War of the Rebellion: Serial 095 Page 0439 Chapter LVIII. CAPTURE OF FORT FISHER, N. C.

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not add that the troops were not there, and the want of them lost us the fort. On attempting to rejoin the general I found that the enemy, in overwhelming force, covered the land and sea face, and were firing from the parapet of the work, in the bombproof of which I had left the general. I returned to Battery Buchanan and advised the immediate withdrawal of the force at this point, as the enemy had the fort and were then marching on the battery, the troops fop whose defense were reduced to the gun detachments in re-enforcing the fort, the guns having been spiked. The bombproof being full of wounded, the commanding officer was unable to blow up the magazine. This command was safely brought off, but, owing to the want of a steamer, numbers of our poor fellows who were retreating before the enemy were left on the beach. I came off with the naval officer commanding Battery Buchanan at 10.40 p. m.

I have the honor to be, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. J. SAUNDERS,

Major and Chief of Artillery.

Colonel ARCHER ANDERSON,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

Numbers 13. Reports of Major General William H. C. Whiting, C. S. Army, of operations January 15.

FORT FISHER, January 18, 1865.

GENERAL: I am sorry to have to inform you, as a prisoner of war, of the taking of Fort Fisher on the night of the 15th instant, after an assault of unprecedented furry, both by sea and land, lasting from Friday morning until Sunday night.

On Thursday night the enemy' fleet was reported off the fort. On Friday morning of fleet opened very heavily. On Friday and Saturday, during the furious bombardment on the fort, the enemy were allowed to land without molestation and to throw up a light line of fieldworks from Battery Ramseur to the river, thus securing his position from molestion and making the fate of Fort Fisher, under the circumstances, but a question of time.

On Sunday the fire of the fleet reached a pitch of fury to which no language can do justice. It was concentrated on the land front and fort. In a short time nearly every gun was dismounted or disabled, and the garrison suffered severely from the fire. At 3 o'clock the enemy's land force, which had been gradually and slowly advancing, formed into two columns for assault.

The garrison during the fierce bombardment was not able to stand to the parapets, and many of the re-enforcements were obliged to be kept at a great distance from the fort. As the enemy here slackened his fire to allow the assault to take place, the men hastily manned the ramparts and gallantly repulsed the right column of assault. Portion of the troops on the left had also repelled the first rush to the left of the work. The greater portion of the garrison being, however, engaged on the right, and not being [able] to man the entire work, the enemy succeeded in making a lodgment on the left flank, planting two of his regimental flags in the traverses. From this point we could not dis-