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[534] the enemy's infantry, with their guns but 200 yards distant, that it was forced to surrender.

Hoke vigorously pressed the siege. Soon, the Albemarle, Capt. Cooke, ran down by Fort Warren and engaged our two remaining gunboats, of 8 guns each, striking the Southfield, Lt. French, so heavily as to sink her; then, turning on the Miami, killed Lt.-Com'r Flusser, and disabled many of her crew; when she fled down the river. The Albemarle then shelled the town with her rifled 32s, doing considerable execution.

Next morning,1 Hoke pushed forward all his batteries, and opened on the town and our remaining forts at 1,100 yards: Ransom, with one brigade, assaulting on the right, and Hoke, with two, going in on the left. By a desperate effort, in the face of a murderous fire, the two outer forts, mounting 8 guns, were carried at a heavy cost, and their garrisons made prisoners. A rush was then made on the town; which was likewise carried; and at length Fort Williams--which was still mowing down the assailants with grape and case-shot — was so enveloped and enfiladed that nothing remained for Wessells but to surrender. The fruits of the victory were 1,600 effective prisoners, 25 guns, at least 2,000 small arms, and some valuable stores. The Rebels admitted a loss here of only 300. Our combatants estimated it at fully 1,000, and say we had but 100 killed and wounded.

As a consequence of this disaster, Washington, at the head of Pamlico sound, was soon evacuated by Gen. Palmer ;2 some of our departing soldiers disgracing themselves and their flag by arson and pillage ere they left.

Capt. Cooke, of the Albemarle, being naturally somewhat inflated by his easy triumph ever two unmailed gunboats, our remaining gunboats in those waters, under Capt. Melancthon Smith, were disposed to tempt him to a fresh encounter, on more equal terms. They had not long to wait for it. The Mattabesett, Sassacus, and Wyalusing, were lying 20 miles off the mouth of the Roanoke, when our picket-boats, which had been sent up the river to decoy the ram from under the protecting batteries of Plymouth, reported her coming;3 and soon she was descried bearing down, accompanied by the river steamboat Cotton Plant, and what was lately our gunboat Bombshell. The former — being too frail for such an encounter — put back, with her 200 sharp-shooters and boarders, to Plymouth; and the contest began. The Albemarle was heavily iron-clad and armed with very large Whitworth guns; and our vessels of course played around her, seeking to inject their iron into her weakest quarter: the Sassacus taking occasion to pour one broadside at close range into the Bombshell, which compelled her to strike her flag and fall out of the range of fire. After a spirited cannonade at short range, the Sassacus struck the Albemarle at full speed, crowding her hull under water, but not sinking her. And now these life-and-death wrestlers exchanged 100-pound shots at five or six paces; the gunners of the Sassacus watching for the opening of a port by the Albemarle, and trying — sometimes with success — to fire a shell or shot into it before it could be closed again; as, from the ram's mailed sides or deck,

1 April 20.

2 April 23.

3 May 5, 3 P. M.

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