This section is from the book "Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: A Guide To Correct Writing", by Thos. E. Hill. Also available from Amazon: Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: The How-To-Do-Everything Book Of Victorian America.
Stoneman's Raid in Virginia - December 15, 1864, Generals Stoneman and Burbridge of the Union army in Tennessee, sallied out to Glade's Spring, W. Va., destroying a railroad track east of Abingdon, and mining the principal salt works in that region. This movement severed the Confederate communication between Richmond and East Tennessee, and deprived the Confederates of important public property.
The Flash at Fort Fisher, N. C. - In
December, 1864, an expedition was fitted out under the Union Generals Butler and Weitzel and the North Atlantic naval squadron, under Admiral Porter, to break up the Confederate blockade-runner's depot at Wilmington, N. C. A preliminary explosion, December 23, 1864, having failed to reduce the fort to splinters, the fleet attacked it next day. Five hours' cannonading, resisted by the Confederate garrison, resulted in blowing up two magazines within the inclosure and setting it on fire in several places. December 25 the assault was renewed on sea and shore by the Union forces, but General Weitzel reporting, after a reconnoissance, that it would be inexpedient to carry the fort by assault, the attempt was abandoned, leaving the fort substantially uninjured, and the expedition retired.
Battle at Beverly, W. Va. - Fought January 11, 1865, between a Union force occupying the town and Confederate troops under General Rosser. The former were defeated, the latter capturing the town and a large portion of the force defending it.
Capture of Fort Fisher, N. C. - The Union assault upon Fort Fisher, the formidable Confederate stronghold at Wilmington, N. C., mounting 72 great guns, was resumed January 13, 1865, by about 8.000 Union troops under General Terry, with Admiral Porter's fleet and 1,000 or more . marines - a Confederate force of 2,300 men occupying the fort. The fleet began the bombardment of the fort on that day, and in the afternoon of the 15th the Union soldiers, with the sailors and marines, attacked the fort by land and sea. At 4 o'clock one-half of the fort had been captured. That evening reinforcements of Union soldiers arrived, and the Confederate defense surrendered. The fighting had been very severe. Of the garrison, 217 were killed or wounded, besides the force surrendered. The Union loss was about 1,000, besides which were 200 men killed or wounded on the next day by the accidental blowing up of a magazine.
Fight at Fort Anderson, N. C. - Fort Anderson, one of the defenses of the mouth of Cape Fear river, near Wilmington, defended by about 6,000 Confederates, under General Hoke, strongly intrenched, was attacked, January 18, 1865, by 8,000 Union soldiers of Cox's division, under General Schofield, and Admiral Porter, with 14 gunboats and a monitor. A heavy fire from the fleet and the operations of the land force continued during the day, and before day-light on the 19th the Confederates evacuated the fort. The Confederate loss was 12 cannon, a quantity of ammunition, and about 50 prisoners. The Unionists lost 3 killed and 5 wounded in the fleet, and less than 50 killed and wounded in the skirmishes of the land forces.
Skirmishes on Town Creek, N. C -
Fought January 20, 1865, between a Confederate force in rifle-pits and Union troops under Terry. The latter lost 10 killed and 47 wounded, but drove the Confederates inside their works. A similar Union force soon afterwards charged upon some Confederates in the same vicinity. They were met with grape and canister. Another charge was then made by the Union soldiers, and the Confederates were routed, with the loss of 2 cannon and 373 prisoners, the rest escaping. The Union loss was about 30.
Evacuation of Wilmington, N. C. -
January 21, 1865, finding themselves beleaguered with a heavy Union force, the Confederates prepared to evacuate Wilmington. That night they burned their war material and stores, about 1,000 bales of cotton, 15,000 barrels of resin, extensive cotton-sheds and presses, an unfinished iron-clad, three steam-mills, three large turpentine factories, with wharves, railroad bridges and other property, and moved out. At daylight on the 22d, the Union troops under Generals Terry and Cox occupied the city, taking about 700 prisoners, and capturing a large amount of Confederate property.
Sherman's March to Wilmington, N. C, from Savannah, Ga. - January 13, 1865, Sherman's Union advance corps left Beaufort, N. C. On the 15th a skirmish occurred with a Confederate force on the Charleston railroad for the possession of a Confederate pontoon and trestle bridge. The Unionists succeeded in saving the bridge from being burned and drove off the Confederates. The Union loss was about 50 killed and wounded. January 19, the march of the main Union army from Savannah, under Sherman, began. By a system of feints the Unionists misled the Confederates as to their intentions. At the Salkehatchie river, Mower and Smith's divisions captured a bridge from the Confederate force which held it, losing 18 killed and 70 wounded in the struggle. February 16, the Confederates surrendered the city of Columbia, S. C., to Colonel Stone, of the 25th Iowa infantry. The Confederate soldiers set fires in the city, and that night the city was burned, and within two or three days afterwards the arsenal, railroad depots, and tracks, machine shops, foundries, etc., were destroyed by the Unionists. March 9, Wade Hampton's Confederate troops surprised Kilpatrick's and
Spencer's Union forces, rescuing their jecpaitized camp equipage, artillery and horses, and driving off the Unionists. March 12-14 the Unionists spent in destroying all the buildings and much valuable military and public property. March 8, the Confederates under Hoke captured two Union regiments, commanded by Colonel Upham, securing over 1,000 prisoners. March 10, Hoke's Confederate force fought Cox's Union brigade, but the latter were the victors, driving off Hoke, who left his killed and wounded on the field, besides losing about 200 prisoners.
Battles at Fort Steadman and Hatcher's Run, Va. - Fought February 6 and 7, 1865, between the 2d, 6th and 9th corps and Griffin's division of the 5th corps of Grant's army in Virginia and Lee's Confederate army. Steadman's fort, occupied by the 14th New York Union heavy artillery, was carried by the Confederates at the outset, and its guns were turned against the Unionists. The Confederates also captured two Union batteries between Fort Stead-man and Fort Haskell, and with them fought the Union troops. They failed, however, to carry the Union Fort Haskell. A tremendous cannonade followed, the Union batteries being massed against Fort Steadman with so much vigor that some of the Confederates retreated, first into the fortress and then out of it, leaving all the guns that they had captured. A large portion of the escaping Confederates, 1,758 in all, were captured. The Confederate loss at this point was estimated at 2,500. The Union forces on the left then moved out against the Confederate intrenched lines of pickets, which were swept right and left, resulting in the capture of about 300 prisoners. Another attack by the Unionists, reconnoitering across Hatcher's Run, resulted in driving in another Confederate picket line, with the capture of 70 more prisoners. Subsequently the Confederates rallied their forces and attacked the 6th and 2d corps of Grant's army. The fight was severe and continued until dark and even into the night, but the Unionists were the victors. The Confederate total losses in both battles were set down at 5,000 men - 1,883 prisoners. The Unionists lost 171 killed, 1,236 wounded, and 983 missing.