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CH. VI.]



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fired his first gun, a signal for the ships to be impracticable with my present to come into action. They quickly means, I do not deem it advisable furobeyed the summons, and in a short ther to continue it, unless the enemy time the engagement was general. think proper to do so, when I shall The line of forts and batteries, to which meet him with alacrity. ..Our loss Fort Pickens and the ships were now would have been heavy but for the opposed, extended four miles round the foresight which, with great labor, caused bay from the navy yard, on the north- us to erect elaborate means of proteceast, to Fort McRae on the south-west. tion, and which saved many lives. I Besides the old works of Forts Barrancas lost one private killed, one sergeant, and McRae, there were now erected no one corporal and four men (privates) less than fourteen separate batteries, wounded, only one severely.” mounting from one to four guns each, The blockade of the mouths of the many of them ten-inch columbiads, and Mississippi was, from the nature of the some twelve and thirteen-inch sea coast case, very difficult, and for a considermortars. These powerful fortifications able time it was evaded with more were defended by some eight thousand or less success. On the 1st of July, , men, while Col. Brown had under his the famous privateer Sumter, command at Fort Pickens but one-sixth Raphael Semmes commander, of that number. The bombardment passed out, made a dozen or more capcontinued till night, and, resumed again tures of merchantmen, and ran into the next morning, was very effective, Nassau, where British sympathy and aid and silenced fort McRae and the navy were freely extended. Sometime after, yard, and very materially lessened the Semmes, continuing his devastating firing of Fort Barrancas and other bat- course, brought the Sumter into Gibral. teries. The village of Warrington tar, where the Tuscarora found him took fire, and both in it and the navy and kept him in durance, till the privayard a large number of buildings was teer captain and company were tired destroyed; a rebel steamer at the out, and sold their vessel to escape capwharf was also abandoned. The firing ture.

But the blockade, though by was continued till dark, and occasion. no means perfect or complete, was sufally during the night with mortars, ficiently so to be very vexatious to the when the combat ceased. Fort Pickens, rebels in New Orleans, and roused them as Colonel Brown stated in his official to make efforts to break it if possible. report, “though it has received a great A steam ram was constructed during the many shot and shell, is in every res- summer for this purpose, at Algiers, pect, save the disabling of one gun opposite New Orleans. Taking a carriage and the loss of service of six strong, old tow-boat as a foundation, men, as efficient as it was at the com- iron plating was put on the vessel, and mencement of the combat; but the a prow of timbers and iron, very ends I proposed in commencing having strong, projected about ten feet, and been attained, except one, which I find was calculated to produce a terrible

blow on the side of any vessel against Richmond was repaired, temporarily which it might strike.

and the army transport, McClellan, Confident of the destructive power coming up early in the afternoon, assist. of the ram, Manassas, it was determin- ed in getting the Richmond off the bar. ed to attack the blockading fleet which, This was successfully accomplished on early in October, was stationed at the the morning of the 13th, and the afterhead of the Passes, protecting our men, noon of the same day the Vincennes who were engaged in erecting fortifica- was also got afloat, when the entire tions at the point where the Mississippi fleet was carried without further injury diverges into five mouths, and where down the pass. Not a single life was a well arranged fort would command lost from the rebel attack. the entire navigation of the river.

As communications were not very Late on the night of the 11th of Octo- frequent with our squadron, the first ber, as the steamer Richmond was lying news of this matter at the North was at the south-west pass receiving coal through the high sounding telegram of from a schooner, suddenly the Manas- Capt. Hollins, the commander of the sas was discovered in close proximity, expedition and formerly of the U. S. attended by gun boats and barges laden navy: "Fort Jackson, Oct. 12th, 1861: with combustibles. A tremendous Last night I attacked the blockaders blow was inflicted on the fore part of with my little fleet. I succeeded, after the Richmond, tearing the schooner a very short struggle, in driving them from her fasts, and forcing a hole all aground on the South-west Pass bar, through the ship's side. The ram except the Preble, which I sunk. I passed aft, and tried to breach the captured a prize from them, and after stern of the Richmond, but her works they were fast in the sand, I peppered getting deranged she failed in this, and them well. There were no casualties having received the fire of the steamer's on our side. It was a complete success." port battery, she was glad to draw off. It was some satisfaction, soon after, In a few minutes, the Preble, Vincen- to get at the truth, as above narrated, nes and Water Witch having slipped and Capt. Hollins' “peppered them their cables passed down with the cur- well,” (which, by the way, was done at rent, the Richmond following and a safe distance and with very indiffer- . covering their retreat. The Vincennes ent results,) was found to be rather and Richmond grounded on the bar, poetical and extravagant than worthy the others passing over free; and the of any redit. fire rafts were entirely avoided. This In carrying out the policy of the govwas about 8 o'clock in the morning of ernment with respect to points of inthe 12th, and the enemy's five gun portance on the southern coast, the navy boats opened fire, which was continued department appointed, in June, a special for two hours without any particular board of army and navy officers to coneffect, when they sailed back up the sider and report upon the whole subject. river. The damage to the side of the The commission gave full and careful

CI. VI.]



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attention to the matter, and made vari. through the channel, and all the arrangeous recommendations in regard to future ments having been effected, on Thursoperations in behalf of the Union, and day, Nov. 7th, the weather proving fafor cutting off the means derived by the vorable and perfectly clear, the armed rebels from running the blockade. Ac- vessels of the fleet advanced over the cordingly, an expedition on a larger tranquil waters to the deadly encounter. scale than heretofore attempted was The transports, freighted with thousfitted out, the destination of which was ands of soldiers, remained behind, yet kept secret up to the last moment. within sight of the grand movement. Gen. Thomas W. Sherman, a brave and The loss of the ferry boats, which had accomplished officer, was placed in com- been provided to transport the troops mand of the land forces, numbering over the shallow waters to the shore in about 15,000 men ; while the naval the rear of the forts, had compelled a portion of the expedition, consist- change of plan, by which the co-operaing of the steam frigate Wabash, tion of the military was abandoned, twenty-two first-class and twelve small. and the whole responsibility of the ater steamers, and twenty-six sailing ves- tack was thrown upon the navy. sels, was commanded by Commodore It had been ascertained by the reconS. F. Dupont, one of the ablest officers naissance, that Fort Walker, on Hilton ir the service.

Head, was the most powerfully armed The expedition sailed on the 29th of of the defences, that the greater part of October, from Hampton Roads, and its guns were presented on two water met with very stormy weather. Several fronts, and that the flanks were but transports were disabled and four lost slightly guarded, especially on the

entirely, and it was not till the north, where an attack was less to be

night of Nov. 3d, that the expe- expected. The “mosquito fleet," under Jition arrived off Port Royal, South Tatnall, formerly of the U. S. navy, Carolina. Soundings were carefully consisting of seven small steamers, made, it being found that the rebels had kept at a very safe distance in the removed the buoys marking out the northern part of the harbor. Under pathway; the next day, a reconnaissance these circumstances our fleet made its in force was made to gain information advance. respecting the batteries on shore, their The Wabash led the


gun strength, position, etc. It was ascer- boats following, steaming slowly up the tained, that, at the south-easterly point bay, and receiving and returning the of Hilton Head Island, stood Fort Wal. fire of the rebel forts; then, turning ker, and on the opposite land of Bay southwardly, they passed nearer the Point or Phillip's Island, was Fort stronger work, and delivered fire with Beauregard, both being works of scien- fearful effect. By this arrangement, no tific construction and mounting some 20 vessel became stationary, and the rebels

could not gain by experiment and prac. Th: flag ship having passed safely tice anything like a perfect aim. Not


guns each.

VOL. IV.-11.

withstanding the impression in favor of negroes left in possession had already land batteries over ships when not iron begun to pillage and destroy. “The clad, and notwithstanding the rebels, whole country have left, sir,” said an confident of success, fought bravely and intelligent mulatto boy, “and all the worked their guns in the best manner, soldiers gone to Port Royal Ferry. the terrible storm of shot and shell They did not think that you could do from our ships, which passed five times it, sir.” On the 12th of November, between the forts, was beyond all en- Dupont, Sherman, and other officers, durance. At half.past eleven, the visited Beaufort, and found every thing enemy's flag was shot away, and an in a sad state of confusion and disorder, hour or so later, they gave up the fruit- the negroes being left to work their less contest and ran away. Numbering will on property of all descriptions. some 2,000 in all, they made a rapid re- The government in this, as in the case treat to save themselves from capture of Hatteras Inlet, had not made proviby our troops. In the course of the sion for pressing the advantages which afternoon, Fort Walker was taken pos- had been gained. Had Gen. Sherman session of, and a large body of troops been provided with light draft steamers landed; and as the other fort was found and other facilities, there seems no to be abandoned, the stars and stripes reason to doubt that, under the terror were hoisted on its flag-staff, the next caused by the rebel defeat, a successful morning at sunrise. *

attack might have been made upon Our success was complete. The losses Charleston and Savannah; but delays were few and not important (eight occurred. Gen. Sherman set to work being killed and twenty-three wound fortifying his position at Hilton Head. ed); forty-eight cannon and large quan. He did not, occupy Beaufort until Detities of ammunition and stores were cember 6th; nor, although Tybee Istaken; and the rebels were astounded land, commanding the approach to Saat the defeat they had met with. The vannah, was taken possession of by day following the engagement, the Se. Commodore Dupont, Nov. 25th, did minole was sent on a reconnaissance up Gen. Sherman, or his successor, do any the river towards Beaufort; she met thing effective for some time later. with no obstructions, and with three This, together with the unwillingness gun

boats had no difficulty in reaching to use the negroes in work of every Beaufort. The village was found to be kind, for which they were much better entirely abandoned, only one white per- fitted than the northern troops, helped son being left, and he, to the disgrace to delay matters, and some of the fruits of the “chivalry," was drunk. The of our victory were thus lost.f

* A general order was issued by the secretary of the purpose, were sunk off the harbor of Charleston. Davy, expressing the high gratification of the depart. | Others, a few days afterward, were sunk in an other ment at the brilliant success of the expedition.

spot, the idea being to embarrass or perplex, not des + On the 20th December, the “stone fleet," as it was troy, navigation. A great outcry was made by foreign salled, gathered on the coast of South Carolina, and newspapers, hostile to the Union, and Lord Russell even sixteen old whaling vessels, carefully prepared for the undertook to remonstrate with our government upon

Cu. VL]




In order to secure, as far as possible, work with zeal and discretion. The the valuable product of the country, i.e., results were encouraging, and gave procotton, an order was issued by the secre- mise of future improvement in the tary of the treasury, Nov. 30th, prescrib. negro race. ing the appointment of agents at the The first movement of any conseports or places occupied by the forces of quence in General T. W. Sherman's de. the United States, who should secure and partment after the occupation of Beauprepare for market the cotton and the fort, December 6th, was a joint military products and property which might be and naval expedition, directed against

found or brought within the a fortified position of the enemy on a

lines of the army, or under the mainland at Port Royal Ferry. Accontrol of the federal authority. The cordingly, at the end of December, a negroes were to be employed in this method of attack was settled upon by work, and the cotton when gathered, General Sherman and Captain Dupont, it was directed, should be shipped to in which their forces were jointly to coNew York and there sold by regularly operate. The command of the naval appointed agents, and the proceeds operations was assigned to Commander paid to the United States government. C. R. P. Rodgers; the military move

On receipt of these orders at Port ments were conducted by Gen. Stevens. Royal, General T. W. Sherman distri. The preparations of both were made buted his forces to give the required with the greatest skill, and carried out aid to preserve what the torch of the with remarkable accuracy. The batrebels—which was every night of im. teries of the enemy were destroyed and punity employed with greater vigor— the houses of the vicinity burnt. had left of the crops in the vicinity.

As stated on a previous page (see The organization of the negroes, aban. p. 41), Jackson, the rebel governor of doned by their masters, or throng. Missouri, had been put to flight by ing in numbers to the Union lines, was Gen. Lyon at Booneville, whence he a matter of no little difficulty. The retreated to the south-western portion general superintendence and direction of the state to get aid. Gen. Lyon of the plantations, with a view to their continued the pursuit vigorously; the preservation and the care and regula- rebels, however, were met in Jasper tion of the negroes at work on them, county, by a force of some 1,500 Union was assigned by Secretary Chase to troops, under Col. Franz Sigel, a brave Mr. E. L. Pierce, as special agent of the and spirited officer, who was pushing treasury department, a gentleman every forward to prevent a junction of Jackway qualified, and who entered on his son's force with that which was hasten

ing to his assistance from another

quaran act so dreadful as destroying one of the harbors of the world. His lordship was quietly informed of the ter. Sigel, on the 4th of July, found real object had in view, and also reminded that even the rebels at Brier Forks, near Carth. after the sinking of the ships, the port had been entered and the blockade broken by an English trading age, with a force more than twice his

in number, and professing themselves

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