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NEWS OF 150 YEARS AGO

March-April 1862

From The Missouri Democrat, Tuesday, April 9, 1862.

GLORIOUS NEWS!

REBEL THERMOPYLAE TAKEN.

Island No. 10 Captured.

SIX THOUSAND PRISONERS.

More Than 100 Cannon.

Immense Quantities of Small Arms, Horses and Provisions.

THE VICTORY COMPLETE.

The Rebels Repulsed at Pittsburg.

FIRST DISPATCH.

HEADQUARTERS DEP’T OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
ST. LOUIS, MO., April 8th, 1862.

Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War, Washington:

General Pope crossed the Mississippi river yesterday, captured the enemy’s floating battery, carrying fourteen guns, and occupied Tiptonville.

The enemy were driven from all their works below New Madrid, leaving behind their artillery, baggage, supplies and sick. A land battery of twelve guns was taken.

General Pope will attack Island No. 10 to-day, and hopes to get in rear of the enemy’s upper batteries before night.

H. W. HALLECK, Maj. Gen.

 

SECOND DISPATCH.

HEADQ’RS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
ST. LOUIS, MO., April 8th, 1862, 9:30 A. M.

Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War, Washington:

Island No. 10 has surrendered. The enemy has abandoned the upper land batteries, and is endeavoring to escape across a swamp. General Pope is endeavoring to cut them off. They abandoned everything.

H. W. HALLECK,
Major General

THIRD DISPATCH.

Hon. E. M. Stanton, &c.:

Brigadier-General W. W. Mackall, late of U. S. Adjutant General’s Department, and over two thousand of the rebel forces have surrendered to General Pope, and it is expected that many more will be captured to-day.

Immense quantities of artillery and supplies have fallen into our hands.

H. W. HALLECK, Major General

 

FOURTH DISPATCH.

Hon. E. M. Stanton, &c.:

The enemy attacked our forces at Pittsburgh, Tenn., yesterday, but was repulsed with heavy loss. No details given.

H. W. HALLECK, Major General

 

FIFTH DISPATCH.

Hon. E. M. Stanton:

General Pope captured three Generals, six thousand prisoners of war, one hundred siege pieces and several field batteries, with immense quantities of small arms, tents, wagons, horses and provisions.

Our victory is complete and overwhelming. We have not lost a single man.

H. W. HALLECK, Major General

 

RESULT OF RUNNING THE BLOCKADE.

Few events of the war have contributed so immediately to important results as the bold dash of Captain Walke with his gunboat Carondelet, by the rebel batteries at Island No. 10. These, ever since our fleet four weeks ago first menaced them, have been looked upon as being of great strength, and exercising an unlimited command over the river. The importance of getting a gunboat below, to convoy Gen. Pope’s forces over the river, was early seen after the fall of New Madrid, and would have long since been undertaken but for the peril which it was thought would attend the effort. A week ago, however, it was concluded by Flag Officer Foote that the circumstances demanded a trial, and accordingly the Carondelet, and a brave crew, was selected as an officer who would, if he could, successfully carry out the design.

The sailing orders he received from Commodore Foote afford an idea of the importance of the enterprise. These we partially published yesterday, suppressing such paragraphs as foreshadowed future action, but as the results they pointed to have already been attained, we now publish them in full. The reader will not fail to notice how fully the predictions of Commodore Foote have been verified, nor can he omit to observe from the glorious news contained in another column how faithfully Captain Walke executed his orders:

U. S. FLAG STEAMER BENTON,
OFF NO. 10, March 30.1862.

SIR: You will avail yourself of the first fog or rainy night, and drift your steamer down past the rebel batteries on the Tennessee shore and Island No. 10, until you reach New Madrid.

I assign you this service as it is vitally important to the capture of this place that a gunboat should now be at New Madrid, for the purpose of covering General Pope’s army while crossing that point to the opposite or the Tennessee side of the river, that he may move his army up to Island No. 10 and attack the rebels in the rear while we attach them in front.

Should you succeed in reaching General Pope, you will freely confer with him, and adopt his suggestions, so far as your superior knowledge of what your boat will perform will enable you to do, for the purpose of protecting his force while crossing the river.

You will also, if you have coal and the current of the rive will permit, steam up the river when the army moves, for he purpose of attacking their fortifications. Still you will act cautiously here, as your own will be the only boat below.

On this delicate and somewhat hazardous service I assign you. I must enjoin upon you the importance of keeping your lights secreted in the hold or put out, keeping your officers and men from speaking at all-when passing the forts-above a whisper, and then only on duty; and of using every other precaution to prevent the rebels suspecting that you are dropping below their batteries.

You will capture or destroy the rebel steam gunboat Grampus, and the transports, if possible, between this place and Number Ten, at such time as will not embarrass you in placing yourself in communication with General Pope at the earliest possible time after leaving this place.

If you successfully perform this duty assigned you, which you so willingly undertake, it will reflect the highest credit upon you and all belonging to your vessel, and I doubt not but that the government will appreciate and reward you for a service which will enable the army to cross the river and make a successful attack in the rear, while we storm the batteries in front of this stronghold of the rebels.

Commending you, and all who are under your command, to the care and protection of God who rules the world, and directs all things.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. H. FOOTE,
Flag-Officer, com’dg naval forces Western waters.

P. S. Should you meet with disaster, you will as a last resort, destroy the steam machinery, and if possible to escape, set fire to your gunboat or sink her, and prevent her from falling into the hand of the rebels.

A. H. F.

From the fall of Island No. 10 probably more satisfaction can be gathered than from any other victory of the war. For it has not been the result of favorable circumstances; nor can it be likened to successes by land, where we met and overcome the enemy by superior forces. On the other hand, it is the defeat of the enemy, occupying a strong, chosen position, by pure naval and military skill.

The defences of the enemy then, as they were discovered when our fleet confronted them a month since, were such as to stagger the resolution of any ordinary commander, and had they been dealt with by other officers than those the Government is so fortunate to have in command, perhaps they would not now be in our possession.

The impracticability of reducing them by storming with the gunboats became early apparent. The skill of our officers was then called into requisition, and the most incredible plans were adopted to overcome the advantage held by the enemy. One of those was the transfer of steamboats and barges containing cannon, ammunition and supplies for Gen. Pope, through a chute heading at the foot of No. 8, and having its mouth at New Madrid.

A dense forest was to be passed through-stumps, logs and shallow water to be contended against for nine miles; and had such a project been undertaken by less energetic men, it would have been pronounced insane, and its accomplishment impossible. However, two weeks of uninterrupted labor by Col. Bissell with a portion of his regiment of sappers and miners, brought about a success, the bearings of which upon the recent victories in that vicinity were of the utmost importance.

Allied to this was the running of the blockade. Particulars of this have been given, and the country will doubtless do justice to the brave officers who so faithfully and effectually served it in that trying undertaking.

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