A Civil War Correspondent in New Orleans

The Journals and Reports of Albert Gaius Hills of the Boston Journal


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About the Book

This book contains the transcribed journals and reports of a war correspondent for the Boston Journal covering the campaign that captured New Orleans in 1862. Hills’ journals begin in November 1861 and describe the Union preparations for the main assault and subsequent move up the Mississippi river, the attack on forts Jackson and St. Phillip, and his impression of the captured city. His observations from Union vessels in the Gulf Squadron as he covered the war in the Gulf are also included. His articles for the Boston Journal have herein been set near timely journal entries along with other notes to help the reader understand the context of what was going on in the war at the same time. A narrative of Hills’ life using available records and family documents is included.

About the Author(s)

Albert Gaius Hills (1829–1879) spent most of his life as a reporter for the Boston Journal and covered the Civil War campaigns of generals Butler and Banks in Louisiana.
Gary L. Dyson graduated from Oregon State University and after a career as an environmental with the City of Gaithersburg, he started a business, Dyson Genealogy and Historical Research. He lives in Mount Airy, Maryland.

Bibliographic Details

Albert Gaius Hills
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 204
Bibliographic Info: 17 maps & illustrations, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7193-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0018-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction 2

1. The Life of Albert Gaius Hills 7
2. Taking New Orleans, 1862 23
3. Covering the Campaign 37
4. About the Journals of A.G. Hills, Reporter for the Boston Journal 40
5. Journal of a Military Expedition from Boston to _____ 42
6. Sketches Showing the Action on the River 109
7. Memoranda of Letters Sent to the Boston Journal 116
8. New Orleans Under Occupation 118
9. A.G. Hills’ Third Journal and His Return to New Orleans 123
10. The Reports for the Boston Journal 128
Bold Strategy of a Rebel Schooner Under the Guns of Fort San Louis and Confederate Soldiers Captured by the U.S. Steamer Montgomery 128
Recollections of the Siege of Forts Jackson and St. Phillip and the Capture of New Orleans 131
Seeking Information Under Difficulties [1] 131
U.S. Steamer J.P. Jackson off New Orleans April 30, 1862 132
Letter to Charles O. Rogers, April 28, 1862 149
The Mississippi and the Ram Manassas 151
Letter from the Mississippi River 152
Spectators of the Bombardment 166
How the Sabbath of the Siege Was Observed 166
A Plan for Obstructing the Mississippi at the Forts; Found Among the Papers Left in Fort Jackson and Pronounced ­Impenetrable by the Most Skillful Officers of Our Squadron 168
The Loss on Both Sides 169
Seeking Information under Difficulties [2] 170
The Surrender of the City 170
Albert Gaius Hills Timeline 173

Notes 175
Bibliography 188
Index 19

Book Reviews & Awards

“Valuable”—Civil War News; “valuable source”—Blue & Gray Magazine; “this is a valuable work not only because we see the war as it was seen, without knowing what was to follow, but also because Hills gives us glimpses of life as it was lived, so we see little things that reveal the cost of living, some peeks at private life, and more”—The NYMAS Review; “valuable…a useful resource for anyone seeking to get closer to the events”—Strategy Page; “offering the unique perspective a war correspondent…the text will appeal to Civil War history buffs as well as individuals interested in reading a personal history of the period”—Reference & Research Book News.