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[637] of those winter evenings of which our own cold climates can convey no idea, when the heat of the sun is tempered by the fresh seaair without causing the light it sheds to lose any of its brightness; a slight mist, more resembling those white flakes gathered by the breeze along the cotton-fields, than the thick fogs which render our long twilights so sad and gloomy, hung over the mirror-like waters of Galveston Bay. The stillness of nature seemed to have possessed and stupefied the energies of the Federal chiefs. Just as the sun was about to set, the steamer Boardman, with Governor Hamilton on board, entered the passes; the Westfield, Renshaw's flagship, had gone to meet him, and was escorting him. These two vessels sailed close to the ruins of the lighthouse destroyed three days before without understanding the silent warning they conveyed. The naval division of Commodore Renshaw, consisted of four gun-boats. The Harriet Lane was the only one originally constructed as a man-of-war; she carried three nineinch columbiads, a thirty-pounder rifle-gun and four twentypounder carronades. The other three were merchant-vessels purchased by the government, but their hulls were strong, and their armament as formidable as that of the Harriet Lane; these were the Westfield, mounting two nine-inch columbiads, four sixtyeight-pounder howitzers and two rifle-guns; the Clifton, also carrying two nine-inch columbiads, four forty-two pounder howitzers, and a pivot rifle-gun; and finally the Owasco, upon which were placed, besides an enormous eleven-inch columbiad, a thirtypounder rifle-gun and four twenty-four-pounder howitzers. This enumeration will convey some idea of the calibre and weight of the artillery which the Americans had placed on board vessels never intended to carry such loads. To the list of the Federal flotilla we must add the small gun-boat Sachem, which had come into Galveston the day before to repair her machinery, the Corypheus, that had her in tow, and the transports Saxon and Boardman, which, however, could take no part in the combat.

Magruder left Virginia Point at nightfall; he had with him from twelve to fifteen hundred men, and two or three batteries, under command of Colonel Green, of whom we have already had occasion to speak in our narrative of Sibley's campaign in New Mexico. He boldly pushed his way over the bridge which the

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