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[38] them on the 27th, when a small rowboat attempting to enter the harbor was fired on by us and abandoned by them. Several of our shots necessarily passed very near their works, but they declined our invitation. . . . . . .

This would seem not an improper occasion to place on record an expression of the admiration and gratitude I feel for the noble, self-sacrificing spirit which has ever pervaded the whole of this gallant little army. Called suddenly from home, without preparation, to serve an unorganized government, in the midst of a country destitute of supplies, it has patiently and without a murmur submitted to privations and borne labors which can never be appreciated. Consigned by fate to inactivity when their brothers elsewhere, later in entering the service, were reaping a harvest of glory, they have still nobly sustained their commander and maintained a well-deserved reputation for discipline rarely equaled, never surpassed. With a people capable of such sacrifices we may defy the world in arms. But in giving this praise to human virtue let us not be unmindful of an invisible Power which has ruled all things for our good. The hand of disease and death has been lightly laid upon us at a place and in a season when we had reason to expect much suffering and great mortality. And in the hour of our trial the missiles of death, showered upon us by an infuriated enemy, respecting neither women, children nor the sick, have been so Directed as to cause us to laugh at their impotent rage. Verily, “Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman walketh but in vain.”

After this great artillery demonstration all was comparatively quiet at Pensacola harbor until the afternoon of January 1, 1862, when the Federals opened fire on a small private steamer that had imprudently run to the navy yard. In the absence of General Bragg the Confederate batteries returned the fire, and a brisk cannonade was kept up until dark. The main damage done on shore was the burning of a large and valuable storehouse in the navy yard.

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