gliding down the full waters of Beaufort River
, the three vessels having sailed at different hours, with orders to rendezvous at St. Simon's Island
, on the coast of Georgia
Until then, the flag-ship, so to speak, was to be the “Ben De Ford,” Captain Hallett
,--this being by far the largest vessel, and carrying most of the men. Major Strong
was in command upon the “John Adams
,” an army gunboat, carrying a thirty-pound Parrott gun, two ten-pound Parrotts, and an eight-inch howitzer.
(since promoted Lieutenant-Colonel
of the regiment) had charge of the famous “Planter,” brought away from the Rebels
by Robert Small; she carried a ten-pound Parrott gun, and two howitzers.
The John Adams
was our main reliance.
She was an old East Boston
ferry-boat, a “double-ender,” admirable for riverwork, but unfit for sea-service.
She drew seven feet of water; the Planter
drew only four; but the latter was very slow, and being obliged to go to St. Simon
's by an inner passage, would delay us from the beginning.
She delayed us so much, before the end, that we virtually parted company, and her career was almost entirely separated from our own.
From boyhood I have had a fancy for boats, and have seldom been without a share, usually more or less fractional, in a rather indeterminate number of punts and wherries.
But when, for the first time, I found myself at sea as Commodore
of a fleet of armed steamers,--for even the Ben De Ford
boasted a six-pounder or so,it seemed rather an unexpected promotion.
But it is a characteristic of army life, that one adapts one's self, as coolly as in a dream, to the most novel responsibilities.
One sits on court-martial, for instance, and decides on the life of a fellow-creature, without being asked any inconvenient