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Сн. х.]

ROANOKE ISLAND CAPTURED.

121

1862.

the vessels were collecting, that they means of reinforcements by railroad would be employed inside of the capes communication with Virginia and the of Virginia, but little anxiety had been northern part of the state. felt respecting their sea going qualities. As it was a matter of necessity to disBut now, when the well known dan- lodge the rebels at Roanoke, the expe. gers of Hatteras were taken into ac- dition set sail from Hatteras for that count, there was considerable apprehen- purpose, on

the 5th of February. sion entertained, and the result prov- Fifteen gun boats led the way, followed ed that this apprehension was well at an interval of a mile by the armed founded.

transports, and side-wheel steamers. The first day out, there was much The naval vessels, placed un. embarrassment from the fog on the der the immediate command coast, which greatly impeded progress. of Commander Rowan, were formed in Monday was clear, with a heavy wind three separate columns, and as the day and rough sea, which caused the vessels was clear and the wind favorable, the to labor very heavily; by noon, how: entire fleet of seventy vessels preseuted ever, most of them were inside of the a striking picture as they slowly adbar at Hatteras Inlet, their first south. vanced toward Roanoke. At sunset ern destination, in time to escape the they anchored within sight of the is. unusually severe gale of Monday night land. The next day being foggy and ard Tuesday. The anchorage was bad wet, nothing was undertaken beyond a and the vessels jostled together. Some reconnaissance of Croatan Sound, as the of the vessels were grounded and lost; passage is called which separates Roanothers had to be sent back to Fortress oke from the mainland. Friday, the Monroe. Weeks were spent in striving 7th, was foggy in the morning, but to secure passage through the narrow, about 10 o'clock it cleared up sufficientperplexing, and violent channel.

At ly for the advance. An active bomlength, however, by patience, mutual bardment of Fort Bartow, at Pork help, and unwearied assiduity, General Point, on the upper part of the island, , Burnside and Commodore Golds. ensued, doing some damage to the borough saw the flotilla fairly embark enemy's works, while another portion ed on Pamlico Sound, and ready for of the gun boats was engaged in firing action.

at the rebel vessels at long range. Meanwhile, the rebels, aware of the In the course of the afternoon the purpose of the expedition, took occa- army transports came up, and after

sion to strengthen the defences, and considerable difficulty, our troops were I gather a large body of North Carolina safely landed. The process was tedious

and Virginia troops at Roanoke Island, and comfortless, the men having to a position which commands the chan- wade through water and mud, and nel separating the waters of Pamlico a great part of the night being thus ocand Albermarle Sounds. There was cupied; added to this, a cold rainstorm besides a fleet of gun boats, and ready made the position of our troops exceed

VOL. IV.-18.

1862.

ingly cheerless during the night. But immediately followed up by an expethe morning found them ready for ac- dition, under command of Captain Rowtion. General Foster promptly got his an, sent in pursuit of the fleet of the mer in order, and after marching a enemy, which had fled up the Albemile and a half came in sight of the marle Sound, a distance of some thirty enemy's position. It was capitally or forty miles, into Pasquotank River, chosen, protected on the right and left toward Elizabeth City. Captain Rowby a morass deemed impassable, and an sailed from Roanoke on the afterstretching across nearly the entire noon of Sunday, and arrived at width of the island. A bayonet charge the mouth of the river at night. was undertaken by the Zouaves, which The following morning, the 10th of so frightened the rebels that they aban. February, the fleet ascended the river, doned their guns and ran away This as- and at eight o'clock came upon the sured the entire defeat of the enemy, enemy's gun boats, consisting of seven and though they made a stubborn steamers and a schooner armed with resistance, they surrendered uncondi- two heavy 32-pounders, drawn up in tionally, and Roanoke Island became front of the city. A brief but spirited ours, with its heavy guns and batteries, contest ensued; the enemy set their and eight steamers, each mounting two boats on fire, and the crews escaped as guns.

best they could; the fort on Cobb's The complete success attained by Point, mounting four guns, was abanour arms on this occasion was equally doned; and in less than an hour the surprising and mortifying to the au- rebels were entirely defeated, and the thorities at Richmond. Jefferson Davis, flag-ship Delaware was moored to the in his message to the Confederate Con- wharf at Elizabeth City. After the gress, Feb. 25th, expressed the hope gun boats were deserted, the rebels that matters were not so bad as they commenced setting fire to the principal appeared to be in regard to the “dis: buildings in the city, most of the people com fitura at Roanoke Island and the having fled. Captain Rowan, however, fall of Fort Donelson.” He was wait- hy prompt action, succeeded in checking for further information, but at the ing this wild proceeding. same time confessed: “enough is known Elizabeth City was taken possession of the surrender of Roanoke Island to of by the Union forces the day after make us feel that it was deeply humili. the engagement. On the 12th of Febating, however imperfect may have been ruary, Edenton, at the west end of Althe preparations for defence."* bemarle Sound, was visited by a porThe victory at Roanoke Island was

war (no favorite with Pollard, by the way), and he * Pollard speaks with unusual bitterness of this re- lays upon Benjamin and his fast friend Davis the whole sult, which lost to the rebels a position "only second blame of the disaster, “which unlocked all North-eastin importance to Fortress Monroe.” He details at ern North Carolina to the enemy, and exposed Portslength the urgency of the confederate General Wise mouth and Norfolk to a rear approach of the most im. for reinforcements, and the curt manner in which he minent danger.' —First Year of the War,” pp. 227was treated by J. P. Benjamin, rebel secretary of | 234.

Cu. X.]

OPERATIONS AGAINST NEWBERN.

123

1862.

the govern

tion of the flotilla ; on the approach you astray, to gratify their waholy pur of which to the town, a body of flying poses. They impose upon your creduli. artillery ran away with all speed. ty by telling of wicked and even diabol Eight cannon and one schooner on the ical intentions on our part; of stocks were destroyed. Two schooners, our desire to destroy your free. with 4,000 bushels of corn were captur- dom, demolish your property, liberate ed on the Sound, and six bales of cot- your slaves, injure your women, and ton taken from the custom-house such like enormities; all of which, we wharf. The next day, Lieut. Jeffers, assure you, is not only ridiculous, but proceeded with several vessels to the utterly and wilfully false.” mouth of the Chesapeake and Albe- The governor of North Carolina, H. marle Canal, and driving away some T. Clark, also issued a proclamation, rebels there, sunk two schooners to ob- Feb. 22d; but it was couched in the struct navigation, and burned all that usual violent aid extravagant language remained above water. A few days of southern oflicials, and charged “avaafter, a reconnaissance was made by rice and ambition

upon Capt. Rowan up the Chowan River as ment and supporters of the Union, as far as Winton, the capital of Hereford well as “a spirit of vengeful wickedness Co. Information had been given that without a parallel in history,” etc. In there were several hundred Union men the present, as in other cases, the. con

, there who desired protection; but trast is very marked, and every dispaswhen the Perry approached Winton, it sionate reader cannot but be struck was greeted with volleys of musketry with it, and the conclusions to which it from the high bank on the shore. The necessarily leads. town was shelled in retaliation, and the In consequence of the favorable rebuildings destroyed.

sults of the expedition thus far, Gen. On the 18th of February, Commo- Burnside turned his attention to andore Goldsborough and Gen. Burnside, other portion of the state. Washingissued a joint proclamation in reference ton, on Pamlico River, and Newbern, to the objects of their mission. It was on the Neuse River, were the chief deaddressed “To the People of North pots in this quarter for lumber, tar, Carolina," and in earnest terms entreat. turpentine and naval stores of the couned their attention : “The mission of our try. Newbern, in its size and position, joint expedition is not to invade any was one of the chief cities in the state, of your rights, but to assert the author and its population exceeded that of the ity of the United States, and to close capital, Raleigh, by several hundreds, with you the desolating war brought and was second only to the seaport upon your state by comparatively a Wilmington. It was, moreover, by few bad men in your midst. Influen- the Atlantic and North Carolina Railced infinitely more by the worst pas- road, immediately connected with Beau. sions of human nature than by any show fort on the ocean forty miles below, of elevated reason, they are still urging and with Goldsboro' sixty miles in the

1862,

interior, the chief station on the Wil. Parke in front; the latter also was to mington and Weldon Railroad. Situa- act as a support to the other brigades ted at the junction of two rivers, the For details reference must be had to Trent and the Neuse, once gained, it the reports of the commanders; it is might, without difficulty, be held by sufficient here to state that the engagegun boats. On every account, it was ment was severely contested; for four felt that its possession was of the first hours our troops fought bravely and importance to our cause.

steadily; and the rebels, who stoutly Early in March, the troops intended endeavored to repulse their onslaughts, for the expedition against Newbern were at last compelled to yield. The were embarked from Roanoke Island, enemy's line of breastworks was very

and were ordered, with the na. extensive and formidable, and was man. val force, to rendezvous at Hat- ned by about 6,000 men.

Of course teras Inlet. Captain Rowan was in the capture of these works decided the command, Goldsborough having been fate of Newbern. recalled to the Chesapeake.* The mili. Gen. Burnside, the next day, issued tary force was, in all, about 8,000, divi- a congratulatory and well deserved ded into three columns; the naval force order, concluding with these words: consisted of six gun boats, with the “The General commanding directs, transport vessels for the troops. On with peculiar pride, that as a well-dethe evening of the 12th of March, the served tribute to valor in this second vessels anchored off the mouth of victory of the expedition, each regiment Slocum's Creek, about eighteen miles engaged shall inscribe on its banner the below Newbern. The next morning memorable name, NEW BERN.” the landing was effected under cover of The enemy, who had fled in con.u

' the gun boats; the roads, full of mud sion, burned and destroyed the bridges and mire, were in a fearful plight; and and the draw of the railroad bridge over only twelve miles were gone over by the Trent, which prevented pursuit by night, when the column halted, a mile our troops. Two hundred prisoners and a half from the rebel stronghold. were taken, beside, several vessels, and The gun boats shelled the woods and a large quantity of ammunitio 1 and protected the troops on their march; stores. Gen. Foster was appointed mil. the enemy's works on the river were itary governor of Newbern and its generally abandoned without fighting. neighborhood. A week later, a force

At seven o'clock, on the morning of was sent up Pamlico River, as far as the 14th of March, our troops were in Washington, where our men were well motion, Gen. Foster being charged with received, and Union sentiments were the duty of attacking the enemy on the freely expressed. left, Gen. Reno on the right, and Gen. Other operations of a naval and

military character on the southern * For a more full account of the operations against

cast, early in 1862, may here, proper. Newbern, see Woodbury's Burnside and the Ninth Army Corps," pp. 51-68.

ly be noted. On a previous page we

CH. X]

SUCCESSES OF RODGERS, DUPONT AND WRIGHT,

125

1962.

called attention to Captain Rodgers' suc. a similar manner on Bird Island, oppo cess on the Chowan River. The next site Venus Point; so that, to the astonmovement of interest took place in ishment of the rebels, Fort Pulaski was the month of January, and deserves cut off from communication with the honorable mention. The city of Sa- city of Savannah early in February, and vannah is about fifteen miles from the the stronghold in which they so confimouth of the river, and situate on the dently trusted was exposed to siege and southern or right bank. The approach assault by the Union forces. by water is defended by Fort Pulaski, on On the 27th of January, Capt. Davis, Cockspur Island, at the mouth of the with eight vessels, and transports carriver, and Fort Jackson, four miles be rying some 2,400 troops, under General low the city. Along the left bank of Wright, made a reconnaissance the Savannah is a succession of islands, of Little Tybee River and the and large and numerous ones interrupt adjacent waters, for the purpose of car. the channel. Turtle and Jones Islands rying out the object proposed above, are two of these, the latter being hound.viz: the isolation of Fort Pulaski. Tated on two sides by the Mud and Wright nall, with five vessels, made an attack Rivers, and on the other by the Savan- upon the expedition, when, after half nah River. A daring reconnaissance an hour's fight, two of the enemy's boats was made by night, under the guidance were driven back, and the others ran of negro crew and pilots, through the under the guns of the fort. intricate passages between the island At the end of February, an expediand mainland. The depth and bearings tion sailed from Port Royal, under Capt. of the channel were ascertained, and it Dupont and Gen. Wright, with the inwas discovered that gun boats could tention of reoccupying the principal pass by the Wright into the Savannah points on the east coast of Florida. River. By unremitting night labor all Fort Clinch, St. Mary's, and Fernanthe obstructions were removed, and a dina were captured March 2d and 3d; passage way secured.

Fort Clinch on Amelia Island was taken On the 26th of January Capt. Rod- possession of and garrisoned. Fernangers made a reconnaissance in force up dina, which was almost deserted, was the Wright River. The rebel commo. occupied by the Union forces; so also dore, Tatnall, appeared with gun boats was St. Mary's; at both places the preand scows; but was easily driven back. parations for defence were extensive, Capt. Rodgers not deeming it prudent but the rebel troops were not there. to pass into the Savannah, near Fort Brunswick, in Georgia, was found in a Pulaski, our boats returned by the way similar condition, March 7th; and at which they went. A battery at Venus Jacksonville and St. Augustine, FloPoint, on Jones Island, was erected, rida, no opposition was offered to the quietly but securely, notwithstanding advance of our troops. the severity and tediousness of the Commodore Dupont next visited Mos. work; another battery was planted in quito Inlet, fifty miles further south

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