Page images

reputation of its namesake and avenge ginia joining the rebel commander; his fall! * The loss in the fort was but Longstreet continued through the less than twenty. Burnside offered the winter to annoy and harass our force rebels the privilege, between ten, A.M., in Tennessee, and in the spring joined and five, P.M., of burying their dead Lee for the campaign of 1864. and removing the wounded, which was Sherman, having left Granger and thankfully accepted. In a congratula- his men at Knoxville, returned with tory order, on the 30th of November, the rest of his command to ChattaBurnside highly praised his troops, nooga; and Burnside, at his own urgent “for their conduct through the severe request, was relieved from further duty experiences of the past seventeen days," in Tennessee. On the 11th of Decemand assured them “of the important ber, he formally transferred the combearing it had on the campaign in the mand of the Ohio to Gen. J. G. Foster, West.

a personal friend and brave and distinWith this last effort, Longstreet felt guished officer. it necessary to give up the siege of President Lincoln, in view of the Knoxville. His position was now be brilliant success of the campaign, not coming perilous by the advance of Sher-only sent Grant and the



spe. man, who, after the defeat of Bragg at cial thanks and congratulations, but Chattanooga, was sent with his own also recommended a thanksgiving day and Granger's forces into East Tennes for the people's observance. Gen. see to cut off the rebel general and Grant issued a congratulatory order, relieve Burnside. In anticipation of December 10th, and bestowed


the his arrival, Longstreet broke up his brave officers and men under his comcamps, and retreated on the line of the mand the highest commendation in his railroad toward Virginia. On the 4th power. “The loyal people of the of December, Sherman's advanced guard United States thank and bless you," reached Knoxville, and the same night he said. “Their hopes and prayers

for the rear guard of Longstreet's forces your success against this unholy rebelabandoned their works. Two days lion are daily with you. Their faith later, Sherman had an interview within you will not be in vain. Their Burnside in Knoxville, at which it was hopes will not be blasted. Their determined to be inexpedient to at- prayers to Almighty God will be antempt any formal pursuit of Longstreet. swered."* Willcox, who was in charge of operations in the Upper Valley, did excel

* Mr. Lincoln also the next day sent Gen. Grant the lent service in holding Cumberland following letter :-“ Understanding that your lodg; Gap and preventing troops from Vir- ment at Chattanooga and Knoxville is now secure, I

wish to tender you and all under your command my

more than thanks—my profoundest gratitude for the * For a more full account of the Siege and Defence skill, courage and perseverance with which you and of Knoxville, see Woodbury's “ Burnside and the they, over so great difficulties, have effected that Ninth Army Corps,” pp. 327–351

important object. God bless you all! A LINCOLN.”


[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Admiral Foote's appointment and death — The rebel ram Atlanta attacked by the Weehawken, one of the mon

itors — Capture, after brief contest - Admiral Dahlgren appointed to command the South Atlantic fleet Operations on Morris Island Gen. Gillmore's dispatch on the subject — Alarm in Charleston, and strenuous efforts for defence — Gillmore pushes forward operations — Assault on Fort Wagner - Details — Heavy loss and failure — Conduct of rebel authorities as to exchange of negro prisoners — Gillmore's batteries — Tremendous force and power— Fort Sumter bombarded, August 17th-24th — Result — Beauregard and Gillmore – Fort Wagner pressed – Rebels evacuate Morris Island — Attempt to gain possession of Fort Sumter repulsed — Severity of the bombardment of Charleston — Its virtual reduction and non-importance - Rebel view - Other operations in the South and West - Expedition under Gen. Franklin to occupy Sabine City — Report of the expedition, which was unsuccessful - Gen. Banks sails for the mouth of the Rio Grande - Enters Brownsville — Gen. Steele in Arkansas - Takes Little Rock — Union strength in the state - Quantrell and his band of ruffians — Attack on Lawrence, Kansas — Murders and destruction of property – Cabell's force of guerrillas, Indians, etc. - Detachment under Coffey routed -- Quantrell attempts to seize and murder Gen. Blunt -- Prospect ahead.

With the appointment of Gen. Gill- Just before Admiral Dupont retired more to succeed Gen. Hunter we closed, from his position as commander of the in a previous chapter,our record of affairs squadron, he was able to report the in the department of the South (see p. gratifying intelligence to the govern297). We now resume the narrative ment of an achievement worthy of note at this point, and ask the reader's atten- by one of the monitor vessels in the detion to the siege of Charleston, which partment. This was the capture in was conducted with so great zeal and Warsaw Sound, of the rebel ram Atability on the one hand, and resisted lanta, formerly a Clyde-built steamer, with so much stubbornness on the other. and prepared with a ram and iron platAt this same date (June, 1863), Rear. ing of the most formidable description. Admiral A. H. Foote was appointed to Having completed her armasucceed Rear-Admiral Dupont in com- ment, consisting of two 7-inch mand of the South Atlantic blockading and two 6-inch rifled guns, and taken squadron; but, while on his way to on board an ample supply of ammuni. enter upon his duties, while passing tion and stores for a regular cruise, with through New York, he was seized with a complement, officers and men, of 165, that fatal illness which resulted in his the Atlanta left Savannah, on the even death a few days subsequently. He ing of the 16th of June, by way of died on the 26th of June, and passed Wilmington, for Warsaw Sound, fully away acknowledged by all as a “gal. prepared to attack the blockading lant and self-sacrificing Christian sailor squadron. and gentleman."

In anticipation of this attempt of


[ocr errors]

(see p.

the rebel vessel to get to sea, Dupont On the death of Admiral Foote (see had dispatched, some days before, the p. 365) Admiral J. A. Dahlgren was Weehawken, Capt. John Rodgers, from appointed to the command of the South Port Royal, and the Nahant, Command. Atlantic fleet. He was the inventor of er J. Downes, from North Edisto, to the gun which bears his name; and in the assistance of Commander Drake, consequence of his scientific reputation, who, in the Cimerone, was maintaining it was deemed advisable to send him the inside blockade at Warsaw Sound. to Charleston to co-operate with GillAt six o'clock on the morning of the more, and to bring all the resources of 17th of June, the Atlanta came in sight, science to bear in order to reduce that accompanied by two wooden steamers, rebellious city. He proceeded at once filled, it was said, with spectators from to Port Royal, and on the 6th of July, Savannah who had come out to witness took command of the squadron. à certainly expected victory. As the The attack by the fleet under Dupont, Atlanta was bearing down, reserving in April of this year, on the works in her fire for close quarters, she was an- Charleston harbor, not having met with ticipated by Rodgers, who at once en- the success which was expected, gaged her with the Weehawken. Eleven 295), it was now deemed most advisashots were fired in all—five by the ble, as preliminary to further offensive Weehawken and six by the Atlanta. movements, to effect a lodgment on The first 15-inch shot fired by Capt. Morris Island, on the northern side, Rodgers took off the top of the Atlan- where batteries might be erected of sufta's pilot-house and wounded two of ficient force, with the new ordnance, for her three pilots. Another 15-inch shot battering down Fort Sumter, and thus struck half way up her roof, killing one opening a way for the operations of and wounding seventeen men.

In con- the fleet. Concealed batteries were sequence of these injuries, the Atlanta erected by the troops, under Gen. Vod. grounded, and immediately after sur-ges, on Folly Island, adjoining Morris rendered. The whole action occupied Island, on the south, which effectuonly about fifteen minutes, and the ally commanded the entrance to the Weehawken sustained no injury of any ship channel on that side. On the 10th sort. The Atlanta, not seriously dam- of July, the needed force having araged, was speedily brought, with her rived, the batteries opened upon the officers and crew, to Port Royal.* enemy, and when their guns were si

lenced, a charge was made by the in* The secretary of the navy quoted “this most marked and extraordinary conflict" as an illustration fantry, who had crossed in boats

, and of the value of the monitor vessels, and the new 15- the works were captured. Gillmore's inch ordnance now first brought into use in naval war

[ocr errors]

dispatch in regard to these matters was fare. “This remarkable result,” he added, additional testimony in favor of the monitor class of

as follows: "I have the honor to report vessels for harbor defence and coast service against any naval vessels that have been, or are likely to be, con- have had of withstanding our naval power by naval structed to visit our shores. It appears, also, to have means.” Rodgers was soon after raised to the rank of extinguished whatever lingering hopes the rebels may commodore.

was an

CH, 1K.




that at five o'clock on the morning of ences of the success of our army, giving the 10th inst., I made an attack on the it as their opinion that, “with the capenemy's fortified position on the south ture of Charleston, the whole state end of Morris Island, and after an en. would soon be at the mercy of the foe, gagement, lasting three hours and a and the great cause of southern indequarter, captured all his strongholds on pendence would be put in fearful jeopthat part of the island, and pushed for ardy."* The portion of Morris Island ward my infantry to within 600 yards not yet taken by Gillmore was well forof Fort Wagner. We now hold all the tified. Fort Wagner was a very strong island except about one mile on the work; as were also Battery Gregg at

north end, which includes Fort Cummings's Point, Fort Moultrie, oppo

Wagner and a battery on Cum site Fort Sumter, on the north side of mings's Point, mounting at the pre- the harbor, Fort Ripley, Fort Johnson, sent time fourteen or fifteen heavy Castle Pinckney, and numerous batterguns in the aggregate.

ies at various points; the rebels, in On the morning of the 11th instant, fact, having in position and afloat, for at daybreak, an attempt was made the defence of Charleston, not less than to carry Fort Wagner by assault. The 376 guns. parapet was gained, but the supports After the failure of the assault on recoiled under the fire to which they Fort Wagner, above noted, Gillmore were exposed, and could not be got up. pushed forward operations with a vig. Our losses in both actions will not orous hand. While congratulating his vary much from 150 in killed, wounded, troops on their success thus far, he said, and missing. We have taken eleven frankly and fairly, “our labors are not pieces of heavy ordnance and a large over. They are just begun; and while quantity of camp equipage. The ene. the spires of the rebel city still loom up my's loss in killed and wounded will in the dim distance, the hardships and not fall short of 200.

privations must be endured before our This attack, with the prospect which hopes and expectations can find full it held out for the future, caused much fruition in victory.” He now set to uneasiness and alarm in the city of Charleston. The mayor, on consulting

* The Charleston Mercury remarked, truthfully with Beauregard, advised and earnestly enough : “It appears to us to be useless to attempt to requested all women and children, and disguise from ourselves the situation. The Yankees

having gotten possession of the southern half of Mor. other non-combatants, to leave the city ris Island, there is but one way to save the city of as soon as possible; and the governor Charleston, and that is by the steady and unflinching

use of the bayonet. If the fight on Morris Island is to of the state issued a proclamation, call. be now a fight by engineering and cannon merely, the ing for 3,000 negroes to work on the advantage is with the enemy. With their iron-clads

on the water and their men in occupation of the land, fortifications, urging the pressing need

it is likely to be a mere question of time. The fall of of increasing and strengthening the de- Fort Wagner ends in the fall of Charleston. Fort fences of Charleston. The newspapers both land and sea, and the fate of Fort Pulaski will be

Sumter, like Fort Wagner, will then be assailable by of the city dilated upon the consequ. that of Sumter.”



work actively to bring his heavy guns "This movement of the troops was obinto position, not only for an attack served by the rebels in Sumter, and fire upon Wagner, but upon all the rebel was at once opened upon them, happily works, anı, also to throw shells into the without doing injury, as the shells went city of Charleston. The siege works over the beads of the men. Strong's were urged forward, and the enemy brigade, under this fire, moved along were annoyed in every way possible the beach, at slow time, for with sharpshooters and shells. In simi- about three-quarters of a mile, lar wise, the rebels threw shells, night when the men were ordered to lie down. and day, which exploded over the men In this position they remained half an at work in the trenches ; and the guns hour, Sumter, meanwhile, being joined of Gregg and Sumter were busily plied in the cannonade by the rebels in Batagainst the Ironsides and the monitors, tery Bee, but without effect upon our which, by their steady firing, kept Fort troops. It was now quite dark, and Wagner silent.

the order was given for both brigades On the 18th of July, Gillmore having to advance, General Strong's leading placed a number of heavy guns and and Colonel Putnam's within supportmortars in position, within 800 yards ing distance. The troops went forward of Fort Wagner, determined on making at quick time and in deep silence, until, another attack. The bombardment, when within 200 yards of the work which was to have opened at daylight, the negro troops gave a fierce yell and was delayed by a heavy thunderstorm rushed up the glacis, closely followed during the night of the 17th, and it was by the other regiments of the brigade. not till about midday that the batteries, The enemy met them with grape,

canisin concert with the fleet, opened a tre- ter, hand grenades, etc., and forced them mendous fire on the fort. This continu back with severe loss. Other troops ed through the afternoon into the even followed, but did not obtain


better ing, the fort making little reply during success. Three companies of a New the whole time, and, whatever damage Hampshire regiment, led by Strong, in may have been sustained, showing no person, actually gained the ditch, and, sign of surrender. The casualties, dur- wading through the water, found shelter ing these six hours, were few and un- against the embankment.

Here was important on either side.

the critical point of the assault, and the As the evening set in, and the im. second brigade, which should have been pression gained ground that the works up and ready to support their comrades had been evacuated, another attempt to of the first, were unaccountably and unoccupy them was determined upon. fortunately delayed. Strong then gave Two brigades, under Gen. Strong and the order to fall back, and lie dowu on Col. Putnam, were formed upon the the glacis, which was obeyed without beach, with the regiments disposed in confusion. It was while waiting here, excolumn, the colored or negro regiment posed to the heavy fire, that Strong was (54th Massachusetts) being in advance severely wounded. Finding that the

« PreviousContinue »