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[489] heart that the day of retribution had come so speedily.

At ten o'clock the gunboats, finding it useless for them to continue the engagement, hauled off and took the position opposite our camp whence they had started to the attack. Up to this time many of Capt. Morris's shot had been wasted by the extreme elevation of the guns, and Lieut. Flagler's heavy mortars were bursting their shells in mid-channel. Gen. Parke had stationed Lieut. Laing of the Signal Corps at Morehead City; Lieuts. Fricker, Andrews and Wait at Beaufort; Lieuts. Marsh, Lyon and Palmer on the Banks, Lieut. Bradley at Carolina City, and Lieut. Hopkins on the gunboat Daylight. A perfect system of communication was thus established on all sides of the besieged fortress, and orders and communications could be transmitted from headquarters to any desired point rapidly and with accuracy. In fact, as I have previously stated, the value of the Meyer code to the army has been thoroughly proved in Gen. Parke's division, if never before.

The signal officers at Beaufort and Morehead were directed to observe the flight of our shot and shell, and report to the batteries when the projectiles were going far astray. At half-past 10 the following message was flagged over from Morehead:

The Parrotts go too high, and the heavy shells burst too far beyond the Fort.

The news was timely and acted upon at once by both Capt. Morris and Lieut. Flagler. The guns of the one were depressed, and the fuses of the other shortened; and after that for several hours two shots out of three must have struck the work. Lieut. Prouty, whether because he was nearer the Fort, or that his position a little to one side enabled him to see the effect of his shells better, got the range early in the day, and made excellent practice throughout.

Between ten and eleven o'clock the two armed barges in command of Capt. S. D. Nichols and Lieut. Baxter of the Marine Artillery, were kedged down to within three miles, of the Fort, opened fire, and threw about thirty shots, some of which must have done execution, for the marks of the Parrott projectiles were seen on that face. At eleven o'clock the platforms of the right-hand mortar, and the third from the right, in the ten-inch battery, had become thoroughly splintered by the powerful concussion to which they had been exposed for nearly six hours, the sand having worked out from beneath in places, and left the planks to bear the whole strain without support. A rest was accordingly taken to make the necessary repairs, and another forced intermission of Lieut. Flagler's fire occurred soon after, by the breaking of the shoulders on three of the beds. The damages repaired, work was resumed, and continued without further interruption until the close. Late in the day, when one of the enemy's guns after another had been silenced, and the fire of the Fort slackened off, Lieut. Flagler's practice was really splendid, for he was enabled to stand with tolerable safety on his parapet, observe the effect of his fire, and give the necessary directions for its management. One of his men, a private in the Third artillery, (New-York volunteers,) whose duty it was to watch the Fort and warn his comrades of coming shot and shell, was driving an alignment-stake about this time, when a gun was fired by the enemy. He saw the puff and cried out as usual, “Down!” but failing to get shelter in time, the ball — a twenty-four pounder from Capt. Manny's battery — struck him in the chest and tore him to pieces. His breast-bone and ribs were split off as if they had been the lid of a box, his heart fell out, and a bruised mass of flesh and blood was hurled in Lieut. Flagler's face and over his person. Dabs of flesh and clots of blood were splashed over the walls and platforms of the battery, and the quivering remains of the poor fellow were pitched headlong into the sand. Of all the sad and sickening sights of a battle-field this must have been almost the worst; the recollection of it is too much for endurance.

All through the bombardment, the bravery of two companies of rebel gunners was especially notable. One, at the twenty-four-pounder battery on the lower terreplein, was commanded by Capt. Manny; the other--Capt. Pool's — worked the battery of heavy guns at the south angle of the rampart. Flagler's shells and Morris's shot would strike the crest, or at their feet, and envelope them in clouds of smoke or dust; but as soon as these were blown aside, the rebel gunners would be seen sponging or loading their guns with redoubled zeal. North-Carolinians may not have fought as they should a Roanoke and Newbern, but I could pick out of the garrison of Fort Macon a score of men who would stand killing as well even as our Rhode-Islanders, or Connecticut and Massachusetts lads.

Capt. Pool's battery was more to be feared by our gunboats and shore-batteries than any other in the Fort, on account of their weight of metal. On the south face of the angle in which they stood was an eight-inch columbiad on a barbette carriage; at the east side stood a ten-inch columbiad on a wrought-iron barbette carriage; and next to it was the six-inch rifle, affectionately named “Maggie McRae,” which has such a long range. Naturally the fire of Capt. Morris and Lieut. Flagler was directed first to this point; and with such success that by two P. M. the battery was silenced. The condition of the pieces will be described in the appropriate place. Our batteries were worked with a view to making the ammunition hold out until nightfall, when it was proposed to haul up fresh supplies and fill the service magazines. Our best shell practice was from one to four o'clock P. M., at which time nearly every bomb was burst in the Fort or on the slopes. At half-past 3 o'clock a desperate effort seemed to be made by the garrison to silence our batteries, for all the guns bearing up the beach, not dismounted, were opened upon us. A thirty-two-pounder shot passed through one of Capt. Morris's embrasures, and striking the wheel of the gun-carriage, splintered it well.

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