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[225] guns nearer the ironclads and line of frigates. ‘Everything was coolly and systematically done,’ and the admiral adds, ‘I witnessed some fine practice.’

The weather had grown threatening and a heavy swell rolled in, which toward night put an end to the reembarka-tion of the troops. In relation to this the admiral states in his report: ‘Seven hundred men were left on the beach by General Butler when he departed for Fortress Monroe, and we had no difficulty in protecting them from the rebel army said to be in the background, which was a very small army after all.’ The men were not re-embarked until the noon of the 27th, owing to the surf, when the transports left for Fortress Monroe.

In an official letter of December 31, 1864, commenting upon the letter of General Butler, Admiral Porter says:

General Butler mentions in his letter to me that he had captured Flag-pond battery with sixty-five men, and Half Moon battery with two hundred and eighteen men and seven officers. This is making capital out of very small material.

Flag-pond battery was some loose sand thrown up, behind which the rebels used to lie with field pieces and fire at our blockaders when they chased runners ashore. It does not deserve the name of a work. Sixty-five or seventy rebels in it came forward and delivered themselves up to the navy and were taken on board the Santiago de Cuba. The men in Half Moon battery (which is no work at all and exactly like the other) came forward and delivered themselves up to the army. They could easily have escaped had they desired to do so.

The fact that these men were taken prisoners is significant. They could have reached the cover of an adjacent wood and gone toward Wilmington entirely unmolested. This does not comport with the report of Major-General Whiting of

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