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FORT MACON TAKEN-FIGHT NEAR SOUTH MILLS. 79 possession of Newbern, sent Gen. Rebels, was repossessed by the ReParke' with his brigade, 3,500 strong, public. southwestward to the coast, where Meantime, Washington, Plymouth, he occupied " Morehead City with- and some other towns on the coast, out resistance; as also the more im- were quietly occupied by our forces, portant village of Beaufort, across which ascended the Chowan river the inlet known as Newport river; without serious resistance so far as and proceeded to invest FORT MACON, | Wilton. a regular fortress of great cost and Gen. Reno was dispatched by strength, seized by Gov. Ellis before Gen. Burnside from Newbern to the secession of the State.13 This Roanoke Island, whence his brigade work stands on an island, or rather was conveyed up Albemarle Sound ocean sand-bank, whence it looks off to within three miles of Elizabeth on the broad Atlantic, and com- City, where it was disembarked mands the entrance to the Newport during the night 18 and pushed northriver. It is approached from the ward, with intent to intercept a land with much difficulty, but was Rebel force known to be about leavsoon invested, and a regular siege ing Elizabeth City for Norfolk; but commenced, its pickets driven in, Col. Hawkins of the 9th New York and a good position for siege-guns (Zouaves), who had the advance, obtained within fair distance, while mistook his road, and marched ten the fleet menaced it on the side of miles out of the way; so that, on the ocean. All being at length in retracing his steps, and gaining the readiness, fire was opened" from a right road, his men were intensely breaching battery at 1,100 feet dis fatigued, and he in the rear of the tance, with flanking mortars behind main column. The anticipated sursand-banks at 1,400 yards; the fleet prise proved a failure; and, at a also, consisting of three gunboats point nearly 20 miles inland, within and a bark, steamed around in a a mile and a half of South MILLS, circle, after the fashion inaugurated our weary, overmarched men, who by Dupont at Port Royal, and fired had been nearly 24 hours on their as they severally came opposite the feet, were confronted by a less nufort, until the roughness of the sea merous Rebel force, very strongly compelled them to desist. The land posted in woods flanked by swamps, batteries were kept at work until and with a large clearing in their late in the afternoon; when, 7 of the front; upon entering which, they garrison being killed, 18 wounded, were saluted by a fire of grape, well and most of the available guns dis- supported by musketry, whereby a mounted, Col. White raised the white gallant but rashly ordered charge of flag, and next morning surrendered the Zouaves was repulsed with conhis garrison of 500 men, with the siderable loss. The position was fort and all it contained. Fort Ma- soon flanked by our superior numcon was among the first of the im- bers, and the Rebels compelled to portant fortresses of the old Union, draw off, leaving nothing on the which, having been seized by the field but a very few dead and
March 20. 52 March 23. 13 See Vol. I., p. 411. 14 April 11. 16 April 25. 16 April 19.
flag, antison of 500 men, Fort Ma- soon and the Rebe
· wounded. We lost 15 killed, inclu- / capture three Rebel regiments who
ding Adjutant Gadsden, of the had there been stationed; but by Zouaves, and 98 wounded, which this time a far superior Rebel force was probably more than the loss of had, by means of telegraphs and the Rebels.Gen. Reno gave his railroads, been concentrated at that men six hours' much needed rest point, and he wisely retreated withon the battle-field, and then returned out molestation or loss, other than to his boats, being under peremptory that inflicted by the rain, sleet, and orders to do so. He was obliged to deep mud through which the retreat leave behind 14 of his more severely was effected. The liberation of wounded. As Camden Court House several hundred slaves was the chief was the only village traversed by result of this expedition. Gen. Reno on his advance, this en- A few weeks later, Gen. Foster, gagement has been sometimes desig- with a considerably larger force—all nated the battle of Camden.
that he could collect-set out from By this time, Burnside's division, Newbern 20 on a march directly inwhich had at no time exceeded land, intending to reach and destroy 15,000 men, had become so widely the important railroad junction at dispersed, and had so many import- Goldsboro'. He encountered no imant points to guard, that its offensive pediments, save from trees felled efficiency was destroyed; and very across the road, until he reached little more of moment occurred in South-west creek, where the bridge his department, until he was ordered had been destroyed, and a regiment by telegraph from Washington "to was found posted on the opposite hasten with all the force he could bank, supporting three pieces of arcollect to Fortress Monroe, where he tillery. These were driven off by a arrived three days afterward.
charge of the 9th New Jersey, and Gen. Foster was left in command 1 gun captured; when, after two or of the department of North Caro- three more skirmishes, Foster adlina, with a force barely sufficient to vanced” to within a mile of Kinston ; hold the important positions left him where he encountered a consideraby Gen. Burnside, until late in the ble Rebel force under Gen. Evans, Autumn, when, having been consid- strongly posted between the Neuse erably rëenforced by new regiments, and a deep swamp, whence they mainly from Massachusetts, he re- were driven after a short but sharp solved to assume the offensive. He fight, and the bridge over the Neuse led one expedition from Washington, 18 saved, though it had been fired by through Williamston to Hamilton, the fugitives, of whom 400 were on the Roanoke, where he expected taken prisoners. Evans fled through to find and destroy some iron-clads and abandoned the town; but rein process of construction; but there formed two miles beyond it, and were none. Pushing thence inland, continued his retreat, before Foster in the direction of Tarboro', he ad-could bring his artillery over the vanced to within ten miles of that injured bridge and attack him. place, expecting to surround and Gen. Foster, having bewildered the
17 July 4, 1862. 18 Nov. 3. 19 Nov. 6. 90 Dec. 11. 21 Sunday, 14th.
Washin. He were ideer
a thence inlanad- could bring ge and attac
enemy by feints in different direc- shooters. The bridge being detions, advanced a directly on Golds- stroyed, Gen. Foster commenced a boro’; but did not reach that point, rapid retreat on Newbern, which he because of a concentration in his front effected without difficulty. His total of more than double his force, under loss in this expedition was 90 killed, Maj.-Gen. G. W. Smith, with regi- | (including Col. Gray, 96th New ments drawn from Petersburg on the York, while charging at the head of one hand, and Wilmington on the his regiment at Kinston bridge), 478 other ; but the Wilmington and Wel wounded, and 9 missing. Smith's don Railroad bridge over the Neuse official report admits a Rebel loss of was fired by Lt. Geo. W. Graham, 71 killed, 268 wounded, and about 23d New York battery, after several 400 missing. Gen. Foster paroled who attempted the daring feat had 496 prisoners. Thus closed the year been picked off by the Rebel sharp- | 1862 in North Carolina.
NEW ORLEANS AND THE GULF.
GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER, haviny, with his headquarters at Boston. after the capture of Fort Hatteras, When his 6,000 men had been fully returned to the North to find him- raised, and part of them dispatched, self an officer without soldiers or em- under Gen. J. W. Phelps, to Ship ployment, sought and obtained per- Island, he was stopped for a season mission from the War Department to by the lowering aspects of our relaraise, in the New England States, six tions with England, consequent on regiments of volunteers for special the seizure of Mason and Slidell; and confidential service. This un- whose ultimate surrender he prodertaking involved fitful collisions foundly deprecated, believing that a with the general efforts then being war waged against us by Great Britmade by the authorities of all the ain would double our effective miliStates to raise troops for service un- tary strength, while paralyzing that der Gen. McClellan; and Gen. B. of the Rebellion, by the spectacle of was peculiarly unfortunate in thus hostilities waged against us in our colliding with Gov. Andrew, of Mas extremity by that nation, which very sachusetts, from which State he nat- many, alike in the North and in the urally expected the larger number of South, regarded as our hereditary foe. his troops. But his indefatigable en- The substitution” of Mr. Edwin M. ergy and activity at length triumphed Stanton for Gen. Simon Cameron, as. over all impediments; he having head of the War Department, caused. meantime been appointed, in facili- some further delay, during which an tation of his enterprise, commander order was once issued to send Gen. of a new military department com- Butler's troops from Fortress Monroe posed of the six New England States, to Port Royal; but it was, on his re» Dec. 17. 23 Formerly of New York. ? Aug. 29, 1861. See Vol. I., pp. 591-600. ? Jan. 13, 1862..
monstrance, annulled before it had employed to arouse and embitter hosbeen acted on.
tility to the Union. Ship Island is one of quite a num- Mobile had been generally guessed ber of inconsiderable sand-bars which the object of Gen. Butler's mysteribarely rise above the level of the Gulf ous expedition, whose destination between the mouths of the Mississippi was not absolutely fixed even in the and the Bay of Mobile. It is accounted councils of its authors. An effort to 7 miles long by three-fourths of a mile rëannex Texas had been considered, in width, though its size, as well as its if not actually contemplated. It was shape, is usually altered by each vio- finally decided, in a conference belent inland-driving storm. It has a tween Secretary Stanton and Gen. good harbor at its western end, with Butler, that a resolute attempt should groves of pine and stunted oak at be made on New Orleans; and the far east; while fresh water is ob- though Gen. McClellan, when retained in plenty by sinking a barrel quested to give his opinion of the in the sand. Oysters and fish abound feasibility of the enterprise, reported in the encircling waters; while the that it could not be prudently underclimate in Winter is soft, sunny, and taken with a less force than 50,000 tropical. New Orleans bears 65 miles men, while all that could be spared W. S. W.; the mouth of Mobile Bay to Gen. Butler was 15,000, Presi50 miles E. N. E.; the mouths of the dent Lincoln, after hearing all sides, Mississippi from 90 to 110 S. S. W.; gave judgment for the prosecution. while Biloxi, on the Mississippi coast, A fortnight later, Gen. Butler went is but 10 miles due north. Here home to superintend the embarkation Gen. Phelps and his brigade, having of the residue of his New England landed early in December, spent the troops, 8,500 in number, 2,200 being Winter in very necessary drilling; the already on ship-board, beside 2,000, General having signalized his advent under Phelps, at the Island. Three by issuing an elaborate proclamation excellent Western regiments were to the loyal citizens of the South- finally spared him from Baltimore west, declaring Slavery incompati- by Gen. McClellan, swelling his force ble with free institutions and free on paper to 14,400 infantry, 580 arlabor, and its overthrow the end and tillery, 275 cavalry ; total, 15,255 aim of our Government-a declara- men, to which it was calculated that tion most unlikely to increase the Key West might temporarily add number of White loyal citizens at two regiments, and Fort Pickens anthat time and in that quarter, while other, raising the aggregate to nearly pretty certain to be carefully kept 18,000. It in fact amounted, when from the knowledge of most others. collected at Ship Island, to 13,700. Its first result was a feeling of amaze- Gen. Butler set out from Hampment and dissatisfaction among a part ton Roads, in the steamship Misof Gen. Phelps's subordinates; while sissippi, with his staff, his wife, and a single copy, taken to the Missis- 1,400 men. The next night, the ship sippi shore, and dispensed to the first barely escaped wreck on a shoal off comer, was there eagerly diffused and Hatteras Inlet; and the next day was * Dec. 4, 1861.
* Feb. 25, 1862, 9 P. M.
eagerly diffi, the first 71,400 men. th his state
run hard upon the rocks five miles | she moved forward a few feet and from land, off Cape Fear, while going was fairly afloat; slowly following at full speed. Her Captain, be- the piloting Mount Vernon--the wildered, gave the order to let go the lead for a whole hour showing but bow anchor, when she instantly drove six inches of water under her keel. upon its fluke, piercing her forward At midnight, both came to anchor in compartments and letting in a deluge the Cape Fear, and were next mornof water. An hour later, she was ing, which was calın, on their way hard and fast upon Frying Pan to Port Royal, where the Mississippi Shoals, one compartment filled to the was unladen and repaired; but was water-line, and her forward berths run aground again while moving afloat, her Captain manifestly incom- down to the mouth of the harbor, petent, and now nearly distracted. The Captain was now deposed, ActThe coast in sight was strongly held ing-Master Sturgis, of the Mount by the enemy, whose horse patrol Vernon, appointed to his place; the could be descried from the ship; troops once more debarked, and the and any Confederate cruiser, darting ship pulled into deep water by the out from Cape Fear river, would help of all the tugs in port. She have found the steamship and all on again put to sea March 13th, having board an easy prey. An ordinary been eleven days in the port; and squall would very soon have broken seven more brought her safely in up the vessel and strewed her wreck sight of Ship Island; where so heavy along the sands.
a gale was blowing that landing Toward noon, a steamer hove in troops was for two days impossible. sight, which cautiously approaching, It was the 25th of March when--30 proved to be the U. S. Gunboat days from Hampton Roads--they Mount Vernon, of the squadron were debarked on that desolate sandblockading Wilmington. Her com- bank; where Gen. Butler was soon mander, O. S. Glisson, came on deep in consultation with Captains board, and placed his vessel at the Farragut and Bailey, of the Navy, service of Gen. Butler. A hawser as well as with his military associates. from the Mount Vernon was attached Of these, Lt. Godfrey Weitzel, who to the Mississippi, and many fruitless had for two years been stationed at attempts made to drag her off. Three Fort St. Philip, and who had travhundred of the soldiers were trans- ersed all the adjacent country, ferred to the Mount Vernon; shells duck-shooting, was able to give the were thrown overboard; and every fullest and most valuable informadevice known to nautical experience tion. Gen. Butler made him his tried to move the imperiled ship- chief engineer. all in vain. As the sun went down, It was decided that the first attack the wind rose, and the waves swelled, on the forts defending the passage of till the huge ship began to roll and the Mississippi below New Orleans beat upon the rocks, the danger of should be made by the fleet; Capt. wreck constantly increasing. At Porter, with his 21 bomb-schooners, length, just after 7 P. M., and when anchoring below them and bombardthe tide was within an hour of flood, ing them till they should be reduced,