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[240] indignation. Experts say, in the light of facts revealed, that the army officers acted wisely in not attacking. It seems to me that the chief cause of our failure may be found in the lack of co-operation with the land forces at the beginning. During the delay caused by the first day's waiting for the fleet at the rendezvous, and the succeeding gale, the Confederates were apprised of the expedition, and took sufficient measures to meet and frustrate it. Wilmington was denuded of troops, and the army was waiting for the fleet off Fort Fisher on the middle of December. At that time the garrison of the fort consisted of only six hundred and sixty-seven men. When Weitzel stood before it on Christmas day, it was nine hundred strong, and at least seven thousand men were within forty-eight hours march of it.

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