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 19)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 19)

Description

[page 19]

[corresponds to page 15 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

a few garrisons and a small reserve, attacked you.

They were commanded by Van Dorn, Price and others

in person. They numbered 40,000 men - almost

double your own numbers. You fought them into

the position we desired on the 3d, punishing them ter-

ribly; and on the 4th, three hours after the infantry

went into action, they were completely beaten. You

pursued his retreating columns forty miles in force

with infantry and sixty-nine miles with cavalry, and

were ready to follow him to Mobile, if necessary, and

you received orders. I congratulate you on these

decisive results. In the name of the Government and

the people, I thank you. I beg you to unite with me

in giving humble thanks to the Great Master of all

our victories."

Rosecrans was much impressed by Sheridan's fight

against the Confederate cavalry under Chalmers at

Corinth and persistently and successfully urged the

authorities at Washington to give him a command

in which his ability and qualities would be more widely

useful. This fact gave rise to the saying so commonly

heard in after years, that Rosecrans "discovered" Phil.

Sheridan.

On October 25 he went to Cincinnati, where he

found orders awaiting him to supersede Gen. Don

Carlos Buell and was made commander of the

DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND.

which was to consist of whatever territory south of

the Cumberland he should take from the enemy.

As Buell's successor, Rosecrans did an enormous

quantity of work, the advantages of which were enjoyed
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 20)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 20)

Description

[page 20]

[corresponds to page 16 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

by the Federal forces to the end of the war. He estab-

lished bases and lines of communication, established

Inspector General's and topographical departments

and engineer and pioneer corps, which he developed

to a high state of efficiency. On October 30 he began

his march to Nashville, and on November 5 he defeated

a Confederate attack on that city.

STONE RIVER.

After providing twenty days' rations at Nashville,

he advanced on the enemy under Gen. Bragg, on Stone

River, December 30, 1862. This battle lasted four

days. A current account of it says:

"The right wing was commanded by Gen. A. Mc-

Dowell McCook, a brave and gallant officer, and he

had under him as brave a corps of men as ever faced

an enemy. Early on the morning of the first day's

battle McCook's corps was fiercely attacked by the

enemy in force and driven pell mell to the rear, but

not without first making a most determined and dread-

ful fight, suffering heavy loss.

"This attack of the enemy commenced about 6

o'clock a. m., before daylight, and before many of

McCook's men had finished their bacon and coffee.

"The heavy firing on the right naturally attracted

the attention of Rosecrans, who had been closely watch-

ing the movements of Bragg. About 9 o'clock on the

morning of that day he saw that McCook's men were

falling back rapidly and in disorder, and that some-

thing must be done and be done quickly to check the

enemy's advance on his right wing. If not, his entire
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 21)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 21)

Description

[page 21]

[corresponds to page 17 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

army would be routed. It was a storm of shot and

shell in which the right wing of the Union army was

being driven like straws before a cyclone. Realizing

the dreadful position into which the rebels were speed-

ily crowding him, Rosecrans, unattended by guard

or staff, rode quickly into the thickest of the fight,

and, drawing his sword, waved it over his head and

yelled to his retreating men to halt, face and fight the

enemy.

"The sight of 'Old Rosy' in the thick of the fight,

exposing his life every moment, so inspired McCook's

brave but broken ranks with sudden enthusiasm and

determination that the retreating line halted, 'about

faced,' and delivered a volley of musketry into the

enemy's ranks that staggered and checked their fur-

ther advance.

"Two days later the battle was renewed by a furious

assault on the national lines, but after sharp fighting

the enemy was driven back with heavy loss.

"Unwilling to engage in a general action, the Con-

federate army retreated to the line of Duck River,

and the Army of the Cumberland occupied Murfrees-

boro. This battle was one of the bloodiest in the war,

and resulted in a loss of 9,511 men by the national

forces and 9,236 by the Confederates. As soon as

Vicksburg was beyond the reach of possible succor

from Bragg, by a brilliant flank movement Rosecrans

dislodged him from his intrenched camps at Shelby-

ville and Tullahoma, and in fifteen days, June 24 to

July 7, 1863, drove him out of the middle of Tennessee.

As soon as the railway was repaired he occupied
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 22)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 22)

Description

[page 22]

[corresponds to page 18 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

Bridgeport and Stevenson. From July 7 to August

14 railway bridges and trestles were rebuilt, the road

and rolling stock put in order, supplies pushed forward



[photograph: BRIG. GEN. ROSECRANS.

Taken after the Battle of Stone River]



and demonstrations made to conceal the point of cross-

ing the Cumberland Mountains and the Tennessee

River."

CHICKAMAUGA

Rosecrans was constantly urged from Washington

to dislodge the enemy from the mountains. But he

delayed, repairing his railroad communications, asking

for reinforcements, and waiting for corn to ripen for
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 23)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 23)

Description

[page 23]

[corresponds to page 19 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

food and forage. He reached the river on the evening

of August 20 and the army, except the cavalry, safely

crossed. Bragg withdrew from Chattanooga and re-

tired behind Chickamauga until the arrival of Long-

street's corps. Thus the first great move of Rose-

crans' campaign was accomplished.

He then began to concentrate his forces with the

utmost dispatch to meet the inevitable combat. The

battle was commenced on September 19 by an attempt

to gain possession of the road to Chattanooga, con-

tinued through the day, and resulted in Rosecrans

defeating the attempt and planting Gen. Thomas'

corps, with Johnson's and Palmer's divisions, firmly

upon that road; but during the night Longstreet came

up and was immediately given command of the Con-

federate left.

On the following morning the contest was renewed

by a determined attack on the national left and center.

At this moment, by the misinterpretation of an order,

Gen. Thomas J. Wood's division was withdrawn, leav-

ing a gap in the center, into which Gen. Longstreet

pressed his troops, forced Jefferson C. Davis' two bri-

gades out of the line, and cut off Philip H. Sheridan's

three brigades of the right, all of which, after a gallant

but unsuccessful effort to stem this charge, were

ordered to reform on the Dry Valley road at the first

good standing ground in rear of the position they had

lost. The two divisions of Horatio P. Van Cleve and

Davis, going to succor the right center, were partly

shattered by this break, and four or five regiments

were scattered through the woods, but most of the
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 24)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 24)

Description

[page 24]

[corresponds to page 20 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

stragglers stopped with Sheridan's and Davis' com-

mands. The remainder, nearly seven divisions, were

unbroken, and continued the fight. The gallant Gen.

George H. Thomas, whose orders the night before,

reiterated a few moments before this disaster, were to

hold his position at all hazards, continued to fight with

seven divisions, while Gen. Rosecrans undertook to

make such dispositions as would most effectually avert

disaster in case the enemy should turn the position by

advancing on the Dry Valley road, and capture the

remaining commissary stores, then in a valley two

or three miles to the west. Fortunately, this advance

was not made, the commissary train was pushed into

Chattanooga, the cavalry, ordered down, closed the

ways behind the national right, and Gen. Thomas, after

the most desperate fighting, drew back at night to

Rossville in pursuance of orders from Gen. Rosecrans.

On the 22d the army was concentrated at Chattanooga.

The battle was a victory to the Confederates only in

name, for Chattanooga, the objective point of the cam-

paign, remained in the possession of the national forces.

The total national loss, in killed, wounded and missing,

was 16,179; the Confederate loss, 17,804.

Shortly after the battle General Rosecrans issued

the following letter, which old veterans love to refer

to as a summing up of the great campaign under his

command:

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND.

CHATTANOOGA, Oct. 2, 1863

Army of the Cumberland - You have made a grand and

successful campaign; you have driven the rebels from Middle

Tennessee; you crossed a mountain range, placed yourselves

on the banks of a broad river, crossed it in the face of a

powerful, opposing army, and crossed two other great moun-
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 25)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 25)

Description

[page 25]

[corresponds to page 21 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

tain ranges at the only practicable passes, some forty miles

between extremes. You concentrated in the face of superior

numbers; fought the combined armies of Bragg, which you

drove from Shelbyville to Tullahoma; of Johnston's army

from Mississippi, and the tried veterans of Longstreet's corps,

and for two days held them at bay, giving them blow for blow,

with heavy interest. When you withdrew in the face of over-

powering numbers, to occupy the point for which you set

out - Chattanooga.

You have accomplished the work of the campaign; you

hold the key of East Tennessee, of Northern Georgia and of

the enemies' mines of coal and nitre. Let these achieve-

ments console you for the regret you experience that the

arrival of fresh hostile troops forbade your remaining on

the field to renew the battle; for the right of burying your

gallant dead and caring for your brave companions, who lay

wounded on the field. The losses you have sustained, though

heavy, are slight, considering the odds against you, and the

stake you have won.

The General Commanding earnestly begs every officer and

soldier of this army to unite with him in thanking Almighty

God for His favor to us. He presents his hearty thanks and

congratulations to all the officers and soldiers of this com-

mand, for their energy, patience and perseverance, and the

undaunted courage displayed by those who fought with such

unflinching resolution.

Neither the history of this war, nor probably the annals

of any battle, furnish a loftier example of obstinate bravery

and enduring resistance to superior numbers - when troops

having exhausted their ammunition, resorted to the bayonet

many times to hold their positions against such odds, as did

our left and centre, comprising troops from all the corps, on

the afternoon of the 20th of September, at the battle of

Chickamauga.

(Signed) W. S. ROSECRANS

Major-General Commanding.

Gen. Rosecrans was relieved of his command on

October 23, and he was assigned to the department

of the Missouri in January, 1864, with headquarters in

St. Louis, where he conducted the military operations
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 26)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 26)

Description

[page 26]

[corresponds to page 22 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

that terminated in the defeat and expulsion from the

State of the invading Confederate forces under Gen.

Price. He was placed on waiting orders at Cincinnati

on December 10, 1864, mustered out of the volunteer

service January 15, 1866, and resigned from the army

on March 28, 1867, after receiving the brevet of major-

general in the regular army for his services at the battle

of Stone River.

In 1865, he was offered the Union nomination for

Governor of Ohio, but declined. In July, 1868, he

was appointed minister to Mexico and held that office

until June, 1869, when he returned to the United

States and, later, declined the Democratic nomination

for Governor of Ohio, expressing views antagonistic

to the platform. He advocated the policy of having

bank notes made payable in coin on demand; he also

favored an early return to the specie basis and took

decided ground for free trade, civil service reform and

State regulation of the franchise.

Subsequently he resumed the practice of engineer-

ing, and in 1872-3 was engaged in an effort to initiate

the construction of a vast system of narrow gauge rail-

ways in Mexico, at the instance of President Juarez.

He became president, in 1871, of the San Jose Mining

Company, and in 1878 of the Safety Powder Company

in San Francisco. He was also intrusted with a charter

for an inter-oceanic railway from the Gulf of Mexico

to the Pacific, made by the Mexican republic under

considerations urged by him when envoy to Mexico,

and he was requested to use his influence to induce

American railway building skill and capital to under-
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 27)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 27)

Description

[page 27]

[corresponds to page 23 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

take the work. He memorialized Congress to cultivate

friendly and intimate commercial relations with Mex-

ico, and to assist and encourage the material progress

of that country, and at the instance of American and

English railway builders, and of President Juarez, he

went to Mexico. He had for fifteen months so ably

discussed in the newspapers the benefits of rail-

way construction to Mexico, that the Legislatures of

seventeen of the Mexican States passed unanimous

resolutions urging their national Congress to enact

the legislation advocated, and the Governors of six

other States sent official recommendations to the same

effect.

In 1876 Gen. Rosecrans declined the Democratic

nomination for Congress from Nevada.

IN CONGRESS.

In 1880, he was elected as a Democrat to the lower

house of Congress, from California; carrying a strong

Republican district. In the House he was Chairman

of the Committee on Military Affairs, having been re-

elected in 1882. June 8, 1885, he was appointed by

President Cleveland, whose warm friend and admirer

he had been, Register of the Treasury. March 2,

1889, he was by act of Congress put on the retired list

of the U. S. Army, with the rank of brigadier-general.

The act reads:

"Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Repre-

sentatives of the U. S. of America in Congress as-

sembled: That the President be, and he is hereby

authorized to nominate, and, by and with the advice
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 28)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 28)

Description

[page 28]

[corresponds to page 24 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]


and consent of the Senate, to appoint William S. Rose-

crans, late major-general of U. S. Volunteers, and

brigadier-general in the regular army of the U. S.,

to the position of brigadier-general in the army of the

U. S., and to place him upon the retired list of the

army as of that grade (the retired list being thereby

increased in number to that extent); and all laws and

parts of laws in conflict herewith are suspended for

this purpose only."

A rancorous debate ensued on its passage, owing to

the fact that when a similar bill placing Grant upon

the retired list was up for passage, Rosecrans, then

a member of Congress and Chairman on Military

Affairs had persistently opposed it. During the debate,

many members who had served in the Army of the

Cumberland, came valiantly to the defense of the old

hero, and as one said: "We can afford to forget what

Gen. Rosecrans may have said, but we can not afford

to forget what he did." The bill finally passed with-

out division.

Rosecrans retained office as Register of the Treas-

ury under President Harrison, until failing health

forced him, a few years ago, to seek repose in the

climate of California, where, on his ranch some ten

miles from Los Angeles, he calmly awaited the end

of life.

HIS LIFE IN CALIFORNIA

After the war, Gen. Rosecrans, undecided where

to settle, first took a journey to the Pacific coast.

Regular army men are noted for their love of the coast.

There are more retired officers living in California

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 29)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 29)

Description

[page 29]

[corresponds to page 25 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

than in any other State. Hancock, Sheridan and Sher-

man were all in love with California's gorgeous cli-

mate, its blue skies, its perennial vegetation, the infi-

nite peace that settles upon the land, the exuberance

of its soil and the mysterious Pacific, with its wonder-

ful flora and fauna. General Grant was making prep-

arations to end his days in California when he fell

ill. All along the coast, from Seattle to San Diego,

are to be found old soldiers spending their declining

years in surroundings the very opposite from those

that accompany the life of the fighting man.

Gen. Rosecrans came to California in 1867. At that

time San Francisco had yet all the bizarre aspects

of a city near the gold mines. Southern California

was a wilderness of sand and sage brush, tangles of

cacti, fields of alfalfa and other vegetation native to

the soil. Gen. Rosecrans had determind beforehand

to buy land in California, but when he made inquiries

he was amazed to find great unanimity of opinion to

the effect that beyond the mid-line of the state there

was nothing worth having.

ARRIVAL AT LOS ANGELES.

He was still "looking around" when good luck

threw him in the way of Captain Banning, one of the

pioneers of southern California. Captain Banning per-

suaded him to take a trip on his boat to San Pedro.

On the four days' voyage the General was struck with

the absence of harbors all along the rugged coast. He

was discouraged. Could commerce ever go there?

When he arrived at San Pedro and went into the
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 30)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 30)

Description

[page 30]

[corresponds to page 26 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

interior he felt that the San Franciscans were right-

that the country would never be anything but a pas-

ture. However, he visited Los Angeles, then a settle-

ment of a few cheap houses. On his way he stopped

at an old adobe "half-way" house, and standing on

the eminence, he cast his eyes over a stretch of coun-

try 1,000 miles in area, as it seemed to him.

Speaking of that sight he said, a little time before

his death:

"I saw at a glance around me all this glorious val-

ley, with the mountains forming three-fourths of a

circle to the back and on both sides of me, and the

ocean in front, sounding then and eternally. It was

a brilliant day, a specimen day of the 300 perfect ones

we have in this climate. I thought I had never seen

such a sky, nor such colors in the atmosphere along

near the ground and over against the mountains. Here,

I said to myself, I will buy land and build me a home,

for if water can be developed, I may be certain to have

neighbors in the not too distant future."

DWINDLING OF HIS ESTATE.

That view settled it. He would buy land there from

the government and from the handful of unsuccessful

pioneers who were already convinced that the country

could never amount to anything. And he did. He

acquired for a song an estate of 14,000 acres. Most

of that superb property the General lost in the mining

holes of Nevada. At present all that is left of it is

a ranch of 1,100 acres. But that much was sufficient

to gratify his passion for farming.
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 31)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 31)

Description

[page 31]

[corresponds to page 27 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

By degrees his house grew up to be a very large

and pleasant abode. The mansion is not really a house,

but a collection of houses of a rude exterior but com-

fortable enough within.

The General farmed wisely after the theory of the

Southern Californian. "Measure the value of your

land," says Senator Jones of Nevada to the settler in

Southern California, "by what it will bring in wheat

and barley." All but 300 acres bear deciduous and

citrus fruits, eucalyptus trees for fuel, a potato field,

and a strawberry bed.

HIS LAST DAYS.

Here, with his son Carl, he passed the last days

of his life in peace and serenity. His home was a

modest one. There were some family portraits, not-

ably one of his wife, whom he married in the forties

and who was the daughter of Judge Hegeman, a

prominent New York lawyer. She died during his

official life in Washington. In his home, also, were

his old war mementoes,-maps, reports, flags and

swords and a substantial library of scientific works.

One of his favorite papers was the "Scientific American."

His last days were crowned, on Laetare Sunday, March

14, 1896, by a visit from Bishop Montgomery, accom-

panied by members of the clergy and laity of Los

Angeles, who went down to his ranch to formally

present him with the medal and address which the

University of Notre Dame, Indiana, annually bestows

on a Catholic layman noted for extraordinary devo-

tion to Church or State. The medal bore on its

obverse, in purple enameled letters, the usual legend,-
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 32)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 32)

Description

[page 32]

[corresponds to page 28 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

"Magna est Veritas et Praevalebit,"-"Truth is Mighty

and will Prevail"; the central field is taken up by the

escutcheon of our country within a laurel wreath, all

in high relief; the red, white, and blue shield is worked

out with exquisite delicacy in enamel and precious

stones. The reverse of the disk is much the same.

Another inscription, "Presented by the University of

Notre Dame," in black enamelled letters, circles about

the centre, on which is engraved Gen. Rosecrans'

name. The address which accompanied the medal is

on parchment and was printed by the University Press

and illuminated by the Sisters of St. Mary's Academy.

The illumination is exquisitely done. The national

colors are used in a very effective way, and the whole

was a strikingly beautiful piece of work.

The words of the address were:

"Few men who have borne like you the rigors of

war are privileged as you have been to enjoy so long

the repose of peace. Still fewer are they who, laboring

for so many years in eminent public station, still wear

a shield not simply untainted by reproach but untarn-

ished even by the breath of suspicion.

"Providence has granted you length of days in

which to enjoy the fulness of honor. You are the

last, as you are one of the greatest, of those noble

chiefs who led our hosts to victory. Your name is

set among the brightest traditions of the Republic;

your services are writ in letters of imperishable glory

upon our Country's tablet of honor; and unborn gen-

erations, children of these States whose union you

labored so successfully to preserve, will be inspired
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 33)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 33)

Description

[page 33]

[corresponds to page 29 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

by your example and thrilled by the story of your

genius and courage. It is not within the power of

any man or any body of men to honor you whom the

whole nation claims for its hero; but the University

of Notre Dame offers you the highest distinction

within its gift, in bestowing on you this year its

Laetare Medal. Accept it as a symbol of the proud

appreciation in which your Catholic fellow-citizens

hold your distinguished public services. The Laetare

Medal has been worn only be men and women whose

genius has ennobled the arts and sciences, illustrated

the Church and enriched the heritage of humanity.

It will be a joy to your fellow-citizens that you are

now enrolled in that noble company which is worthy

of you and which you will adorn. For in you are

crowned the virtues of a Christian soldier-the gen-

erous response to duty, the unstinted service of labor-

ious days and restless nights, the courage of a martyr

and the gentleness of a hero.

"One of the noblest chapters of Catholic theology

is that which teaches the duty of patriotism and whole-

hearted devotion to the public weal. Catholics are

among the first to recognize that duty and respond to

it. But whenever a slanderous cry goes up from the

camps of fanaticism; when men would proclaim the

Church hostile to liberty and false to the principles

of American government, she finds her best response

and her strongest vindication in the lives of men like

you."

After a lingering illness, a general breaking down

of his constitution incident to old age, the General
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 34)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 34)

Description

[page 34]

[corresponds to page 30 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

passed away on the morning of March 11, 1898. The

following Tuesday his body was brought to Los An-

geles and escorted to the City Hall. The Laetare

Medal, with the badges of the Loyal Legion, the

Grand Army and the Army of the Potomac, adorned

the Breast of the old hero as he lay in state. The

National Guard of California watched by the body

continuously, with hourly reliefs. The casket was

draped with the old headquarters flag of his command

and upon it lay the sword presented by the citizens of

Cincinnati, inscribed with the words: "My mission

among you is that of a fellow-citizen charged by the

government to restore law and order."

The Associated Press gave this account of the

funeral:

"The funeral of Major-General W. S. Rosecrans to-

day was one of the most impressive and elaborate this

city has ever witnessed. Thousands assembled to

honor the dead warrior. Business was interrupted

during the ceremonies.

"The remains were removed from the bier at the

City Hall, where they had been lying in state, to the

cathedral at an early hour, and in a quiet manner.

"The special military escort provided by Gen. Last

accompanied the remains and resumed the watch in

the cathedral.

"Promptly at 10 o'clock requiem high mass was

celebrated at the cathedral, Right Reverened Bishop

Mongtomery officiating, assisted by members of the

clergy from all parts of the diocese. The casket rested

in front of the altar and upon it were many beautiful
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 35)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 35)

Description

[page 35]

[corresponds to page 31 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

and striking floral pieces. The decorations about the

altar and throughout the cathedral were extremely

beautiful and in great profusion. After the services,

which lasted 40 minutes, the military took charge of

the funeral. The column formed with Gen. Last and

staff at its head. They were followed by a troop of

cavalry, the Seventh Regiment Band, the signal corps,

Colonel Berry and staff, companies A, C, F and I,

Seventh Infantry, N .G. C., delegations of the Sons

of Veterans, Confederates' Association, Grand Army

of the Republic, Loyal Legion, and Union Veterans'

League. Following them came the hearse and directly

behind it a riderless horse was led.

"The family of the deceased rode in carriages and

followed the hearse, and behind these were many other

vehicles, containing members of civic bodies and rep-

resentatives of many organizations.

"The column marched south from the cathedral on

Main street to Washington, thence to the cemetery.

"The services at the cemetery were brief. There

was vocal music and short addresses by Rev. W. A.

Knighton, Hon. F. Glaze, Capt. J. C. Oliver, F. W.

Stein and F. H. Poindexter.

"At the conclusion of the services one of the infantry

companies fired a salute of three volleys over the

tomb, taps were sounded and the warrior was left to

his rest.

Among many messages of condolence received by

the family was one from President McKinley which

spoke very touchingly of his regard for his former

commander.
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 36)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 36)

Description

[page 36]

[corresponds to page 32 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

CHAPTER II

THE BATTLE OF CHICKAMAUGA

CHICKAMAUGA is a sluggish little stream

flowing from McLemore's Cove in Georgia,

through Tennessee and finally emptying

itself into the beautiful Tennessee River.

This little river still bears its Indian name - Chicka-

mauga (river of death) - and how significant since

September 19 and 20, 1863, when near and about its

banks was fought one of the greatest battles of modern

times, a battle that will go down in history with Auster-

litz, Waterloo, Marengo, and Gettysburg, a battle that

a general engaged in it compares with Flodden Field,

where both Surrey of England and James of Scotland

believed the other army was vanquished and neither

could claim a victory. Pages and volumes, tons of

literature have been written about the great battle of

Chickamauga and still the question remains a disputed

one.

It is interesting to note that Gen. Rosecrans suc-

ceeded in command of the Army of the Cumberland

another Ohio-born general, also a convert to the

Catholic Church, Gen. Don Carlos Buell, born near

Marietta, Ohio and still living in the vicinity of Louis-

ville, Kentucky. It is not our intention to enter into

any elaborate or extended discussion of the merits
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 37)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 37)

Description

[page 37]

[corresponds to page 33 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

of Chickamauga's battle, but simply to state some

facts that may perhaps assist the reader to better under-

stand the disputed question. First, it is maintained

that Chickamauga was not a Union defeat; second,

Gen. Rosecrans was not properly sustained by the

Washington authorities, notably Stanton, the famous

war secretary; thirdly, that Rosecrans was not in favor

with higher authorities on account of his political and

religious beliefs, being a War Democrat and a Catholic.

To the last assertion we give but little credence; pos-

sibly it entered into the history of those days, but,

if so, only to a minor degree; and here we would call

attention only to the other two. Was Chickamauga

a Union defeat? Most emphatically, No! In defense

of this I append an editorial that appeared some years

ago in the columns of the Columbus Dispatch, for the

reason that it states the question and answers it in most

concise and clear terms:

CHICKAMAUGA HISTORY REVIEWED

"The fields of Gettysburg and Chickamauga are

especially worthy of adornment, not because more

chivalrous courage was displayed on them than else-

where, but because they mark not only important

events, but critical periods in the great civil war. At

Gettysburg it was demonstrated that a confederate

army could not permanently occupy a free state. At

Chickamauga it was shown that a federal army, after

fighting its way for three hundred miles through a

hostile country, could cross rivers, climb mountain

ranges, contend for two days against superior num-
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 38)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 38)

Description

[page 38]

[corresponds to page 34 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

bers, and yet seize and hold an important city in the

heart of the confederacy. After Gettysburg the Army

of Northern Virginia, under Lee, lost all desire for

offensive warfare; and the confederate general, D. H.

Hill, says: "The olan of the Southern soldier was never

seen after Chickamauga - that brilliant dash which

had distinguished him on a hundred fields was gone

forever."

"It has been alleged that Chickamauga resulted in

the defeat of the Union army, and that Rosecrans'

campaign south of the Tennessee was unsuccessful.

Let us see how much truth there is in this allegation.

If Lee, after fighting the battle of Gettysburg, had

moved on to Harrisburg, and occupied that city to the

end of the war, would his campaign have been regarded

as a failure or a success? Grant was roughly handled

in the Wilderness, and the enemy after pounding him

for two days, and inflicting upon him great loss, took

position and awaited his assault, but he did not make

it; on the contrary, he moved on towards Richmond.

Was Grant defeated? No. Again, he found Lee

across his path at Spottsylvania Court House, and

after a long battle and frightful losses he left him

where he found him, and resumed his march towards

Richmond. Was Grant defeated here? No. At

North Anna he found Lee again obstructing his pro-

gress, and moved around and beyond him. At Cold

Harbor he found Lee again before him, and discov-

ered also that the line he had purposed to fight it out

on if it took all summer, was wholly impracticable;

and so after a terrible conflict, he, on the 12th day of
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 39)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 39)

Description

[page 39]

[corresponds to page 35 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

the first summer month, abandoned Lee and the direct

road to Richmond, transferred his army to the south

side of the James, and took position in front of Peters-

burg. Do historians claim that all battles referred to

were federal defeats? Not at all. Neither history

nor popular opinion will admit that Grant ever suffered

a defeat. Now, in the light of these admittedly suc-

cessful operations, let us run through an epitome of

the history of the Army of the Cumberland.

"Rosecrans assumed command of the Union forces,

subsequently known as the Army of the Cumberland,

in the latter part of October, 1862, a few weeks after

they had, in part, participated in the battle of Perrys-

ville, Kentucky. In the following December he at-

tacked the Confederate army under Bragg, near Mur-

freesboro, and after a fierce contest continuing for four

days, won the battle of Stone River. After fortifying

Murfreesboro, with a view to making it a depot of

supplies, he resumed his march southward, drove

Bragg from his fortified camp at Tullahoma, and pur-

sued his retreating columns beyond the Cumberland

Mountains and the Tennessee River. The Confederate

army now concentrated at Chattanooga. In this posi-

tion it could not be disturbed by a direct attack. Rest-

ing on the northern bank of the Tennessee only long

enough to make arrangement for bringing forward his

supplies, Rosecrans crossed the river, struggled with

his long supply train over two mountain ranges, and

descended into the Chickamauga valley; thus threat-

ening not only the railroads upon which the Confed-

erate army depended for subsistence, but menacing
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 40)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 40)

Description

[page 40]

[corresponds to page 36 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

the enemy's rear and all the country lying southward.

The objective of the Union general was Chattanooga,

the key to the railroad system of the South. Bragg

now abandoned Chattanooga in order to put himself

between the Union army and his base of supplies, and

at the same time appealed to the Confederate govern-

ment for reinforcements. The reinforcements he called

for were immedately supplied. Buckner, with a divis-

ion, hurried to him from the vicinity of Knoxville,

and Longstreet, with a corps of 15,000 men, was trans-

ferred by rail from Richmond to Chickamauga. Then,

on parallel lines with both armies at equal distances

from Chattanooga, there began on both sides a con-

centration northward toward the prize for which Rose-

crans was struggling. The purpose of the federal

army was to reach Chattanooga; that of the Confed-

erate army to prevent it. And while rapidly shifting

northward toward the place it had set out to seize and

hold, the Union army was assailed, not in a position

of its own choice, but in one selected by the enemy.

After the first day's fighting both armies sought and

secured new positions. After the second day's battle

the Union army, following the trend of its previous

movements, moved to Rossville, three or four miles

nearer Chattanooga than in the field on which it had

fought, took position there and awaited the coming

of the enemy. The enemy came, but not in force.

The fact is, the Confederate army had had all the fight-

ing it could stand, and hence permitted the Army of

the Cumberland to march deliberately and leisurely

from Rossville into Chattanooga.

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 41)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 41)

Description

[page 41]

[corresponds to page 37 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

"Was this a victory for the national arms, or was

it a defeat? What constitutes a victory? The posses-

sion of a few barren hills and ridges over which armies

may march and fight? If so, Rosecrans' movement

from the Cumberland to the Tennessee was a succes-

sion of the Union victories, for every foot of it was over

hostile territory. There are two things, either of which

may make a victory; first, the destruction of an army;

second, the winning of the prize for which two armies

contend. The Army of the Cumberland was not de-

stroyed. In fact, with fewer men than the enemy, it

inflicted greater loss upon the Confederates than it

sustained. By an unlucky blunder its right wing was

disabled early on the second day, but by such fighting

as has never been surpassed, the army maintained its

ground until there was not a shot to answer nor an

assault to be repelled, and then deliberately took pos-

session of the prize for which it had been contending.

From that time forward Kentucky, Tennessee and Ala-

bama were practically free from the incursions of the

enemy. The importance of Chattanooga in a military

sense was not even second to Vicksburg. The occu-

pation of the latter by Union troops left the Mississippi

unobstructed from its head waters to the Gulf. The

occupation of Chattanooga opened the gate by which

the Union army could march almost unopposed to

the sea. It may be said the Army of the Cumberland

did not alone expel Bragg from the heights of Mis-

sionary Ridge. True; but if that army had not seized

and held Chattanooga, the troops under Sherman and

Hooker could not have concentrated there, and the
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 42)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 42)

Description

[page 42]

[corresponds to page 38 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

former would not have entered upon his brilliant cam-

paign through Georgia and the Carolinas."

As to the second, Was Rosecrans properly sup-

ported by the Washington authorities? No. Not

long ago a New York paper told the story by way

of anecdote, - an anecdote that is more to the credit

of Rosecrans than might be a whole chapter of history.

The words of the New York paper were:

"The campaign which ended in the occupation of

Chattanooga and which included the great battle of

Chickamauga was one of the most brilliant of the

whole war, when the conditions under which it was

carried out are understood. Gen. Rosecrans started

from Murfreesboro June 24, 1863 with the Army of

the Cumberland, which had been promised support

from Burnside's army of the Tennessee. Gen. Bragg,

the Confederate commander, had been re-enforced by

troops from Virginia under that brilliant and able

officer, Gen. Longstreet. Regardless of the counsels

of commanders, the clamor of the press and the prin-

ciples of military science, Rosecrans, with the army

of the Cumberland, was sent to dislodge an enemy

of equal strength from a country well known to him

and well adapted on account of its mountainous char-

acter to defensive tactics.

"Governors Austin of Pennsylvania, Andrew of Mas-

sachusetts and Yates of Illinois offered to send Rose-

crans seven regiments of two-year veterans, who were

willing to re-enlist on condition that they should go

as mounted infantry to the army of the Cumberland,

but Secretary Stanton, who was implacably hostile
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 43)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 43)

Description

[page 43]

[corresponds to page 39 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

to its commander, would not listen to the proposition.

Gen. Lovell H. Rousseau bore a letter to the secretary

of war explaining how very important the service of

such a body of men would be in guarding the long

line of communications which would have to be kept

open in the advance upon Chattanooga. When the

secretary read Gen. Rosecrans' letter, he said to Gen.

Rousseau: "I would rather you would come to ask

the command of the army of the Cumberland than

to ask reinforcements for Gen. Rosecrans. He shall

not have another d----d man."

"So the army of the Cumberland set out alone, and

this, in brief, is what it accomplished under the general

to whom Stanton refused to send 'another d----d

man': Dislodged the enemy from two strongly fortified

camps; crossed the Cumberland Mountains, the Ten-

nessee River, Sand Mountains and Lookout Mountain;

fought the battle of Chickamauga, and on September

22, 1863, just 92 days from starting from Murfrees-

boro, 119 miles away, held Chattanooga, the objective

of the campaign.

"Thus Rosecrans, in a campaign of 92 days, secured

and held Chattanooga, the gate through which Sher-

man and his army entered the Confederate wall when

starting for the sea."

The following brief extract from "The Army of the

Cumberland," written by Henry M. Cist, brevet brig-

adier-general, throws some light on the treatment

Rosecrans received from the Washington authorities:

"On March 1 (1862) Halleck, as Commander-in-

Chief of the Armies of the United States, wrote a let-
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 44)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 44)

Description

[page 44]

[corresponds to page 40 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

ter, sending a copy to Rosecrans and Grant, offering

the position of the then vacant major-generalship in

the regular army to the general in the field who should

first achieve an important and decisive victory. Grant

very quietly folded up the letter, put it by for future

reference and proceeded with the plans of his cam-

paign, saying nothing. To Rosecrans' open, impulsive

and honorable nature, engaged with all his powers in

furthering the interests of the Government and the

general welfare of his command, this letter was an in-

sult, and he treated it accordingly. On March 6 he

prepared his reply and forwarded it to Washington.

In this letter he informed the General in Chief that

'as an officer and as a citizen he felt degraded at such

an auctioneering of honors,' and then added: 'Have

we a general who would fight for his personal benefit

when he would not for honor and for his country?

He would come by his commission basely in that case,

and deserve to be despised by men of honor. But

are all the brave and honorable generals on an equality

as to chance? If not, it is unjust to those who prob-

ably deserve most.'

"The effect of this letter was to widen the breach

between the authorities at Washington and Rosecrans.

Halleck's letter and Rosecrans' reply were both char-

acteristic of the men. From this time forward all the

requests of Rosecrans for the improvement of the

efficiency of his army were treated with great coolness,

and in many instances it was only after the greatest

importunity that he was able to secure the least atten-

tion to his recommendations for the increased useful-

ness of his command."
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 45)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 45)

Description

[page 45]

[corresponds to page 41 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

To confirm the statements made above we give a

few extracts from officers high in the ranks of the

army of the Cumberland and who had ample oppor-

tunity to know all the varying issues of the disputed

questions.

GENERAL MANDERSON,

Senator from Nebraska, in a masterly oration deliv-

ered in 1895, says: "And yet, in spite of abundant

available testimony, Chickamauga is declared by those

either ignorant or jealous to have been a defeat of the

Federal arms, and the non-fighting croakers at Wash-

ington indulged in much paper bombardment of those

who planned the campaign. A victim was demanded,

and Rosecrans was cruelly sacrificed. His services

from the beginning of the war were ignored. No rec-

ollection of Stone River moved to respect for that abil-

ity that we who had served under him knew he pos-

sessed. The vilification of Rosecrans by these carping

critics was abuse of the grand army he led from Nash-

ville to Murfreesboro; to 'victory plucked from the

jaws of defeat' and victory most pronounced at Stone

River; through the Tullahoma campaign to the final

occupation of the objective point of all military en-

deavor, from the days of 1861 when the troops of the

Union crossed the Ohio River. Rosecrans came to us

with the halo of battles fought and won, and secured

not only the confidence but the affection of his men,

who gave the soldier's characteristic evidence of it by

giving him a familiar nickname and to us of that time

he is still 'Old Rosey.' The Army of the Cumberland
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 46)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 46)

Description

[page 46]

[corresponds to page 42 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

felt that splendid leadership had failed of recognition,

arduous service had been poorly requited and the sol-

dierly merits of a superb strategist grossly ignored

when Rosecrans was deposed."

GENERAL A. WILEY

says: "The campaign of Rosecrans was bold, enter-

prising, vigorous. By his sound judgment and vig-

ilance he anticipated and countered every movement

of his adversary. Throughout he exhibited the high-

est degree of moral courage. That he failed of accom-

plishing all he attempted was no fault of his own, nor

was it due to any lack of the highest soldierly qualities

of the army he commanded. It was attributable to

the superior advantages for rapid concentration which

interior lines afforded his adversary, and to the total

failure of support and co-operation on the part of

Burnside, on which he had been told, at the com-

mencement of the campaign, he could rely."

GENERAL PHIL SHERIDAN

in his "Personal Memoirs" says of Rosecrans' removal

from the command of the Army of the Cumberland:

"He submitted uncomplainingly to his removal and

modestly left us without fuss or demonstration, ever

maintaining that the battle of Chickamauga was in

effect a victory. When his departure became known,

deep and almost universal regret was expressed, for

he was enthusiastically esteemed and loved by the

Army of the Cumberland from the day he assumed

command until he left it."

One of the most persistent defenders of Gen. Rose-

crans has been
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 47)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 47)

Description

[page 47]

[corresponds to page 43 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

GENERAL H. V. BOYNTON,

still living and a prominent journalist in Washington,

who at all times has insisted that Rosecrans was not

properly supported by the authorities at Washington,

a fact which seems now to be pretty well established.

One writer, in summing up the whole campaign, says:

"It was one of the most brilliant of the whole war,

when the conditions under which it was carried out

are understood, and opened the way by which the

troops of Sherman and Hooker were concentrated and

was the entering wedge by which the former com-

menced his historic march to the sea through Georgia

and the Carolinas."

GENERAL ROSECRANS

broke the silence of years in 1880 to publicly contra-

dict the current statement that the only order issued

by him on the day of the battle was the one that opened

the fatal gap in the Union lines, all the other orders

being attributed to his chief of staff, General Garfield.

In contradicting this statement, from all responsibility

in regard to which he chivalrously exonerated Gen.

Garfield, Gen. Rosecrans speaks of it as "another out-

cropping of the historic lies about Chickamauga which

began in a gigantic conspiracy through the press to

cover up the crime against our country which was per-

petrated in sending the Army of the Cumberland, alone

and unaided, over an almost barren wilderness, across

the Cumberland Mountains and Lookout Range into

the mountains of Northwestern Georgia, 150 miles

from its nearest base of supplies, to encounter the con-

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 48)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 48)

Description

[page 48]

[corresponds to page 44 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

centrated forces of the Confederacy, greatly confident

of victory; while Grant, with the whole Army of the

Tennessee, was lying quiescent since Vicksburg.

Burnside, with 42,000 effectives, was sent 200 miles

away into East Tennessee, where he could not weigh

a feather in the contest; the Gulf Department, by its

expedition under Herron into Texas, was wholly incap-

able of making diversion on the gulf coast which would

detain a single man from our front, and the Army of

the Potomac was so inactive as to permit Lee to send

Longstreet's whole corps to join in crushing us."

History has, however, rendered tardy justice to Gen.

Rosecrans; and its verdict may be summed up in

these words of Gen. Boynton, who, after speaking of

Chickamauga as crowning with success the last cam-

paign of Gen. Rosecrans, and being "matchless in its

strategy, unequalled in the skill and energy with which

his outnumbered army was concentrated for battle,"

says that had Rosecrans "crossed the river in front

of the city and captured it with even greater loss, the

country would have gone wild with enthusiasm. Had

he been properly supported from Washington, he

would have entered it without a battle, since if there

had been any show of activity elsewhere, Bragg's army

would not have been nearly doubled with re-enforce-

ments and thus enabled to march back on Chatta-

nooga after its retreat from the city." Practically, the

battle was a Union victory, won by Rosecrans' masterly

skill and indomitable perseverance; and, as Gen. Hill

admitted, it "sealed the fate of the Southern Confed-

eracy."
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 49)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 49)

Description

[page 49]

[corresponds to page 45 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

CHAPTER III

HOW HE MISSED THE PRESIDENCY

It may not be generally known that our hero

came near being placed on the ticket with

Lincoln in 1864, and how he missed his

nomination is an interesting story. After

his removal from the Army of the Cumberland,

public feeling once more turned toward him and

there was a general sentiment in and out of army

circles that he had been unjustly dealt with. So strong

was this feeling that well informed politicians thought

that he would add strength to the Republican ticket,

and in June, 1864, Garfield telegraphed him from Bal-

timore asking him if we would accept the nomination

for Vice-president on the ticket with Lincoln. Though

always a Democrat and intensely loyal, after consult-

ing friends he wired back a message that virtually was

in the affirmative. Garfield always claimed he never

received the message and so Andy Johnson was put

on the ticket.

It has since been pretty well established that Stan-

ton suppressed the message of Rosecrans, for Rose-

crans was always "persona non grata" at the War Depart-

ment, for the reason that he was not afraid to tell the

truth. When war was a certainty, in 1861, Gen.

Morgan, of Mt. Vernon, Ohio, was summoned by
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 50)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 50)

Description

[page 50]

[corresponds to page 46 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

wire to Washington, as his name had come up in a

conversation held by members of the Cabinet with

Gen. Scott. Asked what should be done with Robt.

E. Lee, who had laid down his commission as an U.

S. Army officer, he at once answered in his brusque

way, "Slap him in jail, for if you don't, he will lead

the secessionists."

Stanton scoffed at this idea, but history proves Mor-

gan was right. Stanton had no use for any man who

happened to know just a bit more than he did.

Rosecrans had a similar experience. He had opin-

ions and plans of his own concerning the war, and

like Morgan, did not hesitate to say that, knowing

the people of the South, he knew the war could not

be finished in a few weeks. Stanton at that time had

a bad case of enlargement of the head - now politely

called mental mumps - and insisted that the North

could whip h--l out of the South before the summer

was over. Morgan and Rosecrans and other officers

of experience thought otherwise. Rosecrans, forti-

fied by a brilliant record as an officer of engineers,

and knowing Longstreet, Van Dorn and others of the

South - they had been his classmates at West Point -

received a cordial hearing from Lincoln and McClel-

lan. His suggestions were not listened to, - Stanton

would have none of them.

Stanton's enmity was also increased by Rosecrans'

letter to Halleck in 1862, mentioned previously in this

sketch, and also by the fact that Rosecrans was cred-

ited by the public with having "discovered" Sheridan.

When the orders relieving Gen. Rosecrans and ap-
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 51)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 51)

Description

[page 51]

[corresponds to page 47 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

pointing Gen. Thomas in his place reached the army,

they were denounced on all sides as unjust. "Gen.

Thomas, " according to Gen. Boynton, "insisted that

he would resign rather than acquiesce in Gen. Rose-

crans' removal by his accepting the command, It was

at Rosecrans' earnest solicitation that he reconsidered

this determination. But he did not hesitate to say

that the order was cruelly unjust. When Gen. Garfield

left for Washington soon after the battle, he imme-

diately charged him to do all he could to have Rose-

crans righted."

Whether Garfield ever carried out the wish of

Thomas is uncertain to this day. The probabilities

are, that knowing Stanton's hostility to Rosecrans, he

never made the attempt.

Garfield at that time was a member of Congress

from Ohio and had stood for election in his district

by the advice of Rosecrans, who said that he (Gar-

field), having been in the field and knowing the needs

of the army, would be able to do much good on the

floor of congress whenever war measures came before

that body. There has always been a lurking suspicion

that Garfield in his ambition forgot his old commander

and how much he owed him for his own success.
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 52)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 52)

Description

[page 52]

[corresponds to page 48 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

HIS CONVERSION TO THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

While a cadet at West Point Rosecrans

obtained a few books treating of the Cath-

olic Church from an old Irishman, who

was in the habit of paying periodical visits

to the institution to sell books and papers. In com-

pany with another cadet, now Very Rev. George

Deshon, Superior of the Paulist Fathers of New York,

he became interested in the claims of the Church and

it was not long until his logical mind was convinced;

and finally, two years after his graduation, while he

was Assistant Professor of Engineering, in 1844, he

was, in his own words, "baptized 'sub conditione' be-

cause it was a vague tradition that in my early days

a Protestant or Wesleyan Methodist minister at my

grandmother's instance had baptized me, following

the traditional ritual of the Church of England in so

doing." Shortly after his marriage his wife also be-

came a Catholic, and in 1846 he was instrumental

in converting his brother, Sylvester, who eventually

became the first Catholic Bishop of Columbus, Ohio,

within whose diocese was located his birthplace,

Homer, Licking County. The brothers were much

attached to each other and their correspondence, when

the one was at West Point and the other at Kenyon
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 53)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 53)

Description

page 53]

[corresponds to page 49 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

College, Gambier, Ohio, was frequent. After the

younger graduated, he paid his elder brother a visit,

and as the two were taking a walk one day, they

chanced to pass a Catholic church; whereupon the

young lieutenant, to quote the words of one con-

versant with the facts in the case, said to his brother:

"It is high time, Sylvester, for you to put an end to

this procrastination of yours; come in here and get

baptized."

Mechanically obeying the command, and entering

for the first time in his life a Catholic church, the same

authority tells the story of the Bishop's conversion:

"They soon reached an altar, before which, to the

young brother's surprise, shone a lighted lamp,' said

the captain, 'in the Real Presence, for two graces, the

grace of light to know the truth, and the grace of

strength to follow it'; and with this he knelt down.

Sylvester also knelt, as a matter of courtesy to his

brother, but by no means to pray. He gazed around

for a while at the works of art within reach of his

eyes, but not being in the habit of kneeling long at

any time, and his knees aching, he turned to look at

his brother, whom he found absorbed in God.

"The sight was too much for Sylvester. 'Wretch

that I am,' said he to himself, 'while this truly good

man is so earnestly interesting himself with Heaven

for my soul's salvation, I am indifferent, as if it were

none of my business. God is everywhere, and there-

fore, here; I, too, will pray for strength and light.' -

And he did pray, so long and earnestly, that when he
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 54)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 54)

Description

[page 54]

[corresponds to page 50 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

began to look for his brother, he found him in a remote

part of the church. Up sprang Sylvester, and with

agitated steps he approached the captain. 'Well, Syl-

vester,' whispered the latter, 'what will you do?' 'I

wish to be baptized,' was the prompt reply; 'I hope

the priest is at home.' Happily the priest was at home,

and finding his caller already, thanks to his brother's

good offices, well instructed in Catholic teachings, he

had no hesitation in baptizing him and receiving him

into the Catholic fold. Many years later, when the

diocese of Columbus was erected, Rt. Rev. Sylvester

Horton Rosecrans, who had been consecrated titular

of Pompeiopolis, in partibus, on the feast of the An-

nunciation, 1862, and appointed Auxiliary to Arch-

bishop Purcell, of Cincinnati, was transferred to the

new See, and at once took possession of his vineyard."

The following letter received by the writer some

years ago, it need not be mentioned, is highly prized:

TREASURY DEPARTMENT, REGISTER's OFFICE.

Dec. 11, 1886.

Dear Father Mulhane: - Bishop Rosecrans was baptized

at Cold Spring on the North River opposite West Point, N.

Y., by the Rev. Dr. Villani, pastor of the Catholic Church

at that place, and in charge of the station at the Post of West

Point, in the summer of 1846. I was his godfather and my

wife his godmother. I do not remember whether it was 'sub

conditione.'

My baptism in 1844 was 'sub conditione,' because it was a

vague tradition that in my early infancy a Protestant or Wes-

leyan Methodist minister at my grandmother's instance had

baptized me, following the traditional ritual of the church of

England in so doing. Yours most truly,

W. S. ROSECRANS

To the Rev. L. W. Mulhane,

Mt. Vernon, Ohio
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 55)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 55)

Description

[page 55]

[corresponds to page 51 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

The great warrior's faith always shone out strong

and clear. It is told that at a most critical moment

during the battle of Stone River, when McCook's men

were wavering, he dashed to the front, exposing him-

self to the enemy's fire. A young staff officer (no

doubt Garesche, a great favorite of our hero and a

Catholic) who accompanied him, begged him to retire

to a place of greater safety and not expose himself

to almost certain death. Rosecrans, urging on his

horse, replied: "Never mind me, my boy, but make

the sign of the cross and go in." In his "reminis-

cences," now being published in McClure's Magazine,

the late Charles A. Dana, assistant secretary of war

under Stanton, states that he saw Rosecrans making

the sign of the cross during the awful conflict at Chick-

amauga.

Both his great mind and his large heart were thor-

oughly imbued with strong Catholic faith, and though

not seeking occasion to outwardly manifest it to the

world, it instinctively would crop out on certain occa-

sions, sometimes when least expected. Some years

ago, while passing through Ohio on a campaign tour

with Hendricks, he reached Columbus one evening,

taking rooms with his political companions at the Neil

House. He soon excused himself from the party and

wended his way out Broad street to the Cathedral,

where he made inquiry for a priest, desiring to go to

confession that he might the next morning go to Holy

Communion for his deceased brother, the Bishop,

whose remains rest under the altar of that church. At

6 o'clock the next morning he attended mass and
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 56)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 56)

Description

[page 56]

[corresponds to page 52 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

received Holy Communion. As he was returning to

the hotel, he met one of his political friends who had

been looking for him and who said: "Why! General,

where in the world have you been so early this morn-

ing? Your friends at the hotel are anxious about you,

that you may not miss that early train." The old

veteran answered: "Oh! I have been out to the

Cathedral to pay my respects to Almighty God and

to pray for my brother, who used to be Bishop out

there." The answer, from other lips, might have

seemed trivial, but coming from him in deep voice

and reverential tone, it was beautiful. The two who

heard it have always remembered it, - one a Cath-

olic, the other a non-Catholic. The words, the far-

away look in the old hero's eyes, the reverence of the

voice, the early morning of a beautiful September

day, all chimed to make it an occasion that the two

present have never forgotten.

It was this same spirit and simplicity of faith that

caused him to pen the telegram that he sent from Cal-

ifornia to New York on the occasion of the death of

his brilliant son, Father Louis Rosecrans, a member

of the Paulist Order. When telegraphed of the death

and asked for any wish as to the place of burial, the

wires bore back this sweet message: "Bury him beside

his Paulist brethren to await the great Resurrection

Day, and God bless all who have been kind to him."

His sincerity also was the means of converting his

wife.

A newspaper correspondent describing the working

habits of the General when getting the 14th Corps
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 57)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 57)

Description

[page 57]

[corresponds to page 53 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

into condition after assuming command, wrote: "On

Sundays and Wednesdays he rose early and attended

Mass." "At night, when conversation took a relig-

ious turn," says the same writer, "the General took

the argument and carried it often into the realms of

Mother Church, where the vehemence of his intellect

and his zealous temper developed themselves thor-

oughly. He had the Fathers of the Church at his

tongue's end, and exhibited a familiarity with con-

troversial theology that made him a formidable antag-

onist to the best read, even of the clerical profession.

He would admit no fallibility whatever in any depart-

ment of his own Church, but he did not permit his

strong reliance in the Church of Rome to warp his

judgment in material things, especially in military mat-

ters." On the morning of every important engage-

ment, or perilous undertaking, it was his invariable

custom to attend Mass and commit himself and his

army to the keeping of the God of battles.

Here is Major Bickham's description of how he

begun the Stone River fight, one of the most glorious

of his victories: "A little later (than the dawn of day)

the dauntless leader of the army knelt at the altar

and prayed to the God of battles. High (?) Mass was

celebrated in a little tent opposite his marquee. Rev.

Father Cooney, the zealous chaplain of the 35th Reg-

iment of Indiana Volunteers, officiated, assisted by

Rev. Father Trecy, the constant spiritual companion

of the General, and whose fidelity to his chief was

second only to his devotion to the faith he preached.

Gen. Rosecrans knelt humbly in the corner of his
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 58)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 58)

Description

[page 58]

[corresponds to page 54 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

tent; Garesche, no less devout, by his side; a trio of

humble soldiers meekly knelt in front of the tent;

groups of officers, booted and spurred for battle with

heads reverentially uncovered, stood outside and

mutely muttered their prayers. What grave anxieties,

what exquisite emotions, what deep thoughts moved

the hearts and minds of those pious soldiers, into whose

keeping God and their country had delivered,

not merely the lives of a thousand men who must die at

last, but the vitality of a principle, the cause of self

government and of human liberty!"

He was averse to all needless labor on the Lord's

day, a fact that was so well understood by his staff,

that Gen. Crittenden once said of his commander that

"he did not believe the Master would smile upon any

unnecessary violations of His laws." Firm in his own

faith, "he never interferes," said an eye-witness of his

acts, "with the spiritual affairs of any subordinate,

regarding these as sacred personal matters, to be gov-

erned by the convictions of each individual." At

proper time and in the proper place, though, he was

ever ready to speak for his faith and impress its truth

upon others. The priests in the army were his par-

ticular friends; and Father Trecy, formerly of Hunts-

ville, Ala., was held in special regard by him because

of his personal worth and the fact that his loyalty to

the Union made it necessary for him to quit the South.

He was attending a Mass celebrated by that clergy-

man when the news was brought to him that his pray-

ers for his country had been answered, that the enemy

had fled and that the important battle of Stone River

had been won.
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 59)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 59)

Description

[page 59]

[corresponds to page 55 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

CHAPTER V.

TRIBUTES

In a speech at the Chickamauga dedication, Mc-

Kinley, then Governor of Ohio, said:

"General Rosecrans, a graduate of great dis-

tinction at the United States Military Academy

in 1842, and who served in the army until 1864, was the

commander-in-chief of the Union forces and was an

honored citizen of our own State. He entered the vol-

unteer service as colonel of the Twenty-third Ohio

infantry. I recall him with peculiar tenderness and

respect. He was the first colonel of the regiment to

which I belonged, my boyhood ideal of a great soldier;

and I gladly pay him my tribute of love for his tender

qualities which endeared him to me, and the high sol-

dierly qualities which earned for him the gratitude of

the State for his magnificent service to the Union cause.

Ohio is proud of him and in his old age and declining

years I beg him to know that he enjoys the affection-

ate regard of the old State, which will guard his fame

forever."

When the bill placing him on the retired list was

before Congress some fourteen speeches were made

on the occasion. I quote from a few:

Gen. Cutcheon, of Michigan, said:

"When the tocsin of war was sounded, Gen. Rose-

crans did not hesitate or falter, but he left every-

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 60)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 60)

Description

[page 60]

[corresponds to page 56 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

thing behind him and laid all that he had upon the

altar of his country, and when we needed victory, when

this country in its heart of hearts was aching for want

of victory, Gen. Rosecrans, in the very beginning, in

West Virginia, gave us victory. Again in the far South-

west, at Iuka, he gave us victory. He was promoted

step by step from colonel to brigadier-general, and

from that to major-general, and was placed at the

head of the Army of the Cumberland, and again, in

the closing days of December, 1862, at Stone River,

he lighted the horizon of this whole country from edge

to edge with the fires of victory. Then, following that,

he gave us one of the most magnificent specimens of

perfect strategy that the entire war afforded, in the

Tullahoma campaign, when, almost without the sac-

rifice of a life, he flanked Bragg out of his fortified

position at Tullahoma and carried his army across the

mountains into the valley of Chickamauga."

Hon. O. L. Jackson, of Pennsylvania, who served

four years in the army of the Tennessee, said:

"It was Rosecrans who commanded and directed

the brave men at Stone River on those fearful winter

days when again the tide of battle was turned south-

ward. It was under him Phil Sheridan first rode at

the head of a division, and on this bloody field gave

evidence of the high rank he was afterwards to attain.

It was Rosecrans' skill and genius that maneuvered the

enemy out of Chattanooga and gave the Army of the

Cumberland a position at Chickamauga that enabled

him to hold at bay Bragg's army, re-enforced by one

of the best corps from the rebel army on the Potomac.
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 61)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 61)

Description

[page 61]

[corresponds to page 57 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

Do not forget that it was under Rosecrans that Thomas

stood, the Rock of Chickamauga.

"Mr. Speaker, there was a day in the nation's peril

when good Abraham Lincoln thought he ought to

send the thanks of a nation to Gen. Rosecrans

and the officers and men of his command for their

great services in the field."

Gen. David B. Henderson, of Iowa, who left a leg

on the battlefield, electrified the House by his appeal

in behalf of his old commander. In the course of his

remarks he said:

"As a member of the Army of the Tennessee, I fol-

lowed both Grant and Rosecrans. I fought under

Rosecrans at Corinth. I was with him in that battle,

and he was the only general I ever saw closer to the

enemy than we were who fought in the front, for in

that great battle he dashed in front of our lines when

the flower of Price's army was pouring death and

destruction into our ranks. The bullets had carried

off his hat, his hair was floating in the wind, and pro-

tected by the God of battle, he passed along the line

and shouted, 'Soldiers, stand by your flag and coun-

try!' We obeyed his orders. We crushed Price's

army, and gave the country the great triumph of the

battle of Corinth. Gen. Rosecrans was the central,

the leading and the victorious spirit."

Gen. Weaver, of Iowa, served under Rosecrans,

and said:

"I, too, had the honor to participate in the battle

at Corinth in 1862, and I know, and the country knows,

that but for the magnificent strategy of Rosecrans,
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 62)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 62)

Description

[page 62]

[corresponds to page 58 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

his soldierly bearing, his wonderful grasp of and atten-

tion to the details of that battle, the Army of the South-

west would have been overthrown and the conse-

quences could not have been foretold. He decoyed

the army of Price on to the spot where he designed

to fight the battle and the result was that he was vic-

torious, and captured parts of sixty-nine different com-

mands serving under Price and Van Dorn and the

other Confederate commanders. In that important

battle he saved the cause of the Union in the South-

west. Rosecrans was a splendid soldier, a valuable

officer and is now an honored citizen."

Here is the manner in which he impressed the cor-

respondent of the "Cincinnati Commercial," "W. D. B.",

who was with him in the three months' campaign

with the old 14th Army Corps, that terminated with

the brilliant victory of Stone River. "Industry was

one of the most valuable qualities of Gen. Rosecrans,"

wrote this correspondent. "Labor was a constitutional

necessity with him. And he enjoyed a fine faculty for

the disposition of military business - a faculty which

rapidly improved with experience. He neither spared

himself nor his subordinates. He insisted on being

surrounded with active, rapid workers. He 'liked

sandy fellows,' because they were 'quick and sharp.'

He rarely found staff officers who could endure with

him." And no wonder! The General was the first

officer to begin work in the morning, and the last to

leave off at night, never, so this same authority states,

retiring before two o'clock in the morning, very often

not until four, and sometimes not until broad daylight.
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 63)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 63)

Description

[page 63]

[corresponds to page 59 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

No wonder, too, that the soldiers spoke enthusiastically

of "Rosy," as they called their commander, and ex-

pressed to each other their confidence in him, when

they heard him tell them that if their equipment was

in any way deficient, they should ask for what was

needed and keep on asking until they got it; or that

his subordinate officers were loud in his praise when

they saw that in his official reports to headquarters

every man who had distinguished himself in action

was honorably mentioned and strongly recommended

for promotion.

One more portraiture of Gen. Rosecrans, as he

appeared to those who were associated with him when

he commanded the 14th Army Corps may not be out

of place here. "He had no taste for party politics,"

wrote Gen. Boynton, "having dismissed that subject

until the rebellion should be crushed - a point upon

which he expressed no doubts. And, indeed, he had

never been a politician. Upon the general subject of

slavery, he held the faith that had been proclaimed

immemorially by his Church and by all nations which

have pretended to civilization. * * * Upon belles

lettres he opened a mine of rich lore, and charmed you,

as well by the felicity of his illustrations, as by the

pungent and comprehensive character of his criticism.

It was not a little amusing to the author to read in

a leading eastern journal, that in science and literature

Rosecrans was probably the inferior of McClellan

and Buell. Their respective mutual classmates, and

later associates, are sure that either of the latter might

learn from him in each department. His general
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 64)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 64)

Description

[page 64]

[corresponds to page 60 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

knowledge of science is extensive. Geology and min-

eralogy are specialties, and in those sciences he ranks

among the most accomplished in the country."

Let us add just one discordant note, penned by one

who has gone to the other world.

In Charles A. Dana's "Reminiscences," in the Feb-

ruary number of "McClure's Magazine", there is a record

of the impression Gen. Rosecrans made on Mr. Dana,

who was with him in the Chickamauga campaign of

1863. Mr. Dana says of him:

"While few persons exhibited more estimable social

qualities, I have never seen a public man possessing

talent with less administrative power, less clearness

and steadiness in difficulty, and greater practical inca-

pacity than Gen. Rosecrans. He had inventive fertility

and knowledge, but he had no strength of will and

no concentration of purpose. His mind scattered:

there was no system in the use of his busy days and

restless nights, no courage against individuals in his

composition, and, with great love of command, he was

a feeble commander. He was conscientious and honest,

just as he was imperious and disputatious; always with

a stray vein of caprice, and an overweening passion for

the approbation of his personal friends and the public

outside."

It should be remembered that this estimate was

made after Chickamauga; and that it is absolutely in

contradiction of all other estimates made by those who

had just as much, if not more, opportunity of study-

ing the character of our hero. That "he was a feeble

commander" is unjust and untrue and would be repu-
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 65)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 65)

Description

[page 65]

[corresponds to page 61 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

diated by every officer and private of the grand old

Army of the Cumberland. Dana was a civilian and

like many another in his day was ever ready to hastily

criticize the warriors fighting the battles of their coun-

try. As an offset to this opinion we need but place

the kind words of such veterans, both of war and

journalism, as Gen. Boynton, Col. Furay and Maj.

Bickham.

The "Ohio State Journal" said:

"'Old Rosy' is dead. The hero of Stone River and

Chickamauga, one of the few remaining commanders

of the late war, has passed away. General William

Starke Rosecrans died at his home near Los Angeles,

Cal., yesterday morning, of the ailments consequent

upon old age, in the 79th year of his age.

"His war service embraced the command of the

Army of the Mississippi, succeeding General Pope,

the command of the Army of the Cumberland, with

a campaign in West Virginia, his brilliant success at

Carnifex Ferry sending him West. The battles of

Stone River and Chickamauga were fought under his

generalship, both engagements being among the blood-

iest of the war. There was a disposition to censure

Rosecrans for his conduct in the latter battle, but later

developments justified the views of his friends at the

time, that the Union forces had accomplished much,

though at the expense of thousands of lives. But the

gallant Rosecrans was hurt, not only by these misrep-

resentations, but by the venom with which he was

pursued. His nervousness, irritability and impatience

showed to a disadvantage, and he was relieved of his
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 66)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 66)

Description

[page 66]

[corresponds to page 62 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

command. This practically closed his military career,

but he did not resign until after the close of the war.

"With the flight of time, the severest censors of

Rosecrans are willing to admit that he was as clever

a strategist at Chickamauga as he was at Stone River,

even though he had a largely reinforced enemy to

meet. He was a great favorite with his men, and the

boys who marched with him in the awful campaigns

will hear of his death with unfeigned regret. He was

a splendid fighter, possessed of a fine military mind

and ample experience, but had a nervous temperament

that at times unfortunately tended to obscure in the

popular mind the brightness of his achievements on

the field."

The following estimate of Gen. Rosecrans appeared

in the columns of the "Western Christian Advocate," a

Methodist paper, whose editor, Dr. David H. Moore,

was a soldier. It is entitled "Our 'Wreath of Roses.'"

"There died last Friday, in Los Angeles, the ablest

tactician among the great generals of the Civil War.

An impartial study of the history of that immortal

contest will show that in this respect no man, on either

side, surpassed William Starke Rosecrans. Whitelaw

Reid styles him the American Jomini.

"Was there ever a better planned movement than

that which resulted in the first fight 'above the clouds'

where Rosecrans headed the 13th Indiana in a head-

long charge that sent Pegram flying from Rich Moun-

tain and Garrett from Laurel Hill? It lacked only the

promised co-operation of McClellan to have bagged
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 67)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 67)

Description

[page 67]

[corresponds to page 63 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

the game so cleverly started. Was there any other

Union officer who outgeneraled Robert E. Lee? Yet

when that incomparable Confederate leader undertook

to win back West Virginia from our Wreath of Roses,

capping the summit of Cheat Mountain, he was out-

maneuvered at every point, his Kanawha division only

escaping capture by the failure of Benham to obey

Rosecrans' orders. Iuka and Corinth added new

laurels to this Wreath, when Price and Van Dorn

were compelled to acknowledge his victorious prow-

ess. Had Phil Sheridan and not McCook commanded

the pivot at Murfreesboro, there had hardly been a

remnant of Bragg's army left. As it was, never was

a battle-plan more speedily and successfully changed

in the teeth of impending disaster.

"The chess-board of the war has not witnessed more

brilliant moves than those by which he maneuvered

Bragg out of Tullahoma. Opinion will forever be

divided on Chickamauga; but Chickamauga was

fought for Chattanooga, and the prize was won. If

there Rosecrans' military sun set, it bathed the heavens

in its effulgence.

"Three things are alleged to have blocked his way

to the very front: his inability to select competent

lieutenants; his kind-hearted reluctance to remove

a commander whose weakness had been demonstrated;

and his lack of tact in managing his superior officers.

If permitted to develop his own plans, Rosecrans, in

our judgment, would have topped the immortals.

"'Old Rosey,' the boys called him; and they loved

him for his cheer and care and kindness.

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 68)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 68)

Description

[page 68]

[corresponds to page 64 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

"He was the Roman Catholic Howard. A devouter

Christian there was not. We have not escaped the

clutches of prejudice; but all must admit that, though

wholly a Romanist, he was Catholic in his charity

to those from whom he differed. He believed in God

with all his heart.

"He was a native of Kingston Township, Delaware

County, Ohio, and lived from September 6, 1819, to

March 11, 1898. His paternal ancestors were from

Amsterdam; his Dutch patronymic meaning, 'a wreath

of roses' - the perfume of which will sweeten Amer-

ican history."

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 69)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 69)

Description

[page 69]

[corresponds to page 65 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

NOTES AND ANECDOTES.

HIS SIMPLICITY.

No man could have been more gentle and

simple in his way. He carried all his honors

and extensive learning with the modesty

becoming a great genius. His lot was not

always cast in the most pleasant places, and yet he

bore his disappointments with Christian fortitude. He

charmed every one with his delightful conversation

and, meeting him once, you longed for another oppor-

tunity to listen to him. He could talk entertainingly

on all subjects and would drift along from a scientific

discussion of the "radius vector" in mathematics to some

disputed point in history and then quietly drift into a

talk about the wonderful manifestation of God's love

for man in the sublime mystery of the Incarnation.

HIS GENEROSITY.

The things of the world - money, etc., - seemed

to have no alluring interest for him, and in his last

days of official life at Washington, as Register of the

Treasury of the United States, his purse was ever open

to the needy. At the close of official hours, as he left

the Treasury Department and wended his way to his

room at Willard's Hotel, he almost invariably was


Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 70)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 70)

Description

[page 70]

[corresponds to page 66 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

stopped by some old veteran who appealed for assist-

ance; and if he had no money with him, he took the

needy one into the hotel and had the clerk advance it

for him, until, when pay-day came around, his check

was turned over to the hotel clerk and generally but

little was left to his credit.

HIS BRAVERY.

Sheridan, in his "Personal Memoirs," writing of

the battle of Stone River, tells this incident: "Gen.

Rosecrans, with a part of his staff and a few soldiers,

rode out on the rearranged line to superintend its

formation and encourage the men, and in the prose-

cution of these objects moved around the front of the

column of attack within range of the batteries that

were shelling us so viciously. As he passed to the

open ground on my left, I joined him. The enemy

seeing this mounted party, turned his guns upon it,

and his accurate aim was soon rewarded, for a solid

shot carried away the head of Col. Garesche, the chief

of staff, and killed or wounded two or three orderlies.

Garesch's appalling death stunned us all, and a mo-

mentary expression of horror spread over Rosecrans'

face' but at such time the importance of self-control

was vital; and he pursued his course with an appear-

ance (?) which, however, those immediately about him

saw was assumed, for undoubtedly he felt most deeply

the death of his friend and trusted staff officer."

"OLD ROSEY AND THE TROOPER."

The following story, oft repeated, was one that "Old

Rosey" appeared to enjoy hugely, for, as he said, it

was at his own expense:

The Army of the Cumberland was making a march

in a driving rainstorm, the infantry foot deep in mud,
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 71)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 71)

Description

[page 71]

[corresponds to page 67 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

the cavalry mud-bespattered, the wagons and artillery

frequently stalled. Several officers were riding along

the road when they saw a cannon almost helplessly

imbedded in the all-pervading mud of a cornfield. At

the suggestion of the leader they left their mounts and,

wading over to the group working to extricate this

implement of war, lent their assistance. The men

were cursing the weather, the mud, the horses, the

gun, and more particularly and with greater freedom,

Gen. Rosecrans, who, they said, had got them into all

the trouble. In the latter particular they were all very

fluent, with the exception of one trooper who was

pushing at the wheel with one of the officers who was

working hardest. While the others were doing bril-

liant work in the way of reviling the General, he re-

mained silent.

Finally the gun was extricated from its earthly bed,

and the unrecognized officer departed. Then the silent

soldier spoke:

"Don't you know, you blame fools," he said, "that

Gen. Rosecrans was pushing that wheel with me?"

"LONG-LEGGED JIM."

Another favorite yarn with Gen. Rosecrans was

about a soldier known as "Long-legged Jim." He

was a brave fellow but fearfully lazy. On one occa-

sion during a long, dusty march on a hot summer

day, towards four o'clock in the afternoon, while

marching through a bit of timber country, Jim could

not resist the temptation to sit down on a log and

enjoy the shade. His captain spoke up and urged
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 72)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 72)

Description

[page 72]

[corresponds to page 68 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

him to come on. Jim threw down his gun and replied,

"Cap, I'll be danged if I 'walk' another step to-day."

The captain, knowing Jim thoroughly, answered, "All

right," and the company kept right on over the brow

of a neighboring hill. Very soon bullets were heard

whistling through the branches of the trees and Jim,

grabbing his gun, started after his companions, who

by this time had come out in the clearing, and to avoid

the deep dust of the road were marching along close

to a rail fence. Jim came flying by at double quick

in the middle of the road, and as he passed by the

captain yelled: "Say, Jim, I thought you said you

wouldn't walk another step to-day?" "Thunder and

lightning! Cap., do you call this 'walking'?" answered

Jim, as he ran by at double-quick.

"WIDOW GLENN'S HOUSE."

This is the famous spot, where Rosecrans held his

last council of war before the historic 20th day of

September, 1863. Here is a description of that scene

from the pen of Capt. W. C. Margedant:

"Widow Glenn's log house was, like all the houses

of that kind, provided with a large fire-place, in which

a bright fire was burning - perhaps the only fire within

15 square miles, on account of the order given not

to light fires on that night for any purpose. The

remains of a candle were stuck into a reversed bayo-

net, lighting up dimly the battle map, which was

spread out upon a cartridge box. The fire in the large

chimney place flared up from time to time, illuminating

the faces of those who took part in the council of war.
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 73)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 73)

Description

[page 73]

[corresponds to page 69 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

"There was Major-General Rosecrans, sitting, in full

uniform and sword, on the edge of a rustic bed frame,

bending toward the center of the scantily furnished

room, listening and sometimes talking to General

Thomas, who sat near the fire, occuping the only

chair which had been left by the widow Glenn. There

were other generals, commanding corps, divisions and

brigades, some sitting on the rough-hewn barren floor,

with their backs against the walls, while others stood

up.

"It was a picture well worth painting - this the last

council of war on the field of battle - the dim, flaring

light, the faces of the men who directed the battles,

the bright metallic shine of the swords and uniforms,

when the fire flared up in the primitive chimney.

Sometimes, when there was a hush of silence in the

conversation, we could hear, far in the distance in the

enemy's lines, the arrival of trains and moving of

troops, reinforcements, soldiers from all parts of the

Confederacy. It was not the usual preparations of a

Saturday night for a peaceful Sunday; nay, it was

for the most bloody fight ever fought, September 20,

1863. There were a few short hours' rest left after

the hardships of the first day's battle, and during this

last war council of the commanders, the soldiers rested

on their arms, awaiting the break of day to renew their

deadly conflict.

"When the first rays of light colored the firmament

in the East with a bright reddish hue, Gen. Garfield

ordered the general staff officers to mount for the

inspection of our lines. Major-General Rosecrans led
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 74)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 74)

Description

[page 74]

[corresponds to page 70 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

the cavalcade. It was one of those quiet, peaceful

Sunday mornings enjoyed only in the country or the

woods. There was no noise. Speaking was done in

a whisper."

Capt. Wm. C. Margedant, formerly Topographical

Engineer on General Rosecrans' staff, contributed a

very interesting series of letters to the Hamilton, O.,

'News,' from which we quote the following remin-

iscences:

HIS INSPECTION.

The manner of his inspection at once engendered

a cordiality toward him which promised happy re-

sults. The soldiers were satisfied that their comman-

der took an interest in their welfare - a moralizing,

agency which no capable general of volunteers can

safely neglect. He examined the equipments of the

men with exacting scrutiny. No trifling minutiae es-

caped him. Everything to which a soldier was en-

titled was important. A private without a canteen

instantly evoked a volley of searching inquiries.

"Where is your canteen?" "How did you lose it?"

when? where?" "Why don't you get another?" To

others, "You need shoes and you a knapsack." Sol-

diers thus addressed were apt to frankly reply, some-

times a whole company was laughing at the novelty

of this keen inquisition.

"Can't get shoes," said one; "required a canteen and

could not get it," rejoined another. "Why?" quoth

the general. "Go to your captain and demand what

you need. Go to him every day until you get it.

Bore him for it. Bore him in his quarters. Bore
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 75)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 75)

Description

[page 75]

[corresponds to page 71 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

him at meal-times. Bore him in bed. Bore him: bore

him: bore him. Don't let him rest." And to the

captains. "You bore your colonels; let the colonels

bore the brigadiers; brigadiers bore their division

generals; division generals bore their corps com-

manders, and them bore me. I'll see, then, if you

don't get what you want. Bore, bore, bore, until

you get everything you are entitled to: and so on

through an entire division." "That's the talk, boys,"

quoth a brawny fellow. "He'll do,,' said another; and

the soldiers returned to their camp-fires and talked

about "Rosy" just as those in Mississippi had talked

who knew and loved him.

THE "JACKASS BATTERY."

Early in the campaign of West Virginia after the

battle of Rich Mountain and the engagements of

Philippi and Beverly, General Rosecrans conceived

the plan of forming, what is now called, his famous

"Jackass Battery." In taking up the march through

the mountains they were almost daily compelled to

face the enemy. The advancing column had to fight

its way through the mountains, fight for the posses-

ion of the woods, clear the valleys and sweep the hills.

They moved forward under the greatest difficulties,

and General Rosecrans designed a unique battery con-

sisting of several hundred mules each carrying a cer-

tain part of the cannons. The latter were very short,

but had a very wide bore; the first mule carried the

wheels, the second the lafette, the next the gun, and

so on. The mountain roads were very narrow, often
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 76)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 76)

Description

[page 76]

[corresponds to page 72 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

only affording room for two mules. Whenever the

army made a stop the "Mountain Howitzers" or

"Jackass Battery" was brought forward and the can-

non quickly put together and the firing could begin.

The confederates could not stand these shells and al-

ways gave the right of way.

This "Jackass Battery" of General Rosecrans proved

so effective that it was adopted through all the moun-

tain regions. The English always on the alert for

advantages, copied our custom and introduced it into

their army. They mounted the gun on the mule,

loaded the gun while it was on the mule, having for-

gotten to note that the Americans placed the gun in

proper position. They lighted the fuse of the loaded

cannon, and the mule being frightened at the hissing

sound suddenly wheeled around until the cannon

faced the officers and the charge went off. History

does not relate what became of the mule.

THE WHEELING STOGIE.

General Rosecrans was very fond of smoking cigars,

but he was not particular of what weed the cigar was

made. His favorite cigar was a Wheeling stoggie, a

slim, irregular twist of tobacco, which would never

get dry, and twisted around the finger. At that time

this brand of cigars would sell for thirty-five cents a

hundred. The general smoked these cigars, which

were actually not of Havana aroma, when he rode at

the head of the army through the mountain regions

of West Virginia.

The staff officers always tried to keep on the wind

side of the general, so as to give the rising smoke,
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 77)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 77)

Description

[page 77]

[corresponds to page 73 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

which sometimes came in big puffs, all possible space

for departure. It cannot be claimed that the general

kept all of his treasure to himself. Cigars were at

that time, in the mountains of Virginia, considered

quite as much a boon as a white paper shirt collar

was. On the contrary, whenever an officer rode to

the front to make a report or to receive an order, the

general would sink his hands into his well-filled pock-

ets and taking therefrom a cigar he would address

the officer as follows: "Have a cigar, sir."

I remember that on a certain day, one of the rough

and ready colonels of a regiment, whose name I have

forgotten, rode up on the windy side of the general.

As usual the first thing the general said, "colonel,

have a cigar?"

The colonel rose to his full height in his saddle and

sternly looking at the general said: "General, you are

my superior officer, but d--n your cigars," and rode

away. The general and his staff officer looked upon

this as quite a joke, and it was not long before this

anecdote was related to and by every man in the

ranks.

THE GENERAL AND THE CAPTAIN.

When General Rosecrans rode out to review the

troops, there was usually something of a pleasant as

well as instructive character going on. Upon his ap-

pearance the welkin usually rang with the hearty

cheers of the troops. When dressed in line the gen-

eral occasionally passed along the front, scanning each

man closely, noticing in an instant anything out of

place in his dress. He always kept a sharp lookout
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 78)

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 78)

Description

[page 78]

[corresponds to page 74 of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]

for his officers, holding them accountable for the con-

duct of the men. At one review he gave a forcible

illustration of his ideas on the subject. He noticed a

private whose knapsack was very much awry, and

drew him from the ranks, calling at the same time

for his captain, who at once approached. "Captain,

I am sorry to see you don't know how to strap a

knapsack on a soldier's back." "But I didn't do it,

general." "Oh, you didn't? Well, hereafter you had

better do it yourself, or see that it is done correctly by

the private. I have nothing more to say to him. I

shall hold you responsible sir, for the appearance of

your men." "But I can't make them attend to these

matters," said the officer. "Then if you can't you

had better leave the service."

Upon another occasion, General Rosecrans noticed

a private without a canteen, but otherwise quite neatly

arrayed. "Ah, here's a good soldier; all right, first

rate, with one little exception. Good cloth and good

arms; he marches and he drills and fights and eats.

But he don't drink. That's queer; and I fear he won't

hold out a pinch. March all day in the heat and

dust, yet don't want to drink water. Rather afraid

of a break-down here. Better have the canteens,

boys, and well-filled, too." And he passed on, leav-

ing a lesson and a smile.

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 79)

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Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 79)

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[page 79]

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CHAPTER VIII.

CONCLUSION.

The great old hero is dead, - the last of Ohio's

grand quartet, Grant and Sherman, Sheridan

and Rosecrans. As soldier, statesman and

citizen, in whatever light he be regarded, the

nobility of his character stands out, worthy of all

praise and honor. Faith and justice, love of God and

country were his ideals and he lived up to them to

the last.

"Glory, not grief, our theme to-day!

The record of his life to sing

Who brought to clothe our common clay

The royal mantle of a king."

The deeds of the hero of Rich Hill, Carnifex Ferry,

Iuka, Corinth, Stone River and Chickamauga will

always brighten the pages of our country's history;

and his life will ever stand forth in that same history

as a bright, shining example of a loyal Catholic, whose

eminence in the affairs of the nation did not lessen

his faith, and whose faith did but increase and glorify

his patriotism. Peace to his ashes, and gentle, eternal

rest to his great soul!
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 80)

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Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 80)

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Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 81)

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Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 82)

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[page 82]

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[page 84]

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hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 85)

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Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 85)

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[page 85]

[corresponds to inside back cover of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]
Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 86)

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Major-General William Stark Rosecrans (p. 86)

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[page 86]

[corresponds to back cover of Major-General William Stark Rosecrans:
hero of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland]


Published by

The Columbian Printing Company

62 East Spring Street,

Columbus, O.

Dublin Core

Title

Major-General William Stark Rosecrans. Hero Of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland

Subject

Generals--United States--Biography
Kingston Township--Ohio--Delaware County--Generals--Military
Rosecrans, William Stark--1819-1898
Sunbury--Ohio--Generals--Military
United States--Army--Biography

Description

This book is a memorial to General William Stark Rosecrans (1819-1898). General Rosecrans was born in Kingston Township, Delaware County, OH. The biography includes information about Rosecrans' military career, the Battle of Chickamauga, and personal details about his life that focus on his conversion to Catholicism. Many personal references to the General's character are likewise included.

Creator

L. W. Mulhane

Publisher

Columbian Printing Company

Date

1898

Rights

http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/NoC-US/1.0/

Format

Book

Language

English

Type

Still Image
Text

Identifier

31206527

Collection

Citation

L. W. Mulhane, “Major-General William Stark Rosecrans. Hero Of Iuka, Corinth and Stone River, and Father of the Army of the Cumberland,” Delaware County Memory, accessed October 19, 2021, http://delawarecountymemory.org/items/show/15.

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