to their astonished gaze a new and what appeared to them a more tremendous aggregation of fighting ships than before, with transports carrying troops.
General Alfred H. Terry
, with a force of about eight thousand men, had been assigned, this time, to the duty of cooperating with the fleet for the reduction of Fort Fisher
The fleet consisted of forty-nine vessels of the heaviest class, with six hundred and twenty-seven guns.
On the morning of the 13th, the fleet stood close in and engaged the batteries, whose guns replied under the same instructions as during the first bombardment: that is, to husband their ammunition by firing very slowly, except when necessary to concentrate on a special vessel.
During the day and night of the 13th, about seven hundred men arrived as reenforcements, making in all about fifteen hundred in the garrison.
The bombardment lasted during the 13th and 14th without abatement.
The Federal troops landed on the 13th at a point about four miles north of the fort, and nine days supplies were sent ashore with them.
The advance on the forts was commenced immediately.
When the sun rose on the 15th of December, the streams of shell from the vessels were redoubled, and before noon but one good gun was left on the land face of the fort.
By that time the casualties had increased so that the defense had less than twelve hundred men to hold the parapets.
Soon after noon a small reenforcement of about three hundred and fifty men, sent by Bragg
, succeeded in reaching the works.
The defenders could see the assaulting columns getting ready to deliver their attack.
A column of sailors and marines was making its way toward the sea face, to cooperate with the infantry on the land side.
In the mean time, the assault on the land face by the infantry was pushed strongly over the works into the interior, taking one section after another against a most obstinate defense.
was badly wounded, as was General Whiting
, the district commander, who was present but had