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1864 September 10: “The fall of Atlanta, the death of Morgan, and the renewed feeling of confidence everywhere experienced, is encouraging to all loyal citizens”

September 10, 2014

The following articles are from the September 10, 1864, issues of The Prescott Journal and The Polk County Press.

From The Prescott Journal:

Prescott Journal, 1864-09-10Sherman [William T. Sherman], and his magnificent army have reaped the rich harvest of their labor, and the Nation joyfully accords them its thanks and praise.  The enemy destroyed a large amount of supplies and ammunition and an immense quantity fell into our hands.  So falls another of the boasted stronghold of the Rebellion and the few remaining are tottering to their fall.

— The renowned rebel guerrilla chief, John Morgan [John Hunt Morgan],¹ has at last met his deserts.  His band was surprised in East Tennessee, thoroughly whipped, his staff captured, and himself killed.

— In the recent battles the rebels have lost Gens. Hardee [William J. Hardee], Palmer [Joseph B. Palmer], and Wheeler [Joseph Wheeler].  McPherson [Union General James B. McPherson] is avenged.

— The President has issued congratulatory orders, tending the National thanks to Gen. Sherman, Admiral Farragut [David. G. Farragut], and Gens. Canby [Edward Canby] and Granger [Gordon Granger], and the forces under them, for the splendid victories they have achieved.

— Gen. H. E. Paine [Halbert E. Paine] is the Union nominee for Congress in the 1st District of this State ;  Hon. I. C. Sloan in the second ;  and Col. Amassa [sic] Cobb in the third.

From The Polk County Press:

PCP, 1864-09-10

John Morgan the Horse Thief Killed !

General Summary.

— The news this week is glorious.  The fall of Atlanta, the death of Morgan, and the renewed feeling of confidence everywhere experienced, is encouraging to all loyal citizens.

— Gen. Grant [Ulysses S. Grant] says that 100,000 men is all he wants to finish up the rebellion.

— The New York “Herald” condemns the Chicago platform, and advises McClellan [George B. McClellen] to kick it overboard.

—An official dispatch says John Morgan,¹ the great horse-stealer, was supprised [sic], defeated and killed at Greenville [sic], Tenn., on the 4th inst.—This will be good news to the people of Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, and Indiana, which have suffered severely from his depredations.  He was a rough, illiterate fellow, and gained a great reputation on a very small basis.

— A dispatch from Richmond, speaks of the loss of Lieutenant Generals Hardee and Palmer.  From Sherman’s army there comes a report of the death of the rebel Gen. Wheeler.  If none of these generals come to life again, the rebels have suffered severely, and the gallant McPherson will have been well avenged.

— The New York “Commercial’s” Washington special says it will require several days to arrange the credits and quotas of the several States, and therefore the draft cannot take place immediately.

— The rebel ram Nashville was blown up by the Metacomet on the night of the 25th, just below Mobile.  She was 360 feet long and was to mount twelve guns.

— The Indian hostilities on the plains, still continue.  It is estimated that upwards of 2,000 emigrants have been murdered since the commencement of hostilities.

NEW YORK, Sept. 2.—The following is the concluding portion of Admiral Farragut’s official dispatch to the Navy Department :

The whole conduct of the officers of Fort Gaines and Morgan presents such a striking contrast in moral principles that I cannot fail to remark upon it.

Col. Anderson,² who commanded the former, finding himself in a  perfectly untenable position and encumbered with a superfluous number of conscripts, many of whom were boys, determined to surrender a fort which he could not defend, and in this determination was supported by all his officers save one, but from the moment he hoisted the white flag, scrupulously kept everything intact and in that condition delivered it over, whilst Paige [sic]³ and his officers with a childish spite destroyed the guns which they said they would defend, and threw away or broke those weapons which they had not the manliness to use against their enemies.

Fort Morgan never fired a gun after the commencement of the bombardment, and the advance pickets of our army were actually on its walls.

As before stated, the whole ceremony of surrender took place at 2 P. M., and that afternoon all the garrison were sent to New Orleans in the United States steamer Benville [sic: Bienville] where they arrived safely.

Respectfully your obedient servant,
.                                                                 .D. G. FARRAGUT

1.  Morgan was shot by Union cavalrymen while attempting to escape during a September 4, 1864, raid on Greeneville, Tennessee.
2.  Charles DeWitt Anderson (1827 or 29-1901) is noted for his controversial surrender of Fort Gaines. He was the first Texan appointed to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, but he struggled with the studies and resigned (1848) before graduating. Despite that, Anderson was directly commissioned into the U.S. Army as a 2nd lieutenant in 1856 and promoted to 1st lieutenant in 1859. He was serving in the Army in Utah Territory when the Civil War started and he decided to resign effective April 1, 1861. On March 16, 1861, he was appointed a 1st lieutenant in the regular Confederate Army in Artillery. His first assignment was at Fort Morgan, guarding the entrance to Mobile Bay, Alabama. On November 9 Anderson entered the volunteer service and was appointed a major in the 20th Alabama Infantry, which was stationed in Knoxville. In March 1862 he became the colonel of the 21st Alabama Infantry and the regiment became part of the defenses of Mobile, with Anderson commanding. By May 1864 Anderson was an acting brigadier general in the Confederate Army and Anderson was given command of Fort Gaines. When the Union began shelling Fort Gaines, despite receiving only moderate damage, Anderson’s men panicked and demanded he surrender. At first Anderson rejected the idea, but after three days of shelling and the realization that his command was about to mutiny he conceded defeat on August 8. His superior, Brig. Gen. Richard L. Page, criticized the surrender as a “deed of dishonor and disgrace.” Union Admiral Farragut, however, Farragut stated in his official report of the battle “that Anderson had put up a better fight than Page.”
3.  Richard Lucian Page (1807-1901) was a cousin of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1824 as a midshipman, was promoted to lieutenant in 1834, and to commander in 1855. During the Mexican War he served as the executive officer and commanding officer of Independence. He also served three tours of duty ashore as an ordnance officer and one tour as executive officer at the Norfolk Navy Yard. With the secession of Virginia, Page resigned from the U.S. Navy and joined the staff of Governor Letcher of Virginia. Commissioned Commander in the Confederate Navy in 1861, he served as ordnance officer at the Norfolk Navy Yard and at Charlotte, N.C. In 1864 he was commissioned a brigadier general in the Confederate Army and placed in charge of the outer defenses of Mobile Bay. Page was in command of the garrison that controlled Fort Morgan during the Union’s attack on Mobile Bay. On August 23, 1864, Page unconditionally surrendered the fort, because his troops had little usable gunpowder left. Indignant over having to surrender, he broke his sword over his knee instead of surrendering it. He was suspected of destroying munitions and works within the fort after he had agreed to surrender and once in Union hands he was arrested and imprisoned for the rest of the War.

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