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PERIOD VI. 1861-1880. THE GREAT REBELLION.
78. Rebel privateers did much mischief this year among merchant vessels and Maine and Massachusetts fishermen.
The Alabama and the Florida,1 in the early part of the year, cruised near the West Indies, till the vigilance of Commodore Wilkes2 made that neighborhood too hot for them. The Alabama continued her depredations in the South Atlantic, while the Florida came boldly up the coast to near New York, and then prowled on the track of the New York and Liverpool packets. The schooner Archer, a captured fishing vessel, manned by Confederates, anchored off Portland, and at night two boats' crews rowed into the harbor, boarded the revenue cutter Caleb Cushing, overpowered her crew, and put to sea with her. The next day she was pursued by two merchant steamers, the Forest City and the Chesapeake, manned by soldiers and volunteers. As the steamers bore down upon the cutter, the rebels set her on fire, and tried to escape in boats; but they were soon captured. In December the Chesapeake, on her way from New York to Portland, was seized by a party of rebels, who had come on board as passengers. She was pursued by United States vessels, driven into a harbor of Nova Scotia, and soon afterwards given up to her owners by the Nova Scotia authorities.3
79. Some persons in the north, who sympathized with the rebellion, resolved to make the drafting of troops4 the occasion of exciting insurrection against the government. Forcible resistance was attempted in several places, but chiefly in New York city, where, at the opening of the draft, July 13, a terrible riot broke out, which resulted in the loss of many lives and of millions of property. Many buildings were pillaged and burned, among them the Colored Orphan Asylum. The fury of the mob was especially directed against the persons and property of negroes. Unfortunately the city militia had been sent to aid in driving Lee out of Pennsylvania,5 and it was four days before order was restored. Further than this, traitors in the north failed to excite any serious resistance to the government.
80. The year 1863 was one of great prosperity to the Union cause. The Fourth of July had received new consecration by the victory at Helena,6 the surrender of Vicksburg,7 and Lee's retreat from Gettysburg.8 The Confederates had been beaten back, shattered, from their invasion of Pennsylvania. They had been foiled in their designs upon Kentucky and the states north of the Ohio.9 Their territory had been severed by the
1 See p. 274, ¶ 48. 2 See p. 253 ¶ 35. 3 See p. 301, ¶ 34.
4 In March a conscription act was passed authorizing the president to recruit the armies of the United States by a draft from the able-bodied citizens of the country between the ages of twenty and forty-five.
5 See p. 284, ¶ 74. 6 See p. 278, ¶ 59. 7 See p. 279, ¶ 61.
8 See p. 284, p. 73. 9 See p. 276, ¶ 55, and p. 278, ¶¶ 57, 58.
QUESTIONS. -- 78. What is said of rebel privateers? Of the Alabama and the Florida? Give an account of the seizure of the Caleb Cushing and the pursuit of her captors. Of the seizure of the Chesapeake. 79. Give an account of the terrible riot in New York city. 80. What can you say of the year 1863? How had the Fourth of July received new consecration? From what had the Confederates been beaten back, and in what foiled? How had their territory been severed?
opening of the Mississippi.1 Their efforts, in the loyal states, to excite resistance to the national government, had proved abortive,2 and the Emancipation Proclamation3 had deprived them of the last hope of foreign aid. During the year Union troops had maintained a foothold in every rebel state.
III. FROM THE BEGINNING OF 1864 TO THE CLOSE OF THE WAR. -- THE REBELLION IN ITS DECLINE. -- Events of 1864.--1. The nation entered upon the new year with buoyant hopes, which, however, were not strengthened by the earlier operations. One of the first movements was an expedition into the interior of Mississippi,4 directed by General William T. Sherman.5 This expedition crippled the rebel resources, but failed to restore permanently any territory to the national authority.
Early in February Sherman marched east from Vicksburg, with about twenty-five thousand men, and after some skirmishing with the enemy, reached Meridian, an important railroad centre near the eastern border of the state. Here an auxiliary force from Memphis, under General William S. Smith, was to join him, but failed to do so, and Sherman retraced his steps, after having destroyed many miles of railroad track, with its bridges, depots, and rolling-stock, and an immense amount of such other property as would have contributed to the strength of the enemy. Smith penetrated nearly to Columbus, on the Tombigbee River, when he found the rebels in such numbers, under Forrest,6 that he was forced to return to Memphis, having also destroyed much Confederate property. Several thousand negroes followed these expeditions on their return.
2. Forrest moved northward, and, March 24, captured Union City, Tennessee, with its garrison of nearly five hundred men. The next day he attacked Paducah, Kentucky, but was repulsed. On the 12th of April he appeared before Fort Pillow. The garrison -- less than six hundred troops, nearly half of whom were negroes -- bravely resisted the attack from sunrise till afternoon, when the enemy, having treacherously gained, under cover of a flag of truce, a favorable position, suddenly carried the works by assault. A dreadful massacre ensued. The Union troops threw down their arms, and tried to escape, but they were cut down without mercy. The work of death, interrupted by the night, was renewed the next morning, until the greater part of the garrison had been butchered. Even women and children, within the works, were not spared.
1 See p. 281, ¶ 67. 2 See p. 296, ¶ 79 3 See p. 275, ¶ 51. 4 see pp. 279, ¶ 61-281, ¶ 68.
5 See p. 277, ¶ 55. 6 See p. 276, ¶ 53.
QUESTIONS. -- What had proved abortive? What had deprived them of the last hope of foreign aid? What had the Union troops maintained? III. 1. What is said of Sherman's expedition into the interior of Mississippi? -- What particulars can you give of the expedition under Sherman and the auxiliary force under Smith? 2. What capture did Forrest make, and what repulse did he meet with? Give an account of the capture of Fort Pillow and the massacre of its garrison.
PERIOD VI. 1861-1880. THE GREAT REBELLION.
3. General Sturgis, with a large force, marched from Memphis in pursuit of the rebel chief, but was routed with heavy loss near Guntown,1 Mississippi, June 10, and driven back to Memphis. General Andrew J. Smith was then put in command of an expedition to retrieve this disgrace. He encountered and defeated Forrest at Tupelo,1 July 14. The next month Forrest made a raid into Memphis, but after securing some plunder, and destroying considerable property, he was obliged to make a hasty retreat. Raiding expeditions in this region cease henceforth to be of interest, except as they are connected with Sherman's great campaign, already far advanced.2
4. Early in the year General Banks,3 at New Orleans, organized an expedition, known as the Red River Expedition, to take possession of Western Louisiana. General Sherman contributed reënforcements from Vicksburg, and a powerful fleet, under Admiral Porter,3 coöperated. Shreveport was the point aimed at. The Union forces successfully pushed their way, with occasional skirmishes, till April 8, when their advance was suddenly attacked and routed by General Taylor3 at Sabine Cross-Roads.4 But the pursuing foe was soon checked by another portion of the Union army, and Banks that night fell back some fifteen miles to unite with a column of his troops at Pleasant Hill. Here the enemy fiercely attacked him the next day, but were defeated and driven from the field in great disorder. Banks, however, thought it best to continue his retreat, and the undertaking was given up. General Edwin R. S. Canby5 soon afterwards took command in this department.
5. The troops from Vicksburg were under General Andrew J. Smith, and they, with Porter's coöperating fleet, began the operations on Red River. Smith captured Fort De Russy, March 14, and two days later occupied Alexandria, already in possession of the fleet. Here Banks joined the expedition with the main army, and marched towards Shreveport with about twenty thousand men. On his way back, after the victory at Pleasant Hill, he worsted the enemy at Cane River, in a sharp conflict. Meanwhile the fleet had proceeded some distance up the river, but the reverse at Sabine Cross-Roads compelled its return. As it moved down the river, it was much annoyed by rebel batteries and sharpshooters along the banks. When it arrived at Alexandria, the water had fallen so much that the gunboats could not pass over the rapids at that place. The difficulty was,
1 Guntown is thirty-six miles south of Corinth. on the railroad to Mobile; Tupelo is thirteen miles farther South. 2 See p. 296, ¶ 23. 3 See p. 281, ¶ 67.
4 Near Mansfield, which place has also given name to the battle. 5 See p. 309, ¶ 56.
QUESTIONS. -- 3. What can you tell of General Sturgis's expedition against Forrest? Of General Andrew Smith's expedition? Of Forrest's raid into Memphis? 4. Give an account of the Red River expedition including the defeat at Sabine Cross-Roads and the victory at Pleasant Hill. 5. Give further particulars of this expedition. Give an account of the return of the fleet
however, removed by the engineering skill of Colonel Joseph Bailey, who constructed dams by which the channel was contracted and the water raised high enough to allow the vessels to pass. Banks lost in this expedition five thousand men, and the rebels at least as many more. Some Union gunboats and transports were destroyed, or fell into the hands of the enemy, before the fleet reached the Mississippi.
About the time of Banks's advance to Alexandria, General Steele1 left Little Rock, Arkansas, with an army to coöperate in the Red River expedition. He advanced, driving the enemy before him, and reached Camden about the middle of April. But the loss of one of his trains, and tidings of Banks's reverse, determined him to turn back. The rebels, strongly reënforced, now pressed him closely, and, April 30, attacked him while crossing the Saline River at Jenkins's Ferry, but were repulsed with great loss. Steele reached Little Rock, having suffered severely.2
6. While Sherman was on his expedition to Meridian, another Union expedition; fitted out from South Carolina by General Gillmore, to reclaim Florida,3 was disastrously defeated under General Seymour, near Olustee, February 20.4 Seymour retreated to Jacksonville, and a few months later the troops on both sides were called to more important work in Virginia.
Early this year the rebels renewed their efforts to drive the loyal troops out of North Carolina. An attempt was made upon Newbern, February 1; but after the capture of an outpost, the city was found too strongly defended to be hopefully assailed. Plymouth, with its garrison, after a most gallant resistance, surrendered, April 20, to a rebel land force, assisted by the ram Albemarle. Washington was soon after abandoned, and Newbern alone on the main land, in North Carolina, was occupied by Union forces. Later in the year, however, the Albemarle5 was destroyed and Plymouth retaken.6
7. In Virginia7 and West Virginia, early in the year, small parties of rebels seized some Federal trains of considerable value. But the boldest enterprise of this part of the year was a raid by General Judson Kilpatrick,8 who, with a body of cavalry from the Army of the Potomac, attempted
1 See p. 278, ¶ 60. 2 See p. 301, ¶ 33. 3 See p. 282, ¶¶ 69, 70.
4 The action fought here is also called the battle of Ocean Pond.
5 In the latter part of October, the Albemarle, then lying at Plymouth, was sunk by Lieutenant William B. Cushing, who, with thirteen men, in a steam launch, went up the Roanoke River on a dark night, and in spite of a severe fire opened upon them, exploded a torpedo under the ram. At the same instant the launch was disabled and filled with water. Cushing and one of his men escaped by swimming, but most of his party were captured.
6 See p. 304, ¶ 40. 7 See pp. 282, ¶ 71--285, ¶ 76. 8 See p. 305, ¶ 42.
QUESTIONS. -- What can you tell of the coöperating force under General Steele? 6. Give an account of the Union disaster at Olustee. -- What is said of the efforts of the rebels in North Carolina? Of the attempt upon Newbern? The capture of Plymouth? The abandonment of Washington? What happened later in the year? 7. Give an account of Kilpatrick's raid.
PERIOD VI. 1861-1880. THE GREAT REBELLION.
to dash into Richmond and liberate the Union prisoners confined there. He crossed the Rapidan late in February, and succeeded in getting within the outer fortifications of the rebel capital; but a force under Colonel Ulric Dahlgren, detached to strike the James River above the city, and coöperate in the attack, was led a day's march out of the way by the ignorance or treachery of a guide; and Kilpatrick, unable to penetrate farther, fell back. Afterwards most of Dahlgren's detachment joined the main column; the rest were cut off, and either captured, or, as was their brave leader, slain. This raid inflicted great damage upon the enemy's railroads, bridges, and upon the canal above Richmond.1
8. Meanwhile the nation had been making preparations for the final struggle. The rank of Lieutenant General was conferred upon General Grant,2 who was assigned to the chief command of all the armies of the Union.
Now first the national forces were moved in obedience to a single will, and were persistently held to the accomplishment of a single purpose. Hitherto they had acted without much concert, so that when one was prosecuting a campaign with vigor, the rest often were inactive. This left the Confederates at liberty to concentrate upon the point of attack, and gave them, with actually a smaller force in the field, a practical superiority in numbers. Grant determined to deprive them of this advantage, by making a simultaneous attack in the East and the West.
9. The bulk of the Rebel forces was concentrated east of the Mississippi, into two great armies. One in Virginia, under Lee,3 occupying the south bank of the Rapidan, covered and defended Richmond; the other, in Georgia, under Johnston,4 intrenched at Dalton, covered and defended Atlanta, the great railroad centre of the Southwest, and depot of rebel supplies.
1 See p. 291, ¶ 10.
2 See p. 276, ¶ 55. In 1798 Washington was appointed commander-in-chief of all the armies of the United States with the rank of Lieutenant-General. The brevet rank of Lieutenant General was conferred upon Scott in 1855.
3 See p. 282, ¶ 71. 4 Seep. 280, ¶ 66.
QUESTIONS. -- 8. Who was appointed commander-in-chief of the Union armies, and with what rank? -- How did this affect the movements of the national forces? 3. What was the position of the bulk of the enemy's forces?
So thoroughly had the disloyal states been stripped of men and means to raise and equip their armies already in the field, that, if these should be captured or destroyed, it would be impossible to supply their places, and armed rebellion would cease.
10. March and April were spent in reorganizing the Union armies and preparing them for action. General William T. Sherman1 was put in command of the forces west of the Alleghany Mountains, to operate against Johnston. The Army of the Potomac; still under the command of General Meade,2 had for its duty the destruction of the army under Lee. It was supported by a force in the Shenandoah Valley and West Virginia, under General Sigel;3 by another about Fortress Monroe, under General Butler;4 and by a column of reserves, under General Burnside,5 which were soon incorporated with Meade's command. All the military movements were under the general supervision of the Lieutenant-General, who had his headquarters with the Army of the Potomac.
11. This army crossed the Rapidan,6 May 4. The next day, Lee hurled his whole army upon it, in the region known as the Wilderness, and a terrific battle raged for two days, at the close of which the Confederates withdrew behind their intrenchments. Grant now, by a succession of flank movements, interrupted by deadly conflicts at Spottsylvania, the North Anna, and Cold Harbor, crowded the Confederates back nearly to the defences of Richmond, and then (June 14) began to throw his army across the James, where be laid siege to Richmond and Petersburg, and threatened Lee's communications with the south. This bloody campaign to the James, lasting forty-two days, cost the Union army sixty thousand men. The rebel loss was much less, because, in most cases, the national troops were the attacking party, and the enemy were intrenched.
12. The Army of the Potomac was organized in three corps, led by Generals Hancock, Warren, and Sedgwick.7 General Sheridan8
1 See p. 287, ¶ 1. 2 See p. 283, ¶ 73. 3 See p. 271, ¶ 39.
4 See p. 277, ¶ 77-- 285, ¶ 76. 5 See p. 277 ¶ 57. 6 See pp. ¶ 71--285, ¶ 76.
7 See p. 293, ¶ 72. 8 See p. 276, ¶ 53.
QUESTIONS. -- What would be the effect if these armies should be captured or destroyed? 10. What Union forces were to operate against Johnston, and who was in command of them? What army was to operate against Lee, and who was its commander? By what forces was the Army of the Potomac supported? Who exercised general supervision of all the movements, and where did he have his headquarters? 11. When did the Amy of the Potomac cross the Rapidan? Give an account of the battle of the Wilderness, and Grants movements thence to the James. What more can you say of this campaign to the James?
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