The morning of the 26th books beautiful, with a smooth sea. The vessels ran very easily, and under the regulations established by General Butler the troops had got into regular and comfortable position. The weather warm. In the afternoon it began to grow lowering and symptoms of bad weather; the vessel was making for Hatateras Inlet. When about 8 miles from the inlet the weather became such as to make it imprudent to attempt to proceed farther in that direction, and the vessel was put to sea; the sea and wind steadily increased during the night, with the wind from southwest, to a gale, the vessel behaving admirably.
On the morning of the 27th, at about 1 o'clock a. m., the wind shifted instantly to the northeast, blowing a hurricane. The head of the ship was brought to the wind, during maneuver she shipped several seas, which brought into the cabin through the sky-light some water and some into the engine-room. The vessel behaved admirably, there being no perceptible strain or labor, though she rolled considerably, yet not so much as might have been expected.
The ship's crew being found insufficient to work the ship, a gang of sailors from Colonel Dow's command was detailed to aid, and rendered the most valuable assistance. The gale continued very severe through the morning until toward 10 o'clock it began to abate, and at about 11 o'clock the vessel's head was to the southward. At 12 the sun was out and the captain took an observation, reporting to General Butler the position of the vessel to be 50 miles east of Hatteras. Vessel bowled along merrily, the sea and wind constantly subsiding, until evening when no perceptible motion was apparent to the vessel. During the night everything quiet.
The morning of the 28th, at reveille, was dull and looked like rain, but before 7 o'clock it became bright and clear.
The vessel off Cape Fear after breakfast, and about 8,30 o'clock it was said she was aground.
Cape Fear light-house had been in sight for an hour or more and a buoy had been observed for some time. The vessel was moving, about for some fifteen minutes, now backing, now going forward slowly, constantly striking, not very severely, the head going. The captain ordered the anchor thrown over, and it was dropped on port bow. The captain ordered the anchor thrown over, and it was dropped on port bow. There was no wind or sea; boats were sent out to sound a passage off; under General Butler's direction buoys were prepared; the vessel was sounded all around and from certain points, her bow and various points on either side and from the stern; in all directions sounding were made and buoys set. The sailors and soldiers of the command were all put to use and worked cheerfully.
At about 11 o'clock a sail was seen from the southwest; the ensign was set, Union down, and a signal gun fired. The vessel hoisted American colors, but sent no boat and did not appear to be approaching. It was supposed her colors might be a ruse; a boat was sent off to her; she proved to be the U. S. steamer Mount Vernon, Commander Glisson.
He promised all assistance and sent a boat to sound, and proceeded to work up to the Mississippi. He came up to within a quarter of a mile, and attempted to haul the near round with a hawser, without success.
Under General Butler' direction various plans for the immediate lightening of the ship had been put in progress, to be resorted to as a last necessity.
The troops began to be transferred to the Mount Vernon, Colonel Dow's command being first sent forward. The tide in the mean time was rising to become full at about 8,30 o'clock p. m. The propeller was set to work at fully speed, all the troops were moved rapidly from stern