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[349] Lamb was there wounded. General Whiting was also pointed out, lying on the beach, severely wounded. * * The enemy soon approached and Colquitt barely had time to escape in his small boat. Now for statements made by the enemy when meeting us under flag of truce. They assert that they walked into the fort without resistance, not a shot being fired at them, our men all being in the bomb-proofs. That after they got in a small force was rallied and fought them very gallantly, inflicting a heavy loss, but they soon overcame them and captured most of our officers and men without arms, under cover of the bomb-proofs. * * * *

Blockade running has cured itself. I knew its demoralizing influence, and even before I came here, had urged on the President to remove these officers and troops, replacing them by veterans. * * I was at work on these evils, gradually correcting them, but meeting with the usual denunciation. Time was not allowed.

The defense of the fort ought to have been successful against this attack, but it had to fall eventually — the expedition brought against it was able to reduce it in spite of all I could do. The fleet, after dismounting our guns, could have arranged itself above their land forces, and no spot of ground for six miles above Fort Fisher could have been held by our land forces. Owing to the depth of water they could get nearer to us than they could to Fort Fisher, and could sweep every-thing to the middle of the river.

The same operation, on a much smaller scale was entirely successful against the forts at the mouth of Charleston harbor, except that they were well defended by sober, resolute men, until it was necessary to evacuate, and the harbor was closed by the fall of Fort Wagner. * * But enough for the present. I am both tired and sad.

I knew my wife would be welcome with you, but I feared it would look badly for me to send her off in the panic, and I concluded for her to remain. It has had a good effect on the weak and nervous.

* * * * * *

Will you please send me by express the barrel of flour you have for me? Our only trouble is to get enough to eat, as we pay our board in kind. No one will take a boarder here or anywhere now for money. * *

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