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[305]

Up the James at last--1865 These Federal gunboats would not be lying so far up the river-above the Dutch Gap Canal, near Fort Brady-unless the breaking of Lee's lines at Petersburg had forced the evacuation of Richmond, and of the batteries which lined the shores of the river-approach to the city. The Confederate batteries are silent now; and the dreaded Confederate fleet has been destroyed by orders of its own commander. The ironclad, Virginia, which never fired a shot, lies in the mud near Chaffin's Bluff opposite Fort Darling, sunk in a last desperate attempt to obstruct the approach of the Federal fleet. Now follows a scene of peace. It is wash-day, as can be seen from the lines of clothing hanging in the rigging of the gunboats and of the converted ferryboat down the river. The latter will soon return to its former peaceful use.

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