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[535] the largest bolts, fired at this distance, rebounded like dry peas. At length, the ram put a shot through one of of her adversary's boilers, killing 3 and wounding 6 of her men, and filling her with scalding steam, from out which the shrieks of the scalded were piercingly heard. And now the chief engineer of the Sassacus was compelled to call his men to follow him into the fire-room, and there to drag the fires from beneath the uninjured boiler, which was on the brink of explosion; while the engine had become entirely unmanageable.

Out of the thick, white cloud which enveloped the two combatants, frequently irradiated by the flashes of guns, the Albemarle soon emerged, limping off toward her sheltering fort; still keeping up her fire; the Sassacus moving slowly in pursuit, working on a vacuum alone. We had the Bombshell, with her 4 rifled guns, as a trophy; while the siege of Newbern — which the Albemarle had set forth to form the naval part of, while that post had already been summoned by Hoke, on the assumption that “the river and sound were blockaded below” --was indefinitely postponed.

The Albemarle made good her retreat, and never cared to renew the encounter. Months afterward, she was still 8 miles up the Roanoke, lying at a dock, behind a barricade of logs, when Lt. Wm. B. Cushing slipped1 up the river in a steam-launch and, under a fierce fire from the monster, lowered a torpedo-boat, rowed it to and under the overhang of the Albemarle and fired it, at the same instant that one of the enemy's shots crashed through the torpedo-boat, utterly destroying it. The launch likewise was instantly disabled; but Cushing, spurning every call to surrender, ordered his men to save themselves as they best could; himself dropping into the water and swimming down stream half a mile, when he crawled out at daybreak, and hid in an adjacent swamp; through which he slowly, cautiously worked his way until he found a skiff in a creek, and, at 11 P. M., was on board one of our vessels in the offing. The Albemarle sunk like a stone, and was never more trouble — some to friend or foe.

PlymouthHoke being busy on the James — was now easily retaken2 by our fleet under Com'r Macomb, who captured a few prisoners, some guns and warlike stores.

Of Burnside's extensive conquests in North Carolina, but little more than Newbern and Roanoke island remained to us, after the loss of Plymouth and the abandonment of Washington; and Hoke was intent on reducing our possessions still further, when the pressure of our advance in Virginia summoned the greater part of his force to the defense of Richmond.

Two or three unimportant raiding expeditions were sent out from Newbern during the Summer; and one from Roanoke island, led by Gen. Wild and composed of colored troops, penetrated far into Camden county; bringing off 2,500 slaves, many horses and cattle, and destroying much grain; at a total cost of 13 men.

1 Oct. 27.

2 Oct. 31.

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