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Sr. XI.]

SHIELDS'S SUCCESS OVER JACKSON.

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treville, leaving Ashby's cavalry, who This victory was highly commended were on the lookout, to suppose that by the authorities as "auspicious and Winchester was being evacuated. On decisive,” and it served to elevate the the 22d of March, a skirmish took place spirits of the people in view of the near Winchester, during which Shields campaign now just being entered upon. was badly wounded in the left arm. Gen. Shields's force was between 7,000 During the night, a strong force was and 8,000; bis loss was 103 killed, 440 placed in advance, on the Strasburg wounded, twenty-four missing. The road, in a masked, admirably protected rebels numbered about 10,000; their position, near Kernstown. The next loss in killed and wounded was over day, Jackson's troops made an attack 1,000. upon our men, endeavoring to turn In carrying forward the plan of the Shields's left flank; but they were re. campaign indicated on p. 129, troops pulsed after a severe struggle. An at- were embarked, during the latter part tack was then made on our right, with of March, from Alexandria for Fortress desperate energy and determination; Monroe. The transports supplied were it was, however, met with equal spirit found to be insufficient, and and bravery; Tyler's brigade dashed there was much delay in getting forward to carry the enemy's batteries, the troops to their destination. Heint. and hurl his left flank back upon the zelınan's corps led the way, and landed centre. Jackson, with his supposed on the Peninsula, March 23d. Other invincible stone-wall brigade and the detachments followed, as rapidly as accompanying brigades, were compelled means of transportation allowed. Gen. to fall back upon their reserve. They McClellan, expecting to have the supmade an attempt to retrieve the fortune port of the four army corps, directed of the day; but were not able to stand that the first corps (McDowell's), be the fire of our men. They speedily fled embarked last, intending to use it in in disorder, leaving Shields in possession mass on either bank of the York River, of the field, the killed and wounded, according as seemed best. He left 300 prisoners, two guns, four caisons, Wasbington, April 1st, and arrived at and 1,000 stand of small arms.

Fortress Monroe the next day. BlenToo fatigued to pursue the enemy

ker's division of 10,000 men had been that night, Shields prepared for the withdrawn, despite his protest, March next day's work, whether a renewal of 31st, to reinforce Fremont;* at the the fight with Jackson reinforced, or a same time, McClellan was allowed to driving him into flight. On the 24th detain him a while at Strasburg, until of March, the rebels retreated, and dur. Jackson was disposed of. As an offset ing the following week, were pursued * Under date, March 31st, the president wrote to to Woodstock, and thence to Edenburg, McClellan, “I felt constrained to order Blenker's divi

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sion to Fremont;" and some days later, April 9th, he about twenty miles beyond Strasburg. wrote

, “ you know the pressure under which I withdrew Skirmishing was kept up by Ashby's cav. Blenker's division.” What the constraint or pressure

was, in how far it was political, personal, or otherwise, is alry, which protected Jackson's retreat. not explained. The reader must judge for himself.

VOL. IV.-18.

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to this, some 10,000 men, under Wool It was at this point, while thus en. at Fortress Monroe, were placed at Mc- gaged, McClellan received an order, Clellan's disposal, at first; but on April dated April 4th, from the president, de3d, he was forbidden to use them with taching McDowell's corps from his out Wool's sanction. “This order," command. Although done under the McClellan remarks, in his report, “left impression that it was essential to the me without any base of operations under safety of Washington against rebel asmy control, and to this day I am ignor- saults, it proved a severe disappoint

I ant of the causes which led to it." ment to McClellan ; it rendered him

Very little information was obtained powerless, as he says, to turn Yorktown at Fortress Monroe as to the position of by West Point, and left him no choice affairs on the Peninsula, and the topo- but to attack the place directly in front graphy of the region had to be learned with such force as he had under his by experience, rather than by previous command.* In his report, McClellan surveys or maps. The navy also, it was affirms positively that Mr. Lincoln, found, was too busy in looking after the when withdrawing Blenker's division, Merrimac and rebel gunboats, to be able had assured him that no other interferto give any of that support on which Mc-ence of any kind would be made with Clellan had counted, in operating against the proposed operations on the PeninYorktown and Gloucester. His plan sula; and he goes on to say that he was, as he says, by rapid movements to was shocked at this order, that it drive before him or capture the enemy marred all his expectations, that, in on the Peninsula, open the James River, short, “it was a fatal error." Careful and press on to Richmond, before the reconnaissances were made for several rebels should be materially reinforced days, and developed the serious difficul. from other quarters. But McClellan's ties in the way of our advance, as it had plans were not carried out as he intend to be forced through dense forests, deep ed, because, as he asserts, the means swamps, flooded roads, and the like. necessary were taken away from him. On examination by McClellan himself, it The army was put in immediate move- was concluded not to risk an immediate ment against the enemy's works, at assault upon the extensive fortifications various points between Fortress Mon- which protected so fully Yorktown and roe and Yorktown. Heavy rains had Gloucester. From the first arrival of made the roads bad, and although our troops before Yorktown, there was the rehels abandoned some points, yet, when Gen. Keyes reached Lee's Mills,

* There is a curious question as to a matter of fact,

which one would suppose not difficult to settle. It is he found the post too strong to be car instructive as well as curious, and may give the reader ried, as he had been directed, by assault. an idea how hard it is to attain positive accuracy where Heintzelman arrived in front of York- of war said that McClellan, according to his own re

numbers are concerned. The president and secretary town on the afternoon of April 5th; turns had, April 7th, 108,000 men for the peninsular both columns having been exposed to a campaign. McClellan declared that at that date, 87,000

was the extent of his force all counted. Rather a large warm artillery fire during the advance. | difference that of 23,000 !

Cn. XI.

SIEGE OF YORKTOWN.

139

more or less skirmishing of the sharp- you that I have never written you, or shooters with the enemy in their en spoken to you, in greater kindness of trenchments in front of the Union line. feeling than now, nor with a fuller pur Heavy rain storms, unusual for the sea- pose to sustain you, so far as in my son, aggravated the ordinary difficulties most anxious judgment I consisiently of a campaign in a strange region ; and can. But

you must act."* the ground, imperfectly drained, would Siege operations were pushed forhave rendered an advance entirely im- ward vigorously and as rapidly as pospracticable, had not some Maine and sible ; batteries were erected to silence Michigan regiments constructed, with the enemy's guns, and drive them from great toil, a series of corduroy roads, the works at Wynn's and Lee's Mills; over which the artillery could be trans- and active reconnaissances were kept ported.

up continually in every direction. On The rebel General Magruder had the 16th of April, Gen. W. F. Smith, some 10,000 men at Yorktown, and with a brigade of Vermont troops, adcould be reinforced at any time directly vanced to a point, thought to be the from Richmond, and was reinforced weakest of that part of the enemy's lines, largely so soon as our army appeared. about a mile above Lee's Mills, where It was, therefore, prudent, if not neces- there was a dam covered by a battery. sary, on McClellan's part, to take the The rebel fort was silenced in about two course which he did; although there hours; and an attempt was made to were many who held, that a bold dash carry the entrenchments; but without at the outset would have given him success. On the 18th of April, a por: possession of Yorktown.

tion of McDowell's corps, under Gen. The impatience of the public, demand. Augur, made an advance upon Freing greater activity and speedy results, dericksburg, and drove the was shown in various ways. The

enemy, some 3,000 in number, president was deeply affected by it, and a running fight being kept up at the under date of April 9th, closed an same time. The rebels burned two

urgent letter to McClellan bridges and a number of vessels on the as follows :-“I suppose the Rappahannock; and the authorities

whole force which has gone forward to formally surrendered the town. The you is with you by this time, and if so, | same day an advance was accomplished I think it is the precise time for you to by some of Banks's force, who took strike a blow. . . . . Let me tell you possession of New Market, near Ma

... that it is indispensable to you strike a blow. I am powerless to help this.. . . The country will not fail

* McClellan, in his report, is confident that the

president, if he knew the actual position of affairs, to note—is noting now—that the pre-would not deem an attack at all safe, at that timo. sent hesitation to move upon an en- He also says, “ still less could I forego the conclusiong trenched position is but the story of of my most instructed judgment for the mere sake of

avoiding the personal consequences intimated in the Manassas repeated. I beg to assure president's dispatch.”

a

1962.

1862.

that you nassas.

The steady progress of the siege needless. The advantage was on the works, under the superintendence of enemy's side, they having stopped our Gen. Fitz John Porter, and the certainty progress a whole month, and having that within a few days the assault had the opportunity, meanwhile, of would be made with success, led the strengthening their position in and rebels to the conclusion that Yorktown about Richmond. must be evacuated. With their usual Thus far, certainly, the president's skill in concealing their designs, keep- earnest and peremptory injunction to ing up a vigorous and noisy fire, during McClellan,

you must act," had not the early days of May, they made their resulted in the successes which the preparations, and on the 3d and 4th of public voice called for, and which the the month abandoned all their works. government was exceedingly desirous The next day McClellan purposed to to attain, at the earliest possible moassault Yorktown, which now became ment.

CHAPTER XII.

1862.

ISLAND NO. 10: SHILOH, OR PITTSBURG LANDING : CONGRESS IN SESSION.

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Rebel fortifications on the Mississippi — Importance of the river - Island No. 10 – Strongly fortified — Gen

Pope at New Madrid – Works there -- Occupies Mount Pleasant - Attack on New Madrid — Rebels retreat - Commodore Foote and his flotila — Begins bombardment of Island No. 10 — Pope's plans and ope rations - Canal made for crossing peninsula - Very toilsome work - Gunboat Carondelet runs the enemy's batteries — Bombardment continued - Pope's troops cross the Mississippi — Rebels give up in despairSurrender - Chagrin of rebel authorities — Vast amount of supplies, etc., taken — Foote and Island No. 10 -- Advance of Grant's army in Tennessee — Beauregard at Corinth, Mississippi — The two armies – Confederate line of defence — Grant's army at Pittsburg Landing – Beauregard and Johnston determine to attack him before Buell arrives — Battle of Shil or Pittsburg Landing - First day's fight — Union army nearly ruined -Buell arrives at night - The next day the rebels beaten and driven back to Corinth Hugeness of the conflict and terrible slaughter — Thanks to the army Halleck assumes command — His plans — Congress in session – Tone and spirit of the majority — Slavery abolished in District of Columbia

- The bill and message of the president - Slavery abolished in the territories of the United States — Mr. Lincoln's views as to compensated emancipation - President authorized to take possession of roads, etc., in certain cases - Great financial measure

re — Legal tender question - Issue of treasury notes - Confederate Congress at Richmond --Its proceedings, views of its members, etc.

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As has been already pointed out, the from the Ohio to the Gulf, a disconfederate leaders clearly perceived tance of nearly 1,000 miles. Beginning the importance of the Mississippi to with Columbus in Kentucky, at Island their plans, and, as rapidly as possible, No. 10, dividing the stream at the they had carefully and skilfully forti- northern border of Tennessee, at Mem. fied all the principal strategic points | phis and its vicinity, at Vicksburg and

Ch. XII.]

POPE OCCUPIES NEW MADRID.

141

was,

1862,

elsewhere, to New Orleans, above and water it is twenty-seven. On the Tenbelow that city, the rebels had been at nessee shore was a great swamp, cutwork, excavating the hill-sides for bat- ting off communication with the interior, teries, throwing up trenches, mounting so that the garrison at the isiand had cannon on the heights, preparing mines to depend mainly, if not wholly, for its on the banks and torpedoes for the chan- supplies, reinforcements, and way of nel; and using every possible means to escape, if necessary, upon the river. obstruct the advance of our armies It All help from the Missouri shore was

therefore, a matter of necessity on cut off by our troops, under Pope, hav. our part to open the Mississippi, as well ing occupied and secured it. for the commercial interests of the great Pope began his march, Feb. 22d, West, as to cripple most effectually the from Commerce above Cairo, on the purposes of the leaders in rebellion. west bank of the Mississippi, and after

The energy and activity of our mili- a slow and painful advance, owing to tary and naval forces under Buell, the deep mud and sloughs, arrived at Grant, Foote, etc., had driven the New Madrid on the 3d of March. He rebels to abandon not only Nashville found the place occupied by regiments and Bowling Green, but also Columbus, of infantry and several companies of " the northern key to the Mississippi artillery. The fortifications consisted

delta," as it was called. Still, of earthworks mounting over twenty

our success, great as it had been, guns, with lines of entrenchments. was only a step in the onward progress Six gun boats, carrying from four to down the Mississippi. Island No. 10 eight heavy guns each, were anchored was the next formidable obstacle in the along the shore between the way of further advance; and the rebels lower redoubts. As the country was were determined to make here a bold level for miles around, and the river so stand. This Island No. 10, about forty high that the guns of the boats looked miles below Cairo, is situated at the directly over the banks, Pope found the bottom of a great bend of the Missis- approaches to the town commanded for sippi, where the stream, in a sharp some seven miles by direct and cross curve, sweeps around a tongue of land fire from at least sixty guns of heavy projecting from the Missouri shore, and, calibre. pursuing thence a north-westerly course Point Pleasant, twelve miles below, to New Madrid, on the western bank, was first occupied by direction of Pope, descends past a similar narrow promon. so as to blockade the river from below. tory of Tennessee soil, on its great This was accomplished by Col. Plumsoutherly track. The distance across mer, despite the cannonading of the the upper end of the first promontory, enemy's gun boats. The rebels made four miles above the island, to New great efforts to strengthen New Madrid, Madrid is six miles, and by the river is in order to hold Island No. 10; but so fifteen. The passage across the second soon as Pope got his heavy siege guns, promontory is five miles, while by (March 12th), they were placed in posi

upper and

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