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the appearance of a white flag from the fort, with a bag of letters, which the commander wished to be forwarded to their destination, evidently the messages which they thought might be the last they should send on earth.
Friday morning, the day that the victorious Farragut, with the Stars and Stripes flying in the breeze, was standing boldly on towards New Orleans, the first gun from Captain Morris' battery, echoed along the beach. As the sullen reverbera. tions died away, the inhabitants of Beaufort and Morehead flocked to the windows and balconies of their houses, to witness the fearful drama, whose closing scenes might leave many of their homes houses of mourning-for friends and relatives and sons and brothers were in the low structure far away, which was to be the target of our destructive batteries. Shot followed shot in quick succession, making the city shake on its sandy foundations, and soon after Flagler swelled the thunder from his battery of ten--inch mortars, and in quick succession, followed Lieutenant Prouty's eight-inch mortars, to the right and in advance, completing the horrible din.
The man swinging from the flag-staff of the fort, quickly descended from his perilous watch, and soon the hitherto silent fort began to belch forth flame. The roar of the ocean as it rolled its waves steadily to the shore, furnished the refrain to this mighty music. The Parrott shelis made destructive work, and whenever one smote the solid masonry: a cloud of black dust showed that it shivered whatever it struck. For over three hours shot and shell were rained from tho batteries, when at length the floating batteries got into position, and began to pour in an enfilading fire. The garrison, appalled at this concentric fire, fled to their casemates for shelter.
For two hours the floating batteries kept up their bome bardment, rendering the fort too hot for flesh and blood to stand, and the rebels finally turned their guns upon them.
THE FORT SURRENDERS.
A thirty-two-pound shot soon crashed through the Daylight gun boat; and others received similar damage, but without any loss of life. Only one man was wounded.
But at length the sea had so risen under the stiff gale that was blowing, that the gunners could not keep their range, and the boats were hauled off. During this time, the three land batteries had taken a breathing spell, but now they commenced again. By two o'clock, every gun þut two in the fort was deserted. At three, one of these was abandoned in terror, and a ten-inch columbiad alone kept up its melan : choly fire. But it grew weaker and weaker, and a little after four, ceased altogether, when a white flag was run up.
The fort was ours, with the loss of only one killed and two wounded—that of the enemy, seven killed and eighteen wounded. Five hundred men were surrendered prisoners of war, together with all the armament and stores of the fort.
The next morning, Colonel White repaired to the steamer Alice Price, on which was General Burnside, to surrender the fort in
person. He found the General at breakfast, who réceived him very cordially, and invited him to take a seat at the table. He did so, and the two discussed their breakfast together as amicably, as though there had been no hard feelings or hard knocks between them. The garrison was allowed the same terms that had at first been offered, for though White was a rebel, he was a gallant and gentlemanly one, to whom, notwithstanding his misguided course, a generous and courteous treatment seemed due.
The bombardment of these two forts proved conclusively, thát brick and stone can not stand before rifled artillery. The instruments of destruction have got in advance of the means of defense, and to restore their former relations, fortifications will have to be incased in iron.
On the eleventh, Pulaski fell; on the twenty-fifth, Macon; and on the twenty-sixth New Orleans. Thus, within a sin
FIGHT AT LEES MILLS.
gle fortnigut, the rebellion received on every side, blows that sent it staggering to its death.
Burnside was now left free to co-operate with McClellan, in carrying out his plans for the overthrow of the great army in Virginia, and the capture of the rebel Capital.
In the mean while, the siege of Yorktown, notwithstanding almost incessant rains made the progress of the work slow, steadily advanced. The attacks on outworks, and the repelling of sorties, which characterize all sieges, occasionally broke up the monotony of this, though there was less hard fighting than is usual.
The fight at Lee's Mills, as it was called, was the most important one, and gave a foretaste of what our men would do when the final struggle should come. The rebels had built a fort, and mounted several guns so as to command a road leading to this place, which it was important, in executing the general plan, should be carried. In front of it was a bog two hundred and fifty feet wide, and above this a large dam. Artillery was brought to bear on the fort all day, which silenced the rebel guns, and dispersed their infantry. Two companies of Vermont troops were then ordered to charge the works with the bayonet. Leaving the woods in which they had been sheltered, they dashed forward toward the bog, and plunging in, some to their waists, struggled through and rushed on the rifle-pits in front They found the fort empty, but a ditch a little to tho left, they saw to be full of men. A single volley scattered them, when the companies advanced to a second empty rifle-pit, and stopped to load. But on looking across the bog, and seeing no reinforcements arriving, they began to fall back, carrying their dead and wounded with them. Reaching the bog, they found two feet more of water over it than when they crossed only a few minutes before. The rebels had cut the dam above it and let in the water. Here many of the
AFFAIRS AT THE WEST
wounded fell exhausted, and were afterwards killed or taken prisoners. Those who could, plunged in and endeavored to make their way back to solid ground. In the mean time, the enemy returned, and commenced a fearful fire upon them, shooting them through the head and shoulders, when our artillery again opened, and scattered them.
The brave men had accomplished the work assigned them, behaving throughout with the coolness of veterans, though they lost thirty-five killed, and one hundred and twenty wounded. The enemy acknowledged a loss of over a hundred killed.
The Eleventh Massachusets carried another outwork at the point of the bayonet, without firing a gun. They received the enemy's fire at fifty yards, and without halting, dashed over ditch and parapet with a wild hurrah, scattering the enemy like sheep. Destroying the work, they returned with the loss of four killed and twelve wounded.
While events were thus drawing to a crisis at Yorktown, Halleck was slowly closing around Corinth. Pope, who had accompanied Foote’s flotilla down the Mississippi, and taken position on the Arkansas shore, to co-operate with him as he did at Island Number Ten, had, in obedience to orders from Halleck, joined him; while the indomitable Mitchell, to whom nothing seemed done while there was more to do, had puhed his victorious column into different parts of Alabama. A detailed account of the marches and brilliant successes of this restless, determined man, would read like a romance. Apparently fond of the hardest kind of work, he had inspired his men with the same love; and the daring and endurance of his brigade, won the admiration of the whole nation. No officer in the army better deserved the stars of a major-general, which Congress conferred on him, than did this fighting astronomer.
Thus passed the eventful month of April, in the field.
CONGRESS ON SLAVERY.
In Congress, the chief objects of discussion were the tax bill, which dragged its slow length along—the confiscation bill, in perfecting which, one great difficulty lay in the question, what should be done with the slaves of rebels, and the subject of slavery itself. A. portion of it insisted that a decree of universal emancipation was the only way to put down the rebellion.
One of the most important measures of this Congress was the passage of the Act prohibiting slavery in all the present and future territories of the Union.
Another question that awakened a good deal of feeling and brought out the opposition of the border State members, was the emancipation of the slaves in the District of Columbia. Formerly this question had agitated the halls of Congress, and much learned and much angry discussion had been bestowed on it, in and out of Washington. Until the rebellion broke out, it was claimed by some that the case was a very plain one. Virginia and Maryland, they said, had ceded the district to the United States, without affixing any condition as to the future status of the slave; that it was evident that in so doing they had not anticipated so radical an interference on the part of Congress with their social institutions, as the abolition of slavery in a district contiguous to their own territory; that if Congress, at its first meeting after the cession of the District of Columbia, had emancipated the slaves therein, the whole country would have declared it a shameful violation of an implied and perfectly understood contract; and that what it could not justly do then, it certainly could not do fifty years after. On the other hand, all felt at the north, that slavery in the Capital was a disgrace to the nation, and a libel on our Declaration of Independence; and that at the time of the cession of this territory, there was an expectation north and south, that slavery would gradually disappear, and that it was an evil which it was understood was to be only