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and chest; George Cook, ordinary seaman, by a In order to gain as much time as possible, and musket-shot, producing flesh-wounds of left thigh thinking that in the mean while some assistance and scrotum; John B. Kelly, seaman, by a sword- might come to hand, Captain Lee sent a reply to thrust in the abdomen, producing a serious the rebel Colonel asking for a personal interview wound; George Anderson, seaman, by musket- to be granted. This was denied, and a perempshot, producing flesh-wound of left hand. tory demand was made for a surrender within Very respectfully, your obedient servant, five minutes. The second reply of Captain Lee
ARTHUR MATTHEWSON, was that he would not surrender, and that if the
Assistant-Surgeon United States Navy. rebel commander wanted him he would have to Lieutenant Commander Joux H. Upshur,
come and take him. Commanding United States Steamer Minnesota
In less than a quarter of an hour, he opened A NATIONAL ACCOUNT.
with four guns, beside the infantry and cavalry NORFOLK, VA., Tuesday, February 2. fire. A reply was made with a howitzer as rapShortly before dark, on Saturday, an expe- idly as possible, which was kept up with great dition started from here, under the command of spirit until about half past twelve o'clock, when Brigadier-General Graham. It was composed Captain Lee was so hard pressed on all sides that of the army gunboats Smith Briggs, Flora Tem- it became evident that he would soon have to ple, General Jesup, and the transport Long) yield. Branch, with detachments of men to the number But, in the mean time, the gunboat Smith of one hundred and fifty from the Third Penn- Briggs hauled in sight. The position becoming sylvania artillery, Twentieth New-York cavalry, untenable, the howitzer was rolled into the stream, Ninety-ninth New-York, and Twenty-first Con- and the men then followed along its line to reach necticut infantry.
the protection of the gunboat. They were folThe expedition proceeded up the James River lowed by nearly a regiment of rebel infantry and to Logan Creek, to the small village of Smith-cavalry, which harassed them in their flight. A field. Here Captain Lee, of the Norfolk Harbor stand was then made opposite the Smith Briggs, Police, landed at about one o'clock on Sunday and a desperate engagement continued until our noon, with ninety men from the Long Branch. men were completely overpowered by the supeHe took command of the party, and the boats rior forces of the enemy, which was continually then left to go up the Nansemond River to re- augmented by the arrivals of reënforcements. connoitre, it being understood that after Captain All this time the gunboat kept up a constant Lee and his command had accomplished what fire, but so great were the numbers that had to they intended, they would march down to the be contended with, that at last our men had to north-western bank of the Nansemond, and there give up fighting and take to the boat. To reach again join the boats.
lit, however, the poor fellows had to swim from Taking a direct road for Suffolk, he penetrated the shore to where she lay in the stream, and in the country to the distance of about four miles and doing this many yielded up their lives to the a half, where, in a dense wood, he met a force of merciless foe, who shot them as they were really the enemy, about two hundred and fifty strong, drowning. with two twelve-pound guns. Notwithstanding. Upon reaching the boat, Captain Lee found its the inferiority of our numbers, the rebels were Commander, Rowe, severely wounded in the completely surprised, their advance-guard cap- throat. The engineer was also seriously woundturd, the main body driven back, and so great ed, and out of a crew of about fifty there were was their consternation, that they finally retreat- left on board hardly a half-dozen men who were ed in the greatest confusion.
not disabled. At the request of Captain Rowe, Information was then received from prisoners Captain Lee took command of the boat. and darkeys that there was a strong force of the He found her to be greatly damaged from the enemy posted a short distance beyond, at a place fire of the enemy. The pilot-house was entirely called " The Mill." Their position was such that demolished. The wheel could not be worked, our men could not pass them on either flank, and and it was with much difficulty that the engine consequently they were compelled to fall slowly could be gotten to move sufficiently to propel her back to Smithfield, which was reached about a further out into the stream from the range of half-hour after dark. Captain Lee then intrenched the rebel guns. his force on the main street of the town. Pre- Firing was continued, and about three o'clock vious to this, however, as he was marching into a shell from the enemy entered the boiler of the the place, he was fired on from both sides of the boat, and a great explosion followed. Resistance road, and his advance-guard of five cavalrymen, could no longer be continued, as the boat was of the Twentieth New-York, was captured now a mere wreck. She then surrendered, and
About half-past seven o'clock yesterday morn- all on board of her were prisoners. Some, to ing the rebels made a fierce attack with their make their escape from captivity, jumped overcavalry and infantry. The fight continued with board, and, no doubt, the most of those who were great vigor until nearly eleven o'clock, when a not recaptured, sealed their fate with a watery communication came, under flag of truce, from grave. Colonel Gordon, commander of the attacking Captain Lee, a Pamunky Indian pilot, and forces, for an immediate and unconditional sur George Smith, a volunteer pilot, with two other render.
Imen, are the only ones out of the whole party,
which in the aggregate amounted to nearly one The expedition was perfectly successful. The hundred and fifty, that escaped, except two oth- rebels, about two thousand strong, under General ers that were sent out the night before in a small Polignac, were driven from point to point, some boat to report the perilous situation of the force extensive works captured, and three heavy thirtyunder Captain Lee. These men were picked up two-pounders brought away. The works were near the mouth of the James River, and taken destroyed. The enemy suffered severely from on board the flag-ship of the navy that is stationed our guns, and the vessels brought away all the there. Their mission was to go up the Nanse- cotton they could find. They also destroyed a mond River to report to General Graham for re- pontoon-bridge, cutting the rebels off from their enforcements, but being detained, word did not main body, at or near Alexandria ; but, having reach him as soon as the exigency of the case re- no force to put on shore, they had time to escape. quired.
The water falling very rapidly, forced the exCaptain Lee and those who escaped with him, pedition to give up the intended trip further into fire in all, walked about seven miles, when they the interior. Some houses were necessarily defell in with the gunboats of General Graham go- stroyed; but as the community is all rebel, it is ing to their relief. They were taken on board of not to be regretted. one of the boats, and reached Fortress Monroe I regret to say that we lost two killed and last night about eight o'clock.
fourteen wounded, and the Fort Hindman was The gunboat Smith Briggs is a total wreck, and badly cut up with shot and shell, being struck what remains of her is in the possession of the twenty-seven times, but nothing to impair her rebels. Nearly all our brave men who fought so efficiency. valiantly are now prisoners. The most of them I inclose Lieutenant Commander Ramsay's reare supposed to be badly wounded. The num-port. I am well pleased with the result of the ber killed is not known, but must be very large. expedition. The rebels, too, must have suffered severely, as I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient our men fought long, persistently, and to much servant,
DAVID D. PORTER, effect.
Rear-Admiral. It is surmised that, though the rebels were
Hon. GIDEON WELLES, finally victorious, they lost at least three to our
Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C. one in killed and wounded. The rebels greatly REPORT OF LIEUTENANT COMMANDER F. A. RAMSAY. outnumbered us. They had a full regiment of
UNITED STATES STEAMSHIP CHOCTAW, L infantry, one of cavalry, and a battery of artil
March 5, 1864. ' lery, while our whole force engaged did not amount Sir: In obedience to your order, I left here to over one hundred and fifty men.
on the Fort Hindman at half-past one P.m. on During the fiercest part of the shelling, two the twenty-ninth ultimo, taking the Osage, Cricksmall navy boats came up, and were apparently et, Ouachita, Lexington, and Conestoga with me, about to render assistance to the army gunboat and proceeding up Red River, anchored at dark Smith Briggs, when their commanding officer was about fifteen miles from the mouth of Black shot through the breast. They then immedi- River. At daylight on the first instant, I got ately retired, as the officer was evidently badly under way and proceeded up Black River. At wounded.
four P.M., when about fifteen miles below TrinOur men cannot be too highly praised for their ity, we were fired into by sharp-shooters, concealvalor, and it is to be greatly regretted that they ed behind the levee. All the vessels immediately suffered so much. The boats that reconnoitred opened on them with shrapnel, grape, and canthe Nansemond returned safely.
ister, and drove them away. When we reached Trinity, white flags were shown on the lower side
of the town, but as soon as we rounded the point Doc. 101.
we were opened on by a battery of two twelve
pounder rifle guns. We immediately opened fire, EXPEDITION UP THE BLACK AND WA-and in a few moments drove the rebels, who were SHITA RIVERS.
under the command of General Polignac, from
the town. I then proceeded two miles above the REPORT OF REAR-ADMIRAL D. D. PORTER. town, and anchored for the night. At daylight FLAG-SHIP BLACK HAWK, MISSISSIPPI SQUADROX, L
on the second, I got under way, and proceeded RED RIVER, March 6, 1864. '} up the Ouachita, with the Osage leading and the Sir: I have the honor to report that I sent an Hindman next. We had not proceeded more expedition up the Black and Washita Rivers on than five miles when the Osage became disabled, the first instant, under command of Lieutenant by the main wheel of the turret breaking in three Commander F. M. Ramsay. The following ves- pieces, which rendered it impossible to revolve sels composed the expedition : Ouachita, Lieu- the turret. Fortunately, the guns were pointed tenant Commander Byron Wilson; Fort Hind directly ahead at the time of the accident. When man, Acting Volunteer Lieutenant John Pierce; we arrived within two miles of Harrisonburgh, Osage, Acting Master Thomas Wright ; Lexing we were attacked by a brigade (General Poligton, Lieutenant George M. Bache; Conestoga, nac's) of sharp-shooters, lying behind the levee, Lieutenant Commander Thomas O. Selfridge ; and a battery of twelve-pounder rifle-guns. The Cricket, Acting Master H. H. Gorringe.
fire of the battery was directed entirely at the Fort Hindman. She was struck twenty-seven of one of the guns, setting fire to the tie of the times by shot and shell, one shot disabling the cartridge, which had just been put in the gun. starboard engine. I immediately dropped her Duncan immediately seized the burning cartridge, down below the other vessels, and then went on took it out of the gun, and threw it overboard. board the Ouachita. The Ouachita was struck A shell pierced the bow casemate on the right of three times, but no damage done. The firing of No. One gun, mortally wounding the first spongthe vessels was excellent, and soon drove the er, who had the sponge in his hand, which he battery away. The banks were so high that it dropped out of the port on the forecastle. Melwas impossible for the vessels abreast of the loy immediately jumped out of the port on the sharp-shooters to do them any damage ; but the forecastle, picked up the sponge, sponged and lower vessels enfiladed the banks, and, I after- loaded the gun, standing outside, under a heavy ward learned, killed and wounded a great many, fire of musketry. Johnson, although badly A deserter reported that the colonel of his regi- wounded in the hand, took the place of a woundment was killed. Leaving the Hindman in aed man, sponged and loaded the gun during the safe place, I proceeded up the river, with the entire action, other vessels, to Bayou Louis, which enters Si- The following is the list of casualties in the cily Island. The water was so shoal that the different vessels : Hindman, one man mortally lightest boat I had could not enter. I then pro-wounded, since dead; eight wounded, two seceeded to Catahoula Shoals, where I found plenty verely ; hit twenty-seven times. Osage, one of water to enable me to proceed to Monroe; but wounded. Ouachita, one killed ; two wounded; the water was falling so fast, I deemed it best to struck three times. Choctaw, one wounded. return. On our arrival at Harrisonburgh, I I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, landed with the Ouachita, and set fire to some of
F. M. RAMSAY, the largest houses in the town. While the houses Commanding Expedition to Black and Washita Rivers. were being fired, a body of cavalry and infantry Rear-Admiral D. D. Porter, were observed coming down a ravine. I called
Commanding Mississippi Squadron. the men on board, and opened fire from the ves
SURGEON MIXER'S ACCOUNT. sels, causing the troops to scatter in every direc
UNITED STATES STEAMER LEXINGTON, OFF tion. The works at Harrisonburgh are very
TRINITY, QUACUITA RIVER, March 2, 1864. 5 formidable. There are four forts on high hills, commanding the river for two miles below the
The Admiral came down on the afternoon of town, and more than a mile above. Rifle-pits
the twenty-ninth of February, and, true to my run all around, and connect the forts. At dark, |
K: prediction, he has furnished us with something I anchored two miles above Trinity. At daylight to
to do. We are on an expedition up the Ouachion the third, I got under way and proceeded to to
ta. (Pronounce that Washitaw.) There are Trinity. At this place, two excellent earthworks six
six vessels in the fleet, carrying seventy guns. are thrown up, one of which commands the riv
The Ouachita rises in Arkansas, and empties er for more than two miles. It was my intention
into the Red, about forty-five miles from the to burn the town; but finding so many women
mouth of the latter. The last sixty miles of the and children in it, I spared it.
course of the Ouachita is sometimes called the We found there three thirty-two pounder guns Black River. and carriages. The guns I brought away, and
We started at noon on the first of March, and burnt the carriages and platforms. Hearing that on
during the first day met no opposition. To-day the rebels had a pontoon-bridge a mile from the
we were also unopposed, until within four miles mouth of Little River, I sent the Cricket up, and of
of our present position, when about one hundred burned it. I remained at Trinity until the morn
men, concealed behind a levee, opened on us · ing of the fourth, when we proceeded down
with musketry. The fire was replied to by the Black River, and picking up all the cotton near
near fleet, and we kept on our course until we were the bank, anchored at dark about twelve miles dir
welve miles directly in front of the town. Trinity is a little from the mouth. At daylight on the fifth, I got
town on the west bank of the river, and contains, under way, and arrived at this place at meridian.
perhaps, about three hundred inhabitants. When I am much indebted to the officers of the dif
directly in front of this place, the rebels opened ferent vessels for the manner in which they per
on us with two pieces of artillery, planted in the formed their duty. I regret to report that eight
dat eignt centre of the town. It was the most atrocious men were wounded on the Fort Hindman, one
man, one piece of folly ever committed, and if they had mortally, (since dead,) and two severely. One
counted on our not firing on the town, they were man was wounded severely on the Osage ; Act- very soon undeceived. Of our seventy pieces of ing Ensign Ezra Beaman, of the Choctaw, whom artillery, we could bring to bear about forty, and I took with me as signal officer, was wounded in
they were discharged almost simultaneously. the right foot while on board of the Ouachita. 1
le "The shock may be imagined, but cannot be dewould respectfully bring to your notice James scribed. For about twenty minutes, the war of K. L. Duncan, ordinary seaman ; Hugh Melloy, artillery was almost continuous, and the smoke ordinary seaman; and William P. Johnson, lands- hid every thing from view. Finding that we man, of the Fort Hindman, for their gallant con- elicited no reply, we ceased firing. When the duct during the engagement with the battery near Harrisonburgh. A shell burst at the muzzle
* Surgeon Mixer was attached to the Lexington.
smoke cleared away, we found that their guns March 3d, 10 o'clock A.M.-We came down were dismounted, nearly every house riddled ; here this morning, in confident anticipation of a and, huddled down close to the water, under the fight, but the rebels got enough yesterday. Durbank, were scores of women, in an agony of ter- ing the night they abandoned their works here, ror, beseeching us, for God's sake, not to kill burned their guns, and fled. The fleet now lies them. May I never see another such a sight! off the town, throwing an occasional shell over The ordinary horrors of war are bad enough, but the place, to prevent an approach, while our the atrocity of making it necessary to open fire crews are ashore, unearthing their guns, destroyupon a village filled with women, I have never ing the gun-carriages, dismantling the fort, colseen equalled. We have not landed, and knowlecting plunder, bringing off their guns, etc. It nothing of the loss they have suffered. No one now seems probable that we may not have an. was hurt on our side.
other fight while we are up here. They may We are at anchor half a mile above the place; I attempt to annoy us with musketry, but are too and the order is, that no lights shall be used on much demoralized to make another stand, and, board to-night, and nobody undress. I am writ- between here and the mouth of the Red, there ing, with coats hung up over my windows, to is no place so favorable for them to give battle hide my light, and am suffering from a slight in, as this. Their losses in yesterday's battle headache.
must have been very severe. The guns in this Fifteen miles above here, at a place called fleet equal the artillery that would be used by Harrisonburgh, the rebels have a fort. We know an army of seventy-five thousand men; and this, nothing yet of its strength or weakness, but, as directed against the limited force of the rebels, King William said, at the battle of the Boyne, I must have inflicted terrible loss on them. It think, “strong or weak, we shall know all about seems to me now, incredible that they should it," for we are going up in the morning to attack have held their ground so long against such a
fire. In a good cause they would be heroes;
. they are desperadoes. Varch 2d, Evening.-Thanks to a kind Provi. No report has yet come on board of the numdence, I am still alive and uninjured. As I told ber of guns found here, and I have, of course, no you in my letter of yesterday, we went up and knowledge of the length of time we shall be de. attacked the fort at Harrisonburgh, this morning. tained, but think it probable we shall be able to Our fleet consists of the Osage, Fort Hindman, I get under way and start down in two or three Ouachita, Cricket, Lexington, and Conestoga, hours. I can scarcely make myself believe, es. and we went into battle in the order I have cept as I pass around and see the sick, that we placed them.
all went through the battle of yesterday, and I think I never said the rebels were cowards, came off without a mark.. but, if I ever did, I take it back. They fought 1 o'clock P.M.-We have remained here all like demons. They were deficient in artillery, day. The fruits of the victory are, the destrucbut they used what they had with spirit. They tion of two forts, the capture of three heavy occupied a high, commanding position, and had siege-guns, the repulse of the rebels, with a loss fortified it with skill. It was a series of hills, we know not how heavy, and the opening of the the top of each crowned with an earth-work, and river. We had demolished the fort and got the the whole connected by rifle-pits.
guns on board by one o'clock P.M. ; but, unfortuThe battle commenced about nine o'dock, and nately, the Conestoga got aground, and all our lasted two hours and a half. I should judge the efforts to get her off have, thus far, proved unrebels had three thousand men, and six pieces availing. We are abundantly able to protect of artillery. We were completely successful ; her, and she will ultimately be got off, but the silenced every gun, and drove the last man from delay is extremely vexatious. The river is fallthe field. We have no infantry force with us, ing, and we can remain up but a limited time, and could not land, to know what we had ac- and we wish to use this time in picking up a complished. We burned the town, and proceed. little stray cotton, thus combining business with ed five miles farther up the river, where, finding pleasure. the water too shallow for us, it was decided to This Ouachita country is the finest portion turn back, and are here at our old anchorage of of the South I have yet seen. The climate is dethe night before, just above Trinity.
lightful, and the soil yields its riches in neverOur losses are considerable. Fort Hindman ending productiveness. As we see it now, it is is disabled, with a loss of nine men. The river in the first blush of spring. Flowers of many. is narrow, so that but one vessel can go at a varied hues beautify the turf of richest green; time, and she and the Osage bore, for a time, the the peach and plum are in full bloom, and forest whole weight of the battle. All the vessels have trees are brightening into verdure hourly. I lost more or less, except the Conestoga and mean to see this country at some time, when we Lexington.
| do not, as now, come with fire and sword to While I am writing, a deserter brings us the desolate it. Except that it is malarious, (and all intelligence that the rebels are assembling in the South is so,) I do not believe there is a finer force at Trinity. If this information proves to country in the world. be correct, and I have no doubt it is, we are in for another fight in the morning.
H. M. MIXER
portunity to run the blockade. Her name is the CAPTURE OF REBEL GUERRILLAS.
Cumberland. What added to the interest felt in
this was the impression that should she succeed CAPTAIN RINGS'S REPORT.
in getting into a rebel port with her valuable HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES, Island No. 10, cargo, she would be fitted out as a privateer, and February 18, 1864.
issue forth for the purpose of preying on our Captain J. H. Odlin, A. A. G. :
commerce, after the manner of the Alabama, Sir: I have the honor to report that having
Florida, and other Southern rovers. To this end, received information that four deserters from the it was alleged that the Cumberland had a formi. Union army were secreted near Tiptonville, Tendable armament on board, furnished by some acnessee, I went with forty men of my command commodating British firm, of the Laird Lindsay and embarked on a steamer at two o'clock A.M.,
stripe, ready to be mounted as soon as her cargo February seventeenth, 1864, and proceeded down was discharged in Mobile or some other port in the river to Riley's Landing, six miles below rebeldom. Under such circumstances, a strict Tiptonville. At Riley's house we seized a small watch was kept on the Cumberland, and inforamount of Government ammunition and several
mation of her doings was from time to time guns. Being unable to carry away the arms, transmitted from Havana to Rear-Admiral Bai. we destroyed them, and then went to the house ley, commanding the East-Gulf squadron at this of a certain Lewis, where we succeeded in cap- station, and that indefatigable officer issued a turing five of a gang of guerrillas, which had general order for all the vessels belonging to the been infesting the bend for five months past; squadron to be on the alert for the would-be priand, together with them, captured their arms, vateer. shot-guns, revolvers, and eight horses. These Not for one moment was the vigilant surveil. men were in bed, having their pistols under their lance by the blockading vessels relaxed. Every pillows, but being taken completely by surprise, thing consistent with international comity and made no resistance. From this point we march- the rights of neutrals was done to prevent the ed to the place where Federal deserters were re
Cumberland from giving our blockaders the slip ported to have been employed, but could find no l and depriving our gallant tars of one of the richtrace of them.
est prizes of the present war, when, lo! two There being no prospect of effecting further / weeks and a half ago, the portentous news captures, we hailed a boat at Tiptonville, and re-reached this place: "The Cumberland has es. turned to the post.
caped from Havana." But while this unpalataOne prisoner, Owen Edwards, who was lieu- ble morsel was being digested by some, and tenant to Merriweather's company of bushwhack-lothers were " chewing the cud of reflection” ers, is reported to have been in command of a thereon, as Smollett hath it, the loyal folks of party which fired into a Government boat below this little island had their hearts cheered by the Tiptonville, about three months ago. Another intelligence that the United States steamer De one, Lewis Claims, belongs to Faulkner's com- Soto, Captain Scott, had just arrived, and that mand. Gregg says he was a private in Merri- the Cumberland, captured by her, was close beweather's gang, but deserted him when Merri-/ hind. This was on Monday last and sure weather went South. George Moore, also mem- enough, two or three hours after, the Cumberber of the same party, formerly of the army of land herself, in charge of Acting Master L. H. Clayton, we have no particular information of, Partridge, as prize-master, was seen coming but he was found with the rest at Lewis's house. through the north-west passage, whither she had Lewis is a paroled prisoner, and was formerly a been convoyed by the De Soto, in consequence captain in the Fifteenth Tennessee volunteers, of the valuable cargo on board, while the De of the rebel army, and states that during the last Soto herself, from her great draught of water. six months the guerrillas have eaten over two came through the ship-channel. Much adroit
red dollars' worth of provisions at his house. ness seems to have been exercised by Captain He has a pass from General Quimby, formerly Scott, and considerable ingenuity manifested in commanding this district.
leaving the coast clear for the Cumberland to Of the captured horses eight have been sent run out of Havana, and then falling in with her to Columbus.
at the right time and in the right spot to make At nearly every house we visited, we found her an easy prey. To those who can see deeply guns, which we destroyed.
into a millstone, I leave the putting of this and The prisoners will be examined and sent to that together, and arriving at a correct solution Captain Williams.
M. E. Rings,
of the modus operandi by which the whole deliCaptain Company C, Thirty-fourth New-Jersey Infantry,
cate transaction was carried out. Commanding Post.
Of the capture itself, I have nothing of an ex
citing nature to record. There was no long, Doc. 103.
stern chase; no waste of “villainous saltpetre;"
no screaming shot and shell. The whole affair CAPTURE OF THE “CUMBERLAND.”
was conducted in the most prosaic, commonKey West, Fla., Feb. 14, 1864. place manner, and did not differ from the most For some months past an English steamer has ordinary capture of a ten-ton sloop, laden with been lying in Havana waiting for a favorable op- physic and notions. What matter? Some seven