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HOK E BESIEGES WESSELLS IN PLYMOUTH.
:. Well sup- I thout trying his c
as found in
el battery, if that whe ed in the river opponfantry brigades,
was intensely hot; the dusty roads batteries scarcely 100 yards distant. lined by thick brush, which excluded Those batteries opening upon her, air, yet afforded little or no shade; while she had no steam up, the capso that marches of barely 5 or 6 miles tors could do no better than fire and per day were accomplished with great destroy her. Pickett now drew off, fatigue and peril. Our men had no without trying his strength against cannon. A Rebel battery, well sup- the defenses of Newbern; claiming ported, was found in position three to have killed and wounded 100 of miles north-west of Legaréville ; our men, captured 280, with two which the 26th U. S. Colored was guns, 300 small arms, &c., and definally sent" forward to take, and stroyed a gunboat of 800 horse-power, made five spirited charges upon, los- mounting 4 heavy guns—all at a cost ing 97 killed and wounded. But they of 35 killed and wounded. were 600 without cannon, against an The next blow was struck at equal force strongly posted, with 4 Plymouth, near the mouth of the guns; so they were worsted, and Roanoke, which was held for the their Col. (Silliman) falling from sun- Union by Gen. Wessells, with the stroke, they were called off; and the 85th New York, 101st and 103d expedition returned, after parading Penn., 16th Conn., and 6 companies about the islands for another week. from other regiments-in all 2,400 What it meant, if it meant any thing, men. It was a fairly fortified posior why force enough was not sent up tion; while the gunboats Southfield, to take the Rebel battery, if that was Miami, and Bombshell, were anchordeemed desirable, remains among the ed in the river opposite. Gen. R. F. mysteries of strategy. The foolish, Hoke, with three infantry brigades, wasteful fight was called by our men a regiment of cavalry, and 7 batte• The Battle of Bloody Bridge.' ries—in all, at least 7,000 men-ad
vanced against it so stealthily that In North Carolina-our forces here he was within two miles * before having been slender since Foster's Wessells was apprised of his danger. 12,000 veterans were made over to The mailed ram Albemarle, coming the South Carolina department in down the Roanoke, took part in the 1863—the initiative was taken this attack. year by Gen. Pickett, commanding Fort Warren, our up-river outpost, the Rebel department, who suddenly was first assailed; and our gunboat struck" our outpost at Bachelor's Bombshell, going to its assistance, creek, 8 miles above Newbern, held was disabled by the fire of the Rebel by the 132d New York, carrying it artillery. While the fight here was by assault, and making 100 prisoners. still in progress, Hoke opened on Following up his success, he threat- Fort Wessells, a mile farther down, ened Newbern; and a force under which was repeatedly charged in imCapt. Wood actually carried, by mense force; but every assault was boarding from boats, the fine gun- repulsed with great slaughter. At boat Underwriter, lying close to the length, however, this fort was so comwharf, and under the fire of three pletely and closely surrounded by 15 July 7. * July 14.
17 Feb. 1. 13 April 17.
the enemy's infantry, with their guns, Capt. Cooke, of the Albemarle, but 200 yards distant, that it was being naturally somewhat inflated by forced to surrender.
| his easy triumph ever two unmailed Hoke vigorously pressed the siege. gunboats, our remaining gunboats in Soon, the Albemarle, Capt. Cooke, those waters, under Capt. Melancran down by Fort Warren and en-thon Smith, were disposed to tempt gaged our two remaining gunboats, him to a fresh encounter, on more of 8 guns each, striking the South equal terms. They had not long to field, Lt. French, so heavily as to wait for it. The Mattabesett, Sassasink her; then, turning on the Mi- cus, and Wyalusing, were lying 20 ami, killed Lt.-Com'r Flusser, and dis- miles off the mouth of the Roanoke, abled many of her crew; when she when our picket-boats, which had fled down the river. The Albemarle been sent up the river to decoy the then shelled the town with her rifled ram from under the protecting bat32s, doing considerable execution. teries of Plymouth, reported her
Next morning," Hoke pushed for coming;" and soon she was descried ward all his batteries, and opened on bearing down, accompanied by the the town and our remaining forts at river steamboat Cotton Plant, and 1,100 yards: Ransom, with one brig- what was lately our gunboat Bombade, assaulting on the right, and shell. The former-being too frail for Hoke, with two, going in on the left. such an encounter-put back, with By a desperate effort, in the face of a her 200 sharp-shooters and boarders, murderous fire, the two outer forts, to Plymouth; and the contest began. mounting 8 guns, were carried at a The Albemarle was heavily iron-clad heavy cost, and their garrisons made and armed with very large Whitprisoners. A rush was then made on worth guns; and our vessels of course the town; which was likewise carried; played around her, seeking to inject and at length Fort Williams—which their iron into her weakest quarter: was still mowing down the assailants the Sassacus taking occasion to pour with grape and case-shot-was so en- one broadside at close range into the veloped and enfiladed that nothing re Bombshell, which compelled her to mained for Wessells but to surrender. strike her flag and fall out of the The fruits of the victory were 1,600 range of fire. After a spirited caneffective prisoners, 25 guns, at least nonade at short range, the Sassacus 2,000 small arms, and some valuable struck the Albemarle at full speed, stores. The Rebels admitted a loss crowding her hull under water, but here of only 300. Our combatants not sinking her. And now these estimated it at fully 1,000, and say life-and-death wrestlers exchanged we had but 100 killed and wounded. 100-pound shots at five or six paces ;
As a consequence of this disaster, the gunners of the Sassacus watching Washington, at the head of Pamlico for the opening of a port by the Alsound, was soon evacuated by Gen. bemarle, and trying—sometimes with Palmer ;"' some of our departing solo success—to fire a shell or shot into it diers disgracing themselves and their before it could be closed again; as, flag by arson and pillage ere they left. from the ram's mailed sides or deck, April 20. 30 April 28.
21 May 5, 3 P. M.
the chief | huimming dowled out a
DESTRUCTION OF THE RAN ALBEMARLE. 535 the largest bolts, fired at this distance, , same instant that one of the enemy's · rebounded like dry peas. At length, shots crashed through the torpedo the ram put a shot through one of boat, utterly destroying it. The of her adversary's boilers, killing 3 launch likewise was instantly disand wounding 6 of her men, and fill-abled; but Cushing, spurning every ing her with scalding steam, from out call to surrender, ordered his men to which the shrieks of the scalded were save themselves as they best could ; piercingly heard. And now the chief himself dropping into the water and engineer of the Sassacus was com- swimming down stream half a mile, pelled to call his men to follow him when he crawled out at daybreak, into the fire-room, and there to drag and hid in an adjacent swamp; the fires from beneath the uninjured through which he slowly, cautiously boiler, which was on the brink of worked his way until he found a explosion; while the engine had be- skiff in a creek, and, at 11 P. M., was come entirely unmanageable. on board one of our vessels in the
Out of the thick, white cloud which offing. The Albemarle sunk like a enveloped the two combatants, fre- stone, and was never more troublequently irradiated by the flashes of some to friend or foe. guns, the Albemarle soon emerged, Plymouth-Hoke being busy on limping off toward her sheltering the James—was now easily retaken as fort; still keeping up her fire; the by our fleet under Com'r Macomb, Sassacus moving slowly in pursuit, who captured a few prisoners, some working on a vacuum alone. We guns and warlike stores. had the Bombshell, with her 4 rifled Of Burnside's extensive conquests guns, as a trophy; while the siege in North Carolina, but little more of Newbern—which the Albemarle than Newbern and Roanoke island had set forth to form the naval part remained to us, after the loss of of, while that post had already been Plymouth and the abandonment of Bummoned by Hoke, on the assump- Washington; and Hoke was intent tion that “the river and sound were on reducing our possessions still furblockaded below"--was indefinitely ther, when the pressure of our adpostponed
vance in Virginia summoned the The Albemarle made good her re- greater part of his force to the detreat, and never cared to renew the fense of Richmond. encounter. Months afterward, she | Two or three unimportant raiding was still 8 miles up the Roanoke, expeditions were sent out from Newlying at a dock, behind a barricade bern during the Summer; and one of logs, when Lt. Wm. B. Cushing from Roanoke island, led by Gen. slipped " up the river in a steam- Wild and composed of colored troops, launch and, under a fierce fire from penetrated far into Camden county; the monster, lowered a torpedo-boat, bringing off 2,500 slaves, many horses rowed it to and under the overhang and cattle, and destroying much of the Albemarle and fired it, at the grain ; at a total cost of 13 men. * Oct. 27.
23 Oct. 31.
THE WAR BEYOND THE MISSISSIPPI IN 1864.
GEN. BANKS was in New Orleans, | them up in detail. It was a very intent on further operations against old blunder, so often repeated in our Texas by way of Galveston and the struggle that none could plead ignosea-coast, when he received a dis- rance of its oft-tested and certain patch from Halleck, prescribing (or, effect; but braying in a mortar as Halleck says, “suggesting ') a to- would be effective only with those tally different plan of campaign. Its who do not need it. Had Steele's line of operations was the Red river; men been brought down the Arkanits object, the capture of Shreveport, sas in boats, and added to Banks's with the rout and dispersion of Kirby and Smith's forces, the issue must Smith's army, culminating in the re- almost certainly have been differcovery of Texas and a boundless sup- ent. But Gen. Steele's demonstraply of cotton for our mills and for ex- tion, though designed to be simultaport. To this end, Admiral Porter, neous and cooperative with Banks's, with a strong fleet of iron-clads and was entirely independent;' while transports, was to embark at Vicks- Gen. Smith's quota was only loaned burg, 10,000 of Sherman's old army to Banks for a brief period, and was under Gen. A. J. Smith, and move subject to recall in entire disregard with them up Red river, capturing of his authority. Had such a moveby the way Fort de Russy, remov- ment missed failing, it would have ing all impediments, and meeting at been a disparagement of good genAlexandria Gen. Banks, who, with his eralship evermore. 15,000 to 17,000 disposable men, was Banks's own force was to have to march overland from the Atchafa- moved from Franklin on the 7th of laya to the designated point of junc- March, so as to be at Alexandria on tion; while Gen. Steele, with the bulk the 17th : but the General was busy (15,000) of his Arkansas force, was at New Orleans, and intrusted the to move on Shreveport directly from immediate command of his force to Little Rock. In other words: we Gen. Franklin ; who was not ready were to threaten Shreveport with to start till the 13th, and had not 40,000 men, so disposed that the en- fully reached Alexandria till the emy, with a compact, mobile force of 25th; though his cavalry advance, 25,000, might fight them all in turn under Gen. A. L. Lee, had arrived with superior numbers, and so cut on the 19th. ? Jan. 23, 1864.
any order to the other. Gen. Smith never made
any report to me, but considered his as substan. Gen. Banks, before the Committee on the
tially an independent force. * * * It took us 20 Conduct of the War, testified that
days to communicate with Gen. Steele; and then "The truth was that while four forces-Gen. we could only state our own position, ask what Steele's, Gen. Sherman's (under Gen. Smith), ho was doing, and give advice; but we could Admiral Porter's, and my own—were operating not tell whether he followed the advice or not, together, neither one of them had a right to gived nor what he was doing."
FORT DE RUSSY TAKEN BY SMITH.
537 Ere this, Admiral Porter, with 15 | The Eastport had come up the night iron-clads and four lighter steam- before. boats, had reached' the mouth of But here commenced the real difRed river, where he was joined by ficulties of the undertaking. There Gen. A. J. Smith and his 10,000 men was hardly water enough in the river in transports, and proceeded next day, to float our heavy iron-clads up to pioneered by the Eastport, up the Red this point; and here was a considerato Simmsport, which was evacuated ble fall or rapid, up which about half by the Rebels, who fell back on Fort of them were forced with great effort. de Russy. Nine of our gunboats en Porter wisely left five or six of the tered the Atchafalaya, followed by heaviest below, though Banks deemed the land force; while the residue, naval cooperation essential to the followed by the transports, continued success of the undertaking. One hosup the Red, where the Eastport, in pital-ship was sunk and lost in getadvance, was for hours engaged in ting up. As there was but 6 feet removing the Rebel obstructions of water in the channel at the fall, piles and chains in the channel, which while our vessels drew from 74 to 10 months had been given to construct- feet, it is not surprising that 7 or 8 ing and strengthening. These being days' were spent in getting over those disposed of, the Eastport and Neosho vessels that went higher. During the passed them, and pushed forward to halt here, Gen. Warner, with four Fort de Russy, where Smith had by brigades of Smith's corps, surprised' this time arrived; and he, after a a Rebel post at Henderson's hill, 21 few shots from the Eastport, assault- miles westward, capturing 4 guns, ed and carried the works, capturing 250 men, and 200 horses. 10 guns and 283 prisoners. Smith, But embarrassments multiplied. who had started from Simmsport at Gen. McPherson, now in command daylight, marched 40 miles, built a at Vicksburg, called for the return bridge that detained him two hours, of the marine brigade, 3,000 strong, taken a large and strong fort by as- of Smith's corps, to its special duty sault, after considerable skirmishing of guarding the Mississippi from and cannon-firing, had his day's raids; and it had to be sent. Then work done and the fort fully in pos- it was found necessary to make Alexsession before sunset. The main andria a dépôt of supplies, which Rebel force, about 5,000 strong, un- could not be carried farther; and der Gen. Walker, retreated up the Gen. C. Grover's division of 3,000 river. Porter at once sent his swift- more were left to garrison it. And, est vessels up to Alexandria, which as no cooperation could be expected . was abandoned without a struggle. | from Steele, Banks's 40,000 men
• March 7. March 11, March 16. and operating upon a line several hundred miles • March 26 to April 3. ? March 21
distant, with purposes and results entirely un
known to me. Feb. 5, I was informed by Gen. • Banks says, in his official report:
Steele that, if any advance was to be made, it “The partial disintegration of the several must be by the Washita and Red rivers; and commands assigned to this expedition was a that he might be able to move his command, by cause of embarrassment, though not entirely the way of Pine Bluff, to Monroe, for this purof failure. The command of Maj.-Gen. Steele, pose. This would have united our forçes on which I was informed by Maj.-Gen. Sherman | Red river, and insured the success of the camwould be about 15,000, was in fact but 7,000, 'paign. Feb. 28, he informed me that he could