Showing posts with label Drewry's Bluff. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Drewry's Bluff. Show all posts

Monday, November 16, 2020

Diary of Private Louis Leon: August 28, 1862

Ordered to Drewry's Bluff. We left Richmond at 8 P.M. and got there at 2 A.M. We are camping on the old oat patch, near our former camp.

SOURCE: Louis Leon, Diary of a Tar Heel Confederate Soldier, p. 10

Monday, September 28, 2020

Diary of Private Louis Leon: June 26, 1862

We received marching orders this morning. The long roll beat at one in the night. We marched four miles on to Richmond, where we met some wounded of our army that had been injured at the Point of Rocks. We got to this place after marching all night, too late for the Yanks—they had gone. We stayed here until the 28th, then marched to Drewry's Bluff, twenty miles from Petersburg.

SOURCE: Louis Leon, Diary of a Tar Heel Confederate Soldier, p. 7-8

Diary of Private Louis Leon: June 29, 1862


Arrived at Drewry's Bluff this morning. Here we met our brigade, commanded by General Daniels. The brigade has five regiments, all North Carolina troops, composed of the 43d, 53d, 32d, 45th and the 2d North Carolina battalions. When we got to our brigade we were left at Drewry's Bluff and the brigade marched on to Richmond, and we stayed here until the 30th.

SOURCE: Louis Leon, Diary of a Tar Heel Confederate Soldier, p. 8

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: January 2, 1864

Gen. Longstreet writes that it will be well to winter in East Tennessee (Rogersville), unless there should be a pressing necessity for him elsewhere. But his corps ought to be at least 20,000. He says provisions may be got in that section; and if they be collected, the enemy may be forced to leave.

The Secretary of the Navy has requested the Secretary of War to open the obstructions at Drewry's Bluff, so that the iron-clads, Richmond and Fredericksburg, may pass out. This he deems necessary for the defense of Richmond, as our iron-clads may prevent the enemy from coming up the river and landing near the city.

The Lynchburg Virginian has come out for a dictator, and names Gen. Lee.

The Raleigh (N. C.) Progress says we must have peace on any terms, or starvation. I think we can put some 200,000 additional men in the field next year, and they can be fed also.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 123

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: November 28, 1863

The clerks were marched out into the muddy street this morning in a cold rain, and stood there for hours, while the officers were making up their minds when to start for the boat to convey them to Drewry's Bluff, whence they are to march to Chaffin's Farm, provided the officers don't change their minds.

There are reports of a repulse of the enemy by Lee yesterday, and also of a victory by Bragg, but they are not traceable to authentic sources.

At 3 o'clock P.M. it is cold, but has ceased to rain.

The want of men is our greatest want, and I think it probable Congress will repeal the Substitute Law, and perhaps the Exemption Act. Something must be done to put more men in the ranks, or all will be lost. The rich have contrived to get out, or to keep; out, and there are not poor men enough to win our independence. All, with very few exceptions, between the ages of 18 and 45, must fight for freedom, else we may not win it.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 108

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: May 9, 1863

The papers contain the following order from Gen. Lee:

“headquarters Army Northern Virginia,
“May 7th, 1803.

“general Orders No. 59.

“With heartfelt gratification, the General Commanding expresses to the army his sense of the heroic conduct displayed by officers and men, during the arduous operations in which they have just been engaged.

“Under trying vicissitudes of heat and storm, you attacked the enemy, strongly intrenched in the depths of a tangled wilderness, and again on the hills of Fredericksburg, fifteen miles distant, and by the valor that has triumphed on so many fields, forced him once more to seek safety beyond the Rappahannock. While this glorious victory entitles you to the praise and gratitude of the nation, we are especially called upon to return our grateful thanks to the only Giver of victory for the signal deliverance He has wrought.

“It is, therefore, earnestly recommended that the troops unite on Sunday next in ascribing to the Lord of hosts the glory due unto His name.

“Let us not forget in our rejoicing the brave soldiers who have fallen in defense of their country; and while we mourn their loss, let us resolve to emulate their noble example.

“The army and the country alike lament the absence for a time of one to whose bravery, energy, and skill they are so much indebted for success.

“The following letter from the President of the Confederate States is communicated to the army as an expression of his appreciation of its success:

“‘I have received your dispatch, and reverently unite with you in giving praise to God for the success with which He has crowned our arms.

“‘In the name of the people, I offer my cordial thanks to yourself and the troops under your command for this addition to the unprecedented series of great victories which your army has achieved.

“‘The universal rejoicing produced by this happy result will be mingled with a general regret for the good and the brave who are numbered among the killed and wounded.’

“R. E. Lee, General.

The losses on either side are not yet relatively ascertained. Ours, in killed, wounded, and prisoners, will probably reach 10,000. We have taken about 10,000 prisoners; the enemy's killed and wounded is thought to be 15,000 to 20,000. We have taken about fifty guns — and it is said 40,000 small arms, in good order. They did not have leisure to destroy them as on former occasions. It was a complete and stunning defeat.

Gen. Jackson remains near Fredericksburg, and is doing well since the amputation of his (left) arm. The wound was received, during the battle by moonlight, from his own men, who did not recognize their beloved general.

A letter was received to-day from Gen. Whiting at Wilmington, who refuses to permit the “Lizzie” to leave the port, unless ordered to do so. He intimates that she trades with the enemy. And yet Mr. Benjamin urges the Secretary to allow her to depart! Commodore Lynch also writes that the detention of the “Lizzie” is a prudential measure, as it is the only steamer in port that could conduct our unfinished gun-boat to a place of safety, should the enemy's fleet make a sudden attack on the city.

The President (who still absents himself from the Executive Office, his health being precarious) writes the Secretary to consult Gen. Lee before detaching Gen. Jenkins's cavalry brigade from the West. It would have been better if Gen. Lee's advice had been taken in regard to Gen. Longstreet.

The men from the garrison at Drewry's Bluff, and the crew from the steamer Richmond, were taken away to man the batteries around the city. The President requests the Secretary to order them back at the earliest moment practicable. It would be an ugly picture if our defenses at Drewry's Bluff were surprised and taken by a sudden dash of the enemy up James River.

The raid of the enemy's cavalry, after all, did little or no permanent injury to the roads or canal. They are all in operation again.

It is said Lincoln has called for 500,000 more men. Numbers have now no terror for the Southern people. They are willing to wage the war against quadruple their number.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 316-8

Monday, February 20, 2017

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: February 19, 1863

The resignation of Gen. Gustavus W. Smith has been accepted by the President. It was well done — the acceptance, I mean. Who will Gen. Winder report to now? Gen. Winder has learned that I am keeping a diary, and that some space in it may be devoted to the history of martial law. He said to Capt. Warner, his commissary of prisons, that he would patronize it. The captain asked me if Gen. Winder's rule was not dwelt upon in it. I said doubtless it was; but that I had not yet revised it, and was never in the habit of perusing my own works until they were completed. Then I carefully corrected them for the press.

Major-Gen. Pickett's division marched through the city to-day for Drewry's Bluff. Gen. Lee writes that this division can beat the army corps of Hooker, supposed to be sent to the Peninsula. It has 12,000 men — an army corps 40,000. Brig.-Gen. Hood's division is near the city, on the Chickahominy. Gen. Lee warns the government to see that Gens. French and Pryor be vigilant, and to have their scouts closely watching the enemy at Suffolk. He thinks, however, the main object of the enemy is to take Charleston; and he suggests that every available man be sent thither. The rest of his army he will keep on the Rappahannock, to watch the enemy still remaining north of that river.

I sent a communication to the President to-day, proposing to reopen my register of “patriotic contributions” to the army, for they are suffering for meat. I doubt whether he will agree to it. If the war be prolonged, the appeal must be to the people to feed the army, or else it will dissolve.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 261-2

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Diary of Sir Arthur James Lyon Fremantle: Friday, June 19, 1863

I embarked at 10 A.M. on board a small steamer to visit Drewry's Bluff on the James River, the scene of the repulse of the ironclads Monitor and Galena. The stream exactly opposite Richmond is very shallow and rocky, but it becomes navigable about a mile below the city. Drewry's Bluff is about eight miles distant, and, before reaching it, we had to pass through two bridges — one of boats, and the other a wooden bridge. I was shown over the fortifications by Captain Chatard, Confederate States navy, who was in command during the absence of Captain Lee. A flotilla of Confederate gunboats was lying just above the obstructions, and nearly opposite to the bluff. Amongst them was the Yorktown, alias Patrick Henry, which, under the command of my friend Captain Tucker, figured in the memorable Merrimac attack. There was also an ironclad called the Richmond, and two or three smaller craft. Beyond Drewry's Bluff, on the opposite side of the river, is Chaffin's Bluff, which mounts heavy guns, and forms the extreme right of the Richmond defences on that side of the river.

At the time of the attack by the two Federal ironclads, assisted by several wooden gunboats, there were only three guns mounted on Drewry's Bluff, which is from 80 to 90 feet high. These had been hastily removed from the Yorktown, and dragged up there by Captain Tucker on the previous day. They were either smooth-bore 32-pounders or 8-inch guns, I forget which. During the contest the Monitor, notwithstanding her recent exploits with the Merrimac, kept herself out of much danger, partly concealed behind the bend of the river; but her consort, the ironclad Galena, approached boldly to within 500 yards of the bluff. The wooden gunboats remained a considerable distance down the river. After the fight had lasted about four hours the Galena withdrew much crippled, and has never, I believe, been known to fame since. The result of the contest goes to confirm the opinion expressed to me by General Beauregard — viz., that ironclads cannot resist the plunging fire of forts, even though that latter can only boast of the old smoothbore guns.

A Captain Maury took me on board the Richmond ironclad, in which vessel I saw a 7-inch treble-banded Brook gun, weighing, they told me, 21,000 lb., and capable of standing a charge of 25 lb. of powder. Amongst my fellow-passengers from Richmond I had observed a very Hibernian-looking prisoner in charge of one soldier. Captain Maury informed me that this individual was being taken to Chaffin's Bluff, where he is to be shot at 12 noon to-morrow for desertion.

Major Norris and I bathed in James River at 7 P.M. from a rocky and very pretty island in the centre of the stream.

I spent another very agreeable evening at Mrs S——’s, and met General Randolph, Mr Butler King, and Mr Conrad there; also Colonel Johnston, aide-de-camp to the President, who told me that they had been forced, in order to stop Bumside's executions in Kentucky, to select two Federal captains, and put them under orders for death. General Randolph looks in weak health. He had for some time filled the post of Secretary of War; but it is supposed that he and the President did not quite hit it off together. Mr Conrad as well as Mr King is a member of Congress, and he explained to me that, at the beginning of the war, each State was most desirous of being put (without the slightest necessity) under military law, which they thought was quite the correct remedy for all evil; but so sick did they soon become of this regime that at the last session Congress had refused the President the power of putting any place under military law, which is just as absurd in the other direction.

I hear every one complaining dreadfully of General Johnston's inactivity in Mississippi, and all now despair of saving Vicksburg. They deplore its loss, more on account of the effect its conquest may have in prolonging the war, than for any other reason. No one seems to fear that its possession, together with Port Hudson, will really enable the Yankees to navigate the Mississippi; nor do they fear that the latter will be able to prevent communication with the trans-Mississippi country.

Many of the Richmond papers seem to me scarcely more respectable than the New York ones. Party spirit runs high. Liberty of the press is carried to its fullest extent.

SOURCE: Sir Arthur James Lyon Fremantle, Three Months in the Southern States: April-June, 1863, p. 221-4

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: July 21, 1862

A Marylander, a lieutenant employed by Gen. Winder to guard the prisoners (the generals and other high Yankee officers), came to me to-day, with a friend who had just arrived from Baltimore, and demanded passports to visit Drewry's Bluff, for the purpose of inspecting the defenses. I refused, fearing he might (I did not like his face) have been corrupted by his prisoners. He said very significantly that he would go in spite of me. This I reported to the Assistant Adjutant-General, and also wrote a note to Gen. Wise, to examine him closely if he came within his lines.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 145