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[346] had the place been systematically approached by siege operations. Even the assault of the sailors and marines, although it failed, contributed to the final success, distracting the attention of the enemy at the moment of the main attack.

It is impossible not to look upon the first expedition against Fort Fisher by the light afforded by the events of the second. The difficulties which Terry surmounted almost excuse the failure of his predecessor. If these extraordinary efforts were necessary to secure the prize, it is not so surprising that a commander was found to turn aside. The fortifications were acknowledged by Porter to rival those of the Malakoff, which he had seen, and the stubbornness of the defence was entirely unexpected, if not unprecedented. The naval fire at the second bombardment was far more accurate than it had been in December, and three-fourths of the heavy guns were actually dismounted before the assault began.

On the other hand, the garrison was twice as large in January as on Christmas day; the rebels had been warned, and doubtless taken every precaution in the interval to strengthen their works. Hoke had arrived, and was on the ground with his whole command before Terry landed. Indeed, the supineness of Bragg and Hoke was as discreditable as the gallantry of the garrison was preemi-nent.

On the second occasion everything was done to secure success that foresight could suggest or skill or courage execute. The difficulties of the weather and the season on one of the stormiest coasts in the world were overcome; the disadvantages incident

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