War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0995 Chapter LIV. OPERATIONS AGAINST FORT FISHER, N. C.

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This was the most critical moment, as it was difficult at first under the furious fire to get the Junior Reserves out of the galleries. They soon recovered, however. Colonel Tansill was ordered to the command of the land front. Colonel Lamb hastened from the Armstrong battery to the front. The gallant Major Reilly, with his battalion, who had served the guns on the curtain during the entire action, poured with the reserves, cheering, over the parapet and through the sally-port and manned the line of palisades. The enemy had occupied the redoubt (an unfinished outwork) and advanced into the post garde. A fire of grape and musketry checked any farther advance. Darkness coming on the fleet withdrew. The garrison continued to man the outworks and channel batteries during the night, exposed to a pelting storm and occasionally exchanging musket-shots on the land side.

The fire had been maintained for seven hours and a half with unremitting rapidity. Our casualties during this storm of iron amounted to 3 killed, 2 mortally, 7 severely, and 26 slightly wounded; total, 38; for both days, 61 in all. Damages to the armament during entire bombardment: Two 32-pounder guns and carriages disabled; one 10-inch columbiad gun carriage and chassis disabled, the trunnion wrenched off; one 10 [-inch] columbiad dismounted and pintle broken by premature discharge; one 8 [-inch] carriage and chassis disabled. Some other trifling damage was done, but readily repaired in a short time.

A serious accident occurred during the last day. One of the Brooke guns served by the navy burst at 2.30 p. m., the other at 4. These were both guns from the Raleigh. The first gun burst at the third fire, the other at the eighth. No effect on the works beyond rendering the superior and exterior slopes rather rough for walking.

During the 21st [25th?] the garrison expended 600 projectiles, bringing forty-four guns into action. The enemy's projectiles were of all kinds and sizes. Shrapnel was used in large quantities, but with no effect.

To resume: At 3 a. m. on the morning of the 26th pickets reported the advance of some boats outside the bar. The channel batteries opened a very heavy fire of grape and musketry. I am myself inclined to think that this was a false alarm, but the enemy may have been guided by the light of the burning quarters, and an attack was fully expected by the men, who showed great spirit and discipline, though much worn by the two days' action and exposed to very severe weather. A heavy storm had set in.

The morning of the 26th broke dark and foggy. The fleet some four miles off and rather nearer the beach. Our communication was cut off. Our scouts reported the enemy entrenching in force near Anderson, and some could be seen not over 1,400 yards from the curtain. Two prisoners who had been taken the previous evening reported a division as landed, but the spirit of the men never flagged. They went to work at repairs and replacing guns with hearty good will. Early in the afternoon we received the welcome message from the general commanding announcing his arrival at Sugar Loaf; that communication would shortly be restored, and that he would support. The night passed quietly, except the shelling of the woods above by the enemy.

Tuesday, the 27th, being clear, we perceived the fleet at daylight from three to five miles off, some ten or twelve transports being very close in near Battery Anderson, with a large number of small boats plying to and from. Several vessels were engaged in shelling the woods. We could see the men on the beach in considerable force, but could not make out for some time whether they were landing or embarking troops.