« PreviousContinue »
tellect is very feeble; some of them are almost them was to the effect, that when captured, and like children in that respect.
before they got to Richmond, they would genQuestion. Do you think that grows out of the erally be robbed of their clothing, their good treatment they have received ?
United States uniforms, even to their shoes and Answer. I think the same cause produced that hats taken from them, and if any thing was as the other.
given to them in place of them, they would reBy the Chairman:
ceive only old worn-out confederate clothing. Question. Is not that one of the symptoms at- Sometimes they were sent to Belle Isle with nothtendant upon starvation, that men are likely to ing on but old pants and shirts. They generally become deranged or idiotic ?
had their money taken from them, often with the Answer. Yes, sir; more like derangement than promise of its return, but that promise was never what we call idiocy.
fulfilled. They were placed on Belle Isle, as I By Mr. Gooch:
have said, some with nothing on but pants and Question. Can those men whose arms you shirts, some with blouses, but they were seldom bared and held up to us-mere skeletons, noth- allowed to have an overcoat or a blanket. There ing but skin and bone-can those men recover ? they remained for weeks, some of them for six
Answer. They may; we think that some of or eight weeks, without any tents or any kind of them are in an improving condition. But we covering: have to be extremely cautious how we feed them. Question. What time of the year was this? If we give them a little excess of food under these Answer. All along from September down to circumstances, they would be almost certain to December, as a general thing, through the latter be seriously and injuriously affected by it. part of the fall. There they remained for weeks
Question. It is your opinion, you have stated, without any tents, without blankets, and in many that these men have been reduced to this condi- instances without coats, exposed to the rain and tion by want of food ?
snow, and all kinds of inclement weather. And Answer. It is; want of food and exposure are where some of them had tents, they were old the original causes. That has produced diar- worn-out army tents, full of holes and rents, so rhæa and other diseases as a natural consequence, that they are very poor shelters indeed from the and they have aided the original cause and re- storms. I have been told by several of them duced them to their present condition. I should that several times, upon getting up in the morn like the country and the Government to know ing, they would find six or eight of their number the facts about these men; I do not think they frozen to death. There are men here now who can realize it until the facts are made known to have had their toes frozen off there. They have them. I think the rebels have determined upon said that they have been compelled to get up the policy of starving their prisoners, just as during the night and walk rapidly back and forth much as the murders at Fort Pillow were a part to keep from dying from the cold. of their policy.
Question. What do they say in regard to the
food furnished them ? Rev. J. T. Van Burkalow, sworn and exam- Answer. They represent that as being very ined.
little in quantity, and of the very poorest qual. By the Chairman:
ity, being but a small piece of corn-bread, about Question. What is your connection with this three inches square, made of meal ground very hospital?
coarsely—some of them suppose made of corn and Answer. I am the chaplain of the hospital. cobs all ground up together—and that bread was
Question. How long have you been acting in baked and cut up and sent to them in such a that capacity ?
manner that a great deal of it would be crumbAnswer. I have been connected with the hos-led off and lost. Sometimes they would get a pital in that capacity ever since the twentieth of very small piece of meat, but that meat very October, 1862.
poor, and sometimes for days they would receive Question. What has been your opportunity of no meat at all. And sometimes they would reknowing the condition of our returned prisoners ? ceive a very small quantity of what they call
Answer. I have mingled with them and ad- rice-water that is, water with a few grains of ministered unto them ever since they have been rice in it. here, night and day. I have written, I suppose, Question. You have heard their statements something like a hundred letters for them to their separately ? relatives and friends since they arrived here. Answer. Yes, sir.
Question. Have you attended them when they Question. Do they all agree in the same genewere dying?
ral statement as to their treatment? Answer. Yes, sir.
Answer. Yes, sir; they do. Question. And conversed with them about their Question. How were they clothed when they condition, and the manner in which they have arrived here? been brought to that condition ?
Answer. They were clothed very poorly inAnswer. Yes, sir; I have.
deed, with old worn-out filthy garments, full of Question. Please tell us what you have ascer- vermin. tained from them?
Question. What was their condition and apAnswer. The general story I have gotten from pearance as to health when they arrived here? VOL VIII.-Doc. 7
Answer. They looked like living skeletons-service ? Have they ever expressed any regret that is about the best description I can give of that they entered our army? them—very weak and emaciated.
Answer. As a general thing, they have not. Question. Have you ever seen men at any time In fact, I have heard but one express a different or place so emaciated as these are-so entirely sentiment. He was a mere youth, not more than destitute of flesh ?
sixteen or seventeen years of age now. His feet Answer. I think I have a few times, but very were badly frozen. He remarked that he had rarely; I have known men to become very ema- regretted, even long before he got to Richmond, ciated by being for weeks affected with chronic that he entered the service. But I have heard diarrhoea, or something of that kind. But the a number of them declare that if they were so chronic diarrhea, and liver diseases, and lung fortunate as to recover their health and strength, affections, which those men now have, I under- they should be glad to return to the service, and stand to have been superinduced by the treat- still fight for their country, ment to which they have been subjected; their Question. They then bear their misfortunes cruel and merciless treatment and exposure to bravely and patriotically? inclement weather without any shelter or suffi- Answer. Yes, sir, they do. cient clothing or food, reducing them literally to Question. And without complaining of their a state of starvation.
Government ? Question. Could any of them walk when they Answer. Yes, sir, without complaining of their arrived here?
fate, except so far as to blame their merciless enAnswer. I think there was but one who could emies. make out to walk; the rest we had to carry into the hospitals on stretchers. By Mr. Odell:
Doc. 3. Question. Did these men make these state- ATTACK ON THE DEFENCES OF MOBILE. ments in their dying condition ? Answer. Yes, sir.
REPORT OF REAR-ADMIRAL FARRAGUT. By the Chairman :
FLAG-SHIP HARTFORD, MOBILE BAY, Aug. 5, 1861. Question. Were the persons who made these Sir: I have the honor to report to the Departstatements conscious of approaching dissolution ? ment that this morning I entered Mobile Bay,
Answer. Yes, sir; I know of no particular passing between Forts Morgan and Gaines, and cases where they spoke of these things when encountering the rebel ram Tennessee and gunthey were right on the borders of death; but boats of the enemy, namely, Selma, Morgan, and they made them before, when they were aware Gaines. of their condition.
The attacking fleet was under way by fortyQuestion. So that you have no reason to doubt five minutes past five A.M., in the following orthat they told the exact truth, or intended to der: The Brooklyn, with the Octorara on her do so ?
port side ; Hartford, with the Metacomet; RichAnswer. None whatever. There has been such mond, with the Port Royal; Lackawanna, with a unanimity of testimony on that point, that I the Seminole ; Monongahela, with the Tecumseh ; cannot entertain the shadow of a doubt.
Ossipee, with the Itasca, and the Oneida with the Question. And their statements were corrobo- Galena. rated by their appearance ?
On the starboard of the fleet was the proper Answer. Yes, sir.
position of the monitors or iron-clads. The wind Question. You have had under your charge was light from the south-west, and the sky cloudy, and attention confederate sick and wounded, have with very little sun. Fort Morgan opened upon
us at ten minutes past seven o'clock, and soon Answer. Yes, sir.
after this the action became lively. Question. How have they been treated ? steamed up the main ship channel, there was
Ănswer. In my judgment they have been some difficulty ahead, and the Hartford passed treated just as well as any of our own men ever on ahead of the Brooklyn. At forty minutes past were treated. In fact, they have got better treat- seven the monitor Tecumseh was struck by a torment than our men did formerly, for the reason pedo and sunk, going down very rapidly, and that, in addition to what we have given them - carrying down with her all the officers and crew, and we have tried to treat them just as we would with the exception of the pilot and eight or ten have them treat our men-in addition to that, we men, who were saved by a boat that I sent from have allowed the rebel sympathizers of Baltimore the Metacomet, which was alongside of me. to bring them, every day, delicacies in abund- The Hartford had passed the forts before eight
o'clock, and finding myself raked by the rebel Question. Were these rebel sympathizers boun- gunboats, I ordered the Metacomet to cast off tiful to them in that line?
and go in pursuit of them, one of which — the Answer. Yes, sir, very.
Selma-she succeeded in capturing. Question. What has been the feeling evinced All the vessels had passed the forts by halfby our returned prisoners, after having received past eight, but the rebel ram Tennessee was still such treatment, in regard to having entered the apparently uninjured in our rear.
Signal was at once made to all the fleet to turn I will send a detailed despatch by the first opagain and attack the ram, not only with guns, portunity. but with orders to run her down at full speed. Very respectfully, your obedient servant, The Monongahela was the first that struck her,
D. G. FARRAGUT, and though she may have injured her badly, yet
Admiral Commanding W. G. B. Squadron. she did not succeed in disabling her. The Lack
To Hon. Gideon WELLES, awanna also struck her, but ineii'ectually. The
Secretary of the Navy. flag-ship gave her a severe shock with her bow, List of killed and wounded on board U. S. S. and as she passed poured her whole port broadside Hartford in the action with the rebel Fort Morinto her of solid nine-inch shot and thirteen gan and fleet, August fifth, 1864: pounds of powder, at a distance of not more than
Killed - David Morrow, quarter-gunner; Wm. twelve feet. The iron-clads were closing upon Osgood, ordinary seaman; Thos. Baine, ordinary her, and the Hartford and the rest of the teet seaman ; Benjamin Harper, seaman; Wm. Clark, were bearing down upon her, when, at ten A.M., boy ; Charles Schaffer, seaman ; Frank Stillwell, she surrendered. The rest of the rebel fleet- nurse; George Walker, landsman; John C. Scott, namely, the Morgan and Gaines-succeeded in ordinary seaman; Thomas Wilde, ordinary seagetting back under the protection of Fort Morgan. man; im. Smith, boy ; Wm. Andrews, captain This terminated the action of the day.
after-guard; Frederick Munsell, captain afterAdmiral Buchanan sent me his sword, being guard; Lewis McLane, landsman; Peter Duncan, himself badly wounded with a compound fracture landsman ; Smith, fireman; Thomas Baines, of the leg, which it is supposed will have to be fireman; Thomas Stanton, fireman; Cannel, amputated.
fireman. Total, nineteen. Ilaving had many of my own men wounded,
Wounded-Lieutenant Adams, slightly ; Acting and the surgeon of the Tennessee being very de- Third Issistant-Engineer McEwan, amputation sirous to have Admiral Buchanan removed to the arm; Acting Master's Mate R. P. IIerrick, slighthospital, I sent a flag of truce to the command-ly; Acting Ensign W. H. Heginbotham, severely, ing officer of Fort Morgan, Brigadier-General (since dead ;) Wilder Venner, landsman, leg; Richard L. Page, to say that if he would allow Adolphus Pulle, seaman, severe flesh wounds, the wounded of the feet, as well as their own, legs; Hiram Elder, seaman, right leg; R. Dumto be taken to Pensacola, where they can be phery, coal-heaver, both arms; Wm. Thompson, better cared for than here, I would send out one ordinary seaman, one leg; E. Johnson, boy, conof our vessels, provided she would be permitted trsion, side; Walter Lloyd, boy, leg; M. Forbes, to return, bringing back nothing she did not take cd tain mizzen-top, contusion, side; Wm. Stanout.
ley, seainan, contusion and on leg; C. StevenGeneral Page consented, and the Metacomet son, boy, contusion; F. Campbell, seaman, conwas despatched.
tusion ; Wm. Doyle, boy, contusion, side ; AuThe list of casualties on our part, as far as as- guste Simmons, landsman ; Peter Pitts, boy ; Micertained, is as follows:
chael Fayal, landsman ; David Ortin; Wm. Trask, Flag-ship Hartford-Nineteen killed, twenty- lest leg; Charles Dennis, both arms; Thomas three wounded.
O'Connell, right hand off. Total, twenty-three. Brooklyn-Nine killed, twenty-two wounded.
CONGRATULATORY LETTER TO REAR-ADMIRAL FARLackawanna-Four killed, two wounded. Oneida-Seven killed, twenty-three wounded.
NAVY DEPARTMENT, Monongahela—Six wounded.
WASHINGTON, August 15, 1864. Metacomet-One killed, two wounded.
Sır: Your despatch of the fifth instant, stating Ossipee—One killed, seven wounded.
that you had, on the morning of that day, enterGalena-One wounded.
ed Mobile Bay, passing between Forts Morgan Richmond-Two wounded.
and Gaines, and encountering and overcoming In all, forty-one killed and eighty-eight wounded. the rebel fleet, I had the satisfaction to receive
On the rebel ram Tennessee were captured this day. Some preliminary account of your twenty officers and about one hundred and seven-operations had previously reached us through ty men. The following is a list of the officers : rebel channels. Admiral F. Buchanan ; Commander Joseph D. Again it is my pleasure and my duty to conJohnson; Lieutenants Wm. D. Bradford, A. P. gratulate you and your brave associates on an Wharton, E. J. McDennert ; Masters J. R. De achievement unequalled in our service by any Moley, H. W. Perron; Fleet-Surgeon R. C. other commander, and only surpassed by that Bowles; Engineers G. D. Leneng, J. O'Connell, unparalleled naval triumph of the squadron John Hays, 0. Benson, W. B. Patterson ; Pay- under your command in the spring of 1862, master's Clerk, J. H.' Conen ; Master's Mates when, proceeding up the Mississippi, you passed W. A. Forrest, Beebe, and R. M. Carter; Boat- Forts Jackson and St. Philip, and, overcoming swain, John McCudie; Gunner, H. S. Smith. all obstructions, captured New Orleans, and re
On the Selma were taken ninety officers and stored unobstructed navigation to the commermen. of the officers I have only heard the cial emporium of the great central valley of the names of two, namely, Commander Peter U. Mur- Union. phy, and Lieutenant J. H. Comstock. The latter The Bay of Mobile was not only fortified and was killed.
guarded by forts and batteries on shore, and by
JOINT LETTER FROM REAR-ADMIRAL FARRAGUT AND
submerged obstructions, but the rebels had also Inclosed herewith are copies of the letters of Colcollected there a formidable fleet, commanded by onel Anderson, and the reply of General Granger their highest naval officer—a former captain in and myself, marked Nos. i and 2, respectively. the Union navy—who, false to the government Very respectfully, your obedient servant, and the Union, had deserted his country in the
D. G. FARRAGUT, hour of peril, and levelled bis guns against the
Rear-Admiral Commanding W. G. B. Squadron. flag which it was his duty to have defended.
Hon. GIDEON WELLES,
Secretary of the Navy, Washington. The possession of Mobile Bay, which you have acquired, will close the illicit traffic which has
LETTER FROM COLONEL ANDERSON TO REAR-ADMIRAL been carried on by running the blockade in that part of the Gulf, and gives point and value to
HEADQUARTERS, Fort Gaines, August 7, 1964. the success you have achieved.
Great results in war are seldom obtained with-To Admiral Farragut, Commanding Naral out great risks, and it was not expected that the
Forces off Dauphin Island : possession of the harbor of Mobile would be se
Feeling my inability to maintain my present cured without disaster. The loss of the gallant position longer than you may see fit to open upon Craven and his brave companions, with the me with the fleet, and feeling also the uselessness Tecumseh, (a vessel that was invulnerable to the of entailing upon ourselves further destruction of guns of Fort Morgan,) by a concealed torpedo, life, I have the honor to propose the surrender was a casualty against which no human foresight of Fort Gaines, its garrison, stores, etc. could guard. While the nation awards cheer- I trust to your magnanimity for obtaining honful honors to the living, she will ever hold in orable terms, which I respectfully request that grateful remembrance the memory of the gailant you will transmit to me, and allow me sufficient and lamented dead, who perilled their lives for time to consider them and return an answer. their country and died in her cause.
This communication will be handed to you by To you and the brave officers and sailors of Major W. R. Browne. your squadron, who participated in this great I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient achievement, the Department tenders its thanks, servant,
C. D. ANDERSON,
Colonel Commanding. and those of the Government and country. Very respectfully, etc., GIDEON WELLES,
MAJOR-GENERAL GRANGER TO COLONEL ANDERSON. Secretary of the Navy.
FLAG-SHip HARTFORD, MOBILE BAY, August 7, 1864. Rear-Admiral David G. FARRAGUT,
Sir: In accordance with the proposal made in Commanding West Gulf Blockading Squadron, Mobile Bay.
your letter of this morning for the surrender of Fort Gaines, I have to say that, after communi
cating with General Granger, in command of our SURRENDER OF FORT POWELL.
forces on Dauphin Island, the only offers we can
make are-FLAG-SHP HARTFORD, West Gulf BLOCK ADING!
First. The unconditional surrender of yourself SQUADRON, MOBILE BAY, August 8, 1864. and the garrison of Fort Gaines, with all of the Sır: I have the honor to inform the Depart. public property within its limits. ment that Fort Powell was evacuated on the Second. The treatment which is in conformity night of the fifth instant. The rebels blew up with the custom of the most civilized nations tomuch of the fort, but we took all of the guns, ward prisoners of war. and those of the best quality, a list of which will Third. Private property, with the exception of be forwarded. We took some covered barges arms, will be respected. also from Fort Powell and Cedar Point, which do This communication will be handed you by us good service as a work-shop. The Fleet Engi- Fleet Captain P. Drayton, and Colonel Myer of neer and Fleet Paymaster came in the Stock- the U. S. army, who fully understand the views dale, with iron, etc., for the repairs of our vessel. of General Granger and myself.
On the afternoon of the sixth, the Chickasaw Very respectfully, your obedient servant, went down and shelled Fort Gaines, and on the
D. G. FARRAGUT, morning of the seventh I received a communication from Colonel Anderson, commanding the
Major-General U. S. Army. Fort, offering to surrender to the fleet, asking the
Colonel C. D. ANDERSON, best conditions. I immediately sent for General
Commanding Fort Gaines. Granger, and in the evening had Colonel Anderson and Major Browne on board, and the agree- ATTACK ON THE DEFENCES
REPORT OF REAR-ADMIRAL D, G. FARRAGUT. ment was signed by all parties. At seven
A.M., August eighth, Flect Cap- U. S. FLAG-SHIP HARTFORD, MOBILE BAY, Aug. 12, 1861. tain Drayton, on the part of the navy, and Col- Sir: I had the honor to forward to the Depart. onel Myer, on the part of the army, proceeded to ment, on the evening of the fifth instant, a report the Fort to carry out the stipulations of the agree- of my entrée into Mobile Bay on the morning of ment, and at forty-five minutes past nine, the that day, and which, though brief, contained all Fort surrendered, and the Stars and Stripes were the principal facts of the attack. hoisted on the staff amid the cheers of the fleet. Notwithstanding the loss of life, particularly
REPORT OF REAR-ADMIRAL FARRAGUT.
on this ship, and the terrible disaster to the mander George Brown; Oneida, Commander Tecumseh, the result of the fight was a glorious I. R. M. Mullany, with the Galena, Lieutenant victory, and I have reason to feel proud of the Commander C. II. Wells. The iron-clads-Teofficers, seamen, and marines of the squadron cumseh, Commander T. A. M. Craven ; the Manunder my command, for it has never fallen to hattan, Commander I. W. A. Nicholson; the the lot of an officer to be thus situated and thus Winnebago, Commander T. H. Stevens; and the sustained. Regular discipline will bring men to Chickasaw, Lieutenant Commander G. H. Perany amount of endurance, but there is a natural kins-were already inside the bar, and had been fear of hidden dangers, particularly when so aw- ordered to take up their positions on the starfully destructive of human life as the torpedo, board side of the wooden ships, or between them which requires more than discipline to overcome. and Fort Morgan, for the double purpose of
Preliminary to a report of the action of the keeping down the fire from the water-battery and fifth, I desire to call the attention of the Depart- the parapet guns of the fort, as well as to attack ment to the previous steps taken in consultation the ram Tennessee as soon as the Fort was with Generals Canby and Granger. On the passed. eighth of July I had an interview with these offi- It was only at the urgent request of the Capcers on board the Hartford, on the subject of an tains and commanding officers that I yielded to attack upon Forts Morgan and Gaines, at which the Brooklyn being the leading ship of the line, it was agreed that General Canby would send all as she had four chase-guns and an ingenious arthe troops he could spare to coöperate with the rangement for picking up torpedoes, and because, ficet. Circumstances soon obliged General Canby in their judgment, the flag-ship ought not to be to inform me that he could not despatch a suffi- too much exposed. This I believe to be an error; cient number to invest both forts, and in reply I for apart from the fact that exposure is one of the suggested that Gaines should be the first in- penalties of rank in the navy, it will always be vested, engaging to have a force in the sound the aim of the enemy to destroy the flag-ship, ready to protect the landing of the army on and, as will appear in the sequel, such attempt Dauphin Island in the rear of that fort, and I as- was very persistently made, but Providence did signed Lieutenant Commander De Krafft, of the not permit it to be successful. Conemaugh, to that duty.
The attacking fleet steamed steadily up the On the first instant General Granger visited me main ship-channel, the Tecumseh firing the first again on the Hartford. In the mean time the shot at forty-seven minutes past six o'clock. At Tecumseh had arrived at Pensacola, and Captain six minutes past seven the Fort opened upon us, Craven had informed me that he would be ready and was replied to by a gun from the Brooklyn, in four days for any service. We therefore fixed and immediately after the action became general. upon the fourth of August as the day for the It was soon apparent that there was some diffilanding of the troops and my entrance into the culty ahead. The Brooklyn, for some cause bay; but owing to delays mentioned in Captain which I did not then clearly understand, but Jenkins's communication to me, the Tecumseh which has since been explained by Captain Alden was not ready. General Granger, however, to in his report, arrested the advance of the whole my mortification, was up to time, and the troops feet, while, at the same time, the guns of the actually landed on Dauphin Island.
Fort were playing with great effect upon that vesAs subsequent events proved, the delay turned sel and the Hartford. A moment after I saw the to our advantage, as the rebels were busily en- Tecumseh struck by a torpedo, disappear almost gaged during the fourth in throwing troops and instantaneously beneath the waves, carrying with supplies into Fort Gaines, all of which were cap- her her gallant commander and nearly all her tured a few days afterward.
I determined at once, as I had originally The Tecumseh arrived on the evening of the intended, to take the lead, and after ordering the fourth, and every thing being propitious, I pro- Metacomet to send a boat to save, if possible, any ceeded to the attack on the following morning. of the perishing crew, I dashed ahead with the
As mentioned in my previous despatch, the Hartford, and the ships followed on, their officers vessels outside the bar, which were designed to believing that they were going to a noble death participate in the engagement, were all under with their commander-in-chief. way by forty minutes past five in the morning, I steamed through between the buoys, where in the following order, two abreast, and lashed to the torpedoes were supposed to have been sunk. gether : Brooklyn, Captain James Alden, with the These buoys had been previously examined by Octorara, Licutenant Commander C. H. Green, my Flag-Lieutenant, I. Crittenden Watson, in on the port side; Hartford, Captain Percival several nightly reconnoissances. Though he had Drayton, with the Metacomet, Lieutenant Com- not been able to discover the sunken torpedoes, mander I. E. Jouett; Richmond, Captain T. A. yet we had been assured by refugees, deserters, Jenkins, with the Port Royal, Lieutenant Com- and others, of their existence, but, believing that mander B. Gherardi; Lackawanna, Captain J. B. from their having been some time in the water, Marchand, with the Seminole, Commander E. they were probably innocuous, I determined to Donaldson ; Monongahela, Commander J. H. take the chance of their explosion. Strong, with the Kennebec, Lieutenant Com- From the moment I turned to the north-westmander W. P. McCann; Ossipee, Commander ward, to clear the middle ground, we were enW. E. Le Roy, with the Itasca, Lieutenant Com- abled to keep such a broadside fire upon the bat