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Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 4: death of Ellsworth.--capture of Alexandria, Va.--Potomac flotilla. (search)
y one, indeed. Criticism of this expedition is disarmed when we reflect that the gallant officer who planned it sacrificed his own life in the performance of a duty he considered necessary to clear the Potomac of the bushwhackers that lined the banks of the stream all along, and were firing on unarmed merchant vessels and transports as they pursued their course up or down. Skirmish between the Freeborn and resolute and a secession force. At Matthias Point.--death of Captain Ward.--June 27, 1861. Had Commander Ward lived, he would have made as high a mark as any officer in the Navy; no one ever entered the contest with more zeal and activity than he, and to this day the shock of his death has not been forgotten, though thousands died afterwards on more important occasions. It was only when these deaths of gallant officers occurred that the country began to realize the Secessionists were animated with a fell purpose which would not be appeased until the whole land was satu