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anticipated no easy victory—he knew Lee and his gallant veterans, and hence prepared for the frightful loss of life which had now taken place. These gathering hosts showed too the almost exhaustless resources of the North, and that they were at last being employed by a man who knew how to use them.
Grant a few days before, had telegraphed to the Secretary of War, “I propose to fight it out on this line, if it takes all Summer,” and it was evident that he meant to. This was said in no spirit of obstinacy, as it was generally supposed--it was a mere re-affirmation of judgment on the plan he had adopted, notwithstanding the frightful sacrifices of life the carrying it out had demanded.
The base of supplies, in the meantime, had been changed to Fredericksburg. . Maneuvering of the forces, skirmishing and heavy artillery firing, kept the troops on the alert, but Grant had resolved not to dash his army to pieces again on the strong works before him.
The ceaseless energy with which he had pushed the enemy, had not left him sufficient time to bury hip dead prop
: erly, and the “ Wilderness ' presented a shocking spectacle, with its uncovered, or but partially interred bodies, scattered amid the shattered trees of the forest and wreck of the fight. During these seventeen fearful days, Sherman's army
had been sending up its victorious shouts amid the mountains of Georgia, as it hewed its way toward Atlanta, and Butler causing consternation among the inhabitants of Richmond, as the sound of his cannon broke over the rebel Capital
BUTLER'S ADVANCE TO CITY POINT-BUTLER'S CAMPAIGN- BERMUDA HIN
DRED -- POSITION OF THE ARMY-KAUTZ'S CAVALRY EXPEDITION-QRPEDOESRICIIMOND AND PETERSBURG RAILROAD SEVERED- BUTLER'S DISPATCII-OPERATIONS AGAINST DRURY'S BLUFF-DILATORINESS OF BUTLER
REFCSES TO ISTRENCH HIMSELF ON THE RAILROAD-MORNING ATTACK OF
TIIE ENEMY CAPTURE OF IIECKMAN AND HIS BRIGADE-GILLJONE AND BUT
LIR ON THE SITUATION OF THE ARMY-RETREAT TO BERMUDA HUNDRED
TOTAL FAILURE OF THE PENINSULA MOVEMENT-GRANT'S OPINION OF DUTLer's CONDUCT-BUTLER'S TREATMENT OF WAR CORRESPONDENTS-BRUTAL
TREATMENT OF A CILAPLAIN--NAVAL OPERATIONS ALONG THE
FLORIDAS-LOSS OF THE COLUMBINE-INVESTMENT OF NEWBERN- REBEL IRONCLADS_GALLANT FIGIT OF SMITH WITH THE ALDEMARLE IN ALBEŃ ARLE SOUND-COŃDUCT OF rue SASSÁCUS-STẾELE IN ARKANS.ÍS. i !!
4th of May, moved his army from Fortress Monroe, to co-operate, by an 'advance on Richmond, with the former, and keep reinforcements back from Lee. While Grant was entering on the terrific “Battles of the Wilderness," and its dreary solitudes were echoing to the roar of his guns, Butier with his army on transports, guarded by iron-clads, was steaming up the James River, toward City Point, that lay about fifteen miles below the rebel Capital. A landing was made at this place without opposition, and soon the army was planted securely on the narrow strip of land, known as Bermuda Hundred.
The river here takes a sharp bend, so that the army rested both its right and left flank on it, though, by the stream, they were many miles apart. A line of intrench
ments was also stretched across the neck, while either extremity was protected by gun-boats. A more secure position could not have been selected.' The difficulty was that while an army here could repel a large force, a small one, on the other hand, could coop
it up so as to render it inoperative. It was like a cavern, the mouth of which could be defended by a few men within, against great odds without; and, on the other hand, a few men could prevent any egress from it.
Simultaneous with the advance of the army, a cavalry expedition, under General Kautz, was sent off to strike the Richmond and Weldon railroad, at a point some eighty miles distant, and destroy a bridge three thousand feet long, and then act as circumstances might dictate.
A strong fleet of gun-boats and iron-clads, under Admiral Lee, co-operated with the army. It was known that torpe does had been sunk in the river, and hence they were drag. ged for in advance. But, notwithstanding the utmost precaution was taken, about noon, on the 6th, one that had escaped discovery, exploded under the Commodore Jones, near Four Mile Creek, utterly destroying the vessel, and killing and wounding half of the crew. A party of marines and sailors immediately landed at the point and discovered three galvanic batteries sunis in the ground. Two men also were captured in a battery near.
One of these being interrogated respecting the locality of the torpedoes, at first professed entire ignorance, but being placed in the advance boat of those dragging for them, and told that he would be blown up with the rest, he became more communicative, and stated where those he knew of were placed. He said, moreover, that the one which exploded under the Commodore Jones contained two thousand pounds of powder—that the large ones were exploded by galvanic batteries, but uza smaller ones, either by contact or a line
from shore. Those that were sunk, were put down by Hunter Davidson, formerly of the United States Navy, who commanded å boat named the Torpedo, which was built for this especial service.
The next day, the 7th, the tụg gun-boat Shawsheen, while looking for one of these submarine terrors, near Turkey Bend, came under the fire of a rebel battery, and was destroyed, and most of the officers and crew captured.
First Assistant-Engineer Young sent to the department a sketch of these galvanic batteries, by which the torpedoes were exploded, which is curious, as a part of our naval bistory during a war, that brought into service so many new missiles of destruction.
He says:-“The galvanic batteries were formed of nine zinc cups, each one battery, or a set of cups being placed on shelves dirèctly over the other. In each zinc cup was placed a pôrous ciay cup. in the zinc cup, and outside the porous cup, was placed the sulphuric acid and water, and inside the porous cup was placed the nitric acid. The zinc of one cup was connected to the cast-iron of the other, by a clamp and thumb screw. The negative wires led directly to the torpėdoes, (one to each.) The positive wires ran alongʻ near a foot-path, parallel with the river, for about two hundred feet, and terminated at a sub-battery. In this sub-battery, were two large wooden plugs, with a hole about one-half inch in diameter in each; these holes being filled with mercury; the positive wires connecting from the torpedoes to the bottom of these plugs; the positive wires, from the charged batteries, being inserted in the mercury at the top of its respective plug, to form the connections and explode the torpedoes. The wires from the river bank to the torpedoes were supported by a three inch rope, being stopped to'rope about every four feet. At a distance of every fifteen feet of the rope, were some five or six reet of three-quarter
368 RICHMOND AND PETERSBURG R. R. SEVERED.
link chain to assist in keeping it on the bottom. The wires were covered with gutta percha, about one-quarter inch thick.
The battery used is generally known as the Bunsen battery." With '
such infernal mechanism lining the banks of a narrow river, and connecting with vast masses of gun-powder, lying concealed on the bottom, and all under the control of hidden operators on shore, the navigation of the stream was made most perilous. We had not a Commander afloat who would not rather at any time engage a hostile fleet, of vastly superior force, than carry his vessels, without an enemy in sight; up such a river.
such a river. There is something infinitely more appalling in sailing over such hidden engines of destruction, than there is meeting any danger face to face.
About the time the rebel batteries opened on our fleetdestroying the Shawsheen--a fight commenced on land. Butler moving out his army toward the Richmond and Petersburg railroad, the rebels attacked him. The day was ex. cessively warm, but, about eleven o'clock, the enemy opened with artillery, and a sharp cannonade was kept up along the lines.
While the left and centre were thus engaged, a brigade, on the right, under Colonel Barton, pressed forward, and striking the railroad, succeeded in tearing up the track for some distance, and setting a bridge on fire. But being heavily pressed in turn, it was compelled to retire.
The action continued with more or less severity till four o'clock in the afternoon, when the order was given for the army to fall back to the lines held in the morning.
On the 9th, Butler again moved forward to break up more effectually this important railroad. With General Smith's Corps, on the left, and Gillmore, with the Tenth Corps, on the right, the columns began their march at daylight, and passed cautiously through the thick woods in front