MAY 8, 1864
Taking of Fort Pillow.—The
Journal of Commerce, of the
22d ult., has the following extract from a private letter from a
gentleman in Cincinnati to a friend in New York. It gives a new version
of the “massacre” at Fort Pillow:
April 18, 1864.
storming of Fort Pillow was a serious affair. I conversed with an
intelligent Irishman who came up on the steamer that brought many of our
wounded men to Cairo. He tells me that our officers placed their Negro
soldiers in front of the whites. They immediately ran away, and the
whites surrendered as soon as the rebels entered the fort, calling on
the Negroes to do the same, but they, not understanding matters, and
being afraid of falling into the hands of the rebels, ran away with
their arms and occasionally fired on the pursuers. But all who
surrendered, whether white or black, were protected as soon as the melee
of the assault was over.
few Negro women and children were killed in the fort, and some of the
Negroes were pursued down to the edge of the river and killed before the
rebel officers could control their men. The demoralization of the whites
and the terror of the black soldiers was excessive. The Negroes did not
know enough to give up, and their officers lost all control over them.
The passion and rage of the rebels were ungovernable at meeting Negroes
in arms. After the surrender the rebel officers, with a few exceptions,
did what they could to control their men. It was worse than
folly to attempt a defence with Negro troops unless there was a
certainty of success. They could expect nothing, if the defence failed,
from the rebels who, entering the fort sword in hand, would probably
refuse quarter, which, I was informed, the laws of war permit in cases
where a place is taken by assault.
and Russia: A Significant Incident.—The Paris correspondent
of the St. Louise Republican,
in his letter of April 18, writes:
strong outburst of ill feeling has been created this morning my
intelligence of an incident which has taken place at St. Petersburg. The
fiftieth anniversary of the entrance of the Russian army into Paris, in
1815, has been celebrated there with a significance not likely to be
passed over without remark by a nation so sensitive on the
subject of military disasters as the French. In the first place, the
above anniversary is said, like that of the battle of Waterloo in
London, to have been allowed to have fallen into oblivion for the last
two or three years. Its resuscitation alone, therefore, is a fact to be
noticed. But more than this, the re-ëstablishment of the festival has
been accomplished with one or two circumstances of a peculiarly
aggravating nature in the eyes of Frenchmen.
a special order of the day, addressed to the Russian Imperial Guard, the
different regiments were to take part in the review held by the Emperor
in memory of the occasion were directed to display the standards in the
reign of Alexander I, instead of those ordinarily employed. Again, “on
the occasion of the anniversary of the capture of Paris,” invitations
to the table of the Emperor were issued to “all the veterans in St.
Petersburg who had taken part in the campaign of 1814.” Nor was this
all. The Invalide Russe, a strong Government organ, published on the day
before the anniversary an article of anything but a courteous character
towards this country. ->
the capital which our victorious warriors entered in triumph,” it
says, “the vainglorious French have erected everywhere monuments of
their victories. Even recently Sebastopol has decorated one of the
boulevards of Paris with its ill-omened name. We do not build such
monuments in our capital. The standards of our enemies, which drape the
vaults of our temples, testify sufficiently to the heroism of our
soldiers.” The parading the long series of victories which brought the
Russian armies to the banks of the Seine and within the walls of the
French capital, the Russian journal concludes by saying: “Thus it was
that our Emperor revenged the destruction of Moscow!”
language is certainly not allowed to be used by the press at St.
Petersburg without a motive; and if the object has been to arouse French
indignation, that end has assuredly been most fully attained, for the
public here is furious.
Shakespeare Statue in New York.—The Journal
of Commerce, of April 25, says:
ceremonies connected with the laying of the foundation of the
Shakespeare statue, at the Central Park, took place at the appointed
hour on Saturday. A large number of actors and representatives of
various professions were present. Mr. Andrew H. Green, comptroller of
the Park, commenced the exercises, by reading an “authorization”
from the commissioners to James H. Hackett, William Wheatley, Edwin
Booth and Hon. Charles P. Daly, applicants on behalf of the actors and
theatrical managers of New York, to place a monumental statue in honor
of the memory of Shakespeare in the Park. Judge Daly was then
introduced, and made a brief but impressive address, after which Mr.
Hackett went through the formality of laying the corner-stone.
Dodsworth’s Band, which had fortunately been secured for the occasion,
performed a most appropriate piece–the grand wedding march from
Mendelsohn’s “Midsummer’s Night Dream.” Mr. Wheatley made a
short address, and read a spirited poem of his own composition.
band then played national airs, after which Mayor Gunther, on behalf of
the city, accepted the offer of the statue, as an ornament to the Park,
and trusted that the citizens of New York would fully appreciate the
motives of those who had inaugurated the movement. Thus ended the
interesting ceremonies in commemoration of the three hundredth
anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth.
day was delightful, and everything passed off pleasantly. Persons who
search for the monument will find the spot where it is to be on the east
side of the lower end of the Mall. The committee hope to raise a
sufficient sum from theatrical benefits and other sources to go on with
the work at once.
THE DAILY RICHMOND EXAMINER
The Great Battle on the Rapid Ann.
Court House, May 7.–Your correspondent left the front at 4 a.m., bringing the following reliable
Ewell again repulsed the enemy yesterday, who advanced on his front with
five lines of battle. The Yankee
loss is terrible, especially on Early’s front. Ewell’s loss is
very small. About 12 o’clock yesterday, the enemy having previously
attacked Heth and Wilcox and
driven them back, Longstreet planned, and was in the act of executing a
flank movement on the enemy’s left wing, when, by the mistake of our
men, he was fired upon. Lieutenant-General Longstreet and staff were
severely, though not mortally wounded–General Longstreet in the
shoulder, so say the surgeons with whom the Press correspondent
conversed and who examined his wound, and instantly killing
Brigadier-General Jenkins, of South Carolina. Our troops continued to
press the enemy until about 4 o’clock, driving back the enemy’s left
and centre some two miles, our left standing fast in its position.
night our men held possession of the enemy’s battle-field on the left
and centre, capturing a number of the enemy’s wounded and some of the
dead. The enemy fought, yesterday, most obstinately, in all parts of the
line. Our success was very great, though not deemed decisive.
before daylight some picket firing was heard in front of Hill’s corps,
and, about six a.m.,
cannonading, lasting half an hour, was heard on Ewell’s line.
loss thus far is about five thousand, of whom a large proportion are
slightly wounded. The proportion of officers to private killed and
wounded is very much larger than in any previous fight.
Yankee General Hayes is reported killed, and a dead Yankee General with
the initials “H. H. C,” supposed to be Couch or Casey, was found in
Ewell’s front. The fight occurred in a desolate wooded country. Little
or no artillery was brought into action. At one time yesterday, when the
enemy were heavily pressing Hill’s men, General Kershaw opportunely,
by double-quicking with his troops, arrived on the field, checked,
repulsed and pursued the enemy, thus turning the fortunes of the day at
that end of the line.
battle field extends over a space of eight miles in length. Rosser’s
cavalry fought the enemy all day on our extreme right, losing heavily
and gaining nothing important. Ewell captured two pieces of artillery in
the fight of Thursday and twelve hundred prisoners. The wounded are
arriving here and receiving every attention.
R. H. Anderson is now commanding in place of Longstreet.
thousand well and wounded prisoners have been captured thus far.
battle-ground extends from the Rapid Ann river to the plank road, and is
about twenty-five miles east of this place.
battle is not yet ended. Weather hot and sultry.
C. H., May 7.–Gordon’s Georgia brigade and Johnston’s North
Carolina brigade, of Ewell’s corps, turned the enemy’s extreme right
flank about four miles above Germana ford last evening between dusk and
dark, capturing four hundred prisoners, including Brigadier-Generals
Seymour and Shaler. The enemy, completely surprised, hastily fled on
finding their breastworks turned and stormed. Our loss very slight.
are rumors here that Mosby has whipped the Negro troops, capturing some,
and burning some bridges in Fauquier county.
C. H., May 7.–Trustworthy advices from the front, as late as
one o’clock p.m.,
represent that there was no general engagement up to that time.
Longstreet’s condition to-day is reported as much improved.
was some cannonading on the extreme right and left during the morning,
but it amounted to nothing of importance.
Negro soldier, an infantryman, the first ever captured by his army, was
taken near Brandy station yesterday, and brought in here to-day. He says
that he belongs to the Twenty-seventh Ohio, Burnside’s corps.
enemy have been fortifying all day, as if to provoke General Lee to
From Northern Virginia.
C. H., May 8.–Advices from the front to sunrise this morning
report that there was no general engagement yesterday, only heavy
skirmishing. The impression prevailed last night that the enemy were
falling back towards Culpepper on Fredericksburg.
Negro troops occupying Brandy station advanced out to Culpepper Court
House Friday and occupied it. Yesterday they went back to Brandy
station, set fire to the
stores–principally quartermaster’s–and then marched to join Grant.
say that the enemy have abandoned the line of the Orange railway, and no
cars are running on it. It is supposed that Grant now intends to make
Fredericksburg his base.
holds the road leading to Germana ford, but the enemy, it is said, have
two fords by which to recross the river to Culpepper if they wish.
was yesterday engaged with the enemy on our right, and it was reported
he was compelled to give back until Hampton joined him, when he forced
the enemy to retire.
enemy’s losses, thus far, are estimated at eighteen thousand. Ours
will reach seven thousand. The Yankee General Hayes is certainly killed.
Wadsworth is wounded and a prisoner; he may recover. Oglesby is reported
killed. Twenty-four hundred privates and one hundred commissioned
officers thus far have been registered here, not including the Yankee
wounded, of which we captured some fifteen hundred, chiefly in front of
Hill and Longstreet.
men began yesterday evening to bury our own a d the Yankee dead.
occupied Winchester on Friday with five thousand infantry and two
country between the Rappahannock and Potomac is reported to be filled
with Yankee deserters.
Longstreet’s condition is much improved. He left for the interior
captured two wagon trains, heavily laden and horses attached, near
Martinsburg on Thursday.
latest from the front, at twelve m., to-day, represents the enemy falling back towards
Fredericksburg, and our troops following them closely.
Fight at Port Walthall.
May 8.–A battle was fought in the vicinity of Port Walthall on
Saturday. It raged from eleven to half past four o’clock, with an
intermission of half an hour. The enemy greatly outnumbered us, but were
handsomely repulsed and retired from the field, leaving some dead and
wounded. The heaviest fighting was on our left, near the railroad, where
chiefly South Carolinians were engaged. Our casualties are one hundred
and seventy-five–about thirty killed. Prisoners taken say they belong
to Gilmore’s corps, and are recently from Florida, and that Butler
commanded in person. The enemy lost heavily–prisoners say two
quiet to-day, save slight firing from gunboats in the Appomattox.
MAY 10, 1864
DAILY COURANT (CT)
Fighting in Virginia.
series of battles in Virginia commenced on Thursday. Our entire army was
in motion at daylight. At six o’clock scouts brought in reports that
the enemy were advancing in full force to meet us. Not long after, Gens.
Grant and Meade came up from Germania Ford, and an advantageous position
for battle was selected. En. Sedgwick’s corps occupied the right, Gen.
Warren the centre, and Gen. Hancock, who was also in the van, was
expected to form on the left. The right and centre were in line of
battle by 11 o’clock. At noon Gen. Warren was ordered to send forward
Griffith’s division along the turnpike to learn the position, strength
and probable intentions of the enemy. Gen. Ayers’ brigade of regulars
pushed ahead on the right of the road, Gen. Bartlett’s on the left,
and Gen. Sweitzer’s followed as a reserve. Three-quarters or a mile
from the starting point, they encountered the enemy drawn up in a strong
position on a thickly wooded ridge. The fight soon commenced. After an
hour’s struggle the rebels flanked Ayers’ brigade and drove it back.
The retreat of the regulars exposed Bartlett’s brigade, which was also
compelled to retire. Here two pieces of the 3d Mass. artillery had to be
left behind, as nearly all the horses were killed.
and Wadsworth’s brigades were now ordered forward to relieve the
troops which had been repulsed. The firing was continued for an hour
longer, when the enemy withdrew from that quarter of the field. Our loss
in this reconnoissance, amounting in the aggregate to about six hundred,
fell chiefly on the brigades of Ayers and Bartlett. We captured three
Hancock had been moving his corps with a view to complete the formation
of the line of battle. About 3 o’clock, the rebels were discovered to
be advancing rapidly in strong force, with the obvious purpose of
cutting off Hancock from the residue of the army. Gen. Sedgwick at once
directed Gen. Getty’s division to checkmate the enemy. Mott’s
division of Hancock’s corps formed a junction with Getty on the right
and left of the plank road leading from Chancellorsville to Orange Court
House. In order to give the rest of Hancock’s corps time to come up,
Gen. Grant ordered these two divisions to attack the enemy in
front. Other divisions rapidly pushed forward to re-enforce our line,
and the fight soon became furious. Owing to the dense growth of timber
and brush, artillery was unavailable. The fight was confined to
musketry, and was very severe. Both sides steadily maintained their
positions till night ended the conflict. Our total loss in this part of
the field was about one thousand.
Gen. Sheridan had concentrated his cavalry force a few miles south of
Chancellorsville, to hunt for Stuart’s cavalry, which was reported to
be massed somewhere in the vicinity. At night he sent a message to Gen.
Meade, announcing that he had met a portion of them, and was driving
them in every direction.
Thursday’s fight, Gen. Lee resorted to his old tactics, endeavoring to
crush the advance of our army before the residue came up. He made two
violent attempts, both of which were unsuccessful. Less than one-half of
our army was engaged. By night the reserves under Burnside had reached
the field, and all was ready for the morning’s combat.
the fight of Friday there were few bayonet charges or attempts at
strategy. Ammunition trains could not be brought up owing to the density
of the forest. Cartridges were brought in on the stretchers which
carried out the wounded.
Friday Lee repeated the tactics of Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. He
first threw the entire strength of this army upon the corps of Gen.
Hancock, holding our right. Thwarted in this quarter, Lee suddenly
withdrew to hurl his legions upon Sedgwick. Our line wavered several
times, but rallied nobly, and finally drove back the enemy with fearful
slaughter. Failing to penetrate our ranks at any point, Lee at four p.m.
made a feint of attacking our whole line, and then suddenly concentrated
how hole force against Sedgwick. For some time the combat raged with
great fury and with varying success. At length the enemy were a second
time driven back with great loss.
the night Lee commenced a hurried retreat for Richmond. There was no
serious fighting on Saturday. Our army commenced the pursuit at once,
and have followed it up with great vigor.
Banks Responsible for the Red River Disaster.
Is he Incompetent or Insane?
following special dispatch to the Springfield Republican shows up Gen. Banks in a light which proves that he is
either thoroughly incompetent
or a fit subject for a lunatic asylum:
bearer of dispatches from Admiral Porter, whose character for
intelligence and truthfulness is established at Washington, arrived
Sunday. He gives an even more deplorable account of Banks’ campaign
upon Red River than any heretofore published. Besides confirming in all
essential respects our statements derived from private letters, which
were published a week ago, he adds facts calculated to dispel whatever
hopes the friends of Banks may entertain of a satisfactory explanation
of his conduct. On the first day a column of 30,000 was disposed on the
march in such a fashion that they were easily and shamefully routed by
from 12,000 to 15,000. On the second day, Gen. A. J. Smith whipped the
rebels alone, driving them six miles. He was in hot pursuit, and eager
to reap all the fruits of his victory and hopeful of reaching
Shreveport, when an order came from Gen. Banks directing him to retreat
with the rest of the army. Gen. Smith refused to obey. A second order to
fall back he also refused to obey. Gen. Banks in person brought a third
order, and insisted that Smith should fall back before daylight. He
begged permission to stay long enough to bury his dead and care for the
wounded and sick, promising to be on the march in an hour after sunrise,
but Banks was inexorable, and the old soldier was obliged, with tears in
his eyes, to leave his men who had fallen on the battle-field to the
tender mercies of the rebels. Gen. Smith carried off two of the
twenty-three cannon which the rebels abandoned, but was not allowed time
to spike the remainder.
forces were retreating in one direction, and the rebels were retreating
in the opposite direction. Some hours after Gen. Smith’s departure,
the rebels sent a flag of truce to the battle-field to ask permission to
bury the dead, and sought vainly for somebody to receive it. It may be
imagined they profitted by this unlooked for advantage.
few miles out from Alexandria, Gen. Banks while retreating found Gen.
McClernand with 6,000 men on their way to reinforce him. He ordered him
to fall back to Alexandria at once, after destroying his grain and
supplies. McClernand refused twice to obey, but on the receipt of the
third order set fire to part of his oats. Gen. Smith with 2,000 men took
the responsibility of marching to the spot, extinguished the flames,
which he succeeded in doing before more than fifty bushels burned, and
after remaining there all night marched back again with the remainder of
the oats and all the other supplies. Gen. Banks requested that these
should be given up to him, (Banks,) but Gen. Smith replied that they
were his by right of capture and he should keep them for his own use.
General but Banks was blamed in the army for the campaign.”
MAY 11, 1864
to the herald.
Highly Important Revelations.
Captured Letter Disclosing the Plans of the Rebel Campaign.
INVASION OF THE NORTH PROJECTED!
REBEL TROOPS TO CARRY OUT THE MOVEMENT!
York, May 10, midnight.
following letter was taken in an intercepted mail in Butler’s
Department, and forwarded by the special correspondent of the World this evening. The writer is the Chief Clerk of the rebel War
Department, and Mr. Lewis is a member of the rebel Congress from the
Fifth Georgia District. There is no doubt of its authenticity:
States of America,
War Depar’t, Richmond, April 19th.
Dear Friend–The reason of my not answering your letter of the 2d
inst. before is that I could not do so without violating the regulations
of the Department. Indeed, I cannot give the information you desire now
without transgressing the rules, but knowing your patriotism and
discretion, I shall venture to do so. Gen. Lee’s plans are perfected,
and the President, Secretary, and even grumbling B., are delighted with
them, and it only remains for the Departments and Bureaus to carry out
their parts of them. Your conjecture that the seat of war will be
transferred to the North is correct, and you may depend that this time
Gen. Lee will go prepared to remain there until the Yankees sue for
intention is to give him one hundred and fifty thousand men. The troops
will be withdrawn from from points of minor importance, and as
Charleston and Mobile are no longer in danger, the troops near these
points can be spared, so that there will be no difficulty in giving him
the required number of men. He has at hand more than two-thirds of the
number now and we are hurrying up others from every direction. Enough
will be left in and around the city to defend it if assailed via the
Peninsula, and enough to confront Meade and keep him north of the North
Anna, or at all events north of the South Anna, while Lee will make a
flank movement and push two columns northward, both Longstreet and
Stuart going with him. These in brief are the plans for the Summer
campaign and they will surely be carried out unless unfortunately the
enemy advance before Lee gets ready and necessitates a change in the
programme. If unfortunately Lee should be obliged to fall back,
Beauregard will have command of the defences of the city while Lee will
with all the force that can be spared, will operate in conjunction with
Johnston and carry the war into Ohio. Thirty thousand men can hold the
Capital against all the men the enemy can send here. In a few days I
will write you again more at length. Remember me to Mrs. Lewis and the
R. Wellford, Jr.
Hon. D. W. Lewis.”
on Monday–Report of a Messenger.
May 10.–The Star says: “A messenger got in last night from
the army, who left Spotsylvania yesterday at 12 o’clock, and came on
horseback to Acquia Creek, and thence on gunboat. At 12 o’clock
yesterday a heavy fight was going on at Spotsylvania Court House. We
held the place at that hour, and Lee gave evidence of being weakened and
of falling back. The messenger had an escort of 150 cavalry, and as
guerrillas were frequently encountered on the way, it is not improbable
that many of the escort were captured when returning to the army.
wounded are reported to be 15,000, most of whom are at Fredericksburg,
and so thick were they lying in the streets and upon the pavement that a
cavalry patrol ordered out could not do duty, as it was difficult to
pass between the rows of wounded without trampling on them. It is said
that there are between 2000 and 3500 of the rebel wounded left upon the
field there also.
THE RICHMOND PAPERS SAY.
at Petersburg and Richmond.
York, May 10.–The Richmond Whig
of the 7th says: “Up to a late hour on the night of the 6th no
fighting had taken place on the Peninsula. The movement of Butler’s
transports up the James river was known in Petersburg at 11 a.m.
on Monday, when Gen. Pickett ordered out the militia. The court-house
bell and all the other bells were rung. Great excitement ensued. All the
force at Petersburg was moved out, but nothing is said of meeting the
enemy. Forty-one transports (and others coming), 3 iron-clads and 4
gunboats were counted, and from 10,000 to 15,000 men were landed at
Whig of the 7th states that
Richmond is in worse peril than when threatened by McClellan, and argues
that there is no need of a panic, and holds out the encouragement that
ample reinforcements are at hand, and says there will be trouble from
insufficiency of food.
Hundred, Va., May 10, via Fortress Monroe.–Fighting commenced
yesterday noon and continued until night between Gen. Heckman’s
brigade and several other brigades under Gen. Smith, Gen. Beauregard
commanding the rebels in person. During the fight our forces drove the
enemy back three miles, nearly into Petersburg. We hold the railroad
between Richmond and Petersburg. Gen. Kantz’s cavalry succeeded in
destroying some portions of the Petersburg and Weldon railroad, and
captured many rebel prisoners; 20 go to Fortress Monroe to-day,
including Captains and Lieutenants.
Dispatch from the Secretary of War.
Major General Dix:
have been received this evening from Major Gen. Grant, dated at 1
o’clock yesterday. The enemy have made a stand at Spotsylvania Court
House. There had been some sharp fighting, but no general battle had
taken place there.
deeply regret to announce that Major Gen. Sedgwick was killed in
yesterday’s engagement at Spotsylvania, being struck by a ball from a
sharpshooter. His remains are at Fredericksburg, and are expected here
army is represented to be in excellent condition and with ample
Robinson and Gen. Morris are wounded. No other casualties to general
officers are reported.
Wright has been placed in command of Sedgwick’s corps.
Grant did not design to renew the attack to-day, being engaged in
replenishing from the supply train so as to advance without it.
Secretary of War.
of Gen. Banks.—The removal of Gen. Banks was made by Gen.
Grant, who, several days ago, dispatched an order to Banks, directing
him to turn over his command to the next officer in rank, and to report
himself at New Orleans.
SALEM REGISTER (MA)
of the Wilderness.
extraordinary conflict which took place on Thursday and Friday of last
week in the vicinity of a place of this name, may, perhaps, be recorded
in history under the above title. Taking it in all its elements and
features, it may justly be considered as the greatest battle of our day,
if not of all time. The contending hosts were, on each side, at least a
hundred thousand–how many more it is impossible to ascertain.1
The belligerents were not, as in most great battles, of distinct races.
They were both of them Anglo Saxons, descendants of other races in the
British Isles, or of kindred continental stocks. They were all
Americans, composed entirely of men born under the Republic, or had
chosen it as their adopted home. They were trained in the school of
liberty and self-government. A greater amount of intelligence pervaded
the rank and file, on both sides, than was ever found in armies. They
had all the elements of energy and mental and moral force, which are
appropriate to freemen and volunteers, and of endurance, steadiness and
momentum to be expected only from veterans. Two long days, each
extending from the earliest dawn far into midnight, were spent in
assaults and repulses on both sides, of the most desperate nature.
Obstinate invincibility seemed to characterize both armies. The nature
of the ground and the advantages resulting from it to the rebel forces
would have secured to them a victory against any other army than such as
has sprung from the free States of North America. The retreat of the
rebels, of course, gives the victory, for the time, to the Union army.
There is no reasonable ground to apprehend that the tide of its triumph
can be seriously, permanently, or long checked.
Last Year of the War.—The Richmond Examiner
of the 29th ult., says: “If we hold our own in Virginia till this
summer is ended, the North’s power of mischief elsewhere will be gone.
If we lose, the South’s capacity for resistance will be broken. The
Confederacy has ample power to keep its place in Virginia if employed
with energy and consistency, and this is the last year of the war,
Rebels Not Prepared for Defeat.—The Richmond Whig
of the 6th asks the question, “Are we prepared?” and answers it
the battle between Lee and Grant is indecisive, or suppose the enemy
gain such advantages as to compel Lee to fall back toward Richmond, are
we at all prepared for such a contingency? Candor compels a negative
answer, for we have been so elated by success after success that we have
not permitted ourselves to contemplate the probability of anything but
Engagement between the Rebel Ram Albemarle and Union Gunboats.
York, May 11.–The following is from a letter of Saturday in the
Thursday there was a contest between the rebel ram Albemarle and seven Union gunboats twelve miles from the mouth of
the Roanoke river.
ram was accompanied by the Cotton
Plant and the Bombshell,
recently captured at Plymouth. The Union gunboats were the Sassacus,
Wyalusing, Mattabeset, Miami, Whitehead,
Ceres and Commodore Hull.
gunboats opened fire and a terrific engagement ensued, lasting from five
until eight o’clock p.m.
The Cotton Plant escaped, and
the ram, firing rapidly, retreated up the Sound. The gunboat Bombshell was retaken with all on board.
Sassacus, having an iron prow,
steamed at full speed and ran into the ram, striking it abaft the
centre, but apparently without inflicting any injury on it. ->
Sassacus, however, was compelled
to retire, having the forward rudder knocked off and a 100 pounder Parrott
shot fired by the ram through its boiler. Under cover of the darkness the
ram succeeded in gaining and entering the Roanoke River, where our gunboats
could not venture to follow.
loss is 5 killed and 26 wounded. The only gunboats struck were the Wyalusing,
Mattabeset, and Sassacus,
but the injury done thereby is very slight.
ram carried at least four hundred-pounders, probably those captured at
Plymouth, but believed by some to be English Blakely guns. The shot are
steel and well pointed.
Wail from Rebeldom.—The Norfolk New
Regime copies the following article from the Richmond Whig
of Saturday, April 30. It is the most desponding in its tone of any Richmond
article we have recently seen:
Duty of the Hour.
a great struggle is about to take place for the possession of Richmond is
conceded on all hands. The enemy is marshaling his cohorts on the
Rappahannock and the Peninsula, and that a last desperate effort will be
made to overrun Virginia and occupy her ancient capital, is admitted by the
enemy himself. What then becomes the duty of the people of Richmond in view
of the mighty conflict at hand? It is evidently the same as that of the
commander of a man of war who sails out of port to engage the foes of his
flag in mortal combat. The decks are cleared for action, non-combatants are
ordered below or ashore, the supply of ammunition and food is looked to, and
a short prayer uttered that Heaven will favor the right, and protect the
land and the loved ones for whom the battle is waged.
is now the duty of the people of Richmond. Every preparation should be made
for the approaching conflict, and every obstacle removed which can hinder or
embarrass the movements of our armies. If there is a man, woman or child in
the city who cannot serve the cause here, and who can find temporary refuge
elsewhere, they should immediately withdraw, and thus clear the decks and
diminish the consumption of food. The trains employed in bringing up
supplies for their subsistence might then be used in transporting troops;
and for every non-combatant thus withdrawn a soldier might be substituted
and supported. The food now consumed by persons who can render no
assistance, and which is hauled over over-taxed railways, would be available
for armed men, able and ready to defend the city against the assaults of the
invader. Armies, like men, are confused and embarrassed by frightened women
and children crying to them for assistance and clinging to them for support.
sincerely hope and pray that the red waves of battle may not, as in 1862,
roll and break and hiss against the walls of the capital, and the ears of
our suffering but resolute people may never again be saluted by the reports
of hostile guns. But our hopes may be disappointed; the enemy may come again
as he has come before, and, for aught we know, the battle may be fought on
these hills and in these streets. It is with a view to this possible
contingency that we would urge upon our people to make all needful
preparation for whatever fate betides them, and especially to give our brave
and unconquerable defenders a clear deck and an open field. And above all,
let the living oracles of our holy religion, and pious men and women of
every persuasion, remember that God alone giveth the victory, and that His
ear is ever open to the prayer of the righteous.
THE LIBERATOR (MA)
Lincoln, in his remarks at Baltimore, observed that the mode in which
redress was to be sought for the outrage of Fort Pillow, was not yet
determined on; and indicated that it might be a question of some
difficulty. We have Confederate prisoners enough in our hands, and it
would seem to be easy to select three or four hundred men out of Camp
Douglas, by lot or otherwise, and order them shot at once. But it will
hardly do for the Government of the United States to proceed with
rashness or to be guilty of any act which may savor of cruelty. It is
hard to say what might be properly done under some conceivable
circumstances; but in seeking redress for a violation of the law, we
must proceed lawfully, so as to secure the approbation of civilized
nations, and to stop the mouths of the rebels themselves.
men who perpetrated the horrible atrocity of murdering men after
surrender, were not a parcel of unauthorized guerrillas. Had they been
such, we might proceed to hunt and kill them as murderers, without any
further ceremony. But they are the regular soldiers of the Confederacy,
wearing its uniform, bearing its commission, and receiving its
pay–acting thus in all respects under its authority. The first steps
in our course are therefore clear. We must know of the rebel authorities
if these acts are done by their orders or permission; if they will take
the responsibility of them, or disavow them, and relinquish to
punishment the perpetrators.
rebels themselves, have just set an example of the proper mode of
procedure. They found, or pretended to find, upon the person of Col.
Dahlgren, whom they killed, a copy of orders–real or
spurious–detailing the work to be done by his command when Richmond
should be in their hands. Some of the items were the taking of Jeff
Davis and sundry acts of burning and devastation, averred to be contrary
to the rules of regular warfare. All rebeldom has continued to be
greatly exasperated by these orders, which they affirm to be genuine,
but which have been supposed to be forgeries, for the sake of effect.
Their mode of procedure has been to inquire of our military leaders in
Virginia if such orders were given to Col. Dahlgren; and if he was
carrying out the policy of the United States Government in the endeavor
to act upon them.
Meade and Gen. Kilpatrick have both replied, that no such orders were
given to Col. Dahlgren, their mode of procedure was obviously the proper
one in the premises.
Jeff Davis avows the act of Forrest, it will then be necessary to
consider the next step. It will then be for us to decide upon what act
of retaliation we will enter. In that case it might be proper to proceed
to extreme measures at once–even to the putting to death of prisoners
in our hands–should such a step seem safe and proper. It would
doubtless be lawful.
if Davis disavows the act, and is ready to accord some suitable
satisfaction, something less of stringency might be insisted on in our
demands. But in any event the gang which perpetrated the massacre are
the proper subjects of vengeance. If Davis will give up Forrest,
Chalmers and their bloody crew, very well. If not, a proclamation of
outlawry is the least that can be thought of. They are no more entitled
to protection in case of being taken prisoners, than a parcel of tigers
with the blood of men upon their jaws.
all events, we must go far enough to vindicate justice, and protect our
black soldiers in the future.–Chicago
Lincoln has promised that retaliation must follow the act of the rebels
in the massacre at Fort Pillow. Every fair-minded man must concede that
retaliation for such barbarities would an act of justice, but there are
many grave objections in the way of it. It must be remembered that the
perpetrators stand low in the scale of civilization. They illustrate too
truly the “barbarism of Slavery,” and their acts of barbarism are
not to be imitated. Our civilization, our self-respect, our position in
the eyes of the world, prevent us from retaliation in kind.
Other modes may possibly be resorted to, which though they may not
possibly be so effectual, will be more in consonance with an enlightened
age and country.
retaliation in kind would bring counter retaliation and the cold blooded
slaughter would be terrible in the eyes of the world. The nations of the
old world would find justification in an attempt to prevent it, as they
did at the time of the cruelties of the Turks to the Greeks. Let me give
them no pretext for intervention.
are willing to leave the whole matter to the wisdom and sagacity of our
President. Perhaps he may deem it best for the black troops to be their
own avengers in any future successes we may gain. Whatever he may decide
to do of severity will be approved by the loyal men of the republic.–Salem
8,000 slaves of all ages and colors reached here yesterday. It was one
of the saddest spectacles witnessed for a long time in Vicksburg. The
women and children have almost starved, and are half naked. Such a
terrible picture of abject want and squalid misery can neither be
imagined nor portrayed with pen. Many of the women and children were
sick with fevers, brought on by the great fatigue and exposure of the
long march from Meridian, Enterprise, Quitman, and other places. Will
not the friends of freedom and the humane philanthropists of the North
come forward at once, and with their generous hands rescue these
liberated slaves from premature graves? Shoes and clothing for both
sexes are needed immediately.–Corr.
New York Tribune.
that the rebels are determined to massacre all the black soldiers who
may fall into their hands is furnished in a letter from Canton,
Mississippi, and published in the Atlanta (Georgia) Appeal
of April 18. The writer says:
Ross broke up a plantation near Snyder’s Bluff, killing some fifty
Negro soldiers who were guarding the workmen. The killing was applauded.
‘Take no Negro prisoners’ is the cry in which all join. It is
writer goes on to assign a reason for the murder of black prisoners of
war. He says:
requires that there be no rule but that of extermination with armed
is not insensible of the logic of this proposition as he adds:
might be well to have no other rule with these white fellows.”
MAY 14, 1864
THE BOSTON DAILY
of Lee in the Night.
Thousand Prisoners in our Hands.
May 13.–The following has just been received from our special
correspondent with the army:
May 12.–There was desultory fighting along our front all day
yesterday, but it was not of serious character. An opening in the line
between our left under Burnside and our centre under Hancock was an
object of apprehension throughout the day. To fill it, General Hancock
was ordered to move to the left under cover of the night.
was in the proper position before daylight and at half-past four
o’clock advanced to attack the enemy in his front, consisting of part
of Ewell’s corps. He took them by surprise and gave them no time to
form, but charged upon and beyond their first and second lines of
breastworks, enveloping and capturing a whole rebel division composed of
seven thousand men, with its commander, Major General George Johnson,
Brigadier-General George C. Stuart, and a Brigadier-General Johnson,
with twenty-five pieces of artillery.
two hours later the 6th corps moved to the
attack, carrying also the enemy’s lines in gallant style and
capturing fifteen hundred men and ten more guns.
about half past ten the 5th corps made a similar attempt on the
enemy’s right, but failed to carry the rebel breastworks and was
compelled to fall back after meeting with very heavy losses. After the
repulse of the 5th corps there was a lull of about an hour and a half,
but at this moment, half an hour later, our forces are again moving to
the attack and a most violent artillery and musketry firing is again
raging along the line. With the advantages gained by the 2d and 6th
corps, final and decisive success is now sure.
his advance General Hancock pushed his line forward over a mile. We have
now a total of twelve thousand prisoners.
American Telegraph Company sent from Washington on Thursday, to the
press of the country, fifty-eight thousand seven hundred and forty
words; the largest amount ever sent for the press in one day.
Losses.—The following is a specimen of the style in which
the copperhead writers strive to throw a shade of gloom over their
Monday, the Surgeon-General expressed the opinion that the wounded would
not count more than eight thousand, two thousand of whom were said to be
rebels. Thus we see that, as time progresses, the victory of grant,
which we all so fondly hoped for, is lessening in importance. Up to this
time we have no statement whatever as to the amount of our men actually
killed; but surely they cannot reach the enormous difference between
35,000 and 12,000! Let us hope that the majority of these 23,000 were
not killed but only disaffected.”
would scarcely suppose from reading this that since the
Surgeon-General’s statement there had been four days’ fighting,
increasing instead of “lessening” the importance of the victory of
Grant, and accounting in part for the difference between 35,000 and
12,000, which so puzzles the writer whom we quote.
The Battle of Cane River.
York, May. 13.–The steamer Creole,
from New Orleans 5th inst., via Havana, has arrived. Her advices are not
so late as per the George
Washington, but nevertheless contain some news.
report of a fight at Cane river April 23d is confirmed by correspondence
in the New Orleans papers. The rebel position was taken by assault by
Gen. Birge at the point of the bayonet, and from 80 to 100 rebels
captured. Among the first of the killed was Gen. Fessenden while leading
his brigade. The rebels were pursued and again routed. Their loss was
heavy. Our loss was 175 killed and wounded.
U. S. supply steamer union at New Orleans, captured, April 26th, off the
Florida coast, the O. K., from Havana, ostensibly bound for Matamoras,
and sent her to Key West.
Franklin, who was wounded in the leg at the battle of Mansfield, had
arrived at New Orleans. General Fitz Henry Warren had arrived from
Texas. General Hunter had also arrived.
steamer Emma, before reported
captured and burned in Red river by the rebels, had a guard of colored
troops and ten white officers on board and a crew of 36 men. Nothing has
been learned of their fate. Four or five dead bodies were seen floating
down the river.
McClernand arrived at Alexandria on the 26th ult. The army occupies a
strong position, and is able to resist five times their number. All the
transports are below the falls and safe at Alexandria. There were eight
gunboats above the falls. The Eastport
was blown up on the 27th ult.
enemy made their appearance on the Shreveport road and drove in the
advanced cavalry. Gen. McClernand met them with his command when they
withdrew without a fight. The armies are, however, in close proximity,
and a battle was hourly expected. Our men are anxious for the conflict.
Banks was hit with a piece of shell in the battle of Moret’s Bluffs on
the 23d ult. He was improving.
Magruder is said to be on the way from Texas to Western Louisiana to
join Kirby Smith’s army.
York, May. 13.–A New Orleans letter of the 7th in the Express
gives a report that General Banks is retreating by the land route to
Brashear City, it being impossible to do so by the Red River, as the
steamer City Belle, on her way up the other day with a regiment of
troops to reinforce him, was captured with all on board and the boat
burned. His other boats have been captured or burned.
May. 13.–The Chattanooga correspondent of the Journal
says the entire loss in the Red river campaign in men was 4300 in
killed, wounded and missing. Gen. Banks’s army had been reinforced,
and was 4000 stronger than when he first advanced.
Ill., May. 13.–Memphis dates to the 11th have been received.
They contain no news. There was but little activity in the cotton
market. The orders for closing the lines of the district and indefinite
advices from the North have tended to stagnate the markets and render
both buyers and sellers slow in transacting business. The receipts for
the last 24 hours were 356 bales; middling to strict middling 72-73c;
good 75-76c; fair 77-78c.
reports from below represent the rebels in complete possession of the
Red River below Alexandria; that they have captured two more of our
gunboats. The truth of this is not vouched for.
Grant had 102,000 men, Lee fielded but 61,000. Casualties amounted to
18,400 (18%) on the Union side and 11,400 (18.6%) on the rebel. (Source.)
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