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"A GREAT PUBLIC INSTRUCTOR In the Globe of Monday evening appears the follow- ing criticism on the performances of its great morning contemporary of the same day:— The Times is a great public instructor. Read by more parsons than any other newspaper, when it errs a goodly part of the empire is likely to err with it. We do not refer to opinion, but to facts. An im- pression produced by a misstatement of facts remains long after the misstatement has been rectified, unless it is rectified in the same columns where the error appeared. These considerations should make the Times, when it deals with the facts, say of the Ameri. can war, a little more careful. This morning, in relating the capture of Fort Fisher, our contemporary contains a misstatement unique in its kind. The passage we refer to is this- The expedition, under Admiral Porter and General Terry, arrived off the fort for the second time on the 14th inst.; at noon the next day the fleet opened a heavy fire, which lasted fifty-four hours. The assault was then made. The fighting was desperate, the Confederate garrison of 1,200 men using the advantages of its position to inflict heavy loss on the enemy. But after seven hours' fighting the Federals prsvailed. Now, the blunder here is truly prodigious. A fleet is said to have arrived off Fort Fisher on the 14th, and to have commenced a bombardment at noon on the 15th. That bombardment is said to be sustained for fifty-four hours, that is, until six o'clock on the 17th of January. Yet, turning to the columns of yes- terday's Times, second edition, we find f| telegram da,ted Jan. 16 (misprint, we suppose, for Jan. 19 or 17), and read the%e words:- At noon on the 15th the fleet opened a heavy bombard- ment, which lasted for three hours, when the army made the assault. It is qaite true that in a telegram dated Jan. 19, it is stated that Porter bombarded Fort Fisher, for 54, not three hours, as at first reported." Now this might have been true, because, as it is indubitable that the Fort, and all the other works, were taken on the 15th, Porter might have begun at some time on the 13th. In the reprint of the telegrams to-day, however, the first we have quoted is changed into this form:— At noon on the 15th the fleet opened a heavy bombard- ment, which lasted 54 hours, when the army made the assault. And this change of form in the first telegram deprives us of the supposition that the writer imagined the bombardment to have begun on the 13th. For con- fusion of statement, both in the telegrams and in the commentary upon them, the specimens we have quoted have never been surpassed. Very superficial attention to dates would have saved all concerned from a series of amusing blunders. Instead of being, as the Times has been unaccount- ably led to represent it, a fight of more than two days and nights," this brilliant combat began and was over within twelve hours. —



Capture of Fort Fisher.


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