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time to have saved his whole command, if transports had been furnished. But there were none. His situation was one of extreme exigency. He found himself surrounded by a greatly superior force upon the open island; he had no field-works to protect him; he had lost his only three field-pieces at the redoubt; and he had either to make an idle display of courage in fighting the foe at such immense disadvantage, which would have involved the sacrifice of his command, or to capitulate and surrender as prisoners of war. He determined upon the

latter alternative.

The loss on our side was, killed, 23; wounded, 58; missing, 62. Our mortality list, however, was no indication of the spirit and vigor of our little army, as in its position it had but little opportunity of contest without a useless sacrifice of human life on their side. Among the killed was Captain O. Jennings Wise, of the Richmond Blues, son of General Wise, a young man of brilliant promise, refined chivalry, and a courage to which the softness of his manners and modesty of his behavior added the virtue of knightly heroism. His body, pierced by wounds, fell into the hands of the enemy, in whose camp, attended by every mark of respect, he expired. The disaster at Roanoke Island was a sharp mortification to the public.


for the unfortunate general, who was compelled to hear on a sick-bed-perhaps to witness from the windows of a sick-chainber-the destruction of his army and the death of his son, there was not a word of blame.

In a message to Congress, President Davis referred to the result of the battle at Roanoke Island as "deeply humiliating;" a committee of Congress, appointed to investigate the affair, resented the attempt to attribute a disaster, for which the government itself was notoriously responsible, to want of spirit in our troops; declared that, on the contrary, the battle of Roanoke Island was "one of the most gallant and brilliant actions of the war;" and concluded that whatever of blame and responsibility was justly attributable to any one for the defeat, should attach to Gen. Huger, in whose military department the island was, and to the Secretary of War, Judah P. Benjamin, whose positive refusal to put the island in a state of defence secured its fall. There was, in fact, but little room for the government tc throw reflection upon the conduct of the troops. In the lan

guage of their commanding general, "both officers and men fought firmly, coolly, efficiently, and as long as humanity would allow."

The connection of the War Department with the Roanoke Island affair, which was with difficulty dragged to light in Congress, is decidedly one of the most curious portions of the history of the war. Gen. Wise had pressed upon the government the importance of Roanoke Island* for the defence of Norfolk. He assumed the command of the post upon the 7th of January. In making a reconnoissance of the island and its defences, on the 13th January, he addressed Secretary Benjamin, and declared that the island, which was the key of all the rear defences of Norfolk, and its canals and railroads, was "utterly defenceless." On the 15th of January, Gen. Wise addressed the secretary again. He wrote that twenty-four vessels of the enemy's fleet were already inside of Hatteras Inlet, and within thirty miles of Roanoke Island; that all there was to oppose him was five small gunboats, and four small land batteries, wholly inefficient; that our batteries were not casemated; and that the force at Hatteras, independent of the Burnside expedition, was "amply sufficient to capture or pass Roanoke Island in any twelve hours."

These written appeals for aid in the defences of the island were neglected and treated with indifference. Determined to leave nothing wanting in energy of address, Gen. Wise repaired in person to Richmond, and called upon the Secretary of War, and urged, in the most importunate manner, the absolute

* It (Roanoke Island) was the key to all the rear defences of Norfolk. It unlocked two sounds, Albemarle and Currituck; eight rivers, the North, West, Pasquotank, the Perquimmons, the Little, the Chowan, the Roanoke, and the Alligator; four canals, the Albemarle and Chesapeake, the Dismal Swamp, the Northwest Canal, and the Suffolk; two railroads, the Petersburg and Norfolk, and the Seaboard and Roanoke. It guarded more than four-fifths of all Norfolk's supplies of corn, pork, and forage, and it cut the command of General Huger off from all its most efficient transportation. It endangers the subsistence of his whole army, threatens the navy-yard at Gosport, and to cut off Norfolk from Richmond, and both from railroad communication with the South. It lodges the enemy in a safe harbor from the storms o Hatteras, gives them a rendezvous, and large rich range of supplies, and the command of the seaboard from Oregon Inlet to Cape Henry. It should have been defended at the expense of twenty thousand men, and of many millions of dollars."-Report of Gen. Wise.

necessity of strengthening the defences upon that island with additional men, armament, and ammunition. Mr. Benjamin replied verbally to his appeals for reinforcements, that he had not the men to spare for his command. Gen. Wise urged upon the secretary that Gen. Huger had about 15,000 men in front of Norfolk, lying idle in camp for eight months, and that a considerable portion of them could be spared for the defence of the rear of Norfolk, and especially as his (Gen. Wise's) district supplied Norfolk and his army with nearly or quite all of his corn, pork, and forage.

The reply to all these striking and urgent appeals was a peremptory military order from Secretary Benjamin, dated the 22d of January, requiring Gen. Wise to proceed immediately to Roanoke Island. With ready military pride the unfortunate general received the orders, without a murmur in public; it being known only to his most intimate friends the circumstances under which he left Richmond on the stern and unpropitious mission which promised nothing to himself but disaster, the mistaken calumnies of the public, and death in the midst of defeat.

The facts we have referred to are of record. The committee of Congress that investigated the affair of Roanoke Island de clared that the Secretary of War, Mr. J. P. Benjamin, was responsible for an important defeat of our arms, which might have been safely avoided by him; that he had paid no practical attention to the appeals of Gen. Wise; and that he had, by plain acts of omission, permitted that general and an inconsiderable force to remain to meet at least fifteen thousand men, well armed and equipped. The cominittee referred to was open to any justification that might have been sought by the Secretary of War, or his friends: none was offered; and the unanimous conclusion of the committee, in sharp and distinct terms, was put upon the public record, charging a Cabinet officer with a matter of the gravest offence known to the lawe and the interests of the country.

The effect of war is always, in some degree, public demora.ization; and the gravest charges are often lost and swallowed up in the quick and feverish excitements of such times. But whatever may have been the charities of speedy oblivion with respect to the charges against Mr. Benjamin, the public were

at least, not prepared for such an exhibition of trust and honor as was given him by the President, in actually promoting him, after the developments of the Roanoke Island disaster, and giving him the place in his cabinet of Secretary of State Whatever may have been the merits of this act of the Presi dent, it was at least one of ungracious and reckless defiance to the popular sentiment; and from the marked event of the surrender of Roanoke Island and its consequences, we must date the period when the people had their confidence weakened in the governmert, and found no other repose for their trust than in the undimshed valor and devoted patriotism of the troops in the field



The Sitration in Tennessee and Kentucky.-The affair at Woodsonville.-Death of Colonel Terry.-The Strength and Material of the Federal Force in Kentucky.-Condition of the Defences on the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers.-The Confederate Congress and the Secretary of the Navy.-The Fall of Fort Henry.-Fort Donelson threatened. The Army of General A. S. Johnston-His Interview with General Beauregard.-Insensibility of the Confederate Government to the Exigency.-General Johnston's Plan of Action.-BATTLE OF FORT DONELSON.-Carnage and Scenery of the Battle-field. The Council of the Southern Commanders.-Agreement to surrender. -Escape of Generals Floyd and Pillow.-The Fall of Fort Donelson develops the Crisis in the West.-The Evacuation of Nashville.-The Panic.-Extraordinary Scenes. Experience of the Enemy in Nashville.-The Adventures of Captain Joh Morgan.-General Johnston at Murfreesboro.-Organization of a New Line of Defenc South of Nashville.-The Defence of Memphis and the Mississippi.-Island No. 10.-Serious Character of the Disaster at Donelson.-Generals Floyd and Pillow "re lieved from Command."-General Johnston's Testimony in favor of these Officers.President Davis's Punctilio.-A sharp Contrast.-Negotiation for the Exchange o Prisoners.-A Lesson of Yankee Perfidy.-Mr. Benjamin's Release of Yanke Hostages.

THE unequivocal demonstrations of the Federals for an ad vance upon Tennessee through Kentucky, urged the Confederate government to send all the disposable forces at its command to strengthen the army of the southwestern division. Near the close of the year 1861, the Floyd Brigade and several regiments belonging to Tennessee and other Confederate States were sent from Virginia to Bowling Green, in southern Ken tucky, the principal strategic point of the southwestern army. The command of that army was given, as we have seen, to General Albert Sidney Johnston.

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Early in December, the Federal army occupied Muldraugh's Hill, Elizabethtown, Nolin, Bacon's Creek, and other points on the railroad, from forty to sixty miles below Louisville. Later in that month, a body of them advanced to Munfordville, on Green River, about seventy-five miles below Louisville, and about thirty-five miles above Bowling Green. A portion of this advance crossed the river at Munfordville to Woodsonville on the opposite shore, where they were attacked by the advance Confederate forces under Brig.-general Hindman and defeated with a loss of about fifty killed. The Confederates lost four

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