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RUNNING THE VICKSBURG BLOCKADE.
On the 1st of February, 1863, it was determined that the rams Monarch and Queen of the West should run past Vickburg on the following morning, at day break. For some cause the Monarch did not raise steam at the proper time, nor join the attempt, and the Queen did not get off as soon as was expected.
At six o'clock she started, under a full head of steam. She was under command of Colonel Ellet, who aided in capturing Memphis, in June previous. The Vicksburgers were evidently not taken by surprise, as they opened fire promptly on the ram. The Queen was four miles distant from Vicksburg when she started.
When she had proceeded half a mile, a signal-light was hoisted on the cupola of the Vicksburg Courthouse, and in five minutes three batteries opened.
The Queen kept steadily on her way, the guns bearing on her increasing in number, momentarily, until finally, every battery seemed playing. Her progress was so rapid, that the batteries could not get range, with any degree of accuracy. Out of two hundred shots fired, only three took effect. Her capstan was shot away. One 7-inch shell lodged in the state-room, but did not explode. Had it done so, Colonel Ellet thought the ram would have been destroyed. No one on board was hurt.
The Queen attempted no reply to the batteries, but ran into the gun-boat Vicksburg, at the wharf, striking her forward of the cook-house, damaging her to some extent. In less than one hour from starting, the Queen of the West was safely anchored below the city, at the mouth of the new cut-off. She carried two long Parrot guns, and the intention of running her below, was to cut off steamboat communication between Vicksburg and Port Hudson.
ASSASSINATION OF GENERAL ROBERT L. McCOOK.
On the 5th day of August, 1862, as General McCook was on his way with his brigade from Hazel Green to Winchester, Tennessee, when about six miles from Salem, Alabama, contiguous to the State line, it being about ten o'clock in the morning, he fell a victim to guerrillas.
He was riding in an ambulance, or small wagon, being ill, having been sick about six weeks, and was accompanied by Captain Hunter Brooke, who was nursing him. He was not in advance of his command, as has been erroneously stated, but between regiments, the 18th regulars and part of the 1st Ohio cavalry, having preceded him. His usual escort of twelve of the 1st Ohio cavalry were in attendance.
While on the road, they were attacked by a party of men in citizen's clothes, and were fired upon by them, some fifteen or twenty times; the men rushing out of the brush, by the road side, where they had lain secreted, and undiscovered by the advance regiments.
Unfortunately, the General had sent three of his
escort with orders to different parts of the brigade, and three others off the road to select a suitable camping. ground, thus reducing his escort to six.
As the guerrillas made for the ambulance, during the firing, the remainder of the escort fled, without firing a shot; seeing which, the driver of the ambulance attempted to escape them by running it half or threequarters of a mile, but finding escape impossible, he stopped by running it against a bank; when General McCook and Captain Brooke both rose up and raised up their hands in token of having surrendered.
The assassin, John A. Gurley, rode up, (being fifteen or twenty yards in advance of the rest of the party,) and fired three shots from a revolver. The first shot took no effect, the second shot passed through Captain Brooke's coat, and the third shot struck General McCook in the left side, just at the lower rib, while he was in an upright position, with his hands raised.
After the performance of this dastardly deed, Gurley rode on, and rejoined his command about twelve o'clock at New Market, where Captain Brooke, who had been taken along as a prisoner, charged him with it, and he admitted that he did it.
Another Rebel rode up after Gurley ceased firing, and aimed bis gun, when the General told him reproachfully, “ You needn't shoot; I am already fatally wounded.” The ball had passed entirely through his body, fatally tearing the intestines.
The main body of the guerrillas pursued the fleeing escort, but three or four remaining with their victim.
Captain Brooke and Gurley drove the General to the house where he died. He lived about twenty-four hours after being wounded, and retained his consciousness to the last, though frequently unable to speak, from the dreadful pain he suffered. He stated that when the party came up to the house, the occupants, men, women and children, clapped their hands in approbation of the Rebel achievement.
The whole brigade arrived at the house, about an hour after he was wounded. The men came up in double-quick, panting and shouting for vengeance. The effect of the sad sight, of their mortally wounded General, upon them, was most distressing. All day and night the faithful soldiery were grouped about the house, waiting their turns to bid a last farewell to their commander. Neither among the officers or men was there a dry eye, or a lip not quivering with anguish. A more moving scene has rarely been witnessed. The brigade did not resume its march until the General had breathed his last.
Retribution—terrible retribution was dealt by the 9th Ohio. The hands of the men that cheered Rebel murderers will clap no more.
With fire and sword and bayonet, the scene of the foul assassination was reduced to a state of desolation, from which it will not. recover until time will have swept away the remembrance of the death of Robert L. McCook. The corpse
of General McCook was taken to Nashville on the 7th day of August, and from thence removed to Ohio, his State. Captain Brooke was taken from the Rebel house soon after his arrival there, and was paroled the next day, and came within our lines,
, but not in time to accompany the corpse.
There's a wail o'er the land, for the brave McCook,
And tears to his mem'ry are flowing,
A tribute the nation is owing !
He hath fallen, alas ! by a traitorous foe
The hell-born Confederation :
Which in gloom hath enshrouded a nation !
Brave heroes he leadeth to battle no more,
The foremost and head of the column;
To the tomb ! oh! how truthful and solemn !
Then tears to the mem’ry of the brave McCook,
Whose fair fame surviveth in story;
And whose spirit hath gone up to glory!
STORY XXX V I.
A CUTE YANKEE TRICK.
A GOOD" Yankee trick" was played off in February, 1862, on some twenty-five or thirty Baltimore Secession aspirants. They were anxious to spirit their way to “Dixie,” and agreed with a Yankee captain, owner of a schooner, to land them in Virginia for two hun. dred and fifty dollars. This he agreed to, stipulating that they should fork over the sum in advance. The agreed. A given night approached, when the sly craft was in waiting at a designated point, over the river, some miles from Baltimore.