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THE WAR IN THE WEST.

297

most of the Confederates out of the State of Kentucky. Then General Halleck ordered General U. S. Grant, to start from Cairo, Illinois, and attack Fort Henry; but Commodore Foote got there first with his gunboats and took it (February 6, 1862). Grant then moved on Fort Donelson. The battle raged for three days in succession; then the Confederate General Buckner asked Grant what terms he would grant him if he gave up the fort.

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Grant wrote back,“ No terms except an unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted."? The Confederates were forced

1 General U. S. Grant was born in Ohio, 1822; died in New York, 1885. He was a graduate of West Point, and served in the Mexican War (see Paragraph 292), where he was promoted for meritorious conduct in battle. In 1859 he entered into the leather and saddlery business with his father at Galena, Illinois. On the breaking out of the Civil War he raised a company of Union volunteers, and in August, 1861, he was made a brigadier-general, and took command of the department of Cairo. His subsequent career will be traced in the pages of this history.

2 Hence the name sometimes given General Grant of“ Unconditional Surrender Grant.” See copy of General Grant's letter to General Buckner, on page 297.

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to agree to Grant's conditions and the first great Union victory of the war was won (February 16, 1862). Fifteen thousand pris

“the greatest number ever taken in any battle (up to that time) on this continent" — were captured, and also large quantities of arms. Columbus was now of no use to the Confederates and they abandoned it. The surrender of Nashville followed, and Kentucky and Tennessee were in the hands of the Union forces.

329. Battles of Pittsburg Landing and Island Number Ten. — Grant, with his victorious army, then moved up the Tennessee River to Pittsburg Landing or Shiloh. Here (April 6, 1862) he was attacked by General A. S. Johnston and driven back. Some hours later General Buell came up with a very large force of Union troops. The Union men now outnumbered the Confederates by seventeen thousand, and the next day Grant gained his second

great victory. In his official report he said,
“I am indebted to General Sherman for the
success of that battle.” On that hotly contested
field twenty-five thousand men had fallen dead
or wounded. On the following day (April 8, ·

1862) the Confederates on Island Number Ten, Map of Island No. 10, in the Mississippi, surrendered to Commodore showing the Canal cut

Foote, after nearly a month's obstinate fighting. by the Union troops in order to take the con- That victory was of immense importance in a federate fortifications. military point of view, for it opened the river to the Union vessels down to Vicksburg, a distance of about three hundred miles.

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330. General Summary of the First Year of the War, April, 1861, to April, 1862. — The Civil War began April 12, 1861, with the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter. After the surrender of that fort, the first great battle was fought in the summer at Bull Run, and resulted in the defeat of the Union army.

1 Total Union force in the battle, 57,000; total Confederate force, 40,000. The Union loss was 14,000; the Confederate, 11,000. General A. S. Johnston was wounded, and bled to death while looking after a dying comrade on the battle-field.

EXPEDITION AGAINST NEW ORLEANS.

299

In the spring of 1862 the battle between the Merrimac and Monitor occurred, and the Merrimac was forced to retreat. During the year the Union forces in the West gained the important victories of Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, Pittsburg Landing, and Island Number Ten. The general result of the year was decidedly favorable to the cause of the Union, especially in the West.

SECOND YEAR OF THE WAR, APRIL, 1862, TO APRIL, 1863.

331. Expedition against New Orleans; how the City was defended. — Very early in the spring of 1862 an expedition under Captain Farragut 1 and General Butler sailed from Fortress Monroe to attack New Orleans, the most important city and port in the possession of the Confederate government. The approach to New Orleans was defended by two strong forts on the Mississippi, about seventy-five miles below the city. These forts were nearly opposite each other, so that any vessels trying to pass between them would be exposed to a tremendous cross fire from their guns. Just below the forts the Confederates had stretched two heavy chain cables across the river to check any Union war-ships that might attempt to come up, while above the forts they had stationed fifteen armed vessels — two of them ironclads like the Merrimac.3 With these defences the city defied attack.

Captain Farragut had a fleet of nearly fifty wooden vessels. It was considered to be the most powerful" that had ever sailed under

1 Admiral Farragut was born in Tennessee in 1801; died 1870. He entered the navy in 1812. In 1841 he was made commander, and later, captain. In 1862, after his famous victory at New Orleans, he was promoted to the rank of rear-admiral, and in 1866 to that of admirai — the highest position in the United States navy. From 1823 to the outbreak of the Civil War, Farragut's home, when on shore, was at Norfolk, Virginia. He insisted that Virginia had been forced to secede against the will of the majority of the people of the state. From 1861 to the close of his life his home was at Hastings-on-the-Hudson.

2 New Orleans is about one hundred and five miles from the sea. In the war of 1812 a single fort, at one of the points where those two Confederate forts stood. checked the advance of the British fleet for nine days.

8 See Paragraph 327.

miles away.

the American flag.” General Butler had followed him to take command of a force of fifteen thousand men, then at Ship Island, near New Orleans, and with them to hold the city after its surrender. Farragut's work, with the aid of Commander Porter's mortar-boats, was to silence the forts, break through the chains, conquer the Confederate fleet, and take the city.

332. Bombardment of the Forts; Farragut passes them and destroys the Opposing Fleet; Capture of New Orleans.

For six days and nights Commander Porter hammered away at the forts, and the forts did their best to hammer back. The discharge of artillery was deafening, and the shock so severe that it killed birds and fish, and broke glass in windows at Balize, thirty

Porter's men were completely exhausted by their labors at the guns, and the moment they were off duty would drop down on the deck and fall fast asleep, amid the continuous roar of the battle.

Finally, Captain Farragut determined to make an attempt to cut through the chains, and run past the forts. He succeeded in doing this, and after a terrific combat, destroyed the Confederate fleet and reached New Orleans.

The river-front of the city, for a distance of full five miles, was all ablaze with burning ships, steamboats, and thousands of bales of cotton, which had been set on fire to prevent their capture by the Union forces. A party of Farragut's men landed, speedily hauled down the “stars and bars” from the public buildings, and hoisted the "stars and stripes" in their place (April 25, 1862).

1

Ship Island is in the Gulf of Mexico, about one hundred miles east of New Orleans. See Map on page 331.

2 Mortar-boats: vessels for carrying mortars, short and very wide-mouthed cannon for firing shells. The shells used here were hollow cast-iron balls of great size, weighing nearly three hundred pounds. They were filled with powder, and so constructed that when they fell they would explode with tremendous violence. The shells made a peculiar screaming, hissing noise as they flew through the air, accompanied by a train of smoke by day and of fire by night. When one buried itself in the earth inside of one of the forts and then exploded, the result was like that of a small earthquake.

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