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[184] Morse, and Delaware in advance, with the Ceres on their right flank. The remainder of the force, led in order by the Louisiana, and the Hetzel, Valley City, and Whitehead being ordered, if the attack was made, to leave the line as soon as the battery was passed, and attack it in reverse. The flotilla proceeded at moderate speed up the river.

At 8.30 the enemy's steamers were seen drawn up, as anticipated, behind the battery, which mounted four heavy 32-pounders, and was commanded by Commodore Lynch in person, and supported by the schooner Black Warrior, moored on the opposite shore, armed with two guns of the same class. The vessels of the enemy were drawn up on a diagonal line, the right resting on the Cobb Point battery. When within long range, battery and vessels opened fire with 80-pounder rifle and other guns; when within three-quarters of a mile signal was made, ‘Dash at the enemy,’ and fire was opened by the flotilla with telling effect. This quite demoralized the enemy; the Black Warrior was set on fire and abandoned; the fort was abandoned when the head of the column passed it, and the vessels designated dashed at the vessels of the enemy. The Perry, under command of Flusser, struck the flag-ship Sea Bird and sunk her, and took the officers and crew prisoners; the Underwriter cut off the retreat of the Beaufort, and the Ceres ran ahead and took possession of the Ellis, whose crew deserted and endeavored to escape to the shore; the Delaware boarded the Fanny, that had been set on fire and deserted by the enemy. His defeat was sudden and overwhelming. ‘Three or four of the flotilla proceeded at once to Elizabeth City and ran alongside of the wharves. A battery of field artillery fled from the principal street. An armed party from the flotilla came suddenly on a mounted officer of the “Wise Legion,” who, in obedience to orders from General Henningsen, was compelling the defenceless ’

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