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[65] and it was supposed had inflicted much greater loss on the assailants. The records of our former enemy, so far as published, give no details of these minor affairs.

A very interesting episode of the war was that of Robert Small, a slave and the pilot of the Planter, carrying that vessel to the blockading force off Charleston. The account given is substantially the report of the flag-officer to the Department. The vessel was engaged in the transportation of ordnance and army stores. On the morning of the 13th of May, the Planter was lying at the wharf close to army headquarters, with steam up and the captain on shore. Small had the fasts cast off, and with a Confederate flag flying passed the forts, saluting them as usual by blowing the whistle, and passing beyond their line of fire, hauled down his flag and hoisted a white one just in time to avoid the fire from a blockading vessel. The Planter was armed with a 32-pounder pivot gun, a 24-pounder howitzer, and had on board four heavy guns, one of which was a Vii-inch rifle, intended for a new fort on the middle ground in Charleston Harbor. Eight men, five women, and three children were on board of the vessel. The flag-officer remarked: ‘Robert Small is superior to any who have come within our lines, intelligent as many of them have been. His information has been most interesting, and portions of it of the utmost importance.’ Small afterward served most usefully and with great intelligence on the Southern coast as pilot throughout the civil war, and later, for several sessions as a member of Congress from South Carolina.

Acting under definite but not compulsory instructions, the officers commanding blockading vessels were vigilant in following up by reconnoissance the changed lines of defence which had been established in such manner as not to allow an attack by any considerable number of gunboats.

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