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them down.' All who asked for mercy Such, in substance, is the story of the were answered by the most cruel taunts “ Massacre of Fort Pillow," which must and sneers. Some were spared for a ever remain on record to the disgrace time, only to be murdered under cir- of the rebel leaders and their men. cumstances of greater cruelty.

Pollard, and persons of his stamp, while These deeds of murder and cruelty denouncing the garrison as a “ motley closed when night came on, only to be herd of negroes, traitors, and Yankees," renewed the next morning, when the and while making very light of the demons carefully sought among the whole matter, yet admit the substantial dead lying about in all directions for any truth of the narrative given above other wounded yet alive, and those they “There is no doubt," says Pollard, found were deliberately shot. Scores that for some moments, the Confede of the dead and wounded were found rate officers lost control of their men,

there the day of the massacre who were maddened by the sight of

by the men from some of our the negro troops opposing them.” Ac gun boats, who were permitted to go cording to another rebel report, both on shore and collect the wounded and Forrest and Chalmers “ entered the fort bury the dead.

Many other from opposite sides, simultaneously, and instances of equally atrocious cruelty an indiscriminate slaughter followed. might be enumerated; but your com- The fort ran with blood. Many jumpmiitee feel compelled to refrain from ed into the river, or were drowned, or giving here more of the heart-sickening were shot in the water." details, and refer to the statements con- eral, S. D. Lee, in a letter, dated June tained in the voluminous testimony 28th, affirms that the flag was not baul. herewith submitted. Those statements ed down in token of surrender, and re were obtained by them from eye-wit- fers “to history for numerous cases of nesses and sufferers.

At least indiscriminate slaughter after success300 were murdered in cold blood after ful assault, even under less aggravating the fort was in possession of the rebels, circumstances. The case under consid. and our men had thrown down their eration is an almost extreme one. You arms and ceased to offer resistance. Of had a servile race armed against their the surviving, except the wounded in masters, and in a country which had the hospital at Mound City, and the been desolated by almost unprecedent few who succeeded in making their es. ed outrages.” With such lame excuses cape unhurt, nothing definite is known, and attempts at palliation, we leave the and it is to be feared that many have Fort Pillow massacre to the reader's been murdered after being taken away consideration.* from the fort."*

The next movement, and one in

which the rebels were successful, was * For the full report of the committee, with the evidence, as obtained by Senator Wade and the Hon. D). * See Pollard's “ Third Year of the War," p. 254: W. Gooch, see the voluminous proceedings of the joint also, Appleton's “ American Annnal Cyclopædia " for committee on the conduct of the war.

1854, pp. 61-62.

A rebel gen

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CH. VIII.]

CAPTURE OF PLYMOUTH, N. C.

419

the capture of Plymouth, N. C. This compelled to surrender, with the gar. town is situate on the south bank of rison at Plymouth, on Wednesday, the Roanoke, about eight miles from its April 20th. The rebels claimed to have entrance into Albenarle Sound, and captured, beside prisoners, twenty-five was strongly fortified by a breastwork, 1 pieces of artillery, vast quantities of with forts at different points along the commissary supplies, ordnance stores, line. Fort Gray, a strong work, was etc., and were especially gratified, inasabout a mile further up the river, oppo- much as Plymouth protected the whole site which a triple row of piles had Roanoke Valley. been driven, with torpedoes attached, Only two places now remained in our to serve as a protection to the fleet be- hands on the coast of North Carolina, low, and, if possible, prevent a formid. Washington, at the mouth of the Tar able rebel ram, named the Albemarle, River, and Newbern, at the mouth of from getting below and joining in the the Neuse. The loss of Plymouth led attack. Gen. Wessells was in command to the evacuation of Washington, at the at Plymouth, and had a garrison of end of the month; on which occasion about 2,400 men. On Sunday after the town was set on fire and burned, noon, April 17th, the rebels, under Gen. an act severely reprobated by Gen. R. F. Hoke, numbering some 10,000, Palmer, who had succeeded Gen. Peck with a heavy artillery train, made in command of the department. their appearance, quite unexpectedly, On the 5th of May, the rebel ram in the rear of the town. An artillery Albemarle, in company with the Cotton fire was opened upon Fort Gray, which Plant and her capture, the Bombshell, was steadily and bravely resisted, and, was met in Albemarle Sound by a in several assaults upon the other forts, squadron of Union gun boats, when on Monday, the rebels were repulsed the Bombshell was retaken, and a spiwith slaughter, our gun boats assisting rited effort made to run down

1864. in the work. One of the latter, the Albemarle by Lieut. Roe,

the Bombshell, was disabled and of the Sassacus. The formidable ram sunk by the enemy's battery. Early in fairly staggered in the encounter, when the morning of Tuesday, before daylight, an action ensued between the two vesthe rebel ram, a powerful iron-clad ves- sels, sustained by the Sassacus with sel, armed with two heavy guns, came great gallantry. Though the boiler of down the river, passing Fort Gray, and the latter was pierced by a 100-pound making for the gun boat Southfield, for- Parrott shot from her adversary, and merly a ferry-boat in the bay of New the vessel was filled with steam, her York, which she struck with her prow guns were so well directed at close and caused to sink immediately. The re quarters, within a few feet, as to enter maining gun boats were now compelled the port-holes of the Albemarle, and to retire, and as they were relied upon compel her to retire disabled to Ply. as the main defence of the town, in case mouth. Thenceforth the rebels did not of a serious attack, Gen. Wessells was attempt to prosecute their designs

1864.

against Newbern, which it was sup. thereon, now engaged the universal atposed would be attacked by the forces tention, not only in the loyal states, but under Hoke. The greater and more also among those who had wickedly set important operations in Virginia, at on foot and maintained, thus far, the the opening of the spring campaign," Great Rebellion,” as it will ever be and the momentous results dependent termed in the history of our country.

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OPENING OF THE CAMPAIGN IN VIRGINIA, UNDER GRANT.

Need of changes in the military management of affairs — Grant made lieutenant-general and commander in

chief of all the armies - Sherman and McPherson assigned to command in the West - Grant's views of the position of affairs — Situation of the loyal forces. and the great work before them — Situation of the rebels — Grant orders the reorganization of the Army of the Potomac — The command under Sigel Butler's forces and what was expected of them - Directions to Meade — Preparations for opening the campaign - Army moves early in May - Crossing of the Rapidan - The Wilderness — Lee's activitv and boldness — Battle of the Wilderness - Terrible struggle for two days, heavy losses, etc. - Deat.) of Gen. Wadsworth - Grant's next movement - Butler's position and Grant's urgency – Butler's advance to the 1, James River — Occupation of Bermuda Hundred – Lee's stand at Spottsylvania Court House - Severe and bloody battle — Death of Gen. Sedgwick – Battle of the next day – Heavy losses — Grant's tenacity of purpose — Battle of May 12th, fourteen hours in length — The deadly struggle and loss of life Sheridan's expedition against rebel communications — Dash and spirit displayed – Great success Rebel cavalry commander, J. E. B. Stuart, killed — Reached James River, May 14th.

For a long time past, there bad ex- | in one part of the field was of no adisted in the public mind a feeling of vantage towards securing the ultimate deep dissatisfaction with the position of end had in view. The rebels were able, our army affairs. Gen. Halleck, at no by rapid movements, while holding one time a popular man, had accomplished of the two great armies in check, to nothing, so far as the people could see, hasten to the relief of their hardly. in his lofty post as general in chief; he bestead troops beaten by the other, and was berated on all hands, with much thus to neutralize the effects of our vicseverity, and opinions in regard to his tories. In truth, as Mr. Swinton says, incompetency and unfitness for the work“ for three years there was presented with which he was charged, were freely the lamentable spectacle of a multitude expressed. There was an evident lack of independent armies, acting on various of combination of effort in the opera- lines of operations, and working not tions carried on by our armies in the only with no unity of purpose, but freEast and in the West; and it was con- quently at cross-purposes; while in the tinually happening that great success military councils at Washington there,

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