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[330] On the way the general-in-chief made known to Terry the point against which he was to operate, and that evening the transports were ordered to put to sea with sealed orders, to be opened off Cape Henry.

Terry's instructions were in these words:

The expedition entrusted to your command has been fitted out to renew the attempt to capture Fort Fisher, North Carolina, and Wilmington ultimately, if the fort falls. . . . It is exceedingly desirable that the most complete understanding should exist between yourself and the naval commander. I suggest, therefore, that you consult with Admiral Porter, and get from him the part to be performed by each branch of the public service, so that there may be unity of action. It would be well to have the whole programme laid down in writing. I have served with Admiral Porter, and know that you can rely on his judgment and his nerve to undertake what he proposes. I should, therefore, defer to him as much as is consistent with your own responsibilities.

The first object to be attained is to get a firm position on the spit of land on which Fort Fisher is built, from which you can operate against that fort. You want to look to the practicability of receiving your supplies, and to defending yourself against superior forces sent against you by any of the avenues left open to the enemy. If such a position can be obtained, the siege of Fort Fisher will not be abandoned until its reduction can be accomplished, or another plan of campaign is ordered from these headquarters. . . . In case of failure to effect a landing, bring your command back to Beaufort, and

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