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OUR LOSSES AT GALVESTON.
325 on the Harriet Lane, and sent a 80. Two coal-barques—the Cavallo truce-boat to the Clifton, demanding and the Elias Pike—were captured" the surrender' of our fleet! Law re- by the Rebel steamboat Carr-one pelled the suggestion, yet accompa- of two or three that came down the nied the Rebel officer to Renshaw on bay some time after the Neptune and the Westfield, who rejected the pro- Bayou City. And Law, considering posal ; ordering our vessels afloat to the Owasco his only efficient vessel, get out of harm's way so soon as and she not equal in a fight to the might be, while he, despairing of Harriet Lane, precipitately abangetting the Westfield off, would blow doned the blockade, running off with her up, and escape with his crew on the sad remains of our fleet to New the transports Saxon and Boardman, Orleans; though hourly expecting a lying near him. He did blow her transport down from that city, which up, accordingly; but the explosion would almost inevitably run into the must have been premature, since enemy's clutches if not warned of Renshaw himself, with Lt. Zimmer- the changed condition of affairs. man, Engineer Green, and ten or Magruder reports his entire loss fifteen of his crew, perished with in this fight at 26 killed, 117 woundher. An eye-witness states that ed, and the steamer Neptune-her all had left her but Renshaw him- crew and guns being saved. He self when she was fired (it was said says he captured (beside the Harriet by a drunkard) and blew up, kill- Lane, with all her armament, the ing eight or ten officers and men in schooner and barques), "350 prisonthe captain's gig beside her.
ers, beside officers ;" while our losses Meantime, our soldiers, left to their include the Westfield also, with her fate, and wholly without artillery, splendid battery of eight heavy had been summoned by Gen. W. R. rifled guns. He came very near enScurry' to surrender, and had done trapping the steamship Cambria,
? There are all manner of conflicting state co. Herculean efforts were made to extricate ments concerning this cruce: each party charg- them... ing the other with violating it by acting while
“The Owasco, evidently fearing the Lane's
guns, withdrew to a position about a mile disit lasted as if it had no existence. One Union
tant. It became plainly evident that, unless the writer says that the Rebels only demanded Bayou City and Harriet Lane could be separated, that our vessels should quit the harbor with the enemy could escape if they wished. To gain in three hours. This would render Renshaw's time, therefore, a flag of truce was taken to the conduct with regard to his ship less mysterious.
Owasco and Clifton, now lying close together, The Houston Telegraph of Jan. 5 had an account
and a demand for a surrender. Time was asked
to communicate with Com. Renshaw, who was of the whole affair by an eye-witness, who
on the Westfield. A truce of three hours was makes the truce a Rebel trick from its inception. agreed upon. During the truce with the vessels, He says:
the unconditional surrender of these (Mass.) men
was demanded and complied with." " The propeller Owasco lay in the channel, about tliree-fourths of a mile from the Bayou
• Magruder, in his official report, unqualifiedly City and Harriet Lane. As the Lane was board.
asserts that he had given Renshaw three hours' ed, the Owasco steamed up to within 200 or 300 truce, and that the latter had agreed to surrenyards of them, firing into both. The force of der-which is so irreconcilable with established the collision drove the Bayou City's stem go far facts that I can only credit it on the assumption into and under the wheel and gunwale of the
that they had acted in concert throughout. Lane that she could not be got out. The Lane was also so careened that her guns could not be
Formerly representative in Congress from worked, and were consequently useless. They Texas. both lay, therefore, at the mercy of the Owas. | Magruder says a schooner also.
which arrived off the bar on the 3d, that the chase had ceased to steam containing (he says)“ E. J. Davis and and was waiting. Blake, whose guns many other apostate Texans, beside were short as well as few, ran down several hundred troops, and 2,500 to within 75 yards and hailed; when saddles for the use of native sympa- | the stranger answered his hail by thizers.” Her captain, however, was proclaiming his craft Her Britannic seasonably warned to escape. One Majesty's ship Vixen. Blake there. Galveston Unionist, named Thomas upon offered to send a boat aboard; Smith, who was landed from her and was proceeding to do 50—each yawl, he caught, tried, and shot as a of them maneuvering for a better deserter from the Rebel service. And position—when the stranger shouted, that was the sum of his “spoils" — “We are the Confederate steamer Com. Farragut, soon after, sending Alabama," and poured in a broadvessels to rëestablish the blockade, side; which was promptly returned. before the Harriet Lane could be got | The Alabama being every way the ready to run out and roam the seas superior vessel, Blake had no hope, as a Rebel corsair.
save in closing with and boarding But at Sabine Pass, a perform- her; which he attempted to do; but ance soon after occurred which was the Alabama had the advantage in scarcely less disgraceful to our arms speed as well as force, and easily than this at Galveston. The broad baffled him. Both vessels were firing estuary at the mouth of the Sabine every gun that could be brought to was blockaded by the Union gunboat bear, and as rapidly as possible, at a Morning Light, 10 guns, and the distance of but 30 yards—the Alabaschooner Velocity, 3 guns; which ma having received considerable inwere attacked" by two Rebel gun- jury-when two of her shells simulboats—Josiah Bell and Uncle Ben- taneously entered the Hatteras at fitted out in the Sabine for the pur- the water-line, exploding and setting pose, under command of Major 0. M. her on fire; and a third pierced her Watkins, who chased our vessels out cylinder, filling her with scalding to sea and captured them after a very steam, crippling her walking-beam, feeble resistance. Watkins reports and disabling her engine; while his captures at “13 guns, 129 prison- water poured in profusely from the ers, and $1,000,000 worth of stores.” rift in her side, threatening her with
The blockade of Galveston having speedy destruction. The Alabama barely been rëestablished under Com. now working ahead, beyond the Bell, of the Brooklyn, a sail was de range of the Hatteras's guns, Blake scried " in the south-east; when the ordered his magazine to be flooded, gunboat Hatteras, Lt.-Com'g R. G. and fired a lee gun; when the enemy Blake, was signaled by Bell to over- afforded assistance in saving our haul her. The stranger affected to fly; men—the Hatteras going down ten but Blake soon observed that he did minutes afterward. Her crew—118, not seem in any great hurry. Clear- including six wounded) were transing his decks for action, he stood on; ferred to the conqueror; she having and, when four miles distant, he saw had two killed. The Alabama, " Jan. 21, 1863.
13 Jan. 11, 3} P. M.
GEN. BANKS'S POSITION AND FORCE.
though considerably cut up, so as to jumble of grand canal, river, sound, be compelled to run into Kingston, and lagoon, receives the waters of the Jamaica, for repairs, had but one Bayou Teche-each of them heading man wounded. And no wonder ; near, and at high water having navisince the Hatteras's heaviest guns gable connection with, Red river. were 32s, while of the Alabama's (9 South of the railroad and east of the to our 8), one was an 150-pounder on Atchafalaya, the country had already a pivot, another a 68; and she threw been in good part overrun by our 324 pounds of metal at a broadside forces; but our possession of it was to the Hatteras's 94. With such a imperfect and debated. Beyond and disparity of force, the result was in- above, all was Rebel; while fortifievitable.
cations at Butte à la Rose, well up Gen. N. P. Banks, having as the Atchafalaya, and Fort Bisland, sumed ” command of the Depart- at Pattersonville, on the Teche, were ment of the Gulf, found himself at intended to bar ingress by our gunthe head of a force about 30,000 boats from Red river or by our land strong, which had been officially forces from New Orleans. Fort Bisdesignated the Nineteenth Army land was flanked by Grand Lake on Corps. With this, he was expected, the right, and by impassable swamps in cooperation with Grant's efforts on the left; a Rebel force, estimated up the river, to rëopen the Missis- [too high] by Gen. Banks at over sippi, expel the Rebels in arms from 12,000 men, held these strong works Louisiana, and take military posses- and the adjacent country; while to sion of the Red River country, with hold New Orleans securely, with its a view to the speedy recovery of many protecting forts and approachTexas, whose provisional Governor, es, Key West, Pensacola, Ship IslGen. Andrew J. Hamilton, surround- and, &c., with all Texas backing the ed by hundreds more of Union refu. zealous and active Rebel partisans in gees, was with him at New Orleans, Louisiana, who were promptly apand naturally anxious for an imme-prised by their spies of any weak diate movement upon their State; spot in our defenses—to say nothing which they believed ripe for restora- of the danger of hostile attacks from tion. Their hopes of such a demon- the side of Alabama and Mississippi stration, however, were soon blasted, -required the larger part of his as we have seen, by our needless and corps ; so that Banks found his disshameful disasters at Galveston and posable force reduced by inevitable Sabine Pass. Meantime, Gen. Banks details to less than 14,000 men; had dispatched " Gen. Cuvier Grover, while the Rebel array in and around with 10,000 men, to rëoccupy Baton Port Hudson was reported by his Rouge, which had been relinquished spies at 18,000; rendering a siege to the enemy, and which was now without large rëenforcements imposrecovered without a struggle. sible. He, therefore, turned his at
From New Orleans, a single rail-tention first to the line of the Atchroad reaches westward to Brashear afalaya. City on the Atchafalaya, where that An attempt to open the Bayou * Dec. 11, 1862.
" Dec. 18, 1862.
Plaquemine, connecting with the the more deadly fire of sharp-shooters Atchafalaya near Butte à la Rose, from rifle-pits; when, at 10 A. M., a having failed—the bayou being found bullet through his head struck him 80 choked by three years' accumula- dead on the instant. tion of snags and drift as to be im- By this time, the 8th Vermont had passable by boats— Gen. Weitzel's gained the Rebel rear, and was maforce on Berwick's Bay was increased king a rapid clearance of their rifleto 4,500 men, with a view to an ad- pits; while the batteries of the 1st vance to and operations in the Teche Maine, the 4th and 6th Massachusetts, region. Starting from Thibodeaux, supported by sharp-shooters from the Gen. Weitzel embarked his infantry 75th and 160th NewYork, had flanked next day at Brashear, on the gunboats the defenses on the other side, and Calhoun, Diana, Kinsman, and Es- were sweeping the decks of the Cottrella, Com. McKean Buchanan, who ton, whose crew beat a retreat, as did moved slowly up the bayou to Pat- most of the Rebels on land, whereof tersonville; the artillery and cavalry but 40 were taken prisoners. The going by land. Encountering for- Cotton was fired during the ensuing midable obstructions at a place night, and utterly destroyed. The known as Carney's Bridge, a few force here beaten consisted of the miles above, Com. Buchanan, after 28th Louisiana, with Simms's and reconnoitering, dropped down a short the Pelican battery, under Col. Gray distance for the night; returning -in all, but 1,100 men, beside the next morning to attack; while the crew of the Cotton. Our loss was 8th Vermont was sent around to 7 killed and 27 wounded. flank the defenses on the north. Gen. Banks being still intent on
The obstructions were found vexa- opening the Atchafalaya by the medtious rather than formidable: con- itated advance through the Bayou sisting of a steamboat filled with Plaquemine to the capture of Butte brick and sunk across the channel, à la Rose, the next month was wastwith the great iron-clad gunboat ed on this enterprise; and the sucCotton behind it; a battery on either cess at Carney's Bridge was not othflank, and some torpedoes in the erwise improved. Meantime, some bayou below. One of these was ex- 200 Western boys defeated" a like ploded under the Kinsman; lifting number of the 3d Louisiana cavalry her stern into the air, but not crip- at Old River; losing 12 men, killing pling her; when she fell back to 4, wounding 7, and taking 26 prisavoid another just ahead, whereof a oners. negro fugitive from the Cotton gave Admiral Farragut, having heard timely warning. Com. Buchanan, on of our loss of the Queen of the West the Calhoun, either not hearing or and De Soto " below Vicksburg, dedespising the caution, at once took cided that it was his duty to run the the advance, standing on the bow of Rebel batteries at Port Hudson, in his vessel, spy-glass in hand, in the order to recover the command of the midst of a furious cannonade from river above; so he called on Gen. the Cotton and Rebel batteries, and Banks for cooperation. Hereupon, * Jan. 11, 1863. 18 Jan. 14. 17 Feb. 10.
" See page 298.
FARRAGUT PASSES PORT HUDSON.
our forces were hastily rëcalled from thick with sulphurous smoke that the Atchafalaya and concentrated at great care was needfully exercised Baton Rouge; where they crossed by our commanders to avoid firing and advanced," about 12,000 strong, into each other; our aim being now driving in the Rebel pickets, to the directed by the flashes of the enerear of the Port; Farragut having my's guns; which, changing from intended, under cover of a land at- shell to grape as our vessels came tack on that side, to run the batteries within musket and pistol-shot, swept early next morning. He judged best, our decks by murderous discharges; however, to anticipate Gen. Banks's some of their batteries being placed attack, the night being intensely on bluffs so high that they could not dark; so, in his stout flag-ship Hart- be harmed by our shots; while the ford, lashed side to side with the Al- crescent shape of the defenses, fol. batross, he led the perilous adven- lowing the curve of the channel, enature; arriving abreast of the Rebel bled them to rake each vessel as it batteries a little before midnight. approached, and again as it receded.
If he had counted on passing un- The greatest care was requisite to observed, or shrouded in darkness, avoid grounding or colliding in the he was much mistaken. Hardly was dense darkness which followed the he within range of the nearest Rebel burning out of the Rebel bonfire; guns, when signal-lights were seen and there were several narrow esflashing from every direction, includ-capes from these ever imminent dising the opposite shore; and, directly, asters. It was 114 P. M. when the the flames of a vast bonfire in front first gun spoke : and by 1 the fight of the heaviest batteries shot up into was virtually over—the Hartford and the sky, lighting the entire breadth the Albatross having passed; while of the river as though it were mid- most of their consorts had failed, and day. Rockets were soon streaming dropped down to their anchorage bein the air; now a gun from the west | low--when a fresh blaze told of a bank saluted the Hartford, which heavy loss. The Mississippi had run instantly returned the compliment; aground directly abreast of the heaviand the next moment the earth trem-est and most central battery ; where bled to the roar of all the Rebel bat- she was soon discovered and became teries; whereupon our mortar-boats a target for them all. Here Capt. below began firing 13-inch shell at Melancthon Smith fought her nearly the enemy; and the frigates Hart- half an hour, till she was completely ford, Mississippi, Richmond, and Mo- riddled; when he ordered her set on nongahela, and gunboats Albatross, fire and abandoned; and she was ; Genesee, Kineo, Essex, and Sachem, burning aground till she was so lightas they severally came within range, ened that she floated; when she driftfired broadside after broadside; the ed down the river a blazing ruin, brass howitzers in their tops and the exploding, several miles below, when heavy pivot guns at the bow and the fire had reached her magazine. stern being industriously worked; Of her 233 officers and men, but 29 while the atmosphere was soon so were missing at roll-call next day.
10 March 13-14.