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STONEMAN'S CAVALRY RAID.
encounter took place at Salem Heights, belong to “Fighting Joe,” ordered the between four and five o'clock in the army across the Rappahannoik, and afternoon, and Sedgwick was unable to “ingloriously” left the rebels masters do more than hold his own, and hardly of the field. that, for his losses were very heavy The losses on our side, in this badly (probably quite 5,000) and the enemy managed Chancellorsville affair, were were attacking him from several differ- 17,197 killed, wounded, and missing. ent points. This was on Sunday night. There were left behind on the retreat
On Monday morning, May 4th, Lee the killed and wounded, fourteen pieces finding it necessary to get rid of Sedg- of artillery, and 20,000 stand of arms; wick before attacking Hooker in his Lee claimed also to have 5,000 prison. new line of defence, ordered reinforce-ers. The rebel loss was said to be, in ments on the ground, so as to cut Sedg. all, 10,281. wick off from, or drive him across, the Stoneman, it will be remembered, Rappahannock. The attack was not (see p. 280), had been ordered with a fine begun till late in the afternoon, when body of cavalry, some 10,000 in num. the rebels rushed furiously upon our ber, to operate against the rebel com men; but Sedgwick’s force resisted munications, and thereby, it was hoped, stubbornly, notwithstanding they were greatly to aid the plans of Hooker in forced to yield ground on the left. his advance upon Chancellorsville. Jt Darkness soon after put an end to fur. was intended that he should precede ther fighting, and under cover of the the army by at least a fortnight; but night, the corps of Sedgwick crossed very unfortunately, heavy and continuthe river at Banks's Ford, on a pontoon ous rains delayed the cavalry movebridge laid the day before.* Having ment until April 29th, when the inthus relieved himself of any trouble fantry crossed the river. Stoneman's from this quarter, Lee now determined command was then divided into two
to attack Hooker with all his columns; one which was under Averill,
force at daylight, on Wednes- moved to the Orange and Alexandria day, May 6th. During the night, how. Railroad, and encountered two regiever, Hooker, who seemed to have lost ments of rebels, who retired towards all the spirit which men supposed to Gordonsville. Thence he proceeded to
Culpepper, dispersed quite a large force, * Hooker’s course towards Sedgwick has been sharply destroyed rebel stores, etc. After concriticised, because especially he took no steps to aid the latter in forming a junction with him. Before the com- siderable active service, Averill was or mittee on the conduct of the war he laid the blame of dered, May 2d, to join Hooker at once. the disaster of Chancellorsville on Sedgwick's failing The other column, under Buford, was to join to him on Sunday morning. “ This is a cruel charge,” says Mr. Swinton, “ to bring against a com- charged with the breaking up the Richmander now beyond the reach of detraction;
whose mond and Fredericksburg Railroad, the and his subsequent fortitude in a trying situation, destroying of bridges, and everything shine out as the one relieving brightness amid the else which could be of advantage to the vloum of that hapless battle."-" Army of the Poto nar," ??. 305.
enemy. A large amount of damage of
various kinds was done, and Col. Kil. without any loss in the movement. patrick with his force dashed up within Not more than a third of Gen. Hooker's two miles of Richmond; but the im- force was engaged. Gen. Stoneman's portant Fredericksburg and Richmond operations have been a brilliant success. Railroad was not struck till the 3d of Part of his force advanced to within May, and then only trifling injury was two miles of Richmond, and the eninflicted. The James River canal was emy's communications have been cut in also damaged but slightly. The prin- every direction. The · Army of the cipal effect of the raid was to rouse and Potomac will speedily resume offensive alarm the entire region; but, as far as operations.” any military gain to Hooker, or any A military critic of repute, as well as future operations in Virginia were con. of some pretensions, devotes a number concerned, Stoneman's raid was of very of pages to what he calls “ Observalittle consequence.
tions on the battle of Chancellorsville,” The army having escaped across the which are severe but not undeserved, Rappahannock, on Wednesday, May and which show how it was that an 6th, resumed its old quarters at Fal "action which, opening with an exhibi. mouth, and on the same day Hooker tion of grand tactics, marked by masissued a congratulatory address, which terly skill
, sank into conduct so feeble was in bad taste, to say the least, and and faulty as to be almost might better have been dispensed with beneath criticism.” We have under the circumstances. The war de- room for only the concluding parapartment also, under date of May 8th, graph: “Not the Army of the Poto1863, in a dispatch sent to the govern- mac was beaten at Chancellorsville, but ers of the northern states, endeavored its commander; and Gen. Hooker's to put the best face possible upon mat- conduct ivflicted a very severe blow to ters, as follows:—"The president and his reputation. The officers despised general-in-chief have just returned his generalship, and the rank and file from the Army of the Potomac. The were puzzled at the result of a battle in principal operations of Gen. Hooker which they had been foiled without failed, but there has been no serious being fought, and caused to retreat disaster to the organization and effi- without the consciousness of having ciency of the army. It is now occupy: been beaten."* ing its former position on the Rappa. bannock, having recrossed the river
* "Army of the Pot anac,” r. 208–307.
AFFAIRS IN DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,
DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH: NAVAL OPERATIONS: BANKS AND PORT HUDSON.
Department of the South - Hunter in command — Gen. Saxton, and negro troops — The iron-clads in the
Ogeechee – Privateer Nashville destroyed by Commander Worden — Movements of the rebels in Charleston harbor - Lofty claims as to breaking the blockade — Attack on Fort McAllister — Negroes drafted to serve in the army - Beauregard's appeal — Dupont begins the attack on Charleston — His force - Beauregard's vast and formidable preparations - Opening of the battle - Terrific fire of the rebels – Bravery of our officers and men in the assault - Dupont gives up the attempt for the present to take Charleston — Gillmore succeeds Hunter - Department of the Gulf – Banks sent to succeed Butler – Expedition under Banks — Ad. dress to the people of Louisiana, etc. — Military movements — Port Hudson, its position and strength — Attempt to sail past the batteries — Farragut's ship alone succeeds - Losses, etc. — Banks's demonstration against Port Hudson — Operations against the rebels west of New Orleans, near Teche River — Queen of the West destroyed — Further movements – Entire success — Banks occupies Alexandria - Enters upon attack and siege of Port Hudson - Long and tedious delays — Steady progress — Rebel General Gardner surrenders — Severity of the blow to the rebel cause.
In a previous chapter (see p. 151), | last day of the year 1862, with circumwe have given a brief narrative of affairs stances of painful interest. Her comin the department of the South. There panion, the Passaic, with the Montauk, had not much of any importance been and the formidable battery, the New effected, owing to the weakness of the Ironsides, made their appearance at
force under the commander of Port Royal about the middle of Januthis department; and since Gen. ary.
and since Gen. ary. Active operations were now proMitchel's death, October 30th, 1862, mised, and speedy employment in the but little had been attempted or done, field. beyond keeping a vigilant watch on Gen. Saxton, who had been sent by the part of the blockading force in view the secretary of war, in June, 1862, to of subsequent undertakings. Gen. Hun give attention to the abandoned planter, on the 20th of January, resumed tations, and the people, especially the command, at Port Royal, of the de- negroes, in the department of the partment of the South. Vigorous pre- way to the South. The next day she passed Hatteras parations were entered upon, while the Shoals in safety; but that night there set in a furious monitors and iron-clads, from which began to fill the
doomed vessel. The Rhode Island did
storm from the southwest, which dashed over and soon much was expected in regard to con- all that was possible in endeavoring to relieve the flicts with the rebels, were being com- down about two o'clock on the morning of December
but it was impossible to save her. She went pleted at the North. The original 31st. Commander Bankhead, in command of the MoniMonitor, as we have before noted (p. tor at the time of the disaster
, with six of his officers
and forty men, were brought back in safety on the 136),* passed out of existence on the Rhode Island to Fortress Monroe. Four officers and
twelve men of the Monitor were lost, and one officer * The Monitor left Fortress Monroe, on the 29th of and seven men of the Rhode Island, in their efforts to December, in tow of the gun boat Rhode Island, on her
save the men on the iron-clad.
South, and who was to report directly, port to her assistance. With these inonce a week at least, to the war de- ducements for action, Commander Word. partment,* announced, about this date, en began the attack on the fort with the complete organization of the first the Montauk, Seneca, and three other (negro) regiment of South Carolina gun boats of the blockading squadron, volunteers, Colonel Higginson being in on the 27th of January. For five hours command. He also gave it as his decided through the forenoon, an "artillery opinion, that this body of troops was duel” was kept up, chiefly between the “not surpassed by any white regiment fort and the monitor, the latter being in the department.”
struck thirteen times, with little or no Admiral Dupont, in command of the damage. A few indentations on South Atlantic squadron, for the pur- her iron surface were the only pose of testing the iron-clads recently injuries she sustained. She was the arrived at Port Royal, ordered the Mon- greater part of the action within about tauk, Commander Worden, to the Ogee- 1,600 yard of the fort, upon which no chee River, opening into the Ossabaw serious impression seems to have been Sound, on the Georgia coast, and made. Another attempt was made by through which there was an approach Commander Worden with the same to within ten miles of Savannah. The force on Sunday, the 1st of February, privateer Nashville, which had made a at as close quarters as the obstructions number of successful trips as a block- of stakes and torpedoes, and natural ade runner between Charleston, Wil- difficulties of the river permitted, within mington and Nassau, had, in July, 1862, a thousand yards of the battery, but taken refuge in the Ogeechee, and was with no better success. In this second compelled by our fleet to remain there. action the Montauk received sixty-one For seven months she had thus been shots; her smoke-stack was riddled confined to the river, the defences of with balls, and her flag-staff carried which had been meanwhile created and away, yet she came out without serious strengthened by various obstructions, injury. The fort was somewhat dam. and by the erection of Fort McAllister aged in this engagement; a 30-pounder at an advantageous bend of the stream. was dismounted, and the parapet badly To destroy these works and capture the torn in several places. Major Gallie Nashville, was the object proposed for was killed, and seven privates injured the navy. It was known that the Nash. by concussion. The principal result ville, now fitted as a privateer, was thus far appeared to be to test the deready for sea, and it was rumored that fensive qualities of the monitor class of the Fingal, a British steamer, converted vessels. into a formidable iron-clad war vessel
The Nashville, we may here mention, at Savannah, would come from that continued concealed and protected be
* See McPherson's “ History of the Rebellion,” p. 251. hind Fort McAllister through the month The letter of Secretary Stanton is interesting, in view of February to the 27th, when, at evenof the policy and purpose of the government on several perplexing questions.
ing, she was observed in motion above
PRIVATEER NASHVILLE DESTROYED.
the battery by Commander Worden. fire upon the other gun boats was wild, “A reconnaissance immediately made," and did them no damage whatever. says he, in his report of the next day After assuring myself of the complete to Admiral Dupont, “proved that in destruction of the Nashville, I, premoving up the river she had grounded ceded by the wooden vessels, dropped in that part of the river known as the down beyond the range of the enemy's seven-miles' reach. Believing that I guns. In so doing, a torpedo exploded could, by approaching close to the bat- under this vessel, inflicting, however, tery, reach and destroy her with my but little injury. I beg leave, therefore, battery, I moved up at daylight this to congratulate you, sir, upon this final morning, accompanied by the blockad. disposition of a vessel which has so ing fleet in these waters, consisting of long been in the minds of the public as the Seneca, Lieut.-Commander Gibson; a troublesome pest.” the Wissahickon, Lieut.-Commander Da- The state of inactivity, which had for vis, and the Dawn, Acting Lieut.-Com- sometime prevailed in the vicinity of mander Barnes. By moving up close Charleston, was broken, not long after to the obstructions in the river, I was Gen. Hunter's arrival, and a daring enabled, although under a heavy fire movement was undertaken by the rebel from the battery, to approach the Nash. vessels upon the blockading squadron. ville, still aground, within the distance It appears, that early on the morning of 1,200 yards. A few well-directed of the 29th of January, an iron.clad shells determined the range, and soon steamer, the Princess Royal, only four succeeded in striking her with 11-inch days out. from Bermuda, attempted to and 15-inch shells. The other gun run the blockade. The gun boat Unaboats maintained a fire from an enfi. dilla immediately took steps to arrest laded position upon the battery, and her progress, and fired a couple of shots the Nashville at long range. I soon at the stranger. The Princess Royal had the satisfaction of observing that was run a shore and abandoned, and the Nashville had caught fire, from the was at once taken possession of by the shells exploding in her, in several Unadilla. This proved to be a very places;
and in less than twenty minutes valuable prize, having engines for ironshe was caught in flames forward, aft clads, rifled guns, ammunition, and and amidships. At 9.20 A. M, a large stores of all kinds on board. Two days pivot-gun, mounted abaft her foremast, later she was taken to Port Royal, and exploded from the heat; at 9.40 her subsequently sent to Philadelphia for smoke-chimney went by the board; and adjudication. at 9.55 her magazine exploded with ter- Deeply chagrined at this loss, the rific violence, shattering her in smoking rebels determined to make a bold dash, ruins. Nothing remains of her. The and not only to recover possession of battery kept up a continuous fire upon the Princess Royal, but also to attack this vessel, but struck her but five the blockading squadron. Accordingtimes, doing no damage whatever. The ly, about four o'clock in the morning