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[362] detachments of sharpshooters to return their fire, and prevent, if possible, an advance. This was done despite the destructive fire of the fleet. When this fire ceased, and the steam whistles sounded for the charge, I ordered the reserves to man the parapets, and the South Carolina regiments to double quick to the rear of the left salient, between which and the river shore there was a space of some sixty feet, protected only by a shallow ditch, the remnants of a palisade, and one Napoleon. I went to meet the column assaulting my northeast salient, the success of which would have been fatal, as it would capture the centre of my work, and I sent my aid, Captain Blocker, with the South Carolina regiments, to report to Major Riley on the left.

I will now let the gallant officers who captured my fort say whether they “walked into the fort without resistance, not a shot being fired at them.” While they, very naturally, were not disposed to extol the gallantry of their enemies, I prefer to give their version instead of that of my officers or my own. Admiral Porter, in his official report, says:

I detailed 1,600 sailors and 400 marines to accompany the troops in the assault, the sailors to board the sea face, while the troops assaulted the land side. * * All the arrangements on the part of the sailors had been well carried out. They had succeeded in getting up to within a short distance of the fort, and lay securely in their ditches. We had but very few killed and wounded up to this point. The marines were to have held the rifle-pits and cover the boarding party, which they failed to do. On rushing through the palisades, which extended from the fort to the sea, the head of the column received a murderous fire of grape and canister, which did not, however, check the officers and sailors who were leading. The parapets now swarmed with rebels, who poured in a destructive fire of musketry. At this moment, had the marines performed their duty, every one of the rebels would have been killed. I witnessed the whole affair, saw how recklessly the rebels exposed themselves and what an advantage they gave our sharpshooters, whose guns were scarcely fired, or fired with no precision. Notwithstanding the hot fire, officers and sailors in the lead rushed on, and some even reached the parapet, a large number having reached the ditch. The advance was swept from the parapet like chaff, and notwithstanding all the efforts made by commanders of companies to stop them, the men in the rear, seeing the slaughter in front, and that they were not covered by the marines, commenced to retreat, and as there is no stopping a sailor

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