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Found 1 result

  1. First Bowtie?

    A few days after the Battle of Shiloh, U.S. Grant notified recently-arrived Henry Halleck of intelligence from a "trusted source" IRT Rebel plans to cross the Tennessee River at Florence, march north, and attack Savannah. Grant proposed an expedition to cripple the bridge at Florence; and if possible, destroy the Bear Creek Bridge of the M&C R.R. east of Iuka. Halleck approved the operation, and on the evening of April 12th General Sherman led a brigade of infantry and 100 cavalrymen aboard two transports; and in company with timberclads Tyler and Lexington proceeded up the Tennessee River... but the bar at Chickasaw Bluff halted the progress of the expedition. Sherman landed his force at Chickasaw Landing at 7 next morning and rushed south. Drove away the Rebels guarding Bear Creek Bridge. Tore up the rails for five hundred feet west of the bridge. Burned the bridge. Then melted the collected-up railroad iron over a raging bonfire... Satisfied, and with few casualties, Sherman ordered his force back aboard the transports and returned to Pittsburg Landing evening of April 13th. Next day, he made his report to Grant (via Rawlins) [Papers of US Grant volume 5 pages 41-43]. Sherman had finally cut that railroad line (although General Ormsby Mitchel had beaten him by two days, cutting the M&C R.R. at Huntsville.) And the two rumored Confederate gunboats were still lurking somewhere upriver from Chickasaw. So the only real significance of the Expedition: Sherman bent up his first of many irreplaceable Confederate rails. (Over 90% of rails used by the Confederacy were imported from England.) Ozzy From Harper's Weekly of 1864, one of the more elaborate designs...
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