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[265] Richmond, with Bibles for the soldiers, in 1864 (the latter steamer rescued by a timely shot from a ten-inch Columbiad in the fort), were incidents never to be forgotten. The recapture of the ‘Kate of London’ and the ‘Nighthawk,’ the wreck of the ‘Condor’ under the guns of the fort, and the sad drowning of Mrs. Greenhough, the famous Confederate spy, the fights over the ‘Venus’ and the ‘Hebe’ on the beach of Masonboro Sound, where one of the garrison was killed and a Whitworth gun captured from a detachment of men guarding the wrecks August 23, 1863, by the United States frigate ‘Minnesota,’ carrying forty-four guns, which came close to shore and rendered a retreat with the guns impossible, were thrilling events in our camp life.

We had a visit from President Davis; he landed at the end of the point and rode on horseback with General Whiting to the mound. As soon as he reached the top, giving him a complete view of the works, the sea-face guns being manned for the purpose, gave him the Presidential salute of twenty-one guns. We doubt whether many of the forts in the South could claim the distinction of having fired such salute. I would mention in this connection, that I never failed on the Fourth of July and the Twenty-second of February to fire at noon the national salutes of thirteen guns, although not required to do so by the Confederate States army regulations.

I shall never forget a most interesting discussion between the President and General Whiting, at my headquarters, in regard to their preference as to the mode of trial they would prefer; the President preferring the usual trial by jury, whilst General Whiting preferred the courtmartial.

Among the saddest events which occurred previous to the battles, were the execution of deserters. On one occasion one soldier was shot, and on another, two were executed at the same time. It is a solemn sight to see a command drawn up to witness the death of fellow-soldiers, and it is always made as impressive as possible as a warning against desertion. The condemned ride to the stake upon their coffins, the band playing the dead march, are blindfolded when shot, and are usually tied to the stake unless they request otherwise. The weapons are loaded by the ordnance sergeant, one with a blank cartridge, so that no soldier detailed is positive that his gun is loaded with a ball when he fires.

The three shot at Fort Fisher had been farmers, and were married,

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