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[305] last and laid my head on the fence and cried for the first and last time during it all. I then got my carriage and rode to a fort near by to learn the news, but my heart failed as I approached it, and I returned to the house and waited a dispatch, which I received about 11 o'clock, saying all was well. I was quite touched with a little incident which occurred during the day; the little ones looked very grave and thoughtful, at last Dick came to me in the midst of the roaring and awful thundering and said: ‘Mamma, I want to pray to God for my papa.’ He knelt down and said his little earnest prayer; then jumped up, exclaiming and dancing about: ‘Oh, sister, I'm so glad! I'm so glad! now God will keep care of my papa!’

The shelling was even more terrific on Sunday, and I, not knowing how long it might continue concluded to go to Fayetteville, and started Sunday noon in a small steamer, with the sick and wounded, to Wilmington, where I was obliged to stay for several days in great suspense, not able to get away and not able to hear directly from Will, as the enemy had cut the wires—and then a martyr to all kinds of rumors—one day heard that Will had lost a leg, &c., &c., but I steadfastly made up my mind to give no credit to anything bad. At last, I heard again, that we had driven our persecutors off, and I returned again to the place I went first, and the next day Will came over for me and took me to the fort, which I rode all over on horseback, but we did not move over for nearly a week. The fort was strewn with missiles of all kinds, it seemed a perfect miracle how any escaped, the immense works were literally skinned of their turf, but not injured in the slightest; not a bomb-proof or a magazine—and there are more than one—touched; the magazine the enemy thought they had destroyed was only a caisson; the men had very comfortable quarters in the fort—pretty little whitewashed houses—but the shells soon set fire to them, making a large fire and dense smoke, but the works are good for dozens of sieges—plenty of everything; particularly plenty of the greatest essential—brave hearts. Our beloved General Whiting was present, but gave up the whole command to Will, to whom he now gives, as is due, the whole credit of building and defending his post, and has urged his promotion to brigadier-general, which will doubtless be received soon, though neither of us really care for it.

We expect the Armada again, and will give him a warmer reception

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