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Dashing Into The Enemy

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Feb. 10, 1 82, was tlio ihiro of a naval affair known in war history as the capture of Elisüibetli Oity, N. C. It was not of great importance except as it extended the area of Burnside'a eonqnest at Roanoke. Bnt it brought about the livcliest half Lour's helter skelter fighting imaginable for battles on water. After the taking of Roauoke tho Confedérate "mosquito fleet" ran away through Albemarle sound to a refuge in Pasquotank river just below Elizabeth City. The Uuiou oomtnodore, Rowan, quickly gave chase with his nondescript flotilla, consisting of 12 vessels riggod for war purposes out of old ferryboats, tugs and river steamers. Regardloss of bidden obstructions or torpedoes, the gallant comniander pnshed on and found thg Confederates in line behind a fort on Cobb's point, mounting four 32 poundors. Opposite the fort the hoavy schooner Black Warrior was anchored. She nionnted tvvo 82's. The "mosqnito fleot" was in line betweeii them. The 32 's all opened on Bowan's shios at long range, but he st6amed boldly up and at a half milo ran up on the masthead of the flagship the signal, "Dash iuto the eueniy !' ' Crowding on all steam and firing os they went, the Union captains sailed in. The Black Warrior flred a few rotmda and then burst into flarnes. The gunners of tbe fort ran away, and by the time a naval crew got there to take thoir places their friends and enemies were so hopelessly mixed that they dare not fire a shot for fear of hurtiug their own jioopla The Confedérate flagship Seabird started to fly away, but the Commodore Perry - fitly named - with the heroic Fluí-ser on the bridge, ran her down and sunk her. Five out of six veasels were captured or destroyed. The hcro of tbe day was Gunner's Mate John Davis of the Valley City. A Confedérate shell tore its way into the gunroom and set the woodwork on fire. Davis had been serving powder from an open barrel, and with the flames darting abont and sparks flying in all direotions he threw iiimself across the opening of the bcrrel head, covering it with his body until the iiro had been subdued.


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News