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Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 58: conclusion. (search)
t year of the war was one of wonderful development for the Navy, not only in establishing a complete blockade, but in the usefulness of naval vessels in assisting the Army to carry out plans of conquest that it could never have achieved alone. In a very short time after the Confederacy was established, all the great rivers of the West and their tributaries were in Confederate hands, and the most inaccessible points therein armed with ponderous guns, manned by an excited soldiery. The Potomac River was blockaded almost from Alexandria to the Chesapeake; the Sounds of North Carolina were filled with powerful batteries, and the channels closed by sunken obstructions. Every port on the Southern coast was protected by well-constructed forts, and closed against the few vessels the Government owned, and for a time the Federal cause looked so hopeless that Europeon despots might well be excused for supposing that it would be an impossible task to recover the lost domain, unprovided as th
summary and abrupt dismissal of General McClellan, strange to say, have never been distinctly and officially given to the people of the United States. The President, in his annual message to Congress, only twenty-six days later than the date of his order of removal, says nothing upon the subject. The general-in-chief, in his Report, addressed to the Secretary of War, says, From the 17th of September till the 26th of October, McClellan's main army remained on the north bank of the Potomac, in the vicinity of Sharpsburg and Harper's Ferry. The long inactivity of so large an army in the face of a defeated foe and during the most favorable season for rapid movements and a vigorous campaign, was a matter of great disappointment and regret. Your letter of the 27th and my reply on the 28th of October, in regard to the alleged causes of this unhappy delay, I herewith submit, marked Exhibit No. 5. In reply to the telegraphic order of the 6th of October, quoted in my letter of the
de a dash upon Romney, which he easily captured. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, commanding the Rebels, burned the bridge at Point of Rocks on the 7th, and evacuated Harper's Ferry on the 14th, destroying the superb railway bridge over the Potomac. He retreated upon Winchester and Leesburg, after having destroyed the armory and shops at the Ferry — the machinery having been already sent off to Richmond. The Chesapeake Canal and the several railroads in this region were thoroughly dismantled. The Potomac was crossed at Williamsport, by Gen. Thomas, on the 16th. But, for some reason, this advance was countermanded, and our troops all recrossed on the 18th--Gen. Patterson remaining at Hagerstown. The Rebels at once returned to the river, completing the work of destruction at Harper's Ferry, and conscripting Unionists as well as Confederates to fill their ranks. Patterson recrossed the Potomac at Williamsport on the morning of July 2d, at a place known as Falling waters, encountering a sm
General Joseph E. Johnston, Narrative of Military Operations During the Civil War, Chapter 2 (search)
transporting them. Until near the 10th of August, we never had rations for more than two days, and sometimes none; nor half enough ammunition for a battle. The fortifications upon which skillful engineers, commanding the resources of the United States, had been engaged since April, manned by at least fifty thousand Federal troops, Mansfield's, Miles's, and Runyon's divisions, and eleven thousand men sent from camps in Pennsylvania, July 22d. half of whom had not suffered defeat. The Potomac, a mile wide, bearing United States vessels-of-war, the heavy guns of which commanded the wooden bridges and southern shore. The Confederate army would have been two days in marching from Bull Run to the Federal intrenchments, with less than two days rations, or not more. Dabney's Life of Jackson. It is asserted that the country, teeming with grain and cattle, could have furnished food and forage in abundance. Those who make the assertion forget that a large Federal army had passe
Doc. 8.-Northern press on the battle. Let no man to-day whisper the thought of abating a jot of our vast undertaking. Taught by one reverse, the nation will rise above its misfortune and press on in its just and holy cause. The people who have poured out their blood and treasure so freely will be kindled to new efforts. Even the army which is now recruiting its strength and renewing its courage on the banks of the Potomac, will burn for a chance to strike one more blow for the honor lost at Manassas. The colors have only been shot away from their staff; to-day they shall be nailed to the mast, from which they shall float forever; and the day shall soon come when they shall be borne in triumph by a victorious host from the Potomac to the James, and thence on to the gulf. Our present misfortune will disclose to all the true secret of our weakness, and will teach all that the advance for which some have so long clamored is not to be accomplished at a single effort. With a ful
Rebellion Record: a Diary of American Events: Documents and Narratives, Volume 2. (ed. Frank Moore), Doc. 55.-the fight at Matthias point. (search)
Doc. 55.-the fight at Matthias point. Official report of the action. United States steamer Pawnee, Potomac River, June 27, 1861. sir:--About sundown the evening of the 26th instant, while at anchor off Acquia Creek, I received an order from Commander Ward (a copy of which is herewith enclosed) to send him two boats arman, Camp and Senior Officer of the Potomac, Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy, Washington. Surgeon's report. United States steam sloop Pawnee, Potomac River, June 27, 1861. sir:--I have to report the following casualties resulting from the action at Matthias Point this afternoon: Killed 1.--Commander J. H. War. Wounded severely 2.--1. John Williams, captain of maintop of Pawnee; gunshot wound of soft part of right thigh. 2. George McKenny, yeoman of Thomas Freeborn; gunshot wound of soft part of left thigh. espectfully yours, F. M. Gunnell, Surgeon United States Navy. Com. S. C. Rowan, Commanding flotilla in the Potomac River.
t time, and his influence over the French population of Louisiana became very great. As a reward for his political services he obtained his son's admission to the military academy of West Point, where the young cadet was entered under the name of Pierre G. Toutan. In the mean time, he bought, in the vicinity of New Orleans, an estate to which he gave the name of Beauregard, (fine sight.) When the son got his commission of officer in the army, he half dropped his modest name of Toutan, to adopt the more aristocratic one of Beauregard, and henceforth signed Pierre Toutan de Beauregard. Thus, we may see one day, two generals of alleged French Canadian extraction-Jean Charles Fremont and Pierre Toutan de Beauregard-at the head of powerful armies, one from the Northern States and the other from this Confederacy, contending with each other on the banks of the Potomac, or the Ohio, or the Mississippi, for the independence or the subjugation of this country.--N. O. Picayune, August 14.
Doc. 28. a voyage down the Potomac. on board U. S. Transport Albany. Potomac River, Friday, August 30, 1861. To-day, at seven o'clock P. M., we left our moorings at Georgetown and proceeded slowly down the Potomac River to Alexandria, where it had previously been determined we were to lie at anchor till the succeeding daylight. This course was adopted in consequence of many of the various guides along the river having been destroyed by the secessionists, thereby rendering the navigaPotomac River to Alexandria, where it had previously been determined we were to lie at anchor till the succeeding daylight. This course was adopted in consequence of many of the various guides along the river having been destroyed by the secessionists, thereby rendering the navigation of the river extremely difficult at the present time. The scene generally, at the time of starting, was one beautiful to behold. On the left was Georgetown, with its multitudinous antique-like red brick houses, bent in the form of an arch, over nature's high hills; on the right Arlington Heights, capped with what, at that distance, seemed snow-white tents, cottage-houses, mansions, forts, fortifications of earth, leafy trees, and the vernal sod, and uniting these two beautiful pictures
united by the force of those arms of which you are a part, and the Union once more signify to the world the intent of that glorious motto, E Pluribus Unum. Then no longer shall be heard that fell doctrine of secession which would tear us asunder, and distract, part from part, this glorious Union; but we shall all be as we have been, one and inseparable, under the flag of our glorious nationality, won by our fathers, and preserved by you. (Applause.) Here is assembled, upon the banks of the Potomac, an army, the like of which the world has never seen. The motive which has gathered that army together never before was presented to the eye of history. It was congregated by no despotic order; it was the voluntary wish, the motive power, of every man composing it — the power of men rushing, as with one purpose, to reinstate the flag of our Union and save the Republic. That, soldiers, is your mission; and you have a commander who, with lightning speed, will lead you to conquest, and with
Doc. 225. skirmish at Dam no. 4, Potomac River, December 11, 1861. Sharpsburg, December 13, 1861. On the morning of the 11th instant heavy cannonading was heard in the vicinity of Dam No. 4, and about one o'clock P. M. a messenger arrived in haste for reinforcements, stating that the enemy had attacked the pickets and were endeavoring to demolish the Dam, by cannonading. When the enemy were first seen they appeared to be out on a scouting expedition, and Major Hubler immediately sent twenty-five men to a lock about one mile above the Dam, and so soon as the enemy arrived at that point they commenced firing on our pickets. They returned the fire, instantly killing four and wounding ten, three mortally. The enemy then fell back to a house about one mile from the river, when the men remaining at the Dam commenced firing on the house, killing three and wounding several. At this time the enemy retreated back to the woods, and after waiting some time, Capt. Williams, of Com
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