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Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 2: bombardment and fall of Fort Sumter.--destruction of the Norfolk Navy Yard by the Federal officers. (search)
a crew, or the Plymouth, in the same condition, would, with a few men on board, have saved the Navy Yard against attack, overawed Norfolk and Portsmouth, and prevented the channel from being obstructed by the Confederates. Even when the yard was abandoned and the buildings set fire to, the work was done in a panic in which the coolest persons seem to have lost their heads. The destruction took place when the yard had been re-enforced by a regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers under Colonel Wadsworth, while the Pawnee of fifteen guns had brought Commodore Paulding from Washington with instructions to save what he could and act as he thought proper. When Commodore Paulding arrived at the Navy Yard he found that all the Southern officers had sent in their resignations and abandoned their posts. The mechanics, following their example, had left the yard in a body, and persons had even come in from outside and possessed themselves of the Government arms. It was reported that severa