While awaiting the building of these ships his duty was to visit the various arsenals in Europe to obtain the latest improvements in guns, etc. As an instance of his popularity in the old service as well as the new, some years after the war ended his brother, John Murdaugh, desperate odds, amid a perfect hailstorm of shot and shell a boat leaves the fort. What can it mean? My! they are bringing the wounded to the steamer. What a terrible scene. Never shall I forget it. Surely that blackened face, that body covered with blood, cannot be the noble, chivalrous Lieut. M. Alas it is. He had fallen battling against them by the side of his gun. With words of encouragement on his lips, after several effective shots, but finding the enemy beyond the range, he remarked to his men: “Well, boys, we will wait until they come up and then give it to them again.” But he had hardly uttered the words ere an eleven inch shell exploded close by, sent several fragments through his left arm, shattering it to pieces.After his wound had been dressed he was taken to Newbern, receiving every kindness and attention from the people of that hospitable town. From there he was removed to his home, where, after months of illness and suffering, he recovered sufficiently to report for duty, this first being selected with another to seek a safe place for the removal of the navy yard stores and machinery. Charlotte was the place chosen to become our inland navy yard, rendering much service to the country. Soon after he was ordered to join Commodore Barron and Capt. Bulloch in England, who were superintending the building of several ships, one of which he was to command. Capt. Bulloch, in a letter to Commodore Barron, dated Liverpool, August 31, 1864, says: I feel now a reasonable certainty of getting a ship very shortly and the commander should be placed in communication with me. Murdaugh, I suppose, ought to have the ship, and he would do his work well. If you can detail him please send him to me at once. If his duties as ordnance officer preclude this, I hope you will let Whittle come. The service requires a man willing to put his shoulder to the wheel and capable of making an executive.
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