THE BLUE AND THE GRAY - AFLOAT
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TAKEN BY THE ENEMY
WITHIN THE ENEMY'S LINES
ON THE BLOCKADE
STAND BY THE UNION
FIGHTING FOR THE RIGHT
A VICTORIOUS UNION
THE BLUE AND THE GRAY - ON LAND
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BROTHER AGAINST BROTHER
IN THE SADDLE (In Press)
A LIEUTENANT AT EIGHTEEN (In Press)
(Other volumes in preparation)
Any Volume Sold Separately.
Lee and Shepard Publishers Boston
[Illustration: "Christy leaped upon the rail." Page 181.]
BLUE AND THE GRAY
By Oliver Optic
A VICTORIOUS UNION
_The Blue and the Gray Series_
A VICTORIOUS UNION
"The Army And Navy Series" "Young America Abroad,
First And Second Series" "The Great Western Series"
"The Woodville Stories" "The Starry Flag Series"
"The Boat-Club Stories" "The Onward and Upward Series"
"The Yacht-Club Series" "The Lake Shore Series"
"The Riverdale Stories" "The Boat-Builder Series"
"Taken by the Enemy" "Within the Enemy's Lines"
"On the Blockade" "Stand By the Union"
"Fighting for the Right" "A Missing Million"
"A Millionaire at Sixteen" "A Young Knight-Errant"
"Strange Sights Abroad" etc.
LEE AND SHEPARD Publishers
10 Milk Street
Copyright, 1893, by Lee and Shepard
_All Rights Reserved_
A Victorious Union
Type-Setting and Electrotyping by
C. J. Peters & Son, Boston
S. J. Parkhill & Co., Printers, Boston
To My Friend
FRANK L. HARRIS
Who came from the cold of the Arctic regions, where he
was a member of the Hayes expedition, and went
into the heat of the War of the Rebellion,
serving as a Naval officer
until the end of the strife,
To whom I am greatly indebted for much valuable
information relating to his profession,
Is Gratefully Dedicated.
"A VICTORIOUS UNION" is the sixth and last of "The Blue and the Gray
Series." While the volume is not intended to be a connected historical
narrative of the particular period of the War of the Rebellion in which
its scenes are laid, the incidents accurately conform to the facts,
and especially to the spirit, of the eventful years in which they are
placed, as recorded in the chronicles of the great struggle, and as they
exist in the memory of the writer. It is more than thirty years since
the war began, and thousands upon thousands of the active participants
in the strife as soldiers and sailors, including nearly all the great
commanders, have passed on to their eternal reward. Thousands upon
thousands of men and women have been born and reached their maturity
since the most tremendous war of modern times ended in A Victorious
Union. The knowledge of the stirring events of those four years of
conflict, and of the patriotic spirit which inspired and underlaid
them, has come, or will come, to at least one-half the population
of this vast nation of sixty-five millions from the printed page or
through the listening ear. The other moiety, more or less, either as
children or adults, lived in the period of action, saw the gathering
battalions, and heard or read the daily reports from the ensanguined
In some of the States that remained loyal to the Union throughout the
long struggle, a military parade had been regarded by many as something
very much in the nature of a circus display, as "fuss and feathers,"
such as tickled the vanity of both officer and private. Military
organizations, except in our small regular army, were disparaged and
ridiculed. When the war came, the Northern people were unprepared for
it to a very great degree. The change of public opinion was as sudden
as the mighty event was precipitate. Then the soldier became the most
prominent and honored member of the community, and existing military
bodies became the nucleus of the armies that were to fight the battles
of the Republic.
During the last thirty years the military spirit has been kept alive as
a constituent element of patriotism itself. The love of country has been
diligently fostered and nurtured in the young, and public opinion has
been voiced and energized in the statutes of many States, and in the
educational machinery of many municipalities. Over vast numbers of
schoolhouses in our land floats the American flag, the symbol of the
Union and the principles that underlie it.
The flag, the banner now of a reunited nation, means something more than
the sentiment of loyalty to the Union as the home of freedom; for it
implies the duty of defending the honor of that flag, the representative
idea of all we hold dear in Fatherland. In the East and the West a
considerable proportion of the high schools make military tactics a part
of their educational course. Companies, battalions, and regiments of
young men in their teens parade the streets of some of our cities,
showing in what manner the military spirit is kept alive, and, at the
same time, how the flag floating over our educational institutions,
which means so much more than ever before to our people, is to be
defended and perpetuated in the future.
The author of the six volumes of "The Blue and the Gray Series," as well
as of "The Army and Navy Series," the latter begun in the heat of the
war thirty years ago, earnestly believes in keeping active in the minds
of the young the spirit of patriotism. In the present volume, as in
those which have preceded it, he has endeavored to present to his
readers, not only a hero who is brave, skilful, and ready to give his
life for his country, but one who is unselfishly patriotic; one who is
not fighting for promotion and prize-money, but to save the Union in
whose integrity and necessity he believes as the safeguard and substance
of American liberty.
Peace has reigned in our land for nearly thirty years, and the
asperities of a relentless war have been supplanted by better and more
brotherly relations between the North and the South. The writer would
not print a word that would disturb these improving conditions; and if
he has erred at all in picturing the intercourse between Americans as
enemies, he has made sure to do so in the interests of justice and
magnanimity on both sides.
In the series of which this volume is the last, the author has confined
his narrative of adventures to the navy. It has been suggested to him
that another series, relating exclusively to incidents in the army,
should follow. After forty years of labor in this particular field, and
having already exhausted the threescore and ten of human life, he cannot
be assured that he will live long enough to complete such a series,
though still in excellent health; but he intends to make a beginning
of the work as soon as other engagements will permit.
William T. Adams.
Dorchester, March 16, 1893.
The Mission to Mobile Point 15
The Departure of the Expedition 26
A Bivouac near Fort Morgan 37
The Revelations of the Revellers 48
In the Vicinity of the Confederate Fort 59
Captain Sullendine of the West Wind 70
A Powerful Ally of the Belleviters 81
On Board of the Cotton Schooner 92
The Departure of the Tallahatchie 103
The Casting off of the Towline 114
A Happy Return to the Bellevite 125
A Lively Chase to the South-West 136
The First Shot of Blumenhoff 147
The Progress of the Action 158
A Flank Movement Undertaken 169
The Lieutenant's Daring Exploit 180
A Magnanimous Enemy 191
The Reign of Christianity 202
Colonel Homer Passford of Glenfield 213
A Very Melancholy Confederate 224
Captain Sullendine Becomes Violent 225
The Disposition of the Two Prizes 246
The Welcome Home at Bonnydale 257
Lieutenant-Commander Christopher Passford 268
The Principal Officers of the St. Regis 279
The St. Regis in Commission 290
Captain Passford Alone in his Glory 301
Off the Coast of North Carolina 312
The First Prize of the St. Regis 323
Another Sailing Contest Inaugurated 334
A Victorious Union 345
A VICTORIOUS UNION
THE MISSION TO MOBILE POINT
"I almost wish you were the second or the third lieutenant of the
Bellevite, instead of the executive officer, Christy," said Captain
Breaker, the commander of the steamer, as they were seated together
one day on the quarter-deck.
"Do I fail in the discharge of my duty in my present position, Captain?"
asked Christy, very much astonished, not to say startled, at the remark
of the commander.
"Not in the slightest degree, my dear boy!" returned Captain Breaker
with very decided emphasis. "You have served in your present capacity
for four months; and if you were fifty years old, and had twenty years
of naval experience behind you, it would be hardly possible for you to
be more correct and dignified in the performance of the details of your
"I thank you, Captain, for the partial view you take of what I have
done," added Christy, taking off his cap and bowing to his superior.
"Well, you ought to be a good officer in any situation, my dear fellow,"
continued the commander. "I doubt if there is another officer in the
navy who has enjoyed the advantages you have had in preparing himself
for the duties of his profession. You were brought up, so to say, on
board of the Bellevite. You were a good scholar in the first place.
Without including myself, you have had excellent teachers in every
department of science and philosophy, among whom your father was one
of the wisest. Poor Dashington was one of the best seamen that ever trod
a deck; and he took especial delight in showing you how to make every
knot and splice, as well as in instructing you in the higher details of
practical seamanship. Blowitt and myself assisted him, and old Boxie,
who gave his life to his country, was more than a grandfather to you."
"I have certainly been very grateful to you and to them for all they did
for me," replied Christy with a sad expression on his handsome face as
the commander recalled the three shipmates of both of them who slept in
"Perhaps the brilliant genius of our engine-room did quite as much for
you as any other person, though not many years your senior."
"Paul Vapoor is my friend and crony; and if he had been my professor in
a college he could have done no more for me. I assure you, Captain, that
I keep alive my gratitude to all my instructors, including some you have
"I was only explaining why you are what you ought to be, for you have
had very exceptional opportunities, better by far than any other officer
in the service. But it is altogether to your credit that you have used
those opportunities wisely and well."
"I should have been a blockhead if I had not."
"That is very true; but the mournful wrecks of wasted opportunities
strew the tracks of many, many young men. I think you can look back
upon as few of them as any one within my knowledge," said the commander,
bestowing a look of genuine affection upon his chief officer. "More than
once, even before we entered upon this terrible war, I have told your
father how happy he ought to be in having such a son as you are."
"Come, come, Captain Breaker, you are praising me!" exclaimed Christy
"I am speaking only the simple truth, and I have very rarely said as
much as I say now. It was when you asked me if you had failed in the
discharge of the duties of your present position that I was led into
this line of remark; and I am sure you will not be spoiled by honest
and just praise," replied the captain.
"Then, to go back to the point where you began, why do you almost wish
that I were second or third lieutenant, instead of executive officer,
of the Bellevite, Captain?" continued Christy, rising from his seat, and
fixing an earnest gaze upon the face of the commander, for he was very
sensitive, and he could not help feeling that he had been lacking in
something that would make him a better executive officer than he was.
"Mr. Ballard, the second lieutenant, and Mr. Walbrook, the third, are
gentlemen of the highest grade, and excellent officers; but they are
both somewhat wanting in dash and cool impetuosity."
"'Cool impetuosity' is very good, Captain," added Christy with a laugh.
"But that is precisely what I mean, my boy, and no two words could
express the idea any better. You cannot carry an enemy by boarding with
the same precision you man the yards on a ceremonious occasion, or as a
regiment of soldiers go on dress parade. It requires vim, dash, spirit.
The officers named have this quality in a very considerable degree, yet
not enough of it. But what they lack more is ingenuity, fertility in
expedients, and the expansive view which enables them to take advantage
promptly of circumstances. You never lose your head, Christy."
"I never knew the gentlemen named to lose their heads, and I have always
regarded them as model officers," replied the first lieutenant.
"And so they are: you are quite right, my dear boy; but it is possible
for them to be all you say, and yet, like the young man of great
possessions in the Scripture, to lack one thing. I should not dare to
exchange my second and third lieutenants for any others if I had the
"I confess that I do not understand you yet, Captain."
The commander rose from his seat, stretched himself, and then looked
about the deck. Taking his camp-stool in his hand he carried it over to
the port side of the quarter-deck, and planted it close to the bulwarks.
The second lieutenant was the officer of the deck, and was pacing the
planks on the starboard side, while the lookouts in the foretop and on
the top-gallant forecastle were attending closely to their duty,
doubtless with a vision of more prize money floating through their
The Bellevite, with the fires banked in the furnaces, was at anchor
off the entrance to Mobile Bay, about two miles east of Sand Island
Lighthouse, and the same distance south of the narrow neck of land on
the western extremity of which Fort Morgan is located. Her commander had
chosen this position for a purpose; for several weeks before, while the
Bellevite was absent on a special mission, a remarkably fast steamer
called the Trafalgar had run the blockade inward.
Captain Passford, Senior, through his agents in England, had some
information in regard to this vessel, which he had sent to Captain
Breaker. Unlike most of the blockade-runners built for this particular
service, she had been constructed in the most substantial manner for an
English millionaire, who had insisted that she should be built as strong
as the best of steel could make her, for he intended to make a voyage
around the world in her.
Unfortunately for the owner of the Trafalgar, who was a lineal
descendant of a titled commander in that great naval battle, he fell
from his horse in a fox chase, and was killed before the steamer was
fully completed. His heir had no taste for the sea, and the steamer was
sold at a price far beyond her cost; and the purchaser had succeeded in
getting her into Mobile Bay with a valuable cargo. She was of about
eight hundred tons burden, and it was said that she could steam twenty
knots an hour. She was believed to be the equal of the Alabama and the
Shenandoah. The Bellevite had been especially notified not to allow the
Trafalgar to escape. She had recently had her bottom cleaned, and her
engine put in perfect order for the service expected of her, for she was
the fastest vessel on the blockade.
When Captain Breaker had assured himself that he was out of hearing of
the officer of the deck, he invited Christy to take a seat at his side.
He spoke in a low tone, and was especially careful that no officer
should hear him.
"Perhaps I meddle with what does not concern me, Christy; but I cannot
help having ideas of my own," said the commander, when he was satisfied
that no one but the executive officer could hear him. "There is Fort
Morgan, with Fort Gaines three miles from it on the other side of the
channel. Mobile Point, as it is called at this end of the neck, extends
many miles to the eastward. It is less than two miles wide where it is
broadest, and not over a quarter of a mile near Pilot Town."
"I have studied the lay of the land very carefully, for I have had some
ideas of my own," added Christy, as the commander paused.
"If Fort Morgan had been Fort Sumter, with bad memories clinging to it,
an effort would have been made to capture it, either by bombardment by
the navy, or by regular approaches on the part of the army," continued
Captain Breaker. "They are still pounding away at Fort Sumter, because
there would be a moral in its capture and the reduction of Charleston,
for the war began there. Such an event would send a wave of rejoicing
through the North, though it would be of less real consequence than the
opening of Mobile Bay and the cleaning out of the city of Mobile. Except
Wilmington, it is the most pestilent resort for blockade-runners on the
"Then you think Fort Morgan can be reduced from the land side?" asked
Christy, deeply interested in the conversation.
"I have little doubt of it; and while I believe Farragut will resort to
his favorite plan of running by the forts here, as he has done by those
of the Mississippi, the army will be planted in the rear of both these
forts. As we have lain here for months, I have studied the situation,
and I want to know something more about the land on the east of Mobile
"I should say that it would be easy enough to obtain all the information
you desire in regard to it," suggested Christy.
"There is an unwritten tradition that the commander must not leave his
ship to engage in any duty of an active character, and I cannot explore
the vicinity of the fort myself."
"But you have plenty of officers for such duty."
"I have no doubt there are pickets, and perhaps a camp beyond the rising
ground, and the exploration would be difficult and dangerous. The two
officers I have mentioned before lack the dash and ingenuity such an
enterprise requires; and a blunder might involve me in difficulty, for
I have no orders to obtain the information I desire."
"The officers named are prudent men within reasonable limits."
"They are; but I would give up my idea rather than trust either of them
with this duty," replied Captain Breaker very decidedly. "But I have a
further and nearer object in this exploration; in fact, examining the
ground would be only secondary."
"What is the real object, Captain?" asked the first lieutenant, his
curiosity fully awakened.
"I feel that it will be necessary to use extraordinary efforts to
capture the Trafalgar, for no steamer of her alleged speed has ever run
into or out of Mobile Bay. After I informed the flag-officer in regard
to her, which your father's information enabled me to do, the Bellevite
was especially charged with the duty of capturing her, if she had to
chase her all over the world."
"I have not much doubt that you will do it, Captain."
"I mean to do so if possible. Now these blockade-runners usually anchor
near the lower fleet, or under the guns of the fort in five fathoms of
water. Sometimes they remain there two or three days, waiting for a
favorable opportunity to run out. Perhaps the Trafalgar is there now.
I wish to know about it."
"I infer that you consider me fitted for this duty, Captain Breaker,"
said Christy earnestly.
"For that reason only I almost wished you were second or third
lieutenant, rather than first," replied the commander with some
earnestness in his manner.
There was no unwritten tradition that the first lieutenant should not be
sent on any duty.
THE DEPARTURE OF THE EXPEDITION
The conversation between the captain and the executive officer of the
Bellevite was continued till they were called to supper; but a decision
had been reached. On important occasions, as when several boats were
ordered upon an expedition, it was not unusual to send the first
lieutenant in command. Though only a single whaleboat would be required
for the enterprise in which the commander was so deeply interested, its
importance appeared to justify the selection of the executive officer to
conduct it; and Christy was directed to suit himself.
Of course the expedition was to be sent out at night, for the cover of
the darkness was necessary to render it effectual. In the afternoon the
wind had come around to the south-west, and already a slight fog had
obscured the Sand Island Lighthouse. It promised to be such a night as
a blockade-runner would select for getting to sea.
Christy was especially warned that the principal business of his
expedition was to obtain information in regard to the Trafalgar, though
it was probable that a new name had been given to her for the service
in which she was to be engaged. The examination of the surroundings of
the fort, the captain strongly impressed upon his mind, was entirely
subsidiary to the discovery of the intending blockade-runner. In fact,
the commander seemed to have serious doubts as to whether it was proper
for him even to reconnoitre without special orders for the use of the
It was several months that Christy had been on board of the Bellevite in
his present capacity, and he had become very well acquainted with all
the petty officers and seamen of the ship's company, now composed of one
hundred and twenty men. After he had finished his supper he walked about
the spar-deck to refresh his memory by a sight at all of the men, and
selected those who were to take part in his enterprise.
One of the first persons he encountered in his promenade was the third
assistant engineer, Charles Graines, whom he had known as a boy, before
the war. He was not only a machinist, but a sailor, having served in
both capacities, though now only twenty-five years of age. Through his
father Christy had procured his appointment as an engineer, and his
assignment to the Bellevite. The young man was exceedingly grateful to
him for this service, and entirely devoted to him.
Paul Vapoor, the chief engineer, spoke of Graines in the highest terms,
not only in his official capacity, but as a high-toned, patriotic, and
thoroughly reliable man. The moment the executive officer put his eye on
the assistant engineer, he decided that Graines should be his right-hand
man. As a matter of precaution the proposed expedition was to be a
profound secret, for there were white men and negroes about the deck who
had been picked up in various ways, and were retained till they could be
disposed of. They could not be trusted, and doubtless some of them were
Confederates at heart, if not engaged in secret missions.
Christy invited Graines to the ward room for a conference. There were
several officers there, and they retired to the stateroom of the first
lieutenant, which is the forward one on the starboard side. The plan,
as it had been matured in the mind of the one appointed to carry it
out, was fully explained, and the engineer was delighted to be chosen to
take part in its execution. The selection of the seamen to compose the
expedition was not an easy matter, though every sailor on board would