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This webpage reproduces an article in the
Florida Historical Quarterly
Vol. 36 No. 2 (Oct. 1957), pp125‑165

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though, please let me know!

p125 Civil War Operations in and around Pensacolaa

by Edwin C. Bearss

I. The Yankees Hold Fort Pickens in Defiance of the State of Florida

Entering Pensacola Harbor from the Gulf of Mexico in 1861 one would have seen, as he crossed the bar, Fort McRee immediately on the left on the mainland or west shore of the bay and to the right Fort Pickens on the western extremity of Santa Rosa Island. This island, lying approximately parallel to the shore of the mainland, is nearly forty miles long and is separated from the mainland by Pensacola Bay. On the mainland opposite Fort Pickens and at a distance of about one and one-half miles stood Fort Barrancas and about another one and one-half miles east of Fort Barrancas was the village of Warrington which adjoined the Navy Yard. Seven miles farther up the bay was the town of Pensacola having in 1860 a population of 2,876. Near Fort Barrancas, between it and the Navy Yard, was the post of Barrancas Barracks.1 There in January 1861 was stationed Company G, 1st United States Artillery, p126This was the only force of the United States Army in the area.2 The commander of this company was Major Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.John H. Winder (afterwards brigadier-general in the Confederate army and widely known for his role in connection with the military prisons in the South).3 He and the senior lieutenant, Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Asher B. Eddy, were both absent on leave.4 In the absence of his superiors 1st Lieutenant Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Adam J. Slemmer was in charge of the company.5

A map seems useful here; no map in the original printed article.

[and here's help in using the map, if you need it.]

In the initial week of January 1861 rumors were current among the United States forces garrisoning the forts in Pensacola Harbor that these posts and other public property in the area were to be seized by Florida State Troops under orders from Governor Madison S. Perry. Lieutenant Slemmer had been advised of the seizure of the United States forts in Mobile Bay on January 5 by the Alabama State militia. Deeming it proper since he had received no instructions to the contrary from Washington, the lieutenant endeavored to prevent a similar success by the state authorities at Pensacola.6 The morning of July 1 Lieutenant Slemmer, accompanied by Lieutenant Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Jeremiah H. Gilman, called on Commodore James Armstrong, the commandant of the Pensacola Navy Yard, to mature plans for better securing the protection of public property in the area. Additional meetings were held by these officers that evening and in the early morning hours of January 8. Armstrong, p127in the absence of orders from the Navy Department, deemed it inexpedient to cooperate with the army.7

Early in the morning hours of January 8 the soldiers began the removal of the powder from the exposed magazines in the Spanish battery of Fort Barrancas to the fort's inner magazines. Slemmer issued orders directing that all batteries should be placed in working order and at nightfall he alerted the guard detail. As an added security measure the drawbridge leading to the fort was raised. About midnight a group of men (about 20 in all) approached the drawbridge with the intention of taking possession of the fort. The corporal of the guard sound the alarm; the would‑be assailants failed to answer when challenged or halt when ordered and were fired upon by the guard, whereupon they promptly fled in the direction of Warrington. Their footsteps resounded on the plank walk as the roll of musketry ceased and the guard double-timed back to the fort. These could well be the first shots fired by the Federals in the Civil War.8 Slemmer now ordered the guard doubled as a precautionary measure.

In the mail that arrived from Washington on January 9 Lieutenant Slemmer received the following order from the War Department in Washington: "The General-in‑Chief directs that you take measures to do the utmost in your power to prevent the seizure of either of the forts in Pensacola Harbor by surprise or assault, consulting first with the commander of the navy-yard, who will probably have received instructions to co-operate with you."9

Immediately upon receipt of this order and again accompanied by Lieutenant Gilman, Slemmer called on Commodore Armstrong. In the same mail Armstrong had received orders directing him to cooperate with the army, but he was already greatly influenced by Commander Ebenezer Farrand and other secessionist officers of his command. Guided by their machinations Armstrong did not dare take an active role in providing p128for the defense of Pensacola Harbor. The recent turn of events had caused intense excitement among the employees of the navy yard and among the inhabitants of the village of Warrington, and these had added to the consternation of the commodore. He was desirous of doing his duty, and apparently saw it clearly when in the presence of the army officers.10 Armstrong, at the insistence of the two army officers, agreed that with the limited means available only one of the forts could be held. Fort Pickens was chosen due to the number of advantages its possession imparted — command of the other forts, harbor, and naval yard, and its ease of reinforcement from the Gulf. In order to implement this decision the commodore promised to make the Wyandotte and the storeship Supply available by 1 P.M. to convoy the troops from the mainland to Fort Pickens.11

At 10 A.M. Lieutenant Slemmer, with part of his command, boarded the storeship Supply which carried him to Fort Pickens. Here the artillerymen began to mount guns and make the necessary preparations for its defense. Lieutenant Gilman had been left with the rest of the command at Barrancas Barracks to complete preparations for its evacuation. At 1 P.M. Gilman found no signs of the promised assistance and called on the commodore to counteract the influence of the secessionist-minded naval officers which surrounded him. Gilman was informed that the only aid the navy could render would be provisions and the transportation of the troops to Fort Pickens. Upon being informed of this change in plans Slemmer ordered his men to halt all work and return to Barrancas Barracks. The irate lieutenant then called on the commodore whom he accused of deceiving him, stating that Armstrong "had promised me men and the co-operation of the two vessels of war, besides the mere fact of giving us provisions and taking us over; that with my command, only 46 strong, I should never dream of defending so large p129a work, calculated for upwards of 1,200 men; that I had been at work on that promise, and had thus lost a day's time in the preparation of Fort Barrancas for defense."12 After hearing what the lieutenant had to say the commodore sent for his aides and gave them instructions to implement the original design.

Lieutenant Otway H. Berryman, of the Wyandotte, promised to be ready to leave the dock at 5 P.M., by which time the artillerymen would be ready to embark at the Barrancas wharf. As time was of the essence all hands were turned to in order to place the public property on the wharf to facilitate its removal to Fort Pickens. The troops were kept at their tasks until midnight when a dense fog descended upon the area rendering it impossible for the Wyandotte to dock.13 At about 8 A.M. the next day a large flatboat or scow and several small boats pulled up at the Barrancas wharf and the artillerymen and their gear were soon loaded.14 By 10 A.M. the troops had been ferried across the bay and disembarked at Fort Pickens. Lieutenant Berryman in the meantime had detailed thirty-one seamen from the navy yard as a working party to assist Lieutenant Slemmer in making the necessary preparations for the defense of Fort Pickens. In the remaining hours of daylight most of the powder and all the fixed ammunition for the field batteries was transferred from the mainland to the island. As a final measure before abandoning the works on the mainland the lieutenant ordered that all the siege guns bearing on the bay should be spiked as the artillerists had neither the means nor the time to dismount them. The provisions needed to subsist the garrison were drawn from the steamer Supply.15

Meanwhile at Tallahassee on January 3 the people of Florida acting through their delegates chosen in pursuance of an act of the general assembly, approved on November 30, had assembled in convention to chart what course the state should follow. After six days of debate and discussion, on January 10 the proposed ordinance of secession was taken up as the proper order of business. The ordinance was adopted by a vote p130of 62 to 7. The president of the convention was then instructed to inform the proper authorities of the other southern states of the action which Florida had taken. Concurrently, the convention, prompted by a letter from David L. Yulee, United States Senator from Florida, to Joseph Finegan, a delegate to the Florida convention, which pointed out

The immediate important thing to be done is the occupation of the forts and arsenal in Florida. The naval station and forts at Pensacola are first in consequence . . . . The occupation of the navy yard will give us a good supply of ordnance and make the capture of the forts easier. Major Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Chase built the forts and will know all about them. Lose no time, for my opinion is troops will be soon dispatched to reinforce and strengthen the Forts in Florida.16

passed the following resolution:

That this convention authorize and empower the governor of this State to employ the militia of this State, and such forces as may be tendered to the State from the States of Alabama and Georgia to defend and protect the State, and especially the forts and public defenses of the State now in possession of the State, and that the governor be authorized to make all necessary arrangements for the support and maintenance of such troops and carrying on the public defense; That it is the sense of this convention that the governor should not direct any assault to be made on any fort or military post now occupied by Federal troops, unless the persons in occupation of such forts and posts shall commit overt acts of hostility against this State, its citizens or troops in its service, unless directed by a vote of this convention.17

The day prior to Florida's withdrawal from the Union Governor Andrew B. Moore, of Alabama, warned the convention then assembled at Montgomery to determine that state's future course of action, "that For Perry . . . . . has ordered the forts [around Pensacola] to be occupied by the troops of Florida and asks aid from Alabama. The force at p131his [Governor Perry's] command in West Florida is small and not sufficient to take . . . the forts. Troops from Alabama could reach that point before the troops of East and Middle Florida."18 Two hundred and twenty-five Alabamians, under Colonel Tennant Lomax, were ordered to Pensacola in order to implement the governor's recommendation.19

The day after Florida's withdrawal from the Union Lieutenant Slemmer was informed by Lieutenant-Commander Henry Walke, of the Supply, that he had been ordered by Commodore Armstrong to unload his stores and return to the navy yard. Additional bad news was conveyed to the lieutenant by Berryman who stated, "I expect to sail this evening or tomorrow morning for the south coast of Cuba."20 Upon receipt of these evil tidings Lieutenant Slemmer dispatched the following note to the commodore:

Sir: I understand that it is your intention to withdraw from this fort the protection of the U. S. S. Wyandotte and the storeship Supply, contrary to the agreement between you and myself day before yesterday. I again have the honor to state, as I did to you in presence of several officers at our last interview, that without the aid of those vessels it will be utterly impossible in my opinion, for me to protect this harbor, and I shall therefore, in case this assistance is withdrawn, instantly relinquish all hopes of defending the place, and report the state of affairs immediately by a messenger to Washington. I most respectfully request an immediate answer as to whether the assistance above referred to is to be withdrawn or not.21

The commodore's reply to Slemmer's communication was as follows:

Sir: In reply to your communication of this date, I have to state that the U. S. storeship Supply was sent to Fort Pickens by my order merely to convey the provisions you required and to return to this navy yard. The Supply is not p132a vessel of war, and having been sent to this station on the special service of conveying stores and coal to Vera Cruz for the vessels of the Home Squadron stationed there, it is my duty to dispatch her to that port at the earliest moment practicable, in conformity with the orders I have received from the Navy Department, from which orders I can not deviate further. The steamer Wyandotte may be retained for the purpose of cooperating with you until further orders.22

During the night of January 11‑12 the Wyandotte and Supply remained at anchor in the lee of Fort Pickens' batteries. In the early morning hours Commander A. A. Walke, of the Supply, exhibited a communication from the commodore stating that the navy yard was besieged by Florida State Troops. The lieutenant having received no official information to verify this fact addressed the following note to Armstrong: "I am informed that the navy-yard is besieged. In case you determine to capitulate, please send me the marines to strengthen my command." To this message he received no reply.23

The force left to defend the navy yard consisted of thirty-eight marines, and about thirty seamen. The defenses of the yard were in deplorable condition, no guns being mounted except those used in saluting the colors. The investing force commanded by Colonel Lomax, of Alabama, consisted of uniformed militia companies well armed with rifled muskets. Their number was variously estimated ranging from a high of 800 men to a low of 300. At about 1 P.M. Commodore Armstrong was informed that some gentlemanº desired to see him. He was then introduced by Commander Ebenezer Farrand, his executive officer, to Mr. Richard L. Campbell and Captain Victor M. Randolph, who informed Armstrong that they had come with a large force in the name of the State of Florida to demand an immediate and unconditional surrender of the yard. They stated that if this demand was refused they would take possession by force of arms as they had a full regiment of troops eagerly awaiting the signal to attack. These statements were corroborated by Commander Farrand. The issue presented to Armstrong was either a bloody and p133hopeless resistance or a surrender. To avoid the useless effusion of blood Armstrong accepted the latter alternative. The national flag was hauled down and the Florida emblem hoisted in its stead.24 For his surrender of the navy yard Commodore Armstrong was subsequently court martialed, convicted and sentenced "to be suspended from duty for the term of five years, with loss of pay for the first half of said term and be reprimanded by the honorable Secretary of the Navy in general orders."25

The sentries on the battlements of Fort Pickens upon noticing that the United States flag had been lowered, informed Lieutenant Slemmer of this occurrence. With the capture of the navy yard everything on the shore fell into the state of Florida's hand, including the large dry dock — the workshops, materials, and supplies of all sorts. Fortunately, the Supply and Wyandotte, the only United States vessels in the harbor, were commanded by loyal men and were saved.26 The commander of the Wyandotte took the Supply in tow and moved out of the harbor. That evening Lieutenant Berryman sent word to Slemmer that his orders of the previous evening were to cooperate with the army, but he must not fire a shot unless his vessel was attacked — he could offer the artillerymen no assistance in case they were assaulted. The garrison of Fort Pickens was left to depend on its own means for defense — eighty one men, including officers.27

The fort was in a very dilapidated condition, not having been occupied since the Mexican War,28 and a great amount of labor was necessary to prepare it for possible siege. Upon arrival at Fort Pickens not a single embrasure shutter was in place. Orders were given for some to be built while others were removed from Fort McRee to supply this deficiency.

Just before sundown four men (three in uniform) presented themselves at the entrance of the fort, and demanded admittance as "citizens of Florida and Alabama" They were informed that no unauthorized persons would be permitted to enter the post. After receiving this information they asked to see the commanding p134officers. Lieutenants Slemmer and Gilman then proceeded to the gate where they immediately recognized Mr. Abert, an engineer from the navy yard, who introduced the three uniformed men as Major Marks, Captain V. M. Randolph, and Lieutenant Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Rutledge. After a pause, Captain Randolph said, "We have been sent to demand a peaceable surrender of this fort by the governors of Florida and Alabama." To which Lieutenant Slemmer replied, "I was here under the orders of the President of the United States, and by direction of the General-in‑Chief of the Army; that I recognized no right of any governor to demand a surrender of United States property; that my orders were distinct and explicit."29 One of the state officers then exclaimed sharply, "Do you say the governor of Florida is nobody, the governor of Alabama nobody?" Slemmer replied, "I know neither of them, and I mean to say that they are nothing to me."30 The interview was then abruptly terminated and the visitors withdrew.

At midnight the troops were mustered and told to man the batteries in anticipation of a night attack. The night was dark and rainy but otherwise quiet. January 13 was spent by the artillerymen in strengthening their positions and with nightfall sentinels were posted in advance of the glacis. The night was again dark and the rain poured down. Suddenly through the occasional flashes of lightning a group of ten men were discovered outside the fort evidently reconnoitering the Federal positions. The intruders fired one shot which was returned by the sergeant-of‑the‑guard. All was then quiet. The 14th passed with nothing of interest transpiring. By this time the artillerists were nearly exhausted by the daily routine of mounting guns, preparing fire-bases and hand grenades, and one hundred per cent watches maintained during the hours of darkness.31

On January 15 Colonel W. H. Chase, commander of the Florida State troops, came over in a small boat accompanied by Commander Farrand, late of the U. S. Navy, and asked for an interview. This was granted and the following conversation took place:

Colonel Chase: "I have come on business which may occupy p135some time, and, if you have no objection, we had better go inside to your quarters."

Slemmer: "I have objection, and it could hardly be expected that I would take you into the fort."

Chase: "As I built the fort and know all its weak and strong points, I would learn nothing new by going in, and had no such object in proposing it."

Slemmer: "I understand that perfectly, but it would be improper for me to take you in; and, however well you have known the fort before, you do not know what it now contains, nor what I have done inside."

Chase: "That is true, and I will state my business here. It is a most distressing duty to me. I have come to ask of you young officers, officers of the same army in which I have spent the best and happiest years of my life, the surrender of this fort. I would not ask it if I did not believe it right and necessary to save bloodshed; and fearing that I might not be able to say it as I ought, and in order, also, that you may have it in proper form, I have put in writing and will read it."32

Chase then took a manuscript from his pocket and began to read, but after reading a few lines his voice began to shake and his eyes filled with tears. He stamped his foot, and said, "I can't read it. Here Farrand, you read it." Commander Farrand took it, and remarking that he didn't have his glasses passed the paper to Lieutenant Gilman.33 Gilman took the paper and read the following aloud:

I have full powers from the governor of Florida to take possession of the forts and navy-yard in this harbor. I desire to perform this duty without the effusion of blood. You can contribute toward this desirable result, without sacrifice of the honor of yourself or your gallant officers and men. Now, as commissioner on the part of the governor of the State of Florida, I request the surrender of Fort Pickens and the public property it contains into my hands, to be held subject to any agreement that may be entered into between the commissioners of the State of Florida and the Federal Government at Washington. . . . If the Union now broken should be reconstructed Fort Pickens p136and all the public property passes peacefully under Federal authority. If a Southern Confederacy separates itself from the Union would it not be worse than folly to attempt the maintenance of Fort Pickens or any other fortified place within its limits?34

As the state officers prepared to depart for the mainland the following conversation took place:

Slemmer: "Colonel, how many men have you?"

Chase: "Tonight I shall have between eight and nine hundred."

Slemmer: "Do you imagine you could take this fort with that number?"

Chase: "I certainly do. I could carry it by storm. I know every inch of this fort and its condition."

Slemmer: "With your knowledge of the fort and of your troops, what proportion of them, do you imagine, would be killed in such an attack?"

Chase (shrugging his shoulders): "If you have made the best possible preparation, as I suppose you have, and should defend it, as I presume you would, I might lose one-half of my men."

Slemmer: "At least, and I don't believe you are prepared to sacrifice that many men for such purpose."

Chase: "You must know very well that, with your small force, you are not expected to, and cannot, hold this fort. Florida cannot permit it, and the troops here are determined to have it; and if not surrendered peaceably, an attack and the inauguration of Civil War cannot be prevented. If it is a question of numbers, and eight hundred is not enough, I can easily bring thousands more."

Slemmer: "I will give this letter due consideration, and as I wish to consult with the captains of the Supply and Wyandotte before replying, I will give you my answer tomorrow morning."35

The reasons for Slemmer's final request were twofold — first, p137to gain time to rest the exhausted artillerymen, and second, it being deemed a courtesy on Slemmer's part to consult with the naval officers on any subject affecting the common flag. The interview then terminated.

The next morning to the utter surprise of the garrison of Fort Pickens the Supply and the Wyandotte were observed under way, making for the Gulf of Mexico. A boat was dispatched bearing Lieutenant Gilman to learn the cause of this precipitant withdrawal. Gilman overhauled the Supply and hailed Commander Walke. Upon learning of Gilman's representation Walke ordered the Wyandotte to be anchored in the lee of Fort Pickens and render the army any assistance desired.36 Lieutenant Slemmer then forwarded to Colonel Chase the following communication:

Sir: Under the orders we now have from the War Department, we have decided, after consultation with the Government officers in the harbor, that it is our duty to hold our position until such a force is brought against us as to render it impossible to defend it, or until the political condition of the country is such as to induce us to surrender the public property in our keeping to such authorities as may be delegated legally to receive it.

We deprecate as much as you or any individual can the present condition of affairs, or the shedding of blood of our brethren. In regard to this matter, however, we must consider you the aggressors and if blood is shed that you are responsible therefor.37

Early in the morning of the 16th the Supply, having previously taken aboard the paroled officers and men from the navy yard, stood out of the harbor and sailed for New York. The next day was spent by the artillerymen in strengthening their positions — one 12‑pounder and on one 8‑inch sea-coast howitzer were mounted on the northwest bastion. Previously three 32‑pounders had been emplaced in the southeast bastion, and the field battery, to be of more effective service, had been placed on the ramparts.

p138 On January 18 the Wyandotte returned to the harbor. Correspondence was now resumed with the Florida state authorities. Colonel Chase informed Lieutenant Slemmer that, "With additional re-enforcements to my forces, arrived and expected, I would again request the surrender of Fort Pickens, referring you to my first letter on the subject, and offering the same terms as contained therein."38

To this message Slemmer replied, "Before I can answer your communication of this date, it is necessary that I communicate with Lieutenant Berryman of the U. S. S. Wyandotte, cooperating with me. The result of such conference I will make known to you tomorrow morning."39

A gun was discharged from the fort to attract those on board the Wyandotte. The steamer hove to and anchored off the southeast bastion of the fort. Berryman came ashore and the two officers conferred. As a result of this conference the following message was sent to Colonel Chase: "In reply to your communication of yesterday, I have the honor to state that as yet I know of no reason why my answer to your communication of the 16th should be changed, and I therefore very respectfully refer you to that reply for the answer to this."40

In the early morning hours of the 20th Lieutenant Berryman ordered a shore party to be formed from the sailors aboard the Wyandotte and with their aid a 10‑inch columbiad was mounted in the fort. Four days later, believing that sufficient time had elapsed, Slemmer dispatched a boat under flag of truce to the navy yard in order to obtain the garrison's mail. The letters had accumulated in the post office since January 9. His request was refused by the postal officials.

The army officer then addressed the following to Colonel Chase:

Sir: I have the honor to request that you will permit Captainº Berryman to procure, or have procured for him, the mail matter, letters, papers, etc., which may have accumulated for me and my command at the Warrington post-office. My mail matter has been refused me from the office, p139and I therefore make this request of you as commander-in‑chief of the forces, and from a knowledge of your personal character.41

Colonel Chase had been called to Montgomery to confer with higher authorities on methods to force the capitulation of Fort Pickens. At the Alabama capitol the fire eaters had received the following telegram on January 18: "We think no assault should be made. The possession of the fort is not worth one drop of blood to us. Measures pending unite us in this opinion. Bloodshed may be fatal to our cause. Signed by senators Mallory, Yulee, Slidell, Benjamin, Iverson, Hemphill, Wigfall, Clay, Fitzpatrick, and Davis."42 The commander of the Florida state troops at Pensacola returned from this conference on January 26 in a conciliatory mood.

Chase now informed the commander of Fort Pickens, "I will immediately inquire at the post-office about your mail matter, and attend to your request. I would also inform you that you may be supplied with fresh provisions daily if you desire."43 Later in the day, hoping to avoid any unfortunate collisions between the opposing forces, Colonel Chase dispatched the following message to Lieutenant Slemmer:

Sir: I have given strict orders this morning that no citizen or soldier should be permitted to pass from this side towards Fort Pickens, or to land on Santa Rosa Island, and now I inform you of the fact, and also that I shall use every effort to have my orders executed. I have just been informed that some four or five men started on a fishing excursion on the island, and as they must have been ignorant of my orders just issued, I would request that if they have landed on the island they may be sent back.

Any collision growing out of persons going over to the island or near Fort Pickens would be most unfortunate in the present state of affairs, and I would request you to join p140me in preventing it; and to this effect I would also request that persons in boats may be warned off, and if any should land, they should be ordered to re-embark. This should be done in a way to prevent angry feeling between the parties.44

Slemmer replied to Chase's communication as follows:

It gives me much pleasure to learn of your order with reference to the passage of boats and men to Fort Pickens and Santa Rosa Island from the yard and vicinity. I have given strict orders to allow no boats to land, and in all cases of boats approaching the island I am notified of the fact.

This morning I was informed by my sentinels that a boat with four men was approaching the island above the fort and from the navy yard. I immediately sent and had them apprehended, saw the men myself, and directed that they be re-embarked for the navy-yard. . .45

Later in the day the mail for the garrison of Fort Pickens was delivered. This delivery was accompanied by a note from Colonel Chase stating that the mail would be delivered in the future without delay.

Nine days after the surrender of the Pensacola Navy Yard the Federal government ordered the preparation of a strong expedition for the relief of Fort Pickens. Captain Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Israel Vogdes was ordered to embark his company (Company A, 1st Artillery) and forty privates detailed from other companies of the 1st Artillery on board the powerful sloop-of‑war Brooklyn at Fort Monroe, Virginia.46 On the same day Flag-Officer Garrett J. Pendergrast,º commander of the Home Squadron anchored at Veracruz, notified the Navy Department that he had ordered the sailing frigate Sabine and sailing sloop St. Louis to proceed to Pensacola.47 p141The Brooklyn sailed from Fort Monroe under sealed orders on January 24.

On being informed of these overt acts, ex-Senator Stephen R. Mallory, of Florida, telegraphed to ex-Senator John Slidell, of Louisiana:

We hear the Brooklyn is coming with reinforcements for Fort Pickens. No attack on its garrison is contemplated, but, on the contrary, we desire to keep the peace, and if the present status be preserved we will guarantee that no attack will be made upon it, but if reinforcements should be attempted, resistance and a bloody conflict seem inevitable. Should the Government thus attempt to augment its force . . . . Our whole force — 1700 strong — will regard it as a hostile act. Impress this upon the President, and urge that the inevitable consequence of reinforcement under present circumstances is instant war . . .48

Under cover of I. W. Haynes' negotiations regarding Fort Sumter, Senator Slidell laid Mallory's telegram before President Buchanan. The President agreed to a modus vivendi regarding the reinforcements of Fort Pickens which was incorporated in the following order dated January 29:

In consequence of the assurances received from Mr. Mallory in a telegram of yesterday to Messrs. Slidell, Hunter, and Bigler . . . that Fort Pickens would not be assaulted, and an offer of such assurance to the same effect from Colonel Chase, for the purpose of avoiding a hostile collision . . . you are instructed not to land the company on board the Brooklyn unless said fort shall be attacked. . . . The provisions necessary for the supply of the fort you will land. The Brooklyn and other vessels of war on the station will remain, and you will exercise the utmost vigilance and be prepared at a moment's warning to land the company at Fort Pickens. . . .49

p142 The Brooklyn arrived off Santa Rosa Island on February 6, and Captain Vogdes then learned of the order of January 29 preventing the landing of his command at Fort Pickens. The captain was informed by Lieutenant Slemmer of the deplorable state of the defenses — only fifty-four guns being in position. The captain believed that all the advantages of the modus vivendi were on the side of the seceding states, and wrote a dispatch to the War Department urging the necessity of immediately reinforcing the fort.50

Slemmer, after this meeting with his superior officer, redoubled his efforts to place Fort Pickens in a defensible condition with the limited means available — twenty-four additional guns were mounted. While making the rounds of the fort on February 11 the lieutenant observed that Colonel Chase's men were mounting a heavy battery of 8‑inch columbiads west of the lighthouse in a position to rake the fort's two northwestern bastions and the connecting curtain. Upon comprehending this fact Slemmer delivered a protest to Colonel Chase, who promptly replied: "I do not deem the erection of batteries on this side as aiming at an attack on Fort Pickens; but . . . I will give orders for the discontinuance of the erection of the battery."51

Outside the harbor the United States Government was slowly concentrating a rather formidable naval force under the command of Captain Henry A. Adams. By February 19 this fleet consisted of the Sabine, St. Louis, and Brooklyn. In addition the Wyandotte was anchored inside the harbor, and, flying the flag of truce, was allowed by State authorities to transport coal and water from the navy yard to the ships outside the bar. If the state authorities should curtail this source of supply these items would then have to be obtained from either Key West or La Habana — eight to ten days distant by sail. In general Adams' ships remained at anchor or underway close enough to the harbor to communicate by signal with the Wyandotte lying within. However, when a southeasterly gale would blow it was necessary to run offshore. The gale on February 10 had dispersed the fleet, driving some of them as far as Mobile Point. Adams feared that Colonel Chase's command would take advantage of one of these gales, and attempt to take Fort Pickens by a coup de p143main before he could possibly land reinforcements. In case of dire necessity Adams prepared to land, in addition to Vogdes' command, two hundred men from the Sabine, one hundred and forty from the Brooklyn, and fifty from the St. Louis.52

Events now transpired to shift the responsibility for the conduct of affairs in Pensacola Bay from the state authorities of Alabama and Florida to the leaders of a new government. In the first week of February a convention had assembled at Montgomery, Alabama, not to consider whether the hazard of secession was to be entered upon, but to organize a southern government. Even so the Montgomery meeting was not an all-southern gathering, for at its assembly (February 4, 1861), it contained representation from only six of the fifteen slave states (South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and Louisiana). The atmosphere at Montgomery was one of excitement and elation accompanied by the bustle of office-seeking and the stir of restless men maneuvering for position. Three main functions were performed by the convention: It made a constitution for the Confederate States; it chose the provisional president and vice-president; and it acted as a provisional legislature for the new government pending the regular congressional elections. Jefferson Davis was elected provisional president on February 9. Davis was inaugurated two days later, taking the oath with high resolve, and chose his cabinet; the provisional legislature passed an initial body of laws, which in various instances were but the reenacting of those passed at Washington; commissioners were appointed to treat with the government of the United States; negotiations were set afoot to bring other states within the fold; and in this manner the "new nation" at the South became a going concern.53

After the organization of the Confederacy, the firing on Fort Sumter in April, 1861, and President Lincoln's call for troops, the Civil War began. With the war the "Fort Pickens Truce" came to an end. Confederate troops in Pensacola faced the Federals in Fort Pickens, reinforced by men from the United States naval ships. There was little action, however, until the late summer of 1861.

p144 II. The Yankees Draw First Blood at Pensacola and the Battle of Santa Rosa Island

The quiet of the dog days of 1861 was disturbed on the evening of September 2 when a Federal detachment put out from Fort Pickens and fired the parts of the scuttled dry dock that remained above the surface of the water. The Confederates' endeavors to refloat the dry dock had made this course of action necessary.54

By this time the Confederates had assembled a force aggregating 6,804 officers and men. Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Braxton Bragg, who was now in command at Pensacola, temporarily divided his command into four brigades: the 1st, commanded by Colonel James R. Chalmers; the 2d, commanded by Colonel Sterling A. M. Woods; the 3d, commanded by H. B. Tyler; and the 4th, commanded by John K. Jackson. On the night of September 8 Bragg sent out a reconnaissance patrol consisting of nine marines in a rowboat. These men deserted to the enemy and informed Colonel Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Brown of Bragg's greatly augmented strength.55

The Confederate naval authorities at Pensacola were at this time fitting out the schooner Judah as a privateer. The vessel p145was equipped with a pivot and four broadside guns. While being thus prepared for sea the ship was moored to the wharf at the navy yard and covered by a heavy gun emplaced ashore.56 Flag Officer Mervine, on being informed of these facts, determined to destroy the Judah before she could put to sea. He ordered the readying of an expedition — its mission a midnight raid to prevent the Judah sailing.57

In the darkness of the night of September 13‑14 four small boats cast away from the U. S. S. Colorado. The raiding force consisted of about 100 sailors and marines under the command of Lieutenant John H. Russell. With oars muffedº the raiders approached the Judah at about 3:30 A.M.58 The Confederate sailors had been forewarned and greeted the Federals with a volley of musketry as they neared the vessel. The Federals, led by Lieutenant Russell, sword in hand, clambered aboard the Judah. After a brief surge they were in possession of the prospective privateer. The crew of the Judah, stiffened by rapidly arriving reinforcements, rallied on the wharf and opened a savage fire upon their assailants.59

Lieutenant John Russell, upon the capture of the Judah, had ordered Lieutenant John G. Sproston to take a group and search out and spike the gun emplaced nearby. They were hindered in their quest by the inky blackness. When at last discovered, fortunately for the Federals, only one man was posted at the weapon due to the confusion engendered by the night attack. He immediately pointed his musket at Lieutenant Sproston but was shot down by Gunners Mate John D. Barton before he could right his piece. The heavy gun was discovered to be a 10‑inch columbiad which was immediately spiked. The Federal raiders brought off its tampion as a trophy.60

In the meantime the raiding party had fired the Judah. The schooner was soon blazing. The expedition had, in less than p146fifteen minutes, achieved all its objectives. Lieutenant Russell now reembarked his men and they rapidly pulled away from the navy yard. The Confederates, now thoroughly aroused, opened fire with canister upon the rapidly disappearing Federals. At daybreak the four small boats were hoisted aboard the Colorado. The raiders had successfully achieved their mission with the loss of 3 killed and 13 wounded. The defenders lost 3 killed and an undetermined number wounded. The burning of the Judah is deserving of remembrance as the first encounter of armed forces in Florida in which there was loss of life.61

Even this overt act did not provoke Bragg into a premature attack on Fort Pickens. The Mexican War hero was in the throes of reorganizing his command. The four brigades formerly constituting his command were consolidated into two brigades, the first commanded by Brigadier-General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Daniel Ruggles, the second by Brigadier-General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Richard H. Anderson.62

This task completed, Bragg initiated plans for a sortie upon the Federal positions on Santa Rosa Island. General Dick Anderson was ordered by Bragg to prepare an expeditionary force of 1,000 men for this purpose. The South Carolinian ordered his task force to rendezvous at the navy yard on the evening of October 9, where they embarked on the steamship Time. The steamer pulled away from the wharf and headed up the harbor toward Pensacola. While enroute Anderson organized his command as follows: The 1st Battalion, 350 strong, commanded by Colonel Chalmers; the 2d Battalion, 350 strong, commanded by Colonel J. Patton Anderson; the 3d Battalion, 400 strong, commanded by Colonel Jackson; and an independent company of 53 men commanded by Lieutenant Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.James H. Hallonquist. The independent p147company was lightly armed in order to allow them to carry equipment for spiking cannon and the burning and destruction of buildings and gun carriages.63

The Time tied up at Pensacola at 10 P.M. To expedite the landing of the troops on Santa Rosa Island a few were transferred to the steamer Ewing and the balance to barges and flats. The expedition was now ready to depart. A new problem now arose to confront General Anderson. It was discovered that an additional steamer would be needed to provide the motive power for the barges. After a short delay the steamer Neaffie was requisitioned and thus augmented the flotilla departing from Pensacola at a few minutes after midnight.64 The trip across the harbor was uneventful, and the landing was accomplished on a quiet beach four miles east of Fort Pickens. The long months of rigorous training showed to good advantage as Anderson's men successfully completed the amphibious operation with little noise or confusion. As soon as the men and equipment reached shore the battalions mustered around their respective commanders.

Anderson now assembled his chief subordinates and explained to them their respective roles in succinct terms. Chalmers was directed to advance westward rapidly along the island's northern fringe. Patton Anderson was to lead his men across the narrow waist of the island and then turn westward advancing along the south beach fronting on the Gulf. Jackson was ordered to follow in the rear of Chalmers' command, and at the p148first sign of hostilities he was to push his command to the middle of island connecting his right with Chalmers and his left with Patton Anderson. Chalmers and Patton Anderson were further admonished to restrain their men, prevent the promiscuous discharge of weapons, endeavor to capture the Federal pickets, and place their commands if possible between Fort Pickens and the camp of the foe.65

The cantonment referred to was occupied by the 6th Regiment of New York Volunteers and located near the Gulf shore about a mile east of Fort Pickens. At this time the encampment, dubbed Camp Brown by the Federals, was occupied by Colonel William Wilson and five of the ten companies constituting his command.66 Lieutenant Hallonquist was told to follow in the rear of Colonel Jackson's command and do whatever damage he could to the batteries, building, and camps from which the enemy might be driven.67

Anderson dismissed his subordinates and the advance was commenced. After a difficult march of three miles the ardor of some of the sunshine patriots began to cool. Suddenly the quiet of the early morning hours was shattered by a musket blast. The scouts preceding Chalmers' advance had been fired on by a Federal sentry. The shot was wild and ineffective. The unfortunate picket was instantly shot down but the alarm had been given.68

The sleeping members of the 6th New York were instantly aroused. Colonel Wilson turned out his command. He was in the process of forming his unit on the drill ground, fronting the camp hospital, when Lieutenant Moore Hanham, officer of the guard, rushed up to the colonel and excitedly informed him "that about 2,000 armed men in two columns were marching upon us; that the pickets were all attacked about the same time." Upon hearing this intelligence Wilson dispatched his orderly to inform Colonel Brown of the situation. Skirmishers p149were thrown out and the New Yorker ordered his men to deploy to the left.69

Upon hearing the shot that had aroused the Federal camp Colonel Jackson personally led his men to their assigned position. The dense bushº in the center of the island somewhat retarded this advance. Nevertheless Jackson urged his men forward and they arrived before Camp Brown somewhat ahead of the other two battalions. In the irresistible forward surge of the Southerners additional Federal pickets were flushed and either died in their tracks or sought safety in flight. Jackson, without a moment's hesitation, ordered his men to charge the Federal cantonment. Before the élan of Jackson's men the New Yorkers bolted for the beach. The deserted camp was captured. Many of the Confederates, believing the battle was won, now began to plunder the foe's tents.70

Colonel Wilson, aided and abetted by Lieutenants Christian, Kraell, and Hanham, now endeavored to rally his panic stricken men. They had succeeded in re-forming about 60 of them behind the first ridge west of the drill field when a few stragglers came in and informed Wilson "that his second in command Lieutenant-Colonel Creighton, Captains Hazeltine, Hoelzle, and Henberer with the balance of the 6th New York had retreated toward Fort Pickens."71 On hearing this the men, in spite of appeals to their patriotism by their commander, resumed their flight, only halting when they had reached the safety of Battery Totten.

In the meantime the battalions led by Chalmers and Anderson had encountered a number of Federal pickets posted along the beaches. These outposts were rapidly swept aside, and their men joined in plundering the evacuated Federal cantonment. It was with some difficulty that General Dick Anderson reassembled and re-formed his commands. As dawn was rapidly breaking and the Federals were thoroughly aroused his plan of destroying the Federal batteries which lay between Camp Brown and Fort Pickens had to be abandoned. Orders were issued p150directing that the troops should begin the march to the point of their original debarkation.72

Meanwhile at Fort Pickens Colonel Brown had been aroused at 3:30 A.M. by the officer of the day who reported that heavy volleys of musketry could be heard from the direction of the camp of the 6th New York. Brown ordered the alarm sounded. The garrison of Fort Pickens was turned out under arms and ready to repel the invaders. To cope with this emergency Major Vogdes was directed to take two companies of regulars and proceed post haste to the cantonments of the 6th New York. Major Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Lewis G. Arnold, of the 1st Artillery, was ordered to see that the guns mounted on the ramparts of the forts were adequately manned.73

Major Vogdes upon receipt of the orders to proceed to the relief of the 6th New York had mustered two companies and headed eastward.74 Enroute the troops passed through Batteries Cameron and Lincoln. At the latter position they were reinforced by Company G, 6th New York. The advance was resumed along the beach fronting on the harbor. Vogdes threw the New Yorkers forward as skirmishers. Men from Company G soon became separated from the balance of the command and were seen no more until the engagement was terminated. The troops led by Major Vogdes passed through the Confederate lines unnoticed while they were plundering the Federal cantonment. Beyond Camp Brown a large unidentified force was discovered on the Federals' right flank. The major, who was leading his column, ordered his troops to face to the right and p151advance to reconnoiter. The unidentified force proved to be Confederate and Major Vogdes was immediately captured.75

Captain Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.John McL. Hildt, of the 3d U. S. Infantry, as senior officer present, then assumed command of the Federal forces. A southern officer approached the new Federal commander stating that Major Vogdes was a prisoner and demanded that Hildt surrender his command. The request was refused and fire was opened upon the Confederates. Espying a slight ridge to his front the Federal commander ordered his men to advance and take cover. A short, sharp skirmish ensued. The Federals were pushed aside and the Southerners' escape route was again open.76

Hildt's men, greatly outnumbered and encumbered by their wounded, fell back towards the south shore of Santa Rosa Island to await reinforcements. While engaged in this withdrawal they captured the Confederate medical detachment, left behind by General Dick Anderson to care for the wounded.77

By 4 A.M. the fires from the burning camp were clearly visible to Colonel Brown and, desirous of learning the true state of affairs, a staff officer was dispatched to communicate with Major Vogdes. The officer soon returned and informed Brown "that he had fallen in with a large body of the enemy on the inside shore, and could not find the major." Brown responded to these ill tidings by ordering Major Arnold to assemble two companies and proceed to the support of Major Vogdes.78

Arnold, aided by the zeal of his subordinates, rapidly formed his command and set off to discover the fate of Vogdes' expedition. The men marched rapidly along beach and about one and a half miles east of Fort Pickens they came upon the scene of the recent fire fight between Vogdes' men and the Confederates.

Major Arnold, as the senior officer present, quickly rallied Hildt's men and directed that the pursuit of the Southerners p152should be vigorously continued. The Federals pressed forward along the northern beaches of the island. After advancing approximately a half mile further a scout dashed up to the major and breathlessly informed him that "nearly 2 miles away, on a point of land, a very large body of the enemy was gathered."79

Satisfying himself of the veracity of this intelligence, the Federal commander ordered his men to take cover behind the ridge of sand in the center of the island. Under its concealment he deployed his forces so as to take the Confederates in the flank and rear. In order to ascertain the foe's intention Lieutenant Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Richard C. Duryea with six men advanced to reconnoiter the Confederates' position. Duryea soon returned and informed Arnold "that the enemy were embarking in two [three] steamboats 4 miles from the fort."80

A digression is now in order to explain why the Federals had been able to overtake the Southerners in their withdrawal.

Subsequent to the skirmish with Vogdes' force the retreat had been uneventful and the rembarkationº had been successfully accomplished. But alas the Neaffie refused to budge. Major Williams S. Lovell, the commander of the Neaffie, soon discovered the reason — a hawser was entangled in the ship's screw.81

The expedition's departure was thus delayed while several ineffectual attempts to extricate the propeller were made. To facilitate the withdrawal, orders were given directing that the Neaffie, along with a large flatboat which she had in tow, should be made fast to the Ewing. It was discovered, however, that with this encumbrance the Ewing could not obey her helm. A change in the manner of towing the Neaffie was mandatory. While attempting to accomplish this change the flatboats and barges which the Ewing had in tow became detached from her.

On being informed of the Confederates' difficulties Arnold dispatched Captain Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Loomis L. Langdon, the only officer present who was mounted, with a message for Colonel Brown "that a p153field gun and a supporting force be sent me."82 To harass the Rebel's departure Arnold advanced the company commanded by Captain James M. Robertson with orders "to attack the enemy if a favorable opportunity should offer."83 Lieutenant Alexander N. Shipley with the balance of the command was directed to follow Robertson's men and keep within supporting distance.84

Robertson's men, obscured from the Confederates' view by a ridge, moved forward with alacrity. After traversing about one mile they discovered three steamers, each having in tow a large scow densely packed with armed men. Robertson barked the command "double time!" The U. S. Regulars dashed eagerly forward and took cover behind a sand dune. From this vantage point they opened fire upon the steamer Time and the scow she had in tow. The Federal commander cautioned his men to make every shot count. Never was an order better obeyed. Shipley's advance was somewhat retarded. Vital time was lost in crossing a swamp.85

The confusion engendered among the Confederates by the plight of the Neaffie was nothing compared to the consternation caused by the heavy fire delivered by the Federals into the hapless soldiers crowded upon the decks of their transports. Among the Confederates wounded by this fire was General Dick Anderson who was shot through the elbow. The Southerners, in spite of their difficulties, returned a brisk fire. Good fortune now smiled on the Rebels and threat of impending annihilation was escaped. The hawser was cut away from the screw of the Neaffie. Just as she drifted free Shipley's men dashed up and added their volleys of musketry to the Southerners' discomfiture. With the Neaffie free Anderson's expeditionary force was soon able to pull out of range of the Federal musketry and make for Pensacola.86

p154 The battle of Santa Rosa Island thus drew to a close. In this engagement the Confederates reported a loss of 18 killed, 39 wounded, and 30 missing and presumed prisoners of war. Colonel Brown reported his losses as 14 killed, 29 wounded, and 24 prisoners.87 Both Brown and Bragg now issued communiques claiming victory in the battle which should largely be discounted. Today's student of the Civil War can discover several aspects in the battle of Santa Rosa Island which would have vital consequences in larger and more subsequent battles. These were:

(A) The contempt the Regular Army Officers had for the Volunteer Infantry units, a feeling that went back to Mexican War experiences, and one that would have to be rectified before either side would be able to grasp the fruits of victory.88

(B) Despite these prejudices, rigorous training, discipline, and able officers must be provided for the Volunteer before they could stand the shock of sudden night assaults.

(C) The Confederate Volunteers, better disciplined and led by experienced field officers, displayed a tendency that was to cost the South dearly later in the conflict. Once in possession of the Federal encampment they had halted to plunder the camp instead of pressing forward to complete the victory.

p155 III. A Demonstration of the Superiority of the Federal Artillery

Brown, thoroughly aroused by the Confederate sortie, decided that "an insult so gross to the flag of my country could not by me be passed unnoticed, and I designed immediately to take appropriate notice of it. . . ."89 An attack in conjunction with units of the Federal fleet upon the Confederate defenses of Pensacola Bay was essayed. To implement this proposal a dispatch was sent via the army steamer McClellan to Flag Officer McKean proposing a joint attack on the common foe.90 Early on the morning of October 10 while enroute to the Mississippi Delta Captain Gray of the McClellan sighted and spoke to the Niagara, McKean's flagship. The Niagara, accompanied by the Colorado, was proceeding to Fort Pickens for the purpose of procuring rifled guns from Colonel Brown. These weapons were to be mounted in the Federal works being constructed by Captain John Pope's forces at Head of Passes. McKean acceded to Brown's request and the next morning two powerful warships cast anchor off Santa Rosa Island.91

A council of war was held and it was decided that a combined attack would be launched upon the Rebel positions at dawn on October 16. The ships were lightened, and the arrangements for the bombardment were completed, when unexpectedly the McClellan arrived off the bar and McKean received intelligence of the Federal setback at Head of Passes.92 That flag officer, upon receipt of this unfavorable news, decided that his presence at Southwest Pass was imperative. The Niagara immediately got underway, and Brown, deprived of the navy's assistance, suspended operations until such a time as its cooperation could be afforded.93

p156 On the mainland the Confederates were in the process of a further reorganization of their command. The Department of Alabama and West Florida was constituted with Major-General Bragg at its head. General Ruggles was relieved as commander of the 1st Brigade, and ordered to New Orleans. Brigadier-general Adley H. Gladden was assigned to command Ruggles' unit. Colonel J. Patton Anderson assumed charge of the 2nd Brigade in place of the wounded Dick Anderson.94

Bragg on October 22 left Pensacola for a tour of inspection of his Department. He proceeded to Mobile and accompanied by Brigadier-General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Jones M. Withers, the commander of the District of Alabama, spent several days overseeing the defenses of Mobile Bay.95 The omnipresent general returned to his headquarters after an absence of six days and reported to Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Adjutant-General Cooper:

I arrived here yesterday from Mobile, and find no change to report. The enemy is in a constant state of excitement on Santa Rosa, and has frequent alarms. He has moved artillery up to the island to our landing place of the late expedition. General Withers' command needs much to put it in an efficient condition. He has about 4200 troops — which should be increased to 6000 — mostly raw, and inefficiently organized, armed, equipped, and very destitute of military instructors. The position of Forts Morgan, and Gaines and Grant's Pass are occupied by his best troops, about 2,000. . . . The two senior officers commanding at p157the forts are very competent but sadly addicted to drinking, and therefore unsafe for those exposed positions.96

Rumors of the impending departure of an expedition, commanded by Major-General Benjamin F. Butler, from New England bound for the Gulf of Mexico had reached General Bragg.97 The Confederate leader sent off a telegram to Adjutant-General Cooper requesting: "In view of the heavy expedition now on its way South we should develop all our resources. One regiment here and one at Mobile can be armed by using arms of the sick and disabled. Can they be sent from Huntsville?"98 Two days later Bragg was informed by Benjamin, the Acting Secretary of War, that: "You are authorized to take two of the Alabama arguments from Huntsville, to be armed with the spare arms at Mobile and Pensacola."99º The next day the 5th and 8th Mississippi Regiments encamped at Camp Pettus, near Enterprise, Mississippi, were ordered to proceed to Pensacola. Since the men of these two units were recovering from a siege of measles (the bane of the recruit of 1861) it was thought by the War Department to be imprudent to send these men to Virginia or Kentucky at this season of the year.100 As additional reinforcement for his department Bragg ordered the 22nd and 23rd Alabama Regiments recently organized at Montgomery and equipped by private enterprise to Mobile.101 Augmented by these reinforcements Bragg p158now had an efficient force of about 7,000 men concentrated at Pensacola with 9,000 additional troops at Mobile. The erstwhile Confederate commander received further favorable news on November 11 when it was reported that the Mobile and Pensacola Railroad was completed.102 Bragg considered its logistical support as the equivalent of 3,000 additional troops. However, the Confederate authorities continued to be embarrassed by the critical shortage of firearms. Many of the recent arrivals at Pensacola and Mobile were unarmed or at best equipped with shotguns.103

Due to the repercussions of the affair at Head of Passes the cooperation of the navy with Colonel Brown's forces in the bombardment of the Confederate positions on the mainland was postponed for five weeks. It was the third week of November before McKean had ships available for the project. In the course of the evening of November 21 the crews of the Niagara and the Richmond lightened ship and positions were selected.104 At ten the next morning the Federals opened fire and the most imposing military demonstration in the history of Florida began.105

With the discharge of the signal gun from the fort the Niagara stood in, followed by the Richmond. Both ships came to anchor with springs on their cables about two miles from Fort McRee. The two warships then opened fire. Flag Officer McKean soon discovered that the shells from Niagara were falling short. He ordered his ship to close to a distance of one and three-quarters mile. From this position fire was resumed with marked effect, many of the shells appeared to fall directly upon the water battery and the fort. By 3:15 P.M. the water battery ceased to reply to the Federals and shortly thereafter the barbette guns of Fort McRee were silenced. Thus encouraged the Federal sailors redoubled their efforts. Under a storm of shot and shell the fire of the fort's casemate guns gradually slackened and by 5 P.M. was muted.106

p159 The Richmond, of lighter draft than the Niagara, was able to take a position nearer the shore. Here she anchored far to the rear of the fort and water battery. From this position the Confederate guns could not be brought to bear upon her. For several hours the Richmond pounded the Rebel works unhindered. However, by mid-afternoon the Southerners succeeded in emplacing a masked rifled battery among the sand dunes on the mainland and opened fire. The Confederates proved to be efficient artillerists and soon had the range of the Richmond. McKean, perceiving that the Rebels had scored several direct hits upon the Richmond, signalled Captain Francis B. Ellison, of the Richmond, "to drop out of line of fire."107

About 6 P.M. a sudden squall came up from the northwest. This natural phenomenon caused a fall in the tide. The Niagara touched bottom. McKean directed that his ship weigh anchor as quickly as possible and stand out into deeper water for the night. The Confederates availed themselves of this opportunity to repair the water battery and mount in it several additional pieces of heavy ordnance.108

The next morning wind still blew fresh and strong from the northwest. McKean did not consider it wise to employ the Richmond as one of the shells from the masked battery had opened a bad break on her starboard quarter.109 The Niagara got underway, stood in, anchored in four fathoms of water, and opened fire. The Rebel gunners returned her fire vigorously. The Federal tars discovered that their shells were falling short, and endeavored to close with the forts. However, owing to the reduction in the depth of the water, caused by the change in the wind, this was impossible. All the whole the shells of the foe were falling thick and fast about the Niagara. At 3:30 P.M. McKean deemed it his duty to withdraw his ship.110

Meantime on Santa Rosa Island Colonel Brown had placed Major Arnold in command of all the Federal emplacements.111 p160At 10 A.M., under the direct supervision of Colonel Brown, the signal gun at the flagstaff was fired — the bombardment commenced. Arnold directed that the guns of Batteries Lincoln, Cameron, and Totten should open fire upon the steamer Time and gunboat Nelms berthed at the navy yard wharf. As a secondary target in the same area Arnold designated a 10‑inch columbiad mounted on the stone wharf. Captain Duryea, in command of Battery Scott, was ordered to fire on Fort McRee and the p161lighthouse batteries in conjunction with the naval attack upon those installations. The guns of Fort Pickens were expected to blanket all the Rebel works.112

A storm of bursting sells fell among the startled and unsuspecting Confederates. The Rebel marines manning the 10‑columbiad, after firing several shots, were observed deserting their piece. In addition the Time was repeatedly struck only escaping late in the afternoon under cover of the rain and wind storm. However, the Nelms being a small vessel made its escape at once. Having accomplished his initial fire mission Arnold directed the Federal batteries to turn their fire upon forts McRee and Barrancas, the lighthouse batteries, Wheat's battery and the church batteries. The last enumerated of these proved exceptionally annoying to the Federals due to the power and accuracy of its fire. Fire delivered by the 10‑inch columbiad on the Rebel works was well directed and appeared to be effective but the fire of the James rifles emplaced in the casemates was not.113

The Confederate batteries in the neighborhood of the navy yard, upon whom the Federal attack had burst with sudden fury, were manned by the 2d Brigade, again commanded by General Dick Anderson who had recovered from the effects of the wound received at Santa Rosa Island. Within a few minutes his men had recovered from their surprise and returned a vigorous fire. To conserve badly needed ammunition Bragg ordered his men to regulate and reduce their rate of fire.114

Captain Duryea, commanding Battery Scott, directed the fire of his powerful battery consisting of two 10‑inch columbiads, one 42‑pounder rifled gun, and two 10‑inch sea-coast mortars, to fire on Fort McRee and the water battery south of it. To further augment the fire of Duryea's battery upon Fort McRee Arnold ordered "the four 10‑inch sea-coast mortars in the ditch, commanded by Lieutenant Langdon, and one 13‑inch and one 12‑inch sea-coast mortars, Battery Totten, commanded by Captain Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Blunt, and one 8‑inch columbiad and two 42‑pounders in casemate, of Lieutenant Jackson's battery, to fire on Fort McRee."115 p162It was hoped that these batteries in cooperation with the navy would be able to destroy Fort McRee. The heavy fire of these weapons ably supplemented the fire of the Niagara and the Richmond.

Fort McRee and the adjacent water battery were garrisoned by the Mississippians and Georgians of Gladden's Brigade, under the command of Colonel Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.John B. Villepique.116 The Southerners were subjected to a storm of shot and shell. Three times during the course of the afternoon the woodwork of Fort McRee burst into flame, threatening to expel the occupants. The fires were as often extinguished. To add to the Rebels' peril their magazines were laid bare to the enemy's shells which constantly exploded around them. A further hazard was soon encountered as a wooden structure to the windward of the fort was ignited. Sparks showered from the burning building threatening º to detonate the magazines momentarily. At about this time Colonel Villepique was wounded, however the gallant South Carolinian refused evacuation to a less exposed position. His coolness and example helped inspire his men with confidence, and enabled them to hold a position which at times seemed untenable.117

Darkness brought a welcomed cessation to hostilities which had lasted more than eight hours without intermission. Bragg believed, "For the number and caliber of guns and weight of metal brought into action it will rank with the heaviest bombardments in the world." The dwellings in Pensacola seven miles away had trembled with the effect, and immense numbers of dead fish had floated to the surface of the bay, stunned by the concussions.118 The Federals made use of the cover afforded by the darkness to replenish their magazines with powder, shot, and shell. The 10‑pounder Parrott rifle after rendering effective service at the old Spanish Fort was moved to Battery Cameron.119 p163On the mainland General Bragg's battered defenders exerted themselves to the utmost to shore up their sagging defenses. Staff officers were dispatched to the various works, and except from Fort McRee returned with satisfactory and encouraging messages. Fort McRee was exposed in front, flank, and reverse, with half its armament dismounted and magazines exposed. Colonel Villepique notified Bragg that he was unable to return the enemy's fire and proposed to blow up and abandon the fort. Bragg upon mature reflection as to the effect its abandonment would have on the morale of his men as well as the enemy resolved to hold Fort McRee to the bitter end. Major Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Thomas M. Jones, officer of the engineers, accompanied by a large fatigue party, was dispatched to inform Colonel Villepique of this decision.120

Next morning at ten Colonel Brown ordered the resumption of the bombardment. The gun chiefs of the 10‑inch columbiads and the rifled 42‑pounders were directed to maintain a rate of fire of one shell every fifteen minutes. The mortars were discharged at half hour intervals. Fort McRee already badly damaged did not return the Federals' fire. Blanketed by the fire of the Federals, all of the Confederate batteries except one gun in the water battery and the powerful battery emplaced on the heights east of the lighthouse ceased firing for a period of two hours.121 During this period one of the Federal guns manned by men of Company E, 3d Infantry, was disabled by a Rebel 10‑inch shell coming through its embrasure.122 About 2 P.M. the Yankees began pouring hot shot and shell into the deserted villages of Warrington and Woolsey. At 2:30 P.M. one of the houses in the southwest portion of Warrington was ignited, either by the fire of Battery Lincoln or Cameron.123 The fire spread to the nearby church steeple. From there the conflagration was transmitted to other buildings along the street until probably two-thirds of the village was consumed. Shortly thereafter fires p164were kindled in Woolsey, a village to the north and immediately adjoining the yard. The navy yard too, received its share of attention from the powerful Federal batteries. Many of the buildings were struck and the hot shot succeeded in firing one structure.124

In accord with instructions issued by General Dick Anderson the troops not needed to man the batteries retired from the yard and its vicinity at the beginning of the attack and took positions behind the north wall. These men commanded by Colonel Daniel W. Adams, of Louisiana, held themselves ready to oppose a Federal landing if attempted.125

With darkness the Yankee siege guns ceased firing, however the mortars continued to deliver a harassing fire until 2 A.M. During the two day bombardment the Federals expended some 5,000 rounds of ammunition and the Rebels about 1,000. Both commanders issued communiques containing extravagant claims of damages to their foe, and belittling their own losses. Bragg's report reads monotonously like those of many of the Allied and Axis commanders in World War II. The North Carolinian would have us believe that about the only objects the trained artillerists of Brown's command scored hits upon were churches, hospitals, and abodes of the humble people. Undoubtedly the damages done to the southern fortifications were not as extensive as that caused by the Rebel bombardment of Fort Sumter or during the Federal reduction of Fort Pulaski. This was due to several factors — the dispersed character of the Confederate defenses, and outside of forts McRee and Barrancas the southern works were not built of brick. The new rifled cannon developed prior to the Civil War could pound this type of fortification to pieces in a matter of hours.

Fort Pickens and the Federal emplacements had escaped with less damage than the Rebel works. The majority of the Yankees had seen service in the Regular Army, and had served a long apprenticeship in the heavy artillery. As novices on the siege guns the Confederates' rate of fire was about a fifth as p165great as that of the Federals. In the face of the concentrated and accurate fierce of Brown's artillerists the Southerners' counter fire was all but silenced at times.126

The claims and counterclaims make it exceedingly difficult to render a fair evaluation as to the material damages each side suffered during the two day bombardment. Bragg reported his casualties as 7 killed and 33 wounded.127 The Federals lost 2 killed and 13 wounded.128 Defective fuses, absence of smokeless propellants, fixed ammunition, and high explosive bursting charges had been contributing factors to the small number killed and wounded in relation to the number of shells expended.


The Author's Notes:

1 Ordnance and ordnance stores at the forts on Pensacola Bay:

Fort Barrancas. Forty-four sea-coast and garrison cannon and 43 carriages, viz.: Thirteen 8‑inch columbiads and howitzers; two 10‑inch mortars, and eleven 32‑pounders, ten 18‑pounders, and three 19‑pounders; 3,152 projectiles for the same; 20,244 pounds of powder, and 2,966 cartridge bags.

Barrancas Barracks. A field battery, consisting of four 6‑pounder guns and two 12‑pounder howitzers, with carriages, and six caissons, with 300 projectiles and 270 cartridge bags for same.

Fort Pickens. Two hundred and one sea-coast and garrison cannon, viz.: Four 10‑inch columbiads and four 10‑inch mortars, fifty 8‑inch and flanking howitzers, and two 42‑pounders, sixty-two 32‑pounders, fifty-nine 24‑pounders, six 18‑pounders, and fourteen 12‑pounders, and 128 carriages for the same; also 4,974 projectiles of all kinds; 3,195 grape-shot, loose; 500 24‑pounder stands cannister shot; 12,712 pounds of powder, and 1,728 cartridge bags.

Fort McRee. One hundred and twenty five sea-coast and garrison cannon, including three 10‑inch and twelve 8‑inch columbiads; twenty-two 42‑pounders, twenty-four 32‑pounders, and sixty-four 24‑pounder guns, with sixty-four carriages; 9,026 projectiles, and 1,258 stands of grape and canister, and 19,928 pounds of powder.

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2 J. H. Gilman, "With Slemmer in Pensacola Harbor," Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, I, (New York, 1884), 26.

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3 John H. Winder was born in Maryland in 1800, and graduated from West Point in 1820 as a 2d Lieutenant, Corps of Artillery. Winder served in the Seminole Indian War and the Mexican War. In the latter conflict he was breveted major for gallantry at Contreras and Churubusco, and lieutenant-colonel for bravery in the assault on Mexico City on September 14, 1847. Winder was promoted to major 3d Artillery November 22, 1860, and resigned from the U. S. Army on April 27, 1861.

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4 Asher R. Eddy was born in Rhode Island, and graduated from the Military Academy at West Point on July 1, 1844, as 2d lieutenant 1st Artillery. Eddy was promoted to 1st lieutenant 1st Artillery on August 19, 1847.

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5 Adam J. Slemmer was born in Pennsylvania, and graduated from West Point on July 1, 1850, as brevet 2d lieutenant 1st Artillery. Slemmer was promoted to 1st lieutenant on April 30, 1854.

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6 The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies in the War of the Rebellion (Washington, 1880‑1901), Ser. I, Vol. I, 334 (cited hereafter as Official Records).

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7 Ibid. Jeremiah H. Gilman was born in Maine, and graduated from West Point in the class of 1856 as a brevet 2d lieutenant 1st Artillery. Gilman was promoted to 2d lieutenant on October 31, 1856.

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8 Ibid. 334‑35; Gilman, "With Slemmer in Pensacola Harbor," Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, I, 27.

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9 Official Records, Ser. I, Vol. I, 334.

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10 Gilman, "With Slemmer in Pensacola Harbor," loc. cit., 27.

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11 Official Records, Ser. I, Vol. I, 335. The U. S. S. Wyandotte, a 3d class screw steamer displacing 458 tons, was purchased by the United States Government for the Paraguayan expedition. In January 1861 the Wyandotte's armament consisted of four 32‑pounders and one 24‑pounder howitzer. The U. S. S. Supply, a sailing vessel of 547 tons' displacement, was built in 1852. In January 1861 the Supply's armament consisted of four 32‑pounders.

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12 Ibid.

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13 Ibid.

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14 Gilman, "With Slemmer in Pensacola Harbor," loc. cit., 28.

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15 Official Records, Ser. I, Vol. I, 336.

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16 Ibid., 442.

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17 J. J. Dickison, Confederate Military History, X (Atlanta, 1899), 8‑20.

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18 Official Records, Ser. I, Vol. I, 444.

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19 Dickison, Confederate Military History, XI, 15.

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20 Official Records, Ser. I, Vol. I, 336.

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21 Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion (Washington, 1894‑1927), 30 volumes, Ser. I, Vol. IV, 12 (cited hereafter as Official Records — Navies).

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22 Ibid., 13.

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23 Official Records, Ser. I, Vol. I, 336.

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24 Official Records — Navies, Ser. I, Vol. IV, 48‑53.

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25 Ibid., 54‑55.

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26 Gilman, "With Slemmer in Pensacola Harbor," loc. cit., 29.

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27 Official Records, Ser. I, Vol. I, 337.

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28 Gilman, "With Slemmer in Pensacola Harbor," loc. cit., 29.

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29 Official Records, Ser. I, Vol. I, 337.

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30 Gilman, "With Slemmer in Pensacola Harbor," loc. cit., 29.

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31 Official Records, Ser. I, Vol. I, 337.

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32 Gilman, "With Slemmer in Pensacola Harbor," loc. cit., 30.

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33 Ibid., 31.

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34 Official Records, Ser. I, Vol. I, 337‑38. William Henry Chase was born in Massachusetts and graduated from West Point in 1814. Chase was commissioned a brevet 2d lieutenant in the Engineers on March 4, 1815. He was promoted to 2d lieutenant on April 15, 1818, and resigned from the army on October 31, 1856, holding the rank of major at that time.

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35 Gilman, "With Slemmer in Pensacola Harbor," loc. cit., 31.

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36 Official Records, Ser. I, Vol. I, 338.

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37 Ibid.

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38 Ibid., 339.

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39 Ibid.

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40 Gilman, "With Slemmer in Pensacola Harbor," loc. cit., 32.

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41 Official Records, Ser. I, Vol. I, 339.

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42 Ibid., 444‑45. In the 36th Congress these men represented the following states: Stephen R. Mallory and David L. Yulee of Florida; Judah P. Benjamin and John Slidell of Louisiana; Louis T. Wigfall and John Hemphill of Texas; Alfred Iverson of Georgia; Jefferson Davis of Mississippi; and Clement C. Clay and Benjamin Fitzpatrick of Alabama.

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43 Ibid., 340.

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44 Ibid.

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45 Ibid.

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46 Ibid., 353. Israel Vogdes was born in Pennsylvania and graduated from West Point on July 1, 1837. Upon graduation he was commissioned a 2d lieutenant in the 1st Artillery. He was promoted to 1st lieutenant on July 9, 1838, and captain on August 20, 1847. The U. S. S. Brooklyn was a screw steamer of 2,070 tons. In January 1861 its armament consisted of twenty-two IX‑inch Dahlgrens, one heavy 12‑pounder and one light 12‑pounder.

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47 Official Records — Navies, Ser. I, Vol. IV, 67‑69. The U. S. S. St. Louis, a sailing sloop of 700 tons' displacement, was built in 1852. In January 1861 the St. Louis carried the following armament: Four 8‑inch Dahlgrens and fourteen 32‑pounders. The U. S. S. Sabine, a sailing frigate of 1,726 tons' displacement, was built in 1855. In January 1861 the Sabine's armament consisted of two 10‑inch Dahlgrens, ten 8‑inch Dahlgrens, and eighteen 32‑pounders.

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48 Dickison, Confederate Military History, X, 22‑23; Official Records, Ser. I, Vol. I, 354.

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49 John G. Nicolay, The Outbreak of Rebellion (New York, 1881), 55‑62; Official Records, Ser. I, Vol. I, 355‑56.

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50 Official Records, Ser. I, Vol. I, 357‑58.

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51 Ibid., 359.

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52 Official Records — Navies, Ser. I, Vol. IV, 85.

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53 J. G. Randall, The Civil War and Reconstruction (New York, 1953) 212‑13.

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54 Official Records, Ser. I, Vol. VI, 665; Gilman, "With Slemmer in Pensacola Harbor," loc. cit., 32.

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55 Official Records, Ser. I, Vol. VI, 666, 725. James R. Chalmers was born in Halifax County, Virginia, on January 11, 1831. His father soon removed to Holly Springs, Mississippi. Chalmers graduated from South Carolina College at Columbia in 1851 and was admitted to the bar in 1853. He was district attorney in 1858, and in 1861 was a delegate to the state secession convention. Chalmers entered the Confederate service as colonel of the 9th Mississippi Regiment. Colonel Sterling A. M. Wood was born in Lauderdale County, Alabama, in 1823. He studied law in Columbia, Tennessee, and was admitted to the bar in 1845. In 1857 he was a representative from Lauderdale in the Alabama legislature. Wood entered the service as captain of the Illinois company that left Lauderdale. Upon the organization of the 7th Alabama Wood was elected its commander. John K. Jackson was born February 8, 1828, at Augusta, Georgia. He was educated at the Richmond Academy and at South Carolina College, where he graduated in 1846. Jackson then studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1848. His fondness for military experience led him to join the Oglethorpe Infantry. Upon the call of the state for troops to enter the Confederate service, Jackson was among the first to respond and he was elected colonel of the 5th Georgia.

Thayer's Note: For Col. Harvey Brown, commanding officer of Fort Pickens — peculiarly not included in the author's footnote — see Cullum's Register, No. 185.

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56 Dickson, Military History of Florida, 26.

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57 Official Records — Navies, Ser. I, Vol. 16, 670.

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58 Ibid.. The U. S. S. Colorado, a screw steamer with sails, had been built by the government in 1856. The ship weighed 3,425 tons and had a maximum speed of 12 knots. In 1861 the Colorado was armed with two 10‑inch pivot guns, twenty-eight 9‑inch Dahlgren pivots, and fourteen 8‑inch Dahlgren pivots.

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59 Ibid., 671.

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60 Ibid. A tampion is a stopper or plug for the muzzle of a piece of ordnance.

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61 Ibid., 671‑75; Dickson, Military History of Florida, 26‑27.

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62 Official Records, Ser. I, Vol. VI, 750. Daniel Ruggles was born in Massachusetts on January 31, 1810. He was graduated from West Point in 1833 as a 2d lieutenant in the 5th Infantry. Ruggles participated in the Seminole War and the Mexican War. In the latter conflict he was breveted major for gallantry at Contreras and Churubusco, and lieutenant-colonel for his services at Chapultepec. He resigned from the United States Army on May 7, 1861. Richard H. Anderson was born near Statesboro, South Carolina, on October 7, 1821. He was graduated from West Point in July of 1842. Upon graduation he was assigned to the 2d U. S. Dragoons. He served in the Mexican War and was breveted 1st lieutenant for gallantry at San Augustine.º Anderson resigned his commission in the U. S. Army on March 3, 1861.

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63 Ibid., 458‑61. Chalmers' command was composed of detachments from the 9th and 10th Mississippi and 1st Alabama regiments. Three companies of the 7th Alabama, two companies of Louisiana infantry, and two companies of the 1st Florida regiment constituted the 2d Battalion under Patton Anderson. Colonel Jackson's battalion was composed of detachments from the 5th Georgia Regiment and the Georgia Battalion. The men of the independent company were selected from the 5th Georgia Regiment and Homer's Artillery Company. James Patton Anderson was born in Tennessee in 1820. At the outbreak of the Mexican War in 1846 Anderson was residing in Mississippi, and in that conflict he rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel of Mississippi volunteers. With the end of the Mexican War Anderson removed to Washington territory and served as its territorial delegate to the House of Representatives in 1855. At the outbreak of the Civil War he was living in Florida. In April 1861 he assumed command of the 1st Florida Regiment of Infantry and with his command was soon ordered to Pensacola.

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64 Ibid., 461.

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65 Ibid.

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66 Ibid., 447. William Wilson was born in New York and had been commissioned by Governor Morgan as commander of the 6th New York on May 25, 1861.

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67 Ibid., 461.

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68 Ibid.

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69 Ibid., 447.

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70 Ibid., 461.

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71 Ibid., 447. The officers referred to were Lieutenant colonel John Creighton, and Captains Robert H. Hotzeltine, Charles E. Henberer, and Henry L. Hoelzle, of the 6th New York.

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72 Ibid., 461.

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73 Ibid., 439. Brown had been awakened previously in the evening by the officer of the day who had reported that a force of sixty Confederates had landed on Santa Rosa Island to the west of the fort. Investigation proved this report to be unfounded so no alarm was sounded. Lewis Golding Arnold was born in New Jersey and graduated from West Point in 1837 as a brevet 2d lieutenant in the 2d Artillery. Arnold served in the Mexican War and was twice breveted for gallantry and meritorious conduct. He had been promoted to major of the 1st Artillery on May 15, 1861.

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74 Ibid., 448‑49. Vogdes' force consisted of Company E, 3d Infantry, 62 rank and file, under the command of Captain J. McL. Hildt; and 31 rank and file of Company A, 1st Artillery, under the command of 2d Lieutenant F. E. Taylor.

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75 Ibid., 449‑62. The location of the encounter between Major Vogdes' command and the Confederates was approximately half way between Camp Brown and the point of the Confederates' debarkation.

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76 Ibid., 449.

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77 Ibid. The party at the Confederate hospital consisted of three surgeons and a guard of eight enlisted men.

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78 Ibid., 440‑46. Arnold's task force consisted of two companies of regulars — Company H, 2d Artillery, and Company C, 3d Infantry. The former was commanded by Captain James H. Robertson and the latter by Lieutenant Alexander N. Shipley.

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79 Ibid., 445.

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80 Ibid. Richard C. Duryea was born in New York and graduated from West Point in July 1853 as a brevet 2d lieutenant in the 1st Artillery.

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81 Ibid., 462.

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82 Ibid., 445. Loomis L. Langdon was born in New York and graduated from West Point in July 1854 as a brevet 2d lieutenant in the 4th Artillery.

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83 Ibid. James M. Robertson was born in New Hampshire and had enlisted in the army as a private and risen from the ranks. He was breveted a 2d lieutenant of the 2d Artillery on June 28, 1848.

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84 Ibid. Alexander N. Shipley was born in Pennsylvania and enlisted in the army as an enlisted man. He was breveted 2d lieutenant in the 5th Infantry on June 1, 1857.

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85 Ibid., 451‑52.

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86 Ibid., 462.

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87 Ibid., 441‑62.

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88 Colonel Brown wrote of the conduct of the 6th New York, "Billy Wilson's Zouaves, I am sorry to say, disgracefully ran and took shelter under our batteries." In a dispatch to the Adjutant General he noted, "The 6th [New York] Regiment, I am sorry to say, so far as the officers are concerned, is in a state of disorganization; criminations, recriminations, charges, and countercharges, between the officers, and especially between the colonel and two or three espousing his side and the other officers of the regiment, became of such daily occurrence, that I had peremptorily to stop it . . ."

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89 Official Records, Ser. I, Vol. VI, 469.

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90 Official Records — Navies, Ser. I, Vol. XVI, 701.

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91 Ibid., 701‑02. Early in October the Federals had entered the Delta of the Mississippi and occupied the Head of Passes. Their plans envisioned the construction of a fort near the lighthouse at the junction of Southwest Pass and South Pass.

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92 Ibid., 703. Under the cover of darkness on the night of October 11‑12 a Confederate squadron, under the command of Commander George N. Hollins, had attacked and driven Captain Pope's force from Head of Passes.

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93 Official Records, Ser. I, Vol. VI, 469.

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94 Ibid., 751. Adley H. Gladden was born in South Carolina. At the outbreak of the Mexican War he enlisted in the Palmetto Regiment and was elected major. Upon the death of the regimental commander at Churubusco, Gladden assumed command of that famed unit. As colonel he led his regiment in its assault upon the Garita Belen, where he was severely wounded. After the Mexican War Gladden removed to Louisiana. With the outbreak of the Civil War Gladden as colonel of the 1st Louisiana led his unit to Pensacola.

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95 Ibid., 755‑56. Jones M. Withers was born in Madison County, Alabama, on January 12, 1814. He graduated from West Point in 1835 as brevet 2d lieutenant. In December 1835 he resigned from the army and returned to Alabama. In 1846 he volunteered as a private for service in the Mexican War. Withers emerged from the Mexican War as Colonel of the 9th U. S. Infantry. With the close of the conflict he again resigned from Federal service. In 1856 Withers was elected mayor of Mobile, and served in this capacity until the outbreak of the Civil War. Withers was immediately elected colonel of the 3d Alabama and led his unit to Virginia. In July he was promoted to brigadier-general and placed in command of the Mobile defenses.

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96 Ibid., 757.

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97 Ibid., 758. Benjamin F. Butler was born in Deerfield, New Hampshire, on November 5, 1818. He graduated from Waterville (now Colby) College in 1838, was admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1840. Entering politics as a Democrat, he first attracted attention by his violent campaign in Lowell in advocacy of the passage of a law establishing a ten-hour day. In 1860 as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention at Charleston he advocated the nomination of Jefferson Davis for the presidency. After the Baltimore riot on April 19, 1861, Butler, as a brigadier-general in the state militia, was sent by Governor John A. Andrew, with a force of Massachusetts troops, to reopen communications between the Federal states and Washington. By his energetic and careful work Butler achieved his purpose, and was soon afterwards made major-general, U. S. A.

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98 Ibid.

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99 Ibid., 761. The 17th Alabama, commanded by Colonel T. H. Watts, arrived at Pensacola from Huntsville on November 16.

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100 Mississippi Official and Statistical Register 1908 (Nashville, 1908), 550‑79.

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101 Official Records, Ser. I, Vol. VI, 764‑65.

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102 Ibid., 766.

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103 Ibid., 770.

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104 Official Records — Navies, Ser. I, Vol. XVI, 775. The U. S. S. Richmond, a screw steamer of 2,700 tons, was built by the government at the Norfolk Navy Yard in 1860. The ship had a maximum speed of 9.5 knots and a main battery of sixteen guns.

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105 Dickison, Confederate Military History, 34.

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106 Official Records — Navies, Ser. I, Vol. XVI, 775.

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107 Ibid., 776.

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108 Ibid.

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109 Ibid., 778.

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110 Ibid., 776.

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111 Official Records, Ser. I, Vol. VI, 472‑73. The guns in Fort Pickens were divided into seven distinct batteries, each battery having a separate commander. A one-gun battery in the covered way, 10‑inch columbiad en barbette, manned by a detachment from Company G, (p160)2d Artillery, commanded by Lieutenant McFarland, Engineer Corps; the battery manned by Company A, 1st Artillery, consisted of one 10‑inch columbiad, one 42‑pounder rifled gun and seven 32‑pounders en barbette, and one 42‑pounder field gun, and two 8‑inch columbiads in casemates; the battery manned by Company L, 1st Artillery, commanded by Lt. Jackson, 1st Artillery, consisted of one 10‑inch columbiad and five 32‑pounders en barbette, one 42‑pounder rifled gun, one 8‑inch columbiad (unchambered), and two 42‑pounders (smooth bore) in casemates; the battery manned by Company K, 2d Artillery, commanded by Captain Allen, 2d Artillery, consisted of one 10‑inch columbiad en barbette and three 42‑pounder rifled guns in casemates; the battery maned by Company E, 3d Infantry, commanded by Captain Hildt, 3d Infantry, consisted of one 10‑inch columbiad and one 42‑pounder rifled gun en barbette and two 8‑inch columbiads (one chambered and one unchambered) in casemates; the battery manned by Company C, 3d Infantry, commanded by Lieutenant Shipley, 3d Infantry, consisted of one 10‑inch columbiad en barbette and two 42‑pounder rifled guns and one 8‑inch columbiad (unchambered) in casemate; the mortar battery in the ditch, curtain A to B, manned by detachments from the command commanded by Lieutenant Langdon, 5th Artillery, consisted of four 10‑inch sea-coast mortars; Battery Scott, manned by Company F, 1st Artillery commanded by Captain Duryea, 1st Artillery, assisted by Lieutenant Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Closson, 1st Artillery, consisted of two 10‑inch columbiads and one 42‑pounder rifled gun en barbette and two 10‑inch sea-coast mortars; Battery Lincoln, manned by Company H, 2d Artillery, commanded by Captain Robertson, 2d Artillery, consisted of four 8‑inch sea-coast howitzers and one 42‑pounder rifled gun en barbette and two 10‑inch sea-coast mortars; Battery Totten, manned by Company C, 2d Artillery, commanded by Captain Blunt, 12th Infantry, consisted of one 13‑inch and one 12‑inch sea-coast mortars; Battery Cameron, manned by Company I, 6th New York Volunteers, the gunners and purveyors from Company H, 2d Artillery, commanded by Lieutenant Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Pennington, 2d Artillery, consisted of two 10‑inch columbiads en barbette and one 10‑inch Parrott rifled gun (the first day). The guns fired from the fort and the batteries outside against the Confederates' line of forts and batteries, including the town of Warrington and the navy yard, were ten 10‑inch columbiads, six 8‑inch columbiads, eleven 42‑pounder James rifled guns, and two 42‑pounder smooth-bore, four 8‑inch sea-coast howitzers, eight 10‑inch sea-coast mortars, one 13‑inch and one 12‑inch sea-coast mortars, and twelve 32‑pounders en barbette.

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112 Ibid., 469‑73.

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113 Ibid., 474.

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114 Ibid., 494.

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115 Ibid., 474.

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116 Ibid., 492. John B. Villepique was born at Camden, South Carolina on July 2, 1830. He was graduated from West Point in 1854 as a brevet 2d lieutenant in the 2d Dragoons. He served mainly on the frontier and was promoted to 1st lieutenant in 1857. On March 31, 1861, he resigned from the army to enter the Confederate service. Villepique was commissioned captain of artillery and soon afterwards was promoted to colonel of the 36th Georgia.

Thayer's Note: His name is usually spelled Villepigue, as for example in Cullum's Register, linked in the text.

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117 Ibid.

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118 Ibid., 490.

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119 Ibid., 480‑88. Lieutenant Francis W. Seeley reported: "From my experience with the Parrott rifled gun I consider it to be the most perfect rifled cannon that we have here in our service . . . ."

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120 Ibid., 490‑91.

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121 Ibid., 475. Among the batteries silenced were Wheat's and the church batteries, Fort Barrancas, and all the guns on the waterfront.

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122 Ibid., 485. The shell knocked off a considerable quantity of brick from each side of the embrasure, and wedged between the carriage and chassis of the 8‑inch columbiad, destroying the carriage. The shell, fortunately for the Yankees, did not explode; six men were wounded by the flying brick.

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123 Ibid., 478.

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124 Ibid., 491.

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125 Ibid. 494‑95. Daniel W. Adams entered the field as 2d lieutenant of Mississippi State Troops. On October 30, 1861, he was commissioned colonel of the 1st Louisiana Infantry Regiment, stationed at Pensacola.

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126 The consensus of trained officers of the Civil War period was that an artillerist could not be improvised in a day but that time and tuition were necessary to make one.

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127 Official Records, Ser. I, Vol. VI, 490.

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128 Ibid., 470. Official Records — Navies, Ser. I, Vol. XVI, 776.


Thayer's Note:

a An almost equally interesting account in some respects is buried in the Biographical Sketch of Fort Pickens' commanding officer, Col. Harvey Brown, in Cullum's Register, No. 185.


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