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6 Series I Volume XXVI-I Serial 41 - Port Hudson Part I

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Page 6 W.FLA., S.ALA., S.MISS., LA., TEX., N.MEX. Chapter XXXVIII.

It is prepared by direction of the Adjutant-General. Being absent from the records, I have been unable to state as fully and as much in detail as could be desired the history of the different campaigns.

After the campaign of Port Hudson, the troops were engaged immediately and continuously, and the officers were, for that reason, unable to make detailed reports of the operations of their respective commands.

I have been unable, therefore,to name the officers who deserve the consideration and favor of the Government for distinguished services, of whom there are many, and I shall ask leave to submit an additional report upon that subject.

The details of the Port Hudson campaign are drawn from such publications and dispatches of the time as have been within my reach.

Any error that may occur will be corrected at the earliest possible moment.

With much respect, your obedient servant,

N. P. BANKS,

Major-General, Commanding.

NEW YORK, April 6, 1865.

SIR: The military objects contemplated by the orders which I received upon assuming command of the Department of the Gulf, dated November 8, 1862, were: The freedom of the Mississippi; an expedition to Jackson and Marion after the fall of Vicksburg and Port Hudson; and the occupation of the Red River country as a protection for Louisiana and Arkansas and a basis of future operations against Texas.

I assumed command of the department December 16, 1862. The 18th of December, Brigadier General Cuvier Grover, with 10,000 men, was ordered to take possession of Baton Rouge, then held by the enemy. This was the first step toward the reduction of Port Hudson.

The Island of Galveston, Tex., had been captured in October, and was then occupied or held by the navy. Information had been received, previous to my arrival in New Orleans, of a contemplated attack for the recovery of that position by the enemy. Upon consultation with Rear-Admiral D. G. Farragut and Major-General Butler, both of whom recommended the measure, the Forty-second Massachusetts Volunteers, Colonel Burrell commanding, was sent to occupy the island, in support of the navy. Brigadier General A. J. Hamilton, who had been commissioned as Military Governor of Texas, and who accompanied my expedition to New Orleans, with a large staff, also pressed my occupation of Texas with the greatest earnestness, and it was in deterrence, in a great degree, to his most strongly expressed wishes, that the expedition was undertaken, thought it was fully justified by the information which had been received of a proposed attack by the enemy, as well as by the advice of the naval and military authorities of the department. Three companies of this regiment, under command of Colonel Burrell, arrived at Galveston Island on December 27, 1862, and, by the advice of the naval officers, landed on the 28th.

On the morning of January 1, 1863, they were attacked by about 5,000 of the enemy, who gained possession of the island by a brigade from the mainland, which had been left unimpaired during the entire occupation of the island by our forces. The naval forces were attacked at the same time by the cotton-clad gunboats of the enemy, which resulted in the capture of our land force, numbering 260 men, including their officers, the steamer Harriet Lane two coal transports, and a schooner, and the


Page 6 W.FLA., S.ALA., S.MISS., LA., TEX., N.MEX. Chapter XXXVIII.

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