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The Annals of the Civil War Written by Leading Participants North and South (ed. Alexander Kelly McClure), The First attack on Fort Fisher (search)
d not leave before the 13th, and must go into Beaufort harbor, on the North Carolina coast, to obtain ammunition for his monitors. The 13th being the day fixed for the departure of the fleet, at three o'clock in the morning of that day General Butler sent all the transports but his own ship up the Potomac some distance, where they remained all day. This was to mislead the Confederates, and divert their attention from his real designs. At night they returned and anchored under the lee of Cape Charles. On the following morning the Ben Deford left her moorings at Hampton, joined the fleet of transports, and all went out to sea. As we moved from the wharf a solitary cannon at Fortress Monroe fired a parting salute, and ladies on the ramparts, standing near the great Rodman gun that dwarfed them into dolls, waved an adieu with fluttering white handkerchiefs. The Ben Deford bore Generals Butler, Weitzel and Graham, and their respective staff officers, and Colonel Comstock of General Gran