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Ella Smith Elbert 

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Katharine E. Coinan 

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1, 3, ahi) 5 BOND STREET. 







PART IV.— (Continued). 



Review of 1861. — Summary of Hostile Acts of United States Government. — 
Fuller Details of some of them. — Third Session of Provisional Congress. — 
Message. — Subjugation of the Southern States intended. — Obstinacy of 
the Enemy. — Insensibility of the North as to the Crisis. — Vast Prepara- 
tion of the Enemy. — Embargo and Blockade. — Indiscriminate War waged. 
— Action of Confederate Congress. — Confiscation Act of United States 
Congress. — Declared Object of the "War. — Powers of United States Govern- 
ment. — Forfeitures inflicted. — Due Process of Law, how interpreted. — 
" Who pleads the Constitution ? " — Wanton Destruction of Private Prop- 
erty unlawful. — Adams on Terms of the Treaty of Ghent. — Sectional 
Hatred. — Order of President Lincoln to Army Officers in Regard to Slaves. 
— "Educating the People." — Fremont's Proclamation. — Proclamation of 
General T. W. Sherman. — Proclamation of General Halleck and others. — 
Letters of Marque. — Our Privateers. — Officers tried for Piracy. — Retali- 
atory Orders. — Discussion in the British House of Lords. — Recognition as 
a Belligerent of the Confederacy. — Exchange of Prisoners. — Theory of the 
United States. — Views of McClellan. — Revolutionary Conduct of United 
States Government.— Extent of the War at the Close of 1861. — Victories 
of the Year. — New Branches of Manufactures. — Election of Confederate 
States President. — Posterity may ask the Cause of such Hostile Actions. — 
Answer 1 


Military Arrangements of the Enemy.— Marshall and Garfield.— Fishing Creek. — 
Crittenden's Report.— Fort Henry ; its Surrender.— Fort Donelson ; its Po- 
sition. — Assaults. — Surrender. — Losses IS 


Results of the Surrender of Forts Henry and Donelson.— Retreat from Bowling 
Green. — Criticism on General A. S. Johnston. — Change of Plan necessary. 



— Evacuation of Nashville. — Generals Floyd and Pillow. — My Letter to 
General Johnston. — His Reply. — My Answer. — Defense of General John- 
ston. — Battle of Elkhorn. — Topography of Shiloh 36 


General Buell's March. — Object of General Johnston. — His Force. — Advance 
from Corinth. — Line of Battle. — Telegram. — The Time of the Battle of 
Shiloh. — Results of the First Day's Battle. — One Encampment not taken. — 
Effects. — Reports on this Failure. — Death of General Johnston. — Remarks 54 


Retirement of the Army. — Remnants of Grant's Army. — Its Reinforcements. — 
Strength of our Army. — Strength of Grant's Army. — Reorganization. — 
Corinth. — Advance of General Halleck. — Siege of Corinth. — Evacuation. — 
Retreat to Tupelo. — General Beauregard retires. — General Bragg in Com- 
mand. — Positions on the Mississippi River occupied by the Enemy. — New 
Madrid. — Island Xo. 10. — Fort Pillow. — Memphis. — Attack at Hatteras 
Inlet. — Expedition of the Enemy to Port Royal. — Expeditions from Port 
Royal. — System of Coast Defenses adopted by us. — Fort Pulaski . . TO 


Advance of General McClellan toward Centreville; his Report. — Our Forces 
ordered to the Peninsula. — Situation at Yorktown. — Siege by General Mc- 
Clellan. — General Johnston assigned to Command ; his Recommendation. 
— Attack on General Magruder at Yorktown. — Movements of McClellan. — 
The Virginia. — General Johnston retires. — Delay at Norfolk. — Before Wil- 
liamsburg. — Remark of Hancock. — Retreat up the Peninsula. — Sub-terra 

Shells used. — Evacuation of Norfolk. — Its Occupation by the Enemy . 81 

j « 




A New Phase to our Military Problem. — General Johnston's Position. — Defenses 
of James River. — Attack on Fort Drury. — Johnston crosses the Chicka- 
hominy. — Position of McClellan. — Position of McDowell. — Strength of 
Opposing Forces. — Jackson's Expedition down the Shenandoah Valley. — 
Panic at Washington and the North. — Movements to intercept Jackson. — 
His Rapid Movements. — Repulses Fremont. — Advance of Shields. — Fall of 
Ashby. — Port Republic, Battle of. — Results of this Campaign . . . 101 


Condition of Affairs. — Plan of General Johnston. — The Field of Battle at Seven 
Pines. — The Battle. — General Johnston wounded. — Advance of General 
Sumner. — Conflict on the Right. — Delay of General Huger. — Reports of the 
Enemy. — Losses. — Strength of Forces. — General Lee in Command . .119 




The Enemy's Position. — His Intention. — The Plan of Operations. — Movements 
of General Jackson. — Daring and Fortitude of Lee. — Offensive-Defensive 
Policy. — General Stuart's Movement. — Order of Attack. — Critical Position 
of McClellan. — Order of Mr. Lincoln creating the Army of Virginia. — Ar- 
rival of Jackson. — Position of the Enemy. — Diversion of General Long- 
street. — The Enemy forced back south of the Chickahominy. — Abandon- 
ment of the Railroad . . 130 


Retreat of the Enemy. — Pursuit and Battle.— Night. — Further Retreat of the 
Enemy. — Progress of General Jackson. — The Enemy at Frazier's Farm. — 
Position of General Holmes. — Advance of General Longstreet. — Remark- 
able Features of the Battle. — Malvern Hill. — Our Position. — The Attack. — 
Expedition of General Stuart. — Destruction of the Enemy's Stores. — As- 
saults on the Enemy. — Retreat to Westover on the James. — Siege of Rich- 
mond raised. — Number of Prisoners taken. — Strength of our Forces. — 
Strength of our Forces at Seven Pines and after. — Strength of the Enemy . 140 


Forced Emancipation. — Purposes of the United States Government at the Com- 
mencement of 1862. — Subjugation or Extermination. — The Willing Aid of 
United States Congress. — Attempt to legislate the Subversion of our Social 
Institutions. — Could adopt any Measure Self-Defense would justify. — Sla- 
very the Cause of all Troubles, therefore must be removed. — Statements 
of President Lincoln's Inaugural. — Declaration of Sumner. — Abolition 
Legislation. — The Power based on Necessity. — Its Formula. — The System 
of Legislation devised. — Confiscation. — How permitted by the Law of Na- 
tions. — Views of Wheaton ; of J. Q. Adams ; of Secretary Marcy ; of Chief- fc 
Justice Marshall. — Nature of Confiscation and Proceedings. — Compared/ 
with the Acts of the United States Congress. — Provisions of the Acts.*— 
Five Thousand Millions of Property involved. — Another Feature of the 
Act. — Confiscates Property within Reach. — Procedure against Persons. — 
Held us as Enemies and Traitors. — Attacked us with the Instruments of 
War and Penalties of Municipal Law. — Emancipation to be secured. — Ke- 
marks of President Lincoln on signing the Bill. — Remarks of Mr. Adams 
compared. — Another Alarming Usurpation of Congress. — Argument for 
it. — No Limit to the War-Power of Congress ; how maintained. — The 
Act to emancipate Slaves in the District of Columbia. — Compensation 
promised. — Remarks of President Lincoln. — The Right of Property vio- 
lated. — Words of the Constitution. — The Act to prohibit Slavery in the 
Territories. — The Act making an Additional Article of War. — All Officers 
forbidden to return Fugitives. — Words of the Constitution. — The Powers 
of the Constitution unchanged in Peace or War. — The Discharge of Fugi- 
tives commanded in the Confiscation Act. — Words of the Constitution . 158 




Forced Emancipation concluded.— Emancipation Acts of President Lincoln. — 
Emancipation with Compensation proposed to Border States. — Reasons 
urged for it. — Its Unconstitutionality. — Order of General Hunter. — Re- 
voked by President Lincoln. — Reasons. — " The Pressure " on him. — One 
Cause of our Secession. — The Time to throw off the Mask at Hand. — 
The Necessity that justified the President and Congress also justified Seces- 
sion. — Men united in Defense of Liberty called Traitors. — Conference of 
President Lincoln with Senators and Representatives of Border States. — 
Remarks of Mr. Lincoln. — Reply of Senators and Representatives. — Fail- 
ure of the Proposition. — Three Hundred Thousand more Men called for. — 
Declarations of the Antislavery Press. — Truth of our Apprehensions. — 
Reply of President Lincoln. — Another Call for Men. — Further Declarations 
of the Antislavery Press. — The Watchword adopted. — Memorial of So- 
called Christians to the President. — Reply of President Lincoln. — Issue of 
the Preliminary Proclamation of Emancipation. — Issue of the Final Proc- 
lamation. — The Military Necessity asserted. — The Consummation verbally 
reached. — Words of the Declaration of Independence. — Declarations by 
the United States Government of what it intended to do. — True Nature of 
the Party unveiled. — Declarations of President Lincoln. — Vindication of 
the Sagacity of the Southern People. — His Declarations to European Cab- 
inets. — Object of these Declarations. — Trick of the Fugitive Thief. — The 
Boast of Mr. Lincoln calmly considered 178 


Naval Affairs. — Organization of the Navy Department. — Two Classes of Ves- 
sels. — Experiments for Floating Batteries and Rams. — The Norfolk Navy- 
Yard. — Abandonment by the Enemy. — The Merrimac Frigate made an Iron- 
clad. — Officers. — Trial-Trip. — Fleet of the Enemy. — Captain Buchanan. — 
Resolves to attack the Enemy. — Sinks the Cumberland. — Burns the Con- 
gress. — Wounded. — Executive Officer Jones takes Command. — Retires for 
the Night. — Appearance of the Monitor. — The Virginia attacks her. — She 
retires to Shoal Water. — Refuses to come out. — Cheers of English Man-of- 
war. — Importance of the Navy-Yard. — Order of General Johnston to evac- 
uate. — Stores saved. — The Virginia burned. — Harbor Defenses at Wil- 
mington. — Harbor Defenses at Charleston. — Fights in the Harbor. — De- 
fenses of Savannah. — Mobile Harbor and Capture of its Defenses. — The 
System of Torpedoes adopted. — Statement of the Enemy. — Sub-terra 
Shells placed in James River. — How made. — Used in Charleston Harbor ; 
in Roanoke River ; in Mobile Harbor. — The Tecumseh, how destroyed . 194 

Naval Affairs (continued). — Importance of New Orleans. — Attack feared from up 
the River. — Preparations for Defense. — Strength of the Forts. — Other De- 
fenses. — The General Plan. — Ironclads. — Raft-Fleet of the Enemy. — Bom- 



bardracnt of the Forts commenced. — Advance of the Fleet. — Its Passage 
of the Forts. — Batteries below the City. — Darkness of the Night. — Evac- 
uation of the City by General Lovell on Appearance of the Enemy. — Ad- 
dress of General Duncan to Soldiers in the Forts. — Refusal to surrender. — 
Meeting of the Garrison of Fort Jackson. — The Forts surrendered. — Iron- 
clad Louisiana destroyed. — The Tugs and Steamers. — The Governor Moore. 
— The Enemy's Ship Varuna sunk. — The McRae. — The State of the City 
and its Defenses considered. — Public Indignation. — Its Victims. — Efforts 
made for its Defense by the Navy Department. — The Construction of the 
Mississippi 210 


Naval Affairs (continued). — Farragut demands the Surrender of New Orleans. — 
Reply of the Mayor. — United States Flag hoisted. — Advent of General 
Butler. — Barbarities. — Antecedents of the People. — Galveston. — Its Sur- 
render demanded. — The Reply. — Another Visit of the Enemy's Fleet. — 
The Port occupied. — Appointment of General Magruder. — Recapture of 
the Port. — Capture of the Harriet Lane. — Report of General Magruder. — 
Position and Importance of Sabine Pass. — Fleet of the Enemy. — Repulse 
by Forty-four Irishmen. — Vessels captured. — Naval Destitution of the 
Confederacy at first. — Terror of Gunboats on the Western Rivers. — Their 
Capture. — The most Illustrious Example. — The Indianola. — Her Capture. 
— The Ram Arkansas. — Descent of the Yazoo River. — Report of her Com- 
mander. — Runs through the Enemy's Fleet. — Description of the Vessel. — 
Attack on Baton Rouge. — Address of General Breckinridge. — Burning of 
the Arkansas 230 


Naval Affairs (continued). — Necessity of a Navy. — Raphael Semmes. — The Sum- 
ter. — Difficulties in creating a Navy. — The Sumter at Sea. — Alarm. — Her 
Captures. — James D. Bullock. — Laird's Speech in the House of Commons. 
— The Alabama. — Semmes takes Command. — The Vessel and Crew. — Goes 
to Sea. — Banks's Expedition.— Magruder at Galveston. — The Steamer Hat- 
teras sunk. — The Alabama not a Pirate. — An Aspinwall Steamer ransomed. 
—Other Captures. — Prizes burned. — At Cherbourg. — Fight with the Kear- 
sarge. — Rescue of the Men. — Demand of the United States Government for 
the Surrender of the Drowning Men. — Reply of the British Government. — 
Sailing of the Oreto. — Detained at Nassau. — Captain Maffit. — The Ship 
half equipped. — Arrives at Mobile. — Runs the Blockade. — Her Cruise. — 
Capture and Cruise of the Clarence. — The Captures of the Florida. — Cap- 
tain C. M. Morris. — The Florida at Bahia. — Seized by the Wachusett. — 
Brought to Virginia and sunk. — Correspondence. — The Georgia. — Cruises 
and Captures.— The Shenandoah.— Cruises and Captures.— The Atlanta. — 
The Tallahassee. — The Edith 245 




Naval Affairs (concluded). — Excitement in the Northern States on the Appear- 
ance of our Cruisers. — Failure of the Enemy to protect their Commerce. — 
Appeal to Europe not to help the So-called " Pirates.' 1 — Seeks Iron-plated 
Vessels in England. — Statement of Lord Russell. — What is the Duty of 
Neutrals ? — Position taken by President Washington. — Letter of Mr. Jef- 
ferson. — Contracts sought by United States Government. — Our Cruisers 
went to Sea unarmed. — Mr. Adams asserts that British Neutrality was 
violated. — Reply of Lord Russell. — Rejoinder of Mr. Seward. — Duty of 
Neutrals relative to Warlike Stores. — Views of Wheaton; of Kent. — 
Charge of the Lord Chief Baron in the Alexandra Case. — Action of the 
Confederate Government sustained. — Antecedents of the United States 
Government. — The Colonial Commissions. — Build and equip Ships in Eu- 
rope. — Captain Conyngham's Captures. — Made Prisoner. — Retaliation. — 
Numbers of Captures. — Recognition of Greece. — Recognition of South 
American Cruisers. — Chief Act of Hostility charged on Great Britain by 
the United States Government. — The Queen's Proclamation : its Effect. — 
Cause of the United States Charges. — Never called us Belligerents. — Why 
not? — Adopts a Fiction. — The Reason. — Why denounce our Cruisers as 
11 Pirates " ? — Opinion of Justice Greer. — Burning of Prizes. — Laws of Mari- 
time War. — Cause of the Geneva Conference. — Statement of American 
Claims. — Allowance. — Indirect Damages of our Cruisers. — Ships trans- 
ferred to British Registers. — Decline of American Tonnage. — Decline of 
Coasting Tonnage. — Decline of Export of Breadstuffs. — Advance of In- 
surance . 266 


Attempts of the United States Government to overthrow States. — Military Gov- 
ernor of Tennessee appointed. — Object. — Arrests and Imprisonments. — 
Measures attempted. — Oath required of Voters. — A Convention to amend 
the State Constitution. — Results. — Attempt in Louisiana. — Martial Law. — 
Barbarities inflicted. — Invasion of Plantations. — Order of General Butler, 
No. 28. — Execution of Mumford. — Judicial System set up. — Civil A *airs 
to be administered by Military Authority. — Order of President Lincoln for 
a Provisional Court. — A Military Court sustained by the Army. — Words 
of the Constitution. — " Necessity," the reason given for the Power to create 
the Court. — This Doctrine fatal to the Constitution ; involves its Subver- 
sion. — Cause of our Withdrawal from the Union. — Fundamental Prin- 
ciples unchanged by Force. — The Contest is not over ; the Strife not ended. 
— When the War closed, who were the Victors ? — Let the Verdict of Man- 
kind decide 285 


Further Attempts of the United States Government to overthrow States. — Elec- 
tion of Members of Congress under the Military Governor of Louisiana. — 
The Voters required to take an Oath to support the United States Govern- 



ment. — The State Law violated. — Proposition to hold a State Convention ; 
postponed. — The President's Plan for making a Union State out of a Frag- 
ment of a Confederate State. — His Proclamation. — The Oath required. — 
Message. — " The War-Power our Main Reliance." — Not a Feature of a 
Republican Government in the Plan. — What are the True Principles ? — 
The Declaration of Independence asserts them. — Who had a Right to in- 
stitute a Government for Louisiana ? — Its People only. — Under what Prin- 
ciples could the Government of the United States do it ? — As an Invader to 
subjugate. — Effrontery and Wickedness of the Administration. — It enforces 
a Fiction. — Attempt to make Falsehood as good as Truth. — Proclamation 
for an Election of State Officers. — Proclamation for a State Convention. — 
The Monster Crime against the Liberties of Mankind. — Proceedings in 
Arkansas. — Novel Method adopted to amend the State Constitution. — Per- 
version of Republican Principles in Virginia. — Proceedings to create the 
State of West Virginia. — A Falsehood by Act of Congress. — Proceedings 
considered under Fundamental Principles. — These Acts sustained by the 
United States Government. — Assertion of Thaddeus Stevens. — East Vir- 
ginia Government. — Removed to Richmond and upheld by the United 
States Government. — Such Acts caused Entire Subversion of States. — Mere 
Fictions thus constituted 295 


Address to the Army of Eastern Virginia by the President. — Army of General 
Pope. — Position of McClellan. — Advance of General Jackson. — Atrocious 
Orders of General Pope. — Letter of McClellan on the Conduct of the War. 
— Letter of the President to General Lee. — Battle of Cedar Run. — Results 
of the Engagement. — Reinforcements to the Enemy. — Second Battle of 
Manassas. — Capture of Manassas Junction. — Captured Stores. — The Old 
Battle-Field. — Advance of General Longstreet. — Attack on him. — Attack 
on General Jackson. — Darkness of the Night. — Battle at Ox Hill. — Losses 
of the Enemy 311 


Return of the Enemy to Washington. — War transferred to the Frontier. — Con- 
dition of Maryland. — Crossing the Potomac. — Evacuation of Martinsburg. 
— Advance into Maryland. — Large Force of the Enemy. — Resistance at 
Boonesboro. — Surrender of Harper's Ferry. — Our Forces reach Sharps- 
burg. — Letter of the President to General Lee. — Address of General Lee 
to the People. — Position of our Forces at Sharpsburg. — Battle of Sharps- 
burg. — Our Strength. — Forces withdrawn. — Casualties .... 328 


Efforts of the Enemy to obtain our Cotton. — Demands of European Manufac- 
turers. — Thousands of Operatives resorting to the Poor-Rates. — Complaint 
of her Majesty's Secretary of State. — Letter of Mr. Seward. — Promise to 



open all the Channels of Commerce. — Series of Measures adopted by the 
United States. — Act of Congress. — Its Provisions. — Its Operation. — Uncon- 
stitutional Measures. — President Lincoln an Accomplice. — Not authorized 
by a State of "War. — Case before Chief -Justice Taney. — His Decision. — Ex- 
peditions sent by the United States Government to seize Localities. — An 
Act providing for the Appointment of Special Agents to seize Abandoned 
or Captured Property. — The Views of General Grant. — Weakening his 
Strength One Third. — Our Country divided into Districts, and Federal 
Agents appointed. — Continued to the Close of the War .... 343 


The Enemy crosses the Potomac and concentrates at Warrenton. — Advances 
upon Fredericksburg. — Its Position. — Our Forces. — The Enemy crosses the 
Rappahannock. — Attack on General Jackson.^- The Main Attack. — Re- 
pulse of the Enemy on the Right. — Assaults on the Left. — The Enemy's 
Columns broke and fled. — Recross the River. — Casualties. — Position during 
the Winter. — The Enemy again crosses the Rappahannock. — Also crosses 
at Kelly's Ford. — Converging toward Chancellorsville, to the Rear of our 
Position. — Inactivity on our Front. — Our Forces concentrate near Chancel- 
lorsville and encounter the Enemy. — Position of the Enemy. — Attempt to 
turn his Right. — The Enemy surprised and driven in the Darkness. — 
Jackson fired upon and wounded. — Stuart in Command. — Battle renewed. 
— Fredericksburg reoccupied. — Attack on the Heights. — Repulse of the 
Enemy. — The Enemy withdraws in the Night. — Our Strength. — Losses. — 
Death of General Jackson. — Another Account 351 


Relations with Foreign Nations. — The Public Questions. — Ministers abroad. — 
Usages of Intercourse between Nations. — Our Action. — Mistake of Eu- 
ropean Nations ; they follow the Example of England and France. — Dif- 
ferent Conditions of the Belligerents.— Injury to the Confederacy by the 
Policy of European Powers relative to the Blockade. — Explanation. — The 
Paris Conference. — Principles adopted. — Acceded to by the Confederacy 
with a Single Exception. — These Agreements remained inoperative. — 
Extent of the Pretended Blockade. — Remonstrances against its Recog- 
nition.— Sinking Vessels to block up Harbors. — Every Proscription of 
Maritime Law violated by the United States Government. — Protest. — Ad- 
dition made to the Law by Great Britain.— Policy pursued favorable to 
our Enemies. — Instances. — Mediation proposed by France to Great Britain, 
and Russian Letter of French Minister. — Reply of Great Britain. — Reply 
of Russia. — Letter to French Minister at Washington. — Various Offensive 
Actions of the British Government. — Encouraging to the United States. — 
Hollow Profession of Neutrality 36*7 




Advance of General E. K. Smith. — Advance of General Bragg. — Retreat of Gen- 
eral Buell to Louisville. — Battle at Perryville, Kentucky. — GeDeral Morgan 
at Hartsville. — Advance of General Rosecrans. — Battle of Murf reesboro. — 
General Yan Dorn and General Price. — Battle at Iuka. — General Van Dora. 
— Battle of Corinth. — General Little. — Captures at Holly Springs. — Re- 
treat of Grant to Memphis. — Operations against Vicksburg. — The Canal. — 
Concentration. — Raid of Grierson. — Attack near Port Gibson. — Orders of 
General Johnston. — Reply of General Pemberton. — Baker's Creek. — Big 
Black Bridge. — Retreat to Vicksburg. — Siege. — Surrender. — Losses. — Sur- 
render of Port Hudson. — Some Movements for its Relief .... 382 


Inactivity in Tennessee. — Capture of Colburn's Expedition. — Capture of 
Streight's Expedition. — Advance of Rosecrans to Bridgeport. — Burnside 
in East Tennessee. — Our Force at Chattanooga. — Movement against Burn- 
side. — The Enemy moves on our Rear near Ringgold. — Battle at Chicka- 
mauga. — Strength and Distribution of our Forces. — The Enemy with- 
draws. — Captures. — Losses. — The Enemy evacuates Passes of Lookout 
Mountain. — His Trains captured. — Failure of General Bragg to pursue. — 
Reinforcements to the Enemy, and Grant to command. — His Description 
of the Situation. — Movements of the Enemy. — Conflict at Chattanooga . 426 


Movement to draw forth the Enemy. — Advance to Culpeper Court-House. — 
Cavalry Engagement at Beverly's and Kelly's Fords. — Movement against 
Winchester. — Milroy's Force captured. — Prisoners. — The Enemy retires 
along the Potomac. — Maryland entered. — Advance into Pennsylvania. — The 
Enemy driven back toward Gettysburg. — Position of the Respective Forces. 
— Battle at Gettysburg. — The Army retires. — Prisoners. — The Potomac 
swollen. — No Interruption by the Enemy. — Strength of our Force. — 
Strength of the Enemy. — The Campaign closed. — Observations. — Kelly's 
Ford. — Attempt to surprise our Army. — System of Breastworks. — Pris- 
oners 437 


Subjugation of the States of Tennessee, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Virginia. — 
Object of a State Government ; its Powers are " Just Powers " ; how 
exercised ; its Duty ; necessarily sovereign ; its Entire Order ; how found- 
ed ; how destroyed. — The Crime against Constitutional Liberty. — "What is 
the Government of the United States ? — It partakes of the Nature of a 
Limited Partnership ; its Peaceful Objects. — Distinction between the Gov- 
ernments of the States and that of the United States. — Secession. — The 
Government of the United States invades the State ; refuses to recognize 



its Government ; thus denies the Fundamental Principle of Popular Lib- 
erty. — Founded a New State Government based on the Sovereignty of the 
United States Government. — Annihilation of Unalienable Rights. — Quali- 
fication of Voters fixed by Military Power. — Condition of the Voter's Oath. 
— Who was the Sovereign in Tennessee ? — Case of Louisiana. — Registra- 
tion of Voters. — None allowed to register who could not or would not 
take a Certain Oath ; its Conditions. — Election of State Officers. — Part of 
the State Constitution declared void. — All done under the Military Force 
of the United States Government 460 


Subjugation of the Border States, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri. — A Mili- 
tary Force invades Maryland and occupies Baltimore.— Martial Law de- 
clared. — A Military Order. — Banishment from the State. — Civil Government 
of the State suspended. — Unalienable Rights of the Citizens invaded. — 
Arrests of Citizens commenced. — Number. — Case of John Merryman. — 
Opinion of Chief-Justice Taney. — Newspapers seized. — Houses searched 
for Arms. — Order of Commanding General to Marshals to put Test to 
Voters. — The Governor appeals to the President. — His Reply. — Voters 
imprisoned. — Statement of the Governor. — Result of the Election. — State 
Constitutional Convention. — Emancipation hardly carried. — First Open 
Measures in Kentucky. — Interference at the State Election by the United 
States Government. — Voters excluded. — Martial Law declared. — Soldiers 
keeping the Polls. — The Vote. — Statement of the Governor. — Attempt to 
enroll Able-bodied Negroes. — The Governor visits Washington. — The Re- 
sult. — Arrests, Imprisonment, and Exile of Citizens. — Suspension of the 
Writ of Habeas Corpus by President Lincoln. — Interference with the State 
Election. — Order to the Sheriffs. — Proclamation of the Governor. — Enlist- 
ment of Slaves. — Emancipation by Constitutional Amendment. — Violent 
Measures in Missouri. — The Governor calls out the Militia. — His Words. — 
The Plea of the Invader. — " The Authority of the United States is Para- 
mount," said President Lincoln. — Bravery of the Governor. — Words of 
the Commanding General. — Troops poured into the State. — Proceedings of 
the State Convention. — Numberless Usurpations. — Provisional Governor. 
— Emancipation Ordinance passed 460 


Subjugation of the Northern States. — Humiliating Spectacle of New York. — 
u Ringing of a Little Bell." — Seizure and Imprisonment of Citizens. — Num- 
ber seized. — Paper Safeguards of Liberty. — Other Safeguards. — Suspension 
of the Writ of Habeas Corpus absolutely forbidden with One Exception. — 
How done. — Not able to authorize another. — Abundant Protective Provi- 
sions in New York, but all failed. — Case of Pierce Butler. — Arrest of Sec- 
retary Cameron. — The President assumes the Responsibility of the Crime. 
— No Heed given to the Writ of Habeas Corpus issued by the Court. — 

CONTENTS. x iii 


The Governor passive. — "Words of Justice Nelson. — Prison overflowing. — 
How relieved. — Oath required of Applicants for Relief. — Oath declined by 
some. — Reasons. — Order forbidding the Employment of Counsel by Pris- 
oners. — Victims in almost Every Northern State. — Defeat at the Elec- 
tions. — Result. — Suit for Damages commenced. — Congress interferes to 
protect the Guilty. — State Courts subjugated. — How suspend Habeas Cor- 
pus. — Congress violates the Constitution. — What was New York ? — Writ 
suspended throughout the United States. — What is " Loyalty " ? — Military 
Domination. — Correspondence between General Dix and Governor Sey- 
mour. — Seizure of Newspapers. — Governor orders Arrest of Offenders. — 
Interference with the State Election. — Vote of the Soldiers. — State Agents 
arrested. — Provost-Marshals appointed in Every Northern State. — Their 
Duties. — Sustained by Force. — Trials by Military Commission. — Trials at 
Washington. — Assassination of the President. — Trial of Henry Wirz. — 
Efforts to implicate the Author. — Investigation of a Committee of Con- 
gress as to Complicity in the Assassination. — Arrest, Trial, and Banish- 
ment of Clement C. VallandigHam. — Assertions of Governor Seymour on 
the Case 477 


Inactivity of the Army of Northern Virginia. — Expeditions of Custer, Kilpatrick, 
and Dahlgren for the Destruction of Railroads, the Burning of Richmond, 
and Killing the Officers of the Government. — Repelled by Government 
Clerks. — Papers on Dahlgren's Body. — Repulse of Butler's Raid from Ber- 
muda Hundred. — Advance of Sheridan repulsed at Richmond. — Stuart re- 
sists Sheridan. — Stuart's Death. — Remarks on Grant's Plan of Campaign. 
— Movement of General Butler. — Drury's Bluff. — Battle there. — Campaign 
of Grant in Virginia . 504 


General Grant assumes Command in Virginia. — Positions of the Armies. — Plans 
of Campaign open to Grant's Choice. — The Rapidan crossed. — Battle of 
the Wilderness. — Danger of Lee. — The Enemy driven back. — Flank Attack. 
— Longstreet wounded. — Result of the Contest. — Rapid Flank Movement 
of Grant. — Another Contest. — Grant's Reinforcements. — Hanover Junc- 
tion. — The Enemy moves in Direction of Bowling Green. — Crosses the Pa- 
munkey. — Battle at Cold Harbor. — Frightful Slaughter. — The Enemy's 
Soldiers decline to renew the Assault when ordered. — Loss. — Asks Truce 
to bury the Dead. — Strength of Respective Armies. — General Pember- 
ton. — The Enemy crosses the James. — Siege of Petersburg begun . .515 


Situation in the Shenandoah Valley. — March of General Early. — The Object. — 
At Lynchburg. — Staunton. — His Force. — Enters Maryland. — Attack at 
Monocacy. — Approach to Washington. — The Works. — Recrosses the Po- 



tomac. — Battle at Kernstown. — Captures. — Outrages of the Enemy. — State- 
ment of General Early. — Retaliation on Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. — 
Battle near Winchester. — Sheridan's Force routed. — Attack subsequently 
renewed with New Forces. — Incapacity of our Opponent. — Early falls 
back. — The Enemy retires. — Early advances. — Report of a Committee of 
Citizens on Losses by Sheridan's Orders. — Battle at Cedar Creek. — Losses, 
Subsequent Movements, and Captures. — The Red River Campaign. — Re- 
pulse and Retreat of General Banks. — Capture of Fort Pillow . . . 527 


Assignment of General J. E. Johnston to the Command of the Army of Ten- 
nessee. — Condition of his Army. — An Offensive Campaign suggested. — 
Proposed Objects to be accomplished. — General Johnston's Plans. — Ad- 
vance of Sherman. — The Strength of the Confederate Position. — General 
Johnston expects General Sherman to give Battle at Dalton. — The Enemy's 
Flank Movement via Snake-Creek Gap to Rcsaca. — Johnston falls back 
to Resaca. — Further Retreat to Adairsville. — General Johnston's Reasons. 
— Retreat to Cassville. — Projected Engagement at Kingston frustrated. — 
Retreat beyond the Etowah River. — Strong Position at Alatoona aban- 
doned. — Nature of the Country between Marietta and Dallas. — Engage- 
ments at New Hope Church. — Army takes Position at Kenesaw. — Senator 
Hill's Letter. — Death of Lieutenant-General Polk. — Battle at Kenesaw 
Mountain. — Retreat beyond the Chattahoochee. — Results reviewed. — 
Popular Demand for Removal of General Johnston. — Reluctance to re- 
move him. — Reasons for Removal. — Assignment of General J. B. Hood to 
the Command. — He assumes the Offensive. — Battle of Peach-tree Creek. — 
Death of General W. H. T. Walker. — Sherman's Movement to Jonesboro. — 
Defeat of Hardee. — Evacuation of Atlanta. — Sherman's Inhuman Order. — 
Visit to Georgia. — Suggested Operations. — Want of Cooperation by the 
Governor of Georgia. — Conference with Generals Beauregard, Hardee, and 
Cobb, at Augusta. — Departure from Original Plan. — General Hood's Move- 
ment against the Enemy's Communications. — Partial Successes. — With- 
drawal of the Army to Gadsden and Movement against Thomas. — Sher- 
man burns Atlanta and begins his March to the Sea. — Vandalism. — 
Direction of his Advance. — General Wheeler's Opposition. — His Valuable 
Service. — Sherman reaches Savannah. — General Hardee's Command. — The 
Defenses of the City. — Assault and Capture of Fort McAlister. — The 
Results. — Hardee evacuates Savannah 547 


Exchange of Prisoners — Signification of the Word " loyal." — Who is the Sover- 
eign ? — Words of President Lincoln. — The Issue for which wc fought. — Posi- 
tion of the United States Government. — Letters of Marque granted by us.-— 
Officers and Crew First Prisoners of the Enemy. — Convicted as "Pirates." — 
My Letter to President Lincoln. — How received. — Act of Congress relating 



to Prisoners. — Exchanges, how made. — Answer of General Grant. — Request 
of United States Congress. — Result. — Commissioners sent. — Agreement. — 
Disputed Points. — Exchange arranged. — Order to pillage issued. — General 
Pope's Order. — Proceedings. — Letter of General Lee relative to Barbari- 
ties. — Answer of General Halleck. — Case of Mumford. — Effect of Threat- 
ened Retaliation. — Mission of Vice-President Stephens. — A Failure. — Ex- 
cess of Prisoners. — Paroled Men. — Proposition made by us. — No Answer. 
— Another Arrangement. — Stopped by General Grant. — His words, " Put 
the Matter offensively." — Exchange of Slaves. — Proposition of Lee to 
Grant. — Reply of Grant. — Further Reply. — His Dispatch to General Butler. 
— Another Proposition made by us. — No Answer. — Proposition relative to 
Sick and Wounded. — Some exchanged. — The Worst Cases asked for to 
be photographed. — Proposition as to Medicines. — No Answer. — A Final 
Effort. — Deputation of Prisoners sent to Washington. — A Failure. — Cor- 
respondence between Ould and Butler. — Order of Grant. — Report of Butler. 
— Responsibility of Grant for Andersonville. — Barbarities of the United 
States Government. — Treatment of our Men in Northern Prisons. — Deaths 
on Each Side 580 


Subjugation the Object of the Government of the United States. — The only 
Terms of Peace offered to us. — Rejection of all Proposals. — Efforts of the 
Enemy. — Appearance of Jacques and Gilmore at Richmond. — Proposals. — 
Answer. — Commissioners sent to Canada. — The Object. — Proceedings. — 
Note of President Lincoln. — Permission to visit Richmond granted to 
Francis P. Blair. — Statement of my Interview with him. — My Letter to him. 
— Response of President Lincoln. — Three Persons sent by me to an In- 
formal Conference. — Their Report. — Remarks of Judge Campbell. — Oath 
of President Lincoln. — The Provision of the Constitution and his Procla- 
mation compared. — Reserved Powers spoken of in the Constitution. — 
What are they, and where do they exist ? — Terms of Surrender offered to 
our Soldiers 608 


General Sherman leaves Savannah. — His March impeded. — Difficulty in collect- 
ing Troops to oppose him. — The Line of the Salkehatchie. — Route of the 
Enemy's Advance. — Evacuation of Columbia. — Its Surrender by the Mayor. 
— Burning the City. — Sherman responsible. — Evacuation of Charleston. — 
The Confederate Forces in North Carolina. — General Johnston's Estimate. 
— General Johnston assigned to the Command. — The Enemy's Advance 
from Columbia to Fayetteville, North Carolina. — "Foraging Parties." — 
Sherman's Threat and Hampton's Reply. — Description of Federal " Treas- 
ure-Seekers " by Sherman's Aide-de-Camp. — Failure of Johnston's Projected 
Attack at Fayetteville. — Affair at Kinston. — Cavalry Exploits. — General 



Johnston withdraws to Smithfield. — Encounter at Averysboro. — Battles of 
Bentonville. — Union of Sherman's and Schofield's Forces. — Johnston's Re- 
treat to Raleigh 625 


Siege of Petersburg. — Violent Assault upon our Position. — A Cavalry Expedi- 
tion. — Contest near Ream's Station. — The City invested with Earthworks. 
— Position of the Forces. — The Mine exploded, and an Assault made. — 
Attacks on our Lines. — Object of the Enemy. — Our Strength. — Assault on 
Fort Fisher. — Evacuation of Wilmington. — Purpose of Grant's Campaign. 
— Lee's Conference with the President. — Plans. — Sortie against Fort Stead- 
man. — Movements of Grant farther to Lee's right. — Army retires from 
Petersburg. — The Capitulation. — Letters of Lee 637 


General Lee advises the Evacuation of Richmond. — "Withdrawal of the Troops. 
The Naval Force. — The Conflagration in Richmond. — Telegram of Lee to 
the President. — The Evacuation complete. — The Charge of the Removal 
of Supplies intended for Lee's Army. — The Facts. — Arrangement with 
General Lee. — Proclamation. — Reports of Scouts 661 


Invitation of General Johnston to a Conference. — Its Object. — Its Result. — 
Provisions on the Line of Retreat. — Notice of President Lincoln's Assas- 
sination. — Correspondence between Johnston and Sherman. — Terms of the 
Convention. — Approved by the Confederate Government. — Rejected by the 
United States Government. — Instructions to General Johnston. — Disobeyed. 
— Statements of General Johnston. — His Surrender. — Movements of the 
President South. — His Plans. — Order of General E. K. Smith to his Sol- 
diers. — Surrender. — Numbers paroled. — The President overtakes his Fam- 
ily. — His Capture. — Taken to Hampton Roads, and imprisoned in Fortress 
Monroe 678 


Number of the Enemy's Forces in the War. — Number of the Enemy's Troops 
from Maryland, Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee. — Cruel Conduct of the 
War. — Statements in 1862. — Statements in 1863. — Emancipation Procla- 
mation. — Statements in 1864. — General Hunter's Proceedings near Lynch- 
burg. — Cruelties in Sherman's March through South Carolina . . . 705 


Final Subjugation of the Confederate States. — Result of the Contest. — A Simple 
Process of Restoration. — Rejected by the United States Government. — A 



Forced Union. — The President's Proclamation examined. — The Guarantee, 
not to destroy. — Provisional Governors. — Their Duties. — Voters. — First 
Movement made in Virginia. — Government set up. — Proceedings. — Action 
of So-called Legislature. — Constitutional Amendment. — Case of Dr. Wat- 
son. — Civil Rights Bill. — Storm brewing. — Congress refuses to admit Sen- 
ators and Representatives to Seats. — Committee on " Reconstruction." — 
Freedmen's Bureau. — Report of Committee. — Fourteenth Amendment to 
the Constitution. — Extent of Ratification. — Another Step taken by Con- 
gress. — Military Commanders appointed over Confederate States, with Un- 
limited Powers. — Reconstruction by the Bayonet. — Course of Proceedings 
required. — Two Governments for Each State. — Major-Generals appointed. 
—Further Acts of Congress. — Proceedings commenced by the Major-Gen- 
eral at Richmond. — Civil Governor appointed. — Military Districts and Sub- 
districts. — Registration. — So-called State Convention. — So-called Legisla- 
ture. — Its Action. — Measures required by Congress for the Enfranchisement 
of Negroes adopted by the So-called Legislature. — Assertion of Senator 
Garret Davis. — State represented in Congress 718 


Final Subjugation of the Confederate States (continued). — Slaves declared free 
by Military Commanders in North Carolina. — Provisional Governor. — Con- 
vention. — Military Commander. — Governor-elect turned out. — His Protest. 
— Members of Congress admitted. — Proceedings in South Carolina. — Arrest 
of Judge Aldrich. — Military Reversal of Sentence of the Court. — Post Com- 
manders. — Jurors. — Proceedings in Georgia. — President's Plan. — Plan of 
Congress enforced. — Other Events. — Proceedings in Florida. — Rival Con- 
ventions. — Plan of Congress enforced. — Proceedings in Alabama. — Suspen- 
sion of Bishop Wilmer by the Military Commander. — Military Authority. — 
Action of Congress. — Proceedings in Mississippi. — Constitutionality of the 
Act of Congress before the Supreme Court. — Remarks of Chief-Justice 
Chase. — Military Arrests. — Removals. — The Chief-Justice of the State re- 
signs. — The So-called Constitution rejected. — Ames appointed Governor. — 
Proceedings in Louisiana. — Plan of Congress enforced. — Other Measures. 
— Arkansas. — Texas. — Opinion of the United States Attorney-General on 
Military Commanders. — Consequences that followed the Measures of Con- 
gress. — Increase in State Debts. — Increase in Frauds and Crimes. — Ex- 
amples. — Investigating Committees of Congress. — The Unalienable Rights 
of Man. — The Sovereignty of the People and the Supremacy of Law gone . 737 


Jefferson Davis . 

General Braxton Bragg 

Dayis House, at Richmond 

Lieutenant- General T. J. Jackson . 

Members of the Confederate Cabinet . 

Lieutenant-General Jame3 Longstreet 

General "Wade Hampton . 

General J. E. Johnston 

General John B. Hood 

Lieutenant- General William J. Hardee 

Face page 54 

. 106 

. 442 

. 558 

. 627 


Battle-Field of Fort Donelson . 
Map used by the Confederate Generals at Shiloh 
Battle of Shiloh ..... 
Port Hudson ..... 


Operations in Northern Virginia 

Operations around Richmond and Petersburg . 

Battle of Fredericksburg 

Operations in Mississippi .... 

Operations in Kentucky and Tennessee 

Battle-Field of Chickamauga 

Battle of Gettysburg 

Operations in Georgia and Tennessee . 

Fort Fisher ..... 

Petersburg ...... 

Retreat from Richmond and Petersburg . 
Operations in Georgia and South Carolina . 

. Page 27 
At end of volume 

PAET I Y— (Continued). 



Review of 1861. — Summary of Hostile Acts of United States Government. — Fuller 
Details of some of them. — Third Session of Provisional Congress. — Message. — 
Subjugation of the Southern States intended. — Obstinacy of the Enemy. — In- 
sensibility of the North as to the Crisis. — Vast Preparation of the Enemy. — 
Embargo and Blockade. — Indiscriminate War waged. — Action of Confederate 
Congress. — Confiscation Act of United States Congress. — Declared Object of 
the War. — Powers of United States Government. — Forfeitures inflicted. — Due 
Process of Law, how interpreted. — " Who pleads the Constitution ? " — Wanton 
Destruction of Private Property unlawful. — Adams on Terms of the Treaty 
of Ghent. — Sectional Hatred. — Order of President Lincoln to Army Officers in 
Regard to Slaves. — "Educating the People." — Fremont's Proclamation. — Proc- 
lamation of General T. W. Sherman. — Proclamation of General Halleck and 
others. — Letters of Marque. — Our Privateers. — Officers tried for Piracy. — Re- 
taliatory Orders. — Discussion in the British House of Lords. — Recognition 
as a Belligerent of the Confederacy. — Exchange of Prisoners. — Theory of the 
United States. — Views of McClellan. — Revolutionary Conduct of United States 
Government. — Extent of the War at the Close of 1861. — Victories of the Year. 
— New Branches of Manufactures. — Election of Confederate States President. 
— Posterity may ask the Cause of such Hostile Actions. — Answer. 

The inauguration of the permanent government, amid the 
struggles of war, was welcomed bj our people as a sign of the 
independence for which all their sacrifices had been made, and 
the increased efforts of the enemy for our subjugation were 
met by corresponding determination on our part to maintain 
the rights our fathers left us at whatever cost. We now enter 
upon those terrible scenes of wrong and blood in which the 

Government of the United States, driven to desperation by 



our successful resistance, broke through every restraint of 
the Constitution, of national law, of justice, and of humanity. 
But, before commencing this fearful narration, let us sum up 
the hostile acts and usurpations committed during the first 

Our people had been declared to be combinations of insur- 
rectionists, and more than one hundred and fifty thousand men 
had been called to arms to invade our territory ; our ports were 
blockaded for the destruction of our regular commerce, and 
we had been threatened with denunciation as pirates if we mo- 
lested a vessel of the United States, and some of our citizens 
had been confined in cells to await the punishment of piracy ; 
one of our States was rent asunder and a new State constructed 
out of the fragment ; every proposition for a peaceful solution 
of pending issues had been spurned. An indiscriminate war- 
fare had been waged upon our peaceful citizens, their dwellings 
burned and their crops destroyed ; a law had been passed im- 
posing a penalty of forfeiture on the owner of any faithful slave 
who gave military or naval service to the Confederacy, and for- 
bidding military commanders to interfere for the restoration of 
fugitives ; the United States Government had refused to agree 
to an exchange of prisoners, and suffered those we had captured 
to languish in captivity ; it had falsely represented us in every 
court of Europe, to defeat our efforts to obtain a recognition 
from foreign powers ; it had seized a portion of the members of 
the Legislature of one State and confined them in a distant mili- 
tary prison, because they were thought merely to sympathize 
with us, though they had not committed an overt act ; it had 
refused all the propositions of another State for a peaceful neu- 
trality, invaded her and seized important positions, where not 
even a disturbance of the peace had occurred, and perpetrated 
the most despotic outrages on her people ; it rejected the most 
conciliatory terms offered for the sake of peace by the Governor 
of another State, claimed for itself an unrestricted right to move 
and station its troops whenever and wherever its officers might 
think it to be desirable, and persisted in its aggressions until 
the people were involved in conflicts, and a provisional govern- 
ment became necessary for their protection. Within the North- 


era States, which professed to be struggling to maintain the 
Union, the Constitution, its only bond, and the laws made in 
pursuance of it, were in peaceful, undisputed existence; yet 
even there the Government ruled with the tyrant's hand, and 
the provisions for the freedom of speech, freedom of the press, 
and the personal liberty of the citizen, were daily violated, and 
these sacred rights of man suppressed by military force. 

But some of these hostile actions require here a more specific 
consideration. They were the antecedents of oppressive meas- 
ures which the enemy strove to enforce upon us during the 
entire war. 

The third session of the Provisional Congress commenced at 
Kichmond on July 20, 1861, and ended on August 31st. At 
the previous session, a resolution had been passed authorizing 
the President to cause the several executive departments, with 
the archives thereof, to be removed to Richmond at such time 
as he might determine prior to July 20 th. In my message to the 
Congress of that date, the cause of removal was stated to be, that 
the aggressive movements of the enemy required prompt, ener- 
getic action ; that the accumulation of his forces on the Poto- 
mac sufficiently demonstrated that his first efforts were to be 
directed against Virginia, and from no point could necessary 
measures for her defense and protection be so effectively pro- 
vided as from her own capital. My remarks to Congress at this 
session were confined to such important facts as had occurred 
during the recess, and to the matters connected with the public 
defense. " The odious features of the policy and purposes of 
the Government of the United States stood revealed ; the recent 
grant of a half million of men and four hundred millions of dol- 
lars by their Congress, was a confession that their intention was 
a subjugation of the Southern States." 

The fact thus briefly presented in the message was estab- 
lished by the course pursued since the first advent to power of 
those who had come into possession of the sword and the purse 
of the Union. ISTot only by the legislation cited was the intent 
to make war for the purpose of subjugating the Southern States 
revealed, but also, and yet more significantly, was the purpose 
manifested in the evasion and final rejection of every proposi- 


tion of the Southern States for a peaceful solution of the issues 
arising from secession. 

Such extreme obstinacy was unnatural, unreasonable, and 
contrary to the general precedents of history, except those which 
resulted in civil war. This unfavorable indication was also ob- 
servable in the original party of abolition. Its intolerance had 
a violence which neither truth nor justice nor religion could re- 
strain, and it was transferred undiluted to their successors. The 
resistance to the demands of the States and persistence in ag- 
gressions upon them were the occasion of constant apprehensions 
and futile warnings of their suicidal tendency on the part of the 
statesmen of the period. For thirty years had patriotism and 
wisdom pointed to dissolution by this perverse uncharitableness. 
Had the North been contending for a principle only, there would 
have been a satisfactory settlement, not indeed by compromis- 
ing the principle, but by adjusting the manner of its operation 
so that only good results should ensue. But when the contest 
is for supremacy on one side and self-defense on the other — 
when the aim of the aggressor is " power, plunder, and extended 
rule " — there will be no concessions by him, no compromises, no 
adjustment of results. The alternative is subjugation by the 
sword, or peace by absolute submission. The latter condition 
could not be accepted by us. The former was, therefore, to be 
resisted as best we might. 

An amazing insensibility seemed to possess a portion of the 
Northern people as to the crisis before them. They would not 
realize that their purpose of supremacy would be so resolutely 
resisted ; that, if persisted in, it must be carried to the extent of 
bloodshed in sectional war. With them the lust of dominion 
was stronger than the sense of justice or of the fraternity and 
the equal rights of the States, which the Union was formed to 
secure, and so they were blind to palpable results. Otherwise 
they must have seen, when the remnants of the old Whig party 
joined hands with abolitionism, that it was like a league with 
the spirit of evil, in which the conditions of the bond were be- 
stowal of power on one side, and the commission of deeds meet 
for disunion on the other. The honest masses should have re- 
membered that when scheming leaders abandon principle, and 


adopt the ideas of dreamers and fanatics, the ladder on which 
they would mount to power is one on which they can not return, 
and up which it would be a fatal delusion to follow. 

The reality of armed resistance on our part the North was 
slow to comprehend. The division of sentiment at the South 
on the question of the expediency of immediate secession, was 
mistaken for the existence of a submission party, whereas the 
division was confined to expediency, and wholly disappeared 
when our territory was invaded. Then was revealed to them 
the necessity of defending their homes and liberties against the 
ruthless assault on both, and then extraordinary unanimity pre- 
vailed. Then, as Hamilton and Madison had stated, war against 
the States had effected the deprecated dissolution of the Union. 

Adjustment by negotiation the United States Government 
had rejected, and had chosen to attempt our subjugation. This 
course, adopted without provocation, was pursued with a feroci- 
ty that disregarded all the laws of civilized warfare, and must 
permanently remain a stain upon the escutcheon of a Government 
once bright among the nations. The vast provision made by 
the United States in the material of war, the money appropriated, 
and the men enrolled, furnished a sufficient refutation to the 
pretense that they were only engaged in dispersing rioters, and 
suppressing unlawful combinations too strong for the usual 
course of judicial proceedings. 

Further, they virtually recognized the separate existence of 
the Confederate States by an interdictive embargo, and block- 
ade of all commerce between them and the United States, not 
only by sea but by land ; not only with those who bore arms, 
but with the entire population of the Confederate States. They 
waged an indiscriminate war upon all : private houses in iso- 
lated retreats were bombarded and burned ; grain-crops in the 
field were consumed by the torch; and, when the torch was 
not applied, careful labor was bestowed to render complete the 
destruction of every article of use or ornament remaining in 
private dwellings after their female inhabitants had fled from 
the insults of brutal soldiers ; a petty war was made on the sick, 
including women and children, by carefully devised measures 
to prevent them from obtaining the necessary medicines. Were 


these the appropriate means by which to execute the laws, and 
in suppressing rioters to secure tranquillity and preserve a vol- 
untary union ? Was this a government resting on the consent 
of the governed ? 

At this session of the Confederate Congress additional 
forces were provided to repel invasion, by authorizing the 
President to accept the services of any number of volunteers 
not exceeding four hundred thousand men. Authority was 
also given for suitable financial measures hereafter stated, and 
the levy of a tax. An act of sequestration was also adopted as 
a countervailing measure against the operations of the confis- 
cation law enacted by the Congress of the United States on 
August 6, 1861. 

This act of the United States Congress, with its complement 
passed in the ensuing year, will be considered further on in these 
pages. One of the most indicative of the sections, however, 
provided that, whenever any person, claimed to be held to labor 
or service under the laws of any State, shall be permitted, by the 
person to whom such labor or service is claimed to be due, to 
take up arms against the United States, or to work, or to be em- 
ployed in or upon any fort, intrenchment, etc., or in any military 
or naval service whatever against the Government of the United 
States, the person to whom such labor is claimed to be due 
shall forfeit his claim, and, to any attempt to enforce it, a 
statement of the facts shall be a sufficient answer. The Presi- 
dent of the United States, in his message of December 3, 1861, 
stated that numbers of persons held to service had been liber- 
ated and were dependent on the United States, and must be 
provided for in some way. He recommended that steps be 
taken for colonizing them at some places in a climate congenial 
to them. 

As the President and the Congress of the United States had 
declared this to be a war for the preservation of the Constitu- 
tion, it may not be out of place to see what course they now 
undertook to pursue under the pretext of preserving the Con- 
stitution of the United States. It had been conceded in all 
time that the Congress of the United States had no power to 
legislate on slavery in the States, and that this was a subject for 

1862] "DUE PROCESS OF LAW." 7 

State legislation. It was one of the powers not granted in tlie 
Constitution, but " reserved to the States respectively." * All 
the powers of the Federal Government were delegated to it 
by the States, and all which were reserved were withheld from 
the Federal Government, as well in time of war as in peace. 
The conditions of peace or war made no change in the powers 
granted in the Constitution. The attempt, therefore, by Con- 
gress, to exercise a power of confiscation, one not granted to 
it, was a mere usurpation. The argument of forfeiture for trea- 
son does not reach the case, because there could be no for- 
feiture until after conviction, and the Constitution says, "No 
attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood or forfeiture 
except during the life of the person attainted." f The con- 
fiscation act of 1861 undertook to convict and sentence with- 
out a trial, and entirely to deprive the owner of slaves of his 
property by giving final freedom to the slaves. Still further 
to show how regardless the United States Government was 
of the limitations imposed upon it by the compact of Union, 
the reader is referred to the fifth article of the first amend- 
ment, being one of those cases in which the people of the sev- 
eral States, in an abundance of caution, threw additional pro- 
tection around rights which the framers of the Constitution 
thought already sufficiently guarded. The last two clauses of 
the article read thus : No person " shall be deprived of life, 
liberty, or property, without due process of law ; nor shall pri- 
vate property be taken for public use, without just compensa- 

Here was a political indictment and conviction by the Con- 
gress and President, with total forfeitures inflicted in palpable 
violation of each and of all the cited clauses of the Constitu- 

One can scarcely anticipate such effrontery as would argue 
that " due process of law " meant an act of Congress, that judi- 
cial power could thus be conferred upon the President, and 
private property be confiscated for party success, without vio- 
lating the Constitution which the actors had sworn to support. 

The unconstitutionality of the measure was so palpable that, 

* Constitution of the United States, Article X. f Ibid., Article III, section 3. 


when the bill was under consideration, Mr. Thaddeus Stevens, 
a member of Congress from Pennsylvania, said : " I thought 
the time had come when the laws of war were to govern our 
action ; when constitutions, if they stood in the way of the laws 
of war in dealing with the enemy, had no right to intervene. 
Who pleads the Constitution against our proposed action ? " * 
This subject is further considered in subsequent chapters on 
the measures of emancipation adopted by the United States 

It is to be remembered in this connection that pillage and 
the wanton destruction of private property are not permitted 
by the laws of war among civilized nations. When prosecuting 
the war with Mexico, we respected private property of the ene- 
my ; and when in 1781 Great Britain, attempting to reduce her 
revolted American colonies, took possession of the country 
round and about Point Comfort (Fortress Monroe), the homes 
quietly occupied by the rebellious people were spared by the 
armies of the self-asserting ruler of the land. At a later date, 
war existed between Great Britain and the independent States 
of the Union, during which Great Britain got possession of va- 
rious points within the States. At the Treaty of Ghent, 1815, 
by which peace was restored to the two countries, it was stipu- 
lated in the first article that all captured places should be re- 
stored " without causing any destruction, or carrying away any 
of the artillery or other public property originally captured in 
the said forts or places, and which shall remain therein upon 
the exchange of the ratifications of this treaty ; or any slaves or 
other private property." Persistent efforts were made to avoid 
the return of deported slaves, and it was attempted to put them 
in the category of artillery which had been removed before the 
exchange of ratification. Mr. John Quincy Adams, first as 
United States Minister to England, and subsequently as United 
States Secretary of State, conducted with great vigor and ear- 
nestness a long correspondence to maintain the true construc- 
tion of the treaty as recognizing and guarding the right of pri- 
vate property in slaves. In his letter to Yiscount Castlereagh, 
the British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, after explain- 

* Congress of the United States, July, 1861. 


ing the distinction between " artillery or other public property " 
and " slaves or other private property," as nsed in the treaty, 
and why it might be impracticable, if they had been removed, 
to return the former, but that the reasons did not apply to the 
latter, for, he proceeds to say, " Private property, not having 
been subject to legitimate capture with the places, was not lia- 
ble to the reason of limitation." In the same letter, Mr. Ad- 
ams writes : " Merchant-vessels and effects captured on the 
high-seas are, by the laws of war between civilized nations, 
lawful prize, and by the capture become the property of the 
captors. . . . But, as by the same usages of civilized nations, 
private property is not the subject of lawful capture in war 
upon the land, it is perfectly clear that, in every stipulation, 
private property shall be respected ; or that, upon the restora- 
tion of places taken during the war, it shall not be carried 
away." (See " American State Papers," vol. iv, pp. 122, 123.) 
Sectional hostility and party zeal had not then so far under- 
mined the feeling of fraternity which generated the Union as 
to make a public officer construe the Constitution as it might 
favor or injure one section or another, and Great Britain 
was, from a sense of right, compelled to recognize the wrong 
done in deporting slaves, the private property of American 

On the 4th of December, 1861, the President of the United 
States issued an order to the commander-in-chief relative to 
slaves as above mentioned, in which he said, " Their arrest as 
fugitives from service or labor should be immediately followed 
by the military arrest of the parties making the seizure." Had 
Congress and the President made new laws of war ? 

Although the Government of the United States did not 
boldly proclaim the immediate emancipation of all slaves, the 
tendency of all its actions was directly to that end. To use a 
favorite expression of its leaders, the Northern people were not 
at that time " educated up to the point." A revolt from too 
sudden a revelation of its entire policy was apprehended. Even 
as late as July 7, 1862, General McClellan wrote to the authori- 
ties at Washington from the vicinity of Richmond, " A decla- 
ration of radical views, especially upon slavery, will rapidly dis- 


integrate our armies." Nevertheless, when policy indicated it, 
the declaration came, as will be seen hereafter. Meantime, 
General Fremont, in command in Missouri, issued a proclama- 
tion on August 31, 1861, declaring the property, real and per- 
sonal, of all persons in arms against the United States, or taking 
an active part with their enemies, to be confiscated, and their 
slaves to be free men. This was subsequently modified to con- 
form to the terms of the above-mentioned confiscation act. 
General Thomas W. Sherman, commanding at Port Royal, in 
South Carolina, was instructed, on October 14, 1861, to receive 
all persons, whether slaves or not, and give them employment, 
" assuring all loyal masters that Congress will provide just com- 
pensation to them for the loss of the services of the persons so 
employed." To others no relief was to be given. This was, 
by confiscation, to punish a class of citizens, in the emancipa- 
tion of every slave whose owner rendered support to the Con- 
federate States. Finally, General Halleck, who succeeded Fre- 
mont, and General Dix, commanding near Fortress Monroe, 
issued orders not to permit slaves to come within their lines. 
They were speedily condemned for this action, because it put 
a stop to the current of emancipation, which will be hereafter 

Reference has been made to our want of a navy, and the 
efforts made to supply the deficiency. The usual resort under 
such circumstances to privateers was, in our case, without the 
ordinary incentive of gain, as all foreign ports were closed 
against our prizes, and, our own ports being soon blockaded, our 
vessels, public or private, had but the alternative of burning or 
bonding their captures. To those who, nevertheless, desired 
them, letters of marque were granted by us, and there was soon a 
small fleet of vessels composed of those which had taken out these 
letters, and others which had been purchased and fitted out by the 
Navy Department. They hovered on the coasts of the North- 
ern States, capturing and destroying their vessels, and filling the 
enemy with consternation. The President of the United States 
had already declared in his proclamation of April 19th, as above 
stated, that " any person, who, under the pretended authority of 
the said (Confederate) States, should molest a vessel of the 


United States, or the persons or cargo on board," should be held 
amenable to the laws of the United States for the prevention 
of piracy. This was another violation of international law, 
another instance of arrogant disregard for universal opinion. 
The threat, if meant for intimidation, and to deprive the Con- 
federacy of one of the usual weapons of war, was unbecoming 
the head of a Government. To have executed it upon a help- 
less prisoner, would have been a crime intensified by its coward- 
ice. Happily for the United States, the threat was not executed, 
but the failure to carry out the declared purpose was coupled 
with humiliation, because it was the result of a notice to retaliate 
as fully as might need be to stop such a barbarous practice. 
To yield to the notice thus served, was a practical admission by 
the United States Government that the Confederacy had be- 
come a power among the nations. 

On June 3, 1861, the little schooner Savannah, previously a 
pilot-boat in Charleston Harbor and sailing under a commission 
issued by authority of the Confederate States, was captured by 
the United States brig Perry. The crew were placed in irons 
and sent to New York. It appeared, from statements made 
without contradiction, that they were not treated as prisoners of 
war, whereupon a letter was addressed by me to President Lin- 
coln, dated July 6th, stating explicitly that, " painful as will be 
the necessity, this Government will deal out to the prisoners 
held by it the same treatment and the same fate as shall be ex- 
perienced by those captured on the Savannah ; and, if driven to 
the terrible necessity of retaliation by your execution of any of 
the officers or crew of the Savannah, that retaliation will be 
extended so far as shall be requisite to secure the abandonment 
of a practice unknown to the warfare of civilized man, and so 
barbarous as to disgrace the nation which shall be guilty of in- 
augurating it." A reply was promised to this letter, but none 
came. Still later in the year the privateer Jefferson Davis was 
captured, the captain and crew brought into Philadelphia, and 
the captain tried and found guilty of piracy and threatened 
with death. Immediately I instructed General "Winder, at Rich- 
mond, to select one prisoner of the highest rank, to be confined 
in a cell appropriated to convicted felons, and treated in all re- 


spects as if convicted, and to be held for execution in the same 
manner as might be adopted for the execution of the prisoner 
of war in Philadelphia. He was further instructed to select 
thirteen other prisoners of the highest rank, to be held in the 
same manner as hostages for the thirteen prisoners held in New 
York for trial as pirates. By this course the infamous attempt 
made by the United States Government to commit judicial mur- 
der on prisoners of war was arrested. 

The attention of the British House of Lords was also at- 
tracted to the proclamation of President Lincoln, threatening the 
officers and crew of privateers with the punishment of piracy. 
It led to a discussion in which the Earl of Derby said : " He 
apprehended that, if one thing was clearer than another, it was 
that privateering was not piracy ; and that no law could make 
that piracy, as regarded the subjects of one nation which was 
not piracy by the law of nations. Consequently, the United 
States must not be allowed to entertain this doctrine, and to 
call upon her Majesty's Government not to interfere." The 
Lord Chancellor said : " There was no doubt that, if an English- 
man engaged in the service of the Southern States, he violated the 
laws of his country and rendered himself liable to punishment, 
and that he had no right to trust to the protection of his native 
country to shield him from the consequences of his act. But, 
though that individual would be guilty of a breach of the law 
of his own country, he could not be treated as a pirate, and those 
who treated him as a pirate would be guilty of murder." 

The appearance of this little fleet on the ocean made it ne- 
cessary for the powers of Europe immediately to define their 
position relative to the contending powers. Great Britain, 
adopting a position of neutrality, and recognizing both as bel- 
ligerents, interdicted the armed ships and privateers of both from 
carrying prizes into the waters of the United Kingdom or its 
colonies. All the other powers recognized the Confederate 
States to be belligerents, but closed their ports against the ad- 
mission of prizes captured by either belligerent. 

It is worthy of notice that the United States Government 
(though it had previously declined) at this time notified the 
English and French Governments that it was now willing to 


adhere to all the conditions of the Paris Congress of 1856, pro- 
vided the clause abolishing privateers might apply to the Con- 
federate States. The offer, with the proviso, was honorably 
declined by both France and England. 

In the matter of the exchange of prisoners, which became 
important in consequence of these retaliatory measures, and the 
number taken by our troops at Manassas, the people of the 
Northern States were the victims of incessant mortification and 
distress through the vacillating and cruel conduct of their Gov- 
ernment. It based all its immense military movements on the 
theory that " the laws of the United States have been for some 
time past and now are opposed and the execution thereof ob- 
structed, ... by combinations too powerful to be suppressed" 
by the ordinary methods. Under this theory the United States 
are assumed to be one nation, and the distinctions among them 
of States are as little recognized as if they did not exist. This 
theory was false, and thereby led its originators into constant 
blunders. When the leaders of a government aspire to the 
acquisition of absolute, unlimited power, and the sword is 
drawn to hew the way, it would be more logical and respectable 
to declare the laws silent than to attempt to justify unlawful 
acts by unwarranted legislation. If their theory had been true, 
then their prisoners of war were insurrectionists and rebels, and 
guilty of treason, and hanging would have been the legitimate 
punishment. Why were they not hung ? Not through pity, 
but because the facts contradicted the theory. The " combina- 
tions " spoken of were great and powerful States, and the danger 
was that the North would be the greater sufferer by our retali- 
ation. There was no humane course but to exchange prisoners 
according to the laws of war. With this the Government of 
the United States refused to comply, lest it might be construed 
into an acknowledgment of belligerent rights on our part, which 
would explode their theory of insurrectionary combinations, tend 
to restore more correct views of the rights and powers of the 
States, and expose in its true light their efforts to establish the 
supreme and unlimited sovereignty of the General Government. 
The reader may observe the tenacity with which the authorities 
at Washington, and, behind them, the Northern States, clung 


to this theory. Upon its strict maintenance depended the suc- 
cess of their bloody revolution to secure absolute supremacy 
over the States. Upon its failure, the dissolution of the Union 
would have been established ; constitutional liberty would have 
been vindicated ; the hopes of mankind in the modern institu- 
tions of federation fulfilled ; and a new Union might have been 
formed and held together with a bond of fraternity and not by 
the sword, as under the above revolutionary theory. 

By the exchange of prisoners, nothing was conceded except 
what was evident to the world — that actual war existed, and 
that a Christian people should at least conduct it according to 
the usages of civilized nations. But sectional hate and the vain 
conceit of newly acquired power led to the idle prophecy of our 
speedy subjection, and hence the Government of the United 
States refused to act as required by humanity and the usages of 
civilized warfare. At length, moved by the clamors of the rela- 
tives and friends of the prisoners we held, and by fears of retali- 
ation, it covertly submitted to abandon its declared purpose, 
and to shut its eyes while the exchanges were made by various 
commanders under nags of truce. Thus some were exchanged 
in New York, "Washington, Cairo, and Columbus, Kentucky, 
and by General McClellan in western Yirginia and elsewhere. 
On the whole, the partial exchanges were inconsiderable and 
inconclusive as to the main question. The condition at the 
close of the year 1861, summarily stated, was that soldiers cap- 
tured in battle were not protected by the usage of " exchange," 
and citizens were arrested without due process of law, deported 
to distant States, and incarcerated without assigned cause. All 
this by persons acting under authority of the United States 
Government, but in disregard of the United States Constitution, 
which provides that " no person shall be held to answer for a 
capital or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or 
an indictment of a grand jury, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or 
property without due process of law."* " The right of the peo- 
ple to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, 
against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be vio- 
lated." f These provisions were of no avail to protect the citi- 

* Constitution of the United States, Article Y. f Ibid., Article IV. 


zens from the outrages, because those who derived their author- 
ity from the Constitution used that authority to violate its guar- 
antees. It has been stated that the rule upon which the United 
States Government was conducting affairs was entirely revolu- 
tionary. Its efforts to clothe the Government of the Union with 
absolute power involved the destruction of the rights of the 
States and the subversion of the Constitution. Hence on 
every occasion the provisions of the Constitution afforded no 
protection to the citizens : their rights were spurned ; their 
persons were seized and imprisoned beyond the reach of 
friends ; their houses sacked and burned. If they pleaded the 
Constitution, the Government of the Constitution was deaf to 
them, unsheathed its sword, and said the Union was at stake ; 
and the Constitution, which was the compact of union, must 
stand aside. This was indeed a revolution. A constitutional 
government of limited powers derived from the people was 
transformed into a military despotism. The Northern people 
were docile as sheep under the change, reminding one of the 
words of the Psalmist : " All we, like sheep, have gone astray." 
Posterity may ask with amazement, What cause could there 
have been for such acts by a government that was ordained " to 
form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic 
tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the gen- 
eral welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and 
our posterity " ? Posterity may further ask, "Where could a gov- 
ernment of limited powers, constructed only for certain general 
purposes — and on the principle that all power proceeds from the 
people, and that " the powers not delegated by the Constitution, 
nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States 
respectively, or to the people " — find a grant of power, or an 
authority to perpetrate such injuries upon the States and the 
people ? As to the first question, it may be said : There was 
no external cause for such acts. All foreign nations were at 
peace with the United States. No hostile fleets were hovering 
on her coasts, nor immense foreign armies threatening to invade 
her territory. The cause, if any plausible one existed, was 
entirely internal. It lay between it and its citizens. If it had 
treated them with injustice and oppression, and threatened so 


to continue, it had departed from the objects of its creation, and 
they had the resulting right to dissolve it. 

"Who was to be the umpire in such a case ? Not the United 
States Government, for it was the creature of the States ; it pos- 
sessed no inherent, original sovereignty. The Constitution says, 
" The powers not delegated to the United States by the Consti- 
tution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the 
States respectively, or to the people." * The umpireship is, there- 
fore, expressly on the side of the States, or the people. When 
the State of South Carolina, through a sovereign convention, 
withdrew from the Union, she exercised the umpireship which 
rightly belonged to her, and which no other could exercise for 
her. This involved the dissolution of the Union, and the ex- 
tinction of the Government of the United States so far as she 
was concerned ; but the officers of that Government, instead of 
justly acquiescing in that which was constitutionally and legally 
inevitable, drew the sword, and resolved to maintain by might 
that which had no longer existence by right. A usurpation 
thus commenced in wrong was the mother of all the usurpations 
and wrongs which followed. The unhallowed attempt to estab- 
lish the absolute sovereignty of the Government of the United 
States, by the subjugation of States and their people, brought 
forth its natural fruit. Well might the victim of the guillo- 
tine exclaim, " O Liberty, what crimes are committed in thy 
name ! " 

As to the other question — Where could a government of 
limited powers find authority to perpetrate such injuries upon 
its own constituents ? — an answer will be given in succeeding 

Up to the close of the year the war enlarged its proportions 
so as to include new fields, until it then extended from the shores 
of the Chesapeake to the confines of Missouri and Arizona. 
Sudden calls from the remotest points for military aid were met 
with promptness enough not only to avert disaster in the face of 
superior numbers, but also to roll back the tide of invasion on 
the border. 

At the commencement of the war the enemy were possessed 

* Constitution of the United States, Article X. 


of certain strategic points and strong places within the Confed- 
erate States. They greatly exceeded us in numbers, in available 
resources, and in the supplies necessary for war. Military es- 
tablishments had been long organized, and were complete ; the 
navy and the army, once common to both, were in their posses- 
sion. To meet all this we had to create not only an army in the 
face of war itself, but also military establishments necessary to 
equip and place it in the field. The spirit of the volunteers and 
the patriotism of the people enabled us, under Providence, to 
grapple successfully with these difficulties. A succession of 
glorious victories at Bethel, Manassas, Springfield, Lexing- 
ton, Leesburg, and Belmont, checked the invasion of our soil. 
After seven months of war the enemy had not only failed to 
extend their occupancy of the soil, but new States and Terri- 
tories had been added to our confederacy. Instead of their 
threatened march of unchecked conquest, the enemy were driven 
at more than one point to assume the defensive ; and, upon a 
fair comparison between the two belligerents, as to men, mili- 
tary means, and financial condition, the Confederate States were 
relatively much stronger at the end of the year than when the 
struggle commenced. 

The necessities of the times called into existence new 
branches of manufactures, and gave a fresh impulse to the activ- 
ity of those previously in operation, and we were gradually 
becoming independent of the rest of the world for the supply 
of such military stores and munitions as were indispensable for 

At an election on November 6, 1861, the chief executive 
officers of the provisional Government were unanimously chosen 
to similar positions in the permanent Government, to be inaugu- 
rated on the ensuing 22d of February, 1862. 




Military Arrangements of the Enemy. — Marshall and Garfield. — Fishing Creek. — Crit- 
tenden's Report. — Fort Henry ; its Surrender. — Fort Donelson ; its Position. — 
Assaults. — Surrender. — Losses. 

Important changes in the military arrangements of the 
enemy were made about this time. Major-General George B. 
McClellan was assigned to the chief command of his army, in 
place of Lieutenant-General Scott, retired. A Department of 
Ohio was constituted, embracing the States of Ohio, Michigan, 
Indiana, and Kentucky east of the Cumberland and Tennessee 
Rivers; and Brigadier-General D. C. Buell was assigned to its 
command. At the same time, General Henry W. Halleck su- 
perseded General John C. Fremont in command of the United 
States Department of the West. General W. T. Sherman was 
removed from Kentucky and sent to report to General Halleck. 
General A. S. Johnston was now confronted by General Hal- 
leck in the West and by General Buell in Kentucky. The 
former, with armies at Cairo and Paducah, under Generals 
Grant and C. F. Smith, threatened equally Columbus, the key 
of the lower Mississippi River, and the water-lines of the Cum- 
berland and the Tennessee, with their defenses at Forts Donel- 
son and Henry. The right wing of General Buell also men- 
aced Donelson and Henry, while his center was directed against 
Bowling Green, and his left was advancing against General 
ZollicofTer at Mill Spring, on the upper Cumberland. If the 
last-named position could be forced, the way seemed open to 
East Tennessee, by either the Jacksboro or the Jamestown 
routes, on the one hand, and to Nashville on the other. At the 
northeastern corner of Kentucky there was a force under Colo- 
nel Garfield, of Ohio, opposed to the Confederate force under 
General Humphrey Marshall. 

The strength of Marshall's force in effective men was about 
sixteen hundred. Knowing that a body of the enemy under 
Colonel Garfield was advancing to meet him, and that a small 
force was moving to his rear, he fell back some fifteen miles, 


and took position on Middle Creek, near Prestonburg. On Janu- 
ary 10, 1862, Garfield attacked him. The firing was kept up, 
with some intervals, about four hours, and was occasionally very 
sharp and spirited. Marshall says in his report : " The enemy 
did not move me from any one position I assumed, and at night- 
fall withdrew from the field, leaving me just where I was in 
the morning. . . . He came to attack, yet came so cautiously 
that my left wing never fired a shot, and he never came up 
sufficiently to engage my center or left wing." Garfield was 
said to have fallen back fifteen miles to Paintsville, and 
Marshall seven miles, where he remained two days, then 
slowly pursued his retreat. He stated his loss at ten killed 
and fourteen wounded, and that of the enemy to have been 

The battle of Fishing Creek has been the subject of harsh 
criticism, and I think it will be seen by the report herein in- 
serted that great injustice has been done to General George B. 
Crittenden, who commanded on that occasion. 

In July, 1880, I wrote to him requesting a statement of the 
affair at Fishing Creek, and a short time before his decease he 
complied with my request by writing as follows : 

"In November, 1862, I assumed, by assignment, the command 
of a portion of East Tennessee and southeastern Kentucky, 
which embraced the troops stationed at Mill Springs, on the Cum- 
berland River, and under the command of General Zollicoffer, 
who, as I understood the matter, had been stationed there by 
General Johnston to prevent the enemy under Schopf, and con- 
fronting him on the opposite side of the river, from crossing and 
penetrating into Tennessee. Schopf's camp was at Somerset, on 
Fishing Creek, a tributary of the Cumberland, emptying into it a 
mile above Mill Springs. He was several miles away from the 
bank of the Cumberland, so that both the river and creek inter- 
vened between him and General Zollicoffer. While I was detained 
in Knoxville, on business connected with my command, I received 
an official communication from General Zollicoffer, informing me 
that he had crossed the Cumberland by fording, and was fortify- 
ing a camp on the right bank, etc. By the messenger who bore 
me this' communication I ordered him to recross the river and 


resume his original position on the left bank. Early in January, 
I reached Mill Springs, and found, to my surprise, General Zolli- 
coffer still on the right bank. He called on me immediately, and 
informed me that his messenger who bore back my order had lost 
several days in returning, and that when it was received he sup- 
posed that I would arrive almost immediately ; and, hoping to be 
able to convince me that it would be better to remain on the right 
bank, he had postponed crossing until, by a rise in the river, it 
had become impossible to do so ; that all his artillery and a large 
portion of his wagons were on the right bank, and his only means 
of transferring them to the other bank were a small ferry-boat and 
a very small stern-wheel steamer, entirely inadequate to the pur- 
pose. I was dissatisfied, but, as I knew that the General had been 
actuated by pure motives, I accepted his excuse. Details were 
promptly placed in the woods, to prepare timber for flat-boats to 
transport the artillery and wagons to the left bank of the river. 
The weather was execrable, and the men unskilled, so that the 
work progressed slowly. 

" Such was the posture of affairs, when, on the 18th of Janu- 
ary, I was informed that General Thomas was approaching with 
a large force of all arms, and would encamp that night within a 
few miles of us. Here was thrust upon me the very contingency 
which my order to General Zollicoffer was intended to obviate. 
It rained violently throughout this day until late in the afternoon. 
It occurred to me that Fishing Creek must so rise as to render it 
impossible for Schopf to connect with Thomas. Acting upon this 
idea, I summoned a council of superior officers, and, laying before 
them the circumstances of the case, asked their advice. There 
was not one of them who did not concur with me in the opinion 
that Thomas must be attacked immediately, and, if possible, by 
surprise ; that such attack, if successful merely in repulsing him, 
would probably give us time to cross the Cumberland with artil- 
lery and wagons, by means of our boats, then being built. 

"Accordingly, at twelve o'clock in the night, we marched 
for the position of the enemy, ascertained to be some six miles 
away. We had scarcely taken up the line of march, when the 
rain began to fall, the darkness became intense, and the conse- 
quent confusion great, so that day dawned before we reached his 
position. The attack, as a surprise, failed ; nevertheless, it was 
promptly made. It rained violently throughout the action, ren- 


dering all the flint-lock guns useless. The men bearing them were 
allowed to fall back on the reserve. 

"The action was progressing successfully, when the fall of 
General Zollicoffer was announced to me. Apprehending disas- 
trous consequences, I hastened to the front. My apprehensions 
were well founded. I found the line of battle in confusion and 
falling back, and, after a vain effort to restore the line, yielded to 
necessity, and, by the interposition of the reserve, covered the 
shattered line and effected my retreat to camp without loss. 

" I reached camp late in the afternoon. Not long afterward 
the enemy opened fire at long range ; night coming on, he ceased 
to fire. The few shot and shells that fell in the camp so plainly 
demonstrated the demoralization of the men, that I doubted, even 
if I had had rations, which I had not, whether the camp could 
have been successfully defended for twenty-four hours. There 
was not, and had not been for some time in the camp, rations be- 
yond the daily need. This state of affairs was due to the exhaus- 
tion of the neighboring country, and the impracticability of the 

" It became now my sole object to transfer the men with their 
arms, the cavalry-horses, and teams to the left bank of the river. 
This was successfully accomplished by dawn of the next day. 

"I attributed the loss of the battle, in a great degree, to the 
inferiority of our arms and the untimely fall of General Zolli- 
coffer, who was known and highly esteemed by the men, who were 
almost all Tennesseeans. I think I have shown that the battle of 
Fishing Creek was a necessity, and that I ought not to be held 
responsible for that necessity. As to how I managed it, I have 
nothing further to say." 

General Crittenden's gallantry had been too often and too 
conspicuously shown in battle during the war with Mexico 
and on the Indian frontier to admit of question, and the 
criticism has been directed solely to the propriety of the attack 
at Fishing Creek. His explanation is conclusive against any 
arraignment of him for the presence of the troops on the right 
bank of the Cumberland, or for his not immediately with- 
drawing them to the left bank when his position was threat- 
ened. Under these circumstances, to attack one portion of the 
enemy, when a junction with the other part could not be ef- 


fected, was to act in accordance with one of the best-settled 
rules of war. 

The unforeseen accident of renewed rain, with intense dark- 
ness, delayed his march beyond reasonable expectation ; and, 
whereas the whole force should have reached the enemy's 
encampment before dawn, the advance of two regiments only 
reached there after broad daylight. To hesitate, would have 
been to give the enemy time for preparation, and I think it 
was wisely decided to attack at once and rely upon the rear 
coming up to support the advance ; but the rear, encumbered 
with their artillery, were so far behind that, though the advance 
were successful in their first encounter, they did not receive 
the hoped-for support until they had suffered severely, and then 
the long-known and trusted commander of the forces there, the 
gallant and most estimable Zollicoffer, fell ; whence confusion 
resulted. General Crittenden had been but a few days with the 
troops, a disadvantage which will be readily appreciated. Had 
the whole force been in position at early dawn, so as to have sur- 
prised the enemy, the plan would have been executed, and vic- 
tory would have been the probable result ; after which, Schopf 's 
force might have been readily disposed of. But, had the attack 
done no more than to check the advance of Thomas until the 
boats under construction could have been finished, so as to en- 
able Crittenden to save his artillery and equipments, it would 
have justified the attempt. I therefore think the strategy not 
only defensible but commendable, and the affair to be ranked 
with one of the many brilliant conceptions of the war. The 
reader will not fail to remark the evidence which General Crit- 
tenden's report affords of the fallacy of representing the South 
as having been prepared by supplying herself with the materiel 
necessary for war. The heart of even a noble enemy must be 
moved at the spectacle of citizens defending their homes, with 
muskets of obsolete patterns and shot-guns, against an invader 
having all the modern improvements in arms. The two regi- 
ments constituting the advance were Battle's Twentieth Tennes- 
see and the Fifteenth Mississippi, commanded by Lieutenant- 
Colonel E. C. Walthall. "With dauntless courage they engaged 
the whole array of the enemy, and drove him from his first 


position. When at length our forces fell back to their in- 
trenched camp, it was with sullen determination, and the pur- 
suit was so cautious that whenever it ventured too near it was 
driven back by our rear guard. The valiant advance — the 
Fifteenth Mississippi and Twentieth Tennessee — bore the bur- 
den of the day. The Mississippians lost two hundred and 
twenty out of four hundred engaged, and the Tennesseeans lost 
half as many, this being about three fourths the casualties in 
our force. 

That night General Crittenden crossed his troops over the 
river, with the exception of those too badly wounded to travel. 
He was compelled to leave his artillery and wagons, not having 
the means of transporting them across, and moved with the 
remnant of his army toward Nashville. 

Both by General Crittenden and those who haVe criticised 
him for making the attack at Fishing Creek, it is assumed that 
General Zollicoffer made a mistake in crossing to the right bank 
of the Cumberland, and that thence it resulted as a consequence 
that General Johnston's right flank of his line through Bowling 
Green was uncovered. I do not perceive the correctness of the 
conclusion, for it must be admitted that General Zollicoffer's com- 
mand was not adequate to resist the combined forces of Thomas 
and Schopf, or that the Cumberland River was a sufficient ob- 
stacle to prevent them from crossing either above or below the 
position at Mill Springs. General Zollicoffer may well have 
believed that he could better resist the crossing of the Cumber- 
land by removing to the right bank rather than by remaining 
on the left. The only difference, it seems to me, would have 
been that he could have retreated without the discomfiture of 
his force or the loss of his artillery and equipments, but, in 
either case, Johnston's right flank would have been alike un- 

To Zollicoffer and the other brave patriots who fell with 
him, let praise, not censure, be given ; and to Crittenden, let 
tardy justice render the meed due to a gallant soldier of the 
highest professional attainments, and whose fault, if fault it 
be, was a willingness to dare much in his country's service. 

When the State of Tennessee seceded, measures were im- 


mediately adopted to occupy and fortify all the strong points on 
the Mississippi, as Memphis, Eandolph, Fort Pillow, and Island 
jSo. 10. As it was our purpose not to enter the State of Ken- 
tucky and construct defenses for the Cumberland and Ten- 
nessee Rivers on her territory, they were located within the 
borders of Tennessee, and as near to the Kentucky line as suit- 
able sites could be found. On these were commenced the con- 
struction of Fort Donelson on the west side of the Cumberland, 
and Fort Henry on the east side of the Tennessee, and about 
twelve miles apart. The latter stood on the low lands adjacent 
to the river about high- water mark, and, being just below a bend 
in the river and at the head of a straight stretch of two miles, it 
commanded the river for that distance. It was also commanded 
by high ground on the opposite bank of the river, which it was 
intended should be occupied by our troops in case of a land at- 
tack. The power of ironclad gunboats against land defenses 
had not yet been shown, and the low position of the fort brought 
the battery to the water-level, and secured the advantage of 
ricochet firing, the most effective against wooden ships. 

Fort Donelson was placed on high ground ; and, with the 
plunging fire from its batteries, was thereby more effective 
against the ironclads brought to attack it on the water side. 
But on the land side it was not equally strong, and required 
extensive outworks and a considerable force to resist an attack 
in that quarter. 

In September, 1861, Lieutenant Dixon, of the Engineer 
Corps, was instructed to make an examination of the works at 
the two forts. He reported that Fort Henry was nearly com- 
pleted. It was built, not at the most favorable position, but it 
was a strong work, and, instead of abandoning it and building 
at another place, he advised that it should be completed, and 
other works constructed on the high lands just above the fort 
on the opposite side of the river. Measures for the accomplish- 
ment of this plan were adopted as rapidly as the means at dis- 
posal would allow. 

In relation to Donelson, it was his opinion that, although a 
better position might have been chosen for this fortification 
on the Cumberland, under the circumstances surrounding the 


command, it would be better to retain and strengthen the posi- 
tion chosen. 

General Polk, in a report to General Johnston just previous 
to the battle of Shiloh, said : " The principal difficulty in the 
way of a successful defense of the rivers, was the want of an 
adequate force — a force of infantry and a force of experienced 
artillerists." This was the unavoidable result of the circum- 
stances heretofore related, but tells only half of the story. To 
match the vessels of the enemy (floating forts) we required 
vessels like theirs, or the means of constructing them. We had 

The efforts which were put forth to resist the operations on 
the Western rivers, for which the United States made such vast 
preparations, were therefore necessarily very limited. There 
was a lack of skilled labor, of ship-yards, and of materials for 
constructing ironclads, which could not be readily obtained or 
prepared in a beset and blockaded country. Proposals were con- 
sidered both for building gunboats and for converting the ordi- 
nary side-wheel, high-pressure steamboats into gunboats. But 
the engineer department, though anxious to avail itself of 
this means of defense, decided that it was not feasible. There 
was not plate-iron with which to armor a single vessel, and even 
railroad-iron could not be spared from its uses for transportation. 
Unless a fleet could have been built to match the enemy's, 
we had to rely on land-batteries, torpedoes, and marching 
forces. It was thought best to concentrate the resources on 
what seemed practicable. One ironclad gunboat, however, the 
Eastport, was undertaken on the Tennessee Eiver, but under 
so many difficulties that, after the surrender of Fort Henry, 
while still unfinished, it was destroyed, lest it should fall to the 

The fleet of gunboats prepared by the United States for the 
Mississippi and its tributaries consisted of twelve, seven of which 
were iron-clad, and able to resist all except the heaviest solid shot. 
The boats were built very wide in proportion to their length, so 
that in the smooth river-waters they might have almost the 
steadiness of land-batteries when discharging their heavy guns. 

* " The Life of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston," by his son. 


This flotilla carried one hundred and fortj-three guns, some 
sixty-four pounders, some thirty-two pounders, and some seven- 
inch rifled guns carrying eighty-pound shells. 

On February 2d General Grant started from Cairo with sev- 
enteen thousand men on transports. Commodore Foote accom- 
panied him with seven gunboats. On the 4th the landing of the 
troops commenced three miles or more below Fort Henry. Gen- 
eral Grant took command on the east bank with the main column, 
while General Charles F. Smith, with two brigades of some five 
to six thousand men, landed on the left bank, with orders to 
take the earthwork opposite Fort Henry, known as Fort Hind- 
man. On the 5th the landing was completed, and the attack 
was made on the next day. The force of General Tilghman, 
who was in command at Fort Henry, was about thirty-four 
hundred men. It is evident that on the 5th he intended to 
dispute Grant's advance by land ; but on the 6th, before the 
attack by the gunboats, he changed his purpose, abandoned 
all hope of a successful defense, and made arrangements for 
the escape of his main body to Fort Donelson, while the 
guns of Fort Henry should engage the gunboats. He or- 
dered Colonel Hindman to withdraw the command to Fort 
Donelson, while he himself would obtain the necessary delay 
for the movement by use of the battery, and standing a bom- 
bardment in Fort Henry. For this purpose he retained his 
heavy artillery company — seventy-five men — to work the guns, 
a number unequal to the strain and labor of the defense.* 

Noon was the time fixed for the attack ; but Grant, impeded 
by the overflow of water, and unwilling to expose his men to the 
heavy guns of the fort, held them back to await the result of the 
gunboat attack. In the mean time the Confederate troops were 
in retreat. Four ironclads, mounting forty-eight heavy guns, ap- 
proached and took position within six hundred yards of the fort, 
firing as they advanced. About half a mile behind these came 
three unarmored gunboats, mounting twenty-seven heavy guns, 
which took a more distant position, and kept up a bombardment 
of shells that fell within the works. Some four hundred of the 
formidable missiles of the ironclad boats were also thrown into 

•55- « 

The Life of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston," by his son. 




the fort. The officers and men inside were not slow to respond, 
and as many as fifty-nine of their shots were counted as striking 
the gunboats. On the ironclad Essex a cannon-ball ranged her 
whole length ; another shot, passing through the boiler, caused 


an explosion that scalded her commander, Porter, and many of 
the seamen and soldiers on board. 

Five minutes after the fight began, the twenty-four pounder 
rifled gun, one of the most formidable in the fort, burst, disabling 
every man at the piece. Then a shell exploded at the muzzle 
of one of the thirty-two pounders, ruining the gun, and killing or 
wounding all the men who served it. About the same moment 
a premature discharge occurred at one of the forty-tw T o pounder 
guns, killing three men and seriously injuring others. The ten- 
inch columbiad, the only gun able to match the artillery of the 
assailants, was next rendered useless by a priming-wire that was 
jammed and broken in the vent. An heroic blacksmith labored 
for a long time to remove it, under the full fire of the enemy, 
bnt in vain. The men became exhausted and lost confidence ; 
and Tilghman, seeing this, in person served a thirty-two pounder 
for some fifteen minutes. Though but four of his guns were 
disabled, six stood idle for want of artillerists, and but two were 
replying to the enemy. After an engagement of two hours and 
ten minutes, he ceased firing and lowered his flag. For this sol- 
dierly devotion and self-sacrifice the gallant commander and his 
brave band must be honored while patriotism has an advocate 
and self-sacrifice for others has a votary. Our casualties were 
five killed and sixteen wounded ; those of the enemy were sixty- 
three of all kinds. Twelve officers and sixty-three non-com- 
missioned officers and privates were surrendered with the fort. 
The Tennessee River was thus open, and a base by short lines 
was established against Fort Donelson. 

The next movement was a combined attack by land and 
water upon Fort Donelson. This fort was situated on the left 
bank of the Cumberland, as has been stated, hear its great 
bend, and about forty miles from the mouth of the river. It 
was about one mile north of the village of Dover, where the 
commissary and quartermaster's supplies were in depot. The 
fort consisted of two water-batteries on the hillside, protected 
by a bastioned earthwork of irregular outline on the summit, 
inclosing about one hundred acres. The water-batteries were 
admirably placed to sweep the river approaches, with an arma- 
ment of thirteen guns ; eight thirty-two pounders, three thirty- 


two pound carronade, one ten-inch columbiad, and one rifled 
gun of thirty-two pound caliber. The field-work, which was 
intended for infantry supports, occupied a plateau about one 
hundred feet above the river, commanding and protecting the 
water-batteries at close musket range. These works afforded a 
fair defense against gunboats ; but they were not designed or 
adapted for resistance to a land attack or investment by an 

Generals Pillow and Floyd were ordered with their sepa- 
rate commands to Fort Donelson. General Buckner also was 
sent with a division from Bowling Green ; so that the Confed- 
erate effective force at the fort during the siege was between 
fourteen thousand five hundred and fifteen thousand men.* 
The force of General Grant was not less than thirty to thirty- 
five thousand men. On February 12th he commenced his 
movement across from Fort Henry, and the investment of Donel- 
son was made without any serious opposition. On the 13th 
General Buckner reports that "the fire of the enemy's artillery 
and riflemen was incessant throughout the day ; but was re- 
sponded to by a well-directed fire from the intrenchments, which 
inflicted upon the assailant a considerable loss, and almost si- 
lenced his fire late in the afternoon." The object of the enemy 
undoubtedly was to discover the strength and position of our 
forces. The artillery-fire was continued at intervals during 
the night. Nearly every Confederate regiment reported a few 
casualties from the shot and shell which frequently fell inside 
of the works. Meanwhile, a gunboat of thirteen guns arrived 
in the morning, and, taking a position behind a headland, fired 
one hundred and thirty-eight shots, when our one hundred and 
twenty-eight pound shot crashed through one of her ports, in- 
juring her machinery and crippling her. The enemy's fire did 
no damage to the fort itself, but a shot disabled a gun and 
killed Captain Dixon, a valuable engineer, whose loss was 
greatly deplored. 

The weather became cold during the night, and a driving 
snow-storm prevailed, so that some of the soldiers were frozen, 
and the wounded between the lines suffered extremely. The 

* " The Life of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston," by his son. 


fleet of gunboats under Commodore Foote arrived, bringing re- 
enforcements to the enemy. These were landed during the 
night and the next day, which was occupied with placing them 
in position. Nevertheless, though no assault was made, a ram- 
bling and ineffective fire was kept up. About 3 p. m. the com- 
mander of the naval force, expecting an easy victory, like that 
at Fort Henry, brought his four ironclads, followed by two gun- 
boats, up to the attack. Each of the ironclads mounted thir- 
teen guns and the gunboats nine. Any one of them was more 
than a match for the guns of the fort. Their guns were eight, 
nine, and ten inch, three in the bow of each. Our columbiad 
and the rifled gun were the only two pieces effective against the 
ironclads. The enemy moved directly toward the water-bat- 
teries, firing with great weight of metal. It was the intention 
of Commodore Foote to silence these batteries, pass by, and take 
a position where he could enfilade the fort with broadsides. 
The gunboats opened at a mile and a half distance, and advanced 
until within three or four hundred yards. The shot and shell 
of the fleet tore up the earthworks, but did no further injury. 
Eut the Confederate guns, aimed from an elevation of not less 
than thirty feet by cool and courageous hands, sent their shot 
with destructive power, and overcame all the enemy's advan- 
tages in number and weight of guns. The bolts of our two 
heavy guns went crashing through iron and massive timbers 
with resistless force, scattering slaughter and destruction through 
the fleet. * Hoppin, in his " Life of Commodore Foote," says : 

" The Louisville was disabled by a shot, which cut away her 
rudder-chains, making her totally unmanageable, so that she 
drifted with the current out of action. Very soon the St. Louis 
was disabled by a shot through her pilot-house, rendering her 
steering impossible, so that she also floated down the river. The 
other two armored vessels were also terribly struck, and a rifled 
cannon on the Carondelet burst, so that these two could no longer 
sustain the action ; and, after fighting for more than an hour, the 
little fleet was forced to withdraw. The St. Louis was struck 
fifty-nine times, the Louisville thirty-six times, the Carondelet 

* " The Life of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston," by his son. 


twenty-six, the Pittsburg twenty, the four vessels receiving no 
less than one hundred and forty-one wounds. The fleet, gathering 
itself together, and rendering mutual help to its disabled mem- 
bers, proceeded to Cairo to repair damages." 

The loss of the enemy was fifty-four killed and wounded. 
The report of Major Gilmer, who laid out these works, says : 

"Our batteries were uninjured, and not a man in them killed. 
The repulse of the gunboats closed the operations of the day, ex- 
cept a few scattering shots along the land defenses." 

In consequence of reinforcements to the enemy, the plan of 
operations for the next day was determined by the Confederate 
generals about midnight. The whole of the left wing of the 
army except eight regiments was to move out of the trenches, 
attack, turn, and drive the enemy's right until the Wynn's Ferry 
road, which led to Charlotte through a good country, was 
cleared, and an exit thus secured. 

The troops, moving in the small hours of the night over the 
icy and broken roads, which wound through the obstructed 
area of defense, made slow progress, and delayed the projected 
operations. At 4 a. m. on the 15th, Pillow's troops were ready, 
except one brigade, which came late into action. By six 
o'clock, Baldwin's brigade was engaged with the enemy, only 
two or three hundred yards from his lines, and the bloody con- 
test of the day had begun. At one o'clock the enemy's right 
was doubled back. The Wynn's Ferry road was cleared, and 
it only remained for the Confederates to do one of two things : 
The first was, to seize the golden moment and, adhering to the 
original purpose and plan of the sortie, move off rapidly by the 
route laid open by such strenuous efforts and so much blood- 
shed ; the other depended on the inspiration of a master-mind, 
equal to the effort of grasping every element of the combat, and 
which should complete the partial victory by the utter rout and 
destruction of the enemy. 

" While one or the other alternative seems to have been the 
only possible safe solution," says the author of " The Life of Gen. 
Albert Sidney Johnston," " the Confederate commander tried nei- 


thcr. A fatal middle policy was suddenly but dubiously adopted, 
and not carried out. The spirit of vacillation and divided coun- 
sels prevented that unity of action which is essential to success. 
For seven hours the Confederate battalions had been pushing over 
rough ground and through thick timber, at each step meeting fresh 
troops massed, where the discomfited regiments rallied. Hence 
the vigor of assault slackened, though the wearied troops were 
still ready and competent to continue their onward movement. 
Ten fresh regiments, over three thousand men, had not fired a 
musket. But in the turmoil of battle no one knew the relations 
of any command to the next, or indeed whether his neighbor was 
friend or foe. 

" General Buckner had halted, according to the preconcerted 
plan, to allow the army to pass out by the opened road and to 
cover their retreat. At this point of the fight, Pillow, finding 
himself at Hindman's position, heard of (or saw) preparations by 
General C. F. Smith for an assault on the Confederate right ; but, 
whether he understood this to be the purpose or construed the 
movement as the signs of a flight, was left uncertain by his lan- 
guage at the time. . . . He ordered the regiments which had 
been engaged to return to the trenches, and instructed Buckner to 
hasten to defend the imperiled point. Buckner, not recognizing 
him as a superior authorized to change the plan of battle, or the 
propriety of such change, refused to obey, and, after receiving 
reiterated orders, started to find Floyd, who at that moment joined 
him. He urged upon Floyd the necessity of carrying out the 
original plan of evacuation. Floyd assented to this view, and 
told Buckner to stand fast until he could see Pillow. He then 
rode back and saw Pillow, and, hearing his arguments, yielded to 
them. Floyd simply says that he found the movement so nearly 
executed that it was necessary to complete it. Accordingly, 
Buckner was recalled. In the mean time, Pillow's right brigades 
were retiring to their places in the trenches, under orders from 
the commanders." 

The conflict on the left soon ended. Three hundred pris- 
oners, five thousand stand of small-arms, six guns, and other 
spoils of victory, had been won by our forces. But the ene- 
my, cautiously advancing, gradually recovered most of his lost 
ground. It was about 4 p. m. when the assault on the right was 


made by General C. F. Smith. The enemy succeeded in carry- 
ing the advanced work, which General Buckner considered the 
key to his position. The loss of the enemy during the siege 
was four hundred killed, seventeen hundred and eighty-five 
wounded, and three hundred prisoners. Our losses were about 
three hundred and twenty-five killed and one thousand and 
ninety-seven wounded ; including missing, it was estimated at 
fifteen hundred. 

After nightfall a consultation of the commanding officers 
was held, and, after a consideration of the question in all its as- 
pects as to what should be done, it was decided that a surrender 
was inevitable, and, that to accomplish its objects, it must be 
made before the assault, which was expected at daylight. Gen- 
eral Buckner in his report, says : 

"I regarded the position of the army as desperate, and that 
the attempt to extricate it by another battle, in the suffering and 
exhausted condition of the troops, was almost hopeless. The 
troops had been worn down with watching, with labor, with fight- 
ing. Many of them were frosted by the cold, all of them were 
suffering and exhausted by their incessant labors. There had 
been no regular issue of rations for several days, and scarcely any 
means of cooking. The ammunition was nearly expended. We 
.were completely invested by a force fully four times the strength 
of our own." 

The decision to surrender having been made, it remained to 
determine by whom it should be made. Generals Flo/d and 
Pillow declared they would not surrender and become prison- 
ers ; the duty was therefore allotted to General Buckner. Floyd 
said, " General Buckner, if I place you in command, will you 
allow me to draw out my brigade ? " General Buckner replied, 
" Yes, provided you do so before the enemy act upon my com- 
munication." Floyd said, "General Pillow, I turn over the 
command." General Pillow, regarding this as a mere technical 
form by which the command was to be conveyed to Buckner, 
then said, "I pass it." Buckner assumed the command, sent 
for a bugler to sound the parley, for pen, ink, and paper, and 
opened the negotiations for surrender. 


There were but two roads by which it was possible for the 
garrison to retire. If they went by the upper road, they would 
certainly have to cut through the main body of the enemy ; if 
by the lower road, they would have to wade through water three 
feet deep. This, the medical director stated, would be death 
to more than one half the command, on account of the severity 
of the weather and their physical prostration. 

To cut through the enemy, if effected, would, it was sup- 
posed, involve the loss of three fourths of the command, a sac- 
rifice which, it was conceded, would not be justifiable. 

The enemy had, in the conflict of the preceding day, gained 
possession of our rifle-pits on the right flank, and General 
Buckner, an experienced soldier, held that the fort would im- 
mediately fall when the enemy attacked in the morning. Gen- 
eral Pillow dissented from this conclusion, believing that the 
fort could be defended until boats could be obtained to convey 
the garrison across the river, and also advocated an attempt to 
cut through the investing lines of the enemy. Being overruled 
on both points, he announced his determination to leave the 
post by any means available, so as to escape a surrender, and he 
advised Colonel TsT. B. Forrest, who was present, to go out with 
his cavalry regiment, and any others he could take with him 
through the overflow. General Floyd's brigade consisted of 
two Tirginia regiments and one Mississippi regiment ; these, as 
before mentioned, it was agreed that General Floyd might with- 
draw before the surrender. Two of the field-officers, Colonel 
Russell and Major Brown, of the Mississippi regiment, the twen- 
tieth, had been officers of the First Mississippi Riflemen in the 
war with Mexico ; and the twentieth, their present regiment, was 
reputed to be well instructed and under good discipline. This 
regiment was left to be surrendered with the rest of the garri- 
son, under peculiar circumstances, of which Major Brown, then 
commanding, gives the following narrative : 

"About twelve o'clock of the night previous to the surrender, 
I received an order to report in person at headquarters. On ar- 
riving I met Colonel N. B. Forrest, who remarked : ' I have been 
looking for you ; they are going to surrender this place, and I 


wanted you with your command to go out with me, but they have 
other orders for you.' On entering the room, Generals Floyd and 
Pillow also informed me of the proposed proceedings. General 
Floyd ordered me to take possession of the steamboat-landing 
with my command ; that he had reserved the right to remove his 
brigade ; that, after having guarded the landing, my command 
should be taken aboard the boat ; the Virginia regiments, first 
crossing to the other side of the river, could make their way to 

" I proceeded at once with my command to the landing ; there 
was no steamboat there, but I placed my regiment in a semicir- 
cular line so as to cover the landing-place. About daylight the 
steamer came down, landed, and was soon loaded with the two 
Virginia regiments, they passing through my ranks. At the same 
time the General and staff, or persons claiming to belong to the 
staff, passed aboard. The boat, being a small one, was consider- 
ably crowded. While the staging of the boat was being drawn 
aboard, General Floyd hallooed to me, from the * hurricane-roof,' 
that he would cross the river with the troops aboard and return 
for my regiment. But, about the time of the departure of the 
boat, General S. B. Buckner came and asserted that he had turned 
over the garrison and all the property at sunrise ; that, if the boat 
was not away immediately, he would be charged by the enemy 
with violating the terms of the surrender. I mention this inci- 
dent as furnishing, I suppose, the reason why my regiment was 
left on the bank of the river. 

" Sorrowfully I gave the necessary orders to stack arms and 
surrender .... 

" Both morally and materially the disaster was a severe blow 
to us. Many, wise after the event, have shown their skill in tell- 
ing what all knew afterward, but nobody told before." 



Results of the Surrender of Forts Henry and Donelson. — Retreat from Bowling 
Green. — Criticism on General A. S. Johnston. — Change of Plan necessary. — 
Evacuation of Nashville. — Generals Floyd and Pillow. — My Letter to General 
Johnston. — His Reply. — My Answer. — Defense of General Johnston. — Battle 
of Elkhorn. — Topography of Shiloh. 

The loss of Forts Henry and Donelson opened the river 
routes to Nashville and north Alabama, and thus turned the 
positions both at Bowling Green and Columbus. These disas- 
ters subjected General Johnston to very severe criticism, of 
which we shall take notice further on in these pages. A con- 
ference was held on February 7th by Generals Johnston, Beau- 
regard (who had been previously ordered to report to Johnston), 
and Hardee, as to the future plan of campaign. It was deter- 
mined, as Fort Henry had fallen and Donelson was untenable, 
that preparations should at once be made for a removal of the 
army to Nashville, in rear of the Cumberland River, a strong 
point some miles below that city being fortified forthwith to 
defend the river from .the passage of gunboats and transports. 
From Nashville, should any further retrograde movement be- 
come necessary, it would be made to Stevenson, and thence 
according to circumstances. 

As the possession of the Tennessee river by the enemy sepa- 
rated the army at Bowling Green from the one at Columbus, 
Kentucky, they must act independently of each other until they 
could be brought together : the first one having for its object 
the defense of the State of Tennessee along its line of opera- 
tion ; and the other, of that part of the State lying between 
the Tennessee Biver and the Mississippi. But, as the possession 
of the former river by the enemy rendered the lines of com- 
munication of the army at Columbus liable to be cut at any 
time by a movement from the Tennessee Biver as a base, and 
an overpowering force of the enemy was rapidly concentrating 
from various points on the Ohio, it was necessary, to prevent 
such a calamity, that the main body of the army should fall 
back to Humboldt, and thence, if necessary, to Grand Junction, 


so as to protect Memphis from either point and still have a line 
of retreat to the latter place, or to Grenada, and, if needful, 
to Jackson, Mississippi. 

Captain Hollins's fleet of improvised gunboats and a suffi- 
cient garrison was to be left at Columbus for the defense of 
the river at that point, with transports near at hand for the 
removal of the garrison when the position became no longer 

Every preparation for the retreat was silently made. The 
defenses of Bowling Green, originally slight, had been greatly 
enlarged by the addition of a cordon of detached forts, mounted 
with heavy field-guns; yet the garrison was only sufficiently 
strong to withstand an assault, and it was never proposed to sub- 
mit to a siege. The ordnance and army supplies were quietly 
moved southward, and measures were taken to remove from 
Nashville the immense stores accumulated there. Only five 
hundred men were in the hospital before the army commenced 
to retreat, but, when it reached Nashville, five thousand four 
hundred out of fourteen thousand required the care of the 
medical officers. On February 11th the troops began to move, 
and at nightfall on the 16th General Johnston, who had estab- 
lished his headquarters at Edgeville, on the northern bank of 
the Cumberland, saw the last of his wearied columns defile 
across and safely establish themselves beyond the river. The 
evacuation was accomplished by a force so small as to make the 
feat remarkable, not a pound of ammunition nor a gun being 
lost, and the provisions were nearly all secured. The first in- 
timation which the enemy had of the intended evacuation, so 
far as has been ascertained, was when Generals Hindman and 
Breckinridge, who were in advance near his camp, were seen 
suddenly to retreat toward Bowling Green. The enemy pur- 
sued, and succeeded in shelling the town, while Hindman was 
still covering the rear. Not a man was lost.* At the same 
time Crittenden's command was brought back within ten miles 
of Nashville, and thence to Murfreesboro. 

Scarcely had the retreat to Nashville been accomplished, 
when the news of the fall of Donelson was received. The state 

* Colonel R. W. Woolley; in " New Orleans Picayune," March, 1863. 


of feeling which it produced is described by Colonel Munford, 
an aide-de-camp of General Johnston, in an address delivered in 
Memphis. " Dissatisfaction was general. Its mutterings, already 
heard, began to break out in denunciations. The demagogues 
took up the cry, and hounded on one another and the people in 
hunting down a victim. The public press was loaded with 
abuse. The Government was denounced for intrusting the 
public safety to hands so feeble. The Lower House of Con- 
gress appointed a select committee to inquire into the conduct 
of the war in the Western Department. The Senators and 
Representatives from Tennessee, with the exception of Judge 
Swann, waited upon the President." Their spokesman, Senator 
G. A. Henry, stated that they came for and in behalf of Ten- 
nessee to ask for the removal of General A. S. Johnston, and 
the assignment of a competent officer to the defense of their 
homes and people. It was further stated that they did not 
come to recommend any one as the successor ; that it was con- 
ceded that the President was better able than they were to select 
a proper officer, and they only asked that he would give them 
a general. 

Painfully impressed by this exhibition of distrust toward an 
officer whose place, if vacated, I was sure could not be filled by 
his equal, realizing how necessary public confidence was to suc- 
cess, and wounded by the injustice done to one I had known 
with close intimacy in peace and. in war, and believed to be one 
of the noblest men with whom I had ever been associated, and 
one of the ablest soldiers I had ever seen in the field, I paused 
under conflicting emotions, and after a time merely answered, 
" If Sidney Johnston is not a general, the Confederacy has none 
to give you." 

On February 17th the rear guard from Bowling Green 
reached Nashville, and on the 18th General Johnston wrote to 
the Secretary of War at Richmond, saying : 

"I have ordered the army to encamp to-night midway be- 
tween Nashville and Murfreesboro. My purpose is to place the 
force in such a position that the enemy can not concentrate his 
superior strength against the command, and to enable me to as- 
semble as rapidly as possible such other troops in addition as it 


may be in my power to collect. The complete command which 
their gunboats and transports give them upon the Tennessee and 
Cumberland renders it necessary for me to retire my line between 
the rivers. I entertain the hope that this disposition will enable 
me to hold the enemy for the present in check, and, when my 
forces are sufficiently increased, to drive him back." 

The fall of Fort Donelson made a speedy change of his 
plans necessary. General Johnston was now compelled to with- 
draw his forces from the north bank of the Cumberland, and to 
abandon the defense of Nashville ; in a word, to evacuate Nash- 
ville or sacrifice the army. Not more than eleven thousand 
effective men were left to him with which to oppose General 
Buell w T ith not less than forty thousand men, moving by Bowl- 
ing Green, while another superior force, under General Thomas, 
was on the eastern flank ; and the armies from Fort Donelson, 
with the gunboats and transport, had it in their power to ascend 
the Cumberland, so as to interrupt all communication with the 

On February 17th and 18th the main body of the command 
was moved from Nashville to Murfreesboro, while a brigade 
remained under General Floyd to bring on the stores and prop- 
erty upon the approach of the enemy, all of which would have 
been saved except for the heavy and general rains. By the 
junction of the command of General Crittenden and the fugi- 
tives from Donelson, who were reorganized, the force of Gen- 
eral Johnston was increased to seventeen thousand men. The 
stores not required for immediate use were ordered to Chatta- 
nooga, and those which were necessary on the march were or- 
dered to Hunts ville and Decatur. On February 28th the march 
was commenced for Decatur through Shelby ville and Fayette- 
ville. Halting at those points for the purpose, lie saved his 
provisions and stores, removed his depots and machine-shops, 
obtained new arms, and finally, at the close of March, joined 
Beauregard at Corinth with twenty thousand men, making their 
aggregate force fifty thousand. 

Considering the great advantage which the means of trans- 
portation upon the Tennessee and Cumberland afforded the 
enemy, and the peculiar topography of the State, General John- 


ston found that lie could not with the force under his command 
successfully defend the whole line against the advance of the 
enemy. He was, therefore, compelled to elect whether the 
enemy should be permitted to occupy Middle Tennessee, or 
turn Columbus, take Memphis, and open the valley of the Mis- 
sissippi. Deciding that the defense of the valley was of para- 
mount importance, he therefore crossed the Tennessee and 
united with Beauregard. 

The evacuation of Nashville and the evident intention of 
General Johnston to retreat still further, created a panic in 
the public mind which spread over the whole State. Those 
who had refused to listen to his warning voice, when it called 
them to arms, were loudest in their passionate outcry at what 
they considered a base surrender of them to the mercies of the 
invader. He was accused of imbecility, cowardice, and treason. 
An appeal from every class was made to the President demand- 
ing his removal. Congress took the matter in hand, and, though 
the feeling there resulted merely in a committee of inquiry, it 
was evident that the case was prejudged. The Confederate 
House of Representatives created a special committee " to in- 
quire into the military disasters at Fort Henry and Fort Donel- 
son, and the surrender of Nashville to the enemy," and as to the 
conduct, number, and disposition of the troops under General 
Johnston. Great feeling was shown in the debates. 

Generals Floyd and Pillow, the senior officers at Fort Don- 
elson, after it had been decided to surrender, withdrew, to avoid 
being made prisoners. The Secretary of War (Mr. Benjamin) 
wrote, March 11th, to General Johnston as follows : 

" The reports of Brigadier-Generals Floyd and Pillow are un- 
satisfactory, and the President directs that both these generals be 
relieved from command until further orders. In the mean time 
you will request them to add to their reports such statements as 
they may deem proper on the points submitted. You are further 
requested to make up a report, from all the sources of information 
accessible to you, of all the particulars connected with the unfor- 
tunate affair, which can contribute to enlighten the judgment of 
the Executive and of Congress, and to fix the blame, if blame 
there be, on those who were delinquent in duty." 


This state of affairs, under the command of General John- 
ston, was the occasion of the following correspondence : 

Letter from President Davis to General A. S. Johnston. 

" Richmond, March 12, 1862. 

" My dear General : The departure of Captain Wickliffe 
offers an opportunity, of which I avail myself, to write you an 
unofficial letter. We have suffered great anxiety because of re- 
cent events in Kentucky and Tennessee, and I have been not a 
little disturbed by the repetitions of reflections upon yourself. I 
expected you to have made a full report of events precedent and 
consequent to the fall of Fort Donelson. In the mean time, I 
made for you such defense as friendship prompted, and many 
years of acquaintance justified ; but I needed facts to rebut the 
wholesale assertions made against you to cover others and to con- 
demn my administration. The public, as you are aware, have no 
correct measure for military operations, and the journals are very 
reckless in their statements. 

"Your force has been magnified, and the movements of an 
army have been measured by the capacity for locomotion of an 

" The readiness of the people, among whom you are operating, 
to aid you in every method, has been constantly asserted ; the 
purpose of your army at Bowling Green wholly misunderstood ; 
and the absence of an effective force at Nashville ignored. You 
have been held responsible for the fall of Donelson and the cap- 
ture of Nashville. It is charged that no effort was made to save 
the stores at Nashville, and that the panic of the people was caused 
by the army. 

" Such representations, with the sad forebodings naturally be- 
longing to them, have been painful to me, and injurious to us 
both ; but, worse than this, they have undermined public confi- 
dence and damaged our cause. A full development of the truth 
is necessary for future success. 

" I respect the generosity which has kept you silent, but would 
impress upon you that the question is not personal but public in 
its nature ; that you and I might be content to suffer, but neither 
of us can willingly permit detriment to the country. As soon as 
circumstances will permit, it is my purpose to visit the field of 
your present operations ; not that I shall expect to give you any 


aid in the discharge of your duties as a commander, but with the 
hope that my position would enable me to effect something in 
bringing men to your standard. With a sufficient force, the au- 
dacity which the enemy exhibits would no doubt give you the 
opportunity to cut some of his lines of communication, to break 
up his plan of campaign, and, defeating some of his columns, 
to drive him from the soil as well of Kentucky as of Ten- 

" We are deficient in arms, wanting in discipline, and inferior 
in numbers. Private arms must supply the first want ; time and 
the presence of an enemy, with diligence on the part of command- 
ers, will remove the second ; and public confidence will overcome 
the third. General Bragg brings you disciplined troops, and you 
will find in him the highest administrative capacity. General E. 
K. Smith will soon have in East Tennessee a sufficient force to 
create a strong diversion in your favor ; or, if his strength can 
not be made available in that way, you will best know how to 
employ it otherwise. I suppose the Tennessee or the Mississippi 
River will be the object of the enemy's next campaign, and I 
trust you will be able to concentrate a force which will defeat 
either attempt. The fleet which you will soon have on the Mis- 
sissippi River, if the enemy's gunboats ascend the Tennessee, may 
enable you to strike an effective blow at Cairo ; but, to one so 
well informed and vigilant, I will not assume to offer suggestions 
as to when and how the ends you seek may be attained. With 
the confidence and regard of many years, I am very truly your 
friend, Jefferson Davis." 

Letter of General Johnston in answer to the above. 

" Decatur, Alabama, March IS, 18G2. 

" My dear General : I received the dispatches from Rich- 
mond, with your private letter by Captain Wickliffe, three days 
since ; but the pressure of affairs and the necessity of getting my 
command across the Tennessee prevented me from sending you 
an earlier reply. 

" I anticipated all that you have told me as to the censure 
which the fall of Fort Donelson drew upon me, and the attacks to 
which you might be subjected ; but it was impossible for me to 
gather the facts for a detailed report, or to spare time which was 
required to extricate the remainder of my troops and save the 


large accumulation of stores and provisions after that dishearten- 
ing disaster. 

" I transmitted the reports of Generals Floyd and Pillow with- 
out examining or analyzing the facts, and scarcely with time to 
read them. 

"When about to assume command of this department, the 
Government charged me with the duty of deciding the question 
of occupying Bowling Green, Kentucky, which involved not only 
military but political considerations. At the time of my arrival 
at Nashville, the action of the Legislature of Kentucky had put 
an end to the latter by sanctioning the formation of camps men- 
acing Tennessee, by assuming the cause of the Government at 
Washington, and by abandoning the neutrality it professed ; and, 
in consequence of their action, the occupation of Bowling Green 
became necessary as an act of self-defense, at least in the first 

"About the middle of September General Buckner advanced 
with , a small force of about four thousand men, which was in- 
creased by the 15th of October to twelve thousand ; and, though 
accessions of force were received, it continued at about the same 
strength until the end of November — measles and other diseases 
keeping down the effective force. The enemy's force then was 
reported to the War Department at fifty thousand, and an ad- 
vance was impossible. No enthusiasm, as we imagined and hoped, 
but hostility, was manifested in Kentucky. Believing it to be of 
the greatest moment to protract the campaign, as the dearth of 
cotton might bring strength from abroad and discourage the 
North, and to gain time to strengthen myself by new troops from 
Tennessee and other States, I magnified my forces to the enemy, 
but made known my true strength to the department and the 
Governors of States. The aid given was small.. At length, when 
General Beauregard came out in February, he expressed his sur- 
prise at the smallness of my force, and was impressed with the 
danger of my position. I admitted what was so manifest, and 
laid before him my views for the future, in which he entirely con- 
curred, and sent me a memorandum of our conference, a copy of 
which I send to you. I determined to fight for Nashville at Don- 
elson, and gave the best part of my army to do it, retaining only 
fourteen thousand men to cover my front, and giving sixteen 
thousand to defend Donelson. The force at Donelson is stated in 


General Pillow's report at much less, and I do not doubt the cor- 
rectness of his statement, for the force at Bowling Green, w T hich 
I supposed to be fourteen thousand effective men (the medical 
report showing only a little over five hundred sick in the hospi- 
tal), was diminished more than five thousand by those who were 
unable to stand the fatigue of a march, and made my force on 
reaching Nashville less than ten thousand men. I inclose medical 
director's report. Had I wholly uncovered my front to defend 
Donelson, Buell would have known it, and marched directly on 
Nashville. There were only ten small steamers in the Cumber- 
land, in imperfect condition, only three of which were available 
at Nashville, while the transportation of the enemy was great. 

" The evacuation of Bowling Green was imperatively neces- 
sary, and was ordered before, and executed while the battle was 
being fought at Donelson. I had made every disposition for 
the defense of the fort my means allowed, and the troops were 
among the best of my forces. The generals, Floyd, Pillow, and 
Buckner, were high in the opinion of officers and men for skill 
and courage, and among the best officers of my command. They 
were popular with the volunteers, and all had seen much service. 
No reinforcements were asked. I awaited the event opposite 
Nashville. The result of the conflict each day was favorable. 
At midnight on the 15th I received news of a glorious victory ; 
at dawn, of a defeat. 

"My column during the day and night was thrown over the 
river — a battery had been established below the city to secure the 
passage. Nashville was incapable of defense, from its position, 
and from the forces advancing from Bowling Green and up the 
Cumberland. A rear guard was left, under General Floyd, to se- 
cure the stores and provisions, but did not completely effect the 
object. The people were terrified, and some of the troops were 
disheartened. The discouragement was spreading, and I ordered 
the command to Murfreesboro, where I managed, by assembling 
Crittenden's division and the fugitives from Donelson, to collect 
an army able to offer battle. The weather was inclement, the 
floods excessive, and the bridges were washed away, but most of 
the stores and provisions were saved and conveyed to new depots. 
This having been accomplished, though with serious loss, in con- 
formity with my original design, I marched southward and crossed 
the Tennessee at this point, so as to cooperate or unite with Gen- 


eral Beauregard for the defense of the valley of the Mississippi. 
The passage is almost completed, and the head of my column is 
already with General Bragg at Corinth. The movement was 
deemed too hazardous by the most experienced members of my 
staff, but the object warranted the risk. The difficulty of effect- 
ing a junction is not wholly overcome, but it approaches comple- 
tion. Day after to-morrow (the 22d), unless the enemy intercepts 
me, my force will be with Bragg, and my army nearly fifty thou- 
sand strong. This must be destroyed before the enemy can attain 
his object. 

" I have given this sketch, so that you may appreciate the em- 
barrassment which surrounded me in my attempts to avert or 
remedy the disaster of Fort Donelson, before alluding to the con- 
duct of the generals. 

" When the force was detached, I was in hopes that such dis- 
position would have been made as would have enabled the forces 
to defend the fort or withdraw without sacrificing the army. On 
the 14th I ordered General Floyd, by telegraph, ' If he lost the 
fort, to get his troops to Nashville.' It is possible that might 
have been done, but justice requires us to look at events as they 
appeared at the time, and not alone by the light of subsequent 
information. All the facts in relation to the surrender will be 
transmitted to the Secretary of War as soon as they can be col- 
lected, in obedience to his order. It appears from the informa- 
tion received that General Buckner, being the junior officer, took 
the lead in advising the surrender, and that General Floyd acqui- 
esced, and that they all concurred in the belief that their force 
could not maintain the position. All concurred that it would in- 
volve a great sacrifice of life to extricate the command. Subse- 
quent events show that the investment was not so complete as 
their information from their scouts led them to believe. 

"The conference resulted in the surrender. The command 
was irregularly transferred, and devolved on the junior general ; 
but not apparently to avoid any just responsibility or from any 
want of personal or moral intrepidity. The blow was most disas- 
trous, and almost without a remedy. I therefore, in my first 
report, remained silent. This silence you were kind enough to 
attribute to my generosity. I will not lay claim to the motive to 
excuse my course. I observed silence, as it seemed to be the best 
way to serve the cause and the country. The facts were not fully 


known, discontent prevailed, and criticism and condemnation were 
more likely to augment than to cure the evil. I refrained, well 
knowing that heavy censures would fall upon me, but convinced 
that it was better to endure them for the present, and defer for a 
more propitious time an investigation of the conduct of the gen- 
erals ; for, in the mean time, their services were required and their 
influence was useful. For these reasons Generals Floyd and Pil- 
low were assigned to duty, for I still felt confidence in their gal- 
lantry, their energy, and their devotion to the Confederacy. 

" I have thus recurred to the motives by which I have been 
governed, from a deep personal sense of the friendship and confi- 
dence you have always shown me, and from the conviction that 
they have not been withdrawn from me in adversity. 

" All the reports requisite for a full official investigation have 
been ordered. Generals Floyd and Pillow have been suspended 
from command. 

" You mention that you intend to visit the field of operations 
here. I hope soon to see you, for your presence would encourage 
my troops, inspire the people, and augment the army. To me 
personally it would give the greatest gratification. Merely a sol- 
dier myself, and having no acquaintance with the statesmen or 
leaders of the South, I can not touch springs familiar to you. 
"Were you to assume command, it would afford me the most un- 
feigned pleasure, and every energy would be exerted to help you 
to victory and the country to independence. Were you to de- 
cline, still your presence alone would be of inestimable advan- 

"The enemy are now at Nashville, about fifty thousand strong, 
advancing in this direction by Columbia. He has also forces, ac- 
cording to the report of General Bragg, landing at Pittsburg, 
from twenty-five to fifty thousand, and moving in the direction 
of Purdy. 

"This army corps, moving to join Bragg, is about twenty thou- 
sand strong. Two brigades, Hindman's and Woods's, are, I suppose, 
at Corinth. One regiment of Hardee's division (Lieutenant-Colo- 
nel Patton commanding) is moving by cars to-day (March 20th), 
and Statham's brigade (Crittenden's division). The brigade will 
halt at Iuka, the regiment at Burnsville ; Cleburne's brigade, 
Hardee's division, except the regiment, at Burnsville ; and Car- 
roll's brigade, Crittenden's division, and Helm's cavalry, at Tus- 


cumbia ; Bowen's brigade at Courtland ; Breckinridge's brigade 
here ; the regiments of cavalry of Adams and Wharton on the 
opposite bank of the river ; Scott's Louisiana regiment at Pulaski, 
sending forward supplies ; Morgan's cavalry at Shelbyville, or- 
dered on. 

" To-morrow Breckinridge's brigade will go to Corinth, then 
Bowen's. When these pass Tuscumbia and Iuka, transportation 
will be ready there for the other troops to follow immediately 
from those points, and, if necessary, from Burnsville. The cav- 
alry will cross and move forward as soon as their trains can be 
passed over the railroad-bridge. I have troubled you with these 
details, as I can not properly communicate them by telegram. 

" The test of merit in my profession, with the people, is suc- 
cess. It is a hard rule, but I think it right. If I join this corps 
to the forces of Beauregard (I confess a hazardous experiment), 
then those who are now declaiming against me will be without an 


"Your friend, A. S. Johnston." 

To this letter the following reply was made : 

" Richmond, Virginia, March 26, 1862. 

"My dear General : Yours of the 18th instant was this day 
delivered by your aide, Mr. Jack. I have read it with much satis- 
faction. So far as the past is concerned, it but confirms the con- 
clusions at which I had already arrived. My confidence in you 
has never wavered, and I hope the public will soon give me credit 
for judgment, rather than continue to arraign me for obstinacy. 

" You have done wonderfully well, and now I breathe easier 
in the assurance that you will be able to make a junction of your 
two armies. If you can meet the division of the enemy moving 
from the Tennessee before it can make a junction with that ad- 
vancing from Nashville, the future will be brighter. If this can 
not be done, our only hope is that the people of the Southwest 
will rally en masse with their private arms, and thus enable you 
to oppose the vast army which will threaten the destruction of 
our country. 

" I have hoped to be able to leave here for a short time, and 
would be much gratified to confer with you, and share your re- 
sponsibilities. I might aid you in obtaining troops ; no one could 
hope to do more unless he underrated your military capacity. I 


write in great haste, and feel that it would be worse than useless 
to point out to you how much depends on you. 

" May God bless you, is the sincere prayer of your friend, 

"Jefferson Davis." 

Let us now review the events which had brought such 
unmeasured censure on General Johnston for some months pre- 
ceding this correspondence. We have seen him, with a force 
numerically much inferior to that of the enemy in his front, 
holding the position of Bowling Green, and, by active operations 
of detached commands, keeping up to foe and friend the im- 
pression that he had a large army in position. With self-sacri- 
ficing fortitude he remained silent under reproaches for not 
advancing to attack the enemy. When Forts Donelson and 
Henry were more immediately threatened, he gave reinforce- 
ments from his small command until his own line became more 
like one of skirmishers than an intrenched line of battle ; and 
when those forts were surrendered, and his position became both 
untenable and useless, he withdrew in such order and with such 
skill that his retreat was unmolested by the enemy. Though 
he continued to be the subject of unreasoning vituperation, he 
sought not to justify himself by blaming others, or telling what 
he would have done if his Government had sent him the arms 
and munitions he asked for, but which his Government he 
learned did not possess. 

There are yet those who, self-assured, demand why John- 
ston did not go himself to Donelson and Henry, and why his 
forces were not there concentrated. A slight inspection of the 
map would suffice to show that, Bowling Green abandoned, the 
direct road to Nashville would be open to the advance of Buell's 
army. Then the forts, if held, would cease to answer their 
purpose, and, being isolated, and also between hostile armies 
above and below, would be not only valueless but only tempo- 
rarily tenable ; and of his critics it may be asked, Who else than 
himself could, with the small force retained at Bowling Green, 
have held the enemy in check so long, and at last have retired 
without disaster? 

To collect the widely separated troops of his command so as 

1862] WHY DID HE NOT WAIT? 49 

to form an army which might offer battle to the invading foe 
was a problem which must have been impossible, if the organ- 
ized armies by which he was threatened had been guided by a 
capacity equal to his own. It was done, and, with the genius 
of a great soldier, he seized the opportunity, by the rapid com- 
bination of new levies and of forces never before united, to at- 
tack the armies of the enemy in detail while they were endeav- 
oring to form a junction. 

The Southwestern States presented a field peculiarly favor- 
able for the application of a new power in war. Deep rivers, 
with banks frequently but little elevated above the water, trav- 
erse the country. On these rivers iron-plated steamboats with 
heavy guns may move with a rapidity incomparably greater 
than that of marching armies. It is as if forts, with armaments, 
garrison, and stores, were endowed with locomotion more swift 
and enduring than that of cavalry. 

The Ohio, Mississippi, Cumberland, and Tennessee Rivers 
all were in the field of General Johnston's operations, and at 
the stage of water most suited to naval purposes. Apart from 
the heavy guns which could thus be brought to bear at interior 
places upon an army having only field-artillery, the advantage 
of rapid transportation for troops and supplies can hardly be 
over-estimated. It has been seen how these advantages were 
utilized by the enemy at Henry and Donelson, and not less did 
they avail him at Shiloh. 

As has been elsewhere explained, the condition of the South 
did not enable the Confederacy to meet the enemy on the water 
except at great odds. 

If it be asked, " Why did not General Johnston wait until the 
enemv marched from the river instead of attacking him at Shi- 
loh or Pittsburg Landing ? " the answer is, " That would have 
been to delay until the junction of the enemy's armies had been 
effected." To fight them in detail, it was necessary to attack 
the first where it lay, backed by its gunboats. That sound judg- 
ment and soldierly daring went hand in hand in this attack the 
sequel demonstrated. 

Meantime some active operations had taken place in that 
part of General Johnston's command west of the Mississippi 


River. Detached conflicts with the enemy had been fonght by 
the small forces under Generals Price and McCulloch, but no 
definite result had followed. General Earl Yan Dorn had been 
subsequently assigned to the command, and assumed it on Jan- 
uary 29, 1862. General Curtis was then in command of the 
enemy's forces, numbering about twelve thousand men. He had 
harassed General Price on his retreat to Fayetteville, Arkansas, 
and then had fallen back to Sugar Creek, where he proposed to 
make a stand. Yan Dorn, immediately on his arrival at the 
Confederate camps on Boston Mountain, prepared to attack 
Curtis. His first movement, however, was to intercept General 
Sigel, then at Bentonville with sixteen thousand men. The 
want of cooperation in Yan Dorn's forces enabled Sigel to es- 
cape. Curtis thus concentrated his forces at Sugar Creek, and, 
instead of taking him in detail, Yan Dorn was obliged to meet 
his entire army. By a circuitous route, he led Price's army 
against the enemy's rear, moving McCulloch against the right 
flank ; but his progress was so slow and embarrassed, that the 
enemy heard of it in season to make his dispositions accord- 

The battle of Elkhorn, or Pea Ridge, was fought on the 
morning of March 5th. Yan Dorn reported his force to be 
fourteen thousand men, and Curtis puts his force at about 
ten thousand. Yan Dora, with Price's division, encountered 
Carr's division which had already advanced, but was driven 
back steadily and with heavy loss. Meanwhile, McCulloch's 
command met a division under Osterhaus, and, after a sharp, 
quick straggle, swept it away. Pushing forward through the 
shrub-oak, his wide-extended line met SigeFs, Asboth's, and 
Davis's divisions. Here on the ragged spurs of the hills ensued 
a fearful combat. In the crisis of the struggle, McCulloch, 
dashing forward to reconnoiter, fell a victim to a sharjDshooter. 
Almost at the same moment, Mcintosh, his second in command, 
fell while charging a battery of the enemy with a regiment of 
Texas cavalry. "Without direction or leader, the shattered lines 
of our forces left the field to rally, after a wide circuit, on Price's 
division. When Yan Dorn heard of this misfortune, he urged 
his attack, pressing back the enemy until night closed the bloody 


combat. Yan Dorn's headquarters were then at Elkhorn Tav- 
ern, where the enemy's headquarters had been in the morning. 
Each army was now on its opponent's line of communication. 
Yan Dorn found his troops much disorganized and exhausted, 
short of ammunition, and without food, and made his arrange- 
ments to retreat. The wagon-trains and all the men not effec- 
tive for the coming battle were started by a circuitous route for 
Yan Buren. The effectives remained to cover the retreat. The 
battle was renewed at 7 a. m., and raged until 10 a. m. The 
gallant General Henry Little had the covering line with his 
own and Eives's Missouri brigades ; this stout rear-guard hold- 
ing off the whole army of the enemy. The trains, artillery, and 
most of the army were by that time well on the road. The 
order was given to the Missourians to withdraw, and " the gal- 
lant fellows faced about with cheers " retired steadily, and en- 
camped ten miles from the battle-field at three o'clock. There 
was no real pursuit. The attack had failed. Yan Dorn put his 
loss at six hundred killed and wounded, and two hundred pris- 
oners. Curtis reported his loss at two hundred and three killed, 
nine hundred and seventy-two wounded, and a hundred and 
seventy-six missing — total, thirteen hundred and fifty-one.* 

The object of Yan Dorn had been to effect a diversion in 
behalf of General Johnston. This failed ; but the enemy was 
badly crippled, and soon fell back to Missouri, of which he still 
retained possession. 

General Yan Dorn was now ordered to join General John- 
ston by the quickest route. Yet only one of his regiments ar- 
rived in time to be present at the battle of Shiloh. As has been 
already stated, General Beauregard left Nashville on February 
14th to take charge in "West Tennessee, and made his headquar- 
ters at Jackson, Tennessee, on February 17th. He was some- 
what prostrated by sickness, which partially disabled him through 
the campaign. The two grand divisions of his army were com- 
manded by the able Generals Bragg and Polk. On March 26th 
he permanently removed to Corinth. Under his orders the 
evacuation of Columbus by General Polk, and the establish- 
ment of a new line resting on New Madrid,, Island "No. 10, 

* " The Life of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston," by his son. 


and Humboldt, was completed. On March 2d Brigadier-Gen- 
eral J. P. McCown, an "old army" officer, was assigned to 
the command of Island No. 10, forty miles below Columbus, 
whither he removed his division. A. P. Stewart's brigade was 
sent to JSTew Madrid. At these points some seven thousand 
troops were assembled, and the remainder marched under Gen- 
eral Cheatham to Union City. General Polk says : 

" In five days we moved the accumulations of six months, tak- 
ing with us all our commissary and quartermaster's stores — an 
amount sufficient to supply my whole command for eight months 
— all our powder and other ammunition and ordnance stores, ex- 
cepting a few shot, and gun-carriages, and every heavy gun in the 
fort, except two thirty-two pounders and three carronades in a 
remote outwork, which had been rendered useless." 

The movement of the enemy up the Tennessee PiVer com- 
menced on March 10th. General C. F. Smith led the advance, 
with a new division under General Sherman. On the 13th 
Smith assembled four divisions at Savannah, on the west bank 
of the Tennessee, at the Great Bend. The ultimate design was 
to mass the forces of Grant and Buell against our army at Cor- 
inth. Buell was still in the occupation of Nashville. On the 
16th Sherman disembarked at Pittsburg Landing, and made a 
reconnaissance to Monterey, nearly half-way to Corinth. On 
the next day General Grant took command. Two more divisions 
were added, and he assembled his army near Pittsburg Landing, 
which was the most advantageous base for a movement against 
Corinth. Here it lay inactive until the battle of Shiloh. 

. The Tennessee flows northwest for some distance, until, a 
little west of Hamburg, it takes its final bend to the north. 
Here two small streams, Owl and Lick Creeks f flowing nearly 
parallel, somewhat north of east, from three to five miles apart, 
empty into the Tennessee. Owl Creek forms the" northern limit 
of the ridge, which Lick Creek bounds on the south. These 
streams, rising some ten or twelve miles back, toward Corinth, 
were bordered near their mouths by swamps filled with back- 
water from the. Tennessee, and impassable except where the 
roads crossed them. 




The inclosed space is a rolling table-land, about one hundred 
feet above the river-level, with its water-shed lying near Lick 
Creek, and either slope broken by deep and frequent ravines 
draining into the two streams. The acclivities were covered with 
forests, and often thick set with undergrowth. Pittsburg Land- 
ing, containing three or four log-cabins, was situated about mid- 
way between the mouths of the creeks, in the narrow morass 
that borders the Tennessee. It was three or four miles below 
Hamburg, six or seven above Savannah, the depot of the enemy 
on the right bank, and twenty-two miles from Corinth. Thus 
the position of the enemy was naturally strong. With few and 
difficult approaches, guarded on either flank by impassable 
streams and morasses, protected by a succession of ravines and 
acclivities, commanded by eminences to the rear, it seemed safe 
against attack, and easy to defend. "No defensive works were 



General BueH's March. — Object of General Johnston. — His Force. — Advance from 
Corinth.— Line of Battle.— Telegram.— The Time of the Battle of Shiloh.— Re- 
sults of the First Day's Battle. — One Encampment not taken. — Effects. — Re- 
ports on this Failure. — Death of General Johnston. — Remarks. 

General Buell, who was to make a junction with General 
Grant, deemed it best that his army should march through by 
land, as it would facilitate the occupation of the Memphis and 
Charleston Railroad through north Alabama, where General 
Mitchell had been assigned. Accordingly, Buell commenced 
his march from Nashville on March 15 th, with a rapid move- 
ment of cavalry, followed by a division of infantry, to seize 
the bridges. The bridge over Duck River being destroyed, it 
was the 31st before his army crossed. His advance arrived at 
Savannah on Saturday, April 5th, and our attack on Grant at 
Pittsburg Landing was made on the next day, the 6th of April. 
The advance of General Buell anticipated his orders by two 
days, and likewise the calculations of our commanders. 

It had been the object of General Johnston, since falling 
back from Nashville, to concentrate his army at Corinth, and 
fight the enemy in detail — Grant first, and Buell afterward. 
The army of General Polk had been drawn back from Colum- 
bus. The War Department ordered General Bragg from Pen- 
sacola, with his well-disciplined army, to the aid of Johnston. 
A brigade was sent by General Lovell from Louisiana, and 
Chalmers and Walker were already on the line of the Memphis 
and Charleston road with considerable commands. These forces 
collected at Corinth, and to them were added such new levies as 
the Governors had in rendezvous, and a few regiments raised in 
response to General Beauregard's call. General Bragg, in a 
sketch of the battle of Shiloh, thus speaks of General John- 
ston's army : 

"In a period of four weeks, fragments of commands from 
Bowling Green, Kentucky, under Hardee ; Columbus, Kentucky, 
under Polk ; and Pensacola, Mobile, and New Orleans, under 


Bragg, with such new levies as could be hastily raised, all badly 
armed and equipped, were united at and near Corinth, and, for the 
first time, organized as an army. It was a heterogeneous mass, 
in which there was more enthusiasm than discipline, more capacity 
than knowledge, and more valor than instruction. Rifles, rifled 
and smooth-bore muskets — some of them originally percussion, 
others hastily altered from flint-locks by Yankee contractors, many 
with the old flint and steel — and shot-guns of all sizes and patterns, 
held place in the same regiments. The task of organizing such a 
command in four weeks, and supplying it, especially with ammu- 
nition, suitable for action, was simply appalling. It was under- 
taken, however, with a cool, quiet self-control, calling to his aid 
the best knowledge and talent at his command, which not only 
inspired confidence, but soon yielded the natural fruits of system, 
order, and discipline." 

This force, about forty thousand of all arms, was divided 
into four corps, commanded respectively by Major-Generals 
Polk, Bragg, and Hardee, and Brigadier-General Breckinridge. 
General Beauregard was second in command under General 
Johnston. General Beauregard says, " A want of general offi- 
cers needful for the proper organization of divisions and bri- 
gades of an army brought thus suddenly together, and other 
difficulties in the way of effective organization, delayed the 
movements until the night of April 2d." 

About one o'clock on the morning of April 3d preliminary 
orders were issued to hold the troops in readiness to move at a 
moment's notice, with five days' provisions and a hundred rounds 
' of ammunition. The orders for march and battle were issued 
in the afternoon. At that time General Hardee led the ad- 
vance, the Third Corps, from Corinth, by the northernmost 
route, known as the Ridge road. Bivouacking that night on 
the way, he arrived next morning at Mickey's, a house about 
eighteen miles from Corinth and four or five miles from Pitts- 
burg. The Second Corps, under Bragg, marched by the direct 
road to Pittsburg through Monterey, which it reached about 11 
a. m. on the 4th, and bivouacked that night near Mickey's in the 
rear of Hardee's corps. The First Corps, under General Polk, 
consisted of two divisions, under Cheatham and Clark. The 


latter was ordered to follow Hardee on the Ridge road at an 
interval of half an hour, and to halt near Mickey's, so as to 
allow Bragg's corps to fall in behind Hardee, at a thousand 
yards' interval, and form a second line of battle. Polk's corps 
was to form the left wing of the third line of battle ; and 
Breckinridge's reserve the right wing. The other division of 
Polk, under Cheatham, was on outpost duty, at and near Bethel, 
on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, about as far from Mickey's 
as Corinth was. He was ordered to assemble his forces at 
Purdy, and pursue the route to Monterey. He effected his 
junction on the afternoon of the 5th, and took position on the 
left wing of Polk's corps. Breckinridge's reserve corps moved 
from Burns ville early on April 4th, by way of Farmington 
toward Monterey, distant fourteen miles. It did not effect its 
junction with the other corps until, late on the afternoon of 
Saturday the 5th, being delayed by the rains on Friday and 
Saturday. At daylight on the 5th Hardee moved, and by 
seven o'clock was sufficiently out of the way to allow Bragg to 
advance. Before ten o'clock Hardee's corps had reached the 
outposts and developed the lines of the enemy. The corps was 
immediately deployed into line of battle about a mile and a 
half west of Shiloh church, where Lick Creek and Owl Creek 
approach most nearly, and are about three miles apart. Glad- 
den's brigade, of Bragg's corps, was on the right of Hardee's 
corps, which was not sufficiently strong to occupy the whole 
front. This line extended from creek to creek. Before seven 
o'clock Bragg's column was in motion, and the right wing of 
his line of battle formed about eight hundred yards in the rear 
of Hardee's line. But the division on the left was nowhere to 
be seen. Even as late as half -past twelve the missing column 
had not appeared, nor had any report from it been received. 
General Johnston, " looking first at his watch, then glancing at 
the position of the sun, exclaimed : i This is not war ! Let us 
have our horses ! ' He rode to the rear until he found the 
missing column standing stock-still, with its head some distance 
out in an open field. General Polk's reserves were ahead of it, 
with their wagons and artillery blocking up the road. General 
Johnston ordered them to clear the road, and the missing col- 


umn to move forward. There was much chaffering among 
those implicated as to who should bear the blame. ... It was 
about four o'clock when the lines were completely formed— too 
late, of course, to begin the battle then." * 

The road was not clear until 2 p. m. General Polk got 
Clark's division of his corps into line of battle by four o'clock ; 
and Cheatham, who had come up on the left, promptly fol- 
lowed. Breckinridge's line was then formed on Polk's right. 
Thus was the army arrayed in three lines of battle late Saturday 

The purpose of General Johnston to attack promptly is 
evinced in the correspondence already introduced ; it is further 
shown in his telegram of April 3d, as follows : 

" To the President, Richmond. 

" General Buell in motion, thirty thousand strong, rapidly from 
Columbia by Clifton to Savannah. Mitchell behind him, with ten 
thousand. Confederate forces forty thousand ; ordered forward 
to offer battle near Pittsburg. 

" Division from Bethel, main body from Corinth, reserve from 
Burnsville, converging to-morrow, near Monterey, on Pittsburg. 

"Beauregard second in command, Polk the left, Bragg the 
center, Hardee the right wing, Breckinridge the reserve. 

" Hope engagement before Buell can form junction." J 

On the 5th of April I sent a telegram as follows : 

" General A. S. Johnston : Your dispatch of yesterday re- 
ceived. I hope you will be able to close with the enemy before 
his two columns unite." 

Though much inquiry has been made, I have not been able 
to recover that dispatch "of yesterday" the 4th. It was 
anxiously sought because, in cipher (private between us), he 
explained distinctly his plan of battle, as the previous one had 
his proposed order of march. It was in every respect impor- 
tant to attack at the earliest moment after the advance of Buell's 

* Colonel Munford's address at Memphis. 

f " The Life of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston," by his son. 

% Original in the possession of Colonel W. P. Johnston. 





Part II. 

2d. Position (Noon) Cth. April 
Federal — — — — 
Can/tdtrate — — — — — 

command became known. Every delay diminished the chances 
of surprising the enemy, and increased the probability of his 
being reenforced. Had the attack been made a day sooner, not 
only would Buell's army have been absent, but there would have 
been no prospect of their timely arrival ; and who can measure 
the moral effect this would have produced ? It would be use- 
less to review the controversies as to who was responsible for 
the confusion and consequent detentions on the march, the evil 


of which might have been greater if the vigilance of the enemy 
had been equal to his self -sufficiency. 

War has been called a fickle goddess, and its results attrib- 
uted to chance. The great soldier of our century said, " Fortune 
favors the heavy battalions " ; but is it not rather exact calcula- 
tion than chance which controls the events of war, and the just 
determination of the relation of time, space, and motion in the 
application of force, which decides the effective weight of bat- 
talions ? Had the battle of Shiloh opened a day sooner, it 
would have been better ; had it been postponed a day, to attack 
then would have been impracticable. Had the several columns 
moved on different roads, converging toward the field of battle, 
the movements of some could not have been obstructed by others, 
so that the troops would have been in position and the battle 
have been commenced on Saturday morning. The programme 
and purpose of General Johnston appear from his dispatch of 
the 3d, and from the disappointment evinced by him at the 
failure of a portion of the command to be present on the field 
on the morning of the 5th (Saturday), as he expected. 

General Bragg, in a monograph on the battle of Shiloh, says : 

" During the afternoon of the 5th, as the last of our troops 
were taking position, a casual and partly accidental meeting of 
general officers occurred just in rear of our second line, near the 
bivouac of General Bragg. The Commander-in-Chief, General 
Beauregard, General Polk, General Bragg, and General Breckin- 
ridge, are remembered as present. In a discussion of the causes 
of the delay and its incidents, it was mentioned that some of the 
troops, now in their third day only, were entirely out of food, 
though having marched with five days' rations. General Beau- 
regard, confident our movement had been discovered by the ene- 
my, urged its abandonment, a return to our camps for supplies, 
and a general change of programme. In this opinion no other 
seemed fully to concur ; and when it was suggested that ' the 
enemy's supplies were much nearer, and could be had for the tak- 
ing,' General Johnston quietly remarked, 'Gentlemen, we shall 
attack at daylight to-morrow.' The meeting then dispersed upon 
an invitation of the commanding general to meet at his tent that 
evening. At that meeting a further discussion elicited the same 


views, and the same firm, decided determination. The next morn- 
ing, about dawn of day, the 6th, as the troops were being put in 
motion, several generals again met at the camp-lire of the general- 
in-chief. The discussion was renewed, General Beauregard again 
expressing his dissent ; when, rapid firing in the front indicating 
that the attack had commenced, General Johnston closed the dis- 
cussion by remarking : * The battle has opened, gentlemen ; it is 
too late to change our dispositions.' He prepared to move to the 
front, and his subordinates promptly joined their respective com- 
mands, inspired by his coolness, confidence, and determination. 
Few men have equaled him in the possession and display, at the 
proper time, of these great qualities of the soldier." 

The results of the first day of the famous battle thus begun 
are very summarily presented in the following brief report of 
General Beauregard : 

"At 5 a. m., on the 6th instant, a reconnoitering party of the 
enemy having become engaged with our advanced pickets, the 
commander of the forces gave orders to begin the movement and 
attack as determined upon, except that Trabue's brigade of Breck- 
inridge's division was detached and advanced to support the left 
of Bragg's corps and line of battle then menaced by the enemy ; 
and the other two brigades were directed to advance by the road 
to Hamburg to support Bragg's right ; and at the same time Ma- 
ney's regiment of Polk's corps was advanced by the same road to 
reenforce the regiment, of cavalry and battery of four pieces, 
already thrown forward to watch and guard Grier's, Tanner's, and 
Borland's Fords of Lick Creek. 

"Thirty minutes after 5 a. m., our lines and columns were in 
motion, all animated evidently by a promising spirit. The front 
line was engaged at once, but advanced steadily, followed in due 
order, with equal resolution and steadiness, by the other lines, 
which were brought successively into action with rare skill, judg- 
ment, and gallantry by the several corps commanders, as the ene- 
my made a stand with his masses rallied for the struggle for his 
encampments. Like an Alpine avalanche our troops moved for- 
ward, despite the determined resistance of the enemy, until after 
6 p. m., when we were in possession of all his encampments between 
Owl and Lick Creeks but one ; nearly all of his field-artillery, 
about thirty flags, colors, and standards, over three thousand pris- 


oners including a division commander (General Prentiss), and 
several brigade commanders, thousands of small-arms, an immense 
supply of subsistence, forage, and munitions of war, and a large 
amount of means of transportation, all the substantial fruits of a 
complete victory — such, indeed, as rarely have followed the most 
successful battles, for never was an army so well provided as that 
of our enemy. 

" The remnant of his army had been driven in utter disorder 
to the immediate vicinity of Pittsburg, under the shelter of the 
heavy guns of his iron-clad gunboats, and we remained undis- 
puted masters of his well-selected, admirably provided canton- 
ments, after our twelve hours of obstiDate conflict with his forces, 
who had been beaten from them and the contiguous covert, but 
only by the sustained onset of all the men we could bring into 

There are two words in this report which, if they could 
have been truthfully omitted, it would have been worth to us 
the surrender of all " the substantial fruits of a complete vic- 
tory." It says : " Our troops moved forward, despite the deter- 
mined resistance of the enemy, until after 6 p. m., when we 
were in possession of all his encampments between Owl and 
Lick Creeks hut oneP It was. that " one " encampment that 
furnished a foothold for all the subsequent reinforcements sent 
by Buell, and gave occasion for the final withdrawal of our 
forces ; whereas, if that had been captured, and the " waters of 
the Tennessee " reached, as General Johnston designed, it was 
not too much to expect that Grant's army would have surren- 
dered ; that Buell's forces would not have crossed the Tennes- 
see ; but with a skillful commander, like Johnston, to lead our 
troops, the enemy would have sought safety on the north bank 
of the Ohio; that Tennessee, Kentucky, and Missouri would 
have been recovered, the Northwest disaffected, and our armies 
filled with the men of the Southwest, and perhaps of the North- 
west also. • 

Let us turn to reports and authorities. The author of " The 
Life of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston " says : 

" Of the two armies, one was now an advancing, triumphant 
host, with arm uplifted to give the mortal blow ; the other, a 


broken, mangled, demoralized mob, paralyzed and waiting for the 
stroke. While the other Confederate brigades, which had shared 
most actively in Prentiss's capture, were sending back the prison- 
ers and forming again for a final attack, two brigades, under 
Chalmers and Jackson, on the extreme right, had cleared away all 
in front of them, and, moving down the river-bank, now came 
upon the last point where even a show of resistance was made. 
Being two very bold and active brigadiers, they at once closed 
with the enemy in their front, crossing a deep ravine and difficult 
ground to get at him. Here Colonel Webster, of Grant's staff, 
had gathered all the guns he could find from batteries, whether 
abandoned or still coherent, and with stout-hearted men, picked 
up at random, had prepared a resistance. Some infantry, simi- 
larly constituted, had been got together ; and Ammen's brigade, 
the van of Nelson's division of Buell's corps, had landed, and was 
pushing its way through the throng of pallid fugitives at the 
landing to take up the battle where it had fallen from the hands 
of Grant and Sherman. It got into position in time to do its 
part in checking the unsupported assaults of Chalmers and Jack- 

General Chalmers, describing this final attack in his report, 

says : 

" It was then about four o'clock in the evening, and, after dis- 
tributing ammunition, we received orders from General Bragg to 
drive the enemy into the river. My brigade, together with that 
of Brigadier-General Jackson, filed to the right and formed fac- 
ing the river, and endeavored to press forward to the water's 
edge ; but in attempting to mount the last ridge we were met 
by a fire from a whole line of batteries, protected by infantry and 
assisted by shells from the gunboats." 

In a subsequent memorandum General Chalmers writes : 

" One more resolute movement forward would have captured 
Grant and his whole army 4 and fulfilled to the letter the battle- 
plan of the great Confederate general, who died in the belief that 
victory was ours. . . ." — ("The Life of Gen. Albert Sidney John- 
ston," p. 637.) 

Brigadier-General Jackson, in his report, says : 


" My brigade was ordered to change direction again, face to- 
ward Pittsburg, where the enemy appeared to have made his last 
stand, and to advance upon him, General Chalmers's brigade be- 
ing again on my right, and extending to the swamp of the Ten- 
nessee River. Without ammunition, and with only their bayo- 
nets to rely on, steadily my men advanced under a heavy fire 
from light batteries, siege-pieces, and gunboats. Passing through 
the ravine, they arrived near the crest of the opposite hill, upon 
which the enemy's batteries were, but could not be urged farther 
without support. Sheltering themselves against the precipitous 
sides of the ravine, they remained under this fire for some time. 
Finding an advance without support impracticable, remaining 
there under fire useless, and believing that any further forward 
movement should have been made simultaneously along our whole 
line, I proceeded to obtain orders from General Withers, but, 
after seeing him, was ordered by a staff-officer to retire. This 
order was communicated to me as coming from General Beaure- 

General Hardee, who commanded the first line, says in his 
report : 

" Upon the death of General Johnston, the command having 
devolved upon General Beauregard, the conflict was continued 
until near sunset, and the advance divisions were within a few 
hundred yards of Pittsburg, where the enemy were huddled in 
confusion, when the order to withdraw was received. The troops 
were ordered to bivouac on the field of battle." 

General Polk's report says : 

" We had one hour or more of daylight still left, were within 
one hundred and fifty to four hundred yards of the enemy's posi- 
tion, and nothing seemed wanting to complete the most brilliant 
victory of the war but to press forward and make a vigorous as- 
sault on the demoralized remnant of his forces." 

General Gilmer, the chief engineer of the Confederate 
States Army, in a letter to Colonel William Preston Johnston, 
dated September 17, 1872, writes as follows : 

" It is my well-considered opinion that if your father had sur- 
vived the day he would have crushed and captured General Grant's 


army before the setting of the sun on the 6th. In fact, at the 
time your father received the mortal wound, advancing with Gen- 
eral Breckinridge's command, the day was ours. The enemy hav- 
ing lost all the strong positions on that memorable field, his troops 
fell back in great disorder on the banks of the Tennessee. To 
cover the confusion, rapid fires were opened from the gunboats 
the enemy had placed in the river ; but the shots passed entirely 
over our devoted men, who were exultant and eager to be led for- 
ward to the final assault, which must have resulted in a complete 
victory, owing to the confusion and general disorganization of the 
Federal troops. I knew the condition of General Grant's army at 
the moment, as I had reached a high, projecting point on the bank 
of the river, about a mile above Pittsburg Landing, and could see 
the hurried movements to get the disordered troops across to the 
right bank. Several thousand had already passed, and a confused 
mass of men crowded to the landing to get on the boats that were 
employed in crossing. I rode rapidly to General Bragg's position 
to report what I had seen, and suggested that, if he would sus- 
pend the fire of his artillery and marshal his infantry for a general 
advance, the enemy must surrender. General Bragg decided to 
make the advance, and authorized me and other officers to direct 
the commanders of the batteries to cease firing. 

"In the midst of the preparations, orders reached General 
Bragg from General Beauregard directing the troops to be with- 
drawn and placed in camp for the night — the intention being to 
resume the contest in the morning. This was fatal, as it enabled 
General Buell and General Wallace to arrive on the scene of ac- 
tion ; that is, they came up in the course of the night. Had Gen- 
eral Beauregard known the condition of the enemy as your father 
knew it when he received the fatal shot, the order for withdrawal 
would certainly not have been given, and, without such order, I 
know the enemy would have been crushed."* 

To General Gilmer's opinion as a scientific engineer, a sol- 
dier of long experience, and a man of resolute will as well as 
calm judgment, the greatest respect will be accorded by those 
who knew him in the United States Army, as well as his asso- 
ciates in the Confederate Army. 

General Bragg, in his official report, says : 

* " The Life of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston," pp. 635, 636. 


" As soon as our troops could be again put in motion, the 
order was given to move forward at all points and sweep the en- 
emy from the field. . . . Our troops, greatly exhausted by twelve 
hours' incessant fighting without food, mostly responded to the 
order with alacrity, and the movement commenced with every 
prospect of success, though a heavy battery in our front and the 
gunboats on our right seemed determined to dispute every inch 
of ground. Just at this time an order was received from the 
commanding General to withdraw the forces beyond the enemy's 

In addition to the statements and opinions cited above, I 
will introduce from a recent publication by Thomas Worthing- 
ton, late colonel of the Forty-sixth Regiment of Ohio Volun- 
teers, two statements showing the relative condition of the two 
armies in the afternoon of the day of battle. It may be proper 
to say that Colonel "Worthington was regularly- educated as a 
soldier, and had seen service in Mexico. 

He quotes Colonel Geddes, of the Eighth Iowa Volunteers, 
as follows : 

" About 3 p. m. all communications with the river (landing) 
ceased, and it became evident to me that the enemy was turning 
the right and left flanks of our army. . . . About 2 p. m. the 
whole "Union right, comprising the Forty-sixth Ohio, which had 
held that flank two hours or more, was driven back in disorder, 
and the Confederate flanking force cut the center off from the 
landing, as stated by Colonel Geddes, soon, after General John- 
ston's fall." 

General Beauregard reports as follows : 

" It was after 6 p. m. when the enemy's last position was car- 
ried, and his force finally broke and sought refuge behind a com- 
manding eminence covering Pittsburg Landing, not more than 
half a mile distant, and under the guns of the gunboats, which 
opened on our eager columns a fierce and annoying fire with shot 
and shell of the heaviest description. Darkness was close at hand. 
Officers and men were exhausted by a combat of over twelve 
hours, without food, and jaded by the march of the preceding 
day through mud and water ; it was, therefore, impossible to col- 


lect the rich and opportune spoils of war scattered broadcast on 
the field left in our possession, and impracticable to make any- 
effective dispositions for their removal to the rear. 

" I accordingly established my headquarters at the church of 
Shiloh, in the enemy's encampment, with Major-General Bragg, 
and directed our troops to sleep on their arms in such positions in 
advance and rear as corps commanders should determine, hoping, 
from news received by a special dispatch, that delays had been 
encountered by General Buell in his march from Columbia, and 
that his main forces, therefore, could not reach the field of battle 
in time to save General Grant's shattered fugitives from capture 
or destruction on the following day. 

Such are the representations of those having the best means 
of information relative to the immediate causes of the failure to 
drive the enemy from his last foothold, and gain possession of 
it. Some of the more remote causes of this failure may be no- 
ticed. The first was the death of General Johnston, which is 
thus described by his son : 

" General Johnston had passed through the ordeal (the charge 
upon the enemy) seemingly unhurt. His noble horse was shot in 
four places ; his clothes were pierced by missiles ; his boot-sole 
was cut and torn by a Minie" ball ; but, if he himself had received 
any severe wound, he did not know it. At this moment Governor 
Harris rode up from the right, elated with his own success, and 
with the vindication of his Tennesseeans. After a few words, Gen- 
eral Johnston sent him with an order to Colonel Statham, which, 
having delivered, he speedily returned. In the mean time knots 
and groups of Federal soldiers kept up an angry discharge of fire- 
arms as they retreated upon their supports, and their last line, now 
yielding, delivered volley after volley as they retreated. By the 
chance of war a Minie ball from one of these did its fatal work. 
As General Johnston, on horseback, sat there, knowing that he 
had crushed in the arch which had so long resisted the pressure of 
his forces, and waiting until they could collect sufficiently to give 
the final stroke, he received a mortal wound. It came in the mo- 
ment of victory and triumph from a flying foe. It smote him at 
the very instant when he felt the full conviction that the day was 

won. " 


His wound consisted in the cutting of the artery that runs 
down through* the thigh and divides at the knee, and passes 
along the separate bones of the lower part of the leg. The 
wound was just above the division or branch of the artery. It 
was fatal only because the flow of blood was not stopped by a 
tourniquet. The narrative continues : 

" General Beauregard had told General Johnston that morning 
as he rode off, that if it should be necessary to communicate with 
him or for him to do anything, he would be found in his ambu- 
lance in bed. Governor Harris, knowing this, and how feeble Gen- 
eral Beauregard's health was, went first to his headquarters — just 
in the rear of where the army had deployed into line the evening 
before. Beauregard and his staff were gone on horseback in the 
direction of Shiloh Church. He found them there. The Gov- 
ernor told General Beauregard that General Johnston had been 
killed. Beauregard expressed regret, and then remarked, ' Every- 
thing else seems to be going on well on the right.' Governor 
Harris assented. ' Then,' said Beauregard, ' the battle may as 
well go on.' The Governor replied that he certainly thought it 
ought. He offered his services to Beauregard, and they were 
courteously accepted. General Beauregard then remained where 
he was, waiting the issue of events." * 

Sidney Johnston fell in sight of victory ; the hour he had 
waited for, the event he had planned for, had arrived. His 
fame was vindicated, but far dearer than this to his patriotic 
spirit was it with his dying eyes to behold his country's flag, so 
lately drooping in disaster, triumphantly advancing. In his fall 
the great pillar of the Southern Confederacy was crushed, and 
beneath its fragments the best hope of the Southwest lay buried. 
A highly educated and richly endowed soldier, his varied experi- 
ence embraced also civil affairs, and his intimate knowledge of 
the country and people of the Southwest so highly qualified him 
for that special command that it was not possible to fill the 
place made vacant by his death. Not for the first time did the 
fate of an army depend upon a single man, and the fortunes of 
a country hang, as in a balance, on the achievements of a single 

* u 

The Life of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston," p. 616. 


army. To take an example far from us, in time and place, 
when Turenne had, after months of successful manoeuvring, 
finally forced his enemy into a position which gave assurance 
of victory, and had marshaled his forces for a decisive battle, 
he was, when making a preliminary reconnaissance, killed by a 
chance shot ; then his successor, instead of attacking, retreated, 
and all which the one had gained for France, the other lost. 

To take another example, not quite so conclusive, it was epi- 
grammatically said by Lieutenant Kingsbury, when writing of 
the battle of Buena Yista, that if the last shot, fired at the close 
of the second day's conflict, had killed General Taylor, the next 
morning's sun would have risen upon the strange spectacle of 
two armies in full retreat from each other, the field for which 
they had fought being in the possession of neither. What 
material consequences would have flowed from the supposed 
event — how the Mexican people would have been inspired by 
the retreat of our army, how far it would have brought out all 
their resources for war, and to what extent results might have 
been thereby affected — are speculative inquiries on a subject 
from which time and circumstance have taken the interest it 
once possessed. 

The extracts which have been given sufficiently prove that, 
when General Johnston fell, the Confederate army was so fully 
victorious that, had the attack been vigorously pressed, General 
Grant and his army would before the setting of the sun have 
been fugitives or prisoners. 

As our troops drew near to the river, the gunboats of the 
enemy became ineffective, because to fire over the bank required 
such elevation of the guns that the shot and shell passed high 
over the heads of our men, falling far away in the rear. 

General Polk described the troops in advance for that reason 
as quite safe from the fire of the gunboats, though it might seem 
terrible to those far in the rear, and expressed the surprise and 
regret he felt at the order to retire. 

Grant's army being beaten, the next step of General John- 
ston's programme should have followed, the defeat of Bu- 
ell's and Mitchell's forces as they successively came up, and 
a return by our victorious army through Tennessee to Ken- 


tucky. The great embarrassment had been the want of good 
military weapons ; these would have been largely supplied by 
the conquest hoped for, and, in the light of what had occurred, 
not unreasonably anticipated. 

What great consequences would have ensued must be mat- 
ter of conjecture, but that the people of Kentucky and Mis- 
souri generously sympathized with the South was then com- 
monly admitted. Our known want of preparation for war and 
numerical inferiority may well have caused many to doubt 
the wisdom of our effort for independence, and to these a 
signal success would have been the makeweight deciding their 

I believe that again in the history of war the fate of an 
army depended on one man ; and more, that the fortunes of a 
country hung by the single thread of the life that was yielded 
on the field of Shiloh. So great was my confidence in his ca- 
pacity for organization and administration, that I felt, when he 
was assigned to the Department of the West, that the undevel- 
oped power of that region would be made sufficient not only 
for its own safety, but to contribute support if need be to the 
more seriously threatened East. 

There have been various suppositions as to the neglect of 
the wound which caused General Johnston's death. My own 
opinion, founded upon the statements of those who were near 
him, and upon my long acquaintance with him and close ob- 
servation of him under trying circumstances, is, that his iron 
nerve and extraordinary concentration of mind made him re- 
gardless of his wound, in the fixed purpose to dislodge the 
enemy from his last position, and, while thus struggling to com- 
plete the victory within his grasp, he unheedingly allowed his 
life-blood to flow away. 

It often happens that men do not properly value their rich- 
est gifts until taken away. Those who had erroneously and un- 
justly censured Johnston, convicted of their error by the gran- 
deur of his revealed character, joined in the general lamenta- 
tion over his loss, and malignity even was silenced by the 
devoted manner of his death. My estimation of him was based 
on long and intimate acquaintance ; beginning in our youth, it 


had grown with our growth without check or variation, and, 
when he first arrived in Richmond, was expressed to some 
friends yet living, in the wish that I had the power, by resign- 
ing, to transfer to him the Presidency of the Confederate 


Retirement of the Army. — Remnants of Grant's Army. — Its Reinforcements. — 
Strength of our Army. — Strength of Grant's Army. — Reorganization. — Corinth. 
— Advance of General Halleck. — Siege of Corinth. — Evacuation. — Retreat to 
Tupelo. — General Beauregard retires. — General Bragg in Command. — Positions 
on the Mississippi River occupied by the Enemy. — New Madrid. — Island No. 
10. — Fort Pillow. — Memphis. — Attack at Hatteras Inlet. — Expedition of the 
Enemy to Port Royal. — Expeditions from Port Royal. — System of Coast De- 
fenses adopted by us. — Fort Pulaski. 

At the ensuing nightfall our victorious army retired from 
the front and abandoned its vantage-ground on the bluffs, which 
had been won at such a cost of blood. The enemy thereby had 
room and opportunity to come out from their corner, reoccupy 
the strong positions from which they had been driven, and dis- 
pose their troops on much more favorable ground. Called off 
by staff-officers, who gave no specific instructions, our brigades, 
according to circumstances, bivouacked on the battle-field, 
marched to the rear, or made themselves comfortable on the pro- 
fuse spoils of the enemy's encampments. General Buell says : 

" Of the army of not less than fifty thousand effective men, 
which Grant had on the west bank of the Tennessee River, not 
more than five thousand were in ranks and available on the battle- 
field at nightfall on the 6th, exclusive of Lew Wallace's division, 
say eight thousand five hundred men that only came up during 
the night. The rest were either killed, wounded, captured, or 
scattered in inextricable and hopeless confusion for miles along 
the banks of the river." 

In addition to the arrival of Wallace's division, the entire 
divisions of Nelson and Crittenden got across the river during 
the night, and by daylight that of McCook began to arrive ; 


all but the first named belonged to Buell' s army. The work of 
reorganization of fragments of Grant's force also occupied the 
night. In the morning the arrival of reinforcements to the 
enemy continued. 

On the morning of the 7th the enemy advanced about six 
o'clock, and opened a heavy fire of musketry and artillery, such 
as gave assurance that the reinforcements had arrived, to antici- 
pate which the battle of the 6th had been fought. A series of 
combats ensued, in which the Confederates showed their usual 
valor ; but, after the junction had been effected between Grant 
and Buell, which Johnston's movement was made to prevent, 
our force was unequal to resist the combined armies, and retreat 
was a necessity. 

The field return of the Army of Mississippi before and after 
the battle of Shiloh was as follows : infantry and artillery, effec- 
tive before the battle, 35,953 ; cavalry, 4,382 ; total, 40,335. 
Infantry and artillery, effective after the battle, 25,555 ; cav- 
alry, 4,081 ; total, 29,636. Difference, 10,699. Casualties in 
battle : killed, 1,728 ; wounded, 8,012 ; missing, 959. 

The effective force of General Grant's army engaged in the 
battles of April 6th and 7th at Shiloh was 49,314 ; reinforce- 
ments of General Buell, 21,579 ; total, 70,893. The casualties 
in the battle of April 6th in Grant's force were as follows : 
killed, 1,500 ; wounded, 6,634 ; missing, 3,086 ; total, 11,220 ; 
leaving, for duty on the 7th, 59,673. 

On April 9th Major-General H. W. Halleck left St. Louis 
and proceeded to Pittsburg Landing to assume command of 
the enemy's forces in the field. A reorganization was made, in 
which General Grant's divisions formed the right wing, those 
of General Buell the center, and those of General Pope, brought 
from the west side of the Mississippi, the left wing ; and an ad- 
vance on Corinth was commenced. 

Corinth, the position from which our forces had advanced to 
Shiloh or Pittsburg Landing, and to which they had now retired, 
was a small village in the northeast corner of the State of Missis- 
sippi. It was ninety miles east of Memphis and twenty or 
twenty-two west of the Tennessee River. The Memphis and 
Charleston Railroad ran from west to east through it, and the 


Mobile and Ohio road from south to north. The country be- 
tween it and the Tennessee River was quite rugged, broken 
into ridges, and covered with a heavy forest. The position it- 
self was flat, the water poor. Being the point at which two 
principal railroads crossed, it served admirably for the concen- 
tration of our forces. 

Corinth was a strategic point of importance, and it was in- 
tended to be held as long as circumstances would permit ; but 
it was untenable in the face of a largely superior force, owing 
to the ease with which the railroad communications in the rear 
could be cut by the enemy's cavalry. The small streams and 
contiguous flats in its front formed some obstacles which were 
not passed by the enemy until after, the retreat of our army. 
The defeuses were slight, consisting of rifle-pits and earthworks 
of little elevation or strength. 

The movement of General Halleck against this position 
commenced from Pittsburg Landing on April 28th with a force 
exceeding eighty-five thousand effectives. On May 3d he had 
reached within eight miles of Corinth, and on the 21st his bat- 
teries were within three miles. This slow progress was prob- 
ably the result of a conviction that our force was very large, 
rather than of the bad state of the roads. So great were his 
precautions, that every night his army lay in an intrenched 
camp, and by day it was assailed by skirmishers from our army 
in more or less force. 

General Sherman, in his report of May 30th, says : 

" My division has constructed seven distinct intrenched camps 
since leaving Shiloh, the men working cheerfully and well all the 
time, night and day. Hardly had we finished one camp before we 
were called on to move forward and build another. But I have 
been delighted at this feature in the character of my division, and 
take this method of making it known. Our intrenchments near 
Corinth and at Russell's, each built substantially in one night, are 
stronger works of art than the much-boasted forts of the enemy 
at Corinth." 

The line of railroad on the north and east had been cut by 
the enemy, and an attempt made on the south. But so well 


was his apprehension of our strength maintained, that he con- 
tinued his intrenched approaches until within one thousand 
yards of our main works. 
General Sherman says : 

" By 9 a. m. of the 29th our works were substantially done, 
and our artillery in position, and at 4 p. m. the siege-train was 
brought forward. ... So near was the enemy that we could hear 
the sound of his drums and sometimes of voices in command ; and 
the railroad-cars arriving and departing at Corinth were easily dis- 
tinguished. For some days and nights cars have been arriving 
and departing very frequently, especially in the night ; but last 
night (the 29th) more so than usual, and my suspicions were 
aroused. Before daybreak I instructed the brigade commanders 
and the field-officer of the day to feel forward as far as possible ; 
but all reported the enemy's pickets still in force in the dense 
woods to our front. But about 6 a.m. a curious explosion, sound- 
ing like a volley of large siege-pieces, followed by others, singly, 
and in twos and threes, arrested our attention, and soon after a 
large smoke arose from the direction of Corinth, when I tele- 
graphed to General Halleck to ascertain the cause. He answered 
that he could not explain it, but ordered me to advance my divi- 
sion and feel the enemy, if still in my front. I immediately put 
in motion two regiments of each brigade, by different roads, and 
soon after followed with the whole division — infantry, artillery, 
and cavalry. General M. L. Smith's brigade moved rapidly down 
the main road, entering the first redoubt of the enemy at 7 a. m. 
It was completely evacuated, and by 8 a. m. all my division was 
at Corinth and beyond." 

The force of General Beauregard was less than forty-five 
thousand effective men. He estimated that of the enemy to 
be between eighty-five and ninety thousand men. All the 
troops of the enemy in reserve in Arkansas, Missouri, Ken- 
tucky, and Illinois were brought forward, except the force of 
Curtis, in Arkansas, and placed in front of our position. No 
definite idea of their number was formed. In the opinion of 
Beauregard, a general attack was not to be hazarded ; but on 
May 3d an advance was made to attack the corps of General 
Pope, when only one of his divisions was in position, and that 


gave way so rapidly it could not be overtaken. Again, on May 
9th, an advance was made, hoping to surprise the enemy. But 
a division, which should have been in position at three o'clock 
in the morning, or early dawn, was detained until three in the 
afternoon by the mistakes of the guide. The enemy thus be- 
came informed of the movement, and no surprise could be 
effected. General Beauregard commenced the removal of his 
sick, preparatory to an evacuation, on May 26th ; on the next 
day arrangements for falling back were made, and the work 
completed on the 29th. So complete was the evacuation, that 
not only was the army successfully withdrawn, but also every 
piece of ordnance, only a quantity of damaged ammunition 
being left behind. The retreat was continued to Tupelo, with- 
out any serious conflict with the enemy; but during the re- 
treat seven locomotives were reported to be lost by the burning 
of a bridge, and a number of cars, most of which were loaded 
with stores, were ordered to be burned. 

On June 14th orders were sent to General Bragg, from 
Richmond, to proceed to Jackson, Mississippi, and temporarily 
to assume command of the department then under command of 
General Lovell. The order concluded as follows : 

" After General Magruder joins, your further services there 
may be dispensed with. The necessity is urgent and absolute. 

"J. Davis." 

On application to General Beauregard for the necessary 
order, he replied : 

" You can not possibly go. My health does not permit me to 
remain in charge alone here. This evening my two physicians 
were insisting that I should go away for one or two weeks, fur- 
nishing me with another certificate for that purpose, and I had 
concluded to go — intending to see you to-morrow on the subject, 
and leave you in command." 

The certificate of the physicians was as follows : 

"Headquarters, Western Department, 
" Tupelo, June U, 1862. 

" We certify that, after attendance on General Beauregard 
for the past four months, and treatment of his case, in our pro- 


fessional opinion he is incapacitated physically for the arduous 
duties of his present command, and we urgently recommend rest 
and recreation. " R. L. Brodie, Surgeon, P. A. C. S. 

" Sam Choppix, Surgeon, P. A. O. S" 

These facts were telegraphed to me at once by General 
Bragg. Soon after, I sent a second dispatch to him, renewing 
the order, and expressing my surprise that he should have hesi- 
tated to obey, when the original order stated " the necessity is 
urgent and absolute." Before this second dispatch was received 
by General Bragg, General Beauregard had transferred the 
command to him, and had departed for Bladen Springs. Gen- 
eral Bragg thus describes the subsequent proceedings : 

" Prepared to move, I telegraphed back to the President that 
the altered conditions induced me to await his further orders. In 
reply to this, I was immediately notified by telegraph of my as- 
signment to the 'permanent command of the army,' and was 
directed to send General Yan Dorn to execute my first instruc- 

From this statement it appears — 1. That General Beaure- 
gard was not, as has been alleged, harshly deprived of his com- 
mand, but that he voluntarily surrendered it, after being fur- 
nished with medical certificates of his physical incapacity for 
its arduous duties. 2. That he did not even notify his Govern- 
ment, still less ask permission to retire. 3. That the order, as- 
signing another to the command he had abandoned, could not 
be sent through him, when he had departed and gone to a place 
where there was no telegraph, and rarely a mail. 4. That it is 
neither customary nor proper to send orders to the commander 
of an army through a general on sick-leave ; and in this case 
it would have been very objectionable, as a similar order had 
just been sent and disobeyed. 

Meanwhile some other events had occurred in the Western 
Department which should be mentioned. The movement of 
the forces of the enemy up the Tennessee River, as has been 
stated, thus flanking some of our positions on the Mississippi 
River, was followed by his fitting out a naval fleet to move down 
that river. This fleet, consisting of seven ironclads and one gun- 


boat, ten mortar-boats, each carrying a thirteen-inch mortar, a 
coal - barge, two ordnance-steamers, and two transports with 
troops, left Cairo on March 14th, and arrived at Hickman that 
evening. A small force of our cavalry left upon its approach. 
Columbus, as has been stated, had previously been evacuated 
by our forces and occupied by the enemy. In the morning the 
fleet continued down toward Island No. 10. This island is situ- 
ated in that bend of the river which touches the border of Ten- 
nessee, a few miles further up the river than New Madrid, 
although nearly southeast of that point. 

In the latter part of February a large force of the enemy under 
Major-General Pope left Commerce, Missouri, and moved south 
about fifty miles to New Madrid, with the object of capturing 
that place. Aided by the gunboats of Commander Hollins, our 
small force repulsed the assaults of the enemy three times, but 
such was the disparity of numbers that it soon became manifest 
that our forces could not successfully hold the position, and it 
was evacuated on the night of March 13th. Its defenses con- 
sisted of two earthworks, in which about twenty guns were 
mounted. These were spiked and rendered unfit for use. 

The bombardment of Island No. 10, above described, com- 
menced on March 15th, and was continued night and day. Up 
to April 1st the enemy fired several thousand thirteen-inch and 
rifle shells. On March 17th a general attack with five gunboats 
and four mortar-boats was made, and continued nine hours, 
without any serious result. Finally, the forces of the enemy 
were greatly increased, and began to occupy both banks of the 
river, and also the river above and below the island, when a 
portion of our force retired, and about April 7th the remainder 

The fleet, on April 12th, proceeded next ~to Fort Pillow, 
about a hundred and eighty miles below Island No. 10, and a 
bombardment was commenced on the next day. This was con- 
tinued without effect until the night of June 4th, when both 
Forts Pillow and Randolph, the latter some twelve miles below 
the former, were evacuated — these positions having become 
untenable in consequence of the withdrawal of our forces from 
Corinth and the adjacent portion of Tennessee. 


Nothing now remained to oppose the enemy's fleet but our 
gunboats at Memphis, which were, say, seventy miles farther 
down the river. The gallantry and efficiency displayed by our 
improvised river navy at New Madrid and Island No. 10 gave rise 
to hopes scarcely justified by the number of our vessels or their 
armament. Our boats had fewer guns than those of the enemy, 
and they were less substantially constructed, but their officers 
and crews took counsel of their country's need rather than of 
their own strength. They manfully engaged the enemy, and 
disabled one of his rams, but after an hour's conflict were com- 
pelled to retire. 

The possession of Memphis being no longer disputed, its 
occupation by the enemy promptly followed. 

At an early period of the war the Government of the United 
States organized some naval and military expeditions, with a 
view to capture our harbors, to occupy an extensive tract of 
country in their vicinity, and especially to obtain possession of 
a portion of our cotton-crop. The first movement of this kind 
was by a fleet of naval vessels and transports which appeared 
off Hatteras Inlet on August 27, 1861. This inlet is a gap in 
the sandy barrier that lines the coast of North Carolina about 
eighteen miles southwest of Cape Hatteras. It was the princi- 
pal entrance to Pamlico Sound, a large body of water lying be- 
tween the sandy beach and the mainland. The channel of the 
entrance had about seven feet of water, and was protected by 
two small forts constructed on the sand. Our forces were under 
the command of Captain Samuel Barron, an officer of distinction, 
formerly in the United States Navy. After a short bombard- 
ment, which developed the strength of the enemy and his own 
comparative weakness, he capitulated. 

A much larger fleet of naval vessels and transports, carrying 
fifteen thousand men, appeared off the harbor of Port Koyal, 
South Carolina, on November 4, 1861. This harbor is situated 
midway between the cities of Charleston and Savannah. It is 
a broad estuary, into which flow some two or three streams, the 
interlacing of which with creeks forms a group of numerous 
islands. The parish, of which these are the greater part, con- 
stituted the richest agricultural district in the State ; its staples 


being sea-island cotton and rice. The principal defenses were 
Fort "Walker, a strong earthwork on Hilton Head, and Fort 
Beauregard on Philip's Island. The attack was made by the 
enemy on the Tth, by a fleet consisting of eight steamers and a 
sloop-of-war in tow. Some of the steamers were of the first 
class, as the Wabash and the Susquehanna. The conflict con- 
tinued for four hours, when the forts, because untenable, were 

In the early part of 1862 several reconnaissances were sent 
out from Port Poyal, and subsequently an expedition visited 
Darien and Brunswick in Georgia, and Fernandina, Jackson- 
ville, and St. Augustine in Florida. Its design was to take and 
keep under control this line of seacoast, especially in Georgia. 
Some small steamers and other vessels were captured, and some 
ports were occupied. 

The system of coast defenses which was adopted and the 
preparations which had been at that time made by the Govern- 
ment to resist these aggressions of the enemy should be stated. 
By reference to the topography of our coast, it will be seen that, 
in the State of North Carolina, are Albemarle and Pamlico 
Sounds, penetrating far into the interior ; then the Cape Fear 
River, connecting with the ocean by two channels, the south- 
west channel being defended by a small inclosed fort and a 
water-battery. On the coast of South Carolina are George- 
town and Charleston Harbors. A succession of islands ex- 
tends along the coast of South Carolina and Georgia, sep- 
arated from the mainland by a channel which is navigable 
for vessels of moderate draft from Charleston to Fernandina, 
Florida. There are fewer assailable points on the Gulf than on 
the Atlantic. Pensacola, Mobile, and the mouth of the Missis- 
sippi were defended by works that had hitherto been regarded 
as sufficiently strong to repulse any naval attack that might be 
made upon them. Immediately after the bombardment of Fort 
Sumter, the work of improving the seacoast defense was begun 
and carried forward as rapidly as the limited means of the Gov- 
ernment would permit. 

The work that was now done has been so summarily and 
satisfactorily described by General A. L. Long, chief of artil- 


lery, in a paper contributed to the Southern Historical Society, 
that I avail myself of a few extracts : * 

" Roanoke Island and other points on Albemarle and Pamlico 
Sounds were fortified. Batteries were established on the south- 
east entrance of Cape Fear River, and the works on the south- 
west entrance strengthened. Defenses were constructed at George- 
town, and at all assailable points on the northeast coast of South 
Carolina. The works of Charleston Harbor were greatly strength- 
ened by earthworks and floating batteries. The defenses from 
Charleston down the coast of South Carolina and Georgia were 
confined chiefly to the islands and salient points bearing upon the 
channels leading inland. Defensive works were erected at all 
important points along the coast. Many of the defenses, being 
injudiciously located and hastily erected, offered but little resist- 
ance to the enemy when attacked. These defeats "were not sur- 
prising, when we take into consideration the inexperience of the 
engineers, and the long line of seacoast to be defended. As soon 
as a sufficient naval force had been collected, an expedition under 
the command of General B. F. Butler was sent to the coast of 
North Carolina, aini captured several important points. A second 
expedition, under Admiral Dupont and General Thomas TV. Sher- 
man, was sent to make a descent on the coast of South Carolina. 
On the 7th of November Dupont attacked the batteries that were 
designed to defend Port Royal harbor, as stated above, and al- 
most without resistance carried them and gained possession of 
Port Royal. This is the best harbor in South Carolina, and is the 
strategic key to all the South Atlantic coast. Later, Burnside 
captured Roanoke Island, and established himself in eastern North 
Carolina without resistance. The rapid fall of Roanoke Island 
and Port Royal Harbor struck consternation into the hearts of the 
inhabitants along the entire coast. The capture of Port Royal 
gave to the Federals the entire possession of Beaufort Island, 
which afforded a secure place of rest for the army, while the har- 
bor gave a safe anchorage for the fleet. Beaufort Island almost 
fills a deep indenture in the main shore, being separated the 
greater part of its extent by a narrow channel, which is navigable 
its entire circuit. Its northern extremity extends to within a few 
miles of the Charleston and Savannah Railroad. The main road 

* " Seacoast Defenses of the Carolinas and Georgia." 


from Port Royal to Pocotaligo crosses the channel at this point. 
The evacuation of Hilton Head, on the southwestern extremity 
of Beaufort Island, followed the capture of Port Royal. This 
exposed Savannah, only about twenty-five miles distant, to an 
attack from that direction. At the same time, the Federals hav- 
ing command of Helena Bay, Charleston was liable to be assailed 
from North Edisto or Stono Inlet, and the railroad could have 
been reached without opposition by the route from Port Royal to 

"Such was the state of affairs when General Lee reached 
Charleston, about December 1, 1861, to assume the command of 
the Department of North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. His 
vigorous mind at once comprehended the situation, and, with his 
accustomed energy, he met the difficulties that presented them- 
selves. Directing fortifications to be constructed on the Stono 
and the Edisto and the Combahee, he fixed his headquarters at 
Coosawhatchee, the point most threatened, and directed defenses to 
be erected opposite Hilton Head, and on the Broad and Salte- 
hatchie, to cover Savannah. These were the points requiring im- 
mediate attention. He superintended in person the works over- 
looking the approach to the railroad from Port Royal, and soon 
infused into his troops a part of his own energy. The works he 
had planned rose with magical rapidity. A few days after his 
arrival at Coosawhatchee, Dupont and Sherman sent their first re- 
connaissance in that direction, which was met and repulsed by 
shots from the newly erected batteries ; and now, whether the 
Federals advanced toward the railroad or turned in the direction 
of Charleston or Savannah, they were arrested by our batteries. 
The people, seeing the Federals repulsed at every point, regained 
their confidence, and with it their energy. 

" The most important points being now secured against imme- 
diate attack, the General proceeded to organize a system of sea- 
coast defense different from that which had been previously 
adopted. He withdrew the troops and material from those works 
which had been established on the islands and salient points which 
he could not defend to a strong interior line, where the effect of 
the Federal naval force would be neutralized. After a careful 
reconnaissance of the coast, he designated such points as he con- 
sidered it necessary to fortify. The most important positions on 
this extensive line were Georgetown, Charleston, Pocotaligo, Coo- 


sawhatchee, and Savannah. Coosawhatchee, being central, could 
communicate with either Charleston or Savannah in two or three 
hours by railroad, and in case of an attack they could support 
each other. The positions between Coosawhatchee and Savan- 
nah, and those between the former and Charleston, could be re- 
enforced from the positions contiguous to them ; there was thus a 
defensive relation throughout the entire line, extending from Win- 
yaw Bay to the mouth of St. Mary's River, in Georgia, a distance 
of about two hundred miles. These detached and supporting 
works covered a most important agricultural country, and sufficed 
to defend it from the smaller expeditions made against that re- 

"About March 1st the gunboats of the enemy entered the Sa- 
vannah River by way of the channel leading from Hilton Head. 
Our naval force was too weak to dispute the possession with them, 
and they thus cut off the communication of Fort Pulaski with the 
city. Soon after, the enemy landed a force, under General Gill- 
more, on the opposite side of the fort. By April 1st they had 
powerful batteries in position, and on that day opened fire on the 
fort. Having no hope of succor, Fort Pulaski, after striking a 
blow for honor, surrendered with about five hundred men." * 


Advance of General McClellan toward Centreville; his Report. — Our Forces or- 
dered to the Peninsula. — Situation at Yorktown. — Siege by General McClellan. 
— General Johnston assigned to Command ; his Recommendation. — Attack on 
General Magruder at Yorktown. — Movements of McClellan. — The Virginia. — 
General Johnston retires.— Delay at Norfolk.— Before Williamsburg.— Remark 
of Hancock.— Retreat up the Peninsula.— Sub-terra Shells used.— Evacuation 
of Norfolk. — Its Occupation by the Enemy. 

In a previous chapter the retreat of our army from Centre- 
ville has been described, and reference has been made to the 
anticipation of the commanding general, J. E. Johnston, that 
the enemy would soon advance to attack that position. Since 
the close of the war we have gained information not at that 

* General A. L. Long, in Historical Society Papers. 


time to us attainable, which shows that, as early as the 31st of 
January, 1862, the commanding General of the enemy's forces 
presented to his President an argument against that line of 
operations, setting forth the advantages of a movement by 
water-transports down the Chesapeake into the Rappahannock ; 
and that in the following February, by the direction of Presi- 
dent Lincoln, General McClellan held a council with twelve of 
the generals of that army, who decided in favor of the move- 
ment by way of Annapolis, and thence to the Rappahannock, to 
which their President gave his assent. When General McClel- 
lan, then in the city of "Washington, heard that our army had 
retired, he ordered a general movement of his troops toward the 
position we had lately occupied. A detachment was sent to 
make reconnaissance as far as the line of the Rappahannock, by 
which it was ascertained that our troops had passed beyond that 
river. His account of this movement was given in the follow- 
ing report : 

" Fairfax Court-House, March 12, 1862, 8.30 p. m. 
" I have just returned from a ride of more than forty miles. 
Have examined Centreville, Union Mills, Blackburn's Ford, etc. 
The rebels have left all their positions, and, from the information 
obtained during our ride to-day, I am satisfied that they have 
fallen behind the Rapid an, holding Fredericksburg and Gordons- 
ville. Their movement from here was very sudden. They left 
many wagons, some caissons, clothing, ammunition, personal bag- 
gage, etc. Their winter-quarters were admirably constructed, 
many not yet quite finished. The works at Centreville are for- 
midable ; more so than at Manassas. Except the turnpike, the 
roads are horrible. The country entirely stripped of forage and 
provisions. Having fully consulted with General McDowell, I pro- 
pose occupying Manassas with a portion of Banks's command, and 
then at once throwing all forces I can concentrate upon the line 
agreed upon last week. The Monitor justifies this course. I tel- 
egraphed this morning to have the transports brought to Wash- 
ington, to start from there. I presume you will approve this 
course. Circumstances may keep me out here some little time 
longer.* G. B. McClellan, Major- General. 

" Hon. E. M. Stantox, Secretary of War." 

* See "Report on the Conduct of the War," Part I, pp. 10-12, 309-311. 


The reference to the Monitor is to be explained by the 
condition previously made in connection with the proposition 
of going to Fortress Monroe, that the Merrimac, our Vir- 
ginia, should first be neutralized. The order to bring the 
" transports " to Washington was due to the fact that they 
had not dared to run by our batteries on the Potomac, and in- 
tended to avoid them by going to Annapolis for embarkation. 
The withdrawal of our batteries from the banks of the Poto- 
mac had removed the objection to going down that river, and 
the withdrawal of our forces across the Rappahannock was 
fatal to the programme of landing on that river, and marching 
to Richmond before our forces could be in position to resist an 
attack on the capital. Notwithstanding the assurance given 
that the destruction of railroads and bridges proved that our 
army could not intend to advance, apprehension was still enter- 
tained of an attack upon Washington. 

As soon as we ascertained that the enemy was concentrating 
his forces at Fortress Monroe, to advance upon our capital by 
that line of approach, all our disposable force was ordered to 
the Peninsula, between the James and York Rivers, to the sup- 
port of General John B. Magruder, who, with a force of seven 
to eight thousand men, had, by availing himself of the Warwick 
River, a small stream which runs through a low, marshy coun- 
try, from near Yorktown to the James River, constructed an 
intrenched line across the Peninsula, and with equal skill and 
intrepidity had thus far successfully checked every attempt to 
break it, though the enemy was vastly superior in numbers to 
the troops under General Magruder's command. Having a 
force entirely inadequate to occupy and defend the whole line, 
over thirteen miles long, he built dams in the Warwick River, 
so as to form pools, across which the enemy, without bridges, 
could not pass, and posted detachments at each dam to prevent 
the use of them by attacking columns of the enemy. To de- 
fend the left of his line, where the stream became too small to 
present a serious obstacle to the passage of troops, redoubts were 
constructed, with curtains connecting them. 

Between Yorktown and Gloucester Point, on the opposite 
shore, the York River is contracted to less than a mile in 


width, and General Magruder had constructed batteries at both 
places, which, by their cross fire, presented a formidable ob- 
stacle to the ascent of ordinary vessels. The fortifications at 
Norfolk and the navy-yard, together with batteries at SewelFs 
Point and Craney Island, in conjunction with the navy, offered 
means of defense against any attempt to land troops on the 
south side of James River. After the first trial of strength 
with our Virginia, there had been an evident disinclination on 
the part of the enemy's vessels to encounter her, so that, as long 
as she floated, the deep water of the roads and mouth of James 
River was not likely to be invaded by ships of war. 

As a second line of defense, a system of detached works had 
been constructed by General Magruder near to "Williamsburg, 
where the width of the Peninsula, available for the passage of 
troops, was only three or four miles. The advantage thus se- 
cured to his forces, if they should be compelled to retreat, will 
be readily appreciated. I am not aware that torpedoes had been 
placed in York River to prevent the entrance of the enemy's 
vessels ; indeed, at that time, but little progress had been made 
in the development of that means of harbor and river defense. 
General Rains, as will be seen hereafter, had matured his inven- 
tion of sensitive fuse-primers for sub-terra shells, and proposed 
their use for floating torpedoes. Subsequently he did much 
to advance knowledge in regard to making torpedoes efficient 
against the enemy's vessels. 

Such was the condition of the Virginia Peninsula between 
the York and James Rivers when General McClellan embarked 
the mass of the army he commanded in northern Virginia and 
proceeded to Fortress Monroe ; and when the greater part of 
our army, under the command of General J. E. Johnston, was 
directed to move for the purpose of counteracting this new 
plan of the enemy. 

Early in April, General McClellan had landed about one 
hundred thousand men at or near Fortress Monroe.* At this 
time General Magruder occupied the lower Peninsula with his 
force of seven or eight thousand men. Marshes, creeks, and 

* See " Report on the Conduct of the War," p. 319. Letter of President Lin- 
coln to General McClellan, April 6, 1862. 


dense wood gave to that position such advantage that, in his 
report, made at a subsequent period, he expressed the belief that 
with twenty or twenty-live thousand men he could have held 
it against any supposable attack. When McClellan advanced 
with his immense army, Magruder fell back to the line of War- 
wick River, which has been imperfectly described, and there 
checked the enemy ; and the vast army of invasion, repulsed in 
several assaults by the most heroic conduct of our troops, com- 
menced a siege by regular approaches. After the first advance 
of the enemy, General Magruder was reenforced by some troops 
from the south side of James River and General Wilcox's bri- 
gade, which had been previously detached from the army under 
General Johnston. On the 9th of April General Magruder' s 
command, thus reenforced, amounted to about twelve thousand. 
On that day General Early joined with his division from the 
Army of Northern Virginia. It had gone by rail to Richmond 
and thence down the York and James Rivers in vessels towed 
by tugs — except the trains and -artillery, which moved by land. 
This division had about eight thousand officers and men for 
duty. General Magruder's force was thus increased to about 
twenty thousand. This was the first detachment from the Army 
of Northern Yirginia which arrived on the Peninsula. 

General McClellan, in a cipher dispatch of the 7th of April, 
two days previous, informed Secretary Stanton that prisoners 
stated that General J. E. Wharton (no doubt, Johnston) had the 
day before arrived in Yorktown with strong reinforcements, 
and adds: "It seems clear that I shall have the whole force 
of the enemy on my hands, probably not less than one hun- 
dred thousand men, and possibly more. . . . When my pres- 
ent command all joins, I shall have about eighty-five thousand 
men for duty, from which a large force must be taken for 
guards, escort, etc." After some remarks about the strength 
of our intrenchments, and his conviction that the great battle 
which would decide the existing contest would be fought there, 
he urges as necessary for his success that there should be an 
attack on the rear of Gloucester Point, and adds : " My pres- 
ent strength will not admit of a detachment for this purpose 
without materially impairing the efficiency of this column. 


Commodore Goldsborough thinks the work too strong for his 
available vessels, unless I can turn Gloucester." * 

In the cipher dispatch of the 7th of April to President Lin- 
coln, General McClellan acknowledges a telegram of the pre- 
vious day, and adds, " In reply, I have the honor to state that 
my entire force for duty only amounts to about eighty-five 
thousand men." f He then mentions the fact that General 
"Wool's command is not under his orders, etc. 

Subsequent correspondence clearly shows that General Mc- 
Clellan would not risk making a detachment from his army to 
turn the position at Gloucester Point, and that the navy would 
not attempt to operate against the battery at that place. He 
therefore urgently pressed for reenforcements to act on the 
north side of York River. 

General Magruder had, up to and after the time of receiving 
the reenforcements before mentioned, worked day and night in 
constructing and strengthening his defenses. His small force 
had been assisted in this work by a considerable body of negro 
laborers, and an active participant and competent judge, General 
Early, thus wrote of his conduct : 

" The assuming and maintaining this line by Magruder, with 
his small force, in the face of such overwhelming odds, was one 
of the boldest exploits ever performed by a military commander ; 
and he had so manoeuvred his troops, by displaying them rapidly 
at different points, as to produce the impression on his opponent 
that he had a large army." 

As soon as it was definitely ascertained that General McClel- 
lan, with his main army, was on the Peninsula, General J. E. 
Johnston was assigned to the command of the Department of 
the Peninsula and Norfolk, and directed to proceed thither 
to examine the condition of affairs there. After spending 
a day on General Magruder's defensive line, he returned to 
Richmond, and recommended the abandonment of the Penin- 
sula, and that we should take a defensive position nearer to 
Richmond. The question w r as postponed, and an appointment 
made for its discussion, to which I proposed to invite the Sec- 

* "Report on the Conduct of the War," Part I, p. 320. f Ibid., p. 321. 


retaiy of War, General Randolph, and General Lee, then sta- 
tioned in Richmond, and in general charge of army operations. 
General Johnston asked that he might invite General Long- 
street and General G. W. Smith to be present, to which I as- 

At this meeting, General Johnston announced his plan to 
be, the withdrawal of General Magruder's troops from the Pen- 
insula, and of General Huger's from Norfolk, to be united with 
the main body of the Army of Northern Virginia, and the 
withdrawal of the troops from South Carolina and Georgia, his 
belief being that General Magruder's line was indefensible with 
the forces we could concentrate there ; that the batteries at 
Gloucester Point could not be maintained; that the enemy 
would turn the position at Yorktown by ascending the York 
.River, if the defensive line there should possibly be main- 
tained. To this plan the Secretary of War objected, because 
the navy-yard at Norfolk offered our best if not our only op- 
portunity to construct in any short time gunboats for coastwise 
and harbor defense. General Lee, always bold in his views 
and unusually sagacious in penetrating the designs of the ene- 
my, insisted that the Peninsula offered great advantages to a 
smaller force in resisting a numerically superior assailant, and, 
in the comprehensive view which he usually took of the ne- 
cessities of other places than the one where he chanced to be, 
objected to withdrawing the troops from South Carolina and 
Georgia, as involving the probable capture of Charleston and 
Savannah. By recent service in that section he was well in- 
formed as to the condition of those important ports. General 
G. "W. Smith, as well as I remember, was in full accord with 
General Johnston, and General Longstreet partially so. 

After hearing fully the views of the several officers named, 
I decided to resist the enemy on the Peninsula, and, with the 
aid of the navy, to hold Norfolk and keep the command of the 
James River as long as possible. Arrangements were made, 
with such force as our means permitted, to occupy the country 
north of Richmond, and the Shenandoah Valley, and, with the 
rest of General Johnston's command, to make a junction with 
General Magruder to resist the enemy's forces on the Penin- 


sula. Though General J. E. Johnston did not agree with this 
decision, he did not ask to be relieved, and I had no wish to 
separate him from the troops with whom he was so intimately 
acquainted, and whose confidence I believed he deservedly pos- 

To recur to General Magruder : soon after the landing of the 
enemy, skirmishes commenced with our forces, and the first vig- 
orous attempt was made to break the line at Lee's Mills, where 
there were some newly constructed defenses. The enemy was so 
signally repulsed that he described them as very strong works, 
and thereafter commenced the construction of parallels and regu- 
lar approaches, having an exaggerated idea as well of the number 
of our troops as of the strength of our works at that time. Gen- 
eral Magruder, in his report, notices a serious attempt to break 
his line of the Warwick at Dam No. 1, about the center of the 
line, and its weakest point. Opening with a heavy bombard- 
ment at nine in the morning, which continued until three p. m., 
heavy masses of infantry then commenced to deploy, and, with 
musketry-fire, were thrown forward to storm our six-pounder 
battery, which had been effectively used, and was the only artil- 
lery we had there in position. A portion of the column charged 
across the dam, but Brigadier-General Howell Cobb met the 
attack with great firmness, the enemy was driven with the 
bayonet from some of our rifle-pits of which he had gained 
possession, and the assaulting column recoiled with loss from 
the steady fire of our troops. 

The enemy's skirmishers pressed closely in front of the re- 
doubts on the left of our line, and with their long-range rifles 
had a decided advantage over our men, armed with smooth-bore 
muskets. In addition to the rifle-pits they dug, they were cov- 
ered by a dwelling-house and a large peach-orchard which ex- 
tended to within a few hundred yards of our works. On the 
11th of April General Magruder ordered sorties to be made 
from all the main points of his line. General Wilcox sent out 
a detachment from Wynne's Mill which encountered the ad- 
vance of the enemy in his front and drove it back to the main 
line. Later in the day General Early sent out from Redoubt 
No. 5 Colonel Ward's Florida regiment and the Second Mis- 


sissippi Battalion, under Colonel Taylor. They drove the 
sharpshooters from their rifle-pits and pursued them to the 
main road from Warwick Court-House, encountered a battery 
posted at an earthwork, and compelled it precipitately to re- 
tire. On the approach of a large force of the enemy's infantry, 
Colonel Ward returned to our works, after having set fire to 
the dwelling-house above mentioned. These affairs developed 
the fact that the enemy was in strong force, both in front of 
Wynne's Mill and Redoubts Nos. 4 and 5. On the next night 
General Early sent out Colonel Terry's Virginia regiment to 
cut down the peach-orchard and burn the rest of the houses 
which had afforded shelter to the assailants ; and on the succeed- 
ing night Colonel McRae, with his North Carolina regiment, 
went further to the front and felled the cedars along the main 
road which partially hid the enemy's movements, and subse- 
quently our men were not annoyed by the sharpshooters. About 
the middle of April a further reenforcement of two divisions 
from the Army of Northern Virginia was added to our forces 
on the Peninsula, which amounted, when General Johnston as- 
sumed command, to something over fifty thousand. 

The work of strengthening the defenses was still continued. 
On the 16 th of April an assault was made on our line, to the 
right of Yorktown, which was repulsed with heavy loss to the 
enemy, and such serious discomfiture that henceforward his 
plan seemed to be to rely upon bombardment, for which numer- 
ous batteries were prepared. 

The views of the enemy, as revealed by the testimony before 
the Committee on the Conduct of the War, were that he could 
gain possession of Gloucester Point only by reinforcements oper- 
ating on the north side of York River, or by the previous reduc- 
tion of Yorktown. In addition to the answer given by General 
McClellan, I quote from the testimony of General Keyes. He 
said, " The possession of Gloucester Point by the enemy re- 
tarded the taking of Yorktown, and it also enabled the enemy 
to close the river at that point," and added, " Gloucester must 
have fallen upon our getting possession of Yorktown, and the 
York River would then have been open." * 

* " Report on the Conduct of the War," Part I, pp. 601, 602. 


With the knowledge possessed by us, General McClellan 
certainly might have sent a detachment from his army which, 
after crossing the York River, could have turned the position 
at Gloucester Point and have overcome our small garrison at 
that place ; but this is but one of the frequent examples of war 
in which the immunity of one army is derived from the mis- 
takes of the other. 

An opinion has existed among some of our best-informed 
officers that Franklin's division was kept on transports for the 
purpose of landing on the north side of York River to capture 
our battery at Gloucester Point, and thus open the w r ay to turn 
our position by ascending the York River. Upon the authority 
of Swinton, the fairest and most careful of- the Northern writ- 
ers on the war, it appears that Franklin's division had disem- 
barked before the evacuation of Yorktown; and, upon the 
authority of the Prince de Joinville, serving on the staff of 
General McClellan, it appears that his commanding general was 
not willing to intrust that service to a single division, and plain- 
tively describes the effect produced by the refusal of President 
Lincoln to send McDowell's corps to reenforce McClellan. He 
writes thus : 

" The news was received by the Federal army with dissatisfac- 
tion, although the majority could not then foresee the deplorable 
consequences of an act performed, it must be supposed, with no 
evil intention, but with inconceivable recklessness. ... It was 
the mainspring removed from a great work already begun. It 
deranged everything. Among the divisions of the corps of Mc- 
Dowell, there was one — that of Franklin — which was regretted 
more than all the rest. . . . He [the commander-in-chief] held it 
in great esteem, and earnestly demanded its restoration. It was 
sent back to him without any explanation, in the same manner as 
it had been withheld. This splendid division, eleven thousand 
strong, arrived, and for a moment the commander thought of in- 
trusting to it alone the storming of Gloucester, but the idea was 

On the 28th of April General J". E. Johnston wrote to Flag- 
Officer Tatnall, commanding the naval forces in the James Riv- 
er, requesting him, if practicable, to proceed with the Virginia 


to York River for the purpose of destroying the enemy's trans- 
ports, to which Commodore Tatnall replied that it could only 
be done in daylight, when he would be exposed to the fire of 
the forts, and have to contend with the squadron of men-of-war 
stationed below them, and that, if this should be safely done, 
according to the information derived from the pilots, it would 
not be possible for the Virginia to reach the enemy's transports 
at Poquosin, while the withdrawal of the Virginia would be to 
abandon the defense of Norfolk, and to remove the obstacles 
she opposed to " the enemy's operations in the James River." * 

Meanwhile, the brilliant movements of the intrepid Jackson 
created such apprehension of an attack upon Washington City 
by the Army of the Shenandoah, that President Lincoln refused 
the repeated requests of General McClellan to send him Mc- 
Dowell's corps to operate on the north side of the York River 
against our battery at Gloucester Point. 

On the 28th of the following June, Mr. Lincoln, noticing 
what he regarded as ungenerous complaint, wrote to General 
McClellan : " If you have had a drawn battle or a repulse, 
it is the price we pay for the enemy not being in "Washington. 
We protected Washington, and the enemy concentrated on 
you." f 

The month of April was cold and rainy, and our men poorly 
provided with shelter, and with only the plainest rations ; yet, 
under all these discomforts, they steadily labored to perfect the 
defenses, and, when they were not on the front line, were con- 
stantly employed in making traverses and epaulments in the 
rear. Whether General McClellan, under the pressure from 
Washington, would have made an early assault, J or have ad- 
hered to the policy of regular approaches, and, relying on his 
superiority in artillery, have waited to batter our earthworks in 
breach, and whether all which had been done, or which it was 

* " Life of Commodore Tatnall," pp. 166, 167. 

f " Report on the Conduct of the War," p. 340. 

X On April 6, 1862, President Lincoln wrote to General McClellan as follows : 
" You now have over one hundred thousand troops with you, independent of Gen- 
eral Wool's command. I think you had better break the enemy's line from York- 
town to Warwick River at once. They will probably use time as advantageously as 
you can."— (" Report on the Conduct of the War," pp. 319, 320.) 


practicable under the circumstances to do, to strengthen the 
main line would have made it sufficiently strong to resist the 
threatened bombardment, is questionable ; and how soon that 
bombardment would have commenced is now indeterminate. A 
telegram from President Lincoln to General McClellan is sug- 
gestive on this point. It reads thus : 

" Washington, May i, 1862. 
" Your call for Parrott guns from Washington alarms me — 
chiefly because it argues indefinite procrastination. Is anything 
to be done ? " * 

By the following telegram sent by me to General J. E. John- 
ston, commanding at Yorktown, the contents of that which I 
had received from him, and of which I am not now possessed, 
will be readily inferred : 

" Richmond, Virginia, May 1, 1862. 
" General J. E. Johnston, Yorktown, Virginia. 

"Accepting your conclusion that you must soon retire, ar- 
rangements are commenced for the abandonment of the navy- 
yard and removal of public property both from Norfolk and Pen- 
insula. Your announcement to-day that you would withdraw 
to-morrow night takes us by surprise, and must involve enormous 
losses, including unfinished gunboats. "Will the safety of your 
army allow more time ? 

"Jefferson Davis." 

My next step was to request the Secretary of War, General 
Randolph, and the Secretary of the Navy, Mr. Mallory, to pro- 
ceed to Yorktown and Norfolk to see whether the evacuation 
could not be postponed, and to make all practicable arrange- 
ments to remove the machinery, material, ordnance, and sup- 
plies for future use. At the suggestion of the Secretary of War, 
I agreed that he should first go with the Secretary of the Navy 
to Norfolk and thence pass over to Yorktown. 

On the next morning they left for Norfolk. General Ran- 
dolph, in his testimony before a joint special committee of the 
Confederate Congress, said : 

* " Report on the Conduct of the War," p. 324. 


"A few hours after we arrived in Norfolk, an officer from 
General Johnston's army made his appearance, with an order for 
General Huger to evacuate Norfolk immediately. ... As that 
would have involved heavy losses in stores, munitions, and arms, 
I took the responsibility of giving General Huger a written order 
to delay the evacuation until he could remove such stores, muni- 
tions, and arms as could be carried off. ... Mr. Mallory was with 
me and gave similar instructions to the commandant of the navy- 
yard. . . . The evacuation was delayed for about a week. . . . 
When the council of war met [the conference with the President 
heretofore referred to], it was supposed that, if the enemy assaulted 
our army at the Warwick River line, we should defeat them ; but 
that, if instead of assaulting they made regular approaches to 
either flank of the line and took advantage of their great superior- 
ity of heavy artillery, the probability would be that one flank or 
both of the army would be uncovered, and thus the enemy, as- 
cending the York and James Rivers in transports, could turn the 
flank of the army and compel it to retreat. . . . They made 
regular approaches, mounted the largest-sized guns, such as we 
could not compete with, and made the position of Yorktown 
untenable. Nearly all of our heavy rifled guns burst during the 
siege. The remainder of the heavy guns were in the water-bat- 
teries," etc. 

The permanent occupation of Norfolk after our army with- 
drew from the lower Peninsula and the enemy possessed it 
was so obviously impossible as not to require explanation; 
but, while the enemy was engaged in the pursuit of our re- 
treating columns, it was deemed justifiable to delay the evac- 
uation of Norfolk for the purposes indicated in the above 
answer of the Secretary of War. The result justified the de- 

The order for the withdrawal of the army from the line 
of the Warwick River on the night of the 2d of April was 
delayed until the next night, because, as I have been informed, 
some of the troops were not ready to move. Heavy cannonad- 
ing, both on the night of the 2d and 3d, concealed the fact of 
the purpose to withdraw, and the evacuation was made so suc- 
cessfully, as appears by the testimony before the United States 


Congressional Committee on the Conduct of the War, that the 
enemy was surprised the next morning to find the lines unoc- 

The loss of public property, as was anticipated, was great, 
the steamboats expected for its transportation not having ar- 
rived before the evacuation was made. From a narrative by 
General Early I make the following extract : 

" A very valuable part of the property so lost, and which we 
stood much in need of, consisted of a very large number of picks 
and spades, many of them entirely new. All of our heavy guns, 
including some recently arrived and not mounted, together with 
a good deal of ammunition piled up on the wharf, had to be left 

The land transportation was quite deficient. General Ma- 
gruder's troops had scarcely any, and others of the more recent 
organizations were in a like condition ; as no supplies had been 
accumulated at Williamsburg, this want of transportation would 
necessarily involve want of rations in the event of delays on the 

At Williamsburg, about twelve miles from Yorktown, Gen- 
eral Magruder, as has been mentioned, had constructed a line of 
detached works. The largest of these, Fort Magruder, was con- 
structed at a point a short distance beyond where the Lee's Mill 
and Yorktown roads united, and where the enemy in his pur- 
suit first encountered our retiring forces, and were promptly 
repulsed. General Magruder, whose arduous service and long 
exposure on the Peninsula has been noticed, was compelled by 
illness to leave his division. His absence at this moment was 
the more to be regretted, as it appears that the positions of the 
redoubts he had constructed were not all known to the com- 
manding General, and some of them being unoccupied were 
seized by the enemy, and held subsequently to our disadvantage. 
General McClellan, in his official report from "bivouac in 
front of Williamsburg, May 5, 1862," says, " General Hancock 
has taken two redoubts and repulsed Early's rebel brigade by a 
real charge of the bayonet, taking one colonel and one hundred 
and fifty other prisoners," etc. As this is selected for the bril- 


liant event in the affair before Williamsburg, I will extract 

fully from General Early's report : 

" Lynchburg, June 9, 1862. 
" In accordance with orders received the evening before, my 
brigade was in readiness to take up the line of march from its 
camp west of Williamsburg toward Richmond on the 5th of 
May. ... I was directed by Major-General D. H. Hill not to 
move my infantry, and in a short time I was ordered by him to 
march back, and report with my regiments to Major-General 
Longstreet at Williamsburg. . . . Between three and four o'clock, 
p. m., I was ordered by General Longstreet to move to the support 
of Brigadier-General Anderson of his division, at or near Fort 
Magruder. . . . Before my command had proceeded far toward 
its destination, I received an order from General Longstreet to 
send him two regiments. . . . With the remainder of my com- 
mand, being my brigade proper, I proceeded, as near as practica- 
ble, to the position designated by General Longstreet on the left 
and rear of Fort Magruder. ... In a short time Major-General 
Hill arrived, and, having ascertained that the enemy had a battery 
in front of us, he informed me that he wished me to attack and 
capture the battery with my brigade, but before doing so he must 
see General Longstreet on the subject. . . . General Hill being on 
the right and accompanying the brigade, I placed myself on the 
left with the Twenty-fourth Virginia Regiment for the purpose of 
directing its movements, as I was satisfied from the sound of the 
enemy's guns that this regiment would come directly on the bat- 
tery. ... In an open field, in view of Fort Magruder, at the end 
farthest from the fort, the enemy had taken position with a bat- 
tery of six pieces . . . supported by a brigade of infantry under 
the command of Brigadier-General Hancock. In this field were 
two or three redoubts, previously built by our troops, of one, at 
least, of which the enemy had possession, his artillery being posted 
in front of it, near some farmhouses, and supported by a body of 
infantry, the balance of the infantry being in the redoubt, and in 
the edge of the woods close by. The Twenty -fourth Virginia Regi- 
ment, as I had anticipated, came directly upon the battery. . . . 
This regiment, without pausing or wavering, charged upon the 
enemy under a heavy fire, and drove back his guns and the infan- 
try supporting them to the cover of the redoubt. ... I sent 
orders to the other regiments to advance ; these orders were an- 


ticipated by Colonel McRae of the Fifth North Carolina Regiment, 
who was on the extreme right of my brigade, and marched down 
to the support of the Twenty-fourth, traversing the whole front 
that should have been occupied by the other two regiments." 

General Early, having received a severe wound, soon after 
the Twenty-fourth Virginia Regiment charged the battery, was 
compelled by exhaustion from loss of blood and intense pain to 
leave the field just as the Fifth North Carolina Regiment, led 
by its gallant colonel, charged on the enemy's artillery and 
infantry. Of that charge General Early writes : 

"This North Carolina Regiment, in conjunction with the 
Twenty-fourth Virginia Regiment, made an attack upon the vastly 
superior forces of the enemy, which for its gallantry is unsur- 
passed in the annals of warfare : their conduct was such as to 
elicit from the enemy himself the highest praise." 

This refers to the chivalric remark made by General Han- 
cock to Dr. Cullen, left in charge of our wounded, viz., " The 
Fifth North Carolina and Twenty-fourth Virginia deserve to 
have the word immortal inscribed on their banners." Colonel 
McRae, who succeeded to the command after General Early 
retired, states in his report that he sent to General Hill for re- 
enforcements in order to advance, and in reply received an order 
to retire : that his men were holding the enemy to his shelter 
in such way that they were not at all suffering, but, w T hen he 
commenced retiring, the enemy rose and fired upon his men, 
doing the greatest damage that was done. Some of them ob- 
liqued too far to the right in going back, and met a regiment of 
the enemy concealed in the woods, and were thus captured. 
General Early writes : " The two regiments that united in the 
assault were not repulsed at all. They drove the enemy to the 
cover of the redoubt and the shelter of the woods near it, where 
he was held at bay by my two regiments, which had suffered 
comparatively little at that time." He confidently expresses the 
opinion that, had his attack been supported promptly and vigor- 
ously, the enemy's force there engaged must have been captured, 
as it had crossed over to that point on a narrow mill-dam, and 
had only that way to escape. 


The claim of the enemy to have achieved a victory at Wil- 
liamsburg is refuted by the fact that our troops remained in 
possession of the field during the night, and retired the next 
morning to follow up the retreat, which was only interrupted 
by the necessity of checking the enemy until our trains could 
proceed far enough to be out of danger. The fact of our 
wounded being left at Williamsburg was only due to our want 
of ambulances in which to remove them. 

Though General McClellan at this time estimated our force 
as " probably greater a good deal " than his own, the fact is, it 
was numerically less than half the number he had for duty. 
Severe exposure and fatigue must, by sickness, have diminished 
our force more than it was increased by absentees returning to 
duty after the middle of April, so that at the end of the month 
the number was probably less than fifty thousand present for 
duty. General McClellan's report on the 30th of April, 1862, 
as shown by the certified statement, gives the aggregate present 
for duty at one hundred and twelve thousand three hundred 
and ninety-two.* 

When the Confederates evacuated Yorktown, General Frank- 
lin's division had just been disembarked from the transports. 
It was reembarked, and started on the morning of the 6th up 
the York River.f 

After the battle of Williamsburg our army continued its 
retreat up the Peninsula. Here, for the first time, sub-terra 
shells were employed to check a marching column. The event 
is thus described by General Rains, the inventor : 

" On the day we left Williamsburg, after the battle, we worked 
hard to get our artillery and some we had captured over the 
sloughs about four miles distant. On account of the tortuous 
course of the road, we could not bring a single gun to bear upon 
the enemy who were pursuing us, and shelling the road as they 
advanced. Fortunately, we found in a mud-hole a broken-down 
ammunition-wagon containing five loaded shells. Four of these, 
armed with a sensitive fuse-primer, were planted in our rear, near 
some trees cut down as obstructions to the road. A body of the 

* " Report on the Conduct of the War," pp. 323, 324. 
f "Army of the Potomac," Swinton, p. 117. 


enemy's cavalry came upon these sub-terra shells, and they ex- 
ploded with terrific effect. 

" The force behind halted for three days, and finally turned off 
from the road, doubtless under the apprehension that it was mined 
throughout. Thus our rear was relieved of the enemy. No sol- 
dier will march over mined land, and a corps of sappers, each man 
having two ten-inch shells, two primers, and a mule to carry them, 
could stop any army." 

Accounts, contemporaneously published at the North, repre- 
sent the terror inspired by these shells, extravagantly describe 
the number of them, and speak of the necessity of leaving the 
road to avoid them. 

The next morning after the battle of the 5th, at Williams- 
burg, Longstreet's and D. H. Hill's divisions, being those there 
engaged, followed in the line of retreat, Stuart's cavalry mov- 
ing after them — they marched that day about twelve miles. In 
the mean time Franklin's division had gone up the York River, 
and landed a short distance below r West Point, on the south 
side of York River, and moved into a thick wood in the direc- 
tion of the New Kent road, thus threatening the flank of our 
line of march. Two brigades of General G. W. Smith's divis- 
ion, Hampton's and Hood's, were detached under the command 
of General Whiting to dislodge the enemy, which they did 
after a short conflict, driving him through the wood to the 
protection of his gunboats in York River. 

On the next morning the rear divisions joined those in ad- 
vance at Barhamsville, and the retreat of the whole army was 
resumed — Smith's and Magruder's divisions moving by the 
New Kent Court-House to the Baltimore Cross Roads, and 
Longstreet's and Hill's to the Long Bridge, where the whole 
army remained in line facing to the east for five days. 

The retreat had been successfully conducted. In the prin- 
cipal action, that at Williamsburg, our forces, after General 
Hill's division had been brought back to the support of Gen- 
eral Longstreet, did not exceed, probably was not equal to, one 
half that of the enemy. Yet, as has been seen, the position 
was held as long as was necessary for the removal of our trains, 
and our troops slept upon the field of battle. The loss of 


the enemy greatly exceeded our own, which was about twelve 
hundred ; while General Hooker, commanding one division of 
the Federal army, in his testimony stated the loss in his division 
to have been seventeen hundred.* 

Among the gallant and much regretted of those lost by us, 
was Colonel Ward, of Florida, whose conduct at Yorktown 
has been previously noticed, and of whom General Early, in his 
report of the battle of Williamsburg, says : 

" On the list of the killed in the Second Florida Regiment is 
found the name of its colonel, George T. Ward, as true a gentle- 
man and as gallant a soldier as has drawn a sword in this war, and 
whose conduct under fire it was my fortune to witness on another 
occasion. His loss to his regiment, to his State, and to the Con- 
federacy can not be easily compensated." 

Colonel Ward, with his regiment, had been detached from 
General Early's command in the early part of the action. I 
regret that I have not access to the report of General Long- 
street, where, no doubt, may also be found due notice of Colo- 
nel Christopher Mott, whom I knew personally. In his youth 
he served in the regiment commanded by me during the war 
with Mexico. He was brave, cheerful, prompt, and equal to 
every trial to which he was subjected, giving early promise of 
high soldierly capacity. He afterward held various places of 
honor and trust in civil life, and there were many in Mississippi 
who, like myself, deeply lamented his death in the height of 
his usefulness. 

General Huger, commanding at Norfolk, and Captain Lee, 
commanding the navy-yard, by the authority of the Secretaries 
of War and Navy, delayed the evacuation of both, as stated 
by General Randolph, Secretary of War, for about a week after 
General Johnston sent orders to General Huger to leave imme- 
diately. While he was employed in removing the valuable 
stores and machinery, as we learn from the work of the Comte 
de Paris, President Lincoln and his Secretary of War arrived 
at Fortress Monroe, and on the 8th of May an expedition 

* « 

Report on the Conduct of the War," p. 579. 


against Norfolk by the troops under General Wool was con- 
templated. He writes : 

" Being apprised by the columns of smoke which rose on the 
horizon that the propitious moment had arrived, Wool proposed 
to the President to undertake an expedition against Norfolk. Max 
Weber's brigade was speedily embarked, and, to protect his de- 
scent, Commodore Goldsborough's fleet was ordered to escort it. 
But the Confederate batteries, not yet having been abandoned, 
fired a few shots in reply, while the Virginia, which, since the 
wounding of the brave Buchanan, had been commanded by Com- 
modore Tatnall, showed her formidable shell, and the expedition 
was countermanded. Two more days were consumed in waiting. 
Finally, on the morning of the 10th, Weber disembarked east of 
Sewell's Point. This time the enemy's artillery was silent. There 
was found an intrenched camp mounting a few guns, but abso- 
lutely deserted. General Wool reached the city of Norfolk, 
which had been given up to its peaceful inhabitants the day pre- 
vious, and hastened to place a military governor there." * 

Reposing on these cheaply won laurels, the expedition re- 
turned to Fortress Monroe, leaving Brigadier-General Viele, 
with some troops brought from the north side of the river, to 
hold the place. The navy-yard and workshops had been set on 
fire before our troops withdrew, so as to leave little to the 
enemy save the glory of capturing an undefended town. The 
troops at Fortress Monroe were numerically superior to the 
command of General Huger, and could have been readily com- 
bined, with the forces at and about Roanoke Island, for a forward 
movement on the south side of the James River. In view of 
this probability, General Huger, with the main part of his 
force, was halted for a time at Petersburg, but, as soon as it was 
ascertained that no preparations were being made by the enemy 
for that campaign, so palpably advantageous to him, General 
Huger's troops were moved to the north side of the James 
River to make a junction with the army of General Johnston. 

Previously, detachments had been sent from the force with- 
drawn from Norfolk to strengthen the command of Brigadier- 

s * " History of the Civil War in America," Comtc de Paris, vol. ii, p. 30. 


General J. E. Anderson, who was placed in observation before 
General McDowell, then at Fredericksburg, threatening to ad- 
vance with a force four or five times as great as that under 
General Anderson, and another detachment had been sent to 
the aid of Brigadier-General Branch, who, with his brigade, 
had recently been brought up from North Carolina and sent 
forward to Gordonsville, for the like purpose as that for which 
General Anderson was placed near Fredericksburg. 


A New Phase to our Military Problem. — General Johnston's Position. — Defenses of 
James River. — Attack on Fort Drury. — Johnston crosses the Chickahominy. — 
Position of McClellan. — Position of McDowell. — Strength of Opposing Forces. 
— Jackson's Expedition down the Shenandoah Valley. — Panic at Washington 
and the North. — Movements to intercept Jackson. — His Rapid Movements. — Re- 
pulses Fremont. — Advance of Shields. — Fall of Ashby. — Port Republic, Battle 
of. — Results of this Campaign. 

The withdrawal of our army to the Chickahominy, the 
abandonment of Norfolk, the destruction of the Virginia, and 
opening of the lower James Eiver, together with the fact that 
McClellan's army, by changing his base to the head of York 
Eiver, was in a position to cover the approach to Washington, 
and thus to remove the objections which had been made to send- 
ing the large force, retained for the defense of that city, to 
make a junction with McClellan, all combined to give a new 
phase to our military problem. 

Soon after, General Johnston took position on the north side 
of the Chickahominy ; accompanied by General Lee, I rode out 
to his headquarters in the field, in order that by conversation 
with him we might better understand his plans and expecta- 
tions. He came in after we arrived, saying that he had been 
riding around his lines to see how his position could be im- 
proved. A long conversation followed, which was so incon- 
clusive that it lasted until late in the night, so late that we re- 
mained until the next morning. As we rode back to Eichmond, 


reference was naturally made to the conversation of the previous 
evening and night, when General Lee confessed himself, as I 
was, unable to draw from it any more definite purpose than that 
the policy was to improve his position as far as practicable, and 
wait for the enemy to leave his gunboats, so that an opportunity 
might be offered to meet him on the land. 

In consequence of the opening of the James River to the 
enemy's fleet, the attempts to utilize this channel for transpor- 
tation, so as to approach directly to Richmond, soon followed. 
We had then no defenses on the James River below Drury's 
Bluff, about seven miles distant from Richmond. There an 
earthwork had been constructed and provided with an armament 
of four guns. Rifle-pits had been made in front of the fort, 
and obstructions had been placed in the river by driving piles, 
and sinking some vessels. The crew of the Virginia, after her 
destruction, had been sent to this fort, which was then in charge 
of Commander Farrand, Confederate States Navy. 

On the 15th of April the enemy's fleet of five ships of war, 
among the number, their much-vaunted Monitor, took position 
and opened fire upon the fort between seven and eight o'clock. 
Our small vessel, the Patrick Henry, was lying above the ob- 
struction, and cooperated with the fort in its defense — the 
Monitor and ironclad Galena steamed up to about six hundred 
yards' distance ; the others, wooden vessels, were kept at long 

The armor of the flag-ship Galena was badly injured, and 
many of the crew killed or wounded. The Monitor was struck 
repeatedly, but the shot only bent her plates. At about eleven 
o'clock the fleet abandoned the attack, returning discomfited 
whence they came. The commander of the Monitor, Lieuten- 
ant Jeffers, in his report, says that " the action was most gal- 
lantly fought against great odds, and with the usual effect against 
earthworks." . . . He adds, " It was impossible to reduce such 
works, except with the aid of a land force." The enemy in 
their reports recognized the efficiency of our fire by both artil- • 
lery and riflemen, the sincerity of which was made manifest in 
the failure to renew the attempt. 

The small garrison at Fort Drury, only adequate to the ser- 


vice it had performed, that of repelling an attempt by the 
fleet to pass up James River, was quite insufficient to prevent 
the enemy from landing below the fort, or to resist an attack by 
infantry. To guard against its sudden capture by such means, 
the garrison was increased by the addition of Bryan's regiment 
of Georgia Rifles. 

After the repulse of the enemy's gunboats at Drury's Bluff, 
I wrote to General Johnston a letter to be handed to him by my 
aide, Colonel G. W. C. Lee, an officer of the highest intelligence 
and reputation — referring to him for full information in regard 
to the affair at Drury's Bluff, as well as to the positions and 
strength of our forces on the south side of the James River. 
After some speculations on the probable course of the enemy, 
and expressions of confidence, I informed the General that my 
aide would communicate freely to him and bring back to me 
any information with which he might be intrusted. Not receiv- 
ing any definite reply, I soon thereafter rode out to visit Gen- 
eral Johnston at his headquarters, and was surprised in the sub- 
urbs of Richmond, viz., on the other side of Gillis's Creek, to 
meet a portion of the light artillery, and to learn that the whole 
army had crossed the Chickahominy. 

General Johnston's explanation of this (to me) unexpected 
movement was, that he thought the water of the Chickahominy 
unhealthy, and had directed the troops to cross and halt at the 
first good water on the southern side, which he supposed would 
be found near to the river. He also adverted to the advantage 
of having the river in front rather than in the rear of him — an 
advantage certainly obvious enough, if the line was to be near 
to it on either of its banks. 

The considerations which induced General McClellan to 
make his base on the York River had at least partly ceased to ex- 
ist. From the corps for which he had so persistently applied, he 
had received the division which he most valued, and the destruc- 
tion of the Yirginia had left the James River open to his fleet 
and transports as far up as Drury's Bluff, and the withdrawal of 
General Johnston across the Chickahominy made it quite prac- 
ticable for him to transfer his army to the James River, the 
south side of which had then but weak defenses, and thus by a 


short march to gain more than all the advantages which, at a 
later period of the war, General Grant obtained at the sacrifice 
of a hecatomb of soldiers. 

Referring, again, to the work of the Comte de Paris, who 
may be better authority in regard to what occurred in the army 
of the enemy than when he writes about Confederate affairs, it 
appears that this change of base was considered and not adopted 
because of General McClellan's continued desire to have Mc- 
Dowell's corps with him. The Count states : 

" The James River, which had been closed until then by the 
presence of the Virginia, as York River had been by the cannon 
of Yorktown, was opened by the destruction of that ship, just as 
York River had been by the evacuation of the Confederate for- 
tress. But it was only open as far as Drury's Bluff ; in order to 
overcome this last obstacle interposed between Richmond and the 
Federal gunboats, the support of the land forces was necessary. 
On the 19th of May Commodore Goldsborough had a conference 
with General McClellan regarding the means to be employed for 
removing that obstacle. . . . General McClellan, as we have stated 
above, might have continued to follow the railway line, and pre- 
served his depots at Whitehouse, on the Pamunkey, . . . but he 
could also now go to reestablish his base of operations on James 
River, which the Virginia had hitherto prevented him from doing. 
By crossing the Chickahominy at Bottom's Bridge, and some other 
fords situated lower down, . . . could have reached the borders of 
the James in two or three days. . . . This flank march effected 
at a sufficient distance from the enemy, and covered by a few dem- 
onstrations along the upper Chickahominy, offered him great ad- 
vantages without involving any risk. ... If McClellan could 
have foreseen how deceptive were the promises of reenforcement 
made to him at the time, he would undoubtedly have declined the 
uncertain support of McDowell, to carry out the plan of campaign 
which offered the best chances of success with the troops which 
were absolutely at his disposal." * 

Without feeling under any obligations for kind intentions 
on the part of the Government of the North, it was fortunate 
for us that it did, as its friend the Comte de Paris represents, 

* " History of the Civil War in America," Comte de Paris, vol. ii, pp. 32-34. 


deceive General McClellan, and prevent him from moving to 
the south side of James River, so as not only to secure the co- 
operation of his gunboats in an attack upon Richmond, but to 
make his assault on the side least prepared for resistance, and 
where it would have been quite possible to cut our line of com- 
munication with the more Southern States on which we chiefly 
depended for supplies and for reinforcements. 

It is hardly just to treat the failure to fulfill the assurance 
given by President Lincoln about reinforcements as " decep- 
tive promises," for, as will be seen, the operations in the Yalley 
by General Jackson, who there exhibited a rapidity of move- 
ment equal to the unyielding tenacity which had in the first 
great battle won for him the familiar name " Stonewall," had 
created such an alarm in Washington, as, if it had been better 
founded, would have justified the refusal to diminish the force 
held for the protection of their capital. Indeed, our cavalry, in 
observation near Fredericksburg, reported that on the 24th 
McDowell's troops started southward, but General Stuart found 
that night that they were returning. This indicated that the 
anticipated junction was not to be made, and of this the Prince 
de Joinville writes : 

" It needed only an effort of the will : the two armies were 
united, and the possession of Richmond certain ! Alas ! this effort 
was not made. I can not recall those fatal moments without a 
real sinking of the heart." * 

General McClellan, in his testimony December 10, 1862, 
before the court-martial in the case of General McDowell, 
said : 

" I have no doubt, for it has ever been my opinion, that the 
Army of the Potomac would have taken Richmond had not the 
corps of General McDowell been separated from it. It is also my 
opinion that, had the command of General McDowell joined the 
Army of the Potomac in the month of May, by the way of Hano- 
ver Court-House, from Fredericksburg, we would have had Rich- 
mond within a week after the junction." f 

* "Campaign on the Peninsula," Prince de Joinville, 1862. 

f Court-martial of General McDowell, Washington, December 10, 1862. 


Let us first inquire what was the size of this army so crippled 
for want of reenforcement, and then what the strength of that 
to which it was opposed. On the 30th of April, 1862, the 
official report of McClellan's army gives the aggregate present 
for duty as 112,392 ; * that of the 20th of June — omitting the 
army corps of General Dix, then, as previously, stationed at 
Fortress Monroe, and including General McCall's division, 
which had recently joined, the strength of which was reported 
to be 9,514 — gives the aggregate present for duty as 105,825, 
and the total, present and absent, as 156,838.f 

Two statements of the strength of our army under General 
J. E. Johnston during the month of May — in which General 
McClellan testified that he was greatly in need of McDowell's 
corps — give the following results : First, the official return, 21st 
May, 1862, total effective of all arms, 53,688 ; subsequently, 
five brigades were added, and the effective strength of the army 
under General Johnston on May 31, 1862, was 62,696. J 

I now proceed to inquire what caused the panic at Wash- 

On May 23d, General Jackson, with whose force that of 
General Ewell had united, moved with such rapidity as to sur- 
prise the enemy, and Ewell, who was in advance, captured most 
of the troops at Front Royal, and pressed directly on to Win- 
chester, while Jackson, turning across to the road from Stras- 
burg, struck the main column of the enemy in flank and drove 
it routed back to Strasburg. The pursuit was continued to 
Winchester, and the enemy, under their commander-in-chief, 
General Banks, fled across the Potomac into Maryland. Two 
thousand prisoners were taken in the pursuit. General Banks 
in his report says, " There never were more grateful hearts in 
the same number of men, than when, at mid-day on the 26th, 
we stood on the opposite shore." 

When the news of the attack on Front Eoyal, on May 23d, 
reached General Geary, charged with the protection of the 
Manassas Gap Bailroad, he immediately moved to Manassas 
Junction. At the same time, his troops, hearing the most ex- 

* " Report on the Conduct of the War," Part I, p. 322. f Ibid -> P- 33 ^ 

% " Four Years with General Lee," by Walter H. Taylor, p. 50. 




travagant stories, burned their tents and destroyed a quantity of 
arms. General Duryea, at Catlett's Station, becoming alarmed 
on bearing of tbe withdrawal of Geary, took bis three New 
York regiments, leaving a Pennsylvania one behind, hast- 
ened back to Centreville, and telegraphed to Washington for 
aid. He left behind a large quantity of army stores. The 
alarm spread to Washington, and the Secretary of War, Stan- 
ton, issued a call to the Governors of the " loyal " States for 
militia to defend that city. 

The following is the dispatch sent to the Governor of Mas- 
sachusetts : 

" Washington, Sunday, May 25, 1862. 
" To the Governor of Massachusetts. 

" Intelligence from various quarters leaves no doubt that the 
enemy in great force are marching on Washington. You will 
please organize and forward immediately all the militia and vol- 
unteer force in your State. 

" Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War." 

This alarm at Washington, and the call for more troops for 
its defense, produced a most indescribable panic in the cities of 
the Northern States on Sunday the 25th, and two or three days 
afterward. The Governor of New York on Sunday night tele- 
graphed to Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and other cities, as fol- 
lows : 

" Orders from Washington render it necessary to send to that 
city all the available militia force. What can you do ? 

" E. D. Morgan." 

Governor Curtin, of Pennsylvania, issued the following 
order : 

" (General Order, No. 23.) 

"Headquarters of Pennsylvania Militia, 
" Harrisburg, May 26, 1862. 

" On pressing requisition of the President of the United States 
in the present emergency, it is ordered that the several major-gen- 
erals, brigadier-generals, and colonels of regiments throughout the 
Commonwealth muster without delay all military organizations 


within their respective divisions or under their control, together 
with all persons willing to join their commands, and proceed 
forthwith to the city of Washington, or such other points as may- 
be designated by future orders. By order : 

"A. G. Curtin, 
" Governor and Commander-in-Chief" 

The Governor of Massachusetts issued the following proc- 
lamation : 

" Men of Massachusetts I 

" The wily and barbarous horde of traitors to the people, to 
the Government, to our country, and to liberty, menace again the 
national capital. They have attacked and routed Major-General 
Banks, are advancing on Harper's Ferry, and are marching on 
Washington. The President calls on Massachusetts to rise once 
more for its rescue and defense. 

" The whole active militia will be summoned by a general or- 
der, issued from the office of the adjutant-general, to report on 
Boston Common to-morrow. They will march to relieve and 
avenge their brethren and friends, and to oppose, with fierce zeal 
and courageous patriotism, the progress of the foe. May God 
encourage their hearts and strengthen their arms, and may he 
inspire the Government and all the people ! 

" Given at headquarters, Boston, eleven o'clock, this (Sunday) 
evening, May 25, 1862. John A. Andrew." 

The Governor of Ohio issued the following proclamation : 

" Columbus, Ohio, May 26, 1862. 
" To the gallant men of Ohio. 

" I have the astounding intelligence that the seat of our be- 
loved Government is threatened with invasion, and am called upon 
by the Secretary of War for troops to repel and overwhelm the 
ruthless invaders. Rally, then, men of Ohio, and respond to this 
call, as becomes those who appreciate our glorious Government ! 
. . . The number wanted from each county has been indicated by 
special dispatches to the several military committees. 

" David Tod, Governor." 

At the same time the Secretary of War at Washington 
caused the following order to be issued : 


" Washington, Sunday, May 25, 1862. 
" Ordered: By virtue of the authority vested by an act of 
Congress, the President takes military possession of all the rail- 
roads in the United States from and after this date, and directs 
that the respective railroad companies, their officers and servants, 
shall hold themselves in readiness for the transportation of troops 
and munitions of war, as may be ordered by the military authori- 
ties, to the exclusion of all other business. 
" By order of the Secretary of War : 

" M. C. Meigs, 
" Quartermaster- General." 

At the first moment of the alarm, the President of the 
United States issued the following order : 

"Washington, May 24, 1862. 
" Major- General McDowell. 

" General Fremont has been ordered by telegraph to move to 
Franklin and Harrisonburg to relieve General Banks and capture or 
destroy Jackson's and Ewell's forces. You are instructed, laying 
aside for the present the movement on Richmond, to put twenty 
thousand men in motion at once for the Shenandoah, moving on 
the line or in advance of the line of the Manassas Gap Railroad. 
Your object will be to capture the forces of Jackson and Ewell, 
either in cooperation with General Fremont, or, in case want of 
supplies or transportation has interfered with his movement, it is 
believed that the force which you move will be sufficient to ac- 
complish the object alone. The information thus far received 
here makes it probable that, if the enemy operates actively against 
General Banks, you will not be able to count upon much assist- 
ance from him, but may have even to release him. Reports re- 
ceived this morning are that Banks is fighting with Ewell, eight 
miles from Harper's Ferry. 

" Abraham Lincoln." 

When the panic thus indicated in the headquarters of the 
enemy had disseminated itself through the military and social 
ramifications of Northern society, the excitement was tumultu- 
ous. Meanwhile, General Jackson, little conceiving the alarm 
his movements had caused in the departments at Washington 


and in the offices of the Governors of States, in addition to the 
diversion of McDowell from cooperation in the attack upon 
Richmond, after driving the enemy out of "Winchester, pressed 
eagerly on, not pausing to accept the congratulations of the 
overjoyed people at the sight of their own friends again among 
them, for he learned that the enemy had garrisons at Charles- 
town and Harper's Ferry, and he was resolved they should 
not rest on Virginia soil. General Winder's brigade in the 
advance found the enemy drawn up in line of battle at Charles- 
town. Without waiting far reinforcements, he engaged them, 
and after a short conflict drove them in disorder toward the 
Potomac. The main column then moved on near to Harper's 
Ferry, where General Jackson received information that Fre- 
mont was moving from the west, and the whole or a part of 
General McDowell's corps from the east, to make a junction 
in his rear and thus cut off his retreat. At this time General 
Jackson's effective force was about fifteen thousand men, much 
less than either of the two armies which were understood to be 
marching to form a junction against him. We now know that 
General McDowell had been ordered to send to the relief of 
General Banks in the Valley twenty to thirty thousand men. 
The estimated force of General Fremont when at Harrison- 
burg was twenty thousand. General Jackson had captured in 
his campaign down the Valley a very large amount of valu- 
able stores, over nine thousand small-arms, two pieces of ar- 
tillery, many horses, and, besides the wounded and sick, who 
had been released on parole, was said to have twenty-three 
hundred prisoners. To secure these, as well as to save his 
army, it was necessary to retreat beyond the point where his 
enemies could readily unite. The amount of captured stores 
and other property which he was anxious to preserve were 
said to require a wagon-train twelve miles long. This, under 
the care of a regiment, was sent forward in advance of the 
army, which promptly retired up the Valley. 

On his retreat, General Jackson received information con- 
firmatory of the report of the movements of the enemy, and of 
the defeat of a small force he had left at Front Royal in charge 
of some prisoners and captured stores — the latter, however, the 


garrison before retreating had destroyed. Strasburg being 
General Jackson's objective point, he had farther to march to 
reach that position than either of the columns operating against 
him. The rapidity of movement which marked General Jack- 
son's operations had given to his command the appellation of 
" foot cavalry " ; and never had they more need to show them- 
selves entitled to the name of Stonewall. 

On the night of the 31st of May, by a forced march, Gen- 
eral Jackson arrived with the head of his column at Stras- 
burg, and learned that General Fremont's advance was in the 
immediate vicinity. To gain time for the rest of his army to 
arrive, General Jackson decided to check Fremont's march 
by an attack in the morning. This movement was assigned to 
General Ewell, General Jackson personally giving his attention 
to preserving his immense trains filled with captured stores. 
The repulse of Fremont's advance was so easy that General 
Taylor describes it as offering a temptation to go beyond Gen- 
eral Jackson's orders and make a serious attack upon Fremont's 
army, but recognizes the justice of the restraint imposed by the 
order, "as we could not waste time chasing Fremont," for it 
was reported that General Shields was at Front Royal with 
troops of a different character from those of Fremont's army, 
who had been encountered near Strasburg, id est, the corps 
"commanded by General O. O. Howard, and called by both 
sides 'the flying Dutchmen.'" This more formidable com- 
mand of General Shields therefore required immediate atten- 

Leaving Strasburg on the evening of June 1st, always intent 
to prevent a junction of the two armies of the enemy, Jackson 
continued his march up the Yalley. Fremont followed in pur- 
suit, while Shields moved slowly up the Yalley via Luray, for 
the purpose of reaching New Market in advance of Jackson. 
On the morning of the 5th Jackson reached Harrisonburg, and, 
passing beyond that town, turned toward the east in the direc- 
tion of Port Republic. General Ashby had destroyed all the 
bridges between Front Royal and Port Republic, to prevent 
Shields from crossing the Shenandoah to join Fremont. The 
troops were now permitted to make shorter marches, and were 


allowed some halts to refresh them after their forced marches 
and frequent combats. Early on the 6th of June Fremont's re- 
enforced cavalry attacked our cavalry rear-guard under General 
Ashby. A sharp conflict ensued, which resulted in the repulse 
of the enemy and the capture of Colonel Percy Wyndham, com- 
manding the brigade, and sixty-three others. General Ashby 
was in position between Harrisonburg and Port Republic, and, 
after the cavalry combat just described, there were indications of 
a more serious attack. Ashby sent a message to Ewell, inform- 
ing him that cavalry supported by infantry was advancing upon 
his position. The Fifty-eighth Virginia and the First Mary- 
land Regiments were sent to his support. Ashby led the Fifty- 
eighth Virginia to attack the enemy, who were under cover of 
a fence. General Ewell in the mean time had arrived, and, see- 
ing the advantage the enemy had of position, directed Colonel 
Johnson to move with his regiment so as to approach the flank 
instead of the front of the enemy, and he was now driven from 
the field with heavy loss. Our loss was seventeen killed, fifty 
wounded, and three missing. Here fell the stainless, fearless 
cavalier, General Turner Ashby, of whom General Jackson in 
his report thus forcibly speaks : 

"As a partisan officer I never knew his superior. His dar- 
ing was proverbial ; his power of endurance almost incred- 
ible ; his tone of character heroic ; and his sagacity almost 
intuitive in divining the purposes and movements of the en- 

The main body of General Jackson's command had now 
reached Port Republic, a village situated in the angle formed 
by the junction of the North and South Rivers, tributaries of 
the South Fork of the Shenandoah. Over the North River was 
a wooden bridge, connecting the town with Harrisonburg. Over 
the South River there was a ford. Jackson's immediate com- 
mand was encamped on the high ground north of the village and 
about a mile from the river. Ewell was some four miles dis- 
tant, near the road leading from Harrisonburg to Port Republic. 
General Fremont had arrived with his forces in the vicinity 
of Harrisonburg, and General Shields was moving up the east 


side of the Shenandoah, and had reached Conrad's Store. Each 
was about fifteen miles distant from Jackson's position. To 
prevent a junction, the bridge over the river, near Shields's 
position, had been destroyed. 

As the advance of General Shields approached on the 8th, 
the brigades of Taliaferro and "Winder were ordered to occupy 
positions immediately north of the bridge. The enemy's cav- 
alry, accompanied by artillery, then appeared, and, after direct- 
ing a few shots toward the bridge, crossed South River, and, 
dashing into the village, planted one of their pieces at the 
southern entrance of the bridge. Meantime our batteries were 
placed in position, and, Taliaferro's brigade having approached 
the bridge, was ordered to dash across, capture the piece, and 
occupy the town. This was gallantly done, and the enemy's 
cavalry dispersed and driven back, abandoning another gun. 
A considerable body of infantry was now seen advancing, when 
our batteries opened with marked effect, and in a short time the 
infantry followed the cavalry, falling back three miles. They 
were pursued about a mile by our batteries on the opposite 
bank, when they disappeared in a wood. 

This attack of Shields had scarcely been repulsed when 
Ewell became seriously engaged with Fremont, moving on the 
opposite side of the river. The enemy pushed forward, driving 
in the pickets, which, by gallant resistance, checked their ad- 
vance until Ewell had time to select his position on a com- 
manding ridge, with a rivulet and open ground in front, woods 
on both flanks, and the road to Port Republic intersecting his 
line. Trimble's brigade was posted on the right, the batteries 
of Courtney, Lusk, Brockenbrough, and Rains in the center, 
Stuart's brigade on the left, and Elzey's in rear of the center. 
Both wings were in the woods. About ten o'clock the enemy 
posted his artillery opposite our batteries, and a fire was kept 
up for several hours, with great spirit on both sides. Mean- 
time a brigade of the enemy advanced, under cover, upon 
General Trimble, who reserved his fire until they reached 
short range, when he poured forth a deadly volley, under which 
they fell back ; Trimble, supported by two regiments of Elzey's 
reserve, now advanced, with spirited skirmishing, more than a 


mile from his original line, driving the opposing force back to 
its former position. Ewell, finding no attack on his left was 
designed by the enemy, advanced and drove in their skirmish- 
ers, and at night was in position on ground previously occu- 
pied by the foe. This engagement has generally been known 
as the battle of Cross Keys. 

As General Shields made no movement to renew the action 
of the 8th, General Jackson determined to attack him on the 
9th. Accordingly, E well's forces were moved at an early hour 
toward Port Republic, and General Trimble was left to hold 
Fremont in check, or, if hard pressed, to retire across the 
river and burn the bridge, which subsequently was done, under 
orders to concentrate against Shields. 

Meanwhile the enemy had taken position about two miles 
from Port Republic, their right on the river-bank, their left on 
the slope of the mountain which here threw out a spur, between 
which and the river was a smooth plain of about a thousand 
yards wide. On an elevated plateau of the mountain was 
placed a battery of long-range guns to sweep the plain over 
which our forces must pass to attack. In front of that plateau 
was a deep gorge, through which flowed a small stream, trend- 
ing to the southern side of the promontory, so as to leave its 
northern point in advance of the southern. The mountain-side 
was covered with dense wood. 

Such was the position which Jackson must assail, or lose the 
opportunity to fight his foe in detail — the object for which 
his forced marches had been made, and on which his best hopes 

General "Winder's brigade moved down the river to attack, 
when the enemy's battery upon the plateau opened, and it was 
found to rake the plain over which we must approach for a 
considerable distance in front of Shields' s position. Our guns 
were brought forward, and an attempt made to dislodge the 
battery of the enemy, but our fire proved unequal to theirs ; 
whereupon General Winder, having been reenforced, at- 
tempted by a rapid charge to capture it, but encountered such 
a heavy fire of artillery and small-arms as to compel his com- 
mand, composed of his own and another brigade, with a light 


battery, to fall back in disorder. The enemy advanced steadily, 
and in such numbers as to drive back our infantry supports 
and render it necessary to withdraw our guns. Ewell was 
hurrying his men over the bridge, and there was no fear, if 
human effort would avail, that he would come too late. But 
the condition was truly critical. General Taylor describes his 
chief at that moment thus : " Jackson was on the road, a little 
in advance of his line, where the fire was hottest, with reins on 
his horse's neck, seemingly in prayer. Attracted by my ap- 
proach, he said, in his usual voice, ' Delightful excitement.' " 
He then briefly gave Taylor instructions to move against the 
battery on the plateau, and sent a young officer from his staff 
as a guide. The advance of the enemy was checked by an 
attack on his flank by two of our regiments, under Colonel 
Scott ; but this was only a temporary relief, for this small com- 
mand was soon afterward driven back to the woods, with severe 
loss. Our batteries during the check were all safely withdrawn 
except one six-pounder gun. 

In this critical condition of Winder's command, General 
Taylor made a successful attack on the left and rear of the ene- 
my, which diverted attention from the front, and led to a con- 
centration of his force upon him. Moving to the right along 
the mountain acclivity, he was unseen before he emerged from 
the wood, just as the loud cheers of the enemy proclaimed their 
success in front. Although opposed by a superior force in 
front and flank, and with their guns in position, with a rush 
and shout the gorge was passed, impetuously the charge was 
made, and the battery of six guns fell into our hands. Three 
times was this battery lost and won in the desperate and deter- 
mined efforts to capture and recover it, and the enemy finally 
succeeded in carrying off one of the guns, leaving both caisson 
and limber. Thus occupied with Taylor, the enemy halted in 
his advance, and formed a line facing to the mountain. Win- 
der succeeded in rallying- his command, and our batteries were 
replaced in their former positions. At the same time reinforce- 
ments were brought by General Ewell to Taylor, who pushed 
forward with them, assisted by the well-directed fire of our ar- 


Of this period in the battle, than which there has seldom 
been one of greater peril, or where danger was more gallantly 
met, I copy a description from the work of General Taylor : 

"The fighting in and around the battery was hand-to-hand, 
and many fell from bayonet-wounds. Even the artillerymen used 
their rammers in a way not laid down in the manual, and died at 
their guns. I called for Hayes, but he, the promptest of men, and 
his splendid regiment could not be found. Something unexpected 
had occurred, but there was no time for speculation. With a 
desperate rally, in which I believe the drummer-boys shared, we 
carried the battery for the third time, and held it. Infantry and 
riflemen had been driven off, and we began to feel a little com- 
fortable, when the enemy, arrested in his advance by our attack, 
appeared. He had countermarched, and, with left near the river, 
came into full view of our situation. Wheeling to the right, with 
colors advanced, like a solid wall he marched straight upon us. 
There seemed nothing left but to set our back to the mountain 
and die hard. At the instant, crashing through the underwood, 
came Ewell, outriding staff and escort. He produced the effect of 
a reenforcement, and was welcomed with cheers. The line before 
us halted and threw forward skirmishers. A moment later a shell 
came shrieking along it, loud Confederate cheers reached our de- 
lighted ears, and Jackson, freed from his toils, rushed up like a 
whirlwind." * 

The enemy, in his advance, had gone in front of the pla- 
teau where his battery was placed, the elevation being suffi- 
cient to enable the guns without hazard to be fired over the ad- 
vancing line ; so, when he commenced retreating, he had to pass 
by the position of this battery, and the captured guns were 
effectively used against him — that dashing old soldier, " Ewell, 
serving as a gunner." Mention was made of the inability to 
find Hayes when his regiment was wanted. Jt is due to that 
true patriot, who has been gathered to his fathers, to add Tay- 
lor's explanation : " Ere long my lost Seventh Regiment, sadly 
cut up, rejoined. This regiment was in rear of the column 
when we left Jackson to gain the path in the woods, and, before 
it filed out of the road, his thin line was so pressed that Jack- 

* "Destruction and Reconstruction," pp. 75, 76. 


6011 ordered Hayes to stop the enemy's rush. This was done, 
for the Seventh would have stopped a herd of elephants — but at 
a fearful cost." 

The retreat of the enemy, though it was so precipitate as to 
cause him to leave his killed and wounded on the field, was 
never converted into a rout. " Shields's brave ' boys ' preserved 
their organization to the last ; and, had Shields himself, with 
his whole command, been on the field, we should have had 
tough work indeed." 

The pursuit was continued some five miles beyond the bat- 
tle-field, during which we captured four hundred and fifty pris- 
oners, some wagons, one piece of abandoned artillery, and about 
eight hundred muskets. Some two hundred and seventy-five 
wounded were paroled in the hospitals near Port Republic. On 
the next day Fremont withdrew his forces, and retreated down 
the Yalley. The rapid movements of Jackson, the eagle-like 
stoop with which he had descended upon each army of the 
enemy, and the terror which his name had come to inspire, cre- 
ated a great alarm at Washington, where it was believed he must 
have an immense army, and that he was about to come down 
like an avalanche upon the capital. Milroy, Banks, Fremont, 
and Shields were all moved in that direction, and peace again 
reigned in the patriotic and once happy Yalley of the Shenan- 

The material results of this very remarkable campaign are 
thus summarily stated by one who had special means of informa- 
tion : 

"In three months Jackson had marched six hundred miles, 
fought four pitched battles, seven minor engagements, and daily 
skirmishes ; had defeated four armies, captured seven pieces of 
artillery, ten thousand stand of arms, four thousand prisoners, and 
a very great amount of stores, inflicting upon his adversaries a 
known loss of two thousand men, with a loss upon his own part 
comparatively small." * 

The general effect upon the affairs of the Confederacy was 
even more important, and the motives which influenced Jackson 

* " Stonewall Jackson," military biography by John Esten Cooke, p. 194. 


present him in a grander light than any military success could 
have done. Thus, on the 20th of March, 1862, he learned that 
the large force of the enemy before which he had retired was re- 
turning down the Valley, and, divining the object to be to send 
forces to the east side of the mountain to cooperate in the at- 
tack upon Richmond, General Jackson, with his small force of 
about three thousand infantry and two hundred- and ninety cav- 
alry, moved with his usual celerity in pursuit. He overtook 
the rear of the column at Kernstown, attacked a very supe- 
rior force he found there, and fought with such desperation 
as to impress the enemy with the idea that he had a large 
army ; therefore, the detachments, which had already started for 
Manassas, were recalled, and additional forces were also sent into 
the Valley. Nor was this all. McDowell's corps, under orders 
to join McClellan, was detained for the defense of the Federal 

Jackson's bold strategy had effected the object for which his 
movement was designed, and he slowly retreated to the south 
bank of the Shenandoah, where he remained undisturbed by 
the enemy, and had time to recruit his forces, which, by the 
28th of April, amounted to six or seven thousand men. General 
Banks had advanced and occupied Harrisonburg, about fifteen 
miles from Jackson's position. Fremont, with a force estimated 
at fifteen thousand men, was reported to be preparing to join 
Banks's command. 

The alarm at "Washington had caused McDowell's corps to 
be withdrawn from the upper Rappahannock to Fredericksburg. 
Jackson, anxious to take advantage of the then divided condi- 
tion of the enemy, sent to Richmond for reinforcements, but 
our condition there did not enable us to furnish any, except 
the division of Ewell, which had been left near Gordon sville in 
observation of McDowell, now by his withdrawal made dis- 
posable, and the brigade of Edward Johnson, which confronted 
Schenck and Milroy near to Staunton. Jackson, who, when he 
could not get what he wanted, did the best he could with what 
he had, called Ewell to his aid, left him to hold Banks in check, 
and marched to unite with Johnson ; the combined forces at- 
tacked Milroy and Schenck, who, after a severe conflict, retreated 


in the night to join Fremont. Jackson then returned toward 
Harrisonburg, having ordered Ewell to join him for an attack 
on Banks, who in the mean time had retreated toward Winches- 
ter, where Jackson attacked and defeated him, inflicting great 
loss, drove him across the Potomac, and, as has been repre- 
sented, filled the authorities at Washington with such dread of 
its capture as to disturb the previously devised plans against 
Richmond, and led to the operations which have already been 
described, and brought into full play Jackson's military genius. 
In all these operations there conspicuously appears the self- 
abnegation of a devoted patriot. He was not seeking by great 
victories to acquire fame for himself ; but, always alive to the 
necessities and dangers elsewhere, he heroically strove to do 
what was possible for the general benefit of the cause he main- 
tained. His whole heart was his country's, and his whole coun- 
try's heart was his. 


Condition of Affairs. — Plan of General Johnston. — The Field of Battle at Seven 
Pines. — The Battle. — General Johnston wounded. — Advance of General Sum- 
ner. — Conflict on the Right. — Delay of General Huger. — Reports of the Enemy. 
— Losses. — Strength of Forces. — General Lee in Command. 

Our army having retreated from the Peninsula, and with- 
drawn from the north side of the Chickahominy to the imme- 
diate vicinity of Richmond, I rode out occasionally to the lines 
and visited the headquarters of the commanding General. There 
were no visible preparations for defense, and my brief conver- 
sations with the General afforded no satisfactory information as 
to his plans and purposes. We had, under the supervision of 
General Lee, perfected as far as we could the detached works 
before the city, but these' were rather designed to protect it 
against a sudden attack than to resist approaches by a great 
army. They were, also, so near to the city that it might have 
been effectually bombarded by guns exterior to them. Anxious 
for the defense of the ancient capital of Yirginia, now the capi- 


tal of the Confederate States, and remembering a remark of 
General Johnston, that the Spaniards were the only people who 
now undertook to hold fortified towns, I had written to him 
that he knew the defense of Richmond must be made at a dis- 
tance from it. Seeing no preparation to keep the enemy at a 
distance, and kept in ignorance of any plan for such purpose, I 
sent for General R. E. Lee, then at Richmond, in general charge 
of army operations, and told him why and how I was dissatisfied 
with the condition of affairs. 

He asked me what I thought it was proper to do. Recur- 
ring to a conversation held about the time we had together 
visited General Johnston, I answered that McClellan should be 
attacked on the other side of the Chickahominy before he ma- 
tured his preparations for a siege of Richmond. To this he 
promptly assented, as I anticipated he would, for I knew it had 
been his own opinion. He then said : " General Johnston 
should of course advise you of what he expects or proposes to 
do. Let me go and see him, and defer this discussion until I 

It may be proper here to say that I had not doubted that 
General Johnston was fully in accord with me as to the purpose 
of defending Richmond, but I was not content with his course 
for that end. It had not occurred to me that he meditated a 
retreat which would uncover the capital, nor was it ever sus- 
pected until, in reading General Hood's book, published in 
1880, the evidence was found that General Johnston, when 
retreating from Yorktown, told his volunteer aide, Mr. McFar- 
land, that " he [Johnston] expected or intended to give up Rich- 
mond." * 

"When General Lee came back, he told me that General 
Johnston proposed, on the next Thursday, to move against the 
enemy as follows : General A. P. Hill was to- move down on 
the right flank and rear of the enemy. General G. "W. Smith, 
as soon as Hill's guns opened, was to cross the Chickahominy at 
the Meadow Bridge, attack the enemy in flank, and by the con- 
junction of the two it was expected to double him up. Then 

* For recital and correspondence of 1874, see "Advance and Retreat," by J. B. 
Hood, Lieutenant-General in the Confederate Army, pp. 153-155. 


Longstreet was to cross on the Mechanicsville Bridge and attack 
him in front. From this plan the best results were hoped by 
both of us. 

On the morning of the day proposed, I hastily dispatched 
my office business, and rode out toward the Meadow Bridge to 
see the action commence. On the road I found Smith's division 
halted, and the men dispersed in the woods. Looking for some 
one from whom I could get information, I finally saw General 
Hood, and asked him the meaning of what I saw. He told me 
he did not know anything more than that they had been halted. 
I asked him where General Smith was ; he said he believed he 
had gone to a farmhouse in the rear, adding that he thought he 
was ill. Riding on to the bluff which overlooks the Meadow 
Bridge, I asked Colonel Anderson, posted there in observation, 
whether he had seen anything of the enemy in his front. He 
said that he had seen only two mounted men across the bridge, 
and a small party of infantry on the other side of the river, some 
distance below, both of whom, he said, he could show me if I 
would go with him into the garden back of the house. There, by 
the use of a powerful glass, were distinctly visible two cavalry 
vicfettes at the further end of the bridge, and a squad of infantry 
lower down the river, who had covered themselves with a screen 
of green boughs. The Colonel informed me that he had not 
heard Hill's guns ; it was, therefore, supposed he had not ad- 
vanced. I then rode down the bank of the river, followed by a 
cavalcade of sight-seers, who, I supposed, had been attracted by 
the expectation of a battle. The little squad of infantry, about 
fifteen in number, as we approached, fled over the ridge, and were 
lost to sight. Near to the Mechanicsville Bridge I found General 
Howell Cobb, commanding the support of a battery of artillery. 
He pointed out to me on the opposite side of the river the only 
enemy he had seen, and which was evidently a light battery. 
Riding on to the main road which led to the Mechanicsville 
Bridge, I found General Longstreet, walking to and fro in an 
impatient, it might be said fretful, manner. Before speaking to 
him, he said his division had been under arms all day waiting for 
orders to advance, and that the day was now so far spent that he 
did not know what was the matter. I afterward learned from 


General Smith that he had received information from a citizen 
that the Beaver-dam Creek presented an impassable barrier, 
and that he had thus fortunately been saved from a disaster. 
Thus ended the offensive-defensive programme from which Lee 
expected much, and of which I was hopeful. 

In the mean while the enemy moved up, and, finding the 
crossing at Bottom's Bridge unobstructed, threw a brigade of the 
Fourth Corps across the Chickahominy as early as the 20th of 
May, and on the 23d sent over the rest of the Fourth Corps ; on 
the 25th he sent over another corps, and commenced fortifying 
a line near to Seven Pines. In the forenoon of the 31st of May, 
riding out on the New Bridge road, I heard firing in the direc- 
tion of Seven Pines. As I drew nearer, I saw General Whiting, 
with part of General Smith's division, file into the road in front 
of me ; at the same time I saw General Johnston ride across the 
field from a house before which General Lee's horse was stand- 
ing. I turned down to the house, and asked General Lee what 
the musketry-firing meant. He replied by asking whether I had 
heard it, and was answered in the affirmative ; he said he had 
been under that impression himself, but General Johnston had 
assured him that it could be nothing more than an artillery 
duel. It is scarcely necessary to add that neither of us had been 
advised of a design to attack the enemy that day. 

We then walked out to the rear of the house to listen, and 
were satisfied that an action, or at least a severe skirmish, must 
be going on. General Johnston states in his report that the 
condition of the air was peculiarly unfavorable to the transmis- 
sion of sound. 

General Lee and myself then rode to the field of battle, 
which may be briefly described as follows : 

The Chickahominy flowing in front is a deep, sluggish, and 
narrow river, bordered by marshes, and covered with tangled 
wood. The line of battle extended along the JSTine-mile road, 
across the York Kiver Kailroad and Williamsburg stage-road. 
The enemy had constructed redoubts, with long lines of rifle-pits 
covered by abatis, from below Bottom's Bridge to within less 
than two miles of New Bridge, and had constructed bridges to 
connect his forces on the north and south sides of the Chicka- 


hominy. The left of his forces, on the south side, was thrown 
forward from the river ; the right was on its bank, and covered 
by its slope. Our main force was on the right flank of our posi- 
tion, extending on both sides of the Williamsburg road, near to 
its intersection with the Nine-mile road. This wing consisted of 
Hill's, Huger's, and Longstreet's divisions, with light batteries, 
and a small force of cavalry; the division of General G. W. 
Smith, less Hood's brigade ordered to the right, formed the left 
wing, and its position was on the Nine-mile road. There were 
small tracts of cleared land, but most of the ground was wooded, 
and much of it so covered with water as to seriously embarrass 
the movements of troops. 

When General Lee and I riding down the Nine-mile road 
reached the left of our line, we found the troops hotly engaged. 
Our men had driven the enemy from his advanced encampment, 
and he had fallen back behind an open field to the bank of the 
river, where, in a dense wood, was concealed an infantry line, 
with artillery in position. Soon after our arrival, General 
Johnston, who had gone farther to the right, where the conflict 
was expected, and whither reenforcement from the left was 
marching, was brought back severely wounded, and, as soon as 
an ambulance could be obtained, was removed from the field. 

Our troops on the left made vigorous assaults under most 
disadvantageous circumstances. They made several gallant 
attempts to carry the enemy's position, but were each time 
repulsed with heavy loss. 

After a personal reconnaissance on the left of the open in 
our front, I sent one, then another, and another courier to Gen- 
eral Magruder, directing him to send a force down by the 
wooded path, just under the bluff, to attack the enemy in flank 
and reverse. Impatient of delay, I had started to see General 
Magruder, when I met the third courier, who said he had not 
found General Magruder, but had delivered the message to 
Brigadier-General Griffith, who was moving by the path desig- 
nated to make the attack. 

On returning to the field, I found that the attack in front 
had ceased ; it was, therefore, too late for a single brigade to 
effect anything against the large force of the enemy, and mes- 


sengers were sent through the woods to direct General Griffith 
to go back. 

The heavy rain during the night of the 30th had swollen 
the Chickahominy ; it was rising when the battle of Seven Pines 
was fought, but had not reached such height as to prevent the 
enemy from using his bridges ; consequently, General Sumner, 
during the engagement, brought over his corps as a reenforce- 
ment. He was on the north side of the river, had built two 
bridges to connect with the south side, and, though their cov- 
erings were loosened by the upward pressure of the rising water, 
they were not yet quite impassable. With the true instinct of 
the soldier to march upon fire, when the sound of the battle 
reached him, he formed his corps and stood under arms waiting 
for an order to advance. He came too soon for us, and, but for 
his forethought and promptitude, he would have arrived too 
late for his friends. It may be granted that his presence saved 
the left wing of the Federal army from defeat. 

As we had permitted the enemy to fortify before our attack, 
it would have been better to have waited another day, until the 
bridges should have been rendered impassable by the rise of the 

General Lee, at nightfall, gave instructions to General Smith, 
the senior officer on that part of the battle-field, and left with 
me to return to Richmond. 

Thus far I have only attempted to describe events on the 
extreme left of the battle-field, being that part of which I had 
personal observation ; but the larger force and, consequently, the 
more serious conflict were upon the right of the line. To these 
I will now refer. Our force there consisted of the divisions of 
Major-Generals D. H. Hill, Huger, and Longstreet, the latter in 
chief command. In his report, first published in the " Southern 
Historical Society Papers," vol. iii, pp. 277, 278, he writes: 

"Agreeably to verbal instructions from the commanding Gen- 
eral, the division of Major-General D. H. Hill was, on the morning 
of the 31st ultimo, formed at an early hour on the Williamsburg 
road, as the column of attack upon the enemy's front on that 
road. . . . The division of Major-General Huger was intended to 
make a strong flank movement around the left of the enemy's 


position, and attack him in rear of that flank. . . . After waiting 
some six hours for these troops to get into position, I determined 
to move forward without regard to them, and gave orders to that 
effect to Major-General D. H. Hill. The forward movement began 
about two o'clock, and our skirmishers soon became engaged with 
those of the enemy. The entire division of General Hill became 
engaged about three o'clock, and drove the enemy steadily back, 
gaining possession of his abatis and part of his intrenched camp, 
General Rodes, by a movement to the right, driving in the ene- 
my's left. The only reinforcements on the field in hand were my 
own brigades, of which Anderson's, Wilcox's, and Kemper's were 
put in by the front on the Williamsburg road, and Colston's and 
Pryor's by my right flank. At the same time the decided and 
gallant attack made by the other brigades gained entire posses- 
sion of the enemy's position, with his artillery, camp-equipage, etc. 
Anderson's brigade, under Colonel Jenkins, pressing forward rap- 
idly, continued to drive the enemy till nightfall. . . . The conduct 
of the attack was left entirely to Major-General Hill. The entire 
success of the affair is sufficient evidence of his ability, courage, 
and skill." 

This tribute to General Hill was no more than has been ac- 
corded to him by others who knew of his services on that day, 
and was in keeping with the determined courage, vigilance, and 
daring exhibited by him on other fields. 

The reference, made, without qualification, in General Long- 
street's report, to the failure of General Huger to make the 
attack expected of him, and the freedom with which others 
have criticised him, renders it proper that some explanation 
should be given of an apparent dilatoriness on the part of that 
veteran soldier, who, after long and faithful service, now fills 
an honored grave. 

It will be remembered tkat General Huger was to move by 
the Charles City road, so as to turn the left* of the enemy and 
attack him in flank. The extraordinary rain of the previous 
night had swollen every rivulet to the dimensions of a stream, 
and the route prescribed to General Huger was one especially 
affected by that heavy rain, as it led to the head of the White- 
Oak Swamp. The bridge over the stream flowing into that 


swamp had been carried away, and the alternatives presented to 
him was to rebuild the bridge or leave his artillery. He chose 
the former, which involved the delay that has subjected him to 
criticism. If any should think an excuse necessary to justify 
this decision, they are remanded to the accepted military maxim, 
that the march must never be so hurried as to arrive unfit for 
service ; and, also, they may be reminded that Huger's specialty 
was artillery, he being the officer who commanded the siege- 
guns with which General Scott marched from Yera Cruz to the 
city of Mexico. To show that the obstacles encountered were 
not of such slight character as energy would readily overcome, 
I refer to the report of an officer commanding a brigade on that 
occasion, Brigadier-General R. E. Rodes, whose great merit 
and dashing gallantry caused him to be admired throughout the 
army of the Confederacy. He said : 

" On the morning of the 31st the brigade was stationed on the 
Charles City road, three and a half miles from the point on the 
Williamsburg road from which it had been determined to start 
the columns of attack. ... I received a verbal order from Gen- 
eral Hill to conduct my command at once to the point at which 
the attack was to be made. . . . The progress of the brigade was 
considerably delayed by the washing away of a bridge near the 
head of White-Oak Swamp, by reason of which the men had to 
wade in water waist-deep, and a large number were entirely sub- 
merged. At this point the character of the crossing was such 
that it was absolutely necessary to proceed with great caution to 
prevent the loss of both ammunition and life. In consequence of 
this delay, and notwithstanding that the men were carried at dou- 
ble-quick time over very heavy ground for a considerable dis- 
tance to make up for it, when the signal for attack was given, 
only my line of skirmishers, the Sixth Alabama and the Twelfth 
Mississippi Regiments, was in position. . . . The ground over 
which we were to move being covered with thick undergrowth, 
and the soil being marshy — so marshy that it was with great 
difficulty that either horses or men could get over it — and being 
guided only by the fire in front, I emerged from the woods 
from the Williamsburg road under a heavy fire of both artil- 
lery and musketry, with only five companies of the Fifth Ala- 


General Huger's line of march was farther to the right, 
therefore nearer to White-Oak Swamp, and the impediments 
consequently greater than where General Rodes found the 
route so difficult as to be dangerous even to infantry. 

On the next day, the 1st of June, General Longstreet states 
that a serious attack was made on our position, and that it was 
repulsed. This refers to the works which Hill's division had 
captured the day before, and which the enemy endeavored to 

From the final report of General Longstreet, already cited, 
it appears that he was ordered to attack on the morning of the 
31st, and he explains why it was postponed for six hours ; 
then he states that it was commenced by the division of Gen- 
eral D. H. Hill, which drove the enemy steadily back, press- 
ing forward until nightfall. The movement of Rodes's bri- 
gade on the right flank is credited with having contributed 
much to the dislodgment of the enemy from their abatis 
and first intrenchments. As just stated, General Longstreet 
reports a delay of some six hours in making this attack, be- 
cause he was waiting for General Huger, and then made it 
successfully with Hill's division and some brigades from his 
own. These questions must naturally arise in the mind of the 
reader : Why did not our troops on the left, during this long 
delay, as well as during the period occupied by Hill's assault, 
cooperate in the attack ? and Why, the battle having been pre- 
conceived, were they so far removed as not to hear the first 
guns ? The officers of the Federal army, when called before a 
committee appointed by their Congress to inquire into the 
conduct of the war, have by their testimony made it quite plain 
that the divided condition of their troops and the length of 
time required for their concentration after the battle com- 
menced, rendered it practicable for our forces, if united — as, 
taking the initiative, they well might have been — to have 
crushed or put to flight first Keyes's and then Heintzelman's 
corps before Sumner crossed the Chickahominy, between Hve 
and six o'clock in the evening. 

By the official reports our aggregate loss was, "killed, 
wounded, and missing," 6,084, of which 4,851 were in Long- 


street's command on the right, and 1,233 in Smith's command 
on the left. 

The enemy reported his aggregate loss at 5,739. It may 
have been less than ours, for we stormed his successive defenses. 

Our success upon the right was proved by our possession of 
the enemy's works, as well as by the capture of ten pieces of 
artillery, four flags, a large amount of camp- equipage, and more 
than one thousand prisoners. 

Our aggregate of both wings was about 40,500. The force 
of the enemy confronting us may be approximated by taking 
his returns for the 20th of June and adding thereto his casual- 
ties on the 31st of May and 1st of June, because between the 
last-named date and the 20th of June no action had occurred 
to create any material change in the number present. From 
these data, viz., the strength of Heintzelman's corps, 18,810, 
and of Keyes's corps, 14,610, on June 20th, by adding their 
casualties of the 31st of May and 1st of June— 4,516 — we de- 
duce the strength of these two corps on the 31st of May to 
have been 37,936 as the aggregate present for duty. 

It thus appears that, at the commencement of the action on 
the 31st of May, we had a numerical superiority of about 2,500. 
Adopting the same method to calculate the strength of Sum- 
ner's corps, we find it to have been 18,724, which would give 
the enemy in round numbers a force of 16,000 in excess of 
ours after General Sumner crossed the Chickahominy. 

Both combatants claimed the victory. I have presented the 
evidence in support of our claim. The withdrawal of the Con- 
federate forces on the day after the battle from the ground on 
which it was fought certainly gives color to the claim of the 
enemy, though that was really the result of a policy much 
broader than the occupation of the field of Seven Pines. 

On the morning of June 1st I rode out toward the position 
where General Smith had been left on the previous night, and 
where I learned from General Lee that he would remain. Af- 
ter turning into the Nine-mile road, and before reaching that 
position, I was hailed by General Whiting, who saw me at a dis- 
tance, and ran toward the road to stop me. He told me I was 
riding into the position of the enemy, who had advanced on the 


withdrawal of our troops, and there, pointing, he said, "is a 
battery which I am surprised has not fired on you." I asked 
where our troops were. He said his was the advance, and the 
others behind him. He also told me that General Smith was 
at the house which had been his (Whiting's) headquarters, and 
I rode there to see him. To relieve both him and General Lee 
from any embarrassment, I preferred to make the announce- 
ment of General Lee's assignment to command previous to his 

After General Lee arrived, I took leave, and, being subse- 
quently joined by him, we rode together to the Williamsburg 
road, where we found General Longstreet, his command being 
in front, and then engaged with the enemy on the field of the 
previous day's combat. The operations of that day were nei- 
ther extensive nor important, save in the collection of the arms 
acquired in the previous day's battle. 

General R. E. Lee was now in immediate command, and 
thenceforward directed the movements of the army in front of 
Richmond. Laborious and exact in details, as he was vigilant 
and comprehensive in grand strategy, a power, with which the 
public had not credited him, soon became manifest in all that 
makes an army a rapid, accurate, compact machine, with respon- 
sive motion in all its parts. I extract the following sentence 
from a letter from the late Colonel R. H. Chilton, adjutant 
and inspector-general of the army of the Confederacy, because 
of his special knowledge of the subject : 

"I consider General Lee's exhibition of grand administrative 
talents and indomitable energy, in bringing up that army in so 
short a time to that state of discipline which maintained aggre- 
gation through those terrible seven days' fights around Richmond, 
as probably his grandest achievement." 




The Enemy's Fosition. — His Intention. — The Plan of Operations. — Movements of 
General Jackson. — Daring and Fortitude of Lee. — Offensive-Defensive Policy. — 
General Stuart's Movement. — Order of Attack. — Critical Position of McClellan. — 
Order of Mr. Lincoln creating the Army of Virginia. — Arrival of Jackson. — Po- 
sition of the Enemy. — Diversion of General Longstreet. — The Enemy forced 
back south of the Chickahominy. — Abandonment of the Railroad. 

When riding from the field of battle with General Robert 
E. Lee on the previous day, I informed him that he would be 
assigned to the command of the army, vice General Johnston, 
wounded, and that he could make his preparations as soon as he 
reached his quarters, as I should send the order to him as soon 
as I arrived at mine. On the next morning, as above stated, 
he proceeded to the field and took command of the troops. 
During the night our forces on the left had fallen back from 
their position at the close of the previous day's battle, but those 
on the right remained in the one they had gained, and some 
combats occurred there between the opposing forces. The 
enemy proceeded further to fortify his position on the Chicka- 
hominy, covering his communication with his base of supplies 
on York River. His left was on the south side of the Chicka- 
hominy, between White-Oak Swamp and New Bridge, and was 
covered by a strong intrenchment, with heavy guns, and with 
abatis in front. His right wing was north of the Chicka- 
hominy, extending to Mechanicsville, and the approaches de- 
fended by strong works. 

Our army was in line in front of Richmond, but without 
intrenchments. General Lee immediately commenced the con- 
struction of an earthwork for a battery on our left flank, and a 
line of intrenchment to the right, necessarily feeble because of 
our deficiency in tools. It seemed to be the intention of the 
enemy to assail Richmond by regular approaches, which our 
numerical inferiority and want of engineer troops, as well as the 
deficiency of proper utensils, made it improbable that we should 
be able to resist. The day after General Lee assumed com- 
mand, I was riding out to the army, when I saw at a house on 


my left a number of horses, and among them one I recognized 
as belonging to him. I dismounted and entered the house, where 
I found him in consultation with a number of his general offi- 
cers. The tone of the conversation was quite despondent, and 
one, especially, pointed out the inevitable consequence of the 
enemy's advance by throwing out boyaux, and constructing suc- 
cessive parallels. I expressed, in marked terms, my disappoint- 
ment at hearing such views, and General Lee remarked that he 
had, before I came in, said very much the same thing. I then 
withdrew and rode to the front, where, after a short time, Gen- 
eral Lee joined me, and entered into conversation as to what, 
under the circumstances, I thought it most advisable to do. I 
then said to him, substantially, that I knew of nothing better 
than the plan he had previously explained to me, which was to 
have been executed by General Johnston, but which was not 
carried out ; that the change of circumstances would make one 
modification necessary — that, instead, as then proposed, of bring- 
ing General A. P. Hill, with his division, on the rear flank of the 
enemy, it would, because of the preparation for defense made in 
the mean time, now be necessary to bring the stronger force of 
General T. J. Jackson from the Yalley of the Shenandoah. So 
far as we were then informed, General Jackson was hotly en- 
gaged with a force superior to his own, and, before he could be 
withdrawn, it was necessary that the enemy should be driven 
out of the Yalley. For this purpose, as well as to mask the de- 
sign of bringing Jackson's forces to make a junction with those 
of Lee, a strong division under General Whiting was detached 
to go by rail to the Yalley to join General Jackson, and, by a 
vigorous assault, to drive the enemy across the Potomac. As 
soon as he commenced a retreat which unmistakably showed 
that his flight would not stop within the limits of Yirginia, 
General Jackson was instructed, with his whole force, to move 
rapidly on the right flank of the enemy north of the Chicka- 
hominy. The manner in which the division was detached to 
reenforce General Jackson was so open that it was not doubted 
General McClellan would soon be apprised of it, and would 
probably attribute it to any other than the real motive, and 
would confirm him in his exaggerated estimate of our strength. 


By tlie rapidity of movement and skill with which General 
Jackson handled his troops, he, after several severe engage- 
ments, finally routed the enemy before the reenforcement of 
Whiting arrived ; and he then, on the 17th of June, proceeded, 
with that celerity which gave to his infantry its wonderful 
fame and efficiency, to execute the orders which General Lee 
had sent to him. 

As evidence of the daring and unfaltering fortitude of 
General Lee, I will here recite an impressive conversation which 
occurred between us in regard to this movement. His plan 
was to throw forward his left across the Meadow Bridge, drive 
back the enemy's right flank, and then, crossing by the Mechan- 
icsville Bridge with another column, to attack in front, hoping 
by his combined forces to be victorious on the north side of 
the Chickahominy ; while the small force on the intrenched 
line south of the Chickahominy should hold the left of the 
enemy in check. I pointed out to him that our force and in- 
trenched line between that left flank and Richmond was too 
weak for a protracted resistance, and, if McClellan was the man 
I took him for when I nominated him for promotion in a new 
regiment of cavalry, and subsequently selected him for one of 
the military commission sent to Europe during the War of the 
Crimea, as soon as he found that the bulk of our armv was on 
the north side of the Chickahominy, he would not stop to try 
conclusions with it there, but would immediately move upon 
his objective point, the city of Richmond. If, on the other 
hand, he should behave like an engineer officer, and deem it 
his first duty to protect his line of communication, I thought 
the plan proposed was not only the best, but would be a suc- 
cess. Something of his old esprit de corps manifested itself 
in General Lee's first response, that he did not know engineer 
officers were more likely than others to make such mistakes, 
but, immediately passing to the main subject, he added, " If 
you will hold him as long as you can at the intrenchment, and 
then fall back on the detached works around the city, I will 
be upon the enemy's heels before he gets there." 

Thus was inaugurated the offensive-defensive campaign 
which resulted so gloriously to our arms, and turned from the 


capital of the Confederacy a danger so momentous that, looking 
at it retrospectively, it is not seen how a policy less daring or 
less firmly pursued could have saved the capital from capture. 

To resume the connected thread of our narrative. Prepara- 
tory to this campaign, a light intrenchment for infantry cover, 
with some works for field-guns, was constructed on the south 
side of the Chickahominy, and General "Whiting, with two bri- 
gades, as before stated, was sent to reenforce General Jackson 
in the Valley, so as to hasten the expulsion of the enemy, after 
which Jackson was to move rapidly from the Valley so as to 
arrive in the vicinity of Ashland by the 24th of June, and, by 
striking the enemy on his right flank, to aid in the proposed 
attack. The better to insure the success of this movement, 
General Lawton, who was coming with a brigade from Georgia 
to join General Lee, was directed to change his line of march 
and unite with General Jackson in the Valley. 

As General Whiting went by railroad, it was expected that 
the enemy would be cognizant of the fact, but not, probably, 
assign to it the real motive; and that such was the case is 
shown by an unsuccessful attack of the 26th, made on the 
Williamsburg road, with the apparent intention of advancing 
by that route to Richmond. 

To observe the enemy, as well as to prevent him from learn- 
ing of the approach of General Jackson, General J. E. B. Stu- 
art was sent with a cavalry force on June 8th to cover the 
route by which the former was to march, and to ascertain 
whether the enemy had any defensive works or troops in posi- 
tion to interfere with the advance of those forces. He re- 
ported favorably on both these points, as well as to the natural 
features of the country. On the 26th of June General Stuart 
received confidential instructions from General Lee, the execu- 
tion of which is so interwoven with the seven days' battles as 
to be more appropriately noticed in connection with them, of 
which it is proposed now to give a brief account. 

Our order of battle directed General Jackson to march from 
Ashland on the 25th toward Slash Church, encamping for the 
night west of the Central Railroad ; to advance at 3 a. m. on 
the 26th, and to turn Beaver-Dam Creek. General A. P. Hill 


was to cross the Chickahominy at Meadow Bridge when Jack- 
son advanced beyond that point, and to move directly upon 
Mechanicsville. As soon as the bridge there should be uncov- 
ered, Longstreet and D. H. Hill were to cross, the former to 
proceed to the support of A. P. Hill and the latter to that of 

The four commands were directed to sweep down the north 
side of the Chickahominy toward the York River Railroad — 
Jackson on the left and in advance ; Longstreet nearest the 
river and in the rear. Huger, McLaws, and Magruder, remain- 
ing on the south side of the Chickahominy, were ordered to 
hold their positions as long as possible against any assault of the 
enemy ; to observe his movements, and to follow him closely if 
he should retreat. General Stuart, with the cavalry, was thrown 
out on Jackson's left to guard his flank and give notice of the 
enemy's movements. Brigadier-General Pendleton was directed 
to employ the reserve artillery so as to resist any advance to- 
ward Richmond, to superintend that portion of it posted to aid 
in the operations on the north bank, and hold the remainder 
for use where needed. The whole of Jackson's command did 
not arrive in time to reach the point designated on the 25th. 
He had, therefore, more distance to move on the 26th, and he 
was retarded by the enemy. 

Not until 3 p. m. did A. P. Hill begin to move. Then 
he crossed the river and advanced upon Mechanicsville. After 
a sharp conflict he drove the enemy from his intrenchments, 
and forced him to take refuge in his works, on the left bank of 
Beaver Dam, about a mile distant. This position was naturally 
strong, the banks of the creek in front being high and almost 
perpendicular, and the approach to it was over open fields com- 
manded by the fire of artillery and infantry under cover on the 
opposite side. The difficulty of crossing the stream had been 
increased by felling the fringe of woods on its banks and de- 
stroying the bridges. Jackson was expected to pass Beaver 
Dam above, and turn the enemy's right, so General Hill made 
no direct attack. Longstreet and D. H. Hill crossed the Me- 
chanicsville Bridge as soon as it was uncovered and could be 
repaired, but it was late before they reached the north bank of 


the Chickahominy. An effort was made by two brigades, one 
of A. P. Hill and the other Ripley's of D. H. Hill, to turn the 
enemy's left, but the troops were unable in the growing dark- 
ness to overcome the obstructions, and were withdrawn. The 
engagement ceased about 9 p. m. Our troops retained the 
ground from which the foe had been driven. 

According to the published reports, General McClellan's po- 
sition was regarded at this time as extremely critical. If he 
concentrated on the left bank of the Chickahominy, he aban- 
doned the attempt to capture Richmond, and risked a retreat 
upon the White House and Yorktown, where he had no re- 
serves, or reason to expect further support. If he moved to 
the right bank of the river, he risked the loss of his communi- 
cations with the White House, whence his supplies were drawn 
by railroad. He would then have to attempt the capture of 
Richmond by assault, or be forced to open new communications 
by the James River, and move at once in that direction. There 
he would receive the support of the enemy's navy. This latter 
movement had, it appears, been thought of previously, and 
transports had been sent to the James River. During the 
night, after the close of the contest last mentioned, the whole 
of Porter's baggage was sent over to the right bank of the 
river, and united with the train that set out on the evening of 
the 27th for the James River. 

It would almost seem as if the Government of the United 
States anticipated, at this period, the failure of McClellan's 
expedition. On June 27th President Lincoln issued an order 
creating the " Army of Virginia," to consist of the forces of 
Fremont, in their Mountain Department; of Banks, in their 
Shenandoah Department ; and of McDowell, at Fredericksburg. 
The command of this army was assigned to Major-General 
John Pope. This cut off all reinforcements from McDowell to 

In expectation of Jackson's arrival on the enemy's right, 
the battle was renewed at dawn, and continued with animation 
about two hours, during which the passage of the creek was 
attempted, and our troops forced their way to its banks, where 
their progress was arrested by the nature of the stream and the 


resistance encountered. They maintained their position while 
preparations were being made to cross at another point nearer 
the Chickahominy. Before these were completed, Jackson 
crossed Beaver Dam above, and the enemy abandoned his in- 
trenchments, and retired rapidly down the river, destroying a 
great deal of property, but leaving much in his deserted camps. 

After repairing the bridges over Beaver Dam, the several 
columns resumed their advance, as nearly as possible, as pre- 
scribed in the order. Jackson, with whom D. H. Hill had 
united, bore to the left, in order to cut off reinforcements to 
the enemy or intercept his retreat in that direction. Long- 
street and A. P. Hill moved nearer the Chickahominy. Many 
prisoners were taken in their progress ; and the conflagration of 
wagons and stores marked the course of the retreating army. 
Longstreet and Hill reached the vicinity of New Bridge about 
noon. It was ascertained that the enemy had taken a position 
behind Powhite Creek, prepared to dispute our progress. He 
occupied a range of hills, with his right resting in the vicinity 
of McGhee's house, and his left near that of Dr. Gaines, on a 
wooded bluff, which rose abruptly from a deep ravine. The 
ravine was filled with sharpshooters, to whom its banks gave 
protection. A second line of infantry was stationed on the side 
of the hill, overlooking the first, and protected by a breastwork 
of logs. A third occupied the crest, strengthened with rifle- 
trenches, and crowned with artillery. The approach to this 
position was over an open plain, about a quarter of a mile wide, 
commanded by a triple line of fire, and swept by the heavy bat- 
teries south of the Chickahominy. In front of his center and 
right the ground was generally open, bounded on the side of 
our approach by a wood, with dense and tangled undergrowth, 
and traversed by a sluggish stream, which converted the soil 
into a deep morass. The woods on the further side of the 
swamp were occupied by sharpshooters, and trees had been 
felled to increase the difficulty of its passage, and detain our 
advancing columns under the fire of infantry massed on the 
slopes of the opposite hills, and of the batteries on their crests. 

Pressing on toward the York River Railroad, A. P. Hill, 
who was in advance, reached the vicinity of New Cold Har- 


bor about 2 p. m., where he encountered the foe. He immedi- 
ately formed his line nearly parallel to the road leading from 
that place toward McG-hee's house, and soon became hotly en- 
gaged. The arrival of Jackson on our left was momentarily 
expected, and it was supposed that his approach would cause 
the extension of the opposing line in that direction. Under 
this impression, Longstreet was held back until this movement 
should commence. The principal part of the enemy's army was 
now on the north side of the Chickahominy. Hill's single 
division met this large force with the impetuous courage for 
which that officer and his troops were distinguished. They 
drove it back, and assailed it in its strong position on the ridge. 
The battle raged fiercely, and with varying fortune, more than 
two hours. Three regiments pierced the enemy's line, and 
forced their way to the crest of the hill on his left, but were 
compelled to fall back before overwhelming numbers. This 
superior force, assisted by the fire of the batteries south of 
the Chickahominy, which played incessantly on our columns 
as they pressed through the difficulties that obstructed their 
way, caused them to recoil. Though most of the men had never 
been under fire until the day before, they were rallied, and 
in turn repelled the advance of our assailant. Some brigades 
were broken, others stubbornly maintained their positions, but 
it became apparent that the enemy was gradually gaining ground. 
The attack on our left being delayed by the length of Jackson's 
march and the obstacles he encountered, Longstreet was ordered 
to make a diversion in Hill's favor by a feint on the enemy's 
left. In making this demonstration, the great strength of the 
position already described was discovered, and General Long- 
street perceived that, to render the diversion effectual, the feint 
must be converted into an attack. . He resolved, with his char- 
acteristic determination, to carry the heights by assault. His 
column was quickly formed near the open ground, and, as his 
preparations were completed, Jackson arrived, and his right 
division — that of "Whiting — took position on the left of Long- 
street. At the same time, D. H. Hill formed on our extreme 
left, and, after a short but bloody conflict, forced 'his way 
through the morass and obstructions, and drove the foe from 


the woods on the opposite side. Ewell advanced on Hill's right, 
and became hotly engaged. The first and fourth brigades of 
Jackson's own division filled the interval between Ewell and 
A. P. Hill. The second and third were sent to the right. The 
arrival of these fresh troops enabled A. P. Hill to withdraw 
some of his brigades, wearied and reduced by their long and 
arduous conflict. The lines being now complete, a general ad- 
vance from right to left was ordered. On the right, the troops 
moved forward with steadiness, unchecked by the terrible fire 
from the triple lines of infantry on the hill, and the cannon on 
both sides of the river, which burst upon them as they emerged 
upon the plain. The dead and wounded marked the line of 
their intrepid advance, the brave Texans leading, closely fol- 
lowed by their no less daring comrades. The enemy were 
driven from the ravine to the first line of breastworks, over 
which our impetuous column dashed up to the intrenchments 
on the crest. These were quickly stormed, fourteen pieces of 
artillery captured, and the foe driven into the field beyond. 
Fresh troops came to his support, and he endeavored repeatedly 
to rally, but in vain. He was forced back with great slaughter 
until he reached the woods on the banks of the Chickahominy, 
and night put an end to the pursuit. Long lines of dead and 
wounded marked each stand made by the enemy in his stubborn 
resistance, and the field over which he retreated was strewed 
with the slain. On the left, the attack was no less vigorous and 
successful. D. H. Hill charged across the open ground in front, 
one of his regiments having first bravely carried a battery whose 
fire enfiladed his advance. Gallantly supported by the troops 
on his right, who pressed forward with unfaltering resolution, 
he reached the crest of the ridge, and, after a sanguinary strug- 
gle, broke the enemy's line, captured several of his batteries, 
and drove him in confusion toward the Chickahominy, until 
darkness rendered further pursuit impossible. Our troops re- 
mained in undisturbed possession of the field, covered with the 
dead and wounded of our opponent ; and his broken forces fled 
to the river or wandered through the woods. Owing to the 
nature of the country, the cavalry was unable to participate in 
the general engagement. It, however, rendered valuable ser- 


vice in guarding Jackson's flank, and took a large number of 

On the morning of the 28th it was ascertained that none of 
the enemy remained in our front north of the Chickahominy. 
As he might yet intend to give battle to preserve his communi- 
cations, the Ninth Cavalry, supported by E well's division, was 
ordered to seize the York River Railroad, and General Stuart 
with his main body to cooperate. When the cavalry reached 
Dispatch Station, the enemy retreated to the south bank of the 
Chickahominy, and burned the railroad-bridge. During the 
forenoon, columns of dust south of the river showed that he 
was in motion. The abandonment of the railroad and de- 
struction of the bridge proved that no further attempt would 
be made to hold that line. But, from the position the enemy 
occupied, the roads which led toward the James River would also 
enable him to reach the lower bridges over the Chickahominy, 
and retreat down the Peninsula. In the latter event, it was ne- 
cessary that our troops should continue on the north bank of the 
river, and, until the intention of General McClellan was discov- 
ered, it was deemed injudicious to change their disposition. 
Ewell was therefore ordered to proceed to Bottom's Bridge, to 
guard that point, and the cavalry to watch the bridges below. 
No certain indications of a retreat to the James River were dis- 
covered by our forces on the south side of the Chickahominy, 
and late in the afternoon the enemy's works were reported to be 
fully manned. The strength of these fortifications prevented 
Generals Huger and Magruder from discovering what was pass- 
ing in their front. Below the enemy's works the country was 
densely wooded and intersected by swamps, concealing his move- 
ments and precluding reconnaissances except by the regular 
roads, all of which were strongly guarded. The bridges over the 
Chickahominy in rear of the enemy were destroyed, and their 
reconstruction by us was* impracticable in the presence of his 
whole army and powerful batteries. We were therefore com- 
pelled to wait until his purpose should be developed. Generals 
Huger and Magruder were again directed to use the utmost vigi- 
lance, and to pursue the foe vigorously should they discover that 
he was retreating. During the afternoon of the 28th the signs 


were suggestive of a general movement, and, no indications of 
his approach to the lower bridges of the Chickahominy having 
been discovered by the pickets in observation at those points, 
it became inferable that General McClellan was about to retreat 
to the James River. 


Retreat of the Enemy. — Pursuit and Battle. — Night. — Further Retreat of the Enemy. 
— Progress of General Jackson. — The Enemy at Frazier's Farm. — Position of 
General Holmes. — Advance of General Longstreet. — Remarkable Features of the 
Battle. — Malvern Hill. — Our Position. — The Attack. — Expedition of General 
Stuart. — Destruction of the Enemy's Stores. — Assaults on the Enemy. — Retreat 
to Westover on the James. — Siege of Richmond raised. — Number of Prisoners 
taken. — Strength of our Forces. — Strength of our Forces at Seven Pines and 
after. — Strength of the Enemy. 

During- the night I visited the several commands along the 
intrenchment on the south side of the Chickahominy. Gen- 
eral Huger's was on the right, General McLaws's in the center, 
and General Magruder's on the left. The night was quite dark, 
especially so in the woods in front of our line, and, in expressing 
my opinion to the officers that the enemy would commence a 
retreat before morning, I gave special instructions as to the pre- 
cautions necessary in order certainly to hear when the movement 
commenced. In the confusion of such a movement, with nar- 
row roads and heavy trains, a favorable opportunity was offered 
for attack. It fell out, however, that the enemy did move be- 
fore morning, and that the fact of the works having been evacu- 
ated was first learned by an officer on the north side of the river, 
who, the next morning, the 29th, about sunrise, was examining 
their works by the aid of a field-glass. 

Generals Longstreet and A. P. Hill were promptly ordered 
to recross the Chickahominy at New' Bridge, and move by the 
Darbytown and Long Bridge roads. General Lee, having sent 
his engineer, Captain Meade, to examine the condition of the 
abandoned w r orks, came to the south side of the Chickahominy 
to unite his command and direct its movements. 

Magruder and Huger found the whole line of works deserted, 


and large quantities of military stores of every description aban- 
doned or destroyed. They were immediately ordered in pursuit, 
the former by the Charles City road, so as to take the enemy's 
army in flank ; and the latter by the Williamsburg road, to at- 
tack his rear. Jackson was directed to cross the " Grapevine " 
Bridge, and move down the south side of the Chickahominy. 
Magruder reached the vicinity of Savage Station, where he came 
upon the rear-guard of the retreating army. Being informed 
that it was advancing, he halted and sent for reinforcements. 
Two brigades of Huger's division were ordered to his support, 
but were subsequently withdrawn, it having been ascertained 
that the force in Magruder's front was merely covering the re- 
treat of the main body. 

Jackson's route led to the flank and rear of Savage Station, 
but he was delayed by the necessity of reconstructing the 
"Grapevine" Bridge. 

Late in the afternoon Magruder attacked the enemy with 
one of his divisions and two regiments of another. A severe 
action ensued, and continued about two hours, when night put 
an end to the conflict. The troops displayed great gallantry, 
and inflicted heavy loss ; but, owing to the lateness of the hour 
and the small force engaged, the result was not decisive, and 
the enemy continued his retreat under cover of night, leaving 
several hundred prisoners, with his dead and wounded, in our 
hands. Our loss was small in numbers but great in value. 
Among others who could ill be spared, here fell the gallant sol- 
dier, the useful citizen, the true friend and Christian gentleman, 
Brigadier-General Kichard Griffith. He had served with dis- 
tinction in foreign war, and, when the South was invaded, was 
among the first to take up arms in defense of our rights. 

At Savage Station were found about twenty-five hundred 
men in hospital, and a large amount of property. Stores of 
much value had been destroyed, including the necessary medi- 
cal supplies for the sick and wounded. The night was so dark 
that, before the battle ended, it was only by challenging that on 
several occasions it was determined whether the troops in front 
were friends or foes. It was therefore deemed unadvisable to 
attempt immediate pursuit. 


Our troops slept upon their arms, and in the morning it was 
found that the enemy had retreated during the night, and, by 
the time thus gained, he was enabled to cross the White-Oak 
Creek, and destroy the bridge. 

Early on the 30th Jackson reached Savage Station. He was 
directed to pursue the enemy on the road he had taken, and 
Magruder to follow Longstreet by the Darbytown road. As 
Jackson advanced, he captured so many prisoners and collected 
so large a number of arms, that two regiments had to be de- 
tached for their security. His progress at White-Oak Swamp 
was checked by the enemy, who occupied the opposite side, and 
obstinately resisted the rebuilding of the bridge. 

Longstreet and A. P. Hill, continuing their advance, on the 
30th came upon the foe strongly posted near the intersection 
of the Long Bridge and Charles City roads, at the place known 
in the military reports as Frazier's Farm. 

Huger's route led to the right of this position, Jackson's to 
the rear, and the arrival of their commands was awaited, to be- 
gin the attack. 

On the 29th General Holmes had crossed from the south 
side of the James River, and, on the 30th, was reenforced by a 
detachment of General Wise's brigade. He moved down the 
River road, with a view to gain, near to Malvern Hill, a position 
which would command the supposed route of the retreating 

It is an extraordinary fact that, though the capital had been 
threatened by an attack from the seaboard on the right, though 
our army had retreated from Yorktown up to the Chickahom- 
iny, and, after encamping there for a time, had crossed the river 
and moved up to Richmond, yet, when at the close of the bat- 
tles around Richmond McClellan retreated and was pursued 
toward the James River, we had no maps of the country in 
which we were operating ; our generals were ignorant of the 
roads, and their guides knew little more than the way from 
their homes to Richmond. It was this fatal defect in prepara- 
tion, and the erroneous answers of the guides, that caused Gen- 
eral Lee first to post Holmes and Wise, when they came down 
the River road, at j^ew Market, where, he was told, was the 


route that McClellan must pursue in his retreat to the James. 
Subsequently learning that there was another road, by the Wil- 
lis church, which would better serve the purpose of the retreat- 
ing foe, Holmes's command was moved up to a position on 
that road where, at the foot of a hill which concealed from view 
the enemy's line, he remained under the fire of the enemy's 
gunboats, the huge, shrieking shells from which dispersed a 
portion of his "cavalry and artillery, though the faithful old sol- 
dier remained with the rest of his command, waiting, accord- 
ing to his orders, for the enemy with his trains to pass ; but, 
taking neither of the roads pointed out to General Lee, he re- 
treated by the shorter and better route, which led by Dr. Poin- 
dexter's house to Harrison's Landing. It has been alleged that 
General Holmes was tardy in getting into position, and failed 
to use his artillery as he had been ordered. Both statements 
are incorrect. He first took position when and where he was di- 
rected, and, soon after, he moved to the last position to which 
he was assigned. The dust of his advancing column caused a 
heavy fire from the gunboats to be opened upon him, and, in men 
who had never before seen the huge shells then fired, they 
inspired a degree of terror not justified by their effectiveness. 
The enemy, instead of being a straggling mass moving toward 
the James Kiver, as had been reported, were found halted be- 
tween West's house and Malvern Hill on ground commanding 
Holmes's position, with an open field between them. 

General Holmes ordered his chief of artillery to commence 
firing upon the enemy's infantry, which immediately gave way, 
but a heavy fire of twenty-five or thirty guns promptly replied 
to our battery, and formed, with the gunboats, a cross-fire upon 
General Holmes's command. The numerical superiority of the 
opposing force, both in infantry and artillery, would have made 
it worse than useless to attempt an assault unless previously re- 
enforced, and, as no reinforcements arrived, Holmes, about an 
hour after nightfall, withdrew to a point somewhat in advance 
of the one he had held in the morning. Though the enemy 
continued their cannonade until after dark, and most of the 
troops were new levies, General Holmes reported that they be- 
haved well under the trying circumstances to which they were 


exposed, except a portion of his artillery and cavalry, which gave 
way in disorder, probably from the effect of the ten-inch shells, 
which were to them a novel implement of war ; for when I met 
them, say half a mile from the point they had left, and suc- 
ceeded in stopping them, another shell fell and exploded near 
us in the top of a wide-spreading tree, giving a shower of metal 
and limbs, which soon after caused them to resume their flight 
in a manner that plainly showed no moral power could stop 
them within the range of those shells. It was after a personal 
and hazardous reconnaissance that General Lee assigned Gen- 
eral Holmes to his last position ; and when I remonstrated with 
General Lee, whom I met returning from his reconnaissance, 
on account of the exposure to which he had subjected himself, 
he said he could not get the required information otherwise, 
and therefore had gone himself. 

After the close of the battle of Malvern Hill, General 
Holmes found that a deep ravine led up to the rear of the left 
flank of the enemy's line, and expressed his regret that it had 
not been known, and that he had not been ordered, when the 
attack was made in front, to move up that ravine and simulta- 
neously assail in flank and reverse. It was not until after he 
had explained with regret the lost, because unknown, oppor- 
tunity, that he was criticised as having failed to do his whole 
duty at the battle of Malvern Hill. 

He has passed beyond the reach of censure or of praise, after 
serving his country on many fields wisely and well. I, who 
knew him from our schoolboy days, w T ho served with him in 
garrison and in the field, and with pride watched him as he gal- 
lantly led a storming party up a rocky height at Monterey, and 
was intimately acquainted with his whole career during our sec- 
tional war, bear willing testimony to the purity, self-abnega- 
tion, generosity, fidelity, and gallantry which characterized him 
as a man and a soldier. 

General Huger reported that his progress was delayed by trees 
which his opponent had felled across the Williamsburg road. In 
the afternoon, after passing the obstructions and driving off the 
men who were still cutting down trees, they came upon an open 
field (P. "Williams's), where they were assailed by a battery of 


rifled guns. The artillery was brought up, and replied to the 
fire. In the mean time a column of infantry was moved to the 
right, so as to turn the battery, and the combat was ended. The 
report of this firing was heard at Frazier's Farm, and erro- 
neously supposed to indicate the near approach of Huger's col- 
umn, and, it has been frequently stated, induced General Long- 
street to open fire with some of his batteries as notice to 
General Huger where our troops were, and that thus the en- 
gagement was brought on. General A. P. Hill, who was in 
front and had made the dispositions of our troops while hope- 
fully waiting for the arrival of Jackson and Huger, states that 
the fight commenced by fire from the enemy's artillery, which 
swept down the road, etc. This not only concurs with my rec- 
ollection of the event, but is more in keeping with the design 
to wait for the expected reinforcements. 

The detention of Huger, as above stated, and the failure of 
Jackson to force a passage of the White-Oak Swamp, left Long- 
street and Hill, without the expected support, to maintain the 
unequal conflict as best they might. The superiority of num- 
bers and advantage of position were on the side of the enemy. 
The battle raged furiously until 9 p. m. By that time the 
enemy had been driven with great slaughter from every posi- 
tion but one, which he maintained until he was enabled to with- 
draw under cover of darkness. At the close of the struggle 
nearly the entire field remained in our possession, covered with 
the enemy's dead and wounded. Many prisoners, including a 
general of division, were captured, and several batteries with 
some thousands of small-arms were taken. 

After this engagement, Magruder, who had been ordered to 
go to the support of Holmes, was recalled, to relieve the troops 
of Longstreet and Hill. He arrived during the night, with the 
troops of his command much fatigued by the long, hot march. 

In the battle of Frazier's Farm the troops of Longstreet and 
Hill, though disappointed in the expectation of support, and 
contending against superior numbers advantageously posted, 
made their attack successful by the most heroic courage and 
unfaltering determination. 

'Nothing could surpass the bearing of General Hill on that 


occasion, and I often recur with admiration to the manner in 
which Longstreet, when Hill's command seemed about to be 
overborne, steadily led his reserve to the rescue, as he might 
have marched on a parade. The mutual confidence between 
himself and his men was manifested by the calm manner in 
which they went into the desperate struggle. The skill and 
courage which made that corps illustrious on former as well 
as future fields were never more needed or better exemplified 
than on this. 

The current of the battle which was then setting against us 
was reversed, and the results which have been stated were gained. 
That more important consequences would have followed had 
Huger and Jackson, or either of them, arrived in time to take 
part in the conflict, is unquestionable; and there is little hazard 
in saying that the army of McClellan would have been riven in 
twain, beaten in detail, and could never, as an organized body, 
have reached the James River. 

Our troops slept on the battle-field they had that day won, 
and couriers were sent in the night with instructions to hasten 
the march of the troops who had been expected during the day. 

Yalor less true or devotion to their cause less sincere than 
that which pervaded our army and sustained its commanders 
would, in this hour of thinned ranks and physical exhaustion, 
have thought of the expedient of retreat ; but, so far as I re. 
member, no such resort was contemplated. To bring up rein- 
forcements and attack again was alike the expectation and the 

During the night, humanity, the crowning grace of the 
knightly soldier, secured for the wounded such care as was pos- 
sible, not only to those of our own army, but also to those of 
the enemy who had been left upon the field. 

This battle was in many respects one of the most remarkable 
of the war. Here occurred on several occasions the capture of 
batteries by the impetuous charge of our infantry, defying the 
canister and grape which plowed through their ranks, and many 
hand-to-hand conflicts, where bayonet-wounds were freely given 
and received, and men fought with clubbed muskets in the life- 
and-death encounter. 


The estimated strength of the enemy was double our own, 
and he had the advantage of being in position. From both 
causes it necessarily resulted that our loss was very heavy. To 
the official reports and the minute accounts of others, the want 
of space compels me to refer the reader for a detailed statement 
of the deeds of those who in our day served their country so 
bravely and so well. 

During the night those who fought us at Frazier's Farm 
fell back to the stronger position of Malvern Hill, and by a 
night-march the force which had detained Jackson at White- 
Oak Swamp effected a junction with the other portion of the 
enemy. Early on the 1st of July Jackson reached the battle- 
field of the previous day, having forced the passage of White- 
Oak Swamp, where he captured some artillery and a number of 
prisoners. He was directed to follow the route of the ene- 
my's retreat, but soon found him in position on a high ridge 
in front of Malvern Hill. Here, on a line of great natural 
strength, he had posted his powerful artillery, supported by 
his large force of infantry, covered by hastily constructed in- 
trenchments. His left rested near Crew's house and his right 
near Binford's. Immediately in his front the ground was open, 
varying in width from a quarter to half a mile, and, sloping 
gradually from the crest, was completely swept by the fire of his 
infantry and artillery. To reach this open ground our troops 
had to advance through a broken and thickly wooded country, 
traversed nearly throughout its whole extent by a swamp pass- 
able at only a few places and difficult at these. The whole was 
within range of the batteries on the heights and the gunboats 
in the river, under whose incessant fire "our movements had to 
be executed. 

Jackson formed his line with Whiting's division on his left 
and D. H. Hill's on his right, one of Ewell's brigades occupying 
the interval. The rest of Ewell's and Jackson's own division 
were held in reserve. Magruder was directed to take position 
on Jackson's right, but before his arrival two of Huger's bri- 
gades came up and were placed next to Hill. Magruder subse- 
quently formed on the right of these brigades, which, with a 
third of Huger's, were placed under his command. Longstreet 


and A. P. Hill were held in reserve, and took no part in the 
engagement. Owing to ignorance of the country, the dense 
forests impeding necessary communications, and the extreme 
difficulty of the ground, the whole line was not formed until a 
late hour in the afternoon. The obstacles presented by the 
woods and swamp made it impracticable to bring up a sufficient 
amount of artillery to oppose successfully the extraordinary force 
of that arm employed by the enemy, while the field itself afford- 
ed us few positions favorable for its use, and none for its proper 

General "W. N. Pendleton, in whom were happily combined 
the highest characteristics of the soldier, the patriot, and the 
Christian, was in chief command of the artillery, and energeti- 
cally strove to bring his long-range guns and reserve artillery 
into a position where they might be effectively used against the 
enemy, but the difficulties before mentioned were found insu- 

Orders were issued for a general advance at a given signal, 
but the causes referred to prevented a proper concert of action 
among the troops. D. H. Hill pressed forward across the open 
field, and engaged the enemy gallantly, breaking and driving 
back his first line ; but, a simultaneous advance of the other 
troops not taking plaee, he found himself unable to maintain 
the ground he had gained against the overwhelming numbers 
and numerous batteries opposed to him. Jackson sent to his 
support his own division and that part of E well's which was in 
reserve ; but, owing to the increasing darkness and intricacy of 
the forest and swamp, they did not arrive in time to render 
the desired assistance. Hill was therefore compelled to aban- 
don part of the ground he had gained, after suffering severe loss 
and inflicting heavy damage. 

On the right the attack was gallantly made by Huger's and 
Magruder's commands. Two brigades of the former com- 
menced the action, the other two were subsequently sent to the 
support of Magruder and Hill. Several determined efforts were 
made to storm the hill at Crew's house. The brigade advanced 
bravely across the open field, raked by the fire of a hundred 
cannon and the musketry of large bodies of infantry. Some 


were broken and gave way; others approached close to the 
guns, driving back the infantry, compelling the advance batter- 
ies to retire to escape capture, and mingling their dead with 
those of the enemy. For want of cooperation by the attacking 
columns, their assaults were too weak to break the enemy's line ; 
and, after struggling gallantly, sustaining and inflicting great 
loss, they were compelled successively to retire. Night was ap- 
proaching when the attack began, and it soon became difficult 
to distinguish friend from foe. The firing continued until after 
9 p. m., but no decided result was gained. 

Part of our troops were withdrawn to their original posi- 
tions ; others remained in the open field ; and some rested 
within a hundred yards of the batteries that had been so bravely 
but vainly assailed. The lateness of the hour at which the at- 
tack necessarily began gave the foe the full advantage of his supe- 
rior position, and augmented the natural difficulties of our own. 

At the cessation of firing, several fragments of different 
commands were lying down and holding their ground within a 
short distance of the enemy's line, and, as soon as the fighting 
ceased, an informal truce was established by common consent. 
Numerous parties from both armies, with lanterns and litters, 
wandered over the field seeking for the wounded, whose groans 
and calls on all sides could not fail to move with pity the hearts 
of friend and foe. 

The morning dawned with heavy rain, and the enemy's po- 
sition was seen to have been entirely deserted. The ground 
was covered with his dead and wounded, and his route exhib- 
ited evidence of a precipitate retreat. To the fatigue of hard 
marches and successive battles, enough to have disqualified our 
troops for rapid pursuit, was added the discomfort of being 
thoroughly wet and chilled by rain. I sent out to the neigh- 
boring houses to buy, if it could be had, at any price, enough 
whisky to give to each of the men a single gill, but it could 
not be found. 

The foe had silently withdrawn in the night by a route 
which had been unknown to us, but which was the most direct 
road to Harrison's Landing, and he had so many hours the start, 
that, among the general officers who expressed to me their opin- 


ion, there was but one who thought it was possible to pursue 
effectively. That was General T. J. Jackson, who quietly said, 
" They have not all got away if we go immediately after them." 
During the pursuit, which has just been described, the cav- 
alry of our army had been absent, having been detached on a 
service which was reported as follows : After seizing the York 
River Railroad, on June 28th, and driving the enemy across 
the Chickahominy, the force under General Stuart proceeded 
down the railroad to ascertain if there was any movement of the 
enemy in that direction. He encountered but little opposition, 
and reached the vicinity of the White House on the 29th. On 
his approach the enemy destroyed the greater part of the im- 
mense stores accumulated at that depot, and retreated toward 
Fortress Monroe. With one gun and some dismounted men 
General Stuart drove off a gunboat, which lay near the White 
House, and rescued a large amount of property, including more 
than ten thousand stand of small-arms, partially burned. Gen- 
eral Stuart describes his march down the enemy's line of com- 
munication with the York Eiver as one in which he was but 
feebly resisted. He says : 

" We advanced until, coming in view of the White House (a 
former plantation residence of General George Washington), at a 
distance of a quarter of a mile, a large gunboat was discovered 
lying at the landing. ... I was convinced that a few bold sharp- 
shooters could compel the gunboat to leave. I accordingly ordered 
down about seventy-five, partly of the First and Fourth Virginia 
Cavalry, and partly of the Jeff Davis Legion, armed with the 
rifled carbines. They advanced on this monster so terrible to our 
fancy, and a body of sharpshooters was sent ashore from the boat 
to meet them. ... To save time I ordered up the howitzer, a few 
shells from which, fired with great accuracy, and bursting directly 
over her decks, caused an instantaneous withdrawal of the sharp- 
shooters, and a precipitous flight under headway of steam down the 
river. . . . An opportunity was here offered for observing the de- 
ceitfulness of the enemy's pretended reverence for everything as- 
sociated with the name of Washington — for the dwelling-house 
was burned to the ground, not a vestige left except what told of 
desolation and vandalism. 

" Nine large barges, laden with stores, were on fire as we ap- 


proached ; immense numbers of tents, wagons, and cars in long 
trains, loaded, and five locomotives ; a number of forges ; quanti- 
ties of every species of quartermaster's stores and property, mak- 
ing a total of many millions of dollars — all more or less destroyed. 
... I replied (to a note from the commanding General) that there 
was no evidence of a retreat of the main body down the Williams- 
burg road, and I had no doubt that the enemy, since his defeat, 
was endeavoring to reach the James as a new base, being com- 
pelled to surrender his connection with the York. If the Federal 
people can be convinced that this was a part of McClellan's plan, 
that it was in his original design for Jackson to turn his right 
flank, and our generals to force him from his strongholds, they 
certainly never can forgive him for the millions of public treasure 
that his superb strategy cost." 

Leaving one squadron at the White House, he returned to 
guard the lower bridges of the Chickahominy. On the 30th 
he was directed to recross and cooperate with Jackson. After 
a long march, he reached the rear of the enemy at Malvern Hill, 
on the night of July 1st, at the close of the engagement. 

On the 2d of July the pursuit was commenced, the cavalry 
under General Stuart in advance. The knowledge acquired 
since the event renders it more than probable that, could our 
infantry, with a fair amount of artillery, during that day and the 
following night, have been in position on the ridge which over- 
looked the plain where the retreating enemy was encamped on 
the bank of the James River, a large part of his army must have 
dispersed, and the residue would have been captured. It appears, 
from the testimony taken before the United States Congressional 
Committee on the Conduct of the War, that it was not until 
July 3d that the heights which overlooked the encampment of 
the retreating army were occupied, and, from the manuscript 
notes on the war by General J. E. B. Stuart, we learn that he 
easily gained and took possession of the heights, and with his 
light howitzer opened fire upon the enemy's camp, producing 
great commotion. This was described by the veteran soldier, 
General Casey, of the United States Army, thus : 

" The enemy had come down with some artillery upon our 
army massed together on the river, the heights commanding the 


position not being in our possession. Had the enemy come down 
and taken possession of those heights with a force of twenty or 
thirty thousand men, they would, in my opinion, have taken the 
whole of our army except that small portion of it that might have 
got off on the transports." 

General Lee was not a man of hesitation, and they have 
mistaken his character who suppose caution was his vice. He 
was prone to attack, and not slow to press an advantage when 
he gained it. Longstreet and Jackson were ordered to advance, 
but a violent storm which prevailed throughout the day greatly 
retarded their progress. The enemy, harassed and closely fol- 
lowed by the cavalry, succeeded in gaining Westover, on the 
James River, and the protection of his gunboats. His position 
was one of great natural and artificial strength, after the heights 
were occupied and intrenched. It was flanked on each side by 
a creek, and the approach in front was commanded by the heavy 
guns of his shipping, as well as by those mounted in his in- 
trenchments. Under these circumstances it was deemed inex- 
pedient to attack him ; and, in view of the condition of our 
troops, who had been marching and fighting almost incessantly 
for seven days, under the most trying circumstances, it was de- 
termined to withdraw, in order to afford to them the repose of 
which they stood so much in need. 

Several days were spent in collecting arms and other prop- 
erty abandoned by the enemy, and, in the mean time, some 
artillery and cavalry were sent below Westover to annoy his 
transports. On July 8th our army returned to the vicinity of 

Under ordinary circumstances the army of the enemy should 
have been destroyed. Its escape w T as due to the causes already 
stated. Prominent among these was the want -of correct and 
timely information. This fact, together with the character of 
the country, enabled General McClellan skillfully to conceal his 
retreat, and to add much to the obstructions with which nature 
had beset the way of our pursuing columns. We had, however, 
effected our main purpose. The siege of Richmond was raised, 
and the object of a campaign which had been prosecuted after 


months of preparation, at an enormous expenditure of men 
and money, was completely frustrated.* 

More than ten thousand prisoners, including officers of rank, 
fifty-two pieces of artillery, and upward of thirty-five thousand 
stand of small-arms were captured. The stores and supplies of 
every description which fell into our hands were great in amount 
and value, but small in comparison with those destroyed by the 
enemy. His losses in battle exceeded our own, as attested by 
the thousands of dead and wounded left on every field, while 
his subsequent inaction shows in what condition the survivors 
reached the protection of the gunboats. 

In the archive office of the War Department in "Washington 
there are on file some of the field and monthly returns of the 
strength of the Army of Northern Virginia. These are the 
original papers which were taken from Richmond. They fur- 
nish an accurate statement of the number of men in that army 
at the periods named. They were not made public at the time, 
as I did not think it to be judicious to inform the enemy of 
the numerical weakness of our forces. The following state- 
ments have been taken from those papers by Major Walter H. 
Taylor, of the staff of General Lee, who supervised for several 
years the preparation of the original returns. 

A statement of the strength of the troops under General 
Johnston shows that on May 21, 1862, he had present for duty 
as follows : 

Smith's division, consisting of the brigades of Whiting, Hood, Hampton, Hat- 
ton, and Pettigrew 10,592 

Longstreet's division, consisting of the brigades of A. P. Hill, Pickett, R. H. 

Anderson, Wilson, Colston, and Pryor 13,816 

Magruder's division, consisting of the brigades of McLaws, Kershaw, Griffith, 

Cobb, Toombs, and D. R. Jones 15,680 

D. H. Hill's division, consisting of the brigades of Early, Rodes, Raines, 

Featherston, and the commands of Colonels Ward and Crump 11,151 

Cavalry brigade 1,289 

Reserve artillery 1,160 

Total effective men 53,688 

* Reports of Generals Robert E. Lee, Pendleton, A. P. Hill, Huger, Alexander, 
and Major W. H. Taylor, in his " Four Years with Lee," have been drawn upon for 
the foregoing. 



R. E. LEE ON JULY 20, 1862. 


Department of North Carolina 

Longstreet's division 

D. H. Hill's division 

McLaws's division 

A. P. Hill's division 

Anderson's division 

D. R. Jones's division 

Whiting's division 

Stuart's cavalry 

Pendleton's artillery 

Rhett's artillery 

Total, including Department of North Carolina 





Enlisted men. 

















Enlisted men. 





Jackson's command : 

D. H. Hill's division 

4 739 



Jackson's division 





Longstreet's commaDd 
Jackson's command. . 
Reserve artillery 




Major Taylor, in his work,f states : 

" In addition to the troops above enumerated as the strength 
of General Johnston on May 21, 1862, there were two brigades 
subject to his orders then stationed in the vicinity of Hanover 
Junction, one under the command of General J. R. Anderson, and 
the other under the command of General Branch ; they were sub- 

* No report of cavalry f " Four Years with General Lee." 


sequently incorporated into the division of General A. P. Hill, 
and participated in the battles around Richmond." 

He has no official data by which to determine their numbers, 
but, from careful estimates and conference with General Ander- 
son, he estimates the strength of the two at 4,000 effective. 

Subsequent to the date of the return of the army around 
Richmond, heretofore given, but previous to the battle of Seven 
Pines, General Johnston was reenforced by General Huger's 
division of three brigades. The total strength of these three 
brigades, according to the " Reports of the Operations of the 
Army of Northern Virginia," was 5,008 effectives. Taylor says : 

" If the strength of these five be added to the return of May 
21st, we shall have sixty-two thousand six hundred and ninety-six 
(62,696) as the effective strength of the army under General John- 
ston on May 31, 1862. 

" Deduct the losses sustained in the battle of Seven Pines as 
shown by the official reports of casualties, say 6,084, and we have 
56,612 as the effective strength of the army when General Lee 
assumed command." 

There have been various attempts made to point out the ad- 
vantage which might have been obtained if General Lee, in 
succeeding to the command, had renewed on the 1st of June 
the unfinished battle of the 31st of May ; and the representation 
that he commenced his campaign, known as the " Seven Days' 
Battles," only after he had collected a great army, instead of 
moving with a force not greatly superior to that which his pred- 
ecessor had, has led to the full exposition of all the facts bear- 
ing upon the case. In the " Southern Historical Society Papers," 
June, 1876, is published an extract from an address of Colonel 
Charles Marshall, secretary and aide-de-camp to General R. E. 
Lee, before the Virginia Division of the Army of Northern 
Virginia. In it Colonel Marshall quotes General J. E. John- 
ston as saying : 

" General Lee did not attack the enemy until the 26th of June, 
because he was employed from the 1st until then in forming a 
great army by bringing to that which I had commanded 15,000 
men from North Carolina under Major-General Holmes, 22,000 


men from South Carolina and Georgia, and above 16,000 men 
from the * Valley,' in the divisions of Jackson and Ewell," etc. 

These numbers added together make 53,000. Colonel Mar- 
shall then proceeds, from official reports, to show that all these 
numbers were exaggerated, and that one brigade, spoken of as 
seven thousand strong — that of General Drayton — was not 
known to be in the Army of Yirginia until after the " seven 
days," and that another brigade, of which General Johnston ad- 
mitted he did not know the strength, Colonel Marshall thought 
it safer to refer to as the " unknown brigade," which, he sug- 
gests, may have been " a small command unHer General Evans, 
of South Carolina, who did not join the army until after it 
moved from Richmond." 

General Holmes's report, made July 15, 1862, states that 
on the 29th of June he brought his command to the north side 
of the James River, and was joined by General Wise's brigade. 
With this addition, his force amounted to 6,000 infantry and 
six batteries of artillery. General Ransom's brigade had been 
transferred from the division of General Holmes to that of Gen- 
eral Huger a short time before General Holmes was ordered to 
join General Lee. The brigade of General Branch had been 
detached at an earlier period ; it was on duty near to Hanover 
Junction, and under the command of General J. E. Johnston 
before the battle 4 of Seven Pines. These facts are mentioned to 
account for the small size of General Holmes's division, which 
had been reduced to two brigades. Ripley's brigade on the 
26th of June was reported to have an aggregate force of 2,366, 
including pioneers and the ambulance corps. General Law- 
ton's brigade, when moving up from Georgia to Richmond, 
was ordered to change direction, and join General Jackson in 
the Yalley. He subsequently came down with General Jack- 
son, and reports the force which he led into the battle of Cold 
Harbor, on the 27th of June, 1862, as 3,500 men. 

General Lee, after the battle of Seven Pines, had sent two 
large brigades under General Whiting to cooperate with Gen- 
eral Jackson in the Yalley, and to return with him, according 
to instructions furnished. These brigades were in the battle of 
Seven Pines, and were counted in the force of the army when 


General Lee took command of it. Lawton's Georgia brigade, 
as has been stated, was diverted from its destination for a like 
temporary service, and is accounted for as reinforcements 
brought from the south. These three brigades, though coming 
with Jackson and Ewell, were not a part of their divisions, and, 
if their numbers are made to swell the force which Jackson 
brought, they should be elsewhere- subtracted. 

General J. A. Early, in the same number of the " Historical 
Society Papers," in a letter addressed to General J. E. John- 
ston, February 4, 1875, makes an exhaustive examination from 
official reports, and applies various methods of computation to 
the question at issue. Among other facts, he states : 

" Drayton's brigade did not come to Virginia until after the 
battles around Richmond. It was composed of the Fifteenth 
South Carolina and the Fiftieth and Fifty-first Georgia Regi- 
ments and Third South Carolina Battalion. A part, if not all, of 
it was engaged in the fight at Secessionville, South Carolina, on 
the 16th of June, 1862. Its first engagement in Virginia was on 
the Rappahannock, 25th of August, 1862. After Sharpsburg, it 
was so small that it was distributed among some other brigades in 
Longstreet's corps." 

After minute inquiry, General Early concludes that "the 
whole command that came from the Valley, including the artil- 
lery, the regiment of cavalry, and the Marylan'd regiment and a 
battery, then known as ' The Maryland Line,' could not have 
exceeded 8,000 men." In this, General Early does not include 
either Lawton's brigade or the two brigades with Whiting, and 
reaches the conclusion that " the whole force received by General 
Lee was about 23,000 — about 30,000 less than your estimate." 

Taking the number given by General Early as the entire re- 
enforcement received by General Lee after the battle of Seven 
Pines and before the commencement of the seven days' battles 
— which those who know his extreme accuracy and minuteness 
of inquiry will be quite ready to do — and deducting from the 
23,000 the casualties in the battle of Seven Pines (6,084), we 
have 16,916 ; if to this be added whatever number of absentees 
may have joined the army in anticipation of active operations, 
a number which I have no means of ascertaining, the result 


will be the whole increment to the army with which General 
Lee took the offensive against McClellan. 

It appears from the official returns of the Army of the Poto- 
mac that on June 20th General McClellan had present for duty 
115,102 men. It is stated that McClellan reached the James 
River with " between 85,000 and 90,000 men," and that his 
loss in the seven days' battles was 15,249 ; this would make 
the army 105,000 strong at the commencement of the battles.* 
Probably General Dix's corps of 9,277 men, stationed at For- 
tress Monroe, is not included in this last statement. 


Forced Emancipation. — Purposes of the United States Government at the Com- 
mencement of 1862. — Subjugation or Extermination. — The Willing Aid of 
United States Congress. — Attempt to legislate the Subversion of our Social 
Institutions. — Could adopt any Measure Self-Defense would justify. — Slavery 
the Cause of all Troubles, therefore must be removed. — Statements of Presi- 
dent Lincoln's Inaugural. — Declaration of Sumner. — Abolition Legislation. — 
The Power based on Necessity. — Its Formula. — The System of Legislation 
devised. — Confiscation. — How permitted by the Law of Nations. — Views of 
Wheaton ; of J. Q. Adams ; of Secretary Marcy ; of Chief -Justice Marshall. — 
Nature of Confiscation and Proceedings. — Compared with the Acts of the United 
States Congress. — Provisions of the Acts. — Five Thousand Millions of Property 
involved. — Another Feature of the Act. — Confiscates Property within Reach. — 
Procedure against Persons. — Held us as Enemies and Traitors. — Attacked us 
with the Instruments of War and Penalties of Municipal Law. — Emancipation 
to be secured. — Remarks of President Lincoln on signing the Bill. — Remarks 
of Mr. Adams compared. — Another Alarming Usurpation of Congress. — Argu- 
ment for it. — No Limit to the War-Power of Congress ; how maintained. — 
The Act to emancipate Slaves in the District of Columbia. — Compensation 
promised. — Remarks of President Lincoln. — The Right of Property violated. — 
Words of the Constitution. — The Act to prohibit Slavery in the Territories. — 
The Act making an Additional Article of War. — All Officers forbidden to 
return Fugitives. — Words of the Constitution. — The Powers of the Constitution 
unchanged in Peace or War. — The Discharge of Fugitives commanded in the 
Confiscation Act. — Words of the Constitution. 

At the commencement of the year 1862 it was the purpose 
of the United States Government to assail us in every manner 
and at every point and with every engine of destruction which 

* Swinton's " History of the Army of the Potomac." 


could be devised. The usual methods of civilized warfare con- 
sist in the destruction of an enemy's military power and the 
capture of his capital. These, however, formed only a small 
portion of the purposes of our enemy. If peace with frater- 
nity and equality in the Union, under the Constitution as inter- 
preted by its framers, had been his aim, this was attainable 
without war ; but, seeking supremacy at the cost of a revolution 
in the entire political structure, involving a subversion of the 
Constitution, the subjection of the States, the submission of the 
people, and the establishment of a union under the sword, his 
efforts were all directed to subjugation or extermination. Thus, 
while the Executive was preparing immense armies, iron-clad 
fleets, and huge instruments of war, with which to invade our 
territory and destroy our citizens, the willing aid of an impa- 
tient, enraged Congress was invoked to usurp new powers, to 
legislate the subversion of our social institutions, and to give 
the form of legality to the plunder of a frenzied soldiery. 

That body had no sooner assembled than it brought forward 
the doctrine that the Government of the United States was en- 
gaged in a struggle for its existence, and could therefore resort 
to any measure which a case of self-defense would justify. It 
pretended not to know that the only self-defense authorized in 
the Constitution for the Government created by it, was by the 
peaceful method of the ballot-box; and that, so long as the 
Government fulfilled the objects of its creation (see preamble 
of the Constitution), and exercised its delegated powers within 
their prescribed limits, its surest and strongest defense was to 
be found in that ballot-box. 

The Congress next declared that our institution of slavery 
was the cause of all the troubles of the country, and therefore 
the whole power of the Government must be so directed as to 
remove it. If this had really been the cause of the troubles, 
how easily wise and patriotic statesmen might have furnished 
a relief. Nearly all the slaveholding States had withdrawn 
from the Union, therefore those who had been suffering vica- 
riously might have welcomed their departure, as the removal 
of the cause which disturbed the Union, and have tried the 
experiment of separation. Should the trial have brought more 


wisdom and a spirit of conciliation to either or both, there 
might have arisen, as a result of the experiment, a reconstructed 
fraternal Union such as our fathers designed. 

The people of the seceded States had loved the Union. 
Shoulder to shoulder with the people of the other States, they 
had bled for its liberties and its honor. Their sacrifices in 
peace had not been less than those in war, and their attachment 
had not diminished by what they had given, nor were they less 
ready to give in the future. The concessions they had made 
for many years and the propositions which followed secession 
proved their desire to preserve the peace. 

The authors of the aggressions which had disturbed the 
harmony of the Union had lately, acquired power on a sectional 
basis, and were eager for the spoil of their sectional victory. To 
conceal their real motive, and artfully to appeal to the prejudice 
of foreigners, they declared that slavery was the cause of the 
troubles of the country, and of the " rebellion " which they were 
engaged in suppressing. In his inaugural address in March, 
1861, President Lincoln said : "I have no purpose, directly 
or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the 
States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do 
so, and I have no inclination to do so." The leader (Sum- 
ner) of the Abolition party in Congress, on February 25, 1861, 
said in the Senate, " I take this occasion to declare most expli- 
citly that I do not think that Congress has any right to interfere 
with slavery in a State." The principle thus announced had 
regulated all the legislation of Congress from the beginning of 
its first session in 1789 down to the first session of the Thirty- 
seventh Congress, commencing July 4, 1861. 

A few months after the inaugural address above cited and 
the announcement of the fact above quoted were made, Con- 
gress commenced to legislate for the abolition- of slavery. If 
it had the power now to do what it before had not, .whence 
was it derived ? There had been no addition in the interval to 
the grants in the Constitution ; not a word or letter of that in- 
strument had been changed since the possession of the power 
was disclaimed ; yet after July 4, 1861, it was asserted by the 
majority in Congress that the Government had power to in 


terfere with slavery in the States. "Whence came the change ? 
The answer is, It was wrought by the same process and on the 
same plea that tyranny has ever employed against liberty and 
justice — the time-worn excuse of usurpers — necessity ; an excuse 
which is ever assumed as valid, because the usurper claims to 
be the sole judge of his necessity. 

The formula under which it was asserted was as follows : 

" Whereas the laws of the United States have been for some 
time past and now are opposed, and the execution thereof ob- 
structed, etc., by combinations too powerful to be suppressed by 
the ordinary course of judicial proceedings," etc. 

Therefore, says the plea of necessity, a new power is this 
day found under the Constitution of the United States. This 
means that certain circumstances had transpired in a distant 
portion of the Union, and the powers of the Constitution had 
thereby become enlarged. The inference follows with equal 
reason that, when the circumstances cease to exist, the powers 
of the Constitution will be contracted again to their 'normal 
state ; that is, the powers of the Constitution of the United 
States are enlarged or contracted according to circumstances. 
Mankind can not be surprised at seeing a Government, admin- 
istered on such an interpretation of powers, blunder into a 
civil war, and approach the throes of dissolution. 

Nevertheless, these views were adopted by the Thirty-sev- 
enth Congress of the United States, and a system of legislation 
was devised which embraced the following usurpations : univer- 
sal emancipation in the Confederate States through confiscation 
of private property of all kinds ; prohibition of the extension 
of slavery to the Territories; emancipation of slavery in all 
places under the exclusive control of the Government of the 
United States ; emancipation with compensation in the border 
States and in the District of Columbia ; practical emancipation 
to follow the progress of the armies; all restraints to be re- 
moved from the slaves, so that they could go free wherever 
they pleased, and be fed and clothed, when destitute, at the ex- 
pense of the United States, literally to become a " ward of the 


The emancipation of slaves through confiscation in States 
where the United States Government had, under the Constitu- 
tion, no authority to interfere with slavery, was a problem which 
the usurpers found it difficult legally or logically to solve, but 
these obstacles were less regarded than the practical difficulty 
in States where the Government had no physical power to en- 
force its edicts. The limited powers granted in the Constitu- 
tion to the Government of the United States were not at all 
applicable to such designs, or commensurate with their execu- 
tion. Now, let us see the little possibility there was for con- 
stitutional liberties and rights to survive, when intrusted to such 
unscrupulous hands. 

In Article I, section 8, the Constitution says : 

" The Congress shall have power to declare war, grant letters 
of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on 
land and water ; to raise and support armies ; to provide and 
maintain a navy ; to make rules for the government and regula- 
tion of the land and naval forces," etc. 

This is the grant of power under which the Government of the 
United States makes war upon a foreign nation. If it had not 
been given in the Constitution, there would not have been any 
power under which to conduct a foreign war, such as that of 
1812 against Great Britain or that of 1846 against Mexico. In 
such conflicts the nations engaged recognize each other as sepa- 
rate sovereignties and as public enemies, and use against each 
other all the powers granted by the law of nations. One of 
these powers is the confiscation of the property of the enemy. 
Under the law of nations of modern days this confiscation is 
limited in extent, made under a certain form, and for a defined 

For the modern laws of war one must look to the usages of 
civilized states and to the publicists who have explained and 
enforced them. These usages constitute themselves the laws of 

In relation to the capture and confiscation of private prop- 
erty on land, in addition to what has been said in previous 
pages, it may be added that the whole matter has never been 


better stated than by our great American publicist, Mr. Whea- 
ton, in these words : 

" By the modern usages of nations, which have now acquired 
the force of law, temples of religion, public edifices devoted to 
civil purposes only, monuments of art, and repositories of science, 
are exempted from the general operations of war. Private prop- 
erty on land is also exempt from confiscation, with the exception 
of such as may become booty in special cases, when taken from 
enemies in the field or in besieged towns, and of military contri- 
butions levied upon the inhabitants of the hostile territory. This 
exemption extends even to the case of an absolute and unqualified 
conquest of the enemy's country." — ("Elements of International 
Law," p. 421.) 

Mr. John Quincy Adams, in a letter to the Secretary of 
State, dated August 22, 1815, says : 

" Our object is the restoration of all the property, including 
slaves, which, by the usages of war among civilized nations, ought 
not to have been taken. All private property on shore was of 
that description. It was entitled by the laws of war to exemp- 
tion from capture." — (4 "American State Papers," 116, etc.) 

Again, Mr. William L. Marcy, Secretary of State, in a let- 
ter to the Count de Sartiges, dated July 28, 1856, says : 

"The prevalence of Christianity and the progress of civiliza- 
tion have greatly mitigated the severity of the ancient mode of 
prosecuting hostilities. ... It is a generally received rule of mod- 
ern warfare, so far at least as operations upon land are concerned, 
that the persons and effects of non-combatants are to be respected. 
The wanton pillage or uncompensated appropriation of individual 
property by an army even in possession of an enemy's country is 
against the usage of modern times. Such a proceeding at this day 
would be condemned by the enlightened judgment of the world, 
unless warranted by particular circumstances." 

The words of the late Chief-Justice Marshall on the capture 
and confiscation of private property should not be omitted : 

" It may not be unworthy of remark that it is very unusual, 
even in cases of conquest, for the conqueror to do more than dis- 


place the sovereign, and assume dominion over the country. The 
modern usage of nations, which has become law, would be vio- 
lated ; that sense of justice and of right which is acknowledged 
and felt by the whole civilized world would be outraged, if pri- 
vate property should be generally confiscated and private rights 
annulled. The people change their allegiance ; their relation to 
their ancient sovereign is dissolved ; but their relations to each 
other and their rights of property remain undisturbed." — (" United 
States vs. Percheman," 7 Peters, 51.) 

The Government of the United States recognized us as 
under the law of nations by attempting to use against us one of 
the powers of that law. Yet, if we were subject to this power, 
we were most certainly entitled to its protection. This was re- 
fused. That Government exercised against us all the severities 
of the law, and outraged that sense of justice and of right which 
is acknowledged and felt by the whole civilized world by re- 
jecting the observance of its ameliorations. The act of confis- 
cation is a power exercised under the laws of war for the pur- 
pose of indemnifying the captor for his expense and losses ; 
and it is upon this basis that it is recognized. At the same 
time there is a mode of procedure attached to its exercise by 
which it is reserved from the domain of plunder and devasta- 
tion. As has been already shown, there are, under the law, ex- 
emptions of certain classes of property. It is further required 
that the property subject to confiscation shall be actually cap- 
tured and taken possession of. It shall then be adjudicated as 
prize by a proper authority, then sold, and the money received 
must be deposited in the public Treasury. Such are the condi- 
tions attached by the law of nations to legal confiscation. 

Kow, compare these conditions with the act of Congress, 
that in its true light the usurpations of that body may be seen. 
The act of Congress allowed no exemptions of private prop- 
erty, but confiscated all the property of every kind belonging 
to persons residing in the Confederate States who were engaged 
in hostilities against the United States or who were aiding or 
abetting those engaged in hostilities. This includes slaves as 
well as other property. The act provided that the slaves should 
go free ; that is, they were exempted from capture, from being 


adjudicated and sold, and no proceeds of sale were to be pnt 
into the public Treasury. The following sections are from the 
act of the United States Congress, passed on August 6, 1861 : 

" Section 1. That if, during the present or any future insurrec- 
tion against the Government of the United States after the Presi- 
dent of the United States shall have declared by proclamation that 
the laws of the United States are opposed and the execution there- 
of obstructed by combinations too powerful to be suppressed by 
the ordinary course of judicial proceedings or by the power vested 
in the marshals by law, any person, or persons, his, her, or their 
agent, attorney, or employee shall purchase or acquire, sell or give, 
any property, of whatsoever kind or description, with intent to 
use or employ the same, or suffer the same to be used or employed 
in aiding, abetting, or promoting such insurrection or resistance 
to the laws, or any person or persons engaged therein, or if any 
person or persons, being the owner or owners of any such proper- 
ty, shall knowingly use or employ or consent to the use or employ- 
ment of the same as aforesaid, all such property is hereby declared 
to be lawful subject of prize and capture wherever found ; and it 
shall be the duty of the President of the United States to cause 
the same to be seized, confiscated, and condemned. 

" Section 3. The proceedings in court shall be for the benefit 
of the United States and the informer equally. 

" Section 4. That whenever hereafter, during the present in- 
surrection against the Government of the United States, any per- 
son claimed to be held to labor or service under the law of any 
State shall be required or permitted by the person to whom such 
labor or service is claimed to be due, or by the lawful agent of 
such person, to take up arms against the United States, or shall be 
required or permitted by the person to whom such labor or service 
is claimed to be due, or his lawful agent, to work or to be em- 
ployed in or upon any fort, navy-yard, dock, armory, ship, intrench- 
ment, or in any military or naval service whatsoever against the 
Government and lawful authority of the United States, then, and 
in every such case, the person to whom such labor or service is 
claimed to be due shall forfeit his claim to such labor, any law of 
the State or of the United States to the contrary notwithstanding. 
And, whenever thereafter the person claiming such labor or service 
shall seek to enforce his claim, it shall be a full and sufficient an- 


swer to such claim that the person whose service or labor is claimed 
had been employed in hostile service against the Government of 
the United States contrary to the provisions of this act." 

The following sections are from the act of Congress passed 
on July 17, 1862 : 

"Section 6. That if any person, within any State or Territory 
of the United States other than those named aforesaid" (Confed- 
erate officers, etc.), " after the passage of this act, being engaged 
in armed rebellion against the Government of the United States, 
or aiding or abetting such rebellion, shall not within sixty days 
after public warning and proclamation duly given and made by 
the President of the United States, cease to aid, countenance, and 
abet such rebellion and return to his allegiance to the United 
States, all the estate and property, moneys, stocks, and credits of 
such person shall be liable to seizure as aforesaid, and it shall be 
the duty of the President to seize and use them as aforesaid, or 
the proceeds thereof. And all sales, transfers, or conveyances of 
any such property, after the expiration of the said sixty days from 
the date of such warning and proclamation, shall be null and void ; 
and it shall be a sufficient bar to any suit brought by such person 
for the possession or use of such property, or any of it, to allege 
and prove that he is one of the persons described in this section. 

" Section 7. That to secure the condemnation and sale of any 
such property, after the same shall have been seized, so that it 
may be made available for the purpose aforesaid, proceedings in 
rem shall be instituted in the name of the United States in any 
district court thereof, or in any territorial court, or in the United 
States District Court for the District of Columbia, within which 
the property above described, or any part thereof, may be found, 
or into which the same, if movable, may first be brought, which 
proceedings shall conform as nearly as may be to proceedings in 
admiralty or revenue cases ; and if said property, whether real or 
personal, shall be found to have belonged to a person engaged in 
rebellion, or who has given aid or comfort thereto, the same shall 
be condemned as enemy's property and become the property of 
the United States, and may be disposed of as the court shall de- 
cree, and the proceeds thereof paid into the Treasury of the United 
States for the purposes aforesaid. 

" Section 9. That all slaves of persons who shall hereafter be 


engaged in rebellion against the Government of the United States, 
or who shall in any way give aid or comfort thereto, escaping from 
such persons and taking refuge within the lines of the army ; and 
all slaves captured from such persons or deserted by them and 
coming under the control of the Government of the United States ; 
and all slaves of such persons found or being within any place 
occupied by rebel forces and afterward occupied by the forces of 
the United States, shall be deemed captives of war, and shall be 
for ever free of their servitude, and not again held as slaves. 

" Section 10. That no slave escaping into any State, Terri- 
tory, or the District of Columbia from any other State, shall be 
delivered up, or in any way impeded or hindered of his liberty, 
except for crime or some offense against the laws, unless the per- 
son claiming said fugitive shall first make oath that the person, to 
whom the labor or service of such fugitive is alleged to be due, is 
his lawful owner, and has not borne arms against the United 
States in the present rebellion, nor in any way given aid and com- 
fort thereto ; and no person engaged in the military and naval 
service of the United States shall, under any pretense whatever, 
assume to decide on the validity of the claim of any person to the 
service or labor of any other person, or surrender up any such per- 
son to the claimant, on pain of being dismissed from the service." 

These above-mentioned proceedings violated all the princi- 
ples of the law of nations, without a shadow of authority for it 
under the Constitution of the United States. The armies of 
the United States, were literally authorized to invade the Con- 
federate States, to seize all property as plunder, and to let the 
negroes go free. Our posterity, reading that history, will blush 
that such facts are on record. It was estimated on the floor of 
the House of Representatives that the aggregate amount of prop- 
erty within our limits subject to be acted upon by the provi- 
sions of this act would affect upward of six million people, and 
would deprive them of property of the value of nearly five 
thousand million dollars. 

Said Mr. Garrett Davis, of Kentucky : 

" Was there ever, in any country that God's sun ever beamed 
upon, a legislative measure involving such an amount of property 
and such numbers of property-holders ? " 


But this is only one feature of the confiscation act which 
was applied to persons who were within the Confederate States, 
in such a position that the ordinary process of the United States 
courts could not be served upon them. They could be reached 
only by the armies. There was another feature equally flagrant 
and criminal. It was extended to all that class of persons giv- 
ing aid and comfort, who could be found within the United 
States, or in such position that the ordinary process of law could 
be served on them. It was derived from Article III, section 3, 
of the Constitution, which says : 

" The Congress shall have the power to declare the punish- 
ment of treason, but no attainder of treason shall work corruption 
of blood, or forfeiture, except during the life of the person at- 

The mode of procedure against, persons under this power 
was determined by other clauses of the Constitution. Article 
III, section 2, declared that — 

" The trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall 
be by jury ; and such trial shall be held in the State where the 
said crimes shall have been committed." 

In section 3, of the same article, it was provided that — 

" No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testi- 
mony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in 
open court." 

This feature of the confiscation act, passed by the Congress 
of the United States, provided for the punishment of the owner 
of property, on the proof of the crime, but excluded the trial by 
jury, and made the forfeiture of the property absolute instead 
of a forfeiture for life. Heavy fines were imposed, and prop- 
erty was sold in fee. The property to which the act applied was 
not a prize under the law of nations, nor booty, nor contraband 
of war, nor enforced military contributions, nor used or em- 
ployed in the war or in resistance to the laws. It was private 
property, outside of the conflict of arms, and forfeited, not be- 
cause it was the instrument of offense, but as a penalty for the 


assertion of his rights by the owner, which was imputed to him 
as a crime. Such proceeding was, in effect, punishment by the 
forfeiture of a man's entire estate, real and personal, without 
trial by jury, and in utter disregard of the provisions of the 
Constitution. It was an attempt to get a man's property, real 
and personal, " silver spoons " included, into a prize court, to 
be tried by the laws of war. 

It will be seen that we were treated by the Congress of the 
United States as holding the twofold relation of enemies and 
traitors, and that they used against us all the instruments of 
war, and all the penalties of municipal law which made the pun- 
ishment of treason to be death. The practical operation, there- 
fore, of these laws was that, under a Constitution which defined 
treason to consist in levying war against the United States, 
which would not suffer the traitor to be condemned except by 
the judgment of his peers, and, when condemned, would not 
forfeit his estate except during his life, the Government of 
the United States did proceed against six million people, with- 
out indictment, without trial by jury, without the proof of two 
witnesses, did adjudge our six millions of people guilty of trea- 
son in levying war, and decree to deprive us of all our estate, 
real and personal, for life, and in fee, being nearly -Q.vq thou- 
sand million dollars. And, after we had been thus punished, 
without trial by jury, and by the loss in fee of our whole estate, 
the Government of the United States assumed the power, on 
the'same charge of levying war, to try us and to hang us. 

The first object to be secured by this act of confiscation was 
the emancipation of all our slaves. Upon his approval of the 
bill, President Lincoln sent a message to Congress, in which 
he said : 

" It is startling to say that Congress can free a slave within a 
State, and yet, if it were said the ownership of the slave had first 
been transferred to the nation, and Congress had then liberated 
him, the difficulty would at once vanish. And this is the real case. 
The traitor against the General Government forfeits his slave at 
least as justly as he does any other property ; and he forfeits both 
to the Government against which he offends. The Government, 
so far as there can be ownership, thus owns the forfeited slaves, 


and the question for Congress in regard to them is, ' Shall they 
be made free or sold to new masters ? ' " 

It is amazing to see the utter forgetful ness of all constitu- 
tional obligations and the entire disregard of the conditions of 
the laws of nations manifested in these words of the President 
of the United States. Was he ignorant of their existence, or 
did he seek to cover up his violation of them by a deceptive 
use of language. It may not be unseasonable to repeat here 
the words of John Quincy Adams, in his letter of August 22, 
1 815, as above stated : 

" Our object is the restoration of all the property, including 
slaves, which, by the usages of war among civilized nations, ought 
not to have been taken." 

Let posterity answer the questions : Who were the revolu- 
tionists ? Who were really destroying the Constitution of the 
United States \ 

The agitation of this subject brought out another still more 
alarming usurpation in Congress, and showed that the majority 
were ready to throw aside the last fragments of the Constitution 
in order to secure our subjugation. The argument for this 
usurpation was thus framed : Assuming that the state of the 
" nation " was one of general hostility, and that, being so in- 
volved, it possessed the power of self-defense, it was asserted 
that the supreme power of making and conducting war was ex- 
pressly placed in Congress by the Constitution. u The whole 
powers of war are vested in Congress." — (" United States Su- 
preme Court, Brown vs. United States," 1 Cranch.) There is no 
such power in the judiciary, and the Executive is simply " com- 
mander-in-chief of the army and navy " ; all other powers not 
necessarily implied in the command of the military and naval 
forces are expressly given to Congress. 

The theory was that the contingency of actual hostilities 
suspended the Constitution and gave to Congress the sovereign 
power of a nation creating new relations and conferring new 
rights, imposing extraordinary obligations on the citizens, and 
subjecting them to extraordinary penalties. There is, under 
that view, therefore, no limit on the power of Congress ; it is 


invested with the absolute powers of war — the civil functions 
of the Government are, for the time being, in abeyance when 
in conflict, and all State and " national " authority subordinated 
to the extreme authority of Congress, as the supreme power, in 
the peril of external or internal hostilities. The ordinary pro- 
visions of the Constitution peculiar to a state of peace, and all 
laws and municipal regulations, were to yield to the force of 
martial law, as resolved by Congress. This was designated as 
the " war power " of the United States Government. 

I should deem an apology to be due to my readers, in offer- 
ing for their perusal such insane extravagances, under a consti- 
tutional Government of limited powers, had not this doctrine 
been adopted by the United States Government, and subse- 
quently made the basis of some most revolutionary measures for 
the emancipation of the African slaves and the enslavement of 
the free citizens of the South. One must allow that the Cham- 
ber of Deputies of the French National Assembly of 1798 had 
some claims to a respectable degree of political virtue when 
compared with the Thirty-seventh Congress and the Executive 
of the United States. 

The specious argument for this tremendous and sweeping 
usurpation, designated as the " war power," as presented by its 
adherents, may be stated in a few words, thus : The Constitu- 
tion confers on Congress all the specific powers incident to war, 
and then further authorizes it " to make all laws which shall be 
necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing 
powers." The words are these : 

" Congress shall have power to declare war ; to grant letters of 
marque and reprisal ; to make rules concerning captures on land 
and water ; to raise and support armies ; to provide and maintain 
a navy ; to make rules for the government and regulation of the 
land and naval forces ; to provide for calling forth the militia to 
execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections, and repel 
invasion ; and to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper 
for carrying into execution the foregoing powers and all other 
powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the 
United States, or in any department or officer thereof." * 

* Constitution of the United States, Article I, section 8. 


It will be seen that this unlimited, despotic power was 
claimed for Congress in the conduct of the war under the last 
clause above, viz., " to make all laws which," etc. ; whereas no 
one familiar with the rules of legal interpretation will seriously 
contend that the powers of Congress are one atom greater by 
the insertion of this provision than they would have been if it 
had not appeared in the Constitution. The delegation of a 
power gives the incidental means necessary for its execution. 

Another step in the usurpations begun for the destruction 
of slavery was the passage by Congress of an act for the eman- 
cipation of slaves in the District of Columbia. The act eman- 
cipated all persons of African descent held to service within the 
District, immediately upon its passage. Those owners of slaves 
who had not sympathized with us were allowed ninety days to 
prepare and present to commissioners, appointed for that pur- 
pose, the names, ages, and personal description of their slaves, 
who were to be valued by commissioners. No single slave 
could be estimated to be worth more than three hundred dol- 
lars. One million dollars was appropriated to carry the act into 
effect. All claims were to be presented within ninety days after 
the passage of the act, and not thereafter ; but there was no 
saving clause for minors, femmes covert, insane or absent per- 
sons. On his approval of the act, the Executive of the United 
States sent a message to Congress, in which he said : 

" I have never doubted the constitutional authority of Congress 
to abolish slavery in the District, and I have ever desired to see 
the national capital freed from the institution in some satisfactory 
way. Hence there never has been in my mind any questions upon 
the subject, except those of expediency, arising in view of all the 

For the previous twenty-five or thirty years the subject had 
again and again been presented in Congress, and was always 
rejected. One of the incidents that led to our withdrawal from 
the Union was the apprehension that it was the intention of the 
United States Government to violate the constitutional right of 
each State to adopt and maintain, to reject or abolish slavery, as 
it pleased. This step showed the justness of our apprehensions. 


Among the rights guaranteed to every citizen of the United 
States, including the District of Columbia, was the right of 
property. No one could be deprived of his property by the 
Government, except in the manner prescribed and authorized 
by the Constitution. Its words are these : 

" No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property with- 
out due process of law ; nor shall private property be taken for 
public use without just compensation." * 

"Whenever it was necessary in the administration of affairs 
that the Government should take private property for public 
use, it had the right to take that private property on the condi- 
tion of making compensation for it, and on no other condition. 
Also, it could not be taken except for public use, even by mak- 
ing just compensation for it ; nor could it be taken to be de- 
stroyed. The simple and sole condition on which the inviola- 
bility of private property could be broken by the Government 
itself was, that it was necessary for public use. Otherwise, there 
was no constitutional right on the part of the Government to 
take the property at all. 

Again, this property, thus necessary, must be taken by due 
process of law. The Government had not the right to declare 
the mode, and arbitrarily fix the limit of price which should be 
paid. The negro could be taken only as other property, even 
admitting that he could be taken for emancipation. The due 
process of law required that the citizen's property should be 
appraised judicially. A court must proceed judicially in every 
case, summon a jury, appoint commissioners, and, under the 
supervision and sanction of the court, the valuation of the slave 
by them must proceed as it does in relation to any other prop- 
erty of the citizen that might be taken by the lawful exercise of 
the power of Congress or of the United States Government. 
Thus it will be seen that by this usurpation of power the Con- 
stitution was violated, not only by taking private property for 
other purposes than for public use, but in the neglect to observe 
the due process of law which the Constitution required. 

The next step in the usurpation of power for the destruc- 

* Constitution of the United States, Article V. 


tion of the right of citizens to hold property in slaves was the 
passage by Congress of an act which declared that, after its 
passage — 

" There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in 
any of the Territories of the United States now existing, or which 
may at any time hereafter be formed or acquired by the United 
States, otherwise than in the punishment of crimes," etc. 

The subject had been brought forward at every session of 
Congress for a number of years, and was uniformly resisted by 
the advocates of equality among the States. We claimed an 
equal right with the other States to the occupation and settle- 
ment of the Territories which were the common property of 
the Union ; and that any infringement of this right was not 
only a violation of the spirit of the Constitution, but destruc- 
tive of that equality of the States so necessary for the main- 
tenance of their Union. "We further claimed our right under 
this express provision of the Constitution : 

" The Congress shall have power to dispose of and make all 
needful rules and regulations respecting the Territory or other 
property belonging to the United States ; and nothing in this 
Constitution shall be so construed as to prejudice any claims of 
the United States or of any particular States." * 

The obstinate resistance of the consolidation school to our 
views was an evidence of their aggressive purposes, and jus- 
tified still further our apprehensions of their intention to vio- 
late our constitutional rights. 

Another step taken to accomplish the emancipation of our 
slaves was the passage by Congress of an act making an addi- 
tional article of war for the government of the army of the 

United States. It was in these words : 

" All officers or persons in the military or naval service of the 
United States are prohibited from employing any of the forces 
under their respective commands for the purpose of returning 
fugitives from service or labor, who may have escaped from any 
persons to whom such service or labor is claimed to be due ; and 
* Constitution of the United States, Article IV, section 3, clause 2. 


any officer who shall be found guilty by a court-martial of violat- 
ing this article shall be dismissed from the service." 

The Constitution of the United States expressly declares 
that all such persons 

" Shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such 
service or labor may be due." * 

In this instance Congress passed an act declaring that they 
shall not be delivered up on such claim ; and, as a penalty for 
disobedience, any officer of the army or navy should be dis- 
missed from the service. Thus an act of Congress directly for- 
bade that which the Constitution commanded. A more fla- 
grant outrage upon the constitutional obligation could not be 

But, it may be said, a state of war existed. That does not 
diminish the crime of the Congress. The commands of the 
Constitution are positive, direct, unchanged, and unrelaxed by 
circumstances. They are equally in force in a state of war and 
in a state of peace. The powers are delegated, and can not be 
amended or changed by war or peace. Its words are these : 

" This Constitution, and the laws of the United States, which 
shall be made in pursuance thereof, shall be the supreme law, and 
the judges in every State shall be bound thereby, anything in the 
Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding. 
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the mem- 
bers of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial 
officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall 
be bound by oath or affirmation to support this Constitution." f 

It declares itself to be, within its province, the supreme law 
of the United States, not merely during the condition of peace, 
but continuing through all times and events supreme through- 
out the Union, until it should be altered or amended in the 
manner prescribed. 

Another instance of the like flagrant violation of the Con- 
stitution is to be found in the ninth and tenth sections of the 

* Constitution of the United States, Article IV, section 2. f Ibid., Article VI. 


confiscation act previously referred to. The Constitution of 
the United States in Article IV, section 3, says : 

" No person held to service or labor in one State, under the 
laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law 
or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor." 

It will be seen, by reference to the Constitution, that the 
first part of the clause here referred to forbids the discharge of 
the fugitive, and the second part commands his delivery to the 
claimant. It has just been stated in what manner Congress 
commanded the claim for delivery to be repudiated. The " dis- 
charge from such service and labor," in consequence of any 
State law or regulation, is forbidden. This is a part of the Con- 
stitution, and it is thereby made the duty of the executive, 
legislative, and judicial departments of the United States Gov- 
ernment to enforce the prohibition, to make sure that the fugi- 
tive is not discharged by any action of a State. 

"Will the friends of constitutional liberty believe our asser- 
tion that these acts, the execution of which it was so expressly 
made the duty of the United States Government to prevent, 
that Government itself did do in the most explicit and effective 
manner ? The Constitution forbids the discharge ; Congress and 
the Executive, each, not only commanded the discharge, but, to 
make it sure and thorough, forbade the incipiency of an appre- 
hension — not even permitting the shadow of an occasion for a 
discharge. Could human ingenuity devise a method for a more 
perfect subversion of a constitutional duty % The provisions of 
the act are in these words : 

" All slaves of persons who shall hereafter be engaged in re- 
bellion against the Government of the United States, or who shall 
in any way give aid or comfort thereto, escaping from such per- 
sons and taking refuge within the lines of the army ; and all slaves 
captured from such persons or deserted by them and coming 
under the control of the Government of the United States ; and 
all slaves of such persons found or being within any place occu- 
pied by rebel forces and afterward occupied by the forces of the 
United States, shall be deemed captives of war, and shall be for 
ever free of their servitude, ana 1 not again held as slaves." 


Again, the next section of the same act says : 

"No slave escaping into any State, Territory, or the District 
of Columbia from any other State, shall be delivered up, or in any 
way impeded or hindered of his liberty, except for crime or some 
offense against the laws, unless the person claiming said fugitive 
shall first make oath that the person, to whom the labor or service 
of such fugitive is alleged to be due, is his lawful owner, and has 
not borne arms against the United States in the present rebellion, 
nor in any way given aid and comfort thereto." * 

In this connection it is worth while to read again the words 
of the Constitution : 

"No person held to service or labor in one State, under the 
laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any 
law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, 
but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such ser- 
vice or labor may be due." 

Let it be observed that there is no limitation, no qualifica- 
tion, no condition whatever attached to this clause of the Con- 
stitution. The words " no person held to service " included 
every slave in the United States. In Article I, section 9, and 
in Article V, are exceptions suspending the operation of the 
general provision. But in this provision there are none, be- 
cause it was intended there should be none. The provision was 
designed to include every slave, and to be in force under all cir- 

Perhaps it may be urged as an objection to this assertion, 
that the Confederate States were out of the Union and beyond 
the protection of the provisions of the Constitution. This ob- 
jection can not be admitted in extenuation of this crime of Con- 
gress and the Executive ; for there was, thus far, no act of Con- 
gress, nor proclamation of the President in existence, showing 
that either of them regarded the Confederate States in any 
other position than as States within the Union, whose citizens 
were subject to all the penalties contained in the Constitution, 
and therefore entitled to the benefit of all its provisions for 

* Laws of the United States, 1862. 


tlieir protection. Unhesitatingly it may be said, and as will be 
still more apparent farther on in these pages, that all the conduct 
of the Confederate States, pertaining to the war, consisted in 
just efforts to preserve to themselves and their posterity rights 
and protections guaranteed to them in the Constitution of the 
United States ; and that the actions of the Federal Government 
consisted in efforts to subvert those rights, destroy those protec- 
tions, and subjugate us to compliance with its arbitrary will ; 
and that this conduct on their part involved the subversion of 
the Constitution and the destruction of the fundamental prin- 
ciples of liberty. Who is the criminal ? Let posterity answer. 


Forced Emancipation concluded.— Emancipation Acts of President Lincoln. — Eman- 
cipation with Compensation proposed to Border States. — Reasons urged for it. 
— Its Unconstitutionality. — Order of General Hunter. — Revoked by President 
Lincoln. — Reasons. — " The Pressure " on him. — One Cause of our Secession. — 
The Time to throw off the Mask at Hand. — The Necessity that justified the 
President and Congress also justified Secession. — Men united in Defense of 
Liberty called Traitors. — Conference of President Lincoln with Senators and 
Representatives of Border States. — Remarks of Mr. Lincoln. — Reply of Sena- 
tors and Representatives. — Failure of the Proposition. — Three Hundred Thou- 
sand more Men called for. — Declarations of the Antislavery Press. — Truth of 
our Apprehensions. — Reply of President Lincoln. — Another Call for Men. — 
Further Declarations of the Antislavery Press. — The Watchword adopted. — 
Memorial of So-called Christians to the President.— Reply of President Lincoln. 
— Issue of the Preliminary Proclamation of Emancipation. — Issue of the Final 
Proclamation. — The Military Necessity asserted. — The Consummation verbally 
reached. — Words of the Declaration of Independence. — Declarations by the 
United States Government of what it intended to do.— True Nature of the Party 
unveiled. — Declarations of President Lincoln. — Vindication of the Sagacity of 
the Southern People. — His Declarations to European Cabinets. — Object of these 
Declarations.— Trick of the Fugitive Thief.— The Boast of Mr. Lincoln calmly 

The attention of the reader is now invited to a series of 
usurpations in which the President of the United States was 
the principal actor. On March 6, 1862, he began a direct and 
unconstitutional interference with slavery by sending a message 


to Congress recommending the adoption of a resolution which 
should declare that the United States ought to cooperate with 
any State which might adopt the gradual abolition of slavery, 
giving to such State pecuniary aid, to be used by such State in 
its discretion, to compensate for the inconvenience, public and 
private, produced by such change of system. The reason given 
for the recommendation of the adoption of the resolution was 
that the United States Government would find its highest inter- 
est in such a measure as one of the most important means of 
self-preservation. He said, in explanation, that " the leaders of 
the existing rebellion entertain the hope that this Government 
will ultimately be forced to acknowledge the independence of 
some part of the disaffected region, and that all the slave States 
north of such part will then say, ' The Union for which we have 
struggled being already gone, we now choose to go with the 
Southern section.' To deprive them of this hope substantially 
ends the rebellion, and the initiation of emancipation deprives 
them of it and of all the States initiating it." 

When it was asked where the power was found in the Con- 
stitution to appropriate the money of the people to carry out 
the purposes of the resolution, it was replied that the legisla- 
tive department of the Government was competent, under these 
words in the preamble of the Constitution, " to provide for the 
general welfare," to do anything and everything which could , 
be considered as promoting the general welfare. It was further 
said that this measure was to be consummated under the war 
power ; that whatever was necessary to carry on the war to a 
successful conclusion might be done without restraint under the 
authority, not of the Constitution, but as a military necessity. 
It was further said that the President of the United States had 
thus far failed to meet the just expectations of the party which 
elected him to the office he held; and that his friends were 
to be comforted by the resolution and the message, while the 
people of the border slave States could not fail to observe that 
with the comfort to the North there was mingled an awful 
warning to them. It was denied by the President that it was 
an interference with slavery in the States. It was an artful 
scheme to awaken a controversy in the slave States, and to com- 


mence the work of emancipation by holding out pecuniary aid 
as an inducement. In every previous declaration the President 
had said that he did not contemplate any interference with do- 
mestic slavery within the States. The resolution was passed by 
large majorities in each House. 

This proposition of President Lincoln was wholly unconsti- 
tutional, because it attempted to do what was expressly forbid- 
den by the Constitution. It proposed a contract between the 
State of Missouri and the Government of the United States 
which, in the language of the act, shall be " irrepealable with- 
out the consent of the United States." The words of the Con- 
stitution are as follows : 

" No State shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation, 
grant letters of marque and reprisal, coin money, etc." * 

This is a prohibition not only upon the power of one State 
to enter into a compact, alliance, confederation, or agreement 
with another State, but also with the Government of the United 

Again, if the State of Missouri could enter into an irrepeal- 
able agreement or compact with the United States, that sla- 
very should not therein exist after the acceptance on the part of 
Missouri of the act, then it would be an agreement on the part 
of that State to surrender its sovereignty and make the State 
unequal in its rights of sovereignty with the other States of the 
Union. The other States would have the complete right of sov- 
ereignty over their domestic institutions while the State of Mis- 
souri would cease to have such right. The whole system of the 
United States Government would be abrogated by such legisla- 
tion. Again, it is a cardinal principle of the system that the 
people in their sovereign capacity may, from time to time, change 
and alter their organic law ; and a provision incorporated in 
the Constitution of Missouri that slavery should never there- 
after exist in that State could not prevent a future sovereign 
convention of its people from reestablishing slavery within its 

It will be observed, from what has been said in the preced- 

* Article I, section 10. 


ino- pages, that the usurpations by the Government of the 
United States, both by the legislative and executive depart 
ments, had not only been tolerated but approved. Feeling 
itself, therefore, fortified in its unlimited power from " neces- 
sity," the wheels of the revolution were now to move with 
accelerated velocity in their destructive work. Accordingly, 
a manifesto soon comes from the Executive on universal eman- 
cipation. On April 25, 1862, the United States Major-General 
Hunter, occupying a position at Hilton Head, South Carolina, 
issued an order declaring the States of Georgia, Florida, and 
South Carolina under martial law. On May 9th the same offi- 
cer issued another order, declaring " the persons held as slaves 
in those States to be for ever free." The Executive of the 
United States, on May 19th, issued a proclamation declaring the 
order to be void, and said : 

"I further make known that, whether it be competent for me 
as commander-in-chief of the army and navy to declare the slaves 
of any State or States free, and whether at any time or in any 
case it shall have become a necessity indispensable to the mainte- 
nance of the Government to examine such supposed power, are 
questions which, under my responsibility, I reserve to myself, and 
which I can not feel justified in leaving to the decision of com- 
manders in the field." 

Speaking of this order of Major-General Hunter soon after- 
ward, President Lincoln, in remarks on July 12, 1862, to the 
border States Representatives, said : 

"In repudiating it, I gave dissatisfaction, if not offense, to 
many whose support the country can not afford to lose. And this 
is not the end of it. The pressure in this direction is still upon 
me, and is increasing." 

This pressure consisted in the demand of his extreme par- 
tisans that the whole authority of the Government should be 
exerted for the immediate and universal emancipation of the 

By a reference to the statement of the causes of our with- 
drawal from the Union of the United States, it will be seen that 


one of them consisted in the conviction that the newly elected 
officers of the Government would wield its powers for the de- 
struction of the institutions of the Southern States. The facts 
already related in these pages furnish ample proofs of the jus- 
tice and accuracy of this conviction. 

The time was now close at hand when the mask was to be 
thrown off, and, at a single dash of the pen, four hundred mill- 
ions of our property was to be annihilated, the whole social 
fabric of the Southern States disrupted, all branches of indus- 
try to be disarranged, good order to be destroyed, and a flood 
of evils many times greater than the loss of property to be in- 
flicted upon the people of the South, thus consummating the 
series of aggressions which had been inflicted for more than 
thirty years. All constitutional protections were to be with- 
drawn, and the powers of a common government, created for 
common and equal protection to the interests of all, were to be 
arrayed for the destruction of our institutions. The President 
of the United States says : " This is not the end. ' The pressure 
in this direction is still upon me, and is increasing." How easy 
it would have been for the Northern people, by a simple, hon- 
est obedience to the provisions of the Constitution, to have 
avoided the commission of all these crimes and horrors ! For 
the law which demands obedience to itself guarantees in return 
life and safety. It is not necessary to ask again where the 
President of the United States or the Congress found authority 
for their usurpations. But it should be remembered that, if the 
necessity which they pleaded was an argument to justify their 
violations of all the provisions of the Constitution, the existence 
of such a necessity on their part was a sufficient argument to 
justify our withdrawal from union with them. If necessity on 
their part justified a violation of the Constitution, necessity on 
our part justified secession from them. If the preservation of 
the existence of the Union by coercion of the States was an 
argument to justify these violent usurpations by the United 
States Government, it was still more forcibly an argument to 
justify our separation and resistance to invasion ; for we were 
struggling for our natural rights, but the Government of the 
United States has no natural rights. 


How can a people who glory in a Declaration of Indepen- 
dence which broke the slumbers of a world declare that men 
united in defense of liberty, property, and the pursuit of happi- 
ness are " traitors " ? Is it henceforth to be a dictum of human- 
ity that man may no more take up arms in defense of rights, 
liberty, and property ? Shall it never again in the course of 
human events become lawful " for one people to dissolve the 
political bands which have connected them with another, and to 
assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal 
station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle 
them " ? Is the highwayman, henceforth, to be the lord of the 
highway, and the poor, plundered traveler to have no property 
which he may defend at the risk of the life of the highwayman '? 

On July 12, 1862, the President of the United States, per- 
sistent in his determination to destroy the institution of slavery, 
invited the Senators and Representatives of the border slave- 
holding States to the Executive Mansion, and addressed them 
on emancipation in their respective States. He said : 

" I intend no reproach or complaint when I assure you that, in 
my opinion, if you all had voted for the resolution in the gradual 
emancipation message of last March, the war would now be sub- 
stantially ended. And the plan therein proposed is yet one of the 
most potent and swift means of ending it. Let the States which 
are in rebellion see definitely and certainly that in no event will 
the States you represent ever join their proposed confederacy, and 
they can not much longer maintain the contest. But you can not 
divest them of their hope to ultimately have you with them so 
long as you show a determination to perpetuate the institution 
within your own States. Beat them at elections as you have over- 
whelmingly done, and, nothing daunted, they still claim you as 
their own. You and I know what the lever of their power is. 
Break that lever before their faces, and they can shake you no 
more for ever." 

He further said that the incidents of the war might extin- 
guish the institution in their States, and added : 

"How much better for you as seller and the nation as buyer 
to sell out and buy out that without which the war could never 


have been, than to sink both the thing to be sold and the price of 
it in cutting one another's throats ! " 

The reply of the majority, consisting of twenty of the twenty- 
nine Senators and Representatives, subsequently made to the 
President, is worthy of notice. They said that they were not 
of the belief that funds would be provided for the object, or 
that their constituents would reap the fruits of the promise held 
out, and added : 

"The right to hold slaves is a right appertaining to all the 
States of the Union. They have the right to cherish or abolish the 
institution, as their tastes or their interests may prompt, and no 
one is authorized to question the right, or limit its enjoyment. 
And no one has more clearly affirmed that right than you have. 
Your inaugural address does you great honor in this respect, and 
inspired the country with confidence in your fairness and respect 
for law." 

After asserting that a large portion of our people were fight- 
ing because they believed the Administration was hostile to 
their rights, and was making war on their domestic institutions, 
they further said : 

" Remove their apprehensions ; satisfy them that no harm is 
intended to them and their institutions ; that this Government is 
not making war on their rights of property, but is simply defend- 
ing its legitimate authority, and they will gladly return to their 

This measure of emancipation with compensation soon proved 
a failure. A proposition to appropriate five hundred thousand 
dollars to the object was voted down in the United States Sen- 
ate with great unanimity. The Government was, step by step, 
" educating the people " up to a proclamation of emancipation, 
so as to make entire abolition one of the positive and declared 
issues of the contest. 

The so-called pressure upon the President was now organized 
for a final onset. The Governors of fifteen States united in a 
request that three hundred thousand more men should be called 
out to fill up the reduced ranks, and it was done. The anti- 


slavery press then entered the arena. Charges were made 
against the President, in the name of 

" Twenty millions of people, that a great proportion of those 
who triumphed in his election were sorely disappointed and deeply 
pained by the policy he seemed to be pursuing with regard to the 
slaves of the rebels." 

This is a simple statement of the progress of events, and it 
shows to the world how well founded were our apprehensions, 
at the hour of its election, that the Administration intended 
the destruction of our property and community independence. 
They further said : 

" You are strangely and disastrously remiss in the discharge of 
your official and imperative duty with regard to the emancipation 
provisions of the new confiscation act." 

They further boldly added : 

" We complain that the Union cause has suffered, and is now 
suffering, immensely from mistaken deference to rebel slavery. 
Had you, sir, in your inaugural address, unmistakably given notice 
that, in case the rebellion already commenced was persisted in, 
and your efforts to preserve the Union and enforce the laws should 
be resisted by armed force, you would recognize no loyal person as 
rightfully held in slavery by a traitor, we believe the rebellion 
would therein have received a staggering if not fatal blow." 

The President replied at length, saying : 

"I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts 
the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more 
will help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown to 
be errors ; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear 
to be true views. I have here stated my purpose according to my 
view of official duty ; and I intend no modification of my oft- 
expressed personal wish that all men everywhere could be free." 

The education of the conservative portion of the Northern 
people up to emancipation was becoming more complete every 
day, notwithstanding the professed reluctance of the President. 


Another call for three hundred thousand men was made, but 
enlistments were slow, so that threats of a draft and most liberal 
bounties were required. The champions of emancipation sought 
to derive an advantage from this circumstance. They asserted 
that the reluctance of the people to enter the army was caused 
by the policy of the Government in not adopting bold emanci- 
pation measures. If such were adopted, the streets and by-ways 
would be crowded with volunteers to fight for the freedom of 
the " loyal blacks," and thrice three hundred thousand could be 
easily obtained. They said that slavery in the seceded States 
should be treated as a military question ; it contributed nearly 
all the subsistence which supported the Southern men in arms, 
dug their trenches, and built their fortifications. The watch- 
word which they now adopted was, " The abolition of slavery by 
the force of arms for the sake of the Union." 

Meantime, on September 13th, a delegation from the so- 
called " Christians " in Chicago, Illinois, presented to President 
Lincoln a memorial, requesting him to issue a proclamation of 
emancipation, and urged in its favor such reasons as occurred to 
their minds. President Lincoln replied : 

" What good would a proclamation of emancipation from me 
do, especially as we are now situated ? I do not want to issue a 
document that the whole world would see must necessarily be in- 
operative, like the Pope's bull against the comet. Would my 
word free the slaves, when I can not even enforce the Constitution 
in the rebel States ? Is there a single court, or magistrate, or in- 
dividual that would be influenced by it there ? And what reason 
is there to think it would have any greater effect upon the slaves 
than the late law of Congress which I approved, and which offers 
protection and freedom to the slaves of rebel masters who come 
within our lines ? Yet I can not learn that that law has caused a 
single slave to come over to us. And suppose they could be in- 
duced by a proclamation of freedom from me to throw themselves 
upon us, what should we do with them ? How can we feed and 
care for such a multitude ? . . . 

" If, now, the pressure of the war should call off our forces from 
New Orleans to defend some other point, what is to prevent the 
masters from reducing the blacks to slavery again ? . . . Now, 


then, tell me, if you please, what possible result of good would 
follow the issuing of such a proclamation as you desire ? I have 
not decided against a proclamation of liberty to the slaves, but 
hold the matter under advisement." 

Nine days after these remarks were made — on September 
22, 1862 — the preliminary proclamation of emancipation was 
issued by the President of the United States. It declared that 
at the next session of Congress the proposition for emancipation 
in the border slaveholding States would be again recommend- 
ed, and that on January 1, 1863 — 

" All persons held as slaves within any State or designated part 
of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against 
the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and for ever free ; 
and the Executive Government of the United States, including 
the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and main- 
tain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to 
repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may 
make for their actual freedom." 

Also, all persons engaged in the military and naval service 
were ordered to obey and enforce the article of war and the sec- 
tions of the confiscation act before mentioned. On January 1, 
1863, another proclamation was issued by the President of the 
United States declaring the emancipation to be absolute within 
the Confederate States, with the exception of a few districts. 
The closing words of the proclamation were these : 

" And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, 
warranted by the Constitution upon military necessity, I invoke 
the considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious favor of 
Almighty God." 

Let us test the existence of the military necessity liere 
spoken of by a few facts. The white male population of the 
Northern States was then 13,690,364. The white male popu- 
lation of the Confederate States was 5,449,463. The number 
of troops which the United States had called into the field ex- 
ceeded one million men. The number of troops which the 
Confederate Government had then in the field was less than 


four hundred thousand men. The United States Government 
had a navy which was only third in rank in the world. The 
Confederate Government had a navy which at that time con- 
sisted of a single small ship on the ocean. The people of the 
United States had a commerce afloat all over the world. The 
people of the Confederate States had not a single port open 
to commerce. The people of the United States were the rivals 
of the greatest nations in all kinds of manufactures. The people 
of the Confederate States had few manufactures, and those were 
of articles of inferior importance. The Government of the 
United States possessed the Treasury of a Union of eighty years 
with its vast resources. The Confederate States had to create a 
Treasury by the development of financial resources. The am- 
bassadors and representatives of the former were welcomed at 
every court in the world. The representatives of the latter 
were not recognized anywhere. 

Thus the consummation of the original antislavery purposes 
was verbally reached ; but even that achievement was attended 
with disunion, bloodshed, and war. In the words of the Dec- 
laration of Independence : 

" "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that, whenever any 
form of government becomes destructive of these ends" (life, 
liberty, and the pursuit of happiness), "it is the right of the people 
to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying 
its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in 
such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety 
and happiness. . . . "When a long train of abuses and usurpations, 
pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce 
them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to 
throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their 
future security." 

It is thus seen what the United States Government did, and 
our view of this subject would not be complete if we should 
omit to present their solemn declarations of that which they 
intended to do. In his proclamation of April 15, 1861, calling 
for seventy-five thousand men, the President of the United 
States Government said : 


" In any event, the utmost care will be observed, consistently 
with the objects aforesaid, to avoid any devastation, any destruc- 
tion of or interference with property, or any disturbance of peace- 
ful citizens in any part of the country." 

On the 22d of July, 1861, Congress passed a resolution rela- 
tive to the war, from which the following is an extract : 

"That this war is not waged on our part in any spirit of 
oppression, or for any purpose of conquest or subjugation, or pur- 
pose of overthrowing or interfering with the rights or established 
institutions of those [Confederate] States ; but to defend and 
maintain the supremacy of the Constitution, and to preserve the 
Union with all the dignity, equality, and rights of the several 
States unimpaired ; and that, as soon as these objects are accom- 
plished, the war ought to cease." 

The vote in favor of the resolution was : in the Senate, 
yeas 30, nays 4; in the House of Representatives, yeas 117, 
nays 2. 

It may further be observed that these proclamations cited 
above afforded to our whole people the complete and crowning 
proof of the true nature of the designs of the party which 
elevated to power the person then occupying the Presidential 
chair at Washington, and which sought to conceal its purposes 
by every variety of artful device and by the perfidious use of 
the most solemn and repeated pledges on every possible occa- 
sion. A single example may be cited from the declaration 
made by President Lincoln, under the solemnity of his oath as 
Chief Magistrate of the United States, on March 4, 1861 : 

" Apprehension seems to exist among the people of the South- 
ern States that, by the accession of a Republican Administration, 
their property and their peace and personal security are to be 
endangered. There has never been any reasonable cause for such 
apprehensions. Indeed, the most ample evidence to the contrary 
has all the while existed and been open to their inspection. It is 
found in nearly all the public speeches of him who now addresses 
you. I do but quote from one of those speeches when I declare 
that I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with 
the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe 


I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do 
so. Those who nominated and elected me did so with full knowl- 
edge that I had made this and many similar declarations, and had 
never recanted them. And more than this, they placed in the 
platform for my acceptance, and as a law to themselves and to 
me, the clear and emphatic resolution which I now read : 

" Resolved, That the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the 
States, and especially the right of each State to order and control 
its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclu- 
sively, is essential to that balance of power on which the perfec- 
tion and endurance of our political fabric depend, and we denounce 
the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil of any State or 
Territory, no matter under what pretext, as among the gravest 

Nor was this declaration of the want of power or disposition 
to interfere with our social system confined to a state of peace. 
Both before and after the actual commencement of hostilities, 
the Executive of the United States repeated in formal official 
communications to the Cabinets of Great Britain and France, 
that it was utterly without constitutional power to do the act 
which it subsequently committed, and that in no possible event, 
whether the secession of these States resulted in the establishment 
of a separate Confederacy or in the restoration of the Union, 
was there any authority by virtue of which it could either 
restore a disaffected State, to the Union by force of arms, or 
make any change in any of its institutions. I refer especially 
for the verification of this assertion to the dispatches addressed 
by the Secretary of State of the United States, under direc- 
tion of the President, to the Ministers of the United States 
at London and Paris, under date of the 10th and 22d of 
April, 1861. 

This proclamation was therefore received by the people of 
the Confederate States as the fullest vindication of their own 
sagacity in foreseeing the uses to which the dominant party in 
the United States intended from the beginning to apply their 

For what honest purpose were these declarations made? 
They could deceive no one who was familiar with the powers 


and duties of the Federal Government ; they were uttered in 
the season of invasion of the Southern States, to coerce them to 
obedience to the agent established by the compact between the 
States, for the purpose of securing domestic tranquillity and the 
blessings of liberty. The power to coerce States was not given, 
and the proposition to make that grant received no favor in the 
Convention which formed the Constitution ; and it is seen by the 
proceedings in the States, when the Constitution was submitted 
to each of them for their ratification or rejection as they might 
choose, that a proposition which would have enabled the Gen- 
eral Government, by force of arms, to control the will of a 
State, would have been fatal to any effort to make a more per- 
fect Union. Such declarations as those cited from the diplo- 
matic correspondence, though devoid of credibility at home, 
might avail in foreign countries to conceal from their govern- 
ments the real purpose of the action of the majority. Mean- 
while, the people of the Confederacy plainly saw that the ideas 
and interests of the Administration were to gain by war the 
empire that would enable it to trample on the Constitution 
which it professed to defend and maintain. 

It was by the slow and barely visible approaches of the ser- 
pent seeking its prey that the aggressions and usurpations of 
the United States Government moved on to the crimes against 
the law of the Union, the usages of war among civilized na- 
tions, the dictates of humanity and the requirements of justice, 
which have been recited. The performance of this task has 
been painful, but persistent and widespread misrepresentation 
of the cause and conduct of the South required the exposure of 
her slanderer. To unmask the hypocrisy of claiming devotion 
to the Constitution, while violating its letter and spirit for a 
purpose palpably hostile to it, was needful for the defense of 
the South. In the future progress of this work it will be seen 
how often we have been charged with the very offenses com- 
mitted by our enemy — offenses of which the South was entirely 
innocent, and of which a chivalrous people would be incapable. 
There was in this the old trick of the fugitive thief who cries 
" Stop thief ! " as he runs. 

In his message to Congress one year later, on December 8, 


1863, the President of the United States thus boasts of his proc- 
lamation : 

" The preliminary emancipation proclamation, issued in Sep- 
tember, was running its assigned period to the beginning of the 
new year. A month later the final proclamation came, including 
the announcement that colored men of suitable condition would 
be received into the war service. The policy of emancipation and 
of employing black soldiers gave to the future a new aspect, about 
which hope and fear and doubt contended in uncertain conflict. 
According to our political system, as a matter of civil administra- 
tion, the General Government had no lawful power to effect eman- 
cipation in any State, and for a long time it had been hoped that 
the rebellion could be suppressed without resorting to it as a mili- 
tary measure. ... Of those who were slaves at the beginning of 
the rebellion, full one hundred thousand are now in the United 
States military service, about one half of which number actually 
bear arms in the ranks, thus giving the double advantage of tak- 
ing so much labor from the insurgent cause, and supplying the 
places which otherwise must be filled with so many white men. 
So far as tested, it is difficult to say they are not as good soldiers 
as any." 

Let the reader pause for a moment and look calmly at the 
facts presented in this statement. The forefathers of these 
negro soldiers were gathered from the torrid plains and malarial 
swamps of inhospitable Africa. Generally they were born the 
slaves of barbarian masters, untaught in all the useful arts and 
occupations, reared in heathen darkness, and, sold by heathen 
masters, they were transferred to shores enlightened by the rays 
of Christianity. There, put to servitude, they were trained in 
the gentle arts of peace and order and civilization; they in- 
creased from a few unprofitable savages to millions of efficient 
Christian laborers. Their servile instincts rendered them con- 
tented with their lot, and their patient toil blessed the land of 
their abode with unmeasured riches. Their strong local and 
personal attachment secured faithful service to those to whom 
their service or labor was due. A strong mutual affection was 
the natural result of this life-long relation, a feeling best if not 
only understood by those who have grown from childhood 


under its influence. Jsever was there happier dependence of 
labor and capital on each other. The tempter came, like the 
serpent in Eden, and decoyed them with the magic word of 
" freedom." Too many were allured by the uncomprehended 
and unfulfilled promises, until the highways of these wander- 
ers were marked by corpses of infants and the aged. He put 
arms in their hands, and trained their humble but emotional 
natures to deeds of violence and bloodshed, and sent them out 
to devastate their benefactors. What does he boastingly an- 
nounce ? — " It is difficult to say they are not as good soldiers 
as any." Ask the bereaved mother, the desolate widow, the 
sonless aged sire, to whom the bitter cup was presented by 
those once of their own household. With double anguish they 
speak of its bitterness. What does the President of the United 
States further say ? — " According to our political system, as a 
matter of civil administration, the General Government had 
no lawful power to effect emancipation in any State." And 
further on, as if with a triumphant gladness, he adds, " Thus 
giving the double advantage of taking so much labor from the 
insurgent cause, and supplying the places which otherwise must 
be filled with so many white men." A rare mixture of mal- 
feasance with ^traffic in human life ! It is submitted to the 
judgment of a Christian people how well such a boast befits 
the President of the United States, a federation of sovereigns 
under a voluntary compact for specific purposes. 




Naval Affairs. — Organization of the Navy Department. — Two Classes of Vessels. — 
Experiments for Floating Batteries and Rams. — The Norfolk Navy-Yard. — 
Abandonment by the Enemy. — The Merrimac Frigate made an Ironclad. — Officers. 
— Trial-Trip. — Fleet of the Enemy. — Captain Buchanan. — Resolves to attack 
the Enemy. — Sinks the Cumberland. — Burns the Congress. — "Wounded. — Execu- 
tive Officer Jones takes Command. — Retires for the Night. — Appearance of the 
Monitor. — The Virginia attacks her. — She retires to Shoal Water. — Refuses 
to come out. — Cheers of English Man-of-war. — Importance of the Navy-Yard. 
— Order of General Johnston to evacuate. — Stores saved. — The Virginia burned. 
— Harbor Defenses at Wilmington. — Harbor Defenses at Charleston. — Fights 
in the Harbor. — Defenses of Savannah. — Mobile Harbor and Capture of its 
Defenses. — The System of Torpedoes adopted. — Statement of the Enemy. — 
Sub-terra Shells placed in James River. — How made. — Used in Charleston 
Harbor ; in Roanoke River ; in Mobile Harbor. — The Tecumseh, how de- 

The organization of the Navy Department comprised nnder 
its general supervision a bureau of orders and details, one of 
ordnance and hydrography, one of provisions and clothing, and 
one of medicine and surgery. The grades of officers consisted 
of admirals, captains, commanders, surgeons, lfeutenants, and 
midshipmen. Of the officers at the close of the first year there 
were one admiral, twelve captains, thirty commanders, and one 
hundred and twelve first and second lieutenants. All of the 
principal officers had belonged to the United States Navy. 
Owing to the limited number of vessels afloat, many of these 
officers were employed on shore-duties. 

The vessels of the navy may be reduced to two classes : those 
intended for river and harbor defense, as ironclads, rams, float- 
ing batteries, or river-steamboats transformed into gunboats ; 
and sea-going steamers of moderate size,, some of them of great 
speed, but, not having been designed for war purposes, w T ere all 
unsuited for a powerful armament, and could not be expected 
to contend successfully with ships of war. 

Early in 1861 discussions and experiments were instituted 
by the Navy Department to determine how floating batteries 
and naval rams could be best constructed and protected by iron 


plates. Many persons had submitted plans, according to which 
cotton-bales might be effectively used as a shield against shot. 
Our deficiency in iron, and also in rolling-mills to prepare it 
into plates, caused cotton to be sometimes so employed ; though 
the experiments had satisfied the Navy Department that, instead 
of cotton being rendered impenetrable by compression, it was 
really less so than in looser condition, and that iron must needs 
be of great thickness to resist the direct impact of heavy shot at 
short ranges. An officer of the navy, as skillful in ordnance as 
he was in seamanship, and endowed with high capacity for the 
investigation of new problems — Lieutenant Catesby Ap R. 
Jones — had conducted many of these experiments, and, as will 
be seen hereafter, made efficient use of his knowledge both in 
construction and in battle. 

After Yirginia had seceded from the United States, but be- 
fore she had acceded to the Confederate States — viz., on the 
19th of April, 1861 — General Taliaferro, in command of Yir- 
ginia forces, arrived at Norfolk. Commodore McCauley, United 
States Navy, and commandant of the navy-yard, held a confer- 
ence with General Taliaferro, the result of which was " that 
none of the vessels should be removed, nor a shot fired except 
in self-defense." The excitement which had existed in the 
town was quieted by the announcement of this arrangement ; 
but it was soon ascertained that the Germantown and Merrimac, 
frigates in the port, had been scuttled, and the former otherwise 
injured. About midnight, as elsewhere stated, a fire was started 
in the navy -yard, which continued to increase, involving the 
destruction of the ship-houses, a ship of the line, and the un- 
finished frame of another ; several frigates, in addition to those 
mentioned, had been scuttled and sunk ; and other property de- 
stroyed, to an amount estimated at several million dollars. The 
Pawnee, which arrived on the 19th, had been kept under steam, 
and, taking the Cumberland in tow, retired down the harbor, 
freighted with a great portion of valuable munitions and the 
commodore and other officers of the yard.* In the haste and 
secrecy of the conflagration, a large amount of material remained 
uninjured. The Merrimac, a beautiful frigate, in the yard for 

* See "Annual Cyclopaedia," 1861, p. 536. 


repairs, was raised by the Virginians, and the work immediately 
commenced, on a plan devised by Lieutenant Brooke, Confeder- 
ate States Navy, to convert her hull, with such means as were 
available, into an iron-clad vessel. Two-inch plates were pre- 
pared, and she was covered with a double-inclined roof of four 
inches thickness. This armor, though not sufficiently thick to 
resist direct shot, sufficed to protect against a glancing ball, and 
was as heavy as was consistent with the handling of the ship. 
The shield was defective in not covering the sides sufficiently 
below the water-line, and the prow was unfortunately made of 
cast-iron ; but, when all the difficulties by which we were sur- 
rounded are remembered, and the service rendered by this float- 
ing battery considered, the only wonder must be that so much 
was so well done under the circumstances. 

Her armament consisted of ten guns, four single-banded 
Brooke rifles, and six nine-inch Dahlgren shell-guns. Two of 
the rifles, bow and stern pivots, were seven inch ; the other two 
were six and four tenths inch, one on each broadside. The nine- 
inch gun on each side, nearest the furnaces, was fitted for firing 
hot shot. The work of construction was prosecuted with all 
haste, the armament and crew were put on board, and the ves- 
sel started on her trial-trip as soon as the workmen were dis- 
charged. She was our first ironclad ; her model was an experi- 
ment, and many doubted its success. Her commander, Captain 
(afterward Admiral) Franklin Buchanan, with the wisdom of 
age and the experience of sea-service from his boyhood, com- 
bined the daring and enterprise of youth, and with him was 
Lieutenant Catesby Ap R. Jones, who had been specially in 
charge of the battery, and otherwise thoroughly acquainted 
with the ship. His high qualifications as an ordnance officer 
were well known in the " old navy," and he was soon to ex- 
hibit a like ability as a seaman in battle. 

Now the first Confederate ironclad was afloat, the Stars and 
Bars were given to the breeze, and she was new-christened " The 
Virginia." She was joined by the Patrick Henry, six guns, 
Commander John R. Tucker ; the Jamestown, two guns, Lieu- 
tenant-commanding John 1ST. Barney; the Beaufort, one gun, 
Lieutenant-commanding W. H. Parker ; the Raleigh, one gun, 


Lieutenant-commanding J. W. Alexander; the Teaser, one 
gun, Lieutenant-commanding W. A. Webb. 

The enemy's fleet in Hampton Roads consisted of the Cum- 
berland, twenty-four guns ; Congress, fifty guns ; St. Lawrence, 
fifty guns ; steam-frigates Minnesota and Roanoke, forty guns 
each. The relative force was as twenty-one guns to two hun- 
dred and four, not counting the small steamers of the enemy, 
though they had heavier armament than the small vessels of 
our fleet, which have been enumerated. The Cumberland and 
the Congress lay off Newport News ; the other vessels were an- 
chored about nine miles eastward, near to Fortress Monroe. 
Strong shore-batteries and several small steamers, armed with 
heavy rifled guns, protected the frigates Cumberland and Con- 

Buchanan no doubt felt the inspiration of a sailor when his 
vessel bears him from the land, and the excitement of a hero at 
the prospect of battle, and thus we may understand why the 
trial-trip was at once converted into a determined attack upon 
the enemy. After the plan of the Yirginia had been decided 
upon, the work of her construction was pushed with all possible 
haste. Her armament was on board, and she was taken out of 
the dock while the workmen were still employed upon her — in- 
deed, the last of them were put ashore after she was started on 
her first experimental trip. Few men, conscious as Flag-officer 
Buchanan was of the defects of his vessel, would have dared 
such unequal conflict. Slowly — about five knots an hour — he 
steamed down to the roads. The Cumberland and Congress, 
seeing the Yirginia approach, prepared for action, and, from 
the flag-ship Roanoke, signals were given to the Minnesota and 
St. Lawrence to advance. The Cumberland had swung so as to 
give her full broadside to the Yirginia, which silently and with- 
out any exhibition of her crew, moved steadily forward. The 
shot from the Cumberland fell thick upon her plated roof, but 
rebounded harmless as hailstones. At last the prow of the Yir- 
ginia struck the Cumberland just forward of her starboard fore- 
chains. A dull, heavy thud was heard, but so little force was 
given to the Yirginia that the engineer hesitated about backing 
her. It was soon seen, however, that a gaping breach had been 


made in the Cumberland, and that the sea was rushing madly 
in. She reeled, and, while the waves ingulfed her, her crew 
gallantly stood to their guns and vainly continued their fire. 
She went down in nine fathoms of water, and with at least one 
hundred of her gallant crew, her pennant still flying from her 

The Virginia then ran up stream a short distance, in order 
to turn and have sufficient space to get headway, and come 
down on the Congress. The enemy, supposing that she had 
retired at the sight of the vessels approaching to attack her, 
cheered loudly, both ashore and afloat. But, when she turned 
to descend upon the Congress, as she had on the Cumber- 
land, the Congress slipped her cables and ran ashore, bows on. 
The Yirginia took position as near as the depth of water would 
permit, and opened upon her a raking fire. The Minnesota was 
fast aground about one mile and a half below. The Roanoke 
and St. Lawrence retired toward the fort. The shore-batteries 
kept up their fire on the Yirginia, as did also the Minnesota 
at long range, and quite ineffectually. The Congress, being 
aground, could but feebly reply. Several of our small vessels 
came up and joined the Yirginia, and the combined fire was 
fearfully destructive to the Congress. Her commander was 
killed, and soon her colors were struck, and the white flag ap- 
peared both at the main and spanker gaff. The Beaufort, Lieu- 
tenant-commanding W. H. Parker, and the Raleigh, Lieutenant- 
commanding J. W. Alexander, tugs which had accompanied 
the Yirginia, were ordered to the Congress to receive the sur- 
render. The flag of the ship and the sword of its then com- 
mander were delivered to Lieutenant Parker, by whom they 
were subsequently sent to the Navy Department at Richmond. 
Other officers delivered their swords in token of surrender, and 
entreated that they might return to assist in getting their wound- 
ed out of the ship. The permission was granted to the officers, 
and they then took advantage of the clemency shown them 
to make their escape. In the mean time the shore-batteries fired 
upon the tugs, and compelled them to retire. By this fire five 
of their own men, our prisoners, were wounded. Flag-officer 
Buchanan had stopped the firing upon the Congress when she 


struck her flag, and ran up the white flag, as heretofore de- 
scribed. Lieutenant Jones in his official report, referring to 
the Congress, writes : " But she fired upon us with the white 
flag flying, wounding Lieutenant Minor and several of our men. 
We again opened fire upon her, and she is now in flames." 
The crew of the Congress escaped, as did that of the Cumber- 
land, by boats, or by swimming, and generously our men ab- 
stained from firing on them while so exposed. Flag-officer 
Buchanan was wounded by a rifle-ball, and had to be carried 
below. His intrepid conduct won the admiration of all. The 
executive and ordnance officer, Lieutenant Catesby Ap E. 
Jones, succeeded to the command. It was now so near night 
and the change of the tide that nothing further could be at- 
tempted on that day. The Virginia, with the smaller vessels 
attending her, withdrew and anchored off Sewell's Point. She 
had sunk the Cumberland, left the Congress on fire, had blown 
up a transport-steamer, sunk one schooner, and had captured 
another. Casualties, reported by Lieutenant Jones, were two 
killed and eight wounded. The prow of the Virginia was some- 
what damaged, her anchor and all her flag-staffs were shot away, 
and her smoke-stack and steam-pipe were riddled ; otherwise, 
the vessel was uninjured, and, as will be seen, was ready for 
action on the next morning. The prisoners and wounded were 
immediately sent up to the hospital at Norfolk. 

During the night the Monitor, an iron-clad turret-steamer, 
of an entirely new model, came in, and anchored near the Min- 
nesota. Like our Virginia she was an invention, and her merits 
and demerits were to be tested in the crucible of war. She was 
of light draught, and very little save the revolving turret was 
visible above the water, was readily handled, and had good 
speed ; but, also, like the Virginia, was not supposed by nautical 
men to be capable of braving rough weather at sea. 

The Virginia was the hull of a frigate, modified into an iron- 
clad vessel. She was only suited to smooth water, and it had 
. not been practicable to obtain for her such engines as would have 
given her the requisite speed. Her draught, twenty-two feet, 
was too great for the shoal water in the roads, and the appre- 
hension which was excited lest she should go up to Washington 


might have been allayed by a knowledge of the deep water 
necessary to float her. Her great length, depth, and want of 
power, caused difficulty in handling to be anticipated. In many 
respects she was an experiment, and, had we possessed the means 
to build a new vessel, no doubt a better model could have been 
devised. Commander Brooke, who united much science to 
great ingenuity, was not entirely free in the exercise, of either. 
Our means restricted us to making the best of that which chance 
had given us. 

In the morning the Virginia, with the Patrick Henry, 
the Jamestown, and the three little tugs, jestingly called the 
"mosquito fleet," returned to the scene of the previous day's 
combat, and to the completion of the work, the destruction of 
the Minnesota, which had, the evening before, been interrupted 
by the change of tide and the coming of night. The Monitor, 
which had come in during the previous night, and had been 
seen by the light of the burning Congress, opened fire on the 
Virginia when about the third of a mile distant. The Virginia 
sought to close with her, but the greater speed of the Monitor 
and the celerity with which she was handled made this imprac- 
ticable. The ships passed and repassed very near each other, 
and frequently the Virginia delivered her broadside at close 
quarters, but with no perceptible effect. The Monitor fired 
rapidly from her revolving turret, but not with such aim as to 
strike successively in the same place, and the armor of the Vir- 
ginia, therefore, remained unbroken. Lieutenant-commanding 
Catesby Jones, to whom Buchanan had intrusted the ship when 
he was removed to the hospital, soon discovered that the Monitor 
was invulnerable to his shells. He had a few solid shot, which 
were intended only to be fired from the nine-inch guns as hot 
shot, and therefore had necessarily so much windage that they 
would be ineffective against the shield of the~ Monitor. He, 
therefore, determined to run her down, and got all the headway 
he could obtain for that purpose, but the speed was so small 
that it merely pushed her out of her way. It was then decided 
to board her, and all hands were piped for that object. Then 
the Monitor slipped away on to shoal water where the Virginia 
could not approach her, and Commander Jones, after waiting a 


due time, and giving the usual signals of invitation to com- 
bat, without receiving any manifestation on the part of the 
Monitor of an intention to return to deep water, withdrew to 
the navy-yard. 

In the two days of conflict our only casualties were from the 
Cumberland as she went down valiantly fighting to the last, 
from the men on shore when the tugs went to the Congress to 
receive her surrender, or from the perfidious fire from the Con- 
gress while her white flags were flying. ISone were killed or 
wounded in the fight with the Monitor. 

As this was the first combat between two iron-clad vessels, it 
attracted great attention and provoked much speculation. Some 
assumed that wooden ships were henceforth to be of no use, and 
much has been done by the addition of armor to protect sea- 
going vessels ; but certainly neither of the two which provoked 
the speculation could be regarded as seaworthy, or suited to 
other than harbor defense. 

A new prow was put on the Virginia, she was furnished 
with bolts and solid shot, and the slight repairs needed were 
promptly made. The distinguished veteran, Commodore Jo- 
siah Tatnall, was assigned to the command of the Virginia, 
vice Admiral Buchanan, temporarily disabled. The Virginia, 
as far as possible, was prepared for battle and cruise in the 
Roads, and, on the 11th of April, Commodore Tatnall moved 
down to invite the Monitor to combat. But her officers kept 
the Monitor close to the shore, with her steam up, and under the 
guns of Fortress Monroe. To provoke her to come out, the 
little Jamestown was sent in and pluckily captured many prizes, 
but the Monitor lay safe in the shoal water under the guns of the 
formidable fortress. An English man-of-war, which was lying 
in the channel, witnessed this effort to draw the Monitor out 
into deep water in defense of her weaker countrymen, and, as 
Barney on the Jamestown passed with his prizes, cut out in full 
view of the enemy's fleet, the Englishmen, with their national 
admiration of genuine " game," as a spectator described it, " un- 
able to restrain their generous impulses, from the captain to the 
side-boy, cheered our gunboat to the very echo." I quote fur- 
ther from the same witness: "Early in May, a magnificent 


Federal fleet, the Virginia being concealed behind the land, had 
ventured across the channel, and some of them, expressly fitted 
to destroy our ship, were furiously bombarding our batteries at 
Sewell's Point. Dashing down comes old Tatnall on the in- 
stant, as light stepping and blithe as a boy. . . . But the Vir- 
ginia no sooner draws into range than the whole fleet, like a 
flushed covey of birds, flutters off into shoal water and under 
the guns of the forts " — where they remained. After some 
delay, and there being no prospect of active service, the Com- 
modore ordered the executive officer to fire a gun to windward 
and take the ship back to her buoy. Here, ready for service, 
waiting for an enemy to engage her, but never having the op- 
portunity, she remained until the 10th of the ensuing month. 

The Norfolk Navy-Yard, notwithstanding the injury done 
to it by conflagration, was yet the most available and equipped 
yard in the Confederacy. A land-force under General Huger 
had been placed there for its protection, and defensive works 
had also been constructed with a view to hold it as well for 
naval construction and repair as for its strategic importance in 
connection with the defense of the capital, Richmond. On 
the opposite side of the lower James, on the Peninsula between 
the James and York Rivers, we occupied an intrenched posi- 
tion of much natural strength. The two positions, Norfolk and 
the Peninsula, were necessary to each other, and the command 
of the channel between them essential to both. As long as the 
Virginia closed the entrance to the James River, and the in- 
trenchment on the Peninsula was held, it was deemed possible 
to keep possession of Norfolk. 

On the 1st of May General Johnston, commanding on the 
Peninsula, having decided to retreat, sent an order to General 
Huger to evacuate Norfolk. The Secretary of War, General 
Randolph, having arrived just at that time in Norfolk, assumed 
the authority of postponing the execution of the order " until 
he [General Huger] could remove such stores, munitions, and 
arms as could be carried off." The Secretary of the Navy, Mr. 
Mallory, was there also, and gave like instructions to the com- 
mandant of the yard. To the system and energy with which 
General Huger conducted the removal of heavy guns, machin- 


ery, stores, and munitions, we were greatly indebted in our 
future operations, both of construction and defense. A week 
was thus employed in the removal of machinery, etc., and the 
enemy, occupied with the retreating army on the Peninsula, 
did not cross the James River above, either to interrupt the 
transportation or to obstruct the retreat of the garrisons of the 
forts at Norfolk and its surroundings. When our army had 
been withdrawn from the Peninsula, and Norfolk had been 
evacuated, and the James River did not f urnish depth of chan- 
nel which would suffice for the Virginia to ascend it more 
than a few miles, her mission was ended. It is not surprising 
that her brilliant career created a great desire to preserve her, 
and that it was contemplated to lighten her and thus try to take 
her up the river, but the pilots declared this to be impracticable, 
and the court which subsequently investigated the matter sus- 
tained their opinion that " the only alternative was then and there 
to abandon and burn the ship." The statement of Commodore 
Tatnall shows that the Virginia could not have beeu taken sea- 
ward, and that such was the opinion of her first commander. 
He said : " I consulted Commodore Buchanan on the character 
and power of the ship. He expressed the distinct opinion that 
she was unseaworthy, that she was not sufficiently buoyant, and 
that in a common sea she would founder." She could not, it 
therefore appears, ascend the river, was unseaworthy, and was 
uncovered by the retreat of the troops with whom she had co- 
operated. So, on the 10th of May, the Virginia was taken to 
Craney Island, one mile above, and there her crew were landed ; 
they fell in and formed on the beach, and, in the language of 
the eye-witness heretofore quoted, " then and there, on the 
very field of her fame, within sight of the Cumberland's top- 
gallant-masts, all awash, within sight of that magnificent fleet 
still cowering on the shoal, with her laurels all fresh and green, 
we hauled down her drooping colors, and, with mingled pride 
and grief, we gave her to the flames." * 

At Wilmington, North Carolina, the Southwest bar was de- 
fended by Fort Caswell, and New Inlet bar by Fort Fisher. 

* " The Story of the Confederate Ship Virginia," by William Norris, Colonel 
Signal Corps, Confederate Army. 


The naval defenses consisted of two ironclads, the North Caro- 
lina and the Raleigh. The former could not cross any of the 
bars in consequence of her draught of water. Her steam-power 
hardly gave propulsion. She sank during the war off Smith- 
ville. The Raleigh's services were almost valueless in conse- 
quence of her deep draught and her feeble steam-power. She 
made one futile trip out of New Inlet, and after a few hours 
attempted to return, but was wrecked upon the bar. 

The brave and invincible defense of Fort Sumter gave to 
the city of Charleston, South Carolina, additional luster. For 
four years that fort, located in its harbor, defied the army and 
navy of the United States. When the city was about to be 
abandoned to the army of General Sherman, the forts defend- 
ing the harbor were embraced in General Hardee's plan of 
evacuation. The gallant commander of Fort Sumter, Colonel 
Stephen Elliott, Jr., with unyielding fortitude, refused to be 
relieved, after being under incessant bombardment day and 
night for weeks. It was supposed he must be exhausted, and 
he was invited to withdraw for rest, but, on receiving the gen- 
eral order of retreat, he assembled his brave force on the rugged 
and shell-crushed parade-ground, read his instructions, and, in a 
voice that trembled with emotion, addressed his men in the 
glowing language of patriotism and unswerving devotion to the 
Confederate cause. The cheers, which responded to the utter- 
ances of their colonel, came from manly and chivalric throats. 
Yielding to the inevitable, they claimed for the Stars and Bars 
a salute of one hundred guns. As it was fired from Sumter, it 
was reechoed by all the Confederate batteries, and startled the 
outside blockaders with the idea that a great victory had been 
won by the Confederacy. 

The naval force of the Confederacy in Charleston Harbor 
consisted of three ironclads. Their steam-power was totally 
inadequate for the effective use of the vessels. In fact, when 
the wind and tide were moving in the same direction, it was 
impossible for the vessels to advance against them, light though 
the wind might be. Under such circumstances it was necessary 
to come to an anchor. On one occasion the ironclads Palmetto 
State and Chicora ran out of Charleston Harbor under favor- 


able circumstances. The Palmetto State assaulted the Merci- 
deta, commanded by Captain Stellwagen, who unconditionally 
surrendered. But the ironclad being under orders to follow 
her consort in chase of the enemy, and having no boats to which 
to transfer her prisoners, the parole of the officers and men was 
accepted, with their promise to observe the same until its return. 
The surrender was accepted, and an honest parole was the con- 
sideration for not being sunk on the spot. Captain Stellwagen 
abided but a short time, when, getting up steam, he broke his 
plighted word, and ran off with the captured vessel. The defi- 
ciency of speed on the part of the Confederate ironclads frus- 
trated their efforts to relieve the city of Charleston from con- 
tinued blockade. 

The harbor defenses of Savannah were intrusted to Commo- 
dore Tatnall, who defended the approach to the city with a 
small steamer of one gun, an inefficient floating battery and 
ironclad, which had been constructed from a blockade-runner. 
Several attempts were made to attack the enemy's vessels with 
the ironclad, but these were frustrated by the delay in opening 
a passage through the obstructions in the river when tide and 
opportunity were offered. Her draught was too great for the 
depth of water, except at high tides, and these were at long inter- 
vals. The ironclad was armed with a battery of four guns, two 
seven-inch and two six-inch. Her force consisted of some twenty- 
one officers and twenty-four men, when she was fully furnished. 
Another vessel was under construction and nearly' completed, 
and Commodore Tatnall, notwithstanding his well-known com- 
bative instincts, was understood to be unwilling to send the 
Atlanta alone against the enemy's blockading vessels. Lieuten- 
ant Webb, who had been lately placed in command of the At- 
lanta, took her to Warsaw Sound to deliver battle singly to the 
two ironclads Weehawken and Nahant, which awaited her ap- 
proach. The Atlanta got twice aground — the second time, inex- 
tricably so. In this situation she was attacked, and, though 
hopelessly, was bravely defended, but was finally forced to sur- 

Mobile Harbor was thought to be adequately provided for, 
as torpedoes obstructed the approach, and Forts Morgan and 


Gaines commanded the entrance, aided by the improvised fleet 
of Admiral Buchanan, which consisted of the wooden gunboats 
Morgan and Gaines, each carrying six guns, and Selma four 
guns, with the ram Tennessee of six guns — in all, twenty-two 
guns and four hundred and seventy men. On August 4, 1864, 
Fort Gaines was assaulted by the United States force from the 
sea-side of the beach. The resistance made was feeble, and the 
fort soon surrendered. On the next day Admiral Farragut 
stood into the bay with a force consisting of four monitors, or 
ironclads, and fourteen steamers, carrying one hundred and 
ninety-nine guns and twenty-seven hundred men. One iron- 
clad was sunk by a torpedo. Admiral Buchanan advanced to 
meet this force, and sought to run into the larger vessels with 
the Tennessee, but they avoided him by their superior speed. 
Meanwhile the gunboats became closely engaged with the ene- 
my, but were soon dispersed by his overwhelming force. The 
Tennessee again stood for the enemv and renewed the attack 
with the hope of sinking some of them with her prow, but she 
was again foiled by their superior speed in avoiding her. The 
engagement with the whole fleet soon became general, and lasted 
an hour. Frequently the Tennessee was surrounded by the ene- 
my, and all her guns were in action almost at the same moment. 
Four of their heaviest vessels ran into her under full steam with 
the view of sinking her. While surrounded by six of these 
heavy vessels which were suffering fearfully from her heavy 
battery, the' steering-gear of the Tennessee was shot away, and 
her ability to manoeuvre was completely destroyed, leaving the 
formidable Confederate entirely at the disposal of the enemy. 
This misfortune, it was believed, saved the greater part of Far- 
ragut's fleet. Further resistance becoming unavailable, the 
wounded Admiral was under the painful necessity of ordering 
a surrender. His little fleet became a prey to the enemy, except 
the Morgan, which made good her escape to Mobile. 

This unequal contest was decidedly creditable to the Confed- 
eracy. The entire loss of the enemy, most of which is ascribed 
to the Tennessee, amounted to quite three hundred in killed and 
wounded, exclusive of one hundred lost on the sunken ironclad, 
making a number almost as large as the entire Confederate force. 


On August 22d, Fort Morgan was bombarded from the land, 
also by ironclads at sea, and by the fleet inside. Thus Forts 
Powel, Morgan, and Gaines shared the fate of the Confederate 
fleet, and the enemy became masters of the bay. On this as on 
other occasions, the want of engines of sufficient power consti- 
tuted a main obstacle to the success which the gallantry and 
skill of the seamen so richly deserved. 

The system of torpedoes adopted by us was probably more 
effective than any other means of naval defense. The destruc- 
tiveness of these little weapons had long been known, but no 
successful modes for their application to the destruction of the 
most powerful vessels of war and ironclads had been devised. 
It remained for the skill and ingenuity of our officers to bring 
the use of this terrible instrument to perfection. The success 
of their efforts is very frankly stated by one of the most dis- 
tinguished of the enemy's commanders — Admiral Porter.* He 
says : 

"Most of the Southern seaports fell into our possession with 
comparative facility ; and the difficulty of capturing Charleston, 
Savannah, Wilmington, and Mobile was in a measure owing to the 
fact that the approaches to these places were filled with various 
kinds of torpedoes, laid in groups, and fired by electricity. The 
introduction of this means of defense on the side of the Confeder- 
ates Vas for a time a severe check to our naval forces, for the com- 
manders of squadrons felt it their duty to be careful when dealing 
with an element of warfare of which they knew so little, and the 
character and disposition of which it was so difficult to discover. 
In this system of defense, therefore, the enemy found their great- 
est security ; and, notwithstanding all the efforts of Du Pont and 
Dahlgren, Charleston, Wilmington, and Savannah remained closed 
to our forces until near the close of the war." 

In 1862, while General McClellan was in command of the 
enemy's forces below Richmond, it was observed that they had 
more than a hundred vessels in the James River, as if they were 
about to make an advance by that way upon the city. This led 
to an order placing General G. J. Rains in charge of the sub- 

* See "Torpedo "Warfare," "North American Keview," September-October, 


marine defenses ; and, on the James River opposite Drewry's 
Bluff, the iirst submarine torpedo was made. The secret of all 
his future success consisted in the sensitive primer, which is 
unrivaled by any other means to explode torpedoes or sub-terra 

The torpedoes were made of the most ordinary material gen- 
erally, as, beer-barrels fixed with conical heads, coated within 
and without with rosin dissolved in coal-tar ; some were made 
of cast-iron, copper, or tin; and glass demijohns were used. 
There were three essentials to success, viz., the .sensitive fuse- 
primer, a charge of sixty pounds of gunpowder, and actual con- 
tact between the torpedo and the bottom of the vessel. 

There were one hundred and twenty-three of these torpe- 
does placed in Charleston Harbor and Stono River. It was 
blockaded by thirteen large ships and ironclads, with six or 
seven storeships, and some twenty other vessels. The position 
of each one was known, and they could be approached within 
a half-mile, which made it easy to attack, destroy, or disperse 
them at night by floating torpedoes, connected together by twos 
by a rope one hundred and thirty yards long, buoyed up and 
stretched across the current by two boats, which were to be 
dropped in ebbing tide, to float down among the vessels. This 
plan, says General Rains, was opposed by General Gilmer, of 
the engineer corps, on the ground that " they might float back 
and destroy our own boat." One was sent down to go in the 
midst of the fleet, and made its mark. An act of devoted dar- 
ing was here performed by Commander W. T. Glassell, Con- 
federate States Navy, which claims more than a passing notice. 
While the enemy was slowly contracting his lines around 
Charleston, his numerous ships of war kept watch-and-ward 
outside of the harbor. Our few vessels, almost helpless by 
their defective engines, could effect little against their powerful 
opponents. The New Ironsides, the pride of their fleet, lay 
off Morris's Island. This Glassell resolved to attack with a 
steam-launch carrying a torpedo spar at the bow. With an 
engineer, pilot, and fireman, he steered for the Ironsides under 
cover of a hazy night. As he approached, he was hailed by 
the lookout, and the next moment struck the Ironsides, explod- 


ing the torpedo about fifteen feet from the keel. An immense 
volume of water was thrown up, covering the little boat, and, 
pieces of timber falling in the engine, it was rendered entirely 
unmanageable, so as to deprive Commander Glassell of the 
means of escape on which he had relied. A rapid fire was 
concentrated upon him from the deck of the ship, and there re- 
mained no chance except to attempt an escape by swimming 
ashore. To secure liberty to his country, he risked and lost 
his own, and found, for the indignity to which he was subject- 
ed, compensation, inasmuch as the famous New Ironsides was 
long rendered useless to the enemy. 

One hundred and one torpedoes were planted in Roanoke 
River, North Carolina, after a flotilla of twelve vessels had 
started up to capture Fort Branch. The torpedoes destroyed 
six of the, vessels and frustrated the attack. 

Every avenue to the outworks or to the city of Mobile was 
guarded by submarine torpedoes, so that it was impossible for 
any vessel drawing three feet of water to get within effective 
cannon-range of the defenses. Two ironclads attempted to get 
near enough to Spanish Fort to take part in the bombardment. 
They both struck torpedoes, and went to the bottom on Apa- 
lachie bar ; thenceforward the fleet made no further attempt to 
encounter the almost certain destruction which they saw awaited 
any vessel which might attempt to enter the torpedo-guarded 
waters. But many were sunk when least expecting it. Some 
went down long after the Confederate forces had evacuated Mo- 
bile. The Tecumseh was probably sunk, says Major-General 
D. H. Maury,* on her own torpedo. While steaming in lead of 
Farragut's fleet she carried a torpedo affixed to a spar, which 
projected some twenty feet from her bows ; she proposed to 
use this torpedo against the Tennessee, our only formidable 
ship ; but, while passing Fort Morgan, a shot from that fort cut 
away the stays by which the torpedo was secured ; it then 
doubled under her, and, exploding fairly under the bottom of 
the ill-fated ship, she careened and sank instantly in ten fathoms 
of water. Only six or eight of her crew of a hundred or more 
were saved. The total number of vessels sunk by torpedoes in 

* Southern Historical Society Papers, January, 1877. 


Mobile Bay was twelve, viz., three ironclads, two tinclads, and 
seven transports. Fifty-eight vessels were destroyed in South- 
ern waters by torpedoes during the war ; these included iron- 
clads and others of no mean celebrity. 


Naval Affairs (continued). — Importance of New Orleans. — Attack feared from up 
the River. — Preparations for Defense. — Strength of the Forts. — Other De- 
fenses. — The General Plan. — Ironclads. — Raft-Fleet of the Enemy. — Bombard- 
ment of the Forts commenced. — Advance of the Fleet. — Its Passage of the 
Forts. — Batteries below the City. — Darkness of the Night. — Evacuation of the 
City by General Lovell on Appearance of the Enemy. — Address of General Dun- 
can to Soldiers in the Forts. — Refusal to surrender. — Meeting of the Garrison 
of Fort Jackson. — The Forts surrendered. — Ironclad Louisiana destroyed. — The 
Tugs and Steamers. — The Governor Moore. — The Enemy's Ship Varuna sunk.- 
The McRae. — The State of the City and its Defenses considered. — Public In- 
dignation. — Its Victims. — Efforts made for its Defense by the Navy Depart- 
ment. — The Construction of the Mississippi. 

New Orleans was the most important commercial port in the 
Confederacy, being the natural outlet of the Mississippi Yalley, 
as well to the ports of Europe as to those of Central and Southern 
America. It was the depot which, at an early period, had led 
to controversies with Spain, and its importance to the interior 
had been a main inducement to the purchase of Louisiana. It 
had become before 1861 the chief cotton-mart of the United 
States, and its defense attracted the early attention of the Con- 
federate Government. The approaches for an attacking party 
were numerous. They could through several channels enter 
Lake Pontchartrain, to approach the city in rear for land-attack, 
could ascend the Mississippi from the Gulf, or descend it from 
the Northwest, where it was known that the enemy was prepar- 
ing a formidable fleet of iron-clad gunboats. In the early part 
of 1862, so general an opinion prevailed that the greatest danger 
to New Orleans was by an attack from above, that General 
Lovell sent to General Beauregard a large part of the troops 
then in the city. 


At the mouth of the Mississippi there is a bar, the greatest 
depth of water on which seldom exceeded eighteen feet, and it 
was supposed that heavy vessels of war, with their armament and 
supplies, would not be able to cross it. Such proved to be the 
fact, and the vessels of that class had to be lightened to enable 
them to enter the river. In that condition of affairs, an inferior 
fleet might have engaged them with a prospect of success. 
Captain Hollins, who was in command of the squadron at New 
Orleans, and who had on a former occasion shown his fitness for 
such service, had been sent with the greater part of his fleet up 
the liver to join the defense there being made. Two powerful 
vessels were under construction, the Louisiana and the Mississip- 
pi, but neither of them was finished. A volunteer fleet of trans- 
port-vessels had been fitted up by some river-men, but it was in 
the unfortunate condition of not being placed under the orders 
of the naval commander. A number of fire-rafts had been also 
provided, which were to serve the double purpose of lighting 
up the river in the event of the hostile fleet attempting to pass 
the forts under cover of the night, and of setting fire to any 
vessel with which they might become entangled. 

After passing the bar, there was nothing to prevent the as- 
cent of the river until Forts Jackson and St. Philip were reached. 
These works, constructed many years before, were on opposite 
banks of the river. Their armament, as reported by General 
Lovell, December 5, 1861, consisted of — Fort Jackson : six 
forty-two-pounders, twenty-six twenty-four-pounders, two thirty- 
two-pounder rifles, sixteen thirty-two-pounders, three eight- 
inch columbiads, one ten-inch columbiad, two eight-inch mor- 
tars, one ten-inch mortar, two forty-pounder howitzers, and ten 
twenty-four-pounder howitzers. Fort St. Philip : six forty-two- 
pounders, nine thirty-two-pounders, twenty-two twenty-four- 
pounders, four eight-inch columbiads, one eight-inch mortar, one 
ten-inch mortar, and three field-guns. 

General Duncan reported that, on the 27th of March, he 
was informed by Lieutenant-Colonel Higgins, commanding 
Forts Jackson and St. Philip, of the coast-defenses, which were 
under his (General Duncan's) command, that the enemy's fleet 
was crossing the bars, and entering the Mississippi River in 


force ; whereupon he repaired to Fort Jackson. After describ- 
ing the condition of the forts from the excess of water and 
sinking of the entire site, as well as the deficiency of guns of 
heavy caliber in the forts, he proceeds : 

"It became necessary in their present condition to bring in 
and mount, and to build the platforms for, the three ten-inch and 
three eight-inch columbiads, the rifled forty-two-pounder, and the 
five ten-inch seacoast mortars recently obtained from Pensacola 
on the evacuation of that place, together with the two rifled seven- 
inch guns temporarily borrowed from the naval authorities in New 
Orleans. It was also found necessary to repair the old water- 
battery to the rear of and below Fort Jackson, which had never 
been completed, for the reception of a portion of these guns, as 
well as to construct mortar-proof magazines, and shell-rooms with- 
in the same." 

One of the seven-inch rifled gnns borrowed from the navy 
was subsequently returned, so that, when the forts were attacked, 
the armament was one hundred and twenty-eight guns and 

The garrisons of Forts Jackson and St. Philip were about 
one thousand men on December 5, 1861 ; afterward, so far as I 
know, the number was not materially changed. 

The prevailing belief that vessels of war, in a straight, smooth 
channel, could pass batteries, led to the construction of a raft 
between the two forts which, it was supposed, would detain the 
ships under fire of the forts long enough for the guns to sink 
them, or at least to compel them to retire. The power of the 
river when in flood, and the drift-wood it bore upon it, broke 
the raft ; another was constructed, which, when the drift-wood 
accumulated upon it, met a like fate. Whether obstructions 
differently arranged — such as booms secured to the shores, with 
apparatus by which they could be swung across the channel 
when needful, or logs such as were used, except that, bein^ 
unconnected together, but each separately secured by chain an< 
anchor, they might severally yield to the pressure of the drift 
wood, sinking, so as to allow it to pass over them, and, whei 
relieved of the weight, rising again — or whether other expe- 


dient could have been made permanent and efficient, is a prob- 
lem which need not be discussed, as the time for its applica- 
tion has passed from us. 

The general plan for the defense of New Orleans consisted 
of two lines of works: an exterior one, passing through the 
forts near the mouth of the river, and the positions taken to de- 
fend the various water approaches ; nearer to the city was the 
interior line, embracing New Orleans and Algiers, which was 
intended principally to repel an attack by land, but also, by its 
batteries on the river-bank, to resist approach by water. The 
total length of the intrenchments on this interior line was more 
than eight miles. When completed, it formed, in connection 
with impassable swamps, a very strong line of defense. At the 
then high stage of the river, all the land between it and the 
swamps was so saturated with water, that regular approaches 
could not have been made. The city, therefore, was at the time 
supposed to be doubly secure from a land-attack. 

In the winter of 1861-'62 I sent one of my aides-de-camp to 
New Orleans to make a general inspection, and hold free con- 
ference with the commanding General. Upon his return, he 
reported to me that General Lovell was quite satisfied with the 
condition of the land-defenses — so much so as to say that his 
only fear was that the enemy would not make a land-attack. 

Considered since the event, it may seem strange that, after 
the fall of Donelson and Henry, and the employment of the 
enemy's gunboats in the Tennessee and Cumberland, it was still 
generally argued that the danger to New Orleans was that the 
gunboats would descend the Mississippi, and applications were 
made to have the ship Louisiana sent up the river as soon as she 
was completed. 

The interior lines of defense mounted more than sixty guns 
of various caliber, and were surrounded by wide and deep ditches. 
On the various water approaches, including bays and bayous on 
the west and east sides of the river, there were sixteen different 
forts, and these, together with those on the river and the bat- 
teries of the interior line, had in position about three hundred 

One ironclad, the Louisiana, mounting sixteen guns of heavy 


caliber, though she was not quite completed, was sent down to 
cooperate with the forts. Her defective steam-power and im- 
perfect steering apparatus prevented her from rendering active 
cooperation. The steamship Mississippi, then under construc- 
tion at JS'ew Orleans, was in such an unfinished condition as to 
be wholly unavailable when the enemy arrived. In the opinion 
of naval officers she would have been, if completed, the most 
powerful ironclad then in the world, and could have driven the 
enemy's fleet out of the river and raised the blockade at Mobile. 
There were also several small river-steamers which were lightly 
armed, and their bows were protected so that they could act as 
rams and otherwise aid in the defense of the river; but, from 
the reports received, they seem, with a few honorable excep- 
tions, to have rendered little valuable service. 

The means of defense, therefore, mainly relied on were the 
two heavy-armed forts, Jackson and St. Philip, with the ob- 
struction placed between them : this was a raft consisting of 
cypress-trees, forty feet long, and averaging four or five feet at 
the larger end. They were placed longitudinally in the river, 
about three feet apart, and held together by gunwales on top, 
and strung upon two two-and-a-half-inch chain cables fastened 
to their lower sides. This raft was anchored in the river, abreast 
of the forts. 

The fleet of the enemy below the forts consisted of seven 
steam sloops of war, twelve gunboats, and several armed steam- 
ers, under Commodore Farragut ; also, a mortar-fleet consisting 
of twenty sloops and some steam- vessels. The whole force was 
forty-odd vessels of different kinds, with an armament of three 
hundred guns of heavy caliber, of improved models. 

The bombardment of the forts by the mortar-fleet com- 
menced on April 18th, and, after six days of vigorous and con- 
stant shelling, the resisting power of the forts was not diminished 
in any perceptible degree. On the 23d there were manifest 
preparations by the enemy to attempt the passage of the forts. 
This, as subsequently developed, was to be done in the following 
manner. The sloops of war and the gunboats were each formed 
in two divisions, and, selecting the darkest hour of the night, 
between 3 and 4 a. m. of the 24th, moved up the river in two 


columns. The commanders of the forts had vainly endeavored to 
have the river lighted up in anticipation of an attack by the fleet. 

In the mean time*, while the fleet moved up the river, there 
was kept up from the mortars a steady bombardment on the 
forts, and these opened a fire on the columns of ships and gun- 
boats, which, from the failure to send down the fire-rafts to light 
up the river, was less effective than it otherwise would have 
been. The straight, deep channel enabled the vessels to move 
at their greatest speed, and thus the forts were passed. 

Brigadier-General J. K. Duncan, commanding the coast de- 
fenses, says, in his report of the passing of Forts Jackson and 
St. Philip by the enemy's fleet : 

" The enemy evidently anticipated a strong demonstration to 
be made against him with fire-barges. Finding, upon his approach, 
however, that no such demonstration was made, and that the only 
resistance offered to his passage was the anticipated fire of the 
forts — the broken and scattered raft being no obstacle — I am satis- 
fied that he was suddenly inspired, for the first time, to run the 
gantlet at all hazards, although not a part of his original design. 
Be that as it may, a rapid rush was made by him in columns of 
twos in echelon, so as not to interfere with each other's broad- 
sides. The mortar-fire was furiously increased upon Fort Jackson, 
and, in dashing by, each of the vessels delivered broadside after 
broadside, of shot, shell, grape, canister, and spherical case, to 
drive the men from our guns. 

" Both the officers and men stood up manfully under this gall- 
ing and fearful hail, and the batteries of both forts were promptly 
opened at their longest range, with shot, shell, hot shot, and a 
little grape, and most gallantly and rapidly fought, until the 
enemy succeeded in getting above and beyond our range. The 
absence of light on the river, together with the smoke of the guns, 
made the obscurity so dense that scarcely a vessel was visible, and, 
in consequence, the gunners were obliged to govern their firing 
entirely by the flashes of the enemy's guns. I am fully satisfied 
that the enemy's dash was successful mainly owing to the cover 
of darkness, as a frigate and several gunboats were forced to retire 
as day was breaking. Similar results had attended every previous 
attempt made by the enemy to pass or to reconnoiter when we had 
sufficient light to fire with accuracy and effect." 


The vessels which passed the fort anchored at the quaran- 
tine station about six miles above, and in the forenoon pro- 
ceeded up the river. Batteries had been constructed where the 
interior line of defense touched both the right and the left bank 
of the river. The high stage of the river gave to its surface an 
elevation above that of the natural bank ; but a continuous levee 
to protect the land from inundation existed on both sides of the 
river. When the ascending fleet approached these batteries, a 
cross-fire, which drove two of the vessels back, was opened upon 
it, and continued until all the ammunition was exhausted. The 
garrison was then withdrawn — casualties, one killed and one 
wounded. The regret which would naturally arise from the 
fact of these batteries not having a sufficient supply of ammuni- 
tion is modified, if not removed, by the statement of the highly 
accomplished and gallant officer, Major-General M. L. Smith, 
who was then in command of them. He reported : 

" Had the fall of New Orleans depended upon the enemy's first 
taking Forts Jackson and Philip, I think the city would have been 
safe from an attack from the Gulf. The forts, in my judgment, 
were impregnable as long as they were in free and open commu- 
nication with the city. This communication was not endangered 
while the obstruction existed. The conclusion, then, is briefly this : 
While the obstruction existed, the city was safe ; when it was 
swept away, as the defenses then existed, it was within the ene- 
my's power." 

On the other hand, General Duncan, whose protracted, skill- 
ful, and gallant defense of the forts is above all praise, closes his 
official report with the following sentence : " Except for the 
cover afforded by the obscurity of the darkness, I shall always 
remain satisfied that the enemy would never have succeeded in 
passing Forts Jackson and St. Philip." The darkness to which 
he referred was not only that of night, but also the absence of 
the use of the means prepared to light up the river. As further 
proof of the intensity of the darkness, and the absence of that 
intelligent design and execution which had been claimed, I will 
quote a sentence from the report of Commodore Farragut : " At 
length the fire slackened, the smoke cleared off, and we saw to 
our surprise that we were above the forts." 


On the 25th of April the enemy's gunboats and ships of war 
anchored in front of the city and demanded its surrender. Ma- 
jor-General M. Lovell, then in command, refused to comply 
with the summons, but, believing himself unable to make a 
successful defense, and in order to avoid a bombardment, agreed 
to withdraw his forces, and turn it over to the civil authorities. 
Accordingly, the city was evacuated on the same day. The 
forts still continued defiantly to hold their position. By assidu- 
ous exertion the damage done to the works was repaired, and 
the garrisons valiantly responded to the resolute determination 
of General Duncan and Colonel Higgins to defend the forts 
against the fleet still below, as well as against that which had 
passed and was now above. On the 26th Commodore Porter, 
commanding the mortar-fleet below, sent a flag-of -truce boat to 
demand the surrender of the forts, saying that the city of New 
Orleans had surrendered. To this Colonel Higgins replied, 
April 27th, that he had no official information that New Or- 
leans had been evacuated, and until such notice was received he 
would not entertain for a moment a proposition to surrender 
the forts. On the same day General Duncan, commanding the 
coast-defenses, issued the following address : 

" Soldiers of Forts Jackson and St. Philip : You have 
nobly, gallantly, and heroically sustained with courage and forti- 
tude the terrible ordeals of fire, water, and a hail of shot and 
shell wholly unsurpassed during the present war. But more re- 
mains to be done. The safety of New Orleans and the cause of 
the Southern Confederacy — our homes, families, and everything 
dear to man— yet depend upon our exertions. We are just as 
capable of repelling the enemy to-day as we were before the bom- 
bardment. Twice has the enemy demanded your surrender, and 
twice has he been refused. 

"Your officers have every confidence in your courage and 
patriotism, and feel every assurance that you will cheerfully and 
with alacrity obey all orders, and do your whole duty as men and 
as becomes the well-tried garrisons of Forts Jackson and St. Philip. 
Be vigilant, therefore, stand by your guns, and all will yet be well. 

" J. K. Duncan, 
" Brigadier- General, commanding coast-defenses." . 


Not less lofty and devoted was the spirit evinced by Colo- 
nel Higgins. His naval experience had been energetically ap- 
plied in the attempts to preserve and repair the raft. As im- 
mediate commander of Fort St. Philip, he had done all which 
skill and gallantry could achieve, and, though for forty -eight 
hours during the bombardment he never left the rampart, yet, 
with commendable care for his men, he kept them so under 
cover that, notwithstanding the long and furious assault to 
which the fort was subjected, the total of casualties in it was 
two killed and four wounded. Their conduct was such as was 
to be anticipated, for, had these officers been actuated by a 
lower motive than patriotism, had they been seeking the re- 
wards which power confers, they would not have taken service 
with the weaker party. Their meed was the consciousness of 
duty well done in a righteous cause, and the enduring admira- 
tion and esteem of a people who had only these to confer. 

During the 25th, 26th, and 27th, there had been an abate- 
ment of fire on the forts, and with it had subsided the excite- 
ment which imminent danger creates in the brave. A rumor 
became current that the city had surrendered, and no reply had 
been received to inquiries sent on the 24th and 25th. About 
midnight on the 27th the garrison of Fort Jackson revolted en 
masse, seized upon the guard, and commenced to spike the guns. 
Captain S. O. Comay's company, the Louisiana Cannoneers of 
St. Mary's Parish, and a few others remained true to their cause 
and country. The mutiny was so general that the officers were 
powerless to control it, and therefore decided to let those go 
who wished to leave, and after daybreak to communicate with 
the fleet below and negotiate for the terms which had been 
previously offered and declined. 

Under the incessant fire to which the forts had been ex- 
posed, and the rise of the water in the casemates and lower part 
of the works, the men had been not only deprived of sleep, but 
of the opportunity to prepare their food. Heroically they had 
braved alike dangers and discomfort ; had labored constantly to 
repair damages ; to extinguish fires caused by exploding shells ; to 
preserve their ammunition by bailing out the water which threat- 
ened to submerge the magazine : yet, in a period of compara- 


tive repose, these men, who had been cheerful and obedient, as 
suddenly as unexpectedly, broke out into open mutiny. Under 
the circumstances which surrounded him, General Duncan had 
no alternative. It only remained for him to accept the propo- 
sition which had been made for a surrender of the forts. As 
this mutiny became known about midnight of the 27th, soon 
after daylight of the 28th a small boat was procured, and notice 
of the event was sent to Captain Mitchell, on the Louisiana, 
and also to Fort St. Philip. The officers of that fort concurred 
in the propriety of the surrender, though none of their men had 
openly revolted. 

A flag of truce was sent to Commodore Porter to notify 
him of a willingness to negotiate for the surrender of the forts. 
The gallantry with which the defense had been conducted was 
recognized by the enemy, and the terms were as liberal as had 
been offered on former occasions. 

The garrisons were paroled, the officers were to retain their 
side-arms, and the Confederate flags were left flying over the 
forts until after our forces had withdrawn. If this was done as 
a generous recognition of the gallantry with which the forts had 
been defended, it claims acknowledgment as an instance of 
martial courtesy — the flower that blooms fairest amid the deso- 
lations of war. 

Captain Mitchell, commanding the Confederate States naval 
forces, had been notified by General Duncan of the mutiny in 
the forts and of the fact that the enemy had passed through a 
channel in rear of Fort St. Philip and had landed a force at the 
quarantine, some six miles above, and that, under the circum- 
stances, it was deemed necessary to surrender the forts. As 
the naval forces were not under the orders of the general com- 
manding the coast-defenses, it was optional with the naval com-' 
mander to do likewise or not as to his fleet. After consultation 
with his officers, Captain Mitchell decided to destroy his flag- 
ship, the Louisiana, the only formidable vessel he had, rather 
than allow her to fall into the hands of the enemy. The crew 
was accordingly withdrawn, and the vessel set on fire. 

Commodore Porter, commanding the fleet below, came up 
under a flag of truce to Fort Jackson, and, while negotiations 


were progressing for the surrender, the Louisiana, in flames, 
drifted down the river, and, when close under Fort St. Philip, 
exploded and sank. 

The defenses afloat, except the Louisiana, consisted of tugs 
and river-steamers, which had been converted to war purposes 
by protecting their bows with iron so as to make them rams, 
and putting on them such armament as boats of that class would 
bear; and these were again divided into such as were subject to 
control as naval vessels, and others which, in compliance with 
the wish of the Governor of Louisiana and many influential 
citizens, were fitted out to a great extent by State and private 
sources, with the condition that they should be commanded by 
river-steamboat captains, and should not be under the control 
of the naval commander. This, of course, impaired the unity 
requisite in battle. For many other purposes they might have 
been used without experiencing the inconvenience felt when 
they were brought together to act as one force against the 
enemy. The courts of inquiry and the investigation by a com- 
mittee of Congress have brought out all the facts of the case, 
but with such conflicting opinions as render it very difficult, in 
reviewing the matter, to reach a definite and satisfactory con- 
clusion. This much it may be proper to say, that expectations, 
founded upon the supposition that these improvised means could 
do all which might fairly be expected from war-vessels, were 
unreasonable, and a judgment based upon them is unjust to the 
parties involved. The machinery of the Louisiana was so incom- 
plete as to deprive her of locomotion, but she had been so well 
constructed as to possess very satisfactory resisting powers, as 
was shown by the fact that the broadsides of the enemy's ves- 
sels, fired at very close quarters, had little or no effect upon her 
shield. Without power of locomotion, her usefulness was lim- 
ited to employment as a floating battery. Tire question as to 
whether she was in the right position, or whether, in her un- 
finished condition, she should have been sent from the city, is 
one, for an answer to which I must refer the inquirer to the 
testimony of naval men, who were certainly most competent to 
decide the issue. 

One of the little river-boats, the Governor Mooi*e, com- 


manded by Lieutenant Beverly Kennon, like the others, imper- 
fectly protected at the bow, struck and sunk the Varuna, in 
close proximity to other vessels of the enemy's fleet. Such 
daring resulted in his losing, in killed and wounded, seventy- 
four out of a crew of ninety-three. Then finding that he must 
destroy his ship to prevent her from falling into the hands of 
the enemy, he set her on fire, and testified as follows : 

" I ordered the wounded to be placed in a boat, and all the 
men who could to save themselves by swimming to the shore and 
hiding themselves in the marshes. I remained to set the ship on 
fire. After doing so, I went on deck with the intention of leaving 
her, but found the wounded had been left with no One to take 
care of them. I remained and lowered them into a boat, and got 
through just in time to be made a prisoner. The wounded were 
afterward attended by the surgeons of the Oneida and Eureka." 

This, he says, was the only foundation for the accusation of 
having burned his wounded with his ship. Another, the Ma- 
nassas, Lieutenant-commanding Warley, though merely an al- 
tered " tug-boat," stoutly fought the large ships ; but, being 
wholly unprotected, except at her bow, was perforated in many 
places, as soon as the guns were brought to bear upon her sides, 
and floated down the river a burning wreck. Another of the 
same class is thus referred to by Colonel Higgins : 

"At daylight, I observed the McRae, gallantly fighting at 
terrible odds, contending at close quarters with two of the ene- 
my's powerful ships. Her gallant commander, Lieutenant Thomas 
B. Huger, fell during the conflict, severely, but I trust not mor- 
tally, wounded." 

This little vessel, after her unequal conflict, was still afloat, 
and, with permission of the enemy, went up to New Orleans to 
convey the wounded as well from our forts as from the fleet. 

On the 23d of April, 1862, General Lovell, commanding the 
military department, had gone down to Fort Jackson, where 
General Duncan, commanding the coast-defenses, then made his 
headquarters. The presence of the department commander did 
not avail to secure the full cooperation between the defenses 


afloat and the land-defenses, which was then of most pressing 
and immediate necessity. 

When the enemy's fleet passed the forts, he hastened back to 
New Orleans, his headquarters. The confusion which prevailed 
in the city, when the news arrived that the forts had been passed 
by the enemy's fleet, shows how little it was expected. There 
was nothing to obstruct the ascent of the river between Forts 
Jackson and St. Philip and the batteries on the river where 
the interior line of defense rested on its right and left banks, 
jabout four miles below the city. The guns were not sufficiently 
numerous in these batteries to inspire much confidence; they 
were nevertheless well served until the ammunition was ex- 
hausted, after which the garrisons withdrew, and made their 
way by different routes to join the forces withdrawn from New 

Under the supposition entertained by the generals nearest 
to the operations, the greatest danger to New Orleans was from 
above, not from below, the city ; therefore, most of the troops 
had been sent from the city to Tennessee, and Captain Hollins, 
with the greater part of the river-fleet, had gone up to check the 
descent of the enemy's gunboats. 

Batteries like those immediately below the city had been 
constructed where the interior line touched the river above, 
and armed to resist an attack from that direction. Doubtful as 
to the direction from which, and the manner in which, an at- 
tempt might be made to capture the city, such preparations as 
circumstances suggested were made against many supposable 
dangers by the many possible routes of approach. To defend 
the city from the land, against a bombardment by a powerful 
fleet in the river before it, had not been contemplated. All the 
defensive preparations were properly, I think, directed to the 
prevention of a near approach by the enemy. To have sub- 
jected the city to bombardment by a direct or plunging fire, 
as the surface of the river was then higher than the land, 
would have been exceptionally destructive. Had the city been 
filled with soldiers whose families had been sent to a place of 
safety, instead of being filled with women and children whose 
natural protectors were generally in the army and far away, the 


attempt might have been justified to line the levee with all the 
effective guns and open fire on the fleet, at the expense of what- 
ever property might be destroyed before the enemy should be 
driven away. The case was the reverse of the hypothesis, and 
nothing could have been more unjust than to censure the com- 
manding General for withdrawing a force large enough to in- 
duce a bombardment, but insufficient to repel it. His answer 
to the demand for the surrender showed clearly enough the 
motives by which he was influenced. His refusal enabled him 
to withdraw the troops and most of the public property, and to 
use them, with the ordnance and ordnance stores thus saved, in 
providing for the defense of Yicksburg, but especially it de- 
prived the enemy of any pretext for bombarding the town and 
sacrificing the lives of the women and children. It appears that 
General Lovell called for ten thousand volunteers from the citi- 
zens, but failed to get them. There were many river-steam- 
boats at the landing, and, if the volunteers called for were in- 
tended to man these boats and board the enemy's fleet before 
their land-forces could arrive, it can not be regarded as utterly 
impracticable. The report of General Butler shows that he 
worked his way through one of the bayous in rear of Fort St. 
Philip to the Mississippi River above the forts so as to put 
himself in communication with the fleet at the city, and to fur- 
nish Commodore Farragut with ammunition. From this it is 
to be inferred that the fleet was deficient in ammunition, and 
the fact would have rendered boarding from river-boats the 
more likely to succeed. In this connection it may be remem- 
bered that, during the war, John Taylor Wood, Colonel and 
A. D. C. to the President, who had been an officer of high 
repute in the " old Navy," did in open boats attack armed ves- 
sels, board and capture them, though found with nettings up, 
having been warned of the probability of such an attack* 

* Captain Wood had a number of light row-boats built, holding each about 
twenty men. They were fitted with cradles to wagons, and could be quickly 
moved to any point by road or rail. He writes: "In August, 1863, I left Rich- 
mond with four boats and sixty men for the Rappahannock, to look after one or 
two gunboats that had been operating in that river. Finding always two cruising 
together, I determined to attempt the capture of both at once. About midnight, 
with muffled oars, we pulled for them at anchor near the mouth of the river. They 


Many causes have been assigned for the fall of New Orleans. 
Two of them are of undeniable force : First, the failure to light 
up the channel ; second, the want of an obstruction which would 
detain the fleet under fire of the forts. General Duncan's re- 
port and testimony justify the conclusion that to the thick veil 
of darkness the enemy was indebted for his ability to run past 
the forts. 

The argument that the guns were not of sufficiently large 
caliber to stop the fleet is not convincing. If all the guns had 
been of the largest size, that would not have increased the accu- 
racy but would have diminished the rapidity of the fire, and 
therefore in the same degree would have lessened the chances 
of hitting objects in the dark. Further, it appears that the 
forts always crippled or repulsed any vessels which came up in 

The forts would have been better able to resist bombard- 
ment if they had been heavily plated with iron ; but that would 
not have prevented the fleet from passing them as they did. 
Torpedoes might have been placed on the bar at the mouth of 
the river before the enemy got possession of it, and subsequent- 
ly, if attached to buoys, they might have been used in the deep 
channel above. Many other things which were omitted might 
and probably would have been done had attention been earlier 
concentrated on the danger which at last proved fatal. If the 
volunteer river-defense fleet was ineffective, as alleged, because 
it was not subject to the orders of the naval commander, that 
was an evil without a remedy. The Governor of Louisiana had 
arranged with the projectors that they should not be subject to 
the naval commander, and the alternative of not accepting them 
with that condition was that they would not agree to convert 
their steamers into war-vessels. Unless, therefore, it can be 
shown that they were worse than none, their presence can not 
be properly enumerated among the causes of the failure. 

discovered us two hundred yards off. We dashed alongside, cut our way through 
and over the boarder nettings with the old navy cutlass, gained the deck, and, 
after a sharp, short fight, drove the enemy below. The prizes proved to be the 
gunboats Satellite and Reliance, two guns each. Landing the prisoners, we cruised 
for two days in the Chesapeake Bay. A number of vessels were captured and de- 

1862] A GREAT DISASTER. 225 

The fall of New Orleans was a great disaster, over which 
there was general lamentation, mingled with no little indigna- 
tion. The excited feeling demanded a victim, and conflicting 
testimony of many witnesses most nearly concerned made it 
convenient to select for censure those most removed and least 
active in their own justification. Thus the naval constructors 
of the Mississippi and the Secretary of the Navy became the 
special objects of attack. The selection of these had little of 
justice in it, and could not serve to relieve others of their re- 
sponsibility, as did the old-time doom of the scapegoat. New 
Orleans had never been a ship-building port, and when the 
Messrs. Tift, the agents to build the iron-clad steamer Missis- 
sippi, arrived there, they had to prepare a ship-yard, procure 
lumber from a distance, have the foundries and rolling-mills 
adapted to such iron-work as could be done in the city, and 
contract elsewhere for the balance. They were ingenious, well 
informed in matters of ship-building, and were held in high 
esteem in Georgia and Florida, where they had long resided. 
They submitted a proposition to the Secretary of the Navy 
to build a vessel on a new model. The proposition was ac- 
cepted after full examination of the plan proposed, the novelty 
of which made it necessary that they should have full control 
of the work of construction. To the embarrassments above 
mentioned were added interruptions by calling off the workmen 
occasionally for exercise and instruction as militiamen, the city 
being threatened by the enemy. From these causes, unexpected 
delay in the completion of the ship resulted, regret for which 
increased as her most formidable character was realized. 

These constructors — the brothers Tift — hoped to gain much 
reputation by the ship which they designed, and, from this mo- 
tive, agreed to give their full service and unremitted attention 
in its construction without compensation or other allowance 
than their current expenses. It would, therefore, on the face 
of it, seem to have been a most absurd suspicion that they will- 
ingly delayed the completion of the vessel, and at last wantonly 
destroyed it. 

Mr. E. C. Murray, who was the contractor for building the 
Louisiana, in his testimony before a committee of the Confeder- 


ate Congress, testified that he had been a practical ship-builder 
for twenty years and a contractor for the preceding eighteen 
years, having built about a hundred and twenty boats, steamers, 
and sailing-vessels. There was only a fence between his ship- 
yard and that where the Mississippi was constructed. Of this 
latter vessel he said : 

" I think the vessel was built in less time than any vessel of 
her tonnage, character, and requiring the same amount of work 
and materials, on this continent. That vessel required no less 
than two million feet of lumber, and, I suppose, about one thou- 
sand tons of iron, including the false works, blockways, etc. I do 
not think that amount of materials was ever put together on this 
continent within the time occupied in her construction. I know 
many of our naval vessels, requiring much less materials than were 
employed in the Mississippi, that took about six or twelve months 
in their construction. She was built with rapidity, and had at all 
times as many men at work upon her as could work to advantage 
— she had, in fact, many times more men at work upon her than 
could conveniently work. They worked on nights and Sundays 
upon her, as I did upon the Louisiana, at least for a large portion 
of the time." 

The Secretary of the Navy knew both of the Tifts, but had 
no near personal relations or family connection with either, as 
was recklessly alleged. 

He, in accepting their proposition, connected with it the 
detail of officers of the navy to supervise expenditures and 
aid in procuring materials. Assisted by the chief engineer 
and constructor of the navy, minute instructions were given 
as to the manner in which the work was to be conducted. As 
early as the 19th of September he sent twenty ship-carpen- 
ters from Richmond to New Orleans to aid in the construc- 
tion of the Mississippi. On the 7th of October authority 
was given to have guns of heaviest caliber made in New Or- 
leans for the ship. Frequent telegrams were sent in Novem- 
ber, December, and January, showing great earnestness about 
the work on the ship. In February and March notice was 
given of the forwarding from Richmond of capstan and main- 
shaft, which could not be made in New Orleans. On March 


22d the Secretary, by telegraph, directed the constructors to 
" strain every nerve to finish the ship," and added, " work day 
and night." April 5th he again wrote : " Spare neither men 
nor money to complete her at the earliest moment. Can not 
you hire night-gangs for triple wages ? " April 10th the Secre- 
tary again says : " Enemy's boats have passed Island 10. Work 
day and night with all the force you can command to get the 
Mississippi ready. Spare neither men nor money." April 11th 
he asks, " When will you launch, and when will she be ready 
for action ? " These inquiries indicate the prevalent opinion, at 
that time, that the danger to New Orleans was from the iron- 
clad fleet above, and not the vessels at the mouth of the river ; 
but the anxiety of the Secretary of the Navy and the efforts 
made by him were of a character applicable to either or both the 
sources of danger. Thus we find as early as the 24th of Febru- 
ary, 1862, that he instructed Commander Mitchell to make all 
proper exertions to have guns and carriages ready for both the 
iron-clad vessels the Mississippi and the Louisiana. Reports 
having reached him that the work on the latter vessel was not 
pushed with sufficient energy, on the 15th of March he author- 
ized Commander Mitchell to consult with General Lovell, and, 
if the contractors were not doing everything practicable to com- 
plete her at the earliest moment, that he should take her out of 
their hands, and, with the aid of General Lovell, go on to com- 
plete her himself. On the 5th of April, 1862, Secretary Mallory 
instructed Commander Sinclair, who had been assigned to the 
command of the Mississippi, to urge on by night and day the 
completion of the ship. In March, 1861, the Navy Department 
sent from Montgomery officers to New Orleans, with instruc- 
tions to purchase steamers and fit them for war purposes. Offi- 
cers were also sent to the North to purchase vessels suited to 
such uses, and in the ensuing May an agent was dispatched to 
Canada and another to Europe for like objects ; and in April, 
1861, contracts were made with foundries at Richmond and New 
Orleans to make guns for the defense of New Orleans. On the 
8th of May, 1861, the Secretary of the Navy communicated at 
some length to the Committee on Naval Affairs of the Confed- 
erate Congress his views in favor of iron-clad vessels, arguing as 


well for their efficiency as the economy in building them, believ- 
ing that one such vessel could successfully engage a fleet of the 
wooden vessels which constituted the enemy's navy. His fur- 
ther view was that we could not hope to build wooden fleets 
equal to those with which the enemy were supplied. The com- 
mittee, if it should be deemed expedient to construct an iron- 
clad ship, was urged to prompt action by the forcible declara- 
tion, " Not a moment should be lost." 

Commander George Minor, Confederate States Navy, Chief 
of the Bureau of Ordnance, reported the number of guns sent 
by the Navy Department to New Orleans, between July 1, 1861, 
and the fall of the city, to have been one hundred and ninety- 
seven, and that before July twenty-three guns had been sent 
there from Norfolk, being a total of two hundred and twenty 
guns, of which forty-five were of large caliber, supplied by the 
Navy Department for the defense of New Orleans. 

Very soon after the Government was removed to Richmond, 
the Secretary of the Navy, with the aid of Commander Brooke, 
designed a plan for converting the sunken frigate Merrimac 
into an iron-clad vessel. She became the famous Virginia, the 
brilliant career of which silenced all the criticisms which had 
been made upon the plan adopted. On May 20, 1861, the Sec- 
retary of the Navy instructed Captain Ingraham, Confederate 
States Navy, to ascertain the practicability of obtaining wrought- 
iron plates suited for ships' armor. After some disappoint- 
ment and delay, the owners of the mills at Atlanta were in- 
duced to make the necessary changes in the machinery, and 
undertake the work. Efforts at other places in the West had 
been unsuccessful, and this was one of the difficulties which 
an inefficient department would not have overcome. The 
iron-clad gunboats Arkansas and Tennessee were commenced 
at Memphis, but the difficulty in obtaining mechanics so inter- 
fered with their construction, that the Secretary of the Navy 
was compelled, December 24, 1861, to write to General Polk, 
who was commanding at Columbus, Kentucky, asking that me- 
chanics might be detached from his forces, so as to insure the 
early completion of the vessels. So promptly had the iron- 
clad boats been put under contract, that the arrangements had 


all been made in anticipation of the appropriation, and the con- 
tract was signed " on the very day the law was passed." 

On December 25, 1861, Lieutenant Isaac N. Brown, Con- 
federate States Navy, a gallant and competent officer, well and 
favorably known in his subsequent service as commander of the 
ram Arkansas, was sent to Nashville. Information had been 
received that four river-boats were there, and for sale, which 
were suited for river defense. Lieutenant Brown was instructed 
to purchase such as should be adaptable to the required service, 
" and to proceed forthwith with the necessary alteration and 

In the latter part of 1861, it having been found impossible 
with the means in Richmond and Norfolk to answer the requisi- 
tions for ordnance and ordnance stores required for the naval 
defenses of the Mississippi, a laboratory was established in New 
Orleans, and authority given for the casting of heavy cannon, 
construction of gun-carriages, and the manufacture of projectiles 
and ordnance equipments of all kinds. On December 12, 1861, 
the Secretary of the Navy submitted an estimate for an appro- 
priation to meet the expenses incurred " for ordnance and ord- 
nance stores for the defense of the Mississippi Hiver." 

Secretary Mallory, in answer to inquiries of a joint commit- 
tee of Congress, in 1863, replied that he had sent a telegram to 
Captain Whittle, April 17, 1862, as follows : 

" Is the boom, or raft, below the forts in order to resist the 
enemy, or has any part of it given way ? State condition." 

On the next day the following answer was sent : 

" I hear the raft below the forts is not in best condition ; they 
are strengthening it by additional lines. I have furnished an- 

To further inquiry about the raft by the Committee,' the 
Secretary answered : 

" The commanding General at New Orleans had exclusive 
charge of the construction of the raft, or obstruction, in question, 
and his correspondence with the War Department induced confi- 
dence in the security of New Orleans from the enemy. I was 


aware that this raft had been injured, but did not doubt that the 
commanding General would renew it, and place an effectual barrier 
across the river, and I was anxious that the navy should afford all 
possible aid. ... A large number of anchors were sent to New 
Orleans from Norfolk for the raft." 

Though much more might be added, it is hoped that what 
has been given above will sufficiently attest the zeal and capacity 
of the Secretary of the Navy, and his anxiety, in particular, to 
protect the city of New Orleans, whether assailed by fleets de- 
scending or ascending the river. 

Having thus reviewed at length the events, immediate and 
remote, which were connected with the great catastrophe, the 
fall of our chief commercial city, and the destruction of the 
naval vessels on which our hopes most rested for the protection 
of the lower Mississippi and the harbors of the Gulf, the narra- 
tive is resumed of affairs at the city of New Orleans. 


Naval Affairs, continued. — Farragut demands the Surrender of New Orleans. — Reply 
of the Mayor. — United States Flag hoisted. — Advent of General Butler. — Bar- 
barities. — Antecedents of the People. — Galveston. — Its Surrender demanded. — 
The Reply. — Another Visit of the Enemy's Fleet. — The Port occupied. — Ap- 
pointment of General Magruder. — Recapture of the Port. — Capture of the Har- 
riet Lane. — Report of General Magruder. — Position and Importance of Sabine 
Pass. — Fleet of the Enemy. — Repulse by Forty-four Irishmen. — Vessels cap- 
tured. — Naval Destitution of the Confederacy at first. — Terror of Gunboats on 
the Western Rivers. — Their Capture. — The most Illustrious Example. — The In- 
dianola. — Her Capture. — The Ram Arkansas. — Descent of the Yazoo River. — 
Report of her Commander. — Runs through the Enemy's Fleet. — Description of 
the Vessel. — Attack on Baton Rouge. — Address of General Breckinridge. — 
Burning of the Arkansas. 

Sad though the memory of the fall of New Orleans must be, 
the heroism, the fortitude, and the patriotic self-sacrifice exhib- 
ited in the eventful struggle at the forts must ever remain the 
source of pride and of such consolation as misfortune gathers 
from the remembrance of duties well performed. 


• After the troops had been withdrawn and the city restored 
to the administration of the civil authorities, Commodore Farra- 
o-ut, on April 26, 1862, addressed the Mayor, repeating his de- 
mand for the surrender of the city. In his letter he said : " It 
is not within the province of a naval officer to assume the duties 
of a military commandant," and added, " The rights of persons 
and property shall be secured." He proceeded then to demand 
" that the emblem of sovereignty of the United States be hoist- 
ed over the City Hall, Mint, and Custom-House by meridian 
this day. All flags and other emblems of sovereignty other 
than those of the United States must be removed from all the 
public buildings by that hour." To this the Mayor replied, and 
the following extracts convey the general purport of his letter : 

" The city is without the means of defense, and is utterly des- 
titute of the force and material that might enable it to resist an 
overpowering armament displayed in sight of it. . . . To surrender 
such a place were an idle and unmeaning ceremony. . . . As to 
hoisting any flag other than the flag of our own adoption and alle- 
giance, let me say to you that the man lives not in our midst 
whose hand and heart would not be paralyzed at the mere thought 
of such an act ; nor could I find in my entire constituency so 
wretched and desperate a renegade as would dare to profane with 
his hand the sacred emblem of our aspirations. . . . Peace and 
order may be preserved without resort to measures which I could 
not at this moment prevent. Your occupying the city does not 
transfer allegiance from the government of their choice to one 
which they have deliberately repudiated, and they yield the obedi- 
ence which the conqueror is entitled to extort from the conquered. 

" Respectfully, 

"John T. Moxroe, Mayor" 

On the 29th of April Admiral Farragut adopted the alterna- 
tive presented by the answer of the Mayor, and sent a detach- 
ment of marines to hoist the United States flag over the Custom- 
House, and to pull down the Confederate flag from the staff on 
the City Hall. An officer and some marines remained at the 
Custom-House to guard the United States flag hoisted over it 
until the land-forces under General Butler arrived. On the 
1st of May General Butler took possession of the defenseless 


city ; then followed the reign of terror, pillage, and a long train 
of infamies, too disgraceful to be remembered without a sense 
of shame by any one who is proud of the name American. 

Had the population of New Orleans been vagrant and riot- 
ous, the harsh measures adopted might have been excused, 
though nothing could have justified the barbarities which were 
practiced ; but, notable as the city had always been for freedom 
from tumult, and occupied as it then was mainly by women 
and children, nothing can extenuate the wanton insults and 
outrages heaped upon them. That those not informed of the 
character of the citizens may the better comprehend it, a brief 
reference is made to its history. 

When Canada, then a French colony, was conquered by 
Great Britain, many of the inhabitants of greatest influence and 
highest cultivation, in a spirit of loyalty to their flag, migrated 
to the wilds of Louisiana. Some of them established them- 
selves in and about New Orleans, and their numerous descend- 
ants formed, down to a late period, the controlling element in 
the body-politic. Even after they had ceased, because of large 
immigration, to control in the commercial and political affairs 
of the city, their social standard was still the rule. No people 
were more characterized by refinement, courtesy, and chivalry. 
Of their keen susceptibility the Mayor informed Commodore 
Farragut in his correspondence with that officer. 

When the needy barbarians of the upper plains of Asia 
descended upon the classic fields of Italy, their atrocities were 
such as shocked the common-sense of humanity ; but, if any one 
shall inquire minutely into the conduct of Butler and his fol- 
lowers at New Orleans, he will find there a history yet more 

Soon thereafter, on May 17, 1862, Captain Eagle, United 
States Navy, commanding the naval forces before Galveston, 
summoned it to surrender, " to prevent the effusion of blood 
and the destruction of property which would result from the 
bombardment of the town," adding that the land and naval 
forces would appear in a few days. The reply was that, " when 
the land and naval forces made their appearance, the demand 
would be answered." The harbor and town of Galveston were 


not prepared to resist a bombardment, and, under the advice of 
General Herbert, the citizens remained quiet, resolved, when 
the enemy should attempt to penetrate the interior, to resist 
his march at every point. This condition remained without 
any material change until the 8th of the following October, 
when Commander Renshaw with a fleet of gunboats, consisting 
of the Westfield, Harriet Lane, Owasco, Clifton, and some 
transports, approached so near the city as to command it with 
his guns. Upon a signal, the Mayor pro tern, came off to the 
flag-ship and informed Commander Renshaw that the military 
and civil authorities had withdrawn from the town, and that 
he had been appointed by a meeting of citizens to act as mayor, 
and had come for the' purpose of learning the intentions of the 
naval commander. In reply he was informed that there was 
no purpose to interfere with the municipal affairs of the city ; 
that he did not intend to occupy it before the arrival of a mili- 
tary commander, but that he intended to hoist the United 
States flag upon the public buildings, and claim that it should 
be respected. The acting Mayor informed him that persons 
over whom he had no control might take down the flag, and he 
could not guarantee that it should be respected. Commander 
Renshaw replied that, to avoid any difficulty like that which 
occurred in New Orleans, he would send with the flag a suffi- 
cient force to protect it, and would not keep the flag flying for 
more than a quarter or half an hour. 

The vessels of the fleet were assigned to positions command- 
ing the town and the bridge which connected the island with 
the mainland, and a battalion of Massachusetts volunteers was 
posted on one of the wharves. 

Late in 1862 General John B. Magruder, a skillful and 
knightly soldier, who had at an earlier period of the year ren- 
dered distinguished service by his defense of the peninsula be- 
tween the James and York Rivers, Yirginia, was assigned to the 
command of the Department of Texas. On his arrival, he found 
the enemy in possession of the principal port, Galveston, and 
other points upon the coast. He promptly collected the scat- 
tered arms and field artillery, had a couple of ordinary high- 
pressure steamboats used in the transportation of cotton on 


Buffalo Bayou protected with cotton-bales piled from the main 
deck to and above the hurricane-roof, and these, under the 
command of Captain Leon Smith, of the Texas Navy, in co- 
operation with the volunteers, were relied npon to recapture 
the harbor and island of Galveston. Between night and 
morning on the 1st of January, 1863, the land-forces entered 
the town, and the steamboats came into the bay, manned by 
Texas cavalry and volunteer artillery. The field artillery was 
run down to the shore, and opened fire npon the boats. The 
battalion of the enemy having torn* up the plank of the wharf, 
our infantry could only approach thern by wading through the 
water, and climbing upon the wharf. The two steamboats at- 
tacked the Harriet Lane, the gunboat lying farthest up the bay. 
They were both so frail in their construction that their only 
chance was to close and board. One of them was soon disabled 
by collision with the strong vessel, and in a sinking condition 
ran into shoal water. The other closed with the Harriet Lane, 
boarded and captured the vessel. The flag-ship Westfield got 
aground and could not be got off, though assisted by one of the 
fleet for that purpose. General Magruder then sent a demand 
that the enemy's vessels should surrender, except one, on which 
the crews of all should leave the harbor, giving until ten o'clock 
for compliance with his demand, to enforce which he put a crew 
on the Harriet Lane, then the most efficient vessel afloat of the 
enemy's fleet, and, while waiting for an answer, ceased firing. 
This demand was communicated by a boat from the Harriet 
Lane to the commander on the Clifton, who said that he was 
not the commander of the fleet, and would communicate the 
proposal to the flag-officer on the "Westfield. Flags of truce 
were then flying on the enemy's vessels, as well as on shore. 
Commander Renshaw refused to accede to the proposition, di- 
recting the commander of the Clifton to get; all the vessels, 
including the Corypheus and Sachem, which had recently joined, 
out of port as soon as possible, and that he would blow up the 
Westfield, and leave on the transports lying near him with his 
officers and crew. In attempting to execute this purpose, Com- 
mander Renshaw and ten or fifteen others perished soon after 
leaving the ship, in consequence of the explosion being prema- 


ture. The General commanding made the following prelimi- 
nary report : 

" Headquarters, Galveston, Texas. 
" This morning, the 1st January, at three o'clock, I attacked 
the enemy's fleet and garrison at this place, captured the latter 
and the steamer Harriet Lane, two barges, and a schooner. The 
rest, some four or five, escaped ignominiously under cover of a 
flag of truce. I have about six hundred prisoners and a large 
quantity of valuable stores, arms, etc. The Harriet Lane is very 
little injured. She was carried by boarders from two high-press- 
ure cotton-steamers, manned by Texas cavalry and artillery. The 
line troops were gallantly commanded by Colonel Green, of Sib- 
ley's brigade, and the ships and artillery by Major Leon Smith, to 
whose indomitable energy and heroic daring the country is indebted 
for the successful execution of a plan which I had considered for 
the destruction of the enemy's fleet. Colonel Bagby, of Sibley's 
brigade, also commanded the volunteers from his regiment for the 
naval expedition, in which every officer and every man won for 

himself imperishable renown. 

"J. Bankhead Magrudee, 

"Major- General." 

The conduct of Commander Renshaw toward the inhabitants 
of Galveston had been marked by moderation and propriety, 
and the closing act of his life was one of manly courage and 
fidelity to the flag he bore. 

Commander Wainright and Lieutenant -commanding Lea, 
who fell valiantly defending their ship, were buried in the cem- 
etery with the honors of war : thus was evinced that instinctive 
respect which true warriors always feel for their peers. The 
surviving officers were paroled. 

It would be a pleasing task, if space allowed, to notice the 
many instances of gallantry in this affair, as daring as they were 
novel, but want of space compels me to refer the reader to the 
full accounts which have been published of the " cavalry charge 
upon a naval fleet." 

The capture of the enemy's fleet in Galveston Harbor, by 
means so novel as to excite surprise as well as grateful admira- 
tion, was followed by another victory on the coast of Texas, 


under circumstances so remarkable as properly to be considered 
marvelous. To those familiar with the events of that time and 
section, it is hardly necessary to say that I refer to the battle of 
Sabine Pass. 

The strategic importance to the enemy of the possession of 
Sabine River caused the organization of a large expedition of 
land and naval forces to enter and ascend the river. If success- 
ful, it gave the enemy short lines for operation against the 
interior of Texas, and relieved them of the discomfiture resulting 
from their expulsion from Galveston Harbor. 

The fleet of the enemy numbered twenty-three vessels. The 
forces were estimated to be ten thousand men. No adequate 
provision had been made to resist such a force, and, under the 
circumstances, none might have been promptly made on which 
reliance could have been reasonably placed. A few miles above 
the entrance into the Sabine River, a small earthwork had been 
constructed, garrisoned at the time of the action by forty-two 
men and two lieutenants, with an armament of six guns. The 
officers and men were all Irishmen, and the company was called 
the " Davis Guards." The captain, F. H. Odium, was tempora- 
rily absent, so that the command devolved upon Lieutenant R. 
W. Dowling. "Wishing to perpetuate the history of an affair, 
in which I believe the brave garrison did more than an equal 
force had ever elsewhere performed, I asked General Magruder, 
when I met him after the war, to write out a full account of the 
event ; he agreed to do so, but died not long after I saw him, 
and before complying with my request. From the publications 
of the day I have obtained the main facts, as they were then 
printed in the Texas newspapers, and, being unwilling to sum- 
marize the reports, give them at length. 

Captain F. II. Odium's Official Report. 

" Headquarters, Sabine Pass, 

11 September 9, 1863. 

" Captain A. N. Mills, Assistant Adjutant- General. 

" Sir : I have the honor to report that we had an engagement 
with the enemy yesterday and gained a handsome victory. We 
captured two of their gunboats, crippled a third, and drove the 


rest out of the Pass. We took eighteen fine guns, a quantity of 
smaller arms, ammunition and stores, killed about fifty, wounded 
several, and took one hundred and fifty prisoners, without the loss 
or injury of any one on our side or serious damage to the fort. 
" Your most obedient servant, 

"F. H. Odlum, Captain, commanding Sabine Pass" 

Commodore Leon Smith's Official Report. 

"Captain E. P. Turner, Assistant Adjutant- General. 

" Sir : After telegraphing the Major-General before leaving 
Beaumont, I took a horse and proceeded with all haste to Sabine 
Pass, from which direction I could distinctly hear a heavy firing. 
Arriving at the Pass at 3 p. m. , I found the enemy off and inside 
the bar, with nineteen gunboats and steamships and other ships 
of war, carrying, as well as I could judge, fifteen thousand men. 
I proceeded with Captain Odium to the fort, and found Lieuten- 
ant Dowling and Lieutenant N. H. Smith, of the engineer corps, 
with forty-two men, defending the fort. Until 3 p. m. our men 
did not open on the enemy, as the range was too distant. The 
officers of the fort coolly held their fire until the enemy had 
approached near enough to reach them. But, when the enemy ar- 
rived within good range, our batteries were opened, and gallantly 
replied to a galling and most terrific fire from the enemy. As I 
entered the fort, the gunboats Clifton, Arizona, Sachem, and Gran- 
ite State, with several others, came boldly up to within one thou- 
sand yards, and opened their batteries, which were gallantly and 
effectively replied to by the Davis Guards. For one hour and 
thirty minutes a most terrific bombardment of grape, canister, and 
shell was directed against our heroic and devoted little band with- 
in the fort. The shot struck in every direction, but, thanks be to 
God ! not one of the noble Davis Guards was hurt. Too much 
credit can not be awarded Lieutenant Dowling, who displayed the 
utmost heroism in the discharge of the duty assigned him and the 
defenders of the fort. God bless the Davis Guards, one and all ! 
The honor of the country was in their hands, and nobly they sus- 
tained it. Every man stood at his post, regardless of the murder- 
ous fire that was poured upon them from every direction. The 
result of the battle, which lasted from 3.30 to 5 p. m., was the cap- 
turing of the Clifton and Sachem, eighteen heavy guns, one hun- 
dred and fifty prisoners, and the killing and wounding of fifty 


men, and driving outside the bar the enemy's fleet, comprising 
twenty-three vessels in all. I have the honor to be your obedient 
servant, Leon Smith, 

" Commanding Marine Department of Texas." 

"Headquarters District of Texas, New Mexico, and 

Arizona, Houston, Tex\a.s, September 9, 1863. 
" (Special Order.) 

"Another glorious victory has been won by the heroism of 
Texans. The enemy, confident of overpowering the little garri- 
son at Sabine Pass, boldly advanced to the work of capture. After 
a sharp contest he was entirely defeated, one gunboat hurrying 
off in a crippled condition, while two others, the Clifton and Sa- 
chem, with their armaments and crews, including the commander 
of the fleet, surrendered to the gallant defenders of the fort. The 
loss of the enemy has been heavy, while not a man on our side has 
been killed or wounded. Though the enemy has been repulsed in 
his naval attacks, his land-forces, reported as ten thousand strong, 
are still off the coast waiting an opportunity to land. 

" The Major-General calls on every man able to bear arms to 
bring his guns or arms, no matter of what kind, and be prepared 
to make a sturdy resistance to the foe. 

"Major-General J. B. Magruder. 
" Edmcnd P. Turner, Assistant Adjutant- General." 

The "Daily Post," Houston, Texas, of August 22, 1880, has 
the following : 

" A few days after the battle each man that participated in the 
fight was presented with a silver medal inscribed as follows : On 
one side ' D. G.,' for the Davis Guards, and on the reverse side, 
< Sabine Pass, September 8, 1863.' 

" Captain Odium and Lieutenant R. W. Dowling have gone to 
that tourn whence no traveler returns, and but few members of 
the heroic band are in the land of the living, and those few reside 
in the city of Houston, and often meet together, and talk about 
the battle in which they participated on the memorable 8th of Sep- 
tember, 1863. 

" The following are the names of the company who manned the 
guns in Fort Grigsby, and to whom the credit is due for the glo- 
rious victory : 

" Lieutenants R. W. Dowling and 1ST. H. Smith ; Privates Tim- 

1862] • IT WAS MARVELOUS. 239 

othy McDonough, Thomas Dougherty, David Fitzgerald, Michael 
Monahan, John Hassett, John McKeefer, Jack TV. White, Patrick 
McDonnell, William Gleason, Michael Carr, Thomas Hagerty, 
Timothy Huggins, Alexander McCabe, James Flemming, Patrick 
Fitzgerald, Thomas McKernon, Edward Pritchard, Charles Rheins, 
Timothy Hurley, John McGrath, Matthew Walshe, Patrick Sulli- 
van, Michael Sullivan, Thomas Sullivan, Patrick Clare, John Hen- 
nessey, Hugh Deagan, Maurice Powers, Abner Carter, Daniel Mc- 
Murray, Patrick Malone, James Corcoran, Patrick Abbott, John 
McXealis, Michael Egan, Daniel Donovan, John Wesley, John 
Anderson, John Flood, Peter O'Hare, Michael Delaney, Terence 

The inquiry may naturally arise how this small number of 
men could take charge of so large a body of prisoners. This 
required that to their valor they should add stratagem. A few 
men w r ere placed on the parapet as sentinels, the rest were 
marched out as a guard to receive the prisoners and their arms. 
Thus was concealed the fact that the fort was empty. The 
report of the guns bombarding the fort had been heard, and 
soon after the close of the battle reinforcements arrived, which, 
relieved the little garrison from its embarrassment. 

Official reports of officers in the assaulting column, as pub- 
lished in the " Rebellion Record," vol. vii, page 425, et seq., 
refer to another fort, and steamers in the river, cooperating in 
the defense of Fort Grigsby. The success of the single com- 
pany which garrisoned the earthwork is without parallel in 
ancient or modern war. It was marvelous ; but it is incredible 
—more than marvelous — that another garrison in another fort, 
with cruising steamers, aided in checking the advance of the 
enemy, yet silently permitted the forty-two men and two officers 
of Fort Grigsby to receive all the credit for the victory which 
was won. If this be supposable, how is it possible that Captain 
Odium, Commander Smith, General Magruder, and Lieutenant 
Dowling, who had been advised to abandon the work, and had 
consulted their men as to their willingness to defend it, should 
nowhere have mentioned the putative fort and cooperating 
steamers ? 

The names of the forty-four must go down to posterity, 


unshorn of the honor which their contemporaries admiringly 

At the commencement of the war the Confederacy was not 
only without a navy, all the naval vessels possessed by the States 
having been, as explained elsewhere, left in the hands of our 
enemies ; but worse than this was the fact that ship-building 
had been almost exclusively done in the Northern States, so 
that we had no means of acquiring equality in naval power. 
The numerous deep and wide rivers traversing the Southern 
States gave a favorable field for the operation of gunboats suited 
to such circumstances. The enemy rapidly increased their sup- 
ply of these by building on the Western waters, as well as else- 
where, and converting existing vessels into iron-clad gunboats. 
The intrepidity and devotion of our people met the necessity 
by new expedients and extraordinary daring. This was espe- 
cially seen in the operations of western Louisiana, where numer- 
ous bayous and rivers, with difficult land-routes, gave an advan- 
tage to the enemy which might well have paralyzed anything 
less than the most resolute will. 

In the earlier period of the war, the gunboats had inspired a 
terror which their performances never justified. There was a 
prevailing opinion that they could not be stopped by land-bat- 
teries, or resisted on water by anything else than vessels of their 
own class. Against the first opinion General Richard Taylor, 
commanding in Louisiana, south of Eed Eiver, stoutly con- 
tended, and maintained his opinion by the repulse and capture of 
some of the enemy's vessels by land-batteries having guns of 
rather light caliber. 

One by one successful conflicts between river-boats and gun- 
boats impaired the estimate which had been put upon the lat- 
ter. The most illustrious example of this was the attack and 
capture of the Indianola, a heavy ironclad, with two eleven-inch 
guns forward, and two nine-inch aft, all in iron casemates. She 
had passed the batteries at Vicksburg, and was in the section of 
the river between Yicksburg and Port Hudson, which, in Feb- 
ruary, 1863, was the only gate of communication which the 
Confederacy had between the east and west sides of the Missis- 
sippi. The importance of keeping open this communication, 

1862] SHE WAS SINKING. 241 

always great, became vital from the necessity of drawing com- 
missary's stores from the trans-Mississippi. 

Major Brent, of General Taylor's staff, proposed, with the 
tow-boat Webb, which had been furnished as a ram, and the 
Queen of the West, which had been four or five days before 
captured by the land-battery at Fort De Russy, to go to the 
Mississippi and attack the Indianola. On the 19th of Febru- 
ary the expedition started, though mechanics were still working 
upon the needed repairs of the Queen 'of the West. The service 
was so hazardous that volunteers only formed the crews, but of 
these more offered than were wanted. On the 24th, while 
ascending the Mississippi, Major Brent learned, when about 
sixty miles below Yicksburg, that the Indianola was a short 
distance ahead, with a coal-barge lashed on either side. He 
determined to attack in the night, being assured that, if struck by 
a shell from one of the eleven- or nine-inch guns, either of his 
boats would be destroyed. At 10 p. m. the Queen, followed by 
the Webb, was driven at full speed directly upon the Indianola. 
The momentum of the Queen was so great as to cut through the 
coal-barge, and indent the iron plates of the Indianola. As the 
Queen backed out, the Webb dashed in at full speed, and tore 
away the remaining coal-barge. Both the forward guns fired 
at the Webb, but missed her. Again the Queen struck the 
Indianola, abaft the paddle-box, crushing her frame and loosen- 
ing some plates of armor, but received the fire of the guns from 
the rear casemates. One shot carried away a dozen bales of 
cotton on the right side ; the other, a shell, entered the forward 
port-hole and exploded, killing six men and disabling two field- 
pieces. Again the Webb followed the Queen, struck near the 
same spot, pushing aside the iron plates and crushing timbers. 
Voices from the Indianola announced the surrender, and that 
she was sinking. The river here sweeps the western shore, and 
there was deep water up to the bank. General Grant's army 
was on the west side of the river, and, for either or both of 
these reasons, Major Brent towed the Indianola to the opposite 
side, where she sank on a bar, her gun-deck above water. Both 
boats were much shattered in the conflict, and Major Brent 
returned to the Red River to repair them. A tender accompa- 


nied the Queen and the Webb, and a frail river-boat without 
protection for her boilers, which was met on the river, turned 
back and followed them, but, like the tender, could be of no 
service in the battle. For these particulars I am indebted to 
General Richard Taylor's book, " Destruction and Reconstruc- 
tion," pages 123-125. 

The ram Arkansas, which has been previously noticed as 
being under construction at Memphis, was removed before she 
was finished to the Yazoo River, events on the river above hav- 
ing rendered this necessary for her security. After she was 
supposed to be ready for service, Commander Brown, then as 
previously in charge of her, went down the Yazoo to enter the 
Mississippi and proceed to Yicksburg. The enemy's fleet of 
some twelve or thirteen rams, gunboats, and sloops of war, were 
in the river above Yicksburg, and below the point where the 
Yazoo enters the Mississippi. Anticipating the descent of the 
Arkansas, a detachment had been made from this fleet to pre- 
vent her exit. The annexed letter of Commander Brown de- 
scribes what occurred in the Yazoo River : 

" Steamer Arkansas, July 15, 1862. 

" General : The Benton, or whatever ironclad we disabled, 
was left with colors down, evidently aground to prevent sinking, 
about one mile and a half above the mouth of the Yazoo (in Old 
River), on the right-hand bank, or bank across from Yicksburg. 

" I wish it to be remembered that we whipped this vessel, mad< 
it run out of the fight and haul down colors, with two less guns 
than they had ; and at the same time fought two rams, which 
were firing at us with great guns and small-arms ; this, too, with 
our miscellaneous crew, who had never, for the most part, been on 
board a ship, or at big guns. 

" I am, General, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

" J. N. Brown, 
" Lieutenant commanding. 

" To Brigadier-General M. L. Smith, commanding defenses at Vicksburg." 

When entering the Mississippi the fleet of the enemy was 
found disposed as a phalanx, but the heroic commander of the 
Arkansas moved directly against it; and, though in passing 
through this formidable array he was exposed to the broadsides 


of the whole fleet, the vessel received no other injury than from 
one eleven-inch shot which entered the gun-room, and the per- 
foration in many places of her smoke-stack. The casualties to 
the crew were five killed, four wounded — among the latter was 
the gallant commander. General Van Dorn, commanding the 
department, in a dispatch from Yicksburg, July 15th, states the 
number of the enemy's vessels above Yicksburg, pays a high 
compliment to the officers and men, and adds : 

" All the enemy's transports and all the vessels of war of the 
lower fleet (i. e., the fleet just below Vicksburg), except a sloop 
of war, have got up steam, and are off to escape from the Arkan- 


A vessel inspiring such dread is entitled to a special descrip- 
tion. She was an iron-clad steamer, one hundred feet in her 
length, her armament ten Parrott guns, and her crew one hun- 
dred men, who had volunteered from the land-forces for the 
desperate service proposed. Her commander had been from his 
youth in the navy of the United States, and his capacity was 
such as could well supplement whatever was wanted of naval 
knowledge in his crew. The care and skill with which the 
vessel had been constructed were tested and proved under fire. 
Had her engines been equal to the hull and armor of the vessel, 
it is difficult to estimate the value of the service she might have 
performed. At this period the enemy occupied Baton Rouge, 
with gunboats lying in front of it to cooperate with the troops 
in the town. The importance of holding a section of the Mis- 
sissippi, so as to keep free communication between the eastern 
and western portions of the Confederacy, has been heretofore 
noticed. To this end it was deemed needful to recover the 
possession of Baton Rouge, and it was decided to make a land- 
attack in cooperation with the Arkansas, to be sent down against 
the enemy's fleet. 

Major-General J. C. Breckinridge was assigned to the com- 
mand of the land-forces. This distinguished citizen and alike 
distinguished soldier, surmounting difficulties which would have 
discouraged a less resolute spirit, approached Baton Rouge, and 
moved to the attack at the time indicated for the arrival of 


the Arkansas. In his address to the officers and soldiers of his 
command, after the battle, viz., on August 6, 1862, he compli- 
ments the troops on the fortitude with which they had borne a 
severe march, on the manner in which they attacked the enemy, 
superior in numbers and admirably posted, drove him from his 
positions, taking his camps, and forcing him to seek protection 
under cover of the guns of his fleet. Major-General Breckin- 
ridge attributes his failure to achieve entire success to the ina- 
bility of the Arkansas to cooperate with his forces, and adds : 

" You have given the enemy a severe and salutary lesson, and 
now those who so lately were ravaging and plundering this re- 
gion do not care to extend their pickets beyond the sight of their 

The Arkansas in descending the river moved leisurely, hav- 
ing ample time to meet her appointment ; but, when about fif- 
teen miles above Baton Rouge, her starboard engine broke down. 
Repairs were immediately commenced, and, by 8 a. m. on the 
5th of August, were partially completed. General Breckinridge 
had commenced the attack at four o'clock, and the Arkansas, 
though not in condition to engage the enemy, moved on, and, 
when in sight of Baton Rouge, her starboard engine again broke 
down, and the vessel was run ashore. The work of repair was re- 
sumed, and next morning the Federal fleet was seen coming up. 
The Arkansas was moored head down-stream and cleared for ac- 
tion. The Essex approached and opened fire ; at that moment 
the engineers reported the engines able to work half a day. The 
lines were cut, and the Arkansas started for the Essex, when the 
other — the larboard — engine suddenly stopped, and the vessel 
was again secured to the shore stern-down. The Essex now 
valiantly approached, pouring a hot fire into her disabled an- 
tagonist. Lieutenant Stevens, then commanding the Arkansas, 
ordered the crew ashore, fired the vessel, and, with her flag 
flying, turned her adrift — a sacrificial offering to the cause she 
had served so valiantly in her brief but brilliant career. Lieu- 
tenant Reed, of the ram Arkansas, in his published account of 
the affair, states, " After all hands were ashore, the Essex fired 
upon the disabled vessel most furiously." 



Naval Affairs, continued. — Necessity of a Navy. — Raphael Semmes. — The Sumter. 
— Difficulties in creating a Navy. — The Sumter at Sea. — Alarm. — Her Captures. 
— James D. Bullock. — Laird's Speech in the House of Commons. — The Alaba- 
ma. — Semmes takes Command. — The Vessel and Crew. — Goes to Sea. — Banks's 
Expedition. — Magruder at Galveston. — The Steamer Hatteras sunk. — The Ala- 
bama not a Pirate. — An Aspinwall Steamer ransomed. — Other Captures. — Prizes 
burned. — At Cherbourg. — Fight with the Kearsarge. — Rescue of the Men. — De- 
mand of the United States Government for the Surrender of the Drowning Men. 
— Reply of the British Government. — Sailing of the Oreto. — Detained at Nas- 
sau. — Captain Maffit. — The Ship half equipped. — Arrives at Mobile. — Runs the 
Blockade. — Her Cruise. — Capture and Cruise of the Clarence. — The Captures of 
the Florida. — Captain C. M. Morris. — The Florida at Bahia. — Seized by the 
Wachusett. — Brought to Virginia and sunk. — Correspondence. — The Georgia. 
— Cruises and Captures. — The Shenandoah. — Cruises and Captures. — The At- 
lanta.— The Tallahassee.— The Edith. 

To maintain the position assumed by the Confederate States 
as a separate power among the nations, it was obviously neces- 
sary to have a navy, not only for the defense of their coast, but 
also for the protection of their commerce. These States, after 
their secession from the Union, were in that regard in a desti- 
tute condition, similar to that of the United States after their 
Declaration of Independence. 

It has been shown that among the first acts of the Confed- 
erate Administration was the effort to buy ships which could be 
used for naval purposes. The policy of the United States Gov- 
ernment being to shut up our commerce rather than protect 
their own, induced the wholesale purchase of the vessels found 
in the Northern ports — not only such as could be made fit for 
cruisers, but also any which would serve even for blockading 
purposes. There was little shipping of any kind in the South- 
ern ports, and to that scanty supply we were, for the time, 

A previous reference has been made to the Sumter, Com- 
mander Raphael Semmes, but a more extended notice is con- 
sidered due. Educated in the naval service of the United 
States, Raphael Semmes had attained the rank of commander, 


and was distinguished for his studious habits and varied acquire- 
ments. When Alabama passed her ordinance of secession, he 
was on duty at Washington as a member of the Lighthouse 
Board ; he promptly tendered his resignation, and, at the organi- 
zation of the Confederate Government, repaired to Montgomery 
and tendered his services to it. The efforts which had been 
made to obtain steamers suited to cruising against the enemy's 
commerce had been quite unsuccessful, none being found which 
the naval officers charged with their selection regarded fit for the 
service. One of the reports described a small propeller-steamer 
of 1iYe hundred tons burden, sea-going, low-pressure engine, 
sound, and capable of being so strengthened as to carry an ordi- 
nary battery of four or five guns ; speed between nine and ten 
knots, but the board condemned her because she could carry but 
Rye days' fuel, and had no accommodations for the crew. 

The Secretary of the Kavy showed this to Commander 
Semmes, who said : " Give me that ship ; I think I can make her 
answer the purpose." She was to be christened the Sumter, in 
commemoration of our first victory, and had the honor of being 
the first ship of war commissioned by the Confederate States, 
and the first to display the Stars and Bars of the Confederacy on 
the high-seas. The Sumter was at Xew Orleans, to which place 
Commander Semmes repaired ; and, as forcibly presenting the 
difficulties under which we labored in all attempts to create a 
navy, I will quote from his memoirs the account of his effort to 
get the Sumter ready for sea : 

" I dow took my ship actively in hand and set gangs of mechan- 
ics at work to remove her upper cabins and other top hamper, pre- 
paratory to making the necessary alterations. These latter were 
considerable, and I soon found that I had a tedious job on my 
hands. It was no longer the case, as it had been in former years, 
when I had had occasion to fit out a ship, that I could go into a 
navy-yard, with well-provided workshops and skilled workmen, 
ready with all the requisite materials at hand to execute my 
orders. Everything had to be improvised, from the manufacture 
of a water- tank to the kids and cans of the berth-deck messes, 
and from a gun-carriage to a friction-primer. . . . Two long, te- 
dious months were consumed in making alterations and additions. 


My battery was to consist of an eight-inch-shell gun, to be piv- 
oted amidships, and of four light thirty-two-pounders of thirteen 
hundred weight each, in broadside." 

On the 3d of June, 1861, the Sumter was formally put in 
commission, and a muster-roll of the officers and men trans- 
mitted to the Navy Department. On the 18th of June she 
left New Orleans and steamed down and anchored near the 
mouth of the river. While lying at the head of the passes, 
the commander reported a blockading squadron outside, of 
three ships at Passe a 1' Outre, and one at the Southwest Pass. 
The Brooklyn, at Passe a 1' Outre, was not only a powerful 
vessel, but she had greater speed than the Sumter. The Pow- 
hatan's heavy armament made it very hazardous to pass her in 
daylight, and the absence of buoys and lights made it next to 
impossible to keep the channel in darkness. The Sumter, there- 
fore, had been compelled to lie at the head of the passes and 
watch for some opportunity in the absence of either the Brook- 
lyn or the Powhatan to get to sea. Fortunately, neither of these 
vessels came up to the head of the passes, where, there being 
but a single channel, it would have been easy to prevent the 
exit of the Sumter. 

On the 30th of June, one bright morning, a boatman re- 
ported that the Brooklyn had gone off in chase of a sail. Im- 
mediately the Sumter was got under way, when it was soon 
discovered that the Brooklyn was returning, and that the two 
vessels were about equally distant from the bar. By steady 
courage and rare seamanship the Sumter escaped from her more 
swift pursuer, and entered on her career of cutting the enemy's 
sinews of war by destroying his commerce. 

Numerous armed vessels of the enemy were hovering on 
our coast, yet this one little cruiser created a general alarm, and, 
though a regularly commissioned vessel of the Confederacy, was 
habitually denounced as a " pirate," and the many threats to 
destroy her served only to verify the adage that the threatened 
live long. 

During her cruise up to January 17, 1862, she captured 
three ships, five brigs, six barks, and three schooners, but the 


property destroyed formed a very small part of the damage done 
to the enemy's commerce. Her appearance on the seas created 
such alarm that Northern ships were, to a large extent, put 
under foreign flags, and the carrying-trade, in which the United 
States stood second only to Great Britain, passed rapidly into 
other hands. The Sumter, while doing all this mischief, was 
nearly self-sustaining, her running expenses to the Confederate 
Government being but twenty-eight thousand dollars when, at 
the close of 1861, she arrived at Gibraltar. Not being able to 
obtain coal, she remained there until sold. 

Captain James D. Bullock, an officer of the old navy, of 
high ability as a seaman, and of an integrity which stood the 
test under which a less stern character might have given way, 
was our naval agent at Liverpool. In his office he disbursed 
millions, and, when there was no one to whom he could be re- 
quired to render an account, paid out the last shilling in his 
hands, and confronted poverty without prospect of other reward 
than that which he might find in a clear conscience. He con- 
tracted with the Messrs. Laird, of Birkenhead, to build a strong 
steam merchant-ship — the same which was afterward christened 
" The Alabama" when, in a foreign port, she had received her 
armament and crew. So much of puerile denunciation has been 
directed against the builder and the ship, which, in the virulent 
language of the day, our enemies denominated a " pirate," that 
the case claims at my hands a somewhat extended notice. 

The senior Mr. Laird was a member of the British Parlia- 
ment, and, because of the complaints made by the United States 
Government, and the abuse heaped upon him by the Northern 
newspapers, he made a speech in the House of Commons, in 
which he stated that, in 1861, he was applied to to build vessels 
for the Northern Government, first, by personal application, 
and subsequently by a letter from Washington, asking him, on 
the part of the United States Navy Department, to give the 
terms on which he would build an iron-plated ship, "to be 
finished complete, with guns and everything appertaining." 
Mr. Laird continued : " On the 14th of August I received 
another letter from the same gentleman, from which the fol- 
lowing is an extract : ' I have this morning a note from the 


Assistant-Secretary of the Navy, in which he says, " I hope 
your friends will tender for the two iron-plated steamers.' ' ' " 
Mr. Laird then said that, while he would not give the name of 
his correspondent, who was a gentleman of the highest respecta- 
bility, he was willing, in confidence, to submit the original let- 
ters to the Speaker of the House or the first Minister of the 
Crown ; that, as " the American Government is making so much 
work about other parties whom they charge with violating or 
evading the law, when in reality they have not done so, I think 
it only right to state these facts." 

Those who have listened with credulity to the abuse of the 
Confederate Government, as well as that of Great Britain, the 
one for contracting for the building of the Alabama and the 
other for permitting her to leave a British port, will thus see 
how little of sincerity there was in the complaints of the United 
States Government. For more than a generation the British 
people have been the great ship-builders of the world, and it is 
a matter of surprise that they should have given respectful con- 
sideration to charges of a breach of neutrality because they al- 
lowed a merchantman to be built in one of their ports and to 
leave it without any armament or crew, which could have ena- 
bled it, in that condition, to make war upon a country with 
which Great Britain was at peace. 

Referring to the Alabama, as she was when she left the 
Mersey, Mr. Laird said : 

" If a ship without guns and without arms is a dangerous 
article, surely rifled guns and ammunition of all sorts are equally 
and even more dangerous. I have referred to the bills of entry in 
the custom-houses of London and Liverpool, and I find that there 
have been vast shipments of implements of war to the Northern 
States through the celebrated houses of Baring & Co. ; Brown, 
Shipley & Co. ; and a variety of other names. ... I have obtained 
from the official custom-house returns some details of the sundries 
exported from the United Kingdom to the Northern States of 
America from the 1st of May, 1861, to the 31st of December, 1862. 
There were— muskets, 41,500 ; rifles, 341,000 ; gun-flints, 26,500 ; 
percussion-caps, 49,982,000 ; and swords, 2,250. The best infor- 
mation I could obtain leads me to believe that one third to a half 


may be added to these numbers for items which have been shipped 
to the Northern States as hardware ... so that, if the Southern 
States have got two ships unarmed, unfit for any purpose of 
warfare — for they procured their armament somewhere else — the 
Northern States have been well supplied from this country, 
through the agency of some most influential persons." 

The speech of Mr. Laird, exposing the hypocrisy of the rep- 
resentations which had been made, as well by commercial bod- 
ies as by the highest officers of the United States, called forth 
repeated cheers from the Parliament. 

There had been no secrecy about the building of the Ala- 
bama. The same authority above quoted states that she was 
frequently visited while under construction, and it is known 
that the British Government was applied to to prevent her from 
leaving port. It was feared that she might be delayed ; but it 
was not considered possible that British authorities would pre- 
vent an unarmed merchant-ship from leaving her coast, lest she 
might elsewhere procure an armament, and, in the service of a 
recognized belligerent, revive the terror in the other belligerent 
which the little Sumter had recently inspired. 

When the Alabama was launched and ready for sea, Captain 
Bullock summoned Captain Semmes, lately commander of the 
Sumter, to Liverpool, where he spent a few days in financial ar- 
rangements, and in collecting the old officers of the Sumter. The 
Alabama, then known as the 290, had proceeded a few days 
before to her rendezvous, the Portuguese Island of Terceira, one 
of the group of the Azores. The story that the name 290 be- 
longed to the fact that she had been built by two hundred and 
ninety Englishmen, sympathizers in our struggle, was a mere 
fiction. She was built under a contract w T ith the Confederate 
States, and paid for with Confederate money. She happened 
to be the two hundred and ninetieth ship built by the Lairds, 
and, not having been christened, was called 290. Captain 
Semmes followed her, accompanied by Captain Bullock on the 
steamer Bahama, and found her at the place of rendezvous, also 
a sailing-ship which had been dispatched before the Alabama 
with her battery and stores. Captain Semmes, with a sailor's 


enthusiasm, describes his first impression on seeing the ship 
which was to be his future home. The defects of the Sumter 
had been avoided, so that he found his new ship " a perfect 
steamer and a perfect sailing-ship, at the same time neither of 
her two modes of locomotion being at all dependent upon the 
other. . . . She was about nine hundred tons burden, two hun- 
dred and thirty feet in length, thirty-two feet in breadth, twen- 
ty feet in depth, and drew, when provisioned and coaled for a 
cruise, fifteen feet of water. Her model was of the most per- 
fect symmetry, and she sat upon the water with the lightness 
and grace of a swan." She was yet only a merchant-ship, and 
the men on board of her, as well as those who came out with 
the Captain on the Bahama, were only under articles for the 
voyage. She therefore had no crew for future service. When 
her armament and stores had been put on board, she steamed 
from the harbor out to the open sea, where she was to be christ- 
ened and put in commission. Captain Bullock went out on her 
and stood sponsor at the ceremony. He had just cause to be 
proud of the ship, and we to be thankful to him for the skill 
and care with which he had designed her and supervised her 
construction. The scantling of the vessel was comparatively 
light, having been intended for a scourge to the enemy's com- 
merce rather than for battle, and merely to defend herself if it 
became necessary. Her masts were proportioned so as to carry 
large canvas, and her engine was of three hundred horse-pow- 
er, with an apparatus for condensing vapor to supply the crew 
with all the fresh water requisite. The coal, stores, and arma- 
ment having been received from the supply-ships, she steamed 
out to sea on Sunday morning, August 24, 1862. There, more 
than a marine league from the shore, on the blue water over 
which man holds no empire, Captain Semmes read the commis- 
sion of the President of the Confederacy appointing him a cap- 
tain, and the order of the Secretary of the Navy assigning him 
to the command of the Alabama. There, where no government 
held jurisdiction, where the commission of the Confederacy was as 
valid as that of any power, the Alabama was christened, and was 
henceforth a ship of war in the navy of the Confederate States. 
The men who had come thus far under articles no longer bind- 


ing were left to their option whether to be paid off with a free 
passage to Liverpool, or to enlist in the crew of the Alabama. 
Eighty of the men who had come out in the several vessels en- 
rolled themselves in the usual manner. Captain Semmes had 
a full complement of officers, and with this, though less than the 
authorized crew, he commenced his long and brilliant cruise. 
The ship's armament consisted of six thirty-two-pounders in 
broadsides and two pivot-guns amidships, one of them a smooth- 
bore eight-inch, the other a hundred-pounder rifled Blakely. 

Captain Semmes, from his varied knowledge of affairs both 
on sea and land, did not sail by chance in quest of adventure, 
but directed his course to places where the greatest number of 
the enemy's merchantmen were likely to be found, and to this 
the large number of captures he made is in no small degree at- 
tributable. On board one of the ships captured they got New 
York papers, from which he learned that General Banks, with 
a large fleet of transports, was to sail on a certain day for Gal- 
veston. On this he decided to go to the rendezvous appointee 
for his coal-ship, and make all due preparation for a dash into 
the fleet when they should arrive at the harbor of Galveston, 
and therefore directed his course into the Gulf of Mexico. 

In the mean time General Magruder had recaptured Galves- 
ton, so that on his arrival the lookout informed him that, in- 
stead of a fleet, there were five ships of war blockading the 
harbor and throwing shells into the town, from which his keei 
perception drew the proper conclusion that we had possessioi 
of the town, and that he was confronted by ships of war, not 
transports laden with troops. As each of the five ships ob- 
served by the lookout were supposed to be larger than his own, 
he had of course no disposition to run into that fleet. It there- 
fore only remained to tempt one of the ships to follow him 
beyond supporting distance. The hope was soon realized, as 
vessel was seen to come out from the fleet. The Alabama was 
under sail, and Captain Semmes says : " To carry out my design 
of decoying the enemy, I now wore ship as though I were flee- 
ing from his pursuit, and lowered the propeller into the water. 
When about twenty miles from the fleet, the Alabama was pre- 
pared for action, and wheeled to meet her pursuer. To the first 


hail made, the answer from the Alabama was, 'This is her 
Britannic Majesty's steamer Petrel,' and the answer was, ' This 

is the United States ship ,' name not heard." Captain 

Semmes then directed the first lieutenant to call out through 
his trumpet, " This is the Confederate States steamer Alabama." 
A broadside was instantly returned by the enemy. Captain 
Semmes describes the state of the atmosphere as highly favor- 
able to the conduct of sound, and the wind blowing in the direc- 
tion of the enemy's fleet. The Federal Admiral, as afterward 
learned, immediately got under way with the Brooklyn and two 
others of his steamers to go to the rescue. The crews of both 
ships must have been standing at their guns, as the broadsides 
so instantly followed each other. In thirteen minutes after 
firing the first gun the enemy hoisted a light and fired an off- 
gun as a signal that he had been beaten. Captain Semmes 
steamed quite close to* the Hatteras and asked if he had sur- 
rendered ; then, if he was in want of assistance. An affirmative 
answer was given to both questions. The boats of the Alabama 
were lowered with such promptitude and handled with such 
care that, though the Hatteras was sunk at night, none of her 
crew were drowned. When her captain came on board, Cap- 
tain Semmes learned that he had been engaged with the United 
States steamer Hatteras, "a larger ship than the Alabama by 
one hundred tons," with an equal number of guns, and a crew 
numbering two less than that of the Alabama. There was a 
" considerable disparity between the two ships in the weight of 
their pivot-guns, and the Alabama ought to have won the fight, 
which she did in thirteen minutes." The Alabama had re- 
ceived no appreciable injury, and, continuing her cruise to the 
Island of Jamaica, entered the harbor of Port Poyal, where, by 
the permission of the authorities, Captain Semmes landed his 
prisoners, putting them on parole. 

As an answer to the stereotyped charges against Captain 
Semmes as a "pirate" and robber, I will select from the many 
unarmed ships captured by him one case. He had gone to the 
track of the California steamers between Aspinwall and New 
York, in the hope of capturing a vessel homeward bound with 
Government treasure. On the morning before such a vessel 


was expected, a large steamer, the Ariel, was seen, but unfor- 
tunately not going in the right direction. An exciting chase 
occurred, when she was finally brought to, but, instead of the 
million of dollars in her safe, she was outward bound, with a 
large number of women and children on board. A boarding 
officer was sent on her, and returned, giving an account of great 
alarm, especially among the ladies. Captain Semmes sent a 
lieutenant on board to assure them that they had " fallen into 
the hands of Southern gentlemen, under whose protection they 
were entirely safe." Among the passengers were a battalion 
of marines and some army and navy officers. These were all 
paroled, rank and file numbering one hundred and forty, and 
the vessel was released on ransom-bond. Captain Semmes states 
that there were five hundred passengers on board. It is fair to 
presume that each passenger had with him a purse of from 
three to five hundred dollars. Under the laws of war all this 
money would have been good prize, but not one dollar of it was 
touched, or indeed so much as a passenger's baggage examined. 

The Alabama now proceeded to run down the Spanish Main, 
thence bore eastward into the Indian Ocean, and, after a cruise 
into every sea where a blow at American commerce could be 
struck, came around the Cape of Good Hope, and, sailing north, 
ran up to the thirtieth parallel, where so many captures had 
been made at a former time. Of the ship at this date Captain 
Semmes wrote : " The poor old Alabama was not now what she 
had been then. She was like the wearied fox-hound, limping 
back after a long chase, foot-sore, and longing for quiet repose." 

She had, in her mission to cripple the enemy's commerce 
and cut his sinews of war, captured sixty-three vessels, among 
them one of the enemy's gunboats, the Hatteras, sunk in battle, 
had released nine under ransom-bond, and had paroled all pris- 
oners taken. 

All neutral ports being closed against her prizes, the rest oi 
the vessels were, of necessity, burned at sea. Much complaint 
was made on account of the burning of these merchantmen, 
though very little reflection would have taught the complain- 
ants that the interests of the captor would have induced him to 
save the vessels, and send them into the nearest port for con- 


demnation as prizes ; and, therefore, whatever grievance existed 
was the result of the blockade and of the rule which prevented 
the captures from being sent into a neutral port to await the 
decision of a prize court. 

On the morning of the 11th of June, 1864, the Alabama 
entered the harbor of Cherbourg. " An officer was sent to call 
on the port admiral, and ask leave to land the prisoners from 
the last two ships captured; this was readily granted." The 
next day Captain Semmes went on shore to consult the port 
admiral " in relation to docking and repairing " the Alabama. 
As there were only government docks at Cherbourg, the appli- 
cation had to be referred to the Emperor. Before an answer 
was received, the Kearsarge steamed into the harbor, sent a boat 
ashore, and then ran out and took her station off the break- 
water. Captain Semmes learned that the boat from, the Kear- 
sarge sent on shore had borne a request that the prisoners dis- 
charged from the Alabama might be delivered to the Kearsarge. 
It will be remembered that the Government of the United 
States, in many harsh and unjust phrases, had refused to recog- 
nize the Alabama as a ship of war, and held that the paroles 
given to her were void. This request was therefore regarded 
by Captain Semmes as an attempt to recruit for the Kearsarge 
from the prisoners lately landed by the Alabama, and he so pre- 
sented the facts to the port admiral, who rejected the appli- 
cation from the Kearsarge. 

Captain Semmes sent notice to Captain Winslow, of the 
Kearsarge, whose presence in the offing was regarded as a chal- 
lenge, that, if he would wait until the Alabama could receive 
some coal on board, she would come out and give him battle. 

As has been shown by extracts previously made, Captain 
Semmes knew that, after his long cruise, the Alabama needed 
Jbo go into dock for repairs. It had not been possible for him, 
on account of the rigid enforcement of " neutrality," to replen- 
ish his ammunition. Unless the niter is more thoroughly puri- 
fied than is usually, if ever, done by those who manufacture for 
an open market, it is sure to retain nitrate of soda, and the 
powder, of which it is the important ingredient, to deteriorate 
by long exposure to a moist atmosphere. The Kearsarge was 


superior to the Alabama in size, and, having been bnilt for war 
in stanchness of construction, her armament was also greater, the 
latter being measured, not by the number of guns, but by the 
amount of metal she could throw at a broadside. The crew of the 
Kearsarge, all told, was one hundred and sixty-two ; that of the 
Alabama, one hundred and forty-nine. Captain Semmes says : 
" Still the disparity was not so great but that I might hope to 
beat my enemy in a fair light. But he did not show me a fair 
fight, for, as it afterward turned out, his ship was iron-clad." 
This expression " iron-clad " refers to the fact that the Kearsarge 
had chains on her sides, which Captain Semmes describes as 
concealed by planking, the forward and after ends of which so 
accorded with the lines of the ship as not to be detected by 
telescopic observation. Many of that class of critics whose 
wisdom is only revealed after the event have blamed Captain 
Semmes for going out under the circumstances. Like most other 
questions, there are two sides to this. If he had gone into 
dock for repairs, the time required would have resulted in the 
dispersion of his crew, and, from the known improvidence oJ 
sailors, it would have been more than doubtful whether they 
could have been reassembled. It was, moreover, probable that 
other vessels would have been sent to aid the Kearsarge in effect- 
ually blockading the port, so that, if his crew had returned, th 
only chance would have been to escape through the guarding 
fleet. Proud of his ship, and justly confiding in his crew, surety 
something will be conceded to the Confederate spirit so often 
exhibited and so often triumphant over disparity of force. 

On the 19th of June, 1864, the Alabama left the harbo 
of Cherbourg to engage the Kearsarge, which had been lying off 
and on the port for several days previously. Captain Semmes 
in his report of the engagement writes : 

" After the lapse of about one hour and ten minutes, our ship 
was ascertained to be in a sinking condition ... to reach the 
French coast, I gave the ship all steam, and set such of the fore 
and aft sails as were available. The ship filled so rapidly, how- 
ever, that, before we had made much progress, the fires were ex- 
tinguished. I now hauled down my colors, and dispatched a boat 
to inform the enemy of our condition. Although we were now 


but four hundred yards from each other, the enemy fired upon me 
five times after my colors had been struck. It is charitable to 
suppose that a ship of war, of a Christian nation, could not have 
done this intentionally." 

Captain Semmes states that, his waist-boats having been torn 
to pieces, he sent the wounded, and such of the boys of the ship 
as could not swim, in his quarter-boats, off to the enemy's ship, 
and, as there was no appearance of any boat coming from the 
enemy, the crew, as previously instructed, jumped overboard, 
each to save himself if he could. All the wounded — twenty-one 
— were saved. Ten of the crew were ascertained to have been 
drowned. Captain Semmes stood on the quarter-deck until his 
ship was settling to go down, then threw his sword into the sea, 
there to lie buried with the ship he loved so well, and leaped 
from the deck just in time to avoid being drawn down into the 
vortex created by her sinking. He and many of his crew were 
picked up by a humane English gentleman in the boats of his 
yacht, the Deerhound. Others were saved by two French pilot- 
boats which were near the scene. The remainder, it is hoped, 
were picked up by the enemy. Captain Semmes states in his 
official report, two days after the battle, that about the time of 
his rescue by the Deerhound the " Kearsarge sent one and then 
tardily another boat." The reader is invited to compare this 
with the conduct of Captain Semmes when he sank the Hat- 
teras, and when, though it was in the night, by ranging up close 
to her, and promptly using all his boats, he saved her entire crew. 

Mention has been made of the defective ammunition of the 
Alabama, and in that connection I quote the following passage 
from Captain Semmes's book, on which I have so frequently 
and largely drawn for facts in regard to the Sumter and the 
Alabama (pages 761, 762) : 

" I lodged a rifle percussion shell near to her [the Kearsarge's] 
sternpost — ichere there were no chains — which failed to explode 
because of the defect of the cap. If the cap had performed its 
duty, and exploded the shell, I should have been called upon to 
save Captain Winslow's crew from drowning, instead of his being 
called upon to save mine." 


As it appears by the same authority that the Kearsarge had 
greater speed than the Alabama, it followed that, though the 
Captain of the Kearsarge might have closed with and boarded 
the Alabama, the Captain of the Alabama could not board the 
Kearsarge, unless by consent. 

The Alabama, built like a merchant-ship, sailed in peaceful 
garb from British waters, on a far-distant sea received her crew 
and armament, fitted for operations against the enemy's com- 
merce. On "blue-water" she was christened, and in the same 
she was buried. She lived the pride of her friends and the ter- 
ror of her enemies. She went out to fight a wooden vessel and 
was sunk by one clad in secret armor. Those rescued by the 
Deerhound from the water were landed at Southampton, Eng- 

The United States Government then, through its minister, 
Mr. Charles Francis Adams, made the absurd demand of the 
English Government that they should be delivered up to her as 
escaped prisoners. To this demand Lord John Russell replied 
as follows : 

" With regard to the demand made by you, by instructions 
from your Government, that those officers and men should now 
be delivered up to the Government of the United States, as being 
escaped prisoners of war, her Majesty's Government would beg 
to observe that there is no obligation by international law which 
can bind the government of a neutral state to deliver up to a bel- 
ligerent prisoners of war who may have escaped from the power 
of such belligerent, and may have taken refuge within the terri- 
tory of such neutral. Therefore, even if her Majesty's Govern- 
ment had any power, by law, to comply with the above-mentioned 
demand, her Majesty's Government could not do so without being 
guilty of a violation of the duties of hospitality. In point ot, fact, 
however, her Majesty's Government have no lawful power to ar- 
rest and deliver up the persons in question. They have been 
guilty of no offense against the laws of England, and they have 
committed no act which would bring them within the provisions 
of a treaty between Great Britain and the United States for the 
surrender of the offenders ; and her Majesty's Government are, 
therefore, entirely without any legal means by which, even if 

1862] SHE WAS RELEASED. 259 

they wished to do so, they could comply with your above-men- 
tioned demand." 

It will be observed that her Majesty's Minister mercifully 
forbore to expose the pretensions that " the persons in question " 
had been prisoners, and confined his answer to the case as it 
would have been had that allegation been true. There are other 
points in this transaction which will be elsewhere presented. 

The Oreto, which sailed from Liverpool about the 23d of 
March, 1862, was, while under construction at Liverpool, the 
subject of diplomatic correspondence and close scrutiny by the 
customs officers. After her arrival off Nassau, upon representa- 
tions by the United States consul at that port, she was detained 
and again examined, and, it being found that she had none of 
the character of a vessel of war, she was released. Captain Maf- 
fitt, who had gone out with a cargo of cotton, here received a 
letter which authorized him to take charge of the Oreto and 
get her promptly to sea. She was a steamer of two hundred 
and fifty horse-power, tonnage Hve hundred and sixty, bark- 
rigged ; speed, under steam, eight to nine knots ; with sail, in a 
fresh breeze, fourteen knots ; crew twenty-two, all told. The 
United States Minister, Mr. Adams, had made a report to the 
British Government, which, it was apprehended, would cause 
her seizure at once. This was soon done, and with great diffi- 
culty the vessel was saved to the Confederacy by her com- 
mander. She arrived at Nassau on the 28th of April, and was 
detained until the session of the Admiralty Court in August. 
As soon as discharged by the proceedings therein, she sailed for 
the uninhabited island " Green Kay," ninety miles to the south- 
ward of Providence Island, with a tender in tow having equip- 
ments provided by a Confederate merchant, where she anchored 
the next day, and proceeded to take on board her military arma- 
ment sent out on the tender. She now became a ship of the 
Confederate Navy, and was christened Florida. Her long de- 
tention in Nassau had caused the ship to be infected with yel- 
low fever, and, as she had no surgeon on board, the vessel was 
directed to the Island of Cuba, and ran into the harbor of Car- 
denas for aid. The crew was reduced to one fireman and two 


seamen, and eventually the Captain was prostrated by the fever. 
The Governor of Cardenas, under his view of the neutrality pro- 
claimed by his Government, refused to send a physician aboard, 
and warned the steamer that she must leave in twenty-four 
hours. Lieutenant Stribling, executive officer of the ship, had 
been sent to Havana to report her condition to the Captain- 
General, Marshal Serrano. That chivalrous gentleman, soldier, 
and statesman, at once invited the ship to the hospitalities of 
the harbor of Havana, whither she repaired and received the 
kindness which her forlorn situation required. 

On the 1st of September, 1862, the vessel left Havana to 
obtain a crew ; and, to complete her equipment, which was so 
imperfect that her guns could not all be used, the vessel was di- 
rected to the harbor of Mobile. On approaching that harbor she 
found several blockading vessels on the station, and boldly ran 
through them, escaping, with considerable injury to her masts 
and rigging, to the friendly shelter of Fort Morgan, where, 
while in quarantine, Lieutenant Stribling was attacked with 
fever and died. He was an officer of great merit, and his loss 
was much regretted, not only by his many personal friends, 
but by all who foresaw the useful service he could render to 
his country if his life were prolonged. Under the disadvan- 
tages of being an infected ship and remote from the work- 
shops, repairs were commenced, and the equipment of the ship 

In the mean time the blockading squadron had been in- 
creased, with the boastful announcement that the cruiser should 
be " hermetically sealed " in the harbor of Mobile. Some im- 
patience was manifested after the vessel was ready for sea that 
she did not immediately go out, but Captain Maffitt, with sound 
judgment and nautical skill, decided to wait for a winter storm 
and a dark night before attempting to pass through the close in- 
vestment. When the opportunity offered, he steamed out into a 
rough sea and a fierce north wind. As he passed the blockading 
squadron he was for the first time discovered, when a number 
of vessels gave chase, and continued the pursuit throughout the 
night and the next day. In the next evening all except the two 
fastest had hauled off, and, as night again closed in, the smoke 


and canvas of the Florida furnished their only guide. Captain 
Maffitt thus describes the ruse by which he finally escaped : 
" The canvas was secured in long, neat bunts to the yards, and 
the engines were stopped. Between high, toppling seas, clear 
daylight was necessary to enable them to distinguish our low 
hull. In eager pursuit the Federals swiftly passed ns, and we 
jubilantly bade the enemy good night, and steered to the north- 
ward." She was now fairly on the high-seas, and after long 
and vexatious delays entered on her mission to cruise against 
the enemy's commerce. She commenced her captures in the 
Gulf of Mexico, then progressed through the Gulf of Florida 
to the latitude of ~New York, and thence to the equator, contin- 
uing to 12° south, and returned again within thirty miles of 
New York. AVhen near Cape St. Roque, Captain Maffitt cap- 
tured a Baltimore brig, the Clarence, and fitted her out as a 
tender. He placed on her Lieutenant C. W. Read, commander, 
fourteen men, armed with muskets, pistols, and a twelve-pound 
howitzer. The instructions were to proceed to the coast of 
America, to cruise against the enemy's commerce. Under these 
orders he destroyed many Federal vessels. Of him Captain 
Maffitt wrote : " Daring, even beyond the point of martial pru- 
dence, he entered the harbor of Portland at midnight, and 
captured the revenue cutter Caleb Cushing; but, instead of 
instantly burning her, ran her out of the harbor ; being thus 
delayed, he was soon captured by a Federal expedition sent out 
against him." While under the command of Captain Maffitt, 
the Florida, with her tenders, captured some fifty-five vessels, 
many of which were of great value. The Florida being built 
of light timbers, her very active cruising had so deranged her 
machinery, that it was necessary to go into some friendly har- 
bor for repairs. Captain Maffitt says : " I selected Brest, and, 
the Government courteously consenting to the Florida having 
the facilities of the navy-yard, she was promptly docked." The 
effects of the yellow fever from which he had suffered and the 
fatigue attending his subsequent service had so exhausted his 
strength that he asked to be relieved from command of the 
ship. In compliance with this request, Captain C. M. Morris 
was ordered to relieve him. 


After completing all needful repairs, Captain Morris pro- 
ceeded to sea and sighted the coast of Virginia, where he made 
a number of important captures. Turning from that locality 
he crossed the equator, destroying the commerce of the North- 
ern States on his route to Bahia. Here he obtained coal, and 
also had some repairs done to the engines, when the United 
States steamship Wachusett entered the harbor. Not know- 
ing what act of treachery might be attempted by her com- 
mander on the first night after his arrival, the Florida was kept 
in a watchful condition for battle. 

This belligerent demonstration in the peaceful harbor of a 
neutral power alarmed both the governor and the admiral, who 
demanded assurances that the sovereignty of Brazil and its 
neutrality should be strictly observed by both parties. The 
pledge was given. In the evening, with a chivalric belief in 
the honor of the United States commander, Captain Morris un- 
fortunately permitted a majority of his officers to accompany 
him to the opera, and also allowed two thirds of the crew to 
visit the shore on leave. About one o'clock in the morning the 
Wachusett was surreptitiously got under way, and her com- 
mander, with utter abnegation of his word of honor, ran into 
the Florida, discharging his battery and boarding her. The 
few officers on board and small number of men were unable to 
resist this unexpected attack, and the Florida fell an easy prey 
to this covert and dishonorable assault. She was towed to sea 
amid the execrations of the Brazilian forces, army and navy, 
who, completely taken by surprise, fired a few ineffectual shots 
at the infringer upon the neutrality of the hospitable port of 
Bahia. The Confederate was taken to Hampton Boads. 

Brazil instantly demanded her restoration intact to her late 
anchorage in Bahia. Mr. Lincoln was confronted by a protest 
from the different representatives of the courts of Europe, de- 
nouncing this extraordinary breach of national neutrality, which 
placed the Government of the United States in a most unenvi- 
able position. Mr. Seward, with his usual diplomatic insincer- 
ity and Machiavellianism, characteristically prevaricated, while 
he plotted with a distinguished admiral as to the most adroit 
method of disposing of the " elephant." The result of these 


plottings was that an engineer was placed in charge of the 
stolen steamer, with positive orders to " open her sea-cock at 
midnight, and not to leave the engine-room until the water was 
up tahis chin, as at sunrise the Florida must he at the bottom" 
The following note was sent to the Brazilian charge d'affaires 
by Mr. Seward : 

" While awaiting the representations of the Brazilian Govern- 
ment, on the 28th of November she [the Florida] sank, owing to 
a leak, which could not be seasonably stopped. The leak was at 
first represented to have been caused, or at least increased, by col- 
lision with a war-transport. Orders were immediately given to 
ascertain the manner and circumstances of the occurrence. It 
seemed to affect the army and navy. A naval court of inquiry 
and also a military court of inquiry were charged w T ith the inves- 
tigation. The naval court has submitted its report, and a copy 
thereof is herewith communicated. The military court is yet en- 
gaged. So soon as its labors shall have ended, the result will be 
made known to your Government. In the mean time it is assumed 
that the loss of the Florida was in consequence of some unfore- 
seen accident, which casts no responsibility on the Government of 
the United States." 

The restitution of the ship having thus become impossible, 
the President expressed his regret that "the sovereignty of 
Brazil had been violated ; dismissed the consul at Bahia, who 
had advised the offense ; and sent the commander of the Wa- 
chusett before a court-martial." * 

The commander of the Wachusett experienced no annoy- 
ance, and was soon made an admiral. 

The Georgia was the next Confederate cruiser that Captain 
Bullock succeeded in sending forth. She was of five hundred 
and sixty tons, and fitted out on the coast of France. Her com- 
mander, "W. L. Maury, Confederate States Navy, cruised in the 
North and South Atlantic with partial success. The capacity 
of the vessel in speed and other essentials was entirely inade- 
quate to the service for which she was designed. She proceed- 
ed as far as the Cape of Good Hope, and returned, after having 

* M. Bernard's " Neutrality of Great Britain during the American Civil War." 


captured seven ships and two barks. Then she was laid up and 

. The Shenandoah, once the Sea King, was purchased by Cap- 
tain Bullock, and placed under the command of Lieutenant- 
commanding J. J. "Waddell, who fitted her for sendee under 
many difficulties at the barren island of Porto Santo, near Ma- 
deira. After experiencing great annoyances, through the activ- 
ity of the American consul at Melbourne, Australia, Captain 
Waddell finally departed, and commenced an active and effec- 
tive cruise against American shipping in the Okhotsk Sea and 
Arctic Ocean. In August, 1865, hearing of the close of the 
war, he ceased his pursuit of United States commerce, sailed 
for Liverpool, England, and surrendered his ship to the English 
Government, which transferred it to the Government of the 
United States. The Shenandoah was a full -rigged ship of eight 
hundred tons, very fast under canvass. Her steam-power was 
merely auxiliary. 

This was the last but not the first appearance of the Confed- 
erate flag in Great Britain ; the first vessel of the Confederate 
Government which unfurled it there was the swift, light steamer 
Nashville, R. B. Pegram, commander. Having been construct- 
ed as a passenger-vessel, and mainly with reference to speed 
and the light draught suited to the navigation of the Southern 
harbors, she was quite too frail for war purposes and too slightly 
armed for combat. 

On her passage to Europe and back, she, nevertheless, de- 
stroyed two merchantmen, bearing the harbor on her return 
voyage, she found it blockaded, and a heavy vessel lying close 
on her track. Her daring commander headed directly for the 
vessel, and ran so close under her guns that she was not sus- 
pected in her approach, and had passed so far before the guns 
could be depressed to bear upon her that none of the shots took 
effect. Being little more than a shell, a single shot would have 
sunk her ; and she was indebted to the address of her commander 
and the speed of his vessel for her escape. Wholly unsuited 
for naval warfare, this voyage terminated her career. 

A different class of vessels than those adapted to the open 
sea was employed for coastwise cruising. In the month of 


July, 1864, a swift twin-screw propeller called the Atlanta, of 
six hundred tons burden, was purchased by the Secretary of the 
Navy, and fitted out in the harbor of Wilmington, North Caro- 
lina for a cruise against the commerce of the Northern States. 
Commander J. Taylor Wood, an officer of extraordinary ability 
and enterprise, was ordered to command her, and her name was 
changed to " The Tallahassee." This extemporaneous man-of- 
war ran safely through the blockade, and soon lit up the New 
England coast with her captures, which consisted of two ships, 
four brigs, four barks, and twenty schooners. Great was the 
consternation among Northern merchants. The construction 
of the Tallahassee exclusively for steam made her dependent 
on coal ; her cruise was of course brief, but brilliant while it 

About the same time another fast double-screw propeller of 
five hundred and eighty-five tons, called the Edith, ran into 
Wilmington, North Carolina, and the Navy Department re- 
quiring her services, bought her and gave to her the name of 
u Chickamauga." A suitable battery was placed on board, with 
officers and crew, and Commander John Wilkinson, a gentle- 
man of consummate naval ability, was ordered to command her. 
When ready for sea, he ran the blockade under the bright rays 
of a full moon. Strange to say, the usually alert sentinels neither 
hailed nor halted her. Like the Tallahassee, though partially 
rigged for sailing, she was exclusively dependent upon steam in 
the chase, escape, and in all important evolutions. She captured 
seven vessels, despite the above-noticed defects. 



Naval Affairs, concluded. — Excitement in the Northern States on the Appearance of 
our Cruisers. — Failure of the Enemy to protect their Commerce. — Appeal to 
Europe not to help the So-called "Pirates." — Seeks Iron-plated Vessels in 
England. — Statement of Lord Russell. — What is the Duty of Neutrals? — Posi- 
tion taken by President Washington. — Letter of Mr. Jefferson. — Contracts, 
sought by United States Government. — Our Cruisers went to Sea unarmed. — 
Mr. Adams asserts that British Neutrality was violated. — Reply of Lord Rus- 
sell. — Rejoinder of Mr. Seward. — Duty of Neutrals relative to Warlike Stores. — 
Views of Wheaton ; of Kent. — Charge of the Lord Chief Baron in the Alexan- 
dra Case. — Action of the Confederate Government sustained. — Antecedents of 
the United States Government. — The Colonial Commissions. — Build and equip 
Ships in Europe. — Captain Conyngham's Captures.— Made Prisoner. — Retalia- 
tion. — Numbers of Captures. — Recognition of Greece. — Recognition of South 
American Cruisers. — Chief Act of Hostility charged on Great Britain by the 
United States Government. — The Queen's Proclamation : its Effect. — Cause of 
the United States Charges. — Never called us Belligerents. — Why not ? — Adopts 
a Fiction. — The Reason. — Why denounce our Cruisers as " Pirates." — Opinion 
of Justice Greer. — Burning of Prizes. — Laws of Maritime War. — Cause of the 
Geneva Conference. — Statement of American Claims. — Allowance. — Indirect 
Damages of our Cruisers. — Ships transferred to British Registers. — Decline of 
American Tonnage. — Decline of Coasting Tonnage. — Decline of Export of 
Breadstuffs. — Advance of Insurance. 

The excitement produced in the Northern States by the 
effective operations of our cruisers upon their commerce was 
such as to receive the attention of the United States Govern- 
ment. Keasonably, it might have been expected that they 
would send their ships of war out on the high-seas to protect 
their commerce by capturing or driving off our light cruisers, 
but, instead of this, their fleets were employed in blockading the 
Confederate ports, or watching those in the West Indies, from 
which blockade-runners were expected to sail,, and, by captur- 
ing which, either on the high-seas or at the entrance of a Con- 
federate port, a harvest of prizes might be secured. For this 
dereliction of duty, in the failure to protect commerce, no bet- 
ter reason offers itself than greed and malignity. There was, 
however, in this connection, a more humiliating feature in the 
conduct of the United States Government. 

While, from its State Department, the Confederacy was de- 


nounced as an insurrection soon to be suppressed, and the cruis- 
ers, regularly commissioned by the Confederate States, were 
called " pirates," diplomatic demands were made upon Great 
Britain to prevent the so-called "pirates" from violatiog in- 
ternational law, as if it applied to pirates. Appeals to that 
Government were also made to prevent the sale of the materials 
of war to the Confederacy, and thus indirectly to aid the United 
States in performing what, according to the representation, was 
a police duty, to suppress a combination of some evil-disposed 
persons — gallantly claiming that they, armed cap-a-pie, should 
meet their adversary in the list, he to be without helmet, shield, 
or lance. 

To one who from youth to age had seen, with exultant pride, 
the flag of his country as it unfolded, disclosing to view the 
stripes recordant of the original size of the family of States, and 
the Constellation, which told of that family's growth, it could 
but be deeply mortifying to witness such paltry exhibition of 
deception and unmanliness in the representatives of a Govern- 
ment around which fond memories still lingered, despite the 
perversion of which it was the subject. 

If this attempt, on the part of the United States, to deny 
the existence of war after having, by proclamation of blockade, 
compelled all nations to take notice that war did exist, and to 
claim that munitions should not be sold to a country because 
there were some disorderly people in it, had been all, the at- 
tempt would have been ludicrously absurd, and the contradic- 
tion too bald to require refutation ; but this would have been 
but half of the story. Subsequently the United States Govern- 
ment claimed reclamation from Great Britain for damage in- 
flicted by vessels which had been built in her ports, and which 
had elsewhere been armed and equipped for purposes of war. 
International law recognizes the right of a neutral to sell an un- 
armed vessel, without reference to the use to which the pur- 
chaser might subsequently apply it. The United States Gov- 
ernment had certainly not practiced under a different rule, but 
had gone even further than this — so much further as to trans- 
gress the prohibition against armed vessels. 

It has already been stated that the Government of the 


United States, at the commencement of the war, sought to 
contract for the construction of iron-plated vessels in the ports 
of England, which were to be delivered fully armed and 
equipped to her. To this it may be added that her armies 
were recruited from almost all the countries of Europe, down 
almost to the last month of the war ; a portion of their arms 
were of foreign manufacture, as well as the munitions of war ; 
a large number of the sailors of her fleets came from the sea- 
ports of Great Britain and Germany ; in a word, whatever could 
be of service to her in the conflict was unhesitatingly sought 
among neutrals, regardless of the law of nations. At the same 
time an effort was made on her part to make Great Britain 
responsible for the damage done by our cruisers, and for the 
warlike stores sold to our Government. 

Some statements of Lord Russell on this point, in a letter 
to Minister Adams, dated December 19, 1862, deserve notice. 
He says : 

"It is right, however, to observe that the party which has 
profited by far the most by these unjustifiable practices, has been 
the Government of the United States, because that Government, 
having a superiority of force by sea, and having blockaded most 
of the Confederate ports, has been able, on the one hand, safely to 
receive all the warlike supplies which it has induced British manu- 
facturers and merchants to send to the United States ports in vio- 
lation of the Queen's proclamation ; and, on the other hand, to 
intercept and capture a great part of the supplies of the same 
kind which were destined from this country to the Confederate 

" If it be sought to make her Majesty's Government respon- 
sible to that of the United States because arms and munitions of 
war have left this country on account of the Confederate Govern- 
ment, the Confederate Government, as the other belligerent, may 
very well maintain that it has a just cause of complaint against 
the British Government because the United States arsenals have 
been replenished from British sources. Nor would it be possible 
to deny that, in defiance of the Queen's proclamation, many sub- 
jects of her Majesty, owing allegiance to her crown, have enlisted 
in the armies of the United States. Of this fact you can not be 
ignorant. Her Majesty's Government, therefore, has just ground 


for complaint against both of the belligerent parties, but most 
especially against the Government of the United States, for having 
systematically, and in disregard of the comity of nations which it 
was their duty to observe, induced subjects of her Majesty to vio- 
late those orders which, in conformity with her neutral position, 
she has enjoined all her subjects to obey." 

Perhaps it may be well to inquire what is, under interna- 
tional law, the duty of neutral nations with regard to the con- 
struction and equipment of cruisers for either belligerent, and 
the supply of warlike stores. Thus the groundlessness of the 
claims put forth by the Government of the United States for 
damages to be paid by Great Britain will be more manifest, and 
the lawfulness of the acts of the Confederate Government de- 

After the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789, the 
Government of France, owing to the temporary inferiority of 
her naval force, openly and deliberately equipped privateers in 
our ports. These privateers captured British vessels in United 
States waters, and brought them as prizes into United States 
ports. These facts formed the basis of demands made upon 
the United States by the British plenipotentiary. The demands 
had reference, not to the accidental evasion of a municipal law 
of the United States by a particular ship, but to a systematic 
disregard of international law upon some of the most important 
points of neutral obligation. 

To these demands Mr. Jefferson, then Secretary of State 
under President Washington, thus replied on September 3, 
1793 : 

" We are bound by our treaties with three of the belligerent 
nations, by all the means in our power, to protect and defend their 
vessels and effects in our ports or waters, or on the seas near our 
shores, and to recover and restore the same to the right owners 
when taken from them. If all the means in our power are used, 
and fail in this effort, we are not bound by our treaties with those 
nations to make compensation. Though we have no similar treaty 
with Great Britain, it was the opinion of the President that we 
should use toward that nation the same rule which, under this 


article, was to govern us with other nations, and even to extend it 
to the captures made on the high-seas and brought into our ports, 
if done by vessels which had been armed within them." 

It will be observed that the justice of restitution, or compen- 
sation, for captures made on the high-seas and brought into our 
ports, is only admitted by President Washington upon one con- 
dition, which is expressed in these words : " If done by vessels 
which had been armed within them." The terms of the con- 
tract, which the Government of the United States endeavored 
to make at the ship-yards of England, were for the delivery of 
the ship or ships of war " to be finished complete, with guns and 
everything appertaining." The contract was not taken, as too 
little time was allowed for its execution. But, if entered into 
and executed, it would have been. a direct violation of interna- 
tional law. 

In the instance of our cruisers built in the ports of England, 
it will be observed that they went to sea without arms or warlike 
stores, and, at other ports than those of Great Britain, they were 
converted into ships of war and put into commission by the 
authority of the Confederate Government. The Government 
of the United States asserted that they were built in the ports 
of Great Britain, and thereby her duty of neutrality was violated, 
and the Government made responsible for the damages sustained 
by private citizens of the United States in consequence of her 
captures on the seas. To this declaration of Mr. Adams, Earl 
Russell (he had been made an earl) replied on September 14, 
1863, thus : 

" When the United States Government assumes to hold the 
Government of Great Britain responsible for the captures made 
by vessels which may be fitted out as vessels of war in a foreign 
port, because such vessels were originally built in a British port, I 
have to observe that such pretensions are entirely at variance with 
the principles of international law, and with the decisions of 
American courts of the highest authority ; and I have only, in 
conclusion, to express my hope that you may not be instructed 
again to put forward claims which her Majesty's Government can 
not admit to be founded on any grounds of law or justice." 


On October 6, 1863, Mr. Seward, the Secretary of State of 
the United States Government, replied to this declaration of 
Earl Kussell, saying : 

" The United States do insist, and must continue to insist, that 
the British Government is justly responsible for the damages which 
the peaceful, law-abiding citizens of the United States [!] sustain 
by the depredations of the Alabama." 

Earl Russell answered on October 26, 1863, thus : 

" I must request you to believe that the principle contended for 
by her Majesty's Government is not that of commissioning, equip- 
ping, and manning vessels in our ports to cruise against either of 
the belligerent parties — a principle which was so justly and une- 
quivocally condemned by the President of the United States in 
1793. . . . But the British Government must decline to be respon- 
sible for the acts of parties who fit out a seeming merchant-ship, 
send her to a port or to waters far from the jurisdiction of British 
courts, and there commission, equip, and man her as a vessel of 

The duty of neutral nations relative to the supply of warlike 
stores is expressed in these words : 

" It is not the practice of nations to undertake to prohibit their 
own subjects by previous laws from trafficking in articles contra- 
band of war. Such trade is carried on at the risk of those engaged 
in it, under the liabilities and penalties prescribed by the law of 
nations or particular treaties." * 

We now quote from the great American commentator on 
the Constitution of the United States and on the law of na- 
tions : 

" It is a general understanding that the powers at war may seize 
and confiscate all contraband goods, without any complaint on the 
part of the neutral merchant, and without any imputation of a 
breach of neutrality in the neutral sovereign himself. It was con- 
tended on the part of the French nation, in 1796, that neutral 
governments were bound to restrain their subjects from selling or 
exporting articles contraband of war to the belligerent powers. 

* Wheaton's " International Law," sixth edition, p. 571, 1855. 


But it was successfully shown, on the part of the United States, 
that neutrals may lawfully sell at home to a belligerent power, or 
carry themselves to the belligerent powers, contraband articles, 
subject to the right of seizure in transitu. This right has been ex- 
plicitly declared by the judicial authorities of this country [United 
States]. The right of the neutral to transport, and of the hostile 
power to seize, are conflicting rights, and neither party can charge 
the other with a criminal act." * 

In accordance with these principles, President Pierce's mes- 
sage of December 31, 1855, contains the following passage : 

" In pursuance of this policy, the laws of the United States do 
not forbid their citizens to sell to either of the belligerent powers 
articles contraband of war, to take munitions of war or soldiers on 
board their private ships for transportation ; and, although in so 
doing the individual citizen exposes his property or person to some 
of the hazards of war, his acts do not involve any breach of inter- 
national neutrality, nor of themselves implicate the Government." 

Perhaps it may not be out of place here to notice the charge 
of the Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer to the jury in th< 
case of the Alexandra, a vessel of one hundred and twenty tons, 
under construction at Liverpool for our Government. The cast 
came on for trial on June 22, 1863, in the Court of Exchequer, 
sitting at nisi prius, before the Lord Chief Baron and a special 
jury. After it had been summed up, the Lord Chief Baroi 

" This is an information on the part of the Crown for the seiz- 
ure and confiscation of a vessel that was in the course of prepara- 
tion but had not been completed. It is admitted that it was not 
armed, and the question is, whether the preparation of the vessel 
in its then condition was a violation of the Foreign Enlistment 
Act. The main question you will have to decide is this : "Whether, 
under the seventh section of the act of Parliament, the vessel, as 
then prepared at the time of seizure, was liable to seizure ? The 
statute was passed in 1819, and upon it no question has ever arisen 
in our courts of justice ; but there have been expositions of a simi- 
lar statute which exists in the United States. I will now read to 

* Kent's " Commentaries," vol. i, p. 145, 1854. 


you the opinions of some American lawyers who have contributed 
so greatly to make law a science. [His lordship then read a pas- 
sage from Story and others.] These gentlemen are authorities 
which show that, when two belligerents are carrying on a war, a 
neutral power may supply, without any breach of international 
law and without a breach of the Foreign Enlistment Act, muni- 
tions of war — gunpowder, every description of arms, in fact, that 
can be used for the destruction of human beings. 

" Why should ships be an exception ? I am of opinion, in 
point of law, they are not. The Foreign Enlistment Act was an 
act to prevent the enlistment or engagement of his Majesty's sub- 
jects to serve in foreign armies, and to prevent the fitting out and 
equipping in his Majesty's dominions vessels for warlike purposes 
without his Majesty's license. The title of an act is not at all 
times an exact indication or explanation of the act, because it is 
generally attached after the act is passed. But, in adverting to 
the preamble of the act, I find that provision is made against the 
equipping, fitting out, furnishing, and arming of vessels, because 
it may be prejudicial to the peace of his Majesty's dominions. 

" The question I shall put to you is, "Whether you think that 
vessel was merely in a course of building to be delivered in pursu- 
ance of a contract that was perfectly lawful, or whether there was 
any intention in the port of Liverpool, or any other English port, 
that the vessel should be fitted out, equipped, furnished, and armed 
for purposes of aggression. Now, surely, if Birmingham, or any 
other town, may supply any quantity of munitions of war of vari- 
ous kinds for the destruction of life, why object to ships? Why 
should ships alone be in themselves contraband ? I asked the At- 
torney-General if a man could not make a vessel intending to 
sell it to either of the belligerent powers that required it, and 
which would give the largest price for it, would not that be law- 
ful? To my surprise, the learned Attorney- General declined to 
give an answer to the question, which I think a grave and perti- 
nent one. But you, gentlemen, I think, are lawyers enough to 
know that a man may make a vessel and offer it for sale. If a 
man may build a vessel for the purpose of offering it for sale 
to either belligerent party, may he not execute an order for it ? 
That appears to be a matter of course. The statute is not made 
to provide means of protection for belligerent powers, otherwise 
it would have said, * You shall not sell powder or guns, and you 
65 ' 


shall not sell arms '; and, if it had done so, all Birmingham would 
have been in arms against it. The object of the statute was this : 
that we should not have our ports in this country made the ground 
of hostile movements between the vessels of two belligerent pow- 
ers, which might be fitted out, furnished, and armed in these ports. 
The Alexandra was clearly nothing more than in the course of 

" It appears to me that, if true that the Alabama sailed from 
Liverpool without any arms at all, as a mere ship in ballast, and 
that her armament was put on board at Terceira, which is not in 
her Majesty's dominions, then the Foreign Enlistment Act was 
not violated at all." 

After reading some of the evidence, his lordship said : 

" If you think that the object was to furnish, fit out, equip, and 
arm that vessel at Liverpool, that is a different matter ; but if you 
think the object really was to build a ship in obedience to an or- 
der, in compliance with a contract, leaving those who bought it to 
make what use they thought fit of it, then it appears to me that 
the Foreign Enlistment Act has not been broken. " 

The jury immediately returned a verdict for the defendants. 
An appeal was made, but the full bench decided that there was 
no jurisdiction. Against this decision an appeal was taken to 
the House of Lords, and there dismissed on some technical 

Sufficient has been said to show that . the action of the Con- 
federate Government relative to these cruisers is sustained and 
justified by international law. The complaints made by the 
Government of the United States against the Government of 
Great Britain for acts involving a breach of neutrality find no 
support in the letter of the law or in its principles, and were 
conclusively answered by the interpretations of American ju- 
rists. At the same time they are condemned by the antecedent 
acts of the United States Government. Some of these will be 

In the War of the American Revolution, Dr. Franklin and 
Silas Deane were sent to France as commissioners to look after 
the interests of the colonies. In the years 1776 and 1777 they 

1777] SWEEPING THE SEA. 275 

became extensively connected with naval movements. They 
built, and purchased, and equipped, and commissioned ships, all 
in neutral territory ; even filling up blank commissions sent out 
to them by the Congress for the purpose. Among expeditions 
fitted out by them was one under Captain "Wickes to intercept 
a convoy of linen-ships from Ireland. He went first into the 
Bay of Biscay, and afterward entirely around Ireland, sweep- 
ing the sea before him of everything that was not of force to 
render the attack hopeless. Mr. Deane observes to Robert Mor- 
ris that it " effectually alarmed England, prevented the great 
fair at Chester, occasioned insurance to rise, and even deterred 
the English merchants from shipping in English bottoms at any 
rate, so that, in a few weeks, forty sail of French ships were 
loading in the Thames, on freight, an instance never before 

In the spring of 1777 the Commissioners sent an agent to 
Dover, who purchased a fine, fast-sailing English-built cutter, 
which was taken across to Dunkirk. There she was privately 
equipped as a cruiser, and put in command of Captain Gustavus 
Conyngham, who was appointed by filling up a blank commis- 
sion from John Hancock, the President of Congress. This 
commission bore date March 1, 1777, and fully entitled Mr. 
Conyngham to the rank of captain in the navy. His vessel, 
although built in England, like many of our cruisers, was not 
armed or equipped there, nor was his crew enlisted there, but 
in the port of a neutral. This vessel was finally seized under 
some treaty obligations between France and England. The 
Commissioners immediately fitted out another cruiser, and still 
another. It was also affirmed that the money advanced to Mr. 
John Adams for traveling expenses, when he arrived in Spain 
a year or two later, was derived from the prizes of these vessels, 
which had been sent into the ports of Spain. 

Captain Conyngham was a very successful commander, but 
he was made a prisoner in 1779. The matter was brought 
before Congress in July of the same year, and a committee re- 
ported that this "late commander of an armed vessel in the 
service of the States, and taken on board of a private armed 
cutter, had been treated in a manner contrary to the dictates 


of humanity, and the practice of Christian civilized nations." 
Whereupon it was resolved to demand of the British Admiral in 
New York that good and sufficient reason be given for this con- 
duct, or that he be immediately released from his rigorous and 
ignominious confinement. If a satisfactory answer was not re- 
ceived by August 1st, so many persons as were deemed proper 
were ordered to be confined in safe and close custody, to abide 
the fate of the said Gustavus Conyngham. No answer having 
been received, one Christopher Hale was thus confined. In 
December he petitioned Congress for an exchange, and that he 
might procure a person in his room. Congress replied that his 
petition could not be granted until Captain Conyngham was re- 
leased, " as it had been determined that he must abide the fate 
of that officer." Conyngham was subsequently released. 

The whole number of captures made by the United States 
in this contest is not known, but six hundred and fifty prizes 
are said to have been brought into port. Many others were 
ransomed, and some were burned at sea. 

Prescribed limits will not permit me to follow out in detail 
the past history of the United States as a neutral power. It 
must suffice to recall the memory of readers to a few significant 
facts in our more recent history : 

The recognition of the independence of Greece in her strug- 
gle with Turkey, and the voluntary contributions of money 
and men sent to her ; the recognition of the independence of 
the Spanish provinces of South America, and the war-vessels 
equipped and sent from the ports of the United States to Bra- 
zil during the struggle with Spain for independence ; the ships 
sold to Russia during her war with England, France, and Tur- 
key ; the arms and munitions of war manufactured at New Ha- 
ven, Connecticut, and Providence, Rhode Island, sold and shipped 
to Turkey to aid her in her late struggle with Russia. 

The reader will observe the promptitude with which the 
Government of the United States not only accorded belligerent 
rights, but, even more, recognized the independence of nations 
struggling for deliverance from oppressive rulers. The in- 
stances of Greece and the South American republics are well 
known, and that of Texas must be familiar to every one. One 


could scarcely believe, therefore, that the chief act of hostil- 
ity, or, rather, the great crime of the Government of Great 
Britain in the eyes of the Government of the United States, 
was the recognition by the latter of the Confederate States as a 
belligerent power, and that a state of war existed between them 
and the United States. This was the constantly repeated charge 
against the British Government in the dispatches of the United 
States Government from the commencement of the war down 
nearly to the session of the Geneva Conference in 1872. In 
the correspondence of the Secretary, in 1867, he says: 

" What is alleged on the part of the United States is, that the 
Queen's proclamation, which, by conceding belligerent rights to 
the insurgents, lifted them up for the purpose of insurrection to 
an equality with the nation which they were attempting to over- 
throw, was premature because it was unnecessary, and that it was, 
in its operation, unfriendly because it was premature." 

Again he says, and, if sincerely, shows himself to be mfterly 
ignorant- of the real condition of our affairs : 

" Before the Queen's proclamation of neutrality, the disturb- 
ance in the United States was merely a local insurrection. It 
wanted the name of war to enable it to be a civil war and to live, 
endowed as such, with maritime and other belligerent rights. 
Without the authorized name, it might die, and was expected not 
to live and be a flagrant civil war, but to perish a mere insur- 

The first extract in itself contains a fiction. If the Queen's 
proclamation possessed such force as to raise the Confederate 
States to an equality with the United States as a belligerent, 
perhaps another proclamation of the QuBen might have pos- 
sessed such force, if it had been issued, as to have lifted the 
Confederate States from the state of equality to one of inde- 
pendence. This is a novel virtue to be ascribed to a Queen's 
proclamation. This idea must have been borrowed from our 
neighbors of Mexico, where a pronunciamiento dissolves one 
and establishes a rival administration. How much more rational 
it would have been to say that the resources and the military 


power of the Confederate States placed them, at the outset, on 
the footing of a belligerent, and the Queen's proclamation only 
declared a fact which the announcement of a blockade of the 
Southern ports by the Government of the United States had 
made manifest! — blockade being a means only applicable as 
against a foreign foe. 

Nevertheless, the Government of the United States, although 
refusing to concede belligerent rights to the Confederate States, 
was very ready to take advantage of such concession by other 
nations, whenever an opportunity offered. The voluminous 
correspondence of the Secretary of State of the United States 
Government, relative to the Confederate cruisers and their so- 
called " depredations," was filled with charges of violations of 
international law, which could be committed only by a belliger- 
ent, and which, it was alleged, had been allowed to be done in 
the ports of Great Britain. On this foundation was based the 
subsequent claim for damages, advanced by the Government of 
the United States against that of Great Britain ; and, for the 
pretended lack of " due diligence " in watching the actions of 
this Confederate belligerent in her ports, she was mulcted in a 
heavy sum by the Geneva Conference, and paid it to the Gov- 
ernment of the United States. 

It is a remarkable fact that the Government of the United 
States, in no one instance, from the opening to the close of the 
war, formally spoke of the Confederate Government or States 
as belligerents. Although on many occasions it acted with the 
latter as a belligerent, yet no official designations were ever 
given to them or their citizens but those of " insurgents," or 
"insurrectionists." Perhaps there may be something in the 
signification of the words which, combined with existing cir- 
cumstances, would express a state of affairs that the authorities 
of the Government of the United States were in no degree will- 
ing to admit, and vainly sought to prevent from becoming mani- 
fest to the world. 

The party or individuality against which the Government of 
the United States was conducting hostilities consisted of the 
people within the limits of the Confederate States. Was it 
against them as individuals in an unorganized condition, or as 


organized political communities ? In the former condition they 
might be a mob ; in the latter condition they formed a State. 
By the actions of unorganized masses may arise insurrections, 
and by the actions of organized people or states, arise wars. 

The Government of the United States adopted a fiction 
when it declared that the execution of the laws in certain States 
was impeded by " insurrection." The persons whom it desig- 
nated as insurrectionists were the organized people of the States. 
The ballot-boxes used at the elections were State boxes. The 
judges who presided at the elections were State functionaries. 
The returns of the elections were made to the State officers. 
The oaths of office of those elected were administered by State 
authority. They assembled in the legislative chambers of the 
States. The results of their deliberations were directory to the 
State, judicial, and executive officers, and by them put in opera- 
tion. Is it not evident that, only by a fiction of speech, such 
proceedings can be called an insurrection ? 

Why, then, did an intelligent and powerful Government, 
like that of the United States, so outrage the understanding of 
mankind as to adopt a fiction on which to base the authority and 
justification of its hostile action 1 The United States Govern- 
ment is the result of a compact between the States — a written 
Constitution. It owes its existence simply to a delegation of 
certain powers by the respective States, which it is authorized 
to exercise for their common welfare. One of these powers is 
to " suppress insurrections " ; but there is no power delegated 
to subjugate States, the authors of its existence, or to make war 
on any of the States. If, then, without any delegated power or 
lawful authority for its proceedings, the Government of the 
United States commenced a war upon some of the States of the 
Union, how could it expect to be justified before the world ? 
It became the aggressor — the Attila of the American Continent. 
Its action inflicted a wound on the principles of constitutional 
liberty, a crushing blow to the hopes that men had begun to 
repose in this latest effort for self-government, which its friends 
should never forgive nor ever forget. To palliate the enormity 
of such an offense, its authors resorted to a vehement denial 
that their hostile action was a war upon the States, and persist- 


ently asserted the fiction that their immense armies and fleets 
were merely a police authority to put down insurrection. They 
hoped to conceal from the observation of the American people 
that the contest, on the part of the central Government, was 
for empire, for its absolute supremacy over the State govern- 
ments ; that the Constitution was rolled up and laid away among 
the old archives ; and that the conditions of their liberty, in 
the future, were to be decided by the sword or by " national " 
control of the ballot-box. 

With like disregard for truth, our cruisers were denounced 
as "pirates " by the Government of the United States. A pirate, 
or armed piratical vessel, is by the law of nations the enemy 
of mankind, and can be destroyed by the ships of any nation. 
The distinction between a lawful cruiser and a pirate is that 
the former has behind it a government which is recognized by 
civilized nations as entitled to the rights of war, and from which 
the commander of the cruiser receives his commission or author- 
ity, but the pirate recognizes no government, and is not recog- 
nized by any one. As the Attorney-General of Great Britain 
said in the Alexandra case : 

"Although a recognition of the Confederates as an indepen- 
dent power was out of the question, yet it was right they should 
be admitted by other nations within the circle of lawful belliger- 
ents — that is to say, that their forces should not be treated as 
pirates, nor their flag as a piratical flag. Therefore, as far as the 
two belligerents were concerned, on the part of this and other 
governments, they were so far put on a level that each was to be 
considered as entitled to the right of belligerents — the Southern 
States as much as the other." 

The Government of the United States well knew that, after 
the issue of the Queen's proclamation recognizing our Govern- 
ment, the application of the word pirate to our cruisers was 
simply an exhibition of vindictive passion on its part. A de 
facto Government by its commission legalizes among nations a 
cruiser. That there was such a Government even its own courts 
also decided. In a prize case (2 Black, 635), Justice Greer de- 
livered the opinion of the Supreme Court, saying : 


"It [the war] is not less a civil' war, with belligerent parties 
in hostile array, because it may be called an ' insurrection ' by one 
side, and the insurgents be considered as rebels and traitors. It 
is not necessary that the independence of the revolted province 
or State be acknowledged in order to constitute it a party bel- 
ligerent in a war, according to the laws of nations. Foreign na- 
tions acknowledge it a war by a declaration of neutrality. The 
condition of neutrality can not exist unless there be two belli- 
gerent parties." 

In the case of the Santissima Trinidad (7 Wheaton, 337), 
the United States Supreme Court says : 

"The Government of the United States has recognized the 
existence of a civil war between Spain and her colonies, and has 
avowed her determination to remain neutral between the parties. 
Each party is therefore deemed by us a belligerent, having, so far 
as concerns us, the sovereign rights of war." 

The belligerent character of the Confederate States was thus 
fully acknowledged by the highest judicial tribunal of the United 
States. This involved an acknowledgment of the Confederate 
Government as a Government de facto having " the sovereign 
rights of war," yet the Executive Department of the United 
States Government, with reckless malignity, denounced our 
cruisers as " pirates," our citizens as " insurgents " and " trai- 
tors," and the action of our Government as an "insurrection." 

It has been stated that during the war of the colonies with 
Great Britain many of the prizes of the colonial cruisers were 
destroyed. This was done by Paul Jones and other command- 
ers, although during the entire period of the war some of the 
colonial ports were open, into which prizes could be taken. In 
that war Great Britain did not attempt to blockade all the ports 
of the colonies. Sailing-vessels only were then known, and with 
these a stringent blockade at all seasons could not have been 
maintained. But, at the later day of our war, the powerful 
steamship had appeared, and revolutionized the commerce and 
the navies of the world. During the first months of the war 
all the principal ports of the Confederacy were blockaded, and 
finally every inlet was either in possession of the enemy or 


bad one or more vessels watching it. The steamers were inde- 
pendent of wind and weather, and could hold their positions 
before a port day and night. At the same time the ports of 
neutrals had been closed against the prizes of our cruisers by 
proclamations and orders in council. Says Admiral Semmes : 

" During my whole career upon the sea, I had not so much as 
a single port open to me, into which I could send a prize." 

Our prizes had been sent into ports of Cuba and Venezuela 
under the hope that they might gain admittance, but they were 
either handed over to the enemy under some fraudulent pretext, 
or expelled. Thus, by the action of the different nations and 
by the blockade with steamers, no course was ]eft to us but to 
destroy the prizes, as was done in many instances under the 
Government of the United States Confederation. 

The laws of maritime war are well known. The enemy's 
vessel when captured becomes the property of the captor, which 
he may immediately destroy ; or he may take the vessel into 
port, have it adjudicated by an admiralty court as a lawful 
prize, and sold. That adjudication is the basis of title to the 
purchaser against all former owners. In these cases the captor 
sends his prizes to a port of his own country or to a friendly 
port for adjudication. But, if the ports of his own country are 
under blockade by his enemy, and the recapture of the prizes, 
if sent there, most probable, and if, at the same time, all friendly 
ports are closed against the entrance of his prizes, then there 
remains no alternative but to destroy the prizes by sinking or 
burning. Courts of admiralty are established for neutrals ; not 
for the enemy, who has no right of appearance before them. 
If, therefore, any neutrals suffered during our war for want of 
adjudication, the fault is with their own Government, and not 
with our cruisers. 

Many other objections were advanced by the United States 
Government as evidence that we committed a breach of inter- 
national law with our cruisers, but their principles are embraced 
in the preceding remarks, or they were too frivolous to deserve 
notice. Suffice it to say that, if the Confederate Government 
had been successful in taking to sea every vessel which it built, 


it would have swept from the oceans the commerce of the United 
States, would have raised the blockade of at least some of our 
ports, and, if by such aid our independence had been secured, 
there is little probability that such complaints as have been no- 
ticed would have received attention, if, indeed, they would have 
been uttered. 

In January, 1871, the British Government proposed to the 
Government of the United States that a joint commission should 
be convened to adjust certain differences between the two na- 
tions relative to the fisheries, the Canadian boundary, etc. To 
this proposition the latter acceded, on condition that the so-called 
Alabama claims should also be considered. To this condition 
Great Britain assented. In the Convention the American Com- 
missioners proposed an arbitration of these claims. The British 
Commissioners replied that her Majesty's Government could 
not admit that Great Britain had failed to discharge toward the 
United States the duties imposed on her by the rules of inter- 
national law, or that she was justly liable to make good to the 
United States the losses occasioned by the acts of the cruisers to 
which the American Commissioners referred. 

Without following the details, it may be summarily stated 
that the Geneva Conference ensued. That decided that " Eng- 
land should have fulfilled her duties as a neutral by the exercise 
of a diligence equal to the gravity of the danger," and that 
"the circumstances were of a nature to call for the exercise, on 
the part of her Britannic Majesty's Government, of all possible 
solicitude for the observance of the rights and duties involved 
in the proclamation of neutrality issued by her Majesty on May 
13, 1861." The Conference also added : " It can not be denied 
that there were moments when its watchfulness seemed to fail, 
and when feebleness in certain branches of the public service 
resulted in great detriment to the United States." 

The claims presented to the Conference for damages done 
by our several cruisers were as follows : The Alabama, $7,050,- 
293.76 ; the Boston, $400 ; the Chickamauga, $183,070.73 ; the 
Florida, $4,057,934.69 ; the Clarence, tender of the Florida, 
$66,736.10 ; the Tacony, tender of the Florida, $169,198.81 ; 
the Georgia, $431,160.72; the Jefferson Davis, $7,752; the 


Nashville, §108,433.95 ; the Ketribution, $29,018.53 ; the Sal- 
lie, 85,54:0 ; the Shenandoah, $6,656,838.81 ; the Sumter, $179,- 
697.67; the Tallahassee, $836,841.83. Total, $19,782,917.60. 
Miscellaneous, $479,033 ; increased insurance, $6,146,219.71. 
Aggregate, $26,408,170.31. 

The Conference rejected the claims against the Boston, the 
Jefferson Davis, and the Sallie, and awarded to the United States 
Government $15,500,000 in gold. 

But the indirect damages upon the commerce of the United 
States produced by these cruisers were far beyond the amount 
of the claims presented to the Geneva Conference. The num- 
ber of ships owned in the United States at the commencement 
of the war, which were subsequently transferred to foreign 
owners by a British register, was 715, and the amount of their 
tonnage was 480,882 tons. Such are the laws of the United 
States that not one of them has been allowed to resume an 
American register. 

In the year 1860 nearly seventy per cent, of the foreign com- 
merce of the country was carried on in American ships. But, 
in consequence of the danger of capture by our cruisers to 
which these ships were exposed, the amount of this commerce 
carried by them had dwindled down in 1864 to forty-six per 
cent. It continued to decline after the war, and in 1872 it had 
fallen to twenty-eight and a half per cent. 

Before the war the amount of American tonnage was second 
only to that of Great Britain, and we were competing with her 
for the first place. At that time the tonnage of the coasting 
trade, which had grown from insignificance, was 1,735,863 tons. 
Three years later, in 1864, it had declined to about 867,931 

The damage to the articles of export is - illustrated by the 
decline in breadstuflis exported from the Northern States. In 
the last four months of each of the following years the value of 
this export was as follows : 1861, $42,500,000 ; 1862, $27,842,090 ; 
1863, $8,909,042 ; 1864, $1,850,819. Some of this decline re- 
sulted from good crops in England ; but, in other respects, it 
was a consequence of causes growing out of the war. 

The increase in the rates of marine insurance, in consequence 


of the danger of capture by the cruisers, was variable. But the 
gross amount so paid was presented as a claim to the Confer- 
ence, as given above. 


Attempts of the United States Government to overthrow States. — Military Governor 
of Tennessee appointed. — Object. — Arrests and Imprisonments. — Measures at- 
tempted. — Oath required of Voters. — A Convention to amend the State Consti- 
tution. — Results. — Attempt in Louisiana. — Martial Law. — Barbarities inflicted. — 
Invasion of Plantations. — Order of General Butler, No. 28. — Execution of Mum- 
ford. — Judicial System set up. — Civil Affairs to be administered by Military 
Authority. — Order of President Lincoln for a Provisional Court. — A Military 
Court sustained by the Army. — Words of the Constitution. — "Necessity," the 
reason given for the Power to create the Court. — This Doctrine fatal to the 
Constitution ; involves its Subversion. — Cause of our Withdrawal from the 
Union. — Fundamental Principles unchanged by Force. — The Contest is not 
over ; the Strife not ended. — When the War closed, who were the Victors ? — 
Let the Verdict of Mankind decide. 

On the capture of Nashville, on February 25, 1862, Andrew 
Johnson was made military Governor of Tennessee, with the 
rank of brigadier-general, and immediately entered on the du- 
ties of his office. This step was taken by the President of the 
United States under the pretense of executing that provision of 
the Constitution which is in these words : 

"The United States shall guarantee to every State in this 
Union a republican form of government." 

The administration was conducted according to the will and 
pleasure of the Governor, which was the supreme law. Public 
officers were required to take an oath of allegiance to the United 
States Government, and upon refusal were expelled from office. 
Newspaper-offices were closed, and their publication suppressed. 
Subsequently the offices were sold out under the provisions of 
the confiscation act. All persons using " treasonable and sedi- 
tious" language were arrested and required to take the oath 
of allegiance to the Government of the United States, and give 
bonds for the future, or to go into exile. Clergymen, upon 


their refusal to take the oath, were confined in the prisons 
until they could be sent away. School-teachers and editors 
and finally large numbers of private citizens were arrested and 
held until they took the oath. Conflicts became frequent in 
the adjacent country. Murders and the violent destruction of 
property ensued. 

On October 21, 1862, an order for an election of members of 
the United States Congress in the ninth and tenth State districts 
was issued. Every voter was required to give satisfactory evi- 
dence of " loyalty " to the Northern Government. Two persons 
were chosen and admitted to seats in that body. 

That portion of the State in the possession of the forces of 
the United States continued without change, under the authority 
of the military Governor, until the beginning of 1864. Meas- 
ures were then commenced by the Governor for an organiza- 
tion of a State government in sympathy with the Government 
of the United States. These measures were subsequently 
known as the "process for State reconstruction." The Gov- 
ernor issued his proclamation for an election of county officers 
on March 5th, to be held in the various counties of the State 
whenever it was practicable. " It is not expected," says the 
Governor, " that the enemies of the United States will propose 
to vote, nor is it intended that they be permitted to vote or hold 
office." In addition to the possession of the usual qualifica- 
tions, the voter was required to take the following oath : 

" I solemnly swear that I will henceforth support the Consti- 
tution of the United States, and defend it against the assaults of 
all its enemies ; that I will hereafter be, and conduct myself as, a 
true and faithful citizen of the United States, freely and volun- 
tarily claiming to be subject to all the duties and obligations, and 
entitled to all the rights and privileges, of such citizenship ; that I 
ardently desire the suppression of the present insurrection and re- 
bellion against the Government of the United States, the success 
of its armies, and the defeat of all those who oppose them ; and 
that the Constitution of the United States, and all laws and proc- 
lamations made in pursuance thereof, may be speedily and per- . 
manently established and enforced over all the people, States, 
and Territories thereof ; and, further, that I will hereafter aid 


md assist all loyal people in the accomplishment of these re- 

Thus to invoke the Constitution was like Satan quoting 
Scripture. The election was a failure, and all further efforts at 
reconstruction were for a time suspended. An attempt was 
made at the end of 1864 to obtain a so-called convention to 
imend the State Constitution, and a body was assembled which, 
without any regular authority, adopted amendments. These 
were submitted to the voters on February 22, 1865, and de- 
3lared to be ratified by a vote of twenty-five thousand, in a 
State where the vote, in 1860, was one hundred and forty-five 
thousand. Slavery was abolished, other changes made, so-called 
State officers elected, and this body of voters was proclaimed 
is the reconstructed State of Tennessee, and one of the United 
States. Such was the method adopted in Tennessee to execute 
the provision of the Constitution which says : 

"The United States shall guarantee to every State in this 
Union a republican form of government." 

The next attempt to guarantee " a republican form of gov- 
ernment " to a State was commenced in Louisiana by the mili- 
tary occupation of New Orleans, on May 1, 1862. The United 
States forces were under the command of Major-General Ben- 
jamin F. Butler. Martial law was declared, and Brigadier- 
General George F. Shepley was appointed military Governor of 
the State. It is unnecessary to relate in detail the hostile ac- 
tions which were committed, as they had no resemblance to 
such warfare as is alone permissible by the rules of international 
law or the usages of civilization. Some examples, taken from 
contemporaneous publications of temperate tone, will suffice. 

Peaceful and aged citizens, unresisting captives, and non- 
combatants, were confined at hard labor with chains attached to 
their limbs, and held in dungeons and fortresses ; others were 
subjected to a like degrading punishment for selling medicine 
to the sick soldiers of the Confederacy. The soldiers of the in- 
vading force were incited and encouraged by general orders to 
insult and outrage the wives and mothers and sisters of the citi- 


zens ; and helpless women were torn from their homes and sub- 
jected to solitary confinement, some in fortresses and prisons — 
and one, especially, on an island of barren sand, under a tropical 
sun — and were fed with loathsome rations and exposed to vile 
insults. Prisoners of war, who surrendered to the naval forces 
of the United States on the agreement that they should be re- 
leased on parole, were seized and kept in close confinement. 
Repeated pretexts were sought or invented for plundering the 
inhabitants of the captured city, by fines levied and collected 
under threat of imprisonment at hard labor with ball and chain. 
The entire population were forced to elect between starvation 
by the confiscation of all their property and taking an oath 
against their conscience to bear allegiance to the invader. Egress 
from the city was refused to those whose fortitude stood the 
test, and even to lone and aged women and to helpless children ; 
and, after being ejected from their houses and robbed of their 
property, they were left to starve in the streets or subsist on 
charity. The slaves were driven from the plantations in the 
neighborhood of New Orleans, until their owners consented to 
share their crops with the commanding General, his brother, and 
other officers. When such consent had been extorted, the slaves 
were restored to the plantations and compelled to work under 
the bayonets of a guard of United States soldiers. Where that 
partnership was refused, armed expeditions were sent to the 
plantations to rob them of everything that could be removed ; 
and even slaves too aged and infirm for work were, in spite of 
their entreaties, forced from the homes provided by their own- 
ers, and driven to wander helpless on the highway. By an order 
(No. 91), the entire property in that part of Louisiana west of the 
Mississippi River was sequestrated for confiscation, and officers 
were assigned to the duty, with orders to gather up and collect 
the personal property, and turn over to the proper officers, upon 
their receipts, such of it as might be required for the use of the 
United States army ; and to bring the remainder to New Or- 
leans, and cause it to be sold at public auction to the highest 
bidders. This was an order which, if it had been executed, 
would have condemned to punishment, by starvation, at least a 
quarter of a million of persons, of all ages, sexes, and condi- 


tions. The African slaves, also, were not only incited to insur- 
rection by every license and encouragement, but numbers of 
them were armed for a servile war, which in its nature, as ex- 
emplified in other lands, far exceeds the horrors and merciless 
atrocities of savages. In many instances the officers were active 
and zealous agents in the commission of these crimes, and no in- 
stance was known of the refusal of any one of them to partici- 
pate in the outrages. 

The order of Major-General Butler, to which reference is 
made above, was as follows : 

" Headquarters, Department of the Gulf, New Orleans. 
" As officers and soldiers of the United States have been sub- 
ject to repeated insults from women, calling themselves ladies, of 
New Orleans, in return for the most scrupulous non-interference 
and courtesy on our part, it is ordered hereafter, when any female 
shall, by mere gesture or movement, insult, or show contempt for 
any officers or soldiers of the United States, she shall be regarded 
and held liable to be treated as a woman about town plying her 

" By command of Major-General Butler." 

This order was issued on May 15, 1862, and known as Gen- 
eral Order No. 28. 

Another example was the cold-blooded execution of "William 
B. Mumford on June 7th. He was an unresisting and non- 
combatant captive, and there was no offense ever alleged to 
have been committed by him subsequent to the date of the 
capture of the city. He was charged with aiding and abetting 
certain persons in hauling down a United States flag hoisted on 
the mint, which was left there by a boat's crew on the morning 
of April 26th, and five days before the military occupation of 
the city. He was tried before a military commission, sentenced, 
and afterward hanged. 

On December 15, 1862, Major-General 1ST. P. Banks took 
icommand of the military forces, and Major-General Butler re- 
tired. The military Governor, early in August, had attempted 
to set on foot a judicial system for the city and State. For 
this purpose he appointed judges to two of the district courts, 


of which the judges were absent, and authorized a third, who 
held a commission dated anterior to 1861, to resume the ses- 
sions. This was an establishment of three new courts, with 
the jurisdiction and powers pertaining to the courts that pre- 
viously bore their names, by a military officer representing the 
Executive of the United States. These were the only courts 
within the territory of the State held by the United States 
forces which claimed to have civil jurisdiction. But this juris- 
diction was limited to citizens of the parish of Orleans as 
against defendants residing in the State. As to other residents 
of the State, outside the parish of OrleanSj there was no court 
in which they could be sued. In this condition several parishes 
were held by the United States forces. 

It was therefore necessary to take another step in order to 
enable the military power to administer civil affairs. This 
involved, as every reader must perceive, a complete subversion 
of the fundamental principles of social organization. Accord- 
ing to this advanced step, the military power, instituted by an 
organization of its own, creates for itself a new nature, fixes 
at will its rules and modes of action, and determines the limits 
of its power. It absorbs by force the civil functions, with 
absolute disregard of the fundamental principle that the mili- 
tary shall be subject to the civil authority. 

This attempt to administer civil affairs on the basis of mili- 
tary authority involved, as has been said, the subversion of fun- 
damental principles. The military power may remove obstacles 
to the exercise of the civil authority ; but, when these are re- 
moved, it can not enter the forum, put on the toga, and sit in 
judgment upon civil affairs, any more than the hawk becomes 
the dove by assuming her plumage. 

However, the next step was taken. It consisted in the pub- 
lication of the following order by the President of the United 
States : 

" Executive Mansion, Washington, October £0, 18G2. 

" The insurrection which has for some time prevailed in sev- 
eral of the States of this Union, including Louisiana, having tem- 
porarily subverted and swept away the civil institutions of that 
State, including the judiciary and the judicial authorities of the 


Union, so that it has become necessary to hold the State in mili- 
tary occupation ; and it being indispensably necessary that there 
shall be some judicial tribunal existing there capable of adminis- 
tering justice, I have therefore thought it proper to appoint, and 
I do hereby constitute a provisional court, which shall be a court 
of record for the State of Louisiana ; and I do hereby appoint 
Charles A. Peabody, of New York, to be a provisional judge to 
hold said court, with authority to hear, try, and determine all causes 
civil and criminal, including causes in law, equity, revenue, and 
admiralty, and particularly with all such powers and jurisdiction 
as belong to the District and Circuit Courts of the United States, 
conforming his proceedings, so far as possible, to the course of 
proceedings and practice which has been customary in the courts 
of the United States and Louisiana — his judgment to be final and 
conclusive. And I do hereby authorize and empower the said 
judge to make and establish such rules and regulations as may be 
necessary for the exercise of his jurisdiction, and to appoint a 
prosecuting attorney, marshal, and clerk of the said court, who 
shall perform the functions of attorney, marshal, and clerk accord- 
ing to such proceedings and practice as before mentioned, and 
such rules and regulations as may be made and established by 
said judge. These appointments are to continue during the pleas- 
ure of the President, not extending beyond the military occupa- 
tion of the city of New Orleans, or the restoration of the civil 
authority in that city and in the State of Louisiana. These officers 
shall be paid out of the contingent fund of the War Department, 
and compensation shall be as follows. 

" By the President : Abraham Lincoln. 

" W. H. Seward, Secretary of State:'' 

This so-called court, as its judge said, " was always governed 
by the rules and principles of law, adhering to all the rules and 
forms of civil tribunals, and avoiding everything like a military 
administration of justice. In criminal matters it summoned a 
grand jury, and submitted to it all charges for examination. 5 ' 
Yet, when its judgments and mandates were to be executed, 
that execution could come only from the same power by which 
the court was constituted, and that was the military power of 
the United States holding the country in military occupation. 
Therefore, to this end the military and naval forces were 


pledged. Hence it was the military power, as has been said, 
administering civil affairs. 

The Constitution of the United States says : 

" The judicial power of the United States shall be vested in 
one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress 
may from time to time ordain and establish." * 

This provisional court was neither ordained nor established 
by Congress ; it had not, therefore, vested in it any of the judi- 
cial power of the United States. Neither does the Constitution 
give to Congress any power by which it can constitute an inde- 
pendent State court within the limits of any State in the Union, 
as Louisiana was said to be. 

This provisional court, therefore, was a mere instrument 
of martial law, constituted by the Commander-in-Chief of the 
United States forces, not for the usual purposes which justify 
the establishment of such courts, but to enter the domain of 
civil affairs and administer justice between man and man in the 
ordinary transactions of peaceful life. The ministers of martial 
law are only the representatives of the conqueror, and they sit 
in his seat of authority to relieve him from the burden of exces- 
sive duties, and to administer justice to offenders against his 
authority and the social welfare, during his presence. On such 
grounds the existence of such courts is justified ; but, for the 
establishment of a court like this provisional one, no legitimate 
authority is to be found either in the Constitution of the United 
States or outside of it. "Inter arma silent leges " is a maxim 
nearly two thousand years old ; it means that, under the exercise 
of military power, the civil administration ceases. 

"When called upon to state any just grounds for such a meas- 
ure, the invader has usually replied that he had, ex necessitate 
rei, the right to establish such a tribunal. Thus said the Com- 
mander-in-Chief of the United States, and Congress acquiesced 
— indeed, leading the way, it had urged the same plea to jus- 
tify the passage of its confiscation act. The judiciary has ob- 
served the silence of acquiescence. Thus the doctrine of neces- 
sity — the rule that, in the administration of affairs, both military 

* Constitution of the United States, Article III, section 1. 


and civil, the necessity of the case may and does afford ample 
authority and power to subvert or to suspend the provisions 
of the Constitution, and to exercise powers and do acts unwar- 
ranted by the grants of that instrument — has apparently become 
incorporated as an unwritten clause of the Constitution of the 
United States. 

What, then, is this necessity ? Its definition would require 
an explanation, from the persons who act under it, of the objects 
for which, in every instance, they act. Suffice it to say that the 
political wisdom of mankind has consecrated this truth as a fun- 
damental maxim, that no man can be trusted with the exercise 
of power and be, at the same time, the final judge of the limits 
within which that power may be exercised. It has fortified this 
with other maxims, such as, " Necessity is the plea of despot- 
ism " ; " Necessity knows no law." The fathers of the Consti- 
tution of the United States sought to limit every grant of power 
so exactly that it should observe its bounds as invariably as a 
planetary body does its orbit. Yet within the first hundred 
years of its existence all these limits have been disregarded, and 
the people have silently accepted the plea of necessity. 

It must be manifest to every one that there has been a fatal 
subversion of the Constitution of the United States. In esti- 
mating the results of the war, this is one of the most deplor- 
able ; because it is self-evident that, when a constitutional Gov- 
ernment once oversteps the limits fixed for the exercise of its 
powers, there is nothing beyond to check its further aggres- 
sion, no place where it will voluntarily halt until it reaches 
the subjugation of all who resist the usurpation. This was 
the sole issue involved in the conflict of the United States 
Government with the Confederate States ; and every other is- 
sue, whether pretended or real, partook of its nature, and was 
subordinate to this one. Let us repeat an illustration : In strict 
observance of their inalienable rights, in abundant caution re- 
served, when they formed the compact or Constitution — which- 
ever the reader pleases to call it — of the United States, the 
Confederate States sought to withdraw from the Union they 
had assisted to create, and to form a new and independent one 
among themselves. Then the Government of the United States 


broke tlirougli all the limits fixed for the exercise of the powers 
with which it had been endowed, and, to accomplish its own 
will, assumed, under the plea of necessity, powers unwritten 
and unknown in the Constitution, that it might thereby proceed 
to the extremity of subjugation. Thus it will be perceived 
that the question still lives. Although the Confederate armies 
may have left the field, although the citizen soldiers may have 
retired to the pursuits of peaceful life, although the Confeder- 
ate States may have renounced their new Union, they have 
proved their indestructibility by resuming their former places 
in the old one, where, by the organic law, they could only be 
admitted as republican, equal, and sovereign States of the 
Union. And, although the Confederacy as an organization may 
have ceased to exist as unquestionably as though it had never 
been formed, the fundamental principles, the eternal truths, 
uttered when our colonies in 1776 declared their independence, 
on which the Confederation of 1781 and the Union of 1788 
were formed, and which animated and guided in the organ- 
ization of the Confederacy of 1861, yet live, and will survive, 
however crushed they may be by despotic force, however deep 
they may be buried under the debris of crumbling States, how- 
ever they may be disavowed by the time-serving and the faint- 
hearted ; yet I believe they have the eternity of truth, and that 
in God's appointed time and place they will prevail. 

The contest is not over, the strife is not ended. It has only 
entered on a new and enlarged arena. The champions of con- 
stitutional liberty must spring to the struggle, like the armed 
men from the seminated dragon's teeth, until the Government 
of the United States is brought back to its constitutional limits, 
and the tyrant's plea of " necessity " is bound in chains strong 

as adamant : 

11 For Freedom's battle once begun, 
Bequeathed by bleeding sire to son, 
Though baffled oft, is ever won." 

When the war closed, who were the victors ? Perhaps it is 
too soon to answer that question. ISTevertheless, every day, as 
time rolls on, we look with increasing pride upon the struggle 
our people made for constitutional liberty. The war was one in 


which fundamental principles were involved ; and, as force de- 
cides no truth, hence the issue is still undetermined, as has 
been already shown. We have laid aside our swords ; we have 
ceased our hostility ; we have conceded the physical strength 
of the Northern States. But the question still lives, and all 
nations and peoples that adopt a confederated agent of govern- 
ment will become champions of our cause. While contemplat- 
ing the Northern States — with their Federal Constitution gone, 
ruthlessly destroyed under the tyrant's plea of " necessity," 
their State sovereignty made a byword, and their people ab- 
sorbed in an aggregated mass, no longer, as their fathers left 
them, protected by reserved rights against usurpation — the 
question naturally arises : On which side was the victory ? Let 
the verdict of mankind decide. 


Further Attempts of the United States Government to overthrow States. — Election 
of Members of Congress under the Military Governor of Louisiana. — The Voters 
required to take an Oath to support the United States Government. — The State 
Law violated. — Proposition to hold a State Convention ; postponed. — The Presi- 
dent's Plan for making Union States out of a Fragment of a Confederate State. 
— His Proclamation. — The Oath required. — Message. — " The War-Power our 
Main Reliance." — Not a Feature of a Republican Government in the Plan. 
— What are the True Principles ? — The Declaration of Independence asserts 
them. — Who had a Right to institute a Government for Louisiana ? — Its People 
only. — Under what Principles could the Government of the United States do it ? 
— As an Invader to subjugate. — Effrontery and Wickedness of the Administra- 
tion. — It enforces a Fiction. — Attempt to make Falsehood as good as Truth. — 
Proclamation for an Election of State Officers. — Proclamation for a State Con- 
vention. — The Monster Crime against the Liberties of Mankind. — Proceedings in 
Arkansas. — Novel Method adopted to amend the State Constitution. — Perversion 
of Republican Principles in Virginia. — Proceedings to create the State of West 
Virginia. — A Falsehood by Act of Congress. — Proceedings considered under 
Fundamental Principles. — These Acts sustained by the United States Govern- 
ment. — Assertion of Thaddeus Stevens. — East Virginia Government. — Removed 
to Richmond and upheld by the United States Government. — Such Acts caused 
Entire Subversion of States. — Mere Fictions thus constituted. 

But to resume our narration. On December 3d, in compli- 
ance with an order of the military Governor, Shepley, a so-called 
election was held for members of the United States Congress in 


the first and second State districts, each composed of about half 
the city of New Orleans and portions of the surrounding parishes. 
Those who had taken the oath of allegiance were allowed to 
vote. In the first district, Benjamin F. Flanders received 
2,370 votes, and all others 273. In the second district, Michael 
Halm received 2,799 votes, and all others 2,318. These persons 
presented themselves at Washington, and resolutions to admit 
them to seats were reported by the Committee on Elections in 
the House of Representatives. It was urged that the military 
Governor had conformed in every particular to the Constitution 
and laws of Louisiana, so that the election had every essential 
of a regular election in a time of most profound peace, with the 
exception of the fact that the proclamation for the election was 
issued by the military instead of the civil Governor of the State. 
The law required the proclamation to be issued by the civil 
Governor ; so that, if these persons were admitted to seats after 
an election called by a military Governor, Congress thereby rec- 
ognized as valid a military order of a so-called Executive that 
unceremoniously set aside a provision of the State civil law, and 
was anti-republican and a positive usurpation. Again, all the 
departments of the United States Government had acted on the 
theory that the Confederate States were in a state of insurrec- 
tion, and that the Union was unbroken ; under this theory, they 
could come back to the Union only with all the laws unimpaired 
which they themselves had made for their own government. 
Congress was as much bound to uphold the laws of Louisiana, in 
all their extent and in all their parts, as it was to uphold the 
laws of New York, or any other State, whose civil policy had 
not been disturbed. Both those persons, however, were ad- 
mitted to seats — yeas, 92 ; nays, 44. 

The work of constituting the State of- Louisiana out o1 
the small portion of her population and of her territory held 
by the forces of the United States still went on. The propo- 
sition now was to hold a so-called State" Convention and frame 
a new Constitution, but its advocates were so few that no- 
thing was accomplished during the year 1863. The object 
of the military power was to secure such civil authority as 
to enforce the abolition of slavery ; and, until the way was 

1863] OUT OF A FRAGMENT. 297 

clear to that result, every method of organization was held in 

Meanwhile, on December 8, 1863, the President of the 
United States issued a proclamation which contained his plan 
for making a Union State out of a fragment of a Confederate 
State, and also granting an amnesty to the general mass of the 
people on taking an oath of allegiance. His plan was in these 
words : 

" And I do further proclaim, declare, and make known that, 
whenever, in any of the States of Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Mis- 
sissippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, and 
North Carolina, a number of persons, not less than one tenth in 
number of the votes cast in such State at the Presidential election 
of 1860, each having taken the following oath and not having 
since violated it, and being a qualified voter by the election laws 
of the State existing immediately before the so-called act of 
secession, and excluding all others, shall reestablish a State gov- 
ernment which shall be republican, and in nowise contravening 
said oath, such shall be recognized as the true government of the 
State, and the State shall receive thereunder the benefits of the 
constitutional provision which declares that ' the United States 
shall guarantee to every State in this Union a republican form of 
government, and shall protect each of them against invasion ; and, 
on application of the Legislature or the Executive (when the 
Legislature can not be convened), against domestic violence.' " 

The oath required to be taken was as follows : 

" I, , do solemnly swear, in presence of Almighty God, 

that 1 will henceforth support, protect, and defend the Constitu- 
tion of the United States and the Union of the States thereunder ; 
and that I will in like manner abide by and faithfully support all 
acts of Congress, passed during the existing rebellion, with refer- 
ence to slaves, so long and so far as not repealed, modified, or held 
void by Congress, or by decision of the Supreme Court, and that 
I will, in like manner, abide by and faithfully support all procla- 
mations of the President, made during the existing rebellion, hav- 
ing reference to slaves, so long and so far as not modified or 
declared void by decision of the Supreme Court. So help me 
God ! " 


In a message to Congress, of the same date with the pre- 
ceding proclamation, the President of the United States, after 
explaining the objects of the proclamation, says : 

" In the midst of other cares, however important, we must not 
lose sight of the fact that the war-power is still our main reliance. 
To that power alone can we look, for a time, to give confidence to 
the people in the contested regions that the insurgent power will 
not again overrun them." 

The intelligent reader will observe that this plan of the 
President of the United States to restore States to the Union, 
to occupy the places of those which he had been attempting to 
destroy, does not contain a single feature to secure a republican 
form of government, nor a single provision authorized by the 
Constitution of the United States. With his usurped war- 
power to sustain him in the work of destruction, he found it 
easy to destroy ; but he was powerless to create or to restore. 
In the former case, he had gone imperiously forward, tramp- 
ling under foot every American political principle, and break- 
ing through every constitutional limitation. In the latter case, 
he could not advance one step without recognizing sound po- 
litical principles and complying with their dictates. On such 
foundation he must construct, or his work would be like the 
house founded on the sand. 

It will now be shown what the true principles are, and 
then that the President of the United States perverted them, 
misstated them, and sought to reach his ends by groundless 
fabrications — as if he would enforce a fiction or establish 
a fallacy to be as good as truth. It might be still further 
shown, if it had not already become self-evident, that this 
method was pursued with such a perversity and wickedness as 
to render it a characteristic feature of that war administration 
on whose skirts is the blood of more than a million of human 

The whole science of a republican government is to be found 
in this sentence of the Declaration of Independence, made by the 
representatives of the United States of America, in Congress 
assembled, on July 4, 1776. It says : 


" That, to secure these rights [certain unalienable rights], gov- 
ernments are instituted among men — deriving their just powers 
from the consent of the governed ; that, whenever any form of 
government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of 
the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new govern- 
ment, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its 
powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect 
their safety and happiness. " 

Thus it will be seen that civil and political sovereignty was 
held to be implanted by our Creator in the individual, and no 
human government has any original, inherent, just sovereignty 
whatever, and no acquired sovereignty either, beyond that which 
may be granted to it by the individuals as " most likely to effect 
their safety and happiness." " Deriving their just powers from 
the consent of the governed," says the Declaration of Indepen- 
dence. All other powers than those thus derived are not " just 
powers." Any government exercising powers " not just " has 
no right to survive. " It is the right of the people to alter or 
abolish it," says the Declaration of Independence, " and to insti- 
tute a new government." 

Who, then, had a right to " institute " a republican govern- 
ment for Louisiana ? No human beings whatever but the peo- 
ple of Louisiana ; not the strangers, not the slaves, but the man- 
hood that knew its rights and dared to maintain them. Under 
what principles, then, could a citizen of Massachusetts, whether 
clothed in regimentals or a civilian's dress, come into Louisiana 
and attempt to set up a State government? Under no prin- 
ciples, but only by the power of the invader and the usurper. 
If the true principles of a republican government had prevailed 
and could have been enforced when Major-General Butler ap- 
peared at New Orleans, he would have been hanged on the 
first lamp-post, and his successor, Major-General Banks, would 
have been hanged on the second. 

Under what principles, then, could the Government of the 
United States appear in Louisiana and attempt to institute a 
State government ? As has been said above, it was the act of 
an invader and a usurper. Yet it proposed to " institute " a 
republican State government. The absurdity of such intention 


is too manifest to need argument. How could an invader at- 
tempt to "institute" a republican State government? an act 
which can be done only by the free and unconstrained action 
of the people themselves. It has been charged that this and 
every similar act of the President of the United States was in 
violation of his duty to maintain and observe the requirements 
and restrictions of the Constitution, and to uphold in each State 
a republican form of government. To specify, the following 
is offered as an example. He did " proclaim, declare, and make 
known — 

that, whenever any number of persons, not less than one tenth 
of the number of voters at the last Presidential election, shall 
reestablish a State government, which shall be republican [!] and 
in no wise contravening said oath, such shall be recognized as the 
true government of the State." 

One tenth of the voters can not establish a republican State 
government, which requires the consent of the people of the 
State to make its powers just, as has been shown above. There- 
fore, such a government had not one element of republicanism 
in it. But what is astonishingly remarkable is the stultification 
of requiring the one tenth of the people to " reestablish a State 
government, which shall be republican and in no wise contraven- 
ing said oath." Either he did not know how a republican State 
government was "instituted," or, if he knew, then he was a 
participant in that perversity and wickedness, which was above 
charged to be the characteristic of his war Administration. 

It will now be shown how he sought " to enforce a fiction 
or establish a fallacy to be as good as truth." Of the govern- 
ment thus established by one tenth of the voters, he says : 

" Such shall be recognized as the true government of the State, 
and the State shall receive thereunder the benefits of the constitu- 
tional provision which declares that ' the United States shall guar- 
antee to every State in this Union a republican form of govern- 
ment.' " 

It is proper here to inquire who and what was the tenth to 
whom this power to rule the State was to be given. It will be 


seen, by reference to the proclamation, that each voter of the 
one tenth, in order to be qualified, is required to take an oath 
with certain promises in it, which are prescribed by an outside 
or foreign authority. This condition of itself is fatal to a repub- 
lican State government, that " derives its just powers from the 
consent of the governed." Free consent — not cheerful consent, 
but unconstrained and unconditioned consent — is required that 
" just powers " may be derived from it. In this instance, the 
invader prescribes the requisite qualifications of the voter, and 
makes it a condition that the government established shall " in 
no wise contravene " certain stipulations expressed in the oath 
taken to give the qualification. A State government thus formed 
derives its powers from the consent of the invader, and not 
" from the consent of the governed." It has no " just powers " 
whatever. It is a groundless fabrication. Yet the President of 
the United States declared, " The State shall receive thereunder 
the benefits of the constitutional provision which declares that 
' the United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union 
a republican form of government.' " Is not this an attempt, 
while pretending to establish, to destroy true republicanism ? 

Now, let the reader bear in mind that these remarks relate to 
Louisiana alone, of which more remains to be told ; and that 
there were eleven States that withdrew from the Union, whose 
restoration was to be effected on this rotten system, in addition 
to several constitutional amendments, the adoption of which 
was to be effected and secured by the votes of these groundless 
fabrications, in which a fiction was to be considered as good as 
the truth. Having attained all these facts which are yet to be 
stated, he may begin to form some estimate of the remnants of 
the Constitution, and of the probable existence of any true 
union of the States. 

To proceed with the narration. Under the above-mentioned 
proclamation of the President of the United States, Major- Gen- 
eral Banks issued at New Orleans, on January 11, 1864, a proc- 
lamation for an election of State officers, and for members of 
a State Constitutional Convention. The State officers, when 
elected, were to constitute, as the proclamation said, " the civil 
government of the State under the Constitution and laws of 


Louisiana, except so much of the said Constitution and laws 
as recognize, regulate, or relate to slavery, which, being incon- 
sistent with the present condition of public affairs, and plainly- 
inapplicable to any class of persons now existing within its lim- 
its, must be suspended." The number of votes given for State 
officers was 10,270. The population of the State in 1860 was 
708,902. The so-called Governor-elect was inaugurated on 
March 4th, and on March 11th he was invested with the powers 
hitherto exercised by the military Governor for the President of 
the United States. On the same day Major-General Banks is- 
sued an order relative to the election of delegates to a so-called 
State Convention. The most important provisions of it defined 
the qualifications of voters. The delegates were elected entirely 
within the army lines of the forces of the United States. The 
so-called Convention assembled and adopted a so-called Consti- 
tution, declaring " instantaneous, universal, uncompensated, un- 
conditional emancipation of slaves." The meager vote on the 
Constitution was, for its adoption, 6,836 ; for its rejection, 1,566. 
The vote of New Orleans was, yeas 4,664, nays 789. This state 
of affairs continued after the close of the war. Violent dis- 
putes arose as to the validity of the so-called Constitution. The 
so-called Legislature elected under it adopted Article XIII as 
an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, pro- 
hibiting the existence of slavery in the United States. 

It will be seen from these facts that the State of Louisiana 
was not a republican State instituted by the consent of the gov- 
erned ; that its Legislature was an unconstitutional body, with- 
out any " just powers," and that the vote which it gave for the 
amendment of the Constitution of the United States was no 
vote at all ; for it was given by a body that had no authority to 
give it, because it had no " just powers " whatever. Yet this 
vote was counted among those necessary to secure the passage 
of the constitutional amendment. TVas this an attempt to en- 
force a fiction or to establish the truth ? Such are the deeds 
which go to make up the record of crime against the liberties 
of mankind. 

The proceedings in Arkansas to "institute" a republican 
State government were inaugurated by an order from the Presi- 

1862] THE NOVEL METHOD. 303 

dent of the United States to Major-General Steele, command- 
ing the United States forces in Arkansas. At this time the 
regular government of the State, established by the consent of 
the people, was in full operation outside the lines of the United 
States army. The military order of the President, dated Janu- 
ary 20, 1864, said : 

" Sundry citizens of the State of Arkansas petitioned me that 
an election may be held in that State, in which to elect a Gov- 
ernor ; that it be assumed at that election, and thenceforward, that 
the Constitution and laws of the State, as before the rebellion, are 
in full force, except that the Constitution is so modified as to 
declare that there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servi- 
tude," etc. 

The order then directs the election to be held for State offi- 
cers, prescribes the qualifications of voters and the oath to be 
taken, and directs the General to administer to the officers thus 
chosen an oath to support the Constitution of the United States, 
and the "modified Constitution of the State of Arkansas," 
when tHey shall be declared qualified and empowered imme- 
diately to enter upon the duties of their offices. 

The reader can scarcely fail to notice the novel method here 
adopted to modify or amend the State Constitution. It should 
be called the process by " assumption " — that is, assume it to 
be modified, and it is so modified. Then the President orders 
the officers-elect to be required to swear, on their oath, to sup- 
port "the modified Constitution of the State of Arkansas." 
Now, unless the Constitution was thus modified by assuming 
it to be modified, these State officers were required by oath to 
support that which did not exist. But it was not so modified. 
No Constitution or other instrument in the world containing a 
grant of powers can be modified by assumption, unless it be the 
Constitution of the United States, as shown by recent experi- 
ence. Yet the chief object for which these officers were elected 
and qualified was to carry out these so-called modifications of 
the State Constitution. This adds another to the deeds of 
darkness done in the name of republicanism. 

Meantime some persons in the northern part of Arkansas, 


acting under the proclamation of December 8, 1863, got to- 
gether a so-called State Convention on January 8, 1864, and 
adopted a revised Constitution, containing the slavery prohi- 
bition, etc. This was ordered to be submitted to a popular vote, 
and at the same time State officers were to be elected. Presi- 
dent Lincoln acceded to these proceedings after they had been 
placed under the direction of the military commander, General 
Steele. The election was held, the Constitution received twelve 
thousand votes, and the State officers were declared to be elected. 
Then Arkansas came forth a so-called republican State, " insti- 
tuted " by military authority, and, of course, received the benefit 
of the constitutional provision, which declares that "the United 
States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a republican 
form of government." It should be added that Arkansas, thus 
" instituted " a State, was regarded by the Government of the 
United States as competent to give as valid a vote as New 
York, Massachusetts, or any other Northern State, for the rati- 
fication of Article XIII, as an amendment to the Constitution 
of the United States, prohibiting the existence of slavery in the 
United States. The vote was thus given ; it was counted, and 
served to make up the exact number deemed by the managers 
to be necessary. Thus was fraud and falsehood triumphant 
over popular rights and fundamental law. 

The perversion of true republican principles was greater in 
Virginia than in any other State, through the cooperation of 
the Government of the United States. In the winter of 1860- 
'61 a special session of the Legislature of the State convened at 
Richmond and passed an act directing the people to elect dele- 
gates to a State Convention to be held on February 14, 1861. 
The Convention assembled, and was occupied with the subject 
of Federal relations and the adjustment of difficulties until the 
call for troops by President Lincoln was made, when an ordi- 
nance of secession was passed. The contiguity of the north- 
western counties of the State to Ohio and Pennsylvania led to 
the manifestation of much opposition to the withdrawal of the 
State from the Union, and the determination to reorganize that 
portion into a separate State. This resulted in the assembling 
of a so-called convention of delegates at Wheeling on June 


11th. One of its first acts was to provide for a reorganization 
of the State government of Virginia by declaring its offices 
vacant, and the appointment of new officers throughout. This 
new organization assumed to be the true representative of the 
State of Virginia, and, after various fortunes, was recognized 
as such by President Lincoln, as will be presently seen. The 
next act of the Convention was " to provide for the formation 
of a new State out of a portion of the territory of this State." 
Under this act delegates were elected to a so-called Constitu- 
tional Convention which framed a so-called Constitution for 
the new State of West Virginia, which was submitted to a vote 
of the people in April, 1862, and carried by a large majority 
of that section. Meantime the Governor of the reorganized 
government of Virginia, above mentioned, issued his proclama- 
tion calling for an election of members, and the assembling of 
an extra session of the so-called Legislature. This body assem- 
bled on May 6, 1862, and, adopting the new Federal process of 
assumption, it assumed to be the Legislature of the State of 
Virginia. This body, or Legislature, so called, immediately 
passed an act giving its consent to the formation of a new State 
out of the territory of Virginia. The formal act of consent 
and the draft of the new Constitution of West Virginia above 
mentioned were ordered by this so-called Legislature to be sent 
to the Congress of the United States, then in session, with the 
request that " the said new State be admitted into the Union." 
On December 31, 1862, the President of the United States ap- 
proved an act of Congress entitled " An act for the admission 
of the State of West Virginia into the Union," etc. The act 
recited as follows : 

" Whereas, The Legislature of Virginia, by an act passed May 
13, 1862, did give its consent to the formation of a new State 
within the jurisdiction of the said State of Virginia, to be known 
by the name of West Virginia," etc. 

Again it recites : 

" And whereas both the Convention and the Legislature afore- 
said have requested that the new State should be admitted into 
the Union, and the Constitution aforesaid being republican in 


form. Congress doth hereby consent that the said forty-eight coun- 
ties may be formed into a separate and independent State." 

It were well to pause for a moment and consider these pro- 
ceedings in the light of fundamental republican principles. The 
State of Virginia was not a confederation, but a republic, or na- 
tion. Its government was instituted with the consent of the gov- 
erned, and its powers, therefore, were " just powers." When the 
State Convention at Richmond passed an ordinance of secession, 
which was subsequently ratified by sixty thousand majority, it was 
as valid an act for the people of Virginia as was ever passed by a 
representative body. The legally expressed decision of the ma- 
jority was the true voice of the State. When, therefore, disor- 
derly persons in the northwestern counties of the State assem- 
bled and declared the ordinance of secession " to be null and 
void," they rose up against the authority of the State. When 
they proceeded to elect delegates to a convention to resist the 
act of the State, and that Convention assembled and organized 
and proceeded to action, an insurrection against the govern- 
ment of Virginia was begun. When the Convention next de- 
clared the State offices to be vacant, and proceeded to fill them 
by the choice of Francis H. Pierpont for Governor, and other 
State officers, assuming itself to be the true State Convention of 
Virginia, it not only declared what notoriously did not exist, 
but it committed an act of revolution. And, when the so-called 
State officers elected by it entered upon their duties, they inau- 
gurated a revolution. The subsequent organization of the State 
of West Virginia and its separation from the State of Virginia 
were acts of secession. Thus we have, in these movements, 
insurrection, revolution, and secession. 

The reader, in his simplicity, may naturally expect to find 
the Government of the United States arrayed, with all its mili- 
tary forces, against these illegitimate proceedings. Oh, no ! It 
made all the difference in the world, with the ministers of that 
Government, " whose ox it was that was gored by the bull." 
She was the nursing-mother to the w T hole thing, and to insure 
its vitality fed it, not, like the fabled bird, with her own blood, 
but by the butchery of the mother of States. The words of the 


Constitution of the United States applicable to this case are 
these : 

" No new State shall be formed or erected within the jurisdic- 
tion of any other State ; nor any State be formed by the junc- 
tion of two or more States, or parts of States, without the consent 
of the Legislatures of the States concerned, as well as of the Con- 
gress." * 

Will any intelligent person assert that the consent of the 
State of Yirginia was given to the formation of this new State, 
or that the government of Francis H. Pierpont held the true 
and lawful jurisdiction of the State of Virginia ? Yet the Con- 
gress of the United States asserted in the act above quoted that 
"the Legislature of Yirginia did give its consent to the for- 
mation of a new State within the jurisdiction of the State of 
Yirginia." This was not true, but was an attempt, by an act of 
Congress, to aid a fraud and perpetuate a monstrous usurpation. 
For there is no grant of power to Congress in the Constitution 
nor in the American theory of government to justify it. If it 
is said that the government of Francis H. Pierpont was the only 
one recognized by Congress as the government of the State of 
Yirginia, that does not alter the fact. The recognition of Con- 
gress can not make a State of an organization which is not a 
State. There is no grant of power to Congress in the Constitu- 
tion for that purpose. If it is said that the government of Fran- 
cis H. Pierpont was established by the only qualified voters in 
the State of Yirginia, that is as equally unfounded as the other 
assertions. Neither the Congress of the United States nor the 
Government of the United States can determine the qualifica- 
tions of voters at an election for delegates to a State Constitu- 
tional Convention, or for the choice of State officers. There 
was no grant of power either to the President or to Congress 
for that purpose. All these efforts were usurpations, by which 
it was sought, through groundless fabrications, to reach certain 
ends, and they add to the multitude of deeds which constitute 
the crime committed against States and the liberties of the 

* Constitution of the United States, Article IV, section 3. 


When the question of the admission of West Virginia was 
before the House of Representatives of the United States Con- 
gress, Mr. Thaddeus Stevens, of Pennsylvania, declared, with 
expiatory frankness, that he would not stultify himself by claim- 
ing the act to be constitutional. He said, " We know that it is 
not constitutional, but it is necessary." 

It now became necessary for the government of Virginia, 
represented by Francis H. Pierpont, to emigrate ; for the new 
State of West Virginia embraced the territory in which he was 
located. He therefore departed, with his carpet-bag, and located 
at Alexandria, on the Potomac, which became the seat of gov- 
ernment of so-called East Virginia. On February 13, 1S64, 
a convention, consisting of a representative from each of the 
ten counties in part or wholly under the control of the United 
States forces, assembled at Alexandria to amend the Constitu- 
tion of the State of Virginia. Some sections providing for the 
abolition of slavery were declared to be added to the Constitu- 
tion, and the so-called Convention adjourned. Nothing of im- 
portance occurred until after the occupation of Richmond by 
the United States forces. On May 9, 1865, President Johnson 
issued an " Executive order to reestablish the authority of the 
United States, and execute the laws within the geographical 
limits known as the State of Virginia." The order closed in 
these words : 

" That, to carry into effect the guarantee of the Federal Con- 
stitution of a republican form of State government, and afford the 
advantage of the security of domestic laws, as well as to complete 
the reestablishment of the authority of the laws of the United 
States and the full and complete restoration of peace within the 
limits aforesaid, Francis H. Pierpont, Governor of the State of 
Virginia, will be aided by the Federal Government, so far as may 
be necessary, in the lawful measures which he may take for the 
extension and administration of the State government throughout 
the geographical limits of said State." 

This order recognized the factitious organization, which was 
begun in West Virginia and then transplanted to Alexandria, as ; 
the true government of the State of Virginia, and, by the aid of 


the United States Government, was now removed to Richmond 
and set up there. ~No person was allowed to take any part in 
this government or to vote under it unless he had previously 
taken the purgatorial oath above mentioned, and had not held 
office under the Confederate or any State government. Thus, 
the taking of this oath, which was prescribed by the President 
of the United States, became the most important of the quali- 
fications of a voter. Here was a condition prescribed by a for- 
eign authority as necessary to be fulfilled before the first act 
could be done by a citizen relative to his State government. 
Such a government was not republican, for its powers were not 
derived from the consent of the governed. Its powers were 
derived from voters who had, under oath, said : 

" I will abide by and faithfully support all acts of Congress, 
passed during the existing rebellion with reference to slaves, so 
long and so far as not repealed, modified, or held void by Con- 
gress or by decision of the Supreme Court ; and that I will in like 
manner abide by and faithfully support all proclamations of the 
President, made during the existing rebellion having reference to 
slaves, so long and so far as not modified or declared void by de- 
cision of the Supreme Court." 

Such a State government was not in the interest of the 
people, but in the interest of the United States Government. 
The true republican organization, which had been " instituted " 
by the free " consent of the governed to effect their safety and 
happiness," had been repudiated by the Government of the 
United States as in rebellion to it ; and this fiction had been set 
up, not by the free consent of the people, which alone could 
give to it any " just powers," not " to effect their safety and 
happiness," for which alone a republican State government can 
be instituted, but solely to secure the safety and supremacy of 
the Government of the United States. The qualification of the 
voter was prescribed by the United States Government, and the 
oath required him to recognize allegiance to the Union as su- 
ipreme over that to the State of which he was a citizen. Thus 
[the voters under the State government of Yirginia were re- 
quired first to protect the Government of the United States, 


and then they were at liberty to look after their own interests 
through the State government. 

Now, it is charged that such acts on the part of the United 
States Government were not only entirely unconstitutional, but 
they caused the complete subversion of the States. The Con- 
stitution of the United States knows States in the Union only 
as they are republican States. The Government of the United 
States was conscious of this fact, and publicly recognized it when 
it promised to guarantee a republican form of government to 
each one that it sought to reconstruct. But it violated the Con- 
stitution when it sought to place in the Union mere fictions 
which had not the first element of a republic, which were 
groundless fabrications of its own minions that could not have 
existed a day without the military support which they received. 
Further, it is to be remembered that it does not come within 
the grants of the Constitution, consequently not within the pow- 
ers of the Government of the United States, to institute a re- 
publican form of government at any time or in any place. 
Such an act is neither contemplated nor known in the Consti- 
tution, as such a government can be instituted only by the free 
consent of those who are to be governed by it. Any interfer- 
ence on the part of the United States to limit, modify, or con- 
trol this consent goes directly to the nature and objects of the 
State government, and it ceases to be republican. To admit a 
State under such a government is entirely unauthorized, revo- 
lutionary, subversive of the Constitution, and destructive of the 
Union of States. 



Address to the Army of Eastern Virginia by the President. — Army of General Pope. 
— Position of McClellan. — Advance of General Jackson. — Atrocious Orders of 
General Pope. — Letter of McClellan on the Conduct of the War. — Letter of the 
President to General Lee. — Battle of Cedar Run. — Results of the Engagement. — 
Reinforcements to the Enemy. — Second Battle of Manassas. — Capture of Ma- 
nassas Junction. — Captured Stores. — The Old Battle-Field. — Advance of Gen- 
eral Longstreet. — Attack on him. — Attack on General Jackson. — Darkness of 
the Night.— Battle at Ox Hill. — Losses of the Enemy. 

ing address : 

This defeat of McClellan's army led me to issue the follow- 

" Richmond, July 5, 1862. 
11 To the Army of Eastern Virginia. 

" Soldiers : I congratulate you on the series of brilliant victo- 
ries which, under the favor of Divine Providence, you have lately 
won, and, as the President of the Confederate States, do heartily 
tender to you the thanks of the country, whose just cause you 
have so skillfully and heroically served. Ten days ago an invad- 
ing army, vastly superior to you in numbers and the materials of 
war, closely beleaguered your capital and vauntingly proclaimed 
its speedy conquest ; you marched to attack the enemy in his 
intrenchments ; with well-directed movements and death-defying 
valor you charged upon him in his strong positions, drove him 
from field to field over a distance of more than thirty-five miles, 
and despite his reinforcements compelled him to seek safety under 
the cover of his gunboats, where he now lies cowering before the 
army so lately derided and threatened with entire subjugation. 
The fortitude with which you have borne toil and privation, the 
gallantry with which you have entered into each successive battle, 
must have been witnessed to be fully appreciated ; but a grateful 
people will not fail to recognize you, and to bear you in loved 
remembrance. Well may it be said of you that you have ' done 
enough for glory ' ; but duty to a suffering country and to the cause 
of constitutional liberty claims from you yet further effort. Let it 
be your pride to relax in nothing which can promote your future 
efficiency ; your one great object being to drive the invader from 
your soil, and, carrying your standards bevond the outer bounda- 


ries of the Confederacy, to wring from, an unscrupulous foe the 
recognition of your birthright, community independence. 

"Jefferson Davis." 

After the retreat of General McClellan to Westover, his 
army remained inactive about a month. His front was closely 
watched by a brigade of cavalry, and preparations made to 
resist a renewal of his attempt upon Richmond from his new 
base. The main body of our army awaited the development of 
his intentions, and no important event took place. 

Meantime, another army of the enemy, under Major-General 
Pope, advanced southward from Washington, and crossed the 
Rappahannock as if to seize Gordons ville, and move thence 
upon Richmond. Contemporaneously the enemy appeared in 
force at Fredericksburg, and threatened the railroad from Gor- 
donsville to Richmond, apparently for the purpose of coop- 
erating with the movements of General Pope. To meet the 
advance of the latter, and restrain, as far as possible, the atroci- 
ties which he threatened to perpetrate upon our defenseless 
citizens, General Jackson, with his own and Ewell's division, 
was ordered to proceed on July 13 th toward Gordons ville. 

The nature of the atrocities here alluded to may be inferred 
from the orders of Major-General Pope, which were as follows : 

" Headquarters op the Army of Virginia, Washington, July 18, 1862. 
" (General Orders, No. 5.) 

" Hereafter, as far as practicable, the troops of this command 
will subsist upon the country in which their operations are carried 
on. In all cases supplies for this purpose will be taken by the 
officers to whose department they properly belong, under the or- 
ders of the commanding officer of the troops for whose use they 
are intended. Vouchers will be given to the owners, stating on 
their face that they will be payable at the close of the war upon 
sufficient testimony being furnished that such owners have been 
loyal citizens of the United States since the date of the vouch- 
ers. . . . 

"By command of Major-General Pope : 

" George D. Ruggles, 
" Colonel, A. A.- General^ and Chief of Staff" 


" Headquarters of the Army of Virginia, July 18, 1862. 
" (General Orders, No. 6.) 

" Hereafter, in any operations of the cavalry forces in this 
command, no supply or baggage trains of any description will be 
used, unless so stated especially in the order for the movement. 
Two days' cooked rations will be carried on the persons of the 
men, and all villages and neighborhoods through which they pass 
will be laid under contribution in the manner specified by General 
Orders, No. 5, current series, from these headquarters, for the sub- 
sistence of men and horses. . . . 

" By command of Major-General Pope : 

"George D. Ruggles, 
" Colonel, A. A.- General, and Chief of Staff." 

" Headquarters Army of Virginia, Washington, July 18, 1862. 
" (General Orders, No. 1.) 

" The people of the Valley of the Shenandoah and throughout 
the region of operations of this army, living along the lines of 
railroad and telegraph, and along routes of travel in the rear of 
United States forces, are notified that they will be held responsi- 
ble for any injury done the track, line, or road, or for any attacks 
upon the trains or straggling soldiers, by bands of guerrillas in 
their neighborhood. . . . Evil-disposed persons in the rear of our 
armies, who do not themselves engage directly in these lawless 
acts, encourage by refusing to interfere, or give any information 
by which such acts can be prevented or the perpetrators punished. 
Safety of the life and property of all persons living in the rear of 
our advancing army depends upon the maintenance of peace and 
quiet among themselves, and upon the unmolested movements 
through their midst of all pertaining to the military service. 
They are to understand distinctly that the security of travel is 
their only warrant of personal safety. ... If a soldier or legiti- 
mate follower of the army be fired upon from any house, the house 
shall be razed to the ground and the inhabitants sent prisoners to 
the headquarters of this army. If such an outrage occur at any 
place distant from settlements, the people within five miles around 
shall be held accountable, and made to pay an indemnity sufficient 
for the case ; and any' person detected in such outrages, either 


during the act or at any time afterward, shall be shot, without 
waiting civil process. . . . 

" By command of Major-General Pope : 

" George D. Ruggles, Colonel" 

" Headquarters Army of Virginia, Washington, July 23, 1862. 
"(General Orders, No. 11.) 

" Commanders of army corps, divisions, brigades, and detached 
commands will proceed immediately to arrest all disloyal male 
citizens within their lines, or within their reach in the rear of their 
respective stations. 

" Such as are willing to take the oath of allegiance to the 
United States, and will furnish sufficient security for its observ- 
ance, shall be permitted to remain at their homes, and pursue in 
good faith their accustomed avocations. Those who refuse shall 
be conducted south beyond the extreme pickets of the army, and 
be notified that, if found again anywhere within our lines or at 
any point in the rear, they will be considered spies, and subjected 
to the extreme rigor of the military law. ... 

" By command of Major- General Pope : 

" George D. Ruggles, 
"Colonel, A. A.- General, and Chief of Staff." 

Thus was announced a policy of pillage, outrage upon un- 
armed, peaceable people, arson, and ruthless insult to the de- 
fenseless. Had the vigor of the campaign been equal to the 
bombastic manifesto of this disgrace to the profession of arms, 
the injuries inflicted would have been more permanent; the 
conduct could scarcely have been more brutal. 

In recurring to the letter of General George B. McClellan, 
written at " Camp near Harrison's Landing, Virginia, July 7, 
1862," to the President of the United States, one must be struck 
with the strong contrast between the suggestions of General 
McClellan and the orders of General Pope. The inquiry natu- 
rally arises, Was it because of this difference that Pope had been 
assigned to the command of the Army of Virginia? McClellan 

" This rebellion has assumed the character of a war ; as such 
it should be regarded, and it should be conducted upon the high- 


est principles known to Christian civilization. It should not be a 
war looking to the subjugation of the people of any State, in any 
event. It should not be at all a war upon population, but against 
armed forces and political organizations. Neither confiscation of 
property, political executions of persons, territorial organizations 
of States, or forcible abolition of slavery, should be contemplated 
for a moment. 

" In prosecuting the war, all private property and unarmed per- 
sons should be strictly protected, subject only to the necessity of 
military operations ; all private property taken for military use 
should be paid or receipted for ; pillage and waste should be 
treated as high crimes ; all unnecessary trespass sternly prohib- 
ited, and offensive demeanor by the military toward citizens 
promptly rebuked. Military arrests should not be tolerated, ex- 
cept in places where active hostilities exist ; and oaths, not re- 
quired by enactments constitutionally, should be neither demanded 
nor received." 

Had these views been accepted, and the conduct of the 
Government of the United States been in accordance with 
them, the most shameful chapters in American history could 
not have been written, and some of the more respectable news- 
papers of the North would not have had the apprehensions 
they expressed of the evils which would befall the country 
when an army habituated to thieving should be disbanded. 

On the reception of copies of the orders issued by General 
Pope, inserted above, I addressed to General Lee, commanding 
our army in Virginia, the following letter : 

" Richmond, Virginia, July SI, 1862. 

" Sir : On the 22d of this month a cartel for a general ex- 
change of prisoners of war was signed between Major-General D. 
H. Hill, in behalf of the Confederate States, and Major-General 
John A. Dix, in behalf of the United States. 

"By the terms of that cartel, it is stipulated that all prisoners of 
war hereafter taken shall be discharged on parole until exchanged. 

" Scarcely had that cartel been signed, when the military au- 
thorities of the United States commenced a practice changing the 
character of the war, from such as becomes civilized nations, into 
a campaign of indiscriminate robbery and murder. 


"The general order issued by the Secretary of War of the 
United States, in the city of Washington, on the very day that the 
cartel was signed in Virginia, directs the military commanders of 
the United States to take the private property of our people for 
the convenience and use of their armies, without compensation. 

"The general order issued by Major-General Pope, on the 23d 
of July, the day after the signing of the cartel, directs the mur- 
der of our peaceful inhabitants as spies, if found quietly tilling 
their farms in his rear, even outside of his lines y and one of his 
brigadier-generals, Steinwehr, has seized upon innocent and peace- 
ful inhabitants, to be held as hostages, to the end that they may 
be murdered in cold blood if any of his soldiers are killed by some 
unknown persons, whom he designates as ' bushwhackers.' 

" Under this state of facts, this Government has issued the in- 
closed general order, recognizing General Pope and his commis- 
sioned officers to be in the position which they have chosen for 
themselves, that of robbers and murderers, and not that of pub- 
lic enemies, entitled, if captured, to be considered as prisoners of 

" We find ourselves driven by our enemies in their steady prog- 
ress toward a practice which we abhor, and which we are vainly 
struggling to avoid. Some of the military authorities of the United 
States seem to suppose that better success will attend a savage war 
in which no quarter is to be given and no sex to be spared than 
has hitherto been secured by such hostilities as are alone recog- 
nized to be lawful by civilized men in modern times. 

" For the present, we renounce our right of retaliation on the 
innocent, and shall continue to treat the private enlisted soldiers 
of General Pope's army as prisoners of war ; but if, after notice 
to the Government at Washington of our confining repressive 
measures to the punishment only of commissioned officers, who 
are willing participants in these crimes, these savage practices 
are continued, we shall reluctantly be forced to the last resort 
of accepting the war on the terms chosen by our foes, until the 
outraged voice of a common humanity forces a respect for the 
recognized rules of war. 

" While these facts would justify our refusal to execute the 
generous cartel, by which we have consented to liberate an excess 
of thousands of prisoners held by us beyond the number held by 
the enemy, a sacred regard to plighted faith, shrinking from the 


mere semblance of breaking a promise, prevents our resort to this 
extremity. Nor do we desire to extend to any other forces of the 
enemy the punishment merited alone by General Pope and such 
commissioned officers as choose to participate in the execution of 
his infamous orders. 

"You are therefore instructed to communicate to the com- 
mander-in-chief of the armies of the United States the contents of 
this letter and a copy of the inclosed general order, to the end 
that he may be notified of our intention not to consider any offi- 
cers hereafter captured from General Pope's army as prisoners of 
war. Very respectfully, yours, etc., 

"Jefferson Davis." 

When General Jackson arrived near Gordonsville on July 19, 
1862, he was at his request reenforced by Major-General A. P. 
Hill. Receiving information that only a part of General Pope's 
army was at Culpeper Court-House, General Jackson, hoping 
to defeat it before reinforcements should arrive, moved in that 
direction the divisions of Ewell, Hill, and Jackson, on August 
7th, from their encampments near Gordonsville. As the ene- 
my's cavalry displayed unusual activity and the train of Jack- 
son's division was seriously endangered, General Lawton with 
his brigade was ordered to guard it. On August 9th Jackson 
arrived within eight miles of Culpeper Court-House and found 
the foe in his front near Cedar Run and a short distance west 
and north of Slaughter Mountain. When first seen, the cav- 
alry in large force occupied a ridge to the right of the road. 
A battery opened upon it and soon forced it to retire. Our 
fire was responded to by some guns beyond the ridge from 
which the advance had just been driven. Soon after, the 
cavalry returned. to the position where it was first seen, and 
General Early was ordered forward, keeping near the Cul- 
peper road, while General Ewell with his two remaining bri- 
gades diverged from the road to the right, advancing along 
the western slope of Slaughter Mountain. General Early, form- 
ing his brigade in line of battle, moved into the open field, and, 
passing a short distance to the right of the road but parallel to 
it, pushed forward, driving the opposing cavalry before him to 
the crest of a hill which overlooked the ground between his 


troops and the opposite hill, along which the enemy's batteries 
were posted, and opened upon him as soon as he reached the 
eminence. Early retired his troops under the protection of 
the hill, and a small battery of ours, in advance of his right, 
opened. Meantime General Winder with Jackson's brigade 
was placed on the left of the road, Campbell's brigade, Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel Garnett commanding, being on the left, Taliaferro's 
parallel to the road, supporting the batteries, and Winder's own 
brigade under Colonel Roland in reserve. The battle opened 
with a fierce fire of artillery, which continued about two hours, 
during which Brigadier-General Charles S. Winder, while di- 
recting the positions of his batteries, received a wound, from 
the effects of which he expired in a few hours. General Jack- 
son thus spoke of him in his report : 

" It is difficult, within the proper reserve of an official report, 
to do justice to the merits of this accomplished officer. Urged by 
the medical director to take no part in the movements of the day, 
because of the then enfeebled state of his health, his ardent patriot- 
ism and military pride could bear no restraint. Richly endowed 
with those qualities of mind and person which fit an officer for 
command, and which attract the admiration and excite the enthu- 
siasm of troops, he was rapidly rising to the front rank of his pro- 
fession. His loss has been severely felt." 

Charles Winder had attracted my special notice, when I was 
Secretary of War of the United States, by an act of heroism 
and devotion to duty which it gives me pleasure to record. A 
regiment of artillery, in which he was a second-lieutenant, being 
under orders for California, embarked on the steamer San Fran- 
cisco, and in a storm became disabled ; drifting helplessly at sea, 
she was approached by a bark which, to give succor, hove to. 
Not being able to receive all the passengers, the commissioned 
officers left, as the Colonel naively reported, in the order of 
their rank. Winder alone remained with the troops ; in great 
discomfort and by strenuous exertion the wreck was kept afloat 
until a vessel bound for Liverpool came to the relief of the suf- 

Arriving at Liverpool, Winder left the soldiers there, went 


to the American consul in London, got means to provide for 
their needs, and returned with them. Soon afterward, four regi- 
ments were added to the army, and, for his good conduct so full 
of promise, he was nominated to be a captain of infantry, and, 
notwithstanding his youth, was confirmed and commissioned 
accordingly. He died manifesting the same spirit as on the 
wreck — that which holds life light when weighed against honor. 

The enemy's infantry advanced about 5 p. m., and attacked 
General Early in front, while another body, concealed by the 
inequality of the ground, moved upon his right. Thomas's bri- 
gade, of A. P. Hill's division, which had now arrived, was sent 
to his support, and the contest soon became animated. In the 
mean time the main body of the opposing army, under cover - 
of a wood and the undulations of the field, gained the left of 
Jackson's division, now commanded by Brigadier-General Tal- 
iaferro, and poured a destructive fire into its flank and rear. 
Campbell's brigade fell back in confusion, exposing the flank of 
Taliaferro's, which also gave way, as did the left of Early's. 
The rest of his brigade, however, firmly held its ground. 

"Winder's brigade, with Branch's, of A. P. Hill's division, on 
its right, advanced promptly to the support of Jackson's divis- 
ion, and after a sanguinary struggle the assailants were repulsed 
with loss. Pender's and Archer's brigades, also of Hill's divis- 
ion, came up on the left of Winder's, and by a general charge 
the foe was driven back in confusion, leaving the ground cov- 
ered with his dead and wounded. General Ewell, with the two 
brigades on the extreme right, had been prevented from advanc- 
ing by the fire of our own artillery, which swept his approach to 
the enemy's left. The obstacle being now removed, he pressed 
forward under a hot fire, and came gallantly into action. Re- 
pulsed and vigorously followed on our left and center, and now 
hotly pressed on our right, the whole line of the enemy gave 
way, and was soon in full retreat. Night had now set in, but 
General Jackson, desiring to enter Culpeper Court-House be- 
fore morning, determined to pursue. Hill's division led the 
advance ; but, owing to the darkness, it was compelled to move 
slowly and with caution. 

The enemy was found about a mile and a half in the rear of 


the field of battle, and information was received that reinforce- 
ments had arrived. General Jackson thereupon halted for the 
night, and the next day, becoming satisfied that the enemy's force 
had been so largely increased as to render a further advance on 
his part imprudent, he sent his wounded to the rear, and pro- 
ceeded to bury the dead and collect the arms from the battle- 
field. On the 11th the enemy asked and received permission 
to bury those of his dead not already interred. General Jack- 
son remained in position during the day, and at night returned 
to the vicinity of Gordons ville. In this engagement 400 pris- 
oners, including a brigadier-general were captured, and 5,300 
stand of small-arms, one piece of artillery, several caissons, 
and three colors, fell into our hands. Our killed were 229, 
wounded 1,0-17, total 1,276. The loss on the other side exceeded 
1,500, of whom nearly 300 were taken prisoners. 

The victory of Cedar Run effectually checked the invader 
for the time ; but it soon became apparent that his army was 
receiving a large increase. The corps of Major-Gen eral Burn- 
side, from Korth Carolina, which had reached Fredericksburg, 
was reported to have moved up the Rappahannock, a few days 
after the battle, to unite with General Pope, and a part of 
General McClellan's army had left AVestover for the same pur- 
pose. It therefore seemed that active operations on the James 
we*e no longer contemplated, and that the most effectual way 
to relieve Richmond from any danger of an attack would be to 
reenforce General Jackson and advance upon General Pope. 

Accordingly, on August 13th, Longstreet, Anderson, and 
Stuart were ordered to proceed to Gordons ville. On the 16th 
the troops began to move from the vicinity of Gordonsville 
toward the Rapidan, on the north side of which, extending 
along the Orange and Alexandria Railroad in the direction 
of Culpeper Court-House, the army of invasion lay in great 
force. It was determined, with the cavalry, to destroy the 
railroad-bridge over the Rappahannock in rear of the enemy, 
while Jackson and Longstreet crossed the Rapidan and at- 
tacked his left flank. But, the enemy becoming apprised of 
our design, hastily retreated beyond the Rappahannock. On 
the 21st our forces moved toward that river, and some sharp 


skirmishing ensued with our cavalry that had crossed at Bev- 
erly's Ford. As it had been determined in the mean time not 
to attempt the passage of the river at that point with the army, 
the cavalry withdrew to the south side. Soon afterward the 
enemy appeared in great strength on the opposite bank, and 
an active fire was kept up during the rest of the day between 
his artillery and the batteries attached to Jackson's leading 
division, under Brigadier-General Taliaferro. 

But, as our positions on the south bank of the Rappahannock 
were commanded by those on the north bank, and which served 
to guard all the fords, General Lee determined to seek a more 
favorable place to cross higher up the river, and thus gain his 
adversary's right. Accordingly, General Longstreet was di- 
rected to leave Kelly's Ford on the 21st, and take the position 
in the vicinity of Beverly's Ford and the Orange and Alexan- 
dria Railroad bridge, then held by Jackson, in order to mask the 
movement of the latter, who was instructed to ascend the river. 
On the 22d Jackson proceeded up the Rappahannock, leaving 
Trimble's brigade near Freeman's Ford to protect his train. In 
the afternoon Longstreet sent General Hood with his own and 
Whiting's brigade to relieve Trimble. Hood had just reached 
the position, when he and Trimble were attacked by a consider- 
able force which had crossed at Freeman's Ford. After a short 
but spirited engagement, the enemy was driven precipitately 
over the river with heavy loss. General Jackson attempted to 
cross at Warrenton Springs Ford, but was interrupted by a 
heavy rain, which caused the river to rise so rapidly as to be 
impassable for infantry and artillery, and he withdrew the 
troops that had reached the opposite side. General Stuart, who 
had been directed to cut the railroad in rear of General Pope's 
army, crossed the Rappahannock on the morning of the 22d, 
about six miles above the Springs, with parts of Lee's and Rob- 
ertson's brigades. He reached Catlet's Station that night, but 
was prevented destroying the railroad-bridge there by the same. 
storm that arrested Jackson's movements. He captured more 
than three hundred prisoners, including a number of officers. 
Apprehensive of the effect of the rain upon the streams, he re- 
crossed the Rappahannock at Warrenton Springs. The rise of 


the river, rendering the lower fords impassable, enabled the 
enemy to concentrate his main body opposite General Jackson, 
and on the 24th Longstreet was ordered by General Lee to pro- 
ceed to his support. Although retarded by the swollen condi- 
tion of Hazel River and other tributaries of the Rappahannock, 
he readied Jeffersonton in the afternoon. General Jackson's 
command lay between that place and the Spring's Ford, and a 
warm cannonade was progressing between the batteries of Gen- 
eral A. P. Hill's division and those in his front. The enemy 
was massed between Warrenton and the Springs, and guarded 
the fords of the Rappahannock as far above as Waterloo. 

The army of General McClellan had left Westover, and a 
part had marched to join General Pope. It was reported that 
the rest would soon follow. The greater part of the army of 
General Cox had also been withdrawn from the Kanawha Val- 
ley for the same purpose. Two brigades of D, H. Hill's di- 
vision, under General Ripley, had already been ordered from 
Richmond, and the remainder were to follow ; also, McLaws's 
division, two brigades under General Walker, and Hampton's 
cavalry brigade. In pursuance of the plan of operations now 
determined upon, Jackson was directed, on the 25th, to cross 
above Waterloo and move around the enemy's right, so as to 
strike the Orange and Alexandria Railroad in his rear. Long- 
street, in the mean time, was to divert his attention by threat- 
ening him in front, and to follow Jackson as soon as the latter 
should be sufficiently advanced. 

General Jackson crossed the Rappahannock on the 25th, 
about four miles above Waterloo, and, after sunset on the 26th, 
reached the railroad at Bristoe Station. At Gainesville he was 
joined by General Stuart, with the brigades of Robertson and 
Fitzhugh Lee, who continued with him during his operations, 
and effectually guarded both his flanks. 

General Jackson was now between the large army of Gen- 
eral Pope and Washington City, without having encountered 
any considerable force. At Bristoe two trains of cars were cap- 
tured and a few prisoners taken. Determining, notwithstand- 
ing the darkness of the night and the long and arduous march 
of the day, to capture the depot of the enemy at Manassas 


Junction, about seven miles distant, General Trimble volun- 
teered to proceed at once to that place with the Twenty-first 
North Carolina and the Twenty-first Georgia Regiments. . The 
offer was accepted, and, to render success more certain, General 
Stuart was directed to accompany the expedition with part of 
his cavalry. About midnight the place was taken with little 
difficulty. Eight pieces of artillery, with their horses, ammu- 
nition, and equipments were captured ; more than three hundred 
prisoners, one hundred and seventy-five horses, besides those 
belonging to the artillery, two hundred new tents, and immense 
quantities of commissary and quartermaster's stores, fell into 
our hands. 

Ewell's division, with the Fifth Virginia Cavalry under Colo- 
nel Rosser, were left at Bristoe Station, and the rest of the 
command arrived at the Junction early on the 27th. Soon a 
considerable force of the enemy, under Brigadier-General Tay- 
lor, of New Jersey, approached from the direction of Alexan- 
dria, and pushed forward boldly to recover the stores. After 
a sharp engagement he was routed and driven back, leaving 
his killed and wounded on the field. The troops remained 
at Manassas Junction during the day, and supplied themselves 
with everything they required. In the afternoon, two brigades 
advanced against General Ewell, at Bristoe, from the direction 
of Warrenton Junction, but were broken and repulsed. Their 
place was soon supplied with fresh troops, but it was apparent 
that the commander had now become aware of the situation of 
affairs, and had turned upon General Jackson with his whole 
force. General Ewell, perceiving the strength of the column, 
withdrew and rejoined General Jackson, having first destroyed 
the railroad-bridge over Broad Run. The enemy halted at 
Bristoe. General Jackson, having a much inferior force to 
General Pope, retired from Manassas Junction and took a posi- 
tion west of the turnpike - road from Warrenton to Alexandria, 
where he could more readily unite with the approaching column 
of Longstreet. Having supplied the wants of his troops, he was 
compelled, through lack of transportation, to destroy the rest of 
the captured property. Many thousand pounds of bacon, a 
thousand barrels of corned beef, two thousand barrels of salt 


pork, and two thousand barrels of flour, besides other property 
of great value, were burned. 

During the night of the 27th of August Taliaferro's division 
crossed the turnpike near Groveton and halted on the west side, 
near the battle-field of July 21, 1861, where it was joined on 
the 28th by the divisions of Hill and Ewell. During the after- 
noon the enemy, approaching from the direction of Warrenton 
down the turnpike toward Alexandria, exposed his left flank, 
and General Jackson determined to attack him. A fierce and 
sanguinary conflict ensued which continued until about 9 p. m., 
when he slowly fell back and left us in possession of the field. 
The loss on both sides was heavy. On the next morning (the 
29th) the enemy had taken a position to interpose his army be- 
tween General Jackson and Alexandria, and about 10 a. m. 
opened with artillery upon the right of Jackson's line. The 
troops of the latter were disposed in rear of Groveton, along 
the line of the unfinished branch of the Manassas Gap Rail- 
road, and extending from a point a short distance west of the 
turnpike toward Sudley Mill, Jackson's division under Brigadier- 
General Starke being on the right, Ewell's under General Law- 
ton in the center, and A. P. Hill on the left. The attacking col- 
umns were evidently concentrating on Jackson with the design 
of overwhelming him before the arrival of Longstreet. This 
latter ofiicer left his position opposite Warrenton Springs on the 
26th and marched to join Jackson. On the 28th, arriving at 
Thoroughfare Gap, he found the enemy prepared to dispute his 
progress. Holding the eastern extremity of the pass with a large 
force, the enemy directed a heavy fire of artillery upon the road 
leading to it and upon the sides of the mountain. An attempt 
was made- to turn his right, but, before our troops reached their 
destination, he advanced to the attack, and, being vigorously re- 
pulsed, withdrew to his position at the eastern end of the Gap, 
keeping up an active fire of artillery until dark. He then re- 
treated. On the morning of the 29th Longstreet's command 
resumed its march, the sound of cannon at Manassas announc- 
ing that Jackson was already engaged. The head of the column 
came upon the field in rear of the enemy's left, which had al- 
ready opened with artillery upon Jackson's right, as above stated. 


Longstreet immediately placed some of his batteries in posi- 
tion, but, before he could complete his dispositions to attack the 
force before him, it withdrew to another part of the field. He 
then took position on the right of Jackson, Hood's two bri- 
gades, supported by Evans, being deployed across the turnpike 
and at right angles to it. These troops were supported on the 
left by three brigades under General Wilcox, and by a like 
force on the right under General Kemper. D. R. Jones's divis- 
ion formed the extreme right of the line, resting on the Ma- 
nassas Gap Railroad. The cavalry guarded our right and left 
flanks, that on the right being under General Stuart in person. 
After the arrival of Longstreet the enemy changed his position 
and began to concentrate opposite Jackson's left, opening a 
brisk artillery -fire, which was responded to by some of A. P. 
Hill's batteries. 

Soon afterward General Stuart reported the approach of a 
large force from the direction of Bristoe Station, threatening 
Longstreet's right. But no serious attack was made, and, after 
firing a few shots, that force withdrew. Meanwhile a large col- 
umn advanced to assail the left of Jackson's position, occupied 
by the division of General A. P. Hill. The attack was received 
by his troops with their accustomed steadiness, and the battle 
raged with great fury. The enemy was repeatedly repulsed, 
but again pressed on the attack with fresh troops. Once he 
succeeded in penetrating an interval between General Gregg's 
brigade on the extreme left and that of General Thomas, but 
was quickly driven back with great slaughter by the Fourteenth 
South Carolina Regiment, then in reserve, and the Forty-ninth 
Georgia of Thomas's brigade. The contest was close and ob- 
stinate ; the combatants sometimes delivered their fire at a few 
paces. General Gregg, who was most exposed, was reenforced 
by Hays's brigade under Colonel Forno. Gregg had successfully 
and most gallantly resisted the attack until the ammunition of 
his brigade was exhausted and all his field-officers but two killed 
or wounded. The reenforcement was of like high-tempered 
steel, and together in hand-to-hand fight they held their post 
until they were relieved, after several hours of severe fight- 
ing, by Early's brigade and the Eighth Louisiana Regiment. 


General Early drove the enemy back with heavy loss, and 
pursued about two hundred yards beyond the line of battle, 
when he was recalled to the position on the railroad, where 
Thomas, Pender, and Archer had firmly held their ground 
against every attack. While the battle was raging on Jackson's 
left, Hood and Evans were ordered by Longstreet to advance, 
but, before the order could be obeyed, Hood was himself at- 
tacked, and his command became at once warmly engaged. The 
enemy was repulsed by Hood after a severe contest, and fell 
back, closely followed by our troops. 

The battle continued until 9 p. m., the foe retreating until 
he reached a strong position, which he held with a large force. 
Our troops remained in their advanced position until early next 
morning, when they were withdrawn to their first line. One 
piece of artillery, several stands of colors, and a number of pris- 
oners were captured. Our loss was severe. On the morning 
of the 30th the enemy again advanced, and skirmishing began 
along the line. The troops of Jackson and Longstreet main- 
tained their position of the previous day. At noon the firing 
of the batteries ceased, and all was quiet for some hours. 

About 3 p. m. the enemy, having massed his troops in front of 
General Jackson, advanced against his position in strong force. 
His front line pushed forward until it was engaged at close 
quarters by Jackson's troops, when its progress was checked, 
and a fierce and bloody struggle ensued. A second and third 
line of great strength moved up to support, the first, but in doing 
so came within easy range of a position a little in advance of 
Longstreet's left. He immediately ordered up two batteries, 
and, two others being thrown forward about the same time by 
Colonel S. D. Lee, the supporting lines were broken, and fell 
back in confusion under their well-directed and destructive fire. 
Their repeated efforts to rally were unavailing, and Jackson's 
troops, being thus relieved from the pressure of overwhelming 
numbers, began to press steadily forward, driving everything 
before them. The enemy retreated in confusion, suffering se- 
verely from our artillery, which advanced as he retired. Gen- 
eral Longstreet, anticipating the order for a general advance, 
now threw his whole command against the center and left. 

1862] THE LINE OF BATTLE. 327 

The whole line swept steadily on, driving the opponents with 
great carnage from each successive position, until 10 p. m., when 
darkness put an end to the battle and the pursuit. 

The obscurity of the night and the uncertainty of the fords 
of Bull Run rendered it necessary to suspend operations until 
morning, when the cavalry, being pushed forward, discovered 
that the retreat had continued to the strong position of Centre- 
ville, about four miles beyond Bull Run. The prevalence of a 
heavy rain, which began during the night, threatened to render 
Bull Run impassable, and to impede our movements. Long- 
street remained on the battle-field to engage attention and to pro- 
tect parties for the burial of the dead and the removal of the 
wounded, while Jackson proceeded by Sudley's Ford to the Lit- 
tle River turnpike to turn the enemy's right, and intercept his 
retreat to "Washington. Jackson's progress was retarded by the 
inclemency of the weather and the fatigue of his troops. He 
reached the turnpike in the evening, and the next day (Sep- 
tember 1st) advanced by that road toward Fairfax Court-House. 
The enemy in the mean time was falling back rapidly toward 
"Washington, and had thrown a strong force to Germantown, 
on the Little River turnpike, to cover his line of retreat from 
Centreville. The advance of Jackson encountered him at Ox 
Hill, near Germantown, about 5 p. m. Line of battle was at 
once formed, and two brigades were thrown forward to attack 
and ascertain the strength of the position. A cold and drench- 
ing rain-storm drove in the faces of our troops as they ad- 
vanced and gallantly engaged. They were subsequently sup- 
ported, and the conflict was obstinately maintained until dark, 
when the enemy retreated, having lost two general officers, one 
of whom — Major-General Kearney — was left dead on the field. 
Longstreet's command arrived after the action was over, and 
the next morning it was found that the retreat had been so rapid 
that the attempt to intercept was abandoned. The proximity 
of the fortifications around Alexandria and Washington was 
enough to prevent further pursuit. Qur army rested during the 
2d near Chantilly, the retreating foe being followed only by 
our cavalry, who continued to harass him until he reached the 
shelter of his iutrenchments. 


In the series of engagements on the plains of Manassas more 
than seven thousand prisoners were taken, in addition to about 
two thousand wounded left in our hands. Thirty pieces of ar- 
tillery, upward of twenty thousand stand of small-arms, numer- 
ous colors, and a large amount of stores, besides those taken by 
General Jackson at Manassas Junction, were captured. 

Major-General Pope in his report says : 

" The whole force that I had at Centreville, as reported to me 
by the corps commanders, on the morning of the 1st of September, 
was as follows : McDowell's corps, 10,000 men ; Sigel's corps, about 
7,000 ; Heintzelman's corps, about 6,000 ; Reno's, 6,000 ; Banks's, 
5,000; Sumner's, 11,000; Porter's, 10,000; Franklin's, 8,000— in 
all, 63,000 men. . . . The small fraction of 20,500 men was all of 
the 91,000 veteran troops from Harrison's Landing which ever 
drew trigger under my command." 

Our losses in the engagement at Manassas Plains were con- 
siderable. The number killed was 1,090; wounded, 6,154 — 
total, 7,241. The loss of the enemy in killed, wounded, and 
missing was estimated between 15,000 and 20,000. The strength 
of our army in July and September is stated on a preceding 


Return of the Enemy to Washington. — War transferred to the Frontier. — Condition 
of Maryland. — Crossing the Potomac. — Evacuation of Martinsburg. — Advance 
into Maryland. — Large Force of the Enemy. — Resistance at Boonesboro. — Sur- 
render of Harper's Ferry. — Our Forces reach Sharpsburg. — Letter of the Presi- 
dent to General Lee. — Address of General Lee to the People. — Position of our 
Forces at Sharpsburg. — Battle of Sharpsburg. — Our Strength. — Forces with- 
drawn. — Casualties. 

The enemy having retired to the protection of the fortifica- 
tions around Washington and Alexandria, Lee's army marched, 
on September 3d, toward Leesburg. The armies of Generals 
McClellan and Pope had now been brought back to the point 
from which they set out on the campaign of the spring and sum- 
mer. The objects of those campaigns had been frustrated, and 


the hostile designs against the coast of North Carolina and in 
western Virginia, thwarted by the withdrawal of the main body 
of the forces from those regions. 

Northeastern Virginia was freed from the presence of the 
invader. His forces had withdrawn to the intrenchments of 
Washington. Soon after the arrival of onr army at Leesburg, 
information was received that the hostile troops which had oc- 
cupied Winchester had retired to Harper's Ferry. The war was 
thus transferred from the interior to the frontier, and the sup- 
plies of rich and productive districts were made accessible to our 
army. To prolong a state of affairs, in every way desirable, and 
not to permit the season for active operations to pass without en- 
deavoring to impose further check on our assailant, the best 
course appeared to be the transfer of our army into Maryland. 
Although not properly equipped for invasion, lacking much of 
the material of war, and deficient in transportation, the troops 
poorly provided with clothing, and thousands of them without 
shoes, it was yet believed to be strong enough to detain the op- 
posing army upon the northern frontier until the approach of 
winter should render its advance into Virginia difficult, if not 

The condition of Maryland encouraged the belief that the 
presence of our army, though numerically inferior to that of the 
North, would induce the Washington Government to retain all 
its available force to provide against contingencies which its 
conduct toward the people of that State gave reason to appre- 
hend. At the same time it was hoped that military success 
might afford us an opportunity to aid the citizens of Maryland 
in any efforts they should be disposed to make to recover their 
liberty. The difficulties that surrounded them were fully ap- 
preciated, and we expected to derive more assistance in the 
attainment of our object from the just fears of the Washington 
Government than from any active demonstration on the part 
of the people of Maryland, unless success should enable us to 
give them assurance of continued protection. Influenced by 
these considerations, the army was put in motion. 

It was decided to cross the Potomac east of the Blue Ridge, 
in order, by threatening Washington and Baltimore, to cause the 


enemy to withdraw from the south bank, where his presence 
endangered our communications and the safety of those engaged 
in the removal of our wounded and the captured property from 
the late battle-field. Having accomplished this result, it was 
proposed to move the army into western Maryland, establish 
our communication with Richmond through the Valley of the 
Shenandoah, and, by threatening Pennsylvania, induce the enemy 
to withdraw from our territory for the protection of his own. 

General D. H. Hill's division, being in advance, crossed the 
Potomac, between September 4th and 7th, at the ford near 
Leesburg, and encamped in the vicinity of Frederick. It had 
been supposed that this advance would lead to the evacuation 
of Martinsburg and Harper's Ferry, thus opening the line of 
communication through the Shenandoah Valley. This not hav- 
ing occurred, it became necessary to dislodge the garrisons 
from those positions before concentrating the army west of the 
mountains. For this purpose General Jackson marched very 
rapidly, crossed the Potomac near Williamsport on the 11th, 
sent Hill's division directly to Martinsburg, and disposed of the 
rest of the command so as to cut off retreat to the westward. 
The enemy evacuated Martinsburg and retired to Harper's Ferry 
on the night of the 11th, and Jackson entered the former on 
the 12th. Meanwhile General McLaws had been ordered to 
seize Maryland Heights on the north side of the Potomac, 
opposite Harper's Ferry, and General Walker took possession 
of Loudon Heights, on the east side of the Shenandoah, where 
it unites with the Potomac, and was in readiness to open fire 
upon Harper's Ferry. But McLaws found the heights in pos- 
session of the foe, with infantry and artillery, protected by in- 
trenchments. On the 13th he assailed the works, and after a 
spirited contest they were carried ; the troops made good their 
retreat to Harper's Ferry, and on the next day its investment 
was complete. 

At the same time that the march of these troops upon Har- 
per's Ferry began, the remainder of General Longstreet's com- 
mand and the division of D. H. Hill crossed the South Moun- 
tain and moved toward Boonsboro. General Stuart with the 
cavalry remained east of the mountains to observe the enemy and 


retard his advance. Longstreet continued his march to Hagers- 
town, and Hill halted near Boonsboro to support the cavalry 
and to prevent the force invested at Harper's Ferry from escap- 
ing through Pleasant Valley. The advance of the hostile army 
was then so slow as to justify the belief that the reduction of 
Harper's Ferry would be accomplished and our troops concen- 
trated before they would be called upon to meet the foe. In 
that event it had not been intended to oppose his passage 
through South Mountain, as it was desired to engage him as 
far as possible from his base. But a copy of Lee's order, direct- 
ing the movement of the army from Frederick, happening to 
fall. into the hands of McClellan, disclosed to him the dispo- 
sition of our forces. He immediately began to push forward 
rapidly, and on the afternoon of the 13th was reported as ap- 
proaching the pass in South Mountain on the Boonsboro and 
Frederick road. General Stuart's cavalry impeded his progress, 
and time was thus gained for preparations to oppose his advance. 
In Taylor's "Four Years with General Lee" some facts 
relative to this lost order are stated. An order of battle was 
issued, stating in detail the position and duty assigned to each 
command of the army : 

"It was the custom to send copies of such orders, marked 
' confidential,' to the commanders of separate corps or divisions 
only, and to place the address of such separate commander in the 
bottom left-hand corner of the sheet containing the order. Gen- 
eral D. H. Hill was in command of a division which had not been 
attached to nor incorporated with either of the two wings of the 
Army of Northern Virginia. A copy of the order was, therefore, 
in the usual course, sent to him. After the evacuation of Fred- 
erick City by our forces, a copy of General Lee's order was found 
in a deserted camp by a soldier, and was soon in the hands of 
General McClellan. The copy of the order, it was stated at the 
time, was addressed to * General D. H. Hill, commanding division.' 
General Hill has assured me that it could not have been his copy, 
because he still has the original order received by him in his pos- 
session." * 

* To these remarks Colonel W. H. Taylor adds the following note : " Colonel 
Venable, one of my associates on the staff of General Lee, says in regard to this 


General D. H. Hill guarded the Boonsboro Gap, and Long- 
street was ordered to support him, in order to prevent a force 
from penetrating the mountains at this point, in the rear of 
McLaws, so as to relieve the garrison at Harper's Ferry. Early 
on the 14th a large body of the enemy attempted to force its 
way to the rear of the position held by Hill, by a road south of 
the Boonsboro and Frederick turnpike. The small command 
of Hill, with Garland's brigade, repelled. the repeated assaults 
of the army, and held it in check for five hours. Longstreet, 
leaving a brigade at Hagerstown, hurried to the assistance of 
Hill, and reached the scene of action between 3 and 4 p. m. 
The battle continued with great animation until night. On 
the south of the turnpike the assailant was driven back some 
distance, and his attack on the center repulsed with loss. Dark- 
ness put an end to the contest. 

The effort to force the pass of the mountain had failed, but 
it was manifest that without reinforcements Lee could not haz- 
ard a renewal of the engagement ; for McClellan, by his great 
superiority of numbers, could easily turn either flank. Infor- 
mation was also received that another large body of his troops 
had, during the afternoon, forced its way through Cram|)ton 
Gap, only five miles in rear of McLaws. Under these circum- 
stances it was determined to retire to Sharpsburg, where we 
would be on the flank and rear of the enemy should he move 
against McLaws, and where we could more readily unite with 
the rest of our army. This movement, skillfully and efficiently 
covered by the cavalry brigade of General Fitzhugh Lee, was 
accomplished without interruption. The advance of McClel- 
lan 's army did not appear on the west side of the pass at Boons- 
boro until about 8 a. m. on the following morning. 

The resistance that our troops had offered there secured suf- 
ficient time to enable General Jackson to complete the reduc- 

matter : ' This is very easily explained. One copy was sent directly to Hill from 
headquarters. General Jackson sent him a copy, as he regarded Hill in his com- 
mand. It is Jackson's copy, in his own handwriting, which General Hill has. The 
other was undoubtedly left carelessly by some one at Hill's quarters.' " Says Gen- 
eral McClellan, " Upon learning the contents of this order, I at once gave orders 
for a vigorous pursuit." — (General McClellan's testimony, " Report on the Conduct 
of the War," Part I, p. 440.) 


tion of Harper's Ferry. The attack on the garrison began at 
dawn on the 15th. A rapid and vigorous fire was opened by 
the batteries of General Jackson, in conjunction with those on 
Maryland and Loudon Heights. In about two hours, the gar- 
rison, consisting of more than eleven thousand men, surren- 
dered. Seventy-three pieces of artillery, about thirteen thou- 
sand small-arms, and a large quantity of military stores fell 
into our hands. General A. P. Hill remained formally to re- 
ceive the surrender of the troops and to secure the captured 

The commands of Longstreet and D. H. Hill reached Sharps- 
burg on the morning of the 15th. General Jackson arrived early 
on the 16th, and General J. G. "Walker came up in the after- 
noon. The movements of General McLaws were embarrassed 
by the presence of the enemy in Crampton Gap. He retained 
his position until the 14th, when, finding that he was not to be 
attacked, he gradually withdrew his command toward the Po- 
tomac, then crossed at Harper's Ferry, and marched by way of 
Shepardstown. His progress was slow, and he did not reach the 
battle-field at Sharpsburg until some time after the engagement 
of the 17th began. 

At this time the letter, from which the following extract is 
made, was addressed by me to General K. E. Lee, commanding 
our forces in Maryland : 

" Sir : It is deemed proper that you should, in accordance with 
established usage, announce, by proclamation, to the people of 
Maryland, the motives and purposes of your presence among them 
at the head of an invading army ; and you are instructed in such 
proclamation to make known," etc. 

In obedience to instructions, General Lee issued the follow- 
ing address : 

" Headquarters, Army of Northern Virginia, near Frederick, ) 

September 8, 1862. ) 

" To the People op Maryland : It is right that you should 
know the purpose that has brought the army under my command 
within the limits of your State, so far as that purpose concerns 


" The people of the Confederate States have long watched, with 
the deepest sympathy, the wrongs and outrages that have been 
inflicted upon the citizens of a Commonwealth allied to the States 
of the South by the strongest social, political, and commercial ties, 
and reduced to the condition of a conquered province. 

" Under the pretense of supporting the Constitution, but in 
violation of its most valuable provisions, your citizens have been 
arrested and imprisoned upon no charge, and contrary to the forms 
of law. 

" A faithful and manly protest against this outrage, made by a 
venerable and illustrious Marylander, to whom in his better days 
no citizen appealed for right in vain, was treated with scorn and 

" The government of your chief city has been usurped by armed 
strangers ; your Legislature has been dissolved by the unlawful 
arrest of its members ; freedom of the press and of speech has 
been suppressed ; words have been declared offenses by an arbi- 
trary decree of the Federal Executive ; and citizens ordered to 
be tried by military commissions for what they may dare to 

" Believing that the people of Maryland possess a spirit too 
lofty to submit to such a Government, the people of the South have 
long wished to aid you in throwing off this foreign yoke, to enable 
you again to enjoy the inalienable rights of freemen, and restore 
the independence and sovereignty of your State. 

" In obedience to this wish, our army has come among you, and 
is prepared to assist you with the power of its arms in regaining 
the rights of which you have been so unjustly despoiled. 

" This, citizens of Maryland, is our mission, so far as you are 
concerned. No restraint upon your free-will is intended ; no in- 
timidation will be allowed within the limits of this army at least. 
Mary landers shall once more enjoy their ancient freedom of thought 
and speech. We know no enemies among you, and will protect 
all of you in every opinion. 

" It is for you to decide your destiny freely and without con- 
straint. This army will respect your choice, whatever it may be ; 
and while the Southern people will rejoice to welcome you to your 
natural position among them, they will only welcome you when 
you come of your own free will. 

"R. E. Lee, General commanding." 


The commands of Longstreet and D. H. Hill, on their ar- 
rival at Sharpsburg, were placed in position along the range of 
hills between the town and the Antietam, nearly parallel to the 
course of that stream, Longstreet on the right of the road to 
Boonsboro and Hill on the left. The advance of the enemy 
was delayed by the determined opposition he encountered from 
Fitzhugh Lee's cavalry, and he did not appear on the opposite 
side of the Antietam until about 2 p. m. During the afternoon 
the batteries on each side were partially engaged. On the 16th 
the artillery-fire became warm, and continued throughout the 
day. A column crossed the Antietam beyond the reach of 
our batteries and menaced our left. In anticipation of this 
movement Hood's two brigades had been transferred from the 
right and posted between D. H. Hill and the Hagerstown road. 
General Jackson was now directed to take position on Hood's 
left, and formed his line with his right resting on the Hagers- 
town road and his left extending toward the Potomac, protected 
by General Stuart with the cavalry and horse-artillery. General 
Walker with his two brigades was stationed on Longstreet's 
right. As evening approached, the enemy fired more vigorously 
with his artillery and bore down heavily with his infantry upon 
Hood, but the attack was gallantly repulsed. At 10 p. m. Hood's 
troops were relieved by the brigades of Lawton and Trimble, of 
Ewell's division, commanded by General Lawton. Jackson's 
own division, under General J. K. Jones, was on Lawton' s left, 
supported by the remaining brigades of Ewell. 

At early dawn on the 17th his artillery opened vigorously 
from both sides of the Antietam, the heaviest fire being directed 
against our left. Under cover of this fire a large force of infan- 
try attacked General Jackson's division. They were met by his 
troops with the utmost resolution, and for several hours the con- 
flict raged with intense fury and alternate success. Our troops 
advanced with great spirit ; the enemy's lines were repeatedly 
broken and forced to retire. Fresh troops, however, soon re- 
placed those that were beaten, and Jackson's men were in turn 
compelled to fall back. Nearly all the field officers, with a large 
proportion of the men, were killed or wounded. Our troops 
slowly yielded to overwhelming numbers, and fell back, obsti- 


nately disputing every point. General Early, in command of 
Swell's division, was ordered with his brigade to take the place 
of Jackson's division, most of which was withdrawD, its am- 
munition being nearly exhausted and its numbers much re- 
duced. The battle now raged with great violence, the small 
commands under Hood and Early holding their ground against 
many times their own infantry force and under a tremendous 
lire of artillery. Hood was reenforced ; then the enemy's lines 
were broken and driven back, but fresh numbers advanced to 
their support, and they began to gain ground. The desperate 
resistance they encountered, however, delayed their progress 
until the troops of McLaws arrived, and those of General J. G. 
Walker could be brought from the right. Hood's brigade, 
though it had suffered extraordinary loss, only withdrew to re- 
plenish their ammunition, their supply being entirely exhausted. 
They were relieved by Walker's command, who immediately 
attacked vigorously, driving his combatant back with much 
slaughter. Upon the arrival of the reinforcements under Mc- 
Laws, General Early attacked resolutely the large force opposed 
to him. McLaws advanced at the same time, and the forces 
before them were driven back in confusion, closely followed by 
our troops beyond the position occupied at the beginning of the 

The attack on our left was speedily followed by one in 
heavy force on the center. This was met by part of Walker's 
division and the brigades of G. B. Anderson and Eodes, of D. 
H. Hill's command, assisted by a few pieces of artillery. Gen- 
eral E. H. Anderson's division came to Hill's support, and 
formed in rear of his line. At this time, by a mistake of orders, 
Eodes's brigade was withdrawn from its position ; during the 
absence of that command a column pressed through the gap 
thus created, and G. B. Anderson's brigade was broken and re- 
tired. The heavy masses moved forward, being opposed only 
by four pieces of artillery, supported by a few hundred of our 
men belonging to different brigades rallied by Hill and other 
officers, and parts of Walker's and E. H. Anderson's com- 
mands. Colonel Cooke, with the Twenty-seventh North Caro- 
lina Eegiment, stood boldly in line without a cartridge. The 


firm front presented by this small force and the well-directed 
fire of the artillery checked the progress of the enemy, and in 
about an hour and a half he retired. Another attack was made 
soon afterward a little farther to the right, but was repulsed by 
Miller's guns, of the Washington Artillery, which continued to 
hold the ground until the close of the engagement, supported 
by a part of R. H. Anderson's troops. The corps designated 
the Washington Artillery was composed of Louisiana batteries, 
organized at New Orleans in the beginning of the war, under 
Colonel I. B. "Walton. It was distinguished by its services in 
the first great battle of Manassas, and in nearly every important 
conflict, as well of the army of Virginia as that of Tennessee, 
to the close of the war. In the official reports and in the tradi- 
tions of both armies the names of the batteries of the Washing- 
ton Artillery have frequent and honorable mention. 

While the attack on the center and left was in progress, 
repeated efforts were made to force the passage of the bridge 
over the Antietam, opposite the right wing of Longstreet, com- 
manded by Brigadier-General D. R. Jones. The bridge was 
defended by General Toombs with two regiments of his bri- 
gade and the batteries of General Jones. This small com- 
mand repulsed five different assaults, made by a greatly su- 
perior force. In the afternoon the enemy, in large numbers, 
having passed the stream, advanced against General Jones, who 
held the ridge with less than two thousand men. After a de- 
termined and brave resistance, he was forced to give way, and 
the summit was gained. General A. P. Hill, having arrived 
from Harper's Ferry, was now ordered to reenforce General 
Jones. He moved to his support and attacked the force now 
flushed with success. Hill's batteries were thrown forward 
land united their fire with those of Jones, and one of D. H. 
Hill's also opened with good effect from the left of the Boons- 
boro road. The progress of the enemy was immediately arrest- 
ed, and his line began to waver. At this moment General 
Jones ordered Toombs to charge the flank, while Archer, sup- 
ported by Branch and Gregg, moved on the front of the 
[enemy's line. After a brief resistance, he broke and retreated 
(in confusion toward the Antietam, pursued by the troops of Hill 


and Jones, until he reached the protection of the batteries on 
the opposite side of the river. 

It was now nearly dark, and McClellan had massed a num- 
ber of batteries to sweep the approach to the Antietam, on the 
opposite side of which the corps of General Porter, which had 
not been engaged, now appeared to dispute our advance. Our 
troops were much exhausted, and greatly reduced in numbers 
by fatigue and the casualties of battle. Under these circum- 
stances it was deemed injudicious to push our advantage further 
in the face of these fresh troops added to an army previously 
much exceeding the number of our own. Ours were accord- 
ingly recalled, and formed on the line originally held by Gen- 
eral Jones. The repulse on the right ended the engagement, 
a protracted and sanguinary conflict in which every effort to 
dislodge us from our position had been defeated with severe 

This great battle was fought by less than forty thousand 
men on our side, all of whom had undergone the greatest labors 
and hardships in the field and on the march. Nothing could 
surpass the determined valor with which they met the large 
army of the enemy, fully supplied and equipped, and the result 
reflected the highest credit on the officers and men engaged.* 

On the 18th our forces occupied the position of the preced- 
ing day, except in the center, where our line was drawn in 
about two hundred yards. Our ranks were increased by the 
arrival of a number of troops, who had not been engaged the 
day before, and, though still too weak to assume the offensive, 
Lee waited without apprehension a renewal of the attack. The 
day passed without any hostile demonstration. During the 
night of the 18th our army was withdrawn to the south side 
of the Potomac, crossing near Shepardstown, without loss or 
molestation. The enemy advanced on the next morning, but 
was held in check by General Fitzhugh Lee with his cavalry. 
The condition of our troops now demanded repose, and the 
army marched to the Opequan, near Martinsburg, where it 
remained several days, and then moved to the vicinity of Bun 
ker Hill and Winchester. General McClellan seemed to 

* Report of General R. E. Lee. 



concentrating in and near Harper's Ferry, but made no forward 

The contest on our left in this battle was the most violent. 
This and the deprivation of our men are very forcibly shown 
in the following account of Major-General Hood : * 

" On the morning of the 15th my forces were again in motion. 
My troops at this period were sorely in need of shoes, clothing, 
and food. We had had issued to us no meat for several days, and 
little or no bread ; the men had been forced to subsist principally 
on green corn and green apples. ]STevertheless, they were in high 
spirits and defiant as we contended with the advanced guard 
of McClellan on the loth and forenoon of the 16th. During the 
afternoon of this day I was ordered, after great fatigue and hun- 
ger endured by my soldiers, to take position near the Hagerstown 
turnpike, in open field in front of the Dunkard church. General 
Hooker's corps crossed the Antietam, swung round with its front 
on the pike, and about an hour before sunset encountered my 
division. I had stationed one or two batteries on a hillock in a 
meadow, near the edge of a corn-field, and just by the pike. The 
Texas Brigade had been disposed on the left, and that of Law on 
the right. We opened fire, and a spirited action ensued, which 
lasted till a late hour in the night. When the firing had in a 
great measure ceased, we were so close to the enemy that we could 
distinctly hear him massing his heavy bodies in our immediate front. 

" The extreme suffering of my troops for want of food induced 
me to ride back to General Lee, and request him to send two or 
more brigades to our relief, at least for the night, in order that 
the soldiers might have a chance to cook their meager rations. 
He said that he would cheerfully do so, but he knew of no com- 
mand that could be spared for the purpose ; he, however, sug- 
gested that I should see General Jackson, and endeavor to obtain 
assistance from him. After riding a long time in search of the 
latter, I finally discovered him alone, lying upon the ground asleep 
by the root of a tree. I aroused him, and made known the half- 
starved condition of my troops ; he immediately ordered Law- 
ton's, Trimble's, and Hays's brigades to our relief. He exacted of 
me, however, a promise that I would come to the support of these 
forces the moment I was called upon. I quickly rode off in search 

* "Advance and Retreat," by J. B. Hood, p. 41. 


of my wagons that the men might prepare and cook their flour, as 
we were still without meat ; unfortunately, the night was then far 
advanced, and, although every effort was made in the darkness to 
get the wagons forward, dawn of the morning of the 17th broke 
upon us before many of the men had time to do more than pre- 
pare the dough. Soon, thereafter, an officer of Lawton's staff 
dashed up to me, saying, l General Lawton sends his compliments, 
with the request that you come at once to his support.' * To 
arms ! ' was instantly sounded, and quite a large number of my 
brave soldiers were again obliged to march to the front, leaving 
their uncooked rations in camp. 

" Not far distant in our front were drawn up, in close array, 
heavy columns of Federal infantry ; not less than two corps were 
in sight to oppose my small command, numbering approximately 
two thousand effectives. However, with the trusty Law on my 
right, in the edge of the wood, and the gallant Colonel Wafford 
in command of the Texas Brigade on the left, near the pike, we 
moved forward to the assault. Notwithstanding the overwhelming 
odds of over ten to one against us, we drove the enemy from the 
wood and corn-field back upon his reserves, and forced him to 
abandon his guns on our left. This most deadly combat raged 
till our last round of ammunition was expended. The First Texas j 
Regiment had lost in the corn-field fully two thirds of its number ; } - 
and whole ranks of brave men, whose deeds were unrecorded save 
in the hearts of loved ones at home, were mowed down in heaps 
to the right and left. Never before was I so continually troubled 
with fear that my horse would further injure some wounded 
fellow-soldier lying helpless upon the ground. Our right flank, 
during this short but seemingly long space of time, was toward 
the main line of the Federals, and, after several ineffectual efforts 
to procure reinforcements and our last shot had been fired, I or- 
dered my troops back to Dunkard church for the same reason 
which had previously compelled Lawton, Hays, and Trimble to 
retire (a want of cartridges). Upon the arrival of McLaws's di- 
vision we marched to the rear, renewed our supply of ammunition, 
and returned to our position in the wood near the church, which 
ground we held till a late hour in the afternoon, when we moved 
somewhat farther to the right and bivouacked for the night. 
With the close of this bloody day ceased the hardest-fought bat- 
tle of the war." 


The following account of Colonel Taylor, in his "Four 
Years with General Lee," is more comprehensive, embracing 
the other forces besides Hood's brigade : 

" On the afternoon of the 16th, General McClellan directed 
an attack by Hooker's corps on the Confederate left — Hood's two 
brigades — and during the whole of the 17th the battle was waged, 
with varying intensity, along the entire line. When the issue 
was first joined, on the afternoon of the 16th, General Lee had 
with him less than eighteen thousand men, consisting of the com- 
mands of Longstreet and D. H. Hill, the two divisions of Jack- 
son, and two brigades under Walker. Couriers were sent to 
the rear to hurry up the divisions of A. P. Hill, Anderson, and 
McLaws, hastening from Harper's Ferry, and these several com- 
mands, as they reached the front at intervals during the day, on 
the 17th, were immediately deployed and put to work. Every 
man was engaged. We had no reserve. 

" The fighting was heaviest and most continuous on the Con- 
federate left. It is established by Federal evidence that the three 
corps of Hooker, Mansfield, and Sumner were completely shat- 
tered in the repeated but fruitless efforts to turn this flank, and 
two of these corps were rendered useless for further aggressive 
movements. The aggregate strength of the attacking column at 
this point reached forty thousand men, not counting the two 
divisions of Franklin's corps, sent at a late hour in the day to 
rescue the Federal right from the impending danger of being 
itself destroyed ; while the Confederates, from first to last, had 
less than fourteen thousand men on this flank, consisting of Jack- 
son's two divisions, McLaws's division, and the two small divisions, 
of two brigades each, under Hood and Walker, with which to 
resist their fierce and oft-repeated assaults. The disproportion in 
the center and on our right was as great as, or even more decided 
than, on our left." 

In the " Report of Committee on the Conduct of the War," 
Part I, p. 368, General Sumner testifies as follows : 

" General Hooker's corps was dispersed ; there is no question 
about that. I sent one of my staff-officers to find where they 
were, and General Rickets, the only officer he could find, said that 
he could not raise three hundred men of the corps. There were 


troops lying down on the left, which I took to belong to Mans- 
field's command. In the mean time General Mansfield had been 
killed, and a portion of his corps bad also been thrown into con- 

The testimony of General McClellan, in the same report, 
Part I, p. 441, is to the same effect : 

" The next morning (the 18th) I found that our loss had been 
so great, and there was so much disorganization in some of the 
commands, that I did not consider it proper to renew the attack 
that day, especially as I was sure of the arrival that day of two 
fresh divisions, amounting to about fifteen thousand men. As an 
instance of the condition of some of the troops that morning, 
I happen to recollect the returns . of the First Corps, General 
Hooker's, made on the morning of the 18th, by which there were 
thirty-five hundred men reported present for duty. Four days 
after that, the returns of the same corps showed thirteen thousand 
five hundred." 

On the night of the 19th our forces crossed the Potomac, 
and some brigades of the enemy followed. In the morning 
General A. P. Hill, who commanded the rear-guard, was or- 
dered to drive them back. Having disposed his forces, an 
attack was made, and, as the foe massed in front of General 
Pender's brigade and endeavored to turn his flank, General 
Hill says, in his report : 

"A simultaneous daring charge was made, and the enemy 
driven pell-mell into the river. Then commenced the most ter- 
rible slaughter that this war has yet witnessed. The broad sur- 
face of the Potomac was blue with the floating bodies of our foe. 
But few escaped to tell the tale. By their own account, they lost 
three thousand men killed and drowned from one brigade alone. 
Some two hundred prisoners were taken. " 

General McClellan states, in his official report, that he had 
in this battle, in action, 87,164 men of all arms. 

The official reports of the commanding officers of our forces, 
made at the time, show our total effective infantry to have been 
27,255. The estimate made for the cavalry and artillery, which 

1862] OUR CROP OF COTTON. 343 

is rather excessive, is 8,000. This would make General Lee's 
entire strength 35,255. 

The official return of the Army of Northern Virginia, on 
September 22, 1862, after its return to Virginia, and when the 
stragglers had rejoined their commands, shows present for duty, 
36,187 infantry and artillery ; the cavalry, of which there is no re- 
port, would perhaps increase these figures to 40,000 of all arms.* 

The return of the United States Army of the Potomac on 
September 20, 1862, shows present for duty, at that date, of 
the commands that participated in the battle of Sharpsburg, 
85,930 of all arms.f 

The loss of the enemy at Boonsboro and Sharpsburg was 


Efforts of the Enemy to obtain our Cotton. — Demands of European Manufacturers 
— Thousands of Operatives resorting to the Poor-Rates. — Complaint of her 
Majesty's Secretary of State. — Letter of Mr. Seward. — Promise to open all the 
Channels of Commerce. — Series of Measures adopted by the United States. — 
Act of Congress. — Its Provisions. — Its Operation. — Unconstitutional Measures. 
— President Lincoln an Accomplice. — Not authorized by a State of War. — Case 
before Chief-Justice Taney. — His Decision. — Expeditions sent by the United 
States Government to seize Localities. — An Act providing for the Appointment 
of Special Agents to seize Abandoned or Captured Property. — The Views of 
General Grant. — Weakening his Strength One Third. — Our Country divided into 
Districts, and Federal Agents appointed. — Continued to the Close of the War. 

A class of measures was adopted by the Government of the 
United States, the object of which was practically and effectually 
to plunder us of a large portion of our crop of cotton, and secure 
its transportation to the manufacturers of Europe. The foreign 
necessity for our cotton is represented in these words of her 
Majesty's Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, on May 6, 
1862, when speaking of the blockade of our ports : 

* Taylor's " Four Years with General Lee." 

f Official return from Adjutant-General's office, United States Army. " Report 
of Committee on Conduct of the War," Part I, p. 492. 
% Ibid., p. 42. 


"Thousands are now obliged to resort to the poor-rates for 
subsistence, owing to this blockade, yet her Majesty's Govern- 
ment have not sought to take advantage of the obvious imperfec- 
tions of this blockade, in order to declare it ineffective. They 
have, to the loss and detriment of the British nation, scrupulously 
observed the duties of Great Britain to a friendly state." 

The severity of the distress thus alluded to was such, both 
in Great Britain and France, as to produce an intervention of 
the Governments of those countries to alleviate it. Instead, 
however, of adopting those measures required in the exercise of 
justice to the Confederacy, and which would have been sus- 
tained by the law of nations, by declaring the blockade " inef- 
fective," as it really was, they sought, through informal appli- 
cations to Mr. Seward, the Secretary of State for the United 
States, to obtain opportunities for an increased exportation of 
cotton from the Confederacy. This is explained by Mr. Seward 
in a letter to Mr. Adams, the Minister at London, dated July 
28, 1862, in which he writes as follows : 

" The President has given respectful consideration to the 
desire informally expressed to me by the Governments of Great 
Britain and France for some further relaxation of the blockade in 
favor of that trade. They are not rejected, but are yet held under 
consideration, with a view to ascertain more satisfactorily whether 
they are really necessary, and whether they can be adopted with- 
out such serious detriment to our military operations as would 
render them injurious rather than beneficial to the interests of all 

In the same letter Mr. Seward had previously said : 

" We shall speedily open all the channels of commerce, and 
free them from military embarrassments ; and cotton, so much 
desired by all nations, will flow forth as freely as heretofore. We 
have ascertained that there are three and a half millions of bales 
yet remaining in the region where it was produced, though large 
quantities of it are yet unginned and otherwise unprepared for 
market. We have instructed the military authorities to favor, 
so far as they can consistently with the public safety, its prepara- 
tion for and dispatch to the markets where it is so much wanted." 


It has been stated elsewhere in these pages that " it became 
apparent that by some understanding, express or tacit, Europe 
had decided to leave the initiative in all actions touching the 
contest on this continent to the two powers just named (Great 
Britain and France), who were recognized to have the largest 
interest involved." By the preceding extracts the demands 
of the Governments of Great Britain and France for increased 
facilities, by which to obtain a greater supply of cotton, are 
evident ; at the same time the determination of the Govern- 
ment of the United States to fulfill those demands is apparent, 
although it placed itself under the necessity of fitting out some 
military expeditions against those portions of our territory 
where it was supposed the foraging for cotton would be likely 
to meet with the greatest success. 

By reference to the series of measures adopted by the Gov- 
ernment of the United States to secure possession of our cotton, 
it will be seen that it was inaugurated as early as July 13, 1861. 
This was within ten days after the commencement of the first 
and extra session of Congress, under the Administration of 
President Lincoln. It is scarcely credible that that Govern- 
ment, at so early a day, foresaw the pressing demand from 
Europe for cotton which would ensue a year later. Yet it 
would seem that we must suppose such to have been its fore- 
sight, or else conclude that the first of these measures was the 
inauguration of a grand scheme for the plunder of our cotton- 
crop, to enrich whomsoever it might concern. 

The act of the United States Congress of July 13, 1861, 
above mentioned, was entitled " An act to provide for the col- 
lection of duties on imports, and for other purposes." Under 
the " other purposes " the important features of the act are con- 
tained. Section 5 provides that — 

"when said insurgents claim to act under the authority of any 
State or States, and such claim is not disclaimed or repudiated by 
the persons exercising the functions of government in such State 
or States, or in the part or parts thereof in which said combi- 
nation exists, or such insurrection suppressed by said State or 
States, then and in such case it may and shall be lawful for the 
President, by proclamation, to declare that the inhabitants of such 


State, or any section or part thereof, where such insurrection ex- 
ists, are in a state of insurrection against the United States, and 
thereupon all commercial intercourse by and between the same 
and the citizens thereof and the citizens of the rest of the United 
States shall cease, and be unlawful, so long as such condition of 
hostility shall continue ; and all goods and chattels, wares and 
merchandise, coming from said State or section into the other 
parts of the United States, and all proceeding to such State or 
section, by land or water, shall, together with the vessel or vehicle 
conveying the same, or conveying persons to or from such State 
or section, be forfeited to the United States : Provided, however, 
That the President may, in his discretion, license and permit com- 
mercial intercourse with any such part of said State or section, 
the inhabitants of which are so declared in a state of insurrection, 
in such articles, and for such time, and by such persons, as he, in 
his discretion, may think most conducive to the public interest ; 
and such intercourse, so far as by him licensed, shall be conducted 
and carried on only in pursuance of rules and regulations pre- 
scribed by the Secretary of the Treasury. And the Secretary of 
the Treasury may appoint such officers at places where officers of 
the customs are not now authorized by law, as may be needed to 
carry into effect such licenses, rules, and regulations." 

It was provided in section 9 as follows : 

" Proceedings on seizures for forfeitures, under this act, may 
be pursued in the courts of the United States in any district into 
which the property so seized may be taken, and proceedings insti- 

It will be seen, by reference to the provisions of this section, 
that the President of the United States was authorized to issue 
his proclamation, declaring the inhabitants of any of our States, 
or of a portion of any one of them, to be in insurrection, and 
thereupon all commercial intercourse became unlawful, and was 
required to cease, and all goods and chattels, wares and mer- 
chandise, on the way to, or from, the State or part of a State, 
were forfeited to the United States, together with the vessel, or 
vehicle, in which they were conveyed. Two effects follow this 
proclamation : first, the cessation of all commercial intercourse 


with the citizens of the United States ; second, the forfeit- 
ure of all goods in transitu. When this condition has been 
reached, the act then authorizes the President, in his discretion, 
by license, to reopen the trade in such articles, and for such 
time, and by such persons, as he may think most conducive to 
the public interest. The articles of trade were to be chiefly cot- 
ton and tobacco ; the time during which it might be continued 
was evidently so long as it could be used for the purpose in 
view ; the persons were those ' who would most skillfully ad- 
vance the end to be accomplished ; and the public interest was 
the collection and transportation of the cotton to the European 

One may search the Constitution of the United States in 
vain to find any grant of power to Congress, by which it could 
be authorized to pass this act ; much less to find any authority 
conferred upon the President to approve the act, or to justify 
him in a violation of the oath he had taken to support and main- 
tain the provisions of the Constitution. Congress was guilty of 
a most flagrant usurpation by the passage of the act, and the 
President, instead of being a check upon their unconstitutional 
measures, for which object the veto power was granted to him, 
became, by his approval, an accomplice in their usurpation. For 
nothing is more evident than that it is one of the powers re- 
served to the States to regulate the commercial intercourse be- 
tween their citizens, to the extent even of the establishment of 
inspection and quarantine regulations. The former of these is 
a benefit to commerce, and the latter, in some special cases, only 
retards it temporarily, to secure the health of a community. 

Neither did a state of war authorize the Government of the 
United States to interfere with the commercial intercourse be- 
tween the citizens of the States, although under the law of na- 
tions it might be so justified with regard to foreign enemies. 
But this relation it persistently refused to concede to the Con- 
federate States or to their citizens. It constantly asserted that 
they were its subjects, in a state of insurrection ; and, if so, they 
were equally entitled to the provisions of the Constitution for 
their protection as well as to its penalties. Still less could the 
Government make an absolute forfeiture of the goods seized, 


as has already been shown when treating of the Confiscation 

But that a state of war did not enlarge the powers of the 
Government, as was assumed by this act, was expressly decided 
by Chief- Justice Taney, in a case that arose nnder this act. The 
Secretary of the Treasury issued the regulations for trade, as the 
act assumed the power to authorize him to do, in the section 
presented on a previous page. One Carpenter neglected or re- 
fused to obtain the permit required, and his goods were seized. 
He contested the right of seizure, and the Chief-Justice gave a 
decision at Baltimore, in May, 1863. He said : 

" If these regulations had been made directly by Congress, they 
could not be sustained by a court of justice, whose duty it is to 
administer the law according to the Constitution of the United 
States. For from the commencement of the Government to this 
day it has been admitted on all hands, and repeatedly decided by 
the Supreme Court, that the United States have no right to inter- 
fere with the internal and domestic trade of a State. They have 
no right to compel it to pass through their custom-houses, nor to 
tax it. This is so plainly set forth in the Constitution, that it has 
never been supposed to be open to controversy or question. Un- 
doubtedly, the United States authorities may take proper meas- 
ures to prevent trade or intercourse with the enemy. But it does 
not by any means follow that they disregard the limits of all their 
own powers as prescribed by the Constitution, or the rights and 
powers reserved to the States and the people. 

" A civil war, or any other, does not enlarge the powers of the 
Federal Government over the States or the people beyond what 
the compact has given to it in time of war. A state of war does 
not annul the tenth article of the amendment to the Constitution, 
which declares that ' the powers not delegated to the United States 
by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are re- 
served to the States respectively, or to the people.' Nor does a 
civil war, or any other war, absolve the judicial department from 
the duty of maintaining with an even and firm hand the rights 
and powers of the Federal Government, and of the States, and of 
the citizens, as they are written in the Constitution, which every 
judge is sworn to support. Upon the whole the Court is of opinion 
that the regulations in question are illegal and void, and that the 


seizure of the goods of Carpenter, because lie refused to comply 
with them, can not be sustained. The judgment of the District 
Court must, therefore, be reversed, and the goods delivered to the 
claimant, his agent, or proctor." 

The proclamation of the President required by the act was 
issued on August 16, 1861, declaring certain States and parts of 
States to be in insurrection, etc. Under it some licenses were 
issued to places in Kentucky and Missouri where the United 
States forces were located, without any fruitful results. Some 
strong military and naval expeditions were fitted out to invade 
us and occupy the ports where cotton and other valuable prod- 
ucts were usually shipped. An advance was made up the Cum- 
berland and Tennessee Rivers and down the Mississippi, as has 
been stated elsewhere. The ports of Beaufort, North Carolina, 
Port Royal, South Carolina, and New Orleans, Louisiana, were 
declared by proclamation of the President of the United States to 
be open for trade under the new system. Licenses were granted 
to foreign vessels by United States consuls and to coasting ves- 
sels by the Treasury Department, and the blockade was relaxed 
so far as related to those ports, except as " to persons, property, 
and information contraband of war." Collectors were appointed 
at the above-mentioned ports, and a circular was addressed to 
the foreign Ministers at Washington announcing the reopening 
of communication with conquered Southern localities. 

Again, on March 3, 1863, an act was passed which author- 
ized the Secretary of the Treasury to appoint special agents to 
receive and collect all abandoned or captured property in any 
State or portion of a State designated as in insurrection. Un- 
der this act a paper division of the whole of our territory was 
made into five special districts, and to each a special agent was 
appointed with numerous assistants. Abandoned property was 
defined to be that which had been deserted by the owners, or 
that which had been voluntarily abandoned by them to the civil 
or military authorities of the United States. Property which 
had been seized or taken from hostile possession by the military 
or naval forces was also to be turned over to the special agents 
to be sold. All property not transported in accordance with 


the Treasury regulations was forfeitable. All expenses incurred 
in relation to the property were charged upon it. 

The views of General Grant on the operation of this system 
of measures, as tending to retard the success of subjugation, 
which was the object of the war, were presented to the Secre- 
tary of the United States Treasury in a letter dated at Vicks- 
burg on July 21, 1863. He writes : 

"My experience in -West Tennessee has convinced me that any 
trade whatever with the rebellious States is weakening to us at 
least thirty-three per cent, of our force. No matter what restric- 
tions are thrown around trade, if any whatever is allowed, it will 
be made the means of supplying to the enemy what they want. 
Restrictions, if lived up to, make trade unprofitable, and hence 
none but dishonest men go into it. I will venture to say that no 
honest man has made money in West Tennessee in the last year, 
while many fortunes have been made there during the time. The 
people in the Mississippi Valley are now nearly subjugated. Keep 
trade out for a few months, and I doubt not but that the work of 
subjugation will be so complete that trade can be opened freely 
with the States of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi." 

On September 11, 1863, revised regulations were issued by 
the Secretary which divided the country into thirteen districts, 
from Wheeling, West Yirginia, to Natchez, on the Mississippi, 
and a complete system of trade and transportation was organ- 
ized. In December, 1864, new regulations were issued, which 
authorized the purchase of our products at certain points from 
any person with bonds furnished by the Treasury. The prod- 
ucts were sold, transportation was allowed, and the proceeds 
were made to constitute a fund for further purchases. A vig- 
orous traffic sprang up under these regulations, which were sus- 
pended by an order of General Grant, issued on March 10, 
1865, and revoked on April 11th by himself. On April 29, 
1865, all restrictions upon internal, domestic, and coastwise 
commercial intercourse with all the country east of the Missis- 
sippi River were discontinued. 



The Enemy crosses the Potomac and concentrates at Warrenton. — Advances upon 
Fredericksburg. — Its Position. — Our Forces. — The Enemy crosses the Rappa- 
hannock. — Attack on General Jackson. — The Main Attack. — Repulse of the 
Enemy on the Right. — Assaults on the Left. — The Enemy's Columns broke 
and fled. — Recross the River. — Casualties. — Position during the Winter. — 
The Enemy again crosses the Rappahannock. — Also crosses at Kelly's Ford. — 
Converging toward Chancellorsville, to the Rear of our Position. — Inactivity 
on our Front. — Our Forces Concentrate near Chancellorsville and encounter 
Enemy. — Position of the Enemy. — Attempt to turn his Right. — The Enemy 
surprised and driven in the Darkness. — Jackson fired upon and wounded. — 
Stuart in command. — Battle renewed. — Fredericksburg reoccupied. — Attack on 
the Heights. — Repulse of the Enemy. — The Enemy withdraws in the Night. — 
Our Strength. — Losses. — Death of General Jackson. — Another Account. 

About the middle of October, 1862, General McClellan 
crossed the Potomac east of the Blue Ridge and advanced 
southward, seizing the passes of the mountains as he progressed. 
In the latter part of the month he began to incline eastwardly 
from the mountains, moving in the direction of Warrenton, 
about which he finally concentrated, his cavalry being thrown 
forward beyond the Rappahannock in the direction of Culpeper 

On November 15th the enemy was in motion. The indi- 
cations were that Fredericksburg was again to be occupied. 
Sumner's corps had marched in the direction of Falmouth, and 
gunboats and transports had entered Acquia Creek. 

McLaws's and Ransom's divisions were ordered to proceed 
to that city ; and on the 21st it became apparent that the whole 
army — under General Burnside, who had succeeded General 
McClellan — was concentrating on the north side of the Rap- 

About November 26th Jackson was directed to advance 
toward Fredericksburg, and, as some of the enemy's gunboats 
had appeared in the river at Port Royal, and it was possible 
that an attempt might be made to cross in that vicinity, D. H. 
Hill's division was stationed near that place, and the rest of 
Jackson's corps so disposed as to support Hill or Longstreet, as 


occasion might require. The fords of the Rappahannock above 
Fredericksburg were closely guarded by our cavalry, and the 
brigade of General W. H. F. Lee was stationed near Port Royal 
to watch the river above and below. The interval before the 
advance of the foe was employed in strengthening our lines, 
extending from the river about a mile and a half above Fred- 
ericksburg along the range of hills in the rear of the city to the 
Richmond Railroad. As these hills were commanded by the 
opposite heights, in possession of General Burnside's force, 
earthworks were constructed on their crest at the most eligible 
positions for artillery. To prevent gunboats ascending the 
river, a battery, protected by epaulements, was placed on the 
bank four miles below the city. The plain of Fredericksburg 
is so completely commanded by the Stafford Heights, that no 
effectual opposition could be made to the passage of the river 
without exposing our troops to the destructive fire of the nu- 
merous batteries on the opposite heights. At the same time, 
the narrowness of the Rappahannock and its winding course 
presented opportunities for laying down pontoon-bridges at 
points secure from the fire of our artillery. Our position was 
therefore selected with a view to resist an advance after cross- 
ing, and the river was guarded by detachments of sharpshooters 
to impede the laying of pontoons until our army could be pre- 
pared for action. 

Before dawn, on December 11th, General Burnside was in 
motion. About 2 a. m. he commenced preparations to throw 
two bridges over the Rappahannock opposite Fredericksburg, 
and one about a mile and a quarter below, near the mouth of 
Deep Run. From daybreak until 4 p. m., the troops, sheltered 
behind the houses on the river-bank, repelled his repeated 
efforts to lay bridges opposite the town, driving back his work- 
ing parties and their supports with great slaughter. At the 
lower point, where there was no such protection, he was suc- 
cessfully resisted until nearly noon, when, being exposed to 
the severe fire of the batteries on the opposite heights and a 
superior force of infantry on the river-banks, our troops were 
withdrawn, and about 1 p. m. the bridge was completed. Soon 
afterward, one hundred and fifty pieces of artillery opened a 


furious fire upon the city, causing our troops to retire from the 
river-bank about 4 p. m. The enemy then crossed in boats, and 
proceeded rapidly to lay down the bridges. His advance into 
the town was bravely contested until dark, when our troops 
were recalled, the necessary time for concentration having been 

Brigadier-General William Barksdale, who commanded the 
force placed in Fredericksburg to resist the crossing, performed 
that service with his well-known gallantry. The enemy was 
prevented from constructing bridges, and his attempts to cross 
in boats, under the cover of artillery and musketry fire, were, 
repelled until late in the afternoon, when General Barksdale 
was ordered to retire ; he had directed Lieutenant-Colonel Fizer, 
commanding the Seventeenth Mississippi Regiment, of Barks- 
dale's brigade, to select some skillful marksmen, and proceed 
to check the operations of the pioneers, who had commenced 
to lay pontoons above the city. Colonel Fizer described to 
me the novel and bold expedient to which he successfully 
resorted. He said his sharpshooters were placed in rifle-pits, 
on the bank opposite to that from which the bridge was start- 
ed; that his men were instructed to aim only at the bridge- 
builders. At dawn the workmen came forward to lay the cover 
on the bridge ; fire was opened, some were killed, and the rest 
of the party driven ashore. Then the enemy's batteries and 
riflemen opened a heavy fire on his position, when his men 
would sit down in the rifle-pits and remain quiet until the can- 
nonade ceased. Probably under the supposition that our sharp- 
shooters had been driven off, the workmen would return ; our 
sharpshooters would arise and repeat the lesson lately given. 
This, he said, with intervals of about an hour, during which 
a continuous and heavy fire of artillery was kept up, occurred 
nine times, with the same result — a repulse with severe loss ; and 
that, for twelve hours, every attempt to construct a bridge at 
that point was defeated. Then, under orders, they withdrew. 

During the night and the succeeding day the enemy crossed 

in large numbers at and below the town, secured from material 

interruption by a dense fog. Longstreet's corps constituted our 

left, with Anderson's division resting on the river, and those of 



McLaws, Pickett, and Hood extending to the right. A. P. 
Hill, of Jackson's corps, was posted between Hood s right and 
Hamilton's Crossing, on the railroad. His front line occupied 
the edge of a wood. Early and Taliaferro's divisions consti- 
tuted Jackson's second line, D. H. Hill's division his reserve. 
His artillery was distributed along his line in the most eligible 
positions, so as to command the open ground in front. 

Shortly after 9 a. m., the partial rising of the mist disclosed 
a large force moving in line of battle against Jackson. Dense 
masses appeared in front of A. P. Hill, stretching far up the 
river in the direction of Fredericksburg. As they advanced, Ma- 
jor Pellham, of Stuart's horse-artillery, opened a rapid and well- 
directed enfilade fire, which arrested their progress. Four bat- 
teries immediately turned upon him, and, upon his withdrawal, 
the enemy extended his left down the Port Eoyal road, and his 
numerous batteries opened with vigor upon Jackson's line. 
Eliciting no response, his infantry moved forward to seize the 
position occupied by Lieutenant-Colonel Walker. The latter, 
reserving the fire of his fourteen pieces until their line had ap- 
proached within less than eight hundred yards, opened upon it 
with such destructive effect as to cause it to waver and soon re- 
treat in confusion. 

About 1 p. m., the main attack on the right began by a furi- 
ous cannonade, under cover of which three compact lines of 
infantry advanced against Hill's front. They were received 
as before and momentarily checked, but, soon recovering, they 
pressed forward, until, coming within range of our infantry, the 
contest became fierce and bloody. Archer and Lane, who occu- 
pied the edge of a wood, repulsed those portions of the line 
immediately in front of them ; but, before the interval between 
these commands could be closed, the assailants pressed through 
in overwhelming numbers and turned the left of Archer and 
the right of Lane. Attacked in front and flank, two regiments 
of the former and a brigade of the latter, after a brave resist- 
ance, gave way. Archer held his fine until the arrival of rein- 
forcements. Thomas came to the relief of Lane and repulsed 
the column that had broken his line, and drove it back to the 
railroad. In the mean time a large force had penetrated the 


wood as far as Hill's reserve, where it was met by a fire for 
which it was not unprepared. General Hill says : * " The ad- 
vancing columns of the enemy encountered an obstacle at the 
military road which they little expected. Gregg's brigade of 
South Carolinians stood in the way." The advancing Federals 
were allowed to approach quite near, when that brigade poured 
a withering fire into the faces of Meade's men, and Early's di- 
vision from the second line swept forward, and the contest in 
the woods was short and decisive. The enemy was quickly 
routed and driven out with very heavy loss, and, though largely 
reenforced, was pressed back and pursued to the shelter of the 
railroad embankment. Here he was gallantly charged by the 
brigades of Hoke and Atkinson, and driven across the plain to 
his batteries. The attack on Hill's left was repulsed by the 
artillery on that part of the line, against which a hot fire from 
twenty-four guns was directed. The repulse of the foe on our 
right was decisive and the attack was not renewed, but his bat- 
teries kept up an active fire at intervals, and sharpshooters skir- 
mished along the front during the afternoon. 

While these events were transpiring on our right, the enemy, 
in formidable numbers, made repeated and desperate assaults 
upon the left of our line. About 11 a. m., having massed his 
troops under cover of the houses of Fredericksburg, he moved for- 
ward in strong columns to seize Marye's and Willis's Hills. All 
his batteries on the Stafford Heights directed their fire upon the 
positions occupied by our artillery, with a view to silence it, 
and cover the movement of the infantry. Without replying to 
this furious cannonade, our batteries poured a rapid and destruc- 
tive fire into the dense lines of the infantry as they advanced to 
the attack, frequently breaking their ranks, and forcing them to 
retreat to the shelter of the houses. Six times did he, not- 
withstanding the havoc inflicted by our batteries, press on with 
great determination to within one hundred yards of the foot of 
the hill ; but here, encountering the deadly fire of our infantry, 
his columns were broken, and fled in confusion to the town. 
The last assault was made shortly before dark. This effort met 
the fate of those that preceded it, and, when night closed in, 

* " Reports of the Army of Northern Virginia," vol. ii, p. 463. 


his shattered masses had disappeared in the town, leaving the 
field covered with his dead and wounded. 

During the night our lines were strengthened by the con- 
struction of earthworks at exposed points, and preparations made 
to receive the enemy on the next day. The 14th passed, however, 
without a renewal of the attack. The hostile batteries on both 
sides of the river played upon our lines at intervals, our own fir- 
ing but little. On the 15th General Burnside still retained his 
position, apparently ready for battle, but the day passed as the 
preceding. But, on the morning of the 16th, it was discovered 
that he had availed himself of the darkness of the night and 
the prevalence of a violent storm of wind and rain to recross 
the river. The town was immediately reoccupied, and our posi- 
tions on the river-bank resumed. 

In the engagement we captured more than 900 prisoners 
and 9,000 stand of arms. A large quantity of ammunition was 
found in Fredericksburg. On our side 458 were killed and 
3,743 wounded ; total, 4,201. The loss of the enemy was 
1,152 killed, 9,101 wounded, and 3,234 missing ; total, 13,771. 

General Burnside testified before the Committee on the 
Conduct of the War that he " had about 100,000 men on the 
south side of the river, and every single man of them was under, 
artillery-fire, and about half of them were at different times 
formed in columns of attack." * 

Less than 20,000 Confederate troops were actively engaged. 
This number composed about one fourth of the army under 
General Lee. The returns of the Army of Northern Virginia ; 
show that on the 10th of December, 1862, General Lee had 
present for duty 78,228, and, on December 20th, 75,524 of all 

Upon being asked what causes he assigned for the failure of 
his attack, General Burnside replied to the Committee on the 
Conduct of the "War : " It was found impossible to get the men 
up to the works. The enemy's fire was too hot for them." \ 

After the battle of Fredericksburg the Army of Northern 

* " Report of Committee on the Conduct of the War," Part I, p. 656. 

f Taylor's " Four Years with General Lee." 

\ " Report of Committee on the Conduct of the War," Part I, p. 656. 


Yirginia remained encamped on the south side of the Rappa- 
hannock until the latter part of April, 1863. The Federal 
army occupied the north side of the river opposite Fredericks- 
burg, extending to the Potomac. Two brigades of Ander- 
son's division — those of Mahone and Posey — were stationed 
near United States Mine or Bank Mill Ford. The cavalry was 
distributed on both flanks — Fitzhugh Lee's brigade picketing 
the Rappahannock above the mouth of the Rapidan and "W. H. 
F. Lee's near Port Royal. General Longstreet, with two di- 
visions of his corps, was detached for service south of James 
River in February, and did not rejoin the army until after the 
battle of Chancellorsville. Excepting a cavalry engagement 
near Kelly's Ford, on March 17th, nothing of interest transpired 
during this period of inactivity. On April 14, 1863, the ene- 
my's cavalry was concentrating on the upper Rappahannock, 
but his efforts to establish himself on the south side of the 
river were successfully resisted. About the 21st, small bodies 
of infantry appeared at Kelly's Ford and the Rappahannock 
Bridge ; at the same time a demonstration was made oppo- 
site Port Royal. These movements indicated that the army, 
now commanded by Major-General Hooker, was about to re- 
sume active operations. On the 28th, early in the morning, 
the enemy crossed the river in boats near Fredericksburg, laid 
a pontoon-bridge, and built another about a mile below. A 
considerable force crossed on these bridges during the day, and 
was massed under the high banks of the river, which afforded 
protection from our artillery, while the batteries on the opposite 
heights completely commanded the wide plain between our lines 
and the narrow river. As in the first battle at Fredericksburg, 
our dispositions were made with a view to resist a direct ad- 
vance against us. But the indications were that the principal 
effort would be made in some other quarter. On the 29th it 
was reported that he had crossed in force near Kelly's Ford, 
and that a heavy column was moving from Kelly's toward Ger- 
mania Ford on the Rapidan, and another toward Ely's Ford. 
The routes they were pursuing, after crossing the Rapidan, con- 
verged near Chancellorsville, whence several roads led to the 
rear of our position at Fredericksburg. General Anderson pro- 


ceeded to cover these roads on the 29th, but, learning that the 
enemy had crossed the Rapidan and was approaching in strong 
force, he retired early on the next morning to the intersection 
of the Mine and plank roads near Tabernacle Church, and began 
to intrench himself. His rear-guard, as he left Chancellors- 
ville, was attacked by cavalry, but, being vigorously repulsed, 
offered no further opposition to his inarch. 

The enemy on our front near Fredericksburg continued in- 
active, and it was now apparent that the main attack would be 
made upon our flank and rear. It was therefore determined to 
leave sufficient troops to hold our lines, and with the main body 
of the army to give battle to the approaching column. Early's 
division of Jackson's corps and Barksdale's brigade of McLaws's 
division, with part of the reserve artillery under General Pen- 
dleton, were intrusted with the defense of our position at Fred- 
ericksburg, and at midnight on the 30th General McLaws 
marched with the rest of his command toward Chancellorsville. 
General Jackson followed at dawn next morning with the re- 
maining divisions of his corps. He reached the position occu- 
pied by General Anderson at 8 a. m., and immediately began to 
make preparations to advance. At 11 A. m. the troops moved for- 
ward on the plank and old turnpike roads. The enemy was soon 
encountered on both roads, and heavy skirmishing with infantry 
and artillery ensued, our troops pressing steadily forward. A 
strong attack upon McLaws was repulsed with spirit by Semmes's 
brigade ; and General Wright, by direction of General Ander- 
son, diverging to the left of the plank-road, marched by way of 
the unfinished railroad from Fredericksburg to Gordonsville 
and turned the Federal right. His whole line thereupon retreat- 
ed rapidly, vigorously pursued by our troops until they arrived 
within about one mile of Chancellorsville. Here the enemy 
had assumed a position of great natural strength, surrounded on 
all sides by a dense forest filled with a tangled undergrowth, in 
the midst of which breastworks of logs had been constructed 
with trees felled in front so as to form an almost impenetrable 
abatis. His artillery swept the few narrow roads by which his 
position could be approached from the front, and commanded the 
adjacent woods. The left of his line extended from Chancellors- 


ville toward tlie Rappahannock, covering the Bank Mill Ford, 
where he communicated with the north bank of the river bj a 
pontoon-bridge. His right stretched westward along the Ger- 
mania Ford road more than two miles. Darkness was approach- 
ing before the strength and extent of his line could be ascer- 
tained ; and, as the nature of the country rendered it hazardous 
to attack by night, our troops were halted and formed in line of 
battle in front of Chancellorsville at right angles to the plank- 
road, extending on the right to the Mine road, and to the left 
in the direction of the " Furnace." 

It was evident that a direct attack by us would be attended 
with great difficulty and loss, in view of the strength of his po- 
sition and his superiority of numbers. It was therefore resolved 
to endeavor to turn his right flank and gain his rear, leaving 
a force in front to hold him in check and conceal the move- 
ment. The execution of this plan was intrusted to Lieuten- 
ant-General Jackson with his three divisions. The commands 
of Generals McLaws and Anderson, with the exception of "Wil- 
cox's brigade which during the night had been ordered back 
to Banks's Ford, remained in front of the enemy. Early on 
the morning of the 2d General Jackson marched by the Fur- 
nace and Brock roads, his movement being effectually covered 
by Fitzhugh Lee's cavalry under General Stuart in person. As 
the rear of his train was passing the furnace a large force of the 
enemy advanced from Chancellorsville and attempted its cap- 
ture, but this advance was arrested. After a long and fatiguing 
march General Jackson's leading division under General Rodes 
reached the old turnpike about three miles in rear of Chancel- 
lorsville at 4 p. m. As the different divisions arrived, they 
were formed at right angles to the road — Rodes's in front, 
Trimble's, under Brigadier-General Colston, in the second, and 
A. P. Hill's in the third line. At 6 p. m. the advance was or- 
dered. The enemy was taken by surprise, and fled after a brief 
resistance. General Rodes's men pushed forward with great 
vigor and enthusiasm, followed closely by the second and third 
lines. Position after position was carried, the guns captured, 
and every effort of the foe to rally defeated by the impetuous 
rush of our troops. In the ardor of pursuit through the thick 


and tangled woods, the first and second lines at last became min- 
gled and moved on together as one. The fugitives made a stand 
at a line of breastworks across the road, but the troops of Rodes 
and Colston dashed over the intrenchments together, and the 
flight and pursuit were resumed and continued until our advance 
was arrested by the abatis in front of the line of works near the 
central position at Chancellorsville. It was now dark, and Gen- 
eral Jackson ordered the third line under General Hill to ad- 
vance to the front and relieve the troops of Rodes and Colston, 
who were completely blended and in such disorder from their 
advance through intricate woods and over broken ground that 
it was necessary to reform them. As Hill's men moved for- 
ward, General Jackson, with his staff and escort, returning from 
the extreme front, met the skirmishers advancing, and in the 
obscurity of the night were mistaken for the enemy and fired 
upon. Captain Bos well, chief engineer of the corps, and sev- 
eral others, were killed and a number wounded, among whom 
was General Jackson, who was borne from the field. The 
command devolved upon Major-General Hill, whose division 
under General Heth was advanced to the line of intrenchments 
which had been reached by Rodes and Colston. A furious 
fire of artillery was opened upon them, under cover of which 
infantry advanced to the attack, but were handsomely re- 
pulsed. General Hill was soon afterward disabled, and the 
command was turned over to General Stuart. He immediately 
proceeded to reconnoiter the ground and make himself acquaint- 
ed with the disposition of the troops. The darkness of the 
night and the difficulty of moving through the woods and un- 
dergrowth rendered it advisable to defer further operations until 
morning, and the troops rested on their arms in line of battle. 

As soon as the sound of cannon gave notice of Jackson's 
attack on the enemy's right, the troops in front began to press 
strongly on the left to prevent reinforcements being sent to the 
point assailed. They advanced up to the intrenchments, while 
several batteries played with good effect until prevented by the 
increasing darkness. 

Early on the morning of May 3d General Stuart renewed 
the attack upon General Hooker, who had strengthened his right 


wing during the night with additional breastworks, while a large 
number of guns, protected by intrench ments, were posted so as 
to sweep the woods through which our troops had to advance. 
Hill's division was in front, with Colston in the second line, and 
Rodes in the third. The second and third lines soon advanced 
to the support of the first, and the whole became hotly engaged. 
The breastworks at which the attack was suspended on the pre- 
ceding evening were carried by assault, under a terrible fire of 
musketry and artillery. In rear of these breastworks was a bar- 
ricade, from which the enemy was quickly driven. The troops 
on the left of the plank-road, pressing through the woods, at- 
tacked and broke the next line, while those on the right bravely 
assailed the extensive earthworks behind which General Hook- 
er's artillery was posted. Three times were these works car- 
ried, and as often were the brave assailants compelled to aban- 
don them — twice by the retirement of the troops on their left, 
who fell back after a gallant struggle with superior numbers, 
and once by a movement of the enemy on their right caused by 
the advance of General Anderson. The left, being reenforced, 
finally succeeded in driving back the enemy, and the artillery 
under Lieutenant-Colonels Carter and Jones, being thrown for- 
ward to occupy favorable positions secured by the advance of 
the infantry, began to play with great precision and effect. 
Anderson, in the mean time, pressed gallantly forward directly 
upon Chancellorsville, his right resting upon the plank-road and 
his left extending around the furnace, while McLaws made a 
strong demonstration to the right of the road. As the troops 
advancing upon the enemy's front and right converged upon 
his central position, Anderson effected a junction with Jackson's 
corps, and the whole line pressed irresistibly. General Hook- 
er's army was driven from all its fortified positions with heavy 
loss in killed, wounded, and prisoners, and retreated toward the 
Rappahannock. By 10 a. m. we were in full possession of the 
field. The troops, having become somewhat scattered by the 
difficulties of the ground and the ardor of the contest, were im- 
mediately reformed, preparatory to renewing the attack. The 
enemy had withdrawn to a strong position nearer to the Rappa- 
hannock, which he had fortified. His superiority of numbers, 


the unfavorable nature of the ground, which was densely wood- 
ed, and the condition of our troops, after the arduous and san- 
guinary conflict in which they had been engaged, rendered great 
caution necessary. Our operations were just completed, when 
further movements were arrested by intelligence received from' 

Before dawn, on the morning of the 3d, it was known that 
the enemy had occupied Fredericksburg in large force, and 
laid down a bridge at the town. He made a demonstration 
against the extreme right of the force left to hold our lines, 
which was easily repulsed by General Early. Soon afterward a 
column moved from Fredericksburg along the river-banks, as if 
to gain the heights on the extreme left which commanded those 
immediately in rear of the town. This attempt was foiled. 
Yery soon the enemy advanced in large force against Ma- 
rye's, and the hills to the right and left of it. Two assaults 
were gallantly repulsed. After the second, a flag of truce was 
sent from the town to obtain permission to provide for the 
wounded. Three heavy lines advanced immediately upon the 
return of the flag and renewed the attack. They were bravely 
repulsed on the right and left, but the small force at the foot of 
Marye's Hill, overpowered by more than ten times their num- 
bers, was captured after an heroic resistance and the hill carried. 
The success of the enemy enabled him to threaten our commu- 
nications by moving down the Telegraph road, or to come upon 
our rear at Chancellorsville by the plank-road. He began to 
advance on the plank-road, his progress being gallantly disputed 
by the brigade of General "Wilcox, who fell back slowly until 
he reached Salem Church on the plank-road, about five miles 
from Fredericksburg. 

In this state of affairs in our rear, General Lee led General 
McLaws with his three brigades to reenforce General Wilcox. 
He arrived at Salem Church early in the afternoon, where he 
found General Wilcox in line of battle, with a large force of 
the enemy — consisting, as was reported, of one army corps and 
part of another — in his front. The enemy's artillery played 
vigorously upon our position for some time, when his infantry 
advanced in three strong lines, the attack being directed mainly 


against General Wilcox, but partially involving the brigades on 
his left. The assault was met with the utmost firmness, and 
after a fierce struggle the first line was repulsed with great 
slaughter. The second then came forward, but immediately 
broke under the close and deadly fire which it encountered, and 
the whole mass fled in confusion to the rear. They were pur- 
sued by the brigades of Wilcox and Semmes, which advanced 
nearly a mile, when they were halted to reform in the presence 
of the hostile reserve, which now appeared in large force. It 
being quite dark, General Wilcox deemed it imprudent to push 
the attack with his small numbers, and retired to his original 
position, the enemy making no attempt to follow. The next 
morning General Early advanced along the Telegraph road, and 
recaptured Marye's and the adjacent hills without difficulty, thus 
gaining the rear of the enemy's left. In the mean time General 
Hooker had so strengthened his position near Chancel lorsville, 
that it was deemed inexpedient to assail it with less than our 
whole force, which had been reduced by the detachment led 
to Fredericksburg to relieve us from the danger that menaced 
our rear. 

It has been heretofore stated that General Longstreet had 
been sent with two divisions of Lee's army to cooperate with 
General French on the south side of the James River, in the 
capture of Suffolk, the occupation of which by the enemy inter- 
rupted our collection of supplies in the eastern counties of North 
Carolina and Virginia. When the advance of Hooker threat- 
ened General Lee's front, instructions were sent to General 
Longstreet to hasten his return to the army with the large force 
detached with him. These instructions were repeated with ur- 
gent insistence, yet his movements were so delayed that, though 
the battle of Chancellorsville did not occur until many days 
after he was expected to join, his force was absent when it oc- 
curred. Had he rejoined his command in due time, Lee need 
not have diminished his force in front of Hooker, so as to delay 
the renewal of the attack and force him to a precipitate retreat, 
involving the loss of his artillery and trains. It was accord- 
ingly resolved still further to reenforce the troops in front, in 
order, if possible, to drive Hooker across the Eappahannock. 


Some delay occurred in getting the troops into position, 
owing to the broken and irregular nature of the ground, and 
the difficulty of ascertaining the disposition of the opposing 
forces. The attack did not begin until 6 p. m., when the en- 
emy's troops were rapidly driven across the plank-road in the 
direction of the Rappahannock. The speedy approach of dark- 
ness prevented General HcLaws from perceiving the success 
of the attack, until the foe began to recross the river a short 
distance below Banks's Ford, where he had laid one of his pon- 
toon-bridges. His right brigades advanced through the woods 
in the direction of the firing, but the retreat was so rapid that 
they could only join in the pursuit. A dense fog settled over 
the field, increasing the obscurity and rendering great caution 
necessary to avoid collision between our own troops. Their 
movements were consequently slow. The next morning it was 
found that the enemy had made good his escape and removed 
his bridges. Fredericksburg was evacuated, and our rear no 
longer threatened. But, as General Hooker had it in his power 
to recross, it was deemed best to leave a force to hold our lines 
as before. McLaws and Anderson being directed to return to 
Chancellorsville, they reached their destination during the 
afternoon, in the midst of a violent storm, which continued 
throughout the night and most of the following day. Prepa- 
rations were made to assail the enemy's works at daylight on 
the 6th, but, on advancing our skirmishers, it was found that, 
under cover of the storm and darkness of the night, he had 
retreated over the river. A detachment was left to guard the 
battle-field, while the wounded were removed and the captured 
property collected. The rest of the army returned to its former 

The loss of the enemy, according to his own statement, was 
1,512 killed and 9,518 wounded ; total, 11,030. His dead and a 
large number of wounded were left on the field. About 5,000 
prisoners, exclusive of the wounded, were taken, and 13 pieces 
of artillery, 19,500 stand of arms, 17 colors, and a large quan- 
tity of ammunition fell into our hands. 

Our loss was much less in killed and wounded than that 
of the enemy, but of the number was one, a host in himself,. 


Lieut en ant-General Jackson, who was wounded, and died on 
May 10th. Of this great captain, General Lee, in his anguish 
at his death, justly said, " I have lost my right arm." As an 
executive officer he had no superior, and war has seldom shown 
an equal. Too devoted to the cause he served to have any 
personal motive, he shared the toils, privations, and dangers of 
his troops when in chief command ; and in subordinate position 
his aim was to understand the purpose of his commander and 
faithfully to promote its success. He was the complement of 
Lee ; united, they had achieved such results that the public felt 
secure under their shield. To us his place was never filled. 

The official return of the Army of Northern Virginia, on 
March 31, 1863, shows as present for duty 57,112, of which 
6,509 were cavalry and 1,621 reserve artillery. On May 20th, 
two weeks after the battle, and when Pickett's and Hood's 
divisions had rejoined the army, the total infantry force num- 
bered but 55,261 effective men, from which, if the strength of 
Hood's and Pickett's divisions is deducted, there would re- 
main 41,358 as the strength of the commands that participated 
in the battles of Chancellorsville.* 

The Army of the Potomac numbered 120,000 men, infan- 
try and artillery, with a body of 12,000 well-equipped cavalry, 
and an artillery force of four hundred guns.f 

A brief and forcible account of this battle is given by Tay- 
lor : % 

"A formidable force under General Sedgwick was thrown 
across the river below Fredericksburg, and made demonstrations 
of an intention to assail the Confederate front. Meanwhile, with 
great celerity and secrecy, General Hooker, with the bulk of his 
army, crossed at the upper fords, and, in an able manner and won- 
derfully short time, had concentrated four of his seven army corps, 
numbering fifty-six thousand men, at Chancellorsville, about ten 
miles west of Fredericksburg. His purpose was now fully devel- 
oped to General Lee, who, instead of awaiting its further prose- 
cution, immediately determined on the movement the least ex- 
pected by his opponent. He neither proceeded to make strong 

* Taylor's " Four Years with General Lee." 

| Swinton's " Army of the Potomac," p. 269. % " Four Years with General Lee." 


his left against an attack from the direction of Chancellorsville 
nor did he move southward so as to put his army between that of 
General Hooker and the Confederate capital, but, leaving General 
Early, with about nine thousand men, to take care of General Sedg- 
wick, he moved with the remainder of his army, numbering forty- 
eight thousand men, toward Chancellorsville. As soon as the ad- 
vance of the enemy was encountered, it was attacked with vigor, 
and very soon the Federal army was on the defensive in its appar- 
ently impregnable position. It was not the part of wisdom to at- 
tempt to storm this stronghold ; but Sedgwick would certainly soon 
be at work in the rear, and Early, with his inadequate force, could 
not do more than delay and harass him. It was, therefore, imper- 
atively necessary to strike — to strike boldly, effectively, and at 
once. There could be no delay. Meanwhile, two more army 
corps had joined General Hooker, who now had about Chancel- 
lorsville ninety-one thousand men — six corps except one division 
of the Second Corps (Couch's), which had been left with Sedgwick 
at Fredericksburg. It was a critical position for the Confederate 
commander, but his confidence in his trusted lieutenant and brave 
men was such that he did not long hesitate. Encouraged by the 
counsel and confidence of General Jackson, he determined to still 
further divide his army ; and, while he, with the divisions of An- 
derson and McLaws, less than fourteen thousand men, should hold 
the enemy in his front, he would hurl Jackson upon his flank and 
rear, and crush and crumble him as between the upper and nether 
millstone. The very boldness of the movement contributed much 
to insure its success. 

" The flank movement of Jackson's wing was attended with 
extraordinary success. On the afternoon of the 2d of May, he 
struck such a blow to the enemy on their extreme right as to 
cause dismay and demoralization to their entire army ; this ad- 
vantage was promptly and vigorously followed up the next day, 
when Generals Lee and Stuart (the latter then in command of 
Jackson's wing) joined elbows ; and, after most heroic and de- 
termined effort, their now united forces finally succeeded in storm- 
ing and capturing the works of the enemy. 

" Meantime Sedgwick had forced Early out of the heights at 
Fredericksburg, and had advanced toward Chancellorsville, thus 
threatening the Confederate rear. General Lee, having defeated 
the greater force and driven it from its stronghold, now gathered 


up a few of the most available of his victorious brigades and turned 
upon the lesser. On May 3d Sedgwick's force was encountered 
near Salem Church, and its further progress checked by General 
McLaws, with the five brigades detached by General Lee for this 
service, including Wilcox's, which had been stationed at Banks's 
Ford. On the next day, General Anderson was sent to reenf orce 
McLaws with three additional brigades. Meanwhile, General 
Early had connected with these troops, and in the afternoon, so 
soon as dispositions could be made for attack, Sedgwick's lines 
were promptly assailed and broken, the main assault being made 
on the enemy's left by Early's troops. The situation was now a 
critical one for the Federal lieutenant. Darkness came to his res- 
cue, and on the night of the 4th he crossed to the north side of 
the river. 

" On the 5th General Lee concentrated for another assault on 
the new line taken up by General Hooker ; but on the morning of 
the 6th it was ascertained that the enemy, in General Lee's lan- 
guage, 'had sought safety beyond the Rappahannock,' and the 
river flowed again between the hostile hosts." 


Relations with Foreign Nations. — The Public Questions. — Ministers abroad. — Usages 
of Intercourse between Nations. — Our Action. — Mistake of European Nations ; 
they follow the Example of England and France. — Different Conditions of the Bel- 

»ligerents. — Injury to the Confederacy by the Policy of European Powers relative 
to the Blockade. — Explanation. — The Paris Conference. — Principles adopted. — 
Acceded to by the Confederacy with a Single Exception. — These Agreements 
remained inoperative. — Extent of the Pretended Blockade. — Remonstrances 
against its Recognition. — Sinking Vessels to Block up Harbors. — Every Pro- 
scription of Maritime Law violated by the United States Government. — Pro- 
test. — Addition made to the Law by Great Britain. — Policy pursued favorable 
to our Enemies. — Instances. — Mediation proposed by France to Great Britain, 
and Russian Letter of French Minister. — Reply of Great Britain. — Reply of 
Russia. — Letter to French Minister at Washington. — Various Offensive Ac- 
tions of the British Government. — Encouraging to the United States. — Hollow 
Profession of Neutrality. 

The public questions arising out of our foreign relations 
were too important to be overlooked. At the end of the first 
year of the war the Confederate States had been recognized 


by the leading governments of Europe as a belligerent power. 
This continued unchanged to the close. Mr. Mason became our 
representative in London, Mr. Slidell in Paris, Mr. Post i 
Spain, and Mr. Mann in Belgium. They performed with en 
ergy and skill the positions, but were unsuccessful in obtaining 
our recognition as an independent power. 

The usages of intercourse between nations require that offi- 
cial communication be made to friendly powers of all organi 
changes in the constitution of states. To those who are fa- 
miliar with the principles upon which the States known as th 
United States were originally constituted, as well as those upo 
which the Union was formed, the organic changes made by th 
secession and confederation of the Southern States are very ap- 
parent. But to others an explanation may be necessary. Each 
of the States was originally declared to be sovereign and ind 
pendent. In this condition, at a former period, all of those the 
existing were severally recognized by name by the only one o: 
the powers which had denied their right to independence. Thi 
gave to each a recognized national sovereignty. Subsequently 
they formed a compact of voluntary union, whereby a new or- 
ganization was constituted, which was made the representative 
of the individual States in all general intercourse with othei 
nations. So long as the compact continued in force, this agenl 
represented merely the sovereignty of the States.. But, when 
portion of the States withdrew from the compact and formed 
new one under the name of the Confederate States, they had 
made such organic changes in their Constitution as to require 
official notice in compliance with the usages of nations. 

For this purpose the Provisional Government took early 
measures for sending to Europe Commissioners charged with 
the duty of visiting the capitals of the different powers and 
making arrangements for the opening of more formal diplo- 
matic intercourse. Prior, however, to the arrival abroad of 
these Commissioners, the Government of the United States had 
addressed communications to the different Cabinets of Europe, 
in which it assumed the attitude of being sovereign over the 
Confederate States, and alleged that these independent States 
were in rebellion against the remaining States of the Union, and 


threatened Europe with manifestations of its displeasure if it 
should treat the Confederate States as having an independent 
existence. It soon became known that these pretensions were 
not considered abroad to be as absurd as they were known to be 
at home ; nor had Europe yet learned what reliance was to be 
placed in the official statements of the Cabinet at Washington. 
The delegation of power granted by the States to the General 
Government to represent them in foreign intercourse had led 
European nations into the grave error of supposing that their 
separate sovereignty and independence had been merged into one 
common sovereignty, and had ceased to have a distinct existence. 
Under the influence of this error, which all appeals to reason 
and historical fact were vainly used to dispel, our Commissioners 
were met by the declaration that foreign Governments could not 
assume to judge between the conflicting representations of the 
two parties as to the true nature of their previous relations. The 
Governments of Great Britain and France accordingly signified 
their determination to confine themselves to recognizing the 
self-evident fact of the existence of a war, and to maintain a 
strict neutrality during its progress. Some of the other powers 
of Europe pursued the same course of policy, and it became ap- 
parent that by some understanding, express or tacit, Europe had 
decided to leave the initiative in all action touching the contest 
on this continent to the two powers just named, who were rec- 
ognized to have the largest interests involved, both by reason of 
proximity to and of the extent of intimacy of their commercial 
relations with the States engaged in war. 

It was manifest that the course of action adopted by Europe, 
while based on an apparent refusal to determine the question or 
to side with either party, was, in point of fact, an actual deci- 
sion against our rights and in favor of the groundless preten- 
sions of the United States. It was a refusal to treat us as an 
independent government. If we were independent States, the 
I refusal to entertain with us the same international intercourse 
.which was maintained with our enemy was unjust, and was inju- 
rious in its effects, whatever might have been the motive which 
prompted it. Neither was it in accordance with the high moral 
obligations of that international code, whose chief sanction is 


the conscience of sovereigns and the public opinion of mankind, 
that those eminent powers should have declined the perform- 
ance of a duty peculiarly incumbent on them, from any appre- 
hension of the consequences to themselves. One immediate 
and necessary result of their declining the responsibility of a 
decision, which must have been adverse to the extravagant pre- 
tensions of the United States, was the prolongation of hostilities 
to which our enemies were thereby encouraged, and which re- 
sulted in scenes of carnage and devastation on this continent 
and of misery and suffering on the other such as have scarcely 
a parallel in history. Had those powers promptly admitted 
our right to be treated as all other independent nations, none 
can doubt that the moral effect of such action would have been 
to dispel the pretension under which the United States per- 
sisted in their efforts to accomplish our subjugation. 

There were other matters in which less than justice was ren- 
dered to the Confederacy by " neutral " Europe, and undue ad- 
vantage conferred on the aggressors in a wicked war. At the 
inception of hostilities, the inhabitants of the Confederate States 
were almost exclusively agriculturists ; those of the United 
States were also to a large extent mechanics, merchants, and 
navigators. We had no commercial marine, while their mer- 
chant-vessels covered the ocean. We were without a navy, 
while they had powerful fleets built by the money we had in 
full share contributed. The power which they possessed for 
inflicting injury on our coasts and harbors was thus counter- 
balanced in some measure by the exposure of their commerce 
to attack by private armed vessels. It was known to Eu- 
rope that within a very few years past the United States had 
peremptorily refused to accede to proposals for the abolition 
of privateering, on the ground, as alleged by them, that nations 
owning powerful fleets would thereby obtain undue advantage 
over those possessing inferior naval force. Yet no sooner was 
war flagrant between the Confederacy and the United States 
than the maritime powers of Europe issued orders prohibit- 
ing either party from bringing prizes into their ports. This 
prohibition, directed with apparent impartiality against both 
belligerents, was in reality effective against the Confederate 


States only, for they alone could find a hostile commerce on 
the ocean. Merely nominal against the United States, the pro- 
hibition operated with intense severity on the Confederacy by 
depriving it of the only means of maintaining its struggle on 
the ocean against the crushing superiority of naval force pos- 
sessed by its enemies. The value and efficiency of the weapon 
which was thus wrested from our grasp by the combined ac- 
tion of " neutral " European powers, in favor of a power which 
professes openly its intention of ravaging their commerce by 
privateers in any future war, is strikingly illustrated by the 
terror inspired among commercial classes of the United States 
by a single cruiser of the Confederacy. One small steamer, 
commanded by officers and manned by a crew who were de- 
barred by the closure of neutral ports from the opportunity 
of causing captured vessels to be condemned in their favor as 
prizes, sufficed to double the rates of marine insurance in Northern 
ports, and consign to forced inaction numbers of Northern ves- 
sels, in addition to the direct damage inflicted by captures at sea. 

But it was especially in relation to the so-called blockade 
that the policy of European powers was so shaped as to cause 
the greatest injury to the Confederacy, and to confer signal ad- 
vantages on the United States. A few words in explanation may 
here be necessary. 

Prior to the year 1856 the principles regulating this subject 
were to be gathered from the writings of eminent publicists, 
the decisions of admiralty courts, international treaties, and the 
usages of nations. The uncertainty and doubt which prevailed 
in reference to the true rules of maritime law, in time of war, 
resulting from the discordant and often conflicting principles 
announced from such varied and independent sources, had be- 
come a grievous evil to mankind. Whether a blockade was 
allowable against a port not invested by land as well as by sea, 
whether a blockade was valid by sea if the investing fleet was 
merely sufficient to render ingress to the blockaded port evi- 
dently dangerous, or whether it was further required for its 
legality that it should be sufficient " really to prevent access," 
and numerous other similar questions, had remained doubtful 
and undecided. ' 


Animated by the highly honorable desire to put an end " to 
differences of opinion between neutrals and belligerents, which 
may occasion serious difficulties and even conflicts " (such was 
the official language), the five great powers of Europe, together 
with Sardinia and Turkey, adopted in 1856 the following dec- 
laration of principles : 

" 1. Privateering is and remains abolished. 

" 2. The neutral flag covers enemy's goods, with the excep- 
tion of contraband of war. 

"3. Neutral goods, with the exception of contraband of war, 
are not liable to capture under enemy's flag. 

" 4. Blockades, in order to be binding must be effective, that 
is to say, maintained by a force sufficient- really to prevent ac- 
cess to the coast of the enemy." 

Not only did this solemn declaration announce to the world 
the principles to which the signing powers agreed to conform in 
future wars, but it contained a clause to which these powers 
gave immediate effect, and which provided that the states, not 
parties to the Congress of Paris, should be invited to accede to 
the declaration. Under this invitation every independent state 
in Europe yielded its assent — at least, no instance is known to 
me of a refusal ; and the United States, while declining to assent 
to the proposition which prohibited privateering, declared that 
the three remaining principles were in entire accordance w T ith 
their own views of international law. 

No instance is known in history of the adoption of rules 
of public law under circumstances of like solemnity, with like 
unanimity, and pledging the faith of nations with a sanctity so 

"When, therefore, this Confederacy was "formed, and when 
neutral powers, while deferring action on its demand for ad- 
mission into the family of nations, recognized it as a belliger- 
ent power, Great Britain and France made informal proposals, 
about the same time, that their own rights as neutrals should be 
guaranteed by our acceding, as belligerents, to the declaration 
of principles made by the Congress of Paris. The request was 
addressed to our sense of justice, and therefore met immediate 
and favorable response in the resolutions of the Provisional 


Congress of the 13th of August, 1861, by which all the princi- 
ples announced by the Congress of Paris were adopted as the 
guide of our conduct during the war, with the sole exception of 
that relative to privateering. As the right to make use of pri- 
vateers was one in which neutral nations had, as to the then 
existing war, no interest ; as it was a right which the United 
States had refused to abandon, and which they remained at lib- 
erty to employ against us ; as it was a right of which we were 
already in actual enjoyment, and which we could not be expected 
to renounce flagrante hello against an adversary possessing an 
overwhelming superiority of naval forces — it was reserved with 
entire confidence that neutral nations could not fail to perceive 
that just reason existed for the reservation. Nor was this con- 
fidence misplaced ; for the official documents published by the 
British Government contained the expression of the satisfaction 
of that Government with the conduct of officials who conducted 
successfully the delicate transaction confided to their charge. 

These solemn declarations of principle, this implied agreement 
between the Confederacy and the two powers just named, were 
suffered to remain inoperative against the menaces and outrages 
on neutral rights committed by the United States with unceas- 
ing and progressing arrogance during the whole period of the 
war. Neutral Europe remained passive when the United States, 
with a naval force insufficient to blockade effectively the coast 
of a single State, proclaimed a paper blockade of thousands of 
miles of coast, extending from the Capes of the Chesapeake to 
those of Florida, and encircling the Gulf of Mexico from Key 
West to the mouth of the Rio Grande. Compared with this 
monstrous pretension of the United States, the blockades known 
in history under the names of the Berlin and Milan Decrees, and 
the British Orders in Council, in the years 1806 and 1807, sink 
into insignificance. Those blockades were justified by the pow- 
ers that declared them, on the sole ground that they were retali- 
atory ; yet they have since been condemned by the publicists of 
those very powers as violations of international law. It will be 
remembered that those blockades evoked angry remonstrances 
from neutral powers, among which the United States were the 
most conspicuous, and were in their consequences the chief cause 


of the war between Great Britain and the United States in 1812 ; 
also, that they formed one of the principal motives that led to 
the declaration of the Congress of Paris in 1856, in the fond 
hope of imposing an enduring check on the very abuse of mari- 
time power which was renewed by the United States in 1861 
and 1862, under circumstances and with features of aggravated 
wrong without precedent in history. 

Repeated and formal remonstrances were made by the Con- 
federate Government to neutral powers against the recognition 
of that blockade. It was shown by evidence not capable of con- 
tradiction, and which was furnished in part by the officials of 
neutral nations, that the few ports of the Confederacy, before 
which any naval forces at all were stationed, were invested so 
inefficiently that hundreds of entries were effected into them 
after the declaration of the blockade ; that our enemies admitted 
the inefficiency of their blockade in the most forcible manner, 
by repeated official complaints of the sale to us of goods contra- 
band of war — a sale which could not possibly have affected their 
interests if thei." pretended blockade had been sufficient " really 
to prevent access to our coasts " ; that they alleged their inabil- 
ity to render their paper blockade effective as the excuse for 
the odious barbarity of destroying the entrance to one of the 
harbors by sinking vessels loaded with stone in the channel; 
that our commerce with foreign nations was interrupted, not by 
the effective investment of our ports, but by watching the ports 
of the West Indies ; not only by the seizure of ships in the at- 
tempt to enter the Confederate ports, but by the capture on the 
high-seas of neutral vessels by the cruisers of our enemies, when- 
ever supposed to be bound to any point on our extensive coast, 
without inquiry whether a single blockading vessel was to be 
found at such point ; that blockading vessels had left the ports 
at which they were stationed for distant expeditions, were ab- 
sent for many days, and returned without notice either of the 
cessation or renewal of the blockade ; in a word, that every pre- 
scription of maritime law and every right of neutral nations to 
trade with a belligerent under the sanction of principles here- 
tofore universally respected were systematically and persistently 
violated by the United States. Neutral Europe received our 

^^4^^ %^A^c^ %Jm^> 


remonstrances, and submitted in almost unbroken silence to all 
the wrongs that the United States chose to inflict on its com- 
merce. The Cabinet of Great Britain, however, did not confine 
itself to such implied acquiescence in these breaches of interna- 
tional law which resulted from simple inaction, but, in a pub- 
lished dispatch of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, assumed to 
make a change in the principle enunciated by the Congress of 
Paris, to which the faith of the British Government was consid- 
ered to be pledged. The change was so important and so preju- 
dicial to the interests of the Confederacy that, after a vain 
attempt to obtain satisfactory explanations from that Govern- 
ment, I directed a solemn protest to be made. 

In a published dispatch from her Majesty's Foreign Office 
to her Minister at Washington, under date of February 11th, 
1862, occurred the following passage : 

" Her Majesty's Government, however, are of opinion that, as- 
suming that the blockade was duly notified, and also that a num- 
ber of ships is stationed and remains at the entrance of a port 
sufficient really to prevent access to it, or to create an evident dan- 
ger of entering it or leaving it, and that these ships do not volun- 
tarily permit ingress or egress, the fact that various ships may 
have successfully escaped through it (as in the particular instance 
here referred to), will not of itself prevent the blockade from be- 
ing an effectual one by international law." 

The words which I have italicized were an addition made by 
the British Government of its own authority to a principle, the 
exact terms of which were settled with deliberation by the com- 
mon consent of civilized nations, and by implied convention 
with our Government, as already explained, and their effect was 
clearly to reopen to the prejudice of the Confederacy one of the 
very disputed questions on the law of blockade which the Con- 
gress of Paris proposed to settle. The importance of this change 
was readily illustrated by taking one of our ports as an example. 
There was " evident danger," in entering the port of Wilming- 
ton, from the presence of a blockading force, and by this test 
the blockade was effective. " Access is not really prevented " 
by the blockading fleet to the same port ; for steamers were con- 


tinually arriving and departing, so that, tried by this test, the 
blockade was ineffective and invalid. Thus, while every energy 
of our country was evoked in the struggle for maintaining its 
existence, the neutral nations of Europe pursued a policy which, 
nominally impartial, was practically most favorable to our ene- 
mies and most detrimental to us. 

The exercise of the neutral right of refusing entry into their 
ports to prizes taken by both belligerents was especially hurtful 
to the Confederacy. It was sternly adhered to and enforced. 

The assertion of the neutral right of commerce with a bel- 
ligerent, whose ports are not blockaded by fleets sufficient really 
to prevent access to them, would have been eminently bene- 
ficial to the Confederate States, and only thus hurtful to the 
United States. It was complaisantly abandoned. 

The duty of neutral states to receive with cordiality and 
recognize with respect any new confederation that independent 
states may think proper to form, was too clear to admit of de- 
nial, but its postponement was equally beneficial to the United 
States and detrimental to the Confederacy. It was postponed. 

In this statement of our relations with the nations of Eu- 
rope, it has been my purpose to point out distinctly that the 
Confederacy had no complaint to make that those nations de- 
clared their neutrality. It could neither expect nor desire more. 
The complaint was, that the declared neutrality was delusive, not 
real ; that recognized neutral rights were alternately asserted and 
waived in such manner as to bear with great severity onus, while 
conferring signal advantages on our enemy. 

Perhaps it may not be out of place here to notice a corre- 
spondence between the Cabinets of France, Great Britain, and 
Russia, relative to a mediation between the Confederacy and the 
United States. On October 30, 1862, the French Minister of 
Foreign Affairs, Drouyn de l'Huys, addressed a note to the am- 
bassadors of France at London and St. Petersburg. In this 
dispatch he stated that the Emperor had followed with painful 
interest the struggle which had then been going on for more 
than a year on this continent. He observed that the proofs of 
energy, perseverance, and courage, on both sides, had been given 
at the expense of innumerable calamities and immense blood- 

1862] TO HAVE NO ISSUE. 377 

shed ; to the accompaniments of civil conflict was to be added 
the apprehension of servile war, which would be the climax of 
so many irreparable misfortunes. 

If these calamities affected America only, these sufferings of 
a friendly nation would be enough to excite the anxiety and 
sympathy of the Emperor ; but Europe also had suffered in one 
of the principal branches of her industry, and her artisans had 
been subjected to most cruel trials. France and the maritime 
powers had, during the struggle, maintained the strictest neu- 
trality, but the sentiments by which they were animated, far 
from imposing on them anything like indifference, seem, on the 
contrary, to require that they should assist the two belligerent 
parties in an endeavor to escape from a position which appeared 
to have no issue. The forces of the two sides had hitherto 
fought with balanced success, and the latest accounts did not 
show any prospect of a speedy termination of the war. 

These circumstances, taken together, seemed to favor the 
adoption of measures which might bring about a truce. The 
Emperor of the French, therefore, was of the opinion that there 
was now an opportunity of offering to the belligerents the good 
offices of the maritime powers. He, therefore, proposed to 
her Majesty, as well as to the Emperor of Russia, that the 
three courts should endeavor, both at Washington and in com- 
munication with the Confederate States, to bring about a sus- 
pension of arms for six months, during which time every act of 
hostility, direct or indirect, should cease, at sea as well as on 
land. This armistice might, if necessary, be renewed for a 
further period. 

This proposal, he proceeded to say, would not imply, on the 
part of the three powers, any judgment on the origin of the 
war, or any pressure on the negotiations for peace, which it 
was hoped would take place during the armistice. The three 
powers would only interfere to smooth the obstacles, and only 
within the limits which the two interested parties would pre- 
scribe. The French Government was of the opinion that, even 
in the event of a failure of immediate success, those overtures 
might have proved useful in leading the minds of men heated 
by passion to consider the advantages of conciliation and peace. 


The reply of Great Britain, through Lord John Russell, on 
^November 13, 1862, is really contained in this extract : 

"After weighing all the information which has been received 
from America, her Majesty's Government are led to the conclu- 
sion that there is no ground at the present moment to hope that 
the Federal Government would accept the proposal suggested, 
and a refusal from Washington at the present time would prevent 
any speedy renewal of the offer." 

The Russian Government, in reply, said : 

"According to the information we have hitherto received, we 
are inclined to believe that a combined step between France, 
England, and Russia, no matter how conciliatory, and how cau- 
tiously made, if it were taken with an official and collective char- 
acter, would run the risk of causing precisely the very opposite of 
the object of pacification, which is the aim of the wishes of the 
three courts." 

The unfavorable reception of the proposal was communi- 
cated by the French Minister of Foreign Affairs to the repre- 
sentative of France at Washington. In this communication he 
said : 

" Convinced as we were that an understanding between the 
three powers in the sense presented by us would answer as much 
the interests of the American people as our own ; that even that 
understanding was, in the existing circumstances, a duty of hu- 
manity, you will easily form an idea of our regret at seeing the 
initiative we have taken after mature reflection remain without 
results. Being also desirous of informing Mr. Dayton, the United 
States Minister, of our project, I confidently communicated it to 
him, and even read in his presence the dispatch sent to London 
and St. Petersburg. I could not but be surprised that the Minis- 
ter of the United States should oppose his objections to the pro- 
ject I communicated to him, and to hear him express personally 
some doubts as to the reception which would be given by the Cabi- 
net at Washington to the joint offers of the good offices of France, 
Russia, and Great Britain." 

It has already been stated that, by common understanding, 
the initiative in all action touching the contest on this continent 


had been left by foreign powers to the two great maritime na- 
tions of Western Europe, and that the Governments of these 
two nations had agreed to take no measures without previous 
concert. The result of these arrangements, therefore, placed it 
in the power of either France or England to obstruct at pleas- 
ure the recognition to which the Confederacy was justly enti- 
tled, or even to prolong the continuance of hostilities on this 
side of the Atlantic, if the policy of either could be promoted 
by the postponement of peace. Each, too, thus became pos- 
sessed of great influence in so shaping the general exercise of 
neutral rights in Europe as to render them subservient to the 
purpose of aiding one of the belligerents, to the detriment of the 
other. Perhaps it may not be out of place to present a few 
examples by which to show the true nature of the neutrality 
professed in this war. 

In May, 1861, the Government of her Britannic Majesty 
assured our enemies that " the sympathies of this country [Great 
Britain] were rather with the North than with the South.' ' 

On June 1, 1861, the British Government interdicted the 
use of its ports "to armed ships and privateers, both of the 
United States and the so-called Confederate States," with their 
prizes. The Secretary of State of the United States fully ap- 
preciated the character and motive of this interdiction, when he 
observed to Lord Lyons, who communicated it, that " this meas- 
ure and that of the same character which had been adopted by 
France would probably prove a death-blow to Southern priva- 
teering" — a means, it will be remembered, which the United 
States had refused to abandon for themselves. 

On the 12th of June, 1861, the United States Minister in 
London informed her Majesty's Minister for Foreign Affairs 
that the fact of his having held interviews with the Commission- 
ers of our Government had given "great dissatisfaction, and 
that a protraction of this would be viewed by the United States 
as hostile in spirit, and to require some corresponding action ac- 
cordingly." In response to this intimation her Majesty's Min- 
ister gave assurance that " he had no expectation of seeing them 
any more." 

Further extracts will show the marked encouragement to 


the United States to persevere in its paper blockade, and unmis- 
takable intimations that her Majesty's Government would not 
contest its validity. 

On May 21, 1861, Earl Russell pointed out to the United 
States Minister in London that " the blockade might, no doubt, 
be made effective, considering the small number of harbors on 
the Southern coast, even though the extent of three thousand 
miles were comprehended in the terms of that blockade." 

On January 14, 1862, her Majesty's Minister in Washing- 
ton communicated to his Government that, in extenuation of 
the barbarous attempt to destroy the port of Charleston by sink- 
ing a stone fleet in the harbor, Mr. Seward had explained that 
" the Government of the United States had, last spring, with a 
navy very little prepared for so extensive an operation, under- 
taken to blockade upward of three thousand miles of coast. 
The Secretary of the Navy had reported that he could stop up 
the ' large holes ' by means of his ships, but that he could not 
stop up the ' small ones.' It has been found necessary, there- 
fore, to close some of the numerous small inlets by sinking ves- 
sels in the channel." 

On May 6, 1862, so far from claiming the right of British 
subjects as neutrals to trade with us as belligerents, and to dis- 
regard the blockade on the ground of this explicit confession by 
our enemy of his inability to render it effective, her Majesty's 
Minister for Foreign Affairs claimed credit with the United 
States for friendly action in respecting it. His lordship stated 
that — 

" The United States Government, on the allegation of a rebel- 
lion pervading from nine to eleven States of the Union, have now, 
for more than twelve months, endeavored to maintain a blockade 
of three thousand miles of coast. This blockade, kept up irregu- 
larly, but, when enforced, enforced severely, has seriously injured 
the trade and manufactures of the United Kingdom. 

" Thousands are now obliged to resort to the poor-rates for 
subsistence owing to this blockade. Yet her Majesty's Govern- 
ment have never sought to take advantage of the obvious im- 
perfections of this blockade, in order to declare it ineffective. 
They have, to the loss and detriment of the British nation, scru- 


pulously observed the duties of Great Britain toward a friendly 


It is not necessary to pursue this subject further. Suffice it 
to say that the British Government, when called upon to redeem 
its pledge made at Paris in 1856, and renewed to the Confederacy 
in 1861, replied that it could not regard the blockade of South- 
ern ports as having been otherwise than " practically effective in 
February, 1862," and that " the manner in which it .has since 
been enforced gives to neutral governments no excuse for as- 
serting that the blockade had not been effectively maintained." 

The partiality of her Majesty's Government in favor of our 
enemies was further evinced in the marked difference of its con- 
duct on the subject of the purchase of supplies by the two bel- 
ligerents. This difference was conspicuous from the very com- 
mencement of the war. As early as May 1, 1861, the British 
Minister in Washington was informed by the Secretary of State 
of the United States that he had sent agents to England, and 
that others would go to France, to purchase arms ; and this fact 
was communicated to the British Foreign Office, which inter- 
posed no objection. Yet, in October of the same year, Earl 
Russell entertained the complaint of the United States Minister 
in London, that the Confederate States were importing contra- 
band of war from the Island of Nassau, directed inquiry into 
the matter, and obtained a report from the authorities of the 
island denying the allegations, which report was inclosed to Mr. 
Adams, and received by him as satisfactory evidence to dissi- 
pate " the suspicion thrown upon the authorities by that unwar- 
rantable act." So, too, when the Confederate Government 
purchased in Great Britain, as a neutral country (with strict 
observance both of the law of nations and the municipal law of 
Great Britain), vessels which were subsequently armed and com- 
missioned as vessels of war after they had been far removed 
from English waters, the British Government, in violation of its 
own laws, and in deference to the importunate demands of the 
United States, made an ineffectual attempt to seize one vessel, 
and did actually seize and detain another which touched at the 
Island of Nassau, on her way to a Confederate port, and sub- 


jected her to an unfounded prosecution, at the very time when 
cargoes of munitions of war were openly shipped from British 
ports to New York, to be used in warfare against us. Further 
instances need not be adduced to show how detrimental to us, 
and advantageous to our enemy, was the manner in which the 
leading European power observed its hollow profession of neu- 
trality toward the belligerents. 


Advance of General E. K. Smith. — Advance of General Bragg. — Retreat of General 
Buell to Louisville. — Battle at Perryville, Kentucky. — General Morgan at 
Hartsville. — Advance of General Rosecrans. — Battle of Murf reesboro. — General 
Van Dorn and General Price. — Battle at Iuka. — General Van Dorn. — Battle of 
Corinth. — General Little. — Captures at Holly Springs. — Retreat of Grant to 
Memphis. — Operations against Vicksburg. — The Canal. — Concentration. — Raid 
of Grierson. — Attack near Port Gibson. — Orders of General Johnston. — Reply 
of General Pemberton. — Baker's Creek. — Big Black Bridge. — Retreat to Vicks- 
burg. — Siege. — Surrender. — Losses. — Surrender of Port Hudson. — Some Move- 
ments for its Relief. 

Operations in the "West now claim attention. General 
Bragg, soon after taking command, as has been previously stated, 
advanced from Tupelo and occupied Chattanooga. Meantime 
General E. K. Smith with his force held Knoxville, in East 
Tennessee. Subsequently, in August, he moved toward Ken- 
tucky, and entered that State through Big Creek Gap, some 
twenty miles south of Cumberland Gap. After several small 
and successful affairs, he reached Richmond in the afternoon of 
August 30th. Here a force of the enemy had been collected to 
check his progress, but it was speedily routed, with the loss of 
some hundred killed and several thousand made prisoners, and a 
large number of small-arms, artillery, and wagons were captured. 
Lexington was next occupied ; thence he advanced to Frankfort ; 
and, moving forward toward the Ohio River, a great alarm was 
created in Cincinnati, then so little prepared for defense that, 
had his campaign been an independent one, he probably could 
and would have crossed the Ohio and captured that city. His 


division was but the advance of General Bragg's, and his duty 
to cooperate with it was a sufficient reason for not attempting 
so important a movement. 

General Bragg marched from Chattanooga on September 
5th, and, without serious opposition, entered Kentucky by the 
eastern route, thus passing to the rear of General Buell in Mid- 
dle Tennessee, who, becoming concerned for his line of com- 
munication with Nashville and Louisville, and especially for the 
safety of the latter city, collected all his force and retreated 
rapidly to Louisville. This was a brilliant piece of strategy on 
the part of General Bragg, by which he manoeuvered the foe 
out of a large and to us important territory. By it north 
Alabama and Middle Tennessee were relieved from the presence 
of the enemy, without necessitating a single engagement. 

General Buell in his retreat followed the line of the railroad 
from Nashville to Louisville. General Bragg moved more to 
the eastward, so as to unite with the forces under General E. K. 
Smith, which was subsequently effected when the army was 
withdrawing from Kentucky. 

On September 18th General Bragg issued an address to the 
citizens of Kentucky. Some recruits joined him, and an im- 
mense amount of supplies was obtained, which he continued to 
send to the rear until he withdrew from the State. The enemy, 
having received reinforcements, as soon as our army began to 
retire, moved out and pressed so heavily on its rear, under 
Major-General Hardee, that he halted and checked them near 
Perryville. General Bragg then determined there to give 

Concentrating three of the divisions of his old command, 
then under Major-General Polk, he directed him to attack on 
the morning of October 8th. The two armies were formed 
on opposite sides of the town. The action opened at 12.30 
p. m., between the skirmishers and artillery on both sides. 
Finding the enemy indisposed to advance, General Bragg or- 
dered him to be assailed vigorously. The engagement became 
general soon after, and was continued furiously until dark. 
Although greatly outnumbered, our troops did not hesitate to 
engage at any odds, and, though the battle raged with varying 


fortune, our men eventually carried every position, and drove 
the Federals about two miles. The intervention of night termi- 
nated the action. Our force captured fifteen pieces of artillery, 
killed one and wounded two brigadier-generals and a very large 
number of inferior officers and men, estimated at no less than 
four thousand, and captured four hundred prisoners. Our loss 
was twenty-five hundred killed, wounded, and missing. 

Ascertaining that the enemy was heavily reenforced during 
the night, General Bragg on the next morning withdrew his 
troops to Harrodsburg. General Smith arrived the next day 
with most of his forces, and the whole were then withdrawn to 
Bryantsville, the foe following slowly but not closely. Gen- 
eral Bragg finally took position at Murfreesboro, and the hos- 
tile forces concentrated at Nashville, General Buell having been 
superseded by General Kosecrans. 

Meantime, on November 30th, General Morgan with thir- 
teen hundred men made an attack on a brigade of the enemy at 
Hartsville. It was found strongly posted on a hill in line of 
battle. Our line was formed under fire, and the advance was 
made with great steadiness. The enemy was driven from his 
position, through his camps, losing a battery of Parrott guns, 
and finally hemmed in on the river-bank, where he surrendered. 
The contest was severe, and lasted an hour and a half. The 
prisoners numbered twenty-one hundred. 

Late in the month of December General Kosecrans com- 
menced his advance from Nashville upon the position of Gen- 
eral Bragg at Murfreesboro. His movement began on Decem- 
ber 26th by various routes, but such was the activity of our 
cavalry as to delay him four days in reaching the battle-field, a 
distance of twenty -six miles. On the 29th' General Wheeler 
with his cavalry brigade gained the rear of Rosecrans's army, 
and destroyed several hundreds of wagons loaded with sup- 
plies and baggage. After clearing the road, he made the cir- 
cuit of the enemy and joined our left. Their strength, as we 
have ascertained, was 65,000 men. The number of fighting 
men we had on the field on December 31st was 35,000, of 
which 30,000 were infantry and artillery. 

Our line was formed about two miles from Murfreesboro, 


and stretched transversely across Stone River, which was ford- 
able from the Lebanon pike on the right to the Franklin road 
on the left. As General Rosecrans made no demonstration on 
the 30th, General Bragg determined to begin the conflict early 
on the morning of the 31st by the advance of his left. The ene- 
my was taken completely by surprise, and his right was stead- 
ily driven until his line was thrown entirely back at a right 
angle to his first position and near to the railroad, along which 
he had massed reserves. Their resistance after the first surprise 
was most gallant and obstinate. At night he had been forced 
from every position except the one on his extreme left, which 
rested on Stone River, and was strengthened by a concentra- 
tion of artillery, and now seemed too formidable for assault. 

On the next day (January 1st) the cannonading opened on 
the right center about 8 a. m., and after a short time subsided. 
The enemy had withdrawn from the advanced position occu- 
pied by his left flank ; one or two short contests occurred on 
the 3d, but his line was unchanged. Our forces had now 
been in line of battle five days and nights, with little rest, as 
there were no reserves. Their tents had been packed in the 
wagons, which were four miles to the rear. The rain was con- 
tinuous, and the cold severe. Intelligence was received that 
heavy reinforcements were coming to Rosecrans by a rapid 
transfer of all the troops from Kentucky, and for this and the 
reasons before stated General Bragg decided to fall back to Tul- 
lahoma, and the army was withdrawn in good order. 

In the series of engagements near Murfreesboro we captured 
over 6,000 prisoners, 30 pieces of artillery, 6,000 small-arms, a 
number of ambulances, horses, and mules, and a large amount 
of other property. Our losses exceeded 10,000, and that of the 
enemy was estimated at over 25,000. 

After the battle of Shiloh, West Tennessee and north Mis- 
sissippi were occupied by a force under General Grant. Subse- 
quently this force was increased, and General Rosecrans assigned 
to its command. Many positions were held in "West Tennessee 
and north Mississippi, extending from Memphis to the north- 
eastern part of the State of Mississippi, with garrisons aggre- 
gating about 42,000 men. The most important of these posi- 


tions was that of the fortified town of Corinth. As part of the 
plan to subjugate the Southwestern States, extensive prepara- 
tions were made for an advance through Mississippi and an at- 
tack on Vicksburg by combined land and naval forces. A large 
number of troops occupied Middle Tennessee and north Ala- 
bama. To defeat their general plan, and to relieve the last- 
mentioned places of the presence of the enemy, General Bragg 
moved his army into Kentucky, which, by this time, the Federal 
Government thought it needless to overawe by the presence of 
garrisons. General Yan Dorn and General Price commanded 
the Confederate troops then in north Mississippi. General 
Bragg, when he advanced into Kentucky, had left them with 
instructions to operate against the Federals in that region, and 
especially to guard against their junction with Buell in Middle 
Tennessee. Though Yan Dorn was superior in rank, he had no 
power to command General Price, unless they should happen to 
join in the field and do duty together. General Price on this 
as on other occasions manifested his entire willingness to make 
a junction with his superior officer, and about the last of August 
proposed to General Yan Dorn to join him, but at that time 
Yan Dom's available force for the field had been sent with Gen- 
eral Breckinridge in his campaign against Baton Rouge. After 
that force had rejoined General Yan Dorn, he wrote to Price, 
inviting him to unite with him, that, with their two divisions, 
they might make an attack upon Corinth, by the capture of 
which main position of the enemy in that section of the country 
he hoped to be subsequently able to drive him from north Mis- 
sissippi and West Tennessee. Price felt constrained by his 
instructions to observe and if possible to prevent Rosecrans's 
forces in Mississippi from effecting a junction with Buell's in 
Tennessee ; therefore the invitation was . unfortunately post- 
poned to a future time. 

Subsequently General Price learned that Rosecrans was mov- 
ing to cross the Tennessee and join Buell ; he therefore marched 
from Tupelo and reached Iuka on the 19th of September. His 
cavalry advance found the place occupied by a force, which 
retreated toward Corinth, abandoning a considerable amount 
of stores. On the 24th Yan Dorn renewed in urgent terms 

1862] AXD NOT SOOXER. 387 

liis request for Price to come with all his forces to unite with 
him and make an attack upon Corinth. On the same day 
Price received a letter from General Ord, informing him that 
" Lee's army had been destroyed at Antietam ; that, therefore, 
the rebellion must soon terminate, and that, in order to spare 
the further effusion of blood, he gave him this opportunity 
to lay down his arms." Price replied, correcting the rumor 
about Lee's army, thanked Ord for his kind feeling, and prom- 
ised to " lay down his arms whenever Mr. Lincoln should ac- 
knowledge the independence of the Southern Confederacy, and 
not sooner." On that night General Price held a council of 
war, at which it was agreed on the next morning to fall back 
and make a junction with Van Dorn, it being now satisfactorily 
shown that the enemy was holding the line on our left instead 
of moving to reenforce Buell. The cavalry pickets had re- 
ported that a heavy force was moving from the south toward 
Iuka on the Jacinto road, to meet which General Little had ad- 
vanced with his Missouri brigade, an Arkansas battalion, the 
Third Louisiana Infantry, and the Texas Legion. It proved to 
be a force commanded by General Rosecrans in person. A 
bloody contest ensued, and the latter was driven back, with the 
loss of nine guns. Our own loss was very serious. General 
Maury states that the Third Louisiana regiment lost half its 
men, that Whitfield's legion suffered heavily, and adds that 
these two regiments and the Arkansas battalion of about a hun- 
dred men had charged and captured the enemy's guns. In this 
action General Henry Little fell, an officer of extraordinary 
merit, distinguished on many fields, and than whom there was 
none whose loss could have been more deeply felt by his Mis- 
souri brigade, as well as by the whole army, whose admiration 
he had so often attracted by gallantry and good conduct. It 
was afterward ascertained that this movement of Rosecrans 
was intended to be made in concert with one by Grant mov- 
ing from the west, but the former had been beaten before the 
latter arrived. Before dawn Price moved to make the proposed 
junction with Yan Dorn, which was effected at Ripley on the 
28th of September, at which time Yan Dorn in his report 
says : " Field returns showed my strength to be about 22,000. 



Posecrans at Corinth had about 15,000, with about 8,000 addi- 
tional men at outposts from twelve to fifteen miles distant." In 
addition to this force, the enemy had at Memphis, under Sher- 
man, about 6,000 men ; at Bolivar, under Ord, about 8,000 ; at 
Jackson, Tennessee, under Grant, about 3,000 ; at bridges and 
less important points, 2,000 or 3,000 — making an aggregate of 
42,000 in West Tennessee and north Mississippi. 

Corinth, though the strongest, was from its salient position 
the point it was most feasible to attack, and, under the circum- 
stances, the most important to gain. Yan Dorn, therefore, 
decided to move so rapidly upon it as to take it by surprise, and 
endeavor to capture it before reinforcements could arrive. In 
a previous chapter notice has been taken of the character and 
conduct of General Price ; here it is proposed in like manner to 
say something of General Yan Dorn, rendered the more appro- 
priate because of the criticism to which his attack upon Corinth 
has been subjected. He was an educated soldier, had served 
with marked distinction in the war with Mexico ; indeed, had 
been quite as often noticed in official reports for gallantry and 
good conduct as any officer who served in that war. After its 
close he had served on the "Western frontier, and in Indian 
warfare exhibited a like activity and daring as that shown in 
the greater battles with Mexico. Immediately on the seces- 
sion of his native State, Mississippi, he resigned from the United 
States Army, and, together with his veteran commander in 
Texas, General Twiggs, commenced recruiting men for the 
anticipated war. He was among the first to leave the service 
of the United States, and came to offer his sword to Missis- 
sippi. In the military organization there authorized, he was 
appointed a brigadier-general, and, when the State troops were 
transferred to the Confederacy, he entered its service. Gen- 
tle as he was brave, and generous, freely sharing all the dan- 
gers and privations to which his troops were subjected, he 
possessed, like his associate Price, both the confidence and affec- 
tion of his men. Without entering into details of the disposi- 
tion of his troops in the attack on the works at Corinth, the 
result shows that they were skillfully made, and, though final 
success did not crown the effort, the failure was due to other 


causes than the defect of pkn or want of energy and personal 
effort on the part of Van Dorn. His opponent, Rosecrans, was an 
engineer of high ability, and proved himself one of the best 
generals in the United States Army. He had- materially strength- 
ened the works around Corinth, and had interposed every pos- 
sible obstacle to an assault.. Our army had moved rapidly from 
Ripley, its point of junction, had cut the railroad between Corinth 
and Jackson, Tennessee, and at daybreak on the 3d of March 
was deployed for attack. By ten o'clock our force confronted 
the enemy inside his intrenchments. In half an hour the whole 
line of outer works was carried, the obstructions passed, and 
the battle opened in earnest ; the foe, obstinately disputing 
every point, was finally driven from his second line of detached 
works, and at sunset had retreated to the innermost lines. 

The battle had been mainly fought by Price's division on 
our left. The troops had made a quick march of ten miles over 
dusty roads without water ; the line of battle had been formed 
in forests with undergrowth ; the combats of the day had been 
so severe that General Price thought his troops unequal to fur- 
ther exertion on that day, and it was decided to wait until 
morning. Of this, General Yan Dorn says : 

"I saw with regret the sun sink behind the horizon as the last 
shot of our sharpshooters followed the retreating foe into their in- 
nermost lines. One hour more of daylight, and victory would have 
soothed our grief for the loss of the gallant dead who sleep on that 
lost but not dishonored field." 

During the night batteries were put in position to open 
on the town at 4 a. m. At daybreak the action was to begin 
on the left, to be immediately followed by an advance on the 
extreme right. The order "was not executed, the commander 
of the wing which was to make the attack failed to do so, and 
another officer was sent to take his place. In the mean time 
the center became engaged, and the action extended to the left. 
The plan had been disarranged; nevertheless, the center and 
left pushed forward and planted their colors on the last strong- 
hold of the enemy; his "heavy guns were silenced, and all 
seemed about to be ended, when a heavy fire from fresh troops 


that had succeeded in reaching Corinth was poured into our 
thin ranks," and, with this combined assault on Price's exhausted 
corps, which had sustained the whole conflict, those gallant 
troops were driven back. The day was lost. The enemy, re- 
enforced, was concentrated against our left, and Lo veil's divis- 
ion, which was at this time advancing, pursuant to orders, and 
was on the point of assaulting the works, was ordered to move 
to the left to prevent a sortie, and cover their retreat. Our 
army retired during the day to Chewalla without pursuit, and 
rested for the night free from molestation. 

Our loss was very heavy of gallant men and officers. In the 
fierce conflicts the officers displayed not only daring, but high 
military skill, their impetuous charges being marked by judi- 
cious selection of time and place. Colonel William S. Barry, 
who, as commander of the burial party, visited General Rose- 
crans, was courteously received by that officer, who, while de- 
clining to admit the command within his lines, sent assurance 
to General Yan Dorn that " every becoming respect should be 
shown to his dead and wounded. . . . He had the grave of 
Colonel Rodgers, who led the Second Texas sharpshooters, in- 
closed and marked with a slab, in respect to the gallantry of his 
charge. Rodgers fell before Gates called on me to reenforce 
him on the edge of the ditch of Battery Robbinet." * This 
officer, W. P. Rodgers, was a captain in the First Regiment 
of Mississippi Rifles in the war with Mexico, and the gallantry 
which attracted the admiration of the enemy at Corinth was in 
keeping with the character he acquired in the former service re- 
ferred to. Of this retreat, that able soldier and military critic, 
General Dabney H. Maury, in a contribution to the "Annals 
of the War," wrote : 

" Few commanders have ever been so beset as Yan Dorn was 
in the forks of the Hatchie, and very few would have extricated 
a beaten army as he did then. One, with a force stated at ten 
thousand men, headed him at the Hatchie Bridge ; while Rose- 
crans, with twenty thousand men, was attacking his rear at the 
Tuscumbia Bridge, only five miles off. . The whole road between 
was occupied by a train of nearly four hundred wagons, and a de- 

* General D. H. Maury. 


feated army of about eleven thousand muskets. But Van Dorn 
was never for a moment dismayed. He repulsed Ord, and pun- 
ished him severely ; while he checked Rosecrans at the Tuscum- 
bia, until he could turn his train and army short to the left, and 
cross the Hatchie by the Boneyard road, without the loss of a 

He then moved near Holly Springs, Mississippi, to await 
further developments. In the mean time General Grant massed 
a heavy force, estimated at eighty thousand men, at various 
points on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. Thence he 
moved south, through the interior of Mississippi, until he en- 
camped near Water Valley. The country was teeming with 
great quantities of breadstuffs and forage, and he accumulated 
an immense depot of supplies at Holly Springs, and hastened 
every preparation necessary to continue his advance southward. 
Unless his progress was arrested, the interior of the State, its 
capital, Jackson, Yicksburg, and its railroads, would fall into his 
possession. As we had no force in front sufficient to offer battle, 
our only alternative was to attack his communications. For this 
purpose, General Yan Dorn, on the night of December 15th, 
quietly withdrew our cavalry, amounting to less than twenty- 
five hundred men, from the enemy's front, and marched for 
Holly Springs. That place was occupied by a brigade of in- 
fantry and a portion of the Seventh Illinois Cavalry. The 
movement of Yan Dorn was so rapid that early on the morn- 
ing of the 19th he surprised and captured the garrison, and 
before eight o'clock was in quiet possession of the town. The 
captured property, amounting to millions of dollars, was burned 
before sunset, with the exception of the small quantity used in 
arming and equipping his command. General Grant was thus 
forced to abandon his campaign and to retreat hastily from the 

After the battle of Murfreesboro, which closed in the first 
days of 1863, there was a cessation of active operations in that 
portion of Tennessee, and attention was concentrated upon the 
extensive preparations which were in progress for a campaign 
into Mississippi, with Yicksburg as the objective point. The 


plan, as it was developed, was for a combined movement by 
land and river, the former passing through the interior of 
Mississippi to approach Vicksburg in rear, the latter to descend 
the Mississippi River and attack the city in front. General 
Pemberton, with the main body of his command, held the po- 
sition on the Tallahatchie and Yazoo Rivers, and among the 
various devices to turn that position was one more ingenious 
than ingenuous. It was an offer to furnish, at prices lower 
than ruled in our markets, provisions of which we stood in 
need, to be sent through the Yazoo Pass and transported in 
boats through to the Yazoo River if we should desire. I had, 
some time before, directed that cypress rafts, as far as practi- 
cable, of sinking timber, should be thrown into the main chan- 
nel leading down from the Yazoo Pass ; and saw that, if it was 
not the purpose of the proposer, the effect of accepting the 
proposition would be to open a water line of approach from the 
Mississippi, below Memphis, then in the hands of the enemy, 
to the interior in rear of Vicksburg : for that reason, I re- 
sisted much importunity in favor of allowing the supplies to 
be brought in that manner. 

In the latter part of December General Sherman, having 
descended the Mississippi River, entered the Yazoo with four 
divisions of land troops and five gunboats, the object being to 
reduce our work at Haines's Bluff and turn Yicksburg so as to 
attack it in rear. The first point at which the range of hills 
extending from Yicksburg up the Yazoo approaches near to the 
river is at Haines's Bluff, some twenty miles by the course of 
the Yazoo from the Mississippi River. Here the troops were 
landed the 26th of December to attack the redoubts which had 
been built upon the bluff. 

On the 27th little progress was made. On the 28th the at- 
tempt, by one division, to approach the causeway north of the 
Chickasaw Bayou, was repulsed with heavy loss. The troops 
were withdrawn and moved down the river to a point below 
the bayou, there to unite with the rest of the command. At 
daylight on the 29th the attack was resumed and continued 
throughout the most of the day 1 ; the enemy were again repulsed 
with heavy loss. On the next day there was firing on both sides 




without conclusive results. On the 31st General Sherman sent 
in a flag of truce to bury the dead. 

Thereafter nothing important occurred until the latter part 
of January, when the troops under General Grant embarked at 
Memphis and moved down the Mississippi River to Young's 
Point, on the Louisiana shore, a few miles above Vicksburg. 
The expected cooperation by his forces with those of Sherman 
had been prevented by the brilliant cavalry expedition under 
Van Dorn, which captured and destroyed the vast supplies col- 
lected at Holly Springs for the use of Grant's forces in the land 
movement referred to. This compelled Grant to retreat to 

Memphis, and frustrated the combined movement which had 
been projected, in connection with the river campaign, by Sher- 
man, and a new plan of operations resulted therefrom, in which, 
however, still prominently appears the purpose of turning Yicks- 
burg on the north. After General Grant, descending the Mis- 
sissippi from Memphis, arrived (2d of February, 1863) in the 
neighborhood of Yicksburg and assumed command of the ene- 
my's forces, an attempt was made, by removing obstructions to 
the navigation of the Yazoo Pass and Cold "Water, small streams 
which flow from the Mississippi into the Tallahatchie River, to 


pass to the rear of Fort Pemberton at the mouth of the latter. 
The never-to-be-realized hope was to reduce that work, and thus 
open the way down the Yazoo River to the right flank of the 
defenses of Vicksburg. 

At the same time another attempt was made, by means of 


the network of creeks and bayous on the north side of the Ya- 
zoo, to pass around and enter the Yazoo above Haines's Bluff ; 
but our sharpshooters, availing themselves of every advantageous 


position, picked off the men upon the boats, and Colonel (after- 
ward General) Ferguson, with a few men and a section of field- 
pieces, so harassed and beset them that they were driven back 
utterly discomfited. 

Admiral Porter had, with his fleet, gone some distance up 
Deer Creek, and, but for the land-forces sent to sustain him, 
would probably never have returned, an adventurous party 
having passed in below him with axes to fell trees so as to pre- 
vent his egress. He is described as follows : * 

" I soon found Admiral Porter, who was on the deck of one of 
his ironclads, with a shield made of the section of a smoke-stack, 
and I doubt if he was ever more glad to meet a friend than he was 
to see me. He explained that he had almost reached the Rolling 
Fork, when the woods became full of sharpshooters, who, taking 
advantage of trees, stumps, and the levee, would shoot down every 
man that poked his nose outside the protection of their armor. 
. . . He informed me at one time things looked so critical that 
he had made up his mind to blow up the gunboats, and to escape 
with his men through the swamp to the Mississippi River." 

This attempt to get through to Yazoo, above Haines's Bluff, 
had so signally failed, that the expedition was ordered back to 
the Louisiana shore above Yicksburg, where they arrived on 
the 27th of March, 1863. General Grant was now in command 
of a large army, holding various positions on the Mississippi 
River opposite to Yicksburg, extending from Milliken's Bend 
above to New Carthage below, with a fleet of gunboats in 
the river above Yicksburg, and another some eight miles be- 
low. Lieutenant-General Pemberton's military district in- 
cluded Yicksburg, and Major-General Gardner was in com- 
mand at Port Hudson. These posts, as long as they could be 
maintained, gave us some control over the intermediate space 
of the river, about two hundred and sixty miles in length, and 
to that extent secured our communication with the trans-Mis- 
sissippi. The enemy, after his repeated and disastrous attempts 
to turn the right flank of Yicksburg, applied his attention to 
the opposite direction. General Grant first endeavored to di- 

* " Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman," vol. i, pp. 310, 311. 


vert the Mississippi from its channel, by cutting a canal across 
the peninsula opposite to Yicksburg, so as to make a practicable 
passage for transport-vessels from a point above to one below 
the city. His attempt was quite unsuccessful, and, whatever 
credit may be awarded to his enterprise, none can be given to 
his engineering skill, as the direction given to his ditch was 

such that, instead of being washed out by the current of the 
river, it was filled up by its sediment. 

Another attempt to get into the Mississippi, without passing 
the batteries at Yicksburg, was by digging a canal to connect 
the river with the bayou in rear of Milliken's Bend, so as to 


have water communication by way of Richmond to Kew Car- 
thage. These indications of a purpose to get below Yicksburg 
caused General Pemberton, early in February, 1863, to detach 
Brigadier-General John S. Bowen, with his Missouri Brigade, 
to Grand Gulf, near the mouth of the Big Black, and establish 
batteries there to command the mouth of that small river, 
which might be used to pass to the rear of Vicksburg, and also 
by their fire to obstruct the navigation of the Mississippi. 

On the 19th of March the flag-ship of Admiral Farragut, 
with one gunboat from the fleet at !New Orleans, passed up the 
river in defiance of our batteries ; but, on the 25th, four gun- 
boats from the upper fleet attempted to pass down and were 
repulsed, two of them completely disabled. 

On the 16th of April a fleet of ironclads with barges in tow, 
Admiral Porter commanding, under cover of the night ran the 
Yicksburg batteries. One of the vessels was destroyed, and an- 
other one crippled, but towed out of range. Subsequently, on the 
night of the 26th, a fleet of transports with loaded barges was 
floated past Yicksburg. One or more of them was sunk, but 
enough escaped to give the enemy abundant supplies below 
Yicksburg and boats enough for ferriage uses. On the 20th of 
April the movement of the, enemy commenced through the 
country on the west side of the river to their selected point of 
crossing below Grand Gulf. 

On the 29th the enemy's gunboats came down and took their 
stations in front of our batteries and rifle-pits at Grand Gulf. 
A furious cannonade was continued for many hours, and the 
fleet withdrew, having one gunboat disabled, and otherwise re- 
ceiving and inflicting but little damage. Among the casualties 
on our side was that of Colonel William Wade, the chief of 
artillery, an officer of great merit, alike respected and beloved, 
whose death was universally regretted. 

In a short time the fleet reappeared from behind a point 
which had concealed them from view. The gunboats now had 
transports lashed to their farther side, and, protected by their 
iron shields, ran by our batteries at full speed, losing but one 
transport on the way. 

On the evening of the 29th of April the enemy commenced 


ferrying over troops from the Louisiana to the Mississippi shore 
to a landing just below the mouth of Bayou Pierre. General 
Green with his brigade moved thither, and, when the enemy 
on the night of the 30th commenced his advance, General 
Green attacked him with such impressive vigor as to render 
their march both cautious and slow. As additional forces came 
up, Green retired, skirmishing. In the mean time Generals 
Tracy and Baldwin, with their brigades, had by forced marches 
joined General Green, and about daylight a more serious con- 
flict occurred, lasting some two hours and a half, during which 
General Tracy, a distinguished citizen of Alabama, of whom 
patriotism made a soldier, fell while gallantly leading his bri- 
gade in the unequal combat in which it was engaged. Step 
by step, disputing the ground, Green retired to the range of 
hills three miles southwest of Port Gibson, where General 
Bowen joined him and arranged a new line of battle. The 
enemy's forces were steadily augmented by the arrival of rein- 
forcements from the rear. Our troops continued most valiantly 
to resist until, between nine and ten o'clock, outflanked both 
on our right and left, their condition seemed almost hope- 
less, when, by a movement to which desperation gave a power 
quite disproportionate to the numbers, the right wing of the 
enemy was driven back, and our forces made good their re- 
treat across the bridge over Bayou Pierre. General Cocker- 
ell, commanding our left wing, led this forlorn hope in person, 
and to the fortune which favors the brave must be attrib- 
uted the few casualties which occurred in a service so haz- 
ardous. General Bowen promptly intrenched his camp on the 
east side of Bayou Pierre and waited for future developments. 
The relative forces engaged in the battle of the 1st of May were, 
as nearly as I have been able to learn, fifty-five hundred Con- 
federates and twenty thousand Federals. Fresh troops were 
reported to be joining Grant's army, and one of his corps had 
been sent to cross by a ford above so as to get in rear of our 
position. The reinforcements which were en route to Bowen 
had not yet approached so near as to give him assurance of co- 

To divert notice from this movement to get in the rear of 


Bowen, on the morning of the 2d, Grant ordered artillery-fire 
to be opened on our intrenchments across Bayou Pierre. It 
was quite ineffectual, and probably was not expected to do more 
than occupy attention. During the forenoon Bowen sent a flag 
of truce to ask suspension of hostilities for the purpose of bury- 
ing the dead. This was refused, and a demand made for surren- 
der. That was as promptly as decidedly rejected, and, as the 
day wore away without the arrival of reenforcement, Bowen, 
under cover of night, commenced a retreat, his march being 
directed toward Grand Gulf. General Loring with his divi- 
sion soon joined him. Directions were sent to the garrison at 
Grand Gulf to dismantle the fortifications and evacuate the 
place. On the morning of the 3d General Grant commenced a 
pursuit of the retreating force, which, however, was attended 
with only unimportant skirmishes ; Bowen, with the reinforce- 
ments which were marching to his support, recrossed the Big 
Black at Hankinson's Ferry, and all, under the orders of Gen- 
eral Pemberton, were assigned to their respective positions in 
the army he commanded. 

While the events which have just been narrated were tran- 
spiring, Colonel Grierson with three regiments of cavalry made 
a raid from the northern border of Mississippi through the in- 
terior of the State, and joined General Banks at Baton Rouge 
in Louisiana. Among the expeditions for pillage and arson this 
stands prominent for savage outrages against defenseless women 
and children, constituting a record alike unworthy a soldier and 
a gentleman. 

Grant with his large army was now marching into the in- 
terior of Mississippi, his route being such as might either be 
intended to strike the capital (Jackson) or Vicksburg. The coun- 
try through which he had to pass was for some distance com- 
posed of abrupt hills, and all of it poorly provided with roads. 
There was reasonable ground to hope that, with such difficult 
communications with his base of supplies, and the physical obsta- 
cles to his progress, he might be advantageously encountered at 
many points and be finally defeated. In such warfare as was 
possible, that portion of the population who were exempt or in- 
capable of full service in the army could be very effective as 


an auxiliary force. I therefore wrote to the Governor, Pettus, 
a man worthy of all confidence, as well for his patriotism as his 
manhood, requesting him to use all practicable means to get every 
man and boy, capable of aiding their country in its need, to turn 
out, mounted or on foot, w T itk whatever weapons they had, to aid 
the soldiers in driving the invader from our soil. The facilities 
the enemy possessed in river transportation and the aid which 
their iron-clad gunboats gave to all operations where land and 
naval forces could be combined were lost to Grant in this in- 
terior march which he was making. Success gives credit to 
military enterprises ; had this failed, as I think it should, it 
surely would have been pronounced an egregious blunder. 
Other efforts made to repel the invader will be noticed in the 
course of the narrative. 

After the retreat of Bowen which has been described, Gen- 
eral Pemberton, anticipating an attack on Yicksburg from the 
rear, concentrated all the troops of his command for its defense. 
All previous demonstrations indicated the special purpose of 
the enemy to be its capture. Its strategic importance justified 
the belief that he would concentrate his efforts upon that ob- 
ject, and this opinion was enforced by the difficulty of supply- 
ing his army in the region into which he was marching, and the 
special advantages of Yicksburg as his base. The better mode 
of counteracting his views, whatever they might be, it would be 
more easy now to determine than it was when General Pem- 
berton had to decide that question. The superior force of the 
enemy enabled him at the same time, while moving the main 
body of his troops through Louisiana to a point below Yicks- 
burg, to send a corps to renew the demonstration against Haines's 
Bluff. Finding due preparation made to resist an attack there, 
this demonstration was merely a feint, but, had Pemberton with- 
drawn his troops, that feint could have been converted into a 
real attack, and the effort so often foiled to gain the heights 
above Yicksburg would have become a success. When that 
corps retired, and proceeded to join the rest of Grant's army 
which had gone toward Grand Gulf, Pemberton commenced 
energetically to prepare for what was now the manifest object 
of the enemy. From his headquarters at Jackson, Mississippi, 


he, on the 23d of April, directed Major-General Stevenson, com- 
manding at Vicksburg, " that communications, at least for in- 
fantry, should be made by the shortest practicable route to 
Grand Gulf. The indications now are that the attack will not 
be made on your front or right, and all troops not absolutely 
necessary to hold the works at Vicksburg should be held as a 
movable force for either Warrenton or Grand Gulf." On the 
28th Brigadier-General Bo wen, commanding at Grand Gulf, 
reported that " transports and barges loaded down with troops 
are landing at Hard-Times on the west bank." Pemberton re- 
plied by asking : u Have you force enough to hold your posi- 
tion? If not, give me the smallest additional number with 
which you can." At this time the small cavalry force remain- 
ing in Pemberton's command compelled him to keep infantry 
detachments at many points liable to be attacked by raiding 
parties of the enemy's mounted troops, a circumstance seriously 
interfering with the concentration of the forces of his command. 
Instructions were sent to all the commanders of his cavalry de- 
tachments to move toward Grand Gulf, to harass the enemy in 
flank and rear, obstructing, as far as might be, communications 
with his base. A dispatch was sent to Major-General Buckner, 
commanding at Mobile, asking him to protect the Mobile and 
Ohio Railroad, as Pemberton required all the troops he could 
spare to strengthen General Bowen. A dispatch was also sent 
to General J. E. Johnston, at Tullahoma, saying that the Army 
of Tennessee must be relied on to guard the approaches through 
north Mississippi. To Major-General Stevenson, at Vicksburg, 
he sent a dispatch : " Hold five thousand men in readiness to 
move to Grand Gulf, and, on the requisition of Brigadier- 
General Bowen, move them ; with your batteries and rifle-pits 
manned, the city front is impregnable." At the same time the 
following was sent to General Bowen : " I have directed Gen- 
eral Stevenson to have five thousand men ready to move on 
your requisition, but do not make requisition unless absolutely 
necessary for your position. I am also making arrangements 
for sending you two or three thousand men from this direction 
in case of necessity." 

The policy was here manifested of meeting the enemy in 


the liills east of the point of his debarkation, jet all unfriendly 
criticism has treated General Pemberton's course on that occa- 
sion as having been voluntarily to withdraw his troops to with- 
in the intrenchments of Vicksburg. His published reports 
show what early and consistent efforts he made to avoid that 

After General J. E. Johnston had recovered from the wound 
received at Seven Pines, he was on the 2±th of November, 1862, 
by special order No. 275, assigned to the command of a geo- 
graphical department including the States of Tennessee, Mis- 
sissippi, Alabama, and parts of Louisiana, Georgia, and North 
Carolina. The order gives authority to establish his headquar- 
ters wherever, in his judgment, will best secure facilities for 
ready communication with the troops of his command; and 
provides that he " will repair to any part of said command 
whenever his presence may for the time be necessary or desir- 
able." While the events which have been described were oc- 
curring in Pemberton's command, he felt seriously the want of 
cavalry, and was much embarrassed by the necessity for substi- 
tuting portions of his infantry to supply the deficiency of cav- 

These embarrassments and the injurious consequences at- 
tendant upon them were frequently represented. In his re- 
port he states, after several other applications for cavalry, that 
on March 25th he wrote to General Johnston, commanding 
department, "urgently requesting that the division of cavalry 
under Major-General Van Dorn, which had been sent to the 
Army of Tennessee for special and temporary purposes, might 
be returned." He gives the following extract from General 
Johnston's reply of April 3d to his request : 

" In the present aspect of affairs, General Van Dorn's cavalry 
is much more needed in this department than in that of Missis- 
sippi and East Louisiana, and can not be sent back as long as this 
state of things exists. You have now in your department five 
brigades of the troops you most require, viz., infantry, belonging 
to the Army of Tennessee. This is more than a compensation for 
the absence of General Van Dorn's cavalry command." 


To this Pemberton rejoined that cavalry was indispensable, 
stating the positions where the enemy was operating on his 
communications, and the impossibility of defending the rail- 
roads by infantry. Referring to the advance of the enemy 
from Bruinsburg, Pemberton, in his report, makes the follow- 
ing statement : 

" With a moderate cavalry force at my disposal, I am firmly 
convinced that the Federal army under General Grant would have 
been unable to maintain its communication with the Mississippi 
River, and that the attempt to reach Jackson and Vicksburg 
would have been as signally defeated in May, 1863, as a like at- 
tempt from another base had, by the employment of cavalry, been 
defeated in December, 1862." 

Pemberton commenced, after the retreat of Bowen, to con- 
centrate all his forces for the great effort of checking the invad- 
ing army, and on the 6th of May telegraphed to the Secretary 
of War that the reinforcements sent to him were very insuffi- 
cient, adding : " The stake is a great one ; I can see nothing so 
important." On the 12th of May he sent a telegram to General 
J. E. Johnston, and a duplicate to the President, announcing 
his purpose to meet the enemy then moving with heavy force 
toward Edwards's Depot, and indicated that as the battle-field; 
he urgently asked for more reinforcements : " Also, that three 
thousand cavalry be at once sent to operate on this line. I urge 
this as a positive necessity. The enemy largely outnumbers me, 
and I am obliged to hold back a large force at the ferries on 
Big Black." This was done to prevent the foe passing to his 

Large bodies of troops continued to descend the river, land 
above Yicksburg, and, to avoid our batteries at that place, to move 
on the west side of the river to reenforce General Grant. This 
seemed to justify the conclusion that the main effort in the West 
was to be made by that army, and, supposing that General John- 
ston would be convinced of the fact if he repaired to that field 
in person, as well as to avail ourselves of the public confidence 
felt in his military capacity, he was ordered, on the 9th of May, 
1863, to " proceed at once to Mississippi and take chief com- 


mand of the forces, giving to those in the field, as far as prac- 
ticable, the encouragement and benefit of your personal direc- 
tion. Arrange to take, for temporary service, with you, or to 
be followed without delay, three thousand good troops," etc. 

On the 12th, the same day General Pemberton had applied 
for reinforcements, he instructed Major-General Stevenson as 
follows : 

"From information received, it is evident that the enemy is 
advancing in force on Edwards's Depot and Big Black Bridge ; 
hot skirmishing has been going on all the morning, and the 
enemy are at Fourteen-Mile Creek. You must move with your 
whole division to the support of Loring and Bowen at the bridge, 
leaving Baldwin's and Moore's brigades to protect your right." 

In consequence of that information, Brigadier-General 
Gregg, who was near Raymond, received cautionary instruc- 
tion ; notwithstanding which, he was attacked by a large body 
of the enemy's forces, and his single brigade, with great gal- 
lantry and steadiness, held them in check for several hours, and 
then retired in such good order as to attract general admiration. 
Meantime, bodies of the enemy's troops were sent into the in- 
terior villages, and much damage was done in them, and to the 
defenseless, isolated homes in the country. 

General Johnston arrived at Jackson on the 13th of May, 
1863, and telegraphed to J. A. Seddon, Secretary of War, as 
follows : 

"I arrived this evening, finding the enemy in force between 
this place and General Pemberton, cutting off the communication, j 
I am too late." 

In the order assigning General Johnston to the geographi- 
cal Department of the West, he was directed to repair in person 
to any part of his command, whenever his presence might be 
for the time necessary or desirable. On the 9th of May, 18G3, 
he was ordered to proceed at once to Mississippi and take chief 
command of the forces in the field. 

"When he reached Jackson, learning that the enemy was be- 
tween that place and the position occupied by General Pember- 


ton's forces, about thirty miles distant, he halted there and 
opened correspondence with Pemberton, from which a confu- 
sion with consequent disaster resulted, which might have been 
avoided had he, with or without his reinforcements, proceeded 
to Pemberton's headquarters in the field. "What that confusion 
or want of co-intelligence was, will best appear from citing the 
important part of the dispatches which passed between them. 
On May 13th General Johnston, then at Jackson, sent the fol- 
lowing dispatch to General Pemberton, which was received on 
the 14th : 

" I have lately arrived, and learn that Major-General Sherman 
is between us, with four divisions at Clinton. It is important to 
reestablish communications, that you may be reenf orced. If prac- 
ticable, come up in his rear at once — to beat such a detachment 
would be of immense value. Troops here could cooperate. All 
the troops you can quickly assemble should be brought. Time is 

On the same day, the 14th, General Pemberton, then at Bo- 
vina, replied : 

" I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your communi- 
cation. I moved at once with whole available force, about six- 
teen thousand, leaving Vaughan's brigade, about fifteen hundred, 
at Big Black Bridge ; Tilghman's brigade, fifteen hundred, now 
at Baldwin's Ferry, I have ordered to bring up the rear of my 
column ; he will be, however, from fifteen to twenty miles behind 
it. Baldwin's Ferry will be left, necessarily, unprotected. To 
hold Vicksburg are Smith's and Forney's divisions, extending 
from Snyder's Mills to Warrenton, numbering effectives seven 
thousand eight hundred men. ... I do not think that you fully 
comprehend the position that Vicksburg will be left in ; but I 
comply at once with your order." 

On the same day, General Pemberton, after his arrival at 
Edwards's Depot, called a council of war of all the general offi- 
cers present. He placed General Johnston's dispatch before 
them, and stated his own views against the propriety of an ad- 
vance, but expressed the opinion that the only possibility of 
success would be by a movement on the enemy's communica- 


tions. A majority of the officers present expressed themselves 
favorable to the plan indicated by General Johnston. The 
others, including Major-Generals Loring and Stevenson, "pre- 
ferred a movement by which the army might attempt to cnt off 
the enemy's supplies from the Mississippi River." General 
Pemberton then sent the following dispatch to General John- 
ston : 

"Edwards's Depot, May 14, 18G3. 
" I shall move as early to-morrow morning as practicable, with 
a column of seventeen thousand men, to Dillon's, situated on the 
main road leading from Raymond to Port Gibson, seven and a 
half miles below Raymond, and nine and a half miles from Ed- 
wards's Depot. The object is to cut the enemy's communication 
and to force him to attack me, as I. do not consider my force suf- 
ficient to justify an attack on the enemy in position, or to attempt 
to cut my way to Jackson. At this point your nearest communi- 
cation would be through Raymond." 

The movement commenced about 1 p. m. on the 15th. Gen- 
eral Pemberton states that the force at Clinton was an army 
corps, numerically greater than his whole available force in the 
field ; that — 

" The enemy had at least an equal force to the south, on my right 
flank, which would be nearer Vicksburg than myself, in case I 
should make the movement proposed. I had, moreover, positive 
information that he was daily increasing his strength. I also 
learned, on reaching Edwards's Depot, that one division of the 
enemy (A. J. Smith's) was at or near Dillon's." 

On the morning of the 16th, about 6.3J3 o'clock, Colonel 
Wirt Adams, commanding the cavalry, reported to General 
Pemberton that his pickets were skirmishing with the enemy 
on the Raymond road in our front. At the same moment a 
courier arrived and delivered the following dispatch from Gen- 
eral Johnston : 

"Canton Road, ten Miles from Jackson, 
"May 15, 1863, 8.30 o'clock a. m. 

" Our being compelled to leave Jackson makes your plan im- 
practicable. The only mode by which we can unite is by your 


moving directly to Clinton and informing me, that We may move 
to that point with about six thousand." 

Pemberton reversed his column to return to Edwards's De- 
pot and take the Brownsville road, so as to proceed toward 
Clinton on the north side of the railroad, and sent a reply to 
General Johnston to notify him of the retrograde movement 
and the route to be followed. Just as the reverse movement 
commenced, the enemy drove in the cavalry pickets and opened 
fire with artillery. 

The continuance of the movement was ordered, when, the 
demonstrations of the enemy becoming more serious, orders were 
issued to form a line of battle, with Loring on the right, Bowen 
in the center, and Stevenson on the left. Major-General Ste- 
venson was ordered to make the necessary dispositions for pro- 
tecting the trains on the Clinton road and the crossing of Ba- 
ker's Creek. The line of battle was quickly formed in a position 
naturally strong, and the approaches from the front well cov- 
ered. The enemy made his first demonstration on the right, 
but, after a lively artillery duel for an hour or more, this attack 
was relinquished, and a large force was thrown against the left, 
where skirmishing became heavy. About ten o'clock the battle 
began in earnest along Stevenson's entire front. About noon 
Loring was ordered to move forward and crush the enemy in 
his front, and Bowen to cooperate. Xo movement was made 
by Loring ; he said the force was too strongly posted to be at- 
tacked, but that he would seize the first opportunity to assault 
if one should offer. Stevenson soon found that unless reen- 
forced he would be unable to resist the heavy and repeated at- 
tacks along his line. Aid was sent to him from Bowen, and for 
a time the tide of battle turned in our favor. The enemy still 
continued to move troops from his left to his right, thus increas- 
ing on that flank his vastly superior forces. General Pember- 
ton, feeling assured that there was no important force in front of 
Loring, again ordered him to move to the left as rapidly as pos- 
sible. To this order, the answer was given that the enemy was 
in strong force and endeavoring to turn his flank. As there was 
no firing on the right, the order was repeated. Much time was 


lost in exchanging these messages. At 4 p. m. a part of Steven- 
son's division broke badly and fell back. Some assistance finally 
came from Loring, but it was too late to save the day, and the 
retreat was ordered. Had the left been promptly supported 
when it was first sp ordered, it is not improbable that the posi- 
tion might have been maintained and the enemy possibly driven 
back, although his increasing numbers would have rendered it 
necessary to withdraw during the night to save our communi- 
cations with Vicksburg unless promptly reenforced. The dis- 
patch of the 15th from General Johnston, in obedience to which 
Pemberton reversed his order of march, gave him the first in- 
telligence that Johnston had left Jackson ; but, while making the 
retrograde movement, a previous dispatch from Johnston, dated 
"May 14, 1863, camp seven miles from Jackson," informed 
Pemberton that the body of Federal troops, mentioned in his 
dispatch of the 13th, had compelled the evacuation of Jackson, 
and that he was moving by the Canton road ; he refers to the 
troops east of Jackson as perhaps able to prevent the enemy 
there from drawing provisions from that direction, and that his 
command might effect the same thing in regard to the country 
toward Panola, and then asks these significant questions : 

" Can he supply himself from the Mississippi ? Can you not 
cut him off from it ? Above all, should he be compelled to fall 
back for want of supplies, beat him ? As soon as the reinforce- 
ments are all up, they must be united to the rest of the army. . . . 
If prisoners tell the truth, the force at Jackson must be half of 
Grant's army. It would decide the campaign to beat it, which 
can only be done by concentrating, especially when the remainder 
of the eastern troops arrive. They are to be twelve or thirteen 

From Pemberton's communication it is seen that he did not 
feel his army strong enough to attack the corps in position at 
Clinton, and that he hoped by the course adopted to compel 
the enemy to attack our force in position. Whether the move- 
ment toward Dillon's was well or ill advised, it was certainly a 
misfortune to reverse the order of march in the presence of the 
enemy, as it involved the disadvantage of being attacked in 


rear. As Las been described, the dispositions for battle were 
promptly made, and many of the troops fought with a gal- 
lantry worthy of all praise. Though defeated, they were not 

Stevenson's single division for a long time resisted a force 
estimated by him at " more than four times " his own. In the 
afternoon he was reenforced by the unfaltering troops of Bo wen's 
division. Cockerell, commanding the First Missouri Brigade, 
fought with like fortitude under like disadvantage. When 
Pemberton saw that the masses assailing his left and left cen- 
ter by their immense numbers were pressing our forces back 
into old fields, where the advantages of position would be in 
his adversary's favor, he directed his troops to retire, and sent 
to Brigadier-General Lloyd Tilghman instructions to hold the 
Raymond road to protect the retreat. General Pemberton says 
of him : 

" It was in the execution of this important duty, which could 
not have been confided to a fitter man, that the lamented General 
bravely lost his life." 

He was the officer whose devoted gallantry and self-sacrific- 
ing generosity were noticed in connection with the fall of Fort 
Henry. This severe battle was signalized by so many feats of 
individual intrepidity that its roll of honor is too long for the 
limits of these pages. 

Though some gave way in confusion, and others failed to 
respond when called on, the heroism of the rest shed luster on 
the field, and "the main body of the troops retired in good 
order." The gallant brigades of Green and Cockerell covered 
the rear. 

The topographical features of the position at the railroad- 
bridge across the Big Black were such as, with the artificial 
strength given to it, made it quite feasible to defend it against 
a direct approach even of an army as much superior in numbers 
to that of Pemberton as was that of Grant ; but the attack need 
not be made by a direct approach. The position could be 
turned by moving either above or below by fords and ferries, and 
thus advancing upon Vicksburg by other and equally eligible 


routes. From what has already been quoted, it will be under- 
stood that General Pemberton considered the occupation of 
Yicksburg vitally important in connection with the command of 
the Mississippi River, and the maintenance of communication 
with the country beyond it. It was therefore that he had been 
so reluctant to endanger his connection with that point as his 
base. Pressed as he was by the enemy, whose object, it had been 
unmistakably shown, was to get possession of Yicksburg and its 
defenses, the circumstances made it imperative that he should ' 
abandon a position, the holding of which would not effect his 
object, and that he should withdraw his forces from the field to 
unite them with those within the defenses of Yicksburg, and 
endeavor, as speedily as possible, to reorganize the depressed 
and discomfited troops. 

One of the immediate results of the retreat from Big Black 
was the necessity of abandoning our defenses on the Yazoo, at 
Snyder's Mills ; this position and the line of Chickasaw Bayou 
were no longer tenable. All stores that could be transported 
were ordered to be sent into Yicksburg as rapidly as possible, 
the rest, including heavy guns, to be destroyed. During the 
night of the 17th nothing of importance occurred. On the ; 
morning of the 18th the troops were disposed from right to 
left on the defenses. On the entire line, one hundred and two 
pieces of artillery of different caliber, principally field-guns, were 
placed in position at such points as were deemed most suitable 
to the character of the gun. Instructions had been given from 
Bovina that all the cattle, sheep, and hogs, belonging to pri- 
vate parties, and likely to fall into the hands of the enemy, 
should be driven within our lines. Grant's army appeared on 
the 18th. 

The development of the intrenched ]ine from our extreme 
right was about eight miles, the shortest defensible line of 
which the topography of the country admitted. It consisted of 
a system of detached works, redans, lunettes, and redoubts, on 
the prominent and commanding points, with the usual profile of 
raised field-works, connected in most cases by rifle pits. To 
hold the entire line there were about eighteen thousand five hun- 
dred infantry, but these could not all be put in the trenches, 


as it was necessary to keep a reserve always ready to reenforce 
any point heavily threatened. 

The campaign against Vicksburg had commenced as early as 
[November, 1862, and reference has been made to the various 
attempts to capture the position both before and after General 
Grant arrived and took command in person. He had now by a 
circuitous march reached the rear of the city, established a base 
on the Mississippi River a few miles below, had a fleet of gun- 
boats in the river, and controlled the navigation of the Yazoo 
up to Haines's Bluff, and was relieved from all danger in regard 
to supplying his army. We had lost the opportunity to cut his 
communications while he was making his long march over the 
rugged country between Bruinsburg and the vicinity of Yicks- 
burg. Pemberton had by wise prevision endeavored to secure 
supplies sufficient for the duration of an ordinary siege, and, on 
the importance which he knew the Administration attached to 
the holding of Yicksburg, he relied for the cooperation of a re- 
lieving army to break any investment which might be made. 
Disappointed in the hope which I had entertained that the 
invading army would be unable to draw its supplies from 
Bruinsburg or Grand Gulf, and be driven back before crossing 
the Big Black, it now only remained to increase as far as possi- 
ble the relieving army, and depend upon it to break the invest- 
ment. The ability of the Federals to send reinforcements was 
so much greater than ours, that the necessity for prompt action 
was fully realized ; therefore, when General Johnston on May 9th 
was ordered to proceed to Mississippi, he was directed to take 
from the Army of Tennessee three thousand good troops, and 
informed that he would find reinforcements from General Beau- 
regard. On May 12th a dispatch was sent to him at Jackson, 
stating, " In addition to the live thousand men originally ordered 
from Charleston [Beauregard], about four thousand more will 
follow. I fear more can not be spared to you." On May 22d 
I sent the following dispatch to General Bragg, at Tullahoma, 
Tennessee : 

" The vital issue of holding the Mississippi at Yicksburg is de- 
pendent on the success of General Johnston in an attack on the 


investing force. The intelligence from there is discouraging. 
Can you aid him ? " 

To this he replied on the 23d of May, 1863 : 

" Sent thirty-five hundred with the General, three batteries of 
artillery and two thousand cavalry since ; will dispatch six thou- 
sand more immediately." 

In my telegram to General Bragg, after stating the neces- 
sity, I submitted the whole question to his judgment, having 
full reliance in the large-hearted and comprehensive view which 
his self-denying nature would take of the case, and I responded 
to him : 

" Your answer is in the spirit of patriotism heretofore mani- 
fested by you. The need is sore, but you must not forget your 
own necessities." 

On the 1st of June General Johnston telegraphed to me 
that the troops at his disposal available against Grant amounted 
to twenty-four thousand one hundred, not including Jackson's 
cavalry command and a few hundred irregular cavalry. Mr. 
Seddon, Secretary of War, replied to him stating the force to be 
thirty-two thousand. In another dispatch, of June 5th, the Sec- 
retary says his statement rested on official reports of numbers 
sent, regrets his inability to promise more, as we had drained 
our resources even to the danger of several points, and urged 
speedy action. " With the facilities and resources of the enemy 
time works against us." Again, on the 16th, Secretary Seddon 

" If better resources do not offer, you must hazard attack." 

On the 18th, while Pemberton was inspecting the intrench- 
ments along which his command had been placed, he received 
by courier a communication from General Johnston, dated 
" May 17, 1863, camp between Livingston and Brownsville," 
in answer to Pemberton's report of the result of the battles of 
Baker's Creek and Big Black, and the consequent evacuation of 
Snyder's Mills. General Johnston wrote : 


" If Haines's Bluff is untenable, Vicksburg is of no value and 
can not be held. If, therefore, you are invested in Vicksburg, you 
must ultimately surrender. Under such circumstances, instead of 
losing both troops and place, we must, if possible, save the troops. 
If it is not too late, evacuate Vicksburg and its dependencies, and 
march to the northeast." 

Pemberton, in his report, remarks : 

"This meant the fall of Port Hudson, the surrender of the 
Mississippi River, and the severance of the Confederacy." 

He recurs to a former correspondence with myself in which 
he had suggested the possibility of the investment of Vicks- 
burg by land and water, and the necessity for ample supplies to 
stand a siege, and says his application met my favorable con- 
sideration, and that additional ammunition was ordered. Con- 
fident in his ability, with the preparations which had been made, 
to stand a siege, and firmly relying on the desire of the Presi- 
dent and of General Johnston to raise it, he " felt that every 
effort would be made, and believed it would be successful." He, 
however, summoned a council of war, composed of all his gen- 
eral officers, laid before them General Johnston's communication, 
and desired their opinion on " the question of practicability," 
and on the 18th replied to General Johnston that he had placed 
his instructions before the general officers of the command, and 
that " the opinion was unanimously expressed that it was im- 
possible to withdraw the army from this position with such 
morale and material as to be of further service to the Confeder- 
acy." He then announces his decision to hold Vicksburg as 
long as possible, and expresses the hope that he may be assisted 
in keeping this obstruction to the enemy's free navigation of 
the Mississippi River. He closes his letter thus : 

" I still conceive it to be the most important point in the Con- 

While the council of war was assembled, the guns of the 
enemy opened on the works, and the siege proper commenced. 

Making meager allowance for a reserve, it required the 
whole force to be constantly in the trenches, and, when they 


were all on duty, it did not furnish one man to the yard of the 
developed line. On the 19th two assaults were made at the 
center and left. Both were repulsed and heavy loss inflicted ; 
our loss was small. At the same time the mortar-fleet of Ad- 
miral Porter from the west side of the peninsula kept up a bom- 
bardment of the city. 

Yicksburg is built upon hills rising successively from the 
river. The intrenchments were upon ridges beyond the town, 
only approaching the river on the right and left flanks, so that 
the fire of Porter's mortar-fleet was mainly effective upon the 
private dwellings, and the women, the children, and other non- 

The hills on which the city is built are of a tenacious calcare- 
ous clay, and caves were dug in these to shelter the women and 
children, many of whom resided in them during the entire siege. 
From these places of refuge, heroically facing the danger of 
shells incessantly bursting over the streets, gentlewomen hourly 
went forth on the mission of humanity to nurse the sick, the 
wounded, and to soothe the dying of their defenders who were 
collected in numerous hospitals. "Without departing from the 
softer character of their sex, it was often remarked that, iu 
the discharge of the pious duties assumed, they seemed as 
indifferent to danger as any of the soldiers who lined the 

During the 20th, 21st, and the forenoon of the 22d, a heavy 
fire of artillery and musketry was kept up by the besiegers, as 
well as by the mortar- and gun-boats in the river. On the after- 
noon of the 22d preparation was made for a general assault. The 
attacking columns were allowed to approach to within good 
musket-range, when every available gun was opened with grape 
and canister, and our infantry, " rising in the trenches, poured 
into their ranks volley after volley with so deadly an effect that, 
leaving the ground literally covered in some places with their 
dead and wounded, they [the enemy] precipitately retreated." 
One of our redoubts had been breached by their artillery pre- 
vious to the. assault, and a lodgment made in the ditch at the 
foot of the redoubt, on which two colors were planted. Gen- 
eral Stevenson says in his report : 


" The work was constructed in such a manner that the ditch 
was commanded by no part of the line, and the only means by 
which they could be dislodged was to retake the angle by a des- 
perate charge, and either kill or compel the surrender of the whole 
party by the use of hand-grenades. A call for volunteers for this 
purpose was made, and promptly responded to by Lieutenant-Colo- 
nel E. W. Pettus, Twentieth Alabama Regiment, and about forty 
men of Waul's Texas Legion. A more gallant feat than this 
charge has not illustrated our arms during the war. The prepa- 
rations were quietly and quickly made, but the enemy seemed at 
once to divine our intentions, and opened upon the angle a ter- 
rible fire of shot, shell, and musketry. Undaunted, this little 
band, its chivalrous commander at its head, rushed upon the work, 
and, in less time than it required to describe it, the flags were 
in our possession. Preparations were then quickly made for the 
use of hand-grenades, when the enemy in the ditch, being in- 
formed of our purpose, immediately surrendered. 

" From this time forward, although on several occasions their 
demonstrations seemed to indicate other intentions, the enemy 
relinquished all idea of assaulting us, and confined himself to 
the more cautious policy of a system of gradual approaches and 

His force was not less than sixty thousand men. Tims af- 
fairs continued until July 1st, when General Pemberton thus 
describes the causes which made capitulation necessary : 

" It must be remembered that, for forty-seven days and nights, 
those heroic men had been exposed to burning suns, drenching 
rains, damp fogs, and heavy dews, and that during all this period 
they never had, by day or by night, the slightest relief. The ex- 
tent of our works required every available man in the trenches, 
and even then they were in many places insufficiently manned. 
It was not in my power to relieve any portion of the line for a 
single hour. Confined to the narrow limits of trench, with their 
limbs cramped and swollen, without exercise, constantly exposed 
to a murderous storm of shot and shell. ... Is it strange that the 
men grew weak and attenuated ? . . . They had held the place 
against an enemy five times their number, admirably clothed and 
fed, and abundantly supplied with all the appliances of war. 


Whenever the foe attempted an assault, they drove him back 
discomfited, covering the ground with his killed and wounded, 
and already had they torn from his grasp five stands of colors as 
trophies of their prowess, none of which were allowed to fall again 
into his hands." 

Under these circumstances, he says, he became satisfied that 
the time had arrived when it was necessary either to evacuate 
the city by cutting his way out or to capitulate. Inquiries 
were made of the division commanders respecting the ability 
of th