War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0965 Chapter LIV. OPERATIONS AGAINST FORT FISHER, N. C.

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morning with the fleet, although we might not be able to land. I sent General Weitzel with Lieutenant-colonel Comstock, who agreed with me in opinion that as the navy did not propose to run by the fort into the river, whatever might be the effect of the explosion, it would be useless, unless the troops could be landed, to seize the point, and it would specially be inexpedient to explode the torpedo at that hour, giving eight hours for the enemy to repair damages before the attack even by the fleet was made. The admiral, upon these representations, countermanded his orders, which had been given for the explosion, and we have waited until now for a smooth sea; meantime, I have sent my transports into Beaufort to coal and water, as our ten days' supply is nearly exhausted. Last evening I received a telegram from the admiral, by signa., saying that the sea was so rough that it would not be possible to land this morning, whereupon I steamed to this port, where I am coating my ship, and shall return this afternoon. All the troops are well and comfortable, in good spirits, and so far without casualty. I am sorry to say the weather does not now look favorable. I take leave to congratulate you upon General Thomas' victory, which is very gratifying. We have no news from General Sherman later than what is brought by the Northern papers. The expedition up the Roanoke has been delayed by torpedoes, but I get news from General Palmer that the torpedoes are being cleaned out and that the movement is still going on.

Very respectfully, yours,

BENJ. F. BUTLER,

Major-General.

Lieutenant-General, GRANT,

Commanding, & c., City Pont.

[Indorsement.]

HEADQUARTERS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES,

City Point, Va., January 1, 1865.

Respectfully forwarded.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

FORTRESS MONROE, December 27, 1864 - 8 p. m.

(Received City Point 10 p. m.)

I have just returned from the expedition. We had a storm from Monday until Friday, which was the earliest hour I could get out of Beaufort, where I had put in for coal, most of the transport fleet having got out of coal and water. Without waiting for my return, Admiral Porter exploded the torpedo at 1 o'clock on Friday morning, and commenced his attack at 12.55 p. m., twelve hours afterward. He continued the bombardment of the fort until night. I arrived in the evening and commenced landing on the beach the next morning. Got a portion of the troops on shore about 2 o'clock. Weitzel moved down upon the works, capturing about 300 men and 10 commissioned officers. He brought his picket-line within fifty yards of the work, when he was opened upon by canister and musketry. He found seventeen guns bearing upon the beach, which was only wide enough for an assault of 1,000 men in line, the guns protected by traverses and but one dismounted, notwithstanding the fire of the fleet had been opened upon