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REDUCTION OF FORTS HATTERAS AND CLARK.
the secret of the expedition been kept, The government speedily sent 500 that, for several days thereafter, block- additional troops to Hatteras, under ade runners from various quarters came Gen. Mansfield, who, soon after, was into the Inlet, and were readily taken succeeded by Gen. Thomas Williams. by our vessels.
Excellent services were rendered to the The success of this expedition was blockading squadron; the illicit comcheering in the extreme to the friends merce of the enemy was checked, and of the Union. The secretary of the an occasional prize taken. But the navy, under date of September 2d, most prominent, if not the most imcongratulated the officers and men on portant event at Hatteras, was the their gallantry; and it was universally political assembly of the loyal inhabitfelt that the naval arm of the service ants of the island. Though necessarily was about to be, as it proved to be, of but a limited demonstration, and quite the utmost importance and efficiency in insignificant as an encroachment upon putting an end to the rebellion. the vast area which secession had gotten
The forts were held and garrisoned hold of, yet it attracted attention, and by our troops, the steamer Monticello was the means of arousing the symand the steam-tug Fanny being retained pathies of the North. We may menat the Inlet to keep off the rebel gun- tion, that a convention of delegates asboats, and capture vessels attempting sembled and proclaimed their loyalty to run the blockade. Fort Ocracoke, to the Union; and some 4,000 of the on Beacon Island, having been aban. poorer people, mostly fishermen, on the doned by the rebels, was destroyed narrow strip of land on the coast, cluimentirely by our men, September 16th. ed the aid and comfort of Union men Colonel Hawkins, then in command, at the North. In November, a provihaving been reinforced, sent a body of sional government was formed, and a men to break up the works of the enemy representative to Congress elected. at a point about twenty miles north- That body, however, did not see fit to east of the Inlet, and to afford protec- admit him among its members. tion to the professed Unionists in that The importance of Fort Pickens to quarter. The Fanny, on her way with the cause of the Union, and the gallansupplies, was attacked and taken by try by which it had been preserved from rebel vessels, October 2d. It was then falling into rebel hands, we have already determined to try and capture the noted. (See vol. iii., p. 563.) Colonel troops under Colonel Brown, who made Harvey Brown, an excellent and exa hasty retreat, losing some fifty strag- perienced officer, arrived, April 16th, glers on the road. This was on the with reinforcements, and by the close 4th of October; but the next day the of the month, the fort was garrisoned Monticello came upon the rebels, who with about 900 men. Diligent and were severely punished by the shells persevering labor was bestowed upon thrown among them and into their ves strengthening the works in every respect sels for several hours in succession. possible. New reinforcements arrived
at the end of June, consisting of “ Billy something at least. Accordingly, on Wilson's” Zouaves ; so that, with seve. the night of the 8th of October, they ral vessels of the blockading squadron started with 1,200 men to make an atat hand, the fort was in such a state tack on the camp of Wilson's Zouaves, of readiness as to meet any attack situate about two miles from Fort the rebels might venture upon. They Pickens. The attack was well planned, had gathered a formidable force of some and they came upon the camp long beeight thousand men at Pensacola, under fore daylight, and roused the sleeping Gen. B. Bragg, and apparently, were Zouaves out of their apparent security. only waiting an opportunity to drive The rebel force succeeded in burning out or capture our troops. Weeks and nearly all the tents; but the Zouaves months, however, slipped by, and en speedily rallied, and with the aid of tertaining a salutary apprehension of some companies from the fort, soon the ability of Fort Pickens, the rebels drove the rebels back in great confu. undertook almost nothing offensive; sion. At daylight, the pursuit was and, in due time, abandoned Pensacola continued, and the invading force, in entirely.
fearful disorder and consequent loss On the part of our officers and men, from the well-directed attacks of our there was a strong desire to do some men, skillfully taking advantage of the thing more than merely act on the de protecting sand hills, and familiar infensive, which latter was ordered by equalities of the ground, was driven the government. Early in September, off to their landing place, where, emthe dry dock, which had been placed barking in their boats they were further by the rebels so as to obstruct the pursued by the rifle shots of the reguchannel, was set fire to by a small but lars, thrown among their solid masses. resolute force and completely destroyed. The enemy's loss was severe, a hundred Soon after, Lieutenant Russell with a or more being killed and wounded; on picked force of a hundred men, at half our side, the loss was about fifty, 14 past three A.M., made an attack upon being killed and the rest wounded. the Judah which lay off the navy yard Colonel Brown, indignant at the at. and was being fitted out as a privateer. tack recently made, and feeling assured Proceeding in four boats, they boarded of his ability to assault the enemy to the schooner, set her on fire, and escap. good purpose, called upon Flag-Officer ed with a loss of three killed and twelve McKean to co-operate, and determined wounded. This successful feat, occupy to open fire on the 22d of November. ing only a quarter of an hour, was pro- | The flag-ship Niagara and the sloop of nounced by the rebels themselves, a war Richmond took part in the bomthousand of whom were quartered at bardment, although owing to want of the
navy yard, as the most daring and sufficient depth of water they were not well-executed achievement of the year. able to render all the service otherwise The gallantıy of our men seems to in their power. A few minutes before have stirred up the rebels to attempt ten, on the day appointed, Col. Brown
OPERATIONS AT PENSACOLA.
fired his first gun, a signal for the ships to be impracticable with my present to come into action. They quickly means, I do not deem it advisable furobeyed the summons, and in a short ther to continue it, unless the enemy time the engagement was general. think proper to do so, when I shall The line of forts and batteries, to which meet him with alacrity. . Our loss Fort Pickens and the ships were now would have been heavy but for the opposed, extended four miles round the foresight which, with great labor, caused bay from the navy yard, on the north. us to erect elaborate means of proteceast, to Fort McRae on the south-west. tion, and which saved many lives. I Besides the old works of Forts Barrancas lost one private killed, one sergeant, and McRae, there were now erected no one corporal and four men (privates) less than fourteen separate batteries, wounded, only one severely.” mounting from one to four guns each, The blockade of the mouths of the many of them ten-inch columbiads, and Mississippi was, from the nature of the some twelve and thirteen-inch sea coast case, very difficult, and for a considermortars. These powerful fortifications able time it was evaded with more were defended by some eight thousand or less success. On the 1st of July, , men, while Col. Brown had under his the famous privateer Sumter,
1861. command at Fort Pickens but one-sixth Raphael Semmes commander, of that number. The bombardment passed out, made a dozen or more copcontinued till night, and, resumed again tures of merchantmen, and ran irto the next morning, was very effective, Nassau, where British sympathy and aid and silenced fort McRae and the navy were freely extended. Sometime after, yard, and very materially lessened the Semmes, continuing his devastating firing of Fort Barrancas and other bat. course, brought the Sumter into Gibral. teries. The village of Warrington tar, where the Tuscarora found him took fire, and both in it and the navy and kept him in durance, till the privayard a large number of buildings was teer captain and company were tired destroyed; a rebel steamer at the out, and sold their vessel to escape capwharf was also abandoned. The firing ture. But the blockade, though by was continued till dark, and occasion- no means perfect or complete, was sufally during the night with mortars, ficiently so to be very vexatious to the when the combat ceased. Fort Pickens, rebels in New Orleans, and roused them as Colonel Brown stated in his official to make efforts to break it if possible. report, “ though it has received a great A steam ram was constructed during the many shot and shell, is in every res- summer for this purpose, at Algiers, pect, save the disabling of one gun opposite New Orleans. Taking a carriage and the loss of service of six strong, old tow-boat as a foundation, men, as efficient as it was at the com- iron plating was put on the vessel, and mencement of the combat; but the a prow of timbers and iron, very ends I proposed in commencing having strong, projected about ten feet, and been attained, except one, which I find was calculated to produce a terrible
blow on the side of any vessel against Richmond was repaired, temporarily which it might strike.
and the army transport, McClellan, Confident of the destructive power coming up early in the afternoon, assist . of the ram, Manassas, it was determin- ed in getting the Richmond off the bar. ed to attack the blockading fleet which, This was successfully accomplished on early in October, was stationed at the the morning of the 13th, and the afterhead of the Passes, protecting our men, noon of the same day the Vincennes who were engaged in erecting fortifica- was also got afloat, when the entire tions at the point where the Mississippi fleet was carried without further injury diverges into five mouths, and where down the pass. Not a single life was a well arranged fort would command lost from the rebel attack. the entire navigation of the river. As communications were not very Late on the night of the 11th of Octo- frequent with our squadron, the first ber, as the steamer Richmond was lying news of this matter at the North was at the south-west pass receiving coal through the high sounding telegram of from a schooner, suddenly the Manas- Capt. Hollins, the commander of the sas was discovered in close proximity, expedition and formerly of the U. S. attended by gun boats and barges laden navy: “Fort Jackson, Oct. 12th, 1861: with combustibles, A tremendous Last night I attacked the blockader's blow was inflicted on the fore part of with my little fleet. I succeeded, after the Richmond, tearing the schooner a very short struggle, in driving them from her fasts, and forcing a hole all aground on the South-west Pass bar, through the ship's side. The ram except the Preble, which I sunk. I passed aft, and tried to breach the captured a prize from them, and after stern of the Richmond, but her works they were fast in the sand, I peppered getting deranged she failed in this, and them well. There were no casualties having received the fire of the steamer's on our side. It was a complete success." port battery, she was glad to draw off. It was some satisfaction, soon after, In a few minutes, the Preble, Vincen- to get at the truth, as above narrated, nes and Water Witch having slipped and Capt. Hollins' “peppered them
. their cables passed down with the cur- well,” (which, by the way, was done at rent, the Richmond following and a safe distance and with very
indiffer covering their retreat. The Vincennes ent results,) was found to be rather and Richmond grounded on the bar, poetica and extravagant than worthy the others passing over free; and the of any credit. fire rafts were entirely avoided. This In carrying out the policy of the gov. was about 8 o'clock in the morning of ernment with respect to points of imthe 12th, and the enemy's five gun portance on the southern coast, the navy boats opened fire, which was continued department appointed, in June, a special for two hours without any particular board of army and navy officers to coneffect, when they sailed back up the sider and report upon the whole subject. river. The damage to the side of the The commission gave full and careful
attention to the matter, and made vari. through the channel, and all the arrangeous recommendations in regard to future ments having been effected, on Thursoperations in behalf of the Union, and day, Nov. 7th, the weather proving fafor cutting off the means derived by the vorable and perfectly clear, the armed rebels from running the blockade. Ac vessels of the fleet advanced over the cordingly, an expedition on a larger tranquil waters to the deadly encounter. scale than heretofore attempted was the transports, freighted with thousfitted out, the destination of which was ands of soldiers, remained behind, yet kept secret up to the last moment. within sight of the grand movement. Gen. Thomas W. Sherman, a brave and The loss of the ferry boats, wbich had accomplished officer, was placed in com. been provided to transport the troops mand of the land forces, numbering over the shallow waters to the shore in about 15,000 men ; while the naval the rear of the forts, had compelled a portion of the expedition, consist- change of plan, by which the co-operaing of the steam frigate Wabash, tion of the military was abandoned, twenty-two first-class and twelve small and the whole responsibility of the ater steamers, and twenty-six sailing vestack was thrown upon the navy. sels, was commanded by Commodore It had been ascertained by the reconS. F. Dupont, one of the ablest officers naissance, that Fort Walker, on Hilton ir the service.
Head, was the most powerfully armed The expedition sailed on the 29th of of the defences, that the greater part of October, from Hampton Roads, and its guns were presented on two water met with very stormy weather. Several fronts, and that the flanks were but transports were disabled and four lost slightly guarded, especially on
entirely, and it was not till the north, where an attack was less to be
night of Nov. 3d, that the expe- expected. The“ mosquito fleet,” under Jition arrived off Port Royal, South Tatnall
, formerly of the U. S. navy, Carolina Soundings were carefully consisting of seven small steamers, made, it being found that the rebels had kept at a very safe distance in the removed the buoys marking out the northern part of the harbor. Under pathway; the next day, a reconnaissance these circumstances our fleet made its in force was made to gain information advance. respecting the batteries on shore, their The Wabash led the way, the
gun strength, position, etc. It was ascer- boats following, steaming slowly up the tained, that, at the south-easterly point bay, and receiving and returning the of Hilton Head Island, stood Fort Wal. fire of the rebel forts; then, turning ker, and on the opposite land of Bay southwardly, they passed nearer the Point or Phillip's Island, was Fort stronger work, and delivered fire with Beauregard, both being works of scien- fearful effect. By this arrangement, no tific construction and mounting some 20 vessel became stationary, and the rebels
could not gain by experiment and pracTh: flag ship having passed safely tice anything like a perfect aim. Not