War of the Rebellion: Serial 001 Page 0477 Chapter V. REPORTS.

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the woodwork of the quarters and barracks and of one of the drawbridges required renewing and painting; the iron-work and door and window fastenings were much rusted; the shingled interior slope was very much rotted, and the masonry in many places required repainting. The embankment of the causeway needed repairing, and the bridge across the can to be rebuilt. A few guns (four, I believe) were mounted on the southeast or sea front, but the carriages were decayed and weak.

The site of Fort Macon was tolerably well preserved by the temporary brush jetties that were constructed last winter for this purpose.

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No. 4. Reports of Captain John G. Foster, U. S. Engineers, of the second seizure of Forts Caswell and Johnston.

NEW YORK, May 18, 1861.

GENERAL: I have the honor to report the circumstances connected with the seizure of Fort Caswell by the Militia of North Carolina, as they are reported to me by John Russell, fort keeper, who has arrived in this city:

The fort was taken possession of by the Wilmington Light Infantry, Colonel John Cantwell commanding, on April 16. The force was subsequently increased, and a large force of laborers employed to mount the guns; to erect temporary quarters on the terre-plains; to construct a railway from the wharf to the fort; to deepen the ditch of the fort, and to erect an earthen battery about one-half mile from the fort, on the beach, opposite the bar.

The eighteen guns inside the fort were mounted, and four others of the same size brought there, and also mounted, beside two guns at the main gates, inside the fort. A considerable quantity of provisions and many boxes of rifles were landed and stored in the fort. The lights in the light-houses and beacons are put out, and the Frying-Pan Shoal light-ship removed. A schooner was sunk in the new inlet to obstruct the channel, but it does not appear to accomplish this completely, as vessels pass in and out by it.

Fort Johnston was also in the possession of the insurgents, but some excitement had arisen from the occurrence of two fires simultaneously-one inside of the fort, which consumed the large building called the hospital, and the other a private house outside of the walls. Both were supposed to be the work of incendiaries, and some negroes were suspected.

The troops at Fort Caswell were actively employed in preparing for defense, making ball cartridges, &c., and W. H. C. Whiting, formerly of the Corps of Engineers, had been there to give the necessary directions as a major of Engineers of the so-called Southern Confederacy.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Captain, Engineers.


Chief Engineer, U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.