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completion, it was evident that the assistance colonels, seven regiments, several battalions of of the gunboats would also be required to make infantry, five companies of artillery, over one & successful landing of the troops across the hundred heavy siege guns, twenty-four pieces river. The enemy, to oppose any attempt that of field artillery, an immense quantity of ammight be made to cross the river, had planted munition and supplies, several thousand stand field pieces along the left bank for the distance of small arms, a great number of tents, horses, of several miles above and below New Madrid. and wagons were taken." The force that Gunboats were also needed to protect the trans- surrendered was under the command of Gen. ports from any gunboat of the enemy that might Mackall. Before abandoning Island No. 10, appear during the passage across the river. the Confederate officers sunk the gunboat For these reasons the gunboat Carondelet, Grampus and six transports. The force surCapt. Walke, undertook to run down past the rendered consisted of Tennessee, Arkansas, batteries of the island on the night of the 4th Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana regiments, of April. For this purpose her hull was pro- and numbered about five thousand. At the isltected in all weak places by additional covering, and a large amount of commissary stores was and a barge laden above with hay was taken in found with the tents and baggage of the enemy. tow on her left side. Starting at ten o'clock on Besides there were eleven earthworks, with the night of the 4th, amid the darkness of an seventy heavy cannon varying in calibe from impending storm, she proceeded on in silence. 32 to 100-pounders, rifled. The works, erected Twice as she approached the batteries of the with the highest engineering skill, possessed enemy the soot in the chimneys caught fire, great strength. There appeared to be no concert and a flame five feet high leaped out from their of action between the force on the island and that tops, lighting brightly the upper deck of the on the shore. Gen. Pope did not lose a man vessel, and everything around. It was seen by or meet with an accident in Crossing the river the enemy, and the anxious listeners for the or afterward. The canal was made on the sugsignal of her safety in the fleet above now gestion of Gen. Schuyler Hamilton. A part of heard the long roll beat in the camps on the the distance the route was through a bayou. island. At the same time five rockets were The cut made was about four miles, sufficient sent up from the mainland and the island, and for steamboats of moderate size, and about one were followed by a cannon shot from Fort No. thousand trees, ranging from six inches to three 2. A full head of steam was now let on, to feet in diameter, were sawed off about four feet make the greatest possible speed; and while under water by means of long saws worked by vivid flashes of lightning lit up the hurried hand. When the canal was finished, the water preparations of the enemy, while peal after peal came through with such a current that the of thunder reverberated along the river, and boats had to be dropped by lines nearly the the rain fell in torrents, the moment for cool- whole distance. The work was done by an ness and heroism came. For thirty minutes engineer regiment, under the superintendence the discharge of cannon and musket ball at the of Col. Bissell. dark and silent object, revealed on the waters The position thus taken was regarded by the only by the lightning flash, was furious, but Confederate officers as one of the highest imno injury was done. Then stopping her ma- portance to the new line of defence proposed chinery, her officers fired the signal guns to by them. Upon their ability to hold it dependinform their companions in the feet that she ed the safety of Memphis, and of the entire was safe. On the night of the 6th, the gun- Mississippi valley thereabout. This line was boat Pittsburg, Lieut. Thompson, also passed adopted by the Confederate commander, with the batteries. On the morning of the 7th the his left resting on the Mississippi, his centre betransports were brought into the river from tween Jackson, Tenn., and Corinth, Miss., and the bayou where they had been kept concealed, his right between Florence and Decatur. and while the division of Col. Paine was em- On the 12th of April the gunboats under barking, the gunboats ran down the river and Com. Foote, with the mortar boats, followed silenced the enemy's batteries at the place of by the transports, left New Madrid, and stood landing. Then the passage of the wide and down the river. The order of a line of battle swift river commenced, and was completed at was observed. A part of Gen. Stanley's divithe hour of midnight.
sion, and those of Gens. Hamilton and Palmer, As soon as the troops began to cross the river were on the transports. Their destination was the enemy began to evacuate the island and Fort Pillow or Wright, which is situated on the his batteries along the Kentucky shore. The first Chickasaw Bluffs, near Islands Nos. 33 and divisions were pushed forward as fast as they 34, and about seventy miles above Memphis. landed, that of Col. Paine leading. The Con- At Plum Point the Mississippi makes a sharp federate force was driven before him, says Gen. bend, running for some distance eastwardly, and Pope ; and although it made several attempts at the first Chickasaw Bluffs turns off abruptly to form in line of battle and make a stand, Col. south-southwest, which course it continues bePaine did not once deploy his columns. It was low Island No. 34, where it again bends; the pushed all night vigorously until, at four o'clock convex side of the curve being to the Tennessee A. M., it was driven back on the swamps and shore. Here are the second Chickasaw Bluffs, forced to surrender. “Three generals, seven surmounted by Fort Randolph, some twelve
miles below Fort Pillow. The location of these " Again the stern guns were let go full into fortifications was admirably adapted for defence, the face of the enemy, but still her progress and in case of a determined stand it would have was not retarded in the slightest. A moment been very difficult to reduce them. Opposite more and her tremendous weight came with Plum Point is the village of Osceola in Ar- terrible force upon the starboard stern quarter kansas.
of the gunboat, but without inflicting any On the next day, at evening, the fleet arrived serious damage The force of the blow, howat Plum Point and anchored. A force of three ever, threw the stern of the vessel in and enConfederate gunboats were in sight most of abled her to get headway from the shore. the time during that day, but kept at a safe dis- Then, in turning out, her broadside was distance. The anchorage was about three and a charged directly into the Confederate craft, half miles from the fort. Operations against which was backing off preparatory to renewthe fort were commenced by moving the mor- ing the assault. tars to the Arkansas shore at Oraighead Point, Again the gunboat prepares to open fire on and opening upon the enemy's gunboats and her assailant, and the ram seeks an apportunity batteries with shells. The distance of the to renew the assault. The Cincinnati has contending forces across the point was three worked herself away from the shore and is fourths of a mile, although by the river around now more easily handled. Turning to and fro, the point it was three miles. In the afternoon she gives her antagonist broadside for broadof the 17th of April fire was opened from the side, with no apparent result. Still he comes mortars, and rapidly and accurately answered on. As he nears his object, his steam apparaby the fort. This continued until midnight tus is got ready, and his crew, armed with and then ceased; daily afterward it was re- small arms, prepare to board the Federal craft. peated without any expectation of an immedi- Commander Stembel, seeing these demonstraate reduction of the fort. The high water of tions, orders out carbines, boarding pikes, and the river prevented cooperation of the land cutlasses, and also puts his steam battery in forces. On the 4th of May a battle occurred readiness to give the enemy a warm reception. between the gunboats and a Confederate ram On they come, closer and closer, and strike! and gunboats, which has been thus related : The boats collide with fearful violence, followed
"The enemy appeared with four boats—three by the crashing of timbers, and the bending of gunboats and a ram—the latter a powerful iron, and the shouts of men, and the discharge contrivance, combining immense weight and of musketry, and, above all, another broadside strength with high speed and admirable steer- directly into the enemy now immediately alonging facilities. Her hull and boilers, as well as side. Amid this general uproar Commander all the Confederate rams, were those of old Stembel rushes upon deck, and, seizing a pisNew Orleans towboats. The upper works of tol, with admirable aim discharged its contents these were cut away; their sides protected, in into the head of the Confederate pilot, killing some instances with a layer of railroad iron, him instantly. The pilot's mate seized a gun and in others only with bales of tightly com- in retaliation, and shot the gallant commander, pressed cotton, hooped and bound together, just as he was turning to give his attention to one to the other, with iron bands. Their bows some other duty, the ball entering high up on his were pointed and sharp, and apparently of solid shoulder behind, and, passing in at an upward iron.
direction through his neck, went out under his “At their first appearance the gunboats mani- chin.. He fell instantly, and was carried befested no disposition to come up the river, but low. sent the ram ahead to attack and destroy the “While this fierce engagement was in proCincinnati, thinking then, doubtless, to run up gress, the shots from the other. vessels had exand make an easy prey of the defenceless ploded the boiler on one of the Confederate mortar boats. The commander of the Cincin- gunboats, and set fire to another which was nati perceived the movement and apprehended burned to the water's edge. its intent. The ram was already halfway up “The Cincinnati, thus released from her anto her before she was cut loose, and then the tagonist, sought, others of the foe. accumulated driftwood on her bows prevented soon after this withdrawal that the Mallory, her getting her head out into the stream. To which is also fitted as ram, though carrying back out would be to run directly upon the a heavy armament, moved up and singled out enemy while they were seeking to run into her, the crippled Cincinnati as her special victim. . thus adding to the force of the blow with This craft was more lumbering and slower than which they would strike her. In this dilemma the rams proper, and could not be so easily she let fly her stern guns full into the face of moved about. She worked very hard to get her the enemy, and at the same time attempted to nose into the Cincinnati's side, but every time crowd along up the shore, hoping, before mov- was foiled by the movements of the latter. At ing far, to succeed in getting her head out. last she had apparently secured the desired opHer guns made not the slighest apparent im- portunity, and was crowding all steam to make pression upon the ram, which still held its good headway, when an unlooked-for adversacourse and was rapidly coming upon the en- ry appeared." The St. Louis bore down upon tangled gunboat.
her, unseen, until close on her, and then came
the unavoidable collision-the ram_was cut dolph were evacuated on the night of the 4th half into and sunk immediately. Her crew of June. This evacuation was in consequence perished with her, but half a dozen or so es- of the withdrawal of a large portion of the Concaping by clinging to the St. Louis. This was federate army from Tennessee, and their abana brilliant maneuvre on the part of the St. donment of Corinth. The positions of Fort Louis, relieving and probably saving the Cin- Pillow, Randolph, and Memphis could not be cinnati, which was already half sunk and al- held under these circumstances, and were theremost unmanageable from the weight of water fore wisely evacuated. in her hold. Seeing her condition, the acting Nothing now remained to oppose the Federal flag officer signalled her to withdraw, and she fleet but the Confederate gunboats. On the was run upon the shoal at the foot of the island, 5th of June the fleet arrived within two miles and sunk to the bottom.
of Memphis, and came to anchor for the night. “ The action had now lasted about forty-five On the 6th, at 41 o'clock in the morning, the minutes. One of the enemy's boats had been gunboats Benton, Cairo, Carondelet, Louisville, sunk and two blown up. The rest of their fleet and St. Louis, and the four rams Monarch, Lanwas crippled. To prolong the fight was to in- caster, No. 3, and Queen of the West, weighed sure its destruction. They therefore gradually anchor, and dropped slowly down toward the fell back, under cover of the smoke, around the city. The Confederate gunboats
were seen point to the protection of their land batter- approaching in order of battle. This was in ies. The Cincinnati was the only boat injured two lines, the first consisting of the Beauregard, in the Union fleet. Four were wounded on Little Rebel, Gen. Price, and Gen. Bragg, the board of her.”
second of the Gen. Lovell, Gen. Van Dorn, Jeff. On the night of the 4th of June Fort Pillow Thompson, and the Sumter. When within was evacuated. Everything of value was either three fourths of a mile, a shot from the Little destroyed or removed by the Confederate offi- Rebel, the flag ship, fell within a short distance cers. On the same night Fort Randolph, some of the Cairo, which replied with a broadside, miles below, was evacuated. The few guns and soon the engagement became general. The were dismantled. Com. Ellet, in his report to Confederates had fewer guns than their opthe Secretary of War, said: “Randolph, like ponents, but exceeded them in the number Pillow, is weak, and could not have held out of gunboats. The scene of the battle was in long against a vigorous attack.” The remark front of the city of Memphis, and the shores is worthy of notice, as it raises an inquiry whý were crowded with spectators. After half an such an attack was not made. The forts were hour two of the rams, Monarch and Queen of not attacked because this expedition, was not the West, which had been lying on the Arkansustained at the critical time for its success. sas side, in rear of the line of battle, steamed There were no land forces to coöperate with out toward the scene of action. The Queen of the fleet.
the West started directly for the Beauregard, On the 13th of April the gunboats and trans- and that gunboat fired at, but missed her. A ports arrived before Fort Pillow, and on the second shot struck the ram but did her no in4th of June this fort and the one below were jury, and she steamed steadily and swiftly toevacuated, and the way clear for the fleet to ward her adversary. When she was within attack Memphis. On the 7th of April the bat- ten feet the latter swung round, and the ram tle of Pittsburg Landing took place between missed her prey. Not discouraged, however, the Federal forces, under Gen. Ĝrant, and the the Queen ran toward the Gen. Price, which Confederate forces, under Gen. Beauregard, fired several shots but did no damage, and which resulted in the withdrawal, by Gen. thrust her iron prow into the wheelhouse of the Beauregard, of all his forces from the battle Price, crushing it to pieces, and causing the vesfield to the strong position at Corinth. Reën- sel to leak so badly that she was run to the Arforcements were required by the Federal army, kansas shore, to prevent her from sinking. The and Gen. Pope was ordered to join it. On the Beauregard now determined to avenge the 21st of April he arrived in transports up the Price, and hurried toward the Queen, while Tennessee river at Pittsburg Landing. His the ram in full motion was dashing toward her force numbered between twenty and twenty- foe. They bore down upon each other bravely, five thousand men, and were taken on some but the skilful pilot of the enemy contrived to thirty transports. This withdrawal of the force evade the shock of the Queen, and struck her of Gen. Pope put a stop to the progress of aft so heavily that the ram was disabled and the Mississippi river expedition. "The gun- began to leak. The Monarch, seeing the state boats, however, were obliged to remain in such of affairs, dashed boldly at the Beauregard. force as to prevent any movement of the Con- The latter fired four times at the ram, and federate gunboats up the river. Soon after the struck her bulwarks once, the ball glancing withdrawal of Gen. Pope, Com. Foote obtain- harmlessly. She could not, however, avoid the ed leave of absence, and the command of the unerring aim of the Monarch, which crashed fleet was taken by Charles Ellet, jr., until the through her bow, and caused her to fill in a few arrival of Charles H. Davis, the successor of minutes and go down as far as her cabin, the Com. Foote.
shallowness of the water preventing her sinkAs has been stated, Forts Pillow and Ran- ing lower, and the white flag she had run up
stopping further damage from the fleet. The
Mayon's OFFICE, MEMPHIS, June 6, 1962. Monarch then looked after her disabled consort, noted. In reply I have only to say that, as the civil
Sir: Your note of this date is received, and contents the Queen
of the West, and towed her ashore, authorities have no means of defence, by the force of placing her in a position of security. The gun- circumstances the city is in your hands. boats now increased their fire against the ene
Respectfully, JOHN PARK, Mayor. my, when the flag ship, having obtained an ex- To C. H. Davis, Flag Officer commanding, etc. cellent range, threw a 50-pound ball from a ri
Commander Davis wrote in reply as follows: fled Parrott, striking the Ĝen. Lovell aft above
UNITED STATES FLAG STEAMER BENTON, the water line, tearing a great hole in her,
Orr MEMPHIS, June 6, 1862. through which the water rushed like a torrent. Sır: The undersigned, commanding the paval miliShe began to sink at once, giving few of the tary forces of the United States in front of Memphis, officers and crew time to save themselves. In has the honor to say to the Mayor and the city that less than four minutes the vessel had sunk in Col: Fitch, commanding the Indiana brigade, will take
military possession immediately. seventy-five feet of water, and passed entirely Col. Fitch will be happy to receive the coöperation out of sight. Some of the crew went down of His Honor the Mayor and the city authorities in with the Lovell, but about fifty of them maintaining peace and order. To this end he will be leaped into the river, and were struggling in pleased to confer with His Honor the Mayor at the milthe water, when the Benton's crew arrived in itary headquarters at 3 o'clock this afternoon.
Yours, etc., C. H. DAVIS, advance of several other cutters from the flo
Flag Officer commanding, etc. tilla, and just in time to see the chimneys of
To the Mayor of the City of Memphis. the hostile gunboat disappear beneath the water. The military occupation of the city followed, • Many of the crew had already begun to and the appointment of a provost marshal.
swim for the shore. Some six or seven, how- Memphis is the most populous and important ever, were rescued by the cutter, but the cur- town, on the Mississippi river, between St. Louis rent was so strong that a large number were and New Orleans. Its population in 1860 was carried off and drowned. The engagement still 22,625. continued warm and desperate. The smoke of About the 10th of June the gunboats St. the battle so obscured the boats that it was dif- Louis, Mound City, Lexington, and Conestoga, ficult to see them at any distance, yet the with the transport New National, having on levee of Memphis was black with the crowd of board the 46th Indiana regiment, Col. Fitch, human beings. From the time the rams made left Memphis, on an expedition up the White their appearance, the Confederate gunboats had river, to open communication with the army of been steadily falling back, though continuing to Gen. Curtis, and to remove the obstructions in fire heavily, before the advance of the Federal that river. The White river is formed by the gunboats.
junction of three small branches, which unite The Jeff. Thompson, Gen. Bragg, Sumter, a few miles east of Fayetteville, Arkansas. It and Van Dorn were the only vessels remain- flows first northwesterly into Missouri, and ing, and these were so frequently struck and after making a circuit of about one hundred saw so little opportunity of escaping, that they miles, returns into Arkansas, and pursues s turned their bows ashore. As soon as the southeasterly course to the mouth of Black river. Thompson reached the shore her officers and Thence its direction is nearly south, until it crew leaped off, and ran through the woods; enters the Arkansas fifteen miles above its but a shell exploding on the vessel, she took fire mouth. It is navigable by steamboats to the and was burned to the water's edge. The Gen. mouth of Black river, three hundred and fifty Bragg reached the shore about half a mile be- miles, in all stages of water. low the Thompson, and her officers and crew As the expedition approached St. Charles, escaped. The Sumter followed next, and the the Mound City, being in advance, was fired Gen. Van Dorn, which was a swift vessel, alone on from two concealed batteries.
This was escaped down the river. The Federal fleet now returned. Meantime the troops were landed came to anchor before the city. The engage- below for the purpose of marching in the rear ment had lasted over an hour. No one was kill- and capturing the batteries. At this juncture ed on the fleet. The loss of the other side could a ball from a siege gun on the bluff struck the not be stated. About one hundred were made forward and left side of the Mound City and prisoners. The other mortar boats, owing to penetrated the casemate and passed through a misconception of orders, were not engaged. the steam drum. The vessel was immediately
The following correspondence then ensued filled with the escaping vapor and nearly between Com. Davis and the city authorities: every one on board was scalded; only twenty
three of the officers and crew, numbering one UNITED STATE de forma un Bremen, hundred and seventy-five, escaped uninjured. A
horrible scene ensued. Many of the crew, Sir: I have respectfully to request that you will surrender the city of Memphis to the authority of the frantic with pain, jumped overboard, and some United States, which I have the honor to represent.
were drowned. The boats from the Conestoga, I am, Mr. Mayor, with high respect,
which was coming up at the time, were sent to C. H. DAVIS, Flag Officer commanding, etc.
their relief, but the enemy fired on the men in To His Honor the Mayor of the City of Memphis.
the water with grape and canister from their The answer of the mayor was as follows: field pieces, killing most of those who were
attempting to escape. Meantime Col. Fitch, ler, by moving up and down the river, prevented learning the facts, pushed forward with his regi- the erection of batteries. Above Eastport, at ment and carried the works at the point of the Chickasaw Bluffs and at some other points, Conbayonet. They consisted of two batteries, the federate batteries were placed to command the lower of which mounted six field pieces, and the navigation of the river. apper one three heavy siege guns. About thirty On the 5th of March, Gen. Beauregard asprisoners were taken, among whom was Col. sumed the command of the Confederate forces Frye, commanding the post. This expedition in this department, when he issued the followfailed to open communication with Gen. Curtis, ing address to his soldiers : as has been heretofore stated. The military operations in Tennessee, which
JACKSON, TENN., March 5.
", } finally controlled the movements of the Missis- SOLDIERS : I assume this day the command of the sippi river expedition, had paused after the army of the Mississippi, for the defence of our home: capture of Nashville, as above described, but steads and liberties, and to resist the subjugation,
spoliation, and dishonor of our people. Our mothers were soon resumed again. The first step con
and wives, our sisters and children, expect us to do sisted in fitting out a great expedition to pro- our duty, even to the sacrifice of our lives. ceed under Gen. Grant up the Tennessee river. Our losses since the commencement of this war, in More than fifty-seven steamers and two gun- killed, wounded, and prisoners, are now about the
same as those of the enemy. boats were required to transport and convoy
He must be made to atone for the reverses we have the force. It was organized in five divisions, lately experienced. Those reverses, far from dishearteach consisting of infantry, cavalry, and artil- ening, must nerve us to new deeds of valor and patriotlery. The advance was under the command ism, and should inspire us with an unconquerable deof Gen. Sherman, 2d division under Gen. Hurl- termination to drive back our invaders.
Should any one in this army be unequal to the task bnt, 3d division under Gen. McClernand, 4th before us, let him transfer his arms and equipments at division under Gen. L. Wallace, 5th division
nce to braver, firmer hands, and return to his home. under Col. Lanman of the 7th Iowa regiment. Our cause is as just and sacred as ever animated On the 11th of March the transports began to
men to take up arms; and if we are true to it and to arrive at Savannah in Tennessee. On the night ourselves, with the continued protection of the Al
mighty we must and shall triumph. of the 12th the Tyler and Lexington were sent
G. T. BEAUREGARD, up the river to reconnoitre as far as Eastport,
General Commanding. forty miles above Savannah. The enemy was Associated with Gen. Beauregard in comfound constructing fortifications and with a con- mand were Gens. Albert Sidney Johnston, siderable force. It was known that the Confed- Bragg, Polk, Pillow, Cheatham, and others. erate forces were also concentrated along the The Confederate force consisted not only of the lines of railroad south and southwest of the troops from the adjacent States which had river.
been in service for months, but also of new levThe line of defence now adopted by the ies now called out by the governors on the reConfederate commander after his first line was quisition of President Davis. They were enbroken up, had for its base the Charleston and camped principally at Corinth, with detachMemphis railroad, the preservation of which ments at various points on the railroad, so sitwas absolutely necessary to any pretence of uated that they could be easily concentrated on resistance through northern Mississippi, Ala- any point. bama, and Georgia. Along this railroad are Corinth is at the intersection of the Mobile Tuscumbia and Florence at the foot of the and Ohio and Memphis and Charleston railMuscle shoals in the Tennessee river and the roads, in Tishemingo county, Mississippi, forty junction with the Florence and Nashville rail- miles from Grand Junction, fifty-eight miles road; Decatur near the head of the lower from Jackson, Tennessee, and about eighteen Muscle shoal; Huntsville and Bellefontaine; miles from Pittsburg on the Tennessee river. Stevenson, important as the junction with the It is situated in a hilly, semi-mountainous railroad from Nashville through Murfreesboro' country. and Chattanooga, a strong position. All these The Federal forces at first concentrated at points are east of Corinth. On the west of Savannah, a small town of two hundred inhabiCorinth the railroad runs in a nearly straight tants, on the Tennessee river, about one hunline to Memphis, ninety-three miles distant; dred' and seventy miles above Fort Henry. and northwest runs the road to Jackson, almost The number of transports which arrived by the in the centre of west Tennessee.*
13th of March, was eighty-two. This force The Union line was the Tennessee river, ex- comprised all of Gen. Grant's original comtending from Paducah, Kentucky, to Eastport mand, with an additional force of infantry, in Mississippi. The gunboats Lexington and Työ almost entirely from the State of Ohio. All
the steamers that formed the regular line of * Tho distances of these places along the line of the packets between Louisville and New Orleans Memphis and Charleston railroad are as follows: From Mem- and between Louisville and St. Louis, were in phis to Germantown, 15 miles: to Collierville, 24; Lafayette: the fleet, carrying from 1200 to 1500 men each, bury, 55; Middleton, 69; Pocahontas, 75; Corinth, 98 Burns, and heavily laden. The demonstrations of the 107 Inka 115; Tuscumbia, 145;
Jonesboro, 163: Decatur, 188inhabitants along the shore of the river were of Huntsville
, 212; Bellefonte, 259; Stevenson, 272; Chatta- the most extravagant character. One declared Looga, 303.