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[722] planted with torpedoes, which, unless cautiously sought out and exploded, were very destructive. Quite a number of men and horses were killed by them.

Spanish Fort,” the strongest of the eastern defenses of Mobile, was thus approached and finally invested:1 the Rebel movable column retiring on Blakely. The 16th corps, on the right, threatened Blakely, while the 13th, on our left, more immediately invested Spanish Fort. Steele now joined hands with Smith, thus forming our extreme right.

Our fleet had moved up the bay parallel with our army, making for Howard's landing just below Spanish Fort, with intent to aid in the reduction of that stronghold by bombardment, and by isolating it from Mobile. Notwithstanding the general shallowness of the bay, they were enabled to approach the shore so nearly as to deliver a very effective fire, which was seldom returned, and which ultimately cut off the fort from all communication with the city; but, in effecting this, the Metacomet first, afterward the Osage, were blown up by torpedoes, and destroyed. Their crews generally escaped, owing to the shallowness of the water. The gunboats Stockdale, Milwaukee, Cincinnati, Albatross, Winnebago, and Genesee, with some smaller vessels, remained. After firing leisurely through the day, they usually dropped down the bay to Great Point Clear to anchor for the night.

The siege of Spanish Fort was opened in due form on the 28th; our lines having been established during the preceding night, at distances of 300 to 400 yards. Up to this time, our total loss had not exceeded 400 men. The siege was pressed with great ardor, and with considerable loss from Rebel shells. On the morning of the 30th, Veatch's division of Gen. Granger's corps, while relieving guard, blundered into the Rebel lines, and were regarded as the head of an assaulting column; provoking a sally, whereby our skirmishers and working parties were hurled back, with some loss; but the enemy, advancing too far, were repelled in turn; whereupon, the artillery on both sides suddenly reopened and kept firing till daylight to little purpose. Still, the siege was steadily pressed forward; and, the investment being completed,2 the result was no longer doubtful: our troops having already built an earthwork and mounted siege-guns within 200 yards of the Fort

Our losses were mainly from shells: many of them thrown by batteries whose location was concealed, and which could not, in consequence, be silenced. One of these shells killed or wounded 15 men; another 12. Our fleet, unable otherwise to get within effective distance of the fort, crossed the bar and engaged the Rebel fleet, which included several iron-clads; compelling it to move up toward the city.

All being at length ready, a tremendous concentric fire at close range was opened3 at nightfall on the doomed fort, from siege-guns and field-pieces in battery, and from gunboats on the side of the bay; while our skirmishers and sharp-shooters, creeping up from ridge to ridge, and firing from the heads of our trenches, picked off the Rebel artillerists or

1 March 27.

2 April 3.

3 April 8.

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