information obtained, resumed throwing shells, which was continued until near sunset—nearly four hours—with little intermission.
Commander O. S. Glisson
, in the Mount Vernon
, sent two armed boats on the night of December 31, 1861, to destroy a lightship formerly anchored on Frying Pan Shoal, and then secured under the guns of Fort Caswell
No one was found on board of the vessel; she had been fitted for the reception of eight guns, to aid, it was supposed, in harbor defence.
The combustible material found on board, saturated with the turpentine brought for the purpose, soon made a blaze sufficient to attract the attention of the men in the fort, whose cry of alarm was heard by the boats' crews.
The fort opened fire soon after in the supposed direction of retreat of the boats.
The lightboat was speedily burned.
The reader is reminded of the magnitude of the struggle in progress and of its geographical extent on land and sea. Considering the waters only, the Potomac River
and the water within the Capes of Virginia
presented no inconsiderable field of operations; then again, as soon after the capture of Hatteras Inlet as a force could be got together, followed a much larger expedition for the capture of Port Royal
and further operations east of Cape Florida
The coasts bordering on the Gulf of Mexico
and upper waters of the Mississippi
were no less theatres of armed contention.
Important as was the possession of Hatteras Inlet, it need not be a subject of wonder that nothing further grew out of it for the time.
The Confederates set to work with earnestness with their limited means, after the capture of the inlet, to fortify Roanoke Island
, which was still a key to the greater part of the inland waters, but even after a lapse of intervening months, when the preparations of the co-operative Union