DE ARAGON, Part 3 – The Battle of Belmont,

by Robert M. Webb on March 21, 2012 · 1 comment

Author’s note: This is the third installment of the series on Major Ramon T. de Aragon. Here, his regiment was part of the force that Leonidas Polk sent across the Mississippi river from the fortifications in Columbus, KY to meet the troops of U. S. Grant at Belmont. Mo.

 

The following is from the book DE ARAGON – The Chronicle of a Confederate Surgeon

 

The Battle of Belmont

     While encamped at New Madrid, Private De Aragon’s regiment was mustered into the service of the Confederate States of America as the 13th Tennessee Infantry Regiment. On August 8, Colonel McCown moved the brigade in the direction of Benton, Missouri. Vaughan later wrote of the trip:

     “Though in the middle of summer during severe drought, under a burning sun, and over roads shoe deep in sand and dust, it was cheerfully performed, and showed an endurance and fortitude rarely witnessed in new troops.”

     The supply train in route to the troops at Benton was somehow delayed and the men had to live off a very dull ration of roasting ears and fresh meat without salt. After a brief period, their mission being accomplished, the brigade was ordered back to New Madrid, arriving on September 2, 1861.

     John C. Fremont, the famous frontiersman, was Major General Polk’s Union counterpart in St. Louis. He was obsessed to the point of paranoia with the idea that Confederate leaders Polk, Price, and a guerrilla fighter named Jeff M. Thompson were working in concert to make his life miserable. Thompson and his band of Missouri Partisans were roaming the great swamp area that extended from Cape Girardeau, Missouri to Northern Arkansas, conducting raids with a “frequency embarrassing to the Union army and demoralizing to Union sympathizers.”

     The key to Fremont’s strategy was to cut communications between Polk and Price. Occupying an obscure riverboat landing at Belmont, Missouri would accomplish that. On August 28, Fremont gave command of the “District of Southeast Missouri” to the then unknown Brigadier General Ulysses Simpson Grant. Grant was posted at Cairo, Illinois to organize a force to clear Missouri of Rebels and seize the town of Columbus, Kentucky that lay directly across the Mississippi River from Belmont.

     The state of Kentucky was trying desperately to maintain a neutral posture. At the same time both the Union and the Confederacy were actively recruiting there, while trying not to antagonize the population. In August 1861, the state held an election, which the secessionists chose to boycott, and a pro – Union legislature was elected. Shortly afterward, Union troops from Cairo demonstrated against Paducah, Kentucky. That sent the pro- Southerners of Western Kentucky into a panic and they began soliciting Polk for intervention.

     These events made up Polk’s mind and he finally agreed with Gideon Pillow who had, as early as May, been pushing to occupy Columbus. Polk sent Pillow’s Division, into Kentucky on September 3, 1861. The 13th Tennessee Infantry had been placed in Brigadier General Benjamin Cheatham’s Brigade and was a part of the invading force. They took Hickman, Kentucky that evening and witnessed their first combat of the war, which was a firefight between Confederate artillery on the shore and two Union gunboats that had come down the Mississippi. They occupied Columbus the next day. The 13th Tennessee Infantry was among the first units to arrive.

      Polk did not consult with Jefferson Davis or any other of his superiors before ordering the invasion. It had the unfortunate result of changing the attitude of the Kentucky legislature from neutral to violently pro – Union. The Confederate congress called for Polk to return to Tennessee, but President Davis vetoed the idea deeming it too late to repair the political damage and wanting to take advantage of the military gains made by Polk’s army. Grant sent Union forces into Paducah on September 6. Polk, at Pillow’s urging, sent Cheatham as far as Mayfield, Kentucky with intent of driving Grant out, but Confederate General Albert Sidney Johnston arrived to take overall command of the area and called off the move. The armies of both sides settled back where they were, with Grant in Cairo, Johnston with a force in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and Polk with his army in Columbus.

     Columbus, Kentucky was known as the “Gibraltar of the West.” It was a small town on the East bank of the Mississippi and had a population of one thousand at the most. What made it so valuable to the Confederate army were the “Chalk Bluffs” towering one-hundred fifty feet above the town and the neighboring “Iron Banks”, twin bluffs rising even higher, which faced upriver in the direction of Cairo.

      Polk set out to make it the most heavily fortified point in North America. On the Iron Banks he placed three tiers of artillery: the first fifteen feet above the water, the second halfway up the cliffs, and the third at the top in a string of earthen strongholds called “Bullpen Forts.” These forts were fifty to one-hundred yards square each protected by a ditch ten feet deep, eight wide and shaped in a crescent. Polk had one-hundred forty guns total, one being the biggest gun in the Confederacy: a one-hundred twenty-eight pounder Whitworth rifled gun known as the “Lady Polk”.  Just offshore and beneath the surface of the water, were placed “torpedoes”, or mines as they are called today. Stretching across the Mississippi on a string of barges, was the masterpiece of the Confederate effort – the “Great Chain”. It was made of links weighing nineteen pounds apiece and was secured on the Missouri shore by an anchor with seven foot arms. Its purpose was to stop enemy gunboats if they tried running past Columbus.

     The total number of troops at Columbus numbered seventeen thousand with sixteen thousand three hundred and seven present and fit for duty on October 31, 1861. Many were poorly dressed and were armed with weapons brought from home including shotguns and old flintlocks. They constituted twenty-one regiments, twelve of which were from Tennessee. Polk divided his army into four divisions:

                  Brigades Regiments Men

Pillow              3                9        6862

Cheatham       2                 4        3246

Bowen            2                 4        3165

McCown         2                 4        3034

 

     On November 2, John C. Fremont ordered Grant to demonstrate on both sides of the Mississippi River to keep the Confederates occupied. Grant dispersed most of his forces in several different directions. Then on November 5, Fremont received a report that the Confederates at Columbus were sending streams of troops across the river to reinforce Price. He immediately ordered Grant to demonstrate against Columbus and Grant moved with all the forces he had left at Cairo. A fleet of six steamers loaded with troops and two gunboats left Cairo on November 6. At 11 p. m. they tied up for the night on the Kentucky shore, eight miles downriver from the town and eleven miles North of Columbus. Grant received a message at 2:00 a. m. on November 7 that Confederate troops had crossed the river to Belmont with the intent of cutting off a Union Force under Colonel Richard Ogelsby. This column had been sent earlier by Grant in the direction of New Madrid. Grant decided to attack at Belmont.

     Confederate General Johnston was concerned about a possible Union advance from Paducah down the Tennessee or Cumberland Rivers, effectively splitting Polk and his army from Johnston’s force at Bowling Green. He ordered Pillow to bring his division, including the 13th Tennessee, to Clarksville, Tennessee, leaving on November 6. The required wagons were not available, so the orders were changed – the men were to cook one day’s ration and march to Clarksville on the 7th.

     Southern troops had indeed crossed the river to Belmont, but not to reinforce anyone. Polk had no intention of sending troops anywhere because he was unshakable in his belief that the main target of any Union attack would be his army at Columbus. He argued against the order to send Pillow’s division to Clarksville for that very reason. Colonel James C. Tappan and the 13th Arkansas Infantry  set up “Camp Johnston” at Belmont as Polk’s “camp of observation.”

     November 6, 1861 was an eventful day. As Grant was launching his invasion from Cairo, Major General Leonidas Polk sat in his headquarters at Columbus and wrote out his resignation from the Confederate Army. He had agreed to take command of the region only as long as it took  him to build the river defenses and for Jefferson Davis to appoint a suitable replacement. He considered his commitment to his old friend Davis fulfilled. The mighty fortress at Columbus was complete and General Albert Sidney Johnston had arrived to take over. On that same day Jefferson Davis was formally elected President of the Confederate States of America.

     At 8:00 a. m. on the morning of November 7, Grant landed his troops on the Missouri shore about a mile upriver from Belmont. He sent the two gunboats downriver to create a diversion, then organized his troops, placing five companies under Captain John E. Detrich of Company I, 22nd Illinois Infantry, as a reserve and a guard for the boats. The rest of the Union force then moved down the road that cut through the cornfields of Hunter’s farm in the direction of Belmont.

     Polk soon received intelligence that enemy forces were approaching on both sides of the river. The reason for this was the appearance of a second Union column under Brigadier General C. F. Smith who was to demonstrate against Columbus while the main attack proceeded on the other side of the river. Soon word came that a large force had disembarked from their  boats on the Missouri shore and were moving toward the camp the Confederates had constructed at Belmont.

     On the morning of November 7, Pillow’s Division had already risen and was in formation on the parade ground at Columbus to move out to Clarksville as ordered. As these troops were closest to the point being threatened, Pillow was ordered to move immediately to the relief of Colonel Tappan with four of his regiments. He detailed Colonel Russell’s, Colonel Picket’s, Colonel Freeman’s, and Colonel Wright’s regiments of Tennessee volunteers for the job. These regiments, along with Tappan’s 13th Arkansas, Beltzhoover’s Watson Battery of artillery, and a squadron of Lieutenant Colonel Miller’s Battalion of Cavalry made up the force deemed sufficient to resist the enemy column reported to have landed. Private De Aragon and the rest of the 13th Tennessee Infantry formed up on the parade ground in front of Pillow’s headquarters when the long roll was sounded at about 9:00 a. m. When it became known that a Union force was advancing on Camp Johnston, the men were reported to have been in high spirits and anxious to meet the enemy. The regiment boarded the steamer “Prince” and along with the other troops crossed to the Missouri shore.

     While the troops were crossing the river, Polk inspected the batteries of artillery on the Iron Banks and the disposition of the left, or southernmost, flank under the command of Brigadier General John P. McCown. Four long range guns, the “Louisiana Coupee Battery,” under Captain R. A. Stewart and the heavy siege battery under Captain S. D. H. Hamilton were aimed at the enemy’s gunboats when they first appeared on the river. These and other of the fort’s guns opened fire and drove them back after a half hour. The gunboats later returned and again retired after an hour’s firefight. Polk determined that the remainder of Pillow’s Division and that of Cheatham were in position on the Kentucky side and then returned to the riverbank.

     Pillow later reported that his regiments had been decimated by measles and “diseases incident to the Mississippi bottoms,” with each reduced to below five hundred men. He deployed his troops in line of battle about four hundred yards from the river, with Russell’s 12th Tennessee on the right. Extending in order to the left were Tappan’s 13th Arkansas, Freeman’s 22nd Tennessee, Picket’s 21st Tennessee, Beltzhoover’s Battery, and Wright’s 13th Tennessee. The 13th was placed on open ground “considerately elevated,” to guard the left flank and to provide a reserve force. They took position about 10:00 a. m. Pillow also ordered Colonel Wright to place a company on the road to their left that led down to the river. Wright passed this on to Lieutenant Colonel Vaughan who positioned the eighty men of Company “A,” under Captain Matthew Rhea, in that place. They were separated by half a mile from the rest of the regiment, making them the extreme left of the Confederate line. Pillow suspected he had placed the 13th too far to the left and instructed Wright to move the regiment up and to the right if the fighting continued there for a “considerable time.”

     At about 10:20 a. m. the enemy advance guard was heard firing on the Confederate pickets and forty minutes later the engagement became general with all arms. Vaughan later wrote of the beginning of the battle:

“Never was a regiment more anxious or more willing to face an enemy …this regiment met the advance with the steadiness of veterans and held its position and fought while comrades fell on every side…

     The enemy was in the woods eighty yards in front of the 13th, but they could not be seen as there was an abundance of heavy timber between the two lines. Company “C” took the first casualty when Private John P. Farrow went down. The first to fall in Company “G” were “Big Greasy” – Private James A. Mitchell and “Blind Tiger” – a man from Greenville, Texas named W. C. Limburger, who had asked to join the company.

     Early in the conflict, Wright’s mount was shot from under him and his knee was painfully injured in the fall. Vaughan took over command of the regiment. His horse also was shot from under him, but he mounted another that had been cut out of an artillery unit.

     When the general engagement began, Union Brigadier General John A. McClernand detached Colonel Napoleon Buford’s 27th Illinois Infantry and sent them off to the Union right down Bird’s Point Road with the intent of flanking the Confederate left. Before they reached the Confederate position, Captain James Dollins’ two companies of Union cavalry came out of the cornfield on their left and Dollins put himself at Buford’s disposal. This combined force moved down the road leading to the left in the direction of the battle and became engaged with Captain Rhea’s Tennesseans. These few men, greatly outnumbered, steadfastly held against the enemy for over an hour before being overrun. More than half the company was captured, the rest killed or wounded.

     The Confederate line valiantly stood and fought for an hour and a half, but then the infantry began running out of ammunition. Pillow ordered a bayonet charge and gallantly they stormed into the trees, only to be beaten back. For reasons unknown, the order to charge did not reach the Private De Aragon’s regiment and they did not go forward with the rest of the line. Pillow ordered a second and then a third charge, but with no success. He then ordered his force to retire to the river. The three assaults against the enemy line had greatly entangled the various units in all the regiments, and many men were wounded as they fell back to Camp Johnston.

     The Union troops now had to leave the shelter of the forest and attack to exploit the situation before the Southerners could regroup. They overran Camp Johnston as the Confederates fell back out of the North end and pursued them a few hundred yards up the North river road.

They then returned to the camp, raised their flag, and as a regimental band played began singing several patriotic songs which, interestingly enough, included “Dixie”. At that time, the Union officers lost control of their people and there began a general looting of the camp. Grant ordered the tents to be fired in order to restore order. It was later reported that the Confederate medical personnel had placed their wounded in those tents and that many were burned to death.

     When his troops started running low on ammunition, Pillow got off a message to Polk requesting additional cartridges and reinforcements consisting of one regiment of infantry and a section of artillery. Polk had been watching from the other side of the river – he immediately sent, along with more ammunition, Colonel Walker’s 2nd Tennessee Infantry Regiment and two batteries of artillery under Captain W. H. Jackson and Captain Marshall T. Polk. The large force of artillery was necessary because Beltzhoover’s Battery was out of ammunition and had been overrun.

     Pillow’s troops were now a disorganized mob milling around on the riverbank. Vaughan’s second horse was shot from under him and as he crossed over the twelve foot landing plank to one of the flatboats shouted at the enemy: “Shoot this from under me if you can!”

     The steamers carrying the reinforcements and supplies reached the Missouri shore, and the men of the 13th Tennessee Infantry obtained fresh ammunition and again prepared to face the enemy. In his report, Wright described what happened:

” … I was ordered by Col. J. Knox Walker, commanding the brigade, to fall in with my command on the left of the Second Tennessee Regiment and proceed to charge the enemy. This was done most promptly, and in a short time we found ourselves in the presence of the enemy, who were moving to the right. We formed line rapidly, and poured a most destructive fire upon them, my men shouting and huzzaing as they rushed on to the charge.”

     So Walker’s 2nd Tennessee Infantry, made up mostly of Irishmen from the Memphis area, along with remnants of the Private De Aragon’s regiment and the 21st Tennessee Infantry counterattacked the Federals at the North end of the camp. They were repulsed by enemy artillery that had been brought forward. All firing ceased about 2:00 p. m.

     Polk, still of the opinion that the main attack was to come on the Kentucky side of the river, now reluctantly committed a significant number of troops to the conflict on the opposite shore. Colonel Charles M. Carroll’s 15th Tennessee Infantry, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Robert C. Tyler, and Colonel Samuel F. Marks’ 11th Louisiana Infantry had been in position behind Polk as a reserve force. Polk sent them across the river with instructions to land upriver for a flanking attack. Pillow met them when they landed and, adding the 12th Tennessee Infantry in support, accompanied the force as they moved up the riverbank out of sight of the Federals.

     Polk then ordered Cheatham across to rally and take command of the disorganized forces visible on the riverbank at Belmont. Cheatham was then to move in support of Marks’ flanking movement. He went over ahead of his men and organized a force of one thousand to fifteen hundred men, with the remnants of the 13th Tennessee in line of battle behind the 13th Arkansas.      As all the Southern troops had been driven out of Camp Johnston, there was nothing to hold back the massed artillery on the Iron Banks. Smith’s Battery and the heavy guns under Major Alexander P. Stewart opened up at Polk’s command. He stated in his report:

     “This joint fire was so terrific as to dislodge the enemy, silence his battery, and cause him to take up his line of march for his boats.”

 

The Union troops formed up and marched back across the battlefield the way they had come, and disappeared into the woods. Grant looked in the direction of the river and the sight that met his eyes was the smokestacks of the two transports carrying the Confederate reinforcements. He gave the order to move out to Hunter’s farm and the boats.

     Satisfied by now that the expected attack on Columbus from the East had somehow failed, Polk crossed the river with Cheatham’s Brigade and Captain White’s Company of Lieutenant Colonel Logwood’s Battalion of Cavalry. He ordered two regiments of McCown’s Division to follow. Upon landing, Polk was met by Pillow and Cheatham, whom he directed to take a regiment of his command along with the force he had reorganized, and “press the enemy to his boats.”

     Going back through the woods, the Federal column was hit on the right flank by Mark’s troops. This came as a complete surprise as Grant had discounted the Confederate’s ability to regroup. Cheatham’s group, of which the 13th was a part, had by now come up and Cheatham ordered a bayonet charge against the 7th Iowa. As the enemy retreated under this new attack, the 13th outflanked them and, from the cover of trees, shot at them as they ran by. Now trapped by Mark’s troops in their front, McClernand ordered Union Colonel John A. Logan to bring up artillery and open fire. Logan had Captain Ezra Taylor’s Chicago Light Battery blow a hole in the Confederate line. The 11th Louisiana and the 15th Tennessee swung apart like a double door and the Federals came through four abreast and at the double quick headed for their boats.

     The Confederate force, led by Polk, Pillow, and Cheatham followed the retreating forces and the ground over which they traveled was strewn with the dead and wounded. They came upon the Federal hospital where they found a yard full of arms, ammunition, knapsacks, blankets, overcoats, mess chests, horses, and wagons. They pursued the enemy to their boats where Polk ordered the column, led by the 154th Senior Tennessee Infantry, to deploy along the riverbank in easy range of the boats. This line, made up of the 154th Senior Tennessee, 1st Mississippi, and fragments of all the other regiments, extended for more than a mile. They opened a devastating fire, which was described by Pillow:

     “…a fire so hot and destructive that the troops … rushed to the opposite side of the boats and had to be forced back by the bayonet to prevent capsizing.”

The Federals quickly cut loose their boats and departed in the direction of Cairo. Polk, being left in possession of the field, ordered his troops to retire.

     When dawn came on the following day, Private De Aragon and the rest of the medical personnel of both armies worked side by side on the battlefield under a flag of truce. The wounded were ferried across the river to the Confederate hospital in Columbus which was soon overwhelmed by the numbers. Surgeon R. W. Mitchell of the 13th Tennessee reported one hundred and one Federal wounded also treated there. Over four hundred Southern infantrymen were put to work as nurses in addition to the civilians who volunteered their services. After they received the most basic of emergency treatment, the Confederate wounded were moved by boat to Memphis. The Overton Hotel, Memphis City Hospital, and Sallie Law’s Southern Mother’s Home all housed injured soldiers.

     The losses in Private De Aragon’s regiment were heavy. Out of four hundred engaged, twenty eight were killed, seventy-five wounded, and forty-six were listed as missing. Vaughan wrote the following tribute:

     “Never did men display more heroic courage and deport themselves in a more soldier like manner … While impossible to refer to all acts of devotion and fidelity to the Southern cause, Lieutenant Matthew Rhea deserves special attention. As soon as the regiment took position in line of battle, in command of his company, he was sent to the extreme left of our line with instructions to extend his line to the river, which he did. By some means the enemy got between him and the regiment, thus cutting him off. Though surrounded he continued to fight and rather than surrender his sword, which had been worthily worn by his grandfather, he fell at the hands of the enemy.”

     Three civilians had convinced Colonel Wright to take them across with the 13th Tennessee to fight: H. H. Falls and Arch Houston of Texas, and Charles L. Roberts of Alabama. Houston was wounded in the face by a piece of an artillery shell and Roberts was killed. There were also thirty three servants with the regiment, a number of which got into the fight. One man risked his life by running into the open field when he saw his master fall.

     Other officers had praise for the regiment. In his report, Wright wrote:

     “I cannot speak in terms of praise too high were I to attempt to do justice to the gallant officers and men under my command. Though unused to war, and in their first engagement, they stood and received a fire from the enemy which might have made veterans quail, and did not abandon their position until their object was accomplished.”

Polk wrote in his report:

“The firmness with which Colonel J. V. Wright and his gallant regiment sustained themselves on the left flank of the first lines of battle, as elsewhere, merits strong commendation.”

 

     From President Jefferson Davis in Richmond, came this dispatch to Polk on November 11:

 

     “Accept for yourself and the officers and men under your command my sincere thanks for the glorious contribution you have just made to our common cause. Our countrymen must long remember gratefully to reward the activity, the skill, the courage, and devotion of the army at Belmont.”   

 

      Several times through the month of November, Grant met with Polk, along with  other officers of both sides, to exchange prisoners and discuss the conduct of the war. Both Grant and McClernand had sent messages to Washington, claiming a great victory at Belmont even though they had been driven from the field. The Southern leaders were not any less audacious in their version of the battle. In his preliminary report to Davis, Polk listed twenty-five hundred Confederate troops engaged to the Union’s eight thousand. In truth the two sides were almost evenly matched at the beginning of the battle at about thirty-five hundred each, with the Confederates gaining numerical superiority as they brought reinforcements into the action. In the same dispatch Polk reported that Ulysses S. Grant was dead on the field.

     On November 11, the “Lady Polk” blew up during a test firing. Major General Polk was standing close by at the time and the explosion left him badly shaken. He temporarily turned over command to Pillow, who immediately began a stream of dispatches exaggerating a perceived Federal buildup. The entire area as far away as Memphis was kept in an uproar until Polk returned to his duties in December. Pillow, once again subordinated in rank, resigned and returned to his home in Columbia, Tennessee.

     Shortly after the battle, measles broke out in Private De Aragon’s regiment and so many were ill that there were scarcely enough left to wait on the sick and many died. Colonel Wright was elected to the Confederate Congress by his constituents and Lieutenant Colonel Vaughan was unanimously elected Colonel in his place. Adjutant W. E. Morgan was elected Lieutenant Colonel and Lieutenant Richard M. Harwell of Company “E” was appointed Adjutant.

     There is some confusion about who made up the medical staff of the 13th Tennessee Infantry during the period leading up to the Battle of Belmont. Dr. J. A. Forbes was the regimental surgeon of the 13th Tennessee at its organization and Dr. B. F. Dickerson was the assistant surgeon. Dr. R. W. Mitchell was the Assistant Surgeon of the 15th Tennessee Infantry, but on October 1, 1861 was promoted to Surgeon and by seniority became Regimental Surgeon of the 13th Tennessee. There is no record of who held the position of Assistant Surgeon of the regiment on November 7, the day of the battle. What is known is that Dr Forbes was still with the regiment at the time of the battle as he was wounded in the arm, giving evidence that the surgeons placed themselves in harm’s way to attend the wounded. He later resigned and went to serve in the Army of Northern Virginia. Ramon De Aragon is listed in Vaughan’s postwar book as “Assistant Hospital Surgeon of the regiment”. This presents the possibility that he may have assumed the duties of Assistant Surgeon at that time.

     On January 16, 1861, something over a month after the Battle of Belmont, De Aragon wrote a letter to Major General Leonidas Polk requesting a leave of absence. What follows is the text of the letter as well as it could be read from the microfilm copy:

 

                                                                          “Columbus, Ky.

Jany. 16th, 1862

Maj. Gnal. Polk

              Sir:

I wish to submit for your consideration the circumstances which oblige me to call for a leave of absence for a few days.

I am a physician and a foreigner by birth and when I volunteered in the cause of the South I left my family and all my business neglected. I am a poor man, Sir, and live on my own resources. I have no relations in this country but my Lady and child and they look on me for the necessities of life.

This new year has let in and no kind of preparations have been made by me to keep them …

As long as I have been in this army I have made myself useful in every respect and not only my regiment but the wounded at Belmont will testify to that effect…

These then are my reasons to request a leave of absence.

                                            Respectfully

     R. T. De Aragon, M. D.

Ass, Med. Dep. 13th Reg. Tn.

     This document presents two points of interest. First, De Aragon signed his letter as something other than “Private”, once again implying that there was a change in status of some kind. Second, by addressing the letter directly to the highest ranking officer at Columbus, he in effect went over the heads of several of his superiors. This suggests either the possibility of a personal acquaintance with Polk or simply a lot of nerve.

     The 13th Tennessee Infantry, along with the rest of the Confederate troops under Polk stayed at Columbus until March when the fortunes of war required them to leave Kentucky.


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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

LetUsHavePeace March 21, 2012 at 11:25 am

Grant did not “claim great victory” at Belmont. His report asserts only that he had prevented his opponents from reinforcing Price and that the experience of battle itself had been a valuable lesson for the Union forces.
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