commanders, and it gives me great pleasure to commend the gallantry of all.1 I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,
New-York Tribune account.
Fort Macon, April 26, 1862.By the active exertions of Lieut. D. W. Flagler, Ordnance Officer-in-Chief and Captain King, Quartermaster of Gen. Parke's division, the ordnance and ordnance stores were rafted across the shoals of Bogue Sound, and the mortar-batteries were in such a state of forwardness when Gen. Burnside came down on Saturday last, that he pronounced them almost ready for action. The battery of Parrott guns was also completed and ready to be unmasked, and he returned to Newbern at once to bring down two floating batteries, and witness the siege in person. The General's visit to our advanced posts was attended with no little risk, for the guns of the Fort were turned upon every considerable party which moved up or down the beach. The wagon in which he rode was made a target for twelve rounds of shot and shell, but happily his usual good fortune prevailed, and he escaped without injury. In the afternoon he tried the range of the Sharp's rifles of the Eighth Connecticut, and the Belgian rifles of the Fourth Rhode Island, firing at a target at one thousand yards, his object being to ascertain if a party of sharpshooters could not be placed in position within our lines to pick off the rebel gunners and the lookouts which had been kept on the flag-staff of the Fort to observe our operations. It was found that both pieces carried the required distance, the former excelling in accuracy and range, and the sharpshooters would have been used if the reduction of the Fort had not been so speedily accomplished. There being but two regiments and a battalion engaged in the siege, and five companies being required for guard duty at the batteries, the labor has been extremely onerous, and the health of the command has suffered in consequence. Lying out on picket twenty-four hours out of every seventy-two; exposed to the heat of day and the fogs and cold breezes of the ocean by night; a haze of fine sand blowing with scarcely any intermission; fired at with shot and shell at all hours of the day or night; obliged to march three miles over the beach from camp to outpost or return, is it wonderful that the surgeon's call almost any morning for the last fortnight has summoned a large number to his tent-door? Is it not strange, rather, that volunteer troops should have endured such hardships without a murmur, and acted with the steadiness of veterans under a well-directed fire, which they were not ready to return! The garrison of the Fort consisting of five companies, of men rendered desperate by the circumstances of their position, a sortie was to be apprehended, and our pickets were kept in a state of constant readiness to repel the attempt. The only serious affair of the kind, however, occurred during the night of Sunday, when about three hundred of the enemy engaged our skirmishers, but were repulsed. During the affair a private of the Fifth Rhode Island was wounded in the leg, and Lieut. Landers of company C, by careless handling of his pistol, shot himself in the arm. The rebel force had hardly got under cover of the glacis coupe, when several rounds of grape and canister were fired upon us from the Fort, the only effect being to startle the whole advanceguard and break their rest for the balance of the night. In the morning, at eight o'clock, when the battalion was being relieved by the Fourth Rhode Island, eighteen shots were fired in succession by the Fort, but without injuring a man. The gunboat Ellis, Capt. Franklin, which had been lying four miles up Cove Sound to close that approach to the Fort, moved up within shotrange, and fired two shots from her one hundred-pound gun. Both fell short of their mark, and the miserable inefficiency of the piece was made so apparent that the Captain wisely concluded to steam back to his anchorage and content himself with the easier duty to which he had been assigned. That evening the people at Beaufort had an opportunity of witnessing the picturesque effects of a bombardment by night, and as long as the spectacle lasted they thronged the streets and piazzas which overlooked the water. There being no mortars in the Fort, the heavy columbiads were used for the purpose; the proper elevation being given and a small charge of powder used. There is something very grand in the effect of shell practice at night, for the whole course of the projectile can be seen, and its terrible destructiveness appreciated. First comes a blinding flash of fire and a cloud of smoke made visible by the blast, then the boom of the cannon, the flight of the shell, marked, as it slowly mounts and falls by the twinkling fuse, then a brilliant light as the explosion comes, and last of all the noise of the bursting shell, sometimes louder than the report from the gun itself. Some of the secessionists in Beaufort, when they saw the shells falling among our batteries, could hardly conceal their exultation, but our men contented themselves in the thought that this sort of thing would not last long, for that was a game at which two would play before long. Cooped up in the Fort, in full sight of their homes, the two Beaufort companies in the garrison resorted to various devices to get news of their welfare to their friends. Every few days for the past fortnight little sloops, properly ballasted, and with all sail set, would be drifted by the tide around the marshes to the town wharves, and as regularly sent by watchful sentries to Major Allen's headquarters. Among other curiosities which were cast ashore, was a board panel from a wreck, bearing the following communication:
Fort Macon, April the 20th, 1862.to the Ladys of Beaufort — we are still in-during the privations of war with unexosted