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withstanding the impression in favor of land batteries over ships when not iron clad, and notwithstanding the rebels, confident of success, fought bravely and worked their guns in the best manner, the terrible storm of shot and shell from our ships, which passed five times between the forts, was beyond all endurance. At half past eleven, the enemy's flag was shot away, and an hour or so later, they gave up the fruitless contest and ran away. Numbering some 2,000 in all, they made a rapid retreat to save themselves from capture by our troops. In the course of the afternoon, Fort Walker was taken possession of, and a large body of troops landed; and as the other fort was found to be abandoned, the stars and stripes were hoisted on its flag-staff, the next morning at sunrise.*
Our success was complete. The losses were few and not important (eight being killed and twenty-three wounded); forty-eight cannon and large quantities of ammunition and stores were taken; and the rebels were astounded at the defeat they had met with. The day following the engagement, the Seminole was sent on a reconnaissance up the river towards Beaufort; she met with no obstructions, and with three gun boats had no difficulty in reaching Beaufort. The village was found to be entirely abandoned, only one white person being left, and he, to the disgrace of the "chivalry," was drunk. The
* A general order was issued by the secretary of the navy, expressing the high gratification of the depart ment at the brilliant success of the expedition.
On the 20th December, the "stone fleet," as it was alled, gathered on the coast of South Carolina, and sixteen old whaling vessels, carefully prepared for the
negroes left in possession had already begun to pillage and destroy. "The whole country have left, sir," said an intelligent mulatto boy, "and all the soldiers gone to Port Royal Ferry. They did not think that you could do it, sir." On the 12th of November, Dupont, Sherman, and other officers, visited Beaufort, and found every thing in a sad state of confusion and disorder, the negroes being left to work their will on property of all descriptions.
The government in this, as in the case of Hatteras Inlet, had not made provision for pressing the advantages which had been gained. Had Gen. Sherman been provided with light draft steamers and other facilities, there seems reason to doubt that, under the terror caused by the rebel defeat, a successful attack might have been made upon Charleston and Savannah; but delays occurred. Gen. Sherman set to work fortifying his position at Hilton Head. He did not, occupy Beaufort until December 6th; nor, although Tybee Island, commanding the approach to Savannah, was taken possession of by Commodore Dupont, Nov. 25th, did Gen. Sherman, or his successor, do any thing effective for some time later. This, together with the unwillingness to use the negroes in work of every kind, for which they were much better fitted than the northern troops, helped to delay matters, and some of the fruits of our victory were thus lost.†
purpose, were sunk off the harbor of Charleston. Others, a few days afterward, were sunk in an other spot, the idea being to embarrass or perplex, not des troy, navigation. A great outcry was made by foreign newspapers, hostile to the Union, and Lord Russell even undertook to remonstrate with our government upon
EFFORTS TO SECURE THE COTTON.
work with zeal and discretion. The results were encouraging, and gave promise of future improvement in the negro race.
The first movement of any consequence in General T. W. Sherman's department after the occupation of Beaufort, December 6th, was a joint military and naval expedition, directed against a fortified position of the enemy on a mainland at Port Royal Ferry. Ac cordingly, at the end of December, a method of attack was settled upon by General Sherman and Captain Dupont, in which their forces were jointly to cooperate. The command of the naval
In order to secure, as far as possible, the valuable product of the country, i.e., cotton, an order was issued by the secretary of the treasury, Nov. 30th, prescrib. ing the appointment of agents at the ports or places occupied by the forces of the United States, who should secure and prepare for market the cotton and the products and property which might be found or brought within the 1861. lines of the army, or under the control of the federal authority. The negroes were to be employed in this work, and the cotton when gathered, it was directed, should be shipped to New York and there sold by regularly appointed agents, and the proceeds operations was assigned to Commander paid to the United States government. On receipt of these orders at Port Royal, General T. W. Sherman distributed his forces to give the required aid to preserve what the torch of the rebels-which was every night of impunity employed with greater vigorhad left of the crops in the vicinity. The organization of the negroes, abandoned by their masters, or thronging in numbers to the Union lines, was a matter of no little difficulty. The general superintendence and direction of the plantations, with a view to their preservation and the care and regulation of the negroes at work on them, was assigned by Secretary Chase to Mr. E. L. Pierce, as special agent of the treasury department, a gentleman every way qualified, and who entered on his
an act so dreadful as destroying one of the harbors of
the world. His lordship was quietly informed of the real object had in view, and also reminded that even after the sinking of the ships, the port had been enter
ed and the blockade broken by an English trading
C. R. P. Rodgers; the military movements were conducted by Gen. Stevens. The preparations of both were made with the greatest skill, and carried out with remarkable accuracy. The batteries of the enemy were destroyed and the houses of the vicinity burnt.
As stated on a previous page (see p. 41), Jackson, the rebel governor of Missouri, had been put to flight by Gen. Lyon at Booneville, whence he retreated to the south-western portion of the state to get aid. Gen. Lyon continued the pursuit vigorously; the rebels, however, were met in Jasper county, by a force of some 1,500 Union troops, under Col. Franz Sigel, a brave and spirited officer, who was pushing forward to prevent a junction of Jackson's force with that which was hastening to his assistance from another quar ter. Sigel, on the 4th of July, found the rebels at Brier Forks, near Carthage, with a force more than twice his in number, and professing themselves
eager for a fight. The rebels were largely superior in cavalry, while Sigel was much better supplied than they in artillery. The battle began about halfpast ten in the morning. The enemy's large body of cavalry gave them great advantage, and seriously endangered Sigel's position more than once; but nothing could withstand the force of our artillery and the charges of the infantry. The rebels were driven at various times and occasions, but rallied again; and Sigel retreated to Dry Fork Creek, and thereby saved his baggage train. With his men in complete order, but greatly wearied with heat and fatigue, Sigel first took position on the heights beyond Carthage; thence, after another severe struggle with the rebel cavalry, he continued his march to Sarcoxie, fifteen miles eastward. Our loss was thirteen killed, thirty-one wounded; the rebel loss was estimated at fifty killed, 150 wounded.
was joined by 3,000 troops from Kansas, under Major Sturgis. Il news in regard to Sigel had reached him; but up on reaching Springfield he was cheered to find Sigel and his men comparatively safe.
The storm of war was lowering heavily over Missouri, and Gen. Lyon was but inadequately furnished with men and means to meet the rebels. His numbers, small enough at best, were daily growing less by the expira tion of the time of enlistment of the volunteers.
The rebel preparations
were among the most formidable of their many attempts in this quarter during the war. Their army, collected from various quarters, at Cassville, to the south-west of Springfield, near the Arkansas line of Missouri, included a large body of Missouri, Arkansas and Texas troops, under command of some of the most talented officers in the south-west. Advancing under the command of Gen. McCulloch, they encamped, on the 6th of August, at Wilson's Creek, a position ten miles southwest of Springfield. The object was the investment and capture of the Union forces of Gen. Lyon at that town.
As during the night and next day, Gen. Price brought several thousand Arkansas and Texas troops, under McCulloch and Pierce, to join Jackson, it was well that Sigel retired when he did. Indeed, it became necessary for him to leave Sarcoxie and proceed to Springfield, where, Lyon, however, thinking it best to on the 13th of July, he took his place meet the detached bodies of the enemy under Gen. Lyon's command. before they were concentrated in their devoted soldier and patriot, as above new position, set out, on the 1st of noted, with a force of less than 3,000 August, from Springfield, advancing men, but men who could and would about twenty miles south-westerly, fight, set out in pursuit of the enemy, and, on the afternoon of the 2d, after determining, as every way the wisest, a forced march under a burning sun, to strike the blow himself rather than encountered a part of the rebel forces, wait to be attacked. He crossed the under Gen. Rains, at Dug Springs. Grand River on the 7th of July, and The engagement, though not long, was
GEN. LYON AT WILSON'S CREEK.
sharp and decisive. It was principally rate columns, so as to surround and fought by our cavalry, which, with un-attack it at daybreak; but they did equalled spirit, succeeded in driving back a force ten times theirs in number.*
not do so. Gen. Lyon, on his part,
A forward movement was made to Curran, but it was soon thought best to retire to Springfield. This was done, and Gen. Lyon proposed to at tack the enemy on the night of the 7th of August. Circumstances, however, prevented; he was very greatly in need of reinforcements and supplies; and he pleaded earnestly to have men sent to him, or he must run the risk of being overpowered. A council of war was held to determine whether, with a force of about 5,000, he should undertake to meet the rebels, numbering over 20,000; the troops, too, of Gen. Lyon were, many of them, freshly-scant force, Sigel was assailed by two raised, inexperienced recruits, who had been hastily summoned to take the place of the three months' volunteers who had gone home.
Under ordinary circumstances it would probably have been more judicious to retreat; but in the present case, Gen. Lyon knew too well the prodigious effect such a course would have for harra to the Union cause. It was resolved, therefore, to make a stand, at any cost, and to meet the enemy at the earliest practicable moment. Friday, the 9th of August, was fixed upon for an advance; the rebels had the same purpose in view, and meant to march on Springfield that night, in four sepa
* The day was an exceedingly trying one; the heat and dust were oppressive in the extreme; no water was to be had at any price; and stricken down by the sun and exhausted, the men were very grateful when evening drew on and they could gain some relief.
batteries and a column of infantry. His men were thrown into confusion; the cannoneers were driven from their pieces, the horses killed, and five guns captured; and most of the force under Sigel fled, leaving the brunt of the battle to fall upon Lyon's column.
This part of our little army was speedily at work. Totten's and Dubois's batteries were very effective, and our infantry won great honor by their steady, unflinching maintenance of their ground against immense odds. The rebels were repeatedly driven back in confusion, but our men were too few to follow up their advantage. Lyon, brave almost to recklessness, was, as is supposed, fighting this battle against his real convictions; his horse was kill ed, and he received a wound in the leg and one in the head. He walked
cause, though a triumph dearly bought at the sacrifice of Lyon's life.*
slowly a few paces to the rear, and said | doing anything for more than a month. despondingly, "I fear the day is lost." In reality, it was a triumph to the Union A horse was immediately offered him, which, in a few minutes, he mounted, and swinging his hat in the air, called to the troops nearest him to follow. The 2d Kansas gallantly rallied around him, headed by the brave Col. Mitchell. In a few moments the colonel fell, severely wounded; about the same time a fatal ball was lodged in Gen. Lyon's breast, and he was carried from the field a corpse. *
Major Sturgis now took command, and after a three hours' fight, the rebels were forced from their camp and the field; while our men, almost without ammunition, and considerably reduced, slowly took up their march for Springfield, which they reached at five o'clock, P.M. The enemy did not venture on any pursuit; but, as it was evident that Springfield could not be held against the force the rebels possessed, Col. Sigel conducted the retreat to Rolla with the remnant of his army, his baggage train, and $250,000 in specie. So far as appears, he was not at all molested, and reached Rolla, Aug. 19th. Our loss in the battle at Wilson's Creek was, in all, 1,236. The rebel-loss was reported as 1,347.
The rebel authorities endeavored to magnify this battle into a victory, which it certainly was not. In fact, it checked rebel operations under Price and McCulloch, and prevented their
* Pollard, in speaking of Gen. Lyon, indulges in great bitterness, calling him a "dangerous man," "without a trace of chivalric feeling or personal sensibility," etc., at the same time acknowledging his ability and decision of character." First Year of the War,"
Early in July, Gen. J. C. Fremont was ordered to take charge of the western department, embracing the state of Illinois and the states and territories west of the Mississippi and east of the Rocky Mountains, including New Mexico. In many respects, no more popular appointment could have been made for the West, where Fremont's name carried great weight with it, and would be certain to enlist much enthusiasm and earnest support. Gen. Fremont hastened, at an early day, to the field of his labors, and as very much was left to his discretion and judgment, he entered with unusual zeal and energy upon his work; so great, indeed, that it was not long before he came into collision with the authorities at head quarters. One great object which he was directed to have in view was, to accomplish the descent of the Mississippi; for which purpose he was to raise and organize an army as soon as possible.
The prospect of affairs was gloomy enough in Missouri. The state was largely hostile; the disaster at Bull Run depressed the Union men while it gave the secessionists cause for exultation; faction prevailed; the recruits were badly supplied and badly paid; and the rebels had some 50,000 men in
* Gen. Lyon's loss was universally deplored. His body was recovered from the field and entombed at Springfield. Subsequently his remains were removed to his native village, Ashford, Conn. Every honor was bestowed upon his name and memory, and Congress, at its session, in December, passed joint resolutions expressive of their sense of his eminent and pa triotic services.