Civil War History circa 1885
First published in 1871, A Brief History of the United States, by the A.S. Barnes Company of New York and Chicago described the U.S. Civil War in much detail.
In its Preface the company stated “This work is offered to American youth in the confident belief that, as they study the wonderful history of their native land, they will learn to prize their birthright more highly, and treasure it more carefully. Their patriotism must be kindled when they come to see how slowly, yet how gloriously, this tree of liberty has grown, what storms have wrenched its boughs, what sweat of toil and blood moistened its roots, what eager eyes have watched every out springing bud, what brave hearts have defended it, loving it even unto death. A heritage thus sanctified by the heroism and devotion of the fathers can not but elicit the choicest care and tenderest love of the sons.”
Epoch V. The Civil War From 1861 to 1865.
Lincoln’s Administration[i] (Sixteenth President 1861-1865).
Inauguration. – Rumors of a plan to assassinate Lincoln impelled him to come to Washington in disguise. He was inaugurated, March 4, 1861, surrounded by troops, under General Scott.
Condition of the Country. – All was now uncertainty. Southern officers in the army and navy of the United States were daily resigning, and linking their fortunes with the Confederate cause. There was still, however a strong Union sentiment at the South. Many prominent men in both sections hoped that war might be averted. The Federal authorities feared to act, least they should precipitate civil strife. In striking contrast to this indecision, was marked energy of the new Confederate government. It was gathering troops, voting money and supplies and rapidly preparing for the issue.
Capture of Fort Sumter. – (April 14). – Finding that supplies were to be sent to Fort Sumter, General Peter G.T. Beauregard (bo’ re gard), who had command of the Confederate troops at Charleston, called upon Major Anderson to surrender. Upon his refusal, fire was opened from all Confederate forts and batteries[ii]. This “strange contest between seventy men and seven thousand”, lasted for thirty-four hours, no one being hurt on either side. The barracks having been set on fire by the shells, the garrison, worn out, suffocated, and half-blinded, were forced to capitulate. They were allowed to retire with honors of war, saluting their flag before hauling it down.
The Effect of this event was electrical. It unified the North and also the South. The war spirit swept over the country like wild-fire. Party lines vanished. The Union men at the South were borne into secession, with the republicans and the democrats at the North combined to support the government. Lincoln issued a requisition for 75,000 troops. It was responded to by 300,000 volunteers, the American flag, the symbol of Revolutionary glory and of national unity, being unfurled throughout the North. The military enthusiasm at the South was equally ardent. Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Tennessee, which had before hesitated, joined the Confederacy. Virginia troops seized the United States armory at Harper’s Ferry, and the Navy-yard near Norfolk. Richmond, Va. was made the Confederate capital. Troops from the extreme South were rapidly pushed into Virginia, and threatened Washington. The Sixth Massachusetts Regiment, hurrying to the defense of the national capital, was attacked in the streets of Baltimore, and several men were killed[iii]. Thus the first bloodshed in the civil war was on April 19, the anniversary of Lexington and Concord.
THE WAR IN VIRGINIA.
Arlington Heights and Alexandria[iv] were seized (May 24) by the national troops. This protected Washington from immediate danger of attack[v]. Fort Monroe[vi] was now garrisoned by a heavy force under General B.F. Butler[vii]. An expedition made, soon after, against BIG BETHEL was singularly mismanaged. On route, the troops fired into each other by mistake, and when they came to attack the Confederate defenses were repulsed with loss.
Western Virginia adhered to the Union and was ultimately formed into a separate State. The Confederates, however, occupied it in force. The Federals, under General George B. McClellan, afterward commander of the Potomac, defeated them at PHILIPPI, RICH MOUNTAIN and CARRICK’S FORD, thus wresting the entire State from their control. Shortly afterward, Governor Wise and General Floyd (President Buchanan’s Secretary of War) led a Confederate force into that region; but Floyd was suddenly attacked by General Rosecrans at CARNIFEX FERRY, and Wise failing to support him, was compelled to retreat. General Robert E. Lee, McClellan’s future antagonist on the Potomac, having been repulsed at CHEAT MOUNTAIN, came to the rescue. But nothing decisive being effected, the Confederate government recalled its troops. The only Union victories of this year were achieved in this region.
Battle of Bull Run (July 21). The Northern people, seeing so many regiments pushed forward to Washington, were impatient for an advance. The Cry, “On to Richmond!” became too strong to be resisted. General Irvin McDowell, in command of the Army of the Potomac, moved to attack the main body of the Confederates, who were strongly posted, under Beauregard, at Bull Run[viii]. After a sharp conflict, the Confederates were driven from the field. They were rallied, however, by General T.J. Jackson[ix] and others, on a plateau in the rear. While the Federal troops were struggling to drive them from this new position, at the crisis of the battle, two brigades, under Kirby Smith and Early, rushing across the fields from Manassas Station[x], each, successively, struck the Union flank and poured in a cross-fire. The effect was irresistible. McDowell’s men fled. As the fugitives converged toward the bridge in the rear, a shell burst among the teamsters’ wagons, a caisson was overturned and the passage choked. The retreat became a panic-stricken rout. Traces were cut, cannon abandoned, horseman plunged through the struggling mass, and soldiers threw away their guns and ran streaming over the country, many never stopping till they were safe across the Long Bridge at Washington.
The Effect of this defeat was momentous. At first, the Northern people were chagrined and disheartened. Then came a renewed determination. They saw the real character of the war, and no longer dreamed that the South could be subdued by a mere display of military force. They were to fight a brave people – Americans, who were to be conquered only by a desperate struggle. Congress voted $500,000,000 and five hundred thousand men. General McClellan[xi], upon whom al eyes were turned, on account of his brilliant campaign in Western Virginia, was appointed to command the Army of the Potomac.
Ball’s Bluff (October 21). – About 2,00 Federals, who had crossed the Potomac at Ball’s Bluff on a reconnoitering expedition, were attacked by the Confederates, and forced down the slippery, clayey bluff to the river, fifty to one hundred and fifty feet below. The few old boats in which they came were soon sunk, and, in trying to escape, many were drowned, some were shot, and only about half their number reached the other bank. Colonel Baker, United States Senator from Oregon, was among the killed[xii].
This State was largely Union. The Convention had declined to pass an ordinance of secession; yet there was a strong effort made by Governor Jackson to preserve, at least, an armed neutrality. Captain Lyon foiled this attempt. He broke up Camp Jackson, saved the United States arsenal at St. Louis, and defeated Colonel Marmaduke at BOONVILLE. General Sigel (se’ gel), however, having been defeated by the Confederates in an engagement at CARTHAGE (July 5), Lyon, now General, found that he must either fight the superior forces of Generals McCullogh and Price, or else abandon that part of the State. He chose the former course. At the head of about five thousand, he attacked more than twice that number at WILSON' S CREEK (August 10). He fell, gallantly leading a bayonet charge. His men were defeated. Colonel Mulligan was forced to surrender LEXINGTON[xiii] after a brave defense. General John C. Fremont then assumed charge, and drove Price as far south as Springfield. Just as he was preparing for battle, he was replaced by General Hunter, who took the Union army back to St. Louis. Hunter was soon superceded by General Halleck, who crowded Price south to Arkansas. Later in the fall, General Grant made an attack upon a Confederate force which had crossed over from Kentucky[xiv] and taken post at BELMONT.
Early in the war, Davis issued a proclamation offering to commission privateers[xv]. In reply, Lincoln declared a blockade of the Southern ports. At that time, there was but one efficient vessel on the Northern coast, while the entire navy comprised only forty-two ships; but at the close of the year, the navy numbered two hundred and sixty-four.
Two joint naval and military expeditions were made during the year. The first captured the forts at HATTERAS INLET, N.C. The second, under Commodore Dupont and General Thomas W. Sherman, took forts at PORT ROYAL ENTRANCE, S.C.[xvi] and Tybee Island, at the mouth of the Savannah. Port Royal became the great depot for the Union fleet.
The Trent Affair. – England and France acknowledged the Confederate States as BELLIIGERENTS, thus placing them on the same footing with the United States. The Southern people having, therefore, great hopes of foreign aid, appointed Messrs. Mason and Slidell commissioners to those countries. Escaping through the blockading squadron, they took passage to Havana on the British Steamer Trent. Captain Wilkes, of the United States steamer San Jacinto, followed the Trent, took off the Confederate envoys, and brought them back to the United States. This produced intense excitement in England. The United States government, however, promptly disavowed the act and returned the prisoners.
General Review of the First Year of the War. – The Confederates had captured the large arsenals at Harper’s Ferry and near Norfolk. They had been successful in two great battles of the year – Bull Run and Wilson’s Creek; also in the minor engagements at Big Bethel, Carthage, Lexington, Belmont, and Ball’s Bluff. The Federals had saved Fort Picken’s[xvii] and Fort Monroe, and captured the forts at Hatteras Inlet and Port Royal. They had gained the victories of Philippi, Rich Mountain, Boonesville, Carrick’s Ford, Cheat Mountain, Carnifax Ferry and Dranesvile. They had saved to the Union, Missouri, Maryland, and West Virginia. Principally, however, they had thrown the whole South into a state of siege, - the armies on the north and the west by land, and the navy in the east by sea maintaining a vigilant blockade.
The Situation. - The National army now numbered 500,000; the Confederates, about 350,000. During the first year, there had been random fighting; the war henceforth assumed a general plan. The year’s campaign on the part of the North had three main objectives (1) the opening of the Mississippi; (2) the blockade of the Southern ports; and (3) the capture of Richmond.
The Confederates here held a line of defense with strongly fortified posts at Columbus, Fort Henry, Fort Donelson , Bowling Green, Mill Spring and Cumberland Gap. It was determined to pierce this line near the center, along the Tennessee River. This would compel the evacuation of Columbus, which was deemed impregnable and open the way to Nashville.
Capture of Forts Henry and Donelson. – Accordingly General Grant with his army and Commodore Foote with his gun-boats, moved from Cairo (ka ro) upon Fort Henry[xviii]. A bombardment (Feb. 6) from the gun-boats reduced the place in about an hour. The land troops were to cut off the retreat; but as they did not arrive in time, the garrison escaped Fort Donelson. The fleet now went back to the Ohio, and ascended the Cumberland, while Grant crossed to cooperate in the attack on Fort Donelson. The fight lasted three days[xix]. The fleet was repulsed by the fire from the fort, and Commodore Foote seriously wounded. Grant, having been re-inforced till he had nearly thirty thousand men, defeated the Confederates in a desperate attempt to cut their way out, and captured a part of their intrenchments. As he was about to make the final assault, the fort was surrendered[xx] (Feb 16), with about fifteen thousand men.
Effects of these Victories. – As we expected, Columbus and Bowling Green were evacuated, while General Buell at once occupied Nashville. The Confederates fell back to Corinth, the great railroad center for Mississippi and Tennessee, where their forces were gradually collected under the command of Generals Albert Sidney Johnston and Beauregard. The Union Army ascended the Tennessee to Pittsburg Landing. Grant was placed in command, and General Buell ordered to reinforce him.
The next movement was to capture the Memphis and Charleston railroad, thus cutting off Memphis, and securing another section of the Mississippi River.
Battle of Shiloh (April 6, 7). - The Confederates determined to rout Grant’s army before the arrival of Buell. On Sunday morning, at daylight, moving out of the woods in a line of battle, they suddenly fell on the Union camps[xxi]. On the one side were the Southern dash, daring, and vigor; on the other, the Northern firmness and determination. The Federals slowly yielded, but for twelve hours obstinately disputed every inch of the way. At last, pushed to the very brink f the river, Grant massed his artillery, and gathered about it the fragments of regiments for the final stand. The Confederates, to meet them, had to cross a deep ravine, where, struggling through the mud and water, they melted away under the fire of cannon and musketry from above, and the shells from the gun-boats below. Few reached the slippery bank beyond. At the same time, Buell’s advance came shouting on the field. The tide of the battle was already stayed. The Confederates fell back. They possessed, however, the substantial fruits of victory. They had taken the Union camps, three thousand prisoners, thirty flags, and immense stores; but they had lost their commander, General Albert Sidney Johnston, who fell in the heat of the action.
The next morning, the tide turned. Buell’s army had come, and fresh troops were poured on the wearied Confederates. Beauregard, obstinately resisting, was driven from the field. He retreated, however, in good order, and unmolested, returning to Corinth.
General Halleck, now assumed command, and by slow stages followed the Confederates. Beauregard, finding himself outnumbered, evacuated Cornith, and Halleck took possession (May 30).
Island No. 10. – The Confederates, on retreating from Columbus, fell back to Island No. 10[xxii]. There they were bombarded by Commodore Foote for three weeks with little effect. General Pope, crossing the Mississippi[xxiii] in the midst of a fearful rain-storm, took the batteries on the opposite bank, and prepared to attack the fortification in the rear. The garrison, seven thousand strong, surrendered (April 7) the very day of the conflict at Shiloh.
The Effects of this desperate battle at Shiloh were now fully apparent[xxiv] The Union gun-boats moved down the river and (May 10) defeated the Confederate ion-clad fleet. On the evacuation of Cornith, Fort Pillow was abandoned. The gun-boats, proceeding destroyed the Confederate flotilla in front of Memphis, took possession of that city, and secured the Memphis and Charleston railroad. Kentucky and Western Tennessee was wrenched from the Confederacy. The Union army[xxv] now held a line running from Memphis through Cornith, nearly to Chattanooga, toward which point General Buell was steadily pushing his troops.
We shall next consider the efforts made by the Confederates to break through this line of investment. At this time, they were concentrated under Bragg at Chattanooga, Price at Iuka, and Van Dorn at Holly Springs.
Bragg’s Expedition. - The first movement was made by General Bragg, who, by rapid marches, hastened toward Louisville. General Buell fell back to Nashville, where he found out his enemy’s plan. Now commenced a race between them to reach the Ohio River. Buell came out one day ahead. He was heavily re-inforced to the number of one hundred thousand men. Bragg[xxvi] then fell back, Buell following slowly. At PERRYSVILLE (October 8), Bragg fiercely turned upon Buell, and a desperate battle was fought. In the darkness, however, Bragg retreated, and finally escaped, though his wagon train extended a distance of forty miles. At this juncture (October 30), General Buell was superseded by General Rosecrans.
Battles of Iuka and Cornith (September 19, October 4). - Every one of Grant’s veterans who could have possibly be spared had been sent north to help Buell. Price and Van Dorn, taking advantage of the opportunity, were maneuvering to get possession of Cornith. Grant, thinking that he could capture Price and then get back to Cornith before Van Dorn could reach it from Holly Springs, ordered Rosecrans to move upon Iuka. Through some mistake, Rosecrans failed to occupy Price’s line of retreat, and, after a severe conflict (September 19), latter escaped. Thereupon, the two Confederate generals joined their forces, and attacked Rosecrans in his intrenchments at Cornith. The Confederates exhibited brilliant courage[xxvii], but were defeated and pursued forty miles with heavy loss.
Battle of Murfeesboro (December 31, January 2). - Rosecrans, on assuming command of Buell’s army, concentrated his forces at Nashville. Thence he marched to meet Bragg, who, with a heavy column moving north on the second grand expedition, had already reached Murfreesboro. Both generals had formed the same plan[xxviii] for approaching the contest. As the Union left was crossing Stone Rive to attack the Confederate right, the strong Confederate left fell heavily on the weak Union right. At first, the onset was irresistible. But General Sheridan was there, and by his consummate valor held the ground until Rosecrans could recall his left, replant his batteries, and establish a new line. Upon this fresh front, the Confederates charged four times, but were driven back. Two days after, Bragg renewed the attack, but being unsuccessful, retreated. This one was one of the bloodiest contests of the war, the loss being about one fourth of the number engaged.
The Effect of this Battle. - The attempt of the Confederates to recover Kentucky was now abandoned. The way was opened for another Union advance on Chattanooga. Bragg’s force was reduced from an offensive to a defensive role.
First Vicksburg Expedition. – While Rosecrans was repelling this advance of Bragg, an expedition against Vicksburg had been planned by Grant. He was to move along the Mississippi Central railroad, while Sherman was to descend the river from Memphis with gun-boats under Porter. In the meantime, however, by a brilliant cavalry dash, Van Dorn destroyed Grant’s deport of supplies at Holly Springs. This spoiled the plan. Sherman, ignorant of what had happened, pushed on, landed up the Yazoo River, and made an attack at Chickasaw Bayou, north of Vicksburg. After suffering a bloody repulse, and learning of Grant’s misfortune, he fell back. The capture of Arkansas Post (Jun. 11, 1863), by a combined army and naval force, closed the campaign of 1862 on the Mississippi River.
The War in Missouri. – In February, General Curtis pushed General Price out of Missouri into Arkansas. The Confederates, by great exertion, increased their army to twenty thousand, General Van Dorn now taking command. General Curtis in a desperate battle, totally defeated him at PEA RIDGE[xxix] (March 7, 8). During the rest of the war, no important battles were fought in this State[xxx].
THE WAR ON THE SEA AND THE COAST.
Capture of New Orleans (April 25). – The effort to open the Mississippi was not confined to the north. Early in the spring, Captain Farragut, with a fleet of over forty vessels, carrying a land force under General Butler, attempted the capture of New Orleans, which commands the mouth of the river. The mortar-boats[xxxi] anchored along the bank under the shelter of the woods, threw thirteen-inch shells into Forts Jackson and St. Philip for six days and nights; in all 16,800 shells. Farragut then boldly resolved to carry the fleet past the defenses of New Orleans. A chain supported on hulks and stretched across the river closed the channel. An opening to admit the passage of gun-boats[xxxii] having been cut through the obstruction, at about three o’clock n the morning (April 24) they advanced, and poured grape and canister into the forts and batteries on shore. After running a fearful gauntlet of shot, shell and flames of fire-rafts, they next encountered the Confederate fleet of twelve armed steamers, including the steamer-battery Louisiana and the iron-platted ram Manassas. In the desperate struggle, nearly all the Confederate flotilla were destroyed. The fleet then steamed up to New Orleans[xxxiii] which lay helpless under the Union guns. The forts, being now threatened in the rear by the enemy, soon surrendered. Captain Farragut afterward ascended the river, took possession of Baton Rouge and Natchez, and running the batteries at Vicksburg, joined the Union fleet above.
Burnside’s Expedition against Roanoke Island[xxxiv] was an important step toward the enforcement of the blockade. The Confederate forts were captured, and the ships destroyed. New Bern – an excellent sea-port, Elizabeth City, and, finally, Fort Macon, at the entrance to Beaufort harbor, were taken. Thus the coast of upper North Carolina, with its intricate network of water communication, fell into Union hands.
Florida and Georgia Expeditions. - After its capture in the autumn of 1861, Port Royal became the base of operations against Florida and Georgia. Fernandina, Fort Clinch, Jacksonville, Darien and St. Augustine were taken. Fort Pulaski, also, was reduced after a severe bombardment, and thus the port of Sanannah was closed. At the end of the year, every city of the Atlantic seacoast, except Savannah, Charleston, and Wilmington, was held by the Federal armies.
The Merrimac and the Monitor. – About noon, March 8, the long-looked-for iron-clad Merrimac[xxxv] convoyed by a fleet of small vessels, steamed into Hampton Roads. Steering directly for the sloop-of-war Cumberland, whose terrific broadsides glanced harmlessly “like so many peas” from the Merrimac’s iron roof, she struck her squarely with her iron beak, making a hole large enough for a man to enter. The Cumberland, with all on board, went down[xxxvi]. Warned of the fate of the Cumberland, the captain of the frigate Congress ran his vessel ashore, but the Merrimac, taking position astern, fired shells into the frigate till the helpless crew were forced to surrender. At sunset, the Merrimac returned to Norfolk, awaiting, the next day, an easy victory over the rest of the Union Fleet. All was delight and anticipation among the Confederates; all was dismay and dismal foreboding among the Federals.
That night the Monitor[xxxvii] arrived in harbor, and immediately prepared to meet her giant adversary. Early in the morning, the Merrimac appeared, moving toward the steam-frigate Minnesota. Suddenly, from under her lee, the little Monitor darted out and hurled at the monster two one hundred and sixty-six pound balls. Startled by the appearance of this unexpected and queer-looking antagonist, the Merrimac poured in a broadside, such as the night before had destroyed the Congress, but the balls rattled harmlessly off the Monitor’s turret, or broke and fell to pieces on the deck. Then began the battle of the iron ships. It was the first of the kind in the world. Close against each other, iron rasping on iron, they exchanged their heaviest volleys. Five times the Merrimac tried to run down the Monitor, but her huge beak only grated over the iron deck, while the Monitor glided out unharmed. Despairing of doing anything with her doughty little antagonist, the Merrimac now steamed back to Norfolk[xxxviii].
The Effect of this contest can hardly be overestimated. Had the Merrimac triumphed, aided by other iron vessels then preparing by the Confederacy, she might have destroyed the rest of the Union fleet in Hampton roads, reduced Fort Monroe, prevented the Peninsular campaign (see below), sailed along the coast and broken up the blockade, swept through the shipping at New York, opened the way for foreign supplies, made egress for cotton and perhaps secured the acknowledgement of the Confederacy by European nations. On this battle hinged the fate of the war.
THE WAR IN THE EAST.
The Peninsular Campaign. - Richmond was here the objective point. It having been decided to make the advance by way of the Peninsula, the Army of the Potomac was carried in transports down[xxxix] the river from Washington. Landing at Fort Monroe about one hundred thousand strong (April 4), they slowly marched toward Yorktown.
Siege of Yorktown – At this place General Magruder, with only five thousand (exclusive of the garrison of eight thousand at Yorktown), by his masterly skill, maintained so bold a front along a line thirteen miles in length, that McClellan was brought to a stop. Heavy guns were ordered from Washington, and a siege was begun. The garrison had been reinforced, but, having delayed McClellan a month, it withdrew just as he was ready to open fire[xl]. When the Confederate movement was discovered, a vigorous pursuit was commenced.
Battle of Williamsburg (May 5). - General Johnston, who commanded the Confederate army, having left a strong rear-guard in the forts at Williamsburg, to gain time for the baggage train, a fierce battle ensued. General Joseph Hooker, “Fighting Joe”, with his division, maintained the contest for nine hours. Other troops at last arrived on the bloody field, and Williamsburg, having been evacuated in the night, the pursuit was continued to within seven miles of Richmond.
Richmond Threatened. - There was great panic in the city, and the Confederate Congress hastily adjourned. Everything looked like an immediate attack, when McClellan discovered that a Confederate force was at HANOVER COURT HOUSE. This threatened his communications by rail with White House Landing, and also with General McDowell, who with thirty thousand men, was marching from Fredericksburg to join him. General Fitz John Porter, after a sharp skirmish, captured Hanover Court House. The army looked now hourly for McDowell’s aid in the approaching great contest. “McClellan’s last orders at night were that McDowell’s signals were to be watched for and without delay reported to him.” But General Johnston was too shrewd to permit this junction. He accordingly ordered General Jackson to move along the Shenandoah Valley and threaten Washington.
Jackson in the Shenandoah. – Stonewall Jackson having been reinforced by General Ewell’s division of ten thousand men, hurried down the valley after Banks at Strasburg. The Union troops fell back, and by tremendous exertion- “marching thirty-five miles in a single day: - succeeded in escaping across the Potomac. Great was the consternation in Washington. The President took military possession of the railroads. The governors of the Northern States were called upon to send militia for the defense of the capital. Fremont at Franklin, Banks at Harper’s Ferry, and McDowell at Fredericksburg were ordered to capture Jackson. It was high time for this dashing leader to be alarmed. He rapidly retreated, burning bridges as he passed. Fremont brought him to bay at CROSS KEYS (June 8), but was hurled off. Shields struck him at PORT REPUBLIC, the next day, but was driven back five miles, while Jackson made good his escape from the Shenandoah Valley, having burned the bridges behind him[xli].
The Effect of this adroit movement was evident. With fifteen thousand men, Jackson had occupied the attention of three major-generals and sixty thousand men, prevented McDowell’s junction with McClellan, alarmed Washington, and saved Richmond.
Battle of Fair Oaks (May 31, June 1).- While these stirring events were going on in the Shenandoah Valley, McClellan had pushed his left wing across the Chickahominy. But a terrible storm flooded the swamps, tuned the road to mud, and converted the Chickahominy Creek into a broad river. Johnston seized the opportunity to fall with tremendous force upon the exposed wing. At first, the Confederates swept all before the, but General Sumner, throwing his him across the tottering bridges over the Chickahominy, checked the column which was trying to seize the bridges and thus separate the two portions of the army. General Johnston was severely wounded. Night put an end to the contest. In the morning, the Confederates renewed the attack; but the loss of their general was fatal, and they were repulsed in great disorder.
The Union Army Checked. - General Lee[xlii] who now took command of the Confederate army, was anxious to assume the offensive. General Stuart led off (June 12) with a bold cavalry raid, in which he seized and burned supplies along the railroad leading to White House, made the entire circuit of the Union army and returned to Richmond in safety. McClellan, also, meditated an advance, and Hooker pushed his pickets within sight of the Richmond steeples. At this moment, there came news of the “same apparition which had frightened Banks” in the Shenandoah. Stonewall Jackson had appeared near Hanover Court House and threatened the Union communications with White House. There was no longer any thought of moving on Richmond. Hooker was recalled. McClellan resolved to “change his base” of supply from the York River to the James.
Seven-Days Battles. - The very morning McClellan came to this decision and ere the flank movement commenced, Lee, massing his strength on his left, fell upon the Union right at MECHANICSVILLE (June 26). Having repulsed this attack, at dawn the troops retired to GAINES’ Mill, where, by the desperate exertions, Porter held the brides across the Chickahominy until night, and then, burning them, withdrew to the south bank. That night (June 28), Lee detected McClellan’s movement, and instantly started columns along the roads that intersected the line of retreat. Magruder struck the Federal rear (June 29) at SAVAGE”S STATION. The Union troops maintained their position till night and then continued the movement. Longstreet and Hill encountered the line of march as it was passing FRAYSER’S FARM (June 30), but could not break it. During the darkness, the Union troops, worn out by the constant marching or fighting and the terrible heat and dust, collected at MALVERN HILL. On an elevated Plateau rising in the form of an amphitheatre, on whose sloping sides were arranged tier upon tier of batteries, with gun-boats protecting the left, the broken fragments of the splendid Army of the Potomac made their last stand (July 1). Here Lee received so bloody a check that he pressed the pursuit no farther. The Union troops retired undisturbed to Harrison’s Landing.
The Effect of this campaign was a triumph for the Confederates. The Union retreat had been conducted with skill, the troops had shown great bravery and steadiness, the repulse at Malvern Hill was decided, and Lee had lost fully 20,000 men; yet the siege of Richmond had been raised, 16,000 men killed, wounded or captured, immense stores taken or destroyed, and the Union army was now cooped up on James River, under the protection of the gun-boats. The discouragement at the North was as great as after the battle of Bull Run. Lincoln called for a levy of three hundred thousand troops.
Campaign against Pope. – Richmond being relieved from present peril, Lee threatened to march his victorious army against Washington. General Pope, who commanded the troops for the defense of that city, was stationed at the Rapidan. General McClellan was directed to transfer his army to Acquia Creek, and put it under the command of General Pope. Lee, now relieved from all fear for Richmond, immediately massed his troops against Pope to crush him before the Army of the Potomac could arrive[xliii].
Pope being held in check by the main army in front, General Jackson was sent around Pope’s right wing, to flank him. Passing through Thoroughfare Gap, he reached the railroad at Bristoe’s Station, in the rear of Pope’s army (August 26). General Pope, seeing an opportunity while Lee’s army was thus divided to cut it up in detail, turned on Jackson. But the Army of the Potomac not promptly reinforcing him, his plans failed, and instead of “bagging” Jackson’s division, he was compelled, with his slowly-gathering troops, to fight the entire Confederate army on the old battle-field of Bull Run. Exhausted, cut off from supplies, and overwhelmed by numbers, the shattered remains of the Union forces were glad to take refuge within the fortifications of Washington[xliv],
The Effect. – In this brief campaign, the Union army lost heavily in men, munitions, and supplies, while the way to Washington was opened to the Confederates. The Capital had not been in such peril since the war began. Without, was a victorious army; within, were broken battalions and no general.
Invasion of Maryland. – Flushed with success, Lee now crossed the Potomac and entered Maryland[xlv], hoping to secure volunteers and excite an insurrection. McClellan, who had been restored to command of the Army of the Potomac, reorganized the shapeless mass and set out in pursuit. On the way, he found a copy of Lee’s order of march. Learning from this that Lee had divided his forces[xlvi], and that but a portion remained in his front, he hastened in pursuit. Overtaking the Confederate rear at SOUTH MOUNTAIN, and forcing the passes, the Union army poured into the valley beyond.
Battle of Antietam. (September 17)- Lee, perceiving his mistake, fell back across Antietam Creek and hurried off couriers to hasten the return of his scattered corps. Fortunately for him, McClellan delayed his attack a day, and, in the meantime Jackson returned. At early dawn, Hooker fell upon the Confederate left, while Burnside, as soon as affairs looked favorable there, was to carry the bridge and attack their left. The Union army was over eighty thousand strong and the Confederate but half that number. The Union advance was Impetuous, but the Confederate defense was no less obstinate. Hooker was wounded, and his corps swept from the field. Both sides were reinforced. Burnside advanced, but too late to relieve the pressure on the Union right. Night ended this bloody fight. The morning found neither commander ready to assail his opponent. That night, Lee retired unmolested across the Potomac[xlvii]. Six weeks after, the Union army crossed into Virginia.
The Effect of this indecisive battle was that of a Union victory. The North saved from invasion and Washington from any danger of attack. Lincoln now determined to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring freedom to all slaves in the seceded States[xlviii].
Battle of Fredericksburg. – General dissatisfaction being expressed at the slowness with which McClellan pursued the retreating army, General Burnside was appointed his successor. Crossing the Rappahannock on pontoon bridges at Fredericksburg, he attempted (December 130 to storm the works in the rear of the town. The Confederates, intrenched behind a long stone wall, and on heights crowned with artillery, easily repulsed the repeated assaults of the Union troops. Night mercifully put an end to the fruitless massacre. The Federal loss was over twelve thousand; nearly half of whom fell before the fatal stone wall[xlix]. The survivors drew back into the city, and the next night passed quietly across the bridge to their old camping-ground.
General Review of the Second Year of the War. – The Confederates had gained the victories of Jackson in the Shenandoah; of Lee in the Peninsular campaign and those against Pope; Bragg’s great raid in Kentucky; and the battles of Cedar Mountain, Chickasaw Bluff, and Fredericksburg.
The Federals had taken Forts Henry, Donelson, Pulaski, Macon, Jackson, St. Philip, and Island No. 10; had opened the Mississippi to Vicksburg; occupied New Orleans, Roanoke Island, New Bern, Yorktown, Norfolk and Memphis; gained the battles of Pea Ridge, Williamsburg, Fair Oaks, South Mountain, Antietam, Iuka, Cornith and Murfreesboro, and had checked the career of the Merrimac. The marked successes were mainly at the West and along the coast; while in Virginia, as yet, defeats had followed victories as soon as to hide their memory.
The Sioux War. - In the midst of this civil strife, the Sioux Indians became dissatisfied with the Indian traders, and the non-payment of money due them. Bands of warriors under Little Crow and other chiefs perpetrated horrible massacres in Minnesota, Iowa, and Dakota. Over seven hundred whites were slain and many thousands driven from their homes. Colonel Sibley routed the savages and took five hundred prisoners. Thirty-nine were hanged on one scaffold at Mankato, Minn.
The Situation. – The plan of the war was the same as the preceding year but, included also the occupation of Tennessee. The Federal army was about seven hundred thousand strong; the Confederate, not more than half that number. The Emancipation Proclamation was issued at the opening of the year.
The War in the West.
The Second Expedition against Vicksburg. Grant continued his great task of opening the Mississippi. After several weeks of fruitless effort against Vicksburg upon the north, he marched down the West Side of the river, while the gun-boats, running the batteries[l] passed below the city and ferried the army across. Hastening forward, he defeated the Confederate advances under Pemberton, at PORT GIBSON (1 May). Learning that Gen. Jos. E. Johnston was coming to Pemberton’s assistance, he rapidly pushed between them to Jackson, that, while holding back Johnston with his right hand, with his left he might drive Pemberton into Vicksburg, and thus capture his whole army. Pursuing this design, he defeated Johnston at JACKSON (May 14), and then, turning to the west, drove Pemberton from his position at BIG BLACK RIVER (May 17); and in seventeen days after crossing the Mississippi, shut up Pemberton’s army within the works at Vicksburg. Two desperate assaults upon these having failed, the Union troops began to throw up intrenchments. Mines and countermines were now dug. Not one of the garrison could show his head above the works without being picked off by the watchful riflemen. A hat, held above a porthole, within two minutes was pierced with fifteen balls. Shells reached all parts of the city, and the inhabitants burrowed in caves to escape the iron storm. The garrison, worn out by forty-seven days of toil in the trenches, surrendered on the 4th of July[li].
The Effect. – This campaign cost the Confederates five battles, the cities of Vicksburg and Jackson, thirty-seven thousand prisoners, ten thousand killed and wounded, and immense stores. On the fall of Vicksburg, PORT HUDSON, which had been besieged by General Banks for many weeks surrendered[lii]. The Mississippi was now open to the Gulf and the Confederacy cut in twain. One great object of the North was accomplished.
THE WAR IN TENNESSEE AND GEORGIA.
Rosecrans, after the battle of Murfreesboro, made no forward movement until June[liii]. With sixty thousand men, he then marched against Bragg, and, by threatening his communications, compelled him to evacuate Chattanooga[liv] (Sept. 8). Rosecrans pushed on in pursuit of Bragg, whom he supposed to be in full retreat. Bragg, however, having received powerful reinforcements turned upon his pursuers so suddenly that they narrowly escaped being cut up in detail, while scattered along a line forty miles in length. The Union forces rapidly concentrated, and the two armies met on the Chickamauga[lv].
Battle of Chickamauga (Sept. 19, 20). – The first-day’s fight was indecisive. About noon of the second day, the Federal line became broken from the movement of troops to help the left wing, then hard pressed. Longstreet seized the opportunity, pushed a brigade into the gap, and swept the Federal right and center from the field. The rushing crowd of fugitives bore Rosecrans himself away. In this crisis of the battle, all depended on the left, under Thomas. If that yielded, the army would be utterly routed. All through the long afternoon, the entire Confederate army surged against it. But Thomas held fast[lvi]. At night, he deliberately withdrew to Chattanooga, picking up five hundred prisoners on the way. The Union army, however, defeated in the field, was now shut up in its intrenchments. Bragg occupied the hills commanding the city and cut off its communications. The garrison was threatened with starvation[lvii].
Battle of Chattanooga (Nov. 24, 25). – Grant, having been appointed to command the Mississippi Division hurried to Chattanooga[lviii]. Affairs soon wore a different look. Hooker came with two corps from the Army of the Potomac[lix]; and Sherman[lx] hastened by forced marches from Iuka, two hundred miles away. Communications were re-established. Thomas made a dash[lxi] and seized Orchard Knob (Nov. 23). The following day, Hooker charged the fortifications on Lookout Mountain[lxii]. His troops had been ordered to stop on the high ground; but carried away by the ardor of the attack, they swept over the crest, driving the enemy before them. Through the mist that filled the valley, the anxious watchers below caught only glimpses of this far-famed “battle above the clouds.” The next morning, Hooker advanced on the south of Missionary Ridge. Sherman, during the whole time, had been heavily pounding away on the northern flank. Grant, from his position on Orchard Knob, perceiving that the Confederate line in front of him was being weakened to repel these attacks on the flanks, saw that the critical moment had come[lxiii], and launched Thomas’ corps on its center. The orders were to take the rifle-pits at the foot of Missionary Ridge, then halt and re-form; but the men forgot them all, carried the works at the base, and then swept on up the ascent. Grant caught the inspiration, and ordered a grand charge along the whole front. Up they went over rocks and chasms, all lines were broken, the flags far ahead, each surrounded by a group of the bravest. Without firing a shot, and heedless of the tempest hurled upon them, they surmounted the crest, captured the guns, and turned them on the retreating foe. That night, the Union camp-fires, glistening along the heights about Chattanooga, proclaimed the success of this the most brilliant of Grant’s achievements, and the most picturesque of the battle of the war.
The Effects of this campaign were the rout of Bragg’s army, the resignation of that general, and the possession of Chattanooga by Union forces. This post gave control of East Tennessee, and opened the way to the heart of the Confederacy. It became the door-way by which the Union army gained easy access to Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama.
THE WAR IN EAST TENNESSEE.
While Rosecrans was moving on Chattanooga, Burnside, being relieved of the command of the Army of the Potomac, was sent into East Tennessee, where he met with great success. In the meantime, the Confederate President Davis, visited Bragg and, thinking Chattanooga was sure to be captured, sent Longstreet with his corps to the defense of Tennessee. His men were in a deplorable state – hungry, ragged, and tentless; but, under this indefatigable leader, they shut up Burnside’s force in the works at Knoxville. Meanwhile, Grant, in the moment of his splendid triumph at Chattanooga, ordered Sherman’s torn, bleeding, barefoot troops over terrible roads one hundred miles to Burnside’s relief. Longstreet, in order to anticipate the arrival of these re-inforcements made a desperate assault upon Burnside (November 29), but it was as heroically repulsed. As Sherman’s advance-guard reached Knoxville (December 4) Longstreet’s troops filed out of their works in retreat.
THE WAR IN THE EAST.
Battle of Chancellorsville (May 2, 3). – Burnside, after the defeat at Fredericksburg, was succeeded by General Hooker (January 26). The departure of Longstreet from his force, leaving Lee only sixty thousand to oppose to the Potomac army of over one hundred thousand, offered a favorable opportunity for an attack. Accordingly Sedgwick was left to carry the intrenchments at Fredericksburg, while the main body crossed the Rappahannock some miles above, and took position in the Wilderness, near Chancellorsville. Lee, relying on the dense woods to conceal his movements, risked the perilous chance of dividing his army in the presence of a superior enemy. While he kept up a show of fight in front, Jackson, by a detour of fifteen miles, got to the rear with twenty thousand men, and suddenly bursting out of the dense woods, routed the Union right. That night, Hooker took a new position; but, by constant attacks through the next day, Lee gradually forced the Union line from the field of battle, and captured Chancellor House[lxiv]. As he was preparing for the final grand charge, word was received the Sedgwick had crossed the Rappahannock, taken Fredericksburg, and had fallen on his rear. Drawing back, he turned against this new antagonist, and, by severe fighting that night and the following day, compelled him to re-cross the river. Lee then went to seek Hooker, but he was already gone. The Army of the Potomac was soon back on its old camping-ground opposite Fredericksburg[lxv].
Lee’s Second Invasion of the North. – Lee, encouraged by his success, now determined to carry the war into the Northern States, and dictate terms of peace in Philadelphia or New York[lxvi]. With the finest arm the South had ever sent forth, the flower of her troops, carefully equipped and confident of success, he rapidly moved down the Shenandoah, crossed the Potomac and advanced to Chambersburg. The Union army followed along the east side of the Blue Ridge and South Mountains. Lee, fearing that Meade, who now commanded the Federals, would strike through some of the passes and cut off his communications with Richmond, turned east to threaten Baltimore, and thus draw off Meade for its defense.
Battle of Gettysburg (July 1-3). First Day. – The Confederate advance unexpectedly met the Union cavalry just westward of Gettysburg. On the Chambersburg road[lxvii]. Re-inforcements came up on both sides; but the Federal troops were finally forced back and, becoming entangled in the streets of the village, lost many prisoners. All that night, the troops kept arriving and taking their positions by moonlight, to be ready for the contest, which they saw, was now close at hand[lxviii].
Second Day. - In the afternoon, Longstreet led the first grand charge against the Union left, in order to secure Little Round Top. General Sickles, by mistake, had taken a position in front of Meade’s intended line of battle. The Confederates, far out-flanking, swung around him; but, as they reached the top of the hill, they met a brigade which Warren had just sent in time to defeat this attempt. Sickles was, however, driven back to Cemetery Ridge, where he stood firm. Ewell, in an attack on the Federal right, succeeded in getting a position on Culp’s Hill[lxix].
Third Day. - At one o’clock P.M., Lee suddenly opened on Cemetery Ridge with one hundred and fifty guns. For two hours, the air was alive with shells[lxx]. Then the cannonade lulled, and out of the woods swept the Confederate double battle-line, over a mile long, and preceded by a cloud of skirmishers. A thrill of admiration ran along the Union ranks, as, silently and with disciplined steadiness, that magnificent column of eighteen thousand men moved up on the slope of Cemetery Ridge. A hundred guns torn great gaps in their front. Infantry volleys smote their ranks. The line was broken, yet they pushed forward. They planted their battle-flags on the breastworks. They bayoneted the cannoneers at their guns. They fought, hand to hand, so close that exploding powder scorched their clothes. Upon this struggling mass, the Federals converged from every side. No human endurance could stand the storm. Out of this terrible fire, whole companies rushed as prisoners into the Union lines, while the rest fled panic-stricken from the field[lxxi].
The Federals loss in the three-days fight was twenty-three thousand; the Confederate was not officially reported, but probably much exceeded that number. Meade slowly followed Lee, who re-crossed the Potomac, and took position back of the Rapidan.
The Effect of this battle was to put an end to the idea of a Northern invasion. Lee’s veterans who went down in the awful charges of Gettysburg could never be replaced.
THE WAR ON THE SEA AND THE COAST.
Attack on Charleston (April 7). – Such was the confidence felt in the ability of the iron-clads to resist cannon-balls, that Admiral Dupont determined to run the fortifications at the entrance to Charleston, and force his way up to the city. The attempt was a disastrous failure[lxxii]. General Gillmore then took charge of the Union troops, and landing on Morris Island[lxxiii], by regular siege approaches and a terrible bombardment, captured Fort Wagner[lxxiv] and reduced Fort Sumter to a shapeless mass of rubbish. A short time after a party of sailors from the Union fleet essayed to capture it by night, but its garrison, upstarting from the ruins, drove them back with heavy loss.
General Review of the Third Year of the War. – The Confederates had gained the great battles of Chickamauga and Chancellorsville, seized Galveston, and successfully resisted every attack on Charleston.
The Federals had gained the important battles before Vicksburg and those at Chattanooga and at Gettysburg. They had captured the garrisons of Vicksburg and Port Hudson. The Mississippi was patrolled by gun-boats, and the Confederate army was entirely cut off from its western supplies. Arkansas, east Tennessee, and large portions of Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas had been won for the Union.
The Situation. - In March, General Grant was made Lieutenant-General in command of all the forces of the United States. Heretofore, the different armies acted independently. They were now to move in concert, and thus prevent the Confederate forces from aiding each other. The strength of the South lay in the armies of Lee in Virginia, and Johnston in Georgia. Grant was to attack the former, Sherman the latter, and both were to keep at work, regardless of season or weather. While the Army of the Potomac was crossing the Rapidan (May 4), Grant seated on a log by the road-side, penciled a telegram to Sherman to start.
THE WAR IN TENNESSEE AND GEORGIA.
Advance upon Atlanta. – Sherman, with one hundred thousand men, now moved upon Johnson, who, with nearly fifty thousand, was stationed at Dalton, Ga. The Confederate commander, foreseeing this advance, had selected a series of almost impregnable positions, one behind the other, all the way to Atlanta. For one hundred miles, there was continued skirmishing among the mountains and woods, which presented every opportunity for such a warfare. Both armies were led by profound strategists. Sherman would drive Johnston into a stronghold, and then with consummate skill outflank him, when Johnston with equal skill would retreat to a new post and prepare to meet his opponent again[lxxv]. At DALTON, RESACA, DALLAS and LOST and KENESAW MOUNTAINS, bloody battles were fought. Finally, Johnston retired to the intrenchments of Atlanta (July 10).
Capture of Atlanta. – Davis, dissatisfied with this Fabian policy, now put Hood in command. He attacked the Union army three times with tremendous energy, but was repulsed with great slaughter. Sherman, thereupon re-enacting his favorite flanking movement, filled his wagons with fifteen-days rations, dexterously shifted his whole army on Hood’s line of supplies, and compelled the evacuation of the city[lxxvi].
The Effect. – This campaign, during the four months of fighting and marching, day and night, in its ten pitched battles and scores of lesser engagements, cost the Union army thirty thousand men and the Confederate, thirty-five thousand. Georgia was the workshop, store-house, granary, and arsenal of the Confederacy. At Atlanta, Rome and the neighboring towns were manufactories, foundries and mills, where clothing, wagons, harnesses, powder, balls, and cannon were furnished to all its armies. The South was henceforth cut off from these supplies.
Hood’s Invasion of Tennessee. - Sherman now longed to sweep through the Atlantic States. But this was impossible so long as Hood, with an army of forty thousand, was in front, while the cavalry under Forrest was raiding along his railroad communications toward Chattanooga and Nashville. With unconcealed joy, therefore, Sherman learned that Hood was to invade Tennessee[lxxvii]. Relieved of this anxiety, he prepared his army for its celebrated “March to the Sea.”
Battle of Nashville (December 15, 16). – Hood crossed the Tennessee, and, after a desperate struggle with Schofield’s army at FRANKLIN, shut up General Thomas within the fortifications at Nashville. For two weeks little was done[lxxviii]. When Thomas was fully ready, he suddenly sallied out on Hood, and in a terrible two-day battle drove the Confederate forces out of their intrenchments into headlong flight. The Union cavalry thundered upon their heels with remorseless energy. The infantry followed closely behind. The entire Confederate army, except the rear guard, which fought bravely to the last, was dissolved into a rabble of demoralized fugitives, who escaped across the Tennessee.
The Effect. – For the first time in the war, an army was destroyed. The object, which Sherman hoped to attain when he moved on Atlanta, was accomplished by Thomas, three hundred miles away. Sherman could now go where he pleased with little danger of meeting a foe. The war at the West, so far as any great movements were concerned, was finished.
Sherman’s March to the Sea. – Breaking loose from his communications with Nashville, and burning the city of Atlanta, Sherman started (Nov. 16), with sixty thousand men, for the Atlantic coast. The army moved in four columns, with a cloud of cavalry under Kilpatrick[lxxix], and skirmishers in front to disguise its route[lxxx]. The wings destroyed the Georgia Central and Augusta railroads, and troops foraged on the country as they passed. In five weeks, they had marched three hundred miles, reached the sea[lxxxi]. Stormed Fort McAlister, and captured Savannah[lxxxii].
The Effect of this march can hardly be over estimated. A fertile region, sixty miles wide and three hundred long, was desolated; three hundred miles of railroad were destroyed; the eastern portion of the already sundered Confederacy was cut in twain; immense supplies of provisions were captured, and the hardships of war brought home to those who had hitherto been exempt from its actual contact.
Battle of the Wilderness (May 5, 6). - After crossing the Rapidan, the Union army plunged into the Wilderness. While the columns were toiling along narrow roads, they were suddenly attacked by the Confederate army[lxxxiii]. The dense forest forbade all strategy. There was none of the pomp or glory of war, only its horrible butchery. The ranks simply dashed into the woods. Soon came the patter of shots, the heavy rattle of musketry, and then there streamed back the wreck f battle- bleeding, mangled forms, borne on stretchers. In those gloomy shades, dense with smoke, this strangest of battles, which no eye could follow, marked only by the shouts and volleys, now advancing, now receding, as either side gained or lost, surged to and fro. The third day, both armies, worn out by this desperate struggle, remained in their intrenchments. Neither side had conquered. It was generally supposed that the Federals would retire back of the Rapidan. Grant thought differently. He quietly gathered up his army and pushed it by the Confederate right flank toward Spotsylvania Court House.
Battle of Spotsylvania (May 8-12). – Lee detected the movement, and hurried a division to head off the Union advance. When Grant reached the spot, he found the Confederate army planted directly across the road, barring his progress. Five days of continuous maneuvering[lxxxiv], and fighting[lxxxv] having given no advantage, Grant concluded to try the favorite movement of the year, and turn Lee’s right flank again[lxxxvi].
Battle of Cold Harbor (June 3). - Lee, however, moving on the inner and shorter line reached the NORTH ANA first. Here some severe fighting occurred, when, Grant moving to flank again, Lee slipped into the intrenchments of Cold Harbor. At daybreak an assault was made. The Union troops, here sinking in the swamp, there entangled in the brushwood, and torn by a pitiless fire, struggled on only to be beaten back with terrible slaughter[lxxxvii]. Lee’s army, sheltered behind its works, suffered little[lxxxviii].
Attack on Petersburg. – Grant now rapidly pushed his army over the James, and fell upon Petersburg; but here again Lee was ahead, and the works could not be forced. Grant was therefore compelled to throw up intrenchments and sit down in front of the Confederate lines. The campaign now resolved itself into a siege of Richmond, with Petersburg as its advanced post.
The Effect. – The campaign had cost the Union army forty thousand men, and the Confederates thirty thousand[lxxxix]. The weakened capabilities of the South were now fairly pitted against the almost exhaustless resources of the North. Grant’s plan was to keep constantly hammering Lee’s army, conscious that it was the last hope of the Confederacy. The idea of thus annihilating an army was terrible, yet it seemed the only way of closing the awful struggle.
The Siege of Richmond continued until the spring of 1865. It was marked by two important events:
1. Mine Explosion (July 30). From a hidden ravine in front of Petersburg, a mine had been dug underneath a strong Confederate fort. Just at dawn, the blast of eight thousand pounds of powder was fired. Several cannon, the garrison of three hundred men, and huge masses of earth were thrown high in the air. The Federal guns opened fire at once along the entire line. An assaulting column forward, but stopped in the crater produced by the explosion. The Confederates, rallying from their confusion, concentrated from every side, and poured shot and shell upon the struggling mass of men huddled within the demolished fort. To retreat was only less dangerous than to stay, yet many of the soldiers jumped out of this slaughter-pen and ran headlong back to the Union lines. The Federals lost about four thousand men in this ill-starred affair.
2. Attack upon the Weldon Railroad (August 18). – By threatening Richmond upon the north, Grant induced Lee to move troops to that city from Petersburg. The opportunity was at once seized, and the Weldon Railroad captured. Lee, aware of the great importance of this means of communication with the South, for several days made desperate attempts for its recovery. They were, however, unsuccessful, and the Union lines were permanently advanced to this point.
Early’s Raid. - Hunter’s retreat having laid open the Shenandoah Valley, Lee took advantage of it to threaten Washington, hoping thus to draw off Grant from the siege of Richmond. General Early, with twenty thousand men, accordingly hurried along this oft-traveled route. Defeating General Wallace at MONOCACY RIVER, he appeared before FORT STEVENS, one of the defenses of Washington (July 11). Had he rushed by force marches, he might have captured the city; but he stopped a day. Re-inforcements having arrived, he was compelled to retreat. Laden with booty, he rapidly re-crossed the Potomac; but, not being pursued, he returned, and sent a party of cavalry into Pennsylvania. They entered Chambersburg, and, on failing to obtain a ransom of $500,00, set fire to the village, and escaped safely back into the Shenandoah.
Sheridan’s Campaign. – Sheridan was now put in command of all the troops in this region. He defeated Early at WINCHESTER and FISHER’S HILL, and in a week destroyed half his army, and sent the rest[xc] “whirling up the valley of the Shenandoah[xci]. Early was quickly reinforced, and returning during Sheridan’s absence, surprised his army at CEDAR CREEK (October 19), and drove it in confusion. Sheridan arrived at this critical moment[xcii] reformed his ranks, ordered an advance, and, attacking the Confederates; now busy plundering the captured camp, routed them with great slaughter.
The Effect. – This campaign of only a month was one of the most brilliant of the war. Sheridan lost seventeen thousand men, but he virtually destroyed Early’s army. This was the last attempt to threaten Washington.
Red River Expedition.[xciii]. – A joint naval and land expedition, under the command of General Banks, was sent up the Red River in hope of destroying the Confederate authority in that region and in Texas. Fort de Russy was taken (March 14), whence Banks moved on toward Shreveport. The line of march became extended a distance of thirty miles along a single road. At SABINE CROS ROADS (April 8), the Confederate forces, under General Dick Taylor, attacked the advance, and a miniature Bull Run retreat ensued. The Union troops, however, rallied at PLEASANT HILL, and the next day, re-inforcements coming up from the rear, they were able to repulse the Confederates. The army thereupon returned to New Orleans[xciv] and Banks was relieved of the command.
The Effect. – This campaign was a great Confederate triumph[xcv]. Banks lost five thousand men, eighteen guns, and large supplies.
THE WAR ON THE SEA AND THE COAST.
The Expedition against Mobile (August 5) was under the command of Admiral Farragut. That he might oversee the battle more distinctly; he took his position in the rigging of ship flag-ship – the Hartford. The vessels, lashed together in pairs for mutual assistance, in an hour fought their way past the Confederate forts, and engaged the iron-clad fleet beyond. After a desperate resistance, the great iron-ram Tennessee was taken, and the other vessels were captured or put to flight. The forts were soon after reduced, and the harbor was thenceforth closed to blockade runners[xcvi]
The Expedition against Fort Fisher, which defended the harbor of Wilmington, N.C. was commanded by Commodore Porter. It consisted of seventy vessels and a land force under General Butler. After a fierce bombardment (December 24, 25), Butler decided that the fort could not be taken by assault, and the army returned to Fort Monroe. Commodore Porter, dissatisfied with the result, lay off the place, and asked for a second trial. The same troops, with fifteen hundred additional men, were sent back under General Terry. Protected by a terrible fire from the fleet, a column if sailors and one of soldiers worked their way, by a series of trenches, within two hundred yards of the fort. At the word, the former leaped forward on one side and the latter on the another. The sailors were repulsed, but the soldiers burst into the fort. The hand-to-hand fight lasted for hours. Late at night, the garrison, hemmed in on all sides, surrendered (January 15, 1865). One knows not which to admire the more, the gallantry of the attack or the heroism of the defense. In such a victory is glory, and in such a defeat, no disgrace.
The Blockade was now so effectual that the prices of all imported goods in the Confederate States were fabulous[xcvii]. Led by the enormous profits of a successful voyage, foreign merchants were constantly seeking to run the gauntlet. Their swift steamers, long, narrow, low, of a mud color, and making no smoke, occasionally escaped the vigilance of the Federal squadron. During the war, it was said; over fifteen hundred blockade runners were taken or destroyed. With the capture of Fort Fisher, the last Confederate port of entry was sealed.
Confederate Cruisers had now practically driven the American commerce from the ocean. They were not privateers, for they were built in England and manned by British sailors, and were only officered and commissioned by the Confederate government. They sailed to and fro upon the track of American ships, recklessly plundering and burning or else bonding them for heavy sums.
The Alabama was most noted of these British steamers. Against the urgent remonstrances of the United States Minister at the Court of England, she was allowed to sail, although her mission was well known. An English captain took her to the Azores, where another English vessels brought her arms, ammunition, and the Confederate Captain Semmes with additional men. Putting out to sea, he read his commission and announced his purpose. After capturing over sixty vessels, he sailed to Cherbourg, France. While there, he sent out a challenge to the national ship-of-war KEARSARGE. This was accepted, and a battle took place off that harbor. Captain Winslow, of the Kearsarge, so maneuvered that the Alabama was compelled to move round in a circular track, while he trained his guns upon her with fearful effect. On the seventh rotation, the Confederate vessel ran up the white flag and soon after sunk. Captain Winslow rescued a part of the sinking crew, and others were picked up, at his request, by the Deer-hound, and English yacht; but this vessel steamed off to the British coast with those she had saved, among whom was captain Semmes.
The Sanitary and Christian Commissions were “splendid examples of organized mercy, ” furnished by the people of the North. They devised and provided every possible comfort for the sick and wounded, besides distributing religious reading to every soldier in the field. Ambulances, stretchers, hot coffee, postage stamps, paper and envelopes, prayer meetings, medicines, Christian burial, - no want of body or soul was overlooked. “Homes” and “Lodges” for men on sick leave, and for those not yet under or just out of the care of the government, or who had been left by their regiments; “Feeding Stations” for the tired and hungry; and even “Homes for Wives, Mothers, and Children of Soldiers,” who had come to visit their sick and wounded were established. On every-flag-of-truce boat, were placed clothing, medicines, and cordials for the prisoners who had been exchanged. With boundless mercy, they cared for all while living and gave Christian burial and marked graves to the dead. Over seventeen millions of dollars in money and supplies were expended by these two Commissions.
Political Affairs. – At the North, there was much dissatisfaction with the conduct of the war. The debt had become about $2,000,000,000. In July of this year, paper money reached its greatest depreciation, and it required two dollars and ninety cents in greenbacks to buy one dollar in gold. It was at the time of Grant’s repulse from Cold Harbor and of Early’s raid. Yet, in the midst of these discouragements Abraham Lincoln was re-nominated by the Republican Party. George B. McClellan was the democratic candidate; he stood firmly for the prosecution of the war, and the maintenance of the Union, but was not in full sympathy with the policy of the administration. He carried only three States. Lincoln had a popular majority of over four hundred thousand.
General Review of the Fourth Year of the War. – The Confederates had gained the battles of Olustee[xcviii], Sabine Cross Roads, the Wilderness, Bermuda Hundred, Spotsylvania, New Market, Cold Harbor, and Monocacy; had defeated the expeditions into Florida and the Red River country, the two attacks upon Petersburg, and one against Fort Fisher, and yet held Grant at bay before Richmond. They had however, lost ground on every side. Of the States east of the Mississippi, only North and South Carolina were fully retained. Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia and Florida were overrun by the Union Armies. The Federals had gained the battles of Pleasant Hill, Resaca, Dallas, Kenesaw, Atlanta, Winchester, Fisher’s Hill, Cedar Creek, and Nashville. They had captured Fort De Russy, the forts in Mobile harbor, and Fort McAlister, and had taken Atlanta and Savannah. Sherman had swept across Georgia; Sheridan had devastated the Shenandoah, driving its defenders before him; Thomas had annihilated Hood’s army; Grant held Lee firmly grasped at Richmond, and the navy swept the entire coast.
The Situation. – The plan of the campaign was very simple. The end of the war was clearly at hand. Sherman was to move north from Savannah against Johnston, and then join Grant in the final attack upon Lee. Sheridan, with ten thousand troopers, had swept down the Shenandoah, cut the railroads north of Richmond, and taken his place in the Union lines before Petersburg. Wilson, with thirteen thousand horsemen, rode at large through Alabama and Georgia, and at Macon held a line of retreat from Virginia westward. Stoneman, with five thousand cavalry from Tennessee, poured through the passes of the Alleghenies and waited in North Carolina for the issue in Virginia.
Sherman’s March through the Carolinas. – In the meantime, Sherman had given his troops only a month’s rest in Savannah. Early in February, they were put in motion northward. There was no waiting for roads to dry nor for bridges to be built, but the troops swept on like a tornado. Rivers were waded, and “one battle was fought while the water was up to the shoulders of the men.” The army, sixty thousand strong, moved in four columns, with a front more than fifty miles. Cavalry and foragers swarmed on the flanks. Before them was terror; behind them were ashes.
Columbia was captured (Feb. 17). That night, nearly the entire city was burned to the ground. Charleston, threatened in the rear, was evacuated the next day. In this emergency, Johnston was recalled to the command of the Confederates. He gathered the scattered troops and vigorously opposed Sherman’s advance. After fierce engagements at AVERYBORO and BENTONVILLE, he was driven back. While Johnston was now guarding the route to Raleigh, Sherman pressed forward to Goldsboro, in order to join Schofield who had made his way thither from Wilmington, and Terry, who had come up from New Bern. Soon, the three armies united, and 100,000 men upheld the flag of the Union along the banks of the Neuse[xcix]. Sherman then went to City Point, to arrange with Grant the plan of the final struggle.
Siege of Richmond. – Lee’s position was fast becoming desperate. His only hope lay in getting out of Richmond and joining with Johnston. Their united armies might prolong the struggle. Grant was determined to prevent this, and compel Lee to surrender, as he had forced Pemberton to do.
Attack on Fort Steadman (March 25). - Lee decided to attack Grant’s line, in order to hide his plan of retreat, and especially in the hope that Grant would send troops from the left to succor the threatened point. In that case, he would slip out, with the main body of his army, by the nearest road southward, which ran close by the Union left. The assault was made on Fort Steadman, but it was a signal failure. Three thousand out of five thousand engaged in the attempt were lost. To make matters worse, a Union assault followed directly afterward, and a portion of the Confederate outer defenses was captured. Thus Grant’s grip was only tightened. He had made no change in the position of his troops and this sortie neither listened nor delayed the grand attack.
Battle of Five Forks (April1). – This movement began Wednesday morning, March 29. Sheridan with his cavalry – nine thousand sabers, and heavy columns of infantry, pushed out from Grant’s left wing, to get around in Lee’s rear. Cloaking his plan by a thick screen of cavalry to conceal the movements of his infantry, he threw a heavy force behind the Confederate position at FIVE FORKS[c]. Assailed in front and rear, the garrison was overwhelmed, and five thousand men were taken prisoners.
The Effect of this brilliant affair was at once to render Lee’s position untenable. His right was turned and his rear threatened.
Capture of Petersburg and Richmond (April 2, 3). – The next morning, a four o’clock, the Union army advanced in an overwhelming assault along the whole front, By noon, the Confederate line of intrenchments, before which the Army of the Potomac had lain so long was broken, and thousands of prisoners were captured. That night, Petersburg and Richmond were evacuated. The next morning, the Union troops took possession of the Confederate capital[ci], the coveted goal of the Army of the Potomac for four long bloody years.
Lee’s Surrender. – Meanwhile, Lee, having only the wreck of that proud army with which he had dealt the Union army so many crushing blows, hurried west, seeking some avenue of escape. Grant urged the pursuit with untiring energy. Sheridan, “with a terrible daring which knew no pause, no rest,” hung on his flanks. Food now failed the Confederates, and they could get only the young shoots of trees to eat. If they sought a moment’s repose, they were awakened by the clatter of pursuing cavalry. Lee, like a hunted fox, turned hither and thither; but, at last, Sheridan planted himself squarely across the front. Lee ordered a charge. His half-starved troops, with a rallying of their old courage, obeyed. But the cavalry moving aside, as a curtain is drawn, revealed dense bodies of infantry in battle line. The Civil War was about to end in one of the bloodiest tragedies, when the Confederate advance was stopped. General Grant had already sent a note demanding the surrender of the army. Lee accepted the terms[cii]; and, April 9, eight thousand men – the remains of the Army of Virginia, laid down their arms near Appomattox Court House, and then turned homeward, no longer Confederate soldiers, but American citizens.
The Effect.- This closed the war. The other Confederate armies promptly surrendered[ciii]. Jefferson Davis fled southward hoping to escape, but was overtaken near Irwinsville, Georgia (May 10), and sent a prisoner to Fort Monroe.
Cost of the War. – In the Union armies, probably three hundred thousand men were killed in battle or died of wounds or disease, while doubtless two hundred thousand more were crippled for life. If the Confederate armies suffered as heavily, the country thus lost one million able-bodied men. The Union debt when largest (Aug. 31, 1865) was $2,844,000,000. The Confederate war debts were never paid, as that government was overthrown.
Assassination of Lincoln. - In the midst of the universal rejoicings over the advent of peace, on the evening of April 14, the intelligence was flashed over the country that Lincoln had been assassinated[civ]. While seated with his wife and friends in his box at Ford’s Theater, he was shot by John Wilkes Booth[cv], who insanely imagined he was ridding his country of a tyrant. The stricken President was carried to a private house near by, where, about his unconscious body, gathered the most prominent men of the nation, who mourned and watched, waiting in vain for some sign of recognition, until the next morning, when he died. His funeral was held on the 19th. It was a day of mourning throughout the land. In most of the cities and towns, funeral orations were pronounced. The body was borne to Springfield over than same route along which Lincoln had come as President elect to Washington. The procession may be said to have extended the entire distance. The churches, principal buildings, and even the engines and cars were draped in black. Almost every citizen wore the badge of mourning.
States added during this Epoch. – West Virginia, the thirty-fifth State, was admitted to the Union, June 19, 1863. During the Civil War, this portion of Virginia remaining loyal, it was organized as a separate State.
Nevada, the thirty-sixth State, was admitted to the Union, October 31, 1864. Its name was derived from the range of mountains on the wet, the Sierra Nevada, a Spanish title, signifying “Snow-covered mountains.” It was the third State carved out of the territory acquired by the Mexican war, Texas being the first, and California the second. Its first settlement was at Carson City. It is one of the richest mineral States in the Union.
[i] Abraham Lincoln was born in Kentucky, February 12, 1809; died in Washington, April 15, 1865. His father was unable to read or write, and his own education consisted of one-year’s schooling. Hoping to better his fortune, his father moved to Indiana, the family floating down the Ohio on a raft. When nineteen years of age, the future President hired out at $10 a month as a hand on a flat-boat, and made a trip to New Orleans. On his return, he accompanied the family to Illinois, driving the cattle on the journey. Having reached their destination, he helped them to build a cabin, and to split rails to inclose the farm. He was now, in succession, a flat-boat hand, clerk, captain of a company of volunteers in the Black Hawk War, country store-keeper, postmaster, and surveyor, yet he managed to get the knowledge of law by borrowing books at an office before it closed at night, returning them at its opening in the morning. On being admitted to the bar, he rapidly rose to distinction. At twenty-five, he was sent to the legislature, and there thrice re-elected. Turning his attention to politics, he soon became a leader. In 1858, he was candidate for Senator, a second time, against Stephen A. Douglas. The two rivals stumped the State together, discussing great national questions. The debate, unrivaled for its statesmanship, logic, and wit, won for Lincoln a national reputation, but he lost the election in the Legislature, his party being in the minority. After his accession to the Presidency, his history, like Washington’s, is identified with that of his country. He was a tall, ungainly man, little versed in the refinements of society, but gifted by nature with great common sense, and everywhere known as “Honest Abe.” Kind, earnest, sympathetic, faithful, democratic, he was anxious only to serve his country. His wan, fatigued face, and his bent form, told of the cares he bore, and the grief he felt. His only relief was when, tossing aside for a moment the heavy load of responsibility, his face would light up with a humorsome smile, when he narrated some incident whose irresistible wit and aptness to the subject at hand, convulsed his hearers and rendered “Lincoln’s stories” household words throughout the nation.
[ii] The first gun of the war was fired at half-past four o’clock Friday morning, April 12, 1861.
[iii] A Union soldier, who was shot in this array, turned about, saluted the flag, and exclaiming, “All hail the stars and stripes!” fell lifeless.
[iv] Alexandria was occupied by Colonel Elmer E. Ellsworth and his Zouaves. After the capture, seeing the Confederate flag still flying from the roof of a hotel, he went up and took it down. As he descended, he was shot at the foot f the stairs, by the landlord, Jackson, who in turn fell at the hands of private Brownell.
[v] Alexandria is on the southern side of the Potomac, seven miles below Washington. Arlington Heights are directly opposite the capital.
[vi] This is located at the entrance of the Chesapeake, and is the most formidable fortification in the United States. It covers nearly seventy acres of ground. The walls are built of granite.
[vii] At Hampton, which had been occupied by the Confederates, some negroes were captured who had been employed in building fortifications. Butler declared them “contraband of war”, and this gave rise to the popular term “Contraband.”
[viii] This is near Manassas Junction, about twenty-seven miles from Alexandria.
[ix] General Bee, as he rallied his men, shouted, “There’s Jackson standing like a stone wall.” “From that time,” says Draper, “the name he had received in a baptism of fire displaced that he had received in a baptism of water, and he was known as “Stonewall Jackson.”
[x] These troops composed a part of General Johnston’s command at Winchester; General Patterson, with 20,000 men, had been left to watch him, and prevent his joining Beauregard. Johnston was too shrewd for his antagonist, and slipping out of his hands, reached Bull Run just in time to take part in and, as we have already seen, to decide the battle. Johnston’s troops being included, the Union and Confederate armies at Bull Run were almost exactly equal, each about 18,000 strong
[xi] Soon after, General Scott, weighed down by age, retired from active service, and General McClellan became General-in-chief of all the armies of the United States.
[xii] December 20, General E.O.C. Ord, having gone out on a foraging excursion to DRANESVILLE, in a severe skirmish routed the Confederates. This little victory greatly encouraged the people at the North, who had been disheartened by the disastrous affair at Ball’s Bluff.
[xiii] The Confederates in their final assault, fought behind a movable breastwork, composed of hemp bales, which they rolled toward the fort as they advanced.
[xiv] Kentucky, like Missouri, tried to remain neutral, but was unsuccessful. Soon, both Confederates and Union Troops were encamped on her soil, and the State was ravaged by hostile armies. In all the border States, affairs were in a most lamentable condition. The people were divided in opinion, and enlisted in both armies. As the tide of war surged to and fro, armed bands swept through the county, plundering and murdering those who favored the opposite party.
[xv] The Savannah was the first privateer which got to sea, but this vessel was captured after having taken only a single prize. The Petrel, also from Charleston, bore down upon the United States frigate St. Lawrence, which the captain mistook for a merchant ship; his vessel was sunk by the first broadside of his formidable antagonist. The Sumter, under Captain Semmes, captured and burned a large number of Federal ships, but, at last, it was blockaded in the Bay of Gibraltar by a Union gun-boat, and being unable to escape, was sold
[xvi] During this engagement, the ships described an ellipse between the forts, each vessel delivering its fire as it slowly sailed by, then passing on, and another taking its place. The line of this ellipse was constantly changed to prevent the Confederates from getting the range of the vessels.
[xvii] This fort was situated near Pensacola. Lieutenant Slemmer, seeing that an attack was about to be made upon him, transferred his men from Fort McRae, an untenable position, to Fort Pickens, an almost impregnable fortification, which he held until re-inforcements arrived.
[xviii] As a part of the general movement, in January, General Thomas had advanced against MILL SPRING, and, on the 19th, driven out the Confederate force at that place, with the loss of General Zollicoffer, a favorite Southern leader.
[xix] For four nights of inclement winter weather, amid snow and sleet, with no tents, shelter, fire and many with no blankets, these hardly troops maintained their position. The wounded suffered intensely, and number of them froze to death as they lay on the ground.
[xx] When General Buckner, commander of the fort, wrote to General Grant, offering capitulation, Grant replied that no terms would be received except an “unconditional surrender”. And that he “proposed to move immediately upon their works.” These expressions have been much quoted, and U.S. Grant has often been said to signify “Unconditional Surrender Grant.”
[xxi] Whether or not this attack was a surprise, has been one of mooted questions of the war. Le Comte de Paris says, “The surprise was complete and unquestionable; the Union Commanders sought in van to excuse themselves.”; and it was currently stated at the time that so unexpected was the attack that many of the “men were bayoneted in their beds.” On the other hand, General Sherman asserts that his “troops were in line of battle and ready” before the engagement began, and he personally assures the writer that after the battle he offered in vain a reward for the body of any person killed by a bayonet wound. General Grant, also, denies the attack was a surprise to him, and declares that so well satisfied was he with the result of the first day’s struggle, that at night he gave orders for a forward movement early in the morning.
[xxii] The islands in the Mississippi are numbered in order from the mouth of the Ohio to New Orleans.
[xxiii] Pope, with his army, was on the Missouri side of the river. He could not cross as the Confederate batteries were planted on the opposite shore. A canal was therefore dug through Donaldson’s Point. It was twelve miles long and fifty feet wide. Part of the distance was among heavy timber, where trees had to be cut off four feet below the surface of the water. Yet the work was accomplished in nineteen days. Through this canal, steam-boats and barges were safely transferred below the newly-made island, while the two largest gun-boats ran the batteries. Under their protection, Pope crossed the river.
[xxiv] Besides the results here named, the concentration of troops at Cornith had absorbed the troops from the South. Thus New Orleans, as we shall see hereafter, fell an easy prey to Farragut.
[xxv] Gen. Halleck having been called to Washington as General-in-chief of the armies of the United States, General Grant was appointed to command of this army.
[xxvi] At Frankfort, Bragg was joined by the art of his army under Kirby Smith, who had marched from Knoxville, routed a Union force under General Mason at Richmond, Ky., inflicting a heavy loss, and had then moved north as far a Cynthiana. There he threatened to attack Cincinnati, but was repelled by the extensive preparation made by General Lew Wallace.
[xxvii] The Texas and Missouri troops made a heroic charge upon Fort Robinette. They advanced within fifty yards of the intrenchments received a shower of grape and canister without flinching, and were driven back only when the Ohio brigade poured a volley of musketry into their ranks. They were rallied by Colonel Rogers, of the Second Texas, who led them through the abattis, when with the colors in his hand, he sprung upon the embankment and cheered on his men. An instant more and he fell, with five brave fellows who had dared to leap to his side. The Union troops admiringly buried his remains, and neatly rounded off the little mound where they laid the hero to rest.
[xxviii] This coincidence reminds one of the battle of Camden. He plan was to mass the strength on the left, and with that to fall upon and crush the enemy’s right. The advantage clearly lay with the army which struck first. Bragg secured the initiative, and Rosecrans’ only course was to give up all thought of an attack and endeavor to save his right and center from a rout.
[xxix] Some four or five thousand Indians joined the Confederate army, and took part in this battle. “They were difficult to manage,” says Pollard, “in the deafening roar of artillery, which drowned their loudest war-whoops. They were amazed at the sight of guns which ran on wheels; annoyed by the falling of the trees behind which they took shelter; and, in a word, their main service was in consuming rations.”
[xxx] The next year, Quantrell, a noted guerrilla, with three hundred men, entered Lawrence, Kansas, plundered the bank, burned houses, and murdered one hundred and forty persons. Before a sufficient force could be gathered, he escaped.
[xxxi] To conceal the vessels, they were dressed out with leafy branches, which, except by close observation, rendered them undistinguishable from the green woods. The direction had been accurately calculated, so that the gunners did not need to see the points toward which they were to aim. So severe was the bombardment, that “windows at the Balize, thirty miles distant, were broken. Fish, stunned by the explosion, lay floating on the surface of the water.”
[xxxii] These vessels were made partly iron-clad by looping two layers of chain cables over their sides, and their engines were protected by bags of sand, coal, etc.
[xxxiii] Steamers, ships, vast quantities of cotton, etc., were now burned to prevent their falling into the Federal hands. Pollard says; “no sooner had the Federal fleet turned the point and come within sight of the city, than the work of destruction commenced. Vast columns of smoke darkened the face of heaven and obscured the noon-day sun; for five miles along the levee fierce flames darted through the lurid atmosphere. Great ships and steamers wrapped in fire floated down the river, threatening the Federal vessels with destruction. Fifteen thousand bales of cotton, worth one million and half dollars, were consumed. About a dozen large river steam-boats, twelve or fifteen ships, a great floating battery, several unfinished gun-boats, the immense ram Mississippi and the docks on the other side of the river were all embraced in the fiery sacrifice.
[xxxiv] Roanoke Island, the scene of Raleigh’s colonization scheme, was key to the rear defenses of Norfolk. “It unlocked two sounds, eight rivers, four canals, and two railroads. It controlled largely the transmission of supplies to that region, afforded an excellent harbor and a convenient rendezvous for ships, and exposed a large country to attack.
[xxxv] When the United States navy-yard at Portsmouth, near Norfolk, Va., was given up, the steam-frigate Merrimac, the finest in the service was scuttled. The Confederates afterward raised this vessel, razeed the deck, and added an iron prow and a slopping roof made of heavy, iron plates) not railroad iron, as is often stated). The ship thus prepared looked not unlike a great house sunk in the water to the eaves. To deflect hostile balls, and also to prevent boarding, the iron rook was covered with a thick coating of tallow and plumbago. The Federals knew that the Merrimac was fitting for battle, and her coming was eagerly expected.
[xxxvi] As the Cumberland sunk, the crew continued to work their guns until the vessel plunged beneath the sea. Her flag never struck, but floated above the water from the mast head after she had gone down. A curious fact is told concerning this engagement. A large number of Confederates collected on the shore opposite Newport News, in order to witness the battle; but, to their amazement, they could not hear a sound of it. They could see the flash and smoke of each discharge, but strong wind bore off entirely the noise of the cannonade. It was as if the spectators were gazing at the picture of the battle instead of the reality. Read articles on the “First fight of the Iron-clads,” in the Century, March 1885.
[xxxvii] This “Yankee cheese-box” as it was nicknamed at the time, was the invention of Captain Ericsson. It was a hull, with a deck a few inches above the water, and in the center a curious round tower made to revolve slowly by steam power, thus training in any direction the two guns it contained. The upper part of the hull, which was exposed to the enemy’s fire, projected several feet beyond the lower part, and was made of thick white oak, covered with iron plating five inches thick on the sides and one inch on the deck.
[xxxviii] As the Merrimac drew off, she hurled a last shot, which, striking the Monitor’s pilot-house, broke a bar nine by twelve inches, seriously injuring the eyes of the gallant commander, Lieutenant Worden, who was at the moment looking out through a narrow slit and directing the movements of his ship.
[xxxix] Previous to this (March 10) McClellan made an advance toward Manassas, where the Confederates had remained intrenched since McDowell’s defeat. The fortifications, which were evacuated on his approach, were found to be quite insignificant, and to be mounted partly with “Quaker guns”. I.e. logs shaped and painted to imitate artillery.
[xl] On the evacuation of Yorktown- the Confederate forces being concentrated for the defense of Richmond- Norfolk was abandoned, the Navy-yard burned and the Merrimac, the pride of the South, blown up. United States troops from Fort Monroe took possession of the city, and the gun-boats sailed up the James River as far as Fort Darling. Here a plunging fire from the bluff forbade further advance.
[xli] When the Federal forces took possession of the bridge over the Shenandoah Jackson and his staff were on the south side, his army being on the north side. It is said that “he rode toward the bridge, and rising in his stirrups, called sternly to the federal officer commanding the artillery placed to sweep it: “Who ordered you to post that gun there, sir? Bring it over here!” The bewildered officer bowed limbered his piece and prepared to move. Jackson and his staff seized the lucky moment and dashed across the bridge before the gun could be brought to bear upon them.”
[xlii] Robert Edward Lee was born in Stratford, Virginia, 1807; died in Lexington, 1870. His father Henry Lee, was the celebrated “Light-horse Harry” of Revolutionary fame. Robert early evinced a love for a military life, and during his West Point course was devoted to his studies. In the Mexican War, he was Scott’s chief engineer and was thrice brevetted for his services. When Virginia seceded, he threw his fortunes with his native State, although Scott had intimated his intention of nominating him as his successor. Lee was immediately appointed a major-general of the Virginia forces, and was soon after designated to fortify Richmond. His wonderful success in the Seven-Days fight made “Uncle Robert”, as he was familiarly called, the most trusted general of the Confederate leaders. For three years, he baffled every attempt to take Richmond, which fell only with the government of which it was the capital, and the army and general that were its defense. General Lee was handsome in face and figure, a graceful rider, grave and silent in deportment-just the bearing to captivate a soldier; while his deep piety, truth, sincerity, and honesty won the hearts of all.
[xliii] In the meantime, Jackson attacked Banks at Cedar Mountain (August 9) and defeated him after a bloody battle; but, unable to maintain his position, fell back on Lee’s advancing army. Pope, seeing the fearful odds against which he was to contend, took post behind the Rappahannock.
[xliv] During the pursuit of Lee’s forces, an engagement took place at Chantilly (September 1). It cost the Union army two able officers – Generals Stevens and Kearney. The latter, especially, was devotedly loved by his soldiers. On the battle-field, brandishing his sword in his only hand, and taking the reins in his teeth, he had often led them in the most desperate and irresistible charges.
[xlv] This was Sept. 5, the very day that Bragg entered Kentucky on his great raid
[xlvi] Lee had sent Jackson with twenty-five thousand men against Harper’s Ferry. That redoubtable leader quickly carried the heights, which overlook the village, forced Colonel Miles, with eleven thousand men, to surrender, and then hastened back to take part in the approaching contest.
[xlvii] During this invasion, the Confederate soldiers endured every privation; one half were in rags, and thousands barefooted marked their path with crimson. Yet, shoeless, hatless, and ragged, they marched and fought with heroism like that of the Revolutionary times. But they met their equals at Antietam. Jackson’s and Hooker’s men fought until both sides were nearly exterminated, and when the broken fragments fell back, the windrows of dead showed where their ranks had stood.
[xlviii] Lincoln prepared the original draft in the July preceding, when the Union forces were in the midst of reverses. Carpenter repeats President Lincoln’s words thus: “I put the draft of the proclamation aside, waiting for a victory. Well, the next news we had was Pope’s disaster at Bull Run. Things looked darker than ever. Finally came the week of the battle of Antietam. I determined to wait no longer. The news came, I think, on Wednesday, that the advantage was on our side. I was then staying at the Soldier’s Home. Here I finished writing the second draft of the proclamation; came up on Saturday; called the Cabinet together to hear it, and it was published the following Monday. I made a solemn vow before God, that if General Lee was driven back from Maryland I would crown the result by a declaration of freedom to the slaves.”
[xlix] This solid stone wall, four feet high, completely sheltered the troops, while they poured murderous fire upon the attacking party. In the assault, Meagher’s Irish troops especially distinguished themselves, leaving two thirds of their number on the field of their heroic action. The London Times’ correspondent, who watched the battle from the heights, speaking of their desperate valor, says: “Never at Fontenoy, Albuera, nor at Waterloo, was more undoubted courage displayed by the sons of Erin than during those six frantic dashes which they directed against the almost impregnable position of their foe. That any mortal man could have carried the position, defended as it was, it seems idle for a moment to believe. But the bodies which lie in dense masses within forty-eight yards of the muzzles of Colonel Walton’s guns are the best evidence what manner of men they were who pressed on to death with the dauntlessness of a race which has gained glory on a thousand battle-fields, and never more richly deserved it than at the foot of Marye’s Heights, on the 13th day of December, 1862.”
[l] The running of the batteries with transports was considered so hazardous that officers would not order their crews to take the risk, but called for volunteers. So many privates offered that they were compelled to draw lots. One boy, drawing a lucky number, was offered $100 for his chance, but refused it, and lived to tell the story. The gauntlet of batteries extended for eight miles. The first gun-boat crept silently down in the shadow of the trees which lined the bank. The Confederates at Vicksburg discovering the movement, kindled a bonfire which lighted up the whole scene, and made the other vessels a fair target for their gunners.
[li] This was the day after the fight at Gettysburg.
[lii] To escape the fiery tempest, which constantly swept over Port Hudson, and to provide for the safety of their magazines, the garrison dug deep recesses in the bluffs, approached by steps cut out of the earth. An eye-witness says: “ As we rode along the earth works inside, after the siege, it was curious to mark the ingenious ways in which they burrowed holes to shelter themselves from shell and from the intolerable rays of the sun; while at work, they must have looked like so many rabbits popping in and out of their warrens.
[liii] One objection which Rosecrans opposed to a forward movement was his inferiority in cavalry. This was removed in July, when General John H. Morgan, with about four thousand Confederate Cavalry, crossed the Ohio at Brandenburg, swept around Cincinnati, and struck the river again near Parkersburg. During his entire route, he was harassed by militia. At this point, he was overtaken by his pursuers, while gun-boats in the river prevented his crossing. Nearly the entire force was captured. Morgan escaped, but was finally taken and confined in the penitentiary at Columbus. Four months afterward, he broke jail and reached Richmond in safety
[liv] General Bragg had here an opportunity to be shut up in Chattanooga, as Pemberton had been in Vicksburg; but, a more acute strategist he knew the value of an army in the field to be greater than that of any fortified city.
[lv] In the Indian language, the “River of Death” an ominous name!
[lvi] Thomas was thenceforth styled the “Rock of Chickamauga.” He was in command of men as brave as himself. Col. George, of the Second Minnesota, being asked, “How long can you hold this pass?” replied, “Until the regiments is mustered out of service.”
[lvii] Starvation had destroyed so many of the animals that there were not artillery horse enough to take a battery into action. The number of mules that perished was graphically indicated by one of the soldiers of the Army of the Tennessee: “The mud was so deep that we could not travel by the road, but we got along pretty well be stepping from mule to mule as they lay dead by the way.”—Draper.
[lviii] In the Cherokee language, “The Hawk’s Nest.”
[lix] Rosecrans now relieved, and Thomas put in his place. Grant, afraid that Thomas might surrender before he could arrive, telegraphed him to hold fast. The characteristic reply was, “We will town the town until we starve.”
[lx] Twenty-three thousand strong, they were carried by rail from the Rapidan, in Virginia, to Stevenson, in Alabama, eleven hundred and ninety-two miles, in seven days. The Confederates did not know of the change of base until Hooker appeared in front.
[lxi] It was a beautiful day. The men on their best uniforms, and the bands discoursed the liveliest music. The hills were crowded with spectators. The Confederates on Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge could see every movement. Bragg’s pickets stood leaning on their muskets watching Thomas’ columns drawn up as if on parade. Suddenly, the Union line broke into a double-quick and the review was turned into a battle.
[lxii] The first day, the Confederates left rested on Lookout Mountain, there two thousand four hundred feet high; the right, along Missionary Ridge- - so-called because many years ago, Catholic missionaries had Indian schools upon it; and the center, in the valley between. The second day their army simply occupied Missionary Ridge, in the center of their former line, in front of Grant on Orchard Knob. – On Lookout Mountain, Hooker met with so feeble resistance, that Grant is report to have declared the so-called “battle above the clouds,” to be “all poetry, there having been no action there worthy the name of battle.”
[lxiii] The signals for the attack had been arranged: six cannon-shots, fired at intervals of two seconds. The moment arrived. “Strong and steady the order rang out; “Number one, fire! Number two, fire! Number three, fire! It seemed to me like the tolling of the clock of destiny. And when at Number 6, fire! The rear throbbed out with a flash, you should have seen the dead line, that had been lying behind the works all day, come to resurrection in the twinkling of an eye, and leap like a blade from its scabbard.”—B.F. Taylor.
[lxiv] A pillar on the veranda of this house, against which Hooker was leaning, being struck by a cannon-ball, that general was stunned, and for an hour, in the heat of the fight, the Union army was deprived of its commander.
[lxv] In this battle, the South was caused to mourn the death of Stonewall Jackson, whose magical name was worth to its cause more than any army. In the evening after his successful onslaught upon the flank of the Union line, while riding back to camp from a reconnaissance at the front, he was fired upon by his own men, who mistook his escort for Federal cavalry.
[lxvi] The Union disasters, which happened since the beginning of the year, encouraged this hope. Galveston, Texas had been retaken by General Magruder, whereby not only valuable stores had been acquired, but a sea-port had been opened and the Union cause in that State depressed. Burnside had been checked in his victorious career in Tennesse. The naval attack on Charleston had proved a failure. An attempt to capture Fort McAlister had met with no success. Rosecrans had made no progress against Bragg. Banks had not taken Port Hudson. Vicksburg still kept Grant at bay. The Army of the Potomac had been checked at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, and it one time two hundred soldiers per day were deserting its ranks. The term of service of forty thousand men had expired, and the total Union strength was now only eighty thousand. The cost of the war was enormous, and a strong peace party had arisen at the North. The draft was very unpopular. Indeed, during Lee’s invasion, a riot broke out in New York to resist it; houses were burned, negroes were pursued in the streets, and when captured, were beaten and even hanged; for three days the city was a scene of outrage and violence.
[lxvii] Neither general had planned to have the fight at this lace; Lee had intended not to fight at all, except a defensive battle, and Meade proposed to make the contest at Pipe Creek, about fifteen miles south-east from Gettysburg. The movement of cavalry which brought on this great battle, was only a screen to conceal the Union army marching toward Meade’s desired battle-field.” – Draper.
[lxviii] The Union line was upon a fish-hook-shaped ridge about six miles long, with Culp’s Hill at the barb, Cemetery ridge along the side, and Little Round Top and Round Top, two eminences, at the eye. The Confederate line was on Seminary Ridge, at a distance of about a mile and a half. The Union troops lay behind rock ledges and stone walls, while the Confederates were largely hidden in the woods. In the valley between, were fields of grain and pastures where cattle were feeding all unconscious of the gathering storm.
[lxix] Lee, encouraged by these successes, resolved to continue to fight. The Confederate victories however were only apparent. Sickles had been forced into a better position than at first, and the one Meade had intended he should occupy; while Ewell was driven out of the Union works early the next morning.
[lxx] It is customary in battle to demoralize the enemy before a grand infantry charge, by concentrating upon the desired point a tremendous artillery fire.
[lxxi] At the very moment when the last charge was being repulsed, Pemberton was negotiating for the surrender of Vicksburg to Grant. This was the turning point of the war. From that time, the Confederacy began to wane.
[lxxii] The Keokuk was sunk, and nearly all the vessels were seriously injured. The officers declared that the strokes of the shots against the iron sides of their ships were as rapid as the ticks of a watch
[lxxiii] In a marsh west of Morris Island, piles were driven in the mud twenty feet deep, and a platform made on which was placed an eight-inch rifled Parrot gun, nicknamed the “Swamp Angel.” It threw shells five miles into Charleston, but burst on the thirty-sixth round. The bombardment of the city was afterward continued from the other batteries.
[lxxiv] Two unsuccessful charges were made on this fort. In one, the 54th regiment, Colonel Shaw, bore a prominent part. It was the first colored regiment organized in the free States. In order to be in season for the assault, it had marched two days through heavy sands and drenching storms. After only five minutes rest, it took its place at the front of the attacking column. The men fought with unflinching gallantry, and planted their flag on the works; but their Colonel, and so many of the officers were shot, that what was left of the regiment was led off by a boy – Lt. Higginson. No measure of the war was more bitterly opposed than the project of arming the slaves. It was denounced at the North, and the Confederate Congress passed a law which threatened with death any white officer captured while in command of negro troops, leaving the men to be dealt with according to the laws of the state in which they were taken. Yet, so willing were the negroes to enlist, and so faithful did they prove themselves in service, that, in December 1863, over fifty thousand had been enrolled, and before the close of the war that number had quadrupled.
[lxxv] When either party stopped for a day or two, it fortified its front with an abattis of felled trees and a ditch with a head-log placed on the embankment. The head-log was a tree twelve or fifteen inches in diameter resting on small cross-sticks, thus leaving a space of four or five inches between the log and the dirt, which guns could be pointed.
[lxxvi] During this campaign, Sherman’s supplies were brought up by a single line of railroad from Nashville, a distance of three hundred miles, and exposed throughout to the attacks of the enemy. Yet so carefully was it garrisoned and so rapidly were the bridges built, and breaks repaired, that the damages were often mended before the news of the accident reached camp. Sherman said that the whistle of the locomotive was quite frequently heard on the camp-ground before the echoes of the skirmish-fire had died away.
[lxxvii] Hood’s expectations that Sherman would follow him into Tennessee, and thus Georgia be saved from invasion. Sherman had no such idea. “If Hood will go to Tennessee”, said he, “I will give him rations to go with.”
[lxxviii] Great disappointment was felt at the North over the retreat to Nashville, and still more at Thomas’ delay in that city. Grant ordered him to move, and had actually started to take charge of his troops in person, when he learned of the splendid victory his slow but sure general had achieved. The rock of Chickamauga had become the sledge of Nashville.
[lxxix] The ubiquity of the cavalry movements of the war is remarkable. In February preceding, Kilpatrick, who now opened up the way for Sherman’s march through Georgia, made a dash with the cavalry of the Army of the Potomac to rescue the Union prisoners at Richmond. He got within the defenses of the city, but not fully appreciating his success, withdrew, while Colonel Ulric Dahlgren, who headed a cooperating force, through the ignorance or treachery of his guide, lost his route, was surrounded by the enemy, and fell in an attempt to cut his way out. Great damage was done to railroads and canals near Richmond.
[lxxx] A feint which Sherman made toward Augusta led to a concentration at that city of the cavalry and militia called out to dispute his progress. The real direction of his march was not discovered until he entered the peninsula between the Savannah and Ogeechee rivers.
[lxxxi] The first news received at the North from Sherman was brought by three scouts, who left the Union army just as it was closing on Savannah. They hid in the rice swamps by day, and paddled down the river by night. Creeping past Fort McAlister undiscovered, they were picked up by the Federal gun-boats.
[lxxxii] Sherman sent the news of its capture, with 25,000 bales of cotton and 150 cannon, to President Lincoln, as a Christmas present to the nation.
[lxxxiii] This was near the old battle ground of Chancellorsville, and just a year and two days after that fight.
[lxxxiv] During this time, sharp shooters on both sides, hidden in the trees, were busy picking off officers. On the 9th, General Sedgwick was superintending the placing of a battery in the front. Seeing a man dodging a ball, he rebuked him, saying, “Pooh! They can’t hit an elephant at this distance.” At that moment, he was himself struck, and fell dead.
[lxxxv] On the morning of the 12th, Hancock’s corps hidden by a dense fog, charged upon the Confederate line, broke the abattis, surrounding a division, and took nearly four thousand prisoners, including two generals. So complete was the surprise, that the officers were captured at breakfast. Lee, however, rallied, and the fighting was so fierce to regain this lost position, that a “tree eighteen inches in diameter was cut in two by the bullets which struck it.” Ten thousand men fell on each side. Men in the hundreds, killed, and wounded together, were piled in hideous heaps, some bodies, which had lain for hours under the concentric fire of the battle, being perforated with wounds. The writhing of the wounded beneath the dead moved these masses at times; while often a lifted arm or quivering limb told of the agony not quenched by the Lethe of death around.
[lxxxvi] It was during this fearful battle that Grant sent his famous dispatch, “ I propose to fight it out on this line if it takes all summer.”
[lxxxvii] Lossing asserts that “in twenty minutes, 10,000 Union soldiers were killed or wounded.”, but Badeau admits only 7,000 in all, and claims that Cold Harbor was but a part “of the unceasing play of the terrible hammer by which Grant was crushing the Confederate army.”
[lxxxviii] Grant had arranged for three cooperative movements to divide the strength of the Confederate army: 1. General Sigel, with ten thousand men, was to advance up the Shenandoah Valley and threaten the railroad communication with Richmond. He was, however, totally routed at New Market (May 15). General Hunter, who superseded him, defeated the Confederates at Piedmont (June 5), but pushing on to Lynchburg with about twenty thousand men, he found it too strong, and prudently returned into West Virginia. 2. On the night that the Army of the Potomac crossed the Rapidan, General Butler, with thirty thousand men, ascended the James River, under the protection of gun-boats, and landed at Bermuda Hundred. After some trifling success, he was surprised in a dense fog by Beauregard and driven back into his narrow strip which connect Bermuda Hundred with the main land, and, as Grant tersely said, “Hermetically sealed up” the Union force from any further advance. 3. General Sheridan, while the army was at Spotsylvania, passed in the rear of the Confederate position, destroyed miles of railroad, recaptured four hundred prisoners en route and defeated a cavalry force with the loss of their leader, General J.E.B. Stuart, the best cavalry officer in the South.
[lxxxix] The above statement of the enormous losses of this campaign is based upon the most recent data. Careful authorities, however, have placed the Union loss as high as over seventy thousand, while certain Southern writers put the Confederate as low as nineteen thousand. It is impossible to reconcile the different accounts.
[xc] In order to prevent any further raids upon Washington from this direction, Sheridan devastated the valley so thoroughly that it was said that, “if a crow wants to fly down the Shenandoah, he must carry his provisions with him.”
[xci] Early’s attack was made under cover of a dense fog and the darkness of the early morning. General Wright, the Union Commander, though wounded, remained on the field and managed to get his troops into a new position, about seven miles in the rear. Sheridan heard the cannonading, while riding from Winchester, nearly twenty miles from Cedar Creek. Knowing the importance of his presence, he put spurs to his coal-black steed, and never drew rein for almost twelve miles, when, his horse covered with foam, he dashed to the new front. As he passed the fugitives along the road, he shouted. “Turn boys, turn; we’re going back.” Under the magnetism of his presence, the men followed him back to the fight and victory.
[xciii] Troops having been sent from Vicksburg to join the Red River expedition, West Tennessee and Kentucky were left exposed to attack from the Confederates. Forrest, with five thousand men, captured Union City, Tenn., with its garrison of about five hundred troops, occupied Hickman, and advanced rapidly upon Paducah, Ky. This protected by the gun-boats, maintained so stout a defense that Forrest retired. Moving south, he next fell upon Fort Pillow (April 12). His men crept along under shelter of a ravine until very near, and then charged upon the intrenchments. Rushing into the fort, they raised the cry “No quarter!” “The Confederate officers”, said Pollard, “lost control of their men, who were maddened by the sight of Negro troops opposing them,” and an indiscriminate slaughter followed.
[xciv] Porter, who commended the gun-boats in the Red River, hearing of Banks’ retreat, attempted to return with his fleet; but the river fell so rapidly that this became impossible. It was feared that it would be necessary to blow up the vessels to prevent them from falling into the enemy’s hands, when, by happy suggestion of Colonel Bailey, formerly a Wisconsin lumberman, they were saved. He constructed a series of wing-dams below the rapids, and, when the water rose, the boats were safely floated over. This skillful expedient was almost the only relieving feature of the campaign, which was believed by some to have been undertaken simply as a gigantic cotton speculation in behalf of certain parties, who seemed to be more intent on gathering that staple than on conserving the interests of the Union cause. The failure was, therefore, at the North a source of great mortification and reproach.
[xcv] General Steele, who commanded in Arkansas, had moved from Little Rock to cooperate in the advance; but, on nearing Shreveport, learned of Banks’ retreat. He immediately turned around, and, with great difficulty and severe fighting, managed to escape back to Little Rock. This disaster enabled the Confederate to recover half of the State.
[xcvi] The city of Mobile was not captured until the next year, when Generals Granger’s, Steele’s, and A.J. Smith’s commands were collected for this purpose by Gen. Canby. The forts were gallantly defended by General Maury, but were taken within less than two weeks. The city itself was evacuated April 11. The next day, the Union troops entered; ignorant that Lee had surrendered three days before, and that the Confederacy was dead.
[xcvii] Flour brought, in Confederate currency, $40 per barrel; calico $30 per yard; coffee, $50 per pound; French gloves, $150 per pair; and black pepper, $300 per pound. Dried sage, raspberry, and other leaves were substituted for the costly tea. Woolen clothing was scarce, and the army depended largely on captures of the ample Federal stores. Pins were so rare that they were picked up with avidity in the streets. Paper was so expensive that matches were no longer put in boxes. Sugar, butter, and white bread became luxuries even for the wealthy. Salt being a necessity, was economized to the last degree, old pork and fish barrels being soaked and the water evaporated so that not a grain of salt might be wasted. Women wore garments that were made of cloth carded, woven, spun, and dyed by their own hands. Large thorns were fitted with wax heads and made to serve as hat pins. Shoes were manufactured with wooden soles, to which the uppers were attached by means of small tacks. As a substitute for the expensive gas, the “Confederate candle” was used. This consisted of a long wick coated with wax and resin, and wound on a little wooden frame at the top of which was nailed a bit of tin. The end of the wick passed through a hole in the tin, was lighted and uncoiled as needed.
[xcviii] This battle ended an expedition fitted out by General Gillmore, at Hilton Head, S.C. to recover Florida. After some success, his troops, under General Seymour, advanced to Olustee, where (February 20) they met a disastrous defeat and were force to relinquish much they had gained. The men were afterward taken to Virginia to engage in more important work.
[xcix] The distance traversed by the army in going from Savannah to Goldsboro was about 425 miles. The country was generally wild and swampy. To make the mud roads passable, each column “corduroyed” with rails and logs over a hundred miles, besides building bridges across the many streams and rivers. Yet in fifty days after breaking camp upon the Savannah, the troops bivouacked upon the Neuse.
[c] Five Forks is situated twelve miles south-west from Petersburg.
[ci] Sunday, the day before, the Confederate President Davis, was at church, when a note was handed him by messenger. It was from Lee, informing him that the Confederate army was about to leave Richmond. His pallid face and unsteady footsteps, as he passed out, betrayed the news. Pollard says, “Men, women, and children rushed from the churches, passing from lip to lip news of the impending fall of Richmond… It was late in the afternoon when the signs of evacuation became apparent to the incredulous. Suddenly, as if by magic, the streets became filled with men, walking as though for a wager, and behind them excited Negroes with trunks, bundles and baggage of every description. All over the city, t was the same – wagons, trunks, bandboxes, and their owners, a mass of hurrying fugitives filling the streets. Night came, and with it confusion worse confounded. There was no sleep for human eyes in Richmond that night. About the hour of midnight, hundreds of barrels of liquor were rolled into the street, and the heads knocked in, by order of the City Council, to prevent a worse disorder. As the work progressed, some straggling soldiers managed to get hold of a quantity of the liquor. From that moment, law and order ceased to exist.” By order of General Ewell, the four principal tobacco warehouses, in different parts of the city, were fired, and soon the flames became unmanageable. “Morning broke upon a scene such as those who witnessed it can never forget. The roar of an immense conflagration sounded in their ears; tongues of flames leaped from street to street; and in the baleful glare were to be seen; as of demons the figures of busy plunders, moving, pushing, rioting through the black smoke, bearing away every conceivable sort of plunder.
[cii] The officers and men were allowed to go home on their paroles not to take up arms against the United States until exchanged, and the former to retain their private baggage and horses. After the surrender had been concluded, General Lee said that he had forgotten to mention that many of his soldiers rode their own horses. Grant at once replied that such could keep their horses to aid them in their future work at home. The two armies so fiercely opposed for four years parted with no words but those of sympathy and respect – an assured presage of a day when all the wounds of the cruel war should be fully healed. The Confederate accounts place that the number who surrendered at 8,000. The Federal authorities, however, state that 27,516 officers and men were paroled at Appomattox C.H., and 22,633 small arms were given up. The total number paroled from all the Confederate armies was 174,223.
[ciii] The last fight of the war happened bear Brazos Santiago, Texas, May 13. A small expedition went out to surprise a Confederate camp was overtaken, on its return, by a larger force and defeated with a loss of eighty en.
[civ] A nearly fatal attempt was also made at the same time upon William H. Seward, Secretary of State, who was lying sick in his bed at home.
[cv] Booth Stealthily entered the box, fastened the door, that he might not be followed, shot the President, then, waving his pistol, shouted, “Sic Semper tyrannis,” (so it always be to tyrants), and leaped to the stage in front. As he jumped, the American flag draped before the box – mute avenger of the nation’s chief- caught his spur, and, throwing him heavily, broke his lag. The assassin, however, escaped from the house in the confusion, mounted a horse, which was waiting for him, and fled into Maryland. He was at length overtaken in a barn where he stood at bay. The building was fired to drive him out, but, being determined to defend himself against arrest, he was shot by one f the soldiers. The accomplices of Booth were arrested, tried, and convicted. Harold, Payne, Atzerodt, and Mrs. Surratt were hanged; Arnold, Mudd and O’Laughlin were imprisoned for life; and Spangler was sentenced for six years.