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some unavoidable delays, fixed upon as the time for landing. Mean. while, the enemy, under General Page, were busy throwing troops and supplies into Fort Gaines, which was commanded by Colonel Anderson, of the Twenty-first Alabama.
Early on the 4th of August, the Federal fleet, twenty-six sail, including two double and one single turreted monitor and an iron-clad double-ender, commenced closing in their line southeast of Fort Morgan, as with a view to concentrate their efforts on Fort Gaines, having during the preceding nights landed a force of from three to five thousand men under General Granger, on Dauphine Island. During the early part of the day they kept up an irregular and desultory fire on the fort, as if designing to make against that point a combined attack by land and sea.
The real intention of the admiral, however, was to effect the pas sage of the forts with his fleet, and the vessels outside the bar which were designed to participate in the engagement were all under way by forty minutes past five in the morning of August 5th, in the following order, two abreast and lashed together:
Brooklyn, Captain James Alden, with the Octorara, LieutenantCommander C. H. Green, on the port side; Hartford, Captain PerciTal Drayton, with the Metacomet, Lieutenant-Commander J. E. Jouett; Richmond, Captain T. A. Jenkins, with the Port Royal, LieutenantCommander B. Gherardi; Lackawanna, Captain J. B. Marcbani, with the Seminole, Commander E. Donaldson; Monongahela, Come mander J. H. Strong, with the Kennebec, Lieutenant-Commander W. P. McCann; Ossipee, Commander W.E. Le Roy, with the Itasca, Lier. tenant-Commander George Brown; Oneida, Commander J. R. M. Mullany, with the Galena, Lieutenant-Commander C. H. Wells.
The iron-clads Tecumseh, Commander T. A. M. Craven, the Manhattan, Commander J. W. A. Nicholson, the Winnebago, Commander T. H. Stevens, and the Chickasaw, Lieutenant-Commander T. H. Per. lirs, were already ahead inside the bar, and had been ordered to take up their positions on the starboard side of the wooden ships, or between them and Fort Morgan, for the double purpose of keeping down the fre from the water-battery and the parapet guns of the fort, as well as io attack the ram Tennessee as soon as the fort was passed.
The attacking fleet steamed steadily up the main ship channel, the Tecumseh firing the first shot at forty-seven minutes past six. At six minutes past seven the fort opened upon the fleet, and was replied to by a gun from the Brooklyn, and, immediately after, the action became general. The guns of the fort played with effect upon the Brooklyn and Hartford, and soon after the firing became hot. The Tecumseh careened suddenly, and sank, destroyed by a torpedo, nearly all hands being lost. The Hartford, flag-ship, then took the lead, and the fieet, pushing steadily forward, and maintaining a constant fire, passed the forts shortly before eight o'clock. As the Hartford passed up she was attacked by the Tennessee, but without effect. The rebel gunboats Morgan, Gaines, and Selma, which had kept up an annoying fire, were then attacked. The Selma was captured by the Metacomet, while the Morgan and Gaines drew off under the guns of Fort Morgan. The former escaped to Mobile, and the latter was run ashore and destroyed. The Tennessee then stood down for the flag-ship. The monitors were immediately ordered to attack her. The Monongahela, Commander Strong, was the first vessel that struck her, and in doing so carried away his
own iron prow, together with the cut-water, without apparently doing his adversary much injury: The Lackawanna, Captain Marchand, was the next vessel to strike her, which she did at full speed; but though her stern was cut and crushed to the plank ends for the distance of three feet above the water's edge to five feet below, the only perceptible effect on the ram was to give her a heavy lift. The Hartford was the third vessel which struck her, but as the Tennessee quickly shifted her helm, the blow was a glancing one, and as she rasped along the side of the Hartford, that vessel poured her whole port broadside of nine-inch solid shot within ten feet of her casemate. The monitors worked slowly, but delivered their fire as opportunity offered. The Chickasaw succeeded in getting under her stern, and a fifteen-inch shot from the Manhattan broke through her iron plating and heavy wooden backing, though the missile itself did not enter the
. The Hartford again bore down upon the ram at full speed, when, unfortunately, the Lackawanna ran into the Hartford just forward of the mizzenmast, cutting her down to within two feet of the water's edge. They soon got clear again, however, and again bore down for the
enemy. The Tennessee was now in a desperate strait. The Chickasaw was pounding away at her stern, the Ossipee was approaching her at full speed, and the Monongahela, Lackawanna, and Hartford were bearing down upon her, determined upon her destruction. Her smoke-stack had been shot away, her steering chains were gone, compelling a resort to her relieving tackles, and several of the port-shutters were jammed. Indeed, from the time the Hartford struck her until her surrender, she never fired a gun. As the Ossipee, Commander Le roy, was about to strike her, slie hoisted the white flag, and that vessel immediately stopped her engine, though not in time to avoid a glancing blow. During the contest with the rebel gunboats and the ram Tennessee, and which terminated by her surrender at ten o'clock, the fleet lost many more men than from the fire of the batteries of Fort Morgan. Admiral Buchanan, commanding the Tennessee, was wounded in the leg, two or three of his men were killed, and five or six wounded. Commander Johnston, formerly of the United States Navy, came on board the flag-ship to surrender his sword and that of Admiral Buchanan,
Thus ended one of the fiercest naval combats on record, in which the defence made by the Tennessee illustrated the power of that class of vessels. After all the terrible attacks to which she was exposed, her hull was but little injured. Her cominander was in charge of the Merrimac during her famous attack upon the Federal fleet in Hampton Roads. It had been imagined that as the ship channel led so very close to the powerful Fort Morgan, no ships would dare attempt the passage; or, if the attempt were made, none would succeed. But in Farragut's hands this peculiarity of the channel became an advantage to the attacking, and a weakness to the defending side. The novel and ingenious expedient of lashing his vessels together, two and tro, showed how thoroughly the rear-admiral had considered the dangers in his way, and how successfully he met them. lst. If the erposed half of his fleet had been disabled, the other half would still have gone in, with but little injury. 2d. His battle line was not liable to disorganization, by any vessel dropping out, and perhaps fouling another; the Oneida was disabled, but her consort pulled her through, and the 'Oneida's men did not even leave their guns. 3d. If any ressel had been sunk, her consort would have surely and quickly saved the crew. 4th. His battle line was shortened by half, and the passage of course robbed of half its risks to the fleet. These were the chief points gained by Farragut's admirable and novel disposition of his force.
On the night of the 7th of August, Fort Powell having surreddered, the commander of Fort Gaines, Colonel Anderson, intimated a desire to surrender; and for that purpose went on board the fleet and made terms. General Page, having some intimation of what was going on, telegraphed repeatedly to Anderson to hold on to his post. The fort, however, was surrendered, and by this means the western channel was now under the control of the Federal fleet. The surrender of Fort Morgan could not after this be long delayed. cordingly, after some days spent in preparations, on August 21st, General Granger notified Admiral Farragut that he would be ready to open the siege next morning at daylight. That night the admiral with his fleet took position in line of battle, and Monday morning, the 22d, at five o'clock, opened upon Morgan with thirty guns of various calibre, and sixteen eight and ten inch mortars. In a short time three monitors and several wooden vessels opened, the former with eleven and fifteen inch shells, and the latter with rifled thirty-two-pounders The firing continued with great vigor and extraordinary accursey until dark, when the fleet withdrew, and the firing was continued only at intervals by the shore batteries. During the shelling the citadel of the fort took fire, and the enemy, after vain efforts to extinguish the flames, flooded the magazine and threw a large quantity of powder into the wells. No sooner was this light discovered ihan General Bailey ordered all our batteries to commence firing, in order to prevent the extinguishment of the flames.
At twenty minutes to seven o'clock on Tuesday morning, the 23d, Captain Taylor, bearing a white flag, and accompanied by about forty men, carrying a small sail-boat, marched out at the main sallyport, facing Fort Gaines, with the intention of pushing off to the flag-ship, three or four miles distant, with a note from General Page, proposing to surrender the fort, and asking what terms would be granted. General Granger now arrived at the wharf, in front of Fort Morgan, and the note of General Page was handed to him. Granger replied that he would communicate the contents of the note to ihe admiral, and when his answer was received the terms of surrender would be dictated. In a short time thereafter Granger sent General Arnold, chief of artillery, Captain Drayton, of the Hartford, and another officer, with a demand for the immediate and unconditional surrender of Fort Morgan, with its garrison and all public properts, to the army and navy of the United States. With these terms Page was fain to comply, though he disgraced himself by destroying and injuring the property surrendered after he had accepted the terms. With Forts Morgan and Gaines eighty-six guns and fifteen hundred men fell into the possession of the Union troops, and Mobile was permanently sealed against blockade-runners.
On the return of the troops to New Orleans, after leaving sufficient garrisons in the Mobile forts, a number of expeditions were undertaken by General Canby's troops, of which the most important was one into West Florida, under command of General Asboth, which reached Marianna on the afternoon of the 27th of September, capturing that place after a stubborn resistance of several hours. The result was the capture of eighty-one prisoners of war (among them a brigadier-general and a colonel), ninety-five stand of arms, and large quan. tities of quartermaster's and commissary stores. Our loss in killed and wounded amounted to thirty-two, including General Asboth himself, who had his left cheek-bone broken and his left arm fractured in two places.
An expedition, sent by General Dana from Rodney, Mississippi, reached Fayette on the 2d of October, encountering no enemy. They captured some cattle, horses, mules, and several prisoners. Another expedition sent by General Dana attacked the enemy at Woodville at seven o'clock on October 7th, capturing three guns, one captain, one lieutenant, fifty-four enlisted men, and killing forty of the enemy.
A cavalry expedition, under General A. L. Lee, reached Clinton October 7th, at seven o'clock, capturing forty-seven prisoners, the mails, telegraph office, &c., and a considerable quantity of stores and ammunition. Among the prisoners captured was Lieutenant-Colonel Pinckney, provost-marshal-general of the district (installed in his office a few hours before the arrival of our troops), one captain and two lieutenants. From there the expedition moved to Greensburg, and, finding no enemy, destroyed a tannery and some stores, and returned with a number of blacks.
Expedition to Florida.–Occupation of Jacksonville.—Advance of General Seymour.
Battle of Olustee, and Retreat of the Union Army.-Demonstration against Newbern.-Capture of Plymouth.—The Albemarle.—Her Fight with Union Gunboats.
- Her Destruction.— Rebel Privateers.--Combat between the Kearsarge and Alabama.—Capture of the Florida and Georgia.
The early part of 1864 witnessed a series of disasters to the Union arms along the Atlantic coast, which, though involving the loss of no essential points, and having no direct influence upon the issue of the war, were yet, in the aggregate, so considerable as to cause a widespread uneasiness. The great aggressive campaigns of Grant and Sherman had not then cornmenced, and these temporary successes of the rebels, taken in connection with the practical failure of the joint expedition into Southern Mississippi, with the Fort Pillow massacre and the unfortunate termination of the Red River expedition, perplexed and irritated the public mind, while they infused no little heart into the rebel cause.
In December, 1863, in accordance with his request, authority was given to General Gillmore, commanding the Department of the South, to undertake such operations, within his department, as he might deem best, on consultation with Admiral Dahlgren, then in command of the South Atlantic blockading squadron. He accordingly intimated to the War Department that in February, 1864, he proposed to occupy the west bank of the St. John's River, and establish small dépôts there, preparatory to an advance at an early day. Under date of June 13th, 1864, the President wrote to Gillmore that, understanding that certain persons were endeavoring to construct a legal government in Florida, which formed part of the Department of the South, and that Gillmore might possibly be there in person, he had dispatched Mr. Hay, one of his private secretaries, to aid in the proposed construction. It is desirable,” he said, “ for all to co-operate; but if irreconcilable differences of opinion shall arise, you are master. I wish the thing done in the most speedy way possible, so that when done it be within the range of the late proclamation on the subject. The detail labor will of course have to be done by others, but I shall be greatly obliged if you will give it such general supervision as you can find consistent with your more strictly military duties." By the close of January, Gillmore's plans seem to have been perfected, and in a letter to General Halleck, the general-in-chief, he stated that the objects to be attained by his proposed operations were :
1. To procure an outlet for cotton, lumber, timber, &c.
2. To cut off one of the enemy's sources of commissary supplies, &c.
3. To obtain recruits for any colored regiment.
4. To inaugurate measures for the speedy restoration of Florida to her allegiance, in accordance with instructions received from the President by the hands of Major John H. Hay, assistant adjutantgeneral.
Orders were issued by Gillmore to General Truman Seymour, on February 5th, to proceed with a force of six thousand men to Jacksonville, and, after effecting a landing, to push on to Baldwin, twenty miles further, with his mounted troops. The command of Seymour, convoyed by the gunboat Norwich, Captain Merriam, ascended the St. John's River on the 7th, and landed at Jacksonville on the afternoon of the same day. The advance, under Colonel Guy V. Henry, pushed forward into the interior on the night of the 8th, passed by the enemy, drawn up in line of battle at Camp Vinegar, seven miles from Jacksonville, surprised and captured a battery three miles in the rear of the camp about midnight, and reached Baldwin about sunrise. At the approach of the Union troops, the enemy fled, sunk the steamer St. Mary's, and burned two hundred and seventy bales of cotton, a few miles above Jacksonville. Our forces captured, without the loss of s man, about one hundred prisoners, eight pieces of artillery in service