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San Juan River (Florida, United States) (search for this): chapter 4
he end of the beach, the Zouave sentinels, the successive anterooms, the lounging aids, the good-natured and easy General,--easy by habit and energetic by impulse,--all had a certain air of Southern languor, rather picturesque, but perhaps not altogether bracing. General Hunter received us, that day, with his usual kindliness; there was a good deal of pleasant chat; Miles O'Reilly was called in to read his latest verses; and then we came to the matter in hand. Jacksonville, on the St. John's River, in Florida, had been already twice taken and twice evacuated; having been occupied by Brigadier-General Wright, in March, 1862, and by Brigadier-General Brannan, in October of the same year. The second evacuation was by Major-General Hunter's own order, on the avowed ground that a garrison of five thousand was needed to hold the place, and that this force could not be spared. The present proposition was to take and hold it with a brigade of less than a thousand men, carrying, however
Baldwin, Fla. (Florida, United States) (search for this): chapter 4
cavalry. Where complaints are made of the soldiers, it almost always turns out that the women have insulted them most grossly, swearing at them, and the like. One unpleasant old Dutch woman came in, bursting with wrath, and told the whole narrative of her blameless life, diversified with sobs:-- Last January I ran off two of my black people from St. Mary's to Fernandina, (sob,)--then I moved down there myself, and at Lake City I lost six women and a boy, (sob,)--then I stopped at Baldwin for one of the wenches to be confined, (sob,)--then I brought them all here to live in a Christian country (sob, sob). Then the blockheads [blockades, that is, gunboats] came, and they all ran off with the blockheads, (sob, sob, sob,) and left me, an old lady of forty-six, obliged to work for a living. (Chaos of sobs, without cessation.) But when I found what the old sinner had said to the soldiers I rather wondered at their self-control in not throttling her. Meanwhile skirmishing
Fernandina, Fla. (Florida, United States) (search for this): chapter 4
arked upon the steamers John Adams, Boston, and Burnside, to Fernandina, Florida. Relying upon your military skill and judgment, I shall ve you no special directions as to your procedure after you leave Fernandina. I expect, however, that you will occupy Jacksonville, Florida, n, Comdg. Expeditionary Corps. In due time, after touching at Fernandina, we reached the difficult bar of the St. John's, and were piloted by Judge S. of a conversation with Colonel Hawley, commanding at Fernandina, in which the latter --had offered to send four companies and a led post, I decided to authorize the energetic Judge to go back to Fernandina and renew the negotiation, as the John Adams must go thither at a Last January I ran off two of my black people from St. Mary's to Fernandina, (sob,)--then I moved down there myself, and at Lake City I lost Burnside has gone to Beaufort for rations, and the John Adams to Fernandina for coal; we expect both back by Sunday, and on Monday I hope to
Lake City (Florida, United States) (search for this): chapter 4
new army-wagon. At this rate we shall soon be self-supporting cavalry. Where complaints are made of the soldiers, it almost always turns out that the women have insulted them most grossly, swearing at them, and the like. One unpleasant old Dutch woman came in, bursting with wrath, and told the whole narrative of her blameless life, diversified with sobs:-- Last January I ran off two of my black people from St. Mary's to Fernandina, (sob,)--then I moved down there myself, and at Lake City I lost six women and a boy, (sob,)--then I stopped at Baldwin for one of the wenches to be confined, (sob,)--then I brought them all here to live in a Christian country (sob, sob). Then the blockheads [blockades, that is, gunboats] came, and they all ran off with the blockheads, (sob, sob, sob,) and left me, an old lady of forty-six, obliged to work for a living. (Chaos of sobs, without cessation.) But when I found what the old sinner had said to the soldiers I rather wondered at thei
Magnolia, Fla. (Florida, United States) (search for this): chapter 4
wall of his bedroom, and carried off his mosquito curtain in its transit. Little knew we how soon these small entertainments would be over. Colonel Montgomery had gone up the river with his two companies, perhaps to remain permanently; and I was soon to follow. On Friday, March 27th, I wrote home: The Burnside has gone to Beaufort for rations, and the John Adams to Fernandina for coal; we expect both back by Sunday, and on Monday I hope to get the regiment off to a point farther up,-- Magnolia, thirty-five miles, or Pilatka, seventy-five,--either of which would be a good post for us. General Hunter is expected every day,; and it is strange he has not come. The very next day came an official order recalling the whole expedition, and for the third time evacuating Jacksonville. A council of military and naval officers was at once called (though there was but one thing to-be done), and the latter were even more disappointed and amazed than the former. This was especially the c
Palatka (Florida, United States) (search for this): chapter 4
Maine. The remainder, with its colonel, will be here to-morrow, and, report says, Major-General Hunter. Now my hope is that we may go to some point higher up the river, which we can hold for ourselves. There are two other points [Magnolia and Pilatka], which, in themselves, are as favorable as this, and, for getting recruits, better. So I shall hope to be allowed to go. To take posts, and then let white troops garrison them,--that is my programme. What makes the thing more puzzling is, ch 27th, I wrote home: The Burnside has gone to Beaufort for rations, and the John Adams to Fernandina for coal; we expect both back by Sunday, and on Monday I hope to get the regiment off to a point farther up,-- Magnolia, thirty-five miles, or Pilatka, seventy-five,--either of which would be a good post for us. General Hunter is expected every day,; and it is strange he has not come. The very next day came an official order recalling the whole expedition, and for the third time evacuating Ja
Pilottown (Louisiana, United States) (search for this): chapter 4
the strange receptacle would have held nearly a gallon. We went on shore, too, and were shown a rather pathetic little garden, which the naval officers had laid out, indulging a dream of vegetables. They lingered over the little microscopic sprouts, pointing them out tenderly, as if they were cradled babies. I have often noticed this touching weakness, in gentlemen of that profession, on lonely stations. We wandered among the bluffs, too, in the little deserted hamlet once called Pilot town. The ever-shifting sand had in some cases almost buried the small houses, and had swept around others a circular drift, at a few yards' distance, over-topping their eaves, and leaving each the untouched citadel of this natural redoubt. There was also a dismantled lighthouse, an object which always seems the most dreary symbol of the barbarism of war, when one considers the national beneficence which reared and kindled it. Despite the service rendered by this once brilliant light, there w
Havana, N. Y. (New York, United States) (search for this): chapter 4
eared and kindled it. Despite the service rendered by this once brilliant light, there were many wrecks which had been strown upon the beach, victims of the most formidable of the Southern river-bars. As I stood with my foot on the half-buried ribs of one of these vessels,--so distinctly traced that one might almost fancy them human, --the old pilot, my companion, told me the story of the wreck. The vessel had formerly been in the Cuba trade; and her owner, an American merchant residing in Havana, had christened her for his young daughter. I asked the name, and was startled to recognize that of a favorite young cousin of mine, beside the bones of whose representative I was thus strangely standing, upon this lonely shore. It was well to have something to relieve the anxiety naturally felt at the delay of the John Adams,--anxiety both for her safety and for the success of our enterprise. The Rebels had repeatedly threatened to burn the whole of Jacksonville, in case of another a
Port Royal (South Carolina, United States) (search for this): chapter 4
ne has only brought ten days rations, so that they evidently are not to stay here; and yet where they go, or why they come, is a puzzle. Meanwhile we can sleep sound oa nights; and if the black and white babies do not quarrel and pull hair, we shall do very well. Colonel Rust, on arriving, said frankly that he knew nothing of the plans prevailing in the Department, but that General Hunter was certainly coming soon to act for himself; that it had been reported at the North, and even at Port Royal, that we had all been captured and shot (and, indeed, I had afterwards the pleasure of reading my own obituary in a Northern Democratic journal), and that we certainly needed reinforcements; that he himself had been sent with orders to carry out, so far as possible, the original plans of the expedition; that he regarded himself as only a visitor, and should remain chiefly on shipboard,--which he did. He would relieve the black provost-guard by a white one, if I approved,which I certainly
Ford, Va. (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 4
nce learn that this first shot killed two of the Maine men, and wounded two more. This was fired wide, but the numerous shots which followed were admirably aimed, and seldom failed to fall or explode close to our own smaller battery. It was the first time that the men had been seriously exposed to artillery fire,--a danger more exciting to the ignorant mind than any other, as this very war has shown. Take this for an example: The effect was electrical. The Rebels were the best men in Ford's command, being Lieutenant-Colonel Showalter's Californians, and they are brave men. They had dismounted and sent their horses to the rear, and were undoubtedly determined upon a desperate fight, and their superior numbers made them confident of success. But they never fought with artillery, and a cannon has more terror for them than ten thousand rifles and all the wild Camanches on the plains of Texas. At first glimpse of the shining brass monsters there was a visible wavering in the dete
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