War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0215 Chapter XXX. SIEGE OF WASHINGTON, N. C.

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schooner was fired into by the enemy's boats; she replied, and drove the boats ashore. The batteries at Rodman's and Hill's Points opened upon her also, striking her, but without damage.

That night the steam-transport Escort, with hay bales placed on her guards and decks as a protection, ran the batteries. There also arrived two small schooners with ammunition and commissary stores. The Escort had on board the Fifth Rhode Island Volunteers, Colonel H. T. Sisson, and a plentiful supply of ammunition and commissary stores. She had 60 shots fired at her from the batteries but was not struck.

April 14.-The Fifth Rhode Island Volunteers were properly placed on the line of works. At 12 m. the enemy opened fire with all their batteries and were replied to by all of ours. After an hour's firing they withdrew their guns from sight. Regarding everything as safe in the town, and the re-enforcements and men, with the supplies of ammunition and provisions, as ample until I could raise the siege, I determined to run the blockade and place myself at the head of the relieving force in order the Escort for the purpose of running the batteries at night, but the pilot could not distinguish the necessary marks to proceed by and therefore waited for daylight. I left Brigadier General E. E. Potter, chief of staff, in command of the place in my absence.

April 15.-At daylight the Escort stared and ran the batteries. She was fired at one hundred times by the Rodman's and Hill's Point batteries and struck forty times, but with no material injury. The pilot, Padrick, a brave and skillful man, was killed by a rifle-shot. At 6 a. m. all the enemy's batteries (Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, the last opening for the first time) opened and continued a heavy firing for an hour.

April 16.-At daylight 5 deserters from the enemy (conscripts of the Eighth Virginia) arrived in Washington and reported that the enemy had retired from our front and were retreating on Greenville. General Potter immediately sent out the entire force of cavalry (one company) to harass their rear and at the same time a force of contrabands was employed to level the enemy's batteries in front. Fort Hamilton fired a number of shots into the Rodman's Point Battery. There being no reply it was surmised that the battery had been abandoned. The gunboats Eagle, Ceres, and Hull thereupon steamed down and opened upon the battery, which eliciting no response, the Ceres, without orders, sent a boat on shore to take possession. As the boat neared the land three volleys of musketry were fired into her by the enemy concealed in the intrenchments. The engineer of the Ceres was killed and 2 men were wounded. The gunboats then renewed the attack, rapidly shelling the battery. The gunboats below were now seen shelling the Hill's Point Battery, which they soon passed, and reported it to be evacuated.

At this time the enemy having also retired from the Rodman's Point Battery, it was taken possession of by a party from the gunboat Eagle. Five companies of the Fifth Rhode Island Volunteers, under Lieutenant-Colonel Tew, with one 12-pounder and one 6-pounder, were sent down in the Ceres to occupy the battery. They immediate commenced the construction of intrenchments to hold the position. There was found in one of the batteries at Rodman's Point the carriage of a 32-pounder barbette gun in perfect order; also fragments of several exploded guns. Toward evening three companies of the Forty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteer Military with one 12-pounder Wiard and one 6-pounder, were sent to occupy the Hill's Point Battery in connection with three companies of the Forty-third Massachusetts Volunteers Mili-