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smoke cleared away, we found that their puns were dismounted, nearly every house riddled; and, huddled down close to the water, under the bank, were scores of women, in an agony of terror, beseeching us, for God's sake, not to kill them. May I never see another such a sight! The ordinary horrors of war are bad enough, but the atrocity of making it necessary to open fire upon a village filled with women, I have never seen equalled. Wo have not landed, and know nothing of the loss they have suffered. No one was hurt on our side.
We are at anchor half a mile above the place; and the order is, that no lights shall be used on board to-night, and nobody undress. I am writing, with coats hung up over my windows, to hide my light, and am suffering from a slight headache.
Fifteen miles above here, at a place called Ilarrisonburgh, the rebels have a fort. We know nothing yet of its strength or weakness, but, as King William said, at the battle of the Boyne, I think, "strong or weak, we shall know all about it," for we are going up in the morning to attack it.
March 2d, Evening.—Thanks to a kind Providence, I am still alive and uninjured. As I told you in my letter of yesterday, we went up and attacked the fort at Ilarrisonburgh, this morning. Our fleet consists of the Osage, Fort Hindman, Ouachita, Cricket, Lexington, and Conestoga, and we went into battle in the order I have placed them.
I think I never said the rebels were cowards, but, if I ever did, I take it back. They fought like demons. They were deficient in artillery, but they used what they had with spirit They occupied a high, commanding position, and had fortified it with skill. It was a series of hills, the top of each crowned with an earth-work, and the whole connected by rifle-pits.
The battle commenced about nine o'clock, and lasted two hours and a half. I should judge the rebels had three thousand men, and six pieces of artillery. We were completely successful; silenced every gun, and drove the last man from the field. We have no infantry force with us, and could not land, to know what we had accomplished. We burned the town, and proceeded five miles farther up the river, where, finding the water too shallow for us, it was decided to turn back, and are here at our old anchorage of the night before, just above Trinity.
Our losses are considerable. Fort Hindman is disabled, with a loss of nine men. The river is narrow, so that but one vessel can go at a time, and she and the Osage bore, for a time, the whole weight of the battle. AH the vessels have lost more or less, except the Conestoga and Lexington.
While I am writing, a deserter brings us the intelligence that the rebels are assembling in force at Trinity. If this information proves to be correct, and I have no doubt it is, we are in for another fight in the morning.
March 3d, 10 o'clock A.M.—We came down here this morning, in confident anticipation of a fight, but the rebels got enough yesterday. During the night they abandoned their works here, burned their guns, and fled. The fleet now lies off the town, throwing an occasional shell over the place, to prevent an approach, while our crews are ashore, unearthing their guns, destroying the gun-carriages, dismantling the fort, collecting plunder, bringing off their guns, etc. It now seems probable that we may not have another fight while we are up here. They may attempt to annoy us with musketry, but are too much demoralized to make another stand, and, between here and the mouth of the Red, there is no place so favorable for them to give battle in, as this. Their losses in yesterday's battle must have been very severe. The guns in this fleet equal the artillery that would be used by an army of seventy-five thousand men; and this, directed against the limited force of the rebels, must have inflicted terrible loss on them. It seems to me now, incredible that they should have held their ground so long against such a fire. In a good cause they would be heroes; they are desperadoes.
No report has yet come on board of the number of guns found here, and I have, of course, no knowledge of the length of time we shall be detained, but think it probable we shall be able to get under way and start down in two or three hours. I can scarcely make myself believe, except as I pass around and see the sick, that we all went through the battle of yesterday, and came off without a mark. ....
1 o'clock P.M.—We have remained here all day. The fruits of the victory are, the destruction of two forts, the capture of three heavy siege-guns, the repulse of the rebels, with a loss we know not how heavy, and the opening of the river. We had demolished the fort and got the guns on board by one o'clock P.m. ; but, unfortunately, the Conestoga got aground, and all our efforts to get her off have, thus far, proved unavailing. We are abundantly able to protect her, and she will ultimately be got off, but the delay is extremely vexatious. The river is falling, and we can remain up but a limited time, and we wish to use this time in picking up a little stray cotton, thus combining business with pleasure.
This Ouachita country is the finest portion of the South I have yet seen. The climate is delightful, and the soil "yields its riches in neverending productiveness. As we see it now, it is in the first blush of spring. Flowers of manyvaried hues beautify the turf of richest green; the peach and plum are in full bloom, and forest trees are brightening into verdure hourly. I mean to see this country at some time, when we do not, as now, come with fire and sword to desolate it. Except that it is malarious, (and all the South is so,) I do not believe there is a finer country in the world.
H. M. Mixer.
CAPTAIN RINGS'S REPORT.
Headquarters TJ. S. Foroks, Island No. 10,}
Captain J. IT. Odlin, A. A. G.:
Sir: I have the honor to report that having received information that four deserters from the Union army were secreted near Tiptonville, Tennessee, I went with forty men of my command and embarked on a steamer at two o'clock A.m., February seventeenth, 1864, and proceeded down the river to Riley's Landing, six miles below Tiptonville. At Riley's house we seized a small amount of Government ammunition and several guns. Being unable to carry away the arms, we destroyed them, and then went to the house of a certain Lewis, where we succeeded in capturing five of a gang of guerrillas, which had been infesting the bend for five months past; and, together with them, captured their arms, shot-guns, revolvers, and eight horses. These men were in bed, having their pistols under their pillows, but being taken completely by surprise, made no resistance. From this point we marched to the place where Federal deserters were reported to have been employed, but could find no trace of them.
There being no prospect of effecting further captures, we hailed a boat at Tiptonville, and returned to the post.
One prisoner, Owen Edwards, who was lieutenant to Merriwcather's company of bushwhackers, is reported to have been in command of a party which fired into a Government boat below Tiptonville, about three months ago. Another one, Lewis Claims, belongs to Faulkner's command. Gregg says he was a private in Merriweather's gang, but deserted him when Merriweather went South. George Moore, also member of the same party, formerly of the army of Clayton, we have no particular information of, but he was found with the rest at Lewis's house. Lewis is a paroled prisoner, and was formerly a captain in the Fifteenth Tennessee volunteers, of the rebel army, and states that during the last six months the guerrillas have eaten over two hundred dollars' worth of provisions at his house. He has a pass from General Quimby, formerly commanding this district.
Of the captured horses eight have been sent to Columbus.
At nearly every house we visited, we found guns, which we destroyed.
The prisoners will be examined and sent to Captain Williams. M. E. Rings,
Captain Company C, Thirty-fourth New-Jersey Infantry,
Doc. 103. CAPTURE OF THE "CUMBERLAND."
Key West, Fla., Feb. 14, 1364.
For some months past an English steamer has been lying in Havana waiting for a favorable op
portunity to run the blockade. Her name is the Cumberland. What added to the interest felt in this was the impression that should she succeed in getting into a rebel port with her valuable cargo, she would be fitted out as a privateer, and issue forth for the purpose of preying on our commerce, after the manner of the Alabama, Florida, and other Southern rovers. To this end, it was alleged that the Cumberland had a formidable armament on board, furnished by some accommodating British firm, of the Laird Lindsay stripe, ready to be mounted as soon as her cargo was discharged in Mobile or some other port in rcbeldom. Under such circumstances, a strict watch was kept on the Cumberland, and information of her doings was from time to time transmitted from Havana to Rear-Admiral Bailey, commanding the East-Gulf squadron at this station, and that indefatigable officer issued a general order for all the vessels belonging to the squadron to be on the alert for the would-be privateer.
Not for one moment was the vigilant surveillance by the blockading vessels relaxed. Every thing consistent with international comity and the rights of neutrals was done to prevent the Cumberland from giving our blockaders the slip and depriving our gallant tars of one of the richest prizes of the present war, when, lo! two weeks and a half ago, the portentous news reached this place: "The Cumberland has escaped from Havana." But while this unpalatable morsel was being digested by some, and others were "chewing the cud of reflection" thereon, as Smollett hath it, the loyal folks of this little island had their hearts cheered by the intelligence that the United States steamer De Soto, Captain Scott, had just arrived, and that the Cumberland, captured by her, was close behind. This was on Monday last, and, sure enough, two or three hours after, the Cumberland herself, in charge of Acting Master L. H. Partridge, as prize-master, was seen coming through the north-west passage, whither she had been convoyed by the Dc Soto, in consequence of the valuable cargo on board, while the Do Soto herself, from her great draught of water, came through the ship-channel. Much adroitness seems to have been exercised by Captain Scott, and considerable ingenuity manifested in leaving the coast clear for the Cumberland to run out of Havana, and then falling in with her at the right time and in the right spot to make her an easy prey. To those who can see deeply into a millstone, I leave the putting of this and that together, and arriving at a correct solution of the modus operandi by which the whole delicate transaction was carried out.
Of the capture itself, I have nothing of an exciting nature to record. There was no long, stern chase; no waste of "villainous saltpetre;" no screaming shot and shell. The whole affair was conducted in the most prosaic, commonplace manner, and did not differ from the most ordinary capture of a ten-ton sloop, laden with physic and notions. What matter 1 Some seven hundred thousand dollars in gold changed hands in the space of a few minutes, to the profit of Uncle Sam and his handy mariners. The main chance being secure, the romanco can be dispensed with. But to the record.
On the fifth of February, as the Cumberland was making the best of her way toward Mobile, her captain and passengers felicitating themselves on the speedy termination of a prosperous run, with largo profits looming up in perspective, a check was suddenly put to their gayety by the appearance of the much-droaded enemy. At the time she was sighted from the deck of the De Soto, about half-past eight o'clock in the morning, the Cumberland was in twenty-nine degrees forty minutes north latitude, and eighty-seven degrees thirty minutes west latitude. On sighting her the De Soto immediately gave chase, and was soon running at the rate of twelve and a half knots, gaining on the Cumberland (which the stranger was known to be) very fast, although she had been reported as a fifteen-knot vessel. At twenty minutes past ten the Cumberland was under the guns of the Do Soto, from which a boat was hoisted to board the prize. Captain Blakeney, commanding the Cumberland, together with her officers and crew, were then transferred to the De Soto, when a prize crew of twenty-seven men and two engineers, commanded by Acting Master Partridge, were sent from the cruiser to the Cumberland, and she was brought into this port under convoy of the De Soto, as already mentioned.
The cargo of the Cumberland is a well-assorted one, and very valuable. Among other things found on board, were one hundred barrels of gunpowder and a large number of Enfield rifles. She has also in her hold a very large quantity of fine gray rebel uniform cloth, and bales upon bales of superior navy blue, besides an immense number of ready-made rebel uniforms, boots and shoes—in short, every thing necessary for the outfit of both sea and land forces. I hare it on good authority that the cargo cost seventy thousand pounds in gold, in England; that the ship was sold there for fifty thousand pounds, and that ten thousand pounds more were expended on her in Havana. The cargo has not yet been disturbed, and it is therefore impossible to tell whether there are any cannon in the hold, and the captain and passengers, of course, keep dark on the subject; although, as the captain was engaged only in Havana, and most of the passengers are from that placo, it is just possible that they know nothing about the matter.
HEAQCAltTKRft ARMY OF THB Pl>TOMAC, I
Monday, February ^, lt>04 J
The heavy reconnoissanco sent out to the Rapidan on Friday evening and Saturday morning last, returned to camp last night, having, it is asserted, accomplished the object of its mission
—the exact position and probable strength of the army of North-Virginia.
Had the weather been more propitious, the operations of the reconnoitring party would undoubtedly have been more extended. But, as it is, enough has been ascertained to justify even the sacrifice of the heroic spirits, who, baring passed unscathed through a hundred leaden storms, were destined here to fall martyrs to the great rebellion. Two hundred and fifty in killed, wounded, and missing, will cover our total loss, of which ten per cent will correctly indicate our killed and mortally wounded.
As the principal fighting was done by General Wan-en, I will first give a detailed account of the operations of the Second corps. The Second corps, under the command of Brigadier-General Cauldwell, General Warren being temporarily indisposed, left camp at seven o'clock on Saturday morning, taking the road leading to Morton's Ford. The men were supplied with three days' rations, as were all the troops engaged in the reconnoissanco.
The corps reached the cavalry reserve within half a mile of the Rapidan, at ten o'clock A.*., when a consultation between Generals Cauldwell, Webb, and Hayes, commanding respectively the First, Second, and Third divisions, was held, and a crossing of the river decided upon. Brigadier-General Hayes, commanding the Third division, was directed to lead the advance, which he did in person, fording the river waist-deep, on foot, at the head of General J. T. Owen's Third brigade. The rebel sharp-shooters, in rifle-pits, on the other side, kept up a galling fire, while a battery, stationed on the hills to the right, and a mile beyond the ford, hotly shelled the advancing column.
Captain Arnold, in command of battery A, First Rhode Island artillery, and which has so often been mentioned in connection with the Second corps, was at this time placed in position on a bluff several hundred yards from the river on the north side, and did excellent service in responding to the enemy's guns, which were mainly directed against the fording party. The fire of the enemy was unusually wild, and but few casualties occurred in General Owen's brigade.
On reaching the south bank of the river, a charge was made on the rebel rifle-pits, and twenty-eight men and an officer captured. A few of the prisoners regarded their situation when taken with indifference, and the majority seemed inclined to rejoice rather than weep at the fate which had befallen them. The prisoners taken were members of Virginia, Georgia, and Mississippi regiments. The brigade was posted in line of battle to the left and half a mile beyond the ford, under the shelter of several crests of hills, the fire of several rebel guns being still directed upon them from the heights above the ford.
The Thirty-ninth and One Hundred and Twenty-sixth New-York were then deployed as skirmishers nearly at right angles with the river, with orders to force back the enemy as far as possible. Sharp skirmishing then ensued, the enemy's line gradually retiring before our skirmishers. The right wing of the skirmish-line was commanded by Colonel Bull, of the One Hundred and Twenty-sixth, and the left by LieutenantColonel Baird, of the same regiment, and here it is but just to state that the latter officer won the highest commendation from General Hayes and other general officers for an exhibition of gallantry seldom witnessed on the battle-field.
Colonel Bull, it will be remembered, was dismissed for misbehavior in presence of the enemy at the surrender of Harper's Ferry. Assured of his innocence of the charge of cowardice, he was afterward reinstated by the President, and by the Governor of his State promoted from Major to Lieutenant-Colonel—the position which he now holds in his old regiment Those of his regiment instrumental in his dismissal, are now ready to testify to his merit as a gallant soldier. At twelve M., Colonel Carroll, commanding the First brigade of General Hayes's division, crossed to the support of the Third, and at five P.m., Colonel Powers, Second brigade, followed.
The position occupied by Colonel Powers's brigade being an exposed one, his command suffered more than any other. It was nearly dusk when the brigade mentioned got into position, and at this time the heaviest fighting occurred. The Thirty-ninth and One Hundred and Twentysixth New-York, having occupied the picket-line all day, were relieved by the Fourteenth Connecticut, which suffered more severely than any other regiment engaged during the day.
Some little disorder at one time occurred on the right of the skirmish-line, but it was almost instantly checked by the officers in command. The fight continued fiercely until half an hour after dusk, when the cannonading and musketry ceased, and all was quiet except occasional shots from the sharp-shooters. At half-past eight P.m. General Webb's Second division was ordered to ford the river to support the Third.
At midnight. General Warren, who had come down to the front in the afternoon, received orders to recross his troops, which he did in good order and without being molested by the enemy. One division of the Third corps—the Secondmarched on Saturday afternoon to the support of General Warren; but their services were not needed.
General Alexander Hayes, commanding the Third division of the Second corps, whose reckless daring on many a battle-field has excited the astonishment and admiration of his troops, met with a narrow escape while on the other side of the river.
A rebel bullet pierced his trowscrs, burying itself in his saddle, without, however, inflicting a wound. Above the flag of his division is a white silk streamer, presented to him by members of his command, bearing the words: "My God, my country, and General Hayes." The inscription is indorsed by " the boys," among whom he is a great favorite. Captain J. C. Lynch, ActVoi. VIII.—Doc. 29
ing Inspector-General of the division, had the top of his hat blown away by a shell during the engagement.
General Kilpatrick, accompanied by battery C, Third artillery, Lieutenant Kelly, left camp at seven o'clock A.m. on Saturday morning, and, after several feints, crossed at Culpeper Mine Ford, where six rebel pickets belonging to Hampton's Legion were found posted. On crossing, detachments were sent out to scour the country in every direction. Colonel Alger, commanding the Fifth Michigan, was sent on the macadamized pike to Bobertson's Tavern; while General Kilpatrick, with the main body, proceeded down the Frcdericksburgh plank-road to the vicinity of Chanccllorsvflle, meeting no infantry force, and but small parties of cavalry, who fell back before his advance.
In accordance with instructions, he returned to the vicinity of Culpeper Ford on Saturday night, to await further orders, and was there directed to return to camp, which he did the next day. On recrossing, Major White, with one battalion, was sent up the river, for the purpose of capturing any pickets which might be stationed at the upper fords. He recrossed the river at Jacob's Mills, where four or five vidcttes were taken prisoners.
General Kilpatrick's reconnoissance conclusively proves that no force of the enemy occupies the country cast of Mine Run. The small parties of cavalry all belonged to Hampton's Legion, which is stationed at Fredericksburgh. More than half the videttes have no horses, are seldom relieved, and aro sometimes obliged to walk twenty-three miles to their post of duty. The rebels are represented as being engaged in replanking the road from Chanccllorsville to Orange Court-House, and are laying out several new roads through the wilderness.
Twelve or fifteen prisoners were captured by General Kilpatrick, and he returned to his camp yesterday evening, without having lost a man during his reconnoissance. At cavalry headquarters last night, no special details of General Merrill's operations had been received, except that he had been to Madison Court-House, and that he was, at the time his courier was despatched on Saturday night, at Barnett's Ford. He had encountered no considerable force of the enemy, and had met with no losses.
The First corps, General Newton, left its camp on the night of Friday, fifth instant, and proceeded to the vicinity of Raccoon Ford. The corps, which was afterward followed by two divisions of the Third, encamped two miles from the river; but no important demonstrations against the enemy were made.
Warren's movements on the left seem to have drawn the main body of the enemy to Morton's Ford; while at Raccoon Ford but comparatively a small body was observable on the opposite bank of the river. Our total loss is covered by two hundred, but a small proportion being among the killed. Nearly one hundred rebel prisoners were sent to headquarters this morning.
GENERAL OWEN'S OFFICIAL REPORT.
IIiiixjfinTKRS Third Brigade, Third Division, I
I have the honor to report that on Saturday, the sixth instant, at seven o'clock, I inarched raycommand in the direction of Morton's Ford, in accordance with orders received about three hours previous to that time. I arrived at the headquarters of the cavalry reserve within half a mile of the ford, at ten o'clock A.m., and halted. At thirty-five minutes past ten, I received orders to cross the river, which I succeeded in doing, and pushed the enemy back about half a mile; and then, under orders not to press the enemy too hard, but to skirmish with him, if he appeared so disposed, I halted my advance, and made my disposition to hold the favorable ground which I had taken.
In a short time, the enemy began to concentrate troops in ray immediate front, and to advance a stronger line of skirmishers. I communicated this fact to corps headquarters, through the signal officer, and asked for reinforcements. At ten minutes past three P.m., Colonels Carroll and Powers reported to me, by order of General Hayes, and I massed their brigades (First and Second, of the Third division) under cover from the enemy's fire, and in a position whence they could be readily deployed to the right or left, as circumstances might require. The enemy kept up a vigorous fire of small-arms during the day, and, at intervals, a heavy artillery fire from a battery in position on his left. Fresh troops were arriving continuously, and in great haste. At twenty minutes past five P.m., the enemy opened with a heavy fire from his batteries, and shortly afterward advanced and attacked vigorously our right and right centre; but it was futile, as, under the personal supervision of the General commanding the division, the enemy was met and repulsed at all points.
At fifty minutes past seven P.m.. T was ordered to hold myself ready to recross the river, which I did at half-past eleven. All the troops behaved well. I am satisfied with the Third brigade. It will do its duty, and never disgrace the Second corps.
The passage of the river, under the enemy's fire, I consider as worthy of special notice, and I specially mention the good conduct and gallant bearing of my Adjutant-General, Captain Robert S. Scabury, who was the first to cross the river at the head of the three hundred picked skirmishers, and to drive the enemy back from the riflepits, capturing twenty-seven men and two officers.
My loss was two officers wounded, and three men killed and thirty-three wounded, which is remarkably light under the circumstances; and I believe that the enemy suffered much more severely.
The Thirty-ninth New-York volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Hughes; the One Hundred and Eleventh New-York Volunteers, Colonel Luck; the One Hundred and Twenty-fifth New-York volunteers, Colonel Crandell; and the One Hundred and Twenty-sixth New-York volunteers,
Colonel Bull, were handled by their commanders with skill and judgment, and behaved splendidly. I am indebted to Captain Joseph Hyde and Lieutenant P. C. Rogers, of my staff, for their prompt and intelligent conveyance of my orders to different portions of the line.
I am, sir, with great respect,.your obedient servant, JosniA T. Owen,
Lieutenant John S. Sullivan,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-GeneraL
AN ORDER BY GENERAL ROSECRANS.
Hradqcartkrs Drfartmkxt or Thr Missorai, I
I. Missouri, for the coming year, needs all the slave and other labor she has within her own border. Humanity, as well as justice, forbids sending away to other States our helpless slaves. Moreover, bad men have been engaged in stealing and carrying negroes out of the State, and selling even those who were free. The exportation of negroes from Missouri is therefore prohibited. Nevertheless, the interests of the service demand that all able-bodied slaves, fit for military duty in this department, be received to fill up the quotas of the various districts required by the draft Every one is therefore interested in having them promptly enlisted.
IL All officers acting under orders of the Provost-Marshal General, and all commanders of troops in this department, will see that this order is obeyed within their respective districts or commands, and will promptly arrest all who attempt to violate it, and send them to their district headquarters for trial and punishment for violation of military orders.
III. Officers enlisting slaves will be careful to take none unfit for service; but when they take a slave recruit, the master must receive the descriptive list specified in paragraph fifth, General Orders, No. 135, of November fourth, 18G3, from these headquarters, evidencing this claim on the Government; and the result is thenceforth under the charge of the United States, and if found unfit for service on a final examination, is entitled to a discharge and his freedom.
By command of Major-General Rosecrans.
0. D. Greene,
REPORT OF COLONEL STREIGHT.
Whxard's Hotkl, Wasihisotos, D. C, I
March 2, 1S64. ('
Hon. F. W. Kellogg, House Committee on Military Affairs: Dear Sir: Agreeably to your request, I have
the honor to report the following facts in rela