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FREMONT COMMANDANT DEPARTMENT OF MISSOURI

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Missouri volunteers as their brigadier-general. During the course of his adventurous life he had been familiar with the most difficult and dangerous kinds of service in Texas, Oregon, Kansas, and along the whole border of the western and southwestern territory of the United States. He was, therefore, particularly adapted to command the Federal troops in Missouri; and his courageous spirit found a congenial theatre for the exercise and display of its peculiar attributes amid the tumultuous camps, the desolate wastes, and all the semi-barbarous scenes connected with warfare in the outskirts of civilization. He was remarkable for his patriotic devotion to his country, and for the eagerness with which he sprang forward to her defence on every occasion of danger. To her he gave his best services and his life. To her, it may with truth be said, he devoted his all, for even his property he devised by his will to the cause of the Union. Being unmarried, and without domestic dependents, he felt at liberty to devote his wealth to that object which, above all others, he loved best; and, like his immortal ancestors of the revolution, he consecrated to his country his life, his fortune and his sacred honor. The deeds and fame of such a man present a rare and grateful theme of contemplation. When he marched against the enemy at Wilson's Creek he well knew, that the immense superiority of numbers on the side of the Rebels would inevitably entail a heavy loss upon his troops, and that his life would probably be the forfeit of his boldness. But he also felt that the cause of the Union demanded an heroic venture; he willingly made it; and he met a soldier's death on the field of honor and of victory.

The Federal Government discovered the necessity, at an early stage of the Rebellion, of forming a military department of Missouri, of which St. Louis should be the headquarters, and of placing it under the command of an officer of ability, experience and patriotism. The person selected to fill this post was Major-General John C. Fremont, who had already distinguished himself in the annals of American conquest and exploration. When the Rebellion commenced, his services were demanded by the Government, and were rendered with the utmost promptitude. After his removal to St. Louis he was laboriously engaged in the performance of the duties of his office; in fortifying that city; in organizing the department; in raising an army; and in preparing to defend the Union against the attacks of its foes in Missouri. In this station he was annoyed, and perhaps impeded, by the hostility of Colonel Frank P. Blair; who entertained the opinion that General Fremont did not exhibit the energy and capacity which the crisis demanded. In this judgment, however, the administration at Washington did not, for a long time, concur, and Fremont retained his difficult and responsible position.

His most important and noteworthy act was the issuing of a proclamation, by which he endeavored to strike a powerful and deadly blow at the institution of slavery. In that proclamation he proclaimed, by virtue

of the authority vested in him, that "the property, real and personal, of all persons in the State of Missouri, who shall take up arms against the United States, or who shall be directly proven to have taken active part with their enemies in the field, is declared to be confiscated to the public use; and their slaves, if any they have, are hereby declared freemen." This decisive step was hailed by the Abolitionists throughout the country with enthusiasm and exultation. They affirmed that now, at length, the axe had been laid to the root of the tree; that the only true policy was therein indicated; that all men would now be convinced that this was pre-eminently a war against slavery; and that in proportion as the cause of the Union triumphed, it would, in that same degree, overturn the peculiar and execrable institution of the Rebel States. But the more conservative people of the North and the West regarded this proclamation of Fremont with very different feelings. To them it appeared like a dangerous and illegal, though well-meant, exercise of power; as subservient to a fanatical faction, which, as they thought, had always been the bane and curse of the nation; and as an attempt to assert a false theory, to the effect that the war against the Rebels was in substance and chiefly a crusade against slavery.

The latter opinion was the one entertained in reference to the matter by the administration at Washington; and accordingly, Mr. Lincoln immediately addressed a letter to General Fremont, directing him so to modify his proclamation as to make it correspond with the provisions of the act of Congress which appertained to the subject, and which had been passed during the late extra session. That act expressly provided that whenever slaves should be required or permitted by their masters and owners, to take up arms against the United States, or to assist the Rebellion in any manner whatever, in such cases only the said slaves shall become free, and their former owners shall forfeit all their right, title and interest in them. This modification of General Fremont's decree was very essential and material. It effectualy contradicted the erroneous assertion that this was a war against slavery, as such; and it thereby disarmed the Rebels of one of the most potent levers with which they controlled public sentiment and intensified popular prejudice at the South. Nor could any more efficient expedient have been employed to render the war unpopular even throughout the Free States, than to diffuse abroad this delusion, that the war was in reality a mere crusade against slavery. On the contrary, it must be regarded by every intelligent and impartial observer, as simply an attempt to restore and to perpetuate the dissevered Union. Whatever lawful agencies would assist in accomplishing that beneficent result, were employed. As a war to preserve the Union it received the hearty support of the nation; but as an Abolition war, strictly speaking, it would have been rejected and discountenanced by a large proportion of those very men, whose blood and treasure were most lavishly expended in its prosecution.

EXPEDITIONS AGAINST REBEL FORTS AT HATTERAS. 155

CHAPTER XIII.

THE FEDERAL EXPEDITIONS AGAINST THE REBEL FORTS AT HATTERAS-THE FORCES APPROPRIATED TO THIS ENTERPRISE-IMPORTANCE OF HATTERAS AND ITS POSSESSION-SAILING OF THE EXPEDITION-THE BOMBARDMENT-THE SURRENDER OF THE FORTS-COMMODORE BARRON-COMMODORE STRINGHAM-SKETCH OF HIS CAREER-RESULTS OF THE VICTORY AT HATTERAS-OPERATIONS OF ROSECRANS IN WESTERN VIRGINIA-BATTLE AT CARNIFEX FERRY-DEFEAT AND FLIGHT OF FLOYD-RESULTS OF THE VICTORY-EVENTS IN MISSOURI -COLONEL MULLIGAN'S FORCES AT LEXINGTON-HE IS ATTACKED BY GENERAL PRICEINCIDENTS OF THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON-SURRENDER OF COLONEL MULLIGAN-SKETCH OF HIS CAREER-BATTLE ON BOLIVAR heights-SKETCH OF ITS HERO, COLONEL GEARY— THE BATTLE OF BALL'S BLUFF GENERAL STONE-APPREHENSIONS OF COLONEL BAKERINCIDENTS OF THE ENGAGEMENT-DEFEAT AND ROUT OF THE FEDERAL TROOPS-DEATH OF COLONEL BAKER-NATIONAL SORROW AT HIS FATE-SKETCH OF HIS REMARKABLE CAREER -RESULTS OF THE DISASTER AT BALL'S BLUFF.

IN the great and perilous game of war, success frequently alternates from side to side, and he who exults over the laurels of victory to-day, to-morrow may be overwhelmed by the mortification and calamities of defeat. The war against the Southern Rebellion was no exception to this rule. The disaster of Bull Run was quickly followed by the triumph of the Federal arms at Hatteras.

The Federal Government had contemplated for some time an armed descent upon the coast of North Carolina, and had been quietly making preparations for such a movement. A combined land and naval force was placed under the orders of Commodore Stringham and General Butler. The former commanded the Atlantic blockading squadron, the latter a portion of the troops at Fortress Monroe. The fleet which transported the expedition comprised the flag-ship Minnesota, the Adelaide, the George Peabody, the Pawnee, the Susquehanna, the Wabash, the Cumberland, the Harriet Lane, and the Fanny,-vessels of different sizes and armaments. About a thousand land troops were placed under the orders of General Butler; a smaller naval force served under the commodore.

The special object of the expedition was the capture of the forts which had been erected on Cape Hatteras. This position was one of great importance to the enemy. It was the chief defence of the coast of North Carolina The principal fort was of considerable strength, containing ten heavy guns in position, with five unmounted. The works were nearly surrounded by water, the only approach on the land side being through a marsh five hundred yards wide. One of the forts contained a bombproof capable of protecting four hundred men. Its form was octagonal, and it covered nearly an acre of ground. Both forts were abundantly

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provided with ammunition and provisions, and were occupied by a large body of troops. The place was the key of the Albemarle, and was second in importance only to Fortress Monroe, on the Atlantic coast, as a depot for furnishing supplies to a blockading squadron, as a harbor for the coasting trade, and as a retreat either from stress of weather or from the pursuit of pirates. It was an advantageous position, from which expeditions could start forth along the shore of Carolina to Bogue Inlet, to Newbern, and to Beaufort.

The fleet sailed from Fortress Monroe on Monday, August 26th, and arrived off Hatteras Inlet on Tuesday afternoon. Preparations were immediately made to disembark the troops, and early the next morning the process began. But a stiff gale blew from the southwest, and a heavy surf was breaking and rolling upon the beach. This rendered the task a difficult and dangerous one; so that when three hundred and fifteen men had been landed, the iron boats were swamped, and the flat boats were stove. This disaster put an end to the landing. An effort was subsequently made by Lieutenant Crosby to reach the shore in a boat from the war-steamer Pawnee. But the boat was beached in the

attempt so that she could not be got off. the sea became still rougher, so that all troops on shore were abandoned.

The wind then rose higher, and further attempts to convey the

During this interval, the ships of war had hauled in and commenced to cannonade the forts. Only one of these responded to our guns. Immediately afterward a white flag was run up on the forts, which the Federal commanders interpreted as a signal of surrender. General Butler then ordered the Harriet Lane to attempt to cross the bar and enter the smooth water, accompanied by the Monticello; and the Susquehanna towed the Cumberland to an offing, for the purpose of completing the capitulation. But the enemy either practiced an act of perfidy, or had changed their purpose-for on the approach of these vessels they renewed their fire, and several shots struck the Monticello. The fleet immediately recommenced the bombardment and continued it with spirit. The troops on shore then advanced to attack the forts. They found the smaller one deserted, and they took possession of it. Night fell, and the attack was necessarily suspended. Part of the Federal troops on shore occupied the forts; the remainder bivouacked on the beach near the place of landing.

At eight o'clock on the ensuing morning the fleet resumed the attack. The Harriet Lane ran in to the shore for the purpose of protecting the troops on land. In this movement a large steamer was observed moving down the sound. It was the Winslow, and contained reinforcements for the enemy. But they were prevented from accomplishing their purpose by the vigilance of Captain Johnson, who opened a fire upon the Rebel steamer with several guns from a sand-battery on the shore. The vessel then returned up the channel, leaving the forts to their fate. The can.

SURRENDER OF THE REBEL FORTS.

nonading from the ships now became heavy, and did great execution. An attempt was made to land an additional number of troops. Before this purpose could be accomplished, a white flag was again run up from the remaining fort. A signal was made to the ships to cease firing. General Butler sent an officer on shore to ascertain the meaning of the flag. That officer proceeded to the fort, and was received by Commodore Barron, the commander of the Rebel forces. He authorized Lieutenant Crosby to communicate to the Federal officers the fact that he had six hundred and fifteen men in the fort, but was anxious to spare the effusion of blood; and would consequently surrender the fort, arms and munitions. of war, provided the officers were permitted to retire with their side-arms, and the men without arms. To this proposition General Butler replied, that it was wholly inadmissible; and that the only terms which could be accepted were an unconditional surrender of officers and men, who were to be treated as prisoners of war.

On receiving these conditions, Commodore Barron summoned a council of war, and submitted the matter to their consideration. Each of these heroes advised an immediate surrender. It was at this moment that several vessels of the Federal fleet had gotten into a perilous position, of which the Rebels might with ordinary energy and vigilance have taken decisive advantage. The Adelaide, in carrying the troops to the shore, ran aground. The Harriet Lane, in attempting to enter the bar, met the same fate. Both vessels were within full range of the guns of the fort, and both might have been seriously disabled and damaged. But they failed to take advantage of the opportunity. General Butler now informed the Rebel commodore that if the terms were accepted, the articles of capitulation must be signed on board the flag-ship Minnesota. At length, after the deliberation of an hour, the terms were accepted by the enemy, and Commodore Barron, Major Andrews and Colonel Martin, proceeded to that vessel and formally surrendered the forts to the United States; the parties stipulating that the officers and men should receive the treatment due to prisoners of war. The instrument was duly signed and sealed, by Messrs. Stringham and Butler for the United States, and by Messrs. Barron, Martin and Andrews for the Confederate States. Immediately afterward General Butler landed, took formal possession of the forts and munitions of war, inspected the troops and their arms, marched them out, embarked them on board the Adelaide, manned the fort with his own troops, hoisted the stars and stripes, and saluted them with the very guns which had been shotted by the captive enemy.

On the following day the Rebel troops were transferred to the Minnesota, which sailed for New York. A large number of Rebels had been killed and wounded during the bombardment, though the exact amount of their loss was carefully concealed. They reported fifteen killed and thirty-five wounded. During the attack all the war-vessels of the fleet

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