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moderate blockading squadron was supplied, attention was turned to the organization of a series of expeditions, having for their object the capture of the best barbors on the coast, and the occupation of extended tracts of country in their vicinity.
When General Wool took command at Fortress Monroe, August 13th, he found preparations in progress for the expedition to Hatteras Inlet, of which the details are given in Chapter XI., and the results of which were the occupation of that point by the Union forces, on the 29th of August. A fortification called Fort Oregon, at Ocracoke Inlet, fifteen miles below Hatteras, was abandoned by the Confederates, and destroyed by the Union troops. On the 1st of October, the steam-tug Fanny, with her two brass guns, and thirty-five of the New York Ninth Volunteers, together with a considerable quantity of stores, was captured by the Confederates. On the 4th, tbe Twentieth Indiana, stationed at Chicamacomico, thirty miles above Hatteras, were attacked, and a considerable number of them made prisoners. The next day, the Monticello and Susquehanna ran down and shelled the Confederates, killing a number, and driving the remainder to their boats.
The Hatteras expedition having proved successfal, the United States Government undertook a larger and more formidable one. The finest barbor on the Southern coast is that of Port Royal, South Carolinaa broad estuary, formed by the junction of Broad and Port Royal Rivers, and Archer's Creek, and their debouchure into the Atlantic. The interlacing of these and other rivers has formed a large group of islands, of which Hilton Head, Hunting, St. Helena, Paris, and Port Royal are the principal. This harbor is nearly equidistant from Charleston on the north and Savannah on the south, with both of which cities it has an interior water communication for small vessels. The parish of which these islands form a part is the richest cotton district in South Carolina. The population was about forty thousand, of wbom thirty-two thousand were blacks. The chief production is the long-staple cotton, known as sea island, used for the first class of cotton goods, and produced only along the coasts of South Carolina, Georgia, and Texas. Rice is also largely cultivated. The village of Beaufort, on Port Royal Island, and tbe adjacent islands, formed the summer residence of many of the wealthy planters of South Carolina. This harbor, after consultation with Captain Dupont,* of the navy, was fixed upon as the best point for a basis of operations on the Southern coast, and preparations on a very extensive scale for an expedition thither were at once commenced. After many delays the expedition finally took its departure from Fortress Monroe, October 29th. It consisted of fifty vessels, including thirty-three transports; the naval command being under Flag-officer Dupont. The military commander was Major-General T. W. Sherman,* and the troops comprised three brigades, numbering fifteen thousand men, under Brigadier-Generals Egbert L. Vielé, Isaac I. Stevens, and Horatio G. Wright.
*Samnel F. Dupont was a native of New Jer. sey, where he was born in 1803. He entered the ay in 1815, and in 1848 servod under Commodorë Shubrick in California, where with one hundred men he attacked and ronted five hundred Mexicans. He was appointed captain in 1856 and comunanded the Minnesota on the China past in 1858_9. In 1861 he took charge of the
Philadelphia navy-yard, and in the ensuing snmmer was put in vinmand of the South Atlantic blockading squadron. On October 7th, after gallant action, he captured the rebel forts in Port Royal Harbor. for which service he was in Aue gust, 1862 commissioned a rear-adıniral. He commanded the iron-elads in the attack on Fort Sumter, April 7, 1862, and in June was relieved
These were accompanied by Hamilton's (late Sherman's) battery of six rifled guns, and a battalion of volunteer engineers. Soon after the fleet left Hampton Roads, the weather became unsettled, and the wind increased in violence until on Friday, November 1st, it blew almost a hurricane from the southeast, scattering the ships so widely, that on Saturday morning but one of the whole fleet was in sight from the deck of the flag-ship, the Wabash. On Sunday, the wind having mod. erated, the vessels began to reappear. During the gale the Governor and Peerless, transports, sank, and the Isaac Smith threw her armament overboard to save the vessel. Only seven lives, however, were lost. On the 4th, twenty-five vessels anchored off Port Royal bar, the channel through which was immediately sounded, and buoyed out. For the protection of the harbor the rebels had erected at Hilton Head, on its Southern side, Fort Walker, a strong earthwork, mounting twenty-three guns of the heaviest calibre, some of them rifled, and several of them imported from England during the war. On the north side of the harbor, and distant about two and a half miles from Fort Walker, was Fort Beauregard, at Bay Point, mounting twenty guns, and supported by an outwork half a mile distant. About two miles above the forts, where Port Royal River joins the Broad, was a fleet of six or seven rebel gunboats, under Commodore Tatnall. There was · also a strong land force in the forts, under General Drayton. Under the circumstances it was determined to reduce Fort Walker first, and on the 7th of November, at nine o'clock, the Wabash signalled to the fleet to form in order of battle in two columns. The flag-ship led the main column, and the Bienville the starboard column, having her position on the Susquehanna’s starboard quarter, and maintaining it during the entire action. The ships were drawn up in the following order : Main Columo.
Vandalia. Pembina As the fleet moved up towards Fort Beauregard the rebel batteries on both sides of the river opened fire on the head of the column, with heavy guns of long range. At ten minutes past ten the Wabash fired simultaneously on both Forts Walker and Beauregard, sending a broadside at each. Each volley fell in front of the batteries, and ploughed deep furrows in the sand. Followed by her consorts, the
• Thomas W. Sherman was born in Rhode Island. 1816; graduated at West Point in 1836 as second-Heutenant Third Artillery ; first-lienten. ant, 1888; captain in May, 1846; served in Mexico, and was made major in February, 1847, for gallant conduct at Buena Vista. Ho was appointed lieutenant-colonel of the Fifth Artillery
in May, 1861; lod a brigade in the first battle of Bull Run, and in the succeeding October took command of the troops in the Port Royal Expedition. In March, 1862, he was superseded and ordered to the Southwest. He took part in the Port Hudson campaign, under General Banks and lost a leg in the assault of May 27th.
Wabash then turned southward, and, sailing in an ellipse, delivered her fire as she passed slowly down within six hundred yards of Fort Walker, deliberately, and without losing the range. She also approached the shore as closely as the soundings would admit. These were given regularly, as upon an ordinary occasion; signals were made continually, and the fire fell upon the fort with all the cool precision of target practice. The second column, meanwhile, had also passed up on the left side of the channel, pouring broadsides into Fort Beauregard, and then taking a station to cut off Tatnall's fleet from any participation in the fight, and at the same time to keep up a ilanking fire on Fort Walker. Three circuits of the channel were taken by the main column, at each of which a broadside was opened upon the fort opposite. In this way the whole force of the fleet was brought to bear upon the enemy with irresistible effect, each vessel delivering its shot as it came in front of the fort, and each, by constantly shifting its position, baffling the enemy's aim. The enemy was by no means inactive, and offered a stubborn resistance, but at the end of the third circuit the guns of the forts were mostly disabled. The flag-officer almost simultaneously received tidings to that effect from several sources, and about 3 P. M. the rebels struck their flag. The signal to cease firing was at once hoisted, at precisely a quarter to three o'clock, the bombardment having been nearly five hours in progress.
The flag-ship lowered a boat and sent it ashore, carrying a flag of · truce in the bow, to inquire if the enemy had surrendered. Commander John Rodgers, a passenger on the Wabash, who had come down to join his vessel, the Flag, off Charleston, and had been acting during the fight as aide to Commodore Dupont, was assigned the duty of taking the flag ashore. He planted the American ensign upon the deserted ramparts, and another and larger flag was afterwards displayed upon the flag-staff of a building a few rods to the left, where the rebel standard bad waved during the combat, and whence it had just been taken down. The troops were immediately landed, and took possession of the forts. The Federal loss was eight killed and twentythree wounded. The Confederate loss was not ascertained. Fortyeight cannon were taken. The village of Beaufort was soon after taken possession of by the Federal forces without opposition, the inhabitants mostly retiring at their approach.
After landing and taking possession of the forts, General Sherman issued the following proclamation :
“TO THE PEOPLE OF SOUTH CAROLINA:
"In obedience to the orders of the President of the United States of America, I have landed on your shores with a small force of National troops. The dictates of a duty which under the Constitution I owe to a great sovereign State, and to a proud and hospitable people among whom I have passed some of the pleasantest days of my life, prompt me to proclaim that we have come among you with no feelings of personal ani. mosity; no desire to harm your citizens, destroy your property, or interfere with any of your lawful laws, rights, or your social and local institutions, beyond what the causes herein briefly alluded to may render unavoidable.
" Citizens of South Carolina: The civilized world stands appalled at the course you are pursuing appalled at the crime you are committing against your own mother; the best, the most enlightened, and heretoforo the most prosperous of nations. You