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[204] the Patapsco, Commander Ammen, and the Nahant, Commander Downes. The operation of these revolving floating batteries was not familiar to the Confederate gunners, but the men stood manfully to their guns, and soon discovered that the monitor was not such a formidable monster after all, particularly against sand batteries. For seven hours the 15 and 1-inch shell and shot were hurled at McAllister, and the mortar boats kept up the din all night following, the only effect being to temporarily dismount the 8-inch gun and the 42-pounder and slightly wound two men. Next morning the fort was as good as ever. This experiment led Admiral Dupont, who was preparing for a naval attack at Charleston, to report that, ‘Whatever degree of impenetrability the monitors might have, there was no corresponding quality of destructiveness against forts.’ Horace Greeley, in his ‘American Conflict,’ says that from this time the Union fleets ‘saved their ammunition by letting Fort McAllister alone.’

At this period great apprehension was felt on the coast regarding the fleet which was known to be fitting out in the North for invasion of the South by sea. Either Charleston or Savannah, and more probably both, was to be the object of this expedition. On February 17th, General Beauregard issued a proclamation announcing that it was his solemn duty to urge all persons in the two threatened cities unable to take an active part in defense to retire. ‘It is hoped,’ he said, ‘that this temporary separation of some of you from your homes will be made without alarm or undue haste, thus showing that the only feeling that animates you in this hour of supreme trial is the regret of being unable to participate in the defense of your homes, your altars and the graves of your kindred. Carolinians and Georgians! the hour is at hand to prove your devotion to your country's cause. Let all able-bodied men, from the seaboard to the mountains, rush to arms. Be not exacting in the choice of weapons; ’

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