Part XIX

Minor Confederate Victories Early In 1863

       Several small Confederate victories, such as the defense of Fort McAllister on the Ogeechee river, Ga., against the monitor Montauk and several gunboats, on the 1st and 28th of February and the 3d of March; the success of the Palmetto and Chicora, two Confederate ironclads, in clearing the harbor of Charleston of the blockading fleet, and the surrender of the Isaac Smith, a Federal gunboat, to the batteries on Stono river, are notable among the early events of 1863. At Galveston harbor, Texas, on January 1st, the Union flagship Westfield was blown up, and the Harriet Lane boarded by the Texans and taken. On March 5th a Federal brigade was captured at Spring Hill, Tenn., by Van Dorn. Confederate armed cruisers were playing havoc among the shipping interests in many waters. The Alabama had captured the United States ship Hatteras, and this vessel and the Florida cruised in the West India waters and off the coast of South America. The commander of the Florida estimated his captures at 70 vessels, and Captain Semmes of the Alabama reported the capture by his ship of 56 vessels. Since the commencement of the war it was reported that 184 vessels with their cargoes, valued at $15,000,000 had been destroyed on the high seas by this active branch of the Confederate naval force.

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