This affair was a surprise on the part of the Confederates, for which the Union troops were not at all prepared, and they thanked their stars that so watchful a friend as the Navy was at hand to succor them in their hour of need.
The Army were not unmindful of the service rendered by the Navy on this occasion, and their feeling of gratitude is well expressed by Colonel J. C. Belknap, as follows:
Headquarters First Brigade, Wessel's Division, Newbern, N. C., March 15, 1863.
Commodore — When, on the 14th of March, 1863, General Pettigrew, with eighteen pieces of artillery and over three thousand men, made his furious assault on Fort Anderson, an unfinished earth-work garrisoned by three hundred men of my command (the 92d New York Volunteers), the capture or destruction of the brave little band seemed inevitable, but the gun-boats under your command, the pride of loyal men and the terror of traitors, came promptly to the rescue.
Your well-directed fire