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nition, more than a hundred thousand dollars' worth of commissary stores, and a large amount of other property."
For daring and patient suffering—fighting day after day without water, the hattle of Lexington stands almost without a rival in history. It was stubbornly contested, and evinced in the most striking manner the devotion and faithfulness of the adopted citizens of our country.
ATTACK ON SANTA EOSA ISLAND.
October 9, 1861.
Santa Rosa Island is a long, narrow strip of low land, partially covered with bushes and stunted trees, lying opposite Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, on the western coast of Florida. The Bay of Pensacola is separated from the Gulf of Mexico by this island, which varies in width from one hundred yards to five-eighths of a mile. At the western extremity of the island Fort Pickens stands, commanding the channel, and on the mainland, a short distance west of the Navy Yard, is Fort San Carlos de Barrancas.
General Bragg, commanding at Pensacola, had matured a well-devised plan by which he designed to surprise and capture Fort Pickens, but in which he was signally defeated by the watchfulness and bravery of the troops at the fort, and on the island. The Federal force encamped on the island was a part of the New York Sixth Volunteers, known as Wilson's Zouaves, numbering about three hundred men; and the destruction or capture of this force, was the first design of the leaders of the expedition, who confidently hoped, in the confusion arising from a night attack and rout, to obtain possession or destroy the batteries on the island, if not to capture Fort Pickens itself.
On the morning of Wednesday, the 9th of October, at two o'clock, the enemy silently commenced their advance upon the camp from a point about four miles distant, where they had landed during the night, about fifteen hundred strong, under General Anderson. The night was extremely dark, and it was almost impossible to distinguish any object at a distance of twenty yards. The Zouaves, numbering about three hundred, were encamped a mile from the fort, on the shore, but between the fort and the approaching foe, with their pickets thrown out a mile in advance. About three o'clock, the rebels, having driven in the pickets, who made a gallant resistance, reached the camp of Colonel Wilson, and owing to the confusion and darkness, before he had time to form his men, they were driven from their tents, many of which were burnt or destroyed by the enemy.
On the first alarmv Colonel Harvey Brown, commandant of the fort, dispatched Major Vogdes, with two companies of regulars, to the scene of conflict. The men soon became intermingled with the enemy, who succeeded in taking the Major prisoner. Major Arnold, with two additional companies, was soon after sent out from the fort, and favored by the light of the burning tents, they were enabled to ascertain the position and force of the enemy, and gallantly rushed to the attack. Captain Hildt, now in command of the two companies which had been led on by Major Vogdes, extricated his men from their perilous position, and opened a well-directed fire on the enemy, compelling them reluctantly to give way. Colonel Wilson, who had succeeded in bringing a body of his men together after their sudden surprise, formed them into line, and now joined in the battle, when the insurgents were very soon thrown into confusion, and made a rapid retreat to their boats, pursued by a victorious force of only one-fourth their number.
Colonel Brown, in his report, says that "the plan of the enemy's attack was judicious; and, if executed with ordinary ability, might have been attended with serious loss to the Unionists. But he failed in all save the burning of one-half of the tents of the Sixth regiment, which, being covered with bushes, were very combustible, and in rifling the trunks of the officers. He did not reach within five hundred yards of either of the batteries, the guns of which he was to spike; nor within a mile of the fort he was to enter with the fugitives retreating before his victorious arms!"
Many of the rebels were wounded by the sharp firing continued by the Federal troops during their re-embarkation. One of their flat-boats sunk, and many bodies were found floating in the water on the following day. The Federal loss was fifteen killed, forty-one wounded, and eighteen prisoners; that of the rebels in killed and wounded was over one hundred, and thirty-five of them remained prisoners in the hands of the Federal forces.
BATTLE OP BALL'S BLUPP.
October 21, 1861.
Perhaps no event in the course of the war thus far produced a more profound sensation than the news of the Battle of Ball's Bluff, which occurred on the 21st of October. The loss of life was heavy on the part of the Federals. Several accomplished and valuable officers were killed, among whom was the distinguished and eloquent Senator from Oregon, General Baker. The fatality attending this battle caused it to be regarded with peculiar interest, and remembered as fruitful in daring deeds and memorials of terrible bloodshed.
The north and south hanks of the Potomac river, from the Great Falls, a few miles above Washington, to Harper's Ferry, were hold by the Federal and secession troops respectively. Great care was taken by the Government to defend the north bank, in order to prevent the threatened incursion of the enemy into Maryland, from whence, aided by the disunion sympathizers of that State, they designed to make the long contemplated attack upon the capital. Among the troops stationed on the Potomac, extending from Great Falls to Edwards Ferry, was the division of General Banks; from Edwards Ferry to Conrad's Ferry, a division under General Stone; while Colonels Lander, Geary, and others held the line thence to Harper's Ferry.
On the south side of the river, two strong positions were held by the enemy—Dranesvilfe and Leesburg. The latter is the terminus of the Loudon and Hampshire railroad, about five miles from the Potomac, and opposite Edwards Ferry. The Southern commanders having determined to abandon their design of crossing the Potomac, had commenced the withdrawal of their troops from various points towards Manassas.
General McClellan, anxious to ascertain whether any movement of the forces at Leesburg and Dranesville had been made, directed General McCall, on the 18th, to push a reconnoissance in force in the direction of Dranesville. General McCall penetrated to that town, found that the enemy had evacuated the place, and was informed that Leesburg had also been abandoned.
While this reconnoissance was progressing, General McClellan informed General Stone ot the fact, and directed him to make careful observations of the movements of the enemy, to ascertain what effect was produced by the expedition of General McCall. He also suggested that a slight demonstration on his own part might be successful in expediting their removal.
In obedience to these orders, General Stone, on the 20th, made a feint of crossing the river at Edwards Ferry, while four companies of the Fifteenth Massachusetts were sent to Harrison's Island, in the Potomac, situated between Edwards and Conrad's Ferries. At ten o'clock, p. M., Lieutenant Howe, Quartermaster of the Fifteenth Massachusetts, reported that Lieutenant Philbrick had returned to the island from his reconnoissance to Leesburg, and that he had been within one mile of that place, discovering only a small encampment of thirty tents, and without encountering any of the enemy—no pickets being out at any distance from their camp.
The Federal forces in that vicinity were then posted as follows:— General Stone, with General Gorman's brigade, Seventh Michigan, two troops of Van Alen cavalry, and the Putnam Rangers, at Edwards Ferry; five companies of Massachusetts Volunteers, under Colonel