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THE GOVERNMENT STRENGTHENED.
a Jan. 12,
principles of the Republic; and the Prussian and Austrian Governments, through their respective Ministers, had also given their views of the policy of releasing the prisoners, in deference to the principles to which the Americans were so firmly pledged. To their communications, which were read to Seeretary Seward, that Minister made the most friendly responses; and from that time, during the entire war, there was never any serious danger of the recognition of the independence of the so-called “Confederate States " by France and England, however much their respective Governments may have wished for a reasonable excuse to do so. This the conspirators, and their chief supporters North and South, well knew; yet they continued to deceive the people within the Confederacy with false hopes of foreign aid, while they were being robbed of life, liberty, and property by their pretended friends. So persuaded was the Secretary of State that war would certainly
be averted, that, with a playful exhibition of his consciousness of the strength of the Republic, he telegraphed to the British
Consul at Portland, Maine, that British troops that must be sent over to fight the Americans might pass through the United States territory, whilst on their way to Canada to prepare for hostilities !
The public mind was just becoming tranquil after the excitement caused by the Trent affair, when its attention was keenly fixed on another expedi
tion to the coast of North Carolina, already alluded to. The land and naval armaments of which it was composed were assembled in Hampton Roads early in January, 1862, ready for departure, after a preparation of only two months. Over a hundred steam and sailing vessels, consisting of gun-boats, transports, and tugs, and about sixteen thousand troops, mostly recruited in New England, composed the expedition. General Ambrose Everett Burn
side, an Indianian by birth, 61847.
a West Point graduate, and a resident of Rhode Island when
the war broke out, was appointed the commander-in-chief, and the naval operations were intrusted to Flag-Officer Louis M. Goldsborough, then the commander of the North Atlantic Naval Squadron.
LOUIS M. GOLDSBOROUGH
Prison doors are opened; but principles are established which will help to free other men and to open the gates of the sea. Never before in her active history has Great Britain ranged herself on this side. Such an event is an epoch. Novus sæclorum nascitur ordo. To the liberties of the sea this Power is now committed. To a certain extent this course is now under her tutelary care. If the immunities of passengers, not in the military or naval service, as well as of sailors, are not directly recognized, they are at least implied; while the whole pretension of impressment, so long the pest of neutral commerce, and operating only through the lawless adjudication of a quarter-deck, is made absolutely impossible. Thus is the freedom of the sea enlarged, not only by limiting the number of persons who are exposed to the penalties of war, but by driving from it the most offensive pretension that ever stalked upon its waves. To such conclusion Great Britain is irrevocabiy pledged. Nor treaty nor bond was needed. It is sufficient that her late appeal can be vindicated only by a renunciation of early, long-continued tyranny. Let her bear the rebels back. The consideration is ample, for the ses became free as this altered Power went forth upon it, steering westward with the sun on an errand of liberation."
THE BURNSIDE EXPEDITION.
The military force which, like Butler's,' had been gathered at Annapolis, was composed of fifteen regiments and a battalion of infantry, a battery of artillery, and a large number of gunners for the armed vessels, who were able to render service on land if required. The whole force was divided into three brigades, commanded respectively by Generals John G. Foster, of Fort Sumter fame, Jesse L. Reno, and John G. Parke. The fleet was divided into two columns for active service, intrusted respectively to the charge of commanders S. F. Hazard and Stephen C. Rowan.' Every thing necessary for the peculiar service assigned to the expedition was furnished and arranged. The fleet guns were equipped with ship and field carriages, that they might be used on land or water; and the cannon were mostly of the newest construction. A well-organized signal corps accompanied the expedition, and there were two extensive pontoon trains. Fully equipped in every way, the expedition, whose destination had been kept a profound secret, left Hampton Roads on Sunday, the 11th of January,' and went to sea.
When it was known that the expedition had actually gone out upon the Atlantic at that inclement season, there was great anxiety in the public mind. The storm of November, by which Dupont's fleet had been scattered, was vivid in memory, and awakened forebodings of like evil. They were well founded. A portion of Goldsborough's fleet now met with a similar fate off tempestuous Cape Hatteras. Its destination was Pamlico Sound, which was to be reached through Hatteras Inlet. The voyage had been lengthened by a heavy fog on Sunday, and on Monday night those vessels of the fleet which had not reached the stiller waters of the Inlet were smitten and scattered by a terrible tempest. Four transports, a gun-boat, and a floating battery were wrecked. Among these was the fine steamer City of New York, Captain Nye. It went down in sight of the shore,' with four hundred barrels of gunpowder, one thousand five hundred rifles, eight hundred
b Jan, 11.
STEPHEN C. ROWAN,
• Jan. 12.
1 See page 106.
· The first brigade (Foster's) was composed of the Twenty-third, Twenty-fourth, Twenty-fifth, and TwentyBeventh Massachusetts regiments, and the Tenth Connecticut. The second (Reno's) consisted of the Twenty-first Massachusetts, Fifty-first Pennsylvania, Fifty-first New York, Ninth New Jersey, and Sixth New Hampshire. The third (Parke's) was composed of the Fourth and a battalion of the Fifth Rhode Island, the Eighth and Eleventh Connecticut, the Fifty-third and Eighty-ninth New York, and Belgier's Rhode Island Battery of 106 men, 120 horses, four 10-pounder Parrott guns, and two 12-pounder field howitzers.
• The fleet consisted of thirty-one gun-boats, with an aggregate armament of ninety-four guns. These were the Brickner, commanded by J. C. Giddings ; Ceres, S. A. McDermaid ; Chasseur, John West; Com, Barney, R. D. Renshaw; Com. Perry, C. H. Flusser; Delaware, S. P. Quackenbush; Granite, E. Boomer; Granite, W. B. Avery; Gen. Putnam, W. J. Hoskiss; Huzaar, Fred. Crocker; Hunchback, E. R. Calhoun; Hetzel, H. K. Davenport; J. N. Seymour, F. 8. Welles; Louisiana, Hooker; Lockwood, S. L. Graves; Lancer, B. Morley; Morse, Peter Hayes ; Philadelphia, Silas Reynolds; Pioneer, C. S. Baker; Picket, T. P. Ives; Rocket, James Lake; Ranger, J. B. Childs; Stars and Stripes, Reed Werden; Southfield, Behm; Sharosheen, T.'8. Woodward; Shrapnel, Ed. Staples; Underwriter, Jeffers; Valley City, J. C. Chaplin; Vidette, .; Whitehead, French; Young Rover, I. B. Studley.
shells, and other stores and supplies; but no human life perished with it. Nor was any man lost in the other vessels that were wrecked; but of a party
who went ashore from one of the transportsyet outside, three a Jan. 14,
were drowned by the upsetting of their boat on its return. These
were Colonel J. W. Allen, of Burlington, New Jersey, commander of the Ninth Regiment from that State; the surgeon, F. S. Weller; and the mate of the transport.
It was several days before all of the surviving vessels of the expedition entered the Inlet. The weather continued boisterous. Many of them drew too much water to allow them to cross the bars; and the remainder of the month of January was spent in overcoming the difficulties of that perilous passage, and in making full preparations for moving forward over the still waters of Pamlico Sound.
General Burnside (whose head-quarters were on the S. R. Spaulding) with his officers and men had been unwearied in their assistance of the seamen. Time was precious. Delay was very injurious, for the Confederates, accurately divining the destination of the fleet that was worrying its way through that “perilous gut," as Goldsborough called it, had made preparations for its reception. The newspapers of the North had not yet learned to be as discreet as those of the South,' but vied with each other in giving early revelations of military and naval movements. Through these channels the Confederates had obtained very accurate knowledge of the force that was coming. With the logic furnished by the nature of the coasts and
waters of Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds, and the points in their vicinity which it was evident the Nationals intended to seize, they correctly argued that Roanoke Island, about thirty miles from Hatteras Inlet, would be the first object of attack. It is situated between Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds, with a narrow channel on each side, called respectively Roanoke Sound and Croatan Sound. This island, well fortified and manned, presented the only effectual barrier to an invasion from the sea of the entire north-eastern coast
of North Carolina, and the rear approaches to Norfolk and Portsmouth in Virginia. In some respects it was almost as important as Fortress Monroe, and deserved the special attention of the Confederates.
At the time of the approach of Burnside's expedition, Roanoke Island
AMBROSE E. BURNSIDE
1 At a very early period of the war, a consorship of the press was established by the conspirators, which was extremely rigid from the beginning. No contraband intelligence was allowed to be given; and as the contest progressed, and the despotism at Richmond became more and more absolute, even the opinions of the conductors of the press in general were in complete subjection to that despotism. That control was really of essential service in carrying on the war, for the National authorities could never find any reliable information concerning the Confederate forces in the Southern newspapers. So early as May, 1861, General Lee requested the press of Virginia to keep silent on the subject of military movements.
DEFENSES OF ROANOKE ISLAND.
and its vicinity were under the command of Brigadier-General H. A. Wise, the Department commander being Major-General Benjamin Huger, of South Carolina, whose head-quarters were at Norfolk. Owing to the illness of General Wise, who was at Nag's Head, on a narrow strip of sand lying between Roanoke Sound and the sea, that stretches down from the main far above, Colonel H. M. Shaw, of the Eighth North Carolina Regiment, was in chief command of the forces on the island. These consisted of his own regiment; the Thirty-first North Carolina Volunteers, under Colonel J. V. Jordan; three companies of the Seventeenth North Carolina, under Major G. H. Hill. and four hundred and fifty men, under Lieutenant-Colonel Anderson.
Several batteries had been erected on prominent points of the shores of Roanoke, which commanded the Sounds on its eastern and western sides; and upon its narrowest part, between Shallow bag Bay and Croatan Sound, was a strong redoubt and intrenched camp, extending across the road that traversed the middle of the island. These several fortifications mounted about forty heavy guns. There were batteries also on the main, commanding the channels of Croatan Sound.
Vessels had been sunk in the main channel of Croatan Sound, and heavy stakes had been driven in its waters from the main to the island, to obstruct the passage of vessels. Above these obstructions was a flotilla of small gunboats—a sort of “Musquito fleet " like that of Tatnall at Port Royal-eight in number, and carrying eleven guns. These were commanded by Lieutenant W. F. Lynch, late of the National navy, who had abandoned his flag, received a commodore's commission from the conspirators, and was now charged with the defense of the coast of North Carolina.
After a reconnoissance, Commodore Goldsborough slowly moved his fleet of seventy vessels, formed on the morning of the 5th of February, toward Croatan Sound, fifteen of the gun-boats leading, under the immediate command of Rowan, and followed by the armed transports. On the following day Lynch sent the Curlew, Captain Hunter, to reconnoiter the approaching fleet, and her commander reported it at anchor six miles below Roanoke Island. That evening was dark and misty, and the morning of the 7th was lowery for a time. At length the sun broke forth in splendor, and at about ten o'clock Goldsborough, hoisting the signal, “This day our country expects every man to do his duty," advanced his gun-boats in three columns, the first being led by the Stars and Stripes, Lieutenant Werden; the second by the Louisiana, Commander Alexander Murray; and the third by the Hetzel, Lieutenant H. R. Davenport. Goldsborough made the Southfield his flag-ship.
At eleven o'clock, a bombardment was opened upon Fort Bartow, on Pork
LANDING TROOPS ON ROANOKE.
Point, toward the northern end of the island, and, within thirty minutes afterward, a general engagement between the gun-boats and the batteries on Croatan Sound ensued. The Confederate flotilla joined in the fight, but was soon driven beyond the range of the National guns, with the Curler, its largest steamer, so badly disabled, that it began to sink, and was soon afterward beached, under cover of the guns of Fort Forrest, on Redstone Point.' These vessels disposed of, Goldsborough concentrated his fire upon
. Fort Bartow, at a range of about three-fourths of a mile. Its flagstaff was soon shot away, the barracks were set on fire, its guns began to give feeble responses, and its walls of sand to fall into a confused mass, under the weight of shot and shell hurled upon them.
The army transports now came up, and preparations were made for landing them on the island at Ashby's Harbor, about two miles below Fort Bartow. They were confronted by two thousand men, and a battery of three pieces in the neighboring woods; but these were soon dispersed by a storm of shells from the gun-boats. Meanwhile the Confederate flotilla had returned to the attack, and, after an engagement for bout an hour. had been compelled again to retire, considerably damaged.
At midnight,“ in the midst of a cold rain-storm, eleven thou. Febr.7-8 sand troops were safely put on shore.? They were without
shelter, and at an early hour the next morning they moved forward to attack the intrenchments in the interior of the island, to which all of the Confederate forces out of the other redoubts had now repaired. The advancing column was under the command of General Foster, who was next in rank to Burnside. These works were about five miles from the landing-place at Ashby's Ilarbor, and were situated on land flanked on both sides by a morass. They occupied a line a greater portion of the way across the narrower part of the island. The main work to be attacked could be reached only by a narrow causeway, which was well protected by a battery of three guns, mounted on an earthwork. Within the intrenchments to be assailed were about twenty-five hundred troops, under the command of Colonel Shaw.
Foster led the way with his brigade, which was accompanied by a battery of six 12-pounder boat howitzers, brought from the naval launches, and commanded by Midshipman B. F. Porter. The brigades of Reno and Parke followed. The road being swampy and fringed with woods, the march was slow and cautious. The first pickets encountered fired their pieces and ran for their lives. Foster pressed on, and soon coming in sight of the Confederate works, he disposed his troops for action by placing the Twenty-fifth Massachusetts, Colonel Upton, in line, with the Twenty-third Massachusetts,
1 Lynch, who was a man of very moderate ability and courage, was disheartened. He wrote to Mallory that he should endeavor to get the guns from the Curier, and with the squadron proceed to Elizabeth City, from which he would send an express to Norfolk for ammunition. There he would make a final stand, and would blow up the vessels rather than they should fall into the hands of his enemy.
? The water was so shallow that the launches and other small boats could not get very near the shore, and the soldiers were compelled to wade several hundred feet through the water, sometimes sinking deeply into the cold ooze.
3 Much valuable information concerning Roanoke Island, the position of the Confederates, and the best place for landing was obtained from a colored boy named Thomas R. Robinson, the slave of J. M. Daniel, of Loanoke, who ten days before had escaped to Hatteras. He was taken with the espedition.