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Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 49: first attack on Fort Fisher.--destruction of the confederate ram Albemarle, etc. (search)
It was the evident intention of the Confederates to prevent a landing of the Federal troops or to dislodge them as soon as they reached the shore, which might have been done had not a large force of gunboats been sent to cover the landing, a force which no army could have with-stood. At the time when the fleet arrived off Fort Fisher, the Confederates had about eighteen hundred men in the works, but they were by no means the best of troops. The commanding officer of the fort was Colonel William Lamb, a gallant and capable soldier, while Major-General Wm. H. Lieutenant-Commander K. Randolph Breese. (fleet-captain.) C. Whiting, formerly of the U. S. Engineers, commanded all the defences of the Cape Fear River. When the fleet was all ready to proceed to the attack, Commander Rhind was ordered to take the powder-boat in and explode her. It had been calm all that day, December 18, with only a light swell on, which increased at night. Fleet-Captain K. R. Breese was sent on b