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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 1. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Reminiscences of the Confederate States Navy. (search)
rst disaster to the Southern arms — the capture of Forts Donelson and Henry. Columbus was evacuated and the guns of the fortifications were placed in position on Island 10, a short distance. Our gun-boats now dropped down to New Madrid to assist in defending that place. The gun-boats Pontchartrain and Joy joined our squadron, whiated tin-clads. They could resist field pieces, but not heavy artillery. New Madrid is situated on the right bank of the river, and is about ten miles below Island 10. A good road leads to Cape Gerideau, a point on the river above Cairo. Hence, New Madrid was an important point as long as we held No. 10. The place was poorlr gun-boats were ridiculed by Confederate soldiers and citizens, and treated with contempt by the enemy. By the urgent request of the commander of our troops at Island 10, one of our gun-boats was sent up to to Tiptonville with supplies every night, and though the enemy's batteries fired at them regularly, not one of their shots e
fenses. Missouri and Arkansas were added to his department, but he was unable to avail himself of these increased powers, as the defense of the Mississippi was his main object, and occupied all his resources. Dr. Polk says : Finding in Island No.10 a most advantageous position, works were begun there. His design now was to make that the advanced point of defense-holding Fort Pillow as a position to fall back upon, in the event he was driven to it. With those two points thoroughly fortif thoroughly fortified. The lines in the rear, covering the batteries commanding the river, were to be so constructed as to permit of their being held by a fraction of his force, the larger portion remaining free to operate in the open field. Island No.10 was to be fortified as a reserve to Columbus; New Madrid to be fortified, so as to prevent the enemy getting possession of the Missouri shore at that point, and thus obstructing river navigation below No. 10; while Fort Pillow was to form the
s assembled volunteers at the most assailable points on her borders, and took measures for guarding the water-entrances to her territory. All the strong points on the Mississippi were occupied and fortified-Memphis, Randolph, Fort Pillow, and Island No.10. The last-named place, though a low-lying island, was believed to be a very strong position. Captain Gray, the engineer in charge when General Johnston assumed command (September 18th), reported that Island No.10 was one of the finest strateIsland No.10 was one of the finest strategic positions in the Mississippi Valley, and, properly fortified, would offer the greatest resistance to the enemy; and that its intrenchments could not be taken by a force four or five times superior in number. It is not necessary here to enter upon a narrative of the defenses of the Mississippi River. Columbus was relied upon as the chief barrier against invasion; and was found sufficient, until, for strategic reasons, it was deemed expedient to abandon it. The defense of the points lower do
ve a line of retreat to the latter place or to Grenada, Mississippi, and, if necessary, to Jackson, Mississippi. At Columbus, Kentucky, will be left only a sufficient garrison for the defense of the works there, assisted by Hollins's gunboats, for the purpose of making a desperate defense of the river at that point. A sufficient number of transports will be kept near that place for the removal of the garrison therefrom, when no longer tenable in the opinion of the commanding officer. Island No.10 and Fort Pillow will likewise be defended to the last extremity, aided also by Hollins's gunboats, which will then retire to the vicinity of Memphis, where another bold stand will be made. (Signed) G. T. Beauregard, General C. S. A. (Signed) W. J. Hardee, Major-General. A true copy: S. W. Ferguson, Lieutenant and Aide-de-Camp. This plan of campaign embraced the defense of the line of the Cumberland, if possible; or, if not, then a retreat to Stevenson. Beauregard was to fall back
st be properly guarded from Iuka to Tuscumbia, and even to Decatur, if practicable. Columbus must either be left to be defended to the last extremity by its proper garrison, assisted by Hollins's fleet of gunboats, and provided with provisions and ammunition for several months, or abandoned altogether, its armament and garrison being transferred if practicable to Fort Pillow, which, I am informed, is a naturally and artificially strong position, about one hundred miles above Memphis. Island No.10, near New Madrid, could also be held by its garrison, assisted by Hollins's fleet, until the possession of New Madrid by the enemy would compel that position to be evacuated. I am clearly of the opinion that to attempt at present to hold so advanced a position as Columbus, with the movable army under General Polk, where its communications can be so readily cut off by a superior force acting from the Tennessee River as a new base, would be to jeopardize, not only the safety of that army,
horn, or Pea Ridge. Beauregard in West Tennessee. evacuation of Columbus. Island no.10. Pope's expedition. Grant's expedition up the Tennessee. plan and movemention of Columbus, and the establishment of a new line resting on New Madrid, Island No.10, and Humboldt. Polk issued the preliminary orders February 25th, for the evcted Brigadier-General J. P. McCown, an old army-officer, for the command of Island No.10, forty miles below Columbus, whither he removed his division February 27th. Pittsburg Landing, important operations were occurring around New Madrid and Island No.10. On the 18th of February General Halleck sent Major-General John Pope, whom hope to hold this position until Fort Pillow was fortified. The defense at Island No.10 was not adequate to the preparations there; but, as its bearing on General Jn of his own army, 25,000 or 30,000 under Beauregard, and 9,000 or 10,000 at Island No.10, Fort Pillow, and other garrisons; not more than 60,000 in all, of whom not
Chapter 18: Fall of Island no.10, April fifth battle of Shiloh, April sixth capture of guns General Albert Sidney Johnston killed the battle resumed at Daybreak the enemy are reenforced by Buell the Confederate army retreats great loss false reports of the Federal Generals. Corinth, Miss., April 10th, 1862. Dear Tom: In exchange for your last entertaining epistle, I send the following hurried scrawl. It would seem that the army of the West bids fair to rival that oell back to Corinth to defend the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. Beauregard came on from Virginia and inspected Columbus. It was deemed inadvisable to defend that place; the works were blown up, and all the cannon and stores transferred to Island No.10, which it was thought might be converted into a little Gibraltar, and successfully beat back the enemy's flotillas on the Mississippi. The command was given to General Mackall; Beauregard was installed second in command at Corinth. Beaureg
id. day. Their troops were landed from transports, but never came within view. From scouts, who volunteered as spies, we ascertained that they had seized hundreds of negroes in that part of Louisiana, and were actually digging a canal from Milliken's Bend across the peninsula, which, it was hoped, would divert the waters of the river from its proper bed, and leave Vicksburgh Sigh and dry as an inland city! The idea was a bold one, and originated with General Pope, who, not able to pass Island no.10 some months before, dug a canal across a small peninsula near New-Madrid, in Missouri, and got safely in the rear of the island, and captured it. The present undertaking, however, did not promise like results; for the stream was strong, and would not be diverted. Hundreds of men, both whites and blacks, sank and died under the labor of cutting this canal, before the attempt was discontinued. And still the bombardment progressed. Thousands of shell, round shot, and other missiles wer
Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: The Opening Battles. Volume 1., The first year of the War in Missouri. (search)
ard by giving battle to the enemy near New Madrid, or, by marching boldly and rapidly toward St. Louis, between Ironton and the enemy's grand depot at Rolla. While he was executing this plan, and while the greater part of the army that had survived Elkhorn was on the march across the mountains of North Arkansas toward Jacksonport, Van Dorn was suddenly ordered by General Johnston on the 23d of March to move his entire command by the best and most expeditious route to Memphis. His forces, to which he had given the name of the Army of the West, were accordingly concentrated in all haste at Des Are, on the White River, whence they were to take boats for Memphis. The first division of this army, to the command of which General Price had been assigned, was the first to move, Little's Missouri Brigade embarking on the 8th of April for Memphis, just as Pope was taking possession of Island No.10, and Beauregard was leading Johnston's army back to Corinth from the fateful field of Shiloh.
Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: The Opening Battles. Volume 1., Recollections of Foote and the gun-boats. (search)
he time his own property that the brilliant capture of Fort Henry was accomplished, and the conquest of Donelson and Island Number10 achieved. The ever-memorable midnight passage of Number Ten by the Pittsburgh and Carondelet, which compelled the seration in the design of the vessels. Had they been completed in the time specified, the Mississippi campaign, from Island Number10 to Vicksburg, would probably have been over before Farragut passed the forts at New Orleans. Editors. Soon afld be of great value, and might enable him to suggest improvements in them. I therefore hastened from Washington to Island Number10, a hundred miles below Cairo, on the Mississippi River, where Foote's flotilla was then engaged. In the railway rward our minister to France, waiting for an opportunity to visit the army, then in Missouri, in the neighborhood of Island Number10, cooperating with Admiral Foote in the reduction of that stronghold. We embarked together on a small tug-boat which
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