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e Marylanders at the South mixed equipments and Properties doubtful points Norfolk to Manassas where the battle ground would be Missouri's first move. Not considered as vital, were the Peninsula, formed by the James and York rivers, Norfolk, and the open country around and about Orange Courthouse to the Potomac. Forth it would be hard to dislodge them, as at Newport's News. Its propinquity to Norfolk, together with the vast preponderance of the United States in naval power, madion of Virginia by giving him a brigadier's commission and instructions to put Norfolk and the avenues of its approach in complete state of defense. A sufficient gam the Third Alabama and some of the best Richmond companies-was given him; and Norfolk was soon declared securely fortified. The Peninsula was even more exposed ent at once to his command. While Fortress Monroe threatened the safety of Norfolk, and, by the Peninsula of the lower approaches to Richmond, Alexandria could h
otomac line, the case had been a little different. Magruder, on the Peninsula, had gained no success of note. A few unimportant skirmishes had taken place and the Confederate lines had been contracted — more from choice than necessity. But the combatants were near enough-and respected each other enough --for constant watchfulness to be considered necessary; and, though the personnel of the army was, perhaps, not as good as that of the Potomac, in the main its condition was better. At Norfolk nothing had been done but to strengthen the defenses. General Huger had striven to keep his men employed; and they, at least, did not despise the enemy that frowned at them from Fort Monroe, and frequently sent messages of compliment into their camps from the lips of the Sawyer gun. The echo of the paeans from Manassas came back to them, but softened by distance and tempered by their own experience-or want of it. In Western Virginia there had been a dull, eventless campaign, of strat
the press, unremittingly as General Wise had besieged the War Department, and blue as was the mood of the public — the blow still fell like a thunder-clap and shook to the winds the few remaining shreds of hope. General Wise was ill in bed; and the defense-conducted by a militia colonel with less than one thousand raw troops — was but child's play to the immense armada with heaviest metal that Burnside brought against the place. Roanoke Island was the key to General Huger's position at Norfolk. Its fall opened the Sounds to the enemy and, besides paralyzing Huger's rear communications, cut off more than half his supplies. The defeat was illustrated by great, if unavailing, valor on the part of the untrained garrison; by a plucky and determined fight of the little squadron under Commodore Lynch; and by the brilliant courage and death of Captain 0. Jennings Wise — a gallant soldier and noble gentleman, whose popularity was deservedly great. But, the people felt that a period<
heerily and faithfully on the hard, tough fabrics for them. One day an order came for thirty thousand sandbags. Never before did needles fly so fast, for who could tell but what that very bag might stand between death and a heart dearer far than aught else on earth. Thirty hours after the order came, the women of Richmond had sent the bags to Yorktown! At length, after three weeks of trying suspense, filled with every fantastic shape of doubt and dread, came news of the evacuation of Norfolk, the destruction of the iron-clad Virginia, and of the retreat from the Peninsula. Not appreciating the strategical reasons for these movements, Richmond lost her temporary quiet and again fell to lamenting the dark prospects for the city. On the 4th of May, the last of the Confederate forces evacuated Yorktown; reluctantly turning their backs on the enemy, to take up the line of march for Richmond. Next day McClellan's advance pressed on; and overtaking their rear, under Longstree
of the commandant, who crawled in after the victorious fleet. Norfolk, however, had comeinto southern possession, by the secession of Vis his undisputed invention. Much wonder had the good people of Norfolk expressed in their frequent visits to the strange-looking, turtle-ading the mouth of James river and cutting off communication from Norfolk. The Congress frigate was lying near her, off the News; while theadful suspense for the soldiers in the batteries and the people of Norfolk. They crowded the wharves, the steeples, and the high points of tmpenetrable. Later in the day the victorious ship steamed back to Norfolk, amid the wildest enthusiasm of its people. The experiment had pr Later still, when the Virginia was blown up on the evacuation of Norfolk, a howl of indignation was raised against Secretary, Department ano pass the shoal at Harrison's Bar-between her and Richmond. With Norfolk in the enemy's hands, the hostile fleet pressing her-and with no p
Thomas C. DeLeon, Four years in Rebel capitals: an inside view of life in the southern confederacy, from birth to death., The firing under the white flag, in Hampton Roads. (search)
firing under the white flag, in Hampton Roads. Reference has been made in these pages, to the peculiar circumstances of the wounding of Flag-Lieutenant Robert D. Minor, in the Merrimac fight on the 8th March, 1862. The official report of Fleet-Captain Franklin Buchanan distinctly states the facts and formulates the charge, accepted by the author. From that lengthy and detailed official document is reproduced verbatim this Extract from report of flag-officer Buchanan. Naval Hospital, Norfolk, March 27, 1862. To Hon. S. R. Mallory, Secretary of the Navy: While the Virginia was thus engaged in getting her position, for attacking the Congress, the prisoners state it was believed on board that ship that we had hauled off; the men left their guns and gave three cheers. They were soon sadly undeceived, for a few minutes after we opened upon her again, she having run on shore in shoal water. The carnage, havoc and dismay, caused by our fire, compelled them to haul down their col