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[367] protected by my light artillery, and details were made to recover the cargoes so valuable to our people. For these important services I allowed the men to be paid a moderate compensation for their labor and injury to clothing, by those interested in the cargoes; indeed, I felt that I had no right to prevent their receiving so trifling a remuneration.

From the repulse of General Butler and Admiral Porter on Christmas day, 1864, until the second expedition appeared against Fort Fisher, January 13th, 1865, the work was neglected by General Bragg. I had lost some important guns by explosion, and had several dismounted. The quarters of the men had all been destroyed, and with them their overcoats and blankets. Our provisions had been injured, and much of our ammunition expended. The garrison had been reduced in numbers, while the sick and slightly wounded were left to our care. I appealed to General Bragg for guns to replace those destroyed, for new carriages in place of those rendered useless, for additional ammunition, especially hand grenades, to repulse assaults. I asked that sub-marine torpedoes be placed where the ironclads had anchored, and where they would and did return. General Whiting approved all my requests. I felt sure that the enemy would return with redoubled vigor, and nothing being done to assist me to repair damages, or strengthen my position, I wrote to Governor Vance, and appealed to him to aid me in getting General Bragg to realize our situation. But no assistance was rendered, and I was not even warned of the returning fleet, but reported its reappearance to Wilmington from the fort. I have never complained of this, and mention it now to show the utter neglect with which the fort was treated by the Commanding-General, who seeks to throw the whole responsibility of the loss of Fort Fisher upon my garrison.

In those sixty hours of continuous battle, when my men were unable to provide a single meal, but had to subsist on uncooked rations and corn-meal coffee, when they were without overcoats or blankets to make them a bed in the sand, I heard no murmur of complaint, but witnessed deeds of heroism unsurpassed in ancient or modern story. I beheld acts of individual daring which would brighten the pages of history, or lend a charm to poetry. Side by side, as privates in the ranks, were brilliant youths, with as proud a lineage as any American could boast, and illiterate tillers of the soil, stirred with a patriotic love of home and State, sharing common hardships and dangers with that solid middle class, who, while not as reckless, were equally resolute. Nowhere, and at no time, in that or any struggle for right and country, did the sons of Carolina ever fill to greater overflowing the full measure of

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