banks of the river, while his regiment manned the walls, and put the yard in the best state of defence possible. If we were attacked, to threaten a bombardment of the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth; that we could not destroy all the large guns in the yard (variously estimated from one thousand to twenty-five hundred) that night; that together, in his opinion, the place could be held until sufficient re-enforcements arrived; that the great importance of the place demanded that a great risk should be taken for its preservation. Captain Pendergast said the enemy was too strong for us, and that, if we did not get away with the two vessels that night, we never should; and that every moment lessened our chances; and that the “Cumberland” ought to be saved at all hazards, being, in his opinion, more valuable than all else. The two captains then had a private consultation, from which Colonel Wardrop was quietly excluded. Shortly afterwards, Captain Paulding informed the colonel that he should withdraw the two ships, and abandon the yard; and then ordered him to furnish eighty men to assist in undermining the dry dock, another detail to assist in firing the buildings and vessels, and the balance were employed in rolling solid shot overboard. During this time, a mob broke into the yard, but were promptly driven out by the marines and our regiment. About three o'clock, A. M., of the 21st, the regiment embarked on board of the “Pawnee,” and dropped down the river a short distance. At four A. M., every thing was fired that would burn. We waited until five o'clock, A. M., before all the men returned by small boats, when we found that Captain H. G. Wright, United-States engineer, and Captain John Rodgers, United-States Navy, had been captured by the enemy. The ships were burned to the water's edge, excepting the “United States;” and she was so old and rotten she would not burn. The public buildings were mostly destroyed. Some, however, were but slightly damaged. After all our trouble with the dry dock, the mine did not explode. We succeeded in knocking off the trunnions of seven guns: the others were useful to the rebels. When we arrived at the mouth of the Elizabeth River, we found the enemy had almost obstructed the channel. The “Pawnee” passed through; the “Cumberland” did not that afternoon, when they turned one of the sunken vessels, and passed through, and anchored off the fort. We disembarked from the “Pawnee” a little after eight o'clock, A. M., and marched into the fort to our quarters, having eaten nothing since the day before. Thus ended the Norfolk expedition. April 22, the regiment became a part of the garrison of Fort Monroe. April 23, the regiment was properly mustered into the United-States service for three months. Companies I and M joined May 14.
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