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Africa," as the only pathway to success, and were very severe upon the policy of defence alone.* Others thought that the government knew best what to do, and were fully competent to manage matters, and, so they were in favor of
* The rebel General Jackson advocated an invasion of the North as the speediest and most effective way in which to gain southern independence. His plan was, before the North had time to recover from the disaster at Manassas, to march into Pennsylvania, winter at Harrisburg, and in the spring of 1863 advance directly upon Philadelphia. Ho was very confident of success, and proposed his plan to the Richmond authorities, who gave it very curt treatment. Mr. Cooke says that Jackson never approved the defensive policy, and that "invasion of the North was his possessing thought, and became the dream of his life."—See Cooko's "Life of Jackson," pp. 86-88.
leaving the entire conduct of the war in the government's hands. Strong resolutions were passed to continue the contest without flinching; and the cotton question, and how to deal with it, excited long and sharp debate. GenHuger and J.- P. Benjamin were censured for the defeat at Roanoke. Appropriations were made for naval purposes; the conscription act was passed, April 16th, (see p. 117); England and other powers were spoken of with disgust, because of their not recognizing the " Confederacy," etc. On the 21st of April, the session closed, and the rebel congress adjourned to meet again in August.
NAVAL OPERATIONS: CAPTURE OF NEW ORLEANS.
Fort Pulaski — Preparations for bombarding it — Gen. Gilmore's order — Fire opened on the fort— Surrendered the next day — Rifled ordnance — Privateer Nashville slips out — Fort Macon—Assault determined on — Batteries erected — Surrender demanded — Fire opened — Fort taken — Gen. Reno's advance upon Camden, or South Mills — Blockade of the Mississippi — Importance of opening the river and taking New Orleans —Ship Island occupied — Value of this spot — Gen. Phelps and his proclamation — Biloxi occupied — Other troops under Butler arrive, some 14,000 in all — Farragut in charge of naval part of the expedition — Size and extent of his force — Rebel preparations — Forts Jackson and St. Philip — Strength of the forts — The mortar flotilla under Porter — Bombardment begun — Chain across the river broken — After six days steady firing, Farragut determines to run past the forts — Two divisions of six gunboats, one for each fort — Farragut's statements — Great panic in Now Orleans — Farragut sails up the river and anchors opposite the city — Excitement and behavior of the authorities and people — Mayor Monroe's letter — United States flag hoisted on the mint — Pulled down by a man named Mumford — The man afterwards hung — Further operations against the forts — Butler and his troops — Both forts surrendered — Infamous conduct of rebel naval officer — Immense importance of the capture of New Orleans — Value to the cause of the Union — Seventy of the blow to the rebels.
Fout Pulaski, of whose position we have spoken, on a previous page (see p. 125), is a very important fortification at the mouth of the Savannah River. It has five side* faces, including the
gorge; is casemated ou all sides, has
At the time of the siege the fort contained forty-eight guns, of which twenty bore upon the batteries on Tybee.
Gen. Gilmore, who had superintended the engineering operations thus far, was now ordered to Big Tybee Island, to complete the investment by stopping the water communication from the south, and to commence operations for the bombardment of the fort. A battery on a hulk, in a creek forming the inner boundary of Tybee Island, served the purpose of cutting off rebel intercourse from below. On the 21st of February, ordnance and stores began to arrive in Tybee Roads; and from that time until the 9th of April, all the troops on Tybee Island, consisting of several regiments of infantry and artillery, were constantly engaged in landing and transporting ordnance, ordnance stores, and battery materials, making fascines and roads, etc. With immense labor, patiently gone through with by the men, eleven batteries, havan armament of thirty-six large and very heavy pieces in all, were placed on the northern side of the island, at points from a mile to two and a half miles from the landing place; the batteries were also at distances from the fort varying from 3,400 yards to 1,650, the Parrott and James guns being at the shortest range.
Gen. Hunter, who, March 31st, succeeded Gen. T. W. Sherman in command of the department of the South, and also Gen. Benham, commanding the northern district, were present and superintending operations. Gilmore, who was in immediate charge, issued
his general order, April 9th, with respect to the bombardment. Carefully estimating the strength of his batteries, and also the work they were to perform, his directions were minute in relation to the time of firing, the charge of powder, and the like.
The next morning, April 10th, at sunrise, Hunter sent an officer, under flag of truce, to demand the surrender of Fort Pulaski, in order to save needless effusion of blood, eta The rebel commander answered briefly but spiritedly; "in reply, I can only say, that I am here to defend the fort, not to surrender it." At eight o'clock the first shot was fired, and in the course of an hour all the batteries were in operation. Steadily through the day, and partially through the night, the bombardment proceeded, our men, though inexperienced in the use of artillery, doing excellent service; the rebel firing was accurate and well sustained, without, however, doing any injury to either our men or the works.
Early on the 11th of April, the batteries were again in full operation, aided materially by a detachment of sailors from the "Wabash, then in the harbor. The rifled guns were particularly effective, and penetrated deeply into the brick face of the wall. By noon, the fort was so severely injured, that Benham was preparing to take it by a storming party, when a little before two P.m., a white flag was raised and the firing ceased. Gilmore received the surrender of the fort, and allowed honorable terms to the officers and men found therein. Forty-seven guns, large quantities of stores, ammunition, etc., and 360 prisoners were taken ; and only one of our men was killed.*
The scientific skill displayed in preparing and carrying through this attack brought prominently into notice the value of the new rifled ordnance, in all cases of a similar kind. The opinion was freely expressed, by Hunter and others, that" no works of stone or brick can resist the impact of rifled artillery of heavy calibre."
Great apprehensions were felt in Savannah, that an immediate advance would be made upon the city; butowing to the inadequacy of force, the Union commander was unable to do more than hold what had been acquired. The blockade, however, was thenceforth effective, so far as Savannah was concerned.
About two weeks after the capture of Fort Pulaski, another marked success was attained. On a previous page (see p. 120), we have recorded General Burnside's operations on the coast of 186a North Carolina, and the taking of Newbern, in March, 1862. Beaufort, which was only forty miles distant by railroad, was next of importance to be secured. By the possession of Newbern, Beaufort was effectually cut off from communication by land with the interior, and it was even reported, soon after the taking of Newbern, that the rebels had burned the privateer Nashville, and blown up Fort Macon. The story was in advance of the facts. The Nashville managed to
* It was considered noteworthy, that the day on which Fort Pulaski was surrendered was tho same on which, one year before, the rebels had opened fire upon Fort Sumter, and thus inaugurated the great rebellion.
slip out, on the night of March 17th, and escaped to Georgetown, South Carolina, and Fort Macon was not given up without an attempt to hold it. This fortification was a regularly constructed work, hexagonal in form, mounting two tiers of guns—one in casemated bombproof, the other en barbette. It is situated on the eastern extremity of Bogue Island, in full command of the channel to Beaufort, distant a mile and three quarters across the bay in a north-easterly direction.
On the 19th of March, Gen. Parke, in compliance with orders to that effect, advanced with his brigade towards Beaufort. The railway had been almost destroyed by the rebels, so that the passage of the troops was partiy by water and partly by marching overland. The rebels retired within the fort on the approach of Parke's brigade. Surrender was demanded, but refused; whereupon, siege material was brought from Newbern, and ferried across the shallow water to a point some four or five miles west of Fort Macon, on the island or spit of sand on which the fort was built. The marshy character of the ground to be passed over in order to reach the place where the batteries were to be erected, rendered the work toilsome as well as tedious; but it proceeded with as much rapidity as was practicable. Three batteries were completed, within 1,200 and 1,400 yards of the fort, and were furnished with heavy armament, especially three Parrott guns, rifled, which kind of ordnance, as we have already noted, proved effective in the very highest degree.
Burnside, on the 23d of April, arrived
from Newbern, bringing with hiin two barges fitted up as floating batteries. In addition to these, the gun boat Ellis, with a 100-pounder, and the vessels of the blockading fleet, were to take part in operations against the fort. Another demand was made for its suirender, and Burnside, in his anxiety to save useless expenditure of force and prevent loss of life, met Col. White, the rebel commander at the fort, and tried to induce him to yield; but he preferring to try the fortune of war, the bombardment was begun, very early on Friday morning, April 24th.
In an hour or two, the proper range for the guns was obtained, and the iron missiles were hurled from the batteries upon the doomed fort. Hour after hour this was kept up; and it became evident, ere long, that the contest could not be maintained by the garrison in the fort. Hence, about four o'clock in the afternoon, a white flag was hoisted, and Fort Macon passed again into the hands of the government, from which it had been unlawfully wrested in the previous yeav.
"While Parke and his brigade were engaged in the capture of Fort Macon, Reno was sent from Newbern to the upper waters of the Albemarle Sound, in the rear of Norfolk. Taking a considerable force with him, he left on the 17th of April, reached Elizabeth City on the 19th, and disembarking, proceeded at once against South Mills, or Camden. After a sharp contest near the town, a return to the boats was ordered late in the evening, Reno having accomplished the principal object he had in view, which was the conveying to
the enemy the idea that the entire Burnside expedition was marching upon Norfolk. The courage and endurance shown by the troops, notwithstanding the intense heat and fatigue, were justly and highly praised by the commanding general.
The blockade of the mouths of the Mississippi (see p. 79), was kept up with vigor and a fair measure of success, during the autumn and winter of 1801; but the government and the people were by no means content to maintain a blockade simply. The pathway up the Mississippi must be opened, and that mighty river cleared of rebel obstructions as speedily as possible.* We have narrated the operations which resulted in capturing Island No. 10 (see p. 143). We shall now ask the reader's attention to the energetic measures taken to reopen the Mississippi, and by the capturing of New Orleans, to restore the authority of the Union in the most valuable city which had been seized upon by the rebels.
The first important step was the occupying of Ship Island. Lying intermediate between Santa Rosa Island and the mouths of the Mississippi, near the entrance to the interior water communication with New Orleans by Lake Borgne and Lake Pontchartrain, this
* Mr. Partem relates an interesting anocdoto connected with the fixing upon New Orleans as the .place to be captured above and before all others: "One day (about the 10th of January, 1862), toward the close of a long conference between Gen. Butler and the secretary of war, Mr. Stanton suddenly asked:. 'Why can't New Orleans bo taken f The question thrilled Butler to the marrow. 'It Can !' he replied." Thenceforth, he gave his days and his nights, till he was ordered to march with the troops against New Orleans.—Parton's " Gen. Butler in New Orleans," p. 191.
was one of the most valuable stations along the coast. It was sixty miles distant from New Orleans, and about the same distance from the northernmost pass, at the mouth of the Mississippi . The value of this spot, as a defensh e position, had been appreciated by the government, and a light-house had been erected, and a fort partly completed, in 1859. The rebels destroyed these at the outbreak of the insurrection, in 1861; and although some efforts were made by them to fortify the island, yet they abandoned it entirely in September.
Early in December, 1861, some 2,000 troops of Butler's recent levies were lauded on Ship Island, under command of Gen. J. W. Phelps. He was an active and spirited officer, and, apparently, having nothing better to do just at the time, he signalized his arrival by issuing a rather remarkable proclamation, addressed "to the loyal citizens of the South-west." It was a straightforward business-like document, advocating, in plain terms, "here and every where, and on all occasions, free labor and worhingmen'8 rights.11 Its circulation, however, was almost entirely confined to the island, and it was admired rather for its zeal than for the discretion of its author.
On the last day of the year 1861, Biloxi, a small town in Mississippi, about ten miles from Ship Island, was visited by a part of the squadron and some of the troops. It was found that most of the men here had enlisted in the rebel service, leaving the women, etc., at home. Other troops arrived at Ship Island in January, 1862; and Butler, on the 25th
of February, sailed from Hampton Roads to assume command of the land forces intended to operate
against New Orleans. At the close of March, he had 14,000 men at the island, mostly new recruits. By the middle of April, he succeeded in embarking 8,000 troops for the Mississippi, which were to co-operate with the naval force which was there, and which was being pushed forward with zeal aud energy.
Captain D. G. Farragut reached Ship Island, February 20th, having in charge the naval operations of the United States in the Gulf of Mexico. Though somewhat advanced in years, Farragut (since rear-admiral,) was highly esteemed in the service, and the navy department placed entire reliance upon his bravery and skill in carrying forward the important work with which he was entrusted. "There will be attached to your squadron," said Secretary Welle**, (January 20th,) in his letter of instructions, "a fleet of bomb vessels, and armed steamers enough to manage them, all under command of Commodore D. D. Porter, who will be directed to report to you." With this powerful flotilla, Farragut was directed to proceed to New Orleans, and take it, and then to aid in opening the river above.
Farragut proceeded to organize his squadron at the earliest moment after his arrival in the Gulf. Difficulties and delays occurred, especially in getting the large ships over the bars at the mouths of the Mississippi; so that it was not until the first week in April that the large steamers, Mississippi aud Pensacola, were over the bar, and the