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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 1. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Letter from Captain William L. Ritter. (search)
son Patten. When the two gun detachments were put aboard the steamer Archer, January 23d, 1863, and sent down the river in charge of Sergeant Langley, there was but one commissioned officer with the battery in Vicksburg, the others having not yet arrived from Tennessee. On the 26th the steamer De Soto, a ferry-boat, was captured by the enemy at Johnson's Landing, a few miles below Vicksburg, on the west side of the river, where the Captain had stopped the boat to take on some wood. February 2d the Queen of the West passed by the batteries at Vicksburg and steamed down the river. On the 4th she returned to Johnson's Landing, where she remained a few days; and then, in company with the De Soto, proceeded down the Mississippi and up Red river to Fort De Russey, where she was captured by our forces. As soon as the Queen was repaired, Sergeant Langley's two gun detachments were transferred from the Archer to the Queen. A correspondent, in speaking of the fight with the Indianol
Eliza Frances Andrews, The war-time journal of a Georgia girl, 1864-1865, chapter 3 (search)
ing noise of heavy feet on the front steps, but it was caused by a very different sort of visitor from the one we had Sunday night. A poor, cadaverous fellow came limping into the room, and said he was a wounded soldier, looking for work as an overseer. He gave his name as Etheridge, and I suspect, from his manner, that he is some poor fellow who has seen better days. Sister engaged him on the spot, for one month, as an experiment, though she is afraid he will not be equal to the work. Feb. 2, Thursday We spent the evening at Maj. Edwin Bacon's, rehearsing for tableaux and theatricals, and I never enjoyed an evening more. We had no end of fun, and a splendid supper, with ice cream and sherbet and cake made of real white sugar. I like the programme, too, and my part in it, though I made some of the others mad by my flat refusal to make myself ridiculous by taking the part of the peri in a scene from Lalla Rookh. Imagine poor little ugly me setting up for a peri! Wouldn't pe
ee, and establish and hold a large camp there. On the same day Foote telegraphed Halleck that Fort Henry could be carried with four iron-clad gunboats and troops to permanently occupy it, and for authority to move. On January 29th Grant wrote Halleck fully, urging an immediate advance and attack on Fort Henry, and thence on Fort Donelson, Memphis, or Columbus. Halleck gave the fullest authority, and instructions, also, for the execution of the plan. Badeau says: On the 2d of February Grant started from Cairo with 17,000 men on transports. Foote accompanied him with seven gunboats, and on the 4th the debarkation began at Bailey's Ferry, on the east bank, three miles below Fort Henry. The only practicable approaches to the fort by land were double this distance. Grant himself took command on the east bank, with the main column; while C. F. Smith, with two brigades — some 5,000 or 6,000 men-landed on the left bank, with orders to take the earthwork opposite Fort
rn to the Federal army at Henry. Grant, elated by success, telegraphed Halleck: I shall take and destroy Fort Donelson on the 8th, and return to Fort Henry. Badeau says, This was the first mention of Fort Donelson, whether in conversation or dispatches, between the two commanders. This statement is erroneous. Halleck telegraphed Buell, January 31st: I have ordered an advance on Fort Henry and _Dover. It will be made immediately. He frequently calls Fort Donelson Dover. He also says, February 2d, It is only proposed to take and occupy Fort Henry and Dover, etc. Buell, however, had recommended the same movement to Halleck, as early as January 3d, and had already voluntarily started thirteen regiments to aid Grant in it. Halleck was also sending reinforcements, and he replied to Grant on the 8th: Some of the gunboats from Fort Holt will be sent up. Reinforcements will reach you daily. Hold on to Fort Henry at all hazards. Impress slaves, if necessary, to strengthen your posi
and could have been at Henry with any reasonable warning. If there were not enough men at Donelson, it was not from defect of judgment, but from want of adequate means. The elements, too, fought for the Federals. An unprecedented flood favored their attacks by water, while it impeded the movements of the Confederates. No time was given to General Johnston, either through the sluggishness of the enemy, or by the prolonged resistance of his own troops, to repair disaster. Grant moved February 2d; in four days Henry was in his hands. Ten days only intervened between General Johnston's first information of the attack on Henry and the surrender of Donelson. He meant to defend Nashville at Donelson, if he could, and, if not, then to reunite his corps and to fight on a more retired line. A very astonishing statement is made by Mr. Swinton, in his Decisive battles of the War, page 65. He says: In this condition, outnumbered on both lines, Johnston does not appear to have co
rom Columbus, in accordance with the plan settled upon at Bowling Green, February 7th. It has been seen, too, that the War Department, as soon as it realized the fact of General Johnston's retreat from Bowling Green, ordered Bragg from Pensacola, with his well-disciplined army, to aid in resisting the weight of the attack. Polk had been negotiating with Lovell, in January, to spare him some troops; and in compliance with a telegraphic request made by General Johnston from Bowling Green, February 2d, Lovell sent him Ruggles's brigade. General Johnston telegraphed, February 12th, for these troops to report, by the shortest possible route to Corinth, for orders from General Beauregard. Generals Chalmers and L. Pope Walker were already on the line of the Memphis & Charleston Railroad, with considerable commands. These pages have evinced how many and how strenuous efforts had been made to raise troops in the South during that autumn and winter. Many regiments, long organized, were
Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: The Opening Battles. Volume 1., The gun-boats at Belmont and Fort Henry. (search)
erfectly secret. During the winter of 1861-62, an expedition was planned by Flag-Officer Foote and Generals Grant and McClernand against Fort Henry, situated on the eastern bank of the Tennessee River, a short distance south of the line between Kentucky and Tennessee. In January the ironclads were brought down to Cairo, and great efforts were made to prepare them for immediate service, but only four of the iron-clads could be made ready as soon as required. On the morning of the 2d of February the flag-officer left Cairo with the Map of the region of Foote's operations. four armored vessels above named, and the wooden gun-boats Tyler, Lexington, and Conestoga, and in the evening reached the Tennessee River. On the 4th the fleet anchored six miles below Fort Henry. The next day, while reconnoitering, the Essex received a shot which passed through the pantry and the officers' quarters and visited the steerage. Composition and losses of the Union fleet at Fort Henry: Flag
Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: The Opening Battles. Volume 1., chapter 12.47 (search)
nuary, ordered to proceed at once to report to General A. S. Johnston at Bowling Green, Kentucky, and thence as promptly as possible to assume my new command at Columbus, which, said my orders, is threatened by a powerful force, and the defense of which is of vital importance. Dispatching Colonel Thomas Jordan, my chief of staff, to Richmond, with a view to secure from the War Department certain aids to the proper organization of the troops I was to command, I left Centreville on the 2d of February and reached Bowling Green about the 5th. General Johnston, whom I had never seen before, welcomed me to his department with a cordiality and earnestness that made a deep impression on me at the time. As he informed me, General Buell's army, fully 75,000 strong, was on the line of Bacon Creek, on the Louisville and Nashville railroad, about 40 miles from Bowling Green. General Grant had about 20,000 men in hand at or about Cairo, ready to move either upon Fort Henry or Fort Donelson. Gen
, which now numbers ten or twelve thousand men, are not obliged to go out of the State, yet they are kept in active service, and their service is scarcely less arduous than that of the Volunteer Cavalry in the field. The force under General Brown that fought General Marmaduke at the battle of Springfield, on the 8th instant, as already stated, consisted chiefly of State Militia. And in the engagement, they stood as firm as veterans until the enemy were driven from the field. To-day, February 2d, Major Foreman had erected on the Court House Square, Neosho, a high flagstaff, and run up our National Flag, and its folds floated to the breeze for the first time since a detachment of General Sigel's men were captured in the Court House here on the 3d July, 1861. Expressions from some of the rebel families in town show that they regard it scornfully, and would, if they dared, trail it in the dust. But as we are just beginning to develop our strength, while the enemy is unquestionably
The Annals of the Civil War Written by Leading Participants North and South (ed. Alexander Kelly McClure), Confederate negro enlistments. (search)
of slavery as a money interest. On the 28th of January, 1865, the Confederate House, for the first time, went into secret session on the subject of negro enlistments, and there the discussions formally began. The proposition was, at first, to impress forty thousand negroes for menial service in the army. On the 30th, a proviso, offered by J. M. Leach, of North Carolina (one of the obstructionists), that none of the negroes so impressed should be put in the army, was voted down. On February 2d, Gholson, of Virginia, in the House, and on the 4th, Orr, of South Carolina, in the Senate (both of them obstructionists), tried, but failed, to carry propositions to the effect that the enlistment policy was disheartening and demoralizing, and would divide the Confederacy. On the other hand, Conrad, of Louisiana, and Brown, of Mississippi, both introduced propositions which recited the contrary. In fact, as has been said before, the representatives of invaded States were generally for
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