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SELECTED LETTERS OF SALMON P. CHASE
From Daniel Ammen.
"MOHICAN" OFF FORT FISHER N. C.
16th Jan'y '65.
MY DEAR CHIEF JUSTICE: Three weeks only have passed since our former attempt, and although they were then comparatively weak in men and in various other points we now hold Vort Fisher.
It is a most formidable sand fort which received a fearful bombardment and was then taken by assault by the army with great gallantry, the Naval assaults having been swept by heavy artillery and repulsed with loss.
In the Fort to-day I saw a soldier picking up some rebel dirty clothing & advised him to let it alone as he would get louzy. A wounded rebel sitting near immediately spoke up and said he was not one half as louzy as our Gen'l Butler and then went on to, say that be himself had not changed or taken off his clothing since the 27th of December. Pardon my introduction of so coarse a subject but I did so to show how thoroughly he had the hatred of the people of theSouth. I do not think any military ability that he has shown will compensate for the Phrenzy with which he inspires them.
The work that Gen'l Butler pronounced as "substantially uninjured" had few guns that were not dismounted or injured and those that were sound the rebels dared not man so fearfully destructive was our fire. They have shown great activity in the past three weeks, disabled guns and carriages have been set aside and others substituted, and
we arrived in time to finish an earthwork that the rebels have been engaged upon for more than two years with an average labor of five hundred per day, and which yet showed signs of unabated activity.
An explosion of a magazine this morning caused great loss of life, more indeed than the attack. I shall leave to the newspapers to acquaint you with the details of our operations, and only write to express my congratulations at the event which appears to me very important, & to express the hope that we may long be able to spare the services of Gen'l Butler.
Please present my compliments to Mrs. Sprague and to Miss Chase whom I have not seen for a long time.
Very sincerely yours,
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