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had killed a single man. They fear cannon, then, simply because men cease to reason when they engage in battle, and surrender themselves to their instinctive impulses.
8. Superiority in Valor.—This the Yankees have never shown, and never will show, until our troops become the biggest of fools and the neanest of cowards.
4. Superiority of Generalship. — Certainly /here is no cause for fear from this source, as yet.
Reason down your fears then, soldiers; but if you cannot, fight them out
In all that I have said to you, or mean to say to you, I suppose you fight against superior numbers. I have endeavored to demonstrate to you that there is not near the danger in meeting superior numbers in the field that is generally supposed. In a conflict of one thousand against two thousand, the first of unyielding valor, and the second of common soldiery, which is likely to conquer f Every man in the world will answer: '• The first" Is not this an unquestionable truth? Why, then, will not reasonable beings reduce it to practice in the war ?" Because," it will be answered, "men cannot screw themselves up to unyielding valor." True, but with a man of common-sense, it should require but very little screwing to do that which will insure him victory, or no valor. When I was a boy, about thirteen years of age, my father lived fourteen miles from Augusta. On the road to the city, there was one point where a man had been murdered, and another where a woman had been killed, and stories were rife in the neighborhood of terrific sights seen at these places at night I do not suppose that a house full of gold could have induced me to pass them alone at night. One day my father remarked, in my presence: "I never allowed my children to be frightened with foolish
stories about ghosts, etc. There is my ,
who, if necessary, would go from here to Augusta at midnight, with no more fear than I would feel at doing so." "Mercy on me!" thought I;
•' how little my father knows of his !" But the
remark had a magical effect upon me. It set me to thinking of the folly of my fears, the glory I should have in verifying my father's opinion of me, and the shame that I should feel at his discovering that he had over-estimated me, and I be^an to entertain a timid desire to prove my heroism. Not long after this I was belated, and had to pass one of these places at night, and nlone. I was awfully alarmed as I approached the spot, but I determined to go slowly by it. When I reached it my fears rapidty subsided; '"and now," thought I, "if I can only tell, when I get home, that I stopped and searched for ghosts and blue-lights, and listened for groanings, etc., what an honor it will be for me!" I did so, and thenceforward became a tolerably brave boy.
Now, if such inducements as these could make st timid boy act the hero, why should not love of country, the glory of victory, and the shame of defeat, make even cowards act the hero? But I
am departing from the subjects proposed for this article. I come now to speak of actual operations in the field.
If ten thousand engage twenty thousand, the labor of fighting is about equal on both sides. The human constitution can only endure a certain amount of labor and fatigue, and at this point the belligerents must stop. All other things being equal, then, if the ten thousand hold on to this point, they cannot possibly be conquered; and it's a hundred to one, that the twenty thousand yield the contest before they reach the point of exhaustion.
Charge of Bayonets.—If the soldier forgets all else that I have written or may write, let him not forget what I say upon this head. It has been said that in all Bonaparte's battles there were but three instances of a fight with bayonets. With these exceptions, whenever he or his adversaries brought the battle to a hand-to-hand fight one or the other party invariably gave way. Now he fought every nation in Europe, and, with one exception, always with inferior numbers. The Turks he fought in Egypt and Syria—a barbarous people. At Acre, he fought the Turks, assisted by the English. I do not remember that his troops ever recoiled from a charge of bayonets. Be that as it may, we all know that up to his Russian campaign, his battles were little else than one unbroken series of victories. I have inquired of a number of our officers and soldiers whether they ever witnessed a fight with bayonets during the war, and I have not found the man who has seen such a thing. And yet I have heard of a hundred, if not five hundred, charges being made during the war. In all these charges, then, one or the other party must have given way. Now what is the conclusion from all this? Why, that whether you fight with civilized or barbarous nations, or with civilized and barbarous mixed, with royalists or republicans, with equal or unequal numbers, (the disproportion not being very great,) you have only to stand firm in a bayonet-fight, to assure you of victory. There is nothing in war more certain than this. When the battle, then, comes to a cross of bayonets, whatever may be your alarms, see it through, and your triumph is sure.
Charging up to the Cannon's Mouth.—This is considered the very acme of heroism. Well, now, there is not the one tenth part of the danger in it that is generally supposed. The reason is plain. Cannon cannot be constantly adjusted to an ever-approaching object Many of you know how wildly they shoot, until the gunner, by a number of experimental shots, "gets the range," as"1t is called, even of a stationary object But that range is lost with every approach of the object to the cannon. None but the most expert riflemen could hit a squirrel rapidly descending a tree. Now, the movement of a cannon to hit an approaching regiment must be like that of the rifleman's gun, constantly lowering, but with a variable velocity, as the regiment approaches more or less rapidly. If the regiment oblique a little from the first line of approach, the cannon must undergo two adjustments to hit it: the one perpendicular, and the other lateral. Now, who is competent to make the lubberly thing fulfil all these conditions? No man that ever lived or ever will live. To keep a cannon sighted upon a moving object is difficult enough, but to load and fire it, and still keep it on the moving object, is impossible. "Marching up to the cannon's mouth," then, if done quickly, is demonstrably less dangerous than remaining stationary at exact cannonrange.
A word more and I have done. Possibly, before the war ends, you may get under a general who may command you to pursue a routed foe. In that event, stop not as long as you can keep your feet Bear hunger and thirst to the utmost point of endurance, rather than stop; and cut off your arm sooner than pause to gather booty at such a time. The reason is obvious: when your enemy is in flight, he is impotent, and you destroy him without hazard to yourselves. His dispersion is so great that he cannot be brought to face you again for months, if ever. His all falls into your hands. His spirit is broken for all time. And oh! remember, as we pass along, that all these evils, half told, become yours, when you flee.
Soldiers! lay to heart the things that I have written, and reduce them to practice, and our liberty is sure.
Doc. 99. THE FIRE AND BLOOD OF REVOLUTION.
TnE following was published under the above title in the Charlottesville (Virginia) lieviete, in April, 1861, before Virginia had passed her ordinance of secession:
"That is the cue. They propose to give you a taste of Mr. Yancey's medicines. It will be a nice little operation. Sowing wheat is nothing to marking time and walking sentry at two o'clock in the night, under a drizzling rain. Shucking corn is flat, compared to a charge of bayonets.
"You will also make your arrangements to have your barnyards lit up at night with the fires of the revolution. Set your boots at the head of the bed, for at any moment the same fires may be sputtering and crackling on the roof of your dwelling-house.
'' Glistening bayonets on the south bank of the Potomac in front, burning straw-ricks and burning houses behind you, something worse than that, perhaps, in the shape of death produced by invisible and unconfrontable agencies, the State deprived of its labor, those laborers escaping by hundreds, or sold at half their value in the South, your fields unploughcd, your public works ruined, land depressed to the lowest figure, State stocks, insurance stocks, bank stocks, railroad stocks, hawked at a mere song—theso would be the immediate effects of the " Fire and Sword" which Governor Wise proposes in his speech at Norfolk.
"A peaceable dissolution of the Union is sometimes suggested.
"Let us allow that the result could be effected peaceably.
"The next thing we should want would be a standing army. The John Brown affair cost us three hundred thousand dollars. Make the calculation.
"You would maintain a line of posts all along your frontier.
"You would also want a navy, though Norfolk only produces a few fishing-smacks, except the vessels built there by order of the Government.
"You would pay a Southern President, with all the ordinary government officials. You would pay a diplomatic corps.
"You would have to pay for an independent Senate and House of Representatives, and for a new Judiciary.
"Perhaps you think all this would be readily managed. They tell you you are rich. We tell you, that no purely agricultural people ever was rich. The wealth of Philadelphia alone is equal to the entire wealth of the State of Virginia.
"Take the Post-Office alone. The total receipts from the post-offices inVirginia for 1857-58, were §242,951; the expenditures were $453,848. In South-Carolina, the receipts were $101,145; the expenditures were $248,600. In Alabama, the receipts were $111,092; the expenditures were $248,750. In Mississippi, the receipts were $88,458; the expenditures were $332,508. In Arkansas, the receipts were $35,727; tho expenditures were $244,589. How is this deficiency made up now f Part of it is made up thus: The receipts in the State of New-York aro $1,438,711; the expenditures are $1,154,141. In Massachusetts, the receipts are $565,633; the expenditures are $425,237. In most of the Northern States there is a deficit. But in all the Southern States tho deficit is enormous. The whole Northern deficit is some $800,000. The whole Southern deficit is some $3,000,000.
"Suppose, however, the civil war disposed of. Suppose the government established. Suppose us with our army, our navy, our fortifications. Suppose us to have survived the shock with some slaves left, and our depreciated lands. What then? Wo belong to a Southern confederacy. The Cotton States begin an agitation for the reopening of the slave-trade, or some coolie system. Our remaining negroes are to compete, if they succeed in their schemes, with the new labor. At all events, we are still to be a section, a section as regards the Cotton States, which has no trade with tho other section. We are still to have sectional quarrels. There are still to be charges and counter-charges, aggressions and counter-aggressions. We have not conquered a peace.
"We have now two sections to plague us. On the frontier we have to guard against the North. On the South we have to meet the extreme views of the Gulf States. After a while, perhaps, Virginia would have lost her slaves, and she, with Kentucky, Maryland, and Missouri, would be an anti-slavery section in the Southern republic.
"If any one can find a remedy in a Southern confederacy, we see it with different eyes."
CO-OPERATION WITJI ARMY EXPEDITION UNDER
REPORT OP ACTINQ REAR-ADMIRAL S. P. LEE.
Flag-ship Minnesota, )
Off Newport News, Va., February 2, ISM. I
Sir: Returning here Sunday afternoon, thirtyfirst ultimo, after an absence of a few hours at the navy-yard, I was informed by Lieutenant Commander Upshur, of this ship, that General Ciraham had a few hours previously gone up the James River with the army gunboats on an expedition, the object of which was to capture some rebel troops, said to be about forty, (40.) and tobacco, and that, on the application of General Graham, Captain Gansevoort had sent Lieutenant Commander Gillis with the Commodore Morris, in the Nansemond, to cooperate.
The Commodore Morris being very short of her complement, a detail of fifty (50) men from this ship was put on board of her to supply her deficiencies, and Lieutenant Commander Gillis was instructed by Lieutenant Commander Upshur not to allow them to land without it was absolutely necessary.
On my return I ordered the Shokokon and Commodore Barney to follow General Graham, and cooperate.
At half-past seven next morning, in a dense fog, I received from General Graham a letter explaining his situation, and asking for assistance. Immediately ordered the Minnesota's launches to be got out, armed, provided, and despatched to the assistance of the army expedition, and telegraphed to General Butler on the subject.
Soon afterward Acting Ensign Hams, of the navy, who is on service with the army, and was in this expedition, came off in the fog to our picket-boat. Commodore Jones, and reported that the detachment of cavalry, infantry, and a howitzer squad, in all about ninety (90) men, which General Graham had landed at Smithfield the previous afternoon, had on their march to Chuckatuck encountered a superior force of the enemy, and at eight P.m. had been driven back to Smithfield, where they were surrounded, and in great danger of being cut off. Unfortunately, none of the army gunboats or transports were then at Smithfield to protect or bring off the detachment.
The fog still prevailed. I sent Ensign Miller, with Acting Ensign Harris, and General Graham's letter to mo, to General Butler, that General Butler might understand the situation, and if he thought proper, might send troops in the rear to relieve this beleaguered detachment. At the same time I despatched the Shokokon to tow our launches, as near as the water would allow her to go, in the direction of Smithfield, and I sent
the Commodore Barney up the Nansemond with an order to Lieutenant Commander Gillis, providing for the assistance which General Graham desired there.
At five P.m. the launches returned, and reported the army gunboat Smith Briggs had, after the Shokokon had taken them up as far as her draught would allow, towed them several miles, to within close proximity to Smithfield, where a hot engagement immediately commenced between the enemy and our forces on shore, supported by our launches and the Smith Briggs, which resulted in the capture and destruction of the Smith Briggs by the rebels, with the capture of nearly all the detachment landed at Smithfield by General Graham.
The reports of Acting Ensign Birtwistle and Acting Master's Mate Jarvis — who, after the wounding of Acting Master Pierson, had command of the launches sent from this ship—show that, after sustaining a heavy fire of musketry and artillery in these open boats, and the guns of the Smith Briggs being turned upon them by the rebels, the launches were compelled to retire without being able to render any further assistance.
Acting Master Pierson and three (3) men of this ship were, I regret to state, seriously wounded.
It appears from the report of Lieutenant Commander Gillis that the second detachment, composed of thirty-two (32) men from the Smith Briggs, and twelve (12) from the Commodore Morris, landed in the Nansemond with instructions to meet the first detachment from Chuckatuck, returned safely.
I inclose the following papers pertaining to this affair, among which is a request from me to General Butler that expeditions requiring naval cooperation, or passing the lines of the blockade, should be previously determined between him and myself.
I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully yours, S. P. Lee,
A. R. Admiral Commanding N. A. B. Squadron.
Hon. Gideon Welles,
Secretary of tbe Nary.
COMMUNICATION FROM GENERAL GRAHAM TO ADMIRAL LEE.
Headquarters Naval Brigade, Dept. Va. Ahd N. C,)
On Board Transport Long Branch, V
Off Halloway's Point, 5 A.m., February 1, 1S&1. |
Admiral: I landed a party of ninety men, consisting of twenty cavalry, one howitzer squad, and the remainder infantry, at Smithfield, at twenty-five minutes past one P.m. yesterday, with orders to march to Chuckatuck, where I was informed there was a small force of the enemy.
At Chuckatuck they were to have been met by another detachment which left Halloway Point. This latter detachment marched as tar as Chuckatuck; saw no enemy; heard distant firing, which the commanding officer supposed to be the first detachment endeavoring to make a landing at Smithfield. This last detachment returned to its place of landing about sundown.
At three o'clock P.m. yesterday, I despatched the gunboat Flora Temple to Chuckatuck, but unfortunately she grounded, and remained ashore until I came up with the General Jesup, and transport Long Branch.
The Flora Temple had been despatched to Chuckatuck to occupy the attention of the enemy on shore, while the other parties were advancing from the points indicated.
I left Smithficld at forty minutes past three P.m., having remained there at the request of the officer commanding the first detachment, so that his detachment might return to the vessels, if it met with any serious opposition, before it had marched a distance beyond possibility of communication.
Up to the time I left, no firing was heard at all. After the vessels with me had succeeded in drawing off the Flora Temple, we steamed as rapidly as possible for the mouth of the Chuckatuck, but it was quite dark and very hazy when we reached there; consequently we kept on for the Nansemond and reached there at eight o'clock P.M., when I was informed by Lieutenant Commander Gillis that the second detachment had reported as above.
Immediately thereupon I sent orders by the Smith Briggs to the Flora Temple and General Jesup to proceed at daylight to the Chuckatuck, make a rcconnoissance, and report to me as early as practicable at the mouth of the Nansemond.
At daylight I intend landing with a detachment and feeling my way, cautiously, to Chuckatuck village.
As soon as I have definite tidings I will communicate with you again.
In the mean time, please request your vessels to keep a look-out on the banks of the James River for any of our men that may have strayed from the main body, if it has been captured.
Please communicate the above facts to MajorGeneral Butler, and oblige.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant.
Rear-Admiral S. P. Lee,
Commanding N. A. B. Squadron.
Please send a boat up the Nansemond to me, and the bearer, Captain Rowe, will proceed with his vessel to Smithficld.
REPORT OF CAPTAIN GUERT QANSEVOORT.
United States Iron-clad Roanoke, |
Newport Nkws, Va., February 4,1861. (
Admiral: I have the honor to inform you of the facts (as far as I can recollect) relating to the expedition which went Up the river on January thirty-first, under the command of General Graham.
Sunday morning, January thirty-first, about ten A.m., three army steamers came up from Fortress Monroe and went near the Minnesota, and shortly after I sa,w a boat coming toward this vessel with an army lieutenant (whose name I do not remember) and Lieutenant Commander Gillis. On their arrival, the army lieutenant
stated to me that General Graham was going on an expedition, and wanted Lieutenant Commander Gillis to go with him. I referred him to the Admiral, and was informed that he was absent at Norfolk and would not be back until late in the afternoon. I replied that I did not consider that absence; to which they said that, to all intents and purposes, it was absence as far as the expedition was concerned; that the time that will be taken in sending to the Admiral and the return would defeat the object of the expedition. I then asked him what was the object of this expedition. He replied that it was to capture about "fifty (50) men." I asked him how he expected to accomplish it. He said that they intended to go up the river a short distance, land the men, and then march down. I then asked what assistance Lieutenant Commander Gillis would be to them. He said that General Graham wanted him to take charge of the boats. I asked him if he expected the sailors were to be landed. He told me no; that they had a force large enough, and that it was not the intention to land the sailors.
Ho also stated that they were not going far from the ship, and would be back in sixteen or eighteen hours, as they were ordered to return in that time.
Under these conditions, I consented to let Lieutenant Commander Gillis accompany the expedition, believing that it would meet with your approbation.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant.
Captain United States Navy.
Acting Rear-Admiral S. P. Lee,
Commanding N. A. B. Squadron, Newport News, Va,
REPORT OF LIEUTENANT COMMANDER JAMES
United States Gcnboat Commodore Morris, 1
Sir: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by this vessel in an expedition under Brigadier-General Graham, having for its object the capture and breaking up of the camps of a body of rebels on the Chuckatuck Creek, in Isle of Wight county. At the request of General Graham, and after communicating with the senior officer present, I took command yesterday of the forces on Nansemond River, both army and navy, which were to act in conjunction with the forces (under the immediate command of General Graham) from Smithfield, on Pagan Creek. The force placed under my command by General Graham consisted of the army gunboat Smith Briggs and two launches, manned by thirty-four (34) men of the Naval Brigade, under command of Captain McLaughlin; besides which, I had fifty men obtained from the Minnesota. The force under General Graham consisted of seventy (70) men of the Naval Brigade, and twenty (20) cavalry; this latter force to land at Smithfield and march to the village of Chuckatuck, on Chuckatuck Creek. It was supposed that at two o'clock they would have been two hours x>n the road, and therefore General Graham directed that the party he had placed under my command should land at that hour, and also march on Chuckatuck, where he expected they would form a junction. I did not arrive at Ferry Point, from which place they were to debark, until about five minutes before two o'clock, but at a quarter past two all the men were landed, and at twenty minutes past two they had taken up their line of march for Chuckatuck, with directions to proceed to that place and remain two hours, at the expiration of which time, if they neither saw nor received any intelligence of the other party from Smithfield, they were to return; which instructions were carried out, they having remained the specified time and received no intelligence of the other party, but hearing heavy firing in the direction of Smithfield, which led them to suppose that the enemy had been met in considerable force, and that our men had been obiiged to retire. Returning without having seen any of the enemy, they reembarked at half-past six P.m. I then got under way, the Smith Briggs in company, towing launches, and stood down to opposite Town Point, where I came to anchor, feeling certain that the expedition had most signally failed. At half-past seven, General Graham arriving in the Long Branch with the information that the party which he had taken had landed and were on their way across the peninsula, I got under way, and in company with the Long Branch and Smith Briggs returned to Ferry Point, where we again came to anchor, hoping to receive some intelligence. Having received none during the night, at seven o'clock this morning General Graham started for Chuckatuck with thirty (80) men of the Naval Brigade, and the fifty (50) men belonging to the Minnesota, hoping either to meet or receive some word from those about whom he now began to feel great anxiety; but being unsuccessful in his efforts, he returned to the vessels, determined to proceed again to Smithfield, to which place he had sent the Smith Briggs at an early hour in the morning. Before getting under way, however, the United States gunboat Commodore Barney brought your despatch of this date to me, and at tho request of General Graham I immediately proceeded to the mouth of Pagan Creek, where I communicated with the commanding officer of the United States steam gunboat Shokokon, who informed me that the launches sent to Pagan Creek by yourself had been repulsed at Smithfield, with a loss of five wounded, one being Acting Master Pierson, of the Minnesota, and that tho Smith Briggs and all on board had been captured; and that the smoke which had been seen in the direction of Smithfield was supposed to be from the burning of that vessel, which supposition was confirmed in a short time by the rapid explosion of her shells; and soon thereafter, at fifty minutes past three P.m., by the explosion of her magazine.
About this time a flag of truce was discovered on shore, on the lower side of Pagan Creek near the mouth, and a launch belonging to the Naval
Brigade, under command of Captain McLaughlin, was sent in to communicate. He brought off five of our men, including Captain Lee, (who h»d command of the force landed at Smithfield,) who had succeeded in making good their escape.
Captain Lee informed me that in the fight of Sunday he succeeded in driving the rebels; but having received information that heavy reenforcements were coming in from Ivor station to cut him off from his advance on Chuckatuck, and also that there was a company of cavalry at Cherry Grove, he deemed it advisable to fall back on Smithfield, where he hoped to be able to communicate with General Graham in time to receive assistance before the enemy could advance in sufficient numbers to render his capture or destruction certain; but the Smith Briggs, which had been sent to his assistance, did not arrive until too late. The strength of the enemy, as reported by Captain Lee, was one regiment of infantry, one of cavalry, and one battery of artillery.
Deeming any further demonstration with the means at hand against so strong a force of the enemy impracticable, not being- able to get up the river any further with my vessel, I directed the commanding officer of the Shokokon to return to the Minnesota with tho launches and their crews, and the wounded men and officer, after which I returned and reported to you in person.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant.
Lieutenant Commander United States Nary.
Acting Rear-Admiral S. P. Lee,
Commanding N. A. B. Squadron, U. S. Flag-Ship Minnesota, Newport News, Virginia.
LETTER FROM ACTING REAR-ADMIRAL LEE TO LIEUTENANT COMMANDER J. H. GILLIS.
Flao-sotf McrxraoTi, February 1,186*.
Sir: I send this by the Barney. Ensign Harris has just come off on the Commodore Jones, and reports that the first detachment fell back upon Smithfield at eight P.m. yesterday, where they are surrounded and short of howitzer ammunition. I have sent him to General Butler.
I am sending on launches to Pagan Creek, with plenty of ammunition. The Morris or Barney can bring General Graham out and take him there if he wishes it Leave a gunboat in the Nansemond to pick up stragglers.
Respectfully yours, S. P. Lee,
Acting Rear-Admiral, Commanding N. A. D. Squadron.
Lietcnant Commander Gillis,
Commanding Commodore Morris.
REPORT OF LIEUT. COM. JOHN H. UPSirtTR.
Unitid States Fno-Sntp Misxisota, ) Off Nbwpoht News, Va., February 1,1S64. (
Sir: In your absence yesterday, at the Norfolk navy-yard, Brigadier-General Graham appearcd here with three armed steamers and a detachment of men, and sent a request that a gunboat might go up the Nansemond River to assist in an expedition, the object of which, as stated to me by one of General Graham's lieutenants, was to capture a number of the enemy's troops,