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cians, clergymen. Others were after- Schools and Churches had been well atwards added, making seventy-four men tended. Though in his opinion more and nineteen women, all of whom were might have been accomplished, the agent, assigned to posts of duty on the planta- considering the disadvantages and obtions, as enumerated in the month of structions of the work, came to the conJune, 189 in number on 17 islands, with clusion “that under the guidance and a negro population of 9,050. Among with the help of the fugitive masters, these were 309 mechanics and house ser- had, they been so disposed, these people vants, 693 old, sickly, and unable to might have made their way from bondwork, 3619 children not useful for field la- age and its enforced labor, to freedom bor, and 4429 field hands. More than four and its voluntary and compensated lathousand of the last were paid for their bor, without any essential diminution of labor on the cotton crop, covering 5480 products, or any appreciable derangeacres of land. In addition, 8315 acresment of social order. In this as in all of provisions, corn, potatoes, etc., were things, the universe is so ordered that planted. A satisfactory statement, con- the most beneficent revolutions, which sidering the disadvantages under which cost life and treasure, may be accomthe work was undertaken, in the partial plished justly and in peace, if men have demoralization of the laborers in the in- only the heart to accept them." ** terval of months of idleness after the Following the occupation of Port Roydeparture of their masters, the loss of al, possession was taken by Captain cattle and beasts of burden, and the Dupont of Tybee Island, at the mouth stores of corn on the plantations, the of the Savannah River. It was supposwant of clothing, the inadequate supply ed that this important position, offering a of implements of agriculture, the unfav- ready means of assault upon Fort Puorable effects of intercourse with the laski, and controlling the approach to army, and not least the discouraging in- Savannah, would not be taken without a fluence of the non-payment at the proper struggle. The defences, however, contime of the wages promised for the labor sisting of a strong martello tower and on the last year's crop of cotton, which battery at its base, were found abandonhad been taken possession of by the ed on the arrival of the Union fleet, Government. Among 4,030 laborers, which quietly anchored in the harbor ; $5,479 was paid under Mr. Pierce's and the objects of the expedition in closagency-a very small sum certainly, for ing the channel was further facilitated several months' labor, though eked out by the obstructions placed by the enemy by various contributions of clothing and in the river at Fort Pulaski. On the provisions. Small, however, as the pay- 25th of November, Captain Dupont rement was, we are told, "the laborers reported to Secretary Welles,—“I have the ceived it with great satisfaction, as, if honor to inform the department, that the nothing more, it was at least a recogni- flag of the United States is flying over tion of their title to wages, and to treat- the territory of the State of Georgia. ment as freemen." The number of cases * *. By the fall of Tybee Island, the of discipline for idleness reported to and reduction of Fort Pulaski, which is withacted upon by the military authorities, in easy mortar distance, becomes only a did not exceed forty. The systematic question of time.” efforts at education and religious instruc- A prominent event on the coast of tion had been pursued with the most en- South Carolina was the arrival in Decouraging results. Reading and spelling, cember of what was called the “Stone and in some instances writing, had been 7 taught to the children, and the Sabbath Port Royal, June 2, 1862.
* Mr. Pierce's Report to the Secretary of the Treasury,
Fleet." This was a collection of old and they might form disturbing currents, and condemned merchant vessels, chiefly it was supposed, would be held in their whalers, which had been purchased in places by the same influences which had the New England ports by order of the aided in the formation of the bar. The Secretary of the Navy, with the inten- weather was favorable for the operation, tion of aiding the Southern blockade by and though there was some irregularity sinking them as an obstruction to the in the settling of the vessels, turning entrances of the harbors of Charleston them from their appointed places, the and Savannah. A similar attempt had affair, upon the whole, was carried out been made in the mouth of September, according to the programme and prowhen a number of schooners, purchased nounced a success. “The bar," wrote in Baltimore, had been sunk in Ocracoke an enthusiastic reporter, when he had Inlet, in North Carolina. Much was ex- witnessed the removal of the sails, the pected from the fleet. which set sail on departure of the captains with the final its errand from New Bedford, at the end spoil of the dismantled vessels, and had of November. The vessels, some twen- listened to the harmless guns of Sumter ty-five in number, of three or four hun- as the last vessel was submerged, "the dred tons each, had been especially pre- bar is paved with granite, and the harpared for their peculiar errand. They bor is a thing of the past.”* This opinwere stripped of their copper, and of all ion or expectation was freely expressed but the necessary equipment to enable by a portion of the press in exaggeration them to reach their destination, and of the consequences of the measure, were as heavily laden as the navigation which was on the other hand pronounof the Atiantic would permit, with blocks ced, by persons acquainted with the naof granite. Holes were bored in the ture of the coast, as at most but a temsides, under water, in which pipes were porary inconvenience. The former noinserted, carefully secured with plugs, to tion for a while, however, appeared to be withdrawn at the proper time, for the prevail, and was eagerly caught up by sinking of the vessels. Thus laden and foreign journals indisposed to show much provided, this novel expedition in due consideration for the necessities of the time was gathered to the blockading United States Government, and was squadron on the coast of South Carolina, made the occasion for the most violent and on the 20th of December an impor- outcries against the proceeding, as a bartant portion of it, sixteen of the whaling barous and cruel violation of the laws vessels from New Bedford and New Lon- of nature, and rights of the civilized don, some of them notable ships in their world. It was even made the subject day, were sunk off the harbor of Charles- of diplomatic inquiry and remonstrance, ton. The operation, which was conducted when the British Foreign Minister was under the charge of Fleet-Captain Charles assured by Mr. Seward that there was H. Davis, was skillfully and scientifically no intention of permanently destroying contrived. The place chosen for the one of the harbors of the world, and resinking of the vessels was the bar at the minded that even after the sinking of the entrance of the main ship channel, six ships the port had been entered, and the miles distant, in a direct southern line, blockade broken without difficulty by an from Fort Sumter. The plan was to ar- unfriendly contraband English trader. range the ships in such a manner as, A more serious disaster, at the time. without entirely destroying, would effec- to Charleston, was the extensive conflatually perplex the navigation. They gration which broke out while this stone were accordingly placed at intervals from one another, chequer-wise, so that | December 26, 1861."
* Special Correspondence of the New York Tribune,
flect expedition was in progress. It carried out with remarkable accuracy. commenced on the night of the 14th of To give spirit and eclat to the moveDecember, and continued the following ment, the first day of the New Year was day. A number of churches and public selected for its accomplishment. Though buildings, with several hundred dwell- probably well assured of the final result, ings, warehouses and factories were de- in the resources of the gunboats, there stroyed, inflicting a loss of millions-a / was prospect enough of serious work loss probably far greater than would should the assault, as was to be expected, have been experienced by a serious be resisted with determination, to give to bombardment by the fleet lying off the the undertaking sufficient importance harbor, and in the neighboring waters and responsibility. of Port Royal.
On the 31st of December the last The first movement of consequence in preparations were made for the attack. General Sherman's Department after the Commander Rodgers brought up from occupation of Beaufort, was a joint mili- the station at Hilton Head to Beaufort tary and naval expedition, directed the gunboats Ottawa, Lieutenant Comagainst a fortified position of the enemy manding Stevens, the Pembina, Lieutenon a mainland at Port Royal Ferry. To ant Commanding Bankbead, and the four destroy the works at this point was an large boats of the Wabash, each carryobvious necessity, as they gave the com- | ing a 12-pound howitzer, under Lieuten mand of the narrow river communica- ants Upshur, Luce and Irwin, and Acttion, surrounding Port Royal Island with ing-Master Kempff. At sunset they opportunities for its permanent obstruc- were joined by the armed steamer Hale, tion to the foe, opposed any attempt to | Acting-Master Commanding Foster. The penetrate the country, and threatened two other vessels of the force assigned the Union troops at Beaufort. A small to Commander Rodgers, the gunboat Government steamer, the Mayflower, Seneca, Lieutenant Commanding Amhad been fired into while proceeding to men, and the ferry boat Ellen, Master sound the channel of the river, and one | Commanding Budd, passed up the Broad man killed. Accordingly, at the end of River, on the westerly side of Port RoyDecember, a method of attack was ar- al Island, to approach the ferry by ranged by General Sherman and Captain Whale River towards the north. In the Dupont, in which their forces were joint- night, the vessels in Beaufort River asly to coöperate. The enemy's works at cended to within two miles of the Coothe ferry being situated midway oppo- saw, awaiting the movement at daylight. site the northern shore of the island, on General Stevens, meanwhile, was forthe Coosaw River, it was arranged that warding his forces to the vicinity of the they should be assailed by the gunboats ferry, and to the point of embarkation approaching from both east and west, at the corner of the island, where Brickwhile a heavy force should be thrown yard Creek, a continuation of the Beauacross below, to attack them on their fort River, unites with the Coosaw. The lest flank. Another body of troops was troops destined for the expedition, were to be at the ferry, ready to cross as Colonel Frazer's 47th and Colonel Persoon as the way was prepared by the ry's 48th New York regiments, and the gunboats. The command of the naval regiments of General Stevens' brigade, operations was assigned to Commander the 79th New York Highlanders, Major C. R. P. Rodgers; the military move- Morrison, the 50th Pennsylvania, Colments were conducted by Brigadier-Gen-onel Crist, the 8th Michigan, Colonel eral Stevens. The preparations of both Fenton, and the 100th Pennsylvania were made with the greatest skill, and “Roundheads,” Colonel Leasure.
BATTLE AT PORT ROYAL FERRY.
At four in the morning Commander ing assisted in destroying the works of Rodgers started in advance with the the enemy at Seabrook on their way. launches, and at darlight joineil General The ferry was now reöpened, when the Stevens at the place of embarkation on Pennsylvania Roundheads passed over, the river. The troops were placed on and occupied the fort, where they were fatboats, and at eight o'clock the first joined about four o'clock by General detachment, the Highlanders and 50th Stevens' advanced guard. The enePennsylvania—was landed in safety, un- my," continues Commodore Rodgers, in der cover of the launches at Chisholm's his Report, “appearing in force and in Plantation, about four miles below the line of battle upon the right of our ferry, by water. Lieutenant Irwin of troops, at fifteen minutes past four the navy, accompanied them with two o'clock the Ottawa moved down the rivof the light howitzers from the Wabash. ler a short distance with the Pembina, The Ottawa, Pembina and Hale now en- and opened fire with 11-inch Parrott tered the Coosaw, and the expedition guns, their shells falling among the eneproceeded in force to the next landing, my's troops with great effect, driving about a mile above, at Adam's Planta-them into the woods and clearing the tion. There the remainder of the troops flank of our column, where the skirmishintended for this movement were landed, ers had been engaged, and the enemy and, joined by the party from below, had opened fire from a field battery of proceeded with the military operations several pieces. Soon after sunset we of the dar.
| ceased firing for a while, and the enemy At hall-past one in the afternoon, sent a flag of truce to one of our advan. General Stevens set his column in mo- ced posts, to ask permission to carry off tion, throwing out skirmishers in ad- their killed and wounded. Just then the vance, whose work was greatly facilita- gunboats reöpened, and before General ted by the steady fire from the gunboats Stevens' messenger could convey his reinto the woods in their front as they ply, that the firing should cease for an proceeded. The 79th Highlanders led hour, to enable the enemy to carry off the way, while the brunt of the affair, as their wounded, the officer who had it proved, fell upon the Michigan regi- brought the flag had galloped off. At ment, which was employed in skirmish - sunset I landed our heavy howitzer, diing on the right flank. On approaching recting Lieutenant Upshur to place it in the ferry, fire was opened from a con- battery with the guns already on shore cealed battery of the enemy, in the under Lieutenant Irwin, there being no woods, which the Michigan soldiers met artillery with the brigade but that of the at close quarters with great gallantry. Wabash. At the same time Lieutenant Nine members of the regiment were 'Luce, with the second launch and its wounded in the couflict, including Major rifled gun, and Lieutenant Barnes, with Watson. The only other casualties of the Hale, were sent to the lower landing the day were two members of the 50th to protect the boats and steamer in which Pennsylvania slightly wounded. The our troops bad crossed, and superintend Ottawa presently reached the Ferry, but their removal to the ferry, which was no answer was returned to her guns accomplished about midnight. At sunfrom the shore. In anticipation of the rise we reëmbarked our boat-guns. At visit of the gunboats, the fort had been thirty minutes past nine o'clock on the abandoned, and the guns, with the ex- morning of the 2d, the enemy again apception of one, removed. The Seneca pearing in the wood, we opened a hot and Ellen, meanwhile, had come within fire of shot and shells from the Ottawa, signal distance from the other side, bav- Seneca, Pembina. Ellen, and Hale, and after firing briskly for a time, slackened the houses in the vicinity burnt. The rebthe fire so as to drop a shot or shell into els suffered severely from the fire of the the woods about once a minute. At forty gunboats, and the muskets of the Michigan minutes past nine o'clock our troops be- regiment. Such was the affair at Port gan to recross the ferry, and were all over Royal Ferry on the 1st of January--a by noon, our field-guns having been land- simple but effective demonstration of the ed, at the request of General Stevens, to resources and spirit of the Union forces on cover the rear of the returning column. the coast which secured the uninterrupted The enemy made no further demonstra- possession of the advantages gained on the tion.” The batteries were destroyed, and islands by the victory at Hilton Head.
CHAPTER X L VI,
THE TRENT AFFAIR.
A FEW days after the occupation of James Murray Mason was born in Port Royal, described in the last chap- Fairfax County, Virginia, in the year ter, while men's minds were fully occu- 1797. He was a member of one of the pied with the calculation of the possibili- oldest and most bonored families in the ties or probable consequences of the re- State. The first ancestor of the family cent victory, loyal citizens throughout who came to the country, was an English the country were gratified with the un- royalist who had been a member of the expected intelligence of the capture of English Parliament in the reign of Charles Messi's. Mason and Slidell, the newly ap- I., bad served as an officer in the loyalist pointed Confederate Commissioners to army in the Revolution, and on the deEngland and France. The escape of feat at Worcester escaped in the disthe blockade by these persons with their guise of a peasant and embarked for Secretaries of Legation from Charleston, Virginia. A member of the family, in South Carolina, had been a matter of the American Colonial Era, married a particular congratulation with the rebels. daughter of Sir William Temple. All They were the bearers, it was understood, will remember the services in the War of communications to the respective Gov- of Independence rendered by George Maernments to which they were sent, which son, and the prominent part borne by him would doubtless advance the much longed in the formation and adoption of the Confor recognition by the great European stitution. He was the grandfather of the powers of the Southern Confederacy. I present Confederate ambassador to EngThe prominent position of the Ambassa- land. Educated at the University of Penndors among the chief promoters and in- sylvania and at the College of William stigators of the rebellion from the begin- and Mary, at Williamsburg, where he ning; the confident arrogance of the was prepared for the bar, the grandson Virginian who had the credit of repre- early entered upon political life. He was senting the pride and spirit of the Old several times a member of the Virginia Dominion in their intensest form of hos- House of Delegates, became a Member tility to the North, with the well-known of Congress in 1837, and ten years after bold intriguing character of Slidell, un- took that seat in the United States Sendoubtedly gave to their movements pe- ate which he held till the outbreak of the culiar interest and importance.
rebellion. His position in that body for