« AnteriorContinuar »
that Hood, after making a feint on man, slipping around his front, and, Rome, had moved 11 miles down the moving by his left, was soon out of Coosa and was passing that river on reach; Sherman halting" in the vi. a pontoon-bridge: Sherman followed cinity of Gaylesville, Alabama, and to Rome,” and dispatched thence feeling in various directions for his Gen. Cox's division and Garrard’s vanished foe. cavalry across the Oostenaula to har. After the lapse of a week, he was ass the right flank of the enemy, as he satisfied that his adversary, as ifin. moved northward. Garrard chased tent on drawing him out of Georgia a brigade of Rebel cavalry toward at all events, had crossed Sand moun. the Chattooga, capturing 2 guns. tain, and was making for the Ten: IIood, moving rapidly, had by this nessee. Sherman refused to follow time appeared before Resaca, sum- an enemy who would not fight, whom moning it; but Sherman had réen- he could not overtake, and who forced it with two regiments, and might be able to lead him a profitles Col. Weaver had held it firmly, re- wild-goose-chase for months. He de pulsing the enemy; who had moved tached Stanley, with his (4th) corps, up the railroad through Tilton and and Schofield, with the 23d, with Dalton, destroying it so far as the orders to march to Chattanooga, and Tunnel. Sherman, on reaching Re- thence report to Thomas at Nash. saca," was evidently puzzled to di- ville; most of the cavalry, under vine what his adversary meant in Wilson, being given similar orders. thus employing the second army of A single division, under Kilpatrick, the Confederacy on a raiding expe- was reserved for operations in Geor dition, but resolved to strike him in gia. flank and force him to fight a battle. || To Thomas was confided the de Accordingly, IIoward was impelled fense of Tennessee, with unlimited westward to Snake creek gap, where | discretion as to the use of his re. he was to skirmish and hold the ene-|sources. A. J. Smith, then on his way my, while Stanley, with the 4th and from hunting Price out of Missouri, 14th corps, moved from Tilton on was ordered to report to him. She Willanow, with intent to gain Hood's man had of course a full understand. I’ear. ing with him, as well as with Grant, But Hood had other plans; so | as to his plans. Hood's army, he adHoward encountered no solid resist- vised them, now consisted of about ance at the gap, but had pressed 35,000 infantry and 10,000 cavalry; through it by noon, before Stanley and he did not turn his back ago" had time to gain its rear. Our army on Tennessee until assured that was then directed on Lafayette, ex- | Thomas was strong enough to hold pecting thus to get into the enemy's it. And now, learning that Hood, rear; but IIood had evidently been after a feint on Decatur, had passed cured of his voracious appetite for on to Tuscumbia and laid a pontoon. fighting, and, having very scanty bridge across the river to Florence, trains, was far too light-footed to be | Sherman turned his face southwar. caught. He nimbly evaded Sher- and, gathering up all his garrison:
* Oct. 11. ** Oct. 14. 47 Oct. 19.
cos FEDERATE N A W. A. L OF FIC E R S AND CO R S A. I. R. S.
holding the railroad, sending some back to Chattanooga to aid in the defense of Tennessee, and drawing others forward to Atlanta, he thoroughly dismantled the railroads, burned the founderies, mills, &c., at Rome, and, cutting loose from all his
communications, and drawing around him all his remaining forces, made diligent preparations for the Great March wherewith his name is so inseparably linked, and which so largely contributed to hasten the downfall of the Rebellion.
THE formation of the Southern Confederacy was quickly followed by the resignation of a large proportion —though not nearly all—of the Southern officers of the United States Navy—resignations which should not have been, but were, accepted. Many of these officers had, for fifteen to forty years, been drawing liberal pay and allowances from the Federal treasury for very light work—often, for no work at all: and now, when the Government which had educated, nurtured, honored, and subsisted them, was for the first time in urgent need of their best efforts, they renounced its service, its flag, and their fealty, in order to tender their swords to its deadly foe. Under such circumstances, no resignation should have been accepted, but their names should have been stricken with ignominy from the rolls they disgraced.
These recreants made haste to repair to the Confederate capital, where they were received with flattering distinction, and accorded rank in the embryo Confederate navy at least as high as that which they had respectively attained in the service of the
United States. The “Register of the vol. II.-41
Commissioned and Warrant Officers in the Navy of the Confederate States,” issued at Richmond, Jan. 1, 1864, contained several hundred names—over two hundred of them being noted as having formerly been officers of the U. S. Navy. Some of these lacked even the poor excuse—“I go with my State,”—as at the head of the list stands their only Admiral, Franklin Buchanan, of Maryland; who entered the service of the United States Jan. 28th, 1815, and that of the Confederacy Sept. 5th, 1861. Of the Captains (twelve) who follow, three were born in Maryland, though one of them (Geo. N. Hollins) claims to be a citizen of Florida; as did another (Raphael Semmes) of Alabama. Of the thirty-six Provisional Captains and Commanders, twelve were born in non-seceding States, though most of them claimed to have since become residents of the ‘Sunny South.” Very great ingenuity and nautical (or pyrotechnic) skill was evinced during the war, by the Rebel navy thus constituted, in the construction of rams and iron-clads, and their use for harbor and coast defense, but more especially in devising, constructing, charging, and planting torpedoes, wherewith they did more execution and caused more embarrassment to blockaders and besieging squadrons than had been effected in any former war. Their devices for obstructing the mouths or channels of rivers and harbors were often unsurpassed in efficiency. On the ocean, however, they were hampered by the fact that the Southrons are neither a ship-building nor a sea-faring people; that, while they had long afforded the material for a large and lucrative commerce, they had neither built, nor owned, nor manned, many vessels. They would, therefore, have been able to make no figure at all out of sight of their own coast, but for the facilities afforded them by British sympathy and British love of gain, evading the spirit if not the strict letter of international maritime law. Great ship-building firms in Liverpool and Glasgow, wherein members of Parliament were largely interested, were almost constantly engaged in the construction of strong, swift steamships, calculated for corsairs and for nothing else; each being, when completed, in spite of information from our consuls and protests from our Minister, allowed to slip out of port under one pretext or another, and make for some prèarranged rendezvous, where a merchant vessel laden with Armstrong, Whitworth, Blakely, and other heavy ri. fled guns of the most approved patterns, with small arms, ammunition, provisions, &c., was awaiting her; and, her cargo being quickly transferred to the embryo corsair, a crew was made up, in part of men clandestinely enlisted for the service, in
part of such as liberal pay, more lib. eral promises, and the cajolery of officers, could induce to transfer their services to the new flag; and thus the unarmed, harmless British steamship of yesterday was transformed into the Confederate cruiser of to-day: every stick of her British, from keel up to mast-head; her rigging, arma. ment, and stores, British; her crew mostly British, though a few of her higher officers were not; and, thus planned expressly to outrun any heavily armed vessel and overpower any other, she hoisted the Confede. rate flag and commenced capturing, plundering, burning, and sinking our merchant vessels wherever she could fall upon them unprotected by our navy: every British port, on what. ever sea, affording her not only shel. ter and hospitality, but the fullest and freshest information with regard | to her predestined prey and the quar. ter wherein it could be clutched with least peril. Shielded from the treatment of an ordinary pirate, by the Queen's proclamation of neutrality, and from effective pursuit by the mar: itime law which forbids the stronger belligerent to leave a neutral harbor within twenty-four hours after the weaker shall have taken his depar ture, though the latter may have dodged injust out of range of the former, after a keen chase of many hours—one of these corsairs was able to do enormous damage to our com" merce with almost perfect impunity; for, by the time her devastations in one sea had been reported to our nearest naval commander, she would be a thousand miles away (but in what direction none could gues), lighting up another coast or strait with the glare of her conflagrations.
If it be gravely held that Great Bri. tain was nowise responsible for the ravages of these marauders, then it must be confessed that the letter of existing international law does no justice to its spirit and purpose, but stands in need of prompt and thorough revision.
The career of the Sumter, Capt. Raphael Semmes, came to an early and inglorious end, as has already been narrated." But another and superior cruiser was promptly constructed at Birkenhead to replace her; which our Embassador, Hon. Charles F. Adams, tried earnestly, but in vain, to have seized and detained at the outset by the British Government. Escaping from Liverpool under the name of Oreto, she was twice seized at Nassau, but to no purpose: that island being the focus of blockade-running, and, of course, violently sympathetic with the Itebellion—as was, in fact, nearly every officer in the British naval or military service. Released from duress, she put to sea, and soon appeared as a British ship of war off the harbor of Mobile, then blockaded by Com'r Geo. II. Preble, who hesitated to fire on her lest she should be what she seemed; and in a few minutes she had passed him, and run up to Mobile, showing herself the Rebel corsair she actually was. Preble was promptly dismissed from the service —an act of justice which needed but a few repetitions to have prevented such mistakes in future. Itunning out' again under cover of darkness, the Oreto, now commanded by John N. Maffitt,” became the Florida, there
after vieing with her consort, the Alabama—a new British vessel henceforth commanded by Semmes—and with other such from time to time fitted out, in their predatory career. Each of these habitually approached her intended prey under her proper (British) colors, but hoisted the Confederate so soon as the prize was securely within her grasp. Occasionally, a vessel of little value was released on condition of taking to port the crews of several of the most recently burned; a few were bonded, mainly because they carried British cargoes or were insured in British offices; but the great majority were simply robbed of their money, food, &c., and burnt. Among those bonded by the Alabama was the steamship Ariel,' on her way from New York to Aspinwall, with the California passengers and freight; but the $250,000 which was to have been her ransom, being expressly “payable six months after the recognition [by the United States] of the independence of the Southern Confederacy,” has not yet fallen due. Such was the just alarm caused by this capture, while several National vessels were anxiously looking for the Alabama, that the Ariel dared not bring the specie from California that met her at Aspinwall, but left it there, until a gunboat was sent for it by the Government; and the specie continued to be so transmitted for some months thereafter. The merchant ships captured and destroyed by these freebooters were hundreds in number, and the value of vessels and cargoes amounted to many scores of millions of dollars.
* Vol. I., pp. 602–3. * Dec. 27, 1862. *Of Texas: son of a once noted Methodist
clergyman of like name, who was Irish by birth, and a noted pulpit orator. “Nov. 18, 1862.
it the damage thus inflicted was t limited to this destruction—far m it. The paralysis of commerce the transfer (at a sacrifice) of huneds of valuable ships to British iners (real or simulated) in order at they might be allowed to keep 2 seas with impunity—with the ste of money and service involved sending many costly and formidasteamships to every ocean and most every port in quest of some rsair, which was plundering and rning, perhaps on one side of a tty island, while the Vanderbilt or Iscarora was vainly seeking it on e other—which was sure to be ywhere but where it was awaited
sought—and which would drop to the neutral harbor whither its rsuer had repaired for coal, or 9d, or information, and lie there by s side, bearding him with impunity; king its own time to depart in ace and safety, because no pursuit is allowed for the next 24 hours— ch are the bare outlines of a system
maritime injury and annoyance nich for years sickened the hearts
stanch upholders of the Union. hat the officers of the Alabama, orida, Georgia, and their confrères, re greeted in every British port th shouts and acclamations, recepins and dinners, as though they d been avowed Britons engaged in norable warfare with their couny’s deadly foe, was observed by yal Americans with a stinging conousness of the hollowness and mud of British neutrality which will t soon be effaced. And, when ery remonstrance made by our bvernment or its representative ainst the favor shown to these pri
vateers, not only in their construc. tion, but throughout their subsequent career, was treated as though we had asked Great Britain to aid us against the Confederates, when we had only required that she cease to aid unwar. rantably our domestic foes, the popular sense of dishonesty and wrong was with difficulty restrained from expressing itself in deeds rather than words. Early in May, 1863, the Florida, while dodging our gunboats among the innumerable straits and passages surrounding the several West Indies, captured the brig Clarence, which was fitted out as a privateer and provided with a crew, under Lt. C. W. Read, late a midshipman in our na. vy. This new buccaneer immediate. ly steered northward, and, sweeping up our southern coast, captured some valuable prizes; among them, when near Cape Henry, the bark Tacony,' to which Read transferred his men, and stood on up the coast; passing along off the mouths of the Chess: peake, Delaware, New York, and Massachusetts bays, seizing and destroying merchant and fishing ver sels utterly unsuspicious of danger; until, at length, learning that swift cruisers were on his track, he burned the Tacony (in which he would have been easily recognized), and in the prize schooner Archer, to which he had transferred his armament and crew, stood boldly in for the harbor of Portland; casting anchor at sunset" at its entrance, and sending at midnight two armed boats with mus. fled oars up nearly to the city, to seize the steam revenue cutter Cush. ing and bring her out for his future This was done; but, no sooner