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‘ [329] Secretary left Washington yesterday, I telegraph you, asking that prompt action be taken in this matter.’ The order was made the next day, and on the 7th of January, Butler was relieved. He never received another command. Major-General E. O. C. Ord succeeded him.

Brevet Major-General A. H. Terry was a volunteer officer who had served in the Department of the South from the first year of the war until April, 1864, when he was transferred to Butler's command. He had been engaged in siege operations, bombardments, and assaults, before Forts Pulaski, Sumter, and Wagner, as well as in most of the important actions of the army of the James, gradually rising to the command of the Tenth corps. Grant desired to send against Fort Fisher the same force which he had originally intended for its capture, but under a different commander; and Terry, who was gallant, intelligent, and soldierly, seemed the most appropriate selection.

On the 2nd of January, he received from Grant in person orders to take command of the troops intended for the movement. A small brigade numbering fifteen hundred men had been added to the original force, and the command now consisted of eight thousand men. Terry, however, was still unaware of his real destination, and supposed that he was to reinforce Sherman. On the 3rd, Grant announced to Stanton: ‘Here, there is not the slightest suspicion where the troops are going. The orders to officers commanding enjoin secrecy, and designate Savannah and to report to Sherman as their destination.’ On the 5th, Terry proceeded to Fort Monroe, and Grant accompanied him to issue his final instructions.

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