The defence of Mobile in 1865.General Andrews' book from the pen of the able soldier who made the gallant defence of Mobile against such overwhelming odds.]
History of the campaign of Mobile. by brevet Major-General C. C. Andrews. D. Van Nostrand, publisher, &c.This is an octavo volume of more than 250 pages, prepared in 1865-6, and entirely devoted to the campaign of Mobile. The author manifests extreme pride in the success accomplished by the Federal army, in which he held high command. He has avowedly endeavored to set forth fairly the facts of the history he has undertaken to record, but has shown how difficult was the task when the passions of the recent strife were so fresh. The first and second chapters are devoted to the capture by Farragut of Forts Morgan and Gaines and Powell. Though they are not very accurate, we let them pass. Chapter four is very short, but it contains as many errors as can well be found in any other chapter not longer. It vindicates, as the author thinks, Canby's selection of his base of operations, which was made upon the eastern shore of Mobile bay, and from which he operated against detached outworks of comparatively little importance. We were infinitely relieved when we found the attack would be there — but never knew why; and until General Andrews told us in this chapter why General Steele's column moved from Pensacola up to Pollard, we had been at a loss to account for that movement. He says it was to prevent us from escaping Canby's army on the eastern shore and making our way to Montgomery I Such a route of escape had never been contemplated by us. We always feared  lest he might intercept us on the Mobile and Ohio railroad, by which we ultimately moved away unmolested. Had Canby landed on Dog river, west of Mobile, and invested the city, he would have found his work shorter and easier, and might have captured my whole army. The city was level and exposed throughout the whole extent to fire from any direction. There were near 40,00 non-combatants within its lines of defence, whose sufferings under a seige would soon have paralyzed the defence by a garrison so small as ours was; and the early evacuation would have been inevitable, while it would have been exceedingly difficult of accomplishment. Had Canby not made the indefensible blunder of landing his army at Fish river to attack Mobile, the sending of Steele's corps towards Pollard would not have been a blunder, for then I might have been forced to try to bring out my garrison on that side, and to lead it to Montgomery, and have had to drive Steele from my path or surrender to him. On page 41 we have an illustration of the Puritan origin of our author, in the following:
Such of the soldiers as were disposed assembled in religious meetings when circumstances permitted. One pleasant evening, in Gilbert's brigade 1,000 men were assembled and * * * * * * poured forth their fervent prayers and joined their voices in sacred hymns. Nor will those who remember such heroes as Havelock deny that piety is a help to valor.A little reflection on its illogical results would, perhaps, have caused General Andrews to spare us this appeal to the cant-loving community for whom he writes, and adopt the more simple style becoming a military historian of his opportunities. Canby was moving with 60,000 soldiers and Farragut's fleet to attack 8,000 ill-appointed Confederates, and to capture them. And after our little army had withstood his great armament and armada for three weeks, and had then bravely made good its retreat, Gen. Andrews calls upon his readers to admire the great valor, supplemented by the piety, of the attacking army, because one pleasant night they had prayers and sang hymns in their bivouac in the piney woods. He tells us Canby's base on Fish river was only twenty miles below Spanish Fort; that he occupied nine days in marching that distance; that his wing entrenched itself every night — all in a strain of grandiloquence conformable with his illustration of its piety, and rendered especially absurd to us, who knew that there  was no force in Canby's front except about five hundred cavlary under Colonel Spence. It is true, Spence handled his men with excellent skill and courage, and no doubt had even praying in a quiet way every night; for he made 40,000 Federals move very circumspectly every day, and entrench themselves every night against him; and here I will say Colonel Spence was one of the most efficient and comfortable out-post commanders I ever had to deal with. He always took what was given to him and made the most of it. He was devoted, active, brave and modest, and did his whole duty to the very last day of our existence as an army. In my comments on the allusion of General Andrews to praying in his camp, I do not mean to dissent from the well understood fact that valor and piety often go together, and we do not, above all things, wish to incur the suspicion of irreverence. The simple, unpretending piety which prevailed in the Confederate camps has always been the subject of our genuine respect. There has never been in any army of modern times a soldiery so sober, so continent, so religious or so reliant, as was to be found in the armies of the Southern Confederacy; from our great commander down to the youngest privates in the ranks, in all might have been observed one high purpose — to stand by the right — and to maintain that the support and aid of the God of Battles was daily invoked; and that it was not invoked in vain, let the unsurpassed achievements of the Confederate troops bear witness. There was never a day from the begining to the end of the war that the chaplains of our regiments did not discharge their duty, and as a class there were none in our armies who held and who still retain more of the confidence, the respect and the affection of the Confederate soldiers than the Confederate chaplains. No matter what was his sect — whether Roman Catholic or Protestant — every soldier knew he had in his chaplain a friend, and for many weary weeks after the time General Andrews commemorates, he might, had he been with us, have daily attended mass performed by the brave priests in the camps of our Louisianians, or joined in the simpler devotions which were led by the devoted ministers of the regiments of Ector's fierce Texans. The piety and the valor which went hand in hand through our armies, were not working for naught — and it may yet be, even in the lifetime of General Andrews, that Providence, who works in a misterious way, may manifest how surely the right will  triumph in the end — and that he will live to see and understand that the principles we fought to uphold are essential to civil liberty in its highest perfection, and the time seems near at hand when all the world will know it. Page 44, the statement of the strength of the garrison of Mobile is very inaccurate. Including 1,500 cavalry and all the available fighting men for defence of Mobile, and all its outposts, batteries and dependencies, my force did not exceed 9,000 men of all arms! The cavalry constituted no part of the defensive force of the places attacked, and all of our infantry and a large part of our artillery was sent away from Mobile to Spanish Fort and Blakely. During the fighting on the eastern shore, the city of Mobile and all the works and forts immediately around it were garrisoned by scarce 3,000 artillerists! And by a bold dash, the place could have been carried any night during the operations against Spanish Fort. Page 48, the author is mistaken in saying we had Parrott guns in Spanish Fort. The only Parrott gun we had at that time about Mobile was a thirty-pounder Parrott, named “Lady Richardson.” We had captured her at Corinth in October, 1862, my Division Chief of Artillery, Colonel William E. Burnett, brought her off, and added her to our park of field artillery, and we had kept her ever since. Bat we had some cannon better than any Parrott had ever made. They were the Brooke guns, made at Selma in the Confederate, naval works, of the iron from Briarsfield, Alabama--the best iron for making cannon in the world. Our Brooke guns at Mobile were rifles, of 11-inch, 10-inch, 7-inch and 64/10-inch callibres. They out-ranged the Parrotts, and, though subjected to extraordinary service, not one of them was ever bursted or even strained. The mistakes into which General Andrews has fallen are natural and almost inevitable. His real desire to write fairly is evinced by the handsome compliments he pays to Confederate officers on several occasions, as in case of Lieutenant Sibley, who, with six men, boldly attacked the wagon train of Canby's army, brought off his spoils, and created a little flutter of alarm all throughout the post. General Andrews persists in his mistake as to the numbers of the garrisons of the respective places, and he counts the same forces twice in the same place. Thus, when the “boy brigade” was relieved in Spanish Fort by the Alabama brigade, the boys were sent  away to Blakely; but the author continues to count them as if still forming part of Spanish Fort garrison. But despite the defects of the work, some of which we have endeavored to illustrate, it is a valuable addition to the history of the times, and will probably be the accepted authority on that side about the essential history of the last great battle of the war between the States, as it is not probable that anybody else will have the painstaking industry and, at the same time, the direct personal interest in the subject to embody in a form so permanent the events of a campaign so brief and so bootless — a campaign which was begun when scarce a hope was left of that independence for which we had fought four years and was ended after Lee's surrender at Appomattox had enshrowded in the pall of utter despair every heart that could feel a patriot's glow throughout all our stricken land. Because it was my honor to command that Confederate army at Mobile, and my privilege to share its fortunes to the very end, it is my duty to record its story. I cannot do so more briefly than in the narrative I now reproduce, which was originally written by me soon after Mr. Davis, our late honored President, was released from arrest on account of his participation in the war of secession. He had entrusted me with the command of the Department of the Gulf and the defence of Mobile. I felt a soldier's natural desire to inform him how that trust had been executed. General Andrews' book and excellent maps, in connection with the report and comments herein given, will afford to the military reader all that is essential to a proper understanding of the last great battle which has yet been fought to uphold the rights of the States against the encroachments of the Federal power.
Remarks, etc.During the siege of Spanish Fort the expenditure of small-arm ammunition was very great. The garrison at first fired 36,000 rounds per day; the young reserves spent it freely. The old Texans and veterans from North Carolina and Alabama, who replaced the  brigade of boys, were more deliberate and careful of their ammunition, and we reduced its expenditure to 12,000 rounds per day. The torpedoes were the most striking and effective of the new contrivance for defence which were used during these operations. Every avenue of approach to the outworks or to the city of Mobile was guarded by submarine torpedoes, so that it was impossible for any vessel drawing three feet of water to get within effective cannon range of any part of our defences. Two ironclads attempted to get near enough to Spanish Fort to take part in the bombardment. They both suddenly struck the bottom on Apalachie bar, and thenceforwad the fleet made no further attempt to encounter the almost certain destruction which they saw awaited any vessel which might attempt to enter our torpedo-guarded waters. But many were sunk when least expecting it. Some went down long after the Confederate forces had evacuated Mobile. The Tecumseh was probably sunk on her own torpedo. While steaming in lead of Farragut's fleet she carried a torpedo affixed to a spar which projected some twenty feet from her bows; she proposed to use this torpedo against the Tennessee, our only formidable ship; but while passing Fort Morgan a shot from that fort cut away the stays by which the Tecumseh's torpedo was secured; it then doubled under her, and exploding fairly under the bottom of the ill-fated ship, she careened and sunk instantly in ten fathoms of water. Only six or eight of her crew of one hundred and fifty officers and men were saved — the others still lie in their iron coffin at the bottom of the bay. Besides the Tecumseh, eleven other Federal vessels, men-of-war and transports, were sunk by torpedoes in Mobile bay; and their effectiveness as a means of defence of harbors was clearly established by the results of this siege. Had we understood their power in the beginning of the war as we came to do before its end, we could have effectually defended every harbor, channel or river throughout the Confederate States against all sorts of naval attacks. It is noteworthy that the Confederate ironclad Virginia, by her fearful destruction of the Federal war-ships in Hampton Roads early in the war, caused all the maritime powers of the world to remodel their navies and build ironclads at enormous expense, only to learn by the Confederate lessons of Mobile that ironclads cannot avail against torpedoes; for, as the Federal naval captain who had been engaged in clearing Mobile bay of the torpedoes and of the wrecks they had made, after the close of the war remarked to the writer: “It makes no difference whether a ship is of wood, or is tin-clad, or is iron-clad, if she gets over a torpedo it blows the same size hole in the bottom of all alike, which I found on an average to be just twelve feet by eight square.” He furthermore stated that he had ascertained that in every instance but one of the wrecks in Mobile bay, the vessel had been sunk while backing — only one exploded a torpedo while going ahead. During the fight in Spanish Fort our cannoniers found effectual protection from the extraordinarily heavy fire of sharpshooters in  mantlets or screens, made by plates of steel about two feet by three square, and about half-inch thick; they were so secured to the inner faces of the embrasures that they were quickly lowered and raised as the gun ran into battery or recoiled. General Beauregard, before the battle began, gave me the model of a capital sort of wooden embrasure, to be used by our own sharpshooters; they were to be covered over by sand-bags as soon as the rifleman should establish himself in his pit. The old veterans of the Army of Tennessee at once acknowledged their superiority over “head logs,” or any other contrivance for covering sharpshooters, and the demand for them was soon greater than I could supply. The Brooke guns, of which I had a large number, of calibres ranging from six and four-tenths up to eleven inches, were more formidable and serviceable than any which the Federals used against me. These guns were cast at Selma of the iron about Briarfield in North Alabama. It must be the best gun-metal in the world. Some of our Brooke guns were subjected to extraordinarily severe tests, yet not one of them burst or was in any degree injured; at the same time they out-ranged the enemy's best and heaviest Parrotts, which not unfrequently burst by overcharging and over-elevation. By a capital invention of Colonel William E. Burnett, of Texas, our gun-carriages were much simplified; we were enabled to dispense with eccentrics entirely, and our heaviest cannon could be run into battery with one hand. In every part of this narrative I have been thinking of the staff officers who were with me throughout the whole of those trying times — friends who have always been true and soldiers who were tried by every test. Whatever efficiency attended the operations entrusted to my conduct throughout the war, was due to their intelligence, courage and devotion. Three of them sleep in their soldier's graves, and were in mercy spared the miseries of the subjugation against which they fought so nobly. John Maury, my Aide-de-Camp, gave up his young life at Vicksburg, in 1863; Columbus Jackson, Inspector-General, soon followed him, and William E. Burnett, Chief of Artillery, fell in Spanish Fort, and was almost the last officer killed during the war. D. W. Flowewee, Adjutant-General; John Gillespie, Ordnance Officer; Edmund Cummings, Inspector-General; Sylvester Nideleh, Surgeon; Dick Holland and John Mason, Aides-de-Camp, survived the dangers of those arduous campaigns, and are still manfully combatting the evils we fought together to avert from our people. They were gallant soldiers in war, and have shown themselves good citizens in the “peace” vouchsafed to us.
 The following farewell order was published to the troops who remained with me after the battle of Mobile: