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Section Xix.--the Mobile Campaign, 1865

Section Xix.--the Mobile Campaign, 1865 image
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Fort Morgan, situated on Mobile Point, guarded the narrow entrance to Mobile bay. Directly opposite, two miles distan t in a northerly direction. Fort Gaines, upon Dauphin Island with irowning guns, assisted in this duty. The main channel, however, was near Fort Morgan and was obstructed to hostile vessels with piles driven in the sand and torpedoes planted plentiiully in the waters. Early in August, 1864, Admiral Farragut, with fourteen wooden vessels and four iron-clads, resolved to attack the Confedérate Keur Fort Morgan the latter had a small neet under Commodore Frankhn Buchanan. In the Confedérate fleet was a powerful vessel, the ram Tennessee. The 5th of August General Granger landed a body of troops on Dauphin Island and invested Fort Gaines. Early on the morning of August 6 Admiral Farragut attacked Fort Morgan and the Confedérate flotilla. Soon after the engagement began, the Tecumseh, a fine iron-clad, struck a torpedr and almost instantly sunk, carrymg to the bottom of the bay all but twenty-one out of a crew of one hundred men. The other vessels of the Federal fleet Icept r :it on, however, and ran past Fort Morgan and the tor edoes. A little later the ram Tennessee bore down upon the fleet and was soon overpowered and captured. August 7 Fort Gaines, with over eight hundred men, surrendered to General Granger, Later Fort Morgan was invested, and, August 23, feil into tte handt of the erais. Thus Mobile, at the head of Mobilo bay, was eftectually shut off f rom blockade runners, having its outlet hermetically sealed by a fleet of Federal vessels. At Fort Morgan the regiment lanJed early in Maren, as narrated in the last number. The men debarked irom the steamer and went into camp in the sand The región was sterile and as uninteresting as could be imagined. Fort Morgan, however, had gained much notoriety irom its engagement with Com modore Farragut's fleet, the previous Au gust It showed marks oí the bombard ment in dismantled walls and broken brick work. Near the camp was a sand-hiü twenty or thirty feet high f rom which the vessels s a distance and Dauphin Island were viewed. A school of porpoises could ofien be seen at play in the waters of the bay this to the men, nearly all of whom were from the interior, was a novel sighu One day orders came to march. Mean while the Thirteenth Corps had been re organized and was now under command o General Gordon Granger. This was spe cially pleasing to the old members of ttia organization. The 17th day of March the journey from Mobile Foint, along the eastern side of Mo büe bay, was begun. The loose sand made the walking very hard. The writer had not marched with gun, accouterments knapsack, etc, for somu time; bencetbis tramping througti heavy sand was any thing but pleasant. So weary did be be come after some hours ttiat had it not been lor the name of the thiug he would have given out. But one's pride is a sliarp spu and iften urges a man on to do tm utmost. The country passed over was all satuly and very level. All the tnuber wan piue Fires were made from pme knots touud 11 abundance under the trees. 'J'he uieu'j faces became covered with smul, stuoke and griinu; theresin maden adhesivo, atid washing this off seetued out oí ihe cuestión. In the midst of the forest, turpentina "orchards" were reaehed. Hera cupshaped notches had been cut itiio tue trunks of the larger trees and these had filled with resin. Oaa nigbt soioe oae set fire in the "orcharü" aud ibe ïuflammable nature of the resin causea the Dames W mouat strong and high. At one period in ibe march rain feil in torren ts, and the roads De ame aimu-i im passable for wagons and artuiery Bometimes when the teams ircann stalled they were detached, Umg ropes ueJ to the wagons and pieces ot ai tillery. aud upon these dozens of inen exerted tiien strength and generally succeedetl wneri the mules had failed. Ju mauy cases cor duroy roads- poles laid urosswise-had lü be made. But the troops were bound to overcomi all obstacles and henee ever gruiubled. Oue day a wide, shallow streaui was encountered, wtieu the men were Uaited, or. dered to remove sboes and tockiugs, roll their paats higb and wade. Wheu tbe opposite baak was reached, cvery nxao dried his ieet and legs in tho best wav po sible, put on his shoes aud sioc!íiijs aud resumed the march. The advance of the column, after som days' progress, met and skirinlsbed witu the enemy. Toward the latter part of lh month of March, Spaiusb Kort, cast of Mobile, was reached. This was one of thi keys to the military siluation at Mobile, and was laid siege to by tho Federáis ihe last days of March. The Federal Kunboat beid the watei front of Öpamsti Fort aud cut off coui' munication witb Mobile. Mo effort at nssault was made by the Federáis and Uu approaches were guarded with rifle pits; henee the loss oí Ufe was iiiconsiderable. The night of April 8 Spanish Fort was evaeuated. In a Mobile paper ot' that same date was found tlie foüowing letter ontitled: A Letter ünder Fire. "On Ftcket. Spanish Fort, April 4, 1865.Messrs. Editors : With powder-burned face and a sore shoulder from the backward movcment o: my rifle, I Have concluded to rest a little, and while resttng I wüi amuse myself by dropping you a line. But, stop nglit here, I wil] lake i chew of tobáceo, for I have plenty and of thfl finest article, and I did nol buy it, nor steal it, nor draw it, but I have it. We are having i fine time here sharp-shootingwiththe Yankees, though we never put our beads above the breastworks, ior the atmosphere Is unhealthy to high up, but we have headlogs to shoot undei which the boys cali 'kuil crackers.' We have another game we play over here ; It is a game I used to play when a boy, but there is not altogether so much fun in it now as there was then. It is a game called 'Antay Over. W play it here with shells from a mortar gun. The ona that catches it Is the one that Is caught oul and not the one that throws it. We have generally about two artülery duels each day, and they make things happen when they do get at it. Every thing is comparatlvely qu:et at night." Ten thousand thanks to the ladies of Mobile for sending us that provisión, they sent U9 last night I tnink I wsh the hungnest man on the "map." You ought to have een with what eagerness l devoured thosa eggs, meat and cake. While eating my heart ran out in thankfulnesi to the fair daughters of the fair city. t was proud that I was a soldier battling for the rïghts of such ladies as those." I shall have to close. The shells are coming too fast and my mind is too mucb centered od "NumbíT One," and my nerves too unsteady lo write. Vou know that bombshells are very demoralízing ÍX they are not so dangerous." More anón, Chum. From the same paper's editorial column the folio win g is taken: "The Enemy." " From about five o'clock till after flark last evening the tïnng on the eastern shore was the heariest yet heard, and ít still continúes, though somewhat slackened at our usual time of closing, though we are yet without any Information of the progresa of affairs." "Later. After eleven o'clock a díspatch was received, stating that the enemy bad opened on Spanish Fort with thirty guns, but after a great deal of noise had made no impression. Our garrison over there stands like a 'stone wall.' The Yankee's ammumtion is bad, of the shoddy-contract sort, so that very few of the shells explode. ur artillerists use only Confedérate powder to send back their own projectiles. White we write at ten o'clock p. m., an occaslonal gun is heard." From the same column the following is also excerpted: "Brave Boy." The following letter received by Major General Maury from a student at Spring Hill College cannot beread with indifference byfriend or foe of the cause of Confedérate independence. This is what General Grant would cali "robbíng the eradle torecruit our armies." Springhill College, March 27, 1865. Ma}. Gen. D. II. Maury: DIAK Sik :- At the request of a great many of roy fellow students, I write to you on a verj serious subject- that is about joining the army or the defense of Mobile. The President wül iiot let ui go without w eonsider ourselves expelled; so we wish you to eend out one oí your aids and muster us In the service. There will be about forty that will go. We are all of age, strong and healthy and can fight as good as any man. Now, General, we want your assistance ; if we do not receive it soon we will be compelled to go and be expelled. So we do not thlnk you could help Irom assisting us. Please help us immediately. A SlüBBNT OW SPRINGHILLCOLLEGB. (To be Continued.)


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