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[110] engaged the strongest battery; but we drew off soon, for fear of hitting our own men. As we lay at anchor, we heard the roll of musketry and report of field-pieces. But towards night we saw the United States flag run up on their batteries. Then the blue-jackets gave three cheers, and the Commodore ordered an extra allowance of grog all round. In the evening we learned that Burnside was completely successful, having captured two thousand prisoners and fourteen cannon.

Lieutenant Barstow was also engaged in the brilliant affair of destroying the enemy's fleet by Captain Rowan. Of this he says:—

We had the other day a short but desperate affair at Elizabeth City; the fighting was mainly hand to hand, and little quarter was given or asked. One boat-load of Southern sailors was pulling towards the shore, when one of our gunboats exploded a nine-inch shrapnel amongst them, and only one man escaped out of the twenty or thirty in the boat.

. . . . It is pleasant to hear the Captain talk about his home and his children, and how glad he shall be to see them when the war is over, and what a pride he takes in them all. The old sailors say it is worth five dollars to hear the Captain's voice in a fight. To show how considerate he is during the battle: I was standing near him, and a shell came whistling over our heads. I nodded, but the Captain did n't budge an inch. Seeing that I felt rather ashamed, he turned to me and said, “No man can help dodging; I dodge myself.” I watched him through the action, and he was the only man that did not dodge.

From Roanoke Island General Burnside and the fleet turned to Newbern, which was captured after a brisk engagement. Lieutenant Barstow was during this action with Captain Rowan, who had succeeded Commodore Goldsborough in command of the Sound Squadron.

He continued in his duties as signal officer for about a year, serving in all the active operations of the army in North Carolina with energy and bravery. Upon the Goldsborough expedition he served as signal officer upon the staff of his friend General Stevenson. During this time the exposure to the damps, chills, and heats of the insidious marshes of North Carolina was by degrees undermining a naturally strong constitution.

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