War of the Rebellion: Serial 095 Page 0436 N. AND SE. VA., N. C., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LVIII.

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the Mound Battery for shelter from the enemy's fire, which at this time was awful; it moved up to Fort Fisher later in the day. About fifty-two ships having joined the monitors at 8 o'clock, they concentrated their fire, without any cessation, at intervals, on different portions of the works. During the morning of the day (the 15th) and the preceding night the enemy landed the assaulting column, supposed, and as confirmed by a prisoner, to number 10,000 men. These were formed in three lines across the entire neck of land, covered by a heavy line of skirmishers about 400 yards in front of the main body, and at a distance of about 1,000 yards from the fort. On this force we brought to bear our one available gun and three mortars, which had been mounted during the night, and these repeatedly broke their line and temporarily checked the advance. As the attacking column advanced a part of the fleet moved in since line in succession ahead of the skirmish line, thus enfilanding the entire land face of the work, whilst the remainder of the fleet, in their original position, kept up a murderous fire on nearly every part of the whole fort. Under cover of the dense smoke a brigade was moved from the enemy's left along the beach, the tide being low, and succeeded in getting within the palisade line before they were seen, but were instantly repulsed twice and driven from their position with heavy loss. Corresponding with this movement a heavy force of the enemy, under cover of the woods, moved up on our left and got possession of the first gun chamber.

Lieutenant Latham, of Captain Adams' light battery, was stationed with two guns at a point commanding the causeway leading to the palisade line (the palisade line itself having been destroyed by the enemy's fire), with orders torn his guns into position as soon as the fire of the fleet had slackened. What occurred at this period on the left of the line I am unable to state, being myself engaged on the right, and the first intimation I had of the enemy's approach was by seeing their flag planted on the third traverse. As soon as discovered all the available force was led to repulse this attack, by Major-General Whiting i person, but it failed in dislodging the enemy from the position occupied, and at this point i have, with much regret, to state Major-General Whiting was seriously wounded and was carried from the field. Major Hill, chief of the general's staff, had dispatched couriers to Battery Buchanan to bring up the three remaining regiments of Hagood's brigade, who had been ordered to remain there till sent for (the fire from the fleet rendering it almost impossible for any troops to move), when it was discovered that this force had never reached Battery Buchanan (a circumstance much indeed to be regretted). I was then ordered by Major-General Whiting to communicate with the commanding general, which I immediately attempted to do, as he is aware. What occurred, therefore, subsequently to my leaving the field I only informed, as I was on the point of leaving, that a flag of truce had been hoisted by the enemy and answered by some officers, who then surrendered himself and 300 men to the enemy, and that a regiment of the enemy had been marched into the gallery of the sallyport. I have also to add that the garrison, though in good heart, was sadly worn out by the hard work they were called upon to perform by day and night, but that a feeling of much disappointment existed that the long-looked-for co-operation from the forces outside, which they expected would have been rendered, failed to assist them in their hour of need.


Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant Inspector-General.

Lieutenant-Colonel ANDERSON, Assistant Adjutant-General.