them for five hours. In the meanwhile the surf had so arisen as to tender further landing nearly impracticable. After a thorough reconnaissance of the work, finding it utterly impracticable for a land assault, and that at least two brigades of Hoke's division from before Richmond had arrived there and that the rest was on the road, I withdrew the forces and ordered a re-embarkation, and had got on board all of the troops with the exception of about 300, when the surf was so high as to prevent either getting on or off the shore. I lay by until morning and took measures for their relief as soon as the sea might go down. They were under cover of the guns and I have no doubt they are all safely off. Our loss when I left was but 12 wounded, 10 of whom were by the shells of the navy on our picket-line near the fort. I will be up in the morning.
BENJ. F. BUTLER,
HEADQUARTERS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES,
City Point, Va., January 7, 1865.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: Herewith I have the honor to forward Major General B. F. Butler's and subordinate reports of the expedition against Fort Fisher, N. C. As the report of Rear-Admiral D. D. Porter has been published in the papers, I would respectfully request that General Butler's report, with all the papers accompanying it, be also given to the public.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
U. S. GRANT,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA, ARMY OF THE JAMES,
In the Field, January 3, 1865.
GENERAL: On the 7th of December last, in obedience to your orders, I moved a force of about 6,500 effective men, consisting of General Ames' division, of the Twenty-fourth Corps, and General Paine's division, of the Twenty-fifth Corps, under command of Major-General Weitzel, to an encampment near Bermuda. On the 8th the troops embarked for Fortress Monroe. On the 9th, Friday, I reported to Rear-Admiral Porter that the army portion of the conjoint expedition directed against Wilmington was ready to proceed. We waited there Saturday, the 10th, Sunday, the 11th, and Monday, the 12th. On the 12th Rear-Admiral Porter informed me that the naval fleet would sail on the 13th, but would be obliged to put into Beaufort to take on board ammunition for the monitors. The expedition having become the subject of remark, fearing lest its destination should get to the enemy, in order to direct from it all attention, on the morning of Tuesday, the 13th, at 3 o'clock, I ordered the transport fleet to proceed up the Potomac during the day to Mathias Point so as to be plainly visible to the scouts and signal men of the enemy on the Northern Neck, and to retrace their course at night and anchor under the lee of Cape Charles.
Having given the navy thirty-six hours' start, at 12 o'clock noon of the 14th (Wednesday) I joined the transport fleet off Cape Henry and