War of the Rebellion: Serial 095 Page 0443 Chapter LVIII. CAPTURE OF FORT FISHER, N. C.

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out. I directed the crew of the boat to row directly to Fort Fisher. They represented that it was impossible to land there in consequence of rocks, shallow water, &c. I insisted that they should land there in spite of obstacles, but they urged the impracticability of it, and that it was not fear of the enemy which gave rise to their conclusion. We landed, therefore, 400 or 500 yards from Battery Buchanan, between the battery and Fort Fisher. I was not hailed, and did not see a sentinel or picket. A short distance from the point of landing I found a shanty, with several negroes and one or two white men in it. They reported that Fisher was taken, which, as I distrusted, I required one of them to come out and go with me as guide. I was about starting when an officer, representing himself as Captain Munn, with a dozen or fifteen men, without arms, came up. These I took for a fatigue detail, until the captain informed me that the fort was evacuated; that he had just come from it, and that General Whiting and Colonel Lamb were already at Battery Buchanan. I still doubted whether it could be true, but concluded to go first to Buchanan before trying to enter the fort. As I neared the battery with the boat, I was hailed by a horseman who inquired who we were. I landed, and found about the battery a crowd of men mingling together, without organization and without arms. I did hear some officer calling out for Company E of some regiment. I inquired for General Whiting and Colonel Lamb, and was informed they were there. Meeting an officer, hasid he would carry me to Colonel Lamb, who was wounded. I found the colonel prostrate with a wound, which he thought, however, was not severe. In answer to my inquiry whether anything more could be done, he replied that a fresh brigade might then retake the fort. I told him there was no brigade with me, and wished to know of him the condition of the men who had escaped. He said that when he was wounded everything broke up in consternation and was utterly disorganized, and that no further efforts could effect anything with the resources then available. My interview with him lasted but a minute, and as my object was to learn the immediate condition of affairs, I made no inquiries of him respecting the incidents connected with the capture of the fort. As I left him to seek General Whiting, a messenger came running to me from Lieutenants Estil and Colquitt, of my staff, who had been left at the boat, with the information that the enemy was upon us, and that in a minute longer we could not escape. Walking in the direction of the boat, which was lying about fifty yards from the battery toward the enemy, I perceived a line of his troops advancing with two colors flying. They were not more than 100 yards from the battery. The night was bright, with a full moon. I had just time to reach the boat and shove off as the line advanced to the battery, its right flank passing within thirty or forty yards of me. I crossed the river to Battery Lamb, and telegraphed you from that point certain information of the loss of the fort. I reported to you in person at 3 a. m. on the 16th instant.

I had not communication, except that alluded to, with Colonel Lamb, with any person known to me, but promiscuous account agreed that the fort was entered about two hours before sundown and that fighting continued at intervals until drake, when all firing ceased. I think there were at Battery Buchanan 300 or 400 men, and many of them drunk. The artillerists who manned the battery had, previous to my arrival, spiked the guns and made their escape in small boats. There were no boats left. I regret that I cannot give a more satisfactory account of the circumstances connected with the fall of Fort Fisher, but I had no