in. The batteries between Fort Fisher and the Mound being abreast of us, my position was an admirable one for engaging these batteries, and my nine-inch guns were principally employed in doing this, as it was only by these we were annoyed, with an occasional shot from the Mound. During this day not a shot fell short, which accounts for my increased expenditure of nine-inch shell. At 2:10 P. M. we opened fire, which was replied to by the batteries abreast of us more vigorously than the day before. I am not aware of having received a single shot from Fort Fisher this day. At 3:30 P. M. a port main shroud was shot away; soon after we were struck three (3) times in pretty rapid succession. One (1) shot struck us under number three port, three (3) feet above the water-line, passing through into a store-room, and depositing itself in a mattress; it is a solid eight-inch shot. Two (2) shot struck under number two port, twenty (20) inches below the water line, one (1) remaining in the side and the other going through and lodging in a beam on the orlop deck, causing the ship to leak badly. A glancing shot struck the stern of the ship, but did no material injury, and some of our running rigging shot away. At 4:10 P. M., having expended all the ammunition for eleven-inch and rifles, and nearly all for my nine-inch guns, made signal, “Ammunition I am short of,” which was replied to “Save some,” and immediately after, “Discontinue the action,” when I weighed my anchor, lifted my kedge, and hauled out of line. During this day's action we fired four hundred and ninety-four (494) nine-inch shell, fifty-two (52) eleven-inch shell, and seventy-two (72) rifle shell. In conclusion, I beg leave to state that every officer and man on board this ship, under my command, did his duty nobly, and I have yet to hear of any complaint, either of officer or man, except as to the failure to take advantage of our two (2) days' work. With regard to the “damage apparently done to the works,” I must confess that I was paying more attention to the proper management of my own battery than the general effect; but it appears to me utterly impossible that any works could withstand such a fire and not be terribly damaged; and I am also fully impressed with the belief that by a prompt and vigorous assault late in the afternoon of either day, Fort Fisher might have been taken by a comparatively small force, say one thousand (1,000) resolute men. Fort Fisher was silenced; the Mound firing feebly; the only active firing from the enemy that I witnessed was from the two (2) or three (3) guns that annoyed me, and as long as my ammunition permitted me to fire rapidly I could keep them pretty quiet. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Report of Commodore S. W. Godon.
Fort Fisher and batteries: At about meridian of the twenty-fourth instant, in obedience to general signal, I fell into line of battle, and in regular order drew into my station, as per plan of attack, opening fire from my starboard battery of eight (8) nine-inch guns, and two (2) one-hundred-and-fifty-pounders, at two o'clock. I did not, however, get fairly placed with anchors down until three o'clock, when I continued a smart fire until ordered out of action at 5:30 P. M. The firing from Fort Fisher was not sustained, and was often silenced for a considerable time. The distance. however, seemed too great, although the practice was good, and kept the fire of the enemy down. On the twenty-fifth I did not get into position until twenty minutes past two P. M., when I tried my rifle range at about one thousand seven hundred yards, and anchored within half a ship's length on the starboard bow of the Colorado, as directed by verbal orders, and opened with the nine-inch guns most effectively, using but one division at a time. The enemy's fire, as on the day before, was feeble and not sustained, and was several times silenced for half an hour. Held my position until ordered to withdraw at fifty-five minutes past four, but afterward steamed up to Minnesota's stern and remained there, with a slight renewal of my fire, until ordered to retire from action and reserve ammunition, then growing short, for the assault. Although fairly exposed, received but few hits, and no damage of the slightest consequence. The enemy's practice was bad on both days, owing, I presume, to the steady and well-directed fire of the large ships and ironclads. From my position on the wheel-house, overlooking my entire battery, I had every officer and man under my observation, and I have sincere pleasure in testifying to the fine bearing, zeal, and gallantry of the division officers, viz.: Lieutenant Bartlett and Acting Ensign Rhoades of the first division; Lieutenant Brown, commanding second division; Acting Ensign Laycock, commanding third division; Acting Master Porter, commanding fourth division, and First Lieutenant William Wallace, who, with his fine company of marines, handled most effectively two extra nine-inch guns. Lieutenant Commander Blake, my Executive Officer, is all I can desire in battle-cool and collected, calm and intelligent. He is my right-hand man, I also beg to call special attention to Ensign Preble, the Master of this ship, who, whether under fire or any other circumstances, has proved himself without a superior in intelligence or ability on board the vessel. My aid, Master's Mate Cooper, was prompt in