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Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 2: bombardment and fall of Fort Sumter.--destruction of the Norfolk Navy Yard by the Federal officers. (search)
summoned. hostile attitude of the people of Norfolk and Portsmouth. vessels at the Norfolk Navy gton of the hostile attitude of the people in Norfolk and Portsmouth towards the government, and thbodies of troops were reported moving towards Norfolk to enforce this decision. In fact, Norfolk, m to hold good, as was shown at Pensacola and Norfolk; and every impediment was thrown in Commodore saved the Navy Yard against attack, overawed Norfolk and Portsmouth, and prevented the channel frobetween the Government and the inhabitants of Norfolk, who were doing all in their power to destroyimpression that the force that had arrived at Norfolk was for the purpose of holding the yard and rrilliantly illuminated. The inhabitants of Norfolk and Portsmouth, roused from their slumber, loll's Point to keep our ships from approaching Norfolk; others were sent to Hatteras Inlet, Ocracock. Had it not been for the guns captured at Norfolk and Pensacola, the Confederates would have fo[14 more...]
Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 6: naval expedition against Port Royal and capture of that place. (search)
ies, to erect so many formidable earth-works armed with heavy guns. This was owing to the United States Government allowing Norfolk Navy Yard, with its abundant supply of guns and munitions of war,to fall into the hands of the insurgents. From Norfolk the guns were sent all along the Southern coast, by way of the Dismal Swamp Canal, and through the inland channels with which our coast is supplied, as far as Florida. The number of guns captured at Norfolk is variously estimated from 1,400 to Norfolk is variously estimated from 1,400 to 1,500, but at all events the number was amply sufficient to provide a barrier against the entrance of such small vessels as we could get into commission on the first breaking out of the war. But for the misfortune of losing, or we may say throwing away, the Norfolk Navy Yard, all the unarmed ports of the South would have easily fallen into our hands, and thus enabled us to break up blockade running at a much earlier date than we were able to accomplish it.
Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 11: Goldsborough's expedition to the sounds of North Carolina. (search)
nists to capture this position at all hazards. It was a great strategic point which enabled the Confederates to cover Norfolk in the rear, Welden and the Northeast railroads, and keep open their communications with Lee's army at Richmond. If tmined to fortify Roanoke Island and prevent our getting into Albemarle Sound; so that they could hold communication with Norfolk through the Currituck Inlet and save Plymouth and the Roanoke River. They were building some heavy iron-clads up that river, and all the material, machinery and guns had to be transported from Norfolk and Richmond. The defences of Roanoke Island consisted of six separate works. Five of these guarded the water approaches and the sixth was a masked battery intender the purpose of destroying the enemy's property and blocking up the canals, so that no communication could be held with Norfolk. But we cannot refer to these operations at this time, as events of far greater importance were now taking place at Ham
Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 12: fight between the Merrimac and Monitor, March 8, 1862. (search)
boat. He told the writer that he had escaped from Norfolk, where he had been employed on the Merrimac, which is ship; but at this point the Merrimac withdrew to Norfolk. Greene fired at her twice, or at most three timesed for Sewell's Point and thence to the dockyard at Norfolk. Our crew were thoroughly worn out from the two dae the Merrimac remained intact it was supposed that Norfolk would be secure against attack, and the way for an ficers and crew, put out the fires and tow her into Norfolk! The Monitor, however, lay quietly at anchor bidinengines breaking down, she was obliged to return to Norfolk. On the 8th of May the Merrimac again appeared aoned. Lieut. Pembroke Jones was then dispatched to Norfolk, and returned with the news that Norfolk was evacuaNorfolk was evacuated, and the Navy Yard on fire. That determined the fate of the Merrimac. Her occupation was gone, and to pac took advantage of this circumstance to return to Norfolk. Catesby Jones was too clever an officer not to
Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 13: building a navy on the Western rivers.--battle of Belmont. (search)
on Grant seized this latter place and garrisoned it. Thus the two armies were near each other. Grant had nothing but ordinary transports to operate with, and these were liable to be cut to pieces from the banks of the river by the Confederate light artillery. On the 14th of September Commander Henry Walke, in command of the Taylor, under orders from Flag-officer Foote, proceeded down the river towards Columbus to make reconnoissance, accompanied by officers of General Grant's staff. At Norfolk, six miles below Cairo, the Taylor took on board a hundred men of the Ninth Illinois Regiment, and then approached Columbus to ascertain the strength of the batteries. These batteries were built upon what was called the Iron Banks, at the first Chickasaw Bluff, which rose from two to three hundred feet above the river, overlooking its course for a distance of twenty miles north and south. The Confederate batteries were placed on the spurs of the bluff, one of them, fifty feet above the wa
Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 14: battle and capture of Fort Henry by the Navy. (search)
may think it strange that the Confederates, with nothing like the Federal resources, should be able to throw up so many formidable fortifications on coast and river, and mount them with heavy guns, and will naturally ask where the guns came from. The answer to this question is that, by our terrible blunder in surrendering the Norfolk Navy Yard at the commencement of the war, we put into the hands of the Confedates 1,400 guns of all calibres. Our Navy had already recaptured 211 of these Norfolk guns, and it remains to be seen what account it will render of those which now confront it at Columbus, Fort Henry and Fort Donelson. Grant knew the nature of these works better than any other officer, and saw that Bowling Green and Columbus could both be turned as soon as Henry and Donelson fell. Halleck and others were making great strategic movements, which amounted to nothing, but Grant kept his mind steadily fixed on these two forts, knowing the effect their fall would have. On
Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 19: battle of the forts and capture of New Orleans. (search)
nowingly left a troublesome force in his rear, consisting of four steamers and a powerful steam battery of four thousand tons and sixteen guns. all protected by the forts. I did not know in what condition the battery was, only we had learned that she had come down the night before, ready prepared to wipe out our whole fleet. If the enemy counted so surely on destroying our whole fleet with her, it behooved me to be prudent, and not let the mortar vessels be sacrificed like the vessels at Norfolk. I commenced, then, a bombardment on the ironclad battery, supposing it lay close under Fort Jackson, and also set the vessels to work throwing shells into Fort Jackson again, to let them know that we were still taking care of them; but there was no response: the fight had all been taken out of them. I sent the mortar vessels below to refit and prepare for sea, as also to prevent them from being driven from their position in case the iron battery came out to attack them. I felt sure that
Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 20: a brave officer's mortification.--history set right. (search)
many other battles. As an evidence how far the Cayuga was ahead of the rest of the fleet the first news received at the North is announced in the New York Times of Sunday, April 27, 1862, thus: An important report from the rebels.--One of our gun-boats above Fort Jackson and San Philip. Washington, Saturday April 26th. The Richmond Examiner of the 25th, announces that one of our gun-boats passed Fort San Philip, sixty miles below New Orleans on the 24th. The report was telegraphed to Norfolk, and brought to Fortress Monroe under a flag of truce, and received from there to-day by the Navy Department. The next rebel telegram announced the arrival of the fleet before the city. The Cayuga in the interval had captured the Chalmette regiment, five miles above the forts, and cut the telegraphic communication, so that the fleet were not again reported until they arrived opposite the city. Now, my dear admiral, you have entirely misconceived the object of my addressing you. It is
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)
zed by the powers of Europe. All this was prevented by the Navy without the assistance of the Army — that same Navy which is to-day a mere shadow owing to the neglect of Congress to foster and uphold it. What were the intentions of the Confederates at New Orleans can be easily understood by reading Flag-officer Farragut's report. When he went up the river to Baton Rouge, he found the banks bristling with cannon, including many of the guns the government had so ignominiously deserted at Norfolk. These were intended to bar the way against any invading squadron approaching New Orleans from the North; but the panic had spread even to that point, and all the guns were spiked and their carriages destroyed. One work eight miles above New Orleans, reached from the Mississippi nearly across to Lake Ponchartrain, and was partly mounted with twenty-six heavy guns, intended to bid defiance to our Navy and Army. A mile above this were two other works waiting only for more of the Norfolk
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)
thy of careful investigation. The great importance of the Mississippi to both parties had been manifest from the beginning, but its importance was much greater to the Confederates than to the Federals. It washed the shores of ten different states, northern and southern, and received the waters of fifty or sixty navigable rivers. It was the great connecting link between the two sections, and was in fact the backbone of the rebellion. We had provided the Confederates with guns enough at Norfolk to fortify it in all its length, and they had not failed to make the most of all their means of defence. The possession of the great river was equally sought by both parties; for it was evident from the first that whichever side obtained control of it and its tributaries would possess an immense advantage. If the Confederates lost it they would be cut off from their great source of supplies and be compelled to obtain everything from Europe through blockade runners. This consideration
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