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[307] for us, our raid was over, and our poor fellows still hard and fast in the bay of Sandusky!

Van Zandt is here, en route for Selma. Where we are to get officers for the ironclads is beyond my ken. Tidball says we will have to organize the Provisional Navy, but this will hardly officer the ships. There is no talk of promotion, and very few officers seem either to think of or care for it. All hands seem to look forward to an early peace (though I can hardly see a glimmer of it) for the creation of a Navy, forgetting that war is the time to create a love for the service which will make it popular in peace, and I begin to fear that our opportunity has passed and unimproved, though I hope not, for we have the elements of a splended Navy in the Confederacy, and it only requires zeal, pluck, and dash to bring it to the surface.

Very truly yours,

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