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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 12. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), The story of the Arkansas. (search)
es were built (or botched, rather,) at a foundry on Adams street, and the timber of which she was composed grew in our vicinity. The Confederate Congress, in the plenitude of their wisdom, appropriated $125,000 to build two rams to defend the upper Mississippi. The Arkansas was the first constructed under the act, and was towed up the Yazoo after the fall of New Orleans. I will not take the reader through all the disappointments and crosses during the six or eight weeks preceding the fifteenth of July we started out with. It is sufficient that we had the craft, incomplete and rough as she was, with railroad bars on her hull and sides and ends of the gun-box. We have a crew and an officer for every gun, and on the aforesaid morning we are steaming down the Yazoo river, bound to Mobile. Our orders were to pass Vicksburg shortly after dawn; proceed from thence down the river, destroying any stray vessels of the enemy in the road; coal-ship at New Orleans; pass Forts Jackson and St.
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 12. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), The story of the Arkansas. (search)
, so often had it been struck, and the sides of the ship were as spotted as if she had been peppered. A shot had broken our cast iron ram. Another had demolished a hawse-pipe. Our boats were shot away and dragging. But all this was to be expected and could be repaired. Not so on the inside. A great heap of mangled and ghastly slain lay on the gun deck, with rivulets of blood running away from them. There was a poor fellow torn asunder, another mashed flat, whilst in the slaughter-house brains, hair and blood were all about. Down below fifty or sixty wounded were groaning and complaining, or courageously bearing their ills without a murmur. All the army stood on the hills to see us round the point. The flag had been set up on a temporary pole, and we went out to return the cheers the soldiers gave us as we passed. The Generals came on board to embrace our Captain, bloody, yet game. This ends our second battle. We must fight another before we go to sleep on that 15th of July.
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 12. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), The story of the Arkansas. (search)
I am able to lay them before my readers. A very long letter from the paymaster of the Richmond to his wife, described the attack of the Arkansas, and was unsparing on Farragut and Davis, accusing them of incapacity and negligence, remarking that Porter was the only man present who had brains as well as courage. I recollect the following letters well and can vouch for their being genuine: U. S. Steamer, Richmond, Mississippi river, July 18, 1862. My Dear Joe,—On the morning of the 15th of July, about 7 o'clock, we were suddenly aroused, and, in my case, awakened by the sharp clicks of the rattle. The first words I heard were, the Rebel ram Arkansas is coming down upon us. Throwing on a few clothes I hastened on deck to ascertain the state of things. Around us lay the combined power of Farragut's and Davis's fleets. Frigates, gunboats, iron-plated boats, wooden rams and iron-cased rams were anchored along the banks for a mile and a-half. And slowly steaming along the hollow
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 12. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Military operations of General Beauregard. (search)
e the battle of Manassas; by refusing, as early as the 13th of June, to assent to General Beauregard's urgent request that authority should be given to concentrate our forces at the proper moment at Manassas Junction; by again refusing, on the 15th of July, to allow him to execute his bold, offensive plans against the enemy, the certain result of which would have been the taking of Washington—that the President of the Confederacy, by thus persisting in these three lamentable errors, lost the Soufound upon the claim that General Beauregard was prevented from taking Washington and thus perhaps ending the war, than in Beauregard's own action after Manassas. Colonel Roman's claim is that if Johnston had been ordered to join Beauregard on July 15th, McDowell would have been overthrown, and next Patterson, and next, perhaps, McClellan, and that then Washington might have fallen before the Confederates advancing on both sides of the Potomac. Well, Johnston was ordered to join Beauregard wi