such portion of his command as was possible on two small steamers, which
had arrived from Nashville during the night. Gen. Pillow remarked that
he thought there were no two persons in the Confederacy whom the
'' Yankees " would ]3refer to capture than himself and Gen. Floyd, and
asked the latter's opinion as to the propriety of his accompanying him.
To this inquiry Gen. Floyd replied that it was a question for every
man to decide for himself. Gen. Pillow then addressed the inquiry to
Gen. Buckner, to which Gen. Buckner remarked that he could only reply
as Gen. Floyd had done ; that it was a question for every oflicer to decide
for himself, and that in his own case he regarded it as his duty to remain
with his men and share their fate, whatever it might be.
It was then arranged that the command should be passed. Gen. Buck-
ner asked, " Am I to consider the command as turned over to me ? " Gen.
Floyd replied, " Certainly, I turn over the command." Gen. Pillow replied
quickly, " I pass it. I will not surrender." Gen. Buckner then called for
pen, ink, paper, and a bugler, and prepared to open communication with
the Federal commander.
A number of men had fallen in battle ; some of the sick and wounded
had been removed ; and detachments of troops had escaped under Floyd,
Pillow, and Forrest ; leaving the number surrendered by Gen. Buckner to
the enemy less than nine thousand men. Gen. Grant had demanded
" Unconditional Surrender " — words, which the Northern populace after-
wards attached to his name as a peculiar title to glory ; and Gen.
PANIC IN NASHVILLE. 209
Buckner replied : " Tlie distribution of the forces under m}'- command,
incident to an unexpected change of commanders, and tlie overwhelming
force under your command, compel me, notwithstanding the brilliant suc-
cess of the Confederate arms yesterday, to accept the ungenerous and un-
chivah'ous terms which you propose."
The fall of Fort Donelson was the heaviest blow that had yet fallen on
the Confederacy. It opened the whole of "West Tennessee to Federal
occupation, and it developed the crisis which had long existed in the
West. Gen. A. S. Johnston had previously ordered the evacuation of Bow-
ling Green ; and the movement was executed while the battle was being
fought at Donelson. Gen. Johnston awaited the result of the battle oppo-
site Nashville. At dawn of the IGtli of February he received the news of
a defeat. Orders were at once issued to push the army forward across the
river as soon as possible. The city ])apers or extras of that morning pub-
lished despatches announcing a " glorious victory." The city was wild with
joy. About the time the people M'ere assembling at the churches, it was
announced by later extras that " Donelson had fallen." The revulsion was
great. Governor Harris had been informed of the fact early in the morn-
ing, and had proceeded to Gen. Johnston's head-quarters to advise with
him as to the best course to adopt under the altered circumstances. The
General said that ISTashville was utterly indefensible; that the army
would pass right through the city ; that any attempt to defend it with the
means at his command would result in disaster to the army, and the de-
stnjction of the city ; that the first and highest duty of the governor was
to the public trusts in his hands, and he thought, to discharge them prop-
erly, he should at once remove the archives and public records to some
safer place, and call the Legislature together elsewhere than at Nashville.
Gen. Johnston retreated with his army towards Murfreesboro', leaving
behind him a scene of panic and dismay.
The confusion at Nashville did not reach its height until a humane at-
tempt was made to distribute among the poor a portion of the public
stores which could not be removed. The lowest passions seemed to have
been aroused in a large mass of men and wonien, and the city appeared as
if it was in the hands of a mob. A detachment of Forrest's cavalry en-
deavoured to enforce order. Houses were closed, carriages and wagons
were concealed, to prevent the mob from taking possession of them.
Horses were being seized everywhere. After every other means failed,
Forrest charged the mob, before he could get it so dispersed as to get
wagons to the doors of the departments, to load up the stores for transpor-
tation. The loss of public stores by depredations was not less than a mil-
lion of dollars. " In my judgment," said Col. Forrest, "if the quarter-
master and commissary had remained at their posts, and worked diligently
with the means at their command, the government stores might all have
210 THE LOST CAUSE.
been saved between the time of the fall of Fort Donelson and the arrival
of the enemy in Nashville."
We shall complete this chapter by a brief account of a defeat :f Con-
federate arms that preceded by several days the fall of Fort Donelson,
and took place on a widely separated theatre of the war. The thread of
Confederate disaster takes ns here from the tributaries of the Mississippi
to the low and melanclioly sea-line of North Carolina.
CAPTURE OF ROANOKE ISLAND BY THE ENEMY.
About the middle of January, 1862, Gen. Burnside entered Pamlico
Sound at the head of an expedition, consisting of more than sixty vessels
of all kinds, twenty-six of them gunboats, and with at least fifteen thousand
men. It readily became apparent that Eoanoke Island was the first ob-
ject of his attack. This important island lies in the broad inlet between
Pamlico and Currituck Sounds, and about midway between the main land
and the narrow strip of bank which dykes out the ocean. It was of great
moment to the South to defend it, for its possession by the enemy would
unlock to them Albemarle and Currituck Sounds, open to them eight rivers,
give them access to the country chiefly supplying provisions to Norfolk,
and enable them to menace that city, and the four canals and two rail-
roads running through the country by which it was surrounded.
Gen. Henry A. Wise, who had been ordered to the command of the
department embracing Roanoke Island, declared that it should be defend-
ed at the e^'^'ense of twenty thousand men, and many millions of dollars.
But to his .stimate of the importance of the position he found that the
Hichmond authorities had a deaf ear. On the 7th of January, 1862, Gen.
Wise assumed command, and made an examination of the defences. He,
found them inadequate, in his opinion, to resist even the force then at
Hatteras, and as the Bnrnside expedition began already to point to the
North Carolina coast, he called urgently for reinforcements. He addressed
a letter to Mr. Benjamin, the Confederate Secretary of War, and followed
it by a personal interview, in which he strenuously insisted that more
troops should be sent to the island. He urged that a large part of Gen.
Huger's command, at Norfolk, might be safely detached, and used for the
defence of Roanoke. He argued that the fifteen thousand men under
Huger were idle, and were only kept at Norfolk in view of a possible
attack, and that they would much more advantageously defend the city, by
guarding the approaches through the Sound, than by remaining inactive.
He explained that Roanoke Island guarded more than four-fifths of all
Norfolk's supplies of corn, pork and forage, and that its capture by the
enemy would cut the command of Gen. Huger off from all its most
LOSS OF EOANOKE ISLAND. 211
efficient transportation. But Mr. Benjamin would not adopt these views,
and would not disturb Gen. Huger ; be told AVise sullenly that tbere
were no men to spare to reinforce bim ; and at last be brongbt tbe confer-
ences and protestations of tbe General to an abrupt termination by a
peremptory military order, dated tbe 22d of January, requiring bim to pro-
ceed immediately to Roanoke Island.
The defences of tbe island consisted of seven small gunboats and six land
batteries, not casemated, and wholly inefficient. After manning tbe forts,
there were scarcely more than eight hundred effective men. In the sick-
ness of Gen. Wise, who was confined to his bed at Nag's Head, tbe imme-
diate command devolved upon Col. Shaw, tbe senior officer present.
In the morning of tbe 7tb of February the enemy made an attack, with
twenty-two heavy steamers, upon the little Confederate squadron under
tbe command of Commodore Lynch, and upon Fort Bartow, the most
southern of tbe defences on the west side of the island. The action com-
menced at two miles distance, tbe Confederate gunboats retiring slowly
with the intention of drawing tbe enemy under tbe guns of the batteries.
Soon the air was filled with heavy reports, and tbe sea was disturbed in
every direction by fragments of shell. Explosions of shell rang through
the air ; and occasionally a large one hundred and twenty-four pounder
thundered across the waves, and sent its ponderous shot in the midst of
the flotilla. At times, tbe battery would be enveloped in the sand and
dust thrown up by shot and shell. The scene of this bombardment, which
lasted continuously from ten in the morning until half-past five in the
afternoon, was a singular and picturesque one. The melancholy shore-
line which bound it, was an unbroken one of dark cypresses and pines.
On tbe water were the enemy's vessels rapidly pouring out shot and shell
at the line of Confederate gunboats or at the batteries. Still further on,
just gleaming through the sunlight, was the forest of masts and tbe white
sails of the transports, kept far in the rear out of the reach of danger.
Our casualties on the gunboats were only one man killed and three
wounded. But the engagement had been disastrous. The Curlew, our
largest steamer, was sunk, and the Forrest, one of the i^ropellers, disabled.
Commodore Lynch writes, in his official report, that at the close of the
action he had " not a pound of powder or a loaded shell remaining." This
singular deficiency of ammunition and tbe disasters he had already sus-
tained, determined the policy of retreat, and under cover of the night, tbe
squadron was drawn off to Elizabeth City.
Gen. Burnside gave orders that a landing should be made on the island
tbe next morning. It was accomplished under cover of the gunboats,
about the centre of tbe western shore. At nine o'clock the enemy ad-
vanced through a country swampy and covered with forest. About tbe
centre of the island an entrenchment bad been thrown up, covered on the
212 THE LOST CAUSE.
lianks by marshy ground ; and here the Confederates to^k position to dis-
pute the enemy's advance. But the marshes were found lO be practicable.
The Federals advanced with flanking cokiums debouching to the riglit and
left. Their overwhelming numbers literally crowded upon and crushed
our battery of three tield-pieces on the left,* while at the same time the
enemy passed through the cypress swamp, which Col. Shaw thought im-
practicable, and turned the right flank. The order was given to spike the
guns in the battery, and retreat to the northern end of the island. The
Confederates were followed up to the shore, slowly and cautiously, by the
enemy. Some eff'ected their escape in boats, which were quickly towed
away by a steamer ; but the bulk of the command was captured, includ-
ing two boats conveying the wounded, which were compelled to return by
tlie enemy's fire.
The capture of the island was immediately followed by the pursuit of
the Confederate gunboats. A squadron, consisting of fourteen gunboats,
was detached for that purpose, and, on the lOtli of February, found the
remaining Confederate vessels drawn up in line in the narrow channel
which leads up to Elizabeth City. After a brief and desultory engage-
ment, the crews of the Confederate gunboats, after setting fire to the ves-
sels, abandoned tlieni, and fled for the shore. Thus was the disaster of
lloanoke Island complete. The Confederates had lost in all the actions
but twenty-three killed and fifty-eight wounded. But the disaster in other
respects was great. The enemy had taken six forts, forty guns, nearly two
thousand prisoners, and upwards of three thousand small arms ; secured
the water avenue of Roanoke River, navigable for one hundred and twenty
miles ; got possession of the granary and larder of Norfolk, and threatened
the back-door of that city.
The disaster of Roanoke Island dates the period when public ceusnro
towards the Richmond Government appeared to have first awakened.
Heretofore the administration of that Government had gone on almost
* In this action was killed Capt. 0. Jennings Wise, of the " Richmond Blues," a son of Geu.
Wise, a young man of brilliant promise, prominently connected with the Richmond press before the
war, and known throughout the State for his talents, chivahic bearing, and modesty of behaviour.
A correspondent furnishes the following particulars of the dc;ith of this brilliant young ofEcer :
"About ten o'clock Capt. Wise found his battalion exposed to the galhng fire of a regiment; turn-
ing to Capt. Coles, he said : ' This fire is very hot ; tell Col. Anderson we must fall back or be rein-
forced.' Capt. Coles turned to pass the order, and was shot through the heart, dying instantly. Capt.
Wise was wounded, first in the arm and next through the lungs, which latter wound brought him
U) the ground. He was borne to the hospital in charge of Surgeon Coles, and received two additional
woundu while being borne from the field. That evening Surgeon Coles put him into a boat to send
Lim to Nag's Head, but the enemy fired upon it, and he was ol)liged to return. The enemy seemed
to regret this, and treated him very kindly, taking him out of the boat on a mattress, and starting
back to the hospital. Tlie next day, about eleven o'clock a. m., he calmly and in his perfect senses,
without suffering, softly passed away. A Federal officer, standing by him and witnessing hid death,
6uid, ' There is a brave man I ' "
LOSS OF EOANOKE ISLAND. 213
without inquiry, the people presuming on the wisdom of their rulers, and
having but little curiosity to penetrate the details of their business, or to
violate that singular ofiicial reserve which was thrown around the mili-
tary condition of the Confederacy from the first gun of the war down tc
the final catastrophe. But such a disaster as that referred to, in which
improvidence stared out, and in which an army had been put, as it were,
in a mash-trap — in a condition in which it could neither hope for success
nor extricate itself from a besetting peril — provoked public inquiry, and
demanded an investigation.*
A committee was accordingly ordered in the Confederate Congress to
report upon the affair of Roanoke Island. It declared that the Secretary
of War, Mr. J. P. Benjamin, was responsible for an important defeat of
our arms, which might have been safely avoided by him ; that he had paid
no practical attention to the appeals of Gen. Wise ; and that he had, by
plain acts of omission, permitted that general and an inconsiderable force
to remain to meet at least fifteen thousand men, well armed and equipped.
No defence to this charge was ever attempted by Secretary Benjamin or
his friends ; and the unanimous conclusion of the committee, charging one
of President Davis' Cabinet with a matter of the gravest offence known to
the laws and the interests of the country, was allowed to remain on the
public record without commentary or consequence.
* The Richmond Enquirer had the following commentary on the Roanoke Island affair. It
contains a picture of Confederate improvidence, which was to be repeated at many stages of the war,
and to put our scantiness and shiftlessness in frightful contrast with the active zeal and muniiiccut
preparations of the enemy :
" On the island no preparations whatever had been made. Col. Shaw's regiment, Col. Jordan's,
and three companies of Col. Marten's regiment, had been on the island for months. These regiments
numbered, all present, one thousand nine hundred and fourteen. Of these, about one thousand
seven hundred were soldiers. There were four hundred and fifty absent and sick, leaving one thou-
sand two hundred and fifty for all duty. From these, five batteries had to be manned, leaving, on
the morning of the eighth, only eight hundred and three North Carolina infantry reported for duty.
These had not been paid, or clothed, or fed, or drilled. The island had no implements for the la-
bour on the works, no teams but two pair of broken-down mules, and no horses for field-artillery.
There were but three pieces of field-artillery — one twenty-four pounder, one eighteen pounder, and
one brass howitzer — the mules drew the latter, and the men the heavier pieces through the sand.
There was only twelve-pounder ammunition for any of the large pieces. The forts, built on the
island before Gen. Wise was assigned to the command, were all in the wrong places — at the north
end of the island — leaving all the landings on the south end uncovered by a single battery. No
breastworks had been made, and there were no tools to make an}' — the marshes at the south end of
tha island had no defensive works upon them. But oue steam-tug and two barges were provided,
and there were no means of retreat either by tugs or ferry. Thus it will be seen there were provided
no means of d?''9uce, and still less of escape, though timely notice and a providential warning of
tw3nty-five days had been given."
TBUE OAtrSES OF THE CONFEDERATE DISASTERS IN THE SECOND TEAR OF THE WAR. -THB
enemy's " ANACONDA PLAN." — REBUKES TO THE VANITY OF THE CONFEDERATES. -THK
SUM OF THEIR DISASTERS. INAUGURATION OF THE PERMANENT GOVERNMENT OF THE
CONFEDERATE STATES. GLOOMY SCENE IN CAPITOL SQUARE. PRESIDENT DAVIs' SPEECH.
— COMMENTARY OF A RICHMOND JOURNAL. CAUSES OF POPULAR ANIMATION IN THE CON-
FEDERACY. DEVELOPMENT OF THE ENEMY's DESIGN UPON SLAVERY. HISTORY OF THE
ANTI-SLAVERY MEASURES OF LINCOLN'S ADMINISTRATION — HIS EARLY DECLARATION OF
NON-INTERFERENCE WITH SLAVERY. MR. SEWARD IN 1860. LINCOLN'S STATEMENT,
MARCH 4tH, 1861. DIPLOMATIC DECLARATION, APRIL, 1861. EARLY AFFECTATIONS OF
Lincoln's administration on the subject of slavery. — m'clellan's address. —
m'dOWELl's order. — revocation of the emancipation measured of FREMONT AND
HUNTER. FIRST ACT OF ANTI-SLAVERY LEGISLATION AT WASHINGTON. LOVEJOY's RESO-
LUTION. THE ANTI-SLAVERY CLAUSE IN THE CONFISCATION ACT. — THREE NOTABLE MEAS-
URES OF ANTI-SLAVERY LEGISLATION. — COMMENCEMENT OF THE EMANCIPATION POLICY IN
THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. EXPLANATION OF THE ASCENDANCY OF THE ABOLITION
PARTY DURING THE WAR. — THE NEW CONFEDERATE CONGRESS. ITS VIGOUR. — THE OLD
PROVISIONAL CONGRESS. ITS MEASURES. — ITS ECHOES TO FEDERAL LEGISLATION. THE
SEQUESTRATION LAW. — SILLY AND DEMAGOGICAL MILITARY LEGISLATION. THE " SIXTY
days' FURLOUGH " LAW. — ALARM OF GEN. JOHNSTON. — INDISPOSITION OF CONFEDERATE
VOLUNTEERS TO RE-ENLIST. — THE CONSCRIPTION LAW OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES. — ITS
TIMELY PASSAGE. ITS PROVISIONS AND EFFECT. — OTHER MILITARY ACTS OF THE CONFED-
ERATE CONGRESS. — RE-ORGANIZATION OF THE ARMY. DESTRUCTION OF SOUTHERN COT-
TON AND TOBACCO. AUTHORIZATION OF PARTISAN SERVICE. — ALTERNATIONS OF CONFED-
ERATE VICTORY AND DEFEAT. — THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. BATTLE OF ELK HORN. VAN
DORN's COMMAND. AN OBSTINATE FIGHT. DEATH OF m'cULLOCH. — THE CONFEDERATE
SUCCESS INDECISIVE AND IMPERFECT. — REASONS FOR VAN DORN's RETREAT. — CONFED-
ERATE DESIGNS UPON MISSOURI ABANDONED FOB THE PRESENT. TRANSFER OF VAN
DORN's and price's FORCES. — NAVAL FIGHT IN HAMPTON ROADS. THE VIRGINIA AND
THE MONITOR. LACK OF NAVAL ENTERPRISE IN THE CONFEDERACY. THE PRIVATEER
SERVICE. — CONSTRUCTION OF THE VIRGINIA. CONFEDERATE SQUADRON IN THE JAMES
RIVER. — FEDERAL FLEET OFF FORTRESS MONROE. FEARFUL ENTERPRISE OF THE VIR-
GINIA. SINKING OF THE CUJIBERLAND. GALLANTRY OF HER CREW. A THRILLING
SCENE OF HEROIC DEVOTION. SURRENDER OF THE CONGRESS. FRIGHTFUL SCENES OF
CARNAGE. PERFIDIOUS CONDUCT OF THE ENEMY. — THE VIRGINIA ENGAGES THE MINNE-
SOTA. WONDERFUL RESULTS OF THE FIRST DAY'S FIGHT. SECOND DAY's FIGHT. APPA-
RITION OF THE MONITOR. A SINGULAR SCENE OF NAVAL COMBAT. A DRAWN BATTLE. — ■
CONFEDERATE DISASTERS. 2l5
EXCITEMENT ABOUT IHON VESSELS. — DISCUSSION IN THE NEWSPAPERS. — ADDITION OF IBON-
CLADS TO THE FEDERAL NAVY. — WHAT m'cLELLAN TnOUGHT OF THE VIRGINIA.— CAPTURB
OF NEWBERN, &C. OBJE'CTS OF BURNSIDe's EXPEDITION. BRANCH'S COMiMAND AT NEW-
BERX. THE CONFEDERATE WORKS ON THE NEUSE RIVER. — RETREAT OF BRANCH. FED-
ERAL OCCUPATION, OF NEWBERN. — CAPTURE OF FORT MACON. THE ENTIRE COASI OF
NORTH CAROLINA IN THE POSSESSION OF THE ENEMY. THE SEA-COAST AN UNIMPORTANT
TART OF THE CONFEDERATE DEFENCES.
The series of disasters that befel the Confederates in tlie earlj month?
of 1862, may be distinctly and sufBciently traced to human causes. In-
stead of being ascribed to the mysterious dispensations of Providence, they
are more properly named as the results of human mismanagement. Tho
first important defeat of the Federal arms on the plains of Manassas was the
initial point with the North of an enlarged scheme of war, and it was now
simply giving proof of its " Anaconda Plan," and realizing the natural
result of those immense preparations it had made by sea and land, to con-
found its adversary.
The rebukes which were now being administered to the vaingloriousness
of the South were neither few nor light. The Confederates had been
worsted in almost every engagement tliat had occurred since the fall of
1861. There had come disaster after disaster, culminating in the fall of
Donelson, the occupation of Nashville, the breaking of our centre, the fall-
ing back on all sides, the realization of invasion, the imminence of perils
which no one dared to name.
No one who lived in Richmond during the war can ever forget these
gloomy, miserable days. In the midst of them was to occur the ceremony
of the inauguration of the Permanent Government of the Confederate
States. It was only a diiference of name between two governments, one
called Provisional and the other Permanent ; for Mr. Davis had been
unanimously elected President, and there was no change either of the
organic law or of the personnel of the Administration. But the ceremony
of the second inauguration of President Davis was one of deep interest to
the public ; for it was supposed that he might use the occasion to develop
a new policy and to reanimate the people. The 22d of February, the day
appointed for the inauguration, was memorable for its gloom in Pichmond.
Hain fell in torrents, and the heavens seemed to be hung with sable. Yet
a dense crowd collected, braving the rain-storm in their eager interest to
hear the President's speech from the steps of the Capi^)l. " It M'as then,"
said a Richmond paper, " that all eyes were turned to our Chief ; that we
lumg upon his lips, hushing the beating of our heavy hearts that we might
catch the word of fire we longed to hear — that syllable of sympathy of
which a nation in distress stands so in need. One sentence then of defiance
and of cheer — something bold, and warm, and human — had sent a thrill
of lightning through the land, and set it ablaze with the fresh and quench-
216 THE LOST CAUSE.
less flame of renewed and never-ending fight. That sentence never camei
The people were left to themselves."
The Confederate President offered bnt little of counsel or encourage-
ment to his distressed countrymen. lie declared that the magnified pro-
Dortioiis of the war had occasioned serious disasters, -find that tlie effort
was impossible to protect the whole of the territoiy of the Confederate
States, sea-board and inland. To the popular complaint of inefficiency in
the departments of the Government, he replied that they had done all
which human power and foresight enabled them to accomplish. He lifted
up, in conclusion, a piteous, beautiful, appropriate prayer for the favour of
But it is not to be supposed that the people of the Confederacy, al-
though so little cheered or sustained by their rulers, despaired of the war.
There were causes, which were rekindling the fiercest flames of war aj)art
from official inspiration at Richmond. The successes of the enemy had
but made him more hateful, and strengthened the South in the determina-
tion to have done with him forever. They found new causes of animosity ;
the war had been brought home to their bosoms ; they had obtained prac-
tical lessons of the enemy's atrocity and his insolent design ; and they
came to the aid of their Government with new power and a generosity that