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Flag-Officer Dupont, in writing to the Secretary of the Navy, on the 6th of November, the day preceding the battle, says: ‘Upon taking into consideration the magnitude to which the joint naval and military expedition had been extended, to which you (the Secretary of the Navy) have called my attention, I came to the conclusion that the original intention of the Department, if first carried out, would fall short of the expectations of the country and of the capabilities of the expedition, while Port Royal I thought would meet both in a high degree.’1

Notwithstanding the violence of the gale, it was ascertained that only one vessel attached to the naval force, the steam transport Governor, had been lost, and that all save seven of the persons on board had been rescued, through the exertions of the officers and crew of the sail frigate Sabine, Captain Cadwalader Ringgold, aided specially and greatly by the Isaac Smith, Lieutenant-Commander Nicholson. In the heavy gale the last-named vessel would have foundered, had not the broadside guns been thrown overboard. The hog braces of the Governor had first given way, then she lost her smokestack, and finally the use of the enginery. It was a lucky chance that of her human cargo, numbering 650 or more, so few were lost.

1 This plainly indicates that the Department had left to Dupont the selection of the point of attack, to be agreed upon, however, with General T. W. Sherman, whose orders, dated August 2, 1861, are as follows: ‘You will proceed to New York immediately, and organize, in connection with Captain Dupont, of the navy, an expedition of 12,000 men. Its destination you and the naval commander will determine after you have sailed.’

The ‘confidential’ order of October 12th, to the flag-officer, says: ‘In examining the various points upon the coast, it has been ascertained that Bull's Bay, St. Helena, Port Royal, and Fernandina are each and all accessible and desirable points for the purposes indicated, and the Government has decided to take possession of at least two of them. Which of the two shall thus be occupied will be committed to your discretion after obtaining the best information you can in regard to them.’ . . .

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