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the other ships followed as they took their positions on left, front, and right of the fort, enfilading both land and sea faces. About fifty vessels of the fleet, including one double-turreted and two single-turreted monitors, joined in the engagement, and kept up an incessant fire until dark (5.30 p. m.). The enemy directed the warmest fire at the flag-staff at headquarters until they had cut the flag and staff down and knocked headquarters into a mass of ruins. They fired projectiles of every description, from a 3-inch rifle shell to a 15-inch round shell. They destroyed about one-half of the quarters, disabled 3 gun carriages, tore up large quantities of the earth-works, splintered some of the revetments, but did not injure a single bomb-proof or endanger any magazine. The greatest penetration noticed was not over five feet perpendicularly.

Our casualties were: Wounded, mortally, 1; seriously, 3; slightly, 19. Total, 23. Commissioned officers-Lieut. Matthew Washington Pridgen, Company H, Thirty-sixth North Carolina Regiment, and Passed Midshipman Clarence Cary, C. S. Navy, both slightly. (For particulars I respectfully refer to surgeon's report.*)

As no attempt was made by the enemy to cross the bar, the fort fired slowly and deliberately, expending only 672 projectiles. The day was so calm that the smoke hung around our batteries and the enemy's ships, and prevented our gunners, generally, from seeing the effects of their shots, but enough were seen to strike the enemy to know that their casualties must very far exceed ours. A number of vessels were withdrawn, and some were seen being towed off. The frigate Wabash, apparently bearing the admiral's pennant, was driven from her position late in the afternoon, and withdrew, stern foremost, as if afraid to expose her broadsides. At dark the enemy withdrew, Fort Fisher firing the last gun. Everything remained quiet during the night. At about 10 a. m. next morning, December 25 (Christmas, the anniversary of the Prince of Peace), the fleet advanced again in single line toward the fort, led by the Ironsides. At 10.30 a. m. the fleet, with the addition of another monitor (single-turreted) and some wooden steamers, recommenced an incessant bombardment, if possible more noisy and furious than that of the preceding day, which they kept up until after dark (nearly 6 p. m.). During the day a few more quarters were burnt, more of the earth-works were displaced, but none seriously damaged, and five guns were disabled by the enemy.

About 2 p. m. the flag-ship and other frigates came closer to the bar and lowered boats, which approached to sound the bar. The Brooke gun battery opened upon them, with other guns, and drove them out. The Armstrong gun, which had been held in reserve during the fight, was pointed late in the afternoon on the flag-ship lying off the bar, and one steel shot amidships caused the admiral's pennant again to withdraw. At 3.30 p. m. twelve of the enemy's barges came on the Caroline Shoals, about one mile to the right of the mound, apparently to sound a passage for barges. It was a bold act, but the enemy paid for their temerity. A few shots from Battery Buchanan, the naval command under Lieutenant Chapman, first cut the flag from a barge and then cut the barge in two, causing the whole to retreat rapidly. The enemy made no attempt to pass the bar, and the firing was even slower and more deliberate than on the previous day, only 600 shots being expended. Occasionally the fire of the land or sea face was directed on a single ship, and it never failed to drive her out, at least for a while. One frigate, more stubborn than the rest, received six large Blakely rifle

* See p. 1008.

shells in her sides before she would move. During the day the enemy landed a large force at Battery Anderson, a one-gun battery three miles up the beach.

At 4.30 p.m. sharpshooters were seen on our left flank, and they fired upon our gunners from the quarters across the causeway. A few discharges of canister quieted them. At 5.30 p. m., after a most furious enfilading fire from the fleet down our palisade line, a heavy line of skirmishers were seen advancing on our works. A fire of grape was opened along the line, the palisades manned by the infantry, and the advance repelled. Two battalions of Junior Reserves joined the Regulars in defending this line. Two prisoners from the One hundred and forty-second New York Regiment were taken, and next morning a number of new graves were seen on the beach, and an officer's sword and some small-arms and accouterments found scattered in front. Firing, occurred along this line at night as skirmishers would show themselves, but no advance in force was made. At about 3 a. m. a boat party was reported as advancing on the mound. The preparations made for the reception of such an advance were found amply sufficient to repel it, if it were seriously made, the boats seen disappearing very quickly. During the night the rain fell in torrents, wetting the troops and their arms, but it did not dampen their spirits nor interfere with their efficiency.

The following is the list of casualties for the day: Killed, 3; wounded, mortally, 2; severely, 7; slightly, 26; total wounded, 35. Total casualties, 38. Commissioned officers, Capt. W. C. Strong, aide-decamp, and Lieutenant Brown, adjutant Junior Reserves, both slightly wounded. Lieut. T. L. Dornin, C. S. Navy, wounded in foot. One of the three killed fell from the shot of a sharpshooter on our left flank. For the two days (24th and 25th), killed, 3; wounded, 61.

The enemy were seen in heavy force on our land face Monday morning, but made no demonstration against us. This (Tuesday) morning, December 27, the foiled and frightened enemy left our shores.

I cannot speak too highly of the coolness and gallantry of my command. In the fierce bombardment of twelve hours by the heaviest armed fleet that ever floated on the seas not one gun detachment was driven from their piece. The last gun on both days was fired by Fort Fisher. The battalion of the Thirty-sixth North Carolina Regiment that had helped to erect the works fought with a determination never to allow the enemy to take them, and the gallant officers and men representing the other artillery organizations of the Old North StateTenth North Carolina Regiment, First, Third, and Thirteenth Battalions North Carolina Artillery-equaled in bravery and heroism their comrades of the Thirty-sixth. Adams' light battery not only skillfully handled their Napoleons under the fire of sharpshooters in the evening, but in the day did effective service at the heavy guns.

Maj. James Reilly, Tenth North Carolina Regiment, and Capt. Daniel Munn, Thirty-sixth Regiment, my field officer, discharged their whole duty. To the coolness and experience of Major Reilly we are indebted for the defense of the land face, and to Captain Munn we owe our thanks for keeping one battle-flag always floating defiance to our foe. My adjutant, Lieut. George D. Parker, left his bed to repair to his post, but unable to attend to the arduous duties of adjutant, of which he was relieved by Lieut. John N. Kelly, he went to the batteries and fought gallantly through the whole bombardment.

The excellent order in which the attack found the ammunition and armament of this fort is due mainly to the practical experience and


Forty-four heavy guns were brought into action, twenty on land face and twenty-four on sea front. The land face is 682 yards in length, the sea face 1,898 yards. Total length of work, 2,580 yards. Both faces bear on the sea.

On the 24th I had an effective total of 788 Regulars, 140 Junior Reserves; total, 928. On the 25th an effective force of 921 Regulars, and about 450 Junior Reserves; total, 1,371. At night a re-enforcement came from Battery Buchanan of about sixty sailors and marines, under Lieutenant Arledge and other officers.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding.


Chief of Staff and Asst. Adjt. Gen., Third Mil. Dist.,
Dept. of N. C. and Southern Va., Wilmington, N. C.


Report of Ordnance Department of Fort Fisher for December 24 and 25,


COLONEL: I respectfully submit the following as a report of the magazine keepers at this fort of cartridges expended during the bombardment and land attack on the 24th and 25th of December:

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About 118 of the cartridges expended on 25th were for grape, canister, and shell fired at land forces and boats of enemy.

Respectfully submitted.

Col. WILLIAM LAMB, Commanding.

No. 13.

M. LONG, Ordnance-Sergeant.

Report of Capt. John C. Little, C. S. Artillery, Ordnance Officer. FORT FISHER, December 30, 1864. COLONEL: I have the honor to report the following damage to guns, carriages, &c.:

Mound. Ten-inch columbiad, truck axle broxen at nut; repaired. Armstrong gun.-Center transom split and gangway down; repaired. Columbiad battery.-Seven-inch Brooke rifle, gun burst and carriage disabled. Seven-inch Brooke rifle, gun burst and carriage disabled. Eight-inch columbiad, carriage disabled. Eight-inch columbiad, carriage disabled.

Cumberland battery.-Ten-inch columbiad, left rail and left upright of carriage broken by shot. Carriage can still be used.

Pulpit.-Ten-inch columbiad, dismounted by premature discharge; pintle broken.

New fort, east front.-Ten-inch columbiad, left cheek of carriage broken by shot; replaced.

Northeast salient.-Eight-inch Blakely, rear transom of chassis struck; still serviceable.

North front.-Thirty-two-pounder, smooth, rim knocked off wheel of barbette carriage and one spoke split; nuts knocked off bolts of right upright; can still be used. Thirty-two-pounder double-banded rifle, carriage struck on left trunnion plate and somewhat mashed; still serviceable. Thirty-two-pounder, smooth, right cheek of barbette carriage split and piece knocked off lower end;, can be used. Thirty-twopounder, smooth, right cheek and rear transom of carriage broken and tongue of chassis cut in two; both carriage and chassis disabled. Thirty-two-pounder, smooth, muzzle of gun knocked off and carriage broken at trunnion plate; gun and carriage disabled.

Shepherd's battery.-Eight-inch sea coast howitzer, piece knocked off right cheek of barbette carriage; still serviceable. Eight-inch seacoast howitzer, gun struck, dented and cracked; barbette carriage and chassis dented. Ten-inch columbiad, left trunnion knocked off and upright and cheek of carriage broken; gun and carriage disabled. Respectfully submitted.

Col. WILLIAM LAMB, Commanding, &c.


Captain, Ordnance.

No. 14.

Reports of Surg. Spyers Singleton, C. S. Army.

FORT FISHER, December 30, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to report the casualties in the action at Fort Fisher on the 24th and 25th of December, 1864:

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