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Robert E. Lee Portrait
Page) charged with the duty of fitting out the Mississippi Flotilla.
How well he did that the history of the war is there to tell. The Herald says:
The fleet under Foote attacked
and took Fort Henry on February 6, 1862, entirely unaided by the land-forces;
captured the rebel batteries at Donelson on the 14th; hotly engaged for two
hours, took possession of and occupied Clarksville, without the presence of a
land-force, and, by its subsequent appearance before Columbus for several days,
forced the rebels to evacuate their boasted Gibraltar, securing to us a
bloodless victory. General Pillow telegraphed to Governor Harris from Donelson,
on the afternoon of February 14, 1862, when the gun-boat fight was at its
height, "The Federal gun-boats are destroying us. For God's sake send us all the
help you can immediately. I don't care for the land-force of the enemy: they
can't hurt us, if you can keep those iron hell-hounds in check."
On the Sabbath after the
of Fort Henry quite a large congregation had assembled at the little
Presbyterian church in
Cairo. They waited a long time for the regular preacher
to come and open the services, but waited in vain; and it soon became apparent
that they were to go home sermonless. Just then the old Flag Officer, as he was
then, appeared, went forward to the sacred desk, and opened the service with
prayer. It was very hard for the audience to restrain their applause when he
appeared in the aisle, coming as he did from the scene of strife, and the winner
of a victory whose merits were upon every tongue; but, the first buzz of
wondering over, the congregation bowed in silence and awe, the more marked
because of the strangeness of the coincidence. Hardly forty-eight hours before
the old veteran was hotly engaged in dealing death and destruction to the enemy
at Fort Henry; now he stood before the people in the character of a preacher of
the Gospel of peace. But the prayer was not all. After the hymn he took his text
from Acts xiv., 1, and preached such a sermon as had not been heard before for
years. Clear, calm, logical, he proved, in truly eloquent diction, that the
happiness of man depended upon the condition of the heart, and not upon worldly
prosperity or adversity. After the sermon the congregation vied with each other
in endeavors to reach him to congratulate him upon his success in the late
action; but the old veteran met them with a peculiar look, as much as to say,
"This is the Sabbath-day, and this God's house, and no time or place to glory
over the downfall of an enemy."
Throughout the whole time Admiral
Foote commanded the Mississippi squadron its organization was perfect and its
achievements brilliant. At the attack on Fort Henry, in February, 1862, he
received a severe wound in the foot, from which he never fully recovered; but,
struggling to keep up, he for a long time, despite the advice of his physicians,
superintended the details of his important command, until it became apparent to
himself that he must relinquish the charge of the squadron, and part with his
officers, who so devotedly loved him. He was relieved by Captain C. H. Davis
(now Admiral), and came on East to recruit his impaired health.
He received a vote of thanks from
Congress, and his commission as Rear-Admiral bore date of July 16, 1862.
Notwithstanding his feeble health
he earnestly desired active employment, and was appointed chief of the Bureau of
Washington, which post he vacated by direction of the department to
Commodore Dupont in command of the South Atlantic Squadron. He was on
his way thither when he fell sick at the
Astor House and died. The writer, from
whom we have already quoted, thus describes his death-scene:
He lay on his death-bed as calm
and complaisant as a man in the bloom of life, and but for the peculiar sound of
his breathing one could have scarcely believed that he was passing away. It did
not seem like the chamber of death. His life had been so exemplary, his trust in
God as sure and steadfast, that one could but feel that this was but the journey
to a better and a brighter land.
We left his room long after the
daylight had darkened the gaslights, and when the earlier working people were
hastening to their various stations, full of the pleasant thoughts which a
review of his life had brought. Here was a man who never entered a battle but
had, previous to undertaking the work, counted upon the lives of his officers
and men; a man who held himself responsible to God for every life thrown away; a
man addicted to no vices: pure in heart, living always a godly life, and one of
the strong hopes of our naval service. He was now fast going to meet that Judge
who would say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."
Later Saturday morning he rapidly
failed; but after ten o'clock he revived, and was moderately comfortable during
the middle of the day. His eldest son arrived during the day, and sat beside the
bedside of his father during the whole of the day. During the earlier part of
the evening the Admiral seemed to have gained considerable strength, and at
times talked considerable, but his mind still wandered. Captain Rowan and
Surgeon Williams were present, and watched him with tenderness and care. His
feet were much warmer than they had been for some time, and it was thought he
might live through the night.
From Saturday last up to the
present time the Admiral changed but little, save that he had daily grown
weaker, at times brightening up, and in a few hours afterward sinking. His
system was one of great strength, and the disease had a powerful will and strong
constitution to master.
Yesterday, however, he failed
rapidly, and after sundown it was known that he could not live until midnight.
The writer was present at his death-bed; which was surrounded by his family,
Captain Sandford, and the attending servants.
At ten o'clock he sunk so rapidly
that all present felt that his time was numbered by minutes. In appearance he
was much wasted away, scarcely moving, and he looked calm and peaceful.
At eighteen minutes past ten
o'clock he ceased to breathe, and his spirit winged its way to the God who gave
MAJOR JAMES L. KIERNAN, whose
likeness we give on page 445, is a New Yorker, a graduate in medicine of the
University of New York, and before the war editor of the New York Medical Press,
and Professor of Natural History and Physiology in the Public Schools.
He entered the army as surgeon of
the 69th New York, and subsequently was in the 5th Kentucky, on General
Fremont's staff; in the 3d Missouri State militia; a volunteer attached to the
1st Missouri cavalry, which had the advance in Curtis's pursuit of Price into
Arkansas; and was, for services rendered, appointed on the 1st March, 1862, to
the position which he has since held in the 6th Missouri cavalry.
When Major Kiernan entered this
regiment, he was informed by Colonel C. Wright that though he was commissioned
as Surgeon, yet he must fight as Major; that "he would have none but fighting
men in his regiment, as the military necessities of frontier warfare required
Major Kiernan so well obeyed that
Wright afterward declared that the only difficulty he had was in keeping him
back from too recklessly exposing himself. Now on the wild scout, foremost in
the dashing charge, or in the midst of the battle; again the kind, skillful
surgeon, as many a poor wounded Western soldier can testify, he gained an equal
name as surgeon and soldier.
At length, last November, the
scene of his operations
shifted from the barren hills of
the Ozark range to the alluvial swamps of Southern Arkansas, Louisiana, and
Mississippi, and with his regiment he was constantly on the scout on both sides
of the River Mississippi, from Helena, Arkansas, to the country around
Subjoined is an incident which is
taken from the St. Louis Democrat of 9th ult. It is an extract from their
Vicksburg correspondent, and speaks for itself:
It would be difficult to
chronicle more bravery than has been shown, individually and collectively, by
both officers and men, in the different battles from the time of the opening
struggle near Port Gibson till now; but there is one exploit which, for its
great endurance and usefulness, I must mention.
On the 6th of May five ambulances
having been captured by the enemy, contrary to the rules of warfare, between
Port Gibson and Rodney, Mississippi, six companies of the 6th Missouri cavalry,
Colonel C. Wright, commanding, were ordered from Rocky Springs to recapture them
or take, in case of failing to do so, the prominent citizens of the neighborhood
where they were taken as hostages for their safe return.
This cavalry scout, proceeding
through Port Gibson, reached Oakland College, within five miles of Rodney, a
distance of forty miles from where they started, the evening of the same day;
there they ran in the enemy's pickets and followed him up for some time, when
they learned from reliable authority that the rebel cavalry, over twice their
strength, were attempting to surround them. Having arrested the most prominent
citizens around the neighborhood of Oakland College (which is four miles from
James Creek, where it was ascertained the ambulances were taken) they fell back
toward Port Gibson. Constant skirmishing was kept up the whole way, and Major
Kiernan, 6th Missouri cavalry, was thrown from his horse, severely wounded in
the shoulder. Having reached Port Gibson, they threw out heavy pickets, and held
it from the time they arrived, two o'clock A.M. on the 7th, till ten o'clock
A.M. Major Kiernan was, during this time, lying almost insensible at the hotel.
At ten o'clock information was received by Colonel Wright that a superior force
were stealing around the town (which is in a hollow surrounded by bluffs), when
he left with his force to reconnoitre on a hill a couple of miles toward the
Federal army. He had scarcely reached there when the rebel cavalry dashed into
the town, "gobbled up" Major Kiernan's orderly and nurse, as well as hie horse,
etc. Some skirmishing took place, but after a while the Federals retreated, as
so did the rebels, in contrary directions. The rebel cavalry visited Port Gibson
again that night and attempted to parole the Major, but he declined; a rebel
surgeon was attending him at this time.
On the third morning after this,
while lying in bed, he overheard a conversation between a rebel officer and a
citizen, who were talking beneath his open window. The drift was that a large
rebel force, composed chiefly of cavalry and artillery, were about concentrating
in Port Gibson for the purpose of capturing our trains. A very large commissary
train, which they had information from spies, was about leaving Grand Gulf the
next day for Grant's army, was a particular object in view.
Roused by the intelligence, which
was confirmed by negroes who were about fleeing themselves, he managed to get up
and struggled his way to the garden, thence by back lanes out of the town, and
thence through the brush, crossing the Bayou Pierre on a log eight miles to
Grand Gulf. He had taken the brush to avoid pursuers, whom he could perceive on
the road as far as the Bayou Pierre. He reached Grand Gulf completely exhausted,
but gave the information which was the means of saving a most valuable train.
Major Kiernan has been strongly
recommended by all the leading officers of Grant's army, as well as by those of
the Department of Missouri, and the Governors of Virginia, Illinois, and
Indiana, to the President for promotion in the line.
He had a most agreeable interview
with the President at the White House a few days since, and the President has
his case in consideration.
THE SIEGE OF PORT HUDSON.
page 437 we reproduce three
sketches by Mr. Hamilton, illustrating the progress of events at Port Hudson.
Mr. Hamilton writes:
"The progress of the war is
perpetually bringing into notice places hitherto scarcely known, even by name,
beyond the few residents in their immediate vicinity. Springfield Landing is one
of these. This spot is situated some seventeen miles above Baton Rouge, on the
left bank of the river, and at present serves as a depot and landing for our
troops, ammunition, etc., during their operations upon Port Hudson.
"It is astonishing what changes
are instantaneously produced under the magical presence of an army; the most
barren spot assuming in a day, as if by the wand of an enchanter, all the
characteristics of a town or village. We present a view of Springfield Landing
as it appears covered with army stores, ammunition, horses and wagons,
artillery, etc., constantly disembarking and going onward to the field of
"In the distance the river takes
a sudden bend to the right, where Port Hudson is located, and unseen from our
present point of view. The Monongahela, Richmond, and Genesee are represented
firing at the forts.
"Our two other sketches are
faithful portraitures of two places selected as head-quarters in General Banks's
present campaign. They are interesting merely as representations of Southern
scenery, and of places suddenly brought into notoriety by the war."
SIEGE OF VICKSBURG.
WE continue, on
page 436, to
illustrate the progress of the siege of Vicksburg, from sketches by Mr. Theodore
R. Davis. Mr. Davis writes:
"THE SAPS AND PARALLELS OF
GENERAL McPHERSON'S CORPS.
"Each hour's labor of our gallant
men makes such a change in the scene that it must be a busy pencil that keeps
before the readers of Harper's Weekly the workings of this regular siege.
"The skill that General M'Pherson
has shown as an engineer officer gives a general confidence in the result.
"Men digging, day after day,
under a sun whose ardent rays seem to give color to the story told of the
maternal African, 'who, having left one of her progeny on the sunny side of a
convenient sand-hill, found it necessary to gather the melting "Pick" into a
"Certainly it is very hot, but
our men work steadily, and with a comprehension of plan that is surprising. But
to the description of the scene
sketched. In the centre of the
sketch, and directly over our advanced battery (Hickenlooper), is the 'rebel'
work Fort Hill; still over this, and in the distance, Vicksburg is seen; too, in
the distance, rises the smoke of our transports and gun-boats, marking the
course of the great river for whose uninterrupted navigation this mighty labor
"The trench or sap is at the
moment just under the corner of the rebel work.
"To-morrow will see another sap.
Maybe its results, borne by telegraph, will be published with this sketch."
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branch of his store at
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where may be found a splendid
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SEMMONS, Oculist's Optician,
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Price 50 cents per box. Sold by
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Testimonials of clergymen and scientific men sent free. ISAAC HALE, JR. & CO., Mewburyport, Mass.
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VAN ANDEN'S ONE DOLLAR
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Acknowledged by all who have used
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FRIENDS OF SOLDIERS!
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DIRECTION LABELS AND TAGS.—All
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THE CHEAPEST JEWELRY HOUSE IN THE
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