« AnteriorContinuar »
sound of Crufts's and Baird's cannon, and after a l The victory seemed gained, and the brigade by no means pleasant ride of a couple of hours, rushed to the top of the hill to secure what it amongst rocks and hills, and valleys and ravines, had won. But the enemy had rallied half-way scowled at by the natives from whom we could down, supported by a fresh force outnumbering learn not a word concerning the whereabouts of Turchin's two to one. No sooner had our boys our troops, and in imminent danger of being reached the summit than a withering storm of picked up by some straggling squad of rebel cav- bullets swept up the hill. Bravely they replied alry, we at length had the unspeakable satisfac- for a time, making many a rebel bite the dust. tion of getting upon General Baird's trail; and But the galling fire could not long be borne. It riding on a mile or two further, found that, al. would be madness to charge down the hill into most unknown to ourselves, we had turned the the midst of twice or thrice their numbers. formidable barrier of Rocky Face, which now ap- Hence, they withdrew slowly and reluctantly to peared upon our right.
their former position along the slope of Rocky Every step we took, the sounds of conflict be- Face. The rebels did not attempt to follow, but came more and more distinct, until at last we contented themselves with repossessing the hill. caught sight of our troops stretched across the This was the bloodiest, as it might be called valley, the advance line skirmishing briskly with the closing, conflict of this interesting campaign, the enemy. The order of battle I have named, A brisk cannonade and a fierce and determined was still preserved. Of Baird's division, Van skirmishing were kept up until nightfall; but no Derveer's brigade was on the left, Turchin's upon advance was made upon either side. All the rethe right.
| mainder of the afternoon the two armies stood It was one o'clock when we arrived upon this confronting each other, so close together that part of the field, and scarcely had we reached the skirmishers of either could fire entirely over our lines, when it became evident that a severe the rear-lines of the other. A number of incistruggle was just on the point of taking place. dents, at once singular and interesting, fell under
In truth, the position the rebels held in this my own observation, but I shall only mention valley, was almost as strong as that upon the this one. road from Tunnel Hill. The valley was wider General Palmer was standing near our skirthan the gorge, but the natural fortifications mishers, when a bullet, fired by one of the opwere of a similar nature, and only required to be posing rebels, passed through both the skirts of held by a somewhat stronger force. The passage his coat and both legs of his pants, without even into Dalton along this valley, would evidently be grazing the skin ! Probably there is not a simiaccomplished only by copious effusion of blood. lar case on record.
A hill near the centre of the valley seemed to When night came on, a spectacle met our eyes, form the key to the position. To the right of at once brilliant, beautiful, and sublime. During this was another, the possession of which would the course of the conflict, the leaves, rendered enable us to operate with great advantage against inflammable by several weeks' dry weather, had the other. Just as I rode up, General Palmer taken fire; and now long lines of the devouring announced his intention of attempting to carry element could be seen everywhere running up this latter point.
and down the mountains, twisting and writhing The task of taking the hill was assigned to and hissing like monstrous serpents of living General Turchin, than whom a better, braver fire. The fine twigs and cones, of which vast man can scarcely be found in our army. He quantities lay upon the ground, added to the had only a portion of his brigade with him, but hugeness of the conflagration; in some places he had such regiments as the Eleventh, Eighty- the progress of our withdrawing troops was serininth, Ninety-second Ohio, and the Eighty-se- ously impeded by the smoke and heat; and at cond Indiana, and with these he was sure to ten P.M., it really seemed, to a spectator gazing win, if success, under the circumstances, were from Tunnel Hill, as if the whole State of Georpossible, for these regiments scarce ever fail, and gia was on fire, and her eternal mountains were when they do, it is with undiminished honor. melting beneath the flames.
A heavy strip of timber runs along the lower It was after night when the troops began to portion of the east slope of Rocky Face. Through retire; and ere they closed their eyes in slumber this Turchin and his men steadily advanced, the that night, they were on the west side of the General in the front ranks, drawing repeatedly Turnel Hill range. upon his own person the fire of the rebel skir- About three in the afternoon, General Davis, mishers. Forming his line of battle along the who with Morgan's and McCook's brigades, supslope of the mountain, just opposite to and facingported by General Johnson's command, was hold. the hill which he was to carry, he gave the order ing the mouth of the gorge on the Tunnel Hill to advance. Immediately the whole valley re- road, began to advance slowly and feel the enesounded with a terrible roar of musketry, and the my. The latter manifested the utmost sensitiveenemy's cannon, replied to by our own Fourth ness, and raking the gorge with his cannon, inregular battery, added to the awful din. The flicted upon General Morgan considerable loss. rebels were swept away from the foot of the hill. After night, this force retired to Tunnel Hill, Half way up they endeavored to make a stand, which we continue to hold. but our boys, charging forward with loud shouts, Thus ended this highly important expedition. drove them across the summit.
| It has again, if that were needed, demonstrated
the fighting qualities of our own troops. It has ing or demolishing the forces in West-Louisiana. familiarized us with a section of country, com- It is altogether probable that something in the paratively unknown before. It has shown the seasons had dictated this choice to General tremendous strength of the enemy's position at Banks. For example, the Red River is only Dalton. It has for ever set at rest the silly sto high enough to be navigable by the largest vesries of Johnston's army having gone to Mobile sels during this month and the next, while the and other points; and, above all, it has prevent task of taking Mobile is one which might be uned that army, or any considerable part of it, from dertaken at any time, though it is unaccountably being so sent away.
strange that it was not begun in December inIt was well ascertained that Cleburne's divi- stead of May. sion did not start away until the evening of the As is well known, the column under General twenty-first, and at least one brigade of it had Franklin crossed from New-Orleans to Brashear returned by the twenty-fifth. Stevenson's, Stu-City about the first instant, and thence took up art's, Loring's divisions, one brigade of Cleburne's, the line of march along the Bayou Teche, subone of another division, whose commander could stantially the same route pursued nearly a year not be ascertained, and Wheeler's cavalry, were ago, via Opelousas to Alexandria. The forces all known to have been in the fight of Thursday. under General A. J. Smith, from the departAlthough this correspondent would be very glad ment of the Tennessee, comprising the brigades to have Joe Johnston evacuate Dalton, he cannot under Generals F. K. Smith, Thomas, and Ellet, but feel somewhat proud of this triumphant vin- embarked at Vicksburgh on the tenth, and prodication of the statement he made weeks ago, and ceeded down to the mouth of Red River, where has since had occasion several times to repeat, they found an immense fleet of gunboats ready concerning the presence and strength of the rebel for the ascent. army at Dalton.
Touching the naval force, it may be well to The expedition could not well fail of being an remark that a more formidable fleet was never entire success, as it was managed throughout under single command than that now on the with wisdom, prudence, and skill. I venture to Western rivers, under Rear-Admiral Porter ; say that however high General Palmer may have and, it might be said also, never to less purpose. stood in the estimation of his corps, he has risen At the time of departure, the strength of the restill higher since the commencement of this ex- bellion in the inland waters had been crushed. pedition.
Its forts had been demolished at Henry, DonelGeneral Whipple seemed everywhere present, son, Columbus, Island 10, Vicksburgh, Hudson, and I am assured by those who ought best to and New Orleans, by the gallant Foote and Farknow, that his advice throughout the whole af- ragut, united with the army. Its fleet had been fair was most timely and valuable.
sunk by Ellet, Farragut, and Davis. All that Generals Johnson and Davis discharged the remained to be extinguished was one insignifiduties imposed upon them with a cheerfulness cant fort at Gordon's Landing, and one ram and and self-sacrificing alacrity which did much to one gunboat on Red River. To meet this force, keep up the efficiency and morale of their men. we had collected twenty powerful war-vessels of
General Crufts and Baird both sustained their all classes, from the light draught to the heavireputation as soldiers, and the latter especially est monitor. Among them were the monitors seemed to understand how to impart vigor and Ozark, Osage, Neosho; the iron-clads Benton, spirit to his troops.
Carondelet, Pittsburgh, Mound City, Louisville, It remains for all these generals to be tested Essex, and Chillicothe; the rams Price, Chocupon a severe field, but here, at least, they did taw, La Fayette, besides the lighter boats, Blackwell. Our losses will not exceed two hundred hawk, Ouachita, Champion, and Taylor. Conkilled, wounded, and missing. The enemy's will templating this vast array of armed vessels to not fall below five hundred.
Y. S. meet so weak a foe, those who are familiar with
the history, cannot but contrast with it the different equipments with which the lamented
Colonel Ellet was despatched on the same errand Doc. 96.
more than a year ago, with the Queen of the CAPTURE OF FORT DE RUSSY, LA.
The twenty transports, preceded by the twenOx BOARD FLAG-SHIP, I
ty gunboats, started from the Mississippi on the FORT De Rossy, March 18, 1864.) tenth, and ascended the Red River as far as To understand the importance of the great ex- what is called the Old River, when we turned pedition up Red River, it is necessary to review into the Atchafalaya instead of continuing up the military situation in the beginning of March. Red River. Many were the speculations upon Sherman had returned to Vicksburgh from his our course as they saw us descending the stream grand but disappointing raid into Mississippi, instead of ascending. To a person unacquainted and instead of directing his forces toward Mo- with the peculiarities of this region, it seems inbile, the point greatest and almost the only posi- deed strange that the water should run up and tion of vital concern to the rebels, he detached a down consecutively. The whole of West-Louis. portion of them to General Banks's assistance, iana is overspread with a network of bayous, who, it appears, had predetermined on scatter- / which are interlaced with each other in a very
unusual manner. Indeed, though Red River is and insulted a family two miles distant. In fact, usually accounted one of the tributaries of the unless checked by summary example, there is Mississippi River, there is abundant evidence to danger of our whole noble army degenerating believe that at no great period back the Red into a band of cut-throats and robbers. I am River continued its course to the Gulf through glad to say that General Smith is disposed to the Atchafalaya. The latter stream is now main- punish all offenders severely. ly fed by the former, and should properly bear It was decided that the column should march its name. We found it for twelve miles a deep overland to Fort De Russy, the place to which and navigable stream.
| it was supposed they had retreated, distant At Simmsport the fleet came to a landing. thirty-five miles. At day break, they started in The town itself does not exist, a few chimneys light marching order. The boats were steamed alone marking the former site, having been up the Red River, which proved to be extremely burned up by Colonel Charles Rivers Ellet, in tortuous and difficult of navigation. At a point retaliation for their having fired on his boat, the sixty-five miles above the mouth, and twentyQueen of the West. Colonel John Ellet after five above Black River, we came upon a small ward visited the place with the Switzerland, earthwork, without guns, distant by land about during the siege of Port Hudson, when he had a five miles from the main fort. Hewn piles and severe engagement with the batteries, and fin- timbers had floated past during the day, preished the work of his cousin.
paring us for the evacuation above. • Two new earthworks were found in course of Meanwhile the column under General Smith, construction, and abundant evidences of the with Morse's brigade in the advance, made a traffic across the stream at this point. A short night march across froin Simmsport. Before distance up the bayou, which enters at this they had gotten five miles out on their march, point, were found twenty-four pontoons used for they were beset by the enemy's cavalry, which a bridge; also, portions of a raft of timber long kept harassing front and rear during the entire enough to stretch across. News reached us that route. A company of cavalry, under Captain a camp near the river had been hastily evacu- Hughes, preceded the column, skirmishing conated at the sight of the fleet; afterward we heard tinually. General F. Kilby Smith, who comthat about two thousand had a fortified camp manded the division in the rear, was often three miles from the river, at the intersection of obliged to form in line to repel their threaten. Bayou Glaize, (Yellow Bayou.) Next morning ed attack. Notwithstanding that a delay of the land forces were disembarked, and marched three hours occurred in rebuilding a bridge deout by sunrise to find the camp broken up and stroyed by the flying enemy, the entire march, the enemy gone; the bridge leading across the thirty miles, was accomplished in twenty hours, stream burning, and evidence of a fright. There and, as the result showed, captured a strong were two extensive earthworks, still incomplete, position before sundown—a feat which has hardand a prodigious raft being constructed across ly a parallel. The country back of the Fort is an Bayou Glaize so as to prevent the gunboats as- undulating table-land, beautiful to behold, and cending the little channel during high-water. inhabited by descendants of the early French This location of their principal fortifications is settlers. Indeed, many of them had hoisted significant in two things: their intention to over their porches the tri-color of France, almake the Atchafalaya as their line of defence, though they have been living here, receiving the and their distrust of their ability to hold forts privileges of citizenship, for more than twenty immediately on the banks of navigable streams. years. Henceforth we imagined their policy would be It was about three o'clock as the head of the to hold the roads to the interior by works erect-column neared Fort De Russy; some time was ed beyond the range of the gunboats. Their spent in making cautious approaches to the poabandonment of Simmsport was indicative that sition, when the lines were moved up to the they had lost hope of defending successfully cdge of the timber. The Fort then opened these latter.
hcavily with four guns, firing shells and shrapFive miles further out, our force overtook five nel, our forces bringing two batteries into action. teams loaded with tents, which they burned, The cannonading continued two hours, when and loaded up the teams with sugar and molas. General Smith ordered a line of skirmishers to ses, which the rebels had unsuccessfully attempt advance, when a heavy fusilade followed. A ed to destroy. The whole column then returned charge was ordered; the Fifty-eighth Illinois and to the boats. I should not be a faithful histo- the Eighth Wisconsin led, when just as the men rian if I omitted to mention that the conduct of had reached the ditch the garrison surrendered. the troops since the late raid of General Sher- About this time the boats made their appear. man, is becoming very prejudicial to our good ance, the Eastport in the lead. They fired two name and to their efficiency. A spirit of de- shots without effect, across a rock, when the struction and wanton ferocity seems to have cheers of our delighted soldiers told them the seized upon many of them, which is quite in Fort was ours. The gunboats were not engaged ; credible. At Red River landing they robbed a the honor of this victory may be set down to the house of several thousand dollars in specie, and credit of the land forces. then fired the house to conceal their crime. At The Fort consists of two distinct and formidaSimmsport, a party of them stole out, and robbed l ble earth-works connected by a covered way. The upper part, the one facing the road from the certainly does not find corroboration in the fact interior, is a beautiful specimen of engineering that they surrendered to forces which marched skill, and is remarkable for the substantial and across the country. Of this sort was the unfinpermanent manner in which every part is con- ished obstruction of piles about nine miles below structed. It mounted at the tirae of capture four here, which the gunboats had to tear away to guns, two field and two siege, though capable of allow the huge transports to pass through. As accommodating twenty. It is perhaps a quarter nearly as I can learn, Walker has two thousand of a mile from the river-bank, and seated on the men, mostly infantry, south of us. Taylor has, gradual slope of a ridge, the first seen on as- perhaps, as many at Alexandria, and it is probacending the river. In the lower work command- ble that they may be united at the latter place. ing the river was a casemated battery of three Banks has some, doubtless, in his front about guns of superior construction. Upon a solid Opelousas. frame of twenty inches of timber were laid two The Red River has not been used for large layers of railroad iron, the upper tier reversed transports or gunboats since May last, being and laid into the interstices of the lower. But hitherto too low. The Webb, Missouri, Grand two guns were in position in it-one eleven-inch Duke, and Mary Keene are at Shreveport, armed. columbiad, taken from the Indianola, and an The distances on this river from the Mississippi eight-inch smooth bore. On each side were bat-are : Black River, forty miles ; De Russy, seventeries of two guns each, one a seven-inch rifle, ty miles; Alexandria, one hundred and forty of Parrott pattern, making in all eight siege miles ; Shreveport, four hundred and fifty miles. and two field-pieces. There were found besides large quantities of ammunition and a thousand muskets, besides flour, sugar, etc. Our loss in the affair was four killed and thir
Doc. 97. ty wounded; rebels, five killed and four wound
REBEL CURRENCY. ed. Two hundred prisoners constituted the garrison then in the Fort, all of which fell into
ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR-GENERAL'S OFFICE, L our hands, with twenty-four officers. A force of
RICHMOND, VA., Feb. 20, 1964. } about a thousand men has been stationed at De GENERAL ORDERS, No. 21. Russy until recently. The smallness of the gar- The following Act of Congress is published for rison is a matter of much surprise, as the enemy the information of the army : must have known of our presence for some days;
[No. 116.] besides, it appears that a small number left in An Act to reduce the Currency and to authorize the morning before the attack. Two thirty-two a new issue of Notes and Bonds. pounders, on wheels, were hauled off only a few Sec. 1. The Congress of the confederate States hours before our arrival, and narrowly escaped of America do enact, That the holders of all capture by our forces. It is unaccountable that treasury notes above the denomination of five the rebels should leave so valuable a position al- dollars, not bearing interest, shall be allowed unmost defenceless at this time, and can only be til the first day of April, 1864, east of the Misaccounted for on the ground that General Banks sissippi River, and until the first day of July, was menacing Alexandria, and they decided to 1864, west of the Mississippi River, to fund the sacrifice one of the two places to hold the other. same, and until the periods and at the places The troops have already reëmbarked, and are on stated, the holders of all such treasury notes the way to Alexandria.
shall be allowed to fund the saine in registered Fort De Russy takes its name from Colonel bonds payable twenty years after their date, bearDe Russy, who formerly commanded in this vi- ing interest at the rate of four per cent per ancinity, and lives not far distant. Lieutenant-num, payable on the first day of January and Colonel Bird was in command, though he re- July of each year. ported to General Walker, whose headquarters Sec. 2. The Secretary of the Treasury is herewere at Alexandria.
by authorized to issue the bonds required for the The following officers are prisoners : Captains funding provided for in the preceding section ; Stevens, Morran, Wise, Wright, Laird, and King; and, until the bonds can be prepared, he may Lieutenants Denson, Fuller, Fogarty, Claydon, issue certificates to answer the purpose. Such Trumbull, (Eng.,) Burbank, Hewey, Assenheim- bonds and certificates shall be receivable, wither, Fall, Hauk, Ball, Little, Barksdale, Spinks, out interest, in payment of all government dues Bringhurst, and Stout.
payable in the year 1864, except export and imFrom various sources we gather that the rebels port duties. here have about abandoned the idea of defending Sec. 3. That all treasury notes of the deno. any of their navigable streams. When asked to mination of one hundred dollars, not bearing inaccount for their apparent neglect of so import- terest, which shall not be presented for funding ant a fort, they reply that this was considered under the provisions of the first section of this merely as an experiment in engineering, (certain- act, shall, from and after the first day of April, ly a very creditable one, and one which the gun. 1864, east of the Mississippi River, and the first boats alone might have vainly assailed for a day of July, 1864, west of the Mississippi River, month,) but claim that so soon as we leave the cease to be receivable in payment of public dues; rivers they will fall on us for destruction. This and said notes, if not presented at that time, shall, in addition to the tax of thirty-three and a treaty of peace with the United States, unless one third cents imposed in the fourth section of sooner converted into new notes. this act, be subject to a tax of ten per cent per Sec. 6. That to pay the expenses of the gov. month until so presented ; which taxes shall at- ernment, not otherwise provided for, the Secre. tach to said notes wherever circulated, and shall tary of the Treasury is hereby authorized to isbe deducted from the face of said notes whenever tue six per cent bonds to an amount not exceedpresented for payment or for funding, and such ing five hundred millions of dollars, the principal notes shall not be exchangeable for the new issue and interest whereof shall be free from taxation; of treasury notes provided for in this act
and for the payment of the interest thereon, the Sec. 4. That on all said treasury notes not entire net receipts of any export duty hereafter funded or used in payment of taxes at the dates laid on the value of all cotton, tobacco, and naval and places prescribed in the first section of this stores, which shall be exported from the confedact, there shall be levied at said dates and places erate States, and the net proceeds of the import a tax of thirty-three and one third cents for every duties laid, or so much thereof as may be necesdollar promised on the face of said notes. Said sary to pay annually the interest, are hereby tax shall attach to said notes wherever circulat- specially pledged : Provided, that the duties now ed, and shall be collected by deducting the same laid upon imports, and hereby pledged, shall hereat the treasury, its depositaries, and by the col- after be paid in specie, or in sterling exchange, lectors, and by all government officers receiving or in coupons of said bonds. the same, wherever presented for payment or for Sec. 7. That the Secretary of the Treasury is funding, or in payment of government dues, or hereby authorized from time to time, as the wants for postage, in exchange for new notes as herein- of the Treasury may require it, to sell or hyafter provided; and said treasury notes shall be pothecate for treasury notes said bonds or any fundable in bonds as provided in the first section part thereof, upon the best terms he can, so as of this act, until the first day of January, 1865, to meet appropriations by Congress, and at the at the rate of sixty-six cents and two thirds on same time reduce and restrict the amount of cir. the dollar, and it shall be the duty of the Secre- culation in treasury notes within reasonable and tary of the Treasury, at any time between the safe limits. first of April, east, and the first of July, 1864, Sec. 8. The bonds authorized by the sixth secwest of the Mississippi River, and the first of tion of this act may either be registered or couJanuary, 1865, to substitute and exchange new pon bonds, as the parties taking them may elect, treasury notes for the same, at the rate of sixty- and they may be exchanged for each other under six and two thirds cents on the dollar: Provided, such regulations as the Secretary of the Treasury that notes of the denomination of one hundred may prescribe ; they shall be for one hundred dollars shall not be entitled to the privilege of dollars or some multiple of one hundred dollars ; said exchange: Provided, further, that the right and shall, together with the coupons thereto atto fund any of said treasury notes after the first tached, be in such form and of such authentiday of January, 1865, is hereby taken away; and cation as the Secretary of the Treasury may preprovided, further, that upon all such treasury scribe; the interest shall be payable half-yearly, notes which remain outstanding on the first day on the first of January and July in each year; of January, 1865, and which may not be ex- the principal shall be payable not less than thir. changed for new treasury notes, as herein pro- ty years from their date. vided, a tax of one hundred per cent is hereby Sec. 9. All certificates shall be fundable, and imposed.
shall be taxed in all respects as is provided for Sec. 5. That after the first day of April next, the treasury notes, into which they are convertall authority heretofore given to the Secretary of ible, if not converted before the time fixed for the Treasury to issue treasury notes, shall be, taxing the treasury notes. Such certificates and is hereby, revoked, provided the Secretary shall from that time bear interest upon only of the Treasury may, after that time issue new sixty-six and two thirds cents for every dollar treasury notes in such form as he may prescribe, promised upon their face, and shall be redeempayable two years after the ratification of a treaty able only in new treasury notes at that rate; of peace with the United States, said new issue but, after the passage of this act, no call certifito be receivable in payment of all public dues, cates shall be issued until after the first day of except export and import duties, and to be issued April, 1864. in exchange for old notes, at the rate of two dol-1 Sec. 10. That if any bank of deposit shall give lars of the new for three dollars of the old issues, its depositors the bonds authorized by the first whether said old notes be surrendered for ex-section of this act in exchange for their deposits, change by the holders thereof, or be received into and specify the same on the bonds by some disthe Treasury under the provisions of this act; tinctive mark or token, to be agreed upon with and the holders of the new notes, or of the old the Secretary of the Treasury, then the said denotes, except those of the denomination of one positors shall be entitled to receive the amount hundred dollars, after they are reduced to sixty- of said bonds in treasury notes, bearing no insix and two thirds cents on the dollar, by the tax terest, and outstanding at the passage of this aforesaid, may convert into call certificates, bear-act: Provided, the said bonds are presented being interest at the rate of four per cent per an-fore the privilege of funding said notes at par num, and payable two years after a ratification of shall cease, as herein prescribed.