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‘ [171] common sea she would founder.’ She could not, it therefore appears, ascend the river, was unseaworthy, and was uncovered by the retreat of the troops with whom she had cooperated. So, on May 10th, the Virginia was taken to Craney Island, one mile above, and there her crew were landed; they fell in and formed on the beach, and, in the language of the eye-witness heretofore quoted, ‘then and there, on the very field of her fame, within sight of the Cumberland's top-gallant-masts, all awash, within sight of that magnificent fleet still cowering on the shoal, with her laurels all fresh and green, we hauled down her drooping colors, and, with mingled pride and grief, we gave her to the flames.’1

At Wilmington, North Carolina, the Southwest bar was defended by Fort Caswell, and New Inlet bar by Fort Fisher. The naval defenses consisted of two ironclads, the North Carolina and the Raleigh. The former could not cross any of the bars in consequence of her draught of water. Her steam-power hardly gave propulsion. She sank during the war off Smithville. The Raleigh's services were almost valueless in consequence of her deep draught and her feeble steam-power. She made one futile trip out of New Inlet, and after a few hours attempted to return, but was wrecked upon the bar.

The brave and invincible defense of Fort Sumter gave to the city of Charleston, South Carolina, additional lustre. For four years that fort, located in its harbor, defied the army and navy of the United States. When the city was about to be abandoned to the army of General Sherman, the forts defending the harbor were embraced in General Hardee's plan of evacuation. The gallant commander of Fort Sumter, Colonel Stephen Elliott, Jr., with unyielding fortitude refused to be relieved, after being under incessant bombardment day and night for weeks. It was supposed he must be exhausted, and he was invited to withdraw for rest, but on receiving the general order of retreat he assembled his brave force on the rugged and shell-crushed parade-ground, read his instructions, and, in a voice that trembled with emotion, addressed his men in the glowing language of patriotism and unswerving devotion to the Confederate cause. The cheers, which responded to the utterances of their colonel, came from manly and chivalric throats. Yielding to the inevitable, they claimed for the Stars and Bars a salute of one hundred guns. As it was fired from Sumter, it was reechoed by all the Confederate batteries, and startled the outside blockaders with the idea that a great victory had been won by the Confederacy.

1 ‘The Story of the Confederate Ship Virginia,’ by William Norris, Colonel Signal Corps, Confederate Army.

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