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[638] Federals had so imprudently spared. The Harriet Lane was at too great a distance to perceive the long column of the enemy marching at a rapid pace over this fragile structure, and Magruder, although the moon was shining on his movements, reached the suburbs of the town without having attracted the attention of the Federals. The latter, however, had noticed some time before the two steamers belonging to the enemy, which had appeared in sight of Galveston at the hour fixed for the combined attack—that is to say, about two o'clock in the morning, just as the moon was setting. But the Confederate infantry having been delayed, these vessels retired to the further end of the bay to wait for the signal agreed upon. The Federals attached no importance to this demonstration, and it was only when the lookout on the Harriet Lane signalled the fact of an extraordinary agitation in the town that they became aware of their danger. This was the force of the enemy, followed by a large portion of the inhabitants, hastily marching upon the camp of the Forty-first Massachusetts. It was half-past 3 in the morning. After placing his guns in battery and making every disposition for the attack, Magruder fired with his own hand the first gun, which served as a signal to the fleet. At the same time, a stormingparty of five hundred men, under Colonel Cook, endeavored to capture the Union camp, which, as we have said, was situated at the extremity of a long pier on piles. The planks of the platform on the land side had been carried off to construct a kind of barricade at the entrance of the camp. But Cook, who had some knowledge of these preparations, had provided himself with ladders to scale that part of the pier thus left isolated, and he bodly descended into the water, followed by his soldiers, in order to reach the foot of it. It was unfortunately high tide, and the assailants had much trouble in getting up to the pier; and when they reached it at last, their ladders were found to be too short, and they were easily repulsed. They did not, however, consider themselves beaten; they climbed into the houses, occupied the windows, and, commanding the plank wall, poured a plunging fire upon their adversaries, more destructive because the latter could only reply at random. In the mean time, Magruder's cannon

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