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[173] without delay, the trunnions of the guns broken off, and at the same time the launch went to the town of Portsmouth near by, where three VIII-inch navy guns were found lying on the beach and one mounted on its carriage. The attempt to make a battery had been abandoned in consequence of the taking of the forts at Hatteras Inlet. The town, which had some five hundred inhabitants before the attack on the Hatteras Inlet forts, was nearly deserted; those remaining said they were Union men, and expressed their gratification at seeing their old flag again. ‘Lieutenant Eastman assured them that they would not be molested by the Government, and that they might return to their usual occupations.’ He then destroyed the guns and returned to the Fanny. The combustible material had been placed within and around the bomb-proof of Fort Ocracoke, which was supported by heavy pine timbers and logs. It was destroyed by fire, after which the expedition returned to the Pawnee.

Either with or without competent authority, soon after the occupation of Hatteras Inlet, the Twentieth Regiment of Indiana volunteers, Colonel Brown, was sent to occupy Chicamicomico, near the northern end of Hatteras Island, some twenty-five miles north of the lighthouse. Within this sand-spit the water is quite shoal for two miles or more, and this speedily led to the capture of the army tug Fanny, and a considerable quantity of army stores.

The proximity of Roanoke Island and the presence of a large number of Confederate troops fortifying it, made the bait of a regiment too tempting to be resisted, so on the 4th of October there appeared ten transports and seven steamers, including the captured tug Fanny, a cotton barge, and two flat-boats laden with troops. A part of this force was landed north of the Indiana regiment, and the remainder was taken south to cut off the retreat.

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