Page images

where he abandoned the chase, and General John McNeil, commanding the District of Southwest Missouri, took it up and ran him across the Boston Mountain in Arkansas. General Blunt, commanding the District of the Frontier, having been relieved by General MeNeil, he at once started to assume the command of Blunt's army. With these last convulsive throes, the active existence of the Confederate authority in Arkansas died out. On the 12th of November, a meeting was held at Little Rock, to consult on measures for the restoration of the State to the Union, and was succeeded by others in different parts of the State.

General Rosecrans succeeded General Schofield in the command in Missouri. Early in 1864, he found it prudent to concentrate his forces in the vicinity of St. Louis, and the country south of the Maramee River was a prey to anarchy. The towns in that vicinity had suffered great injury, and some of them been burnt, the crops destroyed, and the inhabitants conscripted or driven from their homes. Small guerrilla forces, under Shelby and others, committed great depredations. In May, 1864, a company of Missouri cavalry, escorting a train, were defeated and the train burned near Rolla. Vague rumors and threats of a new invasion of Missouri by Price began now to spread with growing strength, and about the 21st of September information was received at head-quarters that Price, crossing the Arkansas with two divisions of cavalry and three batteries of artillery, had joined Shelby near Batesville, sixty miles south of the State line, to invade Missouri with about fourteen thousand veteran mounted men.

The Federal force there consisted of six thousand five hundred mounted men for field duty in the department, scattered over a country four hundred miles long and three hundred broad, which, with the partially organized new infantry regiments and dismounted men, constituted the entire force to cover our great dépôts at St. Louis, Jefferson City, St. Joseph, Macon, Springfield, Rolla, and Pilot Knob, guard railroad bridges against invasion, and protect, as far as possible, the lives and property of citizens from the guerrillas who swarmed over the whole country bordering on the Missouri River.

After the defeat of Banks's expedition, General A. J. Smith, with the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Army Corps, returned to Vicksburg, where they were destined to rejoin the Army of the Cumberland under Sherman, of which force they really constituted a part. Meantime, however, Marmaduke, with a force of about six thousand infantry and cavalry and three batteries, occupied Lake Village, whence he interrupted the traffic of the Missouri River. General Smith therefore proceeded in quest of Marmaduke. On the 5th of June, Smith's force, comprising General Mower's Division of the Sixteenth Corps and one brigade of the Seventeenth Corps, disembarked at Sunny Side. After a march of thirty miles they encountered Marmaduke, and defeated him. On the 7th, Smith's forces re-embarked for Memphis.

No sooner had Price commenced his march than Steele followed, reenforced by Mower's Infantry and Winslow's Cavalry, sent from Memphis, and A. J. Smith's troops, passing Cairo towards Nashville, at the earnest solicitations of the general commanding, were ordered to halt

and return to oppose Price, who was aiming for Jefferson City, the State capital. Crossing the White River at Salina, Arkansas, on the 14th of September, with a force estimated at eight or ten thousand, and several pieces of artillery, Price entered Missouri from the southeast. On the 23d, his advance, under Shelby, occupied Bloomfield, Stoddard County, which place was evacuated by our forces on the night of the 21st. On Monday, the 26th of September, Price advanced against Pilot Knob, St. Francois County, which had fortunately been occupied on Sunday by Ewing, with a brigade of the Sixteenth Army Corps, General A. J. Smith. With this force, strengthened by the garrisons of Pilot Knob and outlying posts, Ewing was able to repulse the rebels, who, without delay, undertook to carry the place by assault. Our forces occupied a fort in the neighborhood of Ironton, which was commanded, however, by adjacent hills. Confident of their ability to capture the place by a direct assault, the enemy advanced against it, but were driven back with severe loss by a well-directed fire of artillery and musketry at easy range. The fort was a strong one, mounting four twenty-four-pounders, four thirty-twos, and four six-pound Parrotts, besides two six-pound Parrotts mounted outside; but the occupation by the enemy of Shepherd Mountain, a hill commanding the place, compelled Ewing to evacuate. After blowing up his magazine, he fell back to Harrison Station on the Southwest Branch Railroad, where he made a stand, behind breastworks left by a party of militia who had_previously occupied the town. The enemy followed him sharply, and cut the railroad on both sides of him, severing communication both with St. Louis and Rolla. Ewing reached Rolla with the main body of his troops.

Meantime, Springfield having been placed in a state of defence, General Sanborn moved with all his available cavalry to re-enforce General McNeil at Rolla; while the infantry of Smith, aided by the militia and citizens, put St. Louis in a state of defence, where General Pleasonton had relieved General Frank Blair. The militia were placed by Rosecrans under the direction of Senator B. Gratz Brown. Brown concentrated at Jefferson City the troops of the Central District, and, re-enforced by General Fisk with all available troops north of the Missouri, prepared for the defence of the capital of the State, the citizens of which vied with the military in their enthusiastic exertions to repel the invasion. The enemy, after awaiting at Richwood's for a day or two, and threatening St. Louis, started for the State capital. McNeil and Sanborn, moving with all their available cavalry, by forced marches reached the point of danger a few miles in advance of him, and, uniting with Fisk and Brown, saved Jefferson City. Price then retreated upon Booneville, and Pleasonton, having assumed command at Jefferson City, sent a mounted force, under Sanborn, in pursuit. This force, on the 19th of October, united with the brigade of Winslow, which had been dispatched by General Mower to follow the enemy from Arkansas. The united force, now six thousand five hundred strong, under Pleasonton, pursued the enemy to Independence, where the rebel rear-guard was overtaken and routed. Curtis, who held Westport, was driven out by Shelby, who in his turn

was defeated by Pleasonton. The retreat and pursuit were kept up with vigor, and, Curtis having united with Pleasonton, the enemy were overtaken at Little Osage Crossing, where two advanced brigades, under Benteen and Phillips, charged two rebel divisions, routed them, captured eight pieces of artillery, and near one thousand prisoners, including Generals Marmaduke and Cabell. Sanborn's Brigade again led in pursuit, overtook the rebels, and made two more brilliant charges, driving every thing before them across the Marmiton, whence the enemy fled, under cover of night, towards the Arkansas. After thus marching two hundred and four miles in six days, and beating the enemy, his flying columns were pursued towards the Arkansas by the Kansas troops and Benteen's Brigade, while Sanborn, following, marched one hundred and four miles in thirty-six hours, and on the 28th reached Newtonia, where the enemy made his last stand, in time to turn the tide of battle, which was going against General Blunt, again routing the enemy. The gains claimed by Price in this invasion were far more than neutralized by his losses. These amounted to ten pieces of artillery, a large number of small-arms, nearly all his trains and plunder, and, besides his killed, wounded, and deserters, upward of two thousand prisoners. The total Union loss was less than a thousand. With this abortive attempt to rival the early successes of the rebellion in this quarter, ended the rebel attempts to conquer Missouri. Price retired with a depleted and demoralized army into Southern Arkansas, and thenceforth Missouri enjoyed a greater degree of tranquillity than she had known since the outbreak of the war.


Mobile.-Its Defences.-Concentration of Troops.-Combined Operations.-Landing on Dauphine Island.-Order of Battle.-Tecumseh blown up.-Tennessee Attacks— Desperate Battle.-Mode of Attack.-Fort Powell blown up.-Fort Gaines Surren ders.-Siege of Fort Morgan.—Surrender.-Minor Expeditions.

As a part of the concerted plan of campaign, an attack upon Mobile was projected by Grant, with the object of weakening Johnston in Georgia, by inducing him to send troops for the defence of that city. After the return of Banks's army from the Red River, and the appointment of General Canby to the command of the West Mississippi Military Division, an expedition against Mobile began to be organized. The land defences of Mobile consisted of three lines of strong earthworks, extending five or six miles to the rear of the city. Along the east coast of Mobile Bay were Pintow's Battery, Batteries Choctaw, Cedar Plain, Grand Spell, and Light-house Battery, each of which consisted of thirty-two-pound rifled cannon mounted in earthworks. The land is, however, level and low, and presents no natural advantages for a defence. Forts Morgan and Gaines, commanding the entrance to Mobile Bay, are the first obstacles that a fleet encounters in attempting to enter from the Gulf. The former is situated on the southwest

ern extremity of a long spur of land, that separates Bon Socour Bay from the Mexican Gulf, and commanded the two easterly channels of entrance, while the western one, and Grant's Pass, are immediately under the guns of Fort Gaines, a casemated fortification. Between the forts and the city, the channels were obstructed by lines of stout piles driven in the mud, and a sloop loaded with stone was stationed immediately in the centre of the channel that runs through Dog River Bar, ready to be sunk on the passage of the forts. In the Mobile River, considerably above the city, an iron-clad ram, the Tennessee, and four wooden gunboats, were afloat. The harbor of Mobile is generally shallow, and it was customary for heavy shipping to anchor just inside of Dauphine's Island, near the entrance to the bay, and some twentyeight miles from the city. Steamers, however, being more easily managed, were admitted under the guidance of skilful pilots, and even sailing vessels of six or seven hundred tons could approach the city. Preparatory to an expedition for the capture of Mobile, the Federal troops in Louisiana were concentrated in New Orleans.

In July, the fleet of Admiral Farragut, accompanied by a land force under Generals Canby and Granger, arrived off Mobile Bay. A consultation was held between Generals Granger and Canby with the Admiral, on July 8th, when it was determined that Fort Gaines should be first invested. The fleet was to cover the landing of a force on Dauphine's Island for that purpose, and the 4th of August was, after

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]

some unavoidable delays, fixed upon as the time for landing. Meanwhile, the enemy, under General Page, were busy throwing troops and supplies into Fort Gaines, which was commanded by Colonel Anderson, of the Twenty-first Alabama.

Early on the 4th of August, the Federal fleet, twenty-six sail, including two double and one single turreted monitor and an iron-clad double-ender, commenced closing in their line southeast of Fort Mor gan, as with a view to concentrate their efforts on Fort Gaines, having during the preceding nights landed a force of from three to five thou sand men under General Granger, on Dauphine Island. During the early part of the day they kept up an irregular and desultory fire on the fort, as if designing to make against that point a combined attack by land and sea.

The real intention of the admiral, however, was to effect the pas sage of the forts with his fleet, and the vessels outside the bar which were designed to participate in the engagement were all under way by forty minutes past five in the morning of August 5th, in the following order, two abreast and lashed together:

Brooklyn, Captain James Alden, with the Octorara, LieutenantCommander C. H. Green, on the port side; Hartford, Captain_Percival Drayton, with the Metacomet, Lieutenant-Commander J. E. Jouett; Richmond, Captain T. A. Jenkins, with the Port Royal, LieutenantCommander B. Gherardi; Lackawanna, Captain J. B. Marchand, with the Seminole, Commander E. Donaldson; Monongahela, Commander J. H. Strong, with the Kennebec, Lieutenant-Commander W. P. McCann; Ossipee, Commander W. E. Le Roy, with the Itasca, Lieutenant-Commander George Brown; Oneida, Commander J. R. M. Mullany, with the Galena, Lieutenant-Commander C. H. Wells.

The iron-clads Tecumseh, Commander T. A. M. Craven, the Manhattan, Commander J. W. A. Nicholson, the Winnebago, Commander T. H. Stevens, and the Chickasaw, Lieutenant-Commander T. H. Perkins, were already ahead inside the bar, and had been ordered to take up their positions on the starboard side of the wooden ships, or between them and Fort Morgan, for the double purpose of keeping down the fire from the water-battery and the parapet guns of the fort, as well as to attack the ram Tennessee as soon as the fort was passed.

The attacking fleet steamed steadily up the main ship channel, the Tecumseh firing the first shot at forty-seven minutes past six. At six minutes past seven the fort opened upon the fleet, and was replied to by a gun from the Brooklyn, and, immediately after, the action became general. The guns of the fort played with effect upon the Brooklyn and Hartford, and soon after the firing became hot. The Tecumseh careened suddenly, and sank, destroyed by a torpedo, nearly all hands being lost. The Hartford, flag-ship, then took the lead, and the fleet, pushing steadily forward, and maintaining a constant fire, passed the forts shortly before eight o'clock. As the Hartford passed up she was attacked by the Tennessee, but without effect. The rebel gunboats Morgan, Gaines, and Selma, which had kept up an annoying fire, were then attacked. The Selma was captured by the Metacomet, while the Morgan and Gaines drew off under the guns of Fort Morgan. The

« PreviousContinue »