impossible to bring off any part of the armament of the forts, and accordingly the guns wee disabled as far as practicable and the magazines blown up.
I have the honor to be, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
[Colonel W. H. TAYLOR, Assistant Adjutant-General.]
Numbers 23. Report of Lieutenant Col George T. Gordon, C. S. Army, Assistant Inspector-General, of operations January 13-15.
HEADQUARTERS THIRD MILITARY DISTRICT,
January 17, 1865.
SIR: I have the honor to transmit for the information of the general commanding the following report of the attack on Fort Fisher:
On the morning of the 13th instant, at about 8 o'clock, the enemy opened on the fort with the Ironsides, one double and three single turreted iron-clad monitors, concentrating their whole fire on the land face, keeping up a regular fire till 5 p. m. At this hour three frigates-Colorado, Minnesota, and Wabash, as supposed-came into action and continued a terrific fire until 6 p. m. Colonel Lamb, anticipation an assault, made repeated applications to Major-General Whiting for re-enforcements. The only forces available were those of the navy manning Fort Buchannan, sixty in all which were willingly furnished by Captain Chapman, C. S. Navy. Six companies were brought from the forts below at 8 p. m., and 150 men, under Major James Reilly, arrived at 3 o'clock on the morning of the 14th instant. during this night the gunners and troops of the garrison were manning the palisades, a general attack being anticipated,our guns keeping up a fire, covering the land approach, at intervals during the entire night. Major-General Whiting, accompanied by myself, was also on the works and beach during the greater portion of the night, keeping watch on the enemy's movements.
On the morning of the 14th instant the enemy again opened on the land face, the rest of the fleet (seventy-two in all) forming in two lines of battle; fifteen of these moved into position and joined in the action, keeping up a terrific fire during the whole day and succeeding night, dismantling every gun on the land face, one 8-inch columbiad alone excepted. Our guns replied with great accuracy, but with little effect, the wooden vessels remaining out of range of our shot, making but slight impression on the iron-clads as far as we could judge. The gunners displayed the greatest gallantry under this most terrific fire. The enemy had also advanced a line of sharpshooters, who had sunk riflepits, and annoyed the men serving the guns by keeping up a constant fire. The dismantled guns could not be remounted during the night, nor cloud the works be repaired, owing to the constant and heavy fire kept up by the enemy's fleet during the entire night. A telegram having been received from the commanding general that Brigadier-General Hagood's brigade had been sent to re-enforce us, was ordered to await their arrival at Fort Buchanan.
About 4.30 on the 15th the first of these regiment (the Twenty-first) arrived, and shortly afterward the Twenty-fifth, under the command of Captains De Bose and Carson, respectively. The Twenty-first Regiment at once moved up to Fort Fisher; the other was moved to the rear of