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for its garrison was weak. This would have opened communication, by the Mississippi River, with General Grant at Vicksburgh. But the strength of the place was notwas very slight — numbers not given. General Banks now returned to the Mississippi River, and crossed his ármy to Bayou Sara, where he formed a junction, on the tsissippi. The object of the campaign of this army was the opening of the Mississippi River, in conjunction with the army of General Banks. General Grant was instdians, General Pope sent a column, under Brigadier-General Sibley, up the Mississippi River to near our northern boundary, and thence across the country to the Missor part of Arkansas and Louisiana, and restored the free navigation of the Mississippi River. Heretofore the enemy has enjoyed great advantages over us in the charrence of a circle; but the problem is now changed by the reopening of the Mississippi River. The rebel territory has been actually cut in twain, and we can strike t
at of our army from Little Rock gave to the enemy the control of the important valley in which it is situated. The resolute spirit of the people soon rose superior to the temporary despondency naturally resulting from these reverses. The gallant troops so ably commanded in the States beyond the Mississippi, inflicted repeated defeats on the invading armies in Louisiana and on the coast of Texas. Detachments of troops and active bodies of partisans kept up so effective a war on the Mississippi River as practically to destroy its value as an avenue of commerce. The determined and successful defence of Charleston against the joint land and naval oprations of the enemy, afforded an inspiring example of our ability to repel the attacks even of the iron-clad fleet, on which they chiefly rely, while on the Northern frontier our success was still more marked. The able commander who conducted the campaign in Virginia determined to meet the threatened advance on Richmond — for which
y. It will not be considered by any of them an unfair discrimination, when I particularize in a single instance. To the constant attention, by day and by night, and to the discreet supervision of James Lupton, as camp commandant, the brigade was greatly indebted for its well-being and comfort. Many of the members of the brigade have since entered the military service. Many are there still. Some have fallen, and now sleep well amid the sands of Morris Island, and of the banks of the Mississippi; others have been taken prisoners, and their fate is enshrouded in impenetrable mystery. All have done their duty. It is to be regretted that they were not permitted to enter the service under the auspices of their own State, whose soil they had defended; but this privilege which the authorities of their State denied them, was granted them by the sagacious, patriotic, and noble Governor of the ancient commonwealth of Massachusetts. But there has been progress; and since then number
wide for their pontoons, proceeded eastward along that river to test the crossings at other places. Detecting these movements on the part of the enemy, General Hurlbut ordered all the bridges and trestle-work to be destroyed. This was done except in one case. The officer in command at Lafayette failed to execute the order for some unknown reason, the result of which disobedience of orders will be seen directly. It may be worth while to state that the highlands, which start from the Mississippi River at Randolph, stretch out toward the north boundary of the State of Mississippi, and passing down near the centre of that State, do not touch the river again until they reach Vicksburgh. All the land between these highlands and the river is very swampy and liable to overflow, except the bluffs at Memphis and a few unimportant points below. The reader will now understand why we have so many bridges and so much trestle-work to take care of. When within a mile of Lafayette, the party
sh impossibilities, we should rather be grateful, humbly and profoundly, to a benignant Providence, for the results that have rewarded our labors. Remembering the disproportion in population, in military and naval resources, and the deficiency of skilled labor in the South, our accomplishments have surpassed those of any people in the annals of the world. There is no just reason for hopelessness or fear. Since the outbreak of the war, the South has lost the nominal possession of the Mississippi River and fragments of her territory, but Federal occupancy is not conquest. The fires of patriotism still burn unquenchably in the breasts of those who are subject to foreign domination. We yet have in our uninterrupted control a territory which, according to past progress, will require the enemy ten years to overrun. The enemy is not free from difficulties. With an enormous debt, the financial convulsion, long postponed, is surely coming. The short crops in the United States and abu
instead of continuing up Red River. Many were the speculations upon our course as they saw us descending the stream instead of ascending. To a person unacquainted with the peculiarities of this region, it seems indeed strange that the water should run up and down consecutively. The whole of West-Louisiana is overspread with a network of bayous, which are interlaced with each other in a very unusual manner. Indeed, though Red River is usually accounted one of the tributaries of the Mississippi River, there is abundant evidence to believe that at no great period back the Red River continued its course to the Gulf through the Atchafalaya. The latter stream is now mainly fed by the former, and should properly bear its name. We found it for twelve miles a deep and navigable stream. At Simmsport the fleet came to a landing. The town itself does not exist, a few chimneys alone marking the former site, having been burned up by Colonel Charles Rivers Ellet, in retaliation for their
nterest, shall be allowed until the first day of April, 1864, east of the Mississippi River, and until the first day of July, 1864, west of the Mississippi River, toMississippi River, to fund the same, and until the periods and at the places stated, the holders of all such treasury notes shall be allowed to fund the same in registered bonds payable his act, shall, from and after the first .day of April, 1864, east of the Mississippi River, and the first day of July, 1864, west of the Mississippi River, cease toMississippi River, cease to be receivable in payment of public dues; and said notes, if not presented at that time, shall, in addition to the tax of thirty-three and one third cents imposed inetween the first of April, east, and the first of July, 1864, west of the Mississippi River, and the first of January, 1865, to substitute and exchange new treasury st of July, 1864, east, and until the first of October, 1864, west of the Mississippi River; but after that time they shall be subject to a tax of thirty-three and a
rch 4. The great raid of the war is about ended, and the army which has marched over four hundred miles in thirty days, and which has left so many terrible marks of its prowess in its track, will soon be snug in quarters on the banks of the Mississippi. The consequences of the expedition are beyond calculation, and the damage done to the confederate cause cannot be estimated in dollars and cents. Injury has been inflicted which Jeff Davis and all his dominions have not the power to repair.om any further military occupation by the confederate army, it being impossible longer to manoeuvre or subsist an army there without posession of the river. Cavalry may sweep down or across the State, but with all the strongholds along the Mississippi River, we hold military control of the entire State, effectively and effectually. When the news was brought in to Sherman, that the rebels had abandoned Meridian without a blow, and that the destruction was un fait accompli, he is said by eye-
Doc. 131.-Red River expedition. Reports of Admiral Porter. Mississippi Squadron, flag-ship Black Hawk, off Red River, March 2, 1864. sir: I came down here anticipating a move on the part of the army up toward Shreveport; but as the river is lower than it has been known to be for years, I much fear that the combined movement cannot come off without interfering with plans formed by General Grant. General Sherman has gone to New-Orleans to make arrangements with General Banks, and I am expecting his return every day. In the mean time the gunboats are up the Atchafalaya and Black Rivers, destroying bridges and stores, and endeavoring to destroy eight thousand cattle collected at Sicily Island. The Mississippi River is very quiet, and the rebels retreated into the interior on hearing of the advance of the gunboats. I am, sir, Very respectfully, Your obedient servant, David D. Porter, Rear-Admiral. Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy,. Washington, D. C.
has thought proper to stay our progress and throw impediments in the way, for some good reason. We have nothing left but to try it again, and hold on to this country with all the force we can raise. It is just as valuable to us and important to the cause as any other portion of the Union. Those who have interests here, and are faithful to the Government, have a right to expect our protection, and when this part of Louisiana is conquered, we hold Arkansas and all the right bank of the Mississippi without firing another gun. There is a class of men who have during this war shown a great deal of bravery and patriotism, and who have seldom met with any notice from those whose duty it is to report such matters. I speak of the pilots on the Western waters. Without any hope of future reward, through fame, or in a pecuniary way, they enter into the business of piloting the transports through dangers that would make a faint-hearted man quail. Occupying the most exposed position, a f
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