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Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 35: operations of the North Atlantic Squadron, 1863. (search)
to pursue would have been to concentrate all the troops, drive the enemy out of the State of North Carolina, tear up the railroads leading to Richmond, and destroy all the means of subsisting an army in the State. Though it may have been said that the Federals held North Carolina, yet it was by a most precarious tenure; and this section, which should in the beginning have been completely conquered, remained simply a skirmishing-ground for the contending forces throughout the war. On January 5th the indefatigable Lieutenant Cushing started on an expedition to capture some Wilmington pilots, and having heard that there was a pilot station at Little River, thirty miles below Fort Caswell. he made sail for that point, and reached it on the morning of January 5th, 1863. He crossed the bar at 8 o'clock at night with twenty-five men, in three cutters, and proceeded up the river. He was in hopes of finding pilots above and also some schooners. About a mile from the mouth of the ri
Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., chapter 48 (search)
ny tlat Semmes displayed great daring in thus bearding the lion in his den, and entering waters that he knew to be full of his enemy's gun-boats. But lie knew the character of every vessel on the coast, and was well aware that but few of the old tubs in the Federal Navy could catch him. The Florida had distanced the Cuyler, the fastest vessel off Mobile bar, and the Alabama was faster than the Florida. Under these conditions he felt quite safe, as he could either run or fight. On the 5th of January Semmes left the Areas and headed for Galveston. As he approached the harbor, he discovered that, instead of Banks' transports, there were five men-of-war anchored off the town. This was a damper, and for a short time he was undecided what to do. He had promised his men some fun in this vicinity, and did not like to go away without gratifying them. He was soon relieved from his quandary, however, by the look-out aloft reporting that one of the Federal gunboats was coming out in chase.