Page images
PDF
EPUB

1862.

tion, and in the course of a day's can- vicinity. To accomplish his object, nonading prove that the town must Pope needed only the means of crossing be given up. The rebels hastily re- the river, and bringing his forces face treated during the night, leaving behind to face with the enemy from below. a large quantity of stores, artillery, etc. At first, a road was thought of through

On the same day, March 13th, that the swamps to a point on the Missouri New Madrid was captured, Commodore shore opposite Island No. 10. This Foote left Cairo with a fleet, including being impracticable, à canal was proseven iron-clads and ten mortar buats, jected, by which steam transports could and having been joined at Columbus be brought from above across the Mis. by Buford with his regiment and souri peninsula to New Madrid below.

other troops, some 1,500 in all, The canal was a serious piece of work.

he moved down the river, and and occupied a much longer time than took possession of Hickman, on the was expected; but Colonel Bissel and Kentucky shore. The next day, the his regiment of engineers overcame all expedition approached Island No. 10; difficulties, and finally succeeded. It reconnaissances were made along the was twelve miles long, six of which shores; the mortar vessels were placed were through very heavy timber, requir: in position; and everything was pre. ing great exposure and privation in pared for the attack. A bombardment cutting the way through. It was com was begun, on Sunday the 16th ; but pleted April 4th, and was highly prais with no particular result, except trying ed as a monument of enterprise and the range of the guns on both sides. skill. The next day, another vigorous attempt Foote, meanwhile, was not idle or in was made by the gun boats and mortar efficient. The firing was regularly kept vessels, which kept up a continuous up, and on the night of April 1st, in fire all the afternoon upon the island the midst of a furious storm, battery and water batteries of the rebels. The No. 1 of the enemy, which had been day's work, however, was not encourag- particularly annoying to our boats, was ing, and it became quite evident that taken by assault. The rebels, however, Island No. 10, and its bulwarks, could retreated without contesting the posnot easily be taken by assault from the session of the fort. On consideration, gun boats; other help was needed from Foote determined to allow one of the another quarter before the place could gun boats to run the batteries. On the be captured.

night of the 3d of April, in a furious Pope's operations were expected to storm of lightning and thunder, the render this aid. His object was to cut gun boat Carondelet, Captain Walke, off the escape of the rebels by the only passed the entire series of rebel batway left to them, viz., across the Ten- teries, without returning a shot, and renessee peninsula, a few miles to Tipton-ceiving their concentrated fire. Strange ville, below New Madrid, whence they to tell, the Carondelet passed in safety, might readily reach Memphis or its and was received with much enthusiasm

Cn. XII.

THE CAPTURE OF ISLAND NO. 10.

143

1862.

by our troops at New Madrid. Three his supplies and material of war; and days afterwards, another gun boat ac- have again recrossed and occupied the complished the same feat in safety. On camp at New Madrid, without losing a the morning of the 4th of April, the man or meeting with an accident.” heavy floating battery of the rebels at Foote, on his part, was, on the 7th of Island No. 10, having been fired upon April, visited by some rebel officers, for more than an hour by three of our who surrendered Island No. 10 to the boats, cut loose from its mooring, and commander of the fleet. Immediate drifted two or three miles down the possession was taken of the island river,

Communication was then bad with On the 7th of April, Paine's division, Pope, and a safe opportunity was affordin the steam transports, preceded by ed for investigating the extent of the the gun boats, crossed the Mis military preparations of the enemy,

the sissipi. The rebels, finding the forts and batteries, which it had requircase hopeless, attempted to retreat dur- ed twenty-three days of persistent ef. ing the afternoon and night; but early forts, on land and water, effectually to on the 8th, ascertaining that they were overcome. completely cut off, they laid down their In pushing forward operations in the arms, and surrendered at discretion. South-west, it was of prime importance Colonel Elliott proceeded at once to to effect a junction of the forces under take possession of the works on the Gens. Grant and Buell, on Tennessee shore, opposite Island No. 10, the upper waters of the and to save, if possible, several steam- Tennessee River, so as to cut off the ers belonging to the rebels. This he rebel communications with the South accomplished, and brought in besides and East. Nashville had been occupied some 200 prisoners.

as we have seen, (p. 116), Columbus Pope, in his report, dilates upon the had been evacuated, and Island No. 10 greatness of his success. “Three gene was certain to be captured in a short jals, 273 field and company officers, time; hence, by advancing our forces 6,700 prisoners, 123 pieces of heavy ar- to Corinth, in Mississippi, where was tillery, all of the very best character and

* Pollard states that Beauregard was charged with latest patterns, 7,000 stand of small preparing the defences for Island No. 10, and tho Mis| arms, an immense quantity of ammuni- sissippi River generally. He, and the South everywhere, tion of all kinds, etc., are among the daily bulletins respecting the progress of affairs a

were sure that the position was impregnable, and the spoils. The conduct of the troops was splendid throughout, as the results of its fall did come, it came upon the southern people

from northern sources, and the mortification, astonish: this operation and its whole progress ment and keen appreciation of thóir loss are forcibly very clearly exhibit. We have crossed depicted by Pollard. “There couli' be no excuse for the

wretched management and infamous scenes that attend. the great river, the banks of which were ed the evacuation. . No single battle field lined with batteries and defended hy had yet afforded to the North such visible fruit of victory 7,000 men; we have pursued and captur- that the total number of prisoners taken was not more

as had been gathered at Island No. 10.” Pollard states ed the whole force of the enemy, and all than 2,000.-First Year of the War,” pp. 291-294.

1862.

the island confirmed that notion. When the news of

[ocr errors]

the junction of the Memphis and next day, proceeded some forty miles Charleston, and the Mobile and Ohio up the river to recoproitre, going as far Railroads, the conquest of Memphis as Eastport, and finding the rebels enwould be

be greatly facilitated, and gaged in erecting fortifications wherever another valuable point on the Mis- they could. sissippi River secured. A bold step it The enemy's line of defence had for was, indeed, from Bowling Green, in its base the Memphis and Charleston Kentucky, to the northern boundaries Railroad, the preservation of which

, of Mississippi and Alabama. Yet it was absolutely necessary to enable the was accomplished, and in the course of rebels to hold Northern Mississippi, a month, Tennessee being firmly held by Alabama, and Georgia. East of Corinth the Union army, our energetic com- were several important points on this manders in the West were advancing road, as Chattanooga, Huntsville, Tusagainst the new lines of the enemy's decumbia, Florence, etc.; westwardly, the fence in the states bordering on the road runs in a direct line to Memphis, Gulf.

ninety-three miles distant. The Union Beauregard, aware of the momentous line was the Tennessee River, extending issue at stake, concentrated all his from Paducah in Kentucky, to Eastport available forces at and around Corinth, in Mississippi. The gun boats were with Gens. A. S. Johnston, Polk, Bragg kept moving up and down the river to and Hardee to aid and support his prevent the erection of batteries by the plans, and with an army more than rebels, and were of special service to 40,000 in number, in the highest state Grant's plans. of efficiency, to resist the progress of By the middle of March, all of the our advancing host. It was not un- troops under Grant had arrived at natural that he should expect to be able Savannah, when an advance was made to rout the Union army at Pittsburg seven miles to Pittsburg Landing. Landing before it could be reinforced Wallace's division landed on the left by Buell. Grant, who had in charge bank of the river, marched to Purdy, the important movement now on foot, about fifteen miles to the west, and had also a number of distinguished of- destroyed the railroad bridge and part ficers in his command, as W. T. Sher- of the railroad from Humboldt to Corman, McClernand, C. F. Smith, Wal- inth, cutting off a train laden with lace, etc.; his army, too, numbering rebel troops. On the night of the 16th, about 30,000, was as brave a body of an expedition started for the purpose troops as could be desired, when work of intercepting communication on the was to be done which required steadiness, Memphis and Charleston Railroad. and the higher soldierly qualities. On They met the enemy's cat alry in the the 11th of March, the transport steam-woods, and a sharp skirmish ensued;

; ers began to arrive at Savannah on the after which our mer returned to PittsTennessee River, with the advance divi- burg Landing. sion of the army. The gun boats, the Buell, not being able to advance into

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]
[graphic][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »