We were delayed an hour here, while the men were relaying the planks of the bridge, when we mounted our horses and posted on. We had now ten miles to Elizabeth City, and the road ran in dangerous proximity to a guerrilla camp. A half an hour of swamp and black darkness and we emerged from the forest at Hintonsville, which consists of a church and a single dwelling-house. Welcome dawn at length appeared, revealing a pleasant, open country, with spacious corn-fields on every side. Smoke began to curl from the chimneys of the farm-houses; here and there an early riser was drawing water from the well, or opening the doors of the barn, while hundreds of larks were singing in the groves and orchards. As we rode into Elizabeth City, a little after sunrise, I was surprised to see how its appearance had been changed by the war. Three years ago it was a busy and beautiful little city, noted for the number of its stores and manufactories, the extent and variety of its trade, for its enterprise and the rapid increase of its population. Now most of the dwellings were deserted; the stores all closed; the streets overgrown with grass, its elegant edifices reduced to heaps of ruins by vandal Georgian troops; the doors of the bank standing wide open, and a sepulchral silence brooded over the place. We found General Wild at his headquarters — the fine residence of Dr. Pool--standing on the piazza with a portion of his staff, and received a cordial welcome. I found that the attention of the General, after occupying the city, had been first turned to the guerrillas who infested the neighborhood, and that he had just sent out a force of one thousand two hundred men, under command of Colonel Holman, of the First United States, in the direction of Hertford, where there was reported to be a large camp of these villains. The expedition returned the next day, without accomplishing its object, all the bridges having been found destroyed, and the guerrillas keeping themselves concealed. They were not far away, however, for a man who straggled from the column was taken prisoner by them. On Sunday morning the steamer Frazier arrived, with the intelligence that the gunboat North State, which had been sent from Old Point with orders to report to General Wild, had burst her steam-pipe, and was lying disabled in Currituck Sound. This disaster promised to a prove a serious blow to the success of the expedition, which contemplated cooperation by water. Besides, it was not improbable that a formidable rebel force might be sent hither from the Blackwater, in which case it would be impossible to retreat or to hold the city for any length of time without the aid of a gunboat. As no other vessel could be procured from Fortress Monroe in less than a week, General Wild determined to send to Captain Flusser, commanding the naval force at Plymouth, for assistance. Accordingly, a sail-boat and a loyal pilot having been found, near sunset I set sail for Plymouth, seventy-five miles from Elizabeth City. A few miles down the river I encountered the privateer Three Brothers — a little stern-wheel canal-boat, used by General Wild to procure wood, and as a transport. Quartermaster Birdsall, of the First United States, who had been installed commander of this formidable craft, elated by his good fortune in capturing that day two stranded sloops, which he maintained were blockade-runners, and thinking to obtain a still nobler prize, put after me at full speed, (two miles an hour,) and it was for a time uncertain, in the darkness of the evening, whether I would not be towed back in triumph, lashed to the stern of his victorious “wheelbarrow.” I afterward almost regretted that this had not happened, for the wind being dead ahead, we were the whole night beating to the mouth of the river. The Sound reached, with daybreak a furious wind arose, threatening my frail craft with destruction. In fact, the pilot pronounced the voyage impracticable, and we were crossing to the rebel shore, where I had determined to land and attempt to reach Plymouth on foot, when a steamer was descried through the fog. Tacking and steering for her, she proved to be the Whitehead, and I learned that Captain Flusser was on board the Miami, at the mouth of North River, whither the Whitehead was also bound. My boat was taken in tow, and in an hour we were alongside the Miami. Captain Flusser at once acceded to the General's request, and we were soon under way for Elizabeth City, before which we came to anchor about noon. Meanwhile, detachments were sent in all directions through the neighborhood to “canvass” the plantations for contrabands. One of three hundred men, under command of Major Wright, was landed by the Frazier on Wade's Point, at the mouth of the Pasquotank, with orders to scour the Peninsula between the Pasquotank and Little Rivers up to Elizabeth City, bringing in all the slaves that could be found. Major Wright returned with a train of thirty-eight ox, mule, and horse carts, containing the personal property of two hundred and fifty slaves that followed him into town. Almost hourly officers sent out on this service would report to the General the return of their commands, with the number of teams taken and slaves liberated. In addition to this, slaves belonging to isolated plantations were constantly coming to headquarters and asking the General to protect them in the removal of their families. Seldom did such a request fail to insure the necessary detail of men. The lately deserted streets of the city were thronged with liberated slaves that came pouring in from the country in every direction with their household furniture. As rapidly as possible the women and children, and such men as were physically unfit to serve as soldiers, were shipped to Roanoke Island, where a large negro colony has been founded under the care of Horace James. Although the suppression of the guerrillas was considered by General Wild subordinate to the great object of his raid, which was to clear the country of slaves and procure recruits for his
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Doc . 3 .-attack on the defences of Mobile .
Surrender of Fort Powell .
Battle of Olustee .
Battle of Pleasant Hill .
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