Everybody present commends the conduct of offices and men. i necessarily cannot call attention to individuals. This is left to others who were witnesses of the fight. I will only name Colonel Lamb, who has been the immediate constructor of the fort, who has for many months been preparing it for the awful trial. No one doubted that he would fight his fort with intelligence, with gallantry, and to the last. He has not disappointed any one.
I accompany this with a list of the casualties.
I am, major, respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major J. H. HILL,
A. A. G., Third Mil. Dist., Dept. North Carolina, Wilmington.
List of casualties at Fort Fisher in the action of December 24 and 25, 1864.
December 24 --- 22
December 25 3 36
Total 3 59
No. 11. Report of Major William J. Saunders, C. S. Artillery, Chief of Artillery.
HEADQUARTERS DEFENSES MOUTH OF CAPE FEAR, OFFICE CHIEF OF ARTILLERY, Smithville, N. C., December 27, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to respectfully to report that in compliance with the order of the brigadier-general commanding on the morning of the 24th instant I proceeded to Fort Fisher, then menaced with an attack from a fleet of the enemy, which since the morning of the 20th instant had been gathering and maneuvering off the New Inlet of this harbor, the enemy's fleet being drawn up in two columns on the left, front, and right of the fort. They numbered, all told, fifty-two vessels, mounting, as per newspaper reports, 578 guns of all calibers. After inspecting the guns at the Mound Battery, I proceeded down the line toward the left or land face of the front and reported to the commandant, who requested that I would take my place as chief of artillery of the command. The enemy's fire seemed principally directed toward the redan battery, mounting an 8-inch columbiad and 8-inch Blakely rifle gun, but their fire was by no means confined to this point. The positions of the vessels of the fleet as follows: The Ironsides occupying a position to and a mile from the center of the sea face of the fort; one double turreted monitor and two single turreted monitors a fourth of a mile in rear, and an eighth to a fourth of a mile nearer to the fort, extending in a line up the beach, so as to enfilade and confront the land face of the fort. A large frigate was beyond the line of the leading monitor and immediately opposite the Mound Battery, occupying a position three-fourths to one mile farther out. Two other frigates of the same class occupied positions in the same juxtaposition to the sea face of the fort and in line extending up the beach. The other vessels of the fleet appeared to be in no positive position. The effect of their