1865 January 28: Naval News, Savannah, Mobile, and Peace Rumors
Following is the weekly summary of the news and a column entitled “News Items” from The Polk County Press, the January 28, 1865, issue.
— The U. S. Sloop of War San Jacinto¹ was lost in a gale on the 1st inst., on a reef on No-Name Key, on the Bahama Banks. Her crew and guns were saved.
— Gen. Terry has been nominated and confirmed as Major General of Volunteers. [Alfred H. Terry]
— The Tribune in describing the city of Savannah, informs its readers, that at every corner there is a public square, usually of circular or oval shape ! This is similar to the historical description of Albany, which was said to contain, a number of houses and 20,000 inhabitants, all standing with their gable ends to the street.
— The Democrat learns that the 23d corps, Gen. Schofield’s, will soon join Gen. Sherman via Tennessee and Ohio River and rail to the tide water, and thence by sea. [John M. Schofield, William T. Sherman]
— The United States transport Fulton, Port Royal of the 17th, arrived at New York on the 20th inst. The Monitor Patapsco² was destroyed off Charleston at 2 o’clock A. M., of the 17th, while doing picket duty, by a rebel torpedo. Forty or fifty of her crew went down with her. Their names were not ascertained.
— Grant is preparing to move.—Heavy reinforcements are being added to his army. [Ulysses S. Grant]
— Gen. Granger has invested Mobile and undoubtedly before this item greets our readers Mobile is ours.³—Down into the depths of infamy goes the cursed rebellion. [Gordon Granger]
— Peace rumors are quite prevalent in the East. Blair has returned from Richmond a second time. [Francis P. Blair]4
— Hastings has been visited by a severe fire. Loss about $8,000.
— Four rebel iron-clads from Richmond, attacked City Point last week. Our forts sunk one of them, crippled two and drove them back to there starting point.
— Owing to the Indian troubles on the plains the overland mail has been discontinued.
— The Board of Supervisors have withdrawn the offer of $1,000 bounty to recruits to fill the quota of New York City.
— The Tribune’s [sic] announces the release of its correspondent Mr. Richardson, who has been held by the rebels over 18 months.
—The Louisville Journal learns that a few days ago the rebel Major Taylor sent a flag of truce into Harrisonburg, offering to assist the home guard to protect the town against guerrillas. His offer was accepted and he is now operating in conjunction with the Union home guards against Davidson’s gang.
— Details of a Union raid of Col. Robinson, from Ft. Barrancas, Fla., to Pollard, Allabama [sic], shows it to have been verry [sic] successful. The rebels attempted to check his advance but were badly beaten and lost heavily. Gen. Granger’s forces also had met with great success in his operations from Mobile Bay to Jackson county Mississippi. [Gordon Granger]
1. On January 1, 1865, the USS San Jacinto struck a reef near Great Abaco Island in the northern Bahamas and filled with water. Her guns, some equipment, and provisions were saved, but efforts to salvage the ship were not successful.
2. During the evening of January 15, 1865, while covering picket boats dragging for torpedoes (mines), the USS Patapsco hit a torpedo and sank in less than a minute, taking 62 of her crew with her.
3. This assessment is a little premature. Granger commanded the XIII Corps during the Battle of Fort Blakely, which won’t take place until April 2-9, 1865, and will lead to the fall of the city of Mobile, Alabama, on April 12.
4. Francis P. Blair, a personal friend of both Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, had been encouraging Lincoln to make a diplomatic visit to Richmond. Lincoln asked Blair to wait until Savannah had been captured, which had now happened, and Blair traveled to Richmond on January 11, 1865. The result of this will be the Hampton Roads Peace Conference on February.