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Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 41: the Red River expedition, under Major-General N. P. Banks, assisted by the Navy under Rear-Admiral David D. Porter. (search)
s soon as the army should reach the fort, in order to seize any steamers that might be lying there with steam down. Owing to obstructions in the river, the dispatch-boat carrying the message was delayed five hours, and Phelps reached Alexandria just thirty minutes too late, the swiftest of the naval vessels arriving just in time to see six steamers escaping up the Falls. One of them, the Countess, having grounded, was burned by the enemy. The fleet had thus reached Alexandria on the 15th of March. two days earlier than had been promised General Banks. On the day following, there were nine gun-boats lying off the town, and one hundred and eighty sailors were landed, to occupy the place and take possession of any Confederate Government property that might be stored there. The inhabitants were respectfully treated, and everything was as quiet as a New England village. General Smith remained behind a few days to destroy the formidable works which he had captured, and a gun-boat
Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 42: Red River expedition.--continued. (search)
rman with 10,000, move from Alexandria on Shreveport, and wish him to co-operate. He says he can go with 7,000 effective men, but objects to the movement on account of bad roads and guerillas, and prefers to remain on the defensive line of the Arkansas. I have replied that he should co-operate with Banks and Sherman, unless you direct otherwise. His objections on account of guerillas threatening his rear will apply equally to an advance at any time into the enemy's country. On the 15th of March, General Halleck, as chief-of-staff, telegraphed to General Grant as follows: A dispatch just received from General Banks, dated March 6. He expects to effect a junction with Sherman's forces (Smith's Division) on Red River, on the 17th. He desires that positive orders be sent to Steele to move in conjunction with them for Red River, with all his available force. Sherman and Banks are of opinion that Steele can do much more than make a demonstration, as he last proposed. A telegr
Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., chapter 48 (search)
ny cargo could be. But the ship was burned, nevertheless. A large quantity of newspapers were taken from the Parks. which, as they contained many unflattering notices of the Alabama, gave her officers and crew something to sharpen their appetites upon until they overhauled another prize. The next vessel taken was the Bethiah Thayer, last from the Chinchas with a cargo of guano for the Peruvian Government, and, as her cargo was properly documented, she was released on bond. On the 15th of March,the ship Punjaub, of Boston, was captured; but as her cargo was English property, and was properly certified to, she was released on a ransom-bond, after the prisoners were all transferred to her. Semmes was getting merciful; the mild climate of the tropics was acting favorably upon his temperament, while his crew, for want of excitement, began to look gloomy and disconsolate. All this time Semmes made but little change in his position, lying under easy sail near the toll-gate, and allo