Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

self strenuously to complete the works. with the enemy's cavalry, the main force He was efficiently aided by Major Gilmer, of the Confederates was withdrawn to a of the Engineers, and under their indefati. positioa near the Stewart road, leading to gable efforts, seventeen guns were mount. Fort Donelson. By reason of the flooding ed on the main work, twelve of which of the river grounds and the enemy's posibore on the river, consisting of one ten tion, this was the only line of retreat open inch Columbiad, one rifled cannon, throw to them. ing a ball weighing sixty.iwo pounds, two Upon a deliberate view of the whole poforty-twos and eight thirty-two pounders, sition of the Southern military interests, all arranged to fire through embrasures Gen. Tilghman now reached a resolve formed with sand bags.a At the same high in soldierly self-devotion. He saw time a number of laborers were kept at that the preservation of Fort Donelson work on the epaulments, and to endeavor was of paramount importance, and be. to shut the water out of the fort. The lieved that it might be saved, if the main rising of the river had already sent two body of his forces, and other reinforcefeet of water into the lower magazine, ments expected, reached it in time. The and the ammunition was removed to a capture of Donelson would not only insure temporary magazine above ground.6 that of Fort Henry, but also render neces

While these works were in progress, sary the abandonment of Bowling Green, Gen. Tilghman- went to Fort Donelson, Nashville and Columbus, while, on the and passed a day in the thorough inspec. other hand, the capture of Henry would tion of its works. On the 4th of February, be comparatively small in its results, and heavy. firing was heard trom the direction by the delay of resistance might save of Fort Henry, and at four o'clock in the Donelson. He resolved, therefore, to deafternoon a courier arrived with the infor- vote himself, with a small garrison of mation that the enemy. were landing in sixty.one officers and men, to the defence force at Bailey's Ferry, three miles below, of Fort Honry, while his main body, by on the east bank of the river. Gen. Tilgh- the delay thus gained, was enabled to man immediately returned to Fort Henry march in safety to Fort Donelson. with an escort of cavalry.

Ignorant of his plans, the enemy ad. The preparations of the Federals for vanced their infantry on both sides of the capturing the fort and its surrounding river as far as could be done without comworks, with their garrisons, were truly for-ing under the fire of their own gunboats. midable. General Grant, with twelve They then halted their land forces, and thousand men, advanced from Bailey's waited for the reduction of the fort by their Ferry up the east bank; Gen. Smith, with flotilla, knowing that until this was done six thousand, marched up the west bank, they could not move to the attack of the while Commodore Foote, with seven gun. Joutworks. boats, armed with fifty-four cannon, ap. At eleven o'clock on the morning of proached by the river. To meet this Tuesday, the 4th of February, Commodore combined assault, Gen. Tilghman had but Foote assumed a line of battle with his a total of two thousand six hundred and gunboats, about two miles below the fort. ten men, only one-third of whom were His first shot was fired at about 1 o'clock, well armed and disciplined.c Yet, had without effect. The flotilla then drew the location of Henry been fortunate, even slowly up the river, firing as they adthis small force would have held it for an vanced, but generally with wild aim and indefinite time. But it was impossible to little injury to the work. Gen. Tilghman overcome the disadvantages of its expo- had not yet arrived, but Col Heiman was After some vigorous skirmishing vigilant and full or courage. Knowing

that their thirty-two pounders would do no a Col. Gilmer's official report, March 17, execution at such a distance, he forbade

all firing except trom the Columbiad and 6 Col. Herman's official report, Feb'y 8, the 24-pounder rifle.a These were care: Official report, Feb. 12th, p. 11.

a Col. Herman's off. rep., July 8, p. 558.

sure.

p. 80.

.

p. 557. Horman's

с

fully trained on the approaching boats,, tion. The Cincinnati-the flag-sliip of and fired with accuracy and effect. By Com. Foote-was struck twenty-eight reason of its great recoil, the Columbiad times, and so much injured that she was broke the clamps which fastened the car-compelled to return to Cairo.ą Few of riage to the chassie, and for fear that it the gunboats escaped injury. Yet, by their would upset under another discharge, it number, and the unhappy position of the was not fired again. But the rifle poured fort, they were able to continue the assault upon the boats a stream of archer shells, with destructive vigor. which struck them again and again, and When the flotilla reached a distance of as they came within range, all the eleven twelve hundred yards from the fort, their guns bearing on the river opened on them. fire was tremendous, and began to tell The fire was continued for half an hour, with serious effect upon the earth works when the flotilla withdrew. Their object and embrasures. Sad disasters occurred was to feel the strength of the fort. They at the most effective guns of the garrison. received several damaging shots, and did At twenty-five minutes before one o'clock, not renew the attack until the 6th. At the 24-pounder rifle burst with frightful daylight on the 5th Gen. Tilghman ar- violence, killing three men and wounding rived, and completed all arrangements for all the others employed in working it. making a resistance as protracted as the This event discouraged the garrison, befort could offer, and thus gaining time for cause it destroyed their best gun, and the retreat of his main force to Donelson. caused them to doubt the strength of the .

On Thursday, the 6th of February, the large pieces when fired with heavy Federal feet again approached in line of charges. Yet the artillerists stood bravely battle. They fired their first shot at a to their work, and continued the fire with quarter before twelve. They drew gradu. the coolest courage. At one o'clock a ally nearer, firing incessantly, though for a heavy shell from a gunboat passed through long time with very inaccurate aim. The an embrasure, breaking and upsetting the fire of the fort was perfectly cool and de-32-pounder there, and disabling every man liberate. The garrison was so 'small that at the piece. Nearly at the same moment, the duty of working the twelve guns bear. a 42-pounder exploded prematurely; kill. ing on the river required all their efforts, ing three men, and wounding the chief of and gave them no time for reserve. Hence the piece and several others. To add to Gen. Tilghman, witla his efficient aids, the discouragement thus produced, the fire Cols. Heiman and Haynes, Majors Gilmer of the Columbiad ceased. Gen. Tilghman and McCornice, enjoined upon the men to at once examined into the cause, and fire slowly, and always with good aim. found that the priming wire had been The artillerists were directed by Captains jammed and broken in the vent. A brave Miller, Haydon and Taylor, and Lieuten- blacksmith was sent for, and came imme.. ants Watts, Welles and Jones, and well diately. He worked with perfect coolness performed their duty. They labored un- for many, minutes, exposed to the hottest der the disadvantage of not being able to fire of the enemy, endeavoring to open the fire plunging shots. The high water vent, but without success.b Thus the brought the gunboats nearly level with most efficient guns of the fort were silent. the fort, and the line of fire on both sides

Meanwhile the gunboets drew nearer was almust point blank. Nearly every and nearer, until the nearest was not over shot from the fort took effect. In an hour six hundred yards distant. Their fire, and a half the gunboats were struck from inore than forty guns, was terrific. seventy-four times. Twenty-two balls The air was filled with a hurricane of struck the. Essex, one of which passed di- shot and shells, which tore asunder the rectly through one of her boilers, taking parapets of the fort, destroyed the embra. off the head of Captain Porter's aid in its sures, and dismounted many of the guns. passage. The scalding steam injured The incessant labor of the few men in the many of her men. She was so disabled that she floated helplessly down the

a Gen. Tulghman's official report, 13, 15. stream, and took no more part in the ac

6 Lt. Col. Gilmer's official report, p. 83.

garrison had so exhausted them that they fight, and is such a high-toned, brave mati, sunk with fatigue. In an hour and five that he won my heart."a minutes, only two guns continued to re- The loss of the Confederates was twenspond to the enemy's fire. The officers ty.one killed and wounded, and forty prisrepresented to Gen. Tilghman that all was oners, with the fort and its armament, and lost unless fresh men could be obtained. I a small quanlity of quartermasters and He answered: “I shall not give up the commissary stores. The Federals lost work.” He threw off his coat and sprang seventy-four killed and wounded-more upon the chassie of the nearest gun, en-than the u hole garrison opposed to ther. couraging the men by his

example and

Although the fort was thus lost, yet words to contiue tho combat. At the same Gen. Tilghman's skilful dispositions and time he directed Col. Heimar to send for obstinate defence gained the all-important fifty men from his regiment on the out time needed to save the main body of his posts, to relieve the exhausted garrison.o command. They retreated by the Stewart Col. Heimar, started for them himself, but road. Want of transportation compelled before he could bring them, the fate of them to leave their artillery and most of Fort Henry was decided. The gunboats their camp equipage. It was fortunate poured in a fire under which it was appa- they did not fttempt to take it, for the rent that the work would be soon in ruins, roads were impassable for wheels, by reathe guns all dismounted, and the garrison son of heavy rains and the back water of killed or disabled. At ten minutes before the Tennessee. A body of the enemy's two o'clock a flag of truce was waved from cavalry attacked the rear guard about the para pct by Gen. Tilghman in person. three miles from Fort Henry, but were deBut the fire of the enemy continued, pro- cisively repulsed by a regiment under Col. bably because the signal was not seen in Gee and Major Garvey. On the night of the smoke. At ten minutes after two, the the 6th the retreating column reached Fort flag of the fort was lowered in token of Donelson, adding twenty-five, hundred surrender. The fire on both sides ceased, and fifty men to its effective force. and the terms of capitulation were prompt. ly arranged. The officers were to retain their side arms, and both officers and men

"LEAVE ME HERE." were to be treated with the highest con. sideration due prisoners owar.b (Inscribed to the memory of GEORGE WALTER

ROGERS, who was morially wounded at the It was stated in Northern papers that

battle of Stone River, January 2nd, 1863. when the surrender took place, Commodore Foote made to Gèn. Tilghman the disparaging remark, that had he been in command of the fort, he would not have yielded it.

This statement is wholly Where the cannon, loudly roaring, false. Oificers present testify to the terms Hailed upon us shot and shell, of military courtesy which passed between Where were myriad ritles pouring the adverse commanders, and Commodore Storms of missiles, there he fell, Foote, in a letter to a relative, soon'after. wards, said: ' You will see quite enough, and perhaps "more than you want to see,

In the fore-front of the battle, about our fight. Tilghman and I became Eager in the dreadful fray, quite sociable, if not warm friends, before

'Mid the booming and the rattle, I turned him over to our General as I was Smiling like a child at play. leaving, the evening of our action. He ucted so bravely and gallantly in the

There before him was the foeman,

There th' invading Infidel, a Report of Col. Heiman, 660; Gilmer, 83.

a Letter in Chicago paper, March 7, fur. 6 Gen. Tilghman's report.

nished to me by Col. T. H. Ellis.

BY ED. PORTER THOMPSON.

[ocr errors]

II.

III.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

VIII.

IX.

THE ITALIAN NOVEL, MARC 3 When his form they did receive, ho

VISCONTI. Spake with calm and smiling eye, “Comrades, lay me down and leave me Many are apt to regard Italian literature Like a soldier here to die.

as a thing of the past. They place it in the same category with the Classics of

Greece and Rome, or side by side with But they bore the martyr, bleeding, that brilliant group of literary gems to

From the field, and then he spoke which the Castilian proudly points as the Or his coming death, unheeding

bequest of Cervantes, Lope de Vega and But for her, his mother's sake.

Calderon, but to which so few have been added in the long ages since their days.

When allusion is made to the literature of While he felt his soul was lifting

that soft tongue, which in its modern phase Anchor for the eternal sea, While the scenes ashore were shifting,

we hear only as the medium of the artistic

music of the opera, there are few minds And the UNKNOWX loomed up a-leo,

which do not instantly recur to the days of

Ariosto and Tasso, Petrarca, Dante and “0," he said, “I dread not dying, Boccaccio, or of the astute and subtle For to peace and rest I go,

Machiavelli. Some indeed, mindful of But my mother's heart is crying

that bastard drama, which it suited no For her boy, now dying so.

other tongue so well to adorn, and which couched itself so readily in the natural

melody of the Tuscan, are at no loss to “While she waits and hopes to see me, recall the names of Metastasio, Goldoni,

She will learn that I am dead, Verdi, and their brothers in that art. In And the angel that must free me, times very near to us, the writings of suck

Brings a woe upon her head." men as Alfieri and Silvio Pellico cannot fail

XI.

to make us acknowledge that all the glory genius, the thoughts of statesmen, the kind. of Italian litarature does not linger in the ling utterances of song in a garb of such distant corridors of medieval times, that splendour and grace that none could fail the light of to-day's sun is shining upon to recognize their power and dignity. It the thinkers of that fair land with somg at was from this source that the vanguard of least of the brightness with which he English thought first drew the lesson that illumines those of English lineage. But a new era was dawning upon Europe, that with the almost feminine softness of him, the time was como, when new modes of whom Austrian dungeons had becalmed thought, a new civilization and fresh prininto the peace of a martyr, the great mass ciples were to find their expression in new of humankind can have little affinity. Fresh languages adapted by nature to their utter from the sunshine of freedom, with their ance. When Geoffrey Chaucer, fresh from manly vigour undiminished, they read his conference with Petrarca and Boccaccio, sad tale with pity indeed, but scarcely went back to England to pen his Canter. with sympathy, As for Count Alfieri, bury Tales in the native dialect of his proud, impetuous, austere, with a mind countrymen, England took her first step cast in the mould of the haughty Patrician forward in the race for literary honour. of ancient Rome, and with passions as hot Before that day Italy had already in Boiardo, as a feudal baron's, his temper, his char. Pulci, and others, her budding literature ; acter, the type of his genius, were so little and her first bloom had supplied her with akin to the time in which he lived, that it the works of Ariosto and Dante. A Mock seems almost an anachronism to'rank Lim Heroic, such as Tassoni gave her in his among the modern writers of Italy. But Rape of the Bucket, has scarcely been even there is one class of writers, who have attempted in English literaturo, if we exredeemed the mixed race of Latin and cept the Rape of the Lock, decidedly Lombard from the shame of pointing back Pope's best poem, as a work of art. The to medieval times, when the world asks burlesque in Fielding's Tom Thumb is so for the latest productions of their language broad, that there is no trace of the Heroic rich enough in genius to claim the meed of visible; and we can really find nothing foreign praise. A noble array of Novel- else approaching the nature of this deists come forward to prove the title of their scription of poetry in the annals of early beloved. Tuscan tongue to a place among English literature. Even the soaring Muse those languages, which can boast a con- of Milton appears to be indebted for the nectéd, living and growing literature. We conception of his great poem on the origin claim, it is true, a glorious literature as our of Sin to the Divine Comedy, and for his heritage, in common with English 'speech chaste and beautifal Comus to the Italian and English law. But, noble and justly Masques. If, in later times, the writers of honoured as that literature is, we cannot, Italy have not altogether kept pace with in this matter, boast very much over the the rapidly increasing variety and scope Italians. They, too, possess a rich, a varied,- of English authorship, we must look for & cherished treasure in the many pages of the cause in the cramping influences of dead and living princes of the pen, the enslaved religions and political thought. chosen of the Muses. While the Norman A constant and unavailing series of strug. French was still the written language in gles for liberty has stifled the voice of England, and the scorned Saxon remained genius, and clogged the efforts of national the badge of a conquered people, in. Italy energy so long, that her writers were left the Tuscan tongue had long emerged from in the beginning of the present century the the night of medieval barbarism, had left sole privilege of painting the manners of the ungraceful and inflexible language of the past. But here, in the only field of the old Empire to its barren rule over the labour in which their genius could move disputations of Schoolmen, the decrees of unimpeded, they have succeeded so well, Councils and the petty studies of Acade that the English is perhaps the only nation mies, and had entered upon the nobler which they have not excellod. mission of clothing the intspirations of Incited by the world-wide fame of Walter

[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsæt »