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[309] it would have been impossible to land the troops, and there was no smooth sea until the 23rd. The interval was spent by Butler in coaling and watering, but Porter remained outside.

There was doubtless at this time a lack of concert, and even of cordial co-operation, between the naval and the military chiefs. Butler was not popular with the other branch of the service, and after the expedition started from Hampton roads, neither commander visited the other. Their written communications were few, and it was the chief of staff of the admiral, or the ranking officer under Butler, through whom the views or wishes of either were made known to the other. Porter thought that his advice was not taken at times when it should have been controlling, and Butler imagined that Porter acted without duly considering or consulting him. Each was besides annoyed at delays which, though most inopportune, were unavoidable, and neither made sufficient allowance for the difficulties of that arm of the service with which he was less familiar. They seemed indeed to be playing at cross purposes. When Butler was supplied with coal, Porter wanted ammunition, and when Porter had all the powder he needed, Butler was out of coal. Even the elements conspired against them, and, when one could ride on the open sea, the other was obliged to stay inside.

On the 23rd, however, the storm had abated, and the admiral, finding the sea smooth enough to land sailors but not soldiers, determined to take advantage of the weather, and attack Fort Fisher and its outworks. The transports with the troops were still at Beaufort, and at five P. M. Porter sent word to Butler that he proposed to explode the powder boat

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