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arrived was, that as Captain Wilkes had proceeded on his own convictions of duty without instructions from the government, as he had not brought the Trent in as a prize and to be judged of by the proper court, and as what was claimed by England was precisely what the United States had always been contending for, the rebel ambassadors would be placed at once at the disposal of the British minister. This was done at the close of the month, and the great and formidable difficulty arising out of the Trent affair was settled without resort to hostilities between England and the United States.

The disappointment to the rebels was extreme. They had exulted in the prospective advantages sure to come to them in case war were to break out between the two countries.* "This outrage," says Pollard, "when it was learned in the South, was welcome news, as it was thought certain that the British government would resent the insult, and as the boastful and exultant tone in the North, over the capture of the commissioners, appeared to make it equally certain that the government at Washington would not surrender its booty. War between England and the North was thought to be imminent. Providence was declared to be in our favor; the incident of the Trent was looked upon almost as a special dispensation, and it was said, in fond imagination, that on its deck, and in the trough of the weltering Atlantic, the

• "The bubble has buret. The rage of the Mends of compromise, and of the South, who saw in a war with Great Brits n the complete success of the confederacy, is deep and burning, if not loud; but they all say they

key of the blockade had at last been lost. These prospects were disappointed by the weakness of the government at Washington, in surrendering the commissioners and returning them to the British flag. The surrender was an exhibition of meanness and cowardice unparalleled in the political history of the civilized world, but strongly characteristic of the policy and mind of the North."* This same writer indulges in various other paragraphs on this subject, berating Secretary Seward for his "unexampled shamelessness," his "contemptible affectation of alacrity," etc.; but we need not quote further. There can be no doubt that the course pursued by the government grievously disappointed our country's enemies at home and abroad.

The language of the London Times (January Jl, 1862), as illustrating to some extent the prevailing tone of feeling in England in regard to these rebel commissioners, may fitly be given in closing the present chapter:—" We do sincerely hope that our countrymen will not give these fellows anything in the shape of an ovation. The civility that is due to a foe in distress is all that they can claim. We have returned them good for evil, and, sooth to say, we should be exceedingly sorry that they should ever be in a situation to choose what return they will make for the good we have now done them. They are here for their own interest, in order, if possible, to drag us into their own quarrel, and, but for the unpleasant contingencies of a prison, rather disappointed, perhaps, that their detention ha3 not provoked a new war. When they stepped on board the Trent they did not trouble themselves with the thought of the mischief they might be doing an unoffending neutral; and if now, by any less perilous devices, they could entangle us in the war. no doubt they would be only too happy. We trust there is no chance of their doing this, br impartial as the British public is in the matter, it certainly has no

never expected anything better from the cowardly and braggart statesmen who now rule in Washington."— Russell's " My Diary North and South," p. 593. * " First Tear of the War," p. 208.

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prejudice in favor of slavery, which, if anything, these gentlemen represent. What they and their secretaries are to do here passes our conjecture. They are personally nothing to us. They must not suppose, because we have gone to the verge of a great war to rescue them, that therefore they are precious in our eyes. We should have done just as much to rescue two of their own negroes; and had that been the object of the rescue, the swarthy Pompey and Caesar would have had just the same right to triumphal arches and municipal addresses as Messrs. MV.on and Slidell. So, please, British public, let'3 have none of these things. Let the

commissioners come up quietly to town and have their say with anybody who may have time to listen to them. For our part, wc cannot see how anything they have to tell can turn the scale of British duty and deliberation. There have been so many cases of people and nations establishing an actual independence, and compelling the recognition of the world, that all we have to do is what we have dono before, up to the very last year. This is now a simple matter of precedent. Our statesmen and lawyers know quite as much on the subject as Messrs. Mason and Hlidell, and are in no need of their information or advice."*

CHAPTER VI.
1861.

NAVAL AND MILITARY OPERATIONS DURING LATTER HALF OF THE TEAR.

The Navy — Expedition to Hatteras Inlet under Stringham and Butler — Its importance — Reduction of the forts

— Valuable results of the victory gained — Repression here of blockade running—Fort Pickens — Rebels at Pensacola — Operations there — Wilson's Zouaves attacked — The rebel batteries and works bombarded

— Result — Mouth of the Mississippi — Semmes and the Sumter — Ram Manassas — Attack on our ships — Capt. Hollins' report — Great preparations for another expedition — Sails under Dupont and Sherman for Port Royal — Bombardment of the forts at Hilton Head — Tremendous force and effect of our firing — Complete success — The "stone fleet " — Gen. T. W. Sherman in South Carolina — Efforts to secure the cotton — Xegroes and plans for their improvement—Sherman's expedition against Port Royal Ferry — Affairs in Missouri — Colonel Sigel—Battle near Carthage — Result — Sigel retreats before Price to Springfield — Gen. Lyon determines to meet Price — Insufficiency of his force — Rebels driven at Dug Springs — Return to Springfield — Plans of the generals — Sigel's movement — Lyon fights battle of Wilson's Creek or Oak Hill — Lyon killed — Severe loss — Ge n. Fremont in Missouri — Activity and zeal — Cairo and Bird's Point reinforced — Fremont's proclamation and course — Battle of Lexington — Fremont marches after Price — Superseded by Hunter — No battle — Pursuit abandoned — Retreat — Halleck in command — Proclamation

— Success of our troops — Gen. Grant and Belmont — The attack and result — Rebel success and boasting

— General effect beneficial to cause of the Union.

The navy of the United States, which had become already quite numerous and formidable, was increased as rapidly as possible, and was henceforth destined to exercise a powerful influence in the great struggle for national preservation^ The government, in carrying out its plans for crushing the rebellion,

• See McPhereon's "Ilv/tory of the Rebellion" pp. 338-343.

and for recovering, so soon as might be, the several points of importance along the coast, which had been seized upon or occupied by secessionists, fitted out expeditions, at an early period, which, in their results, were of the greatest service to the cause of the Union. This service was not only in

f See Dr. Boynton's "Mutory of the Navy during the Rebellion," vol. i., p. 89, etc.

what was actually accomplished against the rebels, but also in demonstrating the power of our ships in operations against forts or., the land, as well as the excellent general efficiency of the navy.

During the month of August, an expedition, partly military and partly naval, was fitted out at Fortress Monroe, the destination of which,

1861.

for obvious reasons, was kept secret. It consisted of nearly 900 troops, well supplied and under command of General Butler, who had, on the 13th, been relieved at the fort by General Wool; the naval portion of the expedition was three large steamfrigates and some eight or ten other vessels, with Commodore Stringham in command. Its destination, as it turned out, was Hatteras Inlet, one of the most important entrances to the extensive series of navigable waters on the river coast of North Carolina, through the long range of sand islands which here serve as a barrier against the wild waves of the Atlantic. There were several of these passages—a shallow one above at New Inlet, a near approach to Albemarle Sound; another of more consequence below at Ocracoke; but this at Hatteras, hard by the lighthouse at the Cape, was of most value. It was guarded by two protecting forts —Hatteras and Clark—recently erected by the rebels, and its deep harbor had become notorious as a refuge for privateers, and an entrance for various trading vessels running the blockade. Evidently, it was necessary to deprive the rebels, as soon as possible, of so convement a place for trade and supplying North Carolina and Virginia with

essential articles of foreign production and utility.

The expedition sailed from Hampton Roads, August 26th, and the next afternoon anchored off the Inlet. At daylight, on the 28th, arrangements were made for landing the troops and for attacking the forts by the fleet. A heavy swell upon the beach prevented the landing of any number of the soldiers that day. About ten A.m., the fleet opened fire on Fort Hatteras and continued it till half-past one, P.m., when both forts hauled down their flags, and the rebels deserted Fort Clark, which was taken possession of by our men and the Union flag raised. Later in the day and early the next morning, the bombardment was resumed, and told fearfully upon Hatteras. The rebel firing was of no great account, most of their shot falling short, and the gunners being evidently wanting in skill. About eleven o'clock, a white flas: was raised from the fort, and Capt. Barron, at the time in command, though formerly an officer in our navy, offered to surrender on condition of being allowed to retire with the garrison. Such terms were of course refused, and as the case was hopeless, Barron concluded to surrender on Gen. Butler's proposition, which was to give up everything and be treated as prisoners of war. The result was, the capturing of 615 men, with Barron, at that date acting secretary of the confederate navy, and Major Bradford, chief of the confederate ordnance department; also, 1,000 stand of arms, 31 pieces of cannon, and a large quantity of provisions and stores. Our loss was trifling; and so well had

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the secret of the expedition been kept, that, for several days thereafter, blockade runners from various quarters came into the Inlet, and were readily taken by our vessels.

The success of this expedition was cheering in the extreme to the friends of the Union. The secretary of the navy, under date of September 2d, congratulated the officers and men on their gallantry; and it was universally felt that the naval arm of the service was about to be, as it proved to be, of the utmost importance and efficiency in putting an end to the rebellion.

The forts were held and garrisoned by our troops, the steamer Monticello and the steam-tug Fanny being retained at the Inlet to keep off the rebel gunboats, and capture vessels attempting to run the blockade. Fort Ocracoke, on Beacon Island, having been abandoned by the rebels, was destroyed entirely by our men, September 16th. Colonel Hawkins, then in command, having been reinforced, sent a body of men to break up the works of the enemy at a point about twenty miles northeast of the Inlet, and to afford protection to the professed Unionists in that quarter. The Fanny, on her way with supplies, was attacked and taken by rebel vessels, October 2d. It was then determined to try and capture the troops under Colonel Brown, who made a hasty retreat, losing some fifty stragglers on the road. This was on the 4th of October; but the next day the Monticello came upon the rebels, who were severely punished by the shells thrown among them and into their vessels for several hours in succession.

The government speedily sent 500 additional troops to Hatteras, under Gen. Mansfield, who, soon after, was succeeded by Gen. Thomas Williams. Excellent services were rendered to the blockading squadron; the illicit commerce of the enemy was checked, and an occasional prize taken. But the most prominent, if not the most important event at Hatteras, was the political assembly of the loyal inhabitants of the island. Though necessarily but a limited demonstration, and quite insignificant as an encroachment upon the vast area which secession had gotten hold of, yet it attracted attention, and was the means of arousing the sympathies of the North. We may mention, that a convention of delegates assembled and proclaimed their loyalty to the Union; and some 4,000 of the poorer people, mostly fishermen, on the narrow strip of land on the coast, claimed the aid and comfort of Union men at the North. In November, a provisional government was formed, and a representative to Congress elected. That body, however, did not see fit to admit him among its members.

The importance of Fort Pickens to the cause of the Union, and the gallantry by which it had been preserved from falling into rebel hands, we have already noted. (See vol. iii., p. 563.) Colonel Harvey Brown, an excellent and experienced officer, arrived, April 16th, with reinforcements, and by the close of the month, the fort was garrisoned with about 900 men. Diligent and persevering labor was bestowed upon strengthening the works in every respect possible. New reinforcements arrived at the end of June, consisting of " Billy Wilson's" Zouaves; so that, with several vessels of the blockading squadron at hand, the fort was in such a state of readiness as to meet any attack the rebels might venture upon. They had gathered a formidable force of some eight thousand men at Pensacola, under Gen. B. Bragg, and apparently, were only waiting an opportunity to drive out or capture our troops. Weeks and months, however, slipped by, and entertaining a salutary apprehension of the ability of Fort Pickens, the rebels undertook almost nothing offensive; and, in due time, abandoned Pensacola entirely.

On the part of our officers and men, there was a strong desire to do something more than merely act on the defensive, which latter was ordered by the government. Early in September, the dry dock, which had been placed by the rebels so as to obstruct the channel, was set fire to by a small but resolute force and completely destroyed. Soon after, Lieutenant Russell with a picked force of a hundred men, at halfpast three A.m., made an attack upon the Judah which lay off the navy yard and was being fitted out as a privateer. Proceeding in four boats, they boarded the schooner, set her on fire, and escaped with a loss of three killed and twelve wounded. This successful feat, occupying only a quarter of an hour, was pronounced by the rebels themselves, a thousand of whom were quartered at the navy yard, as the most daring and well-axecuted achievement of the year. The gallantly of our men seems to have stirred up the rebels to attempt

something at least. Accordingly, on the night of the 8th of October, they started with 1,200 men to make an attack on the camp of Wilson's Zouaves, situate about two miles from Fort Pickens. The attack was well planned, and they came upon the camp long before daylight, and roused the sleeping Zoiiaves out of their apparent security. The rebel force succeeded in burning nearly all the tents; but the Zouaves speedily rallied, and with the aid of some companies from the fort, soon drove the rebels back in great confusion. At daylight, the pursuit was continued, and the invading force, in fearful disorder and consequent loss from the well-directed attacks of our men, skillfully taking advantage of the protecting sand hills, and familiar inequalities of the ground, was driven off to their landing place, where, embarking in their boats they were further pursued by the rifle shots of the regulars, thrown among their solid masses. The enemy's loss was severe, a hundred or more being killed and wounded; on our side, the loss was about fifty, 14 being killed and the rest wounded.

Colonel Brown, indignant at the attack recently made, and feeling assured of his ability to assault the enemy to good purpose, called upon Flag-Officer McKean to co-operate, and determined to open fire on the 22d of November. The flag-ship Niagara and the sloop of I war Richmond took part in the bombardment, although owing to want of sufficient depth of water they were not able to render all the service otherwise in their power. A few minutes before ten, on the day appointed, Col. Brown

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