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“ [472] the country that our ultimate success will be complete.”

Gen. Hunter had a supporting force of some 4,000 men, under Gen. Truman Seymour, carefully concealed behind a thicket of palms just below Lighthouse inlet, with pontoons, guns, &c., all ready to rush across to Morris island and attack the Rebel forces stationed thereon — either party screening its position and numbers by the usual picket-firing at the front. When it was made manifest that Dupont was worsted, Adjutant Halpine was sent with all haste to Seymour with orders to desist: so no useless slaughter on land intensified the bitterness of our failure on the water.

The Rebels say that a blockade-runner in the harbor during the fight ran out through our fleet during the ensuing night, unperceived or unsuspected; and it is certain that our gunboat George Washington, reconnoitering next day,1 up Broad river, having got aground, was attacked by a party of Rebels, who succeeded in throwing a shell into her magazine and blowing her up; killing 2 and wounding 8 of the 3d R. I. Artillery.

Dupont, like most old sailors, was naturally partial to fighting on deck, and not a lover of iron-clads. The issue of this struggle ripened his distrust into detestation. He had failed, with 1,000 men and 30 guns, to take, at the first effort, what was probably the best fortified seaport on earthly, defended by at least ten times his force in men and metal; and he utterly refused to repeat the experiment.

There were no movements thereafter in South Carolina under Hunter; save that Col. Montgomery, with 300 of his 2d S. C. (negroes) on two steamboats, went2 25 miles up the Combahee river, burnt a pontoon-bridge, with some private property, and brought away 727 very willing slaves — all that they could take, but not nearly all that wished to be taken. The 2d S. C. recruited two full companies out of “the spoils.”

The Fingal, a British-built blockade-runner, which had slipped3 into Savannah with a valuable cargo of arms, and been loaded with cotton for her return, found herself unable, especially after the fall of Pulaski, to slip out again; and, after many luckless attempts, was unloaded, and iron-clad into what was esteemed a high state of warlike efficiency--14 months having been devoted to the work. She was now christened the Atlanta, and, wafted from the wharves of Savannah by a breeze of prayers and good wishes, moved down the inlet known as Wilmington river into Warsaw sound, attended by two gunboats and intent on belligerency. Meantime, two poor Irishmen, tired of the Confederacy, had escaped to Hilton Head, and there revealed the character of the craft and the nature of her seaward errand. Hunter's Adjutant, Halpine, a brother Irishman, who had wormed out their secret, by the help of a fluid which seldom fails to unloose the Celtic tongue, at once sped the information to Dupont; who forthwith dispatched the Weehawken and the Nahant to Warsaw sound, wherein the Cimarone alone had been previously stationed.

1 April 8.

2 June 2.

3 Nov. 12, 1861.

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