From the Hartford (CT) Daily Courant, 5/2/1865, p. 2, c. 1

FORT DARLING. - A correspondent of the Providence Journal, in describing the numerous and formidable defenses erected by the rebels on James river, thus speaks of the famous Fort Darling:

“At this point and on the opposite side of the river from Chapin’s Bluff is Fort Darling, which two years ago proved so serious an obstacle to the approach to Richmond by the river. Since then it has been doubly strengthened, and for a while was iron-clad, all the evidences of the method of fastening the plates still remaining. Upon the construction of the rams these plates were removed to be used on the vessels, and the fort was strengthened in proportion to its estimated loss by this removal. It is a magnificently constructed and finished work, and strong as engineering skill, time and means could make it. Its traverses would stand a protracted bombardment; its bomb-proofs are capable of containing more than its full garrison; its guns, the sample of English skill and ingenuity, were trained with unerring range upon the channel. So sudden was the evacuation that the garrison were called into line by companies on Sunday evening and marched off, the officers not even being permitted to return again to their quarters to take anything with them. Meals were left untasted, guns left unspiked and letter left unfinished. The ammunition was of the best quality, shot and shell of the most destructive kind. A sample I saw was a metallic cartridge for a musket, which, immediately upon entering the body, exploded, and drove the ball, which was a part of it, whithersoever it might.”

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