War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0976 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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about ten or twelve rods. I thought there was a marsh in this interval, but not covering the whole interval. I saw the rebels working two guns on the sea front. I think I could take troops into the work through the interval between the work and Cape Fear River. First Lieutenant George W. Ross, aide-de-camp on the staff of Brevet Brigadier-General Curtis, says:

Was on the skirmish line. Mr. Simpson's statement covers everything I can say excepting that I differ with him in the height of the parapet. I think it was higher than he states. I think it ten feet at least. I think the curtain extends across the road; that the road enters the work by a sally-port. The curtain does not extend all the way to Cape Fear River. I think that troops could march into the work through this interval. I saw Fort Wagner; I would rather assault Fort Fisher from what I saw. I think that the One hundred and forty-second New York Volunteers could have marched in and taken the work. From all that I saw the rebels seemed to be very much demoralized. There were no rebels on guard up to the time that General Curtis and his staff moved with the flag off the fort; from that time out a slight fire was continued. I saw no abatis on the Cape Fear side of the road. I was sanguine that the work could be taken.

First. Lieutenant W. H. Walling, One hundred and forty-second New York Volunteers, says:

Was on the skirmish line; took the flag of Fort Fisher from the angle nearest Cape Fear River. The work returns from this angle, but I do not know that it is entirely inclosed. I saw no rebels. The fire of the navy cut the flag-staff; it fell on the parapet. In front of the ditch on the land side was a stockade seven or eight feet in height extending to the marshy banks of Cape Fear River, excepting across the Wilmington road. I went through an opening in this stockade, made by the naval fire, to get the flag. The relief of the parapet was about fifteen feet in height. The traverses seemed to be about from five to seven feet higher. There was a little standing water in the ditch. The ditch was from fifteen to twenty feet wide. The scarf and counterscarf were not revetted and were not very steep. There was no berm. I don't think the garrison was demoralized. There were two field guns bearing up the Wilmington road, in rear of the stockade. When the navy ceased firing the parapet was lined with troops.

John W. White, sergeant, Company G. One hundred and forty-second New York Volunteers, says:

Was on the skirmish line within a few yards of the ditch near Cape Fear River. I think the work could have been taken by going along the road. I do not think the work was inclosed from what I saw. A stockade extended from the road up to the marsh. The stockade was injured in several places by the naval fire so that a body of men could go through.

James Spring, private, Company G, One hundred and forty-second New York Volunteers, says:

Was within a rod and a half of the work and started to get the flag, when I was ordered back. The ditch was considerably filled up by the fire of the navy. A column of troops could get over the ditch by trying hard. A body of troops could not be marched in the work between the Cape Fear River and the stockade; to secure this the stockade makes a returns. The relief of the work is about seventeen feet high.

Henry Blair, private, Company F, One hundred and forty-second New York Volunteers, says: