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mouth of the Nansemond river, opposite Newport News. She opened fire on it to discover its character, and finding from the response that it was too formidable for her guns, she withdrew, having five men wounded in the encounter.
On the 27 th of June, Commander J. H. "Ward of the steamer Free.born, accompanied by a party of men from the Pawnee, under Lieutenant Chaplin, who were engaged in erecfing a breastwork at Matthias Point, on the Potomac, were attacked by a large force of the enemy. The men on shore were exposed to a galling fire, but made good their retreat in their boats, three only being wounded, taking all their arms and implements with them. Commander Ward immediately opened fire from his vessel on the attacking party, and drove them to cover. While sighting one of the guns of the Freeborn, Commander Ward was struck by a rifle ball, mortally wounded, and died within an hour.
Captain James H. Ward was born in the year 1806, in the city of Hartford, Connecticut. His early days were spent in the usual studies of youth, and on the 4th of March, 1823, he entered the United States service., sailing as midshipman, under Commodore McDonough, in the frigate Constitution. After serving faithfully for four years with McDonough, he was promoted to the position of lieutenant, and was for some time attached to the Mediterranean service. Many years of his life were spent on the coast of Africa, and he was also in the gulf, as commander of the United States steamer Vixen. Nearly all his naval life was spent on the ocean. For some time he had a very responsible professorship in the naval school at Annapolis, and later was in command of the receiving ship North Carolina. His talents were not entirely devoted to naval affairs, for he is well known as an author by his works, entitled "Steam for the Million," "Ordnance and Gunnery," and "Naval Tactics." The news of his death btought sorrow to many, and his memory is safely embalmed in the heart of an appreciating nation.
THE EXPEDITION TO OAPE HATTEEAS
August 26-30, 1861.
The first naval achievement of the war which was attended with any jpportant result was the successful attack of the fleet under Commodore Stringham, accompanied by General B. F. Butler, and his land forces,. upon Forts Hatteras and Clark, at Hatteras Inlet, North Carolina.
The whole length of the Atlantic coast from Chesapeake Bay to Charleston has a peculiar character. A long line of low, sandy beaches, of variable width and elevation, rise above the surface of the ocean,
broken at occasional intervals by a passage, ordinarily of shallow depth of water, communicating from the open sea with the lagoons inside. These bodies of water, by the indentations of the main land and the mouths of the rivers, expand into large bays, of which Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds are the principal. These two form capacious highways of safe and easy communication along the coast, and through the Dismal Swamp Canal connect with the Chesapeake Bay, on the north, at Norfolk, Va.
At the south-western extremity of the long, narrow island or beach, the outer angle of which has received the name of Cape Ilatteras, and which gives its name to the inlet, the rebels had erected two strong fortifications known as Forts Ilatteras and Clark. Captain Samuel Barron, late of the United States navy, was here in command of .the naval forces, while Colonel William F. Martin, of the Seventh North Carolina Volunteers, and Major W. S. G. Andrews, commanded the garrisons.
Hatteras Inlet was one of the principal passages through which the vessels of the Confederacy made their way, in defiance of the blockade, and which it was desirable to command with the Federal forces and fleet. An expedition was accordingly planned, and the preparations were far advanced when General Wool reached Fortress Monroe. All things having been made ready, on the 26th of August, the fleet, under Commodore S. H. Stringham, left Hampton Roads for its destination. It consisted of the flag-ship Minnesota, Captain G. A. Van Brune, having in company the United States steamers Wabash, Captain Samuel Mercer; Monticello, Commander John P. Gillis; Pawnee, Commander S. C. Rowan; Harriet Lane, Captain John Faunce; United States chartered steamers Adelaide, Commander Henry S. Stellwagen; George Peabody, Lieutenant R. B. Lowry; and tug Fanny, Lieutenant Pierce Crosby, all of the United States navy. The transports Adelaide and George Peabody, towing schooners with surf-boats on them, and the Monticello and Pawnee surf-boats only.
General Butler embarked his land forces on the two transports Adelaide and George Peabody, having with him five hundred of the Twentieth New#ifork regiment, Colonel Weber; two hundred and twenty of the New York Ninth regiment, Colonel Hawkins; one hundred of the Union Coast Guard, Captain Nixon; and sixty of the United States Second Artillery, Lieutenant Larned.
The expedition left Fortress Monroe on Monday, the 26th, at one o'clock, P. M., and the last vessel had arrived at Hatteras Inlet by four o'clock on Tuesday afternoon. Preparations for landing troops were made the same evening, and at daylight the next morning dispositions were made for an attack upon the forts by the fleet, and the landing of the troops.
OAPTUEE 0F POETS HATTERAS AND OLAEK.
At four o'clock on Wednesday morning, all hands were called, and by five, the whole fleet was in a state of the greatest activity with preparations for the conflict. The Monticello, the Pawnee, and the Harriet Lane were sent to cover and assist generally in landing the troops, and they took up a position about two miles and a half north of the forts. The Cumberland was taken in tow by the Wabash. The iron and flat boats were meanwhile filling with troops from the steamers, and one hundred marines who had been taken from the war vessels to increase , the land forces. The Wabash went up to the battery first, drawing the Cumberland after her. The Minnesota followed, and as they drew near the point, the two batteries and the barracks of the rebels were plainly visible. In the sound, beyond the narrow neck of land^ several vessels —three steamers, some schooners under sail, and a brig laying at anchor under the guns of the forts—were clearly seen.
Colonel Max Weber, of the Twentieth New York, was appointed to command the land expedition, and about ten o'clock the boats left the transports with the first detachments of the storming forces. They consisted of forty-five men of the New York Twentieth, Captain Lamer and Lieutenant Loder; forty-five marines from the Minnesota; sixtyeight men, New York Ninth regiment, Captain Jardine; one hundred and two men of Twentieth New York; twenty-eight men Union Coast Guard, Captain Nixon; and twenty marines, making a total of three hundred and eighteen men. ,
A heavy surf was breaking on the beach at the time, and the landing was dangerous. The landing was handsomely covered by the Montioello and Harriet Lane. Compelled to wade through the water to the shore from the boats, the men were wet by the surf, and were obliged to march with their ammunition in no better condition than themselves.
The challenge from the Wabash, at a few minutes before ten o'clock, was soon responded to from Fort Clark, the smaller of the two, and for several hours the firing was maintained on both sides with gVeat spirit. The shot from the forts fell short of the vessels, two or three only striking the Monticello, but without doing any damage. After getting the range of the forts from the various vessels of the fleet, the shells that were hurled into the enemy's strongholds were directed with great precision, and almost uniformly reached the points at which they were aimed.
Three hours of cannonading ^from fifty-seven heavy guns produced a marked effect on the smaller fort, and by half-past one o'clock it became evident that the enemy were becoming discouraged, their firing having been almost abandoned. At this time, the flags of both forts were hauled down, the troops already landed were seen hurrying with their colors towards Fort Clark, and boats laden with men were trying to escape in the sound. General Butler telegraphed from the Harriet Lane a request for the fleet to cease firing, and the proper signal was made, but apparently not fully understood. About thirty of the Federal troops were by this time in and around Fort Clark, and had already raised the Union flag. They were fired upon by the Pawnee and Monticello, under the impression that it was a ruse, and several shells burst in their immediate vicinity. The two vessels were signaled to return, when the latter reported that the inner battery was still in the hands of the enemy; but on again reconnoitering, reported that it was an error.
But the victory was not yet won. The Monticello entered the inlet, and when within six hundred yards of the lower battery, was fired upon, and the real state of affairs became apparent. The gunboat responded, and for fifteen minutes a fire was kept up, which seemed likely to sink the vessel. All hands were called to quarters, and the Federal vessels prepared to resume the attack, the troops having in the mean time withdrawn from Fort Clark to a safer location.
Darkness was gathering thickly around, and the weather became threatening. The order to "cease firing" was reluctantly given, and the fleet withdrew, the Monticello, Pawnee and Lane remaining as near the shore as possible, in order to protect the landed troops, while the larger vessels anchored in the offing.
Early the next morning, all hands were again called. The smaller vessels had been driven ashore during the night by the gale, and the little band of troops were left, to protect themselves, as best they might. The smaller steamers were sent in shore to be in readiness to cover the land forces, and to aid in any attempt that might be made to land the remainder. At about eight o'clock, the Wabash and Susquehanna proceeded to take up a position—this time at anchor. Twenty minutes later, the Susquehanna opened fire, followed immediately by the Wabash, and soon the Minnesota found an anchorage ground, and the action commenced ifc earnest. An hour later, the Cumberland took position near, and did good execution, as did also the Harriet Lane, with her rifled guns.
Thus for an hour a rapid fire had been kept up, but without eliciting any reply from the fort, or without any flag having been shown. Thirty minutes later, their batteries replied, having been mostly aimed at the Cumberland, and the fight continued for half an hour, without intermission, when a white flag was shown from the* large fort. Again the order to cease firing was given, the sailors flew to the rigging, and from Bhip to ship rang the cheers of victory. General Butler sent Lieutenant Crosby ashore to inquire the meaning of the white flag. He soon re