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Atchafalaya, while their presence above Port Hudson as a hostile force, in place of the reenforcement expected from Admiral Porter, greatly increased the anxiety Admiral Farragut had for some time felt to pass the batteries of Port Hudson with part of his fleet, control the long reach above, and cut off the Confederate supplies from the Red River country. General Banks fell in with the admiral's plans, and, concentrating 17,000 men at Baton Rouge, moved to the rear of Port Hudson on the 14th of March, with the divisions of Augur, Emory, and Grover, for the purpose of cooperating with the fleet by dividing the attention of the garrison and gaining a flank fire of artillery on the lower batteries on the bluff. The field-returns showed 12,000 men in line after providing for detachments and for holding Baton Rouge. Admiral Farragut had intended to pass the batteries on the 15th, in the gray of the morning, but at the last moment saw reason to change this plan and moved to the attack be
to disperse soon after passing Franklin. We captured many prisoners on the march. Their gun-boats came down the Atchafalaya too late to dispute Grover's landing, were defeated by our flotilla, under Lieutenant-Commander A. P. Cooke, and the Queen of the West was destroyed. On the 20th Butte-à--la-Rose, with sixty men and two heavy guns, surrendered to Cooke, and the same day Banks occupied Opelousas. Here he received his first communication from General Grant, dated before Vicksburg, March 23d, and sent through Admiral Farragut. This opened a correspondence, the practical effect of which was to cause General Banks to conform his movements to the expectation that General Grant would send an army corps to Bayou Sara to join in reducing Port Hudson. Banks moved on to Alexandria, on the Red River, to push Taylor farther out of the way. Taylor retired toward Shreveport. On the 14th of May the The baggage train of General Augur's division crossing Bayou Montecino on the march t
sas. Here he received his first communication from General Grant, dated before Vicksburg, March 23d, and sent through Admiral Farragut. This opened a correspondence, the practical effect of which was to cause General Banks to conform his movements to the expectation that General Grant would send an army corps to Bayou Sara to join in reducing Port Hudson. Banks moved on to Alexandria, on the Red River, to push Taylor farther out of the way. Taylor retired toward Shreveport. On the 14th of May the The baggage train of General Augur's division crossing Bayou Montecino on the march to Port Hudson. From a sketch made at the time, whole command marched on Simsport, crossed the Atchafalaya, and moved to Bayou Sara, where the advance of the army crossed the Mississippi on the night of the 23d and moved immediately to the rear of Port Hudson. There communication was made with Augur's two brigades, which had established themselves in position on the 21st, after a brisk engageme
of a defeat or even a serious check was obvious enough; the magnitude of the Confederate forces in Mississippi and the energy habitual to their commanders everywhere, added an additional reason against delay. Finally the troops themselves, elated by their success in the Teche campaign, were in the best of spirits for an immediate attack. For these reasons General Banks, with the full concurrence of all his commanders, save one, ordered a general assault to be made on the morning of the 27th of May. Early in the morning Weitzel, who commanded the right wing on this day, moved to the attack in two lines, Dwight at first leading, and steadily drove the Confederates in his front into their works. Thus unmasked, the Confederate artillery opened with grape and canister, but our batteries, following the infantry as closely as possible, soon took commanding positions within 200 and 300 yards of the works that enabled them to keep down the enemy's fire. The whole fight took place in a
, and when night fell the result was that we had gained commanding positions, yet at a fearful cost. The next day a regular siege was begun. Grover was assigned to the command of the right wing, embracing his own and Paine's divisions and Weitzel's brigade; while Dwight was given command of Sherman's division, raised to three brigades by transferring regiments. From left to right, from this time, the lines were held in the order of Dwight, Augur, Paine, Grover, and Weitzel. On the 14th of June, time still pressing, the lines being everywhere well advanced, the enemy's artillery effectually controlled by ours, every available man having been brought up, and yet our force growing daily less by casualties and sickness, Taylor menacing our communications on the west bank of the Mississippi, and the issue of Grant's operations before Vicksburg in suspense, Banks ordered a second assault to be delivered simultaneously at daybreak on the left and center, preceded by a general cannonad
great was the excitement when it was known that the Confederate forces were on the west bank within a few miles of the city; but fortunately the illness that had deprived Emory's division of its commander in the field had given New Orleans Seige of Port Hudson, La. a commander of a courage and firmness that now, as always, rose with the approach of danger, with whom difficulties diminished as they drew near, and whose character had earned the respect of the inhabitants. Still by the 4th of July things were at such a pass that General Emory plainly told General Banks he must choose between Port Hudson and New Orleans. However, Banks was convinced that Port Hudson must be in his hands within three days. His confidence was justified. At last on the 7th of July, when the saphead was within 16 feet of the priest-cap, and a storming party of 1000 volunteers had been organized, led by the intrepid Birge, and all preparations had been made for springing two heavily charged mines, w
commander of a courage and firmness that now, as always, rose with the approach of danger, with whom difficulties diminished as they drew near, and whose character had earned the respect of the inhabitants. Still by the 4th of July things were at such a pass that General Emory plainly told General Banks he must choose between Port Hudson and New Orleans. However, Banks was convinced that Port Hudson must be in his hands within three days. His confidence was justified. At last on the 7th of July, when the saphead was within 16 feet of the priest-cap, and a storming party of 1000 volunteers had been organized, led by the intrepid Birge, and all preparations had been made for springing two heavily charged mines, word came from Grant that Vicksburg had surrendered. Instantly an aide was sent to the general-of-the-trenches bearing duplicates in flimsy of a note from the adjutant-general announcing the good news. One of these he was directed to toss into the Confederate lines. Some
went to Vicksburg to consult with Grant, and Grant came to New Orleans; together they agreed with Admiral Farragut in urging an immediate attack on Mobile. This was the only true policy; success would have been easy and must have influenced powerfully the later campaigns that centered about Chattanooga and Atlanta; but for reasons avowedly political rather than military, the Government ordered, instead, an attempt to plant the flag at some point in Texas. The unaccountable failure at Sabine Pass followed, In September a detachment of the Nineteenth Corps, under Franklin, convoyed by the navy, was sent by sea to effect a landing at Sabine Pass, and thence operate against Houston and Galveston; but the gun-boats meeting with a disaster in an encounter with the Confederate batteries, the expedition returned to New Orleans without having accomplished anything.--R. B. I. then the occupation of the Texan coast by the Thirteenth Corps. So the favorable moment passed and 1863 wore away.
September 19th (search for this): chapter 6.81
, Green and Major suddenly fell upon Weitzel's advance, composed of Dudley's brigade and Dwight's under Colonel Joseph S. Morgan, and handled them roughly. We lost 50 killed, 223 wounded, 186 missing,--total, 465,--as well as 2 guns, while Green's loss was 3 killed and 30 wounded. As the gun-boats could not be got round to Berwick Bay in time to cut off Taylor, he crossed Berwick Bay on the 21st with all his spoils that he could carry away and took post on the lower Teche, until in September the Nineteenth Corps, reorganized and placed under the command of Franklin, once more advanced into the Teche country and drove him back toward Opelousas. After the fall of Vicksburg and Port Hudson, Grant sent Herron's division, and the Thirteenth Corps under Ord, to report to Banks. Banks went to Vicksburg to consult with Grant, and Grant came to New Orleans; together they agreed with Admiral Farragut in urging an immediate attack on Mobile. This was the only true policy; success would have
December 21st (search for this): chapter 6.81
n until the war ended. An attempt followed to occupy Galveston, apparently under importunity from Brigadier-General Andrew J. Hamilton, and in furtherance of the policy that had led the Government to send him with the expedition as military governor of Texas. This resulted on the 1st of January in a military and naval disaster in which three companies of the 42d Massachusetts regiment, under Colonel Isaac S. Burrell, were taken prisoners by the Confederates under Magruder. On the 21st of December three companies of the 42d Massachusetts, under Colonel Isaac S. Burrell, were dispatched from New Orleans, without disembarking. Holcomb's 2d Vermont battery was sent with them, but, waiting for its horses to arrive, did not go ashore. Burrell landed at Kuhn's wharf on the 24th, took nominal possession of the town, but really occupied only the wharf itself, protected by barricades and the 32 guns of the fleet under Commander W. B. Renshaw. Major-General J. B. Magruder, who had been b
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