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[253] having but a short time in which to teach them and to take charge of all the signalling for the expedition.

Early in January, 1862, General Burnside's expedition set sail for Hatteras Inlet. Much difficulty was experienced by all the fleet in passing through the Inlet, and the schooner Colonel Satterly, in which Lieutenant Robeson was embarked, met with more troubles than most of the other vessels of the fleet. In a letter written on board he says, on January 22d:—

We left Fortress Monroe with a fair wind, and every prospect of reaching Hatteras in twenty-four hours; but unfortunately the wind changed, and we have been knocking round at sea ever since. We have had two very severe gales, and there is every prospect of another. . . . I have had a pretty good time, and if it had not been for my anxiety to reach the fleet, should have enjoyed myself very much.

Sunday, January 26.
After lying in sight of the fleet for twelve hours, we dragged our anchor so much that we were obliged to put to sea again in a tremendous northeast storm. I had no idea what a storm was at sea before, and have always thought the pictures that one sees of such things were exaggerated, but I found I was very much mistaken. The storm lasted about two days, and left us about sixty miles south of Hatteras, in the middle of the Gulf Stream, where we still are. About twelve o'clock on the first night of the storm we discovered a fire in the hold; and as we are loaded with powder and ordnance stores, the next half-hour was not an agreeable one. But our present position is nearly as bad; for as we expected to be only a few days on board,—a week at the most,—we have run short of both provisions and water. Six crackers and half a pint of water is all that most of us have had for two days, and if we do not get in by to-morrow or next day, I do not know what we shall do. We have been on board now nearly three weeks, and had a storm from every point of the compass, with only two fair days between. We have seen nearly everything that is to be seen on the ocean, that is, one whale, two sharks, and any quantity of dolphins.


The Colonel Satterly arrived safely at Hatteras, and reported to General Burnside on January 28th, and found the whole fleet there, except two vessels which were lost.

He was now quartered upon the Philadelphia, the flagship

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