John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott.

The history of the Civil War in America : comprising a full and impartial account of the origin and progress of the rebellion, of the various naval and military engagements, of the heroic deeds performed by armies and individuals, and of touching scenes in the field, the camp, the hospital, and the online

. (page 1 of 66)
Online LibraryJohn S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) AbbottThe history of the Civil War in America : comprising a full and impartial account of the origin and progress of the rebellion, of the various naval and military engagements, of the heroic deeds performed by armies and individuals, and of touching scenes in the field, the camp, the hospital, and the → online text (page 1 of 66)
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A.LIN O L N



THE HISTORY

OF THE

CIVIL WAR IN AMERICA ;

COMPRISING A FULL AND IMPARTIAL ACCOUNT OP THE

ORIGIN AND PROGRESS OF THE REBELLION,

OF TITE VARIOUS

NAYAL AND MILITARY ENGAGEMENTS,

OF THE

Heroic Deeds Performed by Annies and Individuals,

ANT) OF

TOUCHING SCENES IS THE FIELD, THE CAMP, THE HOSPITAL, AND THE CABIN.

BY JOHN S. C. ABBOTT,



AUTHOR OF " LIFE OF NAPOLEON," " HISTORY OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION," " MONARCHIES OF CONTINENTAL EUROPE," &C

ILLUSTRATED WITH MAPS, DIAGRAMS, AND NUMEROUS STEEL ENGRAVINGS OF

BATTLE SCENES,

FROM ORIGINAL DESIGNS BY BARLEY, AND OTHER EMINENT ARTISTS,

AND PORTRAITS OF DISTINGUISHED MEN.

VOL. I.

SOLID OIsTZLTST B^ST IDISTRIBTJTIKrO .A^GKEISTTS.

NEW YORK:

PUBLISHED BY HENRY BILL.

1864.



Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1863. by
HENEY BILL, GURDON BILL, AND LEDYAlil) BILL.

In the Clerk s Office of the District Court of the United States for tlio District of Connecticut



ELECTROTYPE!! BT PRINTED BY

SMITH feMcDOTTGAL. . A . A L V O R D

S2 fe S4 BKEKMA.X ST. 15 VA.NDEWATEK ST.



LOAN STACK
GIFT



v,



PEEFACE.

FROM the commencement of our Government there have been two
antagonistic principles contending for the mastery Slavery and Freedom.
In the very heart of our democracy, the element of the most haughty
and intolerant aristocracy has been nurtured, by the institution of human
bondage. The most repulsive features of the old European feudalism have
thus been transplanted into our Republic. The slaveholders, accustomed
to despotic power over, the wretched serfs, whom they have driven, by
the lash, to till their soil, have assumed a sort of baronial arrogance over
all men who do not own slaves, and have claimed to be the only gentle
men, and the legitimate rulers of this land. But freedom has outstripped
slavery in this race. And, consequently, the slaveholders, unreconciled
to the loss of supremacy, strive to destroy the temple of liberty, wish
ing to raise themselves into lords and potentates, over the ruin of their
country.

The conflict in which our nation is now involved, is simply a desperate
struggle, on the part of the slaveholders, to retain, by force of arms, that
domination in the government of this Republic, which they had so long
held, and which, by the natural operation of the ballot-box, they were
slowly but surely losing. We have here, simply the repetition of that
great conflict, which, for ages, has agitated our globe the conflict between
aristocratic usurpation and popular rights. The battle has assumed the
most momentous attitude, since it arrays, on either side, all the intel
lectual and material energies developed by the nineteenth century.

It is impossible for one to write the history of this strife and not incur
the censure of one or the other of these parties, so implacably arrayed
against each other. There are many in the North, who are in cordial
sympathy with the slaveholding aristocracy, and who would gladly se^



iv PREFACE,

their principles triumphant over this whole land. All such will denounce
these pages. The writer is by no means an indifferent spectator of this
conflict. The fundamental article in his political, philanthropic and reli
gious creed is the brotherhood of man. The disposition on the part of
the rich to trample upon the poor, and of the strong to crush the weak,
is alike execrable in its origin and in all its manifestations. This slave-
holding rebellion against the rights of humanity, is the greatest crime of
earth. In recording its events, candor does not demand that one should
so ingeniously construct his narrative, as to make no distinction between
virtue and vice. The impartiality of history does not require that the
treason of Arnold and the patriotism of Washington, should be alike
recorded, without commendation or censure.

The writer has, however, endeavored, as a historian, to maintain the
most scrupulous honesty. Not a sentence would he willingly allow to
escape his pen, distorted by untruthfulness or exaggeration. He has a
story to tell of infamous crime, and of noble virtues. He wishes to tell
it so truthfully, with such candor, with such expressions of abhorrence of
foul treason, and such commendations of patriotic self-sacrifice, as w r ill
afford him pleasure to reflect upon, not merely through his brief remain
ing earthly career, but through all the ages of his immortality. He has
never allowed himself to consider the question whether a particular state
ment would please or displease this or that party. His only object has
been faithfully to pen such historic truth as is worthy of record.

The slaveholding rebels demanded that the Constitution of the United
States, with its respect for the inalienable rights of man, should be repu
diated, and that a new Constitution, with slavery as its corner stone,
should be adopted in its stead. The South, overawed by a reign of
terror, has seemingly gone as one man, in this demand. .There are two-
parties at the North. The one party is in favor of yielding to this
demand. They say that thus the war might have been averted, and may
now be ended ; that the South may thus be brought back, and the Union
cemented anew. The other party say that we should be false to God
and man, thus to sacrifice the rights of humanity ; and that the vengeance
of Heaven will justly fall upon us if we, at the dictation of slaveholders,
convert our free Eepublic into the great bulwark of slavery. If free
Americans prove recreant, in this hour of trial, and for the sake of a



PREFACE. v

hollow and transient peace, bow their necks to the joke of aristocratic
intolerance, and enthrone despotism in our land, there is an end, for ages
to come, of all hope of free institutions.

There are some who say that war is the greatest of calamities, and
that we had, therefore, better let the slaveholders have their own way,
either to take the control of the government, or to secede, and to establish
such boundaries as they may please. This is the dotage of amiability.
There is not an intelligent man, North or South, who does not know that
separation is eternal war. Who shall fix the boundaries ? Who shall
have Washington ? Who shall have Missouri, Maryland, Delaware, Ken
tucky, Tennessee, Texas, and the mouths of the Mississippi ? Shall we
say to the slaveholders, that they may take what they please ? We must
say this, or we must fight.

And suppose a division were made, to which each party, exhausted
by the war, would, for the moment, reluctantly consent. How is it
possible that two hostile nations, with institutions inveterately antago
nistic, should live in peace, side by side, with no natural barriers or boun
daries touching each other along a line of more than three thousand miles,
from the Atlantic to the Pacific. There are vast navigable rivers, rising in
the one domain, and opening into the ocean through the other. On the one
side there is freedom, with all its ennobling institutions sustained by free
speedy a free pulpit and a free press with universal education, and
labor honored, and equality of rights for rich and poor. On the other
side there is slavery, with its debasing associate institutions of compulsory
ignorance, and slave marts, .and overseers lashes, with wide-spread-igno
rance the pulpit, the press and speech, all being gagged by the most
unrelenting despotism. Slaves are escaping from the one realm pursued
by their masters with shotted guns and bloodhounds. In the other they
are received with Christian sympathy. Their w r ounds are washed, their
fetters filed off, and their famished bodies fed, while baying bloodhounds
and human monsters still more ferocious, are driven back to their own
dark realm, gnashing their teeth with rage as they cry out, "You are
stealing our property." Is it possible that two such nations can live in
peace, without even a hill or rivulet to separate them? There is not an
intelligent man in America who dreams of it.

The ringleaders of the rebellion never entertained the idea, for a single



vi P KEF ACE.

moment, that secession was thus to leave two equal nations, side by side.
Secession was merely the mode through which the whole of the United
States, with perhaps the exception of New England, was to be trans
formed from a free republic into a great slaveholding oligarchy. New
England was to be left out, power so feeble, that it could be chastised

whenever the slaveholders deemed that it merited chastisement. There



are but two alternatives before us. Peaceful separation is a dream, which
an amiable girl may cherish, but wlrlcli no intelligent man, North or
South, deems to be a permanent possibility. Either slavery must be the
dominant power on this Continent or freedom. The rebels having failed
to carry their point at the ballot-box, have appealed to the sword.

A more delicate task than the writing of this History can not w r ell be
imagined. Nearly all the prominent actors are still living. Jealousy,
and probably, in many cases, impartial judgment will declare, that too
great merit has been ascribed to some, while not sufficient eminence has
been given to others. The most scrupulous conscientiousness will not pro
tect from such errors.

In reference to the descriptions of battles, the course of the writer
has been to omit those minute and complicated details, which even the
pen of a Thiers or a Napier can not make interesting to the genera]
reader, and to give the comprehensive plan which every intelligent man
can understand. A man need not be an architect, to entitle him to con
demn the bungling plan of a building. One may pronounce a speed i
as stupid and silly, though himself not an orator. One need not be a
graduate of West Point, to enable him to discern military incompetence
and folly. Military men must not take refuge behind the shield, thai
their actions are not amenable to the criticism of ordinary intelligence.
Military science is by no means that occult art which civilians can not
approach ; on the contrary, it is preeminently the science of common
sense. An intelligent community will pronounce judgment, and, in the
main, a correct judgment, upon the ability or the incompetency of its
generals. Not for one moment is the sentiment to be tolerated, that if
a boy spends four years at a military school, he attains such an elevation,
that the most cultivated and intelligent men in the land, are incapable of
dsciding whether he is a wise man or a fool.

In studying the plan and the execution of a battle, the writer has



PREFACE. vii

first carefully examined the official reports of the Union generals, and of
the rebel officers. Having thus obtained the general outline, he has then
looked, for the filling up of interesting incidents and heroic achievements,
to the graphic descriptions of army correspondents. And here he must
render his tribute of commendation and gratitude to the reporters of the
leading journals. He is constrained to say, that not unfrequently the
newspaper report has been more correct, more truthful, than the official
bulletin. A man may be a good general, and yet may give a confused
report of the conflict. The talent for vivid description is rare, combining
as it necessarily does, great command of language, and that inborn deli
cacy and sensitiveness of soul, which enables one to select the salient
points of the action, and to omit the rest. The English language may be
searched in vain for more glowing descriptions, for more gorgeous word
painting, than may be found from the pens of some of the reporters to the
leading journals of our country.

The Hon. Edward Everett once inquired of the Duke of Wellington,
respecting the battle of Waterloo. The Duke, with that singular good
sense, which ever characterized him, replied, " By comparing and study- *
ing the various descriptions of the battle, by English, French and German
writers, a man of sense can acquire a better knowledge of it, at the present
day, than any one, even the commander-in-chief, could get, at the time,
from personal observation."

The fact that a man was present at a battle does not imply necessarily
tha,t he knows much about it. The battle may rage over many square
miles. The individual combatant is perhaps confined to a very limited
space, buried in smoke, and all the energies of his soul so concentrated
upon the claims of each moment, that he has no opportunity for observa
tion. Many of the battles of this rebellion, spread through forests and
ravines, and ever hills, leagues in extent. The battle often continued
several days, the army surging to and fro. The description of the scene,
in these pages, will be read by thousands who took part in the strife, and
who, perhaps, attach exaggerated importance to their own agency, or to
the operations in that particular part of the field on which they stood.
Consequently, the narrative must be exposed to the most severe, and often
to the most unjust, ordeal of criticism.

It is always pleasant to meet with approval, and always painful to



Via PREFACE.

encounter denunciation. That man lias fallen very low who is regardless
of the good opinion of his fellow-men. But reproach can be easily borne
when the soul is sustained by the conviction of right. There never was
a clearer case of right and of wrong, than in the conflict now raging
throughout our land. The question is to be settled, and by the arbitra
ment of the sword, whether aristocratic usurpation, in its most low, vulgar
and groveling form, that of the slaveholder wielding the plantation lash,
is to be established upon the ruins of our free Constitution or whether
that glorious charter of human rights, destined to lift up all the down
trodden to dignity, culture and religion, shall make the United States
the pioneer nation in ushering in the dawn of millennial glory.*

The comprehensive maps which embellish these pages, were designed
by Mr. Ephraim Wells, of ]STew York, and engraved by Messrs. Lossing &
Barritt. The steel engravings were designed by Messrs. F. O. C. Darley,
and Wm. Mumberger, and engraved by Messrs. J. C. Buttre, J. C. McRae,
Geo. E. Ferine, S. Y. Hunt, W. G. Jackman and II. B. Hall.

JOHN S. C. ABBOTT.

NEW HAVEN, CONN., December, 1862.

* The following extract from the Cincinnati Enquirer, very frankly states the concessions
which the so-called Peace Party were ready to make, to win back the slaveholders to the Union :
" If the Southern Confederates would lay down their arms and come back again into the old
Union, we should not haggle very closely about the terms. "We are pretty good unconditional
Union men. We would be willing to repeal, for instance, all abolition personal liberty bills that
nullify the fugitive slave law. We would allow the South to take all their property, slaves
included, into the common territories of the Union, and hold it while the territorial condition
lasted. "We would not molest a slaveholder traveling with his servants and temporarily sojourning
in a free State. "We would repeal the law abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia, and we
would pass all necessary acts to prevent an interference by Northern fanatics with Southern
property of any description. All this we would give, if the rebels would lay down their arms and
come back again under the old flag, and be once more loyal members of the Union."



CONTENTS OF VOLUME L



CHAPTER I.

CAUSE OF THE CONFLICT.

PAGE

Aristocrats of the Old World. Causes of the French Revolution. American Revolution.
Speeches of Southern Senators. Roman Slavery. Southern Demands. Treatment of
Northerners in Alabama. Of Free Negroes in Slave States. The Southern Church.
Speech of Douglas. A. H. Stephens. Principle of Representation, North and South.
Declaration of Votes for President, 1861 15



CHAPTER II.

PROGRESS OF THE CONSPIRACY.

Treachery of Buchanan s Cabinet. Peace Congress. Plan of Hon. J. J. Crittenden. Num
ber of Southern Leaders. Letter of Yulee. Forts at Charleston. Raising the U. S. Flag
at Sumter. Steamer Star of the West. Journey of Mr. Lincoln. Plots for Mr. Lincoln s
Assassination. Conspirators Foiled. Speech of Jeff. Davis. Organization of Southern
Confederacy. Rebel Atrocities 42



CHAPTER III.

THE WAR COMMENCED.

Energy of the Conspirators. Views of Secessionists and Unionists. Testimony of Webster
and Clay. Ignominious Conduct of the Traitors. Inauguration of President Lincoln.
Anecdote. Fall of Sumter. Uprising of the North. Developments of Treason. Response
to the Call for 75,000 Volunteers. Noble Speech of Senator Douglas. Union of all Par
ties. Treachery of rebels in Virginia. Destruction of Gosport Navy Yard 77



CHAPTER IV.

UPRISING OF THE NORTH.

Riot in Baltimore. The Annapolis Route opened. March of the Seventh, New York. En
thusiasm of the North. Designs upon Washington. Prof. Mitchel. Extent of Treason.
Anecdotes. Attempts to burn Washington. Energy of Gen. Butler. Northern Troops.
Jacob Thompson. Patriotism of Gen. Scott. Efficiency of the President. Moral Poison.
Noble Principles of the Presid.-nt 104



X CONTENTS.

t

CHAPTER V.



THE ADVANCE INTO VIRGINIA.

PAGF

John Bell. Breckinridge. "Warlike Preparations. Taking of Alexandria. Murder of Ells
worth. Intellectual Character of the Northern Army. Col. Mallory aud Gen. Butler.

Contrabands. Southern Opinions and Conduct. McClellan on Slavery. Border States.
Philippi. Beauregard s Proclamation. Bethel. Winthrop. Greble. Balloon Telegraph.
Vienna. McClellan s Proclamation . 130



CHAPTER VI.

WAR AND ITS HORRORS.

fc

Foreign Reception of Southern Agents. Speech of A. H. Stephens. The French Lady. Call
of President Lincoln. Rich Mountain. Laurel Hill. Incidents. Fairfax C. H. Falls
Church. Traitors in the Service. Space required for an Army in Motion. Bull Run.
Blackburn s Ford. Plan of the Battle of Bull Run. Charge of the Sixty-ninth. Reenforce-
ments of the Rebels. Loss of the Battle. Rout of the Army. Abuse of the Wounded and
Dead. . . 157



CHAPTER VII.

HAMPTON, CARNIFEX FERRY, AND IIATTERAS INLET.

Recapture of the S. J. "Waring. Reinforcements. Burning of Hampton. Decree of Jeff.
Davis. Southern Despotism. Valorous Exploit. Carnifex Ferry. Petty Skirmishes.
Forts Hatteras and Clark. Secret Expedition. Bombardment of the Forts. Surrender of
Com. Barron. Capture of the Fanny by the Rebels. Conflict at the Light House 188



CHAPTER VIII.

BALL S BLUFF AND HILTON HEAD.

Repose of the Army on the Potomac. Uneasiness at the North. Mistake of the Government.
Perplexities of the Executive. Battle of Ball s Bluff. Death of Col. Baker. Skirmish at
Romney. Secret Naval Expedition. Capture of Forts at Hilton Head. Incidents. Mis
taken Policy of the Unionists. Rebel plans for the Subversion of the United Stales 211



CHAPTER IX.

THE REBELLION IN MISSOURI.

Claims of Slavery in Missouri. Steps Preparatory to Secession in Missouri. Heroism of Capt.
J. H. Stokes. Military Preparations at St. Louis. Efforts of Gen. Lyon. Capture of Camp
Jackson. Reign of Gen. Harney. Overtures of Jackson and Price. Proclamation of Jack
son. Threatening State of Affairs. Movements of Lyon. Battle of Booneville. State of
the Country. Heroism of Sigel. Battle of Carthage 239



CONTENTS. xi

CHAPTER X.

GEN. FREMONT S CAMPAIGN IN MISSOURI.

PAG!:

R ocall of Fremont from Europe, and Appointment to the Command of the "Western Depart
ment. Threatening Aspect of Affairs in Missouri. Gen. Pope in Northern Missouri.
Serious Embarrassments Crowding upon Gen. Fremont. Heroism of Gen. Lyon. Valor of
Sigel. Battle of Wilson s Creek. Death of Lyon. Tribute to the Hero of Wilson s Creek.
Skirmishes. Energy of Fremont. Proclamation. Modification by President Lincoln 258

CHAPTER XI.
GEN. FREMONT S CAMPAIGN. CONTINUED.

Far-reaching Plans of Gen. Fremont. Troubles Multiplying. His unceasing Labors. Cap
ture of Lexington. Incidents. Visit of the Secretary of War and Adjutant- General U. S. A.
Zagonyi s Heroic Dash into Springfield. Effect of the Government Order for the Re-
moval of Fremont. Fremont s Appeal to his Soldiers. His Reception by the People of St.
Louis. Resume of the Labors and Policy of Gen. Fremont. Real Reason of his Removal.
Views of the North respecting the Power of the^orth over Slavery 280



CHAPTER XII.

THE TRENT AFFAIR.

Secession Plans for Securing Foreign Aid. Privateers. Treaty at Paris in 1856. Issue of
Letters of Marque. Short Success of Privateers. The Savannah. The Jeff. Davis Re
taliation of the Rebels. Letter of the Emperor Alexander. Attitude of other Monarchs of
Europe. John M. Mason. John Slidell. Capt. Wilkes. Seizure of the Rebel Commis
sioners. Capt. Wilkes Reasoning and Action in Case of the Trent. Excitement Caused by
the Trent Affair in the United States and England. Secretary Seward s Opinion 290



CHAPTER XIII.

ROANOKE AND NEWBERN.

Fleet of Com. Goldsborough and Army of Gen. Burnside. Sailing from Hampton Roads.
Storm at Hatteras. Perils of the Crew of the New York. Effects of the Storm. A Strike
for Freedom. Position and Defenses of Roanoke. Reconnoissance. Contest commenced
by the Fleet. Disembarkation of Troops. March up the Island. Charge of the Zouaves.
Vigor of Generals Reno and Foster. Roanoke Surrenders. Incidents. 0. Jennings Wise.
Elizabeth City. Edenton. Plymouth. Charges upon Batteries near Newbern. Arrival
at Newbern. Anecdote .314



CHAPTER XIV.

THE MERRIMAC AND THE MONITOR.

Building of the Galena. Origin of the Monitor. Difficulties to be Overcome. Fears of its
Friends. Its Successful Launch. Full Description of the Monitor. The Merrimac and her
First Aggression. Heroism of the Officers and Men upon the Cumberland. Destruction of
the Congress. Withdrawal of the Merrimac. Terror at Fortress Monroe. Arrival of the
Monitor. Terrible Duel. Sinking Condition of the Merrimac. Appearance of the Monitor
after the Fight. Speech of Mr. Bentinek .336



xii CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XV.

FLORIDA.

PAGE

Coast of Florida. Appeal of South Carolina. Massive Fortifications of Pensacola Harbor.
Assigned Reasons for Secession. Seizure of Pensacola. Lieut. Slemmer. Traitors and
Heroes Contrasted. Heroic Reenforcement of Fort Pickens. Exhausting Labors of Lieut
Slemmer and his Command. Energy of Col. Brown. Daring Adventure of Lieut. Shep-
Icy. Surprise of "Wilson s Zouaves by a strong Rebel Force. Its Results. Critical Position
of Fort Pickens. Engagement of Rebel Batteries. Evacuation of Pensacola. Reception of
our Soldiers. Amelia Island. Fernandina . 353



CHAPTER XVI.

PTJLASKI AND THE CONTRABANDS.

Reconnoissance of Tybee Island. Fort Pulaski and its Bombardment. Preparations for its
Reduction. Its Bombardment. Its Surrender. Feelings of the British* Government. In
creasing Importance of the Slavery Question. National Freedman s Association. Address
of Gen. McClellan. Financial and Military Reports 37



CHAPTER XVII.

CAMPAIGN OF THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI.

Right of Secession. Its Accomplishment in Louisiana, Blockading the Mississippi. Steam
Ram Manassas. Naval Expedition. Gen. B. F. Butler. Ship Island. Porter s Mortar
Flotilla. Pilot Town. Anecdote. Formidable Preparations of the Rebels. Attack of the
English in 1814 upon New Orleans. Preparations on board the Union Fleet. Topographi
cal Survey. Reconnoissance. Yankee Ingenuity. Force of the Union Fleet. Thrilling
Incident 39 i



CHAPTER XVIII.

CAPTURE OF NEW ORLEANS.

Challenge given to the United States Gun-boats by Fort Jackson. Terrific Bombardment in
Reply. Heroic Adventures. The Fleet pass the Forts. Fire-rafts. Gallant Exploits.
Surrender at Quarantine Station. Chalrnette Batteries. Insane Policy of the People of
New Orleans. Forts at Carrolton. Surrender of New Orleans. Demand for, and the Sur
render of, Fort Jackson. Recapitulation. Landing of Butler s Troops. Appearance of the
City. Butler s Reign. Changes in New Orleans. Departure of the Fleet 412



CHAPTER XIX.

BATTLES IN MISSOURI AND THE CAPTURE OF FORT HENRY

State of Affairs in Missouri. Battle of Behnont. Philosophy of Disaster. Incidents on the
Field. New Vigor of thy Rebels. Battle of Millford. Mt. Zion. Battle of Silver Creek.
Energy of Gen. Halleck. The Fortifications at Columbus. Gen. Fremont s Plan. Forts
Henry afcd Donelson. Sketch of Admiral Foote. The Expedition to Fort Henry. Cap



Online LibraryJohn S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) AbbottThe history of the Civil War in America : comprising a full and impartial account of the origin and progress of the rebellion, of the various naval and military engagements, of the heroic deeds performed by armies and individuals, and of touching scenes in the field, the camp, the hospital, and the → online text (page 1 of 66)