On the 23rd a demand was made by General Burnside for the surrender of Fort Macon, which being refused, a request was made that I should meet him in person the next day on Shackelford Banks on very important business.
At 8 a.m.. on the 24th I met General Burnside, as he requested. He then attempted by persuasion to produce a change in my determination, but was told that the fort would be defended as long as possible.
At 6 a.m.. on the 25th the enemy's land batteries opened upon the fort, and at 6.30 a.m.. their vessels, consisting of three war steamers and one sailing vessel, commenced a cross-fire with rifle and 11-inch shell. The fire from both directions was immediately returned, and at 7 a.m.. the ships retired-one disabled and two others in a damaged condition. The attack from land was kept up with great vigor, the enemy having immense advantage from their superior force, being able to relieve their men at the guns, while our morning reports showed only 263 men for duty. Our guns were well managed, but being able to do little damage to water batteries and siege guns, firing through very narrow embrasures. The enemy kept up a very vigorous and accurate fire from both rifles and mortars, dismounting guns, disabling men, and tearing the parade, parapet, and walls of the fort.
At 6.30 p.m.., finding that our loss had been very great, and from the fatigue of our men being unable to keep up the fire with but two guns, a proposition was made to General Parke for the surrender of Fort Macon. General Parke demanded an unconditional surrender, which was refused, and the general informed that the firing would be renewed immediately. He then requested that the firing should cease until the next morning in order that he might consult with General Burnside, and that the general should meet me the next morning at Shackelford Banks. This proposition was accepted.
On the 26th, at 7 a.m.., I met General Burnside, as proposed, and a surrender was agreed to on terms shown in the inclosed paper.* The Southern flag was hauled down at 12 m. and the men left the fort as soon as means could be furnished. A portion crossed to Beaufort.
Captain Guion's company started for New Berne on the 27th, and on the same day 150 men, consisting of parts of several companies, started for Wilmington on the United States gunboat Chippewa, arriving at Fort Caswell at 7 p.m.. on the 28th.
Our loss during the was 7 killed and 18 wounded-2 dangerously. Privates Langston and Jewel I was forced to leave in the fort. All other of the wounded were brought off. A nurse was left with the two men. The fort was very much damaged and fifteen guns disabled. Two days more of such firing would have reduced the whole to a mere mass of ruins.
M. J. WHITE,
Colonel, C. S. Army.
Major General T. H. HOLMES,
Commanding Forces North Carolina.
*See inclosures to Burnside's report, p.276.