Land operations against Mobile.
by Richard B. Irwin, Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant Adjutant-General, U. S. V.
In the last days of July, 1864, General E. R. S. Canby
sent General Gordon Granger1
with 1800 men from New Orleans to cooperate with Admiral Farragut
On August 3d Granger
landed on Dauphine Island, and the next morning, the appointed time, was in position before Fort Gaines
At once crossing the bay, now held by Farragut
's fleet, Granger
landed in the rear of Fort Morgan
and began a siege.
A siege train was sent from New Orleans, and three more regiments of infantry.
On the 22d of August, twenty-five guns and sixteen mortars being in
a general bombardment by the army and the fleet began at daylight.
At 6 o'clock the next morning, the 23d, the white flag was shown, and the fort surrendered at 2:30 P. M. About five hundred prisoners were taken and about fifty guns.3
had overthrown Hood
(December 16th, 1864), Grant
ordered him to follow Hood
south, but when in January the badness of the roads stopped the movement at Eastport
detached A. J. Smith
with the reorganized Sixteenth Corps4
and sent him to join Canby
at New Orleans.
In anticipation of this, on the 18th of January, Grant
to move against Mobile
The main lines of fortification, three in number, and very strong, being on the western side, Canby
determined to approach Mobile
on the east, where he would have the full benefit of the cooperation of the navy, and the principal works he would have to reduce were Spanish Fort
commanding the mouth, and Blakely
commanding the head of the Appalachee
, where the Tensas
The movement was made in two columns: one from Dauphine Island, under Canby
himself, the other from Pensacola
, under Major-General Frederick Steele
's own force was about 32,000 strong, and consisted of Veatch
's and Benton
's divisions and Bertram
's brigade of the reorganized Thirteenth Corps,5
under Major-General Gordon Granger
, the Sixteenth Corps, under A. J. Smith
, and a siege train under Brigadier-General Richard Arnold
's force was composed of C. C. Andrews
's division of the Thirteenth Corps (except Bertram
's brigade), Hawkins
's division of colored troops, and Lucas
's brigade of cavalry, and numbered 13,000.
When united, Canby
had 45,000 men of all arms.
was defended by about ten thousand6
troops, with three hundred field and siege guns, commanded by Major-General Dabney H. Maury
; there were also five gun-boats7
under Commodore Ebenezer Farrand
's movement began on the 17th of March.
The Sixteenth Corps moved by water from Fort Gaines
; the Thirteenth Corps marched from Fort Morgan
Uniting at Danley's Ferry, near the mouth of Fish River
, they laid siege to Spanish Fort
on the 27th of March.
, with Carr
's and McArthur
's divisions, held the right, and Granger
, with Benton
's and Veatch
divisions and Bertram
's brigade, the left of the Federal
From left to right the defense was upheld by the brigades of Ector
, and Gibson
By the 8th of April the trenches were well advanced and a bombardment was begun by ninety guns in position, joined by all the gun-boats within range.
In the evening a lodgment was effected on the right of the Confederate
lines, and during the night the garrison made good its retreat, with the loss of about 500 prisoners captured.
Nearly fifty guns fell into the possession of the besiegers.
set out from Pensacola
on the 20th of March, and, as if Montgomery
were his object, moved first to Pollard
on the Escambia
, fifty miles to the northward of Pensacola
There he turned toward Mobile
, and on the 1st of April, after a march of a hundred miles over very bad roads, deployed before Blakely
His supplies had run so short that Veatch
's division of the Thirteenth Corps had to be sent out on the 31st of March with a commissary train of seventy-five wagons.
The siege of Blakely
began on the 2d of April.
From left to right the lines of attack were held by Garrard
's division of the Sixteenth Corps, Veatch
's and Andrews
's of the Thirteenth Corps, and Hawkins
's colored division.
's brigade of “boy reserves” had the right, and Cockrell
's division the left, of the defenses.
On the afternoon of the 9th, twenty-eight guns being in position, and Spanish Fort
having fallen, the Confederate
works were captured by a general assault of 16,000 men; 3423 prisoners were taken and more than forty guns.
Forts Tracy and Huger, two small works, were evacuated and blown up on the night of the 11th.
The rivers were swept for torpedoes; the fleet gained the rear of Mobile
by the Blakely
; and Granger
crossed the bay under convoy and entered the city on the morning of the 12th, Maury
having marched out with the remainder of his force, numbering 4500 infantry and artillery, together with twenty-seven fieldpieces and all his transportation.9
retreated to Meridian
, the cavalry sent out from Pensacola
to cut him off being prevented by high water from crossing the Alabama
, with a reorganized and freshly equipped force of 12,500 cavalry, setting out from the Tennessee
on the 18th of March, had completely defeated Forrest
and taken Selma
, with its fortifications, foundries, and workshops, on the 2d of April, and entered Montgomery
on the day Canby
On the news of Johnston
's capitulation Taylor
surrendered to Canby
, on the 4th of May, 1865, at Citronelle
, all the remaining forces of the Confederacy
east of the Mississippi
; on the 26th Kirby Smith
followed with the Trans-Mississippi
, and the war was ended.