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[359] about moving troops. My mind was now made up as to his condition and I felt that the safety of the fort required his prompt relief. Brigadier-General Colquitt was accordingly sent to relieve him.

This remarkable letter is dated five days after the fall of the fort. The above statement shows one of two things — that his defeat had seriously affected his mind, or that he distorted the facts to justify himself to his brother. Colonel Graham, who commanded the reinforcements, was my junior, and had within thirty days been under my command by order of General Bragg. It was he who failed to bring in the reinforcements sent to the fort on Saturday. General Bragg never sent the order on Saturday; but here is a copy of the original, dated on Sunday:

Sugar-Loaf, January 15--sent at 1.25 P. M.
General Whiting:
Colonel Colquitt assigned to immediate command of Fort Fisher. Will go there to-night. General Bragg directs you to report in person at these headquarters this evening, for conference and instructions.

Archer Anderson, A. A. G.

This order, sent at the critical moment of the impending assault, and removing a gifted, brilliant and courageous hero, whose men loved him, and would follow him into the jaws of death, and supplanting him with a Georgia militia General, unknown to the garrison, was an act in keeping with the whole of General Bragg's conduct of the defence of Wilmington.

The letter continues:

About 3 o'clock P. M. Sunday evening, General Whiting informed me the enemy was moving, apparently to assault the fort. Hoke 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.

I will show further on that had General Hoke attacked the enemy resolutely at 3 P. M., he would have saved the fort, and with darkness and the cooperation of the garrison, have captured the enemy. For over five hours an incessant musketry fire was kept up by thousands of troops, only ending with the exhaustion of all the ammunition of

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