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[233] Ordnance Bureau, gave it as his opinion that no serious damage would be done beyond five hundred yards from the point of explosion. At a consultation of experts, at the house of Captain Wise, who had been summoned by Mr. Fox, the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, the subject was fully discussed, and it was concluded that it would be worth while to try the experiment, with a hope that the explosion might be effectual. When General Butler returned from New York, he found that the powder experiment was to be tried, and that preparations for it were being made. This matter caused some delay in the movements of the navy, and the expedition was not ready to sail before the 13th of December.

At this juncture I arrived at Hampton, accompanied by two Philadelphia friends (Ferdinand J. Dreer and Edward Greble), on my way to the headquarters of the army at City Point. While breakfasting at a restaurant I beard a person say,. “The general is here.” “What general?” I inquired. “General Butler,” he answered. “He is at Fort Monroe.” I had a private letter of introduction to General Butler, and letters from the Secretaries of War and Navy, and from President Lincoln, requesting officers of the United States service, who should read them, to give me every facility consistent with the rules of the service for obtaining historical materials. We went to the fort; I sent in my credentials to General Butler, and we were invited to his quarters, where we were introduced to his wife and daughter. Turning to me the General asked, “Did you ever see a naval fight?” I replied in the negative. “If you will go with me,” he said, “I will show you one of the greatest naval contests on record.” “Of course, I cannot ask where it will occur,” I answered; “but I will inquire about how long we shall be gone?” “A week or ten days,” the General replied. I guessed the destination to be Fort Fisher. “I will go,” I said; but, recalling the words, remarked, “I cannot leave these gentlemen, who are traveling with me.” “Invite them to go along,” said the General. We consulted a few moments, and agreed to go. In the afternoon we accompanied General Butler on a visit to Admiral Porter, in his flag-ship, the “Malvern,” lying in the Roads. On our return we were directed to be on board the Ben Deford, Butler's headquarters' ship, at eight o'clock the next morning. The vessel did not sail that day, and we visited the battle-field at Bethel, a few miles up the Virginia Peninsula, where the gallant son of Mr. Greble was slain at the beginning of the war.

The troops that composed the expedition against Fort Fisher were the divisions of Generals Ames and Paine, of the Army of the

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