Certainly never did a fleet bent on so great a mission, set out with so little of pomp and circumstance as marked the departure of the expedition, so long preparing, against Charleston
Those who have read the volumes of Mr. Motley
will remember the magnificent description in the History of the Netherlands
, of the sailing of the Spanish Armada
, with its hundreds of galleons and galleasses in their high state and bravery.
There is absolutely nothing of this to tell in the story of our expedition.
Indeed, so quietly had the fleet been dropping away from Port Royal
for a week or ten days previous to the departure of the naval and military chiefs of the expedition — now a couple of iron-clads, now a convoy of gunboats with transports — that one rubbed his eyes at the time of the official announcement of the inauguration of operations on the first of April, to see that the vast fleet, numbering over one hundred vessels, had really gone.
On Thursday, the first of April, Admiral Du Pont
and staff left Port Royal
on the James Adger
, General hunter and staff sailing on the following day in the steamer Ben Deford
The fleet, which for a week or ten days had been dropping away from Port Royal
, had been during the same time meeting in rendezvous in North Edisto River
, which, you will observe, empties into the sea somewhat over half-way between Port Royal
and Charleston harbor
, and forms a safe and convenient entrepot
for the expedition.
Arriving at Edisto
on Friday afternoon, (April third,) we found the whole fleet assembled in the embouchure of the river.
Tides and winds were now the only conditions that remained to control the movement of the expedition.