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Page:Memoirs of Henry Villard, volume 2.djvu/43

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CHAPTER XXV


Naval Attack on Forts Sumter and Moultrie.—1863


ON March 5, General Hunter issued the following address to his command in the form of a general order (No. 16):

Soldiers of the Department of the South: After long and wearying delays, due to causes over which no one in this Department had control, we have at length the cheering prospect of active and very important service.

Soldiers of the 10th Army Corps, you are stimulated by every consideration of honor to vie with the gallant men from the Departmentof North Carolina who have been sent by the Government to take part with you in the dangers and the glory of operations now pending.

Officers and men of the command, you are adjured to the performance of every duty. All who earn distinction, no matter how humble their positions, have my pledge that their services shall be honorably acknowledged, and the acknowledgment pressed to their advantage.

Alas, the General's manifesto proved but another deception. One more entire month of weary waiting was to elapse before the "pending operations" were actually commenced. Again the delay in the arrival of the rest of the monitors from the North was the cause of the postponement. The Weehawken and the Nantucket appeared during March, but the last ironclad, the Keokuk, reported only at the very end of the month. She was a departure from the monitor model, and a new experiment, as she was turtle-shaped, with sloping sides and two stationary turrets.

On March 31, I wrote from Hilton Head: "But for a violent gale that arose suddenly last night, and has been

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