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Blair, B. F. (fl. 1864) to his sister

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC08470.02 Author/Creator: Blair, B. F. (fl. 1864) Place Written: s.l. Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 30 December 1864 Pagination: 4 p. ; 20.3 x 25 cm.

Written on board the U.S.S. Mohican, possibly near Wilmington, North Carolina. Discusses the Mohican's participation with Rear Admiral David Dixon Porter's North Atlantic Blockading Squadron at the close of the Battle of Fort Fisher (24 and 25 December). Recalls being the closest wooden vessel to the Fort, and exclaims that survival of the vessel and crew is a miracle. Writes "I fell quite thankfull to the Rebs for not taking better aim..." Possibly referring to General Benjamin Franklin Butler, writes "if Old Butler had had the Spark of a Louse I think he would have got the Fort his Skirmishers got in the Fort got one Flag & some prisoners but not being properly supported had to fall back... as we get the land force we shall in all probility have another trial of it..." Mentions an Uncle John W.

USS Mohican
Off Beaufort
Dec 30th/ 64
Dear Sister
I am happy to inform you that I am as yet right side up with cash. Last Sat morn we with the rest of the squadron under Admiral Porter commenced paying our compliments to Fort Fisher at the entrance of Wilmington NC and we had a Big Fight for two days Christmas we fought till all our ammunition gave out and we came out Oh!! it was a sight long to be remembered - there was about 200 Heavy Guns in the squadron roaring away continualy and shot & shell flying [2] in all directions and the smoke so thick at times to obscure the sun We were in the inner line of vessels between the Frigate Colorado & Minnasotta & the second days fight I think we was the nearest wooden vessel in to the fort and now as I look back it seems a perfect miracle that we did not get stove all to bits as it was we only got struck once and that did not do any damage to speak of the shells would burst all around us but would most generally go over or fall short of us A steamer just ahead of us got a shell in the Boiler exploding it and scalding a large no I think 50 or 75 will cover the Killed and Wounded in the fleet - I feel quite thankfull to the Rebs for not taking [3] better aim, long toward the last got pretty well played out and if Old Butler had had the spunk of a Louse I think he would have got the Fort his skirmishers got in the Fort got our flag & some prisoners but not being properly supported had to fall back - yesterday all the squadron came up here and are now out side the Bar waiting for a smooth turn to get in for supplies coal &c And soon as we get the land force we shall in all probility have another trial of it I have been so deaf since the fight I could hear anything but am getting over it Oh our men fought the guns well striped of Bare-headed & fought like Bulldogs I received your papers all right for which receive my thanks I also received a letter [4] John yesterday with startling intelligence of Uncle John W's manager When will wonders cease I shall never despair after this I was sorry to hear we was a going to loose Mr Sargent. What possessed him to sell out I cant see - Oh I will wish you a Merry Christmas also a Happy New Year - Christmas day I did not have any dinner it was most anything but a Merry Christmas to me I most forget wether I owe you a letter or not Oh!! I don't hear very often from E - He was in North Union the last I heard from him - He would be much pleased to hear from you - Good Night Sister Dear
Your Aff Brother
B F Blair
Please excuse this writing as the vessel roolls so bad I cant write or anything else Love to [Sherman] - Nell &c

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