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the entire force; and, as if this were not enough, several buildings were fired by our departing soldiers—of the Sth Maine, it was said, though that regiment laid it to the 6th Connecticut—while hundreds of inhabitants, who desired to leave with our forces, were put ashore after they had embarked, and left to meet the vengeance of the Rebels as they might. The beautiful old town was substantially destroyed; though our higher officers did their best to save it—a high wind fanning the flames, which swept all within their reach. The deserted inhabitants—many of them hearty Unionists—were left to famish among their ashes and ruins; though the few families who were brought away to IIilton IIead were treated with considerate humanity. Pensacola was likewise abandoned “ and burned—burned by the Rebels, it was
asserted—but that would neither be reported nor believed
Deaufort to Charleston. No inhabitants were left on Edisto but negroes; and the cotton which the departing Whites could not remove they had, for the most part, burned. The fall of Pulaski, soon afterward, gave us extension and security on the other flank; and now Gen. Hunter and Com. Dupont proposed to extend our possession still farther toward the city by the reclamation of Wadmilaw and Johns islands, bringing us within cannon-shot of Charleston. To this end, various and careful reconnoissances were made, and soundings taken; ending with marking by buoys the channel of Stono river, separating Johns from James island; whereupon, our gunboats Unadilla, Pembina, and Ottawa, crossed” the bar at its mouth and proceeded up that river: the Rebel earthworks along its banks being abandoned at their approach. Thus the gunboats made their way slowly, arefully, up to a point within range of the Rebel batteries guarding the junction of Stono with Wappoo creek, barely three miles from Charleston, whose spires and cupolas were plainly visible, over the intervening trees, from the mast-heads of our vessels. Dut this bold advance of our gunboats, unsupported by infantry, was a blunder. These were too weak to effect any thing but give the enemy warning of what they must be prepared to meet. Nearly two weeks had thus been spent ere Gens. Hunter and Benham, with their soldiers, landed " on James island; and three more days elapsed ere Gen. Wright
* March 3, 1862. * March 27.
came up from Edisto with the residue of their forces. Such dis*Feb. 11. * May 20. * June 2.
guarding camps, &c. The direct attack was made by Brig.-Gen. Isaac I. Stevens,” with Col. W. M. Fenton’s brigade, composed of the 8th Michigan, 17th Conn., and 28th Mass., and Col. Leisure's, comprising the 79th New York (IIighlanders), 46th do., and 100th Pa., with 4 detached companies of artillery, &c.— in all, 3,337 men. Stevens had these in position at 3: A. M. at our outer picket line, within rifle-range of the enemy, and advanced at 4—the morning being cloudy and dark—so swiftly and noiselessly that he captured most of the Rebel pickets, and was within 100 yards of the main defenses, not having fired a shot, when Lamar opened on him with grape and canister, plowing bloody lanes through the storming party, and destroying its compactness if not impairing the momentum of its charge. The 8th Michigan–Col. Fenton's own—was in the direct advance, immediately supported by the IIighlanders, with the residue of both brigades ready and eager to do and dare all that men might; and, if well directed valor could have carried the enemy's works by direct assault, they would have done it. But the neck of dry land over which it was possible to advance was barely 200 yards wide, completely swept by grape and canister at close range from six guns in the IRebel works, as well as by their musketry; while insuperable abatis, a ditch seven feet deep, and a parapet nine feet high, rendered such an assault a simple squandering of precious lives. The 8th Michigan lost here 185 out of 534 men, including 12 out of 22 officers; the IIigh
landers lost 110 out of 450; and our total loss was at least 574, whereof Stevens's two brigades lost 529– nearly all within half an hour. The Rebel loss was 204; Lamar and Lt.-Col. Gaillard being among the wounded. Though it was plain that the ene
‘my’s works could not be carried by
storm, a second but feebler assault was made on them after the failure of the first, aided by a flank advance on the enemy's right by a battalion of the 3d R. I. artillery, Maj. E. Metcalf, with the 3d N. H. and 97th Pa.; but nothing was accomplished; and our entire force fell back, unpursued, but leaving their dead and some of their severely wounded to fall into the hands of the enemy. And this virtually terminated in defeat Gen. IIunter's ill-managed advance upon Charleston.
Four months afterward—Gen. IIunter having been succeeded in command of this department by Gen. O. M. Mitchel—the latter planned an advance, not aimed at Charleston, but due northward from Beaufort, with intent to break the railroad connection between Charleston and Savannah, by destroying bridges, &c., about Pocotaligo and Coosawhatchie. Gen. Mitchel being prostrated by the disease of which he ultimately died, the execution of this project was confided to Brig.-Gen. J. M. Brannan, with an effective force of 4,448 men.
This force, embarked on gunboats and transports, moved" up Broad river to the junction of the Coosawhatchie and Tullifinny, where it was landed and pushed inland; first meeting resistance when 5 or 6 miles on
29 Killed, a few weeks later, at Chantilly.
its way; but easily driving the enemy, who burned bridges, &c., before it, and soon made another stand in a wood behind a burned bridge, whence they were expelled by flanking, and still pursued nearly to Pocotaligo; where the Rebels, under Gen. Walker, opened heavily with artillery from a swamp behind a creek. Our caissons being far behind, our guns were Soon without a cartridge, and none to be had nearer than ten miles. Night was coming on ; and Brannan —aware that his 4,000 men were no match for all that the railroad would bring speedily from Charleston and from Savannah to assail them—wisely took the back track to Mackay's landing; where he at once embarked” and returned to Hilton Head. Meantime, Col. Barton, with 400 men, the gunboats Patroon and Marblehead, and the little steamboat Planter, had gone up the Coosawhatchie nearly to the village of that name—the gunboats getting aground two or three miles below, and the Planter about a mile below. Having debarked his men, Barton pushed on, and encountered a train filled with roenforcements sent to the
enemy from Savannah, under Maj.
ed, supporting 3 guns, and night coming on, he, too, retreated to his boats; burning bridges behind him. There was some pursuit notwithstanding; but the gunboats were ugly customers, and were not seriously molested. When the tide had risen, they floated; and Barton returned with them, unmolested, to Port Royal.
Our loss in this expedition was not far from 300. Walker reports his at 14 killed, 102 wounded, 9 missing; but this does not include the losses at Coosawhatchie.
The river Ogeechee, rising in the heart of eastern Georgia, after a generally S. E. course of some 200 miles, usually parallel with the lower half of the Savannah, and, for the last 40 miles, very near it, falls into Ossabaw sound, some 10 miles S. W. of Savannah. A few miles up the Ogeechee, the Rebels had constructed a strong earthwork known as Fort McAllister, in a bend of the stream, enabling it to rake any vessel which should attempt to pass it. A row of heavy piles across the channel, with some torpedoes in the river below, rendered ascent at once difficult and perilous. The steamer Nashville lay
IIarrison, 11th Georgia—Gen. W. S. under the protection of these works; Walker, commanding in Brannan's having long watched an opportunity front, having telegraphed both ways to run out to sea laden with cotton; for all the men that could be spared disappointed in this, by the vigilance him. This train was fired on while of our cruisers, she was unladen, fitted in motion, and considerable loss in- up as a war vessel, and again watched flicted ; Maj. Harrison being fimong her opportunity to run out—not bethe killed. The greater number es ing so easily stopped now as formercaped to the woods and joined the sly. Com'r Worden, who was watchdefenders of the village and railroad jing her, in the iron-clad Montauk, bridge, against whom Barton now at length discovered that she had advanced; but, finding himself large- got aground, just above the fort, and, ly outnumbered by men strongly post- at daylight next morning, went up,
5 Oct. 23. * Feb. 27, 1963.
backed by the Seneca, Wissahickon, and Dawn, to attempt her destruction. IIe found her still aground; and, by disregarding torpedoes and the fire of the fort, was able to steam within 1,200 yards of her; and, by experiment, soon had her exact range, and was peppering her with 11 and 15-inch shells; while his consorts— forbidden a near approach by the narrowness of the channel—fired at her from positions farther down the stream. Twenty minutes thereafter, she had been set on fire by shells which exploded within her, and flames were seen to burst from every quarter; at 9:20 A.M., her large pivot gun forward was exploded by the heat; at 9:40, her smoke-stack went overboard; and at 9:55, her magazine exploded, shattering her into worthless fragments. Meantime, the fort kept firing away at the Montauk, striking her five times, but doing no damage; and a torpedo which exploded beneath her, as she steamed down the river, accomplished very little. Our other vessels received no harm. We lost no men. Com. Dupont, encouraged by this cheap success, now resolved to give the fort itself a trial: to which end, the iron-clads Passaic, Capt. Drayton, Patapsco, Montauk, Ericsson, and Nahant, with three mortarschooners, steamed * up the Ogeechee, and opened fire: the Passaic leading, the rest following, and all firing at the fort at the shortest range they could severally attain. But the obstructions proved insuperable, and forbade the Passaic to ap
proach nearer than 1,200 yards; the other iron-clads being, of course, farther off, and the schooners farther still. Thus placed, the Passaic, Patapsco, and Nahant, opened fire; and it was kept up, with one or two intervals, from Sł A. M. to 4 P.M., and by the mortar-schooners every 15 minutes thenceforth till next morning; when Capt. Drayton—who had dropped down the river out of range at nightfall—went up again and took a look at the enemy's works; finding them so substantial and effective that he concluded to waste no more good cartridges upon them, and came away under a double salute of shells and yells. IIis 15-inch shells, each weighing 345 pounds, had dismounted one of their 9 great guns, and taken a wheel from another; but no man had been killed, and but one wounded on either side. Captain Drayton, while standing behind the turret of his ‘Monitor,’ had received a mere scratch from a splinter of shell, and the Rebel loss was swelled to 3 wounded by an accident after the fight; but an enormous expenditure of ammunition on either side had effected nothing of moment. Our shells often tore up the sand to a depth of ten feet, clouding the air with it; but it descended nearly into its former position;” even the embrasures of the Tebel battery were but moderately damaged. Our vessels saved their ammunition by letting Fort McAllister alone thereafter.
The National steamboat Isaac Smith, having been sent” up Stono
** March 3.
* The Savannah Republican, March 12, says:
“Considerable havoc was made in the sandbanks in the fort; and the quarters of the men were almost entirely demolished. * * * Inside
| the fort, and to the rear of it for half a mile, the
earth was dug up into immense pits and gullies by the enemy's shell and shot.” [It sees a Providence in the saving of Confederate life.]
* Jan. 30, 1863.