The “Unadilla”Under Lieutenant-Commander N. Collins, the “Unadilla” took part in the expedition that succeeded in capturing Port Royal, November 9, 1861. The “Unadilla” was but one of the fifty vessels that had assembled in Hampton Roads by October 27th to join the largest fleet ever commanded by an officer of the American navy up to that time. In contrast to the number of the vessels was the nondescript character of most of them. The “Unadilla” is described officially as a steam gunboat, but she was typical of the sort of hastily converted vessels that made up the fleet — river steamers, ferryboats, tugs, almost anything that would turn a wheel or propeller. These frail craft, loaded down with heavy guns, set forth in the face of foul weather to engage in battle for the first time with two of the strongest fortifications of the Confederacy. It was a momentous trial of wooden ships against most formidable earthworks. But Flag-Officer Du Pont, who possessed in an eminent degree all the qualities of a great commander, succeeded in demonstrating to Europe that even with a fleet of so uncertain a character the American navy could win by a masterly plan of battle, originated by him.