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wooden gunboats Conestoga, Tyler, and Lexington, steamed up the Tennessee to Florence, Ala., at the foot of the Muscle Shoals, where he captured two steamboats, and constrained the Rebels to burn six others; he having burnt the railroad bridge near Benton on the way. The wholly unexpected appearance of the National flag in North Alabama, where slaves were comparatively few, and at least three-fourths of the people had stubbornly opposed Secession, was a welcome spectacle to thousands, and was greeted with enthusiastic demonstrations of loyalty. Com. Foote, with the gunboats Conestoga and Cairo, moved up" the Cumberland from Donelson, three days after its surrender. At Clarksville, he found the railroad bridge destroyed; while the wealthier citizens had generally fled, and he encountered no resistance. As it would have been absurd to attack a city like Nashville with such a force, he now returned to Cairo for additional boats; while Gen. Smith, with the advance of our victorious army, marched up to Clarksville; whence Lieut. Bryant, of the Cairo, followed by 7 transports, conveying the brigade of Gen. Nelson, moved up the river to Nashville, where they arrived on
the 24th, but found no enemy prepared to resist them. In fact, the city had virtually surrendered already to the 4th Ohio cavalry, Col. John Kennett, being the advance of Buell's army. Gol. Kennett had reached Edgefield Junction, S or 10 miles from Nashville, and thence sent forward a detachment, under Maj. II. C. Rodgers, who occupied without resistance the village of Edgefield, opposite Nashville, on the Cumberland, and communicated with Mayor Cheatham, who surrendered the city to Col. Kennett on his arrival, which was before that of Gen. Nelson's command. A small squad of the 4th Ohio crossed over into the city and returned, their orders not contemplating its occupation; but the battery of the regiment had been planted where it commanded the heart of the city, and a reasonable fear of shells impelled Mayor Cheatham to proffer and hasten a surrender, by which he agreed to protect and preserve the public property in Nashville until it could be regularly turned over to the use of the United States. But, in fact, the spoils of victory had already been clutched by the Nashville mob; so that, while the Rebel loss was enormous,” the positive Union gain was inconsiderable.
* Feb. 19.
* Pollard says:
“Gen. Johnston had moved the main body of his command to Murfreesboro’—a rear-guard being left in Nashville under Gen. Floyd, who had arrived from Donelson, to secure the stores and provisions. In the first wild excitement of the panic, the store-houses had been thrown open to the poor. They were besieged by a mob rav; enous for spoils, and who had to be dispersed from the commissariat by jets of water from a steam fire-engine. Women and children, even, were seen scudding through the streets under loads of greasy pork, which they had taken as prizes from the store-houses. It is believed that hundreds of families, among the lower orders of he population, secured and secreted Govern
ment stores enough to open respectable groceries. It was with the greatest difficulty that Gen. Floyd could restore order and get his martial law into any thing like an effective system. Blacks and Whites had to be chased and captured and forced to help the movement of Government stores. One man, who, after a long chase, was captured, offered fight, and was in consequence shot and badly wounded. Not less than one million of dollars in stores was lost through the acts of the cowardly and ravenous mob of Nashville. Gen. Floyd and Col. Forrest exhibited extraordinary energy and efficiency in getting off Government stores. Col. Forrest remained in the city about 24 hours, with only 40 men, after the arrival of the enemy at Edge
Gen. Buell soon afterward reached Nashville, and established there his headquarters, while his army was quartered around the city. Col. Stanley Matthews, 51st Ohio, was appointed Provost-Marshal, and soon restored the city to order; discovering and reclaiming a considerable amount of Rebel stores which had been appropriated to private use. The bridges and roads northward were speedily repaired, and railroad connection with Louisville rêopened. The wealthier classes had in great part left, or remained sullenly disloyal; but among the mechanics and laboring poor a good degree of Union feeling was soon developed.
By the Union successes recorded in this chapter, the Rebel stronghold at Columbus, Ky., commanding the navigation of the Mississippi, had been rendered untenable. It was held by Maj.-Gen. Polk, Episcopal Bishop of Louisiana, who had expended a vast amount of labor in strengthening its defenses, while the adjacent country had been nearly divested of food and forage to replenish its stores. Its garrison had been reported at 20,000 men; but had been reduced by successive detachments to 2,000 or 3,000. Com. Foote, on returning from Clarksville to Cairo, speedily collected a flotilla of six gunboats, apparently for service at Nashville; but, when all was ready, dropped down the Mississippi, followed by three transports, conveying some 2,000 or 3,000 soldiers, under Gen. W. T. Sherman, while a supporting force moved overland from Paducah.” Arriving opposite Columbus, he learned that the last of
the Rebels had left some hours before, after burning 18,000 bushels of corn, 5,000 tons of hay, their cavalry stables, and much other property; while many of their heavy guns, which they were unable to take away, had been rolled off the bluff, here 150 feet high, into the river. The 2d Illinois cavalry, Col. Hogg, from Paducah, had entered and taken possession the evening before. A massive chain, intended to bar the descent of the Mississippi, had here been stretched across the great river, but to no purpose; the Missouri end being loose, and buried in the mud of the river-bed. Island No. 10 lies in a sharp bend in the Mississippi, 45 miles below Columbus, and a few miles above New Madrid on the Missouri bank. This island had been strongly fortified, its works well supplied with powerful guns and ammunition, under the direction of Gen. Beauregard, so that it was confidently counted on to stop the progress of the Union armies down the river. Gen. Pope with a land force of nearly 40,000 men, had previously marched down the Missouri shore of the river, reaching and investing New Madrid, March 3. Finding it defended by stout earthworks, mounting 20 heavy guns, with six strongly armed gunboats anchored along the shore to aid in holding it, he sent back to Cairo for siege-guns; while he intrenched three regiments and a battery under Col. Plummer, 11th Missouri, at Point Pleasant, ten miles below, so as to command the passage of the river directly in the rear of No. 10. The Rebel gunboats attempted to dislodge Col. Plummer, but without success. Pope's siege-guns arrived at sunset on the 12th, and, before morning, had been planted within half a mile of the enemy's main work, so as to open fire at daylight, just 34 hours after their embarkation at Cairo. The Rebel garrison had meantime been swelled to 9,000 infantry, under Maj.-Gen. McCown, and nine gunboats directed by Com. Hollins, on which our fire was mainly concentrated. A heavy cannonade from both sides was kept up throughout the day, with little damage to the Unionists, who, driving in the Rebel pickets, steadily pushed forward their trenches. A violent thunder-storm raged through most of the following night; and at daylight it was discovered that the Rebels had left, taking very little with them. Thirty-three cannon, several thousand small arms, with ammunition, tents, cartridges, wagons, &c., were abandoned by the fugitives, with scarcely an attempt even to destroy them. Our loss during the siege was barely 51 killed and wounded. Com. Foote, with his gunboats, had moved down from Columbus early in March, opening on the Itebel works at No. 10 on the 15th. Two days later, a general attack was made, with five gunboats and four mortarboats; but, though maintained for nine hours, it did very little damage. Beauregard telegraphed to Richmond” that our vessels had thrown 3,000 shells, expended 50 tons of powder, and had killed but one of his men, without damaging his batteries. He soon left for Corinth," ceding the command at No. 10 to
* March 4.
Brig.-Gen. Makall, who assumed it in a bombastic proclamation. Meantime, Gen. Pope's engineers were quietly engaged in cutting a canal, 12 miles long, across the Missouri peninsula, opposite No. 10, through which steamboats and barges were safely transferred to the river below the Rebel stronghold; while two of our heavier gunboats succeeded in passing the island" in a heavy fog. Gen. Pope, thus relieved from all peril from the Rebel flotilla, pushed a division “ across the river toward the rear of the remaining Rebel stronghold, and was preparing to follow with the rest of his army, when the Rebels under McCown,
sinking their gunboat Grampus, and,
six transports, abandoned No. 10 to its fate, and escaped eastward, leaving Makall to be driven back upon the swamps, and forced to surrender some thousands of men, several gun
* April 1. * April 5.
* The Carondelet, April 4, and the Pittsburg, April 6. “April 7.
boats, and more than a hundred cannon.” Com. Foote, having refitted, moved down" the river in order of battle, followed by transports conveying part of Gen. Pope's army; finding his way first impeded at Fort Pillow, or Wright, situated on the first Chickasaw Bluffs, near the Islands Nos. 33 and 34, about 70 miles above Memphis. Landing his mortars on the Arkansas bank, he commenced “ a bombardment of the fort at a distance of three-fourths of a mile, and was replied to with energy and accuracy. The high stage of the river prevented cóoperation by our army; so the cannonade was kept up for two weeks with spirit on both sides, but with little effect. A powerful ram having been received by the Rebels from below, they resolved to test its efficiency ; and accordingly made an attack on our fleet," the ram leading, backed by three gunboats, and making a rush at the Cincinnati, whose rapid broadsides at short range made no impression on her assailant's iron mail. The boats collided with a fearful crash, instantly followed by a broadside from the Cincinnati and a volley of musketry; directly after which, Commander Stembel fired his pistol at the head of the Confederate pilot, killing him instantly. The pilot's mate thereupon shot the Commander through his shoulder and neck, disabling but not killing him. The Cincinnati, though crippled and sinking, was able to withdraw from the
fight, and was run upon a shoal, where she sank; while the Mallory, which had attempted to crush her, was herself caught by the St. Louis, cut into and sunk, most of her crew going down with her. One of the Confederate gunboats had ere this been burnt; another had her boiler exploded by a shot; while the rest were so crippled as to render them nearly ineffective; so they gave up the fight and drifted down the river, under cover of the smoke, to the protection of their batteries. The Cincinnati was our only vessel that had suffered, and she had but 4 wounded. A month later,” Fort Pillow was evacuated, as was Fort Randolph, twelve miles below. Some damaged guns were left in them, but nothing of much value. Com. Davis dropped down next day to within gun-shot of Memphis, where he came to anchor; and next morning, with five gunboats and four rams, slowly approached the city. Soon, a Rebel fleet of eight gunboats was seen approaching in order of battle, opening fire when within three-fourths of a mile. The Union ram, Queen of the West, soon struck the Rebel gunboat, Gen. Price, crushing in her wheel-house, and causing her to leak so badly that she was headed at once for the Arkansas shore. The Rebel gunboat, Beauregard, now made at the Queen, which attempted to strike her; but the shock was skillfully evaded by the Beauregard's pilot, who struck the Queen aft so heavily as to disable her. The Union ram
* Gen. Pope, in his official report, says:
“Three Generals, 273 field and company officers, 6,700 prisoners, 123 pieces of heavy artillery—all of the very best character, and of the latest patterns—7,000 stand of small arms, several wharf-boat loads of provisions, an im
mense quantity of ammunition of all kinds, many hundred horses and mules, with wagons and harness, &c., are among the spoils.”
* April 17.