While McClellan was fully occupied in increasing the defenses around Washington and forming the great army which was designed to crush its way through Virginia, the earliest special movements of the season, directed by the war and navy departments, were along the extensive southern coast line. Fortress Monroe was reinforced until it was impregnable. Fort Hatteras, in North Carolina, was taken from the Confederates in August, and Port Royal, in South Carolina, was seized in November. Another of the series of expeditions designed for the conquest of the coast region had for its object the Gulf shore between New Orleans and Mobile, and succeeded in securing a position on Ship island. The general blockade was strengthened by these operations, and although not strictly effective its injurious effects began to be seriously felt throughout the Confederacy.
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