Archive for December, 2013

Ross Brigade, December 1862 and Today

On this day in December 1862, the Whitfield Brigade had just received their horses back from Texas. The 9th was still in the line acting as an Infantry regiment. The 6th had received their horses first and were quickly becoming Cavalrymen again. They had already been in a small skirmish and were ready for anything.

Lieutenant Colonel Griffith of the 6th was the Acting Brigade Commander. Colonel Whitfield had been wounded at Iuka, Colonel Ross had gone to Texas on leave to recoup from his having horses shot from beneath him at Corinth and to rest from his malaria. Griffith had been a militia commander in Texas and was seasoned compared to the other 4 regimental acting commanders. When General Pemberton asked for targets or operations that might help his command, Griffith came up with an idea of severing the supply lines of Grant, thus greatly slowing his progress in Mississippi. He talked this plan over with his fellow regimental commanders and sent his plan, indorsed by the regimental commanders of the new Texas Cavalry Brigade, to Pemberton at Vicksburg.

Winter in Mississippi can be very cold one day and very warm the next. When I was there two years ago, it was hot at Jackson. I was in my wool Cavalry uniform and went to mark the grave of Lieutenant Colonel Henry W. Bridges, who had been the Company Commander of my Great Grandfather. I was sweating in the wool. It is normally humid and is not the best place for troops to winter but it is better than many areas of the North, but the troops were in good spirit and ready for a good battle. They were brushing up on cavalry tactics and replenishing their supplies and gear for the up coming winter and any battle that might occur. That the senior commanders were absent was not a problem, for the troops liked all of their seniors, as they had elected them.

General Pemberton saw merit in Griffith’s plan and added some marks of his own. He asked that Colonel Forrest conduct a similar operation in north west Tennessee at the same time. The timing was for the last two weeks in December. The call went out on the 14th of December for the Regiments to meet at General Van Dorn’s headquarters. Thus on the 15th a corps of three brigades left Granada on a raid. On the morning of the 20th the corps destroyed the depot at Holly Springs, capturing over 1000 troops and over a million dollars in arms and supplies. The troops left well provisioned and in good spirits. The next day they attacked a fort at Davis Mills, without success. They moved on and managed to win some small battles and destroyed several miles of railroad and bridges and equipment. They arrived back in Jackson on December 29th, 1862.

The two raids combined cause General Grant to regroup and start over in his assault on Mississippi. With a great loss in materials and supplies, the Union Army was forced to forage off the land. This cause great hardship on the people of Tennessee and Mississippi. The Union troops left the people with nothing in the middle of winter, and often burnt the homes in which they lived. The only solace, is the Union Army of Mississippi also suffered. They were short of rations and supplies. To some degree they were in the same condition as the southern troops. The raids probably caused the war to be 6 to 8 months longer. We know that Grant did not capture Vicksburg until July 1863, while his plans were for a winter 1862 capture.

Though the members of The Texas Cavalry Brigade, were well provisioned after the raid, they soon left Mississippi during a period of heavy rain and moved several hundred miles into Middle Tennessee. By March they were operating near Spring Hill Tennessee.

Because the South lost the War, the Holly Springs raid is down played by the Union. It receives little praise for it success and that it delayed the War’s end. The wars in Europe lauded the success of Napolian but really like his Waterloo. Why is the War in America any different. The difference, lies in the cause. The Union says the War was fought over slavery. We in the South fought to protect our new nation from Northern aggression. The South had other reasons for fighting such as the high taxes and the rights of the individual states, but the invasion of the South by Northern troops was the biggest call to arms. Linclon’s reason for fighting the war, was to keep the Union intact. He knew that his power lay in the number of states in the Union. To have it decreased by thirteen or more states, would have been a blow to his presidency. He had never expressed any support of the end of slavery. Only when it became a tool of war, to impact the Southern states did he use it. Even then he did not include the freedom to Union controlled areas and states.

Here is where history is being rewritten to give it a different slant than it had in 1861. Only the Abolitionist desired to end slavery in 8161. They did not believe that blacks were equal, only that they deserved freedom. The ideas expressed today and those of 1861 are vastly different. The manner that blacks demand an extort with terms like racist, and extreme terminology are extreme today, but in 1861 it would have cause their death. It is a sad state that we have come to. When one race can extort another, we have only come full circle, and the other race is now in slavery. The black leaders will get a group of preachers and legislatures and a group of agitators, and force their way. They will yell down other groups and the newspapers will support them. Thus freedom is gone. It has died a new death, for America will never return to the greatness it once had. Even the definition of that greatness is gone.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans has now become the Great Grandsons and Great Great, but we are still committed to the charge given by Stephen Dill Lee at one of the Reunions at the end of the 19 Century. He asked that we maintain watch over the Southern Way and help to remember the sacrifice of the Southern Cause. It was his desire that we remember. For some in the North, they want to reeducate the Southerner to believe that we were wrong, and that everything we believed was wrong. The fact that the Constitution supported the Southern cause makes no difference. The fact that we were both Americans, by definition, is not relevant. Because the North wore down the Southern Army, had more men, had more materials, the South has to believe everything that the North does. General Lee said had he known of reconstruction, he would not have surrendered. Many of the South still fight on, but many others have been beat down by political correctness and green propaganda. It is easier to join them than to fight them. To some degree the same is true of Obamacare. Even though we know that it is no good, many of us still will join in the program and support it. This healthcare act is the most socialist oriented act ever enacted in America and greatly taxes the people and redistributes the wealth of the nation.

The attack on the South continues, but the attack on America is now at its zenith. We do not know the true nature of this attack nor who the real leader is. Many say it is George Soros, but we do not really know. At every point, we see the American way being destroyed. The Constitution is being dismantled before our eyes. Our very way of life is being taken away from us, and few really care. They have been charmed by the government with its free gifts of money and things, without being required to work. We are watching the end of our great Nation, and we do nothing, but send emails and write blogs. Some Text or socialize but direct action is from few. Even the Tea Party can not get all of its members to really react and try to stop the destruction.

It is sad that the destruction of the South was the start of the destruction of America.

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