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[306] at New Berne was the feature in the attack, and though not attended with all the results he had cause to expect, still it was a gallant act, well planned and boldly executed. He is surely one of our rising men, and I say Godspeed to him. ‘Dave’ made an attempt on the Minnesota not long since with his torpedo, but failed, though it was not his fault. Webb, Read, Alexander Gassell, and some of our other fellows are looked for by the next flag of truce. They have had a hard time of it, and I hear that Gassell was at first rather harshly treated. You know that he has been made a commander, and deservedly so, I say. John Wilkiason has charge of the blockade runners at Wilmington. Lynch and Whiting, you know, had a blow up there, and I hear that the President had them both here for awhile. Bad boys, to be growling in school! Ben Loyall commands the ironclad Neuse, of two 6.4s, at Kingston, N. C. Cooke has the Albemarle, a similar vessel, at Halifax, N. C. No one has yet been ordered to the Virginia here. She will soon be ready for her officers and is perhaps the best and most reliable ironclad in the service. If you were not on more important duty, I am inclined to believe that you would have command of her. Captain Matthew Maury writes to me, under date of January 21st, that we have nothing to look for from England that money can't buy. His letter is rather gloomy in its tone. Charley Morris has the Florida, Barney being sick. William L. Maury had asked to be relieved from the Georgia on the score of ill health. Bulloch is still doing good service in England and France. Bob Carter lately brought the navy steamer Coquette into Wilmington with a cargo composed of two fine marine engines, etc. He goes out in her again to Bermuda. Maffit commands the blockade (runner) Florrie, but I see by a late Northern paper that he had to put into Halifax, N. S., for repairs. Murdaugh at last accounts was in Paris.

Speaking of Halifax reminds me of our late expedition, which, I suppose you have heard, failed through the treachery of a Canadian who was in our secret. We worked hard and had victory, and such a victory, almost in our grasp when the chicken-hearted fellow, alarmed at the ultimate bearing which our success would have on his individual fortunes and fearing to lose his high position, with exile and perhaps a long imprisonment, informed on us, and just as we were about to embark for Johnson's Island to board the Michigan and under her guns to compel a surrender of the garrison, with afterthoughts of a short but very brilliant cruise on the lake, the storm burst over us, and with Yankees and John Bull both on the lookout

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