traverses there was one or two guns. The traverses on the right of this front were only partially completed. A palisade, which is loop-holed and has a banquette, runs in front of this face at a distance of about fifty feet in front of the foot of the exterior slope from the Cape Fear river to the ocean, with a position for a gun on the left of the front and the river, and another between the right of the front and the ocean. Through the middle traverse on the curtain was a bomb-proof postern, whose exterior opening was covered by a small redan for two field-pieces, to give flank fire along the curtain. The traverses were generally bomb-proofed for men or magazines. The slopes of the work appeared to have been revetted with marsh sod, or covered with grass, and to have had an inclination of forty-five degrees, or a little less. On those slopes most exposed to navy fire the revetment or grassing has been entirely destroyed, and the inclination reduced to thirty degrees. The ends of traverses as they rise above the parapet are very ragged. Still all damage done to the earthwork can be readily repaired, its strength being about the same as before the bombardment. The damage done by the navy fire was, first to the palisades, which were so injured as in most places to be little obstacle to assaulting troops; second, to guns and carriages. There were originally on the front twenty-one guns and three mortars. Of these three fourths were rendered unserviceable by injuries to either gun or carriage. The gun in the right bastion, the field-pieces in front of the postern, and one or two mortars, were used against the assaulting troops. There was a formidable system of torpedoes two hundred yards in advance of this front, the torpedoes being about eighty feet apart, and each containing about one hundred pounds of powder. They were connected with the fort by three sets of wires; fortunately the sets leading directly to those over which the army and navy columns moved had been cut by shells, and no torpedo was exploded. 2. Sea-Front.--This front consists of a series of batteries mounting in all twenty-four guns, the different batteries being connected by a strong infantry parapet, so as to form a continuous line. The same system of heavy traverses for the protection of the guns is used as on the land-front, and these traverses are also generally bomb-proofed. Captain N. Adams, Fourth New Hampshire volunteers, and First Lieutenant J. H. Price, Fourth United States colored troops, commanding pioneer companies of Ames' and Paine's divisions, and First Lieutenant K. S. O'Keeffe, commanding company of Fifteenth New York volunteer engineers, have, with their commands, been of great service in the construction of batteries and defensive works. First Lieutenant A. H. Knowlton, Fourth New Hampshire volunteers, has rendered valuable assistance in making sketches of Fort Fisher; as also private Schultz, Fifteenth New York volunteer engineers. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. B. Comstock, Lieutenant-Colonel and Brevet Brigadier-General, Chief Engineer. Major A. Terry, A. A. G.It may be added that in thirty bomb-proofs and magazines and their passages there were fourteen thousand five hundred feet of floor-space, not including the main magazine, which was exploded, and whose dimensions are un known.
C. B. C.
Brigadier-General Ames' report.
headquarters Second division, twenty-Fourth Army corps, Fort Fisher, N. C., January 16, 1865.I have the honor to submit the following report of the late movements and operations of this division: On the night of the second the division, which had just returned to its camp from a demonstration against this point, received orders to prepare for a second expedition. It left camp on the third, and embarked on ocean transports at Bermuda Hundred, between the hours of seven and nine P. M., on the fourth instant. The transport fleet sailed from Fortress Mon roe on the morning of the sixth, and the troops disembarked some four miles north of Fort Fisher on the thirteenth instant. At three o'clock P. M. on the fifteenth we stormed Fort Fisher. Brevet Brigadier-General N. M. Curtis' brigade (the First) made a lodgement on the north-west angle of the fort. I immediately ordered up Colonel G. A. Pennypacker's brigade (the Second). The enemy was at once driven from behind the palisading extending from the fort to the river, and about one third of the work, its north-west angle, occupied by us. I then ordered up Colonel Bell's brigade (the Third), and moved it forward against and in rear of the sea-face of the work, the ground being much obstructed by the ruins of the barracks, lumber, and other rubbish; the enemy being protected by traverses, and taking advantage of the cover afforded by magazines, &c., checked our advance. Fighting of a most obstinate character continued till after dark, during which time we made considerable advancement on the left, and captured about four hundred prisoners. About eight o'clock P. M., Colonel Abbott with his brigade completed the occupation of the face of the work, extending from the ocean to the river. A general advance was now made, and the fort occupied without opposition. The conduct of the officers and men of this division was most gallant. Aided by the fire of the navy and an attacking column of sailors and marines along the sea beach, we were able to pass over the open ground in front of the fort, through the gaps in the palisading in the
Captain A. Terry, Assistant Adjutant-General:
Captain A. Terry, Assistant Adjutant-General: