War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0214 NORTH CAROLINA AND S. E. VIRGINIA. Chapter XXX.

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ran the blockade with a good supply of ammunition. At noon General Potter embarked on the gunboat Ceres, with two companies of the Twenty-seventh Massachusetts and one company of the Third New York Cavalry (dismounted) for the purpose of driving the enemy from Rodman's Point and occupying the position ourselves. The Ceres got aground nearly opposite the battery, and it being impossible to accomplish the desired object the men were landed in small boats on the Washington side of the river, below Block-house Numbers 4, and thence returned to the town.

April 5.-The Ceres, after being exposed to the fire of the battery for twelve hours, to which she gallantly replied until her ammunition was exhausted, floated off at night and came up to the town.

April 6.-An abatis was placed in front of our battery on the Plymouth road and on the borders of the creek bounding our right flank.

April 7.-A battery of two guns opened from the woods beyond the creek upon Fort Hamilton. A battery (Fort Ceres) was built on the left of Block-house Numbers 1 and one 30-pounder Parrott mounted upon it and manned by officers and men from the Ceres for the purpose of commanding the approach to the town by way of the river from above, it having been heard that the enemy intended coming down in scows protected by cotton bales.

April 8.-The enemy fired all day at the gunboats and Fort Hamilton, to which the fort did not reply for want of ammunition. One gun was placed in battery on the south side of the river opposite the gunboats, but was silenced by them. At dark I commenced works on Castle Island, situated in the middle of the river opposite the town.

April 9.-This morning I discovered the enemy had built four batteries, Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4, in front and to the right of the fort, and were mounting guns. We opened fire on them to disturb the working parties. I was obliged to abandon the attempt to continue the work on Castle Island by daylight, owing to the fire of the enemy's batteries across the river. Two small schooners, with Lieutenant-Colonel McChesney, First North Carolina (Union) Volunteers, and Master McKeever on board, arrived from below, bringing ammunition.

April 10.-At 8.30 a. m. the enemy opened fire upon the fort from Batteries Numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4, one gun in reach. The fire was returned by three 32-pounders from the fort and by a 32-pounder in the battery on the Jamesville road. After firing for somewhat over an hour the enemy withdrew their guns from sight and ceased firing.

April 11.-The enemy opened fire upon the fort and the lines at 7.30 a. m. from all their batteries. The fort and the gun on the Jamesville road replied.

April 12.-At 9 a. m. the enemy opened fire from Batteries Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, and from a new one (Numbers 5) at the right of their former batteries. We replied, and the enemy withdrew their guns from sight after an hour's firing. The gunboats Hull and Eagle, discovering the enemy repairing the battery opposite them with cotton bales, opened upon it, set the cotton on fire, and drove the gunners from their posts.

April 13.-The enemy endeavored to replace a gun in the work on the cotton battery, but were forced by the gunboats to abandon the undertaking. Learning the enemy had small armed boats and scows in the river for the purpose of capturing our dispatch boats and interrupting communication between the town and the gunboats below, Captain MacDearmid, of the Ceres, and Captain Gouraud, aide-de-camp, started upon a schooner with a boat howitzer to clear the river. The