andaigua, had to proceed to Port Royal for coal, leaving some lighter vessels to continue the blockade.
The Confederates had two ironclad rams, the Chicora and Palmetto State, under Commodore D. N. Ingraham, in Charleston Harbor, and on the 31st of January, about 4 A. M., they succeeded in crossing the bar unperceived in the darkness and attacked the Mercedita, Captain H. S. Stellwagen, which had just returned from the chase of a strange vessel.
The captain was below, and Lieutenant-Commandckade and placed inside, the blockade may be raised by the rebel rains coming out of Charleston harbor at night by Maffit's Channel, in which case she could give no assistance to the fleet outside.
But for the New Ironsides, the raid of the 31st of January would have been repeated with more serious effect.
The lower and greater part of Morris Island exhibits a ridge or row of sand-hills, affording to the enemy a natural parapet against the fire of shipping and facilities for erecting batter
ainst an attack by the river, the enemy in the sounds of North Carolina were doing their best to make an impression on the Federal posts established along those waters.
Great victories over the Union forces were constantly reported, which existed only in the vivid imagination of the Confederate reporters.
To show how war news was manufactured, we quote the following from the Raleigh Weekly:
Colonel Griffin, Confederate forces, telegraphed to the War Department from Jackson, on the 31st of January, as follows: Yesterday morning engaged the enemy with a force of two hundred men and a rifled field piece.
After a fight of two hours, in which we engaged twelve hundred men of the enemy and three pieces of artillery, the Yankees were driven from Windsor, N. C., to their boats.
We lost six men; loss of the enemy not known.
Lieutenant-Commander C. W. Flusser, indignant at such a report, in a communication to Acting-Rear-Admiral Lee, writes as follows:
The report is false from b