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1861 November 13: Battle of Port Royal

November 15, 2011

The latest war news from the November 13, 1861, issue of The Hudson North Star.  The Battle of Port Royal was one of the earliest amphibious operations of the war.  On November 7, 1861, a Union Navy fleet and an Army expeditionary force captured Port Royal Sound in South Carolina.  The city of Beaufort, although mainly spared from physical destruction, did endure incidents of arson and looting as a result of Union occupation and the early liberation of the substantial slave population.

B Y   T E L E G R A P H.

Success of the Great Naval Expedition !

Beaufort Taken !

F R O M   W A S H I N G T O N !


T H E   C O A S T   E X P E D I T I O N !


Prisoners to be Release on Parole!


FORT MONROE, Nov. 10.—The steamer S.R. Spaulding arrived from Hatteras Inlet this morning with the 20th Indiana regiment.

A deserter who reached the inlet in a small boat, stated that news had been received on the main land of the taking of two rebel forts at at [sic] Port Royal, and the landing of a large federal force.

Beaufort also had been taken by our troops.  No particulars have arrived but the information corresponds with that received from Norfolk by the flag of truce.

Great excitement prevailed on the arrival of the news at Norfolk.

From the same source we have a rumor that the road about Beaufort has fallen into the possession of our troops, with an immense quantity of stores.

Five deserters who reached Newport News this morning say, the rebels up James river are in great consternation, and also bring the improbable rumor that our troops had advanced up the railroad as far as Charleston.



BALTIMORE, Nov. 11—An officer of the 20th Indiana Regiment, from Hatteras Inlet, has arrived here and says that he had a long conversation with the party who brought the news to Hatteras.  He was not a deserter, but a citizen, and a man of considerable of [sic] intelligence, who had crossed the Sound at the risk of his life, to bring news to us.  The officer reports that his statement corresponds exactly with what has already been transmitted by telegraph.  Outside of this statement, there is a report that, in taking Beaufort, a large part of the town was burned.



It is reported by the boat from Old Point that a steamer came in the Capes last evening, and continued up the Bay without stopping.  She was thought to be the Vanderbilt, with dispatches from the great fleet. Nothing has been heard of her arrival at Annapolis.  There is nothing but outside reports to warrant the statement that, at last accounts our troops had advanced to within twelve miles of Charleston.



CALIO, Nov. 11—Memphis papers received to-day contain dispatches from Savannah fully confirming the landing of the Naval Expedition at Beaufort, and the capture of three forts at Port Royal, Hilton Head, and Bay Point—The Federal forces had possession of the town of Beaufort. Rebels acknowledge their loss very large. New Orleans papers also received to-day speak of an immense fleet off ship Island.

ANNAPOLIS, Nov. 11—There are not tidings up to this hour of the expected steamer with official news of the fleet.



NEW YORK, Nov. 11.—The Post says an expedition is prepared if it has not already sailed, which will shut the harbors of Savannah and Charleston against the exit or entrance of any Theodora or Nashville.

Also, a flotilla of thirty vessels is now in this port, armed, manned and ready to sail for the Gulf of Mexico. The vessels are perfectly fitted, by size, draft of water, and armament for harassing the coasts of Lousiana [sic] and Alabama.

Only the companies garrisoning the fortifications around Washington have been ordered to build log huts for winter quarters.

WASHINGTON, Nov. 11.—There is most intense excitement here to learn further particulars in regard to the great expedition.  Groundless rumors are circulated that Charleston has been bombarded.



WASHINGTON, Nov. 9—[Herald’s Despatch]—Government has issued permits to parties in Rhode Island to trade with Loyalists on the southern coast. Vessels are fitting out for that purpose with supplies of various kinds, among which are salt, clothing and other articles of necessity, which, it is expected, will be exchanged for cotton.  This is a new feature in Government policy, and may lead to important results.  Senator Simmons, of Rhode Island, has been the principal power of this matter.  It may be these vessels and others now fitting out, will also follow the expedition. As soon as a permanent footing is obtained in South Carolina or Georgia, cargos of cotton will be at once shipped to Liverpool and other points.  This is a very important movement, and has the full sanction of Government.


[Times Dispatch.]—Government has resolved to release on parole 250 prisoners, part of those captured at Hatteras and to proceed South on similar mission if they succeed.  250 Union prisoners now in the south will soon be returned to us, and the principle and manner of a fall exchange of prisoners will be fully established.  Government is about to send money, clothing and comforts to Union prisoners in the south if the Confederates co-operate in the measure.  An answer from such proposition will be had from Richmond in a few days.

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