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CHAP. XLIX.] POPE'S PASSAGE OF THE MISSISSIPPI.
sippi to the Tennessee side. To cover the passage when it should be made, the gunboat Carondelet ran down the river, past the island, during a thunder-storm on the night of the 4th of April: she was protected on her exposed side by a barge laden with hay. Though the soot in her chimney caught fire as she approached the batteries, and, revealing her, brought on her a hail of cannon-shot, she escaped safely. On the 6th, another gun-boat in like manner ran past. The bombardment was now vigorously kept up; the transports were brought out of their concealment through the canal; the Carondelet and her consort silenced the batteries at the proposed place of landing, and in a furious rain-storm Pope's troops accomplished the brilliant operation of a forced passage across the Mississippi. The defenders of the batteries fled in confusion. federates. They were pursued so vigorously by Pope that during the following night they were driven back on the swamps, and compelled to surrender before daylight (April 8th). The garrison in the island, learning what had taken place, sent a flag of truce to Commodore Foote, offering to surrender. Nearly seven thousand prisoners (6700), including three generals, 273 field and company officers, were taken. The spoils were a floating battery, 100 heavy siege-guns, 24 pieces of field artillery, an immense quantity of ammunition and supplies, several thousand stand of small-arms, and a great number of tents, horses, and wagons. The surrender was conducted with so much confusion that many important papers and documents were left; among others, drawings of the works of Fort Pillow. On the national side not a single life was lost.
Flight of the Con
The fall of the island was like a thunderbolt in Rich mond. "We have saved none of our cannon or munitions; we have lost our boats;
The gun-boats run the batteries.
Surrender of the island.
Moral effect on the
SURRENDER OF ISLAND No. 10.
our sick have been abandoned; there can be no excuse for the wretched mismanagement and infamous scenes that attended the evacuation; our transports have been scattered; the floating battery, formerly the Pelican dock at New Orleans, with sixteen heavy guns, has been sent adrift. In one of the hospital boats were a hundred poor wretches, half dead with disease and neglect. On the shore are crowds of our men wandering about, some trying to construct rafts with which to float down the river; some lost in the cane-brakes, and without food. No single battle-field has yet afforded to the North such visible fruits of victory as have been gathered at Island No. 10."
The capture of Island No. 10 opened the river as far as Fort Pillow-its Fort Pillow. This work was a short disstrength. tance above Memphis; it had 40 heavy guns in position, nine gun-boats, and about 6000 troops. General Pope's army of 20,000 reached its vicinity on April 13th, and preparations were immediately made for an attack. Unexpectedly, however (April 17th), Pope's troops were withdrawn, and ordered to join Halleck's army, then advancing on Corinth.
The Confederates, having a fleet, of which eight vessels Destruction of the were iron-clads, came out from under the Confederate fleet. guns of Fort Pillow on May 10th, in the hope of surprising some of the national mortar-boats which lay above. In less than an hour half the Confederate flotilla had been disabled or destroyed. Some had their boilers shot through; others had been butted and sunk. None of them, however, were captured. The steam power of the national gun-boats was too small to stem the stream of the river. It was feared that if they grappled the disabled vessels, they might be dragged under the guns of the batteries. Their victory was due to the superiority of their construction-for they were more heavily
mailed than their antagonists-and the heavier weight of their fire.
FORT PILLOW AND MEMPHIS.
Fort Pillow was, however, soon after abandoned, in Abandonment of consequence of the operations on the line of the Tennessee River. The troops were withdrawn to Corinth, and the remnant of the Confeder ate fleet went down to Memphis.
From its railroad connections Memphis is the most imStrategical import-portant city on the Mississippi between New ance of Memphis. Orleans and St. Louis. It is the western terminus of the great line communicating with the Atlantic cities. By its branches it connects with the Gulf on the south, and the Cumberland Valley and Ohio on the north. Along the great artery of the Memphis and Charleston Road the Confederacy brought supplies from regions drained by the affluents of the Mississippi River, and from Texas and Arkansas. This system of railroads enabled them to distribute troops and munitions of war in all directions.
Considering that its proper protection was the strong forts on the river above and below, the Confederates had not fortified the town. Its only defense was its flotilla. On the 5th of June Commodore Davis left Fort Pillow with his gun-boats and came down to Memphis. The Confederate fleet was at the levee. It consisted of eight vessels. Four ram-boats, under Colonel Ellet, had joined the national squadron. Soon after daybreak the next morning the action began. In many particulars it recalled the naval combats of ancient times. One of Ellet's rams, the Queen, butted a Confederate ram, sinking her immediately; the Queen, in her turn, was struck by an antagonist and disabled; that ram, in her turn, was struck by the Monarch, and instantly sunk. But among these reminiscences of old warfare
Naval attack on
FALL OF MEMPHIS.
there were realities of a more modern kind. Hot water was scattered on boarders; some of the vessels had their boilers shot through, and their crews scalded with steam. One Confederate gun-boat received a shell that set her on fire; she burned to the water's edge, and then blew up. One was captured; and of all the Confederate flotilla, one only, the Van Dorn, escaped.
There were many thousand persons on the river banks Destruction of the Surveying the battle with intense interest. Confederate fleet. Out of the dense smoke enveloping it came the roar of boilers exploding, the crashing of the rams, the bursting of shells, the rattle of musketry, the incessant thunder of the cannon. In half an hour the uproar ceased, and when the smoke blew aside, it was found that the Confederate flotilla had been destroyed, and Memphis left defenseless.
THE CAMPAIGN OF SHILOH.-FORCING OF THE SECOND CONFEDERATE LINE.
The Confederates, forced back from their first line, established a second along the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, its strong point being at Corinth, where they concentrated their armies.
General Halleck, using the Tennessee River as his line of attack, landed his army near Shiloh, and placed it under command of Grant.
It was Halleck's intention to join the army of Buell to that of Grant, and attack his antagonists at Corinth. It was their intention to attack Grant before he was joined by Buell. They gained the initiative.
BATTLE OF SHILOH. The Confederates, after making a very brilliant attack, were compelled to retreat. The Memphis and Charleston Railroad was severed by Sherman and by Mitchell, the campaign closing successfully on the national part by the capture of Corinth.
Grant's visit to
AFTER Grant had captured Donelson, he received a message from Buell asking an interview with him. Ac cordingly, on the 27th of February, he went for that pur pose to Nashville. In the mean time HalNashville leck had ordered him to ascend rapidly the Tennessee, then in full water, and make a lodgment on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad about Florence or Tuscumbia, or perhaps Corinth. There was a telegraph from Paducah to Fort Henry, but the secessionists were daily breaking the wires, and communication was continually interrupted. On the 1st of March Halleck had ordered Grant to fall back from the Cumberland to the Tennessee, with the view of carrying his intention into effect. It was at this moment supposed that the Confederates had retreated to Chattanooga.
Orders were likewise transmitted to Sherman to seize all steam-boats passing Paducah, and send them up the Tennessee for the transportation of Grant's army. As