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[610] river, and, after reaching the village of Hamilton, returned to Plymouth, where he landed a few troops. This expedition proved, in the first instance, that the Confederates did not possess any ship of a really formidable character in the Roanoke; secondly, that this river was not sufficiently deep to enable gun-boats to ascend as far as Weldon.

In the beginning of August, Foster, having received the reinforcements he had been expecting, transferred his headquarters from Moorehead City to Newberne, a position better adapted for resuming the offensive. The railroad which connects these two villages was reopened, and an expedition was organized to protect it against inroads on the part of the enemy. West of Old Topsail Inlet, the sand-bank upon which Fort Macon is built hugs the coast more and more, and forms a simple chain of sandbanks, separated by inlets opening in front of each of the small rivers that intersect the coast. The two most important of these water-courses are the Bogue River, at the mouth of which stands the village of Swansboroa, and farther west the New River, which must be ascended for a considerable distance before reaching the village of Jacksonboro or Onslow Court-house. On the 21st of August five or six vessels loaded with troops entered the estuary of the Bogue River; starting from Beaufort, some had steered between the downs and the mainland, while the others had taken the open sea, so as to re-enter by way of Bogue Inlet. Immense salt-pits, an earthwork and some barracks recently occupied were destroyed, and then the expedition returned to Beaufort after having ascertained that the Confederates were not in force in that direction. The abandonment of the James River by the army of the Potomac and Lee's victory at Manassas again emboldened the Confederates in North Carolina. The small regiments which alone had remained in the State received a large addition of volunteers, who, believing the Federal cause lost, were hastening to atone by a tardy demonstration of zeal for the lukewarmness they had hitherto evinced in defence of the slave interests. The fevers which prevailed along the marshy coast of the Carolinas during the hot season had proved a terrible ordeal for Foster's troops, who had not yet had time to become acclimated. Scattered in small garrisons, they were reduced by more than one half, and even the

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