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[176] forces had been completed and were within Hatteras Inlet, they had not yet perfected their defences.

On that coast of storms in winter, neither the ‘vessels of war,’ as they were somewhat inaptly termed, if compared with vessels built for the purpose, nor the transports for the troops, often unseaworthy, stood on the order of their coming. Happily for them, Hampton Roads was only one hundred and fifty miles distant, but on arriving off the inlet vessels that had been chartered not to draw more than twelve feet were found of heavier draught, and some of them hammered to pieces on the bar, and many of the naval vessels were of extreme draught for crossing the bulkhead. They came as they could, crossed the bar into the inlet as soon as possible, then awaited exceptional banking of the waters to cross the ‘bulkhead.’

Rear-Admiral L. M. Goldsborough, who was in command of the naval forces, and General A. E. Burnside, who commanded the troops, arrived on January 13th. Owing, however, to a lack of water for days before, few or none of the vessels had crossed the bulkhead; on the 15th, however, the naval vessels, having least draught in general, began crossing, and by the 23d all of them that had arrived up to that time were over the bulkhead. The Whitehall, in getting across the outer bar, or within the inlet from the sea, was so injured that she had to be sent to Hampton Roads for repairs.

Not before the 22d of January had General Burnside made any considerable progress in getting the army transports over the bulkhead, and from the facts above stated, the last naval vessel was delayed until the 28th of January, and the last of the army transports until February 5th. For the time being, the river steamer Philadelphia was the flag-ship of Rear-Admiral Goldsborough; the naval vessels intended

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