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center, crossing the Marietta road, and Osterhaus, upon the left, connecting with General Dodge, of the 16th Corps. (Excuse these details, I thought they might be interesting to some of you.)
Although the battle of Dallas may be said to have begun on the 26th, continuing during the 27th with heavy skirmishing and artillery firing all day, yet it was not until the 28th that the matter in dispute between the two armies was hotly contested and definitely settled.
From early morning of that day until 3:30 P. M., there was heavy skirmishing so as sometimes to be very like a battle. At that hour the rebels in column of regiments made a determined assault upon Harrow's division, which for unavoidable reasons was the weakest part of our line. They came on with the usual rush and that same famous “rebel yell.” The men of the Army of Tennessee had heard that yell so many times that they had come to regard it quite as much the despairing shriek of a forlorn hope as the exultant shout of anticipated victory. In their frantic rush, they came up to within eighty yards of our line, many of them nearer; the fight. ing was close and deadly, Logan says, and especially so in front of Walcutt's brigade. Line after line of the enemy came forward and was sent back a broken and disordered fragment. Walcutt stood amid a storm of bullets on the top of the breast works, animating and inspiring his men I am glad that he did not then present so broad a target as he would to-day, or we might have been denied the gratification of his presence with us to-night. The 1st lowa battery, in position somewhat forward of the main line, was at one time within the rebel line, but never in their possession.
The affair was short, sharp, brilliant, and the principal assault lasted but a half hour. It was followed by a feebler attempt against M. L. Smith's line, and a still feebler one against Osterhaus. It came upon us as suddenly as a furious summer thunder-storm from the west, and we heard the deep mutterings of its thunder as it passed away exhausted to the east,
Thus began, continued and ended the battle of Dallas, where Hardee's entire corps, twenty-five thousand men, under the belief that the right of the army had been weakened to strengthen the left, was dashed in mass like an avalanche against a single line of our troops, and like an avalanche was dashed into pieces against an immovable obstacle.
But who can describe a battle, the sublimest spectacle ever presented to human sight. The colors which the painter puts upon his canvas are but dead things, and the living words of the most impassioned eloquence seem but tame things with which to picture the frantic rush of an assault, the heroic steadfastness of the defense, the frightful fury of shot and shell, the rattle of musketry and the whiz of its leaden hail, the tense muscle, firmly set jaw, the distended nostril, the unflinching eyes that look death in the face and defy him, the havoc, the ruin, the blood of gaping wounds, the stony stare of death, the dejected silence of the defeated, the ringing cheer of the victors.
The battle of Dallas was not a great battle, such as Antietam, or Gettysburg, or Shiloh, or Chickamauga. There was no grand strategy, no brilliant tactics, but a good square stand up and set to, and the best men won. Johnston says it was a trifling affair. Was Johnston
Was Johnston so great a man that a disastrous failure of an attempt, with the loss of more than two thousand men, was to him a trifling affair? But it seems that in the written history of the war from a rebel point of view, their defeats were generally trifling affairs and their victories indescribably grand; and I have seen that, on paper at least, they often snatched victory from defeat. But it was not a trivial affair to him and his cause.
It was al link in that great chain of events, that coiling about it with ever tightening grasp, choked the life out of the hideous serpent that would have stung our liberty.
Nor was it a trivial affair to us and our cause. It is true that our loss was but thirty killed and three hundred wounded. But the loss of one patriot's life is an irreparable loss; and yet we know that such sacrifices found favor in the sight of God, for it was through such that he brought it about in his own good time, that this country of ours should be the land within whose shores there could rightly stand a “Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World." And let us hope too that he will continue henceforth to direct us in the paths of peace; but if war shall come, that he will again lead us to victory, and so guide us in all things that the states of this Union shall ever form one country having one glorious flag and one common destiny.
FOURTH TOAST.—“ Kenesaw."
“Then Kenesaw dark in its glory,
Response by Colonel G. D. MUNSON,
If the Kenesaw mountain had been specially created to bar an enemy's approach from the North to the “Gate City” of the South, it could not have been better planned or placed. Its wooded sides furrowed by deep ravines, its rugged slopes, its inaccessible cliffs, make it a natural barrier boldly blocking the way. Occupied and fortified by the Confederate General, Joe. Johnston, his lines contracted, forces concentrated, the mountain became a bristling fortress and seemed impregnable. With his sixty thousand infantry and one hundred pieces of artillery skillfully posted behind breastworks and in forts carefully constructed by trained engineers for the purpose of cross firing; with the Aashings and entanglements of felled forest trees, the abatis in front, and with the clear view from the summit of every movement of approach, Johnston felt secure from successful assault. His men, steady and determined, believing themselves at last masters of the situation, serried ranks secure in intrenchments, cannon ready, gunners at post, stern and undaunted awaited Sherman's coming. Johnston invited attack, confident, in his lair, of victory.
Sherman, already crowding him closely, at 9 in the morning assaulted. The earth shook, as cannon sent shot and shell shrieking and hissing and roaring against the Kenesaw stronghold.
At that signal heavy lines of skirmishers leaped from their rifle pits and ran forward, while the devoted storming party of fifteen thousand men-six thousand from the Tennessee army, nine thousand from the Cumberland-moved from their position in the line to carry, if mortal men could carry, the fortifications in their front, and thus break the enemy's center.
Severe and continuous the cannonading; its like had not before been heard in that army; it drowned the sound of musketry all along the line, and onward pressed the charging columns.
** Firm of step, though pale of face,
We think and talk of death, but ever since that bloody day 'tis vain to claim that mankind fear to die, and cower and tremble at the thought. I say not so; and point to Kenesaw—those thousands bravely storming the very gates of certain death; rushing through its yawning portals in solid phalanx, willing, obeying orders; willing, submitting to discipline cheerfully borne for love of country.
So died our men at Kenesaw. The two hours' struggle ended and the attack failed. Three thousand Union soldiers lay dead and dying on that ghastly mountain side. We drink our toast to them, the bravest of the brave.
the art of war.
Response by Lieutenant-Colonel D. H. MOORE.
The most careless student of history of mankind cannot fail to note that the beginnings of the distribution of populations have been the driftings of the people with the great river courses, along whose banks history began – on the rivers of the ancients, the Ganges and the Nile — and history has come down to us along the river courses. There have been the Tiber and the Rhine: there have been the exploits that historians have never wearied of describing right on the Thames. And in our own time the rivers of America have given us the proudest examples of valor — the Delaware, the Chesapeake, the Potomac, the Ohio, the Mississippi, the Cumberland, and all the rivers that have been in lesser or greater measure the cause of conquered armies, or been instrumental in their complete and final victory.
If an insignificant creek running before the field of Resaca could break the advance of the charging columns so that with difficulty it could be crossed, you can understand what formidable obstacles a river, unfordable and impassable, presented to the march of Sherman's army towards the Gate City of the South. General Cox, in his masterful description of the campaign, says that before this event occurred, General Sherman anticipated the possibility that Johnston would intrench himself behind Chattahoochie; and if that master-mind, that chief of the art of war, found difficulty at Chattahoochie, well may he, in his general orders, after that river had been crossed, after those obstacles had been overcome and the victory won, say to the army that accomplished those valorous achievements, that the crossing of the Chattahoochie will be studied in the future as an example of the arts of war. [Applause.]
In those halcyon days I belonged to Charlie Harker's brigade, and when his valor made him second in command of that division, I had the honor to take command of the “Ohio Tigers" myself.
In those halcyon days the badge of the 4th Corps was a triangle, but there was another badge, dearer to the heart of every man who kept step to the tune of the music of the Union in that great corps, and that was an empty sleeve—the empty sleeve of our brave Howard. [Applause.)
I remember well when our division was ordered to the left to reinforce General Dodge, and we tried that “easiest ford,” as Hood calls it of the Chattahoochie, up by those Howell's Mills, at Howell, that floated the French flag and tried to cheat us out of a bon-fire. Waist deep, and sometimes to the arm-pits, over those rocks we plunged and stumbled until we made our way across.
We had a chaplain, our regiment had. There was no opportunity for him to pray, no opportunity for him to preach, and mindful of the command that the babes were to be fed on the sincere milk of the word, he sought a material substitute therefor, and leading the headquarter darkies of our brigade, he made a grand coup-demain, and scooped in an old cow. (Laughter.] Oh, what a cow was that! What a land was that that flowed with milk and honey! And how we loved that cow! How we fed that cow with hard-tack and the swinish appendage thereunto affixed by the rules of the army, until she died of vexation of spirit and an acute attack of indigestion. [Laughter.]
Now, General Sherman made a great mistake in the plan of that campaign for the reduction of Atlanta, and he acknowledged it, honest man that he is, to Colonel Dawes, whom we all honor as the living representative of the Loyal Legion [applause, and of the Army of the Tennessee. [Applause.]
Colonel Dawes, since the war, asked General Sherman if it wasn't rather singular that there at Kingston he should have swung the army off by the way of Dallas and Van Wert, stripped for battle and wagon trains loaded with rations for twenty days. “Yes," said General Sherman, “I made the great mistake of my military