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Throughout this dry recital of war incidents insignificant in themselves, the reader will have seen that the Federals had pursued a plan which was almost entirely carried out by the end of October. This plan consisted, as we have already said, in taking possession of all the points along the coast which commanded the ports, bays and entrances of rivers in which Confederate or neutral vessels engaged in running the blockade might find shelter. This substitution of land occupancy for a maritime blockade presented great advantages, especially at the approach of a season which would render a station on that inhospitable coast very dangerous, for vessels of indifferent quality. This substitution, however, was not without its difficulties and perils. On one hand, the small towns thus occupied found themselves separated from the rest of the continent, whence they had hitherto derived all their resources, and it became necessary to furnish not only the garrisons, but entire populations, with the supplies they needed. On the other hand, the multiplicity of these posts weakened the Federal navy by impairing its activity. Vessels were detained at the points it was necessary to protect; obliged to land a portion of their crews, they had lost their efficacy for sea-combats, without supplying garrisons capable of resisting on land any serious effort on the part of the enemy, and they were surrounded by spies always ready to notify the latter as soon as an opportunity offered for attacking them. The extent of the coast which the naval forces had undertaken to blockade had therefore the same inconveniences for them as the multitude of railways had for the land-armies, which were weakened to protect them.

These inconveniences were soon felt, and drew upon the Federal fleet a serious reverse, not in material results, but in the moral effect it produced. The Federals, indeed, in taking possession of the coast, not only proposed to themselves to complete the blockade of the States in rebellion against the Union, but they also sought to create centres of political resistance against the action of the Confederate government at all the points they occupied, and were especially in hopes of succeeding in their designs on the coast of Texas, where slavery had but recently been introduced. Among the rough settlers who had come into that State from all parts of America, there were many Unionists, whose

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