Capt. Murdaugh entered the service of the Confederacy on the acceptance of his resignation from the United States navy, about May 1, 1861, shortly thereafter taking part in the defense of Fort Hatteras in an attack made by the United States fleet consisting of the Minnesota, Wabash, Susquehanna, Cumberland, Pawnee and Harriett Lane, August 29, 1861. During this engagement he had his arm badly shattered and never fully regained the use of it. He was, as far as I can ascertain, the first Confederate naval officer to be wounded. He escaped being made prisoner at that time by being carried to the Confederate gunboat Winslow by his men before the fort surrendered. I find in a scrap book kept during the war the following account of the defense of Fort Hatteras:Much of the disaster which occurred on Thursday may be attributed to the fact that we did not possess ourselves of Fort Clark by the bayonet that night, but wiser heads than mine thought otherwise. Certain it is in my opinion that it was one of the causes, second only by the shameful neglect of the authorities in not properly fortifying the coast that caused our defeat. From these two causes we have the following result: The possession of Fort Hatteras, the key of the sound, the road open to invasion at any moment, Capt. Barron, Lieut. Sharp and about 700 or 800 men prisoners. I must not forget to mention a trivial circumstance, it may seem, but one which exhibits the brave man and patriot, on going to the fort about 2 o'clock at night Lieut Murdaugh might be seen standing in the moonlight upon the well defended ramparts of Hatteras; he was calmly superintending the work about the guns, having one fixed so as to better bear on the enemy with which he himself intended to fight. No one who saw him could doubt but that he would do good service. Fort Clark, then in the possession of the enemy, opened fire also on Hatteras and several land batteries which the enemy had erected on shore. This, with the continuous firing of the fleet composed of the Minnesota, Wabash, Susquehanna and Columbus, pouring a continuous stream of shot and shell. All eyes were turned on the gallant little fort fighting against such
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