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Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 2., Chapter 12: operations on the coasts of the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. (search)
s in the form of corvettes and redans, for more than a mile, and terminating in a two-gun redoubt. On the river-bank and covering their left was Fort Thompson, four miles from New Berne, armed with thirteen heavy guns; and other works and appliances, prepared by good engineering skill, for the defense of the river-channel against the passage of gun-boats, were numerous. A little below Fort Thompson was Fort Dixie, four guns. Between Fort Thompson and the city were Forts Brown, Ellis, and Lane, each mounting eight guns ; and a mile from New Berne was Union Point Battery, of two guns, manned by a company of public singers. In the channel of the Neuse were twenty-four sunken vessels, several torpedoes, These torpedoes consisted of a cylinder of iron, about ten inches in diameter, into which fitted a heavily loaded bomb-shell, resting on springs. The torpedo was placed on the point of heavy timber, in the form and position of chevaux-de-frise, held firmly at the bottom of the riv
s through the deep clay of the roads, sodden with several days' rain; and the men sank on the ground at night around their pitchpine fires to enjoy a drenching from the freshly pouring skies. A dense fog covered land and water next morning, Sunday, March 14. as our fleet, having safely passed the obstructions, steamed up past Forts Thompson and Ellis; which, after firing a few shots, were hastily evacuated, a shell from one of the gunboats having exploded the magazine of the latter. Fort Lane, the last and strongest defense of Newbern on the water, was more carefully approached, in expectation of a sanguinary struggle; but it had by this time been likewise evacuated, in deference to the successes of our army; and our fleet steamed directly up to the wharves, shelling the depot and track whereby the Rebels were escaping from the city. The Rebel defenses consisted of a well constructed breastwork, running a mile and a half from the Neuse across the railroad to an impenetrable
more little fort lay before us; that passed, and the city of Newbern would be at our mercy, and in a few minutes more in our possession. We carefully approached Fort Lane, expecting a hard fight, the men on all the vessels only too anxious to show how they could handle a gun, and much elated by their previous victories. But a bitter disappointment awaited us; the rebels had seen quite enough of the way in which we handled them and offered little or no resistance. Fort Lane was small and well built, and had the rebels a particle of pluck, they might have annoyed us exceedingly. As it was, on we went to the city, and as we approached, we could plainly see . Finding that the other fortifications had fallen, Capt. E. ordered his guns to be dismounted, (having no spikes,) and they were thrown down the embankment. Fort Lane, mounting eight guns, two miles from Newbern, was blown up, Capt. Mayo losing his life by remaining to fire the magazine. He was killed by the explosion. Uni
ted thirteen heavy guns. An attempt was made to storm the work, which was repulsed, and four Massachusetts companies which entered the fort from the railway track were driven out over the parapet. Another attempt was made, with increased numbers; and perceiving the enemy's gunboats moving up the river, and fearing that he would be surrounded, Gen. Branch ordered a retreat. It was commenced in good order, but finally became a rout. The guns of Fort Ellis were thrown down the embankment, Fort Lane was blown up, and the Confederates fled across the railway bridge over the Neuse. The bridge was fired by a raft laden with cotton and spirits of turpentine before the retreating column had passed over, and about five hundred prisoners were taken by the enemy. These, about fifty pieces of cannon, two small steamers, and large quantities of arms and ammunition, were the immediate fruits of the enemy's victory, at a cost estimated in Burnside's report as 91 killed and 466 wounded. The Conf
Daniel Ammen, Confederate Military History, a library of Confederate States Military History: Volume 7.2, The Atlantic Coast (ed. Clement Anselm Evans), Chapter 9: reduction of Newbern—the Albemarle. (search)
s, and opened lire on that work. General Burnside informed Commander Rowan that his shells were falling to the left and near our own troops. Fort Thompson having ceased to return the fire, signal was made to follow the motions of the flag-ship, and that vessel passed through the obstructions, followed by the others in line ahead. As the vessels were passing through, the co-operating troops appeared on the ramparts of Fort Thompson, waving the Union flag. Shells were then thrown into Fort Lane, next above, without response. The Valley City was directed to hoist the flag over the remaining forts and the flotilla passed rapidly up the river. On opening the Trent River two deserted batteries, mounting two guns each, were seen on the wharves in front of the city. The vessels passed up the Neuse River, the Delaware opening fire on steamboats that were attempting to escape up the river, one of them having a schooner in tow. One of the steamers was run on shore and burned, and tw
Capt. Hunter, of the steamer Curlew, having stated that he was fired to by the battery at Fort Lane, on the is of North Carolina, on the night of the 7th instant and that the ball passed near his person Lieut. T. D. Jones, commanding Fort Lane, comes out in a in the Newborn (N. C.) Progress, denying the statement.
sibly impede their progress. Fort Thompson was the most formidable fortification on the river. It was four miles from Newbern, and mounted 18 heavy guns, two of them rifled 82-pounders. Fort Ellis, three miles from Newbern, mounted eight heavy guns. It was commanded by Capt. Edelin's Company B, First Maryland regiment. Finding that the other fortifications had fallen; Capt. E. ordered his guns to be dismounted, (having no spikes,) and they were thrown down the embankment. Fort Lane, mounting eight guns, two miles from Newbern, was blown up, Capt. Mayo losing his life by remaining to fire the magazine. he was killed by the explosion. Union Point Battery, one mile from Newbern, mounted two guns. It was manned by the Confederate Minstrels, under the command of Charles O. White, Manager. This battery fired, but twice, and then with but little effect, the enemy being out of range.--Three of the Minstrels are missing. It is thought they were taken prisoners. Thei