MAY 29, 1864
THE DAILY CONSTITUTIONALIST (GA)
Editors: Having a moment of leisure, I will endeavor to post you, as far
as in me lies, in regard to the state of affairs in this section of
city is the scene of a great deal of excitement and bustle, in civil and
military circles. Refugees from Marietta, and the vicinity of the two
contending armies, are still crowding through here, en
route for a place of safety in the rear. They are all driving their
cattle and all their stock with them. It is astonishing to see the
stampede that is going on here among all classes. I yesterday saw a
complete parlor in a box car, on the Georgia Railroad, waiting for their
turn to “git up and git.”
yesterday visited the encampment of the Militia Officers near this city,
and a finer looking body of men I have never seen. They reflect credit
on themselves and their State, and whenever they get into an engagement,
I have no doubt but they will be felt by the enemy, as the majority of
them have been in the Confederate service, and bear the scars (not
scares) of veterans. All is bustle and preparation and ere many more
suns rise and set, you will hear stirring news from this quarter. All
look forward with confidence to the result of operations in this
department, and if half the spirit of the troops were infused into the
people at home there would not be so much grumbling and croaking about
what should have been done and what could have been done. If they want
anything better done, let them enter the ranks and win their way, step
by step, until they command an army (which is not an impossibility, as
Gen. Pat Cleburne can be mentioned as an instance) and then they can
make those famous moves which they discuss so glibly at street corners
and in reading rooms.
anything happens I will advise you by telegraph.
are informed that in addition to the trains running between Aquia Creek
and Fredericksburg for the supply of Grant’s army, large wagon trains
are passing over the road between Alexandria and Falmouth, by way of
Occuquan and Dumfries. This makes a fine opening for such enterprising
men as Mosby.–Sentinel.
great contest for the possession of georgia.
Army Correspondence from the Field.]
New Hope Church,
Friday, May 27th, 1864
prospects and condition of North Georgia are, at present, rather
inconsistent with one another; for the future, in point of military
calculation, is much more cheering than the aspect of the country would
seem to indicate.
populace are in the wildest confusion. Men, women and children are
flying in panic before the advance of the enemy, like flocks of sheep.
Farms have been abandoned, homes deserted, and even personal apparel
sacrificed to the terror-stricken haste which has impelled many of these
unfortunate refugees. They may be seen encamped on the road side in the
most abject despair, knowing and caring little as to their destination,
so that they are able, with the remnant of their means, to evade the
military operations crowd the scene and render it the more tumultuous.
The heavy wagons lumbering along, the trains of ordinance and artillery,
the troops of escort, the staff officers, the couriers, all mingle in
the strange din and disturb the vision. No wonder that some of the more
ignorant fancy the world is coming to an end.
is like nothing that can be conceived. The streets filled with wagons,
its side-walks with excited men and women, its trenches with soldiers.
Trade had ceased. The city is now a camp.
corps of Hooker, operating in the centre of the enemy’s line, crossed
the Etowah river at the Kingston bridge during the afternoon of Monday.
The object of this advance was to penetrate to Dallas, secure a position
and use it as a pivot to swing round on Johnston’s flank. A strong
reconnoitering party was sent forward, and did not enter the town of
Dallas; but was so hotly pushed that t was forced back on Wednesday,
when the entire line undertook the movement it was defeated in, which
will be known as ->
battle of new hope.
engagement occurred during the afternoon and evening of Wednesday, the
25th. Our line stretched along the crest of Pleasant Hill, embracing the
meeting house of New Hope. The point is four miles east of Dallas, the
county seat of Paulding county–a village of squalid tenements, ragged
appearance and very few denizens. It is twenty miles due northwest from
Marietta. The ground here is undulating, sparsely timbered and
unpicturesque, but it is highly military and afforded us a good
Stewart occupied the centre, Gen. Hindman was posted on the right, and
Gen. Stevenson on the left. Eldridge’s batteries were admirably
enemy came up at noon; but there was heavy fighting until about three
o’clock, when they massed in the centre and threw a column of great
force upon Stewart. That dashing Tennesseean received it with a splendid
volley of grape ad Minié. But still they pressed. Orders were sent to
Hindman, but they already lapped him by a brigade. Stevenson, on the
other hand, was doing excellent work with Reynold’s tar heels. The
fight waxed warmer and warmer as the enemy pressed closer, and Maj.
Eldridge poured his volleys into them. At five o’clock there was no
advantage gained. At six they came on with reinforcements. At seven they
wavered, and at eight they retired behind the works, as the waning
sunlight glimmered upon twenty-five hundred of their dead and wounded.
night was devoted to caring for the hurt, and throwing up works for the
conflict which impended on the morrow. Our loss may be estimated at less
than a thousand. Gen. Reynolds was struck in the arm. Cols. Young, of
the 40th, and Avery, of the 4th Georgia, were wounded. Maj. Bishop, of
New Orleans, had his left arm amputated. Eldridge lost a hundred men.
The disabled were sent off in ambulances to Marietta. The dead were
buried. When morning dawned there was no attack. All day yesterday the
circle, extending from Altoona beyond Dallas, was unusually quiet. A
movement on LaGrange is suspected, but has not developed itself. One
against Newman was attempted but failed.
the 27th, is varied by skirmishes of ineffective kind on our right, the
enemy seeming to have designs upon our direct line. Wheeler has been on
the alert. He fought them last night near Acworth and was coquetting
with them all morning. The wagons lately captured by him are safely in
our rear. The prisoners have gone on South.
is no immediate prospect of a fight. We may have daily skirmishes and
half a dozen combats before the general engagement transpires. When it
does come off my impression is that it will be on the Chattahoochee
river, somewhere below Atlanta.
Him.—Overflowing with gratitude for the splendid victory on
Thursday the 12th, the N. Y. Times
of the following day calls upon all patriots and the whole country to
send up prayers to heaven for the protection of General Grant. “His
great Lieutenant, Sedgwick, is no more. The heroic Wadsworth sleeps in
death. Hays, Stevenson, Rice and Owens have fought their last fight.
Many others of his staunchest Generals, scores upon scores of his
Colonels, and hundreds of other invaluable officers, have been killed or
put out of the field by wounds. How terrible the thought that some one
of the million whizzing bullets may perchance strike the head or heart
of General Grant. God save the Lieutenant General! God save the
this prayer, we say “Amen!” with all our heart. If Grant falls, some
cautious Meade will take his place and prolong the war. Grant intends to
“fight it out if it takes all the Summer.” That is precisely what we
wish, and Grant’s method of fighting it out is exactly to our liking.
We are tired of this war. Grant proposes to end it as quickly as
possible. We pray he may be saved to accomplish his purpose.
BOSTON POST AND PRESS
we write there is no battle announced to be going on; but according to
the best judgment the progress onward of Gant’s army is such that a
battle is inevitable, and it promises to throw all other battles in the
position is between the North and South Anna Rivers; for the prediction
of Secretary Stanton that “our army would reach the South Anna” at a
certain time, and all the telegrams to the effect that the army had
reached it, are simply incorrect. Grant has skillfully followed up Lee
by a parallel line, and is quite dependent on the rebel General for his
future. Hi intention is to follow him up and fight him; and he is
supposed to have three times more troops at least than Lee. All the
veteran troops around Washington are at the front, and the Western
one-hundred day militia occupy their places. Lee’s force is rated at
sixty-five thousand men in the prints, but military men rate them far
lower. It is said, on all hands, now, that he is in a strong position.
Grant has force enough to turn it wherever it may be; but we need not
recapitulate the contents of the telegrams. Much is mere conjecture, and
we have not authentic data on which to base legitimate reasoning. It is
significant that Grant swung round his base, first to Belle Plain, then
to Aquia Creek; and now the wounded and material are being removed from
this position. Sheridan’s cavalry has been in the neighborhood of West
Point, and the next base will be on the Rappahannock or York Rivers. It
at West Point, then it will be on the old battle line.
Court House is a vital position for Lee; for its possession by Grant
turns his position as effectually on the North Anna as his positions
were turned on the Po. Hence, Lee will fight for them unless he means to
retire into Richmond, and be besieged there, or move to the mountains
and be followed there. The accounts now are coming to the point that Lee
remains in his strong position. It is said a storm prevented an assault,
and that a battle was looked for on Saturday. In the army–a letter
reads–as late as Wednesday night–the feeling was that Lee would fall
back on Richmond. “Whether he will fight a decisive battle first or
not, the next thirty-six hours will determine.” The thirty-six hours
have passed and the universal expectation is of battle.
letters from the front describe the contest at length that took place
when our army crossed the North Anna. It appears that the rebel position
was judged to be strong at that point; and Secretary Stanton says our
army was withdrawn to the north
bank of this river on Thursday, and moved in the direction of
Hanover town, on the Pamunkey. Lee’s forces occupy Hanover Court
House. Startling intelligence may be looked for at any moment.
of Gen. Sherman.—Beckwith, the Commissary in Sherman’s
Staff, went into the General’s tent a few days since and accosted him
thus: “General, we must make another contract for beef; we have not
enough to last two months.” “Have you enough for two months?”
inquired the General. “Yes, sir.” “Well, in less than two months
the army will be in [hell] or in Atlanta–it if goes to the former
place we shall need no beef; if to the latter, we shall find enough; so
make no more contracts, Beckwith.”
Sorts of Paragraphs.
the persons brought away from Fredericksburg on the evacuation of the
place was a rebel citizen arrested for poisoning bread an offering it to
our wounded soldiers.
whole Pennsylvania oil region, which, in 1860, was supposed to amount to
eleven hundred and sixty-five barrels per day from the seventy-four
principal wells, or about 50,000,000 gallons in all, is now about
70,000,000 barrels, or 2,800,000,000 gallons.
Richmond papers give a list of twenty-five men, all Italians but two,
who “threw down their arms in the presence of the enemy at the fight
on the Brooke Turnpike, and refused to fight in the cause of liberty and
the Southern Confederacy.” They were placed under arrest and lodged in
never recollect to have heard General Grant reported as a joker, but
here is a very good joke (if true) ascribed to him during the late
Wilderness battles: “In the third day’s fight of the recent
engagements in Virginia, Gen. Grant turned to Gen. Meade and said:
‘Well, Meade, if they are going to make a Kilkenny cat affair of this,
all I can say is, our cat has got the longest tail.’ ”1
Chicago the other day, twenty men were drafted who had been dead for
tell of a desperate prize-fight in Detroit recently. On the last round,
as the ground was slippery and snowy, one of the combatants (Tessot’s)
foot slipped, and he came down upon his knees. The other (Cibloni)
immediately caught him round the neck and choked him. Tessot, by a
desperate effort, raised himself, and hurled Cibloni on his back,
placing his knee upon Cibloni's breast, crushing it completely, and
struck him five blows in the face, battering it to one bleeding,
shapeless mass. Cibloni expired without a struggle or a groan. Tessot is
now lying in a hopeless condition, having been given up by his
MAY 31, 1864
Campaign in Virginia.
dispatch from Gen. Grant, dated Saturday at Hanovertown, states that the
army has been successfully crossed over the Pamunkey river, and now
occupies a point about three miles south of the river, and sixteen miles
from Richmond. The withdrawal of the army from beyond North Anna was
made Thursday night, and within thirty-six hours the army had marched
over thirty miles, crossing two rivers in the face of the enemy, and
transferring itself from a position directly in front of the rebel
forces to a position far on their flank. South of the North Anna, Gen.
Grant had between him and Richmond two considerable rivers and
twenty-five miles of ground. South of the Pamunkey he is nine miles
nearer the rebel capital, has avoided Little River and the South Anna,
and, if he chooses to advance straight forward, has no stream but the
upper waters of the Chickahominy to cross. Having cut loose from the
bases on the upper Rappahannock at Fredericksburg and Port Royal, he
resumes communication with Washington by way of the York River and the
Pamunkey, and he is within twenty miles of White House on the latter
river, a safe, near, and convenient depot wholly in his rear, and
inaccessible to the enemy. When Gen. Grant first crossed the North Anna
he selected a point considerably to the north of that where Lee expected
him. His present movement is made at a point south-east of every
position at which Lee was prepared to oppose him. In both instances the
rebel commander was fairly out-generaled.
his last successful flanking manœuvre the Tribune
says Gen. Grant shows himself a master of one of the most difficult
branches of military science–that of moving great bodies of troops
with rapidity and precision. He handles this huge army as if it were a
brigade. His last march is equally remarkable in another way–the
crossing and the strategic use of rivers. Viewed as impediments to the
movement of his army, Gen. Grant has utterly disregarded the North Anna
and the Pamunkey, while at the same time he has made both of them serve
as a complete protection to his own flank in marching past his enemy.
Grant originally crossed the North Anna with a view to recrossing it is
a question on which there is no answering evidence, nor is it material.
What is evident is that, having arrived on its south bank, he found Lee
in a position which he did not deem it advisable to attack, and which he
has thereupon turned with consummate skill. Every point on Lee’s old
lien of communication with Richmond which he was deemed likely to
defend, every point which afforded obvious and peculiar advantages, is
disposed of. The Virginia Central Railroad, the great North Anna line,
the Junction, the South Anna line, and finally Hanover Court House,
which was a position important in more than one respect, have been
neutralized and put aside by this last masterly manœuvre. Grant is
twenty miles southeast of his last position, nine miles nearer Richmond,
counting by distance, and a month, measuring by time. The obstacles
which he has surmounted by this one march may be reckoned equivalent to
at least so much additional duration of the campaign.
offers an approach to Richmond by one turnpike as far as Shady Grove
Church. At that point, seven miles from Richmond, the road divides and
makes for the Chickahominy in two branches, so that a column may cross
either the Meadow Ridge or the Mechanicsville–the latter being a
trifle the more direct–or both bridges may be attempted. ->
since it is probable that lee will offer up no resistance to the advance
of Gen. Grant except on the Chickahominy, the siege of Richmond may be
deemed to have begun already, and the next gun that is fired in this
memorable campaign will be heard within the defences of the rebel
News from Rebeldom.
The Rebels Think Grant’s
Washington Star has the
gentleman of an inquisitive turn of mind who has circulated to some
extent in the rebel camps lately has returned to our lines, and reports
among other things that the rebels have been expecting from day to day
that Grant’s apparently reckless movement across Lee’s right would
result in his placing him in the trap where Lee wanted him, but they
admit that Grant’s rapidity of movement and good luck have enabled him
to succeed in an “unsound” manœuvre.
wrinkle of wholly severing his connection with his base of supplies and
taking the chances of establishing another, they say is quite
indefensible strategically–a piece of quixotical rashness, successful
only in Grant’s case through the same streak of good luck which must
come to an end, they hold, sooner or later. They believe that Grant will
not test Lee’s position on the line of the South Anna and Pamunkey,
but will strike down towards the York River Railroad, flanking Lee’s
right and opening a new base at West Point.
they claim will be virtually forcing Grant to return to McClellan’s
line of advance on Richmond, but they admit that Grant, in reaching it,
will have covered Washington and crippled Lee in men and supplies
sufficiently to put it out of his power to carry out any invasion
projects he might have undertaken during the four weeks or more time
required to send the Army of the Potomac to the Peninsula by water.
army is tolerably well supplied with provisions, but it is a supply eked
out day by day by great exertion on the part of the rebel commissariat.
There was danger of a bread riot in Richmond from the fact that almost
all produce seeking Richmond as a market has, by military order, been
diverted to Lee’s army.
Russians.–After leaving the City Hall yesterday afternoon,
Admiral Lessoffsky and the other officers of the Russian Fleet proceeded
to the Navy Yard, from whence they returned to their vessels.
they are to visit the Athenæum, the Public Library, Spencer’s Rifle
Factory and the City Hospital.
Wednesday they will go to Lawrence and visit the mills and other points
of interest there; on Thursday they will visit the Public Schools; on
Friday, Harvard College and the suburbs; on Saturday, the Navy Yard; and
on Monday of next week, the Harbor and Public Institutions.
formal dinner will be tendered them at the Revere House on Tuesday, and
on Wednesday they are to be entertained with a musical festival in Music
Hall, in which the children of the Public Schools will participate.
JUNE 1, 1864
HARTFORD DAILY COURANT (CT)
fight on monday.
The Enemy Easily Repulsed.
Washington, May 31, 1864.
Major-General Dix: A dispatch from Gen. Grant, dated 6 o’clock this a.m.,
at Hawes’ Shop, has just been received. It is as follows:
enemy came over on our left last evening and attacked. They were
repulsed easily and with considerable slaughter. To relieve Gen. Warren,
who was on the left, speedily, Gen. Meade ordered an attack by the
balance of our lines. Gen. Hancock was the only one who received the
order in time to make the attack before dark. He drove the enemy from
his entrenchments and skirmish lines and still holds it. I have no
report of our losses, but suppose them to be light.
official dispatches from Gen. Grant were received at the same time and
give more details. They were dated yesterday at 8 p.m.
In the course of the afternoon Warren had pursued down on our left until
the flank division under Crawford reached a point abreast of Shady Grove
Church. Crawford having got detached from the rest of the corps, was
attacked and crowded back a little. The enemy then threw a force which
appears to have consisted of Ewell’s corps upon Warren’s left,
attempting to turn it, but was repulsed. The engagement was short, sharp
and decisive. Warren holds his ground at the distance of seven miles
from Richmond. He reports that he has captured a considerable number of
prisoners and that there are many rebel dead on the field. Of his own
losses he has not yet made a report.
latest dispatch says the enemy are moving troops to his left, apparently
to cover the approach to Richmond in that direction, on our right. An
active conflict has been raging here since dark, but has just closed. As
soon as the enemy attacked the left of Warren, Wright and Hancock were
ordered to pitch in, but do not seem to have got ready until after
nightfall. No report has yet been received from them.
other dispatch above referred to is dated at 6 o’clock this morning,
and states that in Hancock’s attack last night, Col. Brooks drove the
enemy out of a strongly entrenched skirmish line and holds it. The
losses are not reported.
whole corps got across Tatapotomay Creek last evening, and is in full
connection with Warren’s. The left of Hancock’s rest upon this side
of the creek. The 6th corps is upon Hancock’s right, and threatening
the left flank of the enemy. Smith ought to arrive at New Castle by
noon, whence he can support Warren and Burnside, if necessary.
with Gregg’s and Torbit’s divisions of cavalry is on our left flank.
Wilson is on the right and rear for purposes reported in a former
country thereabouts is thickly wooded with pines, with few good
openings. The indications this morning are that the enemy has fallen
back south of the Chickahominy. Nothing of later date has been received
by this department.
Secretary of War.
French Rams–National Securities.
May 31.–Recent publications in French newspapers have lately renewed
the apprehensions of the government of the United States, that the
interdiction heretofore laid by the Emperor of the French upon the
iron-clads and clipper ships, which were being built at Nantes and
Bordeaux under contract for the rebels, and for their use, was about to
be removed. It was authoritatively announced in Bordeaux that one of the
iron-clads would be finished on the 15th of June, and the other on the
16th of July. Mr. Dayton was instructed to ask explanations of the
French government. A dispatch in reply was received from Mr. Dayton
yesterday, in which he says that on eh 15th inst., Druyn De Huys
informed him that two iron-clads, now being constructed by Armand at
Bordeaux, under contract with the confederates had been positively sold
to a neutral power. The language of Druyn De Huys was explicit, and the
U. S. government is understood to have expressed its satisfaction with
this disposition of an embarrassing subject, which threatened to disturb
the friendly relations of the two countries.
Bit of Romance.—A woman passed through this city on
Wednesday, en route to New York, who during the past three years has
passed through many exciting scenes. In the early part of the war, she,
with her husband and two or three children, were residing in a border
State, where secessionism was rampant, and during the absence of eh
parents one day the children were all massacred by some of the chivalry.
The wife immediately assume male attire, enlisted in the same company
with her husband, and fought side by side with him in nearly all of the
battles participated in by the Army of the Cumberland. A few months
since her husband received a fatal bullet while fighting by her side,
and the wife, too, was subsequently wounded, and taken to the hospital,
where her sex was discovered.
who conversed with her say that her manners fully confirm her story. She
has acquired many disgusting habits of the sterner sex during her
campaigning, such as the use of tobacco, profanity, &c. But her
patriotism is undoubted, and she has suffered a great deal in the Union
cause, for all of which she is entitled to the sympathy and gratitude of
freedom loving people. She is very bitter in her denunciations of the
rebels, as she has good reasons to be.–Providence
House Naval Committee has agreed to a bill providing that the Secretary
of the Navy shall appoint an engineer to designate and survey lands upon
the Thames river, Conn., for a navy yard and naval depot for the
construction and repair of iron-clads, &c., the city of New London
to give the land necessary
SALEM REGISTER (MA)
of Admiral Porter’s Fleet.
NARRATIVE OF THE GREAT FEAT.
Lt. Col. Bailey Master Engineer.
Squadron, Flagship Black Hawk,
Mouth Red River,
May 16, 1864.
I have the honor to inform you that the vessels lately caught by low
water above the falls at Alexandria have been released from their
unpleasant position. The water had fallen so low that I had no hope or
expectation of getting the vessels out this season, and as the army had
made arrangements to evacuate the country I saw nothing before me but
the destruction of the best part of the Mississippi Squadron.
Col. Bailey’s Proposition.
seems to have been an especial Providence looking out for us, in
providing a man equal to the emergency. Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph
Bailey: acting engineer of the Nineteenth Army Corps, proposed a plan of
building a series of dams across the rocks at the falls and raising the
water high enough to let the vessels pass over. This proposition looked
like madness, and the best engineers ridiculed it, but Colonel Bailey
was so sanguine of success that I requested General Banks to have it
done, and he entered heartily in the work. Provisions were short and
forage was almost out, and the dam was promised to be finished in 10
days or the army would have to leave us.
was doubtful about the time, but had no doubt about the ultimate success
if time would only permit. General Banks placed at the disposal of
Colonel Bailey all the force he required, consisting of some 3,000 men
and 200 or 300 wagons. All the neighboring steam mills were torn down
for material, two or three regiments of Maine men were set to work
felling trees and, on the second day after my arrival in Alexandria,
from Grand Ecore, the work had fairly begun.
were falling with great rapidity, teams were moving in all directions
bringing in brick and stone, quarries were opened, flatboats were built,
to bring stone down from above, and every man seemed to be working with
a vigor I have seldom seen equaled, while, perhaps, not one in fifty
believed in the success of the undertaking. These falls are about a mile
in length, filled with rugged rocks, over which at the present stage of
water it seemed to be impossible to make a channel.
Wonderful Work–The Tree Dam.
work was commenced by running out from the left bank of the river a tree
dam, made of the bodies of very large trees, brush, brick, and stone,
cross tied with other heavy timber, and strengthened in every way which
ingenuity could devise. This was run out about 300 feet into the river,
four large coal barges were then filled with brick and sunk at the end
of it. From the right bank of the river, cribs filled with stone were
built out to meet the barges, all of which was successfully
accomplished, notwithstanding there was a current running of 9 miles an
hour, which threatened to sweep everything before it.
will take too much time to enter into the details of this truly
wonderful work: suffice it to say that the dam had nearly reached
completion in eight days' working time, and the water had risen
sufficiently on the upper falls to allow the Fort Hindman, Osage, and
Neosho to get down and be ready to pass the dam. In another day
it would have been high enough to enable all the other vessels to pass
the upper falls. Unfortunately, on the morning of the 9th instant, the
pressure of water became so great that it swept away two of the stone
barges, which swung in below the dam on one side. Seeing this
unfortunate accident I jumped on a horse and rode up to where the upper
vessels were anchored, and ordered the Lexington to pass the
upper falls if possible, and immediately attempt to go through the dam.
I thought I might be able to save the four vessels below, not knowing
whether the persons employed on the work would ever have the heart to
renew their enterprise.
Part of the Fleet Gets Over the Falls.
Lexington succeeded in getting over the upper falls just in time,
the water rapidly falling as she was passing over. She then steered
directly for the opening in the dam, through which the water was rushing
so furiously that it seemed as If nothing but destruction awaited her.
Thousands of beating hearts looked on anxious for the result.
silence was so great as the Lexington approached the dam that a
pin might almost be heard to fall. She entered the gap with a full head
of steam on, pitched down the roaring torrent, made two or three
spasmodic rolls, hung for a moment on the rocks below, was then swept
into deep water by the current and rounded to, safely into the bank.
thousand voices rose in one deafening cheer, and universal joy seemed to
pervade the face of every man present. The Neosho followed next,
all her hatches battened down and every precaution taken against
accident. She did not fare as well as the Lexington, her pilot
having become frightened as he approached the abyss, and stopped her
engine, when I particularly ordered a full head of steam to be carried;
the result was that for a moment her hull disappeared from sight under
the water. Every one thought she was lost. She rose, however, swept
along over the rocks with the current, and fortunately escaped with only
one hole in her bottom, which was stopped in the course of an hour. The Hindman
and Osage both came through beautifully without touching a
thing, and I thought if I was only fortunate enough to get my large
vessels as well over the falls, my fleet once more would do good service
on the Mississippi.
accident to the dam, instead of disheartening Colonel Bailey, only
induced him to renew his exertions, after he had seen the success of
getting four vessels through. The noble-hearted soldiers, seeing their
labor of the last eight days swept away in a moment, cheerfully went to
work to repair damages, being confident now that all the gunboats would
be finally brought over. These men had been working for eight days and
nights up to their necks in water in the broiling sun, cutting trees and
wheeling bricks, and nothing but good humor prevailed amongst them. On
the whole, it was very fortunate the dam was carried away, as the two
barges that were swept away from the center, swung around against some
rocks on the left and made a fine cushion for the vessels, and prevented
them, as it afterwards appeared, from running on certain destruction.
force of the water and the current being top great to construct a
continuous dam of 600 feet across the river in so short a time, Colonel
Bailey determined to leave a gap of 55 feet in the dam and build a
series of wing dams on the upper falls. This was accomplished in three
days' time, and on the 11th instant the Mound City, Carondelet, and
Pittsburg came over the upper falls, a good deal of labor having
been expended in hauling them through, the channel being very crooked,
scarcely wide enough for them. Next day the Ozark, Louisville,
Chillicothe, and two tugs also succeeded in crossing the upper
of the Fleet–A Beautiful Sight.
afterwards the Mound City, Carondelet, and Pittsburg started
in succession to pass the dam, all their hatches battened down and every
precaution taken to prevent accident. The passage of these vessels was a
most beautiful sight, only to be realized when seen. They passed over
without an accident except the unshipping of one or two rudders. This
was witnessed by all the troops, and the vessels were heartily cheered
when they passed over. Next morning at 10 o'clock the Louisville,
Chillicothe, Ozark, and two tugs passed over without any accident,
except the loss of a man who was swept off the deck of one of the tugs.
By 3 o'clock that afternoon the vessels were all coaled, ammunition
replaced, and all steamed down the river, with the convoy of transports
in company. A good deal of difficulty was anticipated in getting over
the bars in lower Red River, depth of water reported only 5 feet,
gunboats were drawing 6. Providentially we had a rise from the backwater
of the Mississippi, that river being very high at that time, the
backwater extending to Alexandria, 150 miles distant, enabling us to
pass all the bars and obstructions with safety.
are inadequate to express the admiration I feel for the abilities of
Lieutenant-Colonel Bailey. This is without doubt the best engineering
feat ever performed. Under the best circumstances a private company
would not have completed this work under one year, and to an ordinary
mind the whole thing would have appeared an litter impossibility. ->
out his abilities as an engineer, the credit he has conferred upon the
country, he has saved to the Union a valuable fleet, worth nearly
$2,000,000; more, he has deprived the enemy of a triumph which would have
emboldened them to carry on this war a year or two longer, for the intended
departure of the army was a fixed fact, and there was nothing left for me to
do in case that event occurred but destroy every part of the vessels, so
that the rebels could make nothing of them. The highest honors the
Government can bestow on Colonel Bailey can never repay him for the service
he has rendered the country.
Gen. Banks personally I am much indebted for the happy manner in which he
has forwarded this enterprise, giving it his whole attention night and day,
scarcely sleeping while the work was going on, tending personally to see
that all the requirements of Colonel Bailey were complied with on the
do not believe there ever was a case where such difficulties were overcome
in such a short space of time and without any preparation.
beg leave to mention the names of some of the persons engaged on this work,
as I think that credit should be given to every man employed on it. I am
unable to give the names of all, but sincerely trust that Gen. Banks will do
full justice to every officer engaged in this undertaking when he makes his
report. I only regret that time did not enable me to get the names of all
following are the names of the most prominent persons:
Bailey, acting military engineer, 19th Army Corps, in charge of the work;
Lieut.-Col. [U. B.] Pearsall, assistant; Col. C. C. Dwight, acting assistant
inspector-general; Lieut.-Col. W. B. Kinsey, 16th New York Volunteers;
Lieut.-Col. Hubbard, 30th Maine Volunteers; Major Sautelle, provost-marshal,
and Lieut. John J. Williamson, ordnance officer.
following were a portion of the regiments employed: 29th Maine, commanded by
Lieut.-Col. Emerson; 116th New York, commanded by Col. George M. Love; 161st
New York, commanded by Capt. Prentice; 133rd New York, commanded by Col.
engineer regiment and officers of the 13th Army Corps were also employed.
feel that I have done but feeble justice to the work or the persons engaged
in it. Being severely indisposed, I feel myself unable to go into further
details. I trust some future historian will treat this matter as it deserves
to be treated, because it is a subject in which the whole country should
feel an interest, and the noble men who succeeded so admirably in this
arduous task should not lose one atom of credit so justly due them.
Mississippi Squadron will never forget the obligation it is under to
Lieutenant-Colonel Bailey, acting military engineer of the 19th Army Corps.
to passing the vessels over the falls I had nearly all the guns, ammunition,
provisions, chain cables, anchors, and everything that could affect their
draft taken out of them.
commanders were indefatigable in their exertions to accomplish the object
before them, and a happier set of men were never seen than when their
vessels were once more in fighting trim.
this expedition has not been so successful as the country hoped for, it has
exhibited the indomitable spirit of Eastern and Western men to overcome
obstacles deemed by most people insurmountable. It has presented a new
feature in the war, nothing like which has ever been accomplished before.
of the gunboats Signal and Covington.
regret to inform you, amongst the misfortunes of this expedition, of the
loss of two small light-draft gunboats, the Signal and Covington. I
sent them down from Alexandria to convoy a quartermaster's boat, the Warner,
loaded with cotton and some 400 troops on board, not knowing that the
enemy had any artillery on the river below us or anything more than
wandering gangs of guerrillas armed with muskets, which these vessels were
competent to drive off.
appears, however, that the rebels were enabled to pass our advance force at
night with 6,000 men and some 25 pieces of artillery. With these they
established a series of batteries at a place called Dunn's Bayou, 30 miles
below Alexandria, a very commanding position. These batteries were so masked
that they could not be seen in passing, even by the closest observation.
first notice the vessels received of the battery was a furious fire which
opened on the quartermaster's boat, the Warner, piercing her boilers
and completely disabling her. At the same time 6,000 infantry opened with
musketry, killing and wounding half the soldiers on this vessel. She drifted
into the opposite bank, where a number managed to make their escape in the
bushes, though many were killed in attempting to do so.
Signal and Covington immediately rounded to and opened their
guns on the batteries and pushed up, endeavoring to rescue the Warner from
her perilous position. They had, however, as much as they could do to take
care of themselves, the cross fire of the three batteries cutting them up in
a terrible manner. Their steam pipes were soon cut and their boilers
perforated with shot, notwithstanding which they fought the batteries for
five long hours, the vessels being cut all to prates and many killed and
wounded on board. Acting Volunteer Lieut. George P. Lord, commanding the Covington,
having expended all his shot, spiked his guns, set fire to his vessel,
and escaped with what was left of his crew to the shore, and his vessel blew
Signal, Acting Volunteer Lieut. Edward Morgan, still fought her guns
for half an hour after the destruction of the Covington. He found it
impossible to destroy his vessel by burning, her decks being covered with
wounded, and humanity forbade him sacrificing the lives of the noble fellows
who had defended their vessel so gallantly.
gave permission to all those who wished to escape to do so. Some of them
attempted to get off by climbing up the bank; many were killed while doing
so by the murderous fire of musketry poured in from the opposite side.
captain remained by the vessel and was captured, if he remained alive, but I
have no information regarding him. The rebels took the guns off of her and,
placing her across the channel as an obstruction, sunk her.
Banks, on hearing the news, sent out cavalry to hunt for the unfortunate
men, many of whom were picked up and brought into Alexandria. A number
escaped down river and went aboard some light-draft gunboats that were
coming up at the time to the scene of action, but were driven back by the
superior artillery of the enemy.
feel very much for the poor fellows who fell into the rebels' hands, as the
latter have been very merciless to some of the prisoners they have taken,
and committed outrages at which humanity shudders.
vessels will all return to their stations in a few days, as there is no
prospect under present circumstances of renewing operations in this part of
Louisiana, the season having passed for operating with any chance of
am sorry to see that the rebel guerrillas have become quite troublesome on
the Mississippi since I left, all of which will be rectified within the
have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant.
of the Navy, Washington, D. C.
Who Cares for the Wounded Soldier?
value of the Christian and Sanitary Commissions for our wounded soldiers
can not be over-estimated. Without these associations the sufferings and
deaths of our wounded after the recent battles would have been augmented
ten fold. Mr. Wilkeson of the N. Y. Tribune,
a man who has seen and written much about this war, was at
Fredericksburg when the wounded men were brought there, and after
speaking of the neglect of somebody,
to make any preparation for the army of wounded patriots–not even food
to eat or straw to lie on, to say nothing of medical stores and
attendance–he asks the following pertinent question:
is all this? Shall it be baptized the inevitable accident of war, and
let to slide into the unremembered? I have done more than my share of
warfare upon official persons, and have grown weary. If I were not weary
of strife I would search for one of those pens whose strokes draw blood
and empty offices, and so help me God! I would never let up on the
officials responsible for the criminal want of preparation at
Fredericksburg for the wounded from Grant’s battles in the Wilderness,
until they were out of place forever, and forever under the feet of the
vengeful friends and relatives of this army of neglected sufferers.”
the same letter he pays tribute to the Commissions:
looking men bore through the crowd some desperately wounded-bore them
somewhere. The men of the Sanitary and Christian Commissions followed
them. All honor to these organizations! The nation owes them an eternal
debt of gratitude. I am a witness to testify that for four days a
considerable portion of this army of injured soldiers would have
starved, and gone without succor or care, if it had not been for the
resources and devotion of these organizations.
Slavery, the cause of all of these woes! Friends of the wounded in
Fredericksburg from the battles of the Wilderness! Friends and relatives
of the soldiers of Grant’s army beyond the Wilderness, let us all join
hands, and swear upon our country’s altar that
we will never cease this war until African Slavery in the United States
is dead forever and forever buried!”
The Loss in the Vermont Brigade.
It Loses Over One-half its Number
in the Virginia Campaign.
information has been received by the Adjutant and Inspector General,
that the Vermont Brigade crossed the Rapidan with an aggregate effective
strength of about 2800 men, and that the aggregate loss of the brigade,
between that time and the 24th of May, was 1650.
Sigel’s Repulse.—We have one more victim of “superior
forces” to add to the long list that already adorns our military
annals. Gen. Sigel on Sunday last “fought the forces of Echols and
Imboden under Breckinridge, at New Market,” and in consequence of the
enemy’s forces being superior in number, “he gradually withdrew from
the battle field, having lost five pieces of artillery and six hundred
killed and wounded.” Translated into similar English, this means that
he was well beaten, though not routed. One does need to be a
professional soldier to arrive at the conclusion, from what has happened
in the course of this war, that fighting “superior forces” of the
enemy is a losing business. Some of our generals are constantly doing
it, and whenever they do it they are defeated. It seems to us, that this
ought to settle the question of its impropriety.–N.
The Blunders on the James.
Springfield Republican is
severe upon Gen. Butler, but says some good things about military
science and military men in the following:
was not just to the competent and experienced generals, Smith and
Gilmore, to place them under Gen. Butler in the movement up the south
side of the James river. It was also wrong as exposing the movement to
defeat and disaster, for it was evidently one requiring the best
military talent and experience in its management. Gen. Butler has never
proved that he had either, and in everything else he is a charlatan. It
is to be presumed that the government now sees its error and regrets
that it did not entrust the movement to the charge of Gen. W. F. Smith,
according to what was understood to be Gen. Grant’s first choice. If
the army on the James is expected to do anything more than defend itself
at Bermuda Hundred, by the aid of the gunboats, the presumption is that
orders have already gone forward placing Gen. Smith in command, and
ordering Gen. Butler back to Norfolk to sub and mulct the secesh, a work
for which he has undoubted genius. With this termination of his military
career, all our volunteer major generals disappear from the scene. Their
history has been disastrous and humiliating, but instructive. Ignorance
of military science will never more be held a positive qualification for
command of an army; nor will men be sought for military leaders on
account of their political influence. So we will rid of another
hallucination, and it will not be strange if we swing over to the
opposite extreme and henceforth come to think that nobody but a
successful soldier will answer for any position, civil or military.”
Congressmen at their Old Tricks.
copperhead member of Congress named Voorhees, of Indiana, made a bully
Brooks assault on Senator Chandler of Michigan, which is described by a
correspondent of the N. Y. Times:
the public dining hall of the National Hotel, Chandler, with Dr. Clark
of Detroit, and a lady with two children, were taking dinner at a side
table. In the course of conversation on political matters, he denounced
in very strong terms Copperheads in general, and especially those of the
Western States. Voorhees of Indiana, who was sitting at another table
behind them, in company with Hannigan, also of Indiana, arose from his
seat, approached Chandler in an excited manner, demanding whether he
referred to him, to which Chandler replied, Who are you, sir; I don’t
know you?’ at the same time rising from his chair. Voorhees replied,
‘I am Voorhees of Indiana,’ and suiting his action to the word,
struck Chandler on the side of his face.
The two then closed, and the Senator was rapidly getting the better of
Voorhees, when Hannigan came to the latter’s assistance with a heavy
milk pitcher, snatched from the table, which he broke on Chandler’s
head. The contents of the pitcher splashed over the whole company.
Chandler was stunned by the blow, and had not fully recovered himself,
when Hannigan dealt him a second blow, with a chair. At this juncture
parties present interfered, and the belligerents were separated.
Chandler’s head was slightly cut by the pitcher, and his shoulder and
arm were considerably bruised by the chair.”
JUNE 4, 1864
NEWPORT MERCURY (RI)
Case of Desertion.–A Rhode Island paper says that a man has
been apprehended in that State as a deserter. He came home from Cuba
purposely to enlist; joined one of the batteries; was sent to do
garrison duty in North Carolina; thought his duty too slow; said he had
enlisted for the sake of fighting and must fight; deserted and joined a
New York infantry regiment; was sent into the Gulf Department; fought in
sixteen battles; was wounded, furloughed, and came home to be arrested
as a deserter. It is hoped that the charge against such a brave fellow
will not be very hard pressed.–Boston
atmospheric effect of great battles is now attracting the attention of
scientific circles. The theory sought to be established by numerous
facts is understood to be that a heavy fall of rain or snow uniformly
follows a great battle in modern times, in consequence of the use of
firearms; and especially if the battle was fought by the active
discharge of heavy artillery. The theory however appears not to be a new
one. Observations made during the furious conflicts in Europe in the
time of the first Napoleon
are said to have satisfied the French Academy of Science of the truth of
some such proposition. And the theory is not supposed to differ much
from that which was so well supported by the lectures of professor Espie
at a later date. He indeed maintained that all great fires had a
tendency to produce clouds from which rain would fall. But not that a
general course of stormy weather would by that mean be caused over a
long tract of country for a considerable length of time. The storms
which he taught might thus be produced were perhaps rather of a local
than of a general character. The air of a particular locality being
rarified by great heat on the surface of the earth, would cause the
thought up-moving columns of air to ascend and so form clouds which
would finally descend in rain upon that locality. But doubts have been
entertained of the truth of these theories, though observations made
during our present unhappy war may seem to confirm one or the other of
them. The first Bull Run conflict is said to have been followed by some
such storm as the supporters of eh French idea would consider an effect
of battle. And after the battle of Fredericksburg, the Rapidan is said
to have become so swollen by heavy rains as to render the situation of
our army, while waiting to cross that river, extremely critical. The
latest instance stated is that of the severe storms of hail and rain
which followed the recent battles in Virginia, and which produced so
muddy a condition of the roads as to delay the intended operations of
Gen. Grant a number of
is blotted from the map. The contest between the gallant race, which has
fought so long and so fiercely against the Russians, has ended in the
capitulation of Vradar, their last stronghold. The people are now
seeking an asylum in Turkey. They arrive in a state of the greatest
destitution. The Sultan has given $250,000 from his private purse for
appear to be of opinion that the war is making better progress under a
system of concentration of forces than it had done before, when our
forces were employed so much at different points and at such a great
distance from each other. This may have been owing to several causes,
one of which may have been the greater simplicity of operation when
attention is directed to a single point, or at least not divided among
too many objects to be fully grasped at the same time. And some may
think a like advantage would be gained if a system of more concentration
of effort should be adopted in the business of legislating for a great
country in the present situation of our American States. More simplicity
of purpose would seem to such minds to be necessary in Congress, in
order to proceed in the performance of the duties of that branch of the
government with greater advantage. But it was not strange that the
distraction which seems to be so general in the world at this
unfortunate period should be felt to a greater or lesser degree even
where it would otherwise be the least expected. This Congress should not
be required to do everything which ought perhaps at some time or other
to be done. The Federal Constitution may need some amendments at a
proper time, but the present may be the farthest possible from being
such a time. Too great a difference of opinion may still exist in
relation to the amendments to be made, and to the time when
such a proceeding should be attempted, to furnish any ground of
hope that the harmony of the whole country would by such means be at
present promoted. Whenever the Federal or State Constitutions are
changed for any good purpose, as they may be, a great majority of those
who are to be affected by the change should be satisfied that
improvements only are made in such instruments; and that the governments
have not been by that means unjustly or unfairly abolished. And it
therefore will be regarded as a favorable circumstance perhaps by many,
that the question for amending the Federal Constitution is not likely to
prevail by the requisite majority at this session.
of Torpedoes.–The removal of torpedoes from Rappahannock
river was effected very neatly. Our forces arrested a portion of the
secesh on the banks of that stream, and inquired of them as to the
position of the torpedoes. The latter expressed entire ignorance of the
whereabouts of the obstructions, when our men, remarking that they must
be found, placed the rebels in a scow and, sending them ahead, the
torpedoes were at once pointed out and removed.
to the Irish fable of the Kilkenny cats: “There once were two cats of
Kilkenny, / Each thought there was one cat too many, / So they fought
and they fit, / And they scratched and they bit, / Till, excepting their
nails / And the tips of their tails, / Instead of two cats, there
weren't any.” Grant means that, if Lee wants to fight a battle of
attrition, there are more Yankees available than rebels, (i.e., the
Yankees have a longer tail).
fight had lasted nine hours and 56 rounds. Cibloni had, in previous
matches, left nine of his opponents dead on the ground. [Source]
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