, advancing to Curtis
's support, overlapped his right, drove the enemy from the heavy palisading that extended from the west end of the land-face to the river, taking some prisoners; and now the two brigades, uniting, drove the enemy, by desperate fighting, from about one-quarter of the land-face.
, commanding the assaulting division, now brought up Bell
's brigade, and placed it between the fort and the river, where the hollows whence sand had been dug for the parapet, the ruins of barracks and store-houses, and the large magazine, formed, with the huge traverses of the land-face, a series of rude breastworks, behind which successively the enemy rallied, and over which the combatants fired into each others' faces.
Nine of these traverses were successively carried by our men; while Terry
strengthened the assailants by sending down Abbott
's brigade from the north, where their place was taken by the discomfited sailors and marines, with the 27th U. S. colored, Brig.-Gen. A. M. Blackman
; who entered the fort and reported to Ames
at 6 P. M.
Still, the defense was obstinately maintained; the fleet now shifting its fire from that portion of the fort not yet gained by our troops to the beach, to prevent the possibility of succor from the Rebel
garrison of Battery Buchanan; until, at 9 P. M., two more traverses having been carried, the Rebels
were fairly driven by Abbott
's men out of their last foothold in the fort, fleeing down the Point
to Battery Buchanan; but it was idle to hope to make a successful stand here against their eager pursuers; and Maj.-Gen. Whiting
(mortally wounded), Col. Lamb
, and their followers, had no choice but to surrender.
took 2,083 prisoners; while his material trophies were 169 guns, most of them heavy, over 2,000 small arms, and considerable ammunition, provisions, &c. Before morning, Fort Caswell
, across the river, with the extensive works at Smithville
's point, were abandoned and blown up by the enemy: so that the triumph was complete.
Our loss in this desperate assault was 110 killed, 536 wounded; but among these were Col. Bell
, mortally, and Gen. N. M. Curtis
and Col. G. A. Pennypacker
, severely wounded, while leading their brigades in the assault.
, with a considerable Rebel force, had watched the landing of our troops at a respectful distance inland; but did not venture to annoy them, though expected, and finally ordered, by his superior, Bragg
, to do so. The prompt extension of our lines across the peninsula precluded the possibility of success after the first night; so that, when Bragg
reiterated his order more peremptorily, he was requested by Hoke
to reconnoiter for himself, and did so; when his order was withdrawn.
They now resolved to reenforce the fort; but the rapidity of Terry
's and Porter
's operations left them no opportunity to do so. It only remained to the two Rebel commanders to look quietly on and see Fort Fisher
They were not long compelled to endure their necessarily painful anxiety.
after the capture, while the fort swarmed with our curious, exulting soldiers and sailors,