red yards from the fort, and exploded about 2 A. M. on the 24th.
The report was not much greater than the discharge of a piece of heavy artillery; no damage was done to the enemy's earthworks, and no result accomplished.
A negro on shore was afterward reported to have said when he heard the sound: I reckon de Yankees hab done bu'st one ob dah b'ilers.
At daylight on the 24th the naval fleet of fifty vessels moved forward and began the bombardment of the fort.
About noon on the 25th General Ames's division landed, and a skirmish-line was pushed to within a few yards of the fort.
It was reported that the fort had not been materially damaged, and that Hoke's command had been sent south from Lee's army, and was approaching to reinforce the garrison.
Butler now decided not to make an attack, and reembarked all of his troops, except Curtis's brigade, on the transports, and steamed back to Fort Monroe, reaching there on the 27th.
Curtis's brigade also reembarked on the 27th, and fol
g was made on January 13, and on the morning of the 14th Terry had fortified a position about two miles from the fort.
The navy, which had been firing upon the fort for two days, began another bombardment at daylight on the 15th.
That afternoon Ames's division made an assault on the work.
Two thousand sailors and marines were also landed for the purpose of making a charge.
They had received an order from the admiral, in the wording of which facetiousness in nautical phraseology could go no further.
It read: Board the fort in a seamanlike manner.
They made a gallant attack, but were met with a murderous fire, and did not gain the work.
Ames's division, with Curtis's brigade in advance, overcame all efforts of the defenders, and the garrison was driven from one portion of the fort to another in a series of hand-to-hand contests, in which individual acts of heroism surpassed almost anything in the history of assaults upon well-defended forts.
The battle did not close until ten