I acted as sharpshooter in front of the skirmish line; was within fifteen yards of the sally-port of the work; looked in and saw a bomb-proof with men in it. I fired into the bomb-proof, then took cover along-side of the corduroy road, and took further observations. I saw two more bomb-proofs with men in them. I think the ditch was about fifteen feet wide and not deep. I think the parapet was fifteen feet high. I think that a column of troops could have gone into the works by the sally-port. I saw no obstacle to prevent it. The stockade runs to Cape Fear River. I think the stockade was about five or six feet high. I saw no damage made by the naval fire. There was no sentinel that I could see on the work.
HEADQUARTERS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES,
City Point, Va., February 2, 1865.
Respectfully forwarded to the Secretary of War with the request that these papers be filed with Major-General Butler's report of the expedition against Fort Fisher, N. C., as statements appended to said report by me.
I should have appended them when I forwarded the report, but Lieutenant-Colonel Comstock, aide-de-camp, to whom they were made, was absent on the second expedition against the fort and had them with him. These statements of the officers and men named were reduced to writing immediately after the return of unsuccessful expedition against Fort Fisher, and were handed to Colonel Comstock about the 2nd day of January, 1865. General Butler, before ordering the re-embarkation and return of the expedition he assumed to command, might have had within information, and it was his duty, before giving such orders, to have known the results of the reconnaissance, which could have been most satisfactorily learned from those most in advance.
U. S. GRANT,
LOWELL, MASS., February 22, 1865.
Major-General WHITING, Provisional Army, C. S.:
SIR: I requested a short time ago Lieutenant Davenport, a young gentleman serving upon my staff, to call upon you and obtain some particulars concerning the condition of Fort Fisher and its surroundings at the time of the demonstration of the Federal forces under my command against it from the 16th to the 27th of December last. From its subsequent capture, and other new dispositions of the forces on both sides, I venture to conjecture that you would have no difficulty in furnishing me with the information I desired. I had not heard before of the severity of your wound and the critical condition of your health, or I would not have troubled you at that time upon this subject, although of some importance and interest to myself. I learn, however, from Lieutenant Davenport, that you are intending soon to make your official report to your Government, and therefore I trust I am not intrusive or annoying in desiring your answers, as specially as your memory and data will allow, to the questions herewith appended, which I have put in direct form, partly to save you trouble, and still more specially in order to bring out the exact facts, which at some time may be needed for the purposes of justice. This is also in accordance with your wish
62 R R - VOL XLII, PT I