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inquity to Norfolk, together with the vast preponderance of the United States in naval power, made an attack upon that place the most reasonable supposition. The State of Virginia had already put it in as good defense as the time permitted. General Huger, a distinguished officer of Ordnance from the U. S. service, had at once been sent there; and his preparations had been such that an unfinished earth work, at Sewell's Point, stood for four hours, on the 19th of May, the bombardment of the U. S. ships Minnesota and Monticello. The Confederate War Department felt such confidence in the engineering and administrative ability of General Huger, that it endorsed the action of Virginia by giving him a brigadier's commission and instructions to put Norfolk and the avenues of its approach in complete state of defense. A sufficient garrison of picked troops-among them the Third Alabama and some of the best Richmond companies-was given him; and Norfolk was soon declared securely fortifie
he Peninsula, had gained no success of note. A few unimportant skirmishes had taken place and the Confederate lines had been contracted — more from choice than necessity. But the combatants were near enough-and respected each other enough --for constant watchfulness to be considered necessary; and, though the personnel of the army was, perhaps, not as good as that of the Potomac, in the main its condition was better. At Norfolk nothing had been done but to strengthen the defenses. General Huger had striven to keep his men employed; and they, at least, did not despise the enemy that frowned at them from Fort Monroe, and frequently sent messages of compliment into their camps from the lips of the Sawyer gun. The echo of the paeans from Manassas came back to them, but softened by distance and tempered by their own experience-or want of it. In Western Virginia there had been a dull, eventless campaign, of strategy rather than action. General Wise had taken command on the fir
thousand raw troops — was but child's play to the immense armada with heaviest metal that Burnside brought against the place. Roanoke Island was the key to General Huger's position at Norfolk. Its fall opened the Sounds to the enemy and, besides paralyzing Huger's rear communications, cut off more than half his supplies. The Huger's rear communications, cut off more than half his supplies. The defeat was illustrated by great, if unavailing, valor on the part of the untrained garrison; by a plucky and determined fight of the little squadron under Commodore Lynch; and by the brilliant courage and death of Captain 0. Jennings Wise — a gallant soldier and noble gentleman, whose popularity was deservedly great. But, the r Department. The almost universal unpopularity of the Secretary made this a most acceptable view, even while an effort was made to shift part of the blame to General Huger's shoulders. But wherever the fault, the country could not shake off the gloom that such a succession of misfortunes threw over it. This feeling was, if p
k and badly punished. The history of Seven Pines is familiar to all. Some days previous, General Keyes' division had been thrown across the Chickahominy, for the purpose of feeling the Confederate lines and throwing up works that would secure the Federals that stream. The river, swelled by recent rains, rose so suddenly as to endanger Keyes' communications with his rear; and Johnston determined to attack, while he could thus strike in detail. The miscarriage of part of his planby which Huger's troops did not join the attack-and his own wound, by a piece of shell, late in the afternoon, alone prevented Johnston's utter destruction of this Federal corps. As it was, the enemy was driven two miles back of his camp. Heavily re-enforced next day, he resisted and drove back a desperate attack about Fair Oaks. Now, for the first time, the people of Richmond began to see the realities of war. When the firing began, many ladies were at work for the soldiers in the churches. These f
raver disaster of the closing of the whole river and the blockade of the trans-Mississippi. For had the Louisiana been furnished with two companion ships of equal strength-or even had she been completely finished and not had been compelled to succumb to accidents within, while she braved the terrific fire from without — the Federal fleet might have been crushed like egg-shells; the splendid exertions of Hollins and Kennon in the past would not have been nullified; the blood of McIntosh and Huger would not have been useless sacrifice; and the homes of the smiling city and the pure vicinage of her noble daughters might not have been polluted by the presence of the commandant, who crawled in after the victorious fleet. Norfolk, however, had comeinto southern possession, by the secession of Virginia; and the vast resources of her navy-yard-only partly crippled by the haste of the Federal retreat-stimulated the Government. A meager appropriation was passed for the construction of th