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[187] On the morning of the 19th the gunboats moved to the head of the sound, and Lieutenant-Commanding Murray was sent in the Lockwood to make a reconnoissance of Plymouth. In the meantime the Hunchback with the remainder of the troops came up and anchored. Leaving the force off the mouth of the Roanoke to await Murray's return in the Lockwood, with the Delaware and Perry, Rowan proceeded to Winton ‘for the purpose of communicating with the Union men said to be in arms at that place.’

On the return of Murray the vessels awaiting him followed Rowan. Being desirous to reach Winton at an early hour the Delaware and Perry proceeded at full speed. At 4 P. M. they came in sight of the wharf and houses at the landing; the town itself was hidden by a high bluff covered with oak trees.

‘Ranging up past the wharf and bluff, where a negro woman stood, apparently to assure us that no danger need be apprehended, suddenly a small armed force and two batteries of light artillery opened a heavy fire on the vessels.’ The artillery overshot their mark; the Delaware was too near to bring her battery to bear, and was obliged to steam ahead. She turned with some difficulty in the narrow channel, and opened fire on the enemy; the Perry from a position more favorable opened at once with shrapnel. The vessels moved down the river some seven miles and anchored to await the arrival of the expected reinforcement.

At early daylight on the 20th the flotilla moved up to Winton, the leading vessels throwing a few shrapnel on shore to cover the landing of the troops, which was speedily effected. In a few minutes Colonel Hawkins's force, accompanied by two navy howitzers, had possession of the bluff and passed over to the town without opposition. A quantity of military stores, tents, arms and knapsacks, and the

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