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rid and Island No. 10." It was on the an accident on board the St. Louis, where news of this success of General Pope, two men were killed directly, two mordoubtless, that General Halleck, on the tally wounded, and several injured, by evening of the 17th, announced at St. the explosion of an old 42-pounder, Louis, to a gathering of serenaders, that which had been rifled. The result of Island No. 10 had been taken, with all the day's bombardment, when night the ammunition and transports the ene- closed in, and the gunboats returned to my had there. There was some disap- their stations above, was less satisfactory pointment when the declaration was than had been anticipated. Though some found to be premature. Fortunately, damage had been inflicted upon the eneit was prophetic of the result. There my's works, the gunners still held their were three weeks, however, of novel and ground, and threatened serious injury to arduous labor before the end was at the gunboats on a nearer approach. It tained.
was evident, in fact, that Island No 10, d more serious trial of the enemy's and its outworks, could not be readily works was made on the second day. taken by assault from the inadequately The forenoon was spent in maneuvring protected gunboats. Occasional firing of the gunboats, with firing from the was kept up tending to the reduction of mortar vessels. At mid-day the gun- the place ; but the conquest of the posiboats Cincinnati, Benton, and St. Louis, tion required additional aid. + Island lashed side by side, a floating battery of No. 10," telegraphs Commodore Foote ten guns, proceeded with the Carondelet, to the Secretary of the Navy, on the Pittsburg, and Mound City in the rear, 19th, "is harder to conquer than Columtoward the rebel works. Fire was op- bus, as the island shores are lined with ened from the Beuton upon the upper forts, each fort commanding the one battery of the enemy at a distance of a above it. We are firing day and night mile and a half, and soon became general on the rebels, and we gain on them. on both sides, between the gun and mor- We are having some of the most beautitar-boats of the assailants and the vari- ful rifle practice ever witnessed. The ous island and water batteries of the mortar shells have done fine execution. confederates. The Benton was struck One shell was landed on their floating three times during the bombardment, battery and cleared the concern in short without injury to its defenders. “An metre. I am gradually approaching the 8-inch solid shot," writes the correspon- island, but still do not hope for much dent just cited, "fell upon our upper until the occurrence of certain events, deck, cut through the half-inch iron plat- which promise success.” ing and five-inch timbers as if they had The "events" alluded to were to be been paper, buried itself in the gun-deck, the result of various projected operations rebounded to the roof, then fell again, carried on with the assistance of General upon the Commodore's writing desk, Pope's forces in the rear of the enemy's smashing the lid and lodging upon the position. It would be of comparatively table.” The floor in the vicinity was little advantage to drive the rebels out spread with fragments of timber, and of their works, if they were left the opseveral men standing by were covered portunity of an easy retreat to some with the splinters, yet no one was in-point below. The object was to cut off jured. Another shot entered the Cin-their escape by the single route left cinnati in a similar manner, with no fur- them, that, namely, across the Tennesther ill result. In fact, though the bom- see peninsula, a distance of but a few bardment was kept up vigorously during miles to Tiptonville, below New Madrid, the afternoon, the only casualty was from whence they might descend the river
PROJECTS FOR CAPTURING THE ENEMY'S POSITION.
with ease to other points of defence in light draught were sent for to Cairo, and the vicinity of Memphis. To accomplish the work · begun. It was my purpose to this, General Pope, firmly in possession make the canal deep enough for the gunof the Missouri shore, needed only the boats ; but it was not found practicable means of crossing the river, and bringing to do so within any reasonable period. his forces face to face with the enemy The work performed by Colonel Bissel from below. How should this coöpera- and his regiment of engineers was, betion of General Pope's forces be inost yond measure, difficult; and its compleadvantageously secured. The first pro- tion was delayed much beyond my exject was to employ them in constructing pectations. The canal is twelve miles a road through the swamps to a point on long, six miles of which are through very the Missouri shore opposite Island No. heavy timber. An avenue fifty feet wide 10, and station there an artillery force was made through it, by sawing off trees to assist the gunboats in the reduction of of large size four and a half feet under the enemy's batteries. An examination water. For nineteen days the work was of the country for this purpose was made prosecuted with untiring energy and deby Colonel Bissell's Engineer regiment, termination, under exposures and privaand the route was found to be impracti- tions very unusual, even in the history cable. At the suggestion of General of warfare. It was completed on the Schuyler Hamilton, he was also at the 4th of April, and will long remain a same time directed by General Pope to monument of enterprise and skill." ascertain if the swamps, which were so Commodore Foote, while this work serious an obstacle to road making, could was being accomplished, was not idle. be turned to account in the formation of He kept the attention of the enemy alive a canal by which steam transports could by occasional firing from the fleet, directbe brought from above across the Mis- ing his attention particularly to the upsouri peninsula to New Madrid below. per battery, No.1, of the six forts of the Another mode of securing the means of enemy, which kept guard around the iscrossing the river was early suggested land on the Tennessee shore. Heavy by General Pope. On the 17th of March firing was maintained during the last he wrote to Commodore Foote, advising days of March, and on the night of the that he should run the enemy's batteries 1st of April, in the midst of a furious with one of his gunboats-an attempt storm and hurricane, the battered fort, which the latter then declined on the which had caused so much annoyance to ground of impracticability.
the gunboats, was finally carried by an Colonel Bissell
, meanwhile, reported adventurous assault. An armed boat favorably of the capability of the swam- expedition was fitted out from the squadpy peninsula for the construction of the ron and land forces, consisting of five canal, and was ordered by General Pope boats manned by picked crews of ten to proceed at once with the work. He men from the gunboats Benton, St. Louis, was authorized to employ his whole en- Cincinnati
, Pittsburg, and Mound City, gineer regiment upon it, and to call upon carrying some forty men from the 42d Colonel Buford, who commanded the land Illinois regiment of Colonel Roberts, to Sorces temporarily on duty with the flo- whom the command was entrusted. Stirtilla, which had been placed under Gen- ring work was to be expected, and the eral Pope's command, for any assistance party—a hundred in all, officers and in men or inaterial necessary for the men—were prepared for it. The achievework. "Supplies of such articles as ment, however, was easily performed. were needed,” continues General Pope In the simple recital of Commodore in his report, “and four steamers of Foote, “At midnight the boats reached
the fort, and pulling directly to its face, of the 3d, in a furious storm of thunder carried it, receiving only the harmless and lightning, of the entire series of refire of two sentinels
, who ran, after dis- bel batteries, by the gunboat Carondelet, charging their muskets, while the rebel which, without returning a shot, passed troops in the vicinity rapidly retreated. unharmed through a heavy fire from the Thereupon Colonel Roberts spiked the enemy's works. The only sound heard six guns mounted in the fort, and retired from the adventurous vessel was the firwith boats uninjured. The commanding ing of three minute guns, the signal officer represents all the men under his agreed upon by Captain Walke with command, from their coolness and delib- Commodore Foote, as an indication of eration, as being ready to perform even her having passed the batteries in safety. more hazardous service, had it been re- " The scene,” says a correspondent from quired to fulfill the object of the expe- the fleet," upon her arrival at New dition."*
Madrid is represented as most exciting. While these operations, preparatory The soldiers were out upon the banks, to the final assault, were going on in the and fairly howled with delight. Cheer neighborhood of the island, a diversion after cheer went up for Commodore Foote, was made in a reconnoissance sent from Captain Walke, the Navy, the CarondeHickman, above on the river, to Union let, the tars, and even for the colored City, the junction of the Columbus and cabin boy; and when the Captain's gig Nashville railroads, some ten miles dis- went ashore to report, the soldiers caught tant, in Tennessee. Much annoyance the sailors up in their arms and passed had been experienced from the inhabi- them from one to another, with accomtants of this “pestiferous entrepot of panying embraces more heartfelt than treason,” who had, up to the time of the agreeable."* Union occupation of Hickman, harassed Another success was reported by Comits citizens, and who still threatened to modore Foote on the 4th. On that mornreoccupy the town. They were taken at ing, “ the Benton, Cincinnati, and Pittstheir word, and Colonel Buford, with the burgh, with three boats, opened and con27th Illinois, Colonel Hogg's 15th Mis- tinued for more than an hour to fire on souri, with a battery of artillery, and de- the rebel heavy floating battery at Istachment of cavalry, set out on the 30th land No. 10, when the latter, having reMarch to sound their intentions. On ceived several shells from the rifles and reaching the place they fell in with the re- mortars, cut loose from her moorings and bel pickets, and presently with the rebels drifted two or three miles down the river. themselves, a Tennessee regiment, drawn The shells were thrown from the flotilla up in line of battle across the road. Ac- into different parts of the island, and intive preparations were at once made for to the rebel batteries lining the Tennesan encounter ; but the policy of the ene- see shore. The return fire produced no my was retreat, and they rapidly car- effect on the squadron.” ried it into effect. A few prisoners and We now turn to General Pope to see some tents and equipage were taken, how he employed his new resources on when the expedition returned to assure the river below. His official report prethe people of Hickman that their town sents the best account we have seen of was in no present danger of disturbance the final, decisive operations of the siege. from the Tennessee secessionists.
“During all the time," says he, while the The next incident in Commodore Foote's engineer force was constructing the milisquadron, was the passage, on the night tary canal across the peninsula, “ the flo
* Flag-Officer Foote to the Hon. Gideon Welles. U. 8. Correspondence of the Nero York Herald. Squier's Steamer Benton, April 2, 1862.
Pictorial History, vol i. p. 375.
GENERAL POPE'S OPERATIONS.
tilla had kept up its fire upon the batter- the bottom of empty water-tight barrels, ies of the enemy, but without making any securely lashed, then layers of dry cotprogress toward their reduction. It had ton-wood rails and cotton bales packed by this time become very apparent that close. They were then floored over at the capture of Island No. 10 could not the top, to keep everything in its place, be made unless the land forces could be so that a shot penetrating the outer barthrown across the river, and their works ges must pass through twenty feet of carried from the rear; but during this rails and cotton before reaching the midlong delay the enemy, anticipating such dle one, which carried the men and the a movement, had erected batteries along guns. The arrangement of water-barthe shore from Island No. 10 entirely rels and cotton-bales was made in order round to Tiptonville, at every point that even if penetrated frequently by where troops could be landed. The the enemy's shot, and filled with water, difficulty of crossing the river in force the outer barges could not sink. It was had, therefore, been greatly increased ; my purpose when all was ready, to tow and what would have been a compara- one or two of these batteries over the tively safe undertaking three weeks be- river to a point opposite New Madrid, fore, had become one full of peril. It is where swamps prevented any access to not necessary to state, that the passage the river, and where the enemy, thereof a great river lined with batteries, and fore, had been unable to establish his in the face of the enemy, is one of the batteries. When near the shore, the most difficult and hazardous operations floating batteries with their crews were of war, and cannot be justified except to be cut loose from the steamer, and in a case of urgent necessity. Such allowed to float down the river to the a case seemed presented for my ac- point selected for landing the troops. tion. Without this movement opera- As soon as they arrived within a short tions against Island No. 10 must have range of it they were to cast out their been abandoned, and the land forces, at anchors so as to hold the barges firmly, least, withdrawn. It is but bare justice and open fire upon the enemy's batterto say, that although the full peril of the ies. I think that these batteries would moment was thoroughly understood by have accomplished their purpose, and my my whole command, there was not an whole force volunteered to man them. officer or a man who was not anxious to They were well provided with small be placed in the advance.
boats, to keep out of danger, and even “There seemed little hope of any as if the worst happened, and the batteries sistance from the gunboats. I therefore were sunk by the enemy's fire, the men had several heavy coal-barges brought would meet with no worse fate than capinto the upper end of the canal, which, ture. during the progress of the work, were On the 5th of April, the steamers made into floating batteries. Each bat- and barges were brought near the mouth tery consisted of three heavy barges of the bayou which discharges into the lashed together, and bolted with iron. Mississippi at New Madrid, but were The middle barge was bulkheaded all kept carefully out of sight of the river, around, so as to give four feet of thick whilst our floating batteries were being ness of solid timber both at the sides and completed. The enemy, as we afteron the ends. The heavy guns, three in wards learned, had received positive adnumber, were mounted on it, and pro- vices of the construction of the canal, tected by traverses of sand-bags.' It but were unable to believe that such a also carried eighty sharpshooters. The work was practicable. The first assurbarges outside of it had a first layer in ance they had of its completion was the appearance of the four steamers loaded 22d, and 51st Illinois regiments, with with troops, on the morning of the 7th Houghtaling's battery of artillery. The of April. On the 4th, Commodore Foote land batteries of 32-pounders, under allowed one of the gunboats to run the Captain Williams, 1st United States inbatteries at Island No. 10, and Captain fantry, which I had established some Walke, U.S. N., who had volunteered— days before, opposite the point where as appears from the Commodore's order the troops were to land, were ordered to to him-came through that night with open their fire upon the enemy's batterthe gunboat Carondelet. Although many ies opposite as soon as it was possible to shots were fired at him as he passed the see them. A heavy rain storm combatteries, his boat was not once struck. menced on the night of the 6th, and con-, He informed me of his arrival early on tinued, with short intermissions, for sevthe 5th. On the morning of the 6th, Ieral days. The morning of the 7th was sent General Granger, Colonel Smith of very dark, and the rain fell heavily until the 43d Ohio, and Captain L. B. Marsh- midday. As soon as it was fairly light, all of my staff
, to make a reconnoissance our heavy batteries on the land opened of the river below, and requested Cap- their fire vigorously upon the batteries tain Walke to take them on board the of the enemy, and the two gunboats ran Carondelet, and run down the river to down the river and joined in the action. ascertain precisely the character of the I cannot speak too highly of the conduct banks and the position and number of of Captain Walke during the whole of the enemy's batteries. The whole day these operations. Prompt, gallant, and was spent in this reconnoissance, the cheerful, he performed the hazardous Carondelet steaming down the river in service assigned him with signal skill the midst of a heavy fire from the ene- and success.
About twelve o'clock M. my's batteries along the shore. The he signalled me that the batteries near whole bank, for fifteen miles, was lined our place of landing were silenced, and with heavy guns at intervals ; in no case, the steamers containing Paine's division I think, exceeding one mile. Entrench- moved out from the landing and began ments for infantry were also thrown up to cross the river, preceded by the gunalong the shore, between the batteries. boats.
"On his return up the river, Captain The whole force designed to cross Walke silenced the enemy's battery op- had been drawn up along the river bank, posite Point Pleasant, and a small infan- and saluted the passing steamers with try force, under Captain L. H. Marshall, shouts of exultation. As soon as we belanded and spiked the guns. On the gan to cross the river, the enemy comnight of the 6th, at my urgent request, menced to vacate his positions along the Commodore Foote ordered the Pittsburg banks and the batteries on the Tennesalso to run down to New Madrid. She see shore, opposite Island No. 10. His arrived at daylight, having, like the Ca- whole force was in motion toward Tiprondelet, come through without being tonville, with the exception of the few touched. I directed Captain Walke to artillerists on the island, who, in the proceed down the river at daylight on haste of the retreat, had been abandonthe 7th, with the two gunboats, and, if ed. As Paine's division was passing oppossible, silence the batteries near Wat-posite the point I occupied on the shore, son's Landing, the point which had been one of my spies, who had crossed on the selected to land the troops, and at the gunboats from the silenced battery, insame time, I brought the four steamers formed me of this hurried retreat of the into the river and embarked Paine's di- enemy. I signalled General Paine to vision, which consisted of the 10th, 16th, stop his boats, and sent him the informa