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Louisiana regiments—the whole under battery, and Williamson's cavalry to command of General Godfry Weitzel, a guard the rear. I immediately ordered, West Point officer, who had accompa- also, that a road be cut up the steep nied General Butler to New Orleans as bank on both sides of the bayou for the a member of his staff, and while dis- passage of artillery and my train. I charging various military duties in the found soon that the enemy on the left government of the city, had been pro- bank, after delivering only the fire of its moted to a brigadiership. Landing with advanced guard, which killed one of my his force at Donaldsonville, on the right cavalry and wounded another, and killed bank of the river, about seventy miles two horses, had disappeared for some above New Orleans, he took up his line unaccountable reason. Fearing some of march on Sunday the 26th of Octo- ruse, I immediately ordered the 13th ber, down the Bayou Lafourche on the Connecticut across the bayou to support easterly side to Napoleonville, where he the 8th New Hampshire and the 12th bivouaced in line of battle. " I started Connecticut, Thompson's battery to play on Monday morning again," says this upon the enemy's artillery on the right officer in his official report, which illus- | bank, which was firing splendidly upon trates the novel military situation of the our forces and my bridge ; ordered Carexpedition, “at six o'clock, but feeling ruth to cross over with his two advanced that the enemy was in some force on the sections, and the 75th New York, to supright bank, I threw over the whole of the port Thompson and guard the head of 8th New Hampshire and Perkins' cav- the bridge and the front of the train. alry by means of my floating bridge, and “I then crossed over, ordered the 8th in this order moved down the bayou. New Hampshire to form line of battle At eleven o'clock, when I was about two across the road, the 12th Connecticut to miles above Labadieville, I received the form on its right, and ordered these forreport that the enemy was in force about ward to attack at once.
They had one mile ahead, on the left bank, and scarcely commenced moving when the that they had six pieces of artillery, I 13th Connecticut arrived at a doubleimmediately ordered four pieces of Čar- quick from across the bayou. I immeruth's battery up (two pieces were with diately ordered this in reserve. Subsethe rear guard, and Thompson's was al- quently, as the centre guides of the 8th ready ahead) and formed the 13th Con- New Hampshire and the 12th Connectinecticut and 75th New York in line of cut moved in different lines of direction, battle to support Thompson. These two they became sufficiently separated to alregiments formed splendidly, and moved low me to throw the 13th Connecticut at once forward to the attack, through a on the line between the two. I ordered dense canefield. I moved on with them, this regiment forward in line of battle. and after emerging from the canefield I The line thus formed advanced steadily received the report, which was that the at my command forward. In a very enemy was in position on the right bank short time the enemy's battery retreated, also, and that he had four pieces of ar- and also the infantry support. The fight tillery on that side. At the same time I did not last long. I found that the enereceived the report that the enemy's cav- my had four pieces of artillery in the alry was in rear of my rear guard. I road.
I road. It was Connor's battery, Comimmediately swung my bridge across the pany A, Wither's light artillery, combayou, ordered eight companies of the manded by Captain J. Ratston (who was 12th Connecticut over to support the 8th wounded and is now a paroled prisoner). New Hampshire, leaving two companies This battery was supported by the remof this regiment, one section of Carruth's nants of the 18th Louisiana and the Cre
BATTLE AT LABADIEVILLE.
scent City regiments, numbering togeth- prised in the operations on the coast of er about five hundred men. They were Texas. They are thus summed up in lying down in a ditch on the lower side the Annual Report in December of the of a plantation road in the edge of woods Secretary of the Navy: “About the at Georgia Landing, and immediately on middle of September, acting volunteer the left of the battery. I ordered skirm- Lieutenant J. W. Kittredge, commandishers at once in the woods to secure pris- ing the United States bark Arthur, was oners. Carruth arrived about this time, sent with his own vessel and the steamer and I sent him with one section and Per Sachem by Rear Admiral Farragut to kin's cavalry in pursuit. They pursued take possession of Corpus Christi and about four miles, Carruth firing upon the adjacent waters. He succeeded well, retreating forces on both sides of the ba- made several captures, and compelled you. I have since learned that Simms' | the enemy to burn several vessels. Subbattery of six pieces, supported by Col- sequently, however, acting Lieutenant onel Clark's (the 33d) regiment of Lou- Kittredge, while on shore, was with his isiana volunteers, was in front on the left boat's crew surprised and captured. A bank. I lost eighteen killed and seventy- little later, acting Master Francis Crockfour wounded. Lieutenant Francis, of er, commanding the steamer Kensington, the 12th Connecticut, was taken prisoner with that vessel and the schooners Rabefore the fight. We have buried five of chel Seaman and Henry Janes, captured the enemy, and have seventeen wounded the defences of Sabine City and took in our hospital, but I have proof that possession thereof. On the 4th of Octotheir loss was greater. I took one hun-ber, Commander W. B. Renshaw, of the
. dred and sixty-six of the enemy prison- United States steamer Westfield, with ers the day of battle, and forty-two that vessel, the Harriet Lane, Owasco, of them since—total two hundred and and Clifton, captured the defences of the eight; I released them all on parole. harbor and city of Galveston, there havThe commanding officer of the enemy, ing been only a feeble resistance.” Colonel J. P. McPheeters, was killed. I General Butler remained in command delivered bis body to some of his bro- of the Department of the Gulf till the ther officers, who were prisoners, and he arrival of his successor, General Banks, was decently buried near the battlefield, in December, when he retired with the the Chaplain of the 8th New Hampshire following stirring farewell address to his officiating. One of the pieces of the army, in which he recapitulated the enemy's artillery broke down in the re- more important incidents of his career: treat. We secured it, and have it now -"Soldiers of the Army of the Gulfin our possession." After this General Relieved from further duties in this deWeitzel met with no opposition, the ene-partment by direction of the President, my retreating to the westward to Ber- under date of November 9, 1862, I take wick Bay, which they presently left, leave of you by this final order, it being evacuating Brashear City on the ap- impossible to visit your scattered outproach of the gunboats, which had been posts, covering hundreds of miles of the sent from New Orleans, and been de- frontier of a larger territory than some tained on the way by a storm of unusu- of the kingdoms of Europe. I greet you, al severity. The whole district was thus my brave comrades, and say farewell ! restored to the authority of the Union. This word, endeared as you are by a
The remaining events of the war in community of privations, hardships, danthe South-west in the year 1862 are com- gers, victories, successes, military and • General Weitzel to A. A. G. Strong. Bayou Lafour civil
, is the only sorrowful thought I
. che, La., October 29, 1862.
have. You have deserved well of your
country. Without a murmur you sus- or, using the tactics taught them by your tained an encampment on a sand-bar, so enemies, to fight with you in the field. desolate that banishment to it, with every By steady attention to the laws of health, care and comfort possible, has been the you have stayed the pestilence, and, hummost dreaded punishment inflicted upon ble instruments in the hands of God, you your bitterest and most insulting ene- have demonstrated the necessity that His mies. You had so little transportation, creatures should obey His laws, and reapthat but a handful could advance to com- ing His blessing in this most unhealthy pel submission by the Queen City of the climate, you have preserved your ranks Rebellion, while others waded breast- fuller than those of any other battalions deep in the marshes which surround St. of the same length of service. You have Philip, and forced the surrender of a met double numbers of the enemy, and fort deemed impregnable to land attack defeated him in the open field ; but I by the most skillful engineers of your need not further enlarge upon this topic. country and her enemy. At your occu- You were sent here to do that. I compation, order, law, quiet, and peace mend you to your commander. You are sprang to this city, filled with the bra- worthy of his love. Farewell, my comvos of all nations, where for a score of rades ! again farewell !" years, during the profoundest peace, hu
, On his arrival at the North, at the beman life was scarcely safe at noonday. ginning of January 1863, General ButBy your discipline you illustrated the ler was enthusiastically received ; nor, best traits of the American soldier, and judging from the spirit displayed in his enchained the admiration of those that ovations in the various cities, was his came to scoff. Landing with a military equanimity disturbed by the revengeful chest containing but seventy-five dollars, Philippic leveled against him by Presifrom the hoards of a rebel government dent Jefferson Davis in his extraordinyou have given to your country's treas- ary retaliatory proclamation of Decemury nearly $500,000, and so supplied ber 23d, in which General Butler's miliyourselves with the needs of your ser- tary acts at New Orleans were device that your expedition has cost your nounced, he was described as “a felon Government less by four-fifths than any deserving of capital punishment, no other. You have fed the starving poor, longer to be considered or treated simthe wives and children of your enemies, ply as a public enemy of the Confeder30 converting enemies into friends, that ate States of America, but as an outlaw they have sent their representatives to and common enemy of mankind,” and it Congress by a vote greater than your was ordered “ that in the event of his entire numbers, from districts in which, capture, the officer in command of the when you entered, you were tauntingly capturing force do cause him to be imtold that there was no one to raise your mediately executed by hanging,” and, flag.' By your practical philanthropy moreover, " that no commissioned officer you have won the confidence of the 'op- of the United States, taken captive, shall pressed race and the slave. Hailing be released on parole, before exchange, you as deliverers, they are ready to aid until the said Butler shall bave met with you as willing servants, faithful laborers, due punishment for his crimes.”
CHAPTER LX XV.
THE DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH – GENERAL MITCHEL-MILITARY AFFAIRS, APRIL-
MAJOR-GENERAL DAVID HUNTER SUC- Carolina, was thought by the President ceeded General Sherman in command of far too radical and sweeping to issue the Department of the South, compris- from the local commander of a departing the States of South Carolina, Geor- ment, and was accordingly pronounced gia, and Florida, on the 31st of March. void. Within the more limited jurisdicHe was accompanied by General Ben- tion within the lines of his army, howham, who, since the pursuit of Floyd in ever, the policy of General Hunter with Western Virginia, had not been em- regard to slavery was not interfered ployed in active operations in the field, with. There he availed himself of every and to whom now was assigned the com- means to elevate the condition of the mand of the district embracing the ex- colored population and make them availtreme northern part of Florida, South able for the support of the army in the Carolina, and Georgia, with his head cultivation of the fields and in preparaquarters at Port Royal. This was called tion for military service in the field. the Northern District. Two others were The former, as we have seen, had been formed, the Southern and Western Dis- already provided for under the administricts; the former under command of tration of General Sherman, and the laBrigadier-General J. M. Brannan, in- bors of the superintendent, Mr. Pierce.* cluding the eastern and southern por- The latter, General Hunter, foreseeing its tions of Florida ; the latter the western importance as an element in the further region, with headquarters at Fort Pick- conduct of the struggle in which the naens, under command of Brigadier-Gen- tion was forced, gave particular atteneral L. G. Arnold. The first prominenttion to. In advance of general public event in the department, the capture of opinion in the North on the subject, he Fort Pulaski, in the concluding opera- held that the negro, properly instructed, tions attending which, and the final sur-would form a most available fighting render, both Generals Hunter and Ben- man, and he accordingly early lent his ham bore a part, we have already mi- efforts in the department to make him nutely described, with the attendant na- such. Free papers or deeds of emancival operations on the coast of Florida.* pation were issued by him in accordance The next stirring incident in the depart- with the act of Congress liberating slaves ment, the notable order of General Hun- of rebels, in the following terms :--" It ter, of May 9th, respecting slavery, has having been proven to the entire satisalso been noticed in connection with the faction of the general commanding the national movements on that subject in Department of the South, that the bearCongress, and the course of President er, named
heretofore held in Lincoln.t That order which was pre- involuntary servitude, has been directly ceded by a proclamation of martial law employed to aid and assist those in throughout his department, declared the rebellion against the United States of absolute emancipation of slaves in the America : Now, be it known to all States of Georgia, Florida, and South that, agreeably to the laws, I declare the * Ante chapter lxii. Ante chapter lxxi.
* Ante p. 118.
said person free and forever absolved pany him. For three days he kept the
. from all claims to his services. Both he provisions of the party secreted in the and his wife and his children have full hold, awaiting an opportunity to slir right to go north, south, east, or west, as away. At length, on Monday evening, they may decide.” Accompanying these the white officers of the vessel went on guarantees of freedom came an appeal shore to spend the night, intending to to the negroes to enlist in military ser- start on the following morning for Fort vice. An incident which occurred in Ripley and to be absent from the city May, a few days after the issue of the for some days. The families of the conorder, was undoubtedly calculated to trabands were notified and came stealthstimulate his resolution in the matter. ily on board. At about three o'clock This was the daring and courageous ad- the fires were lit under the boilers, and venture of a party of the colored popu- the vessel steamed quietly away down lation of Charleston in escaping from the harbor. The tide was against her, that city and bringing out from under and Fort Sumter was not reached till the batteries of the forts and delivering broad daylight. However, the boat to the Union blockading squadron a passed directly under its walls, giving rebel gunboat which was employed in the usual signal-two long pulls and a military service in the bay. This was jerk at the whistle cord—as she passed the Planter, a high-pressure side-wheel the sentinel. Once out of range of the steamer, armed with one 32-pounder rebel guns, the white flag was raised,
and one 24-pound howitzer, and beside and the Planter steamed directly for the this armament, having on board at the blockading steamer Augusta. Captain time of the conveyance, four large guns, Parrott, of the latter vessel, as you may which she was engaged in transporting imagine, received them cordially, heard to Fort Ripley, then in process of con- their report, placed acting Master Watstruction in the harbor. The leader in son, of his ship, in charge of the Planthis spoliation of the enemy was a negro ter and sent the confederate gunboat born in Charleston, named Robert Small, and crew forward to Commodore Duwho had been serving for some six weeks pont. The families of the crew have on board the vessel as a pilot. It is said been sent to Beaufort, where General that he first conceived the idea of carry- Stevens will make suitable provision for ing off the vessel from a joke of one of them. The crew will be taken care of his companions. “He immediately,” by Commodore Dupont."* There were writes a correspondent, who narrates eight contrabands on board the vessel the circumstances from his own lips, beside five colored women and three “ cautioned the crew against alluding to children. the matler in any way on board the In reporting the affair to Secretary boat, but asked them, if they wanted to Welles, flag-officer Dupont remarked : talk it up in sober earnestness, to meet " The bringing out this steamer, under at his house, where they would devise all the circumstances, would have done and determine upon a plan to place credit to any one,” and especially comthemselves under the protection of the mends the intelligence. of the chief perStars and Stripes instead of the stars former. “This man, Robert Small,” says and bars. Various plans were pro- he, “is superior to any who have yet posed; but finally the whole arrange- come into the lines, intelligent as many ment of the escape was left to the dis- of them have been. His information cretion and sagacity of Robert, his com- has been most interesting, and portions panions promising to obey him and be
* Hilton Head Correspondencc New York Herald, May ready at a moment's notice to accom- 14, 1862.