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We remained quiet the rest of the day and the The true purpose of the enemy was developed first day of December, during which time the on Thursday evening, at which time they comrebels continued, like sensible leaders, to strength- menced to cross the river, and by Friday mornen and enlarge their fortifications, improving the ing they had thrown over their whole army at the leisure and security afforded them by our inac- points designated. On Friday morning a good tivity at all points. Our whole army fell back part of our army, which had been lying around from their position on the night of December Orange Court-House, moved down the plank first. We began to retire just after dark, and on road, and it all at once became evident that a the morning of December second, in pursuance battle would be fought somewhere betwen Orange of orders from army headquarters, our troops re- Court-House and Fredericksburgh, and most crossed the Rapidan, the infantry and artillery probably in the vicinity of the Chancellorsville crossing at Culpeper and Germania Fords, and battle-ground. On Friday, about ten o'clock, the principal part of the cavalry at Ely's Ford. skirinishers from Johnson's division, which was
The Second corps, General Warren, lost in the head of Ewell's column, came up with the killed, wounded, and missing, two hundred and enemy, who were advancing up the road leading eighty-nine men, being engaged on the twenty- from the Fredericksburgh turnpike to Raccoon seventh, twenty-eighth, and twenty-ninth of No Ford, about a mile below Bartley's Mill, in Spot vember. General H. D. Terry, Third division, sylvania County, some eighteen miles below Sixth corps, lost about twenty men.
Orange Court-House, and some twenty-two miles It was most unfortunate that General French, above Fredericksburgh, and about twelve miles of the Third corps, lost his road on the twenty. above the Chancellorsville battle-ground. The seventh of November, thereby causing so great Louisiana brigade, under General Halford, first a delay in uniting with the forces of General | became engaged, and afterward the whole diviWarren. Another misfortune was the failure of sion of General E. Johnson, consisting of the a certain general to relieve the pickets at the Stonewall brigade, under General Walker, Genproper hour, which aided in frustrating the plans eral G. H. Stuart's brigade, and General G. M. of the campaign.
Jones's brigade, took part in the battle. The above lengthy review of our recent move. The force of the enemy engaged consisted of ments on the Rapidan is a correct one, my in- French's and Birney's corps. Skirmishing began formation having been derived from personal ob- about teu o'clock in the morning, and was kept servations at the front during the campaign, and up quite briskly until about three in the evening, the details are from official reports, with full ex- when the whole line of this division became enplanations from various staff officers of the dif- gaged, and from this time until night there was ferent corps and divisions participating in the quite a severe and brisk fight. During the fight operations. I have taken considerable pains to we drove the enemy, who were the attacking secure entire accuracy, and after submitting this party, back full a mile, capturing a few prisonaccount to the close examination of officers high ers. The fight was altogether an infantry affair. in command, they have pronounced it authentic. Little or no artillery was brought into action on
our side-we could get but two pieces into posiRICHMOND “DISPATCH" ACCOUNT.
tion. The enemy, it is said, fired only twice ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, Nov. 28, 1863. with their artillery. Our loss will be fully five The enemy have at last undertaken an advance, hundred in killed and wounded. Early's and in good faith, I suppose, and the result has been Rodes's divisions also had lines of skirmishers a collision about eighteen miles below here, on ont, which were slightly engaged, but the princithe turnpike and plank road leading to Fredericks- pal fighting was done by Johnson. It is also burgh. The enemy began his forward movement said that Heth's division, of Hill's corps, was enon Wednesday last. He started on this campaign gaged for a while in skirmishing on another part with eight days' rations, which, according to of the line, but with trifling damage. Of the loss computation, will give out on Wednesday next of the enemy I am not advised, but I am now The enemy have their force largely strengthened disposed to doubt if it was as heavy as our own. by the return of the troops sent to New-York to They fought, I am told, quite well, and fired enforce the drast, and those sent to Pennsylvania more accurately than usual. There was no fightto influence the elections, besides those drawn ing to-day, save some slight skirmishing. from the fortifications at Washington.
Our line of battle reaches from the Rapidan As early as Wednesday last it was evident across some six or seven miles, at a line running that there was some move on hand with the at right angles with the river. Our army faced Yankee army. On Thursday morning, deinon- down the plank road toward Fredericksburgh, strations were made at Morton's, Sommerville, and the enemy's line was formed facing up the and Raccoon Fords; but these were merely to plank road, with its back toward Fredericksdivert our attention while their forces effected burgh. Among the casualties on our side are crossings almost unopposed (for we had only Lieutenant-Colonel Walton, Twenty-third Vircavalry pickets at the lower fords) at Jack's, Iginia, killed; General J. M. Jones, slightly Germania, and Ely's Fords. So soon as the ene- wounded in head; Lieutenant-Colonel Coleston, my had crossed his whole force, he turned the Second Virginia, leg amputated; Major Terry, heads of his columns up the river toward Orange Fourth Virginia, slightly wounded; LieutenantCourt-House.
Colonel Brown, First North-Carolina, slightly
wounded; Colonel Nelligan, First Louisiana, se- what their duty to the country, as well as their verely wounded in the shoulder; Captain Merrick, own interest, demands at this crisis. The utter General Halford's staff, severely in the face. The disregard of all social rights, as well as the discolor-bearer of the First Louisiana was killed. Itinct proclamation of President Lincoln, so ruthcould not learn his name, but he is the same who lessly carried out by his minions, leave no room was captured at Gettysburgh, and put his colors for hope, even to the most credulous, to save under his shirt and thus saved them, and after their property, and especially their negroes, even ward escaped. The country where the fighting by the base submission of men who should preoccurred is densely wooded, and similar in every fer death to dishonor. Should hopes be held respect to the country about Chancellorsville, it out to the people of Texas that they will be exbeing, indeed, but a continuation of that descrip- ceptions to the rule so vigorously enforced in her tion of country.
sister States in localities where the enemy are in During the fight General Ed. Johnson had a possession of temporary power, and should even horse shot under him, and General Stuart was the property of some, deceived into an oath of slightly wounded, but soon resumed command. allegiance by the treacherous promises of our
There was also some cavalry fighting at the enemy, be for a time respected, such hopes will upper fords on Friday, but it did not amount, I prove deceitful-such respect a snare. The think, to much. The wounded began to arrive playing of the ravenous cat with the harmless here yesterday evening, and were being sent off mouse is not more deceitful or fatal. Therefore, all night last night to Gordonsville, where they noble Texans, depend alone upon yourselves and will be properly cared for, it being impossible to your faithful rifles, and trust not the enemy and provide for them here.
his faithless promises. This is your interest. You have, of course, heard of General Rosser Besides, the Commanding General has certain incapturing seventy wagons near Wilderness Tav- formation that the enemy has brought with him ern, fifteen miles above Fredericksburgh and five from five thousand to ten thousand muskets, above Chancellorsville, in rear of the enemy's with which to arm the slaves against their maslines. He destroyed fifty, brought off twenty, ters. This it is the interest of the country, the besides one hundred and fifty mules and the same interest of the State, 'the interest of humanity, number of prisoners.
and the duty of the Commanding General to SUNDAY MORNING, Nov. 29–11 A.M. prevent. Therefore, he calls upon the citizens There was a little skirmishing yesterday, but of Texas living in the counties bordering upon it did not amount to any thing. Both armies the navigable portions of the streams, and within are in line of battle. The rain yesterday doubt. fifty miles of the coast, to remove their able-bodless interfered with the fighting. It is cloudy ied male slaves at once, at any cost and at all this morning, but not raining. There has been hazards, further into the interior, else he will be no cannonading, but parties from the front gave forced to drive them before him with his cavalry, it as their opinion that a battle will occur to-day in haste and without regard to their well-being, or to-morrow.
but in the solemn performance of an imperious Lieutenant-General Ewell, who has been ab-duty. He conceives it even better for their insent from the army for two weeks or more, terest that all but the old and decrepid should passed Orange Court-House this morning, on his be at once removed, as well as jewels, plate, linway to the army to resume the command of his en, and other valuables, and particularly wagons, corps.
horses, mules, and vehicles of erery kind; for if the negroes and this description of property are
saved, the enemy can do but little harm to the Doc. 16.
land and its improvements. Lose them, and
your lands become comparatively worthless, GENERAL MAGRUDER'S ADDRESS. whilst your homes will become the abodes of
your slaves. The enemy even has no power to HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF TEXAS, New-MEXICO, L prevent this, for our success is his ruin. Like
AND ARIZONA, Houston, Nov. 27, 1863. the car of Juggernaut, his progress is onward, TO THE PLANTERS OF THE Coast COUNTIES: The and must crush whatever it meets with. Be, Commanding General announces to the citizens then, true to yourselves, and Roman in your of Texas, that a formidable invasion is attempt. virtue. Sacrifice, if necessary, in value, one ed by the coast. Early in the month, General half of your negroes and all of your crops, to Banks took possession of the Lower Rio Grande, save the other half. The law does not permit and on the eighteenth a force occupied Aransas the Commanding General to leave any thing that and Corpus Christi Passes, capturing the small will benefit the enemy within his grasp. He garrison there stationed. Despatches to the must, therefore, destroy what will benefit the twenty-third, from Colonel Bradfute, command- foe. Save him this painful necessity, and reing at Saluria, have been received, stating that move your negroes beyond the reach of the ena large force, supported by numerous ships, was emy without a moment's delay. This appeal is advancing on that place, which, by this time, made to all those who reside in counties within may have fallen. It becomes the grave duty of fifty miles of the coast, from Corpus Christi and the Commanding General to state to the inhab-Galveston, inclusive. Should any other portion itants of the counties contiguous to the coast of the coast or counties still more interior re
quire this sacrifice at the hands of the planters, which were of a most complete character, extimely notice will be given of the same.
tended across from the gulf to a bayou connectJ. B. MAGRUDER. ing with the back-bay. On the night after our Major-General Commanding District of Texas, New-Mexico, arrival, a fierce norther sprung up, causing my and Arizona,
men to suffer greatly, and rendering the prose
cution of operations exceedingly disagreeable. Doc. 17.
The norther continued for two days, rendering
it impossible for the gunboats to render us any REDUCTION OF FORT ESPERANZA, TEX.
assistance. I applied for launches, with which REPORT OF MAJOR-GENERAL WASHBURN. I intended to land troops on Bayucos Island, ! HEADQUARTERS, PASS CAVALLO EXPEDITION,
and cut off their communications with the main, Fort ESPERANZA, Texas, December 4, 1863. | but the gale prevented their being furnished Major G. Norman Leiber Assistant Adjutant- until too late. The force within the fort was General:
from seven to eight hundred, all of whom esMAJOR: I herewith inclose reports of Briga-caped under cover of night, except six belonging dier-General T. E. G. Ransom, commanding bri- to their rear-guard. The rebels left one man on gade Second division, and Colonel H. D. Wash- the ground killed. If they had any wounded, burn, commanding First brigade First division they took them away. We lost one killed and' Thirteenth army corps, detailing the action of two'wounded. Lieutenant Fifer, a gallant young their respective brigades in the reduction of this officer of the Thirty-third Illinois, was severely Fort.
wounded in the breast. We captured ten guns, I refer to these reports, as containing most of ranging from twenty-four to one hundred and the details pertaining to the expedition, and for twenty-eight pounders. The fort was bombthe names of such persons as deserve specially proof and cased with railroad iron, and surroundto be honorably mentioned. On the twenty-first ed with a wide and deep moat, filled with water. ultimo, I arrived at Aransas Pass with the Thir- Five magazines were blown up, containing fortyty-third Illinois, and part of the Eighteenth In- two thousand pounds of powder. diana, on board steamer Clinton, On the twenty- For a more particular description of the fort, second ultimo, I received the order of Major- and the captures therein, I refer to the report General Banks to take command of an expedition of Captain Baker, Engineer. We also captured up the coast, for the purpose of capturing this a small fort on Bayucos Island, with one twentyfort. On the same day, I proceeded to St. Jo. four pounder field-gun. I cannot express, in too seph's Island, and landed the troops and stores strong language, ny admiration of the conduct on board the Clinton by twelve m., on the of the officers and men engaged in this expeditwenty-third ultimo. I pushed forward, same tion. We left the foot of St. Joseph's Island day, to head of St. Joseph's Island, eighteen without transportation of any kind, except twelve miles distant, having previously sent General wagons, which were used for transporting supRansom in the advance, with instructions to plies. With this small train, I had to supply bridge, if possible, the Pass between St. Joseph's two thousand eight hundred men, together with and Matagorda Island. On arriving at this Pass, animals belonging to the train, and horses for (called Cedar Bayou,) I discovered that to bridge two batteries, nearly sixty miles from my base would be impossible. With a width of nearly of supply. The weather, much of the time, was three hundred yards, a strong current, and ex- very inclement, water very bad, and fuel scarce; posed to the terrible winds that here prevail, I but I never heard a complaint or murmur of any saw that our only chance to get over was to fer- kind. The troops accompanying me were as ry. Fearing that such would prove the case, I follows, namely: Eighth Indiana infantry, combrought along, on my wagons, four yawl-boats. manded by Major Kinney ; Eighteenth Indiana, By lashing together, I was able to take over my Lieutenant-Colonel Charles; Thirty-third Illinois, troops, wagons, and artillery. My horses and Colonel C. E. Lippincott; Ninety-ninth Illinois, mules were swum across. On the twenty-fourth, Colonel Bailey ; and Seventh Michigan battery, a terrific norther sprung up, rendering it impos- Lieutenant Stillman, composing First brigade; sible to cross the Pass; but on the following Twenty-third Iowa, Colonel Glasgow, of the Semorning, the gale having subsided, the force cond brigade, First division, Thirteenth army commenced to cross, and by midnight were all corps-all commanded by Colonel H. D. Washover, and the rear went into camp about eight burn: and the Thirty-fourth Iowa, Lieutenantmiles up the coast, at three a.m. On the twenty-Colonel Dungan; Thirteenth Maine, Colonel sixth, marched over twenty miles, and encamped Dyer; Fifteenth Maine, Colonel Hazeltine ; and ten miles from the fort; and on the twenty. Foust's Missouri battery, of the Second brigade, seventh, at eleven A.M., came within range of the Second division, Thirteenth army corps, comguns of the fort. Spent the rest of the day re- manded by Brigadier-General Ransom. connoitring the position, the gunboats, which It affords me great pleasure to state that the were to coöperate, not having come up. I soon conduct of Brigadier-General Ransom and Col-! discovered that the fort was a large and complete onel H. D. Washburn, commanding brigades, work, mounting heavy guns, and that all ap- was most prompt, gallant, and efficient, and deproaches were well guarded. The country serves the highest praise. The navy has shown around was a level plain, and their outworks, levery disposition to cooperate in the inost prompt
manner; and to Captain Strong, of the Monon- under cover of the sand-hills on the beach, and gahela, commanding the fleet, and Captain Lam- opened upon the fort from the right of our line. son, of the Granite City, I am under many ob- No casualties occurred in my command. ligations. Their failure to take part in the attack During the night of the twenty-ninth ultimo, on the fort was attributable solely to the gale the enemy evacuated their works and retired, which at the time prevailed.
setting fire to their magazines and stores. The Respectfully yours,
whole of the troops of my command acquitted C. C. WASHBURN, themselves creditably, and bore the hardships
Major-General. Lo of the severe “norther,” of the twenty-eighth BRIGADIER-GENERAL RANSOM'S REPORT. and twenty-ninth, on short rations, with a cheerHEADQUARTERS THIRD BRIGADE, SECOND Division,
fulness scarcely to be expected from troops most FORT ESPERANZA, TEXAS, December ti, 1803.
of whom had never experienced a field camMAJOR: I have the honor to report that, on paign. the twenty-second ultimo, in obedience to the I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, order of Major-General C. C. Washburn, I moved
T. E. G. Ransom, my command (consisting of the Thirteenth and
Brigadier-General Volunteers, Fifteenth Maine, and Thirty-fourth Iowa infantry,
Major W. H. MORGAN,
Assistant Adjutant-General Coast Expedition, and battery F, First Missouri artillery) from
Official Copy. Aransas Pass, eight miles up St. Joseph Island,
Chas. P. Stone, and encamped at a ranch for the night. Moved
B. G. Chief of Staff. on the next morning, and reached Cedar Bayou
REPORT OF COLONEL H. D. WASHBURN. about noon, twenty-third ultimo, when my ad
HEADQUARTERS FIRST BRIGADE, FIRST Division, ) vance-guard of mounted infantry, under com
THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS mand of Captain C. S. Ilsley, Fifteenth Maine,
Saluria, Texas, December 3, 1864. had a slight skirinish with a scouting-party of Major: I beg leave to submit the following the enemy, in which Major Charles Hill, com- report of the part taken by the First brigade, manding the rebel party, was killed, and Ser- First division, l'hirteenth army corps, in the regeant James Sanders, company F, Fifteenth duction of Fort Esperanza, on Matagorda Island: Maine, was slightly wounded. I halted at this At midnight, November twenty-fifth, I had place, and commenced the construction of a ferry succeeded, after much difficulty, in getting the across Cedar Bayou.
whole of my force across Cedar Bayou upon the On the twenty-fifth ultimo, I ferried my com- island, and marched immediately to join General mand across Cedar Bayou, and encamped about Ransom, some eight miles in advance. After a seven miles up Matagorda Island, where I was few hours' rest we moved up the island, making joined by Colonel Washburn's brigade about a very hard march through the sand of twentymidnight.
three miles; camped for the night, and moved in On the twenty-sixth, I marched my command the morning for this place. My brigade, by your about twenty miles up the island, and encamped order, moving along the beach, about twelve at a ranch about ten miles from this point. On o'clock we had advanced to the lighthouse, and the morning of the twenty-seventh, I advanced in close proximity to the enemy's works. The my brigade, under the direction of General Wash- main portion of the command was halted, and, burn, up the middle of the island, while Colonel by your order, I proceeded with one company Washburn moved his brigade in a parallel line from each of my regiments, under the command up the gulf beach. About eleven A.M., we met of Captain Ira Uloore, Thirty-third Illinois, a the advanced pickets of the enemy, and drove most excellent officer, supported by the Thirtythem into his works. After reconnoitring and third regiment Illinois infantry, to reconnoitre ascertaining the location of the works and main and endeavor to find the strength and position of fort of the enemy, I placed my command in an the enemy. Moving cautiously up the beach, we advanced position, indicated by General Wash- soon drove in the enemy's pickets, and our adburn, on the left of our line and under cover of vance was safely lodged in a range of sand-bills a slight rise of ground. This afternoon and the within three hundred yards of the outer work following day were occupied in reconnoitring of the enemy-a heavy earth-work, extending the approaches to the enemy's work, and was from the bay to a lagoon running from the bay attended with occasional skirmishing and sbarp- on the mainland side of the island. The work shooting on both sides, and occasional artillery was regularly laid out, about fifteen feet in thickshots from the enemy.
ness, and from ten to fifteen feet in height. The On the night of the twenty-eighth, I threw up enemy now opened upon us, from Fort Esperanza, an earthwork in advance of my left, and on the with his one hundred and twenty-eight pounder, opposite side of a salt lagoon, which intervened and twenty-fours, throwing shells, but with little between my position and the chief work of the or no effect. Having found out the position and enemy, where I placed Captain Foust's battery, apparent strength of the enemy, by your order I supported by the Thirty-fourth Iowa infantry, withdrew my advance. and opened fire on the fort at daylight on the During the night a heavy “norther" coming twenty-ninth, continuing at intervals all day. In on, we were unable to do much the twentythe mean time, the Seventh Michigan battery, of eighth. The night of the twenty-eighth, Captain Colonel Washburn's brigade, had been advanced | McAllister, of the Eighth Indiana, and Captain
Hull, of the Ninety-ninth Illinois, both of whom ment to the support of the Eighth and Thirtyhad had considerable experience in that line in third, in doing which he passed under a heavy the rear of Vicksburgh, with a fatigue-party fire of the fort, but, fortunately for him, the enfrom each of the regiments in the brigade, under emy threw nothing but solid shot, which, from cover of the darkness, dug a rifle-pit from the their size, were easily avoided, and he gained his sand-bills on the beach, (occupied by us on the position with the loss of but one man. Night first day,) and running parallel with the enemy's coming on, found four companies of the Eighth works, two hundred and ten yards in length, suf- Indiana, five companies of the Thirty-third, in ficient to cover a regiment.
the sand-hills near the fort, (seven hundred and Sergeant Goodlander, of company F, Eighth twenty-five yards, as shown by measurement ;) Indiana, with a small detail from the different two companies of the Eighth Indiana held the regiments, was ordered to move at early dawn in old work to our front; the balance of three regiadvance of our rifle-pit and endeavor to gain a. inents held the outside of the new work. The position on the outer edge of the enemy's works. men, although the night was raw and cold, reThe Eighth Indiana was also moved out and or- mained upon the field and in their position. A dered to lie down in the open prairie, in order fatigue party was detailed from the reserve regi. to take advantage of any lodgment our advance ments, and proceeded to move the four pieces of might make. Captain Hull, of the Ninety-ninth, the Seventh Michigan battery to the work occuvolunteered and accompanied the advance. The pied by our troops, and, by filling the ditch, morning was bitterly cold, and our men suffered placed them in a fine position. I also ordered a severely. Our advance moved up slowly, and portion of the Eighteenth Indiana, under Capcautiously took position on the outside of the tain Loues, to reënforce Captain McAllister, as I work; the inside being controlled by the en- believed that to be an important point. emy in the sand-hills between the work and the The Ninety-ninth Illinois and Twenty-third main fort. Driving in a small picket force on the Iowa, who were held in reserve, were to move at inside, (the force for protection of the works daylight to our position, while a general advance having been driven by the weather to the sand- of the whole brigade was to take place. These hills,) they endeavored to rally and drive our arrangements were hardly completed, when, about men back, but in vain. The Eighth Indiana was half-past twelve o'clock, an explosion of gunimmediately sent forward in small detachments, powder in the fort warned us that the enemy to avoid the fire of the heavy guns of the fort, were on the move. I immediately ordered an and gained a safe footing in our rifle-pit and on advance of the skirmishers, and found that the the enemy's work. Finding ourselves more suc- enemy had fled, leaving behind him his stores cessful than I had dared to hope, I returned to and ammunition, and the personal baggage of the the main portion of my brigade, and immediately officers. They had, however, piled a large quansent forward Colonel Lippincott, with his regi- tity of cotton around the different magazines, ment, to the front, with instructions to take com- after having scattered gunpowder around in difmand of the force in front, and to advance as ferent places. fast as prudence would allow, and to get, if pos- The advance pushed on to the ferry, but were sible, a position where our artillery might be too late; the enemy had cut the rope, allowing made effective. Colonel Lippincott moved prompt- the floating bridge to swing around upon the
ure of hearing from him, that he had secured a piling cotton upon it and firing it, but our men good position for our artillery. Adjutant W. W. were too close, and put out the fire. Six of the Zener, of the Eighteenth Indiana, now on my eight men left by the enemy to fire the trains staff, was ordered to bring up two pieces of the were captured. At daylight I moved a small First Michigan battery, under command of Lieu-force across to McHenry Island, and took possestenant Stillman, which he accomplished with de- sion of a small earthwork, containing one twentyspatch. The pieces were brought up, and placed four pounder gun, considerable ammunition, and in battery under a heavy fire from the fort, for some garrison equipage. In Fort Esperanza we tunately not very accurate, and we soon had the found one one hundred and twenty-eight pounder pleasure of seeing our shells dropping in the en-columbiad, and seven twenty-four pounder siege emy's stronghold and driving them from their guns. Two of the magazines were saved, and guns. Colonel Lippincott had very judiciously considerable camp and garrison equipage was in disposed of the two regiments, and had, pre- the fort, but, owing to the danger from explosion, viously to the arrival of the artillery, advanced we failed to save it. My total loss was one man several companies into the sand-hills in our front, killed and ten wounded; among the latter, Lieudriving back the enemy nearer to his main work. tenant George N. Fifer, Acting Aid-de-Camp, a I also ordered possession to be taken of an old gallant and brave officer, who fell severely woundwork several hundred yards in our front, and to ed during our first reconnoissance. My officers the left and rear of the fort, which was gallantly and men behaved gallantly, showing that they done by Captain McAllister, Eighth Indiana, had lost none of that coolness and bravery with his company. This enabled us to move our evinced by them upon the battle-fields of Pea advance on the right nearer the fort. In the Ridge, Fredericktown, Port Gibson, Champion mean time, I had ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Hills, Black River Bridge, Vicksburgh, and JackCharles, Eighteenth Indiana, to move his regi- l son.