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Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 49: first attack on Fort Fisher.--destruction of the confederate ram Albemarle, etc. (search)
standing there was every appearance of a gale coming on and the powder-boat was not ready. Without proper preparation, the troops were hurried into the transports, with but a few days' rations and a scant supply of water. The gale came on and the poor soldiers, cooped up in their narrow, uncomfortable quarters, were quite worn out before the expedition sailed. Fortunately, after a few days of wind and rain, the weather cleared up and the transports sailed from Hampton Roads on the 16th of December, 1864. Up to this time there had been no official notice that General Butler would go on the expedition. General Grant several times went on board the Malvern for the purpose, no doubt, of talking the matter over with Admiral Porter, but he would scarcely put his foot on board ere General Butler would make his appearance. Butler's presence was always enough to make General Grant quiet and meditative, and he soon took his departure. General Weitzel generally accompanied General Butler