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Doc. 147.-obstruction of Dismal swamp canal.

Lieut. Com. Flusser's report.

on the eighteenth of April, the forces under Gen. Reno debarked at Cobbs' Point, N. C., for the purpose of destroying the locks of the Dismal Swamp Canal. Having retired without accomplishing the object, Com. Rowan determined to destroy the canal with the naval forces under his command. The following is the report of the successful accomplishment of the work:

U. S. Steamer Commodore Perry, off Elizabeth City, N. C., April 26.
sir: In obedience to your orders I left this place on the twenty-third inst., in the Lockwood, with the Whitehead and Putnam, in company, each with an officer and a detachment of men on board, the Lockwood towing the wrecking schooner Emma Slade, with the apparatus for blowing up the banks to block up the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal at the mouth of the North River. We were joined by the Shawsheen, having in tow a schooner which had been sent the day before to Roanoke Island, to be filed with sand. On the afternoon of the twenty-third, fifty men were landed on each bank, while a launch with a heavy twelve-pounder was sent up the canal, and with this force we moved up two miles, examining the banks to find the best place for operations.

I concluded to place the obstructions near the mouth, that the men while at work might be under the cover of the guns of the steamers, and the enemy be prevented from removing it. The schooner was sunk just inside of the canal, and with brush, stumps, rails, trunks of trees and earth, the passage was obstructed from the schooner about fifty yards above. We were occupied from noon until sunset of the twenty-third, and from half-past 7 A. M. until half an hour after sunset of the twenty-fourth. Earth was thrown in by hand as far as it could be, but we had no wheelbarrows to carry it to the middle.

Prof. Maillefert, of the New-York Submarine Engineering Company, and his assistants, were of the greatest assistance to me. Indeed I was merely governed by his advice, as he is more familiar with this sort of work than I am. He is of the opinion that it will require two or three months labor with a dredging-machine to remove what we have placed in a day and a half. He says it will be easier and cheaper to cut a new outlet than to remove the obstruction. The rebels have, I think, no thought of using the canal, as they have themselves been obstructing it above and below the bridge. It would be well to send a steamer there daily until the lumber is well water-soaked and sunk.

Very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

C. W. Flusser, Lieut. Commanding. To Commander S. C. Rowan, Com. U. S. Naval Forces, River Waters of North-Carolina.

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