Southern Historical Society Papers/Volume 03/January/Defence of Mobile in 1865

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Southern Historical Society Papers: Volume 3  (1877) 
Defence of Mobile in 1865 by Dabney Herndon Maury
January 1877

SOUTHERN HISTORICAL SOCIETY PAPERS.



Vol. III.
No. 1.
Richmond, Va. January, 1877.


The Defence of Mobile in 1865.


By General Dabney H. Maury.


[We deem it a valuable service to the cause of historic truth to be able to present from time to time careful reviews of books about the war. And our readers will consider us fortunate in having secured the following review of General Andrews' book from the pen of the able soldier who made the gallant defence of Mobile against such overwhelming odds.]

History of the Campaign of Mobile. By Brevet Major-General C.C. Andrews. D. Van Nostrand, Publisher, &c.

This is an octavo volume of more than 250 pages, prepared in 1865-6, and entirely devoted to the campaign of Mobile.

The author manifests extreme pride in the success accomplished by the Federal army, in which he held high command. He has avowedly endeavored to set forth fairly the facts of the history he has undertaken to record, but has shown how difficult was the task when the passions of the recent strife were so fresh.

The first and second chapters are devoted to the capture by Farragut of Forts Morgan and Gaines and Powell. Though they are not very accurate, we let them pass.

Chapter four is very short, but it contains as many errors as can well be found in any other chapter not longer.

It vindicates, as the author thinks, Canby's selection of his base of operations, which was made upon the eastern shore of Mobile bay, and from which he operated against detached outworks of comparatively little importance.

We were infinitely relieved when we found the attack would be there—but never knew why; and until General Andrews told us in this chapter why General Steele's column moved from Pensacola up to Pollard, we had been at a loss to account for that movement. He says it was to prevent us from escaping Canby's army on the eastern shore and making our way to Montgomery! Such a route of escape had never been contemplated by us. We always feared lest he might intercept us on the Mobile and Ohio railroad, by which we ultimately moved away unmolested.

Had Canby landed on Dog river, west of Mobile, and invested the city, he would have found his work shorter and easier, and might have captured my whole army. The city was level and exposed throughout the whole extent to fire from any direction. There were near 40,000 non-combatants within its lines of defence, whose sufferings under a seige would soon have paralyzed the defence by a garrison so small as ours was; and the early evacuation would have been inevitable, while it would have been exceedingly difficult of accomplishment. Had Canby not made the indefensible blunder of landing his army at Fish river to attack Mobile, the sending of Steele's corps towards Pollard would not have been a blunder, for then I might have been forced to try to bring out my garrison on that sideband to lead it to Mongomery, and have had to drive Steele from my path or surrender to him.

On page 41 we have an illustration of the Puritan origin of our author, in the following:

"Such of the soldiers as were disposed assembled in religious meetings when circumstances permitted. One pleasant evening, in Gilbert's brigade 1,000 men were assembled and     *     *     *     *     *     *     poured forth their fervent prayers and joined their voices in sacred hymns. Nor will those who remember such heroes as Havelock deny that piety is a help to valor."

A little reflection on its illogical results would, perhaps, have caused General Andrews to spare us this appeal to the cant-loving community for whom he writes, and adopt the more simple style becoming a military historian of his opportunities.

Canby was moving with 60,000 soldiers and Farragut's fleet to attack 8,000 ill-appointed Confederates, and to capture them. And after our little army had withstood his great armament and armada for three weeks, and had then bravely made good its retreat, Gen. Andrews calls upon his readers to admire the great valor, supplemented by the piety, of the attacking army, because one pleasant night they had prayers and sang hymns in their bivouac in the piney woods.

He tells us Canby's base on Fish river was only twenty miles below Spanish Fort; that he occupied nine days in marching that distance; that his wing entrenched itself every night—all in a strain of grandiloquence conformable with his illustration of its piety, and rendered especially absurd to us, who knew that there was no force in Canby's front except about five hundred cavalry under Colonel Spence.

It is true, Spence handled his men with excellent skill and courage, and no doubt had even praying in a quiet way every night; for he made 40,000 Federals move very circumspectly every day, and entrench themselves every night against him; and here I will say Colonel Spence was one of the most efficient and comfortable out-post commanders I ever had to deal with. He always took what was given him and made the most of it. He was devoted, active, brave and modest, and did his whole duty to the very last day of our existence as an army.

In my comments on the allusion of General Andrews to praying in his camp, I do not mean to dissent from the well understood fact that valor and piety often go together, and we do not, above all things, wish to incur the suspicion of irreverence. The simple, unpretending piety which prevailed in the Confederate camps has always been the subject of our genuine respect. There has never been in any army of modern times a soldiery so sober, so continent, so religious or so reliant, as was to be found in the armies of the Southern Confederacy; from our great commander down to the youngest privates in the ranks, in all might have been observed one high purpose—to stand by the right—and to maintain that the support and aid of the God of Battles was daily invoked; and that it was not invoked in vain, let the unsurpassed achievements of the Confederate troops bear witness. There was never a day from the beginning to the end of the war that the chaplains of our regiments did not discharge their duty, and as a class there were none in our armies who held and who still retain more of the confidence, the respect and the affection of the Confederate soldiers than the Confederate chaplains. No matter what was his sect—whether Roman Catholic or Protestant—every soldier knew he had in his chaplain a friend, and for many weary weeks after the time General Andrews commemorates, he might, had he been with us, have daily attended mass performed by the brave priests in the camps of our Louisianians, or joined in the simpler devotions which were led by the devoted ministers oi the regiments of Ector's fierce Texans.

The piety and the valor which went hand in hand through our armies, were not working for naught—and it may yet be, even in the lifetime of General Andrews, that Providence, who works in a misterious way, may manifest how surely the right will triumph in the end—and that he will live to see and understand that the principles we fought to uphold are essential to civil liberty in its highest perfection, and the time seems near at hand when all the world will know it.

Page 44, the statement of the strength of the garrison of Mobile is very inaccurate. Including 1,500 cavalry and all the available fighting men for defence of Mobile, and all its outposts, batteries and dependencies, my force did not exceed 9,000 men of all arms!

The cavalry constituted no part of the defensive force of the places attacked, and all of our infantry and a large part of our artillery was sent away from Mobile to Spanish Fort and Blakely. During the fighting on the eastern shore, the city of Mobile and all the works and forts immediately around it were garrisoned by scarce 3,000 artillerists! And by a bold dash, the place could have been carried any night during the operations against Spanish Fort.

Page 48, the author is mistaken in saying we had Parrott guns in Spanish Fort. The only Parrott gun we had at that time about Mobile was a thirty-pounder Parrott, named "Lady Richardson." We had captured her at Corinth in October, 1862, my Division Chief of Artillery, Colonel William E. Burnett, brought her off, and added her to our park of field artillery, and we had kept her ever since.

But we had some cannon better than any Parrott had ever made. They were the Brooke guns, made at Selma in the Confederate, naval works, of the iron from Briarsfield, Alabama—the best iron for making cannon in the world.

Our Brooke guns at Mobile were rifles, of 11-inch, 10-inch, 7-inch and 6 4/10–inch callibres. They out-ranged the Parrotts, and, though subjected to extraordinary service, not one of them was ever bursted or even strained.

The mistakes into which General Andrews has fallen are natural and almost inevitable. His real desire to write fairly is evinced by the handsome compliments he pays to Confederate officers on several occasions, as in case of Lieutenant Sibley, who, with six men, boldly attacked the wagon train of Canby's army, brought off his spoils, and created a little flutter of alarm all throughout the post.

General Andrews persists in his mistake as to the numbers of the garrisons of the respective places, and he counts the same forces twice in the same place. Thus, when the "boy brigade" was relieved in Spanish Fort by the Alabama brigade, the boys were sent away to Blakely: but the author continues to count them as if still forming part of Spanish Fort garrison.

But despite the defects of the work, some of which we have endeavored to illustrate, it is a valuable addition to the history of the times, and will probably be the accepted authority on that side about the essential history of the last great battle of the war between the States, as it is not probable that anybody else will have the painstaken industry and, at the same time, the direct personal interest in the subject to embody in a form so permanent the events of a campaign so brief and so bootless—a campaign which was begun when scarce a hope was left of that independence for which we had fought four years and was ended after Lee's surrender at Appomattox had enshrowed in the pall of utter despair every heart that could feel a patriot's glow throughout all our stricken land.

Because it was my honor to command that Confederate army at Mobile, and my privilege to share its fortunes to the very end, it is my duty to record its story. I cannot do so more briefly than in the narrative I now reproduce, which was originally written by me soon after Mr. Davis, our late honored President, was released from arrest on account of his participation in the war of secession.

He had entrusted me with the command of the Department of the Gulf and the defence of Mobile. I felt a soldier's natural desire to inform him how that trust had been executed.

General Andrews' book and excellent maps, in connection with the report and comments herein given, will afford to the military reader all that is essential to a proper understanding of the last great battle which has yet been fought to uphold the rights of the States against the encroachments of the Federal power.

Dabney H. Maury, 
Major-General late Confederate Army.

 

 

New Orleans, Louisiana, December 25, 1871.

To Hon. Jefferson Davis.
 Late President Southern Confederacy:

My dear sir—I avail myself of your permission to narrate to you the history of the last great military operation between the troops of the Confederate States and the troops of the United States.

Immediately after the battle of Nashville, preparations were commenced for the reduction of Mobile. Two corps which had been sent to reinforce Thomas at Nashville were promptly returned to Canby in New Orleans, and the collection of material and transportation for a regular siege of Mobile commenced. General Taylor agreed with me in the opinion that ten thousand men in Mobile would compel a siege by regular approaches, would occupy the Federal troops in the Southwest for a long time, and would be as much as the Confederacy could spare for such objects. He thought he could send me such a force; and believed that the cavalry under Forrest would be able to defeat Wilson and succor me, and prevent the successful siege of the place if I could hold out for seven days. The general orders given me by General Beauregard and General Taylor were to save my garrison, after having defended my position as long as was consistent with the ultimate safety of my troops and to burn all the cotton in the city, except that which had been guaranteed protection against such burning by the Confederate authorities.

Canby organized his forces in Mobile bay and at Pensacola. Two army corps rendezvoused on Fish river under the immediate command of Canby; another army corps assembled at Pensacola under General Steele. The whole expeditionary force against Mobile consisted of fifty thousand infantry, seven thousand cavalry, a very large train of field and siege artillery, a fleet of more than twenty men-of-war, and about fifty transports, mostly steamers. The preparations having commenced in December, the attack began on the 25th of March.

My total effective force was seven thousand seven hundred excellent infantry and artillery, fifteen hundred cavalry, and about three hundred field and siege guns. A naval force of four small gunboats cooperated with my troops.

The column under Canby marched from Fish river against the position of Spanish Fort. On March 25th information received through the advanced cavalry induced me to believe that the column from Fish river was not more than twelve thousand strong; and expecting it would march by the river road with its left covered by the fleet, I organized a force of four thousand five hundred infantry and ten guns, and resolved to give battle to Canby at the crossing of D'Olive creek, about two miles distant from the works of Spanish Fort. The troops ordered for this service were the Missouri brigade of Cockrell, Gibson's Louisiana brigade, Ector's Texas and North Carolina brigade, and Thomas' brigade of Alabama boy-reserves, the third Missouri battery and Culpeper's battery. I felt confident then, and the light of experience justifies the confidence, that had Canby marched upon us with only twelve thousand troops, we should have beaten him in the field; but he moved by a road which turned our position far to the left, and his force was near forty thousand men. I therefore moved the troops into Spanish Fort and Blakely, and awaited his attack in them. I assigned General St. John Liddell to the immediate command of Blakely, and General Randall Gibson to the immediate command of Spanish Fort. They were both gentlemen of birth and breeding, soldiers of good education and experience, and entirely devoted to their duty. Spanish Fort was garrisoned by Gibson's Louisiana brigade, the brigade of Alabama boy-reserves, part of the twenty-second Louisiana, regiment (heavy artillerists), Slocomb's battery of light artillery, Massenberg's (Georgia) light artillery company, and a few others not now remembered.

The works of Spanish Fort consisted of a heavy battery of six guns on a bluff of the left bank of the Apalachie river, three thousand yards below Battery Huger. This was strongly enclosed in the rear. On commanding eminences five hundred to six hundred yards to its rear were erected three other redoubts, which were connected by light rifle-pits with each other. The whole crest of the line of defence was about two thousand five hundred yards, and swept around old Spanish Fort as a centre, with the right flank resting on Apalachie river, the left flank resting on Bayou Minette. At first the garrison consisted of about two thousand five hundred effectives, but I reduced its numbers by transferring the brigade of boy-reserves to Blakely, and replacing it by veterans of Ector's brigade and Holtzelaw's Alabama brigade. After this change was made (about the fourth day of the siege) the position was held by fifteen hundred muskets and less than three hundred artillerists.

On the twenty-sixth of March, Canby invested the position with a force of one corps and two divisions of infantry, and a large siege train; another division of infantry invested Blakely on the same day. The siege of Spanish Fort was at once commenced by regular approaches, and was prosecuted with great industry and caution. The defence was active, bold and defiant. The garrison fought all day and worked all night, until the night of April 8th, when the enemy effected a lodgment on the left flank which threatened to close the route of evacuation for the garrison. I had caused a plank road or bridge about one mile long to be made on trestles from the left flank of the lines of Spanish Fort, over the Bayou Minette and the marshes, to a point opposite Battery Huger; and General Gibson's orders were to save his garrison, when the siege had been protracted as long as possible without losing his troops, by marching out over this bridge. On the eighth of April, I ordered Gibson to commence the evacuation that night, by sending over to Mobile all surplus stores, etc., for which purpose I sent him some of the blockade steamers. They arrived in good time to save his garrison, for at 10 P. M. Gibson, finding the enemy too firmly established on his left to be dislodged, in obedience to his orders marched his garrison out on the plank road, and abandoned the position of Spanish Fort and its material to the enemy. He lost some pickets and about thirty-five cannon and mortars. I moved the troops to Mobile, anticipating an early attack on the city. I consider the defence of Spanish Fort by General Gibson and the gentlemen of his command one of the most spirited defences of the war.

Blakely was attacked by regular siege on the 1st of April. Steele's corps came down from the direction of Pollard, and with the divisions that had been lying before Blakely since the 26th, broke ground very cautiously against the place. The position of Blakely was better for defence than that of Spanish Fort. The works consisted of nine lunettes connected by good rifle-pits, and covered in front by a double line of abatis, and of an advanced line of rifle-pits. The crest was about three thousand yards long. Both flanks rested on Apalachie river, on the marsh. No part of the line was exposed to enfilade fire. The garrison was the noble brigade of Missourians, Elisha Gates commanding, the survivors of more than twenty battles, and the finest troops I have ever seen; the Alabama boy-reserve brigade under General Thomas, part of Holtzelaw's brigade, Barry's Mississippi brigade, the First Mississippi light artillery armed as infantry, several light batteries with about thirty five pieces of field and siege artillery, besides Cohorn and siege mortars. The whole effective force was about 2,700 men under General St. John Liddell. The gallant General Cockrell of Missouri was next in command.

During Sunday, the day after the evacuation of Spanish Fort, the enemy was continually moving troops from below towards Blakely, and Sunday evening about five o'clock he assaulted the centre of the line with a heavy column of eleven brigades (about 22,000 men in three lines of battle) and carried the position, capturing all of the material and of the troops, except about 150 men, who escaped over the marshes and river by swimming. On the loss of Blakely I resolved to evacuate Mobile. My effective force was now reduced to less than 5,000 men, and the supply of ammunition had been nearly exhausted in the siege of the two position which the enemy had taken from me. Mobile contained nearly forty thousand non-combatants. The city and its population were entirely exposed to the fire which would be directed against its defences. With the means now left me an obstinate or protracted defence would have been impossible, while the consequences of its being stormed by a combined force of Federal and negro troops would have been shocking—my orders were to save my troops, after having made as much time as possible—therefore I decided to evacuate Mobile at once. Blakely was carried on Sunday evening at 5 o'clock; I completed the evacuation of Mobile on Wednesday morning, having dismantled the works, removed the stores best suited for troops in the field, transferred the commissary stores to the Mayor for the use of the people, and marched out with 4,500 infantry and artillery, twenty-seven light cannon, and brought off all the land and water transportation.

During the night of Tuesday I remained in the city with the rear guard of 300 Louisiana infantry, commanded by Colonel Robert Lindsey, and marched out on Wednesday morning with them at sunrise. I left General Gibson to see to the withdrawrl of the cavalry pickets and the burning of the cotton. At 11 o'clock, the whole business of evacuation being completed, General Gibson sent a white flag to the fleet to inform the enemy that he might take quiet possession of Mobile, since there was no Confederate force to oppose him. Soon after midday Canby marched in. Six thousand cavalry had been sent up the country from Pensacola to prevent my escape; but they could not get across the Alabama and Tombigbee rivers, which with their bottoms were flooded, and I reached Meridian with my army unopposed. No active pursuit was made. By General Taylor's orders I moved the troops to Cuba station, refitted the transportation and field batteries, and made ready to march across and join General Joseph E. Johnston in Carolina. The tidings of Lee's surrender soon came, then of the capture of the President of the Confederacy. But under all these sad and depressing trials, the little army of Mobile remained steadfastly together, and in perfect order and discipline awaited the final issue of events.

On the 8th of May we marched back to Meridian to surrender, and on the 13th of May we had completed the turning in of arms (to our own ordnance officers), and the last of us departed for his home a paroled prisoner of war.

Nothing in the history of those anxious days appears to me more touching and devoted than the conduct of the garrison of Mobile. Representatives of every State in the Southern Confederacy, veterans of every army and of scores of battles, they resisted an army of ten-fold their numbers, until near half their force was destroyed, and then made good their retreat in good order. After reaching their encampment near Cuba, they preserved the dignity of brave and devoted men who had staked all and lost all save honor. Every night they assembled around the campfires of their generals and called for tidings from the army of the Confederacy and from their President. After receiving all of the information we could impart, they would give us "three cheers" and return to their bivouacs. I think there was no day on which they would not have attacked and beaten a superior force of the enemy.

During the fourteen days of siege of Spanish Fort, the daily loss of the garrison in killed and wounded ranged from fifteen to twenty. During the eight days of the siege of Blakely, the losses were from twenty to twenty-five daily. The only officer of rank killed was my Chief of Artillery, Colonel W. E. Burnett, son of the venerable ex-President of Texas. He was a man of rare attainments, of extraordinary military capacity, of unshrinking courage, and pure character. On the morning of April 4th I took him with me to Spanish Fort to establish a new battery: a sharpshooter shot him in the forehead, and he died in a few hours.

There were many instances of fine conduct during these operations. You may remember there were two little batteries constructed on the right bank of the Apalachie river, several miles below Blakely, called "Huger" and "Tracey"; they were to defend that river. They had but little over two hundred rounds of ammunition to each gun; therefore I made them hold their fire during the whole siege. The garrisons of these batteries were 300 men of the Twenty-second Louisiana, under the command of Colonel Patton, of Virginia. Early in the action the enemy opened some Parrott batteries on these forts, and for more than ten days they silently received the fire which they might not reply to. After Blakely fell, these two little outposts remained close to the centre of the army of the enemy (50,000 men), who were continually opening new guns upon them and increasing their fire; still they replied not. On their right lay the great Federal fleet; ten miles to their rear was their nearest support—in Mobile—and a waste of marshes and water lay between. At last came to them the long looked for order: "Open all your guns upon the enemy, keep up an active fire, and hold your position until you receive orders to retire." And so they did, until late on Tuesday night I sent Major Cummins, of my staff, to inform them the evacuation of Mobile was complete, their whole duty was performed, and they might retire. The first steamer I sent for them grounded, and I had (about 2 A. M.) to dispatch another. Every man was brought safely off, with his small arms and ammunition—they dismantled their batteries before they abandoned them—and it was nine o'clock Wednesday morning before they left the wharf of Mobile for Demopolis.

These garrisons fired the last cannon in the last great battle of the war for the freedom of the Southern States. I believe the enemy's loss during all these operations was not less than 7,000 killed and wounded. Two of his ironclads were sunk on Apalachie bar by torpedoes; four other armed vessels and five transports were sunk during and after the siege—making, with the Tecumseh, twelve hostile vessels destroyed in Mobile bay by the torpedoes.

Our own little fleet did all they could to aid the defence, but there was little opportunity for them. On the morning of the evacuation, the two floating batteries were sunk in the river by their own crews. The other vessels were moved up the Tombigbee river to Demopolis, in convoy of the fleet of transports.

I reflect with satisfaction that it was my privilege to command Confederate troops in our last great battle, and that those troops behaved to the last with so much courage and dignity.

 With highest respect, I remain truly yours,

Dabney H. Maury, 
Major-General late Confederate Army. 
Prisoner of War on Parole. 

 

 

Remarks, Etc.

During the siege of Spanish Fort the expenditure of small-arm ammunition was very great. The garrison at first fired 36,000 rounds per day; the young reserves spent it freely. The old Texans and veterans from North Carolina and Alabama, who replaced the brigade of boys, were more deliberate and careful of their ammunition, and we reduced its expenditure to 12,000 rounds per day.

The torpedoes were the most striking and effective of the new contrivance for defence which were used during these operations. Every avenue of approach to the outworks or to the city of Mobile was guarded by submarine torpedoes, so that it was impossible for any vessel drawing three feet of water to get within effective cannon range of any part of our defences. Two ironclads attempted to get near enough to Spanish Fort to take part in the bombardment. They both suddenly struck the bottom on Apalachie bar and thenceforward the fleet made no further attempt to encounter the almost certain destruction which they saw awaited any vessel which might attempt to enter our torpedo-guarded waters. But many were sunk when least expecting it. Some went down long after the Confederate forces had evacuated Mobile. The Tecumseh was probably sunk on her own torpedo. While steaming in lead of Farragut's fleet she carried a torpedo affixed to a spar which projected some twenty feet from her bows; she proposed to use this torpedo against the Tennessee, our only formidable ship; but while passing Fort Morgan a shot from that fort cut away the stays by which the Tecumseh's torpedo was secured; it then doubled under her, and exploding fairly under the bottom of the ill-fated ship, she careened and sunk instantly in ten fathoms of water. Only six or eight of her crew of one hundred and fifty officers and men were saved—the others still lie in their iron coffin at the bottom of the bay. Besides the Tecumseh, eleven other Federal vessels, men-of-war and transports, were sunk by torpedoes in Mobile bay; and their effectiveness as a means of defence of harbors was clearly established by the results of this siege. Had we understood their power in the beginning of the war as we came to do before its end, we could have effectually defended every harbor, channel or river throughout the Confederate States against all sorts of naval attacks. It is noteworthy that the Confederate ironclad Virginia, by her fearful destruction of the Federal war-ships in Hampton Roads early in the war, caused all the maritime powers of the world to remodel their navies and build ironclads at enormous expense, only to learn by the Confederate lessons of Mobile that ironclads cannot avail against torpedoes; for, as the Federal naval captain who had been engaged in clearing Mobile bay of the torpedoes and of the wrecks they had made, after the close of the war remarked to the writer: "It makes no difference whether a ship is of wood, or is tin-clad, or is iron-clad, if she gets over a torpedo it blows the same size hole in the bottom of all alike, which I found on an average to be just twelve feet by eight square." He furthermore stated that he had ascertained that in every instance but one of the wrecks in Mobile bay, the vessel had been sunk while backing—only one exploded a torpedo while going ahead.

During the fight in Spanish Fort our cannoniers found effectual protection from the extraordinarily heavy fire of sharpshooters in mantlets or screens, made by plates of steel about two feet by three square, and about half-inch thick; they were so secured to the inner faces of the embrasures that they were quickly lowered and raised as the gun ran into battery or recoiled. General Beauregard, before the battle began, gave me the model of a capital sort of wooden embrasure, to be used by our own sharpshooters; they were to be covered over by sand-bags as soon as the rifleman should establish himself in his pit. The old veterans of the Army of Tennessee at once acknowledged their superiority over "head logs" or any other contrivance for covering sharpshooters, and the demand for them was soon greater than I could supply.

The Brooke guns, of which I had a large number, of calibres ranging from six and four tenths up to eleven inches, were more formidable and serviceable than any which the Federals used against me. These guns were cast at Selma of the iron about Briarfield in North Alabama. It must be the best gun metal in the world. Some of our Brooke guns were subjected to extraordinarily severe tests, yet not one of them burst or was in any degree injured: at the same time they outranged the enemy's best and heaviest Parrotts, which not unfrequently burst by overcharging and over-elevation.

By a capital invention of Colonel William E. Burnett, of Texas, our gun-carriages were much simplified; we were enabled to dispense with eccentrics entirely, and our heaviest cannon could be run into battery with one hand.

In every part of this narrative I have been thinking of the staff officers who were with me throughout the whole of those trying times—friends who have always been true and soldiers who were tried by every test. Whatever efficiency attended the operations entrusted to my conduct throughout the war, was due to their intelligence, courage and devotion. Three of them sleep in their soldier's graves, and were in mercy spared the miseries of the subjugation against which they fought so nobly. John Maury, my Aide-de-Camp, gave up his young life at Vicksburg, in 1863; Columbus Jackson, Inspector General, soon followed him, and William E. Burnett, Chief of Artillery, fell in Spanish Fort, and was almost the last officer killed during the war.

D. W. Flowewee, Adjutant-General; John Gillespie, Ordnance Officer; Edmund Cummings, Inspector-General; Sylvester Nideleh, Surgeon; Dick Holland and John Mason, Aides-de-Camp, survived the dangers of those arduous campaigns, and are still manfully combatting the evils we fought together to avert from our people. They were gallant soldiers in war, and have shown themselves good citizens in the "peace" vouchsafed to us.

D. H. M.


The following farewell order was published to the troops who remained with me after the battle of Mobile:

Headquarters Maury's Division, 
Camp six miles east of Meridian, Mississippi, May 7, 1865. 

Soldiers—Our last march is almost ended. To-morrow we shall lay down the arms we have borne for four years to defend our rights, to win our liberties.

We know that we have borne them with honor; and we only now surrender to the overwhelming power of the enemy, which has rendered further resistance hopeless and mischievous to our own people and cause. But we shall never forget the noble comrades who have stood shoulder to shoulder with us until now; the noble dead who have been martyred; the noble Southern women who have been wronged and are unavenged; or the noble principles for which we have fought. Conscious that we have played our part like men, confident of the righteousness of our cause, without regret for our past action, and without despair of the future, let us to-morrow, with the dignity of the veterans who are the last to surrender, perform the sad duty which has been assigned to us.

Your friend and comrade,

Dabney H. Maury, 
Major-General Confederate Army.