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[348] whole. With this garrison I considered the fort perfectly safe, and capable of standing any length of siege. We had steamboat communication with it, which we could keep up at all times during the night.

Had the cavalry done its duty and promptly reported the enemy's movements, I do not think the result would have been different. Such was the configuration of the country and the obstacles that he would have accomplished his object with the force he had. Our only safe reliance was in his repulse, we being the weak and assailed party. The reports from the fort were of the most favorable character up to Sunday evening. Not a gun reported injured, the fort not damaged, and our loss three killed and thirty-two wounded in nearly three days. With these statements I felt confident that when the assault was made it would be easily repulsed, and so telegraphed to General Whiting.

During Saturday I was greatly disturbed by the tone and phraseology of General Whiting's dispatches, and by reports of others received from him in town. * * * * *

About 3 o'clock Sunday evening, General H. informed me the enemy was moving apparently to assault the fort. He immediately moved to attack them under my direction. A feeble musketry fire was heard at the fort, when it ceased, not lasting over ten minutes. Hoke found them in very strong position and heavy force ready to receive him. He moved in person close up to their lines with his skirmishers, receiving two balls in his clothes, between the left arm and breast. Their line was impracticable for his small command, and I did not hesitate to recall him. He could not have succeeded. When the assault commenced on the fort the fleet ceased to fire, and in less than half an hour it recommenced with great fury. My inference was that they were repulsed. A report soon reached me, however, from a party across the river, that “the enemy have the fort.” As the firing from the fleet on the fort continued, I disregarded the report. At 7 P. M. a dispatch from General Whiting reported: “We still hold the fort but are hard pressed.” Soon after another from his Adjutant said: “We are still in possession of the fort,” &c. My mind was easy. General Colquitt and his reinforcements were hurried forward. The bombardment continued heavily until about 10 P. M., when all became quiet. Unpleasant reports continued to reach me, but nothing worthy of credit until an escaped officer reported from across the river by telegraph that the fort was captured. General Colquitt soon returned and reported. He landed at the point about a mile behind the fort at 10.30 P. M., found everything in confusion, hundreds of men without arms, many of them drunk, and no one apparently in command. Colonel

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