| American History Stories, Volume IV|
|by Mara L. Pratt|
|Stories of the great conflict from the time Lincoln became president and the southern states seceded, through the battles of Bull Run, Shiloh, Antietam, Vicksburg, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, until the close of the war. Includes poems, songs, and illustrations commemorating the events. Ages 8-12 |
AFFAIRS IN THE WEST
While all these defeats and losses were going on, out in
the far West our soldiers were winning laurels for themselves.
 Gen. Bragg, a Confederate officer, had cut round behind
a part of our army, and had got his forces well into
Kentucky. For six weeks this army marched about from
place to place, destroying everything and pretty nearly
everybody that came in its way.
At last he began collecting his forces with a view to
swooping down upon St. Louis. The people of this city
were frightened indeed. A panic would surely have followed
but for Gen. Lew Wallace. He at once took charge
of everything; called for troops, built defences, and,
indeed, so quickly did he work, that by the time one of
Bragg's divisions reached there, everything was ready for
them. The advancing general saw they were ready—indeed,
too ready, he thought; so when darkness fell, he
turned his troops and marched back to join Gen. Bragg.
I want you to remember this Gen. Lew Wallace; for you
are sure to hear of him by and by as you grow older, not so
much as a soldier, but as an author. Haven't you seen your
mamma or papa reading a book called "Ben Hur?" Or
haven't you heard them speak of it? It is a wonderful book,
and I fancy Gen. Lew Wallace and his beautiful story will be
remembered long after the bugles of this war are half forgotten.
Some day when you are older you will read "Ben Hur,"
and then you will remember that the writer of that
book was a general in this Civil War, about which you read
when you were little boys and girls.
 Bragg had all this time been loading himself with riches
in Kentucky. He had fitted out his army with shoes and
clothing, had filled his wagons with food, and had seized
the splendid Kentucky horses for his cavalry; more than
this, he had sent car-load after car-load of these things to
Gen. Buell went against Bragg, but, as usual, fortune
seemed to smile on the Confederate side. Gen. Rosecrans
then went against a division of Bragg's army. A terrible
battle, lasting all one day, took place at Corinth. During
the night the Union troops, with their contraband helpers,
threw up new defences and strengthened the old one. Early
the next morning, with a terrible yell, called in this war
the "rebel yell," the Confederates charged upon the Union ranks.
At first the Unionists fell back; but gathering themselves
up, they closed round the enemy. Now the field
was a scene of terrible slaughter. The Confederates fled,
the Unionists at their heels, pouring in their shot upon
them as they ran. At last the Unionists had won a victory.
Now Rosecrans was sent to take charge of the "Army of
the Cumberland," as this western army was called.
Bragg had settled down at a place called Murfreesboro',
and Jefferson Davis had come on to visit him. A grand,
good time Bragg and the men were having; giving parties,
 attending balls, and giving themselves up generally to a good time.
But all this time the wise Rosecrans was laying in a store
of provisions, and getting himself ready for a long fight if
An attack came. A terrible attack it was, too. A hot
battle; and much bravery was shown on both sides.
Up and down rode Rosecrans, crying, "We must win this
battle, boys!" no matter what he saw or what he heard.
For two long days this battle raged, and at last the Confederates
gave way, and in a few hours Bragg marched
away, bag and baggage, leaving the field to the Union soldiers.
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