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The Clifton and Sachem were disabled, and captured with all on board, and the expedition returned to Brashear City. The army afterward advanced, and, on the 21st of October, occupied Opelousas, and quite a severe fight occurred, Nov. 3d, near Bayou Bourbeaux-General Washburn commanding.
In September, Little Rock, Arkansas, was captured by General Steele.
In November, an important expedition was made into Texas. The garrison at Esperanza fled at our approach, after blowing up the magazine, and ten guns were .captured. Brazos Island, Point Isabel and Brownsville were in Banks' hands on the 9th of November. From this point, the army
marched north-east a hundred miles, to Aranzas, capturing three guns and a hundred prisoners. General A. J. Hamilton, of Texas, having been appointed Military Governor of the State, by the President, accompanied the army, and every one looked to the expulsion of MagruderCommander of the rebel forces--and the speedy establishment of Federal authority. But not long after, the expedition was abandoned, and General Banks returned to New Orleans, followed by Hamilton. Washburn soon after left the army, and Major-General Dana was placed in chief command.
News of a projected movement against Mobile took the place of news from the army in Texas, and its failure there seemed to die out of mind. Festivities, balls anà masquer. ades occupied the winter months in New Orleans, and military matters were kept in abeyanco. Preparations were also made for an election to come off in February, and Banks devoted himself to the civil duties of his Department—not the least of which was the question of compensated labor. The large number of slaves made suddenly free must work, and to a great extent under their old masters, and therefore iš was important that some just and equitable system be adopt ed, and power given to enforce it.
ARMY OF THE POTOMAC-MEADE'S ADVANCE TO THE RAPIDAN-COMPELLED
TO RETREAT-GALLANTRY OF KILPATRICK AND THE CAVALRY-BATTLE OF BRISTOW STATION-SUCCESSES AT KELLY'S FORD AND RAPPAHANNOCK STATION-MEADE'S SECOND ADVANCE TO THE RAPID'AN-THE RETREAT WINTER QUARTERS-AVERILL'S RAID
WESTERN VIRGINIA-NATIONAL CEMETERY AT GETTYSBURG-THE PRESIDENT'S PROCLAMATION ORAMNESTY
PROPOSITION TO ADMIT REBEL STATES INTO THE UNION-POLITICAL EXCITE
MENT-CHANGE OF PLAN IN CARRYING ON THE WAR-GRANT MADK LIEUTENANT-GENERAL--SHERMAN'S GREAT MARCH THROUGH MISSISSIPPI.
N the East, the Army of the Potomac had remained
comparatively quiet, but, on the approach of Autumn, it again assumed offensive operations, for it was necessary to occupy the attention of Lee, as he was sending reinforcements to Bragg. A general advance of the army was therefore determined upon, about the middle of September. Pleasanton was directed first to cross the Rappahannock, and attack the rebel cavalry picketing the river in the neighborhood of Culpepper. Gregg crossed at Sulphur Springs, Buford at Rappahannock Bridge, and Kilpatrick at Kelly's Ford. These, moving on Culpepper, attacked Stuart, who held the town, and, after an obstinate fight, drove him out, capturing three guns. Meade now advanced, and crossing the river with his entire army, made the place his headquarters, with the cavalry guarding his flanks and rear. Lee, in the meantime, lay encamped near Orange Court House, and, though much inferior in numbers, boldly crossed the Rapidan on the 9th of October, and, by a skillful movement, completely outflanked Meade, which compelled the latter to break up his camp and retreat-losing some of his
A GALLANT CHARGE.
stores in his hasty retrogade movement. Pleasanton, with the cavalry, remained behind to watch the enemy, and then slowly retired toward the retreating army.
Buford had been forced back more rapidly than Kilpatrick, whose command--with Davis over the right brigade, and Custer over tbe left-fell back more slowly. When the latter reached Brandy Station, he found that the former, ignorant of his movements, was far in advance, leaving his right entirely exposed. To make matters worse, Stuart had passed around his left, so that Kilpatrick, with whom was Pleasanton himself, was suddenly cut off. This gallant leader saw at a glance the peril of his position, and, riding to a slight eminence, took a hasty survey of the ground before him. He then gave his orders, and three thousand swords leaped from their scabbards, and a long, loud shout rolled over the field. With a heavy line of skirmishers thrown out, to protect his flanks and rear, he moved in three columns straight on the rebel host, that watched his coming. At first, the well-closed columns advanced on a walk, while the batteries of Remington and Elder played with fearful precision upon the hostile ranks. He thus kept on, till within a few hundred yards of the rebel lines, when the band struck
" Yankee Doodle.” The next instant, a hundred bugles pealed the charge, and away, with gleaming sabres and a wild hurrak, went the clattering squadrons. As they came thundering on, the hostile lines parted and let them pass proudly through. Buford was soon overtaken, and a line of battle formed; for the rebels, enraged to think they had let Kilpatrick off so easily, reorganized, and now advanced to the attack. A fierce cavalry battle followed, lasting till after dark. Pleasanton, Buford, Kilpatrick, Custer and Davis again and again led charges in person. It seemed as if the leaders on both sides were determined to test, on the plains of Brandy Station, the question of superiority between the cavalry; for
the charges, on both sides, were of the most gallant and desperate character.
The dark masses would drive on each other, through the deepening gloom, with defiant yells, while the flashing sabres struck fire as they clashed and rung in the fierce conflict. At length, the rebels gave it up,
and our cavalry, gathering up its dead and wounded, crossed the Rappahannock. The army fell back along the railroad, from Saturday night till Wednesday, without bringing on a general engagement. To the Second Corps, commanded by Warren, was assigned the difficult task of guarding its rear. At daylight on Wednesday, this Corps took up its march along the south side of the Orange and Alexandria railroad, and moved to Bristow Station, about three miles from Manassas Junction. As the advance, under General Webb, was crossing Broad Run, about noon, there suddenly came out of the woods north of the railroad, not more than a hundred yards distant, explosion after explosion of cannon,
nd the next moment, the heads of the rebel columns appeared in view. The attack was totally unexpected, and was designed to throw the Corps into confusion. But Warren, whose clear head no surprise could unsettle, at once, with that tactical skil: for which he is so remarkable, threw his army into position along the railroad, and awaited the onset. Hurrying up his artillery, and planting it with consummate judgment, he soon rained a terrible fire on the rebel ranks Scarce'ten minutes had elansed after the first sudden explosion of artillery, before our batteries were throwing their shells with fatal precision into those of the enemy.
So horrible was the fire, that the rebels soon left their pieces in dismay, and fled to the woods. As the smoke lifted, and disclosed six of them standing deserted in the field, Warren detailed ten men from each regiment to bring them off. They bounded forward with a shout, and seizing them and wheeling them on the retreating foe, fired a parting salute,
then dragged five of them back within their lines, amid the
This was Warren's first battle as sole Commander, and the way he fought it showed the highest skill and capacity as a General. Meade, in his congratulatory order, said: “The skill and promptitude of Major-General Warren, and the gallantry and bearing of the officers and soldiers of the Second Corps, are entitled to high commendation.”
Lee, having forced Meade to fall back to the line of Bull Run, destroyed the Orange and Alexandria railroad from the Rapidan to Manassas. He deserved a good deal of credit for this skillful movement, for, with an army much inferior to Meade's at the outset, he had sent off a large body to reinforce Bragg; then with his comparatively small force, had boldly assumed the offensive, and forced our army into a retreat.
On the 7th of the next month, Generals French and Sedgwick attacked a portion of the rebel army at Kelly's Ford, taking about five hundred prisoners.
prisoners. The Rappahannock Station was protected by several strong forts.
On the north side was a fort and two redoubts, held by a force two thousand strong. Against these, French and Sedgwick next moved, with great rapidity, and, having cut off the enemy's retreat, stormed them—the Sixth Maine, Fifth Wisconsin and Fourteenth New York forming the assaulting force. As they dashed into the riffe-pits and forts, a short and bloody hand-to-hand fight followed--men actually