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marsh, covered with rank grass, and flooded at high wa ter. Over this, on a rude corduroy road, the soldiers dragged cannon weighing three tons each. The wintry nights were dark and stormy. The men had frequently to work waist-deep in the slushy morass; the guns slipped off the track, sank in the mire, and had to be dragged back again. On Tybee Island the work was even more severe; ten-inch Columbiads had to be dragged two miles through the sand by hand.
Up to this time it had been supposed that walls such as those of Fort Pulaski could not be breached at distances greater than 800 yards.
The guns used were 8 and 10 inch Columbiads, rifles from 24 to 42 pounders, and 10 and 13 inch mortars. The nearest batteries were almost a mile
Difficulties in its reduction.
REDUCTION OF FORT PULASKI.
Great distances of
the breaching bat- from the fort, the more distant two miles. Though the walls were seven and a half feet thick, they could not withstand the The rifles perguns. forated them deeply, honeycombing them completely; and the 10-inch solid shot, striking with less velocity, but with what was designated by eye-witnesses as a trip-hammer blow, shook the damaged masonry down. At 1650 yards, which was the distance of the nearest rifles, the shot penetrated to a depth of from twenty to twenty-six inchesan effect so unexpected that General Gillmore, who conducted the operation, subsequently reported that, had he been aware of what he now had learned, he might have shortened his preparations from eight weeks to one, and increased the distance of his nearest batteries to even 2500 yards.
An expedition was dispatched from Port Royal (FebExpedition to Fer- ruary 28th, 1862) to the coast of Florida. One portion of it approached Fernandina, which is near the Atlantic terminus of the Cedar Keys
and Fernandina Railroad, through Cumberland Sound, with a view of turning the Confederate works; the remainder went down outside of Cumberland Island. On the approach of the ships the Confederates abandoned the post. The town of Fernandina was occupied. Fort Clinch was repossessed, and the works garrisoned with national troops. The easy success of this expedition appears to have turned on the previous withdrawal of the Florida troops for service in the Confederate army. In like manner, possession was Expeditions on the taken (March 7th) of Brunswick, the Atlantic terminus of the Brunswick and Pen
THE FLORIDA EXPEDITIONS.
sacola Railroad. It also had been abandoned, as was the case with Darien, on the Altamaha River, whence 1500 troops had been withdrawn. But one white man and one old negro were found in the place. Jacksonville, on the St. John's River, was occupied without resistance (March 11th), and St. Augustine soon after. With it Fort Marion was taken.
CHAP. LIX.] NORTH CAROLINA COAST EXPEDITIONS.
Florida, out of a white population of 77,778, had furnished nearly 10,000 men to the Confederate army. Thus stripped, she was unable to make any resistance, or to protect the works and towns upon her coast. Commodore Dupont, referring in his report to the condition Sentiments of the of St. Augustine, says: "I believe there are many citizens who are earnestly attached to the Union, a large number who are silently opposed to it, and a still larger number who care very little about the matter. There is much violent and pestilent feeling among the women. They have a theatrical desire to fig ure as heroines. Their minds have doubtless been filled with the falsehoods so industriously circulated in regard to the lust and hatred of our troops. On the night before our arrival, a party of them assembled in front of the barracks, and cut down the flag-staff, in order that it might not be used to support the old flag. The men seemed anxious to conciliate in every way.'
The operations on the coast of North Carolina were conducted by expeditions organized at Fortress Monroe. They were chiefly intended for the enforcement of the blockade and the
Objects of the North
stoppage of privateers going to sea. Subsequently the possession or destruction of the Weldon Railroad was contemplated, but not forcibly attempted. In fact, when the correct plan of the war came to be understood, it was perceived that these expeditions, except in so far as they aided the blockading fleet, were of no use. The forces of one of them (Burnside's) were eventually withdrawn, and brought on a more correct line of operations.
The expeditions now to be referred to are two: (1.) Butler's expedition to Hatteras; (2.) Burnside's Roanoke expedition.
THE NORTH CAROLINA EXPEDITIONS.
The waters of Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds are conThe expedition nected with the interior of North Carolina to Hatteras. by canal, rivers, and railroads, giving singular facilities to blockade runners to carry on their operations. Through these, muskets, cannon, and large quantities of munitions of war were introduced into the Confederacy, and cotton carried out. To guard the main channel of this commerce, two forts had been built on the
southwest point of Hatteras Island, which is between Oregon and Hatteras Inlets-Fort Clark, a small water battery, mounting five guns, and Fort Hatteras, a stronger work, covering about 1 acres, and having ten guns. The island itself is a mere sand-spit, on which here and there are scattered clumps of dwarf-oaks: the sea-spray dashes all over it. A miserable population of five hundred persons finds occupation in piloting, wrecking, fishing. In the salt marshes, concealed by a rank grass, are swarms of musquitoes.
With a view of arresting the traffic through these sounds and enforcing the blockade, an expedition, under General Butler and Commodore Stringham, sailed from Fortress Monroe (August 26, 1861), its immediate object being the capture of the two forts. It consisted of three powerful frigates and half a dozen smaller vessels, carrying in the aggregate 158 guns and about 900 soldiers. It passed through Hatteras Inlet into Pamlico Sound. Much difficulty was experienced in landing the troops through the heavy surf rolling on the beach. One third of the force, 300 men, was, however, got on shore, but without either provisions, water, or ammunition. A bombardment was opened by the shipping upon the smaller work, which replied with but little ef fect, the vessels keeping in continual motion, each steaming round on a different circle, so that the range of none of them could be got. On their part, they threw their shells with so much accuracy as to compel its defenders to abandon Fort Clark in the course of a couple of hours. A rainy and tempestuous night set in, adding not a little to the discomfort of the troops which had been landed; but, as soon as it was day, fire was resumed on the larger fort, Hatteras, and it was speedily reduced. The Confederates, though re-enforced during the operations, found themselves completely over
Its naval and military force.
THE HATTERAS EXPEDITION.
Bombardment of the forts.