War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0999 Chapter LIV. OPERATIONS AGAINST FORT FISHER, N. C.

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Wilmington, December 29, 1864.

Numbers 17.

The commanding general desires to congratulate the officers and men engaged in the recent operations near this place on their successful termination. One of the most formidable expeditions yet organized by the enemy - an imposing force of veteran troops supported by a fleet carrying over 500 guns - has accomplished no other object than a fruitless landing on a barren coast, followed in forty-eight hours by a hasty re-embarkation. This auspicious result is due, under a merciful Providence, to the skill of Major-General Whiting, who planned the defenses at the mouth of the Cape Fear; to the gallantry and endurance of Colonel Lamb, and the brave garrison of Fort Fisher under him immediate command, worthily seconded by Lieutenant Chapman, of the Navy, and his devoted seamen, serving Battery Buchanan, and the steady coolness with which Brigadier-General Kirkland, with a part of his brigade, checked the advance of vastly superior numbers of the enemy. Thus another gigantic effort of a powerful enemy has come to naught, but not without affording us profitable lessons. The successful defense of Fort Fisher against one of the most formidable naval armaments of modern times proves that the superiority of land batteries over ships of war, at one time threatened by the improvements in artillery and ship armor, has been re-established by the genius of the engineer: and the weaker party on the defensive may still defy the greater numbers and mechanical resources of an arrogant invader. Let us hope that the check which the enemy has received at the mouth of the Cape Fear may prove the harbinger of a renewed series of Confederate victories.

By order of General Bragg:


Assistant Adjutant-General.


January 1, 1865.

Major-General WHITING, Commanding Third District, Wilmington:

GENERAL: On page 5 of your report appears the following sentence:

Early in the afternoon (26th) we received the welcome message from Major-General Hoke announcing his arrival at Sugar Loaf; that communication would shortly be restored, and that he would support.

This is a slight error, which will conflict with the report of the commanding general, and he desires to recall the facts to your mind. Major-General Hoke reached Sugar Loaf about 8 p. m., nearly twelve hours after Brigadier-General Kirkland had ordered the movement which opened communication with you, and the message received by you was sent by the commanding general.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Assistant Adjutant-General.


Wilmington, January 1, 1865.

Lieutenant Colonel A. ANDERSON,

Asst. Adjt. General, Hdqrs. Department of North Carolina

COLONEL: If the general commanding will return my report for a few moments I will make the desired correction. As I myself received