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Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 15: capture of Fort Donelson and battle of Shiloh. (search)
burned by the enemy to prevent their falling into our hands, all the timber and saw-mills in the neighborhood destroyed, and a large quantity of stores captured. From the 6th to the 10th of the month the labors of this little flotilla were immense, and its gallant commander inflicted damage upon the enemy which was irreparable. In the course of this raid our officers met the most gratifying proofs of loyalty wherever they went. Across Tennessee. and in those portions of Alabama and Mississippi which they visited, men, women and children came in crowds and shouted their welcome to the old flag under which they had been born. A reign of terror had existed all along the river, and loyal people did not dare to express their thoughts openly. They intimated to our officers, however, that if arms were placed in their hands they would not hesitate to espouse the Union cause and put down rebellion in their midst. This shows exactly what kind of a government the secession leaders in
Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 16: operations on the Mississippi. (search)
point where the Memphis and Charleston Railroad crosses the Tennessee River and joins the railroad leading to Nashville; showing that the Confederates were making every exertion to hold on to Tennessee, which was to them the most important of all the States, except, perhaps, Virginia; since it was wedged in between five secession States: and the Confederates, while they held it, could keep the Federal troops from advancing South. Should the latter obtain possession they would control Northern Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, with parts of North Carolina and Virginia. With the Cumberland and the Tennessee Rivers, and all the railroads in the Union possession, the rebellion would have been Commander James W. Shirk. confined to the other States, and the resources of Tennessee would have been lost to the Confederate cause. It would have been better to have thrown three hundred thousand men at once into Tennessee and crushed the rebellion there, instead of losing a greater number in t
Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 18: capture of forts Jackson and St. Philip, and the surrender of New Orleans. (search)
Our Navy, fruitful with victories, presents no more signal achievements than this, nor is there an exploit surpassing it recorded in the annals of naval warfare. In passing, and eventually overcoming Forts Jackson and St. Philip, the batteries above and below New Orleans, destroying the barriers of chains, steam-rams, fire-rafts, iron-clad vessels, and other obstructions, capturing from the Confederate forces the great southern metropolis, and obtaining possession and control of the Lower Mississippi, yourself, your officers, and our brave sailors and marines, whose courage and daring bear historic renown, have won a nation's gratitude and applause. I congratulate you and your command on your great success in having contributed so largely towards destroying the unity of the rebellion, and in restoring again to the protection of the national government and the national flag the important city of the Mississippi valley, and so large a portion of its immediate dependencies. Your e
Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 21: capture of New Orleans.--first attack on Vicksburg by Farragut's fleet and mortar flotilla.--junction of flag-officers Farragut and Davis above Vicksburg.--ram Arkansas. (search)
, from which they had much difficulty in extricating themselves, and cried out lustily that they had surrendered. They were brought in, with their arms and accoutrements. These men state that two regiments, one from Tennessee, the other from Mississippi, were put under arms, and made to believe that they were going to attack some United States troops. Finding the head of our schooners guarded, the rebels attempted to pass through the middle of the wood and enfilade us, but got helplessly stumand of the forward battery, and his conduct met my entire approbation. A land force will be necessary to complete the destruction of this fort, which, if allowed to again be restored, would seriously interrupt the free navigation of the Lower Mississippi. Very respectfully, your obedient servant, W. D. Porter, Commodore, United States Navy. Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C. P. S.--In the various encounters I have had since leaving St. Louis on the last c
Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 23: destruction of the ram Arkansas.--capture of Galveston.--capture of the Harriet Lane.--sinking of the Hatteras.--attack on Baton Rouge.--Miscellaneous engagements of the gun-boats. (search)
anuary 1, 1863. Up to the time of the escapade of the ram Arkansas, a general idea has been given of the performances of Farragut's fleet. After leaving Rear-Admiral Davis and running the Vicksburg batteries, he proceeded down the river to New Orleans with the Hartford, Richmond, Brooklyn, Pinola and Kennebec. The old mortar fleet, which under Commander Porter had done such good service at Forts Jackson and St. Philip, and at Vicksburg, had been divided up and withdrawn from the upper Mississippi, and the river from Baton Rouge to Vicksburg was now virtually left to the Confederates, who deliberately went to work and lined the banks with guns, making, besides Vicksburg, another Gibraltar at Port Hudson, which caused much trouble to the Union commanders before they were able to retake it. The Mississippi had been so easily opened, all the way from New Orleans to Vicksburg, that it ought never to have been closed again, even if it required the whole power of the Federal govern
Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 26: siege of Vicksburg. (search)
by these small vessels, and so summarily dealt with, that they soon withdrew to other parts. General Grant soon saw that Vicksburg could not be taken by the Army sitting down and looking at it from Young's Point. The wide and swift running Mississippi was between them. No force could land in front of the city with its long line of heavy batteries on the hills and at the water front, with 42,000 men in garrison under a very clever general (Pemberton), and Gen. J. E. Johnston with 40,000 more troops at Jackson (the capital of Mississippi), within easy distance of the besieged — if those may be so called who had ten times as much freedom and a hundred times more dry land to travel about on, than the besiegers. There was no use attempting to attack the place on either flank. The attempt had been made by Sherman at Chickasaw Bayou without effect, and since then that point had been made doubly secure against invasion. The Federal Army could not cross the river below the town. fo
Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 27: expedition through Steele's Bayou and Deer Creek. (search)
that in both the Yazoo Pass and the Steele's Bayou expedition they had left the northern flank of Vicksburg unprotected, that they removed the depot at once. Not only that, though there was no apparent necessity for it, they went to work to strengthen their left flank also, as far down the river as Grand Gulf, thinking, perhaps, that the gun-boats might pass the batteries at Vicksburg, pass up the Black River, and gain the rear of the besieged city by arriving at Jackson, the capital of Mississippi--a thing much more easily done than getting through Steele's Bayou. Whether they were influenced by these ideas or not, they proceeded at once to fortify Grand Gulf in such a manner that no vessel could pass up Black River, and with hope that the forts would be strong enough to prevent vessels of war from passing up and down the Mississippi itself. While the Confederates were considering these matters, Admiral Farragut arrived in the Hartford, just below Warrenton, in pursuit of coal
Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 28: passage of the fleet by Vicksburg and capture of Grand Gulf.--capture of Alexandria, etc. (search)
charge of their pilots — a daring set of men who never shrunk from any dangerous service,--only one steamer was sunk by the enemy's shot. A sufficient number of gun boats had been left at the mouth of the Yazoo River to take care of the upper Mississippi, and to look out for two formidable rams that were building at Yazoo City, forty miles from the mouth of the river. Sherman remained with his division at Young's Point, ready to make another attack from the Yazoo if opportunity offered, orter, in his report, speaks in the highest terms of Commander Walke, Greer, Lieutenant-Commander Murphy, Lieutenant-Commanders Shirk and Owen, Lieutenants-Commanding Hoel and Wilson, some of whom had already distinguished themselves on the upper Mississippi. The remarks on this battle of Grand Gulf by military historians show how reluctant they are to give the Navy credit. The following quotation from a well known writer, is an instance in point. Speaking of Grand Gulf he says: The ve
Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 29: siege of Vicksburg--continued. (search)
unrestricted vital current is essential to our nationality, commenced with such ability by the veteran Farragut and the lamented Foote, and continued by Davis, is near its consummation. You have only to proceed onward and meet that veteran chief whose first act was to dash through the gates by which the rebels assumed to bar the entrance to the Mississippi, whose free communication to and above New Orleans he has ever since proudly maintained. When the squadrons of the Upper and Lower Mississippi shall combine, and the noble river be again free to a united people, the nation will feel its integrity restored, and the names of the heroic champions who signalized themselves in this invaluable service, will be cherished and honored. Present and future millions on the shores of those magnificent rivers which patriotism and valor shall have emancipated, will remember with unceasing gratitude, the naval heroes who so well performed their part in these eventful times. To yourself
Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 31: operations of Farragut's vessels on the coast of Texas, etc. (search)
ited. The work of setting free the great artery of the North and South, so essential to our nationality, had been accomplished, and the foul blot of human slavery had disappeared forever from our escutcheon. The squadrons of the Upper and Lower Mississippi had shaken Commander Abner Reed hands in New Orleans, and the great highway between Cincinnati and the Queen City of the South was once more open to commerce with the North and with foreign countries. The power of the United States Goverleans were pleased with the hope of seeing the commerce of the North and West return to their once flourishing city and again crowd its levees with the splendid steamers that formerly kept their storehouses supplied with the products of the Upper Mississippi. But war had made sad ravages in this class of vessels; hundreds of them had been sunk or burned in the Red, Yazoo, Arkansas and White Rivers, and the few that now came creeping out of the bayous and small streams where they had been laid
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