ePub 版
[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

are in a state of active rebellion against the laws of your country. You have lawless. ly seized upon the forts, arsenals, and other property belonging to our common country, and within your borders, with this property, you are in arms and waging a ruthless war against your constitutional Government, and thus threatening the existence of a Government which you are bound, by the terms of the solemn compact, to live under and faithfully support. In doing this, you are not only undermining and preparing the way for totally ignoring your own political and social existence, but you are threatening the civilized world with the odious sentiment that self-government is impossible with civilized men.

" Fellow-citizens: I implore you to pause and reflect upon the tenor and consequences of your acts. If the awful sacrifices made by the devastation of our property, the shedding of fraternal blood in battle, the mourning and wailing of widows and orphans throughout our land, are insufficient to deter you from further pursuing this un. holy war, thén ponder, I beseech you, upon the ultimate, but not less certain result, which its further progress must necessarily and naturally entail upon your once happy and prosperous State. Indeed, can you pursue this fratricidal war, andcontinue to im. brue your hands in the loyal blood of your countrymen, your friends, your kinsmen, for no other object than to unlawfully disrupt the confederacy of a great people, a confederacy established by your own hands, in order to set up, were it possible, an independent government, under which you can never live in peace, prosperity, or quietDess?

"Carolinians: We have come among you as loyal men, fully impressed with our constitutional obligations to the citizens of your Stato; those obligations shall be performed as far as in our power. But be not deceived; the obligation of suppressing armed combinations against the constitutional authorities is paramount to all others. If, in the performance of this duty, other minor but important obligations should be in any way neglected, it must be attributed to the necessities of the case, because rights dependent on the laws of the State must be necessarily subordinate to military exigencies, created by insurrection and rebellion.


"Brigadier General Commanding. "HEAD-QUARTERS, PORT ROYAL, 8. C.,

" November 8, 1861."

On the 30th of November Adjutant-General Thomas sent instructions to General Sherman, in Beaufort, to take possession of all the crops on the island-cotton, corn, rice, &c.-on military account, and ship the cotton, and such other crops as were not wanted for the army, to New York, to be sold there for account of the United States; also, to use negro slaves to gather and secure the crops of cotton and corn, and to erect defences at Port Royal and otber places on the adjoining islands. General Sherman proceeded to appoint an agent to collect the cotton, employing the blacks for the purpose, and allowing them pay, and the cotton was shipped North on Government account. In most cases the Confederate commanders on the exposed points of the coast received positive instructions to burn or destroy all property on the approach of the Union troops.

The capture of the forts was soon followed by the occupation of the islands. That of Port Royal, although taken possession of by the Union forces November 6th, was not fully occupied until the 8th, when a reconnoissance in force, under General Stevens, drove the enemy completely from the island. They crossed Port Royal Ferry, and took up a position on the mainland. The Union pickets were immediately extended so as to defend the town of Beaufort and the entire island of Port Royal. Meantime the United States gunboats Flag, Augusta, Pocahontas, and Seneca went from Port Royal to Tybee Island, at the

mouth of the Savannah River. The fortifications were found to be de serted, and formal possession was taken of the island. Reconnoissances in other directions demonstrated the Ashepo, the Coosaw, and other rivers to be clear of the enemy. On the capture of the islands the white population retired inland, after destroying much cotton, and did not return in numbers. About ten thousand blacks, being nearly a third of the slaves, came within the Federal lines, and were employed in the culture of the soil and in the requisite labor of the ships and forts.

A formidable plan to make the blockade more efficient was put in execution in November. Its purpose was to seal up the channels in the Southern harbors by sinking vessels loaded with stone. The first attempt of this kind was on the North Carolina coast, where the numerous inlets to Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds gave great facilities for evading the blockading vessels. A number of small-sized vessels were purchased in Baltimore and sunk in Ocracoke Inlet. Two other fleets were then prepared, one for each of the harbors of Savannah and Charleston. The first consisted of twenty-five vessels, and the latter of twenty. They were mostly old whalers, no longer sea worthy, and of from three hundred to five hundred tons burden. They were bought for about ten dollars per ton, chiefly in the ports of New London and New Bedford, the forty-five ships costing about two hundred thousand dollars. They were stripped of copper and other fittings and loaded with picked stones, as deep as possible. The Charleston fleet sailed November 20th, with sealed orders, and on the 17th of December the first fleet was sunk across the principal entrance to the harbor. They were placed in three or four rows across the channel in a checkered order. The second fleet was sunk in Maffet's Channel, Charleston Harbor.

The usual effect of sunken vessels upon the channel of a harbor is to gradually destroy it, by causing an accumulation of the alluvium which the rivers bear down, and of the bands which the tides carry back. This operation was denounced by the English as a crime against humanity at large, by destroying one of the world's harbors. But Mr. Seward replied, that the United States Government, upon the return of peace, held itself bound to restore the harbor. The operation, owing to the shifting character of the channels off Charleston, and the prevalence of westerly winds at certain periods, which carry all obstructions out to sea, does not seem to have been very effective, and vessels continued to run the blockade in and out of Charleston.

Another expedition was projected to occupy Ship Island, on the coast of Mississippi, shortly after the return of General Butler from Hatteras Inlet in September. The island, which is sixty miles from New Orleans, is about seven miles in length, and one-eighth to three quarters of a mile wide. It is mostly a bank of clear white sand, without trees or shrubs, but good water can be obtained by sinking a barrel anywhere on its surface. This, with Horn, Petit Bois, and Dauphine Islands, forms the southern barrier of Mississippi Sound, which, with a width of ten to twelve miles, extends from Mobile Bay to Lake Borgne, in Louisiana, forming an interior communication be

[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors]
« 上一頁繼續 »