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Benjamnin F. Butler, Butler's Book: Autobiography and Personal Reminiscences of Major-General Benjamin Butler, Chapter 16: capture of fortifications around Richmond, Newmarket Heights, Dutch Gap Canal, elections in New York and gold conspiracy. (search)
plode our mine. General Grant telegraphed me, that he had made some arrangements View of Dutch Gap Canal, on James River, below Richmond. Blowing out bulkhead. From a drawing. to utilize the canal by a movement toward Richmond in co-operation with the navy, and that I had better blow out the head of the canal. Meanwhile I had procured a dredger, and in twenty-four hours, or two nights' work, when the enemy could not annoy us with their shells, the canal could be made navigable. On Christmas day the mine was discharged. A tall mass of hard dirt was elevated into the air and came down in fragments into the canal, low enough to allow the waters of the James River to flow over it about three feet deep before it was dredged. But in the meantime a very untoward occurrence had happened. Commodore Smith was wanted elsewhere by the Navy Department; and without giving any notice whatever to us or inquiring into his value where he was,--for he was both an intrepid and an enterprising
x No. 135 Well, sir, it could have been taken on Christmas with five hundred men without losing a Soldier. Ton the, occasion of the first attack, December 24 and 25:-- To the Editor of the Globe:-- Among the paGeneral Butler could easily have taken the fort on Christmas night. These men did not know what they were talki work. When Weitzel's skirmish line approached on Christmas afternoon, and the fire of the fleet ceased, I purhe fire of the fleet disabling the carriages. On December 25, six hundred shots were expended, exclusive of gre guns exploded, leaving thirty-four heavy guns on Christmas night. The last guns on the 24th and 25th were firreduced my available force to about my strength on Christmas night, it took more than three times the number whed when he says that it might have been taken on Christmas Day by five hundred men without losing a soldier; thad fourteen hundred and fifty men in the fort on Christmas Day. Had Porter seen any of them go away? How coul
ave been possible for the Confederates to have reinforced or provisioned the fort to any extent? A. No difficulty at all by the river. . . . Q. 21. In view of the condition of the weather immediately following the demonstration of the 25th of December, and in view of the force that might have concentrated upon the peninsula, as well above as below the place of landing, would it, in your judgment, have been possible for six thousand (6,000) men, without artillery, to have held out there, w38. see pages 810, 811, 818, and 819.] North Atlantic Squadron, United States flag-Ship Malvern, Beaufort, N. C., Dec. 29, 1864. Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C.: Sir:--. . . Well, sir, it could have been taken on Christmas with five hundred men, without losing a soldier; there were not twenty men in the forts, and those were poor, miserable, panic-stricken people, cowering there with fear, while one or two desperate men in one of the upper casemates, some distanc